Friday, August 23, 2013

Grease Coakes to Have Second Children's Book Published

By Grey Lupindo

          SL Newser reporter Grease Coakes will soon have his second real-life book published.   “Ginny Griffin and Friends” is a sequel to his first children’s book, “Ginny Griffin’s First Day of School”, which was published last year by  I met with Grease at a local restaurant recently to chat about his newest book.   The following is an edited version of our discussion.

Grey Lupindo: What's the title of this one?

Grease Coakes:  “Ginny Griffin and Friends”...[It’s] the sequel to "Ginny Griffin's First Day of School" and is a direct tie to the first book.

Grey Lupindo:   It should be easy for readers to find it.

Grease Coakes:  It's a little longer than the previous book.  Someone who read the book compared it to Encyclopedia Brown, but I don't think of Ginny that way.

Grey Lupindo:  I'm afraid I haven't read the Brown series, although I've heard of it.

Grease Coakes:    Encyclopedia Brown is a detective, but that's not really Ginny's style.   She's more like the girl next door with a big heart.

Grey Lupindo:  Sounds like they might have meant it as a compliment.

Grease Coakes:   The person said it was a good book so it was a compliment.   Maybe she happened to read a bunch of Encyclopedia Brown as a kid.

Grey Lupindo: Probably so.  What happens in this book?

 Grease Coakes:  Well, without giving too much away... If you read the first book, Julie Unicorn was a mean girl.   So when Ginny sees her crying and running out of art class, she gets concerned that no one is giving Julie a second chance.  No one else is willing to forgive Julie because she did some really bad things.  There's a reason she turned to the dark side in the previous book, but I won't say what.

 Grey Lupindo:   Mysterious.....I like that.

Grease Coakes:   Ginny risks all by trying to be Julie’s friend.  As a result Ginny is alienated throughout a lot of the book.  Oh-- I can say there is a cool action scene, but I won't say where in the book.

Grey Lupindo:  Let's give readers a hint. Is it a chase?  A fight?

Grease Coakes:  A fight.  Most children see a school fight so I don't think this will be anything new.  But one of my co-workers called me a terrible person for having a fight in a children's book.

Grey Lupindo:  If they aren't armed, it will be tamer than real-life.

Grease Coakes (laughing):  No, they aren't armed, but I dunno if it's tame.

Grey Lupindo: Kids see a lot in real-life.   We adults don't like to admit that.

Grease Coakes: Yeah, kids are growing up faster now a days and are exposed to more.

Grey Lupindo: Books are a good way for kids to work through the scary RL stuff.

Grease Coakes: Oh sure, especially when the characters are children.  They relate to children more than adults.  They see adults as mean people who forgot what it's like to be a kid.

Grey Lupindo: Can you tell me a little about Ginny’s world?

Grease Coakes:  The world of Ginny Griffin is different than the world we have in real life.  After their World War 2 they decide to stop putting money into war.   In the 1960's solar power is invented and widespread.  I can say that this book shows more of that technology.  More money is being spent on science and education.

Grey Lupindo:  Very forward thinking of them.

Grease Coakes:  Politicians aren't corrupt.   They actually do their job.  Bad things still happen, but it's not as bad our world.

Grey Lupindo:  Where do we sign up to move there?

Grease Coakes laughs.:   You can read my book to travel there for a while.  

Grey Lupindo:(smile)

Grease Coakes:   But a neat part of the book is that I cross over another story into this children's book.

Grey Lupindo:  What do you mean by "cross over another story"?

Grease Coakes:   Well, Rio the Otter happened to buy my writing skills at a tail sale around the same time I started writing this sequel.    He said he wanted a summer beach story.

Grey Lupindo:  Were you able to combine both story lines?

Grease Coakes nods:   Rio shows up in the book, and he meets with Ginny and Phil, her father.  I won't say how or why they meet though.  But what Phil shows to Rio is pretty amazing as he works for a tech firm.

Grey Lupindo: Cool!  So how do readers find your book?

 Grease Coakes:   I just got the cover picture last night so it's not ready yet.   But when it's ready it will be on

Grey Lupindo: Will it be out in time for Christmas sales?

Grease Coakes:  Oh yeah, it shouldn't be long. 


         Grease and I continued to chat for a few more minutes about writing and Second Life.   He gave me a short excerpt from the newest Ginny Griffin book.   Like his first book, this one is set in the colorful town of Spoonville.  He has created an imaginative world where the art teacher, Ms. Harriet Hotchkiss, is a cobalt blue peacock and the children, like Harry Hyena, are animals.   But  real-life children will soon realize that the fictional children face a lot of the same issues and obstacles that they do.  They should be able to relate to the characters as they are entertained by the imaginary world.   

        “Ginny Griffin and Friends” by real-life author John Krauss will be available soon in the children’s book section of    

Grey Lupindo

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Steelhead Elections: Interview With Jobias Barthelmess

By Bixyl Shuftan

When Steelhead held it's election campaign for mayor recently, there were three candidates. Besides the incumbent TotalLunar Eclipse, two challengers came forward to run for the office. They were Willow Leafstorm, the owner of the Green Fairy club, and Jobias Barthelmess, whom was most well known for his attempted shooting of the community's sheriff Fuzzball Ortega. Jobias has been associated with other misdeeds, but none of those were proven. He also has a known bias against nonhumans, a definite negative in this community were elves, fae, weres, furs, nekoes, humans, and others socialize and do business freely. During the debate, Jobias was mocked by many of those in the audience, and even he himself admitted he wasn't the most popular candidate.

The elections went on as planned on August 6, with most feeling Jobias didn't have a chance at winning. But when the results were announced at the town meeting a week later, the results shocked the crowd. Jobias had gotten the majority of the ballots! How could he have gotten this, many openly wondered, feeling the votes had somehow been tampered with. While Lunar argued for calm, some such as Willow would hear none of accepting the "scoundrel and criminal" as mayor.

Soon afterward, I was going by the newly opened Steelhead public schoolhouse when I noticed two adults inside talking. Getting closer, I noticed they were Lunar, whom had built the place, and Jobias. Lunar saw me, and invited me in. Turning to the man in black, "Mr Barthemless, unless you're officially in office you can't fire anyone." Jobias regarded me momentarily, "Oh, *that* Fox News," then turned to back to Lunar, "Once the recount's done, however, and I'm sworn in office …" Lunar sighed, "Yes, after you've been sworn into office, the oath is taken, the paddling of fish then you're mayor." "Now, please, leave us," Jobias told the elven figure, "Your ears are distracting me. Finish my Town Hall!" Lunar stared at the mustached man for a moment, then simply commented, "Alright, play nice. Take care Bixyl." He then walked to the doors and left.

Bixyl Shuftan: "Good evening Jobias. It seems congratulations are in order."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Yes, well, THEY are demanding a recount. But, not to worry, I shall be sworn into office soon."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Oh yes, as I recall, your apparent victory took many by surprise."

Jobias Barthelmess: "And yet, I was declared the winner. Which is a good thing, because one thing that Steelhead City has been lacking is proper leadership, as well as utilizing the surrounding land properly."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How has it been lacking in leadership? And what's wrong with how it uses it's resources?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Well, not to offend, but let's just say that there are times that good old fashioned HUMAN know how works best in situations."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Oh, please explain?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "It's just the natural order of things. Nothing more needs to be said."

Bixyl Shuftan: (raises an eyebrow) "What natural order of things, might I ask?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Humans are superior. Look at some of the great minds of our time. Professor James Moriarty, Human. Doctor Fu Manchu, Human."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Hmmm, so those people are examples you're giving as superior humans?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "But of course. And, like me, are misunderstood."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Ah yes, it does seem your apparent victory has caused much discussion. Perhaps .... we could put a few matters to rest with this interview."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Yes, thank you."

Bixyl Shuftan: "To begin with, how did you decide to come to Steelhead?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Merely traveling along, and ran across this town. Not realizing that Ortega had been living here for sometime before I arrived."

Bixyl Shuftan: "You knew of Marshal Ortega before coming here?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Oh yes. His true name is Ortegavich. I had made an attempt at leadership in the past. The ruler of Moldavia, which is located in Eastern Europe, was, much like here in Steelhead, not utilizing his country to it's fullest potential. Ortegavich's wolf tribe, as well as other tribes, over threw me, and placed the buffoon I replaced back in power."

Bixyl Shuftan: "So your problems with him are because he's one of this particular tribe?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "That and a mangy mutt. They made him Marshal of this town, and yet, he's obviously useless."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How is he useless?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "All these others claiming that THEY protect Steelhead. Obviously, he's not right for the job."

Bixyl Shuftan: "One would think a werewolf would be quite useful in detering crime."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Attracting fleas, perhaps. It's time for changes in Steelhead, bringing industry here, making Steelhead the place to bring a bright future for mankind. Oh, yes, and of course, all non humans to wear collars. No particular reason, just something Professor Moriarty had suggested." ((Cuz I'm EEEEVIL!))

Bixyl Shuftan: *raises an eyebrow* "Collars? I assume you mean something other than shirt collars?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "No, I mean collars, like the one the Elf was wearing. It will keep them in line."

Bixyl Shuftan:  *keeps a straight face as he takes notes, but his tail flickers and bristles in an irritated manner* "Exactly what seems to be the problem as far as humans, and the various other races are concerned?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "It just does not seem natural."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Going back to the industry, what's wrong with the economic rate of growth the region already has?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "I mentioned this at the debate. They could do so much better than what they've done. Look at New Babbage. That's a prime example of what Steelhead could be. ONce I'm officially sworn in, trees in Steelhead and Nevermoor will be chopped down and large factories will be built. Also, in St. Helens, there will be strip mining. May also have the mines of Boomtown re-opened."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Why were those mines closed, might I ask?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "I'm not sure. I'll have to ask the Elf at our next meeting."

Bixyl Shuftan: "As for the strip mining and forest felling, well, there seemed to be a great deal of resistance to the idea at public meetings."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Ah, the primitives fear change. Not to worry, they'll get used to the idea."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Durring the meetings there were a few references to your, previous activities in Steelhead. Could you explain what these activities were?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Ah….well…..I had a ......... " *fidgets*

Bixyl Shuftan: "Yes?" *has pencil and paper in hand*

Jobias Barthelmess: "Nervous breakdown."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Nervous breakdown?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Yes, that's it. Nervous breakdown."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Interesting, Please explain."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Slightly delusional, it seemed I wanted to harm the mangy mu......I mean, Marshal Ortega. Apparently, I did shoot him with a silver bullet. But I've no memory of this." *tries to look innocent*

Bixyl Shuftan: "Oh yes, I believe Lunar mentioned it, and at the debate, you admitted to this."

Jobias Barthelmess: "But the doctor's at the sanitarium in Caledon took care of me, and I'm quite alright now."

Bixyl Shuftan: "I see." *takes notes* "Also, Lunar mentioned you had a few debts."

Jobias Barthelmess: "A Barthelmess repays all his debts. If I have any, I assure you, they WILL be paid off."

Bixyl Shuftan: *takes more notes* "Then there's the matter of the youth of the town. As I understand your plans mentioned at the debate were, less than well received."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Well, we can't have them running about, unattended. So, working in the proposed factories, and in the mine would be quite useful to them. Have them earn their keep, learn to be part of the workforce. Some of them smell bad already, so they're used to sweat and grime, obviously."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Well, if them running around is the question, why not just keep them in school, like the one we're in now?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Well, they're not always in school, now are they? Can't lock them in here 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Already checked into that, I can't get away with it.....I mean.....Ummmm....NEXT QUESTION!" *pulls out a hankerchief and wipes his brow, muttering, "this reporter's good." *

Bixyl Shuftan: *has trouble keeping from cracking a grin and takes more notes* "Yes, um, as I recall, there were some concerns about voter security, about how the box seemed a little flimsy. Any comments?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Well, the Elf said all votes would be safe in the box. If they're concerned about the box being flimsy, they should blame him. Not me."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Hmmm, it was my observation it was he who thought it looked flimsy."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Well, *I* didn't put it there. I had suggested helping out with the elections, but was rejected. Thankfully, I was allowed to run."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Curious how you chose to run under, what was it, the Villians Party?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "That's what they refer to me as. A villain. Myself, Moriarty, Fu Manchu, Thomas Edison….."

Bixyl Shuftan: *raises an eyebrow* "How is Thomas Edison a villain?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Gaining credit for 'his' invention. " ((He stole the lightbulb.))

Bixyl Shuftan: "So, in your opinion, there needs to be more villains in politics?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "If you mean those poor misunderstood soles that were labeled as villains? Yes. Perhaps some to run news sources as well. The truth needs to be told."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Well, I shouldn't comment about my establishment's competition *restrains a smirk* "Let's see, being a villain, how well acquainted are you with the town's lawyers?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "The one's here are too nice."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Too nice? Please explain?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Just like many others in this town. They're too soft. One of the reasons this city is so behind others, and not living up to it's full potential."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Like Remmington Pion, who ordered this special election?"

Jobias Barthelmess: "Yes. I believe he favored the elf to win the election. None of them realized how well liked I really am in Steelhead."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Interesting. In the debates you admitted you had some problems with your image."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Well, I will admit that I'm surprised to be the victor, but the results seem to be clear, and once the recount has been done, it will be made more clear. I AM the new mayor of Steelhead City, and a new dawn shall rise on this Pacific Northwest town."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Yes, after the recount. And as I understand it, a number of the others are demanding a very thorough count of the votes, including Willow Leafstorm."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Probably jealous because she didn't win."

Bixyl Shuftan: "She does seem very determined to keep an eye on you."

Jobias Barthelmess: "Yes, well, if that truly bothered me, I wouldn't be in Steelhead."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Let's see," *looks at his notes* "Was there anything we haven't covered?"

Jobias Barthelmess: You have my plans for Steelhead? Factories, mining, etc. Bringing a bright future to Steelhead. ((Poor misunderstood soul that I am)) I believe that we covered everything.......and some that will place me in a negative light."

"Now I have grown bored of your questions. Go, place your article."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Allright, see you at the recount. I'm sure it'll be ... interesting."

It was about then that I left the schoolhouse, and looking behind I could see Jobias slipping out, and heading away into the shadows.

Since the interview, the controversy over the Mayoral election continues. There's been talk of organizing a group of "Brownjackets" to make sure Jobias doesn't get the job. It's doubtful collars will be part of the group's dress code.

The next town meeting at Steelhead is Tuesday night, August 20th.

Editor's Note: The town election campaign was set up as a community roleplay, with "the Jobias Barthelmess character was created for the sole purpose of having an avatar that folks would love to hate."

Bixyl Shuftan

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How to Run a Club

By Kitacelia

There are many ways to run a club. Several have different themes for the club itself, steampunk, country/western, biker, outer space, beach club, fantasy, retro/classic, techno, gothic, heavy metal, punk etc The music  played may or may not match the club style or a contest theme  Some have contests with prizes to bring people in. Boards can be set up in a number of ways, everything from everyone can join and vote, to only group members may join and only those in the contest may vote.  Some clubs have a single board, while different clubs may have two, separated by gender or contest entries, some are even designed so that those who stay for the entire event have more of a chance to win.

It can be winner take all or split so that everyone with a vote gets something. Sometimes there is a fee to enter the contest, which adds to or even makes up the entire prize. Certain clubs welcome all sorts of avatars within reason(nothing insanely huge or that breaks terms of service rules)  Others are limited to say humans, men or women only.

 Some clubs have bars, games, trivia and or exotic dancers to bring guests into their clubs.  Several clubs use hostesses to run contests, promote events, support DJs greet people, give out tags and make conversation with guests. Hosts and DJs may be paid an hourly wage on top of tips in some cases, in others they may work for all tips, where you provide your own tip jar, usually they don't take a cut of tips, in other cases in which they provide the tip jars, a percentage of tips is often given to the owners which can be anything between 10-20 percent of tips.

Other clubs may only have DJs, and rely on the DJ , club manager or even the other to send notices.  Most clubs send 2-3 notices, one a few minutes before the event, one at halftime and occasionally at the start of said event as well.  Sometimes the DJ and/or host is required to promote products/services or nearby shopping.

Some clubs have sploders, which is a kind of gambling allowed in SL.  In some cases they give a little money back to each participant.    Many clubs prevent currently working staff from entering the contests.  In some cases the host and greeter are separate jobs, the greeter is basically just that, says hello, welcome to the club etc and possibly gives out group invites/tags.      

Some clubs have a bar tender who both roleplays and uses bar props to simulate a real life bar style experience.   As far as applications they can be anything from name, times available and one or two basic questions to a few pages, describing a number of hypothetical scenarios.

An example of a particularly poorly run club, is one where they spam members with notices every 20 minutes.  As well as not removing old staff who do not actively work there.   Gesturbating by guests is tolerated.    There is no set schedule.   Hosts are expected to promote the radio, with no contest, in a club that lacks, games, a bar, and other forms of amusement to draw in guests.  Staff is required to put up their own money for contests, and even when the contest is paid for they may have to front the money as it is not given to them in a timely fashion. Come as you are is a common theme and being naked always qualifies.  This results in many people bringing in alts, who vote for each other, knowing they will win something with any votes, who stand there unresponsive for most of the event.

While I don't pretend to be an expert on this subject, this is based on what I have observed/ experienced over the last almost year, working in clubs and being a guest at various clubs.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Interview with TotalLunar Eclipse

By Bixyl Shuftan

With the Steelhead mayoral elections this week, Second Life Newser was able to get a hold of the two candidates expected to have a good shot at winning. Last week, we interviewed leading challenger Willow Leafstorm about the election and what she would do if victorious. This weekend, I sat down with TotalLunar Eclipse, the incumbent candidate. Besides the election, we talked about how he and his wife Tensai ended up in Steelhead and their history there.

Bixyl Shuftan: For those readers who know little about Steelhead, how would you describe yourself?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Physically, I am a moon elf that has taken up being an apprentice mason.

Bixyl Shuftan: How did you come to be in Steelhead?

TotalLunar Eclipse: It was an accident, Tensai and I were running from an angry mob, and we took whatever train could take us to wherever wouldn't ask us too many questions. We took the train to the end of the line, and it was Steelhead."

Bixyl Shuftan: Interesting. What may I ask sparked this angry mob?

TotalLunar Eclipse: (chuckles), At the time I was the hired hand and Tensai was the scientist. Mad scientist I should add. And that was near seven years ago.

Bixyl Shuftan: And getting to Steelhead, how did things go?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Steelhead was perhaps the most friendly place we've ever been to. They saw mad scientist, and accepted it readily (smiles).

Bixyl Shuftan: So you found many like-minded people here?

TotalLunar Eclipse: We found many open minded people here. Everyone has a different tale to tell and they're unique in their own right.

Bixyl Shuftan: And how did your tale go in the first few years?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Steelhead is where I began my trade, building and stonemasonry. I focused on that and Tensai focused on her science.

Bixyl Shuftan: As a builder, what projects have you been the most proud of?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Lately? The new station, the RFL build which is the new city hall.

Bixyl Shuftan: The Relay build was made into a permanent building? Interesting. I take it some Relayers will be pleased to hear that.

TotalLunar Eclipse: Yes, that's our new town hall. It is not down yet as I have to make it more useful to what we need it for but it is the same.

Bixyl Shuftan: What other builds have gotten attention over time?

TotalLunar Eclipse: The sun pagoda in Shanghai, Vista House and Multnomah Falls and the landscaping in St Helens and Nevermoor. Ahh, the building we are in now, this is the new schoolhouse.

Bixyl Shuftan: Looks good. I take it this will be able to suit the needs of all the local youngsters?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Yes, two classrooms so we can have areas for labs, etc.

Bixyl Shuftan: Laboratories? Are these what would normally be found in schools, or are there accommodations for, "mad scientists" in training?

TotalLunar Eclipse: We have our own grade of mad scientists or sons/daughters of notable mad scientists. So science/technology is something we have to focus on.

Bixyl Shuftan: How did you become the mayor of this community?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Would you believe for the longest time I was not? The founder of Steelhead, Kattryn Severine was mayor. Though she left SL a very long time ago, only checking in with Tensai and I on occasion. Finally she released Steelhead to me in full ownership not too long ago. So technically I've been Mayor only about a year.

Bixyl Shuftan: One year ago, what would you say are your best accomplishments as mayor?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Expanding Steelhead Six times its original size.

Bixyl Shuftan: Impressive

TotalLunar Eclipse: Thank you

Bixyl Shuftan: Were there any happenings you had a part in you'd like to mention? Any negotiations with neighbors?

TotalLunar Eclipse: We have had relations with other Steamland sims we'd like to strengthen and grow upon. Steelhead is a city of friends and that friendship has lasted a very long time for Second Life.

Bixyl Shuftan: Any incidents while you've been mayor?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Yes, in Shanghai there were mobs that took a great deal of time to clear out and many disappearances that are still left unsolved.

Bixyl Shuftan: How were those dealt with?

TotalLunar Eclipse: We had a team of undercover investigators and those who infiltrated the mafia. We were able to catch them at the crime and arrest them

Bixyl Shuftan: Mafia? Sounds serious.

TotalLunar Eclipse : (nods) A dangerous fae with her ear more to the floor than mine own.

Bixyl Shuftan: What fae was this?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Aoi Steamweaver is her name. She and her band of fae mercenaries finally returned to China.

Bixyl Shuftan: So she seems to be gone for good?

TotalLunar Eclipse: I do hope so though we are never fully aware if that family will return or another family will come in to take its place.

Bixyl Shuftan: Going to more recent matters, what inspired that bet between you and Jimmy Branagh?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Oh. just teacher against student in my mind. Obviously a very bad move, heh.

Bixyl Shuftan:  (chuckles a bit) So it seemed like a harmless publicity stunt. At least until someone, as the story goes, found a technicality in the local law.

TotalLunar Eclipse: (nods) The lawyers are so finicky.

Bixyl Shuftan: For the record, which lawyer was this?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Remington Pinon, my personal legal consultant and lawyer in Steelhead.

Bixyl Shuftan: Whom were you expecting to be running against before the candidates were announced?

TotalLunar Eclipse: To be honest, no one. This position requires long hours, a lot of time invested into it and I do little else beside it. Most know to stay away from government position.

Bixyl Shuftan: Two challengers stepped up, Willow Leafstorm, and Jobias Barthelmess. How much of a surprise were they?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Willow was not a suprise as she'd expressed interest in the politics of Steelhead before. Jobias though... I am rather surprised he would subject himself to public ridicule after the incidents he involved himself in.

Bixyl Shuftan: I think one such incident was mentioned at the debate, but for the readers could you describe them, or at least the more noteable ones?

TotalLunar Eclipse: As a rule I do not slander people especially opponents but Jobias has been involved in past transgressions involving Fuzzball Ortega and his desire to rule Steelhead.

Bixyl Shuftan: At the debates, I believe there was mentioned an incident involving a silver bullet.

TotalLunar Eclipse: Yes, he shot our sheriff and as you know Fuzz is a lycan. So silver is quite lethal.

Bixyl Shuftan: Well, the sheriff is obviously alive and well. Was he a bad shot, or did something else go wrong?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Fuzz outwitted Jobias, he was never in any danger. But... Jobias has done his time and since then has led a relatively quiet life.

Bixyl Shuftan: Willow expressed some concerns about what Jobias would do if elected, although felt he stood almost no chance of winning.

TotalLunar Eclipse: He is not a favorite among many. His intolerance for those of us who are not human blood is quite evident.

Bixyl Shuftan: And even among humans, I understand he's not seen much better?

TotalLunar Eclipse: No, he hires henchmen only to not pay them, gets out loans and such to fund his former terrorism ways and doesn't repay. So banks are unwilling to lend to him anymore.

Bixyl Shuftan: Between you and Willow, this seems to be a campaign of limited stakes. Her only issue about you, if one can call it that, is being both Steelhead's builder and mayor at once is too taxing and strenuous.

TotalLunar Eclipse: At this point of time it is quite taxing on me but that's why I have ambassadors that run things for me. I will be utilizing them more in the upcoming months. That is if I win *smiles*

Bixyl Shuftan: So you feel Willow has an even chance of besting you?

TotalLunar Eclipse: I shouldn't say anything concerning other's candidacy. *smiles* But I feel she is a good speaker and has given her speeches and ideas a great deal of thought.

Bixyl Shuftan: Gotcha. Well, other than what you already mentioned, what would your goals be under another term as mayor?

TotalLunar Eclipse: I am taking what Willow has said to heart and utilizing my ambassadors more, finding different ways to advertise the sim and getting more citizens involved in its upkeep. I always feel like I am imposing asking someone to do something, but I should get out of my shell and let others assist.

Bixyl Shuftan: Let's see ... I haven't brought up Tensai until now. What has she thought about the election?

TotalLunar Eclipse: She chuckles under her breath about it, says I shouldn't do things... exactly to the law.

Bixyl Shuftan: (chuckles a bit) That covers most of our questions. Though if you don't mind, might I ask about that device on your wrist?

TotalLunar Eclipse: My typewriter? Certainly, its a beautiful device made for me. With moon elves the males, after a certain maturity, become empathic. And they lose their ability to speak, it's all telepathic. This is just a voice enhancer, as I am getting older and my voice is losing its volume.

Bixyl Shuftan: Oh, sorry to hear that, Lunar.

TotalLunar Eclipse: That's alright about my voice, it is replaced by the coolness of this device.

Bixyl Shuftan: Was there anything else you wanted to mention?

TotalLunar Eclipse: Anything else? Nay, just that I would be very honored to steward Steelhead again as I have for years prior.

Bixyl Shuftan: If that's everything, thank you again for your time.

TotalLunar Eclipse: Thank you Bixyl.

The Steelhead mayoral elections begin on Tuesday August 6, and the voting closes On Friday August 9th. The winner will be announced at the Tuesday Town Hall meeting.

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Steelhead's Mayoral Elections: Willow Leafstorm

In The Steelhead Community these days, the big event is the campaign for the job of mayor. Three candidates are competing for the job. They are incumbent TotalLunar Eclipse and two challengers, Willow Leafstorm (Zoelass Resident), and Jobias Barthelmess. I recently had a chance to talk with Willow about the elections.

"I'm hoping the elections will be interesting and turn out lots of people to vote," Willow told me just after meeting up with her. Talking about how the campaign got started, it went back to June 23rd when Lunar and one of the youngsters, Jimmy Branagh both entered the Sumo wrestling matches. Lunar made a bet he couldn't lose, saying if Jimmy won he'd be mayor for a week. And as it turned out the scrappy street urchin beat him.

As luck would have it, it wasn't just as simple as making Jimmy honorary mayor for a week. Willow explained, "Through some technicality in the Steelhead bylaws, Lunar would have to be re-elected to his position of Mayor in order to be re-seated as Mayor. Of course this meant that there would have to be elections. At first everyone thought it was just going to be nominations, but then there was an application process. The Baron (Klaus Wulfenbach) had expressed interest in running, but had missed the application deadline. … some people weren't willing to run in the first place. Then we discovered that this Jobias Barthelmess had applied."

As for the third candidate Jobias, Willow described him as a classic mouthstached black-hatted villain, "He is a scoundrel and rogue … he couldn't even come to the meeting when they announced the candidates. Truly bad form." Of his plans, "He is determined to destroy the trees in St. Helens and set up factories and Strip mine Boomtown. Then he wants to 'rid Steelhead of all undesirables and only allow the right people to live in Steelhead.' I take it to mean from his statements that includes all non-humans including fae. I can not let him do that."

Willow had more reasons to run besides the man in the black hat, "I just want to help out my community. Not just the fae that live here, but Nevermoor as well. We have not been represented in the Steelhead council. There are a number of Steelhead Ambassadors, but as far as I can tell none from Nevermoor. We are a newer region in Steelhead with a newer population. Many of, if not all, of the Ambassadors are ones that have been here for at least 5 or more years."

And what would Willow's goals be as mayor? "First would be to make sure each region would be represented with councilors. Next, organize the community to help promote Steelhead to bring people in to Steelhead and have volunteer greeters. There are also empty lots in Steelhead city, I think we need to put something in them until they can be rented like park space or structures. Nobody, explores empty lots. Plus, we need more landscaping in the city. Toss in a few trees and add some flower beds. Things that will attract people to our town and want to move here."

"Finally," the challenger stated, "I noticed as I fly around there is a lot of prim trash out there. We need to clear the skies of the debris. … I was going to fly home from an event a few weeks ago and I took a leap from the platform where the dance was held and nearly smacked myself on a piece of floating prim. These things get away from people as they build and just hang around in the air. That stuff just collects after a number of years." She wondered if while building, some things just floated away from some building sites when the builder's attention was occupied, "Then there are things that former residents leave up there. Half completed projects and skyboxes."

Of the upcoming debates, Willow spoke, "I still have to polish up my statements. It would be nice to know in advance what the questions asked would be." The fae then grinned, "Jobless Bathtubmess doesn't have a chance." I asked if she expected turnout to be heavy, "It's hard to say, it depends if the rest of the community is going to sit up and take notice. I have been getting my voter base motivated to vote." Asking her who she thought her voting base was, her first response was the residents of Nevermoor, then she added, "any other non-humans who don't want to see Barthelmess win. As I told Lunar at last Tuesday's meeting, May the best fae win."

Our time soon came to a close. I asked Willow what else she had to say. She concluded, "Just that being mayor and also responsible for building and maintaining a town like Steelhead is a big job for just one person to handle. And of Course Vote Willow Leafstorm for Mayor."

We then parted ways. We would meet again a couple days later on Friday August 2nd for the debates. The election itself takes place on Tuesday August 6th, will ballots able to be turned in until Friday August 9th. The winner of the mayoral race will be announced on Tues Aug 13th.

Bixyl Shuftan