Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Yesterday morning we left in plenty of time to go to Wilsonville (south of Portland) on our short jaunt to Salmon Creek (as far North of Portland as Wilsonville is south) to take Nancy to the ENT appointment. We got there when they were out for lunch (that is to say, early). When they got back, Nancy attempted to “check in” only to discover the quick appointment was for next Thursday. She insists the woman on the phone only said, Thursday and not March 9th. Couple that with my going to the wrong place for my postop and I do suspect there is a conspiracy out there to get us old fogies to think we are losing our marbles. I suspect underutilized mental health professionals are paying other doctor’s schedulers to get us thinking we are confused (a trick they learned from watching the pestilence—“anything but the truth”). No matter, until she gets competent healthcare, I am taking over and I watch her like a hawk when it comes to salt intake. I nag her like I were her wife when it comes to taking her curative meds as a prophylactic. After all, I am a doctor too (or at least I played doctor when I was a child. Once I became an older child in my 20s and 30s the females were less willing to pretend. Bummer). So far, it is working and she is not feeling even the beginning of queasy. And we keep her off the child roundabouts on the play grounds, a hard thing for a former Kindergarten teacher to give up. Cross your fingers until the 9th.
After not getting any acknowledgement of the peck of letters I wrote to my representative in Congress over the last month and a fourth, I decided to try by email. On her site’s “contact me” page she has a box to check if one wants a response. I guess I needed to have that box on the snail mail letters I sent to her. If there are any brains in that office, they might figure out they should have responded once my candidacy is published in the local media.
I mentioned the bridge shot I took on Wednesday. Here it is. (This one should enlarge. Let me know as it takes up a lot of space. It is four shots stitched into a panorama.).
Bundle up, spring will eventually come for real; stay happy; and stay healthy and don’t believe the folks who schedule you for medical appointments, repeat it back to them so it is clearly their fault—they are paid to make you think you made a mistake.
Warmest regards, Ed
025 Frank Thompson tries to Notify Walter Beaverton
Fiction in 1100 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
After Officer Diggins left, Frank Thompson opened a communication channel to notify Walter Beaverton that he, Frank Thompson, ‘ an officer of the court and visitation supervisor, supposedly a responsible and trustworthy person, had lost his daughter. How in the hell do you tell a man you lost his only child? Some court supervision I provided. First time they are out of sight they are flat gone.’ His thinking was paving the way for him to take a long guilt trip. Not getting a connection to Walter Beaverton, he opened a communication to the court. “Nettie, I lost both mother and child. But you know that you already got the police report. I can’t seem to make a communication contact with the father.” There was a pause. “You are telling me he has been out of contact since he left his house after we got there to supervise his ex-wife’s visit with his daughter?” A short pause. “Give me his work address and I’ll go there.” A short pause. “Got it, Thanks Nettie.”
Before going to University Network where Walter Beaverton worked, Frank decided to make one more walk around the rest room and generally, just walk the area near the rest room. He made some mental notes ‘trash bin too small for the mother.’ But he looked in it anyway. ‘Trees not big enough to climb much less hide behind. Path to benches by the pond, but can see through them. Absolutely no place to hide. So off to see Walter Beaverton.’
30 minutes later, Frank Thompson was standing outside the impressive structure of University Network. ‘15 stories of knowledge for everyone,’ or so its advertisements touted he chuckled. ‘I have a certification from this placed and have never been inside. It is about time,’ thought Frank.
Frank entered the double doors and approached the robo-manikin at the information desk. “Where do I find Walter Beaverton?” he asked.
“Instructor Beaverton is not on the premises at present,” replied the robo-manikin.
“Then kindly direct me to the Director’s office,” said, Frank.
“Do you have an appointment?” the robo-manikin asked.
“No,” replied Frank. “I am an officer of the court and need to make enquiries.”
“Court enquires should be directed to the legal department. If you give me your name I will have someone contact you for an appointment with the legal department,” said the robo-manikin.
“Is there a human I can talk to?” asked a tad bit irritated Frank Thompson.
“Yes,”replied the robo-manikin.
Frank waited but the robo-manikin seemed content with a simple yes; so, Frank opened a communication channel to the court. “Nettie, I need to talk to a human being here at University Network. I am trying to find Walter Beaverton and I am not smart enough to ask their robo-manikin at the information desk the right questions to get to talk to a human being who knows something here.” He waited and thought at the same time ‘how is it one can’t get answers at a place with university in its name?’ “Yes, got it. Thanks Nettie.” Turning his attention to the robo-manikin, Frank said, “I am Frank Thompson. I have an appointment with Chester Noreno. Can you please direct me?”
The robo-manikin answered, “Take the number 4 elevator to the 14th floor and he will be in number 1407.”
Arriving at number 1407, Frank found a closed door with an old-fashioned chalk board affixed to it with the note “Back in 5” written on a surface that showed lots of chalk dust from erasures. Frank opened the door anyway. A large, smiling man was sitting on and wildly pedaling a contraption that looked like a cross between an ancient bicycle and an even more ancient spinning wheel. The man waved “Be right with you.”
Frank watched as the man continued to peddle furiously for three more minutes before jumping off, leaving the ‘thing’ still spinning its two large discs and the peddles themselves. The man walked over to him, and said, “You must be Frank Thompson. I got a call you were on your way from Nettie. Nice voice Nettie has. I’m Chester Nareno. What can I do for the courts?”
Frank pointed to the ‘contraption’ and asked “What is that?”
Chester Nareno laughed, “It is a private joke. I read, years ago, that one should spend five minutes a day in productive activity. I also read that one should engage in regular exercise. I then read about overengineered contraptions. Finally, I ran across pointless exercise machines developed back in the second dark ages. I think they called them the ‘age of belief,’ the ‘nuclear age’ ‘dawn of the space age, ‘the age of Rock and Roll,’ and a whole bunch of other things, but to me they were the second dark ages. So, I invented this and called it my ‘Rube Goldberg Exercise in Productivity Machine.’ This way I kill three birds with one stone.”
Frank Thompson mentally rolled his eyes, but said, “Rube Goldberg, kill three birds with one stone, rock and roll, I don’t understand what you are talking about.”
“That’s the point. No one understands,” replied Chester Nareno.
“What do you do here?” asked Frank.
“I’m the resident person in charge. By that I mean when someone need to see a real person, I’m the one they get sent to see. I guess the Director thinks I can deal with people or some such rot. When I am not dealing with people, face to face, I think.” Chester paused for a moment. “I am very good at thinking. This is, after all a University. A University has to have someone thinking. But enough about me, what do you do here?”
Frank was laughing out loud. “You are not going to believe this, but this is a University; and, I am here to ask questions. What good is a university without someone asking questions?”
Chester Narano frowned and held up his hand. “OK what is your first question?”
“Where do I find Walter Beaverton so I can tell him something?” asked Frank.
Chester Nareno held up his right index finger and his face showed concern and the facial façade that one would expect to see on a face of someone thinking. Then he spoke “Computer where is Water Beaverton?”
The computer replied, “Walter Beaverton has his privacy shield up and is unavailable.”
Chester Nareno Turned to Frank and said with a straight face, “I don’t know.”
Frank shook his head. In that moment, the meaning of “egg head,’ ‘pointy heads,’ ‘heads in the clouds’ and several terms best not uttered became crystal clear to him.