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Month: April 2021

An Epic Odyssey

Posted in Non-Stationery Reviews

After playing through Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2015), I gave myself a little breather, then gleefully dove into Odyssey (2018). I decided to start a new game plus (see below), one of the many awesome features introduced in Odyssey. For the record, at the time of writing, I’ve logged just over 51 hours of playtime — for this play through — at the easiest setting on my PlayStation 4. Everything that follows is based on that experience.

NOTE: This post is LONG, even for me. A real Odyssey, just like the game. I’ve done my best to give it descriptive subheads so you can scroll through it and read the bits that interest you, if you want. And I’ve added lots of photos to break up the text some. I wanted to do, and I feel I have done, this game, and my recent Assassin’s Creed review series, justice. I have one more post planned, then likely won’t write about Assassin’s Creed again until the next game is announced.

Monday Munchies: Golden Milk Dalgona Drink

Posted in Monday Munchies

I found this one on Honeysuckle’s YouTube channel. Although the video is titled Dalgona Coffee Recipes, only one is actually coffee based, and this isn’t it. The Golden Milk Dalgona Drink is the final one she makes in the video.

Combining a couple of recipes from the original video, I’ve made two different versions of this drink. The egg-based version (below) is really good for breakfast. The cream-based version makes a great dessert.

Golden Milk Dalgona Drink

What You Need (Serves 2)

  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp ginger powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1½ tsp sugar
  • 2 egg whites -OR- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream (see deviation below)
    NOTE: You can’t use the egg whites that come in a carton, those won’t whip up.
  • ~8oz of your favorite milk
  • 2 16oz cups (bigger cups mean less mess when you mix)

Monday Munchies: Banana Mocha Smoothie

Posted in Monday Munchies

I found this one on Girl Gone Gourmet after a Google search for healthy snacks. I’m not a fan of coffee, so I was a bit nervous about trying it, but it’s really good! I halve the recipe, because the original is practically a meal.

Banana Mocha Smoothie

What You Need

  • ¼ cup cold brew coffee (You can make your own, but I buy a small bottle of plain cold brew coffee. It lasts for quite a while in the fridge.)
  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa

Sailor Fatigue

Posted in Fountain Pens

It took me quite a while to get into Sailor pens. I didn’t buy my first until October 2019 — 2 ¾ years after buying my first fountain pen. Not gonna lie, I’m still pretty pleased with that initial Sailor purchase — the Tequila Sunrise. It was, is, a worthy first Sailor purchase.

I’ve bought 13 more Sailor pens since then, all in the Pro Gear family, 10 of which I’ve kept. Not a bad ratio, and compared to my total pen purchases, not too terribly many. However, it does encompass the most fountain pens I’ve purchased of the same general model. It ties with TWSBI 580s, at 11, for most fountain pens I own of the same general model.

To be honest, I’d likely own more Sailor Pro Gears if they were less expensive and more easily purchased. But, fairly often, the ones I found interesting were from super small runs through stores that don’t sell online. And we all know what eBay sellers do to prices. But I digress…

Missing Pen Shows

Posted in Pen Shows

As I reviewed some old blog posts the other day, it hit me that: 1) I never wrote a post about the 2020 Baltimore Pen Show and 2) that it’s been over a year since my last pen show, and I really miss them!

I’m well aware that I’m incredibly privileged to live near two pen shows, BWIPS and DC. While BWIPS will always be my favorite, both are tons of fun, dangerous for the budget, and an opportunity to see pen peeps.

And that camaraderie, that sense of community, is part of what I miss so much. I can buy pens — for the most part — at any time, but I can’t see people. Video calls, while nice, are not the same. Especially in an analog hobby, so much gets lost in a digital “meeting.”

Monday Munchies: Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip

Posted in Monday Munchies

I was skeptical when I came across this recipe on However, one bite was all it took to hook me. This is actually delicious! I’ve done the math so that you can just use a typically yogurt container, instead of measuring out the ½ cup called for in the original recipe. I list exactly what I purchased, but I don’t think brands are all that important, quantity is more important.

What You Need

  • 5.3oz container of Chobani Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp + 2¼ tsp Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix
  • 7oz container, or larger, with lid

Indie Pen Makers Update

Posted in Fountain Pens

Welcome! This is my permanent reference page listing indie pen makers I know of. Do not expect this to be a comprehensive list, that’s virtually impossible these days. However, if you know of a maker who meets the qualifications below and is not included, please let me know. Also, if you know the location of a maker that doesn’t have one listed, let me know that, too.

To qualify for this list, a pen company needs to meet the following qualifications (I need some way to limit this list, otherwise it would be enormous):

  • Small company (1-4 people working on the pens)
  • Only or regularly works with customers to make unique/custom pens
  • Fully handmade, uses CNC lathes with hand finishing, 3D prints custom pen designs, or designs and develops custom pens to be manufactured
  • Creates kitless pens
  • Not sold in stores (or only sold in local brick & mortar store)
  • Makes one-off or short runs

Monday Munchies: Matcha Latte

Posted in Monday Munchies

I’m starting a new series: Monday Munchies. I’ll be sharing recipes that I prepare often. These may be slightly modified recipes I’ve found online or in cookbooks — I’ll give credit where credit is due — or things I’ve “invented” or even recipes passed down in my family. Regardless, they’ll be recipes I find delicious.

My matcha latte
Morning Deliciousness

I’ve dubbed this week’s recipe a Matcha Latte — although Matcha Milk Tea would work, too. This recipe didn’t come from any one place. I just really like matcha tea, and wanted to try making it at home during the lockdown last year. I drink one of these every morning; it makes a good breakfast substitute for those of us who don’t like to actually eat breakfast. I hope you like it, too.

Ritz: Shy Guy to World Class Thief

Posted in Cat

As Dante, Bumbledore, and Sandy have all had dedicated posts, it’s only fair that Ritz get one as well. However, you should read Dante’s post before this one, as I won’t be repeating much information.

Early Life

I didn’t interact much with Ritz before we abduct — erm… adopted him from “the streets.” Technically, it was an under-porch den, but that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Jim describes him as “very cautious and standoffish.”

On the day we’d planned to catch the siblings, we managed to nab Angus without too much trouble, and wrangle him into the carrier. We foolishly thought that, because they were small, we could fit them into a single carrier without much trouble. Oh, the naivete.