Today 8-9April2023: Saturday and Easter 2023

I find that I cannot add on any more than what I do. It is impossible to create a time debt and somehow, like Doctor Who, pay it back by making timey-wimey things work. Instead, you can fail at multiple items, possibly your health, and have a worse outcome. This is what happens to me now. To do something, I have to give up something. It is, unfortunately, a zero-sum game for me at this time.

Thus for me to make pancakes this morning at church for Easter meant I had to give something up–I was hoping otherwise, but it became true again. So I am now writing a blog for two days. These extra-long blogs seldom get fully read by my readers (I understand), but I will push through anyway so that at least today and yesterday are accounted for.

Starting Saturday, I slept in a bit and had a gorgeous, unbusy morning, as I had written the Friday blog on Friday and did not need to rush on Saturday morning (the Friday blog was one of the shorter ones). I even managed to make the last connections on the main board for my radio build–nothing says super-geek more than wearing the delicate perfume of solder in the morning. This includes a full Arduino microcontroller (a special version with soldering connections instead of headers for jumpers from Sparkfun but licensed as an actual blue-colored Arduino Pro 3.3V model–the finest Italian design) but is still lower-ish powered version. My design includes a 1Amp hour LiPo battery charged by an older model ‘B’ USB cable. I was excited to finish the last bit of this Saturday morning (but later, I learned I needed to add two 10K pull-down resisters–so two more things, and then I will be done with the main board).

I also packed up my copy of Windspan–I had purchased from Meeple Source some more wooden food recourse bits (for the European add-on that needs some more for some of its new mechanics). Last night, late, I glued together the wooden laser-cut replacement birdfeeder dice roller as mine was beginning to become tattered. I also packed a new collection (plus the European) for the Easter Bunny. I also finally broke down and bought the painted wooded first-player marker. The Easter Bunny proved with one too.

I also bought another dice roller from Esty that needs to be assembled and painted. It is a bit nicer but made from thicker particle board. I have used this before, and it must be primed and sealed, at least primed. I will build this one and compare it to the one from Meeple Source. I hope it fits in the box. I did not assemble that one last night as it will require more time.

Returning to the narrative on Saturday, I made breakfast of hard-boiled eggs and breakfast sausages. I baked a package of maple sausages for 45 minutes at 325F and boiled five eggs. I had a few for breakfast and packed the rest in glassware for later (thanks Glenda and Gene, for the glassware). Then, I finally headed to Susie’s place at the hummingbird house in Portland (Tigard) at Allegiance Senior Care LLC, 9925 SW 82nd. Ave. Portland (Tigard), OR 97223; phone (503) 246-4116. I had showered, dressed, packed all the Easter Bunny items and my computer, just in case, and headed out in Air Volvo. Another damp but without flooding drive, and folks were still a bit stressed and driving poorly–Attention is required. First, I stopped by Corwin’s new place; he did not respond to calls or texts, so the Easter Bunny left a few items for him to discover later on Corwin’s place’s porch (he was thrilled with the Bunny’s choices).

I arrived with items for Susie without issue at about 11. The folks at the facility had broken up Susie’s balloons and decorated the hummingbird house with floating eggs, chicks, and bunnies–excellent. Susie got tulips and a Nike lunchpail as her new Easter basket (to be opened on Easter). Susie loved the flowers.

Anassa moved Susie to her rocking chair in her room, and we watched an old-ish Marvel movie, Captain Marvel. I think it is one of the best. Susie liked it. We stopped the movie to chat with her mother, Leta, on my iPhone via FaceTime. Leta was still without a stove (the fix is next week) but was having a good day. We finished the movie, and Susie looked tired; I kissed her goodbye and headed out.

I reached Portland in a mess of traffic, but I found Rogue’s Taphouse in SE without issue (except for taking an extra thirty minutes). Evan had beat me there, and I was happy to see enough light to play board games. I got a Deadguy Ale and Rockfish Fish & Chips–wonderful (and I was hungry). I brought the board game Scythe.

Evan looking silly.

Scythe is a 4X  and a Kickstarter game with all the premium materials and bright colors you expect when something is created via Social Media. It was one of the first Kickstarter games I bought, and I have painted all the figures (including the mechs and all the expansions except for AirShips). I have the most bling version I have seen of this game.

The game is set in the 1920s but in a steampunk world of SciFi where Tesla (not the car company) invented a new form of power that enabled huge machines and airships, and avoid the calamity of World War 1 and thus all the Imperialist powers still exist as minor kingdoms. The play is to explore, expand, and exploit with a light touch on the exterminate. It is one of my favorites, but I have been playing all these newer (for me) games, and Scythe has sat on the shelf.

On Saturday, we had to assemble two tables to play the game and have room for food and drinks (and we used the smaller board). We played the first game (Poland and Norway, white and blue, respectively) on opposite sides of the board. I efficiently combined Norse powers and resources and won by about six points- a close game. Evan was surprised when I finished the game with combat and managed a win.

We did not have much more time; I had a game with Richard at 6PM. So we reset, not having time to put away Scythe and get out another game, and finished about 3/4 of another game. Evan pulled that one out, and even if incomplete, it was clear he was ahead, as I had struggled with the efficiency of Poland (the same problem Evan had). Evan enjoyed Russia (red) for this game, while I took over his previous color. I beat Evan in some battles, and I think I might have pulled off a win while Evan recovered from the battle, but that is speculation. Evan was ahead when we ran out of time.

After paying the bill, putting away the game, loading up Air Volvo, and waving goodbye to Evan, I discovered I was running Air Volvo on fumes. Off to the nearest Shell. Even though it is the law that Oregon is a Full-Service state (like New Jersey), nobody was out, and everyone was filling their own cars. Thus I, not an attendant, refueled Air Volvo for the first time in years and the first time EVER in Oregon. I discovered that the diesel did not fit in the car (yikes), and then I completed the task without error. I could only put in $40 as that seemed the limit for this bizarre and slightly illegal process in Oregon.

Next, I had a car nearly rear-end me and throw a fit when a pedestrian decided to cross a white-lined crosswalk against the lights. You must stop even though you may doubt the sanity of the person trying to stop all the traffic, bodily. I actually spoke to the other driver and calmly pointed out that the person had started to walk, and that meant for us to stop by law; the driver then agreed and apologized for missing that. So, yes, in Portland, we calmly discuss the driving issues at stop lights.

Without giving further education lessons on driving, I reached Richard’s and Shawn (living now in Italy), and Caroline joined us. We learned how to play the board game Isle of Cats and played one game (I came in last).  This pattern-building game has a card system to create goals and turn order for play. While cute and cuddly, playing with various colored cats in shapes on your board and packing treasure in odd spots is not something I enjoy much. However, I might like it after a few more plays–I seldom like games on the first play.

Next, we tried a borrowed copy of Earth, something I had only heard about. This is a cross between the board games Arc Nova. Terraforming Mars, Wingspan, and some other pattern card games. In this board game, you are a Gaia spirit of an island that you build from cards using the currency of the game, dirt, to make it attractive to the goals of this play (randomly assigned). The game plays fast, and the goals are, I thought, hard to understand and written on cards (impossible to read from your seat), but I liked it as Shawn said it is not overly long like Arc Nova or Terraforming Mars. It reminded me more of Wingspan, which plays fast once you understand it. I scored last again, just a few points for third.

I drove home after the second game. The drive home was direct, and I took the rocket onramp, as I call it, to the bridge (the ramp is taller than the bridge and has two lanes changing to one). I was relieved there was no water on the ramp this time! Without incident or other educational items, I reached home.

I got the mail, discovered all the cool stuff I hoped would show in time for the Easter Bunny for Wingspan previously mentioned, and got to bed late.

Easter 2023

Sorry, this will be a two-day blog. I was up at 6AM and was happy to reheat the sausage and have some cold hard-boiled eggs I made yesterday for breakfast. I had some yogurt with them. Unfortunately, my back was out of sync with the rest of me, and I thought about stretching but ran out of time. So there was no time to do the blog, but I checked work (nothing I was needed for), email, and the Internet news.

Dressed in a sweater, dress shirt, and tie and carrying an apron and pancake flipper, Air Volvo took me to First United Methodist Church. I had loaded in the cargo hold two electric grills (I have collected two over the years of doing pancakes at the church) and Z’s Easter Bunny gifts from Meeple Source (the bits now loaded into plastic Easter Eggs).

I then helped where possible, mostly working with Z to make pancakes. I did help heat the sausage and served up the first breakfast at 9AM. Mostly things went OK with Z learning not to touch the hot grill with fingers (no real damage) and one overly zealous person restricting sausages to two to a customer (causing a dispute).

I had to leave as the time reached 10AM to see Susie. I walked out, changed back into my sweater, and boarded Air Volvo (I had told the church folks I could start but could not finish). I quickly crossed Beaverton to Tigard and was at Susie’s. While it was Easter, the cold rain and the likelihood of poor parking decided the matter for Susie, so no church.

When we don’t do church, I stay longer with Susie (as she is usually not worn out by the transfers and all the people at church–it tires her out for two days). If I take her, she will be sleepy and worn out when done. So instead, we moved to Susie’s room to watch some shows.

We opened Susie’s Nike lunchpail Easter Basket, and the other was another stuffed animal bunny (a Reeces Cup bunny with some chocolates), and some peeps that Susie always gets on Easter. She loved the new bunny and held on to it for a while just looking at it. We put the Nike lunchpail on a shelf.

Anassa moved Susie to her Rocking Chair (I held the chair to keep Susie safe during the transfer), and then we watched some shows on Susie’s TV. We have arranged for her to have all the same cable as I have here at the house (which does not get watched much here). I found Poker Face, a new show on Peacock that we like. It is a remaking of old shows like Rockford Files, and Colombo set now in modern times but with a 1970s vibe. Susie nodded off for a while, but we watched a second episode set on car racing that got Susie’s attention.

I headed for lunch while Susie got lunch from Anassa, the weekend nursing aide, at the table in hummingbird house. I headed to Red Robin for Easter lunch, and Natale was my bartender who was happy to see me and asked about my wife. I felt unwell today and had a larger salad and Diet Coke. The nausea was getting worse, but I am an old friend of nausea from chemotherapy and could easily withstand it and even eat. I enjoyed talking a bit with Natale and then returned.

I ignored nausea and, without throwing up, felt better later. Susie was tired (even hanging out with me makes her tired), and we moved her to her bed, put on M.A.S.H., and spent until about 4PM watching together. I also did a few things, including bidding on a Civil War Cotton Bond (it went for $300+, so I passed) on eBay on my Apple. Susie was sorry to see me leave, “I miss you.” But Susie agreed it was time for me to get home. I left Susie looking sad but already falling asleep in her blankets.

I returned home and made spaghetti with Vodka sauce (from a jar) with browned mild Italian-styled sausage. I was not in the mood for more ham and the usual Easter dinner. I was exhausted, and it was harder to do than I had planned.

I found another Science show on cable, Atom, on quantum mechanics. I found there are some excellent shows there. I ate a few bowls of dinner and then packed the rest away.

Finally, I got to the blog, taking two hours to write it.

Thanks for reading. Sorry, it is nearly 2500 words!

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