The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Shipping
This update has taken a little longer to emerge from the primordial update soup because I wanted to wait until I had any actual progress to report. Which is not to say that books haven't been continually shipping this whole time—just that for most of it, they've been shipping at the same rate (or slower *grumble*) as before, which would've made for a terrible update. But now, we're making some actual headway, so here we are. Like last time, I'll split this into Signed and Unsigned categories.
Signed: Turns out the US Postal Office does not like it when you bring them handwritten customs forms anymore. So much so, in fact, that I was actually turned away from the post office, a dozen boxes in hand, and told to use online postage if I wanted to mail them. This pretty much ground my shipping to a halt for a while, since I didn't even have all the equipment I needed for that. But all the pieces eventually fell into place and I'm happy to say that all the "plain" signed packages that didn't include Sticky Shticks (314 out of 397) are in the mail or sitting right next to me, postage paid and ready to go on Monday. Tracking emails still forthcoming for most, so don't worry if you don't have yours yet. That leaves all the custom art packages—crayon drawings, D&D party drawings, digital portraits—but those will be sporadic, since I need to finish the artwork before I can mail them. And the Patience packages, obviously, but those will be last.
Unsigned: The shipping pace has definitely improved over at Ookoodook, thanks to some logistical improvements and a little more manpower. On Wednesday, they managed to pack and ship over 450 packages, which I think is their highest one-day total yet. They probably won't match that every day, but it's still encouraging. Right now, they're still shipping the Print Only Specials ($67 reward level), which was one of the more popular options, and they still have some packages at lower reward levels left to go, too. So it will still be a while before they get to the Whole Stories, but any improvement is good and I'll take what I can get. I'm really hoping that they'll all be out by the middle of July.
This wasn't the most productive week for me otherwise, so let's look at the anemic Workometer:
The most interesting development here is that Sticky Shticks has gone to the printer. All we have to do is sit back and wait for them to arrive. The current estimate is four weeks for printing, but as we've seen, such estimates rarely hold. I'll keep you posted on any news, but assume at this point that Sticky Shticks packages will not start shipping until August 1 at the earliest. If you need to update your address as a result, use the blue "Send Message" link to send me a message with your new information. [EDIT: If you are sending me an address change, please mention in your email that you're a Sticky Shticks package.]
I'm going to try to take some time this week to work on some of the digital rewards, since the whole signing-and-packing thing has really kept me away from them for three weeks now. I'll update again when either I have something to deliver or when there's been a significant milestone reached with the shipping.
Five Things I Did Since Last Update:
- Signed another few hundred books and about 200 ornaments (some of which will be waiting to be mailed).
- Bought a new laser printer so I could print out postage, since my previous one had more jams than Smucker's.
- Oversaw the installment of a new CDN for the GiantITP site that should speed up requests to the server. (Our webmaster/technical administrator Rawhide did all the work, but I had to answer a bunch of long emails about it).
- Uploaded the final files for Sticky Shticks to the card printers, only to find out we needed to resubmit for a new estimate because the old one had expired in April.
- Finished the first crayon drawing.
Thanks for the patience and restraint you've all shown waiting for your packages. I know this is still going stupidly slowly, and all I can really do is apologize and tell you that I think it's getting better.