1.028 Fopal, beer

Monday, 12/30/2019

Went for a run in the morning. My body wasn’t feeling quite top-hole, and I walked a couple of blocks in the middle that I normally run.

IMG_4500Then to FOPAL where I found fourteen boxes of books waiting. Sorters been busy over the holidays. So I spent a couple of hours culling them and pricing the best, and ended up shelving maybe 40 books, sending 9 boxes to the bargain room.

And a couple of hours of sorting after, brought me to 1pm and I clocked out.

Now I was determined to find my favorite beer, Rogue Brewing’s Dead Guy Ale. A couple months ago I used their “beer finder” web page to find a six-pack at my local Target store, of all unlikely places. But I checked twice lately and Target seems to have forgotten about Rogue entirely.

Now the beer finder pointed me to Total Wines and More on Rengstorff. That turned out to be a large and well-stocked wine place, reminding me of the old Beltramo’s in Menlo Park. And with some hunting (there were four aisles of craft beers!) I found my Dead Guy and brought some home.

Late in the afternoon I added a couple hundred words to the novel.

1.014 FOPAL, tech call

It turned out in hindsight that the Cardinal did something special beating Ohio State last night. A week earlier, Ohio State had won over the #2 ranked team, Louisville, behind a breakout performance by a highly touted freshman player. In last night’s game, said phenom had zero (0) points. So Stanford (i.e. Tara) had prepared a perfect game plan for this threat and the team executed it, and easily won over a team that had beaten #2. So maybe we deserve our current #1 ranking in the polls.

Monday, 12/16/2019

Went for a run in 50ยบ weather and felt good. That was a pleasure because last week I hadn’t felt all that great, just a bit off, but now all was fine.

Drove to FOPAL for the post-sale cleanup. Counted my section, 406 books before, 330 after, so 76 sold. Purged about 4 boxes of books that had been sitting around for 3 sales or more. Only one box of new donations waiting, shelved three books. Did sorting for two hours.

Back at CH I took on a tech squad call. Judy, like a lot of people around here, gets her email “@yahoo.com”, but actually reads the mail in the Mail app on her iMac. For some reason recently, Mail could no longer pull mail from Yahoo, and Judy was cut off. Mail (which I don’t use) apparently calls on the “Internet Accounts” panel of the Settings app. I’d never paid any attention to that panel, either. Anyway, what Judy sees is, the Settings app popped up in front of the Mail app, asking for her Yahoo password, which she had, it seems, forgotten. Peter worked on this the day before and got nowhere. Craig asked me to look at it, suggesting that I try to work through Yahoo instead of Mail.

That was a good suggestion. As soon as I went to yahoo.com in her Safari browser and clicked Log In, Safari happily offered to fill in her user id, and then offered to fill in the password for that user. Perfect. So we still didn’t know the password, but we were logged in. Go to “account management” and change the password to a new one. Fortunately Yahoo, unlike some sites, did not ask for the old password when taking a new one! With a new password set and tested, I could go back to Settings and put it into Internet Accounts. When I restarted Mail it immediately pulled in several days of mail. Yay!

Ate dinner at a table with one of the several other Davids in this place, and Colin and two guys whose names I should know but don’t.



1.009 haircut, FOPAL

Wednesday, 12/11/2019

I had a haircut appointment for 9:30, so wanted an early run. Just to keep it short, I ran on the treadmill in the basement. 32 minutes of running there feels like more exertion than actually running on the street. I’m not sure why.

Actually could have had time for breakfast in the dining room, but instead had a Sated RTD on the way to Chris’s place.

From my haircut to FOPAL where I got the Computer section ready for the upcoming sale weekend. That includes counting the books on the shelves and generally arranging things for a pleasing layout.

I walked over to the grocery store for snacks and took a break in the car; then went back in for two hours of sorting.

A few days ago I think I mentioned that my anti-acid-reflux med, Ranitidine, had mysteriously disappeared from drugstores and online. This morning I messaged Dr. Julia about this, and she replied that Ranitidine had been recalled because of possible contamination with a cancer cause — but unlikely and don’t be concerned. Meantime, use Famotidine 20mg. So I need to get some of that.

Before supper I gave my wrap-up essay a final editing pass. I would like to get it read by Susan, who I know is a good editor, but I am a little afraid to do so. It’s pretty raw and open about emotions and it might be uncomfortable to expose myself this way to somebody here. On the other hand, why not? Well, think about it.

After supper (where I sat at an empty table and was quickly joined by Craig and Diane, which was nice) it was time for the Channing House Chorus to perform. I had bowed out of the Chorus back on day 326 (or 0.326 as it would be, by the new numbering scheme). Since then they’ve done a lot of work and did a pretty good performance. Most successful was a number in which two spirituals, Amen and Go Tell It were woven together; they actually swung it. There was drinks and cookies after, so very nice.


1.007 FOPAL, writing

Monday, 12/9/2019

I started the day with a run, out the door at 7:20, a bit earlier than usual, so that I could be back and showered and dressed in time for the monthly Residents’ meeting. Nothing too exciting there.

Immediately after I went to FOPAL to manage my Computer section, and found only one box of books waiting by it. However the yield from the one box was unusually good; I priced and shelved about 8 books, and found two high-value ones. Then I did sorting until 1pm.

Back home I had a nap, then spent another hour working on my year-end summary essay. Hopefully can finish that tomorrow.

About 4:30 Patty called, asking me to join a dinner party, which I was happy to do. Patty and Mildred and Craig and Diane and one other person whose name I didn’t get in the first place, so don’t have to confess to forgetting it.


1.004 FOPAL, tech squad, SWVB

Friday, 12/6/2019

Today I wanted to put in some time at FOPAL, since I was unable to go on Wednesday. I pictured many boxes of computer books piling up. However, I began the day with an indoor run, 32 minutes on the treadmill. Last time I did an actual run, I timed the main “legs” of my route, and it came out to (roughly) 16 minutes, 8, and 8. The two breaks are bridges where I slow down and walk for a short distance over the bridge. So that’s what I did on the treadmill, and on the Health app it came to very similar step counts to a real run.

Then to FOPAL where I found… only two boxes of computer books. And mostly dreck; I ended up shelving only 5 books. Then I started sorting, and was shortly joined by two new volunteers, a couple, Andrew and … damn, can’t remember her name, starts with a C and isn’t Clarice or Cordelia… This was another instance where completely new volunteers showed up at 10am when, had I not been there unscheduled, nobody would have been able to welcome them and show them the ropes. Well, it worked out.

Approaching 12, I left, picking up a few grocery items and then back to CH for lunch. At 1 I. was to meet Craig to install a printer on the 10th floor. This is an upgraded floor, and hence all wi-fi work goes through the ClearPass system (which I wrote about way back in June, Day 183). Craig had already gotten the Epson printer to report its MAC address, and input that to ClearPass as being part of the subnet for that apartment. Now we got the printer to join the wi-fi net. Next up, grab Barbara’s MacBook and tell it to forget its old default printer and look for a new one. At first, the printer didn’t show up, but then we checked and the Mac was logged into the building wi-fi, not the proper ClearPass one. As soon as we logged in to that network, the printer popped up instantly in the add printer dialog.

In a glow of accomplishment I left to take a nap. At 4pm I went via Lyft to Maples Pavilion. Mark and Susan, friends from SGI days and from Canopy, had invited me to join them for the NCAA first round of women’s volleyball. The first game, Georgia vs. Cal Poly, was close. Georgia won the first two sets. Then Cal Poly rallied to win two sets. In the fifth set, Cal Poly took a quick lead and won the match.

The second match, Stanford vs Denver (who?), went to Stanford in three sets. Tomorrow I will return to see Stanford/Cal Poly.


Day 364, men’s group, FOPAL

Monday, 12/2/2019

Started the day with a run. Felt fine. At 10am the Channing House Men’s Group had a meeting, to welcome and introduce a new resident, David Thornton. That makes a total of five Daves in the house, me, Dave Torin, David Morrison, David Golden, and this guy. Who has the mild manner of a minister, which he was for a few years out of Yale Divinity School. Then for three decades he had various positions with the YMCA, including the last 15 years as CEO of the Santa Clara Valley group of Y’s.

From there I went to FOPAL where there was only a couple of boxes of computer books and, even more astonishing, a vast reduction in the mountain of boxes waiting to be sorted. Somebody (notably I believe, Frank McConnel) has been doing a heroic amount of sorting. I took it on myself to pull out and sort all remaining non-standard boxes, i.e. moving boxes and shopping bags and such, leaving only firmly-packed (hence stackable) banker’s boxes. Those, I stacked neatly in 3, 5-high stacks, or 15 boxes. I estimate there is room now for about 45 boxes which would bring the mountain back to where it was a month ago. Then I got out the house vacuum and vacuumed the carpet. The whole sorting room looked neater than I have ever seen it in a year.

Coming in, I bumped into Chris of the facilities group in the hallway and asked him to take a look at the radiator in the bedroom of my temp unit, which doesn’t produce any heat. Later that evening Luis came by and worked on it, replacing the thermostat for that room. The thermostats in these un-upgraded units are interesting antiques. There is an air compressor in the basement, and an air feed to the thermostat. The thermostat unit itself has several cams and levers that operate a small valve that controls the amount of air being sent through the wall to the valve on the radiator. The radiator valve controls the hot water flow based on air pressure from the thermostat. Real antiques. I can see why the floor by floor upgrade includes a complete replacement of the HVAC system.


Day 361, Docent, SWBB, rug

Friday, 11/29/2019

Went for a run in the morning. The outside temp was 45F (the two thermometers were only a degree apart, 44 vs. 45) so I wore a knitted watch cap as well as a sweatshirt (my classic SGI employee freebie sweatshirt from about 1997) and it was fine.

I spent a couple of hours then continuing the review of blog posts for this year. At 11, I drove to the museum and led the noon tour. I had expected that on a holiday weekend Friday, there would be a lot of people, but in fact I had a group of only about 12 to start. But a bunch more joined on the way, so at one point it was a crowed of 30 or more, which thinned out at the end to 20 again. One older lady told me afterward “You were great!” Awww.

Before leaving I had checked my personal schedule and tomorrow is basically open, except for maybe listening to a SWBB game from their tournament in Victoria, BC. I also checked the volunteer schedule to make sure today’s shot was the noon tour, and noticed that only Steve is signed up for noon Saturday. Which, again, will probably be heavy. So I signed up for that as well. I’ll go down there, if there isn’t a big crowd, I’ll come home.

In Channing House news, the third elevator is again on the blink. One supposes they are having trouble getting service on the holiday weekend? Anyway, there’s only one elevator in the central bank, although we are allowed to use the freight elevators at either end of the building. I’ve been taking the stairs always when going down from 4, and tonight after supper I climbed up as well.

I listened to the SWBB game (as I did last night after coming home). Last night they had a hard time just edging out a win from California Baptist (who?), who shouldn’t have caused such a problem. Tonight they played Syracuse, a matchup of The Orange against The Cardinal (and I love “autumn” colors), and won much more easily. Wins do come more easy when a freshman, Hannah Jump, goes unconscious and hits eight threes in the game. It turns out she is not the first to do that, and in fact Bonny Samuelson once hit nine in a game. During the postgame interview it emerged that the Samuelson sisters, Bonnie and Carlie, had been special idols for Hannah when she was growing up. Awwww.

3137947_image_1010I talked about rug shopping Day 355. Yesterday at Denise’s, I admired their area rug and Denise said, oh yeah, we got that on Amazon. Huh. So today I did some rug shopping on Amazon and… I would say things look bad for local rug shops. There are just a ton of nice looking area rugs at very reasonable prices on Amazon. With free shipping for Prime. I noted several that would do me nicely, would give just the needed patch of color on my new dark gray-brown floor. So I noted URLs to those, to be revisited in January after I move back to my proper unit. And now I can stop shopping and thinking about rugs. Nice!

Day 359, rain, FOPAL, groceries

Wednesday, 11/27/2019

The first rain of the year arrived yesterday afternoon, first as a drizzle, then a quite heavy shower around 8pm, and another very heavy shower about 4am that woke me up.

At 7am I looked at the weather radar online and debated with myself whether a gap between two bands of green pixels meant it would be dry long enough for me to run. Then I leaned out from the balcony looking at the hills to the west and realized, “that’s a rain shower right there,” and decided no, I would get rained on. But what to do for exercise? I could wait around for the 9:15 strength and balance class, but (a) I like to get exercise out of the way earlier than that, and (b) there’s no aerobic component to it. So for the first time I went down to the gym in the basement and ran on one of the Channing House treadmills. Which are quite new, state of the art ones. I ran for approximately the same duration and speed as I would run on the street.

About 11am I went to FOPAL. Lyft had given me 25% off my next ten rides, so I used Lyft there and back again around 4:30. Both times I elected to use the “shared” option. On the way down, as typical, I had the car to myself, but on the way back at 4:30, the car stopped at two locations to pick up other people.

On Monday or Tuesday, somebody had delivered a very large donation of computer books. The donor appears to have been a practicing developer from 2000 to 2005, using, or at least interested in, the whole Microsoft world of .NET, Visual C#, Access, SQL Server, and more. Box after box of books, many the style I call “tombstones”, big heavy 1000-page paperbacks, mostly in mint or near-mint condition. Only a few showed signs of heavy use, post-its and dog-eared corners.

Sadly they were not really saleable. The most recent was from 2007, that’s twelve years ago, which is a glacial age in software time. I checked the version numbers of the software they documented and none were within even 2 or 3 levels of the current version. So the books can’t be used with the current software; and someone who for some crazy reason has to work with version 1.0 of the .NET framework, surely has any manuals they need. I ended up sending fifteen (15!) boxes to the bargain room. I priced and shelved maybe twenty books from the whole donation.

On return to CH I found a second elevator out. One of our three elevators stopped working on Friday, I think it was, and the latest word from management is that a part needs to be fabricated for it and it will be out 1-2 weeks more. Now today, a second one is “temporarily out of service”. I think I will be using the stairs. Fortunately I am currently on the 4th floor, so going down to meals is easy and coming back isn’t too bad. Leave the one elevator to people on 7 to 10.

In fact I decided to eat a simple PBJ supper in my room and went to bed early.


Day 357, mostly FOPAL, some blogging

Monday, 11/25/2019

Started with a run, which felt good. Then to FOPAL where I had just culled the computer books and was about to sit down at the computer to price 50 or so of them, when there was a rap at the door.

It was a high-school age young woman who introduced herself as Kai and said she was a volunteer and had been told she’d be sorting. As she was saying this, another young woman walked up. I forget her name, but it developed they were both doing High School public service hours. At noon when they knocked off, the second one had me sign a sheet where she was recording her volunteer hours. Over the past couple of weeks she’d done hours at, it looked like, 10 or more different service organizations. Awesome!

They hadn’t done sorting before. Somebody told them to show up at 10am to do that — why? There is not normally any sort of senior person or other sorter there at 10am on a Monday. Well, no problem; I gave them a quick training session in sorting and they dove right in energetically. Smart, hard-working girls, they did a lot of sorting in two hours.

I finished up my pricing, then did sorting along with the girls and continued after they left until the 2pm sorters showed up. I was pretty tired by then. Hey, I’ve got 11,300 steps, 4.3 miles on my phone today. A bit more than half would be my morning run. So I walked about 1.5-2.0 miles back and forth around the FOPAL book rooms — a lot of those steps I was carrying boxes of books. No wonder my back was a little sore and I felt tired. Had a good nap, did an hour on Zooniverse, then sat down to blog.

Before supper I spent an hour going through the first month of this blog. My main goal was to add “tags” to each post, so I can pull categories like Grief, Transition, Movies etc. But it also meant reading the posts. My life has certainly changed in these twelve months. From living in my house on Tasso, just beginning the downsizing project and not sure of where to live, to being settled at Channing House and pretty much everything stabilized and comfortable. I intend to write a longish essay summarizing the experience of this year of transition. It probably won’t be ready on Day 366, the start of the second year, but soon.



Day 351, London, Bridge (not falling down)

Monday, 11/18/2019

Went for a run. Didn’t feel great, and I walked the last quarter mile of what I normally run. Home, showered, dressed, I sat down to do a bit more London booking. I booked a ticket to visit the Cutty Sark and the Royal Naval Museum in Grennich (as it is pronounced) on a Sunday morning. I also verified which Heathrow terminal Virgin comes into, T-3, which is on the central rail/tube hub, so it will be easy to take the Heathrow Connect train to Paddington.

Located my hotel with respect to its nearest tube stations, one of which, about 10 minutes’ walk, is: ta-daa! Paddington. From the hotel it’s a five-minute (or less) walk to Lancaster Gate station on the Central Line; ten minutes to Paddington puts me at the junction of four other lines. So assuming the weather isn’t super horrible (wait, this is February I’m talking about, of course it will be horrible) I can get about anywhere in London with a few minutes walking.

Next up was Duplicate Bridge; I’d let Craig talk me into playing in his third-Monday tournament. This is as I may have noted the prior times I did it, a whole goddam lot of bridge, 22 “boards”, i..e. hands, which take from 10:30 to 3pm (with an hour out for lunch). Had supposed I would go to FOPAL after, but nunh-unh, I was wiped.