One of the sites I read daily and enjoy had a big post on the kid who shot up the college. Lots of links about his online life; strenuous sleuthing revealed his bio, aliases, haunts, email addresses. There were testimonials from those who knew him.

I hate this stuff. I hated reading it, and did so just because I wanted to see how far they’d go. Well, in the updates, there was more:  They found the kid’s photobucket page. (Anti-Bush photoshops, dog photos.) They found the identity of his girlfriend, and published her name. That I find fascinating, since the online advocates are always sensitive to privacy concerns – the police wouldn’t have released her name. The state wouldn’t have released her name. The college wouldn’t have told us who she was. Apparently we have a right to know, though. Apparently she has a duty to be known as the killer’s girlfriend. You might think that the information was revealed as a bit of a boast: see what I can find? But I’m sure it was done in the interests of fleshing out the story.

Because the story’s the killer’s story, you know.

They found a blog written by a next-door neighbor who’d known the shooter when he was growing up. I’m not going to link to any of it, because I don’t want to give the guy any publicity, and I find the fascination with the killer to be  . . .  misplaced. Someone in the comments thread of a site ferreting out details of the killer’s online life posted this link: a picture of a victim posted by a parent.

When we’re done reading all the stories about the victims, maybe we can spend a minute or two on the killer. Maybe. Apparently his parents were decent folk. 

The kid stopped taking his medication, and something whiplashed in his brain. I know these drugs do wonders for some, but I think it 20 years we’ll find out that they had a horrible effect on some people. If you did away with all these tranks today you’d have a lot of people in pain, I’m sure, but you’d probably also see the number of medicated kids who go on shooting sprees drop to zero.

Picked up the Element from the dealership on Friday. They couldn’t find anything wrong. There was no reason the car wash should be making the air filters freeze. Yet it is so, I said, in similar words. They agreed: it was so. They’d tested the car with the on-site car wash, and had been unable to duplicate the problem. Did my regular car wash have super-high-pressure water jets? Why, yes – can’t you tell the dents in the hood? No it doesn’t have super-high-pressure water! It’s a fargin’ car wash, not a firehose testing facility.

Well, they were mystified, and suggested I run it through a different car wash and report back.

Nothing like a week of tsuris with an inconclusive conclusion to let you know you’re in for more trouble.

Around four we got in the car to go to piano. I turned the key. WHOOOOOOOOOOOSSHSHSHSHSHSHHS. Whoa, must have left the heat on full blast before shutting it off. I dialed back the blower knob. Nothing. Eh? I turned the heat control all the way off. Nothing. The heating system was now permanent set on peel-your-skin-off strength, and since there was no heat, it was shooting arctic air into the cabin at the rate of 90 cubic yards a second. Or so it seemed.

This is how it begins: not only do they fail to fix the problem, something they did causes a new problem. I’m taking it back Monday. Now that I think of it, I had them rotate the tires. One of them will probably fall off en route to the dealership.

I would have returned the car right away, but needed it for Saturday hauling. My wife bought a treadmill, one of those items that reminds us how the instruments of torture and toil are now the tools by which modern Westerners fill their few idle hours with diligent exertion. She had intended to get something smaller and cheaper – the item advertised in the store’s ad, to be specific – but was steered away by the clerk, who told her it was junk. He’d already had three people return theirs. The motors were bad. No, she really wanted this baby over here. The fellow’s nametag probably read Bayton Switzch. Couldn’t be any less blatant.

So I headed over to pick it up on Saturday. The clerk wheeled out the box. I wanted to tell him that he was mistaken; we had purchased a treadmill, not the monolith from 2001. He showed me the floor model. I asked if people bought this unit so they could jog six abreast, because it seemed a little large. Oh, it was a single, all right.

We got it into the vehicle, and I drove home slowly, half the box hanging out the back. I managed to get it out of the Element without a heart attack, but was unable to move it into the house, since it weighed about 400 pounds. The Giant Swede came by Sunday, and we got it up the tunnel, up the stairs, and into the basement, where it sits now. Picture a 57 Chevy in a child’s wading pool and you have an idea of how it fills the room.

Took an hour to put it together. Not too difficult, but given my emotions towards the thing, it was like building a robot whose express purpose will be to launch nuisance suits all day. I had the aesthetics of the basement down cold. I really did. A small sofa against the wall, an unobstructed view of the nice cabinets and shelves. Now the sofa is in the middle of the room, which bisects it and renders both halves useless, and the treadmill – even when folded up – blocks your view of the cabinets. If you put it on the other side of the room, it blocks a window. The basement is ruined. Ruined!

(G)Nat is at a sleepover now, and she’ll pitch a fit when she sees it tomorrow she’s so resistant to innovations around the house she weeps when I change a light bulb.

Wonder where she gets that from.


New Matchbook. I'll see you at buzz.mn!