September 2019

Sunday 1: I had a good day working today. I was “spare”, which means I don’t have a route assigned but they will find one for me. The first job is to help others get loaded so that they can all get out on time. Meanwhile, Carlene (working as Dispatch today) had placed a half route at my van, from another company who probably had someone call in sick. I got out there and proceeded at my own pace, finishing it early afternoon and was assigned to rescue someone else. So good to be the rescuer instead of the rescued! He still had 6 delivery codes to do, so I took 3 of them. Carlene saw how much I had taken on and asked whether I could finish it on time. I told her that I was feeling good and would pick up the pace, and then proceeded to fly through them. A little later, I told her not to expect that kind of speed every day!

On one delivery, the couple had just arrived home from a bike ride, and he said, “Ooh, it’s my (whatever)”. I mentioned the Amazon motto of delivering smiles and got a laugh from both of them. On another delivery, he was working in the garden and I said that “she’s been spending money again”, when she came out for a chat as well.  He asked if I like cucumbers and proceeded to pick one right there from the garden. It was a GOOD day for a change.

Monday 2: It’s a Public Holiday today (Labor Day), one of only a handful each year, and I’m working. Hmm.

Tuesday 3: Julie is doing the training for her new part time job with the 2020 Census. Lots of swearing and grumbling!

I was coming home from accompanying Mike and Duncan to the hospital (yes, he’s OK), when I spotted my very own sunset through the houses, and made my way to Bayside Park for this.

And with all the trouble Julie has been having to get her online training done on time, she has decided to give it another go later in the year.

Wednesday 4: For a while now, I have been following the demolition of houses along the route for the new Light Rail that is extending from the University of Washington to Northgate, and then following the freeway on through Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood, and eventually to Everett. One day, a couple of months ago, I could hear the demolition going on just over the back fence of the property I was delivering to. Last week, I got a close up look at one section of the completed operation, and was surprised to see that several sets of front steps had been left intact. Today, on the way South with Julie, we went looking for the same location, couldn’t find it, but did find this, showing the rocks and trees that used to be a part of someone’s front yard, plus the stairs going up from the footpath.

Friday 6: I had a LOT of oversize items today, including 8 HEAVY boxes for the same address. Here they are, almost at the end of the day, loaded onto the dolly to get pushed up an incline into the customer’s front yard.

Yes, I got permission to take this picture. That’s 8 of them, at about 30-40lb each.

Saturday 7: At work, out on a delivery, I was coming down some stairs and missed the bottom step. Landed heavily on left foot and right knee, and took some skin off the right elbow. In my humble opinion, I did a great job of using 3 band-aids to stop the bleeding. And continued working, receiving not one, but two, rescues so that I could finish the day. Then when I got home, Julie insisted on dousing my elbow with peroxide.

Sunday 8: Took the day off today because everything was hurting.

Monday 9: This is a bit of Funeral Home humour. It’s actually a stack of new chairs, protected by a plastic shroud or two.

I’ve been experimenting with the camera on my new phone. This is the flagpole out the front of the Funeral Home, which is nearly 100 yards away. Plus the inevitable power lines in front and a transmission tower much further away.

And a close up view of the plant on our balcony.

Thursday 12: The picture was taken today, but there’s a story leading up to it. I was somewhere in Woodinville and the navigation took me to a location that was clearly not the correct address. I had to resort to using Google Maps on my phone to take me to where I needed to be. I made the delivery, but was forced to call Support to over-ride the GeoFence, which is a circle around the location to prevent us from delivering to the wrong house. The next day, I was delivering to the very same address and got talking to the customer, who explained that “something” had happened a while ago, and that their deliveries were consistently going to somewhere around the corner and down the hill. Yep, that’s where it sent me too! So I called Support again and asked them to change the location to “where I am right now”, which got done, or so I thought.

Just 2 days later, I was back there again. This time, the navigation component of the system took me to the correct location, but the mapping component still had the customer around the corner and down the hill. Aha! Clearly there are 2 different components here. Again, call Support. But talking to them on the Android device rapidly becomes a pain in the bum, trying to toggle between the app and the call, so I logged out of that and logged in using my phone. Yeah, that didn’t work all that well either, although it did accidentally provide me with the number for Support. OK then, I can call them on the phone and talk using the Bluetooth ear piece, while working the app on the Android device. After a process of being verified via my credentials and phone number, blah blah blah, I was able to talk and operate at the same time. It took about 30 minutes all up, but the end result, after I refreshed the app on the device, was that the 2 different components of the system were now referencing the same location.

Fast forward to today, where I am in Woodinville again, in an area that not long ago was a forest park, and is now a thriving residential community. Once again, it seems that the mapping and navigation components are not looking at the same data.

Where I am is marked by the blue and white dot with an arrow pointing North, and you can see the delivery location quite clearly, just 4 streets away. That’s the mapping component. But the navigation component wants to take me around some invisible boundary to come in from the other side, which is in fact a gravel track. Oh, and the red circle I have added represents a brand new fence between the new housing estate and the original “countryside”. Now how the hell do I explain THAT to Support!

Saturday 14: I came across this at a delivery today. I was so impressed that I knocked on the door and asked the lady if I could take some pictures, as it satisfies both of our criteria of “out of the weather” and “out of sight from the street”, as well as being very secure.

Lift the lid and put your packages on a shelf, which then drops down when you close the lid.

Sunday 15: April had tickets to a Sounders game, so she, Duncan and I took the bus into Downtown, with enough time to take the Underground Tour before the game. This time, I managed to take lots of pictures of the pictures on the walls.

And for the wooden water pipe, I managed to take a look right inside.

Debris and displays.

Then when we got to the stadium, I was surprised to find that the work on the docks had finally been completed.

Tuesday 17: I was home today when Julie’s physical therapist Brad came to visit. For some reason, Buddy just LOVES him.

Wednesday 18: I managed to capture our very own wildlife in the area in front of our balcony.

On today’s route I was circulating around Haller Lake, where we stayed in an AirBNB cottage way back in April 2012. I walked a short distance down to a public entry point for this. I think the cottage is behind the trees on the right.

Wednesday 25: I couldn’t resist snapping this view of the morning convoy from the parking lot to the station.

Thursday 26: Apparently it’s Halloween already. Wait! Isn’t that the end of October? Here we also have a bag of packages about to be loaded into the locker.

Friday 27: I had a picture-taking day for sharing with April and Julie via text messages.

I’d been showing Julie last night on Google Maps, 124th Ave where there are honking big power lines running down the street. I would not want to live here! Further up, some poor bugger has one of those towers right outside his front door.

With rain forecast today (and it drizzled briefly), I tried on the rain jacket, plus the fingerless gloves for when it gets cold.

Followed by the headlamp, which will be needed from today onward at the end of the day.

On a busy street where there is NO parking, you have to improvise. Yes, I’m blocking the bike lane, but there wasn’t much choice.

At least here, back on 124th for a delivery, I went with the local flow for parking.

More on Halloween.

Saturday 28: Each night this week, when I have arrived back at the station, the Manager on duty, whose name is Elmer, has seen me get out of the van and stretch my calves by pushing on it. He says that if I really do have enough of a bad day, I will succeed in pushing it over!

On the route today, I spotted a really nice looking chair that was marked as “free”. I thought about it and then forgot, but then later, I found a package that I had previously marked as missing and returned to the location to deliver it.

A few quick texts to Julie and April resulted in a “yes, please”, so it got loaded into the van. Fortunately, by then there was enough room to include it.

It was dark before I finished my route, so I got a real taste of working in the dark, so now I’ve had a little bit of both wet and dark.

Back at the station, having unloaded the bags from the van, I called Elmer over to show him my “prize”. He was delighted that I shared it with him.

Sunday 29: Buddy now receives regular visits from Ludo, who lives in an apartment upstairs.