17 May 2010 @ 11:15 AM 

ten years ago on this day, my freshman year of high school had just ended and i had returned home figuring out what i would do with all the new free time i now had. high school was supposed to be bigger and better and more stressful than middle school, but i didn’t feel that at all. but still, i felt like i needed to do something cool with the void of summer. after all, this was the age of the personal website, the age of expressing yourself in ways never seen before; we were now at the forefront of a new age of social networking and web logging.

my friend john cloud had created a website very reminiscent of the modern blog, albeit much, much simpler. though we had all wished he updated more, i still wanted to have something that people loved and wanted to be a part of. i was a sucker for attention, there was no hiding that.

these were the times of angelfire and geocities (in fact, i had an angelfire account), but i had heard and seen from my friends that freeservers was a little better. so in the late afternoon of may 17, 2000, the twisted arena of hippos and rhinos was born. and really, the rest is history.

the first few days i had the website, i was inflicted with a pretty terrible sickness, and accordingly, it halted a lot of the production. some of the sites i thought i was going to create didn’t even make it for years later. but that didn’t matter in the end. there was only one thing that people really cared about in the beginning years: the joke or stupid thought of the day.

i knew there was one way to get people to come visit my website, and that was to update it as often as possible. i figured that having a scheduled daily update would provide enough reason for people to visit. and for some reason, i made a stupid countdown to december 21, 2003 and the backbone for the early days (and arguably, the only day) of the website was done and done.

through all these intermittent years of existance, there has always been one constant: it remains online. this doesn’t mean a whole lot to most people, but to me, and maybe a few others, we can share a lot of good memories and look back at our past lives in great efficiency. we all grew up as the first generation with the ability to have our whole lives chronicled with mere typing on a keyboard. some people have taken advantage of that. and i am very proud to be one of them.

(i know some people think i’m crazy because i treat my website like my baby, but that’s not the point here.)

so if there are any of you out there that at one point in your lives loved this website, or have liked looking back at it to read some good memories, or have always wanted to know what all the hoopla was: we can share this together. i’m going to commemorate the ten year anniversary of the twisted arena of hippos and rhinos by listing some of mine (and some of your) favorite memories. and for anyone that doesn’t know what i’m talking about and want to know, click the links.

so without further ado, let me present to you, ten years in words and pictures:

1. in the beginning – there lay the joke page and only the joke page. and i’ll be the first to say it: it wasn’t really that funny. there was one joke that was an early crowd pleaser, on may 28, 2000, and arguably is the reason why i even continued to update. regardless, the joke page is the reason i had a webpage for the first three years. it was the only thing that was constantly updated, and in the pre-widespread-blogging universe, was the best way i could think of to have my friends visit my website.

2. boardhost, the gateway drug – in an effort to have a way for my visitors to chat with each other, i created a free message board. in its early days, it was a very innocent and efficient way to bring everyone together. there were many fun games i remember playing with people on there, most noticeably “egg no rinses blitz.”

3. digitizing and popularizing – over christmas of 2000, i got my first digital camera. though this isn’t directly related to my website, the possession of a digital camera took my historian-like activities to a new level. also that christmas, i received enough money to buy a .com. previously, i was trying to raise money via a “relocation fund” and had a few select people contribute, and on january 12, 2000, i was a proud owner of hipposandrhinos.com.

4. the infamous (and famous) scandal – this will always be the pinnacle of the website. and if you don’t know what i’m talking about, i will just tell you to click the link. for many of us, this was a moment that changed all of our lives. and it’s something many of us will never forget (like 9/11).

5. milestones – arguably the most read and most enjoyable part of my website’s tenure were the two milestone updates that i had, one for the first anniversary and one for the second. the first update was the most popular and was the 100 most influential events of the year. i had so much fun doing it that the next year i did another countdown about ridiculous things at my high school. and we can all remember that i don’t like to finish countdowns.

6. the apocalypse – for some reason, probably because i’m kind of an idiot, i had a countdown on my website referring to an apocalpyse: the end of the joke page. after i had 1313 jokes, the joke page would be finished. (for some reason i said ‘it would turn golden’. i don’t actually know what that means.) a lot of people celebrated a moment of silence with me as the longest running and oldest thing on my website came to an end. i’d be lying if i said i didn’t miss it sometimes.

7. entering blogging culture – i had stayed away from the ubiquitous blog mainly because i liked to be different. but i enjoyed writing too much and after the joke page was done, i still wanted to keep updating. the blog was short-lived (as most everything was after the joke page), but it still had enough original flair for me and others to enjoy it for a while.

8. music television – obviously, this was the most ridiculous thing to happen to me and probably most people. the website scandal was featured on MTV’s high school stories. i will never forget the day i got a call from a representative of MTV and talked to her for two hours about my story. being on national television will always be such an awesome and interesting experience. and hey, i became an idol to so many random people (some guy cut his sideburns like me), even met someone who saw me on tv, and i got to experience website celebrity life. kinda cool if you ask me.

9. life in pictures – to some, this was their favorite part of my website. i needed something like the joke page that was updated daily so people would visit my site more. i was known for taking hundreds of pictures of nonsense, so i figured i could make a good picture of the day. and it was a success. sometimes i kinda wish i still did this, so you never know, it could come back again sometime.

10. the new forum – one day, i thought my old forum was outdated. truth is, it had been outdated for years. and since me and a lot of my friends were living in many different countries, it was a good way to communicate again. sadly, it was very short-lived, and only like three of us really got to have fun (with haikus).

11. pictures, revisited – in another attempt to revive my website, i brought back the daily pictures, but it didn’t last very long like everything else that happened on the website in the last few years. since i’ve always kinda wanted to bring back the picture of the day, you never know, it could happen again.

12. improving blogging life – when i came to seattle, i was pretty lost. i really moved somewhere that i had very little going for me in all aspects of life. but i was confident that i could make it here somehow. and one way that i got through the beginning was by coding a new section for my website: this blog. and even though i didn’t really update a whole lot, i still have plans to use it every now and then (such as now), and it was quite a feat of website engineering for me.

13. the future – over this next summer, my girlfriend and i are going to circumnavigate the world. we plan on updating everyone on our trip with blog entries and pictures. i think it will be a nice addition to the website that sometimes is constantly forgotten. so come travel with us!

and to all of you that spent all the time to read all of this, if you have any fun memories you’d like to share or just leave a comment about how you at some point in time cherished this website, feel free to do it.

i actually teared up a little bit when i wrote some of this stuff. for some reason this website means a whole lot to me. thanks for letting me share it with you.

Without surfing the rest of my website, what were the first two things I put on my website?


Posted By: Sunil
Last Edit: 17 May 2010 @ 04:01 PM

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Categories: General, Life
 11 Feb 2009 @ 11:10 PM 

the title says it all. i have returned. from a really long ass hiatus. i’ve been without a computer for so long, i kinda forgot what i even did on here to blow my time. but i’m pretty sure it won’t take that long to remember how i used to waste five hours of a day just sitting on wikipedia looking at random shit or using stumble upon to find ridiculous webpages. or of course, to begin updating this blog again and continue my promise to regularly update this (which i still will, the me-without-a-computer period doesn’t count).

so i’m going to new orleans this weekend for the mardi gras celebration. when i was getting donuts before work the other day, there was some black dude hanging out outside the shop and told me that he would watch my car and make sure i wouldn’t get a ticket, and if i did, he’d pay for it. this obviously didn’t make any sense to me because the guy looked like he was poor as shit, so i started talking to him about why he was literally telling everyone who was parking on the street that he would watch their car and make sure the meter maid didn’t ticket them. well, in the half and hour conversation i had with this bum, i found out he was from new orleans and that he’s going back this weekend. we also exchanged phone numbers. i’m probably not going to call him when i’m there.

also, in other traveling news, i’m planning on driving up to alaska this summer. i’ve kinda wanted to do this for a pretty long time but just not actually gone and done it. but this is happening for sure. there’s a place in fairbanks that has a room that they set to -40 degrees (celsius or fahrenheit) and you can pay them to go around and play in it. they even give you a bucket of water that you can throw when you’re in there to see what happens to the water!

in some more traveling news, i plan on living this winter at the south pole. more info about that later.

so, since it’s been some time, i’m gonna show the trivia standings. here they are:

jon rolling – 7.5
sanjog gopal – 4.5
nathan burkhart – 4
erin zaletel – 4
amy smith – 3
adam smith – 2
aj belshe – 2
maia hoelzinger – 2
chris spencer – 1
greg benezra – 1
sean bell – 1
jaclyn backhaus – .5
darren nakamura – .5
cassie fronzo – .5

i’ve decided that i’ll mail someone a prize once they reach 13 points, and at that point, i’ll reset the scores and start again. and then the first to get 13 after the reset will get a prize. and so on and so forth. so it’s still anyone’s game. i’ll post the answers to the questions once someone reaches 13.

anyway, i think that’s all for now folks. i’ll try and update at least once a week since i work now and don’t have as much free time as i used to.

In what year was the first U.S. Census?


Bonus Question: Whose mouth is that in the picture? And from what movie? (1 point each):


Posted By: Sunil
Last Edit: 11 Feb 2009 @ 11:10 PM

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 04 Dec 2008 @ 12:31 PM 

so after all this time, i have decided to start my webpage up again. now i understand that about 95% of you guys think that i’m just gonna update this thing for like a few weeks and then i’ll stop, because that’s what i always do. and maybe i really have nothing to offer you that will make you think otherwise, but i’m gonna try and keep this going for a while. i spent a shitload of time coding some of the things that i needed to use for this so if i just used it for a few weeks, i pretty much wasted a bunch of my time. and hey, the more constant traffic that i get here, the more inclined i’ll be to keep updating it. if i haven’t updated for a while and you bug me to update again, that could also work (but moreso if you’re a hot girl than if you’re greg benezra).

alright, so the things that are gonna be different about this blog than the one in the past. first off, as you probably have seen, there are random links scattered all around the entry. this idea came from one of our best friends and certified idiot, christopher spencer. so, all throughout the entries, certain words or phrases will remind me of something and i’ll link to it. something that’s not different from the last blog is that there is still going to be a picture in every entry. and it will be in the same place that it was before. there are two more things that i have added along with the links and picture in every entry. there’s also going to be a poll in every entry, so make sure that you vote in all of them, and there’s also going to be a trivia question. now, i know that everyone can easily cheat, i’m just hoping that there’s really no reason for you to cheat on stupid random trivia on my website. anyway, if i feel that people are being truthful and not cheating on the trivia game, i am willing to send out a prize to the person who has the most points at the end of the each month (keep in mind, this prize is probably going to be ridiculous and worth less than five dollars).

now, you guys may not know how this page works since there aren’t links all over the place for the archives and what not. the theme that i’m using for my blog was made by a guy who modeled it after a popular operating system. so, if you want to visit the monthly archives, you click the start button and click monthly archives. if you wanna search via categories or tagged phrases, you can do that too. you can also change the background theme by clicking “change theme…” in the start menu. basically, just screw around with everything and you’ll find out. the blog rss and comment rss buttons at the bottom are there if you want to subscribe to my blog. since i’ve never bookmarked a page in my life, i don’t expect you guys to do the same.

anyway, now that i have explained to you what going on here, i kinda want to put a quick excerpt of actual blog (and remember, not all blog entries are gonna be philosophical):

many of you know my grandfather passed away two days ago. a lot of people that have known me for a really long time have definitely met and probably known my grandfather really well. it’s just weird to know he’s not around anymore, since he was practically always around since the time i was born. but hey, that’s just how life is. if any of you guys have my mom’s phone number or something, you should give her a call. or skype her. she’s on that. haha.

and in somewhat unrelated fashion (even though it’s gonna sound related, but it’s not), there’s a reason as to why i have started my blog today. as most of you know, i’m obsessed with dates, so this one has some importance. what’s important is not what happened, but to just know that there are some moments in your life that can change your life forever. one moment could be the difference between being homeless and vagabonding around the world to being a professional like a doctor or a lawyer and living in a comfortable three million dollar home.

so now a conclusion? someone else has already said it best. so if you can’t top it, steal from them and go out strong…

i have returned.”

What is the least used letter in the English Language?


Posted By: Sunil
Last Edit: 06 Dec 2008 @ 12:20 PM

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