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  • 09/26/17--17:52: We're back!
  • I'll do catchemups tomorrow. The cabin was great, but it's nice to be home for sure. In the meantime, here are some slightly sped-up lynxes who live at the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park.

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  • 09/27/17--13:52: Vacation, part 1
  • Vacation officially began after a 3:30pm conference call last Thursday. It's a call that normally happens on Tuesday, so it was funny that it got moved to when I was trying to get away from my desk for ten days. I was up at my normal time Friday, but stayed in and got ready to head out for our 8am breakfast reservation at Salish Lodge.


    The scenery there is always so perfect.


    I'd already had my normal amount of coffee, but went ahead and had another cup so I could enjoy their lovely accoutrements.


    Their signature multi-course breakfast was delicious, but it was way too much food. If I were to order it again I'd ask for half the amount of pancakes, and skip the oatmeal. There would still be too much.


    During breakfast, I checked the cat cameras for the first of many times throughout the trip. Garrett set up a new spot at their favorite hangout spot, under the dining room table at chair level.


    There was no need for lunch because we had such a huge breakfast, so our next stop was The Reach, which is the new name for the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center. It's a small-but-interesting museum, which is half about the nature and geography of the area, and half about the nuclear production complex. Very interesting stuff. I've been thinking a lot about the thousands of people who worked there, never having any idea at the time what they were actually doing there.


    Thankfully we were able to check in a little early, and didn't have to wait at all to do it. We had a fun early dinner at Applebee's, got mani-pedis, then hung out in the hotel bar for a while before going to bed. By the way, the Springhill Suites in Kennwick is a really cool hotel. Stylish decor, great bar and restaurant onsite, connected to the convention center, and a nice free breakfast. Even some really big air plants in the lobby!

    The next morning, we had that free breakfast, then went to the Pasco Farmers Market. It was a nice little market, but it didn't meet up to the expectations you arrive with after reading about it online.


    Downtown Pasco is a little bleak. I could take pictures there all day.


    We went to the tattoo convention right when it opened. Jimmy was out front, and I finally got to introduce him to Garrett and show him Garrett's amazing tattoos. Inside, he introduced us to Catfish! who currently works at Cicada, and had a good story about this rock, which came from a client's butt.

    Catfish! and the infamous Butt Rock

    After seeing all the booths at the convention, we had a really amazing lunch at Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar. They're a chain out in Eastern Washington and have four locations in Spokane alone. If you ever get a chance to go to one, do it. It's at the mall, so we took a walk around the whole thing to see what stores they had. It was surprisingly full and active! It felt like time travel.

    I'd never buy them, but these shoes are so cute.


    Back at the convention, it was pretty cool that there was a seating area right by the booth where Dutch from Skin Wars was doing body painting.


    Nancy finally arrived, and we had a great time hanging out, though she had to take a lot of work calls. She's very important to her employer and I hope they give her a big raise soon. When it was time for the contest we were both in, we couldn't wait in line together because I was number two in the list, and she was 40 or so people behind me. But I was able to get good pictures of her on stage!


    And when they brought us all back onstage, I was able to get a picture of a monitor screen with both of us on it. My hair really looks like a mohawk from that angle.


    Neither of our tattoos won, but Lions Paw placed third in a couple of other categories!

    The terrain around the Tri-Cities is unique, and I sort of wish we took a little time to drive some of the roads on these hills.


    We got gas and groceries in Union Gap, then had a long detour around a very dry Rimrock Lake.

    Island in a very-empty Rimrock Lake

    Check-in wasn't until 4pm, so we had our picnic lunch at the Mt. Rainier National Park. That was my first time there, even though I've lived in the area since 1999.


    The picnic area was snowy and had extremely brave birds.


    Pretty squares.


    To be continued!

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  • 09/28/17--12:36: Vacation, part 2
  • My favorite travel tradition is getting photos of Garrett in his "G Wave" pose at various landmarks. Here we are in front of the Mt. Rainier visitor center (out of frame to the left) with the mountain behind him. It's funny, the mountain is suddenly so much less impressive from that spot. Everywhere else, it towers above you, but at the space dedicated to it, you're just a touch too close to the top.


    The view of the other peaks nearby is great from there, though.


    A mostly-successful panorama near where we parked, featuring a tiny sliver of the car that came at just the wrong time.


    On the way back down, you can get a really good view of the next section of road, plus what looks like the last landslide that probably had to be cleaned from it.


    Meanwhile, back home, proof that Steve's ridiculously long legs retract.


    Our cabin in Packwood was amazing. We only needed the two bedrooms on the ground floor, but there was a whole other bedroom upstairs with two double beds! There were other cabins nearby, but everything lined up nicely so that you didn't really see them from inside, and the view is amazing, even from the couch.


    I didn't have a Podo with me, but the cloud action was so great across the valley, I had to use my phone to make a couple of quick lapses while we were there.

    And there are a bunch of elk who visit often! Hover over for navigation to three videos.

    I didn't realize at the time that this would be a theme.


    It's so hard to do food shopping for a cabin. Sometimes rentals have a few things in them like oil, vinegar, and coffee creamer, but all we found in this one was salt, pepper, and steak seasoning. It occurred to me while there that a Blue Apron or Hello Fresh box would be so perfect in that setting. But even if I had thought of that ahead of time, we couldn't have done it for this trip since we had two nights in the hotel first. So instead, we had to think of some good dinners, and challenge ourselves to use everything up for breakfasts before leaving. Here's a procedural photo of my pasta-stuffed omelette.

    Pasta-stuffed omelette

    One last wide-angle shot of the front of the property before leaving. This gives you an idea of how close the neighbors were, but also how the terrain makes the proximity bearable. You can just see the edge of the hot tub, which we really loved sitting in. Too bad the cover blocked most of the view when it was open.


    Garrett had the great idea of reliving one of his most exciting childhood field trips on our way back North at an amazing spot I can't remember ever hearing of. Northwest Trek is a really fun wildlife park on 723 acres near Eatonville. We got there just in time to have a quick lunch at their cafe before doing the tram tour, which gets you surprisingly close to some of their biggest animals.



    And it's a gorgeous setting.


    Those lynxes I posted a video of at the end of the last post were fucking when we got to their exhibit, which is part of the walking tour. Look how coy this one looks.


    One last shot of Garrett before we got back in the van to head home. Really fun road trip and I'm glad we still have a few more days to hang around before we have to work again.


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  • 09/29/17--11:20: SchadenFriday

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  • 09/30/17--06:54: CATURDAY

  • RIP Alfie 2003-2017

    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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  • 10/01/17--15:32: Had to get away
  • It's the last day of our vacation, and even though I didn't manage to get any walking or hiking done while we were out of town, I did all my normal days since we got back.

    Wednesday at Langus and Spencer Island was foggy, and still quite dark when I got there.


    I took this because I've never seen the water so low by this bridge, but that may be controlled by the nearby facility so I'm not sure how interesting that really is.


    I love when the fog is so thick that the path up ahead disappears.


    Since I wasn't in a hurry to get back home, I also stopped by the Union Slough Park on the way back. The two walks combined made eight miles. There's not as much to see there, but it's neat to get a close look at this bridge.


    It was foggy most of the drive home.

    Thursday was a typical trip to the tank farm. My brain is still getting used to the shorter walking loop there, and it was funny when I checked my distance the first time. I'd gone 1.7 miles, but guessed it was 2, and the loop is .3 shorter now. It was weird to see one of the old stairways from the walls waiting to be hauled away.


    It was a pretty, but clear day, which was fine because I didn't have a replacement Podo yet.




    Miau/sproing, later on at home.

    Garrett had a fly-in meeting Friday, so I took the opportunity to go further out to Lime Kiln Trail. I'd only been once before, and didn't do the whole thing, so that was the goal for the day. The replacement Podo I bought from Alan had arrived, and I brought it along, but decided to leave it in the car. The woods are really thick at the parking lot, and I wasn't sure I'd find a good spot close enough to there to put it.

    It was really dark when I got there, so I waited 20 minutes before getting out of the car. There was only one other car there, and I don't think the guy sitting in it even hiked. I never saw anyone on the trail, and my car was the only one when I got back.


    One of the stupidest complaints I've ever seen in a public forum was someone saying they didn't like the artifacts at the lime kiln, that they made it look like a junk shop. How often do you get to see something like that? So silly.


    It's an easy and gorgeous hike, and it's pretty cool that it's only 20 miles from here. I recommend it highly, especially if you like moss.


    And there are surprisingly good river views.


    Right before the end of the trail, there's a little loop that takes you all the way down to the river. Perfect spot to eat my bagel.


    River selfie/hair color check.


    I took a photo of this sign to remind myself to find out more. It occurred to me a while later that the guy I talked to about the trail who has keys to the access road gates and does work on the trail was named Tom, and I bet that's a way to get to more easily get to wherever he parks. I wanted to check it out, but had no idea how far it might take me, so I'll see it some other time.


    Floating trail heart and the spider who built the web it was caught in.


    Cute baby ferns and a huge moss duck.


    When I was nearly back to the car, I got poked in the heel, and ordered a multitool as soon as I got home because I had such a hard time pulling this thing out of the sole of my shoe with my fingers. It has a flashlight, too, which would have been useful for this hike.


    Back home, I made my first time lapse with the new-to-me Podo. Thanks, Alan!

    Yesterday I was the bartender at Garrett's fly-in volunteer party. That turned out to be perfect fit, because so many of those people have wanted to meet me, but the events aren't that exciting for me, so why not put me to work and let all the volunteers relax? I had a great time, and my signature cocktail was a hit.

    I was the bartender!

    It was a potluck, and someone brought chili that was the best I've tasted since we went to Florida. Here's the gorgeous sky at the airport, and the time lapse I made there. It starts off fast because I planned to use a longer interval for the whole thing, but I changed it to my normal speed after a while.


    The reason I did that is dumb. I've had problems with the lapses stopping for no reason using various intervals, and I hoped to check if that happened, but now it doesn't consistently give the warning if you stop a lapse in progress. So, it hadn't stopped, but I assumed it did, and changed the interval. Oh well!

    Today was a dark-but-lovely walk over at Langus again. I took this photo because, in real life, the clouds looked a lot like the clouds in my tattoo.


    Can't really say there are many photo ops at the wastewater treatment plant in the dark, but if the water is still, it's pretty while you're there.


    Nice layer of fog out toward Lake Stevens.


    The sky wasn't super dramatic, but I'm still glad the battery lasted long enough to catch this part.


    I'm surprised I haven't noticed this building-in-progress before. Wonder what it'll be.


    On the way home, I finally stopped for photos of this sign. Glad they hadn't changed it yet.


    And here's the time lapse. I cut out tons of dark frames at the start, and would have taken out even more, but I liked the vehicle going by.

    Back to reality tomorrow!

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  • 10/02/17--17:16: Swing of things
  • There's a great view of the Southern sky from the side of our house next to the garage, and a perfect spot to put the Podo, too. I hoped to get the rest of the day until dark, but the battery ran out after five hours. This was with a 30-second interval, which makes sense; I think my record was 11 hours or so with a minute interval. Part of me thinks about adding a tab to my spreadsheet and keeping track of these things so I can set my expectations properly and know without any guesswork what the best interval is for what I want to accomplish. But maybe since I'm someone who has "a spreadsheet," I should probably just try to memorize and get a feel for it.

    I didn't get the darkness falling that I wanted, but the sun's journey all the way across is pretty neat.

    I was a little intimidated by the number of unread emails in my work inbox when I opened it for the first time in 11 days today, but I dove right in and kept at it until it was all under control. Some stuff I volleyed to other people came back while I ate breakfast, and I spent the rest of the morning on my turn, then went straight to the noon session at the swim center, which I don't mind doing when school's in session. It's a little weird to go when it's so much brighter out and a completely different crowd, but the main issue is that I end up really hungry and eating a late lunch due to the timing.

    Earlier, I couldn't find Steve, which should have been easy because all of the doors upstairs were closed and I knew he wasn't downstairs. Then I noticed he was on an upper shelf in the lower linen closet, which Sam likes to open sometimes.


    I played the first scene of Inhumans and decided there are way too many shows to watch right now and all of the new superhero ones can wait. Deleted the timer for that one and The Gifted. It was a 2-hour premier and it felt so nice to just delete it!

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  • 10/03/17--19:07: Messy eater
  • Timing and clear skies made for no good opportunity for a time lapse today, so I decided to use the video mode the first time and catch some of the action at our bird feeder. Several kinds of birds were fighting over it yesterday so I filled it again. So far, only this one seems to have noticed.

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    two walks in the dark?

    Lately I've been pretty good about staying away from the thrift shops because I've certainly reached a point where there's a lot of stuff in the garage that's not on display, plus a bunch that's there and on the shelf in my room that I can use for air plant displays if I want to make any. A backlog of stuff, if you will. But while I'm not actively looking, my eyes are still open, and I saw a really cool lazy Susan on the Riverside Trading CoInstagram story Monday night. I might not have chosen to buy it if I also had to pay for shipping, but they offer free local pickup, which is a great deal for those of us in Everett. I made arrangements to pick it up off one of their porches Tuesday morning on the way to my walk, and it was waiting for me under her bench in a nice paper bag with some very cute mini business cards, along with a sticker that's now on my laptop.


    Definitely check their Etsy if you like vintage stuff, it's amazing.

    After picking it up, I headed to the marina for a nice walk around there.


    I'm always one to roll with the punches, and the current one is trying to find interesting photos in the dark. Buildings help.


    Impounded boats with funny names are another favorite subject.


    I spent a lot of the morning one section of the marina over from a really cool fog bank. It was neat to watch it roll in and then back out just before I could catch it.


    This heron surprised me by hanging around instead of flying away as soon as I grabbed my phone.


    No dramatic sunrise, but at least the '80s colors were in full effect to the West as I headed back to the car.


    Pretty squares.


    I thought about making today a swim day, but went to the tank farm instead. Pretty soon there won't be any trace of the tank farm left and I'll have to choose something else to call it. The moon was absolutely gorgeous during the drive over and I barely managed to get a photo before it set.


    Can't say I know why a crane needs this many lights on it, but it was dramatic and ridiculous.


    IRL emoji.


    I recognize this artist's style from elsewhere. They've drawn in the strange little structure with the unlocked door down closer to the water.


    There were more seals down there than I've ever seen before. There was a second group like this one, plus eight or so swimming by themselves. The woman who walks two golden retrievers said there was also a dead one for a week or so recently, but thankfully I never spotted that one.

    A while ago I had a great call with my boss about a new use for our tool for my old boss from two bosses ago. Thankfully I can do a lot of the work involved once it's ready, which will be good not only because I'll be in charge of it, but because I won't have to explain it to anyone, provide the in-depth documentation I normally have to create, or answer any questions about it. Lots of wins there for me.

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    I've become so good at keeping my hair completely dry while I tread water, and it's a good thing I do. It's impossible to keep my beard out of the water, and when I come out, it looks completely normal with no purple tint at all. I can't imagine how much color would get zapped from my hair if I let the pool water get on it. Speaking of which, yesterday was such a good hair day. I'm sure people who follow me across many platforms are tired of hearing about it.


    I took that third picture in the kitchen, when I went in for some photo updates. The vertical garden has more vines now, so I got to work with the Command hooks. Too bad we don't have a taller stepladder.


    And I hung the chile wreath I picked up at the Pasco Farmers Market. Too bad the light isn't brighter, some of the colors are really intense.


    A wider shot, for context.


    I can't remember if I've mentioned that I joined MoviePass, but the card finally came, and I've already used it twice. Yesterday I saw Spider-Man Homecoming up in Marysville, and today I went to the Everett Mall for lunch in the food court and Mother! Please note the exclamation point is part of the movie's title and in no way reflects any enthusiasm I have for that movie. Because it's terrible. And that's saying a lot coming from me.

    If you're not familiar, MoviePass costs $10 per month after the joining fee, which for me was also $10 because it was during a sale. Participating theaters are in the app, which you use to check in to the movie. You have to be within 100 yards of the theater, and you have 30 minutes after you check in to buy the ticket using the MoviePass debit card. You can see one 2D movie every day. So if you go to two movies a month, it's a great deal. I've always chosen to wait to see a lot of movies because I didn't want to spend the money, so getting to see as many as I want for a flat fee is perfect for me. I'm probably not their ideal customer, though.

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  • 10/06/17--04:22: SchadenFriday

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  • 10/07/17--06:53: 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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  • 10/08/17--15:09: One mystery solved
  • I don't go to the marina twice in a week very often, but it was a perfect choice on Friday because I had a haircut scheduled at 8:45am. It's close, so it's easy to get back with plenty of time for breakfast before heading out again. It was quite dark, but the moon was full and bright. Enough that I decided I'd leave the Podo on the steering wheel in my car pointed that way instead of toward the West. Of course a big factor in that decision is that I assumed there wouldn't be much of a sunrise, or that I'd be gone too soon anyway.


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


    Pretty squares.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    Hi Bella

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

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


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


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


    Another impounded boat with a great name.


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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  • 10/13/17--04:49: SchadenFriday

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  • 10/14/17--05:32: CATURDAY

  • BONUS Saturdogs

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

    Black and white photo challenge, day 1

    Black and white photo challenge, day 2

    Black and white photo challenge, day 3

    Black and white photo challenge, day 4

    Black and white photo challenge, day 5

    Black and white photo challenge, day 6

    Black and white photo challenge, day 7

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

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

    Heron and seal

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • 10/20/17--04:43: SchadenFriday