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Cartoon of The Day

 Taken at the Happy Vixen. Being able to glide in the air would have it’s advantages, such as being able to avoid rush hour on the freeway.By Bixyl Shuftan 

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Winter Things- Stacey Cardalines Reporting…

 Most people hate winter, but I’m not one of them. I love snow, cold, and all that other stuff that turns people off from the Cruelest season. If I have firewood, drugs, and remaining vacation days, a blizzard is one of my favorite things. I may b…

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Most people hate winter, but I'm not one of them. I love snow, cold, and all that other stuff that turns people off from the Cruelest season. If I have firewood, drugs, and remaining vacation days, a blizzard is one of my favorite things. I may be twisted, but if the normal people can't throw snowballs at each other, eff 'em.


I like winter on SL even more, because SL isn't cold unless you open the window to your computer room in January. I went to a winter sim today, and- as you can see from the pictures- I had no problem at all casting aside my business dress, putting on a hockey shirt, and climbing snowy mountains with nothing but pantyhose on my legs and heels on my feet. That would equal frostbite in the real world, but in SL, it just meant that Stacey had less things to do in her inventory.

I set out to find a snowball fight sim today, but there aren't many of them, and the ones that exist have it somewhere that I couldn't locate. I gave up, but the sim I gave up on it at had ice skating, so I figured WTH? 



The sim is called "Christmas Skate Rink And Holiday Market Christmas Shopping," which is the kind of name that made me think that the sim owner may be ESL. I checked, she isn't, and she appears to be a Vampire. That might seem odd, but Vampires are/were people too, and there's nothing in the Vampire manual which prohibits vampiric enjoyment of winter sports. If Dracula went to Alaska instead of London, I don't think Van Helsing would have beaten him. I went to the sim during sunlight hours, so I'm safe. It may turn into Salem's Lot after dark, I don't intend to find out.

This vampire had a skating rink, so I was all in. I'm a terrible skater in real life. This is embarrassing because I live in a hockey state, but it is what it is. I can only skate if there is a much larger person standing right next to me who might not fall with me if I lose my footing and panic-grab for his arm. You don't see figure skaters wearing hockey helmets, and if that sort of competence/confidence exists in a woman somewhere, the very balance of nature demands that there must also be a klutz woman walking the earth who screams in a panic a lot and falls before she gets on the ice. I fill that role in nature.

I was a hockey cheerleader, both on SL and in (real life) high school. It's easier on SL, where I could wear next to nothing, and where the hockey league carved out a large section of the arena for the cheerleaders to operate in. We were sort of our own show, somewhat akin to that old "I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out" joke, just with dancers. The only time I was on the ice was when I posed for the league calendar.



In high school, we were kept in the bleachers and reduced to stomp/clap-type cheers. We were mostly just trying to keep warm and not get hit by errant pucks. The girl right next to me got a puck to the nose once, and I'm still somewhat haunted by it. It did damage. She went from Prom Queen level to maybe a step above Sea Hag in one deflected slap shot. If you can imagine a blonde, rich-school 110-pound cheerleader with a Toucan Sam nose, that was the end result. I felt badly for her, but better her than me.

Either way, skating wasn't required of me as I performed these services. This is a good thing because the Traumatic Brain Injury that would have resulted from me pursuing skating never came about. Otherwise, this article might read "Cambot dongo at the banana patch" and- denied a career in journalism- I might have resorted to a life of crime. Fortunately, for all of us, it never came to that.



Becoming an expert skater on SL is as easy as jumping on a poseball. I started off in skates, but I got my skates at a sim where they assumed everyone was 6 foot 8, so they looked silly on me. I'm pretty short. Any game like SL that relies on the willing suspension of disbelief (I can teleport! I can carry 30,000 item inventories around with me!) will survive me skating in heels. I did have a hockey sweater on, so I score points there.

They have casual singles skating, pairs skating, and trick skating. You can bang out some pretty cool moves with even the simple menu. I didn't try the pairs menu, as I went to the sim by myself. I do my dirt by my lonesome. The pictures of me skating in this article are mostly from the Trick Skating menu. I didn't fall once.

They also have a little market there with some cute things. Some of it is Christmas-themed, but not so much that you think you went back in time a month. I was a big fan of the campfire with the warm-your-hands animation. You can kill some time at this sim, both touring and skating. It is one of the few vampire-owned skating rinks that I choose to recommend.

If winter comes and goes and you haven't gone skating, I can't even do business with you, dog.



Christmas Skate Rink And Holiday Market Christmas Shopping = http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Loon/46/189/106
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Cartoon of the Day: Big Blue

 Taken at the Happy Vixen, Skylark “Snowbuns” Lefavre demonstrates a huge blue fox avatar. By Bixyl Shuftan  

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Taken at the Happy Vixen, Skylark "Snowbuns" Lefavre demonstrates a huge blue fox avatar. 

By Bixyl Shuftan

 

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Spotlight on SmacemanSpiff Grau- Mixing Business and Pleasure with Humor

Second Life is a virtual melting pot of people from all walks of life. In this unique global community, everyone has a story to tell no matter if they are in the virtual world for business or pleasure. Through the years The SL Enquirer has interviewed …

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Second Life is a virtual melting pot of people from all walks of life. In this unique global community, everyone has a story to tell no matter if they are in the virtual world for business or pleasure. Through the years The SL Enquirer has interviewed countless avatars and toured thousands of locations to learn more about the people behind the creativity and their virtual lifestyles.. For many, the attraction to friends and partners is based on the similarities in their likes and needs. Real-life looks and personal detail seem to fall into the background. The best part is we all meet each other from the inside out. Individual personalities are more important than looks. Not to say an attractive avatar can be a plus for those who want to enhance the fantasy and role play side of the grid.  Meet SmacemanSpiff Grau, winner of The Spotlight Feature Drawing at Terry’s Place  Sunday Showcase. He is an 11 year veteran of Second Life who has seen and done a lot and embraces the community in business as well as leisure activities with a good sense of humor.  SLE met up with Smace to get a glimpse at how he views Second Life and what he does.



Interview with SmacemanSpiff “Smace” Grau



SLE: Hi Smace it’s a pleasure to meet you. How did you discover Second Life?


Smace: Hi! Thanks for the opportunity! Second Life, for me, was initially a way for me to escape. I was going through a rough patch in life and had heard of SL as an online world with the creation and social aspects. I figured it could be a good distraction for me. I didn’t know much more than that and had no idea what to expect, so I signed up to see what it was all about!




SLE: I bet it was an eye-opening initial experience!  I’ve come across a lot of creative names but yours stands because it looks like a misspelling of “Spaceman” but according to the trusty Urban Dictionary, Smace means having an unusually small face and an average-sized head like a Keebler Elf. I had a good laugh with that one.   What inspired your name? 


Smace: Ha!! Well, those elves make some really good cookies, especially the ones with the fudge stripes… but no, it did not come from the vertically challenged bakers. It was a typo from trying to register Spaceman Spiff, the alter ego of Calvin from the syndicated comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. I love that kid and his tiger. It ended up being a good mistake to add some originality to the name. Excuse me for a minute while I go measure my face to head ratio…


SLE: So I was right! LOL! Would you say Second Life is an extension of your real life or just a game? 


Smace: It is definitely an extension of my real life. Even my partner in SL is my partner in real life, sharing a desk and sitting 3 feet from me. The person I am in SL is pretty much the same as on the other side of the screen, minus a few grey hairs and with a better wardrobe.


SLE: That has to feel great to find someone who enjoys Second Life as much as you do and omg yes the wardrobe here makes my rl character jealous!  Someone once said Second Life is just a chatroom with sh*t to do. I have to agree.  What type of activities do you get involved in on the grid?


Smace: Music started out as a big draw for me, and still is. It is fun to hear new music and I do enjoy fun banter with people. I also love to see new sims that people are building, especially the ones that use custom-made or modified objects pieced together. I am amazed at the creativity and attention to detail. Also, shopping, because… shopping.  


SLE: Absolutely! After 16 years, the creativity in SL still amazes me. With over 11 years of virtual world experience under your belt, what events have stood out the most to you?


Smace: Well, there was that one day when I met my wife… that was kind of a big one… 




SLE: Aww that's sweet! So,  you have a small shop in-world that features some of your creations like migrating Canadian Geese, neon signs, go-karts, a rocket blaster, and even a Zamboni. I mean who wouldn’t want one of those? Just the name alone is pretty funny. I personally like the wood signs Lol. You also have a marketplace shop that features even more things. Can you share with our readers how you would describe your products and what inspires them?



Smace: I’m the type of person that likes to figure out how things work, which is also how a lot of things in my life end up broken. As far as inspiration, a lot of it comes from my wife who says "you know what would be fun" or "can you make me a...". The rest comes from me asking myself the same questions. I try to make things that are fun and interactive with a little bit of whimsy. Everything that I make and sell at Spiffy has made me smile at some point. I like to push all the buttons and see what they do, which is why I try to add all the buttons to my products. I’m not a professional creator by any means, but I really enjoy the building process and hope that I can make things that other people will enjoy, too. Every project introduces new challenges, which is kind of like a game to me. I’m not sure if I’m winning yet, but it sure is fun!



SLE: I still haven’t mastered placing pictures flush to my building walls and it drives my manager crazy, but I definitely can see how trying new things and nurturing your creativity can be exciting.  Aside from getting inspiration from your wife, Do you create custom products for customers?


Smace: I have not been asked for any custom products, but I’m always up for a challenge!


SLE: I always wanted a rolled-up newspaper with a beat-down animation in case I need to attack a griefer. Are you up for that challenge? Anyway,  I can tell you have a sense of humor. It’s almost a must in Second Life with all the weird and wonderful things it has to offer. Besides creating interesting products, what other things do you like to do in Second Life?



Smace: I like to play. Dressing up in costumes for parties, playing with toys, shooting snowballs, exploring new places, taking silly pictures, dancing all the dumb dances… I love using the space as a playground amplified by ridiculousness. Rando and I have built and been managing a farm on a homestead we call Walsh County. When you add go-karts, it’s endless laughter among the rows of wheat.




SLE:  lol, I’m trying to picture that. Too funny! Do you have any advice you would give a Noob just starting out in Second Life with no direction?


Smace: Whatever your reason for being here, roleplay, creating, meeting people, dating, exploring… remember that the characters you interact with have a real person behind the pixels. We all have a story and a life. Have fun. Make it your own Second Life, but not at the expense of others. 


SLE: That’s great advice.  Congratulations on winning the Spotlight Feature drawing at Terry’s Place. Thank you for taking some time out of your day. It was a pleasure to chat with you. Before we go, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?


Smace: No, thank YOU for taking the time to do this! This has been great and I really appreciate it! I don’t have much else, other than to suggest looking up your name in the Urban Dictionary before agreeing to an interview with The SL Enquirer.


Additional Information:


Walsh County

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Campton/46/53/23


SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Rivuline/241/249/2001 


Marketplace: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/212961 


Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/


Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_zDEqLyjbaXO_VBMeXuDzw?view_as=subscriber 


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