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Disks in Rotation:
DVD
Aliens
CD-ROM WinXP
CD
Player
Marilyn Manson - Portrait of an American Family
Mad Season -  Above
System of a Down - Toxicity

Pitchshifter - www.pitchshifter.com
Corrosion of Conformity - Blind

Books Lying Open
The Encyclopedia of Things that Never Were, Michael Page & Robert Ingpen

Soul-Devouring Worry
Late to bed and early to rise, makes me tired, poor, and forced to tell lies.

When I Grow Up:
Electronics will function as they are designed to.

Curse of the Day:
• May you be pursued by an AIDS-infected pitbull.

Thursday September 19, 2002
Quote of the Day
America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization. -Georges Clemenceau

Daily Update
Slept late, got up, ate, went to work, came back, long bath for stiff back/legs, surfed, emailed, worked on a new FAQ for the d2 site, played with rodents.  Pretty non-descript day, basically. And nothing blog-worthy.

 

It wasn't that I failed to upload the picture of the bike crash and the great pyramid robot exploration yesterday, it was that, um, aliens stole them.  Or something.  That's why the links didn't work.

 

And then there were three.

Little rodents, I mean.  There were 10 born, 2 died the first day, 8 lived.  I "culled" three of them a couple of weeks ago, keeping 3 females and 2 males.  Of those I like one female for sure, and one male for sure.  The other male was just to keep him company, and the other 2 females were both brown/white, and I was just waiting to see which had the better temperament.

I noticed the one without brown spots on her back was a loner, usually sleeping in a corner, so she lost the dating game.  The black/white company boy rat was a goddamn porker.  He was almost as big as the orange adult female already, much larger than the other 4 young ones, and was large enough that I was worrying about having him in the same area with females, including his always in heat mother.  Plus he was a typical male; very lazy and sleepy, always the last to climb up on top of the cage when I open up the door to feed or amuse them.

So the boring brown/white female went away, and the black/white male.  Females are set, I'm planning on keeping both the young ones, and the two adults, who are both very sweet.

I may or may not keep any males.  In the past I've had only females 3-6 of them, and just bought males for breeding and kept them a month or so before they became boa-chow. There are two adult males now that I've had for months, and who aren't much fun.  They do romp about some when let out, but I don't really handle them much, and they eat a ton.  The one formerly-gay one, pictured yesterday in non-gay action, is the more fun of the two, so the plan now is to move the young male into his duplex once the young one is too not-young to be in with females (which will happen in a couple/few weeks, if not sooner) and remove the father of this batch, who is black/white and about as lazy as can be, as well as being the size of a small cat.

In theory the young male and older one will play some, and at least keep each other company.  Whether I keep them long term or not is unknown, but I probably won't, once the no longer gay male knocks up the mother of the current batch in about a month, if all goes well.

You gots to have a plan...

Some news.

Rosie O'Donnell quit her TV show, and now she's quitting her magazine.  I really couldn't care less; I've never seen her in anything, other than news reports, and those are more than enough to put me off.  The only value I place on her is as a public figure doing wacky things.

She's an interesting character, the so-called "Queen of Nice" while looking like she's always ready to chew her way through plate steel.  The intensity of hate in her eyes is always sort of frightening.  I certainly wouldn't want to be trapped in an elevator with her.  And that's not a "she would physically eat me" joke (although I wouldn't entirely rule that out); I just think it would be extremely unpleasant to have to interact with her for any amount of time, especially when there weren't TV cameras rolling to keep her honest.

Picture of her today from her press conference is disturbing.  There are two shots on that page, one of her from a year and a half ago where she's big enough to be grazing, and the other from yesterday's news conference, where she looks like the huge bull dyke you pray not to have as a cellmate if you are female and going to jail.  I'm talking coat hanger and soap carved strap on stuff.  You'd beg to screw a corrupt male guard just so he'd transfer you to another cell.

I don't know if she still has an acting career?  It doesn't really matter, figure the following for a movie, or else for her comeback roll, whichever is more appropriate.

I see her playing an evil gym coach in a girls' school.  Put her in a crew cut, baggy shorts, and a floppy tub top.  Horrifying image, I know, but she so looks like an angry gym coach, ideally one who was kicked out of Catholic school for being too harsh.  She'd hate the pretty popular girls of course, while secretly lusting after them, in a self-hating lesbian thing.  Need some scenes of her sitting and staring at a Cosmo, maybe silent tears while she clenches her fat little fists and eventually rips it to shreds.  Scene in the locker room of her raging around, scaring the cute girls in their underwear.

Hey, I didn't say it was a good movie...

Article about some scientists maybe creating anti-hydrogen is interesting, and features the quote of the day:

"Our long experience with these very difficult experiments warns that observing simultaneous positron and antiproton annihilation does not ensure that antihydrogen has really been produced," Gabrielse said.

Yes, of course.  How stupid of them.  Researchers assure us that there is almost no chance of starting a chain reaction that would result in a planet wide melt down, or a core breach, for that matter.

Amusing story about an ultra rare Porsche tractor.  Yes, tractor.

Interesting article about the virtual slavery the American Idol contestants signed themselves into for the chance to go on the show.  It details the past Svengali history of the British promoters who are running the whole thing, and should just generally depress the hell out of you, if you are a person who hopes that real rock and roll and rock stars will one day return, sweeping away all the pre-fabricated boy bands and other such shit we suffer through today.

I laughed so hard at this that I started coughing. Some city officials in NYC were running a 9/11 memorial event, and they wanted to release white birds, as is often done.  But instead of paying for good white homing pigeons or doves, they got a bunch of white pigeons from some poultry shop, and released those.  There were complications.

Some of the birds got tangled in onlookers' hair or fell apparently into the Hudson River. Several were injured later when they crashed into office windows, and others were found dead.

I just have this image of a solemn ceremony, capped by the release of the white birds. Which emerge in a spray of feathers and fly madly in every direction, dive bombing the audience, crashing into each other, into buildings, etc.  Try to imagine the spectacle, not what the ceremony was for, if you have trouble seeing the humor.

That scene has to show up in a movie at some point.  Not with this setting of course, but it would be hysterical in some sort of college comedy, with the birds at graduation.  Or better yet in a comedy with a wedding, ideally a very pompous and solemn one, very expensive, stuffy parents, etc.  Suddenly there are dive bombing pigeons taking out the bride's maids in their ugly, taffeta, off- shoulder gowns.

erial killer alert.  Police in Vancouver have been finding the DNA of various missing women on a pig farm.  The owner is being arraigned on seven counts of murder, but the actual tally might be upwards of fifty, or even one-hundred, depending on which source you believe. 

Pig farm owner Robert William Pickton, 52, faces seven first-degree murder charges in the deaths of seven of the missing women. Last month, relatives of the missing women said that the DNA of an additional five women had been located without charges being laid. Both Vancouver police and the RCMP have consistently declined to comment on what is found during the continuing intensive search of the farm.

Given that pigs eat anything, and that most of us saw and/or read Hannibal, it's tempting to speculate that the guy was actually feeding the bodies to the pigs in an effort to dispose of them. However if there's enough of them left to DNA test on, perhaps not. Or if so he didn't butcher them very efficiently, or didn't incinerate or pound up the bones.

In looking for more info about the case my first stop was The Crime Library, and I wasn't disappointed.  They have a multi-page article about the case, with recent updates.

Vancouver police began their review with 40 unsolved disappearances of local women, dating back to 1971. The lost came from all walks of life and all parts of Vancouver, but the search for a pattern narrowed the roster to 16 Low Track prostitutes reported missing since 1995. By the time detectives made their first arrest in the case, that list would grow to include 54 women, vanished between 1983 and 2001

The article reports that late in 1998 the cops got a tip and searched Pickton's farm, but didn't find anything incriminating enough to arrest him on.  Read this page, it's just amazing.

The proprietors were Robert William “Willie” Pickton and his brother David, of Port Coquitlam. Hiscox’s helpful relative was Robert Pickton’s "off-and-on" girlfriend in 1997, and Hiscox picked up his paychecks at the brothers' Port Coquitlam pig farm, described by Hiscox as "a creepy-looking place" patrolled by a vicious 600-pound boar. "I never saw a pig like that, who would chase you and bite at you," he told police. "It was running out with the dogs around the property."'

I promise you I wrote that Hannibal mention long before I read this far down the article.

The cops look bad in this one, since despite solving the case, which is very hard to do with serial killers, they interviewed the guy and searched his farm three years ago, and he apparently bagged another half dozen since then, not changing his methods at all.  Oops.

This is not at all atypical of serial killer cases.  There are literally dozens of cities around the US, and probably many more around the world, where lots of junkies and whores just vanish.  The Green River Killer got upwards of 50 in Seattle in just a few years in the early 80's, and that one has never been solved.  It's obviously quite easy to kill numerous hookers and get away with it.  They are often not reported missing for some time, if at all, and are usually living under fake names with no one knowing who they really are.

I've long found serial killers fascinating.  It's horrible and wrong and all of that, and I'm often sickened while reading about their escapades, but yet I find it so hypnotic.  There is literally nothing in any horror movie or book that someone hasn't done in real life, often time after time.  The shocking tales of fetishism of bodies, torture, rape, abduction, cold-blooded body disposal, etc, that you see in movies or books are almost all taken from real cases.   I could do an update a week about one or another of them, but there's no real point.  All my info comes from Internet sites, and I might as well just post the URLs here instead; if you want to know you'd probably prefer to read the full article, rather than just my quick summary.

I'll probably put a serial killer into a book at some point.  The problem is that 1) every author does that, and 2) it's hard to do it in a new/interesting way. What I find most interesting about the cases is the psychology of the killer, and how they go about doing what they do.  How they get away with it, how they rationalize and compartmentalize it, etc.

Most serial killers in books are the bad guys, or at least the anti-heroes, and the main characters are the cops looking for them, or looking for something and encountering the killer by accident.

The contradiction in interest vs. reality is that the successful serial killers (defined by not being caught) are not very interesting.  They kill people, usually for very weird reasons and in weird ways, but they aren't making woman suits or collecting kidneys or trying to lobotomize their victims with battery acid.  Those are the headline grabbing ones, but usually it's some guy who picks up whores and kills them sometimes.  They (the killers) are disassociated from their crimes.  They do them, and live a normal life the rest of the time.  Just their way of getting off stress is to murder, rather than drinking too much.  Or both.

I'm generalizing a lot, but I don't think how I'd like to write about a serial killer would be real viable in a novel.  It would be too awful, and would be redundant, just describing hit after hit.  The ones who get away with it are the ones who don't dwell on it or spend that much thought about it.  Pick up a stranger, kill them quickly, dump the body somewhere, don't leave evidence.  The vast majority of long hunts to find the killers are ones where the killer and victim had no connection, and in ones where the killer was suspected for a time w/o being caught it's always because he was good at not getting evidence on him or his car or leaving any on the victim.

The reader isn't going to have sympathy with the killer, and if you make a victim the main character then they're dead.  Which is why most stories work in a cop looking for the killer, or else have the story take place in a very short period of time, like Silence of the Lambs.  It seems unbelievable to just throw in someone who kills for fun, even though that's what most of the big # killers are.

My point, which I'm making clumsily, is that you either have a short to the point story with a pursuit and resolution, or else it's a saga of murder, which is a true crime type story, and not one that many people want to read about.

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