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 Post Post subject: The Odyssey Times: Edition 10
Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:21 pm 
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Welcome to the latest edition of the Odyssey Times, packed with both fun articles, enlightening articles, and serious stuff as well! :D

A Day in the Life
Imageby Frank

This is a film made about Odyssey from the episode "A Day in the Life". The full script in full detail. I had originally written it for FBI but thought it would work well here. :D It will continue for several issues, so...let your emotional taste buds soar on the wings of your...um...er...imagination.

Opening title...a cross between the "Peanuts" theme and the theme from "Down Gilead Lane". Music plays while an aerial view of Odyssey gives you a glimpse of the town...the lake and Forest Mountain.
In large, flashy text, each line fading in and out: (aerial view still shows you Odyssey sights.)



A Clark Gilbert Film


Directed by Marty Scoresburg


Based on the novel by John A. Whittaker


A Day in the Life


Music climaxes with love theme...somewhat like that mournful, longing tune in "The Polar Express".

More views of scenic Odyssey bring you to Sycamore Lane...music turns into a pop tune with catchy beat...coming down the street is a boy, approximately twelve years old with tousled blond hair, riding a skateboard along the curb. The boy is listening to headphones and is on his way home from school...which is evident by the large backpack.

Music plays...boy rides into the driveway of a modest condominium. Hops off the skateboard and runs up the front bit of lawn. Throws open the door and races into the kitchen. An exceptionally beautiful mother (tall, blond, dressed in the height of fashion) is sitting at a desk paying bills. She spots her son and gets up to greet him.


Boy. Hey Mom!

Boy pulls his headphones off and plops his backpack and jacket down on a chair.

Mom. Hi David, it's good to see you.

Mom walks over and gives David a warm hug. Music is touching...then turns back into a pop song.

Mom. Oh, hey...Mr. Whittaker over at Whit's End called. He has a surprise for you. You should go on over when you finish your homework. Do you want something to eat? I got some new snacks in the cupboard.

David charges over to the cupboard mentioned and pulls out a healthy looking trail mix bar.

David. Cool! Just what I wanted! Thanks Mom!

Boy charges upstairs. Mom smiles and sits gracefully back down in her chair and resumes paying bills. The music communicates the feel that everything is great and life is good. Scene fades out.

Next scene: Whit's End. A front view. You hear the sound of children yelling and playing wildly and see David coming up the sidewalk on his skateboard. He pulls up in front of the door and goes in. Camera follows him inside.

As he walks into the door the camera shows you the pure magic and hugeness of this place called Whit's End. David looks around and mutters "wow." under his breath. The camera turns to see what David is looking at and we find that it is a group of preppy little girls - and he's staring at this cute little brunette. She looks up and their eyes meet. (Music turns to a slightly romantic feel.) She runs a hand through her smooth hair and takes a sip out of her smoothie with perfect clove-shaped lips. Aaaah. But David snaps out of it as he realizes that others are watching, and walks up to the soda fountain.

There's a spotless counter, sparkling stools, the linoleum floor just glistens. The camera looks over to the counter top and focuses in on a gorgeous teenage girl reading a magazine behind the counter. David saunters up to the counter and says:


David. Hey Connie!

The girl dreamily looks over, flips the magazine closed and tosses her perfect hair out of her heavily make-uped eyes.

Connie. (breathily dreamy) Hi David...what can I do for you today?

David. I'll have a chocolate soda please, and where's John? He called my house and said that he had a surprise for me.

Connie is looking at the magazine again...but catches herself and dreamily mutters:

Connie. Oh, John's in the Bible Room...I think he's playing with some more of those...inventions of his again. I'll go get your soda.

David. Okay! Thanks Connie.

David sits down on the bright red plush bar stool. Pop music plays as David sees those really cute girls and wishes that he could go sit with them. The cute little brunette picks up her purse with perfectly manicured nails and reapplies her lip gloss.

David's gaze is suddenly drawn to a corner booth, where a dark sinister man is gazing intently at him. (music grows slightly eerie)


Connie. David, here's your soda.

Music abruptly goes back to normal slice-of-life pop.

David. Thanks. Uh Connie? (leans over the counter and whispers...) That man over there was looking at me.

They look...but the booth is empty.

Connie. Maybe you were just imagining things.

David. Yeah (sips soda)...maybe.

The scene fades out into black...the music finishes in darkness.

To be continued....


Election Quizzes!
Imageby Agent DeWhite


EK and Sonuna for Mayor and Chief of Police.

(According to EK)

1. With what strategy does the Triforce team intend to win?

A. Great edge and contrast in personalities: EK is typically known as a nice guy, and Sonuna is the mysterious type.
B. Bribes.
C. They have no strategy.
D. By their sheer awesomeness.
(Highlight below for answer.)
(Answer: A & D)
In their own words:
“We intend to have an edge with our personalities. I mean, I think I’m well known as a nice guy and Sonuna is known as a mysterious type person. So with that contrast we hope to attract voters... that and our sheer awesomeness!”


2. EK and Sonuna have devised a stage, uh, platform that consists mainly of what?

A. Enriching members experience on the ToO.
B. Providing spam for carefully chosen moderators to delete.
C. Earning money towards a cruise to the Bahamas.
D. Encouraging members in the profession of window washing. Go Bernard!
(Again, highlight for answer.)
(Answer: A)
In their own words:
“What our platform is about is enriching the members experience on the ToO. We want them to have many options to do while feeling comfortable in a safe organized environment. We also plan to help out with ridding spam with our money system.”


3. Improvement’s great, right? The number one way the team plans to improve our town is...?

A. Ban chocolate!
B. Increase the truckloads of chocolate coming in.
C. Warp citizens mind with a carefully designed Nova Box.
D. Organization.
(Answer: D)
In their own words:
“Number 1, eh? Well, I’d say it would be organization. We want people to know exactly where to put things and for people to easily access those places. Because what would a messageboard be if we were always confused?”


4. Losing isn’t always too easy on the ego, but if that happens, what will EK and Sonuna do?

A. Mope around for days afterwords.
B. Leave and never come back.
C. Continue to live life well.
D. They haven’t figured out what they’re going to eat for lunch today, much less weeks down the road.
(Answer: C)
In their own words:
“We plan to go on with our ToO lives helping others to the best of our ability and giving advice and being awesome and stuff like that.”


Closing comments: “I am very happy to be part of this election the ToO is an awesome place and being part of it since day one I want to help see it grow. See you on election day! :)


Cowboy of Texas and Gimp for Mayor and Chief of Police
(According to Gimp)

1. For more votes, Gimp and Cowboy of Texas are employing what strategy?

A. Charming magnetism that no one can resist.
B. $10 a post days.
C. It’s all about the people.
D. More pillow fights!!!
(Answer: B and C)
In their own words:
“We intend to find out what the people want, then, if we really believe we can make such things happen, we will let them know that if we are elected we will see that those items are done during our term.

We are also looking into having more $10 / post days. At this time, we're not sure how many or how frequently, but since some people missed out on the last one, we would like to have more of them to give people a chance to be involved in it. (And to also raise the stats for the board)”



2. Gimp and CoT plan to execute what platform should they win?

A. $10 a post days.
B. Job variations.
C. A chat room for all to enjoy.
D. Find out our ideas and see what they can do to implant them.
(Answer: A, B, C, and D)
In their own words:
http://thetoo.com/viewtopic.php?t=5060&postorder=asc&start=20


3. To improve the ToO...

A. Your ideas brought to life.
B. My ideas brought to life.
C. Nobody’s ideas brought to life.
D. Everybody’s ideas carefully considered on whether they should be brought to life.
(Answer: D)
In their own words:
“Again, it's about the people. We will be listening to them and implementing as many of their ideas as we can so that in a way we are letting everyone have a part in what goes on in the town.”


4. If loss is the only way, what are the teams plans?

A. Color on the wall.
B. Take over the world
C. Run again – time for strategy sessions in between.
D. Through darts at the computer screen opened to the ToO.
(Answer: B and C)
In their own words:
“Take over the world ;) j/k. I'm not entirely sure about CoT's plans, but I would like to use the four months to strategize and come up with a new approach to the campaign, and run again in a future election. Maybe not the fourth election, but I would definately run again at some point.”


Closing comments:
“I would like to thank our supporters, those we know about and the ones we don't yet know that are supporting us. If CoT and myself are elected, we will not let the people down.”

Jonathan and Evil Chick for Mayor and Chief of Police
(According to EC)

1. Jonathan and Evil Chick’s scheme for pulling up and ahead the other teams:

A. Completely complete each and every promise promised in election platform.
B. C and D.
C. A, B, and D.
D. B and C.
(Answer: A, B, C, and/or D)
In their own words:
“First of all, of course, Our platform. We believe that our platform will appeal to voters, as we do have some points that are not offered by any other teams. Also, we were very careful to only make campaign promises that we will actually be able to implement. So, if we are elected, we really will do the things mentioned in our platform.”



2. What is the basic outline of JEC’s platform?

A. A ToO chatroom.
B. De-spamming Finnamen’s Market.
C. Monthly games and/or contests.
D. Dealing with inflation.
(Answer: A, B, C, and D)
In their own words:
Our platform contains five basic ideas that we would like to make a reality on the ToO. 1- A ToO chat 2- De-spamming of Finneman’s Market 3- Monthly games and/or contests 4- New jobs (including ones requiring multiple degrees) 5- Dealing with the inflation.


3. Things can always improve. In what way do JEC plan on making the ToO more enjoyable, and all around better.

A. Go pink walls!
B. Organization.
C. Tons of Grisly Chips for all.
D. Choir practices everyday. 5 am, sharp.
(Answer: B)
In their own words:
“Our main goal if we get elected is to make the ToO more organized and more enjoyable for all of the users.”


4. And, if they loose?

A. Cheerfully support the new Mayer and CoP!
B. Loose? They won’t loose.
C. Make things miserable for the new leaders.
D. Giggle annoyingly for seemingly no purpose.
(Answer: A)
In their own words:
“What can I say about that? In the case that we should not win, of course we will be disappointed, but not be devastated. We will accept our fellow member’s decision, and do our best to support the new Mayor and CoP with their new responsibilities.”


Closing comments:
"We would like to encourage voters to contact us with their questions. We are always here for you. Feel free to pm either Jonathan or myself with all of your questions, regardless of how trivial you might find it. We don’t want you to be unclear about any aspects of our campaign!"

Moderator Selection Issues
ImageBy Catspaw

The process of selecting moderators is an issue that has come up in the current election process, and many of the candidates have stated their position on the topic. Many gifted people are interested in becoming a moderator in the future. With a limited number of mod spots available, not all of the talented people desiring a mod spot will acquire one in January. This issue has become more important in this election as the result of a piece of information that a concerned citizen has sent in to the Times. The content of the private message that the citizen received is as follows:

PM sent to ToO citizen wrote: wrote:

Hi Fenix,
Gimp and I are running for Mayor and Cop and we were wondering if you would like to be a Mod? The thing is: Neither of us have enough money to run for Mayor and we were wondering if you could pay for it? In return you could Mod any of the boards that you wish (I.E. Finneman's Market or The Harlequin.)

So tell me what you think of the offer and thanks for your time.

- Cowboy


For the sake of comparison, here is the official statement made by the Cowboy of Texas and Gimp campaign:

gimp80995 - Posted 05 Dec 2005 09:37 pm wrote: wrote:

While we would like to have many people as mods, there are only a certian number of individuals needed, therefore here are some criteria that would determine who we select / offer a position to.

1) Ammount of time in town. While there are some who recently joined who might make good mods, they haven't had enough time around to show what kind of person they are. By that I mean, we will need people who visit frequently enough to keep an eye on things.....not the people who show up maybe once a month.

At the same time, we won't discourage new people from requesting a position, as there are many new people who spend more time on here than the people who have been around since the founding of the town.

2) Maturity. Note, I said maturity, not age. I've seen (especially on here ) 11 yr olds that are more mature than the 20 yr olds. We want to choose mods who are mature and able to keep an eye on the boards.

3) Previous experience as a mod is not a requirment, but is most certianly helpful. And if you DO have experience, but not at an AIO board, don't worry, we will certianly accept any and all experience.

4) Record.......how you've behaved in town is highly important and kinda goes along with the maturity. Now we won't automatically disregard a person with a prison record (simply because most of us know what happened during Brian's time in office ), however if a person was in jail (for a real offense, not just because Brian was bored), we want to see that they have changed and aren't going to be doing the same things that got them in trouble in the past. After all, we can't have a member of our police force going to jail.

There may be other requirments that arise, but we will let you know in plenty of time before the elections are held.

Peace Out

-Gimp



A follow-up statement was made in the same thread, confirming the earlier statement, in repsonse to the question, "Does the amount they donate have anything to do with their chances of getting a position?":

gimp80995 - Posted 05 Dec 2005 11:14 pm wrote: wrote:

No, it does not. Even those who do not donate have a chance at a position.

In addition to the above post of mine, we would also be looking for character.......honesty, dependablity, keeping one's word, etc. in determining who the best candidates would be for a position.

To have a town of upstanding citizens, we need upstanding leaders to set the standard.

Peace Out

-Gimp


The Times neither wishes to support or condemn this situation, and will not be endorsing any of the candidates who are running, but desires to provide the citizens of the Town of Odyssey with the information that they need to make an informed decision in the vote that is occurring from January 6 – 9, 2006. Please take the time to go to the Election Board and thoughtfully consider all of the candidates while you make this important decision!

Shadowpaw's TH Reflection - The second of a series of TH admin reflections!
Image

For every person out there who doesn't want to read this rather long article, I know there's at least one more who does. So if you're not that interested in hearing about the history of the Town Hall or Town of Odyssey, feel free to skim over this piece... it might just bore you to death ;). But for those who are interested, I hope you'll find a candid look at the significant role the Town Hall has had in shaping the lives and relationships of Adventures in Odyssey fans worldwide. Some of you were there at the beginning, some of you joined later, and some never knew it existed. But to give this article some depth, I've decided to take it way back to the beginning (at least the beginning for me), and work my way through the history of that fabled board and what kind of impacts it has had on me and the members of this board.

I guess it would have been just under 6 years ago (at the time of this writing) that I discovered Odyssey on the internet. It was December 1999, split episodes were all the rage (literally), the AIOHQ and the Ultimate AIO Site were the two prominent Adventures in Odyssey websites and I was a fan who had just fallen in love with "Malachi's Message I, II, III" so much so that my love for Adventures in Odyssey finally drove me to start my own website. But before I was about to start my own website, I found a link to "The Town Hall" on the AIOHQ, a simple message board with a purple background and a handful of members, some of which are still with us today. Shortly after, I drafted up a website, launched it, and then began looking for ways to attract visitors. Back then, the AIOHQ also had a message board that Nathan Hoobler had coded himself. It was a rather small message board with the same few people making all the posts, but it was decent and a nice addition to the AIOHQ. Not wanting to feel left out, I designed my own message board... but one that was going to separate itself from the Town Hall and AIOHQ's Board. The color scheme was black and red and featured such advanced features as "Categories", "Avatars", "Smilies", and "Registration" (much to the grumblings of many visitors). Neither of the other boards required registration and so I had my work cut out for me as I tried to attract visitors to my new message board called "The Soda Fountain" (at the time, my website had no name). Eventually, a small, but dedicated, group of people latched onto the board and my "ezboard" became quite popular with AIO internet fans. So popular in fact that an independent website held an "awards" ceremony where fans voted on the best sites related to Adventures in Odyssey, and the Soda Fountain Message Board finished first overall for the Message Board category.

But things soon changed. The ezboard I had created was no longer unique, as everyone and their dog in the AIO internet community started their own ezboards and advertisements that were beyond my control started interfering with my guests. Traffic dipped off a bit and so Nathan Hoobler and I had a chat. Together, we decided that in the best interest of the internet community, both of our sites would eliminate our message board components to allow for one central place to discuss AIO. Traffic picked up on The Town Hall, and for a while it remained at the top of the AIO charts as the other ezboard startups eventually shriveled up and died (as all small message boards will do at some point). That summer, I decided I need something else to attract visitors to my website, and came up with the concept of AIO Survivor. This of course was a huge hit (far more popular than I expected) and after a lot of fan demand, lead to the creation of AIO Mole in 2002.

Enter Jared. For members who were not with us at at that time, you missed out on a wonderful weekly radio show hosted by Jared titled "Odyssey Radio." Jared, along with Josh Shelley, released a weekly radio show for download on the internet featuring commentary on the latest Adventures in Odyssey episodes and news. It was a wonderful little show that all of us tuned into whenever a new show was released. His voice was really all I knew of him, aside from the occasional chat on AIM. One day I was speaking with Jacob Isom (the webmaster of The Odyssey Scoop) who inquired about the possiblity of a sequel to AIO Survivor. As I had told everyone else, my personal life and free time took such a beating with writing it that I wasn't really looking forward to doing another. I mentioned that I would only do it if I had a co-writer and I guess word of that reached Jared's ears, as a couple of weeks later, I found a fairly lengthy introduction to AIO Mole sitting in my inbox. Jared had written so much that I hadn't the heart to tell him I was no longer interested in doing it, so we went ahead with the idea. While planning the next installment of AIO Reality shows, Jared and I came to the conclusion we needed a message board all for ourselves. We couldn't just hijack the Town Hall's message board for speculation/theories about who are mole was and what would happen next, so Jared put together a message board for our show. I then suggested we call it the Mole Boards, at which point Jared said he didn't like the name (neither did I), and I promised to come up with a better one before we launched.

Well, we never did come up with a different name and the Mole Boards launched with that very unexciting moniker. This board, of course, was very different from the Town Hall and once again required users to register. There was everything the old ezboard had and more. After creating the board, Jared and I decided that we would utilize the categories to add three boards for AIO Mole Related discussions and three boards for everything else ("Adventures in Odyssey", "General Discussion" and "Off-topic"). As a result, the Mole Boards took off and became a huge success with AIO internet fans. Jared and I were quite pleased with the result, but the Town Hall traffic came to a grinding halt. However, something we hadn't seen much of on the Town Hall became very apparant on the Mole Boards... members were zany, loved having fun, and were all incredibly creative. This creativity gave birth to such infamous stories as the "duckies" and "war on food", legends that live on to this day. Dan, the owner of the Town Hall, took notice of the Mole Boards popularity and in early October 2002 (while AIO Mole was starting to wrap up), overhauled the Town Hall completely. Gone was the purple background, the green text, and the "inverted colored Eugene falling from a rope" logo... in its place was a board very similar to the look and feel of the Mole Boards, but based on phpBB instead of YABB. Members also had to register for the message board, something that is so common place now that it's funny when I think back to people complaining. Once AIO Mole concluded, the Mole Boards continued to thrive and the Town Hall struggled to find an audience even with the new board.

All was not well though. For reasons that are unexplained to this day, strange things started happening on the Mole Boards. Posts were being attributed to members who had not made the post, post counts were changing at random, every member was banned for a period of time, passwords were being changed (the last letter of every password was duplicated at the end), a normal member was appointed moderator, and whenever I posted a message, other posts were deleted immediately. One other strange occurrence targeted me directly. Josiah, a member of the Mole Boards, had "Hawkeye's real name is Justin" written inside their signature line. During this time, the signature was changed to "Hawkeye's real name is Corey van der Laan." Incredibly odd, considering Corey van der Laan is my real name and not Hawkeye's... but also because at that point in time, my real name was not public knowledge (nor was it even private knowledge). With posts randomly deleting themselves and strange things occurring, Jared and I realized we were probably dealing with a hacker, even though some of the errors that were occurring didn't seem to line up with that theory. Without much luck in tracking down the source of the problems, we shut down the board and tried to determine a course of action. Jared tried reinstalling the board and well, the entire board was lost as a result. We looked at our options, reasoned that with AIO Mole finished and the Town Hall sporting a new coat of paint, maybe it was time to move on. We closed the Mole Boards for good and packed our bags for the Town Hall. Our members came with us, and they were zany and creative from that point forward ;).

Shortly into the life of the new and improved Town Hall, Xhan (also known as Dan to those who had visited the old Town Hall and was currently known as "Switchflood" at this time), asked for applicants to apply for moderator positions for his board. With my experience and background, I applied, and thankfully got one of the two jobs he was offering. The second job went to The Top Crusader... a familiar name to all of those here! For a few weeks, it was just Switchflood, Top Crusader and myself monitoring the boards. In early-December of 2002 (I believe that's when it was), Jared was added to our moderating team and our numbers increased to four. A month or so later, Switchflood asked me if I would be interested in a co-administrator position since he was going to be busy for the next little bit. As I was a security guard at this time (working night shifts), and my schedule just didn't allow it and I turned it down. A few months later, Jared was appointed administrator (after winning the original "Town of Odyssey" elections), and so Jared and Switchflood were the admins, Top Crusader and I were the moderators. Over the next couple of years, several more moderators were added to our ranks. Hawkeye was the first (added before 2002 ended), followed by Arthur Dent, Coralfish, and Amadeo (though I'm not one hundred percent sure on the order). We had our own private board and if nothing else, that board was arguably one of the funniest places on the Town Hall. Everyone had a great sense of humor and I had a good number of laughs during my time there. We also knew when it was time to make tough decisions regarding members and improvements for the board, and we made a great deal of them.

During the early days of the Town Hall, Switchflood had created a sub-section to the Town Hall. It was called, "The Town of Odyssey", and featured a little space for people to post their pretend jobs and to sell their pretend items. Oh, and they could run for mayor (which meant they would get to be moderator of the board). The elections really brought out the creativity people had (once again), and there was some hilarious little campaign ads that I recall (in particular Ferder's and Mellow's). Jared won the first election and Arthur Dent won the second. By Arthur Dent's win, the board had gown a little long in the tooth and a lot of people thought it was becoming rather pointless. Arthur Dent's platform included shutting down that board if he was elected. He did so, and Jared allowed him to remain as a moderator of other sections of the Town Hall. Around this time, a board was created for debates. It was called "Impolite Company" and Coralfish (an active debater) was added to the team of moderators. At some point during all of this, a mysterious seventh admin (not including Xhan) was added to the team named Amadeo. I did not agree with the appointment of Amadeo, a user who none of the users (and majority of admins) did not know very well and was now in charge of enforcing rules. I kept it quiet for a time, but after hearing other members complain about it, I spoke up and let my opinion be known. It's not that I didn't like Amadeo, quite the opposite (and I was even friends with the user prior to the board starting), but I did not like the idea of a secret moderator who suddenly appeared to the surprise (and dismay) of hopeful moderators everywhere. This appointment was something that stuck with me for a while and planted a seed for the future Town of Odyssey.

Now, I don't remember when it happened, but in either late 2003 or early 2004, our numbers were trimmed a tad. We lost Hawkeye, who was a valued member of our team, and missed him greatly. After his departure, everyone on the administration agreed to keep tight lipped about any and all discussions we had in our private board, and we also had the moderators shuffle around a bit to accommodate the vacancy. I stayed at my post in "Off-topic" and "The Town Hall" (the Adventures in Odyssey board) where I certainly enjoyed my time. Things continued like normal for the next little bit, with the board running smoothly and everyone doing their jobs. Then one day in early August, I showed up on the Town Hall and notice an extremely peculiar scene. Jared was no longer the only active administrator on the board: Amadeo, Coralfish, and Arthur Dent's names no longer appeared in the moderation green but instead in the administration yellow. There was also an announcement made in "Off-topic" announcing these latest promotions. Ironically, The Top Crusader and myself, the first two members of the staff, were completely passed over in favor of the other three. Now, those three were terrific people and I bring this situation up not to knock them down, but to illustrate a significant point for me and the Town Hall. No discussions had taken place prior to these appointments, in fact, none of us knew Jared needed an extra hand... let alone three. It was sudden move, unexpected by all of us, and lead to a few heated discussions in the administrator board, of which I steered clear for the most part. Jared stated it was simply an oversight, one that he was not going to correct, and as a result, three very important things became clear. First, the staff of the Town Hall was finally divided... the tight group we had before no longer seemed to exist. Second, with The Top Crusader and I being singled out, our input amongst the administrators was clearly diminished. And third, the focus of the Town Hall had shifted.

From the start, the board was designed to be about Adventures in Odyssey, with the radio show at the center of attention. Switchflood (now known as Xhan) had left the site, Jared had grown up and no longer listened to the show, and the same was true for Arthur Dent. Coralfish was not an active member of the board, and Amadeo was the only bonafide fan of the show in the new administration. Perhaps not coincidentally, all 4 admins were prominent members of the Impolite Company sub-forum. Contests, RPGs, Wars, and other fun things that members had created were not popular with the college-aged administration and things started being removed or outlawed because the administration no longer approved of it. Our average age was probably around 20... the board's average age was closer to 14. Unfortunately, decisions were being made based on personal preference, and the popular things that members were creating just didn't appeal to most of us. These creations were no longer allowed or were restricted to the point it was no longer fun for members to do them. We also had a problem that with so many administrators off in college, decisions became impossible to make. We had tried to implement a system (which failed miserably) where we voted on issues. But waiting for the other administrators to give their input often took weeks. Decisions just started being made, without waiting for more input, and some decisions would be reversed or else privately disputed. A thread would be deleted, we would question why, and we would never get an answer. It was just a mess of a system.

Finally, in November of 2004, the Top Crusader and I finally got our day. Jared appointed the two of us administrators. I also learned something that greatly disappointed me... this entire time, the administration had access to our private messages and were able to read them without any members knowing. Xhan had installed this mod to monitor possible chatter that would indicate members were trying to cause problems (I assume). I don't know how often it was used, if ever, but the fact it existed made me uncomfortable and I felt like I was lying to members. However, with Top and I back on the same level as the other 4, it was time to hopefully make some changes. But only about a week after Top and I were appointed, lightning struck the Town Hall (or to be more precise, Xhan didn't renew), and the board was suspended. Like the lost sheep we were, we needed a new home. I used my resources at the Soda Fountain to construct a new message board, a different message board, and try to steer the shifting focus in the right direction. For two weeks, things were great. I had even asked the same administration team at the Town Hall to lead the new board, with the understanding things were going to be run differently than they were at the Town Hall. It didn't last though, and the Town Hall returned two weeks later.

But I was able to make at least one major change. With my new found "power", I upgraded the Town Hall to the latest version of phpBB. This effectively removed the ability to read private messages and at the same time, protected us from future hacker attempts. However, things got a bit sticky a couple of weeks later. A hidden 18+ over board had been created earlier with members who were known to be over 18 manually added to group. In this board, I made a joke that Jessica (known as Continental Admiral) and Jared were dating. It wasn't true (at least it wasn't at that particular time), and the two denied there was anything between them. Jared wanted to pull a prank and asked if it was ok with me if he de-admin me and put Jessica in my place as an administrator. It was to last a short while and it would appear quite comical to have me lose my job while Jessica replaced me. Well, it was kinda funny... but more in a strange/awkward way. There was a lot of people confused by my de-admining (especially on the administration team who were not told ahead of time) and I regretted agreeing to it. Things got worse once I was brought back to the admin team, and Jessica remained... and remained... and remained. Jared soon announced that he would leave her on the administration team indefinitely. Looking back on that moment, I guess it could be considered the spark that would lead to the end of the Town Hall... at least the Town Hall that we knew.

Aside from the many discussions we had had in the past about the need to discuss things thoroughly with one another before any decisions were made, we had also (countless times) informed the population that we were not looking for new administrators. Continental Admiral's appointment was not a popular one with the board members or the administration. Now, don't get the wrong impression, Jessica is a wonderful girl ;). She's also a fantastic and bright administrator, and a joy to speak with. But it wasn't who was appointed (just like the case was with Amadeo), but how she was appointed that made things incredibly awkward for everyone. We were once again blindsighted by a power shift without prior consultation and infighting amongst the administrators became rampant. Having been thinking about leaving the Town Hall for nearly 6 months, I knew I needed to step down.

But then I was left with a dilemma. I could either just leave the Town Hall the way it was, focus on the Soda Fountain and just hope things changed for the best. Or, I could be pro-active and create a place I enjoyed visiting. In the years of the Town Hall, so many message boards rose and fell with little interest being shown their way. I needed something radically different that made it feel like there was a reason to visit. So, I recalled a conversation I had with -mellow the summer prior. We had been discussing the famous "Town of Odyssey" from the early days of the new Town Hall and I had, at that time, expressed interest in creating a video game around that concept. Well, the game was not going to happen, but a message board could work. I sat down with a friend, threw some ideas out, and then started looking at the modifications available to me. I then got it into my head that this was what I needed to do: Create a board where the administration was elected, not appointed. A board where creativity was encouraged, not stifled. A board where people could act their age and not get in trouble for doing so. But most importantly, I wanted a place that stayed true to the roots of Adventures in Odyssey. I wanted to create the Adventures in Odyssey message board and allow the Town Hall to continue to thrive on what it did best... debates and older age discussions. As I pitched it, it would be a cage for all the unwanted material the Town Hall was no longer allowing. I gathered a team of creative individuals, showed them my test board and got their input. I then started a countdown clock to April 1, 2005, handed in my resignation to the Town Hall, and launched the Town of Odyssey to a wonderful response.

That same weekend, Xhan returned from afar. Sweeping changes were made immediately to the Town Hall, and from what I hear, these changes didn't sit too well with the remaining administration. A couple of months later, Xhan vanished again and that was the last I saw of him. For the first several months, I fought hard for the two boards to remain as two separate entities. But, as is the case with a population as small as ours, the traffic was clearly one-sided. Part of me was extremely pleased that my board was doing so well, but the other part of me wished it didn't have to be at the expense of such a wonderful board as the Town Hall once was. Well, in October of 2005, 5 months after the Town of Odyssey opened, lightning struck the Town Hall again... and the board was once again suspended. At this point in time (the end of 2005), that is the way the situation still remains. The Town Hall will always mean a great deal to me, as it was the first Adventures in Odyssey message board I visited and so many wonderful things occured there. But, I was also in a position where I did not agree with the direction we were heading, nor did I feel the needs of the members were put above the needs of the administration. I can't say enough that I absolutely loved the administration team at the Town Hall, they were all terrific people and I respect them all so much. However, there came a time where we went our separate ways... and the Town of Odyssey was my separate way. While this board is not the Town Hall and no board can ever replace it (nor should it), I hope the members of this board can grow to love The Town of Odyssey as they have The Town Hall. Whether or not it ever returns.

An Interview with Lady Simbelmyne
ImageDone by Catspaw

1. What do you like the best about the ToO?Probably the ability to do so many things. Why? On other boards, you just post and send PMs. On the ToO you can have a bank account, spend money, earn money, buy stuff, get in jail (well....you can!), and also the thread topics have an extremly broad range.

2. Do you have a favourite stuffed animal or doll that you still have in your room?Hmm.....I recently took most of the stuffed animals out of my bedroom. (it was getting cluttered) But I still have a few in there. If not, please tell us about a childhood favourite! Probably a stuffed bear that is decorated for Christmas. This bear has an interesting story.......we lived in Texas when I first got a bear like this (it was red) but one day I left it in the car, and it was STOLEN! I was heart-broken....I cried myself to sleep for quite a few days. Finally, after looking for a long time, we found another bear just like the first one....except, it was green. I was just as happy to receive another bear...that I didn't care what color it was!

3. If you could choose one book to be a character in, which book would it be and why?Wow....that's a hard question. I enjoy alot of books, so is it ok if I just pick one out of many?
Ok....I'd say, Lord of the Rings. Why? Because J.R.R. Tolkien was so into details...that he wrote quite a few other books just on the history of Middle-Earth. So, basicly, I could be and do almost anything if I were a character in Lord of the Rings! \:D/


4. Which character from the Bible do you find most encouraging?
Probably Ruth and Esther.....for one thing, that is my first and middle name! Also, they were strong and couragous women of the Bible.

5. Where did you get the idea for your wonderful Doll Shop in Crestwood Avenue? I wanted to have something different. At first I thought of having a Christmas tree shop, but others got to that first! ;) Then one day, I stumbled across a doll site......so then I got the idea to have a Doll Shop in Odyssey! It hadn't been done before, so...why not? I got the idea for sending them as gifts from 'Sundays Emporium'. Then, I thought why not have wrapping paper. I'm updated the dolls pretty soon....so check it out! *if you order a doll before 12/25/05 and send the code : 21434627740307, you will only have to pay $1 for anything you buy! This includes wrapping!!*

6. What is your favourite colour, and why? Be creative! Randomness is a good thing! I don't really have a favorite color, but I do like blue,red and yellow. Oh, I also like RAINBOW! :D

7. What is the wallpaper/background design on your computer right now?Right now, it's a picture I took of an ornament on our Christmas tree....I looks REALLY good! I didn't think it would turn out like it did. If you could chose a different one, what would it be?Probably a cute Christmas one like "let it snow" or something like that!

8. What is your all-time favourite comic, and why is it cuter/funnier/better than other ones?Oh....I have two....is two ok? :anxious:

One is "Tintin"....I like it because it's adventure, comedy, action and it's extremly good! :P

Second is "Calvin and Hobbes"....I like it because Calvin is the typical kid.....doubled! I love his snowmen and the funny things he says. Hobbes is the greatest stuffed cat in the world!


Thanks for reading yet anothe edition of your Odyssey Times! :D

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Last edited by Catspaw on Sun Dec 25, 2005 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Great job, everyone! =D> I found your TH Reflection incredibly interesting, Shadowpaw. :) Being that I was a member of the TH for several months before it went down, I really didn't know all that much about its history, nor much about the tension between some of its administrators. It really makes me look at the TH in a whole new way now. I miss it terribly and had a lot of fun there, but your article has changed my perception of that board quite a bit, I must say. I am glad you started the ToO though, and I can see that your hard work, as well as that of others, paid off in the end!

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Shadowpaw, you brought back many memories. I joined the TH right after the Mole Boards went down. I kept lounging around the Th and Aio digital and JSI before this came up.

BTW, would the 12 year old boy in the story call Mr. Whittaker "John"?? At least "whit" right?

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I love the way you turned the election article into a quiz, Agent DeWhite! =D> Very cool!

A Day in the Life is hilarious, Frank! Very clever! I'm looking forward to the next chapter!

I didn't have time to read your article yet, Shadowpaw, but I will as soon as I can! It looks like it'll be good! :D

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The TH article was very informative Shadowpaw. Good job!

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Good edition! I especially enjoyed the Moderator Issues article. Very informative.

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^Ditto!

I think I joined right before CA was elected, though being the spacey kind of guy I am, I didn't even notice. :anxious:

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Great job! I can't wait til the next issue. I really enjoy reading the interviews of different people in the town.!

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Captain Jack wrote:
^Ditto!

I think I joined right before CA was elected, though being the spacey kind of guy I am, I didn't even notice. :anxious:

CA wasnt even elected if you noticed...moderators and admins were randomly chosen...and I was never lucky enough. :( ;) Anyway great issue! Shadowpaw sure does talk alot. >_> ;)

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Samwise wrote:
BTW, would the 12 year old boy in the story call Mr. Whittaker "John"?? At least "whit" right?

My take on the movie was this: if Mr. Whittaker really wanted to be seen as kid-friendly, then he'd let the kids call him John, a real first name to first name relationship, and no barriers with cute little nicknames. This is a post-modern film. :D

Oh, and Connie's character is portrayed as a dreamy, romantic, yeah...just like Heather Shapely. :D


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Wow! I had no idea about the Town Hall, but then again, you can't expect me to actually know...CBH was about all I knew three months ago. It was interesting to read the history of the Town Hall, and how famous Shadow..er..Santapaw is. Or was. Or something like that. :)

God job, Catspaw and everyone who helped! :-D

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...The administers were able to read our messages back at the TH...?

I'm upset. Why weren't we told of this?

That's really breaking the trust and privacy of the members...

That's not even right.

EDIT: My views will come later...

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Shadowpaw, I finally got around to reading your article, and it almost had me in tears!! It was like reading a biography about a person you knew and loved. It was an excellent article! Thank you so much for sharing!

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If more and more new members join that never heard of the Town Hall, we should start a school teaching history. (Shadowpaw's story)

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forever_faithful wrote:
It was interesting to read the history of the Town Hall, and how famous Shadow..er..Santapaw is. Or was. Or something like that.


Oh, he IS famous. Forget "was". : )

Thanks, Shadowpaw -- not just for the great article, but for all the investment you've poured into the AIO fan community over the years! Seems like it's quite a piece of your life, and I know I never realized all the time it takes to create a great place like the ToO.

Merry Christmas!
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Eon Spitfire EK V2 wrote:
Captain Jack wrote:
^Ditto!

I think I joined right before CA was elected, though being the spacey kind of guy I am, I didn't even notice. :anxious:

CA wasnt even elected if you noticed...moderators and admins were randomly chosen...and I was never lucky enough. :( ;) Anyway great issue! Shadowpaw sure does talk alot. >_> ;)


Yeah, I knew that...I just read that article.. -_-; I meant to use the word appointed.. :wink:

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Captain Jack wrote:
Eon Spitfire EK V2 wrote:
Captain Jack wrote:
^Ditto!

I think I joined right before CA was elected, though being the spacey kind of guy I am, I didn't even notice. :anxious:

CA wasnt even elected if you noticed...moderators and admins were randomly chosen...and I was never lucky enough. :( ;) Anyway great issue! Shadowpaw sure does talk alot. >_> ;)


Yeah, I knew that...I just read that article.. -_-; I meant to use the word appointed.. :wink:


They weren't randomly chosen... They were selected for their attributes and what they could bring to the admin team. ;)

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As I read Shadowpaw's Article, my gut started to twist.

I was afraid of that.

As a member of the TH I was blind to most of what happened administratively but I always held the Admins and Mods in the highest regard. Moderating (and in affect leading) is a difficult job and a massive responsibility. There is so much "real life" that takes place here and being in a position of power over written words requires a GREAT deal of maturity.

I often wondered if Jared and all the other single non married college students and teens had enough maturity to actually run a board of that weight. To some degree I don't see how you do it now Shadowpaw but I see that this board is more of a community.

This is tricky. In some ways being a member of a board like this is playing with fire. Sin can creep in anywhere and everywhere. It's only by the grace of God worse things didn't happen at the TH and even here on the ToO

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Well, I already read Shadowpaw's article, but should probably publically state the awesomeness of it. ;) SP remembers many of the historical facts that I am fuzzy on... without his article the one I wrote would have only been about 10 words or so. :)

I didn't get a chance to read the rest of the paper yet, but I'll get to it eventually!!

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That was great!! Shadowpaw did a great job.......THEY COULD READ THE PMs?????? I didn't know that!!!! :shame:


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