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Blah Blah Blog - LiveJournal.com
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    Hanging around in Portland last weekend was interesting because I finally found myself in just the right spots where it really reminded me of Seattle, specifically Seattle several years ago. There's an intersection near the hotel where we stayed that was the spitting image for 12th and Madison before it started getting torn down and rebuilt. Plus if you look down the hill from there, you see downtown, just like in Seattle. It reminded me of being there on vacation for the first time when I wanted so badly to live there, and I did, just two months later.

    It would have really left me wanting to move down there, if I missed Seattle all that much. I just don't, though. I miss a lot of people and a couple of places, but for the most part, I'm really happy we moved. We found a great house in a wonderful neighborhood, with just about anything we could want nearby. I've got my awesome walking spots which I have mostly to myself. And I swim all the time, which is a first. I've aged out of needing cool places to go and I already found a husband, so life in a small city just suits me.

    But it was definitely a trip. Nostalgia is very powerful but I'm much more interested in the rest of my life from here on out.

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  • 09/05/16--13:44: Disruption
  • Mondays are usually swim days, but since it's Labor Day today, the pool's closed. So I just headed over to the waterfront instead.

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    Not too much to see today, though I did finally explore that creepy overgrown bit of land at the North end a bit today. Turns out there are two paths going up. Maybe they form a loop. I didn't go very far on either one because I started finding garbage and discarded clothes. Pass. Someone set up a little pirate shelter on the beach next to it, though.

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    The sky was cloudy and nice the whole time, and the tide was high.

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    Today"s awesome walk, 6.23 miles in 2:06, 13,741 steps
    6.23 miles in 2:06, 13,741 steps

    I wasn't even committed to going out today since it's a day off. I turned the alarm off before bed and figured if I was awake, I'd go, and if not, no big deal. It was a pretty rough night of sleep, and when I finally gave up, I looked at my phone to see what time it was. Exactly 4:00am, the time my alarm normally sounds. Figures.

    EDIT: oh yay, after most of yesterday's stuff fell off, my Snapchat story fell below the threshold (20 videos max) and could be exported. It starts with one of our Skip-Bo games yesterday.




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  • 09/06/16--10:21: Slug city
  • It rained throughout the night, so I decided before I even got out of bed that I'd walk somewhere paved, and the Lowell riverfront trail jumped to the top of the list because I generally go to the tank farm on Thursdays and Lisa might come this week. I adjusted my departure time to take the later sunrise into consideration, and started my walk at about 6am. That place is one of the ones I find a bit creepy in the dark, so I waited a little bit to put my earbuds in.

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    Thankfully the creepy gives way to calm rather quickly.

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    Unsurprisingly, they've added a fence blocking off that huge area they recently cleared. Also unsurprisingly, it's a pointless fence that you can just walk around the side of.

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    The sky was overcast enough that I didn't see any of the sunrise or much color, though I could make out a band of pink when I got to the Northern section of the trail.

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    Lots of progress on the new houses.

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    And so many slugs and snails. I'm always impressed by my ability to enjoy the scenery while also watching where I'm going so I don't crush them.



    Today"s awesome walk, 4.46 miles in 1:32, 9,935 steps
    4.46 miles in 1:32, 9,935 steps

    I didn't get out as much as I'd have liked this long weekend, so the plan so far is to head up to Marysville for lunch and to see Don't Breathe, and stop at WinCo before heading back in. Plans are, of course, subject to change.

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  • 09/06/16--17:52: A swell afternoon
  • I did indeed head up to Marysville for lunch, a movie, and some shopping. Our two nearest movie theaters are at Everett Mall and in Marysville, and are five and ten miles away, respectively. So depending on what's going on with traffic, it's not necessarily a big deal to go twice as far. Plus I wanted to go to WinCo afterward, and the Marysville one's more convenient to their theater and the highway than ours is from our theater. A nice advantage Marysville has is that I haven't been to as many of their restaurants, and I had a very nice paper wrapped chicken (actually in foil) appetizer, plus Szechuan scallops. Really good.

    Paper-wrapped chicken (a house specialty) (yes, it"s foil)
    Szechuan scallop

    The movie, Don't Breathe, was really good. I recommend it highly if you like high tension.

    And for the first time in a while, I got some good clouds on my dashcam. For far too long, we had cloudless, sunny skies, and then we had overcast ones with no detail. Today was pretty, even if it was warmer than I care for.



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  • 09/07/16--11:02: One more night
  • Time passes most slowly when the amount of time one has to wait is longer than what was originally expected. A major example in my life was when we bought this house. A typical closing period is 30 days, but the seller was moving across the country and asked for six weeks. We agreed and I'm pretty sure that's a big part of why our offer was accepted, which is fortunate, because our original offer was also our maximum budget. That was only 12 extra days, but it made that closing period feel so much longer.

    I set out last Thursday to buy a bed, hoping to have it delivered the same day, but since they don't keep that size in the showroom, I've had to wait a week. It's being delivered tomorrow, and Thursday last week feels like ages ago. Although last night wasn't quite as bad as many have been lately, I can't say I've slept well since we left Carlton. I'm excited about the new mattress, but I also realize it may take some time to break it in. There are probably lots of naps in my future.

    It was nice to get back in the pool today, which was closed Monday for Labor Day. I was sad because I didn't see Zoey the entire time I was there, but I found her on my way out the door.

    Zoey

    Oh and speaking of real estate, it's funny that RedFin is investing so much to advertise to me. Last week I got a letter from them in the mail trying to get us to sell the house, citing a 33% increase in value in the 26 months since we moved in. But it's their other advertising targeted to me that makes me specifically not want to move. They keep showing me houses on Facebook that are smaller than ours, ugly inside, not walking distance from anything, and way more expensive than ours. Once in a while they're big and on huge plots of land, which is interesting, but for the most part, they're smaller than ours. Everett really is magical. We love it here and it's so much cheaper than just about any of the other cities nearby.

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  • 09/08/16--16:24: Creepy and cool
  • Everyone knows I'm a morning person and that the sunrise is my favorite time of day. We're starting to enter the time of year where that happens later and later, and the darkness comes earlier. I wouldn't say I'm scared of the dark by any means, but I definitely find the night a little creepy. Or creppy.



    For the rest of this year and well into next, I'll be heading out in the morning in darkness, too.



    There's really nothing to worry about in Mukilteo, though. I stumbled on a couple of rocks because I couldn't see very well, but that's about it.

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    This overgrown shack is still a bit too creepy, though. Mainly because it'd take a while to navigate all the thorny vines, and if you encountered something scary in there, you'd get caught in them while running out.

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    While I don't appreciate all the darkness, the encroaching fall colors are fun.

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    The beach builders are still hard at work. And I didn't get a photo anywhere but Snapchat, but that boat is still on the beach.

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    I cut the walk a little short because I also wanted to go to Howarth Park. So of course the clouds started getting interesting.

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    I've made plans with a friend to try to walk from Howarth Park Beach to Pigeon Creek Beach during low tide a week from tomorrow, and was hoping to see if it's possible today. It was halfway between low and high tide by the time I got there, though, so I couldn't tell. It was a nice trip over there, though. The path from the parking lot was blocked by fallen trees, but I confirmed before I left that the other lower path is clear.

    Today"s awesome walks, 4.96 miles in 1:53, 11,793 steps, 256ft gain
    4.96 miles in 1:53, 11,793 steps, 256ft gain

    The delivery window for my new mattress was noon-2pm, and they made it at about 2:10. I called my barber to see if she had any openings this afternoon, but she didn't, so I took a nap with Sam and Steve. It was nice.


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  • 09/09/16--06:00: SchadenFriday








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  • 09/10/16--06:25: CATURDAY









































































































































  • BONUS Saturdogs






















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  • 09/11/16--16:30: One friend, two walks
  • I've been showing Melissa all of our local walk spots, and on Friday we went to Big Gulch, which was my first visit there in a while. Now there's only one place left to show her. As is always the case, I don't stop for photos much if I've got someone in tow. But the view on the way down demands at least one shot.

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    Friday"s awesome walk, 4.08 miles in 1:34, 9,727 steps, 377ft gain
    4.08 miles in 1:34, 9,727 steps, 377ft gain

    She balked when I told her we'd be doing about four miles max at Big Gulch, so it was funny to see as we walked further and further down the hill when she'd ask, "We have to climb all the way back up?" The gulch is a fun climb, though. It's not an uphill slog.

    She wants to walk as much as I do but is having a hard time conjuring up the motivation to go out on her own, so yesterday I invited her out again. I wanted to visit the East side of Japanese Gulch, from the top. Unfortunately, the route I came up with was shorter than I thought it would be. I consulted my last map from that side which was a walk that was over three hours, and I cut it down too much. It was still nice, though.

    Today"s awesome walk 3.5 miles in 1:33, 9,159 steps, 138ft gain
    3.5 miles in 1:33, 9,159 steps, 138ft gain

    The views from that side are nice. I'm sad to report that my favorite view is slowly being ruined by new trees getting taller. I won't complain, though, because they're trees.

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  • 09/12/16--04:41: A great Monday morning
  • After four nights on my new mattress, I think my shoulder that's been sore for three months is finally better. I attribute this to spending most of last night sleeping on my back, which is something that was never possible before I got the CPAP, and not possible for long on that last mattress. My credit card bill is huge right now, but it's worth it.

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  • 09/13/16--10:42: Prioritizing
  • Today will launch another busy period for me. The next version of the tool I support will be deployed on the test environment, I'll test all the updates and submit bugs reports if I find any. I also have to update all the documentation and write release notes. It's always best to hunker down and get this done as quickly as possible, in case I find something strange that needs to be fixed. It's entirely possible I'll stay home the next two or three mornings, so I wanted to do my beaches/tank farm walk today instead of Thursday. I've only got the rest of the month to enjoy the extra-early opening time at Mukilteo Beach, and of course there's no telling how much longer it'll be before the whole area's overhauled as the new ferry terminal.

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    It was dark enough that I almost didn't notice this heron hanging around.

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    There weren't many clouds in the sky, but the ones that were, were very beautiful.

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    That boat's still there.

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    I know I've said it before, but I love when the water and the sky are so colorful.

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    I also love being in the right place and time to see the sunrise reflecting off windows.

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    An Instagram highlight from when I first arrived.



    Today"s awesome walk, 4.81 miles in 1:45, 11,074 steps, 195ft gain
    4.81 miles in 1:45, 11,074 steps, 195ft gain

    An awesome treat was waiting in the mailbox, too. jedi_iwakura made a Vulcan lute for my Uhura doll!

    omg my friend Elena made a Vulcan lute for my Uhura doll!


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  • 09/14/16--14:26: That's better
  • My anxiety about this week at work was based on an unfiltered list of production items, many of which didn't end up in my batch to test. What I have to actually get done is much more manageable and I'm not worried about it at all, so I went ahead and hit the pool this morning. When I got there, I saw a poster for their Halloween pool party, which I think is odd. Seems like you can have a costume, or swim, but both? Hm. I really only mentioned it because that was on the way in, and there was a very creepy black ball of fur on the front desk, and it was moving. Turns out it was Zoey. She was just grooming while facing the other way when I walked up.

    Zoey

    I ran into her on the way out as well.



    EDIT: I forgot to mention, today's swim soundtrack was Lip Locked 370, and that one's really good. She had a guest in the studio and they took turns playing three songs each.

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  • 09/15/16--16:27: Safety in darkness
  • I'm grateful as winter approaches that I've got walking spots that are still viable in the dark. The waterfront is one of the best in that respect. It's next to the naval station, there are restaurants receiving deliveries, and tons of people living on boats. So I don't have to see a lot of people during the walk, but they're around if something happens. I don't worry when I'm there at all. And I get to see cool stuff, like the light above Boeing and Paine Field off in the distance.

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    I'm a sucker for a good vanishing point.

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    The sunrise today wasn't colorful at all, but it had its moments.

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    And I saw a lot of seals!

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    Today"s awesome walk, 5.95 miles in 1:55, 12,775 steps
    5.95 miles in 1:55, 12,775 steps

    In other news, I listed something fun on my shop yesterday and a friend bought it within a few minutes.

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  • 09/16/16--06:00: SchadenFriday









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  • 09/16/16--16:06: Afternoons are not my time
  • Turns out my theory is correct. Pigeon Creek beach and Howarth Park Beach become one long beach during low tide, and I walked from the former to the latter this afternoon. Kristen had a sore throat today, so it was just me, and that ended up working out ok, because I sunk really far into the wet sand and wouldn't have been able to do a longer walk like we originally planned. And now I know we shouldn't attempt the big loop since wet feet lead to blisters.

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    There were nice views of the ships and Mt. Baker.

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    And you see all kinds of stuff during low tide.

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    There's an abandoned boat at Edgewater beach, and I found this today. Put them together and start a crab catching business.

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    This photo illustrates why you can't walk from one beach to the other during high tide. You can tell by looking at the wall, there's at least three feet of water. I mean, I guess you could do it, but you'd get soaked and would probably fall a lot because you can't see the rocks to avoid them.

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    Today"s awesome walk, 1.64 miles in 48 minutes, 4,568 steps, 104ft gain
    1.64 miles in 48 minutes, 4,568 steps, 104ft gain

    I almost didn't bother making the map today, but I thought it was cool that it shows the two beaches connected by my path. I must say, afternoon walks really aren't my thing. It was too warm, too bright out, and there were too many people and dogs everywhere. I'm just a morning person and there's no denying it.

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  • 09/17/16--07:43: CATURDAY






























































































  • BONUS Saturdogs




















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  • 09/18/16--15:05: 2spoopy
  • I was delighted to see thick, soupy fog when I glanced out the window this morning. The plan was to meet Melissa at 5:45, which would have been dark, but dark and foggy is even better. Not many photo ops for the first part, though. In fact, the first time I got the phone out for a photo was the spot where I stop each time to get a shot of the progress of the housing construction.

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    Speaking of which! Here's a recent blog post about the Riverside project. I had no idea there's a large portion set aside for retail, or a new park, or townhomes. I'm surprised by the retail, since there's so much empty retail in Everett right now. I can't imagine what would go there that wouldn't just take over a currently-empty spot. This will be interesting to see.

    The other photo I take whenever I'm there:

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    One cool thing about thick fog is how all the spider webs are suddenly so visible. We ended up avoiding a lot of webs to the face on the trails thanks to the extra visibility.

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    Melissa spotted a branch that someone twisted into a knot. I'll try to keep track of what happens to it.

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    If there was any question that fall's here, it's gone.

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    Today"s awesome walk, 5.69 miles in 1:50, 12,236 steps
    5.69 miles in 1:50, 12,236 steps

    This was a fun walk, though it's weird to show that area to someone for her first time when you can't see any of it. Melissa has now seen all my walk spots. The only walk I've really done much that she hasn't is the one that starts here at home and goes past Howarth Park and back. I've also started here and walked all the way around Forest Park and the greenbelt that runs South of it. I don't really care as much for walks that start at home. And I can't really explain why! A strange preference.


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    I haven't mentioned it yet, but we had a medical scare with Sam last week. He sat next to me on the loveseat all morning and I noticed he was struggling a little bit while trying to shift positions. A little while later, he jumped down to the floor and stumbled across the room before laying down again. I wanted to see if he could walk normally, but I couldn't get him to come to me, so I called the vet and asked if I could bring him in immediately. They said I could drop him off and they'd work him in between other appointments. I was really grateful for this, because even though there's an emergency vet in our neighborhood, it's just better for him to go where they have his history on file.

    His blood sugar was extremely high at the time, though a lot of that can be attributed to the stress of the visit. And there was plenty. He screamed and hissed at them enough that now, days later, his meow is still squeaky. They can determine via another test what his levels were over time, and it wasn't elevated in the days leading up. There's no pancreatitis, and x-rays didn't reveal anything. They couldn't figure out what happened. But he's doing great!

    One of the first questions the vet asked was if I'd be willing to do the testing and insulin injections if it turned out he was diabetic, and of course I said yes. But I'm so glad he's not. The recommendation was to put him on prescription food anyway, since he's an older cat and a likely candidate to turn diabetic in the next couple of years. I was worried Sam wouldn't like the food, but he loves it. He's never been a picky eater, though. It's a bit of a pain to feed Sam and Steve different foods, but since I don't have to administer injections, I won't complain much.

    My credit card groaned as I pulled it out of my wallet. I spent lots of money during our trip to Oregon, then bought a new, expensive mattress when we got back. So in the space of a week or so, my balance doubled, and then went to triple the original amount. It was nuts. What would be terrible would be to pay for the whole thing out of pocket. We have both cats insured through PetPlan, and I'm so glad for that. We moved money from our joint savings account to pay me back immediately, then Garrett filed a claim. There's no saying until we hear back how much they'll reimburse us, but it should be a pretty hefty chunk of the total.

    If people don't want to insure their pets and always pay out of pocket, that's fine. But I think you can make better decisions about pet care when financial hardship isn't as much of a factor. And in recent years, people have gotten so comfortable with crowdfunding that they don't see pet insurance as necessary, but there's some fatigue there, for sure.

    Anyway, I'm glad Sam's doing so well. He's also now taking Cosequin in case age-related pain was a factor, and other than his weird meows, he seems pretty much like his old self.


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  • 09/20/16--09:51: Sleep update
  • I was long overdue for a followup because I thought they'd contact me when it was time for it, but they'd told me to make an appointment. Oops. Then about a month ago, I had questions which I sent in that they never got around to contacting me about until over three weeks had passed. Today, I finally had that followup visit.

    The initial study found that I had 14 or more apneas an hour, and that's now down to one or less. He's updating my pressure range from automatic (5-20cm) to 6-11. This will be nice because one of the only issues I've had was excess pressure, which woke me up with the noise the machine would make. The extra bump from 5 to 6 as the minimum should lead to even fewer apneas than the one an hour.

    I had to skip my morning walk because the appointment was so early, which has made for a weird day. It just feels strange not to walk or swim on a weekday. I may do some yoga later.

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  • 09/21/16--10:43: Oh, that's why
  • Lately I've been thinking about back when I was hiking up through the residential neighborhoods West of Japanese Gulch and entering on that side. I never really liked that part and couldn't remember why I was doing it so much. Well, I remembered this morning when I parked at the bottom and entered there with just a little moonlight to see by. The residential part was to give the sun a little time to come up.

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    That moon was bright enough that I could along the tracks pretty well. Anywhere else would have been too dark. Good to know.

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    Wednesday's normally a swim day but I felt like making it a walk day since I missed yesterday's. In addition to the darkness, another good reason to keep to the center and do my wet weather route even though it's not wet is that I haven't been doing hills much. Last time was when I showed Melissa Big Gulch. If I do this access road twice, it comes to just over four miles, which is ok.

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    Next time I might go all the way to the road that runs along the airport and re-enter by the garden, then connect back to the center via the Rusty Car trail. We'll see.

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    Another shot once I got back to the parking area, to show how much brighter it was.

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    Today"s awesome walk, 4.04 miles in 1:29, 9,401 steps, 395ft gain
    4.04 miles in 1:29, 9,401 steps, 395ft gain

    I'm glad I have that route as an option. Good climb, never muddy, even doable in the dark. And I have the option to add any number of trails heading back if I like. Some days it's just good to keep it simple.

    EDIT:
    Oh yeah, first video in a while. The clouds were neat when I got in the car so I knew it would turn out neat.




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  • 09/22/16--08:53: Autumn seaweed
  • I showed Lisa the beaches and tank farm route I like, plus we walked up through the lower portion of Japanese Gulch on the way back to the cars. As is often the case, I only grabbed a couple of photos since I had company.

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    September 30th is the last day Mukilteo Beach is open at 4:00am, and today it was pretty obvious why. I used my phone as a flashlight there for the first time today! Not for very long, because our eyes adjusted pretty well once we got away from all the lights. I could tell by all the smell and the slipping that there was more seaweed there than I've ever encountered before. Maybe it's for the best that I couldn't really see it. After the 30th, the beach opens at 6:30, which I think is a bit late. But I can always do a lap at the tank farm while I wait.

    Today"s awesome walk, 5.09 miles in 1:52, 11,792 steps, 307ft gain

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  • 09/23/16--05:05: SchadenFriday












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  • 09/23/16--18:49: First Blue Apron meal!
  • I was very excited to try the service because the cooking shows I was watching aren't being shown right now and I was kinda out of ideas. This is crispy skin salmon with an orzo, green bean, and cucumber salad. It's been a long time since I cooked something so labor intensive, so I'm glad the shopping part was already done for me. I was a bit surprised to find out you have to wash the produce, I figured that part was already done.

    Our first Blue Apron meal!

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  • 09/24/16--06:00: CATURDAY






















































































































































  • BONUS Saturdogs




























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  • 09/24/16--10:34: Clouds on clouds
  • It's funny to start off early and have so few photo opportunities for so much of a walk. But there are things I notice, like this damn sign. It's supposed to read "INN" but the second N has been burned out for a long time. A year? Why not turn it off until it can be fixed?

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    So it wasn't until I turned around to head back yesterday that I could finally start taking photos. I really like this fishing pier and am curious how busy it gets later.

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    There was no sunrise to see, but I could see faint hints of color on the other side of the sky.

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    The most color I saw all day.

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    I always have lots of fun with Snapchat while I'm out. In fact, I'd say I enjoy my walks in a whole new way now. They have an ever-changing selection of filters to use on faces, and I finally got it to work on a statue.

    Snapchat-2100484650444400941Snapchat-969094402938103474

    I like when it's really cloudy and there are individual clouds below the cloud cover.

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    Yesterday"s awesome walk, 6.57 miles in 2:06, 14,030 steps
    6.57 miles in 2:06, 14,030 steps

    I often cut across the parking lot to get to the car, but when I saw that I'd done 3.25 miles at the turnaround point, I decided to follow my exact path back so I could get over 6.5 miles. Nice long walk to finish the week. It was raining for the last part of the walk, and I always like how rainy dashcam videos look.