Story 21Jan2022: Friday with Games

Working backward, I was in bed after 11ish and fell quickly to sleep. Unfortunately, I had ear issues that were much worse when I awoke Saturday. It is hard to write. I also forgot to take pics on Friday, so just text today, sorry.

Returning home after 10PM, my Air Volvo navigation was pleased as I went to McDonald’s and got a small-sized chocolate shake and fries. Somehow Air Volvo believes now that I must stop at McDonald’s on the way from home, and thus the nav has a turn at McDonald’s as the official path home!

I took my pills about 45 minutes late, not too bad, with food after arriving home from Portland and, more specifically, Richard’s house. Richard, like me, has a large collection of board games and organizes play at his house. I was invited to play this Friday.

I had dropped Kathline off, a roundabout way to get home, and it gives a chance to chat. We are working on beating the other guy most of the gaming time, so it is nice to have a few minutes to talk. Kathline is intrigued by my descriptions of Call of Cthulhu, the role-playing game, and all the props and acting we do. Someday when the events, cancer or Covid, calm, we will have to set up a game. I have a few adventures I do for conventions as stand-alone, and it would be nice to revisit role-playing in 1926 Instanbul. Someday!

There is an offer for the gaming group to come to Beaverton when I am enjoying chemotherapy to play some of my games here at the Volvo Cave. It is heartwarming to hear.

Returning to the story, Kathline and Charles joined us for the games at Richard’s house. Since before the pandemic, I had not seen Charles, so it was good to play with him. I have lost count of the number of games of Scythe I have lost to Charles!

We played one game of Concordia, including the Forum add-on from the Salsa expansion. Also, we used my copy as I had all this bling, including bags to help generate the board with ease and painted meeples. Playing on the original board on the Mediterranean Sea side, I have two alternative maps, but I thought it best to go with the big original map with four players.

Charles did not know the game, and Kathline had not played for a long time. We went over the rules, and I did help them get started. Richard struggled, and the Forum add-on did not provide him with much love. Richard and I are not sure that the add-on improves the game. I won with just a few points past Kathline’s score, who also ended the game by building all her trading posts. I stuck to my belief that trading posts on farmer cities and the Farmer card synergize with colonists. Kathline purchased the Mason card and had all the bricks I struggled to acquire with her nearly winning by building–my usual tactic! We played fast, and everyone seemed to enjoy the game.

Natasha and Jason: If you are reading this, I bought the Farmer and an Architect card on my second turn. Never again will I pass on them and be crushed. I also managed three Mars cards. I was thinking of you as I delayed my building to get the cards. 

We next played a new board game I had never played before, Fantastic Factories. This is a fast card and resources matching-management game. You build factories and then use them to generate more resources to build more and more goods and factories. I was just terrible at this. This game was a Kickstarter in 2017.

One more game quick card game, Fantasy Realms. This is a suit-matching game with a limited number of chances to improve your hand before the game ends. The scoring is done by scanning the cards into a phone app. This is because the cards in your hand conflict with other cards, and these interactions are hard to follow; thus, an app was made. For example, you might collect wizards (a type of suit), but the wizard you have gets you -10 points for each extra wizard. Now the extra wizards might be negative points! So you have read all your cards and then try to improve the hand based on how the cards interact. As I said before but is good to point out again that this is made more complex by getting only a few more chances to improve your hand. My second game was not an embarrassingly low score (still last). Apparently, I missed a strong negative interaction in my first game, devasting my score.

The drive to Portland and Richard’s house faced only mild traffic for a Friday. I had taken a nap before and was ready to travel. I had gotten home about 1ish from Forest Grove and made lunch of reheated chicken parmesan supplied by Eric Enders. I had seconds as I was playing games at 6 and would skip dinner, which was OK with me.

I was feeling better, but my allergies were just beating me up all day. The cough and sneezing are not improving my incision pain! My ears are plugging up too. Ugh!

Before heading to Portland, I took Air Volvo by the hardware; they have more prominent notes now about the following masking. I get new air filters and some hardware for a fence repair. I need to replace a rotten board. The fence is on my neighbor’s land and very old, but repairs are joint responsibility (this is Oregon and fences are a big deal here when you think about cows and pastures), and the rot is facing my house. I will do the repair. I have to acquire a few 7′ lumber next. Lucky I have a Volvo, and there is a ski pass thru in the back seat. I use it for lumber.

I install the new higher quality filters in the furnace. I went with the smaller ones as they are good if you remember to replace them often (these are about $20 each).

I was with Susie for a few hours on Friday. Without incident, Air Volvo arrived at Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center at 3900 Pacific Highway, Room 44A. She is in bed but dressed and cleaned up. She is also asleep with her neck bent, her bed is still arranged with the head section nearly vertical. I wake her and lower her head a bit for comfort. She was only just fallen asleep as I helped her wipe some food up. It is unsafe for Susie to eat even thick liquids without raising her head.

Susie is surprisingly speaking much clearer, and more words are fitting together. I still, my ears filled from allergies is not helping, find it hard to follow Susie’s longer flows of words. But Susie is now trying to speak longer sentences!

Susie was better and was having a good day. She understood that I had not found a way to bring her home, and she was OK with staying in Forest Grove for the moment. Susie is not in pain and is sort of comfortable. I think she gets bored with the whole thing.

Susie understands that she is in End-of-Life and is not likely to get better. But she has fooled us before, so there is always hope. Also, I think I saw a mischievous look in her eyes when we chatted about hospice.

On that subject, the folks managing Susie’s hospice care made me sign a form, as I expected, that I have to cover the cost for the anti-stroke med. I decided, and even the hospice nurse agreed, that Susie going out by successive strokes is a poor way to end her life. So, I will cover (or maybe my regular insurance will cover it) the cost for the anti-stoke med.

I started my day still going backward, coughing and sneezing and just being miserable. I managed to write a good blog with photos, but the blog takes 90 minutes to deliver, so every morning is now rushed. I get all my steps done, the new electric razor is still not working, but I manage using blades and not cutting myself. Technology is not always the best answer.

I find Fridays always strange when one is not working. You are headed into a weekend, but most days are the same to me. I get going, see Susie, and then try to figure out what must be done.

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