Story 27Aug2022

Saturday was a day that disappeared in my efforts to do a whole weekend in one day. Time just seemed to run through my fingers like sand. It all started with me waking to my alarm…

The morning came after I had to get up around 2ish to prove that I was adequately hydrated and then, once back in bed, rolled over and went back to sleep. My kidneys are on a mission to ensure that I don’t develop any sleeping issues. Saturday was another day off; yes, working for Nike IT does not mean you are free on weekends, so I slept until 7:30.

I got out the red bag of Fair Trade-certified coffee from Equal Exchange and my recently washed French Press and made a few cups of liberal coffee. I imagine that when you sip that cup of union-loving coffee, all the conspiracy theories fade away like phantoms exposed to light, and suddenly you are ready to do a fair day’s labor for fair pay. With new clarity, you remember that this is a country of laws, not of privilege, and even politicians and businesspeople are held accountable. I do love a good cup of coffee.

Aside: For those who wonder what is liberal, the liberal agenda can be simply defined as the Four Freedoms as a focus for the future. Recently, the Four Freedoms were cut into stone in Washington DC: Here. They were even on US postage stamps three times! The Four Freedoms are the freedom of speech, religion, from want, and from fear.

I finished writing the Friday blog on Saturday as I felt out-of-sorts on Friday. The blog is not about what is right or wrong but what I am experiencing. So I wrote about being down, having trouble finding my way, and the stress getting to me.

It is hard when you feel like crying all the time from stress and sadness, but you must instead try to work out a tax efficiency system to help you cover your wife’s health expenses (running $8,000 a month after insurance). But, like the songs say, I will overcome and know that the God of our silent tears is there.

Putting aside all the writer fluff and returning to our story, I was finishing the blog I managed to start the night before, so it was soon done. Except, the Internet access was slow. Speed test results had collapsed to 50 mbs again, so with an eye roll and resisting other ironies, I call Ziply Fiber and enjoy an irony-rich morning.

Imagine a tech on the phone with such a bad connection they fade in and out and can’t even get your account number. Yes, my new Internet provider cannot provide clear lines for their helpdesk. The gal from West Virginia goes over all the obvious stuff, and we unplug stuff, restart, and set some things back to manufacture settings. As the hardware still had a new equipment smell and had not smoked, it is very unlikely to be that. The yellow data light on the modem hints that the problem is in the cable or pole, not the house. Finally, after a pleasant hour (using a voice connection that fades in and out at random), I end up with a tech scheduled to continue the summoning ritual at the house on Sunday morning.

This all fits my expectation. All networking equipment and cool gadgets require an excellent cable. Throwing one on a pole and then wrapping it around my house is pretty basic, and it might take one or more tries to get it to work. Clear glass-laser connections ain’t easy on legacy settings like the Volvo Cave. The wires in the area are on wooden poles–think about it (just like when back two hundred years ago with telegraphs).

I finished the blog with slow Internet, got dressed, and headed to the hummingbird house two hours late. Susie was a bit grumpy this morning when Air Volvo delivered me, but we soon walked into the park; Evan showed up too. Before this, Susie talked to her mother from her recliner in the living room. This is a shared space with a giant TV.

The park was lovely as usual, and we also walked some of the streets and stopped by the magnolia tree to spot a bloom. Evan found one of the plums of another tree intact on the ground and found it to be good.

Susie did not want to watch a movie and was yawning a bit. It was likely time for a nap for her. I kissed her goodbye and headed out. Vanessa, the nurse aide, immediately started to talk to Susie and asked her about a snack and what Susie wanted to do–it helped distract Susie and made the pain of leaving less for her. I sincerely appreciate this.

Mariah wanted to meet for lunch too. So we all headed to the Golden Valley Brewery, and Jennifer was our waiter (it was her last few days there after six years working for GVB, having graduated from college and starting to work for UPS soon). Jennifer remembered me and knows Mariah.

I had a few glasses of wine–wanting to mellow my Saturday and had a steak salad. Evan had the Hatch Chili burger. Fresh chillis are imported from the New Mexico desert and roasted. It is always a bit of a celebration in the Pacific Northwest when the fresh hatch chilis arrive.

After lunch, Mariah got into her Hemi-engined orange car, growled through the parking lot, and headed off for the rest of her day. As usual, Evan and I met at Central Taps after parking in the free lot. I brought the board game favorite of mine, Concordia, and we got a table and beers–running a tab.

We played Concordia with the Hispania board from Salsa without the salt add-on but using forum cards (you will have to see the particular set-up in the rules for the board not to use salt). This was the first time I played this board. The game is a resource management and worker placement game, one of the best. Usually, you are struggling with having resources–not with Hispania without salt and only two players. Our end-of-game scores were each over a hundred showing we were not starved for resources. That made the game much more fun. We will be back to this board, but only with two players.

Aside: Concordia is a newish board game with the usual bright colors and decent components you see in the new productions. The rules are simple, and your turn is easy to understand, but your strategy is complex. My favorite type of game. The opposite of the Terraforming Mars board game and like engine building games with complex turns. We were using the add-on Salsa expansion, which I do recommend for the boards and forum addition, but not for the salt add-on. There is a reworking called Concordia Venus that purports to be a more loving version (thus the name), I have a copy, but I like the original. The full copy of Venus includes the original base game.

Evan showing the first salt ever used in my copy.

I won the first game with twenty points which were not that many points in this game and could be counted as one card, Weaver, that I had at the end of the game.

We enjoyed it so much that we got more beer and played again with salt. Evan was playing to build a salt-producing trading post while I played a usual game. I did not have the wine to build the salt-producing trading post (unlike all the other trading posts, these took wine and tools to make and five money–a huge expense). I actually never built even a wine trading post!

It was a run-away game for me. Evan found the salt was not as useful as promised, and the cities’ costs were too high. Also, reducing three cities from the map to do salt reduced the abundance, and the Hispania board lost much of its charm. Evan used the salt mostly to buy cards, but in the end, the cost of the cities prevented him from buying as many cards as I did. My score was insane, and we stopped counting it.

We found salt was not something we would want to use again. We still like forum and loved the board it came with.

Next, time was running away as it was eight-ish, and we headed to the carts after paying the tab at Cental Taps, which surprised me that they were still open. We had waffle sandwiches again. Excellent. Evan headed back to Portland while I went home in Air Volvo.

There was no Saturday night game with Richard, so I was done gaming. Evan asked to play Scythe next time. I did a little writing and some paperwork. I went to bed around 11PM as time seemed to run fast today.

Thanks for reading!

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