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ScubaJason
grocible
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[(PO2 ÷ FO2) - 1] * 33

Recent Dive Pictures
Les Davis - September 6, 2009

Sea Tiger - September 17, 2009

The Pipe - September 17, 2009

San Pedro - September 18, 2009

Kaiser Reef - September 18, 2009


Race History
Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon
August 1, 2009
2:42:49 (2:42:28)

Seafair Torchlight Run 8k
July 25, 2009
48:30

Inaugural Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon
June 27, 2009
2:39:41 (2:08:44)

Sound To Narrows 12k
June 13, 2009
1:11:19 (1:10:33)

Furry 5k
June 7, 2009
28:25 (27:28)

Tacoma City Half Marathon
May 3, 2009
2:05:52 (2:05:15)

The 12ks Of Christmas
December 14, 2008
CANCELED

Seattle Half Marathon
November 30, 2008
2:28:59 (2:25:52)

Winter Pineapple Classic 5k
November 16, 2008
34:26

Bank To Bay 10k
September 7, 2008
54:15 (53:47)

Furry 5k
June 8, 2008
32:51:9 (32:53:7)

Tacoma City Marathon
May 10, 2008
5:21:13 (5:19:58)

St. Patrick's Day Dash
March 16, 2008
30:31 (30:31)

Hood to Coast Relay
August 24-25, 2007
Leg 3 - 3.93 Miles - 34:43
Leg 15 - 7.25 Miles - 1:16:21
Leg 27 - 5.98 Miles - 1:03:28

Tacoma Narrows Bridge Run
July 15, 2007
(33:09)

Furry 5k
June 10, 2007
28:05

Capital City Half Marathon
May 20, 2007
2:22:21 (2:21:30)

St. Patrick's Day Dash
March 11, 2007
30:31 (30:34)

The 12ks Of Christmas
December 17, 2006
1:11:24 (1:10:41)

Jingle Bell Run 5k
December 10, 2006
(32:29)

Winter Pineapple Classic 5k
November 11, 2006
46:23

Bank To Bay 10k
September 10, 2006
56:26 (55:32)

Seafair Torchlight Run 8k
July 29, 2006
47:25

Furry 5k
June 11, 2006
30:22 (29:29)

Descend Viewing 25 - 50 Ascend
I love fall

Today’s walk . . .
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I look up from eating dinner and I see this staring at me ...
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Giant Lieam
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Another new place found.
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I’m never going back
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Today’s walk feels different.

I needed this.
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An extra large version of Lieam is happening.

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So this happened last night.
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Sometimes when I go walking I wish I didn’t have to go back.
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I’m so scared of what this could have been

I know that today I lost my only friend

Today I built the last of my larger Mouse Guard mice - Piper.
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Decided that the artwork above my desk needed refreshing.

I have a bunch of Mouse Guard prints that needed hanging, plus the fun watercolor Sounders print, which basically meant everything that was currently above my desk has to come down.

Since every picture is a different size, I decided to use PhotoShop to plan out my layout.
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K asked me to flipflop the mice and Sounders:
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It's a little crooked, which is fixable, but I think it turned out pretty good. Everything isn't 100% as planned but I'm good with it.
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I'll have room for the bigger monitor that I've been eyeballing, plus the mice on the left can be rotated out since I have multiples of those sizes.

(eta: all of text went missing on uploading. Hmm.)

To continue my Mouse Guard PaperCrafts, today I built the larger sized Sadie.

Two differences compared to the smaller version is that I added her hood and her bee. The larger version's bee was easier to understand how to build it. Kind of makes me want to build the smaller bee.
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I Build Mice

I still don't remember the first time I ever heard about Mouse Guard. I can only assume it was a blog, but something caught my eye about a world filled with mice. With swords. Plus there was something striking about the artwork.

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The first book - Fall: 1152 - made its way to my Amazon wish list, where it stayed for quite some time before it was purchased. And even after it was purchased, it promptly sat on my book shelf, unread. That is, until this year, when I joined Book Riot's Read Harder challenge, and I selected Mouse Guard for my all ages book.

From the first page, I was hooked. The artwork was mesmerizing, the characters were interesting, and the world was deep. I wanted more. So I promptly bought every book available and basically obsessed over these little mice who fight for good in a world full of danger, and betrayal, and adventure, and friendship.


David Petersen - the creator, writer and artist - even opened up his Mouse Guard world to other creators. One of the stories was done by Ryan Lang who is more an animation artist. He's worked on Moana, Big Hero 6, and Wreck it Ralph for example. His story - The Watcher's Stone - was amazing. I recommend watching the video where David Petersen reads it aloud.

Possibly one of my most favorite images from all of the stories.

In the back of the second book - Winter: 1152 - there were descriptions of some of the mice who live in other towns and I immediately focused in on one in particular - Lonepine. I hadn't noticed the town on the maps that appear in each book, but I definitely noticed him here.


The reason I noticed him was because he's from Lonepine, which when you add a space - Lone Pine - becomes my home town in California. A town that maybe has 2000 people. You can probably see why I noticed him.

This mouse has become special to me because of where he's from. So special in fact, that via Twitter and e-mail, I purchased an original drawing from David.

(I can't link to it, but David actually livestreamed on Facebook and Twitch the actual session where he drew my Lonepine mouse for me.)



One day, I discovered on the Mouse Guard site, that the artist, David Petersen, had created these little paper models of ten of the mice from the world of Mouse Guard. I downloaded them thinking that it would be a quick weekend project building some fun mice, and then maybe decorating my desk at work with them.

Lieam Papercraft

In hindsight, that time estimate was a little ambitious. It took me almost two hours to build the first one, and at my best, it was closer to around ninety minutes.


Just to give you an idea of what the models look like before cutting and putting them together. Here's Piper and all of her pieces.


Here's Lieam's head, specifically his wounded ear.


Can you tell that these are his feet and arms?


Piper is observing the construction. The tape was because I accidentally wounded Piper's ear trying to put her hood on.


Feets.


Lieam's pokey (sword.)


The body before being glued together.


Before the arms go on.


Make the tail might be my favorite part.


And Lieam is finished.


Together with Piper.

Piper and Lieam were the third and fourth mice I built, and they joined Sadie (in purple) and Kenzie (in blue) at my desk at work.

Note how Sadie and Kenzie aren't holding their weapons the same way Piper and Lieam are - that's because I didn't realize in the beginning that the weapons should be inserted in-between the hands.

Eventually, I finished building all ten mice, and even painted some white boxes to look more like rocks, because mice wouldn't be standing around white boxes . . .

Seven of the eight completed mice (Piper was off an adventure - she still is in fact.)

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The whole gang together for a photo shoot.

At first, building these mice was just a fun little thing to do, but eventually it became more than that to me. I've been dealing with a lot of personal stuff lately, and these mice became a therapeutic way for me to work through some of what I've been dealing with. They didn't solve anything, but they gave me an immense sense of joy and I just felt good making them.

I'm sure people at work think I'm weird - I'm now the guy who has all these little paper mice on my desk but I like seeing them there. And they give me joy.



Before I built my first mouse, I watched a video that David made showing how he makes the mice, plus gave a few tips and tricks that help you out. Since the video was originally part of a livestream, someone asked about using thicker paper, but you would have to scale the model up, otherwise the paper would just be too think.

In other words - make bigger mice.

I never forgot that, so a couple of weeks ago, I made it a new mission to find a place that would be able to print these models at 200% (and not charge me a small fortune to do so.) I was just about ready to give up (because of cost and not being able to find someone who understood my requirements) when I gave it one last shot. And it paid off. I found a printing company close to work that charged a very reasonable amount of money, and was able to print the models at 200% on thicker paper. It was perfect.

So began my next challenge - make bigger mice.

I started with Kenzie.

Here is the original Kenzie next to the larger version's cloak to give you an idea of just how big these new ones will be.


And the completed Kenzie next to the smaller version.


When I successfully completed Kenzie, I tweeted out my appreciation to the printing company, and tagged David Petersen (@MouseGuard) who in turn retweeted it. A little bit of a humblebrag here, but Adam Savage (from MythBusters) also retweeted it to his followers so that was pretty cool. (I'm also pretty certain that this was the most social media attention that this printing company has ever had, so you're welcome.)


Everything about the new mice is exactly the same as the old mice - just bigger. These pieces will eventually become Saxon.


And here is Lieam and Kenzie (Saxon was completed the next day and isn't pictured.)

One of my favorite models is Gwendolynn. There's just something magnificent about her and the papercraft version looks a lot like her artwork.


I of course have brought the bigger mice to work.

At this rate, I'm going to need a bigger desk.

I still have two more sets of the larger mice to build (I didn't get all ten printed) but I'm already trying to figure out just how big I can get these.



As more people at work see the new and improved versions, I'm sure they're going to continue thinking I'm weird, but I'm okay with that. These little mice make me feel good, and while I still haven't figured out answers to a lot of my questions lately, having something to feel good about is a good start.

It matters not what you fight, but what you fight for.

Birthdays

Today is my birthday.

Now, before anyone says "Happy Birthday," I want it to be known that I don't like my birthday.

I don't want the attention. Or the recognition. Or a cupcake. Or the singing.

I simply do not want my birthday to be acknowledged.

No, it's not a "I'm getting older" thing. It's just that I don't like it.

For a few years, I've gone off and done things by myself because that's how I've chosen to celebrate. I went bungee jumping, a solo overnight backpacking trip, tried to climb a mountain, ran a relay (this might have actually been my first hidden birthday.)

I've been asked why before and usually try to brush it off, but this year a friend asked, and I answered her. I'm not exactly sure why I answered her but I did. And why am I even saying anything here about this now, after all of this time? I'm not sure about that either. Perhaps it's because that this person apparently isn’t a friend of mine anymore.

At my previous employer, it was really simple to hide your birthday - you simply never said anything, and you were good. But my new employer (it's been a year now!) they go all out about birthdays. There are announcements on a variety of platforms (daily attendance e-mail, a rewards website, sharepoint, department calendars, a monthly cupcake delivery, card, and a department celebration) that were proving extremely difficult to opt out of. I thought I did good job, but our new manager had his assistant add everyone's birthdays to the department calendar (I never got around to telling him I don't like the acknowledgement) so now one of my co-workers knows. (I think it bothers her that I not only don't celebrate, but that I don't want anyone to know about.)

(On a side note - it this was a religious thing, I think it would be easier to hide, but because it's not everyone demands an explanation.)

When I worked at BECU, I can remember two birthdays - the first one which must have been my first birthday there - my department decorated my desk with an underwater theme. I remember sharks and lots of plastic underwater figures (this was because I was a diver.) It didn't bother me then.

And the other one that I remember was when I turned 30 - I even had a party where I invited some friends, and something unusual for me, a couple of co-workers as well. Only one showed up.

I think the origins of my birthday feelings are with this co-worker. I'm going to call her Rockthrower in case she stumbles upon this.

We became friends via work and we both got to know each other pretty well. In fact, she's the one that actually convinced me to give running a try way back when (that, surprisingly, I kept up with and eventually became a runner even though I tried to fight this designation.)

I learned shortly afterwards that her husband enjoyed being physical (and not in a good way) with her and I saw the bruises along her neck. I wanted to save her but she wouldn't let me and ultimately quit her job and I haven't seen her since (I did talk to her one day after she messaged me through my website.)

So what does this have to do with my birthday? If I'm forced to make a connection, I think it's because that birthday was the last time I saw a good friend happy and I hate to think of her being any other way.

Maybe it's silly, or ridiculous, but it's how I feel.

Read Harder 2017 - Read a Superhero Comic With a Female Lead

Ms. Marvel: No Normal by G Willow Wilson


Read May 14th

Four pounds down since 4/14 (when I bought new running shoes.)

Makes me feel good that I'm seeing results already.

Plus my running is getting stronger too. Still have some mental battles but I end up doing as well as planned, or better, at the end.
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Butterflies and rain clouds

Yesterday at the gym, I ran my longest non-stop run yet on this Running Ver. 2.0 - 2.61 miles. I walked for about a minute, and then finally finished with 3.11 miles in 37:29. Definitely not near my old speed, but it felt good to hit that distance again.

Well, today, I decided that this was truly mind over body. So I pushed myself a little more and told myself that I was going to this, and that's exactly what I did. I ran 3.11 miles - non-stop - in 36:05.

A far cry from my very first 5k time of 29:29 but this is the first time in almost 5 years that I've ran that distance.

My knee is a little tender but it never hurt during the run. And I feel great. I really pushed myself the 0.35 miles and everything clicked.

Today has really given me a good shot of confidence. I'm doing things right and seeing the results. And this pleases me.

So I'm celebrating by eating a cupcake. Ok, two cupcakes.

I was on a roll there for a little while . . .

K has asked me a few times why don't I try to write a book. And I always tell her the same thing - I don't have anything to say worth reading about.

But what a book of stories? You're always saying how much you enjoy short stories, why not something like that?

Again, do I have anything worth reading or sharing?

And more recently, I shared my Tanzania pictures and Mount Rainier story with another friend who also told me that I am a good writer and I should do it more.

The other day, I fell down the rabbit hole of reading older entries that I made here, and also reading some of the adventure stories that are on my website (Hood to Coast and Mount Rainier specifically.) Looking at those older entries, I forgot how much I enjoyed writing, and even though a lot of the subjects and material weren't the best (sometimes life is dark and full of downs,) I can see how therapeutic writing was for me.

I try not to have too many regrets in life, but I do regret being so vague in what I wrote sometimes. I see these stories and I don't know who else was part of them or what exactly I was being coy about.

But I was reminded of things I did, and people I talked to, and friends I had, and that made me miss writing more.

Another obstacle for me is time. I don't feel like I have the time to write. Looking back at the glory days of this journal, it was much easier to write because April was doing similar things, whereas now that's not how my leisure time is spent.

Right now, it's quiet in the house. I'm the only one here so there are no distractions, or obligations. It's just me and my keyboard.

So here are some stories . . .

I started running again.

After taking two months off from the gym (between work trips to California and Las Vegas, and being sick and then hurting my back (again,)) my gym life has suffered. Luckily I wasn't putting any weight on, but I definitely wasn't taking any weight off.

Oh - before the running story - it's now been a year since I joined the gym. I've seen some improvements in strength and cardio stamina and I've lost about 20 pounds in that year's time (but haven't lost anything in around 6 months which is kind of frustrating.)

Okay - back to running . . .

During my original gym time, I started with an occasional mile run here and there, and it felt good. I definitely wasn't as fast as I used to be (older and heavier will do that to you.) Plus I couldn't do a full mile non-stop. But I ran every now and then.

And that gave me some joy. I remember how happy running made me feel at times, and I was also reminded of why I started running in the first place (that is probably a story for another time.)

Another thing that helped is that in January of this year, I made it a goal to hit all of the doctors, specifically a physical therapist. I wanted to see what was up with my knee. The same knee that I've struggled with for years. The same one that has never gotten better.

The PT has decided that I have something called Tendinopathy, which is just a fancy way of saying that I injured a tendon(s) and it healed improperly. So he's worked with me to do certain types of exercises that will help me recover from this injury. Similar to when you start lifting weights for the first time, little exercises designed to tear the muscle/tendon so it can learn to heal properly. Which for me means squats. And lots of them.

Knowing that I'm not broken, or will require painful and expensive surgery, I've found new drive to run again. And that's exactly what I've been doing.

I even broke down and bought new running shoes for the first time in many years.

How do I know that I'm serious about this again? I made a spreadsheet.

I wrote this on the 18th of April . . .

Years ago, when I was running, I made a spreadsheet to track my mileage.

That spreadsheet grew to not only track mileage, but mileage on each pair of shoes. And even a separate tab that tracked how many miles I ran with the dogs.

And there were graphs and charts and everything. (No pivot tables because whatever!)

I stopped using it after six years and 3981 miles.

Last weekend I bought two new pairs of running shoes. Because excuses be damned, I'm going to run again.

I've now ran four days in a row - probably the most I've done in years.

Saturday - 2.4 miles with a 2 minute walking break after 2
Sunday - 2.48 miles with a 2 minute walking break after 2
Monday - 1.1 miles because life sucked
Today - 2.45 miles - almost non-stop except for a 30 second pause to drink water.

I now have a new spreadsheet.

It's empty, but it does have 8.43 logged miles . . .


It's funny to me - this old spreadsheet started in April of 2006; the new one April of 2017. The first one had the first set of runs in the 2.5 mile range. This new one, the same.

And then just this past Sunday, I ran 2.5 miles non-stop for the first time since 2012.

I'm doing this again dammit.

Recently, I started noticing some differences in how my clothes have been fitting. Different belt hole being used when tucking my shirt in - heck, being comfortable enough with tucking my shirt in (because everyone is fooled by fat guys with untucked shirts!) I am feeling better, I think I look better, and my clothes are definitely fitting better. A coworker even commented on it last week!

So maybe this running thing will work out, and I can drop the other 30 pounds I set out to drop last year when I started the gym.

Read Harder 2017 - Read a Book About War

Grunt: The Curious Science Of Humans At War by Mary Roach


Read February 28 - March 4

So tomorrow I will finally meet an author that I never thought would get out this way - Joe Lansdale.

I'm beyond excited for this signing. So excited that I gave thought to taking tomorrow off so I could go to both book signing events that he's doing (plus I would have then gone to the Zach Scott testimonial match tonight - I can't do two late nights during the week, it's too tough.)

What I'm having trouble deciding is which books to get signed. I own 92 of his books, and only 39 aren't signed. And while he said that he would sign anything as long as the book store was okay with it, and I checked and they told me no limits so bring everything, I still can't figure out what I want signed.

Bubba Ho-Tep is a given. But other than that, no idea.

Tough choice ahead this evening.

On Wednesday, the IT department was called into a meeting our EVP (who's essentially second in command of our company.) And HR was there.

Some of the most heart-breaking news was delivered - Robin - our manager had passed away over the weekend.

The previous Tuesday, he left work because he wasn't feeling well. He was out the rest of the week. And since Monday was a holiday, no one had heard much from him. On Tuesday he missed a meeting with our EVP. A meeting that he's never missed.

We found out that day that he had passed away at home sometime during the weekend.

And the only reason anyone found out anything is because his work family did everything they could do. They called hospitals, they drove by his house, they drove to the airport to look for his car. Eventually they called the police and at first the police said there wasn't anything the could do, but eventually health information was relayed to them (he had some sort of condition with his kidneys and even though his doctors said he should be on dialysis, he refused,) and they did a wellness check. They found him at home.

Even though I had only worked under Robin since August, he quickly became my favorite manager. He treated every one with respect, and like an adult and left you alone to do get the job done and always made sure you had everything you needed to be successful. No questions asked. I've already been handed so many opportunities I still can't believe it.

Robin kept lots of things private and in that it reminded me of myself. It might not seem like it, but I still keep a lot to myself and don't share with very many people. But I saw today how that private of a life can impact others.

I remember how no one at work knew about my divorce, and how no one at my last job ever met Katie. I've always kind of wondered what would happen if I was diagnosed with a health issue, would I tell anyone? Would I even elect treatment?

It feels so weird to think about. And it's sad.

I'm sad.

So I did something last night that I haven't done in over twenty years . . .
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I'm not sure it'll happen again, but I did it. And I did enjoy it.

Read Harder 2017 - Read A Collection of Stories by a Woman

Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight by Cat Rambo


Read February 10 - February 24


I first discovered this book from Twitter. Kurt Busiek (who writes some of the best super hero tales in his series Astro City) tweeted out that it was available on Kindle for free. I'm a sucker for short stories, and if he liked it, there was a decent enough chance that I too would like it.

The author, Cat Rambo, doesn't sound familiar to me, even though her name is quite unusual. But the more I thought about it, the more it did sound familiar. It's possible that I've come across her name before but I don't quite remember where. (It's possible I met her at the SFWA event that I went to since she's the local president.)

Eyes Like Sky . . . is a collection of stories firmly in the fantasy genre. Some more than others. From the introduction, her words were described as poetry, and I can definitely see why they're described like that. Her ability to build a world that I could see, and in the constraints of a short story, reminded me quite a bit of Joe Lansdale or Harlan Ellison.

Now here's the hard part - I didn't LOVE this collection. Quite a few of the stories are set in a world that she created for a video game that never came to be. A few of those stories were enjoyable, but then there were quite a few that I didn't enjoy as much. I felt like I had no idea of the makeup of this world. I felt lost.

But there were four stories that I enjoyed - and two of them that I loved. Like LOVED.

Heart in a Box - a different take on the Little Mermaid myth/fairytale.

Eagle-haunted Lake Sammammish - Heartbreaking. Amazing. Tragic. This made the book for me. Cat Rambo now follows me on twitter because I said this to her.

Grandmother's Road Trip - my grandmother passed away a little over a year ago and I imagined that this could have been her. As noted in the notes, a semi-biographical tale.

Magnificent Pigs - this one took a twist that I wasn't expecting and turned an okay story into a great one.

This collection was firmly in the three star pile but those four tales above were enough to push it to five stars.

Read Harder 2017 - Read A Book About Sports

When Nobody Was Watching: My Hard-Fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World by Carli Lloyd


Read February 1 - February 4


It's no secret that I enjoy soccer.

But soccer is a relatively new enjoyment of mine. Specifically - March of 2009 when I attended my first Seattle Sounders FC match. I was hooked after 90 minutes (let's be honest, it was more like the first 10 minutes.)

I was aware of the 1999 Women's World Cup victory by the US Women's National Team because of the "outrage" of Brandi Chastain ripping off her jersey to celebrate the win, but still never watched anything.

I don't remember when I first started paying attention to the women's game, but in 2012, the Seattle Sounders Women signed a few of the USWNT players. While Carli Lloyd was not one of those players, I first because aware of her then because of the Olympics.

This book chronicles Lloyd's high school, college and professional careers. It takes place during the same time as Hope Solo's book (that I read) and it's quite interesting to read another perspective of what goes on behind the scenes, and sometimes in front of the cameras.

A player that even the national team coaches didn't believe in proves all of her critics wrong. It's a pretty typical sports story, but one that as a fan I watched at times.

And the 2015 World Cup - that about sums Lloyd up. Going up against the best and utterly destroying them.

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