Day 35, quiet Saturday

The Stanford Cardinal edged out the USC Trojans. The game was close with SC sometimes ahead until the fourth quarter, when Stanford took a decisive lead and held it.

Saturday 1/5/2019

Quiet start to the day, with a grief-spasm. Scott had urged me to contact Craig, another ex-IBMer who lives in one of the retirement communities I’m considering. So I did email him, and since he wouldn’t have known, I included the link to Marian’s obituary from the PostHope website, the one I wrote back on Day 1. Which meant re-reading it, which led to quite a bit of emotion for a while.

Went to the museum to lead the 12:00 tour. Talking to my dashboard on the way, to get myself settled down and ready to meet a group of people who know nothing (and want to know nothing) about my personal life, just want to have fun learning about computer history. Had a large crowd, more than 40, which is awkwardly big, but I managed to keep at least 30 of them with me to the end and got a nice round of applause.

Back home, in the mail I received the package I’ve been waiting for from

IBM Benefits

They say Marian had a life insurance policy with me as beneficiary in the amount of $5000. I have to return a form and a death certificate to claim it. Also it contained this rather peculiar note,

Marian was receiving a Settlement Benefit from IBM and designated you as his [sic] Joint Annuitant. Therefore, you will receive $4.58 monthly starting January 01, 2019 and continuing for your lifetime.

Huh? I don’t know what this “Settlement Benefit” could have been. Anyway, $4.58? Why bother? Doesn’t it cost at least as much just to process it?

I am going to call the representative whose name is on the letter and find out if I can possibly, (a) get a lump-sum settlement (it comes to $55/year; gimme $500 and I’ll call it quits), or (b) get it paid annually so I won’t see $4.58 showing up in my bank statement every month, or (c), can you combine this with the $300/month pension I get from IBM, or (d) you just want to forget about it, I promise not to sue.

Anyway that’s some paperwork I will handle on Monday.


In other news, in October I was going over my bookshelves with an eye to throwing stuff out or selling it, and found my collection of books by and about Arthur Ransome, the British author of children’s classics such as Swallows and Amazons. I thought I had all his books in Penguin/Puffin paperback editions I’d bought while in England in the 1970s. I also have books about him and about the locations he used for his stories (the Lake District, the Norfolk Broads). Looking over the collection I was surprised to find I was missing Swallowdale, the second book of the series. I’m sure I owned it at some time, but now it was just not there. Which rather squelched the idea I had at the time, to sell the collection on eBay.

So on this quiet Saturday it crossed my mind to find out what it would cost to get that edition of Swallowdale. I opened, clicky clicky, boom: price $1 plus $5 shipping. Hey, one month of IBM Settlement money covers it! On that basis I ordered it. When it comes, I’ll try selling the collection; if it doesn’t move, I am sure the FOPAL children’s sale will appreciate it.



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