Story 24Sept2022

The pain in my right leg on Saturday morning was much reduced. However, it worsened as I overused it in the morning and early afternoon. So this Sunday–I write the Saturday blog lazily on Sunday mornings–I am being more restrained.

I forgot to take photos for most of the day, sorry.

I slept in until 7:30ish on Saturday. I was in a writing mood, so I wrote a lot more and was not ready to leave in Air Volvo until 10:30ish. I had only a small yogurt with fruit for breakfast, still feeling overfed from Friday. I made French press liberal coffee, and that helped me get going.

The drive to Susie at hummingbird house was through the hills and Cooper’s Mountain. This is to avoid Beaverton and takes fifteen minutes longer. I had called, and Vanessa, the nursing aide for Saturday, had Susie ready in her wheelchair, but then, as I was so late, Susie went back in her recliner. Then I show up!

On my iPhone, we spoke on FaceTime to Leta, Susie’s mother. Leta and Barb, Susie’s sister, were at Bronner’s in Michigan looking for Thanksgiving items for Leta’s tree; we got to see on the tiny screen all the Christmas decorations–Bronner’s is a year-long Christmas store. Leta tires quickly, and Barb had borrowed a wheelchair from Bronner’s and was wheeling Leta around in the store.

Aside: Leta, instead of taking down her artificial Christmas tree, just changes the decorations to match the season. They were looking at Bronner’s for some more Thanksgiving theme items for the tree (Leta told us that she has plenty of stuff for Halloween). This seasonal tree started during the pandemic as it was a lot of work to take down the tree, and Leta found it fun to keep decorating the tree during the lonely parts of the pandemic.

Leta and Barb rang off and continued their shopping. Susie was ready to visit the park. So we headed out, and the park was quieter today, Saturday. I suspect families were during sporting events at various schools, and there were plenty of beer-loaded Octoberfest parties starting this afternoon. Also, college football (American football) has begun, and I have to admit I might have cheered on the Ducks while playing a board game today.

Evan found us in the park just enjoying the warm, clear, nearly perfect Oregon fall day. We are between the melt-down hot summer and the soggy winter here in Oregon. The wine is being made, the Ducks are playing football (and the Beavers), and we have cold mornings and hot sun. The best time in Oregon.

I was starting to limp again, so Evan pushed Susie, and we made the full circle and went off to see the magnolia tree, but it had finished blooming. Soon, Susie was yawning, and we decided to let her take a nap. So I kissed her goodbye, and Evan and me–in separate cars–risked Beaverton and headed directly to The 649 Taphouse.

Air Volvo has me there without incident or raising the crime rate. I was a bit nervous with the traffic lights now. Instead of starting with the bar, we headed to the Mexican place nearby, Tapatio: Mexican Restaurant. I had the platter with a taco, a small burrito, and an enchilada. I also had a large beer.

Next, we went to The 649, which also needed us to buy a beer; I had a lower alcohol product. Next, we played the board game The Lost Ruins of Arnak with the Leaders add-on. I tried out The Mystic leader, and Evan played the Falconer. I enjoyed playing The Mystic from the Leaders add-on as I had many options that play the Fear cards as a resource and not as something you need to thin from your deck. I lost by seven points as Evan managed to run up to the top of the research track. We matched nearly 1 to 1 on all the other points.

The game uses a deck-building mechanism with resource management. It is themed to a 1920s Hollywood version of lost treasure and archeologists. There are guardian monsters to defeat and great treasures to discover. It has replaced Architect of the West Kingdom as my favorite, as I like the theme better in The Lost Ruins of Arnak.

I grabbed a quick sandwich at The 649 while we watched the Ducks crush the Wild Cats by scoring 20+ points in the last minute. I thought fans of the Ducks must have made an unholy pack to pull that off! The Wild Cats quarterback actually threw the pass to a Duck player. Congrats Oregon!

We headed out, and I stopped by Shell to pay too much for gas. I did not notice that I was paying more than anywhere else! Surprised, I grumbled and headed into Portland in light traffic.

I was soon at Richard’s house, getting a nice few of Mount Hood on the way. Richard carried the heavy and huge game War Room 2nd Edition to his game room.

We looked at it and discussed the game and some historical items that control the play. Richard was surprised to learn that in the 1930s, the Soviet Union and the Empire of Japan signed an independent non-aggression pact. This freed both countries to ignore each other during the war and leave their flank uncovered. Stalin, the Soviet leader throughout the war, did not declare war on Japan until the very end of the war. I explained to Richard that before WW2 started, there was a war between the Soviet Union and Japan, and the Soviet army was crushed in China. This convinced Stalin to sign treaties with Nazi Germany and Japan. Stalin could see the embers of WW1 were catching fire again, and he wanted no part. Hitler completely bamboozled Stalin.

As fascinating as the game appeared, we decided not to try it with just two players. We also discovered that the hour-glass styled timer, an add-on I purchased, runs for about 11 minutes. Instead, we agreed to try Brass: Birmingham. I have never played this version of the Brass system. Rather, I have Brass: Lancashire. I picked up my copy when I saw it at the Rune and Bone gaming store in Hillsboro. I had not seen it on a shelf before and gobbled it up.

The Birmingham version, named for the area in the UK the game map covers, plays with some more straightforward mechanics and is, frankly, easier and less mean than Lancashire. You also have to pay an extra resource, beer, for building trains and delivering. This means you have to build breweries to get points. This counts double as you deliver and use your beer up, a kinder and sudden income and points for the player. The Lancashire version does not have that mechanism. The Birmingham version is more straightforward to understand than Lancashire.

The games are resource management, area control, and production-styled game. My fav and I was surprised to beat Richard by building trains and blocking his train lines, sort of mean. I did not do that on purpose but to give me access to more places to build and connect. Richard had not played a two-person game before, and his usual approach to the game was less efficient than mine.

Aside: I like Brass: Lancashire more than Birmingham. There is more happening in the Lancashire version. Also, I thought the beer mechanism was too artificial for me–why do you need beer to build two trains? I have only played two-player count, and it may be that three and four players are better in the Birmingham version.

We next played a train game, also new for me, Ticket to Ride: Rails and Sails. I have never played a Ticket to Ride game as I find the train games more of party games for me and I like then Save Doctor Lucky and The Forbidden Island or, for the game-friendly crowd, Azul. Richard is on a quest to play all his games in a year, and this one got missed. We gave it a try and learned it and played it. Again this is a resource management and area control game, more my strength, and I had some lucky draws on the routes (tickets) and somehow won. I liked the game, again very light, and would play it as a filler game.

After that, we chatted for a bit, but soon Richard put War Room 2nd Edition back in my car, and we said goodnight. Air Volvo got me home without any issue, and I did not wince when I used the tall bridge with a taller on-ramp (I call it the Space Shuttle ramp).

I found the mail and left the games in the car for another day to put them back.

I went to bed and was asleep before 1AM. I had a pleasant sleep.

Feel free to call or send cards. Susie resides at:

Allegiance Senior Care
Adult Foster Care Home
9925 SW 82nd. Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97223

The house phone number: 503 246-4116

Thank you for reading.

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