Story 29Oct2020: Saturday

Today was a bit stressful as I had a busy schedule and was stressed about being late. So just everyday stress for me. No pain that I noticed in my right leg. No other health surprises. So a good day, if busy.

I started by sleeping just a bit until 7something and writing the blog. I don’t write the blog on Friday and Saturday nights, but I have to write twice on Sunday. So I was busy Saturday morning writing. I had cereal with milk and liberal coffee to drink for breakfast–I am out of bananas (is that not a song?).

The blog did not take that long as Friday was a work day, so it did not have much to write about–work details are not included in the blog. First, IT work on German software will not seem that exciting to many folks, and second, sharing the details of the function of Nike’s main accounting software and the process would require Nike to approve the blog, which is not likely. So just the outline of my work day, at most, dear readers.

I was dressed, and the blog was written and sent out with an hour to spare. I put a blanket in Air Volvo for Susie and headed through Beaverton in the Oregon mist (it was a gray day with low clouds), skipping, as usual, Old Town with its 20 mph parts. The traffic was slow and thick for a Saturday morning. I saw folks suddenly change lanes and then slam their brakes on the wet roads when the traffic just stalled. There is no fast today in Beaverton.

On the way, I got some gas for Air Volvo at $5.29, which is the lowest local price. I saw 4.99 in Troutdale and regretted not filling up there. I bought Halloween candy and other items at the Rite Aide; the Halloween items were 50% off. Excellent. I got Susie a New Orleans-style witch hat, a soft Snoopy that plays the Peanuts theme with a bit of scary added, and a Woodstock stuffed animal that matched. I got a smaller bag of different candies to give to Jennifer and Humminbird house’s use.

Aside: I opened the big bag of Halloween candy I got for the Volvo Cave and had the gas jockeys grab what they wanted. They are the first customers I told them. Happy Halloween, early.

I reached the hummingbird house without issue or increasing the crime rate in Beaverton. I saw the photo ticket system flash for some of my fellow drivers who just ran the lights. I avoided that, I think. Susie was already ready in her wheelchair, and Jennifer followed me to Air Volvo with Susie to ensure we were safe. With some encouragement from Jennifer, Susie managed to stand today and help me. Better. I managed to get Susie in the leather seat without rearranging it after the lift. The fine Volvo leather seats help as Susie just slides into place. I then folded the wheelchair, which I managed to lift without starting new pains in my back and legs. It is pretty heavy.

I then went to Vista House in the Columbia Gorge. This means traveling through Portland, and I got my directions wrong in my head and drove to Vancouver, Washington, which is not on the way to the Columbia Gorge. But, there, the traffic was less, and it is a pleasant drive when the traffic is light. Once we started back to Oregon, we hit heavy and slow traffic by the airport, PDX. Again, I was surprised by the high traffic volumes for a Saturday early afternoon.

We stop at the truck stop at Troutdale before the gorge to get some water for Susie. It is hard for her to get water from a bottle. I will put a cup in Air Volvo next time. I already have a roll of paper towels and a very sharp jackknife in the glove compartment never leaves the car for cutting things.

Fog. There is no wind, and my cough tells us that the air has not been freshened by a breeze, and the mist, fog, and some smog are thick. Air Volvo climbs the 10% grade to reach Vista House. The climb is extra slow as I can only see a hundred feet or less in the clouds–the low clouds are not swallowing the top of the gorge. The drive is indirect and has many tricky turns and curves with even a speed limit as you pass through a village to reach the tourist stop.

Vista House was a ghost in the fog. The vista was missing, as all you could see was gray. Susie decided it was cold and wet, and there was nothing to see stayed in the car while I took pictures of the missing vista. Yes, Vista House with no vista. We decided on ice cream in Beaverton and drove a more direct way back.

I watched, astounded, when folks would make four-lane lane changes to reach an exit that they missed. Some would abort a lane change and then swing back into the fast lane, more lane changes, and then back out again like a dragonfly or a Star Wars pod racier. All of this on rain-slickened roads, headlights on, and fog and mist everywhere.

We arrived safely at a traffic-stalled Beaverton. It took me twenty minutes to reach Salt and Straw in Beaverton. I got Susie their bubblegum-flavored coconut cream ice cream, one scoop in a cup. I got the same size but coffee and praline flavored.

As I had deliveries spun around, we then flew in traffic to the Volvo Cave. Susie was a bit overwhelmed by being at the house for the first time in under a year (the devastating strokes started on 6Nov2022, to my memory). However, we were there just long enough for me to put the packages away. Next, we traveled in slightly improving traffic to the hummingbird house.

I left Susie with Jennifer with a kiss and then headed to meet Evan in Portland. Back into the traffic mess, but Air Volvo navigation sent me not to the parking lot, formally known as Highway 26 and 217, but to Highway 5, which was not that busy. Soon I was across bridges in SE Portland and driving local roads to Threshold Brewery. Evan thought they had food.

They had a boiled peanut special food today, and Evan wanted to try that and their Polish specials. I like peanuts, but boiled ones are just messy, and I did understand the attraction to this Southern American food. I had a sample and did not return for more. Instead, I had an overpriced charcuterie board and a delicious dark beer. Evan had a sandwich that he said they were well-rated for and thought it was good; I demurred after the other items did not impress.

We played the board game Vindication, and I did not bother with the score; Evan crushed me as the game went on long. He picked up quite a few masteries and kept ahead of me on those. I was running late, another reason to not score it, and rushed off to pick up Casey and his girlfriend (whose name I do not know how to spell) on the other side of Portland. So I traveled again across Portland and picked them up at work.

Off to Richard’s for games; while I brought Cthulhu Wars, Casey’s girlfriend is a newbie to gaming, so Richard picked lighter games. First, we played Modern Art, a bidding game, and Casey gave me a good deal on some art, too good, and I won with the most money. Modern Art is a fast board game and easy to learn, but the strategy is cut-throat, and hate drawing is possible. The game design is flawed as a mistake or overbidding can just hand the game to a player. Next, we played an excellent put-together game, new to me, Cellphone, where you sell phones. The game is a worker-placement and resource-managing game. Casey’s girlfriend figured this out and won, with Richard just sliding in front of me in the last of the scoring to take second. While the subject sounds uninteresting, the game was interesting, and I want to play it again. Lastly, we played a cinematic game, Horrified, where you are working together to stop some Hollywood black-and-white monsters. We were chased by Dracula, Wolfman, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon and barely managed to “cure” them. It was cute and had plastic monster figures that matched the old movie creatures I admired, but I was not happy with it. Just OK–but a light game, and it fits a Halloween weekend. I will have to play it again and see if I like it better. I never judge a game until I have played it a few times if I don’t like it the first time.

Aside: I found Halloween pretzels in little gift bags. We had that while playing. They are cute. I bought a big bag, like the candy, that you open to get smaller bags, perfect.

I drove Casey and his girlfriend back to their part of Portland, popped on the now-clear Highway 26, and reached home without incident. I stopped by Popeyes and finally had dinner and lunch–fried chicken with mashed. I ordered coleslaw as a second side and was shocked to pay $3.99 for a cup of slaw! I tried to watch the new show The Devil’s Hour while eating, but scary shows alone in my house and late–nope.

I had more packages at the Volvo Cave. John Company, the board game, finally did arrive today. I punched it and tried to read some of the small print rules. I will try to play it solo soon to learn how to set it up. This is a mad game with a play time of a few hours and teaching videos that are four hours long!

I went to bed after midnight and slept well.

Thanks for reading.

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