Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

watch overshare: the story contact me

O, passmore that and oxus another!

Stopped walking across a desert art party by a Gavan Kennedy and asked to read from a book called Finnegan's Wake, originally channelled by James Joyce.

Pages 197,
198, and 199.

There's a video; I look like I'm sitting in front of a green screen! Hah! delivers logo

tldr; this year launched as a California benefit corporation delivering recreational cannabis.

June 2016 we had a baby - wow - I became a father! That was a fantasy long-dreamt. I adjusted my life to support my partner & child, and allow me to keep up a good household for this little fascinating being.

At the same time I realized my professional & creative powers aren't going to get much better before they diminish. So I itched to make something meaningful that could also provide for me and my family, on more my terms than an employer's.

In 1994 I registered I've run various software & projects on the site since then; none lasting too long. In 2013, various folks began approaching me with semi-serious business plans, eager to employ "" in service of cannabis business. I talked to 2-3 people per year thereafter, and in 2015 I started attending cannabis industry events to network to the best of my wide-mouthed gladhandery. "I own, what should we make with it?" I would say to most anyone I met.

In 2017 this culminated in meeting someone who said, "why don't you use to bring people pot?" and we started hatching a cannabis delivery service. In September 2017 I quit my job as cultural ambassador for a Japanese investment firm and startup incubator, and for eight months or so, I've been CTO of relying on my wife Ilyse's health insurance and spending my savings to build up an eCommerce site and customer support tools for recreational cannabis delivery. began delivering legal recreational cannabis in the East Bay of California in January 2018. I can now walk into our local partner's warehouse full of cannabis for sale on - a far throw from my weed-scrounging youth. It feels like a deep form of human liberation that people would be allowed to ask for this plant and have it when they want to. I hope we can set our society up for shared success in a legal cannabis era.

bud warehouse at launch
preparing the warehouse for launch - many little jars of cannabis, bins of rerolled joints, boxes of edibles

We formed as a "benefit corporation" which obliges us to account for and improve our social & ecological impact. We want to pay attention to the plant medicine roots of recreational cannabis, and ensure that there's some compassion in our business. So that's a nice thing to be able to establish in a company from the start. We're working out exactly how to build a beneficial cannabis company; last week launched a veteran's discount program after members of that community asked us to make their cannabis more affordable.

As I was parsing the various pitches and schemes people presented for, I realized I didn't want to sell the domain, I wanted to participate. I wanted to be a ticket to adventure.

a history of GameLayersIt's been 10 years since I last tried co-founding a startup. So many tech tools are further along. Software is cheap. Developers can be found online and our species has more support & structures for working remotely. I was CEO then, and learned what parts of that role I'm not so good with. So this time I'm the CTO of - I set the priorities, schedule, and budget for our tech, and then recruit good folks to help build it. I am glad to stretch myself into a technical role; I've always enjoyed debating structure with engineers; even if I failed 50% of the two CS classes I took in college, I was a member of the Swarthmore College Computer Society.

Working in the cannabis industry presents unique challenges: many software vendors aren't comfortable now hosting cannabis companies; many basic functions of online business you have to build yourself or work around. Fortunately that pain is shared across California cannabis companies; it's the same craggy, wet, hard surface we're all attempting to stand on. There's regulatory uncertainty, cultural uncertainty, a lack of qualified professionals from major disciplines, and a lack of professionalism. All that means it's a field ripe for experimentation - and an extremely stimulating day-to-day worklife.

Someone asked me "how does it feel to be present at the birth of a new industry?" I remembered the web in 1994, mobile phone games in 2001 & 2010. After decades experimenting, I can safely say I enjoy working on emerging tools. I'm naturally long-winded, unafraid to deploy a bit of self-expression in a new medium. Figuring out how to structure a project to ensure long-term viability and scalability is a greater personal challenge. This time I've shown up to a new industry with a better sense of how business + finance + people + motivation + social context work. And I'm grateful to have found excellent compatriots.

part of bud team at launch
Armando, Jasmine, Justin - part of the initial launch team

This is a fun early stage in this enterprise. I work from home most of the time and I schedule occasional four hour meetings to take my 2 year-old daughter somewhere fun in San Francisco. I wonder sometimes about choosing to involve myself with a demanding business when I could instead devote more of my time to parenting my kid. I have a baby at home, and I started another family in an office somewhere else. But ultimately I decided I can be a better parent to her if I am doing meaningful work in my career. I'm learning more and more about the tradeoffs of adulthood, which makes me ever-more grateful to have so much adventure in my work as I cultivate a stable home.

So, with pride I can say that offers cannabis delivery to Alameda county cities including Oakland, Berkeley, Hayward, San Leandro, Emeryville, Piedmont, Alameda, Castro Valley, Dublin, Pleasanton. offers Contra Costa county cannabis delivery to Alamo, Canyon, Concord, Danville, Diablo, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, Walnut Creek. With a bit more time, we expect to expand to offer more things to more people in more places.

Shoveling up

When I've shorn my garments in word and image, posting links and brief excerpts of recent recollections of old dreams seems so translucent by comparison. Anyhow - I was asked by to write an essay about a word that defined 2017 for me, and I chose sovereignty.

They partnered me with a richly illustrated drawing of that word by Sunday Buro. From the American bunting, an eagle with its eyes bound, and my teaser bio reading: "An Unsettling Struggle for Sovereignty: Cannabis entrepreneur Justin Hall reflects on the sacrifices we make for the illusion of freedom." you would think my Sovereignty piece is about America's war on drugs. But it's much more about literally wrestling with my daughter.

It's the first time I've written an "Article" in a good long while and I was flattered to be asked and excited to have a chance to fire up my content production machine and share something again. I believe the article is behind a "paywall" which means the content is not visible unless you participate in the publication ('s efforts to sustain itself financially.

I have mixed feelings about the whole thing - I have become more ambivalent about public sharing. I dwelled in "public sharing" for 18 months up to 2016, before the shit got real weird. Of course at any moment we can look around and marvel at what humanity has made with what it has enabled; so why should we be surprised that social media might actually be a manipulative scourge? Let's find a newer mode of expression upon which we shall project our hopes for perpetual authenticity!

speaking into Internet History podcast

All this writing and video work is a series of small flags I hoist up in the wind.

Brian McCullough wanders the internet looking for old flags, and then he puts a microphone in front of the wind.

I was grateful to be included in his Internet History Podcast: the "First" Blogger, Justin Hall. The whole episode runs 1 hour 44 minutes so that's bastante talking.

There are few pages on this personal web site more potentially unsettling than catdick. See? I didn't even link it. You can find it if you like. I'll tell you now, there's not a whole lot posted there about lipstick.

So you can imagine my bemused surprise when I received this note:

In the 1990s, I got comments from other weird people; now I get comments from weird algorithms. This kind of solicitation for "please post a link on your site" is the bulk of email I receive these days in response to these rangy pages I've written! What a wild shift of human attention flows. Twenty years ago I wanted to see more people online; now I have more machine intelligences online probing my internet orifices.

Sometimes I feel antagonized by the impersonality of these solicitations. I reply "unsubscribe" to silence.

Other times I try to play with them, "Sounds great - let's collaborate on more articles like the one you found on my web site! Please review content and suggest how we might work together." Perhaps I'm fantasizing that some understimulated human bot-jockey will see my atypical response and be inspired to collaborate on some wild network poetry. I actually had one person reply "yes!!" and say she would ask her company if they could somehow work with to make weird stuff, but that didn't go anywhere.

Ultimately thus far it's not been so fun to argue with robots - they aren't easily baited beyond their quite-limited scope of profit-seeking. So I just get daily emails akin to this one, with no way to filter, and no sign that any human actually thought catdick might help sell lipstick clicks.

23 years on, before becoming a father

This entry is published on Monday, 23 January 2017. 23 years ago, Sunday 23 January 1994, I created a web page that looked like this and soon called it "Justin's Links from the Underground" as I publicly unearthed moist spots beneath rocks online.

My goal was to mess around with technology and permanence. What does it mean to share something of yourself with the world? Who will see it, interact with it and care about it? Blah blah blah - this is a subject I can't stay away from. I published a 40 minute documentary on these topics in August 2015, looking back at 20 years of personal online publishing: "overshare: the story" available free on the internet.

Two months later, I was scheduled to get married to Ilyse on October 10 2015. On October 3, we discovered that our birth control methodology had not forestalled the advent of a viable embryo. We were about to be married, and about to be parents.

In April 2016 I turned a mobile phone camera on myself as I mused over this situation, and evinced some of my wrestling with pending fatherhood. I have been working to look critically at my motivations for parenthood, so I can adapt my own dadrole desires to respect & support whatever little person emerges from that situation, and to continue to support my partner in this adventure.

The baby was born in June 2016, and it's been pretty quiet around and By January 2017, I'm updating this same 23-year-old web site with some personal content, except I'm a father. I've extended my life into another being. How can I make media about my experience of existence, and responsibly include my children?

Here's one attempt:

"before becoming a father" YouTube

"before becoming a father" Facebook

I filmed this video in one take on April 5 2016. I had on a stained shirt and some sweatpants. I realized how slovenly I looked as I started filming, but I felt committed to the moment so I proceeded to film. Then in January 2017, as my child turned seven months and the new year passed, I felt a strong desire to speak to my early parenthood experience. So I scripted and read-aloud another monologue over a blank FCPx timeline. That wasn't quite compelling, so I started poking through my archives. Found this footage from eight months earlier, sliced it a bit, and here we are.

Special thanks to Switzon S. Wigfall III for posting free VJ loop videos for remixing.

23 years later, I enjoy wrestling with media technology and personal storytelling! Perhaps this site could be seen as a sort of child. But it is not independent, it doesn't have any touch with the world these days save me. Comments are turned off on this weblog; there's not really a handle for participation. is a rock I visit a few times a year with a chisel. Except the rock is as sturdy as toilet paper and perhaps the chisel is my butt.

To upfrequent my updates here, I would consider publishing the scraps and notes and scores of micro-moments I've already inscribed. But I want to keep my focus on video storytelling, so for now, I'm saving my fathery feelings for future oral histories. Thank you for somehow ending up on this old web site! And seeing what one guy had to say, a guy that seems ever-older than the lad who foisted this thing online. What miracles.