Eudai-What?

Here is a new word for you. Eudaimonia. It’s a Greek word that means, simply, living well. It’s a trendy word in the architecture of office design, consisting of five open spaces which lead into a private space for doing some serious work. Klaus and Pearl have designed just such a space in the virtual world of Second Life. Let’s begin with this bulletin board, just a sample of the beautiful graphic art in the office.

Now, pretend that you walk up to the new building. It’s design distracts you from the traffic outside. The entrance leads you around the corner to a pleasant space.

You enter into the first space, which is “The Gallery” where examples of earlier work are meant to inspire the workers.

No long halls here. Each room connects so that you walk through them all. The Second room is “The Salon” with comfy furniture and snacks and beverages for a gathering place to share ideas with other workers.

The third room, “The Library” holds a permanent record of all the work produced here, and books and other resources and copiers and scanners for all to use.

Room Four is simply “The Office Space” which will be used as a conference space, desks or tables, whiteboards, and maybe an administrator to help out.

And now we enter the core of the workspace, where each worker has a small private space for a ” Deep Work Chamber.” Neither Klaus or Pearl were at the office when I visited, but I could easily guess which office was which.

Eudaimonia! I had never heard the word until I peeked into the Eudaimonia Machine Building along a busy highway on Secondlife.

Changes

One of the best things about Secondlife is that you can make changes easily. A home can change into a cafe; a gallery into a gas station; a forest can change to a desert. This last week, The Story Motel at Dosojin blew away in a tornado and changed into the Idea Factory, and it may change again next week. Laserskaters cartoons are on display there now.

The Xaraz gallery at Clementina got all new artworks, these from MBeatrix.

The Last Drop Cafe at Montlaur got new art works, these from PearlHyacinth.

And the Craggen Maw Last Drop Cafe added an auto repair shop to repair all the cars swept away in the tornado at the Story Motel.

The End

Exactly as the predictions foretold, the Story Motel was blown away in a tornado. Charlie had no time to grab a camera, but a newspaper reporter got one blurry snapshot just when the lodgers had dared to come out to see the damage. It was on the front page of the newspaper this morning.

Living in a virtual world, the land can be rebuilt quickly, and new stories will be written, but for now, this is the end.

All my earthly treasures are yours

Steve, grumbling to himself, ‘that’s the end of this job,’ made some phone calls to Charlie and Oliver. They soon were all gathered around the office desk. Oliver had noticed Mrs. Story putting something in a red folder in the file drawer yesterday afternoon, and he searched for it by color. There it was, the only red folder. He opened it and withdrew envelopes with all their names on them. Their hands shook as they tried to open the flaps. Oliver read his out loud first. “The robot alien sent me a telegram asking me to join him in a new world.” Steve interrupted, “Oh yes, I found that odd telegram in the drawer. Here it is.” Oliver continued reading, “Will you please contact a lawyer to see if these papers are in order? And when my book gets published next year, you can have all the proceeds.”

Charlie read his letter from Mrs. Story next. “Charlie, you have been here the longest and have always been dependable. I have enclosed the title to the Motel. Sell it, or continue to run it, it’s your choice. All of the lodgers have paid up until the end of August. And I left the plumber’s card in the drawer in case you need him. I won’t be back for at least fifteen years.”

And Steve read his letter next, with a big smile. “Steve, I am glad you stepped out of the dreaming girl’s dream and came to work here. I left a wedding present for the two of you in the safe.”

Steve and the night visitors

It was Steve’s second day as the night clerk at the Story Motel, and he was having trouble staying awake. He entertained himself by looking through the desk drawers. He could recognize two different hand writings, one masculine looking, and one more feminine. The feminine notes had lots of doodled hearts. Also, one strange map of the solar system that seemed to be more like a collage than a map; a telegram printed in emojis; and a phone number for Hero Plumbing Company. He began to suspect that someone was in love with either a plumber or an alien. He heard a noise in the parking lot and looked out. A lady there, with a suitcase. He went out to meet her. It was the motel owner, Mrs. Story!

But, all of a sudden, a space ship came down and picked her up. And when Steve was able to see through the smoke from the exhaust again, all that was left was one shoe.

Don’t throw that away!

Oliver came in late because he stopped to get a haircut. “Did the mail come yet?” he asked. Steve, the new night man, replied, “Yes, but it was all junk. Just some real estate ads and the Vermont Country Store catalogue. I threw it all in the bin.” Oliver leaned over and grabbed it all back out. “Oops, we save the junk mail because the motel owner, Mrs. Story, cuts it up and makes artworks out of it. Collages, she calls ’em.” “She does?” “Yeah, she has a bunch hanging on the wall in the attic at Montara Bridgeworks. And, she knows I collect maps, so she made one with maps for me. It’s in the drawer there. See?”

Second guessing

Unsure of the meaning of the fortune told by the cards yesterday, I decided to check with another source. I remembered seeing a crystal ball on Sunklands blog last week. I wondered what it would tell me.

“Hold on to your hat,” it whispered. And alarm clock appeared, set on 9:00 AM, and a calendar with August 1st marked with a red X floated by. Still puzzled, I went back to the motel. The dreaming girl was there. I asked her about her latest dream and she said that it was frightful, like the beginning of The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy got blown away in a tornado. And she showed me her room. Uh oh. I better worn the motel lodgers about this.

It’s in the cards.

So much had been happening around the motel. I needed a change, or maybe just a new hobby to take my mind off things. The woman in room six had offered to tell my fortune, so I stopped in to see her. Laying out the cards, she said, “I see some winds of change. Strong winds blowing you into a new direction.”

And she said, “I could help you on that.” “How do you mean?” I questioned her. “Didn’t you say something about wanting a new hobby?” “Well, yes, but I can’t think of anything. ” “Here’s an idea. Come with us to try out for the talent show at the Fall Festival. We could do that dance we were doing last night.” So we went down to the Fairgrounds where the tryouts were being held. We signed up and waited for our names to be called.

I sort of messed up on the part where we were supposed to all join hands, but I thought we did the rest okay. However, when they posted the groups to go on the next round, our names weren’t there. Oh well.

Under attack

I first heard it on the 6am news broadcast. The words, UFO sighted, caught my attention. That seemed like last week’s news because we still had late night sightseers coming to the motel this week, looking for signs of the UFO again. “Breaking News” flashed across the screen and then our motel sign came into view. And I recognized the men in the picture. It was not sightseers, but instead it was Oliver and Charlie. I fumbled around for my cellphone. I had turned it off because I was getting tired of frantic phone calls from the office. But, yes, there was a text from Charlie. “The robot got a ride! A whole swarm of UFO’s came to get him.”

The newscaster went on to say, “UFO’s seen in two locations last night”, and the next picture was a location familiar to me. It was the building where Jonson Investigations had an office.

I scrolled down to another text, from Jonson Engineering which said, “Up late, working. Almost lost our android to a swarm of UFO’s. Called police. UFO’s left when sirens were heard.” Looking back at the TV, I saw a close up shot of the android. I couldn’t tell if he looked disappointed or pleased that he missed his ride.

I turned off the TV and went back to bed. “There’s nothing I can do except wait for the next phone call.”

Meanwhile, back at the Motel

Look what I found!

Annie, the head housekeeper at the Story Motel, summoned Charlie into the Gatsby Room to show him a notebook that had been left behind by the last resident. Almost in tears, she said, “I don’t want to get in trouble, but I read the story on the first page and now I am worried that it’s true and oh dear I don’t know what to do.”

An Unwanted Act by SereneDean

Reginald Thornwright sat on the motel room’s one and only chair considering the events of that evening. To the casual observer Reginald’s emotional state would have been as cool as the proverbial cucumber – a true testimonial to his upbringing and Harvard education; however, a more keen study would have noted a minor yet definite tremor as he lifted up the glass of sherry to his lips. Sniffing its fruity bouquet, Reginald’s eyebrows furrowed. The acidic gun power smoke of the still warm revolver beside him had ruining even that simple pleasure.

And then there was the body. What to do with the body? Reginald took another sip as he considered his options. The beach by the seaside motel had been closed due to several shark sightings, so a quick heave-hoe into the water might do nicely. Goodness knows there was enough blood to attract even the most distant toothy scavenger.

And then there was the blood. Fortunately for him, the motel’s bed duvet cover had acted like a gory sponge keeping the blood from spreading. Reginald thought he had once read of fishermen who upon opening up the belly of a large shark, had found an odd assortment of various household objects, so he reasoned why not a once royal blue duvet cover?

Reginald closed his eyes as he took another sip of sherry. Perhaps it was the alcohol, but he began to think that everything would work out for the best. Unfortunately, his calm would prove to be temporary as he heard someone was frantically banging on his door. Apparently, the sound of gunfire had awakened the motel manager, who had then called the police. The jig, thought Reginald, was up. Too tired to do otherwise, he unlatched the door allowing the local constabularies entrance.

In the end, Reginald’s social status had afforded him a mere warning by the police. Despite a thorough investigation, it was still unclear how the unusually large rat had entered his room or what purpose it had in jumping onto him as he slept, but Reginald Thornwright had ensured that it was the vermin’s final unwanted act.

The End

And Charlie gave the book back to Annie and said, “It’s just a story, Annie, just a story.”