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How-To: Blog Post to ThreeFourt

Welcome to the first installment of the new series, “How-To Blog Post:”! This is a crash course to introduce you to the life of a full-time blog-poster (blogger?), and walk you through some of the rigorous steps required to create a high-end post suitable for the judgmental eyes of the many.

Today will be the technical side of posting, where we assume we have all body and formatting complete and wish to deposit our enlightenment unto the blog-o-sphere. I know to you tech-savvy nerds out there, this may seem redundant or repetitive to the skillset you’ve acquired throughout your life, but not all of America is a large, round object sitting around a computer developing poor acne from the vast array of frequencies excreted from your tower of Mountain Dew cans, dusty electrical components, cat hair, and fingernail clippings (or perhaps you have individual stacks for each of these items; some basement dwellers are organized).


Before we can possibly begin, you absolutely need to navigate to the main page of the blog. Since our domain has expired, we are now located in a sad sub-domain, and instead of our full-fledged URL we have to settle with “” (Feel free to click the link, it’ll send you right over).


Now that you’ve navigated successfully to my website/webpage/webblog, you can begin to make an impact! Down on the bottom right of the right-hand collumn of the main page (where it says “home” at the top and underlined), just below the “Blog Stats” entry and even further below the “Login” text (the first one) and subsequent “Register” hyperlink, therein lies the gateway and door to the realm of quality blogging. I know this may sound confusing, but I’ve provided an image to show you what you are looking for when on my page/site/book. Just click the “Log In” link and you should be sent to step 3.


This is a verification step. After the hard troubles of the previous step, you will know if you were successful if your webpage has something that looks like the following image. If it does not, try going back to Step 2 (or Step 1 if you suspect a faulty webpage).


Oops I’m sorry, I forgot about the login screen. This screen should actually show (so disregard step 3, it’s only relevant after step 4). The login username is [Yourname] followed by [yourpassword]. Remove the brackets when you type it in! For example, my username is [zzzdude] and my password is [••••••••] without brackets.


Now follow step #3 and skip step #4 for step #5 and instead go to step #6 when you’re done. Should look like this:


We’re almost there! All we have left to do is follow strict methodologies to concoct a substantial composition of fundamental testaments which can be portrayed as a doctrine of principle for my acolytes.

(Easy part)

Once you have the “Title”, “Content”, and “Tags” fields filled out, you can go ahead and Save the Draft ( I won’t go into the details), or you can do as I do and immediately click the PUBLISH button as seen in the last image of this series.

And you are done. For ever.

You will rarely have to edit this post (I may go into this further at a later time), and you will have a large fanbase applauding in no time.
Until the next update,

this has been zzzdude

AKA threefourt

AKA Stephen G. Mangum

AKA BagOfDucks

AKA That Asshole Who Won’t Get Off the Public Computer So I Can Finish My Twelve Page Essay


What the hell is building in there?

My Saint Feed is reporting no signs of Sinter Claes today. Let’s hope for the best.

‘Twas the Night Before Chernobyl

Twenty kilometers southeast of Bykhaw, Belarus sat a very sad man. His family, all have gone. People don’t live in these parts, for good reason. Everything was dying, and there were no prospects in these areas after those fatal days in ’86. Last year, the year before, and possibly this year, his family had slowly died, or worse. He watched his wife and his daughter be taken away from him, to some place he hopes he’ll never go himself.

The fake carnation his wife once held up in her hair sat in his palms, slightly damp from his sweat and his tears. The rose tint of the flower haunted him. His daughter’s coat, from when she was but 4 years old was blue and draped like a dead animal over the mantle place. This home was a mostly underground studio, with a large horizontal window along one wall and a smoke escape on the other (near a door for entrance and exit). Under the mantle brewed the same Kusmi Tea he had every time this part of the year came around.

His eyes were soaked and bloodshot, the near year was moving closer, reminding him of the previous year’s fatal incident, hoping he wouldn’t see those eyes again, but longed for his wife’s. He had spent the year saving for a rifle, and on top of that blue coat, it sat, ready for whatever demons would try and take away what little left he had to love.

He wiped the tears from his eyes, and put his woolen gloves back on his hands. He picked the pot out of the flames and poured himself a mug of the beverage his wife had prepared for his family previously.

He moved the chair, the table, and the rifle towards the window, and locked away the carnation and coat in the footlocker. The rifle looked upon the fields between him and the fog in the distance. For the next two hours he slowly sipped the jasmine-scented potion.

Midnight was soon to strike, and he continued to see nothing. Perhaps this year would be different. What would the beast want from him? Suddenly, a rasp at the door. He scanned the fields, not wanting to give up whatever possible opportunity to end his pain and misery to answer the knock.

Two more rasps followed. He let out a sigh, with more doubt leading towards the possible return of the incarnate. He left his outpost to open the door.

When his hand pulled the door towards him, he burst into tears. There alone sat a small girl, wearing a bright red holiday garment with long, blonde hair. He fell to his knees, wrapped his arms around the child, and rest his face upon hers.

And immediately retracted.

His daughter had returned, but she was cold, stiff, and emotionless. He pushed his head back to stare into her eyes, to ask a question, but the tears and sobbing prevented it. And there she stood, staring back into him without even a smile. She was cold to the touch, and he had started to become worried. He said her name aloud, “Snegurochka…,” wondering if this really was his daughter. She turned around, to face someone behind her.

Except, it wasn’t someone, but something. There stood a tall shadow of a man, wearing the same red colors, but where his limbs and face should be, was nothing but a pitch black, amorphous shade. Where a mouth should have been was a cone instead, which immediately opened up to show silver teeth. They moved individually, mechanically, and started to rotate around each other. Sounds came from this, nearly inaudible, and at a very high tone.

By the time he felt the pain in his ears, he was already back in his house, throwing the door shut. It didn’t close all the way. A small foot had stood in the doorway. A loud crash came from the table as he fell upon it in shock, spilling what little was left from his libation. Why, why are you doing this to me?, he thought to himself.

He stumbled for the rifle, and attempted to point it towards the creature crawling in through his front door. A loud bang followed, with no response from the hellish entity. He knew he didn’t miss, and it continued to lurch towards him.

A long, shadowy arm without fingers wrapped around the barrel, and it was ripped from his hands and thrown out the window. “Snegurochka!,” he yelled, hoping that deep down inside that shell his daughter could hear his scream. He remembered him and his wife, singing holiday songs together, and then he saw black, as he was engulfed in the shadows of the devil.

The last thought he had was a simple jingle of holiday bells, he heard each note slowly, each one longer after the other. The tune had never finished.

Protected: Is Santa Clause Real?

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Apologies; Ode to Santa Clause

The CapturerI’ve done it. I’ve managed to escape the prison the demons had set out for me. I’m free and finally resting in front of the soft, white light emitted by this lonesome public computer in a large room of the nearby community college. People are giving me strange looks, perhaps because of my dirty demeanor; my hands covered in soot and mud and my hair looking no better. My shirt may be inside out, and this sweater may be torn, but that is the least of my worries.

I’m here to reach out to each and every one of you. I’ve seen some things; terrible things. This man, if you could call it a man, had me locked away in the cellars without light nor hope, where things grow old just so they can die in pain, agony, and suffering. Christmas time is coming around, and the last thoughts on my mind were my friends and family, for perhaps it could read those images of love. I didn’t want him to touch you, see. It’s mouth when it spoke, would spin at such a high frequency that caused his teeth to appear as razors. His words cut deep into the wounds he had already placed, with the bull-hide whip in one hand and a pillow case of many a bar of soaps in the other.

I am to never use Irish Spring again.
My face is perhaps bruised and cracked, I haven’t washed my face in what feels like centuries, despite it only being a year away in inprisonment. The moderator for the library is telling me I must go, so excuse me if things feel rushed. I just need you to know to watch out these holidays, this man thing is loose, and in need of new souls to feast on. He won’t go after me again, I’ve been completely drained of holiday cheer and joy.

So, it is with these last passing thoughts that I request the kind readers of Threefourt of sympathy and understanding, for I have not updated the blog as frequently as I had promised or wished, and I feel the blame is not entirely on my own being, but rather on the well-being that the holiday icon took stole from me.

Merry Christmas, if there’s any merry left to give,

Stephen “zzzdude” Mangum

GabeN Interview

I had a chance to sit down with Gabe Newell for a chat back in ’08, and I just found the old audiolog. I’ve transcribed it for you all to read.

What made you choose to get into game development?

There were three main reasons – I love playing games, the guys at id were encouraging Mike and I to start a company, and if we were going to fail at it, we would fail quickly (which isn’t true of lots of other businesses where you fail slowly).

Why did your team choose to use the idea of which is Half-Life and not go with Prospero?

We figured out how to ship Half-Life, whereas Prospero was too ambitious.

While still in production of half-life, did you really think it was going to be as successful as it is?

No, we had no idea it would be as successful as it would become. Our focus was much more on thinking about what gamers wanted given the current crop of games on the market.

What made you determined to make a sequel?

There’s a bunch of story we want to tell, and we wanted to continue to push harder on the mechanics of story-telling in games.

And then make episodes after that?

The episodic approach is an experiment to see if we can manage project-scale risk more effectively and thereby put risk in other areas (e.g. game design, art design, technology).

So, the giant leap in time between episode 1 and episode 2 was huge, but I think it was worth it, with the HUGE source update. Do you ever get any responses of people complaining about the time period?

Complaining is a recreational tennis match for the gaming community. It’s part of the fun.

Do you still like to play video games, if so, have any to suggest?

I’ve been bitten by the WoW bug pretty hard.

Do you like freeware games, like “Within a deep forest”, “crayon physics”, and “narbacular drop”?

Narbacular Drop was pretty good. I or someone else at Valve plays pretty much every game on every platform at some point.

Do you enjoy independent game developer games, like the recently released “audiosurf”?

Jason Holtman in the office next to mine is a rabid audiosurf fan. He keeps dragging me into his office to watch him play.

Valve is still the best major company out there to produce any game, who deserves the player’s money. Although other major game companies, such as microsoft, and pop-cap, don’t care much about the customers as the money. I hope Valve remains to stay the way it is. What do you wish for Valve, as a company?

Staying that way would be good.

Will Wright’s “Spore” is coming out on sept. 7, are you looking forward to it?

Very much so. I’ve been playing Will’s games since the first SimCity, and even made him sign my SimAnts copy.

Do you play TF2 often?

With people here at the office, yes. Not so much on the Internet.

Any questions you expected to be asked?

” Why is there a real human head in the refrigerator at your offices?”

As Third “Computer” Onehundredpluseleven had pointed out earlier this weekend, there hasn’t been much activity. Now, I’m not pointing any fingers, but our readers really need to be a bit more active in the E-Mail department. What I’m ultimately saying is, we only really write up quality content if it’s requested by at least 200 people. We have barely been getting 150 users begging us to post more content each day, and it just doesn’t live up to the good old days of having nearly 1,000 on a Monday. I’m no Garfield, but I think he had a point.

However, I do feel guilty about this lack of content. I had promised to provide the utmost quality since day one, and I do plan on continuing to keep it that way. So sure, we don’t have much anymore, but remember, “Quality is greater than Quantity”. Albert Einstein said that back in the 70’s, back when we first started getting flooded with shear resources instead of intrinsic writing.

Forgive my ramblings, there is a lot I could say that in’t worth saying for the general viewer of Threefourt, and I am sorry for that. My point is, expect to see an update at least once a month from hereon. I just got a new tattoo saying “Update Threefourt 8/7/2011”, so I doubt I’ll forget.

I love you all,

-zzzzzzzzdude (who isn’t sleeping, just working)