Today I heard on the radio the voice of a man, 101 years old, that was a sailor on the USS Arizona when the battleship was destroyed on 7Dec1941. Americans always pause on this day to remember the day; even though most of us were not born yet when the attack happened, it is something carved into the collective memory of most Americans. I always notice the day and hear some new memory of the battle most years.
The day started with pain. I had overdone the stretching or the exercising, and there was back pain. I decided to take a break today. I had slept poorly as I had vivid dreams of staying at a hotel for some reason. The hotel got dirtier and more bug infested with each loop of the dream. At the end of the dream, the hotel manager was a vampire, and I was trying to leave before he “got me.” I was not relaxed when I woke.
It was a work-from-the-office day, so I was rushed to get ready. I noticed the pain and decided to stop today on excises and stretch and see if I felt better. The pain is gone now. I think it was a good choice. I finished the cereal box while making breakfast with some liberal coffee I made in the French Press.
I got through the emails, texts, and Slack messages for work and my personal accounts. Next, I showered and dressed. I was out the door a bit early. I was at the shoe company with plenty of time to start the reviews and status meetings. I spent the meeting reviewing some items, revising a PowerPoint, and handling a few crises of the moment.
I headed out at 11ish to see Susie at the hummingbird house. Air Volvo got me there with no issues in light traffic. Susie was in her bed; they were having trouble with the screen in the shared living room, so Susie was lying down and watching Miracle on 32nd Street on her TV in her room.
Susie was sleepy. We called her mother, Leta, and chatted for a while on my iPhone. Susie nodded off but managed to wake up, and we had a pleasant chat on FaceTime. We also remembered the Advent Calendar, and Susie had a tiny piece of caramel from one of the doors we opened. We are caught up now and have some chocolates to try. I forgot the fruit cake slices I got her–the fruit cake I ordered on her request has arrived, and I cut a few slices for her. We will have to be careful when she gets a tiny piece. Susie was soon falling asleep. I left with a kiss.
Next, I stopped by the bank to get pictures of presidents and postmasters as gifts for folks. I will try to send these out soon.
I got lunch, thinking of Susie, at Red Robins, where Susie used to get lunch all the time when she took the bus. They are still trying to get back to normal but were short-staffed today, and I was ignored for ten minutes. When Jen, my waiter, spotted me, I ordered a cobb salad and some fries, which arrived promptly. It was nice to sit down for lunch and visit again with a bartender, Jen (she had tables and the bar). I thanked the folks at Red Robin when I was leaving and was introduced to the General Manager. I told them how happy I was to get a chance to eat there again.
I miss having a beer and lunch at Red Robins with Susie and the bartenders. Susie would get bourbon and ginger ale.
I returned to work after that and worked the afternoon, skipping the Christmas Party as my master data folks were covering for test builds; I stayed with them to help. I took the 4:35 status and get-to-green Zoom meeting (we are trying to catch up after being behind by about three days–depending on how you count it).
Once the status meeting was done, I headed to Old Town Beaverton. It is Wednesday, so I meeting Zophia, Dondrea’s daughter, at the church to play games while the band and choir practice. Traffic was horrid, and I was stuck on Walker Road for twenty minutes for a usual five-minute traversal. I reached the church at about 6.
Zophia was brave and decided to give Brass: Lancashire a go. This is a cut-throat resource management and worker placement board game with minimal space, meaning the players will be in conflict. The board game is in its second printing through a Kickstarter project. Thus the artwork is excellent, the components good, and the rules and play debugged. This is the more brutal version of Brass, and I like it better.
Zophia’s head nearly exploded when I reviewed how the game was played. There is a lot to get straight. The turns flow logically, and Zophia knew it was hard and a learning game. So we just played through it, and soon she ran her turn without my help. Zophia also saw how the game can be mean (your turn may remove options from another player and foil their plans). She nearly tied me for the first epic and crushed me (I was not paying enough attention) at the finish. Yes, I was crushed by an 11-year-old playing Brass!
Brass is not something I recommend to casual or new board gamers. It is harsh and punishes mistakes (like not taking out that last loan before loan giving stops), and you often take a turn back as you see you are missing some resources after you start changing things on the board–this can be frustrating. But, it is an elegant game, and you feel the theme of building an empire in the Industrial Revolution in the UK. “I just need another coal mine to build those trains,” you often think. It is a favorite, #20 of all games at BoardGameGeek (its lighter version, Brass: Birmingham, is #2 for all games). I love playing it.
After that, I went home and had a bagel-like product. This is because I have to have some food with my meds. I then wrote the blog.
Today, we had moderate air quality, but I felt it all day, and my breathing was laborious a few times. Another reason to pass on exercise.
Today’s Advent song is Hark the Angels Sing, a new take.