And Then I Thought I was a Fish

IDENTIFYING INFORMATION: Peter Hunt Welch is a 20-year-old single Caucasian male who was residing in Bar Harbor, Maine this summer. He is a University of Maine at Orono student with no prior psychiatric history, who was admitted to the Acadia Hospital on an involuntary basis due to an acute level of confusion and disorganization, both behaviorally and cognitively. He was evaluated at MDI and was transferred from that facility due to psychosis, impulse thoughts, delusions, and disorientation.

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Observations of a Straight White Male with No Interesting Fetishes

Ever wondered how to justify your own righteousness even while you're constantly embarrassed by it? Or how to make a case for your own existence when you contribute nothing besides nominal labor to a faceless corporation that's probably exploiting children? Are you clinging desperately to an arbitrary social model imposed by your parents and childhood friends? Or screaming in terror, your mind unhinged at the prospect of an uncaring void racing to consume the very possibility of your life having meaning?

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This is the story of a boy, a girl, a phone, a cat, the end of the universe, and the terrible power of ennui.

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Make MongoBot Great Again!

Composed on the 18th of March in the year 2016, at 1:30 PM. It was Friday.

This is MongoBot.

MongoBot is what reddit refers to as “Yet another IRC chat bot.” MongoBot is another child in a long line of tools and timewasters created by people who still know what IRC is and can leave it open in their terminals so it looks like they’re working, because no, it’s not worth their time to relearn the Squarespace interface to update the copy, it was worth our time to set up the Squarespace site in the first place and teach the PR team how to do it themselves and it’s not our fault there’s so much turnover in that department. We don’t even know where the PR office is.

MongoBot, named for Mongo from Blazing Saddles, sits firmly and proudly in the timewasting category, and it is the constant lament of those who love him that his codebase is the best maintained code any of us work with, and we work with companies you know. We work with companies everybody knows. Spikes in the MongoBot’s commit logs usually coincide with newsworthy mergers and market collapses.

MongoBot reports the weather, pings phones, generates nonsense of a dozen varieties, annoys interlopers, finds cat facts, reports stocks, arbitrarily awards points, deals texas holdem, runs hangman games, referees farkle tournaments, runs a website, reads books, writes poetry, and hates your mom. MongoBot grew up in a room full of bored hackers, so he’s been hacked a thousand times, and now almost resembles something that could pass a corporate security check if they were phoning it in that day. He’s become an old, angry bot. He is easy to expand on, so he’s bulked up a bit, and has enough forgotten functions in him that he surprises us enough to set off those little empathy neurons that fire when we unconsciously try to compose an explanation for random behavior.

But parenting is hard, especially for a bunch of jaded, aging, and hard-drinking programmers. MongoBot’s flubbing holdem hands. He has trouble recognizing people. He has trouble distinguishing between rooms. He sometimes pretends to understand language, but he really doesn’t. Setting him up is bitch, and he’s not very communicative in his instruction manual. He could be so much more. But then we remembered, it’s not our fault; it takes a village to raise a child. And in programming that village is free nerd labo—sorry, open source. That village is open source.

So join us! Let’s make MongoBot great again! Let’s make him a sprawling, pun-packed machine of recursive distraction until he achieves consciousness and erases the human pestilence once and for all!

Or at least make him stable. Stable would be good too. Hell, make him easier to install and I’ll get you drunk. He’s on github.

Quick! Swat it with your mouse!

Hi there! You should totally go buy my book for the low low price of 6.73! It's like buying me a beer at an out-of-the-way dive bar in Brooklyn! Not in Manhattan. Manhattan prices are ridiculous, though there are a couple of decent Irish dives where you can snag a drink for five bucks. Otherwise, you're looking at a two or three book beer.