October 23rd, 2014


Two for the price of one.

Wednesday started as a repeat of Tuesday, except there was no surf at all and few photos to be taken. Before going out onto the sand I prowled the flea market in the fairgrounds parking lot, looking for a camp chair. For $5 I bought a new "ice fishing chair" triangular, 3-legged, which looked perfect. But when I set it up, it was clearly not designed for the male anatomy. I parked my butt on the sane, and left the chair for whomever.

Needed breathe-right strip (I was due to run out tonight) so I hoofed it an extra mile to the shopping center with a Rite Aid. I was also down to the end of my photo SD card, and Radio Shack had the 32GB ones half price so I bought 2. I had one but it was back at the motel, and I was going to run out of space before running out of shoots.

And I found the bus line. The 30-minute one runs along Main Street, four blocks up from the motel,  the 60-minute one is on Thompson where the motel is.

Also at the shopping center was a Von's which turns out to be Safeway, and I peeked in to see if the Starbucks inside was a good place to park, but it was tiny and all the seats were taken. So I went to the Subway next door, ordered a foot-long meatball sub, ate half and packed the other half.

Walked back to the park, sat in the shade for maybe an hour then went to the motel. Caught up on FB and the Giants' loss, ate the other half of the sub, read some from the Kindle app and went to sleep.

It took a while for my brain to turn off, my pre-dream dreams were more bizarre than usual. Most of the time they try to compartmentalize events and thoughts of the day, but this time some of the thoughts were just not from my experience. And by compartmentalize I mean literally. An entity who feels female creates a row of compartments, open at one side, and slides the events and ideas into those, one per box. The boxes are rectangular.

Today breakfast was over before I made it out the door, which is okay, usually don't eat until I get to work. The plan was to catch the #16 bus to the Ventura Transit Center and transfer to the #21 to Oxnard, and walk about a mile to Channel Islands harbor. But when I got to the stop, I really needed to turn around and get back to the room and attend to nature. The schedule on the stop said the bus ran on the hour, and it was 10:30 so I had time.

Back at the stop, there was a cube code but my phone could not get it to work, so I texted the stop number and it said 13 minutes. The bus actually arrived half an hour later. 15 minutes to the transit center, 20 minutes for the connection. Google maps had me get off a stop earlier than it should have, so my walk was a lot longer, and it was on a street which had a bike lane but no sidewalk. Oxnard is not pedestrian friendly.

Walked down the block and over a bridge and scoped out the harbor. At one time this was going to be a major place for people to grab a bite, but it's hard times, and all that is left is the shell, with three places to eat which I would not feel safe eating at. And a bar. And there was no sign of boat trips - those are apparently way down the road, one needs a car to get there. Or a bicycle of you're brave.

Walked back over the bridge to another attempt to turn old fishing buildings into places to eat, but nothing looked good (a cupcake place, a spud donut place and a place which sold live crabs). So lesser of evils, back up the block to Topper's Pizza, which is nice and clean and modern and not too expensive, and had a deck outside where I could plop myself down and try to take some photos of the eclipse, which was due in half an hour. I ordered a pizza to help justify being there for a long time.

The pizza arrived fairly quickly, but that turned out to not be a problem. I got the "meatinator", which had pepperoni, sausage and bacon. Horrible thin crust, the kind which is perforated, which means one step away from cardboard. Lots and lots of grease. Almost no tomato sauce. It had to be eaten slowly.

After some experimenting with using the video display on the camera instead of looking through the viewfinder, I was able to get photos at the lowest ISO setting and the highest shutter speed and f stop. Still a lot of glare. I am kind of kicking myself because I do have a solar eclipse filter, spent $100 on it, but forgot to see if it fit the lens I brought, let alone pack it.

With Photoshop I was able to turn down the brightness some more, but the photo at max occlusion time turned out pretty lame.

But I learned how bright the sun is. :-)

Caught the bus home, this time from a stop a lot nearer. The drive had the pedal down, and what was more than an hour coming was 45 minutes returning. And I connected with the Main Street bus back, which also saved half an hour.

Back to the motel, played with the photos a little, gave up, walked back to Main for dinner. Finally decided on Tipps Thai, which is a hole in the wall advertising 31 years in business. Once inside it is a very deep hole, five tables wide but about 20 deep.

The waitress did not look Thai, but it turned out she is, from Chiang Mai, so part Chinese and part Isan. We chatted a lot in Thai, she gave me the run down on the other 4 Thai places on the block. And the three new Indian places.

Had the BBQ ribs, which were mostly fat but very delicious sauce. And the coconut ice cream with a sprig of mint on top and tiny bits of pineapple in it.

Walked back to the motel, massaged three of the eclipse photos for FB and here I am.

Plans for tomorrow:
My last day here.
Leave the camera behind, put on my swim trunks, grab my beach towel and get my feet wet in the ocean.
If the surf is any good, get the camera and take photos. Later. If at all.
Pack and plan the timing of Saturday's return trip. Need to be at the station by 10:40.