October 21st, 2014


Walkathon, Relaxathon

Slept well, slept in. Skipped the incontinental breakfast and walked out the back way and across the RR tracks, taking photos. Lots of interesting angles with the RR bridge over 101 and a complex freeway interchange. Pedestrian overpass also gave some good angles.

Walked to the end of a very long Ventura pier, reading the plaques on the many many benches along the way. Photographed a few of the more interesting ones. Also got pix of beer and booze bottles, homeless people encamped there, and surfers in the distance. And birds in the sparkling shallows. Also sat on one of the last benches and fixed the strap on the Nikon. The previous owner obviously did not shoot with the strap over a shoulder, it was too short for me. So I took advantage of the lovely weather and a place to sit, and adjusted both sides to as long as possible. Vast improvement.

I had been planning to have brunch at the restaurant on the pier, but is wasn't open and the taco stand was only serving bad Mexican fast food.

Walked down to the promenade, and along the beach for a long way, looking for good surf sites. All the nearest ones, full of surfers, were almost flat water. Finally got around the tip of the point and there was some hope. Got some good pix, but looking at them later, the camera was not doing a good job of focusing. The built-in area focus is not good for sports.

Walked through the fairgrounds parking lot, expecting the casino would have food, but there is no casino, just a horse race track owned by casino. No food. But the flowers along the fence were attracting monarch butterflies and hummingbirds. Got some pix.

That took me back to the Amtrak station, and the underpass with the murals which I wanted to photograph, so I did that. Then into downtown, marveling at how all the buildings were old, but all the businesses inside them fairly new. No effort has been made to make the businesses blend with the architecture.

Walking down Main Street, there were five Thai restaurants, two of them named Rice. I went into the first one and had the special duck curry. It was not spicy at all, very sweet, with way too many pineapple chunks and almost curry paste. The duck bits were good. And the waitress was excellent, speaking to me in Thai most of the time.

I walked around some more, found the mission, which looks very modern and expanded. Also found the city hall which looked a lot like a mission. Interesting fact, the official name of the city is San Buenaventura. It's on all the trash receptacles.

Back toward the motel, found a Starbucks and walking into the frigid indoors, it was clear that what I needed at that point was air conditioning. It was cloudy all day, but warmer than it felt. I cooled off, then took my half-finished iced mocha and continued downhill. Found a huge park kitty corner from the motel, parked in the shade, finished my mocha and just relaxed.I wanted a nap, but wanted more to be outdoors.

Finally went to the motel, about 4 pm, and took a nap for an hour.

Set up to look at the photos on the laptop, but the Nikon software refused to launch. It could not find the camera through the USB port. I finally had to take the SD card out of the camera and put it into the slot in the laptop.

I'll have to wait to see what they look like on the PC at home - the laptop doesn't have enough room to massage the big 37 megapixel raw files. But a quick look showed the surfer photos are not what I'd hoped, but all the non-action photos are excellent.

While the photos were being transferred to the laptop, I walked downtown looking for the ribs place I'd seen earlier. I missed it by a block, did a lot of walking and not believing Google Maps before I got there, only to find it closed, with a liquor application for another business. Walked back half a block to a western bar & grill, had a very nice lamb chop with garlic mashed potatoes, and a waitress who never let my diet Pepsi run dry. She got a big tip.

Back to the motel, walked by The Majestic Ventura Theater, which was allegedly having Jewboy rapper Mathisyahoo but what I saw inside was just another club, with really loud bad noise coming out. And parked in front were four various tour buses, which turned out to be stationary party buses. People were going between the buses and the theater, and I'm guessing they were doing things in the buses which would have gotten them 86ed from the theater.

One note about Ventura. If I am ever homeless, this is where I will go. It is very homeless friendly. Lots of public restrooms, I didn't see a single beat cop all day. There are a dozen huge thrift stores, most of them will buy or trade as well as sell. Lots of parks, lots of beach.
In other news, I found the lens for the D800 which replaces the DX lens I like the most on the D90/300 on Amazon used for less than all the eBay offerings, so I bought it. 28-300 AF-S, VR, full frame 3.5-6.3 or something like that. Hopefully the new Nikon lens will do better with action shots than the similar old Sigma lens I've been using today.

Plans for tomorrow:
More beach time
Maybe wake up in time for breakfast. Maybe.