2.233 medical, laundry

Wednesday 07/26/2021

For exercise, instead of my walk, I went to our gym and put in 40 minutes on the cyber cycle, which is actually fun as well as a good workout. That ensured I would have plenty of time to leave for my appointment with Dr. Tamrazi, interventional radiologist. I’m not sure, and didn’t ask, but I think this is the same guy who did a needle biopsy on Marian’s pancreas back in 2018. No matter.

We talked about how the ballooning cyst has compressed my stomach and displaced some other organs. If we drain it, it’ll fill up again, in anything from a few weeks to a few months. But it might not fill back to its current size. To my surprise he is concerned, but not worried about my being on the anti-clotting med Plavix. He sees a simple approach, with a very fine needle and catheter, and doesn’t think there be any bleeding problems.

Bottom line, the procedure is scheduled for this coming Monday morning. He will use a local anesthetic so I don’t need to be NPO, and can drive myself home. This is all very convenient because at the end of next week I am due for another CT scan, as part of my one-year (not quite but nearly) follow-up on the aortic dissection. That will show the state of the renal cyst four days after draining it.

So, back home by noon, in good time to do my laundry. Busy busy (not).

2.232 blowing it

Tuesday 07/27/2021

Today I did a disturbing thing, somewhat reminiscent of an event back in 2019 that upset me.

In 2019 I had booked a ticket for the SF Boogie Woogie festival, a Sunday afternoon and evening event at the SF Jazz center. Then I completely forgot about it and spent that Sunday afternoon instead in a sight-seeing drive. Only after getting home and much too late did I remember the concert.

Something similar, this morning. My usual Tuesday schedule is the aerobics class, than pass time in my room before the writers group meeting at 10:30. Leave the writers at 12 if they haven’t finished by then, grab a sandwich to go, and drive to FOPAL to attend to my section, returning around 4.

My usual Thursday schedule is aerobics, shower, dress, and immediatelyget the car and head out to either Shustek or Yosemite to do Computer History work all day.

I was aware, yesterday evening, that this was Tuesday and reviewed then what I meant to do. However, this morning, after the aerobics, I somehow switched tracks to Thursday, sort of. I showered, dressed, and headed out at 9:15 to FOPAL, where I signed in at 9:40, and did the usual routine work. Processed 5 boxes of computer books, got my section all tidy, and only then realized: wait a sec, I’m done by noon when I usually only get here at 1pm. Wait, why did I do this before lunch?

And realized that I had short-circuited my usual Tuesday. Blown off the writers group, and now had a free afternoon where I usually don’t.

It would be perfectly fine if I had done that deliberately, for a reason, for example a conflicting medical appointment or something. But I didn’t. I just mixed up my plans — and didn’t realize I was mixing them up, for a couple of hours.

No big deal, no real mistakes made, appointments missed, or money wasted. But it’s upsetting that I had not a thought that I was doing something unusual or contrary to my original plan, for a couple of hours. If you take the slippery-slope outlook, this is the kind of thing that ends with one cheerfully strolling out the door having forgotten to put on pants.

2.231 whatever

Monday 07/26/2021

Went for a walk. Commented on Bert’s proposal for the big A/V upgrade to the auditorium. He immediately called me; I had read the wrong document. So I read the right document and then went up to his apartment to talk about it.

Worked a bit on the Chrysler. Trying to do it right, painting the parts and letting them completely harden before gluing them on.

silver and gloss black, flat black on the “belts”.

Then I did some photoshopping. Over at Yosemite for months there has been this very large sepia print of a man reading a book. When I was there Thursday I took a careful shot of it with the phone. Today I replaced the book with an iPhone.

Note the reflection of his face on the screen.

Sent it to Aurora at CHM who replied it had made her day.

2.230 walk, hobbies

Sunday 07/25/2021

I watered the plants, then did the Sunday puzzle in very good time. Then my plan was to attend a classic car show in Los Altos. But I had suggested that to Dennis, who checked the website more carefully than I had. He called back to say, hey, it says here, residents only, reserve in advance. Bummer! So that was out.

Somebody in the dining room had been talking about local farmers markets, and mentioned that the Menlo Park one was, they thought, better than the California Avenue one. Well, let’s go see. So I walked the 2+ miles to Menlo Park and checked it out. It is not, in my opinion, better, in fact missing several amenities like a flower seller, or snack food. Or places to sit.

After I took a Lyft back (I could have walked back, and probably should have) and spent some time working on my hobbies. The 56 Chrysler is impressing me. The engine has details such as a transmission dip-stick tube. Just crazy amounts of detail. After I get it assembled, and little decals on it, it will be worth being a stand-alone model. It would be a shame to put it into the chassis where it can’t be seen.

Felt dubious about going down to supper, planned to sit by myself and read, but fell in with the Allens and Lennie and had a very pleasant meal and chat.

2.229 hobbies, meeting

Saturday 07/24/2021

I went out first thing to deposit a benefits check and pick up my usual Saturday goodie.

Then worked on STIP and other fun stuff until after lunch.

At 2pm I had a productive meeting with Mary and Lenny over the renaming and rewriting of the ERF. The Event Reservation Form was previously how somebody planning an event, would reserve a space and request help from Facilities, Housekeeping, Dining Services or, most important to me, the Audio Visual committee, of which I am now chair.

Except it isn’t actually used to “reserve” a space, that has to be done by staff. So the least thing on the agenda was to rename it to the EPF, event planning form. My suggestion, adopted.

The other thing was that I had done a rewrite job on the instructions for filling out the form, and Mary who is a good editor, had done a rewrite of my rewrite. (Da Noive! Actually she had improved it.) And Lennie is in charge of creating the “online ERF”, a web-based version of the form. It was a good meeting, we agreed on a lot.

2.228 day off

Friday 07/23/2021

There was absolutely nothing in my google calendar for today, and after a busy four days I felt like I’d been given a day off. I went for the standard walk first thing. Then through the day I worked on STIP-IP, which is turning into a bigger and bigger project all the time. And on the 56 Chrysler a bit. And napped and read. At supper time I spurned the house menu and drove to Town & Country for a burger and shake. After that I drove to Bevmo expecting to get my favorite beer. Not finding it, I checked the brewery’s “beer finder” page and no, that isn’t at Bevmo in Menlo Park this week. Oh poo.

That was it.

2.227 yosemite, pic

Thursday 07/22/2021

Did the aerobics class, then hustled to get in the car and get to CHM Yosemite before 10am. We didn’t do much today. Well, we completed the search for the Ferranti plug-board. I first mentioned this a year and a half ago, Day 1.045, January 2020. The Science Museum in London had loaned a piece of an early computer and wanted it back. We’d no record of it, but instituted a search that involved opening every box of a certain size and looking. The search was interrupted by the pandemic with only one aisle to complete and today it was completed. No plug-board. So what does a museum do, when it has officially lost an artifact on loan from another museum? I don’t know.

The following is a picture I took yesterday, when I went to the Club Fox, which is on Courthouse Square in Redwood City. I went early and ate supper at a restaurant with outdoor seating, and from my table I was looking up past some succulents in a planter, at the old courthouse (now a museum).

2.226 fopal, music

Wednesday 07/21/2021

Today’s exercise was to drive to FOPAL at 8:30 and work there until 1:30, with a half hour break for lunch. I handled at least 10 boxes of books, moving about 8 boxes to the bargain room stack, shelving about 3 boxes worth. But I left my section neat and tidy and well stocked.

At 5pm I left via Lyft for Redwood City where I had a ticket for Blues Night at Club Fox. I didn’t like the band, Howell Devine, as well as I thought I would. Music started at 7pm. At 8:10 the band took a break and turned the stage over to local musicians for an ad-hoc blues jam. I came on home at that point.

2.225 writers, fopal overload

Tuesday 07/20/2021

Between 6am and 8:30, after reading the paper, I wrote a short piece for the writers group.

Did the aerobics class. Killed time until the writers group. I’ll append the piece. The cue this time was “Water”. Just that, water.

At 12 I headed out for FOPAL where I found the computer section had been slammed with at least 10 boxes of donations. I processed four boxes which took all the time I had — I need to be gone by 3pm when they open up for donations. I will have to go back tomorrow and try to catch up.

Yesterday and again today I worked on a program for STIP. This was based on an exercise at the end of Chapter 2, which basically said, “rewrite the program in this chapter to do its work this completely different way.” So I did.

This evening I finished coding it before going down to supper. Then after supper, I ran it. The first test cases worked perfectly! This creates lots of good feelings. Some more complicated test cases revealed two bugs, which I fixed easily.

Here’s my piece for the writers.


The first mental image following on the prompt “Water” arose from my childhood. Here’s the setting.

Our farm was served by a gravel road which descended on a gentle grade past our driveway.

The road, like all county roads in western Washington, was flanked by ditches to carry the runoff from the frequent rain. A stream of clear water ran in the ditch all winter and spring, sometimes a trickle, sometimes a burly flow.

At our driveway the ditch passed through a 20-foot cement culvert about 14 inches in diameter. This introduced the magic of all culverts and bridges: water entered on the uphill side, disappeared, and emerged on the downhill side. A floating object could be released at the high end, would vanish, and then would — usually! but only after much more time than seemed appropriate — emerge at the low end. Is it coming? Too long… it must be stuck… there it is!

Right? Tell me you never played this game!

At the lower end of the culvert the water had eroded a little pool which I, aged 8 or 9, would enthusiastically enlarge. On a Saturday morning, after a rainstorm had cleared, I would put on my Christopher Robin-style rain boots and go out to the end of the culvert. For an hour or more I would tote rocks and pull up sods from the adjacent field, and build a U-shaped dam to hold the flow in the ditch. I could build up a couple of bathtubs worth of water. After running a few sticks through the culvert to fetch up in my new harbor pool, I would kick out the center of the dam and admire the heavy whoosh of water escaping on down the ditch.

And then build up the dam and watch it refill. The satisfactions of flowing water are endless.