Today 9June2023

I got to rest yesterday after my shift ended at 4PM. I did log back in and was working again until 10:30PM. I developed a tension headache on Friday afternoon (not a migraine but pressure at my temple and some low-intensity light sensitivity, but not the vision issues and pain of my usual unpleasant migraine) that returned Saturday morning while I was writing the blog. The headache woke me this morning–not very pleasant.

I am working the 4PM-12AM shift Saturday, but for Friday, I was still on the 8AM-4PM shift. As it was Friday, it was a work-from-home day, and I got to sleep until 7:30AM. It was a gray Oregon drizzle day (rain was not in the forecast, and it surprised us all), and the temperature never climbed into the 70sF (21C), and of us, long-term residents rejoiced. Pollen is washed from our skies; we don’t need to water anything and are not supposed to have sunshine in June anyway. Seeing the mist dripping off my rose’s leaves just looks so usual; it made me smile.

I had quiche for breakfast, left over from a few days ago, with liberal coffee made in my French Press. I also started the laundry and did the dishes. I spotted trouble as I did my usual read of emails, Slack channel updates, and news–getting ready for my day. There was an incident, and one of our essential data feeds stopped working after the last code drop–ugh! Of course, a critical process was soon to run, and this was called out as a level 2 incident (A level 1 being the whole computer system is out and Nike cannot function). A virtual war room was started, and I stopped attending my usual collection of status meetings and was part of the group working on the incident.

Aside: at the shoe company, a computer bug is often called a defect; a production failure caused by a defect is an incident. New stuff is an enhancement or feature, and new development is limited to the minimal viable product (MVP). Production support is an outsourced function at Nike that handles all of the easy incidents and has instructions for failures that have been recurrent. Production support escalates to technical support and software engineering when an incident occurs that they cannot fix or have not seen before. I am part of technical support and software engineering.

I spent the morning in a Zoom call reading code, watching software engineers step through the failing code, and debugging in a test system to see if we could reproduce the issue. We also did some debugging in production (yikes!). We spent the morning defining the parameters of the failures and eliminating, unfortunately, all the straightforward explanations.

I had clam chowder from a can while sitting in the Zoom meetings on the incident. I had to take a few minutes out to shower and dress. It was a bit intense as we are working a 7/24 schedule to do the data conversions into the same production computer system that is now failing, and a critical path was developing in production support. We would soon need to even convert the new data that was causing the failure, so we were a bit stressed about solving the incident before making it works with a data conversion that might also fail the same way. Double yikes!

We had a break while the software engineering wanted to work on the problem without the Zoom meeting (it can be hard to focus when everyone is watching and asking questions), and we took Air Volvo to see Susie at the hummingbird house in Portland (Tigard) at Allegiance Senior Care LLC, 9925 SW 82nd. Ave. Portland (Tigard), OR 97223; phone (503) 246-4116. The traffic for Friday was not terrible until I was near Susie’s place. Tigard and Beaverton are repaving Hall Boulevard, and I was stuck in lane switching flag people. I usually complain about construction, but this part of Hall Boulevard really needs to be repaved as it has been torn up a few times and not put back better over the past ten years.

Susie was delighted to have a visitor, and we soon retired to her bedroom with Susie resting in her bed, listening to music while I logged back into the shoe company and had my Apple computer for news. I spent the afternoon following along and reading, reacting to the crisis, and supporting the team.

With the rain, Susie and I did not visit the damp Metzger Park.

Susie got to listen to a few Zoom status calls. Susie was sad when I left after 5PM but was happy to hear I would stay much of Saturday–I have canceled all the board games for Saturday. So with a kiss, I headed out.

I decided to get to-go at Panda, industrial Chinese-styled food. A gal (a customer) there was rude to me and kept looking at me with hatred in her eyes. The line was long, and the place was understaffed. I decided I did not want to find out more about what upset the gal and had her take it out on me, so I left.

Next, I stopped at a new place Wing Stop to try their food. I discovered they have slightly less than average wings (at least they are cooked and fresh), but their deep-fried slices of corn-on-the-cob with cajun seasoning were good. I listened with my earbuds to a YouTube show while eating, ShipHappens. My headphone kept falling out as I moved my jaw to eat. I suspect it was pretty comedic to watch. Next time I will use my skull ear clips.

I returned home with my headache not improving, took some Advil, and rested while reading. I have finally decided to try the famous Asimov Foundation books. They show their age, but the first book has been captivating. I am reading this on my Kindle. I have read Asimov before, and I found his writing always good and the stories worth the hype.

I decided I needed to make cupcakes–German chocolate with pecan coconut frosting (from a box and from a can). I like to have something fun and sweet, which takes some stress away. That helped with the stress. The painkiller removed the headache, which was likely related to allergies and stress. Nothing defeats my migraines but sleeping in the dark for an hour or more (the visual component of the migration is still there even when you close your eyes, making sleep difficult). I had a few cupcakes while watching a YouTube video from Battleship New Jersey. The curator was showing a space that had been forgotten about in the turret and found some 1980s versions of the caps for the 16″ guns. Quite a find, and I suspect they will soon go on display.

There was a Zoom meeting on the incident at 10ish, so I logged on to see if I could help the second shift. I approved some changes to correct the failure–it was a problem with the code drop, as we suspected. I also approved some tickets for another incident that was starting to escalate to leadership.

The fix will be tested Saturday morning and likely approved for production that morning. I logged off and read until I fell asleep around 11-something. I slept until 5AM when I had to prove hydration. As I said, the headache reoccurred and woke me at 6:30ish. Ugh.

Thanks for reading.

I forgot. I sent Gov. DeSantis a copy of Amanda Gorman’s The Hill We Climb via I figured he needed a copy of the book his state just banned. 

Today 8June2023

I am tired tonight, and the hours over the last few days are running me down. This will be a short blog, sorry.

I just finished Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann, and this is a disturbing part of the 1920s US history and, while well written, does not have a happy ending. I am so glad I read it and recommend it.

Moving to essential events, I reached Susie’s place in the morning today. Susie resides at the hummingbird house in Portland (Tigard) at Allegiance Senior Care LLC, 9925 SW 82nd. Ave. Portland (Tigard), OR 97223; phone (503) 246-4116. I left work at about 11 and arrived as Susie finished her breakfast. Susie was doing better today and not leaning to the right (the stroke-damaged side) and could feed herself. Once Susie was done, we headed out to Metzger Park next door. I pushed Susie’s wheelchair towards a bench in the sun, sat, and called Leta, Susie’s mother, who was happy to get an earlier call today (I have missed calling Leta the previous few days) and enjoyed talking to Susie on FaceTime using my iPhone. We are happy to see each other on the phone. It was cool, 64F (17.7C), and we stayed out briefly. I returned to work, getting a kiss goodbye, after stopping by Jimmy John’s and having a sub with a Diet Coke and a small bag of chips.

I started the morning at 6AM and rushed, getting only a breakfast of a banana and liberal coffee. My first meeting was at 7AM on yesterday’s computer issues. Our developers worked all night fixing the problems and running the slow-running existing code over little bits of data. Our team members had to run it over 1,000 times to complete the data conversion (which was completed at 4:30PM). The fixes would wait for the next run as it was too risky to change the code in mid-conversion.

English daisies and butter cups in Metzger Park.

The rest of the day was full of status meetings after seeing Susie. I was getting tired, so I headed home early and rested briefly (getting up for more meetings). Once the last meeting was done after 5PM, I made dinner. I fried and baked a porkchop. I made corn niblets (frozen) by heating the microwaved corn in butter in the pan where I fried the porkchop. I made couscous with butter-fried hazelnuts and raisins with spices like cardamon, cinnamon, and cloves.

I am running out of steam.

Heavenly Scent Rose from Dondrea and Z for my birthday is now blooming. It is a bit stressed by the heat and lack of rain but looks great.

I forgot to put in that today was Theology Pub via Zoom. About six of us discussed the law of unintentional consequences. We agreed that fast or aggressive actions from an organization can create this. The possible banning of the Bible for violence is the latest example.

Thanks for reading!

Today 7June2023

Today we had some challenges in the data conversions in Nike production systems, so I was in war room mode all day. I was not free until 5:30ish, and Susie did not see me until the evening. So the blog will be short as most of the day was crises management and analyzing data issues–none of the details belong here.

Starting in the morning, I woke just before my alarm at 6AM and was still getting out of bed when the alarm sounded on my iPhone. It is a work-from-office day, so it is a rushed morning. I made liberal coffee in my French Press, which I enjoyed with a slice of pastry and a banana. While the electric tea kettle was heating, I watered my roses using the hose in the backyard and the new hose in the front yard. I was in my robe and slippers, and when I used my new hose rolling, the action forced the water out. The hose’s nozzle was under my robe when I pulled the last of it in, and I was treated by an intimate cold shot. My neighbors may have heard mu reaction.

I was now quite awake without coffee (by a process I would not recommend). I took my breakfast and coffee into the office and quickly read my emails, Slack updates, and some news to be prepared for my work day. Soon I was late getting in the shower and was seriously rushed. Dressed, I grabbed more coffee in a travel cup and boarded Air Volvo. I was only a few minutes late and sat through the first hour of status meetings.

My boss, Brad, pointed out an update in Slack that I missed that our data conversion was running slow. The message was sent while I was traveling, and then I was in a status meeting. After that, my day was spent working on this issue; the details are, as I said before, best left out.

I did get some free coffee and bought a sandwich from the self-service. It was a decent club sandwich. While working in an ad hoc war room, I ate that while trying to help define the issues, collect evidence, and create a narrative that fits both. I called the hummingbird house and told the folks that I would be late to see Susie. Leta, Susie’s mother, called me to see what was wrong (I usually connect with her at Susie’s in the early afternoon). I told Leta I was working on an issue and would likely connect with her later. Dondrea suggested, and I agreed to forego my gaming night with Z. Wednesday is my usual night to meet up with Z at the church to play board games.

At 5:30PM, we had some ideas and some minimal improvements. Our narrative was closely aligned with the evidence and also aligned with our software vendor’s findings–all good. I headed out to see Susie and enjoyed heavy traffic on Highway 26 and 217. I finally reached Susie after 6PM. Anassa, the usual weekend nurse aide, was filling in for tonight. Susie was eating dinner. Susie was falling out of her wheelchair and slumping over–she was exhausted. Susie got some food in her, and some Ensure but was ready for more rest. Anassa got Susie comfortable in her bed, and I got M.A.S.H. (season 3) running for her on the TV in her room. I just stayed and watched with her for about ninety minutes. I did take a call while there and had more messaging on the potential fixes to our issues. Susie was happy that I stayed for a while, and we called Leta and chatted for a bit.

Soon, I needed some food and a break. I gave Susie a kiss, and she asked for another, which I provided. I ensured Susie’s safety by putting out the crash pad next to the bed and lowering the bed onto the pad (making the distance of a fall shorter and locking the pad in place). I said good night to Anassa, who will check on Susie (we both need to know that everything is good when I leave).

I drove a short distance to Red Robin and ordered a large Stella (beer) and a Smoke and Pepper Burger with fries. Their best burger, I think. I finished with a cup of coffee. I watched the NBA playoffs and saw Denver crush Miami by fifteen points (I think). It was a good break, but I also answered more Slack messages and followed along–the issues are still being handled.

Next, I took Air Volvo home to the Volvo Cave. It was getting dark as we had not yet reached the summer solstice, and the days were long. I read for a bit and relaxed. I then hopped on another work call. I suspect I will be up to 2ish and have a 7AM meeting. Oh, the life of computers–sleep when you are dead!

The classic meme for this

Thank you for reading.


Today 06June2023

A complex day as I had to travel to the post office for a certified letter. I bought a stamp to add to my collection for less than its catalog price in an online auction (, but it was sent certified with a signature required, so I had to pick it up. The stamp is an older revenue stamp, 1861, from the original series. The item is type b meaning no perforation on two edges, and this stamp has a certificate of authenticity needed for these partially perforated stamps to separate them from altered lesser valued fully perforated stamps–forgeries. I found it in what I call a magic auction, where I slip and get an excellent deal on a lovely stamp. I was happy to put the stamp in my album today. Another slot filled cheaply.

So before having to travel in a large circle, I started the morning by sleeping into 6:30AM and then rushing my morning as I had to be in the office at 8 for the first meeting (I forgot it was Tuesday, and my first meeting is actually at 8:30). I managed to get to the office on time, but only had one cup of coffee and forgot to pour the rest in a travel mug. Breakfast was another slice of pastry, banana, and liberal coffee made in my French Press (only one cup).

I traveled to the office without issues and started my meetings later, but I forgot to get coffee, and I had hours of meetings and did not get a chance to get the free coffee before 10AM today. One meeting was with my boss. Nike is restructuring HR and our salary and bonus ratings (a change that is not very popular with the employees and a headache for our leader, who has to explain it and try to say why it is not yet-another-corporate-ripoff-of-employees–I feel for our leaders). Like the be-in-the-office mandate, it feels more like something being done to you than a positive. I would include more, but this is not the place for that. I am neutral to this in my emotions (for now), but I can see the effects of more stress hitting my fellow employees. I will get my new position, title, and ranking at the end of the year with my rating–my boss Brad handled the discussion well with us software architects (at least that is what we are called now).

I was busy all day with lots of little crises of the moment as we started the data conversions into production. I did head out at 11:15ish to see Susie. Air Volvo navigated the heavy traffic on 217 caused by the construction and the usual brake-for-anything driving habits of my fellow Oregonian drivers, and I soon arrived at Susie’s place at the hummingbird house in Portland (Tigard) at Allegiance Senior Care LLC, 9925 SW 82nd. Ave. Portland (Tigard), OR 97223; phone (503) 246-4116. Susie was in her recliner in the living room when I arrived and was delighted to see me. We called Leta, Susie’s mother, from the living room, a shared space, and chatted with Leta for a while. Susie was more awake and talkative today.

Next, once Jennifer, the weekday nurse aide, was finished getting the other resident’s breakfast/lunch ready, she popped Susie into a wheelchair, and we headed outside. It was already warm (and I would soon regret the black leather seats in Air Volvo–hot!), and we headed into Mezger Park. The tennis courts were not used, so I used those to avoid crushed stone and soon had Susie on a paved path. The locals and regular parkgoers (it was approaching noon) said hi to us–we are there three days a week in the morning or early afternoon, making us too regular parkgoers. Many dogs were walking their human. The three butterflies were flying here and there, and a pair twirled in the air together, bright yellow Oregon Swallowtails. The English daisies were in bloom in the grass, with yellow buttercups adding more color here and there.

The sky was blue with the pure dark blue we see when the sky is clear of smoke (which is covering NYC today) or smog. The wind was blowing lightly (I kept my mask on in the park and felt better this afternoon!) and warm. We stayed for a short visit as I had to return to work. Soon we were inside, and Susie kissed me goodbye.

I took the highways back to the post office off of Evergreen, got my certified letter, and headed to Mod Pizza–I had not been back since the pandemic. Nothing had changed except the prices were slightly higher. I sat and ate my Mad Dog (meat) pizza and a larger Ceasar salad (adding cooked red peppers–not the spicy ones). I sat there drinking a Diet Coke, reading the news, and feeling the stress lifting as I relaxed and tucked into my lunch. I think the pizza had a slight cinnamon flavor, as I suspect they make their dessert pizza on the same surfaces. But I liked my lunch and saved half of the salad for dinner.

I returned to the Volvo Cave before the mail arrived and returned to my office, working now from home. I read at 4PM and fell wholly asleep but woke in time to make the 4:30 status meeting (being only five minutes late by the time I logged on and reached the Zoom meeting). I got some questions after 4PM and tried to help. I was still checking in until 8ish at night.

I paid the medical bills for Susie in the mail (it came in later). I pay them on the day they are received as these are all local, and I don’t want any delays for her. My medical bills and Legacy are not always paid, as I have seen them double-bill me. I trust no medical company or doctor to correctly bill. I wait until I get multiple copies with the same numbers before I pay, and then I still (like a few weeks ago) get hundreds of dollars returned to me each year. I deposit the money and credit the medical account to make Quicken balance the overpayments. Nasty. sent me more ink for the printer today. I pay a monthly fee for the printer, and they supply me with ink. If I print too many sheets, I pay for the overage. I also can carry over some of the unused pages into the next month. I have been printing many rules of late, so I am using up my pages each month. I recommend the service instead of buying your own ink.

I ate reheated leftover chicken, which was not that great (that recipe just did not work), but the Mod Pizza salad was good. I watched one of the best standalone Doctor Who episodes, highly recommended, Time Heist. while eating.  Like the award-winning and terrifying Blink!, this one is not linear and includes a few surprises. This episode is not reliant on the cannon of Doctor Who and is an excellent SciFi story. I folded the laundry and put it away while watching, too. I then did the dishes and swept the floors. Slowly getting things better.

Evan called (I was on another call when his call came in the first time) and was visiting Susie late. Susie was happy to get to a visitor, and Evan put his phone on speaker so I could chat too. We talked for a bit. Then, Evan rang me up again; Evan and I then walked through, signing into the cable for Susie to watch M.A.S.H. Evan could get this working for Susie for tonight. Excellent! Once we had Hulu (M.A.S.H.) back and Peacock (newer shows) before, I rang off.

I then continued to write the blog; I did not get to do more housework as I had to get this blog done. I will try to get the mopping on Thursday. Z is recovering from her cold, and I should play her board games on Wednesday night.

I purchased a new solo game from GMT, Mr. President. It is a modern simulation (2001-2020) of being the US chief executive. I overlooked the six-hour playtime when I purchased it. Not sure I can do this, but we will see. The game is not yet in release, and I have pre-ordered it at a lower price–so it is only $65 to try it (nothing like the $200+ for Kickstarter games).

Thanks for reading.


Today 5June2023: Monday

I am at Wild Wood with a small dark beer, Barrel of the Beast, by Oregon City Brewing Company. I am writing at 8:30; the sun is still up, and the longest day of the year, June 21st, is still approaching. The days are still getting longer. It was a hot, dry day with dark blue, showing no air pollution, smoke, or humidity to color the sky anything more than dark blue. The winds from the north are hot and dry, and Susie loved it when I exclaimed, “This is nice,” when I took her out at 4PM.

I made dinner of two potatoes (slightly small, so I made two) by microwaving them. I heated a can of chili on the stove. I added sour cream, green olives, and some sweat pepper to the potatoes, buried them in chili, and then sprinkled more cheese on–I am an American, after all. After eating and watching the YouTube channel, Nerd of the Rings telling the story of the Lonely Mountain in a new video, I read my book. I finished the laundry and experienced my colon deciding to empty itself (no accidents). I decided to either nap or head to Wild Wood and write–I am here.

I returned to the Volvo Cave after finishing my last work meeting in Susie’s room at the hummingbird house at 5PM and enjoyed some traffic but witnessed no extra-legal driving. On reaching the Volvo Cave, I found the front door open; the wind must have blown open a not completely closed front door. I also found a package notice and will have to find time to pick it up.

I then decided to make dinner and went through the frig momentarily and discovered a few items that needed to be removed. One giant container of yogurt 1/2 eaten during the pandemic (yikes).

Moving to 1PM, I arrived at Susie’s place at the hummingbird house in Portland (Tigard) at Allegiance Senior Care LLC, 9925 SW 82nd. Ave. Portland (Tigard), OR 97223; phone (503) 246-4116. The traffic was light, and I arrived without incident. Susie was napping in her recliner in the shared living room, I woke her and shared the flowers I had cut for her, and Jennifer moved her to her bed. I set up in her room with my work and Apple computer. Susie continued napping while I was working online. Susie had some tummy issues and was in some pain, and Jennifer turned Susie on her side and used pillows to wedge her into position. Susie is not strong enough, I believe, to move herself to her side or to stay there. Susie felt better by the later afternoon.

I forgot to call Leta, Susie’s mother; I was distracted by Susie’s pain and getting her help, but Leta did contact us. We talked for a short bit as Susie was uncomfortable at that time. Leta was happy to connect.

At 4PM, at the end of my shift and thirty minutes before the end-shift status meeting at the shoe company, Susie was ready to head to Metzger Park. Jennifer moved Susie to the wheelchair, and we popped outside. As I said, it was an excellent warm day with a warm wind. The park was busy with school out for an hour or so. Folks were out with their young kids, the basketball courts were alive, but tennis was empty, and I used that, avoiding the crushed stone in the parking lot, to get Susie to the paved trails.

I took Susie all through the park and then pushed her on the streets, and we visited the magnolia tree, which has not quite bloomed (likely the longest day’s passing will change that). Susie was pointing out the blooms and enjoying the bright colors of summer in the Greater Portland Area. Roses and flowers everywhere. Susie was quite animated today.

I brought Susie back to the hummingbird house at 4:30, and we did my last Nike meeting together. I then set up the crash pad, put up the gate, and kissed Susie goodbye.

The morning started with me sleeping until 7ish and getting started with the same breakfast for a few days, a slice of French soft-styled bread with cream cheese, liberal coffee, and a banana. I then did hours of status meetings and reading updates by email, Slack channel updates, and news reports. Lunch was Quiche Lorraine from Whole Foods; I took a piece to Susie for Tuesday’s breakfast–Susie was thrilled; she loves quiche. Finally, I watered the roses and cut flowers for Susie. Mostly Wedgwood roses that are so heavy they are falling to the ground!

The Wedgwood climber from David Austin looks great.

This rose came with the house. The rumor is that it came from the mother’s house of the previous owner and thus is very old. It is a tea rose, not a hybrid tea, attesting to its age.

The Cardinal Richelieu is at the end of its blooming. The purple is still stunning for this old, nearly unique rose.

This is one of the cheap orphaned roses (lost its tag at the nursery so it was cheap). It is quite lovely.

Thank you for reading.