Day 185: Wednesday Clearing

We did have some clearing today and saw the sun. This evening we are back to dark skies and the sun and moon swallowed by the monster that is forest fire smoke again. We have hope for the clearing of all smoke on Sunday, but the weather gal, Natasha, on KATU 2 warned that they had no real working models and predictions are unreliable. Pacific Northwest (PNW) forecasters know better than to promise us any exacting prediction. The valleys, mountains, gorges, deserts, and hills make microclimates that are difficult to time. For example, the forecaster knows it will rain, but just when it hits a microclimate and how much it will rain is impossible to predict.

I overslept this morning; I turned on the wrong alarm that did dutifully go off at 7AM. Susie was not impressed with my alarms this morning! I managed to get to my computer just before 7AM to be invited to a meeting at 7! So I was in a Zoom call not dressed, no video, and working out some issues with my first cup of coffee just tasted!

I had a few more items and then rushed at 8ish to get cleaned up and dressed.

I found I had to rush for bio-brakes and endless meetings. I watched all my open spots fill until I had only five-minute breaks until 2PM! Luckily, some of the meetings were status meetings so I can do other work while I just listening and also some meetings thankfully ended early. I was also double-booked, and when one ended early or ran over–I had both issues today–I then rushed over to the other meeting. I would often find that the other meeting was over. I would later get an email of what I missed; I try to send an email when I am overbooked, which helps me stay connected and sets expectations.

I was booked with an American SAP User Group (ASUG) call for lunch. My friends in Denver and Ohio are running an Enterprise Architecture user group, and I wanted to be supportive and to listen in. I got a meeting to end early, so I ordered lunch from Victorico’s Mexican Food, two tamales–beef–delivered. It came on time and was good, and I ate it while I listened to the presentation.

More status reports and then a short break, I went and rested and read for a bit–I was fatigued. The air, while better, was bothering me more today and making me tired. This is to be expected as extended exposure is the real threat. I have been living in this now for days. I have stayed in and have N95 masks, but it all accumulates. My throat is a bit sore, swallowing a bit harder, breathing a bit harder, and allergies are out-of-control. So I am tired.

I slip out for a few minutes this afternoon, taking air Volvo out for a drive. Susie’s sister Barb’s birthday is today. I sent her, now belated, gift. The FedEx shipping had a sign that only three people were allowed in the store. I saw more than that and waited outside. I had an N95 mask. I waited and then went in when I was the third person. I sent the gift on with all the usual steps now, all done socially distant and with plastic shields. When I was done, the store was full twice over the limit. I left trying to be socially distant, but at least everyone had a mask.

I then picked up one of Susie’s meds at RiteAid. Outside of the pharmacy was an African-American man without a good mask with a sign asking for help, saying he is starving. The air is improved to “unhealthy” today. There were some bags next to him from people who bought him some food. I got Susie’s meds and a $20 gift card for RiteAid and handed the card to the man and told him he could get whatever needed with it inside. He was a bit overwhelmed and thanked me. I just wanted him to be well and get a good mask, but he knows better what he needs. I told him it was not my business what he needs but that he was welcome. I also gave him the receipt for the card. I told him to show the receipt if anything went wrong. I had told the clerk in the store what I was doing, so there should be no problems.

I hope the African-American man is safe tonight. Pray for the homeless and the poor in our bad air!

I got the car washed as it was gray with ash. I did not want the newly detailed car to get dull from the ash. It is back to its super shiny look.

Back home and more Zoom and email and text and crisis of the moment.

The freezer is full of food. I grabbed the New York strip steaks and defrosted them in water. I then marinated them, still a bit frozen, with teriyaki sauce to add more flavor. I cut the steaks diagonally in half for some drama and browned the strips on the stovetop in a frypan.

I started baked potatoes in foil during my last status meeting in the oven. Ninety minutes later, they were perfectly cooked at 350F. I then pulled them and put butter and salt and closed them up, and placed them by the vent for the oven.

I defrosted some green beans. I heated almonds slivers and salt in butter in a saucepan. I then put the range on Broil after setting a rack high and put the frypan with the steaks to broil–the teriyaki sauce will blacken in the broiler as if I had grilled the steaks in flames. I finished the beans but putting them in the hot butter and almonds. I failed to pull-out the steaks fast enough, and they were well done–next time I will watch them and pull them early! I sliced the New York Strips thin, and that fixed that. Sour cream finished the potatoes. So steak, potatoes, and beans–an American dinner.

More than eleven-hundred people are reported to have died today in the USA from the virus.

My father’s birthday is coming up, and I decided to pick a song he quoted when we last spoke. It is not a hymn, but it fits the bill for today, I think Good Times.



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