Day 185, FOPAL, furniture, volunteer dinner

Wednesday 6/5/2019

Went for a run. It seemed a little harder than usual, possibly because, for the first time this year, the air was already warm at 9am. About 11:30 I went down to FOPAL for the usual Wednesday sorting session.

Back home I found an email from Katie the tax accountant, giving a list of the documents they will need to proceed with the estate tax filing, the infamous Form 706. It looks like an hour or more finding documents. I decided to defer that to Friday.

Also in my in-box: email from IKEA giving the delivery time for my bed and mattress: sometime between 9am and 9pm Friday. That led me to refresh the page tracking the order of my remaining furniture items. Back in April I went to West Elm and ordered a bunch of things (Day 137). A couple of items I took home that day as flat packs; they are now in the big pile in the dining room. A couple more arrived last week. Two other items were delayed. Now, refreshing the tracking page, I see that the last of them has arrived at the local warehouse.

Let’s see, I had a piece of paper documenting my last conversation with the West Elm deliver center, where did I put it? Panic, panic. Not in any penda-flex. Oh, there’s a banker’s box where I put all the stuff from the top of the desk. Hah! inside it, along with pictures and desk items, is the piece of paper with the receipt and phone number.

So I call the delivery center and the nice person sets me up for delivery on Monday. That will complete my furniture; everything will be here by Monday night, ready for the movers to take to CH on Saturday. Wow.

On the day I move I will need to unbox and assemble: a bed, a settee, a table, two chairs, an arm chair, and a desk. The bed is the only essential one, but I arranged with Angela to schedule a Channing House Facilities Person to assist me for three hours, 2-5pm that day. She is supposed to get back to me if that won’t be possible, owing to it being a weekend, in which case I will have to hire a gig worker, probably from TaskRabbit.com, the outfit that IKEA suggests for assembly work.

At 4:40 I headed out, to the Museum for the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. A pretty low-key event, 50 or so gray-haired folks getting thanked by the Museum staff, free dinner and drinks. Some interesting news was mentioned by both Len Shustek (the board member and major donor, whose name is on the Shustek Center in Fremont where I spend alternate Thursdays), and by Dan’l Lewis, the CEO. When 20 years ago the Museum was able to buy its present building from the bankrupt Silicon Graphics (wow, has it been that long since SGI went under?), the $25M purchase included not just the big white building at Shoreline and 101, but 17.5 acres of land surrounding it. Most of that acreage is asphalt parking lots. Meanwhile Google has been buying up all the surrounding land, with future plans for a huge development, thousands of homes and retail.

Len reviewed some of the other computer museums, and talked about how difficult it was to create a museum that would last. The excellent Living Computer Museum in Seattle had only one major donor, Paul Allen, who died last year. Now its funding is in doubt. One I’d never heard of, the American Computer and Robotics Museum in (of all places) Bozeman, MT, is struggling. It was the work of a married couple, and now the husband has died and the widow is trying to carry on. So with these examples in mind, the Museum board is considering what they might do with some of their parking lots, possibly developing part of the space in a way that would increase the Museum’s endowment substantially and help ensure its longevity.

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