Day 196: Sunday with NFL

Mariah wanted to watch the NFL, and the first game was 10ish! So I was up early 9ish on a Sunday.

We had the tell-tale chirp of the smoke alarm to wake us this morning. The battery I installed three years ago was dead. The instructions are on the backside, so I got out a chair and removed the smoke alarm to read the instructions–kind of silly to put the instructions in the only place I cannot reach. I ordered expensive extra-life batteries on Amazon and will re-install it later. The detector is currently running on batteries in the bathroom.

Susie had some issues this morning, and I had some laundry to do. She was OK.

Corwin left this window open, and the house was well aired-out and 63F. I closed his window and turned on the heat back on. We are comfortable again.

After getting dressed and dealing with a chirping smoke detector, I had a few minutes to work on my 3D printer. I managed to get the Z-axis installed in the 3D printer today. I am now to the power supply and wiring, and that did not seem like something to rush and then stop and watch football. Maybe Monday.

We could not get the Eagles game as, despite the expensive cable I have, it looks like you have to buy CBS access to get all the games! I was surprised as I thought I had all of the NFL. It was fine to watch the 49s instead. It was a good game.

After the game, Mariah and I had a beer and lunch at Golden Valley Brewery. Their food is good, and they seem to make the extra effort to keep you safe. I had the cob salad, and Mariah tried the swiss mushroom burger, my usual.

Aside: We learned today that the Proud Boys rally and their attempt to bring some more beat-down on liberal Portland on Saturday failed to attract many Proud Boys. Rumors are the rally attracted just a few hundred folks. The left-wing social media did say the Proud Boys did at least managed to raise $30,000 this weekend to pay for their legal bills. Apparently, the Proud Boys are facing multiple lawsuits from Portland-based groups.

I returned home and rested, and made dinner. I made our German styled Goulash. I made some pasta to go with it.

I also managed to find the time to watch another episode of Lovecraft Country. I do like the show, but it has drifted far from the book I enjoyed so much. I have no idea where it is going now. Again, if you like the Hollywood version of an African American experience of horror set in the 1950s this is great.

Mostly just a quiet day. I read more of Circe and I am still liking the book.

And I have been trying to find an excuse to put this in a post. Just something silly while I am thinking of returning to work on Monday: You’ll Be Back.

It is reported that more than two-hundred seventy people lost their fight with the virus in the USA today.

I went with Stand By Me for the song for today. Methodist Hymnal # 512.


Day 195: Saturday Games and Printers

I finished tonight with working on my 3D printer. If you remember from a previous day’s blog, I was stuck on the header assembly. It would not go together, and I believed I would have to re-drill a hole, but instead, I used a drink umbrella to hold the hole in place while I put in the first screw. This kept the head in place, and when I put the next screw in at first, it did not work, and then it banged into the hole and connected. All done! I should have used a drink umbrella sooner; I know that is what you, the reader, is thinking.

I had an issue with a zip tie that came loose. I pulled on it, and it broke, and the needle-nose pliers, properly named, slammed into my thumb and cut me. Corwin was properly impressed, having seen the event, and commented that I managed to cut myself with pliers–that is hard to do, he said. I called him names.

I was able to cover the next two steps of the build. I am on page 23 and step 16. There are forty pages.

I added the drink umbrella to the printer next to the glow-in-the-dark zombie I found in the box.

Aside: Years ago, I wrote a 4E Dungeons and Dragon adventure where zombies, frozen, fell from the sky. I created the table-top experience with a bag-o-zombie glow-in-the-dark that I pour on the gaming map on the table. It was a lot of 28mm plastic zombies. I have one tacked with the umbrella on top of the printer.

I picked up Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) for dinner on the way home from Portland. KFC was very tasty today–very well made and fresh. I have noticed that take-out is well made now. Nobody in the current disaster wants to deliver sub-par food or service. It is unpatriotic and fatal to a business to provide bad or even average food.

I went to the Mox Boarding House to play games. They were happy to see me another Saturday showing up for lunch and some games. Evan joined me there, and we played Vindication. I have met the designer of the game who lives in Vancouver, Washinton, just across the Columbia. It has an uplifting theme and is very colorful. The whole experience is to build up your character and win with the most honor. I won this time. I managed to pay attention this time to the different domains and kept mastery in four of six–last time I played Evan, I lost track and lost. Again, it is a positive game as you do things to be a master of significant domains of good character: Vision, Intelligence, Wisdom, Strength, Courage, and Inspiration.

We then played a three-person game of Scythe. John was at Mox to play games, and he joined us, masked, in the big room with plenty of space. John was familiar with the board game but never played before, so I went over the rules with Evan filling in when I glossed-over something he thought important or when I missed something. We played after a quick review, and John caught on fast. I was playing Poland, and I was in my own little corner–perfect for me, and the faction was playing the Patriotic mat and managed to pull ahead and stay there. I focused on building-up as this is a resource management and dudes-on-board game. John had Saxony and Militant mat, so he was a bit scary, but as he was just learning, he did not build up fast and attack–usually, Saxony is a terror with Militant mat. Evan had Norse faction and Innovation mat that pays you to upgrade. He grabbed the center and dominated his part of the board. I stayed away until the very end, just building and slowly spreading out. I had a few good encounters that boosted my popularity. End scoring is higher the more popular your faction is. This gave me the game.

(This is the final map. Notice the white heart is highest)

Lunch for me was a burger at Mox. They had no specials to tempt us except for a wonderful dessert we all ordered. The burger surprised me as it had cucumbers soaked in vinegar–not real pickles. It was good.

Before I headed to Mox in Portland, I met Mick from my lawn service. We need to have some work done to clear out the mess in the backyard. Next Saturday, he and his crew will get the soon to be impassible jungle back to a nice bit of bushes and trees. He does not fix underground pipes for my gutter water. I will have to continue to search for someone to replace and repair those.

I started at 9:30ish and had a 10:15ish appointment with Mick. I had some corn muffins I made late last night to be here for Susie and me this morning.

Today more than seven-hundred thirty people in the USA were reported killed by the infection.

I found this song that I have never heard before: My Lord, What a Morning. Methodist Hymnal #719. The singer’s story is amazing and shows the truth about all those Daughters of the Revolution: Marian Anderson. More of her story: Concert in Washington DC.


Day 194: Friday Working with Rain

I awoke from a nap this evening. After dinner, I was just too tired to do anything and fell asleep. I read a new book, Circe, and nodded off having finished Yes, Chef late last night–I finally stopped at 1ish. Both are excellent reads, and the late-night reading explains most of the need for a nap.

Corwin took off, so it was just Susie and me for dinner. I made baked potatoes with bacon, cheese, and sour cream. Two smallish potatoes each. Susie was not ready for dinner, so I went to read and fell asleep, and the first potato was a bit cool. I heated Susie’s second one up, and that was better. I had mine cool.

Before this, I got to write for most of the afternoon documentation for Nike. It always surprises me how slow it is to get the initial work done. You then just add to it and polish it. I am using Confluence to do the documentation, so I have to follow its rules and try to match the style. It is also a learning curve. This is my second go at it, and I have the tooling working now. So more actual content was made today than last time, which was mostly about formatting and WTFing and DIYing–lost of -ing.

I love to write, so it was fun, but computer architect writing is quite tricky. You have to find the right words to explore the topic while not stepping on someone toes. There are so many big toed people. I also need to clearly state the direction as this is not a How-to but Do-it-this-way document. Again, a balance between being overbearing and being apologetic. I managed to get some items into a first draft, and some started this afternoon. The balance is still a bit direct–more polish will come.

Looking outside, it is raining. I wrote a long detailed email to the lawn service and asked if the lawn folks can clear away the dead trees and blackberry bushes in the backyard. I also asked them to fix the pipes that carry the gutter water away from the house. We have a cracked pipe and a smashed and may be blocked pipe to the street. Last year I had a small pond for a while in front of the house. It is time to deal with it and I have money. Time to invest.

Lunch was before all of this. I had trouble deciding lunch and settled on Chicken Bento with Miso Soup. Something exotic was delivered for Friday. It was just average.

Before this, I had meetings every 30 minutes on Zoom all morning. I was also trying to finish up items that were still not done this week. Mostly, I had to write emails about getting something fixed so I could do the task.

I was awoken by the alarm at 6ish and got going at 7ish. Too hard of a morning to start at 6!

Sleep was full of dreams, as were all my naps today. I cannot recall my dreams from last night or from the naps today, but vague images linger, and some dreams included traveling, and I think long-gone family members. Good dreams.

Today we count more than eight-hundred fifty people slain by the virus today in the USA.

I went with something I can sing: Do, Lord, Remember Me. Methodist Hymnal #527.

Day 193: Thursday No Retirement

The workday ended early for me. I have been extra tired these last weeks–The physical stress of the smoke and the emotional stress of the previous month has worn me down a bit. My boss asked me if I was staying today. Such an odd and direct question. Will I be working for Nike next year? Yes, I answered as I want to see my 25th anniversary at Nike and the new computer system going online the following year. So yes, at least two more years.

Worked started at 6ish again, and my first Zoom meeting was at 7, and then the meetings would stop about 10ish. So I did the email and the crisis of the moment and tried to help.

Susie was up at 9! So she was dressed and going.

I took Susie to drive-through Burger King, and then we drove over to a park off of Cornelius Pass and ate our lunch in Air Volvo, watching people in the park. I watched my Nike email on my phone–nobody needed me during lunch.

Susie was thrilled to get a Whopper Jr with cheese (I removed the offending onions and pickles we forgot to exclude) and to sit in the car and have a safe picnic at the park. It was a slightly cold and overcast fall day. We had sprinkles all day. Perfect fall Oregon weather, and Susie, like most of us, has been inside most of the 190+ days.

We returned home and I had some more meetings and emails and texts to work with.

Later, tonight Mariah came over, and we watched NFL–Thursday Night Football! I cooked dinner for everyone, and we opened a 2010 bottle from Purple Cow Vinyard–it was smooth and almost sweat like old like port wine but still light. I had some cheese we ordered from Olympia Provisions, and so I cut that up and served it while I got dinner going. It was, we ate it all, locally made and excellent cheese.

I baked chicken thighs, boneless, and skinless–enough for all of us. I heated white sauce from a jar–not great, but the Herb Provence I sprinkled on the chicken complimented the sauce. I cooked some pasta and microwaved some frozen green beans. I threw it all together, and it was well-received and straightforward.

I nodded off during the game at one point. I am still tiring too quickly. I will try to get some rest this weekend.

We are a witness to the nine-hundred forty plus people who died today here in the USA according to the reports on the Internet. We will go on for them and remember them and grieve.

I picked this song as even tired I was thinking of this as we saw the rain returning and eating in the car: This is the Day that the Lord has Made.


Day 192: Wednesday Rainy Greater Portland

Susie and I came to Beaverton, the Greater Portland Area, twenty-four years ago now. I don’t have any records with the exact dates anymore, but I remember moving here in mid-September. My work anniversary day recorded by Nike is on the thirtieth of September. I like it here and plan to finish-out here in Aloha, Oregon.

And it has been raining four three days now. The Oregon mist is not back yet, but we are getting lots of wet. Usually, we get a few days of rain in September, and the real rain comes with the Coho winds in October.  This is a cold desert wind that is significantly colder than the air. The cold air comes from the Columbia Gorge and blasts over the hills into our valley. Tender plants are frozen by the wind. Gardners here know that you plant tender plants out of the wind near the house.

Working backward, I was just reading the delightful book, Yes, Chef. Before that, I finished a meeting on data conversions with China and India at 7:30PM that went to 8:15ish. The world is flat for multinational companies, and I am often up late or early to chat with the other side of the Earth.

I also read that Proud Boys are coming to harass us again in social media. There is a call on social media for the locals to confront the racist bigots in rainy Portland. Additionally, this call suggests it is perfect Portland weather for the locals to be outside protesting Proud Boys. Here rain is a call to action!

Our rather belated air purifier showed up today. It is mostly a filter with a cheap fan. I suspect I could buy a furnace filter and attach a fan to get the same thing–it looks like a covered kitchen appliance. It does have a timer control so you can have it running when you are not trying to sleep–it is a tiny bit loud. Maybe it can remove some of the pollen and any remaining smoke particles.

Corwin made Jambalaya for dinner. This is from a box with the spices already in it. We usually add more rice to back down the spices for Susie and add sausage, and in this case, pork boneless meat is already cooked. Corwin added local tomatoes and fresh hatch chilis. It was great, and Susie was OK with it. Once in a while, we make Susie a grilled cheese or scrambled eggs with cheese if dinner is too spice. We want to get some food into her, and thusly we sometimes make dinner twice.

Nike stock went to over $130 (and then backed off to $128) today. The earnings were great.

Worked went on with more meetings and various emails on process items in the afternoon. I found that my afternoon was free and so I took a break and read for a while. I had to check in a couple of times.

Lunch was a Lamb Gyro from Gyro House delivered with extra spicy garlic sauce. I had meetings that ran through lunch. I took the 15 minutes free to enjoy my food and got another 15 minutes to finish. I try to grab lunch, but today it was just a break between meetings. I told the Nike Zoom folks that now that we are all Zooming, the extra spicy garlic is no longer a social no-no for lunch.

I slept too late and got going at 7ish and started reading emails from over the night and morning. I prepared for my meetings and began with an hour meeting on Nike’s new platforms for development. I do not use these platforms, but it is good to know what else is in use at Nike.

Today we witness the passing of over eleven hundred people in the USA from Covid-19. We pray that the caregivers and the people who lost friends and family today will find peace.

Joyce Hill, Susie’s aunt, suggest a hymn: Great Is Thy Faithfulness. Methodist Hymnal #140.