There are two reasons I needed more flat rate shipping materials. The frustrating one is that the postal service seems to have lost my latest Etsy shipment. They've all been taking a couple of days longer than they should to get where they're going, but this one hasn't been scanned since it left Kent on the 19th. The buyer is very nice, and we've been in touch about how much longer we should wait (tomorrow) and when I'll send a replacement (I said Monday, but I think Friday now.) I'm not super annoyed. It's just stuff, it's insured, and I'm sure they'll pay me when I file a claim. But what sucks is that I originally filled in three pages of forms on their site, only to get a, "Your request cannot be processed, please try again later" error message. I was about to call to ask about it, but I noticed that there's a disclaimer right by the number, saying the info you can see on their tracking page is the same info the agents have. It's nice of them to basically let you know there's no reason to call, but I used to work in heavy freight and I certainly never got to just tell people to wait and keep checking. All of our freight had to be added to bills of lading, and any issues involved having to do things like calling facilities and asking people to look around. On top of all this, we had a customer service call center which would do really shitty stuff like answer calls and walk away from the phone, or transfer angry callers to us without announcing it. I don't miss those days at all.
The fun reason for the post office visit was to get an envelope to send an old alt.music.nin shirt to boomstick, inspired by my posting of a Reznor heater that was at Tacobook yesterday. That shirt's 22 years old or so, but looks great because it's beige and I look terrible in light colors. There was a black one, too, and I wore it until it fell apart. Here it is, looking lovely in purple grow lights for my air plants. If you didn't know, Trent Reznor's a direct descendant of the founder of that company.
At work, our development cycle on the product I support is coming to an end, as is the full-time work on the project by the guy who built it for us. This means I won't have the regular opportunities to test and document new features like I have been for a while now, and I made sure to point out to my boss that I'm available for all kinds of other tasks. I knew we would be upgrading to the newer version of the software it runs on, but I wasn't expecting the message I got today, which was that the upgrade can affect anything, and that I'll need to test everything, and that I should do that as quickly as possible so that those issues can be addressed before February 1st. At first I was really worried, because when I write my test cases, I usually document every single step so that my results are easily checked without having to know too much or assume anything. During our call today, I realized I can be a little more broad in this case, since I have to do every process and look at every screen and report. So I told them I've cleared my afternoons and can work long days tomorrow and Friday if need be.
That means I'll probably go to Mt. Vernon next week for the engraving, which is fine. I may as well use it as an opportunity to go somewhere new for lunch and I hadn't done any research yet. I've only been up there twice so far. The first time was in 2002 or so for a hippie rave in a grange with Shannon (cattycritic) and my friends Paul and Autumn. I still know Shannon and Paul, and often wonder what Autumn's like today. She was maybe 20 when I knew her, but is in her mid-30s now. Strange to think about. I know I for one have grown and changed a lot since that time.
The second time I went to Mt. Vernon was on my way to up to that tiny house I rented for a night in August before climbing the wrong trail at Mt. Baker the next day. Ross Mathews is from Mt. Vernon and it was far enough away to be the perfect place to stop for lunch, so I went to Train Wreck Bar and Grill, and then planned to go to the mall he talked about working at in his book. After I ate, I looked for the mall on the map, and realized it was actually in Burlington, so really all I've ever seen in Mt. Vernon is a grange and a bar.
One of my primary fears came true today for a fellow pedestrian. A driver somehow managed to go off the road and kill someone walking near a spot I'd go to more often if it had better hours. The Narbeck Wetland Sanctuary doesn't open until 8am, even in the summer, so I've only been in it a couple of times. Sometimes when I want a really challenging hill walk, I'll park near the Boeing recreation center and walk to the wetlands and back. Parts of it are less ideal because there's no sidewalk, but as far as I can remember, there's always at least a curb. But I'm pretty sure the pedestrian killed today was on a sidewalk.
People generally react to any violent crime and think, "That could have been me," but I try really hard not to because we as a culture fear crime more and more even as the rates go down. And I don't even look at today's incident and feel like I should worry more. It's just a reminder that I've been thinking for years now that that's probably how I'll go.
It's funny, people always try to get me to fear being out in the early morning darkness or falling down the side of a mountain, and I do to an extent, but mostly I've learned to fear what my life would be like if I wasn't out doing the things I love. My ankles were very unhappy six years ago and I'm really glad I was defiant and used that as a sign that I should put them to work instead of being delicate with them.