Thursday, April 18, 2019
By Bixyl Shuftan
As most everyone who reads the Newser knows, most of the time I go about in a Luskwood red fox avatar. It's not that often that I change to a human avatar for more than a brief length of time. The first time I did was for a few weeks in 2011 for a "Bid Me" event for my Relay for Life team. A few years later in 2017, I was so for about a week in a similar fundraising event. I'd decided on a black human avatar partily to see how true were the claims of ethnic avatars getting the cold shoulder were, partially. But as I tend to stand out where I go anyway, I wanted to do continue to do so. And of course there was the "Blazing Saddles" humor aspect. For those who don't know, it was a Wild West comedy made in the 1970s by Mel Brooks in which a previously all-white town gets a black sheriff.
In 2019, I'd gotten a few requests to do another "Bid Me Human" event, and so I offered to do another for Rita. This time though, I felt the Blazzing Saddles joke was getting old, so I decided to get an avatar from another ethnic group, Asian. I didn't find much of a variety on Marketplace, and much of what I found was expensive. But I found an avatar that was a good buy, and one Asian-Americain friend thought was okay. So I went with it. Besides the ethnic difference, it had hair and was slimmer, less muscular.
So how has the reaction been compared to the previous human avatar? Once again, it's been overall positive. With the lighter skin tone, people have been slower to recognize it as Asian though, one saying the white fedora made him think of Michael Jackson. One person whom had liked the previous avatar wasn't so sure about this one, "You look like a college freshman." On the other hand, the one friend of mine who outright complained last time that the first was a poor match, this time didn't think this one was too bad, but still wanted me back as a fox. Also last time, there were a few jokes, friendly ones, from Europeans about the avatar's ethnic look then. That wasn't the case this time.
But one thing was the same as last time, the "Ahhhhhhhhh! A human!" gestures from my furry friends. Actually, that was the most visible thing. I was still interacting with my friends much the same as before, puns and all, and dancing with a few ladies. But as time went on, much like in 2011, the novelty with my friends wore off, and more openly looked forward to me being back to normal.
It's been, different, these past few weeks. I've missed being able to just up and change around. But the "Bid Me" restriction ends this Friday, April 19. And so I'll be back to foxy, or whatever else comes to mind.
Monday, April 8, 2019
http://www.bethematch.org ) and I found someone that did it before here in SL in the past. Her name is Mightbe Shelter, currently our Prez at Cobras MC, and she told me that Cobras MC might be interested into helping me with this cause. So, she invited me over and thaught me how to ride a bike and took me with her on the rides at Cobras MC.
"After a while, I was invited to become a Cobras Venom ( support tag at Cobras MC ) and after a while I was invited to become a Prospect. I prospected for about a month and then I was 'patched in' as they call it. I became a full member since June 4th 2017 . So this year on June 4 th I will be 2 years member of Cobras MC.”
My next question to Wesley was if he is planning on staying a member of Cobras MC for a longer time. “I hope to be a member of Cobras MC forever, of course.” said Wesley, “Cobras MC is a bunch of nice people together. I'm glad I got the opportunity to join them.”
I asked Wesley how long has he been supporting Bone Marrow Transplants. “Well, I wanted to start up an awareness campaign for Be The Match," Wesley replied, "I tried to convince the people behind the organization to get into Second Life. A while back they went to have a look in, but I never heard back from that person again. Either they are unfamiliar with the concept of Second Life or they aren't interested. I have no clue.”
According to Wesley, in real life, he has beta thalassemia trait (minor), and he wanted to help people with the same conditions (genetic blood disorders). I asked him what is beta thalassemia trait. “A genetic blood disorder that has to do with the red blood cells,” Wesley answered. Luckily, he has the version without symptoms. There is more information about that condition at: https://www.thalassemia.org/learn-about-thalassemia/about-thalassemia/ . That is why Wesley would like to do an awareness campaign for Be The Match.
I asked Wesley ih he would be continuing the campaign for Be The Match for a long time. “Well, if the persons behind the organization are willing to help me and are willing to see the potential of Second Life," said Wesley, " then yes, I would fully start the campaign here in Second Life.”
Before leaving, I asked Wesley if there was anything else he wanted me to say in the article about him. “Well, in real life I'm not a biker," he replied, "but in Second Life, I'm a biker. Recently, I managed to get my 300 rides done with the Cobra MC.”
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Wanting to get to know DJ Geerkil, so my first question was, “Okay, could you please tell me about yourself?” He replied, “Well, I am a child in an adult body that likes to have fun and joke around a lot.”
My next question was about his hobbies. The dragon answered, “Amateur Radio. Collecting music, avatars, and interesting SL builds.”
I was wondering where he likes to go on Second Life. His response was, “Due to my size, I do not venture around much. I mostly hang out in the sims I work in as a music broadcaster.”
I asked Geerkil what he would like me to say about him in the article. His answer was, “I lack in social skills, but I more than make up for that in a desire to be helpful. I love what I do in Second Life. I love my music and the sharing of it with the others.”
According to Geerkil, he plays at The Happy Vixen. He also plays at the Zeta Valley Wharf, The Gathering Oak, Club EFS, The Heart of Gold, Lost Farms Crystal Cavern, also The Cutlass Club from time to time. He also plays at The FunHouse. Geerkil works for three different Internet Radio Stations, PhoenixradioFM.com, Allfurradio.com and KVXN radio.com.
My last question was if he is planning on being a DJ for a long time. “As long as I can. I have been doing it in Second Life over twelve years. For working for actual Internet radio stations, about five.
The dragon will be playing from his hoard of music records for some time to come.
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
By Bixyl Shuftan
We met up at her place near KONA Stream Studios. "Welcome," she greeted, "It's three levels, an underground, the surface, and my private studio up in the sky." I noticed a statue on the grounds which looked like the one on her cover in the third book, and made a note to bring it up later. We walked inside and sat down.
"So to begin with," I asked, "what gave you the idea for the stories?" "Several things," GoSpeed answered, "I've always been a science fiction fan. In Second Life I've been exposed to so many other people's imagination. Especially potent was their roleplay experiences. Many roleplay groups have forums packed full of storylines generated in SL." When I asked which ones were her favorites, she responded, "Oh, I never participated. I don't have the time or motivation to get so deeply involved. Bedsides, being 'GoSpeed' is enough for me to begin with (smile). Like many of us, my SL avatar is a character of our own making which only partially represents our true selves."
I then asked when did she start writing her first book. As it turned out, she had earlier projects before her published works, "I did start a short story back in 2009, but I never finished. Fast-forward to 2015 and my favorite podcaster/author did a two-part podcast about writing novels. It was then I decided to take the plunge and begin writing. I wrote a 20,000 word short space opera novel. It's pretty rough, I must admit. But I plan to revise and release it one day.
On the cover of her second book, We Built This City, Bay City is prominently featured on the cover. "It is a continuation of GoSpeed's journey," she called it, "The new world she lives in has less meaning. Her life on the island is not what she wants, so she goes to Bay City to find a new life. The story is much darker as GoSpeed loses her way and gets involved in activities she'd never dream of doing in her past life: PTSD, Loss of a relationship, losing her place in society.
"We Built This City is the most Second Life relatable of the three stories. I included (with their permission) many residents of Bay City, (such as) Marianne McCann, Uccello Poultry, Pygar Bu, Thomas Hooker." I asked what the residents thought of their cameos. Racer answered, "Oh, they loved them! Oh, there is one caveat I used when writing about SL avatars. The basic premise behind 21st Century avatars in a 25th century simulation was that they were modeled after social media found in Internet archives. You may recall news stories about how it is possible to recreat personalities based on social media postings? Say you have hundreds or thousands of pictures, blog posts, etc... You could come up with a personality. Using that as a premise, the characters I wrote tended to deviate to a degree compared to how they act now." Some had comparable roles, such as Marianne's counterpart being the city's mayor and that of blogger Uccello being a TV journalist.
This time, the main antagonist is a criminal organization. "There is a neighboring city that was sourced from a late 1940s noire themed game (like L.A. Noire) run by the mafia," GoSpeed explained, "Angel City, a pseudo Los Angeles, actually." There's also more than just the mafia separating the two communities, "As you can imagine, there would be a clash of cultures and values between a mid 20th century people and a mid 21st century group." Among the characters are a couple whom had been cryogenicaly frozen in the 21st Century whose minds are uploaded into the virtual world to inhabit avatars.
I brought to her attention the statue on the cover, which was like the one in her yard. "Yes, a Roman centurion," she told me, then smiled, "which is relevant to the storyline. There are 'Romans' in the story." But these weren't exactly what we usually think of, "NPCs (aka Citizens) are from the 25th century. 49ers, residents of Angel City, are 20th century relics. The new countries they discover are from different parts of history, and alternate history to be precise. Remember the Star Trek episode with the planet that had 20th century Romans? Kinda like that."
I then asked if she was planning another book in the series. "This particualr series is finished," GoSpeed answered, "but there are other contemporary stories in Simvie Loko I can write about. I plan to write an anthology of short stories about various characters and locales in the world, like, the founding of Bay City, the first days of Angel City's arrival and the chaos that followed. You can only put so much in a novel. I want to give a few characters their due. It's also a form of world building too."
GoSpeed hoped that her novels would inspire others in Second Life to start writing, "There is a VAST amount of creativity here and so many stories that can be told. If I can self publish, then anyone so inclined can." She mentioned Book Island, saying aspiring writers could head there and share excerpts, "You can read them aloud or have the hostess, Selina Greene read them in voice chat. I shared scenes here and there as I wrote them. It is nice and informative to hear your writing read."
GoSpeed's novels can be purchased through Amazon on her page there (link) and Smashwords (link). On Saturday March 30, there will be a discussion about The Bounding Main at Book Island at Noon SL time.
Monday, March 18, 2019
I got a chance to interview Kitacelia (Kἶէმƈεlἶმ Lմἶղƈօɾἶმlօէε Kεlνმɾl) for her role in the horse business in Second Life. Over time, I have gotten some horses from her. So I felt if there's someone who knows about them in Second Life and can tell others, it's her.
My first question to Kitacelia was how long has she been breeding horses. She answered, “ABC horses I have bred for about a year and half now. I bred another type of horse as well but they are less realistic and cost extra to make pets after they are done breeding.”
I was curious about what was her favorite part about having ABC horses, so asked. “The fact that they are realistic looking horses in size, the different breeds, etc.” Kitacelia answered.
I then asked Kitacalia how much longer she is going to continue in the horses business. “Hmm well as long as I am able to, and as long as I enjoy it, I suppose,” she replied.
Besides raising horses, Kitacelia spends some time as a club hostess. She works at Club Zero Gravity, the Happy Vixen, and other places, getting the word out about events and greeting people as they enter the club.
Before we ended the interview, I told Kitacelia that she is an inspiration because she raises horses and helps others to get the them. I also told her that I would definitely recommend her business to the others. I also said that I would also include the landmarks where the others can buy her horses from.
Here are the places where you can get Kitacelia's horses:
Dark Moon Rising ABC pony pen Kitacelia
Dark Moon Rising ABC Stockyard
MG NEW BEGINNINGS MARES
MG NEW BEGINNINGS
Hope you have fun raising horses too.
Monday, March 4, 2019
168, 168, 1) as it usually happens every Tuesday from 12 pm to 1 pm SLT. There are mermaids at the ball, dancing as Ari plays the piano, often with help from Carleonie. Unfortunately, during the event, real life kept interrupting my listening (and covering for the Newser). I am sure that I would be going back to the event again next week. But I did catch up to Ari and Carleonie to ask them questions about the event that I missed.
I asked Ari how the concert was. “Ok,” he replied, “It was very nice.” I then asked if there was many people at the concert. “Yes, and each one special, for different reasons,” he answered. I noticed at the concert, even with real life interrupting often, that Ari had Carleonie helping him. “She helps me by just being close to me,” he told me. I then asked him if is going to continue performing at the concert for as long as he can. “Yes, I would like to,” Ari told me. I thanked him, and moved on to his music event partner, Carleonie.
I asked Carleonie how the concert was. “Oh it has been very nice," she told me with a smile, "Everyone loved the music, as always. (smile) Ari had prepared a very nice playlist. I like it, too.” I told her that I noticed that she was helping Ari. I wanted to know how she likes helping him out. She smiled, “I love it. And I feel honored, that he asks me to do so. And since I have helped him two or three times, now it has become already some kind of tradition.” I was curious to see if Carleonie would continue to help Ari out every Tuesday from 12 pm to 1pm. She answered, “When I am able to log on I surely will do so with pleasure.” I thanked her.
They do make lovely piano music every Tuesday afternoon, from 12 pm to 1 pm. They would go to Creations Park to play their music. There are mermaids at the concert, always with a contest. If anyone is interested in listening to piano music as well as hanging out with the mermaids, I would encourage them to go to Creations Park.
Monday, February 11, 2019
By Bixyl Shuftan
Second Life has no shortage of DJs. But few are teams whose personality interactions are great entertainment for their listeners. And even fewer have the appearance of a dragon. The combination makes the Dragon Crew a unique musical team in Second Life entertainment. Made up of DJ Geekil, whom has been DJing in SL for years in his dragon avatar, his partner JB Raccoon, whom while not being in the virtual world nearly as long had quickly emerged as a talented music player, and LS Raccoon, whom sometimes acts as the hostess for the two men, the "Epic Failure Show" or "Dragon and Raccoon Show" as they've often called themselves has entertained many crowds. Interviewed by the Newser in December 2017, recently they requested to meet up to talk a little about a few things that have changed since then.
Among the recent changes is that due to real life, JB can't quite take part as often as he used to. "I do not participate on Tuesdays or Wednesdays because of my health," he told me. Geerkyl scoffed at the explanation, "That's the excuse he's using." So the Dragon Crew has taken on a new co-DJ for Geerkil, "I have a replacement staff member for Tuesdays and Wednesdays." The new member of the crew is Applebloom (JeanetteDJennet Resident), whom is almost always in a pony avatar. "So when I say hay is for horses," the dragon mused, "Applebloom will agree."
So how did the little pony end up part of the Dragon Crew? Meeting up with the two at the Happy Vixen beach club, the dragon answered, "I sat on her, and she liked it," Geerkil chuckled, "NOT!" Applebloom responded with a "Hrumph!" I asked about a rumor I heard that if he did that again, she'd use "pony magic" to give him the most girly cutie mark she could think of on his behind. Geerkil answered, "She did offer a mark I would never ewver forget, every time I sat down again." "Dern right," the pony grinned, "I may be small but my kick is mighty." "Plus the fact she wears steel shoes," the dragon remarked, "which is a little bit troublesome."
"So I hid down on the second level and when (Geerkil) came, we shocked him because he couldn't figure out who the 'guest' was until he saw me. Both he and JB liked my style and easygoing nature and how well I worked with them during that show that both he and JB had the idea of asking me to take JB's spot on Tuesday and Wednesday because JB had to ease back on his workload. So here I am,.now a full fledged member of The Dragon Crew." The little pony smiled.
The conversation went to Discord chat, JB making a recording which would get sent to me. "You can be like the rest of the news media and report fake news, saying we play great music instead of the truth," Geerkil chuckled. When I responded by asking him what were their greatest epic failures were, he answered "Too many to mention." He joked that the recording being made of the conversation would glitch and become "white noise."
Geerkil occasionally gets teased by his colleagues and friends who occasionally call him "sausage." The joke goes back months ago when at a show, the subject of cooking sausages for a meal came up, and he ended up saying "I love sucking sausages." It wasn't until after he spoke it that he realized it could be taken as innuendo, and those who heard gleefully chuckled. The joke has stuck around since, "You never sausage a dragon."
Geerkil sometimes pokes a little fun at Applebloom's screen name, JeanetteDJennet Resident. "This is the name that ne-ver ends," the dragon teasingly sung, "It goes on and on my friends." When I asked her where the name came from, she answered it was from, "a MUCK that me and my late hubby were on. I was a little donkey named Jeanette, so when we came here instead of having it jeanettethejennet I shortened it by two letters to jeanettedjennet. I was a Wizz on that MUCK in fact, we both were. His name was Skunx, a skunk that could shapeshift." The detail she most remembers about their time on the MUCK was their home area Oah Hill Ranch, "It was HUGE with like close to 30 seperate rooms. If you've ever been on a MUCK then you know you have to descibe it, put all the door and exits on and descibe THOSE. Very involved. ...took me several months to build it." Being a MUCK, places had to have a lot of detail, "especially if you wanted to link it up with the rest of the MUCK."
When Geerkil and Applebloom co-DJ together, their routine is called "The Dragon and Pony Show." Geers commented that the order was because D is before P in the alphabet. They're played at a number of clubs in the past year, the dragon commenting, "we left a few ... one because they had some internal issues, then they wanted us back, but when we asked for our (positions) back, we never got them. ... that was the one with stickers, I like stickers." JB ang Geerkil mentioned a few more, one they left because, "we weren't funny enough," another because the manager "was a (dirty word) (dirty word)," and another, Dancing With Angels, closed because the owner had health issues, "That was sad." They are still performing at the Funhouse, at the Heart of Gold club, Club Cutlass "from time to time," the Happy Vixen Beach Club, Zeta Valley, and the Gathering Oak. Geerkil also performs at Lost Farm Crystal Cavern, though JB won't set foot in there. There's also "Club EFS." "There's probably one or two more that we've forgotten ..."
52/128/2251). While EFS is short for "Epic Failure Show," only the initials are used as there are others who perform there, "but we wanted to keep the reference to us." As of the writing of this article, there are two other DJs who perform there, DJ Squeaks (Brandi Streusel), Benji, who Geerkil grumbles "thinks the raccoon is more important than the dragon," and "The Floof." "Awesome!" Geerkil cheered in response at the third, "We have 'The Orange Floof.' ... Got a really cute avatar, I really like it." JB called it an orange husky avatar.
Of LS (Little Spirit) Raccoon, Geerkil remarked, "We put her in her own special office, where she can be on the phone." JBstated she was recently given a desk as a gift by a friend. ... valued at $200." Geerkyl grumbled, "No one sends me no ****ing desks." JB mused, "At least now I know where those teeth marks came from." Geerkil would later call LS an enthusiastic hostess, even when there was hardly anyone else in the club they were at, "she continues to do her performance." "She treats it as if we have a club full of guests," JB added. But they sometimes had other hostesses, such as Kitacella at the Happy Vixen, "Kit's good."
As before, some of Geerkil's humor is a bit low, "I admit my sense of humor is quite warped." Seeing LS's anthro dragon avatar, Geerkil remarked "Boobies." He would then say he used the word because of all the terms for that part of a woman's anatomy, that's the one he gets in the least trouble for using. Of their performance at the Gathering Oak, Geerkil called it, "The home of the Fabulous F*rting Fairy Furry Forest Flatulent-Filled Forest where they f*rt fragrant flatulent ..." He would later say, "I find f*rts hilariously funny." He did say though he has been blamed for a few windbreaking noises that he never made.
One occasional personality is DJ Tech. "Tech gets on occasionally, so he's a special guest." JB commented, "Tech primarily does get a brief appearance on the show with us." Geerkil then remarked "usually to tell me to shut the f**k up or something." JB chuckled, "Or (call you a) dumb a**ed dragon." The dragon muttered, "That's another famous phrase." Little Spirit giggled, "That's why we call him D.A.D." Someone joked, "That gives 'Who's your daddy?' a whole new meaning." That resulted in chuckles from everyone but Geerkil.
Sometimes Geerkil wears a hard hat. When asked to explain how it started, he explained that on occasion someone's been dropping anvils on him, "I decided to take some precautions." JB joked the weather has sometimes been "partially cloudy with a chance of anvils." When asked if there have been sightings of a coyote chasing a roadrunner, JB answered, "Well, the anvils do say 'ACME' on them, so it's possible (chuckle)." I then asked if Geerkil was wearing a hard hat, was someone else going to wear a sailor suit, a third a police uniform, and a fourth a biker. Geerkil blurted, "Oh no no! We are NOT going 'Village People!'" "Oh God no!" JB exclaimed, "No waaaay!"
Of the antics at the show, Geerkil rmarked, "I am not the instigator, but I do tend to promote that at times. ... (chuckle) I have a loyal crew." JB mentioned one incident at the Gathering Oak in which someone made something happen to Erik, who then looked right at Geerkil. The dragon chuckled, "I have this guilty look about me. I'm just doing my job, and darned if every time Erik ****ed, he'd watch me like a hawk. ... I'm laughing my (butt) off. It was so funny, and I'm the only innocent one in the whole group. All I did was make the suggestion, and it makes things happen (laughter)." They also mentioned a few jokes they played when people nearby go Away From Keyboard. "You do not want to be idle around us for very long," Geerkl commented.
The Dragon Crew now has a Facebook page at ( https://www.facebook.com/DragonandRaccoonEFS/ ). They also have a Patreon page. "There's not much on there for perks right now," JB explained, "We don't have the money right now to offer anything significant." "I think or first perk is going to be a coffee mug with the Dragon and Raccoon logo on it," Geerkil spoke. "Once we have a new logo design," JB added.
Geerkil refers to their collection of older and more obscure music as Warehouse 13, "Lost and forgotten tunes."
During the interview, one friend of theirs on and off of Second Life, known here as Lord Equis, made a few comments over the voice chat. He also appeared at the club to say hello.
Of their ideas for the future, one they're considering is recording their off-the-air conversations. "A lot of the funniest stuff we do is off the air," Geerkil explained,
After a bit more than an hour, the Dragon Crew and I went our separate ways. Geerkil and Applebloom's "Dragon and Pony Show" can be encountered at the Happy Vixen at Purrfection Estates (236, 219, 24) on Tuesdays at 4PM SL time. The "Dragon and Raccoon Show" is on Thursdays at 6PM SL time. And as mentioned before, there's their Club EFS at PlayaCar (52/128/2251) .