Day 60, programming, museum, cleanout

Overnight I thought of some ways my living cost estimate could have gone so wrong. One, I had the taxes at 1/2, forgetting there’s another $1K payment to make (tomorrow!). I had not included TV and internet in the utilities, another $2K+ per year. Also it had not occurred to me to think about how our monthly bill on the main credit card is always over $1K, so we pay out at least $12K-$15K per year just via that route. Of course that includes almost all food, but it does not include the gardener, taxes, or utilities, which are paid directly via the bank bill-pay app. But the simplest approach was just to realize that our expenses had matched our income for years and years, so our income was a very good ballpark estimate of our cost of living. And that number is in the same ballpark as the monthly fee at many ILFs.

Tuesday, 1/29/2019

Walked to the Y, did my round, walked back. Did computer work: running virtual Windows and Linux machines to package my game for Windows 7, Ubuntu, and Mac. Here are the executables. The source is here. Tomorrow I’ll think of where to post to invite people to try it.

Decided to go visit the Hiller Aviation Museum. Spent a couple of hours there. I was nearly the only visitor so could play with a couple of simulators freely. In one, you are supposed to land a Boeing 737 at SFO. I was disappointed to find if I increased throttle and raised the nose, I couldn’t just fly around the Bay Area ad lib; the simulator got funny and stopped.

Two days ago on impulse I stopped at an “estate sale” sign on my way home. Browsed around a house where, I learned, nine siblings were trying to clear out the house their late mother had lived in and they’d all grown up in. There was stuff, stuff, stuff. Someday in the not too distant future I will have to clear this house out, and I won’t have the help of any siblings.

So on arrival back home, with this in mind I stepped into what we called the APR closet. (Because it is the closet that opens off the APR, i.e. the room whose purpose we could never settle on, so it was the all-purpose room or APR.) This is a closet I’ve been dreading because there is so much stuff there I need to decide what to do with. There are family memorabilia that I’m sure other relatives would want (heck, things I want: high school annual?) (On the other hand, Seriously? What is the possible point of keeping a high school annual that is fifty-fucking-nine years old? A good fraction of the Bethel High School graduating class of 1960 are dead, and the rest wouldn’t remember my name, nor I theirs without a program.) Memorabilia aside, there is a lot of stuff that is trash and needs to go.

Nerds that we were, we kept reference material — maps, brochures, guides — from every trip we took. After the trip, we’d used the material to organize the 35mm slide show for a trip. Then Marian would neatly (of course) organize it in folders by region. Here’s about 2/3 of them:


The only justification for this was that we might go back there someday, and we wouldn’t have to scrounge for maps and info. The only folders that ever got used that way were the first four. We often went back to Washington or Oregon, and could go into the APR closet and dig out a useful map before each trip.

Of course all of this is just so 1990s. Paper maps? Really? Beyond that, most of them are literally from the 1990s or earlier, and hence out of date. It took half an hour to sort all this out, pull the bear clips and paper clips out and put the paper in the recycling bin, and the plastic folders ditto. In a few of the folders I found real nostalgia-inducers. The Germany folder, for instance (about five folders off the right edge of the picture) had my complete trip plan, 20+ pages of detailed info on the stops we would make, with notes. The New Zealand folder had Marian’s trip plan, ditto. But we documented those trips with pictures and with blogs and I have all the images stored on the bigger Mac. None of this paper had been looked at since a week after the relevant trip ended, at least ten years ago and in some cases, twenty. Out! Just the same, it hurt.

I was astounded by one find: two fat binders in which Marian had collected a ton of memorabilia about the San Jose Lasers, the professional women’s basketball team that lasted only two years. I had no idea she’d done this: game programs, media guides, and pages and pages of news clippings, all organized by date. I don’t think she ever referred to the material after 1998; she certainly never mentioned it or shared it with me. It’s a potentially valuable historical collection and I set it with the other Lasers memorabilia that I already knew about. Which reminds me, that I’d submitted a donation form to History San Jose offering that material a week ago, and have had no reply. I need to follow up on that, even more now.

Also in the APR closet were some garments of mine I rarely wear. (The APR closet was to us what an attic might be to others.) Two pairs of Expedition-brand trousers, light, no-iron, can be washed out in a hotel sink and be dry the next morning. Last worn on the trip to Italy in 1999. I tried them on. They fit, but frankly look as unstylish as shit. I’m embarrassed I toured Italy in them. Put them in a pile for Goodwill.

Next up, my one sport coat. It’s OK, it fits, but it’s kind of tweedy and bulky. Probably a real fashionista could identify the decade I bought it. (I wouldn’t doubt it was the 80s.) Anyway, I am not throwing it out but have made a mental note to replace it.

Finally, my one suit. Quite a nice one, a Borcelino, but… it doesn’t fit me! I currently find a 38 waist a little bit loose, and I’ve been wondering if I couldn’t fit in 36 jeans. But this suit: no way, I could not possibly fasten that waistband. The jacket has a rather nipped waist and although I could button it, it was clear in the mirror that it wasn’t happy being buttoned. I’ve been my present weight and heavier for a long time. When did I buy this suit, that I fit a 36 or 34 waist? When might I possibly have worn it last? It’s a mystery. Well, it is possible that my body has changed shape, thickening at the waist with age. Maybe I could have worn it twenty years ago, weighing as much as I do now or more, but having younger, springier abs to hold it in?

I looked carefully at the pants and jacket, wondering if a seamstress could let it out. Looking at the pants seam, it might yield another half-inch maybe, no more. As for the jacket, you’d have to open up the lining and fiddle with curved seams. So, never mind; the suit has to go.


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