Toad: the alter ego of David Kirschbaum, programmer,
Special Forces, retired Army Sergeant Major,
BMW rider for 25 years (and a pig-dog Norton before that),
and got to within two steenkin' hours of his Private Pilot's license (sigh).
(Hey, didn't you ever wanna be a giant mutant
amphibian fighter pilot?)
Toad leans his chair back as he contemplates the three-inch thick manual on HTML editing.
"I donno, Debs, this seems pretty stupid to me! All this flash and stuff. Why can't I just put my stories and stuff up here on the page, with some sort of simple index, and just let it go at that?"
Debbie , the Wingless Cafe barmaid, sighs.
"Toad, you don't have a single artistic bone in your mutant amphibian body, do you?"
Toad looks hurt.
"Debbie, I'm a fighter pilot, not a bleedin' left-wing commie pinko lavender-shaded paisley-patterned little-finger-waving artsy-schwartsy ..."
Toad stops and takes a deep breath as he realizes his normally booming voice is starting to sound like a raging Duckman. Collecting himself, the big amphibian continues in a normal voice.
"Hell, Debs, I figure if everything's lined up nice and neat, and the colors don't hurt my eyes .. well, that oughtta be good enough for anybody!"
Debbie shakes her head. "Well, go ahead, Toad .. but I do suggest you check out some other pages, see what other people do to actually make a web page easier to read, good ways to organize your data, you know, stuff like that."
Toad taps his webbed fingers on the table in aggravation, his needle-sharp claws clicking on the scarred finish, and then takes a long slurp from the big flagon of Deicer Debbie has just brought him.
"Well, all right, I'll do some checking around. But I'm just gonna keep it simple for the time being. No applets. No music. No graphics (unless I can find a _really_ good one of an amphibian fighter pilot, silk scarf and all) .. something better than that kerosene burning sissy I swiped somewhere .."
The big amphibian tosses a shiny double-eagle to Debbie as a tip. The buxom barmaid grabs the golden coin from the air, automatically gives it a nip with a gleaming incisor, and drops it into the fat purse at her hip.
"Yo, Debs, we're dying over here! How about some service?" A crowd of thirsty fighter pilots are waving from the Wingless bar, and Debbie bustles off to serve them.
Toad continues to browse through the HTML manual's index, mumbling to himself.
"Hmmm, I wonder if there might be room on this page for my collection of Godzilla art? And all the Me-163 Komet stuff? And at least pointers to the neat Luftwaffe graphics I've found out there? Darn, they only gave me five megs ..."
Toad shrugs. "Well, we'll see. First the stories, then the links. Sheeeeeit .. guess I'm gonna need a lousy steenking HTML editor after all .. if I can find a free one, that is."
The amphibian pilot gets a distant look in his goggle eyes.
"I wonder if there's any way to make money with this kind of stuff, designing web pages and all?"
He shrugs. "Naah, what a stoopid idea!"
"There's a homey little cafe
on a distant tropic isle .."
"Stop that, stop that! You're not going to do a song while I'm here."
[Music winds down]
Well, anyway, there's this little pilot's bar, see? At the end of a combat airstrip on a little tropical island, far far out in a wide ocean .. all virtual, of course. But this is the place where Warbirds pilots hang out! A good place to swap stories, get tips and pointers, get to know your fellow pilots, that kinda stuff.
No, This isn't the Outer Limits! It is (or used to be) the Wingless Cafe, a message area at the iMOL Internet BBS. Alas, it's apparently gone, daid, deceased, shuffled off from this mortal coil, overcome (like so many BBS's) by Web sites, Usenet feeds, and the like, alas. But in our hearts the Wingless Cafe still exists, its little neon sign bravely blinking and welcoming all us weary WarBird pilots.
Oh, by the way .. Lady Hawke runs the place, so you'd better mind yer manners! She started out as an anonymous sysop, subject to all the abuse that went with that job .. but her virtual persona has just sort of, well, developed in the various stories (it's all Doc Doom's fault anyway), and the real person hasn't objected, so we all guess it's OK :-). She runs a real fun place (yes, you can start a bar tab), and is a pretty hot fighter pilot to boot! Just be sure to check your 20mm's at the door. And don't leave your keys in your Spitfires!
Like most pilot hangouts, there were a lot of tales and stories being told (and songs being sung too!). You can read them all in the Tales From The Wingless archives (And if you're a big publisher .. make Toad an offer :-)
And there's a Warbirds MUSH too! (A sort of virtual playhouse.)
And of course, if you even dream of stealing any of the absolutely priceless and unique stuff on this page (stuff that isn't stolen already, that is), you can not believe how miserable your life will become. Yesssss, preciousssssss, experience the horrors of TOADCURSE (tm). (_Gotta_ port that program to Windows one of these days.)
I'd quote that most wunnerful threat from Alchemy Mindworks (the publishers of Graphics Workshop) .. except they make me just the teeensiest bit nervous ...
All right, all right! Geez! Toad says I don't have a hair if I don't .. Anyway, here it is. (Thanks, Alchemy .. your software's pretty good stuff too.)
Oh yes... should you fail to support this program and continue to use it, a leather winged demon of the night will tear itself, shrieking blood and fury, from the endless caverns of the nether world, hurl itself into the darkness with a thirst for blood on its slavering fangs and search the very threads of time
for the throbbing of your heartbeat.
Just thought you'd want to know that.
Brrrrrr .. Man, that's great stuff!
Toad's Links Warbirds, military, etc.
Living quietly in Toad Hall, Red Springs, Nawth Ca'lina ("howling wilderness of computerdom"),
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email me directly if you are a genuine human being or other living entity,
actually wishing to correspond (and not trying to sell me something).
If you're a spammer, go ahead and spam me! I live to crush you weasels!
If you're curious (and for you other types), here are Toad's thoughts (kind Toad, gentle Toad) on commercial [mis-]use of the Internet.
And Toad's opinions on the Trench Coat Mafia murders, fresh in my mind this 21st day of April 1999.
hits since Toad stopped charging :-)
Last changed: 18 Jan 2001
And a little SPAM.BOT.BAIT for the robot browsers:
Go get 'em, Feds! Yowzah!