Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Yesterday we attended the hip and knee replacement luncheon. The hospital where the replacements are done had the former patients come in for a luncheon, fill out a questionnaire and they put on a question and answer session with their primary surgeon. The idea is for them to keep on top of how they can improve their service. Since these are “life improving” operations rather than “lifesaving,” they make no bones about customer (patient?) satisfaction being the key to their success. I did learn a few things. For instance, the 400 or so clinics around America which take some of one’s blood, extract stem cells from it and then inject it in an affected joint are not FDA regulated. They are not regulated because they are not introducing a foreign device or substance into their clients’ bodies, but their own blood. Further, there appears to be no science behind the injections. Indeed, if one injected water into the affected area in some cases there would be a placebo effect. I also learned that arthritic joints are responsive to changes in barometric pressure; so, if your joints forecast rain you can thank your arthritis for that blessing; the temporary fix is to move to Arizona or the middle of Australia where high-pressure systems park for long periods of time. The meal wasn’t bad either. It was the same one they severed when we went to the last hip replacement luncheon back in 2015. I do hope it wasn’t simply leftovers. But, I do hope there will be no more occasions for us to go to another hip and knee replacement luncheon.
Yesterday must have been one of those medical days for the fellow from the oxygen service came out for an annual checkup and filter clearing of my oxygen concentrator. Periodically, I put an oxygen monitor on my finger to check the machine indirectly, and find it to make a difference (I am still breathing). However, I got to thinking that only an annual check must be dictated by the FDA; and, that the FDA must be more comfortable with the reliability of oxygen concentrators than I am. I would check it ever three months. But then the FDA is not using it, I am.
We hosted numerous showers and period of heavy rain yesterday (It is supposed to clear up by Easter, but they never commit to a year). Between the rain, shall we say, squalls, I got out and took a couple of pictures of the clouds.
I noticed the date this morning is April 13th. I know that Friday the 13th is supposed to be unlucky for some reason. I also know a baker’s dozen is one more than twelve—a bonus, so I am confused about why 13 unlucky in one instance and a good thing in the other.
I do hope this finds you happy, healthy, warm and not forecasting rain.
Warmest regards, Ed
060 Agent Amanda Investigates Melissa Hickson
Fiction in 788 words by T. Edward Westen
Agent Amanda materialized outside of Mission Creek Corrections Center. Knocking on the window of the guard kiosk to awaken him, she waited patiently for him to gather his wits before stating “I’d like to see the warden.”
While the guard had become conscious, he seemed more concerned about her presence without a transport unit at hand. “How did you get here?”
Agent Amanda smiled, “I’m afraid that is classified, if I tell you, then I have to kill you. Do you still want to know?”
The guard looked Agent Amanda up and down. He could not see evidence of any concealed weapon given that Agent Amanda wore close fitting clothing. ‘The woman is not even carrying a purse,’ he thought, “What’s the catch?”
Agent Amanda replied, “I simply want to see the warden.” She handed the man her card.
The guard looked at the card and understood he was in peril if he demanded to know how she go there as the initials ATI were respected in the law enforcement community and the word ‘Agent’ still carried the flavor of danger even in the 27th Century. He opened communication and said, “An Agent Amanda, ATI wants to see the warden.” He listened, pushed a button on his control panel and said, “You may go in Miss.”
Agent Amanda pivoted and the guard almost fainted.
Materializing outside the door to the Warden’s office,
Agent Amanda hesitated for a second and then opened the door. The warden’s clerk looked up and said, “My but you got her quickly.”
“Yes, well, time is important,” said Agent Amanda. Pointing to the warden’s door, she asked, “May I go in?”
The clerk nodded.
Agent Amanda strode across the floor, opened the door and announced herself, “Warden Kline, I am Agent Amanda Clarkton, ATI.”
“Good Morning Agent Clarkton, how may I assist you?” asked the warden.
“The name, Melissa Hickson has come up in one of our investigations. I would like to talk to her,” said Agent Amanda.
“So, would I,” replied Warden Kline.
Agent Amanda raised her eyebrow.
“Since the time cops are looking for her, then I suspect she has slipped into a different time segment,” explained Warden Kline. “She abruptly resigned at the end of her shift about a month ago. We need to fill out some forms but cannot reach her to get her authorization to beginner pension or transfer other benefits to another employer. I must confess I never thought to call in your agency.”
Agent Amanda shook her head. “nothing difficult is ever easy, is it? I think we should start with her files and I’ll need to talk to other personnel who knew her.”
“The files are easy,” said the warden who said into the air, “Henrietta, get me the Hickson files please.” Then turning to Agent Amanda, we asked all personnel about her when we couldn’t find her. No one seemed to know her other than as a co-worker.”
The computer screen said, “Melissa Hickson, AE5, files are on the screen.”
“Thank you, Henrietta,” the warden said. Then she beckoned Agent Amanda to move behind her at her desk, ” Come around, Henrietta is not flexible. I often have to use her when I have an inmate standing where you are and I obviously do not want the inmates to see what is on her screen.”
“Henrietta?” asked Agent Amanda.
“It is a long story dating back to when we had several computer screens in the office. We named them and Henrietta stuck on this one. Saves a lot of trouble not having to train it not to respond to other than my voice.”
“It?” asked Amanda.
“Henrietta thought of itself as female, why buck the system?” chuckled Warden Kline.
Agent Amanda read quietly for a long time and then asked, “Please ask Henrietta to show me these two files?”
The warden complied and Agent Amanda read the files. When she finished, she asked, “Was matron Hickson close to any of the inmates?”
“Residents, we call them residents,” replied Warden Kline. Not that we could tell; and, we interviewed all of them.”
Agent Amanda stood and said, “Thank you, Warden. I do believe I have some information that may help me track her down.”
“If you do find her, please ask her to come in so we can finish the paperwork on her departure,” requested the Warden Kline.
Agent Amanda bid the Warden and her receptionist farewell in order before she stepped out of the warden’s reception area before pivoting.
Materializing outside of the guard kiosk
and almost causing the guard to have a heart attack Agent Amanda said, “No more sleeping on the job. The next time . . . “ she held up her right index finger in warning and she pivoted.