07:50 – I learned something from a front-page article in the paper this morning. I’d assumed that North Carolina had a modern medical examiner system. Not so, as it turns out. We have what are called medical examiners, but in fact the setup is more like the old, obsolete coroner system. Medical examiners are appointed by the state medical examiner, and there are no qualifications required. We apparently have nurses, paramedics, and morticians working as medical examiners. And, incredibly, they’re paid piecework, a flat $100 per body. They don’t even get mileage for visiting the scenes, so they usually don’t. In one of the cases described, the medical examiner ruled the cause of death a car accident. Fortunately, the funeral home noticed four stab wounds in the guy’s back. The medical examiner said she’d looked at the guy’s body at the morgue, but hadn’t bothered to turn it over. Quincy wept.
10:39 – We have a contractor doing some work today. They showed up around 8:30 and got to work replacing the columns on the front porch, which were rotting. They installed aluminum replacements. That took a couple hours. Now they’re chiseling out the rotting threshold of the back door, replacing it, and replacing the storm door out to the deck. Barbara’s been wanting to do these projects for a while now, so I’m sure she’ll be happy when she gets home and sees that they’re complete. Colin is not happy about what’s going on, though. I have him penned up to make sure he can’t help with the projects.