Christopher DeLuca

Follow @chrisd on Micro.blog.

I started playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night again, and I’m getting my ass kicked. I don’t remember losing this much this quickly my first time around, but that was years ago, so maybe I’ve forgotten it all. 🕹️

Today is my 38th birthday. Feeling a lot of gratitude.

TIL about the CSS cap unit, which is equal to the current font’s capital letter height.

A group of six friends is posing playfully on a crowded beach under a sunny sky. The group includes three men and three women. Each person has a temporary tattoo of Chris' face. One woman on the far left is wearing a floral shirt and shorts, enthusiastically pointing to her left arm. Her left arm has Chris' face near the elblow joint. Next to her is a woman in a black swimsuit and sunhat, posing with her hand on her hip. She has Chris' face on her bicep. In the middle, a man has towel draped over his head. This is Chris. The towel has his face on it. Standing next to him is a woman in a gray bikini with her back to the camera, playfully looking over her shoulder. Chris' face is on her lower back. A man in sunglasses and a baseball cap stands behind them, flexing his arm. On the far right, a shirtless man in beige shorts smiles while holding a drink can. The beach is bustling with people, colorful umbrellas, and towels.

I celebrated my birthday at the beach this year. My friends surprised me with matching temporary tattoos of my face, along with a towel also of my face. Silly, dumb fun. 🎂

Bagheera is a sleepy psychedelic kitty 🐈‍⬛

A black cat loafing on a chair, eyes half open. The color palette is cool with pops of purple and dark red.

It took me a while to figure out why LSP was reporting describe was not a valid method of string.

const id = label.toLowerCase().replaceAll(' ', '-').
describe('DisabledField', () => {

There’s always room for gummy worms.

I put my homemade aftershave in little potion bottles so I can feel like a shave wizard.

Two round glass bottles with corks containing a dark brown liquid.

New keyboard new life. Having Touch ID when docked is a game changer.

The black apple Magic Keyboard with the full numpad resting on a colorful mat with a star pattern.

Mythological Creatures Explained by Science

1. The Kraken was a giant squid

The legend of the Kraken is one of a huge sea monster with big tentacles that can crack ships in half, and has cropped up in Greek and Norse mythology. This fits the profile of the giant squid, albeit exaggerated.

Although no one has ever seen a giant squid alive in its natural habitat until now, humans have been clued into its existence for centuries, perhaps even longer. Giant squid carcasses will occasionally wash ashore, and there have been sightings of giant squid at the ocean’s surface. The ancient Greeks may have first described the creature in the fourth century B.C. In the first century B.C., Pliny the Elder wrote of an enormous squid in his Natural History. The animal he described had 30-foot-long arms, weighed 700 pounds and had a head “as big as a cask.”
blogs.discovery.com/show-news…

2. Griffins came from dinosaur bones

Griffins are a mythological creature with a lion’s body, and an eagle’s head and wings. It is thought to have originated from gold minors in the Gobi desert who dug up Protoceratops bones, a predecessor to the triceratops.

Protoceratops was a creature six or seven feet long, with four legs, claws, and a scary beak that looked like a huge lobster claw. Mayor speculates that ancient people may have dug up skeletons of the Protoceratops, a probable theory considering that American tourists who visited the Gobi Desert in 1992 uncovered a complete, standing dinosaur skeleton trapped in the sand. It would only take a small imaginative step for ancient prospectors, making similar finds, to think that living griffins existed and guarded their nests like protective mother birds in the same standing position.
www2.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceFo…

3. The Roc was a now extinct bird

The Roc is a giant bird from legend, that was said to dine on elephants, and was first recorded by a Westerner by Marco Polo. This bird was likely an exaggeration of Aepyornis maximus, or the Elephant Bird, which is now extinct.

The Elephant Bird (Aepyornis maximus) inhabited the island of Madagascar, off the eastern coast of Africa. Madagascar was settled around 2000 years ago by African and Indonesian peoples. Legends of the giant roc (rukh) in Arab folklore were probably based on the elephant bird. During the 9th century, Saracen and Indian traders visited Madagascar and other parts of the African coast and would have encountered these birds. In 1298, while imprisoned in Genoa, Marco Polo wrote his memoirs, covering 26 years of travel. In chapter 33, “Concerning the Island of Madagascar” he wrote that the Great Khan had sent him to investigate curious reports of giant birds.
messybeast.com/extinct/m…

4. Werewolves were serial killers

The legend of the Werewolf dates back to 1 A.D., and there are many theories on how the myth sprung up, such as an explanation of rabies, and someone to blame for dead livestock. However, a string of “werewolf” trials in medieval Europe, which all convicted cannibalistic serial killers, points at the myth being used to make sense out of disturbing human characteristics.

In 1521, a Pierre Burgot and Michel Verdun were executed as werewolves. Historical records indicate that they were a serial killer team. In 1573, again in France, another “werewolf” was executed. His name was Gilles Garnier, otherwise known as the “Werewolf of Dole.” He was a confessed serial killer.
www.historicmysteries.com/history-o…

5. Dragons were our collective fear of snakes

Dragon’s are an almost universal myth. It is so common, in fact, that respected scientists of the day still contented they must have been real, as late as the 17th century. So what could have created this universal myth? Maybe, it’s just our collective biological fears of snakes.

In ‘‘An Instinct for Dragons’’ (Routledge, 2000), Dr. David E. Jones, a professor of anthropology at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, posits a biological explanation that jibes with the Jungian notion of unconscious collective fears. He argues that the dragon image, fermented in the primal soup of man’s first nightmares, is a composite of the carnivores who fed on human ancestors when they were tree-dwelling monkeys: the pythons, the big cats and the raptors.
www.nytimes.com/2003/04/2…

6. Mermaids were straight up manatees

What we know

Ah mermaids, the half fish, half women whom, according to Disney, are little. Most of us know mermaids from a Jamaican crab extolling the virtues of being underwater via song, or maybe by the original happiness annihilating tale by Hans Christian Anderson.

However, all fiction aside, mermaids were described as fact by sailors for centuries.

What could possibly make different sailors across the years report the same creature? If you guess manatees, or read the title and then knew it was manatees, you are correct.

What they were

…in a world saturated with mermaid mythology, people sometimes think they see them in real life. When Christopher Columbus set out to sea in 1492, he had a mermaid sighting of his own; little did he know that this encounter was actually the first written record of manatees in North America.
ocean.si.edu/ocean-new…

Have you ever seen a manatee? Have you ever seen woman? Assuming the answer was ‘yes’ to both, we think you’ll readily agree that confusing one for the other is a bit of a stretch.

Yet, sailing the seven seas, for sometimes years at a time, without seeing land for months, and with only the company of other, grizzled seamen, is a lonely business for your genitals. Even if you were into men, you’d also have to be into scurvy, missing limbs, and getting pooped on by rats to get your freak on in an old time-y sailing ship, we surmise.

Combine all that with a little rum, and that giant, gray, distinctly non-human creature flaunting her stuff in the waves starts to look downright sexy.

Or maybe the myth started when a sailor decided his sexual history would sound more impressive if he’d done it with a ‘mermaid’ rather than a ‘sea cow’.

In case you’re feeling like government can’t do good things for regular people like you and me.

Of Monsters and Scholars

Melvin Kretchum sat behind an enormous stack of books, their thick spines filled with knowledge and decay. Two misshapen candles formed a wax puddle, emitting a flickering orange glow that barely dispelled the pressing shadows surrounding the crumbling texts. Melvin ran his finger down page after page written in language after language and muttered, occasionally scratching notes in tiny, precise script. The studied tomes were all on the subject of bestial biology, each chronicling intricacies of such horrors as the Spine Ripper, the Excruciator, and Gristle and Flay. However, these books contained no precise definitions, as much as Melvin dreamed they would. Instead, what was not speculation or rumor was contained in journal entries of eyewitnesses. Yet the terrifying nature of the beasts described left many would-be-journalists without the requisite sanity for a coherent account. It was Melvin’s task to sort fact from fiction.

The process was agonizingly slow, and Melvin had been working for five and a half hours. He knew this, because he owned a pocket watch. It had been extraordinarily expensive, costing nearly two hundred crowns, but it was more than worth it. With this new device, he was able to keep exact appointments, and to follow more precisely his daily schedule. He had bought the watch as a congratulatory present for himself after securing a position as the aid for legendary monster scholar Victor Pendrake. Professor Pendrake had been a leader in the field ever since his revolutionary breakthrough on Trolls, which conclusively proved that their severed appendages did indeed grow into more Trolls. It was an honor for Melvin to work with a man of such prestige.

Melvin checked the time; it was five past eight. In fifteen minutes he needed to be at Professor Pendrake’s office to make his first report on the Moonwing, a creature that resembled a one-foot long yellow and purple moth, the dust from its wings having the unusual effect of highly increased drowsiness in the subject. Melvin had been researching Moonwings for two weeks, and had even dissected a specimen. Hurriedly packing his notes – Professor Pendrake’s office was on the other side of the building and he did not want to be late – Melvin snuffed the candles and left the room.

It was eight thirty; Melvin had been waiting in front of Professor Pendrake’s office for five minutes. He flipped through his notes, tapped his foot, and checked his watch for the third time since he had arrived.

“Some people just refuse to function by the clock.” He muttered.

Melvin checked his watch again – he had to be finished by nine thirty because he was going to propose to his girlfriend Rosie at midnight. Melvin had been courting Rosie for eleven months and three days, and once they had even kissed. He had told her to meet him at the public gardens at eleven forty-five; Rosie did not live by the clock either, with a propensity for lateness, and he could not risk the success of his carefully planned romantics on the punctuality of his girlfriend. On the same coin, neither could he risk his plans on the punctuality of his professor. However, as his personal aid, he was forced to stay.

Melvin had met Victor Pendrake once, and only briefly. The aging but spry professor had welcomed him with a sharp handshake, explained that he wanted some research done on Moonwings, and excused himself, saying he was that minute going on an expedition to the Widowers Wood to clear up some controversy over swamp squids. He had told Melvin to have his Moonwing report ready in about two weeks, and when Melvin pressed for a more specific time, Pendrake had only shrugged. After a few terse minutes of conversation while the professor put on his coat and hat, Melvin had finally convinced Pendrake to meet him outside his office at eight twenty in exactly two weeks.

“Where is he?” The schedule was in jeopardy.

At eight forty-three Professor Pendrake arrived. He was wearing a thick, animal hide great coat adorned with various pockets, small tools and other presumably useful field accoutrements. It was the same outfit he had been wearing two weeks prior, yet now his boots were caked with a sludgy brown and green muck, and the rest of his clothing was smattered with greasy-looking black splotches. Flecks of the stuff were even noticeable on his half-moon spectacles. His hat was gone, exposing short-cropped steel gray hair made darker by a layer of grime. Strapped to his side were a battered long sword, a dagger, a pistol, a net, and what looked like a tentacle.

And he reeked.

Melvin made an effort to relax his crinkled features to their accustomed stoicism, and began breathing through his mouth.

“Uh, hello sir.”

“They walk!” Cried the professor, smiling wide.

“I..I’m sorry? What are-”, stammered Melvin, but Pendrake cut him off.

“The swamp squids. They can walk!” He crowed.

“That is-”

“Pretty creepy,” finished Pendrake, happily.

Pendrake walked brusquely to his office door and began rummaging through his pockets. There was a feverish gleam in the man’s eyes that made Melvin feel distinctly uncomfortable.

Retrieving his keys from a cleverly concealed pocket in his armpit, Professor Pendrake unlocked his office door.

“Come in, come in.”

Melvin entered hesitantly. The office was crammed to capacity with books, papers, and preserved monster bits. Melvin fought back a wave of nausea as the professor slapped what was indeed a tentacle into a liquid-filled glass jar and began searching through his office, forehead wrinkled.

“Sir, I have that Moonwing report you asked for.”

From under a desk, Professor Pendrake’s muffled voice replied, “Hmm? Oh, that won’t be necessary Marvin.”

“But…but Sir!” Melvin’s voice came out shriller than he intended, “You told me to report on Moonwings. Two weeks ago you told me to give you my report today at exactly eight twenty. And my name is Melvin, sir.”

“Turns out I won’t be needing it. Bigger fish you know?”

Melvin didn’t.

“Now I just need some bait…something magical I can afford to lose…Ah ha!” Professor Pendrake emerged from behind a large stack of books holding a smoking feather, which occasionally coughed. Pendrake rolled his eyes.

“I certainly don’t need this anymore.” Hurt, the feather replied that it hardly needed the professor. Pendrake stuffed the feather into an inside pocket. It complained of claustrophobia.

“Come, we’re going to the sewers.”

“What?” Melvin squeaked, “The sewers? Are you joking?” Professor Pendrake had grabbed a lantern and was pushing Melvin out the door.

“I just received some information that I think will be quite illuminating when we get there. Come on, time is against us, I can’t say how long the Thelg will stay put.”

“The what?”

“The Thelg”

“I’ve never heard of anything by that name.”

“Makes it all the more exiting, doesn’t it?” The professor’s eyes gleamed.

“But I have to–” Professor Pendrake was already walking down the hall.

“You’re my aid. Aid me.”

This was not Melvin’s line of work. This was not why Melvin was here. Melvin worked to dispel the chaos and uncertainty surrounding monsters by solidifying clear, definitive facts: this had nothing to do with sewers. Lip trembling, Melvin checked his watch, and ran to catch up.


It was a quarter to ten as Melvin and Professor Pendrake stepped out of a carriage on the other side of the city by the wharfs. The sun had set, the only light coming from professor Pendrake’s flickering lantern and the moon’s reflection off the water. The sound of water slapping the sides of the dock meshed with the creaks and groans from the anchored ships; far away a dog barked, sand Melvin thought he heard the faint scrape of metal on cobblestone. Dark buildings rose from the thick gloom – stern sentinels lining the waterfront. Torchlight spilled into the street a few blocks down, raucous laughter echoing off the pier. Melvin shivered; he needed to get back to his apartment to change, pick up the ring, and arrive at the gardens before the minstrels to set up the fireworks.

He had bought the fireworks from an alchemist at the quad three days ago, and even though he did not normally buy magical items – or associate with their proprietors – the vendor had demonstrated that the fireworks exploded into red flaming hearts, and offered a reasonable price. He had bought a dozen.

During the ride, Melvin had explained his situation to the professor; going into detail about how long each of the processes leading up to his proposal would take. Professor Pendrake had seemed to understand, despite looking distracted, but had made no mention of how Melvin, now behind schedule, was to get to the public gardens in time. Uneasy and fidgety, Melvin followed the professor along the wharfs.

After nine minutes of fast walking, Professor Pendrake stopped. They were standing near an ally between two buildings, a cracked sewer grate at their feet.

“Hold this.”

Handing Melvin the lantern, Pendrake began pulling at the grate.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m pulling a grate.” Professor Pendrake grunted, the bars lifted, and he set them aside, leaving a gaping black hole and the stink of raw sewage. “Alright, down you go lad.”

“What?”

“Come on, before we attract unwanted attention.”

“Unwanted attention? You want me to go down into a sewer!”

“Yes. Go.”

“This is not the job. The job is research, study, intellectual things; not jumping down sewers!”

Pendrake glared at Melvin. “This is research. Now get moving, I haven’t got all night.”

Melvin had picked tonight to propose to Rosie because the moon was full. All the arrangements were made; re-planning all the intricacies of the event would take another month at least. Lip vibrating, Melvin crawled into the sewer.

After less than a minute of crawling on his hands and knees through a pipe little wider than his shoulders, Melvin fell into a murky pool. The lantern went out. Gasping and spluttering, Melvin thrashed until he felt a gnarled but strong hand pull him to his feet. The water only came to his thighs.

“Get up, come on. Use your eyes, lad. I can’t have you bumbling around like that. Where’s the lantern?”

Melvin silently handed Pendrake the lantern and felt his clothes; he had never felt so dirty in his life. Something slid across Melvin’s foot. He screamed.

“Quiet you imbecile!”

Melvin kept screaming. After fumbling in the dark for a few moments, Professor Pendrake grabbed Melvin and clamped a hand over his mouth. The hand dripped sewer water, and Melvin gagged as the liquid touched his throat. Hacking, Melvin struggled against Pendrake, but the older man’s grip held.

“Be quiet I say, the Thelg will hear you!”

A loud splash echoed from down the passage. Both Melvin and Pendrake stood still, breathing heavily. After a moment, Professor Pendrake relit the lantern. They were standing in a domed passage made of worked stone. Slime clung to the walls and dripped from ragged curtains of moss hanging from the ceiling. The passageway faded away past the lantern’s illumination. Pendrake looked at Melvin.

“Follow me and stay calm, and keep your wits about you. Once we find the Thelg I will need you to help me hold the net. Here, take the lantern.” Melvin was not listening; he had to recalculate. It was ten twenty. If he left within forty minutes he was close enough to his apartment that if he didn’t change, he could still pick up the fireworks and the ring with just enough time to do a quick set-up. It wouldn’t be perfect, but at least he would be on time. Legs shaking, he pictured the look on Rosie’s face as he followed the professor deeper into the sewer.

Pendrake stopped; the passage had come to a tee. The new passage was wider than the first, a gushing torrent of water sweeping debris towards the sounds of a waterfall. Twelve minutes had passed. Professor Pendrake remained motionless while Melvin set deadlines. Pendrake sniffed the air, slowly reaching inside his coat. Extracting the smoking feather, which loudly made clear its opinion of the smell, the professor lashed it to an iron bar with a strip of leather. As the feather proclaimed that mere physical bonds could not hold it, a streak of blurred movement erupted from the rushing water towards the scholars, the professor throwing the terrified feather towards it.

The Thelg landed less than four arm lengths from the scholars. It stood over eight feet tall, a hulking mass of reptilian muscle and teeth. Its slightly hunched back gave way to bulky shoulders, greenish-gray sandpaper skin pulled over the sinew, exposing large, spidery veins. Its webbed, oversized hands and feet ended in spiked claws, a long, alligator-like tail thrashing the water into a white froth. Its head was oblong and flat, ridges running the length of its forehead, its eyes inky black slits, mouth a ring of pointed, yellow teeth dripping a thick, gloppy saliva. Protruding from either side of its mouth were two tentacles, which flexed and waved as if testing the air. There was a puff of smoke as one of the tentacles snatched the screaming feather.

As soon as the tentacle wrapped around the feather, the Thelg stopped, its attention immediately focused on it. What had moments before been an unstoppable force of forward momentum now curled protectively around the feather, the tentacles holding the feather almost gingerly; it’s suckers gently pulsating. The feather’s screams slowly faded, the smoke dissipating.

“Now’s our chance, lad.” Whispered Pendrake hoarsely. “Grab the other end of the net.”

Melvin’s vision was blurred; he could not seem to focus, or control his shaking. He thought about the number three.

“Hurry lad, the net!”

Melvin liked three. It would be his favorite, if he had to pick one. Seven was nice too, but…the Thelg dropped the feather. Inky eyes focused on Pendrake.

Pendrake had been waving the net in front of Melvin, and was caught blindsided, plunging into the water with one hand yanking on his sword, the other scratching at the monster’s hide. A small geyser signaled the beast and professor’s departure as they were swept away with the current, blood billowing from the chaos.

“Help Marvin!”

Melvin did not hear. He thought about numbers and schedules and details and books. He checked his watch – it was five after eleven. Time to leave.

Melvin arrived at the public gardens two minutes after midnight. He had rushed to his apartment, collected the ring and fireworks, and while he did not have time to change his clothes or bathe, he had liberally applied his most expensive perfume. Rosie had not yet arrived. The minstrels were tuning up, and after telling them to conceal themselves behind a large statue, Melvin scurried to the gazebo he had selected and began stabbing fireworks into the nearby shrubs.

At twelve twenty-three, Rosie appeared out of the mist, a light breeze off the canal lifting her curls. She was wearing a clean white dress without much lace, and when she saw Melvin, she ducked slightly, picked up her skirts and trotted towards him, glancing around as she went.

“Melvin, there you are,” she said upon reaching him, “What is it? What will father do if he finds out I have been at the public gardens so late?” Her brow was furrowed, a state Melvin couldn’t help but notice mimicked in her nose.

“Yes,” he intoned, “Isn’t it romantic?”

Rosie blinked, and said nothing. Melvin cleared his throat and sank to one knee. Rosie glanced around.

“Rosie, I…”

“There’s a man in the canal.”

“I just wanted to say, well…”

“There’s a man in the canal.”

“No, that’s not it. What I want to say to you…” Rosie jerked Melvin’s head to the side.

“Melvin, there is a man in the canal.” This was not how his proposal was supposed to go. He had imagined this moment over three thousand times, and Rosie had never jerked his head. Losing patience, Melvin turned to rebuke her when he noticed legendary monster scholar Victor Pendrake floating down the canal. Melvin quickly looked away, trying to forget what he saw. The aging professor paddled to the bank and hauled himself ashore. His clothes were torn, his skin marred with large gashes and bruises, and he leaned heavily on a piece of driftwood. All his weapons were missing.

“I thought I’d find you here Marvin. Now, I can’t do everything myself. That’s why I have an aid.”

“Who is that?” Rosie clutched Melvin’s arm, but he said nothing and squeezed his eyes shut.

“Come here lad, you are going to help me with this net. I can’t let such an incredible specimen slip away.” Pendrake’s eyes began to gleam. “Why, I thought I was pretty clever to distract it with the feather, but I completely forgot I had this trinket on me.” Professor Pendrake chuckled and pulled out a pendant from inside his shirt. “Always expect the unexpected, as I always say.” He shook his head and chuckled again, as if recalling a fond memory of youthful debauchery. “Well it worked out.”

Blood ran in rivulets from his wounds.

“The Thelg will be here any second for this.” He shook the pendant.

“What? What will be here?” Rosie turned to Melvin looking confused and afraid.

“Nothing. Nothing is coming.”

“Oh yes there is lad.” Pendrake wagged the pendant almost gleefully.

Melvin fumbled for his watch; it was twelve thirty-six. He looked at Rosie.

“Rosie, will you marry me?”

“Come over here and help me with this net.”

“Oh my, Melvin I…”

The Thelg leapt from the canal at Pendrake.

“Gadzooks!” the professor cried, chucking the amulet into the shrubs near the gazebo. The beast slammed in front of Pendrake, emitting a guttural croak before diving after the pendant. The Thelg’s momentum sent it crashing into the side of the gazebo, saw dust cascading from the ceiling. Rosie shrieked and ran, stepping on the hem of her dress, the sound of shredding cloth accompanying the wet thump of skull on cobblestones. Melvin scooped her up, staggered several feet, and with a screech of pain and frustration, collapsed. Rosie mumbled incoherently. Straining against her weight, a thick tear slid down Melvin’s quivering features. Nothing had gone as planned, and it was Pendrake’s fault.

“You,” he whispered through his teeth. “You ruined everything.” Melvin focused on reality, sorting out the inconsistent, the impossible, and the inconceivable. He focused on Pendrake. Net in hand, the professor was approaching the bushes, emphatically motioning Melvin to follow.

“You bastard!” Melvin yelled, charging at Pendrake, who emphatically motioned him not to. “I should have been proposing to Rosie!” The minstrels mistook this for their cue. Having heard a cacophony of cries, croaks, crashes, shrieks, shreds, thumps, screeches, yells, and screams, they emerged from behind the statue ready for a tough crowd.

“Love, love, my love for you floats like a…”

A girl lay unconscious, a young man was running and screaming, an older man was feverishly flapping his arms, and a monster loomed over some bushes. As they ran, each musician silently vowed to never play engagement parties again.

A firework in its mouth, the Thelg whirled to face the aggressive noises. It’s tail slammed into Melvin’s stomach, catapulting him back into the dirt beside Rosie. There was a searing pain in Melvin’s ribs, and blood dribbled from his mouth. His vision fogged.

“Do I have to do everything myself? Get up and help me with this net, lad!”

Melvin could faintly make out Professor Pendrake sitting on the Thelg’s back, bludgeoning it over the head with his driftwood. The monster bucked, clawing at the professor, who narrowly dodged the blows.

“Marvin, help!”

Nothing had gone as planned. He didn’t get to change, he had arrived late, he didn’t get an answer from Rosie, and there had been no fireworks.

“I can’t hold much longer lad!”

“Wait,” Melvin thought. “Of course. Fireworks. There can still be fireworks.”

“Aieeeee!”

Pendrake sailed through the air, crashing into the roof of the gazebo. The Thelg began gorging itself on the fireworks.

Melvin whispered the command word.

“Yes.”

There was a loud, squishy bang. Flaming hearts and monster bits filled the garden as the Thelg’s mangled carcass toppled.

Pendrake groaned, turned over, and looked down at the scene.

“Damn it! I really wanted a look at the internal organs.”

The Death Hole

Once upon a time, a man jumped off a cliff and landed in a bar. Shaking his head, he grabbed a drink and headed for the Barren Wastes of Inevitable Death. An acrid wind blew hot, biting sand in his face, and he spat and coughed and raspberried with his lips.

“Damn sand.” He crunched.

Wandering for days, the man sipped at the last drops of water from his canteen, which, to keep cool, he had hid behind his conspiracy machine.

“Damn water.” he rasped, and noticed death stalking him.

He fixed his jaw and glanced quickly at the shade.

“What a bastard.” He muttered.

“Hey, I heard that!”

“So?”

“So I’m death, and I heard you. I’ve got sweet hearing, especially since rock n’ roll died. God, that music was loud.”

“What do you know about God, or rock n’ roll? Long live the both of them, you Phil Specter!”

“Ha! ‘live’ isn’t in my vocabulary, you Frankenstein-looking dick chisel! You need to moisturize.”

“It’s a ‘dick rasp’, thank you very much, and what’s more Frankenstein was a great song…fart breath.”

“Alright, that does it; you’re going to die and I’m putting you in hell with Sodom and Gomorrah!”

“Oh yeah? Well try this on for size, you tattered old sheet!” The man whipped out his conspiracy machine. “What do you think this is?”

“Sabotage? A mutiny? Completely irrelevant?”

“Nope, it’s a plot device!”

Death fell down a hole and then off a cliff, and the man lived happily ever after.

Ocean's Blues Brothers

INT. DINER - DAY

DANNY Blues sits in a diner booth oozing charm, whipping French fries into his mouth. He is joined by JOHNNY Brothers, a nervous man who constantly fiddles with crap.

JOHNNY

Alright, I'm here, Danny. Against my better judgement, I might add.

DANNY

You're a saint, Johnny.

JOHNNY

You've got until I finish my coffee to tell me what this is all about.

Johnny takes a big sip of coffee.

DANNY

I'm getting the band back together.

Johnny spits his coffee everywhere.

JOHNNY

Are you nuts? It'll never work, not after what you pulled.

DANNY

You didn't let me finish. I'm getting the band back together for one last heist.

JOHNNY

What?

Johnny takes another big gulp of coffee.

DANNY

We're robbing the Bellagio.

Johnny sprays his coffee everywhere, choking.

JOHNNY

Are you out of your mind? That really will never work. I'll be honest with you, with the first band back together thing, I was ready to be convinced. But us robbing hotels? That. Will. Never. Work.

DANNY

Give me one good reason.

JOHNNY

We're musicians!

DANNY

It's just one last time.

JOHNNY

It's the first time!

DANNY

We'll improvise.

JOHNNY

How?

DANNY

Jazz.

JOHNNY

That's music! We know transposing notes, variation, modulation, riffing on a theme, but like I said, that's music! That's nothing like stealing from a hospitality institution! I mean, that's like, three major felonies.

Johnny takes yet another drink of coffee.

DANNY

Three majors, a major third, what's the difference?

Johnny spews his coffee everywhere.

JOHNNY

A lot! Do you even have a plan?

DANNY

It's airtight.

CUT TO:

INT. CLUB - NIGHT

A man laying down a nasty bass groove in a smoky club, really feeling the music.

DANNY (V.O.)

First, we get our old friend and jazz bass virtuoso Stanley Clarke. Has some of the most interesting yet soulful grooves of any bass player out there. A real student of the form.

Danny walks on stage, whispers in Stanley's ear. Stanley's eyes, which had been closed, pop open in terror as he listens to Danny.

DANNY (V.O.)

He's our getaway driver.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR - DAY

Stanley is behind the wheel of a moving car. He still has his bass on. He frantically tries to drive but just plays bass instead. The car careens off the road and into a ditch.

Long bass note.

DANNY (V.O.)

Next we have Steve Lukather, ace session guitarist.

CUT TO:

INT. STUDIO - DAY

Steve tracks guitar in the studio, big headphones over his ears.

DANNY (V.O.)

He's played on half the hits of the last 40 years.

Danny pulls up one side of Steve's headphones and whispers in his ear. Steve's eyes pop, and he whips his head around.

DANNY (V.O.)

He's our safe cracker.

CUT TO:

INT. SAFE ROOM - DAY

Steve's turn transitions to him in front of a safe. He stares at it for a moment, then half-heartedly spins the dial. He looks around for help.

JOHNNY (V.O.)

I'm about to have a heart attack.

We see a shot of each thing as Johnny lists them.

JOHNNY (V.O.)

The Bellagio is swarming with security guards, has cameras everywhere, fingerprint scanner checkpoints, silent alarms, you name it. How are you even going to get in?

DANNY (V.O.)

That's where drumming legend Bernard Purdie comes in.

CUT TO:

EXT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

Bernard Purdie drumming intensely.

DANNY (V.O.)

This guy is so influential he's got a shuffle named after him. His triplets are second to none. He's our distraction.

CUT TO:

INT. CASINO - NIGHT

Bernard in the middle of the casino floor, scared, the center of security guards attention. He slowly slips behind a slot machine.

JOHNNY (V.O.)

And what happens when something inevitably goes wrong?

DANNY (V.O.)

Not a problem, because we have master saxophonist Wayne Shorter as our lookout.

CUT TO:

INT. CLUB - NIGHT

Wayne blasting a sweaty sax solo, eyes squished shut. Danny whispers in his ear and his eyes bug out, blasting more sax.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE BELLAGIO - DAY

Wayne, in the exact same position, in front of the Bellagio, clearly terrified. A crush of cops rush past him into the hotel. As he watches his sax blowing and eyes get bigger until he finally throws his sax and runs the opposite way.

BACK TO:

INT. DINER - DAY

JOHNNY

Time's up, I'm out of coffee.

He turns his coffee cup upside down.

DANNY

Almost there. Finally, we have Rita Jackson, a tambourine player I met at Richmond fifth baptist.

Johnny spits coffee everywhere.

JOHNNY

That was so surprising I spontaneously generated coffee just to spit it! Since when do you go to church?

DANNY

I figured with a big endeavour like this I better get right with God before hand.

JOHNNY

And what job does Rita Jackson have?

CUT TO:

INT. CHURCH - DAY

Rita Jackson, an elderly woman, sitting in a pew. Danny leans over, whispers in her ear. She is utterly scandalized, and whacks him with her tambourine.

BACK TO:

INT. DINER - DAY

DANNY

Rita's out.

JOHNNY

That doesn't that seem like a good sign, spiritually.

DANNY

Nothing's perfect.

CUT TO:

INT. CHURCH - DAY

Rita Jackson is totally kicking the crap out of Danny with her tambourine.

BACK TO:

INT. DINER - DAY

DANNY

With your five octave range, and a group of killers like us, all you need to do is walk out with the money.

JOHNNY

We're studio killers, not actual killers.

DANNY

I don't discriminate like that.

JOHNNY

And where are you in all of this?

DANNY

I'm the manager, so I just take 10% off the top.

JOHNNY

Unbelievable.

DANNY

So, what do you say?

JOHNNY

Alright, I'm in.

Danny spits coffee everywhere.

One liner to open all git modified files in your editor. Substitute nvim with your-editor; statistically code.

git status -s | awk '{print $2}' | xargs nvim

Home Grown and Garden Fed

There was something heavy in the air. It crashed through a second floor window, landing in a pile of broken glass and furniture. It was a cow.

The three strangers in the room stared in comfortable shock while they waited for their brains to catch up.

The cow had crushed Phineus Ned.

Distinguished among London high society, Phineus always appeared in authentic Victorian-era clothing, (down to the underwear, it was whispered) and spent a small fortune on articles from the era.

If you were just rich, you were boring; just weird, and you were crazy. Both, and you were an influencer. That was Phineus Ned, who lay flattened under a cow.

Their shock had thawed enough that the strangers began to talk. They came to an agreement: yes, they all saw the cow, and no, they didn’t think it was part of Phineus’s dinner arrangements.

Questions arose. Where did the cow come from? How did it get here? Was it hurled, or did it come on its own? Also, was Phineus still alive? This last question seemed easy to answer. Jeffrey Palmer, a chiropractor and coward, checked both pulses and determined that cow and man were dead.

“I’m not surprised,” he said, with relief, as he had just had the biggest surprise of his life.

Relaxing into the comfort of the familiar, he pointed out the sound of crunching bone on impact, and likened the noise to the sounds of his profession.

“Like this,” he said, and demonstrated on his neck.

Ms Darla Winters puked salmon steak. The young oil baroness was sensitive to sound, and was not prepared for an audio re-enactment of a dismembering. Unfortunately, the sound she was most sensitive to was vomiting. It was a long time before she recovered.

The men moved to the window, looking for a cow launcher, or something. Everything looked ordinary.

“Well, I think it was murder,” said Roger Lindhorn, an investment banker and heroin addict.

He pulled the shades over the shattered window frame, muttered something about the unwashed masses, and stood by the fireplace to light his cigarette. Roger was in his early forties, and while still handsome, his face was deeply lined, as if it had been pressed with a waffle iron. But the lines weren’t from a waffle iron, they were from all the heroin.

“It was definitely murder,” Roger repeated, who thought about vengeance to relax.

“It’s too precise; this window, of this house, at this exact spot. There’s no way it could be an accident. It was murder.”

“Poppy caaa…caa—uhhhgh…cock,” Darla’s gagging was subsiding. “Who would murder with a caa…caa…livestock?”

“Feeling better?” Jeffrey asked, handing her a handkerchief.

“Yes, thank you.”

“So sorry about…”

“No no,” she interrupted, “No need to remind me.”

“Well, if it wasn’t murder, what was it?” Said Roger defensively; it had to be murder one of these times.

“This is clearly an act of God.” Stated Darla matter-of-factly. Invoking God was an easy way around many problems; it was her life hack, Darla thought with pride.

“Oh, come off it,” Roger snorted, “Whenever there’s something that defies immediate explanation, the true believers are quick to point to a man in the clouds. I don’t buy it.”

“God’s acts are not predicated on belief in them, Mr Lindhorn. What other entity would either have a motive, or have the means, to careen a two ton animal through a window? It’s a sign. A sign and a warning, to all of us.”

“What would God be warning us of, I wonder?” Jeffrey asked.

Darla spoke with rigor and authority.

“Biblically, cow’s are a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Phineus represented foolish opulence.”

Roger squinted at Darla.

“Where does the Bible say that cows are a symbol of wealth?”

“Cain and Abel. Look it up,” she said definitively, hoping he wouldn’t.

“Oh, I will,” Roger lied.

Jeffry piped up. “Regardless, don’t you think we should call the police?”

“No!” Yelled both Roger and Darla.

“But, well, a man’s dead, you know, and there’s blood on the walls, and bits of brain on the floor.” Stammered Jeffry, prodding viscera with his foot. It squished.

Darla threw up in her mouth.

“Absolutely out of the question,” said Roger, while Darla spat fish scales into a period-authentic orchid pot.

Roger had used all his favors with the police, and didn’t want to risk being caught with the five hundred milligrams of black tar heroin he had on him.

“The police will only muddle things up. We were all witnesses, we all saw what happened, but the police don’t rely very much on eye-witness testimony anymore. We could be implicated in the murder, or for some other crime we didn’t commit.”

“Finally, we agree,” Remarked Darla, as she wiped her mouth. She had been embezzling heavily from her oil empire.

“Ah, OK, no police. Probably for the best. So, maybe I should just…go then?”

“Out of the question,” said Roger, “We all need to stay here until we figure out what happened.”

“It was God.”

“No it wasn’t. We still haven’t determined that anyone here isn’t guilty of the crime.”

“What would be any of our motive? None of us knew him particularly well, so emotional ties are minimal. Money isn’t it, since we’re all independently wealthy, except for Jeffry, who’s wealthy but still has to work. Why would any of us do it?”

“Maybe Jeffry did it, then,” said Roger, disgustedly, throwing up his hands.

“I didn’t,” said Jeffry, looking hurt.

The whole affair was making Roger itchy. Probably best to get rid of the evidence, just to be on the safe side.

“Please, if you’ll excuse me, I need to use the restroom.”

Darla and Jeffry watched him go. Flies had started to buzz around the cow’s glazed eyes and lolling tongue, the jammy smush of the late Phineus Ned seeping into the 17th century carpeting.

Jeffry pulled out his phone, saying he’d check the news.

Darla stared right at the purpling pile; fortunately, she had a strong stomach for sights.

“Nothing,” said Jeffry, pocketing his phone.

He had also looked up cow symbolism in the Bible, and found nothing, but was too non-confrontational to mention anything. He paid his brother a salary for the same reason.

A maid came in carrying a tea tray.

Her scream echoed throughout the flying buttresses of the mansion. The tea tray crashed to the floor, and she bolted from the room.

“Stop her!” Darla yelled at Jeffry, “She’ll call the police!”

“Oh, good,” said Jeffry. The path of least resistance was starting to pay off.

Darla grunted in anger, picking up her skirts and running after the woman. Kicking off her heels, she skidded on stockinged feet into the hallway. It was long, dimly lit, with polished oak floors. The screaming had stopped. The maid was at the other end of the hallway, weeping into a phone.

Darla began running down the hall. Where the hell was Roger? She could have used some help.

“…Yes, three guests in the room. Mr Palmer, Mr Lindhorn, and Ms Winters,” The maid noticed Darla, her explanation changing to a shriek.

Darla frantically made a shushing motion, and tried to stop running. Polished oak and stockings heavily favor perpetual motion, however, and Darla kept sliding, fast, her shushing only serving to throw off her own balance.

“She’s attacking me!” Was the last thing the maid said before Darla crashed into her.


Sergeant Bertram Huxtable entered the crime scene with two officers, and surveyed the scene.

A large cow, covered in broken class, lay in the middle of the room on top of a man dressed in Victorian clothes and copious amounts of blood. Both looked deceased. Behind that, a broken window, the curtains drawn and fluttering from the outside breeze. A man standing in the corner, his face transitioning from relief to distress at regular intervals. Suspicious. Keep an eye on him. And a woman, an ice pack on her head, leaning against a mahogany table leg, being glowered at by a tearful maid. Not sure what to make of that, yet.

“Alright, what the hell happened here?”

Jeffry, relief on his face, said, “We had just met with Mr Ned, when a cow crashed through the window and crushed him,” He switched to distressed. “I’m a chiropractor.”

“Is that it? That’s all you’ve got?” Huxtable looked at Darla, “What about you?”

“It was a sign from God.”

“She attacked me!”

“I said I was sorry!”

“OK, both of you stop, you’re giving me a headache. Everyone be quiet.”

Huxtable was going to ask for a raise after this.

Roger woke up in the bathtub. He had slept through the commotion earlier thanks to all the heroin he had injected. Now he was awake thanks to a hallucination of a commotion.

He stormed into the room, applying pressure to his left forearm.

“What’s going on here!” He yelled, too high to know the danger he was in. “And you,” He said, poking Huxtable in the chest, “You’re the murderer! I can feel it!”

“Get you’re hands off me!” Huxtable yelled, pushing Roger away, “And who said anything about a murder? Are you trying to do my job, or was that a slip of the tongue?”

“I’ve never done heroin!” Roger screamed.

Huxtable blinked. What the hell was going on? He motioned the two officers, who’s faces were wide with confusion.

“McEvens, Peterson, let me talk to you for a minute.”

The three men huddled together, speaking in hushed tones for exactly one minute, before the wall ripped apart and another cow cannonballed into the trio, spraying the room with gore.

“Ah ha!” Yelled Roger, as if he had solved the case, then chewed his nails.

The maid tried to scream, but only a faint, cracking whisper came out.

Jeffry stood very still, and waited for good things to happen.

“God always strikes twice, when he is not understood, Jeramia 2:16!” Darla quoted incorrectly, to no one in particular. “It’s all clear! I can see the meaning of it! For when…”

Darla was cut off by Jeffry wetly blowing his nose. She heaved another chunk of salmon at a priceless candelabra from Queen Elizabeth’s kitchens.

I ordered 3 of Julia Evans zines.

  1. How git works
  2. Bite Size Command Line
  3. HTTP: Learn your browser’s language

I have the PDFs, but waiting to read the physicals. Very excited.

Compelling critique of societies rigid conceptions of how technology interlocks with human life.

Google has been really kicking their own ass, in existential hit after hit. Tighten it up.

Ranking the Filthy 15

Back in the 80s, Tipper Gore and other cultural conservatives went on a crusade against sex and violence in popular music. They put together a list of fifteen representative songs to use as a political football, known as the filthy 15.

Apropos of nothing, I’ll rank each song. Each will score between 1 and 4 filths, gaining one point for each of the following objective scientific criteria.

  1. 😳 Flushed: Would I be embarrassed if my grandmother heard me listening to this song?
  2. 🧠 Memorable: Does this filth get stuck in my head?
  3. 🪶 Poetic: Does it paint a vivid picture?
  4. 🍑 Fuckable: Would I have sex while listening to it?

Note: because of the content, you’ll have to click through to YouTube to listen to the songs.

“Darling Nikki” by Prince

Why Tipper hated it: Sex/masturbation

The song that set off the anti-music craze, it’s an undeniable classic off Purple Rain, an album with an embarrassment of classics. A strong contender for the best song on this list. It’s pretty dirty, too.

Speaking of embarrassment, how would I feel if my grandma heard me listening to this? The words “sex” and “masturbating” really pop out of the mix, and I think we’d both throw ourselves out the window at that point.

This absolutely gets stuck in my head, it paints a very frank, vivid picture, and this thing is so sexy, I’d bang a sand dune to this shit.

😳 🧠 🪶 🍑

“Sugar Walls” by Sheena Easton

Why Tipper hated it: Sex

Barely a metaphor, I hadn’t really listened to Sheena’s personal vagina explainer before. Pretty standard 80s pop. While it’s frankly insulting to metaphors to call the lyrics one, it’s just enough for my grandmother to not understand. The “blood races to your private spots” line is risky, but her hearing isn’t great. The lyrics are high level and vague, just thin innuendos, so no picture. But sure, it wouldn’t kill the mood.

🧠 🍑

“Eat Me Alive” by Judas Priest

Why Tipper hated it: Sex/violence

Not my favorite Priest song, off maybe my least favorite Priest album, this song is fine. Nothing concrete in the lyrics here, just vague innuendo. Tipper said this song advocated for oral sex at gun point, which is pretty intense, but in context the lyrics feel more “metal metaphors for a beej” instead of anything more sinister. Or interesting.

I’d be embarrassed if my grandmother heard me listening to it, not because of the lyrics, but because of the genre. She’d be so disappointed.

“Out of all the Judas Priest albums, you’re listening to Defenders of the Faith?” She’d say, pulling my ear.

😳

“Strap On ‘Robbie Baby’” by Vanity

Why Tipper hated it: Sex

Pretty sure this was the first time I’ve heard this song when researching this piece. Pretty nasty riff, the guitars and synth combined sound like an 808 fucked a car. I might have to get into Vanity. Anyway, I couldn’t understand the lyrics at all, so there’s no chance my grandma could. As killer as the music is, I’ve already forgotten it now that YouTube is auto playing another Vanity tune called “Sex Shooter”. I do remember that I would absolute fuck to it, though.

Bonus points for the whip sound effect.

🍑 💥

“Bastard” by Mötley Crüe

Why Tipper hated it: Violence/language

The quintessential of-its-time hair metal band, they do have some catchy songs. While this might be the first time I’m hearing it, I think this is one of them. I couldn’t really understand the mumble-ass lyrics, but man would my grandma be upset if she heard me listening to this.

“Chris, you’re listening to Mötley Crüe? What year is it? Madone.”

😳 🧠

“Let Me Put My Love Into You” by AC/DC

Why Tipper hated it: Sex

This song was five years old by the time Tipper said it was rotting kid’s brains, so I guess it was pretty potent to still be doing the devil’s work out in the streets.

Off AC/DC’s commercial peak Back in Black, that album was the start of the clumsy-if-not-appalling Brian Johnson sex innuendo era, instead of the clever-if-not-appalling Bon Scott sex innuendo era. Despite all that, it’s a great song, it gets stuck in my head unprovoked, my grandma wouldn’t know what was happening but wouldn’t like it, so I wouldn’t like it, and honestly this has too much of a virgin dorm vibe for me to have sex to.

😳 🧠

“We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister

Why Tipper hated it: Violence

I don’t know why this song ended up on this list. Violence? The closest the lyrics get is Dee Snyder saying he’ll fight the powers that be. Sure, the whole song is anti-authority, and he says the word “fight” a few times. I don’t know, saying this is violent is a real stretch. Catchy tune though. My grandma would ignore this. We’re not gonna take it anymore is hardly a sex sentiment. We all prefer I Wanna Rock.

🧠

“Dress You Up” by Madonna

Why Tipper hated it: Sex

Pretty tame silk sheet boudoir lyrics. The most explicit they get is during the chorus, when Madonna lets you know that she’ll dress you up in her love, all over your body. So, sex. Pretty fun song, but nothing special, especially given Madonna’s catalog. The lyrics paint the vaguest picture, to the point where I feel like I’m in a blank room more than anything. My grandmother would find this unobjectionable. I guess I’d fuck to this in a pinch, and I use that term advisedly.

🍑🥱

“Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)” by W.A.S.P.

Why Tipper hated it: Sex/language/violence

Whoa, kick it up, it’s W.A.S.P.! Straight out of the gate, Blackie Lawless is bragging about his nudie pictures next to his bed, then starts talking about smells. Holy shit, that’s a picture! I never listened to W.A.S.P. before this, and while the lyrics descend into standard hair metal sex talk, verging into pretty gross misogyny, Blackie’s voice has a real compelling power amidst the slick buzz-saw guitars on this tune. I would rather die than let my grandma catch me listening to it. This song also has the power to evaporate genitals.

😳 🧠 🪶

“High ’n’ Dry (Saturday Night)” by Def Leppard

Why Tipper hated it: Drug and alcohol use

Another one I don’t think I’ve ever heard before researching this piece. Pretty forgettable stadium rock. I don’t understand why this song in particular gets on the filthy list for alcohol use; there’s so many popular booze tunes, and this one isn’t any more explicit on the topic than any other. Also, why the hell is everyone wearing Def Leppard shirts now? Fucking Def Leppard? My grandmother would fall asleep to this song. I don’t have sex at frat parties, so this song is out on that count as well.

🚫

“Into the Coven” by Mercyful Fate

Why Tipper hated it: Occult

Finally, mixing up the theme! Forget sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, “Into the Coven” gets on the naughty list for the occult! This is definitely the first time I heard this song. Starting off with a medieval mandolin-ish intro, then going into bog standard head bang riff with a Rob Halford-ish high note vocal, it’s totally ish. I couldn’t understand the vocal, so I had to look up the lyrics to get that sweet, sweet devil text.

Howl like a wolf
And a witch will open the door
Follow me
And meet our high priestess
Come, come into my coven
And become Lucifer’s child

Yep, that’s occult, and it’s painting a pretty vivid picture. Fun stuff! It repels sex. I thought my grandmother would be offended, but when I performed the ritual to contact her from beyond the grave, she was fine with it.

🪶

“Trashed” by Black Sabbath

Why Tipper hated it: Drug and alcohol use

Certainly not the first Sabbath song anyone thinks of—or the thirty-first, really—it’s more of a cautionary drunk driving tale from the one-off Ian Gillan era than anything scandalous. The story is specific and clear, and the riff is solid if unmemorable. I don’t think any of Black Sabbath’s music get within the same post code as an aphrodisiac. My grandma would appreciate how the nice boys are educating people about the dangers of alcohol.

🪶

“In My House” by Mary Jane Girls

Why Tipper hated it: Sex

What a fun bop. Great hook. Lyrics are pretty tame, and vague, even by 1980s standards! But yeah, they’re about sex. It does make me dance, so maybe that adds extra scandal to it. It’s so catchy, and in an uncomfortable couplet, I would both have sex to this song and dance with my grandmother to it.

🧠 🍑

“Possessed” by Venom

Why Tipper hated it: Occult

One more occult tune! It starts with the lyric, “Look at me, Satan’s child” amidst foreboding guitars, so already more thematically occult feeling than Into The Coven. Darker, more alienated, and far less commercial than anything else on this list. This feels actually worthy of a moral panic, which makes it feel a lot more fun than it actually is. Pretty neat double bass drum breakdown section, though. This one is way too antisocial for sex. It’s so antisocial, that it would be a humiliating social experience for my grandma to catch me listening to it.

😳 🪶

“She Bop” by Cyndi Lauper

Why Tipper hated it: Sex/masturbation

Ah, the perennial classic. Great song, so catchy, with specific lyrics that really do paint a picture despite their heavy euphemisms. Of course I’d have sex to this tune, and, thank God, my grandmother would absolutely not understand the lyrics.

🧠 🪶 🍑

Final thoughts

To no one’s surprise, the best song on this list, according to science, is Prince’s Darling Nikki, with She Bop a close second. The hidden gem is Vanity’s Strap On ‘Robbie Baby’. The worst is whatever that Def Leppard song was.

Thanks Tipper!

This has been making the rounds, and is super fun and interesting. Well worth the ten minute run time. How do they know dogs are colorblind? (w/ Cleo Abram) - YouTube

This blog is 15 years old today 🎂

Fifteen years. Holy crap. I had no grand plans when I started this blog, and it’s bonkers to me that this is still going. I had made a few personal websites prior to the creation of this blog, thankfully lost-to-time-one-page-fan-zine-type-things, but I started writing on the web in earnest in 2009 to give updates on my cancer treatment.

I found myself telling the same information over and over again to family and friends, and figured if I wrote it on the internet, people would read that and I wouldn’t have to repeat myself as much. Even then I knew folks didn’t generally read their acquaintances personal essays, but I figured people would feel sorry for the little cancer boy and take a peek.

They didn’t!

Or, I don’t think many people did. I didn’t keep analytics. The point is, I still had to repeat all the same information over and over.

But I got hooked on writing. Occasionally. There would be long pauses between updates, but when I did write, I found it really helpful and cathartic.

Over time, the blog changed a lot. The topics broadened out, from just cancer, to random things I was interested in, to coder shit once I joined the industry and that seemed important, to shorter posts, and finally to a bewildering mix.

I’ve changed blogging platforms several times, and domains at least three times, and designs a lot. I’ve been able to take my content with me wherever I’ve gone, a core blessing of the open web that was once table stakes and now seems astounding given the nature of corporate social media capture.

The very first iteration of this blog, the cheery cancer update site, is still online, still hosted on Wordpress, and still has the exact same theme as it started with. chrisdeluca.wordpress.com

I love writing, and I love having a little corner of the web to share it on. A digital place I own. Across all the changes in life and this blog, one thing has remained consistent. It is a home for my bullshit.

Thanks for reading.

The historical connection between weaving and writing is so cool.

I ran across this a while ago, but never linked to it. Correcting that grave mistake now. motherfuckingwebsite.com

My friend Lindsey shared this piece on the inspired and terrible Ginger Baker. It focuses on his time after Cream in Nigeria, and his lasting impact there. The album he did with Fela Kuti is incredible.