Day 251: Back to Mox

No working this weekend, so I was up at 8ish and slowly found my way this morning. I did manage to fail in making coffee. I put too much coffee in the drip coffee maker, and it blocked and overflowed back into the back of the coffee maker. A mess!

Breakfast was a bagel and banana while Susie slept. I started on my taxes and got all of the forms loaded for all my transactions and have only a few hours to go on that. I will try to find some time on Sunday morning, time to “give up to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s.”

As often happens, I was out of time and rushes to make the noon opening for Mox Board House for food and gaming. I managed to get out the door and load a few games in the car by 11:30ish.

I was surprised that I had traffic in Beaverton and that highway 26 to Portland was slow and crawling on a Saturday morning. It was a sort of sunny day, well sunny for us in the Pacific NorthWest–meaning not pouring rain and so gray that it makes moss look emerald, and thus everyone was out on the roads driving with politeness. A lane was also closed on 26 for no real reason I could see. I was only a few minutes past noon when I parked the car in the garage under Mox and other residential and retail spaces next to Providence Park.

The store, Mox, was just the way I remember it, and they remembered me. Megan, the manager, was happy to see me, and “we can now talk instead of chatting online.” After about Thanksgiving, the lockdown happened again in Portland, and I had not back to the store except on their Facebook page. Actually, their game selection is better, and the little items, like a dice tray, selection is great, and I did pick-up a few hard-to-find items. I have a folding dice tray, paint tops for Citadel styled paint bottles, and a light tan color I ran out–“mummy robes.”

Tim, whom I remember from before the lockdown, was serving today. I ordered a beer, and Evan joined me a bit at 12:30ish and had a mocha coffee. I had walked back to the car in the garage, using the elevator, to get some games. I asked permission to play as I did not know the new Covid-19 rules. Megan was happy to tell me to play some games. Someday, Megan said she will get to play her first game of Scythe someday, and as usual, I offered, after Covid-19 fades, to teach her.

We all felt like the last 100 days of lockdown fade away and that it seemed like we had been playing every weekend and seeing each other most weekends. But, the USA’s death rate reached more than 5,000 souls lost a day during this last lockdown. You could see in everyone’s eyes how much they were happy to be back and how scared we all were, and how fearful we are now that the lockdown will come again. All greetings are muted but heartfelt.

Evan inaugurated our return to gaming at Mox by reaching an almost 50 lead in two-person Vindication. The board game was mercifully fast. Evan gave me advice on playing better, showing how far Evan has come from learning the game from me to using me for a virtual footstool in the game.

We had a smaller white table as Mox was a bit busy and certainly busier than I saw it when it first opened at the beginning of the Pandemic. I did not get a long table as those went to larger groups. We made it work. Folks put on masks and were very careful.

Lunch for me was Mushroom Bourguignon with a beer. Evan had the NW Duck and Mushroom mix burger. No complaints. Evan started on the new cocktails.

Mushroom Bourguignon

After lunch, it was time to play the Concordia board game. I picked a new board to play that includes just part of Britain, France, Spain and Portugal, and Belgium that we had not played before. It was a bit tighter map with fewer cities. We did include the Forum from the Concordia Salsa add-on. Evan was aggressively building trading posts in cities. I instead focused on buy cards and building my point multipliers. I remember Will, who taught me the game and that buying cards often decides the winner, not the building of trading posts.

I enjoy this game and often plan my turn two to three moves ahead. When Evan tripped the end of the game, gaining seven points for that, I was unsure of the score. Concordia does scoring at the end. I managed a ten-point lead by my investment in cards, and last-minute trading post builds the turn before Evan ended the game.

We paid our bill so that Tim could get his tip and then opened a new bill with Tatiana and Marlyn, who had the evening shift. I always try to pay two bills, so each team gets paid.

Tatiana was my first bartender at Mox, and Marlyn was my first evening bartender at Mox. I got them to pose for a new picture for this first re-opened weekend.

We had dessert and coffee, and then we paid the bill and let our friends at Mox get on with the night customers.

Susie was missing me already, and I made her a grilled cheese for dinner when I got home. Susie then watched the movies Henry V and High Society.

Oregon had a record day for vaccinations this week and almost 25,000 shots yesterday. The number is updated over three days and shows great promise.

One thousand five-hundred fifty-four people died today from the infection.

I decided to pick something different today: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole ➖ ‘Over The Rainbow’ & ‘What A Wonderful World’ Medley.

Day 250: Crazy Friday

I am happy and sad to say I have sold some stock. SPACE (Virgin Galatic) at +250% increase and F (Ford) at 10% increase. I enjoyed the ride, but taxes are coming due soon, and the play money has to be put to work and pay the tax bill for last year. I am both relieved to get off the roller coaster ride of both companies, and a little sad to no longer have that thrill of watching both stocks rise and fall with the tides of random investor emotion.

Since we are talking about money, my 401K is at the moment experiencing flat growth for the year, +0.23%. The markets appear confused by the stimulus package, a tiny jump in rates, and falling death and infection rates. The markets are uncertain as they have been the only investment for the last year. Increasing rates and a sudden full-running economy seem to be spooking the investors as it may move money from the markets to bonds and real estate. I continue to leave my 401K alone.

Continuing with the theme of money, I am trying to make the self-imposed deadlines of Feb 28th to finish my taxes. You also get a discount from Turbo Tax if you finish by then. I have uploaded all the documents and have a few hours of annotating certain stock transactions to finish up. I will likely make my date. I will pay the taxes on the deadline; I do not pay the government early.

Returning to the house’s story, Susie slipped off the bed while dressing for bed tonight and landed on the floor in a heap. She is not hurt, and sliding off the bed I do not think should count as a full fall. It was just a silly mistake.

Susie, Mariah, and I met for pizza and drinks at The Rock Wood Fired Pizza for dinner. Mariah got us a table in the bar. We were stopped at the door and told they were at maximum capacity and would have to wait. I then got a text from Mariah that we already had a table, and in we went. The parking lot was full, and the place was kicking. And that meant really we should have skipped it–too much risk. But, the customers were all being safe, and masks were used in the waiting area and when people got up. So I did not feel unsafe–I think we have finally engrained social distancing and masks in the bar scene, at least in Beaverton, Oregon.

Before dinner, I finished work and rested a bit, and took an unplanned nap that I suddenly awoke from. I am reading a delightful book on the history of math, The Story of a Number, and I have to admit that I might slip away from the story to dreamland when tired. It is a good story, and it is good to recall all the math I have forgotten.

We were celebrating a bit. Susie graduated from Physical Therapy In-home services. Michelle, our visiting PT, came at 2:30ish with a graduation certificate for Susie and lists of exercises for Susie in the future. I had made a carrot cake from scratch and frosted it today between meetings. Michelle could not take off her mask; she got a piece to take home. Susie did walk down the street with Michelle and did some exercises too. It is now up to Susie and me to keep this up.

Susie had yogurt with cereal, and I had soup from a can for lunch. I frosted the cake at lunchtime.

We had an emergency this morning at the shoe company that is still ongoing, and we are working the weekend. The India time work is put on hold as the emergency needs to be resolved before doing the other work. So the morning was about working on the problems and solving many crises of the moment that need my attention today.

This morning I had a chance to eat my bagel and banana while all my computers, my Apple, and Nike’s Windows machine, decided to reboot. It was strange to see both of them down at the same time!

I started the morning at 7ish as the early meetings are canceled, for the moment. Susie managed to sleep the night, so I managed some short by uninterrupted sleep today.

22,353 people were vaccinated yesterday in Oregon. The numbers take 72 hours to be complete, and the previous day has also been increased. It is reassuring to see the rate back to over 20,000 a day. Oregon has vaccinated 14% of the population of the state.

2,246 people died from the virus today in the USA.

I turned in the hymnal to a song I have never heard, Father, We Thank You.

Day 349: Busy Thursday

I was up at 6ish as I had a 7AM status meeting.

I will skip over much of the morning as it was status meetings while fixing a few crises of the moment and coding Groovy and Jenkins config. I was trying to get an install script to work. I worked all morning and afternoon on this while listening to status meetings after status meetings.

Susie had ordered some St. Patrick gifts for her family, and I had to send them to Michigan. I slipped out at 10ish and went to the UPS store and sent the gifts on. They should be there before March 17th.

For lunch, I decided to order out. Ma-Now Thai food, Pad Thai with Shrimp. It was delivered about noon. I ate it while I sat through more meetings and some new emergency meetings. We had some new software issues, and we started to work out what to do.

I continued to work on my Groovy stuff and got very close. Just one error left. I stopped at 3ish.

I slipped out and went grocery shopping at Whole Foods. I needed more eggs and cream cheese for the frosting for Susie’s cake. I got a few items we are getting low on and some nice beer.

I also tried to get a Covid-19 shot for Susie today–Walgreen had some openings. But, I had to create an account on Walgreens, and by the time I was done, the appointments were full. I will keep trying for both of us.

I took a short nap and started on dinner, pork chops. These are Schwann’s bone-in that cook well if pan-fried and finished, in the pan, in the oven. I made corn niblets (Schwann’s) and garlic bread–Whole Foods has great garlic bread.

I watched the news with Susie while we ate dinner. I watch PBS BBC News and about 1/2 of the News Hours.

I then returned to work. India morning this time at 9 IST or 7:30PM here. We had more issues to talk about.

I stopped at about 8:30ish as I have to make Susie a cake. She is graduating from Physical Therapy at home tomorrow. She wants a carrot cake. I shredded carrots and used the same recipe she loved last time from King Arthur Flour. So the kitchen looks like it exploded. There are bits of carrot here and there. I will frost it late tonight, I think.

15,684 received a vaccination yesterday in Oregon. This number will likely increase as it takes three days to collect all the data.

Two thousand four-hundred fourteen people died from the infection today in the USA.

Eternal Father hymn came to me today. This is the navy hymn.

Day 348: Going Groovy

There were no early morning status meetings. I slept into 7ish. Susie was up a bit early; my last few hours were a bit broken, but still, it felt a bit better at 7 when the alarm went off. I managed to have breakfast, coffee, and even shower and dress in time for the start of hours of Zoom calls, all status.

I did have a few crises of the moment as many little items appeared in text messages, emails, and Slack messages. One request asked me how I was doing, and I commented that I was changing focus so fast I felt like a tennis ball. This got a LOL, at least.

I was in about six hours of status meetings today. I spent most of the time with the camera off as I worked on other items while trying to follow along. I did not want to be that guy, “I am sorry, could you repeat that.”

I was busy writing Groovy code all day. Groovy is the language you can use in Jenkins to control building software; Jenkins is an open software platform that allows you to write processes to build and test software (yes, named after a butler). I have written some Groovy and Jenkins configurations to orchestrate installing SAP Java and UI5 based applications. Now I needed to install SAP Data Intelligence software (yes, they called it that, or DI). I managed to get the connection string to work to the underlying technology yesterday. I now needed to orchestrate a build process.

I spent the morning trying to get the Groovy to talk to BASH as all the examples for SAP to do this are in BASH. BASH is the shell script to control UNIX (and it stands for Bourne Again SHell). My Jenkins environments are UNIX (you can use Windows too). And to make it just a feast of hacking, the examples include ad hoc created Python code to parse some of the control files (Of course, Python is named for Monty Python).

While nerding out, I managed a short walk–it was a bit cold for me. I know that I am working hard enough as my KN95 mask, CDC no longer recommends paper masks, starts to push on to my face because I am breathing hard. My breathing is good today, and the pain in my legs is less. Use it or lose it!

I ordered from Gyro House again and had a lamb gyro. It was so good. I ate it while I was working on the code.

My afternoon was more status meetings. I continued to code and test. I managed to get the flow to work. I have not yet fully test it as I need a valid *.zip, but I did get all the controls working, and the Python stopped failing.

Susie has only two days left of in-home physical therapy. Michelle showed up about 3ish, and we went over the plan. We will have a cake to celebrate Susie graduating from PT at home. Susie walked with Michelle outside halfway up and down our street. Michelle gave Susie some stretching exercises.

I was going to make dinner. I have to work Indian hours too. I instead ordered some Papa Murphy pizza and salad. These are take-home and bake pizza, New York thin-crust style. I got a Cesar salad with chicken also. I love pizza and a good salad; it is a Mid-West thing.

We watched the news on PBS while eating pizza. I then started the blog, and work restarted when India woke up.

I wrote the blog while listening, and I also did some work here and there—multi-tasking to the max.

14,502 people in Oregon were vaccinated yesterday. This number will likely increase as it takes 72 hours to get all the data posted.

2,525 people died today in the USA from the virus.

I turned to this old French carol, He Is Born, in the hymnal and found this delightful version.


Day 347: Tuesdsay with Beer

Working backward tonight, I am quickly writing the blog before returning to work on India’s morning, our 9:30PM.

Dinner was at Golden Valley Brewery for lots of beer and a Chicken Pot Pie. Susie had a Spanish Coffee and a ham and cheese. Mariah met us there.

Beer with hand sanitizer (to wash hands)

I stopped working about 4ish after going mostly non-stop from 6 this morning. I ended the day after answering questions about data conversions. We have new people involved, and they are asking all the basic questions again. I covered the same ground, and I think we are back on track.

Before the data conversion questions, I worked on Groovy code to build some install processes for one of the shoe company’s new technologies. They need this soon, so I spent the afternoon reading documentation and testing and revising. I managed to get my connection string to work, so I can now run the processes.

While coding and reading instructions, I was also listening to status meetings while eating Mexican Food delivered for lunch from Don Chilitoes Mexican Grill, a Chile Relleno, and Enchilada.

Susie also got started about the same time, and I got her waffles for breakfast with peanut butter spread on them. These are “power” waffles with extra protein.

Moving backward in time, the morning was again explaining how data worked to yet-another-group. I was explaining the same things again. I asked the people to talk to each other as they are from the same team. I did not mind that much explaining again; it was just a surprise to have a repeat.

I started early this morning with three hours of status meetings. I did have a few crises of the moment to handle too. I did manage to slip out and take a short walk.

My alarm was 6, and I started and was ready for the first meeting at 7AM.

9,235 people were vaccinated yesterday in Oregon. The number will likely be increased as it takes 72 hours to collect all the numbers.

2,404 people in the USA died from Covid-19 today.

I went with my fav version of Lift Every Voice And Sing.