Monday night, and I’m not working for the first time in about two years. (Tried being a workaholic in 2019; didn’t work out. The three-week vacation in March was tainted by having to prepare for a giant presentation.) It feels goooood.

I spent most of the day at a local amethyst mine, collecting the shiny purple preciouses for the low, low price of just $25 CAD (~$18 USD) for an entire bucket. The elderly hostess gave me some dating advice (“Women love shiny things!”), showed me what to look for, and sent me on my way. Everything was covered in mud, so there was a lot of guesswork involved, both visual and tactile. I had no clue what I was doing, but I had fun doing it. (Feel free to use that as my epitaph. (More like epic-taph, amirite?)) When I returned to my AirBnB and washed my loot in the bathtub, I found that the big rocks were mostly mildly interesting disappointments, but the smaller ones were amazing. I managed to find a few red amethysts (the secret ingredient is hematite!), which are only found in this part of the world.

It was so peaceful and tranquil… Just sitting, digging, hammering, sorting – for hours and hours on end. It got a bit less peaceful and tranquil when other people arrived with their kids, but that gave mosquitoes more targets. Strategy, strategy. Heh.

That alone was well worth the long drive, and there’s a lot more interesting stuff to explore, which I’ll do tomorrow. On the way back to my rental basement apartment, I stopped by the Terry Fox monument, which was pretty damn inspiring. I’m amazed I’ve never heard of him before, and I wonder if he was used as an inspiration for Forrest Gump’s jog across America.

In covid news: xgf is feeling fine now, so that was either a very strange food poisoning due to a broken fridge, or an extremely mild form of the virus. We’ll likely never know. Just a few hours ago, Trump tweeted that wearing masks is patriotic. He’s a few months too late to the party… Chances are, the tweet was sent by his PR team, and he’ll continue to either badmouth masks or waffle on the topic in his future public appearances. It’ll be hilarious to watch his supporters pivot from “masks are tyranny!” to “we’ve always supported masks! Wooo!” Heh. And finally, there’s some optimistic news from the Oxford vaccine trial. So far, it’s showing very promising results with antibodies. Right now, there are 23 vaccines in advanced testing stages around the world. Maybe one or more of them will actually work – and if we’re lucky, convey lasting immunity. I wonder if it’d be possible to score one of each vaccine, just for the fun of it. (I’m convinced some billionaires out there have the same idea.)

Off to watch a Netflix show about time-traveling Germans (must they all look so similar?) and prepare for a lot of hiking tomorrow. Sleep well, fellow survivors.