September 18, 2005
Volume VI - Issue 265
Please don't forget to read the bulletin board. Enter +read from anywhere.
@Action News Names Associate Editor
After a long and through search, Argon, editor of @Action News is proud to announce the naming of Ba'ar, local bear and long time contributor to the paper as its Associate Editor.
Ba'ar's involvement in community affairs, his regular Bearing Up and In Step With columns all contributed to the paper's consideration of him filling the position. With his competence and skill in operating the layout machinery and his familiarity with the web presses (HTML), he seemed a clear choice. Although other candidates were considered, Ba'ar's friendly manner and ability to gather news made him a top candidate for the position. His past experiences as a centaur were an added bonus.
Ba'ar said, "It is an honor and a thrill to be asked to join the @Action News Staff. I hope I can do my part to make our beloved paper bigger and better."
Argon, Editor and Publisher of @Action News said, "Ba'ar has been a loyal and dependable contributor to the paper. He's a friendly and intellegent member of the staff and with his abilities he will make a fine Associate Editor. I expect him to add to the quality of the paper and with our other contributors, continue to make @Action News, SpinDizzy's Fair and Balanced News Source."
Portia donates feathers to centaurs
The feathers that covered the Rose Garden last week were gathered by Portia, local red panda, to return the park to normal. She borrowed a W bit from Morticon to quickly and neatly gather them up and take them to her home.
Argon, local centaur had been talking about needing a new mattress. As he and his wife are both centaurs and are relatively heavy, their mattress was starting to sag and needed replacement. Hearing Portia had all those feathers, he asked her if he might have some for a new mattress. Portia noted there were a lot of feathers, so Argon suggested making mattresses for all the centaurs who didn't sleep standing up.
Portia agreed to let Argon have most of them, but wanted to keep some to make pillows for friends. Argon met the generous red panda and the feathers were taken away.
Although a member of the SED whose leader is adamaent about doing nothing to make centaurs comfortable, it was very nice of Portia to give the feathers for this worthy cause. Portia asked that as the feathers are put to use, Argon make sure everyone knows she provided them.
Findra gives Roofus bunny ears for his birthday
Friday was Roofus_roo the kangaroo's birthday! I got up in the morning so I couuld sing Happy Birthday to him and a lot of other people were saying the same thing and he was kind of embarrassed about it but happy anyway. Leowulf the wolf-lion said, "it's nice having people remember your birthday." Sasha the fennec fox puppet and Morticon the wallaby wanted to know if we had a cake for him but I didn't make any. Morticon made the whole Rose Garden a great big cake then! The place was all a big pie crust, and with lemon cream inside. Plus there were cheesecake trees and Smartie pebbles and everything like that. He said he could do that because "I have powers." Also Aushae the dragon made some alfalfa sprout and tofu burgers and some carrots too for Roofus to eat. She also said she had recipes for pea soup burgers. We were riding with Darius the ferret on top of Aushae who was kind of hugging everyone for the party when Findra the rubber bunny came in and pounced him and tickled him and said happy birthday too. She wanted to give him something special for his birthday, so she took her ears off, and took Roofus's ears off, and traded the two! So Roofus had these long rubbery pink ears that flopped all over or perked way up or could be swung around together.
Roofus was a bit scared about it, but Findra thought the bunny ears looked good on him. They're Findra's spare set of ears--Austin the elastic coati-bunny has her normal ears--so she said "I might have to go around wearing Mr Roofus's ears whilst he's borrowing them." When Findra had to go to sleep a little Roofus was scared to keep her ears, so Findra just put Roofus's original ears back on his head, then put her own ears in his pouch for safekeeping and curled up on his tail.
@Action News claimed to be Anti-SED Media Juggernaut
Shady Raccoony, now calling himself, "The_Antiraccoon", local human, expressed concern over his perceived bias by @Action News. The_ noted that the paper, in his view, has a distinct anti-SED slant. Argon, local centaur and editor of the paper, noted that he has been happy to run any articles and news releases provided by the Society of Evil Doers.
The_, who makes his home in the swamp extolled his journalistic integrity and seemed determined to get his paper in print. He did admit that having no money and living in a swamp wasn't condusive to becoming a media player.
Argon, being fair, offered to provide the presses and paper to print The_'s publication and even distribute it. The_ seemed a bit confused by this and as of press time had decided not to publish his paper at all.
Taking pity on The_'s circumstances, Argon offered The_ a job with the paper, but his offer has been refused. The offer, either for the job or for publishing the SED news still stands. As yet no SED member has taken advantage of it.
DTF wants to get some tigers
DTF, the wolf, hopes he's going to have some really exciting news soon. He's having house trouble but hopes he can fix that soon, because he said, "my player may be getting a couple real friendly big kitties!" Not Mrs. Brenda, the giant balloon cougar Jedi either. "These are stripeys, and not quite that tall. And they're nonanthro." They look like tigers but he says they're "Hybrids actually. 75% tiger, 25% african lion. It all depends on what the owner does whether it'll take longer or shorter before I get them. And yeah.... they weigh about 300 lbs each, are a bit over 6' nose to tailbase... can reach up around 9' when on their hindlegs. They're incredibly cuddly and really friendly."
Vixie admits to beating kittens
The following exchange took place in the Rose Garden:
Argon knows how to wake Vixie up....
Tarka a boy otter again
Tarka the otter who's been a girl for a long time is a boy again! He said, "I found the place where the bad mad scientist has been hiding my (boy) bits... and got them back." He thinks he's going to stay a boy otter though, "I was a boy otter here for six years before I was forcefully turned into a girl otter. I will not get tricked again." But he said it wasn't all bad being a girl. "There were some nice parts to being a girl otter. I meet some people... and got to know others better."
Nimble gets hurt
Nimble the toy balloon Care Bear squirrel got hurt when she was playing in a tree and got pounced, and she went tumbling over, and a branch poked through her balloon skin! But she's okay, because Beltrami the balloon kangaroo had a vinyl patch that she could use to seal it over, like a band-aid, and it stuck to Nimble's side nice and firm, and Nimble said, "I feel much better now."
It didn't hurt, she said, "It was just scary, slowly deflating like that..." The patch felt "a little funny at first, sonce the patch is vinyl and I'm not, but it worked." Normally balloons take a really long time to heal over, but "but Beltrami knew a way of making me heal faster, but it meant that the patch stuck to me permanently... I don't mind tho..." She'd rather have a patch than a hole! And even better, "Beltrami's fix actually helped me to be a bit stronger overall... :)' But she doesn't want to get popped anymore anyway.
Sasha becomes a puppet fox
Morticon the wallaby was amazed like everybody else meeting Sasha the fennec fox in her brand new body as a puppet on Friday too. Sasha was talking about stuff to eat while everybody was figuring what ot make for Roofus Roo the kangaroo's birthday and she said "Puppets don't need to eat". Then Austin the coati-bunny said Cookie Monster does, and Sasha said "Cookie monster has a problem," and everything got kind of confused about whether Cookie Monster really eats or if he's just acting. But Austin said about Sasha "it's marvelous, Sasha. Trying out for that 'America's Next Muppet' show?" And she said "If that came around, my player would be interested. :) The Muppets actually had problems making a nice looking fox." (And then I thought Darius the ferret was talking about eating a fox named buffet, but he was really just talking about he went to a Chinese buffet and ate.) But Sasha said they made some foxes only not so good in the past. "The best one was on The Animal Show, and it had issues."
I asked if she played herself on TV like the way Cookie Monster does, only she said no, because "They don't have many puppets on tv anymore. I only appear live." I always thought there were more though.
Morticon frustrated by Sasha and by lemmings
Morticon the wallaby was confused by Sasha though, because she was a puppet on Friday morning. He kept asking who's her controller and "how does she work?" and I didn't know, except she said she didn't get to play herself on TV. Roofus Roo the kangaroo said maybe "Could be remote, like Ferret of Borg." Morticon said, "She MUST have a controller somewhere... Muppets don't control themselves!" Aushae the dragon said, "You've been doing it for years, Morticon... ;}" and he complained that he wasn't a muppet.
Then Morticon said, "I'll clean your clocks!" and I thoguht that was nice, and Skyler the bunny said, "I've got a digital one. That could be a problem. ;)" Morticon hrrfed and hopped off and said, "This is as bad as Mouser was last night!"
What happened last night (Thursday night) was he had trouble with Mouser the fur-snake working with DTF the wolf. He said, "I told him to demonstrate the power of the SED by attacking DTF, but the Lemming machine DTF presented made Mouser decide to disobey!"
The lemming machine made lemmings, and Morticon said that Mouser "preferred the lemming machune over my orders." So he was frustrated by them too.
Patch worried by joke remark
Patch O'Black, local Jellicle cat, was taken aback by a tongue in cheek comment by Rown, local centaur.
While chatting in the Rose Garden, Rown mentioned something called a Stallball a toy for horses. Rown said that it's used for horses that are confined to their stalls due to injury or illness or given to them in the pasture or corral. It has a handle on it and can be hung from the ceiling in a stable so the horse can play with it like a tetherball. Rown said that in an open space, horses enjoy kicking it around.
At the same time, Vixie, local fox, was extolling the virtues of her cuteness and noted her picture was in the dictionary next to cute. As Rown said, "They make all kinds of stallballs for horses including yardballs that are huge. Horses love to kick them around," Vixie said that foxes were cuter. Patch then asked, "What about cats?"
Rown says, "I'm not sure Patchy. I don't think horses like to kick around cats though." This of course concerned Patch who then looked to Argon, local centaur with his big worried kitty cat eyes.
Argon reassured the cat telling him that cates and equines have gotten along well for years, and that certianly amoung the equines and centaurs on SpinDizzy, he should have no fear. This, and a gentle patpat settled Patch down, and the conversation turned to how cute Vixie was.
What I Did on My Summer Vacation
This past Labor Day weekend, I found myself in Atlanta, Georgia, to join about 20,000 other fen (1=fan, more than 1=fen) at Dragon*Con. Dragon*Con is an annual fantasy/sci-f-/gaming/literary/media/comics convention. Here are the highlights of my visit:
After collecting my pre-registered membership badge, and pre-registering again for next year (at less than half the at-the-door rate), I retreated to my room to set up my schedule for the weekend. SO much to see and do... 29 (!) separate programming tracks for events, panels, and such, each track running simultaneously all weekend long. Choices ranged from Main Programming, which includes concerts and costume contests, Anime, American and British Sci-Fi, Independent Film, Gaming, Comics, Star Wars, Star Trek, Tolkien, Robotics, Writing, Electronic Frontiers... Made it kinda tough for this KitFox to decide what to do and when. That, and fitting in times to eat, sleep, and other incidentals..
Checked out the Exhibit Hall (the Industry Dealer's Room). Bought the complete second season set of Banner of the Stars, one of my favorite anime series. Picked up some overstock RP gaming materials cheap, too; buy one book/boxed set/module/whatever, get /three/ free. Some really good stuff, too, and worth it, at that price.
Later, I attended a presentation by OneRing.net (the Tolkien fan site) of the new Peter Jackson King Kong trailer, as well as segments from their sister site, KongisKing.net, including Peter Jackson's production blog. Hilarious, and informative. Beware the April 1st installment!
After that, I was privileged to see a panel with Fred and George Weasley, up until recently students at Hogwarts, and lately proprietors of their own Joke Shop. Of course, being the pranksters they are, they steadfastly adhered to some nonsense about being James and Oliver Phelps, actors who portray the practical-joking twin wizards. I thought they actually bore more of a resemblance, in person, to a very young Russell Crowe than to those scions of the Weasley clan.
Sadly, this year turned out to be the year of the queue; The line for the Serenity Movie cast panel on Friday (and all other major events) was already out the door and literally around the block. If you've seen Joss Whedon's Sci-Fi series Firefly, then you already know you must see this movie on September 30; if not, buy the series DVD set, watch it, then see the movie. Fortunately, there was another panel scheduled each of the following days.
That evening, after supper, I attended the Opening Ceremonies, which were followed by a performance of the Atlanta Radio Theater Company (ARTC, for short: http://www.artc.org/), a group which actually performs old-style radio-plays (recorded on the spot, not actually broadcast). The story was A.E. van Vogt's The Weapon Shop (adapted from The Weapons Shops of Isher); the author's widow, Lydia van Vogt, was present for the performance.
Finally, and, again, after a long stand in line, I attended a Serenity Shindig (a Firefly-flavored party, with dancing and such). It was fun, but VERY loud, and my ears (big ones that make fennecs nod in sympathy) couldn't take it for too long, so I left it to those still waiting outside for their turn to come into the very-crowded room.
Saturday morning, I wandered the Art Room. Along with the paintings, statues, video graphics, and jewelry, there were some gorgeous fur and feather sculpts in about 1/4-1/3 life size of morphic critters and the like; griffins, dragons, werewolves and vixens (still no centaurs, sorry, Argon), some in hand-made fitted costumes.
That afternoon, I attended a small panel on writing for the children's market. It was quite informative, and the seven published authors who sat behind the table originally set up for three were very generous with their experiences and advice. That, and one of them handed out candy *smiles*.
The balance of that afternoon I spent either on line for or in the Serenity cast panel; I managed to get a place in line still within sight of the hotel *winks*. Adam Baldwin (Jayne Cobb), Ron Glass (Shepherd Book), Jewel Staite (Kaylee), and Morena Baccarin (Inara) provided an hour of insightful and delightful glimpses into their experiences with Firefly and the Serenity movie project. Astonishingly modest and seemingly still amazed at the fandom response to their roles, they also answered a range of more personal questions with grace and goodwill.
That evening, tired of standing in line, I took a pass on attending the Dawn Look-Alike Contest, a costume contest revolving around depictions of Joe Michael Linsner's comic book goddess, Dawn. Instead, I got a late supper, did some people-watching, then called it a day.
Spent most of the day in the Dealer's Room, though I bought very little... Did pick up a cute fox kit plushie (well, not quite authentic, as it was in adult fox coloration, and had angel wings), named him Damiano (Dam Fox, for short). Had to fend off several (mostly joking) offers to steal him from me as I carried him about.
After supper, and more people-watching (amazing what kinds of people turn up!), I attended another performance by the Atlanta Radio Theater Company, this time some of the works of their less-veteran, but no-less talented, writers. These brief pieces were audioplay satires of standard superhero and fantasy fare; one such was a particularly sharp skewering of a certain band of Mutant teens.
Then, rather than stand in line (again) for the Masquerade, I viewed the costume contest on closed-circuit TV from the comfort of a chair in the hotel coffee shop with a cup of hot chocolate in paw. Ah, progress.
Got in line early for the final Serenity cast panel; it was a nice opportunity to see the cast members, and to hear their impressions of the weekend.
Immediately following, I attended a live musical play by ARTC's sister group, the Mighty Rassilon Art Players, or, MRAP, titled, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. It was a hilarious parody of Shakespearean theater, performed by a talented cast, in iambic pentameter, no less. Then, it was time to head home.
This represents a rather light schedule, even without elaboration. For more info (and pictures!), go to Dragon*Con's website at: http://www.dragoncon.org/ . Next year, Dragon*Con will run September 1 through 4 (Friday through Monday); if you can make it, the previous Thursday, August 31, is a great opportunity to get your badge early and get an easy start, so you don't miss anything. Mebbe I'll even see some of you there!
In Step With: Darius
This week, we sit down to have a chat with Darius, local ferret.
Darius has arrived.
[Darius just looked in your direction! (Male Ferret?)]
Ba'ar growls, "What?"
Darius says, "nothing."
Ba'ar growls, "I understand you actually asked to be interviewed. I'm impressed."
Darius shruggs. "I've been here a year, lots of people know me, and that I do interesting things and rp, but I've never been asked.
Darius says, "If Portia can be interviewed, I thought why not me."
Ba'ar nods "I want to say for the benefit of our readers that if anyone owuld like to be interviewed, step up and ask me..don't be shy! I'm always open for interesting SD stories."
Ba'ar nods "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?"
Darius murrs. "let's see, I was officially created...
Darius says, "Wed, jan 21st, 2004. So, about a year and a half."
Ba'ar growls, "Were you an artificial construct created by science?"
Darius says, "No"
Darius says, "My character here was generated."
Darius is mixing IC and OOC, he apologizes.
Ba'ar growls, "What brought you to Spindizzy?"
Darius says, "A friend of mine I knew from elsewhere told me he was here. So I hopped on herw when I get the chance in hopes of finding him."
Ba'ar growls, "Did you ever find him?"
Darius says, "yes."
Darius says, "Yes I di."
Darius says, "err, Did rather."
Ba'ar growls, "So tell me, what's a typical day like for you when you're awake on Spindizzy (or is there such a thing)?"
Darius says, "Well, since not much seems to go on anymore, usually I just sit around in the garden, or visit privately with friends. I've almost entirely given up on starting anything interesting."
Ba'ar growls, "I understand you're a part of the SED. Is this true?"
Darius says, "Yes, that is true. However my affiliation is rarely tested due to inactivity. It may also be itneresting to know that I am technically a Citizen of the Neo Republic, Alicia's nation."
Ba'ar growls, "What do you do as part of this Neo Republic?"
Darius says, "Nothing currently. I've been out of touch with Becky, Alicia, Alex, and Karikishi for at least two months now."
Ba'ar growls, "So it's fair to say you're just coming back after a bit of an absence?"
Darius says, "Sort of. They also don't seem to show up very often."
Ba'ar nods "Where did you go during this absence? Do you think you're back for good this time?
Darius says, "I was away for summer."
Ba'ar growls, "Now that you're back...who do you admire the most on Spindizzy?"
Darius says, "I'm actually a little...what's the word. Dissapointed."
Ba'ar growls, "Disappointed? Why?"
Darius says, "For some reason, it doesn't seem quite as interesting or diverse. And the constant idle chat and sittign around the garden is actually starting to irk me. I know it really can't be helped, but It just gets to me."
Darius says, "but I admire that SPindizzy has a diverse range of beings. "
Ba'ar nods "What part of Spindizzy would you change if you could?"
Ba'ar growls, "The energy level?"
Darius says, "energy?"
Ba'ar growls, "In other words, you'd like an interest in people to see and things to do."
Darius says, "Well for one, I'd try to get people to go out and have fun by roleplaying. Instead of just sitting around in the garden all the time and just idling and talking. lately it just seems as if the garden is nothing more then debates, politics and arguements."
Darius says, "That's not against a rule or anything, in the garden. But I rememebr last year it was different."
Ba'ar growls, "Livlier and more diverse range of activities?"
Darius says, "perhaps."
Darius says, "i also remember a lot more rp back then too"
Ba'ar growls, "We don't have those 'themed weekends' (like 'Young at Heart') any more either."
Ba'ar growls, "Those were fun, as I recall."
Darius says, "They added a little bit of diversity."
Darius says, "Also, a lot of the rp oriented folk and such are gone."
Darius says, "Firewind and his failed anti SED organization is gone, as well as the various splinter cells associated with it. the GURPS is dissolved, for now. the dungeons and dragons campaign seems to be dead without Nevernever around."
Darius says, "WoW, secondlife and more livlier mucks have claimed several characters."
Ba'ar growls, "I gave up on the 'punslinging' contest several months back...Lack of interest."
Darius says, "Same with my attempts at RP"
Darius says, "there was hope with Zach, but even he left."
Ba'ar grins "I think we're talking from the same page."
Darius says, "I think so."
Ba'ar growls, "What are some of your fondest experiences on Spindizzy?"
Darius says, "Well, Joining SED, and the few nice rps I did with them back when I first started. meetign new friends, about half of which have since dissapeared or come on rarely. Hmm. I liked the plots I did where I was turned into a dragon for a while, and the culvert spirit was fun."
Ba'ar growls, "What's the culvert spirit? Could you explain this?"
Darius says, "Shall I show you?"
Ba'ar growls, "Or tell me."
Darius says, "Alright"
Darius says, "back when Spindizzy was flooded, they needed a way to end the flood"
Ba'ar growls, "Okay..and?"
Darius says, "So I assumed the form of what Peppermint helped me name as the "culvert spirit""
Darius says, "its like a chinese dragon. its thin, furry, with barbells on hits muzzle, and horns. Only, instead of a dragon, it's a ferret."
Darius says, "Sort of like haku from "Spirited away" only a lot thinner and ferrety."
Ba'ar growls, "And what did you do as this 'culvert spirit'?"
Ba'ar growls, "Helped drain the water away?"
Darius says, "Well, I had a shrine constructed, at which people made offerings. These gave the form power, and eventually I sucked all the water away into my shrine."
Darius says, "i think. This was a while ago."
Ba'ar nods "Interesting. So, do you have any plans for the future?"
Darius shrugs. "I try not to. Every time I make a plan, for anything grand or exciting, 9/10 of the time it falls through. But I do have plans for some small rpish sorts of things."
Ba'ar growls, "Would you elaborate, if you could?"
Darius says, "On which?"
Ba'ar growls, "The RPs that you are planning."
Darius shakes is head. "I've only got one planned, so far, and the effects will be minimal. The only thing I can say is that it will change my characters apparence for a while, which might allow people to interact with him differently."
Ba'ar nods "Okay..What secret fact or desire about you would surprise our readers?"
Darius says, "This is the only muck where my main character is not a badger."
Ba'ar smiles..."One more question before we go...In closing, do you have any words of wisdom for our readers-other than to of course...role play more?"
Darius says, "Well I'd say don't do drugs and stay in school, but that is Mr. T's line."
Darius says, "um, just, to expand your horizons, go out and do stuff. There is so much out there to do. Keep an open mind, and try to stay at peace with everyone. it helps."
Ba'ar smiles "That concludes our interview. Thanks for helping me out with it."
Darius nods and bows his head. "My pleasure.
Gilead's Dog-Gone Arfful Puns
Q:What do you call the life of a friendly stray dog who made good and wound up being used for stud?
Q:What dog gives the worst milk?
Q:What do dachshunds look for in mates?
Q:What do you call a spotted dog eating lentils?
Q:What do you call shavings of a huge dog?
Q:Why are French dogs called poodles?
Q:What do you call a cartoon about spotted dogs with responsible owners?
Q:What do you call an absent-minded Australian dog?
Q:What do you call a little dog with a human torso?
Q:What kind of canid can't wear a thong bikini?
Q:What do you call a large, boneless guard dog?
Q:What do you call a feminine guard dog?
Q:What kind of dog sneezes on sheep?
Q:What were some of the failures on the way to breeding the bloodhound?
Q:Why was the cute female dog so snappy with suitors?
Q:What kind of dog makes the best thief?
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!
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:
Dear Bearing Up:
Dear Bearing Up:
Dear Gul I. Bull:
Dear Bearing Up:
Dear Snow White:
Dear Bearing Up:
Dear R. Simmons:
Dear Bearing Up:
Dear Bearing Up:
Dear Bearing Up:
Dear Bearing Up:
Dear Bearing Up:
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 email@example.com. Thanks.
This week, Ba'ar is asking, "This week, I've arranged to do the survey. My survey forthe week is...An old saying is 'A fool and his money are soon parted'. A modern update of that might be...'a fool and his money are soon partying'. What's a familiar phrase and how might it be updated for our modern era?"
The Doze Garden
Mavra is not impressed with this week's West Corner of the Park cartoon.
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Thanks! Argon, Editor @Action News