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Participation trophy

That was one commenter’s reaction to some particularly lame post I read today. You tried. I dunno, maybe you had to be there — I thought third-degree burrrrn at the time.

Anyhoo, I made this.

My ambition is to make memes that go viral. And then I remember, nobody gets paid for that shit.

March 25, 2014 — 11:18 pm
Comments: 13

I am too a special snowflake

One of the art bloggers I read is having a bit of a hissy about negative criticism from commenters (not going to link — blog feuds are the lowest form of traffic whoring). Made me think for the umpty-umpth time about how big the internet is. And how, on the one hand, it allows any old Joe Schmoe to show his wares to the world. On the other, it allows any old Joe Schmoe to find your stuff and inform you that it sux dix.

Even harder to take, though — it puts you in direct competition with, like, the whole world. If you’re a one in a million talent, there are still thousands of others in your league. I don’t care how good you are — If you don’t find trawling the internet humbling, you don’t go to enough places.

Long ago on the header of Christopher Taylor’s blog, he said there were 90 million blogs on the ‘net. I don’t know where he got that number, but I suspect it got away from him pretty quick (like McDonald’s — remember when the signs bragged about the actual number of millions of burgers sold? Eventually, they gave up and put “metric asswad burgers sold”). That was a pretty daunting competition then, whatever it is now.

I got curious about the current number of connected world citizens, but I’m not good at math (I think “umpty-umpth” and “metric asswad” are actual mathematical concepts). So check me here. Wikipedia says the world population is 7.1 billion of which 61% are not using the internet. So, that means 39% are using the internet, and 39% of 7.1 billion is…2.77 billions, yes? Which looks like 2,770,000,000 writ out with all them zeroes, yes? And if you’re a picture blog, you’re pretty much accessible to all of them, regardless of language.

I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty easy to find people who don’t like your stuff.

March 12, 2014 — 11:45 pm
Comments: 20

and on and on and on…

I don’t usually leave you staring at a political P’shop over the weekend, but I just read the entirety of Obama’s nothingburger of a foreign policy speech and I had to get that ^^^^^ out of my system. (What is the matter with those bananas at MSNBC?!).

On a happier note, my new hit counter tells me my old one was seriously undercounting. How do I know which one is right? I was browsing the linked-from page and found this post from Doug Ross: per Alexa rankings, sweasel.com is the 180th most popular conservative news site.

That makes this the 876,001st most visited destination on the innertubes! Fewer than a million better places to hang out in cyberspace, baby. w00t!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, Muricans!

May 24, 2013 — 9:08 pm
Comments: 44

Eh…stop that.

News junky + interesting times = I’m on the web a *lot* lately. And not in a real good mood. And now is the time — apparently — to try to sell me something by really pissing me off.

Have you noticed that? Online presences cranking up the annoyingness, maximising the intrusiveness and generally imposing on whatever relationship you thought you had with them?

Popovers. Popunders. That thing where an ad opens up at the top of an article, shoving the text down while you’re trying to read it, then closes itself, jerking the text upwards again. That thing where the whole screen goes dark and you think your computer is about to croak, and then a cheery ad appears in the middle of the screen and holds it to ransom.

Audio that auto-plays. Ingeniously hiding that little X that closes the ad window. Getting rid of that little X entirely. Running big, bright, colorful ads down the full length of the page on either margin. Ads disguised as newsletters from places where I have actually signed up for newsletters. Articles that should be a single page broken into twenty-page slideshows (every click is a hit!). Firewalls that are trivially easy to get around, but add an extra unnecessary dollop of ass ache to the reading experience.

Or that thing where there are a bunch of semi-interesting pictures at the bottom of an article linking to stuff on other sites, and you click one and it doesn’t take you to the article, but to a whole nother page with a whole bunch of links, and you find the one you wanted and click it and it doesn’t take you to an article but to a page that freezes while it pretends to download content and now you have four useless windows open and you think, “what just happened to me?” I don’t even click out-links any more.

Web ads have always been annoying, but these extra-specially asshole techniques are all pretty new. I know times are tight and people are desperate to make money, but making me want to burn down your office and piss on the ashes is probably not the best way to get your hand in my pocket.

p.s. That illustration was originally animated, but the animation really got on my tits. You’re welcome.

March 27, 2013 — 11:16 pm
Comments: 48

Wait, I…what? blog?

I just leaned out the kitchen window and took this snapshot. This, actually, is a big improvement. Most of the day, it’s been total blizzard whiteout sideways snow. I could barely make out the poor ewes in the field behind, heavy with lamb. Not really all that much snow, but the wind!

And I’m on Day 2 — right at the misery point — of that cold all the cool kids are coming down with.

If you’ll excuse me, I have drinking to do…

March 11, 2013 — 11:50 pm
Comments: 38


I passed a million views a little while ago. I didn’t notice when. Drudge gets that many hits in the time it takes him to sneeze, but I’m chuffed to make it after six years. Just thought I’d mention it, as today is my Sixth Blogaversary! Woo woo!

Lessee…Wikipedia sez the sixth anniversary is Iron (traditional US), Sugar (traditional UK) or Wood objects (modern US). Iron, sugar and wood. I’m not sure what I can do with that.

Oh, it’s also Uncle B and my fourth wedding anniversary. So that’s…Linen and silk or fruit and flowers or electrical appliances. Okay, NOW you’re talking. I think we can build a pretty acceptable orgy out of those things.

We couldn’t think of anything we really wanted to do to celebrate, so we’ve got a bottle of champagne, a goose for dinner and we’re going to watch the High Def version of The Birds. Smooooooth.

Oh, we’re also thinking of buying ourselves a couple more chooks to celebrate, rounding out our little flock to six. If we can find a local supplier who’s got what we want when we want it. Stay tuned.

Anyway, thanks so much for coming here. I love my commenters. And yes, I love you guys who read and don’t comment, too. Here’s to another year of chickens, silly Photoshops and fart jokes!

p.s. And don’t forget — tomorrow, 6WBT sharp. Dead Pool Round 45!

February 14, 2013 — 9:56 pm
Comments: 31


Shit. Shit, shit, shit.

I picked up an address book virus yesterday. Which means, if you and I exchanged emails recently, you may have gotten an email from an account you don’t recognize (my root ISP account), subject “hi” contents a blind link.

If you click that link, you will spend a delightful day — as I just did — cleaning up the computer and writing apology emails.

The good news is, Malwarebytes cleans it right up. The bad news is, you probably won’t realize you’ve got it until after it drops a load on all your friends, neighbors and important business contacts.

I have never kept an address book since leaving a cubicle, but I hit a button somewhere recently that put every email I reply to automagically into mine. Hence, recent contacts only.

The worst part is, now my real name is out there.

That’s right, suckas — my name is stoat.e.weasel!

January 30, 2013 — 10:48 pm
Comments: 31

A weirder tip than most

flat belly

Y’all ever click this sucker? If you did, you likely saw a totally different product than I did. That was the scam — it was an advertising frontend that could be rented by anyone with a diet product.

And some very dodgy companies lurked behind it, too. The Washington Post traced it down a couple of years ago (which was only right, since the Post was one of dozens of ‘respectable’ sources that ran the ad). Most of these scams demanded your credit card details before sending “free” samples — later followed by regular, hard-to-cancel shipments of expensive products.

And needless to say, there was no “one weird trick.” I clicked the ad hoping to squeeze a post out of it, and was whisked away to an audio presentation which warned me up front to listen all the way to the end for the one weird trick. And then droned on and on about “I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I had to lose weight. My wife and I were very concerned that being overweight would affect our health, and we had children to worry about.” In its way, it was a masterpiece of utterly contentless chatter. I wish I’d hung on to see how long they could keep that up, but I’m not entirely sure the damn thing didn’t sneakily loop back on itself.

After half an hour, I lost it and closed the page…and got the entirely predictable series of breathlessly panicky pop-ups offering me specials and freebies and warning me I was turning my back on the offer of a lifetime. I have no effing idea what they were selling.

Thing is, this thing ran for months and months. Remember? It ran in the LA Times and the Washington Post and dozens of other places I visited, and I can’t help but think it succeeded so well because no-one could believe an out-and-out con would show its face in so many respectable places.

Eventually, the FTC shut down the marketers behind the front end. But, honestly, I don’t see how Google (the ad server) could be so casual about the company it keeps. And I don’t understand why papers like the Post and the Times weren’t up in arms about the hit to their reputation.

Having said that — ahem — I’d practically forgotten I had sidebar ads until I got a message from AdBrite tonight telling me they’re going out of business at the end of the month. So, ummm…if my spotless reputation has been used to sell you bath salts and Russian hookers, I’m really very sorry. I’ll stop doing that as soon as I feel like digging around in my sidebar code and extracting the ad dingus.

Until then…errr…I wouldn’t click on anything over there.

January 28, 2013 — 11:42 pm
Comments: 33


I was going to soldier on and post something in my usual vein, but that felt all kinds of wrong.

So. Shut up it is, then.

One thought. Ace is on about something that I’ve been saying for years: if you want less of this kind of thing, watch your language (I’m looking at you, media). Stop describing these shooters as evil and monsters. They love that shit. This is exactly what the mass-murderer wanted, and what his imitators want. To be a huge scary monster. To be a horrible, shocking beast.

Not a loser. Not somebody who couldn’t make friends or get a good job or keep a girl. Honest to god, these guys think what they do makes them rockstars. The dead kids are just props on his stage.

I guarantee you, there are people sitting home tonight watching the news and thinking, “yes. I want some of that. That’s just how I want to go out.”

December 14, 2012 — 10:30 pm
Comments: 63

Ho Ho Ho

I’m still doing my best to ignore the news completely, and now with the holidays coming at us like an onrushing sleigh ride of terror, I’m finding it harder than usual to pull posts out of my ass. You probably noticed. So I’m hanging out the light blogging flag until the New Year.

Oh, I’ll still squeeze something out five days a week. I’ll probably do a little post recycling. I’m green like that.

Do please drop by and chat anyway. I worry when I short the blog too much. Neglected blogs bleed readers.

December 5, 2012 — 11:19 pm
Comments: 24