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  • 10/08/17--15:09: One mystery solved
  • I don't go to the marina twice in a week very often, but it was a perfect choice on Friday because I had a haircut scheduled at 8:45am. It's close, so it's easy to get back with plenty of time for breakfast before heading out again. It was quite dark, but the moon was full and bright. Enough that I decided I'd leave the Podo on the steering wheel in my car pointed that way instead of toward the West. Of course a big factor in that decision is that I assumed there wouldn't be much of a sunrise, or that I'd be gone too soon anyway.


    First special I've seen in a while. That one sounds pretty good!


    Turns out I was totally wrong about the sunrise. It was deep and dramatic for the last quarter of the walk. I even had an opportunity to get a panorama with a sunrise and the full moon.


    I love when you can do shots like this with the moon.


    And of course the best part of the sunrise was right when I got near the car.


    Here's that setting moon time lapse. Simple and fun.

    The haircut was my first in my barber's new space, which I really like. It's a little bit further away, but in the other direction. Neighborhood setting instead of on a busy street. Lots of windows and a good view of a neighborhood cat's adventures across the street. Looking forward to seeing what she does with the space.

    After work I went back to the mall for another lunch and MoviePass movie. This time I had Panda Express for the first time in years, and saw Flatliners, which was great. People like to hate on remakes but I think they're fun. And there's really no bad outcome. It's either a good one, and everyone wins, or they turn out bad and reinforce the greatness of the original. I can barely remember the first Flatliners, and will definitely watch it soon to see how they compare.

    But really, it was just nice to see another movie in the theater that wasn't Mother! And the mall parking lot was a perfect spot for another time lapse.

    I set another one up Saturday morning while it was still dark, and encountered a trespasser in our back yard on my way back into the house. He explained that he hid his bag in our back yard because his stuff wasn't safe while he slept in the park. I asked him to move along and now we're finally looking at getting a fence.

    I tried my best to set this up straight in the dark, but it's still a little off kilter.

    This morning was nice out at Langus. The moon's still crazy bright.


    As always, the place was a muse for me. I love rotating what I see there.


    I took a photo of these ducks and was surprised how they were framed so perfectly on three sides. The one on the right was cleaning her feathers with her head down, and I didn't notice until I got about ten steps away, but I was able to line up the same shot again quite easily.


    The construction barrier was pushed aside and I wondered whether or not that meant the trail was open again. Decided not to test out that theory and turned back.


    Pretty squares.


    I took the paved trail back to the car because I wanted the extra miles, and was surprised to find it quite busy. After a while it became quite obvious there was an event happening, and frankly, it was annoying. People were sitting on chairs right on the trail, and standing in the road and crossing it without looking as I drove out. There was even a truck that drove off the road and the tow truck that came to pull it out was blocking the exit. But I'm kind of glad because now I finally know what the event was that made me turn around and leave last year around this time. It's the Everett Rowing Head of the Snohomish Regatta, and I'm going to put a recurring item in the calendar to remind me to check for it every year so I know to just go somewhere else.

    You might look at this Hyperlapse and wonder why I was so annoyed, but keep in mind that the video is 32 times faster than real life.

    We had a nice brunch at Harvey's and then went to Lowe's for paint for our upcoming remodel. And I thought we chose a toilet while we were there, but Garrett's still looking into that.

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    There were some nice fluffy clouds I could see from the back yard yesterday, so I set up the time lapse on the telescoping handle of our cooler out in the middle of the lawn. There was just enough room under the tree to get a good view of the sky with just a bit of our neighbor's roof and chimney showing, plus Garrett's weather station on the edge of our roof. But the clouds left, and the camera fell a bit.

    I'm glad I developed a "win some, lose some" attitude about these, because there was an even bigger miss this morning. I parked next to the playground and faced the camera East, forgetting that the low winter sun is much further South. From the pool, I could see a very gorgeous and colorful cloud show, but the camera on my steering wheel caught this.

    Yawn. Oh well. None of that compares to this afternoons fiasco. Sometimes I like to do a little grooming with body sugar that I make myself, and my among other parts, my foot tattoos were definitely ready for it. After doing regular body sugar several times now, I wanted to try making a batch of Arabic wax.

    She makes it look so easy! It's really not. I'm honestly not sure if I cooked it long enough or let it cool long enough, but things fell apart both times I tried during the step where you grab it and handle it for several minutes. When my hands got too dry, it stuck too much, of course. But regularly wetting my hands seemed to add too much water to the sugar and make it too thin. After two attempts, I decided to just make the regular sugar. It was a little hot when I did my left food, which ended up looking quite pink. Everything's fine now, but I was a little worried for a bit. But then I remembered seeing coworkers who got their eyebrows done during lunch breaks with pink streaks all around them for several hours after.

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  • 10/10/17--19:25: Happy birthday, Dennis!
  • He turns 74 tomorrow.


    Not actually sure why we were there tonight instead of tomorrow. Bella inspected the gifts.

    Hi Bella

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  • 10/11/17--11:08: More glass, more problems
  • I don't always get great results doing it, but it's so nice to set up the Podo on my steering wheel and not have to worry about it. It comes with new challenges, though. Yesterday I went back to the marina, left it pointing Northeast, and walked North in the dark.

    The public boat launch is a popular place for seals to hang out these days, though I didn't see as many as I did last time. There are a few in this photo but I doubt you can see them unless you keep your monitor really bright. I knew that was the case but still loved the way the reflections looked in the still water.


    The clouds weren't colorful, but they were active, so I knew the time lapse would be pretty cool.


    This is pretty close to get to a heron and I'm amazed it didn't take off when I reached for my phone. It even stayed as I left!


    Another impounded boat with a great name.


    The video came out pretty cool, too bad about the dirty spot on the windshield.

    I set another lapse up at a new spot in our yard yesterday on a 30-second interval. It got photos for about six hours, starting at 10:30am, and was another case where the sky didn't look that interesting when I set it up, but the results were really cool.

    Of course I really wish it would have gone a few more hours, the last of the evening light was really pretty.


    I did another from the steering wheel while I swam this morning, but it wasn't really worth putting anywhere but YouTube. It might have been ok with a regular lens, but the wide angle from the Podo showed too much tree and not enough sky. And then a leaf from the tree came along, which was pretty funny.

    One thing I did with that video that I'll be doing with a lot of them is compressing the dark beginning so it goes faster. I prefer that to editing it out completely because sometimes there are lights and I'd rather be able to see them whiz by than leave them on the cutting room floor. I sent a message to the Podo support staff saying they should add a delay start feature and they actually replied saying they'd pass the suggestion on the programming staff! I hope it actually happens, it would be a great feature.

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  • 10/13/17--04:47: Video extravaganza
  • I spent my afternoons today and yesterday at the movies in Marysville. The Mountain Between us was really good, and Blade Runner 2049 was absolutely amazing. It's been forever since I saw Blade Runner and not only can I barely remember it, I remember thinking it was pretty overrated. 2049 blew me away. I'm so glad I'm seeing all these movies in the theater because these two specifically were pretty great on the big screen and it's nice to sit and watch instead of also playing with my laptop.

    That theater is also a great place to go if you want to see some fall colors.


    While I was away yesterday I nailed the second attempt at the view my camera fell down during the other day. The sky mostly cleared up for a while, so I sped part of it up, which you can see if you know to look for it.

    And the drives out and back made for some great hyperlapses. Love these clouds.

    The bad thing about Hyperlapse on the phone is that it can only do 20 minutes of video, and it can't do videos at the setting I normally use on the phone. The second issue is one that I address by using separate dashcam software, but I had to sacrifice some footage because of the first issue, which made me finally look into getting Hyperlapse Pro on my computer. When you go to purchase a license, you end up at a 404 error page, but by searching, I found out that if you open a support ticket, they'll just give you a license! I haven't tried using it yet, but I've got it activated on my laptop now.

    There wasn't much to photograph this morning at the tank farm due to the darkness. It cracks me up how much they light this crane up, though. It wasn't on when I got there and I heard the noise when they fired it up.


    This is an outtake for a black and white photo challenge I'm working on. I didn't like it in black and white, but it looks like it was lit intentionally, kind of like the nighttime driving sequence in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. That's just a street light, though. The original shot I wanted was the sign in silhouette with the streetlight behind it, but that didn't work.


    I'll post all seven black and white photos when I'm done with the challenge.

    It rained during Blade Runner which makes for a pretty neat time lapse. There's so much to see because you can watch the droplets grow and merge, plus each acts like a separate lens.

    Now that I'm doing a lot of time lapses from my steering wheel, it's important to park where the view is unlikely to get blocked. Makes it look very lonely.


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  • 10/13/17--04:49: SchadenFriday

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  • 10/14/17--05:32: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

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

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  • 10/15/17--10:49: Possibly a record
  • I'm not sure if I ever took exactly one picture during a walk at Langus before, but when I was there Friday, it was really early and dark. I took this one because it was neat to be able to see the light coming from Snohomish on the left and Everett on the right, as distant and faint as Snohomish is.


    It rained a lot while I was there, too. I even think I felt a little hail! If I'm going to get soaked during a walk, Friday is the best possible day for it since all my gear gets washed. This was the first rainy hyperlapse in a while, and the first one I ever made with the pro version on the laptop.

    I gotta say, if you watch the youtube version full screen, there's definitely a nice quality to it. I noticed it during the processing in the software, everything just has a crisper look than I'm used to. I can't imagine processing all hyperlapses on the laptop but I'll definitely do it for darker and rainy ones.

    Just before sunrise yesterday, I set up another time lapse from the spot under the weather station. And I confirmed afterward that the dark spot you can see in the sky is unfortunately not one I can get rid of easily. It's not on the case or the lens, and someone who has a lot of experience with this sort of thing says it's probably something on the sensor inside. The Podo isn't in the price range where it makes sense to attempt to take it apart and have a look, and I don't have a good track record with that kind of project anyway.

    Someone in Lowell posted on Nextdoor asking if it was really gunshots that they heard one morning this week, and without looking it up, I knew it was hunting season again. It cracks me up that people can move to a neighborhood right across the river from a spot like that without it ever occurring to them that legal hunting occurs there. I knew there would be a ton of annoying hunters at Langus today but I still wanted to go. It was still quite nice and the shooting didn't even start until just before I got to the car.


    I even walked in a completely new spot! They've removed a fence at the corner of the biosolids retention area, presumably to allow construction traffic between the spot where the workers park and the other end. I used the wide angle lens here to show the spot where the fence was on the left, and the part I followed for a bit on the right.


    The fence has been down a week or so, and the orange barrier has been pushed aside that entire time. The first couple of times I saw this I figured someone walking or running pushed that barrier aside and that I shouldn't cross, but now that it's been a week, I can't imagine the personnel working there hasn't seen it. If they wanted it closed, they've have pushed it back across the trail. My hope is that once the salmon habitat is completed, this will all be part of one gigantic walking path that encircles it completely.


    There aren't many flowers and plants to see in that area right now, but the dead and dying ones make for some interesting shots. The second one has a really nice web that I couldn't get a very clear shot of.


    I was beginning to think I wouldn't even see the sun, but I finally spotted it while getting into the car.


    I don't normally drive this way back, but the fog was cool and I wanted to be in it as long as possible.

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    There's a challenge going around on Facebook and Instagram, one black and white photo per day for seven days. One variation adds "no people, no explanations."njbearcub1 challenged me to do it and I accepted, though as is often the case, I decided not to tag anyone else. No need to worry, some people are tagging a different person every day!

    I can think of one photo in the last year that I did in black and white before this, a mountain and sky scene from Langus which I applied the filter to because the moment had an Ansel Adams feel to it. If this last week reinforced anything, it's that black and white is very difficult, and I'm impressed by people who are good at it.

    Black and white photo challenge, day 1

    Black and white photo challenge, day 2

    Black and white photo challenge, day 3

    Black and white photo challenge, day 4

    Black and white photo challenge, day 5

    Black and white photo challenge, day 6

    Black and white photo challenge, day 7

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  • 10/17/17--19:35: Trying new things
  • When it's dark and rainy, it's time to change gears a bit.

    There were lots of seals at the boat launch again, but I couldn't really see them in photos on the first pass. One was hanging out with a heron in the light on the way back, though.

    Heron and seal

    The only other picture I got was a tree in a parking lot light.


    The drive back isn't very far, but I wanted a dashcam video for the rain drops on the windshield.

    The Instagram very looks good, but I really like the YouTube version with the playback set to 720p. I always complain when TVs have a really high frame rate and resolution, and everything looks like the news, but on the computer it's kind of neat.

    Another thing that's different about that hyperlapse is that it's only 8x the normal speed to make up for the short drive. I usually use 32x, with the occasional 16x.

    Later on I wanted to do something involving rain, but it wasn't hitting our windows and I didn't want it right on the camera case. I settled for a view of the steps to our deck, and like the way you can see the water evaporating/soaking into the wood. I sped up that part so it's more obvious.

    While that was going, I had enough time between my main work day and our weekly conference call to run up to Marysville to watch Happy Death Day, which I'd been looking forward to. Really fun movie if you like horror comedies, even if the premise isn't exactly a new idea. They didn't have to do it, but it's funny when they acknowledge where the idea for the movie came from.

    MoviePass is working out great. That's 6 movies in October so far.

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  • 10/18/17--15:54: Waiting in the wind
  • It's pretty funny that the sous vide machine I pre-ordered 23 months ago is finally being delivered today. Also on its way is a huge wind storm. There are already power outages as close as three blocks from here. I imagine I'll plug the thing in and the power will immediately go out.

    While I wait, here's a video from yesterday I forgot to put in the post.

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  • 10/19/17--19:43: Sous-ccess!
  • The Mellow came during lunch today in plenty of time to set it up for dinner. I did it really early because I wanted to see the cooling feature in action. It was cool! Pun intended. I added shallots, garlic, and rosemary to the bag and set it up to cook rare. The potatoes had been in the crock pot since about 10:30am. I hoped to serve a Louie salad but they didn't have any. The Southwest one was really good, though.

    Steaks in sous vide, potatoes in crock pot
    Southwest salad
    Steaks and potatoes

    The steaks came out really great. I finished them in butter in a pan and just now realized I should have emptied the pan over the baked potato halves.

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  • 10/20/17--04:43: SchadenFriday

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  • 10/21/17--06:03: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

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

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    Lately I really like to find a cabin and walk or hike somewhere new when Garrett has other plans. He and Claire went to the Depeche Mode concert on Saturday in Seattle, and I decided to get a place to stay on Whidbey Island. From the ferry as I left Mukilteo, I got a nice view of the tank farm and Edgewater Beach.


    The first stop was Greenbank Farm, where I met up with Dale. He wanted to show me the trail up the hill he likes there, which has a spot from which you can see the water on both sides of the island, which is pretty neat. That's up the hill from where I took this.


    Whidbey Pies is down there, and we had a lovely lunch. I had the quiche of the day with a salad and one of the soups of the day, which was a delicious seafood chowder.


    I decided you shouldn't have to go all the way to Italy for a shot like this.


    We stopped by the cemetery where our friend Barbara's plot is. That's actually how the two of them got in touch again after many years being out of touch. He was looking around the cemetery and saw her headstone, and didn't know if she was alive or dead! He found her on Facebook and they reconnected.

    During this visit, we could see by the state of the dirt that her ashes have finally been interred, six months after she died. I confirmed it with her ex-husband's sister this morning.

    Dale took me to see his house and workshop, then I drove to Langley to pick up some food to take to the cabin. Once again, I ended up with some pizza. That's an easy option but I need to do something else next time. It's just not enjoyable to wake up and eat pizza for breakfast before a morning walk. The restaurant where I got it was absolutely stunning, with huge windows looking out onto the water. I also liked this building across the street and a few doors up the hill.


    The cabin I rented was absolutely amazing. The most secluded one I've stayed in so far, and at the end of the road it was on so I didn't see any more cars or people until I left the next day. The gas fire was already going when I arrived, and the TV had AppleTV with Netflix and Hulu already set up. The original plan was to read my book when I got there, but I was too tired and watched the Netflix original movie What Happened to Monday instead. Great film.

    It's a shame I was at the cabin by myself and only for one night, as it was spacious, comfy, and had a really wonderful deck out front. And to think I paid less to stay there than I did for the tiny house I rented when I went to Mt. Baker last year.


    The Putney Woods trail system gets good reviews online and wasn't far from the cabin, so I chose it even though Dale had never heard of it. I grabbed this photo of the map when I arrived not realizing I'd actually be able to use it to choose where to go because the trails were all marked, which I'm not used to.


    Obviously the best trail name of the day.


    Lovely woods.


    Regular vs. wide-angle.


    Excellent morning light.


    A little Snapchat humor on the ferry home.


    I've been pretty busy the last couple of days and never got around to posting about the walks from last Thursday and Friday, and didn't make any posts yesterday or the day before. And I'm not going to. I've decided to let go of the self-imposed duty to post here every single day. I managed to do it for five years, and only missed a few days here and there in years leading up to that. It's kind of a cool accomplishment but I've reached a point where it's a burden sometimes, and I refuse to be a burden to myself. I might also take a more visual approach for certain days where there are things to see, but little to say about them. We'll see.

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  • 10/25/17--09:47: "We'll take it."
  • I wish commercials were on IMDb. I hate when I can't place someone from a commercial. Thankfully while typing this I realized that the guy who finds the hidden man cave next to the kitchen in the VW commercial is either Wes Bentley or a dude who looks enough like him that the glow from the man cave in his eyes is reminding me of the light from the TV when Ricky Fitts shows the video of the most beautiful thing he ever saw, which was a plastic bag swirling around in the wind.

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    After a few unsuccessful attempts recently, I finally got a new time lapse of the cats napping. It's a heated floor, so you'd think they'd be there every day, but one of their favorite spots is on the dining room chairs, just out of frame.

    It's really dark during my walks lately, so not much to see during Tuesday's stroll around the marina, though I like this panorama.


    It was pretty bright by the time I got to the car and the trees were gorgeous.


    Yesterday I went to the pool really late so I could get my flu shot when the clinic opened up without having to kill any time between. Strangely enough, a man I know from the pool and his wife were there. I hadn't seen them at the pool, so if they were they, they killed a lot of time before their shot.

    Flu shot

    I hadn't notice them when I walked in, but as I filled in my form, I heard my name. His wife didn't recognize me, and while he was explaining that I'm at the pool while they are a lot, the receptionist asked, "Oh, you know them?" Then the wife said, "I didn't recognize him with his clothes on." Awkward!

    Today I got down to the tank farm for a walk and managed to get home while it was still dark. The hotel down there has some bright lights that face the beach, and this guy almost seemed to be showing off.

    Our bathroom remodel is going great so far, but it's still exhausting. The noise and the dust and the smells are one thing, but having to keep the cats sequestered while someone's in and out of the house all day is getting old. Steve in particular isn't handling it well. Or maybe it's just his daily freakouts that I don't normally see because he's upstairs and I'm down here. Oh well. One more day and we get a break.

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  • 10/27/17--06:00: SchadenFriday

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  • 10/28/17--06:10: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

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

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  • 10/30/17--16:19: The Three D's
  • Drag queens, Dinner, and Duvall!

    I can't remember exactly how the subject originally came up, but my friend Georgia had mentioned that she'd like to see the drag show at Flavour Bistro in Duvall. I wanted to go as well, not just because drag shows are fun, but also because the chef and owner of the restaurant used to own one of our old favorite restaurants in Seattle. We even had our wedding reception there. Flavour Bistro is relatively new, and Georgia had seen the show at Chef Sean's last restaurant in Fall City, which we'd never made it to. Our friend Christina was down for a drag show, so a couple of months ago, I made a reservation. It happens once a month and sells out every time, so planning ahead is required.

    Duvall's about half an hour from here, and the drive yesterday was just gorgeous. Fall colors everywhere, plus fog, and a killer sunset. I really should have made a dashcam video.

    Chef Sean kept mentioning that the show would be epic, and I was starting to wonder if he booked a famous queen or two. The hostess indicated soon that it was the opposite situation; two new queens would be performing in public for the first time! That worried me a bit because there was a new queen at the last place we regularly saw shows, and her first show was painfully awkward. A site to behold either way, I suppose.

    Dinner was great. Garrett and Georgia had the Chicken Nachatta, Chef Sean's signature dish that's always on the menu. Christina and I had the braised rabbit from the fresh sheet. It was all great.

    It's really hard to get photos of people dancing around in a dark room, and videos didn't seem right either because we were right by the speakers. I ended up getting a couple of Boomerangs that turned out fun.

    The night was also a fundraiser for Acres of Diamonds, a transitional housing organization for women escaping domestic violence and their children. One portion was a contest to come up with names for the two new queens, the winners determined by donations people would give for their favorites. My name won! That's how the queen wearing white in this video ended up being named my submission, Sheila Blige. My favorite part was hearing people explain the joke at other tables over and over. "She'll...oblige."

    I couldn't get a good picture, but I had to try, because the two "new queens" were actually Chef Sean and the owner of a local winery. Sean ended up with the 2nd place name, Kitty L'Tour.


    He took his heels off and handed them to Garrett about ten seconds into the song, and his outfit came off as soon as he could get away to change clothes. The queens said they added a layer of hairspray on top of the makeup and it would take a while for that to come off.


    We all danced to "Thriller" at the end of the show, then spilled out into the cool, foggy night.


    It was a long, stressful drive home in that fog, and we did't even get back until about 11:00. It's made for a long day today, but we had a great time.

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