Monday, November 27, 2006


Today is a day of great significance. Today my status is officially upgraded from "Tight Situation" to "Peril." Let's start at the beginning.

I got up this morning, walked out the door and paused to think.

Hmmm. It's pretty cold, maybe I should go back for my winter coat.
I doubt it'll be necessary. While the snow is still on the ground it stopped snowing sometime last night, and there aren't many clouds in the sky. Also while it's cold now it's also pre-dawn morning. The coldest time of day.
True. It would be a burden to store anyway, lets skip it.

When I arrived at work I found that Richard Cho had once again lied to me, bottomless well of lies that he is, and I was not on a list for that day. I signed on to bullpen and was lucky enough to make it in. During the day Josh, one of the leads, kept cheering for snow. The M$ NDA requires us to keep the window blinds down, presumably to prevent Sony's telescopic recon drones from watching a bunch of kids run meticulous test cases. When lunch rolled around Josh got his wish. It was snowing pretty significantly, but when I went outside to inspect I found that it was only 50ish. I wasn't concerned. I know from personal experience that I can be outside in 50 degree weather for several hours before the cold begins to phase me. The day wraps up, I was on repro which alternates between boring and annoying, but is a great team for people who know that they're on repro ahead of time and bring a book.

From now on I'm always packing a book.

The day ends and I exit to find that, as always, the sun has set and the temperature has dropped. This drops was much, much greater then normal though. Around freezing, easily below 30. I also noticed the massive storm head clouds that had materialised ominously in the last four hours. It wasn't snowing at the time, but the key words there are "at the time."

Interesting thing about Seattle. While rain is a staple of everyday life around here, snow is pretty rare. It's near enough to major bodies of water to have a moderating effect. I've seen snow a total of four times since I came here. Once last year at lander. Saturday morning when I was getting off my shift at the Bellevue Homestead, but that was light snow that didn't stick. Sunday morning which was a repeat of Saturday, and last night, which was only the second time I saw it begin to stick. This means that people in Seattle aren't really prepared for this, and they certainly don't have snow gear with them. Keep that in mind.

So back to my story, I'm at the bus stop, it's freezing weather, but my cold tolerance is holding. The 291 comes at 3:55. 4:25, 4:55, etc. VMC lets us out at 4:30, so it's a 25 minute wait for the bus. It's about five minutes into that when the snow begins to come down. Not gentle Disney movie snow either, frozen rain snow. It's like... Do you know the story of Ragnarok? That kind of snow.

Another fun fact. The time I can be in hard snow and sub freezing temperatures before the cold begins to phase me. Thirty Minutes.

And even funner fact. Bus delay caused by unprepared bus drivers, lack of snow gear, and clueless/panicky drivers. Fifteen Minutes.

And quite possibly the funniest fact. Total time spent waiting in the torrential frost 35 minutes.

That's not why I'm in peril though. Spending five minutes freezing to death isn't really all that big of a deal, the significant thing is the effect it's having on the rest of the city. Traffic is slowed to a crawl, buses are massively delayed and some are going out of commission, and everyone has decided at once to beat traffic and leave early creating a form of Uber-Rush that only occurs when all of the rush hour traffic synchronizes itself in glorious calamitous unison. The roads aren't blocked by car crashes yet, but it's only a matter of time.

And to top this off I don't have work tomorrow. The problem with being part of a highly effective testing team is that we can get done a day early, but we're paid by the days so it's kind of a screw over in the end.

This combined with pre-existing economic annoyances has pushed me across the threshold, and so I'm cracking my reserve. This means that I have a great deal more economic power, but also that I don't have another card to play if something trumps this one. Also since I have tomorrow off, which sounds a lot better then saying "since I'm unemployed again," I'm going to do a bit of shopping. I need:

1. A hoodie, or some kind of medium level cold weather wear. The coat is great but usually overkill.
2. More food.
3. More food for my private stock of food.
4. More cell phone minutes.
5. To go to the bank.

The frozen winds have forced my hand, but I won't deny that part of me enjoys it because now I'm back in the game.


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