Story 15Oct2022: Saturday

Bad air continues in the area; winds came yesterday and helped for a while, but then the winds stopped, and the smoke, pollen, and smog all resettled in the valley. I could not slow down on Saturday as I tried to push a whole weekend into a few hours on Saturday.

Going backward, I went to bed at about 12:45 after putting the sheets in the drier. It could have been sooner, but I forgot to dry them before I left for the day. I got a snack of potato salad and red cabbage salad with a pickle to take my pills–they are unpleasant on an empty stomach and watched 1/3 of the new Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power final episode but grew tired, made the bed with dry sheets, and then went to sleep.

All night and the day, I followed along and sometimes sent out suggestions for the software upgrade that was running. There were no issues, and, as often happens on heavily orchestrated computer events, it ran twelve hours faster than planned, and all the work was done on Saturday instead of being spread out over the weekend. I will not narrate that I was constantly checking and interacting with folks on my iPhone.

The morning started at about 7:30, with my breakfast which consisted of a scone, a banana, and liberal coffee. I wrote the blog for Friday in the morning. After that, I started laundry and then showered and dressed. The pain in my leg and feet was mild, and my breathing was not labored.

I took Air Volvo over Coopers Mountain, and the mist and smog were still heavy, but nothing like yesterday. Today, I was earlier, so there was less mist. The mist burns off by the afternoon, so the air is better if fewer clouds cover the hills. I avoided any police entanglements during my thirty-minute journey and seldom traveled above the speed limit, and I have to admit I slammed a few times to prevent a slightly warm yellow.

I arrived there, and Susie was ready to travel, and I managed to get Susie in the car. She was not helping much, so I had to lift her back inside the car to get her properly in the seat. More practice. We traveled the very short distance to Washington Square Mall and successfully unloaded the wheelchair (heavy) and Susie (light). The parking lot, I don’t have a handicap sign yet, is aging, and Susie bounced a bit in her chair as we crossed over the less-than-perfect surface.

Once inside, we toured the mall, and I walked most of it, pushing Susie. Susie enjoyed all the sights and seeing so many people. It is my first time there since the pandemic, and I noticed that the dress styles were comfortable but expensive jeans and pull over, showing as much skin as possible–mostly younger gals, or expensive soccer wear–primarily men. This trend was also for the clerks in the store. Few masks, but I did notice nobody was close to each other as the habits of social distancing appeared still to be in place.

At noonish, I headed to the Cheese Cake Factory and put in for a table. Evan joined us, waiting a minimum of fifteen minutes (usually thirty) for a table there. Once at the table, we ordered a diet coke for Susie, her request, and some pretzel bites with cheese–some food that tiny bits Susie can manage, just a taste. Evan and I shared an egg roll sampler (not recommended).

I shared a tiramisu cheesecake with Susie. It is a lighter cake with ladyfingers instead of the graham cracker crust and a hint of chocolate. Recommended if you want to avoid the cheese heaviness of the usual cake. Evan had a Boston (!?) version with fruit. We then waited ten minutes for a to-go order for Evan and me for lunch.

Susie enjoyed some tastes of cheesecake and Diet Coke. I took Susie back to the car, had to pull out the car a bit, and then loaded her back into the front seat of Air Volvo with more success this time. I brought her back to hummingbird house without incident, but the traffic was much worse. Apparently, President Biden’s visit had snarled traffic in the wider area, with people flooding the backroads to reach their destinations.

Susie was always sad when it was time for me to go, it had been the longest travel for Susie in months, three hours out and about, and she looked done in. I certainly had my workout. I left with a kiss, and Susie was headed for some more lunch and likely a nap.

I drove, with care, but not traffic, across old-town Beaverton to Central Taps near the Max station and City Hall Beaverton. Evan had trouble finding his car in the parking lot and was there after me. He brought me the famous Cheese Cake Factory’s Oriental Chicken Salad (lunch sized and highly recommended) and had a spicy tuna appetizer for himself.

Next, we played a special version of the board game Concordia, Solitaria, which lets you play two players and an automated opponent. This was a learning game, as we had never tried it before. I messed up the setting using the wrong III cards, but that did not influence the game much. Evan and the machine called Contrarius soon had most of the specialist cards. So I was busy building and filling the Mediterranean (we played the original map of the southern European landmass and the Mediterranean Sea). I then changed tactics and started purchasing cards, combined with running provinces to pay for the cards. I got the 7-point card for buying the last card and ended the game. Evan was disappointed as I had stopped the game before he had built to score better on his specialists, and I had also picked options that would not trip Contrarius from building. I ran away with the game as I had the most cards I have ever had in a game. The larger map, as usual, let me build in a little corner away from everyone else. It was an interesting way to play a two-person version of Concordia. There is a cooperative version closer to Venus Concordia‘s re-creation of Concordia, where the players work together to defeat Contrarius.

After that, and paying for my one low-alcohol beer at Central Taps (more and I would need a nap), I headed to Portland. Richard had scheduled a game at 6PM, but all but me had backed out–so off to play two-person in Portland. I stopped by McDonald’s after passing through light traffic (there are some events in Portland besides the President’s visit) and tried, for the first time in years, chicken McNuggests–on a lark. Chicken bacon was what I thought with BBQ sauce–I had six. Excellent finger food and not a bad appetizer, but on my is that fat infused. I could not finish the french fries I ordered with it. While interesting, I am not likely to return to this chicken product.

A Richards, we looked at Cthulhu Wars that I brought, but it requires three players. We picked Endless Winters, a new game in Richard’s collection. It is another well-made Kickstarter game, with Richard with more premium parts. I had not played the game before and tried to focus on just a few strategies and see if I could make that work. Unlike the board games Scythe and Architects of the West Kingdoms, this game needed you to run a balance of strategies, oops. Interestingly, my focus caused Richard to try some different ideas, and he found them highly successful–he played differently than any other play. I was crushed by a score below 100.

I would recommend Endless Winters; it balances work placement and resource management well. It has three systems running simultaneously: a map, an investment board (monoliths in the game), and deck building. All of this runs smoothly, the play is easy to understand, and the rules were only reviewed for scoring during eclipse turns (a type of intermediate scoring turn). An excellent game that reminded me of Arc Nova in its smooth execution and thematic solid play.

We chatted for a bit, and soon the time had run to 11PM, and I headed back and returned home without issue.

Thank you for reading.


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