Day 267, run, relief, bridge, shot, FOPAL, realty, dinner, outage

Monday, 8/26/2019

First thing in the day I went for a run. A bit over 30 minutes of jogging, and it felt good. Not just ok, actually good.

I was scheduled to play bridge starting at 10. I was showered and dressed by 9am so I sat down to face my fears, or at least, my discomfort: dealing with the rejection of that

Road Scholar (RS) insurance claim.

To recap, I had scheduled a tour starting September 6. Later I realized that was the day I had to transition to my temporary apartment for the upgrade, and also that the house sale might push toward that date. So I re-booked the tour for 9/28, but unfortunately did this just too late for it to be free. Instead, RS gave me half credit for the later tour and I had to pay the additional half, about $3200. So I filed a claim with the trip insurance I’d bought, and a couple days ago, got the rejection of that claim — even though I thought I had been covered by the RS “for any reason” cancellation policy.

Now I went deeper into the RS website and found that the “for any reason” clause is not part of the insurance policy, so the insurer is not required to approve the claim on that basis, only on the allowed reasons in the policy. The clause is a Road Scholar policy that applies to clients when they have bought a trip insurance policy at the time of booking the trip. The policy is, if you cancel a trip “for any reason” and the insurance doesn’t apply, they give you the value of the unpaid claim as a credit, under the small restriction it can only be used to book a different trip.

When I understood this, I called RS and a cheerful customer service rep looked up my account and confirmed that, yes, they did show a $3200 credit that I could use against any other RS trip in the next 15 months. OK. Done. I’m pretty sure I will want another RS trip sometime in 2020, so… ok.

This was a big emotional relief for me. I had been dreading trying to protest the insurance claim via email, finding documents to bolster my case, etc. That’s all off the table, I won’t lose the money and I don’t have to do any more to save it. So I went off

to play Bridge

with a light heart. Craig is a serious bridge player and, since we were bottom pair last time I partnered him, he wanted to meet before the scheduled 10:30 start so we could go over our convention card. There have been a number of small changes and tweaks since Marian and I studied bridge techniques.

Craig’s group plays tournament style bridge, with pre-made hands in “boards” that are played by all tables, with your standing at the end depending on whether on at least a few hands you did better (e.g. an overtrick) or worse (e.g. going down on a game contract) than the people at the other table. Table singular since we only had eight players, two tables.

Almost to lunch time one of the other players announced he didn’t feel well, and went off to the Wellness Wing to get looked at. So we went early to lunch and Craig scared up another player, Ruth. She was glad to join us because it was her move-out day, and she had been looking at a boring day sitting in a guest unit while the contents of her unit were moved.

We finished the last board about 2:40. (That evening I got Craig’s results email; he and I were once again bottom pair of the four. I am just not that good a bridge player to do the tournament game. I wouldn’t mind playing casual bridge, but there are currently no casual games being organized, although I understand there are couples who meet to play regularly in their private units. I can do one of two things: play a lot in some of the many online bridge games and try to get better; or perhaps organize my own casual game. Or forget bridge. TBS.) So now off to

my Shingles shot.

Multiple people have independently recommended that I get a Shingles booster. The previous Herpes Zoster vaccine has proved ineffective, and there’s a new one. I got an email from PAMF telling me that a limited supply of the new vaccine was available and recommending I book for one, which I did last weekend, for 3:15pm today. Then Craig asked me to play bridge; but I was pretty sure I could get to the Los Altos location by 3:15 after bridge, and so it turned out.

The list of possible side-effects for the new vaccine that I had to sign is pretty long and has some really dire symptoms. Most common is arm pain and possibly a slight fever.

From there I went to FOPAL to clean up the Computer section. It was a typical haul, four boxes sent to the bargain room, about 30 books priced and shelved. While I was there I got a call from Chuck. The escrow will pretty surely be closing tomorrow, and he wanted to request a favor. He’s had a good year, and would like to defer the receipt of his commission on my sale to 2020, when possibly conditions won’t be as good and his taxes would be lower.

I guess this is OK, although it does mean that I would receive the amount of his commission as part of my receipts out of escrow, and would sign a no-interest promissory note to him — I think? It’s a tax dodge, but as long as my hands will be clean, I don’t mind doing him this favor. I called my financial people, and everybody was in meetings or out of the office, so I left a voice mail for Howard. Who unfortunately didn’t call me back. So I headed back to CH for

Patti’s Farewell Dinner

Patti had invited me, Craig and Diane, Jerry and Betty, and Gwen, to join her to celebrate the eve of her move-out to a different floor. People have various reactions to moving. Me, I’ve only been here 2 months. I don’t mind the move. I really like my unit with its Eastern view and floods of light all day, and will be very happy to get back to it next January. But I’ve got no big emotional investment in it. Others, like Patti, feel like it’s an exile; she’s concerned about her plants and other items, and feels like she’s being separated from her friends.

So after I’d returned to my room and was browsing Reddit about 8pm, a goose (as I learned next morning) flew into some power lines nearby and blacked out the middle of downtown Palo Alto. People took this pretty easily. No running and shouting. There was, I think, someone trapped in an elevator; at least, I heard the elevator alarm bell being rung. Don’t know how that was resolved.

I went to bed at 8:30, and woke up at 9:30 when the lights came on again. Turned them off, went back to bed.

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