Spring Break 2019 Day 2: Old Friends

As usual, I start Sunday morning missing church. I mean this in many ways. I miss the service as in not actually attending. I also miss the service and the people who are the church to me. It makes me sad. I listened to the hymn that best describes my feelings (I always cry now when I hear this song): Lift Every Voice and Sing.

I did not oversleep, but I could have. I was starting my morning at 8:30. I read past 1 am as I cannot put down a new book: Raven Tower by Ann Leckie. I use my Kindle to read, and I am happy with electronic books. I am trying to give up paper books. But I must admit that two more “dented and returned” books from Subterranean Press arrived today. Subterranean Press is a book publisher in Michigan that produces special editions of SciFi and Horror. I own quite a few special versions signed by the author from Subterranean Press. They had a sale, so just a few more should be OK…

Today Susie is too tired to get going to attend church. I will always take her to the Methodist church in Beaverton if she wants. Instead, I watch an old SciFi show, Babylon 5, with a story about “Earth First” and racism against space-based aliens and how humans need to fight to stop losing their place in the universe–1994 and yet so current. I am slowly re-watching this old show.

I spend some time with my newest hardware. I purchased a 1T drive that resists damage and water (a good thing in Oregon!)–these cost about $140 with shipping. It takes me a few hours to work out how to make it safe. I had to erase it three times! Finally, I read on a post–there is always someone else that had the same problem and recorded the answer nowadays (social media does work for computer folks!)–that I had not displayed “all devices” on my Apple Disk Utility. Once I did this everything was clear. The new drive is now encrypted and thus safe if lost.  I did store the password in my keychain on my Apple just in case I forget.

I need a 1T drive. I am beginning an exploration of using Artifical Intelligence (Machine Learning) to understand images. I did not want to fill-up my Apple computer with all the images, so I got a reasonably fast and likely long-lasting drive to hold all the data. I loaded up a dataset of famous art paintings and images, already 5G of data. I will try to write something to tell a Jackson Pollock from a Rembrandt. That will be after the gaming convention this week. Time to learn new skills!


I then headed out to lunch. I did not know where I wanted to go, but something new was on my mind. The Orenco Station Grill was a place I had not been to in years. I went to the bar as I had a Call of Cthulhu adventure to edit that I am running at Gamestorm 21. I sat down, and I found Kesli behind the bar. She and I both talked about how we learned about the demise of Chevy’s (see Chevy’s bankruptcy ). Kelsi came into work, and there was no more work. I had gone to Chevy’s, and a sign said they were closed. Kesli now works at Orenco Station Grill and let me take this photo of her for my blog (I also tweeted it so she could snag it if she wants it).


It was really nice to see her back to work. I had been going to the same Chevy’s since I moved here in 1996. We were both sorry to see Chevy’s go.

While I was eating and editing, my phone rang. It was one of the members of my former Methodist church, Rev. Orville Nilsen. They had missed us at church. I explained that I had resigned after the vote in the Methodist General Conference to continue to ban gay marriage and gay preachers and to even tighten the ban. I reassured him that Susie was doing well and that I was doing better despite newly diagnosed diabetes.

Aside: I happened to be home and watched the vote. I took a picture of the tally as the final vote was taken. I sent in my resignation by email within an hour of the vote.

methodist vote

That is right 438 Methodist officials voted to take my domination from me and transform it into a force of repression. Tough words–that is what I believe happened.

Well, that is not what I said on the phone, as you can imagine. Instead, I told Orville that yes we missed them and that I am also going to cook pancakes for Easter and help on Good Friday like every year. I am not a Methodist anymore, but I still believe, and I miss my church. He was glad to know we would be back for Easter.

I spent another hour with Kesli editing. I finished the first half of my work. I promised to return to Orenco for brunch again. It was so good to know that she was OK and that many people found a job after the debacle that closed Chevy’s.

I returned home and finished the laundry and cleaned the kitchen. I also cleaned up houseplants I have killed. Yes, quite dead. Seems watering once a year is not a plan for success for houseplants. I have killed cactus before. My mother, who I call most days, told me she has the same issue. I may get more plants. I will have to see if a terrarium might work, they do not need to be watered much.

Almost forgot, I am returning to playing chess. Today I unwrapped my silicone chess set from the US Chess Federation. I got the pieces in flexible silicone–a new standard, a regulation North American clock, folding board, and carrying case. I hope to try out a chess club in the summer. So cool. Does not matter if you drop them.


I made baked ziti with meatballs for dinner and baked and frosted a cake. I tried a tiny piece to check it. This was a new organic cake mix with matching organic chocolate frosting and the little bit from the corner was a bit dry. I was hoping the rest was better. Alas, I set it down on the corner of the counter, and the cake got bumped. Instead of landing pan first the cake flipped and fell frosting side down. The cake was still warm. The tiny piece I had was the only piece every consumed. It was quite a mess. I cleaned the floor.

I then applied my editing to my copy of the adventure until midnight. Finally, going to bed–still smelling chocolate. The cake seems to be haunting me. I might have to make cupcakes, yellow cake this time.


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