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  • 03/29/17--19:49: Darkness, dogs
  • I went back to Langus today since there's no swimming for a while. In fact, it'll be quite a while since because of our conflicting schedules, I have another tattoo appointment a week from Friday. That means a month away from the pool instead of two weeks. Oh well. It was nice out today, even though I got distracted by the lights on the Snohomish hillside and walked right into the big, deep puddle that's been on the paved trail for weeks. Couldn't get much in the way of photos, though.


    I tried five times to get a good shot of this view, and this isn't even half as cool as what I saw. Shots like this are one reason I really enjoy Snapchat, because it makes it easy to convey with a short video how neat something looks, even if you don't feel it's worth an Instagram.


    As I walked along the trail next to the wastewater biosolids storage area, I heard barking, and five dogs bum rushed me. The owner apologized, saying he wasn't expecting anyone else to be around. He was partially right, I'm usually only there Sundays. But still, control the dogs. Glad I learned a while ago how to play along when dogs are freaking out.

    Nice to see the color returning in spurts.


    Today's awesome walk, 7.5 miles in 2:21, 15,868 steps
    7.5 miles in 2:21, 15,868 steps

    I was in the mood to get some good distance in, so I walked past the car along the river for a while. Nice to see that area again, even though it's always loud because of the freeway.

    There's more to share, but the video of the drive home is taking forever to process, so that's where I'll start next time.

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  • 03/30/17--10:32: Where were we, then?
  • Ah yes, the video that took forever to process. Sometimes that app just stops. It didn't take long after I killed it and started again. Not much to see but I always like watching the water droplets on the videos from rainy drives.

    Lunch yesterday was fun. I met Kristen at Chianti, the new Italian restaurant. It's in the spot where one of the downtown dives used to be, which moved to the other end of the block. The remodel is really stunning, but they didn't update the bathrooms, which is an odd choice. I think bathrooms are one of the most important things, and to leave it plain when the rest of the place is gorgeous is so odd. We split a caprese and a bowl of carbonara, then checked out a new thrift store across the street. The owner gets her merchandise from storage auctions, so most of what she has is in pretty good shape.

    After that, we had a drink at the gay bar. Everett has one. Well, it's three clubs in one, but it's still just one place. A sports bar on the ground floor, dance club upstairs, and a lounge they're working on in the basement. The bartender let us go upstairs and check out the dance club, which was cool because I doubt I'll ever be up late enough to see it. It's a nice, big space, with windows and skylights. I should have checked out the bathroom.

    I managed to get a little bit of gossip from the bartender, too. She mentioned another place she recently worked, and that's when I realized I recognized her from there. Turns out she and everyone else there got fired all at once by the owner, which explained why we hadn't seen our regular bartender there in a long time.


    It was a bit of an odd morning today. The guy I usually run into at the end of the first lap showed up near the end of the second one, and two other guys I didn't recognize showed up. It was nice and dark when I arrived, but there wasn't a lot to see as it got brighter. Very few details in the clouds today.


    I noticed a for sale sign on my way in and checked the Zillow app. This place is on the market for $2.6 million. Probably not what I'd go for if that was my budget.

    This is a section of the bottom of an old tank that I always look at whenever I go by. It almost looks like a map of Seattle.


    Happy gull perched triumphantly.


    They could have planned this better, but I appreciate the sentiment.

    They could have planned this better, but I appreciate the sentiment.

    Today's awesome walk, 5.07 miles in 1:44, 11,242 steps
    5.07 miles in 1:44, 11,242 steps

    I skipped the other beach because I wanted to go to the grocery store, and do it as early as possible. I'm going on a road trip tomorrow and thought it would be nice to do the semi-regular deep clean of the cat boxes today, and that included buying a jug of litter because the big bag I bought that looks like it's the same litter by that brand is terrible. There's a little bit left, but I'm not going to use it.

    Because I skipped the Monday and Wednesday swims, I'm already way up in mileage. 32 miles this week so far! And that's just from five walks. I really wish I could retire and walk ten miles every day. Or maybe eight.

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  • 03/31/17--05:48: SchadenFriday

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  • 04/01/17--05:54: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

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

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  • 04/02/17--17:09: Congratulations!
  • I'm a little tired from the road trip, but wanted to take a moment to say a big huge congratulations to badrobot68, who married his longtime partner AJ on Saturday!

    Alan and Alex-jon, April 1, 2017

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  • 04/03/17--13:33: Catchemups
  • What a weekend. I arranged ahead of time to leave work two hours early so I could head down to Portland, so the rest of the morning after my walk was pretty rushed. The walk was nice, though. My first time at Japanese Gulch in a while, though just my standard "up the tracks and back and forth on the access road" mud/darkness route. I recently figured out a good spot on my hydration pack to clip a small flashlight, which is helpful for navigating the mud near the parking area. It wasn't dark for long, though.


    Looks like it might have been a good thing I wasn't using the center trail. A fallen tree was all the way across and it's hard to tell from up above if it was possible to get over or under.


    Friday's awesome walk, 5.64 miles in 1:54, 12,422 steps, 424ft gain
    5.64 miles in 1:54, 12,422 steps, 424ft gain

    My Uber driver nearly got us into an accident on the way to the bus station, then my bus ride to Seattle felt like forever because I didn't think to bring earbuds. I had my mp3 player so I could DJ in the car, but forgot all about the bus part of the journey. I met up with James (jameth) in Wallingford, we had lunch in Fort Lewis at the hilariously-named Pho Lewis, and finally we made it to the Westin. badrobot68 met up with us for a while before his shift at work. Please pardon my thumb.


    Perfect bathroom setup at CC Slaughter's. We had dinner in the adjoining Rainbow Room.

    How to do bathrooms.

    James at JAMES.


    Jeremy (dergerm) met up with us at Embers, followed shortly by my good friends Julie and Heidi. I know several more people in Portland but didn't want to try to arrange a huge group outing again like last time, and I'm glad I was able to have longer conversations with the friends I saw.


    I didn't even know there was going to be a drag show, and it was an awesome one. The hostess looked just like Tiffany Pollard and was hilarious. She brought James up on stage to talk about his Seattle City Council candidacy.


    James on the hotel couch as we waited too long for the elevator. There was lots of elevator weirdness this trip.


    The happy couple cutting the cake.


    Wedding day message from T-rex.

    Rawr! They're married!

    Saturday night was a blast. James and I met up with Douglas, my first boyfriend from 1997. He's been with the same man ever since right after me, and they just got married a few weeks ago after 20 years together. They also just had an epic honeymoon through several countries in Europe. The three of us had drinks at Scandals, picked up dinner at a food cart pod, and took it to the office where Douglas works. It was a neat place with cool views, plus free beer and wine. We spent lots of time catching up. I learned some things I didn't know and got to say some things I always wished I had. Really wonderful night. Jeremy met up with us for breakfast on Sunday, which was our second day in a row at Roxy. We had the same server, who we also saw at Scandals next door the night before. She was shocked to learn that we'd been to Lincoln City and back for a wedding in the short time since we'd all seen each other.

    James getting ready, very elegant.

    We went to Alan's apartment on the way out of town so I could finally meet his cat Viola, who you'll see as the Caturday cover model this week. It was nice to finally see the place, he and AJ have been down there for, what? Two years?

    This may be my first time getting a clear picture of the sign all Washingtonians giggle at when they're on I-5.

    Finally got a photo.

    I was anxious to get out for a walk this morning after having missed my Sunday walk and spending the weekend living it up. I went to Langus and followed the paved path to start, and noticed a car arriving and parking when I arrived. I thought what I was seeing was one passenger get out with dogs and head North while another parked the car and stayed inside. Thinking I could avoid the walker with dogs, I headed toward the Island, only to realize I was wrong. The driver was alone with the dogs, and he went to the island, so I ran into him by the bridge. It was the same guy from last week with all the dogs, and he recognized me, introduced himself, and guessed correctly where I'd parked, saying now he knows if he sees the car that he might run into me.

    I should have asked where he's from, he sounded just like half the guys who went to my high school.

    The water was much lower than I've seen in a while. It occurred to me today that I have no idea if that's a natural thing that goes with the level of the river, or if they control it artificially. I've only seen one spot where I can tell they can choose whether or not to allow water to pass through so far.


    It looks like someone may be trying to clear a path to the spot where I'm always saying there should be one, leading to the river's edge on the East side of the island. I hope they are, and I hope they succeed.


    The sunrise was better than I thought it would be, but not super dramatic.


    I keep having close encounters with geese in the same area. It's been very consistent lately.


    Today's awesome walk, 4.55 miles in 1:40, 10,558 steps
    4.55 miles in 1:40, 10,558 steps

    It's been a fun few days, but it's also very nice to be back. This weekend was actually Garrett's first time sleeping alone in the house. He's been away several times and I've also gone away, but only within those days he was away.

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  • 04/04/17--13:59: The lapsing of time
  • I've already complained that the "fast forward" filter disappeared from my Snapchat. If you follow me on there, you know it's the one I use the most. I just think most videos are better if they're faster. Trains go by faster, flocks of birds shift formations in more noticeable ways, and you can see otherwise-unnoticeable patters in ripples on the water. And I love the way distant traffic looks reflected on the water. But until the filter comes back, I won't be getting as much video of that kind of stuff because it won't look the way I want it to.

    I'm also waiting on a camera I'll use mostly as a dedicated time lapse camera. It's called Podo, and I backed it on Kickstarter. You control it with your phone, and it sticks to surfaces or you can put it in a waterproof container. Both excellent options for leaving it behind while I'm on a walk so it can catch the sunrise, or passing clouds any time of day. Supposedly they've shipped all their units, so now I'm just waiting to see. Today would have been a nice day to use it.

    Whoa, I *just* got an email update. They hoped to get them all shipped Friday but it looks like all of the US and Canada orders might arrive for processing as a group sometime this week. Guess we'll see.

    Today would have been a good day for it, the sunrise was pretty neat.


    I love when a mountaintop's shadow breaks up the sunrise.


    I had a feeling the show wouldn't last, so I decided to hold up my phone and use my dashcam software to get a video of the end of it. My guess was correct, it was gone in three minutes. I used Hyperlapse to speed up that process, then used it again on that video to make it even faster.

    Yesterday's special.


    It's close-up-pictures-of-flowers season and I'm excited.


    Today's awesome walk, 5.67 miles in 1:53, 12,410 steps
    5.67 miles in 1:53, 12,410 steps

    Today's theme was people walking at an awkward speed in front of me. Right as I started off, a woman jogged past me, but then started going slowly as she tried to fix her headlamp. Then later on, a guy emerged from a dock a bit ahead of me and started walking the direction I was going to, which is why my route after mile 5 is shifted East a bit. I don't expect the whole place to myself or anything, but I learned a long time ago to go somewhere else rather than try to pass anyone who isn't going really slow. Walking faster than normal in order to pass someone, for long enough to pass them, always leaves me with shin pain. And then if I stop for photos, they'll catch up. So it's best to just be flexible with the route.

    Currently I'm killing time until our weekly conference call with an '80s horror movie called Clownhouse, which stars a very young Sam Rockwell. He just ate a handful of butter.

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  • 04/05/17--15:07: That's no moon!
  • I got out nice and early because I wanted to get back and get to work on my new round of tests, which hadn't arrived in my inbox yet, but I figured they would within a couple of hours. And since I love the sunrise, I like to arrive at my destination when it's still pitch black out if possible. I should probably start programming the coffee machine so it's ready when I get up, that'd get me out the door 20 minutes earlier.

    As I turned to walk away from the beach, I almost didn't notice this lovely moon.


    Turns out it was a huge plane on its way into Paine Field. It's been ages since I happen to catch one flying by while there.

    On the tank farm side of the wall, I found trucks and heavy equipment. Looks like construction I've been dreading is about to get underway. An article I found states they'll break ground this summer.


    I think the new ferry terminal will be a great thing, it's just too bad I have to lose a favorite walking spot for it to be able to happen. But I've known this was coming for a while and that's why I make sure to visit every week.

    My timing was bad and I had to wait a while for the ferry to load before I could cross over to the other beach. Thankfully I had some company.


    Can't remember the last time I saw such a big cargo ship.


    Today's awesome walk, 6 miles in 2:03, 13,334 steps
    6 miles in 2:03, 13,334 steps

    I stayed up a bit late last night because I had half an hour left of Cocoon and figured I may as well finish it. This morning was fine, but I'm exhausted now. Thankfully I managed to make it all the way through my testing today, though two of them are time sensitive and I have to check in on the next steps tomorrow.

    Steve's ears were lined up perfectly with the afghan until I got close enough to take a picture, of course he had to move.


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  • 04/06/17--17:07: Quick and dark
  • Today would have been a perfect day for a swim. The open swim session starts at 6am, and I had to get my teeth cleaned at 8am, and the dentist is just a bit further down the road from the swim center. But there are still a couple of scabby parts on my tattoo and I didn't want to irritate them, so the plan was to head to Lowell. It's an easy place to get in a good walk that doesn't take too long, and it's close. I tried to have the coffee brew automatically at 3:45 so it'd be ready when I came downstairs, but that was my first time trying to program the coffee maker, and it didn't work. But that's fine. It was a super dark, creepy walk. Someone was awake at an encampment near the end of the trail, so I turned back sooner than I planned, and I may have even seen someone in a sleeping bag near where I started. Oh well. I don't think anyone who's sleeping down there would make any trouble. It's just creepy. And pretty soon the sun will be up really early.

    I only took one photo today, the normal view of the new houses.


    There was plenty of time when I got home, so I brushed my teeth, had breakfast, and brushed my teeth again before heading over to the dentist. That was a miserable visit. I gag easily, and dental x-rays are the worst. Thankfully there were only four to do, and only one of those had to be re-done. I need a deep cleaning for my back teeth, but the soonest they could get me in for that is ten weeks from now. Funny how that always happens.

    The assistant was really busy so I had to wait a while to pay, which made me late to a conference call that was thankfully optional for me. But I made some good contributions in the time I was on it. There was another call this afternoon, but I had enough time between to go out to lunch and get some groceries. And get chores done. Quite the busy day.

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  • 04/07/17--11:09: SchadenFriday

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  • 04/08/17--05:54: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

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

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  • 04/09/17--19:18: Schmupdate
  • I have excellent news to share! The local blog loved my submission and will run it in about ten days. They've also said they'd like to see more from me, up to two posts per month. They're even paying me a little bit, which is nice because I'll be writing about food a lot, and have to spend money to do that. Mostly I'm just excited to get a writing gig. I've been the king of unpopular blogs for a long time now.

    Friday morning was a nice walk at the marina.

    Boxcar Park pano

    And it was a busy day. I got a haircut, cranked out a new set of release notes at work, then had an early dinner at Riverview before my tattoo appointment. I wanted to go back so I could try her Vietnamese options.

    Riverview Cafe banh mi
    Riverview Cafe spring rolls

    Friday's awesome walk, 5.94 miles in 1:46, 12,225 steps
    5.94 miles in 1:46, 12,225 steps

    It was definitely an off day for me. I lost my debit card after I got the cash for the tattoo, probably left it at the ATM. Then I left my headlights on during the tattoo and had to get a jump from Jimmy, my artist. It's extremely unusual for me to allow such things to happen, so it makes sense that if it had to happen, it was all on the same day. I'll get some photos in a couple of weeks.

    Saturday I made us a lovely frittata using leftover spaghetti and roasted asparagus that was in the freezer, plus jalapeño havarti , and served it with lefse and tomatoes.


    This morning was another lovely walk at the normal spot. It'd be excessive to post all the photos, so click over to flickr if you'd like to see more. It was already somewhat light out when I got there, so I may have to start leaving earlier to ensure I don't miss the sunrises.


    I love this van at the wastewater treatment plant, and have no idea what the paint job is about.


    Today's awesome walk, 8.63 miles in 2:53, 18,888 steps
    8.63 miles in 2:53, 18,888 steps

    Garrett's going to an air show next weekend so we had Easter with Bev and Dennis early today. Bella says hi.

    Hi Bella

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  • 04/10/17--17:11: Glad I second-guessed myself
  • Part of me considered staying in this morning because a lot's going on this week, but I realized that's just silly. I can keep going as far as I need to into the afternoon if there's a lot to do, so there's no reason to skip out on the best part of the day if there's nothing pressing. And of course I realized as I drove off that the deployment was this morning, so the system would be unavailable anyway. I was rewarded with one of the coolest things I've seen in a while.

    It was a very cloudy morning, but a bright spot in the clouds indicated the moon was hiding, and I ended up getting a really good show.


    As much as I bemoan the upcoming loss of this area, I'll admit that parts of it are definitely an eyesore. That's part of the appeal for me, but I realize I have strange taste.


    Today's awesome walk, 4.9 miles in 1:35, 10,561 steps
    4.9 miles in 1:35, 10,561 steps

    My annual exam was this morning. It should have been three months ago, but my doctor left the practice to work with the VA again and my new doctor wanted to take a little time to get to know me during our initial visit and do a more thorough exam today. Plus he wanted to get labs to be able to compare them. Not that he mentioned anything about labs today, and since I'd had breakfast, I couldn't do them. But the lab opens at 7am and you can go without an appointment, so that's easily taken care of as they're just around the corner from our nearest major intersection.

    I originally planned to eat at home today, but we didn't come home with as many early Easter dinner leftovers as I thought. Not an issue, as I also wanted to have lunch for an upcoming blog post. Not that there's any hurry, as my first post is about nine days off and they only want two a month from me. But there's no reason not to get a few banged out while I can. I'm really lucky that one of my areas of expertise is Vietnamese food because they haven't really covered it much.

    I'm so bummed about the LJ TOS kerfuffle. Years ago, I wished that Google would have bought LiveJournal and Flickr, because that would have brought most of the major services I use under the umbrella of a nice, stable company. But they got Blogger and Blogspot instead, and their Picasa eventually became Google Photos. Flickr and LJ have had so many setbacks over the years, and while I like to think they'd be well taken-care-of if Google had them, Google is also fond of shutting services down. I never got into Google Buzz or Wave, but Google Reader was one of my most-used programs. Thankfully several competitors stepped up and I'm having basically the same experience in InoReader.

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  • 04/11/17--14:58: Fast and Fasting
  • I've been eating a granola bar as I head out for a walk or swim for a while now. Seems like half the people say you should work out on an empty stomach and the other half say you should eat something. I can't say I've noticed a difference or anything, but I worried I'd be hungry while fasting this morning before my lab work. And I wanted to get that done quickly because I also had plans to take my car in as close to 9am as possible. Ever since I left my headlights on during Friday's tattoo appointment, it struggles to turn over a bit when I start it. That's normally the kind of thing I might take care of at lunchtime and eat nearby, but I had calls scheduled for 1:00 and 1:30.

    The marina's a good place to walk when you're in a hurry because you can take any number of different turns to go any distance you like, plus it feels very safe no matter how early you arrive. The moon is still really bright, so it was neat out even though there weren't any clouds like yesterday.


    Today just seemed like a perfect day for photos. Everything looked cool.


    Pizza is always on the menu here, guess they didn't have time for a special. That said, I really want to try their pizza.


    Today's awesome walk, 4.28 miles in 1:24, 9,280 steps
    4.28 miles in 1:24, 9,280 steps

    After getting my labs done, I really wanted a lox and bagels, and one that wasn't made by me. I thought Sisters served one, but when I got there, discovered they don't. The guy at the counter made a very unnecessary remark about Everett being probably as far away from a Jewish deli as possible. Whatever. I ordered the veggie one, brought it home, and was transported back to the amazing salad bars of the '80s.


    The car needed a new battery, and that was taken care of quickly. I passed the time by walking over to Target. It's across town so I'm rarely there. My shopping haul was two interesting frozen burritos, plus very large bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Exciting day.

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  • 04/12/17--19:22: Photo-free
  • One thing that's weird about this house is that it's possible for it to be raining very heavily out but I'll have no idea whatsoever. There are skylights in the dining room that'll clue me in, but I don't necessarily go in there in the morning. Today when I backed out of the garage is when I found out it was pouring, and I drove over to Langus because it's the best spot when it's raining due to the gravel roads.

    It was a really nice walk, but I got completely soaked. Not a dealbreaker for me. I noticed the dude with the dogs was driving back and forth on the road while his dogs chased him, so I guess getting wet's a dealbreaker for him.

    Today's awesome walk, 6.25 miles in 1:54, 12,989 steps
    6.25 miles in 1:54, 12,989 steps

    Although I used Snapchat a bit, I didn't really see any photo opportunities. It happens sometimes.

    They published my blog post a week sooner than they said they would! I got so excited that I went out for lunch for material for another post, then wrote it and sent it in. I should have done some dishes, stopped by the store, and got the garbage and recycling ready this afternoon, but between the blog and some work stuff that came up, those chores didn't happen. I'll get them done tonight and tomorrow.

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  • 04/13/17--16:03: Blur
  • I've gotten so much stuff done today, it feels like I just woke up. I finally successfully programmed the coffee machine, so the coffee was ready when I came downstairs. It was a little disorienting because the smell was so strong.

    I'm happy to have finally figured it out, because I want to get out of the house as early as possible most days now. Dawn comes pretty early and it's only going to get earlier, and I like starting out in darkness and seeing the whole sunrise.


    I've mentioned my disdain for the commuters who walk from the ferry to the train. They don't yield to people walking the other direction, and are fond of using giant umbrellas while not watching where they're going. Today I saw something that really took the cake. Half of them boarded the train from the wheelchair ramp, requiring a guy on the train to pick up a metal bridge and lay it across the gap for them. He wouldn't have to do that if they used the other doors, and then maybe the guy would have to set up the little bridge every few hundred trips or so. So dumb. Of course it's bad station/train design to start, but they should see that what they're doing is unnecessary.

    I was stuck on the wrong side of the ferry traffic for a while toward the end of the walk, but the scenery after that was nice.


    Old sign on the Diamond Knot brewery. Not sure why I waited so long to get a photo.


    Today's awesome walk, 5.83 miles in 1:48, 12,248 steps
    5.83 miles in 1:48, 12,248 steps

    Once I got back I showered, went to the grocery store, made breakfast, created a presentation and other training materials to use on Tuesday, made lunch, helped another team get some data entered into the system, found a bug and had it fixed, washed the dishes, cleaned my CPAP, watered the vertical garden, cleaned my CPAP, and bathed my air plants. And had a few interactions online about my local blog post. People like it! I'm very happy about all that.

    Steve and Sam being very dramatic.

    The grudge.

    Now I need to get SchadenFriday and Caturday scheduled because I have overnight plans tomorrow and don't want anything to get lost in the shuffle.

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  • 04/14/17--06:06: SchadenFriday

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  • 04/15/17--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
    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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  • 04/16/17--04:21: Excellent weekend so far
  • I decided to write this before the Sunday walk just in case it ends up being a busy enough day that I don't feel like it later. I've got lunch plans, then Garrett will get home, and it might be nice to just catch up on the DVR and hang out.

    I couldn't see anything until I got to the top of Japanese Gulch on Friday other than the moon through the trees. I heard owls and coyotes, though, so that was fun. Here's the access road I go back and forth on before heading back down until the trails are dryer.


    I took the center trail down for the first time in a while. That fallen tree I spotted a while back is still there, but there was plenty of room to go under it.


    The color's coming back.


    Turns out there's been another landslide. It's funny how they talk about it as though there's no other way to get up to the top.


    Friday's awesome walk, 5.28 miles in 1:49, 11,779 steps, 414ft gain
    5.28 miles in 1:49, 11,779 steps, 414ft gain

    I was in a hurry, and managed to get out, do that walk, and be home by 7am! Second day in a row. Wanting to leave as close to noon as possible was a good motivator. If I'd remembered to pack up the CPAP, I probably could have been on the road by 12:05. I had lunch at Round Table Pizza in Mt. Vernon, then accidentally went all the way up to Alger before realizing I'd missed the exit for Anacortes. If there are signs for it, I didn't see them.

    My first stop in Anacortes was the bowling alley for a bathroom break. A sign saying restrooms are for customers only indicated they were tired of people like me. I bought a can of Nitro coffee and a bottle of water to become a customer. Then I parked the car near a restaurant called Adrift so I could order a dinner to go so I wouldn't have to leave again once I got to the cabin. The original plan was to also get a fried egg sandwich, but the personal pizza at Round Table is big enough that I still had half. So I just got a fried oyster sandwich with fries for dinner, and am really glad there was a good toaster oven at the cabin to heat that up later. Just the oysters and the fries, the rest of the sandwich would have gotten mushy if I heated it up.

    Met this handsome dude while I walked around waiting for the food to be ready.

    My man for the night.

    The view from the cabin. So lovely.


    Sunrise was gorgeous, but I still say sunrises are better. Lots more on flickr, of course.


    I took my time this morning since the park at Deception Pass opens at 6:30am and I didn't know if there would be locked gates or something. When I got there at 6:20, I saw there booths weren't manned and today was a free day. I wouldn't have needed to pay because I have a Discovery Pass. Nobody was parked where I left the car, but it wasn't long before I saw a couple of people pass. And I saw that there was a trail running event, so I hopped to it, not wanting to share the trail with them.


    The trail goes under the bridge, and that was one of the coolest views.


    Not a bad pad, eh?


    The top of the hill is really neat. When the glacier receded, nothing but rock was left on top, and the trail is just rock, but there are mossy meadows all around now.


    It didn't occur to me until I was almost back to the car that I could also walk across the bridges! That was fun but I was way too nervous to stop in the middle for photos. Not afraid to fall, just worried my phone would slip out of my hands and be gone forever.


    Today's awesome walk, 3.81 miles in 1:40, 9,893 steps, 653ft gain
    3.81 miles in 1:40, 9,893 steps, 653ft gain

    On the way back to the ferry, I stopped by the cemetery in Coupeville. Last time we were there, Barbara messaged me and told us to go find her grave. Turns out, she's had her plot for years, and was able to guide us to it. Her ashes will be buried there at some point, and when that happens, Garrett and I will take Bev and Dennis over to pay our respects. I wanted to make sure I can easily find it on that day, so I found it again today and made a better note of how to get to it.

    Funny story, she and a friend had lost touch for years and he saw that plot marker, and found her on Facebook to see if she was still alive. I thought about trying to see him for coffee or something this morning, but I decided to pack as little as possible, and that didn't include a toothbrush since I normally don't brush my teeth until after the walk anyway.

    I must say, I'm impressed with how little I brought. My backpack had my kindle, a stick of Body Glide, tights, a jock, and shorts. Today I used the shirt I wore Friday and the hoodie I keep in my car for the walk. And I only had to carry home yesterday's shorts and underwear, since I wore my walking shoes and socks throughout the whole trip.

    I was the second-to-last person they let pull onto the ferry. Score! Here's a shot of the cargo crane at the beach I'm always taking photos of.


    Starting this video in the ferry turned out cool.

    After I showered, I went out for lunch and brought something back for dinner, but that was for another blog submission so I talk about that later.

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  • 04/17/17--04:59: The thirst is real
  • Another reason I decided to wait until today to write about yesterday's walk is that I'm unable to eat or drink anything today until after a doctor appointment later this morning. It required nothing to eat or drink for ten hours out, so I couldn't have water all night. I swished some around in my mouth a couple of times, which helped, but right now, I'm parched. A brisk walk this morning would be out of the question. Not sure if I'll opt for a rare afternoon walk or maybe some yoga. A day off isn't completely out of the question, either, since I hiked on Saturday. We'll see.

    Yesterday was really nice. I got there just in time for a really nice sunrise.


    Yesterday may have been a record for number of photos taken. Here's a selection from what's on flickr.


    As if the contrails weren't interesting enough, I walked into fog, and then sundogs appeared!


    The dude with the dogs was driving back and forth while the dogs ran, even though the weather was perfect, so I guess the other day had nothing to do with the rain. And I saw a surprising amount of people after I saw him; a family of three heading South on the paved trail, someone heading West with walking sticks, a guy coming off the island smoking a pipe as I headed onto it. I'll probably always still be the first one there.

    Today's awesome walk, 6.91 miles in 2:28, 15,754 steps
    6.91 miles in 2:28, 15,754 steps

    I saw a really nice piece of graffiti on the way home and had to park the car and walk back to get a photo.


    The Podo camera I backed on Kickstarter and have been waiting months to receive finally arrived in Saturday's mail, which I got out of the box on the way out to the walk. It's really too bad it didn't arrive a few days ago, because yesterday's sunrise would have been perfect for a time lapse. Though those won't be as easy to make as I hoped. It doesn't create a ready-made video in time lapse mode, but rather a bunch of still photos instead. It gives you a lot of control, though. You can choose how long it takes the photos and how often, and it calculates the amount that'll be taken so you have an idea what you're dealing with. After the fact, you can transfer to your PC and use MovieMaker to create the time lapse. It'll be a little work, but hopefully it'll be worth it.

    One thing I don't like is that the camera lights up whenever it takes a photo. My plan is to leave it behind somewhere, and I don't want people finding it because it flashes. I think some stickers to cover the lights are in order.

    The camera has a sticky pad for mounting it on smooth surfaces, and that pad is surprisingly strong. When I tested it on a metal utility box on the back of the house, I had to go inside for a butter knife to pry it off. The waterproof plastic case I got for it may be a better choice.

    Tomorrow's also not a good day for a morning walk because I have an important presentation at 8am, so I'll have a time lapse to show off Wednesday at the earliest.

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    I backed the Podo sticky camera on Kickstarter ages ago because I wanted a camera I could use specifically for time lapses. It arrived Saturday and today was my first walk bringing it along. I originally wasn't even sure if I'd walk today since I had an important call at 8am, but now that the coffee's ready when I wake up, it's so easy to drink a cup and head out rather quickly. I was at the parking spot I always use near the tank farm at 4:35!

    It was an overcast day, but that can still look cool in a time lapse, so while I don't have any photos, I have this!

    Thankfully I have a waterproof case for it, as it was raining a little bit before I could get to it. While I didn't take any pictures myself, the camera got one of me as I approached.

    Those light parts on the outer edge are adhesive residue on the waterproof case. The camera lights up whenever it takes a photo and I didn't want anyone finding it because of that, so I cut apart the non-stamp part of a book of stamps and used it as stickers to cover them up. It didn't work that well, so I also colored over it with a Sharpie. I was still unsatisfied, so later on I peeled all that off and used some Finding Dory stickers that were in gummy treats in my Easter basket.

    Today's awesome walk, 5.03 miles in 1:36, 10,747 steps
    5.03 miles in 1:36, 10,747 steps

    For another test this afternoon, I condensed an hour of clouds from the front steps into 20 seconds. I really like how it slows down and then clears toward the end.

    Hopefully I can find some good ways to disguise it. For now I'll just have to hope that nobody else ever spots it, and I'll appeal to their good side. :)


    It shouldn't be much of an issue, especially on Sundays. The spot where I go is huge and I see so few people. Fingers crossed.

    My presentation this morning went very well! I have to do it again at 5pm but I'll be much less nervous this time.

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  • 04/19/17--16:32: Up in the air
  • I couldn't wait until Sunday to try the Podo out at Spencer Island, so I went over this morning, heading straight to the hunting trail because I know a good spot just off it to leave it. There's a new sign with the exact dates of hunting season.


    Pretty sure nobody cares about the leash rule. And I saw a bunch of shotgun shells and the box they came in just laying around. I really don't understand people who can carry something in, but then feel the need to litter. It's way lighter than before if you pack it out. Dicks.

    Of course, there were plenty of gorgeous views. Nice cloud day even though they were displayed against another solid layer of clouds for the most part.


    This is the highest I've ever seen a heron perched.


    Today's awesome walk, 6.17 miles in 2:06, 13,646 steps
    6.17 miles in 2:06, 13,646 steps

    I had the hardest time processing today's time lapse. The frames would load in Movie Maker, but as soon as I tried to reduce how long each one was displayed from 7 seconds to .03, it would crash. One time it even made my entire laptop go all glitchy and I had to force it to restart. I finally gave up trying to do it that way and made a full-length video, saved a slowed-down version, and then repeated the process one more time to make it short enough. Hopefully the next one won't be as difficult.

    Turns out I'd see a lot more herons today. My friend Lisa message me this link about herons currently nesting at the Everett marina and told me to come down and have a look once she was set up there. She had her telescope and had binoculars, and counted 18 nests and 30 herons! I didn't realize at the time, but one of my Snapchat videos was two herons having sex. Ha. The zoom for photos wasn't quite good enough, here's the best of the photos I got.


    It was fun to watch, because with so many of them there, one or two were coming and going at any given time. We saw them bringing sticks to build the nests with, too. Plus there were two seagulls eating a seal carcass out in the water. Lots to see. I spotted an open gate at a boat storage facility just to the right of where the herons were, and Lisa sneaked in for a better look as I headed home.

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  • 04/20/17--17:42: Hiding in plain sight
  • As much as I worry about someone finding my Podo while I leave it unattended, I realized this morning that if it's just a bit off the beaten path, the danger of it happening goes way, way down. This morning, I put it on the fence halfway between between the two sides of the tank farm walking loop, and the only reason I noticed it as I walked by each time was that I knew exactly where to look, so that was nice. Today specifically, there was also less danger of anyone else coming along. A train blocked the car entrance to the beach for about an hour! Long enough that the employee on duty at the big crane drove in via the walking path. That was truly strange to see and I'm glad I was on the beach instead of the path at the time.

    Two geese were in the same spot all four times I passed by the parking lot, and I saw this pair hanging around here at least twice.


    Photo challenge: show this graffiti close up.


    Challenge accepted! Thanks, Instagram. Nice to finally see some decent stuff around here.


    From now on, I'll end each time lapse by getting a shot of myself if possible. It's a good way to switch modes in the software and get the camera to stop taking photos, and it'll be a fun series of pictures.

    The camera view during this morning's time lapse.

    I wish the puddle was bigger, I like the reflections of the clouds in it.

    Today's awesome walk, 5.63 miles in 1:53, 12,355 steps
    5.63 miles in 1:53, 12,355 steps

    I got a lot done today, including my normal weekly chores, plus sweeping the entire upstairs so it looks nice for a meeting Garrett's holding here tomorrow. I also went out to lunch, partially because I was craving something specific, and partly as research for a possible blog submission. That particular one will require three more restaurant visits, so it'll be a while before I submit that one. Or I suppose I could go to all three of the others in one day and have some leftovers for the freezer. Huh, that's actually a really good idea. And I just thought of it!

    One thing I did before leaving for lunch was capture a typical morning for Sam and Steve. This is 2.5 hours worth of their enjoyment of the heated dining room floor.

    Later on, with the entire house to enjoy, they have to squeeze onto the same chair.


    And Sam is always so helpful when I clean.

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  • 04/21/17--04:26: SchadenFriday

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  • 04/22/17--04:55: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

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