2014 Review.

January last year started a lot like this year. Cold and clear. We had moved to the Maple Leaf neighborhood.Maple Leaf Park.In February, we had some cool adventures (puns are ridiculous) including a trip to the Big Four Ice Caves. we weren’t sure if we really believed the signs, but it turns out that we were lucky to witness only a small avalanche.

Big Four Ice CavesThe shoulder seasons seem to be the best for travel, so in March we headed to Ireland.Cliffs of Moher.

When we returned, it didn’t take long for the first minor disaster to occur. I was lucky and I am thankful everyday that I am still loving life. It was one hell of an April.Broken neck.May was full of recovery and photoshoots.SCC nursing program.In June, the weather got better and we were able to spend some time outside with good friends. SUP Rainier.Girls.July was full of surprises, things like Amanda’s appendicitis threw us for a loop, but we pulled through.Amanda flowers.Luckily, I have friends willing to go fishing with me while Amanda recovered.Guys fishing.I explored more places in Washington that I thought were hidden gems.Waterfalls.There was more fishing with friends. There is never enough fishing or friends.Yakima.As my beard got more and more awesome, I also got a chance to check out the Olympic Peninsula. Luckily, I was with one of my most loveable friends.Lando and Rory.

He brought good luck and good fish.

Troot.Amanda and I did crazy things like hike to Lake Serene and drink wine at the zoo.Lake Serene hiking. Woodland Park Zoo wine night.August is the best time to be in the Pacific Northwest. We even went to a Mariners game.

Mariners Game.September is the hidden secret up here. You can read about our amazing vacation, here.

Canada.For Amanda’s birthday in October, we went skydiving, but she was happier buying pumpkins and gourds.Pumpkin girl.November is the time for Chum Salmon and pretty pictures.Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.29.56 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.30.15 PMadventureDecember brought the cold and the holiday season. I am glad that is over. Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.36.47 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.36.57 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.37.36 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.37.04 PMHere is to an even better 2015!

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Chums on Veteran’s Day.

My grandfather told me stories about growing up in England while bombs were falling. They would hide in doorways hoping not to be blown up. My father went to military school. I have no such affiliation. My friends have be in the armed forces. I have nothing against the choices that people have made.

I have been spending time at the local VA. What I have seen are not heroes, but victims of war. There are no heroes in war. Is a hero someone that kills more people than the next person? Or is the hero the person that cleans up your excrement because you can’t control your bodily function because of the war? My heroes are people that stand up to speak out against all wars.

I haven’t felt like my freedoms have ever been threatened. I am not scared of an invading army. I don’t own a gun. I try to mind my own business and just enjoy my life. Today, I caught a Chum Salmon and thought of my grandfather. He valued education. He also loved shooting guns. If I had to categorize him, he would fit into the box labeled, “Republican”. I let my fish go. Live and let live.Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 4.23.46 PM Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 4.23.17 PM

Cherry Creek Falls.

Having a Monday off, Hoang, Lando, and I decided to head out for a small local hike. We always like to find new places, so we chose Cherry Creek Falls from the Washington Trails Association website. It was a beautiful and easy hike in. Don’t forget to turn immediately after the largest creek crossing.Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.24.49 PM

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.26.44 PMWe were immediately greeted by this astonishing view.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.25.12 PMWhen the sun came out, we loved being in the water.

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.25.22 PMHoang couldn’t help himself and had to climb to the top of the falls to check his Instagram. Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.26.33 PMWhile he was up there, this Water Ouzel kept me thoroughly entertained. Check out the hungry mouths that had to constantly be fed!

Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.27.07 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-26 at 8.26.20 PMAll in all I would highly recommend this hike for anyone looking for a close and easy hike near Seattle. Waterfalls, wildlife, and we never saw another person at the falls. Know of any other great hikes in the area? Leave them in the comments. Thanks!

Craptastic Science.

This amazing article from National Geographic has me carefully watching my dog poop. According to the article, “under stable magnetic conditions the dogs would always poop and pee while facing either north or south. This provides convincing evidence that dogs can sense magnetic fields and are sensitive to even small magnetic-field variations, say the researchers”.

Now I know that my dog is amazing. Probably more amazing than most children I come across. But this just proves it. In the back yard, Lando has peed facing north 3 times and 1 facing south. We are 4 for 4. However, I don’t know where the sun was. Maybe he didn’t want to stare into the sun. He is a cautious dog and temporary blindness would freak any of us out.

Also, knowing how sensitive a dog’s nose is, I can imagine that he wouldn’t want to be downwind of his poop. I know I try to stay upwind. Don’t worry, I will keep watching to see if this experiment is valid.

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November 6th – Lando.

When you name your dog after a Star Wars character, people either love it, or need a bit of explaining. I like people with dogs. Cats just don’t do it for me. It could be my terrible allergies as soon as I see a cat. Lando’s unconditional love makes me feel special every day.Screen shot 2013-11-06 at 3.50.33 PM I am very thankful to have a wonderful companion that just wants food, treats, runs, fetching, adventures, and to have me pick up his poop.Screen shot 2013-11-06 at 3.52.51 PM Screen shot 2013-11-06 at 3.51.09 PMLando likes to go everywhere we go. I think that he especially love fishing. Even in the rain. Here is the original Lando, Mr. Billy Dee Williams in one of his many great commercials: