In my now-immense backlog of Daily Lunch Update (DLU) photos for use in visually punctuating these weekday entries, after visiting so many botanical gardens over the course of my Birth Week in late April and early May, I have attempted to sort of mix things up by using photos from at least a different day of my Birth Week each day I post these currently. The backlog is currently made up of 454 photos, 237 of those (just over half) also tagged with "birth week." We might as well tack on the additional 38 for use from the Amazon Spheres, which I visited with Uncle David and Mary Ann two weeks later. So that makes a total of 275, that being 60% of the total backlog. I've actually still got another 100 or so outside of Birth Week garden photos still left to use from the countless photos Ivan sent me on his Eastern European travels. Those ones are mostly put on hold as I spend a lot of time burning through the Birth Week garden shots.
Unless something just recently happened for me to use photos from, I have generally gone through Birth Week photos three shots at a time, each day from one garden in succession through my Birth Week. The photos I used for the DLU on Tuesday this week were from Streissguth Gardens, which Shobhit and I went to on Tuesday (May 1) of my Birth Week; Wednesday's photos were from Bellevue Botanical Garden, which I went to with Auntie Rose and Valerie on Wednesday (May 2) of my Birth Week; yesterday's photos were from the Olympic Sculpture Park, which I went to with Sara W on Thursday (May 3) of my Birth Week. I don't actually go out of my way to make the days of the week align -- that's just a coincidence this week. I also took photos at Myrtle Edwards Park with Sara that Thursday of my Birth Week, and some of those shots may get used on Monday next week, or I'll move on to that Friday of my Birth Week and use photos of Highline SeaTac Botanical Garden, which I went to with Danielle.
But! Today's photos are a return, only two days later, to the photos from the Bellevue Botanical Garden. And I'll tell you why!
This is a first: this morning I learned about PCC's plan to open a new store in Bellevue in 2020, specifically at NE 4th St & 116th Ave NE, via a tweet from the PCC Twitter account. This is the first time ever that I learned of a planned new store location via the public announcement before there was any word of it at the office. I find this very odd, although I suppose with this clear ramping up of frequency opening new stores, perhaps it was inevitable.
Anyway, as it happens, when I looked up those cross streets on Google Maps, I discovered not only is it pretty close to downtown (like, just east of I-405 from it), it's all of a mile or so from Bellevue Botanical Garden. Actually that looks like maybe more like half a mile as the crow flies, but the roads are so weird over there that you still have to drive a mile to go between the two points. It's a little more of a direct one mile distance between there and Bellevue Square, in the heart of downtown.
Now that Burien opened last week, we currently have 11 operating stores. It'll jump to 12 when West Seattle re-opens next year. But, as the press release notes, by 2020 the number will jump to 16: Ballard is also scheduled for 2019, then three more in 2020 (Madison Valley, assuming those fucking "Save Madison Valley" dipshits don't cause even more trouble; Rainier Square Tower in downtown Seattle; and now, Bellevue).
I keep wondering at what point certain positions at the office will have to be split between more than one person. In fact I just got up to ask Scott about that. He, Noah and Kevin were all in the meeting room just to the right of my desk when I learned the store news, and as soon as they got out I asked Scott if he knew about it. Nope, he didn't know about it either. And when I asked him a few minutes later about presuming there would be a number of stores at which his position would need to be split between multiple people, he was basically like, "You'd think." Eleven stores right now versus 16 in 2020 is on its own a pretty dramatic jump -- that's a size growth of 45%, in just two years!
To be clear -- and fair -- we have already been told of this number of projected stores by 2020, in earlier "Town Hall" office staff meetings. It just gets a lot more real when the actual stores are announced, and no one at the office knew before this morning that one of the stores would be in Bellevue. I think at the last meeting there was a graph showing projected new stores and something like all but one of them were identified, with one as sort of a question mark. I guess this Bellevue store was the question mark.
I know Valerie (my dad's cousin) will certainly be happy about it.
. . . Okay! I wrote all of the above earlier; the PCC tweet came at just after 8 a.m. There's even coverage in the Seattle Times -- I guess this PCC will be part of a development that also includes a Target, which I'm sure Shobhit will like. (Their groceries will be way cheaper than ours, though nowhere near the quality. Not that Shobhit gives much of a shit about quality if it's expensive. I stick to certain toiletries and bathroom or kitchen supplies at Target anyway. Not that I'm liable to do any shopping in Bellevue, anyway.) And, finally, at 10:44, the email finally came to the "All Store & Office Staff" alias, from Cate, the CEO.
This part of the email stood out to me: With the announcement of Bellevue, our focus now shifts to successfully opening these new locations, while continuing to re-invest in our existing and thriving 11 stores - as we did last year in Redmond and Edmonds, and we will this year in Fremont. That statement feels a little like assurance that there won't be any more surprise announcements of new stores, at least not ones to open before 2021. As I said, 45% growth in size over just two years is going to be shock enough to our system.
There's not a huge amount for me to tell about last night. I spent all evening at home watching television -- it was the one day all week I did not have plans. Shobhit and I watched the first three episodes of Billions on Showtime. Gabriel has been pestering me for weeks to watch it, talking a lot about how it's the kind of show he would never expect to like at all, but he just can't stop watching.
And, when I saw him on Tuesday evening, we made a sort of informal TV pact. You could say he kind of tricked me into watching Billions, by first asking me, "What TV show should I watch one episode of?" I had to bring up the list I keep of shows I try to stay current on, and most of the ones I could possibly recommend he's already seen. But, then I found out he's never seen Fargo -- I know he liked that movie, and if you like the movie, you're bound to like the show. So, he committed to watching an episode of Fargo . . . and in return, he said, I had to watch an episode of Billions.
Okay, fine. I already used my Hotmail account to sign up for a trial month of Showtime so I could see SMILF (which I liked a lot but Shobhit did not), so this time I signed up for a free trial again, using my Yahoo account. I immediately went to cancel it so I would not get automatically charged for a subsequent month, and was a little surprised to see it say I had only signed up for a week's free trial. Wait, what? I'd never get through all three seasons in a week, but I could certainly still stick to the commitment to watching the first episode. But then, when I went to cancel and they were like "Are you sure? We'll give you another free month if you don't cancel!" So I clicked that, and now my renewal date was July 7. I still went and canceled the subscription, but I've still managed to retain that cancelation date of July 7. I have five weeks to watch the whole series to date.
Shobhit was predictably "meh" about the show, but I really knew he'd get into it -- there's way too much focus on financials and stocks and investments and that shit for him not to -- and by the end of the very first episode he said, "It is a good show." And he immediately wanted to continue to episode 2, and then to episode 3, before I had to put my foot down and say that was all I could take for one day. I then went to the bedroom to watch the first episode of the just-released new, fourth season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on my iPad before going to bed relatively early, right around 10:00. Getting a solid seven hours of sleep, which I had not gotten since the weekend, was nice.
I just got back from lunch with Karen at Six-Seven at the Edgewater Hotel, which explains both why I'm posting later than normal and why I'm posting even later than I usually do after lunch with her -- she had a meeting run late so I wasn't even able to go down and meet with her until 12:30; I left her to go down and get on my bike at 12:23. I do love it in the warmer months when I have my bike and thus have that option, as it cuts the time it takes me to get down there in half.
We talked mostly about the Bellevue store announcement, about new skyscraper construction in Seattle (that was launched because she told me she went to the observation deck of the Columbia Tower for the first time ever, with coworkers just yesterday), and about accessibility at the Space Needle with their renovations. I guess they originally intended to re-open the restaurant by Memorial Day Weekend, but that still hasn't happened, and I can't find any new targeted opening date online, which is annoying. I totally want to go eat there once they re-open with their glass floor, though.
Anyway, we split the truffle macaroni and cheese, which we hadn't done in a while. I probably had three quarters of it, so my pounds will be up a bit tomorrow I'm sure -- just as they were this morning, god damn it! This lunch had been re-scheduled from yesterday to today due to another conflict she wound up having yesterday, and our next one isn't scheduled until June 28, four weeks from now. This is because of travel plans we both have this month; Shobhit and I leave for Wallace, Idaho on Saturday next weekend, and continue on to Yellowstone National Park two days after that. I'm very excited about it -- and Karen was excited to hear about it. "You have to send me pictures!" she said. Um, duh!
Anyway I should get back to work now.
[posted 1:59 pm]