home again

GIS for captors.
Got back Saturday around noon. Another long flight, although I slept through most of it – waking for the bad food and to use the facilities. Wayne and I stopped on the way home from the airport to pick up some good old American hamburgers and chili-cheese fries. Rolled into the garage around 1pm, driving past my waist-high lawn on the way in (the season of weekly mowing has dawned again it seems). I always get the same sensation when just home from an overseas trip. Like people should know and respect the fact that just that morning, I was eating eel in a restaurant in downtown Taipei. The lady ringing up my goods at Wal Mart, she should know that. Hours ago, while you were sleeping, I was singing Chinese songs and drinking beer at an all-night karaoke. Wake up and recognize me as the world-traveler I am people… this lame-o in line behind me?, he was picking his nose when I was 30,000ft above the earth traveling 700mph just 3 hours ago. Marvel at me, won’t you?

Slept in until almost 1pm Sunday, must still be messed up from the travel and time-change. Sucks to sleep away your first real day back, but I suppose it is a recuperation day. I was hoping to mow the lawn today, but I’ve already made up my mind I’m putting it off… I even checked the sunset time for tomorrow to see if I’d be able to get it done post-work – since it’s long as balls right now.

If I may, I would now like to make a short foray into the dark side.

We’ll start with the news that they’ve caught BTK. If you don’t know, I have a small obsession with serial killers. I hate saying that, because it sounds so very macabre… but I think my fascination lies more with the “hows” of human behavior that allow these acts. Plus, I really enjoy a good unsolved mystery. I’ve been following BTK ever since I read about him over at the Crime Library, and even more so since the launch of catchBTK.com and his recent string of communications and puzzles sent to police and media. My guess is that the guy was ready to get caught, anyone willing to risk open communication in this day and age of forensic science is asking for it. Glad they caught him, and with him behind bars and everyone knowing Zodiac is dead – now I have to find another unsolved serial killer case to follow. With the capture being such high-profile news, I’m surprised Tom hasn’t updated catchBTK.com yet – I’d figured he’d have had the template designed forever now – just waiting to artistically drop in the mughsot.

Shifting gears, another spat of information in the interesting-to-me Collarbomber case. Y’know, the pizza delivery man who was abducted, fitted with a locked metal “collar” containing a bomb, and given home-built James Bond weapons and impossibly complicated instructions to rob a bank lest his captors detonate his necklace? If you don’t remember, the man was killed when the collar exploded, as police and TV crews watched waiting for the bomb squad to arrive. Looks like the victim’s sister has put up a website in an attempt to expose shoddy police work and bring justice to the case. The crude site is really interesting, with phrases like “Killers Roam Free. They Will be Caught Because They Are LOSERS,” and a personal plea to the killers to give themselves up. Just this past week, the FBI released a picture of a black car that they are interested in.

In both these cases, I’ll be interested to get more details… the full stories will no doubt be fascinating. OK then, away from the doom and gloom and back to regular stuff.

I decided that I’m going to make sounds familiar a little more blog-compliant, namely by giving each post a title, and also by trying to use the “categories” feature more. Categories is always hard for me, since I tend to be pretty random in what I write. Beginning today, you’ll begin to see post titles sitting over to the right side of the header box, and if you use read this site via the RSS syndication feed, the titles should come through there too. An exciting task for me will be getting to go through all the past entries and titling and categorizing them all (I did a few last night), I’ve done it once before with the old software… but lost all the info. I fiddled with where I’d display the title for a long time, finally deciding on the right-align you see above – since it’s not too prominent and won’t mess up the layout of untitled posts. I’ve gone ahead and added the category breakdown to the sidebar… but since not all the entries are binned yet, it’s not that interesting. That sounds familiar for ya, always striving to improve itself for the readership.

Having my laptop flake out on me served to remind me I need to keep up with my regular backups of my home machine. I use Acronis TrueImage as my backup solution, and run a full disk backup every month which I then burn to DVD and keep on my RAID array. However, my RAID array has been acting flaky lately too – I think I have either a bad disk or loose cable… and I’ve been meaning to switch from the four-disk SATA solution I have now to a three-disk IDE RAID5 configuration. I know I’ll do it one day, I should just bite the bullet and buy four large IDEs (three for the RAID5 array and one to upgrade my USB2.0 travel-caddy which I use to bring my entire collection wherever I want). Anyone know of a good deal on 4 large (250GB+) IDE drives and a RAID5 capable card?

Goodnight.


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