Website 2.0

Writing this first blog is going to be hard.  Here’s some reasons why:

  1. I’m a scientist and not naturally creative
  2. I’m not particularly interesting
  3. I’m way too busy to be even thinking about this
  4. I’m not totally convinced yet that I want to ‘blog’
  5. Repeat 1-4 ad-nauseum, as I do on a weekly basis since I got my WordPress account sometime last year…

Yet here I am, finally.  So I’m going to get my s–t together and tell you about my first brush with “blogging”!

If you dare, cast your mind back to 1999: a time when you racked up massive dial-up phone bills downloading MP3s from Napster, to play on Winamp; Google was just emerging from the primordial swamp of search engines; dancing hamsters were about to be unleashed; and you could fit an entire webpage on a 3.5″ floppy disk.  Funny I should mention that last one…

At my first shot at university, 1998-99, I met fellow computer science student (later to be my landlord) Adam.  Adam was a web designer.  Well, in the same way that everyone with a bit of HTML knowledge and Paintshop Pro was a web designer, no disrespect to Adam.  When we should have been learning calculus and C++, Adam and I created my first (and last) webpage:  The Ree-Yees Club.  I know…WTF?  At this point, let me drag you back another year to the start of 1998.  Here’s me in 1998:

Kit in 98
Yes, that’s me in a tie-die Cartman t-shirt pulling a pose. I was being ironic. Honest.

Horrific, right?  What an ugly teenager!  Anyway, this photo was taken when I was 18 and spending 5 months at High Point High School, in Beltsville, Maryland, Land of the Free.  I’m originally from Lockerbie, Scotland and a naive country boy.  I had been befriended by a few of the kids in the Junior year below me: their ringleader, and still my good friend, was Monty.  The others were John, Eric, Jon, David and Dan; you’ll hopefully get to meet them later.  Anyway, skip to the end…I got these guys into RPGs.  Specifically, Star Wars.  God…why am I admitting this?!  What grew from that was some bizarre idol worship of one of the minor alien characters from Return of the Jedi, who also appeared in at least one of the book spin-offs.  His name is Ree-Yees, and here he is:

Ree-Yees
Ree-Yees model. Picture shamelessly stolen from the rather excellent MiskatonicNick on Flickr (http://tinyurl.com/cjq5vse)

Bizarrely, a Google image search for Ree-Yees reveals a treasure trove of images that we couldn’t access in ’98.  He even has his own Lego figures forchristsakes!  I digress.  Back in 1999, Monty and I decide that it’d be fun to put together a webpage for our 3-eyed idol.  I would do the code and images (scans, naturally!), and Monty would supply the text.  In the end, I think Adam did most of the coding in HTML and showed me how to use Paintshop Pro, and I think we knocked together a pretty sweet page at the time.  I still have the entire thing – it’s only around 2MB for the entire site!  Originally hosted at Geocities, then latterly at Xoom.  In fact, in the days when you had to submit your page (and pay, I recall) to search engines like Altavista, Lycos and Yahoo!, I came up with an advert banner to go on other pages:

ReeYees Banner
Who wouldn’t want to visit?

Apparently I even kept the site going through 2000, since I sent the website link to PC Format (an essential read, at the time), and they published it in their March 2000 edition, quote “Gamesmaster Christopher [Kit] Carruthers told us to feature his crackers roleplaying Web site at…“.

PCFormat
Spot the fresh-faced youth. Thanks PC Format!

To be honest, the site was basically a big in-joke with Monty, our pals and I.  Reading through the ‘player profiles’ makes me cringe.  Monty’s style was to rip everyone to shreds, so we all get his form of abuse. e.g.:

ERIK

Player’s Name: Erik Pillit

Nickname: Fag

Character: Rebel Pilot

Profile:

Erik has a disease which causes him to voluntarily shoot money from his wallet when he sees anything that may be connected to Star Wars. He is “Fag” because (at the risk of being somewhat rude) his parents are fucking tight-asses, and they think that our club is a cover for gay orgies and bathhouses. When Erik sits in front of the TV they yell…”You gay pervert! Why were you 5.3 seconds late for dinner when it was clearly moved to 4 o’clock while you were gone!? You know better than that! Now dress up in you sister’s nightie and suck your thumb in the basement until we say otherwise!! And get some @$#*! friends!!!”

Occupation: Collecting, working at a gay bar to support collecting addiction.

Income: -$3,200 annually

Likes: free porno, places away from home

Dislikes: being called “Fag”, his house, his parents, shaving, excessive touching of any action figure, shirts without buttons

Get the picture?  Yeah, the rest of the site is much like that.  The hilarious bits for me now, though, are the photos.  A wee window on my teenage years, and a cherished one I might add.  In case you’re wondering, being a web designer and getting my face in a national magazine didn’t get me any girls whatsoever.

Anyway, I’ve re-hosted the site, unedited or amended since 2000.  Stick a comment, below, and let me know what you think!  Here’s the link, enjoy! http://reeyees.net23.net

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