This is turning out to be a remarkably unproductive month

I’m almost completely incommunicado right now, because we fell behind on our Comcast bill and are stuck in the barren wasteland known as “no internet, no Netflix, no cable.” I’ve been reading and playing Sims 3 a lot.

Michael’s roommate called Comcast to try to fix the problem. Even though his name is on the account as an authorized person to talk to, the lady wouldn’t even tell him how much was owed. She finally snapped that we should “pay our effing bill next time.” Except she didn’t say “effing.” M.F. asked to speak to her supervisor, and when that person came on the line he asked to speak to HER supervisor, explaining that the customer service rep had committed an egregious offense and he wanted to speak to someone higher level. When he told Supervisor #2 what happened, the guy was like, “She said what?” And he said he would have a talk with her and probably she would not be coming back to work. Any customer service rep who curses at people who are are trying to get a legitimate problem fixed, is not cut for customer service.

I hope they actually did fire her. Comcast is notorious for its terrible customer service.

Right now I’m at the library. I only came to look up how to fix the Sims 3’s dreaded “error code 12” and see about trying to stay ahead of the tide of emails. (Current number: 179.)

I should be back in a few days, I hope.

Being quiet for a bit

This whole Boston Marathon thing has been a lot more distressing to me than I thought it would be. The other day, just thinking about it, I came near to weeping. Right now, in addition to sympathy for the victims’ families (and we’ve got more victims now), I feel extremely sorry for the suspects’ family. They’ve got the horror of dealing with the fact that their sons, brothers, nephews, whatever, did this terrible act, and that one of them is dead and the other might as well be. And they’re not going to get any support: in fact, everyone is going to hate them, and the cops are not going to stop grilling them for a long time.

Right now I’m kind of trying to stay off the internet altogether for awhile, just to avoid all the news. All the info I have is from asking my father what he’d heard, and looking at the Wikipedia entry for the bombing. I don’t want any more. This person who immerses herself in Holocaust literature and writes articles about executions cannot stand to read about this.

Instead I’ve been reading. One book was called Hammer and Tickle, a study of the history of Communist humor (and yes, they had it, an abundance of it actually). Let’s have a joke from Communist Romania to lighten things up a little:

Ceausescu, Reagan and Gorbachev are traveling together on a luxury liner accompanied by their bodyguards. One day they are sailing through shark-infested waters and Reagan decides to show off the skill and courage of his guard. He removes his watch and throws it overboard. “Go get it, John!” he orders — and like a shot the marine dives into the water and retrieves the watch.
The bystanders on the ship are amazed: “What courage!” they chorus.
Then Gorbachev flings his own watch overboard and instructs his bodyguard to get it. The KGB agent shows no less unquestioning devotion.
“What courage!” the crowd say, applauding.
Now Ceaușescu, not to be outdone, throws his watch overboard. “Go get it, Mihai,” he says.
But the guard does not move. “No way, sir,” he says.
And the crew roar louder than before, “What courage!”

Also, fun fact: on the 30th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic, aka East Germany, they put up a neon sign on the Berlin Wall saying “30 Years of the DDR, 30 Years of Prosperity.” But the electricity in East Berlin was really wonky at the time, and a few days later the second 3 on the sign shorted out, so now the sign read “30 Years of the DDR, 0 Years of Prosperity.” True story.

Anyway, I’ll be back. I’m just chillin’ right now.

I feel like I should say something about the Boston Marathon bombings here…

…but honestly, I can think of nothing original to say. This is horrific. I’m very sorry it happened and I hope they find and arrest whoever it was that did it. I hope the wounded all recover. What else can you really say about something like this?

I heard about it on the car radio and they didn’t have any details, just something about bombs going off on the Boston Marathon. I texted Mom (after I’d arrived at my destination and parked) saying “There’s some crazy stuff in Boston right now if you didn’t know.” She was at the summer home on a relatively isolated island, sans internet, so I thought she probably didn’t know. She texted back: “What?” And I texted: “Bombs.” Which probably sent her rushing to the TV or something. I went to a librarian and asked her about it, and together we looked at some of the online coverage.

This is a terrible world. No wonder I so frequently grow tired of my own existence.

Oh, this is just classic, get a load of this guy

I quote in full:

http://www.vaticancatholic.com I hereby declare- you to be – – an unlawful obstructionist. I order all those assembled to immediately disperse. I repeat- to immediately disperse. I order all your activity to immediately cease. I repeat-to immediately cease. It is not in accord with the ordinances of Canon Law. Due to your catalytic tendency of disseminating objectives adverse to Christendom – you are therefore ordered to discontinue your illegal profession. Failure to do so will result in proactive, responsive, and co-active measures. I judge, adjudge, adjudicate, deem, determine and declare your thoughts, words, actions, public or secret, and omissions, biological and spiritual property, subject to the Jurisdiction of the Unfathomable, Infinite, and Ineffable Excellence of OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Further, your humanist anachronism, obscurantism, absurdum, intent, mission, and schemes, are henceforth proscribed and condemned. You may be arrested and or subject to other police action. It has so been declared: It is declared that all non-Catholic government exists in a state of in authenticity. It is thenceforth declared that all modern constitutional states lack canonical legitimacy. It has therefore been thenceforth declared that their existence is an offense to the Divine Majesty and a crime against humanity. The aforesaid Freemasonic corporations are hereby declared anachronical to true human progress. It is decided in order for modern constitutional states to gain authenticity they must recognize the Supreme Jurisdiction of the Papacy and all Papal Dogmas. As a failure to do so will only inflame the Catholic against such blasphemous tyrannical backwards regimes. Lord God is due to make Visitation to such blighted and noxious governments and tyrannies. He will Visit the iniquities upon the infidels and the Anti-Church bigots. Terror will overtake the faces of the unwashed masses. These exquisite bigots against the Papacy will know that the Lord God Himself has done it. The infidel are richly fattened for such Visitation. It is hereby determined. ‘Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra’. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. Libertarianism (and the constitution) are simply tyrannical failures and instruments that lead to false flag attacks and government-run pedophilia through their Manual (and Visual) Body-Cavity Searches of Juvenile Hall youth. A Catholic Monarchy simply is the answer to today’s varied and many problems. There is Absolutely No Salvation Outside the Catholic Church see http://www.vaticancatholic.com

Leave Isabella Ruth and Lisa Miller alone.

I don’t think Isabella was even raised Catholic. I think her church is Baptist.

I’m actually tempted to respond, just to see how crazy this wing nut gets. But I won’t. I’ll be mature and stuff.

Mailo Segura was executed in Fairbanks, Alaska 92 years ago today

And here is my post about him on Executed Today. Alaska doesn’t have many executions to write about and hasn’t had any at all since it became a state sixty years ago. But Mr. Segura committed quite an ordinary, forgettable murder which I wouldn’t have found worth writing about were it not for the fact that he was from Montenegro, a tiny Balkan kingdom 5,000 miles away, and I thought that was kind of unique.

Turns out there were quite a few Montenegrins in Alaska (relatively speaking) in the early 20th century, and there are about 80,000 people of Montenegrin descent living in America today, about a quarter of them in Anchorage. Now, 80,000 Montenegrin-Americans make a pretty small ethnic minority compared to, say, Irish-Americans or Chinese-Americans, but you have to consider that the present-day nation of Montenegro has only 300,000 citizens. Consider this your historigraphical lesson for the day.

People who vanished from five state capitals

For Make-A-List Monday. Now, because there are an awful lot of these, I only did those from the first five states, going in alphabetical order. If you want me to, maybe I’ll do more lists from capitals of the next five and the five after that and so on.

Montgomery, Alabama
Kimberly Nicole Arrington
Michael Raymond Barrentine
Edward Sirio Consuegra
Damian Kinte Dill
Jimmie Lee Green
George Erick James
Aubrina Nicole Mack
LaQuanta Nachelle Riley
Judie A. Wilding

Juneau, Alaska
Gabriel Adams Demmert
Martin Ebona III
Darryl Bruce Fawcett
David P. George
Fredrick Harrison Howard
Ralph L. Jensen Jr.
Jeffrey Scott Walkenford

Phoenix, Arizona
Brian Chukwuma Anuforo
David Sosa Arrieta
Yareli Marlem Barjas
Michael Paul Bazan
Dana Elaine Becker
Mark Anthony Berumen
Alexandra Bethany Billman
Aussie Antoinette Binford
Brian Richard Bleyl
James Alan Bradford
Charles Edward Bretzman
Michael James Bruce
Gaudencio Cazarin Carbajal
Nachida Keota Chandara
Daniel Gerard Chervenka Jr.
Dorothy Mildred Clitheroe
Christopher George Cochron
Susan Denise Cook
Arazen Cordova
Patricia Rachelle Corona
Miguel Cortes
Darla Kay Crist
Tina Lynn D’Ambrosio
William Andre Davcev
Bobby Davidson
Harlan James Dennis
Christian Diaz-Borjas
Leonardo Diaz-Borjas
Victor Gene Donald
Ruth T. Doss
Barry Paul Duncan
Ismael Ortiz Elias
Roxann Ellison
Antonio Fazari
Jesse Gabriel Florez
Edward Dennis Foster
Clinton Frank
Jesus Rios Galindo
Michael Timothy Georgeoff
Niani Afrahiyana Tarik Gillum
Julie Ann Grubaugh
Jaime Ramirez Gutierrez
Bradley Blake Hansen
Monico Urquidi Hernandez
Pablo Plutarco Hernandez
Shelley Corinne Hoke
Rochelle Marie Ihm
Deborah Suzzanne Johnson
Paul Wayne Johnson
Ira Jack Josytewa
John Mitchell Kinsora Jr.
John Stephen Kozma
Jeannette Marie Lamb
Joey Gale Ledlow
Baltazar Lopez
Marco Antonio Lopez
Robert Lynn Manley Jr.
Aleca Renee Manning
Manuel Gil Martinez
Maria De Los Angeles Martinez
Maria Antonia Mauricio
Lawrence Andrew Minter
Robert Morales
Laverne Rae Morrow
Brandy Lynn Myers
Catherine E. Nelson
Prisciliano Ontiveros
Antonio Rojas Ortega
Rickie Ricardo Outlaw
Qingping Ouyang
Rosario Imelda Pacheco-Flores
Tia Teresa Payne
Jayson Nathaniel Pearce
Patrick David Penwell
Guillermo Monge Perez
Julissa Monique Perez
Kristina Ann Perkins
Tiffany Marie Perry
Ronald Chris Peterson
Joseph Thomas Polidoro
Israel Quintana Sr.
Jesus Ramirez
Patrick Joseph Ratchford
Patsy Ann Ravens
Elvin Gerardo Reyes Aldana
Samuel Clay Robinson
Richard Elias Rodriguez
Tomas Rodriguez-Romero
Charles Martin Russell
Jose Rosendo Sanchez
Margaret Isabel L. Sandidge
William Bruno Leon Sandidge Jr.
Bertha Beatrice Smith
Luther Valentine Smith
Eduardo Acosta Soriano
Ricardo Soto Soto
Aleacia Di’onne Stancil
Shawn Edward Steward
Dang Tang
Dean Alan Thoms
Myron Timell Traylor
Ducong Trinh
Consuelo Christina Trujillo
Alissa Marie Turney
George Jay Vandermark
Luis Fernando Castillo Villafana
Paul Alan Vogen
Diane Marie Webb
Phillip Troy Weldon
Valerie Wojcik
Amy Marie Yachimec
Rosario Acosta Zazueta
Lisa Renee Zochowski

Little Rock, Arkansas
Corey Deon Bobo
Patsy Delios Destelia Ridens Clark
Cheryl Denise Cottrell
John W. Glasgow
Pamela Kay Golden
Darla Melissa Harper
Amir Abdul Holloway
Virginia Jewell
Beverly Redmond
Briana Elizabeth Reed
Chassity Reed
Randy Lee Rich
Contina Savage
Taniticia Shelton
Patrice Lynae Smith

Sacramento, California
Ilias Badys
Mary Boston
Anthony Mario Bryant
Michael Clifford Bundy
David Ernest Burnside
Zenobia Collins-Williams
Gail Lenoar Cookson
Norman Edward Creech
Angelina Joy Evans
Crystal Ann Fox
Terry Steven Fox
Martin Alan Gentry
Otis Girels
Ricky Lee Goldstein Jr.
Kristy Ann Green
Teresa Faye Hammon
Steven Leroy Keyes
Hemangini Kulshreshtha
Yashaswi Kulshreshtha
Monty Laine
Paige Lawrence
Tina Louise Layton
Diane Renee Loewen
Chisun Mao
Elias Yutaro Martinez
Latisha Hayes McCarter
Henry Arthur Moreno
Michael Anthony Navarro
Timothy Russell O’Kane
Jose DeJesus Padilla
Ernest Phillips
Khymbrly Marcella Scruggs
Edwin James Seaha
Alan Wayne Soper
John Sebastine Spina
Bao Sun
Abraham Volker
Dawn Marie Young

Massive pet peeve here

I really hate it when I find people listed as missing on government sites who have already been found. Particularly if they were found quite a long time ago, long past the time when the “I just haven’t gotten around to removing it yet” excuse reaches its expiration date.

Now, sometimes I don’t find out that one of my Charley Project MPs was located until months (or more) after the fact. (More than once I’ve been enlightened by the no-longer-missing person themselves.) It’s quite embarrassing for me when this happens. But oversights like that on my part are understandable: I am one person, working on her own, and a civilian at that, with no access to any kind of government databases and stuff like the NCIC.

I was thinking in particular of a woman I put up just the other day, who had disappeared in 2010. I couldn’t find any press on the case but there was a page for her in the state database so I used that information. If you can’t rely on official state or federal databases, what can you rely on? I put her case up…and got an email from someone directing me to this woman’s obituary. No word as to when she was found, but she died of natural causes early this year. 2013, I mean. My guess would be that she was missing for only a matter of days. Nothing I could do but take it off again. If she hadn’t died in January and got an obituary, I would never have known she’d been found at all.

There is no excuse for that kind of thing. None. The fact that this person is still listed as missing is going to be confusing and misleading for people trying to identify bodies, and so on. And she took up a slot on that day’s Charley Project updates that could have gone to any of the other hundreds of MPs that I haven’t posted yet.

This isn’t a problem with just one particular state or another. I’ve seen it happen with a lot of state databases. I know government employees, including whoever is actually sitting behind the computer running those databases, are often overworked and underpaid, but it seems to me that if they can find time to add new cases, they should be able to find time to remove resolved ones too.

*end of rant*

It’s 10:30 p.m. and I have updates

I wound up sleeping all day and not waking till 8:00 p.m. I thought I’d just let the day go as far as the Charley Project was considered, awhile later I changed my mind and thought: what the heck, let’s put something together. I decided I didn’t have time to write enough new cases to make it worthwhile — you all know I like to post them in groups of ten or at least five, and I’d like a few of them at least to be actually interesting and not just “few details are available” type cases. But I had time to post updates of existing casefiles, and I have scores of them waiting in the wings.

Right now my “to be posted” updates are in a folder by themselves. The folder contains five folders, marked “A-E” and “F-J” and so on. Well, I tried to add the two oldest updates from each folder. I planned to put in the two oldest updates from each folder, but tonight I found some casefiles that hadn’t been updated and somehow wound up in the folders anyway, and there was only one update in the “U-Z” folder, which never has very much and is often totally empty. So. Anyway. I’m sure all this information is fascinating to you.

All of today’s updates are pretty small; most of them come from NamUs. But they’re there for the picking, and I can at least tell myself that I updated today and did not neglect my responsibility.

Four more executions…

…in a single post of mine on Executed Today. It’s another Holocaust one; you know that’s my specialty. All of them were Polish Jews, and hanged in pairs: two from the Sosnowiec Ghetto and two from the Bedzin Ghetto.

The father and son who died in Sosnowiec 71 years ago today have a cameo in Maus, Art Spiegelman’s famous graphic novel about the his father’s journey through the Holocaust. I read Maus for school over ten years ago, but I’ve just about forgotten it. I ought to pick it up again.

I wrote to the woman whose book was the principal source for the info in today’s entry. I told her about the entry, and also told her about an upcoming one that will cite her book as a source and quote from it. Speaking as the administrator as the Charley Project, thank-you notes mean a lot to me. I get them from family members, police officers, and sometimes even just random people who stumble across my site. I get two or three a week on average, I guess. (These communications far outnumber the critical emails I get or the emails from crazy people, but I don’t write about the thank-yous much because it sounds like I’m bragging or just out for my own glory or something, and I don’t think the thank yous are nearly as interesting to write about.) It boosts my spirits to know that my efforts are appreciated and I’m making a positive difference in the world. This isn’t the first time I’ve contacted a scholar to thank them for helping my Executed Today research; I figure they deserve to know they’re appreciated, too.

Also on executed on this day in 1942: Sergeant Anton Schmid, a German soldier who helped save Jews in Lithuania and was later honored as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. He saved hundreds of lives at the cost of his own. My Executed Today entry for him was posted two years ago.

Trying to get caught up on stuff

My email inbox has got a bit swollen and I’m trying to get around to replying them to all. So, if some of you wrote me weeks ago and haven’t heard back, chances are you will soon. The same goes with corrections to minor errors on Charley. I intend to get around to those too.

My mood went totally kaput several weeks ago. I was desperately unhappy for no reason and could get joy out of nothing. My psychiatrist suggested a change in my medication — taking more of one drug and less of another. (I take three psychiatric drugs. For no particular reason I don’t feel like naming them on here.) So I started taking less of Drug A and more of Drug B. It had no effect and this disappointment made me more miserable than ever. I stopped working on Charley, stopped reading, etc. And slights that I would normally shrug off started hurting a lot more than they usually do.

Well, yesterday I was refilling my scripts at the pharmacy and they said, “You know the dose for Drug C has been raised, right?” And I was like, “Uh, no.” Turns out my doctor meant for me to be taking less of Drug A but more of Drug C, not Drug B. I don’t know how the miscommunication happened and it doesn’t really matter. Pobody’s nerfect. Now that I’m taking the doses I was supposed to be on, the medicine will start working and I will become cheerful and industrious again. Just the fact that I that this may make me better soon lifts my mood a little.