Using the WordPress Android app for the tablet. Never have made much use of this. I tried it a few weeks ago and was surprisingly impressed.

I am watching the people walk past. There goes one of the surly cashiers from the Key Food, the store which used to be the Food World. I  remember the Food World for the night I met up with my friend Martin, who was visiting from out of town. It was well below zero wind chill outside and he was not enjoying that Arctic experience. So he called me after getting off the subway and said “I’m looking at Food World.” I said if you are looking at Food World you need to go to 35th Street which is 4 blocks and take a left at 35th Avenue which is one block. These directions were PERFECT.

Once in awhile I like to remember my triumphs in giving proper directions to people, especially strangers. I remember a time at 36th Avenue and 38th Street, more or less, when two 20-something year old men approached me and asked if I knew any place around where they could get a cake. I thought for a second and said “Well there’s a Bravo over here.” With that they both clapped their hands once and said “Yes! That’s it.” I guess someone somewhere had told them there was a Bravo over in this general direction but maybe did not give them its exact location. So I looked up at the streetsigns and asked “Where are we?” They said the intersection, to which I said “OK, you need to go to 34th Avenue, which is 2 long blocks that way, then take a left and it’s a few short blocks to 35th Street.” I repeated these instructions, feeling for some reason like I should do that for posterity’s sake, for my legacy.

The two men were overwhelmingly thankful for my precise directions. It made me feel good.

Pills. Yes, pills. I may have hit a rubicon with that stuff. A point of no return. I thought I was fine but suddenly BP blasted off to something impossible and I could barely see or walk straight. It was bad. This was yesterday. The shitass weather and it being dark by 4:30 is no help, either, but you can’t blame that for everything. Or anything, really. Twice in the last two weeks it has felt like the leadup to the Emergency Room stay 2 years ago, but the pills brought me back from the brink.

The correspondence with the random police officer seems to have ended. I dug around a little more deeply and found that access stats and IP addresses were actually being retained, but to get to the level of detail he was asking about I would have needed nothing less than the raw access_log file, which (as is industry standard) is routinely deleted after it has been processed by the hit reporting software. That’s because the hit reporting software only stores IP addresses from people who accessed 20 pages or more. They appear to have only accessed 4 pages. The logs for SSL accesses are considerably fewer than non-SSL, meaning that those 4 pageviews  probably would have been retained if they had come via SSL.

I guess I am unclear about why I was even contacted. He knows they viewed the pages, he knows their IP address, what else would he need from me? All else I could offer would be their user_agent, which he should be able to identify since the device they used is in his hands. I guess if it’s a matter of corroborating one piece of evidence with another then there is no limit to the granularity of detail one might feel obligated to explore.

It reminds me of one of the more curious clients I had back in my Forensic Genealogist days. She claimed to be a lawyer or some kind of legal researcher working on a variety of cases involving people who were deceased. She wanted me to get photos of certain peoples’ tombstones so she could introduce them as evidence, or supplementary evidence, in the courtroom proceedings her office had scheduled.

Thing is, I’m no lawyer, but I’ve been told I think like one. Tombstones are notorious for their errors and omissions. I don’t know if such a resource could be cited as actual evidence without even further looking into public records and primary sources to prove them right or wrong. But if that is what is needed to verify a tombstone’s veracity then why bother with a photograph except for its visual power?

I guess it would depend on context but on the surface it seems frivolous to introduce tombstone imagery into a trial. It is a dramatic flourish, more the stuff of “Dateline” or “20/20” — I mention those news magazine shows unaware if they are even still on the air.

That woman also had a rude way of suggesting I should be glad to be doing this work for her, saying that $50 per tombstone photo was good money. It was not. Getting to the cemeteries took time, finding the marker could take an hour, getting back home took time, and then processing the photos for e-mail delivery took more time. All that was worth more than $50. I think it was worth twice that, but I changed my rate to $75 and never heard from her again.

Going to send this. First substantive post using the WordPress Android app. Wheee.