Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Friday when the Ridgeline was ready at the Honda Dealer, I had occasion to ride it the back seat when the sales person took us to fill the tank up with gas (it is a long story). Anyway, I don’t think the back seat is all that comfortable for traveling. So, I will bring the Santé Fe when I come to get you at the airport. The 60 or so miles back to here will be more comfortable in it.
Saturday morning, I went into town early as I had a massage. Unfortunately, they are spaced at two-week intervals now. I’d like them twice a week rather than once every two weeks. I stopped for discussing with a couple of fellows who regularly discuss important matters of the world. The topic Saturday morning was “the lowest bidder.” It seems in the 1960s the Army sent out its baseball caps to the lowest bidder and all the personnel had to go out and buy their own to get caps that fit and didn’t fall apart. That reminded me of what the Samsung tech told us the day before about their battery failure on the Note 7—they sent their order to the lowest bidder, twice. Then I got to thinking about Alan Shephard sitting encased in a whole bunch of parts and chemicals thinking “It’s a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one’s safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract.” https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alanshepar179873.html Then I thought, does Congress spend its medical insurance money with the lowest bidder (not to mention wondering why they have health insurance at all given the way they seem to bungle it for the rest of the country).
I suppose since this is May 1st, the big news is the Honey Crisp Apple Tree has finally bloomed. The first photo is the first blossom. This tree went in the back yard on the same day the Rainier Cherry did (along with two pollinators which were completely eaten by deer). The second photo is of a bee on a cherry blossom. Unfortunately, the temperature was below 52 degrees and she got caught on the blossom and is either hanging there for dear life or this was her life. Since it is hard to find dead bees in the cedar chips, I will never know if she flew away when it warmed up or just fell off. I do appreciate the opportunity to take the shot without fear of being stung. Nonetheless, it is good to see her species still in the vicinity.
I trust this finds you, healthy, wealthy, wise and happy or at least three out of the four.
Warmest regards, Ed
011 Finding A Note
Fiction in 804 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
As soon as City Electric set up its utility shelter south of 38th and Mulberry, Frank Millard thought, ‘I don’t remember a manhole there. What are they up to?’ He walked over to the utility tent and stuck his head in. ‘Just as I remembered, no manhole. They are expecting the Murderous Magician to strike again. I’ll . . .’
But his thought was interrupted by a hand on his shoulder and a voice asking, “What are you doing, Mister?”
Frank turned to find the hand and voice belonged to Officer Diggins.
Both men said at the same time, “Oh, it’s you.”
Officer Diggins recovered first. “Visiting the scene of the crime, are we?”
Frank straightened up to his full height and declared, “I am a member of the press and the people have a right to know.”
Officer Diggins pointed to the police tape on mobile bollards surrounding the utility tent. “This says otherwise. Move away or I will have to arrest you for trespassing and disobeying a lawful order by a policeman, me.”
Frank complied but said, “That is Diggins with two gs as I recall.”
Officer Diggins smiled pulled out his ticket pad and the pencil from hid tunic pocket and said, “Yes, two gs. Just like the two ls that I recall in your name from the report from the body in Andy’s cab.”
“I’m leaving,” Frank Millard said as he hurried towards the far sidewalk thinking, ‘We’ll just see whose pen is mightier.’ Once on the sidewalk Frank turned and took a picture of Officer Elmer Diggins standing, hands on hips, feet apart in front of the utility tent surrounded by police crime scene tape.
Officer Diggins cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled, “Loitering will get you a ticket.”
Shaking his head, Frank Mallard, walked the half block to where he parked his car, got in and drove off turning the corner, and pulling out of sight of Officer Diggins.
Officer Diggins, satisfied that he had driven Frank Mallard off returned to the squad car parked in the alley to finish his lunch and read the afternoon paper he picked up.
Frank Mallard pulled his car into the same alley in which Officer Diggins was enjoying his evening repast. He immediately recognized the squad car, backed out and drove two blocks, parking on Mulberry facing North. His approach, on foot, kept the utility tent between him and Officer Diggins sitting in the patrol car.
Frank did not need to exercise as much care as he did, for Officer Diggins was fully enthralled by an account of the opening of a new recreational marijuana store a block from his apartment. Smiling, Officer Diggins thought, ‘In just a few weeks I can find out what all the fuss is about without losing my pension.’
Officer Diggins, so engrossed in his daydreams, he did not notice the slight billowing of the tent caused by air displacement.
Frank Mallard noticed.
Frank thought of himself as being a patient man. He would have argued vehemently with anyone who suggested otherwise. So, he counted to ten before leaving his cover and approaching the utility tent. The tent’s opening was shielded from Officer Diggins view. Frank pulled it aside to see a nude male corpse. He nudged it with his toe and felt resistance. ‘Apparently, this fellow is in rigor like the others,’ He thought. Quickly taking a photo Frank thought, ‘Say, what do we have here?’ He bent over and tugged at the string around the corpse’ neck. Thomas Aldrich Edison could not tie a proper knot. The string with the folded note came away in Frank Mallard’s hand.”
Opening the note, he read smiling the whole time. He said out loud “I was close. It isn’t a magician; it is a wizard, The Wizard of Menlo Park.”
Not bothering to try to refold the note and replace it on the corpse ‘ neck, Frank dropped the string and note and retraced his steps to his hiding place to see what the police reaction would be.
Exercising the full extent of his patience, Frank counted to 15 before getting out his cell phone, dialing 911 and speaking into it “There is a naked, dead guy in the City Electric utility tent at 38th and Mulberry.” He disconnected immediately. He then set the stopwatch on his cell phone to see how long it would take the police to respond.
Eleven seconds later Officer Diggins exited the squad car brushing crumbs off his blouse and trousers. Looking around, he walked to the utility tent, pulled back the flap and his forehead raised in astonishment. Indeed, just as the dispatcher had said, there was a dead, nude guy in the tent. He shook his head and asked, “No how did you get here?”