Going backward, I am writing the blog after another day of paid time off (PTO) from a nasty head cold. The coughing is from the drainage and causes wheezing when I am tired. All of this is starting to fade. I had my usual colon issues from lack of sleep, but as that matches Covid-19 symptoms, I ran a test that was negative–no Covid.
I finished reading the rules for my new Kickstarter board game, Ostia. This is resource management with a race to reach the end-of-game with the best combination of placement and filling orders game. It is a Japanese-based build, and the game comes in English, primarily well-translated, and when finding not-so-good English, the meaning is obvious. There is a Japanese version of all the rules, of course. Like all Kickstarters, this game is lovely, and the pieces are upgraded. No regrets.
The game uses a strange mechanism to determine your next action instead of cards like Concordia or The Lost Ruins of Arnak, and I do not know if I will like it. You have a port that is also an action wheel. Each ship on the section you choose gives you one of the resources (except for the admin action), and then you redistribute the ship markers round-robin, and the last ship marker location determines your action. Oh my, that is a brain-burner. “To do a move action, I will pick the gold segment, as it has three ships which will then get me to the move action as it is three away and I get gold too,” is an example of the inner thinking this requires. “But I need permits to move, and so I will have to take the permit segment and then use the two ships to get to the order action instead and fill an ‘order’ as I have all the grain leftover from the last turn,” is more example of deeper thinking. Yes, really complex game cycle.
I am looking forward to trying Ostia.
I punched it, upgraded it with the wooden parts, and included, to some degree, the add-ons. One add-on does not add many rules, and the upgrade kit already incorporated it–so I left it in. I also received card sleeves and used them; the included organized fit the larger cards with sleeves–definitely a premium Kickstarter product. Again, looking forward to trying it out.
Next, Mariah sent me a note at 4ish that she could do dinner in Beaverton. I concurred that I could use dinner out, and we settled on Golden Valley Brewery (GVB). It was Happy Hour when I arrived, so I had a cheap, locally-made beer. Mariah had a cocktail (off the Happy Hour menu) and a beer product. We both had the meatloaf.
This was my celebration dinner for my story being published (for no money) in 2600 Magazine. My fiction, “Turing’s Battle,” was accepted. Mariah was familiar with Alan Turing, and we talked about how I met one of the code breakers that worked with him on Enigma. My story is about the Turing Test, where a reverse of the test is used to extract intelligence from gamers to create an Artificial Intelligence based assistant to help with real modern naval battles. I originally submitted the story to the Naval Institute, was turned down, and sent it to 2600, which accepted it.
Before this, I visited Susie, careful not to touch her or anything except the minimal things in the hummingbird house. Jennifer followed by cleaning everything I touched later. I was happy to have everyone be careful. There is no reason to share the head cold.
Susie was delighted to see me. I brought the Baby Jesus in the Grotto carved olive wood nativity. I think we bought this in 1994 in Israel near Bethlehem on our first-ever international trip. Susie was happy to have it in her room for the holidays.
We called Susie’s mother, and Susie and Leta could see each other; we used FaceTime on my iPhone. As I was ill for days, this was the first time they could see each other in days. Leta was in the middle of cookie production. She wants to send some to Susie, and I am sure others will receive dividends from the output.
Next, we called Rev. Anne Weld-Martin, and Susie was happy to talk to Anne for a bit. Anne was pleased to hear that I was improving.
Lastly, we reached Dr. Peter Koper, who was happy to catch up with us. We will be seeing a Christmas letter soon with all the family details. Dr. Koper was glad we reached him. He even demonstrated his new technical savvy by using Alexa. We had an excellent talk.
We opened on day 13, the next Advent door. We passed on the candy as I could not safely break off a small piece.
Without a kiss or any close contact, I headed out.
The morning was a sleep-in morning. The first one in days. I was not going until 9:45. I was up at 2-3AM coughing and wheezing and put in another day of PTO. I collapsed with cold/flu meds and slept another seven hours, finally getting a night of good sleep. I am feeling much better now.
Lunch was reheated pizza, and breakfast was a real bagel (thanks, Joyce!) from NYC. I added yogurt and liberal coffee (i.e., Fair Trade certified product branded as Equal Exchange and shipped from Portland).
As I said, I was up a few times but finally just slept through. I have some ginger tea left from the Chemo support package sent by friends, and that helped my throat at 2ish, and I was able to finally sleep with that and cold/flu meds. So I would recommend the tea for colds.
Mariah has suggested Stranger Things as my next binge-watching.
Here is The Twelve Days of Christmas song from our Canadian Friends for the 13th Day of Advent (12 days left).
Thanks for reading.