On September 11, 2020 at work, something silly stuck in my head and through the rest of the day, I kept giggling thinking about it. On Saturday, the Twelfth, I started snickering again and had to google to see if anyone else had ever had this, or a similar thought. Google turned up a handful of results, and the posts and comments all featured high-energy responses.
Two words. Hilarious! The slim search results indicated to me that perhaps, I had a THING. I had a Madden Tournament going, so I soon forgot about it.
Laying in bed that night, trying to fall asleep – my mind was racing, trying to conceive of the best way to introduce my amusing thought with the world. The inner voice has – changed?- and I kept thinking about how, doubtless in ten years it will be a well-established joke/bit/thing and I iwill be no better off for having contributed. I was just about asleep, when I remembered something Dad said maybe 2002-2003.
“All the good domain names are taken! If I could buy a single word dot com, we’d all be in a much better position!”
My eyes immediately sprang open. I reached for my phone and entered two words dot com. “Site not found.” I browse over to the site that holds the records for every domain name on the planet, ICANN.org. I search to see if someone owns the domain and simply doesn’t have a website for it.
Nothing. My mind immediately raced to, “Buy this domain, find someone to draw some pictures, and sell shirts!”
Before I fell asleep on what was now Sunday Morning, I owned six domain names. Financially, I was in fine shape so I also splurged on a year of unlimited hosting and storage for unlimited domains. After I started digging into it, I realized ii had been about 20 years since the last time I seriously tried to build a website. So, I also bought a year of WIX to build my new dot com.
I hit Fiverr next and posted a request for an artist to help me out. Seven times, I laid out money on Fiverr artists. Long story short, Fiverr is a great resource… once you find the right talent.
Two of the seven took 5+ days. This girl from Turkey took 5 days, then her final submission was straight up Fry from Futurama. One dude who took seven days – It’s good. A couple of the first six were good. A guy I paid $10 at first absolutely NAILED everything that I asked for.
It was perfect, but I had a hard time loving it. I paid him $20 to have a second go at it. I wanted to find an artist who could draw the same character, in a totally different setting. I request the character to be on a fork truck, raising hell in a warehouse.
That same night, I paid some dude from Bangladesh with three beyond-the-challenge images on his offer page. Gave him the same description everyone else got. I didn’t hear anything, and 48 hours later, I get a picture that is no longer in the chat.
I ask if I can see it without stuff falling from his nose and drool from his mouth. FIVE MINUTES LATER, the picture is still in the chat – I tell Adib his work is wonderful, but I need to see him in a fork truck.
Next day, the guy I paid for a second image with a fork truck delivered. Like his first image, it was incredible. On a technical level, anyway. But it didn’t have enough character. This guy is too clean.
On October 17, 2020, I had spent the weekends playing with Wix for over a month, re-acquainting with Paint Dot Net (which is why this still relatively barren site is always referred to as Rivalless Dot Net 😉), and scooping up domain names. I was previously unaware how many different types of domain there are and before I knew it, I had domain names from IsTheKi.ng, and IsTheGreate.st, to BeautifulWo.men…
That first night – that VERY first night, I did something I’ve done since I bought PastaAilex.com for the first time in 200–1? 2002-ish? Whenever I first had a sense of Pasta Ailex. I was in my early 20s, and I thought of only the unimaginable fun I might have if I owned -fuck-dot-anything.
No earthly clue what I would do exactly with fuck dot repair. I have dangled a few half-hearted efforts. The only one I really liked was the invention of a garage near DeKalb, IL run by the young, naive ASE Certified Lindsay Fuck.
“People drive up all day to ask questions. It’s a pretty steady stream of guys who live in their cars – that kind with just the foulest of mouths! I’m like, ‘Uh, that rusty bucket of bolts is beyond repair!’ I mean, I get it. People show up and want to watch me fuck, but I’m a mechanic!”
I’d been trying to find an artist to draw me THE CHARACTER for a month. That Saturday, the 17th, Adib sent me an image, and my jaw dropped. I spent a couple minutes zooming way in, just to double check that each line was in fact hand-drawn. This truly was impressive, particularly because I was starting to suspect Fiverr is kind of a dice roll.
I switched back to the chat with Adib and said, “Oh fuck, dude, that’s Oaf Huck right there!”
Now, I need a bit. A gag. This forklift drawing is magnificent. First thought?
…Okay, see – just writing this article is forcing me to do work on this. I’m realizing as I write this – there’s value in just writing stuff down.
You know what, no – We’re writing this article to illuminate exactly this issue.
I had a scene in mind. A single-frame comic. In the center, Huck on a truck, doing donuts. He just dumped his pallet, disrupting a line worker on the right side of the frame.
Left side, boss figure yelling, “Oaf Huck! Work!”
Line worker on the right’s line is just, “I’m saying!”
See, I was working IN A WAREHOUSE at the time. Throwing cash at Fiverr was me, putting money from that job into hopes that if I really focus and pull the right levers at the right times, I end up less-reliant on working in a warehouse and more reliant on coming up with a reason for some character to summon Oaf Huck, only to have another character speak – “Construction!” or, “You!” or “Fishing!” or “Fitness!” or “Golf!” – – –
I had .com, .construction, .eu, .fishing, .fitness, .golf, .how, .it, .life, .men, .money, .network, .racing, .rodeo, .school, .shop, .surgery, .tax, .today, .work, and .yoga.
I was working ten hours, five days a week and every instant of my time otherwise was spent in learning WordPress. I had 19 websites to build beyond the Wix-hosted OafHuck.com. Now that I had Oaf Huck the character nailed down, the next step was to get him on all of the sites. Lots of headaches. Ordeals. I worked a warehouse job. I never had quite gotten to Advanced Beginner with building websites or working with graphics.
Hey, if nothing else – my Oaf Huck Search Engine Optimization – – – situation is primed. I jumped into some learning about SEO, and; I once built a little six page website, in HTML 1. So I SORT of get it, but SEO is completely Martian to me.
Adib! My dude! I want a single Huck so I can just drop him into a picture – and get some sort of “Coming Soon!” art going. Experiences out in the wind-swept, frigid, winter-solid pastures of Kendall County, driving political signs into the ground had me picturing Huck with a Post Pounder, and some 4’x4′ vinyl signs.
As Adib does, Adib did! Since I started writing this – soliloquy? – I haven’t gone any later than the Fork Truck on Fiverr. I remember it as me making some poor, unclear suggestions about Huck Pounding a post.
“Nah, I think you want something more fun.”
You know, I think what I like best about Adib is that he’s like a translator. I throw a bunch of nonsense at him, and he somehow renders exactly what I want to see. I don’t think I had to wait more than a couple of days, and I get exactly the art Oaf Huck needs for an intro/first-glimpse!
As I roll through the first few sites, two facts begin to build upon my perpetual, perpetually optimistic inner – thing that tells me, “Dude, you got this! Hell yeah!”
i guess that voice is me? But, I start to realize that once I get some art cooking for more regular meals, the art from the bits – that’s the T-shirt then! And holy, sweet, mother earth – the artwork HAS the URL.
I’m creating a self-feeding monster! Waves of dopamine coursed through my body. Keep in mind that aside from the odd email to my brother from my new @OafHuck.me email address, I hadn’t talked any of this through with anyone. I mean, Adib – but of course I am paying him to understand this concept.
On Friday, October 30, I got home from work, grabbed that delicious Paisano’s Mama Mia! pizza pie for myself, and took off my shoes and my shirt. Removed my socks and pants, and ate dinner. As the sun sat and supper settled, the temperatures took to their typical fall form, where it’s sunny and seventy two all afternoon, but you arise at an angry eighteen.
A chill was taking hold, so I put on slippers. I opened the laptop, and got started. Thanks to Adib’s awesomeness, I had plenty of starting material. Throughout that week, I was working on my PDN skills and building a shop at OafHuck.com.
Just. Build. It. Nineteen rounds of pointing domains from various sites where I’d registered them – to my hosting provider – and install WordPress – And Elementor – I was sure to purchase the Unlimited Websites license from Elementor.
Fumbling around, it took a solid two hours to generate a landing page that lives up to some sort of Oaf Huck Standard on my first site. It got to take less and less time as I progressed. I’m banging out new content at a fevered pace. Some of the sites got multiple original arts.
‘I am making new internet!’
‘Pfftch! This is gonna be so awesome!’
‘I can’t wait to geek out with Analytics!’
I get that inner voice thing – that attitude, that way of thinking – from my Mom. Of all of the souls, in all of time, real or imagined – that could possibly be qualified, “People,”; my Mom is my favorite person. That inner – whatever that is – it’s apparently a significant pert of me.
I just realized- we’re already WAY ahead of this whole – thing from where I want to be. However, we’re falling behind on the pace.
I look at the thumbnail for this page, see that I’m still talking about October, and the obvious path forward is a new entry. A lot happened in November. December.