my father told me there was something wrong with the toyota when he came to pick me up in the expired-inspection-sticker honda this morning at 11am. something about the power steering not working anymore. when we arrived in belmont, i could see drips of steering fluid all over the snow and ice on the driveway. my father drove off to the mechanic, even though they weren't opened today, hoping he could just have the car towed there anyway. i ended up calling the belmont police to get a dispensation on overnight parking, so we can tow it tomorrow morning instead, when the mechanic is actually opened. i left a note on the windshield in case neighbors were curious why our car wasn't in the driveway.

while my mother was fixing lunch (some leftover noodles), i climbed the ladder to take a peek at the sunroom solar panels. most of the panels were still covered in snow, but there'd been enough melting that everything was sitting on a layer of wet ice. i couldn't push it off with the snow broom, but when my father came back from the closed mechanic, he used a rubber ice scraper to push the ice layer, which came crashing down in sheets. unfortunately the ice landed on top of the row cover, shattering the plastic dome. i think it's something we might be able to replace though, if we take apart the row cover and insert a new plastic film instead. immediately after my father cleared the sunroom solar panels of ice, the production jumped up to 6.5kW.

after lunch my father prepared some sesame paste filled glutinous rice balls with leftover jiuniang. i still have several partially eaten jars in my house, from last winter. they still look good, no mold, they're either very sweet or very sour or maybe very alcoholic. we also finished some brown sugar taiyaki ice cream sandwich from the freezer because my mother was tired of always looking at them.

my levoit core 300S air purifier arrived today. i set it up in the living room to test, paired it with the vesync app so i can control the purifier remotely and receive data. i was almost disappointed when it said the air quality was very good. the real test is when i bring it back home into my dusty condo.

my sister showed up today bringing hailey. we were out in the backyard looking for rabbit tracks and seeing how they got into the backyard. if i had to guess, at least one rabbit managed to squeeze in from some loose chicken wire fencing in the southwestern corner of the yard below the hawthorn tree. i'll need to find a way to secure it better. there were also plenty of squirrel tracks, but i've learned to tell the difference between squirrel and rabbit.

speaking of squirrels, one of them started coming to the bird feeders again. i think because some birds are dirty feeders, it left a bunch of sunflower seeds below, making it attractive for the squirrel. i've never seen it trying to get to the squirrel buster, but it still thinks it can get into the double caged suet feeder and will keep on trying. i left it some peanuts outside yesterday but they're all gone, shells and all.

around sunset i did some drone flying. this was my first flight since replacing the propellers last monday. i thought the drone was a bit more quieter, but it could all just be my imagination as well. when it came back for a landing, it was still loud enough to hear in the still winter air. i flew it to the reservoir and back.

after dinner my father gave me a ride back to cambridge.

the first thing i did was to set up the levoit air purifier. like in belmont, it said the indoor PM2.5 was at 1, very good. i couldn't believe my dusty house would be that particle free, so i thought maybe the special "laser sensor" was faulty. so i tested it up lighting a match and putting it close to the sensor. at first it didn't do anything, but then the air monitor went from blue (good) to green (fair) to red (poor). the PM2.5 jumped up to 250+. so it does work, but the air has to be really dirty, like so dusty or smoky that you can see it. otherwise it'll read the air quality as clear. a part of me still thinks that air purifiers are kind of a scam. they're essentially glorified fans that circulate the air and trap a bit of dust serendipitously. next time i cook i'll see if it's able to get rid of any cooking smells.

i watched the qualification run of the women's freeski big air, featuring eileen gu of san francisco representing china. she's an interesting story, even though she was born and raised in the US, and currently still lives in san francisco, she switched allegiance and chose china. she came in 5th but this was just the qualifying round, so the top 12 skiers advance.

after running the air purifier in the bedroom for a few hours, i went to bed. not sure if the room feels cleaner, but the placebo effect made me feel that it was, clean dust-free air.