Thursday, December 30, 2010

Connolly Aerodrome News

Wing Cmdr Wrath Constantine will begin work on reconstruction of Connolly Aerodrome during the second week of January.

If you have any prims stationed on either of the two parcels, please remove them prior to January 8th. Any prims left will be removed by Wing Commander Constantine starting on the 8th.

Wrath assures me that Sumie's Memorial Tree should remain on-site and untouched. However, if need be, Sumie's Tree will be temporarily relocated at my parcel in nearby Caledon Mayfair.

Fanshaw & Connolly

My good friend Mr Cornelius Fanshaw and I decided to start another little adventure series in Second Life.


You may consider it... a sort-of...hmmm, well it's a Victorian version of The Avengers. Like our TimeForce 10 Adventure Series, Fanshaw and Connolly is a mashup of several different television shows such as The Avengers and Wild Wild West with a healthy dollop of Sherlock Holmes.


Cornelius put together a great set for a few of our SL Group Photos. As you can see from my examples, the major influence is The Avengers. I've included two YouTube Videos for reference.








Fanshaw and Connolly is a New Babbage firm established to conduct unusual inquiries and investigations for a variety of clients. I'm sure there will be many crossover adventures with TimeForce 10 and the Royal Caledon Air Force.

Congratulations and Special Thanks

I would like to take this opportunity to give my special thanks to Dan Gervasi for taking care of RCAF Connolly Aerodrome for most of the second half of 2010, and also to congratulate Wrath Constantine as he now takes over management of this historic Caledon site.

Well done, gentleman!

~ Zoe Connolly
Group Captain, RCAF

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Secret Santa



I think I need a Girls-with-Guns Christmas Catsuit this year.

Royal Caledon Air Force Bake Sale?

A suggestion from Samantha Poindexter...

Hi, everyone. I know my involvement with the RCAF has been minimal at best, but I'm a fan of the group, and of the aerodrome, which is one of my favorite places on the grid.

So. Stupid question...

Caledon sometimes seems to be the land of a thousand fundraisers. When the Cavorite Mines were on the verge of closing down, the Caledon Games were born, raising money for their continuance. I personally don't care for the mines at all, being claustrophobic, but I still took part in a couple of the events, picking up a bronze medal along the way.

As far as I can tell, the RCAF's fundraising so far has pretty much been confined to the members of the RCAF themselves. (And visitors who notice the donation balloon.) Why have we never had a bake sale, as it were?

Perhaps an air show would be a possibility, open to Caledon at large, with appeals for donations made at some point? Perhaps some other events? I will admit that I have missed most of the RCAF's major activities, such as the repulsion of the attack on Steam SkyCity, but I wonder whether anybody ever passed the virtual hat during that event? And if not, couldn't we have, to support Caledon's defenses?

For my part, I'd be willing to host a monthly trivia game with all tips going toward the rent, such as could be promoted both inside and outside Caledon. (I created http://tinyurl.com/sltrivia , and have connections in that community.) Or maybe yet another regular dance party...

Anyway. Possibly all this has been considered and rejected, possibly it's all a pipe dream, but I figure I needed to at least ASK.

Sincerely,

Samantha Poindexter
Chaplain, Royal Caledon Air Force

A notecard of appreciation

hi Des (Desmond Shang of Caledon),

I'd like to give my sincere and thankful compliments to Mr. Rachire Andel, who sacrificed his time to assist me "unghost" by calling the LL Concierge Support Line and request that Penzance be rebooted.

I was using Caledon Group Chat on and off throughout the morning and afternoon of Thursday December 16th via my alt Zabrina McMahon. Rachire heard my pleas in chat and responded quickly, making several phone calls to assist another resident in need.

I hope you will recognize his diligent and kind efforts.


Sincerely

Zoe Connolly

Royal Caledon Air Force News

In the early days of 2007 I couldn't imagine flying a vehicle in a virtual world. My computer was not up to the task, so I didn't really think about it. When I began exploring steampunk in April 2007, I spent a great deal of time in New Babbage, where I discovered the joys of flying hovering craft . In no time I was hooked on flying and could be seen all over the steam-lands in various flying machines.

While exploring Caledon by Land and Air, I noticed there was only one runway (no rez) in the entire nation. My vision for Caledon was to provide a runway and rez area for any citizen and any interested aviation enthusiast in SL.

In October 2007, Virrginia Tombola and I reserved the two parcels that are now known as the Connolly Aerodrome. At the same time, I started the Royal Caledon Air Force Group.

In 2008 RCAF , SL, and my newest computer were in sync... All "In The Zone"

The RCAF group grew in membership and stature. SL seemed to be working well for vehicle users, my latest computer could handle SL quite well, there was an abundance of "Void" sims and the aviation life was good! RCAF was in the sweet spot in 2008. But as the saying goes "all good things must come to an end"

By the end of 2008, Linden Labs announced the end of the void sims.

In 2009, I couldn't upgrade my computers as fast as LL/SL changed. Even today in December 2010, I cannot fly any of my normal flight scripted aircraft. I can only fly hovering scripted aircraft such as helicopters, etc (much like I did in Mid-2007).

So you may be asking.... Why am I reciting the abridged reader's digest history of the RCAF?

I cannot promise you a 2008 RCAF experience, but perhaps 2011-2012 will be better than 2009-2010.

I am reseting the group.

The first step I've taken is changing group role tags.

Most roles have changed to military rank, based on the RealLife UK RAF with the lowest rank as Officer Cadet and the highest rank as Group Captain.

Rank from lowest to highest....
Officer Cadet
Pilot Officer
Flying Officer
Flight Lieutenant
Squadron Leader
Wing Commander
Group Captain

For reference
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_and_United_States_military_ranks_compared

Three Role Tags will remain the same (at least for now): RoyalCaledonAirForce, RCAF Test Pilot, and RCAF Search & Rescue. Please know that Tiny Avatars, JetPack Flyers, and R&D folks are all still part of RCAF. All will be recognized through merit and bravery through RCAF Ranking.

The second step will take place by January 1st, when I eject nearly every member of the RCAF Group. This is nothing personal of course. If you wish to rejoin the group, you have the freedom to do so. But you MUST make an active choice to opt-in for 2011. Some of you will NOT be ejected since I already know your intentions, but should this concern you, please feel free to contact me.

Regarding the Aerodrome... I was saddened to lose control over my Aerodrome last Spring and I'm deeply worried that it will be lost from RCAF Control in the near future. This is a very real possibility. So what do we do?

We take a deep breath and let it go.

We move on.

We rez our planes, balloons, dirigibles, zeppelins, and blimps where ever we can and FLY!

~ Zoe Connolly, RCAF Group Captain

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A steampunk-ish episode of ABC's "cop show" Castle

I'm a fan of both ABC's Castle and Steampunk so I'll be very interested to see how the writers of Castle are treating Steampunk in next weeks episode.



Monday, October 4, 2010

Homemade Spacecraft

I found this today via MAKE.

The following video was taken from a camera attached to a weather balloon that rose into the upper stratosphere and recorded the blackness of space.

Homemade Spacecraft from Luke Geissbuhler on Vimeo.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Battle of Britain - Part 2 (SL)



Battle of Britain - Part 2. Air Combat staged in Second Life's Gungnir sim (The Future of Modern Combat) during Battle of Britain ceremonies on Wednesday 15 September 2010.

Special thanks to the pilots listed in the end credits as well as Gaius Luminos of SL's RAF Biggin Hill.

Battle of Britain (SL)



Battle of Britain ceremonies in Second Life. September 15, 2010 on the 70th Anniversary of the Blitz 1940.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

TimeForce 10 - "The Demise of Doctor Dreamscape"


TimeForce 10 - "The Demise of Doctor Dreamscape" from ZoeConnolly on Vimeo.

TimeForce 10 agent Samantha Calamity catches Doctor Zoetrope Dreamscape attempting to sabotage the TF10 Time Tunnel. Calamity chases her to the rooftop helicopter pads, and forces her to the edge where the Doctor hangs precariously.

Dreamscape tries to make a last minute deal to win Calamity to her side.

Is this really the end of Doctor Dreamscape?



Readers may visit the Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. Then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

TimeForce 10 - "The Return of Ava Zenovka"



Slain TimeForce 10 agent Ava Zenovka returns to the TF10 Time Tunnel in an altered state. The vengeful spirit of Ava looks for her nemesis in the last place where Doctor Dreamscape left her lifeless body. Ava's ghost plans the capture and enslavement of the super-villainous sociopath Doctor Zoetrope Dreamscape.

Will Doctor Dreamscape escape Zoe Connolly and Samantha Calamity from TimeForce 10?

And if she does, will she face a far worse punishment from Ava's Ghost?


Previously on TimeForce 10





Readers may visit the Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. Then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TimeForce 10 - "Die Glocke"



Following the recovery of the once missing Bell 2 from a remote Blake Sea Island, TimeRaiders Zabrina McMahon and Zoetrope Dreamscape put the finishing touches on the Bell 4.

The Bell 4 is to be the second of five working time machines to be delivered to a special team of 1944 German Scientists.

Once all five Nazi Time Machines are in place, the Germans - with the assistance of The TimeRaiders - will begin Operation TimePanzer: The Secret Plan to send a team of 1944 Germans to meet with Hitler in early 1941.

Will the plan work?

Or did Major Samantha Calamity of TimeForce 10 find the secret of the missing Bell Mark 2?

And will 19th Century Scientist Cinnamon Somerset escape from the TimeRaiders and find her missing husband?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1940 London Blitz Memorial



Beginning at 12:00 Noon SL time on Tuesday 24 August 2010, many Second Life residents held a Memorial Service for Londoners who lost their lives during the Battle of Britain.

Friday, August 20, 2010

TimeForce 10 - "The Test"



Zabrina McMahon goes inside a Nazi Time Machine to test all systems before a human chrononaut is chosen for testing.

Known to the Germans as "Die Glocke" the Bell Mark III will be the third Time Machine to be tested by Nazi Germany, but as Doctor Zoetrope Dreamscape reminds Zabrina McMahon, the missing Bell Mark II must be found and destroyed before Zoe Connolly and her TimeForce 10 agents can unlock its secrets.

The Bell's signature footprint holds clues that will lead TF10 to the exact place, date and time of the Nazi Time Machine Project in France 1944.

Will TimeForce 10 find Bell 2 before Zabrina? And what will happen to Zabrina if she fails her mission?

Readers may visit the Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. You may then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

NING network groups

Sadly, this is the day when NING stops supporting free groups and deletes any network group that did not choose one of their new "fabulous" tier plans.

I really REALLY loved NING and I'm sad to see it go down this road.

I'm not sure of the exact hour when such NINGs will be shut-down, but I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for the time we all had on these groups... Not only to the kind folks at NING, but to all my wonderful friends and colleagues... to all of us who shared our little corner of Internet space.

GOP in Second Life
Royal Caledon Air Force
Second Life Bloggers
TimeForce 10
Virtual Girls With Guns

My only solace in all this is... I get to reduce my social media footprint and free more time. I'll still be here on this blog, plus the ever present and growing Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and of course... my lovely YouTube. Yay, YouTube!

I think that's about enough social media for me. So goodbye NING! Like many lost people and things in Second Life, it was so good while it lasted.

UPDATE!
I've received word that midnight this Friday evening August 20th/Saturday morning August 21st (PST/SL time) is to be the final moment for all free NING groups.



~ Zoe Connolly

Thursday, August 19, 2010

TimeForce 10 - "Major Calamity"



Zoe Connolly gathers her team as more intelligence is retrieved and analyzed regarding the diabolical plans of Zoetrope Dreamscape and her group of Time Raiders.

In this episode, an agent from the past returns to TimeForce 10 to replace their friend and colleague - Ava Zenovka.

Major Samantha Calamity is an accomplished helicopter pilot, decorated war veteran, stunt pilot for movies and television, news chopper pilot, and only secretly - she is well known as an elite assassin in the intelligence community.

Music is from the Mission Impossible soundtrack.

Readers may visit the Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. Then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

TimeForce 10 - "The Meeting"



Following the placement of the atom bomb, TimeRaiders Zoetrope Dreamscape and Zabrina McMahon have a quick meeting, later joined by Doctor Cinnamon Somerset.

Will Dr. Somerset's persistent and curious nature lead to an untimely end?

Music from the James Bond movie "Octopussy" by John Barry.

Readers may visit the Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. Then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

Monday, August 16, 2010

TimeForce 10 - "Blast from the Past"



TimeRaiders Zoetrope Dreamscape and Zabrina McMahon leave a special "gift" for Zoe Connolly and Cornelius Fanshaw of TimeForce 10.

The "gift" is the long missing third Atomic Bomb from 1945, set to detonate when a mole is inside the Time Tunnel room with Zoe and Cornelius.

Readers may visit the Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. Then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

Friday, August 13, 2010

TimeForce 10 - "Miss Intrigue"



The introduction of Intrigue Blogger, Dr Zoetrope Dreamscape's colleague in the diabolical TimeRaiders.

Intrigue summons a vortex.

Film Music from the movie Vertigo "Prelude Suite" by composer Bernard Hermann




Machinima with alternate music by Edwin Astley from the Danger Man soundtrack. The track is called "I Wonder Where the Microdot Went?"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

TimeForce 10 in World War 2



In this Second Life TimeForce 10 Machinima Teaser of adventures to come, the plot to build a Nazi Time Machine is revealed. Only the agents of TF10 can protect the Timeline from a secret German plot, and a mysterious woman from the future.

Music by Bear McCreary - "Prelude to War" from the Battlestar Galactica Season 2 Soundtrack.

Video Captured in the WW2 combat sim of New Bastogne. Part of a group of 3 sims created for WW2 Combat Roleplay (The Channel, New Fallout, and New Bastogne).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dead Drop



Zoetrope Productions presents... A TimeForce 10 Story... "Dead Drop"

TimeForce 10 is a SPY-FI roleplay adventure within Second Life®.

Music by Blind Devine "Faded Images" from the album "Music for Unmade Movies"

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Torture of Ava Zenovka



Zoetrope Productions presents... A TimeForce 10 Story... "The Torture of Ava Zenovka. TimeForce 10 is a SPY-FI roleplay adventure within Second Life®.

Music by Blind Devine "Far East" from the album "Music for Unmade Movies"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Re-Education of Cinnamon Somerset

Zoetrope Dreamscape and Cinnamon Somerset walked to Cinnamon's station. Zoetrope smiled at Cinn and said "I'm so very proud of you!"

Cinn beamed. She was proud of herself as well. She had learned how to use these computers in less than a month. It was an amazing accomplishment for anyone, let alone someone from 1885.

"Thank you, Zoetrope" Cinn immersed herself in the technology and was able to run the Time Raiders Time Tunnel herself. She was after all, on a mission to find her husband Professor John Barrington Somerset. Cinn intended to use these machines to find and retrieve him.


"Now you'll have all the tools you need to develop your time travel theories, Doctor Somerset."

"Yes, this is absolutely wonderful!" Cinnamon said.

There was one thing Cinnamon was curious about..."Dr. Dreamscape... who is that blonde woman you captured?"

Zoetrope frowned, "That would be Ava Zenovka."

Cinn nodded and said, "I've seen her in New Babbage... it was a few days before you and I met. Is she dangerous?" Cinn looked at Zoetrope and waited.


Zoetrope sighed deeply and looked at Cinn, "VERY dangerous...stay clear of her, Cinnamon."

Cinn paused, then looked down at her control panel "Yes Doctor."

There was an awkward pause, then Cinn decided to ask Zoetrope her routine daily question "When may I look for my husband, Doctor."

Zoetrope looked away and rolled her eyes. She was so very tired of this. Damn her persistence, she thought. She looked down, then at Cinn and decided to lie this time, "I suppose I can reveal this to you now..."

Cinn's chest pounded.

"Ava is the key to finding your husband" Dreamscape lied. She told Cinn to stay away from Ava and that she was VERY dangerous. She gambled that Cinn would stay away from a menacing TF10 agent and do as she was told.

Cinn's eyes widened.

"Just stay away from her, Cinn. Leave her to me."

Cinn looked back at her computer console. "This...TimeForce 10...you say they are evil?" she asked Zoetrope tentatively.

"Cinnamon...you're ill-equipped to deal with these people."

Cinn opened her mouth, about to respond, but thought better of it. "Yes, Doctor" she replied obediently.

Satisfied that her lies worked, Zoetrope walked across the room to another computer console.

Cinnamon turned her head for a quick glance at Zoetrope. She was on the other side of the room. Cinn thought a moment and used the computer to find Ava Zenovka's prison cell.

If this Zenovka woman knew where her husband was, she HAD to know.



Readers may visit the Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. Then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"For Ava"

Our story continues from the post TimeForce 10 Headquarters - The Time Tunnel

The hum of the Time Tunnel grew louder and higher. Another 60 seconds and the Tunnel would be ready.


Phin stood up and stepped in front of the entrance to the Tunnel. He often did this when agents returned and could sometimes catch a brief scent, hear a sound, or feel a rush of air from wherever the agent was time-ported. It was another little ritual for him.

Zoe shook her head but smiled. Her brother's familiar habits were amusing to her most times.

Phin had to speak loudly over the hum of the Tunnel. He turned his head toward Zoe and shouted "Here she is!"

Ava was materializing before their eyes. So far so good.

Until...

An alarm sounded. It was loud and startled both of them.

"Shit!" Zoe yelled.

"What's wrong!?" Phin now shouted over the noise of the Time Tunnel and the alarm.

"1202 Alarm!" Zoe worked the controls while checking monitors. While she did so, she managed to turn off the alarm. A 1202 Alarm was an unresponsive computer. They now had a  time-portal open in Caledon Mayfair with no means to control its size, scope, and no way to stop it.

"Z!"

Zoe looked up and saw Ava suspended. Ava appeared to be in pain, her mouth was open as though she was yelling something, or was it a scream? It was the most awful sight she'd ever seen as TF10 Director.

Phin started to step toward Ava.

"No, Phin!"



Phin shouted at Zoe, "Something...or someone has her!"

"Don't take another step, Phin!... I won't lose you, too!"

Zoe looked at her station, then up at Phin "We have to let her go!"

Phin gave an angry look to Zoe.

Zoe shouted "If we don't let her go now, the Tunnel...and whatever has her..."


"Two forces will tear her apart!" Phin finished. "Do it!" Let her go!" Phin's shoulders slumped as she watched Ava disappear. The computer errors cleared and the Time Tunnel  started its shutdown sequence.




"We need to find her now!" Phin said as the noise of the Time Tunnel died down.

Zoe stared blankly at the monitors...then slowly said... "I don't think we have to look very far."


Phin blinked and then asked "Dreamscape?"

"If we find our cousin we'll find Ava." then Zoe frowned, "The quickest way to find Dreamscape would be through Zabrina... but of course we're not on speaking terms."

Zoe turned to Phin and smiled "She'll still speak to her brother though."




"I'm not sure about that, Z." Phin said.

Zoe nodded and looked straight into Phin's eyes. "For Ava."

Phin read his sister's face and knew better than to counter her determination.

"For Ava" Phin replied.


Readers may visit the Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. Then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

41 years ago today...

From The Earth To The Moon - Apollo 11 Landing



From The Earth To The Moon - Apollo 11 Landing (part 2)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Raymond's Announcement

Raymond the Robot has another announcement for readers of Zoe Connolly's blog. Monday July 19th, 2010.



Readers may visit Zoe's TimeForce 10 Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. Then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

The Abduction

Cinnamon looked at Zoetrope a few moments and said "May I assume you have good reason for your introduction?"

Zoetrope replied through a laugh "You're quite blunt for a Victorian era woman."

Cinnamon blushed... then blinked at her. "A Victorian era woman?"


Zoetrope decided to get to the point. "You've been under surveillance for quite some time, Dr. Somerset."

Cinnamon was in shock but tried not to show it. Her eyes darted from one side of the market square to the other. Zoetrope noticed.

"I assure you, Cinnamon...we're quite alone."

Cinn didn't like that sentence or the way she said it.

"None of us have the luxury of having all the time in the world. At least not yet. So allow me to give you the courtesy of directness."

Cinn thought about how she could politely excuse herself from this strange conversation and run home.

"I know what happened to your Husband,' Zoetrope said.

Cinnamon's heart seemed to pound so hard she thought it would burst.

She managed to stutter "Wha... you... you know about John?" Her mouth went dry and suddenly found it difficult to swallow.

Zoetrope nodded slowly "...and I know a way to help him... and help you find him."


Zoetrope then touched a small contraption on her left forearm. Cinn heard a voice emanating from the device that asked "yes, Doctor?"

Zoetrope spoke one word into the device "Now" and within seconds she faded from sight.

Cinnamon turned on her heels looking frantically about the Market Square. No one could run that fast and no one else was visible. The last person she saw disappear like that was her husband John.

Seconds later she began to feel strange, as though falling from a running horse... but never actually hitting the ground. She felt nausea come over her. She tried to reach out and grab the cart in front of her for support, but couldn't move. Cinn cried out for help, then for her beloved John. The world seemed to dissolve around her... then a swirling tunnel vision... and finally... blackness.

Readers may visit the Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. Then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Coming Tomorrow...

The continuing story of Doctor Dreamscape and her vendetta against TimeForce 10.
 
The Abduction




Readers may visit the Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. Then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

Coming Soon...

One survivor from a doomed starship.

Lt Commander Cryotank in the upcoming blog-post...
 

The Arrival





Readers may visit the Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. Then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Doctor Dreamscape's Minions

Doctor Dreamscape's Minions find the location of the Time Force 10 Headquarters and are about to force a power overload of the TF10 Time Tunnel.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Flyboys

The story details the adventures of several young American boys who volunteered for the French military before the United States entered World War I.



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Two Doctors

Doctor Cinnamon Somerset entered the market square satisfied with her recent find of electrical parts. Now it was time to look for a few items for her apartment. It was nice to take a break from her research, even if it was only for an hour here or there.


Doctor Somerset was sure she was close to duplicating her husband's experiment.

It had taken her a solid month to reach this point. Perhaps another month would be enough time to proceed. She was not as desperate as when she started re-building the machine, but she never lost her sense of urgency.

She looked at the cart before her and was about to pick up a box to inspect it, when out of the corner of her eye she saw movement.

Somerset turned her head and spied a white-haired woman dressed very strangely. Certainly dressed inappropriately for Victorian New Babbage.

"What on Earth!" she thought to herself. As soon as that question crossed her mind, the woman spoke.

"Doctor Somerset, I presume."

The stranger smiled and slowly approached her. Something about this women was not quite right. Cinnamon fought the urge to step back, but not wanting to appear rude she stood her ground.

"How does she know my name?" she thought.


"I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage, Miss. You know my name but I do not know yours."


The stranger exhaled cigar smoke and looked her over for a moment. She gave Cinnamon a mischievous smile that reminded her of Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat.

"Allow me to introduce myself... I'm Doctor Zoetrope Dreamscape."

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Return of Dr Dreamscape

Coming Soon...

The Return of Dr Dreamscape in the upcoming blog-post...

The Two Doctors



Dr Zoetrope Dreamscape.

Arch enemy of Zoe Connolly and TimeForce 10.

Fringe scientist. Specialist in telepathy, psychokinesis, reanimation, teleportation, Inter-dimensional travel, Time Travel.

The Missing


KC's father discovered her involvement in the French Resistance when they both learned of JP's death at the hands of the Gestapo. JP's team, recognizing KC's contributions and leadership over the previous 2 years, went directly to her for guidance.

Her father was in shock and didn't say anything to her about her involvement for weeks. He needed to grieve over his son first. The war took a huge toll on her family, and... "No!" she told herself. She pushed thoughts of her father aside for the moment. She couldn't bear to think of all that now. Even two years later it was as painful as two days after.

As sad as her brother's death was, KC thought of the others she once knew who were dead or missing since Nazi Occupation.

So many names. So many faces.


Her latest missing friend was her British contact, Ian. She knew that something very big was to happen within the next few months. But what exactly? Was it the invasion the Nazi's so feared and the French wanted so much?

She was ready for it, but on what day?

She rowed her boat closer to shore thinking of his handsome face, but also very worried for his safety. KC had lost contact with him almost two weeks earlier.


It was vital to the Resistance to find out what was happening.

There was something more. Before the chaos of the invasion intervened, she wanted to be in his arms, kiss him once again, rest her head on his shoulder and feel safe once again.


Cross-posted on the TimeForce 10 Group Blog



Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4, 1776

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

****************************************************************
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton
Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton
Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton
Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean
Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark
Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton


Saturday, July 3, 2010

TimeForce 10 Headquarters - The Time Tunnel


Zoe Connolly stepped into the room and could feel the familiar vibrations of the Time Tunnel. Nearly limitless power flowed through the entire facility. For Zoe, the feeling of finally returning home was exhilarating.

Her brother Phin greeted her at the door. His first question reminded her there was work to be done. She would celebrate her homecoming later.

Phin: "Ava is ready for time-port. Shall I confirm?"

Zoe: "Did she have anything to report before her last letter?"

Since radio transmissions between points in time were not possible, communications were actual physical objects that could be teleported in space-time. TimeForce 10 crews had long ago shortened the phrase to time-ported, instead of the cumbersome "teleport in space-time".

Cards and letters were messages time-ported between agents. Packages were time-ported objects like artifacts, supplies, or weapons. To the untrained ear, this type of jargon made TF10 chatter seem much less interesting. Which is exactly what Zoe and Phin wanted.

Phin: "It was a routine letter, Z. She's just ready for her next mission. I think she needs a change."

Phin smiled. Zoe could read it later, but Ava was itching for more action and a new mission.

Zoe: "I've got as much work as she can handle."

Phin set dials and punched buttons to begin the startup procedure and countdown for timeport. Phin smiled at Zoe and said "She MUST want something new very badly. You know how she gets nauseous after timeport"

Ava was a proud Russian woman and hated to admit to such weaknesses.

Zoe laughed and turned to Phin "Shall I get a bucket and mop just in case?"

Phin smirked "Let's bring her back and see what happens"

The hum of the Time Tunnel grew louder and higher. Another 60 seconds and the Tunnel would be ready.


Readers may visit the Time Tunnel by teleporting (or timeporting) to the following SLurl http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Mayfair/40/243/24. You'll land at my Steampunk home in Caledon Mayfair. Then take the elevator to the Time Tunnel level.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Resistance

France, May 1944


Mademoiselle Kenaan sat in her favorite cafe, contemplating her life and what she had to do next... but the young KC Kenaan was preoccupied with the thoughts of a certain anniversary.

Her mind drifted back to the summer of 1940 when the Nazi's first occupied her homeland. She had begged her father for permission to join the Resistance, but he would have no part of it. "It is not work for young girls" she remembered him saying. Her older brother Jean-Pierre was allowed to join and soon became a leader within her town.

JP would fill her in on all the activities of local operations.

After months of begging, JP finally relented and let KC participate in a few of the less dangerous operations. KC proved herself time and again. She was an effective fighter, saboteur, organizer and tactician. She eventually lead her own raids. KC's activities were kept very secret from her father for two years until the fateful day when...

KC's eyes filled with tears as she recalled the day.

...The day when the Gestapo came for her brother.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

The List


It was a bright new day with a new purpose.

Following a long absence, Zoe Connolly returned to Professor Fanshaw's secret laboratory and consulted with the residing computational device. A very chatty machine, indeed.

Computer: "Miss Connolly, so good to see you! You look quite fetching today."

Zoe smirked "You always were a charming sort."

Computer: "Have you returned to us, Miss?"

Zoe smiled brightly "Indeed I have, and without further distractions."

Computer: "Oh that's ripping news, Miss Connolly! The others will be so pleased, I'm sure of it. Shall I give you the latest status report?"

Zoe: "Yes, please proceed."

Computer: "My report is not at all good, Miss. Your return is most fortunate for us all"

Zoe tilted her head and frowned. She listened to a long list of unusual and distressing natural and man-made phenomena not known to the general population. Zoe sighed and made a list of agents, their skills and outlined mission goals. She whispered to herself "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more."

After completing the list, the computer paused for a moment.

Then it said: "It is time to save the world again, Miss Connolly."

Monday, June 21, 2010

More Downsizing... More Time and Friends

In addition to stepping-down as active RCAF Air Marshal, I will now retire from the Second Life Bloggers inworld group. From what I understand, the NING Second Life Bloggers group will be deleted sometime in August 2010.

Choosing Tymmerie Thorne as my successor was one of the best decisions I made. My worst being the migration of memberships from NING to Grouply. The resulting hate and vitriol that came out of that mess was the final straw for me.

Let me be very clear, I am NOT leaving Second Life. I'm just retiring from a few organizations that have become more of a burden than fun, and when I first signed-up for SL it was all about fun for me.

I can tell you that "herding cats" is no fun at all. It's draining and exhausting to manage your RL AND manage so many virtual groups in SL. What on Earth was I thinking? I learned I'm no Supergirl, that's for DAMN sure!

At the height of my inworld activities I made as many friends as I lost. I mention losing friends because many are gone from SL now. Many were close to me, at least I thought so at the time. I was too busy to notice they were slipping away from me, and too busy to notice when they left SL. When I did notice it was months later. I thought I'd never have regrets in SL but that is my great regret... Not having the time to be a good friend.

So I intend to go back to my roots...

A "Girl with Guns" exploring SL, logging many adventures and posting to her little inconsequential blog.

See you on the Grid my friends.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Changes within the Royal Caledon Air Force (RCAF)

Effective at noon SL time on Thursday July 1st, Dan Gervasi will take the lead role in RCAF as Air Marshal, DaveDorm Gaffer will serve as Air Vice Marshal, and I will go into "semi-retirement" (which means more time travel adventures for me).

All other officer ranks remain unchanged and intact.

~ Zoe Connolly
RCAF Air Marshal
Caledon Penzance, Caledon Mayfair

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Response from Mark Robins, Co-founder/CEO, Grouply

To All Second Life Bloggers:
The following is an email response from Mark Robins to my email sent Sunday May 9th and featured in Update 2 of my post "The Grouply Mess"

Mark Robins is the Co-founder/CEO of Grouply
Dear Zoe,

Let me start by offering my sincerest apologies for the negative experience you and your secondlifebloggers members had with Grouply.  I, myself, run several online communities and understand the time and effort required to build trust and engage your members in order to make a community successful.  If what happened to you were to happen to me with any of my communities, I, too, would be angry and upset. We are taking this incident very seriously.  I would like to offer a quick note of explanation as to what happened and to let you know what we are doing about it.

Our intention with the Grouply-to-Ning migration tool was to provide disenfranchised Ning Networks a quick and easy path to a new free home on Grouply.  In fact, Grouply has become the new home for many groups that originated on other systems, particularly Yahoo Groups and Google Groups.  As you may be aware, Yahoo and Google Groups are very email-centric, and most users receive all system updates and message postings as individual emails.  In fact, this is the default setting on Yahoo and Google Groups, and due to our history with these systems, it became the default setting for new groups on Grouply.

Of course, in retrospect, this default setting does not make sense for groups migrating from Ning, as Ning users are not accustomed to interacting with their networks via email.  As you know, when the first few people posted to the new secondlifebloggers group on Grouply, some members became upset with the emails, didn’t see the “unsubscribe” link in footer, and replied back to the “discussion” requesting to be unsubscribed, causing still more emails to go out.

Setting all users to receive all postings as individual emails by default was clearly a big mistake on our part.  We have now fixed the migration tool; members of migrated Ning networks will no longer receive individual emails by default.  We have also made it a lot easier to unsubscribe to such emails if you do decide to “opt in” and receive them.  The very first line of each email now reads “Click here to stop receiving these emails”.  Click the link and you are instantly unsubscribed.

I know these changes are of small consolation to you and your group members who already suffered through the “old” model.  However, I wanted you to be aware that we are treating this issue with the highest priority, that we learned from our mistakes, and that we have taken and will continue to take corrective actions.

There is one other item I wanted to address, Zoe.  In your email you mentioned that you couldn’t find a way to delete your groups from Grouply.  Actually, Grouply does provide a button to delete your group.  It’s on the Management Menu page on the far right of the “Your Group” section.  Click here for a screenshot.  Clearly we need to make this more obvious, though.  We are working on this now.

Zoe, I know the chances are slim, but if you are ever interested in giving Grouply another try, I would do everything I could to ensure your success.  I would personally help you get your groups up and running.  I would also offer you the full set of Grouply Pro premium features at no charge for the lifetime of your groups: http://blog.grouply.com/premium-tour/ .  If you check around, I believe you will find that Grouply’s feature set is unmatched by any other offerings.  Here’s our Feature Directory: http://blog.grouply.com/features/ .

Again, Zoe, I am terribly sorry for this incident.  If there’s anything I can do that will help to set things right, please let me know.  My cell is (cell number removed), and you can call anytime.

I wish you and your groups continued success.

Regards,

Mark

==========

Mark Robins
Co-founder/CEO, Grouply
(Contact information removed)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Grouply Mess

To all Second Life Bloggers.

I was horrified when I turned on my blackberry and read all the emails this morning. My deepest and sincerest apologies on the whole Grouply matter. I had no idea it would turn into a spam machine. My blackberry was loaded with spam as well as messages pleading for help and not a few angry ones, but rather cargo plane loads!

Obviously Grouply is NOT the solution.

For a temporary fix I've disabled ALL messages on all my Grouply groups until such time as I can delete all of them. Any help with how to delete a Grouply Group would be appreciated.

Again I'm so very sorry for the disruptions. I had no idea that Grouply would do this. It WAS very unprofessional of me. I did NOT do my usual Due Diligence on such things.



~ Zoe Connolly


UPDATE:
Our best solution is just to use the inworld group version of Second Life Bloggers. I won't make any attempts to save the NING or migrate to another online site.

I've reset the inworld group to "Open enrollment"

UPDATE 2: 
My email to support@grouply.com

I'm writing you because there is no obvious or simple way for me to delete my Grouply groups similar to the way NING is able to immediately delete.

I had migrated content from my NING groups to Grouply and was horrified when I noticed email after email of very angry bloggers. Frankly I'm angry as well. I had no idea Grouply was "Opt-Out" and would start spamming members who had not even officially crossed-over to Grouply.

Please immediately delete the following groups

http://rcaf.grouply.com
http://secondlifebloggers.grouply.com
http://timeforce10.grouply.com

Your policy has irritated nearly 1500 bloggers, micro-bloggers and podcasters and I suggest you may want to take greater consideration toward privacy issues and website usability. Make your site easy to opt-in AND opt-out, including adding an easy way for group owners to delete entire groups.

As a final note, here's something I wrote on my blog to my own members of the Second Life Bloggers group. And there are MANY unflattering blog posts about Grouply out there now. It is unwise to poke a stick at such an animal ;)

http://zoeconnolly.blogspot.com/2010/05/grouply-mess.html

Seeking a swift solution,

~ Zoe Connolly

UPDATE 3:
A Call To Action!


Support me in my request to delete http://secondlifebloggers.grouply.com

send an email to support@grouply.com mention this post and express yourself.

UPDATE 4:

I'm working on an inelegant but effective solution...

I'll delete all members from each group, make sure that the groups are closed and invitation only, then leave all 3 groups once I verify that all other members are gone and settings are setup to disallow anyone joining.

Whew!

UPDATE 5:
All member profiles have been deleted and the Grouply versions of SL Bloggers, RCAF, and TimeForce 10 have been set as invitation only. No invitations will be sent and no memberships will be accepted.

UPDATE 6 (10 May 2010):
Now satisfied that all member profiles have been deleted and the Grouply versions of SL Bloggers, RCAF, and TimeForce 10 have been set as invitation only - with no invitations sent and no memberships accepted - I deleted my own account today. Grouply... You're dead to me!

Response from Grouply...

Per your request, we have deleted your Grouply account, including all
personal information.

We constantly strive to improve our product. May we ask why you decided
to delete your Grouply account?

Please reply to this email if you have issues or questions.

Thanks for trying Grouply.

The Grouply Team

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Shuttleworth Collection

The Shuttleworth Collection depicts the history of flight from the early 1900s to the 1950s and shows how the aeroplane operated in the pioneering years, was rapidly developed through necessity during World War I, was used for sport, pleasure and business in the 1920s and 30s and once again became a fighting machine in World War II.



Join the Shuttleworth Collection on Facebook