Today 28Feb2023: The End of February 2023

Sorry, I forgot to take photos of Susie today.

The day started with me suddenly realizing I did not write a blog on Monday. So So, I popped out of bed before my alarm and wrote a short blog with just the highlights of Monday, a briefing. I did wonder what that meant. Is it time to rethink the blog? Has the lack of days off broken my mind? Is the stress getting to me? Am I OK? Yes, I am OK. I wrote the briefing in an hour, showered, dressed, and rushed to work. I was early, and the weather was just Oregon mist. I missed the school buses picking up the kids. One did pull over and let us all pass it.

I did make liberal coffee and had a banana while rushing. I poured my coffee into my thermal cup, and, physics works, it was too hot to drink for an hour. Ugh!

I was in the office, and we were lightly staffed. Nike sent a WTF on the weather and said everyone could work from home. There was a party, and our boss was presenting at the pre-party meeting. All of this was canceled later in the day, and the food was distributed to anyone who showed up (I ate lunch before the free food was provided). Thus we were there to cheer on our boss and department giving the pre-party talk.

I did my usual morning Zoom meetings. Sitting alone in a small conference room, calling into five meetings, all ending early, and multi-tasking to get approvals and reading done during the calls. But, of course, there were issues, and I had to read about them, and I sent out some, let’s call them, observations–none of which can be written here.

Snow started on and off. I headed out to hummingbird house using highways (26 to 217) without incident, but folks driving slow on local roads (they are just wet). I arrived safe and without events in Portland (Tigard) at 9925 SW 82nd. Ave. Portland (Tigard), OR 97223; phone (503) 246-4116.

I was running early and arrived just as Susie sat in her chair. She was grumpy, sitting in her recliner in the shared living room. Jennifer thought her stretching exercises and breakfast (a lot of food for Susie) had made Susie uncomfortable.

Ignoring the grumpy Susie, I called Leta, Susie’s mother, who was having a late lunch with Barb, Susie’s sister, in Lansing, Michigan, at Panera’s Bread. We talked for a while. Leta learned the estimates to repair her house (she has an invasion of mice and raccoons) will be more than initially thought. Hopefully, her house insurance may cover some of the raccoon damage. We also learned that Susie’s Aunt Joyce has some health challenges (we wish you the best, Joyce). We waved at Barb (Leta had the phone connected to her hearing aides, so Barb couldn’t hear us when we called Leta’s phone).

Soon the call was over. I stayed a few more minutes and held Susie’s hand. I had to get back to work, and it was snowing again–time to hit the road. Susie was disappointed that my short visit was at an end. She told me she wished I could stay longer and apologized as if it was her fault. I told her it was not her fault and kissed her goodbye. She was sad but OK with me leaving.

I returned to work, and many more folks went home to finish working from home. I had a few ad hoc meetings and more Zoom. I approved a few items and sent more back from proper paperwork. People are not dishonest; our project has folks now working on two different go-lives (and designing a third), running 7/24 data conversions, and trying to enjoy a return of Covid-19 and other Spring Break colds and flu. They are now missing the easy stuff. It makes it hard on everyone to do some things, often on some critical path, over and over until it is correct. I read and check everything–it is my job as Architect to read it. Folks are burning out, but I point out the corrections without emotion, so folks are not embarrassed or react.

My last meeting was fast, the current data conversion will take until Friday, and everything is waiting for it. I left before 5 and reached home after filling Air Volvo for $4.09 a gallon (remember we have no sales tax), but that is still higher than last week. Snow was coming down. Portland and the hills are getting some accumulation tonight. We received another Nike WHQ weather WTF note saying to work from home if you feel safer staying home for Wednesday. My boss knows I drive an SUV Volvo, and I am not scared–I will be back at the office.

More was happening at work, but I never put those details in the blog. I was busy most of the day.

I was delighted when I arrived at the Volvo Cave and found three packages waiting for me; four more pairs of pants arrived (two from LL Bean and two from Lands End), plus my book. I ordered a book made in India for too much money. It is a huge copy of the 1927 (published in 1926) Export Regulations Encyclopedia. I have a 1918 copy and discovered that the 1927 version was only available printed and bound (in leather) from India. Leta gave me money to buy something for myself for Christmas. Yes, I had them make me one.

It is over four inches thick and looks more like a newly rebound altar bible than a copy of export instructions. I was thrilled. Yes, do you want to know who held a package for you in Romania until you got there in the 1920s? How about what shipping lines were available in 1926 in Portland, Oregon (yes, PDX gets a few pages)? What is the approximate exchange rate for Abyssinia currency in 1927 (now Ethiopia)? This and the 1920s travel guides, science summaries, and archaeological publications (on Stonehenge) all create a picture of adventuring in the 1920s. Maybe not your thing, but the more I know, the more fun it is for me to write stories related to these times. I also have an 1890s guide (very small print) for Paris that is just wonderful for those who want to head back a bit further.

Aside: I have an India-produced copy of the 1919 published communications during the Battle of Jutland. Again, in a nice leather binding. The maps are a bit incomplete, but the text is perfect. Someday I will find an original copy in a library and copy the maps and just fold them and put them in my copy. Yes, the British published all of this right after the war.

I got a call from Dondrea and Zophia (Z), as it was Z’s birthday. Z was thrilled to open the gift from Susie and me, the board game Wingspan. I also promised the Easter Bunny would supply various upgrades and add-ons (and also on other holidays and excuses for giving) to improve Z’s acquisition. Z picked Architects of the Western Kingdom to play on Wednesday.

I headed to dinner with Mariah, but she turned me away (PDX is a snowy mess), and I instead found myself at McMinnemen’s for dinner. I had a burger, the Captain Neon (bacon and Oregon blue cheese), and a Ruby beer (strawberry without the sweet). This is one of Susie’s favorite places, and I missed her tonight. So I have a drink and think of the days before Covid-19, strokes, and depression when she and I would just hang out and have a good time. To us!

I wrote the blog while eating and drinking. Finishing with a cup of coffee tonight.

Thank you for reading.

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