Day 159, FOPAL and house work

Friday, 5/10/2019

With nothing explicit on the calendar, I had a casual plan to go to FOPAL around noon to make sure the Computer section was ready for tomorrow’s sale day. But first, I started a chore that has been niggling at my mind every time I looked out the bedroom window or exited the kitchen via the back door.

A few years ago — wait a minute, let me look it up in the red book — oh no! it appears we never entered those receipts in the red binder of home repairs! Anyway, a few years ago we had a local craftsman, Alex Marshall, build nice wood steps at our back door and bedroom door. It was sometime after 2011, because I do find the receipt for the first time we used Alex, to repair and re-hang the back door, and that was 2011. So let’s say, 5 or 6 years ago, we had these very handsome steps built.

They are not varnished, but rather oiled, and Alex instructed us firmly that we had to re-oil them every year. I’ve done that job once before in the 5 or so years, and I can see looking at the wood that it needs it again. And what with showing the house, and wanting it to make a good impression, it really should be done. It’s not a clean job. The first step is to scrub the wood, getting off the accumulated dust, foot-prints, and leaf litter. It’s striking how over a rainy winter, the raindrops cause a mist of light sand to rise up and stick to the bottom 8 inches or so of wood.

So today I got out a bucket and filled it with hot water and glopped in some 409 and washed down the steps. I used a push broom so I could scrub without having to get down on hands and knees. Scrubbed down both sets of steps, rinsed them with the hose, and left them to dry. Monday I will do the oil — except oh no, I sent off the half-used can of oil with the other used cans of paint when I took two boxes of stuff to the household hazardous waste disposal on… aha, it was Day 146. Well, I know just which shelf to get it from at Orchard Supply … shit. Orchard Supply closed up last year. Amazing how often one regrets that.

Speaking of regrets: walking in and out of the garage I noticed what I had managed not to notice the last 50 times, Marian’s gardening shoes on the floor by the door. There’s nothing to do but put them in the trash. They won’t be worn again; and used shoes wouldn’t sell in the estate sale. Either I throw them away, or Deborah will do it after the sale. Better me. So I put them in the trash. Then I tidied myself up and went to


where I went through a couple of boxes of computer related books, sending most to the bargain room, pricing and shelving a few. Also shelved a few that had been priced, apparently, by Chuck (FOPAL volunteer Chuck, not realtor Chuck).

There were a lot of volunteers around, working on their individual sections, but they were also putting tablecloths out and serving implements, and, hello, we’re having a volunteer luncheon. I had no idea. It must be a regular pre-sale event, but I didn’t know that.

I talked to a couple of other volunteers while eating a section of a turkey wrap. But before that I acquitted myself very badly, like a

complete nerd

with another volunteer. I’m so embarrassed about this in hindsight. This chatty guy intercepted me as I was working and asked if I was the new Computer section, he was a former Computer section manager, he explained, but now worked in the Bargain room, partly shelving the computer books that I was rejecting for the main room. He asked my name, I told him, he thought for a second, and said, “Inside CP/M?” The title of my first book. He said he’d played around with old CP/M in the 80s and remembered my book.

Here’s my failure. The guy asks my name and remembers my book, and I did thank him and express pleasure. But did I get his name in return? I fucking did not. I just wandered off and kept shelving books. I am the most self-centered, obtuse…

I’ll see him again, I’ll make a point of it, and I will apologize.

So I went on home, then later drove to CH where I turned over my keys to #621 to Angela. She had requested them, saying residents are not allowed into their units while remodeling is in progress. She said the orders for my cabinets and so forth have been placed and June 15th is still a good date for move-in. Make it in the afternoon if possible, as another new resident will move in that morning.

I wanted to ask the Housekeeping manager if they were hiring, so I could tell Suli, but she wasn’t in. Angela, who shares an office with Housekeeping, took a note. Maybe I’ll hear back.

On the way home I swung by the hardware store and bought a small can of oil for the deck.



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