Day 251: Back to Mox

No working this weekend, so I was up at 8ish and slowly found my way this morning. I did manage to fail in making coffee. I put too much coffee in the drip coffee maker, and it blocked and overflowed back into the back of the coffee maker. A mess!

Breakfast was a bagel and banana while Susie slept. I started on my taxes and got all of the forms loaded for all my transactions and have only a few hours to go on that. I will try to find some time on Sunday morning, time to “give up to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s.”

As often happens, I was out of time and rushes to make the noon opening for Mox Board House for food and gaming. I managed to get out the door and load a few games in the car by 11:30ish.

I was surprised that I had traffic in Beaverton and that highway 26 to Portland was slow and crawling on a Saturday morning. It was a sort of sunny day, well sunny for us in the Pacific NorthWest–meaning not pouring rain and so gray that it makes moss look emerald, and thus everyone was out on the roads driving with politeness. A lane was also closed on 26 for no real reason I could see. I was only a few minutes past noon when I parked the car in the garage under Mox and other residential and retail spaces next to Providence Park.

The store, Mox, was just the way I remember it, and they remembered me. Megan, the manager, was happy to see me, and “we can now talk instead of chatting online.” After about Thanksgiving, the lockdown happened again in Portland, and I had not back to the store except on their Facebook page. Actually, their game selection is better, and the little items, like a dice tray, selection is great, and I did pick-up a few hard-to-find items. I have a folding dice tray, paint tops for Citadel styled paint bottles, and a light tan color I ran out–“mummy robes.”

Tim, whom I remember from before the lockdown, was serving today. I ordered a beer, and Evan joined me a bit at 12:30ish and had a mocha coffee. I had walked back to the car in the garage, using the elevator, to get some games. I asked permission to play as I did not know the new Covid-19 rules. Megan was happy to tell me to play some games. Someday, Megan said she will get to play her first game of Scythe someday, and as usual, I offered, after Covid-19 fades, to teach her.

We all felt like the last 100 days of lockdown fade away and that it seemed like we had been playing every weekend and seeing each other most weekends. But, the USA’s death rate reached more than 5,000 souls lost a day during this last lockdown. You could see in everyone’s eyes how much they were happy to be back and how scared we all were, and how fearful we are now that the lockdown will come again. All greetings are muted but heartfelt.

Evan inaugurated our return to gaming at Mox by reaching an almost 50 lead in two-person Vindication. The board game was mercifully fast. Evan gave me advice on playing better, showing how far Evan has come from learning the game from me to using me for a virtual footstool in the game.

We had a smaller white table as Mox was a bit busy and certainly busier than I saw it when it first opened at the beginning of the Pandemic. I did not get a long table as those went to larger groups. We made it work. Folks put on masks and were very careful.

Lunch for me was Mushroom Bourguignon with a beer. Evan had the NW Duck and Mushroom mix burger. No complaints. Evan started on the new cocktails.

Mushroom Bourguignon

After lunch, it was time to play the Concordia board game. I picked a new board to play that includes just part of Britain, France, Spain and Portugal, and Belgium that we had not played before. It was a bit tighter map with fewer cities. We did include the Forum from the Concordia Salsa add-on. Evan was aggressively building trading posts in cities. I instead focused on buy cards and building my point multipliers. I remember Will, who taught me the game and that buying cards often decides the winner, not the building of trading posts.

I enjoy this game and often plan my turn two to three moves ahead. When Evan tripped the end of the game, gaining seven points for that, I was unsure of the score. Concordia does scoring at the end. I managed a ten-point lead by my investment in cards, and last-minute trading post builds the turn before Evan ended the game.

We paid our bill so that Tim could get his tip and then opened a new bill with Tatiana and Marlyn, who had the evening shift. I always try to pay two bills, so each team gets paid.

Tatiana was my first bartender at Mox, and Marlyn was my first evening bartender at Mox. I got them to pose for a new picture for this first re-opened weekend.

We had dessert and coffee, and then we paid the bill and let our friends at Mox get on with the night customers.

Susie was missing me already, and I made her a grilled cheese for dinner when I got home. Susie then watched the movies Henry V and High Society.

Oregon had a record day for vaccinations this week and almost 25,000 shots yesterday. The number is updated over three days and shows great promise.

One thousand five-hundred fifty-four people died today from the infection.

I decided to pick something different today: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole ➖ ‘Over The Rainbow’ & ‘What A Wonderful World’ Medley.

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