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Blah Blah Blog - LiveJournal.com

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  • 04/02/16--12:07: Eastward ho
  • Friday was just going to be a repeat of that walk I've been doing at the gulch. Up via the tracks, hang a left and follow that access road, and turn around. But I got a nice early start because it's getting light so early, and as I passed by the Southernmost entrance to the Eastern section, I was just too bummed by the idea of walking past it again. So I didn't. Heading into the Eastern trails, I figured it wouldn't be too muddy, and if it was, I could always turn back.



    I'm so glad I went that way! I had a great time. The trails on that side are, for the most part, really fun.

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    Not sure I've ever had such a clear view of this building.

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    There's an area where a trail dead-ends at spot where mountain bikers have made hills for jumps. Friday was the first time in a while to have a look and I swear they've expanded it by a lot. I only remembered a couple of different little hills going in one direction, and a couple more going in another, but now it has ten or more one way and six or so the other, and they're even connected by a crazy path that goes down and back up the huge hill they're on top of. Quite an ambitious expansion. These cleverly-stored buckets and shovels support my theory that the changes are recent and ongoing.

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    My shot that I always get of the Western side from the Eastern side.

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    And generally just nice scenery everywhere I looked.

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    Unfortunately, there was eventually a spot where my only options were lots of mud, even more mud, or turn back. I chose "lots of mud" at the first spot where you can leave the trail and enter the loop around the baseball fields, and thanks to some trees I could hug, only got a little wet. I only used that path to get to the second spot between it and the trails and immediately got back on them. One good thing is that when it's muddy in some parts, other parts that are really slippery due to sand are easier than normal to walk down, so I finished via the Northermost trail, which I typically avoid.

    Yesterday"s awesome walk, 4.25 miles in 1:50, 9,133 steps, 459ft gain
    4.25 miles in 1:50, 9,133 steps, 459ft gain

    It also ended up being the first time I could see the parking area from high up in the trails on that side. The white blob in the center is my car.

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    Oh and another treat from right when I arrived, a plane coming in to land about a mile from where I was standing.





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  • 04/03/16--18:10: The beak and the stick
  • I decided several days ago that I'd go to Langus Riverfront and Spencer Island today. Last time I was there, several areas were flooded, and I was curious to see if it had all been cleaned up. Everything looks great, and I walked the longest version of my route there. It was foggy and beautiful, but the sewage treatment plant smell was quite strong today. I could smell it on myself until I got home and showered, and I still keep thinking I smell it once in a while, ten hours later. Oof.



    It was creepy and beautiful when I got there. I had lots of encounters with flocks of geese going by, but was never able to get them on camera.

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    This area looked like a lake last time.

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    Today was the first time I really noticed all these little pathlets off the hunting trail. They're not quite enough for a person to walk off, but they're surely how hunting dogs get down into the water to get geese and ducks that are shot down.

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    I bet the sunrise was pretty nice from downtown, but it was a little muted down in fogtown.

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    The effect was neat once it was up, though.

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    This is one of my favorite pictures that I've taken in a while.

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    I've never seen it so green over there. But then again, I've never been there a few weeks after it was completely flooded.

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    Today's the first time I ever saw a rabbit in there, and I saw two! Only got a picture of one, though. Also saw a dead mole on the trail, no picture necessary.

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    Today"s awesome walk, 6.05 miles in 2:04, 12,999 steps
    6.05 miles in 2:04, 12,999 steps

    I only used about half the photos I took here, so as usual, click over to flickr if you'd like to see more.


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    I get to leave a little earlier every day because the sun's coming up earlier, which is working out to more time available for walking. I want my walk days to be five or more miles, so I figured today I'd add a beach loop to my current gulch routine. The plan got rearranged a bit when another guy showed up right as I was finishing my stretches; I really didn't want to follow him up the hill. Awkward. But no problem, I just did the beach loop first instead of last. It was pretty cloudy out and I didn't think there'd be much to take any pictures of. Turns out I was pleasantly surprised.



    This mural is new since the last time I was there. One of the things I really miss about Seattle is great street art. There really isn't much up here. Seeing this today was a treat.

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    And then I got within ten feet of a deer!

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    (video)
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    Her back leg's a little wobbly, I hope she's not hurt. I also saw the biggest snail I've seen in a while.

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    Today"s awesome walk, 5.99 miles in 2:03, 12,873 steps, 568ft gain
    5.99 miles in 2:03, 12,873 steps, 568ft gain

    Today for dinner I made lemon garlic pork tenderloin, salt roasted smashed potatoes, and a roasted vegetable side from the frozen section. This was my first time roasting anything in a box of salt, and I really liked how they came out.

    I made dinner


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  • 04/05/16--15:48: Schmupdate
  • Pretty uneventful swim today. Good one, full hour. I left early enough that it was quite dark on the way there, so nothing pretty to show from the dashcam. Unfortunately, the hot tub has been out of service for a few visits now. The competition pool's not very warm, so it's always nice to have a soak afterward. I've decided to uninstall the swim.com app on my watch and get a manual counter. Seems easier to just click a button every lap instead of worrying that an automatic one is working correctly. I can even do it at just one end and multiply by 50 yards instead of 25. By this time next week, my neighborhood pool will be open again, and it'll be nice to have that option back.



    I got a second air plant, and I'm happy to report that the first one's doing great.

    Picked up a second air plant today.

    Here's a view that shows the full setup. The green yin-yang shaped thing is a caribiner-style keychain I got at the hardware store a while back, and the chain on the new one is a necklace I got at Michael's specifically for this. I hope the new one grows a lot.

    Air plants, full view

    While I was getting the new one, I picked an air plant up for my inlaws. Same setup as my original one on the left, but the larger plant in theirs is spiky instead of curly. I wanted to see how the spiky ones look as they grow without committing to getting one myself. And I'm not sure where I'd put any more of them anyway. They have to be where cats can't get to, and in this house, there aren't many places like that.

    In fact, the only other living plants in this house are one Garrett has had forever, plus an orchid we got for Garrett's grandma a while back that's been at his parents' for a spell. It doesn't have any blooms on it, and I'm hoping to fix that. It's on top of a very tall bookcase along with Garrett's plant and two fake ones I set up a while ago. And now that I'm typing this, I just thought of a good spot for a few more, so maybe I'll have to order some. Hm.

    The cats are their typical selves. Here's Sam yesterday plotting to steal Steve's food.

    Plotting to eat food that isn"t his

    Steve's still constantly on patrol. Though at this particular moment, he's camped out between my calves on the recliner's footrest.

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    Oh that Star Trek video I made is closing in on 1,500 views on Facebook and has been shared 29 times. I can't tell how many views it's had on tumblr, but it has over 200 notes (likes and reblogs), so I imagine the figure is pretty high.

    Got a haircut this morning.

    Got my ears lowered

    The color you see in this photo is not the color I want. I was in the salon the Friday before last, and again last Friday, and I'm going in once more this Friday. My colorist told me she'd fix it for free if it didn't work out as it faded after the last visit, thankfully. I'm not looking forward to more time in the chair, but I've spent enough money that it's worth it.

    Starting sometime last week, I've had an issue where about half an hour after I sit down, my neck will start to slowly tighten up and eventually the pain creeps up my neck and becomes a headache. So it's been a constant routine, because, well, we all have to sit. The morning headache would come, I'd take Advil, and when that wore off, I'd get another headache in the afternoon. It happened at least five days in a row, and even yesterday morning, but the evening headache never came, and I've been able to stave off today's as well. At least, I did it. I've been doing chin tucks, and they either worked or were timed well for whatever issue it was to sort itself out. I think the chin tucks are what's helping, though, because I've felt the initial pops and crackles and tightness today, but that's as far as it went.

    Not sure if I mentioned it here, but one of my goals in the last year has been to empty out my Netflix DVD queue. I can't remember how big it got, but the size wasn't really the issue. I just hated that stuff was in there long enough that it would show up and I wouldn't remember why or when I put it in. So I figure once it's empty, I'll get stuff pretty quickly whether or not I move it to the top of the queue, and that'll be nice. For all intents and purposes, I've achieved the goal. I put a DVD in the mail today, have two that I've watched here at home, and one that I'm watching as I type this. My queue has four titles. Two of those are "very long wait" and one won't be released for another two weeks. So, tomorrow they'll get the DVD I put in the mail today and send the one they've got that's available to send. Then I'll wait for the others as they become available. I've been on a 4-at-a-time plan for years. I could save $10 a month by switching to two at a time, but I suppose I'll wait a bit to see if I'm in the mood to seek out some new titles on DVD.

    I don't think I watch too many movies, though. If I do anything too much, it's internet. I should really set aside some time each day for making jewelry.


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  • 04/05/16--17:19: By popular demand
  • That video's on YouTube now.


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  • 04/07/16--05:24: Getting partway there
  • I hadn't followed any trails up to the Western portion of the gulch from the center in a long time due to the mud, and decided it was finally time to head up there via the Rusty Car Trail. Near the top of where that trail leads down from the center, I noticed an overgrown trail going the other direction and decided to have a look.



    Turns out it leads to the old beat up bridges I've spotted from up above. I thought about crossing this one, but wasn't particularly in the mood to fall in the water if my foot slipped after landing on that moss. Plus, there's a good chance I'd have to come back across if there's no way to get through on the other side.

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    I'm interested in going over there, though. There's another overgrown trail on the other side that leads to the bottom of the Bootie Scoot trail, which I refuse to walk down, but want to go up sometime. Maybe at some point the creek will dry out completely and I can just walk across without having to worry about a bridge crumbling beneath me.

    I wonder if there's a VIN anywhere on the Rusty Car and if it's possible to look up who the last owner was.

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    The trip up the trail was mostly ok. There was one really muddy spot and, while my shoe got pretty muddy, my socks somehow stayed dry. I ended up choosing a different path than I normally do about halfway up, and then explored my way over to a different exit than the one I usually choose. It's good to stay familiar with as many areas as possible.

    This driveway terrifies me. Imagine being trapped at home in a snowstorm because your driveway is not only steep, but also tilts sideways.

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    Looks like the Mukilteo train station is finally completely done. The only fences I see are the boundary ones and the one between the tracks.

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    Alas, my planned beach loop was not to be. I might have just walked past these signs but there was a work crew there and I didn't feel like dealing.

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    Yesterday"s awesome walk, 4.61 miles in 1:41, 9,916 steps, 528ft gain
    4.61 miles in 1:41, 9,916 steps, 528ft gain

    This came in slightly under five miles, but I wasn't in the mood to walk past the car and come back to it just for the sake of a number. It was a good walk.


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  • 04/07/16--14:23: The simpler solution wins
  • Today was a pretty great day at the pool. Even though my sinuses got so waterlogged that a little water dripped out when I bent over to get a pan, hours later. But it's cool to know exactly how far I swam in my hour for the first time. I got a regular swim counter for my watch, one that you just click a button on to increase the number. Quite simple. The pool is 25 yards across, and I clicked it whenever I got back to the end I started at, so every click is 50 yards, and I got up to 32. That's 1,600 yards, which is .91 miles. The pool was also nearly empty, which was great. And I'm enjoying the visual interest that gets added to the pool when a little bit of sunlight streams in.

    The drive over was quite lovely today.


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    I especially liked this foggy field. It was almost like a force field kept the fog from bleeding over to the road.

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    The best of the show was over when I got to the swim center, but it was still pretty out.

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    One thing that really cracked me up was seeing a sheriff literally lurking in a shadow trying to catch people speeding. I have no doubt one of the drivers in front of me would have been pulled over if a truck up ahead hadn't slowed way down for a turn. People speed a lot on that road, and really, everywhere around here. I've been seeing tons of police hiding out lately as well as people getting pulled over.

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  • 04/07/16--14:41: Another view
  • For some reason, I didn't think Microsoft released an Android version of Hyperlapse, but when I searched in the Play store to find something similar, I found that they did. If you haven't heard of it, Hyperlapse speeds up videos while also stabilizing them so they look better. I like it because one of the main shortcomings I see with videos is that a lot of them are just too long. Why would you ever watch an entire 16-minute drive just to see a few pretty clouds? You really wouldn't, but they still look just as great sped up 16x. So here's a neat look at today's drive out to the aquatic center. And it only takes a minute!


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  • 04/08/16--05:01: SchadenFriday












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  • 04/08/16--11:57: Back to the beach
  • Since I didn't make it over to the beach on Wednesday, I decided then that I'd go down there today. I parked at the gulch, though, so I wouldn't have to worry about whether I was early or that whoever opens the gate at the beach was late. That also makes for a good approach from the West to enjoy the sunrise.

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    I couldn't put my finger on it at first, but something there was different.

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    Then I realized, there was a huge dock there that's been removed.

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    The views are a lot nicer now because of it, but that might not be a long-term thing. The dock was removed as part of a plan to move the ferry terminal, so it's hard to say how the changes will impact the area.

    I spoke too soon. Just now, I finally found an artist's conception of how the site might turn out. It's a bummer, because it completely removes the area I like walking around down there. Oh well. Guess I'd better enjoy it while I can. Like I did today!

    I thought about walking down the beach itself instead of the path today, but the tide was high enough that there was no beach.

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    The geese found a spot.

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    This view shows where the current ferry dock is. The new one would be much closer to where I took the photo. Thankfully they won't take away the whole beach, just the area that's the former tank farm that now has a bunch of concrete walls.

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    Speaking of which, here's a shot that shows a different perspective on that new mural.

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    There's one cool new development. Now that the construction at the train station is finished, they've taken down some of the fences, and I can complete my tank farm loop without having to go all the way through the station.

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    The sky was less dramatic, but still quite nice on my second loop.

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    Realizing I'd have to do four loops before heading back to the car if I wanted five miles, I decided to head to the gulch for a climb there. I went up the trail I call OG, which is the closest way up to the Western side from the parking lot. I rarely go that way, mainly because it was the first way I ever went up and I didn't have a particularly easy time of it. But I'm much more experienced now, so I shouldn't shy away from places I previously found difficult. However! There were tons of fallen trees I had to climb over today.

    On the way up, I took a quick detour to check on the little path that leads from the nice bridge. I've posted it several times before, usually from the other side.

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    Definitely not a way I'd go unless I was being chased or something.

    This reminded me of Hawaii.

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    As is often the case, there are quite a few more photos back on flickr.

    Today"s awesome walk, 4.75 miles in 1:52, 10,224 steps, 440ft gain
    4.75 miles in 1:52, 10,224 steps, 440ft gain

    I chose the satellite view to show the dock they removed, it's just above the 2-mile mark. I also added a yellow diamond because, for a bit, I was convinced I had found a new way out of the gulch that I'd never used before, that would emerge where I put the diamond. Turns out I just hadn't gone that way in a long time, and it wasn't familiar. I don't particularly like that trail or the big grassy hill you have to climb down at the end, but it's in a handy spot. The next closest exit in that area adds an additional 1.5 miles to the route.

    Just for kicks, here's a Hyperlapse of the drive home. You can see I'm not exaggerating when I say I live in the woods.




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  • 04/09/16--06:56: CATURDAY















































































































































  • BONUS Saturdogs























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  • 04/10/16--18:35: Had quite a hike today
  • And as soon as I got home, I cleaned the catbox, showered, and then had about ten minutes to sit before we left again. Pretty tired now, so I'll post about the hike later. For now, here's most of the drive home, in two parts, and 32x speed. I forgot that I have the dashcam software set to record for 20 minutes at a time, so I had to move the videos off my phone and merge them together in Movie Maker. Then I put them back on my phone only to discover that Hyperlapse has a 20-minute limit. Womp womp. Thankfully, it lets you select the portion, so I just ran it in two batches. I bet the quality suffered a bit due to the export from Movie Maker, but I don't care enough to re-do all the transferring and processing and saving and uploading.



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    Now that Spring is here, I need to dedicate more of my Sunday mornings to walks and hikes that are further from home. I can devote a couple of hours on weekdays to nearby stuff, but adding an extra hour each way adds up to too much. All the research has been done for me, so all I have to do is look around on the map and see what looks nice. I chose Heather Lake yesterday, and set out nice and early.



    I'm pretty used to being the first person almost anywhere, but hiking and camping areas are a little different. It was weird to see three other cars when I got there, and someone signed in on the ranger's registry saying he hiked up in the dark at 4am! I have absolutely no desire to hike in total darkness, especially on what I quickly learned was a very complicated trail. Hell, sometimes it was hard to even consider it a trail. And I wanted to turn back almost immediately, because just after the start, you have to cross over a creek on small rocks. Wet socks are the number one thing to avoid.

    On this trail, you climb up the mountain using all kinds of natural features. There are tons of stairs and ladders made of bounders and tree roots.

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    I didn't know when I was crossing the small creek at the bottom that I'd also have to cross a damn waterfall. That's where my left foot finally got wet. This is the view from the far side, and surprisingly, when I crossed back, I managed to stay out of the water.

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    I was kind of surprised to find a few real bridges. I'd love to know how stuff like this gets built. There are parts of the trail where you have to climb up boulders using your hands, so how does all this wood get moved up?

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    I'd read in recent trip reports that there was snow up there, so I was expecting this.

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    However, I thought the lake at the top would look more like all the pictures I'd seen. I was naive. It got snowier. Thankfully the trail is popular enough that it was always obvious where to go.

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    It was just before that last photo when a couple of different guys with dogs caught up to me. One had a weimaraner who surprised me while I was putting my phone away after taking a photo. The other dog was a very shy shiba inu. Just after those guys and their dogs disappeared from view, there was a fork in the trail, which was where you choose which way you want to go around the lake. The lake which I didn't realize I was looking at for a bit.

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    The views up there on a clear day seem really neat in the pictures, but I couldn't see up the mountain much.

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    I stopped for some selfies, and forgot that I'd been joking around with the stupid "beauty" filter the day before, which was still on. That's why this looks photoshopped.

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    The trail goes all the way around the lake, but I couldn't find it in the snow, even after following two different groups of footprints to dead ends. The snow was deep enough to bury parts of the trail three feet deep, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's just inaccessible right now.

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    Today"s awesome hike, 3.52 miles in 3 hours, 1,123ft gain
    3.52 miles in 3 hours, 1,123ft gain

    Unfortunately, my phone had an error and lost the route, so I redrew it on the website. That meant I had to estimate the time, so three hours is a pretty good guess based on times I took photos at the beginning and end. A lot of people report hiking up, around the lake, and back down in 2.5 hours, and I'm very impressed by those people. But I also so a lot of people using hiking poles, and I realize I'd have been a lot faster in many of the precarious places if I had some. I've ordered a set and they'll be here tomorrow. I've often thought they'd make for a better workout on all walks, so I'm looking forward to trying them out. Plus I might be able to get across at Bowling Ball Trail back at Japanese Gulch. It's another of those situations where there are rocks in a creek, but nothing to hold onto.

    1,123 feet is quite the climb, and I was pretty exhausted at the top. And I definitely wasn't looking forward to climbing down a lot of the steep spots I'd climbed up. But I think once you're warmed up, tired, and feeling loose, it's pretty easy to go down the trail. You just kind of let gravity pull you down and make strategic decisions about where your feet land. My right ankle's a bit sore because that's the one I prefer to land on, and that's another way I think I'll benefit from using the poles. With something to hold onto, I may be able to lower myself down a lot of the spots where I crashed down pretty hard.

    Tons of trees have fallen on this trail, so it's nice to see that there are still a few really old ones standing. The base of this one's about the size of a car.

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    And of course, there are tons of really interesting gnarled roots to look at where they've fallen.

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    On my way back down, I began to see one advantage to hiking in the dark like that guy who was out at 4am. I think that was him I saw as I started out, and if that's the case, I'm probably the only person he saw. I started my hike at 6:30, and passed probably 25 people on my way back. There were 22 cars at the parking area when I left. Running into people takes a lot of the enjoyment of a hike away for me. I'll still go back in the summer because I want to really see the lake, but I'm not looking forward to all the company.

    I got back just in time to go play Trouble and Skip-Bo with Garrett's parents. We had meatloaf and of course got to see Bella.

    Ultimate relaxation

    I'm taking today off. If I do anything, it'll be yoga.

    Edit: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that my watch's step counter was over 19,000 for yesterday. Hiking is much more active than walking, for sure.

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  • 04/11/16--16:40: How I find stuff to watch
  • The dog in The Boy Who Could Fly is the same dog that's in Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and The Hidden. And a couple of other movies I've never heard of, including Two Moon Junction, where Sherilyn Fenn plays a "young Southern d├ębutante temporarily abandons her posh lifestyle and upcoming, semi-arranged marriage to have a lustful and erotic fling with a rugged drifter who works at a local carnival." I need to see this. Neat what you can find when you look up animals on imdb.

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  • 04/12/16--09:32: Swim local
  • I ended up doing the 20-minute Yoga for Your Back video (which I should really be doing several times a week) yesterday before lunch. I spend the morning downstairs with the door at the top of the stairs closed so I have the basement to myself, otherwise Sam will whine for an early lunch for hours. I'm not sure how much he can just relax and enjoy his life when I'm not around to bother, but at least I don't have to listen to it. Why do I mention it now?



    My yoga outfit was upstairs and I didn't want to make the boys think they were being fed when they weren't. It's never fun to fake them out. I also didn't want to leave on the stuff I was lounging in, because I'll use loungewear for a few days at a time and didn't want it getting sweaty or dirty on the mat. So I finally joined the legions of hippies who do yoga naked. It was actually nice! I don't particularly care for the way I look in the stuff I wear for yoga anyway, so I didn't really miss it.

    The neighborhood swim center finally re-opened yesterday, so I went there this morning.

    Swim center

    I'm not sure what all was supposed to be done in the six weeks they were closed, but not much is different. My swim today was free because the sauna is closed for another two weeks and the hot tub was also out of service, so that was nice. When I walked in, the pool appeared to be gleaming, but as I treaded water, I could see a lot of the old spots on the bottom. The gleam comes from a huge new ceiling fan with an extremely bright light in the center. It replaces four smaller fans at least one of which was probably broken. The rest of the light fixtures also seem to have bright new bulbs.

    It was nice to use their shower again. They're strong and consistently warm, and the soap dispensers pump out tons of suds. Back at Snohomish, they're always cold and it's hard to get enough soap. There are private stalls at Snohomish, but I'd rather have a good shower out in the open than a bad one in private.

    I'm disappointed to report that the lockers weren't upgraded as I thought they'd be. I think they installed new hooks for clothes and towels, and the racks for bar soap and bottles in the showers are new, but that's it for locker room improvements. The locker situation is still quite dire. I decided to finally count the issues today. As I left, there was only one other swimmer at the pool, so I'll assume he was using a locker. If that's the case, of the 46 lockers in the room, only 15 were available to use today. They're the kind you put a quarter in and get a key, and my lock made 14. Of those, four of the keys had everything broken off but the plastic knob, so there's no way to pin them to your towel or anything. I didn't count among the remaining lockers, but those either have no lock at all, or no key.

    The ones that have no key were likely "claimed" by regulars, and that's a problem. And that problem is the reason I don't like this style of locker. My preferred policy is lockers you bring your own lock for, where all locks left on at closing time are cut. Second best would be a situation like at the YMCA where you can have your own locker permanently, but that's not sustainable at a public pool. Thankfully I avoid the pool when it's crowded so it'll hardly be an issue for me.

    It was nice to finally tread water again. I did it for my full hour and my watch counted that as almost 5,000 steps. It's much more of a workout for me than laps is; the kicking is pretty similar, but my arms move much more. I may go again tomorrow. Maybe it'll be free again, which is a good enough reason. Turns out my new walking poles won't be here until tomorrow night, so I may as well stack the swims up early this week.

    Oh, another good thing about treading water instead of laps is that I can keep my hair out of the water. I don't really know if the pools will mess up my gorgeous (and expensive) new color, but I'd just as soon not find out the hard way.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention a few other minor changes. There's new carpet in the entry, and that looks nice. They've moved the vending machines from the entry to a little corner spot that used to be full of boxes. They've also cleaned up some other clutter around the front desk. I used to see (the swim center cat) Zoey's legs sticking out of boxes in the corner to I'm sure she's mad about her forts being moved. It was nice to see her today.


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    I had the dashcam on and noticed when I was at stoplights how great the clouds looked. I love how they turned out in Hyperlapse.


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  • 04/13/16--17:42: Swim free
  • My hunch that I should go back to the pool again today because the swim might be free was correct. Score! An adult punch card is ten swims for the price of nine, $38.25, so I've saved almost $8. I'll be pretty busy tomorrow with work, so maybe I'll go for a third day in a row. That'd be a first.

    When I got there, two women were swimming back and forth in the deep end even though two of the three lap lanes were open. I got between them because they were on either end of the deep part, and I was a bit worried about space when another regular deep end lapper showed up, but the first two got out of the pool as soon as she got in.

    Another upgrade at the swim center I didn't notice yesterday was that they put a little seating area in front where the vending machine area used to be. That's a nice upgrade because I get annoyed when someone waiting for a ride sits on the floor in the entry.

    I finally had my initial sleep consultation today. The doctor has already decided that I'll be trying a CPAP. The next step, due to insurance company requirements, is a home sleep study. I'll be mailed the equipment, sleep with it for a night, and send it back. It then takes a few weeks for the results to be sent back, which is a bummer. Mostly, the results from these are inconclusive, and if that's the case with me, I'll then go to the lab for a supervised sleep study, then get the CPAP. If they're conclusive, we can get the CPAP ordered immediately.

    He wants to start there because surgeries only have a 20% success rate. Oral appliances, being custom made, are not only expensive, but they can't be returned. So I agree with him that the CPAP is the right place to start. I just wish we could get started sooner. It's good to hear from him that my sleep apnea is the likely reason that my blood sugar and blood pressure are so high. It's frustrating to get such limited results from all the exercise and medication. And he was pretty surprised (and impressed) with all the exercise I do. And it's kind of annoying now to realize that my primary care doctors definitely should have suggested a sleep study sooner and that I had to get the process going.

    The sky was amazing when I left the clinic.

    Ominous

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  • 04/14/16--15:16: The free ride is over
  • The sauna and hot tub are still unavailable at the pool, but I got charged today anyway. Two free swims is pretty good, so I'm not disappointed. I rarely use those amenities anyway, or it's just a few minutes if I do. I didn't realize until I'd been at the front desk for a few seconds that Zoey, the cat who lives at the swim center, was sitting right by me on the counter.

    Zoey, the swim center cat



    I definitely wasn't expecting a swim team to be there, but there they were, entering the deep end at the same time I did. I have no idea who they were because I'm a terrible judge of age. Late high school? Early college? No clue. We were able to coexist pretty well. They spent their first half hour using paddleboards, flippers, and swim belts to do a circular route, so my spot in the corner was still good. The water was annoyingly choppy whenever they'd line up on the far wall to kick, but at least I wasn't in splashing range. I had to contend with them coming at me all at once a couple of times, but the guy on the end was good about not running into me.

    I was surprised to see them using so many devices and taking so many breaks.

    I wasn't sure if they'd use the locker room at all. They didn't shower before getting in the pool, which is weird because that's a policy at every pool I've been to. Not wanting to risk being caught in a very full shower, I decided to just stay treading water until they left completely. That, and I wanted to outdo them. They got out of the pool after 60 minutes and spent forever toweling off in the seating area and chatting. 20 minutes! They could have easily dried off even in the poolside changing areas in five minutes or less. But I ended up setting a new record, 80 minutes, because of them. It was a very active swim, too. My watch counted 8,000 steps.

    The drive afterward over to WinCo was pretty. It was a very cloudy morning, but there was also a huge band of blue in the sky. If the route seems weird, it's because there was an accident or something that I had to go pretty far to get around. The video of the drive home got cut off when a phone call came in, but I really like the sun in the first part.





    That phone call was the company that's sending me the equipment to do my at-home sleep study. Thankfully it was a robocall. Had I answered, there would have been the option to press a button to talk to an agent, but they also provided a URL and reference number to use to sign up online. The insurance fields were a little confusing and I'm not sure I got them right, but I got a confirmation email, so everything's probably fine. They probably also talk to all the insurance companies every day and would probably follow up with them if I did it wrong. I hope.

    That equipment cannot get here too soon. While my dreams last night were cool from what I can remember, I don't like that I woke up so often. I couldn't stay awake about an hour ago, too.

    My hiking poles came yesterday and I'll probably try them out tomorrow morning. Between yesterday and today, eight total new air plants also arrived. It'll take a while for the rest of my supplies for my new arrangement show up, but the plants will be easy enough to take care of in the meantime.

    EDIT:
    I just got a text that my sleep test kit has shipped! If there are any issues, they don't let that get in the way of a shipment.

    EDIT 2:
    Just checked the mail, and the preserved and dyed moss I ordered was in it.

    Preserved and dyed moss


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  • 04/15/16--12:53: SchadenFriday


















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  • 04/16/16--07:15: CATURDAY



































































































































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