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Blah Blah Blog - LiveJournal.com
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  • 03/09/19--04:43: More fun with Layout
  • Every once in a while I use Layout in Instagram and am completely thrilled with the results. Yesterday at the marina I decided to see what I could make from these staircase railings.

    20190308_060707



    Step 1, crop and use the "adjust" feature to ensure the rails are perfectly vertical.

    IMG_20190308_060944_823

    Step 2, use Layout and pick the option that's four squares.

    IMG_20190308_060944_819

    Step 3, repeat, using the output from the last step.

    IMG_20190308_060944_814

    Alternate use of that output, but with four vertical rectangles.

    IMG_20190308_060944_822

    Not having much in the way of graphic design or even photo manipulation skills, it's nice to have a fun and easy tool in my arsenal and be able to quickly do things like that. Especially on my new phone which makes quick work of it and never crashes in Layout like the last one did.

    Here's a shot I wish I could have gotten just a little sooner. The wave effect in the clouds was even more dramatic as I walked up but there was too much stuff in the way.

    20190308_055147

    The walk before that was in the dark at Japanese Gulch. Not much to see but I liked the view looking up from the dog park at the bottom when I got back to the car.

    20190307_065615

    And here's another Layout from the previous trip to the marina. I walked a lot this week since I can't go swimming yet.

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    IMG_20190305_055554_315

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    IMG_20190305_055554_303



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  • 03/11/19--10:17: Flight and frost
  • Commercial flights have started at our local airport. I'm of course very excited about this, but could never possibly be as excited as Garrett. On Saturday, I dropped him off there so he could have his first flight. Just a trip to Portland and back. That's the difference between us, he'll fly just for the experience, whereas I wouldn't bother without at least one night's stay. So I was geared up and ready for a walk, and drove straight from the airport to Langus for a walk.

    Garrett wrote up a really wonderful post about it. If you look in this video from it, you can see the big expanse of fog I walked in. It appears 30 seconds in at the bottom.





    Here's what it looked like down in that.

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    Garrett was already back just after 11:00 so I picked him up and we went to Clubhouse for some lunch. Much of the rest of his day was devoted to that blog post and I got to watch one of my old favorite movies, Jumpin' Jack Flash. A pretty great day all around.

    Yesterday I took a walk somewhere I'd never been, but I wrote about it for Live in Everett so I'll just share that when it publishes. I'm happy to report that it was really great and in a convenient spot, so it's a new favorite already.


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  • 03/15/19--10:12: SchadenFriday
  • I only have one gif in my file right now, so I decided to grab the fails of the week video instead. Can't watch it right now, so hopefully it's good.


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  • 03/16/19--05:46: CATURDAY
































  • BONUS Saturdogs





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

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  • 03/16/19--11:43: An oddly productive period
  • I'm really bad about getting stuff done. Great about getting ready to, though! Ok, just good at buying things online. It's so easy these days to get the stuff you need, but harnessing the energy to then use it can be really tough. Sometimes I wonder if the online shopping component has something to do with that. Like, when you have to go to the hardware store, it's pretty easy to ride the momentum to project completion. I need to do this > I have to get the stuff > I'm ready to be finished.

    When you buy something online, it and the task you need it for enter a holding pattern. It'll show up eventually > I'll get around to it at some point after that > now's not a great time.

    I'm starting to find it's so much easier to get my writing projects done if I hurry, though. If time permits, banging a piece out right after I get home from talking to the subject is the way to go.

    And something about being tired this week because of Daylight Saving Time put me in a very productive frame of mind. Like, if I stopped to rest, I wouldn't be able to start again.

    Thursday really blew by and I couldn't believe everything I got done. Had a walk, then wrote about a new place I like in Marysville as soon as I got home and showered. While working on my normal Thursday chores, which are to water the plants and clean my CPAP, I noticed the large fern in the top section of my wall garden was dying. I pulled it out along with a couple of smaller ones, which made several huge messes, so the five-minute watering chore stretched out into nearly an hour. I got a chance to move a tall plant up to the top section, though, I think it'll work better there.

    I had to pop by the VFW during their Veterans Stand Down so I could get a couple of pictures and talk to some people to work it into my followup story about their remodel. It was great to find out that just as I'd arrived, they'd signed up their 100th homeless vet, and 17 of them so far were women. I found representatives from the county who chatted with me and gave me a business card so I could get the day's final numbers for my piece later on, and they told me it's much harder to find the women they're serving. I think their idea to create a women's pavilion with services provided by women was really smart.

    It's been great working with the VFW on my pieces and my contact there said venue bookings are way up since the first one, and they found their new muralist because of me!

    There was a lot of time to kill until 4:30 when I could make my next stop, so I went to Lowe's to find some plants for the wall garden. I found a few colorful ones and hope they do well, but I'll wait to take photos until I'm confident they'll last.

    After that I had a really great time meeting some local vintners and checking out their winery. Really cool, interesting people, I spent an hour talking to them without even meaning to.

    Thursday's my designated day off from making dinner but I could have easily ridden that productive wave and cooked. Garrett brought takeout home, though, and winding down was really nice.

    I don't normally have such busy days so I had to document it. There are definitely a few things around here that still need to get done. Maybe tomorrow.

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  • 03/18/19--15:02: When in doubt, try anyway
  • My Podo camera quit working a long time ago, but on a whim I decided to see if it'd connect to my new phone, and it did! I don't have a second tripod for it, but I still have the waterproof case that's designed to point in lots of different directions when you put it down, so I brought it along with my Brinno yesterday for my walk at Langus. The sky was pretty clear when I got there, and I knew it wasn't fully charged, so I left it in the car. The gate at the new north entrance was locked, so I decided to try a new spot at the south end.

    It was sad to see how many great views there were on the way to that spot that I couldn't use because there was nowhere to leave it. This is what I really wanted to show.

    IMG_20190317_064232_079



    Here's what I got, though. Pretty good! More clouds showed up than I figured would, and the fog is really fun.

    https://instagram.com/p/BvHfXrhFQfZ


    Here's a spot up the river I'd love to do if I could put a camera there. I mean, it'd be possible if I used a tall tripod, and stood around to watch. But that would get really dull.

    IMG_20190317_065741_450

    More lovely spots.

    IMG_20190317_070801_710

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    IMG_20190317_072435_702

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    More fun with Layout.

    IMG_20190317_074605_391

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    I'm surprised this houseboat is still here. It doesn't seem like a good long-term spot for one. I'd love to see inside.

    20190317_082404



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  • 03/21/19--18:09: Big and bright
  • I didn't bring any time lapse cameras Tuesday morning because it's really dark at that time since DST started, and the skies were also very clear. Of course at the time I didn't know the moon would be so crazy bright. I had to pull the car over on the road leading down to the beach because the scene was so stunning.

    20190319_052309



    Here's the cool bike rack on the Mukilteo side, I had fun with it in Layout.

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    It's definitely bizarre when the moon looks more like the sun.

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    I recently discovered my Podo still works, and that's a great camera for hiding at the ferry terminal, so I went back today because I figured even without any clouds, the moon would look great there. Glad I did, because I learned the trail between the two beaches will close next week for a long time.

    20190321_055046

    That's not the only way to get from one beach to the other, but it's the good one.

    The phone has a setting that makes dark photos brighter. It's essential during a full moon for a shot like this so it's not just a black rectangle with a bright dot. This photo looks brighter than the real scene did, but not by much.

    IMG_20190321_060344_147

    More Layout fun, first at the port dock.

    IMG_20190321_062121_514

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    Then with a ferry.

    IMG_20190321_062821_636

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    IMG_20190321_062800

    It wasn't completely dark when I left.

    IMG_20190321_065307_232

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    IMG_20190321_070727_958

    I was right about the time lapse, this one's pretty cool. I forgot how much longer it takes to make them using the Podo, which saves individual photos. The Brinno gives you a video that you can speed up as much as you like in editing, but with the Podo you have to make your own videos out of the frames. And because of memory limitations, I had to make three videos and put them together.

    https://instagram.com/p/BvRq5JcFbNb



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  • 03/22/19--16:57: SchadenFriday


















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  • 03/23/19--06:31: CATURDAY
































  • BONUS Saturdogs











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

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  • 03/23/19--09:57: Icon origins
  • I hit 575 Timehops today, and of course had to make a 575 icon. It should be 852, but the app screwed up on my original day 277.

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    The paint that we chose when we remodeled the bathroom upstairs and added laundry is lovely, for sure, but as with all non-glossy paints, it's delicate. That probably wouldn't have been an issue, but Steve likes the bathroom window. It's high up, so when he jumps up, he has to dig his back claws into the wall, which eventually collected lots of scratch marks.

    We like to keep that door propped open so rather than change that, I decided to give Steve (and potentially Sam) a little help. I like this cat shelf that they have at the vet's office, but I did the measurements and realized the lower shelf would make it too easy and tempting to fool with the toilet paper roll, and moving it over would interfere with the cabinet door.

    We went to the vet. Sam was less than thrilled.

    So I set out to find something smaller. There's no shortage of options, but I was able to eliminate a lot of them because I didn't want anything with fabric. I don't care how easy it is to clean, I don't want to have to. Steve's fur is especially annoying. It's very sleek, so you can't really brush him, and any dark fabric surface has some of his white hairs on it.

    I found a wood one that's really simple and matches the decor quite well. When it arrived I went to the hardware store for a painting kit and stud finder, grabbed a tarp from the garage, and got to work.

    The leftover paint was annoying because it was an unused second can, completely full but in need of mixing. That was messy. The fresh paint and new shelf look great, though.

    20190321_095804_HDR

    As a homeowner it's really hard to do anything without wondering, do I have to undo it later if we sell the place? But I'd be comfortable leaving this shelf in place and putting a plant on it for a showing.

    You're not seeing things, there's a light in the toilet with a motion sensor that activates if it's dark enough.

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  • 03/24/19--10:33: Double exposure
  • Inspired by a question from kazzy_cee, I set up both my time lapse cameras in the same spot facing the same direction this morning to compare results.

    IMG_20190324_083109_566

    The Podo is a small camera with a sticky pad that was marketed to fans of social media as a way to set up an impromptu photo booth. I like it because of its size and the waterproof case I got for it is great. But there's a dark spot in all the photos, and creating a time lapse from photos is time consuming, but not to the degree that I won't do it. It has a regular lens, so while you won't see as much of its surroundings, you don't have to deal with the warping around the edges that you get with a wide-angle lens.



    The clear winner today is my Brinno Pro with its wide lens because the subject matter is a layer of cloud fluff with few details, so the more you pull out, the better everything looks. This Pro model has lots of controls that I've never learned anything about, and I should, because I usually brighten up the video in editing and that makes the lightest parts wash out.



    I ordered another flexible tripod so they won't have to share next time, and that will give me more options for placement. Today's spot was pretty great, though, so I'm looking forward to trying again there.

    On the way back to the car I found another camera and put it to use.

    IMG_20190324_084656_800

    I know for next time I can get a better picture if I step out into the road. There's only a farm and a parking lot off to the left so there's no traffic.

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  • 03/29/19--13:48: SchadenFriday
















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  • 03/30/19--06:34: CATURDAY


































  • BONUS Saturdogs









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

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  • 04/01/19--13:58: Double exposure part deux
  • My alarm is set for 4am on weekdays and I don't set one on Saturday. All winter, I had my Sunday alarm at 5am, and it's now time to get up earlier. There was little time to spare when I set my cameras up yesterday, so now that alarm is set for 4:30.

    The subject matter for my second camera comparison was pretty great! Too bad I screwed up. Here's the Podo.





    The Brinno should look much better, with one frame per second as opposed to Brinno's five. I could tell right away when I got it into editing that I made a mistake. Somehow the Brinno was set to a ten-second interval. That's too bad, this should look much better.



    Oh well. You see the fog roll in and I was in it for most of the walk.

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    I hope affordable LED wallpaper is released to market soon, I'd love to be able to make things like this and have my bedroom wall covered with it by the time I got home.

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    Garrett wanted brunch at Arnie's and I finally remembered to bring a camera. Every time we go there, the sky is dramatic and I wish I did.




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  • 04/05/19--06:27: SchadenFriday






















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  • 04/06/19--05:07: CATURDAY







































  • BONUS Saturdogs




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

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  • 04/06/19--08:03: Tattoo plan
  • I got a second Starheadboy tattoo on my foot I'll share when it's healed. We got a pretty decent picture of Q-bert and Coily before it got too bloody. The red area is shiny because we touched that up.

    IMG_20190405_143725_715

    I was also in the shop Friday to get a tattoo from Madi, the shop apprentice. I don't know if this is customary for all shops, but they had her draw up some flash designs and let people get them for free. I really like her and was super excited to be among her first clients, but we decided to wait a bit so I'd have my appointments close together and not miss out on extra time in the pool. By the time yesterday came around, she had to start charging $20 per tattoo just to cover the supplies since so many people got tattoos from her. She'd lost track but I was number 40-something in less than a month! I was more than happy to pay it and also tipped her $60.

    There was really only one tattoo in these sheets that I wanted. Can you guess it without scrolling down?

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    It's also the first tattoo she ever did, on Jimmy, the shop owner and my main artist. Pretty awesome that we have matching tattoos now.

    IMG_20190404_145248_464

    Kinda wish I'd asked to keep this but at least I got a good photo.

    20190404_141251~2

    I've got the rest of my tattoos planned out. Subject to change, of course:

    Right arm: great blue heron sleeve, might try to incorporate water or something on the lower part since the seahorse is there.
    Right leg: TRON sleeve
    Right foot: Possibly more Starheadboy pals
    Left foot: Nostalgia bottles (Clearly Canadian, Orbitz, Crystal Pepsi)
    Left leg: No theme, just a place to put everything else.

    I wish fingers took tattoos better. My ideal tribute tattoo for my dad would be a ring if they did. Is it considered a tribute if they're still alive? He's still alive.

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  • 04/09/19--05:44: A first
  • Took my second trip out to Ebey Waterfront Trail on Sunday after my Live in Everett blog post about it published Thursday. I said last fall that I'd be back with Happy Trails to You in the spring, and that piece marks the spring return. So now I need to write some more of those.

    I decided the previous week after barely making it to Langus in time to catch the sunrise that I'd get up at 4:30 instead of 5:00 for now on Sundays, but I woke up at 4:00 without an alarm. Ebey isn't as remote as Langus and I'm not comfortable showing up there when it's pitch black out, so I drove around for a bit on the way there. It was weird to see Marysville in the dark for the first time.

    The titular first was my first time lapse there. This one's pretty subdued but I think that spot will be nice.

    https://instagram.com/p/Bv9be0tFqXJ




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  • 04/12/19--04:32: SchadenFriday



















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  • 04/13/19--06:07: CATURDAY













































  • BONUS Saturdogs






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

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  • 04/14/19--08:09: Almost there
  • It's been an extremely busy couple of weeks for me, both at work and because last night was Banh Meetup 2, the second installment of my banh mi tasting party for Live in Everett. We had maybe twice as many people over as last year, so I'm really glad I was able to recruit a lot of volunteer help. All of the sandwiches were picked up for me and Bluewater Organic Distilling was here serving up two craft cocktails they created just for us! There will be a Live in Everett TV episode and I'll write a post for the blog, but for now I'll share this great time lapse of the kitchen and dining room. I love how it shows the entire party including a little bit of teardown.


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  • 04/19/19--09:25: SchadenFriday



















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  • 04/20/19--06:36: CATURDAY








































  • BONUS Saturdogs




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

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    We usually take a vacation late February/early March and due to various circumstances, it’s two months late this year. Plus these last couple of months have been my busiest in a long time. I’m starting my vacation Wednesday with an afternoon at the Korean spa and am releasing myself from all obligations that aren’t directly related to vacation for a full week after that.