Day 260, cardiologist, FOPAL, realty, singing, Lisp (sucks)

Monday 8/19/2019

Began the day with a run, which felt fine. Paid a bill or two. At 10:30 left in the car for PAMF for my routine checkup by my cardiologist, Dr. DiBiase. She thinks I’m ok but wants me to do a “stress echo” where you do the echocardiogram while exercising to various levels. Ok. Scheduled that on the way out. She also gave me the name and number of a trainer she recommends. Not sure I want to follow up on that.

DiBiase “challenged” me to do more cardio exercise than 3x morning runs. But she doesn’t know about FOPAL. At the start of my stint there I checked the Health app, and when I was leaving after three hours of toting books and boxes, I checked again. Just over 4,000 steps. I do that twice a week. I think that qualifies.

From FOPAL I went to Chuck’s office. He’d texted me there were a few more forms to sign. Plus, I had prepared a nice letter to the buyers. I included a printed copy of the Tasso street neighborhood directory that Leslie Mahoney prepares each year. That gives them the name, number and email of every resident on that two-block stretch. I recommended that they continue with Richard as gardener. I gave a link to a gallery of pictures of the house at various times. And noted the late news that the Tasso block party will be on 9/28. I gave this document to Chuck, to pass on to their agent. He noted that I’d included my email, and hoped they wouldn’t bug me with a lot of questions. I figure they won’t, but if they do, I can set boundaries.

I am to meet Chuck at the Escrow company office on Wednesday to sign the Grant Deed transfer. That will be my last signing. Not too many days after that the buyers should put their money in, and the transfer will be complete. Can’t wait!

Going in to dinner I was asked to join Marcia and Kent. They own an Adventurewagen like the one we used to own. We were joined by Kathleen and Marianne. After dinner there was an informal sing-along in the lobby. I joined it for about 25 minutes as we worked through a lot of standards on a 12-page booklet of lyrics. It was getting into a lot of songs I didn’t know so I left. In the elevator Bert put the arm on me to join the choir when it starts rehearsing. Yeah, maybe.

I had planned to do laundry tomorrow but checking the sign-up sheet there were no openings. Plus, there was an email asking please please please, will some docents sign up for the Tuesday tours? Oh, well. I signed up for the 2pm one. I want to do more drawer sanding and varnishing. So I did the first of my laundry loads, the bleach load, after supper. I’ll do the second load after supper tomorrow.

While the laundry was running I explored another angle on learning Lisp, based on this blog post, A Road to Common Lisp. I already have two Lisp implementations installed and they work in their ungainly, beginner-hostile way. But he recommends a third, ClozureCL. So why not, it claims to be good for Mac OS. I downloaded it. And it exemplifies everything that is amateurish, clumsy, and annoying about Lisp implementations. It’s like going back to the 1990s, a time when I had to use a lot of UNIX apps that were minimally documented and had to be compiled from source and tinkered with. And the complete opposite of what you expect from today’s slick, well-packaged development environments.

Just an example or two. (Perhaps I should spin this adventure off to its own blog, like my dormant This Page Intentionally blog.) You download the package, a zip file, and you unzip it and you have a directory. In the Terminal app you move into that directory and list files. First problem: there’s no README. Every Unix/Linux app has a README. Oh wait, there’s a folder named doc. List that; aha: doc/README exists. All it contains is the URL of the online manual. About 3,000 words into the manual it actually tells you how to start Lisp. I do, and try a couple of expressions. It’s working so I try to terminate it the way you terminate every damn Unix program on the planet by entering ^d, EOF. Which it ignores. (About 20,000 words further in the manual one finds that there is a Lisp expression you can enter which tells it to “quit on EOF” but that behavior is not the default. Why not?) Well, I want this thing to shut down, what do I tell it? Entering “quit” just produces a syntax error. I try ^C, which throws it into some kind of debugger mode…

[21:56:20 ccl] scripts/ccl64      <--- I launch Lisp
Clozure Common Lisp Version 1.11.5/v1.11.5 (DarwinX8664)
? ^D         <--- it prompts with "?", I hit ^D
? ^D         <--- which it ignores, I hit it again
? ^Csigreturn returned   <--- now I hit ^C and get this
? for help
   (at this point I am in a "kernel debugger")
   (I've no idea why it prompts with [24279], or what
    commands it accepts. So I try ^C again)
[24279] Clozure CL kernel debugger: ^Csigreturn returned
? for help
[24279] Clozure CL kernel debugger: help
[24279] Clozure CL kernel debugger: [24279] Clozure CL kernel debugger: %rsi (arg_z) = 3145728
%rdi (arg_y) = 0
%r8 (arg_x) = 0.000000
%r13 (fn) = 34222
%r15 (save0) = 17591952791858
%r14 (save1) = 125
Unhandled exception 10 at 0x38b7b, context->regs at #x7ffeefbfd540
Exception occurred while executing foreign code
at sprint_function + 27
received signal 10; faulting address: 0xfffffff0
? for help
[24279] Clozure CL kernel debugger: Segmentation fault: 11

Entering the word “help” instead of the “?” it wanted, caused it to display some machine registers (%r8, etc) and then report an “Unhandled exception” and then a Seg fault (invalid memory access) at location negative 16 (0xfffffff0). In other words, the debugger, when given a command it doesn’t understand, crashes. Well, isn’t that special.

Hey, at least I know how to kill it: ^C followed by “help”.

Much further along in the manual is directions on preparing the Mac OS IDE (interactive development environment, some kind of helpful source editor). In fact, “Building the Clozure CL IDE is now a very simple process” it assures me. All I have to do is start Lisp and enter one expression, and it will do a bunch of compiling and produce an IDE that I can run. Let’s try it!

[22:08:29 ccl] scripts/ccl64
Clozure Common Lisp Version 1.11.5/v1.11.5 (DarwinX8664)

? (require :cocoa-application)
sigreturn returned
? for help
[24289] Clozure CL kernel debugger:

When it evaluated that “require” expression, all that happened was — the same as when I entered ^C earlier, “sigreturn” and entry to the “kernel debugger”.

This is the kind of sloppy, amateurish shit that I battled with back in the 80s and 90s. I don’t need it any more, thanks.









Day 250, mulch, walk

Friday, 8/9/2019

Went for a run to start the day. It felt fine. I wound it up at the Prolific Oven. I suspect that fine old coffee place is on the way out. 8:30am on a Friday and there were only a few  customers. Three old guys at the outside table. One college-student (or, given my poor age-guessing ability, more likely a college instructor) and me, inside.

Having a good run is always good news. I don’t think I mentioned a few days back that the results of my echocardiogram came in. Modern medical care; I get my results as an email telling me I have a new message at my Sutter Health account. Wait, “modern”? Welcome to the millennium, we’ve been waiting for you… Anyway, it includes “Aortic valve: normally functioning prosthetic.”

I drove to the nursery and bought three bags of mini-fir-bark mulch, and took them to the Tasso house and left them behind the back steps for Richard to spread when he comes next week. I thought briefly of spreading it myself, which is a no-brainer task, but realized I had no garden tools, not even a rake. The sale cleared everything out.

Looking through the windows, it’s clear that Paul is finished with the flooring. All that’s left to do is for the painters to re-install the cabinet doors and paint the exterior trim, and it will be ready for staging. Later in the day I got an invoice for the flooring and tomorrow I’ll mail the check for that.

Also later I got a text from Chuck, indicating that he’d been in contact with some number of foundation contractors and will let me know what comes of that. If he can make that happen in the coming week, my hat will be off to him.

After an hour of fooling around on the computer… OK, I was watching YT videos. Two episodes of the amazing Project Binky (those guys are truly insane, but in a good way) and then, trying to make up my mind if I want to play the game Kenshi, I watched two episodes of a walk-through of it… and a brief nap, I decided to Get Outdoors.

I drove up to Crystal Springs reservoir and walked two miles, one out and one back, on the Sawyer Camp trail, giving me a massive 12,869 steps, 5.7 miles, for the day. It was a sparkly day.


We’ve had just a beautiful summer, never too hot, clear air… I have been intentionally and consciously appreciative of it, almost every day. The walk was an emotional experience. I had forgotten my ear-buds, so I couldn’t listen to a podcast, as is my usual wont when walking. So I had to think, and my thoughts turned to the last weeks of Marian’s life, some of the good moments, like when on her final visit to her doctor, the doctor told her how much she admired Marian, and said, “You’re such a bad-ass!” and they parted with a hug. So it was a rather emotional walk. And no tissues in my pocket.

Day 240, echo, alterations, brass polish

Tuesday, 7/30/2019

First thing today was to go to PAMF to have a cardiac echo test. This is preparation for a routine exam by my cardiologist in a couple of weeks. I had opted for an 8am appointment. The Encina street office of PAMF is nominally 20 minutes’ walk and my first plan was to do that.

However, yesterday afternoon my box of new clothes arrived from Bonobos. As expected, the blazer is a good fit in the arms and shoulders, but too tight around the waist. Two of the three pairs of pants are also juuuuust a bit too tight for comfort. Those two are from one line, the pair for a different line are exactly right, despite all having the same nominal size. Anyway, I wanted to drop off the jacket and pants for alterations at Jacquie’s Sew and Sew, a tailoring shop I’ve used before with good results. Jacquie’s opens at 9am. There were other options but I chose instead to toss the clothes into the car and drive.

The echocardiogram was a short routine operation. I’ve had them before, and from what I could see on the screen, it looked the same as before. The technician of course wouldn’t offer any opinion. “Your doctor will tell you about it.” Which is only sensible.

So to the Prolific Oven for breakfast, and then to Jacquie’s, where they took my instructions and clothes and said, August 9th.

From there, on to Tasso street. Here may aim was to polish the brass door and window handles. They were more than ten years from their last polish, and the window handles especially were more the color of a briar pipe than brass. There were two painters there, working away. I didn’t monitor them in any detail, strictly not my job. I set myself up on the front porch with my cardboard box of polish and cleaners and my cordless drill with brush and buffing attachments.

The painters had already removed all the brass door handles into a bucket. I started with those and they polished up very nicely and quickly, using only “Mr. Metal,” a product that I’d picked up at the hardware store that promised “shine without rubbing or buffing” and doggone if it didn’t pretty much do that. When there was no heavy layer of dirt or corrosion, it was a wipe-on, let-dry, wipe-off operation and the hardware looked shiny and good.

The window handles had, I”m not sure how, picked up a layer of gummy crud, like a thin layer of brown crayon. To get that off took soaking in cleaner and whizzing with the abrasive brush. Then I used Mr. Metal and followed with Brasso on a polishing pad.

Each window handle is held in place by three short brass screws. In order to reattach them, you have to start the screw while holding the window open. And of course, I twice dropped a screw trying to start it. Dropped into the bark mulch on the ground under the window. One time I found it. One I couldn’t find.

I was already short one screw, as I discovered when removing the backmost handle from the laundry room. The handles are acceptable with only two screws; clearly I’d lost one back at the turn of the millennium. So I drove to the hardware store and went through their quite good screw and bolt shelves. I found what I thought might be a replacement but in fact, it was just too large and a tighter thread. Who knows what thread standards they were using in 1930? So now I (or actually, the future owner) is short two screws, two handles held on by two screws. I’m going to have one more try at the hardware store later on.

I finished up around 1pm and headed home. When I checked the mail that evening, I found the Amazon package with three copies of To Thrive Beyond Belief. One for my bookshelf, one for the house library. What to do with the third?


Day 218, intro, bills, FOPAL

Monday, 7/8/2019

Today at 9am was the monthly Residents’ Meeting in the auditorium, at which I along with two other new residents was introduced. There were lots of other items on the meeting agenda of course. I hadn’t realized that Tom, who with Nancy had invited me to sit with them at dinner on day 215, was the president of the Residents’ Association and so ran the meeting. Well, part of that was that their last name in the directory is Fiene, and I had no idea that was the person “Tom Feeny” who was the president.

Betsy had done a nice job of summarizing the reminiscences I’d given her on day 211. The other new residents were Sally (one-time Registrar and assistant Provost at Stanford) and Tammy, biologist.

Now I texted to Chuck to remind him that today was the last day of the sale, and to arrange a meeting for tomorrow to plan the next steps in the sale. That out of the way I paid a couple of bills and looked at a medical appointment. Months ago my cardiologist had put in an order for an echocardiogram to be done in July, with a checkup to follow. I finally got around to actually scheduling those two appointments, the echo for the end of July and the exam at the doctor’s first available, mid-August.

I needed a few things: laundry bleach, a toilet brush (so I can not insult my housekeeper with a foul toilet) and if possible, a small waste can for the bathroom. So I walked over to CVS on University avenue and was able to get the first two items.

One loose end in the Tasso house is the fireplace. When we replaced it in 1990, after the Loma Prieta earthquake broke the chimney, Marian despised the replacement because it wasn’t as big and comfortable-looking as the old one. True, it had a proper heat jacket so it was much more efficient at warming the room then the old brick one. True it had a gas flame on very realistic ceramic logs so it was easy to start and made no mess from wood chips or ashes. But it wasn’t the old one, it was unnatural. So the one thing it would not have was an electric igniter with a remote to raise and lower the flame. It has a manual gas valve and you light it by hand with a match or a lighter.

OK, well, that’s in my opinion a detraction for selling the house. It should have an electric igniter with a knob, if not a remote, to raise and lower the flame. Nobody now wants to lean in with a lighter and have the gas go FFWOOFF at you as it lights. You can lose eyebrows on that thing if you aren’t careful. So I looked at Yelp for gas fireplace installers, and got in touch with one. In a later phone call, Eric said he’d stop by tomorrow about noon. That’ll be convenient, I’ll be there meeting with Chuck anyway.

That out of the way (Lordy but my mornings are productive) I headed off to FOPAL. We are coming up to sale weekend, the place is overflowing with books. But my computer section is just comfortably full of I think some really interesting stuff that I think will sell.

On the way back to C.H. I stopped at the hardware store and found a nice little brushed-steel trash container to sit behind the toilet, so that’s crossed off.

By coincidence I ran into Craig Diane and Patti on the way to supper so sat with that group. Pleasant chat, and I learned things about C.H. internal politics and policies.



Day 152, shopping, fitness, paperwork

Friday, 5/3/2019

First thing, I called Angela’s number at CH and to my surprise, got her live. Arranged for her to leave the upgrade estimates at the desk for me to sign. Then went on a a run. Then headed out on a shopping expedition.

First stop was Stanford Federal Credit Union. Back story: in April I used the SFCU website bill-pay system to pay a medical bill, $504 to Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Early in May I got a note in the PAMF messaging system asking if I’d please pay my $504 bill. So I replied that I had, $504 on 4/9. They replied, we don’t see it, but send us some proof, email to blah blah include account number, etc., and we’ll try to find it. Grump grump grump, off I go to SFCU. Nice guy opens up the account and prints off a couple pages showing indeed, $504 went out from my account to PAMF’s account on 4/9.

So later in the day I scan this and start to append it to an email to the given address when I have a thought. The SFCU bill-pay app was set up by Marian, with a menu of known recipients; for each one, an account number etc. Looking at the summary of recent payments I see that in fact that payment of 4/9 went to the recipient named “PAMF-M”.


Yup, in the menu of recipients is another named “PAMF-D”. Looking at the details, the one I paid to had Marian’s PAMF account number, not my PAMF account number.

So that led to a considerable change in the tone and content of the email to Sutter Health billing department. From “Look how wrong you are,” to “Can you straighten out my stupid goof?”

From SFCU I drove to Wegman’s Nursery, and then more or less on a whim, to another nursery on Ralston Ave. in Belmont. Neither had anything like hanging plant post I need.

Now on to Stanford shopping center, Macy’s Men’s store. I had various clothes that need upgrading or replacing. One, my Jockey shorts are wearing out, not surprising they’d have holes being at least ten years old. Easy enough to buy a dozen of those. Two, I need a couple of pairs of jeans. I tried on a bunch and finally didn’t choose any. I did confirm that despite having lost over 10 pounds in the past year, my correct size is still 36W30L exactly as it has been for ever. But I couldn’t find the right combination of color and fit, and decided to go home, check what I had, and order exact replacements online.

Three, polo shirts. My standard summer shirt is a Lands End Supima cotton polo. Sadly Land’s End isn’t selling the one of their colors that I like and looks good on me, a deep brown. Maybe I could find a nice polo shirt at Macy’s? I looked at a bunch and didn’t like any. Not even actual Polo ones, the kind with a little polo player embroidered on them. Or the ones with an alligator. No good colors and all felt crude to the hand. Back to the internet.

So I zipped home with my bundle of tighty-whiteys and quickly changed to shorts and a t-shirt and drove back to CH for my Fitness Evaluation with Clark. Clark (his last name is not Kent, despite his definite mild manner) had me do six or seven things while he timed me. How many times can I stand up and sit down again in 30 seconds, and so on. He promises in a few days a consultation and a fitness program.

Signed Angela’s forms so work can start on my unit, then back home again to start the laundry, send that email to PAMF Billing, order the wax plant poles from Amazon, order two pairs of jeans from Levi’s, order one black and one dark gray polo from Land’s End. Also waiting at home, the statement for my next six month’s of car insurance. I note that I am protected at $1M for bodily injury, but $100K for property damage. Catherine the insurance agent had suggested upping it to $1M for property damage also, but on consideration, I don’t see it. I wrote to her saying I would leave it as-is.

Throughout the day I’d been hoping for a call-back from Poppy, the tour organizer at CHM, and it never came. That’s very disappointing and I am going to take myself off that tour…  done.

At 7:30 there is a concert at Dinkelspiel I want to attend. Time for a quick supper and a nap first.


Day 142, dentist, lunch, floor meeting, dinner

Tuesday, 4/23/2019

Began the day by walking to a mile-plus to my appointment for dental hygiene, and walking the return, stopping at C.H. en route to check my mailbox. Disappointed that with all that walking, the phone shows only 7,000 steps.

Spent some time organizing penda-flexes. (No, auto-correct, it is not panda flexes!) I like making sense of all these old files, discarding outdated and irrelevant stuff, organizing the remainder into simpler categories that will be easier to remember.

Then it was time to meet Scott for lunch. Pleasant meeting, I’d say just-ok food at Dan Gordon’s, who, Scott pointed out, was presumably half of the former Gorden-Biersch Brewery, whose restaurant was once in that same space.

On the way to lunch I stopped at MaxiMart Pharmacy to get a refill of the antibiotic pills I take before any dental procedure (to protect my replaced aortic valve). Oops, prescription expired. Leave it, we’ll apply for a renewal, check back tomorrow. They know me by sight, partly because I’ve gotten meds there for 20 years at least, but more because I was in there what feels in retrospect like every other day all last fall, picking up one or another med for Marian. It was probably only once a week, really, but I had some bad emotions walking up to the door, from all the associations with her long illness. But now, this is for me, and I’m not ill, just getting a preventative med. So it was alright.

On the way back I stopped for a few groceries, including the indispensable peanut butter. Should I get a big jar? I’ll be on a full meal plan in a few weeks. Oh hell yes, I can have peanut butter in my room, to eat at my own bistro table in my kitchenette.

Soon it was time to leave again for the Sixth Floor Meeting. Craig was in the chair and did a good job. There were 30 or so people there; I learned the names of about five, and was pleasantly greeted by all. The topic of the meeting was the upcoming move off the sixth floor so the great rolling renovation can have it. Here’s the time-line:

  • August 12-23, the seventh floor people move out of temporary units and back to their renovated permanent units.
  • Temporary units are cleaned.
  • August 26-September 6, sixth floor people move into temporary units.
  • Around January 2020, sixth floor moves back, fifth moves out.

Angela, who I met with a week ago to choose decor options for my unit, is in charge of this. So far they have done the in/out swap for the tenth, ninth, and eighth floors and have it down to a science.  She explained the process in detail and pretty well satisfied everyone.

From there I went to supper with Craig and Diane, and damn it four other women whose names I didn’t get. Wait, one was Eva. I also met Jerry and his wife (name?) and saw their apartment, on which they did an extreme renovation when they moved in two years ago. It’s very attractive, extremely “modern” with gray and black cubes and track lighting. Jerry is very technical and has a complex computer setup with multiple large monitors. I’m going to like him, I think; I certainly intend to call on him as a resource getting my various devices working with the CH systems.

I excused myself after one cup of coffee to go to a Stanford Baseball game. Got there at the bottom of the second, Stanford behind 4-1. The next two innings Stanford hit three or it may have been four homers and went ahead 9-4. I left after two hours and it was only the sixth inning.


Day 122, anxiety, discards, cardio

Wednesday, 4/3/2019

Woke up to some anxiety this morning. Odd, because I had a very good night’s sleep, up once about 2am then slept to 6:30, eight hours total. Six-thirty is unusually late; all through the winter I woke up when the furnace fired up. The thermostat is set to start heating at 6:15. Yesterday and today, the furnace never started. Why? Because for the first time in months, the internal house temperature at 6:15 was 69º, the set-point for 6:15am. This is the true mark of the changing seasons, that no heating is needed in the morning. Another month and it’ll be time to switch over to cooling.

Oh, wait… another month and I won’t be here, probably.

So I arose to anxiety,

a vague feeling of wrongness that I think is associated with yesterday’s final acceptance at C.H. That’s a big commitment to a whole new mode of living. Am I doing the right thing?

To “not be a home-owner” was, as I’ve written before, probably the first decision I made when I began thinking about becoming a widower, a year ago, when Marian was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My thoughts then were theoretical, speculative, but this stood out as a firm conclusion: if she goes, and I’m a widower, I won’t stay in this house. Researching ILFs and choosing Channing House is all the natural consequence of that decision.

I didn’t analyze it at the time; it just seemed right. I’ve explained it to other people since as not wanting the responsibility of a house, tired of worrying about maintenance and insurance and property taxes. That’s all true, but not complete. Analyzing it now, as the coffee water heated this morning, what came to mind was that I really wanted to break with the past. I don’t want to occupy a truncated partnership was the sentence that bubbled up out of my subconscious. (Whoa! Go my subconscious!) To unpack that sentence, I don’t want to continue to live as half a couple, alone in the shell once occupied by the tight little corporation of Dave’n’Marian. The house is the physical representation of that shell.

There are other life styles I could have picked. I could live in a regular apartment. I could become a world traveler, flitting from hotel to hotel with the seasons. I could buy a nice RV and become a “snowbird”, traveling to Alaska in the spring and Arizona in the winter. But C.H. has many practical advantages: it is comfortable; it offers a new community in which I’m pretty sure I can come to be an influential and helpful member; and the continuing medical care means I will not have to be a burden on any of my relatives as I age. The one time I talked with Marian about my “being a bachelor” notions, her only concern was to urge me to keep in mind that I wouldn’t have someone to take care of me the way I was taking care of her. C.H. answers to that issue.

Mulling all that I went for a run, which felt excellent. After a shower and shave, I did some

more cleanup.

I tackled two more shelves of the big steel cabinets in the shop. Here’s what I saw first.

check_boxesThat’s right, two nice banker’s boxes labeled in Marian’s neat hand as you see. Seriously, we have been saving cancelled checks from 1965??? Oh yeah; and old IBM pay stubs, too:old_pay_stubI was getting $405.95 each pay period, which I think was bi-weekly, so over $800/month, not bad for 1965! (Plus, I see, $25 for “local travel”, i.e. mileage for driving around SF.)

Ignoring the wails of imaginary historians appalled at losing all that good data on the spending habits of mid-century Yuppies, the whole thing went into the recycle bin.in_the_boxThat exposed two shelves of my published books, multiple copies of each.my_booksI won’t throw all of them out, but I fetched a box and put one copy of each book in it. The rest will go into the blue bin tomorrow.

About 1pm I went off to do three hours of sorting at FOPAL. One perk of that job is getting first look at all the donations. I pocketed a copy of On the Road, which I’ve been meaning to re-read, and one of Vonnegut’s Mother Night. I’ll read them (or anyway sample them, I’m not sure I’ll want to read all of Kerouac) and put them back in the stream another day.

At home I found an email containing the standard

Channing House contract,

a 51pp PDF. Sent copies to the financial guys and also to Chuck, who was curious about it. Need to read it carefully myself! Here’s the meat of it, from article I:

In consideration of the Entrance Fee, Monthly Fee and other fees payable by you under this Agreement, Channing House will provide you with residence, care and services at the Community for the rest of your life, subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

Also got a notification that my

Ziopatch results

were back, and: no Afib detected. I have rare PVC’s (pre-ventricular contractions, which I’ve had since the 1980s) as well as rare “premature atrial complexes”. But these little blips of irregularity I notice are not of concern. That’s a relief.



Day 114, mental exam, slides, art

Stanford gave its fans two agonizing quarters, seeming to be unable to penetrate the BYU zone defense while hitting exactly one of their first 12 three-point shots. Then in the third quarter they found their defense and offense at once, and put on a 17-2 run to take over the game. On to Chicago to play Missouri State and then, hopefully, Notre Dame.

Tuesday, 3/26/2019

First up today was an appointment with Dr. Melissa Frederick, the C.H. medical director. She’s a cheerful, young (by my standards) woman, very pleasant to talk to. This turned out to be mostly a brief test of my mental acuity. For example, in the next one minute, name as many words as you can think of, that start with the letter ‘F’. I thought that was quite a challenge; I could only think of 15. Turns out, eleven was enough. Phew.

Later I got an email saying I had passed. So, ok. Now only waiting for approval of my financial documents.

Back home I waited to see if Tyra, Chris’s designer niece, would call as I’d scheduled at 12. Meanwhile I finished inspecting the Japan slide group, and started scanning them. One more session will finish that job. When Tyra hadn’t called at 2, I figured, ok, so much for that. Then it occurred to me to wonder if I really sent that email. Um… no. Still in “drafts” 😳. So I changed it to say, call me Wednesday between 11-12 and actually clicked Send. Tyra responded shortly after.

Bored, I started walking around the house collecting all the art works I want to take along, and identifying those I could. One is a print we bought in San Juan Island around 2000. We liked it as an excellent rendering of the look of the Puget Sound as we often saw it from the Washington State Ferry boats.IMG_3651The name “Spaulding” is on the bottom margin. A little googling found a married couple of printmakers of that name, on San Juan. I emailed them enclosing a snap like the above, asking to verify it was theirs. (Note from November: they never replied.)

I also cleared out another couple of shelves of storage from the shop.

Day 100, jewelry

Tuesday, 3/12/2019

Started by walking to the Y and doing a few exercises. Started early, back early so as to be in good time for the arrival of Suzanne and her friend Louise. Louise is a jeweler and gemologist who is volunteering to evaluate all Marian’s jewelry. She came equipped with three boxes of equipment including a binocular microscope and a gizmo that can tell gold from brass using electricity. I figure it must be a super-sensitive ohmmeter but she didn’t actually know the principle of it.

Louise spent more than two hours going over everything (maybe 100 items all told, but nothing with individual great value) and then took some away with her to look at where she is staying. She plans to come back Sunday with a full report. I am getting a whole lot of professional time gratis, with only the understanding that I’ll put a review on her website (which I haven’t seen yet).

I spent some of the time she was here, and after, scanning slides. Just a box to go, maybe 100.

At three pm I drove over to the Encina (street) office of PAMF to have a ZIO patch installed. This is because I reported to my PCP at my recent exam that sometimes I thought I felt short spells of a-fib. Back in the 90s, my then PCP had me wear a Holter monitor, which was a box the size of a pound of butter that hung from a shoulder strap, with leads to three or four sticky patches. I wore that for a week, during which I couldn’t shower.

The ZIO patch does the same job, recording my electrocardiogram, but it is a single sticky patch about 2 by 3 inches with a lump in the center about the size of a pat of butter. I can shower with it on, as long as I keep my back to the shower, and I am to wear it for 14 days, then peel it off and return it in its box. Installation took five minutes; the nurse just shaved a patch of hair above my left nipple, slapped the patch on, and verbally went over the use instructions.


Day 89, medical exam, FOPAL, “potlatch”

Wednesday, 2/27/2019

Started with a thorough shave, shower, tooth-brush. One wants to be clean for a medical exam. At ten departed for the PAMF Los Altos clinic for a routine physical with our long-time physician, Dr. Marx. She was, as always, attentive and kind. My numbers are all good. She’ll have the form wanted by Channing House ready in a couple of days.

In email, Marian’s relatives Darlene and Jessea and Liz all want to attend this tree planting in April. Hmm. So I passed on the info to a couple more people, and by midday they also replied with “yes, sure.” So  that will be a thing.

Went to FOPAL with three more boxes of books. While filling them I eyeball-estimated how many more I’d need to take. Probably about 9 or 10. So, bookcases emptied in March. At FOPAL I worked a full three hours, then bought a few groceries and headed home, on the way stopping at FedEx to pick up Godot, the new laptop. It will take many hours to get it configured how I want it, but I started by introducing it to the wi-fi and starting it on upgrading to the latest OS level. It will probably sit all day tomorrow, then on Friday I will really dig in.

Making lunch in the kitchen I realized that though I had emptied out the canisters of various pastas and flours,  I had never tossed the 30-40 jars of spices. Well, actually last night I used some cinnamon, and I still use the pepper grinder regularly. But I should clear out that spice shelf.

Thinking about furnishing a studio at C.H. has made me realize there are quite a few things I will want to hang on to, just to make an empty apartment homely. There’s a chair and a small table in the back yard that will do well on the large deck that is a part of all C.H. units. And a couple of plants that I know are hardy and have been thriving even under my minimal care. And some decorative objects that speak to me, including the Linsky painting.

Then I had a brilliant idea for the rest. I will damn well hold a potlatch! The problem is that so many objects have (apparently) no current market value, despite having been bought for their beauty or charm or skillful execution, and cherished for decades. One way to realize the value is to try to sell it on eBay, but from experience I know that is a frustrating, time-consuming process that is unlikely to generate any real money.

But focus on the end-goal, which is just to pass an object on to someone who will also cherish it! Instead of demanding money as a sign of desire, let’s just put the objects out and let people take their pick, guided by their own tastes. I have to think about the details, when to do it, who to invite, how to show the items, whether to include furniture items in the give-away. But the basic idea will be, invite relatives and good friends to come in, take one object each that they really like. Maybe a terrible idea, but at the moment it feels like genius.