I see your website is back up. I guess somebody spilled a Dr. Pepper down the server or something? Did I tell you I can’t access it from work (even when it is working)? A big red hand pops up on the screen and it says ACCESS DENIED! Yet I can look at Consumption Junction all day, with their pictures of men who ran their cocks through meat grinders, and women with laser printers in their vaginas. I don’t get it. -Jeff

who do i sue?

Yup, the whole fucking system apparently went down over the weekend. I’d like to thank all of you who brought it to my attention, even though there wasn’t a damned thing I could do about it. For what it’s worth, there wasn’t anything new to read anyway. I haven’t written a word in about four days now. I was in Chicago with Linette, attending the wedding of our friends Kim and Jason (more on that in a minute).

As for what happened with this site, I don’t know. The host’s site (powweb.com) was down too. My guess is that they didn’t pay their electric bill, or that they laid off someone who knew how to tear everything down and shove it right back up their ass. According to a post on their site this morning though, this happened because they were moving to an even more modern facility, from which they could even better serve the needs of their clients. That kind of bullshit takes balls. I have to give them credit for that.

First off, if that were true, wouldn’t they have told us before the system went down? Wouldn’t you want to give people a heads-up and maybe even brag a bit about these new and modern facilities? Of course you would. You don’t just pull the plug on everyone and then post a one-sentence explanation the next day about how it was an improvement and how you shouldn’t be upset for losing business. That would be like Osama bin Laden coming out and saying, “Just think of all the money you saved on window washing.”

And the fact that their customer support hasn’t yet answered either of the questions that I sent to them over the past two weeks, that must be because they were preparing some kind of comprehensive action plan for improving markmaynard.com. Maybe they were calling in specialists from MIT. Or, maybe they just had to finish this super-secret base of operations first.

I can picture them now, screaming to one another over the sound of sirens and the glow of red warning lights as my email comes in to the bunker… “Damn It All to Hell! We can’t return Mark Maynard’s email right now. We just can’t risk it. The systems aren’t yet secure. It’s for his own damned good.”

I’ve already paid for 14 months of hosting though, so I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens next. Wish me luck.

As for some of your offices not allowing their employees to access markmaynard.com, I don’t know what to tell you. I guess I could write letters to all of your bosses and ask them to take the site off their “red hand” lists. I wouldn’t even have to give your name. I could just say that people at their company have contacted me, and that they’re very unhappy. And, you know, an unhappy employee is an unproductive employee.

It seems to me that people were masturbating or otherwise wasting time at work since the beginning of time. You can’t stop it. People left to their own devices will always fuck around. I don’t see the logic in blocking selected sites. If someone wants to not work, they’re not going to work. It’s like hiding the Playboys from a fifteen year-old boy. He’s either going to find them, or he’s going to make due with a copy of Sears catalog. There is no greater force in all the world than a boy who wants to jerk off or a man who wants to procrastinate.

If logic fails though, maybe I could put an image of an American flag on the front page and an inspirational quote. Maybe that would get around the “red hand.” I wonder what the “red hand” looks for. Apparently, it’s not images of pussy-surrounded facsimile machines and cock meat shredded to its roots. It must be certain words that send the “red hand” up. Or, maybe they can recognize a blog when they see one and they just assume it’s trivial and meaningless. Could that be? If someone knows, please tell me. I find this troubling. If people can’t access this site at work, I’m sunk. There’s no way people would read this on their own time. Not a chance.

panty beer sponge

The wedding in Chicago was good. The service was short and Unitarian, and the reception was held in an old barn somewhere about an hour outside of Chicago. I was the designated driver, so I just got to sit back and watch Linette get drunk to the point of saying, after grabbing someone for a hug and thereby spilling a beer down her back, “It’s OK. My panties soaked up all the beer.” I can’t tell you how proud she makes me sometimes.

The music was great, the bride and groom were both insanely happy, and Linette and I even ventured out onto the dance floor for the first time in about five years.

It’s becoming painfully obvious, however, that we and our friends are growing old. Not only weren’t there drinking games, there were actual discussions about illnesses, aches and pains. At one point in the evening, I found myself telling my friend Dave about my tendonitis, only to be told in return about the mysterious lump on the back of his head. I’m sure we had shit like that in the past, but I don’t think that any of us cared about it. Now bunions are more important to us than music though. Also, I had more than one conversation about 401k plans and mortgage rates. One of those was with a friend who just a few years before was telling me about his having spent a weekend smoking crack with a prostitute he met on the street in San Francisco. Now he’s got a staff, a fucking staff that works for him, and his house was just on an official Chicago home tour.

It was also odd in that on Friday evening, the night before the wedding, we chose for the most part to just hang around and look at photo albums. When did we all become nostalgic? And when did that become more important than stumbling from bar to bar?

All in all, it was a great little getaway and I’d like to thank Elizabeth and Flick for playing host and serving drinks.

Would it be bad if I were to mention that, according to rumor, Flick shaves his balls? Can you thank someone and then call them a ball-shaver in the next sentence? Maybe I shouldn’t mention it, but we did spend an awful lot of time talking about that too. Actually, maybe that’s a sign of hope. Maybe we aren’t so old after all. The 401 K talk was punctuated with shouts of “ball shaver!” I don’t think my parents still do that kind of thing. (By that I mean yelling hurtful insults, not shaving balls.)

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