To lie or keep in hiding, as for some evil reason.  To move or go in a mean, stealthy manner.

Friday December 10, 1999

WebSkulker Newsletter
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good skulk!

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To use the links in this newsletter, you must be connected to the Internet.  PC Eudora users: to see this and other html mail properly you must check the box "Use Microsoft's Viewer" in the "Viewing Mail" options.

No WebSkulker for the next two weeks

As we told you on Tuesday, WebSkulker will be gone for a little over two weeks on a trip to Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore.  There is a chance that a special issue or two will go out with emailed dispatches from his trip, but don't count on it.  Since there will be no issue of the newsletter around Christmas time, we are using up all of our Christmas jokes today.  We know that many jr. skulkers only read the jokes, so this is our little present to them.

Power & phone for the world skulker

This site is perfect for WebSkulker right now because it contains details and diagrams about electrical power and telephone connections around the world, as well as other reference information for world travelers.

Skulking inside the central office

This page is maintained by a telephone company employee interested in the older electromechanical switching equipment.  The format of the page is quite odd and simplistic, but just go down the line and click on everything.  He has a lot of pictures from inside central offices and links to other telephone history sites.

The most amazing part are two very long RealAudio files of ex-switchmen calling into a radio show called the Tom and Darryl show.  WebSkulker has no idea how such a show could exist, but the hosts fully understand technical details and history about phones and switching systems, and the conversations cover an amazing amount of information, including a lot of phreak stuff from the phone company's perspective.

Skulking the first video game

This site has a faithful replica that you can play of probably the world's first graphic video game, Spacewar.  Look at the Readme file for instructions.  It explains that the game was first implemented on a PDP-1 computer in 1962, and what you will see on this page is the original source code (just slightly modified) running on a PDP-1 emulator written as a Java applet that anyone with a modern web browser can run.

These made WebSkulker laugh

Contributed by Jr. Skulker Stuart Shostak

Christmas Parrot

One Christmas Eve, a frenzied young man ran into a pet shop looking for an unusual Christmas gift for his wife.  The shop owner suggested a parrot, named Chet, which could sing famous Christmas carols.

This seemed like the perfect gift.  "How do I get him to sing?" The young man asked, excitedly.  "Simply hold a lighted match directly under his feet." was the shop owner's reply.  The shop owner held a lighted match under the parrots left foot.  Chet began to sing: "Jingle Bells! Jingle Bells! ..."  The shop owner then held another match under the parrot's right foot.  Then Chet's tune changed, and the air was filled with: " Silent Night. Holy Night..."

The young man was so impressed that he paid the shop-keeper and ran home as quickly as he could with Chet under his arm.  When the wife saw her gift she was overwhelmed.  "How beautiful!" She exclaimed, "Can he talk?"  "No," the young man replied, "But he can sing. Let me show you."

So the young man whipped out his lighter and placed it under Chet's left foot, as the shop-keeper had shown him, and Chet crooned: "Jingle Bells! Jingle bells!..."  The man then moved the lighter to Chet's right foot, and out came: "Silent Night. Holy night..."

The wife, her face filled with curiosity, then asked, "What if we hold the lighter between his legs?"  The man did not know.  Let's try it" he answered, eager to please his wife.  So they held the lighter between Chet's legs.

Chet twisted his face, cleared his throat, the little parrot sang out loudly like it was the performance of his life:


"Chet's nuts roasting on an open fire.... "


Submitted by Jr. Skulker George Marshall

Barbie's Letter To Santa:

Dear Santa, 

Listen you fat troll, I've been saving your ass every year, being the perfect Christmas Present, wearing skimpy bathing suits in December and dressing in fake Chanel at sappy tea parties. I hate to break it to ya', Santa, but it's pay back time. There had better be some changes around here, or I'm gonna call for a nationwide meltdown, and trust me, you don't wanna be around to smell it. These are my demands for Christmas 1999: 

1. Sweat pants and an oversized sweatshirt. I'm sick of looking like a hooker in hot pink bikinis. Do you have any idea what it feels like to have nylon and Velcro up your butt? I don't suppose you do. 

2. Real underwear that can be pulled on and off. That cheap-o molded underwear some genius at Mattel came up with looks like cellulite! 

3. A REAL man... I don't care if you have to go to Hasbro to get him, bring me GI JOE. Hell, I'd take Tickle-Me-Elmo over that pathetic bump of a boy toy, Ken. And what was up with that earring anyway? HULLO!?! 

4. It's about time you made us all anatomically correct. Give me arms that actually bend so I can push the aforementioned Ken-wimp away once he is anatomically correct. 

5. Breast reduction surgery. 'Nuff said. 

6. A jog bra. To wear until I get the surgery. 

7. A new career like pet doctor or school teacher, and make real money. 

8. A new, more 90s persona. Maybe "PMS Barbie," complete with a pint of cookie dough ice cream and a bag of chips. 

9. No more McDonald's endorsements. The grease is wrecking my vinyl complexion. 

10. Mattel stock options. It's been 40 years - I think I deserve a piece of the action. 

Considering my valuable contribution to society and Mattel, I think these demands are reasonable. If you don't like it, you can find yourself a new bitch for next Christmas. It's that simple. 

Yours truly,

Ken's Letter To Santa: 

Dear Santa, 

It has come to my attention that one of my colleagues has petitioned you for changes in her contract, specifically asking for anatomical and career changes. In addition, it is my understanding that disparaging remarks were made about me, my sexuality, and some of my fashion choices. I would like to take this opportunity to inform you of issues concerning Ms. Barbie, as well as some of my own needs and desires: 

First, I, along with several of my colleagues, feel Ms. Barbie DOES NOT deserve the preferential treatment she has received over the years. That bitch has everything. Neither I, nor Joe, Jem, nor The Raggedys, Ann & Andy, have dream houses, Corvettes, dune buggies, evening gowns, and some of us do not even have the ability to change our hairstyle. I have had a limited wardrobe, obviously designed to complement but never upstage Ms. Barbie. My decision to accessorize with an earring was immediately quashed, which I protest, for it was my decision and reflects my lifestyle choice. 

I would like a change in my career to further explore my creative nature. Some options which could be considered are "Decorator Ken," "Beauty Salon Ken," or "Broadway Ken." Other avenues which could be considered are: "Go-Go Ken," "Impersonator Ken" (with wigs and gowns), or "West Hollywood Ken." These would more accurately reflect my interests and, I believe, open up markets that have been under served. 

As for Ms. Barbie needing bendable arms so she can "push me away", I need bendable knees so I can kick the bitch to the curb. Bendable knees would also be helpful in other situations of which you are aware. In closing, further concessions to the Blonde Bimbo from Hell, while the needs of others within my coalition are ignored, will result in legal action to be taken by myself and others. 

And kindly tell Ms. Barbie she can forget about G.I. Joe...he's mine, at least that's what he said last night. 



Submitted by Jr. Skulkers Ms. 1133, George Marshall, and Chris Custer

Merger of Christmas and Chanukah

Continuing the current trend of large-scale mergers and acquisitions, it was announced today at a press conference that Christmas and Chanukah will merge. An industry source said that the deal had been in the works for about 1300 years, ever since the rise of the Muslim Empire. 

While details were not available at press time, it is believed that the overhead cost of having twelve days of Christmas and eight days of Chanukah was becoming prohibitive for both sides. By combining forces, we're told, the world will be able to enjoy consistently high-quality service during the Fifteen Days of Christmukah, as the new holiday is being called. 

Massive layoffs are expected, with lords a-leaping and maids a-milking being the hardest hit. 

As part of the conditions of the agreement, the letters on the dreydl, currently in Hebrew, will be replaced by Latin, thus becoming unintelligible to a wider audience. Also, instead of translating to "A great miracle happened there," the message on the dreydl will be the more generic "Miraculous stuff happens." In exchange, it is believed that Jews will be allowed to use Santa Claus and his vast merchandising resources for buying and delivering their gifts. In fact, one of the sticking points holding up the agreement for at least three hundred years was the question of whether Jewish children could leave milk and cookies for Santa even after having eaten meat for dinner. 

A breakthrough came last year, when Oreos were finally declared to be Kosher.  All sides appeared happy about this. 

A spokesman for Christmas, Inc., declined to say whether a takeover of Kwanzaa might not be in the works as well. He merely pointed out that, were it not for the independent existence of Kwanzaa, the merger between Christmas and Chanukah might indeed be seen as an unfair cornering of the holiday market. Fortunately for all concerned, he said, Kwanzaa will help to maintain the competitive balance. He then closed the press conference by leading all present in a rousing rendition of "Oy, Come All Ye Faithful."


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