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  • 05/03/16--10:53: Schmupdate
  • Had an extremely productive morning at work and then went out to the pool for my hour of treading water. My iPod did such a great job today, somehow shuffling in about half the songs from Information Society's newest album, Orders of Magnitude. Also toward the end, I got to hear one of the mixes of "Light" by KMFDM, which is an exercise anthem for me. For the three years in college when I was on a very strict diet and worked out six days a week without fail, the only music I listened to while exercising was the CD single of "Light." I'm a little bummed to see that only four of the nine tracks are on our server at the moment, so I need to look into that.

    Today's Sam's follow-up visit with the vet, and I'm quite sure the recommendation will be to have his tail amputated above the area where the bumps are. It's really for the best, and I'm mostly hoping that I can just leave him there today for the procedure. The last thing he'll be in the mood for is extra trips, especially since I had to take him in the next day for a second sample last time. He's doing pretty great, though. Same hungry, loud, lovey cat. There was a bit of spaciness the first couple of days he was taking his antihistamine, but he's mostly gotten used to it. I saw him miss his landing when jumping off the chair the other day, but he recovered quickly.

    Unfortunately, that appointment's not until 3pm. I'd really like to get it over with, but they didn't have anything earlier.

    I got my first two air plant orders shipped out yesterday, and just about broke even. I may have lost a dollar or two. I think it's pretty hard to sell items and make any money unless you sell a lot, charge a lot for shipping, and have items that'll fit in the smallest flat rate box, which is pretty small. So it's great for jewelry, but little else. But I'm fine with that, because I wouldn't have made all that much money even if I'd made a little. It's just a creative outlet for me and a way to have a lot of air plants around without going crazy decorating the entire house. In fact, I'm sitting next to a box of supplies that just arrived and am pretty excited about some new displays I'll be making.

    I also got another ten plants yesterday. This batch has several varieties I didn't previously have.

    Newest batch of plants includes several varieties I didn"t already have.

    Here's an updated view of the original setup, I've added a red one to the blooming one.


    Just to show why my first plant excites me so much, here it is on the right next to a younger one of the same variety. I love how well it's doing.

    A comparison shot to show growth potential

    And because I forgot to use it yesterday, here's a shot from the safety mirror on the access road that leads to the Big Gulch trail head.


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    Sam's tail amputation is scheduled for Tuesday. Since there are mast cells in his tail, they gave him a chest x-ray to make sure there are no tumors there, because there's no point in cutting off a tail to prevent cancer if there's already cancer somewhere that's more deadly. We're still waiting to hear about that.

    Taking Sam to the vet is always such a chore. Even though he can be a brat at home when it comes to food, he's a true sweetheart. Completely cuddly and sweet, always excited to meet new people. As soon as he's in the carrier, he cries, and he growls and hisses the entire time he's at the vet. Paradoxically, he was also drooling the entire time, so picture growling, hissing, drooling, and even screaming when she had to turn him around to examine him. Quite a scene.

    If looks could kill...

    A cuter scene from a couple of hours earlier when he was pretending he hadn't already had his lunch.

    Sam pretending he hasn"t eaten

    While we haven't heard back about those x-rays, I finally heard back about some results for me:

    Your recent sleep study has revealed mild obstructive sleep apnea with severe oxygen desaturations; you had 14 /hr abnormal breathing pauses ( <5 is normal; > 30 severe obstructive sleep apnea), with oxygen levels dropping to as low as 81 % (less than 90% leads to oxygen deprivation).

    I've already heard from the medical supply company about the CPAP. Her next call was to my insurance company, and once that's settled, she'll call back to schedule my visit to show me how to use it. Of course I'm worried about trying to sleep with something strapped to my head, but I've heard a lot of good things from friends. And I imagine I'll feel a lot better. I'm really tired of waking up with headaches, waking up throughout the night, and, well, being tired all afternoon. Tired of being tired, yeah.

    Somewhat related, I was quite tired this morning, but for a good reason. I went down to Seattle yesterday to see Alan (badrobot68)! He came up from Portland for one night to hit Beareoke as an early birthday trip, and I met up with him and Aengus (mischiefduck) at an old favorite dinner hangout, Ballet. Along for the evening was Aengus' boyfriend Blair, who I hadn't previously met, and it was about time I did. I had a great time with them but decided to bug out at 8pm when karaoke started because I was tired. That's my bedtime anyway, and I'm all for staying up late, but when you're not sleeping well, it's pretty hard to do. And with the drive home ahead of me, I figured I may as well go while everyone was getting up to move from the upper bar to the lower. At least I got to visit with quite a few other lj franz before heading out: supa_dupa_gay, bukephalus, tbass, and jameth, again! And I gave him a ride home. I don't know at what point I stopped taking so many pictures while I'm out with people. I guess now that I always take so many of myself before I get one I like, I just don't want to bug anyone with multiple shots. ;)

    Daring to stay up until almost as late as a regular person left me feeling pretty fried this morning. I decided to head over for a nice walk on the waterfront. I've been wanting to have another look at the future site of the new parks and residential areas, and it's been on my mind since they announced that the farmers' market this season will be moved over there. These aren't areas I'm unfamiliar with, but I wanted to refresh my memory and see it all in a new context. And I really wasn't in the mood to do the endless, "Good morning. Morning. Good morning." that comes when I complete the loop on the residential street up above, so I just stayed down by the water. But I parked up above by Region Memorial Park so I could at least get a climb at the end of the walk.

    I gotta say, I'm always impressed by the landscaping around here. This is the hillside below where I parked just above a busy roadway.


    It was low tide, so I saw tons of birds having their breakfast. Some of them were zooming around in a really tight formation and I really wanted video of them, but I just couldn't get it.


    The joke I posted everywhere was that this place "failed P.E."


    I was just taking a nice picture of rust, I didn't even notice the cute little utility boxes or whatever those things that look like cartoon robot dogs are.


    Landscaping inspiration. Didn't notice at the time that it was moving in the wind.


    Of the thousands of cyclists who have passed me while I was walking, this woman was probably only the second or third who rang a bell to let me know she was coming. Bring back the bike bell, people! When I used to rollerblade back in Albuquerque, I'd call out to people to let them know I was passing, but I always thought it'd be funny to put a bell on my wrist guard.


    Today&quot;s awesome walk, 4.68 miles in 1:31, 10,098 steps, 215ft gain
    4.68 miles in 1:31, 10,098 steps, 215ft gain

    Lovely walk today. I need to spend more time down there. Between when I was done with work and when I went out to lunch, I put together an air plant item and sold it almost immediately to wring! I got a lot of positive feedback about this one, so I'll be on the lookout for more fairies.


    Since it was a nice cloudy and rainy morning, here are the videos of the drives out and back. That's a gorgeous neighborhood and I love all the trees and old houses. I also love the rain on the windshield in the second video.

    And for no reason other than that he's cute as hell, here's Steve.

    &quot;Oh, you&quot;re here.&quot;

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  • 05/06/16--05:26: Laps and plants
  • I finally went back to Snohomish for laps for the first time since I had my hair colored again. It's really just blonde now so I wasn't worried about getting my hair in the water. The drive over was so nice.

    I started out counting the laps on my watch, but I kept forgetting to hit the button and decided to stop counting. It's interesting to know how far I go during my hour of laps, but not as necessary to me as the maps of my walks are.

    wring bought my Fire Fairy air plant as soon as she saw the etsy link! I went straight from the pool to the post office to get that shipped off to her.

    After work was done, I had a little photoshoot for another new air plant item.


    And while I was waiting for my niece Katie to come over so we could meet Garrett at our neighborhood bar for steak night, I happened to notice that my friend who tends bar there posted that she was having a bad day, so I threw a little something together to bring along to cheer her up.

    A little something I put together for a friend who&quot;s having a bummer of a day.

    Steak night was lovely, as always. But I spent way too much time on the phone yesterday.

    1) Called the vet because they didn't call Wednesday about Sam's chest x-ray. Still haven't heard back about that.

    2) Got a call from the company that'll set me up with my CPAP. I have a group appointment in one week for that. And I'm so relieved, because it's been a few bad nights in a row now.

    3) Our lawn guy wants to come every two weeks instead of every three because otherwise the lawn will be too long and difficult to cut. I explained over and over that it was fine and I just had to run it by Garrett before confirming and he would start the explanation over again.

    And now I need to call the local waste management company because our food and yard waste bin is gone. They have an email address on their site but if you saw their site, you'd probably call too, even if you hate phone calls as much as I do.

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  • 05/06/16--05:49: SchadenFriday

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  • 05/06/16--17:52: Zzzz
  • Of course when I find out I've got a week to go until I get my CPAP, I sleep just terribly. It was a long night of flipping over and trying to get comfortable. At least the dreams were good. I don't remember them now, but I remember thinking they were neat at the time. Sam scratched at my door so I let him in for the last couple of hours before I got up, and he behaved, lounging at the foot of my bed. I love sleeping with either of the cats when they'll actually behave, but it's pretty rare. It's a better experience here than back at the Seattle condo, though. My bed was right by the window and Sam just wouldn't leave the blinds alone. Ever.

    I didn't feel great this morning but I figured I'd feel better if I went out for a nice, easy walk instead of just staying in. I decided I'd brave the harrowing freeway merge on the way back and go to Spencer Island. Going there on a Friday makes sense, because my gear usually goes in the laundry on Saturday, so going somewhere that usually stinks of sewage the last day before that is smart. It's getting light out really early, so it was already quite bright out by the time I set out. The drive over was lovely.

    Cute snail who was on the road right by where I parked.


    It's weird when it's so sunny and clear out there. Reminds me a bit of New Mexico, just with a little more green.


    I just did the loop around the island today, and almost turned back when I saw how overgrown with wet grass the trail was. But I washed my shoes a couple of days ago and they weren't fully dry anyway, so I went for it.


    There were lots of geese out today. It's annoying that I had to use YouTube to share this video I originally made in Snapchat, but when I try to add that video to Instagram or Vine, it just freezes. Same thing goes for Vines I try to import to Instagram. Pretty shitty of all these services not to play well together.


    I got some Vines of other ones, too.

    Today&quot;s awesome walk, 2.56 miles in 58 minutes, 6,063 steps
    2.56 miles in 58 minutes, 6,063 steps

    The drive home was so bright and typical that I didn't bother reviewing the video when I got home. Sam and Steve certainly enjoyed the sun.


    The driveway iris looks great.

    Driveway iris update

    Friday is air plant watering day. I used MSPaint to put dots on a copy of this photo to help me count them. I currently have 42, and of those, only two are ones I absolutely would not part with.

    Weekly watering is done.

    Some supplies arrived for another air plant setup I'll be offering soon. It was tempting to make one and post it right away, but I was so tired that I forced myself to relax with a movie instead. And I ended up nodding off for a while, and felt much better.

    Quite a busy weekend ahead. Tomorrow is Garrett's birthday, and we'll visit his parents on Sunday for Mothers' Day. I told her I'd trade her two of my air plants for the one I gave her because she wants a different variety, and I covet that particular plant I gave her, so I guess I'll have 41 soon.

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  • 05/07/16--06:10: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

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  • 05/09/16--05:10: The busiest of busy weekends
  • Saturday was Garrett's birthday and as such, was one of the few times a year we'll treat ourselves to an afternoon and evening out that's a bit pricier than our neighborhood bar. Our friend Barbara had raved about Bluewater Distilling, and Garrett agreed it looked great.

    One thing that going out somewhere other than our immediate neighborhood requires is a travel plan. Bus service is majorly lacking here, and the limited selection is even worse on weekends. There are a few Uber drivers here and we use them pretty often, mostly on the way home. The distillery is on the waterfront, which is a place I walk often and not too far to walk to, so I volunteered to drive us down, leave the car overnight, and walk back for it in the morning.

    We hoped our friend Melissa who lives in her boat nearby could join us, but it turned out she was on the water. She messaged asking if we'd like to come over to the boat for a bit once she was docked before she had to head out to an event, so we decided to have a few drinks and a snack at Bluewater, meet her for a bit, and then decide what to do next.

    The drinks at Bluewater are amazing. They make their own vodka and gin on the premises, and have a lot of bottles infusing with various ingredients for cocktails.


    They probably don't normally have as many tequila specials since they don't make their own tequila, but the board was full of stuff for Cinco de Mayo, and I mostly drink tequila, so that worked out great. This was my favorite, and someday when we have a more elaborate bar set up, I'd like to make more stuff like this.


    We had macaroni and cheese and bread to tide us over until dinner, and they were great, but it took a while for it to come out. Sometimes I wonder if places that specialize in cocktails might let their kitchens be a little slower so they can sell more. The timing was fine, though, because they were ready for us over at the dock just as we were wrapping up.

    I wasn't sure what to expect from the boat, because she described it to us as pretty spacious when we were in Hawaii, but I also remembered how tiny the boat I stayed on in Port Angeles was. Turns out, hers is way nicer. You can stand up throughout the entire thing! There are two places to sleep, and two bathrooms! And a dog!

    Dog life

    Melissa and her boyfriend had a yacht club event they had to be off to, so we decided we'd go to dinner at Prohibition, but stop at the Bluewater to have one more drink and access to a real bathroom before we called for our Uber to take us up there. Dinner was fantastic, and one more Uber got us home.

    My Sunday alarm is set for 5:00am, but I didn't need it because Steve came to visit me in bed at 3:30 and was pretty bratty for the last 45 minutes of that. I got up, geared up, did my stretches in the garage, and headed out. It was nice walking down there from the house, because my original neighborhood walking routes were in that direction and I got to see a lot of my old views.


    I found a house with a flying monkey! I'm so jealous.


    I went a little bit out of my way so I could go through the Forgotten Creek Natural Area, which was lovely as always. Even though there were tons of mosquitoes. I finally got some mosquito repellent, but that was in my car.


    When you emerge from Forgotten Creek at the railroad tracks which stop you from proceeding to the beach, there's a tiny little park called Depot Park, which is where I saw the largest iris ever.


    This little auto shop is so cute! It could really use some power washing and paint, but I just love the look.


    Today&quot;s awesome walk, 5.87 miles in 2:08, 13,542 steps, 215ft gain
    5.87 miles in 2:08, 13,542 steps, 215ft gain

    It was just over three miles to the car and I wanted to walk a lot more than that, so I just kept going past it. They were setting up for the farmers' market in its new location, which should be great. The last few years, it's been crammed into a small parking lot next to a restaurant near the road, but now it'll be way out toward the water with lots of room to spread out. Not sure what'll happen when they finally break ground on all the new residential buildings, park space, and hotel, but it's all apparently part of the plan.

    We picked up a bunch of Chinese food to take over to Bev and Dennis for Mothers' Day. I hoped to get a new photo of Bev, but her hair came out darker than usual at the salon and she wouldn't let me. It looked fine. Bella wasn't very camera shy.

    Bella watching the world go by

    Nobody wanted to make a decision about what sort of cake to have for Garrett's birthday, so there were four choices, and now there are way too many leftovers.

    Happy day-after-birthday Garrett!

    Garrett's grandmother now lives in a home just across the street, which is very convenient. While I waited out front for everyone else so we could walk over, this bird was enjoying the fountain out front so much that it didn't matter that I was standing right there.

    And finally, I've decided to finally name my original and favorite air plant. This is Monica.

    Obviously I can&quot;t name all of my air plants, but this one&quot;s my favorite and she&quot;ll be called Monica.

    If this post seems long, you should see how much I posted to Snapchat and Instagram during that walk. I've always hated how much the content online dries up over the weekend, so I'm happy to pump out a lot on a Sunday morning.

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  • 05/10/16--04:56: Beach appreciation
  • I drove down to Mukilteo thinking I might park on the road by the gulch and walk in on the Eastern trail head. I also wanted to drive by a house that a friend has put an offer on, which is on the way down.

    I didn't bother taking too close of a look at the situation, because there was a backhoe or something right there where the trail normally begins. I have a feeling they have to completely tear that area apart for the water main work and are going to have to rebuild it when they're done. It's a little odd to me that the group in charge of the gulch hasn't even mentioned all this on their social media. No worries, though, because it's an easy walk down the gulch's interpretive trail down to the beach, which I'll be spending a lot more time at until it closes down for construction of the new ferry terminal.


    It was an excellent day for cloudspotting.


    jameth added me to a cloudspotting group on Facebook and I've been enjoying it a lot. I like groups like that and the food group I belong to because you can post more of those things without people getting tired of it. There's no excuse if they do, they're in the group, after all! I especially like the food group because nobody there expects gorgeous photos, they just want to know what people are making and how. Doesn't matter if it's ugly, like the stuffed cabbage I made from leftover pork fried rice in the pressure cooker last night.


    It's a bit of a bummer when you can line up the perfect shot on your phone but the zoom takes away all the quality.


    I'll really miss the way the plants interact with the concrete and metal down there.


    Yesterday&quot;s awesome walk, 4.48 miles in 1:34, 10,078 steps, 248ft gain
    4.48 miles in 1:34, 10,078 steps, 248ft gain

    The clouds were still gorgeous on the way home.

    Driveway iris update. A yellow one has joined!

    Driveway iris update, now with bonus yellow iris

    Sometimes Steve gets a little worked up when he sees other cats or birds outside, or thinks he sees them. Raw footage I made this vine from is on Instagram.

    Sam and Steve sharing the small downstairs perch they fought over a couple of days before. I decided to go run some errands so I wouldn't see how this ended.

    Gonna leave before this turns ugly

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  • 05/10/16--16:11: A tale of a tail
  • Sam's tail is now gone. The vet called to let me know that he took nearly all of it off because he found skin tag-type growths once he removed the hair, and they concerned him. Here's the last picture I got of Sam, yesterday, with his tail intact.


    He's being released at 5pm, and then we're in for an interesting few days. I've never seen Sam in an Elizabethan collar, but I bet he'll be really annoyed with it. Poor guy.

    We took him in this morning, so I swam during today's noon session instead of the early one. When I got there, I saw this.


    New lockers! I'm glad I happened to show up right then and see them, because I was able to get a close look and determine that the small luggage lock I've been using at the other pool won't fit. No problem, I just ordered a pair of those locks with four number dials where you can choose your own combination. I have one somewhere that I used for a long time, but don't know where it is. It was actually from one of the computer labs I worked at in college. Nobody knew the combination, so I asked if I could have it if I managed to open it. There were only three dials, so it wouldn't be hard. I was told that was fine, and I spent a little while during my next shift trying the numbers in order until I got it. Obviously that proves that one with three dials isn't as good as one with four, but for a locker room where you can't just stand around forever trying, it's fine. But the new one will be better, and it comes with a spare for the same price as a lot of others I saw.

    The attendant said there will still be some that are coin operated, but I'd rather use my own lock.

    Anyway, that's my exciting day.

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  • 05/10/16--19:42: Sam's home
  • Obviously he's not happy, but things are going about as well as one can hope for. He's 15 and this is his first time in an Elizabethan collar. Poor dude.

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  • 05/12/16--04:50: I can see clearly now
  • I don't care for the extended daylight hours during Daylight Saving Time, but the early sunrises work for me. I can leave earlier every day. In fact, to get back in time to take care of Sam before Garrett leaves for work, I may just leave for Friday's walk at 4:30am! For today's, I started getting ready somewhere around 5:00 and wished I'd gotten an earlier start.

    Since I'm avoiding the bottom of the gulch due to the water main work, I drove straight to the business park up at the top by the airport. It was lovely out.


    I especially like when I start that walk and there's a really great view of Mt. Rainier.


    We've had a lot of really dry days, so I was hoping to cross the creek at one of the areas that's normally really deep and wet. I was about one good step away from getting across, but didn't do it because it was early in the walk and I didn't want my shoes to get wet, but it definitely might be a possibility soon. This could lead to a chance to explore parts that I think have been abandoned but might still be fun to check out. Instead, I headed over to Bowling Ball Adjacent, which is a pretty easy trail to climb as long as you can get to it. There's been a lot of mud around the bottom, though, but today it was dry enough, so I headed up.

    I briefly thought about heading down to find the way to the top of Bootie Scoot, which I've only gone down once because I had to sit down and scoot, hence the name. But I want to try going up it, and it's next to the part that I think is abandoned, so I'm just curious where I'll end up when I emerge, plus there might be even more to see up there that I don't know about.

    But I wanted a shorter walk and the trails started winding around a lot and I figured it was time to head up. I'm glad I gave up when I did, because I found something pretty interesting. A huge area has been cleared somehow up at the top. I have no idea how because there doesn't seem to be any way for big equipment to get up there. There's been no mention of it on the foundations Facebook page, either. They've removed a lot of blackberry bushes in other areas, but they always post a lot of pictures and thank the volunteers. Not a peep about this huge area in the woods.

    I had a bit of trouble entering the area because I had to climb over this.


    Here's just a small part of the cleared area.


    I used the clearing to get from one trail to another, cutting across an area I've never been in at all. It was really neat to be able to and I'll be back to explore it more thoroughly soon.

    There's a trail near the entrance I've talked about recently that's been flooded so much that it looked like a stream. I was able to walk that way for the first time in months today. But I didn't need to go that way, so I turned back pretty quickly.


    Today&quot;s awesome walk, 3.16 miles in 1:23, 8,198 steps, 187ft gain
    3.16 miles in 1:23, 8,198 steps, 187ft gain

    The GPS got a little wonky at the end there! I followed the road that's in yellow so that last part should be much straighter. I wasn't cutting through people's yards.

    It's funny that I woke up from a dream today in which I realized I was carrying a trekking pole and then realized it wasn't mine because it had a quick-release collapse system, because I want to get a new set soon for that specific reason. I love using my poles, but they're annoying to have to carry once I'm back on concrete. Too loud if I use them, too much impact when they hit. Mostly I held them up behind me for the last part of the walk, and that hurts my hands eventually. It'll be nice to get a fancy set that not only collapses small for storage, but adjusts quickly for extended uphill or downhill use.

    Sam's doing as well as we can hope for so far. The collar makes it pretty hard to feed him, though. At night when we're both here, we can take it off him for a quick cleaning and let him eat freely, but it's hard for one person to put it back on, so I had to come up with a solution for solo feeding. this worked pretty well, but I may end up just using my hand because that's even easier.

    Figured out how to help Sam eat.

    And I managed to get Steve into a Snapchat filter again.


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  • 05/12/16--15:22: Thursdayin'
  • I've got a busy day tomorrow, but not a whole lot's going on today. Garrett and I teamed up to give Sam his liquid meds this morning. He hates it, but it's been a few times so his resolve is starting wear down and he's fighting it less. He'd managed to get his cone off, so when I brought him his lunch, I let him eat before putting it back on. That's so much easier than feeding him with a spoon, which is what I was planning to do. The tea cup worked ok, but it was still messy.

    Did my hour at the pool. Pretty uneventful. The new lockers aren't installed yet, which is fine because the locks I ordered are arriving tonight. I thought about assembling a couple of the magnetic terrariums I'll be selling, but I noticed that it takes up to 72 hours for the glue I used to fully cure. Since I'm using colored sand in them, it's best to wait. In fact, I've only glued two so far and should probably do the remaining four on the off chance they all get ordered. It'd be just my luck that I'd have to delay shipping for glue.

    I created a new tumblr today! It's for pictures and videos of cats that have been enhanced with apps like Snapchat and Perfect365, and it's called snapcatting. Mostly what's there so far is Steve since I don't have any submissions yet. Please submit if you have anything! And make something to submit if you don't. :)

    Just went in to check on Sam. He's not as miserable as he looks.

    Not as angry as he looks. Still purrs like a buzzsaw.

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  • 05/13/16--06:01: SchadenFriday

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  • 05/14/16--06:05: CATURDAY

  • RIP Mink (May 2016), Twix (January 2016), and Sophie (November 2015)

    BONUS Saturdogs

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  • 05/14/16--08:34: Sam update
  • We've decided to let Sam out for visits with the rest of us. The only thing we worry about is the possibility of Steve biting and pulling at the stitches, so the cats have to be completely supervised the entire time they're together. Pretty easy if Sam's hanging around with us on the couch, but a little more challenging if he's exploring.

    And look who&quot;s hanging out with everyone for the first time since the surgery! :D

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  • 05/14/16--14:49: A problem I didn't predict
  • The cats are normally so good at navigating our end tables without making a mess. Sam just knocked over my glass of water with his collar. My very full pint glass full of ice water, that thankfully didn't shatter or ruin any electronics.

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  • 05/15/16--18:59: Sunday by the river
  • I didn't want to get out of bed this morning, but Friday was a very busy day and I skipped my walk, so I got up and headed out. So yeah, Friday. I had the day off from work and was originally going hiking, but ended up with a 10am appointment to get my CPAP. I stayed in before that so we'd both be here to medicate Sam. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to use the CPAP because the mask didn't make it home with me. I think they forgot to hand it back to me after they took it from me to log it for inventory. And of course I didn't realize this until after closing time, and they don't have any weekend hours. So, maybe tomorrow night will be the first time.

    I went out to lunch at White Lotus, which was lovely, though I hate when you order a curry and there's so much sauce that it's really hard to fish all the meat and vegetables out of it. I ordered it with vermicelli noodles and a side of prawns on sugar cane. Good stuff.

    Prawns on sugar cane, beef curry with vermicelli.

    Friday was a good food day. Our neighbors gave us this enormous hunk of salmon. I baked the whole thing and cut servings for us off the large end.

    Check out this huuuuuge piece of salmon our neighbors gave us

    Sam's doing pretty well so we've been having him out to visit more. We even take off his collar if he's sitting with us now.

    And look who&quot;s hanging out with everyone for the first time since the surgery! :D

    The air plants are doing great. I gave one to the neighbor who gave us the salmon. She chose this container, but a different plant. And we filled it with white gravel so the plant couldn't fall in.


    Weekly watering: complete

    Saturday was fun. We stayed in and watched Eurovision. I stayed up a little too late.

    And that brings us to this morning, and I was in the mood for Spencer Island and the Langus Riverfront Trail.

    I started on the paved trail and was using Snapchat when I noticed that there are reverse, fast, and slow filters for videos. Fun!

    It rained last night and I saw more slugs today than I've ever seen in a single day.


    The river was very low, and very green.


    Today&quot;s awesome walk, 4.46 miles in 1:34, 10,115 steps
    4.46 miles in 1:34, 10,115 steps

    I decided I'd do a complete loop on the paved side and then walk as much of the natural side as I could without getting too wet. Obviously the satellite photo isn't current, but even in that one you can kind of tell that the area where I didn't walk is one that gets overgrown a lot.

    I decided to take the scenic route home. If you've been reading here a long time, you might recognize some areas from older photos. For example, the Six Feet Under tree at 1:06.

    I used the rest of the salmon from Friday to make salmon cakes for the first time. They were ok.

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  • 05/16/16--16:35: The creek, she rises again
  • I read my last entry again and realized I said Friday was so busy but didn't even mention half the stuff I did. I was hoping to get some asparagus to with the salmon and baked potatoes for dinner, and was hoping to get it at the Friday Everett Mall edition of the Farmers' Market, which I thought was starting that day. After lunch, I went to the mall to see Captain America: Civil War, and the timing was perfect. The market was supposed to start at 3pm, and I even saw a huge area of the parking lot cordoned off as I arrived for the movie.

    It turns out I was completely wrong about the farmers' market. It's not starting until June 17, which is weird, because the waterfront edition started two Sundays ago. Seems like they'd just have the same weeks. No big deal, I thought, I'll just go a little further South to the produce stand by our old apartment. Nope, that's gone out of business. So I headed back to our neighborhood farm stand, which was thankfully open and had asparagus. That one's owned by the same people who ran the other one by our apartment, and the cashier said they've actually been out of business for a while now over there. I don't make it to the old neighborhood a lot.

    Anyway, back to today. I decided it'd be fun to head to the gulch and go all the way down to the bottom, essentially the reverse version of the simple route I was doing when the place was a bit muddy and I just wanted to be able to climb. It's a little longer because of the extra distance to and from the parking area. And I specifically wanted to come out the way I entered, because if I climb the Western slope and leave via the residential neighborhood, that's a lot of concrete to carry my trekking poles over. And since I've been avoiding the bottom while they do the water main work, I had no idea how it's been progressing, so I wanted to check it out.

    It was a nice morning. Almost, dare I say, cold?


    This is the area that was getting so muddy for so long. Looks like all the water flowing down from above has finally carved enough of little stream that it might provide enough drainage. We'll see.


    Here's the spot where you can enter just East of the parking area, from the street. It's crazy how much they've cleared it. It used to be that to get to the street, upper left, you had to follow the gravel on the right, go up out of frame on the right a ways, and double back. Now everything's gone and you can just walk right up. I'm a little worried what'll happen the next heavy rain, but I'm also not an engineer or anything.


    This is another newly-cleared area, near the dog park. There's still a lot of equipment nearby, so I'll continue parking elsewhere.


    A very odd, right-angle tree.


    And a couple of nice splashes of color that caught my eye.


    Today&quot;s awesome walk, 4.52 miles in 1:41, 10,599 steps, 457ft gain
    4.52 miles in 1:41, 10,599 steps, 457ft gain

    If we hadn't had rain over the weekend and the creek (stream?) that runs down the center dried out a bit more, I'd have explored a couple of spots that I want to check out, but I'm patient and can wait until it's really dry and I don't have to get my shoes wet. Especially since it's likely that the parts I want to see will be very overgrown and I'll have to turn back pretty quickly. And I'm definitely not complaining about a little rain. It was nice, and I can't stand extended periods of dry weather. I'll just take advantage of the dry conditions when they happen.

    This afternoon I put together a new air plant offering, magnetic terrariums for your fridge. I only did two combinations of sand and moss, but I've got six colors of sand and six colors of moss, so there are tons of options. I'm hoping to attract the people who have told me they'd like to have an air plant, but can't keep plants out of their cat's reach.


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    After my walk this morning, I drove over to the medical supply company where I went on Friday to pick up the CPAP. I explained that I left the mask behind and joked that I figured it wasn't returned to me when they logged it, and that I was definitely blaming everyone but myself. The woman helping me laughed, looked up my info, and then spotted the mask right next to her on the desk with a note saying to let so-and-so know that I accidentally left it behind and to let so-and-so know when I'd come back for it. I'm a little curious why nobody called me about it and why she hadn't noticed it sitting right there. Weirdos.

    So, looks like tonight's the night. I really can't wait, not just because I'm exhausted and need the help, but because they advised that insurance companies generally won't continue the arrangement unless it's used a certain amount of nights in the first 30 days, and I've already missed three nights. The machine has a wireless 3G modem, so I can't even lie about it. Ha.

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  • 05/17/16--10:02: Here we go
  • I have to start out by stating that I *just now* discovered that the medical supply company called me just a few minutes after I left Friday without the mask, and the issue is that I didn't get the voice mail until today. I got a call from the market research firm I do a little work with last night and let that go to voice mail, and only then did I get a prompt from the Visual Voicemail app. Pretty annoying.

    The first night went so much better than I thought it would. Especially because I have a mask for my nostrils only, plus a chin strap for if I can't keep my mouth closed. I snore through my mouth and thought it would be an issue for sure, but was having a very hard time getting both the mask and the chin strap on. But really, even just the chin strap is really hard. My beard's really thick and it's not comfortable to smash it down at all. But I think my mouth opens when I can't breathe through my nose any longer and with the CPAP on, the air flowed quite freely through.

    I'm a little tired right now but I felt a lot better when I got up than I normally do. Oxygen is pretty great.

    I went to the pool and was sad to find my iPod in the "on" position with a dead battery. Especially since I thought about charging it on Friday but never did. That makes for a much less fun swim, especially because I usually end up with the last song I heard in the car stuck in my head. Today, that was:

    It had a little competition today, though. This one gets played a lot on Sirius XM Utopia, which is the channel we have the TV on when we're not watching a show:

    I don't dislike that song by any means, but I never understood its popularity among other club friends I was running around with back in the day. It's fine, but people just loved it to death.

    In spite of the lack of music, I had a really enjoyable swim. The swim center is in the appropriately-named Forest Park, and as I looked out the window at the trees in the sunlight, I had one of those perfect "runner's high" type moments and heard one more song in my mind.

    I should probably get a haircut today. As soon as I first think about getting one, I can think of little else until I finally do it. I definitely need to trim my mustache, the hairs kept getting pushed in with my mask and that wasn't comfortable.

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