Day 339, FOPAL, Docent, papers

Wednesday, 11/5/2019

Today I had a docent tour to run starting at 11:30, but it is also Wednesday before book sale at FOPAL, the day that section managers should have their sections in final shape for the sale. I could do that before or after the museum; I opted for before. So I had breakfast at CH. Carrying my red docent shirt for later, I headed out for FOPAL at 8am.

There were only two boxes of boooks waiting for me, and I ended up shelving only 8 additional. Then I did an hour of sorting which brought me to 10am. I took a break and had coffee and a scone at the local Peet’s Coffee before heading to the museum.

There I met a group of 22 undergrads from the University of Toronto. They are so cute, just adorable. Lucky for them, Pat, docent of the 1401 lab, was available and offered to do them a 1401 demo. So I gave them a short tour and turned them over to him. They had a good experience, I think. The professor said they were going to the Intel museum that afternoon. I didn’t know there was such a thing, but I bet they didn’t get as good a show there.

Stopped at the car wash to get the car cleaned up on the way home. Looking forward to driving at least one other person to the SWBB game in the city on Saturday. I’d have paid for an external detail job if it could be done in a reasonable amount of time, but the lady at the entrance barely spoke english and seemed to think they didn’t do polishing. Which they certainly do, but I asked a more informed employee while my car was going through the regular wash. Detailing would be near $200 and take half a day. I seem to recall they once did a quick polish operation in less time, but that was probably long ago. Anyway, if I’m going to spend $200 on a polish, I’ll do it at a “real” detailing shop, not a shed attached to the car wash.

In the afternoon I spent an hour answering an email from Katie The Tax Accountant regarding the ongoing effort to complete an IRS form 7-oh-whatever, to recover I forget what part of Marian’s estate tax exemption. Lots of small questions to finish the job, like “Did Marian have an interest in any other trust?” and so forth. All easy to answer except one.

Back in August they said they would file for an extension past the 9-month cutoff for this filing. I said fine. This email asks, did I receive approval of the extension from the IRS? Um, no. The email makes reference to maybe having given the IRS my old address. Despite the fact that in the email exchange of August, I gave them the Channing House address. (OK, I probably never logged into the tax accountant’s website and updated my info there.)

Two days ago I got an email from Richard, the gardener, saying his invoice for August work had been returned by the PO, and could he have my current address. So very possibly the PO is no longer forwarding mail to the Tasso address. However, they were doing so very reliably, back in September and October.

So I sent off my detailed reply to all Katie’s questions, but with a bad feeling that maybe the extension had been botched; that the whole exercise would be a failure; and I would end up paying for a lot of accountant hours with no benefit. The benefit had never been that clear to me anyway, but whatever.

 

Day 335, filing, SWBB

Saturday, 11/2/2019

We are approaching “Day 365” at speed. I’m mentally going over what I want to do or say at the one-year mark. I need to sum up, and maybe close this down, or decide how to continue it.

I took care of a little business this morning, paying for my next six months of car insurance and filing that receipt in the appropriate folder. Then I had a little panic session because something wasn’t where I remembered it.

Two days ago, I applied for an Apple Card. Just for fun, really; I already have three perfectly functional credit cards. The Chase Sapphire has the longest history, and Chase has been very good at fraud detection and alerts. The Hyatt card is another Chase one; I got it a decade ago when we were planning a trip to Europe and I found it was the only card (at the time) that did not charge a fee for currency conversions. I still use it primarily when traveling; I used it probably 15 times for small purchases on the recent Greek trip, and on the latest bill, there are all the transactions in Euros and converted to dollars.

The third card is a BofA card branded by Alaska Airlines. We got one each at Marian’s insistence, when we were traveling often on the west coast for SWBB away games. You get extra Alaska miles for purchases, and once a year, each card could be used to book a flight for two with the second traveler getting a flat $100 fare. After Marian died, I canceled her card but kept mine, for no very good reason. I hardly use it, although I have tended to use it for online purchases, because if it were picked up by scammers, I would not be discomfited at having to change its number and get a new card — as I have been when the Sapphire card had to be changed. So I’ve been using the Alaska card strictly for online purchase when I can’t use PayPal.

Anyway, I applied for and got an Apple Card. And then found out that I can’t pay my Apple Card bill the way I do all the others, using my SFCU bill-pay app. They just flat “don’t support bill-pay” — said the person who replied to my text query.

The only way to pay an Apple Card is to give them the routing and account number for your account (in my case, the SFCU checking account), and then they initiate an EFT  to debit my account for the amount I want to pay. That’s just the opposite of what I am used to, where my bank initiates the EFT when I tell it to, via bill-pay.

Two things wrong with this. First, payment has to be immediate. You open the Wallet app and initiate the payment on your phone screen. It uses a very smooth, colorful UI, but I have to do it manually, and the funds are transferred right then. With bill-pay, I get a bill, then I tell the bank when to do the paying, and then I can forget about it; the money will be sent on my chosen schedule a couple of days before it’s due. If I want to pay off the Apple card a couple of days before the due-date, I have to personally remember to initiate it on that date.

Second, I’m trusting Apple to keep my routing and account numbers secure, and to not reach into that account and debit itself any amount except what I tell it. I suppose that Apple (and their contracted agent, Goldman Sachs) are about as trustworthy as anyone, but still. When I learned that, I very nearly decided to cancel the thing. And still may. I will cancel one or the other, the Alaska card or the Apple one.

On the side of the Apple card: It is not associated with BofA, a company I trust only slightly more than I would Wells Fargo. Apple charges no fees for the pleasure of having the card. Apple doesn’t give “points” that you have to redeem in some complex way (I can’t tell you how many Alaska miles, or Hyatt points I have, or Chase ones, but I remember trying to figure out how to redeem such and being confused). It simply gives you 1% cash back. Finally the physical Apple Card, the stiff white piece of titanium that came in the mail yesterday, doesn’t show a number on its face. There is a standard 16-ditit number, but you have to go into the phone to see it; and they will change it for you anytime you ask them to.

So probably the Alaska card will go, next time I get a bill for it. But I still don’t like the Apple payment system.

OK, so there I was at my desk, paying this shit and filing that shit, and where shall I file the white titanium Apple card? I don’t expect to use the physical card much, just the iPhone app. Well, the same goes for the Alaska card, I don’t carry the card, I just use LastPass to fill its values into online purchase forms. Where do I keep it? Aha. I keep it, with some other things like my Palo Alto library card, in a 4×6 manila envelope, labeled in Marian’s neat printing, “LITTLE USED CARDS”. Where is that?

I was sure it was in my fireproof storage box, along with all other important but rarely viewed papers. But it wasn’t. I could see that envelope in imagination; I could remember handling it when going through the fireproof box last; but it wasn’t there. I looked other places, then I fretted for a while. And then, I had a vision of myself having put that into a pendaflex folder. Which one? I had already flipped through the pendaflex folders in the file drawer. But I went back and went through them one by one and… the very back-most folder was labeled “Card Info”. It was formerly (and still) for pieces of paper about card accounts. But when rationalizing the desk file drawer a few months ago, I had decided to move the envelope of seldom-used cards to that pendaflex.

Perfectly logical. Sensible, even. Panic over.

Finally it was 3pm and time to leave for the SWBB game. On Tuesday, I’d given a ride to Lennie and we casually said she would drive next time. I emailed her and she was riding with a friend, Carol, and I’d be welcome to ride along. So at 3:15 I went out the front door and there was Lennie, and minute later Carol rolled up and we were off to the game.

This was a game against the USA Basketball team, including Stanford alum Nneka Ogwumike along with other famous players, Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Sylvia Fowles and on and on. Players I’ve seen a number of times each over the years.

On the way to the game I said I expected Stanford to get beaten by a lot, the way Stanford beat Beijing Normal earlier in the week. But in fact they did extremely well. They took a lead in the first quarter and stayed ahead of the national team until late in the third quarter. They were down by only 6, mid-4th quarter. At the end they lost by 15, but that is a highly respectable result. One factor is that we have four very talented freshmen, and all played and did well. Tara’s strategy appeared to be frequent, rapid subbing. In part that gave everyone experience playing against top-notch competition (and can you imagine how excited the freshmen were, on the floor with women they’d seen on television since they were in grade school?). Every available player had at least 4 minutes; 8 of them had double-digit minutes. This was also meant, I’m sure, to deliberately tire out the older women by making them defend a steady stream of fresh 20-year-old legs. After all, Sue Bird is 39 and Diana Taurasi is 37.

 

 

Day 289, grief, flu shot, more

Tuesday, 9/17/2019

Last night I had a bit of grief flashback, which is lingering into the morning. It started when it came to mind how I’ve ghosted Katie. Backstory. Marian’s brother Emile had two sons, Paul and Mark. Mark is currently head of a radiology group at a Seattle hospital. Paul married Katie around 1998, and they opted to start a farm on San Juan Island, in Puget Sound. Marian and I visited them in 1999 while they were still camping out on the land — we helped construct a roof over the latrine in the woods! We visited the farm again and again over the years as they built a very nice house and developed a thriving organic produce farm. Marian loved the place and loved Paul and Katie, who returned the affection. She took great delight in helping them organize things, and in just doing routine household and garden work, and loved to interact with their son, Quinn.

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Marian spent many hours tidying the flower garden in front of the house.
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In 1999 Marian and Paul celebrate finishing the fencing around the property with this stile.

In 2015, Paul died of brain cancer, leaving Katie and Quinn to carry on. Quinn has since graduated high school and begun attending a small college in Southern California.

A year later, Katie was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers. We last visited in 2017, when Katie’s deficits were starting to show. Fortunately she and Paul had built up enough savings that Quinn is assured of money to finish school and, when the farm is eventually sold, Katie’s care will be secured for as long as she needs it.

Just after Marian’s death I got a very nice card from Katie, heartfelt but also showing  deficits in spelling and limited word choice that made clear that her alzheimer’s was advancing.

So the thought that intruded on me last night, not for the first time of course, was that “I really should communicate with Katie.” Or at least, check in with her friend Michelle who, last I knew, had shouldered the job of managing Katie’s affairs, hiring attendants to mind her and watching her finances. But when I really thought about doing that — I got a wave of emotion such as I haven’t had for months. And now while I write this. Marian loved that place and those people so much… I can’t ever go back there, I don’t want to think about it or them… but I feel a duty to make some kind of contact…

Well there were other things today. At 9am I went to the auditorium where a flu shot clinic had been set up, and got my flu shot. At 11am the Creative Writing group met. I’d been urged to participate. The exercise this was was to write something based on a list of words, which I did. Each of the eight attendees read out their creation. It was interesting to see how different people spun different paragraphs from the same words.

After that I spent an hour working on my YA novel. Then it was time to meet Scott for lunch, except he emailed to say that today President Trump was speaking just up the road from the Alpine Inn where we were to meet. He couldn’t exit 280 there, and I was stuck in stopped traffic on Alpine road. Via cell phone, after struggling with poor reception, we managed to redirect to another place.

In the afternoon I got an email saying that the new Schwab accounts were now set up, and when I log in to Schwab, I am now the proud owner of six (6) accounts. So I sat down and set up a new spreadsheet for tracking these. I had kept Marian’s spreadsheet updated for a few months (starting on Day 68, I see), but there would be such a massive change in the structure when the house closed, I stopped updating it. Now I’ll begin again, with initial values today and then when Schwab’s monthly statement intervals come around.

In the evening I watched the end of SYTYCD and a couple of other recorded items. The Ken Burns series on country music is piling up and I haven’t started it yet.

 

 

Day 285, paperwork, activities

Friday, 9/13/2019

Despite a forecast of high hot heat — and it did top 100 on my balcony later in the day, as reported by my totally accurate indoor/outdoor thermometer — I went for a run. I was out before 7:30 and back before 8:30 and it was very comfortable. Next I went to the Financial Advisors’ office to sign a bunch of papers. When we met on Monday we decided to put 1/3 of the house money with one of their favorite brokers, Kahn Bros., and 1/3 with another, Robotti. This requires opening two new Schwab accounts.

My IRA account has been managed by Kahn Bros. since forever, but you can’t just randomly add money to an IRA. So I have to create a new account to receive the money to be managed by Kahn. We had not had money managed by Robotti before, so that meant setting up yet another new account for them to run. Each of the brokers that my F.A.s use follows the Benjamin Graham “Value Investing” paradigm, but each has different methods and favors different parts of the market.

Anyway the Schwab paperwork to create an account takes at least four signatures and a couple of “initial here” items, and each brokerage has a disclosure agreement that takes a couple more. Then, the package needs to include proof that I’m the trustee of the family trust. The “Statement of Trust” document that the F.A.s had on file was out of date, superceded by the revisions following Marian’s death. So I went home and scanned the relevant pages of the current documents to PDF and emailed them. This was all managed and handled by the supremely competent and cheerful Cindy, who is the soul of that office.

Paperwork done, I put in an hour or so working on the novel. I’m in an easy part, basically doing a careful edit and slight modification of the parts I’ve already written. Removing one particular SF gizmo that I decided I didn’t like, while inserting a couple of clues that will be relevant to the ending I’ve outlined. And generally tidying up. I’m also reading Show Don’t Tell, one of the most practical and useful books on writing fiction I’ve read (and I’ve read a few). That motivates some of the edits I’m making.

About 2pm I started getting phone messages and emails from C.H. staff alerting us that the “chiller” that cools the ground and 3rd to 6th floors had broken down. We were advised to hydrate and if we felt any distress, to go to an upper floor lounge. Then there was a knock on the door, one of the nurses from the nursing wing was checking on each apartment on the floor to make sure we were OK. Actually I was quite comfortable. I had closed the drapes earlier and I don’t think the temperature got above 77 in my unit.

Today was the much-advertised Activity Fair, at which all the volunteer organizations have tables and try to get new members. I was interested in the A/V committee, who mainly provide people to run the sound (and video when necessary) in the auditorium. I’m supposed to get an email scheduling a training session.

I was accosted by the Chorus group who want me to come sing with them. Dubious, but I may try it. And I was hit on by Betty of the Writing group. They do a weekly thing where they send out a “prompt” — a sentence or something — and everyone writes something based on it, and they meet to read their creations. Hmmm. And by the editors of Scribble and Sketch, the in-house magazine, wanting contributions. Hmmm.

Because of the A/C breakdown, the Activity Fair in the Auditorium was managing attendance. They were monitoring the temp and if it got over 85, they’d have to cancel it. Meantime you had to wait at the door for someone to come out before going in, to keep the crowd small.

By 5pm the A/C was back online. At six I went down and didn’t like the look of the menu so I went out in the car to find supper. I was thinking of the restaurants at the Town and Country shopping center, but on the way I noticed Whole Foods, and said bleep that, I’ll just get a smoothie. And did.

 

Day 281, FOPAL, money

Monday, 9/9/2019

Went for a run first. Then to FOPAL where I found eight boxes of books for the computer section. It took just over two hours to do the culling and pricing. The monthly sale is this weekend so it was time to tidy up. I had an email asking section managers to do a pre-sale count. This makes good sense, to be able to report how many books sell from each section, but I’d not done it before.

After grabbing a bit of lunch at the grocery next door, I headed over to the financial advisors’ office. We worked out how much of the house money to keep as liquid reserve, and how to allocate the rest between the different brokers, and began the process of creating accounts and disbursing things.

Back home I spent some time on Lisp. I’ve finally gotten to the syntax for iteration and it is… well, the kindest thing is to say it is extremely general. To put it in my terms, a loop is encoded as

(do ( iterators ) ( test finals ) ( actions ) )

Doesn’t look so bad except that an iterator is a three-element list,

( var initial_value ( increment_expression ) )

and there may be more than one. test is a parenthesized expression which when it yields T (true) ends the loop, and finals is a series of parenthesized expressions to be executed at the end of the loop and determine the value of the loop. actions is the sequence of parenthesized expressions in the body of the loop. So, a simple loop to count 0..9, printing each one and returning NIL, comes to,

 (do ( (i 0 (+ i 1) ) )
     ( (> i 9) NIL)
     (format t "~A~%" i)
)

That’s the right number of parens, I just ran that and it runs.

 

Day 275, many small doings

Tuesday, 9/3/2019

First thing, went for a run. All normal. On return I tidied up then sat down to organize the info about the Tasso street sale. Made a little spreadsheet showing the gross sale price and all the things that could be charged against it, commissions, taxes, and all the various contractors who were employed in preparing it for sale. Bottom line, it appears the net proceeds are just a shade under the appraised value as of December 2018. So there probably won’t be any capital gains charged; maybe a bit of a capital loss.

I put an hour into Zooniverse. Then Craig called; the tech squad had a request for help and he wanted me to come along. The caller, Grace, coincidentally lives in the apartment next door to where I’ll be moving at the end of the week. While Craig figured out why her Comcast email wasn’t coming up automatically like it used to, she told me how that next-door apartment was recently fitted with a new toilet, one of the high-efficiency kind that flushes with a great swooshing. Since that bathroom (soon to be my bathroom) backs up to hers, she hears the toilet whenever it is used. Knowing that is going to cramp my style a bit. Whenever I get up in the night to pee, I’ll be maybe waking Grace up. Well, it isn’t essential to flush then. It can wait to the morning.

After that I pursued a couple of items that have been in the back of my mind. One is to get a proper comfy reclining chaise for the deck. Early on I brought back a wicker chair from Cost Plus but it really isn’t comfortable for lounging. Several years back Marian obtained two very comfortable metal chairs for our back yard. Both of us napped in them often. They had deteriorated a bit and I let them go in the sale. Now I wanted one back, but what were they called? I looked at the outdoor furniture on the Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel sites, but their idea of a “chaise” didn’t look right. Browsing Amazon and finally spotted what looked right. Turns out the key phrase is “zero gravity” chair.

A bit more searching; it appears they are stocked at good old Walmart. Well, not at the Walmart in Mountain View. So back to Amazon and just order one already. It’s only $50 and will be here Thursday.

The other items related to the upcoming trip to Greece. I figure to pack light and do my own laundry, which means, quick drying clothes. I have quick-dry casual pants on the way, but I have in my drawer just two quick-dry briefs. Plus, I’d like to have a USB charger with the Euro style plug, and/or a Euro style adapter into which I could plug a USB charger with US prongs. So I went off to the travel store at Stanford Shopping Center. Success there on a couple of pairs of quick-dry briefs, but they didn’t have the ideal adapter/charger combo that I was sure must exist.

So back to Amazon again and of course, there it was: plugs into a Euro wall socket, offers two US style outlets and two USB ports. So I can charge the phone and plug in the adapter for the Macbook, and also the charger for the camera battery, if I decide to carry my Nikon. All in one small cheap device.

There’s a theme here. Both cases, I knew what I wanted, and went looking for it at local merchants, and didn’t find it, so back to Amazon Prime.

At 6 I went downstairs to join Lily and her sister Helen who had invited me to join them for supper. Also invited, Tammy, who moved in the same day I did, and Michael, the newer new guy who moved in a week later. Also Lynn. Turns out, Michael lost his wife last July, and in December Lynn lost her husband and Tammy, her older brother. So we were the bereavement table, for a while.

 

Day 271, getting stuff done

Friday, 8/29/2019

Wednesday I had found various things niggling at my mind as needing doing so made a to-do list that got longer and longer, so after a run this morning I sat down to-do. First off was the laundry. While that was running I paid two credit card bills, filed some odds and ends on the desk.

Then wrote to Katherine the Insurance Person telling her that (a) my house is gone, you can close out my homeowner’s and earthquake insurance and please how much do I get back? and (b) if it makes a difference on my car insurance, please note that the car is now garaged in a secure gated garage every day; and (c) yes I want renter’s insurance but I don’t think I need coverage for $100,000 of property value as shown in your quote, maybe half that?

Then as I had half-promised, I wrote a nice five-star Yelp review for Chuck the realtor. He really deserved five stars, for all the back-and-forth and planning and phoning and texting that went into this sale. Which, I remind myself, he did while managing other clients at the same time.

Then I sent an Amazon gift card thank-you note to Deborah the Estate Sale lady, thanking her for being alert and encouraging the couple during the estate sale, who eventually became the new buyers.

Then went through my last eight months of credit card payments to try to get a handle on how much I spend. The point of that exercise was that I have an appointment with the Bob the Finance Guy on the 9th, where we will decide how to allocate the proceeds of the home sale. Bob and his partner Marshall have a recommended procedure where one keeps five years living expenses in a rotating set of liquid investments, apart from the rest of one’s capital. Well, to set that up we need to know what a year’s expenses are. Adding up the average of my credit card payments over the last 8 months, plus my Channing House rent, suggests that to maintain my present life-style I need… well, I don’t want to put the number here. But suffice it to say that by Federal poverty standards I am living very well as a family of four. So I sent an email to Bob telling him this info as prep. material for the upcoming appointment.

What else? Oh, I have it in mind to buy the painting that I saw on Day 154, Eight Pelicans. I had emailed the artist, Carol Aust, a few days ago and gotten tentative times to visit her studio. As she’s in Oakland I thought it would be fun to get Darlene and Jessea to go along with me. So I called Darlene, but they are going off for a few days. We decided the 20th would work. So I emailed Carol asking if we could come on that day. Later she replied that would be fine, so that’s booked.

By now the laundry was dry so I folded that and then it was lunch time.

After lunch and a quick nap I decided on two events I’d clipped out of the Thursday entertainment insert in the paper. One was Eric Clapton at the new Chase Center in SF. I checked the google map and it is a doable thing, it’s less than a mile walk or Lyft from the Caltrain depot. There are tickets but they cost just… If Eric was the pitcher, a nosebleed-level seat outfield of third base is $90. First balcony at the coach’s box angle, which I’d consider acceptable, is $325. Nope for now. I might reconsider the cheap seat. I mean, it’s rock and roll, so no problem hearing him; and surely he’d turn to his left once or twice so you could see his face through your binoculars…

Second was Momix in San Jose. I have good memories of seeing Momix at, I think, Memorial Auditorium at Stanford, probably 20 years ago. And this was quite reasonable, a good seat on a Monday night, $50. So I booked that one.

And now my monster to-do list was almost to-done.

I had seen an ad for Skechers shoes mentioning “wide fit”. I am having some trouble with a corn on my right foot and both my feet are odd-shaped so, how about it? So I drove to Valley Fair shopping center and bought a pair of Skechers. That took a couple of hours, round trip. About 6pm I went down to supper and decided I didn’t like anything on the menu. So I got back in the car and on a whim, drove to Palo Alto Pizza on California Ave and had a delicious small pizza and a beer. Brought home a couple of pieces for breakfast.

 

 

Day 269, docent disappointment, FOPAL, escrow closes

Wednesday, 8/28/2019

Went for a run in the morning. Initially told myself, “listen to your body”, bearing in mind I was not 100% yesterday. However when I got up, my temperature was 97.7, i.e. the Shingrex Fever is gone. Started easy and thought of cutting off one loop, but finally did the whole usual course and felt ok.

Around 10 I got a call from a lady at Chicago Title; she couldn’t figure out how to do a wire transfer to my Schwab account. I quickly gave her the number of Cindy, the knows-all does-all person at my financial advisor’s office. Shortly after I got copied on an email from Cindy, and soon after that, my Schwab account showed that my “personal value” (sum of all accounts) had increased by 112%. Not a bad gain for one day.

So I definitively am no longer a homeowner. That was one of the first firm decisions I made when, a bit more than a year ago, I started thinking about how I would order my life in the likely event that Marian did not survive. I formally started the process about seven months ago. Now it is finally achieved. I felt a brief flutter of uncertainty, almost a panic, realizing that now I have no other place than this one. The Tasso street house had not been my residence since I drove away from it June 15th. From the end of July, when the estate sale cleared everything out and emptied the place, returning was no longer even an unlikely fallback option. But now, it’s irrevocably gone.

The feeling didn’t last. Thinking about it several hours later, I don’t feel panic or uncertainty; just a bit of the familiar grief at having shed another piece of the old life.

I was scheduled to lead a tour at 11:30, a private tour of 30 Apple employees. Looking forward to talking to techies. And I had been told that semi-famous Apple guy Bud Tribble would be in the group. So I went to the Museum and waited, and waited, and they didn’t show. The desk guy called the contact number; someone answered and said, “I’ll check and call you back,” and didn’t call back. Huh. I left at 12.

I had not intended to go to FOPAL today, thinking a full tour would be enough exertion, but since there was no tour, I went back to CH, changed out of my red docent shirt and went to FOPAL. There I put up new shelf labels in the Computer section that I had made last weekend, using a bigger font so they are easier to read. Went through three boxes of books and kept almost half of them. Then did sorting for three hours. My steps for the day: 12,061, 5.4mi.

After supper there was a jazz concert in the auditorium, a local group, the leader and I think the pianist both friends of C.H. residents. They were ok but I didn’t stay for the whole show.

 

Day 204, planning, bridge, FOPAL

Monday, 6/24/2019

My second Monday here. Last night coming out of the dining room I nabbed a roll and a banana, and that’s what I had for breakfast this morning. Eating in the room, before dressing and going out, is much more satisfactory for me. Take in a little fuel and go.

Go I did, leaving at 7:30 for a run, the third time I’ve run this new route. The phone app doesn’t give consistent results for the distance, but it’s about right, around 40+ minutes of (pathetically slow) jogging plus a few minutes to walk the last few blocks. Being so early I didn’t stop at a coffee shop. The earliness was to be ready for the Monday bridge game beginning at 10:15.

Before I went out to run I discovered that the button on my usual shorts was loose and almost off. So on return I got out the small sewing kit I’d brought from Tasso and sewed it back on. Also after returning I finalized the estate docs for the tax people, and printed out the various maps and forms needed when I go to help with registration, tomorrow morning on campus, for Tara Vanderveer’s summer girls’ basketball camp. They want us there outside Maples pavilion at 7:45, which I calculate means I have to be out the door by 7:15.

I only had to play the first session of the bridge game this time, because I have an appointment to meet with Angela to review the completion of my apartment. I have a few QC things to bring to her attention, but mainly I want to get straight how to have a piece of furniture (the planned bookcase) delivered.

That interview was pleasant. She agreed to have fixed a couple of minor sloppy construction items and we talked about the move-out in September, and what work would be done during the renovation. To have furniture delivered, contact her.

That done, I felt the pull of my section of books at FOPAL and went there, arriving about 3:30, and staying three full hours. There was a wall of 18 boxes in front of the section. I culled them and sent 16 boxes to the bargain room, and priced and shelved about 50 books in all.

Back home just in time for the final minutes of dinner service. And then to spend a relaxing evening in the glow of much accomplishment.

 

Day 187, anxiety, paperwork

Friday, 6/7/2019

Starting last evening I began having mild anxiety, similar to the first couple of weeks. I guess the reality of the house being sold coming home? In reality, everything is on the planned track: the last bits of furniture arrive today and Monday … I have a modest list of things I need to do before a week from today to be ready for the move … everything is fine. Just fine. Tell that to my brain at 4am.

After a run, which felt fine (and the air was cool again), I settled in to assembling all the papers that the tax accountant wants to do that estate form, in summary,

  • Copy of death certificate (of course)
  • Copy of Marian’s will
  • Copy of family trust
  • Dec. 31st statement for bank account and each of six (6) Schwab accounts
  • Debts (of which we had only the December credit card statements)
  • IRS form 712 documenting the life insurance payment
  • Appraisal for home (I could use the price that has been accepted by buyer as the value, but I think I’ll wait until the appraisal “as of” December comes in)

and a few other odds and ends. That took a couple of hours and still isn’t done. It turns out that IRS form 712 has to be filled out by, not the beneficiary of the life insurance, but by an agent for the insurance company! Fortunately I still had documentation showing that this IBM group life policy was paid out by The Prudential, and the claim number. After an email to Katie the Tax, who recommended calling Prudential, I did that, and the customer service rep — after I got to her through a many-layered phone menu — quickly arranged for the form to be made and sent to me.

Part-way through this the IKEA delivery arrived. I must say IKEA’s contractor handled this very well, with two voice-mails the day before giving the delivery window of 11-2, and then calling half an hour before to say the truck was “5 to 30 minutes away”. Two long skinny flat packs for the bed frame, another pack of folded up wooden slats, another pack of two metal braces, and the mattress rolled up like a giant 5-foot long burrito.

I drove over to CH to check on the apartment. Although I couldn’t get in, I could hear power tools being used inside. I’ve been corresponding with Angela about the sink, and she has reminded me I committed to buying my own cabinet pulls. I need to do that tomorrow. Stopped at the bank to deposit a check, a small refund for overpaid car insurance. Then flaked out for the afternoon.