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Story 29Sept2022: Thursday

Today was the start of my 27th year at Nike and also Nike’s earnings announcement. I will let you look up the Nike stuff on the Internet. My flu symptoms stopped, and the pain in my right leg was not terrible, but it worsened this evening. Standing is painful.

The day started with me working from home instead of returning to work, just in case. I started, as usual, at 6:15AM and was able to get going–I had enough sleep. I made breakfast of a croissant and coffee, liberal Fair Exchange. I then tried to catch up on the last few days’ events. Finally, I got a general feeling of what was going on.

I had a few meetings and was reminded that my colleagues were going on vacation, and I had to do the staging upgrade without them. I think I can manage, but my access to systems may be incomplete, but that is just a request away.

I also had a text from Tracy, the physical therapist helping Susie, and she was going on Thursday at 1:30 or so, but she revised this a few hours later to 12:30-1. Unforently, I was having lunch, having time now for leftover roast pork and coconut rice and a nice freshly made salad, I thought. So I rushed lunch a bit and then headed out.

Air Volvo crossed over Coopers Mountain in the light rain. It rained overnight, sometimes coming down heavy, and the world looked washed and ready for winter here in the Pacific Northwest. The gray months, delayed, are going. The view is still spectacular from the tall hill that is Coopers Mountain (just over 500 feet altitude or 152,4 meters). The Volvo Cave resides at 213 feet or 65 meters above sea level. I arrived before Tracy.

Today, when Tracy arrived a few minutes later, we tried more practice standing, turning, and sitting on a higher bed while using a short but stable stool. The bed is set to the same height as the seats in the back of the Volvo. Today, I grabbed the safety belt and helped Susie with Tracy guarding. We did that two times. Neither my leg nor my back caused me any issues, and Susie moved each time safely. We are ready for next week to try this in Air Volvo. Susie is helping and no longer feels like 98 pounds of noodles going everywhere; now, she just needs help with balance and turning. The belt helps me not hurt her (or myself). This is a big goal, and I will be thrilled to reach it even if Susie has to remain in the back seat of Air Volvo. Then, I can be ‘drive’n M’s Susie.’

We headed after Tracy left to the park. We took the colorful umbrella we got years ago when we went to a Circus du Soleil show in Portland. We went through the park. We called Glenda and Gene, Susie’s Aunt and Uncle, in North Carolina before hurricane Ivan got there. We had a friendly chat–they are not worried about the damp coming their way. We talked to Leta, Susan’s mother, earlier. Later I called Leta and told her about the PT workout. Leta was concerned Susie was not strong enough, but I reassured Leta that Susie was standing on her own (it is her balance she has had problems with since the stroke nearly a year ago–she overcompensates and falls over to the left). I can hold her and help her move using the belt. I think we can, after almost three months, get into a car. Excellent!

Susie and I enjoyed the park; the cedars had drank all the rain in their branches and left the bench dry–so I rested there with her (my leg cramping). The regulars were using the park. We saw a pair under the gum trees sitting in their own chairs (dry) using laptops powered by a solar cell. They had a large older van I suspect they sleep in and are modern gypsies.

I had a meeting at 2PM, so I needed to get Susie back before the rains returned. We managed to hit the park with blue in the skies, but that is no guarantee in Oregon’s fall and winter. So I got a dry Susie to the hummingbird house, kissed her goodnight, and called into my meeting from the car.

I helped in the meeting, and we resolved some issues. I then drove home and checked back into work. Nobody needed me.

My tulips from the tulip festival were delivered today (the weak moment when I bought them was recorded in April in the blog, I believe). It is a lot of work to plant them, and I am not sure if I should plant them, feed them to the squirrels who will likely take some or most, or saute them with butter and avoid the whole frustration. Tulips Paella? I have over eighty to plant with crocuses. Do not eat crocuses (poison).

Next, I was tired of being home. I headed to BJ’s Brewhouse and had two beers and the California Flat Bred for dinner. Eric was my waiter; he always seemed there and helped me pick a light dinner. After some coffee and writing some more Dungeons and Dragons adventure, I headed home.

Arriving without issue in the rain in Air Volvo, I watched some more Lucifer episodes (Season 2, Episode 13 or so) and enjoyed them. I also texted back and force with Richard; we now have six players for Saturday for the War Room 2nd Edition board game–my newest one. I reviewed more of the rules and noticed that the US player will be stressed (the only player with serious choices between the Pacific and European theater).

I am looking forward to trying this beast of a game out on Saturday (1:30PM).

I saw Corwin for a few minutes as he had ordered something from Amazon and forgot to update his address. He came over and picked up the purchases I held for him. He is free this weekend, so we might meet up.

I finally got to the blog today. Thank you for reading. Enjoy the fall! Be well and stay dry!

Story 28Sept2022

I stayed home ill. I was holding on to a wastebasket for a while but managed not to throw up. I was filled with nervous energy for the morning, which was quite unpleasant. I slept into 8ish and then went very slow. I was not able to do very much. I watched some shows on Amazon Fire, including Lucifer, and rewatched Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power’s recent episode.

I had croissant loaf slices instead of toast. This, with liberal coffee, did not make me feel much better. I called the hummingbird house and let them know I would not be making it to see Susie. I later called and talked to Susie a bit. She was worried about me but sounded better today. I also called Leta to let her know I was home ill.

I took a Covid-19 test, negative, and reheated roast pork and coconut rice leftovers for lunch.

I wrote a bit of Dungeons and Dragons and napped, and then watched more cable. I tried the new Disney+ Andor new Star Wars series, which is slow and gritty, maybe too slow and gritty. I watched all the episodes back-to-back (four) and thought it was just OK.

I could not play games with Zophia tonight.

I ordered too much Chinese-styled food: Appetizers with soup and egg foo young. I ate a lot and felt better.

I am now writing the blog after reading it for a while.

Sorry for the short blog, and I will not make any observations today. I am going to rest and write some more.

Thanks for reading today. Sorry, it was a boring day.

Story 27Sept2022

Today I will just do events and skip the usual narration. Something different for today.

I took the day off and was surprised that I was so tired that I did not get going until 8ish. I never sleep that long. I was right that I was not feeling myself and should take the day off.

I had breakfast, the last frozen bagel. I put frozen bagels in the microwave for 30 seconds and then toast the now mostly defrosted bread. Sometimes I toast them twice.

I wrote more Dungeons and Dragons adventures. I was happy that I could find my groove today. I was worried I could not write them anymore–just needed more sleep.

I had some issues that required long stays in the bathroom. Something I am acutely aware of since having colon cancer and losing 27cm of my colon. I am happy when no accidents happen. But, again, today was a good day to be home in the morning!

Tracy from Physical Therapy sent a text that she would be at the hummingbird house at 12:30. I called Jennifer at the home and shared this with her. I was informed that Susie was up all night and the nursing aide stayed with her for some of the night. Susie was talking to people who were not there and could not rest. Susie finally slept at 5AM.

I recall that Corwin, who used to live with us, told me that Susie talks to her dad at night some evening, who she sees. It alarmed Corwin a few times. Apparently, Ben spends time with her reassuring her that things will be OK. They talk about her day and how she misses him. While it is hard to imagine the Ben I knew doing this, Susie remembers her dad with kindness and seems to enjoy his presence some night. Who are we to question this?

Susie showed signs of exhaustion when I reached hummingbird house, the trip being lovely and uneventful. Tracy arrived soon after me and had Susie do some standing, and Susie managed to stand on her own with just balancing help from Tracy. Tracy did some exercises for Susie and then showed us how to use the elastic bands for daily workouts for Susie.

Painkillers are working, and a less stressful day seemed to help. I took Susie to the park after the workout with Tracy with less pain in my right leg. We enjoyed the park. The smoke is more pronounced today, but the air quality is still at the green level. We called Leta, and she and Susie were delighted to chat for a bit.

I took Susie back to the house, and Jennifer was getting Susie her lunch. I left with a kiss.

I next, risking Beaverton, stopped by Salt and Straw for ice cream. They recommended the Pear and Blue Cheese ice cream. It was good.

I then went to the bakery nearby, Paris Baguette (PB), a chain I used in New York City. I got croissants and something called croissant loaf. Next, I got dessert (another one) there and coffee. I spent hours writing part of a Dungeons and Dragons adventure I plan to play in late October. I texted Cat in NYC–thinking of her at PB–and we then texted about the story and came up with some ideas. I made progress today on the story.

Next, after Mariah turned me down to join me, I headed to Von Ebert in Beaverton. I love the wings in Portland and was excited to hear we had a Von Ebert in Beaverton. I was disappointed as it is just a tap house of Von Ebert beer, pizza, and other appetizers, including wings. Not the smoked chicken giant wings in Portland, just the same (or maybe below average) you get in any place. These are baked in the pizza oven too. Nothing I would recommend. The beer was good.

The Black Dog in Forest Grove wings are recommended by me. The Von Ebert in Portland wings are so good the chickens volunteer–the best. Skip the Beaverton Von Ebert wings.

I returned home after the wings, watched some Lucifer, and started writing this blog.

Feel free to call or send cards. Susie resides at:

Allegiance Senior Care
Adult Foster Care Home
9925 SW 82nd. Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97223

The house phone number: 503 246-4116

Thank you for reading.

Story 26Sept2022

All day I have been tired and could just nod off. So I have decided to take off Tuesday from the shoe company and see if a lazier day can help. The pain is still going in my leg but has moved to the hip; progress?

The morning started with me sleeping until 7:30ish. It was Monday, and I did not have to drive into the office, so I could start slower. I had a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast with liberal coffee made in a French Press.

I spent the morning in status meetings and some planning meetings. I also create a server for a co-worker with some example Python code in my Amazon AWS account. The tiny RedHat Linux system is free on AWS, and I installed NumPy for their use.

I use IAM in AWS to give them their own access and ownership of the server. I never share my own access, and I even have an IAM for myself for everyday use. I seldom use the account level user and password.

I made a nice salad for lunch. I boiled some eggs in their shells during some of the meetings. I had a nice pair of hard-boiled eggs for my salad, but alas, no eggs slicer. I tried the pastry cutter, which was unsuccessful (slightly explosive). I vowed to get the correct tool, shocked that I did not have that one gadget.

I finished Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power’s newest episode while eating and then started on the 10-year later episode of the House of Dragons. I only finished 1/2 of the dragons.

I then drove over Cooper’s Mountain and the farm area to reach Susie at the hummingbird house. It is near perfect day with a cold morning at about 55F (12.78C) and finishing in the later afternoon with a sunny 85F (29.4C). The sky is nearly cloud-free with just a misty smoke visible when looking at distance hills. The Cedar Creek fire is filling the valley with smoke–it is north of Crater Lake in the Cascade Mountains, not quite to California.

Susie was happy to see me, and we rushed out to the Park and called Susie’s mother, Leta, on my iPhone using FaceTime. Leta had been busy with the local food giveaway programs in the morning. She was home now. Susie and Leta spoke for a while. It was warm in the sun, and I could see Susie getting sleepy in the sun. Susie loves the warm sun.

I returned Susie, I could only stay a short time on a working day, to Jennifer, the nurse aide for today, and then kissed Susie goodbye. Jennifer had a snack of apple sauce and some water for Susie. Jennifer knows that Susie gets easily dehydrated. After that, I was back in Air Volvo.

I have not been back to Kitchen Kaboodle since the pandemic. I was looking for an overpriced egg slicer, and yes, they had one (maybe you, dear reader, think I should look for a cheap one–but you might as well look for an expensive one if in this store). I also found a paella pan at a not-high markup. I bought some beautiful chocolates at the desk and cupcake cups. I should keep out of kitchen stores–There were cookbooks I don’t have!

The trip back included beautiful views of the valley, even with the misty smoke covering the coastal mountains. I did watch one construction vehicle miss part of a turn on a steep climb, and one of the double tires travel without road. However, it had enough tires on the road to pull the load up the hill without incident. It is always fun to live in the Pacific Northwest–unexpected risks. Finally, I reached home in Air Volvo, and my tires all stayed on the road the whole way.

Back to work and some rest. I am still tired and feel the stress eating away at my mind. I am pushing back tears often that surface for no reason. But, I did follow along at work and tried to stay focused.

I made a pork roast from Schwann’s that has been in the freezer for a long time. It is a long process. I made Caribbean coconut rice to go with it from a box. I added chopped green pepper and raises to kick it up a bit.

I watched the rest of the House of Dragons and a few more episodes of Lucifer’s second season, and I still like both.

I paid the medical and supplies for Susie today, over $8000 a month, plus other bills, including paying for Mom Wild’s grass mowing (something I picked up after we found a service that would take a remote payment). Most are physical checks with stamps and all that.

The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival 2022 Kickstarter was completed today. I am looking forward to that in a few weekends.

Dondrea got her own copy of World War Two by Anthony Beevor and was excited to start it. I am about 1/2 done now, on page 357, and in 1942. I love the style and narration that somehow covers so much in so few words. I recommend this huge book to anyone that wants to understand WW2 better.

Thank you for reading!

Story 25Sept2022

The morning started with slight pain in my right leg and me sleeping into 7ish. I had slept well and started writing the blog with cottage cheese and peaches for breakfast. I also made liberal coffee via French Press. As this was the Saturday blog, it is long, and I was writing until just after 10.

I rushed a shower, dressed quickly, skipped shaving, and got to the online church service on time. Then the sound was not turned on, and I soon wandered to writing my Dungeons and Dragon adventure I will need in late October. I got a text from Dondrea, and the sound was back, and our new preacher was giving a sermon (with sound) about the temptation of Christ. I listened to the sermon while I worked.

Next, I got a note from Mariah to meet her in Forest Grove for lunch. I headed over and then waited for a while. I miscommunicated and had to wait for her to get ready. We had wings at the Black Dog, a local place in Forest Grove, with smoked chicken wings. While great, I think Von Ebert (replacing Fat Heads) in the Pearl District in Portland still has the most incredible wings I have ever found.

Aside: I just learned there is a Von Ebert in Beaverton. I will have to make a pilgrimage and check that the wings are still so good that chickens ask to be included in today’s wings.

Mariah and I chatted about her housing purchase and the complexity. We headed out at nearly 2PM, and I drove back to find Susie in Tigard. It is a fourteen-mile drive, and I redirected the navigation into the hills and to circle around Cooper’s Mountain. I drove the twisty two-lane Tile Flats Road that was apparently popular with bicycles on Sunday. It was a lovely drive in the hills and farms.

Soon I reached Susie’s place, the hummingbird house. Vanessa, the nurse aide for today, had Susie in her chair, and Susie was ready to enjoy the park outside. It was warm, about 85F (29.4C), and the park was busy. Susie was sleepy in the afternoons and soon was nodding off in the warm comfy sun, even after we called Leta, Susie’s mother.

We also opened the door to Air Volvo, and I demonstrated how I thought she could get into the back seat. I am hopeful we can make a go of that in the next couple of weeks. It would be great to take Susie on short trips.

We set up a recliner to watch the next Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power episode. Susie was falling asleep soon and leaning to the left. Vanessa said Susie was leaning today; something to watch for. She can fall out of the chair or wheelchair when this starts. Susie woke a few times, and I finished the episode; Susie saw some of it. She was ready for a nap. I left Susie to take a nap with a kiss.

Next, I drove across Beaverton, taking a risk, and headed to Cory’s house to play Dungeons and Dragons. I started at 5:30 on Sunday, about every two weeks or twice a month. This adventure is a campaign, and one of the monsters is lifted from a Lewis Carrol poem: Jabberwocky. We finally faced it, and for those who know Dungeons and Dragons or the poem, “Why yes did have a vorpal blade and it did go snicker-snack!” Also, we faced the burble from the Jabberwocky, which was terrible. Matt, our DM, had bought all the monsters in painted 28mm scale. The Jabberwocky figure was eight inches tall. Impressive.

We also faced one of my favorite monsters earlier in the night, animated stained glass windows. Matt had made little transparent stained glass figures. It was wonderful.

We played characters tonight that are less combat efficient, and that makes us cautious (cowardly?), and we managed to avoid getting crushed tonight. We jump in and out and force the bad guys to bunch up so we can make our attacks more effective. We also deliver many attacks, which makes it possible to roll more critical attacks. More efficient combat characters often have a few great attacks. We just attack more.

It was a fun night with the DM having a great time and nearly overwhelming us with the stained glass monsters and a wizard. We had fun getting a legendary sword in Dungeons and Dragons and taking on the Jabberwocky, “Beware of the Jabberwocky.”

I returned home, chatted with a friend in India, and texted others that I could not call tonight as it was late when I got home.

I finally wrote the blog.

Feel free to call or send cards. Susie resides at:

Allegiance Senior Care
Adult Foster Care Home
9925 SW 82nd. Ave.
Portland, Oregon 97223

The house phone number: 503 246-4116

Thank you for reading.