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  • 06/18/16--05:58: CATURDAY





























































































  • BONUS Saturdogs




































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  • 06/18/16--08:41: Lapping it up
  • Yesterday was my first trip to the Snohomish Aquatic Center since I got the CPAP. I wear a snorkel and do laps there because the recreation pool is only three feet deep, and the competition pool is set up as lanes all the way across. Of course there's nothing stopping me from treading water in a lane, but it'd feel weird. Anyway, the nostril plug I use with the snorkel isn't very comfortable, and my nostrils were pretty sore for the first couple of weeks while I got used to the CPAP, so it made no sense to irritate them further. Sometimes my nose hurts while the CPAP is on, but I'm beyond the point now where the pain lasts throughout the day. So I figured yesterday would be a nice day to head out there again.





    I loved that this tree was perfectly positioned between two tree shadows when I got there.

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    And it warms my heart to see that the facility is inclusive.

    More of these, please.

    Doing laps once in a while is ok but yesterday was such a great reminder of why I prefer treading. The new goggles I ordered hadn't arrived yet, so I was using another pair I have that I'm not terribly fond of. The nostril plug was uncomfortable enough that I took it out for the last 15 minutes, which required lots of concentration. The replacement tip for my earbud wasn't working as well as the old one did, so I kept getting water in my ear. Oh well.

    Ended up getting chatted up by a woman in the hot tub who managed to tell me way more than I ever would have wanted to know, but she was nice and has had a rough go of it lately, so I wasn't mad about it.



    What did annoy me a bit was the woman in front of me in line at Safeway. It baffles me a bit when anyone writes a check any more, but if you insist on doing it, please pay attention and write the correct amount so you don't end up starting completely over. If you can write a check quickly, that's another thing entirely, but I swear it was like she was having a hard time composing a limerick.

    My transaction was funny. When you pay with a card, the machine wants a signature for any amount over $50. Mine was $50.03, which is definitely the closest I've come to $50 exactly.

    For lunch I decided to get some food to bring back home. It was really sunny yesterday and I didn't feel like sitting in a possibly-hot restaurant and driving back in a hot car, but a certain dish I had recently was on my mind. This Bankok fried chicken is amazing.

    Bankok fried chicken. Way too much food, so most of the pad Thai and some of the rice went in the freezer.

    The great thing about takeout is that you can easily divide it into two meals instead of trying to decide when to stop at the restaurant and ask for a box. I ate all the chicken and vegetables, most of the curry rice, and a bite of the pad thai. A little bit of the rice and most of the pad thai is in the freezer now for Garrett's lunch on Monday. Or whenever. It's frozen so there's no hurry.

    Full disclosure, I also don't like sitting in that restaurant because the owner acts really put out by having to serve anyone. So I'll eat his food, but I'd rather not endure his dour expression. Ordering on Grubhub for pickup was really convenient since they accept Paypal.

    And just because, here's a photo of the taco dinner I made last night.

    Tacko"s

    All have a flour tortilla, soyrizo, grilled onions, sour cream, avocado, and "power mix" greens. Half have pickled red onions, and half have salsa. Brown rice with black beans and salsa on the side.


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  • 06/20/16--04:55: Happy Father'zzzzz Day!
  • The weekend ended up being much busier than I anticipated. My plan for Saturday was to just swing by the Everett Makers Market Block Party, mostly just to make an appearance. I've made friends with the woman who sold me my first air plant and she ran the event, so even though I wasn't really looking for anything, I wanted to support the event.



    Our friend Melissa asked if we were doing lunch or brunch, and I said no, but that she should meet up with me at the block party and we could at least grab a couple of drinks. The gay bar (we only have one here!) was supposed to be open early as part of the block party, but rather than opening at noon with the party, they opened at 3pm. Rather than check out the vendors right away, we went over to Soundview Tavern, which is a dive bar I like around the corner. It was only just after noon and the place was already quite packed! There was exactly one table with nobody at it, all the way in back.

    It was when we settled in there that Garrett changed his mind about coming out, so he grabbed an Uber and joined us. We had lunch there, including an order of deep fried gizzards as an appetizer! I finally learned the name of the dog who is usually there, Sophie.

    Sophie!

    There wasn't a huge crowd at the block party when we went through, but it lasted all day so hopefully there was a pretty good turnout. We checked out all the vendors and picked up a few goodies. I got a handmade cat toy for the boys. And I finally got a chance to check out the natural foods co-op, which was not only a sponsor of the event, but housed several of the vendors inside the building. Lots of neat stuff there.

    We'd killed enough time that it was finally 3pm, and Bar Myx was finally open. They brought in a really fun band for the event and we stayed for both sets that they played. Every song they did was a classic and a lot of them are the ones I do when I sing karaoke.

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    Melissa wanted to do shots and now I have a new rule: no shots, ever. We both felt terrible all day afterward. Sunday is normally my time for a great walk, but instead I just walked back downtown to get my car.

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    Up until time to leave to see Bev and Dennis, we were just hiding from the sun downstairs. Steve had other plans, of course.

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    We picked up Olive Garden on the way over. Getting takeout from there is so much better than eating at the actual restaurant, because you the salad is packed completely separate and you can save that for the next day.

    *mouthing* YAS QUEEN

    Obligatory Bella photo.

    Hi Bella

    Thankfully Bev and Dennis were also pretty tired from going to a wedding the day before, so we all just relaxed in the living room after we ate instead of the usual card or board game.


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  • 06/20/16--11:26: Monday bun-day
  • It'd been a while since I went to the Lowell Riverfront Trail, so I decided I'd head down today. It occurred to me that I currently only have six places in the regular rotation and I should probably find some new ones, so perhaps this afternoon I should spend some time looking around on the map. I'm pretty fortunate to have as many great ones as I do. But it never hurts to have more.



    Lowell's certainly a lovely option. It's pretty close to here, so it's fast. It's flat and easy, and the paved path means the mosquitoes aren't too terrible. As long as you stay on it. That was pretty important today because I forgot to put on any repellent. I didn't get any photos or videos of them today, but there were so many rabbits. Perhaps as many as I've ever seen in a day.

    There wasn't really a sunrise to see because it was nice and cloudy out, but it was interesting to see it trying to burn through.

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    I take a version of this shot pretty much every time I come here. I should animate them together at some point.

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    I'm still baffled by how little progress I can see at the residential construction area near there. The only development I really see now is that the hill of dirt surrounding the site has been taken down and you can just see more of the lack of progress.

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    A trend I've noticed in recent years is people putting lost objects higher up, presumably to be easier for someone looking for it to see. It doesn't really make sense to me since if I'm looking for something I lost, my eyes are on the ground, but whatever. This is the weirdest example I've seen so far. Obviously it took a little effort.

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    I think today was the first time I ever saw Mt. Baker from down there. Really delightful.

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    There were three huge piles of of railroad ties near the bridge. Wonder what that's about.

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    Today"s awesome walk, 3.39 miles in 1:12, 7,709 steps
    3.39 miles in 1:12, 7,709 steps

    Back at home, I finally decided to hang this up. It's been framed for a while now, just not on the wall. Garrett suggested a spot for it a while back and today I looked there and thought, hm, there's already a nail there, I'll just do it.

    Decor update


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  • 06/21/16--11:41: Also new in the shop
  • EDIT: This one's been claimed by my niece!

    My first air plant sale was this fun little "palm tree" with marbles for coconuts.

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    It was snatched up about ten minutes after I listed it, so of course I've kept my eye out for something similar. I finally found a shorter, stubbier one that's also pretty cute.

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    Mostly I'm mentioning it because today's swim was good but uneventful, and we've got plans later that I won't end up talking about until tomorrow. For now, I'm just waiting for noon to roll around, at which point the litter box closet will get a deep clean, and I'll have another shower before lunch because that's a nasty job.

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    A few weeks ago at Naughty Bingo, I asked the host if she'd like me to recreate the game sheet, which was a copy of a copy of a copy and in pretty bad shape. She said yes, and agreed with me that we should also come up with some new boards. Her only specific request was that I create a butthole game.

    Being the me that I am, I got to work immediately and was finished within a couple of days. She loved the photo I sent of my screen, but then I never heard back after sending over the spreadsheet. So yesterday, I decided to take a printout to a copy shop, get 100 made, and bring them along in case she never printed it out. Turns out her husband was hosting because she wanted the summer off, so that accounts for why I hadn't heard back. He was very happy to see the new sheets and we had a great time, with my niece and sister-in-law in tow.

    Naughty bingo, and I made the sheet!

    Bingo happens fast and I didn’t have time to say much when I shared this photo out originally in the normal places, so I wanted to take a moment to mention what I did and didn’t do.
    1) The original sheet was the first three columns and four rows, 12 games total, I created the right hand column and bottom row
    2) I didn’t understand the original versions of “him” and “her” at all, so I changed them to look like the ♂ and ♀
    3) VAJINA used to be as wide as NONE4U and I made it narrower
    4) The only thing asked of me was to create a butthole and I think I did a pretty decent job, all things considered.
    5) Thanks, George Carlin, for explaining to me at a tender young age that a 71 is a 69 with two fingers in the ass.

    It was pretty late by the time Katie and Maria headed out, so I went straight to bed, and tried an experiment. I've been sleeping on my sides for years, which always leads to sorness and flipping over, and the CPAP hose added to the mix makes it slightly complicated for my tired brain. Sleeping on my back has been out of the question all these years, because I'd choke myself awake almost immediately. Since I haven't been snoring lately, I figured I'd give it a shot.

    I slept the first chunk of the night pretty well on my back, long enough that I woke up still that way and kinda sore. Not surprising since I never lay that way long. So I tried again for the last part of the night, with different results. That time my mouth kept falling open, which is a little jarring when you've got a CPAP with a nasal pillow. I'll keep trying, it was neat to sleep on my back for the first time in my adult life.



    Wednesday morning is beach time and it was lovely.



    I had a very nice morning and took tons of photos, lots more than I'll include here. You know where to find them. Whatever sunrise there was, I caught the tail end of it. It's hard to get my first cup of coffee down early enough to catch it fully this time of year.

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    Neat old signage.

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    Graffiti that won't be around long.

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    I really loved the way the sun was bursting through for a while and hoped if I got 96 seconds of video, it'd look interesting in a time lapse, 6 seconds at 16x speed. I got three videos and processed one, but wasn't particularly impressed with the results, so I gave up.

    Speaking of time lapse, I'd like to do a lot more of it, but not with my phone. My camera doesn't have a time lapse mode, but I found a firmware hack to add to it that adds time lapse and several other enhancements. I was able to install it, but unfortunately it's launched via the Print button, which this particular camera doesn't have. I wonder if my last camera's still around somewhere...

    Anyway, here's the sun bursting through. It was pretty intense for a while.

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    And a panorama, which are always a little weird when water is involved.

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    Another example of junk and wild plants looking cool enough that people would probably pay a lot for it.

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    Two ferries, two of many bunnies I saw, a seagull, a heron who stole his spot, and an osprey!

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    And the moon!

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    Today"s awesome walk, 3.76 miles in 1:31, 9,272 steps
    3.76 miles in 1:31, 9,272 steps



    Even though I wasn't as early as I wanted to be, I managed to get home early enough to make Garrett's lunch before he left, so that was a win. I usually pack it the night before, but forgot because of bingo.

    Yesterday I gave two air plants to my sister-in-law for her birthday and one to my niece Katie to take to my other niece, her sister Tiffany. She's staying at her place in town this week. Katie thought it was funny because when I gave her one, she left it at Tiffany's, and Tiffany had to bring it to her when she visited her in Spokane. Long story short, I got rid of three more plants, which is good even if it wasn't to paying customers. And I'm still, five days later, waiting to hear from that customer who chose the "buyer selects" option on that last sale. Weird.

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  • 06/22/16--11:44: Addendum
  • One photo I meant to include in that last post is this one, of what I thought at the time was the Hat Island Ferry.

    20160622_060333

    But now that I'm here on the computer, it doesn't look like a ferry at all, so I did a little search, and it turns out it can't be, because that ferry doesn't even leave for its first trip to the mainland each day until 10am, and only runs four days a week! That's insane. I understood that the island was mostly people who are rather well-off, but I didn't realize they also had such an employment-unfriendly schedule.

    The ferry is also passenger-only, and I've read on their site that cars on the island don't even have to be registered since it's a private island. But how would they even get gas, or service if it broke down? I have so many questions.

    The Hat Island site lists several available vacation rentals and a designated apartment that can be rented, and I'd like to see it sometime, but it also sounds like a complete pain. There aren't even any stores and it doesn't mention if non-members can eat at the yacht club, or if there's even food there.

    What strange lives they must lead. I'd love to see a documentary.

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  • 06/23/16--09:47: Fine, I'll move
  • After Tuesday's swim I decided it was finally time to start using a new bathing suit. Luckily when it originally came, I liked it so much that I ordered the remaining available stock in my size, which was two more. They've been waiting in a closest since then, save for a trip over to my inlaws' place when Garrett's mom was nice enough to add some seams for me so the waistband elastic can't flip around inside the fabric. It's really weird that it's one continuous piece all the way around with no seams, but it wasn't weird enough to stop me from getting more of them.

    The difference between the old one and the new one was pretty dramatic. Of course the change was gradual, so I didn't notice it, but the fabric really did get a lot softer and looser. One thing I could see quite plainly even without the comparison was how much some parts faded. The inside of the waistband managed to stay pretty dark, but the outside bleached out a lot.

    Old swimsuit, New swimsuit

    I paid $15 for each of these and got 52 swims out of the first one. 29 cents per swim, not bad!

    The lesson I learned today was to get my music situated before getting in the water. I turned on the iPod and couldn't hear anything, and fumbled with it for a few minutes. The headphone jack wasn't quite all the way in even though it felt pretty solid. In all that fumbling, I lost an earbud tip. That makes two lost, and they're probably both at the bottom of the deep end. My natural tendency to float and to be able to tread water for a long time worked against me today, as I couldn't dive anywhere near the bottom. So, another day with just one earbud.

    Things were going nice until that swim team or whatever they are showed up. Aside from them in the deep end, it was me and one other guy, and while they gave him a little space all along the edge of the pool, the swimmers on my end couldn't be arsed to even give me a little corner. Swimming back and forth is the third phase of their routine. First, they went in a circle, much bigger than it needed to be and right up next to me. Then they all kicked and then bobbed up and down, making the water super choppy and sending a splash right up into my nostrils. But when they swam up to me and didn't share well, I decided I was just done for the day. 45 minutes instead of an hour. I asked the lifeguards if they know their schedule, and they said they're there Thursdays and some Tuesdays. Looks like I'll avoid those days for a while.

    Someone who didn't mind the team so much was Zoey, the swim center cat. Here she is saying hi as I entered the building.

    Zoey the swim center cat had an adventure this morning. Grooming on a diving board followed by climbing a scissor lift!

    She had a nice time grooming herself on a diving board, then she went and met a few of the swim team girls while they were hanging out before they got in the pool. There was a scissor lift next to the pool, presumably used for changing light bulbs, and Zoey made her way up that and even stretched as if to reach the controls. Very cute.

    Now I'm just waiting for lunch to roll around. I'm on a quest to try every chirashi bowl in the region and today I'll be meeting a friend in Mill Creek, my furthest one from home yet. If you haven't heard of it, chirashi is just sushi in bowl form. A layer of sushi rice with a bunch of fish and other lovely things artfully arranged on top. Always delightful.

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  • 06/24/16--10:39: SchadenFriday


















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  • 06/24/16--12:18: Chirashi quest
  • I'm working my way through the restaurants here and in nearby cities that have chirashi bowls, and one place I've had my eye on is N'Joy Sushi down in Mill Creek. I don't make it to Mill Creek as often as I used to when we lived in Silver Lake, because back then, we were about five miles closer. But my friend Lisa wanted to go out to lunch, and she lives in Lynnwood, so I figured I'd see if she wanted to meet there, and then I could do a little shopping at Central Market afterward. She was game, so I headed down.





    Chirashi quest. This one was far too expensive.

    I realize now that I thought I'd looked up their menu before, but it turns out it was Sushi Zen that I remembered. The menu online at N'Joy lists theirs as even more expensive, and then when I got there, it was actually three dollars more than what they list online. All of which adds up to it being about ten dollars more than the first one I ever had! And totally not worth it, because it was maybe just a touch better than that one. Mill Creek is an upscale community and I blame the difference on that. But I'm not ready to say I won't go back, because they have a dish they refer to as Korean chirashi, and it's decently priced, on their lunch menu.

    We shopped through Central Market and I got some fun stuff, then I drove back via the highway, figuring the afternoon traffic might be a bit much on the surface streets.



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    Now that the water main work is done at Japanese Gulch, it's time to park at the bottom, hike up one way, and back down another, as much as possible while the mornings are so bright. As long as it doesn't rain too much, this is the perfect time for it. So today I headed down there for a hike up the East side and back down the center.





    It's really just perfect there right now. So green and lush.

    20160624_052906_HDR

    Almost as soon as I got into the trails, I saw something moving up ahead. I can't be sure because I wasn't close enough, but I'm pretty sure it was an orange cat. I'm sure several neighborhood cats like to pop in, and I was pretty close to some houses, so it makes sense.

    Going up the side is pretty neat because you climb pretty fast. The hike up the center is challenging enough as it is, so it's cool when you look over and see the center far below.

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    I happened to pick the trail that has the best view of the water, too.

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    Up at the top, the view across is starting to change a bit. Some of the trees closer in are getting taller and I imagine eventually you won't be able to see across. Of course I walked right past the normal photo spot and didn't go quite as far back to there to take the photo, so maybe I'm totally wrong.

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    Someone's strange little project.

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    My timing was really great today. Some of the trails were a little damp, but there was no mud to speak of.

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    But then it started raining. Quite a bit! It felt great and I was already getting close to the center, so I didn't have to worry about mud at all.

    Snapchat-6867990500511764738
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    Today"s awesome walk, 3.75 miles in 1:51, 10,491 steps, 433ft gain
    3.75 miles in 1:51, 10,491 steps, 433ft gain

    Not my fastest time by any means, but it was a good climb and I had fun stopping to put stuff on Snapchat. It's funny, I left the rain droplets on the windshield in the big spot that blocks the camera intentionally because I think it looks cool, but if I actually needed the dashcam video for some reason, the rain would probably ruin it.




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  • 06/25/16--06:09: CATURDAY

























































































































  • BONUS Saturdogs































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  • 06/26/16--14:44: Bummers


  • My walk today was a little sad. As I was driving into Langus Riverfront Park and Spencer Island, I saw a cat sitting on the edge of the road. Unlike the cat I saw Friday in Japanese Gulch, there's just no way it was a neighborhood cat. There's no neighborhood out there, at all. And it's really far away from everything, and it's an island you access by the freeway. What is out there is the Everett Animal Shelter, and I'm sure someone just dumped the poor thing. If that's the case, it'd wandered a bit. There's not even a shoulder so it sat at the edge.



    On top of that, my iPod wouldn't start. It'd been on the charger, so I know the battery wasn't the issue. Without the music to distract me, I thought about the cat constantly, but tried to enjoy the morning as best I could.

    In spite of some fog I'd spotted on the way in, the sky was completely clear, so I figured the best sunrise shot I could hope to get was right when it came up over the mountains.

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    The water today was lower than I've ever seen it, so I grabbed some photos of the bird watching areas to send to my friend who likes doing that. She said she'd head out there today.

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    Invasive, but pretty.

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    I fought my way through thorny vines on the hunting trail, and even got caught ducking under one.

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    But it was just too overgrown and I had to turn back.

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    Fog off in the distance.

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    As I mentioned, the water was really low.

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    I got to watch a heron defend its spot on a tall tree for a bit, and even managed to get video of it taking off!



    There were a couple of barges and tugboats in the water, which I've never seen before. I think there might be a cleanup project near there, it looked like a portable conveyor belt led up to the barge.

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    Today"s awesome walk, 4.87 miles in 2:03, 12,316 steps
    4.87 miles in 2:03, 12,316 steps

    The cat was practically in the same spot as I drove out, so I stopped the car to try to say hi. Not sure what I hoped to accomplish since I didn't have a carrier and it was a few hours until the shelter opened anyway. It didn't want to visit and walked away when I approached, so I left. I really hope someone who works at the shelter found it on their way to work today.

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    Used a different route home just for a change of scenery. You can see the cat at the beginning of the video.



    Later on I met my nieces Katie and Tiffany, plus Tiffany's son Raiden for breakfast. That was fun.

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    I also spotted a sign for a vintage sale, so I popped into that on the way home. Found a cool old American Airlines framed photo for Garrett, and these amazing teacups.

    $2 each!


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    Recently Sam decided the foot of my bed's the best place to sleep. Not sure what that's about. Maybe he likes the sound of the CPAP or something. Knowing he'd be around at some point, I've been using a doorstop to keep my door open about eight inches. It was really hot yesterday, though, so our bedrooms had closed up with the windows closed and the AC on. The boys were still working on their dinner when I went to bed, so I kept the door closed. Sure enough, I heard scratching pretty soon; Sam and Steve were both waiting to come in.

    I get too warm if I just slip into a bed the way it's made. This time of year, I usually keep the sheet pulled all the way up, then have a blanket maybe halfway up or just on my feet if I get really warm. That leaves a drape of blanket at the end of the bed, along with a pile, and that's Steve's new favorite place. Not sure how many nights since Sam moved in that he's been there, but he was there last night.

    ---

    In order to avoid the bum rush of that swim team that's been at the pool on Thursdays, I decided I'd go today and Wednesday. It was a little odd walking in there today. The lifeguard who punched my card was one I'd never seen before, and so was the one watching the pool. That scissor lift that was there last time had obviously been put to use, as all the lights were really, really bright. The view out the windows was partially blocked along the South wall by Wibit equipment, which I've never seen inflated before. Lots of swimmers I didn't recognize, hanging out in groups with ones I did. And I noticed partway through my swim that about half the lockers that have been piled up everywhere were gone, so apparently the women's lockers have been replaced.

    Today was also the start of the Summer session, and toward the end of my swim, a lot of kids started showing up with their parents in tow. Turns out there's a youth summer swim league, Monday-Thursday at 7:30. They called roll near the lanes while I was in the sauna and the lanes is where they stayed, so maybe even if our times overlap, we won't get in each other's way.

    ---

    Garrett worked from home today and we went out for lunch together, which was a nice treat. There's a Mexican place in the neighborhood that opened where a Chinese place had been, about a year ago. Recently they added a lunch buffet, so we wanted to check it out. Garrett ordered that and I ordered off the menu. It was all pretty good, but the margaritas were expensive and pretty weak. So at least we know it's a good neighborhood option for food if not drinks. Good intel.

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    I rolled into the parking area at Japanese Gulch this morning not sure exactly what I'd do. I'd narrowed it down to climbing all the way to the street on the East side and then heading South, or completing the loop on the West side that I missed last time I tried. I was making a Snapchat video of this same portion of the sky when a guy I didn't recognize walked past me toward the East.

    20160628_052329_Pano

    Then the guy who jogs through that way with the big backpack also went through, and my normal instinct kicked in. I just like to avoid people. It's a strategy that serves me well. So I headed up the OG trail, looking forward to navigating the outer edge of the Western side.



    Of course, my smug satisfaction was short-lived. Within a few minutes, I saw a big black dog up ahead, unleashed, running toward me. Dog owners like to treat the whole area as off leash, and I kinda get it. If I had to deal with a big dog, I'd be pretty worried about it tugging on the leash and making me lose my balance on a narrow trail. But of course you have to make sure the dog will heel if you plan to walk them off the leash, and while I was pretty sure the giant growling dog would stop a foot or two short of me, it's annoying. I just always try to find a wide spot, move toward the hillside, and hope for the best. The dog did indeed stop about four inches away from me, the owner apologized, and I kept going.

    I made my way up to the top and headed North, and confirmed my mistake from before. There's a weird, overgrown exit on the North end up top, and last time I thought I was avoiding that exit, but it turns out I was avoiding an entire big loop. And I could tell when this bridge looked really unfamiliar that I've avoided it a lot.

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    Within a few minutes I realized I had indeed been there but it'd been a while, and I was on the right track. Then I made my way all the way around the outer edge like I wanted to, then back down to the car via the Rusty Car trail. But I realized when I got home that I Snapchatted the whole thing and didn't take any more photos.

    However! You can export your whole Snapchat story as a video, so here's my whole morning in the gulch through the eyes of Snapchat. Unfortunately the format is vertical and doesn't look great once you make it into a PC video, but it's still neat.



    Today"s awesome walk, 4.38 miles in 2:17, 12,724 steps, 420ft gain
    4.38 miles in 2:17, 12,724 steps, 420ft gain

    Today's walk was pretty perfect. Hope that comes through in the video.


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  • 06/29/16--16:46: Down with iTunes
  • When my used iPod Touch that I got on eBay died after 5.5 years of service, I knew I wouldn't be replacing it with another iPod. They're just too expensive. I'd need at least the 64gb model and those retail at $299. It really doesn't make any sense for me to buy one because I don't use any of the other features. The only thing I'll miss is the option to use earbuds with controls on the cord. I love being able to pause, skip, skip back, and change volume without taking it out of my pocket. But by giving up that option, I was able to buy this player for $25 and a 64gb memory card to go with it for another $19. That's a savings of roughly 85%!

    Tiny, cheap new mp3 player to replace my dead iPod Touch.


    It's weird, I saw a slightly older model of the same player reviewed on BoingBoing and then my iPod died within a few days. Hmmm. So, tomorrow will be my first walk with it. It's a little tricky to lock and unlock it, so I hope I can leave it in my pocket unlocked for easy skipping without bumping other controls. Or I might get used to skipping less.

    The reason I decided to quit using iTunes is that I was changing out music on the waterproof iPod and accidentally told it to delete our music collection off our server. Again. Garrett asked me to find an alternative because we've both done it twice. CopyTransManager, which we tried to switch to unsuccessfully a few years ago, works! I don't even need anything like that for the new player, you just transfer files to it or to the memory card and they play, which is so much better. I'll still have iTunes on my work computer for podcasts, but I'm glad it doesn't have a way to delete our library.

    And don't worry about that library, Garrett's an IT manager and it gets backed up once a day.

    While CopyTransManager works, you do have to use it properly, and I discovered when I got to the pool this morning that I hadn't. I forgot to apply the changes after putting a Lip Locked episode on, so when I hit Play, a robot voice said, "Use iTunes to add music." Well, no thank you. But I'll add music. So that made for a dull swim. Three songs fought for the honor of being the one stuck in my head: the one I heard right before getting out of the car (which I've since forgotten!), the one I wished I was hearing, and the one someone's tweet a while back made me think of.

    Oh, Zoey was chilling outside when I got there. She got tired of our photo shoot and headed toward the trail next to the pool. She's got a pretty sweet setup over there.

    Zoey, the swim center cat



    It was a surprising swim today because some of the older regulars had kids with them! I always figured the 6am swim would never have any kids, even during the summer, because they just wouldn't want to get up that early. My theory was that they were staying with their grandparents who are always there and had no say in the matter.


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    My Wednesdays at the beach now happen on Thursdays, and today was awesome. Great cloud cover, perfect temperature, just wonderful.

    20160630_053712_Pano



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    Those two photos above are panoramas with the phone held vertically. Not a drastic change in shape from a regular photo, but definitely a much wider field of version. The inconsistencies in the water and the curves in the concrete give them away.

    Lots of neat plants today. I mean, they're always there, but certain ones jumped out at me.

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    There was a heron there today that I had several encounters with. First I noticed too late that he was pretty close to me down below, and he flew away before I could get the phone out. He relaxed for a while over by the graffiti wall where the dock used to be.

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    I caught up with him later, further back down the beach.

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    I find the lettering job on these cars intensely satisfying. You know whoever was in charge of that was so happy that it worked out that way.

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    Today"s awesome walk, 4.56 miles in 1:37, 10,383 steps
    4.56 miles in 1:37, 10,383 steps

    I had such a great time this morning, I would have done twice as much if I didn't have stuff I needed to get done this morning for work. It was another morning that I figured was worthy of a Snapchat export, and I decided to leave my full 24 hours in it, so it starts yesterday with some stuff around the house.



    Once in a while when I'm on a walk, a song really grabs me and I repeat it until the walk's over. Today I was listening to that Information Society compilation of old and unreleased stuff, and one track really jumped out. The lyrics are terrible, but the music is just about perfect.



    It's like a really jamming version of "Warm Leatherette" that you could dance to. And I had a hard time not dancing to it while I walked. I was definitely walking really fast and swinging my arms more than I usually do. It's worth mentioning that that's a version from 2007, and there's another on the compilation from 1982 that's very different.

    While I was out on the walk, our music library was transferring to a microSD card so I could play it on that new mp3 player. (The InSoc stuff was on the player's internal storage, which is 8gb). It's amazing to think all the music we own can fit on something the size of a smashed pea.

    2016-06-30_11-17-58

    Unfortunately, it turns out that player can only process 4,000 songs, and we have about 17,000. So, it's a cool player, but I've already got another one on the way. Same size, capacity, and features, but they make the claim that it can play "64gb/an additional 16,000 songs." So, we'll see how it handles the microSD when it arrives on Tuesday. I may offer the black one as a prize during our July 4th bbq. I'm putting out tons of prizes in the hope that nobody will claim the Battlefield Earth action figure I found and now regret announcing as a prize.

    A prize I picked up for our July 4th croquet tournament.


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  • 07/01/16--10:10: SchadenFriday











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  • 07/01/16--16:43: A day of discovery
  • I went down for what I thought would be a pretty typical morning at the river and am happy to report that there was a nice sunrise and that I got down there in time to see it.

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    20160701_053436_Pano
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    Obligatory bunny video.



    There was nobody at the construction site and I figured I might walk all the way past it to the road, up to the next one above, so I could get a good view of it. But then I saw this sign.

    20160701_061553_HDR

    Another half mile of trail? What? It turns out that I saw it on the map just over a year ago, tried to find it by crossing a field, but ended up at a fence and gave up. I could see a bunch of heavy equipment on the other side of a fence, so I figured it was a driveway for a business instead of a trail. Wrong! New trail to explore!

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    It's not as scenic as the rest of it because it's not by the water, but it's such a great discovery. I've always wished I could walk about a mile further when I'm down there without doing loops on the gravel trails or covering the same ground on the paved one. This made my day.

    Today"s awesome walk, 4.79 miles in 1:43, 10,928 steps
    4.79 miles in 1:43, 10,928 steps

    This also cleared up something for me. The developer put up a fence for a while at point A or maybe about 100 feet East of it, and people complained because he'd blocked part of the trail. I thought it ended at point A, so I wondered why they cared if they lost 100 feet of trail. Now I realize it's because they lost a half mile.

    There's also a gravel area that runs parallel to that section of trail, branching off at point B. I explored a little bit of it, but there was lots of evidence of camping, and then I saw what looked like a campsite up ahead. It was creepy.

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    Got another selfie for the Honey Bucket contest.

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    After I got home and showered, I went to WinCo and decided I'd go there less often, but buy more stuff when I'm there. It's farther away and they don't take credit cards, so it makes sense to stock up. A dozen bagels, three boxes of wine, a big bag of smaller bags of chips. You get the idea. I had to use a cart, which I rarely do and am terrible at.

    On Fridays I clean my CPAP and bathe the air plants. I lost a few this week, but also got a shipment of a dozen funkianas, one of which had a flower! I've found funkianas to be the hardest to keep alive, which is weird, since their leaves don't form a cup so there's nowhere for water to gather and make the plant rot.

    The weekly bath. This is everything but the new funkianas.
    One of my new funkianas has a flower!

    Today was also a great day at work. My role's becoming more important and visible and I'm getting good feedback about the stuff I'm doing, which is pretty neat.

    Pretty much the only bad thing is that I fell asleep without my CPAP last night and didn't end up putting it on until 1am, three hours before I got up. I felt terrible for much of today, which goes to show how well it's working. I can't believe that was such a normal feeling for so long.

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  • 07/02/16--05:56: CATURDAY




























































































  • BONUS Saturdogs


























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