Day 31, New Year’s

Last night’s dinner with Bob and Lolly was a mild pleasure. My connection to them is rather weak; I always felt like they were more Marian’s friends than mine. I thought they might have some questions about her death or final days, and was braced to tell them how it went. But no, they expressed no curiosity about that at all, nor did they want to reminisce about her. I don’t know if they were being nice to me or just didn’t care. Anyway, I left after the meal and was home by 8pm.

Tuesday 1/1/2019

Filled out a check for the cleaning lady and got the year right in the date, so there. New Year’s day, the day you are all set to start out with many projects and activities, but absolutely nothing is open anywhere so you can’t do any of it.

Began with a long walk. Ordinarily when I walk for exercise, I walk to the center of Palo Alto where I can get a food reward for my efforts at a coffee shop. But of course nothing would be open. So instead, how about a scenic walk? I decided to walk the Palo Alto Baylands. It’s a linear walk, not a loop, so I took a Lyft to the South end, walked for an hour and a quarter (about three miles?), and took a Lyft home from the North end. It was a sparkling clear day; this and the prior two days have been the rare, ultra-clear days that usually only come in January, when every distant hill is visible, even Mount Diablo 50 miles away.


This was a walk that Marian liked to take ten years ago, before her walking range diminished. But today I very consciously thought “I am doing this for my own pleasure, not out of nostalgia.”

Back home I spent a couple of hours re-creating the big spreadsheet that Marian made to track our various investment accounts. The final numbers for 2018 were available on the Schwab web page, so I could close out the 2018 sheet (bottom line, our wealth is down about 7% from year-end 2017) and transfer the totals into the “Prior Year” column of the new sheet. Marian had created the first of these annual sheets beginning in 1997(!), using AppleWorks(!).  Then each year she’d copied it, zeroed the data, and started a new one. At some point a decade ago she converted to Numbers, Apple’s current spreadsheet, which caused some oddities in the formulae and formatting. Rather than try to copy the sheet and zero the values for the new year, I elected to make a completely new spreadsheet, following her design but from scratch with no legacy code.

That was another item scratched off the to-do list on the desk. I do like crossing off to-do items. Maybe I’ll go do another one.


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