We are approaching the first year of this daily blog. I remember March 2020 as the country, specifically Oregon, began to understand how bad this was and what we were facing: Lockdown. In the old blog from last year, I see we thought we would be back to work in the buildings at Nike in April 2020. We now know that we will not be back in April 2021!
I was reading this nice book published in the 1920s about some girls’ day-by-day experience of sailing an old Windjammer across the pacific just as I started this blog. I enjoyed their book and decided to write my own experiences for the few months, I thought, of lockdown. Now we are a year together, and likely I will continue for most of 2021. What a strange and terrible journey we have had: Covid-19, smoke so bad you could not leave your front door, murder hornets, wind storms, elections, and endless riots.
But, today was a lovely sunny day which never happens in March in Oregon. I felt like the weather or 2021 was apologizing for last year! Today sun made the fears and nightmares fade a bit for me.
I started this morning waking early and then smiling and going back to sleep. No early 6-7ish meetings with India. No status Zoom calls. Nothing to worry about. I also had no breathing issues and no headache. No nightmares of searching and wandering to find my way back. It was just blessed sleep and awakening to a sunny morning in March 2021 (not our normal endless sideways March rains).
I managed to make coffee and just handle email and all of that. I was to meet Evan in Mox in Portland around noonish (actually, I miscommunicated, and Evan was there about 1ish). Susie started at 10ish, and I managed to get her breakfast and a snack. I watched music videos on my Apple, and Susie must have heard the Led Zepplin and decided it was time to start. I did the dishes and laundry to music videos on YouTube today. Dishes and laundry get done faster to Kashmir.
I dressed and loaded up Air Volvo with board games and headed out before noon.
For some odd reason, I had no traffic on my ride into Portland aboard Air Volvo. Last weekend when I made the same trip, I was awash in overly polite slow-moving vehicles with Oregon and Washington state plates. I had to put on my sunglasses (yes, Nike sunglasses) and balance the glasses on my nose to prevent them from fogging-up. No traffic, and it was a perfect day. I managed to reach 50+ on 26 headed into Portland for a brief moment. It was nearly a perfect drive into Portland from the Volvo Cave.
I parked in the parking garage below Mox, carried two games in, and was greeted by all the Mox folks. I got the white table, a smaller table, as we are just two people. I was offered a better table, but we had smallish footprint games. I ordered a beer. I waited about an hour for Evan, but it was a nice day.
Tim, our waiter, brought me tea sandwiches while I waited. It is sort of cheese spread on toast. I like it.
Evan got there and ordered a coffee drink and chips with queso. We then played our first game. Today was Wingspan. One of the best games in 2019 and still a pleasure to play. You run a bird sanctuary and whoever runs the most efficient sanctuary wins. The game was designed by a bird expert and comes from the same team that brought forth Scythe. I also have a few bling items like wooden painted food tokens that improve the immersive feel.
Evan had only played once before. I purchased a training set from Stonemaier Games’ website for Wingspan. We tried it out. It comes with additional bird cards not found in the original set. It helped Evan remember how to play. I also have the new scoring board instead which we used instead of the light cardboard one that comes with the game.
I had not played for a while, and I did get one rule wrong, but we found the mistake fast, and it had no impact on play. I managed to get an engine going; my owls kept eating other birds. I also had picked up a few favs that generate a lot of points.
One of my complaints against Wingspan is that birds are randomly drawn from a huge stack of cards. I managed to get three birds that drove tucked cards, a polite-looking process representing predation, and Evan had none. This gave me an easy winning total. It is a pretty game, and I have slowly learned the names, habits, and look of many North American birds (I have not purchased any additional birds now available). I would recommend it, but with the caution that some games may hinge on luck or lack of luck.
The little eggs are just adorable. I have the purple eggs add-on. This pic is after the game, and my board is partially pulled apart to count the tucked cards. Evan’s board, on the top of the photo, is still correct.
My fellow gamers who are fans of Wingspan would likely say that I should learn to play the game better…
We played Architects of the West Kingdom next. This is a worker placement and resource management game. We had not played it for a while at Mox. I have the stupidly expensive painted meeple replacement that looks fantastic until you see the price. I also have the coins (don’t ask) that are metal. We played with the expansion, Age of Artisans, and the promo card add-ons. Garphill Games, which publish the game, produce add-ons that rework some of the game, and the games then play better with the add-on. This is true with Architects of the West Kingdom, and I heard it is also true with the Viking games–I have not played the Viking raiding games.
Note: I have Raiders of Scythia, another raiding game by Garphill Games, and I have not played it enough to comment on it other than I love the art. And I bought the expensive metal coins for it too.
We skipped the drafting part of the game. With two players, it is not that useful. I ended up with high-value buildings that gave me the game. Again, luck was on my side today. I managed to avoid any mistakes and worked my way through the game to win. I think we will have to use the drafting rules next time. You take a card and then pass the hand to the other player. They have a hand of cards and do the same. This creates a balance—next time as you must pass some good cards on to the other player.
Yes, I played Bertha–yellow.
I had a shot of Amaretto with coffee. Evan had a coffee drink. We then said good night to Mox. I drove home. No traffic and the sun was gone, and we back to grey Oregon.
Corwin and Susie ordered Mexican food delivered, and I shared in the tacos.
It was not a bad day, and I enjoyed writing today as I am not in a hurry or working India hours while writing.
18,943 vaccinations were given in Oregon yesterday, including 1,008 Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccinations. This number will likely increase as it takes 72 hours to collect and post all the counts. We can still not schedule a shot, but I am hopeful that all of this will get easier soon.
Even with the good news, we still have to witness that 1,515 people are reported to have lost their lives to the virus today. Many must die alone as it is not safe for their families to be with them. I cry for them.
I found this jazzy version of How Shall They Hear the Word of God–Methodist Hymnal #649. It includes a prayer. I hope you like it.