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  • 06/19/17--08:10: Bird videos addendum
  • I didn't include this in yesterday's post because I didn't think it would render correctly. It's an Instagram multi-video post and I was thinking about saving the videos and making one longer one out of the three of them, but figured I should see what happens when you embed them. Turns out there are little arrows to navigate from one to the next! The take a bit to load, but that's fine. The quality isn't great because I was so far away from these birds and had to zoom, but you can still make out the amazing formations.

    And here's a tree I knew had a hawk in it, so I started rolling, hoping it would fly out. Snapchat videos are only 10 seconds, so it's always a gamble, but it popped out.

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  • 06/19/17--09:50: Not spoopy enough
  • I thought today might be a bonus visit to the tank farm, but I saw that it was foggy out and decided to stick closer. Maybe it'd be cool if the camera happened to capture the moment when the sun burned through?

    That moment never came to pass, and it still hasn't a couple of hours later. The light outside's been really interesting, though, and for the first time today, I was really taken by the the hills next to the trail. There's nothing special about them, but today they had an Impressionist quality.


    Pretty squares.


    Today's awesome walk, 5.36 miles in 1:45, 11,627 steps
    5.36 miles in 1:45, 11,627 steps

    I didn't take the riverside and neighborhood photos that I always take down there. The sky over the river was just flat and boring, and I don't think there's anything new to see at the entrance to the neighborhood. Construction is ongoing, but it's all further out. Part of me is always thinking about retiring these route walk maps unless they're at places I haven't been, or Japanese Gulch with all its twists and turns and options. I can access the maps any time at MapMyRun anyway. We'll see.

    Funnily, I just noticed that there are more streets in the new neighborhood on the map. Maybe the maps aren't boring after all!

    The sky wasn't all that interesting in the video, so it's YouTube-only.

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  • 06/20/17--19:30: On second thought
  • Perhaps inspired by my map talk yesterday, I decided to step out of my routine a bit and do a walk from the marina to the beach instead of along the marina. But I left the Podo there, with great results.

    The naval station is one of those places that looks impressive to the eye, but it's hard to capture well in a photo for some reason.


    As I mentioned in my recent Live in Everett post, the walk to the beach is intimidating.


    The port is really neat, but of course hard to get photos of because of the fence.


    Pretty squares.


    I didn't stay long at the beach, but it was nice.


    A little poem by someone who may not know why they do what they do.


    Today's awesome walk, 5.73 miles in 2:02, 13,042 steps
    5.73 miles in 2:02, 13,042 steps

    I hoped to get a photo of myself from the Podo and am bummed that the camera's battery died just a few minutes before I posed for it. You probably can't see it, but I reviewed the frames and I can be seen walking the other direction just before the end. This is one of my favorite time lapses so far, it came out great.

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  • 06/21/17--18:07: Color me impressed
  • Not wanting to be overly repetitive with all these extra walking days while I'm avoiding the pool, I realized this morning where I really should be anyway is Japanese Gulch. Back before I started swimming, I'd go a couple of times a week during the summer and fall, and always once a week last year. Now's the time of year when the trails are nice and dry again, so that's where I went, heading straight up the Eastern slope on the first trails as you enter. The Podo was left behind at the dog park at the bottom, where there's a nice view of the sky.

    I always love seeing this tree when I go up that way.


    It took just under half an hour to climb up to the top and exit to the road by the Boeing rec center. Just before emerging, I explored a clearing I'd never really checked out before, and found a couch that I'm pretty sure used to be up by the road. I'm impressed that someone was able to move it as far as they did, if it's the same one. Didn't bother getting a photo, since it's so trashed, I couldn't even tell it was a couch until I got right up to it. From even the slightest distance, it looked like a weird fort. My timing was nice, as I caught a pretty decent sunrise from the road.


    There's a neat new bike maintenance station outside their gym now. Cool perk for the employees.


    It's always fun to walk around the ball fields and remember the disastrous first time I got all the way up there. The very trip that inspired me to always wear a hydration pack and neon safety harness.


    By far the most impressive thing I saw was two new picnic tables down at what I call Garbage Plateau, because there was always a lot of trash there. It now seems to be all cleaned up, and whoever put the tables there went through a lot of effort to do it. It's not an easy spot to get to when you're not carrying anything, after all, and I can't imagine it's fun with big table parts. Maybe they used a helicopter.


    The view across the Gulch to the other side seems a little less impressive now that this little tree is poking even further up into it. If you told me it grew ten feet in six months, I'd believe it.


    Another surprising thing was the bike stunts area. Whoever works on it added a side trail so it's really easy to walk all the way through, and I suppose ride a bike around without having to commit to doing all the jumps. Plus on the left in this photo is another completely new trail, complete with a jump.


    I don't know if I'll be able to find it again, but today I used a nice shortcut to get me back down to the center so I could head back down. That decreased my distance a bit, but as it was my first big climb up that direction in a while, I was ready to get going back. I really liked the way the hill looked against the sky, though I couldn't capture the green of the trees from that spot.


    Pretty squares. I made them bigger today because I really like the details in the second and third ones.


    The requisite view looking up from the dog park.


    Today's awesome walk, 4.26 miles in 1:47, 10,741 steps, 432ft gain
    4.26 miles in 1:47, 10,741 steps, 432ft gain

    I'm so happy the gulch is back in the mix, even if that means the weather isn't to my liking. I'll have to find some other spots for time lapses, but this is definitely a great first one there.

    I saw Wonder Woman this afternoon, which was awesome, then brought my car to the shop because the brakes have made a weird noise ever since I had them fixed. Of course, it mostly happens when it's cold, and it was nice and warm this afternoon, so they couldn't hear anything. I left it there so they can try again tomorrow morning and took the bus home. The shop's quite far away, but pretty easy for me to get to and from on the bus, which is nice.

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  • 06/22/17--19:56: Yikes
  • The day got away from me, so I'll write about it tomorrow. In the meantime, here's my latest for Live in Everett.

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  • 06/23/17--04:16: SchadenFriday

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  • 06/23/17--13:49: Catchemups
  • Thursday's kind of a weird day for me to find myself suddenly out of time at the end of the day. It's the one weekday I'm not responsible for dinner, and I often also go out for lunch. Usually such a chill day. But my car's been making an annoying noise, and only when it's cold, so I left my car at the shop on Wednesday so they could check it out in the morning. That left me with no car yesterday, so it was a very different Thursday.

    Thursdays are almost always devoted to the tank farm, but that's five miles away, so I did a walk right here in the neighborhood. I don't do that very often because I prefer to be away from houses and busy streets when I walk. It's not so bad to do it once in a while. And there's always some strange stuff to see.


    There are some great views, too.


    One of those views was of a nice sea of fog in the valley, making me wish I was down there.


    Pretty squares.


    No walk here in the neighborhood is complete without a trip through the park where the swim center is. And my timing was funny because I walked by the pool about five minutes before it opened. Surprisingly, nobody was waiting outside. Just across the parking lot from there is the petting zoo, which I saw is open for the season starting tomorrow. It's not a very long season, as the animals then go to the various fairs.


    Today's awesome walk, 4.27 miles in 1:31, 9,641 steps
    4.27 miles in 1:31, 9,641 steps

    No time lapse yesterday since I don't really know anywhere here in the neighborhood to leave my camera other than right here on our property. I hoped to take the bus across town to grab the car at lunch time because the shop is by one of my favorite restaurants, but there was no saying when it would be ready, so I ate at home. Made great time when I got word to come down, though! 38 minutes from door to door, which is pretty quick considering there's a half mile walk at either end, and the bus trip itself is another four miles. And I waited about seven minutes for the bus to arrive.

    After getting settled in back home, I started writing a blog post for Live in Everett. This one was a new challenge for me because I interviewed someone, and had to spend some time transcribing to get accurate quotes. When I was partway through, I noticed they posted my latest piece, so I spent a little time promoting that before finishing the new one. Suddenly it was time for bed.

    I made up for missing the tank farm yesterday with a trip down there today, which turned out to be a good choice. The sky was completely clear, so the beach there was a good spot for the time lapse. I was surprised to see this heron perched high up and even more surprised that it didn't take off when I got the camera out. I hoped to see it closer from the other side of the loop, but a woman and her dog were there and obviously scared it off by the time I came around.


    A nice little view of Mt. Baker looking really flat.


    The Olympics also looked amazing, though there isn't a phone available that can get a good picture from that spot.


    It wasn't long before the sun emerged and slowly sapped the life out of me.


    Pretty squares.


    A little Snapchat humor.


    There were a lot of flowers I liked today, but couldn't get photos of because it was too bright. The light was pretty good for videos, though.

    I was amazed to see that eagle flying almost directly toward me, and in plenty of time to get the camera going. I think that's my closest eagle encounter to date.

    Even though the time lapse doesn't have any clouds, it's fun. I had no idea so many people walked in front of the camera, or that a barge left the port. There's a bit of movement because I put the camera on a small tree.

    Today's awesome walk, 5.05 miles in 2:00, 12,288 steps
    5.05 miles in 2:00, 12,288 steps

    I could have done a longer walk, but the sun was annoying, and I wanted a haircut. I texted my barber to ask for the first appointment of the day at 9am. It was taken, but she let me come in early!

    Work's quiet, which is surprising because a new tool we built went live yesterday in the afternoon and I thought for sure we'd get a lot of emails from the people who have to use it now. Maybe it's just so perfect that they aren't having any issues at all. Or maybe it's just because it's Friday.

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  • 06/24/17--05:15: CATURDAY

  • RIP Opus 2004-2017

    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
    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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  • 06/25/17--13:22: In the bunker
  • One of the only drawbacks about my normal Sunday spot is the lack of shade. The sky was really clear when I pulled out of the garage, so I decided to head down to Meadowdale Beach Park in Lynnwood, which I'd only been to once before. I was surprised to see some cotton candy clouds in the Southwestern sky, so I pulled into a parking lot and set up the dashcam.

    The gates at the park were closed, so I drove to the best place I could think of to leave the car along the route, which is a huge set of ball fields. That ended up being a great decision because it was a big open space which was great for leaving the Podo behind in on a soccer goal, plus it put me 2.5 miles into my route, getting me into the park sooner. There were quite a few people coming down into it the other direction as I climbed, but I got to have the beach below to myself before they could get to it.

    The walk down is really pretty. I wouldn't live in most of Lynnwood, but if I could afford Meadowdale Beach or the streets leading down to it, I'd consider it.


    The last time I went, I couldn't even see the beach, because tons of water was flowing through the tunnel leading to it. All the gravel in this walkway illustrates how powerful that water was.


    Death stairs.


    More nice skies on the way out.


    Today's awesome walk, 6.03 miles in 2:05, 13,478 steps, 618ft gain
    6.03 miles in 2:05, 13,478 steps, 618ft gain

    The time lapse turned out pretty neat. I like the shadows a lot.

    And here's another hyperlapse from the drive home. I realized a while back that long, straight stretches make for the best ones.

    It's another day of hiding in the basement. Garrett is grilling up some pork chops, corn, and asparagus soon. I'm watching cheesy '80s horror movies on YouTube, some of which I've found via an '80s account I like on tumblr, and others via YouTube's suggestions, which are getting better all the time.

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    There were some nice clouds and the potential for a good sunrise today, so I went to my skipped Sunday spot. I worried that there might be a lot of mosquitoes, but figured if I stayed away from the island loop, I could avoid most of them.

    The view from the spot where I set up the camera just before I pulled away and gorgeous things happening not long after. I can't remember the last time I took so many photos. Look around on flickr for more.


    Pretty squares. I like the back lit flowers.


    C'est moi.


    Just after I took that, and for the next hour or so, I saw more mosquitoes than I can ever remember dealing with before. I had to swat them off my hands every time I held them up for a photo, and saw them on my clothes constantly trying to poke through. They're one of the reasons I always wear a hoodie, it's nice to be able to pull the hood up and tie the string tight so just a bit of my face is exposed. I only ended up with a few bites today and I can barely believe it.

    Anyone know what these are?


    Another of the flipped photos I'm so fond of making.


    Today's awesome walk, 5.84 miles in 2:09, 13,541 steps
    5.84 miles in 2:09, 13,541 steps

    This is the nicest of my time lapses from this spot so far. I almost didn't leave the camera there, but the spot I had in mind was a little busy this morning and I like to put it up unnoticed. Glad it worked out that way.

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  • 06/27/17--14:47: Survey season
  • As I headed toward my side table where I leave the Podo each evening after it's charged, I realized I left it outside all night and wouldn't be able to use it this morning. There was a big hunk of ice all stuck together in the ice maker yesterday and I wanted a time lapse of it melting and drying completely, and there was plenty of time after it dried up for me to grab it before heading to bed, but I forgot. So, no time lapse at the marina today, but the sky was pretty soupy anyway. And I need to start going to Japanese Gulch at least once a week, so that's where I went.

    Even though I set the Podo for a photo every ten seconds, it still ran out of power before the water evaporated. Oh well. For fun, I decided to reverse the footage and add it back, so it refreezes.

    The woods are funny. It's all so beautiful, but that beauty doesn't necessarily translate well into photos.


    Last time I went straight up the Eastern slope to the top, and I figure at the beginning of the season I may as well assess all the trails, so today I took the lowest one. As I predicted, I had to turn back soon because of mud, so then I followed the second lowest. That one happens to have the clearest water view in the whole place.


    Pretty squares.


    I made my way through an area that's always annoyingly overgrown and ended up covered in fuzzy plant stuff. All my gear's in the wash now. After that, the trail joins with the center one again, and I figured I'd climbed enough for the day, so I did a couple of passes of the access road for distance before heading down.


    There's a swing next to a trail I refuse to use because it's too sandy and steep, and today I noticed what I thought was a bike parked next to where that swing is. The creek is dry enough to cross over to that spot, so I investigated, and it turns out the bike is actually at the end of the swing chain, in place of the bar that used to be there. Are people swinging on the bike? Seems even scarier than the swing's old seat.


    The requisite shot from the bottom. I wish it were possible to convey how huge the place really is.


    Today's awesome walk, 5.6 miles in 2:08, 13,281 steps, 538ft gain
    5.6 miles in 2:08, 13,281 steps, 538ft gain

    A squirrel ran in front of my car on the way home, and I'm almost positive it was crushed. That was a first. Another first today was putting eyedrops in my own eyes. I'm getting LASIK on Thursday so I have two different bottles of eyedrops to use. One four times a day, the other twice. It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought, mainly because Ana showed me a really easy way: pull your lower eyelid away from the eye to form a little cup. I had a tough time getting a grip the first time with my right eye, and realized it's also easy to turn your head sideways and drop it onto the side of the eyeball. I don't really know why anyone looks straight up to do it.

    Why LASIK after wearing glasses for 16 years? They're starting to really annoy me. They get dirty fast and I have to clean them several times a day. That's nothing new, but I spend a lot of time inside with low lighting and monitors, so the smudges and crud are just much more visible. It'll be nice to be able to see while swimming or walking. Lately I've taken to wearing my prescription sunglasses in the morning, but that's not really an option in the rain, or if it's too humid. Now I need to find or buy some non-prescription sunglasses, because I've only one the prescription ones ever since right before the last Hawaii trip.

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  • 06/28/17--16:44: The countdown begins
  • I confirmed my appointment for tomorrow a few minutes ago and if all goes as planned, I'll no longer be wearing glasses this time tomorrow. I found a decent pair of non-prescription sunglasses today, but I'll be on the lookout for better ones. I'm really used to my prescription sunglasses and am sad to have to give those up, which is funny since I hate my regular glasses.

    Today was a walk at the marina and I started at the park up above so I could get the time lapse from a spot I've been wanting to try for a while.

    It was a really great day for cloudspotting.


    I don't take a lot of panoramas. This one came out neat.


    Could all of these squiggly lines on this sign be snail trails? They certainly look like them.


    Pretty squares.


    I shared this as a square on IG but like the full version better.


    Someone in one of the fancy houses is mad at the railroad company.


    Here are some old favorite tracks that came on during the walk. I played the second one three times. :D

    Today's awesome walk, 6.12 miles in 2:12, 14,034 steps
    6.12 miles in 2:12, 14,034 steps

    The time lapse came out nice, though I couldn't get as close to the edge of the bluff as I hoped to. The leaves on the tree I put the Podo on also limited how far each direction I could point it.

    On my outing to grab new sunglasses, I also picked up some dollar store July 4th decorations and went out for lunch. Then I took my car for a much-needed wash. Here's a hyperlapse of the wash, plus regular-speed footage of the best part.

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    Because lasik. In the meantime, please enjoy my latest piece for Live in Everett. This was my first real interview and am happy to say it was much easier than I thought it would be to do that.

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  • 06/30/17--06:00: SchadenFriday

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  • 06/30/17--12:13: A few steps ahead of death
  • Lately my walking spots keep turning up in news stories. A few days after my last trip to Pigeon Creek Beach, a woman's body was found on the trail leading there. A couple of days after that, a construction worker was killed on the job at the housing project by the riverfront trail. And in today's news, a woman found an urn on a beach in Mukilteo. Strange!

    Speaking of which, my walk yesterday was at Edgewater Beach, and I didn't take the time to cross over to the Mukilteo side. Could that have been me who found the urn? Hm.

    It was a nice little walk and I found a pretty cool spot for the camera along the railroad tracks. The station looked good in the morning light.


    Wonderfully ominous sky.


    Not a lot of flowers to see that I hadn't already, but this one was cool.


    Today's awesome walk, 4.79 miles in 1:46, 11,134 steps
    4.79 miles in 1:46, 11,134 steps

    I decided during the walk to finally take a really good look at the rendering for the new ferry terminal and compare it to the satellite photos. I'm sad to report that almost the whole place is going away. The beach will still be pretty big, and they'll add a new fishing pier, so it'll be a nice place, but not really a great place for a walk. I'll probably still pop by once in a while as part of a larger route, but it won't be the same. I definitely agree it needs to be done, though. It's the state's busiest ferry route and the facility they have for it just isn't adequate. Oh well.

    The time lapse is mellow and pleasant.

    The walk is obviously not yesterday's big news. I also got LASIK! It's not a pleasant procedure, but it's nowhere near as bad as I pictured. The worst part was coming home and taking a nap while it felt like my eyes were filled with sand. Tears poured out, and my nose ran, competing against the CPAP. But after a couple of hours, I got up and felt a lot better. Today I can see pretty much as well with my own eyes as I could with glasses, and my eyes feel pretty much like I just woke up and am trying to read too much on a computer screen. Not bad at all.

    I was a little bummed because I really like my prescription sunglasses, but then I realized I could just get on Zenni's site and reorder them with no prescription in the lenses. They won't be polarized, but they'll still be nice. When they get here, which always takes forever.

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  • 07/01/17--06:02: 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
    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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  • 07/02/17--13:47: A few quiet days ahead
  • After my lasik, they warned me not to go swimming for at least a week, and to avoid getting sweaty because it's an easy way for bacteria to make their way into my healing corneas. So, no pool or walking until at least Thursday, though if I want to be extremely cautious, I'll wait until after my second post-op appointment Friday. It was really weird getting up this morning and staying in.

    Today's been nice, though. We went to the dollar store for cheap stuff for our July 4th party, then to our neighborhood bar for breakfast. They now open at 9am on Sundays. They always do that during football season, but now they're giving it another shot the rest of the time. I hope it goes well for them, they've done it before and stopped when it was too quiet.

    After that, we got more groceries for Tuesday, then started working on setting up outside. It's a croquet party, and we have to put up a temporary fence in the back of the yard so the balls won't roll down the hill and disappear forever into the vines and branches up above the yard behind us. We also put up a canopy, and hung some decorations. During all that, I finally got to meet our newish neighbors. Garrett previously met the husband, but now we've both met everyone. Nice people, and the husband is going to come take measurements to give us an estimate for a bathroom remodel we want to do.

    My eyes are doing great. Tonight's the last night I have to tape the stupid eye guards to my face before bed, and I'm very used all the eye drops. Except for when they seep down into my throat and I can taste them, that's still just as gross as ever. It's really strange to keep being careful not to bump my glasses or reach over to push them up my nose, only to have them not be there. I suppose that'll take a long time to get truly used to.

    A few days ago when I was taking the garbage out I noticed that the end of our street was looking very picturesque. This looks like a park or something, but it's just the view from the bottom of our driveway. I was thinking today about how much I love it here when I was talking to the new neighbors about how they're liking it.


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  • 07/03/17--05:47: Hi from the boys

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  • 07/04/17--19:17: That was fast
  • Live in Everett already posted my next story! I really like personal pizzas so I did a lot of research and found all of them in town.

    We had a great party today, but I'll post about it tomorrow so I can relax a bit before bed.

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  • 07/05/17--06:12: Low-key fun
  • I'm always saying that a lot of our holidays in the USA are simply at the wrong time of year. Everyone needs to fly across the country at Christmas? Let's have it at the time of year with the most weather-related travel issues. Want everyone to dress up in suits for your wedding? Have it outside in the sun in June! Independence Day's another one. It's not even dark enough for fireworks until 10:20! We know we'll never be up late enough for that, so we decided to do an afternoon weenie roast each year so people can come by for lunch, beer, and croquet, and still have their whole evening free for other stuff. Perfect.

    We grill up hot dogs and set out a nice assortment of toppings for them. This isn't even everything, there was also cream cheese and red onions. Guests bring sides and desserts.


    I really liked the way the flags looked lining up perfectly with their mirror universe counterparts.


    I remembered to get a picture of the prize table this year! It's surprisingly hard to give away prizes, I don't know when everyone suddenly became minimalists.


    I've been waiting to show off this hat for months.


    The full outfit. My friend Nancy really liked my shirt, so I changed into an alternate a while later. It was a black and grey flag tank top that was less comfortable due to its artificial fabric. I stayed inside a lot anyway.

    July 4th

    It was a gorgeous day. Not overly hot, very pretty skies.


    Our new neighbors came over toward the end and we got to pop over to their place and see the progress inside. They've got a lot to do, but they got a pretty good deal on the house and will gain a lot of equity when they get the unpermitted extension up to code. They're cool people and we're lucky to have them next door.

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