Thursday means a slower start, breakfast in the dining room, and a 9am departure for the East Bay, this week to the vast Yosemite warehouse of the CHM. My task this day was to take photographs of artifacts. Aurora, the collections manager, has embarked herself and her band of volunteers on what will be a years-long process, a 100% inventory of the collection. Unlike the prior cataloging projects I worked in during 2008-9 and 2015-16, which had the fun acronym of CARP, Collections Accession and Reconciliation Project, this much larger project has no cute acronym, nor does it have a grant to fund it.
Anyway, this involves bringing down each box of artifacts and checking that it contains what it’s supposed to. The check is easy because the Museum database, an app named Mimsy, allows searching for artifacts by box number. Then you have a list and a count of artifacts that should be in the box, and can quickly verify that they are there and whether they have photographs in the catalog. A visual check finds whether the packing is optimal, so artifacts aren’t crowded, and noting any wasted space that could be used.
Typically everything will match up and the box can be moved back to shelving under a new and more space-efficient stacking scheme. Space is a problem, as the warehouse that once seemed so huge, is approaching fullness, and the Museum continues to accept new artifacts. Aurora calls the problem of space-efficient box stacking as “museum Tetris”.
For various reasons, some artifacts had never been photographed, and maybe one percent will turn up, or not turn up, to be in the box they’re supposed to be in. Today I was photographing things that needed it. Normally photography is a two-person job, but it can be done by one, and I enjoy doing it by myself, so that was a fun day.
On the way home, responding to a text from Deborah, I stopped at Tasso street to verify that a large cabinet was still in the garage. She has a potential buyer. It is there; and I was pleased to see that there was also a painting crew busily at work prepping the interior. So that’s moving along.
I at supper with Rosina, Robin, Mel, Mary (another Mary, there are a lot of Marys around here) and Ed. Working on this.
In the mailbox was a letter from the TSA telling me “Congratulations!” my application for TSA Precheck has been approved for another bunch of years.
From supper I took a Lyft to Dinkelspiel for another Stanford Jazz Festival concert. This was a much-anticipated (by others, I’d never attended one) Evening with Victor Lin. Lin is an enthusiastic teacher and proponent of jazz and, based on what I heard tonight, a superb jazz pianist. He opened the show with two long numbers that were just lovely to listen to, and to follow him through all the variations he was doing. This was the 22nd “Evening” he’s run, where he introduces students and teachers from the festival, matching them in unexpected combinations, giving them things to do outside their comfort zone, and hilarity ensues. Like bringing out four other pianists and having all five of them playing blues on the two Steinways on stage, swapping seats and reaching over each other. Tonight some of the combinations didn’t work, and the whole second half seemed slow and a bit of a downer to me, and other people who’d seen previous shows agreed.
The “other people” in question were Jerry, Betty and Margaret from Channing House, who were sitting at the other end of the row I was in. I was able to get a ride home with them. During the ride Margaret, finding I was in the process of selling my house, went at length into her (fairly recent, I gather) home sale. She had an early offer for the house as-is, but the buyers wanted a contingency on the sale of their own home and 90 days to do it. Margaret’s realtor advised her they were unrealistic, and wouldn’t be able to sell their house at the price they needed, so she rejected the offer, and went ahead with the painting and staging routine, which she apparently found stressful. In the end, the best offer they got was from the original buyers, whose home had sold, but their new offer was $100K less than before. She felt aggrieved by this process, reasonably so.