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  • 03/18/17--16:10: Fri(end)day
  • Yesterday was just lovely. Since I skipped the Thursday walk, I went to my normal spot yesterday because it just doesn't seem like a complete week if I don't go down to the tank farm. I always love this accidental plaid pattern caused by the shadows on the fence between the train station parking lot and the tracks.

    20170317_054135



    The other dude that is always there seems to arrive at 6am pretty consistently. I don't think he replied when I said good morning the first time we passed, but the next time, he was talking on the phone and waved hello with his cane. Strange to be on the phone so early. A little game I play when walking is minimizing encounters with people, so after passing him twice, I walked toward the dead end and back, then changed directions.

    This is the train station. I just felt like getting a good photo of it, and a nice square crop on Instagram.

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    I've always loved getting photos of the trees there lit up. This one was more subtle because it was brighter out than last time.

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    The photo I wanted and the photo I took to crop down to make it.

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    There wasn't really a sunrise but the other side of the sky had some nice color.

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    I always see a face in this building and I figured out which face it is.

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    Today's awesome walk, 6.34 miles in 2:03, 13,588 steps
    6.34 miles in 2:03, 13,588 steps

    On the way home, I stopped for a photo of the progress at the Lion House's new location. It's coming along nicely.

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    The gorgeous view from the small parking area above the beach.

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    And here's what's being built on the land where the Lion House was. Hm.

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    I got a haircut when my barber opened at 9am and I'm very happy with my hair right now. The top is long enough that I didn't even put pomade in it after I got home and took a shower. I just pushed it to the side every once in a while with wet hands and it stayed just how I wanted to. Here's one of the views from the chair, her shop is wild.

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    Originally I made plans to have lunch with lisaloopner on Thursday, but realized that was silly since I already had a solo Friday lunch plan. Lisa agreed to join me for that, so we went to Cafe Dijon. I chose it because my friend Kristen was running a pop-up shop at an event at RenewWorks all day, and I told her I'd come visit and bring her lunch. She likes Cafe Dijon and I wanted to try it, so it was the ideal choice. Their food is great and I'll definitely be back.

    RenewWorks is a consignment shop with lots of really lovely furniture and antiques. I don't currently have any needs in those areas but it was fun to browse, and I found this nice owl for my friend Jenn's collection. I'm so glad she's very fast to respond on Facebook messenger so I can shoot her a photo when I find an owl and know within a minute whether I should buy it for her.

    Owl

    I'm very excited for Kristen. She has another pop-up tomorrow at Pottery Barn in Bellevue. Their visual merchandising department worked with to integrate her products with theirs, which is a really cool idea. I hope it goes very well and that they send her to the other locations or ask her to do a product line or something.

    Lisa saw a post in a local bird watching group about an eagle's nest at Legion Park, so we went over there next to try to find it. We never did, but here's a rare sighting of a hummingbird sitting on a branch.

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    We took the scenic route back home so I could show Lisa around. First the marina, then we drove the crazy loops around the Port Gardner neighborhood, where we happened upon an estate sale. This dog watched over us as we parked the car down the street.

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    Much of what was for sale was very overpriced, like this miniature Mac that originally came with an American Girl doll. They wanted $45 for it. Rawr! I'm a giant!

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    Yo dawg, I heard you like tiny bags. We put a tiny bag tag on a tiny bag so you can hold a tiny bag while you hold a tiny bag.

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    We also went by the Lion House so Lisa could see it as well as the road it was moved on. Lisa headed home and I came inside. The house smelled great because Garrett's corned beef was in the slow cooker. It was delicious.

    Garrett's corned beef and cabbage!

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  • 03/19/17--12:08: In the thick of it
  • I noticed before leaving the house that there was a very thick fog enveloping the neighborhood, and I briefly thought about going to Lowell just in case it was more foggy than Langus, but I wanted to get my distance in, so I headed North, as usual. It was a shockingly thick fog, making it impossible to see more than a block or two. That stresses a lot of people out, but it's never bothered me. If there's no danger of sliding around on the road, I'm fine with having to focus and slow down a bit. A couple of blocks before the end of Broadway, I was suddenly out of it. There was no transition at all, it was like driving through a curtain. It bummed me out a bit, because I worried it wouldn't be foggy during the walk, but I always forget that to get there, I have to go really far North and then double back. There was plenty of fog the entire walk.

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    Photographic proof of the visibility. It's so weird to see the path you're on vanish not that far away.

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    I love spiderwebs in the fog. I bet there were a lot of really good ones at the marina today.

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    No clue why I never noticed the cute little creature this structure looks like before. Reminds me of some of the creatures on The Herculoids, an '80s cartoon.

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    They've been maintaining the loop path on the island really well so I followed it today. The bridges were really icy but luckily they all have rails on the side so it's easy to penguin-walk across while holding on.

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    If you zoom in, you can see the sun between the trees here.

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    A bit more visible here.

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    I don't remember seeing these before, but I love the color.

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    Interstate 5 bridge before and after a train arrived. I park here so I was there for a bit while I reviewed my Snapchat story and reviewed everyone else's.

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    Speaking of which, I realized as I went to bed last night that Snapchat helped me mostly break one of my really bad habits, which I called "rough drafting." For the last couple of years, I always found myself composing these blog posts as the events happened, basically narrating what was happening, in the past tense. It really annoyed me, but I couldn't shake it. But I noticed that as I'm telling the same story on Snapchat, I'm living in the moment more and more, and it's been a long time since I obsessed over how I would type things out later on. One more benefit of the spontaneous and ephemeral nature of Snapchat.

    Today's awesome walk, 8.61 miles in 2:52, 18,851 steps
    8.61 miles in 2:52, 18,851 steps



    The Sunday after St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite days of the year because Garrett makes Corned Beef Hash. He's upstairs making it now, and I'm so excited to eat it.


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  • 03/20/17--10:53: Just a little too late
  • When I was in the pool this morning, the sky to the South was really purple, or at least looked that way. I'm curious if those windows are tinted. The bright orange sunlight broke shined through a gap between the mountains and the clouds, and lit woods next to the building brilliantly. Zoey, the swim center cat, sat tall and proud on one of the lifeguard chairs, keeping an eye on everything.



    By the time I came back out of the locker room after showering, Zoey was asleep or well on her way there.

    Zoey snoozing

    The sun was already blocked by the clouds when I came outside, too.

    20170320_075007


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  • 03/21/17--14:38: Early and dark
  • I was wide awake at 2:00 today but that's far too early to give up and get out of bed. Lots of people stay up that late! I watched a little TV and maybe got another hour of sleep, tops. I felt pretty refreshed at 4:00 when the alarm went off, though so I was up and out nice and early after I had my first cup of coffee. Even though it was raining quite a bit, I was still in the mood for the marina.

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    That makes it hard to find much to take photos of, but I got a few.

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    The daily special. More on this later.

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    You know I love a good vanishing point as well as a good flip.

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    Today's awesome walk, 5.71 miles in 1:49, 12,199 steps
    5.71 miles in 1:49, 12,199 steps

    I've been meaning to try eating at that market and today was finally the day. It turns out, my suspicion that all the photos I've gotten of that sign were of the previous day's special was correct. I didn't try this one, though.

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    I'd talk more about the lunch I had, but I decided I'll save it for a guest blog post I'll write for a local blog.

    We've been watching the new version on One Day at a Time on Netflix and love it, so I decided to get the original series from them on DVD. It was a huge hit when I was a kid and I remembered the premise and the characters, but couldn't have told you about any of the episodes. It's interesting to see, they used the same apartment layout for the remake as the original.


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  • 03/22/17--11:28: Fantastic Followups
  • Years ago I noticed that a few of my favorite songs were singles released next after that band's signature hit. Songs I prefer to those hits. But of course I never sat down to compile a list. I decided to today after susandennis mentioned the show/idiom The Life of Riley, which happens to be one of the examples I thought of. But I'm surprised I could only think of four when I set out to try. Maybe you can think of some? It's a matter of taste, of course, otherwise the ones in column three would have been even bigger hits.




    Band

    Huge Hit Song

    Better Followup
    Urge Overkill Girl, You'll be a Woman Soon   Positive Bleeding
    Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer Big Time
    Fastball The Way Fire Escape
    Lightening Seeds   Pure The Life of Riley

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  • 03/23/17--11:57: Dramatic skies
  • There used to be a sign for a snack bar at the marina that you pass on your way to Langus Riverfront Park and Spencer Island. I wanted to eat there yesterday as part of my research for a post I'm planning to submit to a local blog, but when I got there, I couldn't find one. I distinctly remember hot dogs being listed on that sign, and that was the bare minimum I was looking for. You can buy cold drinks and a few things like chips and beef jerky at one of the marine shops, and the marina office has some vending machines, but those don't really fit the bill. On the way out, I confirmed, the sign's gone. Oh well. The sky was pretty amazing.

    20170322_123015



    Same shot, with the wide-angle lens.

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    Since I was already so far North, I kept going and ended up at an Asian buffet in Marysville. I'd been there before, but had a hard time enjoying it because it was really hot that day and they didn't have any AC. This wasn't an issue yesterday at all. It even hailed in the morning. It was a much more pleasant visit, but the food is nowhere near as good as my local buffet. On the way back, I saw that I should really be running the dashcam because the clouds were so neat, so I turned off the main road, parked, and set it up.



    It's always fun to pop into Value Village while I'm there and see what strange things I can find. We have our own here, but each one is a completely different experience.

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    I stayed up a bit too late watching the original One Day at a Time and am pretty groggy today. But I usually don't let that stop me and I feel much better once I'm out on a walk.

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    Even when it's really dark, I always love my time at the tank farm and still usually find lots to look at.

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    The trains are running again.



    The thought crossed my mind that since I rarely go to Japanese Gulch lately due to the mud, I'm losing a lot of strength since everywhere I'm walking is flat. I'll be doing six walks a week for the next two weeks after tomorrow's tattoo session, so I'll at least go up the gulch via the tracks once a week. And today, I ended the walk with a trip up the lower interpretive trail. That made me miss a lot of the sunrise, though.

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    The sky opposite the sunrise was subtle and lovely and I got an extended view of it as I headed back to the car.

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    Landscaping inspiration. We have a terraced front yard and I'd like to plant these.

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    Today's awesome walk, 5.91 miles in 1:57, 12,847 steps, 254ft gain
    5.91 miles in 1:57, 12,847 steps, 254ft gain

    It's nice to have a map with a nice climb in it again.




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  • 03/24/17--08:15: SchadenFriday


















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  • 03/25/17--05:10: CATURDAY


































































  • BONUS Saturdogs






















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

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  • 03/26/17--15:22: What a fantastic weekend
  • Even though there's a bit more shading to do in the tail feathers of my peacock tattoo, I sent my tattoo artist Jimmy some reference pictures because I knew he was itching to start filling in the rest of the design. I knew I wanted skyscrapers and that they shouldn't be real ones, and I wanted them to either be futuristic or retro-future. I have a poster rolled up in a tube somewhere that was on the more vintage side of that, something kind of like Metropolis. But I didn't feel like tearing the closet it might be in apart and also figured it might read too Seattle since it was made for a Seattle event. But then a flash of inspiration hit. Moonbeam City! If you haven't seen it, it takes place in the future, but one envisioned from a 1980s point of view. Everything looks like a Patrick Nagel fantasy. Hilarious show and I love the visual style. It blends perfectly with my current tattoos because the existing traditional stuff is in the foreground, and now it appears that it's a traditional sanctuary far away from the city that's now being built in the background. We got a lot of outlines done and a little bit of the shading, but it was very painful and I was happy when he asked if I was ready to stop for the day. I'll share photos later, right now it's pretty swollen. Here's the artwork we referenced.






    Our friend Ana was originally going to spend the night last night, but her husband Noah is in the navy and they changed his schedule, so she came Friday instead. That worked out perfectly. I prefer Friday plans to Saturday ones anyway, and she ended up scoring a tattoo appointment with another artist at the same shop. Then she watched while I got my nipple pierced. They were both done about nine and a half years ago, but my right nipple rejected it. When they got a piercer at my tattoo shop, I decided it was finally time to redo it. We consulted when I was there last time, and scheduled the appointment for immediately after my tattoo.

    Friday's session was my most painful tattoo yet, and it was pretty difficult to rally immediately afterward for the piercing. But after waiting so long I wasn't going to wait, even though he didn't have jewelry as thick as I wanted. My left nipple is stretched to 4 gauge and my right is now freshly-pierced with a 10. That means I'll have to stretch through 8ga and 6ga before it's where I want. I have titanium rings that were hand made for me over 20 years ago when I built a website for a piercing studio.

    The piercing wasn't nearly as painful as I thought it would be, even though he had a hard time pushing the needle through because of the scar tissue from the last time.

    Before we left the shop, I ordered a bunch of Thai food from one of our favorite places using the GrubHub app, then gave Ana the key to the house so she could get settled in while I picked up our dinner. It's so great to be able to order with a few taps and have it be paid for and ready when you arrive! After a couple of cocktails, we ate dinner and continued visiting until bedtime.

    In the morning, we went out for breakfast at Harvey's, which was delicious. I had eggs benedict with a side of sausage, plus a bloody maria. They both had chicken fried steak, which is always an excellent choice. After that, we dropped Garrett off so he could do some work for the Fly-in, then drove around to all the international stores looking for sweet Bavarian mustard, which Ana recently ran out of. None was anywhere to be found, but we had a great time checking the stores out. We picked coffee up at a drive-through stand for her, then went to the beach at Howarth Park. And of course I showed her the Lion House on the way home.

    After seeing her off, Garrett and I enjoyed a nice evening of TV. Typical Saturday night around here.

    And I got a great walk in at my normal Sunday spot. Not much to say about it except that I skipped the paved part, got partway up the hunting trail while it was still dark, then got much farther up a road that's usually quite muddy. There was a so-so sunrise and the water was still enough to get some really cool shots using reflections. As is often the case, I'm posting a select few of the photos, you can find more on flickr. That album now has 618 items!

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    Pretty sure I found an eagle and its nest!

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    I'm glad I happened upon this seal. I've heard this noise many times in the morning darkness and was never sure if it was a seal or a goose making it.



    On the way out, I saw this hawk or eagle sitting on a relatively low branch, and it didn't even fly away when a truck pulled up. I chatted for a bit with the couple in the truck, they were nice.

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    Today's awesome walk, 7.46 miles in 2:49, 17,582 steps
    7.46 miles in 2:49, 17,582 steps

    I cut it a little bit short because I normally use my Monday swim to recover from the long Sunday walk, but won't be swimming for a couple of weeks because I'm freshly tattooed. So, extra walks are in my future, and maybe some yoga.

    I made us a nice lox and bagels breakfast and then we watched Passengers after we got caught up on the DVR. There are some problematic aspects of the movie but I think the characters acted in a pretty realistic way under the circumstances.

    Garrett's upstairs now making one of this week's Blue Apron meals for us and when it's ready, we can watch more movies and shows. It's been such a great few days! I really do feel like the key to a good weekend is doing something fun on Friday instead of just lounging around after work. That way you can still have two full days after the major plan.


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  • 03/27/17--14:27: Happy Mondays
  • If I didn't have a fresh tattoo, today would have been a swim day, but since I do, I went down to Lowell. It's one of my closest options for a walk, but I go there the least, mainly because it's always a little creepy starting out. Though I suppose with the early summer sunrises, that'll be less of an issue. When I got there today, I went the opposite of my normal direction for a loop around the parking lot before it opened, and it was already getting bright out by the time I got to this spot.

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    The new housing is coming along. Last time I walked by, these were just framed up and the guys working that morning were creepily shining flashlights around inside.

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    I went further North than I have before and found the site of a future city park. They're already building townhomes next to it, too.

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    The regular shot of the houses that I always get when I'm there.

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    I love this time of year because all the color starts to come back to my favorite spots.

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    Today's awesome walk, 6.27 miles in 2:04, 13,624 steps
    6.27 miles in 2:04, 13,624 steps

    I spent the last few days trying to find a third spot to write about for a post I'm submitting soon to a local blog, since my original choice near Langus is gone now. I've always known there was a little convenience store by where I park in Lowell, but it never occurred to me that they might have seating and serve food. Turns out, they do, and even have beer on tap, a view of the park, and a deck! I'm kind of disappointed in myself because they even have some Vietnamese and Thai options and it's basically my mission in life to eat all the Vietnamese food in my vicinity. So I went today, but unfortunately she doesn't start making that stuff until mid-afternoon. But there's breakfast until 3pm and a bar menu, so I had chicken strips and a beer. But I'll save the photos for my submission.


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  • 03/28/17--14:01: Tue-riffic
  • I finally sat down and put together the post I've been mentioning to submit to a local blog. It came in a little longer than their guidelines suggest, but I think that's actually a good thing, because I pitched it as a regular feature and suggested breaking the post up into smaller ones. Hopefully they like it, but if they aren't interested in my work, that's fine, too. It'd be fun but it would also be an obligation and it's nice not having too many of those.

    This morning as I pulled out of the garage, the rain was really coming down, but oddly it let up during the short drive down to the marina. It was windy the whole time, though. That's been the case a lot lately, and I see the marina park has lost a tree.

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    The stump I found was growing at a pretty drastic angle, so the tree's days were probably numbered anyway.

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    Turns out, I had an older photo which included it!

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    Yesterday's special. Sounds pretty good! I'm getting pizza next time I go, though.

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    Windy days are frustrating when you're trying to get photos of flowers. I tried holding onto the branch, but that just made it move more rapidly. This came out way better than I thought it would, but it's still not as close up as I like for photos of flowers.

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    Today's awesome walk, 5.92 miles in 1:52, 12,590 steps
    5.92 miles in 1:52, 12,590 steps

    After lunch when I went upstairs to do dishes, I apparently interrupted a seance.

    Snapchat-1999082377

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  • 03/29/17--19:49: Darkness, dogs
  • I went back to Langus today since there's no swimming for a while. In fact, it'll be quite a while since because of our conflicting schedules, I have another tattoo appointment a week from Friday. That means a month away from the pool instead of two weeks. Oh well. It was nice out today, even though I got distracted by the lights on the Snohomish hillside and walked right into the big, deep puddle that's been on the paved trail for weeks. Couldn't get much in the way of photos, though.

    20170329_061942



    I tried five times to get a good shot of this view, and this isn't even half as cool as what I saw. Shots like this are one reason I really enjoy Snapchat, because it makes it easy to convey with a short video how neat something looks, even if you don't feel it's worth an Instagram.

    20170329_062608

    As I walked along the trail next to the wastewater biosolids storage area, I heard barking, and five dogs bum rushed me. The owner apologized, saying he wasn't expecting anyone else to be around. He was partially right, I'm usually only there Sundays. But still, control the dogs. Glad I learned a while ago how to play along when dogs are freaking out.

    Nice to see the color returning in spurts.

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    Today's awesome walk, 7.5 miles in 2:21, 15,868 steps
    7.5 miles in 2:21, 15,868 steps

    I was in the mood to get some good distance in, so I walked past the car along the river for a while. Nice to see that area again, even though it's always loud because of the freeway.

    There's more to share, but the video of the drive home is taking forever to process, so that's where I'll start next time.


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  • 03/30/17--10:32: Where were we, then?
  • Ah yes, the video that took forever to process. Sometimes that app just stops. It didn't take long after I killed it and started again. Not much to see but I always like watching the water droplets on the videos from rainy drives.





    Lunch yesterday was fun. I met Kristen at Chianti, the new Italian restaurant. It's in the spot where one of the downtown dives used to be, which moved to the other end of the block. The remodel is really stunning, but they didn't update the bathrooms, which is an odd choice. I think bathrooms are one of the most important things, and to leave it plain when the rest of the place is gorgeous is so odd. We split a caprese and a bowl of carbonara, then checked out a new thrift store across the street. The owner gets her merchandise from storage auctions, so most of what she has is in pretty good shape.

    After that, we had a drink at the gay bar. Everett has one. Well, it's three clubs in one, but it's still just one place. A sports bar on the ground floor, dance club upstairs, and a lounge they're working on in the basement. The bartender let us go upstairs and check out the dance club, which was cool because I doubt I'll ever be up late enough to see it. It's a nice, big space, with windows and skylights. I should have checked out the bathroom.

    I managed to get a little bit of gossip from the bartender, too. She mentioned another place she recently worked, and that's when I realized I recognized her from there. Turns out she and everyone else there got fired all at once by the owner, which explained why we hadn't seen our regular bartender there in a long time.

    ...

    It was a bit of an odd morning today. The guy I usually run into at the end of the first lap showed up near the end of the second one, and two other guys I didn't recognize showed up. It was nice and dark when I arrived, but there wasn't a lot to see as it got brighter. Very few details in the clouds today.

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    I noticed a for sale sign on my way in and checked the Zillow app. This place is on the market for $2.6 million. Probably not what I'd go for if that was my budget.

    This is a section of the bottom of an old tank that I always look at whenever I go by. It almost looks like a map of Seattle.

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    Happy gull perched triumphantly.

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    They could have planned this better, but I appreciate the sentiment.

    They could have planned this better, but I appreciate the sentiment.

    Today's awesome walk, 5.07 miles in 1:44, 11,242 steps
    5.07 miles in 1:44, 11,242 steps

    I skipped the other beach because I wanted to go to the grocery store, and do it as early as possible. I'm going on a road trip tomorrow and thought it would be nice to do the semi-regular deep clean of the cat boxes today, and that included buying a jug of litter because the big bag I bought that looks like it's the same litter by that brand is terrible. There's a little bit left, but I'm not going to use it.

    Because I skipped the Monday and Wednesday swims, I'm already way up in mileage. 32 miles this week so far! And that's just from five walks. I really wish I could retire and walk ten miles every day. Or maybe eight.


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  • 03/31/17--05:48: SchadenFriday



















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  • 04/01/17--05:54: CATURDAY
























































  • BONUS Saturdogs













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

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  • 04/02/17--17:09: Congratulations!
  • I'm a little tired from the road trip, but wanted to take a moment to say a big huge congratulations to badrobot68, who married his longtime partner AJ on Saturday!

    Alan and Alex-jon, April 1, 2017

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  • 04/03/17--13:33: Catchemups
  • What a weekend. I arranged ahead of time to leave work two hours early so I could head down to Portland, so the rest of the morning after my walk was pretty rushed. The walk was nice, though. My first time at Japanese Gulch in a while, though just my standard "up the tracks and back and forth on the access road" mud/darkness route. I recently figured out a good spot on my hydration pack to clip a small flashlight, which is helpful for navigating the mud near the parking area. It wasn't dark for long, though.

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    Looks like it might have been a good thing I wasn't using the center trail. A fallen tree was all the way across and it's hard to tell from up above if it was possible to get over or under.

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    Friday's awesome walk, 5.64 miles in 1:54, 12,422 steps, 424ft gain
    5.64 miles in 1:54, 12,422 steps, 424ft gain

    My Uber driver nearly got us into an accident on the way to the bus station, then my bus ride to Seattle felt like forever because I didn't think to bring earbuds. I had my mp3 player so I could DJ in the car, but forgot all about the bus part of the journey. I met up with James (jameth) in Wallingford, we had lunch in Fort Lewis at the hilariously-named Pho Lewis, and finally we made it to the Westin. badrobot68 met up with us for a while before his shift at work. Please pardon my thumb.

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    Perfect bathroom setup at CC Slaughter's. We had dinner in the adjoining Rainbow Room.

    How to do bathrooms.

    James at JAMES.

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    Jeremy (dergerm) met up with us at Embers, followed shortly by my good friends Julie and Heidi. I know several more people in Portland but didn't want to try to arrange a huge group outing again like last time, and I'm glad I was able to have longer conversations with the friends I saw.

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    I didn't even know there was going to be a drag show, and it was an awesome one. The hostess looked just like Tiffany Pollard and was hilarious. She brought James up on stage to talk about his Seattle City Council candidacy.

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    James on the hotel couch as we waited too long for the elevator. There was lots of elevator weirdness this trip.

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    The happy couple cutting the cake.

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    Wedding day message from T-rex.

    Rawr! They're married!

    Saturday night was a blast. James and I met up with Douglas, my first boyfriend from 1997. He's been with the same man ever since right after me, and they just got married a few weeks ago after 20 years together. They also just had an epic honeymoon through several countries in Europe. The three of us had drinks at Scandals, picked up dinner at a food cart pod, and took it to the office where Douglas works. It was a neat place with cool views, plus free beer and wine. We spent lots of time catching up. I learned some things I didn't know and got to say some things I always wished I had. Really wonderful night. Jeremy met up with us for breakfast on Sunday, which was our second day in a row at Roxy. We had the same server, who we also saw at Scandals next door the night before. She was shocked to learn that we'd been to Lincoln City and back for a wedding in the short time since we'd all seen each other.

    James getting ready, very elegant.



    We went to Alan's apartment on the way out of town so I could finally meet his cat Viola, who you'll see as the Caturday cover model this week. It was nice to finally see the place, he and AJ have been down there for, what? Two years?

    This may be my first time getting a clear picture of the sign all Washingtonians giggle at when they're on I-5.

    Finally got a photo.

    I was anxious to get out for a walk this morning after having missed my Sunday walk and spending the weekend living it up. I went to Langus and followed the paved path to start, and noticed a car arriving and parking when I arrived. I thought what I was seeing was one passenger get out with dogs and head North while another parked the car and stayed inside. Thinking I could avoid the walker with dogs, I headed toward the Island, only to realize I was wrong. The driver was alone with the dogs, and he went to the island, so I ran into him by the bridge. It was the same guy from last week with all the dogs, and he recognized me, introduced himself, and guessed correctly where I'd parked, saying now he knows if he sees the car that he might run into me.

    I should have asked where he's from, he sounded just like half the guys who went to my high school.

    The water was much lower than I've seen in a while. It occurred to me today that I have no idea if that's a natural thing that goes with the level of the river, or if they control it artificially. I've only seen one spot where I can tell they can choose whether or not to allow water to pass through so far.

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    It looks like someone may be trying to clear a path to the spot where I'm always saying there should be one, leading to the river's edge on the East side of the island. I hope they are, and I hope they succeed.

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    The sunrise was better than I thought it would be, but not super dramatic.

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    I keep having close encounters with geese in the same area. It's been very consistent lately.

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    Today's awesome walk, 4.55 miles in 1:40, 10,558 steps
    4.55 miles in 1:40, 10,558 steps



    It's been a fun few days, but it's also very nice to be back. This weekend was actually Garrett's first time sleeping alone in the house. He's been away several times and I've also gone away, but only within those days he was away.


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  • 04/04/17--13:59: The lapsing of time
  • I've already complained that the "fast forward" filter disappeared from my Snapchat. If you follow me on there, you know it's the one I use the most. I just think most videos are better if they're faster. Trains go by faster, flocks of birds shift formations in more noticeable ways, and you can see otherwise-unnoticeable patters in ripples on the water. And I love the way distant traffic looks reflected on the water. But until the filter comes back, I won't be getting as much video of that kind of stuff because it won't look the way I want it to.

    I'm also waiting on a camera I'll use mostly as a dedicated time lapse camera. It's called Podo, and I backed it on Kickstarter. You control it with your phone, and it sticks to surfaces or you can put it in a waterproof container. Both excellent options for leaving it behind while I'm on a walk so it can catch the sunrise, or passing clouds any time of day. Supposedly they've shipped all their units, so now I'm just waiting to see. Today would have been a nice day to use it.

    Whoa, I *just* got an email update. They hoped to get them all shipped Friday but it looks like all of the US and Canada orders might arrive for processing as a group sometime this week. Guess we'll see.

    Today would have been a good day for it, the sunrise was pretty neat.

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    I love when a mountaintop's shadow breaks up the sunrise.

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    I had a feeling the show wouldn't last, so I decided to hold up my phone and use my dashcam software to get a video of the end of it. My guess was correct, it was gone in three minutes. I used Hyperlapse to speed up that process, then used it again on that video to make it even faster.



    Yesterday's special.

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    It's close-up-pictures-of-flowers season and I'm excited.

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    Today's awesome walk, 5.67 miles in 1:53, 12,410 steps
    5.67 miles in 1:53, 12,410 steps

    Today's theme was people walking at an awkward speed in front of me. Right as I started off, a woman jogged past me, but then started going slowly as she tried to fix her headlamp. Then later on, a guy emerged from a dock a bit ahead of me and started walking the direction I was going to, which is why my route after mile 5 is shifted East a bit. I don't expect the whole place to myself or anything, but I learned a long time ago to go somewhere else rather than try to pass anyone who isn't going really slow. Walking faster than normal in order to pass someone, for long enough to pass them, always leaves me with shin pain. And then if I stop for photos, they'll catch up. So it's best to just be flexible with the route.

    Currently I'm killing time until our weekly conference call with an '80s horror movie called Clownhouse, which stars a very young Sam Rockwell. He just ate a handful of butter.


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  • 04/05/17--15:07: That's no moon!
  • I got out nice and early because I wanted to get back and get to work on my new round of tests, which hadn't arrived in my inbox yet, but I figured they would within a couple of hours. And since I love the sunrise, I like to arrive at my destination when it's still pitch black out if possible. I should probably start programming the coffee machine so it's ready when I get up, that'd get me out the door 20 minutes earlier.

    As I turned to walk away from the beach, I almost didn't notice this lovely moon.

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    Turns out it was a huge plane on its way into Paine Field. It's been ages since I happen to catch one flying by while there.



    On the tank farm side of the wall, I found trucks and heavy equipment. Looks like construction I've been dreading is about to get underway. An article I found states they'll break ground this summer.

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    I think the new ferry terminal will be a great thing, it's just too bad I have to lose a favorite walking spot for it to be able to happen. But I've known this was coming for a while and that's why I make sure to visit every week.

    My timing was bad and I had to wait a while for the ferry to load before I could cross over to the other beach. Thankfully I had some company.

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    Can't remember the last time I saw such a big cargo ship.

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    Today's awesome walk, 6 miles in 2:03, 13,334 steps
    6 miles in 2:03, 13,334 steps

    I stayed up a bit late last night because I had half an hour left of Cocoon and figured I may as well finish it. This morning was fine, but I'm exhausted now. Thankfully I managed to make it all the way through my testing today, though two of them are time sensitive and I have to check in on the next steps tomorrow.

    Steve's ears were lined up perfectly with the afghan until I got close enough to take a picture, of course he had to move.

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  • 04/06/17--17:07: Quick and dark
  • Today would have been a perfect day for a swim. The open swim session starts at 6am, and I had to get my teeth cleaned at 8am, and the dentist is just a bit further down the road from the swim center. But there are still a couple of scabby parts on my tattoo and I didn't want to irritate them, so the plan was to head to Lowell. It's an easy place to get in a good walk that doesn't take too long, and it's close. I tried to have the coffee brew automatically at 3:45 so it'd be ready when I came downstairs, but that was my first time trying to program the coffee maker, and it didn't work. But that's fine. It was a super dark, creepy walk. Someone was awake at an encampment near the end of the trail, so I turned back sooner than I planned, and I may have even seen someone in a sleeping bag near where I started. Oh well. I don't think anyone who's sleeping down there would make any trouble. It's just creepy. And pretty soon the sun will be up really early.

    I only took one photo today, the normal view of the new houses.

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    There was plenty of time when I got home, so I brushed my teeth, had breakfast, and brushed my teeth again before heading over to the dentist. That was a miserable visit. I gag easily, and dental x-rays are the worst. Thankfully there were only four to do, and only one of those had to be re-done. I need a deep cleaning for my back teeth, but the soonest they could get me in for that is ten weeks from now. Funny how that always happens.

    The assistant was really busy so I had to wait a while to pay, which made me late to a conference call that was thankfully optional for me. But I made some good contributions in the time I was on it. There was another call this afternoon, but I had enough time between to go out to lunch and get some groceries. And get chores done. Quite the busy day.

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