On 3/22/09, I was on the way back from a day of skiing at Steven's Pass, WA, and was killing time on the way back to my cousin's house, as he was just finishing up entertaining some friends downtown before heading home. I was hungry and stopped in at a sports bar near his house and ordered a burger and a beer.
When I came back to my car, the driver's window was smashed in.
My heart stopped.
I noticed my Nikon D40 SLR camera, which was hidden under my ski jacket, gone.
Peering into the car over broken glass, I noticed that in the back seat, behind smoked glass, my small backpack was missing. The backpack held my new Macbook, my iPod shuffle, my home apartment/car keys and the jumpdrive(full of my writing and training logs) attached, and a letter of recommendation and my scholarship application form.
I was 4 days away from the scholarship deadline, and had all the documents in line to go. One last peak at the drafts and FedExing documents was all I had to do. The loss of the recommendation was huge.
I remembered changing coats before I went into the restaurant, covering my Nikon, realizing the strap was showing, and covering it again. I was being watched, the camera was the thief's target, the backpack was a bonus. A big one.
The police officer on the scene scolded me for leaving valuables in my car. He scolded the bar tender for not having a camera in the parking lot. After all; it was his "what, third time at a break-in in this spot of the parking lot?"
I've been pretty secure with my belongings, especially my laptop and the information kept on it, but why I left them in the car is a mystery to me. I suppose I was bushwacked from a tough 1st day skiing, and a little out of my mind.
When you think something will never happen to you, that's when it usually happens.
Or maybe not.
Here's the strange thing: it's almost like I knew this was going to happen:
1) For no reason at all, on my last day of work before leaving, I scanned copies of that letter of recommendation & application form and emailed them to myself.
2) I knew I would be driving in the mountains, but requested an "intermediate car" because it would be cheaper and have a trunk. The Enterprise agent gave me a "free upgrade" to an SUV when I casually mentioned that I'd be skiing. I was still inclined to just ask for the small car, but didn't.
3) Again, for no reason at all, I backed up all of my photography onto my desktop hard drive.