The side effects of my re-mix of Covid-19 from Pfizer have been light, with just some joint pain. I am also tired, and my allergies are out-of-control, but I don’t think I can credit that to the vax. I did my usual pile-on for a Saturday and my new anti-Beaverton driving without any slow down from the vax.
I got a new photo ticket from Beaverton, which has made me avoid Beaverton. I was driving to avoid Beaverton on Saturday and returned to places like The 649 that are not in Beaverton. It may be childish, but I have had four driving tickets in my life and two in Beaverton in the last month. So I will avoid the problem and can skirt Beaverton to reach Susie. I will not be returning to 217; it is a mess, and folks are stressed-out driving in the construction there. My life is already stressed; I do not need more from Beaverton’s Finest.
At 7AM, after getting some sleep, I started my day. It was Saturday, so I was trying to not feel too rushed and managed to write the blog, have a bear claw and a banana, and enjoy liberal coffee via French Press without feeling like I was pushing it. I showered and dressed and soon loaded up Air Volvo. I had my computer and speaker in case Susie wanted a movie. I also, after years, put the board game Scythe in my car (leaving the airships and Fenris campaign add-ons behind). My friend Will used to say that you should always be ready to play Scythe and keep the game in the car. With the pandemic starting to wind down (in some ways), it is time to return to old habits.
I crossed Cooper’s Mountain and took Scholls Ferry Road to Tigard, skirting Beaverton. After the ticket, I am avoiding the mess that is Beaverton, with roads torn apart. The drive is lovely and full of curves and one tiny section of construction. You travel through the last of the farms in the area and see the new neighborhoods being built into the hills that were once orchards. It is hard to see the change, but it is the future–more urban.
I reached Susie after noticing the camera that photo ticketed me in Beaverton. I might have made a face at it. Returning to more adult behavior, Susie was in her recliner, having been up early that Saturday. She already had breakfast. We tried to call Susan’s mother, Leta, from the house, but Leta was having lunch at Panera’s in Lansing, Michigan, so we agreed to call back.
Susie was ready to head outside. It is already the fall season in Oregon, with cold nights and hot sun. You will shiver in the shade at 65F (18.3C) and bake in the sun. The park, Metzger Park, was full of kids and families. At least three different birthday parties were going, one with an impressive set of foot-tall plastic dinosaurs and a standee raptor for photos. The bunnies, squirrels, butterflies, and various birds seemed to hide from the rambunctious little people. Parents were everywhere trying to direct kids to the correct party. There were many toys set out, and kids were running to whatever looked good at the moment, never mind they are some stranger’s party. Chaos.
I found a bench in the sun, and we luxuriated in the sun like a pair of reptiles. We called Leta again, and this time she and Susie chatted for a while. I was just enjoying the sun and watching the various parents posses trying to find and route their children. Soon I heard Leta saying to me on the phone that Susie was falling asleep again; she was enjoying the sun and got sleepy. We said our goodbyes.
We headed in and started doing exercises for Susie. Susie has some rubber band-like things, and she pulls on them to help her arm strength. We did that for a while in Susie’s room. I then got out the ballon, just a normal one, and we then played a game. Susie hits the ballon only with her right hand. The left hand often overtakes the right, so I had the left hand hold the rubber band while the right played balloon. I would serve, and Susie would hit back, and I was often chasing the balloon.
We changed it up, and I would call out which hand, mostly the right, and Susie could only use that one to hit the balloon. That worked but with the left slipping in once in a while, which was OK. I tried to set up a TV show for Susie, but Susie would rather play balloon. We played (I took Advil later) for more than two hours. Susie loved to be a bit physical, and the ballon game really worked for her.
Evan showed, and Susie, after hours, was finally yawning and decided to stop. Evan and I said our goodbyes. I got a few kisses goodbye.
I took Scholls Ferry Road back to my area. The traffic in Beaverton, what a surprise, was terrible, with my left turn taking twenty minutes to finish with five light changes. I was soon safe and out of Beaverton without raising the crime rate. A bit later than I planned, I arrived at The 649 in Aloha, Oregon.
The 649 was the same, except they stopped serving water, and we soon had a tab with Steven and enjoyed an Octoberfest-styled beer and setting up the board game Scythe. We had not played this since Evan crushed me, and I had started painting some figures and needed examples from my game. I have played so much Scythe that I know the rules, but I had to remind Evan here and there, and we played a simple two-person game to remember the rules and the play–it had been two years! Originally, I planned to have some automatic factions in play to see how that played, but today we instead stayed to the basics to get the rules and feel of the game back.
Scythe is a recent modern game and a lighter 4X game. The focus is on building and exploiting with limited combat and exploration. Like most Kickstarter games, it has some good art and various upgrades. My copy is fully-blinged, and I have painted all the miniatures (including the mechs). When you play, you are one of the factions that start on the edge and move into the center. There is a Tesla (not the car) mythology to the game. Steam-punk technology was made possible by Tesla’s unexplained blue power sources in the early 1900s, and World War 1 was avoided. The game is Euro-looking with elements of early twentieth-century posters. Ocean liners, Zeppelins, and battleships are replaced with Steam-punk mechs in the art.
Scythe involves collecting resources and using them to improve your capabilities. It also has a silly mechanism that only certain waterways can be crossed by different factions. Why rivers are so complex is never explained, and you have to just accept it. After the game was released, it was discovered that certain combinations in the game are impossible to beat and are now banned. I have glued a warning on the affected boards.
I did beat Evan, but by only nine points. I ended the game by completing all the required tasks, including beating Evan in combat twice (he beat me once) and managed to squeak by before he could use his superior setup on the board to force me back. We both played well with a close 50ish score.
I left The 649 after paying the bill (which included dinner) and headed to Portland, again avoiding Beaverton. The traffic was a bit slow, but I soon stopped by McDonald’s for a chocolate shake and fries (the Advil was not settling well) with thirty minutes to spare.
Richard made me coffee, a new request from me, and we started on the board game Rococo. Richard has taken on the challenge to play every game in his collection, and this was the last one and a fav he held back to the end. It is a resource management game with light engine building and a Kickstarter game. Thus, the components and art are of the highest quality with some 3-D and painted. The playing board is huge and full of colors.
This game eschews complex rules and levels of complexity for a smooth easy to understand turn closer to Concordia than Scythe. You collect cloth, thread, and lace to make dresses. You then put the dress on a noble for the balls, or you sell it for cash. You can hire staff, send staff to work for the royals for a significant payment, and collect resources. You buy decorations on the walls to get influence. It has my fav structure, a simple turn with hard decisions.
Kathleen and I had played once before. I was crushed, as usual, but managed to play every part of the game without errors. Being last on each turn at the start was a problem, and I learned to get the Queen’s favorite (cash and going first next time) was more important than it appeared. I also made many dresses and did not sell any, which was also an issue. Next time!
I would recommend the board game Rococo as it is an excellent game and fun to play. The theme worked, and the easy turns and long-term strategy were fun. The full version, with all the add-ons and 3D components with metal coins, is only about $150 online, so it is also one of the cheaper Kickstarter game buy-ins (usually running now $300+ to buy in with everything). We asked Richard to play it next week with more add-ons, Jewelry, and holiday gowns!
After that, drinking a bit more coffee, I headed out with Kathleen to her house in Milwaukee outside of Portland. I dropped her off and then drove home. Getting out of the way of many speeding cars on the late night drive out of Portland. I took 185th back, avoiding late-night Beaverton and 217!
I was home before midnight and went to bed, and fell asleep dreaming of making dresses and organizing my collections to be the most in each ballroom.
Thanks for reading!