@ Action News

Argon -- Editor
Ba'ar -- Associate Editor

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SpinDizzy celebrates seventh birthday

Saturday, October 8, 2005, marked the seventh years of fun, whimsey and imagination here on SpinDizzy.

Begun in 1998 after the loss of Toons Furr and Fluff muck, each year new and old residents alike celebrate the longevity and fellowship of SpinDizzy. With a very dedicated Admin staff, a devoted server Wiz, and the wonderful group of characters and players that have found their way here.

This year, the Rose Garden, the center of SpinDizzy's social scene, was decorated for the party:

The Rose Garden(#304RLJ)
Small motor boats putter around the central fountain, now and then bumping the cement edge of the pond. Similar boats putter along the canals reaching out in the cardinal directions alongside the grass walkways.

Roses -- blinking like carnival lights, with peppy organ music humming in the background -- grow in concentric ring segments bracketing the fountain, the variety of trees, and the curled plastic benches. The bulletin board -- a vertical orange wall otherwise unsupported -- stands next to the small drinking fountain.

Ribbons and streamers drift through the air -- sometimes gathering like stormclouds -- and a few small balloons (some simple oblates spheroids, some in animal shapes) float around and bring their music to the park. Somewhere in the distance a Ferris wheel brings people a couple hundred feet up. A monorail roller coaster track starts from somewhere in the distance, and the ribbon of plastic twists around above the garden.

PAtch O'Black, local Jellicle cat put together a nice Crystal Merry-Go-Round that everyone enjoyed. Even the Society of Evildoers contributed to the party atmosphere by sending its SED blimp out to look for lost caterers, and Lou, local magical palm civet made some special coffee beans through its unique processes.

Everyone had a good time and enjoyed chatting about old times and good times to come. Here's to the first of many more great years on SpinDizzy! Carosel

Tami has last laugh

Morticon, local wallaby and alledged leader of the Society of Evil Doers (SED) raised the suspicions of many with a notice he had a life sized "staue" of Tami, local coyote, made of clay. Saying he had it on display nearby, several folks went over to see what was going on.

Upon arrival at Downtown SinDizzy, the group found Morticon, Dolly, local Balloon Genie, and what appeared to be a perfect reproduction of Tami made of clay. Morticon started right off with a sales pitch assuring the somewhat dubious group that this was indeed a "reproduction", he even made a point of asking a somewhat sheepish Dolly to confirm the point. Dolly stayed silent and this raised the suspicions of folks even further. Morticon made it clear he expected auction Tami off to the highest bidder.

This set those who wanted to see Tami saved againt those who might have other plans for the coyote. Although a member of the SED, no one wanted to see any great harm come to Tami, and the auction began.

Morticon started asking for a bid of 20 shinies. From there the bidding war began with Terra, local mink bidding against NeverNever, local demon-spawn, with Andrew, local centaur tossing a bid in now and again. Finally, NeverNever won the auction for the clay Tami.

NeverNever was quite happy with this arrangement and was preparing to pack up the Tami statue, which was fooling no one, when Morticon asked Dolly to do him a service. Dolly in addition to being a Balloonie was a genie and somehow was "owned" by Morticon and was obligated to grant his wishes whether she wanted to or not. This is how Tami was turned to clay to begin with. Morticon's disgust of centaurs again showed itself as he ordered Dolly to turn Argon and Andrew to clay! This of course angered the centaurs' friends, one of whom, Theon'drae, local dragon, demanded Morticon have them returned to normal or be reduced to a pile of sizzling meat.

After a while, Morticon saw the logic of the dragon's argument and seeing he wasn't going to get the huge amount of money he had hoped for from NeverNever, he grabbed what he could of value from the demon and as he hopped off ordered Dolly to return not only Argon and Andrew to normal, but Tami too. NeverNever put a stop to the wallaby's retreat as she summoned a glowing golden sphere. Morticon, seeing this, again demanded payment for Tami from the demon. NeverNever strangly offered the sphere to Morticon without argument.

Morticon took the sphere in his paws with a look of victory and greed but his expression soon changed to one of shock as the golden glow of the sphere spead to his hands and then up his arms leaving him turned to solid gold in the wake of the glow. It spread over his whole body and soon where once had stood Morticon, stood a solid gold life sized statue of the wallaby with a very shocked look on its face.

With this completed, NeverNever then demanded that Tami come with her claiming that as she had won the auction, Tami was her's. It was pointed out that Never had won an auction for a statue of Tami as stated several times by Morticon, not the real thing. Tami then demanded she be allowed to have the Morticon "statue". NeverNever argued that if she couldn't have Tami she wanted the statue. Leading to what appeared to be a stalemate.

Tami then suggested that instead of taking her, NeverNever take her "twin" sister, MetalTami, a coyote made of metal. NeverNever agreed to this and as Metal Tami arrived, Never took a second gold sphere and turned MetalTami into gold! She then draped the solid gold coyote over her shoulder and walked off.

With a very heavy gold wallaby in her possesion, Tami found getting it home to be a problem. Argon, now fully recovered from having been turned to clay, offered to assist Tami by carrying the statue to Tami's house. Upon arrival, Argon was suprised to find MetalTami, still made of solid gold waiting there. Already being made of metal, having the metal parts turned to gold caused no ill effects in the metal coyote.

As of press time, Tami, MetalTami, Argon and Andrew were all in good health and Morticon was still solid gold and apparently still in Tami's bedroom. See the SED notice below for additional information.

Morticon to offer reward to be made normal again!

Morticon, local evil wallaby and leader of the feared SED, announced that anyone who is even remotely involved in turning him back to normal is eligible for a big reward! The wallaby 'spoke' in Morse code using a battery, buzzer, and some wire hooked up to his solid gold body. The reward was announced in order to speed his recovery, and to reach those who otherwise might not have considered helping. He also said he is being held at Tami's home, though it was not mentioned where that was.

Polar bear "Doctor"

Argon, local centaur, was complaining of a cough in his upper lungs, the ones in his human torso. Centaurs with two sets of lungs like aArgon, one set in the human torso and another in the equine aspect take special care to see that any problems in the upper lungs don't spread to the lower set.

Hearing Argon's concern, Borris, local polar bear brought out his pack and began mixing a concoction to treat the centaur's malady. Mixing together a number of herbs, spices and other chemicals, along with a healthy shot of vodka, Borris offered a steaming cup of green colored liquid to the centaur. Being assured that the alcohol in the vodka had evaporated away, Argon shruged and swallowed the concoction.

A moment passed and then Argon's face turned red, then blue, then green and finally a plaid color. His eyes spun around and his tail stuck straight out. He jumped about 10 feet in the air as blue birds flew in a circle around his head. As steam shot out of his ears with the sound of a steam whistle, Argon fell back to the ground and collapsed!

Borris, taking all this in stride assured shocked onlookers that this was perfectly normal. The group was a bit concerned as the centaur just lay on the ground for about five minutes.

Soon however, Argon came to himself and after gathering his senses got to his hooves and regained his composure. He then coughed. Borris said his treatment would take effect in about 24 hours.

As of presstime, Argon still had his cough but it had improved considerably.

Andrew gets new shoes

Andrew, local centaur, mentioned that he was going to have to get new horseshoes soon. Centaurs, like horses, have hooves which need to be protected. As their hooves grow, the nails that hold the shoes to the hoof work loose and need to be replaced.

DTF, local wolf, noted he had some experience in farrier work and offered to shoe Andrew. Looking to Argon, local centaur, he agreed in spite of some hesitancy. Andrew had been shod once before and still wasn't quite used to the process/

DTF started a fire and used a "birdcage bellows" to get a hot fire going. He pulled some shoes of the right size out of his bag and began heating thewm in the now white hot coals of the fire. Using an anvil he'd asked Andrew to fetch, the wolf expertly shaped the shoes and quenched their heat in a bucket of water. Using a stand for Andrew to support his leg in, he went to each hoof filing and shapping them and expertly mounting the shoes.

With some concern, the wolf noted an injury on Andrew's foreleg and using a special tool extracted a piece of glass from the frog of the centaur's hoof. He poured peroxide over the wound. Andrew found that he wasn't even aware of the injury, but it has bothered him the last few days.

Argon suggested that if it didn't feel better by Monday, he ought to see a veterinarian. Like a diabetic, centaurs must take special care of their hooves.

Soul_Food For Thought: Basic Construction Part 2

Part 2 - The process of shaping a part of the fabric of SpinDizzy to your imagination is not nearly so difficult as some might think; in fact, the only limits to what you can accomplish lay in your energy and ambition. Still, it is best to start small, in order to grasp the fundamentals. Then, once mastered, you can turn your newfound capacities to greater things.

Once again, I turn you over to Narrator, which will provide exact steps which anyfur can follow.

- Soul_Fox


Last time, instructions had been provided for creating a Tool Kit, an easily-referenced resource for building commands. As well, you were given the command to create your very own room. What follows assumes you have done both.

Type "lookat Tool Kit". Notice the list of tools. The first is Xdigger. Type "lookat Tool Kit's Xdigger" ("l Kit's Xdigger" works just as well). This command string is used in a room you already own, creating the exit to the next room, and the return exit. Thus, you will likely never have occasion to use the simple @dig command again, so long as you are building off a room you own.

Let us assume that the first room you created is called Living Room. Now, suppose you want to attach a dining room. You should create a new file with that name for your construction folder, and record these next steps. Then, you would type:

@xdig Dining Room=[D]ining [R]oom;dining room;dining;dr=[L]iving [R]oom;living room;living;lr;exit;leave;out;o

You will, again, see a prompt indicating the dbref (database reference number) of your new room; you should save that in the file you created to record your construction on this room, as directed last week. The exit names could be simpler, but, the strings described provide flexibility, as I shall explain.

The string [D]ining [R]oom;dining room;dining;dr lists all the possible commands for the exit to the Dining Room. Only the first name, [D]ining [R]oom, is visible in the Living Room. The others after the ; are invisible. This means if you type [D]ining [R]oom, or any other individual exit command from this string, you will move into the Dining Room. The reason for [bracketing] the first letters on the visible exit name is to indicate that that letter pair, dr, will work as shorter command. The alternate commands are not absolutely necessary, but, they are all the likely commands someone may feel like typing in to use your exit.

The string [L]iving [R]oom;living room;living;lr;exit;leave;out;o represents the exit back from the new Dining Room. Again, only [L]iving [R]oom will be visible, but any of the other commands in the list will work. Important note: exit;leave;out;o should be on every outbound exit. It is actually a requirement of the SD Builder's Code that a character should be able to find their way all the way out of any area by typing one of those commands repeatedly.

This brings up two points. First, with the exception of "o" it is strongly recommended that no exit command be less than two characters long. Otherwise, it is much easier for a random, single-letter typo to unintentionally move you through an exit. Second, it is also important to think about certain letter combinations which, as exits, might override useful global commands, such as wa or fa. If you want an exit, for example, named Western Armory, you might wish to name it [W]estern [Ar]mory;western armory;western;war...

Of course, you may not wish to "label" your exits so obviously, though there is certainly nothing wrong with doing so. You might as easily call the exit to your Dining Room [W]est [O]ak Door;west oak door;west oak;wo... And leave it to others to discover for themselves what lies beyond.

Xdigger is your primary tool in expanding your holdings. It is very important, however, to keep in mind a strong image of the relationships between rooms you construct. Unless your area is built after the works of M.C. Escher, some degree of coherency will allow it to have a meaningful structure. It might also be helpful to you to sketch out a map of your environment on paper. It needn't be an architectural blueprint; a rough sketch can suffice.

Now, suppose you wanted a garden porch which opened onto both the Living Room and Dining Room? The first part is very simple. You would enter the Dining Room and type:

@xdig Garden Porch=[G]arden [P]orch;garden porch;garden;porch;gp=[D]ining [R]oom;dining room;dining;dr;exit;leave;out;o

This creates the Garden Porch, complete with return exit (you could as easily have created it from the Living Room). However, in order to also create reciprocal exits between the Garden Porch and the Living Room, you need to use another Tool in your Tool Kit. You would enter the Garden Porch, then type:

l Kit's Backlink Opener (or, just l Kit's backlink).

You might also wish to type "ex here". The ex command shows you all the properties of anything you own, including yourself. If you ex something which belongs to someone else, you will only learn to whom it belongs. Ex a room you own, and you will see the invisible commands for the exits, among other things.

Ex is mainly useful to identify the dbref, or, database reference number, of a room or item. This can be very important for using the next command, if you have not recorded the dbrefs of all your rooms.

In order to link the two unconnected rooms (this assumes you are in the Garden Porch), you would then type: @backlink [L]iving [R]oom;living room;living;lr=#12345,[G]arden [P]orch;garden porch;garden;porch;gp

The listed dbref, of course, would be the dbref for the Living Room (remember that you saved it to your construction file?). Also note that, in this case, neither of the exit strings use exit;leave;out;o. This is because you have already designated another exit from each room with that string, which makes those exits the default way out. Thus, you have created a circular arrangement of rooms, ready for description.

Keep in mind that you can build on any scale. You may build a studio apartment (if that is all you desire), or, you can, with time and enough shinies (though, to find a way to use up all your shinies defies likelihood), construct a planet, a solar system, or even a galaxy, depending on how much detail you wish to use.

You may wish to try the command "editroom" (only from a room you own), to examine some of the additional options. Editroom is analogous to editplayer in many ways, and as easy to master, if not more so. I strongly recommend using the room desc feature in editroom, and to convert to MPI when prompted. I will provide additional instruction in use of editroom and your tool kit...

Next time.


In Step With: Tanuki


This week, we sit down to have a chat with Tanuki, local, well, *grins* Tanuki.

Tanuki has arrived.

"Hi there," barks Tanuki.

Ba'ar smiles "Hello Tanuki, and thanks for the interview."

"No problem," barks Tanuki.

Ba'ar growls, "Okay let's start. Our readers know about you and some have even met you 'in the pelt' as it were. For one thing, how long have you been here in Spindizzy?"

Tanuki barks, "Although there are a few older characters, I was here when Spindizzy officially 'opened'. I was a member of predecessor Toons, Furr, and Fluff as well. Despite that, I haven't been here constantly- RL lent me two breaks; a long hiatus between roughly 2000 and 2003 and a shorter one lasting a few months in 2004, if I remember correctly."

Ba'ar growls, "So you came here from Toons Fur and Fluff? For those of us who don't remember TFF, how close is to Spindizzy to TFF?"

Ba'ar growls, "In terms of flavor and character, I meant."

Tanuki barks, "Well, in a certain regard it's not the same at all, beacuse the internet was a different kind of place, and because some players never came back after the disaster that closed TFF. Spindizzy is unique in its building organization, and, although it's still got its share of silliness, the theme is more open-ended so the atmosphere is heavier to me."

Ba'ar growls, "Do you think Spindizzy, in some ways, is an attempt to recreate the tooniness and fun TFF was?"

"Of course it was." barks Tanuki, "It was founded as a place for all those players to play again, though to this day I appreciate that we didn't try to call it TFF 2.0."

Ba'ar nods "As a Tanuki, what do you think of the recent release Pom Poko? Do you think it depicts your kind accurately?"

Tanuki giggles. ^_^ "This character is modeled after the characters in Pom Poko. (Or more simply, yes.)

Ba'ar growls, "What's a typical day like for you - *grins* or is there such a thing?"

Tanuki barks, "My day starts either to the sound of Teaberry cleaning something or someone ringing my bell. more often the former than the latter. Then I'll walk on my hillside or through the woods, or visit the garden until I'm tired, then I go home and go to sleep again."

Ba'ar nods "Who do you admire the most?"

Tanuki barks, "If there can only be one answer to that question, it's Austin. He attracted people to play in what was at the time, a failing game, and to this day he manages to keep everything running like it should be despite the other things he needs to do in a day, and frankly, I don't know how he does it."

Ba'ar growls, "What would you change about Spindizzy if you could?"

Tanuki barks, "If I may add to the past answer, partly because it's related to this one, Austin always listens to suggestions. He did from the very beginning. With that in mind, I'd wish it would seem easier, or seem more convenient, to walk into the garden and gather up some four to six folks to have some fun with a silly one-off roleplay in a different setting. There's no reason why we can't."

Ba'ar nods "I see. Do you have any plans for the future?"

Tanuki blushes... "Um... What sort of plans?"

Ba'ar growls, "Well anything...social, political, what have you?"

Tanuki barks, "It's said that desire is the root of all suffering so there isn't too much that I want... I hope that everyone recognizes this; keep your promises, or don't make any you can't keep, and enjoy yourself with care."

Ba'ar growls, "So would you say your future plans are rather modest?"

Tanuki fidgets a little, thinking... "Um... if that sounds modest to you, I suppose so..."

Ba'ar growls, "That's the impression that I get. Now then. What secret fact or desire about you would surprise our readers?""

Tanuki hmms, thinking...

Tanuki barks, "I think everybody knows about the tricks and the shapechanging... Hmm..."

Tanuki barks, "I think my secret is that I have a very, very slow temper, but... once it's reached... a very ugly one. It's been a very long time since I lost my temper."

Ba'ar nods "In closing, do you have any words of wisdom for our readers?"

Tanuki barks, "It's said that a person that claims to be wise doesn't really know what he's talking about, so I think I should just repeat, please keep your promises and enjoy yourself with care."

Ba'ar nods "That concludes our interview. Thanks alot for helping me out."

"No problem," barks Tanuki, "Was that useful?"

Ba'ar nods "It was. Again, thanks."

Gilead's Animalistic Puns

Q: What do you call a male macropod with a pouch?
A: 'Roo Paul.

Q: Why don't baby chickens make good fighter pilots?
A: They don't survive the first time their flight leader issues a scramble order.

Q: Why don't donkeys make good private eyes?
A: Even little cubs can put a tail on them, blindfolded.

Q: Why shouldn't you argue with a colorful horse while crossing a river?
A: Everyone knows Ford Pintos explode at the slightest provocation.

Q: How do female Grizzlies entice their mates?
A: They wear revealing, lacy bear teddies.

Q: What do you call armored breakfast pastries?
A: Pangolin cakes.

Q: How do baby procyonids turn into adults?
A: They spin Raccoons and pupate.

Q: What is the most annoying kind of rabbit?
A: Hare Krishnas.

Q: What do you call a very fast panda?
A: Porsche.

Q: What weasel is "always faithful"?
A: A Marine Otter.

Q: What kind of social mongoose leaves wet spots wherever it goes?
A: A Mear-kat. (check a Spanish dictionary. >-)

Q: What should you scream when a waterfowl is going to hit you?
A: Duck!

Q: How do bees style their fuzz?
A: With a honeycomb.

Q: Where should you take a sick mongoose?
A: To the Ci-vet.

Q: Why can't Kirin morph into white shorebirds?
A: A Unicorn can never egret.

Q: Why can donkeys lift so much?
A: They have jack asses.

Q: Why did the cat keep running from his enemies for hours?
A: The chase gave him a dogged determination.

Q: Why did the horse flick his tail low, and blush?
A: His flies were down.

Q: What lives in a tree, eats leaves, and comes down once a week to kick the crap out of someone?
A: A three-toed wrath.

The "Eventlist" Crystal Ball

Each week @Action News will print the "Eventlist" notices here. This list will be accurate as of press time, but be sure and check it during the week. Activities and events can be proposed, rescheduled or event cancelled for all sorts of reasons. So stay "in the know" by checking Eventlist often.

To get a list with details as shown here, enter eventlist #week #long.

SpinDizzy Event List
The following events are scheduled within the next 7 days:
+Number: 2
+Title: Austin's 10th Birthday
+From: Sat 10/15/05 12:01 AM +To: Sun 10/16/05 12:00 PM
+Location: rose
+Age: All
+Event Owner: Austin
+RSVPs (0): RSVPing on this event is disabled

Well ... wow. I'm kind of amazed by this, but it turns out to be very nearly ten years since I first logged in to Brazilian Dreams II, and the character 'Austin Dern' was born. At some risk to my natural sense of modesty and reluctance to be the center of activity, well, I want to throw a party for that, and I'm going to, and that's that. And thanks to all of you for being around for that time.

This week in history

Back issues from a year and more ago. Remember when...?

Newspaper Circulation Report

@Action News, SpinDizzy's weekly paper, apparently has a fairly healthy circulation, so we figured we'd show just how healthy it is.

Each week, as long as there's room. I'll show the 'hit graph' for the @Action News website.

Just as a note, this makes a full year @Action News has been showing our circulation numbers. Yay!

Graphic of @Action News website hits.

Bearing Up

Bearing Up logo.

Welcome to the latest edition of Bearing up, the advice column where Ba'ar (That's me!) has answers to your most challenging questions.

Dear Bearing Up:
I can't sleep! What do I do?
- Sleepless

Dear Sleepless:
Use a mallet to knock yourself out!

Dear Bearing Up:
Why did they remake Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? The first version was sheer perfection!
- R. Dahl

Dear R. Dahl:
Because they wanted to make money!

Dear Bearing Up:
Why doesn't the League of Evil Geniuses recognize Morticon for the villian he is?
- Stewie

Dear Stewie:
They already know....they know how inept he is!

Dear Bearing Up:
What do you think of western civilization?
- Kipling

Dear Kipling:
I think it would be a good idea!

Dear Bearing Up:
I saw a rerun of Westworld. Do you think that the gunslinger looks alot like the King Of Siam
- Rocky

Dear Rocky:
I think that he looks more like the gunslinger from The Magnificent Seven.

Dear Bearing Up:
How do you know if Morticon's lying?
- Argon

Dear Argon:
When he moves his lips

Dear Bearing Up:
I have a 2600 but haven't seen any new games for it in a while. Are there any new releases for it?
- N. Bushnell

Dear N. Bushnell:
There aren't, but there are several new games for the Playstation 2.

Remember possums (to steal a term from Dame Edna ;-D), if you have any questions,please page mail me (Ba'ar) online or send mail to baar.bear@gmail.com. Thanks.

Weekly Survey

Ba'arThis week, Ba'ar is asking, "This week, I'm doing the survey. The one for this week is.....It's a well known fact that Morticon, local SED leader and jackanapes wallaby, hates centaurs. Why do you think this is?

  • Shadowcatcher says "Many of his plots have been foiled by Centaurs, right? I can sympathize with him if a particular demographic was disrupting my plans. *grumbles about Peacebringers*"
  • Argon "As a centaur, I think Morticon's dislike of centaurs is a result of an inferiority complex. Not to brag, but Morticon has lost every argument, battle, discussion, plot and contest he has ever started with any centaur. No centaur has joined the SED and the fact that most centaurs are good upstanding citizens and are opposed to the SED. As he can find no way to "defeat" centaurs, his hopes of taking over SpinDizzy are thwarted at every turn."
  • Mosi says "I think it's 'coz Mor'con's a big bad buwwy!"
  • Lupinetiger murrs, "one stepped on his tail?"
  • Theon'drae hmms. "Argon stepped on his toes?"
  • Aleu says "Morticon hates centaurs because they'll look more proud and majestic than he ever will... and they can beat him in a race easy."
  • Tottle has a reply for the survey: Morticon hates centaurs due to a severe case of leg envy! :):)
  • Gilead chirps, "Because they spoil some of his grass and make it unsuitable for grazing."
  • Kri says, "I think maybe it started with Argon, and then he just expanded on that to include all centaurs. After all, you got to hate somebody."
  • Vixie says, "Maybe a centaur stepped on him when he was a little wallaby?"
  • Tanuki barks, "I think it's a coincidence because no centaur has ever joined SED. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)"
  • Borris says, "Because Morticon is smaller the Taurs, is common affliction amonts those who wish to rule."
  • Vassily says, "I'm going to say, Tragic early love affair with a taur turned his heart against them forever."
  • Andrew says, "I think he hates centaurs because we stand for what is good and decent. We're the opposite of everything he is."

The Doze Garden

The Doze Garden Comic Strip

Guidelines and Procedures for Submitting Articles

Submitting a story or artwork for @Action News is easy! Just send it to newspaper@spindizzy.org or qmail or page Argon, Carl or SDN about it.
@Action News is published weekly on or after 12:01 AM Eastern Time on Sunday. Most any type of story or article will be accepted. Generally, we'd prefer things that aren't out and out lies or flames about other folks, and have a basis in the reality of SpinDizzy. Things that occur in public areas are fair game. The things reported don't have to have actually happened, (any more than anything that happens here does) but make sure you don't overstep the social boundaries and rules of interaction that we have. These are pretty broad guidelines, but we expect good sense to apply.

Thanks! Argon, Editor @Action News