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Down and out in Visitorville


Anybody else notice the ad for this thing on Sitemeter? It’s a program that takes your usage logs and turns them into a Second Life for deaf mutes. They call it Visitorville. Your web site is rendered as a city, incoming queries from search engines are drawn as buses, and you guys shuffle off the buses — a bunch of unshaven zombie retards sunk in existential gloom with IP addresses floating over your heads — and drift around not interacting with each other. So, no change there.

It’s supposed to be a way of better visualizing website flow: rooms and buildings correspond to sections and pages. Repeat visitors have special little things floating over their heads, buyers little something elses floating over their heads, and repeat buyers are served with sticks up their backsides like all-day suckers (not true, but my posts are required by law to have at least one butt reference per).

Reminds me of the game Black & White — the last (but not the first) game I bought a whole new computer to be able to play. You’re God, and you make these little people, and they walk around doing stuff with their thoughts floating over their heads like, “I have to pee” or “I’m sad” or “I have a disease” or “I’m lonely” and I’m, like, “look, there are millions of you and you all look alike to me — needy, high-mainenance bastards, every one of you. I’m only a god here.” I got bored with it real quick. But I learned an awful lot about theology.

We must be in another wave of 3D visualization marketing ideas. Microsoft is trying it on again, with Photosynth (which I saw at Enas Yorl‘s place) and Surface (which I’m sure you’ve seen, unless you live in a yurt on the windy steppes milking horses).

I have to admit, Microsoft hater that I am, Surface is very cool. Watch some of the videos, if you haven’t. I love the idea of setting cameras and phones on the table and pulling data onto or off of them with your fingers.

But I saw prototypes of these things — not these literal things, but ones very like them — twenty years ago. I saw (and lusted after) a drafting table that was a giant pressure-sensitive tablet combined with rear projection video. I saw high-def and 3D screens and 6D mice and visualized worlds. I saw all this at a Siggraph show in…1990?

By the time we got videophones (backhandedly, via webcams) we were bored with the idea. Too much time elapsed between the tease and the release.

I damn well better still have a license when they roll out the rocketcar.

June 21, 2007 — 5:49 pm
Comments: 40

What this blog needs is more gosh-darned catblogging

Charlotte’s got that whole cowl thing going. With the pointy ears and the slitty green eyes, she looks a right Batman. In truth, she’s a sweet and stupid animal who stands with all four feet in the litterbox and somehow manages to piss all over the floor.

Damien, on the other hand, is an evil little fucker. I bet if you shaved him, he’d be covered in gang signs and six-six-sixes.

Some day, let us shave him.

Usually, when they find themselves this close together, it results in fuzzy chunks of free-floating catskin (hers, mostly) and the sound as of earth’s mighty tectonic plates grinding together. If tectonic plates were made of cats and razorblades.

Here, the dog next door has caught their several eyes and evoked a rare moment of feline solidarity.

June 20, 2007 — 6:20 pm
Comments: 45



I am in such shit.

My work skills were forged in the crucible of short, white-hot deadlines with enormous scary monsters behind them. Magazine work. Support material for speeches. High profile (at least in my little corner of cubicleland), fast turnaround…but, frankly, not all that intellectually demanding. This is my productive place.

Now I’ve drawn one that rests on all my weaknesses. Long and open ended (pff, I’ll do it tomorrow), much coding and script-writing (what, I can’t watch television?!), just me and the client with no third-party oversight (they don’t call me ‘weasel’ for my silky brown pelt). In addition, the client is that potent combination of important and stupid.

I’ve kicked this one down the road for a year, and now it’s back and it’s madder’n hell. I’ve promised to deliver a module a week until August. It’s Tuesday, and so far I have managed to write the email promising to deliver a module a week until August.

I am in such shit.

I’ve pulled off bigger miracles, but just in case, I’m hauling my fantasy weapon out of mothballs — an illness. I’ve never had one. Not a big one. Everyone is allowed one big sick per career, right? I need something big enough to chase the work away, but not likely to result in fraud charges if it isn’t quite true.

So a car accident or cancer is right out. I need debilitating but not newsworthy.

I’m thinking some kind of intestinal trouble. Because, let’s face it, the last thing your boss wants to hear about is your colon.

Blood in the stools? Irritable bowel syndrome? I’m open to suggestions here.

June 19, 2007 — 5:24 pm
Comments: 22

Deer Butt Alien Heads


Man, now I know I’ve hit the bigtime: I got people sending me sick links (that you, Gnus?). Plus, this thing hit Dave Barry’s blog a month ago, so it’s also old. Get me! I’m practically Ace!

Here we have decorative sculpture fashioned from the ass-ends of various game animals. This guy is the Martha Stewart of ruminant rectums.

Oh, god. I think I’m going to hire a Scotsman to say that to me, over and over. Rrrrrruminant rrrrrrectums. I bet he’d do it for a wee dram.

Many people say that the real red neck art is the shaping of the deer anus to look like a mouth. This is the true test of the artists loving hand. The anus can be made very simple, or you can stretch the anus for realistic effects such as smiles and frowns. In general, the leading deer butt artists concentrate on the details of the mouth.

My mother and I were in a pawnshop in Lebanon, Tennessee once when she began to wheeze and point. The ordinary deer head mounted over the counter had been fitted with bear teeth and taxidermed making the grrrrr face. She damn near lost control of her bladder.

Anyhow, scroll down his page for some more fine examples. I’m partial to the doorbell, myself. Though the tasteful kitty cat butt refrigerator decoration and the attractive rat butt plaque are also very nice.

Remember: make sure to tie-off the hiney hole. Words to live by.

June 18, 2007 — 3:56 pm
Comments: 69



I called my dad on Father’s Day and he said, “I finally broke down and did it.” Now, when a member of my family says something along these lines, the ingrained response is, “would you like to tell me about it, or shall I just turn on CNN?”

He says, “I bought a bass horn.”
“A…what?” This was unexpected.
“It’s like a tuba, but smaller.”

Huh. My father was all-state cornet champion in 1941, until he tragically blew out an eardrum hitting a high note. He was master, so he says, of a technique called “triple tonguing.”

No. Forget I said that. Certain concepts should not be paired in sentences: “father” and “tonguing” as an example.

Anyhow, he well and truly blew out an eardrum. He’d had ear infections all his life, which they treated in those pre-antibiotic days by poking little drainage holes in same. Horrible procedure, but if they didn’t, the infection could break through in the other direction, brainwards, and then you were fucked. It happened to a friend of his and he died.

Another friend of his died of rabies. He died, and they went into his room, and he had the encyclopedia open to the “rabies” page. Wooo. That’s completely off topic, but I always thought it was cool.

Twenty five years later, they made my dad a new eardrum out of a piece of vein from his arm, scraped thin. I remember visiting him in the hospital. His head was wrapped up in these huge bandages. He looked like Roger Ramjet. It didn’t turn out all that well.

Long story short, the old bugger is very deaf. He practices what you might call Xtreme music. Bagpipes. Banjos. In the bathroom. He likes the acoustics, which he defines as “hey, I can hear this!”

I’ve been thinking of my stepmother, stuck waiting on a deaf, drunken old cripple with a tuba. And I canNOT stop smiling.

— 7:51 am
Comments: 18

Tulsarama 1957 Plymouth Belvedere Sport Coupe Buried Car!

Hello to all the people who found this site searching the terms Tulsarama, Plymouth Belvedere, buried car, booger haiku, and variations thereof! You’ve come to the right place. Weasel is passionately committed to the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere Sport Coupe Buried Car community!

We all watched the unveiling together on the live video stream last night and it was very sad and Weasel got drunk and sang 1957 Tulsarama Time Capsule Buried Car songs and everything. Then we had a stalking and a flamewar and wrote haiku about boogers. I felt better after that. “Haiku” is both singular and plural. Isn’t that interesting?

Some people cynically manipulate their Google search ranking by repeating keywords over and over, but I would never do that to my friends in the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere Buried Car community. I’m different from all the others. I bet you’re different, too. So we have that in common.

You know what else we have in common? Weasel likes cookies. And gin. Not together. Except maybe if the gin comes first because, whoa! after that I’ll eat anything. Please don’t be making Weasel prove it.

So you can see we were meant to be.

Visit again. This special 1957 Plymouth Belvedere Buried Car
bond we forged, it would be a terrible thing to break.

June 16, 2007 — 4:22 pm
Comments: 79

Friday, June 15


Because the other thread went to the swirly place, tune in here to see if Weasel stays sober enough long enough to learn what happened to the 1957 Plymouth Belvedere that’s been a-molderin’ in the grave for five decades. Me, I’m guessing the tranquilizers in that lady’s purse went bad and the ticket is WAY overdue.

June 15, 2007 — 6:12 pm
Comments: 26



On June 15, 1957, a new gold and white 1957 Plymouth BelvedereSport Coupe was buried in a time capsule in downtown Tulsa, OK. The time capsule was part of Golden Jubilee Week: Tulsa’s celebration of Oklahoma’s semi-centennial. The car is buried under the sidewalk in front of the Tulsa County Courthouse, approximately 100 feet north of the intersection of Sixth Street and Denver Avenue.

The car was seen as a method of acquainting twenty-first century citizens with a suitable representation of 1957 civilization. According to event chairman Lewis Roberts Sr., the Plymouth was chosen because it was “an advanced product of American industrial ingenuity with the kind of lasting appeal that will still be in style 50 years from now.”

The contents of a women’s purse, including bobby pins, a bottle of tranquilizers, cigarettes and an unpaid parking ticket, were added to the glove compartment of the car shortly before burial.

Other items included in the time capsule were:

· 10 gallons of gasoline and 5 quarts of oil
· A Douglas Aircraft Co. aerial map of airport facilities and legend
· Statement from Tulsa council of Churches and prayer for greatest good next 50 years a recently completed history of churches in Tulsa and a directory of the present churches
· Statement from board of education – historical data related to 50 years of education in Tulsa and copies of “School Life” all-high school publication issued by Tulsa high schools each month
· Statements from Mayor and Chamber of Commerce officials
· Flags which have been flown over the national capitol, state capitol and in the county and city
· Other aerial photos of the area
· Statement from Tulsa Trades and Labor Council
· Statements from all former mayors of the city – their record of service and civic accomplishments in the city, state and nationally.

As part of the “Tulsarama!” festivities, citizens of Tulsa were asked to guess what the population of Tulsa would be in the year 2007. The guesses were then recorded on microfilm and sealed in a steel container buried with the car. When the car and artifacts are excavated, the person whose guess is closest to Tulsa’s 2007 population is to be awarded the Belvedere.

1957. The peak of the Big Fin era. They’ve uncovered it (see above) and found the vault full of water, sadly. But it’s wrapped up pretty good, so hold a happy thought.

They uncork the car today at noon. Follow the action at buriedcar.com.

Great. Now I got the closing cello notes from Psycho stuck in my head.

Nicked from Fazed.

Update: practice run at the lift, and where to pick up the stream.

With failsafes in place, the crane crew was ready for a practice lift. Many gathered around the vault to see the Belvedere rise again, and everyone held their breath that the rigging would hold. Most expected to see the car raised a few inches, but crews lifted it ten feet giving the water-logged floorboards a chance to drain. Crews say getting the car out of the rusty, muddy vault gave everyone new hope.

“It looked better today than it did yesterday for some reason,” said Taylor. “I was down in there myself and it was muddy, but it looks better today.”

Organizers say they’ll be in the clear if Friday’s lift goes as well as Thursday’s practice one did.

While the car was up in the air it gave people a chance to inspect the damage 50 years underwater could do. Hot rod builder Boyd Coddington from cable’s “American Hot Rod” came to Tulsa to take a look. He will get a chance to clean up the car between the Friday unearthing at noon, and our live special Friday night at 7.

How well did the Belvedere and the memorabilia buried with it survive underground for half a century? Find out on Friday, June 15th, at 7 p.m. on the News On 6. You can also see live streaming video of the unveiling on kotv.com.

Oklahoma…that’s Central Standard Time, I assume.

— 1:00 am
Comments: 136

BT, DT…got this butt ugly t-shirt


Okay, so in the comments, I mentioned that I lurked on the internet for my first two years, but I had a Good Reason. Which I then left hanging like some huge hangy thing, As If You Cared. Well, back up…here it comes.

I got online in the mid-Eighties. “Online” then meant one of the big services: Compu$erve, Prodigy, GEnie. I tried them all, one after the other. I joined more than one service that claimed to be the first real Internet Service Provider (and they’re all telling the truth, depending on how much of the internet you have to provide for it to count). Portal Communications has a good claim, and they were my ISP for years.

Anyhow, we represented the first “civilian” wave of internet users and the academics, scientists and military types who were already there were not at all happy to see us coming.

So Portal made us read a bunch of posts before we were allowed access to Usenet. Mostly netiquette FAQs and stuff, but one document was extraordinary. I wish I had a copy. I don’t remember the details, but the gist was, “hey! You! Peasant! You’re not wanted here! We were forced to let you in. Keep your mouth shut and your hands to yourself or we’ll kick you out with all your smelly friends, roll up the drawbridge and then you personally will have ruined everything for everybody.”

Scared the hell out of me. I was still at the stage where I believed I could hit a wrong key combination and my monitor would explode or I’d totally break the internet or something. I kept my mouth shut for two whole years. To be honest, I didn’t really know what I was looking at, at first. Usenet didn’t seem all that different from Fidonet, which allowed local bulletin boards to hook up to each other all over the world. Except netizens were real tight-asses back then. Yeah, says Weasel, “on topic” this, Poindexter.

Two events made me realize the size and potential of what I was looking at. There was a terrible drought in the Midwest and a woman posted that rabbits had come out of the fields and nibbled her sheets on the washing line to get at the moisture. The power and homeliness of that image — as opposed to all the meteorological blah-blah-blah on the TV news — stuck in my head. And then in August 1991 the attempted coup in Moscow was “live blogged” by someone looking out his window onto Red Square.

“Hm,” I thinks to myself, “this is like some kind of…international network, or something.”

“You know,” I say, thoughtfully scratching my bonce, “these people are like…citizen journalists, or something.”

Then the Web happened in 1990, and the Eternal September happened in 1993 and the party moved on. But the principle remains the same.

June 14, 2007 — 5:24 pm
Comments: 26

The few, the loud, the 1%


Somebody blew his or her Friskies on the hood of the Weaselmobile last night. I should probably wash that off, huh?

This reminded me of something I read recently about ‘participation inequality’ on the internet. It flows from the stuff about online communities: 90% of the people who use the internet do nothing but lurk, 9% contribute a bit, and 1% are pretty much carrying the whole thing. And by “carrying” I mean “will not shut-the-fuck-up.” On blogs, it’s even more skewed; more like 95%/5%/.1%.

I am, I confess, completely mystified by this. That’s the whole dealio for me: I FINALLY get to talk back to the book/newspaper/TV program. I’ve been rustling newsprint and waving books around in the air, screaming at televisions and giving lectures to my car radio for decades. Now, it’s my turn. Back up, folks! The internet is Preparation H for the burning, itching soul.

If you don’t talk back, how is browsing the Web any different than channel-flipping cable? Not counting the abundant free hardcore porn. I don’t get what you’re getting here.

See, this is hard. I’m trying to ask a question of a group of people whose signal characteristic is that they don’t answer questions. I want to know why you Lurkie Lous and Silent Sams won’t talk to me, but it’s like asking a blind man his favorite color: it’s pointless and cruel at the same time.

So…why won’t you blind bastards talk to me?

June 13, 2007 — 5:32 pm
Comments: 34