About Me

Lee SonkoI’m Lee Sonko. I write here generally when I’ve found something I think is useful, unique or productive and I want to share it with the world.

Want to reach me directly? Send an email to Lee at Lee daht org.

About My Name

My parents are Lee Joseph Sonko and Marlene Sonko nee [redacted for “mother’s maiden name” security]. My grandparents on my dad’s side are Lehel Matthew Sonkovics (often went by “Lee Sonko”), and Irene Sonko nee Polachek. My grandparents on my mother’s side are Ernest Ferranti and Ita Norvestoni (she went by “Ida”, maiden name name changed from “Norvestoni” to “Westin” to Americanize it)

My dad’s grandfather was Josef Sonkovics but the 1940 US Census noted it as “Sonkovits”. “-vics” is Hungarian for “son of”; “-vits” is German for “son of”. Since the family is from Hungary (a good guess would be the present day Croatian town of Sonkovic), the correct spelling is almost definitely “Sonkovics”.

A Hungarian woman at the Crucible tells me of two possible spelling/pronunciations of the name:Sonko 1 and Sonko 2






Comments about my blog
“damn you for being such a good writer. i just spent an hour i don’t have on your website.” – Michael S.


  1. John O'Connell says:

    Thanks for saving all the old NERO stuff from the 1990’s. I had forgotten so many of these people in my old age.

    John O’Connell

  2. lee says:

    John, you are very welcome! Are you talking about the NERO stuff from the “reading” section of my website? Groovy! I rarely link to that stuff but it’s still there!

  3. Jo says:

    BTW Lee.. I love that name.. it’s what I named my boy 17 years ago!!!

    It was the first name I thought of when I found out I was having a boy… then I read the entire 40,000 baby name book and then went back to my first choice. You would think I wasted 9 months reading all those names, but you know what? I write alot of stories (and someday a best selling novel.. oh please, Dear God, please!!!)and it is just great to think of all those names for carachters! But yeah, Lee is my favorite name!

  4. Rob says:

    Hi Lee, you probably knew that your “how to enjoy Burning Man…” piece is making the rounds. It’s brilliant, kudos. It’s how I found you blog.

    Next time you’re up in Oregon, drop a line and let’s tweetup.


  5. Tami says:

    are you coming for thanksgiving??????? did you get my message on facebook…? are you in calif ?????

  6. lee says:

    Tami, I just got your message on Facebook. I’ll probably be there in Nashville for Thanksgiving!

  7. Chuck says:

    This is a nice blog, but …

    looks like someone else likes your site … I got a “claim your millions” junk mail from Rev Mark Agu (info@lee.org)

    seems that I should email this guy at info@lee.org and claim my mysterious millions that I must have forgotten about in an African account. Happens to me all the time… So hard to keep track of all my stupid accounts around the would.

    Just figured you would want to know…maybe check your server for updates and stuff. This email account may not exist on your server … but you might want to check that too.

  8. lee says:

    Thanks for telling me about this. I am certainly not a spammer or scammer. The info@lee.org address isn’t in use, emails sent to it should bounce.

  9. Hi Lee — we missed you at the big birthday bash, hope to see you again soon! Give us a call and come on by — all best, Kathleen

  10. Billy says:

    Lee I love your blog, you’re so creative. Do you have a boyfriend? I bet you already do. If not, I’d love to chat more :) – Billy

  11. lee says:

    Thanks for the compliment Billy, I appreciate it. I’m available but straight, sorry!

  12. John says:

    Hey Lee,

    Nice blog. Will you be doing any more Flame Effects Workshops in the LA area anytime soon?

  13. lee says:

    John, I’m working on finding a good location to teach the class where we can use fire safely and with proper permits. I’ll put you on my “Call when LA fire is happening” list.

  14. Brad says:

    I received an email from the Nigerian embassy wanting me to claim millions of dollars that is owed me but they were clever enough to use the email address info at lee dat org to cover their tracks. That led me to your site. Cheers.

  15. lee says:

    Sorry, yeah, it’s spam. There isn’t even any account at info at lee dat org.

  16. Steve Quez says:

    Please Take Notice: I received an email supposedly from the “Mrs. Janet Napolitano the Secretary of US Department of Homeland Security (DHS”) wanting me (same as Brad) … to claim millions of dollars that is owed me but (I was also suspicious when the origin point did not have a ‘.gov’ domain tag, also that they were clever enough to use the email address info at lee dat org to cover their tracks. That led me to your site. Please check into this and let me know if there may be any legal Libel involved in there doing so? This is disturbing to me that they are scamming under the auspice of a US Goverment agency!

  17. lee says:

    Steve, it’s spam.

  18. Steve Quez says:

    LEE:: I WAS CURIOUS THAT WITH THIS Misleading and Pretentious greeting:

    “Desk of Mrs. Janet Napolitano
    Secretary of US Department of Homeland Security Washington D.C.”

    AND THIS EXPLICIT Salutation:

    Mrs. Janet Napolitano.
    Secretary of US Department of Homeland Security
    Address: 245 Murray Ln Sw # 14, Washington D.C.

    AND THEN Pretentiously Authenticating the SENDER with this Misrepresentation of ownership (which at this point is AFTER the FACT that IDENTITY THEFT HAS BEEN commited,
    (I hope this wild method survives autoscreening masks to offer you a solid reference of the Pretentious authentication they use their misrepresentation of your Domain):

    “About Me website: h_t_t_p=:’/’_’/’
    ((underlines, =, and apostrophees embedded by me to attempt transmitting a hyperlink))
    ((then followed by )) a WorldlWideWeb, datDHS vsdot, and a datGov ((-DomainName)), followed by the actual existant path to the REAL JANET NAPOLITANO’s webpage which is …/xabout/structure/gc_1232568253959, ((and a final)) datshtm” ((tag)).

    What is the chance a GOOD lawyer could get a guilty conviction for IDENTITY THEFT?
    These kind of injustice and deception tick me off and I enjoyed learning that you got a kick out of kicking some telemarking butts! ;)

  19. lee says:

    Steve, it’s spam and there’s nothing I can do to stop any bad person from using whatever From: email address they want. I wish I could, but I can’t.

  20. chris says:

    Hey Lee! I recently arrived in the Bay Area and came to visit The Cruicible’s open house which was amazing and very inspiring! I stopped their the other day and the woman behind the desk referred me to you because a friend of mine and fellow Burner is working on a large fire scuplture in Austin and is in need of a specific 12volt silicon nitride igniter, that he has been unable to find anywhere else, apparently they’re not instock anywhere in the US. I was wondering if you might personally or know if the Cruicible has any such parts that you/they would be willing to part with for whatever their value if possible? It would massively help him out and would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    Please email me if you have any insight or info about this part! Cheers!

    Big love,

  21. Dan says:

    SO, why am I getting the old Nigerian scam emails
    from “info@lee.org”?? Think you have a problem.
    Yes, return address was different. Did try to
    forward back to you but did not go through.

  22. lee says:

    I emailed Dan. And if you came to my website for the same reason, please look below to help me out. Thanks!
    Thanks for asking, actually!

    This past week I have been increasing the security on my email system, using SPF. Some of my legit email was being marked as spam, probably because of the Nigerian spam problem. And I’m working with my web host (Dreamhost.com) to get DKIM working. (sorry about the acronym soup). That should greatly reduce the amount of spam that claims to come from @lee.org!

    Please tell me that you didn’t get that spam today since the system should be working now!!

    I’d definitely appreciate it if you could send along the headers of the spam so I can diagnose the issue.
    To do that in gmail:
    – Look at the email.
    – In the upper right corner, click on the “more” triangle (it’s next to the “Reply” arrow.
    – Click “Show Original”
    – Click “Copy to Clipboard”
    – Then start a new email to me and paste it.

    Thanks in advance and have a great day,

  23. lee says:

    Yeah, sorry about that. I’ve turned on all the protections I can (see here) but there’s no way I can stop it directly. If you got the spam, you should ask your mail provider to enable SPF, DMARC, and DKIM.

  24. Keith says:

    Why am I getting scam emails from info@lee.org
    Will you take action to stop your site from being used to steal from other internet users

  25. Tibor says:

    Why am I getting a phishing email from info@lee.org?

  26. Lee says:

    Concerning phishing emails and spam coming from Lee.org:

    I’m terribly sorry! I have been trying to stop bad emails from coming from my domain. Here is a blog post about it https://www.lee.org/blog/2018/07/22/sorry-about-the-spam/

    Would you be kind enough to forward me the spam email you received that includes all of the headers? That will help me figure out what’s going on.

    Here are some simple instructions on how to do that if you use Gmail: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/29436?hl=en

    You can email it to me at Lee at Lee dat org.
    Thanks in advance,

  27. Sarah says:

    Hi I just got Mail using the address at info@lee.org so I looked this up and noticed your blog
    It’s a scammer telling me they have 8.2million at Barclays Bank in new York and they so kindly want to give me
    millions lol anyway I think you should look into it because it’s 2021 and I did notice that you had the same comment by another person in 2010.
    I am tired of scammers because many people are gullible enough to believe these people and I wish there was a way to stop them from stealing other peoples IP ADDRESSES ETC


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