Sep. 14th, 2017

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Since my last update, Ben and I completed the construction portion of our game room/wizard wall/portal to another dimension. It's really an on-going project of collecting mystical/wizardy bits and bobs, but the base is done and the rest is just details.

I also turned 35. I celebrated with pineapple upside-down pancakes at the Black Bear Diner, followed by buying some cool-looking books at the local used bookstore for our wizard wall, followed by AYCE KBBQ with Claire and Lawrence at Sizzlingogi.

The next day, we continued my birthday celebration by visiting Anacapa Island, the smallest of the Channel Islands. Remind me never to get AYCE anything the day before visiting Anacapa Island (as I'd like to return in the winter, when it's green), because it's all cliffs and you have to go up 180 steps as soon as you get off the boat. It was probably not the best idea to bolt up the first three flights, either. I can bolt up three flights of stairs, as I did it pretty much every day when we lived in PQ, but I foolishly neglected that carrying a full pack while doing so would probably drain my stamina. Which it did. Fortunately, there were small benches at every landing. I wasn't the last person up the stairs, but I was probably the last to the ranger station, as my blood sugar dipped from the exertion and I had to stop and rest at the top of the stairs.

The view was well worth it, though. One of these days I should unload the pictures from my camera. :P

Afterwards, we boarded the boat home and took a meandering 2 hours to get back since the boat was also carrying a whale watching excursion. We saw several pods of dolphins and a couple of blue whales, not to mention a bunch of seabirds. I love how super playful dolphins are... they loved to race the boat.

Ben took me to dinner in Ventura at the Winchester Saloon, which we followed with a visit to Hypno Comics. I wish we lived closer to it, as the guy who ran it was super cool. He seemed to know a lot of the customers who came in personally, and handled even the rowdy trio of very young boys who came in unaccompanied very well.

I've reorganized the tool bench in the garage to hold my lapidary and woodworking tools. I've moved most of my game room project work there since we need the table to play. We've hosted a couple of games already.

Things I have still left to do: lusterweibchen, stain pigments box, feather brushes, bag of holding, eyeball in a jar, guest scroll, figure out what to put in the door-shaped picture frame, and make an encyclopedia side table.

OH THE ENCYCLOPEDIAS! The guy running the bookstore we visited on my birthday just GAVE us a near-complete set of the 9th edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. If it was in good condition, it would probably be worth something, but as it sits, most of it is eaten by red rot. I'm going to try to dust what I can off and seal the rest with mod podge before turning them into little side tables. I'll probably save the volumes in the best shape for hollowed out books.

I also decided to sponsor a kid's entry to the 2018 Sketchbook Project. Of course, one kid turned to three and now I'm in the process of getting approved to pilot an arts mentorship program at Katie's school.

Also I got the new Galaxy Note 8. It arrived yesterday. I'm not quite sure I really needed a new phone, but since they were giving $300 in trade-in value for the 5 (what I have), in addition to a free 360 camera (also a $300 value), it seemed like the thing to do. Plus now that I'm on Insta, I've keep running out of HD space, and the new Note8 has a microsd card slot. So now I have a ridic amount of storage (128gb microsd plus whatever is on my phone). It's nice. I like how it's narrower than my old note so it's easier to hold in one hand, but I think the screen is still a little bigger 'cause they got rid of the physical home button? I use a retinal scan to unlock my phone. I wonder how much information the retinal scanner really gathers. Fingerprints seemed reasonable.. but the retinal scan still seems like such an over-the-top futuristic security measure.

Also, also, I made a BPAL order for the first time since I started dating Ben. I could not quite keep up with it so I culled most of my collection down to Taurus 2007, some sniffies, and some violet scents from Possets. When I'd gone to the Friday Farmer's market at Avila Beach with Claire, someone was selling tuberoses and I had the sudden desire to have a tuberose scent. So I ordered Miss Spink, which while it did have an edge of gardenia and tuberose, was mostly on the tea and cookies side, so it turned to powder on me in a few hours. I think I'm having slightly better longevity with Nocturne and Languor, which are more floral but not nauseating to me as some heavy florals sometimes are.

And that's where I am.

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