Good Morning Ted and Jody:
We got a call from OHSU yesterday. They got no snow and have no ice on the hill getting up to them. So, all we have to fight is the 8 inches of snow that we got (less now as it was a warm day and it compacted; it would have made wonderful snowmen) to get to I-5 South to Portland. Piece of cookies, or something, as Nancy will be driving. I suspect WA504 and I-5 will be clear. From my trips to the street yesterday I think there was enough traffic today to clear Hall Road of all the big chunks of snow.
Yesterday was trash day (actually today is, but I take it out the night before). To get the trash bin to Hall Road, I ran the Ridgeline up and down the driveway a few times to pack down a wide enough path to drag the trash bin. I would have thrown the trash can in the back of the Ridgeline, but lifting it that high and then keeping it upright were not going to happen. So, I made the tracks. As it was I got my exercise in hauling the trash out.
When on a restricted diet, no solids, no milk products, nothing interesting, I find it easier not to eat at all. None-the-less, I am looking forward to that first meal later today after the procedure. A friend suggested that I fill my pockets with food to be ready as soon as I come out of the procedure. After the first day of not eating, I’m not hungry, I just miss putting good tasting things into my mouth. Perhaps, I should get a flavored pacifier?
I see there is a camera out there with the equivalent of a 2000mm optical zoom https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/used/1127274/nikon_26499_coolpix_p900_digital_camera.html
The big question is how long can I hold out?
I am attaching the second episode in the Agent Amanda story.
I trust this finds you happy, healthy and warm,
Warmest regards, Ed
002 Rejection Letter
Fiction in 1301 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
27th Century Childhood Publications
September 24, 2665
The draft you submitted of The Whispering Pillars of Alexander is word for word and illustration for illustration identical, except for the substitution of “Alexander” for “Wulingyuan” in the title and text of a child’s book published and copywritten by Melissia Hickson in 2010 as author and illustrator. Ms. Hickson’s copyright has expired and the book is in the public domain.
Obviously, changing only the name of one element in a story does not supersede the public domain status of the work.
Thank you, however, for bringing this ancient work with its modern flavor to our attention.
Walter Janson read the rejection letter for the fifth time. ‘I still cannot believe it,’ he thought. ‘I ran it through the Accumulated Writings Data Base just minutes before I submitted it to them; and, it came up only with hits on the name of the planet, Zarn. The originality score was 0.97. How could the program have missed a previously copywritten work? Something is fishy here.’ Then he spoke out loud, “Computer connect me with Joanna Swans.”
The computer responded, “Joanna Swans has her do not disturb sign up. She has set it to expire 1 hour and 34 minutes from now. Do you wish me to place it in your que for then?”
“Yes, please place it in my que,” replied Walter Janson. “Computer please open a notice box on the Professional Children’s Authors and Illustrators Association Site.”
“I have a dialog box open on the Professional Children’s Authors and Illustrators Association Site.” His computer responded.
Walter Janson stretched his back and rolled his shoulders. Both were habits he had developed and then cultivated in writing school when they insisted he use a stylus on a tablet like thing. Walter remembered the school’s reasoning word for word, “Better to connect you to your predecessors who used charcoal, bird feathers dipped in a dark solution called ink. While messy, it afforded them a platform for their ideas. Those ideas are with us today because of their physical recording of their words on surfaces like paper and stone.” He chuckled and thought ‘At the time I thought it was a bunch of bunk. But, it is pleasurable physically writing on a tablet. Someday I am going to have to get a feather and some paper to see if that is as pleasurable.’ Walter liked writing.
Walter Janson turned his attention to the dialog box his computer had opened for him and began, “Computer enter the following until I say stop.”
The computer responded, “I will enter what you say in the Professional Children’s Authors and Illustrators Association Site dialogue box until you say stop.”
Walter Janson began writing, “Unexplained Errors in the processing of drafts through the Accumulated Writings Data Base—AWDB Screws up! I ran a draft that came up clean a week ago; and, this week it is deemed a plagiarism of a specific work in the 21st Century. If you experience this, or something similar, please contact me with details so I can uncover whatever skullduggery is afoot. Walter_Janson@Republic106.peo . Stop”
His computer replied, “I have stopped. Do you wish me to read back your entry?”
Walter Janson read the entry in the dialog box and found it acceptable. So he said, “No thank you, computer. But please make the first sentence bold in one font size larger than the rest of the text.”
The computer replied, “I have changed the font on the first sentence to one size larger and bold.”
Walter Janson sat quietly for a few moments and then addressed his computer again, “Computer do a search for any inconsistencies in the Accumulated Writings Data Base originality reports between submissions of the same title. Limit your search to works in the Children’s Area.”
The computer responded, “I will need clarification on what kind of inconsistencies to begin the search.”
Walter Janson replied, “Computer, for this search an inconsistency would be a returned original score over 90% on the first submission and any score below 50% on the second submission or later. Limit the search to the past 10 years.”
The computer responded, “I will search the Children’s literature data base from September 24, 2655 to today for same title draft submissions on different dates returning an originality score of 0.90 on the first submission and returning scores below 0.50 on the second or later submission. Is that correct?”
“Yes, computer that is correct. While you are doing that would you connect me with my wife,” replied Walter Janson.
“Your wife has a do not disturb sing except in an emergency sign up. Is this an emergency?” asked the computer.
“No computer, this is not an emergency. Please advise me when my wife has taken her do not disturb sign down.
Walter looked at the lower right corner of his computer screen and saw that the computer was only 1% done with his request for the Children’s literature data base search. He picked up a miniature golf club and toyed for it a minute or two obviously lost in thought. Then, he sat up right in his chair and said, “Computer, open a new file for a Children’s book.”
The computer replied I am opening a new children’s book file. This will be folder number 185. Do you wish to assign a working title to it?”
“Yes, computer assign The Talking Stars in Orion’s Belt as its title,” Walter Janson said. He immediately continued “The cover will show the full constellation of Orion in a dark sky. Two small children will be seated on a slightly rounded surface, sort of resembling a planet with the children grossly out of proportion. The title will fill the planet’s surface that the children are seated upon. The inside cover we will leave blank for now, it will contain title, author, illustrator and copyright information, the usual here. Page One will . . .”
The computer interrupted, “Joanna Swans’s do not disturb sign is down. Do you wish to make contact with her now?”
“Yes computer, please make a connection with her now,” replied Walter Janson.
When Joanna Swans’s image appeared on his screen, Walter Janson said, “Hi, Joanna, I’m having computer put the letter I got from 27th Century Childhood Publications in a box on your screen.”
Walter could watch her eyes as she read the letter; their back and forth motion and the increase in the height of her eyebrows as she read. Joanna, looking over the top of her rose-colored spectacles, finally said, “That’s a FUBAR. I thought we ran this through AWDB and got a clean bill of health?”
“The day we submitted, I ran it; and, the originality score was 0.97. Then 27th Century Childhood Publications ran it and get that it is plagiarism. Something is seriously wrong with that data base,” said Walter. “I posted a notice on the Associations site. Perhaps we can find a pattern if there are others.”
Joanna Swans looked away from the center of the screen to something on her display; and, then she looked back and said, “I will copy it to the larger artist site. If it is not specific to children’s books it might also have happened on other illustrated works like VR, magazines, graphic novels, comics, and even cartoons.”
“I like your thinking,” Walter said. His computer que display was flashing that his wife was on the line. “Got to go, I’ll keep you posted on what comes in. Bye.” With “Bye,” his computer disconnected.
Walter said, “Computer connect me with my wife.” He looked down to the right corner of his screen and saw the computer’s progress on his requested Children’s literature data base search was 7% complete with no hits yet.