Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

My car radio gave out a few years ago, and since then I've been making my commute with nothing but my brain and the scenery to keep me company. It takes about 45 minutes to get from the San Fernando Valley to Santa Monica on a good day, and this time of year, the drive is always a little eerie. The Valley is sunny and clear and even starting to get a little warm at seven in the morning, and as I head up Topanga Canyon Blvd. into the Santa Monica Mountains, I can look behind me and see for miles, to the hills to the north as they rise up from the valley floor.

But ahead, ahead heavy tendrils of ocean fog hang over the ridge like thick fingers grasping a rock, and it takes all of fifteen seconds to be consumed by what waits on the other side. The sun snuffs out and the windshield starts to wick up moisture and everything below and ahead suddenly vanishes into grey murk. Sound damps down to the thrum of the engine and you feel like the whole world has vanished.

And then, above, the fog swirls in some unexpected way and maybe, just maybe, there's something leathery and huge up there, beating at the air to stay aloft. And suddenly, bugs -- huge bugs. The size of a man's fist, with spinning translucent wings and tiny, angry mouths, and they hit the grill like over-ripe melons, with hard, wet thumps. And tentacles, oh Christ, tentacles, lashing at the car, a bleached-bone talon on the end of each gouging deep gashes in the metal of the roof and doors like they were paper. And, ahead, astride the road, a Lovecraftian nightmare, a horror from beyond time, leering horribly, blindly, mindlessly. And I know this world is no longer ours, and the ancient madness has returned, and I scream and scream and scream.

And then I hit Pacific Coast Highway and the fog clears a little and I head on into work, because, yikes, I'm already late.

I really need to get a radio.

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is greg@eod.com. I'd love to hear from you!

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