2.344 museum

Thursday 11/18/2021

The main activity of this day was a bus trip to San Francisco, to visit the deYoung museum.

I started the day with two rounds of resistance machines. Then tidied the apartment in advance of it being cleaned this afternoon. At 9:30 we boarded the house bus for the trip.

There were two exhibits of note. One, Patrick Kelley: Runway of Love, was about a guy who went from Southern Black kid to celebrated fashion designer in a short time, and died tragically young of Aids. There were 30 or 40 of his dresses on display and they were — different. Amusing, fun to look at, not really practical. Who would actually buy and wear one of these, I asked by female neighbors. Nobody. But they were fun to look at.

The second, Judy Chicago, a retrospective was a lot deeper and I enjoyed it a lot more. Judy Chicago had a long career as an artist and was a feminist when that was a new thing. I took a couple of pictures of pieces that impressed me.

Both of these are huge canvases, 5 or 6 feet high, done with spray acrylics, and aside from the striking imagery, I just can’t figure out (from my primitive experiments with an airbrush) how in the heck she did them. So, impressive on two counts.

At dinner Patty persuaded me that I should reserve a table for Thanksgiving lunch and invite some people. So I did and got “sorry, prior engagement” from the first I asked.

2.343 carpets, emails

Wednesday 11/17/22

Was going for a walk but remembered in time that Facilities was coming to shampoo my carpets at 9am. Which they did, and were gone again by 10. Then I pretty much idled in my apartment the rest of the day. Sending emails trying to organize an AV committee meeting. Everybody has conflicts.

David and Helen invited me to dinner.

2.342 writers, SWBB

Tuesday 11/16/2021

First thing I went to the gym and did multiple rounds of the machines. Which was fine. Then I did some desk work, bills and records.

Last night I worked until nearly midnight on a thing for the writers group, which alas didn’t go over well. Too intellectual and too long for the audience. I mean, nobody booed or anything, but it just kind of landed with a thud.

Took an extra long nap after lunch. I had planned to drive 3 others to the basketball, but then David G offered to drive five of us so I rode with him.

This was Stanford v. Portland University. The Portland Pilots had clearly seen the Texas game and adopted the same pressure defense, and although they couldn’t execute it as well, they still slowed Stanford down. During the third quarter they pulled with 12. Then either they got tired or Stanford finally began to understand how to handle it, and we pulled away to win by 20. But my my my basketball is not a game of grace or finesse under that kind of defense. More like Rugby Lite. But three of the freshmen got to play and did very well.

2.341 meeting, fopal, meeting

Monday 11/15/2021

Went for the walk. Had to have a severe chat with myself. I was thinking, I have a meeting at 10, I don’t really have time for a walk, blah blah. Told myself severely to cut the bullshit and get going. And of course completed the walk and home about 9.

Meeting was of the Events Committee, featuring the introduction of the new online Event Planning Form. This took quite a while.

After that I drove to FOPAL and did the post-sale triage. This took 90 minutes of standing up looking at all 350 of my books and deciding which to keep for another sale, which to reduce the price one, etc. My back got quite sore doing that. Anyway, done. 55 books went in the sale last weekend. Of course most were priced at $2-3 so my section’s contribution to the libraries was around $120-150.

Back at home, there was a zoom meeting with Chef Tobias to respond to people’s questions about Dining Services. Generally the news was good. A number of things people had requested are being done or will soon be. Notably we have our liquor license and glassware has been ordered; as soon as it arrives it will be possible to buy wine or beer with your meal. Lots of requests for various menu tweaks have been acknowledged and will be implemented.

2.340 SWBB

Sunday 11/14/2021

First thing after watering the plants and feeding the birds, I drove down to FOPAL and tidied the shelves of my section. Got back by 10, leaving the car in the front lot.

At 11:15 I met with the people who wanted a ride to the game, Jerry and David G, and off to Maples for the first “real” game of the season. And it was a dismal loss. Texas, whose #25 rank is going to get a boost when the next rankings come out, mounted a very active, disruptive defense, and Stanford (whose #3 rank will drop a couple) completely lost track of the basket from the three-point line, hitting 2 of 23. Two excellent defenses frustrating each other. The score was 10-10 after the first quarter, and 25-25 at the half. Eventually Texas hit a couple of timely 3s for a lead and held it.

Following the game in a mercifully brief ceremony they handed out the championship rings from last season’s win. Possibly they will win again this year, but they have some work to do.

2.339 lunch, macbook

Saturday 11/13/2021

For lunch I went down and visited sister-in-law Jean. We went to my favorite Mexican place, Casa Lupe on Castro Street. Jean is doing fine. She has completed several major downsizing projects, organizing and then disposing of the huge collection of images that she and her late husband Bill had created.

In the evening I decided to do the battery replacement on my old Macbook Pro. This machine, Godot, entered my life on day 0.73 of this blog, 02/17/19. It was not new then, being a refurbished 2015 model. I opted for a 2015 refurb because it was the last one with a good keyboard, adequate ports, real function keys and a magsafe charging cord. Following that year Apple went to a couple of USB-C ports for everything including charging, the “touchbar” instead of function keys, and what was reported by many to be an unreliable keyboard.

Over the past year Godot has several times complained that its battery was in bad shape. Now that Apple has regained their senses and produced a new MBP with several ports, magsafe, and function keys, I ordered one and am using it (but it doesn’t have a good name yet!) Now I feel confident it is working and all my files are safe, I felt safe enough to take down Godot to install the new battery I ordered months ago from iFixit.

That took a couple of hours, but when it was back together, it booted and ran! I had prepared a thumb drive with an installer for the current MacOS Monterey and I used that to erase Godot’s internal 1TB drive and install Monterey. That went fine, also. So now I have a nice clean 2015 MBP that needs a home.

2.338 eBay, partayyy, AV

Friday 11/12/2021

Went for a walk first up. Then among other things, I clicked “List Item” on the eBay listing for the IBM manuals.

At 2pm it was time for the “survival celebration”, starting with a presentation by Rhonda and other staff members in the Auditorium, followed by snacks and drinks for all in the dining room.

The point of the party was to celebrate a whole list of milestones:

The four-year-long upgrade project has wrapped up, with the last “campers” returning to their permanent apartments at the end of July. There were lots of pictures of this process: every apartment on every floor had its ceiling opened up, new heat/cool piping installed, new wiring, sprinklers and fire alarms, new double-glazed windows and doors, new carpet and paint. That’s about 180 apartments on 8 floors.

This job was finished ahead of the planned schedule — despite the pandemic freezing all action for several months.

Completion of HVAC repairs on the second floor. The second floor was newer than others and wasn’t to be upgraded, but its coolant piping had to be completely replaced because it wasn’t done right 5 years ago when it went in. Every unit had its ceiling cut open and then repaired.

Also finished ahead of schedule.

As part of refurbishing the third floor, half of it was converted into “IL+”, or assisted living lite, expanding our service offering (more income!). This included moving the nursing headquarters and office to the 3rd floor.

Transition from Sodexo to our own in-house dining services, and from cafeteria service to table service. This involved remodeling the kitchens while still turning out meals, and training new staff in new procedures and methods. Still in progress, but getting better and (I hear on the grapevine) now running at about the same cost as we paid Sodexo before, after an initial overrun.

Implementation of electronic health records, replacing manual folders and files: just completed.

And of course, surviving two years of Covid pandemic.

And finally, in researching for the presentation, Rhonda had discovered that the original ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of Channing House was almost exactly 60 years ago this week!

So this was a big deal day

The dining services staff had worked hard to present a wide assortment of attractive snacks, so many and so tasty that pretty much everyone was saying, “won’t be down for supper tonight”. I didn’t, although about 7pm I got a bit peckish and had a slice of cheese and bread.

During the party, Frances, head of the very active Racial and Social Justice Committee, buttonholed me to tell me that she had just secured Judge LaDoris Cordell, a local celebrity, as a speaker for next February, and that she expected we would be able to have her speak live in the Auditorium but also appear by Zoom to residents of seven other local senior residences. OK, Frances, no pressure there.

Coincidentally I, Bert, and David M are to interview IT director Vanessa tomorrow, who specifically wants to talk about zoom simulcasts. I had sent her The List a couple days ago.

For entertainment I rummaged around in my box of DVDs and noticed I had a two-disc set of Led Zeppelin. Which I don’t remember buying and certainly have never played. So I listened to Led Zeppelin at Royal Albert Hall in 1973. Going to be “Dazed and Confused”.

2.337 little things, meeting

Thursday 11/11/2021

First up, returned to the gym. This time I did three rounds of our 8 machines, 20 reps, 20 reps, 10 reps. It took a half hour and although it made me tired, I didn’t get that “gotta stop” feeling of before. Bodies. What you gonna do?

Then I did a whole lot of little things. At some point I thought to myself, I’ve been doing one thing after another, for an hour and a half, busy busy busy, and I won’t remember any of it when it’s time to blog. I really should have made a list. For example, a couple of plants were dry, I watered them. I folded the blanked off my bed because I want to switch to my snuggy duvet. Got out the duvet from the closet and put it into its cover. Discovered that I had a conflict between a concert and a play, so emailed the box office to change the date of the play. Other emails. There were more.

Afternoon, I talked to Wanda about how she wants my carpets cleaned, and how I’ve scheduled it. By happenstance the guy who does carpet cleaning came down the hall and we discussed carpet cleaning.

At 3pm it was time for SWBB which I couldn’t attend, but I watched their live stream until just before 4pm, then switched over to Zoom for two hours of the Strategic Planning Committee. Henceforth SPC. I made a nuisance of myself, a bit, but mostly just listened.

That was about it for the day.

2.336 haircut, Dune, temp


Went for a walk, 2nd day in a row, tomorrow I mean to get back on schedule with a gym session. At 10:30 it was time for a haircut from Leah in the house salon. I felt like my hair had gotten a bit too long this time, with a 6-week interval, so scheduled for five weeks, mid-December.

At 1pm I met with Carolyn and Joan and we went off to the new-ish movie place in San Antonio place, to see Dune. I haven’t re-read Dune since the first time in — checks Wikipedia — 1966 or 67. I did see the 1984 movie. This one is beautiful to look at. The designers worked really hard to design sets, props, costumes in amazing creative detail. (I appreciate this sort of thing more since watching Adam Savage videos, where he shows how props are built, and how much effort goes into them.)

Oh, about body temperature. I’ve noticed for a long time that my body temp runs around 97.6, a full degree below the supposed average. Today I saw a post in a blog I follow about lower temperatures. He cites this Harvard medical post on the history of body temp, and on how average temp has been falling generally over recent decades. I’m right in the middle of the new average.

2.335 writers, tech


Went for the benchmark walk this morning. It was ok.

The writers meeting at 11 was interesting. I hadn’t written anything (I’d written lots this week, but not for them) but several good pieces were read. One by Connie was particularly nice.

At 1pm I joined Bert and Rich in the auditorium to watch Florrie rehearse the vocal concert she will present soon (tomorrow? if so, I’ll miss it). I got some more info and then went and finished, almost, the List of auditorium issues.