The Evolution of

The Original Phoons Website | Version 2 | Version 3
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The Original Phoons Website

Look below the line. That is how the Phoons web site looked when it started in 1999.

Fun facts:

  • Yes, the entire web site was one page!
  • I had only two categories: Where's WaldoPhoon (now called Find the Phoon) and Various (for everything else!).
  • I arranged the photos by height. Why?? I liked how it fit more pictures in a page with little wasted space between pictures (compared to the traditional table style with rows and columns). Imagine the hassle, though: that "clever little idea" required me to find the right sequence for each new picture (something that took a little more hunt-and-peck effort since I altered the web page's HTML code manually and did not use a graphical editor).
  • Since that choice of layout did not allow room for titles and "thanks," I put such information into the "rollover" text. (Hold your cursor over a picture.)
  • Check out the first and second pictures under Various Phoons: the poses are wrong. When I first started the website, there were times when even I forgot what the original Phoon pose looked like. I am the one that taught them that wrong pose! I am the original Wrong Pose phooner!
  • The text at the bottom shows I was willing to scan people's pictures for them! (Not anymore! :) )
  • The webpage filename was phoons.html. It was tucked away in a john/ directory of someone else's website. My pictures were eating up their 10 MBs of space. Later, I moved my growing collection to, but it also had a 10 MB limitation. Then I bought
  • Why are some of the pictures so small?? Hey, I only had (someone else's) 10 MB to work with in the beginning. Since the pictures consumed the most memory, I shrank them as much as possible. (Sad to have lost the detail on so many of the original photos, huh!)

The History of the Phoon

In 1980, a friend and I named a particular pose (essentially an exaggerated running person) the "Phoon."1 If one of us would say "Phoon", we'd both briefly assume that position.

Later that summer, I snuck the Phoon into various family vacation photos. That was the beginning of photos that I have begun adding to this web page.

In early 1999, I renewed the Phoons-in-photos thing while on a business trip (see the Bloomingdale's photo). Since then, others have started contributing photos of Phoons. So can you!

For a description of a particular image, pass your cursor over it. Click an image to enlarge it.

Where's WaldoPhoon?

Neiman's, Carlsbad, CA (thanks, David) San Diego Zoo, CA (thanks, David) Cathedral in Cologne, Germany (thanks, Jo and Scott) Jasper ice fields, 1980 Montana, 1980 Jasper ice fields, 1980 Visiting Aunt Rachel, 1980 Biltmore Mansion, Asheville, North Carolina (thanks, Jim) Cathedral in Helsinki, Finland (thanks, Jo and Scott) Kennedy Space Center (thanks, Jim) Canada, 1980 Montana, 1980

Various Phoons

House for sale (thanks, Mom and Dad) British Columbia, Canada  (thanks, Mom) Slide and diving board (thanks, Bob and Renee) Geists (thanks, Aaron, AJ, Annie and Gpa/Gma) Successful fan installation (thanks, Dad) San Francisco airport (thanks, Steph) Pile of bricks (thanks, David) Diving board (thanks, Bob, Corinne and David) Jungle gym (thanks, Corinne) The Rocking Stone (a shrine over a balanced rock), Truckee, CA (thanks, David) Westin Grand Hotel, Berlin, Germany (thanks, Kathy) Jasper ice fields, 1980 On the ferry to Victoria, Canada, 1980 Renewal of the Phoon at Bloomingdale's, Newport Beach, CA, 1999 Logan Pass (rainfall here goes to Pacific and Atlantic), 1980

Your Turn

Can you think of someone who might contribute to this page? Do you know someone who is going on a trip this year? Send an email to them to tell them about this page.

Need ideas for Phoon photos?

  • the Phoon at a famous landmark
  • the Phoon at a wedding or other formal event
  • a group of people doing the Phoon
  • a WaldoPhoon (tiny or obscured, but clear, in a much bigger setting)
  • a famous person doing the Phoon

If you have Acrobat Reader, you can download and print phoons.pdf to show to others...and talk them into posing for a photo.

I'd be glad to scan and return your Phoon photos if you mail them to me. If you are sending me scans, my request is this: send me a scan of the normal photo, and send a separate scan of the Phoon at a minimum of 800 dpi--I'll create the inset, if any.

1. There was no deeper meaning to or origin of our use of  "Phoon". And sorry to the many Phoon families found via internet search...

John Darrow 

The Original Phoons Website | Version 2 | Version 3

Version 2

June, 2000

I added a title to reflect the growing collection: "Phoons from Around the World." And I added some "how to use this" instructions at the top.

I realized that I was losing track of when pictures were contributed. (How could anyone know that the new pictures might be somewhere in the middle of the collection??)

So, I added a new section, "History of updates...," so that visitors could view pictures by date, if they wished.

Phoons from Around the World

People regularly send in photos, so check History of updates to see what has been added since you were last here.

For a description of an image, pass your cursor over it. Click an image to see an enlargement.

Where's WaldoPhoon

[the growing collection of pictures (still sorted by height) were still in this location]

History of updates to this page

June 2000
[Coming soon: students of my Documenting Java course] [The Akropolis 2 ] [Statue of Mercury] [Olympic stadium] [Another statue] [The Akropolis, 1] [Golden Gate Bridge] [London Guard] [Roman Coliseum] [Boat dock] [The Forum]

May 2000
[A green fence]

April 2000
[Ghirardelli Square] [Forest path] [Hometown Buffet Bee] [Shakespeare Theater] [Helicopter] [Big Island Triathlon] [Father Serra statue] [Garden of the Gods] [Trafalger Square, London] [House being built] [Childhood playground]

January, February, March 2000
[Olympic skier] [Cape of Good Hope] [La Jolla inn] [Supported tree] [Forest Hike 1] [Norman Rockwell] [My Tech Museum results] [Stairs] [Fountain at Princeville, Kauai]

October, November, December 1999
[Diving board] [Jungle gym] [Pile of bricks] [Slide and diving board] [Kennedy Space Center] [San Francisco airport baggage claim] [San Diego Zoo] [Shrine to the Rocking Stone] [Westin Grand Hotel, Germany]

July, August, September 1999
[The Geists] [Biltmore Mansion, NC] [Neiman's, Carlsbad] [Cathedral in Cologne, Germany] [Cathedral in Helsinki, Finland] [Fan installation] [House for sale]

The Pictures that Started it All
[Visiting Aunt Rachel, 1980] [Logan Pass, 1980] [On the ferry to Victoria, Canada, 1980] [Jasper ice fields 1, 1980] [Jasper ice fields 2, 1980] [Jasper ice fields 3, 1980] [Canada, 1980] [Montana, 1980] [Montana, 1980] [Renewal of the Phoon at Bloomingdale's, 1999]

The Original Phoons Website | Version 2 | Version 3

Version 3

February, 2001

Since I was adding all new pictures to one web page, the page was taking longer and longer to download. Obviously!

Also, the "History" links merely displayed the images in their own pages. The picture pages had no stories, no personal touch, just pictures.

I needed to break up the main page somehow. I decided to organize the pictures by category. But it was clear that some pictures belonged in multiple categories. I did not want to have to manually tweak one web page after another as new pages came in. So, I decided it was time to figure out how to get a program to generate the web pages for me.

So, I created a text file that listed each picture and the categories it was in. I wrote a program to look at the text file and generate web pages. The program added "NEW" next to any category that had a picture in the Recent Additions category.

The photos of the policemand and the guy at Disneyland were prizes at the time, photos which lended some legitimacy to the Phoons concept, as if "everyone" were getting into it.

Eventually, I wrote a graphical program that automated more of the process.

Phoons from Around the World

You will find this pose somewhere in every picture of every category below.
See Editor's Picks for the best pictures.

  • All Pictures
  • Amusement Parks (4)
  • Animals (7)
  • Art (3)
  • Businesses (10)
  • Countries
  • Daredevils (7)
  • Employees (14)
  • Events
  • Famous
  • Fast Food (3)
  • Find the Phoon (14)
  • Groups (13)
  • Musicians (2)
  • Phoonlike (12)
  • Scenery (10)
  • Signs (12)
  • Sports (9)
  • States
  • Statues (9)
  • Time Lapse (2)
  • To Life! (10)
  • Transportation (10)
  • Uniforms (4)
  • Wrong Pose for Phoon (12)
  • Youths (14)
Are you in a club or church group or hang with a bunch of friends? Take a group Phoon
picture for the Groups category! Know anyone who is getting married? graduating? Talk them
into doing a Phoon while dressed fancy. And all of you who keep visiting this page and
haven't sent in a Phoon pic yet, how about it?


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Thanks to viewers like you, there are now 204 Phoon pictures!