Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Bob Saga: XXXX: Resolution

Chey Loves Her Watermelon Gun
Written 31 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXXX: Resolution

Sweetie and I worked our way through the hysterical crowd as Diva's head spun slowly to a stop,

"Man, you talk about your performance art," said a Philip Linden lookalike. "This is freaking PERFORMANCE ART."

From her katana stilts, positioned high above my head, Sweetie curtsied and said, "Thank you, thank you." The crowd cheered.

"And now," said Sweetie to her adoring public, "I will introduce you to yet another new form of art. Let's hear it for Anti-Criminal Performance Art! I will now arrest the head of I'mSoNotADiva Bartlett!"

I frowned up at Sweetie. "Does this mean I'm going to have to stop shooting her with my watermelon gun?" I asked.

"I'm afraid so, dear Cheyenne. We must all make sacrifices for the sake of art."

"Grrr," I said, but I put the gun away.

But not before taking one final shot.

AlexHayden approached, holding Diva's head at arm's length. "Jolly good show," he said, and handed Diva to Sweetie, who handed Diva to a mounted cop. "Book her," she said.

"Thanks for your help, Alex," I said. "Sorry for being so hard on you in the blog."

"No worries," he said. "If you'll take care of that bloody hummingbird I'll call it even." And then he rezzed his custom-made Aston-Martin and drove away. It looked to me as if he crashed at the sim boundary.

I approached the remaning golem, which was standing stock-still. There was a trail of mud on its cheek, and as I watched, a tear trickled down.

One of the horse cops looked as if he was thinking about arresting the remaining golem, but I shook my head no and he moved along.

I dropped a landmark on the golem. "If you need a place to stay there's a docking station open at the HAL 9000 Memorial Detention Facility for the Robotically Criminally Insane," I said. "Up at our robot sanitorium."

Neelix had been broadcasting non-stop, to the chagrin of his peers, who were working desperately to rid their mouths of the remnants of Sweetie's throwing scones. I caught Neelix' eye and he grinned and nodded, but when I said, "There's only one loose end. Sleez--" I stopped because he was frantically shaking his head and making zipping motions with his fingers and lips.

I spoke into his microphone. "I suppose we'll never know who delivered the blackmail letters," I said. "I guess it'll just be another one of those Second Life mysteries, like where prims go when they die and why can Sweetie get only 38 levels of subfolders in her inventory."

"Thanks," IMed Neelix. "Sleezy is a poor excuse for a journalist, but she'll all I have."

Sweetie was busily giving interviews to a half dozen Second Life magazines. "It's important to blend science and art," she said. "Take for instance, the beignet..."

And with that, dear readers, after more than a month of the saga of Bob, our drinking bird, we wish you...

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

The Bob Saga: XXXXIX: Victory Snatched From the Jaws of Defeat



Golemdum (or is it Golemdee?) Hurling Diva's Head

Written 31 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXXIX: Victory Snatched From the Jaws of Defeat

Bob was in imminent danger. Golemdum-- or was it Golemdee?-- was lumbering toward him, with instructions to destroy. The golem not only had a good head start; the crowd, which was now hysterical, was between us and our beloved Bob.

I jumped high into the air and crashed to the ground. "Damn!" I said. "It's a no fly zone!"

Sweetie said, "I"m stuck in this hand-clenching animation. I'm useless."

"What a time to be in Viewer 2!" I lamented. It would take me hours of menu parsting to find the right command. I, too, was helpless.

I could see no hope. But then something amazing happened. A grinding, booming sound and seemed more like a rock slide than a voice said. "No! Love Bob!" The golem holding Diva's head had spoken!  We all watched in fascination as it drew the pumpkin containing the head of I'mSoNotADiva Bartlett far behind its head and hurled it, two-handed, at its brother golem.

"Nooooooo," came Diva's voice, in full Second Life stereo, as the pumpkin passed over the heads of the crowd.

"Damn, that's freaking amazing in 7.0 surround sound," said someone.

"Noooooo," continued Diva, as the pumpkin tumbled through the air.

"It's Diva doppler," someone else said.

At that moment Neelix realized his full potential as a reporter. "It's a forward pass!" he said. "The receiving golem is going long... long... the pumpkin is falling short... No it isn't!" Just then, the pumpkin struck the golem from behind at the knees. It-- the pumpkin, not the golem-- shattered, throwing pulp and seeds 30 meters in an outstanding particle effect. The golem balanced crazily for a long moment, then tumbled over the railing, crashing  into the dry creekbed far below. I watched it shatter into a million crazy pieces of clay.

"The receiver is down," cried Neelix. "Fumble! Fumble!"

On the bridge the gourd-juice-drenched head of I'mSoNotADiva Bartlett spun crazily on the planks.

The Bob Saga: XXXVIII: Chaos

Golemdum and Golemdee Amidst the Flowers
Written 31 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXXVIII: Chaos

The moment was frozen in time. I'mSoNotADiva Bartlett, her disembodied head buried inside a hollowed-out pumpkin, was being held high above the head of her golem. Sweetie, towering above the crowd on her katana stilts, faced toward diva, her fist making the black power sign. The crowd was immobile.

On a small hillock to the left of the stage, the second golem tugged on the cord holding a sheet in place over the large figure that Diva was proclaiming the world's first piece of criminal performance art.

Then everything went into motion. The drape fell. The crowd gasped. I screamed.

But it wasn't Bob behind the drape. No, it was the intact figure of The Man from the recently-finished Burning Life Festival.

"No, screamed Diva. "That's not supposed to be there!"

"But-- but I saw him burn!" someone said. It was Neelix Nesselrode. He was the only reporter able to talk; the rest, including his partner Sleezy Spinoza, had mouths full of Sweetie's special caramel and rock-hard fragments of throwing scones.

"Ha!" cried Sweetie. "And who's the master criminal performance artist now? I stole the stolen performance art!"

"And all that time I thought you were holed up in your fortress of solitude!" I said.

Diva's face was bright red. "You'll pay for this!" she thundered.

Sweetie smiled at me. "Our good friend AlexHayden Junibalya distracted security at Burn while I replaced the Man with prims of my own devising," she said. "Or, rather, yours, dear Cheyenne. I'm afraid I sacrificed one of your spare Gorts. Diva's plan was for Bob to be here, under the sheet. So I stole Bob back and put the Burning Man in his place last night. Bob is safe on the other side of the bridge, at the entry point. I didn't have time to take him home."

"You think you've won," roared Diva, "but I'll see the end of your precious Bob!" She turned to the golem on the hillock. "Destroy it," she commanded. The golem began to shuffle off  in the direction of the bridge. Toward Bob.

The Bob Saga: XXXVII: The Unveiling

The Head of I'mSoNotaDiva Bartlett
Looking Good in a Pumpkin
Written 30 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXXVII: The Unveiling

Using the notecard illegally copied by Neelix Nesselrode, Sweetie and I, in disguise, jumped to I'mSoNotADiva Bartlett's unveiling.

We had no idea what, exactly, Diva would be unveiling as her premiere piece of criminal performance art, but both of us suspected it might have something to do with our Bob. Our plan was to protect our 30-foot, 40-ton, deified granite purloined drinking bird at all costs.

We had purposefully arrived early so we could scout our surroundings, but apparently everyone else had jumped early to avoid the rush. We were barely able to get in.

We had materialized at night, in a valley surrounded by low hills. Behind us, a bridge vanished into the distance. In front of us, firefly particles and tiki torches provided soft light while vendors sold ImSoNotADiva t-shirts from a line of tents. We Heart Diva pennants flapped in the wind.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Bob Saga: XXXVI: Sweetie Perfects Her Disguise

Katana Stilts
Written 29 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXXVI: Sweetie Perfects Her Disguise

Sweetie looked fantabulous in her costume. Her katanas made her imminently recognizable, but she looked wonderful.

"Uh, that's not working," I said.

"I'm not finished," she said. Suddenly she was three feet taller and her swords had disappeared.

"Katana stilts," she said. "The latest from Curio Obscura. Essential for a carnival barker."

"Is that what you are?" I asked dubiously.

"I am," she said. "Want to know what I'm selling?"

"I'm afraid to ask," I said.

"English throwing scones," she said, "dipped in caramel and rolled in peanuts."

"Those should sell," I said, "but you're imminently recognizable."

"But I've not yet attached the piece de resistance," said said. Suddenly she was wearing the largest hairdo I had ever seen.


"Curio Obscura?" I asked.

"But of course," she said. "Everybody will be so busy watching the dancers on the ballroom in my hair to pay any attention to my face."

"Is that a waltz they're doing?" I asked.


"See," she said brightly, "it's working already."

"Are you ready to jump?" I asked.

"Ready," she said.

The Bob Saga: XXXV: Chey Visits MI6


Written 29 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXXV: Chey Visits MI6

"How do I look?" I asked.

"Like Casper the Friendly Ghost," Sweetie said.

Not long ago my bald hair base went rogue. Every time I put it on I unrezzed-- turned into a cloud of smoke. I saw me as a ghost and others saw me as a ghost. It drove me crazy until I figured it out.

So I was a foggy ghost, appropriate enough for Halloween. To further disguise myself, I was using a hated display name. The name I had chosen was Sarah Palin. I selected it because I was pretty sure Diva identified with Palin's sociopathy. You betcha.

I had talked AlexHayden Jumponapila into getting me an audience with Q at MI6 headquarters. Q had liked it when I arrived with a screen full of HUDS. I was wearing a Mystitool that would allow me to cage or trap Diva, and a HUD that would search the area for any prim named Bob. A purchased compass HUD and an altimeter HUD of my own devising would keep me oriented, and the built-in radar of the Mystitool would give me notice of nearby avatars.

I was immediately attracted to Q's watermelon gun. Watermelons are large and bulky and have a great deal of inertia, making them effective weapons in any area with push turned on. Q tried his best to talk me out of the watermelon gun.

"It's still in development," he said. "Highly unreliable. Can I interest you in this shoe dagger?"

"No."

"How about a garrote watch?"

"No."

"Exploding attache case?"

"Sweetie will be taking care of the explosives," I said.

"Folding electrocution chair?"

"Thank you, no."

"Voice changer?"

"Second Life already has one of  those. Does your suck as much?"

"I'm afraid so."

"Then no."

"Cake bomb?"

"Is it devil's food?"

"Sorry, no, carrot with cream cheese icing."

"Don't need it."

"Fountain pen gun?"

"No."

"Cigarette lighter camera?"

"No one smokes these days."

"Flamethrower hair spray can?"

"No."

"Those watermelon guns are tricky," Q said. "Seed shrapnel, you know. How about a nice Aston-Martin with revolving license plates and villain-catching bumper?"

"No."

"It has leather seats."

"NO."

"There are machine guns concealed behind the headlights."

"NO!"

"It also has the infamous oil slick feature."

"NO, NO, NO!"

"It's on your head, then," Q said. "I won't be responsible if that watermelon gun gets you into trouble."

The Bob Saga: XXXIV: Criminal Performance Art

Written 29 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXXIV: Criminal Performance Art

The grid was all abuzz with talk of the soon-to-be-introduced criminal performance art. Hamlet Au was neglecting his new duties as a flack for Blue Mars and Little Lost Linden proclaimed him insane-- again-- in the Bot Zone blog. Word was Bettina Tizzy was thinking about re-launching NPIRL with the new name of Not Stealable in Real Life. The SL Marketplace (XStreet) was glutted with "found" (i.e. stolen) objects, and several Thieves Guilds had moved lock, stock, and barrel from World of Warcraft to Second Life. Even Philip Linden was trying to get in the act, asking to be Linden Lab's interim CFO (Chief of Found Objects). Rezzed TV had renamed itself the Criminal Performance Art network, with 24/7 coverage, and the defunct Metaverse Messenger was promising to re-launch  and put out an if-it's-not-stolen-it's-not-art issue. The bloggers were driving their readers insane with speculations  about ImSoNotADiva Bartlett's new art form.

Sleezy Spinoza was everywhere, interviewing SLebrities and jealous artists and promising a live feed from Diva's unveiling.

Sweetie was secluded in her Fortress of Solitude, experimenting with theatrical lighting effects (so she would look her best when bringing Diva down) and working up psychological profiles on the Bobnappers.

"Profiling Diva was easy," she said, on one of her rare departures from her cave. "It's her sidekick who's throwing me. I can't quite figure it out."

"Say, I said, "you know how on programs like Cold Case Files and CSI: New York the killer turns out a lot of times to have once or again applied for a job as a cop?"

Sweetie smiled brightly. "The application files from the police station!"

"Yes," I said.

Once upon a time, in our wilder days, Sweetie and I broke into the empty Bay City Police Station. We stole their donuts, equipped ourselves with uniforms and riot gear from their free vendors, and pored through the job applications in their file cabinet. Amazingly, two burgl-- curious explorers-- were able to access the personnel files. As soon as I realized I was reading actual applications I deleted them, but since I had been careful not to empty my trash, I was able to retrieve them.

"Hmmm," Sweetie read. "Philip Linden's application is in here. Is there a job he hasn't applied for? He wanted to be interim Chief of Police."

"Here's an form from Crap Mariner. Crap wanted to be a Robocop. Or, failing that, as bomb-disarming robot."

"This is an interesting one," Sweetie said, "from not one applicant, but two."

I read over her shoulder. "Looks like they failed the psych exam."

"Yes," she said. "They had no brains. They appealed. This is from their brief:
Litigants Golemdum and Golemdee are sincere in their desire to join the law enforcement community and believe their rejection by the Bay City Police Department is based on their ethnic status as Golem-Americans. It should be noted that both Dum and Dee are legal emigrants and in their 600 years of existence have no criminal history. They have extensive experience as security consultants, for instance in 16th-century Prague, and are now employed in Iraq by Xe Services-- that's the new name for the disgraced Blackwater Corporation. They're renowned for throwing themselves mindlessly and tirelessly into any task assigned to them. They were consultants for any number of golem-related silent films, and many believe they served as an inspiration for Czech writer Karel Čapek's 1921 play Rossum's Universal Robots. They're the very prototype for mechanical creatures, and it's manifestly unfair that their applications were turned down by the Bay City Police Department. They demand their rights to club and arrest lawbreakers, wear cool uniforms, and eat clay donuts." 
"Golems!" I said.


"Golem-Americans," said Sweetie.

"The perfect lackeys!" I said.

"The fact they're made of clay could explain the lack of henchman fingerprints and DNA on the evidence," she said.

"Yes, I said. "They have neither."

"Now we know what we're looking for," Sweetie said.

"Yes," I said. "A disembodied head with no small resemblance to Leona Helmsley and two clay giants."

"Piece of cake!" said Sweetie.

"By the way," I said, "did they win their appeal?"

"It dragged out in the virtual courts for years," she said, "since neither party could afford Judge Camper's demands for a decision in their favor. And listen to this-- they dropped their appeal just two days before the Bobnapping."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Bob Saga XXXIII: Art Nation


Written 28 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXIII: Art Nation

"What is this place?" Sweetie asked.

"It's Art Nation," said Neelix. "It's where the Brooklyn is Watching folks are hiding out these days."

I looked around. "I wonder if I have time to set out a display. I know art when I see it, and this certainly isn't it."


"Don't be so harsh, Chey," said Sweetie. "Look. There's some good work here."



"I suppose so," I said grudgingly. "And it would be difficult to top those robots, anyway."

"See that sign area over there?" Neelix asked.


"I thought that was the artwork," I said.

"There's something you should see. A sign. In fact, it gave me this." He dropped a notecard on me.

I read it aloud.

DISAPPOINTED by the death of Second Life art as we know it? Don't be. This All-Hallows Eve will see  the replacement of mundane and boring SL art with an astonishing, glorious, maniacally ingenuous presentation of a new and exciting genre: Criminal Performance Art. You must not miss its debut!

What is Criminal Performance Art? It can be many things-- a purloined letter, crown jewels from Bill and Melinda Gates's safe, the secret recipe for Coca-Cola-- so long as it is skillfully and artfully appropriated and deemed Found Objects of Others. And so: Criminal Performance Art!

Artists! Art critics! Curators! Reporters! Criminals! Patrons! Especially Patrons! Stand by for your discrete individualized invitations. Cheyenne Palisades and the accursed Sweetie need not apply!

It was signed Not ImSoNotaDiva Bartlett.

"I got an invitation," Neelix said, "but it's no copy and no mod, so I can't give you one."

"Lame-ass permissions system," grumbled Sweetie.

When it comes to getting around rules, I'm nothing if not inventive-- and most of what I know I learned from Sweetie. "Just copy all and paste the text into a new notecard," I said. And that's what Neelix did.

The Bob Saga XXXII: Neelix Nesselrides In

Written 28 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXXII: Neelix Nesselrides In

"Chey, it's Neelix. Chey!"

"Sorry Neelix, I've no time for an interview. Sweetie and I have a hot lead to Bob." We were just about to jump to Brooklyn Is Watching.

Before I could close the IM box, Neelix said, "That's why I'm calling. It's Sleezy. She's been acting... strange."

"Strange how?" I asked.

"Like a... she's been acting like a journalist!"

"OMG," I said dryly. "Imagine that!"

"No, no, it's not at all like her. She's an on-camera airhead, like me. Journalism is just something with which she has no experience."

"Well, good for her if she's changing," I said.

"I need your help, Chey, and you owe us from Sweetie's trial."

"Yes, I suppose I do," I said. Their inept coverage had done much to further confuse an already confusing prosecution.

"I've been following Sleezy around," Neelix said. "She's up to something, and I don't like it. As addlepated as she is, she's my partner and I've grown used to her. I don't need things messed up because she's suddenly gotten ethics or something."

"Uh, Neelix, we have to get to Brooklyn is Watching, and right away. I've promised to end this thirty-something part farcical storyline by Halloween, and there's not a moment to waste."

"Don't bother," he said. "They disincorporated. Something about Second Life art having been destroyed by marauding robots or the like."

"I disavow all involvement, I said.

"I'm at their new place," he, said, and sent a teleport taxi.

Dear Linden Lab

LANGUAGE WARNING

-----

Written 28 October, 2010

Dear Linden Lab:

Congratulation for listening to resident feedback and making changes in Display Names that will make them at least bearable for most of us.

I must say, however, that the following from the FAQ is a HUGE fuck-you from the Lab to all of us.

-----

 Can I prevent other Residents from using my display name?

No, display names are not meant to be unique identifiers. Instead, if you notice that others are using a similar display name, feel free to change your own name.

----

Feel free to change our own names when someone mimics us? FEEL FREE TO CHANGE OUR OWN NAMES? FEEL FREE TO CHANGE OUR OWN GODDAMN NAMES?

How incredibly goddamned patronizing! Feel free to go fuck yourselves!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Bob Saga: XXXI: Destination Brooklyn?



Written 27 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXXI: Destination Brooklyn?

When I arrived at the House of 1000 Pleasures, Sweetie immediately sent me a message with her personal hugger.

Sweetie would like to warm you up in front of all your blog readers. Press (Y) to accept.

I pressed Y, of course. And no, I'm not posting photos.

"Well, we knew they were going to flatpack poor Bob," she said. "We just didn't know where they would send him."

"That has to be the biggest box Ikea has," I said, "and still his feet are sticking out."

"No," said Sweetie, "There's one bigger."

"The one for the Volvo truck?" I asked.

"No," she said. "The box for Abba's golden hits."

"You see where the box is being shipped?" I asked.

"Of course," she said. "Brooklyn. Where else could it be?"

"Well, Brooklyn is Watching has sort of have had it in for me since I destroyed the state of Second Life art as they knew it with marauding robots," I said.

Sweetie quoted, "...and then on the other hand we have this piece with like these marauding robots just going crazy, and it's such a silly piece that brings in so much like popular culture silliness, but yet is so thoughtfully and carefully constructed that I think it just really-- it sits there sort of threatening to completely undermine Second Life art as we know it, basically."

"Exactly," I said.

The Bob Saga: XXX: Bob Behind Every Bush

Written 27 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXX: Bob Behind Every Bush


So here I am in late October in the very north of Sweden.


Lapland. Land of the midnight sun, The frozen north.


I am imagining Bob behind every bush.


I think I see him through the fog.


I'm sure that if I glance up I'll see him silhouetted against the sky.


But there's no Bob, only snow and ice and fog and tundra.


Oooh! What's this?


It's the clue! The infamous clue! The clue, which Sweetie, who is forbidden by the Linden Lab Terms of Service from visiting any virtual Scandinavian Country, could not find herself. It's the clue she sent me here to find, and now my hands are so frozen I can barely hold onto it.

If I can get my frozen fingers to hit CTRL-H, I'm away to Whimsy.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Bob Saga: XXIX: Bob Gets Up to Make the Donuts



Written 26 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXIX: Bob Gets Up to Make the Donuts

Sweetie studied the blueprint I'd snagged at Second Sweden.

"Fiendishly clever," she said. "They're going to flatpack Bob at Ikea. Maybe they already have!"

"Diva knows no shame," I said. I handed Sweetie the latest postcard, containing a photo of Bob, with donuts.


"She's wants us to think she's hiring him out to Krispy Kreme as a donut hole puncher," Sweetie said, "but it's not gonna work."

"And at our own robot sanatorium!" I said.

Sweetie studied the back of the card, and then licked it. "The writing has already appeared," she said. The ink is fast-acting maple syrup."


"So now," Sweetie said, "you have to go where I can't-- to Scandinavia, to search for clues."

"Must I?" I asked. "It's so cold there!"

"Do you want Bob back?" Sweetie asked.

"Yes!" I cried. "Yes."

"Then off you go," she said." And never forget-- you look fabulous in that coat."

The Bob Saga: XXVIII: Flat Pack

Written 26 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXVIII: Flat Pack

I finally got my visa. I had to take a test.

"Topography isn't my strong suit," I said, taking canvas and boards from a box. "What am I supposed to be assembling?"

"It's our Poang chair," said the examiner. "With an umlaut above the a. It's a brilliant example of our flat-pack philosophy. You'll have to deal with flatpacks if you visit Sweden. Maybe you'd like to listen to Dancing Queen again to get the subliminal assembly messages?"

"I couldn't stand it one more time," I said. "Here, will this do?"

"Close enough," he said. "Now just pay the fee and the visa is yours."

"That will be one million Lindens," said the avatar at the reception counter. "That's $100L for the fee itself and $999,900 for the Volvo surtax."

"One million Lindens?" I said. "That's highway robbery!"

"No, that's Danegeld," she said.

I couldn't wait to get back to Whimsy and show Sweetie the clue I had picked up in Raoul's office.

The Bob Saga: XXVII: Passport Problems

Sweden Maintains an Embassy in Second Life
Written 24 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXVII: Passport Problems

Sweetie TOLD me the second ransom drop would be a bust. She was right. I wasted two entire posts of this fine blog by disregarding her advice.

"We're dealing with an unusual dynamic," she said. "This team of giant birdnappers doesn't quite have the characteristics of the organized type of  criminal, but clearly they're not disorganized. I'm more sure than ever we're dealing with a highly organized, deviously egotystical mastermind-- in other words, Diva-- and a dullard of a henchman. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the varlet has no brain at all."

"So they're like Freebie and the Brain?" I asked. It's one of her favorite television shows. Not infrequently she makes me wear mouse ears and say in my best fake Cockney accent, "Gee, Broin, what're we gonna do todaiy? Huh, Broin, huh?" She answers, of course, "The same thing we do every night, Pinky-- take over the world!"

"That's Pinky and the Brain," she said. "A brilliant maniacal mastermind and a mindless vassal."

"Narf!" I said.

"Do you know why I asked you to dress warmly?" Sweetie asked.

"Nooooo," I said. "Certainly not for Burning Life. It was scorching in that virtual desert!"

"You do have a passport, don't you?"

"Certainly I do," I said brightly. "How else have I been bop-bop-bopping around the grid for years? I've even used it to travel to Blue Mars and the OS Worlds."

"Do you have a visa for Sweden?" she asked.

"Sweden? Why would I need a visa to go to Sweden?"

"Because of  the unfortunate incident," she said."Sweden now requires a visa of all residents of the nation-state of Whimsy."

"Oh, yes, I said. "I still think Sweden overreacted. How were you to know that was the ambassador? Besides, I apologized on your behalf."

"I'd never heard of lutefisk," Sweetie said. "I thought he was proposing some sort of obscene sexual act."

"He didn't like it that you called him a marauding Viking, either," I said.

"By the hammer of Thor, Whimsy must guard her borders at all cost," she said, letting her gaze turn briefly to her katana.

And so, since Sweetie has been permanently banned from Scandinavia, she sent me here, to the Swedish embassy in Second Life, to get a visa-- visas now being required of any resident of Whimsy who wishes to travel to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, or Iceland.

What's that, hon? Oh, yes, or the Faroe Islands.


Hello? Is anybody here?

I guess the receptionist is out to lunch.

I might as well look around...


Strange furniture they have here.


I might as well sit around here and listen to Abba until someone shows up.

Okay, now I'm bored!


I'll just lean on the wall here outside Raoul Wallenberg's office.


Whoever's using Raoul's office these days, he or she isn't here. It couldn't hurt to poke about a bit. Could it?

This piece of paper looks like a clue. While nobody's watching...

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Bob Saga: XXVI: The Bobnappers Apologize

Written 22 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXVI: The Bobnappers Apologize

The Bob Saga: XXV: Ransom Drop Redux


Written 22 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXV: Ransom Drop Redux

I've never been to one of these Burning Life thingies. It looks scary out there. I'm not at all sure I should be walking around out there with a million Lindens on me.


Okay so far. Maybe I can adjust Windlight to make it look less spooky. Here goes...


Oh, yes, much better! Now it's merely bizarre. Not scary at all.

"Yoo hoo, Mr. Bobnapper! Ms. Bobnapper! I have your money right here!"

Surely I've not been stood up again!



"Excuse me, blurry avatars. Are you the Bobnappers?"

Guess not.


"You and Bob could be related. Have you seen a 30-foot, 40-ton, deified Paleolithic granite drinking bird around? Or his kidnappers? No, I've not been drinking. Well, I HAVE, but not that much."


"How about you? Have you seen any Bobnappers about?"


This place is so huge! I'll NEVER find the bobnappers here. I'm calling it. Okay, all you Lindens stand down. Take off your invisiprims. Operation Bobdrop is aborted. Repeat, Bobdrop is aborted.

What, you thought I would take a million Lindens onto land full of pyromaniacs without protection?

Sweetie, you were right-- it was a waste of time coming here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Bob Saga: XXIV: In Which Cheyenne Contemplates Mini-Bob; Sweetie IMs



Written 21 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXIV: In Which Cheyenne Contemplates Mini-Bob; Sweetie IMs



I was standing the the temple to Bob on Whimsy, contemplating mini-Bob, when my IM bell rang.

Sweetie: It's ligonberry!

Chey: I know. I tasted it.

Sweetie: Hey, that's my job!

Chey:  I was just corroborating your work.

Sweetie: Well, just watch it!

Chey: Sooo, ligonberry....

Sweetie: Yes. You know what that means, don't you?
Chey: A trip to Ikea? I've been wanting to pick up a replacement HOVSKÄR faucet.
Sweetie: Good guess, but no. Go pack your virtual suitcase, and be sure to bring a winter coat.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Bob Saga: XXIII: Another Ransom Demand


Written 20, October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXIII: Another Ransom Demand

Another postcard arrived today.

A few hours later, this writing appeared on the back-- in ligonberry.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloweenified

Written 19 October, 2010

Halloweenified


With a tight schedule, small screen, and slow frame rate on wireless, I wasn't able to do much decoration for Halloween, but Whimsy is now officially spookified.

The Bob Saga: XXII: Ghost Bob

Written 19 October, 2010

The Bob Saga

XXII: Ghost Bob

This spirit of Bob the giant drinking bird is haunting Whimsy!

I woke in the middle of the night and went down to the spot where Bob once stood to lay down some prim roses-- and there was his ghostly image!

Oh, Bob, how we miss you!

Whimsy, by G.M. Nickolaides



Our friend G.M. Nickolaides gave me this stunning photo of Whimsy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Early Morning Reflections From Cape Cod

I'm at the Very Very End of Cape Cod


Written 18 October, 2010

Early Morning Reflections From Cape Cod

I'm writing this at four in the morning, having been waken by wind-driven branches scraping against the side of the house.

Had I realized it was branches, I would have rolled over and gone back to sleep. But it sounded like a critter in the ductwork, which was creepy enough to keep me awake. Finally I rose, found the source of the noise, made a sandwich, and logged onto the wireless network with my laptop.

I'm in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on the very end of Cape Cod. Tomorrow I give an invited presentation at a conference.

I wouldn't be here if not for the kindness of a friend, who offered me a place to stay. I have a fabulous suite in a fabulous house on Bradford Street. Tomorrow I give my talk, and then I'm free to wander the streets and see the sights.

My original plan was to leave Wednesday morning, heading for the home of the real-life Sweetie. But lodging opportunities have opened up, and it seems I'll be here all week. The weather is superb.

I'm happy to be here, but the past two days have been different for both me and Sweetie. For the past four years we've been together every single day, for hours, sometimes in Second Life, sometimes in Skype, and on the phone (Skype is so much clearer than our cell phones that we prefer it). All weekend I  was in transit and then visiting friends in Rhode Island on Saturday, and in transit again on Sunday, driving up the Cape with an old friend. Conference activities (registration, welcome reception, and having a slice of pizza at Spiritus with friends I hadn't seen since last year took up the rest of the day).

Over the past two days I spoke with Sweetie a dozen times or more via cell phone ("Hey, babe, I'm in the waiting area and my plane's about to board. Just wanted you to know I made it to the airport in time." "Hi, hon, the plane just touched down in Philly. Looks like I'll have plenty of time to make the connecting flight." "Hello, sugar, I had a quiet moment and just wanted to hear your voice.") It was nice to talk, but different from our usual-- and the next seven days will no doubt bring more of the same.

I'm able to get in world on the wireless network where I'm staying, and my laptop runs Second Life admirably, so Bob the Giant Paleolithic Drinking Bird's adventures will continue. But two days on the road made me realize just how important Second Life is to both myself and Sweetie as a channel of communication during the times when we're apart.

Anyway, just being silly and sentimental at five in the morning. The laptop is about to go dead, so this post is going onto Blogger unproofread-- and I'm off to bed.

The Bob Saga: XXI: Bob and the Moon