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  • 09/18/17--16:25: As good a time as any
  • We're entering the time of year when there's not so much to see during the first part of any walk, because it's just too dark. And there are fewer flowers so there won't be as much close-up photography, either. Judging by all the leaves that seemed to fall practically overnight, I'm also curious if there will be much of autumn. Guess we'll see. The point being, if my Podo had to go missing, now's not the worst time. Even if there was a way to delay the start of a time lapse, that doesn't make up for the shorter amount of daylight once the sun comes up. With that in mind, I'm not going to rush to replace the Podo. I've got LASIK payments to make and a very long tattoo backlog, so my money's always spoken for before I even have it.



    It's certainly still fun to flip photos before sharing them, and the darkness makes them even weirder.

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    I've done one similar to this before, but it looked to perfect today to pass up.

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    I didn't get a photo, but the neon sign at Harbor Marine now reads Har Ma, and there was also this. I don't know what it is about the marina and neon signs.

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    Double surveillance.

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    The clouds were lovely and subdued during the last 20 minutes or so of the walk.

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    My previous experiments with ice and time lapses led to an idea, and the molds I needed arrived today. I didn't want to wait until I had another Podo, so I got an old cell phone out of a drawer and charged it. It was difficult to set it up without any sort of tripod, and I ended up balancing it on the shorter end of a very long stake on a glass. It worked, for the video, but I found it all knocked over and messy when I came out to get it.



    I thought of ways to improve the technique for this video after the fact, so it'll be fun to see what I can come up with. I'll also use this old phone for some sky shots because I want to compare its regular lens to the Podo's wide one. It's falling apart and isn't waterproof, though, so I have to be a little more careful with it. There's at least one more other old phone I can play with, too.

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  • 09/19/17--19:10: Swimmingly
  • It was so nice to be able to go to the pool again today! The main road that runs past the park is down to one lane for repairs, so I just avoided it completely. There's a back way in if you park in the neighborhood behind the park, which is handy, but it's a longer walk. Not a big deal at all, unless you get most of the way to the building and realize you didn't bring a lock from the car. So, a little extra walking. And time. It was nice, though.



    I played a little more today with the old phone. The original plan was to crop the second one so it was mostly sky, but I like the way the trees got lit right as the rain dried up.




    And I had my followup hair appointment! It's very purple and I like it a lot.

    Purple hair

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  • 09/20/17--17:44: Excellent timing
  • I'm curious about how the ferry terminal project will play out week-by-week, so I wanted to go down today even though there was a big detour due to emergency road repair. And since we got a locking mailbox and can no longer leave outgoing mail in it, I brought along a DVD for Netflix with a plan to take an even longer route home and drop it off at the Mukilteo post office. A lot can change in a week!



    It was an extremely gorgeous morning.

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    There's a new crane in the water right by where they've put up a barrier closing the trail.

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    All of the walls in the Western half of the tank farm are gone now, and that whole area is surrounded by a fence, which I took this photo through. They cut down a section of the wall by the fence, though, so we still have 2/3 of the loop to walk, and there's still access from both ends!

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    A slight twinge of regret when I saw that downtown was all foggy and I could probably have been in a lot of fog if I went to Langus, which I'd considered. The wall of fog was three times as tall when I looked back on my way to the car.

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    I got a hyperlapse on the way home today, and am so glad I did. I took the first part out of it, though, because the trip to the post office involved too many turns. See if you spot why I'm so happy I ran the dashcam.



    That's a Dreamlifter taking off from Paine field! It deserved its own video.



    Hair update.

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    It can't be a surprise that even without the Podo, I'm constantly trying to get good time lapses. I dig this one a lot. I realize the second half is much more interesting than the first, but I like to leave them intact when that happens so that those who watch the whole thing get a treat.



    And a little interesting news came this afternoon. That road project finished today, ahead of schedule. That's pretty cool, since it would have affected tomorrow's plans, too.

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  • 09/21/17--17:45: Mellow fellow
  • I was reminded of old standup comedy from Caroline Rhea today. She used to joke about the way her mom would go swimming without ever getting her hair wet, which is what I need to do now that I've got bright purple hair and want it to stay that way. Totally easy to do, since I just tread water for an hour when I go. But I normally like to go under a few times so I can slick my hair back, and had to make sure I didn't accidentally do that today. To help with that, I put gel in my hair yesterday, restyled it when I woke up this morning, and washed everything but my hair when I showered before and after swimming. I took another shower later on here at home so I could use my purple shampoo and conditioner. A three-shower day with no haircut involved!

    After years of seeing this image on tumblr, I decided it was finally time to see the TV episode it came from.



    That was my first time ever seeing an episode of The Hills, and it was pretty boring. But at least I've seen it now.

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  • 09/22/17--05:08: SchadenFriday









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  • 09/23/17--05:16: 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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  • 09/24/17--17:09: 70%
  • There was a nice piece in the paper recently about hikes and walks in the area, and it's pretty cool that I've been to seven of the ten listed, bolded below.

    Paradise Valley
    Lund’s Gulch
    Big Gulch
    Jetty Island

    Scriber Lake
    North Creek
    Lord Hill

    Portage Creek
    Japanese Gulch
    Spencer Island


    Of the remaining three, Paradise Valley's the one I definitely need to see next. 13 miles of trails! I should really take my time and plan two separate walks there to see it all. The list also makes me want to visit Lord Hill again soon.

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  • 09/25/17--17:00: Great to get away
  • But I'm having the same issue I did in Santa Fe a while back. There's enough bandwidth to do almost everything we want, but uploading a big batch of photos to flickr is out of the question. That's fine, though. I don't really feel like doing the big write-up right now. I'm enjoying this view while we watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. We also watched Discovery, which was great.

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  • 09/26/17--17:52: We're back!
  • I'll do catchemups tomorrow. The cabin was great, but it's nice to be home for sure. In the meantime, here are some slightly sped-up lynxes who live at the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.


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  • 09/27/17--13:52: Vacation, part 1
  • Vacation officially began after a 3:30pm conference call last Thursday. It's a call that normally happens on Tuesday, so it was funny that it got moved to when I was trying to get away from my desk for ten days. I was up at my normal time Friday, but stayed in and got ready to head out for our 8am breakfast reservation at Salish Lodge.

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    The scenery there is always so perfect.

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    I'd already had my normal amount of coffee, but went ahead and had another cup so I could enjoy their lovely accoutrements.

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    Their signature multi-course breakfast was delicious, but it was way too much food. If I were to order it again I'd ask for half the amount of pancakes, and skip the oatmeal. There would still be too much.

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    During breakfast, I checked the cat cameras for the first of many times throughout the trip. Garrett set up a new spot at their favorite hangout spot, under the dining room table at chair level.

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    There was no need for lunch because we had such a huge breakfast, so our next stop was The Reach, which is the new name for the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center. It's a small-but-interesting museum, which is half about the nature and geography of the area, and half about the nuclear production complex. Very interesting stuff. I've been thinking a lot about the thousands of people who worked there, never having any idea at the time what they were actually doing there.

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    Thankfully we were able to check in a little early, and didn't have to wait at all to do it. We had a fun early dinner at Applebee's, got mani-pedis, then hung out in the hotel bar for a while before going to bed. By the way, the Springhill Suites in Kennwick is a really cool hotel. Stylish decor, great bar and restaurant onsite, connected to the convention center, and a nice free breakfast. Even some really big air plants in the lobby!

    The next morning, we had that free breakfast, then went to the Pasco Farmers Market. It was a nice little market, but it didn't meet up to the expectations you arrive with after reading about it online.

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    Downtown Pasco is a little bleak. I could take pictures there all day.

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    We went to the tattoo convention right when it opened. Jimmy was out front, and I finally got to introduce him to Garrett and show him Garrett's amazing tattoos. Inside, he introduced us to Catfish! who currently works at Cicada, and had a good story about this rock, which came from a client's butt.

    Catfish! and the infamous Butt Rock

    After seeing all the booths at the convention, we had a really amazing lunch at Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar. They're a chain out in Eastern Washington and have four locations in Spokane alone. If you ever get a chance to go to one, do it. It's at the mall, so we took a walk around the whole thing to see what stores they had. It was surprisingly full and active! It felt like time travel.

    I'd never buy them, but these shoes are so cute.

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    Back at the convention, it was pretty cool that there was a seating area right by the booth where Dutch from Skin Wars was doing body painting.

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    Nancy finally arrived, and we had a great time hanging out, though she had to take a lot of work calls. She's very important to her employer and I hope they give her a big raise soon. When it was time for the contest we were both in, we couldn't wait in line together because I was number two in the list, and she was 40 or so people behind me. But I was able to get good pictures of her on stage!

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    And when they brought us all back onstage, I was able to get a picture of a monitor screen with both of us on it. My hair really looks like a mohawk from that angle.

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    Neither of our tattoos won, but Lions Paw placed third in a couple of other categories!

    The terrain around the Tri-Cities is unique, and I sort of wish we took a little time to drive some of the roads on these hills.

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    We got gas and groceries in Union Gap, then had a long detour around a very dry Rimrock Lake.

    Island in a very-empty Rimrock Lake

    Check-in wasn't until 4pm, so we had our picnic lunch at the Mt. Rainier National Park. That was my first time there, even though I've lived in the area since 1999.

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    The picnic area was snowy and had extremely brave birds.

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    Pretty squares.

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    To be continued!

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  • 09/28/17--12:36: Vacation, part 2
  • My favorite travel tradition is getting photos of Garrett in his "G Wave" pose at various landmarks. Here we are in front of the Mt. Rainier visitor center (out of frame to the left) with the mountain behind him. It's funny, the mountain is suddenly so much less impressive from that spot. Everywhere else, it towers above you, but at the space dedicated to it, you're just a touch too close to the top.

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    The view of the other peaks nearby is great from there, though.

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    A mostly-successful panorama near where we parked, featuring a tiny sliver of the car that came at just the wrong time.

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    On the way back down, you can get a really good view of the next section of road, plus what looks like the last landslide that probably had to be cleaned from it.

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    Meanwhile, back home, proof that Steve's ridiculously long legs retract.

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    Our cabin in Packwood was amazing. We only needed the two bedrooms on the ground floor, but there was a whole other bedroom upstairs with two double beds! There were other cabins nearby, but everything lined up nicely so that you didn't really see them from inside, and the view is amazing, even from the couch.

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    I didn't have a Podo with me, but the cloud action was so great across the valley, I had to use my phone to make a couple of quick lapses while we were there.



    And there are a bunch of elk who visit often! Hover over for navigation to three videos.



    I didn't realize at the time that this would be a theme.

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    It's so hard to do food shopping for a cabin. Sometimes rentals have a few things in them like oil, vinegar, and coffee creamer, but all we found in this one was salt, pepper, and steak seasoning. It occurred to me while there that a Blue Apron or Hello Fresh box would be so perfect in that setting. But even if I had thought of that ahead of time, we couldn't have done it for this trip since we had two nights in the hotel first. So instead, we had to think of some good dinners, and challenge ourselves to use everything up for breakfasts before leaving. Here's a procedural photo of my pasta-stuffed omelette.

    Pasta-stuffed omelette

    One last wide-angle shot of the front of the property before leaving. This gives you an idea of how close the neighbors were, but also how the terrain makes the proximity bearable. You can just see the edge of the hot tub, which we really loved sitting in. Too bad the cover blocked most of the view when it was open.

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    Garrett had the great idea of reliving one of his most exciting childhood field trips on our way back North at an amazing spot I can't remember ever hearing of. Northwest Trek is a really fun wildlife park on 723 acres near Eatonville. We got there just in time to have a quick lunch at their cafe before doing the tram tour, which gets you surprisingly close to some of their biggest animals.

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    And it's a gorgeous setting.

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    Those lynxes I posted a video of at the end of the last post were fucking when we got to their exhibit, which is part of the walking tour. Look how coy this one looks.

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    One last shot of Garrett before we got back in the van to head home. Really fun road trip and I'm glad we still have a few more days to hang around before we have to work again.

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  • 09/29/17--11:20: SchadenFriday


















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  • 09/30/17--06:54: CATURDAY

  • RIP Alfie 2003-2017












































































    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!

    0 0
  • 10/01/17--15:32: Had to get away
  • It's the last day of our vacation, and even though I didn't manage to get any walking or hiking done while we were out of town, I did all my normal days since we got back.



    Wednesday at Langus and Spencer Island was foggy, and still quite dark when I got there.

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    I took this because I've never seen the water so low by this bridge, but that may be controlled by the nearby facility so I'm not sure how interesting that really is.

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    I love when the fog is so thick that the path up ahead disappears.

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    Since I wasn't in a hurry to get back home, I also stopped by the Union Slough Park on the way back. The two walks combined made eight miles. There's not as much to see there, but it's neat to get a close look at this bridge.

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    It was foggy most of the drive home.



    Thursday was a typical trip to the tank farm. My brain is still getting used to the shorter walking loop there, and it was funny when I checked my distance the first time. I'd gone 1.7 miles, but guessed it was 2, and the loop is .3 shorter now. It was weird to see one of the old stairways from the walls waiting to be hauled away.

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    It was a pretty, but clear day, which was fine because I didn't have a replacement Podo yet.

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    Miau.

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    Miau/sproing, later on at home.



    Garrett had a fly-in meeting Friday, so I took the opportunity to go further out to Lime Kiln Trail. I'd only been once before, and didn't do the whole thing, so that was the goal for the day. The replacement Podo I bought from Alan had arrived, and I brought it along, but decided to leave it in the car. The woods are really thick at the parking lot, and I wasn't sure I'd find a good spot close enough to there to put it.

    It was really dark when I got there, so I waited 20 minutes before getting out of the car. There was only one other car there, and I don't think the guy sitting in it even hiked. I never saw anyone on the trail, and my car was the only one when I got back.

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    One of the stupidest complaints I've ever seen in a public forum was someone saying they didn't like the artifacts at the lime kiln, that they made it look like a junk shop. How often do you get to see something like that? So silly.

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    It's an easy and gorgeous hike, and it's pretty cool that it's only 20 miles from here. I recommend it highly, especially if you like moss.

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    And there are surprisingly good river views.

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    Right before the end of the trail, there's a little loop that takes you all the way down to the river. Perfect spot to eat my bagel.

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    River selfie/hair color check.

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    I took a photo of this sign to remind myself to find out more. It occurred to me a while later that the guy I talked to about the trail who has keys to the access road gates and does work on the trail was named Tom, and I bet that's a way to get to more easily get to wherever he parks. I wanted to check it out, but had no idea how far it might take me, so I'll see it some other time.

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    Floating trail heart and the spider who built the web it was caught in.

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    Cute baby ferns and a huge moss duck.

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    When I was nearly back to the car, I got poked in the heel, and ordered a multitool as soon as I got home because I had such a hard time pulling this thing out of the sole of my shoe with my fingers. It has a flashlight, too, which would have been useful for this hike.

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    Back home, I made my first time lapse with the new-to-me Podo. Thanks, Alan!



    Yesterday I was the bartender at Garrett's fly-in volunteer party. That turned out to be perfect fit, because so many of those people have wanted to meet me, but the events aren't that exciting for me, so why not put me to work and let all the volunteers relax? I had a great time, and my signature cocktail was a hit.

    I was the bartender!

    It was a potluck, and someone brought chili that was the best I've tasted since we went to Florida. Here's the gorgeous sky at the airport, and the time lapse I made there. It starts off fast because I planned to use a longer interval for the whole thing, but I changed it to my normal speed after a while.

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    The reason I did that is dumb. I've had problems with the lapses stopping for no reason using various intervals, and I hoped to check if that happened, but now it doesn't consistently give the warning if you stop a lapse in progress. So, it hadn't stopped, but I assumed it did, and changed the interval. Oh well!

    Today was a dark-but-lovely walk over at Langus again. I took this photo because, in real life, the clouds looked a lot like the clouds in my tattoo.

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    Can't really say there are many photo ops at the wastewater treatment plant in the dark, but if the water is still, it's pretty while you're there.

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    Nice layer of fog out toward Lake Stevens.

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    The sky wasn't super dramatic, but I'm still glad the battery lasted long enough to catch this part.

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    I'm surprised I haven't noticed this building-in-progress before. Wonder what it'll be.

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    On the way home, I finally stopped for photos of this sign. Glad they hadn't changed it yet.

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    And here's the time lapse. I cut out tons of dark frames at the start, and would have taken out even more, but I liked the vehicle going by.



    Back to reality tomorrow!


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  • 10/02/17--17:16: Swing of things
  • There's a great view of the Southern sky from the side of our house next to the garage, and a perfect spot to put the Podo, too. I hoped to get the rest of the day until dark, but the battery ran out after five hours. This was with a 30-second interval, which makes sense; I think my record was 11 hours or so with a minute interval. Part of me thinks about adding a tab to my spreadsheet and keeping track of these things so I can set my expectations properly and know without any guesswork what the best interval is for what I want to accomplish. But maybe since I'm someone who has "a spreadsheet," I should probably just try to memorize and get a feel for it.



    I didn't get the darkness falling that I wanted, but the sun's journey all the way across is pretty neat.



    I was a little intimidated by the number of unread emails in my work inbox when I opened it for the first time in 11 days today, but I dove right in and kept at it until it was all under control. Some stuff I volleyed to other people came back while I ate breakfast, and I spent the rest of the morning on my turn, then went straight to the noon session at the swim center, which I don't mind doing when school's in session. It's a little weird to go when it's so much brighter out and a completely different crowd, but the main issue is that I end up really hungry and eating a late lunch due to the timing.

    Earlier, I couldn't find Steve, which should have been easy because all of the doors upstairs were closed and I knew he wasn't downstairs. Then I noticed he was on an upper shelf in the lower linen closet, which Sam likes to open sometimes.

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    I played the first scene of Inhumans and decided there are way too many shows to watch right now and all of the new superhero ones can wait. Deleted the timer for that one and The Gifted. It was a 2-hour premier and it felt so nice to just delete it!


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  • 10/03/17--19:07: Messy eater
  • Timing and clear skies made for no good opportunity for a time lapse today, so I decided to use the video mode the first time and catch some of the action at our bird feeder. Several kinds of birds were fighting over it yesterday so I filled it again. So far, only this one seems to have noticed.


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    two walks in the dark?

    Lately I've been pretty good about staying away from the thrift shops because I've certainly reached a point where there's a lot of stuff in the garage that's not on display, plus a bunch that's there and on the shelf in my room that I can use for air plant displays if I want to make any. A backlog of stuff, if you will. But while I'm not actively looking, my eyes are still open, and I saw a really cool lazy Susan on the Riverside Trading CoInstagram story Monday night. I might not have chosen to buy it if I also had to pay for shipping, but they offer free local pickup, which is a great deal for those of us in Everett. I made arrangements to pick it up off one of their porches Tuesday morning on the way to my walk, and it was waiting for me under her bench in a nice paper bag with some very cute mini business cards, along with a sticker that's now on my laptop.

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    Definitely check their Etsy if you like vintage stuff, it's amazing.

    After picking it up, I headed to the marina for a nice walk around there.

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    I'm always one to roll with the punches, and the current one is trying to find interesting photos in the dark. Buildings help.

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    Impounded boats with funny names are another favorite subject.

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    I spent a lot of the morning one section of the marina over from a really cool fog bank. It was neat to watch it roll in and then back out just before I could catch it.

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    This heron surprised me by hanging around instead of flying away as soon as I grabbed my phone.

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    No dramatic sunrise, but at least the '80s colors were in full effect to the West as I headed back to the car.

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    Pretty squares.

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    I thought about making today a swim day, but went to the tank farm instead. Pretty soon there won't be any trace of the tank farm left and I'll have to choose something else to call it. The moon was absolutely gorgeous during the drive over and I barely managed to get a photo before it set.

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    Can't say I know why a crane needs this many lights on it, but it was dramatic and ridiculous.

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    IRL emoji.

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    I recognize this artist's style from elsewhere. They've drawn in the strange little structure with the unlocked door down closer to the water.

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    There were more seals down there than I've ever seen before. There was a second group like this one, plus eight or so swimming by themselves. The woman who walks two golden retrievers said there was also a dead one for a week or so recently, but thankfully I never spotted that one.



    A while ago I had a great call with my boss about a new use for our tool for my old boss from two bosses ago. Thankfully I can do a lot of the work involved once it's ready, which will be good not only because I'll be in charge of it, but because I won't have to explain it to anyone, provide the in-depth documentation I normally have to create, or answer any questions about it. Lots of wins there for me.


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    I've become so good at keeping my hair completely dry while I tread water, and it's a good thing I do. It's impossible to keep my beard out of the water, and when I come out, it looks completely normal with no purple tint at all. I can't imagine how much color would get zapped from my hair if I let the pool water get on it. Speaking of which, yesterday was such a good hair day. I'm sure people who follow me across many platforms are tired of hearing about it.



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    I took that third picture in the kitchen, when I went in for some photo updates. The vertical garden has more vines now, so I got to work with the Command hooks. Too bad we don't have a taller stepladder.

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    And I hung the chile wreath I picked up at the Pasco Farmers Market. Too bad the light isn't brighter, some of the colors are really intense.

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    A wider shot, for context.

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    I can't remember if I've mentioned that I joined MoviePass, but the card finally came, and I've already used it twice. Yesterday I saw Spider-Man Homecoming up in Marysville, and today I went to the Everett Mall for lunch in the food court and Mother! Please note the exclamation point is part of the movie's title and in no way reflects any enthusiasm I have for that movie. Because it's terrible. And that's saying a lot coming from me.

    If you're not familiar, MoviePass costs $10 per month after the joining fee, which for me was also $10 because it was during a sale. Participating theaters are in the app, which you use to check in to the movie. You have to be within 100 yards of the theater, and you have 30 minutes after you check in to buy the ticket using the MoviePass debit card. You can see one 2D movie every day. So if you go to two movies a month, it's a great deal. I've always chosen to wait to see a lot of movies because I didn't want to spend the money, so getting to see as many as I want for a flat fee is perfect for me. I'm probably not their ideal customer, though.

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  • 10/06/17--04:22: SchadenFriday

















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  • 10/07/17--06:53: 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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