Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Fairly early in December I stopped listing stamp auctions on eBay. I got to looking at the profits and losses and found the latter was prevalent. I simply stopped listing auction lots. (Consequently, I had a lot more “free time” on my hands—free time is time I don’t get paid to use. Unfortunately, often we have to pay to use free time. I think there is a definitional problem here. But, I digress. Somehow the buyers had changed preferences and I hadn’t noticed. Well, I had a few dozen lots outstanding from about the middle of December. Today, the last 9 were finally adjudicated by eBay as buyer defaults. The buyer, a rather enthusiastic collector in Sri Lanka failed to respond to eBay’s queries about his intentions to pay so they closed the lots. This puts me in the position of being an eBay creditor. It seems they owe me 92₵. Now since they find it economically unprofitable to collect from people who owe them less than a $1, I suspect I will remain a creditor until they a) figure out a way to sell the last two no auction items I have let stay up or b) go bankrupt. In the meantime, I can feel like a member of the capitalist class holding a debt over the head of a poor defenseless, multibillion dollar, corporation.
We were supposed to have another ice storm yesterday. However, Mother Nature lost interest and we only got rain, and not very much at that.
Nancy still makes steady progress. She is talking about attending a class at Longview Sewing next week for two days. However, she still uses her cane because of the pinched scar tissue in her right knee. But, she doesn’t complain about it. I think she sees a light at the end of the tunnel on the knee issue.
Again, I am attaching the latest installment of the Amanda Saga. We are up over 38,000 words at this point. One would think I would run out of words to use.
I do hope this finds you warm and healthy.
Warmest regards, Ed
034 First Names and Last Do Not Match Fiction in 806 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Technical Officer O’Brian finished her hot chocolate with marshmallows first. “You say, you have turned Judge Belemany’s stock and patent information into machine readable and searchable text?”
Mr. Murphy nodded his head. “Yes, we used an old-fashioned hand held scanner as the paper was so brittle with age. That minimizes our handling of it. All we had to do was turned the page. One of my associates has a very thin paddle that he used to get under the page to flip it. Then he scanned the other side. Took several hours. Then we ran the scans through a nifty piece of software that figures out what format is approipriate for the images as it changes the jpg images into characters. I do belive . . .”
Technical Officer O’Brian interrupted, “Yes, I know the software. The state bought it for all its agencies and arms, even local yokels like us. So, let’s do some searches.” She took the thumb drive on the table to a computer and waited for it to boot up.”
Mr. Murphy tuned to Special Agent Fleishman and said. “So, we teleported to a coffee shop and then back. How does that prove time travel.”
Special Agent Fleishman handed Mr. Murphy the receipt from the coffee shop. “What is the date on that?”
“Tomorrow’s, But that proves only the coffee shop set their clock on the register wrong. The clock effects the date.” Replied Mr. Murphy.
“My but you have a quick mind.” Commented Special Agent Fleishman. “You find teleporting is possible but not in time. Do I have that right?”
“Err, well, if you put it that way I guess I have to study this a bit more. How far out can you go?” Mr. Murphy asked.
“Personally, I went back to the Battle of Hastings. I’ll not do that again.” Special Agent Fleishman replied. “Both sides thought I was on the other side, and I had to make a quick exit.” Special Agent Fleishman replied. “Besides, I wasn’t dressed for a middle-ages battle.” He quipped.
Mr. Murphy scratched his head. “You are putting me on.”
“No, I was there, if ever so briefly. Would you like to drop in on that battle for say a few minutes?’
Mr. Murphy held up his hand. “Not today, thank you.”
Special Agent Fleishman luahged. “It is always today, you know. Perhaps another today?”
Mr. Murphy blanched.
Technical Officer O’Brian “I have a match on White in the Patent information files. Give me another name.”
Edith Gunderson was the fastest to find her list. “Patrick Sullivan.”
After a few minutes Technical Officer O’Brian called out. “No match for Sullivan with any first name, but two for Patrick”
Detective Batan handed Technical Officer O’Brian his copy of the list and said, “make a list of any matched to surname or given names.”
Edith Gunderson had walked over and stood behind Technical Officer O’Brian trying to read the screen. “That moves fast.” She remarked. If you did the search by the names on the patents, I presume they would stay on the screen while the ones from my list would roll by fast.”
Technical Officer O’Brian asked “What are you thinking Edith?”
“I’m thinking you got a hit on Amanda White because that was her adult married name. All of the people on my list, except for her, were children in the system. Children that the Judge’s decisions kept in the system. I think most of the girls when they got out on their own would have married. That would change their last names. I am thinking that had any of the children been adopted from my list of cases the Judge was a primary cause for the investigations, that would have changed their last name. so, I’m guessing we need to run the names on the patents against surnames of adults attempting to adopt the children on my list.”
Technical Officer O’Brian asked “So in what file do I find the names of unsuccessful applicants for adopting children?”
“I’m afraid they are only in paper files in my department.” Said Edith Gunderson. “We never saw a need to tie unsuccessful adoptions to the children’s files for the problems that caused those adoptions to fall through were in the potential parent applications. We felt that if failed adoption attempts were recorded with the child’s infortune it would work against any further adoption hopes for that child.”
“So, the files don’t exist that would show us the names of hopeful adopters.” Said Mr., Murphy.
“Not computerized, but the paper records for each child would.” Said Edith Gunderson with a broad smile on her face. “And, to have made this list,” she said picking up the copy Technical Officer O’Brian had been using. “I just happen to have those file folders on the conference table in my office.”