days after a snowstorm, my only transportation options are walking or public transportation. the roads are still too treacherous for bicycling, bike lanes all but gone, replaced with mounds of frozen snow and ice. my father came to give me a ride a bit before noontime. children could be seen any place where there was a hill, as they gathered for some weekend sledding on this clear and sunny day.
as soon as i arrived in belmont, i launched my drone from the backyard to watch the kids sledding. the snow-covered field of the nearby park looked like the surface of the moon, scarred with footprints and sled tracks. i even spotted a few snow angels. i was glad there was nothing wrong with the drone after i crash landed it in the snow last night. i thought about replacing the props, but the ones i have still work, even if one of them is a little bit frayed along the edge.
of course i checked on the status of our solar panels. earlier this morning it still wasn't at capacity, as panels were still covered in bits of snow. but by noontime nearly all of the snow on the black solar panels had melted, and we were at maximum generation. most of our nearby solar neighbors were as lucky, but their steep roofs meant eventually the snow would melt off naturally, no assistance needed.
my mother made wonton soup for lunch. i added about a teaspoon worth of sichuan chili pepper oil, felt like taking a trip back to chongqing. later my father heated a flat-bread mushroom pizza in the toaster oven. we ate while watching a 2-hour youtube video showcasing various korean street food vendors.
strangely enough, no birds came to the feeders today. i'd imagine a nice day after a snowstorm, they'd be hungry for food. that makes me think they're finding better feed elsewhere. i did see a few juncos but they were pecking on the ground looking for dropped seeds.
i found the lens cap for my gopro silicone sleeve. i looked for it all last night, figured i lost it somewhere since it's easy to lose. i already have a glass screen protector on the lens so i don't really need the cap, but i still wasn't happy i lost it. but turns out it was just at my parents' place, i forgot to take it yesterday.
after sunset i went out and flew the drone a second time, hoping to get some final holiday lights plus snow scape sceneries. flying a drone can be soothing, sightseeing the nearby landscapes, but i have the exact opposite reaction, as i'm normally highly stressed during flight. i worry about signal lose, or hitting obstacles, or running out of batteries, so many things can go wrong with the result that i lose my drone. only when i land and safety back indoors can i appreciate the footage i've captured. last night was a better night - with slick salt melted roads reflecting street and traffic lights. but i had foresight and was better prepared tonight, knew i wanted to visit a few of the more lit up houses. there was very little wind, and i had no trouble with either signal or battery. temperature wasn't an issue either even though it was in the 20's, i had 25 minutes of flight time, which was more than enough.
for dinner my father cooked up two stirfries of cabbage and eggs and then a plate of christmas smoked ham. the cabbage was too soft and sweet, the ham not crispy enough.
my father gave me a ride home after dinner. we stopped by to pick up my sister at her place first so my father could later drop her off at alewife station to collect her car.
i've been watching a 1994 movie called uncovered starring a very young kate beckinsale, in one of her earliest movie roles. sporting short hair, she looks more like a tomboy than the glamorous starlet she'd turn out to be later in life. she plays an art restoration expert working in barcelona who comes across a mystery renaissance painting that kills all who comes across its path. the film has all the hallmarks of italian giallo film, as murders begin to pile up, everyone is a suspect.