Author Archives

Tippy Gnu

I chase unicorns, which are symbols for unique ideas and experiences, and sometimes I post about them. Heck, I'm retired, so what else is there to do? I also write books, which can be read or downloaded for free, on my blog site.

Three Bad Jokes Challenge

Hi! We’re Jack & Jenny Ass, the masscots of this pathetic blog. Here are three bad jokes we stole from some other jackasses. Your challenge is to read them without cracking a smile. Otherwise, you’ll get a kick out of us.

Bad Joke

Did you know trampoline jumping is an official sport? The season begins in the springtime.

Badder Joke

Whenever spring arrives, my wife gets so excited she wets her plants.

Baddest Joke

I took my pet rabbit to the vet. He started to give it Novocaine. I stopped him and said, “Nuh-uh, doc, this is an ether bunny.”

Solvang, Part Three: Thor’s Curse

This is the final part of a three-part series about the town of Solvang, California, and Isla Vista, one of its neighboring towns. For the previous installation, CLICK THIS LINK. To start at the beginning, CLICK THIS LINK. Thanks for reading!

Thor’s Curse

In the last installation, we were introduced to the small college town of Isla Vista, the site of four debauched murders of hitchhiking women by a necrophiliac named Thor Christiansen. Thor was a Danish immigrant from the neighboring town of Solvang.

Solvang is a tourist-trap town, built to resemble an authentic village from Denmark. Its name means “sunny field,” in Danish.

One of Thor’s victims was a young woman named Patricia Laney, who had volunteered with organizations in Isla Vista, that sought to protect women from violence. After her bloody death, she became a symbol for these organizations. But was this enough to protect women, or anybody else, from an untimely demise in Isla Vista?

No, sadly, it wasn’t. The violence committed by Thor seems to have cursed Isla Vista to more violence.

In 2001 the community made national news again, when a crazed motorist named David Attias, who was the son of television director Dan Attias, barreled down Sabado Tarde Street in Isla Vista at 65 miles per hour. He purposely mowed down a group of five pedestrians, killing four, including two women. A fifth victim was critically injured, and succumbed15 years later to health issues related to his injuries.

After David struck the pedestrians, he jumped out of his car and taunted a gathering crowd, proclaiming, “I am the Angel of Death!”

Like Thor Christiansen, Attias also plead not guilty by reason of insanity. But unlike Thor, he succeeded. Psychiatrists bought it, and he was sentenced to 60 years in the Patton State Hospital mental institution.

However, he was conditionally released in 2012, by a court order. So perhaps he’s no longer an angel of death. Who am I to judge? I’m no psychiatrist. But even if his 10 years in the bughouse rendered him safe to be on our streets, Thor’s curse was not scrubbed from the blood-stained avenues of Isla Vista. Because Attias’ vehicular homicides would not be the last tragic headline screaming from this community.

In 2014, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger murdered six people in Isla Vista, and seriously injured 14 others. Like David Attias, he too was the son of a mogul in the entertainment industry—his father being the British filmmaker, Peter Rodger. What is it about the children of show business bigwigs? Are they inspired by the wild car chases and bloody murder scenes their parents conjure up for public consumption?

Elliot was autistic, and had been frequently bullied while growing up. He was enrolled at Santa Barbara City College, and shared an apartment with two other college student roommates. And he was jealous of his roommates, as well as most other men, because they were successful at attracting women, while he wasn’t.

On Friday, May 23, 2014, he lay in wait for his roommates, and stabbed them to death, one-by-one, as they separately entered their apartment. That same day a visitor showed up, and he was also stabbed to death. Then Elliot went out and got himself a cup of coffee, as if this excitement hadn’t been enough stimulation for him.

That evening, at 8:30 pm, he sat in his car in the parking lot of his apartment building, working away on his laptop computer. At 9:18 pm, he uploaded a misogynistic manifesto. In it he threatened to punish women for not being attracted to him. He claimed he was the “perfect guy,” and “supreme gentleman,” and complained that women threw themselves at “obnoxious men,” and that he didn’t see why they weren’t attracted to him, instead.

Then this incel drove to the Alpha Phi sorority house and knocked repeatedly on their door. No one would open it, so in frustration he shot three nearby women, killing two of them. Then he hopped back in his car and raced through the streets of Isla Vista.

He encountered a man at a delicatessen and ended him with seven bullets. This would be his final murder. But he continued his rampageous attack upon the streets of Isla Vista, aiming his car at pedestrians on Embarcadero del Norte, and striking and injuring one person. He fired his gun out the car window at two people, but missed them. Then he shot and wounded a couple entering a pizzeria, as well as a female on a bicycle.

Embarcadero del Norte street, in Isla Vista. Photo by Nandaro. CC BY-SA 3.0.

He raced ahead, patrolling for more victims, shooting at and missing one woman. Then a cop caught up with him. They exchanged fire and two bystanders were wounded in the blizzard of bullets.

But he managed to get away and resumed his drive-by rampage through the embattled streets of Isla Vista. On Sabado Tarde Street—the same street where David Attias committed his mayhem 13 years earlier—Elliot shot and wounded five people, and rammed two skateboarders and two cyclists with his car.

Charging up Sabado Tarde, he encountered three sheriff’s deputies. A gunfight ensued, and Elliot was struck in the hip. But that coffee he drank must have been heavily laced with caffeine, because he was able to speed away like a wild man. Turning down several streets, he took aim on a cyclist, and struck him. But then he crashed his car over a sidewalk.

Elliot Rodger’s driver’s license photo.

His vehicle now disabled, he couldn’t escape the pursuing deputies. So he took aim on one last victim. Himself. One bullet to his head finished the denouement of his life. At 9:35 pm, just 17 minutes after he had uploaded his misogynistic manifesto and initiated his street terror, Elliot Rodger slumped dead in his car. He was found beside three pistols, several knives, six empty ten-round magazines, and 548 rounds of unspent ammunition.

Once again, Isla Vista made national headlines, inspiring outcries against gun violence and violence directed at women. Politicians got involved, the NRA was blamed, and legislation was proposed. Four months later, California passed a red flag law, enabling judges to seize guns from people seen as a danger to themselves or to others.

Perhaps it’s a good law, or perhaps not. Red flag laws have their critics, and this law doesn’t address the fact that three of Elliot’s six murder victims were knifed to death, and that he injured many others with his car.

Isla Vista’s population is a mere 15,500. So it’s strange it would have so much high-profile violence in its past. And it all began with a young man from nearby Solvang, named Thor Christiansen. It’s as if Thor cursed the poor town with violence.

But as for Solvang, it has moved on from the dark shadow Thor cast upon this otherwise “sunny field.” Today its charming Danish architecture continues to be a huge tourist attraction, with the serial killer long forgotten.

On the other hand, Thor’s curse may still carry potency, so you might want to exercise special caution when visiting Solvang’s neighbor, Isla Vista. And if you decide to visit Solvang itself, and your car breaks down on the highway, be forewarned. You might want to think twice before hitchhiking into town.


Philosophy, living life, and other fun stuff

Stephen Metcalfe

playwright, screenwriter, and novelist

Experience Film

A Visceral, Psychological Perspective on Modern Cinema

Water for Camels

Encouragement and Development for Social Workers and Those with a Mission of Helping Others

"Depths of Poison" Book 2

Scroll down to read the sequel.

Marie Lamba, author

Some thoughts from author and agent Marie Lamba

Catxman's Cradle

Catxman dances, Catxman spins around, leaps ....... // I sing a song, a song of hope, a song of looove -- a song of burning roses. / Synthesizer notes. // (c) 2021-22


Celebrating God's creatures, birds and plants...

Chel Owens

A Wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing

Chasing Unicorns

Where smartasses chase unicorns

suyts space

Just another site


A site for the Barsetshire Diaries Books and others

The Trefoil Muse

Words are art on paper, and for me they are the seeds of my soul.

Marta Frant

Humor and Lifestyle

Jessica reads&write

I read to live, I write to share their life

Jessica E. Larsen

Writer. Reader. A mom and a romantic dreamer 🥰 💕

Borden's Blather

A 60-something guy trying to figure out the world, and his place in it.