Big Birthday Photobarf

This post is incredibly delayed because it includes photos which were gifts to family, but here it finally is.

I’d been planning a birthday trip to Disneyland and other points of interest in the area for, oh, the last year and a half or so. Maybe even two years. That trip happened in early December, and I was thrilled to have my parents join me.

In total we did three days at the California Disney parks, one at Knott’s Berry Farm, and one at Universal Hollywood. Definitely an exhausting – but fully enjoyable – trip.

One thing I was super excited to do was to take another progress photo in the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. (Sorry Tarzan, it’ll always be their place in my heart.) Here’s that photo. I didn’t take a photo in the treehouse on my second most recent trip because I was ashamed of how much weight I’d gained back, so we’ll have to settle for a photo from my meet & greet with Boba Fett from that trip.

L-R: Feb 2013, Oct 2014, April 2017, Dec 2019

I never want to go back to where I was in those earlier photos. Hopefully I’ll look even healthier in the next one – whenever that happens. And now for the real fun, VACATION SLIDESHOWS!!!!

We spent a grand total of three days at the Disney parks: two at Disneyland and one at California Adventure. I’ve just lumped them all together here because I’m feeling lazy. High points included treating my folks to a birthday lunch at the Blue Bayou, piloting the Millennium Falcon with my dad, and catching part of the candle light processional (even if we weren’t important enough to warrant invitations to the show).

We spent a day at Knott’s Berry Farm, which I hadn’t been to since our first big amusement park vacation back in the early 80s. They’ve got a TON more awesome rollercoasters than they had back then, and I rode most of them. The Silver Bullet did me in. Got in a couple more coasters after that, but then I had to call it quits. This was only day two out of five straight days at theme parks and I didn’t want to burn myself out too fast. Didn’t get a ton of photos, but here’s what I do have.

We also spent a day at Universal Studios Hollywood, which I also hadn’t been to since that same vacation we first went to Knott’s. I shouldn’t have been surprised that the rides were pretty much all screen-based, but I was. And they made me sick. We had a fun day, but I don’t feel the need to go back. This was Day Three of the Five Days of Funn.

If you know me at all, you know that’s a hell of a lot of peopling for me. Once back home, I had to get out on my own and recharge my nature cells. I’d been wanting to get down to the Chiricahuas for weeks, but my schedule just didn’t allow it. I decided to make it work that Saturday after getting back, and it was absolutely worth it. I stopped at The Thing on my way home just for shits and giggles, and to see the “upgrade” to the museum. That was…. an experience. At least I ended up with a souvenir tee shirt that I really like, and which cost a fraction of anything I saw in any of the theme parks and didn’t like nearly as much.

So there’s my bigass photobarf. Hope you enjoyed it.

And because it’s timely, I had a lovely Christmas with family and am looking forward to a most likely quiet New Year’s Eve as a hermit. Unless I change my mind and go out. Then there’s no telling.

Making my bed room better

What?!? Two posts in the same week?

So I’ve been looking for a proper, nice bed frame or headboard for a while now.  Last week I scored an amazing headboard on Craigslist.  It came from the Grand Californian hotel at Disneyland.  (It also came with a plain queen sized metal frame and four throw pillows from the hotel.  Not sure what I’m going to do with those just yet.  Here’s an image search showing the headboard and pillows in their former natural habitat.)

Knowing I’d have to tear apart my room to get the headboard attached to the wall, I figured now was as good a time as any to get some painting done in there as well.  I’ve been struggling with exactly what colors I wanted to use, but getting this piece helped me make a decision.  But more on that later.

First off, here’s what the room looked like before I did much.  (Just removed the clutter from atop my dresser and book shelf.)  My apologies for the haphazard state of the bedclothes.


Once the book shelf, night stand, and dresser were moved out and the bed relocated to the opposite corner of the room it was time to locate the wall studs, attach the cleat to the wall, and test for fit.  This took far longer than I would have liked, but I was really paranoid about messing up and missing a stud somewhere.


Next up, move the headboard out of the way and prep the walls themselves.  This included wiping down the baseboards, applying painter’s tape as appropriate, and removing electrical covers.  Here’s a (crappy) panoramic shot I took of that stage.


I then proceeded to paint the two walls of the “bed corner” a lovely, dark green.  Took three coats, but I’m super happy with the result.  Here’s the room restored (minus dresser-top and book shelf clutter) with just the room light on.


And here it is with the bed lights lit.  The lights don’t actually have switches, so I’ve plugged them into a remote control system for easy switching on and off.  I’d kind of like to try putting some flicker-flame bulbs into those fixtures, but I don’t think it would be terribly practical for reading.  Though it sure would look cool.


I have to say it’s a definite improvement.  I also got to remove the lamp from my nightstand, making more room for whatever I happen to be reading at the time.  And then there’s the added benefit of said lamp no longer being something (else) I have to worry about the cats trying to knock over in the night.

The other two walls haven’t been painted yet.  I didn’t have the time or energy to deal with that today.  Plus, I want to give the green at least a couple of days to fully set before putting painter’s tape on it.  But when I do get to them, those walls will be a nice blue similar in tone to the green.  Yes, the room will be rather dark.  I like it that way.  Especially when I get a migraine.

I actually chose the blue first for the “non-bed” walls, and was trying to find a complimenting blue for the “bed” walls without finding anything I really liked.  Then I decided to try green for the other color, which I think was a good call.  Hopefully the blue paint will be a smaller project – at least as far as prep work goes – since I’ll only have to move the dresser, take down a few pieces of art, and throw a drop cloth over the foot of the bed before taping and painting.

So, yeah.  I’m very tired and very, very sore.  I suspect I will sleep rather well tonight.  As always, thanks for reading.