Merry Christmas everyone!

I know the holiday season can be difficult for people who have lost loved ones, either to death or disappearance. It’ll be hard for my family this year as we lost my brother Brendan in February; he died in a work accident at 49.

My heart goes out to all the families and friends of missing persons this year. I hope next year provides you with answers as to what happened.

Michael, Kinsey, the cats and I will be spending Christmas with our families. Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas Day with his.

I am grateful to all my Charley Project fans and blog readers and I hope y’all have a merry Christmas this year.

Orville‚Äôs on the fritz

Yeah, so this afternoon Orville failed to restart after a Windows update, by which I mean the screens are both black, the keyboard doesn’t seem to be working either, and I can’t even get a restart in Safe Mode.

I can’t think of anything else to do but drag him to the shop tomorrow. Perhaps nothing in particular is wrong. Perhaps Orville is just sulking and they can fix him in a jiffy, or perhaps it will be an intensive and expensive repair. I have no idea; computers mystify me.

It costs $50 for them to even look at it, and things go up from there. Money will be tight this month anyway, as my car insurance is due. Any donations towards the cost of the repair will be appreciated.

Ten years

Per WordPress, yesterday is the tenth anniversary of the day I started blogging.

Certainly a lot has happened since then! I began as a mere infant of 23, and the Charley Project was less than half its current size. I am now 33, aka a Real Adult, and the Charley Project numbers almost 13,000 lost souls.

As far as how I’ve changed since I’ve started, besides the usual maturity that comes with getting older, I’ve noticed I am also a lot less judgmental and less emotional in general about the cases I write about. Like, if a missing child’s family refuses to talk to the media, I used to be all like “what is wrong with them, that doesn’t sound right at all, were they maybe involved?” And now I’m like, “That is their right. I’m not them and cannot conceive of what they’re going through.” I’m a lot less inclined to speculate about cases as well. The more I learn, the less I feel I really know.

I have some stuff in the works about this site which is very exciting but which I can’t elaborate on yet.

I would like to be able to make a living off what I do (the whole working-for-free thing cannot continue indefinitely) but that hasn’t happened yet.

Photo dump today

Yeah, lately I can’t think too well; I’m not sleeping well at all at night, and during the day I feel too tired to do much of anything but I can’t fall asleep. (I think I need my night meds increased.) So I thought I’d do something mindless, and wound up finding a bunch of new photos of MPs. Below:

  1. Justin Leigh Barnett (five)
  2. Pegye Jann Bechler (one)
  3. Shaquita Yolanda Bell (one)
  4. Robin Nadine Benedict (five)
  5. Christine Blackburn-Wiles (three)
  6. Helen Marie Voorhees Brach (two)
  7. Tracey Elizabeth Brazzel (one)
  8. Samantha Nicole Burns (three)
  9. Jana Carpenter-Koklich (one)
  10. Curtis Eugene Chillingworth (one)
  11. Scott Michael Coville (seven)
  12. Sherry Melissa Eyerly (one)
  13. Cari Lea Farver (seven)
  14. Elizabeth Nicole Forshee-Syperda (two)
  15. Lynne Ann Friend (five)
  16. Diana Deloise Goldston (two)
  17. Carole Embery Hamilton (two)
  18. Jessica Lynn Heeringa (three)
  19. Hevin Dakota James Lee Jenkins (one)
  20. Robin Ann Kerry (one)
  21. Carolyn Ruth Killaby (two)
  22. Mary Jacqueline Levitz (one)
  23. Angelica Cassandra Livingston (one)
  24. Larisa Dalghir Macriello (one)
  25. Kalisha Markita Madden (one)
  26. Elizabeth Marriott (four)
  27. Bernadine M. Montgomery (one)
  28. Timothy Douglas Moreau (one)
  29. Brian George Ognjan (one)
  30. Deborah Diane Owens (five)
  31. Zulma Lexandra Pabon (two)
  32. Isabel Calvo Palacios (one)
  33. Manuel Emilio Salado (four)
  34. Brandon Sims (one)
  35. Kyeimah A. Spann (one)
  36. Theodore Mark Stover (five)
  37. Michael Sullivan (one)
  38. Catherine Marie Tornquist (one)
  39. Diane K. Van Reeth (one)
  40. Dawn Marie Viens (one)
  41. Nicole Yvonne Waller (two)
  42. Portia Sumter Washington (one)
  43. Robert Arthur Wiles (two)
  44. Jeanette Louise Zapata (one)

MP of the week: Diana Hammonds

This week’s featured missing person is Diana Affana Hammonds, a 38-year-old woman who disappeared from Atlanta, Georgia on September 4, 2010.

Diana had some issues in her life, namely a crack cocaine habit. She had two sons as well; I don’t know how old they were or whether she had custody of them. The last time anyone heard from her, she called a friend and asked for some money to pay a bill and said she had to go to the hospital. She promised to call him back, but she never did, and vanished without a trace.

Sadly, I doubt she’s still alive.

Stupid plugins

So yesterday I was in the middle of updating when the plugins (I’m not even sure what those are) decided they didn’t like me anymore, and made it impossible to get anything done. I had to beg my designer Preston Winfrey for help and then he had to figure out what was going on and get the stupid plugins to work again.

Right around the time things got back to normal, Michael and our friend Larissa dragged me to Texas Roadhouse. The food there is all right but I am NEVER going there on a Friday night again. The noise was absolutely unbearable, particularly after the line dancing started. Crowded restaurants are not the greatest environment for an autistic person.

The conversation was about Michael and Larissa’s role-playing game, which I do not play. I barely said a word the entire time and mostly sat there stimming. Michael kept telling me to go to the bathroom if I needed a break from the noise, but I was afraid that if I did so, I wouldn’t be able to make myself come back to the table.

What a night.

The Missouri Highway Patrol has a bunch of new cases up and I’m going to try to add the rest today. Plugins permitting.

MP of the week: Nickolas Pogoneys

I’m sorry this week’s featured missing person was featured late; I was being lazy and irresponsible. Anyway, this week it’s Nickolas Pogoneys, a 58-year-old man who disappeared from Apple Valley, California on December 1, 1993. They found his car with all his stuff inside, including his dentures, but the keys were missing.

General update on things

So the day before yesterday I discovered Dark Matters on YouTube. You can thank Caleigh Elise for most of the updates I did yesterday. Her video summaries of unsolved murders and missing persons cases and unidentified remains are in depth, well-researched and professionally done. From her research I discovered some factual errors on a few of my cases and corrected them.

Preston Winfrey, my designer, has fixed the drop-down search results on the general search (bad plugin update apparently) so the bar no longer goes blank and stops working if you scroll down. He has also improved the advanced search, fixing a bug that wouldn’t let you search multiple phrases.

Yesterday I got a shocking response from a woman whose sister was on my site. She sent me messages through email and Facebook and we spoke over Facebook messenger. She said I had no right to post about the MP, I had no permission from my family, and everything I had posted was “such baloney.”

I explained who I was and what the Charley Project is and asked what corrections needed to be made. She said the MP was reported missing by her husband; I had had it as her brother. Okay, I said, I will fix that (and did so), what else?

Well, I asked several times but she never said there was any other incorrect information, just kept yelling at me, saying their mom was very upset by seeing the casefile and it was against the law for me to write about missing persons without permission from the family. I told her this was not true.

I do not know what was bothering her, because besides that quite minor error there was absolutely nothing objectionable in the MP’s casefile, nothing that could be construed as remotely critical or judgmental or intrusive. I don’t think the woman’s anger or her mother’s distress had anything to do with me really.

I know I have written and spoken about this kind of reaction several times but it doesn’t happen often at all; most relatives who reach out to me are polite and respectful and appreciate my efforts. I got a really nice email from Morgan Nick‘s mom last month. It’s just that whenever I do get family members who claim I did something wrong or hurtful it’s upsetting to me. But some people just react differently and they are in a bad situation so I try not to take it personally.

Shrug.

I’m doing pretty well right now and everyone’s fine where I’m at: Michael, cats, dogs. Kinsey’s fifteenth birthday was earlier this week and we had her wear a party hat and gave her an Arby’s roast beef sandwich as we sang the birthday song.