Saturday, February 21, 2015

Next issue of the Zephyr postponed until further notice

Dia dhuit, Dear Readers!

I had hoped to roll out an issue this weekend focusing on Caledon's 9th anniversary, but alas, the next edition will have to wait. Real life has intervened for this writer of the Realm--the wee ones have taken ill and need their mum more than the Hypergrid needs another reporter.

If anyone wants to step in and write some stories in the meantime, I'll make sure you have the ability to post to the blog (or I can post them) and they'll be included in the next inworld edition when it is released.

~~Faerie Scribe, Publisher/Editor of the Caledon Zephyr and Scríobhaí na sídhe-at-large

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Caledon Zephyr, 2015.2.8, Stories in Order

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Caledon Zephyr~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bringing you the NEWS of the Independent State of Caledon!!!

"From the northern climes comes the zephyr winds, bringing cherished news and gilded ships."

Classifieds, 2015.2.8

~Caledon Directory~
The Caledon Directory is a listing of public spaces in Caledon, and can be found at . 
It's voluntary and self-service: residents who want to list their parcel on the directory can pick up a directory marker from the kiosk in Victoria City.
or by getting a copy from someone who already owns one (they're full-perm).  They rez the marker on their land, modify the notecard inside with the parcel's name and description, and it will show up in the directory so long as the marker remains.  If the parcel is abandoned, then marker and listing will vanish, keeping the directory up to date.
The Directory was created by Samm Florian and Renee Caxton, operating as the Caledon Directory Organization (CDO).
Caledon Directory Organization Logo


~Constantine Air Werkz~
Fine Aircraft and Parts
Below deck on the Iron Cloud!


~Rainy Fey Creations and Rainy Fey Petite~
Distinct Clothing and Jewelry


(Caledon-based organizations, businesses, and goods can be featured here by dropping a notecard in the mailbox at the Caledon Zephyr office in Caledon Pensans
  or by emailing  Please include the name of the organization or business, a landmark or slurl to where it is located, the inworld name of the contact person and, if it is a limited time sale or activity, the dates involved. Additional info might be added as the submitter sees fit. Classifieds currently are free.)

Upcoming Events and Activities, 2015.2.8

Sunday, February 8th

Noon - 3pm slt
Caledon Oxbridge Winter Auction & Dance fundraiser over Caledon Oxbridge Village
Over 20 items will be auctioned, via text-based live auction, with all proceeds going to Oxbridge. DJing for the two hours of Dance is being provided by Magda Kamenev.

2pm slt
Hooked on Books
Hooked On Books is a weekly, informal book discussion group that's based around different genres or topics each week, rather than centered on a specific book, e.g Childhood Favorites, Horror, Mystery. Hosts/Contacts - Meg Thorkveld & Benton Fretwerk

3-5pm slt
Palm Court Tea Dance
The Bashful Peacock Tea Dance is every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. Please join Rudolfo Woodget for the 2nd Sunday of the month Tea Dance.
The Bashful Peacock is a pub that welcomes all and especially welcomes ladies and gentlemen who prefer the company of ladies and gentlemen, respectively.
The Bashful Peacock is located in the Caledon Wellsian NE corner:

7:30pm slt
Heartbreaker's Ball @ The Laughing Dragon Tavern in Caledon Llyr
It's February and love is in the air, so come and celebrate love in all its forms - - good love, bad love, good love gone bad, bad love gone soooo right... And what better place to celebrate it than... in a bar?

Join us at the Laughing Dragon Tavern Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. SLT; dress as creatively as you like (although red and black are the 'official' colors of the evening).


Monday, February 9th

6:30pm slt
Dancing in Alley Cat Alley
Casual and come-as-you-are for friends and fun!


Wednesday, February 10th

1pm slt
An Hour of Frivolity! at the Book & Tankard Pub in Caledon
Come join us for a (hopefully) weekly hour of relaxation, talking, drinking, perhaps dancing, in the Book & Tankard Pub in Victoria City!

7pm slt
Dancing at the Blue Mermaid
Join us for fun and mayhem at the Blue Mermaid in Caledon on Sea, with eclectic tunes. Dress is informal, music is always fun and danceable.

on alternative Wednesdays,

Themed dances starting at 6:30 in the Dragon Ballroom, Caledon OnSea.
Stay tuned to ISC notices for theme announcements!


Friday, February 13th

6pm slt
Prims Over Caledon - Caledon Primtionary

9pm slt
Friday the 13th Rumble at Your Own Risk Kraken Hunt in the skies over Caledon Middlesea!
Get in on the start of a new Caledon tradition (we hope)! Think you have what it takes to take home the Tentacled Trophy? Turn your flight path to the skies above Caledon Middlesea on the eve of Friday the 13th--make sure you pack plenty of bullets!


Saturday, February 14th

Happy Valentine's Day, Caledon!

Poppy's Place Dance Club
Everyone is welcome!

7pm slt - 9pm slt
4th Annual Valentine Dance in Caledon Stormhold
hosted by Jan Stroikavskoi and Sigurd Hammerthall

Kick up the dance floor strewn with rose petals, and sip champagne as you dance the night away with friends and lovers, amid the romantic ruins of the Stroikavskoi-Hammerthall Estate. Singles or couples, all are welcome! (Formal Valentine dress)

Oxbridge Occurrences, 2015.2.8

Fundraising is still ongoing with a Winter Auction and Dance to be held Sunday, February 8 from noon to 3pm slt. Head to the village park in Caledon Oxbridge Village and look for the teleporter up to the event's skybox.
Catalogs of the auction items can be found in the notices of the Caledon Oxbridge group inworld.


Lindal Kidd announced recently that everyone should be on the lookout for the latest iteration of the old gift card scam.
Your attention, please!

There are some new versions of an old scam going around.  We call this the "debit permission scam."  Here is how it works.

Someone gives you an object.  You wear it, or rez it, and you see this notice
If you click "ALLOW" the object can take all your $L.  The object will have a different name than "Hippo Rental Box" as shown in the example picture.

Some variants of this scam:

An object called "BONUS!  Win Up To $L10,000 (Wear and Allow)"
A gift card
A dance HUD

These objects CAN NOT HARM YOU as long as you DO NOT ALLOW them permission.  If you get one of these scam objects, Abuse Report the person who gave it to you and delete it from your inventory.

Lindal Kidd
Caledon Oxbridge University
Dean of Information

February 1, 2015

 Oxbridge is still looking for new tutors/volunteers and classes/professors! Think you have an idea or want to contribute some time? Send a notecard with what you're interested in doing to Wordsmith Jarvinen or Larkylouz.

The following is a list of the weekly classes offered at Oxbridge:
Unless otherwise noted, all classes take place in the Lecture Hall.

 Smart Shopper Fundamentals
Time: Sunday, 10:00 SLT
Instructor: Lindal Kidd

This class will cover how to get $L, how to know a quality product, the basics of item permissions, some basic scams to avoid, and most of all, how to find bargains. Become a smart Second Life shopper and look fabulous without spending a lot of money!


Q&A With the Deans
Time: Sunday, 15:00 SLT
Instructor: Oxbridge Deans

The Caledon Oxbridge "Dean Team" answers your questions about Second Life, Caledon, Oxbridge, Steampunk, and anything else we can manage. Q&A is hosted by some combination of Oxbridge deans and assistant deans. Between them they know… stuff.


Introduction to Role Playing
Time: Sunday, 17:00 SLT
Instructor: Wendyslippers Charisma

Learn the basic history, purpose and usage of emotes and gestures. Explore roleplay, what it is, and how to do it. This class is intended to enhance your Second Life and greatly increase your fun potential! Free notes, landmarks and gestures provided.


Basic Scripting
Time: Monday, 19:00 SLT
Instructor: Wordsmith Jarvinen

Scripts are what makes Second Life a dynamic, interactive environment. Scripts can change an object's properties, move objects, communicate with avatars or other scripts, sense objects or avatars, play sounds, collect information, play animations, and rez or give objects within the same object's inventory.

The class starts with the very basics and works through several examples.

Familiarity with the build editor is helpful/advised.


Building Office Hour
Time: Tuesday, 12:00 SLT
Instructor: Searra Weatherwax

Do you have building questions, are you stuck on a project and need help, do you just want another opinion on something you've already built? Bring your questions to Building office hours. Bring your special building projects, questions, and concerns this weekly Office Hour.


Advanced Building I
Time: Tuesday, 17:00 SLT
Instructor: Searra Weatherwax

Take your building skills to the next level! Advanced Building covers advanced prim shaping techniques (a.k.a. prim torture), flexi-prims, light, and the uses and misuses of megaprims.

Required Knowledge: Basic building skills. Suggested prerequisite class: Building Basics


A Trivial Entertainment
Time: Tuesday, 19:00 SLT
Instructor: Carl Metropolitan

Join us in Caledon Oxbridge for "A Trivial Entertainment", a fast-paced trivia game show with host Carl Metropolitan. A 300 $L prize for the person who gets the most questions correct. Topics are drawn from the Great Areas of Human (Trivial) Knowledge: Arts, Biology & Earth Science, Entertainment, Geek Culture, Geography, History, Literature & Books, Religion & Myth, Science, Second Life, and Sports.

Just say NO to bot-run trivia!


Time to Make a Clock
Time: Wednesday, 17:00 SLT
Instructor: Sandie Harbour

Put your basic building skills to work by making a real working clock!

Required Knowledge: Basic building skills.

Suggested prerequisite class: Building Basics.


Introduction to Mesh
Time: Wednesday, 19:00 SLT
Instructor: Wordsmith Jarvinen

Mesh is the most flexible means of creating objects, clothing and avatars for SL. The class covers background concepts, compares mesh with prims and sculpties, and shows the upload interface.


What to Do in Caledon
Time: Wednesday, 21:00 SLT
Instructor: Lucien Brentano

So, you've taken the walking tutorial. You've picked the freebies clean. You know all about Avatar Safety, you can wield prims with the best of them, and you have an idea of how to make some spending money. Now what?

This class aims to showcase some of Caledon's more interesting activities. Part tour, part lecture, we show students how to look for a party and give them a calendar of events.

Class materials will include landmarks and links to web-based resources like the Caledon Calendar and the Steamlander forums.


Second Life Photography
Time: Thursday, 12:00 SLT
Instructor: Larkylouz

Learn how to take great pictures in Second Life! This class covers all the essential basics, including using the snapshot tool, camera movement and control, lighting and windlights, graphics programs, photo presentation techniques, photography studios, and more.


Advanced Building II
Time: Thursday, 15:00 SLT
Instructor: Searra Weatherwax

Make the most of your building with advanced building tips, including: precision prim placement with grid and ruler, two ways to copy, advanced linking and unlinking tips, and how to edit linked parts.

Required Knowledge: Basic building.


Building Basics
Time: Thursday, 19:00 SLT
Instructor: Samm Florian

Building Basics is intended for residents who are new or kind of new to building.

On 1st, 3rd, and 5th Thursdays of the month, we have a hands-on class where you'll learn the basic tools you need to build with prims. No prerequisites required; all are welcome, even if you've never rezzed a cube before. This class is text-based and usually runs for 90 minutes.

On the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month, Samm will host a Building Office Hour. If you have general questions about building, having a problem with something you're making, or just want to show off what you've made, bring it by. This will typically run for 60 minutes, but there's no need to stay for the whole class.


How to Buy and Rent Land in SL
Time: Friday, 17:00 SLT
Instructor: Lindal Kidd

You do not have to have land in Second Life to have fun but it sure helps! Introduction to Land will teach you the basics of how to find, buy or rent, and sell land in Second Life. There is also an introduction to land controls, and a discussion of the risks and rewards of land on Private Estates versus the Linden Lab owned Mainland.


Avatar Safety
Time: Saturday, 12:00 SLT
Instructor: Lindal Kidd

Even in a virtual world, there are things that hurt. Introduction to Avatar Safety covers the basics of protecting one's self in Second Life. This class covers personal information protection, strategies for coping with griefers, abuse reporting, and common scams--plus other information sources and a few tools to help you keep Second Life experience safe.


Photo Salon
Time: Saturday, 17:00 SLT
Instructor: Meora

This is an open-ended workshop that provides SL photographers with skills instruction, practice locations, and a supportive atmosphere in which to practice the techniques of effective SL Photography. Subject matter may range from basic composition to experimenting with creating windlights or specialized photography (surrealism, anyone?).

Participants will be encouraged to experiment with lighting, framing, and the manipulation of viewer settings. Each class stands alone, but specific topics will vary from week to week and be announced before class. Critique and sharing are a valued part of the class, which is taught on a rotating basis by class members and guest speakers.

Prerequisites: None, but a basic photography class is recommended.

For more info, contact the coordinator, Renee Caxton.

RCAF Crossword Puzzle, 2015.2.8

RCAF Crossword--use this week's story,, and/or the Steamlands wiki for assistance!

RCAF Crossword Key

A Retrofitting for the RCAF: Looking Back and Gazing into the Future, 2015.2.8

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"Altitude with Attitude"~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~Story and Photos compiled from the dispatches of Zoe Connolly and additional sources
~~compiled by Faerie Scribe

It was announced on Saturday, February 7, 2015 that the Royal Caledon Air Force is to be split into two separate groups. RCAF Steampunk will be the group that dabbles in in the era ranging from steam to WWI aviation in dogfights and other RP. Connolly reports that, though Caledon will be retained in the title, the group will have its base in the Rundlelawn on the mainland, with more available open skies to fly.
Steampunk Aircraft from the RCAF Steampunk Group


The second group, the 401 Squadron RCAF, is to be a WWII role-play faction, fighting Nazis in the skies over the New Bastogne Occupied France and other similar regions.
New Batogne by Night

The RCAF WW2 group will also have another name change--the "C" will now stand for Canadian rather than Caledon. The groups have been given an open invitation from the Dogs on the Run (DOR) aviation group to use their sim, Pengo Bayou, for future dogfighting runs.

Over the years, it's been more and more difficult for the RCAF to keep people active. SL, for some, has been so cumbersome that viewer changes, server "upgrades," and the minefield of full parcels simply made it not worth the trouble to attempt to fly. That doesn't mean that the RCAF didn't have its memorable moments.

The RCAF (also dubbed "Connolly's Crazies" in the early days) has had a long and winding history. Founded on October 24th of 2007, when the group was first established, pilots took their lives into their hands any time they ventured into the virtual skies, whether or not they were fired upon. There was only one aircraft runway in all of Caledon. Connolly and another Caledonian, Virrginia Tombola, combined forces and purchased two plots in the mountains of Caledon Penzance. The original Connolly Aerodrome was built and the RCAF was born.
RCAF Penzance Parcels Prior to Sim Opening

On the Ground at the New Connolly Aerodrome

Then kismet happened. SL became better for flyers, Caledon increased the number of void sims (which back then, didn't have the strict limits they now have), and more people became interested in SL aviation. Interest in expansion led to an outpost being placed in Steelhead Harborside in 2008. An alliance was also established between the RCAF and Winterfell, opening the skies in that neighboring nation to flight paths.

There were numerous aircraft designers working in the Steamlands (and Caledon) during that period. Connolly describes 2008 as the RCAF's "sweet spot" because things were going so well. It wasn't all fun and games, though--the Connolly Aerodrome was the victim of a "terrorist" in early 2008. Molly Earnshaw's favorite method of destruction was to leave explosive teddy bears for unwitting visitors and pilots to find. The aftermath was loud and messy. The group prevailed however, rolling out a new logo, uniforms, and standardized badged aircraft so aviators could feel like they were part of a crew.
Unveiling the New Logo in 2007

RCAF Uniform

With the uptick in activity, the number of air fields in Caledon increased dramatically to a high point of thirteen different areas pilots could use for landing aircraft in 2009/10. These were as varied as the Sumie field in Cay, perfect for hydroplanes (this airfield still exists under the ownership of Dan Gervasi), to a flying mountain retrofitted as an aviator's pit stop (Raffles) over Loch Avie, to a flying city (Steam Sky City) and sim-sized airbase (the Iron Cloud in Caledon Middlesea) and everything in between.

During this time, several squadrons were established within the group. The Caledon Screamin' Tinies, was formed in late 2007 for the tiny aviators of the nation, commanded by Wing Commander Eladrienne Laval. The Screamin' Tinies had their own dogfights, though sometimes it was unclear if those who were defeated were downed by bullets or cuteness.
A Few of the Scream' Tinies

Screamin' Tinies Pre-flight Check

Also near the end of 2007, the Red Devils Squadron was formed for jetpack operators, commanded by Air Vice Marshal Diamanda Gustafson. Early 2008 saw the formation of the RCAF Lightning En Garde fencing team, commanded by Squadron Leader Valentine Janus. Squadron Leader Dan Gervasi led the formation of the RCAF Search and Rescue group in August 2008. Search and Rescue played a key role in keeping casualties down during a giant robot attack on Caledon in 2010 (pictures can be seen in Miss Wendyslippers Charisma's blog
At the end of 2008, Sumie's Task Force was formed for Anti-AirPirate Patrols. Commanded by Squadron Leader Aether Inglewood, the task force was named in honor of group captain and aircraft designer Sumie Kawashima.

On the weekends, the skies over the Firth, Penzance, or Lovelace might be filled with the sounds of engines and gunfire, whether from the popular dogfights or simply testing out the latest vehicles and technologies.
Dogfighting in Caledon

Fighting over the Firth

Plane down in Sound during Dogfight

Tiny Engaging in Dogfight

After leaving the skies, aviators could (and often did) relax and spin tales of their adventures at Prop Spinners or the Rusty Prop--both were in Steam SkyCity--Smuggler's Cove in Wellsian, or the Norseman in Cape Wrath.
Prop Spinners Pub

Swapping Stories at the Rusty Prop

Also in 2008, the RCAF and Connolly Aerodrome earned a mention in the first edition of the Primgraph and Connolly, herself, was written about in New World Notes.
When the announcement was made that Caledon would have a colony in Blue Mars, the RCAF made sure to have an outpost. Though flight was never established in Caledonia in Blue Mars, Prop Spinners still stands just a few steps from the welcome area. A Ning group was created for RCAF members to advance their personal RP storylines within the group as well as share photos, videos, and other news outside of SL. The RCAF started expanding, reaching out to other groups, including the Extropia sims which focused more on the era of dieselpunk.
WW dogfighting in Extropia--

By the end of 2008, however, things began to unravel. Linden Labs put strict limits on the various types of sims, creating what will forever-after be known as the "Void Sim Debacle."

A Handful of Brave RCAF Pilots from 2008

The open skies that flyers had grown to adore now bounced them at simlines declaring no admittance due to sim being full (even those not full became problematic for flight and sailing). (Read about the events of the Opensim issue through the eyes of an aviator at )
The newly formed alliance with Extropia went to dust when their openspace sims were closed. Virrginia Tombola, who was so important in the early formation of the RCAF, left SL. Another key member of the RCAF and a much beloved Caledonian, Sumie Kawashima, passed away in real life.

Sumie Kawashima Memorial Photo
Her memorial drew dozens of aviators to Steam Sky City, crowding the skies in a flight formation in her honor, before the memorial service at Prop Spinners Pub.

Things were bumpy in 2009. Flight conditions were reported to be horrid. Regular weekend dogfights became more sporadic. And then there was the introduction to the wild of laboratory-created air kraken. As if the skies weren't deadly enough, air kraken nests began popping up in the main RCAF dogfighting areas.
Dogfight Interrupted by Kraken
Kraken Chasing a Plane

In 2010, the RCAF-SOC (Special Operations Command) group was formed to look for opportunities to engage in RP and dogfights outside of the borders of Caledon in an attempt to revive interest in the RCAF as well as make connections with the larger historical aviation community in SL. Connolly handed off operations to Air Marshall Dan Geravsi and Vice Air Marshall DaveDorm Gaffer. The Ning group was lost when the provider went to a paid-only model and with it, many historical video clips, photos and stories of the RCAF in action.

In mid-2010, the RCAF attracted an attack from the SteamLand Hellcats which left the Connolly Aerodrome in flames.
Connolly Airbase in Flames

Connolly Airbase in Flames, 2010

There was talk about the Hellcats for several weeks thereafter (especially since their attack on Steam SkyCity destroyed the original city) but soon, they seemed to vanish completely from Caledon's lands with no word of what happened. Rumors surrounded their disappearance and this may be around the time that other rumors began circulating that members of the RCAF were "going rogue" and handling things "under the radar."

More reformation followed at the end of 2010 including the culling of inactive members from the group and a change of management of the Connolly Airfield, which was passed to Wing Commander Wrath Constantine.

In 2011, RCAF members took on a new mantle of being sleuths, inside Caledon and in our Steamlands neighbors. (More can be read about this in Miss WendySlippers Charisma's blog: )

In 2012, the RCAF began doing combined dogfights with the Dogs on the Run group and set up an outpost in their sims.

The skies over Caledon have been quieter for the past few years (unless you count the screams coming from Caledon Questers in Middlesea). The latest reformation is a means to try to revive the group and draw in new members, not only from Caledon but across the Grid. Want to see more activities in the skies within the nation of Caledon? As Connolly points out, wishful aviators need to take the initiative. This means event coordinators, recruiters, designers, and others should get pro-active and not wait on someone else to give an order or make a plan. What will become of this historical group as it adapts and adjusts? What will happen to those who love the visions of aircraft in the skies over Caledon? It seems to be that it all depends on how many will answer the clarion call to take the lead and become the next aviators with "the right stuff."