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Blah Blah Blog - LiveJournal.com
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  • 01/13/18--06:48: 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
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 01/13/18--10:48: Relax and jump back in
  • We spent last weekend in my favorite cabin and had a fantastic time. As usual, we set up some cameras to watch the cats while we were gone. Here's the first shot from the kitchen cam just before we left.

    Kitchen001


    Check-in time at the cabin wasn't until 3pm, so we decided to have lunch on the other side, do our shopping, and then kill a little time before checking in.



    Village Pizzeria in Langley is amazing. Fabulous food and views, and we managed to snag the parking spot right in front of the door. The grocery store is across the street, which is very convenient.

    The original plan was to head up to Coupeville to see if Barbara's grave marker has been updated with the dates of her birth and death. Garrett's parents want to visit the cemetery, but it'd be a huge bummer if we got there and the marker was offsite at the time. So I'm hoping to hear about it from her family when it happens, but if we were going to be nearby, it made sense to check. Until we realized we were further away than we thought, and it would cut into our cabin reservation more than we wanted. So we went to the Whidbey Island Winery instead, which happens to be owned by a fluffball named Sangiovese.

    IMG_20180106_145233_787

    The cabin was wonderful, again. We watched I, Tonya, which was amazing, plus the first two episodes of the new seasons of Travelers on Netflix. I'm so glad that show came back, and am happy Enrico Colantoni was added to the cast. I've always liked him.

    Just a pretty picture of what happened in the sink when I set down the box grater I was washing.

    IMG_20180107_100816_541

    Village Pizzeria is perched way up above the water and I hoped to get a time lapse from there, either on the fence by their storage area or the from the window sill. The Podo wasn't cooperating, though, so I just pointed it at the trees by the cabin for the whole day Sunday. Not a lot to see since it's mostly trees, but it gives you an idea what it's like out there.



    Speaking of the Podo, I accidentally left it behind. The owner of the cabin mailed it to me for free! Super nice of her. I think she knows we'll be repeat customers again and again.

    I've had my eye on a lot of cabins lately and unless we were to live in one full-time, it wouldn't make much sense to own one unless money just wasn't an issue. Believe me, I can see myself living in a house in the middle of the woods all the time, but that time is far off.

    I'm also a little bummed to discover that a place I've had my eye on for a while only allows occupancy for 120 days a year. Though that particular spot isn't one I'd want to be in full-time, I've always looked at it as a good, inexpensive back-up plan if something bad happens. Oh well.

    It was a very lovely ferry ride back because we ended up on the ramp in the front with a great view. The first shot is from the terminal.

    IMG_20180108_095259_284
    IMG_20180108_095853_169
    IMG_20180108_100626_270

    Garrett went to work for a half day when we got back on Monday, and I'd scheduled the day off but told my team to leave any non-urgent requests and I could tend to them in the afternoon. There wasn't anything initially, but then someone we work with occasionally asked if we could help with a test. I was going to be on campus anyway Tuesday, so we scheduled a meeting and I took a couple of hours to start working on some templates so we wouldn't show up to the meeting with nothing. And that's how my busiest week in ages started.

    I spent all day on Campus Tuesday, plus a big chunk of Wednesday. The meetings were valuable, but it takes a long time to drive out and back, so the days were long. I did complete testing and release notes for our newest deployment this week, and built those test templates out for use. The only exercise I got all week was one swim on Thursday! Quite unusual for me. I put in so many hours that I didn't claim any PTO to cover Monday, so that's one good thing to come out of it.

    Lowe's parking lot selfie from yesterday with a rare low angle because the sky looked cool.

    IMG_20180112_071553_233

    I always hate going to the hardware store for something, because I can't shake the feeling that there are other things there I need that I haven't thought about in a while. That was totally true yesterday, as it turns out. I hate it when people knock on our door instead of ringing the doorbell, so I got a "Please Ring Bell" sign. It didn't come with any mounting hardware, and the holes are small, so I wasn't sure what to use. But I didn't remember that until after I got home, used some nails, and did a bad job. One nail is bent down a bit, and I knocked some of the finish off the sign. It looks pretty crappy. But we want to replace all the doors because they look old anyway, so a little wear suits it. I guess.


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  • 01/14/18--07:08: Article 0
  • Late in 2017 I finally decided I didn’t have to post every single day on LiveJournal. This was after years of daily posts that I mainly did out of spite for the people who say they miss the site but never actually read it or post anything.

    I just noticed the “Your 2017 on LJ” link at the top, clicked it, and found out I did exactly 365 posts last year. Haha.

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    Since it was a holiday yesterday, I didn't leave super early for my walk. I'm used to them being so dark lately, it didn't even occur to me that there would be a good opportunity for a time lapse.

    20180115_065237



    One frustrating thing about the marina is how safe it feels down there due to all the lighting, which in turn overtakes a lot of the photo opportunities.

    20180115_065426

    Sometimes you get far enough away from them, though.

    20180115_070959
    20180115_071414
    20180115_071728
    20180115_073021_Pano
    20180115_074009

    Being there later meant I could get some good seal photos. I see them all the time down there, but it's always too dark.

    20180115_073511
    IMG_20180115_075047_952


    The second seal shot was made possible via a guest dock that I walked on for the first time yesterday. I've walked by it probably a hundred times, was the door open every time? No clue. I also got a shot of the Weyerhaeuser Muse from a new angle.

    20180115_075303

    The Olympics looked amazing, but of course in photos they look tiny.

    20180115_075822
    IMG_20180115_080022_210

    I've come to the conclusion that it needs to be at least this bright out before you can use the wide-angle lens on my phone. When it's darker out, it looks terrible.

    20180115_081008

    The water was gorgeous and I loved the squiggly reflections.

    20180115_082810

    I can't get too frustrated when I miss an opportunity for a time lapse. There's just no point. All you can really do is move on and make another.




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  • 01/17/18--08:13: Icon challenge
  • kazzy_cee picked three of my lj icons that she wanted to know more about.



    I use the handle christopher575 on just about every site and app I'm on, except Instagram and Snapchat. It was already taken on those, so I'm xtopher575. Lots of people know me as christopher575, and thus send me photos whenever they spot a 575 somewhere. I almost always make them into icons, and between the ones people have sent and the ones I've spotted myself, I have 36 "575" icons. This particular one was spotted by my friend Aengus on a cab. The full sign read, "computer dispatch."



    The lj community owlihotornot was fun for a while, but fizzled out. If memory serves, I continued to post a lot of owls on my own page for a while. This was just funny to me because most owl stuff is very cute even though owls in real life are quite tough.



    The title of this icon is "butter milk eggs" because this little memo recorder came free with something that was sold on TV, and they always showed a woman reciting her shopping list into it, saying "Butter, milk, eggs." A voice recorder is a terrible way to do your shopping list! I also liked this particular photo of the recorder because it looks like a little robot.

    I'm not confident anyone will, but please comment "me too" if you'd like me to pick some of your icons so you can post about them.

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  • 01/18/18--15:53: Some firsts
  • Construction continues on the new ferry terminal in Mukilteo. They've taken another chunk out of the walking loop. I'm not able to say how big the loop is now, though, because it rained all night and the water was too deep on one of the huge concrete parts. this was an issue last time around, and the construction crew was nice enough to make a gravel path. Hopefully by next week they'll have one in the new spot where it's needed.

    Obviously trains go onto the pier to grab cargo that comes off of barges, but I'd never seen a train there before this morning.

    IMG_20180118_055757_299

    Some cute graffiti on a train car near the station.

    IMG_20180118_064608_866

    Later on back home, I was surprised to see two hummingbirds peacefully sharing the feeder. They're so territorial.

    Two hummingbirds sharing a feeder

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  • 01/19/18--09:33: SchadenFriday



















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  • 01/20/18--06:15: 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
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 01/21/18--12:37: Soaked
  • It was a windy, wet morning, and I didn't even realize how bad it was until I got out to Langus. But I hadn't been there in a while and wanted to walk anyway, so I pressed on. Since I knew there was no way to keep the rain off the Podo no matter what, I decided to point it more down. There's some sky in the video, but the highway was the focus.




    It was a fun day for bird sightings. But mostly it was a brutal workout. It felt so great to get home and into a hot shower.

    IMG_20180121_082525_249






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  • 01/24/18--15:54: Busy few days
  • I'm doing some new stuff at work this week for the first time, and it's been uniquely challenging compared to the last couple of times things were added to my repertoire. It's just growing pains, and I'm finally over the hump.

    I managed to make it to the pool today and Monday, and did yoga yesterday because I couldn't work anything into the morning schedule because I also had a followup appointment with my doctor, who incidentally, really liked all my current results and statuses.

    Knowing it'd be a busy few days, I decided on Saturday after I posted Caturday to sit down and write my latest for Live in Everett. It wasn't originally supposed to be about three kinds of duck soup, but when I ordered the wrong thing for the piece I meant to write, I made the best of the situation.

    Thankfully tomorrow, while busy, will be the regular amount of busy I'm used to.

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  • 01/26/18--04:40: Icon origins
  • Photo by Louie, formerly lj user ltorosf.

    575

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  • 01/26/18--04:44: SchadenFriday















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  • 01/27/18--07:26: 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
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 02/02/18--09:02: SchadenFriday














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  • 02/03/18--06:56: 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
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 02/04/18--16:18: For the birds
  • It's going to be a very busy week, and I wish I had the option to run to the pool for a quick swim each day, but that's off the table because I have fresh tattoos. I guess that's the big news. I spent three hours on the table on Friday and now my left arm is completely tattooed! I'm going to wait to share photos, though. It's swollen and looks like there's red ink when there's only black, and the new black stuff is so dark it looks fake. Totally normal for heavy blackwork.

    This last week was crazy, too, but I got out a couple of times.



    The moon was very intense on Tuesday at the marina.

    IMG_20180130_055332_734

    https://instagram.com/p/Bek3jO3HE2H


    It felt like I was in Stranger Things when I took this one.

    IMG_20180130_062147_271

    We don't usually see much of the sunsets around here because we're on the wrong side of a large hill, but once in a while our side of the sky picks it up. Caught the moonrise, too.

    https://instagram.com/p/BelfN8yHcf_


    This is three and a half hours of Steve's nap that started before I turned the camera on and went on long after the battery ran out.

    https://instagram.com/p/Bes7zSPnLd5


    It was raining a lot when I left this morning, but thankfully it cleared up. I would have walked anyway, but it was nice not to get soaked. This is the largest formation of geese (I think!) that I've seen in a while, I was lucky to cross paths with it.

    https://instagram.com/p/Bex-agWnuBt


    Right now there's a loop all the way around the area and today was the second time in a row I've gone the whole way. Plus I got there before any hunters so I did the hunting trail, too. I also did the loop counterclockwise, which I won't do again because a fence is going up, and if they put up a long enough one that I can't pass, I'd encounter it toward the end of a very long walk and have to go much too far to get back.

    20180204_084544

    We went to Buck's today for our first time, which is silly considering how long we've lived here now. It was a great breakfast, even though their bloody marys aren't very good. Garrett got the monte cristo, and I haven't seen or tasted one that good since they were popular in the '80s.


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  • 02/09/18--10:14: SchadenFriday




  • Slow week, add some in the comments!

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  • 02/10/18--07:31: 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
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 02/10/18--09:55: The beginning
  • Six years ago today, I posted this on Facebook:


    Switching up my morning routine. Gonna try getting up at 4:50 and walking 2.2 miles to the far bus stop instead of 5:10 and .8 miles to the closer one.

    Soon after that, I started taking the long way to the far bus stop. Then I started taking the bus all the way to the end of the route so I had to walk even more to get to work. Plus a really long walk on Sundays. Eventually we moved, and I got into a pretty good routine of walking six days a week even though I had nowhere to go because I worked at home. Four months later, we bought a house and moved again, and my old back injury returned.

    The physical therapy exercises I used previously weren't really touching it, so I took up yoga, which I should probably do at least twice a week. Instead, I save it for when my back is bothering me. It helps enough that I can walk as much as I want. 

    Another thing that helps is swimming an hour, twice a week. I've been doing that for a couple of years now, and love it. Four walks and two swims is a much easier routine to maintain than six walks in a row.

    I now have 5,500 miles recorded on MapMyRun. Lots of fun times and photos. We're currently in the period where it's dark for most of the walk, and I'm looking forward to this summer more than I ever have since I finished school.


     

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  • 02/11/18--12:57: That's more like it
  • Just when I thought the winter darkness would never end, I finally got some relief. After I took this.

    IMG_20180211_064056_260



    It wasn't quite as dark as that photo implies. Shortly after, I set up the time lapse camera in a new spot, turned the corner, and took this.

    20180211_065532

    I love a foggy morning. It makes everything feel like a dream.

    20180211_065638
    20180211_070718
    20180211_071533

    Regular shot vs wide angle, but not taken from the same spot.

    IMG_20180211_072904_229
    IMG_20180211_072940_566

    Surprise frost.

    IMG_20180211_073100_855

    Cloud views breaking through the fog.

    IMG_20180211_073219_562
    20180211_075237
    20180211_080245
    20180211_080500
    20180211_080547
    20180211_080720

    Wonder how long this couch has been there. Looks pretty new. No idea how it got there since you can't drive anywhere near this spot.

    20180211_081547

    You have have noticed a sun dog in some of the photos. I'm so excited to finally get one in a time lapse!

    https://instagram.com/p/BfER6sDnwTJ


    This hyperlapse of the drive out shows some stuff you've definitely never seen because I didn't go straight home. I have cat sitting duties today and tomorrow, so I drove much further down Broadway with the camera rolling than I ever have.

    https://instagram.com/p/BfEObocnjwP



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  • 02/14/18--05:48: Easily-lost gains
  • One of my boring goals is to walk the entire length of the Centennial Trail. It's 30 miles long, so I'll probably do it in nine or so sections. I could easily do it in four or five if I didn't have to double back each time to get to the car. But we don't have autonomous cars yet, so there's no easy way for it to be waiting for me up ahead.

    I call it a boring goal because so far, the two sections of trail I've covered aren't that interesting. I've never been fond of overly-long, straight, flat trails where you have to occasionally cross a street and there's constant noise from a busy road that runs alongside. And one of the street crossings was quite dangerous! There are certainly some beautiful houses and farms, but it's not one of the areas I'd look at if a bunch of money fell into my lap.

    Yesterday's walk was 7.3 miles total, so of the 30 trail miles, I added 3.65, for a total of 5. The first walk was pretty short because I stopped at a spot that would be easy to remember. I've checked the map up ahead, and thankfully in a few sessions, I'll reach a part that's further from roads.

    Interestingly, because it's so flat and I wasn't stopping to take photos, I did 4mph instead of my normal 3. At 1pm, I was at my desk finishing a conference call, was on the trail at 1:25, and finished the walk at 3:15. It was terribly exciting how quick it'd flown by, but all that time I felt I'd gained was about to vanish. I turned the ignition key, and nothing happened because I left my headlights on the entire walk.

    My car was free and I love it, but I look forward to the day when I eventually get a new one that's a little more modern and doesn't have the ability to drain its own battery just because you forget to turn the lights off on a bright day. While I waited about 90 minutes for AAA to come (for some reason, the guy's appointment before me just went on and on) I ordered a portable jump starter on Amazon. That'll be nice to have.

    It was annoying to wait so long to head home after covering so much ground so quickly, but I have nobody to blame but myself, and mostly had to laugh. And be grateful it was at the end of the day and there were no more calls to jump on. Come to think of it, I still could have dialed in if there was. Phones are so handy.

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  • 02/16/18--08:52: SchadenFriday









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  • 02/16/18--16:30: That's a wrap
  • That was quite a week. Work's been busy, but not so much that I couldn't get out for a few walks. I did yoga today, though, to give my back a break. I really miss the pool, but even two weeks out, my tattoo isn't completely healed. It'll probably be fine to go swimming Monday. It probably would have been fine today, but I'd rather not risk it. The reason it's an issue is that there's a ring of heavy black parts around my wrist, and it takes a lot of coverage to do that. There's only two small scabs now, though.

    One highlight this week was the arrival of my new time lapse camera! I decided last weekend that I wanted another and the Brinno got here Tuesday night. We woke up to Valentine's Day snow and my first test was to catch that melting. That trial run taught me a few things. First, to my relief, it's a regular lens and not a wide-angle one. I'm shocked that I allowed myself to order it without checking that first. It's nice that it's self-contained and I don't have to use an app on my phone, but of course it's a small screen so it's not as easy to see how a shot will turn out. It's important to make sure the shot's not washed out. And there was a timecode that I had to turn off via a setting.





    The camera takes 4 AA batteries and they last a really long time. Plus the memory card pops out, so even if you want to process a video, you can quickly transfer it, put the card back in, and set it up again. But back to the battery life. According to the manual I'm reading online (which isn't necessarily for this model, but it's similar if not) lapses with my preferred five-second interval can record for 13 days on fresh batteries. 13 days! I'm lucky to get just under two hours on a fully-charged Podo. Another bonus is that it saves as a video, so I don't have to assemble the frames in MovieMaker. That was time consuming because it can only handle so many, so I always had to make 3-4 movies, then stitch those together. Now I just load up what the Brinno makes, speed it up, and crop it to get rid of the black bars. Usually.

    https://instagram.com/p/BfMz6zrndMQ

    https://instagram.com/p/BfPQgbAnu5K

    https://instagram.com/p/BfRfHuWnnoA


    Some pretty squares from Lowell.

    IMG_20180214_093108_068IMG_20180214_095731_737
    IMG_20180214_100057_965IMG_20180214_100228_599

    A lovely view at the waterfront.

    IMG_20180215_065825_285

    Some ok soup at a Thai place I'd been wanting to try. I doubt I'll be back there any time soon since there are so many more to try and the furniture wasn't comfortable.

    IMG_20180214_121955_870

    I've already chosen where I want to do my time lapse from on Sunday. I might bring the Podo and the Brinno to compare the results. As long as it's not raining.


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  • 02/17/18--06:55: 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
    And everyone else who happened to put a cat or dog where I ended up seeing it this week!

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  • 02/20/18--17:23: Snow and ice
  • We had snow on Valentine's Day and then again Sunday morning. I don't leave unless the roads are clear, and that took a while on Sunday. Thankfully we were still able to visit Garrett's parents at lunchtime.

    https://instagram.com/p/BfXMiMRnDNs


    Normally on Presidents' Day, I drive further out for a hike somewhere I don't go a lot, but I didn't feel like dealing with the snow that was likely to be still around and deeper in those mountain areas. So I went to the normal Sunday spot, and it was nice.



    IMG_20180219_072243_569
    IMG_20180219_072758_881
    20180219_074646
    20180219_074714
    IMG_20180219_074941_590
    IMG_20180219_075137_430
    IMG_20180219_082150_878
    https://instagram.com/p/BfYhjHPnRME

    https://instagram.com/p/BfYkBOUnsLD

    https://instagram.com/p/BfYmlqkHUmz

    https://instagram.com/p/BfYm_IIngJg

    https://instagram.com/p/BfYnOskHoIH