The Old Man and the C Drive
September 7, 2010 12:12 PM   Subscribe

What are some comprehensive one-topic websites maintained by cranky old guys (or gals)?

There's a certain kind of website that I love - it's the gigantic, weirdly organized, and completely comprehensive one-topic website, generally run entirely by an elderly expert. Some examples:

-, all about fretted string instruments, with tons of well-illustrated step-by-step guides and about four billion photos.

- Sheldon Brown (RIP), home of the Bike Glossary and tons of useful articles.

- (arguably), part of which is dedicated to outlining a somewhat loony town planning paradigm, but which I love for the hundreds of design commentaries based on pre-automobile postcards.

They're often (but not necessarily) hobby or craft sites. They represent, for me, the best of a certain era of the internet, when nobody had heard of "crowdsourcing" or "content farmers," design amateurism was the norm (see Prof. Dr. Style), and the web was essentially the domain of obsessives with a lot of time and knowledge and the generosity to share it with anyone who wanted. They're also a lot of fun to browse.

They don't necessarily have to be run by old folks or look like someone never got past the "tables and frames" chapter of Web Design For Dummies, but I'm looking for any kind of one-topic website with an excessive amount of content written by a single person with a distinct voice.
posted by theodolite to Computers & Internet (121 answers total) 622 users marked this as a favorite
You want Ian's Shoelace Site.
posted by clavicle at 12:15 PM on September 7, 2010 [21 favorites]

Response by poster: I was also going to include Ulillillia as a non-grandpa example, but hesitated because (a) it's not exactly dedicated to a single topic and (b) there seem to be some mental health issues involved. There's a lot of big sites that are basically just crazy nonsense, and that's not what I'm not looking for - Ulillillia is somewhere in between.
posted by theodolite at 12:18 PM on September 7, 2010

How about Testy Copy Editors?
posted by Buffaload at 12:19 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]

Well, there's the Comics Curmudgeon. Though Josh Fruhlinger isn't old and the website is technically good, he still knows way more about Mary Worth than any one living person should. And he's hilarious.

And everything you ever wanted to know about dyeing fabrics by Paula Burch.
posted by phunniemee at 12:19 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Not longer maintained since November 2007, but the archives of The Grumpy Old Bookman remain a delight, with their insider's knowledge of publishing and writing as an industry.
posted by ijsbrand at 12:26 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you need a Directory of British Roads written by a guy called Chris, I give you Chris's British Road Directory.
posted by jontyjago at 12:30 PM on September 7, 2010 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: jontyjago, you just reminded me of, a complete resource of (naturally) Chicago's 'L' system. I think it's the work of multiple authors but it fits the bill.
posted by theodolite at 12:35 PM on September 7, 2010

John K is possibly the most knowledgeable and passionate guy about cartooning and animation. He's also incredibly cranky and regularly rants about how studios ruin creativity and how terrible modern animation is.
posted by Herschel at 12:39 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

Run, do not walk, to Fankhauser's Cheese Page, online since the beginning of the 2000 academic year.
posted by peachfuzz at 12:40 PM on September 7, 2010 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Hi zamboni. Marry me.
posted by theodolite at 12:41 PM on September 7, 2010 [15 favorites]

Kathy Dyer's Counted Cross Stitch, Needlework, and Stitchery Page. 1994-2005, but everything's still there.
posted by candyland at 12:51 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Interested in coyote calling mp3s, finite element analysis of rifle barrels, and prairie dog hunting tips? You want Varmint Al.
posted by Crashback at 12:51 PM on September 7, 2010

SkateWeb is a site about figure skating. I don't know if it qualifies as 'completely comprehensive,' but it's been continuously maintained by Sandra Loosemore since 1994, making it almost as old as the Web itself.

SpaceQuest.Net has been around since 1998. It's an absurdly detailed site about the computer game series of the same name. It includes things like demo versions, scans of the in-box game documentation, differences between versions for different platforms, etc, etc. Basically everything imaginable about the games.

There are lots of comprehensive video game fansites like that. Here's one for the XCOM series, for example. It dates back to at least 1999 and has been maintained by the same guy the whole time. Pretty much every game series that attracted a cult following will have a site like that.
posted by jedicus at 1:14 PM on September 7, 2010

It falls short on crankiness, but Jack Keller's home winemaking site meets your other criteria.
posted by maurice at 1:18 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Tom Perera & W1TP are what you are looking for. Internet On-Line Telegraph & Scientific Instrument Museum. Terrific resource, suitably outdated-looking.
posted by jessamyn at 1:19 PM on September 7, 2010

Oh, another one. is a truly comprehensive site for information and programs for the HP 28, 38, 39, 48, and 49 series of calculators. It's been maintained since 1997 by Eric Rechlin.
posted by jedicus at 1:22 PM on September 7, 2010

The National Insulator Association blew my mind one afternoon.
posted by hyperizer at 1:36 PM on September 7, 2010

The On-Line Museum and Encyclopedia of Vision Aids, compiled and maintained by David A. Fleishman, M.D. ('Over 6,150 images to view').
posted by misteraitch at 1:41 PM on September 7, 2010

Response by poster: I've best-answered zamboni's post because of its sheer size, but don't let that stop anyone else from posting. Every link here has been terrific. Keep them coming!

And to contribute, here's Footnotes to History, a very long list of short-lived countries.
posted by theodolite at 1:46 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

I'll own up. My own contribution to this - online since 1995.

Why? Why not, I say?
posted by caution live frogs at 1:56 PM on September 7, 2010 [9 favorites]

One hell of a cranky old guy: Imaginary Museum Projects. Topic: dramatization of historic information. Old skool political person. Pissed off by basically everything. Has a weblog and a mailing list called: the limping messenger.
Also one of the most inspiring people I ever met.
posted by ouke at 1:56 PM on September 7, 2010

Let us not forget Language Log!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 2:26 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I wish "wtiif" was a well-known concept and term, because this kind of thing is posted to the blue all the time and there doesn't seem to be any common tag or keyword associating them that would make them easy to search for.
posted by theodolite at 2:35 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

For the knitters, I've always been impressed by Nancy Marchant's breathtakingly comprehensive website which reflects her research and devotion to the brioche stitch.
posted by ErikaB at 2:35 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

How aboutThe Museum of Menstruation?
posted by annsunny at 2:53 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

A forum, so it's a bunch of cranky old fahts who love woodburning stoves, fireplaces, etc.,
posted by theora55 at 3:21 PM on September 7, 2010

I believe the site you were looking for was the WEBPAGE of DENNIS HAVLENA, instrument builder extraordinaire. The site is filled to the brim with ascii technical instructions for building instruments ranging from Kalimbas, to Dulcimers to Hurdy Gurdies. It wins.
posted by cloeburner at 3:22 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

Alan Waddell walked every street in 287 Sydney suburbs.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:56 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]

Everything you could ever want to know about the street lights of New York City, in format.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 4:09 PM on September 7, 2010

Sam's Laser FAQ
posted by teraflop at 4:15 PM on September 7, 2010

I just remembered the magnificentobession tag, which reminded me of Bill Lindsey's Historic Glass Bottle Identification & Information Website and "Lorraine Element"'s Rainwear in Films.
posted by misteraitch at 4:32 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Leonard Cohen Files
posted by Free word order! at 4:46 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]

Check out Tom Sloper's Weekly MahJong Column. He writes a column on Mah Johngg strategy, but the best part is the Q & A bulletin board. He loves to reprimand those who dare post a query without first reading the FAQ's. Ask a second time for clarification on something and watch him shake with anger and self-righteousness. Plus it's as thorough a site as I've ever seen on a single topic.
posted by Kangaroo at 4:57 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Bob is the Oil Guy
posted by HLD at 5:58 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair.
posted by scruss at 6:01 PM on September 7, 2010

Oh man. This makes me think of Silverfall's Ponytopia, which was the new My Little Pony reference for a while, and was maintained by just one person. Now I guess that role has gone back to the My Little Pony Trading Post (MLPTP), which has many contributors, but is full of obsessive delight for those who like My Little Ponies.

What I always liked in high school (but of course no longer have any good links to) were camp-song repositories, esp. ones showcasing regional variations of songs I already knew. I always planned to make a website documenting my favorite camp songs, camp in-jokes, and sekrit camp-counselor knowledge. Did anyone ever build a clearinghouse for that sort of information?
posted by limeonaire at 6:07 PM on September 7, 2010

The LED Museum is everything you describe.
posted by -harlequin- at 6:41 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Pretty much the most awesome medical website run by one man, ever. I give you, The Pathology Guy.
posted by i less than three nsima at 7:31 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Daniel Fraser, a Gippsland twitcher, naturalist and photographer since the 1940s and frequent blogger since 2005.
posted by Kerasia at 7:47 PM on September 7, 2010

The Condiment Packet Gallery!
posted by suedehead at 8:28 PM on September 7, 2010

I have seen Stephanie Pearl-McPhee get a little cranky on her blog when her knitting doesn't cooperate.

She's awesome. is all about fiber arts by fiber artists, but a lot of us aren't old or cranky.
posted by bilabial at 9:52 PM on September 7, 2010

Animated Engines for sure, but the author isn't that old.
posted by scose at 10:26 PM on September 7, 2010

I think The Star Wars Technical Commentaries might count. [Previously self link]
posted by cthuljew at 11:21 PM on September 7, 2010

The Man in Seat 61 is everything you ever wanted to know about getting around Britain and Europe (and, indeed, beyond) by train. An incredible resource.

OneBag.Com is one man's attempt to get everything he needs for any trip, ever, into one carry-on bag.
posted by Happy Dave at 2:34 AM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Uniwatch is all about sports uniforms.

Not quite the same, but the Electronic Music Guide?
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:38 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hairy Human Homepage is an odd one.

I presume it's not so much information you want as strange specialization and a good dose of nerdiness? If so, you want the Voidware Calculator Museum.
posted by mippy at 7:22 AM on September 8, 2010

Oh yes, the Dr Who Knitted Scarf page is a delight. I almost want to meet her, but at the same time don't.

Man in Seat 61 and Ravelry/Yarn Harlot are too 2.0 to be in here, I reckon. Lonympics is batshit insane, and run by someone who posts on another forum I go to with paranoid obsessions on promotion of bullying on TV.
posted by mippy at 7:28 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite] is a long running one woman show, and is often cited as the best Cambodian recipe sites on the web. I dunno about whether she's a cranky old gal, but she's certainly idiosyncratic.
posted by Ahab at 7:56 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Though I would call him neither cranky nor old, surely the site of Dave Bull (our very own woodblock100), fits what you're looking for. It's an incredibly comprehensive overview of woodblock printmaking. Be sure to check out the Encyclopedia of Woodblock Printmaking, as well as Dave's own work. His current project is "The Mystique of the Japanese Print," 18 reproductions of various prints which showcase different styles or techniques of this kind of printmaking, and he recently finished "My Solitudes," an original series of 12 landscapes.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:58 AM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Roads in Connecticut, including a list of all state routes with history and details.
posted by bzbb at 8:08 AM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

This is my favourite Old Web site - it's a shop rather than a reference, but a great time capsule.
posted by mippy at 8:17 AM on September 8, 2010

If you liked then you might like It's about home machining and metalworking.
posted by someonesomewhere at 8:31 AM on September 8, 2010

Can't believe no one has mentioned the Online Etymology Dictionary! It has a prominent section called "Why I probably haven't answered your e-mail", etc. Also a "Who Did This" section that starts:
Carl Sandburg writes that Abe Lincoln, in his law office in Springfield, kept an envelope marked, "If you can't find it anywhere else, look here." Everyone should have such an envelope. This is mine.
...and talks about where he was born, and so on. "My reading friends mostly have been post-modernists and new historicists, lovers of hard bop and William Burroughs. When I'd mention a weakness for Thornton Wilder, they'd get this sad look on their faces and change the subject. I learned to not mention it."
posted by skwt at 10:27 AM on September 8, 2010 [4 favorites]

Every goddamn thing you'll ever need to know about working on airhead BMW motorcycles. Center-justified, of course.
posted by workerant at 11:00 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

I write or have written several of these.
posted by joeclark at 11:40 AM on September 8, 2010 is THE spot for Bobby D. chords and tabs—plus essays and commentary—by a fanatical and fantastic Swede.
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:31 PM on September 8, 2010

Not terribly cranky, but inimitably feisty: The Word Detective, another etymological site. Tagline: Words and Language in a Humorous Vein on the web since 1995.
posted by YamwotIam at 3:54 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Northgate Keyboard Repair (warning: MIDI music) is a site that sells, cleans up and repairs keyboards that haven't been made in over 10 years.
posted by meowzilla at 4:10 PM on September 8, 2010

It's ancient, it's tired, but I've always found this to be one man's magnificent attempt to 'embrace' life with, well, one heckuva woman.
posted by thinkpiece at 6:14 PM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

I cannot recommend J B Calvert's gigantic site full of wonderful knowledge about math, physics, engineering and history highly enough. This man will school you.
posted by 7-7 at 6:32 PM on September 8, 2010 [3 favorites]
posted by nzero at 6:40 PM on September 8, 2010

Rob's Puzzle Page (mechanical puzzles). For those interested in the topic, beyond just an amazing online collection of mechanical puzzles, it also has an invaluable mapping among five different classification schemes for mechanical puzzles.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:02 PM on September 8, 2010

Woodworking for Engineers, home of the eyeballing game.
posted by phunniemee at 8:07 PM on September 8, 2010 [4 favorites]

It's not about one single topic, but you'd probably appreciate legendary computer scientist Donald Knuth's homepage.
posted by scose at 8:47 PM on September 8, 2010

Funny, I just came to MeFi after stumbling onto Planet Mellotron from an unrelated Google search a few minutes ago. The guy definitely doesn't seem old or cranky (in fact, aside from the design, it's all very polished and he's a good writer), but otherwise it fits the bill.
posted by abcde at 10:06 PM on September 8, 2010

Searching for a Gem: Bob Dylan's Officially Released Rarities and Obscurities (There are those who worship loneliness, I'm not one of them, In this age of fibreglass I'm searching for a gem." Bob Dylan, "Dirge", 1973)
posted by Mister Bijou at 10:07 PM on September 8, 2010

Thank you zamboni. I just checked out and I swear I teared up a little. Maybe way inside tears, like the ones that can be very hard to read by outsiders. Who don't know your emotional states. But I was looking at those galleries and it took me back to high school, maybe middle school, and standing in a drug store considering blank tapes, and agonizing over the differences between XL and XL2S or metal or chrome or whatever Dynaposition Type III mystery-language, and with no internet to guide me then, no mentor to explain the physics of tape . . . uh material . . . No, I just wanted to have the BEST. DAMN. MIXTAPE. YOU. EVER. HEARD. and yes "quality was part of that equation. You had to know something about preamps for your car. Which I never figured out.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:08 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Richard Kell hand makes sundials and flyfishing reels.
posted by bystander at 1:12 AM on September 9, 2010

With rainbows since 1998: is a vast collection of German Volkslieder lyrics and folk and gospel songs from all over the world.
posted by Henrik at 4:16 AM on September 9, 2010

Voice of the Hive has a lot to say about honeybees and beekeeping, from the bee's perspective as well as the keeper's. Easy to start reading, hard to quit. And it is pure old-school they-just-invented-frames Webness.

Honorable mention to Wayne's This and That, which is not single-topic as you might guess from its title, but several sections of the table of contents would make excellent obsessive single-topic sites in their own right, e.g., the gardening section, or the dozen pages on various aspects of chocolate.
posted by eritain at 7:24 AM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

Here's an encyclopaedic and idiosyncratic website that lists, describes, and muses on science fiction and fantasy from a literary perspective. Page total in the "five-digit range"!
posted by laumry at 7:36 AM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

You should check out The Viking Answer Lady page. For crankyness, her Note for Students on the main page is a hoot.

Also try Old and Interesting Antique household equipment, furnishings, utensils - housekeeping as part of social history ..... (stumbed upon it when I was looking for the history of laundry bluing.)
posted by gudrun at 9:30 AM on September 9, 2010

I have spent much too much time reading Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields.
Lots of information and history on long-lost airports, including many in the suburbs of Washington DC that I had no idea even existed.
posted by smoothvirus at 10:29 AM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

Michael Bluejay is essentially a one man army of exceptionally informative single purpose websites.

I cannot suggest his staggering array of eclectic information enough.
posted by Freen at 12:37 PM on September 9, 2010

Manjula's Kitchen is neither run by an old man nor is it poorly formatted or organized. It is a one-woman work of cooking art. A small video encyclopedia of indian foods and their preparation.
posted by Acari at 2:33 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

Equipped to Survive concerns survival equipment.
posted by exogenous at 5:21 PM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Pocket Calculator Show has an awesome Walkman Museum.
posted by forallmankind at 2:28 AM on September 10, 2010

OMG, I cannot believe I forgot All About My Vagina. Not cranky, but definitely comprehensive with laser-beam focus, and was around for quite some time before it even had its own domain; I'm at work, so not gonna go look right now, but this site is almost certainly at least ten years old. And very much what the internet is for.

I used to love squiggly and sneaker nation back in the day, but they have changed. Might be worth a trip to to see if you can uncover the old encyclopedias of Swatch watches and sneakers respectively.
posted by clavicle at 6:39 AM on September 10, 2010

Back in 2005 I used to catalog stuff like this on a site I started, I ended up dropping it for another project but at last scrub had linked to:

* Professor Coutant's extensive catalog of commercial microphones.
* Brian Quinette's Invisible Library (fictitious books mentioned in fiction books).
* Dan Goodsell's vintage ads.
* Phil Stuart's Random Useless Info.
* Mark Wade's Encyclopedia Astronautica.
* Ian Fieggen's Shoelace Knots.
* Derek Powazek's Ephemera: Photos, which now forwards to a Flickr stream.
* Alan Taylor's KOKOGIAK, now virtually empty since he's a little busy with his most awesome creation to date: The Big Picture.
* Kirk Franklin's moreCrayons.
* Evan Izer's tribute to Achille Castiglioni.
* Adam Roberts' Amateur Gourmet.
* Cory Preus' Wrote
* Ed Pegg Jr.'s Math Puzzle.
* Skippy's list of things his CO banned him from doing in the military.
* Dwayne Rogers' The Label Man.
* Some of David Manthey's materials. Try 18th Century Reenactment> 18th Century Ligatures and pay note to the Wyld font available down the page a bit.
* Wm. Robert Johnston's Chronology of Terrorist Attacks in Israel.
* Elena Filatova's various motorcycle rides, though there's some question about their authenticity.

For future visitors of any of the links contained in this thread at all, please note if a site is down it may be available on's Wayback Machine or a future variant thereof. You may need to test several dates before finding the site.
posted by jwells at 8:01 AM on September 10, 2010 [4 favorites]

I got a ton of these buried in Delicious; pity I didn't tag them with 'wtiif'. The only one that comes to mind right now:

Amateur Astronomer's Notebook
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:16 AM on September 10, 2010

- Sheldon Brown (RIP), home of the Bike Glossary and tons of useful articles.

This is the best biking page I've ever seen. I didn't discover it until after he'd passed on, and that made me deeply sad.

Amazing! I miss that fleeting time when the net was the domain of men like him.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:27 AM on September 10, 2010

Oh, arachnoid! I used that guy's HTML tool for years when I was working on my "cranky old man" site. Then I dropped it, because he replaced it with a Java version which I hated, and switched to Notepad++ and now I just use Textwrangler.
posted by caution live frogs at 1:07 PM on September 10, 2010

I really like Douglas Self's various technology museum type pages especially the sections on monowheels.

It seems to me that Metafilter's Own™ Bill Beaty's amateur scientist website would fall neatly into the category sought by this question.
posted by hattifattener at 2:16 PM on September 10, 2010

I suggest A Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down for biscuit reviews. It has a good voice and a narrow focus.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 2:21 PM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

A Site For That has a list of several such sites, and accepts user submissions.
posted by Phssthpok at 2:37 PM on September 10, 2010

I don't think there's a link yet to Jeff Varasano's Famous New York Pizza Recipe (previously). Emphatically WTIIF. An insane, passionate quest to create one man's definition of the perfect pizza.

I also love this picture of him, embedded not far down the page. That's the kind of enthusiasm I imagine from the curators of all these sites ...
posted by jhc at 7:01 PM on September 10, 2010 is interesting because it's traffic sign section only includes three types: Men at work signs, school crossing signs, and falling rocks signs.

Much broader in terms of types of signs and general information about signs, but limited to the US is the Manual of Traffic Signs.
posted by clorox at 12:32 AM on September 11, 2010

The Microwave Radio and Coaxial Cable Networks of the Bell System - "Dec. 5, 1999 - created this site; moved AT&T microwave pages [...] from Compuserve web site"

Randy Johnson's Travel Page - "At the Same Address Since 1995"

How to learn any language - goes back to 1999 in the Wayback machine

The kind of site with the crazy C drive organization seems to be a dying breed. Fortunately, blog engines are allowing a new generation of laser-focus experts to share their knowledge with the world.
posted by papersnprayers at 7:34 AM on September 11, 2010 [5 favorites]

It's not written by an old fart, and its only topic is himself --- but Justin Hall's is masterpiece of the web IMHO. is, to my way of thinking, a sort of weird, messy web-based amalgam of intensely personal diary, latter day Beat travelogue, obsessive technophiliac enthusiasm, undergirded by a sprawling humanist sensibility comparable to Montaigne's essays.

It doesn't look like much when you enter via the front door. Much of the content has to be sought out by poking around and exploring. Here's one entry point, here's another.
posted by jayder at 12:38 PM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Aaron Sloman's web page fits the bill if you like a healthy dose of mad with your cognitive scientist. Should be a special delight for those of you who like nice clean layouts and an uncluttered screen.
posted by stonepharisee at 2:05 PM on September 11, 2010

The Fashion Incubator. It's like the Fairy Godmother teamed up with a business tycoon to teach Cinderella how to run the glass slipper industry.
posted by VelveteenBabbitt at 3:26 PM on September 11, 2010

Vigilant Citizen. Ever wondered if Lady Gaga might secretly be the result of, and an agent for, a clandestine program of Masonic and CIA mind control? Wonder no more!

Don't even get him started on Jay-Z!
posted by Sys Rq at 4:22 PM on September 11, 2010

Gunther Anderson tells you everything you need to know about making liqueurs at home.

If you break the one-topic specification and head to the root of the site he also has pretty comprehensive info on folk singing and playing-card collecting.
posted by protorp at 1:34 AM on September 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Richard Harter's World fits the bill exactly.
posted by ambulocetus at 8:09 AM on September 12, 2010

Jack and Beverly's Toaster Home Page!
posted by notswedish at 8:26 AM on September 12, 2010

Response by poster: Sys Rq: I am positive I met the creator of that site on a Metra train a few months ago.
posted by theodolite at 8:34 AM on September 12, 2010

Antonio Mendoza has published 2 books in the True Crime genre and written for the LA Times and other newspapers. He has a website that has been registered since 1995 and has been in its current form since at least 1997. It is an index of serial killers, mass murderers, killer cults and cannibals - a comprehensive score sheet of deaths initiated by or at the hands of people popularly considered insane. It is readable in a pulpy way. The design is spectacularly antagonizing and utterly indulgent but is perhaps an appropriate context to the subject matter.
Warning - Warning - Warning

* Potentially seizure inducing.
* Avast doesn't alert to any malware and this is a well-traveled site but if you click the wrong link it will do bad, though in my experience easily reversible, things to your browser.
posted by vapidave at 3:31 PM on September 12, 2010

A guy I used to work with, Donald Laird, had a website documenting his attempt to visit and photograph every California State Historical Landmark, though it looks like he hasn't updated it since 2003. Also a virtual tour of Disneyland. He's not old, but I think these still count.
posted by moss at 7:45 PM on September 12, 2010

Yeah this is the best thread ever.

Discover Clocks
(especially the Visitor Clocks)
and Cowboy Professor .com
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:22 AM on September 13, 2010

I have to plug The Singing Insects of North America
posted by jquinby at 12:04 PM on September 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

this is the best thread ever. it inspired me to dip into my slush fund and fork over the five bucks to join. mefi is WTIIF.
posted by thistle at 10:50 PM on September 14, 2010 [7 favorites]

He's not cranky or old, but I've been lumping Ken Rockwell and Sheldon Brown together in my head for years. Ken's site is precisely the kind you're looking for.

And, like everyone in this thread, I now call these sites WTIIF. Thanks, zambz.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 12:07 PM on September 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Dylanchords and Searching for a Gem were mentioned previously, but hardcore Dylan fans also need to check out Bob's Boots.
posted by doctord at 9:26 AM on September 16, 2010 is absolutely the world's finest resource on the art and craft of watercolor painting.
posted by halfguard at 11:05 AM on September 16, 2010

I was going to selflink the large and rambling mess I created years ago that told you all too much about the Rover P6 / 3500 (wiki), but I've just discovered that the domain expired about 3 years ago and I never noticed.

posted by sodium lights the horizon at 4:14 AM on September 17, 2010

I almost forgot to contribute the Japanese page Dam Suki-san (Mr. I Love Dams). The anonymous author has cataloged all the dams in Japan and personally visited 35% of them. He also sells a DVD of nothing but dam discharges. There are many middle-age obsessive websites in Japan but this is the one that really sticks in my head.
posted by shii at 5:53 PM on September 19, 2010

Little Gems is an absolutely brilliant site devoted to old british children's TV programmes, with web design that makes me feel almost as notsalgic as the shows its talking about.
posted by dng at 11:47 AM on September 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

Todd McComb has maintained the Early Music FAQ for nearly 20 years. He's expanded to include non-Western traditional music as well, but the core of the site is European medieval and Renaissance music.
posted by catlet at 7:58 AM on October 4, 2010

This is a site about capsule pipelines. I posted it to the blue a while back.
posted by brundlefly at 4:37 PM on October 4, 2010
posted by James Scott-Brown at 3:00 PM on December 4, 2010

John and Anne Callahan are most certainly not cranky old guys, and the navigation isn't all that weirdly organised, but is a rich source of information about the Suzuki GS twin-cylinder motorcycles.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:45 PM on December 7, 2010

Not sure Jake is cranky or old, but I like the fact there is a collection of vintage chocolate wrappers for perusal online.
posted by mippy at 4:50 AM on December 8, 2010

Matjaž Vidmar, S53MV has an amazing amateur radio site with detailed build projects of electronics he's made.
posted by HLD at 4:44 PM on December 26, 2010

I know this is a bit late, but I love this site about Marx dollhouses.
posted by tatma at 7:27 PM on July 17, 2011

I just found this one: Classic Refuse Trucks" (posted it to the blue). Here are a couple of others:

You probably know about Wilson and Alroy's Record Reviews already, but did you know they've branched out? I present to you Wilson and Alroy on High Fantasy Novels.

However, if you are into High Fantasy, you've probably already read through Great Science Fiction and Fantasy. (introduction apologia musings sites on other topics.)

I know of some others I can't think of right now and can't find in my links.
posted by wobh at 9:23 PM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

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