4.164 docent, grant, eclipse?

Sunday 04/15/2022

Went at 11am to the museum to lead the 12pm tour. About 25 people, and I managed to keep their interest for the whole tour, and got a nice little round of applause at the end, very gratifying.

In the afternoon I wrote up the three Heritage Circle grant applications, splitting the plan into three parts, not all of which have to be done at the same time.

The moon should rise already in eclipse, but at 8:20 there are bands of clouds in the east and no moon.

4.163 new phone, play

Saturday 04/14/2022

Today was a lovely open day with no commitments other than a ticket to a play at the Bus Barn tonight at 8. I did some paperwork first, then went out and did the thing that had been pending for a month or more: changed my T-Mobile contract to eliminate the second line, and got a new phone as well.

Back around the turn of the millenium we got our first mobile phone, a flip-phone with AT&T. That was 387-3645, secondary to our home land-line of 321-1986. Sometime around 2010, unhappy with AT&T service, I changed to the first iPhone 5 and T-Mobile.

Around 2014, pissed at the constant robocalls on the land-line, I changed the land-line to a second line on the T-Mobile service, and got an iPhone SE. Marian carried the older iPhone and I kept 321-1986 in my pocket. But the contract was for 387-3645 plus a second line.

After Marian passed I gave the old iPhone 5 to Jean, thinking she could maybe get used to using Lyft instead of driving. That didn’t happen and it basically sat there. But on the rare occasion that T-Mobile wanted to do 2FA they would offer to send me a text to 387-3645. No, no, that’s sitting Jean’s drawer in Mountain View, send me an email.

Eventually she gave it back. Meanwhile I have 321-1986 in every business or web service I use. It’s crucial to me. And I was afraid of messing with the T-Mobile contract for fear that somehow I’d lose that number. But today I marched into the T-Mobile store and got the help of a lovely person named Ana who was able to make all the relevant changes. Kill 387-3645 service, make my contract a single line at 321-1986, and sell me a new iPhone SE third generation and set it up. Now all I have to do is carry three — somehow I have three old iPhones — to the Apple store to trade in.

At 7:15 I drove down to the Bus Barn in Los Altos. The show was Ruthless, a musical about a cute kid who is determined to star in her school play and who will do (and does) anything to get the role. It’s a comedy with a murder played for laughs. I was only mildly amused and the whole thing was a bit cringe-y and tedious to me, so I left at intermission.

4.162 bank, docent

Friday 04/13/2022

Had a date with new treasurer Joanne, to visit WFB to get info on our existing account. She has done the legwork (talking to six banks) to decide where best to move the RA account. But all of them want a tax ID number as part of the application. As far as we know, the resident association doesn’t have a tax ID. The Gift Shop might; Channing House as a whole surely does; but not the RA. So the question is, what ID did our predecessor use when they initially opened the account? And when was that? Joanne had talked to Diane our historian, but she couldn’t turn up anything on the actual founding of the RA. So we have to go and make nice with WFB to find out what they know about us.

Since I had a 12pm docent tour, and wanted to start for the Museum at 11, I brought the car up from the basement. Joanne and I met in the lobby at 10 and drove over to WFB. Talked to a very nice and helpful banker. Anyway, he was able to print off the original application, with, yes, a tax ID on it. We didn’t tell him why we needed it, of course. (Joanne said later, if we’d talked to him before maybe we wouldn’t want to change. I reminded her of the bank’s sending a new debit card with the name of the prior treasurer to me, two years after I took over.) The original application was in 2006, so not as far back as I expected, and none of the people named on it were familiar to me. Presumably departed this sphere before I moved in.

So off to the museum to give a tour to just three nice people. That’s a very different experience to talking to a dozen or more.

4.161 yosemite, managing

Thursday 04/12/2022

Tidied my house for the cleaning lady, especially since, owing to Covid keeping staff at home, we only get cleaned every other week for the next month or so.

Then off to Yosemite. Sherman and I were tasked with moving more boxes of artifacts from lower shelves to higher ones (playing Museum Tetris). After lunch, I catalogued a group of artifacts (a Sun “Sun Ray” Terminal from 2000 and its various parts), and then went through the artifact database changing all object names that contained “mouse pad” to read “mousepad”, the new standard terminology.

Back home I was queried by two different event sponsors about AV support. One’s events were in my spreadsheet and had committee members assigned. The other’s events were not in my spreadsheet. I’m not going to snarl at her because it is just possible I dropped the ball. But I strongly suspect that no Event Planning Forms were filed for those events, grrrrrr. Anyway I worked out coverage for her.

While I was at Yosemite I checked my email, and I had received the updated quote on the auditorium work. So I turned that around in an email to the people who are interested asking for comments. By the time I got home, I had some cogent questions to answer which I did, and somehow the time flew by and it was 6:40 and I hadn’t eaten. So I ate in my room.

4.160 tech, meeting

Wednesday 04/11/2022

Went for a walk in the morning. At 10:30 I had a date with Grace to talk about phones. She considers me her personal expert on phone stuff. She’s thinking about changing carriers to T-Mobile because of all the dropped calls she has with AT&T. She had one interesting bit of info: she called AT&T customer service and the service person looked up her location and told her, there was an AT&T antenna on Homer st. (next to our building) and one on University ave (4 blocks away), but the one on Homer had been inoperative for a year. Aha! It’s been about a year that she (and others here) have had problems with reception. I seconded her plan to switch, agreeing with her that she had nothing to lose, she wouldn’t be any worse off certainly.

My neighbor Caroline had asked to borrow my X-acto knife to cut a matte for a picture. This turned into a major project, she and I took the large matte and the picture up to the artist workroom on 11 and spent an hour hacking away with two box-cutters to neatly enlarge the opening in the matte.

At 4:45 it was time for the monthly floor meeting and dinner. No real news except that Jerry is handing over floor rep. duties to — Caroline. No issues with that, but he claimed he announced that at the last meeting and I was there and don’t remember it. Whatever. In casual chat with Doctor Margaret I learned that beta-blockers such as Metropolol can have mood-altering side-effects. Hmmm. I haven’t communicated it much here, but I’ve been feeling kind of stressed and low in spirit for some time. Hmmmm.

4.159 fopal, lunch, trip, meeting

Tuesday 04/10/2022

First thing, I needed to finish preparing my section of books for the FOPAL sale weekend. That was work I couldn’t finish yesterday owing to have to start a meeting. I went down there at 8:30 and finished in less time than I’d thought, so I didn’t have to miss the writers meeting after all. Although I had nothing to contribute.

At 12:30 I joined Patty for lunch. I wanted to talk to her about the status of the Heritage Circle grant: how the ICS quote was lacking in details and what could be done about that. I am not feeling comfortable about getting that grant through this year. Besides making sure that it represents good equipment that can be used for years without cursing, the grant application itself needs to be “vetted” by another party before submission. Patty thinks the appropriate vetting group is the RA executive committee. But they won’t meet again until June, I said. So you better be talking to Carol (the President) about a special meeting, says Patty. Have I ever mentioned that Patty’s last working job was running the local branch of Habitat for Humanity for several years? An experienced manager and not fond of bullshit.

Then it was time to board the bus for a tour of Hidden Villa. This was organized by Stew, a neighbor who is a docent there. It was nicely done, although certainly I didn’t learn anything as I have seen farms before. Been nuzzled by sheep before, too. Anyway, back on the bus at 3:45 and just barely back to CH in time to start a zoom meeting for Mary. She’s the floor rep for the 9th floor and wanted to hold their monthly floor meeting on zoom. Other people might have had their own zoom account or known someone who did, but she didn’t, and wanted a meeting longer than 40 minutes, so as the A/V committee person I got to do that.

4.158 meeting, fopal, quote

Monday 04/09/2022

Resident association meeting at 9am. Zoom-only instead of in the auditorium because we are having an outbreak. Not a bad one, in fact the afternoon Covid letter said we had one new staff case, had cleared 4 prior cases, net 3 cases. So progress. Nothing special about the RA meeting.

I have a request from Barbara, because all our meetings are supposed to be zoom (see Outbreak), to provide a zoom setting for her committee meeting. So I have to be back here to start a meeting using our channing house pro account, before 2pm. Meantime it is already 10:30 and I need to prepare my FOPAL section for sale weekend. So I buzz off to FOPAL, thinking this will be easy, I was here on Friday and got a head start. Not. There were four boxes of books, and by the time I finished pricing and shelving them, it was after 1pm and I needed to grab some lunch at the store and back to CH to start Barbara’s meeting. So I didn’t get my section ready on Monday as I’m supposed to; I will have to go back tomorrow, which means skipping the writers group again. I am thinking about dropping the writers group anyway.

Started Barbara’s meeting, made her host when she logged in, then had nothing to do except copious email. One of which was from Vanessa, with the quote from ICS about the auditorium upgrade. It was extremely short of details and vague except in everything except the price. I wrote back to her pointing out a couple of really critical details they had omitted. As it stands, I could not recommend that proposal for Heritage Circle funding.

I spent some time dithering over the CHM volunteer sign-up page trying to decide what shifts I wanted to work. They are now opening 5 days a week, which means they need 10 public tour guides a week plus a couple of private tours on average, which is a lot of docents. Finally settled on next Sunday 12pm for docenting, and Thursday at Yosemite as usual. But if the artifact work doesn’t get more interesting…

4.157 docent, dinner

Sunday 04/08/2022

Left at 10am to buy some groceries and then go to the Computer Museum, arriving about 11:15. I had the 12pm docent tour. About 20 people, and kept most of them to the end.

Back home, today, Mother’s Day, was one where the dining staff takes the afternoon off. One picks up a brown-bag supper after lunch. Times past, the 6th floor has met in our dining room to picnic but I hadn’t seen any email to that effect so about 5 I at my sack supper. Then a little later, I learned that there was a sign on the bulletin board, picnic at 6pm. Who looks at bulletin boards? Anyway, I took a glass of wine and went to the dining room and sat at the table with 8 others while they ate.

One idea broached was, maybe dining services should take one short day a week, or a month, providing a sack supper and going home early. This will be proposed to the Food and Dining Committee. In the meantime, the 6th floor on our own, will order our Sunday night suppers for carry-out (which one can do) and picnic on a regular basis.

There was also a strong suggestion from several that I schedule a private docent tour four our floor soon.

4.156 quiet Saturday

Saturday 04/07/2022

During the day, off and on, I worked on the T-bird model. I almost ruined it. I was about to spray clear coat on it when I noticed I had gotten a little smudge of chrome on the body paint. OK no problem, that’s just why I had saved the last dregs of the dying pearl-pink spray can in a bottle. I’ll just touch it up with a little dab on a tiny brush. Hah. Turns out, the liquid carrier of the pearl pink spray is a ferocious thinner for that paint. As soon as I wiped a tiny drop of the saved paint onto the little spot of chrome paint, it dissolved the chrome paint and made a chrome-pink blotch. As I tried to brush that out, it dissolved the pink under it — which had been dry for a week and had no business going soft so quick — exposing the white of the plastic underneath. After a pause to panic I managed to use a dry brush to bring the color back over the white and now it only looks like a little spot of leprosy in certain angles of light. After that dried I coated the body and hood in several coats of clear and after I polish that, it will be fine. Sure. As long as the driver’s side is turned toward the wall.

At 1pm I walked up Homer avenue through the Children’s Parade finish area, which was also a small show of classic cars. There were three T-birds out of 25 or so cars, but two were ’57s and one a ’55. But I took a couple of pics of the 55 for reference.

From there I walked over to the campus and watched the first half of a softball game. Stanford was getting pasted 5-0 by the Oregon Ducks so I left before the end and walked home.

4.155 putzing around fopal

Friday 04/06/2022

Went for the standard walk, and felt quite tired before the end. Actually did sit down and rest before the end. (See the new cardiologist 5/16.)

Next tasks were two. First I need to mail a book that sold on eBay to its buyer, only its buyer is in Norway. I thought I had specified North America only on the listing, but somehow the purchase went through, for a nice $75. But now I needed to ship. Shipping materials and the computer with Stamps.com are in the Children’s dept. building of FOPAL.

Second, I need to confer with fellow volunteer Frank — uber-volunteer, he does much more than I do — about the status of all the boxes of stuff I’ve set aside to sell at the Vintage Computer Fest. While waiting for him to set a time I put more detail decals on the T-bird.

While these things aren’t as shiny as chrome, they fit well. The grid of chrome slashes, no way could I paint that in. Tragedy has struck: during the night, somehow, the little badge decal on the driver’s side has fallen off. At less than a millimeter square and light enough to float, there is no chance of finding it. All these things have to do is stay stuck until I spray with clear varnish, which is almost the next thing to do. Cling, little decals!

At 12 I went down to FOPAL to find that they had changed the lock code on the Children’s building. So I emailed the boss, Janette, and killed time by processing three boxes of books that had been dropped at my section. That will make it easier to finish up for the sale on Monday.

At 2 I met with Frank and we moved three boxes of VCF books to room G9, a part of the Cubberly complex I’d never seen. (Cubberly is a former junior high school building complex that has been converted into a multi-use community center; FOPAL has several rooms scattered around it.) There are now 8 boxes of books and a total of 5 boxes of old Byte magazines, destined for VCF.

Frank let me in to the Children’s building and into the Annex where the mailing supplies are. You want to hear about horrible software? Stamps.com’s app for PC is horrible. It presented me with an “International” tab. It let me enter the address and choose Norway as the country. It gave me a goddam customs form to fill out. It let me click “Print postage.” Only then did it tell me: “this account is not authorized for international postage.”

So now what? I got a nice mailing envelope from the supplies, said bye to Frank, and drove off to the USPS office off 101. Here I got to fill out a customs form in paper. And find out that the book — a skinny 50pp pamphlet in a flat envelope — was not actually a “large envelope” but rather a “package” so postage would be twice what I had told the buyer and the buyer had paid. So I get to eat the difference. This is why I don’t want to sell overseas, and in fact, since this is the only one of ten listed items to sell at all, I am giving up eBay sales for FOPAL completely.

With all the walking around Cubberly I see I racked up over 4.5 miles for the day, no wonder I felt completely nackered when I got home. Bleagh.