Ben Crowder / Blog

Hello, 2002

Something rather bizarre happened today. But first some backstory:

My site used to be called Blank Slate, and it lived at In 2008 I consolidated it and my other blogs into, which is where I’ve been since then. I maintained the old domain for a while, with a redirect pointing to, but several months ago I decided to let the domain go. And I did.

Fast forward to today. I was thinking about my old sites and figured I’d see what now lives at Imagine my surprise when I pulled it open in my browser and saw this:

What the heck? If someone bought the domain (and according to Whois it belongs to a Grygorii Naumov in the Ukraine who runs, you’d expect either a squatter page or something else entirely, right? Not my own site.

And not just that — it’s not the last incarnation of Blank Slate (which you might expect if this is some crazy four-year-old caching issue). No, it’s the page from when I was on my mission. Ten years ago exactly. (Well, from summer 2002 to summer 2004.) Here’s what my site looked like right before I left for Thailand:

So it’s the same (minus some textual changes once I actually left on my mission), except the current site doesn’t have any images, and all of the links just go to stub pages.

I emailed Grygorii to see if he can shed any light on the matter. I have no idea why someone would buy a domain, go to the Wayback Machine (presumably) and copy the site’s home page from ten years ago. Seems almost more likely that some kind of portal in spacetime just opened up and it’s connected to 2002, depositing artifacts from that year into 2012. Or maybe Grygorii himself lives in 2002 and this is like The Lake House or something. (Shudder.) I asked Grygorii what year it is where he is, and who won the World Series.

I’ll update this post when I either figure out what happened or make contact with my 2002 self. Hopefully the universe doesn’t explode.