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Diary
By ad hoc (Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 10:23:24 AM EST) P'town, books, bikes (all tags)
dote


One of the things I noticed while in P'town was the huge number of "Russians". I say "Russians" and not Russians because I can't tell one eastern Yerpian accent from another. They may well have been Polish, or Georgian, or whatever. Definite slavic accent though, and all very fit and comely. Most of the wait staff in most larger restaurants were "Russian". Every couple of years there's a new ethnic group taking over these jobs. For a few years, there were the local Portuguese, then imported Irish students, and now "Russians". I just wonder where they all stay. P'town ain't cheap.

Depraved by Harold Schechter

[amazon] [MBLN]

A friend lent me a bunch of real crime books by Harold Schechter, and this is the first I’ve read. It’s pretty good. As he said, it’s not good writing, not great writing. Certainly entertaining. There are a few flaws some by the author and some one account of the material.

H. H. Holmes, a pseudonym of Herman Webster Mudget, was the first real serial killer in the US. Reports vary as to exactly how many he killed, estimates range from a low undisputed number of nine, to as many as several hundred. The story starts in Chicago around the time of the Columbian Exposition (1894), when Holmes built a "castle" in suburban Chicago with a floor plan designed to facilitate murder. The book concentrates primarily on murders of Pitezel family members: Benjamin, father and accomplice in the swindels; and children Alice, Nellie, and Howard.

The book gives an idea but does not concentrate on the cruelty and viciousness of the crimes and that, I think, is a detriment. While I’m not looking for a blow by blow (so to speak) account of the crimes, the reader only gets indications of just how bad this was. There is also little to give an idea of the sheer numbers of people he killed. (Holmes is also written about in The Devil in the White City.) Schechter does, however, give a very good and clear account of the beguiling nature of Holmes and his ability to talk anybody into anything. Plus there are clear examples of just how pathologically impossible it was for Holmes to the the truth about anything.

The most annoying aspect of the author’s writing style is his penchant for trying to end every (very short) chapter with some sort of cliffhanger. Like little did they realize the monster in their midst or but the little boy never appeared or then he led her away to join her sister. But once the chase is on, the style does eventually settle down. Schechter does give a most excellent account of the manhunt by the investigators hunting for him for the original insurance fraud which eventually led to Holmes’ undoing.

The second shortcoming of a book like this is caused by the very nature of the material. People like Holmes operate in secret, consequently, not a lot is written or known about their early lives so it simply cannot be documented and is left to conjecture. The simple fact that the number of people he killed varies by hundreds is testament to that. It would be nice to know more, but it’s simply not possible. It is surprizing, though, that someone like Holmes, whos trial held the nation in thrall for months could be so completely forgotten a hundred years later, while Lizzie Borden and Jack the Ripper, who killed far fewer people, are remembered to this day.

Still, it’s a good, easy read and not really very gruesome. There are many more gruesome things on network tv and video games. But again, this is real which makes all the difference.


Last purchases before the July ride, I think.

  • Kool Stop Dura-type brake holders & dual-compound pads (2 sets @ 16.95)
  • Michelin Krylion Carbon tires (2 @ 28.95)
  • Wipperman 9×1 Stainless 9 speed chain (1 @ 47.95)
  • Park Tool chainwhip (1 @ 17.95)
  • Park Took Shimano cassette tool (1 @ 6.95)
  • SRAM PG970 21-11 Road cassette (1 @ 44.95)
  • Shimano SPD-SL cleats (1 set @ 14.95)
Total: $224.55

All from BikeTiresDirect.com


Work is busy, busy, busy. I was authorized by $client to hire an underling (with budgetary approval). I don't think I need one as I've only given about 60% effort up to now. Besides, I don't really know anyone who does what I do, so I'd have to hire through interviews rather than my having worked with them before. Not to keen on that. (ColdFusion and MS SQL Server, anyone? Anyone? Buehler?) But I guess the sluice gates really are open now.

< Tod und Verzweiflung toben um mich her. | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Anec | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Bike stuff by miker2 (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 10:43:24 AM EST
You ride an 11x21 cassette?  Damn.  I have a 12x23 (10sp) on my tri bike and a 12x25 (9sp) on my road bike and will have a 12x25 (10sp) on my tri bike for Ironman Lake Placid.

That chain seems a bit pricey, right?  I guess stainless is pricey but it does last longer and won't corrode.

Sadly biketiresdirect.com doesn't carry Vittoria tires :(.  I did, however, ride a Vredestein Fortezza that I got from the local Performance this past weekend after I realized that my precious Vittoria Open Corsa Evo CX had a manufacturing defect.  The ride felt good and I was able to put 130psi in it.


Ah, sociopathy. How warm, how comforting, thy sweet embrace. - MNS
Ok, now I'm positive by joh3n (4.00 / 6) #2 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 10:56:51 AM EST
you biker folks are just making shit up.  Honestly, read those sentences out loud, and tell me you dont think it sounds like an episode of star trek.

Dammit, Number One, We must Evo the Open Corsa to 130 psi, ENGAGE!

----
I am a crime against humanity
-theantix

[ Parent ]
Quiet you by ad hoc (4.00 / 4) #5 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 11:00:45 AM EST
before I get out the chainwhip and twist your nipples.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.
[ Parent ]
That's HOT!!111!! <nt> by miker2 (4.00 / 4) #8 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 11:10:27 AM EST


Ah, sociopathy. How warm, how comforting, thy sweet embrace. - MNS
[ Parent ]
Conversation: by miker2 (4.00 / 2) #13 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 02:09:57 PM EST
Me: So I'm riding from Keene to Upper Jay on the flat section, going 24mph in my 53x15 at a cadence of 93RPM while on the aero bars and my heart rate was FORTY BEATS below lactate threshold, how cool is that?!?!?!

Yh: Uh huh, great....


Ah, sociopathy. How warm, how comforting, thy sweet embrace. - MNS
[ Parent ]
lactate threshold? by joh3n (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 02:21:26 PM EST
what are you, breastfeeding?

Weirder and weirder.

----
I am a crime against humanity
-theantix

[ Parent ]
Your ob/gyn didn't give you that talk? by georgeha (4.00 / 4) #15 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 02:58:43 PM EST
You know, hormonal shots so you can supplement with the breast feeding, all the cool dads are doing it.


[ Parent ]
Hmpf! Wimmins! by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #16 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 03:16:55 PM EST
Bike nerd [n/t] by Weapon of Pack Destruction (4.00 / 1) #17 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 07:02:32 PM EST


[ Parent ]
Stuff by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 10:59:40 AM EST
Right now I have a 21x12 Shimano but SRAM doesn't have a 12. But I also have a triple, so I don't need something quite so big in the back. I don't use the triple much, though. A couple of times in the White Mountains (the Kanc and Kinsman Notch come to mind) and again climbing Mt. Killington, but I don't use it much.

Yes, it's a pricy chain, but it's suppose to last a lot longer. I will also never own another Shimano chain. Evar.

I've had such good luck with Michelins, I'm hesitant to try anything else. Then again, I'm not really going for speed like you are, I'm much more concerned with not haveing a flat out in the middle of nowhere and the Carbons wear forever. They carry Conti Attack/Force, though.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
RE:'s by miker2 (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 11:09:35 AM EST
Ahh, didn't realize you had a triple crankset.  I have a double and I rarely even use the 12t cog unless I'm going downhill.  Having a 25t bailout saved my ass this past weekend in Lake Placid.

I had to replace my chain this weekend in LP as my 15 month old chain was really stretched out.  A new chain and rear hub rebuild was 66 bucks at High Peak Cycles.

I didn't like the way Michelins rode, but then again, I was on their cheapo tire, so that was probably it.  Conti attack/force are nice but pricey, as are the new GP4000's.  Conti's in general also tend to wear quick.  I don't think I've gotten more than 1000 miles out of one.


Ah, sociopathy. How warm, how comforting, thy sweet embrace. - MNS
[ Parent ]
Tyres by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 11:13:55 AM EST
So far I've used nothing but Michelins on the road bike. The Race Pros are fantastic. Great feel, great grip, great speed. But they slice like butter. So I moved to the Carbons which still have a nice feel (but not as nice as the race pros) and last a heluva lot longer. They go for about 3000 miles baring injury. Less on a trainer, of course, but that's what the trainer tire is for.

I'll never have another Shimano chain. That bogus special pin is crap and can leave you stranded. If it weren't for a couple of farmer's daughters, I'd probably still be in rural Maine somewhere.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
probably Polish by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 11:00:03 AM EST
there are a lot of Polish manual laborers out here.

Everybody still hates me in this city and I hate everybody.

These all looked to be students by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 11:02:45 AM EST
Early 20s, very fit, slaves to fashion, friendly. They're all waiters and counter help, not laborers. Except they're unaware that clam broth should be HOT!
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.
[ Parent ]
service jobs / manual labor by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 11:10:32 AM EST
same difference.

Eastern Euro's all dress well for the same reason that poor kids in southie (sometimes) do.

Everybody still hates me in this city and I hate everybody.

[ Parent ]
Ah by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 11:17:31 AM EST
I think of "manual labor" as constuction and road work.

I still wonder where they all stay. I wonder if they bus them in for the day from somewhere. P'town is tiny and very expensive (unless you're one of the Portuguese fishermen who have lived there for 100 years). Maybe they stick them in one big house is Truro or something.
--
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

[ Parent ]
could be by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #12 Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 11:27:05 AM EST
even Hyannis isn't that far away really.

Everybody still hates me in this city and I hate everybody.

[ Parent ]
Anec | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback