Today was warm, overcast, and muggy–humid for us. But, it was not raining, just warm and sticky.
Sunday morning is a strange rush for me. I need to write the blog for Saturday, a 1600+ word blog. That is a few hours of work. My church is at 10:30, so I should be time-boxed. But, I am late for church instead of cutting the blog short.
I started writing while eating breakfast cereal with sliced fresh banana with French press coffee and continued the writing through the 8:05 shoe company status meeting. I must stop writing for some of the meetings’ discussions and listen and interact, especially the more detailed descriptions of ongoing issues.
The meeting is over at 9ish (having run over), and I am about 1/2 through the writing. Nevertheless, I push on and finish at about 10AM. I rush dressing and soon am headed to church, only a few minutes late.
Dondrea is giving the sermon today, “Why Am I Still Here” is her title for her sermon. She asks why we still associate with a church when the religious right has highjacked and redefined Christianity in terms that are not acceptable to us. Folks believe now that Christians are white supremacists and anti-gay. Also, anti-women rights and anti-immigration. None of these things are true of our local church, she points out, and that historically the United Methodist Church (UMC) has worked for social justice. Dondrea identifies that the UMC has the only non-government building on Capital Hill in Washington DC. The build was built to help bring UMC’s focus on Social Justice to the US government. Dondrea says it is our mission to say no to those who would redefine Christianity away from seeking social justice and let your actions speak. Dondrea quotes Saint Francis, who may have said, “Preach the gospels, use words if you have to.” Or something like that (Aside: If he did not say that, he could have). Why are we here–the world needs us.
After church, I spoke to Howard, the organist at church, about chess artificial intelligence programs and studying how music is played. I wondered if the organ could record how Howard played and play it back–not the sound but how he physically played. He told me our organ could record the playing but could not play it back. I was wondering if we could study the way the keys are played on different pieces to see how the player interprets the music. I am always interested in how to find the truth in music and art. That extra layer is the difference between just mathematical adherence to the notes and timings and the human filter that creates something more. Also, how would Howard, for example, play Bach differently than a composer like Handel, for example? Both composers are from a like time in music development, but would they create different reactions in a player, different emotions? We see some of this now being developed in chess-playing software. Do you want older-styled gameplay or cutting-edge reactions based on Nunn’s Chess Openings mammoth work of opening lines? Do you want exchanges to happen more often and suddenly reach the end game? Chess is looking into this. Howard knows chess, and so I hope he found it fascinating. I am just thinking about AI while he played a few times and the truth in the music.
After church and chatting, I headed to Panera for a chicken salad sandwich. After discovering Arby’s had stopped selling them, I was on a quest for a good sandwich. So I ordered at the kiosk, there was a long line, and then grabbed my lunch when it was ready. I had French Onion Soup with 1/2 an almond chicken salad sandwich. The bread, lettuce, and tomato were good. The bread was especially lovely, and the crust chewy. The sandwich had only a few tablespoons of finely chopped chicken salad. Almonds may have been there. I decided not to complain (I did not want to make things worse in a pandemic and low staffing) and enjoyed my abbreviated sandwich and soup. I had an apple with it. I will try again and see if I get a better sandwich.
I went to Powell’s at Cedar Mills, just across the parking lot from Panera, and bought a copy of The Worst Case Survival book. At Dungeons and Dragons, we wrote in the book about the death of some of our characters (or close to death) in a section that sort of matched the events. This was Matt’s, our DM, birthday, and I thought this would be a good gift. We had some cake and fruit. Matt is on a special diet, so he had just a bit of food.
Next, I headed to the hummingbird house to see Susie.
Susie resides at:
Allegiance Senior Care
Adult Foster Care Home
9925 SW 82nd. Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97223
The house phone number: 503 246-4116
Susie looked tired, and her eyes were red from allergies. Susie did not want a movie. So we headed out for an extended walk. We toured the local area, stopped under a magnolia tree, and called Susan’s mother, Leta. They chatted for a while
We then headed to the park next to the house, Metzger Park. It was overcast, but it was warm, so the park was busy with kids, folks walking one or more dogs, and baby carriages being pushed. We sat and just watched them for a while. I then pushed Susie through the park again, returning one stray tennis ball to the courts with a toss.
We then sat on the porch of the hummingbird house for a while. Next, I called Susan’s Aunt Glenda and Uncle Gene in North Carolina. We talked for a while. Glenda had helped me by flying out and assisting in selecting Allegiance and their hummingbird house. Gene and Glenda were happy to see and hear from Susie on FaceTIme.
After that, I turned Susie over to Vanessa and headed out. Susie was sad to see me leave but was tired and was going to nap in her recliner.
After arriving without incident, I took Air Volvo home and changed out of my dress shirt and tie. I rested for a bit and napped only for a few minutes. I needed a short recharge and reset that a short 30-minute break brings.
I then reheated some leftover pasta and sausage I made a few days ago in the microwave for dinner. After eating that, I packed up the car with gaming stuff and headed to Cory’s house.
We play at Cory’s house as Cory lost his legs to events, and it is still too challenging to play elsewhere. It has worked out well for us, and while Matt has to carry some stuff with him, it has not been a terrible burden for anyone. We are still playing the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons 5e version (D&D 5e).
We played from 5:30 to 9 at Corry’s. My drunken master character, a monk, did take a lot of damage in this game. Mostly from bad rolls of the dice than anything else (failed saving throws for those who know D&D 5e). I play a combat-centric Jackie Chan-styled character, so I take damage (and give it back too), and so my character was drunken stumbling all over the battle. It was fun.
I was home after that and writing the blog for the rest of the night.
Sorry, I forgot to take photos today. Thank you for reading.