Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Well, Summer came some time after 9:00 P.M. Last night. (I can’t get this word processor to use lower case after a period, such as the one in 9:00 P period M period. I am beginning to fear that the machines are taking over the language. Pretty soon machines will monitor our speech and zap us when we say something that is grammatically or syntactically ‘improper.’ However, that can’t be all bad if they start with the pestilence’s speech patterns.) I, of course, missed summer for the fifth year in a row. Ever since I started working on the theory that early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise, I miss a lot of things that happened after 7:30 P.M. That is early. Now, Ben Franklin may have had in mind saving his eyesight by going to bed early as candle light is not good for reading, but really, in five years of following his juncture, I have become less healthy, less wealthy and stupid. So much for generalities when they come in the form of things to do for self-improvement. I am beginning to suspect old Ben had better genes than I.
Today is the big day. We go to Costco for essentials. Yesterday morning I got to thinking about some idiot hitting the button (you know the idiot at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in DC) and realized that we live 20 miles, across several bridges from civilization. So when the idiot hits the button, we will be essentially stuck where we are until the inevitable rescue teams from some twenty or thirty years down the road to try to gather in the remnants of humanity. Funny how we are citizens one day and remnants the next. Well, that mandates a trip to Costco to stock up so we can successfully wait to be rescued. Besides, we are almost out of stuff on the grocery shopping list.
As you can tell, not much is happening here. Nancy got an ice cream maker that does not require the unit to be frozen before use (nor ice and salt). You just add the ingredients, turn it one and come back later for a nice bowl of ice cream. Well, she did exactly that. 45 minutes later we enjoyed a cold cream soup (almost a milkshake). I vote she return it and buy ice cream tomorrow at Costco (we have the insulated bag for getting it home still frozen even in the heat. However, I have two spoons in the Ridgeline in case we have to make an emergency stop to eat the ice cream we buy at Costco least it becomes a cold cream soup.
I trust this finds you home after a trip to the soft serve ice cream establishment of your choice.
Warmest regards, Ed
003 Trying to Bring Special Agent Simpson Up to Speed
Fiction in 1108 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
“What in the hell just happened there,” demanded Special Agent Simpson pointing to the empty space behind Captain Batan’s desk. “The Captain was there, a woman appeared, then they both disappeared. There had better be a trap door or some other trick or you have found a way to repeal the laws of physics. PEOPLE DO NOT APPEAR AND DISAPPEAR. THEY SIMPLY DON’T.”
Detective Philipson held his hand up and said, “Steady. You need an explanation. So sit down and let me try to explain.” He pulled the Captain’s oversized office chair forward and patted the set. “Here, use the Captain’s chair.”
Special Agent Simpson shook her head violently, “What if he pops back into it?”
“Not at all likely,” Detective Philipson calmly said, “You will recall he stood before he, as you put it, disappeared. If he didn’t he would fall down when he got to where he was going. It is my experience that . . . “
“Where was he going?” demanded Special Agent Simpson.
“Let me finish,” said Detective Philipson. “As I was saying when I accompanied Agent White or one of her colleagues we left standing and arrived standing. Things to sit on simply can not be guaranteed at the destination. You see, Agent White is a time traveler.”
“Pull the other one, Detective,” said Special Agent Simpson with a sneer on her lips. “If time travel were possible we at the Bureau would not only know about it but probably keep it under wraps.”
“Yes, I know,” said Detective Philipson. “I have worked with Bureau agents before. Quite frankly I have thought you agents think that there is a finite supply of information and every bit you divulge diminishes the supply of information; and, you all seem to be afraid of running out of it.”
“That is not fair,” replied Special Agent Simpson. “We have stringent rules of disclosure that we follow.”
“Actually that makes my point,” said Detective Philipson. “But then I have observed that telling Bureau folks anything is very difficult. One almost needs to hit them with a 2X4 to get their attention.”
“Now that really is uncalled for,” objected Special Agent Simpson.
“Is it?” asked Detective Philipson. “You just saw a woman appear out of thin air. Then you saw her and my boss disappear into thin air. You, like any rational human being, got upset and wanted to know what is going on. But, then you interrupt and do not listen while I try to give you an explanation. You object before you know to what you are objecting.”
Special Agent Simpson held her hands up in surrender. I do apologize. I will listen.” She motioned her right hand across her lips signifying that she would not speak–‘My lips are sealed.’
“O.K., ” said Detective Philipson. “Time travel is governed or managed by an agency beginning in the 27th Century—Agency for Timeline Integrity, the ATI. Now keep in mind I do not understand the technical details, but initially, time travel was done by high energy. That is how we initially got involved. A fellow in the 27th Century used the fist high energy unit to commit a murder and flee to our era. We ended up assisting the ATI agents in that case. Then the folks in the future found a way to travel without high energy use—some kind of brain implant. From what they tell me they are able to pivot in the 11-dimensional space that is the universe—you know, the space-time continuum or something. They abandoned the high energy approach. Then a descendant of Thomas A. Edison in the 27th Century stumbled upon a one way back in time and they have refined that to move in both directions and ship things back and forth. But mostly they use the implants as they are somewhat easier to keep from causing problems.”
Special Agent Simpson looked skeptical. She shook her head in disbelief.
“Do you have any questions?” asked Detective Philipson.
“This is all very confusing,” said Special Agent Simpson. “You talk about the future in the past tense. You speak of Thomas Edison in the 27th Century. Make some sense.”
“I speak of the future in the past tense as it has happened or the ATI Agents could not be here,” replied Detective Philipson. “Now, if it had not already . . . “
Captain Batan and Agent White came in through his office door and interrupted Detective Philipson, “We didn’t go far enough. We need to think this through,” said Captain Batan
Agent White added, “We found the car, but no Mrs, Calkins and no money. We still do not have information about who owns the SUV nor when and where they live.”
“Special Agent,” said, Captain Batan. “You look a bit confused? Didn’t Eddie bring you up to speed?”
“Eddie? Who is Eddie,” Special Agent Simpson asked?
Detective Philipson waved his hand, “Eddie is what my friends call me.”
“Oh, sure,” replied Special Agent Simpson, “He made up a bunch of stuff about time travel in the past tense.”
Detective Philipson jerked his thumb at the Special Agent and said, “She is a tough sell.” Turning to Agent White he asked, “Can you show her the ropes?”
Agent White laughed. “I have never heard it put that way. But sure. Special Agent, is there any event in history you would like to have witnessed?”
Without hesitation, Special Agent Simpson said, “I would like to see Picket’s Charge at Gettysburg?”
“Do you have a preferred vantage point?” queried Agent White.
“Yes, the corps of trees next to the field pieces,” Special Agent Simpson replied.
Agent White nodded to Captain Batan and Detective Philips and said, “We’ll be back shortly.” The two women vanished.
Detective Philipson said, “You know with the amount of lead flying around at Gettysburg, they will be lucky to come back unscathed.”
Captain Batan nodded and started to say, “Yes . . . “ when his desk phone rang. He picked it up. “Batan, Detective Squad.” He listened for a minute and then said, “Have the Bureau’s list duplicated and then call the detectives not out on cases to the conference room in three minutes.” He put down the phone and said, “The serial numbers on bills taken from the Credit Union this morning are already showing up in bank deposits all over the city and in five other states.”
“How can that be?” asked Detective Philipson.
Captain Batan grimaced, “We looked two years in the future. I think the bank robbers went the other way. Come on.” He headed out the door.