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  • 08/21/15--04:50: SchadenFriday

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  • 08/21/15--10:28: Easy like Friday morning
  • I could have stopped after yesterday and been happy with this week's walks, but since I wasn't in pain or anything, I headed out for a nice, easy one at Langus Riverfront Park and Spencer island. It was a cool, cloudy morning, which is what I prefer generally speaking, but there were far fewer photos to take.

    Almost everywhere I like to walk has a "dawn until desk" hours policy, but I figure the ones that open at 6am won't get me in any trouble if I'm there a little early and it's light out. Before long, it'll be dark well after 6am, so I need to think about changing my schedule around a bit. At least the school year starting soon means I can go to the pool some days.

    Here's another example of a picture I don't think any other phone I've had before could take. It does really well in low light. I love it.


    Saw tons of geese today. A gaggle of them flew in perfect formation right by me, but I knew I'd never get my phone ready in time for a video, so I just enjoyed it.


    Found a pair of glasses. This reminds me I need to find my spare pair. I also want to order some new ones.


    Today"s awesome walk, 4.28 miles in 1:21, 9,207 steps
    4.28 miles in 1:21, 9,207 steps

    Today I went further North on that trail on the right than I have. I would have gone ever further, but the thorny vines kept getting worse. I doubt it goes much further than I went, so I didn't bother fighting the vines.

    I previously said that I wouldn't go along 4th St SE, but I was ready to try again today and it was fine. It's been driven on a lot more since the last time I was there, and the bigger rocks have moved off to the side. Plus I think a lot of the previous discomfort was from old shoes.

    My week:

    It's been great, but as usual, I'm looking forward to tomorrow. A day off each week is important.

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  • 08/22/15--08:05: CATURDAY

  • RIP Blackie. Your human's world will never be quite the same.

    BONUS Saturdogs

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  • 08/23/15--15:57: Bonus Sunday CATURDAY
  • It's only been a day and my file's already quite full, so you get an extra Caturday this week, brought to you by Shadow.

    BONUS Sundogs

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  • 08/24/15--11:58: Exploring a new strategy
  • Garrett's cousin spent the night Saturday night and we were up late having a grand old time. I skipped Sunday's walk and have decided I'm not to worried about hitting 30 miles this week. Doing it across five days two weeks ago was unpleasant. As I set out today, I wanted to explore in both sides of the gulch and see how much of a climb I could get without ever leaving. I also wanted to try to emerge from the Western portion on the trail that wraps around the rusty old car. It's easy to find that trail from the center, but last time I was there, I tried to find it going the other way, and didn't manage to.

    Today"s awesome walk, 4.85 miles in 2:08, 10,427 steps, 558ft gain
    4.85 miles in 2:08, 10,427 steps, 558ft gain

    Pardon the extra-tall map. I wanted to zoom in a little close to show the detail in the lower portion. I was about to enter the Eastern portion at point A, but it was a little bit too dark, so I came back to the center. Pretty morning, but I know it'll be really warm later.


    There's a big clearing somewhere near point B, and from way up higher I've noticed this trash can and trash before.


    Assholes. I'm curious if whoever made the mess brought the trash can, too. There was obviously a fire in it, and I can't imagine anyone's in charge of coming in and emptying it.

    Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!


    Some mushrooms for suxdonut, the mushroom queen.


    My path into the Eastern portion was one I've looked at recently without taking, and I'm really not sure how much of what I saw today was familiar territory. I think a lot of it was new. Consulting the map from the day I saw the old rusty car, I can tell it's somewhere close to point C, but I overshot it, and turned back because point D is a steep sandy wall I refuse to walk down; the one where I sat down and scooted. Terrible.

    I saw a lot more people there today than I normally do. They all had at least one dog, too. I'm the rare trail user who is there solo, I suppose.

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  • 08/25/15--10:32: Go backward to move forward
  • My lower back is so unbelievably stiff today, and I know exactly why. There was an article a while back about erotic dreams being more common for those who are sleeping face down. In my experience, one is also more likely to have longer, more vivid dreams that way, whether or not they take a naughty turn. It's because we experience the world mostly by observing what's in front of us, and when you're sleeping face down, the front of your body' collects a lot of tactile input. The dream just has more to work with.

    I can't really remember anything that happened in my dreams last night, but I remember moving in and out of consciousness, thinking, I should really flip over. Whenever I lay on my stomach too long, my back really hurts the next day. Stupid body.

    Thankfully, it's while getting up or sitting down when I really feel the back stiffness. Walking was pretty much unaffected, so I set out today to take the "rusty old car" path up to the side, then be sure I could recognize where to walk back down that way in the future.

    Today"s awesome walk, 4.43 miles in 1:36, 9,516 steps, 459ft gain
    4.43 miles in 1:36, 9,516 steps, 459ft gain

    Yet another pair of glasses! Seems like you'd have to try pretty hard to lose them with one of those straps on them.


    Another day, another spectacular sunrise I got to see a tiny sliver of.


    The rusty car is at point A on the map, and what I wanted was to find a landmark somewhere up above it. There are lots of trails that intersect and run next to each other up there, but I finally found a spot I think I'll be able to recognize. This tree is at point B on the map, and it's the Easternmost part of a band of them that crosses several trails. I think I might be able to find my way to that if I come in from the West, but I won't know until I try.


    Neat sky on the way back. Once I got to the main road, it was juuuust a bit too bright, though.


    My next test will be to see if I can enter from the neighborhoods and find my way to point B. I'm aware that I can drop a pin on the map on my phone, or add a star, and that I can use the relative position to the streets on the map while I'm in there, but what I'd really like is to become so familiar with the area that I don't need to. There's a part of me that wishes all the trails were mapped and marked, but the bigger part of me enjoys the challenge of going without those.

    Those three mountain bikers with the dog were there today, and I ran into them twice. That's never happened before, and it was kind of weird to me. You'd think since they can go so far in the same amount of time, I'd see them once and then they'd be long gone.

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  • 08/26/15--09:20: Shameless self promotion
  • I've always wanted to make and sell jewelry, but it's been pretty easy to talk myself out of it all my life. I was recently inspired again while looking for the aforementioned perfect keychain, and realized I'm finally in a great position to do it. It's easy to open a shop online, I've got lots of free time in the afternoons, etc.

    So I finally set up my shop, TumbleTowne. I'll eventually do some nicer items with tumbled rocks and faux sea glass, but I wanted to launch with a bunch of Halloween items. Since it's coming up soon, it was a good motivator to buckle down and get enough stock made to do a decent grand opening.

    I set it up to do US shipping only, because I didn't want to deal with international shipping, but I'd of course do it separately from the shop for people I know online.

    Here's my favorite piece, with a few others behind the cut.

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  • 08/26/15--11:55: The other gulch
  • My mother-in-law had some tomatoes for us from her garden, so I had her leave them on their porch so I could swing by before my walk this morning. They live a good four miles South of us, so I figured I may as well visit Big Gulch again, since it's a pretty straight shot West from there. It was nice to cheat on Japanese Gulch again.

    The sky up at the top of the hill was really nice, but of course I wanted to be at the bottom before it got too bright. Lots of pictures today at flickr, too many to put here.


    Even though I'm looking Southwest here, the colors from the sunrise carried pretty far across the sky.


    The gate at the top of the service road was sitting open today, so I figured I'd best be on high alert for vehicles. Pedestrians are allowed there either way. I wish all service roads could be like that.


    Obligatory service road safety mirror self portrait.


    Poor kitty! I hope he found his way home. This poster is at the bottom of the gulch, and the apartment complex is at the top, so they must think he's very adventurous. And yes, I took a second picture of the phone number, just in case I found him.


    Mushrooms for the Mushroom Queen.


    This is the largest fallen tree root system I've ever seen. I had to go pretty far back to get it all in frame, and I'd guess it's 11 feet high.


    Today"s awesome walk, 4.25 miles in 1:25, 9,139 steps, 425ft gain
    4.25 miles in 1:25, 9,139 steps, 425ft gain

    Once I emerged from the gulch, I decided to go back via the main road instead of the upper trail. I saw the entire trail system last time, and figured I may as well get a better look at the businesses around there. I finally laid eyes on a restaurant I've wanted to try for a while. I gotta say, if you're on a busy street, it's nice to have a separate trail instead of just a sidewalk or shoulder.


    It's funny to see reviews of the gulch trail system say the trail's hard to find from the park. It's pretty easy. There's a doorway-style marker!


    And look, a trail leading off into the woods!


    That gulch is nice to visit occasionally, but it's a lot further from home, a much easier hike, and really lacks options. I'll drop by once in a while. I can tell there's room to expand the trail system, and I hope they do.

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  • 08/26/15--18:57: I made dinner
  • Salmon with lemon zest on quinoa cooked in clam juice, caprese with tomatoes from my mother-in-law's garden. I made it for both of us, but only one plate was pretty.

    Salmon with lemon zest on quinoa cooked in clam juice, caprese with tomatoes from my mother-in-law"s garden. I made it for both of us, but only one plate was pretty.

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  • 08/27/15--10:39: Landmarks: How do They Work?
  • My back is still bothering me, so I decided I would definitely do my trusty yoga video when I got home from my walk. With that in mind, I kept today's walk short. All I wanted to do was enter from the West and find my way to the center using the "rusty car" trail. The thing I failed to do a couple of times already.

    I found my landmark quite easily.


    However, I took a wrong turn once I got there.

    Today"s awesome walk, 3.9 miles in 1:28, 8,386 steps, 412ft gain
    3.9 miles in 1:28, 8,386 steps, 412ft gain

    I didn't include the whole route this time because I didn't feel like stitching together two screenshots. The part not shown up top is pretty much the same as it always is. The tree is at point A, and I turned right when I should have turned left. Oops. But I climbed back up and found the path I wanted.


    I set a new record today for number of cyclists encountered. One guy biking by himself stopped just short of running into me at point A. When I got to point B, I could hear and then see the three guys with the dog I see all the time across way, giving me plenty of time to find a tree to grab onto and pull myself out of their way, which they appreciated. Once I got back to the main center trail, I saw a guy biking up somewhere near point C. Five cyclists!

    When the walk was done, I decided to swing by the beach to see if the portapotty had been moved yet. I filled in a form on the Port's website eight days ago and someone got back to me the same day saying they'd let the city know it needed to be moved. Not sure what day it happened, but it's done.


    They did exactly what I would have done, which is turn the smaller one 90 degrees counterclockwise and keep the handicap-accessible one facing the same direction, move it off the step, and scoot it back.

    Got home and was surprised to find out one of our bushes gets these purple blooms. If it happened last year, I didn't notice.


    It'd been ages since I did yoga and it was weird being back on the mat. I could use a nap.

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  • 08/28/15--05:29: Pit stop
  • No walk today. My back is still really stiff and it's not getting better, so just yoga today. If school was back in session, I'd also hit the pool this afternoon. Ha.

    I'm all about the self care right now. Yesterday I did something for myself that's long overdue. I was cooking a batch of Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers and had to find a ton of different spices. They've been in a drawer since we moved into the house and I've been very frustrated whenever I try to find one.

    This is how I organized the spices at the apartment we had for four months before we bought the house:

    I alphabetized the spices

    That was so great and I'd love to always do that, but our kitchen here has a bar so there's a lot less counter storage. I of course prefer having the bar seating. But yesterday, I'd had it. That spice drawer is very low, and my back was killing me while I looked for liquid smoke, and I had to completely empty the drawer to figure out that I'd put it somewhere else.

    Once I got the "burgers" in the oven, I did this:

    Self care of the day.

    They're alphabetized again. They're also taking up space I don't want them taking up, but they'll stay here until I get a spice rack figured out. I'm eyeing a wall space next to the bar which would mean walking around the bar to get spices, but I'd happily do that if they were all on display and alphabetized. There are a couple of other options. We'll see.

    I will say I'm disappointed in the selection of spice racks I'm finding online. So many choices where you have to transfer everything to new jars and make labels. So many ugly ones. So many small ones. So many gimmicks.

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  • 08/28/15--05:58: SchadenFriday

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  • 08/28/15--12:05: Update
  • The spices have found a new home. I've already fixed a couple of alphabetization errors since I took this.

    Much better.

    Unrelated, check out this bird! I've been trying to get a good pic of one for ages. It happened to perch right by my bedroom.


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  • 08/29/15--07:30: CATURDAY

  • RIP Alexis "Moe" Maxine, 1995-2015. You're missed in a big way.

    BONUS Saturdogs

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  • 08/30/15--15:07: Weekend update
  • Friday was a pretty normal day until Sam started vomiting. Not just regular vomit like you expect from a cat who ate too fast or has a hairball or overdid it with the grass, but a complete evacuation of all stomach contents, followed by several rounds of foam. Plus diarrhea. That's how we found out the 24-hour emergency vet is just six blocks away.

    They didn't find anything wrong with him, so he got subcutaneous fluids and some anti-nausea meds. He spent the next twelve hours or so sitting in the spot where we left him on the couch upstairs. Then I couldn't find him, which really worried me. When cats are dying, they go hide. Thankfully, he'd made his way downstairs and up onto their perch.


    He seems pretty normal now. Whining for his food. Glaring at us for not feeding him yet. All that Sam stuff. He's currently on a bland food diet of rice and chicken, which he's gobbling up.

    Our neighbor left us another big bag of apples. I already had some that I bought, so it's apple central around here.


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  • 08/31/15--16:36: Icon origins
  • Photo by frogger414.


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  • 09/01/15--12:56: Sam update, me update
  • He's spending an odd amount of time on the afghan we put on the couch upstairs for him, but that might just be because it's a new, soft place to enjoy and get his scent all over. If he wasn't there, he'd be on Garrett's bed all day. Once in a while he hangs out on mine. Other than that? So normal. I put out the last of vet-prescribed chicken and rice that I made, and whined for his regular wet food. Maybe whining isn't the right term, as he's quite demanding.

    He'll get some regular wet food tonight and we'll see if he has a normal night. There's only been one real incident since the day he went to the vet, when he got into some dry food I didn't realize Sam hadn't finished. But that was the very next day, and he wasn't supposed to have any of his regular food yet.


    My back is already doing so much better. I wish a doctor would have recommended yoga as an alternative to PT years ago. It's just so much more effective for me. And less boring. And quicker. And easier. I think I'll finish this week out with yoga and do a Sunday morning walk. Assuming I feel as good Sunday morning as I do right now.

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  • 09/02/15--14:26: Crazy sky
  • Just went out to put a Netflix DVD in the mail and the sky looked really cool. I felt like I was in Poltergeist.

    Crazy sky

    Here's why our neighbor keeps giving us apples. His trees are doing quite well. I used to want fruit trees of our own, but I find this very intimidating. People in Seattle can at least take advantage of and donate to City Fruit.


    Sam and Steve being cute.


    Update: we got a rainbowww


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    One thing I appreciate about our neighborhood is that, even though we live in the woods, it's right next to a bunch of good businesses. Very handy. This morning, I dropped my car off at the shop for an oil change and brake inspection, and only had to walk five blocks back. And it was foggy out!



    I hope I live to see the day when power lines running everywhere aren't necessary.

    Turns out fog wasn't the only thing I'd end up seeing today. As I was walking back to the shop to get my car, I saw what I thought was a dog in a truck digging around. Digging energetically enough to rock the whole thing. Turns out it was two people fucking. The truck's side windows were tinted heavily, but I was approaching head-on.

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  • 09/04/15--07:36: SchadenFriday

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