Year 1 Day 53: Wednesday, Cinco de Mayo 2021

Tonight we went to the local Mexican place, Mazatlan Aloha, and celebrated that they were still open for in-restaurant dining and that we all made it to Cinco de Mayo 2021. There was no celebration for 2020, of course. I remember the day in 2020 passing without even a taco.

Today I had the Mazatlan plate and a huge margarita. I finished with flan.

It was a wonderful sunny we-must-have-moved-to-California spring day. It is 80F+. And the pollen is crushing me. I slept into 7:15ish and started my first Zoom meeting, fully dressed and showered at 8AM.

I spent the day listening to status meetings and trying to work out some issues in data egress. As strange as this sounds, now that my one team has got all that into the systems, another of my teams must provide egress of much of the same data to other non-SAP and some SAP targets. Truly, there is no rest of the wicked or, in my case, for data flow. I was on four calls on issues with pulling the newly minted data.

I am happy to report that the Zoom meeting at 9PM for India’s morning ended this week. I have a problem with a vendor patch (an OSS note for those who speak SAP) and have a Zoom meeting scheduled for India’s end-of-day: 4:30PDT! Ugly.

The day at home working was full of crises of the moment, but I resolved most of them. Lunch was Aloha Teriyaki in the strip mall just around the corner from our house. They were open for lunch–most places except fast food are now closed for lunch, and I thought I should, after more than a year, pick up a chicken bowl for Susie and their bento box for me. It was good. Susie was surprised as it has been a long time since she had a chicken bowl from Aloha Teriyaki.

This is from last year’s blog on May 5, 2020:

The reports follow the same pattern of the last few weeks, and the counts of deaths from the virus increased by a thousand from yesterday: Two-thousand three-hundred-fifty. Unfortunately, the number of deaths is not decreasing yet. 

There is no hint of celebrating in the blog. I had no sleep and worked all night, and was suffering from a migraine last year, May 5th.

So a better year so far!

1.3 million people in Oregon out of 4.2M are fully vaccinated.

743 people in the USA died from the virus today.

Last May 5th, I picked For All The Saints in the middle of the first terrible surge of death and infections in the USA. Let’s go with that again and the same version too. The USA has lost more than 1/2 a million souls (saints) to the virus since I wrote the May 5, 2020 blog entry. Tears fill my eyes as I listen.

Year 1 Day 52: Tuesday with Humans

Today I managed to sleep to about 7ish. I was up at 6ish and checked my email, and I could sleep a bit more. Usually, I can’t fall asleep when I do this. I woke just past 7 with a start. Mostly, I was startled that I was asleep and did know where I was or why I was waking up. This left it a hard start this morning.

I had Zooming meetings all day. I also had two calls to align on some issues. The crises of the moment multiplied until I was working on multiple issues and doing a bit of Zoom-email-slack juggling. Nothing exciting but much on critical paths, so it is all a crisis. When everything is an emergency, it is hard to focus on solving issues.

I went with my normal approach; I took a break and went out to get lunch. I got a Whopper meal. I picked up a McDonald Happy Meal and asked them to ensure that it had apple slices. I got an eye-roll, no really, when I told the McDonald person getting me the Happy meal it was not for me, but my wife and she is only happy with apples.

Yes, I got attitude from a Portland Greater-Area McDonald’s. I thought it funny. The pandemic may have ended the overly and slightly passive-aggressive polite Portland! I thought I had noticed a bit more aggression in waiting in lines, six feet apart, lately in grocery stores, and getting seated in restaurants. The pandemic seems to have removed the Portland polite.

Back to Zooming at Nike. I continued with more work and more crises. I start to slow down but try to work through it. I am coughing non-stop from the pollen. I did take a few short breaks. I took some pictures of our flowering bushes during the break. These plants came with the house, and I understand they came from another house, so many maybe 50+ years old.

 

The coughing wears on me. By 4PM, I am done. I will be back online this evening to work IST (India) time.

I take Corwin’s suits to be cleaned at our local dry cleaners. Masonic meetings are running again; he needs to look sharp on Thursday. The owner of the store takes my order and then recognizes the name Wild. She is so happy, and her eyes are damp. “I have so missed my customers,” she tells me. She remembers me–I used to have suits for church I would clean every month. The dry cleaner store is closing, victim to the pandemic, she explains. “Nobody has come,” she tells me. She says she feels so alone. But, she is overjoyed to take my order and that I remembered cash or check only. We are sad together but so happy to meet at least one more time.

I return home a bit sad. I read and take a short nap. And I poured a glass of wine.

I make dinner. Schwann’s steaks browned in butter on the stove and finished in the stove. I remembered to put an oven mitt on the pan’s handle, so I did not burn myself! Instant mash potatoes and Schwann’s green beans, microwaved, almond slivers with salt cooked in butter in another frypan, and green beans stir-fried in the hot butter and almonds. Steaks removed from the pan, and the juices and butter mixed with a bit of water and corn starch to make a small pan gravy while using the oven mitt and not burn me on 350F pan. I added a bit of wine, a few tablespoons still left in my glass. Spoon over meat and/or mashed. Good!

I was watching the old classic Doctor Who for lunch and while making and eating dinner. I have a copy of the famous Shada lost episode. It was never finished, and some filming was never completed. The new version includes computer-animated sections for the missing sections. The original actors mostly voice the animated sections, including Tom Baker, the 4th Doctor. You have to be a Who fan to watch this.

Back to work at 10PM on India time. More data conversions. Corwin does the dishes for me.

853 people in the USA died from the infection today.

I opened the hymnal, and it just turned to Here I Am Lord. I found this happy church-service version of a giant British choir.

Year 1 Day 51: Monday Again

I managed to sleep until 6:30. My first meeting was at 8:00.

The data conversions are running today, and we watched them all day.

I had a muffin and coffee as I started reading email and Slack channels on status. The muffin was a gift in the bagels box I bought from Einstein’s Bagels on Sunday.

I managed to slip out and take a walk. I did my shorter Monday morning. No bad coughing, but my legs felt like they were wooden. Use it or lose it!

Work was mostly status meetings and giving some advice here and there. I followed up on a few items and got some traction, unusual for a Monday. So it was a bit of a frustrating day as everything that is simple required meetings and approvals, but some actually got done.

Lunch was delivered by GrubHub from Gyro House, a lamb gyro. Susie was up about noon, and I got her breakfast and coffee.

I had some more vendor patches, and I was finally able to make some progress. The patch failed, OSS notes to those who speak SAP, and I have to manually code some of it. I tried three times and decided I should try this after getting some more rest.

Monday was busy and full of Zooming.

Today we played Roll20 Dungeons and Dragons 5E. This is online with live video with e software providing a desktop that looks like pencil and paper 5E. There are six players now, including me, the Dungeon Master, that runs the game.

I was tired, so I ordered Chinese Food from Happy Panda. They make a Chicken Cashew that Susie likes, and I tried their spicy Kung Pao Chicken. It was familiar and good. They deliver, but you have to pay when they deliver. I had the credit card to the driver and have them put a tip and sign. It works and is safe.

When food is delivered, I put the bags on the counter, take all the food out of the bags. Throw the bags away and wash my hands. The food is hot. I use our plates and silverware.

The big battle was the end of the huge series of adventures we have played for about six months or a bit longer. They faced the Mad Mage and won. Some luck on their side helped. If they turned over all their loot to him, the Mad Mage did offer they could escape with the Astral Ship they wanted. This was my own idea–it is not part of the text of the adventure, but I thought it fit the theme. They did debate the offer for 30 minutes and decided to pay, but for fun, we played it anyway. We kept that ending anyway when they won. I knew they could beat the Mad Mage, but it would be close.

Cory, their wizard, managed to get two maximized fireballs into the Mad Mage. I missed the saving throw both times. It was a good plan. The Mad Mage fell.

We begin the new adventure, the Candelkeep Mysteries. We will skip a week as one of our players is traveling and then resume the following week.

That is about all. I was back online Zooming at 9PM to work India hours. The data conversions were running well, and I was only Zooming for 15 mins or so.

445 people died today in the USA from Covid-19.

We remember all the people we have lost with a hymn or song. Today I went with the hymn attributed to Gregory the Great: Father We Praise Thee.

 

Year 1 Day 50: Sunday Working

The sun is just setting this May 2nd. I took a picture of the first roses for 2021. The sunny days and the switching to lengthening days have turned the switch in nature to Spring and Summer. The frogs are singing, and we hear the geese and ducks flying overhead. The sky was clear today; the pollen is killing me. Usually, the rains are so heavy now that the roses melt off the bushes. But the China Rose is always happy and the first roses.

The day started too early with me hearing Evan getting going at 5:30. He was doing the streaming for local sports that start early, and he preferred staying here instead of returning home to Portland and driving twice as far. I got up and made coffee and got him a to-go cup ready.

I tried to return to sleep, but I started coughing and all that jazz from pollen. So I finally was up. I logged onto work and started a Sunday working day before 6ish! I spent the whole morning logged on and working.

I took a few breaks, and I ordered bagels delivered by DoorDash. I had a lox bagel and a baker’s dozen (sliced) delivered to the house with some schmear. It is a fav on the weekend. I immediately put 1/2 a dozen bagels in a freezer bag and put them in the freezer. Bagels all week!

I also continued on the experiencing of Game of Throne’s first season. I am almost to the end of the first season, and the show is much better than the first few episodes. The show has no problem killing off important and well-loved characters. This makes the show much more exciting when you know that anyone could die. So far, I like it, but I am not prepared to commit to season 2. It is a lot of time.

Lunch for me was a quick Popeye’s Spicy Chicken sandwich. I like them these. I was then back to it, Zooming.

I took a break and watched a few Games of Throne’s episodes. Susie got up, and I got her a donut and coffee. She seems to like Games of Thrones, so we watch it for a while. I had to keep stopping and join discussions at work—Zoom meeting lasting for hours to work out issues in the data conversions.

I got a text from Mariah and slipped out to Golden Valley Brewery and sat in the sun outside. Mariah brought her little dog. There were lots of dogs. I had their salad with grilled steak. It is a giant piece of lettuce, grilled and covered with sliced olives, grilled onions, and red peppers in oil plus a small sliced steak. Quite a decadent salad. I had that with a regular-sized gin and tonic. Mariah had the fish and chips, which is quite good too, and a drink also.

The waiter kept up offering me more booze. I kept telling her she would have to drive me home as I was tired if I had another. She thought a nice day for a drive, but we decided I would stick to one drink and thereafter water.

I brought back Susie a nice apple tart with caramel, bacon (!), and ice cream from Golden Valley Brewery. She loved it. Susie was reading and not ready for a dinner out; she did get a hand-delivered dessert.

Back to work. Zooming on Sunday all night again. More data conversions this night.

312 people today in the USA died from Covid-19.

Oregon is starting to lock down in places. Washington Country, where we live, has partially re-locked down.

The First One Ever was a hymn I just turned to. I have sung it before. This version is a bit rough, but I thought it matches the music well.

 

Year 1 Day 49: Saturday with Headache

I watched the old movie TRON today. I bought a copy for my Apple this morning and watched it while tracking text and processes at the shoe company.

My first meeting was at 9 this morning and another one at 3PM. I have kept track of the process and the lack of progress all day. Not a very exciting day.

I managed to paint some figures for a while. These are Richard’s figures I am working on.

I broke away at noonish for Taco Bell and getting the tree stuff washed off of Air Volvo. It has been a cold overcast day here—no rain, but damp, gray, and well normal for us here in the Pacific Northwest.

I made grill ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner and am finishing up the laundry. This while I watch Slack channel updates and emails.

No games played today.

I did buy the electronic version for Roll20 of Candlekeep Mysteries for Dungeons and Dragons 5E. There are three interesting mysteries that we can play with my current players. I can save the rest for other games. I will make a few changes in the Mad Mage adventure, which may end this Monday, so that we can move right into the first mystery.

All day a headache had troubled me. Making reading and painting difficult.

I am reading the first book in the Coldfire series, Black Sun Rising. I like the mix of fantasy and SciFi in these books. Despite the headache, I have read a lot today. Years ago, I read the first two. Kindles make it easy to find these books. I could not locate a copy of the last book when I read them before.

India is suffering. Our prayers and thoughts go out to India.

Oregon was called out in the BBC News as one of the places in the USA that are experiencing a surge of Covid-19 cases.

661 people in the USA died today from Covid-19.

Blessed Assurance with a Bluegrass sound works for me today. I have done this one before, but I like it.