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  • 11/11/16--11:04: SchadenFriday

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  • 11/11/16--15:25: Talking the walk
  • Walks with friends are interesting because I don't have my music, and I generally feel like the beats are what really keep me going. Plus I take very few photos and videos since it's pretty rude to keep making someone stop. But it's not hard or boring. The time goes by pretty quickly and the company is always nice. That's great to experience once in a while since I don't see friends all that often.

    Today was the first time with Melissa back at Langus since I started walking on the new road there and I was excited to show it to her. Of course there wasn't much to see for a while. But our timing was good when the amazing, dark sunrise started.


    And we also got a nice, long look in that direction as we doubled back.


    Today"s awesome walk, 7.6 miles in 2:18, 15,732 steps
    7.6 miles in 2:18, 15,732 steps

    It definitely flew by and I had an awesome time. And since I picked her up, there wasn't any waiting around for either of us, which was nice.

    Unfortunately, the part that was shipped for the refrigerator repair guy to use was the wrong one. The label on the bag had the correct part number, but the wrong type of part was inside. It was something for a dryer. He won't be back until Tuesday. Here's Sam right when the guy told me, and he looks as disappointed as I felt.

    He just heard the fridge won"t be fixed until Tuesday.

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  • 11/12/16--06:11: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

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  • 11/12/16--06:57: Easy access
  • Of course while you're here, you can click on my page and click the "caturday" tag on the side to get to all the caturday posts, but I figured I should make a short link that's easy to remember, and more importantly, share. Tell your friends!

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  • 11/13/16--13:42: Dry feet are happy feet
  • When I was out with Melissa on Friday, I decided it was time to dump that pair of shoes. I got this picture today before they went in the trash, and figured out from older posts how far they went. 357 miles since July 19th. Not bad! I've gone farther with shoes, and I blame their premature death on all the time I've spend on the rocky beach in Mukilteo.

    New shoes/old shoes. The old ones lasted 357 miles, which I walked since July 19.

    Today's walk was really nice, but there wasn't much to see or take pictures of. In fact, I saw a flower I took a picture of a week ago. What are the odds that you'd spot a specific flower, a week later, on a long walk? The sunrise was subtle and fast.


    The cloud cover was cool. It had a fun, sci-fi texture.


    Today"s awesome walk, 7.55 miles in 2:24, 16,063 steps
    7.55 miles in 2:24, 16,063 steps

    I was pretty close to trying to break my Everett distance record today, which is 9.4 miles. But I also wanted to do it with dry feet, and ended up sinking into the marsh by the bird viewing areas today. And I was hungry. So maybe in a week I'll eat a real breakfast before heading out instead of just having a snack in the car. I've already determined that I can go as far as I want to at the park without getting my feet wet, so as long as the weather permits, I'm looking forward to breaking that record.

    And of course, I love a rainy dashcam video.

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  • 11/14/16--17:13: Large and in charge
  • My last tattoo appointment was two weeks ago and it's healed beautifully, so I went to the pool this morning. Lip Locked 357 was an awesome soundtrack, though this time there wasn't anything that jumped out at me as needing to be identified and found on YouTube later. Still, lots of good stuff and I recommend giving it a listen. It felt great to be back in the water and I'm happy to be back on my normal schedule for the next few weeks until my next appointment, which is December 2nd.

    I've been getting a lot of suggested posts on Facebook for slow cooker stuff, and really felt like doing a slow cooker recipe for tonight's dinner. I settled on this one, and went straight from the pool to WinCo to get what I needed. The smallest brisket they had was seven pounds, though, so I substituted a chuck roast. It's in the final phase of cooking now, so in a bit I'll finish it up.

    Happy to announce that I found a battery case for my phone. It's true that I found the camera attachment and a case for that, and it helps, but it's not ideal. You can turn the battery on by turning the camera on, but there's no rhyme or reason to how long it'll last when you do. So I searched again and suddenly some are available. I got this one, at a nice sale price on Amazon. I wish it was a little more rubbery like the Mophie, which made the Mophie easier to grip, but I'll take what I can get!


    Garrett and I had a really fun weekend and I'm sad it's over. But another one's coming very soon.

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  • 11/15/16--17:20: The weather we're known for
  • I don't complain when it rains here and don't understand people who do. It'd be like complaining that Phoenix is hot. It's a defining characteristic. The only weather I won't exercise in is snow, and thankfully we don't get much of that. Which isn't to say I won't adjust my plans if it rains. I was originally going to do the waterfront today, but wind and rain down there didn't sound like much fun, so I went to Lowell, which is less exposed. There was enough rain overnight that the waterfall that's part of the system that keeps the highway clear of water was gushing like crazy. It's too bad it was so dark I couldn't get a video or photo, because the water was shooting out. It was neat. Over at the Northernmost end of the trail, a few more inches of water would have lead to flooding.



    It was also weird when I got there, I saw two different people in the darkness wearing headlamps. One was a woman walking a dog on the paved trail I crossed paths with and exchanged good-mornings with, the other looked like a man jogging on the upper gravel trail. Strange that a spot where I rarely see anyone is suddenly popular when it's dark and wet.

    The new neighborhood's really taking shape, so I got that photo, but didn't bother with my normal shot across the river.


    Not sure what they're up to here, where they moved the trail over a bit. A grassy little play area? We'll see.


    The waterfall was still more active than usual when I got back, but this is nothing compared to when I got there. The water shot another two feet sideways, easily.


    Today"s awesome walk, 4.65 miles in 1:29, 9,925 steps
    4.65 miles in 1:29, 9,925 steps

    Today was quite long due to a conference call about open enrollment. I finally hung up after 90 minutes during the Q&A session. It was the type of webinar where you can see the presentation on your computer but they also make you call in on your phone for the audio portion. I've never understood why they do that. Thankfully we don't have to pay long distance charges any more.

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  • 11/16/16--17:55: Soggy sinuses
  • I much prefer treading water here at the neighborhood pool, but I still had a few swims left on my electronic punch card over at Snohomish, and hadn't been there in months. I think today was my first time since getting the CPAP; I avoided it for a while since my nostrils were raw when I got it and I knew the nose plug would hurt, then just never got back over there. But I was in the mood for it today, and went over. I was quite lucky to get a lane. There are ten, and I got the last one, even though many of them had several people. I think some of that was friends sharing a lane, and there were a couple of programs happening and I'm sure those are forced to put several people in each lane so they don't hog them all up. Thankfully nobody tried to join me in my lane, which is to be expected since I'm always the slowest lap swimmer.

    My nose plug is pretty good, but I still got pretty waterlogged. And my snorkel has a valve so you can blow water and drool out the bottom, but it seems to let in way more water than it should. Anyway, lap swimming is definitely a different kind of workout and I was pretty wiped by the end. The hot tub was nice, but their showers suck. The drive home was pretty.

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  • 11/17/16--16:35: The Thursday that vanished
  • Thursday is my beach day and I've noticed by the time that I get there on foot lately that there's a pretty good chance that the gates will be open, so I decided to try to park there today. They were open, and I did, but I still walked over to the lighthouse right away. A ferry pulled up just in time to be part of this lovely scene.


    And it was leaving as I passed on the way back by, so I got this. In case you can't tell, it's sped up. I do that with a lot of my Snapchat stuff.

    Back by where I parked, it was a lovely cotton candy dream of a morning. The only part I didn't like was all the other people and dogs.


    It was weird to see the tide so high that some of the huge driftwood became an island.


    It's rained so much lately that this area was flooded, which I've never seen before. Made for a cool photo, though.


    I could swear I hit Save properly on MapMyRun, but the route isn't there. I copied the one from a week ago, which was slightly shorter. No big deal. And no reason to show a map since it'd just be a copy.

    Got a pretty decent video today.

    One of Garrett's old friends is coming over this weekend, and Thanksgiving's coming up, so Garrett decided to splurge on a house cleaning service. They were supposed to be here from 2-4pm today, so when I saw Sam on my bed at 1:25, I saw a window of opportunity to get both cats easily into my room. I sat on my bed and started petting Sam, and when Steve saw me doing that, he came in and jumped up for some attention. I pet them both until they started grooming each other, then walked out, closing the door behind me.

    Unfortunately, the cleaners are having quite the day, and didn't show up until about 3:55. They said they saw Steve in the window and hopefully by now they're just napping. I'll be really grateful if they don't make any messes, but of course I won't blame them if they do.

    Thankfully our refrigerator upstairs was fixed yesterday, and Garrett cleaned it this morning, so I already moved almost everything we had to bring downstairs back where it belongs upstairs, and I'm so glad that's over. Obviously there are much worse problems to have, but cooking is a challenge when some ingredients are upstairs and some are down.

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  • 11/18/16--04:41: SchadenFriday

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  • 11/19/16--06:41: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

    Many thanks to:
    Animals Being Dicks
    Señor Gif
    k00l 4 k@+z
    Almost Famous Cats
    Cats, Beavers & Ducks
    Derpy Cats
    Every Day is Caturday
    Cats and Dogs
    Mostly Cats, Mostly
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 11/19/16--09:45: Something fishy
  • Yesterday when I pulled up to my parking space at the marina without having checked the weather, I wondered if I'd need my hat and gloves. That's when I noticed all the parked cars had frost on the windows. Before I even got out of the car, the inside of the driver's side window was nearly fogged over. The wooden parts of the pier were frosty, too.


    I saw signs all over the place for this boat, which is here for a week selling fresh fish and stuff. Can't say the timing's great, since most people are stuffing their refrigerators full of stuff for Thanksgiving, us included. Hopefully they'll be back often.


    I love their neon signs, which were really hard to get pictures of.


    The moon was bright and beautiful, but of course, it's impossible to get a good picture on a phone. However, sometimes you can incorporate it into a pretty decent one.


    Yesterday's special.


    There's been enough progress at the yacht club that the fences are down now.


    The sunset was minor and short-lived, but I got a couple of good shots.


    Yesterday"s awesome walk, 5.2 miles in 1:45, 11,450 steps
    5.2 miles in 1:45, 11,450 steps

    Thursday's walk finally appeared in my workout calendar, so I was able to delete the copy I made of the one from a week before. But at this point, I don't care enough to make the map.

    There's at least a couple of last glimpses of that sunrise in the video. And a very silly detour I took because I thought it would be easier to do a loop around a block instead of merge at the last second for a double lane closure in the road up ahead that ended up not even being there. There were more road closures where I turned, so it went on a lot longer than I thought it would. But that's fine. I saw some cool houses I hadn't seen before.

    Later on, I took our friend Barbara to lunch, the doctor, and the grocery store. It was all fine and dandy until the pharmacy took 45 minutes or so to fill the prescription. That's the very same pharmacy that inspired my decision to take all of my prescriptions via mail order. At least I got to see Barbara's cat Drama, who is very hard to photograph. She has two, but Zephyr usually hides when I come over.

    It"s so hard to get a good picture of Drama.

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  • 11/20/16--17:12: Another record smashed
  • My longest walk ever was 14.54 miles, four years ago in Seattle. Last August, I did 9.44 miles, which was my longest walk in Everett, until today.

    Today"s awesome walk, 10.2 miles in 3:02, 20,891 steps
    10.2 miles in 3:02, 20,891 steps

    One thing that helped was that it was a cold and wet morning and there really wasn't anything to stop and take pictures of, so I was fast. I saw a pretty amazing formation of geese toward the end, though.

    I was lucky that the final song of the walk was the perfect one to carry me through the last half mile.

    We had a lovely rest of the day. Went out for Vietnamese food for lunch, grabbed a few groceries, caught up on some cooking shows on the DVR, and just deep-fried a chicken. This was practice for the turkey we're doing on Thursday.

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  • 11/21/16--14:08: Back into it
  • Mondays aren't so bad these days. I've had awful jobs before and dreaded Mondays, but these days, things are going pretty great. And since my longest walk of the week is always on Sunday, it's great to spend an hour in the pool to get the week off to a good start. Today has been especially nice. We've been really busy the last couple of weeks getting ready for holiday promotions, which start Friday, and I've been helping out a lot. My boss has been gone for three weeks and returned today to accolades about me in her email, which was nice. Workwise, I suspect the rest of the week will be pretty quiet since a lot of people take the whole week of Thanksgiving off. Personally, I'd rather be at work when it's quiet if I'm not traveling.

    Here's the awesome dinner we had last night with that deep-fried chicken. On the side are a nine-grain salad and a spinach citrus salad, both from the QFC deli.


    Brined, deep-fried chicken is amazing. I make really good frozen tenderloins in a pan, and those will be a little less impressive from now on.

    Garrett wanted to see what my new haircut would be like with pomade instead of gel. It looks pretty good, but of course you have to worry more about messing it up. I'll still use gel when I'm leaving the pool for sure, and will continue experimenting with both products at home. Not at the same time or anything.

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  • 11/22/16--16:29: The good climb
  • My Japanese Gulch backup plan for when it's wet or dark (or both) is pretty great. I can climb several hundred feet and then get in as much distance as I want. You'll recognize the map for sure, I've done it several times. Being able to walk back and forth on the access road once I get to the top means I can go as far as I want, unless I get bored. But when it's dark, that's a great place to be.


    I thought about staying there just until some morning light arrived, then using the Rusty Car trail to get up to the West side. But I noticed quite a few puddles starting out, even up by the tracks, so I figured it would be quite muddy up there. Funnily enough, I just saw a Facebook post from the Japanese Gulch Group about how muddy it is.

    On my way down, I spotted a fallen tree I'm not sure I've seen before. It's hard to see how far away it is and how big it is, but I the photo from up by the tracks, and it's on the other side of the trail below. My guess is that it's 30 feet long, or more.


    There was a little bit of a rainbow on my way back down. You might be able to see it if you tilt your laptop or phone way back.

    There"s a rainbow in this photo

    My regular picture of the view looking up from the dog park. I should gather all these and do a slideshow sometime.


    Today"s awesome walk, 5.76 miles in 1:59, 12,880 steps, 429ft gain
    5.76 miles in 1:59, 12,880 steps, 429ft gain

    Previously I've heard dogs barking toward the South end and assumed they were with people who were camping, but after seeing tons of lights through the trees around there today, I realized those may have been guard dogs at some of the nearby businesses. You can see those properties to the left of the bottom portion of my route.

    As you know, I can't resist a good rainy video.

    Today after I was done with work I had to drive down to Bothell to pick up our turkey. We needed a fresh one to brine so it can be deep fried, so Garrett ordered it from a really cool natural foods store called PCC. There's one a little bit closer in Edmonds, but all of theirs were spoken for by the time he called. No big deal, as I've been wanting to get back down to Mill Creek to try a dish called hae dub bab I spotted on the menu at a sushi place a while back. They describe it as Korean chirashi, and that's pretty apt. It's a bowl of rice with greens, vegetables, and raw fish. They bring out a squeeze bottle of sauce and you mix the whole thing together. Quite tasty, and bigger than I expected or I wouldn't have ordered the oysters on the right.

    Hae dub bab, oyster tempura

    The menu said "oyster tempura" but instead it was a very heavy, crunchy coating. Not really what I was in the mood for, but you can't win them all.

    I made another video on the way home for the clouds. Usually I do 16x speed, but this one's at 32x.

    And I just finished my binge-watch of The Real World: Hollywood. I'd only ever seen a few minutes of it before, a very depressing fight that was really silly and escalated quickly. I had no idea I was in store for so much more, as one castmate did cocaine at a club and drank for hours trying to fall asleep, at which point he blacked out and threatened everyone. This was just a couple of days after he broke his sobriety and went into a tailspin, crying and saying he wanted to die. Totally terrifying. The producers agreed to send him to rehab, but once he came back, he didn't like being in the environment, and quit the show. Reading up on the show, I found out he ended up on a celebrity rehab show a few years later, and died shortly after that. A guy that several of the castmates worked with at an internship also died during filming. All of that, plus some of the awful treatment and behavior throughout, plus a very scary altercation outside a club, made for a season I'm glad to be finished with.

    They're playing the first season again soon, which will be fun to see. I'd like to re-watch the first Seattle one, plus Boston, Chicago, and Return to New York, and see all the others I never saw. They're such interesting pop culture artifacts, even if I can't stand the fact that the producers clearly have a "no fatties" policy when it comes to casting.

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  • 11/23/16--14:55: "I prefer rum and ass."
  • Anna Kiss, whose Lip Locked podcast episodes I've been listening to in the pool, is a very versatile DJ and plays all modern dance genres. I got a major reminder of that with episode 354, which was a drum and bass episode. It's not completely accurate to say I hate drum and bass, but I'll definitely say it's the most repetitive music I've ever heard. People think all electronic music is repetitive, but DnB is really the one where it almost all sounds the same. With my rave friends, I used to joke that every song was, "tictic tictic BWOM BWOM BWOM, tictic tictic BWOM BWOM BWOM, and hearing an hour of it today really brought me back to that.

    That said, it's pretty decent music to tread water to. It's a lot faster than the stuff than I usually hear, so I had to kick pretty fast to keep up. I took a few breaks where I went half time, but for the most part I was really working. And I was surprised to hear a song that really stood out.

    I just liked it a lot because it had so much more than the normal tics and bwoms and occasional female vocals. It really sounds like some awesome '80s stuff like The Police all chewed up and spit out by electronic aliens. I was also surprised later on in the podcast to hear a song with male vocals. Very rare for DnB in my experience. But I didn't like that song enough to bother finding it.

    Lately I've been swimming in a Speedo brand suit that's pretty nice, even if it just barely fits. The elastic in the leg holes is a little tight, but not so much that it's painful. But I still wanted to try one of my other ones that recently arrived.

    Clearly that isn't me in the photo. I like that suit a lot. It's colorful, but not enough that I feel like it's screaming "LOOK AT ME!" The fabric is nice and stretchy, and there's a drawstring, which I prefer. The suits I've had with waistbands feel great, but the tops eventually start folding over, which is annoying. The only issue with this suit so far is that the leg hole on the right side is a little bit loose. Something to be conscientious about, especially when exiting the pool. But that may be an issue with just that one, so I ordered two more. Solid black and solid blue. The Speedo was nearly $30 and each of these is only $7.50 or so, so it's really not a big deal to try more out.

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  • 11/25/16--04:24: SchadenFriday

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  • 11/25/16--04:59: Wet and busy
  • A lot of people think of days off from work as an opportunity to sleep in and skip their workouts, but that's just not me. I get up at the same time because I don't want to have a hard time falling asleep later on, and my walks and swims are the best part of the day. I walk rain or shine, and Thanksgiving 2016 was a real test of that. According to Garrett's weather station, we had 1.77 inches of rain.


    I got completely soaked, and there weren't really many opportunities for photos, though I did my usual amount of Snapchat. It's a fun way to pass the time even if there's not a lot to see. One thing I discovered yesterday is that the walkways over at Mukilteo Beach Park don't have very good drainage and had a couple of inches of water on them. Thankfully I saved that bit for last.

    Yesterday"s awesome walk, 6.06 miles in 2:02, 13,298 steps
    6.06 miles in 2:02, 13,298 steps

    My hat head once I got home was a thing of beauty. Very appropriate that it looked so much like a turkey on Thanksgiving.

    The dinner turned out to be quite the ordeal. I drove all the way out to Bothell on Tuesday to pick up what was supposed to be a fresh turkey, only to discover it was mostly frozen. You can still brine a frozen bird, but it has to be checked a lot because you leave it out of the refrigerator because the salt in the brine will never let it thaw otherwise. Garrett still had to give it a water bath in the end.

    It always seems on Thanksgiving morning like there's so much time, but suddenly everything comes hard and fast. There was so much cooking to do, even without the contingency chicken thighs Garrett baked in case the turkey wasn't great. I swear it took me half an hour just to peel and cut up the potatoes I later mashed.

    Bev and Dennis came, along with my nieces and our friend Claire, with her mom. We set up two tables because we were ready for my niece's husband and son, but she left them behind at her mother-in-law's place. Bev ended up sitting with them at the small table, so the rest of us had tons of room at the main one, which we put the leaf in anyway just so it'd be nice and roomy. They eventually joined us at the big table for dessert.

    I didn't get any photos, except one to thank my friend Holly again via text message for the rabbit-shaped dish, which we always serve carrots in. She brought it over as a housewarming present a couple of years ago and it's on display at all times next to the toaster oven.


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  • 11/26/16--06:01: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

    Many thanks to:
    Animals Being Dicks"
    Señor Gif
    k00l 4 k@+z
    Almost Famous Cats
    Cats, Beavers & Ducks
    Derpy Cats
    Every Day is Caturday
    Cats and Dogs
    Mostly Cats, Mostly
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 11/27/16--14:37: Back at it
  • I came home from my Thursday walk completely soaked, so I washed all of my gear, including my shoes. I meant to grab my shoes off the drying rack in the master bath before going to bed that night, but forgot, so I was awake and ready to go, but didn't want to wake Garrett up in order to get my shoes. He sleeps in the master, you see. I knew my normal pool was closed for the holiday, but was surprised to find out Snohomish Aquatic Center was open. The best part was getting there and finding it nearly empty. Most of the swimmers took the day off, including the swim teams that are there in the morning. Perfect.

    There was one other guy in the ten-lane lap pool when I entered. Instead of using the snorkel like I normally do when I'm there, I just treaded water while moving back and forth through the pool, basically "walking" through the water. Since I wasn't sharing the lane, I went backward half the time, which also helped me avoid awkward eye contact with the lifeguard. After my hour was up, I hit the hot tub for a few minutes to warm up (the pool is cold and the showers are cold) before heading over to WinCo. It's too bad I forgot to clear out old videos from my phone, because I think the video of the drive from the swim center to WinCo would have turned out nicely if it hadn't failed six minutes in due to the lack of space to save it. But I got the drive home from there.

    An extra swim Friday was a fine plan anyway, since I have a tattoo appointment this Friday and will have to take a couple of weeks off.

    Yesterday was a nice visit at my brother's place, though my sister-in-law went a little crazy with the food. So much stuff and of course you have to try a little of each.

    Lately my alarm is set for 4:00am Monday-Friday and 4:30 Sunday. I often wake up at 4:07, which always makes me think of commercials for DisneyWorld, because the number in those commercials was always 1-407-W-DISNEY. Just like I doubt I'll ever forget the ZIP for Pueblo, CO is 81009. After my coffee, I had a bit of a hard time getting out of the house because I couldn't find anything. I'm keeping my gear downstairs in my office for now, and forgot that I already moved the Body Glide to the downstairs bathroom. Then I couldn't find my keys, which I put in the pocket of my hoodie because I had to go downstairs to use the Body Glide before putting on the rest of my clothes. The rest of the week will be easier.

    I never run the dash cam on my way out to the island, but I wish I did today. An owl flew in front of me, just a few feet away from the windshield, swooping around gracefully and landing on a sign. I pulled over to try to get a photo, but it left before I could get my phone ready. There's no guarantee I'd have been able to get a decent video of everything if the dash cam was on, but it would have been cool to see.

    My route today was almost backwards because I wanted to do the island toward the end. So I walked North first and saw that part of the river in the dark for the first time. Of course I couldn't really see the grassy part very well, so I stopped at the dock where the pavement ends.


    The rest of the trail was its usual gorgeous self.


    This is where the gate was with a sign saying not to walk any further, but they've removed the gate! They could have just opened it, but it's gone completely now. They also did some maintenance West of there so I was able to walk through without getting my feet all wet.


    I saw huge banks of fog rolling in everywhere I looked, and it got colder while I was there, but unfortunately it never actually got foggy.


    And I always love when the opportunity to play with the reflections arise.


    Yesterday"s awesome walk, 9.75 miles in 3:08, 20,863 steps
    9.75 miles in 3:08, 20,863 steps

    Last week I did 10.2, which was a new Everett record, and could have easily beat that today. But my feet and back were ready to head home and I don't really need to get into the mindset that every week needs to be more than the one before. That leads to weird thinking. 9.75 miles is a very long walk and there's no reason to feel like it's not enough. It's plenty.

    I almost didn't include this video, but I thought it was cool that I drove alongside the Amtrak Cascades train eight seconds in. I saw it from the car, but again, couldn't get the phone ready in time.

    Today was a great day for birds. Of course I saw the owl, and another I couldn't get a video of was a bald eagle I saw toward the end. I got another good video of an osprey, though, with sound.

    And check out this insanely long formation!

    Garrett just put up the Christmas tree upstairs, which is appropriate because this popped up in TimeHop today.

    That means it's time for me to put together the downstairs one. I love that tree, but it's in 50 or so pieces. Seems like they could have fused some of those pieces together so it wouldn't take as long to put it up.

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