The Novels

Sociology 500, a Romance (Second Draft) -- The first book in the Economics 101 Trilogy.
Karel and Dan, former American football teammates and now graduate students, meet fellow graduate students Kristie and Bobbie, and the four form a steady study group.

Economics 101, a Novel (Rough Draft) -- My first sustained attempt at a novel, two-thirds finished in rough draft, and heading a little too far south.
What would you do if you and your study partner, with whom you had been seriously discussing marriage, suddenly found yourselves all alone together on a desert island?

Featured Post

Sociology 500, a Romance, ch 1 pt 1 -- Introducing Bobbie

TOC Well, let's meet Roberta Whitmer. Bobbie entered the anthropology department office and looked around. Near the receptionis...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Economics 101, a Novel --- Marry Them (Old Plan)

(I don't know if I should actually let this rough outline that I used parts of out of the bag, but I'm feeling adventurous.)

nazoru tells about dream
zed doubts, drunk from funeral
friend tells about hanaka's funeral -- no sauce by dead wife's warning
all sober in next storm, no loss
dist. pres. to meet on monday
zed upset, takes boat by himself, missing from planning
temple pres., nephite, etc.
rescuing zed
searchinf islands on the radial line.
are you sure we didn't meet before
preparatory visions
More care to their prayers^
and to the tent
trip to the other island?
preparations for the trip.
animals on that island
is it charted?
no magic
on their own if they return
building a temporary shelter for luggage from old bamboo?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 240 -- Their Parents Help Search

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, which can be found here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch24-their-parents.html.]

(The story starts here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.jp/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch000-excuses.html.)

Zedidiah and the Island Coast Guard were unable to find Wycliffe or his passengers in the previous chapter: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch230-searching-not-found.html.

This chapter can't help being rather sombre.

It also can't help touching extensively on religion.



The Church District President and his second counselor met Professor MacVittie and the Whitmers and Pratts at the airport when they arrived at their last layover early Thursday morning.

"Professor MacVittie?"

"Yes. Are you President Brown?"

"James Brown." And they shook hands. "I'm the District President. This is my second counselor, President Hale. My first counselor was not able to come."

"The Pratts, and the Whitmers."

President Hale said, "We're glad everyone made it this far okay."

"Thank you for meeting us here," said Paul.

President Hale asked, "Did you get any sleep on the night flight?"

"Does anyone?" Mary answered.

"Well, I guess not. I'm sorry to hear that," President Brown offered his sympathy. "Hopefully you can get a nap before the final leg."

All five murmured their thanks.

And he continued, "We wish we had good news to give you, but there are still no useful results in the search efforts."

"Well," said Paul, "No news is at least no bad news. I guess it may take a while."

"May we start this meeting with a prayer?"

They concurred, and President Brown offered the prayer. Then he proceeded to explain: "I've been asked to inform you of the Church's and University's involvement. As you know there are funds being made available to help make sure you can get a proper search effort going. The university alumni organization is taking the lead there."

"That'll be a great help," said Bob.

"Students and others are volunteering to participate in the search."

"I hope this won't interfere with their studies." said Anna.

"They are being interviewed by their bishops, and will only be allowed to come if they can sufficiently handle the time and other burdens of volunteering."

"Is this all necessary?" Mary asked.

"I know that the four of you say that you have the strong impression that your children will be taken care of."

Four voices chorused, "Yes."

"But you still want the Lord's help, don't you?"

Bob was the one to respond. "We have been assuming that they already have the Lord's help."

"Indeed, they do. But, per Doctrine and Covenants section 24, we are not to require too many miracles, are we?"

No one really knew how to respond to that.

He continued, "We need to do our part."

Tentative nods.

President Hale offered a bit of reassurance. "We'll be careful that things don't get out of hand."

President Brown continued. "For the next several weeks, you will be wanting to hold your meetings here on the islands, I think?"

There was no disagreement here.

"I'm authorizing each one of you brethren to lead Sunday meetings and administer the Sacrament. If you can hold your meetings together, it would be best to do so, of course. But if the need arises, any of you three can hold your Sunday meetings independently. When you are together, we would like Brother Whitmer to take the lead."

"Me? I have the least experience in this group. I just barely got my temple recommend for the first time in a long time last Sunday."

"We are aware of your situation, and we assume you will receive counsel from Brother MacVittie and Brother Pratt, and from the sisters."

"Oh. Well, okay."

"Is everyone here willing to support Brother Whitmer?"

There was a chorus of agreement.

President Hale gave him a package of materials. "We have a packet of instructions for you. We are not formally organizing a branch, so it's not a complete branch president's packet, but it will give you an idea of the scope of your stewardship."

And Professor MacVittie was given a packet of materials relating to coordinating the search efforts in the islands and bringing in the donated funds where necessary.

"By the way," President Hale said, "One Dan Claymount and one Kristine Person have asked to be allowed to come help in the search."

"Oh, no!" Mary exclaimed. "Bobbie and Karel would not want them postponing their marriage."

"Their bishops are discouraging them from coming."

Anna turned to Paul and said, "Honey, we should have Sheryl call the Claymounts and tell them to tell Dan they should be putting their marriage first."

Paul agreed, and the others concurred.

Then President Brown said, "The Brethren have asked me to tell you one last thing, that the impressions you have received about your children's safety are indeed from God. The brethren are impressed that it will take a lot longer to find your children than we all would like, but they will be found, and they will not be suffering for their health."

Mary put their surprise into words. "The president of the Church?"

"Yes, the presidency and certain members of certain committees who have received some promptings concerning your children. This should not be discussed, however, as such discussion could interfere with the agency of people involved, particularly your children."

Bob was the one who said, "Understood, I guess." And then the others nodded.

President Brown added one more thing. "And the Brethren have expressed confidence in your children's efforts to remain faithful."

None of the parents knew what to say to that, so they just nodded again.

After they ended the meeting and Presidents Brown and Hale left, they found an international call capable phone and the Pratts called their daughter.

"Sheryl, it's your mom."

"Hi Mom."

"We're at the last layover."

"Oh? Did something happen?"

"Not really. But we hear that Dan and Kristie are wanting to join the search."

"They did call here."

"Honey, could you call them, or call the Claymounts and the Persons, and have them let Dan and Kristie know that we appreciate their concern? And that we are confident that Bobbie and Karel are okay?"

"Sure."

"And that we all think that Bobbie and Karel would prefer they go ahead with their marriage plans."

"I think that's the best, too. I'll call them."

And they kept the call short, because calling international from an airport back then cost a lot more (relatively and actually) than it does now.

After that, Bob kept watch and read his packet of instructions while the others took naps, waiting for their flight. Then he tried to nap on the last leg of the flight.



Zedidiah was waiting for them outside the airport when they got to the main island.

"Professor."

"Ah, Zedidiah, Thank you for contacting us and keeping us advised. May I introduce Bob and Mary Whitmer, and Paul and Anna Pratt," and the professor indicated each in turn.

"I'm glad to meet you. I wish the circumstances were better."

And Anna said, for them all, "We understand."

"This is investigative officer Kei Paalo, from the police force here. He has been participating in the investigation."

"I'm sorry to have to meet you in such circumstances, but I also extend our welcome to the island." Officer Paalo said. "May I explain now about the course of our investigations and search?"

"Of course."

After hearing that the island had been searched with no results, Paul asked, "How about the plane? Can it be made airworthy so we can use it in the search?"

Zedidiah said, "You wouldn't want to trust it in the air. You'd never know whether something important would break. It would need to be completely rebuilt."

Officer Paalo did not think it was as bad as that, but refrained from saying so.

Professor MacVittie asked, "Has the sea between where the plane was found and the island been searched?"

"No, it hasn't," Officer Paalo told them. "That would take a lot of resources, and we thought we'd rather you decide what was more important."

"How clear is the water in that area?"

"Very clear," Zedidiah said. "You can see down to the ocean floor pretty much everywhere out there."

"How deep is it?"

"About twenty to forty feet."

Paul and Bob looked at each other and nodded in agreement, then suggested to Professor MacVittie that they pray about the next step. He concurred, and they did, asking whether they should trace the line from where the plane was found to the island.

They were impressed that they should, so Professor MacVittie asked, "Can we rent a fairly large boat and three skiffs? We think we would like to trace that line."

"That can probably be done, but I suggest we wait until the morning to try to make the arrangements."

Officer Paalo and Zedidiah helped them make arrangements for rooms for the night, and showed them to the Western Union office.

There, they made calls home to let their families know they had arrived.

And Sheryl told them she had contacted Dan and Kristie. She said they had been adamant about canceling their marriage plans to help search until she had suggested that they could be more help if they were married before they came.

Then they had some dinner, went back to their rooms, and got some sleep.

In the morning, they talked with the hotel owner, Den Kelai while eating breakfast. He told them a bit about the island, and about the charter pilots.

He explained that Wycliffe and Zedidiah had many friends there, that Wycliffe was especially known for being maybe too helpful at times, but was a true friend in need, as well. And he told them that everyone on the island wanted to find Wycliffe and their missing children.

After they had finished breakfast, Officer Paalo and Zedidiah took them to meet some of the charter pilots and owners of boats, and several other groups who might help when they needed volunteers. They were able to arrange for a boat large enough to carry three skiffs, and Officer Paalo and Zedidiah accompanied them out to the cache island.

They arrived fairly late in the afternoon, and spent some time looking over the island and the plane. Paul, who was a mechanical engineer, thought the plane was in good enough condition to consider repairing, but they decided not to do anything about it for that day.

Then they put the skiffs in the sea and searched until dark. Paul and Anna piloted one skiff, Bob and Mary another, and Professor MacVittie and Zedidiah the third. Officer Paalo stayed with the boat's crew. The four vessels searched in swaths parallel to the beach until it was too dark to continue.

With the boat in the center, one skiff on the outside, and two on the inside, spaced about 50 feet apart, they covered a two hundred foot swath of sea. In about twenty-five passes, they were able to search out to a half mile before they gave up for the night, finding nothing of interest.

They camped on the beach for the night.

They continued on Saturday, searching out to three miles while it was light. On Sunday, they called a day of rest, and the Zedidiah and Officer Paalo and the boat's crew observed with interest as the parents and the professor held a Sacrament service.

After the meeting, they prayed and felt they should ask the opinions of those with them, whether they would prefer to depend on God and rest, or continue searching. Zedidiah and Officer Paalo, of course, were particularly anxious to continue, so they did. But they found nothing of interest that day, either.

On Monday, they were joined by another boat and more skiffs and a crew of volunteers, allowing them to search a broader swath.

When they found Wycliffe about eight miles out, Zedidiah broke down in tears and they stopped to take care of the body. Professor MacVittie and the parents also were taken a bit aback, not having realized, until then, some aspects of the cost of keeping their children safe.

They brought Wycliffe's body on board the main boat and covered him, radioing for a plane. Then they searched the area more carefully, taking a longer swath there.

Not finding anything or anyone else, they continued the parallel swaths. When the plane came, they sent one boat to the cache island to transfer the body to the plane, and Zedidiah went back to the main island with his friend's body.

Wycliffe himself did what he could from the other side of the veil to comfort his friend, going back with the plane.

The rest of the searchers continued their searching until dark. Some of the volunteers camped for the night on the island, with the parents. Others returned to the main island.

Before the parents went to bed, there was a radio call from the main island. The Coast Guard coroner had been able, with the help of a vacationing doctor from Australia, to determine that Wycliffe had been dead at least eight days when they found him, and probably more than nine.

Paul suggested, and the others agreed, that he should start working on the plane. So they also radioed for supplies and tools from the main island.

The next morning, another boat arrived, with more volunteers from the islands and student volunteers from the University. They brought tools and supplies for working on the plane with them.

Zedidiah, Paul, Anna, and a couple of volunteers worked on the plane while the others continued the search.

By Friday, with fresh volunteers coming out each day, they were able to search all the way to the buoy marking the spot where Zedidiah and Matt had found the plane, and a bit beyond. They found Wycliffes trousers and shirt near where he had removed them to swim more easily, but nothing else.

And Zedidiah and Paul were able to get the plane back into shape for flying, using it to support the search on the last stretch to the buoy and past it on Friday. 

They returned to the main island on Saturday morning.

Wycliffe's funeral was held that afternoon, and well into the night, following the island traditions. Many of the islanders came, from all the islands where Wycliffe and Zedidiah had worked. Bobbie's and Karel's parents also attended, along with Professor MacVittie.

Some of those who came had met and worked with Bobbie and Karel, and made it a point to offer expressions of concern to their parents.

One of those who expressed his concern was a widower who had lost his only daughter in the recent storm.

On Sunday, the professor and their parents observed another Sabbath, keeping their meetings simple. Zedidiah and some of the islanders joined.

After the meetings, they talked about Wycliffe and about the search. Mormon belief in the afterlife and the eternal nature of families came up, and some of the islanders were interested to hear about that.

Then they started planning for the next step in their search, including Zedidiah in their plans. The widower, whose name was Nazoru, was among the islanders who also offered to help. (Yes, we shall hear more of him and his family shortly.)

[JMR20160708: Muffed this about Hanaka. He knows where she is at this point.

Wycliffe, of course, was present, on the other side of the veil, for the funeral and for the sabbath meetings. He was surprised to see Nazoru there and wanted to ask where Hanaka, the daughter, was. But he did not attempt to breach the barrier between worlds to ask. He was surprised to see Nazoru there and wanted to talk with him. But he did not attempt to breach the barrier between worlds.

]



Notice the references to things of value that money can hardly touch, and other things of value that money can't touch at all. There are many things more powerful than money at play in economy.

Unfortunately, few of them, besides money, seem to be amenable to the arbitrary uses of human will.

Now, especially, notice how Wycliffe is considered on the island, not a perfect person, but not a bad man, at all, really.

Now I'd say we should be seeing how Bobbie and Karel are doing for food and shelter: (Link will be here).



The table of contents is here:
http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-toc.html.

[The initial (rough) draft of this chapter can be found here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch24-their-parents.html.]


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 230 -- Searching for That Which Shall Not Be Found

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, which can be found here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch23-searching-for.html.]


(The story starts here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.jp/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch000-excuses.html.)

In the previous chapter, Bobbie and Karel started settling in to the work routines that will keep them alive: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch220-making-rope-working-wood.html.

So, while Karel and Bobbie are trying to secure their situation on the island, is anyone looking for them? Of course. Bog standard procedure, nothing really exciting, but they are looking -- just not in the right place. And there's a reason for that.

Let's see who else gets involved in the initial search, and what they do.



You may wonder what the Coast Guard did with Zedidiah and Wycliffe's plane.

For one thing, the Coast Guard is not a salvage company. Their first job is to see to the safety of those who operate in the sea, as much as is possible. In this case, the plane was not an immediate danger to ships, or fishing, so there was not that much need to move it.

And they don't have unlimited budget and personnel. Salvage operations consume a fair amount of resources and expertise.

On the other hand, the Eastern Crane did have did have industrial duty cranes, winches and flotation devices, with crew trained to use them, in spite of it being named for the bird rather the hoist.

And there would be the cost and time delay and the difficulty in continuing the investigation if they waited for a salvage ship.

So economic issues definitely come into play, here.

On board the Eastern Crane, the investigating officer summarized his notes:

"Okay, according to what you are telling me, your partner in your charter service had apparently planned on urging your passengers to take a little vacation on the way back."

"That's what I understand about it."

"And he said they would be on an island where you and some of the other charter pilots keep fuel and other emergency resources." And the Island Coast Guard investigator named the island.

"That's right."

"And you had told him you didn't agree with the plan."

"Yes."

"But he radioed you about six hours from his departure time, to tell you that he had prevailed upon them to take the vacation."

"That's correct."

"That's a fair distance by radio."

"We regularly use a distance band when running the longer flights, of course."

"And you were unable to contact him afterwards."

"I kept trying up until I left our base island with Matt."

At this point, another officer came into the cabin and there was some discussion.

"Whoever put this plane down knew what he was doing."

"Wycliffe knows our plane like the back of his hand."

"Apparently so. Just from what we've been able to check so far, there is no real damage to the structure. The only reason we can find for it coming down is running out of fuel. We'd like to put the plane on land to check it over more carefully. We may be sufficiently equipped to tow it to the nearest island now."

"I think I would like to do that."

"We will ask you to pay towing fees, and there may be damage incurred. And it remains your responsibility to properly dispose of it when we're done."

"I'm okay with that."

"Now we may find that our tools are not the right ones for the job. And it may be easier, and less damaging anyway, to have a salvage company take it straight to island you operate out of."

"Can I help float it and hook it up for the tow? I'm the one who usually maintains the plane, and I can show your crew the best places to set the floats and hook up the lines."

"We can do that."

So they radioed Matt at the cache island, and he said he could wait.

[JMR201606262102:

Then they set a buoy, to mark the location where the plane was found.

]

They got the floats under the strongest points in the wings and fuselage and inflated them enough to start towing without tearing the wings off the body, and got started. They took it slow, to avoid any further damage, and arrived at the island a bit before midnight.

[JMR201606272127:

Where the water was still deep enough, Zedidiah entered the cabin and lowered the landing gear by hand crank.

They had to wade almost shoulder deep into the water to put the landing gear down by hand and push the plane towards shore. When the landing gear and the floats dragged on the sea floor, they deflated the floats and pushed the plane the rest of the way out of the water on its landing gear.

Then they waded in water almost shoulder deep and pushed the plane toward the shore.

When the landing gear road on the sea floor, they deflated the floats and pushed the plane the rest of the way out of the water on its landing gear.

]

The Island Coast Guard officers performed a few more checks by flashlight, spent some time checking the cache and the beach, and then returned to their ship with Zedidiah and Matt. And they informed Zedidiah that, as he was a material witness, he could participate in the search, but, other than that, he was to remain on his base island.

Matt radioed some of their friends, and the The Coast Guard and police also called for volunteers, and, in the morning on Tuesday, three planes and another small ship left with about twenty volunteers total. And the police took care of contacting the university.

Between Tuesday and Wednesday, they were able to search the whole island. They found no signs of anyone being on the island since the rain, and no signs of the cache being disturbed.

At that point, the initial search was terminated, and all the volunteers went home. On Thursday morning, Zedidiah opened his and Wycliffe's office for the police to examine while waiting for the Professor, the Pratts, and the Whitmers to arrive.



What can their parents do to help the search efforts? http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch240-parents-help-search.html.



The table of contents is here:
http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-toc.html.

[The initial (rough) draft of this chapter can be found here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch23-searching-for.html.]


Friday, June 24, 2016

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 220 -- Making Rope And Working Wood

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, which can be found here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch21-checking-plane.html.]

 (The story starts here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.jp/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch000-excuses.html.)


Now that the professor and the Whitmers and the Pratts are on they way to the islands: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch200-on-a-hunch.html, should we see how Zedidiah and Matt are doing?

(We could intuit this chapter, but I need the practice writing. I should warn you, it feels a little over the top in places.)



The radio crackled to life. "Coast Guard Eastern Crane to Matt Hansted"

Matt started awake and reached for the mike.

"Coast Guard Eastern Crane calling Matt Hansted. Do you read?"

"Copy. Go ahead."

Zedidiah shook himself awake and opened the plane door, stepping down to the beach.

"We are about a half hour off the target. Are you in the air?"

"Negative. We've been waiting on the beach, but we will return to the target immediately."

"Roger and out."

Zedidiah waited for Matt to signal coupez, then pumped the propeller once. It spun, the engine coughed, and then it stopped. When Matt signaled contact, he checked and pumped again, and the engine caught, settling into a smooth roar.

Zedidiah ran back around to the co-pilot side door and climbed in. Matt pushed the plane into taxi, checked the wind in the rudders and ailerons, then accelerated and put the plane in the air.

"Sure appreciate this."

"I'm sure my turn'll come around."



Matt and Zedidiah arrived first, scanning below the surface for the plane they had spotted under the waves a few hours earlier. The water was clear, and they could see to the sea floor, some twenty to forty feet below the surface. Not seeing it immediately, they circled low, spiraling outward. On the third pass, they spotted it, confirming the registration number again on the forth pass.

Zedidiah took the mike and keyed it as Matt turned his plane back to start a circling climb around Wycliffe and Zedidiah's plane in the water.

"Eastern Crane, come in."

"Copy."

"On location, visual on the target, and rising."

"Copy that."

Shortly, the radio crackled again.

"We have your plane in sight."

"We're waiting." And Matt nosed back down.

"Can you put me in the water when they have their crew ready?"

"I can hold the plane at forty knots. Into the wind should give you thirty-five, if we're lucky."

"I really want to look at that plane."

Matt took the mike. "Eastern Crane, my co-pilot, the half-owner of the plane, wants me to drop him in the water when you get here."

"He's crazy."

"Do we have clearance?"

"Does he know how? We are not anxious to make an emergency run to a hospital."

"He's one of those acrobat types."

"It's his life."

When the Eastern Crane arrived, the crew was readying a dinghy to dive from.

Their radio operator called them and said, "We have visual on the plane and the registration confirmed. If he wants to drop, go ahead."

[JMR201606211317: This still needed a lot more care than I gave it.

"Coming down." He flew out a ways to get enough room to drop Zedidiah close to the coast guard ship and turned back into the wind. As he approached the ship, he cut power and extended his flaps.

"Coming down." And he put the mike back.

He flew out a little way off, to get enough room to drop Zedidiah close to the coast guard ship, and turned back into the wind. As he approached the ship, he cut power and extended his flaps.

 "See you back at the island," Zedidiah said as he climbed out onto the wing struts.

"See you back at the island," Zedidiah said as he climbed out onto the wing struts, facing forward, into the wind, squatting down.

One might argue a preference for jumping in the other direction so that he could drop a little speed in the jump, but it would at best be inviting a serious bellyburn, and very likely a convulsed diaphragm. You have to remember the relative angles, speeds, and torques here.

Dropping feet first would likely have turned him cartwheels on the surface and slammed his head into the water. Wrists were the least of what could be broken if he got his angle of entry wrong.

Matt nosed the plane down, dropping to a little more than ten feet above the waves and then held the nose up, signaling Zedidiah as he approached stall speed. Zedidiah dove, and Matt trimmed the flaps, set the magneto back to contact and worked the throttle until the wind in the propeller pushed the engine back to life as Zedidiah cut the waves hands-first. With maybe two feet of air between the fuselage and the water, the plane started climbing again.

Matt nosed the plane down carefully, dropping to a little more than ten feet above the waves. Then he brought the nose back up, signaling Zedidiah as he approached stall speed.

Zedidiah dove downwards, pushing himself forward and below the struts, as Matt trimmed the flaps, set the magneto back to contact and worked the throttle until the wind in the propeller pushed the engine back to life.

With maybe two feet of air between the fuselage and the water, the plane started climbing again as Zedidiah cut the waves hands-first behind him.

Do not try this at home. It's very dangerous. It's like diving from three stories up, but hitting the water at a shallow angle instead of straight-on. And with the tower you dove from falling behind you.

This is how badly both Matt and Zedidiah wanted to find Wycliffe and his passengers. They were hoping for clues from the plane in the water, and there really wasn't any other way to get to the plane that wouldn't have taken more than half a day.

]

"You guys are both crazy!" crackled over the radio as Matt spotted Zedidiah breaking the water surface behind the plane.

Matt grinned wryly and headed the plane back toward the island. "Blame it on the island sun," he joked into the mike. "I'll be parked on the island when you need me."

Zedidiah turned in the water, sighted the Coast Guard's dinghy, and swam to it.

"Are you okay?"

"Stings a little. I want to go down to get a look."

"Hang on and we'll get you a tank."

Zedidiah waited while the crew dove first and gave the plane a once over. Then they gave him a tank and he dove with them. He checked the cabin, noted what was missing, and pointed out the log book and a few other things that the Coast Guard would need for their examination.

One of the crew pointed out the fuel gauge, and Zedidiah checked it and nodded grimly. After testing the manual controls that could be tested underwater and looking further for damage, they ascended.

Back on board the Eastern Crane, the investigators questioned him, and he explained as much as he knew.



Now we can watch Karel and Bobbie working together: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch220-making-rope-working-wood.html.



The table of contents is here:
http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-toc.html.

[The initial (rough) draft of this chapter can be found here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch21-checking-plane.html.]

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 210 -- Checking the Plane in the Water

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, which can be found here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch21-checking-plane.html.]

 (The story starts here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.jp/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch000-excuses.html.)


Now that the professor and the Whitmers and the Pratts are on they way to the islands: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch200-on-a-hunch.html, should we see how Zedidiah and Matt are doing?

(We could intuit this chapter, but I need the practice writing. I should warn you, it feels a little over the top in places.)



The radio crackled to life. "Coast Guard Eastern Crane to Matt Hansted"

Matt started awake and reached for the mike.

"Coast Guard Eastern Crane calling Matt Hansted. Do you read?"

"Copy. Go ahead."

Zedidiah shook himself awake and opened the plane door, stepping down to the beach.

"We are about a half hour off the target. Are you in the air?"

"Negative. We've been waiting on the beach, but we will return to the target immediately."

"Roger and out."

Zedidiah waited for Matt to signal coupez, then pumped the propeller once. It spun, the engine coughed, and then it stopped. When Matt signaled contact, he checked and pumped again, and the engine caught, settling into a smooth roar.

Zedidiah ran back around to the co-pilot side door and climbed in. Matt pushed the plane into taxi, checked the wind in the rudders and ailerons, then accelerated and put the plane in the air.

"Sure appreciate this."

"I'm sure my turn'll come around."



Matt and Zedidiah arrived first, scanning below the surface for the plane they had spotted under the waves a few hours earlier. The water was clear, and they could see to the sea floor, some twenty to forty feet below the surface. Not seeing it immediately, they circled low, spiraling outward. On the third pass, they spotted it, confirming the registration number again on the forth pass.

Zedidiah took the mike and keyed it as Matt turned his plane back to start a circling climb around Wycliffe and Zedidiah's plane in the water.

"Eastern Crane, come in."

"Copy."

"On location, visual on the target, and rising."

"Copy that."

Shortly, the radio crackled again.

"We have your plane in sight."

"We're waiting." And Matt nosed back down.

"Can you put me in the water when they have their crew ready?"

"I can hold the plane at forty knots. Into the wind should give you thirty-five, if we're lucky."

"I really want to look at that plane."

Matt took the mike. "Eastern Crane, my co-pilot, the half-owner of the plane, wants me to drop him in the water when you get here."

"He's crazy."

"Do we have clearance?"

"Does he know how? We are not anxious to make an emergency run to a hospital."

"He's one of those acrobat types."

"It's his life."

When the Eastern Crane arrived, the crew was readying a dinghy to dive from.

Their radio operator called them and said, "We have visual on the plane and the registration confirmed. If he wants to drop, go ahead."

[JMR201606211317: This still needed a lot more care than I gave it.

"Coming down." He flew out a ways to get enough room to drop Zedidiah close to the coast guard ship and turned back into the wind. As he approached the ship, he cut power and extended his flaps.

"Coming down." And he put the mike back.

He flew out a little way off, to get enough room to drop Zedidiah close to the coast guard ship, and turned back into the wind. As he approached the ship, he cut power and extended his flaps.

 "See you back at the island," Zedidiah said as he climbed out onto the wing struts.

"See you back at the island," Zedidiah said as he climbed out onto the wing struts, facing forward, into the wind, squatting down.

One might argue a preference for jumping in the other direction so that he could drop a little speed in the jump, but it would at best be inviting a serious bellyburn, and very likely a convulsed diaphragm. You have to remember the relative angles, speeds, and torques here.

Dropping feet first would likely have turned him cartwheels on the surface and slammed his head into the water. Wrists were the least of what could be broken if he got his angle of entry wrong.

Matt nosed the plane down, dropping to a little more than ten feet above the waves and then held the nose up, signaling Zedidiah as he approached stall speed. Zedidiah dove, and Matt trimmed the flaps, set the magneto back to contact and worked the throttle until the wind in the propeller pushed the engine back to life as Zedidiah cut the waves hands-first. With maybe two feet of air between the fuselage and the water, the plane started climbing again.

Matt nosed the plane down carefully, dropping to a little more than ten feet above the waves. Then he brought the nose back up, signaling Zedidiah as he approached stall speed.

Zedidiah dove downwards, pushing himself forward and below the struts, as Matt trimmed the flaps, set the magneto back to contact and worked the throttle until the wind in the propeller pushed the engine back to life.

With maybe two feet of air between the fuselage and the water, the plane started climbing again as Zedidiah cut the waves hands-first behind him.

Do not try this at home. It's very dangerous. It's like diving from three stories up, but hitting the water at a shallow angle instead of straight-on. And with the tower you dove from falling behind you.

This is how badly both Matt and Zedidiah wanted to find Wycliffe and his passengers. They were hoping for clues from the plane in the water, and there really wasn't any other way to get to the plane that wouldn't have taken more than half a day.

]

"You guys are both crazy!" crackled over the radio as Matt spotted Zedidiah breaking the water surface behind the plane.

Matt grinned wryly and headed the plane back toward the island. "Blame it on the island sun," he joked into the mike. "I'll be parked on the island when you need me."

Zedidiah turned in the water, sighted the Coast Guard's dinghy, and swam to it.

"Are you okay?"

"Stings a little. I want to go down to get a look."

"Hang on and we'll get you a tank."

Zedidiah waited while the crew dove first and gave the plane a once over. Then they gave him a tank and he dove with them. He checked the cabin, noted what was missing, and pointed out the log book and a few other things that the Coast Guard would need for their examination.

One of the crew pointed out the fuel gauge, and Zedidiah checked it and nodded grimly. After testing the manual controls that could be tested underwater and looking further for damage, they ascended.

Back on board the Eastern Crane, the investigators questioned him, and he explained as much as he knew.



Now we can watch Karel and Bobbie working together: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch220-making-rope-working-wood.html.



The table of contents is here:
http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-toc.html.

[The initial (rough) draft of this chapter can be found here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch21-checking-plane.html.]

Friday, June 17, 2016

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 200 -- Moving on a Hunch

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch20-moving-on-hunch.html.]

 (The story starts here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.jp/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch000-excuses.html.)

So, what do you think of the mathematical model I'm proposing? http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch190-mathematical-models.html.

What? You say you don't follow it? Odd.

Well, back to the story. Is a hunch that Karel's and Bobbie's parents all feel inspiration?

Revelation?

Does acting on a hunch bring miracles?

Is this chapter a bit over the top?



"So tell me again," said Paul Pratt on the phone to Bob Whitmer on Sunday afternoon. "You and I and our wives feel strongly impressed that Bobbie and Karel are just fine. Why are we all going with Professor MacVittie to check up on them?"

Bob chuckled. "Because we all also feel impressed that we should go."

"Don't cloud my mind with the facts."

"You know, I've been going to church every week for the last four months."

"How is it?"

"Good. Somehow, Bobbie and Karel going to the islands got me re-thinking my critical attitudes towards the Church, and, after all these years, all sorts of things just don't seem to matter any more."

"That's good to hear."

"Yeah. Kind of weird, but it's good to say."

"I'm sure Bobbie's glad, too."

"Yeah, she's been encouraging me in her letters. I'm kind of glad I didn't wait until now to start back. I'd be a bit more hesitant to talk with God."

"It does help to already have a conversation going when you need help."

Bob laughed quietly. "I have to admit, part of it is the hope that I'll be able to go to the temple when Bobbie and Karel tie the knot."

"But what will you do if they decide not to?"

"It won't really matter. I've got to the point I can believe I'm getting answers when I talk to God, and I know it's their decision. I've been realizing how much God has been helping me every day all this time, and how much I need His help."

"Who's writing your script here?"

"I'm serious."

"Just kidding."

"Still, I can't imagine them not getting married. I know Bobbie, and I could see it in her eyes two years ago when she talked about Karel. Dan was a good friend, too, but there was something different. And I've read it in her letters while they are there. She trusts him in a way that she just has never trusted any other guy besides me."

"It is a little eerie. I think they already have a better relationship than Anne and I were able to build in the first ten years of our marriage. But trust is not all there is to marriage."

"True. Well, I guess I'll grant the possibility that she might find someone she is willing to start over trying to build that kind of trust with, but, ..."

"I've got the same gut feeling, too. They way we talk about revelation in our priesthood meetings, even though I'm not perfectly sure what the feelings mean, I'm pretty sure they mean something important."

"And it's the same kind of feeling that is telling us to go with the professor."

"Yeah. Our co-workers would say all sorts of things about spending this kind of money to fly to some islands in the middle of nowhere on a hunch."

"Which is why we didn't mention the hunch. And my skeptical attitude towards hunches no longer makes sense, either." Again, Bob laughed quietly. "What did your boss say about the request for vacation?"

"He actually didn't say much besides that he hoped they'd make it through the storm and be okay when we got there. How about your employees?"

"You'd've thought I'd told them they were getting a raise. Seemed to be more than happy to get me out of the office for a couple of weeks."

Paul laughed out loud, and Bob joined him.

"But I'm sure I'm going to be stressing out about it all the time I'm gone. Mary keeps telling me I need to give my staff more freedom. And give my son a chance to take the reins a bit. Maybe she's right."

"So. The plan is that you're picking the professor up tonight on your way down, and then you'll be here in Albuquerque tomorrow afternoon. I'll check the flights again in the morning. You'll leave your car here, and my daughter will drive us to the airport in the evening, and we'll fly out, and there'll be connecting flights, and we'll need our passports, and we should be in the islands in about two days."

"And we need to be sure we're packing at least some basics for traveling around in the islands, just in case."

"Bring your scriptures."

"Yeah. Gotta pack. See you tomorrow.

(Yes, I'm deliberately not inventing a route, here. Just like I've been avoiding telling you which islands they were doing their research on. It would require too much research, and there would also be a lot of extraneous details that would interfere with the simplified economic model I'm constructing.)



"Hello, again. It's Bob."

"What've you got? You're sounding a bit more serious."

"We're here at the professor's and we have some news that explains why we're going."

"I'm listening."

"They've found the plane in the ocean, out of gas, with no one and practically nothing inside."

"What?"

"The police suspect foul play."

"So why are we still feeling like they are all right?"

"I guess we've got to go to find out. Mary and I had another hunch, and our luggage is full of our camping and water gear."

"Same here."

"Good. See you tomorrow."

"We'll be here."



"Paul Pratt speaking."

"Brother Pratt, this is Dean Hayworth at the university."

"Hello, Brother Hayworth. What can I do for you?"

"Let us do as much of the doing as you can let us. Is the professor there yet?"

"Not yet. Can I give him a message or something?"

"Well, I'll tell you what I can tell you. The school is calling for volunteers to help with searching, and we've been passing around the hat, as well. Our legal staff has a fund set up, and money and pledges are coming in, so you'll have some resources to work with."

"That's good news, although I'm inclined to hope it's overkill. I hope students aren't donating money they need."

"I don't know if we've got enough to call it overkill yet, by any means. And the money is from Alumni and friends of the university. When Professor MacVittie gets there, can you have him call me from there? I need to give him some details."

"Sure will."

"One more thing. The Church leadership is also getting involved."

"How so?"

"The president of the district that includes those islands will be meeting you at your last layover."

"We sure appreciate that."



Well, actually, I guess the only thing that is excessive here is that, somehow, the Pratts and the Whitmers are well-enough-off to be able to catch the first available flights to the islands.

Now it's time to catch up with what Zedidiah is doing: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch210-checking-plane.html.



The table of contents can be found here:
http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-toc.html.

[The initial (rough) draft of this chapter is here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch20-moving-on-hunch.html.]

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 190 -- Mathematical Models

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch19-mathematical.html.]


(The story starts here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.jp/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch000-excuses.html.)

This attempt to build a simplified model for talking about the basics of economics has been my most sustained effort at coherent non-engineering rhetoric to date.

(I am not making any big claims here. My previous best would probably also be found somewhere among the rants in my free-is-not-free blog webrant: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/. Or somewhere else in the 'brants and other web documents blogspot/google is hosting for me, I guess.)

The previous chapter, about Bobbie and Karel preparing for the long haul (http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch180-preparing-for-long-haul.html), is the closest I have come in this novel to outlining the interactions in the simplified model. It also appears to be the least interesting chapter so far. I suppose, now that I think about this as a novel, the model I'm trying to develop should be lacking in all that makes a novel interesting.

(But please read the previous chapter if you haven't. It won't kill you. And I think it's pretty easy reading, too, in spite of my sloppy writing.)

I mean, I'm attempting to create a model of economic interactions, and I'm asking you to buy this model as a novel. (Or at least read it as a novel, even if you don't buy it.)

A simplified model, a mathematical reduction.

I'm asking you, the reader, to be interested in mathematics, well, at least interested in my feeble efforts to explain mathematics.

So, I suppose I should at least give a hint of a more explicit version of the model I'm trying to develop.

I had intended chapter 20 to be where the story shifts to the model and stays within it. But I'm finding that the supporting story is calling me, clamoring for attention.

(I am even actually writing chapters 010 through 099, which I had originally intended to leave to your imagination. But I may publish those as a separate novel, so I can do them justice. Then again, I'm not sure those chapters will be all that much more exciting than the last chapter.)

So, my chapter numbering scheme was too rigid, and the model itself is getting mixed into the narrative. I'm wandering.

Okay, okay, the model:


Some models of particle physics theorize something called an "exchange particle" that that provides the "magic" for physical interaction. Static electricity is not really an example, but it my help show the idea.

You have a molecule of hair protein in a hair, and a molecule of rubber in a balloon. Well, you have lots of molecules, but let's focus on one of each.

The balloon rubs the hair and an electron (or maybe more than one) migrates between the hair molecule and the rubber molecule, and a small attractive force is produced. (I forget which direction the electron migrates. ;-> )

Anyway, with lots of hair molecules in a hair (and lots of hair on a head, if you are not balding like I am), and lots of rubber in a balloon, lots of electrons move from the hair to the balloon, and the balloon sticks to the hair. (Or, looking at it relativistically, the hair sticks to the balloon. Oh. That's not just relativistic.)

Here we are in this story, rubbing, if you will pardon the expression, two large particles together -- Karel and Bobbie. That is, we are putting them in close contact and friction results.

As a result of the friction, they exchange value particles -- words and work that they share.

There is no need for money here. (In fact, any proxy for value will get in the way in this simple model, which is something I'll try to talk about once I can focus more on the model, but you may be too bored to continue reading by then. :-< )

Value is not nearly as measurable as an electron, but its influence is just as recognizable.

And the exchange of value results in repelling forces and attracting forces.

(Repelling forces -- that would be shown pretty well in the chapter before last: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch170-taking-rest.html.)

Okay, hopefully, that is enough of a hint of a model for the moment. We need to find out what their professor and their parents are doing: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch200-on-a-hunch.html.




The table of contents can be found here:
http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-toc.html.

[The initial (rough) draft of this chapter is here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch19-mathematical.html.]

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 180 -- Preparing for the Long Haul

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch18-preparing-for.html.]

 (The story starts here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.jp/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch000-excuses.html.)

Karel and Bobbie's first Sabbath was not as much of a rest as they might have hoped: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch170-taking-rest.html.

Maybe I can save this chapter by giving it a good introduction:

Monday, Monday, can't help that day.
("Monday Monday", John Phillips/The Mamas and the Papas)
Or was it,
My life is full of patterns
That can scarcely be controlled.
("Patterns", Paul Simon/Simon and Garfunkel)
Maybe it's neither. Both of those songs date from a bit after the time frame of this story.

Maybe Bobbie and Karel discover that their friendship can recover on a Monday from a bit of pride indulged on a day of rest.

But remember to watch the economic interactions. This is one where the economic interactions might be a little easier to see, even without money being exchanged.



Just before sunrise, Karel woke up and said a prayer and picked up his bedroll and hung it on the log wall to dry. Then he went to one side of the hill to dig the second latrine, since they hadn't had time to dig it on Saturday, in a place that would be shielded from view of the other latrine. Then he took care of his morning business there.

When he returned to camp, Bobbie was nowhere to be seen, so he changed into his swimsuit and went down to the beach to exercise and swim. Bobbie was already there doing her exercises.

After doing a set of push-ups, Karel said, "I think things were going too fast for us."

Bobbie answered, "Definitely. I've decided Wycliffe was just an evil vision from the devil."

"Maybe. But he didn't say we had to get together. In fact, he said something could be done so we could get together -- if we decided to get together, and that it was our decision."

"But, if what he said were true, we'll be stuck here hating each other for the rest of our lives."

"At most, fifteen years. And we don't have to hate each other, even if, ... even though, ... oh, well, anyway, we need to cooperate to survive, and we don't have to get married to cooperate."

"We can't get married."

"But we have to cooperate."

Bobbie had nothing more to say to that, and just continued her exercises.

So Karel did some light exercises away from where Bobbie was exercising, and went in for a swim. After twenty minutes or so, he came back to the beach and went on up to the camp. Digging into his trunk, he found an illustrated encyclopedia that described the animal and plant life in the islands and looked up a fish he had seen in the water. Leaving it open on his trunk, he went back to the beach, passing Bobbie on her way back to camp.

"I think I've found a school of the local sardines, and I'm going to try taking some with my hands," he said. "Do you want to help?

"What would I do?"

"Do you know how to tickle fish, or take them by hand?"

"Why by hand?"

"I don't know. I guess, because we don't have a net and I don't have much experience with hook and fishing line."

Bobbie didn't answer, and just went back to camp, so Karel went down to the ocean and tried to catch sardines by hand. After trying for about an hour, he finally succeeded in catching one in each hand. He killed each as he took it, so it wouldn't suffer out of the water, and took them both back to camp.

When he got back to camp, Bobbie had cleared a spot away from the tent and away from scrub or trees, and had set up a fire and put a pot of water on it. Karel set the sardines on a plate, found a shallow pan, and took it to the ocean to wash.

When he returned with the clean pan, Bobbie had cleaned the sardines, laying the flesh open and stripping out the heavier bones.

"No cooking oil, so we'll boil or steam them. And, by the way, I do know how to use hook and line. I'll show you, if you show me how you took those by hand."

"I'd only read about it, so it's not like I knew what I was doing."

"Well, show me what you tried. We can probably figure out together how it worked. Using line and hook can take this much time, too, some days, especially without bait."

"I'll change and go look for some breadfruit and jackfruit."

"That would be nice."

When Karel came back with one of each, he said, "I already washed them in the ocean. My book says that one ripe breadfruit will feed a family of five for a day."

"The fish are about ready. Are you going to bake the breadfruit again?"

"The book says it can also be boiled or fried."

"Slice it and simmer it with the fish?"

"Let's try that."

Bobbie took the sardines off the flames to wait. "Can you cut it in thin slices so it cooks quickly? And what about the seeds?"

"I don't remember what the book said about the seeds. Let's set them aside for now." And he proceeded to clean the seeds out and slice half the breadfruit as thinly as he could.

The sardines ended up a little over-cooked and the breadfruit could have cooked longer, but they put out the fire and had a good late breakfast.

"What is the difference between being married and cooperating?" Bobbie asked as they were cleaning up in the ocean water after lunch.

"Good question." After a pause, he said, "There's kissing and that kind of silly stuff, I guess."

"I don't remember seeing my parents do that until I was an adult."

"You have two younger brothers, so, uhm, no, I don't think I should say that."

"When I was a teenager, my mother told me that relationships were all about power. Power was the fundamental principle, and I needed to learn how to use power or I would be unhappy all my life."

"You've told me that before."

"When I went home after my mission, while waiting for my application to graduate school to be accepted, she admitted that she had been wrong, that the only real power is self-control, and that real love has nothing to do with controlling other people."

"And that was good of her."

"When did you learn about this?"

"When I was eleven, when the bishop interviewed me about becoming a deacon at twelve, he told me that power was not for personal satisfaction. Some of our teachers at church didn't seem to understand that, but most of the teachers in my priesthood classes have emphasized that God's Priesthood is only for serving God and our fellow beings, like it says in Mosiah 2: 17 and other places."

"Did all of your friends understand that?"

"No. In fact, some of the guys who got married right after their missions, well, didn't really seem to start figuring that out until after they had been married a while. Not that I understand it all that well, myself."

"Part of the reason I've never married may be because I believed my Mom about power when I was a teenager. Now I've gotten so use to fighting for what I want, I don't know how to give in. Do you think God let Wycliffe do this to teach me how to let loose a little or something?"

"Maybe, maybe not. Maybe a little bit. But I think that there are other reasons we're here, too."

"What kind of other things?"

"Stuff we haven't really imagined, yet?"

"Oh, like in 1st Corinthians, 2nd chapter." Bobbie thought for a moment. "Okay, we can cooperate on some things today. What do you think we should we do next so we don't die here?"

"Well, it looks like we'll be okay for food and water now. I want to build an actual hut sometime, with two rooms, so we don't feel awkward at night. And if we have a real storm, that tent is going to get blown away in the wind. If we can build a floor in the hut, it won't be so cold."

"I want to live near a stream so we don't have to carry water so far. But I want to live near the ocean so it's not so far to go to wash the dishes."

"I like that idea. I think I want to build a water filtration and storage system, too."

"Filters, maybe, but how do we solve the tank problem?"

"Good question."

"I want to find vegetables for salads."

"We need to learn which plants and fishes we can eat. The encyclopedia I got out today should help. And I want to learn how to use the hemp plant for making rope and cloth. We'll need rope to build a hut and we'll need cloth eventually."

"We're making a list. Should we write it down?"

"You know I hate lists. They always seem to take over my life."

"And you're the one who told me we should deliberately turn the priorities upside down regularly. And decide to ignore the list at least one day a week besides Sundays."

"Okay, a list will help us if we don't let it rule us. I'll get a pencil and some paper."

Here's what they wrote on their list in Karel's journal:
  1. find more salad greens
  2. check out places to set up camp near a stream
  3. learn how to make rope 
  4. learn, and teach each other, how to fish
  5. build a hut, eventually with two rooms
  6. make a water filter
  7. build something to store water
  8. (ongoing) explore inland
  9. (ongoing) locate and categorize useful plants
  10. (ongoing) locate and categorize seafood
Bobbie looked at the list and said, "Well, that'll give us things to do when we can't think of other things to do."

Karel looked at where his encyclopedia of island biology lay open on his trunk, and added the eleventh item:
  1. (ongoing) read our reference books
"Good idea. Especially for hot afternoons." Then she added a twelfth item:
  1. (ongoing) learn lots of things from each other
"Heh. Now that should be near our top priority all the time."

"Proof that list priorities are never absolute, like you like to say."

"And you're not even being sarcastic. I'm impressed."

"We're learning from each other," Bobbie said pointedly, and they exchanged grins.

Karel let out a long sigh as if he had been holding his breath. "So we'll be okay. We'll be able to survive, and I don't think we'll spend the whole time hating each other, however long it takes before someone finds us."

"Do you think we should ask God where we should start, today?"

"Which looks most important to you?"

"Finding more salad greens. I think there is some cress near the northeast stream, and that would be useful a couple of times a week."

"I'm thinking about learning how to make rope. But I also want to use the morning in something more active, so I'm good with taking a closer look at the nearest stream. Do you want to be voice for the prayer?"

Bobbie nodded and offered the prayer, thanking God that they could cooperate with each other, and that they could make a list of things to be done and a plan for the morning, saying that they planned to look for vegetables, and asking for confirmation, guidance, and help.

After the prayer, they felt good about the plan, so they emptied their backpacks to make room for specimens to bring back, filled their canteens, and decided to head for the northeast stream through the woods instead of going down to the beach.

They came to the northeast stream after a short hike of maybe ten minutes through the woods, and followed it to its source, another spring in a steep section of the hill. On a whim, Karel hiked above the spring while Bobbie examined plants growing around the stream. After he had been gone less than ten minutes, he was back.

"You've got to come with me and see this."

"What?"

"I don't want to spoil the surprise by telling you."

"Okay, let me put these away." Putting the leaves she was examining in her pack, she closed it and followed Karel uphill.

After about five minutes of climbing, the trees seemed to be thinning ahead. Karel grinned without saying anything, and they kept going. Without much warning, they found themselves on the edge of a small lake of clear water, something more than a hundred yards wide.

"Wow. This is beautiful!" exclaimed Bobbie. "It looks clean enough to drink from."

"I haven't walked around it, yet."

"Let's go." They turned north, and explored the edges of the lake, taking more samples as they went. Among the samples they took were a couple they thought they recognized as varieties of mint by their fragrance and shape, and some that looked like wild asparagus, and cauliflower. They found the source spring on the south side of the lake. Deciding to be a little daring, they filled their canteen caps from the stream stream and tasted the water.

"We don't need to boil this."

"Let's not get excited. We'll see how we feel in a few hours."

"I've drunk dirtier water on camping trips."

"So have I, but we were much closer to a hospital, and we knew others had drunk from it, too."

Bobbie looked disappointed, and then she pouted, refilled her cap and drank again defiantly. Then she laughed at herself and said, "I'm being silly."

Karel laughed, too, and said, "We can be a little silly. Unless there's something really bad in the water, this won't be enough to make us really sick. More like inoculation level."

Continuing their explorations above the source stream, they found a ridge that extended towards the other peak.

"How high do you think we are?" asked Bobbie.

Karel looked at the peak to the south and thought for a moment. "Probably not quite half as high as that peak. Maybe 250 feet. Do you want to try hiking higher?"

"Let's take what we've found home and get some lunch and do the south peak another day."

Back at camp, Karel got out the food box while Bobbie spread their samples out on the trunks.

"Should we finish off the sausage?" he asked.

"Uh, yeah. Don't want it to spoil before we eat it. But then we really will have to learn how to fish today."

After lunch, they spent a quarter hour or so reading in their scriptures, sharing a few of their favorite verses and avoiding talking about interpretations and other things that might lead to more arguments.

Then Bobbie got a book on island cuisine from her trunk, and they picked up Karel's encyclopedia, too, and examined their samples, tentatively identifying most of them, and tasting the ones they thought should be safe.

They decided that they did have asparagus and cauliflower. They thought one of the mints might be beefsteak plant (shiso, in Japanese) and the other wild mint, and they decided they had some wild cress, as well.

Seeing an entry on jute, Bobbie suggested that there might be a patch of it to the north of their camp, on the way to the stream, so they spent the remainder of the afternoon reading about making rope from both jute and hemp.

About four in the evening, they changed into their swimsuits and took the hook and fishing line, and food scraps for bait, and waded into the ocean to try catching dinner. Bobbie showed Karel how she fished, and, after about a half an hour, he succeeded in landing an island mackerel which they took back to camp and simmered with breadfruit and asparagus. Jackfruit and seaweed rounded their dinner out.

While they ate, they talked about fishing, and Bobbie made a suggestion.

"I think we should do the buddy system in the water."

Karel had to think for a moment. He nodded. "It makes sense. But do we need to always stay out of the water unless we are together?"

"We haven't seen sharks or stinging jellyfish, but that doesn't mean we won't."

"So we really shouldn't go in the water alone." He looked like there was something he more he wanted to say but didn't.

"What?"

"Let me think about it before I try to talk about it. I don't want to argue."

After dinner, they went back to where they had found hemp before and gathered more for experiments in rope-making, and they tried various ways to extract the fibers in the evening, without success.

When it got dark, they prayed, both together and individually, then retired separately to their bedrolls under the stars.

Some Mondays are good. Some patterns are good, also.




We need to talk (qualitatively, not quantitatively) about mathematics. But please read the next chapter with an open mind: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch190-mathematical-models.html. The narrative does continue in the chapter after, but please don't skip the math. It may sound bizarre, but it's short, and it's important.



The table of contents can be found here:
http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-toc.html.

[The initial (rough) draft of this chapter is here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch18-preparing-for.html.]

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 170 -- Taking a Rest

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch17-taking-rest.html.]

 (The story starts here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.jp/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch000-excuses.html.)

So, Professor MacVittie and Karel's and Bobbie's parents have been contacted, but do not yet know the extent of the situation: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch160-dorm-moms.html.

For the record, it's still Saturday back home, but it's Sunday in the islands.

Now, Sunday is a modern sabbath day for most Christians -- a day of rest.

Karel and Bobbie like each other when they are busy.

Let's see what happens when they take a day of rest and are not so busy.



A couple of hours after sunrise, Karel woke up. When he opened his eyes, he found himself looking into Bobbie's eyes.

"The storm is over," she said.

"How long have you been awake?"

"Dunno. Ten minutes? Half an hour?"

"Didn't wake me up?"

"I'm enjoying this." She smiled. "Is it a sin?"

"If we were at school, we'd be reporting ourselves."

"We aren't at school, ..."

"Uhm, we agreed to follow the school honor code here."

"... and there's nothing to report except two people protecting each other in a storm, and the only bishop we can report it to is God."

"I'm enjoying this, too, and that's something we can report. But we'd better sit up." Karel got on his knees.

"Spoilsport." But Bobbie got up on her knees, too.

Karel took Bobbie's hands in his own, bowed his head, and started praying. "Father in Heaven, we seem to have survived the storm. I am, ... we are grateful for thy protection. We are also grateful for being able to talk with Wycliffe and find out what our situation is. And we are grateful for being able to enjoy each other's company. We really do enjoy each other's company." He paused.

"We have lots of things we will need, that we will need help figuring out how to get, like sufficient food and building materials and things we can use for medicine. And today is Sunday, so we need a little extra help tomorrow to make up for the work we won't do today," and he finished his prayer.

"Okay, so you're not feeling guilty about enjoying my company."

"No way." Karel grinned.

"My turn. Heavenly Father, Storms are dangerous, but I'm having fun. Thank you for letting us have this experience. Other than that, what Karel said." And she finished her prayer.

"It's getting warm in here."

"It was sure cold during the storm. I guess I shouldn't have wrapped the souvenirs I sent home in my extra blanket."

"At my suggestion and example. I'm sorry about that. Sort of."

"Sort of?"

"Well, ...?"

"Yeah, ... okay, ... sort of, ..."

"Let's make sure there're no mules in ditches outside."

The camp was in remarkably good shape. So they just removed the tarp covering their trunks and hung it and their bedrolls out to dry on the wall they had built the day before. Then, for breakfast, they ate some of the bread and cheese and drank some water from their canteens.

"Good thing we boiled the water and refilled our canteens yesterday."

"Water's going to be a regular problem."

"Let's see if we have enough to get through the day, if we refrain from unnecessary work today."

"When should we have church?"



I suppose this bears some explanation.

Usually, Mormons will attend church services at the nearest branch of the Church each Sunday. But there was no branch of the Church on any of the islands where Bobbie and Karel were doing their research. The nearest branch was at least five hours by air from any of the islands.

With Professor MacVittie's help, Karel had obtained authorization to conduct church services for himself and Bobbie while in the islands, when they were unable to attend a regularly organized branch.

And interested islanders would always be welcomed to their small (wherever two or more of you are gathered in His name) meetings.



"Let's do it now."

So Karel and Bobbie fished their scriptures out of their bags, and Karel got a plate and the cups from the emergency kit and went down to the water to wash them while Bobbie prepared a small topic to discuss.

When he returned, they opened their Sacrament meeting with a prayer and hymns, singing a cappella. Karel administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Last Supper, and they partook of bread and water in remembrance of the Lord's flesh and blood.

(Water, not wine. Mormons were early to substitute water for wine, viewing the consecration of symbolic tokens, rather than transubstantiation. Reference their Doctrine and Covenants, section 29, for those who are curious.)

Then Karel read from 2nd Nephi chapter 31, reviewing the basics of faith in Jesus Christ and expounded on the idea that they needed to endure to the end. And they closed the meeting with prayer.

Then they shifted to Sunday School mode, opening with a simple prayer. Bobbie read 2nd Nephi 9: 42 & 43 ("puffed up because of their learning"); and Alma 9: 28 ("reap a reward of their works"); and Deuteronomy 8 ("The Lord ... bringeth thee into a good land, ... Beware that thou forget not ... Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, ... then thy heart be lifted up); and James 4 ("because ye ask not").

And they discussed pride and academic honors and choices about work -- especially their previous choices about work.

And they referred to something they had sometimes tentatively discussed in the past, whether two professors could live together in the same household. And they talked about whether they should have been letting their desires to both be able to have professorships induce them to suppress, as they now finally admitted, their feelings for each other.

And they ended with a prayer.

Interestingly, their discussion spilled over after their little Sunday School, when perhaps they should have been studying quietly or writing in their journals or something, and the discussion became warm. Some of the differences which they had in the past allowed to blind themselves to each other were revisited, and understanding still not found. And words which don't matter were exchanged, and feelings hurt. And Bobbie took her scriptures and journal down to the beach, and Karel sat on his trunk with his, and they didn't talk again until hunger brought them back together for lunch.

Even then, the conversation was strained, and limited to safe topics like the weather. (Which was fine, now.)

They spent the remainder of the day wandering separately around the parts of the island they knew, alone with their own thoughts. When they met going opposite directions near the lagoon, their eyes met, but they both looked down, passing each other without speaking.

They ate supper separately, and Karel rolled his bedroll out under the stars on one side of the tent, and Bobbie rolled hers out under the stars on the other side. And they had their prayers separately, and slept undisturbed by dreams or visions.



Can our co-protagonists give each other a break? http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch180-preparing-for-long-haul.html.



The table of contents can be found here:
http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-toc.html.

[The initial (rough) draft of this chapter is here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch17-taking-rest.html.]

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 160 -- Dormitory Hall Monitors

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch16-dormitory-hall.html.]

 (The story starts here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.jp/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch000-excuses.html.)

Karel and Bobbie have received some pretty serious news while they were making sure they weathered the storm okay: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch150-storms.html. Is there anyone besides Wycliffe watching out for them?

Wycliffe is kind of new at the guardian angel thing. Let's see how he handles the responsibilities.



"Hi again."

"Hi, Grandpa Greg. Whoever decided I could talk with them, I appreciate it.

"That was God."

Wycliffe focused his attention generally upward and said, "Thank you, Father in Heaven."

The response he felt in his heart was one of divine approval.

Grandma Georgianna said, "We'll take over for a while. Their professor and their parents need someone closer to the events than we are, to help them."

"I think they're going to be okay. The storm is not getting worse, and the tent is holding okay. And they are showing me a good example of how they care about each other."

Grandma Georgianna laughed. "They were both hall monitors for their dorms. If they were at school, they would be waking themselves up, calling their bishops, and sending themselves to their own dorm rooms."

Wycliffe nodded. "They were hall monitors in their dorms. I hadn't known that. They were helping students to avoid and resist various temptations. My trying to get them to compromise each other was really, ... well, it would have destroyed them."

"Professor MacVittie needs your help."

And Wycliffe thought about the professor and found himself in his office.

The professor was agitated, mumbling to himself.

"If anything happens to those two, I'm responsible."

Wycliffe said, "No you're not."

"What else could I have done?"
 
"You did all that was required, and more."

"What should I do?"

"Calm down and call Bobbie's parents."

Almost as if he could hear Wycliffe, the professor calmed down a bit.

"God will keep them from harm," Wycliffe continued to encourage him.

Then he picked up the phone and dialed he Whitmers' home, long distance.

"Whitmers' residence."

"This is Professor MacVittie. Am I speaking to Mary Whitmer?"

Wycliffe traced the connection and found himself in the Whitmer kitchen. Mary Whitmer had answered the phone, and Bob Whitmer was reading a newspaper.

"Yes."

Wycliffe whispered to them, "Heavenly Father is helping Bobbie and Karel."

"Could I speak with Robert? I have news of some concern about your daughter."

"Bob, Brother MacVittie at the university says he wants to tell you that Heavenly Father is helping Bobbie and Karel."

"Really? That sounds serious. I'm coming to the phone."

The professor heard their exchange over through the receiver and muttered under his breath, "That's not what I said, but at least he understands that this is serious business."

"Hello, Professor. Good news, I take it?"

No, not taking it seriously after all, he thought. "Ah uhm, not exactly. Bobbie and Karel have gone camping."

"Gone camping -- together? That's wonderful!"

"They do have a chaperone."

"Oh, a chaperone. Of course. Well, camping together is promising."

Bobbie's mother laughed. "I've got to call Anna."

"Is that all?"

"Well, I'm not sure it's such a good idea."

"They're adults. They can take responsibility for what they do. We trust them."

Mary took the phone from her husband.

"If they make some bad decisions, we won't hold the school responsible, so don't worry about that. But they won't make any bad decisions. They're good kids. Uhm, I'll call the Pratts. I just know they'll be thrilled."

"Let me call. It's my responsibility."

"Let me call first."

"Please, Sister Whitmer, this is my job."

"Oh, be a wet blanket. But I'll only give you ten seconds head start."

Bob took the phone back again. "Any more news?"

"No, not really."

"Okay. Thanks. We'll be praying for them to get back safely engaged. Keep us posted."

"Uhm, I will."

"Goodbye."

"Goodbye."

"Mare." Bob paused.

"Bob?"

"Let him do his job the way he sees it."

"Darn. Well, okay." And she gave the professor ten minutes instead of ten seconds.

Wycliffe returned to Professor MacVittie's office.

The professor dialed the Pratts, and, again, Wycliffe chased the connection down the wires.

(He didn't have to chase the signal down the wires -- When he'd been there the previous day, he'd asked directions. But chasing the signal down the wires was fun. Oh. Yes. Time is different for spirits. The speed of light has a different meaning, too.)

"Paul Pratt speaking."

"Hello, this is Professor MacVittie."

Wycliffe refrained from giving any specific suggestions.

"Oh? Brother MacVittie. Hello, what's up?"

"I'm afraid I have news of concern about your son."

"Of what sort of concern?"

"He and Bobbie Whitmer have apparently decided to go camping."

"Alone?"

"With a chaperone, at least."

"Oh, that is definitely news to be concerned about." He turned to his wife. "Anne, Karel and Bobbie have gone camping, with a chaperone in tow."

"Serious business afoot," Anna said, approvingly.

"Indeed. Serious business afoot. Thank you, Professor. We shall be praying for their safe return, hopefully engaged."

"You're welcome."

"You'll keep us posted, of course."

"Will do."

After hanging up, Professor MacVittie held his head in his hands. Even though he felt, for some reason, relieved, he still couldn't shake the sense of foreboding. So he called the department head to report.

The dean's response was, "Oh, yes, we can give you time off to go meet them. That was part of the contingency plan. But don't be overly concerned. I am sure we can trust these two to negotiate their engagement without making any serious mistakes."

And Anna Pratt called Mary Whitmer first, and they talked excitedly for several minutes. And Anna said, "Well, we'd best not be trying to make their plans for them."



When Wycliffe returned to Karel and Bobbie's tent, they were stretched out under the blanket, sleeping side-by-side.

"Nothing happening?"

Grandpa Greg said, "Just getting some real sleep now and keeping each other warm."

"The temperature sure dropped during the storm."

Grandma Georgianna affirmed, "If they had insisted on conformance to the dormitory rules here, they'd be catching colds. This is not a place to be catching colds, at least, not until they know more about which of the island's herbs work for colds."



Can our co-protagonists have a day of rest together? http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-ch170-taking-rest.html.



The table of contents can be found here:
http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2016/06/econ101-novel-toc.html.

[The initial (rough) draft of this chapter is here: http://free-is-not-free.blogspot.com/2016/04/economics-101-novel-ch16-dormitory-hall.html.]