Butting Heads with the Domain Dictator

This morning, I rose and shone as usual at 5 a.m. Bundled up and set out on my daily predawn walk. But unlike the past month, the dark quickly gave way to light on the horizon. Thirty minutes in, I was treated to the following sight.

Our very own Autumn Ashbough commented on my corresponding Instagram post, YES! The annual DST curse has been lifted! She’s right about that. It might be a pain to drive home in the dark for a couple of months (while watching out for deer, as Wisconsin comic Charlie Berens is forever warning), but gorgeous mornings like this make up for that minor inconvenience. And I recognize that these mornings are fleeting, as the darkness will linger a little bit longer each day, eventually masking these first rays of light once again.

Yet another excuse to live in the moment.

A couple of you expressed interest in learning more about my run-in with the domain dictator who tried to rake me over the coals when I inquired about purchasing markmywords.com. I’ve shared the story before on my blog, but that was 12 years ago and not a single one of you were reading me then, so I’m happy to oblige.

It was November 2010, and I was really gettin’ into this whole blogging gig. I’d been writing on WordPress for a year by then, and figured it would be cool to have my own registered domain instead of the generic one you get with WP. Since the name of my blog was Mark My Words, obviously I wanted markmywords.com. No problem, right?

Oh, how naïve I was.

My first step was to hit up a domain name registrar. GoDaddy was the first one that popped into my head (probably because they used to run sexy Super Bowl ads every year, but that’s neither here nor there). When I typed in markmywords.com, I learned the domain name was already registered to some dude in Virginia named Carl. He’d purchased it 10 years earlier but there was no corresponding website, so I figured he might be willing to part ways with it if I asked really nicely.

Oh, how naïve I was.

I sent Carl a polite email, asking if he might be willing to sell me the domain. His reply was brief and to the point.

I live in America; everything is for sale, only question is how much. This is pricy, but give it a shot.

A real capitalist, ol’ Carl was. OK, fine. I figured $100 might be enough to persuade him to let it go.

Oh, how naïve I was.

Carl the Capitalist basically laughed his ass off and abruptly ended our conversation. Virginia is for lovers, my ass! C the C was a greedy bastard who probably snatched purses from old ladies and kicked dogs for sport. I might have upped my ante slightly, but I was unemployed at the time and putting food on the table was more important than owning a splashy domain.

I compromised and bought markmywordssite.com (and later, markmywords.blog). Neither is quite as catchy, but they were a hell of a lot cheaper.

By the way, markmywords.com is still registered…and still going unused. Somebody anonymous in Jacksonville, Florida owns it today. Could it still be in the greedy clutches of Carl the Capitalist? Maybe. People move all the time (says the guy who has moved twice since originally reaching out to C the C). If so, he’s an even bigger idiot than I first thought. He could have been $100 richer all those years ago and would have saved whatever he’s paying every year for it since.

Some capitalist you turned out to be, Carl. I hope you get run over by a golf cart down there in the Sunshine State.

By the way, if anyone’s looking for a Christmas gift for me this year, this post should give you a few great ideas!

Yesterday, we drove into Madison just for something to do. We had no solid plan other than lunch at Raising Cane’s, so we just parked the car and decided to wander.

We ended up wandering our asses right inside the state Capitol building, which was all kinds of cool. Eventually we ended up on the roof, which was cooler still.

All that and a Three Finger Combo? Couldn’t ask for a more perfect day if you tried!

41 thoughts on “Butting Heads with the Domain Dictator

  1. The domain debacle is both hard to believe and easy to believe. Sigh. I will relay my tale of woe from early December about a decade ago when commuting went from daylight to night light. Going all of 25 mph and approaching to stop at a busy intersection’s red light, a deer decided to run down a steep hill and step into our car. The deer was fine. I was fine. The car less fine. Nothing I could have done to avoid it. Be careful, and if there are moose out there as well, just put a cot up in the office.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a snazzy capitol Mark. What a lovely place to conduct WI governmental business. I love historic buildings and this one is exceptionally elegant and well cared for. It was dark by 4:15 today and my body clock wants to automatically go dark as well. It’s tough not to nod off by 8pm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really does give you an appreciation for government (as messed up as it is these days). In the Supreme Court room, there was information on volunteering to serve on special committees. Definitely something I’m thinking about.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In a book I’m reading, they cited a study that said that about 1/2 of us are bothered by things that are not happening now, and that that is causing us unhappiness. When I read how that gorgeous image of the present was, presently, making you happy, it reminded me of that. Yes, I can see, through your picture how the present can be … the best present. Thank you for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I miss my brief post-honeymoon in Europe stint as a morning person. Sunrises are divine.
    Stinkin’ Carl the Capitalist. When you later called him C the C I thought it stood for something else.
    Cool capital building. What a fun day. We wandered our downtown once, which has a lot of cute shops, murals, and random sculptures. People also paint the utility boxes on the sides of streets. It’s a fun place too. No big buildings, though, which is fine by me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rapid City paints their utility boxes, too. Pretty cool to see bison and, yes, even flamingos. I’m surprised I never posted a pic.

      What did you think C the C stood for? The Music Factory that hit it big with “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” back in the late ’80s?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a beautiful sunrise but I still annually curse 5:00pm darkness.
    Damn you Carl. You domain hogging bastard.
    What a beautiful capitol building! And am I wrong, or was there a rat prominently featured?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I live that you just wander. I’m a wanderer…my husband, not so much…he’s a let’s get there guy, while I’m looking around. I think the word is flaneuring, or something like that

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It may be a cliche, but I’m all about the journey rather than the destination.

      Well, unless a cocktail is waiting for me on the other side. In that case, I’m all about the destination.


  7. I feel as though I vaguely remember articles about people buying up domains in order to sell them for exorbitant prices down the road. Strange what people will do for money. That is one gorgeous state Capitol.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I know that in the early days of blogging domain names used to be a way for people to make money. Buy up some, wait to resell them BUT your Jacksonville person must be confused about how that works. Owning it this long… to what end, I have to ask? People be weird.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. One of my favorite things to do is wander around an interesting area and Madison looks like it would be the perfect place to do that. I love the state capitol. I’m surprised that markmywords as a domain name isn’t being used. The guy who owns it sounds like a real jerk. I am having visions of Gollum clinging to his precious.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I enjoy blogging for a variety of reasons, but domains are not one of them
    Motherfu**ing (see what I did there?) Carl.
    By the way, like River, I assumed it was a rat statue in the state capitol. But then I remembered Wisconsin Badgers, who, by the way, are really vicious when confronted. Not that I have any personal experience. Speaking of badgers, google “badger car commercials.” 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What an amazing sight – well worth the 5am start (Himself has those and tells me it’s regularly rewarding).

    Your domain guy sounds like a real peach. A long term employer have a very unusual name, but found that the .com was already in the hands of a rather – ahem – fruity site. He decided to go the .ltd route, then .co.uk, utterly determined to stick with his first choice, even though people frequently called us to complain about *that* site. No-one could work out why he was determined to have the name – he said it was some Latin joke. Yeah, right… He did eventually get the .com when they went out of business. Bizarrely they never even attempted to sell it to him when they shut down.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A reminder to live in the moment, great pictures and a Christmas gift idea? This is a rich post. I think the behavioral economists probably have a heyday with the Internet and domain purchases. Everyone that owns an unused one thinks it’s way more valuable than it is. But as you put so well, sitting on it just incurs more charges. Sheesh!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Morning people. Oy vey.

    The domain name I use (but don’t own) doesn’t even match my blog name – guess that shows how indifferent I am. Ergo, I don’t have a Carl – thank God.

    I still haven’t made it to Oregon’s capital building. I don’t think it’s as nice as Wisconsin’s (or Michigan’s, which I saw a few years ago.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I take it you’re a night owl.

      Oregon’s capitol building, quite frankly, sucks. It’s one of the ugliest designs I’ve ever seen. Not sure why they didn’t pull out all the punches when designing that one. Olympia’s, on the other hand, is beautiful if you ever get the chance to see it.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. C of C is a tool. Florida seems like the right state for him. I hope he gets on the wrong side of Trump (an even bigger tool) down there. Trump has the money to make his life miserable (like he made all of ours for several years – haha).

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a lovely morning view; living in the moment is the best.

    I don’t know much about domains, but I’m guessing some asshats just buy them up for resale later? Seems like a weird way to make a buck, but people are often weird.

    The capital building looks lovely!


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