Cave of Trouble (CoT) is/was several things. The name that we made music under for one. It was also the band that worked for Chook Industries. It slowly morphed into only being a label for the music we made. Somewhere during the Chook era, we made a website for the band, and even touted the latest music we were working on, the Cigarette EP. That was a project we actually finished but never updated the site with. That also has never seen the light of day on the posts I was doing on CoT albums. Maybe someday.
This site had a cool feature I was rather proud of, one that is now defunct. The web server checked the weather in Salisbury, MD and displayed a drawing of the appropriate weather behind the monster graphic. Currently, I just have a random weather image being displayed. Also, at the bottom of the page, the weather was displayed in a line that said, “The weather at Bayland is _______ at 7:03 pm.” Bayland refers to [Bayland Aviation], located at the Salisbury airport
So, here is the original version of the Cave of Trouble website.
Cave of Trouble
The original mindlab site was an offshoot of the Chook Industries website, version 2. The mindlab was supposed to be Larry Snow’s personal website. Larry was the president of Chook Industries. Most of the activity on the site was from mid 2000 to mid 2003. Mike authored almost all of the posts if I recall correctly.
Note, this was back in the day of expensive domain names and limited shared hosting accounts. The original mindlab was pretty cutting edge, as was the whole Chook Industries site. It was a PHP driven site which read content from a collection of plain text files, one for each post, and generated an RSS file. Yes, RSS back in 2000. We had it listed on the Netscape RSS directory, pretty much the only place on the internet that used RSS. I also used the RSS file to automatically generate content for the Chook Industries main page.
Circa 2010, we moved servers and I did a quick redesign of the site, where I detached it from Chook Industries and split it off into its own website. At that point, Mike did a few sporadic posts and then stopped.
So, with that being said, here are both the original and 2010 versions of the mindlab:
This is is riddled with typos, but I thought I would preserve its integrity.
If anyone prepares any of this stuff, please take photos or make a video.
The boys sent me a tape of some prime Chook-era material while I was in Africa. I want to thank them, because it really helped me get through my time there. From my mosquito-infested bed, I listened to the tapes on a cheap walkman with cheap African batteries and imagined myself being back home with the crew, staying up until 5am to make these “creations.” As my 10-year anniversary of shipping off to Africa is coming up soon, I recently digitized, edited and segmented the whole first tape.
There are 3 basic sections: Chook Radio Drama, Larry Sings the Hits, and Mike’s Improv. I’ll post lengths and some comments for the good ones, so you know what you’re getting into.
Chook Radio Drama
Larry and Jim at Home, 11:45
Larry and Lester Break into Orange Julius, 2:37
Larry and Jim visit DC, 11:18
History Lesson from Larry Snow, 2:21 Has some Clinton-era commentary. Trippy to think of how long ago that was.
The Story of Curtis Rufus as read by Mr. Snow, 1:41
At the Office, 0:48
Chook Origins: Larry Snow, 0:42
Please Hold, 2:34 This one is a must-listen.
Making Calls, 3:08 And, you probably want to avoid this one.
Chook News Reel, 5:39 A bunch of Chook radio news broadcasts, chronicling events of the company and of Larry Snow’s misadventures.
There’s also a track of Joe and Mike cold-calling certain media and entertainment organizations as Chook employees to try to make business deals with them. I left that off the site because of possible legality issues, but anyone who wants that can get it from me directly.
Larry Sings the Hits
I’m a Lonely Man, 1:41
Shake Yer Rump, 0:39
Pennywhistle of Doom, 0:26
Beem Doodah Beem Doodah Hoombah Heem, 1:29
Steady Truckin’, 0:39
Mr. Nutcracker, 0:22 This is one of my faves.
No Fudgies, 0:45
It’s a Party, 1:58
Pennywhistle Rap, 0:54
Goblins Eating Noblins, 0:29
Mike Deedlee, 4:11 Random noises from Mike. Tim has a cameo at 3:00.
I was going through the Chook page and I found Cliff Woodman’s bio.
My name is Cliff Woodman. My current occupation is as a web designer and technology coordinator for Chook Industries. I also do a lot of web design and graphic design on the side. I graduated from University of Maryland, College Park in 1991. I met up with Larry Snow in the mid 90’s, and he offered me a job with his new company. As I was bored of my job at the time, a computer programming job, I decided to take a chance. It turned out to be one of the best moves I had ever taken.
My interests include reading science fiction, especially old school science fiction. My favorite author is A.E. van Vogt. I also enjoy watching a good anime every now and again. Other hobbies of mine include playing guitar and drawing. I do enjoy a few computer games, mainly the old classics. My all-time favorite game is Wasteland.
I am currently unmarried and live with my dog, Herbert von Wilhelm.
This was published in the original MindLab.
Omni is TRUTH
“Ding Dong” probably sounds different to every ear. Maybe to Harry’s ear it sounds like, “Dear, Deer” and maybe to Sally Mae’s ear, “Doo, Doo”. Pigeons probably all hear the same “Ding, Dong” sound though, cause pigeons only have brains the size of raisins. I read that in Omni.
Here follows the sixth and final piece of the Vort Conspiracy saga I wrote back in the day. Unfortunately a bit on the short side compared to the previous pieces. In theory there would have been more, but from my recollection at this point I’d pretty much used up every scene, character, and detail I’d wanted to include when I originally started out writing the thing.
If one was supposing things that might have happened, then I might have thought up some additional details that seemed interesting enough to include eventually, had I thought about it long enough. But other thoughts came first and no related ideas seemed to be beating a path to my door as they had with these first chapters.
Continue reading Chook: The Vort Conspiracy – Part 6
Everybody loves ’em, no one can stand ’em. In some cultures they are associated with of wisdom, acclaimed as blessings of the gods or gods made flesh. In other areas, let’s say your average Starbucks, calling someone a monkey is tantamount to S/H.
Monkeys are many things to many people. Are they cute clingy human analogues or harbingers of terrible disease? Do you see them as maliciously threatening or pleasantly mischievous? It is impossible to tell for the attitudes of a monkey are as mercurial as a breath of air but each emotion as elegantly simple and understandable as those of a young child.
Continue reading Chook: The Vort Conspiracy – Part 5 (The Monkey Cube)