Day 124, finances, docent, cleanup

Friday, 4/6/2019

Began with a run, which makes this the first week in a long time when I’ve actually run three times, M-W-F, which is my nominal goal. I cut the route a little short because of impending rain, but still, over 30 minutes of jogging.

Spent a little more time going through the box of old notes and files from my career as a free-lancer in the 1980s. Most significant were the notes and other items from my attendance at Clarion West, a six-week residential science fiction writer’s workshop. I took some very nice pictures of my classmates, who I now barely remember. I had saved notes from talks by several visiting lecturers, established authors like Norman Spinrad and Suzy McKee Charnas. The primary thing I now remember from that intense six-week immersion in writing and critiquing is that it ruined me for reading for enjoyment for a long time. It was more than a decade before I could pick up a science fiction book, or any fiction book really, and just read it. Well, it also taught me that I didn’t have what it takes to write fiction, although that didn’t stop me trying (and hasn’t yet).

Next up, I sat down with my laptop and updated the Portfolio spreadsheet I created on Day 31. This meant opening the Schwab month-end statements for the four remaining accounts (two accounts for Marian’s IRA now having been merged into mine), and copying figures from them into the spreadsheet.

This was the final thing that I had been using Marian’s iMac for. I have demonstrated that I can use Godot to open all financial websites and update the portfolio info, so the machine on Marian’s desk is now superfluous. The obvious next steps are to format its disk, and  put it into the nice Apple return box that’s waiting on the floor by the desk. I stuck the Mac OS boot USB stick into a USB port on the back of it and then stopped. I was starting to cry, and damn it I have to go and do a Docent tour in an hour.

This shit is not getting easier with time and practice. Bleagh.

I went to the museum and led the noon tour. Attendance was light and my tour group had just four people!

On return I spent some time reading more of my writing from that mid-80s period when I tried to be a science fiction writer. I did some good thinking then, and came up with some interesting ideas. What I didn’t produce was any good characters or plots. Nor do I like the prose style I was using to describe my ideas, stuffy, pseudo-academic.

Driving to and from the museum I was recalling how Marian would have felt about my sentimental regard for her computer. I believe she would have said, “That’s pretty silly.” So, channeling her pragmatic personality, I booted the iMac from an install USB stick and formatted its drive. Then I packed it up. The Apple return program provides very nicely designed packaging with a clear instruction sheet. It took five minutes to have the machine securely boxed up and ready to go.

I got an email from Channing House: my walk-through and meeting with Angela, the manager for upgrades, will happen at 10am Tuesday. After that I should know for sure when I can start moving in.

I planned to go to a Stanford Baseball game starting at 6pm, leaving at 5:15. To pass the time I read the first three chapters of On the Road and for fun, read it aloud, which suits Kerouac’s prose. Then I left, stopping at the FedEx office to drop off the iMac.

I stayed at the game to the seventh-inning stretch, but the Candlestick-like chill had me shivering and yawning so I left with Stanford ahead 1-0, listening to the game on KZSU going home and at home. The rubberized drawer liner I ordered was on the porch, so I lined the drawers of the new toolbox while Stanford got ahead 2-0, and then UCLA tied the game in the top of the ninth. Now it’s after 9pm, and the bottom of the ninth, and I’m so glad I left early… ok, it’s a tie game, bottom of the ninth, two on, two out, full count. Here’s your live play by play: foul… ball four. Bases loaded, winning run at third. Ball. Ball. 2-0 count, hit into left, it drops! Stanford wins, 3-2.

Still glad I left.

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