Monday, 25 November 2013

Prof. Pennypacker's Pectarium

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Pennypacker on building an archive
My collection of magazines continues to grow. The more I acquire, the more I sense the need for preservation. How wonderful it would be if there were an archive, an exhaustive collection held in one location, and dedicated to the acquisition of all female muscle media past, present, and future. To think about: 1) How to fund such an archive, its upkeep and acquisitions? 2) Where to locate it? 3) How much digital storage space would be needed and how much physical space this would require?

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Over the next couple of years, these questions would continue to drive Pennypacker, and were the seed out of which The Pectarium was to grow. Though not the 'British Library of Female Muscle' (as he began to refer to his idea), The Pectarium is, however, not only a unique and ingenious system of female muscle media presentation, but is also the tangible result of some of the solutions he devised to the problem of how to collect and collate such enormous amounts of digital material.

from Pennypacker's diary 19th January 2011
Have spent the last week and a half backing up. I would say I need an assistant, but employing a hard-up undergrad for such a purpose might be a little awkward. At least all digital media is now saved and stored on hard drives ranging from 350GB to 1TB. How much more will I need in the future? The files seem to be getting bigger and bigger and more and more hi-res.

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from Pennypacker's diary 27th March 2011
Have decided to write my own cataloguing software. Tried several that are freely-available and the two most recommended, which were, of course, to be paid for. Some had commendable features, but none completely satisfactory. Need image recognition software integrated into the cataloguing to avoid duplicates. I recall Gerald was working on something like that at one time. Face recognition or some such. Might be a good first port of call. Will contact tomorrow.

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The 'Gerald' who was contacted by the professor was Dr. Gerald MacKinnon, Professor of Electronic Science at Christchurch College, Oxford. Over the next six months, Dr. MacKinnon would help Pennypacker construct the software that allowed him to acquire, collate and catalogue millions of images and clips simply by running the program. After September 2011, the professor's computers were downloading and archiving female muscle material by themselves. This, however, created new problems. According to the professor's notebook in late 2011, 'It would take me to the age of 202 years and 7 months to actually view all the material that has now been gathered by my software.'

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from Pennypacker's diary 27th May 2011
Left an image of Jo Stewart's magnificent chest on my screen when the doorbell rang. It was my niece and her husband paying me a 'surprise visit'. I kept them talking in the hall for long enough to let the screensaver hide those perfect muscles. The closest I have been to having to reveal my secret. How ludicrous that at the age of 66 I feel compelled to hide my passion. We lunched at the Pelican. Kathy's husband is tiresome with his tales of business conquest (one wonders what other conquests he doesn't speak about in the presence of his wife) and I increasingly daydreamed of returning home to privacy and the delectable Jo as the meal progressed. Got the impression they had been sent by the rest of the family to find out why I hadn't been more sociable since the first few months of retirement. If only they knew!

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Kathy Winterbottom, Pennypacker's niece, along with her older brother, Tate Pennypacker, lost the most from the alterations the professor made to his will - amendments were registered with his solicitor on four separate occasions from late 2011 to spring 2012 - and were consequently the most vehement contestants during the legal battle that followed his death. For Tate, even more galling than the loss of inheritance the provision for the upkeep of The Pectarium entailed was the clause, inserted by the professor in his last alteration to his will, that his own inheritance would be dependent on his taking responsibility for the maintenance and operation of The Pectarium. In court, his nephew would refer to it as 'a monstrosity', 'disgusting' and 'perverted'. Obviously not a muscle women lover.

Pennypacker on Guimond
Of all the truly awesome sights I have come across through my new passion, the chest of Collette Guimond must rank as high as any. Frankly, I hold her responsible for my preference for this, no, these muscles over the many others that adorn the body of the muscular woman. I have travelled in my life. Seen many amazing things - IguaƧu Falls, the Grand Canyon, the morning mist over the Mull of Kintyre. There are also things I have never seen - the Nile, Ayers Rock, Everest rising above the peaks of the Himalayas. Honestly, I would rather travel to see Collette's chest with my own eyes than cross any of those other sights off my list right now.

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As far as we know, Pennypacker never did get to see Collette's chest first-hand, or indeed any other female bodybuilders' chests. Nothing in his diaries records a visit to a female bodybuilding contest or any other kind of meeting. During 2011, he seems to have come to the conclusion that unless he devoted all time he had left to the construction of The Pectarium, it would never be finished. In the end, he preferred not to indulge himself in personal experiences, but instead chose to leave his archive and his creation as a legacy to the world of female muscle fandom.

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from Pennypacker's diary 4th December 2011
The work has begun. This week the old barn has been gutted and by Christmas the structure will have been made sound. In the New Year renovation work will begin. If everything goes according to schedule, I will have my haven by Easter.

More selections from Prof. Pennypacker's archive tomorrow. Enjoy!

gifs by Shirtrippers2.0The Ankle and 'the street fighter'.

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