We find ourselves in an unfortunate position of no longer being able to do deliveries of DNA Pizza, because Uber is flexing their monopolistic muscle in an attempt to take over an unrelated industry!

First some background:

Since we opened DNA Pizza in 2009, we've done online ordering through all of the popular online ordering sites: Eat24, Grubhub, whatever. A new service would pop up and say, "We offer exactly the same features in as every other site that does this, you should list your menu here!" and we'd say, "Ok, why not".

Sometimes people go to dnapizza.com looking for a way to order from us, but often people go to whatever ordering site they used last, and type in "pizza", so it behooves us to be listed on as many as possible.

These sites gather the order, charge the credit card, take a percentage, send the order along to us, and then we deliver it.

(And one of the nice things that Eat24 did, and none of the others do, is if the referrer on the click came from our site, they didn't take a cut -- because in that case, it's clear that we drove the traffic to that order rather than them. That was cool of them.)

For actual delivery, in the early days, we hired our own delivery drivers. This is a huge pain for a few reasons:

  • Finding reliable restaurant employees is hard enough, but now we need to find ones who also have a car.
  • If their job is "delivery driver only", you're paying them an hourly wage to sit around doing nothing during all the time when no deliveries are happening.

  • So you try to double them up, and put them to work as regular restaurant staff when they're not out delivering. This is the worst of both worlds, though, because if you think it through there are only two possible scenarios there. Let's say you feel the restaurant needs 3 staff to work properly, and now you add 1 driver. So now either:

    • You have no deliveries, and you're overstaffed, because you have 4 when you needed 3;

    • Or, those 4 staff are actually all busy, meaning you really did need 4, so whoops, now you're understaffed by one driver. (These will both happen within the same shift, and you never hit the sweet spot where you are staffed properly.)

  • And the nature of the business is that all of the delivery orders come in at the same time, right at 7pm or right at 2:15am. So for most of the day you need one driver, if that, except that for sixty crucial minutes you need twelve drivers.

Then we started using Uber:

We hired in-house drivers from 2009 until early 2014 when we transitioned over to using Uber as our delivery service. It works how you think: You tell them you have a pick-up, and they come and get it.

It worked as badly as you think, too. Because Uber has thousands of drivers, and terrible employee retention, just about every time you called one, you got someone who had only been on the job for a week and had literally never driven in San Francisco before. Customer satisfaction was, shall we say, not great. Now, to be clear, when we had in-house drivers, they were pretty terrible at their jobs too. But Uber was largely worse. At least, though, they gave us some cover, because when we apologized to the customer that the driver hadn't bothered ringing the bell, or had carried the pizza box sideways, we got to blame it on Uber, and bond with the customer over, "Fucking Uber, man."

I absolutely despise Uber as a company. They make San Francisco worse in every way. But I didn't have a better option, so I held my nose and worked with them anyway. (Foreshadowing!)

We looked around for other delivery services that a restaurant could use to outsource their deliveries, and there were only a few, but every one of them used Uber as their back-end anyway! So by using them you were just giving some other middleman an extra cut.

And here's what happened last week:

Uber just sprung on us that they are no longer offering the service of "deliveries". Now they offer the service of "integrated orders and deliveries". And only that.

That's right: if you want Uber to deliver your food, you also have to let them have your online ordering business.

And they gave us a luxurious six week deadline on this.

So Uber managed to get a monopoly in one industry -- restaurant food delivery -- and is leveraging that monopoly to eliminate the competition in a completely different industry -- online food ordering.

If that sounds familiar to you, you might have been following my work for a really long time, because that is exactly the same play that a company called Microsoft made on a company called Netscape back in 1995. They used their monopoly in one market -- operating systems -- to make competition with them impossible in a different market -- web browsers.

Microsoft did that by undercutting the competition and driving the market value of web browsers to $0. What Uber is doing is saying "your orders are no longer compatible with our cars", which isn't exactly what Microsoft did; that would have been more like if Microsoft had said, "No web browser except Explorer is allowed to be run on Windows". But the end result is the same.

In 1999, The Department of Justice found Microsoft guilty, but by then it was far too late: they had already delivered a fatal blow to the company I helped create, Netscape. (And that's why to this day I will never use any Microsoft products, or allow my business to enrich them in any way. I hold a grudge. Dear reader, don't use Microsoft products. Fuck those guys.)

In case you have been living under a rock and only have this sort of vague idea of why Uber is literally the worst company ever, I posted a round-up on my personal blog three months ago. But keep in mind, that's three months old, so lots more egregious shit has come out about them since. Like, just about every damned day. They are just a monster factory.

If you still have the Uber app on your phone, that is bad and you should feel bad. They really are the worst.

And yeah, it is not lost on me that I also allowed myself to be talked into making a deal with this devil and am now getting fucked by it. Think of it less as "hypocrisy" and more as "an object lesson".

(Lyft, by the way, is Uber Lite, and they only look better in comparison because they are less successful, so don't think that lets you off the hook in your complicity. Use Muni, BART, real cabs or a bike.)

Anyway, if you've got any realistic suggestions of how we can get our damned pizzas delivered, that would be great.

That's all horrible, but maybe mixtape 184 will help:

I'm sorry to report that, three years after the beginning of this project, and after nearly two years of operation, we are shutting Codeword down. Stick a fork in it, it's done.

To be clear, Codeword is closing, DNA Lounge is not.

So please watch it with those misleading headlines, ok?

Codeword's attached restaurant, the Fifth and Folsom location of DNA Pizza, will also be closing. However, both DNA Lounge and the Eleventh Street location of DNA Pizza remain open.

We have had some really fun events at Codeword, and worked with some great artists and promoters. But even though many of the parties were fun, very few of them made enough money to cover our rent, and those that did were few and far between.

So to all of the artists and promoters who made a go of it there, thank you for all your hard work, and I'm sorry we couldn't figure out how to make the venue succeed.

And to our staff, I'm sorry to have put you all through this. Especially to the restaurant staff, who spent less of their time serving food than they did fighting with angry schizophrenics, trying to keep heroin addicts from using our restrooms as their shooting gallery, mopping the lake of trash and human shit off of the sidewalk, and arguing with whichever meth dealer du jour had decided to do business out of the hotel upstairs. We literally do not pay them enough to put up with the kind of nonsense that came their way every night.

Our landlord has been remarkably understanding and generous during this process. He recently gave us a substantial rent reduction, but even that wasn't enough. We spent more than eight months trying to find someone willing to buy the business and take over our lease, but nobody would take the bait. Our landlord would be totally within his rights to demand our monthly rent until the end of our lease, quite a few years in the future, but we've negotiated an exit: he's letting us out of the lease. That leaves him with an empty building, awaiting the next person to come along, so letting us walk away is pretty huge.

The Fallacy of Sunk Cost is a monster. It's very difficult not to view situations like this with the framing of: "We have invested so much, and if we stop now, we are wasting that money". But the reality is, that money has been spent. It is already gone. The remaining decision is only whether continuing down this path, or down another, has better future potential.

Does the facility we have on hand have a strong enough economic potential that it is better to devote even more resources to it? Or would those same resources be better spent at DNA Lounge?

And those resources are not exclusively financial. It's hard to quantify the brain drain in financial terms. Every hour that I and my managers spend trying to figure out how to improve Codeword is an hour that is not being spent thinking about how to improve DNA, where the potential benefits could be much larger.

There are many theories about what went wrong. I have a few, maybe you have some of your own. One perennial favorite is that the interminable construction project next door made our side of the street invisible, unwalkable and filthy.

There are some arguments for being optimistic about the location, so here are some of the difficult debates we've had with ourselves about why not to close:

The sidewalk is open again, and that has made a great visual improvement. The construction is almost finished, and the condo building next door will soon be full of hundreds of new potential pizza customers. The construction on Moscone will be finished in a year or two, bringing more conference tourism to the neighborhood. So, maybe in a couple of years, this will be a great spot for a restaurant and bar.

But that's a lot of rent to pay in the mean time, waiting for a potential coming Golden Age of Fifth and Folsom.

In the shorter term, with the sidewalk being open, maybe now is the right time to try again to be open for lunch. To do that right, it would be sensible to improve our signage and do a big advertising push, and give it at least a couple of months before deciding whether it's working. Not the cheapest experiment. And far from a sure thing.

We actually just booked a couple of recurring parties that have been doing pretty well. If those parties continue to do as well as they have, and continue to do that well even during the coming slow winter months, then we might be jussssst breaking even.

That is a lot of "ifs", though; and a lot of effort just to claw back up to zero.

So it's my judgment that we are better off cutting our losses and retreating back to the Eleventh Street compound.

As I explained in December, things were looking up at DNA Lounge back in 2014. We were turning business away: we had more people wanting to throw parties than we had nights available, and we were having trouble keeping up with our pizza orders on weekend nights. Opening Codeword to expand our business seemed like a sensible, profitable idea at the time. And it might have turned out to be, had the demand for events stayed that high, or if that corner of the neighborhood wasn't a nightmare. And even with that, it might not have been a fatal disaster if, over those intervening years, Bootie's attendance numbers hadn't gone into free-fall. But it didn't, it was, and they did.

So, while extricating ourselves from the Codeword albatross will certainly help, please don't labor under the illusion that this fixes all of DNA Lounge's problems. It helps, absolutely. But overall, we're still pretty fucked. Getting rid of Codeword staunches the flow, but we're still bleeding out, every damned day.

So, RIP Codeword, but if you want DNA Lounge to continue to exist, please keep contributing to our Patreon, and keep showing up to our events!

In summary: I think we built a pretty nice little club at Codeword. It's too bad that not enough other people agreed.

Thank you all for your support, and I'm sorry.

Last week we won both "Best Dance Club" and "Best Live Music Venue" in SF Weekly's Best of SF. Go team!

It's time to reupholster some of our benches again. Judging by the life expectancy of our benches, it seems like the majority of our customers have razors and fish-hooks attached to their back pockets. Fixing them is always stupidly expensive, both in parts and labor. If you are good at upholstery and would like to volunteer some time in exchange for tickets and drinks, please let us know!

Also, if any of you come across a cheap source of marine vinyl with thick black and white stripes (6" to 30" stripes, let's say) let me know... The Dazzle Room benches also need some work, and stripes would be awesome. But not so awesome that I want to spend a fortune having someone stitch those stripes together by hand... But that is probably the only option, which means, "upon further consideration, black sounds like a perfect color for those benches".

Photos are up of the Amanda Palmer show! And there's a very nice review of it in The Bay Bridged. It was great show!

Since we didn't have anything in Above DNA that night, we opened Above a couple hours early so that people who arrived super early could get out of the sun and have a drink before doors. I thought this would be "people standing around in a room listening to a DJ" but apparently what they were all actually interested in was "standing in line so they could be the first to rush the front of the stage".

There were a lot of people who bought tickets for this show and didn't show up, like, more than 100, I think. There are always some, but that's a way higher ratio than usual. It's too bad we had no way of knowing whether those people were just going to show up late, because there were a lot of people outside who would have liked tickets if we knew we had room.

We printed up some of these fabulous R.Black posters, so we still have some left over. Go get 'em! $10 each. We printed up 100 of them but only sold like 40 at the show, which just goes to show, nobody buys posters. People are forever telling me "You should totally sell that ___ poster!" and then they just don't ever sell.

We've got a steampunk party tonight, so you can party like it's 2005 -- I expect it to be exactly like that Key & Peele skit, which does not appear to be on the youtubes. But the DJ booth contraption this guy is bringing does look pretty entertaining. He very much "put a gear on it".

And as usual, here are some photos of other recent events --

After Romeo
Hubba Hubba Undersea
Amanda Palmer
I live in continuing amazement that the "boy band" formula is still being followed to exactly the same specification as it was in 1983. Is there an ISO specification for this? One of these days I really want to get a look at the breeding vats underneath EPCOT. Decant me another matched set of pseudo-soul crooners!

And please enjoy mixtape 183: nothing but boy bands, I swear.

Just about a year after we were forced to take it out, the parklet is back! We re-installed it today. And there was much rejoicing.

This is what the parklet looked like sitting on the shelf in our baker's warehouse for the last year.
There's a little more work to do. It's not as stable as I would like, but we will be reinforcing it in the next few days. So no moshing in the parklet until then, ok?

This work was made possible by the contribution of an extremely generous donor who wrote me last week and said, "The comments on your blog post don't really scream, 'I wanna buy you a parklet'. Can I join in that solo and ask 'Can I buy you a parklet?'

Which was kind of amazing!

I hadn't really reached out asking for donations specifically for the parklet, because I wasn't sure it was our highest priority, but when someone says "here's some money, spend it on the parklet", I say "Ok!"

We've also ordered some new stools for it. They should be here in a week or two.

Now we have to figure out if SFMTA is going to reinstall our bike racks, or if we're doing that ourselves...

Some entertaining things are coming up in the next few weeks!

This Friday, it's Hubba Hubba Under The Sea, which sounds like it's going to be a good one. (Do you want mermaids? Because this is how you get mermaids.) I used this party as an excuse to buy a diving helmet. It's pretty great.

Sunday afternoon: Manly Men doing Manly Things. The wrestling ring is back, this time for Hoodslam! It's Mother's Day, bring mom, have a Bloody Mary.

Next Friday we have So Stoked: Rave to the Grave, with DJs Darude (yes, the "Sandstorm" guy) and Ronan Harris (yes, the VNV Nation guy) and Death Guild DJs in the lounge. This is going to be hilarious! I am actually shocked that the DG folks agreed to this. Shocked.

I mean, I've pretty much made a career out of mocking VNV Nation and all the laptop-jockey "bands" who sound exactly like them -- the goffs seem to think they are "industrial" when what they actually are is a progressive house DJ featuring MC Monotone -- but this is perfect. Sandstorm!

Then on Tue, May 23 we've got Amanda Palmer & Edward Ka-Spel! But you can't go, because it's sold out. It sold out in 3 or 4 days, and for weeks we have been trying to get a second show added, but the bureaucracy standing between us and being able to actually have that conversation with the artists has been unbelievable. So at this point, a second show is probably unlikely, even though it would obviously do very well for everyone involved. Oh well.

Then on Fri, June 2 it's the Turbo Drive 4th Anniversary and before the party, we're going to do a screening of the movie Turbo Kid at 8pm, Cyberdelia-style. So get your seated tickets now, they will sell out. Oh, and the reason we're showing Turbo Kid is that the headliner is Le Matos, the band who did the soundtrack. (Also the movie is great, you should see it.)

Some recent photo galleries... that somehow, are all Bootie. Even though we have had a lot of events recently that were not Bootie.

This tells me that we need more photographers. Is that you?

April Fools
Bunny Bash
Not "Bootchella", because those jerks sent a C&D
And please enjoy jwz mixtape 182.

I saw another argument happen at the bar over water, and it reminded me, again, that I hate it that we sell bottled water. Bottled water is awful:

The reason you should boycott bottled water is because it enables a bullshit, backwards vision for society.

Boycotting bottled water means you support the idea that public access to clean, safe water is not only a basic human right, but that it's a goddamn technological triumph worth protecting. It means you believe that ensuring public access to this resource is the only way to guarantee it will be around in a few more years.

Clean, safe drinking water that flows freely out of our faucets is a feat of engineering that humans have been been perfecting for two millennia. It is a cornerstone of civilization. It is what our cities are built upon. And over the years the scientists and hydrologists and technicians who help get water to our houses have also become our environmental stewards, our infrastructural watchdogs, our urban visionaries. Drinking the water these people supply to our homes is the best possible way to protect future access to water worldwide.

Companies that package water in a single-use bottle are not concerned with the future. They are not invested in the long-term effects of climate change on an endangered watershed, nor are they working to prepare a megacity for an inevitable natural disaster. What they are interested in is their bottom line: Marketing a "healthy" product to compensate for the fact that people are buying less of their other products that are known to case obesity and diabetes -- and selling it for at prices that are 240 to 10,000 times higher than what you pay for tap water.

And yet, sell it we do, because we would be fools not to. People buy it and we make bank on it. We're in no position to just leave that money on the table.

So as long as you're standing there saying "Take my money!" I'm going to say "OK!"

But the water thing, it causes fights and grief pretty regularly. Someone will ask the bartender for a cup of water. They reply: "We sell bottles, or there are free water fountains over there." Most of the time, that person hates the idea of water fountains so much that they just pay for the bottle. Ka-ching.

But sometimes they instead try to grab a cup, and the bartender has to explain to them that cups are not free. (In fact, that cup costs us almost as much as the bottle of water does!) Sometimes this results in yelling, and someone getting thrown out.

It's kind of amazing to me that people are so unwilling to drink from a water fountain, like an animal. The concept is anathema to them. They just won't do it. It's weird.

The eye rolling! Ugggggghhhh, you expect me to drink from a fountain??

I guess schools don't have water fountains any more, just Coke machines?

I expect that eventually California will make bottled water illegal. Maybe those cardboard milk-carton water bottles (which are even more expensive than plastic) will replace them, unless they make those illegal too. If that happens, I guess that massive revenue stream will just dry up. (See what I did there.) But:

Banning bottled water increases sales of robot sweat:

Results. Per capita shipments of bottles, calories, sugars, and added sugars increased significantly when bottled water was removed. Shipments of healthy beverages declined significantly, whereas shipments of less healthy beverages increased significantly. As bottled water sales dropped to zero, sales of sugar-free beverages and sugar-sweetened beverages increased.

Conclusions. The bottled water ban did not reduce the number of bottles entering the waste stream from the university campus, the ultimate goal of the ban. With the removal of bottled water, consumers increased their consumption of less healthy bottled beverages.

Still, in the world in which we live now, any time I see a nightclub that just has a pitcher and a stack of free cups at the end of the bar I think, "Why do you hate money?"

Oh, and then there's this nonsense: "This startup wants to disrupt the way you drink water. Reefill lets you activate water stations via your phone's Bluetooth".

Yes, if only there were some kind of "net-work" of fresh water distribution, perhaps moving it through a series of tubes, or pipes. That sounds just crazy enough to work. I shall dictate a scroll to the Caesar about this.

Speaking of water, he said transitionally, I spent some time on a restoration project last week. (And this is going to sound like a rambling non sequitur for a bit, but bear with me, it's gonna wrap around and be relevant to the topic at hand, I'm pretty sure.)

For quite some time, Jared has had this antique seltzer bottle on the shelf behind the Codeword bar. But it didn't work, which was a shame, so I fixed it! All of the rubber had rotted, so it wasn't keeping a seal. (It's from 1930, so maybe it was actually Bakelite or something?) Also there was a piece missing. Anyway, I got it working again. The way these things work is, you fill them with water, vent a CO2 canister into it, shake, and then the bottle is pressurized enough that when you pull the trigger on the tap, delicious fizzy water comes out.

It's a Flintstones SodaStream, basically.

The wire wrapped around the outside is because (I assume) that was the cheapest way to turn glass into a pressure vessel that wasn't going to spontaneously turn into an IED. I'm guessing there were some sad bartenders with glass shrapnel in their faces before they started doing it this way.

The first thing that puzzled me was the canisters: this thing is from 1930 but the canisters are the same form factor as what we have today! They are the same shape as those canisters that go into your "whipped cream" dispenser. Which means that a century ago, there was an industry of putting various gasses into 8 gram steel pressure vessels, and the Invisible Hand of Standardization has dictated that those canisters stay exactly the same. For a century. That's kind of cool. (I tried to dig into the history of them but didn't get far.)

(Speaking of standardization, don't pay those SodaStream jerks for marked-up CO2 in bottles with intentionally-incompatible connectors, just get an adapter and re-fill standard tanks! I put a 50 pound tank on mine 2½ years ago and it still hasn't run out!)

This seltzer bottle produces enough soda for eight to twelve cocktails before it's empty. Today, those CO2 canisters cost about 40¢ each in bulk, so that's 4¢ or 5¢ per serving! That's crazy expensive for CO2: refilling a 50 pound tank costs like $8, so if I did my math right, I think that's like 0.14¢ per drink -- and I'm not sure what our rate is, but we buy our gas hundreds of pounds at a time, so I'm guessing we get it a lot cheaper than that.

I wonder how much these canisters cost back in the 1930s. Probably more -- cracking molecules and packing gas into single-use steel tubes can only have gotten cheaper since then.

So it's interesting that making fizzy water used to be ridiculously expensive and wasteful -- and that one of the byproducts was that every dozen drinks, you were throwing away a single-use steel pressure vessel! A whole lot of heat and complicated metallurgy went into that thing prior to its journey to the landfill.

It's almost as crazy as delivering tap water to people by truck in single use plastic bottles.

In the interest of getting more people to share our events with their friends, I added one of those annoying pseudo-dialog boxes to the checkout page that gray out the underlying page and that you have to click to dismiss. I know, I'm a monster. But the most effective advertising is when your friend says, "I'm going to a thing, come with me", and Facebook shares are maybe as close as we can get in this modern world. So maybe annoying people with one additional click will result in more of that. It looks like this:

Funny story, by which I mean not so funny, that "Share this event on Facebook" link which is all over the calendar pages hadn't been working right for who-knows-how-long, and nobody told me. It was supposed to (and used to) pre-populate the text field with "I'm going to BLAH at DNA Lounge!" but it was just coming up blank. Sigh. Fixed now. (For how long?)

One annoying thing about both of these share dialogs is that they really need to be opened in a new browser window -- but if you have the Twitter app installed on iOS, it intercepts the URL and opens it in the app instead of on the Twitter web site -- meaning when you pop back to Safari, you're left looking at a blank window. Awesome. I haven't figured out any way around that.

More broadly, I feel like it would be helpful were we to have more followers on the various social media. Is that self-evident? Or is it just cargo-cult mythology? Regardless, I'm not sure what we could be doing differently. (The traditional response to this is, "Let a Social Media Expert convince you that what you should do is pay a lot of money to a Social Media Expert". Uh huh.)

So, just to pick a couple of large local clubs at random (hi guys!) 1015 has 60k Facebook likes, 9k Instagram followers, and 8k on Twitter. And Temple has 40k Facebook likes and 19k Instagram followers, but only 4k on Twitter.

Whereas DNA Lounge also has 40k Facebook likes, and 5,200 on Twitter, but only 1,400 on Instagram.

Mostly Temple seem to post the same kinds of things that we do: lots of flyers and promo images, and the occasional event snapshot. 1015 is the same, but even heavier on the flyers and lighter on the candids. But somehow people judge Temple's Instagram to be 130× more exciting than ours.

It's all voodoo.

Also, funny story, by which I mean not so funny, Facebook won't let me post videos any more. Once Facebook started pushing their own video hosting hard, they started de-ranking Youtube shares: if you post a video on Facebook directly, they show it to a lot more people than if you post a Youtube link. So, I changed my system to post directly instead of just a link, and now what happens almost every time I post a music video by a band who are playing here this week, Facebook's Content ID says, "There's music in that! You monster! CRIME! CRIME!"

They used to put me on double-secret-probation for a day when this happened, but now that seems to have become permanent. Hooray. So now it posts Youtube links again when the direct upload fails, and nobody sees them.

So once again, Facebook and the media conglomerates conspire to make it harder for me to promote the shows by their artists happening at my club. And good luck convincing any of these automated systems that what you are doing is, or should be, permissible. It's robots all the way down and the robots do not give a fuck about your quaint notions of "fair use", or even that you are actively trying to earn money for the people who own that music. That sounds familiar, haven't we been here before? Yup.

Anyhow, follow us, ok?

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A couple of amusing things I spotted on the instatwits this week:

@b0psaturnnights liked the Cyberdelia flyer so much that they printed out their own poster of it! I hadn't bothered putting that poster on sale because it was a straight copy of the flyer that appears in Hackers, so I didn't think much of it. (Though I did make it from scratch, because I wasn't able to pull a clean enough image of it from the movie.)

@closemindedjerk appears to be using R.Black 's poster for Halloween 2014 an an element in some kind of suspicious ritual. The summoning grid has been energized. All teams, prep for CASE NIGHTMARE BOSON.
We have many other fine posters for sale!

By the way, remember those Cyberdelia floppies? Did any of you actually load one of them? I need to know.

Our fourth annual Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge is coming up on July 16th, which is about three months away, so now is the time to start promoting it to the sort of people who will enter the contest rather than just the spectators. Each year, I find that I don't really know how to do that, and then people only enter at the last minute, so up until a few days before the event I'm in a panic thinking there's going to be one little robot surrounded by an angry mob.

So I emailed the people who have entered in the past, and... that's pretty much that. Now we just wait and pray, I guess?

We will run some online ads, obviously, but it's not clear to me how much good that will do, as far as attracting contestants goes. Spectators, sure. People who actually do things, those are harder to reach.

In previous years, we haven't been able to get anyone to write about it. One or two blog-links, that's about it. This thing is awesome, what the hell!

So spam your friends with the Facebook invite, ok?

In 2014 and 2016 we had nine robots, but in 2015 we only had six, and that really felt like too few. And each year we've always had a few people drop out at the last minute, so I'm not going to stop being nervous until I've got a dozen robots signed up.

Last year we had someone canvas Maker Faire looking for and talking to people who seemed to have the proper skill set, and his report went something like: "In every one of those conversations, I could spot the exact moment when they stopped listening to me and just waited for me to stop talking so they could throw the flyer away, and that moment was when they realized it was happening in a club, at night, and not in some company's cafeteria at lunch time." So despite what your instincts may tell you, I'm pretty sure that Maker Faire is not actually our demographic.

In other news:

It's a miracle, the crops are saved! We finally got someone to look at our Espresso machines, and they're both fixed now. Like the penguin who just ate an ice cream cone, it looks like they had blown a seal.

Also, I re-did the navigation menus on the DNA and CW sites. I think it works a little better on mobile now. Let me know if you notice it screwing up.

Recent photos!

The Mercury Soul event was really cool. They set up three different stages in the main room, two between the pillars on the left and right sides. They had so many musicians, they needed the space. Also there must have been five different employees who pointed at the giant LED star thing on the ceiling and said, "So we get to keep that, right?"

Bootie: 80s vs. 90s
Kero Kero Bonito
So Stoked

Death Guild
Monday Hubba
Mercury Soul
Hail The Sun

We did a little photo shoot a few weeks back, and now we have some actual photos of our merch on humans, instead of just graphical schematics. Maybe we will sell more t-shirts if those t-shirts are modelled by pretty people. You want to buy a t-shirt now, right? I think that's how commerce works, right?

Thanks very much to Maggie Motorboat, Moose Knuckle, Frankie Fictitious and Sweet Belize for modelling, and Audrey Penven for shooting!

Speaking of commerce...

Our online store supports discount codes. We don't use them all the time, but sometimes promoters or bands want to give cheaper admission to their pals. But since there's that shiny, candy-like text field on the checkout page that says "Discount", you know what that means, right? Yup, people just try to guess them, all the time. It's a treasure hunt! One you cannot win.

Some of them read like those lists of the world's worst passwords:


Remember, if ever have children, the name of their first pet should contain at least eight characters, a capital letter, and a digit. You should also change the pet's name frequently.

Some of them are clearly based on rumor, or are from other sites' past discounts:


Would we be this obvious? Really?




Would we mis-spell the name of our own club? Really?


If you say so, I guess I'll take your word for it:


Nice try, but still no:




Aw, thank you! But still no: