‘Y2K bug’ captured
says he found it in a N.H. woodworking shop.
Durham- Peter Asselyn
may be holding the fate of the world in his hands-or at least in his woodshop.
Come the stroke of midnight,Jan.1,2000, the world can rest assured. Thanks to Asselyn, the Y2K bug has
been caught and caged.
So pop open your best bottle of bubbly, take to the streets and welcome the new millennium without fear.
Wait a minute. Hold your corks and muffle the noisemakers. Y2K is actually a bug? And it’s in Durham?
According to Asselyn, the Y2K bug is real and he has it captured and caged in his shop on Route 9.
Asselyn, an artist who specializes in wooden crafts, said he stumbled upon the Y2K bug hidden among several
pieces on a shelf of a woodworking shop in New Hampshire.
“He was too perfect,” said Asselyn. “As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the Y2K bug.”
The bug is actually a rare manzanita root originating in California.
To Asselyn, the mangled root is the definition of the Y2K craze.
“ I think Y2K is the epitome of paranoia,” said Asselyn.” And that’s what I see
when I look at him.”
At close observation, the root takes on the shape of something out of the Alien movies. One can point out
its scaly back, pointy fangs, beady eyes and clenched claws grasping onto a stone, hunched over and ready for its next capture.
That is, until Asselyn beat him to it.
Set on a round base of wood, the bug is positioned in the middle of a set of circles signifying its capture.
“I would love to see this piece on a rotating pedestal,” said Asselyn. “It continues
to stir the imagination all the way around.”
After retiring from his job at Nynex in 1995, Asselyn turned his attention to his love of wood. Over a
year ago, Asselyn joined forces with the Maine Woodturners Association, and turned his hobby into a profession.
“For two years I was just hacking away at pieces of wood from my backyard,” said Asselyn, who
owns 30 acres of woods behind his house. “Then I joined the Woodturners and learned how to turn the wood into art.”
Asselyn recently opened his first show at the West Island
Art Gallery in Bath.
On display are 10 wooden creations, mostly bowls, that Asselyn created in his wood shop with logs from his backyard.
“I love the feeling of taking a lump of wood and turning it into a bowl,” said Asselyn. “It’s
Although each bowl is unique, Assely likes to keep natural edges, giving his pieces primitive and raw looks,
something he picked up from African traditions.
“It is a tradition for African artists to leave some of the bark on their finished piece,”
said Asselyn. “That way it remembers its heritage.”
Asselyn did little to disrupt the natural character of the Y2K bug.
“I picked the bark and dirt from it, and then sandblasted and oiled him.” Said Asselyn. “Most
of my pieces, I fashion with my hands. This I fashioned more with my imagination.”
Although the Y2K is not part of the show in Bath, Asselyn is
willing to show it at another gallery or even sell it to a responsible buyer.
But he wouldn’t want it to get into the wrong hands.
“It’s a special piece,” said Asselyn. “It’s going to take a particular type
of gallery or customer to buy it”.
Asselyn hopes that this piece will bring back some of the sense of humor that should be involved in the
Y2K craze. The craze, of course, has to do with fears that the world’s computer system will crash the moment the date
changes from Dec.31,1999, to Jan. 1,2000.
“I think a lot of it has been blown out of proportion,” said Asselyn. “I want this piece
to bring the humor of the situation back.”
For those interested in seeing the Y2K bug “in the root,” call Asselyn at 207-353-4206.
The Times Record
Dated Wednesday, December 1,1999
Durham Maine man plans to release the
Y2K bug he captured in December of 1999,
because he can no longer
afford to feed it. It is consuming more and more data every day,
and the force field he created
to hold it is weakening. He is asking for someone else to
take over the
guardianship of this beast.