Thursday, July 12, 2018

The "Two Vixens And a Wolf" Radio Show

By Bixyl Shuftan

There's a new radio show done by three residents of Second Life: Two Vixens And a Wolf. The vixens would be Svetlana Snowpaw (Sarah Golem) and Roxy Noir-Snowpaw (creatureofthenight2011 Resident). Greigh VonGottreich (Greigh Dingo) is the wolf. Svetlana has a blue and white fox avatar while Roxy's is purple and white. Greigh's coat is a simple black. The show appears on the AllFurRadio stream, an Internet radio frequency aimed at fans of furry science-fiction and fantasy. I met up with the new media stars at their station in Rabbit Valley, and they invited me to take a seat.

On the question on how the radio show got started, Svetlana told me, "I want to say I was the one who initially pitched the idea to the All Fur Radio station owner, Markus Damone, when he had asked me if I wanted to DJ for him again since he was reopening the station for a third time and I had done DJing for him back when it was first open years ago back in 2007 I believe? Well anyway I was excited to do that, however after over ten years and four computers later I had lost a lot of my music and wanted to help out anyway I could. So It didn't take long for me to ask Roxy, my mate at first if she would be comfortable doing a talk show, and she agreed, but we both knew we needed a bit more, so we got approached Greigh about joining our little venture to which he seemed delighted by as he had recently got a new studio mic and wanted to put it to good use."

Asked how the first days went, Greigh responded, "Here's what happened from my angle. Initially, I was anxious and outright nervous as I never did anything like this before ever. I've performed DJ'ing in the past but never talked on the microphone. Some folks call me DJ Deadmike or The Jukebox because of this sort of thing. But once we started off with the show (initially with the test shows), I felt more comfortable once I've warmed up to being on the air for that moment."

Roxy spoke of what they have, "We have different segments throughout the show, Greigh's 'The List of Greigh' which he talks about incidents that are realistic and can range from bizarre to hilarious. Svet has a news-broadcast update entitled 'The Good, The Bad, and the Furry' which there are all sorts of articles from social media to real news that we discuss. My segment is a media review, somewhat like Ebert and Rupert did in the 90s. We discuss media, music, film, and even upcoming media releases that we are interested in. We have done trivia games where two of us go against each other, and even have storytelling moments where we jawjack about life, the community, and interesting topics. We never discuss religion, politics, or race since these tend to be topics we hear in the real world. Everything about our show is to bring a smile or to brighten one's day.

"We have had one guest thus far on the show and we ended up have a great reception with the audience even bringing in our segments with 2 The Ranting Gryphon. The show is all about having fun and smiling even when the world around us seems to be falling part. We are constantly revising the show and this is something we enjoy doing as we want to relate more to our audience. Greigh's segment is my favorite."

Greg broke in, "The fun part is that the show is flexible, given with what we're working with from time to time too." Svetlana nodded, "Yes so if our work gets in the way we can flip around the schedule of how the show flows, seamlessly and get stuff reorganized on the fly."

I asked more about their interview with The Ranting Gryphon, whom is one of the furry fandom's personalities. Greg told me, "The way our first guest came about was by surprise by the boss. We didn't expect anyone wanting to do a guest session with us at all. Plus it was a neat treat to have 2 onboard with us." A nearby friend of theirs, Shoshi Darkpaw, remarked, "God you should have seen excited Svetters was." Greigh grinned, "Heard nothing but 'EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!' for at least 15 minutes." Svetlana kept a straight face, "Oh yeah, apparently our boss, Markus Damone, knew 2 The Ranting Gryphon from years back. And so it wasn't to difficult for us to get 2. However I recently got a hold of Uncle Kage to do an interview with us or be a guest on our show some time after AnthroCon.  Getting guests is kind of like fishing, you just have to put your line into the water and see what bites." I asked when "Uncle Kage" (another personality of the fandom) apperance on the show would likely be. Svetlana answered, "It's still up in the air, we are to speak with him after the con, but we are trying for late July, but we have booked the Youtubers, Moms of Furries for August 6th.."

I asked how often Second Life is discussed on the program. Their answer was at the moment, not much, "... we dont get out much. We talk about our personal SL stories and pasts." The did say they would read the Newser more often for stories.

And this being live radio, I asked about their funniest bloopers. Svetlana grinned, "Oh let me tell you. ..." Greigh commented, "Two words: Murphy's Law." Svetlana continued, "Well yeah since the show is relatively new we are still working out bugs and everything that could happen did happen. The best one though ... down stairs someone was cooking and set off the smoke alarm, which was audible on air. So we decided to go to break after joking that we may be in danger." Shoshi, who was still nearby, chuckled, "Oh, I wish I heard that! I would have been dying!" Svetlana continued, "So our breaks are usually 1-2 songs long with possible ads and then we come back. Well we resumed the show like normal after two songs and five minutes into the next segment. I was talking, and then looked over and noticed we were no longer broadcasting, to which we immediately hooked back into the server and apologized to our listeners and joked about the situation and actually had to ask our listeners, 'What was the last thing you heard?' "

Svetlana moved on to another blooper about concerning a rookie mistake, "The other blooper came from the purple fox across from me, Roxy, when she was discussing how new she was to the fandom and said 'I'm the baby fur' while we had 2 Gryphon on air with us, to which we all just went 'Noooooo!' and laughed because being that she is somewhat fresh to the fandom she doesn't know all the terms and we had to immediately explain to both her and the listeners that was the WRONG terminology." "Et Tu Murphy's Law?" Greigh asked. Svetlana responded, "It's something you just can't make up." When I asked if the furry fandom had it's own term for newbie, Svetlana answered, "I haven't found one that I really like other than 'NewFur.'"

And then there were their reactions to bloopers, Svetlana saying, "We have an  inside joke during the show, because we all manage to slip up now and again, however when we start dropping F-bombs like B-52 I slam my fist on the desk and go 'This is a family show DAMNIT!' and it puts us back in check for the most part but the show is still a PG-13 show." I asked how creative they could be about using otherwise clean language to describe something that wasn't quite. Svetlana answered, 'Well there is a lot of sexual innuendo which is not planned, but both Greigh and I are smart-asses and sometimes cannot control what comes out of (our) maws." So who at least had some control? Roxy answered, "That would be me. I end up biting my lip and blushing uncontrollably as I have the thoughts and just start randomly giggling. I end up yelling at both the vixen and wolf as they make me blush the whole show. But that just shows even though I am innocent, I'm not completely."

And what were their future plans? Greigh answered, "At this point, we're wide open to things in the future. Depending on how things turn out over time. We're going to also target on attending cons as best we can as well in the future." Svetlana told me they'd be doing a live show at a panel at a con in Philadelphia from August 10-12, "Also our show lands on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. So we will definitely make a Christmas Eve Special as well as a New Years Eve special, I will have to talk to our boss, Marcus, and do a extended four hour show to bring in the New Year."

We would talk about a few other things, such as goings-on in Second Life, and eventually, it was time for me to check out another event, so I bade them good day and left the radio station.

"Two Vixens and a Wolf" broadcasts every Monday from 5-8PM (8-11PM EST) and rebroadcast on Wednesday at the same times. Besides it's station location in Rabbit Valley, it has a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

Bixyl Shuftan

Monday, July 9, 2018

Grease Coakes' Tarot Card Readings

By Bixyl Shuftan

Grease Coakes is known in Second Life for his DJing, such as his performances at the Happy Vixen. But there's something else he does: Tarot cart readings. At his skybox at Perfect Paradise, he does the readings for 250 Lindens. But he occasionally offers them as prizes for a contest.

Welcome to my humble home here in Perfect Paradise. I offer tarot readings at an affordable rate of 250L

Confused of what's going on? You need a question answered? Things seem dark and tragic? I can help clear things up for you with a Celtic Cross Tarot reading.

I read from Dragon Tarot or also Incidental Tarot. Or also a diffrent dragon deck called "The Dragon Tarot." The posters you see are actual cards from those three decks.

Send me an IM or notecard or email if you're interested from a reading from me. I have been doing tarot for a year or so so I have plenty of experience and intuition to help guide you on your journey of life.

Grease offered to do a reading for me, and so I headed over to the skybox, "I did a reading exchange here the other day. ... The cards I drew reflected what he was thinking about. I won't say exactly what I drew to respect his privacy. But the cards were shuffled for him and it was happening around him and his future." Grease stated he wasn't a raw beginner at tarot cards, " It took me a lot of practice to learn the cards and meanings to link them together in a reading. So the investment of time and buying tarot decks is why I charge for the readings a mere 250L. Others have more experience, so they might charge more. My readings are more affordable for the average Second Life user."

Grease then drew a card, "So the first card I draw for you is the ace of swords but it's reversed. You're in a state of lacking clarity. Something isn't working for you. You have to take a step back and find a better way of doing things. Swords are air cards. Thinking and problem solving. The ace card is telling you stop tripping yourself up and find a new way of doing things."

He drew another, "Nine of wands is your current challenge your second card. Wands means fire and action. You're low on hit points,but you can still fight forward. Even if you're a little beat. That makes sense if you said this is your busy time of year." I nodded, "Yes, the Second Life Birthday, and the Relay season, notably the Relay Weekend."

Drawing more cards, Grease went on, "Five of coins reversed means you're watching your money. Coins or pentacles are earth/money cards. You're in a financial mess and you need to dig your way out. But in your past you had guidance of the high priestess upright. Which means your inner voice was guiding you. Your intuition was moving you forward. The hermit reversed says you want to get out of the house. You're tired of cabin fever. You want to get out and enjoy the sunshine and beach." Grease sent me some images, "So as you can see I'm not making up these cards."

Grease drew still more cards, "Strength reversed shows your soon to be future. Oh, by the way, the card layout is called a Celtic cross. Which means not physical strength. But your mental strength is fading. Emotionally you're getting tired and worn out." I did admit, "Quite a bit has been happening lately." "Ten of wands and nine of wands early on says the same thing. There's a lot resting your shoulders now and your plate is full. So there's lot of action surrounding you and it's overwhelming you." I nodded, "That's how things often are for me this time of year."

Grease's next card showed not all was bad, "But amazingly I draw the ten of cups. You're happy despite these challenges. ten of cups is the ultimate happy card. You're happy being a writer and being with friends. Cups is water emotion." I agreed, "Yes, I'm satisfied with the course on how things are going, at least how I perceive them to be going." The card after that however, "But your magician card is dizzy and he fell to the floor. You can't seem to get your projects moving. It's like his spell backfired and he's knocked out for now. The magician card is about making things happen through everyday means."

 Grease drew another time, then winced, "Ouch nine of swords is the last card. Nine of swords means severe stress like a living nightmare of challenge and shutdown one after another. But this will pass." I mentioned, "Well, it's on the record my computer was shut down for almost a week, stuck in the repair shop, but that was a month ago. But I wouldn't quite call that a nightmare. ..." "Hmmmms ... Nine of swords means a tough future though not your past."

Grease's tune then changed, "But not all is lost. After the nine of swords you get the star. So when your magician gets better, your star will come to inspire you. After all the hard work and future of nine of swords that star will regenerate you so you can move forward with that star guiding you. So with the summer time pushing your limits I'd say in the fall things will turn for the better. Listening is a good idea. I drew the star above the high priestess which was your inner voice in your past granting you wisdom and ideas. So the high priestess wandered off but the star will shine in your future."

"I hope this reading gave you a lot to think about," Grease concluded, "about your present and future." It was just we were interrupted by a bit of real life, then Grease had to log off.

So a busy, stressful time in which I manage to stay fairly happy and things get easier eventually. For someone reporting on news in Second Life, the summer can have a lot to cover to the point where choices have to be made and even good topics have to be put on the back burner for later, or even shelved. While one can always make a temporary extra effort, one can only burn the candle at both ends for so long, especially if things are going on on the other side of the computer.

So what will a tarot reading by Grease reveal to you? Perhaps a warning, perhaps a chance to relax, or perhaps of an opportunity in the near future.

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, July 6, 2018

What's In A Name? Defining What To Call SLB Events.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Overall, the Newser coverage of the Second Life Birthday has been very positive. Though one reader messaged me about one small detail. "Why call the Cake Explosion an 'unofficial event' when it's in the schedule?"

Well, it was, and it wasn't.

Strictly speaking, on the timeline page of the SLB website, it just says:

Sunday, June 17 to Sunday, June 24: SL15B open with performances!!
Saturday, June 23: Official 15th Birthday!!!
Monday, June 25 to Sunday, July 1: Regions will remain open for viewing. No performances.

Well, obviously there were performances on these days, especially the Cake Explosion and other events that day. They were simply not mentioned in the timeline or stage schedules. So yours truly made the decision to describe them as "unofficial events." The reader in question wasn't so sure that was the right term, feeling the wording I used made them sound unimportant.

It wasn't my intention to trivialize these performances. Especially the Cake Explosion, which itself has become a tradition that many look forward to. I certainly do. But when the official schedule says the last events occurred days before, well, what's to do? To add to confusion, the official webpage only mentioned the Cake Explosion after it happened in an announcement.

Perhaps there's a better wording I could have used when the official schedule says there's eight days of events and seven days when there aren't. If so, I haven't found it. But in any case, the Cake Explosion was a fun and loved happening that it and the other events after the "The Birthday" was supposed to end demonstrate that after fifteen years, the enthusiasm for the Second Life Birthdays remain high. And that we can all agree on.

Bixyl Shuftan