Story 17July2022: Saturday with Games

Susie was a bit tired and looked sad when I left, but she was feeling OK. Her allergies are in full swing, like the rest of us.

Starting in the morning, I was up at 7ish on Saturday. I had slept well and had not stayed up very late on Friday night; thus, I felt more rested. The mouth sores have not been repeated; my self-care seems to work. I made cereal with milk and 1/2 a sliced banana for breakfast. I got the coffee press out of the dishwasher (now all shinny) and made liberal Fair Trade coffee to go with the cereal.

I read my emails, the shoe company emails, the various text, and Slack channel messages to be prepared for the 8:05 status meeting. While I have a small role in the current go-live at Nike, I like to understand what is happening. I also check this throughout the day and part of the night to ensure I am up-to-date on the project. I did have to update a ticket last weekend to change its settings so a fix could move to production.

Aside: My Internet connection broke on Friday in the middle of the 8:05 status meeting, but it started working by 9ish. I canceled the service call after it stayed working for the morning.

The status meeting was the regular updates and the issue list informative. Many on the project are working through the weekend to fix issues before China’s biz day starts at 5PM Sunday. I put away the dishes while listening.

I got dressed after the meeting and cut a few roses and rosemary for Susie, and I thought the Hummingbird House might like some fresh rosemary from my bush. I have grown rosemary for years. The greeks thought rosemary helped with memory with its distinctive pleasant odor, awakening lost or forgotten memories.

When I stepped outside, I was surprised we had precipitation, light mist, and rain. Usually, we don’t have any showers once the hot days start in July. However, it was pleasant and will prevent some forest fires, so it was welcome.

With the rain and mist, the park was out today. Susie does not like wet and damp, and a wheelchair is not so good with a raincoat. Soon, you will be sitting in a puddle.

Instead, Vanessa, the nurse on for today, had Susie in a recliner in the activity room, a spare bedroom with chairs and a card table for family meetings and card games, etc. Susie and I watched Mama Mia (the movie version), and Susie often softly sang along.

Few people love this movie as much as Susie and I do. It is just fun for me. I even like Pierce Bronson’s terrible singing as it fits in my mind with the story. His character struggles in the story, and I like that his singing is so hard for him, but he pushes through anyway. To me, it is part of his character’s story.

This is my favorite song from the movie; it is a sad and hopeful song, unlike most ABBA songs: I Have a Dream.

Susie slept through a bit of the movie while holding my hand. Susie, as I said, looked sad or tired today. So she let me go when the movie ended, but I could see she wanted me to stay longer, but she was falling asleep and needed a nap. I did cry a bit in the car after I left.

Some days are harder than others.

I met Evan at the food carts in Beaverton near the city hall. From what I could tell, all the carts were open, and the place was full of people, none masked–but it was outside. After walking through, Evan selected the crepe cart, and we had savory versions. As is my habit, I asked the gal at the window which stuffing she liked, “fig.” So I had the ham and fig crepe–it was delicious. Evan enjoyed his pesto version.

We did get a table as the lunch crowd began to thin.

After we finished our lunch, which was a bit light for me, we headed to Central Tap House, just a block away from the carts. They had some open tables, so I presented a credit card to open a tab and then walked back to my car. Air Volvo was parked in the parking garage, which would charge $1 an hour for parking (!), except it was free parking for this weekend. So I got the board game Vindication that I put in the car when I left for Susie’s and walked back an entire block as the only doors are on the other side of the building.

With my excise walking a block carrying a not-light board game, I got a beer, and Evan had ordered me some bar mix. Next, Evan started to set up the game. We played two games as the end-of-game trigger ended both games early. Vindication was designed in the Pacific Northwest in Vancouver, Washington, and I even had input on some of the game processes. It has gone through three Kickstarters with me supporting and participating in them. Finally, I have the “swanky” version with all the promo add-ons and should get the last update in the next couple of months from the last Kickstarter. This is a resource management game with light player interactions. It plays fast once you get the structures down. It is a recent game; it is bright and colorful with high-quality production. It is a fav.

Evan and I both had a second beer for the second game. Evan almost won the last game, but I managed to pull just enough of the proficiencies to stay ahead at the end. Evan plays to build a repeated point-generating engine, and I pick up the points at the start and usually win if I can get the game to stop early. One of the suggestions I had in the design was to have random ending conditions, and that is how the game works now. I got lucky in both plays today: The game-ending conditions were easy to reach.

After that, I took Air Volvo to Portland. I stopped by Guardian Games; there, I constantly worried about leaving Air Volvo parked in the same area where the car was broken into, but it being daytime, it should be OK–it was. I found a few items for Dungeons and Dragon games and a pamphlet that looked interesting. However, I resisted buying a copy of the board game Notre Dome which we played last Saturday, which I liked, and thought was unavailable. Resist!

Shawna and Richard played two games with me this evening. Shawn, our usually third, not being able to make it. Also, Kathleen has been traveling in her native German and will be back next Saturday. We played two enjoyable games: my copy of The Grand Austrian Hotel and Richard’s Suburbia. The hotel game is complex, almost insanely difficult for the size of the game: “The best hotels select their guests” is one of the themes.

Aside: I forgot to take a pic of the games at Richard’s house, sorry!

Even though I was teaching the game, I did come in last place, with Richard lapping me twice! My copy has a 3D-printed cake, strudel, coffee, bottles of wine, and other upgrades that I have made, purchased, or came with the last Kickstarter revision. I love the visual of a cup of coffee and little slices of cake.

This is effectively the 2nd edition, and as I have said often in my previous blogs, a 2nd edition version of a game on Kickstarter is usually an excellent game, and this is, but it is very complex. The turns in the game Hotel are simple, but what you do with resources (cake, strudel, coffee, wine, and money) and how you hire staff and use them (yes, you get staff), ready and fill rooms with guests is up to you, and there are lots of choices. I like it. We played the base game. I have the add-ons for waltzing and named hotels and many more rules for an already complex game. Soon!

The next board game, Suburbia, always surprises me. The game ends abruptly, and you are building engines the whole time by building up your city–it is a race. Most of these engine-building games are longer. I supplied Richard with 3D-printed markers last year to make this game more visual–it helps. It was fun to print and paint them.

Shawna loves the game, and she pulled ahead and stayed there despite Richard’s usual expertise in creating engines. I like the gaming experience, but like Hotel, money matters, and I struggled with cash the whole time in Suburbia. I watched Richard and Shawna had plenty of money, so I must have misplayed. Next time!

After that, we chatted briefly, and then I drove back home. I had to take the “space shuttle” on-ramp to the bridge, which is as tall as the bridge roadway itself! I do not like heights.

I made it home and had some cottage cheese and a few beets from a can, pickled, as a snack to go with my meds. They can be a problem without food. So I was to bed about 1AM and asleep soon.

The rose Souvenir du President Lincoln is on its second flower but is now showing powdery mildew. This is my first bourbon rose and is not as resistant as my other roses. I will have to get some treatments for it.

The newly planted Wedgwood is still flowering, but the heat stress has, as it does, shrunk the flowers.

The apple tree, likely one of the Johny Appleseed trees in Oregon, fell over a few years ago, but we managed to trim it back into a usable and survival form. It is now in its fourth year since falling and resting quite comfortably on the ground.



Thanks for reading!



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