Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I opened the garage door this morning to find Gracie waiting for me. I guess she heard me in the garage and the door opening is a sure bet there are people, and hence, dog treats in the offing. Well, I obliged with a dog treat and while I was looking around for a stick to throw (I often think she likes the stick more than the treats) she saw a deer and rabbit some 250 feet away at the head of the drive and was off in hot pursuit. I pulled my cell phone out to shoot the event, but the rabbit hightailed it out faster than I could get my cell phone out, much less into camera mode. So I am left with a very small deer in the distance and the back end of a black dog running in that direction for a photo. Fortunately, the deer went into the bushes rather than cross the busy Hall Road and the dog stopped at the road. I have seen Gracie run deer off before and she generally stops at the edge of what she feels is her territory (the neighbors and my yards and the shared drive Those 3,000 square feet seem to be her domain. Fortunately for Graci, there are very few bears and cougars in the immediate vicinity, although coyotes roam the adjacent fields and woods. The other dog in the photo is the neighbor’s too. It is prone to take off so they keep it in the house or on the end of a rope. They do not seem to do a good job of training dogs. Gracie was trained when they got her.
The morning marine layer has precluded sunrise and dawn photos. However, when the marine layer begins to break up, there is the occasional photo opportunity.
I am trying to set up an old tablet so Art can read Democratize Money. So far, two hours into it I have yet to make it an easy read—back to the drawing board.
I attempted to replace the lamps in one of the Mosquito Traps this morning. Five screws to get into the trap and access the bulb. However, the sixth screw holding the bulb (florescent lamp) in refuses to budge. So, another 90 minutes without an accomplishment. I could develop a complex if things continue this way today and it is not even noon yet.
Warmest regards, Ed
026 Learning About a Strange Place – Part II
Fiction in 1035 words by T. Edward Westen
Stephen shook his head and tightened his lips. Finally he spoke. “That is a very long story. Perhaps I could offer you a beverage and I do have cigars. So you can sit back and relax while I tell you the stories behind an effort to amass, what you would call, a pot of money in your universe.”
“I don’t suppose you have hot chocolate with marshmallows, do you?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
Stephen shook his head no, “I don’t even know what that is.”
“I don’s use tobacco products, so why don’t I run to the corner and get us each a hot chocolate with marshmallows; and then, I will listen to your stories.” Special Agent Fleishman vanished for about a half of a second and reappeared holding two cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows each resting in a saucer. He handed one to Stephen with the admonition “Careful, it is very hot. You wouldn’t want to burn yourself and ruin the experience.”
“So, how do I handle this?” asked Stephen.
Setting his cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows on Stephen’s desk, Special Agent Fleishman pulled two spoons out of his breast pocket and handed one to Stephen. Then he picked up his cup and used the spoon to secure some of the precious liquid and held the spoon close to his lips and blew gently. After a few seconds he sipped the liquid from the spoon. “Until it cools a bit, that is the safe way to have your first experience. I had a friend burn his month his first time.”
Stephen mimicked exactly how Special Agent Fleishman had taken his first spoonful of hot chocolate and when the flavor hit his tongue his eyes widened and a smile spread across his face. “My goodness, why have we not discovered this?”
Special Agent Fleishman shrugged his shoulders. “I have researched it and chocolate has been in my universe almost from day one. It did take some time to spread across the globe. But even then, I discovered it some 600 years before I was born and never in my own time. It is a puzzlement. However, you have promised me stories.”
Stephen moved from beside his desk toward a couch and a few chairs in another area of his office. He beckoned Special Agent Fleishman to join him in that area. Pointing to a low table, he said, “I suspect that would be a good place to put down the hot chocolate with marshmallows between spoon fulls.”
Special Agent Fleishman laughed, “In a very short time you will be able to drink it without the spoon,”
Stephen nodded and said, “I’ll follow your lead on when to try drinking it.” He paused, “No the first story. About a decade ago an astronomer came to me with a prediction. He said that a very large asteroid would hit our world in about 25 years. The impact he predicted would be an extinction event.”
“So send some rockets up to nudge it out of it collision course with your planet,” replied Special Agent Fleishman.
We have been working on developing rockets for 10 years,” said Stephen. “And we continue to work on them, but we do not have the capabilities to do something that simple. Yet.”
[July 17, 1929 , Switchboard] “Couldn’t you have just winged on of them?” asked Sheriff Mathew Gilbertson.
Deputy LeLoup shook his head and said, “I told Mrs. Calking that I would catch the dickens for not winging one of them. But, at the time, it was not a simple choice. The first fellow brought up a shotgun on me. I fired first or there would be one dead deputy and one dead Mrs. Calkins. The second fellow dropped his shot gun, but as he turned I could see that Colt in his left hand. I thought ‘He means to harm me.’ So, take the easy kill shot or get fancy and hope to live through it.”
“I know, I know,” said Sheriff Gilbertson. “I’m just saying they are easier to get answers out of it they are alive.”
“They were after Norma Rae, Sheriff,” said Mrs. Calkins. “They weren’t after me at all. Do you suppose the men who killed Norma Rae were trying to kill her and not me?”
“It is looking that way,” replied Sheriff Gilbertson. Turning to Deputy LeLoup, “Did you get any information from the bodies?”
“No sir,” replied Deputy LeLoup “I followed protocol and waited for the coroner and you or another deputy to do that since I did the shooting.”
“Sheriff,” another deputy interrupted, “The tires on the vehicle outside matches the tires that left tracks the night Norma Rae was shot. I’m going to bet the boots on those hombres are going to match the boot prints we took from that time too.”
The Sheriff thought for a moment. “Those men and that vehicle have some kind of identifying papers or the like. I want to know who they are and where they came from. I also want you to start digging up background on Norma Rae. I want to know where she came from and what she did before she came here. Bad enough having Mrs. Calkins dumped here after a kidnapping, but to have killers after the two of them had got to stop.”
[Present Day] “This Bartholomew Wilson is a soldier in the Persico Family,” said Special Agent Simpson. “However, this Ralph character does not show up in an of our archives. Mark Rogers has a Social Security number, he has a birth certificate in Tuscon Arizona, but we have no other information on him. I suspect he is either a made-up name or he has hallways been under the radar until now. Our 50 state inquiry for a driver’s license for Mark Rogers has produced 2,671 individuals. He could be one of those.”
“So, should we go to Terre Huate and try to sweat Salvatore Persico about where Mrs. Calkins is and why he wants her dead?” asked Detective Philipson.
Captain Batan shook his head. “Don Persico could have been out of jail over a decade ago if he talked. I doubt he will talk now.”