Holding Pattern. I've been in this strange holding pattern since opening the store. My house, which financed most of the store, has a mortgage that resets in October. A lot of energy has been spent attempting to make enough money for both the store to survive and for the larger mortgage payment. The housing market crash has had a huge effect on this. The value of the house has tanked, but the economy has actually dropped down to my game store owner level. That's really bad. I ran the numbers this evening, and interest rates are now actually affordable for me, without a significant income jump. It's a sad feeling when you realize that success required a near economic collapse. It's not exactly time to pop the cork on a new bottle of champagne, since I'm screwed on the decreased value, but it means I'll avoid some hard decisions this Fall. Deal breaking economic crisis avoided.
Painting by the Sea. Next week I'll be going on one of my painting weekends. The family is out of town, so I'll be checking into a nice hotel in Santa Cruz to do some War of the Rings painting. I love Santa Cruz downtown, the .... scenery ... is so ... stimulating. Ok, it's the hot college girls. I can look, right? No, sadly it's the great bookstores. One of the fringe benefits of the store is oodles of frequent flyer miles, which pay for more rooms and trips than I could possibly take in a year. I would love to translate that into cash, but I blogged about what happened when I contacted Capital One, my points for cash credit card company. If you can avoid talking to a bank right now, you're far better off.
D&D Followup. I found running my D&D adventure (mostly a Dungeon Delve adventure) highly enjoyable. I'm pretty sure that next time I run a campaign, I'll be making my own adventures, although I'm told later WOTC 4E adventures are far more interesting than earlier ones. The down side was I didn't give the group enough follow-up time to complete what needed doing. I should have just narrated it, something like "You destroy the magic viewing chair and instruct the villagers to seal up the temple, thereby destroying any trace evidence of the magic portal. You safely return to your plane and have a nice apricot ale." Instead, with about ten minutes left, I gave them all the data and looked at them, as if they would somehow come up with the magic formula that would make it alright. Stupid.