I am starting today with a short reflection on 279 blogs.
This is the 280th day of writing this, and, except for the night that Susie had the stroke, I have written a blog every day. That is 279 blogs. I try to write about what I want to remember about the day. Often it is the food we ate and some of the things we did to make it through another day of lockdown. Unlike some of the USA, we here in Oregon locked down early and with harsh restrictions. We did an unlock, and for a short time, I change the count to restart. I went back to the original counting after we all discovered that we were going back to lockdown.
Also, I remember when the death count was low, when the measures we were taking seemed to work. I published an image of the low numbers chart within that day’s blog, thinking we could keep the pandemic under control with masks and people’s goodwill. I am deeply troubled that the second wave and an intensification happened.
From the first day of writing back in early 2020, I finish the daily blog with the death counts, and a hymn or other music that I think can fit the day and lockdown mood. I wanted the counts to witness the losses people are taking. The music selection seemed a good way to end that day’s story.
Sometimes I write the story of the day from the morning or start at the end and retell the story backward—anything to keep it interesting to the reader, and quite frankly, interesting to the writer.
I am using Grammarly to remove the more damaging mistakes. I usually miss a word or switch a word for another. One of the worst mistakes was using the word reefs for wreaths. Grammarly will find those kinds of mistakes now. It is much improved over this year.
WordPress is the tool I use to write the blog. It moved to a Java-based editor and save process that has failed multiple times for me. The production support team at WordPress has me instead using the classic editor.
Often I find it is 9PM and I must write now. It seems like a challenge to write a single sentence some nights. I keep going as I want a record of what happened and how we lived through this together. On weekends I can start when I want as there is no 6ish start in the morning. It ain’t easy to do this every day.
Turning to today…
Today is the weekend before Christmas. I am already exchanging some gifts. I have had some homemade boozy fruitcake from Dondrea, picked up a board game for a family, and sent it off with them. In a pandemic, board games cannot be played together. Someday!
Susie was on a movie kick today and watched three Christmas movies back to back. I made quiche for lunch, we had a tranquil day. I played chess against the chess computer, and it won. It is The Millennium Lasker 150th Birthday Edition, and I call it “Lasker,” it drove my King into the center of the board and swarmed it with pawns and checkmate hit before I saw it. Crushed.
It is even stranger when I remembered that I wrote a chess-playing python program, and one of the main designs of my code is to keep the King out of the center. A German guy wrote the chess handling routines; I just included them in my code–cool! I wrote my own Artificial Intelligence part, a very weak one, to play. It is terribly stupid, but it does play proper chess and often avoids some basic pitfalls. I plan to get back to and improve it. But, it would have not have moved the King to the center even now!
Evan stopped by, and we played a few games while Susie watched movies. Evan and I started with the board game Vindication and played a basic game. I am always surprised by how much I like the game and how it can still be challenged. I managed to win just by one card value in points. I started with a strength focus and so went for the monster-slaying scoring. One monster score gave me the win.
Evan and I decided to play a new game. Wingspan board game is one of the best new games. We played a few rounds, Evan had never played Wingspan before, and we restarted again after Evan understood the game better. The game theme is setting up a bird sanctuary, attracting birds, and managing the sanctuary. You play mostly against yourself, and whoever is the most efficient and maybe a bit lucky on the birds they get to attract wins. I have played it a lot before the lockdown and have a handle on the rules and some of the winning efficiencies. Evan managed a good score for a first-time player. You also learn a lot about birds!
We made tacos for dinner.
We ended with Evan and I watching the definitely not Christmas movie, The Ninth Gate. A slow-moving adventure and occult movie. It a fav of mine. Evan headed-out after the movie.
It was reported that today 2,559 people in the USA died from the virus.
I picked a sing-along version as here is your chance, dear reader, to join in: Angels We Have Heard on High.