Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Yesterday I had an appointment in Longview in the late morning and Nancy had one in the early afternoon. Since I would not have time to get back and take her to her appointment, we drove separate cars (besides, the Hyundai needed to be driven in any event for one can’t let cars sit and expect them to work when you want them to). Since I had a two-hour gap between when I was done and when Nancy would finish and we could have lunch, and despite the frequent showers, I drove out to the western edge of the county to see what the osprey were doing (I hate to just drop in, but they don’t have phone service. I think they believe it they don’t have phone service they will be off the grid and the Army Corps of Engineers will not remove their building materials next year. Good luck with compassion from any arm of the US government while the pestilence is in charge). I got to the site where I usually photograph the birds, it was not raining. I set up the Samsung, Galaxy smart camera (it has about 1100 mm zoom) on a tripod to shoot some video of the osprey (not only do I drop in unannounced, I point a camera lens at their nursery, so friend I am. It is times like these I suspect even I have some Republican tendencies) hoping to get footage of the male bringing lunch (it was that time of day). However, other than turning her head from side to side and occasionally looking up in hungry desperation, she did not move while I was ‘filming,’ and her spouse did not make an appearance. A barge went by, but no male osprey on the wing.
This first shot is one looking down river to the west. While it doesn’t look all that wet, it dumped every once-in-a-while. The second shot is of the female on the nest. Yes, the streaks are rain drops. You would have been amused to see me standing holding an umbrella over the Samsun after I took this shot and put away the Nikon P900. All the while traffic (I am shooting from a wide shoulder between the Highway WA4 and the Columbia River), especially log trucks sending up a cloud of water from their passing. I was never sure if I should hold the umbrella up or off to the side where most of the water was coming from, but, since I was standing there, my body blocked the road spray. This next shot was cropped from a telephoto reaching out to the west where a navigation marker indicated a sandbar. I was rewarded with a bunch of waterfowl using the sand bar as a base of operations. I was drawn to this segment of another photograph given a barge that was moving through (the enlargement is of the area right behind the barge in the photo, but the segment comes from another photo). I must try to get closer to this sand bar for clear photos (I wonder if waders would help?).
I tried to avoid the speculation this morning and even got in a 30-minute segment on the stationary bike without hearing about the pestilence. Only to turn on my smartphone which told me that Putin as offered to share transcripts of the White House meeting his “official” guys had with the pestilence to prove the pestilence did not share anything inappropriate. Just think, Putin didn’t even wait for the Congress to subpoena the transcripts.
I trust this finds you happy, healthy, wealthy and bereft of Russian-supplied transcripts.
Warmest regards, Ed
026 Pillage of Peck and Snyder
Fiction in 740 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
“Look, the man said to get one of each,” said Walter Seams.
“But they are in sheets of 50,” replied Wilbur Seams. “I say we cut a row of five instead of just cutting out one. It wouldn’t take any more time. Besides these things are cool. Wish I had them when I was collecting them.”
“You were 10 years old,” replied Walter Seams. “I remember you used a rookie Mickey Mantle to make noise when your bike wheel turned.”
“That was a cool sound. WRRRR,” replied Wilbur. “Say we could give the extras to Sarah’s kid and show him how to attach the cards to his bike’s fork with clothes pins. I’ll bet he would think it cool.”
“Whatever, ” said Walter. We got the ones from this year. Now we go back a year.”
Wilbur looked perplexed. “Why do you suppose the man had us do the years in reverse?” Both men vanished from the back room of Peck and Snyder’s Sporting goods.
Wilber and Walter Seams appeared in the back room of Peck and Snyder
carrying a 21st Century fabric shopping bag with strips of baseball cards sticking out of it. Walter said. “If we worked earliest first, they would be bound to lock up the cards so they would be harder to get to.”
Wilbur Seams said, “But, we can get into any place.”
Walter Seams raised an eyebrow and said, pointing to a small safe, “I think we would be a bit cramped in there.”
Wilbur Seams appeared solemn and nodded his head. He neatly trimmed a row of five from the sheet he was holding and put it in the shopping bag. Cocking his head in thought he reached down and hefted the bag. Looking up he said, I’ll be right back.”
Wilbur vanished only to reappear with two empty shopping bags.
Walter Seams asked, “Where in the hell did you go?”
“That bag was getting heavy so I stashed it in Mom’s garage and borrowed these,” Wilbur said holding up the two shopping bags he had brought back. Smiling broadly, he said, “These will hold a few years’ worth each.”
Special Agent Fleishman said, “there is movement in Mrs. Seams garage.
I’ll go check. He vanished. A split second later he reappeared with a sheepish from on his face. “We can view it from here. I am so used to not having amenities that I forget when I do.” He opened a square device and ran his fingers over it the screen showed an overhead view of the garage and a wide-angle view of the apartment over the garage. In the overhead garage view, a man materialized and put a bulging shopping bag on the work bench and took what appeared to be a handful of shopping bags hanging from a hook and vanished. Nothing happened in the apartment above.
“What is in the bag?” Asked Edith Gunderson.
“Let’s go see,” said Agent White. The two women disappeared to reappear a second later.
“Well?” asked Captain Batan.
“Strips of pictures of what look like men of the mid-19th Century. You know when they all sported a big mustache. All of the men were dressed in vertically striped, open collar shirts and retro baseball caps.”
Detective Philipson asked. “How big are the individual pictures?
Both Edith Gunderson and Agent White held up their hands framing the size of the individual pictures.
Detective Philipson and Captain Batan both said, “Baseball Cards.”
“This next lot, we believe is the only complete set of Peck and Snyder baseball cards
issued in 1868. They are in close to mint condition. The come from the estate of the last of a long line of collectors. Let us start the bidding at one-half million Pounds, Stirling.”
The man with a goatee and scar over his left eye in the third row smiled and raised his numbered paddle.
“I have a half million do I hear six hundred thousand?” asked the Auctioneer.
A paddle flashed in the second row and a voice from behind the man in the goatee with a scar over his eye called out, “One million pounds.
The smile on the face of the man with a goatee and a scar over his eye grew visibly larger.
Wilbur Seams looked crestfallen.
“How was I to know Sarah’s kid rides a skateboard and not a bike?”
“Shut up and keep putting these stupid cards in the fire before he finds out,” said Walter.