1.057 papers, jacket, writing, meetings

Tuesday, 1/28/2020

First thing today was to clean up my desk. The form for my “annual review” at my financial advisors’ has been leering at me for a week. This is the four-page form they send out with dozens of questions about one’s financial doings this year. Most of which are not applicable to me (“Have you acted as director of any corporation this year?” etc.) but others have the bracing effect of reminding you of things you normally don’t think about (“Current umbrella liability coverage: $______” and “Auto maintenance expense: $_______” and so on).

So an hour on that and a couple of other items. Then out for a bracing walk, stopping first at

the Apple store

on University. I am thinking about upgrading from my faithful iPhone 7 to the new model, but had some questions. Like, for years now I’ve been used to using the Home button for multiple purposes. The new phones don’t have a Home button! Agh! How do I do all the things I use the Home button for? So a cheerful 20-sumpin sales guy showed me all that. (The button is replaced in the UI by various swipes from one edge or another. Not an improvement in my mind, but whatever…).

Also I wouldn’t have to buy it at the T-Mobile store, they could do T-Mobile activation there. That’s important because I’ve been sitting on a few hundred dollars in Apple store credit from returning old macs last spring, and I couldn’t use them through T-Mobile.

The remaining question is, do I upgrade before the London trip, or after? Losing or having an old iPhone stolen on the trip would be a little less annoying than with a new one. Which reminds me: another reason to talk to T-Mobile is, to refresh my memory on their theft-replacement policy, which I sort of remember they have but not in detail.

Next stop on my walk was at

the seamstress shop

to pick up my black jacket with its new zipper. The zipper that failed on my trip to SF a few days ago (Day 1.043). Jacquie’s Sew and Sew had done their usual nice work.

Home then for lunch, a nap, and a quick spell of


I didn’t mention it but I had added a whole scene to the novel on Monday. Since then I’d realized that I would have to have some characters, who were now separated from the main group, rejoin them, and had to change things around to make that happen. Did that and then had to stop again. I’m heading for a point where the miscreants are going to be caught and exposed for, um, miscreating? At which point their needs to be some kind of Authority to step in and impose penalties. But thus far in building this world, I haven’t even considered what kind of governance and police it might have. It just hasn’t come up. But I need to know for the upcoming climax.

Which means I have to invent a governance a/o authority structure that fits consistently with what I’ve got so far, and probably go back and insert at least one passing reference to it earlier. Who runs this place? It’s not a simple question! Right down to what uniforms they wear, how do they talk, what measures can they take. And again, consistent with the facts as I’ve invented them so far, and with the tone and style of this invented culture.

This is one reason that SF is harder than regular fiction. Regular fiction you can just grab standard police and government tropes off the rack, as it were. I’m still thinking about this. Meanwhile, it was 3pm and time for


First was the Tech Squad. Rhonda, the CEO of Channing House, was invited to describe the IT budget for the next year. It’s roughly $300K, of which $100K is just for upgrading the wireless service in the 5th and 4th floors as they are upgraded. Apparently they’ve been doing this upgrade two floors at a time. When I move back to 6 (two days now!) I will be using the new ClearPass system where all my devices can talk to each other and the internet via one system.

There was discussion of when CH would be replacing its IT director who left a few weeks ago. “We’re interviewing” was the answer, and got into some details on how the interviews were done, by whom, do they ask technical questions, etc. Rhonda was very patient with a roomful of geeks who all think they know how this stuff should be done.

After Rhonda was excused we moved on to other topics, such as the frequent complaints from residents that their email from Channing House was going into their spam folders. Conclusion: everybody uses different kinds of mail (Outlook, Thunderbird, Gmail, Apple Mail…) with different rules, and few are technical enough to understand mitigations, so the tech squad won’t help. Other than to advise them to add senders to their contacts list.

That meeting wound up at 4:10, just time to go up a floor for the A/V committee meeting. The upgraded A/V equipment in the auditorium should be ready for the next Resident’s meeting but there won’t be time to train us in its use, so the vendors will be running it for that meeting. Assignments were given out for February’s events, and I begged off doing any as I’ll be gone for the middle of the month.

That was about it for the day.


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