Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Yesterday I wrote about devices and Silicon Valley’s conspiracy to convince us that they’re giving us a better life when in fact they’re taking away jobs and interfering in our lives. I had to chuckle this morning. I stopped at the store to try to pick up some deicer stuff for the sidewalk. It took me a few minutes to get through to the worker there, they call them associates, that I needed to ask a question because she was so engrossed in her device to notice a customer standing in front of her. No, they did not have any salt for sidewalks. Her focus on her cell phone reminded me that when we bought this new car at two or three points in the process of signing all the paperwork the man handling the transaction responded to his cell phone pinging him. Indeed, he interrupted the signing at two points to change the screen on his compute to respond to the cell phone pinging him. The first time he noted that he lost an auction on eBay for a pair of boots. The second time it was “pardon me for a minute while I bid on an album.” So not only is Silicon Valley not improving our lives they’re intruding in our daily lives. We hear about the dangers of driving distracted while texting or talking on a cell phone. It would appear that cell phones are resulting in people living distracted lives—or lives not readily connected to what is going on around them.
Anyway, I thought that was an interesting confirmation of what I read and wrote to you about from that article yesterday morning about Silicon Valley trying to convince us that our life was better because of them when in fact they’re really catering to spoiled brats and taking money out of the system. When I say taking money out of the system, not only are the shrinking the job market, every transaction that you engage in with an app takes at least a few pennies of profit into the corporate structure of the company providing the app. That app is a substitute for heaven knows how many former fully paid workers. Hence there is a need to better advertise and educate people to make them aware of the fact that money doesn’t grow on trees in this country. It is created by the Federal Reserve System in the US and in most of Europe by the Euro Zone’s Central Bank and in the United Kingdom by the bank of England. All central banks put new money into circulation by the buying of securities or simply making entries on financial firms’ accounts. Then the money may or may not trickle into the economies. In the case of the Bail Out back at the end of Bush’s term, that money just sat there. No trickle. So, I have proposed that we simply by-pass the banks and bond holders and put money directly into citizens’ bank accounts. With the increasing job losses, that may be the only way to keep people alive in the coming new economic order. And no, it would not actually create more money than is currently created. It would only put it in the hands of people who need money (for a change).
Who would have thought a humorous article about the impact of Silicon Valley and apps I read yesterday morning would generate this much attention away from the fascinating Pacific Northwest weather which has been my topic of late.
I do hope this finds you well, warm and happy.
Warmest regards, Ed
PS: A brief note about the weather. The cold snap should end in a few hours. We had flimsy clouds last evening that permitted a bit of color in the sunset— one into the sunset the other away from it. The clouds will thicken throughout the day with rain beginning tonight late. The forecasters predict 4 to 8 inches. The big thing, however, is snow levels will rise to 6,000 feet. Rain on all that snow between here and 6,000 feet will produce a copious amount of runoff—flood advisories at our elevation, and a bit higher avalanche warnings. So, we leave the cold and the uncertainty of water freezing at the meter to rain and the question “should we have gotten a boat instead of the pickup?” Without further interruption here is the next installment of the Amanda Sagas.
039 Mrs. White’s Life Story Part 1 of 2
Fiction in 1063 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Mrs. White looked at the device Special Agent Fleishman had put on the table and asked “Is it on?”
Special Agent Fleishman nodded.
Mrs. White looked at Detective Batan and asked “Does Special Agent Fleishman know about the swing, Christmas Eve every fifth Leap year and the uncertainty about where we were before?”
Detective Batan nodded and said, “Yes, I have filled him in on everything you told Detective Philipson and me; and I even let him read the report from Dave the Hypnotist that you so graciously shared.”
Pointing to the device and looking at Special Agent Fleishman, Mrs. White said, “So this is not an attempt to get us committed for the insane notion that we are time travelers or something of the sort.”
Special Agent Fleishman replied “I absolutely guarantee this is to get information that will help us clear up whatever shenanigans the late Judge Belemany was up to. If it comes down to locking people up for notions of time travel, they will probably lock me up first. Any other information that comes from this interview or results from further investigation based on this interview will not be used to take any legal action against you or Mrs. Hastings or the other Amandas.”
Mrs. White said “OK I came into this world and time by jumping off a swing when I was four-years-old. In a manner of speaking Mrs. Hastings was there when I jumped into this” she looked around her, “place.” Moving her hand to indicate Mrs. Hastings she continued. “ She looked just like the mommies where I had been, although she dressed funny compared to them but I called her Mommy anyway. She knew my name was Amanda and called me Mandy. She brought me home and took care of me. I did not know at the time we were the same person. I did not know we were the same person 20 years apart in age. In that first year I met myself 40 years older and 60 years older. Again, I did not know they were all me, just older. I thought of them as my grandmother and my great grandmother.”
Mrs. White paused, poured some coffee in her cup to warm it and then continued. “My memories of the first few years here as Mrs. Hastings daughter are sketchy, but I do remember the first day of school.”
“Where did you go to school?” Special Agent Fleishman asked.
Mrs. While pointed to the west, through the kitchen window to the elementary school on the next street over. Children could be seen streaming from the building. She looked at the kitchen clock. “Just getting out for the day. I went to school there. Then High School at Central and two years of community college before transferring out of state to Oregon State University in Corvallis. After OSU I entered the graduate program in minerals science at the Colorado School of Mines.”
Raising a finger to tell Mrs. White he had a question, Special Agent Fleishman asked, “Why Oregon State University from here?”
“David was going to enroll there for engineering. “ Mrs. White said.
Mrs. Hastings interrupted. “David White was Mandy’s boyfriend beginning in her Junior year of high school. They met in a chemistry class that year and they became inseparable. They got married right out of high school. Wherever David went, Mandy was right there with him.”
Special Agent Fleishman asked. “Where is David White now?”
Mrs. White looked stunned for a brief moment then she said. “He died 25 years ago.”
Special Agent Fleishman said. “I am sorry for your loss. I can tell it is still fresh for you. I don’t know if the circumstances are important, but then I won’t until I hear them.”
Mrs. White sighed. “It was Christmas break and David and I heard they had a tunnel through the snow on Mt. Mazama where one could look down on the frozen Crater Lake. The snow banks up there at seven to eight thousand feet in elevation were ten or more feet high. One would not want to climb them and fall for it is over a thousand feet down if one falls into the lake. So, we drove to the Rim Village Crater Center, crawled through a structure built for looking over the end cut through the snow bank, and looked at the lake through plexiglass that kept us from falling over the edge. On our trip back, south towards Medford, the roads were icy where the sun hadn’t reached them. It was particularly bad when the sun melted snow from the shoulder that then froze on the road. We were following a white Honda. A pickup truck came from the other direction. It was moving fast. The pickup hit the ice and skidded; traveling broadside, it just missed the Honda by inches. David steered to follow the Honda which had drifted to the shoulder and slowed down. Just as it passed the Honda, the pickup truck hit a dry patch. Unfortunately the driver’s foot was on the gas peddle and he got traction. He was aimed right as us. He T-boned us. The impact pushed a piece of the door frame’s window trimming through David’s neck and he was dead before the car came to a stop 20 feet below in the ditch with the truck on top of us. I saw the whole thing in slow motion. I still see it in slow motion, every day.”
Special Agent Fleishman said, “I am so sorry have asked you to go through that again. How did you escape injury?
Mrs. White could barely talk. “Airbags, a seat belt, and David’s body. I didn’t get a scratch.”
“Again, I am sorry you had to relive that memory.” Said, Special Agent Fleishman.
Mrs. White blew her nose on some tissue that Mrs. Hastings handed her. Then she looked Special Agent Fleishman in the eyes and whispered. “Have you ever lost anyone?”
Special Agent Fleishman nodded and said, “A very long time ago. And it will be with me forever. I do apologize. It still hurts every day.”
Mrs. Hastings, cheerfully asked. “Anyone need their coffee warmed?”
“Yes, please. But in a few minutes. First, I need to freshen up.” Said Mrs. White who got up and left the kitchen still dabbing at her eyes with the tissue.