Day 45: Wednesday 5 Phase 1 (still): Working

Just a short note. I am unusually tired today.

I made tacos for dinner and then read for a bit, and then we watched Nova on PBS. The show was how North American was created. Geology was my first love of science. Math and Computer Science came much later. Well, there were few computers back in the 1960s.  Next week is the story of life on the continent. It should be educational, and the visuals amazing!

Going backward in my story today, I had to head out to get Susie’s prescription for Thursday before I made dinner. Once-a-week-pill for Osteoporosis was re-filled. Plus, a box of chocolates (Susie is always surprised and happy to get chocolates). I also got some blacksmith supplies for Corwin: Propane and some staps to secure the mini-forge better. Corwin started hammer again today starting on making a dagger-like knife.

Before leaving I was working on-line. I had meetings all day, texts, emails, Teams, and even a call. More challenges. I did slip out at 10:30 and went for a walk. I am very stiff and so I am trying to get out more. My right knee and leg are painful and I nearly fell from the sudden pain and lack of movement in RiteAid. If it gets worse I will have to do something about it.

I found something to look at on my walk.


I reheated the soup and Chinese food from last night for lunch.

It was a very early start.

The stock market continues to go up on optimism from reasonable job numbers and the hope for a vaccine. But, there are issues with the liquidity that was the fixed used to recover from the initial crash back in March. We are seeing the BNY Mellon earning, reported today, going down as the possible excessive liquidity has put a floor under interest rates. I have read reports that hedge funds are also being challenged to make a good return as the floor has made it hard to find good deals. The Fed and Central Banks have created liquidity to prevent the collapse of lending and giving “fallen angels” a second chance. Now BNY Mello and hedge funds cannot find good deals or even good returns. This is the moral hazard we were warned about when we decided to rescue the airlines, travel companies, and so on. I do not disagree with what The Fed and Central Banks did, but we should understand that non-elected officials have picked winners and losers–a moral hazard. Now banks and investors are starting to see negative impacts.

The reports are that more than nine-hundred ninety Americans lost their fight with the virus today. The death rates, infection rates, and lockdowns are increasing again. We did not enter phase 2 in Oregon. We started, as my count show, our 45th day in phase 1 opening. Today the Govern of Oregon’s order that masks are to be worn outdoors went into effect.

I found this version from Medford down south of us: Creating God, Your Finger Trace. It is not polished but I liked it.



Day 44 (+77): Tuesday 5 Phase 1 (still): Return to work

A short story today as I am back to work.

Back to work at 6AM this morning. It was hard to get going, and I did drink half a pot of coffee and then went for a short walk between Zoom calls.

I did a crisis of the moment a few times and had had a Zoom meeting that broke into discussion rooms. I had not done that before. I would recommend that.

I was double book a few times and had to come to some meetings late.

I was tired by the time the Zoom calls finally stopped. Tea in the late afternoon!

I made chicken noodle soup from a can for lunch.

We ordered a lot of Chinese food from the local Stir Crazy Kitchen for dinner.

My fortune: As long as you don’t sign up for anything new, you’ll do fine.

That makes me go hmmmmm.

Corwin’s business partner, Evan, was here, so we played a game Corwin has wanted to play again. It is the short 4X style game and a fun game to play: Mara Nostrum. I won playing the culture of Greece. Evan was just learning and was Rome–invaded Carthage. Corwin played Carthage and came close to winning despite fighting off Rome.


Tonight I was talking to a friend outside. I am scared of calm windless or nearly windless clear nights. The nightmares that scare me the most are set in front of a home with me out on the street on a calm windless night. And then something starts to happen, the trees move without wind and/or I see figures coming for me, and I have to get back in the house–I make it. The dream starts over. I am further away and more things happen. I make it. The dream starts over. I am in the same calm night but now down the street. Everything is forgotten, and I am chatting and having a nice time with friends. Then bad things start happening. I remember now that I need to get home, and I am so far now from home. I run and more things happen. I get to the door and a burst of hideous laughter happens in my ear–I can feel how close it is–It scares me and I know I did not make it. I wake up. Sleep is over for that night.

I am nervous in Oregon calm lovely nights.

I know my experience in Michigan with night tornadoes that created this fear in me, but in Michigan, you should be scared! It is not a debilitating fear–just something that makes me nervous and makes stargazing more difficult.

The stock market was up over five hundred.

The reports are that over nine-hundred thirty-five Americans died from the virus. I tap my Dr. Fauci Bobble-head to stay safe!

I found this Thank you song.

Day 43 (+77): Monday 6 Phase 1 (still): Monday off

I continued my stay-cation.

Starting in the middle, I decided that I was stiff and it was a beautiful sunny day and drive to Hillsboro. The county courthouse there has a grove of redwood’s planted more than a hundred years ago (there is a plaque that tells you this and the date the trees were planted). The trees are massive now and young for redwoods. Today was a great day to see them.


They are about the width of a car now and about five huge trees and one small one.


Before I walked to the redwoods, I stopped by our other local gaming store, Rune and Board. I was tempted as they had a copy of Brass: Lancaster for sale, actually two copies. I talked to the store owner, and there are, and this often happens to games, distribution issues, and it is now hard to get a copy of Brass: Lancaster. The game is rated as the 18th best boardgame. Instead, I bought some dice; I always buy something if I stop into a gaming store. I will likely be back for that boardgame, but I can’t play it until we get this virus thing worked out.


I stopped by the hobby store in Hillsboro, and the usual old grumpy men were there. They knew me and were happy to have me buy some glue (I needed some) and to say hello after six months. They have a Battlestar Galactica Colonial One model that was tempting. I play a board where there is a 2-D version of Colonial One, and it might be neat to have a 3-D version. Actually, they have some of the best models for sale many on my shelf, waiting for me to build them. I just did the glue this time.

An older man demanded I give him money on the sidewalks of Hillsboro, he was not wearing a mask, and then called me a “Dick Bag” for ignoring him. Before accosting me, he was having a loud discussion with himself, and I do hope he can help. I assume he wanted to call me a “dick-head” for wearing a mask and a “douche-bag” for not giving him money, which he collapsed for brevity to “Dick Bag.” I stepped out of his way, and he went by calling me names and went on his way.

I dropped off my purchases in Air Volvo (the name of my car) and took my Apple laptop and headed to Insomnia Coffee. I wanted to do some writing. Insomnia is now open for limited seating and hours. The process of getting coffee is a bit more restrained, but I managed to score the last of the lemon pound cake and found a seat. Most of the chairs are packed in a pile in the back of the main room. I miss the noisy coffee houses to write where I might need headphones. Just a few customers stayed.

There, I returned to my Howard story and added a few more paragraphs. It is a transitional part of the story so I have been a bit put-off to start it. I have finally started on the transition. The coffee and cake helped.

After saving my work, thanking the folks for coffee and cake, and driving back, I returned home after purchasing the items I forgot to have in the Safeway order this morning. I try to have groceries delivered–I do want to shop as I see folks refusing to be careful when I am shopping. I missed a few items so I quickly and safely bought in Safeway (which has unexpectedly switched doors for exit and entrance from what they were before.

Susie had an appointment with Zerida, which included a driver to get here there, nails, toes, and face treatments. She returned before I did. Susie was surprised; it does not happen that often, that I was not home.

Now home, I made Moroccan style chicken with preserved lemons and olives with couscous with raisins and almonds. I make it my dutch oven as I do not, yet, have a tagine. I sent one, via Amazon, to my sister with all the spices and lemons for her birthday coming up soon. Linda will have time to work out how to use it for her birthday on the 23rd.

The day started at about eight. I played a couple of games of chess against my chess computer. The first game was again a crushing defeat for me. In the second game, I tried using hints. I would decide on a move and then see if it matched the Lasker Edition Chess Computer hint. I would later try to find out what I missed that the computer saw. I did manage to break open the Sicilian Dragon this time, and with all the hints, black fell.

Right after that, I got Susie ready, and when she left, I headed out on this sunny July. I feel very stiff and needed to walk.

I was a bit tired as I stayed up to 1ish the night before for a Kickstarter I found where you hold a mad tea party with little dishes. I ordered two copies as one can be a Christmas gift. I liked the idea of having a tea party and trying to guess who is playing which character while everyone takes turns setting the table for tea. A simple but fun game: Where am I?

I did not watch the market, but I saw some alerts that the market was up and down.

Tapping Dr. Fauci Bobblehead, the reports show the death count for today at more than four-hundred sixty in the USA.

Here is an old song about rescuing people with a light, an old American Hymn: Let The Lower Lights Be Burning.

Day 42 (42+77): Sunday 5 in Phase 1 (still): Wins and Losses

This is again Sunday and part of my newest stay-cation. I am off on Monday too.

“Lasker” was woken this morning. I own a chess computer that is the Lasker Edition of Millennium’s best chess computer, The King. I received an email that there was a significant software upgrade for Lasker Edition and so I applied the changes and printed out the new manual, more than 29 pages long, last week. I wanted to try out the latest software.

Lasker Edition has the same features as Millennium’s new Fischer Edition, the latest product–I believe already sold-out. The Lasker Edition was limited to only 150 units and was first used by students in a mass play to celebrate Lasker‘s life on his 150th birthday. I bought it, it was expensive, for my birthday and Lasker and Capablanca are my two chess heroes. Lasker had a doctorate of mathematics, and his thesis adviser was the legendary David Hilbert, the man who still challenges us with his 23 problems.

My Lasker Edition was updated and ready to use. I unboxed it, I put it away when I get too busy for chess, most of the time. I played three games of chess, white each time (e-4)—the first I just simply melted-down against the machine. I was playing with the buttons to see all the new features. The second game Lasker Edition pulled out the Sicilian Dragon on me. I enjoyed watching Lasker Edition put together the Dragon while I tried to put on the defenses! It then systematically demolished me and finished me off after I fumbled.

The next game Lasker Edition went for a less robust version of Sicilian, Sveshnikov Variation (interestingly originally named after Lasker). I had just looked at these openings on-line, and so I remember it was more aggressive and had more risk than the Dragon, which is saying a lot. I admit I took a few hints from the computer, but generally, I was playing what I saw as the right move. I also abandoned more than one feeble suggestion.

I managed to win, my first time with or without hints ever getting a checkmate on Lasker Edition. The opening, randomly picked, was weak against all my defenses so carefully learned in the previous game where I was crushed. I managed to exchange out all the major pieces and to promote a pawn. It was a long finish with just two pawns, queen, and knight. Lasker Edition had exchanged the bishop for two passed pawns, but the pawns were not near promotion.


I then got a text for lunch. Nobody was really moving this morning, so I agreed and went to Wild Buffalo Wings for a cheap beer (Blue Moon was $3). Masks were on by the staff, but customers were less careful. After finishing lunch and seeing my friend off, I then tried to see what was happening REI next door, but they had a line to get in, socially distanced. I headed to Ace Hardware. Corwin needed some supplies for blacksmithing. I got the bolts (and matching socket and wrench, just in case) and WD-40 (now with a built-in sprayer).

I made it home and got Susie breakfast and then got to enjoy a Migraine headache with even visional issues. I am drinking coffee at 9:45PM, as that often helps. The pain is still there. I had to lay down and somehow ignore the light show (even with my eyes shut) and fall asleep. The only way to stop the impact is to stop, get somewhere without bright light, and sleep so the spasming muscles near my optic nerve with stop crushing the blood vessels. I have just a small headache now. And as usual, the pain is on the opposite side as the optic nerve crosses to the opposite side.

With the rest and some coffee and aspirin, I was able to get dinner going. Filet mignons from the Schwan’s truck soaked in teriyaki sauce from Cash and Carry (the gallon container) is dinner tonight. And will be usable after being defrosted by soaking in the sink under running water.

I peeled potatoes as they looked a bit greenish. I had more Schwan products, green beans. I mashed the potatoes; Susie loves mashed. I took almond silvers and cooked them in some butter and a bit of salt. I added the defrosted beans to that. I then fried the green beans a bit in the saucepan. It really picks up the frozen beans to wilt them a bit. Steaks were just cooked on the gas grill. I managed to get the filets medium to medium-rare.

I keep tapping my new Dr. Fauci Bobblehead every time I think about the virus infection rate today. It helps. You might want to get one.

The death rate today from the virus in the USA was under three-hundred eighty. The infection rate is explosive.

I think we have done this song before, but I found this really lovely version, and it seems good for the times, Whom Shall I Send?

Day 41: Saturday 5 in Phase 1: Busy Saturday

Today was one of those weekend days where I seem to fit a whole week into the day.

I started at 7AM this Saturday as I could not fall back to sleep, so I got up and started reading stuff on the Internet and doing email.

I received my Dr. Fauci bobble-head today. Five bucks of the price went to help medical people. I just had to have something positive from these terrible times, and a Dr. Fauci bobble-head fundraiser seemed perfect.


I decided this morning to stop work on the Titanic model as it is summer. I like to spend sunny days with people and doing other things. Model building is for when it is raining and dark, so I will return to the Titanic in the fall. It is safely back on a shelf. I will be back to it in October 2020.

I headed out about noon to The Rock again for pizza and a beer–I was there last Saturday for the exact same thing. The pizza and beer were right again, and the bar was empty except for me. I saw a much more careful use of masks and cleaning than I saw last time. They were also not very busy. I suspect the Sunny weekend was drawing people outside and to the coast.

I boxed up the pizza. I only eat two pieces and bring back most of the pizza for lunch for Susie and Corwin.

Today I headed directly home and discovered Corwin’s business partner, Evan, was at the house. I brought in the pizza and then I headed out to Cash and Carry to get some items I do not have. I picked up teriyaki marinade in their gallon size (it is great on steaks and pork chops on the grill). I picked up garlic and ginger paste and various small items that I can get there.

While there at Cash and Carry, I always think about what fundraiser or insane cooking I could do with some of the supplies. I always smile when I see the huge containers of food. Today there was a pallet of white gravy.

Just how much gravy do you need? How many pallets of biscuits are required with a pallet of gravy? Despite all of the virus, politics, and protesting, seeing a pallet of gravy makes my American Mid-Western heart glow. I just love seeing this much gravy, and I think all sorts of silly thoughts when I see it.


I returned home with my new supplies–not gravy this time–and made Pork Vindaloo again. We forgot the onion, and I ended up adding some just to cook with the pork. It was still great. I stuck to the original recipe from Cooks’s magazine, and it was nearly perfect over rice, plain white rice.

We then played the board game The March of the Ants with three players while dinner baked. The game is a favorite game, but I made some mistakes, and we just could not get focused on the game. Corwin ran away with the game.

After dinner, we then played so Susie could join us, Killer Bunnies. A silly card game in which the players spend most of the game trying to get a bunny in play only to have their bunnies wiped out by various terrible weapons and goofy events. Susie and Evan were leading the whole game. Evan had a what looked like a whole zoo of bunnies for part of the play. Corwin managed to get just a few carrots in the game. I sadly finished the game with a bunny but without a single carrot. Corwin was discovered to have the Magic Carrot (randomly picked) and won the game. In simple terms, it is just a fun game.


That was the end of the night, and I started writing this blog very late as we played to about 11PM.

The reports show the loss of more than seven-hundred twenty people today in the USA.

I found this song only in Spanish, but it is a lovely communion song, and I wanted to include it today (Methodist Hymnal #637): Una Espiga. If your Spanish is not up to this, there are translations online of this hymn.