Day 348: Going Groovy

There were no early morning status meetings. I slept into 7ish. Susie was up a bit early; my last few hours were a bit broken, but still, it felt a bit better at 7 when the alarm went off. I managed to have breakfast, coffee, and even shower and dress in time for the start of hours of Zoom calls, all status.

I did have a few crises of the moment as many little items appeared in text messages, emails, and Slack messages. One request asked me how I was doing, and I commented that I was changing focus so fast I felt like a tennis ball. This got a LOL, at least.

I was in about six hours of status meetings today. I spent most of the time with the camera off as I worked on other items while trying to follow along. I did not want to be that guy, “I am sorry, could you repeat that.”

I was busy writing Groovy code all day. Groovy is the language you can use in Jenkins to control building software; Jenkins is an open software platform that allows you to write processes to build and test software (yes, named after a butler). I have written some Groovy and Jenkins configurations to orchestrate installing SAP Java and UI5 based applications. Now I needed to install SAP Data Intelligence software (yes, they called it that, or DI). I managed to get the connection string to work to the underlying technology yesterday. I now needed to orchestrate a build process.

I spent the morning trying to get the Groovy to talk to BASH as all the examples for SAP to do this are in BASH. BASH is the shell script to control UNIX (and it stands for Bourne Again SHell). My Jenkins environments are UNIX (you can use Windows too). And to make it just a feast of hacking, the examples include ad hoc created Python code to parse some of the control files (Of course, Python is named for Monty Python).

While nerding out, I managed a short walk–it was a bit cold for me. I know that I am working hard enough as my KN95 mask, CDC no longer recommends paper masks, starts to push on to my face because I am breathing hard. My breathing is good today, and the pain in my legs is less. Use it or lose it!

I ordered from Gyro House again and had a lamb gyro. It was so good. I ate it while I was working on the code.

My afternoon was more status meetings. I continued to code and test. I managed to get the flow to work. I have not yet fully test it as I need a valid *.zip, but I did get all the controls working, and the Python stopped failing.

Susie has only two days left of in-home physical therapy. Michelle showed up about 3ish, and we went over the plan. We will have a cake to celebrate Susie graduating from PT at home. Susie walked with Michelle outside halfway up and down our street. Michelle gave Susie some stretching exercises.

I was going to make dinner. I have to work Indian hours too. I instead ordered some Papa Murphy pizza and salad. These are take-home and bake pizza, New York thin-crust style. I got a Cesar salad with chicken also. I love pizza and a good salad; it is a Mid-West thing.

We watched the news on PBS while eating pizza. I then started the blog, and work restarted when India woke up.

I wrote the blog while listening, and I also did some work here and there—multi-tasking to the max.

14,502 people in Oregon were vaccinated yesterday. This number will likely increase as it takes 72 hours to get all the data posted.

2,525 people died today in the USA from the virus.

I turned to this old French carol, He Is Born, in the hymnal and found this delightful version.


Day 347: Tuesdsay with Beer

Working backward tonight, I am quickly writing the blog before returning to work on India’s morning, our 9:30PM.

Dinner was at Golden Valley Brewery for lots of beer and a Chicken Pot Pie. Susie had a Spanish Coffee and a ham and cheese. Mariah met us there.

Beer with hand sanitizer (to wash hands)

I stopped working about 4ish after going mostly non-stop from 6 this morning. I ended the day after answering questions about data conversions. We have new people involved, and they are asking all the basic questions again. I covered the same ground, and I think we are back on track.

Before the data conversion questions, I worked on Groovy code to build some install processes for one of the shoe company’s new technologies. They need this soon, so I spent the afternoon reading documentation and testing and revising. I managed to get my connection string to work, so I can now run the processes.

While coding and reading instructions, I was also listening to status meetings while eating Mexican Food delivered for lunch from Don Chilitoes Mexican Grill, a Chile Relleno, and Enchilada.

Susie also got started about the same time, and I got her waffles for breakfast with peanut butter spread on them. These are “power” waffles with extra protein.

Moving backward in time, the morning was again explaining how data worked to yet-another-group. I was explaining the same things again. I asked the people to talk to each other as they are from the same team. I did not mind that much explaining again; it was just a surprise to have a repeat.

I started early this morning with three hours of status meetings. I did have a few crises of the moment to handle too. I did manage to slip out and take a short walk.

My alarm was 6, and I started and was ready for the first meeting at 7AM.

9,235 people were vaccinated yesterday in Oregon. The number will likely be increased as it takes 72 hours to collect all the numbers.

2,404 people in the USA died from Covid-19 today.

I went with my fav version of Lift Every Voice And Sing.

Day 346: Monday Again

The morning started at 7ish. The meetings started at 8, not 7:30, so I got an hour more sleep this Monday. It was strange that I was not walking in the dark this morning!

The coffee was essential. I am tired and feel all the long days today. The status meetings went on for hours using Zoom.

Susie had her appointment at 9:30 with Zerida today. I managed to rally her and get her on her way without any problems. Her driver surprised me by not calling ahead but with no issues.

I decided to drive to lunch after I handled a few more crises of the moment for the shoe company. I went to Popeyes and got a Spicy Chicken Sandwich. I forgot how crunchy good those are.

Susie picked up a McDonald’s Happy Meal with Chicken McNuggets on her way home, her fav.

I spent the lunch hour in Roll20 setting up the character upgrades for the next game this evening. We agreed to increase the characters to the next level as things are getting a bit scary.

I returned to work and more status meetings and finished about 4ish. I then took a nap as I was tired.

I got going about 5ish and made dinner, Chicken Cordon Blu (Schwann’s), with freshly made mashed potatoes, and corn (Schwann’s). A very plain but fav dinner. It is better if I make some Hollandaise, but tonight we just went for the basics. Tonight is not the night to be separating eggs.

I then connected with all my players on Roll20 for a session. They detected multiple magic traps on the door into a tower made from a giant stalagmite. They removed the door and the frame avoiding the traps by never opening the door!

Within they met the evil undead wizard, called a lich, the genie sent them to kill and bring back his magical heart. He offered to help them find the controls for the Spaceship they found and get it to fly the Astral Planes again. They secretly sent the rogue to search for the magical heart and he, still undetected, managed to find a closed-off area at the top of the tower that is likely the vault that hides it. He also stole the evil undead’s most valuable item, his spellbook. They managed to escape before the lich noticed.

They had agreed with the lich to provide a fake heart to the genie and then take the treasure offered for the heart. The fake heart was the trap from the door that somehow containers two vampires. It is a wood carving in the shape of a skull with two black gem eyes.

On their way to try out this rather odd plan, they ran into a party of bad guys who were also plundering the Mad Mage Dungeon and looked on the players as a chance for more loot. The night finished with a long battle with the players managing to win. For a moment, their rogue was charmed and changed sides, but lucky for them their dwarf cleric had cast a spell that did continual damage. It slew the charmer monster before it could get their rogue to make some real mischief.

After that, I had 15 minutes until I had to start my day again at work in India time. I spent about an hour online working again tonight.

I am drained.

13,790 people received the Covid-19 vaccine in Oregon yesterday. The number will likely increase as it takes 72 hours to post all the counts.

1,374 people in the USA died from Covid-19 today.

I picked a fav for tonight and found a nicely done version: In The Garden.

Day 345: Sunday with Work

Today started at about 8:30ish. I was a bit tired and decided to skip out on church and even a lecture on Rome. I just was going very slow. I cleared off my working table and did the dishes, and started the laundry. About noon, I had the painting going again.

I purchased two 3D printed factory models for the Scythe board game. I primed them and then over-sprayed them in white to get the coloring to look 3D. I used a special shade-built-in green paint for the roof.

Primed and color applied.

I purchased another Scooby-Doo figure set from Hasslefree Miniatures in The UK. I promised a painted set for the Weiss family (Susie’s cousins). I have started on them today. I got out the set I finished to match the colors and remind me how I painted them.

Usually, I get to paint a figure just once. This makes it always new and interesting and filled with some regrets as you notice that the colors are not as bright or not really working. For me, the figures are usually put in a bag or a drawer (if metal) and used here and there for Dungeons and Dragons and other figures using games. Some are great, and some are OK.

The special painting jobs are for board games that have figures. Here I try to do the best work as they will be used repeatedly. I have been able to get multiple copies for some figures in board games; you can often buy an extra set for a minimal charge. This allows me to exchange unpainted figures for painted figures. I think I have done Scythe figures three times. My last set looks very nice.

The cartoonish or bright figures are undercoated white. I prefer to paint figures with a flat black undercoat with white highlights as I can use less diluted paint for brighter colors and let the diluted paint show the shading from the dark primer. These figures have strong contrasts. With a white undercoat, I have to put in all the shading. These shadings have few contrasts and usually just enough to create a more 3D look for the figure.

I now use oil paints for shading instead of inks and varnishes for shading. I paint the model with a clear-coat and then shade it with oil paints. These oils dry the same color and mostly the same darkness as I applied. I can also wipe them off without damage to the underlying paint.

Note: I might still use inks and varnishes to change the paint color. For example, the Scythe model’s roof will get a hint of blue ink to suggest a copper roof.

Cartoon figures are painted and unpainted. Notice the lack of shading in the cartoon and the match in the figures.

While I was getting to all of this, I got a call that the Gay Pride flag was apparently needed by someone and was gone. I met Dan “Mindful” Gray at the church and replaced the flag. I buy replacements and store them in my garage until someone needs a flag.

There are some new tags on the church, and someone threw a traffic cone on the roof. There is construction near the church, and maybe a construction person will want to get the cone back. Neither Dan nor I felt young enough to climb up on the chapel’s roof and get the orange cone. Nonetheless, the flag is back in place. Dan will be overpainting the tags.

The tag is on the floor by the mat on the cement. It is done in colorful marker.

I returned home and then painted figures and other items and read a bit today. I did stop by Rainy Day Games and buy a Frostgrave book–more on that another day.

Mariah hooked up with us, and we met her at Khao San in Bethany for Thai food for dinner. Khan San specializes in street-style Thai food. Susie had crispy sweet potato fries. I had Mussaman Curry Short Ribs with Roti. Mariah had a curry with noodles. We saw the staff being careful and the customers keeping their proper distances; we felt safe. We enjoyed dinner, and we all returned to our respective homes. Recommended.

I then started back at work on IST morning, our 9PM. I followed along until about 10:30.

17,894 people were vaccinated in Oregon yesterday. This number will likely increase as it takes 72 hours to collect and report all the data.

1,245 people died today from Covid-19 in the USA.

I picked a political song today: The Thai National Anthem.

Day 344: Unlocked Just A Bit

It is Saturday and the second Saturday that I am not working on the shoe company’s issues. A whole day off–the second one in February. I slept into 9ish. Corwin was up and made breakfast of fried egg in toast and bacon. I started slow and tried to unwind a bit.

Evan and I connected and decided to try our first board gaming outing in 2021. Mox Boarding House is not opening for food and playing until Monday, so we had to find an alternative location.

I called the Wildwood Tap, and they said they would not mind a small group playing games, two of us. So today is the first game not at the house in a long time. They are a tap, so they have no food. They have a large number of taps and tables to drink at. You can bring food in or have GrubHub deliver there.

I picked up some Indian Food at Biryani Corner. It was a bit hard on both the guy taking my order and me as we are both trying to understand the other muffled by N95 masks. I tried to ask him what he would suggest and that got more questions that ended with me or him confused and one of us saying, “yes.”

I ended up with a lot of food, Chicken Marsala with naan with so much garlic, all vampires cleared out of Hillsboro and rice. And a Samosa, just one. I took it to Wildwood, and I could only eat about 1/3 of it. It was wonderful and too much for one person. I texted Evan that I had lunch for both of us. He finished my lunch. We put the remains in the outside trash bin.

That was the first Indian food for me in, I believe, six months that I did not cook myself.

We then played Vindication with the new mat and new cards I just received–another upgrade from the game creator, and I beat Evan by just a few points, but I had every mastery–Evan wanted revenge. We played again, and he took me to task beating me by 30+ points—total smack-down.

We had some more beer and moved to Concordia. This, too, is a fav and is an economic game focusing on resource use to build the greatest Roman trading house. We picked the Mediterranean board, which is also a fav. We played a standard game with the Forum add-on from the Concordia: Salsa expansion (if you are to buy Concordia now, you should buy Venus Concordia, which comes with all the best add-ons).

I find Concordia an intellectual challenge, and I usually have my moves planned out two or more ahead and then adjust as my opponent(s), Evan, this time, sometimes makes a hash of my plans. I enjoy expanding my trading by building more and more trading houses in far-flung empire backwaters. The game is also a balance of building and buying and creating opportunities with the cards you can purchase to improve your overall game experience. Still, these card purchases use the same resources you would use to expand–hard choices. I love to try to make the “engines” run in the game and surprise my opponents. There is almost no chance and no dice. You must make do with what the game’s world hands you and find a way to build the greatest trading house. I love it!

I managed to build a trading house in 10 of 12 Roman provinces and get five colonists out. I also ended the game by building all my houses—this gave me even more points. This gave me the game.

Wildwood was filling with Saturday Night drinkers. Time to go!

We left Wildwood and went our separate ways. Evan wanted to catch the Blazers game–Susie was expected dinner out. I picked Susie up, and we went to a local Mexican place, Mazatlan. This is a local chain, and this one is only two blocks from the house. We like it.

The staff at Mazatlan are cautious and always wear masks, and the customers are careful. We always feel safe there and ate a very nice dinner together—Susie’s first dinner out since the last lockdown. I had flan and coffee while Susie finished her first beer out in 2021!

I spoke to the owner-manager; she was so happy we had come in today. She told me, “it has been so hard.” She said that they could not do take-only and survive. I might have to Mazatlan once a week. Hmmm.

20,646 people in Oregon received the vaccine yesterday. We are back to high numbers, and even these good numbers may increase as it takes 72 hours to collect all the data. By the end of February, Oregon medical people will have given out more than a million shots.

1,907 people passed away today from Covid-19 in the USA, a still terrible high death rate.

I am tempted to start tracking Senator Ted Cruz as another disaster, but I will resist.

I went with Santo, Santo, Santo for today. This is a more Rock version. The English version is Methodist Hymnal #64 and Spanish on #65. The designers of the Hymnal have the book open to both.