Today 18March2023: Saturday, more typical

Saturday ended with me pulling into the driveway in Air Volvo. I took my meds and finished the small portion of hash I had made that morning to have some food to go with my meds. After that, I went right to bed after midnight. The day had been more typical of my current life options, a relief.

I had dropped Kathleen at her house on the easter edge of Portland in Milwaukie. My trip from her home to the Volvo Cave was uneventful, and I used the usual roads, with the traffic speeding at 70+ and slow at 55- making for some exciting lane changes. And it sounds cliché, but the minivans are in the right lane going slow while pickups and more sporting cars are flying by in the left. I only see this at night in the Portland area.

The weather today, not what was in the forecast, was dry and sunny in the seventies (according to a wildly inaccurate reading in Air Volvo). A near-perfect day with the daffodils almost ready. My tulips, still an undiscovered country for the squirrels, are a week away, at least.

The flooding in my backyard continued through the day as one of my neighbors was likely pumping out the water under their house. The pond was headed to a lake but was nearly gone when I returned home late, the flow finally stopping. The backyard has rocks and a French Drain (i.e., a shallow open ditch, if you like, lined with stones), and thus the water will flow to the next house and through the backyards until reading the creek. Unfortunately, my neighbors have built structures in the path of the water and get unhappy when Oregon does wet.

Somedays, I get an irate neighbor who explains that their stuff is getting water. I show them my little flooded corner, three or more inches deep with water with nothing built on it, and tell them, “the water must flow.” I try to say it like I am in the Dune movie or story (“The spice must flow!“). I remind them that their land has a drainage right-of-way in the deed. I strongly suggest they learn to live with the water and let it flow. I did try to plant cranberries in my flooded corner once–the heat burned them up. I might try again.

Continuing the narrative backward, I was in Portland at Richard’s house to play board games. It was just the three of us (me, Richard, and Kathleen) who took on the Kickstarter game On Mars. This is not a favorite for Kathleen or me as the game is loaded with a dozen scoring systems, all different. It also provides five or more (I lost count) resource types that all work and score (!) differently. Thus you need some stuff you can build on mars (represented on the play map), but you need the tech to do them and the blueprints. Then you need to run your factories. Then the workers, yes, worker placement, too, are required. Then the game is bifurcated by you either running in-orbit options or being on Mars and doing work available only on the planet. There is a rocket taxi you have to time right to travel between. The game is an excellently combined stew of about a dozen worker placements, card systems, and resource management–but a bit heavy and hard to learn. In other words, an overbuilt Kickstarter game like TimeMachine, Lisboa, and Scythe.

Richard’s score buried us. Kathleen understood the scientist mechanic and crushed me as I purchased no scientists, but Richard, who tracks this, said it was my best score. It took us the whole evening to play, and we left near 11PM (having started about 6:30).

On Mars theme is that we are different groups (players) trying to help build a station on mars, thus the name. The player wins who runs the group that best supports and expands the stations and technology. The end of the game happens with the various events caused by the players thematically finishing the station.

Richard wants to play the On Mars add-on (more Kickstarter) with the Martians fighting back, Saturday’s game being a practice to relearn the game. Next Saturday, we, Kathleen not available, will try On Mars again, but with Martians.

Before this, I was at the Aloha, Oregon, taphouse, and food joint, The 649. Evan joined me there, and we had a few drinks while playing a game of Vindication. I have described this game often in this blog, so just a short note. This worker placement and resource management game has a randomly discovered board and wildly different resources collected and constantly interacting to build a Eurogame-styled engine. The theme is that you are a scumbag thrown overboard for your sins, washed up on a beach, and found by your first companion. You will try to vindicate yourself and gain honor. The player with the most honor wins.

We had to revise our play after I discovered we had been too loose with a few things, and Evan chafes from missing his favorite choices. Richard has bought into Vindication, and he and I relearned the rules together and discovered some restrictions I was not using. I also have reset back to the basic game except using the promos in my set of cards (Richard plays only the original set of cards–no promos, and it is interesting to play his game as I feel like I am in a time machine).

I won by twenty points and went with my primary approach to the game. Each companion has some superpowers, so I try to get four or so; usually, one or two of the companions will have something great. Next, I now (having been crushed by Richard in a game) always get Knowledge and Strength companions. The Knowledge attribute in the game can be used to improve Potential to Influence and to make other greater attributes for the acquisitions of Relics, for example. The Strength attribute allows you to increase your speed for a bucket of honor points, and this upgrade can be done multiple times with just one visit. I Vindicate soon in the game and then can generate the Inpiration attribute without a companion. On other things, I never fight a Monster without Conviction, and I use the empowered draw to avoid cursed items (I have all those promo black cards now).

I played carefully and stuck to my usual approach. The board was never thoroughly explored when the game ended when I took another scoring token. I won, as I said.

Before heading to The 649, Evan and I met at Susie’s place in Portland (Tigard) at 9925 SW 82nd. Ave. Portland (Tigard), OR 97223; phone (503) 246-4116. Susie was just finishing eating as I got there a bit late, approaching noon on the clock. We then headed to Metzger Park next door, as it was a lovely day. We stopped at the first bench, sitting in the warm and bright sunlight, and called Susie’s mother, Leta, on my iPhone using FaceTime. They had a friendly chat.

I forgot to take a photo today, sorry.

Susie was getting cold, even with the blanket we got from Air Volvo, and soon we were back in the hummingbird house. Susie was placed in her bed to keep her arm safe and to ensure she did not fall from her rocking chair, the usual choice. We cannot afford another injury and more bleeding! I put on Disney’s Princess and the Frog, one of my favorites. I was the only one who stayed awake. I love the music.

I left with a kiss to head to The 649 (already mentioned), with Susie being sleepy but sad to see me go. Susie was slow, and her voice harder to follow. Susie was exhausted Saturday.

Moving the narrative to the start of the day, I started Saturday at about 8ish, still sleeping later from last week’s time change, and spent the morning writing the blog and making breakfast. First, I chopped up 1/2 a green pepper and 1/2 of the onion I had left from previous cooking. Next, I sliced up a couple of boiled potatoes from yesterday’s boiled dinner and cut up two slices (including the end piece) of corned beef. I fried this in a pan with just a dash of oil and made hash for breakfast (and later a snack, as I mentioned)–no spices or salt. I got busy writing and almost burned my breakfast, but I managed to save it, and the slightly over-browned onions worked.

The writing and cooking made me a bit late, but Susie was running late, too–so it worked out.

Before boarding Air Volvo, I discovered the pond forming (as described before) in the backyard and, just wearing my robe and slippers, went out to investigate. I found the pond was expanding, and the stream that was coming downhill from a neighbor. I was initially worried, but after forming a lovely pond, the water flowed downhill to the next yard. The water must flow!

I dressed and did the usual things, including finishing some laundry I started on Friday.

I am trying to find a normal again after the messy week. I am trying to slow down a bit.

Thanks for reading.

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