Day 120, day of doing stuff

Monday, 4/1/2019

Monday tends to be a “day of doin’ stuff” because I think of things I need or want to do over the weekend, and write them down on a list on the kitchen windowsill to tackle on Monday. I think I will just describe all those things.

First up, a run. That went and felt well, which was good news. The slight arrhythmias that I’d noticed, and were the reason for wearing a Zio-patch last week, were more noticeable over the weekend. As usual, I don’t feel them at all when exercising, and in fact didn’t notice them anytime today. But it is a relief that a heart symptom is not exercise-related.

Next, started


the towel and bed linen. It’s been two weeks (which I know because tomorrow is the day for the cleaning lady) so it’s time for that. With the bed stripped, decided to rotate the mattress. Funny story here. When Sheri the estate sale lady was here, she and I and Chuck were talking about estate sales, and she mentioned that you could sell a bed, but by law you can’t sell a used mattress. “So you strip the bed and leave your McCroskey mattress on it and say, well, you can have that with the bed if you want it.”

I goggled at her and said, “How did you know?” Chuck was puzzled; he’d never heard of McCroskey mattresses. Sheri laughed and said she hadn’t known, it was just the kind of expensive mattress people in Palo Alto often had. Guilty as charged, I guess.

Anyway, that conversation reminded me that you are supposed to turn your McCroskey every three months, which Marian had marked on the calendar and insisted on. I’d skipped the last turn, which came up in December, on the general principal of ISMISEP. But if it was a sales asset, I might as well take care of it, so I heaved the heavy thing around 180 degrees. This might have been the turn interval at which you are supposed to flip it over, but that’s way too much work.

With the laundry in process I watered the plants. That takes only a few minutes; so I turned to the first real task, working out the IBM

SHAP issue.

One problem is the number of agencies involved. My pension is paid out of Via Benefits, who administer the IBM benefits program. But the SHAP is administered and paid out of Acclaris, who apparently manage that particular piece of IBM’s benefits. But I needed first to know if I was in fact eligible. I called Via customer support; the very pleasant rep put me on hold for several minutes while she consulted, and finally said I had to call IBM directly, and gave me that number.

So I called IBM and that customer service rep looked up my and Marian’s accounts and said yes, as a survivor I was eligible for SHAP. But she couldn’t advise on how to fill out the SHAP form, which I some questions about. So now I called the Acclaris help line and that person (again, very sympathetic and helpful) talked me through it. I must say that the phone reps for all three agencies came across very well.

Now I filled out the SHAP form, and made a copy of the completed form to use for reference next year, assuming this one is accepted (we’ve had them bounced before for some minor omission), and put it in an envelope with stamp and address. Phew.

By now the bed linen was dry so I made the bed, then turned to two more items,

two “nudges”.

I sent a short, polite email to Kim at C.H. asking how the process was going. She replied a couple of hours later that she should have an update “in a couple of days”. I sent a ditto to Howard at the financial advisors. They had advised a meeting with the attorney who prepared our Trust documents, and had sent an email to said attorney on March 20th, and I’d heard nothing since. Howard replied later suggesting that I contact her directly, so I sent an email to the attorney.

Now it was early afternoon and everything on the to-do list had a line through it, so I drove down to FOPAL and spent an hour culling and pricing books for the Computer section. Came home and made some supper and sat down to watch

Stanford playing Notre Dame

in the Elite Eight game.

Very much against my expectations, Stanford started well, stifling the Irish offense and holding a small lead in the first half. Alas, Notre Dame found how to break through the Stanford defense in the third quarter and went on a run to take a ten-point lead that Stanford couldn’t close. So Alanna Smith’s college career ends (as does Shannon Coffee’s). Next year’s SWBB team will be quite different but likely even more exciting with a great recruiting class.

It pleases me that I remain interested in the team. Following SWBB turns out not to be one of the things, like TV cooking shows, that I enjoyed primarily because Marian liked them and I enjoyed sharing her enjoyment. My emotional involvement in the Cardinal is not as deep as hers, but I do still like watching them.


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