Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   Yahoo holiday party, 2001
Tuesday, December 18 2001

web trapmaster harassment

I'd just like to take a minute to bitch about something. I accidentally typed into a browser window just now and was immediately subjected to the ultimate harassment one can experience at the hands of Internet Explorer, punishment for the sin of not typing that "s." A window immediately swelled to full size. (I'm at work, so this is 1280 by 1024, not 1600 by 1200, the way it would have been at home.) Then a javascript popup helpfully asked if maybe I wanted to set my homepage, yes, the page I go every time I hit home, to, this wondrous new website I'd discovered. Finally, after the obligatory list of links that I'm supposed to find extremely helpful as a starting point for my every web adventure, I was subjected to an anti-Network Solutions screed. Evidently's domain name buying frenzy hasn't been a perfectly trouble-free process. My heart really goes out to them.
Network Solutions is not a reliable company

We think they are one of the worst domain name register companies that exist today. We will never deal with them again. Back in Dec. 2000 they contacted us and sweet-talked us to move our company domain names and basically get our account, and we did which turned into a nightmare of a mistake. For the first six months they could not locate any of our domain names within their database and finally when they did locate them, all original creation dates were deleted, many domains were still missing or deleted which were picked up and registered by other companies. They were even unable to create us an account; they said their engineers were having technical difficulties with it. The most unfortunate thing about this whole matter is that even after 10 months has passed, all these problems still exist,,, for example: We are currently trying to sell a domain name ( This domain was prepaid until 2002, but Network Solutions representatives say that the domain is now under deletion due to non-payment. Having had the name transfered within 10 months & still having records that show the domain is still paid in advance for an additional year, how can they place this name on their deletion list?. Up until now, we have not been able to modify or resolve any single issue regarding our account.

We will never deal with Network Solutions again.

Thank You For Your Interest,
Movie CompanyŠ
Please send your comments to:

This copy has all the classic hallmarks of the Elly Dreamdweller writing style. Ah, whatever happened to Elly? Anyway, I suspect that whoever made this irritating quagmire of a site is the sort who would go completely apeshit if they were to learn that I had copied a tiny part of it and was using it to start my own ecommerce site. With this in mind, I sent the following email:

Dear Malibu--

I saw your website, the one where you performed something of an expose on the horrible company known as Network Solutions. I was really taken in - nay - seduced - by the layout, look and feel, quality, and helpful links in your site. Since I am starting up my own ecommerce site, one which does sort of what yours does, I have copied some of your code and used it on my site. I was particularly struck by the code that allows users to set YOUR HOMEPAGE to their OWN! This is such a great idea! It makes it so people just keep coming back over and over and over again to your site! I also like the code that makes your web page swell to completely fill the screen. This way no one is distracted by the less-interesting things they might have been looking at prior to stumbling into your site. Also - when they try to leave, you have those special codes that keeps sending them windows reminding them that there's never really any reason that they should leave. Indeed, I would have left your site and might not have ever returned had not you allowed me to reconsider with one of your secondary popup windows. At that point I made your page my homepage and have never looked back.

Now, apparently due to some special code on your site, I am unable to view source and make copies of any more of your code for use in the features of my new ecommerce site. I was wondering if you could perhaps email me copies of your source so I can complete my work (and not have to rely on the hacker computer whiz next door to get your codes for me). I would be willing to make a link to your page as payment. Thank you, and have a wonderful day!

Alyssa Miller,
Starchaser Productions

don't bother me, I'm busy being autistic

This afternoon I found myself reading an article at about Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism. Interestingly, according to the article there is something of an epidemic of children with autistic traits in Silicon Valley and other high-tech places peopled by geniuses, thinkers, and pyramid scheme hustlers. This got me to thinking that perhaps autism is a genetic condition not too different from those underlying sickle-cell anemia: the genes are beneficial in moderation but disastrous in concentrated form. I myself have a number of Asperger-type traits: I do not like using the telephone, I prefer to work alone, I hate to be interrupted, and I am drawn to complex mechanisms. (On an autism test where average people get a 16.4 and autism is 32, I got a 26.)
It's not difficult to find genetic evidence of autistic traits in my family: my brother is severely handicapped by a spectrum of manners and behaviors that can best be described as autistic, while my father is usually so absorbed in his projects that, unless he puts forth deliberate effort, he demonstrates no social grace whatsoever. Meanwhile, if my mother's accounts of her father and brother can be believed, both have at times demonstrated radically anti-social behaviors, particularly when attempts were made to distract them (in other words, get them to "multi-task"). Indeed, interruption, the worst thing one can do to an autistic person, was considered such a sin in my family that I took it for granted that most people in the world had the common grace not to disturb someone who was clearly busy. But as I learned when dealing with friends, etc., in the world at large, distraction and disruption are considered more of an honor than an insult. This is still something I am not entirely used to.

John Walker, hero & patriot

I'm growing dreadfully tired of lazy minds with easy lives making policy rants from the comforts of their couches. The amount of such useless advice has doubled or tripled since the September 11th attacks, as know-nothing Americans, polled as never before, confront the scary world they'd spent their lifetimes ignoring. Nothing seems to tick these folks off quite like John Walker, the "traitor American" found fighting along side the Taliban. The fact that the USA was still friends with the Taliban back when John Walker joined their army, and the reality that his news sources can't have been too reliable since then, none of that seems to matter when you're sitting in your easy chair armed with a bag full of Chitos®. "String him up!" "Fry him!" the idiotic masses cry. And the political elites are no better. New York Mayor Guliani, with plenty of political capital to burn, offers that the death penalty seems like a good solution to the John Walker problem. In the face of such idiocy, I was forced to make another one of my satirical webpages. I really don't know quite what I think about the situation, other than that the muddled thinking of the great polled masses needs to be smacked around.

dotcom holiday parties in 2001

I was in the Manhattan office today, mostly because Gretchen needed some alone time. Since this is my last week on the job before my end of the year layoff, my office presence is gradually winding down. My cubicle is nearly barren and I've begun tidying up loose ends in my work. I have never held a job for as long as this one, and it's going to be strange to be unemployed again. But in the meantime, I'm still a genuine Yahoo employee, and I might as well reap all the benefits. Today's benefit was the annual holiday party. Since the dotcom bust, such celebrations have become a bit less extravagant than they used to be. In the invitation for today's party, for example, we were specifically instructed not to bring our spouses.
At about 6:30pm, I caught a subway up north to 50th Street in Midtown and walked over to Blake's, a fancy restaurant on 48th Street near 5th Avenue. The place was already teaming with my co-workers, none of whom I knew. These were, you see, mostly sales and business development staff from Yahoo's main New York office in Midtown. My office in Chelsea, you see, is but a small satellite office of the company my Santa Monica-based company acquired before it was in turn gobbled up by the indiscriminately ravenous pseudopodia of Yahoo.
Eventually a few people I know from my office showed up and I had some people to talk to, though I spent most of my time talking to the Midtown office's assistant office manager, whose name happened to be Chrissie. In an effort to control the speed with which I descended into drunkenness, I stuck entirely to beer. For some reason the food being offered, fancy though it was, didn't appeal to me very much.
I could tell Blake's was a fancy restaurant the moment I ventured into the bathroom. There was a guy there to run my water and dispense my soap, and had I taken a crap perhaps he would have also wiped my ass. I tried to ignore him as best I could and certainly didn't take the time to leave him a tip as I hurried out the door. From then on, I managed to avoid the bathroom attendant by not washing my hands after urinating. Yes, it's quite possible I contaminated people with cooties when I shook hands later that night.
Interestingly, this was the first time I'd had real conversations with certain people from the Chelsea office. I'm almost never in that office and the work I do doesn't require much interaction with others. It took a party, the last party of my employment here, for me to be placed in a situation where interaction was natural. For example, I was talking to this one really tall skinny guy named Dave who seems to spend most of his time editing audio clips. After about a half hour of conversation he was expressing real regret that we'd never talked before.
By now the core of the party was in the basement, where a DJ was playing that irritatingly familiar 80s music that's been making people sloppy with nostalgia since 1994. Most of the people out on the dance floor were bleach blond sales girls. Dotcoms used to be full of them, and it seems they're still pretty important to whatever it is dotcoms do. There was something that irritated me about the uniformity of their hair color and I made a special point of trying to weird them out with creepy drunken behavior. I hadn't seen dotcom sales girls in such concentration since my job at
As the party was winding down, one of the big shot Yahoo boys announced he'd be taking us all to some other bar and picking up the tab. Since by this point I was in with that Chrissie girl, I had no problem joining this crowd, even though I didn't know any of them except her.
Our contingent stumbled out onto the street and somehow commandeered a long white stretched limousine. While we were in there, the big shot Yahoo sales and biz dev people were asking me who exactly I was and I was telling them that I was from the Chelsea office. They asked me what I thought of Yahoo and I was so drunk that I accidentally foretold their company's demise instead of saying what I meant to say, which was that at least they'd saved my acquired employer from an impending financial disaster. It wasn't the best foot to start out on, but I didn't much care because I'd never be seeing these people again. Truth be known, though, I certainly don't have any bad feelings about Yahoo. As an empire that assimilates and grows, it's not an especially bad one. It's more like the Roman Empire than, say, the Third Reich.
I drank a few free beers at the bar we ended up at and then, once I decided I was bored, I walked down to 42nd Street and caught the subway home.

People I don't know at the Yahoo holiday party.

More Yahoo people I don't know. The big guy on the left is one of their alpha males.

Non-blonds in the limo.

Inside the limo.

Blinded by blondness in the limo.

That's Chrissie on the far right.

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