Day 283: Monday Winter Begins

Winter began today, today is the shortest day of 2020.

I started at 6ish and thought I had a 7 and rushed the morning to be ready. The early meetings, this being the Christmas week all canceled. We still have a go-live this Sunday, but the rest of Nike is ramping down as most sales are already locked in. Saturday will be a busy day for retail, but the rest of Nike will be mostly on Christmas and New Years’ break.

I had plenty of time, I discovered, to read email and make a small breakfast of coffee, banana, and a bagel with cream cheese.

More status meetings that ran over. I suddenly remembered it was Monday and 8:40, and I needed to rally Susie for her 9AM ride to her hair, nails, toes, etc., an appointment with Zerida again. I just focused on what I am doing for work, and suddenly I am rushing Susie.

Susie was not happy to be rushed, but it was her appointment. We just made it, and she was ready, taking her coffee in a paper cup I gave to her driver.

I had a few more status meetings after that. I also was reading some Python code to add a time-stamp and sequence number to files. Yes, I do a little Python for work too.

Lunch was ordered from Gyro House, open today, but not without some effort. I had, for fun, ordered a lunch delivered to Mom Wild in East Lansing, Michigan. As you can guess, I forgot to set back GrubHub to be local. I could not get Gyro House to deliver to East Lansing, Michigan. I finally saw I had the wrong address. When I returned to my Oregon address, I was able to order!

Lunch was a lamb gyro with soup. I usually give the soup to Susie or Corwin. There was a note written on the food box, “Happy Holidays to you too.” I always send a message when I order. Corwin had the soup for a late lunch.

The afternoon was a bit light, and I took a break. I returned for one more meeting in the afternoon. I was again looking at more Python for Nike.

As it was the shortest day of 2020, the sun appeared to vanish at 4:30. I went out to look for the stars. I witnessed Oregon’s side-ways rain and not the stars.

It is Monday night, time for my Dungeons and Dragon (D&D) group to meet online at 6:30PM using the Roll20 website software. I had five players and myself as Dungeon Master (DM). We were playing using Roll20 before Covid-19 on most Mondays. One player is in Minnesota; we stop at 8:30PM. We have completed quite a lot of the available material over the past couple of years.

Today we continued in the pre-made material you can purchase from Roll20, Dungeon of the Mad Mage. This adventure is more than twenty levels of content and is based on the older rules of about 3.0 Dungeons and Dragon. It has been converted to D&D 5.0, the current Dungeons and Dragons version. Because it is so huge, each encounter’s text is a bit limited, and the maps are utilitarian. It does come with some art to share with the players, and the standard creatures have art. I wish the writers and Roll20 had expanded this content and had better maps; many of the purchased adventures have color maps. The adventure is taking about three game sessions to get to the next level. I skipped some of the easier stuff and have sent the players lower and to tougher encounters. There are about ten more levels of which six we will play, I expect.

Today I had the horrid monster, a beholder, dropped on the players as a present from the Mad Mage. The beholder, called “Just Nasty,” had three minions of undead beholders, Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. Just Nasty is a type of D&D monster from the original designers and is difficult to beat in combat without taking terrible losses; it has many devasting attacks. By the third round of combat, it had knocked out 1/2 the hit points from two characters with its death and disintegration rays, and the wizard was paralyzed. The players decided to offer an opportunity to negotiate. And eye tyrant, another name for a beholder, offered the treasures of Gold (actually valuable gems as gold is too heavy), Frankincense (magical healing potions), and Myrrh (a scroll of the spell True Resurrection). I hope it was not too corny; it was a tough fight.

We continued playing until 8:30 with a few easier battles. The adventurers have hunted down most of the evil elves, Drow, in the level and exterminated much of the vermin (spiders and undead). We will play next year, skipping the next Monday. I imagine the players in the next session will descend to the next level.

Returning to the story for today, I made grilled cheese and roast beef sandwiches for dinner.

I received a few more Christmas presents from Michigan today, and some more gifts for friends arrived. I ate one cookie.

I think we are just about ready for the holiday!

I learned today (I was trying to speed up Roll20 with a direct connection) that Big Sur OS for my Mac does not have a driver to allow direct connection to Ethernet from a USB converter. It seems that Apple so far has not approved any drivers to make this work again. No more direct connections for my Apple or even a newer Apple–frustrating.

1,841 people in the USA are reported to have passed away today from the infection.

I went with ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL for the longest night of 2020.


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