Friday, May 3, 2019

Montecito Bay UFO: The Military Responds


By Bixyl Shuftan

It's been about six months since Montecito Bay was hit by a strange craft that resembled a flying saucer. Although the area was under guard by the police, Federal authorities delayed in getting the "UFO" out of there until shortly after the Newser wrote about getting a closer look at the saucer and what looked like the body of it's occupant. With the craft and remains taken away, a mystery tower suddenly springing up in place of the destroyed building, and an official speaking on condition of anonymity about what was going on in late March, that seemed like the end of the story.

Aside from the supposed aliens themselves however, there was one party that hadn't spoken up yet: the military. This week, the Newser received the following letter

To Mr. Shuftan

Regarding your reporting not long ago on certain incidents in the town of Montecito Bay, your articles did not go well within certain circles. Fortunately for you, your publication has made repeated efforts to help veterans. Because of this and the "understanding" you have with the local police department, there will be no efforts at prosecution.

However, your recent reports suggesting that the community of Montecito Bay was the subject of several activities of extraterrestrial origin, notably the crash landing of a craft of stated extraterrestrial origin, have forced us to declassify certain documents concerning an experimental craft sooner than planned in order to avoid unnecessary alarm.

As your investigations revealed, we have made efforts decades ago to see if a craft in the design of the "flying saucer" seen in vintage science-fiction movies was feasible, and were disappointed by the results. Today with more advanced computer technology, the decision was made to try again with a new design similar to the old one, but with the addition of computers not dissimilar to those aboard the B-2 bomber to help keep it stable. It was also decided to have the initial flights unmanned, and a mannequin placed in the cockpit in place of a human. As crewmen will do things for amusement, the mannequin placed was deliberately made to look like a green alien from classic science-fiction movies.

We did not anticipate our X-craft loosing the signal of it's controllers as we had two back-up signalers. But somehow all three failed, and the result was the X-craft drifting into the town of Montecito Bay, and smashing into one of it's buildings. When the mannequin was removed from the craft, for some reason it was decided by local servicemen to temporarily place it in the wrecked car in front of the building. No one anticipated local police going on "lunch break" to let in reporters they were on friendly relations with.

We would appreciate patience in the future in regards to any of our recovery operations, and allow us to declassify reports and parts of them at our own pace rather than give away our secrets so that the enemies of this nation will exploit them sooner..

General M.I. Black

The Newser tried to call General Black at the return address, but there was no response.

So it seems there's now an official reason other than "swamp gas," and a plausible one. That is, if that's all that happened. This explanation says nothing about the strange symbols with a resemblance to crop circles that were appearing on the city streets or the "Groundhog Day" incident in which half a city block was demolished with the only clue being what looked like a flying saucer zooming away. And of course no explanation of the "alien tower" that now stands where the UFO crashed.

It's also interesting to note that this letter has arrived in a period of relative calm for Montecito Bay, meaning while weird things still happen, they've all been under the radar. How long this will continue, we'll see.

Bixyl Shuftan

Note: The preceding was a fun article written for the purposes of entertainment.

Monday, April 8, 2019

VWBPE Behind The Scenes: Elli Pinion From The Volunteers Committee


By Marcel Mosswood

VWBPE Conference re:Vision has started. The Volunteers were so busy, full dedication they organized this event to be successful. Today I interview Elli Pinion, the avatar behind the success of the Volunteer committee. I believe it’s a hard job to manage all the volunteers, but it’s possible with the great and smart team.

Elli Pinion
Marcel: Is this your first time organizing volunteers for VWBPE conference?

Elli: No, I've been a part of the VWBPE Volunteer committee since 2011. I started as an Assistant to the Volunteer Chair, and have been Chair since then.

Marcel: Why are you interested in this job?

Elli: I've been working with Volunteers since I was a young mom in PTA. When I went into education, during my doctoral program in Ed Tech, I was introduced to Second Life. We were exploring online teaching and learning in Second Life and other Virtual Worlds and were fascinated at the interesting people connection, bridging Transactional Distance between students and instructors, students and students. Then I found this group that promotes educational strategies in Virtual Worlds and elsewhere, and I was so glad to be a part of helping with its success. And also giving others the opportunity to help.

Marcel: Are you alone on this job or have a team?

Elli: I have a small team, Bluebarker Lowtide and Edith Halderman are other educators that are my assistants. We have about 50 Volunteers that give time to the conference.

Marcel: What are the benefits of this job for you?

Elli: I would say getting to collaborate with other innovative educators that believe in offering educational opportunities to students who can join online.


Marcel: Do you have a quote that inspires you to work better for the VWBPE?

Elli: I truly believe that we are all better together. This year's conference theme uses: "re:Vision” is not just a concept, but a passion of those who seek to revive old ideas or innovate new ones into our modern extended reality.

Some words from Elli for educators everywhere:

As educators, we must be innovative to be the best educational experience possible.


By Marcel Mosswood

Monday, April 1, 2019

ApRiL fOoL!


Happy April Fools Day from the Second Life Newser!

May your April Fools Day be filled with joy, merriment, and general foolery.

For previous April Fool jokes, check out 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 20142013, 2012, and 2011.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Interview With Six String On Being An Aspiring Musician


By Deaflegacy

Six String (roleplayismylife) is more than just my Second Life partner, and real life boyfriend.  He is a musician on Second Life to happened to be an inspiration as well.  I was lucky to recently be able to have an interview with him about his career on Second Life as a musician.

My first question to Six was how long had he been a musician on Second Life.  “Well, I'm not really sure," he replied, "since I've only had a small hoofful of opportunities to perform for everypony in Second Life.”

Asking Six where he usually performs, he answered, “I've only performed at The Tipsy Cow." When I asked if there were other places he could think of, he answered he's done private performances for friends.

I asked Six String if he is going to continue performing on Second Life. He replied, “If I'm given a chance to, yes.  I have offered to other places, but was turned down without them even hearing one note from me.”

My next question to Six String was what is his dream.  “Well I did have a really crazy one last night where--Oh, you mean my goal in life," he answered, "To entertain people with my music, if possible.”

I asked Six how he feels about being a musical inspiration even through he doesn't usually play music on Second Life.  “ It's great," he told me, "I don't feel like I'm much of an inspiration, but someponies think that I am, which is good.”

My last question to him was what are his longtime goals on Second Life.  “Being able to get a steady job as a musician in SL, so that I can support my SL family, and help pay the cost of renting the lots here at Cape Heron," he answered, "It's a tough burden ... I should be helping out.”

I smiled at Six String.  I really do love Six String because he is my Second Life partner as well as real life boyfriend.  That's not all.  Six String works with me since he is an inspiration.

Deaflegacy

Monday, March 25, 2019

Tarot Reading by Grease Coakes


By Deaflegacy

I went to Grease Coakes' apartment for a tarot reading.  I was very curious to see how it turns out.  Grease said that the posters behind him are actual tarot cards from his deck dragon tarot.  Grease also mentioned that some of the art work is from his friend in Second Life, Amehana Ishtari.

I asked him if we could sit at the table, and it was okay with him.  So we sat down at the tarot table.

My question for Grease was if I would move to Langley. Grease told me that the reading he was about to do for me is called a Celtic cross.  Since we are friends on Facebook, he can show me the cards that he draws.  Grease would take pictures with his phone, and then send them to me via instant-messaging there. He then started drawing cards.

“So the first card is ace of swords reversed," Grease announced, "which means your question will you move back to Langley seems to be stuck at time.  You're thinking of a way or a how to move back there but you can't seem to find an effective way to move back there at this time.  Swords cards are about intellect communication and problem solving.  So right now you can't seem a way to solve your problem for the time being.” said Grease.  “This might be why this four of wands reversed.  This shows you don't have a strong foundation of plans to move forward on your quest, or perhaps resources or money for right now.  This is your challenge card and since this card is reversed, it means your objective is very hard for you to obtain right now.  But this is just for the present time.  Things could change later.  Don't get discouraged.”

“So this deck is all dragons," Grease explained, "Meaning the hanged man is going to be the hanging dragon instead.  Which for right now, you're stuck in a waiting period. Since you're a pony, your hooves are tied.  Nothing you can do but wait.  When the dragon wakes up, maybe then you'll have more control.  But for now, you're stuck, kiddo.” 

He drew once more, “Well this is a positive card.  The chariot how the dragon flies across the skies.  There was fast travel in your past.  You moved quickly up to a point.  But then everything stopped and stood still.  Like in a chariot race, all those chariots zoom by drawn by those horses.  Well in this card, other dragons.  But this looks good to the page of cups with the dragon hatching from an egg.  Maybe the start of a new friendship. Might it be you since you're a young person, right?  Make you think you're a water sign like Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces.”

I told Grease that I'm 42.  “Oh you fooled me since you're wearing a youthful pony avatar,” responded Grease.  I told Grease that I am young at heart.  Grease continued on with the tarot card reading, “For right now, thought your future does not look sunny for your move back to Langley.  The sun reversed is clouds covering your sunshine for the time being.  But I'm looking at the hanging dragon makes me think this is temporary.  Things should brighten up soon I would think.  Two of coins the two dragons sharing coins tells me the best bet you can do now is balance your finances.  Don't order a pizza every day or don't go clubbing every night.  Balancing and saving your money is your best bet for the time being.”  I told him that it sounds like a good idea.  “

Grease went on, Five of coins with the dragon looking over the maze for a safe way out of the maze to make sure he/she has enough coins to make it safely to the other side.  You're having a hard time with money but if you concentrate on the two of coins and balance everything, you'll do fine.”  At that point, I told Grease that I am having a hard time with money. Grease went on with the interpretation, “Judgment is coming your way to transform you and straighten everything out.  The dragon is coming with his hammer to smash everything and save the day.  Even if things seem bad right now, I think judgment will turn everything around for you. I have a good feeling about this card." He drew once more,  “But the last card looks pretty bad though.”

“Nine of swords where the dragon is covered in dog and surrounded by those swords.," he told me, "You're stuck in limbo for the time being and short on cash.  For the time being, things look bad.  The nine of swords is like a situation where everything seems horrible.  However, the good side is that it's upright.  Which means if you panic, things will be worse.  But if you keep your pony head high, you can rise above it.  And trot away from these swords to a brighter future.  Sooner or later, that hanging dragon will wake up, and you'll have more control of you life.”

After the tarot reading, Grease told me that his regular price is 300L.

Grease said that the best way to contact him is by email: grease711@yahoo.com or to send his avatar a notecard since IM's get capped all the times. Grease also said that they can stop by his apartment, too.  Grease usually try to park his avatar at the apartment. 

Grease's apartment is at: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Randgrand%20Central/137/103/324

The tarot reading I just have was amazing.  I do have other questions I would like to ask Grease.  When the time is right, I hope to have another tarot reading with Grease.

Deaflegacy

Monday, February 25, 2019

My Alt And I : The Story of Bun Buns Bunsies


By Deaflegacy

I would like to tell you the story of my alt.  Her name is Bun Buns, but in real life, her full name is Bun Buns Bunsies, my stuffed toy rabbit.  I have known her for about three years when I decided to create an alt account in her name.  Ever since then, I have brought Bun Buns to life here in Second Life.

It is true that whenever I have a chance to bring Bun Buns to Second Life, she will come hopping to life, greeting her best friends, especially Bixyl Shuftan whom she adopted as an uncle.  I did ask Bixyl if it is okay that he would be an uncle to Bun Buns, and he said yes.  I'm glad that Bixyl gave it a chance at being Bun Buns' uncle.

But the reason why I created Bun Buns to start with is that during that time, I lost the actual doll.  I was told in real life that because the doll looked dirty, I had to throw her out.  I did everything to make her stay with me longer, but it was time for her to go.  With sadness, I threw the stuffed bunny in the garbage, but not before I made sure I would get another one.  At that time, I didn't know how, but I was determined to get another Bun Buns.

Sometimes later in real life, my two best friends surprised me with a new stuffed rabbit, which became the new Bun-Buns.  She is a green bunny, and is always in a good mood.  When I got the new doll, I immediately named her Bun Buns, and ever since then, she has been staying with me since.  Bun Buns the stuffed bunny would travel everywhere with me.  She is a small rabbit who could fit into my backpack with no problem.

I thought on the day I created the new alt account in Bun Buns' name, that it would means that Bun Buns would go on Second Life with me.  True enough, sometimes at night time, Bun Buns would come out into my living room here with me, and we'd have a talk with Bixyl as well as few other people. Among them, Bixyl's own alt Rezzdammit, whom has his own story about how he came to be here.

No, I don't regret making an alt account in Buns' name.  In fact, I'm glad that I got a chance to bring my favorite rabbit to Second Life. 

This is the story of how my alt, Bun Buns, came to life here on Second Life.

Deaflegacy

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

SLife and Times: Viewer Issues


"Is it just me, or is there something wrong with Second Life?" That's been a question I've been asking myself this week. One of the places I go to regularly, there's not usually any problem and I can cam around and chat to my hearts content. But twice this week, things began to slow down and freeze up to the point the screen would turn black. A few times I had to close the viewer and restart. The crowd wasn't that particularly big, about a dozen people. I managed to get around it by focusing on just myself, or some corner of the place. But that wasn't much fun.

This was the buggiest time I've had since November when a "Unscheduled Maintenance" at the time caused people to be knocked off the grid. But checking the Grid Status Report, while there were some rolling restarts at the time, there wasn't anything out of the ordinary mentioned.

Chatting with friends, a few have been telling me they've been having troubles as well. One wondered if it was Linden Lab's moving things to "cloud" servers. Another wondered if it was someone's avatar, or the avatars of a few people, that was so resource-intensive, it slowed everyone else down, an issue I touched on last month.

Does the machine need replaced? It is a few years old. But friends of mine have been able to get by on machines much older. Plus I don't have a lot of money to spend. And I recall a friend of mine once got a new computer, and her performance on Second Life actually got worse.

In any event, the issue went away after a while. Hopefully it was just a fluke and the problem, whatever it was, won't show up again. At least not for a while. Glitches and bugs have always been a part of Second Life. So we learn to put up with them when they're small and occasional. It's when things get out of the ordinary when we notice.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Viewer Developer's Remarks on Resource-Intensive Avatars Sparks Debate


By Bixyl Shuftan

Last month, Hamlet Au interviewed Black Dragon developer NiranV Dean about what the viewer maker felt was an underdiscussed cause of lag: avatars that use of a lot of resources to process. While it's no secret that the more avatars in an area, the worse the lag can get, some of the more popular mesh avatars are more taxing than others. He went as far as to state they used up far more processing power than characters in computer games.

"Maitreya starts with 80,000-100,000 — only the base body. Belleza was something like 200,000+ last time I checked. Modern games use roughly 20-40k for an entire character. A few games use more, obviously, but 20-40k is standard today. So with 100-200k you can imagine how much more straining avatars are. And they are just bodies — [not counting]  clothes, no hair, nothing."

NiranV's solution, he felt, was for users to refuse to buy these polygon-heavy avatars, and to look for ones that have less. One example he gave was the Snokra Snake avatar, which used less then 28,000 polygons, which could be reduced to about 15,000, while "the Maitreya body without hands, feet and head has 125.000 triangles. Belleza has even more." Hamlet himself felt that on average makers of popular furry avatars had done a better job of making quality mesh avatars that didn't use massive ammounts of polygons than makers of popular human ones.

There was no shortage of comments, especially in response to the first article. Some readers stated that high quality/low impact human avatars did exist, including one made by a furry product designer. But not everyone was on board for looking for an alternative. There were comments that decent human avatars had to have all that complexity to look good. And one felt "the barn door is open and the horses are out," saying these high complexity models for better or worse had become the standard and not many would "willingly use what they perceive to be a frankly less-beautiful product." Cassie Middles had a video with tips on how to improve performance either when wearing one of the avatars in question or being around them.



Between the links, there are a lot of remarks in the comments, including a few insults when the debate got heated and a few Not Safe For Work pictures. There's much information and opinions, but what there isn't is a clear-cut solution that satisfies everyone.

Among my friends in Second Life, one is proud of her appearance, and if it uses up a few more resources fine with her. At one point, she complained about people "jellydolling" her and not voting for her in party contests because of it, though no comments about it lately. Others have also mentioned using Maiterya for their avatars. I've also talked a friend who commented his screen would lag like heck, until derendering one particular avatar, then his frame-rate per second would shoot up to 20 fps. One sim moderator told me she had to deal with complaints about one renter's horses which were getting the blame for the lag, when it was really high-detail avatars hanging around at the social spot.

What do you the readers think? Feel free to comment below (but no insults please).

Sources: New World Notes, Black Dragon Viewer, Cassie Middles

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, December 28, 2018

Tiny Carolers At Grendels


By Bixyl Shuften


 Grendel's Children, at Avaria Tor (133, 134, 305) , has always been an interesting place. Long known for having avatars and accessories at bargain prices, it's owners Flea Bussy and Toady Nakamura have been known to do some fun things over the holidays. So on Christmas Day, I went over. Part of the mall had been given a wintery look. And there were other things to get my attention, like this dinosaur skeleton.


But as I was admiring it, a housefly ... yeah, that's it, landed on the thing and it came tumbling down. I had absolutely nothing to do with it *fingers crossed.*


Moving along, I noticed a Christmas tree full of decorations and some folks gathered in front of it.


The Grinch was there, and apparently doing a "Santa's lap" mall job.


Next to the Grinch was a sack of goodies. If this was his doing, he was being quite generous as it gave away a mess of Grendel's avatars. Perhaps slightly dated, but one can't argue with the price.


But not everything had been set up by the store owners and/or the Grinch. There was also a group of tinies near the tree, and they soon began singing some carols. Not exactly Christmas carols. They called them "Wootmas" carols. "We going to carol here, for you biggies? You will love our performance." "Come listen to us, everyone." "Merry WOOTmus!" "We gweat carollers!"


 ~*~ Happy Wootmas everybody, We hope you're having a nice time. We know we are!~*~
~*~ Um, there is Nooo way we're gonna be able to sing the entire song,'cuz we are so ADD that it makes us so hungry, Right? ~*~

 ~*~ So we're just gonna sing the end of the song which I'm sure you'll all agree is the best part so, C'mon Everybody! lets Sing! ~*~


~*~ On the twelfth day of Wootmas, My Drive -Through gave to me: ~*~
~*~ 12 bags of Pepto, ~*~
~*~ 11 pounds of blubber,~*~
~*~ 10 baked potatoes,~*~
~*~ 9 polish hot dogs,~*~
~*~ 8 bowls of chili,~*~
~*~ 7 pints of cole slaw,~*~
~*~ 6 chocolate milkshakes,~*~
~*~ 5 onion rings,~*~
~*~ 4 Egg McMuffins,~*~
~*~ 3 Biggie Fries,~*~
~*~ 2 Happy Meals,~*~
~*~ and A Big Bacon Classic with Cheese! ~*~


"BACON!!!!" "Rub some bacon on it!" "Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom........."


~*~ I'm Dreaming of a White Wootmas, Just like the ones I used to knowww ~*~
~*~ Where the Treetops Glisten & Tiny's, they listen, to hear, The Sleighbells in the Snow! The Snow! ~*~
~*~ So I Yai Yai Yai I'm Dreaming of a White Wootmas, With every Wootmas card I Wriiiiiiiite ~*~
~*~ May Your Days be Merry & Briiiiiighhhtttt, & May all your Wootmases.. Be Whiiiiiiiiiiiite! ~*~

"~*~ HEY!! So WOT DO YOU WANT FOR WOOTMAS?? ~*~" "~*~ HO HO HO!!! MERRY WOOTMAS!!!! ~*~"


~*~ It's beginning to look alot like Wootmas! ~*~
~*~ All across the shire you go! ~*~
~*~ Take a look at the village chalet, ~*~
~*~ The snowmen and the sleigh, ~*~
~*~ With candy canes and tinsel all aglow! ~*~ 


~*~ Its beginning to look a lot like Wootmas! ~*~
~*~ Tinies in every store! ~*~
~*~ But the nommiest site to see ~*~
~*~ Is the waffles that will be ~*~
~*~ Inside your own front door. ~*~

~*~ A pair of bunny hop shoes and lazors that shoot ~*~
~*~ Is the wish of Copper and Reign! ~*~
~*~ Dolls that will talk and go for a walk ~*~
~*~ Is the hope of Jillan and Jane! ~*~
~*~ And Kayak and Toady can hardly wait ~*~
~*~ Till Raglan U opens agaaain! ~*~


~*~ Its beginning to look alot like Wootmas ~*~
~*~ All across the shire you go! ~*~
~*~ Theres a great tree name of Steve, ~*~
~*~ That all the tinies can see, ~*~
~*~ He's GINORMOUS, and doesnt mind the snow! ~*~

~*~ Its beginning to look alot like Wootmas! ~*~
~*~ Soon the bells will start! ~*~
~*~ And the thing that will make them ring, ~*~
~*~ When all the tinies sing, ~*~
~*~ Is right within your heart!!! ~*~



~*~ The First Waff-EL, The Tinies did Say, Was to certain small critters at home as they Ate ~*~ \~*~ At home as they Ate, Licking their Paws, Wishing for NOMS Golden Crispy to Gnaw ~*~
~*~ Waff-EL, Waff-EL,Waff-EL, Waff-EL...Born is the Breakfast Treat that is WAFF-EL! ~*~

"Wall El is favorite breakfast for Kal El!" "Where for art thou Waffles?" "WAFFLES !!!" "~*~ And I want a Bike!! And a Waffle Iron!! And a Snowboard!! And a Ray Gun!!...~*~"

~*~ Wootmas time is here, ~*~
~*~ Happiness & cheer, ~*~~*~ Fun for all, the tinies call thier favorite time of year. ~*~
~*~ Snowflakes in the air, ~*~

~*~ Waffles everywhere,~*~
~*~ Chocolate cake will help us make,~*~
~*~ a feast for friends to share. ~*~



 ~*~ Sleighbells in the air,~*~
~*~ candy everywhere, ~*~

~*~ Bacon treats & festivities,~*~
~*~ & pastries made with care. ~*~
~*~ Wootmas time is here, ~*~

~*~ Wootmas time is here, ~*~,~*~
~*~ tinies drawing near, ~*~
~*~ Oh that we could only see, ~*~
~*~ such goodies through the year, ~*~


 "~*~ And I want a Remote Controlled Boat! And a New XBOX!  And a Big Box of Chocolate!!  ~*~" "~*~ And Some Sweet Shoes for My Paws!!! And I Want One of Those Things That Make those PYEW PYEW PYEW Sounds!!! ~*~"

~*~ Sleigh bells ring! Are you listening? ~*~
~*~ In the shire, snow is glistening! ~*~
~*~ A wootiful sight, we're happy tonight, ~*~
~*~ Walking in a waffle wonderland! ~*~


~*~ Gone away is the blue bird ~*~
~*~ Here to stay is the new bird ~*~
~*~ He noms on chocolate ~*~
~*~ With bacon on a stick ~*~
~*~ Walking in a waffle wonderland! ~*~


~*~ In the shire we can build a snowman ~*~
~*~ Pretend that he's a chef from outta town ~*~

~*~ He'll say 'Want some waffle?' We'll say 'YEAH MAN!' ~*~
~*~ Then he'll pour the syrup while we chow! ~*~


~*~ Later on we'll conspire ~*~

 ~*~ As we riverdance in the shire ~*~
~*~ Tiny faces alight ~*~
~*~ With all the presents in sight ~*~
~*~ Walking in a waffle wonderland! ~*~


 "WOOTCAKE!" "~*~ SAWCE!!! ~*~" "~*~ HO HO HO!!! MERRY WOOTMAS!!!! ~*~"


~*~ O' Little Sim of Raglan Shire, Where Tinies come to Playyyy ~*~
~*~ To run and chitter endlessly  and RiverDance all dayyyy ~*~
~*~ And in the Snow of Winterfest, Tinies are heard to Call.. ~*~
~*~ To Visitors of Biggie Height, Asked Why Are You So Tallllllll? ~*~

~*~ Hark the Tiny Critters Sing, Glory to the Waffle King! ~*~
~*~ Peace on the Grid & Syrup mild, Otters & Ferrets Reconciled! ~*~
~*~ Joyful with all your fur so slick, Raise up your Cookies on a stick! ~*~
~*~ And with upward paws proclaim, We shall RiverDance again! ~*~
~*~ Hark the Tiny Critters Sing, Glory to the Waffle Kinnnng ~*~

~*~ You Better Watch Out, ~*~
~*~ You Better Not Cry,~*~
~*~ You Better Not Pout, I'm Telling You Why, ~*~

 ~*~ Santa PAWS Is Coming To Town,~*~

~*~ He's Making A List, And Checking It Twice ~*~

~*~ Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice,~*~
~*~ Santa PAWS Is Coming To Town,~*~


~*~ He Sees When You Eat WAFFLES, ~*~

~*~ He Knows When You Eat CAKE,~*~
~*~ He Knows If You've Been Bad Or Good,~*~
~*~ So Be Good For Goodness Sake! ~*~


~*~ You Better Watch Out,~*~
~*~ You Better Not Cry, ~*~
~*~ You Better Not Pout, I'm Telling You Why, ~*~

~*~ Santa PAWS Is Coming, ~*~
~*~ Santa PAWS Is Coming,~*~
~*~ Santa PAWS is Coming To Towwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnn, ~*~ SANTA PAWS IS COMING TO TOWN! ~*~


~*~ Here we come A-waffling please feed us Breakfast Food! Here we come A-hungering so help our Starving Mood!~*~
~*~ Knives & Forks Come to Me, And a Warm Butter Patty, And please Serve us some Syrup &
Chopped up Pecans Tooooo...~*~
~*~ And Please Sprinkle some Berries on them Toooo! Here we come A-waffling please Feed us Tasty Treats!~*~
~*~ Here we come A-chittering so give us something Sweet!  Thanks to All for the Snax! Now we all can go Chillax!~*~
~*~And go about the things that we all Dooooo..... And Happy Holidays from All of Us to YOUUUUUUUUUU~*~

"~*~ I CAN HAZ MOAR WOOTNOG PLZ?? ~*~" " ~*~WAFFLE!!!!!!~*~"

~*~ Here we come A-waffling please feed us Breakfast Food! Here we come A-hungering so help our Starving Mood!~*~
~*~ Knives & Forks Come to Me, And a Warm Butter Patty, And please Serve us some Syrup & Chopped up Pecans Tooooo...~*~
~ And Please Sprinkle some Berries on them Toooo! Here we come A-waffling please Feed us Tasty Treats!~*~
 ~*~ Here we come A-chittering so give us something Sweet!  Thanks to All for the Snax! Now we all can go Chillax!~*~

~*~And go about the things that we all Dooooo..... And Happy Holidays from All of Us to YOUUUUUUUUUU~*~
~*~ Jelly Beans, Hunks of Cheese, Sugar Frosted Ham. All Deep-fried, Toast on the Side with Wootberry Jam.. ~*~
~*~ Chocolate Cake all wrapped in Bacon, Nachos on a Stick! Come Along, Let's eat some Noms & Hope we don't get Sick... HEY!! ~*~
~*~ Nomming Treats & Sweets, from Our Raglan Shire Buffet, Fills our little tummies, with Food this Holiday! ~*~
~*~ Just singing 'bout it now, Make's our Hunger Rise! We can't wait to grab a Plate & Stack it real High.. Withhh.. ~*~
~*~ Jelly Beans, Hunks of Cheese, Sugar Frosted Ham. All Deep-fried, Toast on the Side with Wootberry Jam.. ~*~
~*~ Chocolate Cake all wrapped in Bacon, Nachos on a Stick! Come Along, Let's eat some Noms & Hope we don't get SICKKKKKKK! ~*~


The "biggies" who were nearby listening applauded, "Beautiful bravo!" "You guys are great!" And the tinies were appreciative, "~*~ THANK YOO!! ~*~" "Merry Christmass every tiny!" "Thank youse." But it didn't take long for the tinies' mood to turn to something else other than singing, "NOW WE RIVERDANCE!!!!!!" "When do we riverdance?  Can we do it now?" And the tinies started doing their Riverdance move that would make Michael Flately proud, "I hope the floor can take it." But unfortunately, all that feet pounding had a predictable effect on the nearby Christmas tree, and it's decorations came crashing to the ground. "~*~ ZOE EM GEE! ORNAMENTZ!! ~*~" And the tinies scampered away, "Take care everybuddy!"

And so ended the tiny caroling at Grendels, at least at that time of day. Knowing Toady, she probably had some replacement tree decorations, and brought the tinies back later that day with promises of a waffle or two.

If you want to grab the freebies while they're still up, head to Avaria Tor (133, 134, 305).

Bixyl Shuftan

Thursday, December 13, 2018

What Happened to Aero Pines?


By Bixyl Shuftan

It's been months since we've reported about Areo Pines. This place in Second Life was noted for it's nature scenery, horseback riding, and holding special events across the year, such as it's 9/11 Stairclimb Tribute events and it's Superbowl parties. But over the years, the sims were slowly trimmed back until there were just a few left. It's sad to say that when I went to check up on the place during the Thanksgiving holiday, the place was gone from the map.

When I talked to Aero's former owner, Cindy Bolero, she told me she had turned the place over to someone else in 2015, "and early this year, January I think, she closed the park and redesigned the sims. I was out with eye surgeries n' stuff for a year, and this year been working on CERTsimulator, the FEMA disaster management and practice virtual world I've been working towards for five years."

Besides real life challenges, there were other reasons for her giving up Aero Pines. The money and management was one, "(It) was much work and great expense. ... So many different languages. It was a lot of work to do translations of all our information." But another was the change in the people who were coming over, "We were getting (a) huge amount of visitors in recent years, but it wasn't the same. ... it became mostly men preying on our endless supply of day old females. There was no more community feel, just a meat market." She does still hear from a few friends from previous happier times about the park, but times have changed, "Now I host private VWs profressionaly serving good causes, instead of just playtime."

But Aero isn't completely gone, "I never really announced it closed, but I have announced that its moved." She had gotten a place on the Sinespace grid, and duplicated part of the park there, but it hasn't been worked on in a while, "I haven't had a chance to upgrade it. It's still in winter from 2016. ... there may be a 12th annual Winter Festival if I get time to improve the sinespace version. I have to go on travel this week for a FEMA program management training. So many worlds, so little time. (smile)"

I did take a short trip into Sinespace to check out Aero Pines, or Winter Festival as it's called there. Going about on that virtual world is a bit different than Second Life, but I got there and was able to get a sled ride. But hopping off I was back where I started from. Sinespace takes some getting used to.

Sadly, it looks like a great area in Second Life has now become part of it's past, with that's left of it in another virtual world and pictures on it's Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aero_pines_park/

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, December 7, 2018

Mysterious Circles Appear on Montecito Bay's Streets


By Bixyl Shuftan

Just as Montecito Bay has been putting the slime and maw monsters behind them, there's a new mystery afoot. My first clue to what was happening was a group announcement by Becky Nostferatu on November 24.

I swear I just saw lights, guys. All over! And now, we're getting some weird circles on the ground... so strange. I wonder what it could mean for the sim? We better keep our eyes open!

But it wasn't until a few days later when I dropped by the sim. I talked to a few people, Moff (MoffettMephit Resident), Emorald Resident, Lem Aiko (LemonPledge Resident) just outside the Magnum Opus, the "MO" still under reconstruction with scafolding outside the building and the "Crux Construction Company" signs. Kardinal Klo (Klomonx Resident) was working on it, "Okay, I need to do the under colors, and the dome texture and move the windows out if they haven't yet." Lem, who was in his hard hat, might have been helping him but at the moment was taking a break.

As we talked, I noticed some markings on the road, like the "crop circles" seen on TV news and social media occasionally. I then brought their attention to it, "Say, what's that on the road?" Moff replied, "Oh, some degenerates playing a prank, or something. Street department hasn't had a chance to clean them off yet." Lem's answer was, "I dunno, they just appeared there. (I'm) pretty sure kids are spray painting them." Emorald answered, "We THINK some kids are just spray painting it. Not sure yet."

I looked to Emorald, "What do you mean 'we think?'" He shrugged, "That is the best guess I have honestly." "Cops couldn't prove it yet," Lem told me. "Why not just pressure wash it off?" I asked. Lem answered, "I ain't getting paid for it. It'll eventually wear off." Emorald told me, "It was done once, and was back the next morning." "Any more of these?" I asked. Emorald answered, "I have seen a few." Lem told me, "Yea, at every intersection. A lot of paint wasted, Must be a college prank." "But yeah Bix," Emorald commented, "who ever is doing this prank, A+ for effort."

Moff then had to leave for something. I then brought up Becky Nostferatu's group message, "Checking the Mont Bay bulletins, Becky says 'weird lights' showed up just before these circles." Lem told me, "As far as I know, the only cameras that caught anything was the ones at the gas station, they saw some sort of black shadow fly across the screen and then the ones facing the intersection went dead." "So that's all that was noticed before these weird shapes?" "I think the weird lights were kids playing with high power laser pointers. They will kill a camera very fast. It's all a big hoax, though a well put together hoax. Like I said, they get points for effort."

I then asked, "What are some of the (other) locals saying?" "There's a guy over on the east side who swears he saw some flying saucers," Lem answered, "I think he's on something." Emorald asked him, "Was that the same dude that got evicted from that one abandoned building Lem? I think he was living, next to the hotel?" Lem answered, "I don't know, but he snoops around my warehouse a lot too. The guy is a conspiracy theorist." Emorald added, "I know there was a guy living in that building, had to really clean the place up. Someone had a hell of a drug lab there." "Yeah, you wonder who was responsible, but innocent till proven guilty."

Not long afterwards, I bade farewell to the two, and looked around. Sure enough, there were more of these strange patterns on the asphalt in other places. Either they were done by a machine, or the painter had a very steady hand. I did notice one building with a few strange pictures. But before I could take a picture of it, a huge spider appeared, which freaked me out to the point I forgot about making the shot. Normally such enormous arachnids are found in the tropics. But considering the recent maw monsters and now these street circles, well, know knows?

And so Montecito Bay now has some more weirdness on it's hands. Or considering the Cruxes, additional weirdness. What happens next? Time will tell.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, December 3, 2018

Pixel to Pixel Closes: Statement From the Group


"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
- From Ecclesiastes 3, but also from a very good Byrd's song from 1965.

The Bible causes strong emotional reactions in people, from those who fervently believe it is the divine Word of God to those who think it the most dangerous fraud ever perpetrated on humankind.  But no matter where you find yourself on that continuum, within the chapters and verses and poetry of the script can be found great truths.  Ecclesiastes 3 gives us one of those truths:  For every thing there is a season.  It goes on to list what seems to be an exhaustive list to support the idea, but there is one repeated theme throughout; everything has a beginning and an end.

It started with a need.  Jadyn Firehawk, herself a fairly new arrival to Second Life and inspired by the group, Virtual Ability, recognized a feature of the world that a lot of us missed - she saw the opportunity for those with disabilities to live a meaningful virtual life in ways they could not anywhere else.  She saw a chance for millions of people in the world to live and walk and laugh and love and....function...without their supposed disability being a factor in their relationships with others.

But Jadyn the dreamer is also Jadyn the realist, and she recognized that many of those same individuals who could benefit so greatly from what SL had to offer also often had RL limitations to resources.  There was nothing she could do for those with no access to the internet or a computer, but there was something she could do for those with access but limited financial resources to fully enjoy a regular life in Second Life.

Many of us know the Serenity Prayer and its plea to a Higher Power to help us know the difference between what we can change and what we cannot.  Though perhaps inspired by that, to our great blessing she didn't take it to heart.  No, her actions are better described by the words of Edward Everett Hale:  "I am but one, but I AM one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something, and I will not let what I cannot do interfere with doing what I can do."

So, Jadyn founded the Pixel To Pixel Foundation to provide a weekly stipend for those with disabilities so that they could enjoy a more complete Second Life.  The dream became action, and the action became perseverance, and the perseverance became a foundation that worked with a network of compassionate donors and a list of grateful recipients who were able to update their avatars and purchase things to make their lives a little better and, in many cases, purchase things that they could use to create.  Jadyn created a gallery so that those who created artwork would have a place to sell their art...to earn their living in SL.  Through Jadyn's hard work, aided by individuals who believed in her vision and gave of themselves, she was able to grow P2P so that it was able to provide support to dozens of people and hundreds of stipends over the years.

It was not always easy.  There was a constant need for fund raising, and always, always, more people who needed help than could be provided for.  It was sometimes heartbreaking, but over the years, with dogged determination and unmatched fortitude, Jadyn pushed on.

It has taken a toll.  Nine years of constant fund raising drives, nine years of pouring over applications for aid, nine years of the joy of being able to help and the sorrow of not being able to help everyone.  It takes a toll.

And that brings us back to Ecclesiastes.  There is a time to begin, and there is a time to end.  The time for this great and marvelous and selfless act of compassion to come to an end has arrived.  The decision was not an easy one, and it was not taken lightly.  Something you may or may not know about Jadyn, she has her own disability.  She has struggled with it even as she provided for others.  But the scale has tipped, and it is time for Jadyn to take care of herself.

Now, this isn't going to happen all at once.  There are resources available to continue making stipend payments until the first week of January and those payments will be made.  But effective December 1st we will no longer be soliciting donations and we will be shutting down the donation kiosks that can be found scattered around Second Life.  We ask that those who use personal giving boxes deactivate them by taking them up into inventory.  Any excess funds we might have as of January 4th, 2019, will be donated to Virtual Ability, SL's main disability support group.

Of course there will be questions and concerns and grief.   There will be temptation to direct such things to Jadyn, but we ask that all such be directed to me (Sandi Glas) for now.

In closing, we want to thank our generous donors, sponsors and volunteers who have made this nine year journey possible and express our love for those who were recipients of that generosity.

With all our love and affection,
The P2P staff.

* * * * *

A heartfelt thank you to Sandi Glas for helping me to make my very difficult decision to close down the P2P Foundation. She's been an indispensable sounding board for me over the past several months, as well as having been a valued supporter over the years in a number of ways. Thank you, Sandi.

Jadyn Firehawk

Pictures from the Newser

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Commentary: Has the Collapse of InWorldz Stopped Many Second Life Residents From Considering Another Virtual World


By Bixyl Shuftan

When there were a number of residents raising serious questions about Linden Lab and the future of Second Life in late 2013 and early 2014 during the ToS Content Creator controversy, when it looked like Linden Lab was reserving the right to take any content it's customers uploaded and use it for it's own purposes or even sell, some started making plans to leave. While a few talked about leaving virtual worlds altogether, most comments I heard were from people saying they planned to head to another virtual world. Of these, some talked about an Opensim world, but most talked about one particular one: InWorldz, the second-largest of the grids in population. The concerns got to the point a number of my neighbors got a few sims in InWorldz as a "lifeboat" in case Linden Lab shut down our virtual world. It was stated at the time that if Second Life folded, about a third would head to InWorldz, a third would head to OpenSim, and a third would give up virtual worlds altogether. But eventually, Linden Lab responded to the residents about the Content Creator controversy, and the plans to head to InWorldz were put aside. But still, if anything happened to Second Life, InWorldz was still around as our "backup."

So with Inworldz itself folding in July this year, how has this changed the answer to the question "Where would you go it Second Life shut down?" If Linden Lab was hoping for some to consider their "Next Generation Virtual World" Sansar, they're in for a disappointment. I've only heard of a handful of people saying they go on Sansar regularly, and only one region from the older grid has moved there. Sansar has more going against it besides the people here already having a virtual home. While Sansar looks good, you can't really interact with objects and people like you can in Second Life. And even among next-generation worlds, Sansar is far behind VR Chat in popularity. Some of the comments I've read are from people who remark that socially it has more of the feel of the early Second Life.

Listening to friends, some stated they would head to Opensim. But there's no one world that people seem to favor. When InWorldz fell, there was a great diaspora of the residents among a number of places, Kitely, Sinespace, DigiWorldz, Discovery, Tranquility, The Great Canadian Grid, and many others. When talking to my virtual neighbors, many commented they'd spent more time with friends in games, such as Ark Survival Evolved or Fortnight.

So with no "second place" virtual world, it appears instead of an exodus mainly to one destination, a shutdown of Second Life would mean a virtual diaspora with it's residents heading to a number of far smaller worlds and a number of MMOs. Once seen as "Internet 2.0," it would be the end of an era when a virtual world could hope to have thousands of active residents.

There is one thing to consider. At this time while many residents still have the love-hate relationship with Linden Lab they've had for years, it's much better than the days of 2013-2014. While a number grumble that the Linden's effort on Sansar could have been much better spent here, there's no crisis of confidence like there was in the ToS CC Controversy, no big worries that Linden Lab is going to steal the content of it's users, or that they plan to up and shut down this world. If there were, they'd start making more serious plans for exit strategies again.

So while today things look like the sudden end of this virtual world would mean it's users would be scattered in the wind, perhaps five years from now, the answer will be different. That is, unless the big fear is realized and Second Life really does end up shutting down.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, November 26, 2018

Eleven Years of Reporting


By Bixyl Shuftan

It was about eleven years ago that yours truly got his start as a reporter here in Second Life. Before coming to Second Life, I had been writing a few science-fiction stories and posting them on a personal website. They got some reads, and a little fanart. But by 2007, I felt it was time for a break, so put that on pause. In the meantime, I had taken an interest in Second Life, and that year started logging in on a regular basis. Wanting to know more about this virtual world, I began looking up websites and blogs. I eventually came across a few newsletters, the one getting my attention the most being "Second Life Newspaper." It was owned by JamesT Juno and run by Dana Vanmoer. After a while, I came across an invitation for it's readers to send in "reader submitted" articles. So I wrote a few and sent them in. James and Dana were impressed, and invited me for a job interview. After several minutes of talking, I got the job.

Although I wasn't always sure what would make for a good subject in the first few weeks, I soon got the hang of things. I would write about a variety of subjects about the people, places, and events of Second Life. While occasionally my stories were a bit on the sensational side, such as writing about "Zig Zag" and her adult media company, more often than not, they were about how Second Life sometimes mirrored real life, such as the 2008 Presidential Election, people doing good things in Second Life, notably the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Relay for Life, the various things people made here, or people just having fun such as the games and virtual pets. And of course I was part of a great time, some who would become my friends.

In Spring 2010, James and Dana were having to deal with real life situations that would not go away, and made the decision to close the Second Life Newspaper. Four of us, Gemma Cleanslate, Grey Lupindo, Shellie Sands, and I made the decision to start a new paper with me as the leader. And so my role changed from just another writer to the head of the team. Over the years, the team has seen people come and go, such as DrFran, Zymbers Slade, Grease Coakes, Majik, and others. But the team remains, with Gemma and I still writing stories.

As Second Life has changed, I've written about new places, things, and people here, such as the development of mesh and Bento. I've written about other virtual worlds, such as InWorldz. And as my friends here also play games outside Second Life, I've written about those as well, such as Minecraft, World of Warcraft, and more. But the main focus continues to be this virtual world. I'm able to write one, two or three larger stories each week, plus briefs for the front page about Linden blog announcements and other breaking news.

So now what? For one, I plan on continuing what I've been doing all along. But I also have something else going on. Before getting into journalism, I wrote a few fictional stories, some short and some long. And recently I've started up on another science-fiction novel, "The Corsean Encounter." This is the story of two men as they end up on an alien world that in some ways is quite familiar, in others very different, in a pivotal moment in it's history, and the decisions they and their friends and enemies make will affect the world for generations to come. As of now, it's slightly less than halfway done. The Newser keeps me busy.

Eleven years later, much has changed. But the primary objective remains the same, getting the word out about the people, places, and events, of Second Life.

"And that's the way it is."

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

My Cape Heron Lots



By Deaflegacy (Kalaya Karringten)

I remember the day I saw all these Cape Heron lots.  They are at a good size and have plenty of prims available.  I was living in an apartment back then.  I was paying one linden a week.  I really liked having an apartment but I couldn't resist asking myself if I'd like to have a parcel.

I talked to Stepin (stepinwolf.darkstone) about getting a parcel because he owns several parcel lots.  Stepin recommended that I talk to the manager of the parcels.  I did and got a parcel.

The parcel grew into two.  The next thing I knew, it not only grew into three, but into four as well. It was my desire to have a lot with some trees and a big house.

Soon enough, my lots have became a home to my family.  I also have some trees as well as a large gazebo for a piano so Ari (arisia.vita) could play on our piano for us to enjoy his music.  I did get some horses.  I have been taking care of horses for some time now.  I even named my horses after some people in real life. I cannot say who but I know who they are.  They are my inspiration.

I shouldn't say 'my lots'. Instead, because I'm sharing the lots with a few other people who are in my family, it should be 'our lots'.  So I think from now on, I'll say, 'our lots' because I like to share our lots with my family members as well as best friends.

For security reasons, I cannot say where my parcel lots are but I can tell you that it's Cape Heron.

I hope to have these parcels for a long time. I'm willing to pay for these parcels for a long time to come because I have started to consider our lots as a home.  A home to go to.  A safe place to be. It's a really good place to be.

I can definitely say right now that I have two homes – one in real life and one on Second Life.  Only that our lots are more beautiful than my real life home.  That's a fact.

Deaflegacy

Monday, October 15, 2018

My Horses on Second Life


By Deaflegacy

My horses are not just the most beautiful animals on Second Life. They are also on my lots for a reason. What reason is what? Some people might ask. The reason is simple. They are my inspiration and at the same time, good for my mental health.

It was Bixyl Shuftan who first introduced me to the whole idea of having horses, him having been given a few by a friend. At first, it was just two horses of two different kinds. Their names were Beverley and Lorne. I named them after my real life best friends. My real life best friends too are my inspiration. Over time, I would get more horses and name them after my real life inspiration. I have even named some horses after Bixyl.

With Bixyl's help, I am able to take care of my horses. I would check on them once or twice a day to make sure that they have their hay and salt licks. I would make sure that they are getting along just fine.

I love my horses very much because they are more than just inspiration. They are my family, too. The new horse got named Six String after my partner, Six String (roleplayismylife) because I love Six  very much both on Second Life and in real life. I hope to one day ride horses with Six. We did it before and have a lot of fun. But we only did it within the lots. We will be riding horses one day around Cape Heron.

My horses have so far taught me a lot about myself, some I already know and some I don't already know. I am very thankful to Bixyl for showing me the horses. Now I have something else to look forward to every time I get on Second Life. That is to take care of my horses. Thanks so much, Bixyl. The horses mean a lot to me.

Deaflegacy

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Montecito Bay Versus The Slime And Maw Monsters


By Bixyl Shuftan

As Montecito Bay approaches it's first anniversary as an incorporated sim, things have been getting a little weird around town. Or if one considers that a number of it's residents are cruxes, a little weirder than usual. For the past week, there have been sightings of puddles of green slime. In one group chat, MoffettMephit (Moff) commented, "I take it y'all have heard about the emergency broadcasts? The ones that talk about the slime? All I can really add is, if ya see any of that around here, I wouldn't go touching it. Fact is, our top scientists are on this, and they think it has to do with the Gacha Guild." Asking questions only got various comments from various other local residents. Some were saying if ferals licked it, they would grow two extra heads. Others boasted they licked it with no ill effects, "tastes like jello." Other theories included the slime was the result of cruxes throwing up after having "the special" from a local diner.

A few casual glances around turned up nothing. Finally, one Saturday night I dropped by the "After Dark" event at the Magnum Opus club. There was scaffolding on the outside. I was told that this would be the last event at the "MO" as it's sometimes called before it was renovated. There was a small pile of furnishings ablaze in the corner. I was told that was furniture and things that were to old to reuse when the rennovation was done. Some of the locals were looking unusual, looking like three-headed cerebus dogs or sporting two heads, possibly a result of the slimes.

Asking about the slimes, I was old there was some on the beach and the Studio 86 club. "They were here, Moff used a vacuum," Twocoin told me, "He said 'Not in this club!' And then out came the bleach." Moff, who was DJing, responded, "Authorities have begun to suspect the origin being from another sim. Just don't touch that stuff." Kardinal Klo asked, "Do you think they have any idea what they're dealing with?" Moff responded, "We have put our top scientists on it." Emorald commented, "I have tried to get a close look at the slime. But, every time I try and get close, the scientists shoo me away." Magpie Hyena spoke, "One of the staff managed to uh... contain one of the beasties ... somehow. in a tiny bag."

Since the boardwalk and beach were just across the road from the Magnum Opus, I took a quick look over. Before long, I saw some slime. But on top of the goop was what looked like the lounge chair from Hell. It looked like an open set of jaws that had somehow been removed from it's owner, with a huge set of fangs. It looked like it was waiting for someone unwary enough to sit down, and then gulp them down.

I went back to report this to the people at the club. Hearing my description, Moff swore, "Oh s**t! Those are back too?! ... Those teeth things. After the show, we'll have to get the city flamethrowers." "What are those things?" I asked. Moff answered, "I have no idea." Magpie spoke, "They're certainly odd. I hear some local pets have been missing, and I bet they're to blame."

Moff went on, "One of them had a CRUX tongue! I mean, can we blame cruxes for this?" Emorald asked, "It EAT a crux ???" Moff answered, "I don't think so. It's too organized." Kardinal Klo remarked, "They show signs of intelligence, sentience, even." Magpie joked, "Seatience, that's a good way to put it, Klo." "Sentience!" Moff corrected. "No no! Seatience!" Moff then realized the joke and chuckled, "Oh! Ha ha!"

Twocoin asked, "Wait... Are we still talking about the pets or the crux?" Moff went, "If it were cruxes, there'd just be a big pile of slime covered teeth things." Emorald spoke, "They are like raptors" Magpie remarked, "Better hope those beasties don't go over your head like that joke." Twocoin responded, "It would NOT go over my head. My reflexes are too good. I would catch it." Moff then tossed a record his way. Twocoin joked, "Moff's breaking records in all categories.."

Magpie then looked around, "Anyone feel like they're being watched?" Moff answered, "What?! NO! I mean, I wasn't until just now." Klo went, "Yes, but, I mean, I have two heads." Twocoin remarked, "It's like there's some human with a camera pointed at the back of my head. Also, Klo's friend is staring at me," he pointed to a Halloween skeleton in a cage. Twocoin pointed out, "... there are dogs all around her."

A comment by Lem got Moff to joke, "Where's those teeth things when you need one? Sacrifice Lem to the slime." Magpie cautioned, "Hey Moff, I wouldn't wish for those teeth things, even as a joke you know. Don't wanna jinx this party." Moff didn't heed the warning, "I do! Let one bite that Lem butt!" "Gosh, be careful what you wish for!" Lem remarked, "My butt might swell up, nobody wants to see that. I got bit by a zombie one time, and the zombie died.]"

Then Twocoin saw the party had a new arrival, "Oh! There is a tooth thing right there!" Magpie blurted, "WHAT?!" Klo wondered, "Is it attracted to music?" Emorald wondered, "How did that get here?" Twocoin then noticed, "And another right there." "We attracted them!" Magpie remarked, "with the loud kickass tunes!" Moff then noticed one had a long, striped tounge, "Oh sh**, it's the crux tongue!" Twocoin went, "Mateo is AFK quick sacrifice him!" Moff shouted, "GO POKE IT LEM!" Lem then changed into his Halloween avatar, "I need to be my ghoul." Magpie then warned me one had appeared near me, "U-uh... B-b-bix...?!" I quickly got out of the way.

Then Moff remembered their fire, "Wait! We have flaming furniture!" Magpie blurted, "Someone set it on fire!" Moff then grabbed some of the furniture in the fire pile by an unlit end and tossed it onto one of the maws. But it was soon clear it wasn't having any effect, Klo observing, "It does not appear fire helps."

With the creatures not making any more aggressive moves, Magpie was rethinking the idea of getting rid of them, "I'm not so sure. I know some of our authorities  have noticed that when its domesticated it doesn't seem to uhhh...drool as much." She then grinned, "Though I'm sure you could make it drool with the right treats?" Emorald asked, "But, how do you domesticate them?" Magpie answered,  "Someone told me that a whole damn mess of  sciencey types down at the SCP facilities have managed to tame these guys." Moff asked, "Tame them? For what?" Magpie went on, "They've boxed them all up and put 'em in a little machine, like some sorta snack vendor. Somethin' called a gacha." Apparently the folks down at the SCP foundation in Dewdrop have managed to breed these guys to just sorta...cuddle. They'll let you sit all over em and won't be bothered. I imagine they're still fixing some kinks, so, I'd be cautious."

Emorald commented, "They do look....kinda cuddly." Klo followed, "Hmm, one of you should try and sit on one." Moff suggested, "Again, Lem, go ahead!" Lem asked, "Go ahead what?" Moff told her, "Go touch the teeth thing!" Magpie was unsure, "I don't know, who here's a brave enough soul to give that little beastie a pat?" Klo commented, "'soul' you mean 'sacrifice'." Lem then began approaching one. Magpie reacted, "Be careful Lem." But whem Lem touched one, the result was, nothing. Magpie responded, "Hmm. Well they seem a lot more docile than we were anticipating." Emorald observed, "They haven't eaten him yet." Magpie suggested, "There's no blood and gore yet. Maybe it's scared of you Lem." Lem joked, "I'm not zesty enough."

Thinking it over, Magpie made a decision, "Well, I guess I've lived  a good life. I'll try to mess with that curious little purple and green one." Emorald wasn't so sure, "Wait Mags! Let me go first." Magpie asked, " A-are you sure?" Emorald answered, "I am small enough, I can get away fast." "Er... okay Em." Emorald then sat on the maw, and the reaction was, nothing. Magpie asked, "Is that slimy?" Emorald answered, "A little, but like, the tongue is soft, like, velvet." Magpie was amazed at the sight, "That thing is literally just letting you chill on its, tongue?!" "Yeesh." "I mean you ARE a mousey looking thing. I'm shocked it's not, just chomped! Well, maybe it isn't the thing that's been, making the local pets disappear, maybe."

Then Moff reappeared, with a weapon. Mateo Firecaster commented, "Oh s**t! A Crux with a gun!" Twocoin remarked, "That's not a gun, that's a rocket launcher!" Emorald, still on the creature, looked to the armed crux, "Why do you have a gun Moff?" Moff responded, "Gee, guess!"  Magpie tried to get him to back off, "Moff wait! It, I don't know! It doesn't look like it's hurtin' nobody! And it was immune to fire! I don't even know if a rocket will kill it!" Moff was unpersuaded, "Now move!" "Wait!" Emorald told him, "we sure we wanna do that? I mean, what if killing one pisses them ALL off?" Moff was unmoved, "Last warning." Twocoin wondered, "What if it makes babies?" That was enough for Moff, who then fired, "Welp! Sorry Em!" Magpie blurted, "Oh Jesus Moff!" Lem commented, "Hard hat for safety." Moff then grinned, "Potato launcher!" Emorald, still moving around, laughed. Magpie observed, "I don't think they liked that." Moff responded, "They don't like potatoes?! Then they are evil." Magpie then noticed one more, "There's another one that seemed to dig from the ground below you when you did that!" I commented, "It looks like they did like that and some showed up for more."

Magpie commented, "These things are tough, but, they're just kinda, chilling out." Moff had another idea, "Torch the building." Klo asked, "Is this akin to setting the house on fire when you find a spider? ... Set the MO on fire, the aliens are here?" Lem then called out, "Em!" Emorald asked, "What?" Lem sat on another of the maw creatures, "Come sit." Moff joked, "Lem and Em make out on one, maybe that'll kill it." Magpie was surprised, "That one's just... letting you two cuddle together with it?!"

Moff noted the music band that was playing at the time, "Clearly these two like The Scorpions." Klo responded, "Who doesn't like The Scorpions?" The white crux DJ then had an idea, "HEY HEY HEY! Could these be like the aliens in Mars Attacks? If we yodel....." Klo liked the idea, "Oh s**t, play some, uh, Indian Love Call? Is that it?" Twocoin joked, "Play some Jane's Addiction. Nothing survives that." Klo asked, "Do these things even have ears, or do they just feel vibration?" Another new one was seen in the room, Emorald saying, "What is that one over there? ... Looks like it was, sewn together." Moff finally had his musical weapon loaded, "Oh Em Gee! Are you all ready?!" He then started playing Slim Whitman's "Indian Love Call." Magpie asked, "Moff are you gonna soothe these beasties with some great tunes?" then realizing what was being played, "Oh boy, YOU ARE!" "Here we go!" Klo remarked at the music, "If this doesn't kill them, we're screwed!" Moff responded, "If they start dancing, I'm leaving."

Then Magpie noticed, "One of them is gone. Moff, I think it's working." Klo blurted, "Oh s**t. Does 'Mars Attacks' again tell us the truth?" "This song is saving us!" Magpie exclaimed. "This song only has ninety seconds," Moff reminded, "So I hope the next one works!" But at the end of the song, there was not a maw in sight. "Are they all gone?" Magpie asked. "Seems they are," Emorald answered. "Welp, guess 'Mars Attacks' taught us a thing or two!" With "Piece of My Heart" playing, Magpie suggested, "If this song really is sending them scurrying back to their nests, they are missing out on some great taste."

Moff then loaded in the next tune, "The next song, is one you all can sing afterwards! Cuz it is true! Y'all ready!" Then came the song, "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life." Klo started laughing, "Moff taking all the credit for that is he." "IT TRUE THO!" Moff boasted. Klo remarked, "Nevermind he's who probably brought them here."

"I'll play a couple more after this, but then I'm running away," Moff told everyone, then started singing

There's not a problem that I can't fix
'Cause I can do it in the mix
And if your man gives you trouble
Just you move out on the double
And you don't let it trouble your brain
'Cause away goes trouble down the drain

Magpie then had a thought, "That's it! I bet they use the sewers to get to and from the sims! ... You sent those troubles down the drain, Moff. (grin) ... you never know what those sneaky SCP  foundation scientists are workin' on. Maybe someone installed some sorta tunnel to and fro." Moff responded, "Those sons of bit ... We need to go get them! Where are they at?" Magpie answered, "Well I think they're opening up their facilities to the public soon. But I know you can hang out in the lobby in Dew Drop. They're having some sorta, 'Gacha Guild' sale. But, there's been word that a lot of little beasties from different corners of the SL  world are inhabiting the place. Maybe that's why they're opening up their labs soon. Maybe they want help from patrons and consumers. Maybe we need to help them track down all the escaped monsters! I'm trying to find an old clipboard I found  at the place. I think it said..that they'll be opening the doors to the labs on the, 12th? But anyone is welcome to the gacha guild event they're having above the labs now. Just, be careful. You never know what sorta things are lurking in the dark corners."

And so ended the night of the slime and maw monsters. But this is unlikely to be the last Montecito Bay sees of them. And even if it is, no doubt some other form of zaniness will emerge to take it's place.

As for the Gacha Guild, it is at -
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Dew%20Drop/120/250/1739

Bixyl Shuftan

Note: The preceding was a "fun article" based on some interactive RP at the time