About Matte Gray

Sock Model?  You betcha.  See Fall Fashion Update.

It’s “Matte Gray” like the paint because i’m definitely gray and for sure nobody ever described me as glossy.  To paraphrase Hobbes, the life of a technical writer is nasty, brutish, and short.  And to quote Stella Gibbons, “so is his prose”.  But now that i’m retired, i’m trying to entertain readers rather than bore them to tears with business application user manuals. Note how those last four words alone made your eyes glaze over.

I am fascinated by languages, literature, bridges, farmers’ markets, grocery stores, cooking, recreational eating, sociology, environmental issues, fighting religious persecution, needling the NSA, and life in San Francisco. I’m increasingly lame, so i use a Segway as a motorized walker; and i’m as green as possible, so when i’m not on the Segway i’m on public transit. To go out of town, i heave the Segway into the back of my Prius.  Note:  to celebrate my eightieth birthday I stopped driving and sold the car.

And yes, there is also much to be ashamed of, so i’ll out myself:  I’ve always been an iconoclast.  In my misspent youth in the ASA in the mid-sixties, i was the NSA’s bitch. And then, for a decade until i got too old for it a few years ago,  i was a sexagenarian.  And now, i’m an out and proud, practicing nempimaniac, traveling all over California exposing innocent families with small children to my unnatural habits and actively recruiting.   Check back:  If i live long enough, i’ll sink even lower.  Note:  In 2017 i became an umbraphile and cast myself into darkness.

Oh, and for those who are wondering, for thirty years i’ve not been hitting on nobody for nothing, so that makes me a volcel whose sexual orientation is Retired, but ever since i was a little boy, i’ve always been cisgender.


I try to properly acknowledge the author of any material here that i’ve got from others.  However, i must mention that my old friend Jim Fitch has been an inspiration and for decades was my first reader.  Now I rely on Rick Copeland, David Ogden, and my sister, Becky.


Warning:  This site contains errors that remain uncorrected.  I correct them as soon as i find them or a reader (see COMMENTS) calls them to my attention, but I must have missed some.  On the other hand, i’m definitely biased and this site reflects my biases.  However, i am not a propagandist, so everything here is, to the best of my knowledge, truthful.  If you see something that you don’t think is true, please COMMENT so that I can either fix it or provide evidence that you are mistaken.

As of 2016 we’ve been living in mendacious times when more and more people feel free to utter countless lies as a political and social gambit.  I view this as a grave danger to our democracy and have redoubled my efforts to make sure that everything in this website is true.  Again, let me know when you spot something wrong.


General search engines like That Big One and others like Yahoo and Bing crawl through this website along with the rest of the universe.  For this purpose, i prefer DuckDuckGo because they’re not gathering my data and selling it.

A way to comb through only this website for something is to use the Google site search command  It’s been deprecated, but it still works fairly well.   To find all mentions of Geert Mak anywhere in this site, in the Google search block enter:

site:mattegray.net geert

This will bring up every mention of “Geert” on the site.  If you’re like me, you know only two men named Geert – Mak and Wilders – but if you’re Dutch and want to screen out all the other Geerts but Mr. Mak, you’d enter:

site:mattegray.net “geert mak”


The good news is that while comments here are moderated, the only comments that i have failed to approve so far are those from entrepreneurs who somehow got the idea that they could plant links to their sales sites here.  Oh please.

The bad news is that it takes a while after i’ve approved a comment for it to appear on the site along with my reply, and you can’t see comments or leave them unless you’ve clicked on the title of the post.


It has come to my attention that this site works much better if viewed on a PC or Mac than on one of the smart phone varieties.  On the latter, most of the submenus are inaccessible because they just flash briefly on the screen and disappear, thus rendering their contents unviewable.  My web design guru is temporarily unavailable, but when he recovers, i’ll get him to try to swat this bug.  In the meantime, i’m gradually adding as a kluge links to submenu items on the top menu pages.  This is such dreadful scutwork that it’s progressing slowly, but hopefully there’ll be a link to what you want when you want it.

Leave a comment


  1. Sybil Conn
    Posted 21 April 2014 at 06:11 | Permalink

    You forgot to include the taxing obligation of being a good friend to many!

    • Posted 7 April 2016 at 06:30 | Permalink

      For you it’s not at all taxing. I found you delightful from the moment we met in that café​ beside the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market when it was at Green and the Embarcadero about 1995 or so.

  2. Richard Board
    Posted 27 December 2019 at 11:12 | Permalink

    It has been a while since I have checked out your site. The bridge photos are so well done, and your wit is on every page. It will be good to see you again in the new year. Let’s plan!

    • Posted 27 December 2019 at 16:58 | Permalink

      Oh damn me. The master plan was to contact you before the holiday rush, but obviously that fell through and now everybody knows how addled I am. So yes, email me and let’s set up a lunch so we can catch up.

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