i went down to the porter square post office this morning to see if there was anything that could be done about my missing package. there wasn't anyone there when i arrived, so i didn't feel too bad making the clerk do some digging. it was essentially futile, after a cursory check, he came back with a number he told me to call. "i don't know what happened. a tracked package shouldn't be delivered without confirmation."
i called the number when i got back home. i thought maybe it was the lost claim department, but turns out it was actually the cambridge post office dispatch located near belmont opposite fresh pond. apparently this is where all the mail carriers congregate prior to making their rounds. unfortunately i called too late (10:30) and all the mail carriers had already left. the dispatch operator told me to call back tuesday morning (since monday is president's day). i ended up leaving a note on my door, asking the mailman if he remembered dropping off my package.
my father - still recovering from the cold he contracted on wednesday - went to chinatown by himself to pick up some supplies. i ended up going with my sister and mother to ikea in stoughton because my sister was looking for a new bed frame.
traveling down I-93, i thought i saw a romanesque church in dorchester i've read about that i wanted to visit. it was the blessed mother teresa parish, which i now can't remember if that was one i wanted to see. while doing some additional research, there's an even prettier church, st. gregory, which i also want to visit.
it took us about 45 minutes driving but we finally arrived around 2:00. ikea was busier than the typical weekend due to some special president's day weekend sales. the "below ground" parking lot was so full that we were directed to the roof parking instead, which wasn't ideal with the periodic light snowfall happening throughout the day. but the good thing was we were right at the same floor as the ikea building, so no escalators if we end up buying anything.
my sister and i have independently visited the stoughton ikea (my most recent visit was back in mid-december following a field trip to easton) but this was a first time for my mother. her first and last visit to any ikea was more than a decade ago, back in november 2002 when the three of us drove all the way down to new jersey to visit the elizabeth ikea (back then, that was the closest store).
coming to ikea makes me a little sad because neighboring somerville was supposed to get an ikea, but the swedish furniture giant finally backed out after years of delay when they decided to slow their global expansion due to the weak economy. now there's just an empty lot in the assembly square mall area, an ugly reminder of what could've been.
based on the number of customers shopping at ikea though, it's impossible to imagine business is slow for them. maybe they don't want to dilute their brand, so there are still people like we who'd driving 8+ hours roundtrip just to visit an ikea store. after seeing the bed she wanted, my sister decided against buying it, but wanted to get a new dresser instead. midway through our shopping my mother suddenly came down with cold symptoms: aches, sneezing, runny nose.
we hurried up through the showroom floor, then decided to get something to eat in the cafeteria after a bathroom break. my mother seemed a bit better after that. one ikea's special for today was free food if you spend over $100 in home furnishings. by that point my sister had decided against buying the dresser as well, but we dollars away from $100 so my sister got a dresser anyway, just so we could eat for free. the food itself wasn't anything that spectacular, basic cafeteria fare. i've eaten at ikea before so that wasn't anything new. i got the fried chicken fingers with fries (i'll basically eat anything that has the words "fried" and "chicken" in it), which at $5.99 wasn't that great. my sister got a plate of meatballs which also came with a salad and soup but the cashier ended up charging us for everything, which worked out in our favor at checkout time (you basically subtract the total from the cafeteria receipt).
the checkout lines were long we didn't leave until 6:30. my mother said if we came earlier, we could've really made a day out of it, especially considering there's also a nearby costco and michael's crafts store. i ended up getting a plastic chopping board ($1.49) and a bag of bygel metal hooks for my closet (99¢ 10x). the box for my sister's dresser was heavy and required 2 people to lift it, which i suppose is a good thing.
instead of driving I-93 the whole way back, we took I-95 instead then route 2 to belmont. it was 7:20 by that point,my father was the only one home and he didn't feed the dog yet. because i ate at ikea, i wasn't very hungry and only ate a little bit before biking back to cambridge.
the note to the mailman was still on my door when i got home. i took that as a bad sign, since i figured if he really wanted to help me search he'd keep the note as reference. but when i went inside the house however, i saw a small packet on the floor. from the return address i already knew what it was but quickly tore open the padded envelope just to be sure: my U3eSATA adapter had arrived! somehow i thought it'd come in a box, but it's just a little dongle, so i could see why they shipped it in a packet, although i'm not sure if it's worth the $4.99 shipping/handling fee. there also doesn't seem to be any retail packaging, just a small piece of paper with some instructions in slightly-broken english. but the good news is it didn't get lost in the mail and i finally have it. did the mailman deliver it? or did a neighbor drop it off? who knows. i've test it within the next few days.
i finished the evening playing some more bioshock 2. i figured out how to bind special commands to keys, so i can do things like freeze the action or toggle off the display in order to take better screenshots. bioshock 2's "editability" isn't as great as skyrim's though, and nowhere as easy to use.