For those of you following along at home, all six members of that happy family (including the panda and the sphere in the background) are me, Dale Innis, in Second Life, in a form that I use at least once in awhile (the most common by far being the "parents" in the shot). The wintery scene in the background is thanks to friend Zha Ewry, who said I could steal a snapshot of her very nice new winter skating area. The compositing is thanks to Photoshop.
Is it cheating to keep posting renormous pictures from virtual worlds to make the weblog look more contentful than it's actually been lately? I suppose it would be, but for the more or less utter (I like that: "more or less utter") lack of rules.
Funny thing (speaking of virtual worlds) from World of Warcraft: around Solstice there's a big festival in the human and dwarfish parts of WoW, the Feast of the Winter Veil, and it involves a Santa-like figure called Greatfather Winter. As part of the inworld stuff associated with the event, there's a guy in a Greatfather Winter suit that's part of various quests and things, and he will mail you presents if you do various things for and around him.
The simplest thing to do for Greatfather Winter is to give him a glass of milk and five Gingerbread Cookies (awwwww!). Milk you can buy all over, but Gingerbread Cookies you have to either make yourself, or buy them from some other player that's made them.
Making Gingerbread Cookies involves buying the recipe (simple), buying some Holiday Spices (simple), and finding some Small Eggs (not quite as simple). Finding some small eggs involves, say, going to Westfall and killing some vultures, or going to Darkshire and killing some owl-monsters.
None of that is very hard, but there are enough people who don't want to do it themselves (and also have money) that a stack of five Gingerbread Cookies sells for a gold piece or more in the Auction House. Spennix has killed a whole lot of vultures in the last few days (mostly in this area that she found where they reappear within about five seconds after you kill one), and is roughly twice as rich as she was not long ago; seems like you can make about one gold per hour this way in this season, if you can take the boredom. (And actually I found egg-farming pretty relaxing, in a mindless soothing sort of way.)
So to cap things off, so to speak, here is a picture of Spennix at work in Westfall:
A bit gruesome, I know. I do actually have some moral reservations about the whole thing, and how the primary thing one does in WoW is kill stuff, and how death and mass-slaughter are only temporary, and so on and so on. But I don't have anything coherent to say about it just here.
(Spennix also has a cool new hat since that picture, but another huge screenshot would be at least one too many.)
In the real world, I'm sad that the thing I'd most like to attend up at ZMM this year is on Easter weekend (which is also the weekend closest to the little boy's birthday this year, so doubly bad). But I'll just attend something else (or not), and it will partake just exactly as much of Suchness regardless. *8)