I decided to start the starter today so if the yeast is no good, I'll still have time to grab another smack pack prior to brew day on Sunday.
After all that worry,the inner packet was still intact. I cut that packet and poured it into the starter after I pitched the yeast. Next time, I'll know better about the smack packs. I feel like a big dope
SO the starter is happily sitting in my beer room. I'll swirl it every few hours until Thursday. Thursday night, I'll decant the spent wort and make the second stage. I think it'll be good until Saturday and then I refrigerate until Sunday on brew day.