Day 177, unstructured

Cannabis report: 18mg CBD/4.5mg THC taken between 7:30 and 9pm had little effect. Perhaps a bit of dizziness when settling into bed. No other noticeable effects. Well, perhaps I had fewer wakings in the night. I think I’m done with these experiments.

Tuesday, 5/28/2019

Started the day with a walk to the YMCA. Then was faced with a blank calendar, for which I’m not well prepared. Put in an hour on Zooniverse, which is my #3 volunteer activity after CHM and FOPAL. Put in a couple of hours playing my space game. Did some reading.

Chuck sent the estimate for the appraisal, which I OK’d; and also a the counter-offer document for my e-signature. So that’s been presented. Tomorrow, or anyway this week, we will know if the house is sold. I don’t plan to go any lower than the counter.

Walked down to Philz Coffee out of boredom. Now looking at whether to go over to CH for supper, or just veg. out here. I don’t like blank calendar days.

Then Chuck called; he needs a couple of signatures to complete the counter-offer. I drive to his office and sign several bits of paper. Then, since I’m out in the car and it’s 5:30, I drive on over to CH for supper.

Day 176, FOPAL, realty

Cannabis report: 15mg/15mg did give me a slight buzz, a little hint of vertigo when moving or turning over, and that persisted until the small hours. I did not sleep any better. The only real effect of the THC was to increase the effect that I remarked on three days back: on the edge of sleep, I was treated to a wild show of abstract art on the inside of my closed eyelids. For several minutes — maybe? maybe only a minute or two, but long enough to think, “very pretty, but I’m not sleeping, go to sleep”) — was looking at fields of intricate patterns, or figures like claymation animation, in rich colors. The one definite difference that THC makes.

In the morning I had a dull headache and felt foggy for a while. A hangover? Or just coincidence, I can’t say. But definitely, THC intoxication is not worth pursuing for its own sake.

Monday, 5/27/2019

A day with no scheduled activities on the google calendar. I’ll have to meet with Chuck at some point and make up my mind as to whether to counter-offer the Lawyer Lady. I start the day by jogging a different route, down Oregon Expressway and over the pedestrian bridge to the SFCU office by the golf course, where I can deposit a benefits check. Yes, Via benefits is still sending paper checks even after multiple attempts to set up direct deposit on their website, and a call to customer support which got me a paper form to return, which I did. For some things they do electronic transfer, for others they don’t. I’m giving up on them.

Then I went to FOPAL where there were seven boxes of books piled up by the Computer section. I culled them and priced the better ones. This turned up three that were “high value”, books that have online prices of more than $25. That’s always fun. They go in a special cart to be dealt with by the volunteers who sell the high-value ones on eBay. I ended up with about 35 books worth reselling, and priced and shelved them. Then I spent another 90 minutes doing sorting.

I picked up a few food items at the grocery store nearby and brought them home. Chuck stopped by a bit after three and we discussed what to do next. He’d had no new calls despite the ad running over the weekend. He says that a year ago, such an ad would have produced several calls. I want to get the sale done with, so we agreed he would present the counter-offer we discussed on Friday, tomorrow. Hopefully they will react favorably and we will be on the way.

I’m not quite sure what experiment to make next with cannabis. Two gel-caps, 20mg CBD, didn’t have a soporific effect. I am not interested in upping the THC. The only thing that might have made me sleep better was the time I took two of the gummies. That was 12mg CBD and 3mg THC. I think tonight I’ll take three gummies, 18mg/4.5mg. That should be comparable to the two gel-cap dose, and do nothing, but maybe there is something about the gummy formulation that is different.


Day 174, Docent, Concert

Cannabis: At 9pm I took two gel-caps, for a total of 20mg CBD, 5mg THC. An hour along, nothing. And no perceptible change in sleep patterns. I’m becoming disappointed.

Saturday, 5/25/2019

A relaxing time-wasting morning before an 11:15 departure for the museum to lead a tour. Had about 20 people and they seemed entertained. I headed home to spend a few hours playing around before eating  a cheese and pickle sandwich for supper and heading right back to the CHM, this time for a concert.

The Saint Michael Trio is a local musical group I had never heard of until someone at Channing House — either a fan or a relative of one of the players — posted on the resident email list. They’ve been performing and educating about music in this area for 12 years. The concert was their annual “gala” performance. The first half was classical works including a Mendelsson Piano Trio. The second half was jazz numbers.

Truth to tell I wasn’t that impressed. In part this was due to the acoustics in the Hahn Auditorium at CHM, which is basically a big square room with a high ceiling. The Trio used minimal amplification, just a couple of mics on stands between the violin and the cello and I’m not positive they were on. A lot of the nuances of the sound were lost by the time they reached me, sitting near the back. Allowing for that, I still wasn’t blown away by the musicianship. They did “In a Sentimental Mood”, a Duke Ellington composition originally recorded by him and violinist Stéphane Grappelli. I’d not heard this before but there were places where I am sure the Saint Michael violinist played the wrong notes, or was late. It wasn’t pleasant listening.

Anyway, home around 10, too late to try out any edible cannabis tonight.

Day 173, OMCA, realty

Cannabis report: taking 10mg/10mg had little, if any, effect. I woke up a couple of times around midnight and two AM, and both times noticed something possibly THC-related. As I’m falling asleep, I often “see” abstract patterns of light or color, which are entertaining and fun to notice. This night, I noticed that I was seeing unusually varied and detailed images, like a crazy slide-show of abstract art. I don’t recall now any of the images, only that they had a different quality, more varied and more detailed, than my normal falling-asleep experience. Could have been the THC — except that this was 3 and 4 hours after consumption.

Friday, 5/24/2019

Shortly after waking realized that it is just over a week to the six-month anniversary of Marian’s death. Which is significant in that, absent any firm offer on the house, I need an appraisal done to establish its value. I had discussed this with Chuck last week, and he assured me he knew an appraiser who would do a good job on short notice. At that time we were expecting a possible offer from Lawyer Lady so left it to “next week”. Well, I realized this morning, it’s the last day of “next week”, and there’s a holiday next week.

So I texted Chuck at 7am to initiate the appraisal today if possible. He replied OK, but later I learned that an appraiser can be instructed to come up with a value “as of” a particular time. In this case, the appraiser will be instructed to state the value “as of” Marian’s death. Quite possibly that will be a higher value than the house will sell for in today’s market, with the result I might actually have a loss for income tax purposes.

Then it was off to Oakland to meet with Darlene to visit the Oakland Museum of California, or OMCA as they call themselves. The main reason was to view the photographs of Andrew Russell, who used a cumbersome wet-plate view camera to document the building of the transcontinental railway. He it was who took the iconic picture of the completion:


The pictures are amazingly detailed. They’ve taken some of the 8-inch square negatives and printed them 8 feet square and you an walk right up and count leaves on bushes.

Darlene was interested in the exhibit “Queer California: Untold Stories”, pointing to pictures of marches she and Jessea had participated in. We had lunch in the museum cafe and then I headed back, arriving home in good time for Chuck to drop by.

His main news was the official offer from the Lawyer Lady (her name is Daphne, I learned). We went over the offer, and then we penciled out a lot of numbers starting with my goal for net proceeds, adding all the fixed costs and taxes that will be charged in escrow, adding in 5% commission (2.5% to each broker). This gives my bottom-line number, and it is surprisingly close to what the other agent stressed was an absolute top-line number from Lawyer Lady. There’s a lack of clarity about whether the other agent expects to take her 2.5% commission out of escrow, or if she will be paid directly by the buyer and so not be dipping in the escrow pot. In the worst case we’re only 4% apart.

After hashing it around awhile, I want to wait and not counter until next week. This is because of a foolish hope that a better buyer might see the ad in the Daily Post and call Chuck over the weekend. If that doesn’t happen he will present a counter-offer on Tuesday.

Later I went to CH for supper. On the way through the basement from the garage I stopped at Angela’s office. She was in and could give me good news on the unit. The custom cabinets for the bathroom are in, and the top (not clear if that’s the top for the kitchenette counter or the vanity counter), and demolition should start soon. There should be no problem completing the job for the 6/15 move-in date. We talked about how she should let me know when she has scheduled the last step, which is deep-cleaning the carpets. After that I can start bringing stuff in, if there’s anything I want to move ahead of the 15th.


Day 172, Shustek, room divider

Thursday, 5/23/2019

Drove over to Shustek for a day of cataloging. Only notable item was a Kuri robot, a cute little thing made by a Redwood City startup that unfortunately didn’t achieve much in the way of sales and terminated after a year.

In the midst of cataloging, Deborah the sale lady called. She wants to pick up the big room divider/media stand. She and her daughter came by in two cars, and with some effort we moved the three pieces of the stand into them. She took a few other things and gave me my share in cash. This is not at all a money-making proposition. I look at what we paid for these things in the home inventory that Marian carefully maintained, and stuff is selling about 10 cents on the dollar. No capital gains to report for sure.

I think I’ll double up the Kiva chocolates tonight: 10mg/10mg. Later: 90 minutes after taking two of the choc. squares I feel: nothing unusual. I’m yawning, but I always do this time of night. Hmph.

Day 171, smoke alarms, lunch.

Cannabis report: took one of the 5mg:5mg chocolates at 8:30. Nice chocolate flavor and some aroma of espresso. As of 10pm I felt exactly nothing. And my night’s sleep was typical/normal, woke several times.

So I guess I have shown, one, that I am insensitive to THC at the 5mg level. I am curious to know how much it takes to feel any intoxication. And two, that 10+mg of CBD may have improved my sleep. I need to think about which of my purchases I want to double-up on tonight.

Wednesday, 5/22/2019

Started with a run, as usual. Fiddle-farted around with something, I don’t remember what, until 12:30 and time to meet Scott for lunch. Afterward I realized I was not too late to do sorting at FOPAL. Yesterday I did extra time there assuming I would skip today, but in fact went down and did some sorting anyway.

This evening, I belatedly realized, is when I’d booked myself for Mama Mia! at the Hillbarn. I think I’ve only been to the Hillbarn one other time, several years ago. It’s a nice venue. They had steeply-raked seating around two sides of the room, and an elaborate Greek Taverna on the other two. The house was packed and very enthusiastic. The lady next to me insisted on sharing with me all the other times she’d seen this show, and often urged me to have fun. The large cast worked very hard through a whole lot of choreography, my goodness so much dancing. The two female leads had good voices as well.

Heading home at 10:30, highway 101 was down to two lanes for construction. I didn’t get home until 11:30, so did not take any cannabis. I want at least an hour before bedtime to assess any effects.


Day 170, FOPAL

Cannabis report: The Kiva gummies are fairly large. It occurred to me when I took two at 9:15, that a gummy, which largely dissolves in the mouth as you chew it, should be processed a little faster than a soft-gel or a chocolate. However, I felt no effects at all in the following hour.

Did the 12mg CBD/3.6mg THC dose affect my sleep? Possibly! I only woke up enough to check my watch one time (12:45), as opposed to 2-3 times in a typical night. I slept soundly from then to 6:10am. Now, how can I get a clearer picture of the situation? Should I not take any tonight? Unfortunately, sleep quality is so subjective that the placebo effect, or its inverse, is inescapable. The only way to be sure would be to have identical-looking gummies and have someone randomize them for me.

I think I’ll just continue with the third preparation I bought, the Kiva chocolate which has 5mg/5mg. That’s 40% more THC. Possibly will edge the THC level to where I’ll feel a buzz? But half the CBD.

Tuesday, 5/21/2019

Sent off an email to the advisors, saying I want to move on the infamous Form 706, estate tax portability. Walked to the YMCA through light rain showers, and back.

Since tomorrow has several things happening, I decided to do my FOPAL work today. I found 6 boxes of computer books waiting. After culling and pricing I shelved maybe 40 books, and sent four boxes to the bargain room. Then I did an hour and a half of sorting.

Bought a few grocery staples, then went home via the hardware store where I bought two, combination smoke and CO detectors, with voice alarms. A tinny little voice, based on what I hear pressing the Test button, but certainly if this voice starts squawking at you about smoke in the middle of the night, you’ll wake up. Tomorrow I should find time to mount them.

Tonight is a presentation of 42nd Street in the CH auditorium. There’s a resident, Robert, who is a film buff and organizes series of films. This is the first of an American Musical series. I had supper, and in the supper line was greeted by a couple of women as “the new man”. OK… Unfortunately the film didn’t really hold my interest. I left after about 40 minutes of it.



Day 169, blood, bed, realty

Monday, 5/20/2019

Cannabis report: a soft-gel containing 10mg CBD, 2.5mg THC, had no effect. An hour after taking it I might have felt just a tiny bit buzzed, about ½ glass of ale buzzed, but it could just as well have been imagination. And there was no difference in my sleep, either in duration or frequency of waking. So tonight I will try the 3:1 gummies. Each gummy contains 6mg CBD, 1.8mg THC, so I will take two, for a total of 12mg:3.6mg. That will be 20% step-up in CBD, 50% in THC. Effects to be reported tomorrow.

After my run, I decided to try giving blood again. Back on Day 66 I tried to donate blood and was turned away for low hemoglobin, 11.9. Following that I talked to my doctor, who wasn’t much concerned, and have been taking an iron supplement. For a month I took one daily; for the last few weeks only two per week. Stanford blood center has been sending out emails, critical shortage of type O (my type), so I’ll give it a try.

My hemoglobin came in at 15.9, four points higher than the last time. So I was allowed to donate.

Following that I drove to IKEA again. As noted a few days ago, I selected a bed frame there. But later, reading customer reviews on the IKEA website, there were a number of people complaining. The headboard of this “Trysil” frame has gaps between the cross-boards. People complain that their pillows slip out between the mattress and the lower cross-board. In the picture on the product page, it doesn’t look like that would happen. However, when I look at it in the store it is clear there is a gap of an inch or two between the bottom of the board and the top of the mattress. Why?

I figured it out. Some of the IKEA mattresses are 9-10 inches thick, and some are 11-12 inches thick. At the store, the Trysil frame is displayed with a “Morgedal” mattress, which by coincidence is the one that I had selected on a previous visit to the store. The Morgedal is only 10 inches thick. On today’s visit I tried other mattresses, and settled on the “Haugesund” model, which is 12 inches thick. When placed on the Trysil frame, the Haugesund mattress will be flush with the bottom of the lower board in the head.

In a bunch of texts Saturday, I agreed with Debora the sale manager that her buyer would pick up the dining table and chairs on Friday the 31st. After that time, the dining room here will be empty. I will move all the boxed furniture that I’ve collected (flat-packs of a desk, a file cabinet, a chair, a table) into the dining room. To them will be added a media console, two more chairs, and a love seat, all scheduled for delivery from West Elm in the first week of June. During that week of June I will also go to IKEA and order the bed frame and mattress to be delivered here. All to be stacked in the dining room.

Then on the 15th, the movers can just move all that into the truck first, followed by a few boxes of my possessions, art work, television and computers, for the move. I will also have scheduled a TaskRabbit contractor to come to CH that afternoon to help me assemble at least the bed, if not all the other things. Hopefully by sundown on that Saturday I will be fully moved in. We’ll see how that plan works out.

Later Chuck came by with realty news. The Woman who Works at Apple has dropped out. It’s odd; according to her realtor, the woman and her mother both love the house, but when the realtor asked them, it was the father who told her, he didn’t think the house was right for his daughter. Hmph. Butt out, dad.

The realtor for the Lawyer Lady is pretty sure she won’t go above $2.5M. That’s not enough, in my opinion and Chuck’s. Although it is not too far off my target. Chuck thinks she could afford to go higher, just wait and see.

Meanwhile he’s not getting a lot of calls from the ad. He got one call today, a buyer in Santa Clara who is looking for a fixer-upper. I suggested, and he agreed, that he’ll call her back and make the pitch that although this house is not in need of fixer-upper type maintenance and repairs, like you see on the TV shows, it definitely would benefit from, and increase in value from, serious remodeling. She can have all kinds of fun renovating the kitchen or adding a second story.

We also signed a bunch of disclosure and advisory forms. One relates to the need for smoke and CO detectors. So that’s a to-do item for me, which I can easily handle: get those installed. I have a smoke detector in the bedroom, but haven’t tested it in a long time. Its battery is probably dead. I had one in the living room and took it down, I don’t remember why. And have never had a CO detector. Well, we had a CO detector in the RV we used to have, and had to disable it because it constantly went off in the night, I guess from the CO of our breath while sleeping.




Day 168, coffee, Mary Jane, art, sky

Sunday, 5/19/2019

Woke to the sound of rain, the arrival of the third of a string of unseasonal rain storms. I’ll bet this will be the last rain we see until November. In fact I hope so, because I took the winter cover off the A/C condenser last week. It’s not used to being wet. (But then, IOMISEP.)

Started Sunday as usual with the NYT puzzle during which there was a blink outside. I counted slowly to six when BLAM! a very sharp and loud crack of thunder hit. So I drove to coffee through steady rain, instead of walking.

Back to the house I settled down to continue my research (which I started Friday but omitted to mention) into edible marijuana, and marijuana dispensaries. Probably the most informative tutorial was this one from leaf science. Key points:

  • Two major components are THC and CBD.
  • THC produces the psychedelic effects, ranging from euphoria all the way to paranoid panic.
  • CBD produces the soporific/sedative effects as well as pain relief.
  • Different strains of the plant have remarkably different ratios of CBD:THC, all the way from 30:1 to 1:30.

I thought this was a key paragraph:

When you eat an edible, THC gets slowly absorbed into your bloodstream through the stomach and intestinal tracts. THC then gets broken down by the liver, which converts THC to a more potent chemical called 11-hydroxy-THC. The result is a high that is more intense and psychoactive effects that last much longer.

So THC, eaten, is more impactful even than when smoked. And the general advice is “start low and go slow”.

I am not interested in getting high. (Really. I do not like the sensation of being drunk. I drink beer for the taste, and rarely finish a glass of it. Maybe a relaxed cannabis high would be nicer, I wouldn’t know–yet.) My principal interest is in getting longer and better sleep (presumably a CBD effect). But going forward, I might experiment with  a small amount of THC as a social lubricant. But that will take careful and cautious experimentation.

Checking out local retail outlets with Yelp I settled on Harborside in San Jose. They have a very extensive online selection of products, and offer in-store pickup or delivery. Checking edible products, I found the following interesting:

I set up an order for a bottle of 10 soft-gels in the 4:1 ratio, a bag of the 3:1 gummies, and one bar of the chocolate. After I uploaded a picture of my driver’s license, they texted my phone to say the order was in progress, and a few minutes later that it was ready for pickup. So I drove down to their store. You have to show the back side of your license to be scanned at the door. (I never knew that the back side of my driver’s license has an elaborate bar-code thing.) Then I used a debit card to pay for my $90 worth of edibles and was out again in minutes. The whole excursion took less than an hour.

My plan is to try one, 4:1 soft-gel at 9pm tonight, and I’ll report on the effects if any later.

With a lot of Sunday left, I headed out meaning to visit the Cantor Arts Museum on the Stanford campus. After I parked and walked along the Goldworthy Snake sculpture toward the Cantor, I was deflected by signs to the Anderson Collection. This is an entire new building to house the collection of the Anderson family. The building has been constructed since the last time I was inside the Cantor, so clearly that has been a while. Anyway, I opted to visit the new collection on this visit. It’s all modern, non-representational, and mostly from large to heroic in scale. The work I most enjoyed looking at is this Untitled acrylic dome by Robert Irwin.


It’s fascinating how your eye has trouble finding the edges of it, which seem to turn into a haze. The camera has less trouble so it looks more defined in the picture.

After walking through this collection I noticed that the sky was what I think of as “English”, lots of big loose cumulus with blue sky beyond, and sun-breaks sweeping around. It’s a common look for English skies but rare in California. I decided to drive up to Palo Alto’s Foothills park, to Vista Hill, in hopes that it would be puffy cumulus to the north and maybe the City shining out. Sadly, no. The lovely blue and sun-streaked sky was only here in the South Bay, the north was still under rain clouds. I took a panoramic shot but it’s not worth uploading.