Picture Perfect 107
In the morning took Dan a few moments to realize he was waking up in his house, in his bed. He was tempted to wrap the blankets around him & sleep but he knew he had a lot to get done over the next few days.
Peter had already left for his job at the Carafe so the house was empty. He felt like a visitor to his own home as he saw the little things Peter had done to make staying there comfortable. Peter’s body wash in the bathroom, Peter’s house slippers by the front door.
Dan’s first stop was coffee & a bagel at the Carafe before he went into the Depot.
“We put the box of pictures from the east cost up in the Lab.” Ushio said. “Looks like an interesting lot of stuff. I love those hand tinted ones from the twenties. We’ve only loosely sorted them into general time periods.”
“Good. There’s no real rush, mind you.”
He went up to his office & glanced at the snailmail on his desk. Nothing urgent. He went up to the third floor store area to find the files of his father’s calendars. Google gave him a match for a year that had the right days to be used next year. He searched the calendar for copyright information & there was none. But there was a ‘printed by Joviet J. Inc., Montreal’ in small print in the middle of the back cover. So the copyright belonged to the James Corporation.
Along with it was the master copy it would have been printed from. He carefully ran those pages though the digitizer soothes could be sent electronically to Stan at the museum.
He went though the fils for the other years to se if there was anything secreted in them. He was hoping more of his Dad’s smut photos but was disappointed.
The store phone buzzed.
“Boss, there’s an Inspector Warszawa here to see you.” Sandy said in mock seriousness.
“Send him to my office.”
He heard Sandy reply to Warszawa. “Boss’ll see you in his official quarters Mr. Inspector.”
He put the calendar proofs into a folder & took them down with him. Warszawa was already in the office when he got there.
“Is this an official visit, Inspector?” He laughed shaking Warszawa’s hand.
“Yes, it is Dan.” Warszawa took a laptop out of its case & opened on the desk & turned it so they could both see the screen.
“What do we have here?”
“This is satellite footage of your rental. The one you had been driving before you swapped it with Mr. Baxter.”
“That’s the Circus Museum parking lot.”
“Right.” Warszawa zoomed the picture larger but stopped before the image disintegrated to pixels.
“Where did you et this?” Dan asked.
“We have access to weather satellites.”
“This too good for that.”
“True but our sources are …”
“Okay I won’t press you.”
“I have them coordinates & this is what was found.”
As Dan watched he saw a figure appear from the pine stand at the edge of the parking lot. It went to his car & disappeared.
“He went under the car.” Dan said.
“He?” Warszawa asked.
“Yes, that I can tell even at this distance.”
The figure reappeared & went back into the trees.
“So you car was tampered with while you were at the Museum. Who knew you were there?”
“Everyone on the crew.” Dan said. Play it again but zoom up some so we can see the highway too.
Warszawa scrolled back.
“Look!” Dan pointed. “There’s a car there. It passed the entrance. “There it is again driving the opposite way & doing a u-turn to pass by again.”
“You recognize it?”
“It could be any of the other rentals we had for the shoot. Or none of them. Play it again.”
When the figure went back into the trees Dan said. “You know something I’m pretty sure that’s Roberto Hajla. Don’t ask me how I know but …”
“He was one of the crew that died in the accident.”
“It was no accident remember. He expected me to driving that car for the next couple days.”
“Why sabotage the car at all?”
“He … he wasn’t working alone or rather he was working for someone else. He would have access to all the travel info, like which room I was in at the Waterside to send the RCMP to search it.”
“I get that but why? Who would want to sabotage the show?”
Before he could answer Dan’s cell phone alarm went off. A reminder he was to do a Lifend demonstration at the FairVista location that afternoon.
Dan opted to take a cab to FairVista. He needed to think about what Warszawa had discovered. What did he know about Roberto?
When he want into the store Hamid greeted him. “Mrs. Tanaka won’t be here until later this afternoon Mr. James. She hopes you don’t mind but she has important business matters to attend to.”
“That’s fine.” Dan was relieved that she wouldn’t be there. He had met with her twice since the start of the Cold Canada shoot to deal with the separation of the two stores. It was as complex as dividing Siamese twins. Linda was doing her best to make sure his head was the one that would die while he wanted make sure both heads lived.
His demonstration was by reservation only & the seating area was full. If they weren’t on they list they would be offered standing room only. Everyone would also to pay for their own over-priced Cuppa coffee and even more for over-priced cake. If they made a purchase that cost would be deducted.
“Today I’ll be talking about the Lifend Capture.” He held up his own Capture. “Here are some photos I recently took with it under various circumstances. These are of overcast cloud formations. The first two are autofocus.”
The overhead HD screens made the clouds appear to be right there.
“The next two I used the deep focus.”
The clouds seemed to loom off the screen. There was a couple of wows in the room.
“Not quite 3 D. But as you see the image detail is even more … precise.”
He projected one of the earlier pictures beside it on the second HD screen.
“You can see the difference. Both taken with without tripod I might add.”
“You were holding the camera yourself?” Someone asked.
“Yes. These next were taken hands free by the Continuous setting.”
These were shots of the fire and explosion at the Amethyst Hotel.
“I was running when these were taken. No one was prepared for the explosions. The image stabilizer kept the jarring at a minimum.”
“The clarity is stunning.” Someone said. “Was that the motel on the east coast?”
“Yes. I had been staying there.”
“Not even two star.” That someone said to the person next to them.
“Perhaps but I’m sure even a five star wouldn’t have survived.” Dan joked. “But these pictures are definitely five star. Speaking of stars the next were taken at night. Again with no tripod & with the available light autofocus. I did a zoom of the moon.”
“You can see craters.” Someone said. “Amazing.”
“Next are typical travel pictures. The airport lounge, garden in a park, shoppers at a bazaar. The sort of pictures you might be taking. Here some shots I took of the same locations with one of the most popular autofocus cameras.”
He presented those pictures on the other HD screen.
“As you can tell the Lifend offers a great depth of both field & colour. The new model offers voice command.”
He put the camera on its special stand on the dais facing the audience. He stood behind one of the women and said “Find Dan.”
The lens moved and the camera swivelled to point at him. “Take picture.” It clicked. “Now find … he glanced around at the people … red …” The camera lens retracted, turned on its stand then extended again point to a woman with a red sweater who was standing my the coffee counter. “Take Deep.” It clicked again. “Send last two pictures.”
A few seconds later they appeared on the overhead HD screens. There was some applause.
“The voice command is amazing. Does it recognize your voice only.”
“Yes. If I sold it or gave it away, Lifend would clear the voice memory so the new owner could have it impressed with theirs.”
“Can I override the auto focus.”
“Yes. I do sometimes myself when I want … imperfect to the camera pictures. It is nearly impossible to under or over expose the Lifend. To do that you have to change the settings. If you find a setting you like you can program that in as well.”
“Does it brew coffee?” Someone asked.
“We’re working on that.” Dan said. “That’ll be the Fresh Ground model.”
The crowd laughed.
“Some of these new features can been add ons to older models. Lifend customizes each camera for the user. The voice activation system is not a basic feature. Nor is the Deep Focus. Too many cameras come with features users never use, so if there are features you don’t want, Lifend will customize.”
“Can I get one that does not automatically upload?” A woman asked. “I don’t want to find out I accidentally left it on and it’s been sending pictures of me shopping to my husband’s phone.”
The audience laughed.
“Yes, there is a model without wifi capability. The one benefit of the wifi is that with Lifend cloud you have a virtually inexhaustible memory card. Detailed technical information is in the brochure. If you have any questions about the specs we can ask me. I’ll be in store for another hour to help you find the Lifend for you. Thank you.”
He explained models to the people who remained at the Lifend counter. He sold one of the Capture cameras. Even in this moneyed group some balked at how high, the high end was. They were miffed that there was no dickering on prices. No employee discount, no cash sale bonuses either. Just free cake & coffee if they bought.
He was happy to sell four of the mid-range models and two of the basic models. At five plus grand, basic was an investment some weren’t ready to make. For them he was happy to allow staff to make recommendations.
Linda arrived as he finalized a sale. Once the customer left Dan went up to her office.
“I’ve just come a meeting with the FairVista management. Thanks to the James corporate split they want to increase the profit margin I have to show to keep the space.” She said.
“They can’t do that. The lease agreement is good for another four years.”
“That lease was with old corporation, which you will fully own. Not with new corporation, which is me. There is a no sublease provision.”
“Linda, Lifend is a sublease. Which is what you’ll be doing as well.”
“That doesn’t change the fact FairVista wants more.”
“Then they’ll have to deal with me. Not you. Or is there something you’re not telling me. What’s your hidden agenda.”
“Hidden agenda! Ha! This coming from the man who had stuff he’d hidden all over the house we grew up in.”