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  • 12/15/16--16:50: Thursdaze
  • I'm glad today is here. No commitments after two very busy days is pretty great. Yesterday's two errands became five, and I was gone for five hours doing them. At least I got to show Barbara where the lion house is now.


    I can't remember if I said we've changed the cats' feeding schedules. They used to eat at lunchtime and bedtime, and now it's at breakfast and dinner. They should like it more because it's spread out more evenly but they've given us tons of grief about it. Here's Steve pouting last night.


    This morning I got to the tank farm nice and early. It was cold, but not as bad as that really cold day at Langus. I can feel it in my thigh muscles, but it doesn't hurt. The moon is still amazing.


    I took a picture of this from further away on Sunday but wanted to see it from closer to show how big it really is.


    Today"s awesome walk, 4.5 miles in 1:27, 9,636 steps
    4.5 miles in 1:27, 9,636 steps

    All of my air hanging air plant clumps died except for one ionantha plant from the faux clump that was actually several individual plants held together by a wire. I decided on Friday I wanted a couple more, and they arrived today. This is one of them, a Houston, with the cute business card that was in the box.


    My first batch of zucchini pickles is chilling in the fridge. I hope they're good!


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  • 12/16/16--04:17: SchadenFriday

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  • 12/17/16--06:11: 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
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 12/18/16--14:23: Snowed in
  • We were supposed to go to the casino with Bev and Dennis yesterday (they're my inlaws if you're new) but it started snowing a couple of hours before time to go, and they called to cancel. It continued snowing all day, and when I looked out the window at 4am today, everything was still pretty snowy. I went back to bed, and based on the amount of snow that was still around, plus what the forecast called for, we canceled our plans today. I feel bad, because due to a misunderstanding, my friend thought until yesterday that I was picking her up for the show today. That was cleared up, but then I told her today we weren't going at all. Hopefully she's having a great time, this is her first Dina Martina Christmas Show.

    We had a great time yesterday at home, though, and today's been nice as well. We took a Blue Apron delivery this week and I made the first of the three dishes for lunch. Pork chops with roasted Brussels sprout freekeh salad and a clementine chutney. Very tasty. And the mise en place was pretty.

    Mise en place

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  • 12/19/16--16:39: Encroachment
  • I noticed a sign at the front desk at the pool last week alerting us to a high school swim team that would be using the pool for a week. It didn't really matter to me, because they'd be using three lanes, and I don't swim in a lane at that pool. Plus they'd be there from 6:30-7:30, so I'd be in the pool when they arrived, and I'd be gone when they got out. Today turned out to be the first day. They normally only have three or four lanes set up, but today they went all the way across, six lanes. The students used the first three, the rest of the lap swimmers used the next two, and the folks who like the shallow end but not for lap swimming used that last lane as a small version of the territory they normally have. I'm sure the lap swimmers didn't like it much, but it's just for a week.

    The high schoolers weren't the only group that's not normally there.


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  • 12/21/16--05:21: Go for the glow
  • I'm starting to really like the marina for walking because I can get there as early as I like and not have to worry about it being open yet, like with the parks. I had handymen coming this morning and wasn't sure how early they'd be, so I wanted to be home and showered as early as possible. Maybe the heron who always squawks and flies away when I turn this corner but didn't this time was still asleep.


    It was extremely windy, and the Boeing glow was very impressive because the clouds were swirling a lot up above.


    I should have muted the audio on this video before hitting save.

    Today's special.


    Yesterday"s awesome walk, 5.29 miles in 1:38, 11,129 steps
    5.29 miles in 1:38, 11,129 steps

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  • 12/22/16--08:49: Food, friends, and fun
  • Tuesday afternoon was nice. I picked Barbara up and we met Dale down at Arnie's for a very belated birthday lunch with him. Over a month late. But he'd taken a trip and she's had all her doctor appointments. The accident they were in last week was deemed his fault, which makes sense because he never saw the car that hit them coming, which means he couldn't see into the lane they were crossing. It's pretty obvious the other car was speeding, but that can't really be proved. Anyway, he'd gotten that news in the morning and really didn't want to come out, but he felt a lot better after walking to the ferry and standing on deck as it crossed, plus we had a great time and I gave him an air plant in a stained glass setting. He's an accomplished stained glass maker and really liked it. We didn't take photos during, but the views were amazing, and we left just in time to see the start of the sunset.


    Dinner was a nice and easy Indian one. Chicken samosas, chicken tikka masala, and palak paneer (from frozen) plus some cottage cheese and a whole wheat pita split between us. Good stuff. I love cottage cheese with spicy stuff.

    Last night"s dinner

    My swim today was really nice. The swim team was there and respectfully used their three lanes. There were probably about eight guys per lane, so it was funny to see some of the other swimmers baffled by the prospect of getting 2-3 in the other lanes. But I also swear, so many of the guys that swim do 10-15 minutes tops and spend the vast majority of the time there talking and sitting in the sauna and hot tub. The very full pool was a good excuse to stand around in the water and talk.

    I was just glad I had my earbuds, the sound of a coach yelling annoys me so much.

    Later on I spotted the best Christmas decoration I've seen in a while.


    For lunch I got to try something totally new. The pho-rrito! They've been around in Los Angeles and other places for a while, but I spotted one on a local place's Yelp recently and was very excited to try it. It's funny, though. They haven't updated their online menu or Facebook, there's just a customer photo someone put on Yelp. That's what brought me in for it, and I heard the next two people after me come in and it was obvious they'd also seen that customer photo. Pretty wild.

    Pardon the bite mark. I hate photos of food with a bite taken, but that was the only way to show what it was.


    For dinner, I made our third Blue Apron meal of the week, chicken khao soi. Very good dish and of course it was a lot of work like theirs always are. And I very nearly served it without a major ingredient! I was about to put the crispy pan-fried noodles on top when I spotted the packet of coconut palm sugar on the counter. Luckily I was able to dump everything back in a pot, add it and mix it, then re-plate. I used two new bowls instead of wiping them out because I was in a hurry. No biggie.


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  • 12/22/16--11:17: The holidays begin
  • I had a nice, early walk at the tank farm this morning, but didn't want to stay too long because I had a lot of stuff to do.

    Today"s awesome walk, 4.58 miles in 1:27, 9,732 steps
    4.58 miles in 1:27, 9,732 steps

    It was still dark when I left, so I didn't take any pictures. Still managed to have some fun with Snapchat, though. Yesterday I finally got their newest feature, which lets you create your own image stickers from photos. Not physical ones, but your own personal library to go along with the emojis and bitmojis. It's not really easy to use yet and one problem is that you can't delete them out of the library, but as with everything else on there, it'll get better. One thing I really appreciate about Snapchat is that they're always making it more fun to use and adding extra stuff. Instagram is, too, but mostly just by copying Snapchat.

    When I got home, I took out the garbage and recycling, showered, then got dressed so I could get gas for my car and go to the grocery store for dishwashing liquid. We'll go through lots of dishes this weekend, and I definitely didn't want to run out. There's also a sale right now, four Red Baron pizzas for $10, so that's a nice addition to the chest freezer in the garage. There was also some seafood salad 50% off in the manager's special area, so I ate a seafood salad wrap for breakfast. Wish I knew while I was at the store that we only had two tortillas left.

    There were some very neat clouds out while I was there.


    I never really noticed how awesome these trees across the street from the store are. I love when a photo looks like an ink drawing.


    I wrapped a present for Garrett today and the paper lined up perfectly. This was so intensely satisfying.


    A friend's coming over to stay the night and we've got a big piece of pork in the slow cooker to make sandwiches of later. Garrett took today off and we're both off tomorrow and Monday. Looking forward to the break.

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  • 12/23/16--09:57: SchadenFriday

  • Slow week, add some in the comments!

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  • 12/24/16--04:31: 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
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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    My brother and sister-in-law aren't coming today, and neither are one niece's husband and son (probably), so it no longer made sense to have Bev and Dennis show up for breakfast and then also host a lunch later. Now we'll be doing brunch with Bev and Dennis arriving at 11:00 for gift exchange and the nieces joining at noon. There's so much food. Since nobody was showing up early, that meant I could go out for a walk this morning, which wasn't the original plan. I decided to go over to the very affluent neighborhoods around 92nd in Mukilteo, hoping to see some good Christmas lights. The drive over was one of the foggiest of my life.

    The neighborhoods were surprisingly free of lights. There were some here and there, but not to the degree that I expect rich people to turn out. Rich people are generally disappointing, though.

    Because it was Christmas, I decided to finally follow the access road where the Big Gulch trail head is all the way to the end, where the water treatment plant is, figuring nobody would be around to care. The gate is pretty far from the building, though, so in the dark I could just see a fence and some lighting. Oh well. I'm sad to report that my lower back and left knee started hurting when I began the climb back up, so that was slow and miserable.


    Today"s awesome walk, 3.5 miles in 1:20, 8,320 steps, 339ft gain
    3.5 miles in 1:20, 8,320 steps, 339ft gain

    The drive home, while less dramatic, was still pretty neat. I especially liked how the fog got so thick as I approached our neighborhood.

    Because I wasn't planning to walk today, I walked yesterday, too. Really early. Langus Riverfront Park is perfect in the dark, though, and for the most part, I didn't see anyone.


    There were some people in a boat with flashlights, but we managed to stay pretty far away from each other the entire time I could see them. I didn't see anyone else until right after I took this.


    After that, I saw tons of people rowing with a coach. Guess Saturday's the big day for that, which makes sense.

    Yesterday"s awesome walk, 6.8 miles in 2:09, 14,433 steps
    6.8 miles in 2:09, 14,433 steps

    While I was out yesterday, Garrett did all the prep for today's meal. Then we visited his grandma, then had dinner with Bev and Dennis. Pretty great weekend!

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  • 12/25/16--18:13: Merry Christmas!
  • Christmas2016

    Setup and outtakes here.

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  • 12/26/16--18:53: Almost done
  • This business of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day all falling on the weekend seemed dumb at first, but my work is taking the Fridays and Mondays before and after off. Two four-day weekends in a row with a 3-day week in between sounds pretty great to me! It's a bummer that I need to work all afternoon tomorrow, but I'll survive.

    I figured today might be pretty quiet over at Snohomish Aquatic Center, so I swam there after accidentally sleeping in a bit. It was quite busy after all, with US Masters there when I arrived and a high school swim team arriving about halfway through my swim. I had to switch lanes because of them, but I still had a lane to myself the entire time.

    The drive home was cool. I raced the Amtrak Cascades and saw some really awesome clouds.

    It took a while, but this strata I made for breakfast out of Christmas leftovers was worth the wait.

    Strata made from Christmas leftovers

    A strata is a pretty cool option if you happen to need to use up some bread, eggs, and cream. You can add any number of things. I used this recipe as a guideline but today's had green onions, carrots, celery, pickled pepper rings, cheddar, and ham. Good stuff.

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  • 12/27/16--16:44: Zzzz
  • The hardest part of a long weekend is falling asleep at a reasonable time on the last night of it. I slept in until 5:40 or so on Monday because I forgot to set my alarm, so when bedtime came last night, I wasn't quite ready for it. So it wasn't the longest night of sleep ever, but I wanted to get out for a nice long walk because I knew I'd be on conference calls all afternoon. When I decided I wanted to go really far, I decided Langus was the place. I've come to really like the strange beauty in the darkness there.



    There was a really neat effect on the water this morning, when the wind, shadows, and light all combined to make everything flutter. This video is a small glimpse of the show I enjoyed for quite a while.

    Today"s awesome walk, 7.93 miles in 2:25, 16,481 steps
    7.93 miles in 2:25, 16,481 steps

    I've been hanging out there in the dark for a while, so I haven't been going over to the island. Today I figured, I may as well do it, and just turn back once I got to the Easternmost part. The trail is usually pretty overgrown South of there, so it wouldn't be fun in the dark. It was nice to be there again today.

    Testing ended a little earlier than I originally planned for today, due to an oversight. We could have kept going, but we would have had to re-test some things, so it made sense to quit for the day. Which was fine, as I was exhausted.

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  • 12/28/16--17:04: Denied, denied again
  • Had a very good Wednesday swim, though I got there half an hour later than normal. I was close to the end of a work project I was helping out on, and decided it'd be better to finish and send it out than try to get back on it later. It was the repetitive, tedious type I'm becoming known as the go-to guy for, and it's easy to keep going once there's a rhythm established.

    The swim center installed a fancy towel warmer.

    The swim center installed a fancy towel warmer

    I also took an early lunch before finishing the day with a couple more hours in the afternoon. Garrett left his phones and wallet at home, so once I was at a good stopping place in the tests my boss was helping me with, I ran those to him, and then headed to the new sushi restaurant and lounge in our old neighborhood that I've been wanting to check out. It was not meant to be. Their hours are weekdays are silly, 2pm-midnight. If they don't want to do lunch service, 2pm seems like a weird time to open. I just checked, and the first happy hour of the day is 3-6pm, so there's just this first hour that's not lunch or happy hour. Huh.

    I may have mentioned that my dream is to win the lottery and open an '80s theme bar here in Everett. That lounge is one of the locations that's been empty a long time that I thought might be good for it, but I see today that it'd be a pain. Their parking lot is really small compared to the size of the building, and they have valet service according to all the reviews.

    Since that didn't work out, I decided to finally have a look at another of the potential locations I've had my eye on. It's a Mexican seafood restaurant in an upstairs location that might have some cool views, and I always liked the cheesy neon that's all over the building. Now I'm curious if the space might be available again soon. Their website is offline, and when I got there today, there were two people at tables off to the side, nobody came up to greet me, and the kitchen was dark. And they definitely didn't fix the place up when they moved in a year or so ago. Really run down with depressing old carpets, filthy, with furniture that looks like it's about to fall apart. So I left and got a burger at our neighborhood bar. Always a good choice, especially since burgers are half price at lunch on weekdays.

    Before anyone asks why I don't just try to open a bar, it's because I doubt it'd do well and I wouldn't want to lose everything trying. It's the kind of project I'd like to do if it didn't really matter.

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  • 12/29/16--13:52: LJ PSA: time for DW
  • I'm always the first one to turn my nose up and shrug at whatever people are worried about online, but I'm deeply invested enough here now and also worried about Russian politics more than ever. It's pretty easy to see how our journals could finally be swept up in an argument we're not even part of. I just copied my LJ using the steps below, and it took less than two minutes to set up. I do a lot of my chores on Thursday, so I may as well make Thursday the day each week that I update my backup over there. I'd really rather not have to switch to that site entirely, but at least it's all set up should the need arise.
    Originally posted by dr_tectonic at LJ PSA: time for DW

    For those who still occasionally use or have fond memories of LiveJournal:

    It sounds like there's a non-zero chance that Russian political shenanigans are happening that could cause LJ to implode in the relatively near future. Details:

    Even if you're never intending to post there again, I would encourage everybody who's still got an LJ account to import it to DreamWidth. It's a chunk of our collective shared history, and I think it would be a shame to lose it.

    And, more importantly, you can do it easily and for free.
    1) Go to DreamWidth and make a new free account:
    2) Log in
    3) Go to the Import Journal page, give it your LJ login info, and click the buttons:

    That's it!

    Do your part to help out future historians. And give sentimental softies like me the ability to look back with fond nostalgia on our shared past by reading old entries. :)

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  • 12/29/16--16:17: Looking ahead
  • Today was a fairly typical Thursday down at the tank farm, but the tide was very high so there was no beach over at the Mukilteo side. It was dark the entire time and I didn't see much, but I'm quite happy with the one photo I took.


    Today"s awesome walk, 4.76 miles in 1:34, 10,340 steps
    4.76 miles in 1:34, 10,340 steps

    One thing I suddenly see every time I'm there or at Langus is a very long row of red aviation lights on a distant hillside. They stretch for what looks like a mile or more, but it's hard to estimate. I can't tell exactly where they are, so I also can't tell how close one might be able to get to them, but I've got tomorrow off from work and have decided it's time to finally find out. I'll get up, make some breakfast while the coffee's brewing, and head out as soon as I can. Tonight I'll study the map and add some pins where I think I need to head. Thankfully there aren't may roads out that way so the odds are pretty good I'll find it.

    I'll also be on the lookout for backup walk locations out that way. If I can't get close enough for a good look, I may as well not waste all the driving. It might be close to the Lime Kiln Train, which I'd like to see again, but it might not be a good winter destination.

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  • 12/30/16--11:39: SchadenFriday

  • Guess my project this weekend should be to find some new sources.

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  • 12/31/16--07:23: 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
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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    Somewhere Northwest of Everett on the lower part of a very long big hill or small mountain is a row of red lights I assume is meant to stop planes from crashing on their way into the Arlington. I can see it from Mukilteo as well as from Langus and I really want to get a closer look. It appears to stretch for at least a mile, so if there's a way to get there, it might make for a cool walk. Since I had the day off yesterday, I decided to head out early and try to find it. It didn't go so well. It might have, if it weren't for the thick fog. For all I know, I was right by them at some point in my two-hour, forty-minute adventure. At one point I gave up and went to a nature preserve in Arlington, but it was too dark to explore somewhere I'd never been. So I gave up and went to Langus. It was a nice change of pace since I've been there in the dark so much recently.


    I took tons of photos, so click over to flickr if you'd like to see more than what's here.


    A nice fog was rolling in on the island side, so I went over there even though I wasn't originally planning to.

    Yesterday"s first awesome walk, 5.12 miles in 2:00, 12,322 steps
    5.12 miles in 2:00, 12,322 steps

    The fog, surprisingly, was really thick back in town and especially at home.

    I was surprised to see Garrett's car was gone when I got home, as the original plan for the day was for him to catch an Uber to work and get a ride to the happy hour he took his team to, which I'd join them for, and drive home. I decided while I was having lunch at the buffet that I'd walk, and drive us home in his car. I've always kind of wanted to walk down there, even though it's on a busy street the whole way. The other time I thought about it was Dennis and Bev's anniversary, and I didn't want to show up soaked in rain for that. Yesterday was really nice, though.

    It would have been a really nice walk, but my lower back was really stiff. I enjoyed the scenery in spite of the pain.


    Yesterday"s second awesome walk, 5.76 miles in 1:52, 12,364 steps, 364ft gain
    5.76 miles in 1:52, 12,364 steps, 364ft gain

    The left side of the map should look pretty familiar because I'm down there most Thursdays, and Japanese Gulch is close to the 5-mile mark. The happy hour was lots of fun. Everything's always tasty at Arnie's and the views are great. I also really like Garrett's team. And we don't really do New Year's Eve so it was nice to get out for a bit.

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