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  • 08/13/17--13:39: A break
  • A year ago when I went to Mt. Baker to attempt to hike the Chain Lakes Loop, I took a wrong turn and climbed Table Mountain instead. Yesterday I returned to have another go at it.

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    Check-in time at the condo I rented for the night is 4pm, but the owner messaged me just before lunchtime to let me know I could come any time after 1pm. I didn't end up taking advantage of that, because I'd already decided to enjoy the trip up. First stop was a conveyor belt sushi joint up in Marysville. We don't have one of those here and I really like them. I left happy and very full. From there, I drove to a movie theater in Bellingham. Not really knowing how long it would take to get there, I decided to just go, and check the showtimes when I arrived. No sense in making more of a plan than that. Thankfully, a few of the movies I wanted to see were about to start, and I chose Girls Trip. It's hilarious and I'm looking forward to watching it again with Garrett when it's available for home viewing.

    From there, it was on to Glacier, where I'd be staying the night. My original plan was to have a burger or something there and bring a pizza back to the room, half of which would be for breakfast and half would come home. I forgot the ice packs I was going to use to keep it cold in my trunk, though, so I just ordered a pizza to go and had a cocktail while they made it. I ate half in the room while I watched the Jeopardy! teen tournament, wrapped the other half up for breakfast, read a bit, and fell asleep.

    I wanted to get to the trail head as soon as possible, and I gotta say, it's really hard to choke down half a pizza right after waking up. But I'm glad I ate there instead of later on because it was pretty messy.

    It was raining a little bit when I headed out! The smell of rain after two months without it is intoxicating.

    The road up the mountain is terrifying but at least it's gorgeous once you get there.

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    I'm really glad I went back, because I saw how hard it is to find the trail I was looking for even knowing where to look, and that there's a couple of ways to walk up the one I did last time, making it even easier to mix them up.

    There was no escaping the smoke completely. I ended up with a bit of a sore throat.

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    Still beautiful, though.

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    Stopping for photos on the trail with poles is challenging enough, and I didn't feel like taking the time to create Instagram posts that wouldn't actually send for several hours. And I never felt like doing it afterward, so these never got the square treatment.

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    There are lots more nice photos on flickr. And I ended up with one of the nicest time lapses I've done.



    And of course you need proof you were there.

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    I didn't go the whole loop trail, or even try to come close. It's a challening 8.5 mile hike and I figured I'd be pretty miserable if I exerted myself too much in the smoke. Plus I got to a spot where I'd have to slide down a bunch of snow, and I wasn't in the mood to do that or to climb back up it. So I just did a few miles total, and kept it fun.

    I took Highway 9 instead of I-5 both ways, and it was really lovely. I really hate the freeway and I'm happy to take the scenic route even if it takes a little longer. I probably saved a little time going up because I wasn't in the Friday rush.

    Garrett was originally supposed to come back from Canada today, but showed up yesterday while I was in the shower. I like that the bathroom we shower in is above the garage so we never get surprised by the other one driving up while we're in it. We had a lovely afternoon of movies and he made us one of the Hello Fresh meals that came while we were both gone Friday. We forgot to check on the Hello Fresh and Blue Apron accounts and ended up getting a shipment from both. Oops.

    Today was a lovely walk over at the island, made even lovelier by the rain that came at the tail end of it. It was cloudy the entire time, too. I didn't get a ton of pictures, though.

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    There's a nice new sign at the start of the hunting trail, and they had to clear a lot of vegetation on both sides to put it there, but just a bit further up, the trail is overgrown. Kinda silly.

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    The bridge to the island has some cool history lessons in tile form, I should probably get photos of all of them.

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    Toward the end of the walk, it was rainy enough to look a little foggy. So nice.

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    The time lapse came out so cool! Unfortunately, it appears I didn't charge the battery very well, and ended up with 230 or so pictures instead of the normal ~1,300. This will definitely be a good spot to use in the future, especially as the mornings are darker. And I'll definitely have to go on a weekday when there's more traffic.



    Decided to go ahead and get a hyperlapse of the drive, too. I did one on the way down the mountain, and there were some cool views in it, but the switchbacks made for too much motion. So I didn't save it. This one's cool, though.



    More movies and cat cuddles today. Our neighbor just stopped by to make sure it's ok if he puts up a makeshift barrier between our yards where the fence doesn't go all the way across, so his dog can run around without being able to escape. Really, the whole fence needs replacing, but that'll be a big expense, so whatever he does now is fine for the time being.


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  • 08/14/17--16:04: Dark? Already?
  • I originally planned on a swim this morning, but yesterday's time lapse gave me an idea for another one, so I went down to the marina.


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    Good choice. It was super nice down there today.

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    I need to play with wide-angle panoramas more. I can see lots of errors in this, but it's dark enough that they're not noticeable at first glance.

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    Regular vs wide angle photo of the same spot.

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    I love wide-angle shots but I wish they had a version that doesn't make the edges of the ground curl up.

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    The last part of the sunrise was quite dramatic even though it wasn't colorful.

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    Pretty squares.

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    I saw my first otter there! I've only seen one other one, scurrying across the walking path at the tank farm. Please note, there are two videos, hover over to get the arrow to switch to the other.



    The stairs on the back of the yacht club are a great spot for time lapses! I'll have to do a bunch more there before the building's torn down. I might have composed this a little differently if I could see, but it was too dark when I got there.





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  • 08/15/17--16:23: Phew
  • Today might be a record with five conference calls. I've done four so far, and thankfully my involvement in the final call should be short. The first one was pretty early, but not so early that I couldn't get a nice swim in.



    There was a neat sunrise this morning but the center of the sky was clear. I left the Podo on the back fence of the swim center and am happy to see a few clouds showed up.



    There were some swimmers I didn't really recognize this morning, but they were all in the lanes, and were all gone by the time I left. I even had the entire pool to myself for the last ten minutes or so!

    I was really surprised when I went to the mailbox earlier that the sky was mostly full of a very interesting, thin layer of clouds. I ran back in for the Podo and let it do its thing. last third or so was a clear sky so I edited that out.



    And here's a video from a car wash yesterday. It was my first time at a Brown Bear, and it wasn't nearly as fun as the one I normally go to. What can I say? I like my car wash with rainbow lights. I certainly don't need the attendants to be forced to dress like missionaries.



    When I was a kid in Albuquerque, we went to Octopus Car Wash, where you'd get out of the car and could watch through windows from the hallway, and at each step, animatronic animals worked on it. I clearly remember monkeys wiping the car down, and I think an elephant blew it dry.


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  • 08/16/17--15:45: Time to get some practice in
  • My goal for today was to find a new spot on the river for today's time lapse, while keeping an eye out for more options. Later on I realized what I should be doing is getting ready for the eclipse.



    The moon was pretty, and this is one of the best pictures I've managed to get of it. The one with the crane from a while back is probably my favorite, though.

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    The sky was a bit subdued, but there were some good pastel streaks.

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    This particular view amused me because the clouds and trees seemed planned out to not touch.

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    Another case of things seeming to line up.

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    Pretty squares.

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    I saw an otter swimming in that third square. Really strange that the second and third times I've ever seen otters in the wild were this week. And I saw cows! And one may have even seen me.



    Someone found and moved the Podo again! I really don't get why the people who have moved it didn't read the labels first. If I saw something like that I'd definitely take a good look at it before reaching for it. At least this person did a better job putting it back. And didn't steal it.



    I realized I didn't really want to go anywhere to try to see the eclipse if it was possible to see it from home, so I set a calendar item to remind me to have a look where the sun was at the time it'll start next week, plus at the time it'll be at its peak. From what I could see, the back yard should be a great place to set up the Podo that day. I'll do a practice one tomorrow and see what happens. Unfortunately, I'll be on a call at the time I'd really like to start, but I'll make do, and have a few more chances to practice. Since there were some clouds, I went ahead and made another video.




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  • 08/17/17--16:23: Practice was a good idea
  • Even though I had to start it a bit later than I wanted to due to a demo call I ran today, the practice run I did for the time lapse I want to do would have given me all the info I needed. If it had worked! Looks like I found a little bug in the software. I've never had a time lapse not start successfully, but today when I tried to run it with a 20 second interval, it took one photo and then stopped. And I didn't even know until many hours later when I went to transfer the photos over. It usually takes a while and has a progress window, but today it was instant. Funny that.



    I've always been a pretty good troubleshooter and testing is one of my duties at work, so I started investigating. The software updated today so it didn't surprise me that it hadn't happened before. New release, new issues. So I tried a few more times on 20 seconds and got the same result. I should have tried different numbers of photos, but I always leave it on the most it can do and didn't think about that until later. Other amounts of time worked, so I'll just use a different interval. The limitation, of course, is battery life. I want as many frames as I can get so the final video is as good as possible, but if I do too many, it'll stop too soon.

    That's why I'm glad I have three more chances to practice. I'm pretty sure I have the angle right, though. We have a cooler with wheels and an extendable handle, and using that on the lawn allows me to have more of the sky showing. Because the Podo has a wide-angle lens, it gets the house in the shot if it's too close.

    The pool was nice and empty today. I'm curious why all of a sudden so many regulars aren't coming. It'd make sense if there was a holiday closer.

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  • 08/18/17--07:54: SchadenFriday










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  • 08/19/17--06:20: 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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  • 08/20/17--13:54: Catchemups
  • Friday was busy and I didn't want to set up a time lapse anyway, so a quick walk was in order. Big Gulch isn't as close as most of the others, but it's not a long route, so it's perfect when you're in a hurry. And there's still a nice climb. The views are good, too.

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    The wastewater treatment plant is at the bottom of the gulch and there are several sewer vents along the trail. Some days, the smell isn't so bad. Friday, it was terrible. Thankfully you can't smell this picture.

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    I've yet to figure out why Big Gulch is so much fancier than Japanese Gulch. Maybe because it's because it's smaller so it wasn't as big of a project. But the trails are always shored up and when it's too step for just trails, there are nice steps.

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    Haven't been doing too many hyperlapses lately, but it was a good morning for one.



    Yesterday we had to go down to Seattle so we could order a vanity, counter, and sink for our upcoming bathroom remodel. We wanted to get all the same materials that we used in the condo a while back, but ended up having to get a different color vanity. Of course that led to everything else changing, too. Such is life. At least we got to have lunch at our old neighborhood hangout!

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    We decided after seeing them there again that it's time for us to get a rain lamp.



    When we got back, I processed my final eclipse time lapse practice run. I love that we have a gap in our trees that's exactly the right size and in the right spot. Cross your fingers!



    For something new this morning, I put the Podo up high on a pole at the Future of Flight parking lot, facing the Boeing factory.

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    It's been a while since I swore off the southernmost trail at Japanese Gulch for being too scary, so I figured it was time to check it out again. It really wasn't so bad! Right up until halfway up the climb to the other side, which I came to this bridge.

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    Yeah, no thanks. I turned around and went up via the Rusty Car trail. Then I explored a big section I hadn't seen in a while, and was surprised how much easier it is to get around in it when the weather's been dry. And I'm curious if these X marks mean those particular trees will be cut down.

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    Of course, after finding a bridge that was in such bad shape and high enough up that I decided I wouldn't cross it, I found two very posh new ones near the residential entry, in spots that are so unnecessary.

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    Love this tree. It's part of a really strange area that I use as a landmark for the top of the Rusty Car trail.

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    A while back I found another trail on some property by the road but didn't get very far before being too creeped out by a shed on the property. But since it was a day to give things another shot, I checked it out again. It goes surprisingly far, and has some really pretty trees. And I got to eat some very tasty blackberries.

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    Much of the shed has collapsed and it's less creepy now. Looks more like a playhouse.

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    Pretty squares.

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    Lovely sky.

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    I like this time lapse and will definitely use this spot again. The flash of pink toward the beginning is really cool.



    I'd kill for a little more battery power for the time lapse tomorrow, and even thought about hooking up an external battery. But if I do that, I can't use the case, and without the case, I have to worry about whatever I set up coming apart. So I'll set it up at a ten-second interval, watch for a while to make sure it hasn't spontaneously stopped, and hope for the best.


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    It's been a pretty cool day, with worrying about a long-term concern and a short term project both coming to an end.



    And it's been interesting, weather-wise. Fog in the morning that blew away to reveal a nearly-clear sky just before the eclipse. But the best thing was finding this new sign down at the tank farm.

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    I've mentioned several times that I was worried about the impact the new ferry terminal would have on the walking path down there. That was based on all of the renderings I'd seen that just didn't include any place for a path to go. Well, that purple line that goes all the way across the diagram is a promenade, so if it's built the way the diagram shows, there will still be lots of walking to do. Only one path instead of a loop, but I'll take it! I'm well aware projects are subject to change, and that even if it's great when it's done, it'll likely be closed for a long time. But at least there's something to look forward to now.

    I must have eaten 50 blackberries while I was down there. The entire area is a blackberry picker's paradise.

    Blackberries...

    Pretty squares.

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    The fog was so neat that I stopped the car so I could get a hyperlapse going. Really glad I did, it got super thick.



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    And of course, we had the eclipse. It was neat, but it didn't get as dark as I'd hoped. I don't have any sort of special glasses or film, so the lens flare makes it so you can't really see the eclipse. But! There's always a small image of the eclipse in the flare, so the key is to just make sure that's visible in the photo. You can see it make its way across the video, too.

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    The shadows are really the more interesting part and I wish I'd thought to set up better shadow photos. A lot of people did great stuff with colanders and patio furniture.

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    I also got a lot of work done, and even wrote my next Live in Everett piece! I wish dinner would make itself. Our friend Nancy came over last night and we cooked steaks on the grill, so there's at least some tasty leftovers.


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  • 08/22/17--15:33: For the birds
  • I didn't have high hopes for a time lapse today, as the sky was pretty clear with just a bit of haze to the East. I went to the marina, hoping maybe something a marine layer or something would surprise me. I was right, and the time lapse wasn't worth sharing, but I found a pretty cool spot to use in the future.



    Glad I brought my sunglasses, it wasn't dark for long.

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    There's still a few herons hanging out where they recently hatched. I sent this photo to lisaloopner and she said these might be the last few of the babies who are reluctant to leave.

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    I'm really amazed I managed to get such a good video of this, they were really darting around.



    There's such a great view of the Olympics from down there, but of course you can't get a very good photo.

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    I stopped to get a photo of these droplets and found a little snail!

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    A guy walking the other direction up ahead of me stopped and took a photo. I glanced over to see it was a seal he spotted!



    Another nice bird-related moment I didn't plan.



    Pretty squares.

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    After the Podo charged again for a while, I set it up facing the back yard on a one-minute interval. Mainly as a test to see if the one-minute interval is still working, but also because it's been a while since I did that. Fingers crossed!


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  • 08/23/17--16:18: Two outtakes and a good one
  • When I said I didn't save yesterday's, that wasn't entirely true. I put almost everything on YouTube, even if I don't think it's very good. It's possible to save the original file from YouTube, and it's unlimited storage, so I just do. It only takes a couple of clicks.



    So here's yesterday at the Marina, looking Northeast.



    Since the Podo has a wide-angle lens, it can be hard to get a good angle here at home if I want to show the sky. There's just too much stuff. Either there's too much ground, or too much of the edge of the roof, or too much of the tree, or the house next door. This morning I realized there's a very nice spot that's been right under my nose this whole time. Well, above it. Garrett's weather station is mounted on a pole at the roof line on the North end of the house, and the bottom of that pole is easy to reach from the deck. In my first attempt from there this morning, I hoped to get a good show in the gap between the trees. You can't really see much, though, and the sun is mostly behind a tree. There are some nice clouds, but they're washed out because most of the shot is dark.



    However, I knew I could try again this afternoon with more of the sky in the shot, and I really like what I ended up with!



    I think that's be the one spot on the property where I can get a shot that's nothing but sky without having the camera facing straight up. I'll try sometime. I like a little frame of reference, though, which is why you always see something below in the shots I compose.

    No walk today because of a conference call with Europe. It was a good call, though. I did yoga before lunch, which was nice.

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  • 08/24/17--19:59: The old challenge returns
  • We're at the point again where it's pretty dark when I usually leave. Not really a big deal for most stuff. It makes the time lapse hard to set up, though. I can hold the phone in front of it and use the image on the screen for basic orientation, but it's hard to get it just right.



    I was in the mood to see if the same parts over at Langus are still closed off for the Salmon project, and figured I could also get a cool time lapse of the freeway traffic in the dark. The overpass is right next to where the main construction staging area is, and there were tons of cars there. I normally just go on Sundays so it was weird to see it so full. I parked in one of my normal spots and followed the paved trail. I was excited because a sky like this can make for a really cool time lapse.

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    This is a spot that I've often wished was a trail. It wouldn't be safe during hunting season because it runs alongside that trail, but it would be cool if they opened it up the rest of the year. It's not normally cleared out like this, so maybe they'll do just that. Or maybe they just need a second point of access for the construction. Though, looking at satellite photos, it probably doesn't go all the way through.

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    Dramatic--but also subtle--skies.

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    It was dark for so long starting out that I cut some of the first part out. Didn't want anyone thinking it nothing but traffic in the dark and giving up before the best part. Definitely would have turned it a bit if I could see when I set it up.



    For those who like them, here's a hyperlapse of the drive back.



    And I'm so delighted by the new spot under teh weather station, I used it again this afternoon.





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  • 08/25/17--04:19: SchadenFriday
























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  • 08/26/17--06:17: 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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  • 08/27/17--14:15: Zzzz
  • These days, nothing wears me out quite like a concert. I was up until 11:00 last night because we didn't even get home until 10:00! But it was really cool to see Huey Lewis and the News. If my mom was still alive, it would have been so cool to bring her along.

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    We're watching Duets now, the infamously bad movie that's not as bad as I remember now that I'm seeing it again after all these years. I'll do catchemups tomorrow.

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  • 08/28/17--15:53: Catchemups
  • I'm certainly glad the new plan for the Mukilteo waterfront includes a promenade, but I'll definitely miss the tank farm the way it is now. It's such an odd place, with its partial walls, gigantic rusty circles, and huge piles if rubble and debris. The worst part, of course, will be the construction phase, when the old walking spot's gone but its replacement won't be open for a while. According to the timeline, the new ferry terminal will open in December 2019, but there's no telling when the promenade will be ready. More importantly, construction begins next month on the trestle and bridge terminal (whatever those are) so it may close pretty soon.



    It was certainly a lovely morning down there.

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    I took these three pictures in a row not realizing I had the same angle in all of them.

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    The blackberries were so great. It's nice to munch on them while walking.

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    Pretty squares.

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    I love this time lapse. The trains are fun.



    Someone on Facebook asked for current selfies. I always love "yearbook" posts and am happy to add to them.

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    Got another time lapse Friday afternoon before the skies cleared. Well, while they cleared. Ended up editing out the second half because it was all just blue.



    The marina was nice this morning. I started at the South end and left the Podo in a new, fairly-visible spot. Risky, but the view was too good not to go for it. The sky was beautiful, but subdued.

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    Bird condos.

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    Jetty Island, where I'm going Friday with Lisa.

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    IRL emoji.

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    Pretty squares.

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    There's a lot to see in the time lapse. I especially like the movement of the one boat and need to use this spot on a day when the water's choppy.




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  • 08/05/17--13:51: Do-over
  • It looked like conditions down at the river were going to be about the same as they were when I was there Wednesday, so I went again yesterday. That's probably the first time I've ever been there twice in a week.



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    Between the smoke and the fog, it looked like winter.

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    A nice pano, plus how I displayed it on Instagram.

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    The wide angle lens comes in handy sometimes. Here's the photo I took with it and the photo from the same spot with the regular one.

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    Pretty squares.

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    IRL emojis.

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    This came out cool, I love the fog.



    Yesterday, Sam turned into an apostrophe, and Steve turned into a snake.

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    And this morning on the way to the mailbox, I saw a very hard-working spider doing his thing.




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  • 08/06/17--11:49: Access denied
  • I saw last time I was over there that the salmon habitat project seems to be much bigger than I originally thought, and proceeding at a rapid pace. But I wasn't expecting to suddenly find the road to the area blocked off today.

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    I suppose the timing's good, though. I'd already done the island loop, and was 3.3 miles into the walk when I got to that barrier and had to turn back. That led to 4.5 miles total, which was about right because the smoke was getting to me.

    Not that I couldn't have just walked right past the signs, but I'm not going to. When I first contacted the parks department about that area, the only thing they said not to do is walk past construction signs, so I won't. Hopefully they'll reopen that road soon. The island loop was full of mosquitoes and annoyingly overgrown, so cutting that out and the Northern portion takes out my two favorite parts of the park.

    The time lapse didn't work out. The sky was just flat and the sunrise (such as it was) was out of frame. I didn't even bother saving it. It was still a decent day for bird videos and pretty pictures.





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  • 08/07/17--14:50: Pole position
  • This Saturday, I'll attempt a hike I meant to do a year ago, when I took a wrong turn and climbed Table Mountain instead of hiking Chain Lakes Loop. It's been forever since I used my hiking poles, so I figured a little practice was in order.



    I parked at the bottom of Japanese Gulch and headed up the trail I call OG, because it's the first one I ever explored there. It's a nice, steep way to climb to the Western side and is perfect poles. Unfortunately, the bridge that's out because of a mudslide is close enough to the bottom that it's before any of the forks in the trail, so when I found it, I had to turn back. It was still pretty dark, but I was able to get one regular photo with the flash, and a wide-angle shot without.

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    The next path up to the top happens to be one I'll only do with the poles, so that worked out. It's not even the trail heading up that makes them necessary, but the section near the bottom that gets really muddy near the creek. Oddly, that spot's right next to the nicest, most solid bridge in the whole park. But right after you cross it, just a mishmash of mud, loose boards, and rocks. And it hasn't gotten any better in all the time I've been going there.

    There was some nice fog licking the edge of the top once I was up there.

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    The poles are great for hiking but terrible for the stuff that makes hiking fun. It's hard to skip past songs on the mp3 player, hard to get a drink of water, and especially hard to take good pictures. So I only grabbed a few pretty squares.

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    It might have been a great day for a time lapse, but it said the battery was dead when I tried to set it up. No clue how since I left it charging for a while yesterday. Oh well.

    The fog was really neat when I got back to the bottom. That's the view of the Eastern side, so maybe it was a lot foggier up there.

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    I'm glad I went West, though, because I got to come down the trail I call Bowling Ball. It's got a creek crossing at the bottom which is super easy to do with the poles, but a little treacherous without. I took a wrong turn trying to find the top of that trail on the way down, but quickly realized my mistake, and managed to find the right trail on the first try after that.

    At lunchtime, I had a contractor over to look at the bathroom we want to remodel. He suggested that I meet him at his current job site so he could follow me over or ride in my car. That was a little weird, but ended up being cool because I got to see inside the project on the property where the lion house used to be. That was totally cool.

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  • 08/08/17--12:42: Moonset
  • I certainly don't mind a good routine. It only becomes a rut if you don't enjoy it. Tuesdays at the marina are still quite fun.



    The sky is still flat and dull, but the moon was full and bright, so I figured that the Podo may as well watch it set.

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    Redundant labeling.

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    I'm sure you know what I think when I see this.

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    The novelty of this hazy sun has definitely worn off. And apparently now we're breaking the record for days without rain? Ugh.

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    Pretty squares. And a truck. There are lots of interesting vehicles at the marina every time I go.

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    A little conference I interrupted on the way to pick up the Podo on the fishing pier.

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    The video is interesting because of the moon, but not really Instagram-worthy, so I just put it on YouTube.



    I woke up last night and was so wide awake, I figured my 4am alarm might be about to go off. It was only 11:30pm. I watched some Deep Space Nine for a couple of hours and fell back asleep, and am thankful it's a mellow day. My team's weekly conference call is at 3:30 and a quick snooze might be in order before then.

    It occurred to me that I might need to kill a little time on Friday before checking into my rental. Maybe a movie in Bellingham is in order. I'm almost certainly having sushi in Marysville for lunch on my way up. They have a conveyor belt sushi joint, and I love those, and it's been forever since I've been to one.

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