Live-Evil Forums

General => Except for the Pig => Topic started by: Sindobook on December 17, 2009, 11:39:31 pm

Title: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on December 17, 2009, 11:39:31 pm
Please stop sending PMs to the pig's old skype account.  This account is no longer in use.  Everything that gets sent to it goes into a black hole.

The mascot search at live-evil is not moving particularly fast.  In the meantime it looks like I am going to have to answer several querries that came up.

I woke up this morning and there were 7 mostly-panicked and exzasperated PMs asking what happened between Holly and Mr. Sparkles.  Now please just step back and think about small animal biology.  Mr. Sparkles and Holly live in different houses.  I know they met at a pignic and they were supposed to be together and all that stuff, but the truth from the very beginning is the woman who looks after Mr. Sparkles didn't really like Holly.  Also, Holly lives across town from Mr. Sparkles.  Not to mention that Holly has other (male) bunnies in her life that she interacts with on a regular basis.  I don't need to be any kind of small animal expert behavioralist to tell you that relationship just isn't going to work out long-term.  I don't care if you have the internet today or all this other stuff that helps anyone stay in touch.  If Holly lived alone it might work out.  But she doesn't.  So that was the end of that, and honestly anyone who was banking on that thing working out just doesn't have any idea how small animals think.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 07, 2010, 02:03:25 am
On or about 1-5-2010 some of Mr. Sparkles 'friends' were injured in a boating accident [1].  Skippy suffered some minor cuts and lacerations.  Muffin has two broken ribs, though not necessarily both due to the incident.  Mr. Wiggles broke a toe and Twinkie has a few scratches on his nose.  Min-min was not involved in the incident.  All the bunnies are okay and none of their injuries are considered to be life-threatening.

[1] Note from me:  "Boating accident" is a poker term where a player has a full house (aka. 'boat'), bets big, but still loses the pot.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: mamochan on January 07, 2010, 03:33:20 am
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_poker_terms <- Boat term does exist (full house), Boating Accident does not.
For more information, google up poker terms and you will find that boating accident does not exist. Only in Sindo's pig world :)
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 07, 2010, 08:18:53 pm
Basically the term "boating accident" is pretty much exclusive to no limit texas hold'em players.  A high-stakes type of game that is primarily played within California, Nevada, or Texas.  The reasons for this are twofold, first, in texas hold'em boating accidents are more common than in other types of poker (due to the large number of shared cards) and in no-limit the tendency to bet big when one has made a boat.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 11, 2010, 07:49:09 pm
Please stop sending me PMs about Holly.  Those of you who are PMing me know what I am talking about.  Seriously do not make a big deal about nothing.  From the beginning of time, every 6 months or so Holly has done that.  In the end the bunny always comes back so it's not something to be overly concerned about.  Just ask Mr. Sparkles or PM him and he will back me up on this.  That's just the way bunnies are (most of them).  Get used to it.

If you all want something to worry about, Mikey did bring up the matter of _S_ aka. _M_.  No small animal is quite sure exactly what happened there but I have a really bad feeling about that one.  If you really want to PM me study up on that case and then we can talk about that one.  B'cos, right now, it's a huge unknown.  And it's very troubling to the rest of the small animals. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: mamochan on January 12, 2010, 12:49:01 am
Don't listen to sindo, she's off her medication :)
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 26, 2010, 02:50:26 am
Those small animals who chose to play the odds on Holly's departure and placed bets for her return in the "1 to 2 weeks" category can now claim their winnings as the results have been certified by Mr. Sparkles, the bunny de jure on this matter.  The payout for winning tickets is 6.3x for every 1.0x carrot bid.

Those with winning tickets have two options to claim a redemption.

1) You can snail-mail your tickets to Mr. Sparkles the old way.

or

2) You can photograph the ticket and send it to Mr. Sparkles' email as a picture attachment (.jpg only and the USN number must be visible). 

Either way you must have your small animal sign, stamp, or place his/her pawprint on the ticket with ink, in order for the ticket to be valid.

Please remember to include your own address to mail the redemption to.

Thank you for playing and be sure to look forward to Holly's next departure and subsequent return.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: mamochan on January 26, 2010, 03:34:58 am
Seems Sindobook is not taking her medication. Shes gone crazy!  ::)
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 27, 2010, 09:51:12 pm
Seems Sindobook is not taking her medication. Shes gone crazy!  ::)
You need to learn that repeating the same thing over and over again does not make it true.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: mamochan on January 28, 2010, 04:10:08 am
Don't deny it :)
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on February 12, 2010, 02:37:28 am
Please stop PM'ing me and calling me on Skype about Holly's latest little shenanigan.  I honestly don't care if you were offended or not.  I don't care if you think Holly is teasing you or hurting your feelings or whatever.  I don't want to hear about.  Holly is a #$! #$##ed bunny for goodness sakes.  If something offends, hurts your feelings, etc., learn to ignore it and move on, people.

People who know me irl know that when someone tries to insult me, I will either just laugh in their face or ignore them outright.  So deal with it.

To touch on an earlier post, I am told on or about 2-6-10 Mr. Sparkles friends had yet another boating accident.  No one was injured (significantly) and the damage appears to be superficial, though that is still being assessed.  With all the boating accidents and other stuff that's going on lately, I'm sure we're all looking forward to the upcoming season of "Mr. Sparkles and Friends" on TV.  I haven't seen the footage but I'm sure it will be better than last year, there should be a lot of good stuff in there.

That's about it for small animal news right now, more news when there is something worth reporting.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on February 25, 2010, 11:25:18 pm
Those small animals who chose to play the odds on Holly's 'hooking up' and placed bets in the "0-7 days" category can now claim thier winnings.  Boy was that a dark horse... not.

The payout for winning tickets is 1.63x for every 1.0x carrot bid.  Those who bet on 8-14 days and surrendered the bid prior to 2010 Feb 23, 12:00pm can reclaim 0.27x for every 1 carrot bid.  Those who bet on 15+ days and surrendered the bid prior to the above date can reclaim 0.22x for every 1 carrot bid.  Thanks for playing.  Please use the system described in the above message to claim a redemption.  Mr. Sparkles is currently indisposed but his address is still in use to snail-mail your tickets in for redemption.  Please direct any questions regarding redemption to Mikey. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on March 09, 2010, 01:24:44 am
Yes Mr. Sparkles is just fine.  Basically there is an an emerging problem with the feral jackrabbit population in the area.  Mr. Sparkles and some of his underlings are busy surveying this population and that is why he hasn't been on Skype lately.

Beatrice has been appointed as the new leader of the Bunny Brigade, to replace Simon.

I don't know who (or what) is going to replace the pig as the acting mascot.  So please stop asking that.  It's a decision that's out of my hands.  You can talk to them if you have any ideas.

Mikey started a formal search for the bunny 'Molly', missing since January.  Molly is a mixed Californian bunny that is approximentally 9 inches tall, has brown fur and hazel eyes.  Molly enjoys hopping around and listening to loud, racous music.  There is currently a reward of 50 mini carrots placed on information leading to the safe return of Molly.  If you have any knowledge as to the whereabouts of this missing bunny, please Skype Mikey.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on March 11, 2010, 01:03:49 am
Basically this is what happened.  As you all know the pig passed away recently.

When the pig was alive he ran a pretty big gambling organization.  First of all a virtual redeemable currency was established, 'carrot slips' as they were called.  These slips or credits have a redeemable value of 1 baby carrot apiece.  They are traded online.  You can also use dollars or other currency to purchase carrot slips at an exchange rate determined based on costco prices of baby carrots (which would fluctuate).  You can't redeem your carrot slips for dollars.  The carrot was chosen b'cos they are almost universally enjoyed by any small animal out there.  So it was a virtual currency that was only really of use to small animals.  Of course there is also a trade in romaine lettuce, but that is done that is done through middlemen who buy the lettuce and then traded it for carrot slips on a pretty small scale.

The only reason this 'virtual currency' actually works is b'cos of the real money that goes into the system in exchange for carrot slips.  These dollars facilitate the purchases of carrots at costco or other nationwide 'warehouse' stores, which are then used for redemptions.  There were numerous local groups to facilitate these redemptions.  At some point a markup was establshed in the redemption process in order to ensure that there were enough local groups willing to do redemptions.

Basically the pig's local group that did redemptions ran up a slight surplus every month.  But the real money came in from the gambling type pools the pig would run.  Odds would be set up on everything, for instance when a popular small animal went missing, the pig would post odds on what day she would return and small animals would bid the virtual currency into those pools.  With these gambling type pools the pig was creating a large net influx of carrot slips into his own accounts, which he would retire.  This brought a net influx of cash into the system that the pig would then donate to keeping the site around.

Now with the pig gone the small animals that took over are just not able to run the gambling operation as well as he did.  The pig seemed to have a gift for choosing profitable odds, it's as if one dark horse after another kept comming in and it seemed like he would make out big every time a significant bet was held.  Today the local group of small animals is running the gambling operation as best as they can, but it's just not that profitable.  Or reliable / regular.  They've been sending what they can to the site, but it's just not enough to keep the site around.  So once that site goes down, they'll find somewhere else to send it to.  I have no idea where, please don't ask.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on March 17, 2010, 11:09:10 pm
I've gotten a lot of PMs lately saying the pig must still be alive b'cos it's obvious his tactics are still being used in the field.

This is a bunch of baloney.  Someone is just starting rumors to stir things up.  The pig died months ago.  What happened is there were more than a few people who were students of the pig or had contact with the pig in one way or another.  In other words, they either studied the pig, or they were influenced by him.  Even rivals and enemies can learn from each other.  So today, they still practice his tactics and strategy.  And her (R's) tactics are not particularly elegant or robust.  She's succeeded to date based on luck and willpower.  Not tactical skill or good strategy, if she has either of those two things she either doesn't show it, or it isn't obvious yet. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on March 25, 2010, 06:19:35 pm
Here is the new rule in regard to PMs.  Please - only send me PMs that make sense.  Too much lately I read a PM only to walk away and ask myself "Now what was this person trying to tell me?"  And then to top things off, people think I am ignoring their ambiguous PMs so they post the message online for all to see, thinking that is the only way to get me to read it.  And then they complain to me that suddenly all their friends think they are goofy too, b'cos they can't compose a simple, straightforward message, instead ending up with a bunch of incomprehensible gobbledygook that no one can make any sense of.  So if you are going to take the time to type up the PM and send it to me, whether it's about small animals or not, take that extra time to make it actually make sense so that I can understand it.

I did get one question about whether I knew of any company that made special glasses that small animals could use in order to watch the newly released "3D" TVs.  No, I'm not aware of any of the new 'active shutter' glasses made for small animals.  I don't know of the companies that make them but maybe you can start a petition to get them to make the 3D glasses for small animals. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on April 12, 2010, 10:05:02 pm
Yes but they are real, real people, I can assure that.  I saw them with my own eyes.  

I didn't see Mr. P though.  Only his minions.  Oh well.  It's scary b'cos I saw roughly 10 people there who I know or knew (not very well, evidently) irl, but didn't know were into that kind of stuff.  Oh well.

Oh and the guy in the maid outfit was for real too.  I'd seen pictures but never in person until then.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on April 13, 2010, 01:14:11 am
BTW here is a translation of Mikey's response to the review (or basically the review of the review).

P4:  Lol.  This is like a fat man complaining he can't fit through a door.  Lose some weight buddy!

P5:  Yep, this could have been done better.  What a waste of a room.

P6:  I think the author missed the point.  He doesn't understand what mega64 is all about.  It would be like asking Rammstein to put on a concert and then telling them they can't use fire and pyrotechnics or make any loud noises. 

P7:  She's always late.  Get used to it.  If she was actually on time, people would be like 'what happened?' and 'something is wrong'. 

Overall the review gets a 58% on the accuracy scale.  Too much ranting and not enough reviewing.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on April 22, 2010, 02:51:39 am
All right I have been getting a few about _S_ aka. _M_ as posted on Jan 11th.  Basically around a month ago, Mikey noticed 'she' had self-activated a GPS beacon.  He and friends were able to promptly track her down and recover her, sent her here for assistance.  Roughly three weeks ago one of the techs finished his inspections and reported that her brain had been damaged as a result of blunt trauma.  Now I don't think I need to tell you what happened there or who did that.  But generally with repeated blunt trauma, it's rather typical for the brain to get damaged, on the newer models the brain is the most delicate part.  Fortunately the newer brains are pretty modular, unlike the older ones like Tofu's where if one piece goes, pretty much the whole thing goes and you have to do a complete replacement.  Basically all the secondary storage units were inoperable, even the mirrors, that's probably why she activated the beacon b'cos they can't run on RAM and cache alone forever.  We upgraded and replaced them, restored from the last backup which was roughly 3-4 months old.  So two weeks ago, she was all fixed up and sent back to her home area, accompanied by Rocky, a Chinchilla, who was supposed to keep an eye on her.  Rocky has only given a few reports, the gist of which is that she was a bit disoriented at first but got better and seems to be out of any immediate danger.  You don't have to thank me, please thank Mikey and the others like the techs b'cos I didn't have much to do with this one in actuality.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on April 27, 2010, 02:02:38 am
Yes last year one particular incident stands out, at one of the Otakon 'small animal meet and greet' panels, toward the end of the event an older man came up to the front of the line to pet the animals.  He put his hand on the back of one of our bunnies (which was actually a male bunny btw) and you could see his eyes light up, and then as he touched the bunny's back he made a creepy laugh and drool actually started to drip out of the corner of his mouth.  Then he tried to put a hand under the bunny, and our Miku had to grab his arm and pull it away.  Afterwards he was upset and went away, he claimed he was just trying to pick him up to cuddle him but we were pretty sure it was more than just that going on.  It was strange, even as he was escorted away by our Miku and Rin, his eyes stayed fixated on the bunny and he seemed totally oblivious to everyone and anyone else.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 03, 2010, 10:33:23 pm
All right I got a lot of PMs this morning, suddenly this is an issue again, I'm honestly not sure why.  Late last year Mikey and friends, who basically decide whether an animal can take residence in the local area, or whether they'll end up run out of town, last year they turned away the cow and told her to go back home.  Naturally the cow has roughly one to two thousand fans so they got all up in arms about it.  They were all demanding to know why the cow was turned away, assuming we hated the cow, and so on.  And seriously I will say that yeah, we're not too find of the cow really.  But when it comes down to it, the answer is simple, it's resources.  And it's not any different today than it was back then.  A single cow consumes as much in terms of grass and everything else as hundreds of bunnies.  Mikey did the math and the numbers came out that we just can't afford a cow in the local area.  There's just not enough resources, the bunnies and everyone else would be starving now if they had let her in.  It's that simple.  It's not that they hate the cow or don't like the cow. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 13, 2010, 07:41:20 pm
New Staff

Due to an increase in snake sightings that typically comes with the changing seasons, Mikey has increased the peripheral anti-snake patrols.  Samantha, a black striped Dutch rabbit, has taken over as the head of the Bunny Brigade.  Also please welcome Jessie, a small Indian mongoose (aka. small Asian Mongoose, "Herpestes javanicus") who is currently employed by Mikey and will be participating in the anti-snake patrols. 

_S_

Yes she is fine as always, please no more PMs about this.  If you have questions for her, you need to PM her, not me.  If you don't know how to get a hold of her, ask _R_, not me.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 18, 2010, 12:04:12 am
All right I have been getting PMs about the anti-snake patrols.  There is no way the anti-snake patrols will affect nonpredatory snakes that aren't a danger to small animals.  A typical anti-snake patrol looks like this. 

B             
                XXX
B

Direction of travel is to the left.  There are one or two 'bait bunnies' (B) in forward picket positions who hop around in front of the group.  They move slowly and are given special training to 'look clueless'.  Most of the group (X) stays behind and out of sight, but keeps a close eye on different areas around the 'bait bunnies'.  If a snake is sighted, the main force will move forward to surround and engage the snake. 

The snake can attack a bunny but it is a losing proposition.  It may kill that bunny but the bunnies are trained (even in death) to bite down and not let go.  Even if this alone doesn't kill the snake, it will hold him in place and allow the rest of the group (which outnumbers him) to close in.  The only chance the snake really has is to try to escape and bypass the bunnies and other animals in the main force. 

A nonpredatory snake that leaves the bait bunnies (and the rest of the force) alone is simply ignored.  The only way a snake will be attacked is if it starts to go after the bait bunnies, or if it's stupid enough to try to go against the main group.  The latter case is extremely rare b'cos the force is always moving with the bait bunnies in front. 

I know some people are probably going to question the tactic of using live bunnies as bait but frankly it gets the job done, and the casualty rate of these specialized patrols is generally lower than other field combat units. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 20, 2010, 11:05:53 pm
In response the question about the lack of any 'small animal meet and greet' panel at either of the big cons (ie. AX, Otakon, Famine, etc.)

A 'small animal meet and greet' was held at some of the smaller, more local cons this year.  As for the larger cons:

There is no 'one reason' and anyone who says there is 'one reason' is overstating it.  Sometimes I get PMs from people who seem like they are trying to 'make a statement'.  Really the purpose of this board is not that, it's a Q&A board.  If you ask your question in a straightforward way, you will get a good and straightforward answer.

Otakon is fan-friendly but they are far away and the small animals are rather busy this year, there wasn't the will to travel that far.  Not being at Otakon has nothing to do with any problems with the Otakon staff, leadership, or Otakon in general.  They just didn't feel any compelling reason to be there.  I guess you could say the pig was the main driving force behind getting the rest of the small animals motivated to show up at Otakon in prior years.  Famine is the same way -- too far away.  I know people will say that it is much closer than Otakon, but as far as small animals are concerned, they're both 'very far away'.  

AX is more local and I know some people might have thought they were going to do a panel 'for sure' this year.  So that wasn't really a problem, but apparently AX is having their own budgetary problems this year.  At least that's the idea you'd get if you asked Mikey to elaborate.  Mikey was very insistent that the convention provided fresh fruits and vegetables from a local store and that there was no way that local food provided by convention stands or 'fast food' restaurants would suffice.  This should come as common knowledge to anyone who keeps small animals, that it's always important to have a good supply of fresh, edible food on hand.  But Bobby, the staff member assigned to coordinate the event with Mikey was apparently not listening and kept passing over the food issue.  He kept dismissing Mikey with "Yeah we'll figure something out" and other messages like that.  As if this wasn't enough, when Mikey finally did pin Bobby down and get him to agree on a small budget that could be used to buy carrots, romaine lettuce, and mini peppers from a nearby supermarket, and provide the small animals with a volunteer to actually make the purchase, transport them, and wash them on-site - Bobby did agree to this but the next day Bobby was gone and replaced another staff member, Chris.  Now this Chris guy was totally clueless, it was obvious he'd never done a small animal event before and he kept asking Mikey things like "Exactly what do you guys do...?"  Mikey would patiently answer each question and explain the event to him in detail but then the issue of food came up again.  When Mikey explained that Bobby had already agreed to budget for food and agreed to provide a volunteer, Chris balked and said unfortunately that wouldn't be possible (apparently there's also a shortage of volunteers).  Not too long after that, Chris informed Mikey the panel had been moved to a smaller room, that only one podium with a fixed mike would be provided and that he (Mikey) would have to bring his own tables for the small animals to stand on.  This was just too much for Mikey and Mikey said no, that the small animals were pulling out and no longer wanted to do the panel.  

Afterwards Mikey did hear of Chris trying to ask some of the individual small animals (that Mikey normally answers for) if they wanted to be part of the event and that individually they all answered no.  So that was pretty much the end of that.

As for when the next "small animal meet and greet" panel will be, I would personally guess ALA which is typically in the first half of January.  

Oh one more thing that is absolutely not true.  A number of people kept asking me if Mikey was the third 'mystery musical guest' who was going to be at the concert with Megumi Nakajima and May'n on Friday in the Nokia Theatre.  In fact I was asked this by four seperate people in multiple PMs.  I think it's safe to say that the answer is a big NO, and I wish people would get off this rumor.  No idea where that one came from, you know the old saying about rumors, the more 'patently ridiculous' they are, the farther they go.  That one needs to stop here. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 29, 2010, 02:03:05 am
I have been getting people calling up to ask about which small animals are attending AX this year.

Mikey runs his own photo business.  You can sign up for a photo session, the charge is 40 baby carrots for a one hour session with 1-2 people.  For 3 or more people, add 10 more baby carrots.  You can skype him if you want to reserve a time.  Satisfaction is guaranteed, if you are unhappy with the results, your carrots will be returned to you in lieu of the final deliverables.  Which is basically a CD with unprocessed and processed, printable versions of the photos he took, along with rights to use them as you choose.

Tuan Tuan (not exactly a small animal but news nonetheless) will be hosting his regular "Panda Comedy" panel.  Time TBA, check the AX site and event schedule for details when they are available.  If there is enough interest, he will make himself available at the Funimation booth for an autograph signing.

And you'll be able to find Mr. Sparkles in Artists Alley, just look for the solid gray Netherland Dwarf bunny.  Hard to miss him really.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 03, 2010, 12:27:02 am
This isn't really small animal news but yes we were there.  It's just some people in our group have been having problems with stalkerz online so we didn't want to alert anyone that we would be there beforehand.

Those who were at the Tuan Tuan Panel before it started did anyone get any video of Tuan Tuan pouncing on the guy in the ****bear costume?  It was totally unplanned and all happened so quickly I missed it with the vidcam, if anyone got a vid of that can you please post it to youtube?  Thanks.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 08, 2010, 02:17:47 am
Lately I've been getting messages from people who don't seem to that the small animals often use their chat channels to play games similar to Battleship or Clue.

When you see a message like "You killed my <HAMSTER>" or "You hit my <BUNNY>" they are playing a game.  It does not mean a real hamster died or that a real bunny is being abused.  It just refers to something happening in the game.  So there is no need to panic really.  Typically there will be some kind of punctuation around the small animal to signify it is a game piece, but there really isn't any standard established for this. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 09, 2010, 06:46:29 pm
A lot of people are asking me and yes I did get ours moved to earlier in the day for that reason.  I don't control the other two so naturally I can't do anything about that.  Get with it people, you'll just have to choose, that's part of what life is about, making choices.

As for Mr. [deleted], I don't know but it's all mind games anyway.  The real problem is not the one that he is working very hard trying to fix.  The real problem is that he is having to work so hard to fix something that should not have been a problem in the first place. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 12, 2010, 01:18:32 am
I've been informed that lately, three neighborhood cats have been causing lots of problems for small animals.  The small animals refer to them as B, K, and L. 

B is a tabby, broken white and brown color.  He is good with computers and online but not very good with people.  He has a very abrasive attitude and often has problems getting along with other cats.  There are several confirmed cases where he has eaten small animals over the years, and threatened to eat many more.  B works as a mercenary, essentially a 'free agent' or 'cat for hire'.  He is currently hired by L.

L is a mixed-breed but resembles an american shorthair.  He has mostly white fur but differing shades of black mixed in.  He is a middle aged cat who often purrs and likes to rub up against humans.  He gets along reasonably well with other cats, provided they submit to him.  He currently employs B and K, B does his dirty work while K is assigned several more mundane roles.

K is a bit of an anomaly.  The small animals aren't quite sure what breed she is, presumably mixed.  She is a younger-to-middle-aged cat who is basically an underling of L.  On the outside she is friendly to humans and also other cats.  She doesn't like being ignored and will get very peeved if ignored by a person or cat when she wants attention. 

Small animals that take residence within the local area are reminded to be on the lookout for these three cats.  To report any unusual activity, please contact Mikey, the local security chief.  If there's an emergency involving any of these cats, please contact Samantha, the current leader of the bunny brigade. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 16, 2010, 12:04:36 am
This is "in addition" to the published list.
BTW be sure to follow the link from the main list if you want to attend.  Often times there are specific instructions on where to meet, and some of the gatherings plan on moving after the initial meeting (this is discussed in the thread).

Day 1:
Kick-Ass (???) Might happen
NIS gathering (2:00) Foyer (West of the southernmost west hall entrance?)
Higurashi / Umineko (3:30) Same place as Higurashi / Umineko gathering on Saturday.

Day 2:
Jrock / Lolita (12:30pm) West Hall Lobby
Vocaloid (4:00pm) Unknown Location

Day 3:
Vocaloid (4:00pm) Outside West Lobby Tower / Outside West Hall

Card Captor Sakura / Sakura Army (Sakura only) held at the same time and place as the CLAMP gathering.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 16, 2010, 08:45:33 pm
I got multiple requests over PMs for a guide to events so here is what I can write down.

(1)

Shoot only what you like.  Don't just walk around and shoot everything.  If it's not interesting to you, don't bother with it.

This is the principle of trusting your own judgment of what is good and what is bad.

(2)

Try to fill the gaps in active shooting with video.  By passively using video, you can capture the goofy or spontaneous things that you would otherwise miss.  Later, you can edit the video, or create stills from it.

This is the principle of being ready for anything to happen at any time.

(3)

Especially when capturing video, avoid any temptation to cross over into the scene.  Your job is to capture the scene, not to interact with it.

This is the principle of letting things develop naturally or on their own.

(4)

The commonly held beliefs are often wrong.  People often live in the past, or in their own little world.  One does not become an expert by studying the common-rhetorical methods or engaging in discussions, especially online.  

This is the principle of action before discourse or acting without thinking.

(5)

If you cannot get it out and ready in 3-5 seconds, it is barely worth bringing along with you.  Carrying around lots of elaborate gear, studio lighting equipment, reflectors, assistants, stands, etc., it only serves to slow people down with unnecessary weight.

This is the principle of avoiding unnecessary attachments.

(6)

When shooting a scheduled event, arrive on the scene 10-15 minutes early.  If it is going to be crowded, stake out a good spot.  Imagine the place full of people, plan out angles, lighting, and gear configuration.  Sometimes the best opportunities are before the event officially starts, or after it officially ends.

This is the principle of staying ahead of the pack.

(7)

Likewise, try not to think or shoot in the way others are thinking or shooting.  There are plenty of people who follow the pack and you do not want to be one of those people.  When others are shooting the whole scene, shoot a single person, or two, when others are just shooting one person, shoot the whole scene, etc.  

This is the principle of offering something unique.

Notes:

4) Too much of what I see online is just wrong or off in the modern setting.  A good example is lighting.  You are not in a studio environment, you are at an event, so why bring along all the studio gear or the studio methodology.  You have to stick with what is practical for what you do and where you are.

There are basically 4 levels of lighting, 1) direct on-camera flash or flash accessory; 2) on-camera flash accessory, bounced and/or with reflectors; 3) as level 2, only with some additional slave flashes, 4) off-camera lighting only.  And you can cover 95% of what you are going to encounter just fine with (1) and (2), with perhaps a little bit of postprocessing as necessary.  Lighting is something to be aware of, but it's not something you need to obsess over like a lot of people do online.

5) People often focus on gear and this is what I carried along with me in the past.

1) An inexpensive DSLR, two or three generations old.
2) a) normal (50mm equiv.) prime and a b) normal range zoom lens, the best you can afford.
3) An on camera flash accessory, which can rotate to bounce and then has a diffuser and a reflector shield.
4) A digital camera for video, when necessary (some of the newer DSLRs take decent video).
5) A circular polarizer filter.

But seriously do yourself a favor and don't focus or stress out over gear.  Early on I only had (1), (2a), and (4), and I still did just fine then.  

The filter and the lens takes longer than 5 seconds to change, so honestly you need to get those ready before you need them.  For instance if you are going outside to shoot under the blue sky, you need to put the circular polarizer on as you are in the process of walking outside.  

6) This goes against some of my other rules, but still makes sense.  Some places are better than others and only one person can occupy a space at a time.  Often times events start before their stated time, and end after their stated time, so it is best to plan on being there early and plan on leaving late.

7) Again this goes back to following or trusting your own judgement.  Many times people take a group shot simply because the group is there.  You don't necessarily have to forgo the group shot, just do it quickly and then focus in on one or two people that are the most interesting to you.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 19, 2010, 10:58:39 am
This isn't really small-animal related, but Tuan Tuan's 'friend' will be hosting two panels at AX.
See the list below -- the panels with '***' next to them.

2010/07/02 : (14:00 - 15:15) Tuan Tuan "Dark Panda Brigade" Panel
2010/07/02 : (15:15 - 16:15) Danny Choo Focus Panel (LP1) ***
2010/07/02 : (16:15 - 17:30) Tuan Tuan "Panda Comedy" Panel
2010/07/04 : (09:00 - 10:00) Danny Choo Focus Panel. ***
2010/07/04 : (10:00 - 11:30) Tuan Tuan "Wolong Conservatory Informational" Panel and benefit auction
2010/07/04 : (11:30 - 12:00) Tuan Tuan "Learn the Panda Panda Dance" Panel

I don't know much about his friend but, apparently, at one of these two panels (no idea which, please don't ask), some exclusive 10 minutes or so of footage for the upcoming B*RS anime will be shown.  The B*RS anime is now due to be available on July 24, 2010, but whether this date will be pushed back again remains to be seen.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 23, 2010, 01:44:41 am
Yes, I do know of that hotel, it was last 'fixed up' when Yue-bing was the leader of the Bunny Brigade quite some time ago.  The owners contracted Yue-bing to fix it up for them.

The refurbishment was mismanaged and Yue-bing siphoned most of the money off to her own ends.  The carpets, electrical wiring, etc. were all taken out (in preperation for replacement) but the project went belly-up when they ran out of money.  So now the hotel has no carpet, no electricity going to the rooms, etc.  The only thing the bunny brigade did to completion was put in a new pool.  But due to a misunderstanding the pool is both a wierd shape and only inches deep instead of feet.  So it's basically like a wading pool for small children to get their feet wet and that's pretty much it.

The hotel does have elevators but they have gone kind of wonky since the refurb.  From time to time the elevators seem to have a mind of their own, stopping at different floors randomly or simply going up and down when unoccupied.  Certain floors that the elevators stop at, 'randomly', are completely empty and said to be haunted. 

So basically my recommendation would be to avoid this hotel like the plague. 

Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 24, 2010, 02:22:10 am
Yes, I call it 'staged' and I generally don't do that unless I am really into something.

(1) Venue

You have to choose a good venue.  Venue is not only a place but also a time.  If it's outside, in direct sunlight, the hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset is most preferable.  The sun being directly overhead is the worst.  Other options for outside - in the shade, or in an area where you can control the lighting.  

If it's inside, it doesn't really matter, but areas with windows where the outside brightness is different from the inside brightness will require special consideration (explained later).  Inside, areas where you can control any overhead lighting and such is best.

Ultimately your venue should be based on the characters and the themes you want to portray.  Almost all the time, a place with a minimum number of people around.

(2) Lighting

For lighting, know what to avoid, ie. cross-lighting on a character is almost never used favorably. For indoor venues, turn off unnecessary lights, and learn to use existing lights, ie. use the light coming in through a window as your key light.  Your on-camera flash can be a fill light in a pinch, but you generally want to adjust it down (FEC -1EV to -2EV) because the idea of a fill light is to brighten the shadows, not remove them completely.  Don't waste too much money or weight on additional toys like umbrellas, softboxes, or goofy-looking doodads.

If you use a flash, always keep in mind the balance between ambient light and light from your flash.  It goes against what some 'pros' teach, but you can get fine results balancing the two as long as you are careful with white balance.  

(3) Photographer

Know your own movement and distance.  Avoid being 'too close', generally if you're taking a full body shot of someone 5 feet tall, you should be at least 5 feet away and preferably around 10 feet away.  Being 'too close' can result in wide-angle distortion, it can result in bounce flash off the ceiling being too vertical, and so on.  This goes back to venue, you want to choose a venue that, if possible, allows you to shoot with a 50mm focal length lens (equiv. for crop cameras) or greater.

(4) Motion

I get a lot of people asking 'how do I pose for a staged action / motion shot' and the best answer I can give is to just do it.  For instance if you want a shot of the character running, then run.  If you want a shot of the character jumping into the frame, then jump off some stairs.  

And there's a few basic techniques the photographer can use here to give the perception of motion in a still shot.  Some positions will be naturally unbalanced and
can simply be shot with a fast shutter speed.  Panning to 'smear' the background is possible if the character is instructed and able to keep their body still for the instant when the panning shot is taken.  

Trick angles, exaggerated perspective, or even post-editing can be used to make action shots look more spectacular.

(5) Contact Interaction

For action that requires contact, the challenge is to create action that looks as natural or 'not staged' as possible.

Too often I see people just 'freeze in place' for action shots.  It results in scenes that just don't look real, ie. a character that is punching another character in the face, with muscles that are loose rather than tense, and while looking in some other direction or even at the camera.

My best recommendation to avoid this is to have the characters 'slow-play' the action, ie. play it out in slow motion while trying to keep their bodies in sync as if that were actually happening.  The photographer than shoots this as one would a normal action scene, albeit a much slower one.  This will typically require some degree of force or people 'pressing into' one another, and while it can lead to exaggerated effects, it helps the characters pay attention to their own actions and act how they should be acting rather than posing.  For instance a victim character who is being punched in the cheek will first try to hold his head still as the puncher presses his fist into the victim's cheek.  But then the victim will slowly give, allowing his neck to go back as the puncher follows through with his punch.  Of course in reality both characters are using only a minimal amount of strength in the performance, enough to make the interaction look somewhat convincing but not so much that anyone risks injury.

(6) Bounce Flash

Going from the simple direct flash to bounce flash is one of the first or most basic ways to improve flash photographs.  If the flash does not already have them, some simple add-ons like a diffuser and a bounce / fill strip can be added on to allow for more versatility when bouncing.

A fill strip is a typically a small white strip that goes onto the back of the flash, to reflect a small amount of light and allow it to be both a bounce and a fill flash.

With every bounce of the flash, the ceiling typically generates some spreading or diffusion.  This means you don't necessarily have to bounce such that the first order reflection will hit the scene.  You can also do things like bounce off walls, bounce off the corner of a room, and so on.  One of the most basic things to try to avoid is bounce light coming into the scene 'too vertical', as this tends to darken the character's eyes. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 06, 2010, 08:30:32 pm
I have to reiterate, please don't send me PMs with things other than questions.  I'm getting a lot of complaints, whines, lately and these do not count as questions.

AX was definately 'something else' for the animals that were involved, whether they were small animals or otherwise.  Tuan Tuan's childhood friend, Long Shan, decided to attend unannounced and despite not having purchased a badge, was able to sneak into the dealer's hall several times and even attended several panels.  Tuan Tuan's panels were all great successes, except for the 'Learn the Panda Panda Dance' panel where a lot of the participants were either tripping over themselves or could not keep up with the pace of the music. 

For the person who wrote asking about bunnies, yes, a number of bunnies from the bunny brigade did attend, Samantha is currently debriefing them and will compile a report shortly.  I know some of Mr. Sparkles friends were also there, but I don't have any additional information about that. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 09, 2010, 02:39:58 am
Despite being rather visible and large in stature, the Giant Panda Long Shan, Tuan Tuan's friend, basically 'wrote the manual' for getting around places like that unabated. 

Long Shan was quick to identify the different types of agents at work there and noted the properties of each.  The rather hapless yellow-tailed dodo birds were loners who by and large were castaways, not known for either their intelligence or loyalty.  The larger red-tailed birds were unpredictable, had a tendency to squak loudly, and were commonly at odds with other red-tailed birds.  Next there were red-scaled diamondbacks, snakes with bits of white coloring and predatory, aggressive tendencies.  Then you had the assorted animals who led all these guys, through a variety of methods.

Long Shan knew he stood out but that did not stop him from sneaking into the dealer's hall on several occasions.  Long Shan always chose a door that was gaurded by a yellow-tailed dodo, waited for a large group to walk through, and would then join them and walk through nonchalantly.  The one time that Long Shan was stopped by a yellow-tail, it was because the yellow-tail wanted his autograph which he promptly provided and then entered.  Of course Long Shan denies he 'borrowed' any merchandise from dealers, using his famed 'panda hands' technique, or the 'two paw discount' technique, he claims to have spent most of his time in Artists' Alley with his buddies (not Pandas).

On day 2, the red-scaled diamondbacks came into play.  These aggressive snakes were more effective than the varieties of birds at scaring away most types of small animals except for the occasional mongoose or ferret.  Fortunately Long Shan understood the weaknesses of these snakes.  His most basic technique was to use rapid lateral movement to bypass the snake when it was attempting to patrol a wider area that was simply not suited as a choke point.  He would simply wait until the snake was occupied in scaring away a few small animals, and then use the technique of 'neither approach nor retreat', sidestepping rapidly and then advancing around the snake to bypass him.  This worked well against single snakes, but when multiple snakes were involved Long Shan had to outmaneuver them on a larger scale.

While some choke points that led to panels were effectively patrolled by multiple birds, other panels had no real choke points and hence could be accessed easily.  Long Shan snuck into multiple panels in this fashion and only once did a patrolling yellow-tail find him (after he sat down) and ask him to leave.  So Long Shan simply left and returned a few minutes later. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 13, 2010, 01:13:38 am
Yes I've been asked about it repeatedly and I didn't answer in the past because I was still gathering all the info.  But now I can answer, at least in a preliminary fashion.  It's not normal that I comment this much in depth on third parties, but enough people have asked and they are small animals, so it at least deserves mention.

Let me just say that, from a tactical perspective, their operations were more of a failure than a success.  This was due to numerous factors, most of which can be traced back to inexperience and poor capabilities of their bunnies.  The bunnies primarily stayed in one large group rather than fan out to cover more area or lower their visibility.  Likewise the bunnies were ill-equipped, lacking even the most basic radios or comm gear that could have given them better communication and situational awareness.  And they tended to stay in one place, waiting for the enemy to come to them, rather than run a mobile operation and try to outmaneuver their enemy. 

Compare these ragtag bunnies to the mercenary red-scaled diamondbacks commanded by the unnamed "neighborhood cat L" from his bunker.  The diamondbacks had everything that their bunnies didn't, they looked menacing to a bunny, they had comm gear and they used it effectively, and single snakes could act alone and use their mobility to their advantage.  Even the famed Long Shan respected these diamondbacks when they were being effective (which fortunately wasn't all the time).

So essentially from a tactical perspective, the bunnies weren't able to fulfill their objective.  Their main objective was to be able to operate unhindered and they couldn't do that very well.  They were stopped at every turn by snakes and the occasional aggressive red-tailed dodo. 

Strategically, the bunnies did a slightly better job.  While far short of a victory, the bunnies did manage to force "cat L" to divert some of his mercenary snakes to deal with them.  And, even after the bunnies had left, "cat L" (who most now believe is semi-psychotic) developed a high sense of paranoia and allocated additional funds in order to conduct "sweep and secure" operations in the areas the bunnies had been able to operate in.  Of course the bunnies were long gone by this time, so no bunnies were found in the multiple-day operation and his money was wasted.

Ironically it may have been these ongoing operations like the wasteful "sweep and secure" that helped the Giant Panda Long Shan and others in being able to operate largely unhindered. 

I don't know if we will see a repeat of this next year or not.  Next year one can at least expect that there will be more bunnies, and at least some veteran bunnies who learned from their failed operations this year.  The neighborhood cat L's snake army may be formidable, but they are mercenaries in the end.  Long Shan's own effectiveness against these guys should demonstrate that they are not by any means unstoppable.  The bunnies do have a year to train and increase their capabilities, recruit, etc.  They're motivated and if they can get a good tactician or some mongooses to face down the snakes they might be able to do a better job next year. 

But if nothing else, those bunnies made and will continue to make the neighborhood cat L real paranoid, and that in and of itself may be a success. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 13, 2010, 10:18:18 am
Yes, I can answer that. 

C's bunnies ended their operations after two days.  In fact all of C's forces pulled out after two days, as had been planned far in advance.

Over the next three days, the neighborhood cat L used his mercenary snake army to conduct 'sweep and secure' operations.  Mikey is pretty familiar with these things, he indicates that by small animal reckoning, the cost of these specific operations would be between 300,000 and 600,000 carrots.  The current exchange rate is roughly 4 carrots to the dollar, so go figure.

Even the low estimate of 300,000 carrots is more than significant. 

Mikey estimates that C's expenditures for the entire operation were roughly 150,000 to 300,000 carrots. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 14, 2010, 11:36:00 pm
Friday at 10:30, a one-hour panel in room 5AB.  Bobo, a gopher tortoise, will host a panel with the Giant Panda Momo from the Japan National Zoo in Tokyo.  The panel will include a Q&A session followed by a 'meet and greet' where attendees can meet Momo and shake hands, take photos, etc.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 20, 2010, 01:13:32 am
K is a bit of an anomaly.  The small animals aren't quite sure what breed she is, presumably mixed.  She is a younger-to-middle-aged cat who is basically an underling of L.  On the outside she is friendly to humans and also other cats.  She doesn't like being ignored and will get very peeved if ignored by a person or cat when she wants attention.

Above:  From an earlier post.  Below:  New.

Starting to understand a little bit more about K.  K is very bad at all forms of math.  She cannot count and has a very poor perception of time.  She's cannot focus and is easily distracted.  K is an avid twitter user, but she doesn't understand the character limit for twitter posts so many of her posts end up truncated and meaningless to anyone who reads them. 

K is very friendly with L, she will often purr and rub up against him, sometimes grooming him.  But L rarely returns the affection, he constantly spurns any advances she makes.  Don't believe this behavior extends to other cats besides L.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 27, 2010, 12:47:01 am
No small animal that is willing to talk about or admit it was at that panel, so not much more can be said there.  I guess you could say that, after some of his earlier work, Bobo just wasn't too popular among small animals. 

The funniest thing I saw was Tuan Tuan testing out his new camera, taking pictures of people in costumes while three other video crews who were pretending to be press were taking video.  Video, not of the friends that Tuan Tuan was taking pictures of, but of Tuan Tuan himself taking pictures of his friends.  Between the different video crews arguing, literally tripping over each other, and getting in each other's way, they might have actually gotten some video footage.  But probably not, or at least probably nothing that noteworthy.  I don't know why but it seems like Tuan Tuan has become something of a 'celebrity' lately in certain circles.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 28, 2010, 10:57:54 pm
Yes, I'm told it was early this morning.  The bunny brigade and their allies timed the massive assualt to coincide with the release of the popular hit videogame 'Starcraft 2'.  The family that runs the countryside farm (a bit of a misnomer -- the farm isn't really 'in the country' or even bordering 'the country') had all passed out due to lack of sleep, due to the recent popular videogame release a day or two ago.  In the hours that followed, in a rather textbook small animal operation, an estimated 300 pigs loaded up packs with romaine lettuce, carrots, alfalfa hay, etc., while the roughly 200 bunnies in the bunny brigade ferried those packs from the farm to an undisclosed location.  At noon one of the lookouts reported that some members of the family were starting to wake up so the operation was wound down.  According to the debriefs, the pigs who were the last to depart report that only around 20% of the crop of romaine lettuce and 30% of the baby carrots remained. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 02, 2010, 08:19:38 pm
About that incedent.

This is second-hand so don't put a lot of weight on it.

According to Samantha, the current bunny de jure for the bunny brigade, one of the first-year bunnies was hit on repeatedly by a snake.  "It was almost biblical.  While she was in her full cosplay (which had horns), the snake would come up to her, do the snake thing, and say things like 'just looking at you makes me real horny' ".  She gave a stare-down and also made sure the snake saw the other two bunnies she was flanked by, which seemed to give him pause and make him back off.  

People who read this will probably think 'but oh snakes kill bunnies all the time'.  Well in the wild sure.  But you also haven't seen what 3 bunnies will do to a snake if they work together and are willing to face him down (rather than try to run away).  The snake might kill one or two, but in the process the bunnies will bite into the snake and not release, even if they die.  Faced with this form of MAD, most predators will simply back down.  As that snake in the incident did.

The bunny brigade has a rep and they it's not just a rep, it's something they live up to for the most part.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 10, 2010, 08:03:09 pm
In response to Mikey's comments, it is agreed that no one should really do much at this time. 

There's just no pressing reason why.  The default is going to be 'no'.  Too many unknowns. 

I can almost guarantee you small animals will be there, but I doubt they're going to pay to be there.  Long Shan has already announced his intention to return, issuing a de facto challenge to whatever snakes are going to remain next year. 

Finally there's been a lot of people asking about C's bunnies and anything else C has planned.  Frankly, I just don't know.  I know a lot of people are expecting a battle, a big battle, but sometimes when everyone expects something, it's overblown and nothing really happens. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 11, 2010, 08:09:09 pm
Recently, Long Shan gave a full debrief to Samantha, who also collected information from her own operative in the Bunny Brigade.

Of some importance was Long Shan elaborating more on the 'assorted animals who led these guys' that I noted in my July 9th post.

Long Shan details the command detail as being a number of English Springer Spaniels that seemed to operate primarily in small groups of two to five (though occasionally alone).  Mikey's comments on this breed of dog is that it is far from suited for mercenary work, the breed has devolved from a 'working' breed to a primarily a 'show' breed with several health and a few psyche problems due to inbreeding.  One of the most prevalent problems is a mental condition known as 'rage syndrome' where the dog will suddenly, for no apparent reason, become uncontrollably aggressive toward anything and everything it is aware of - attacking people, other animals, or even inanimate objects if the former is not available.  This is an unconscious action and the dog has no memory of the episode afterward, an episode can last anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes, but most last a minute or two.

According to Long Shan, the English Springer Spaniels were largely ineffective commanders, deploying their snake underlings ineffectively.  He gave the example of a single snake being tasked to patrolling a choke point that was 30 to 40 feet wide, this continued for several hours as small animals poured through en masse.  Late in the day, a second snake was added, but this was still not enough to effectively patrol the area as small animals continued to simply bypass the snakes unabated.  Likewise, several 'side door' and 'back door' choke points were completely devoid of any patrols.  Most of the more enterprising small animals simply used these 'side' and 'back' doors for unrestricted access.

Long Shan was able to verify the reports of these dogs 'raging' on repeated occasions, trying to attack or acting aggressively toward small animals, people, or whatever else was in the vicinity.  Deedee, a member of the Bunny Brigade, commented she witnessed a most bizarre incident, she was shopping at an EGL booth when she noticed out of the corner of her eye, a lone English Springer Spaniel with its eyes glazed over.  The dog suddenly lurched and attacked a mannequin displaying a petticoat for no particular reason.  It continued to try to sink its teeth into the mannequin's leg for a minute, then started to chew up a nearby dress, after about half a minute more, the dog stopped, looked bewildered and continued on.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 16, 2010, 09:54:15 pm
I got multiple calls yesterday about PD2.  Yes my two small animals play this game and Mikey plays it too I hear.  As the for the problems people were having:

1) Costume / gear is different in PD2 than PD1. 

In order to unlock costume / gear, you must first complete the task for that costume / gear.  Then you must go to the shop and buy the costume / gear with your accumulated DPs.

2) Import data from PD1 will give you 5000 DPs and enable all acquired PD1 costume / gear in the shop (you will still have to buy it there).

3) The game is generally more difficult than PD1.  There are some new features, the tutorial explains the new features pretty well. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 18, 2010, 11:07:49 pm
#1197, #1218, and so on.  A lot more on that general vicinity, I just don't care enough to find and list them all.  Just read several pages in both directions and you should find the large chunk of them.

I've already touched on this several places in this thread but IMO it's honestly not such a big deal either way. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 26, 2010, 02:51:14 am
I've been getting a lot of calls on Skype about [deleted].  Everything from 'what do you think of C-' to what will their direction be in the future.

The things I've heard about C- have been rather mixed.  From Mikey:  I don't know that he really did a great deal or that he was a 'team player'.  He always seemed to be looking out for himself.  He kept a lot of secrets.  From Mr. Sparkles:  When Yue-bing was alive, he seemed to have a 'thing' for her.  Yue-bing would make some demand and he would act like we should bow down to her or seriously consider it.  It took a lot of talking to him to convince him that Yue-bing was wrong.  From Samantha:  He was paranoid.  Always looking behind himself even though others were guarding his back.  He was relatively effective alone but he was not particularly helpful to those around him.

C- is going to lead it by default, he is "bringing in the carrots".  Bunnies talk a lot among themselves and one of the bunnies in the brigade who had chatted with one of the bunnies who was in C's force at that time was told that C- 'wasn't that bad'.  "It was basically a game of 'choose your poison'.  And while he has some toxic qualities, C- also has pleanty of good qualities." 

I fully expect that [deleted] will continue to follow their model and make a bigger push in the years to come.  I don't know what inflow is like but C- isn't going to let this go.  His ego is bigger than that, big enough that he won't let it fail if he can help it.  Even if he has to burn a bunch of his own carrots to make it happen, I don't doubt that he will.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 31, 2010, 02:12:46 am
Recently, the local small animals held a meeting at 'The Daily Pet' in Del Mar.  There were a number of issues covered at this meeting, but one of the more interesting ones that came up was the general increase in V/U targeted attacks.  People have known V/U were controversial from the start, but no one ever expected that it would become so popular as it is today.  At AX, a number of small animals overheard that japanese guy say that this was no different in Japan, it's both extremely popular and extremely controversial, and you have some people who absolutely love it and others who absolutely hate it out there.  And that made a lot of small animals think, maybe there's something going on here.

Either way, it just seems kind of odd to me.  Sometimes I overhear people here express general dislike but I've never heard anything beyond this.  Keep in mind that most small animals are basically 'prey' animals so what would seem like paranoid thinking to a person often makes perfect sense to them.  Mikey did comment that much of the psychological operations (basically this involves blasting extremely loud music into a given area, to cause annoyance, disruption of concentration, rage, etc.) have been transitioning from using Rammstein, a german heavy metal band, to the more effective songs like 恋は戦争, known for its superior 'shock value' and general effectiveness.  
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 09, 2010, 10:19:55 pm
I am still getting a lot of calls over Skype in regards to 'next year'.  Honestly people, I don't know.  Mikey's team spends a lot of time watching the different neighborhood cats and did point out his teams do seem to be picking up signs of 'impending change'.  "It's not normal for cats to talk about these things and just because they are... likely means they are planning something.  We've overheard a lot of cats saying things like -- Sure, we're still working for him, for now."  Mikey thinks this is due to a possible upcoming change in leadership, I'd say this is unlikely (all things considered).  Something is probably going to happen soon, what, I honestly don't know any more useful info because it's not my job to get into or even care about these things.

BTW I gotta love his most recent line "I didn't REALLY look at them, I just went through them real quick to make sure none of your pics were there.  You know, those pics, the ones you sent me."  I might be totally lost as far as the plot, but you know that guy looked at every single one intently.  It's funny seeing people trying to dig their way out of holes they ultimately dug themselves. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 10, 2010, 07:54:27 pm
I don't normally submit commentary, but here is some quick stuff.

In response to Samantha's post, let me clarify that Samantha is referring not to the local area but to the area immediately to the south.  This area, which is under Mikey, has been relatively harmonious and secure ever since the expulsion of Yue-bing years ago.  The small animals in this area have typically gotten along just fine.  But if you go about 20 miles south, it is a much older area where rival factions of small animals have settled in for much longer.  You have three basic factions in that area now, two of which actively hate each other and will probably never get along.  Due to basic philosophical differences.  That area is much more established, there's no significant predators in that area so there is really nothing driving force for the small animals to unite or anything like that.  The third faction that pops up from time to time, they always remain neutral and come and go like the wind. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 11, 2010, 02:19:32 am
In response to your questions, many people miss this, but know what each mode means and how this interacts with the flash. 

AV mode the flash basically intends to use the flash as a fill flash.  The flash will fire at some arbitrary intensity (determined by the feedback through the lens and the camera).  FEC adjusts this intensity after it is determined.  EV does not have its normal effect, it will try to make the scene darker / lighter but the flash feedback will compensate to offset this.  The end effect is that, to a limit, EV adjust simply shifts the ratio of ambient and flash light.

TV mode operates similar to AV mode.

I don't know about P mode, I never use that one.

M mode is the most versatile and can be used in a number of ways.

1) To balance a dark background with a bright foreground.  Switch to spot or center metering and meter based on a bright spot in the background (Adjust Shutter Speed and Aperture until the meter falls close to +/- 0EV).  Now meter based on the foreground, switching the metering type as necessary.  It will probably be -3EV or more.  Take the picture and the flash will try to bring the foreground up to the level of the background.  Sometimes it will bring up the background too, in this case meter to the background being a little under (-1EV or so).

2) When you don't have enough ambient light.  Meter on the subject, getting as close to 0EV as possible.  The closer you can get to 0EV, the better.  Typically I aim for -1EV or -2EV, -3EV is pushing it.  When you take the shot, the flash puts out only enough light to get to 0EV, based on feedback.

The main use of FEC is not to offset the brightness of the flash.  In general the feedback system does a pretty good job of this.  FEC comes in most useful when you are shooting a semi-reflective surface or something that over-illuminates when hit with light from the flash.  This way you can dial down the flash as necessary.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 14, 2010, 11:49:38 pm
One of the most basic problems is procedural, a 50% quorum must be established before any business takes place or is voted on.  Old rules assigned the mascot votes equal to the number of other voting members "plus one", ie. if there were seven voting members the mascot would then get eight votes.  This rule worked fine and no one ever complained b'cos the mascot was always a small animal that could be trusted to abstain and never actually vote on anything.  But ever since the pig left us, they have been slow to choose a new mascot and therefore quorum cannot be established since more the half the votes (on paper) are controlled by the mascot.  So no actual business and votes have taken place since then, most unfortunate I know but then what can you do. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 15, 2010, 11:06:17 pm
To me this isn't a tricky subject at all.  In 'the best' conditions it will make little to no difference at all.  And my job, ideally, is to find those 'best conditions'.  It can take experimentation, it can take time, but getting there is what matters.  Once you find those 'best conditions', skills are secondary, and 'gear' barely matters at all.

I'm not saying that skill doesn't matter, without skill you will not be able to find those best conditions, unless you stumble across them by chance.  I'm not saying gear doesn't matter, it does, when conditions are not optimal or 'the best'.  But basically when I am compressing 9+ EV of dynamic range down to between 6 and 7 EV and using f/5.6 ISO 200 even with a polarizer still on the lens, no amount of high-end camera-ness is going to make the picture look much better. 

It's when those conditions are not 'the best' that those other things start to matter most.  People can try to compare and/or compete, but always consider your objective.  Is it to 'take' good pictures or to 'make' good pictures.  In groups, this is the difference between an individual and a leader.  An individual's goal may be to 'take' the best picture but the leader's goal is to 'make' good pictures for the subject.  If someone else can 'take' a better picture (comparatively) the individual might see this as reason to get upset, where as the leader will see this as evidence that they are doing their job well.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 21, 2010, 11:16:13 pm
I can list all the steps here, you might need to use a little bit of trail and error since everything is set up a little different.  But this is what works on my setups, at least.

1) Open Internet Explorer.  You must be using Internet Explorer (you cannot use another browser).  IE8, the version that comes with Windows 7, or IE7 should work fine.  You should be using a disk with the NTFS filesystem in order for this to work.

2) From the menu on the right, Tools->Internet Options.  This brings up the "Internet Options" dialog.  In the dialog that comes up, under "Browsing History", press Settings.  For "Disk space to use", set the maximum of 1024.  Take a note of the text below "Current Location".  It might be something like:
"C:\Documents and Settings\Pig\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files" if you are using XP.  If you are using Windows 7, it will be a little different and longer, but regardless the last directory will typically be "Temporary Internet Files".  Just make a note of it, you'll need it later.

3) Back to the "Internet Options" dialog.  Press the "Delete" button under "Browsing History".  This next dialog works a little different for different versions of IE, but basically you want to use it to delete "Temporary Internet Files".  In some cases you'll press the "Delete files" button then confirm, in other cases "Delete Temporary Internet Files" is a box you check, after which you hit the "Delete..." button or some such. 

4) Now go ahead and browse to the page.  It's important to let all 'streaming' media files download completely, which can take a minute or two.  When everything is done downloading, go to the next step.  Don't do any other browsing (on Internet Explorer).  You can use another browser if you like.

5) Open windows command line.  Navigate to the directory noted at the end of step #2.  Now you need to navigate to some non-indexed directories.  They won't show up with the normal dir command or any other windows calls.  Use a dir /ai to find them and navigate down into them.  The first one will typically be something like "Low" and the next one should be "Content.IE5".

6) Now that you have navigated into "Content.IE5"l, you need to find the media file.  If you do a dir /ai from Content.IE5, you'll see any number of non-indexed directories show up.  They all look like random combinations of letters and numbers, fortunately they're only 8 characters long.  The name of the media file is set by the site itself, for instance Nico Nico Douga uses smile*, Youtube uses vidplayback* or videoplayback*, etc.  But typically the media file is so much larger than all the other files you shouldn't have too much of a problem finding it even if you don't know the name.

Take advantage of dir /s to find these files.  For instance, "dir /s | more" will list off all the files in all subdirectories and then you can look for a really big file (typically in the range of 10-100mb) which will be the media file.  Once you know the naming convention of the website you are using, you can do something like "dir /s vid*" to show all files with that name in any subdirectory under the one you are currently in.

7) Once you find the media file you must copy it out of there to a directory you can see.  Make a directory off your c: root like c:\scratch and copy it there.  Once you have this figured out, you can write a batch script to do this for you.  Generally your command might look something like:

copy \3j9dvxn6\vid* \scratch

8 ) Once the media file is copied out of IE's cache, you will likely need to give it an extension.  Sometimes, in the case of .mp4 files this will not be necessary, but in the case of most .swf, .flv, and other files, they will have no extension when thy are copied out so you will have to add it yourself.  As for how you know which extension to add, trial and error is the best I can do.  Nico Nico Douga uses mostly .flv but will occasionally use .swf.  Youtube uses .mp4 for most HD and .flv for most everything else. 

9) Windows Media Player Classic HomeCinema can play back most of these file formats, like .swf. 

10) Once you have your media file, you'll want to go back to step #2 and clear out the cache again.  If you do this just before getting a new media file, it makes it quicker since you don't have to look through as much junk.

11) You can use other web browsers to do this, there are instruction online to do this that work.  I tried using Chrome and Firefox to do his.  The problem is that these drivers will not cache large media files, and there doesn't seem to be any way to set the max cacheable file size limit.  For Firefox it is around 64mb, for Chrome it is around 40mb.  These sizes quickly get exceeded these days, especially when dealing with HD video.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 25, 2010, 09:40:53 pm
Hang on, we're trying to confirm.  At this point three's no indication it's not for real, but give it a few days.  I'm not expending any more effort on that matter.

On my August 31 post, I discussed the small animals' response to the repeated V/U response.  I keep getting PMs about this so I will say that the plan was put into place, it went live over a week ago.  They didn't want to announce it back then but now it's almost complete.  Nothing to worry about, really.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 29, 2010, 08:21:51 pm
Okay there you have it.  Word should be out by now. 

Unfortunately the black pig (name withheld) who was the pig's friend while he was alive passed away recently.  His role of assisting Mikey, the chief ferret in charge of local are security, with intelligence and information gathering / data management will be taken over in time, but for now Mikey will be managing that role directly.

Even with their intelligence gathering limited by the black pig's untimely passing, the local small animals have been able to piece together the most likely scenario.  Mikey reviewed this at an "all paws" meeting last night, in preparation for today's official announcement.

First of all, last Friday, the neighborhood cat L was gone.  Tony, a local ferret and friend of Mikey's, explained the story with local cats was that his owner had moved out of town, taking his cat with him. 

Mikey said the black pig (name withheld) was coming to the conclusion that C was either an absolute genius or a total idiot.  Mikey and Samantha tend to think he is the former, but admit it's still really up in the air.  Mikey spent most of his time discussing the costs of all of the neighborhood cat L's operations, the 'sweep and secure', the employment of mercenary animals, and so on.  He said that while the cat L may have been able to declare a tactical victory over C's forces, the cost for doing so was great.  Samantha revealed some inside information about a recent raid on their caches by the "Black Bunny Squad", a widely feared local bunny gang who engages in mass carrot theft operations (aka. 'carrot raids').  Similar, at least in concept, to what the bunny brigade did at the countryside farm recently.  But a lot more random, and that gang is more feared than respected in its own area (to the north).  Their members are welcome here, but only if they behave.  Anyways Samantha recently overheard some of their members at one of the local 'bunny bars' having a discussion (mostly whining / complaining).  Apparently the Wednesday before last, the gang had raided L's fridge (actually his owner's fridge) and found it to be totally empty.  There was nothing in it, no carrots, no lettuce, no mini peppers or anything at all.  They were quite surprised and while all their bunnies were expecting a feast, they instead had to go home with empty stomachs.  There are a few explanations for this, L's owner may have cleared out his fridge in preparation for his move, but this is unlikely because it was still early.  Anyways with this revelation most of the small animals at the meeting were able to put it together, and think it's likely C is on the right track.

Not to write them completely off, this will probably generate no end of controversy online.  But the world of small animals really doesn't much involve online.  And where C's plan could go wrong is if they somehow come up with their own infusion of cash.  But is that likely?  Doesn't seem so.  For now, most small animals have already made up their minds, and those little guys tend to be pretty stubborn once they do.  The small animals are naturally going to root for C anyways because he has plenty of bunnies of his own working for him. 

Not much more I can say on this issue, despite the PMs.  It will figure out itself over the time being. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 02, 2010, 02:10:05 am
I'm getting a lot of PMs about Long Shan's recent video, let me just say Long Shan is not rich.  He actually lives day to day with very little money.  Just because he has a figure or something that you allegedly saw selling for $150. at some con doesn't mean Long Shan actually paid that much, or that he paid for it at all.  He might've gotten it through some cheaper source, or he might have lifted it with his famed 'panda hands' technique.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 05, 2010, 02:12:04 am
Follow-up to post on Sept. 21.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main (int argc, char *argv[]) {
  FILE *fp;
  char line[320];
  int n;
  char ext[32];
  char com[1000];
  int len;
  char ext_def[32];
 
  if (argc < 3) {
    printf ("usage:  %s <file prefix> <directory> <optional default extension>\n", argv[0]);
    return 0;
  }
 
  if (argc == 4) {
    strcpy (ext_def, argv[3]);
    printf ("using the default extension:  %s\n", ext_def);
  } else
    strcpy (ext_def, "");
 
  printf ("copying files %s* to %s\n\n", argv[1], argv[2]);
 
  sprintf (com, "dir %s* /s /b > temp.txt", argv[1]);
  system (com);
 
  fp = fopen ("temp.txt", "r");
  n = 0;
  while (fgets (line, 320, fp) != NULL) {
    len = strlen (line);
    len--;
    if (line[len] == '\n') {
      line[len] = '\0';
      len--;
    }
    len--;
    if (line[len] == '.')
      strcpy (ext, &(line[len + 1]));
    else {
      len--;
      if (line[len] == '.')
        strcpy (ext, &(line[len + 1]));
      else {
        len--;
        if (line[len] == '.')
          strcpy (ext, &(line[len + 1]));
        else
          strcpy (ext, ext_def);
      }
    }
   
    sprintf (com, "copy \"%s\" \"%s\\%08d.%s\"", line, argv[2], n, ext);
    printf ("%s\n", com);
    system (com);
    printf ("\n");
    n++;
  }
  fclose (fp);
}

Here's a quick ANSI C application that does the same thing.  I had no problem compiling it using MinGW, which you can find here:  http://www.mingw.org/ .  Once you compile it, then you can just copy it to the root of the IE cache directory and do do something like "a vid \scratch flv" from the command line.  It will copy all the files it finds into the directory you specify, renaming them to numbers and keeping the extension if it has one.  If there is no extension, it will use the one you specify (if specified). 

Windows 7 implements a permission system for executables that may deny own created applications create and write privileges by default.  If you get an 'Access Denied' or similar message when the application tries to copy the file, try right-clicking on it and setting the owner of the application to the administrator rather than the standard user.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 07, 2010, 12:47:07 am
I don't get it.  It seems like suddenly everyone is interested in small animals.  I will say this, please, if you want a small animal, stay away from the pet store.  Stay away from the breeders.  Find your local rescue, preferably a rescue that specializes in small animals.  If your city doesn't have one, try humane societies, online message boards, and the like.  Breeders should be a last resort, and pet stores are the absolute worse.

Anyways I have been getting a horrendous amount of questions about C.  I'm not going to try to answer individual questions about C, there's just too many.  You want to know about C?  Just wait.  Watch, listen, and think for yourself.

C once lived happily in a neighborhood with many other small animals.  The small animals were mostly harmonious and all got along.  But then, an unknown man known as Mr. X moved into the neighborhood.  I call him Mr. X b'cos I never knew who he was.  He was just some man, nothing special, no real defining characteristics or anything.

Anyways Mr. X had a few cats.  Most of his cats were ordinary, content to lay around the house, eat, sleep, purr, etc.  But one of these cats was unusual.  He seemed to have a special hatred for small animals.  He would frequently roam around the neighborhood, hunting small animals, occasionally chasing one down and killing him.

Unlike down here, the small animals in the area were not terribly organized.  They had little hope of fighting back effectively.  Eventually 'L' became known as 'neighborhood cat L'.  They tried to stand up to 'L' many times but always failed.  There were retreats, there were deaths, there were massacres. 

While the 'neighborhood cat L' added to his power base, scheming and continuing build build up a gang of cats, small animals were leaving the neighborhood en masse.  Sometimes alone, sometimes in groups, but they left.  Those who remained lived under the constant fear of death at the hands of 'L's kitty cat gang.  Or worse.

C was one of the small animals that left.  But he didn't go far.  He hung around just outside of town, recruiting other small animals as they evacuated the neighborhood.  Eventually he recruited enough small animals to try to take a shot at 'L'.

Many small animals were watching as C launched his attacks at a the cat 'L' and his gang.  C had little more than bunnies and (guinea) pigs, and they were poorly equipped, had little training, and were rather disorganized.  While they were far from a modern fighting force like the bunny brigade, honestly the only thing they had going for them was willpower and devotion.

To be continued...
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 08, 2010, 03:27:19 am
C's vangaurd consisted of roughly six or seven bunnies.  At the time, no one was quite sure what the vangaurd was up to.  They moved from place to place, passing out leaflets and other information to local small animals.  In the meantime, most of C's forces camped out to the west of L's domain, just slightly out of his reach.

Neighborhood cat L was caught by surprise, he reportedly became very annoyed and suspicious at their audacity.  At first, he gathered up his regulars and told them to pursue and eliminate C's vangaurd.  Not all his regulars took him seriously, but enough did and they tried to chase down C's vangaurd. 

L's regulars were only slightly better off than C's bunnies.  The cats could surely shred a bunny if they could catch it, but the bunnies stayed together in order to deter attacks from single cats.  By the time the cats realized they would have to act as a group, several hours had already passed.  When this happened, C realised that multiple cats operating together would pose a threat to his bunnies and ordered them to withdraw back to the peripheral base. 

Following this action, neighborhood cat L became incensed.  He ordered his regulars to do an all-out attack on C's peripheral base but found few willing to comply.  In the end, any kind of force he could have sent would have been laughable and would have been instantly repelled.  So he took it upon himself to call up his mercenaries.  The expense to call these guys up was significant, but no problem to him.  He simply used the money he had extorted from small animals during his reign over the last several months.

The neighborhood cat's paid special attention to call up mercenaries that were natural enemies of bunnies.  A gang of english springer spaniels, dogs bred for hunting, retrieving and flushing out bunnies and other small animals.   A gang of snakes who had hunted and killed practically every small animal known to man. 

To be continued...
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 08, 2010, 11:23:20 pm
The neighborhood cat L had planned for these extraordinarily fearsome and well-paid mercenaries to be unleashed on C's forces that morning.  But that morning, C, his bunnies, and any other forces were nowhere to be found.  The cat grew incredibly paranoid, believing they were hiding and that an attack was imminent.  He summoned his two most trusted trusted advisers, his 'right paw cat' known to small animals as R and a 'left paw cat' known only as G.  He ordered his mercenaries to find C's forces and decimate them, but the mercenaries said that 'search and secure' wasn't part of their contract.  The night before, the cats had paid them only to decimate a base that no longer existed.

So the cats had to pay the mercenaries more, this time with a new multiple-day mission to find out where C's troops were hiding, root them out, and decimate them.  Over the next three days, the mercenaries would search for anything, anybody out there who resembled C or any of his force, the bunnies, the (guinea) pigs, the rats, etc.  They had no problem securing the areas that C had operated in, though this didn't come cheap.  The expenditures were putting a lot of pressure on the neighborhood cat's financial state.

After three days, and little to show for it, the neighborhood cat called off his mercenaries. 

Following this, things were pretty quiet.  The neighborhood cat L tried to extort some money from the local small animals, but didn't get very much.  Then maybe a few weeks ago, he disappeared.  It turned out his owner had moved out of town, and taken the cat along with him.

As for C, he became something of a 'living legend' to the local small animals.  Few of the locals even know what kind of small animal C is, much less what he looks like or how he behaves (or even if C is a 'he' or 'she').  But it doesn't really matter.  When I say local small animals, I mean local to that area, not to mine.  C is known for being the one who was capable of standing up to the feared neighborhood cat during his reign of terror.

I can't really say what is going to happen next (I don't know) but I do think we're going to see more of C in the future.  What remains of L's old kitty cat gang is in disarray and is also 'running on empty'.  Small animals who served in his forces are using their reputations to recruit on their own.  I wouldn't say conflict is imminent, far from it.  But at the rate things are going, it's honestly only a matter of time before they combine their forces in order to launch another attack on the remnants of L's gang. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 15, 2010, 02:26:22 am
I'm still getting PMs about C.  Honestly I've listed pretty much everything I know about C above.  Please stop asking stuff.

C exists, you can be assured of that.  Honestly there's a lot of people asking 'who is he', 'what is he', 'is he nice', 'is he decent', 'is he a good leader' and a bunch of other stuff like that.  In all honesty, C is just a general small animal.  I'm not saying every small animal thinks like every other small animal, but they are all pretty decent and they all pretty much act and think in the same way.  Occasionally you get a real head case like Yue-bing but these are rare and I can assure you C is not one of these.

For those who want to meet the small animals (the local ones), there will probably be some kind of small animal meet and greet at ALA this year.  I'm not making any promises though, not yet.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: mamochan on October 15, 2010, 05:06:42 am
I get messages about MrE. Do something or he'll eat every small animal on this forum.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 15, 2010, 08:18:32 pm
Mr. E is long gone.  He lives in Michigan but ran out of cash more than seven years ago.  He can't even afford to have internet anymore.  All for chasing a false dream.  His step-granddaughter (who is also in Michigan) is more of a person now than he ever was, or that he can ever hope to be.  And yet he won't even acknowledge her or his ex-wife.

People were asking late yesterday about the V/U event at PMX.  Yes there will be one, a few of the local chinchillas are looking into it now.  I don't know where, and I don't know how.  It will probably be on Saturday. 

One of the local pigs said he scouted out the venue recently and it was a real mess.  There's no real space inside the venue to hold an event.  Wherever it's going to be, it will have to be outside.  I'm guessing it will be up on the roof.  There aren't any decent open areas nearby or anything like that.  Kinda sucks.

And it won't be hosted by a chinchilla.  They are going to find someone else to host it or be the "spokesperson" that runs it, at least. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 18, 2010, 10:44:38 pm
People are asking about whether the mixed tricolor sheltie/silkie/american/??? that replaces the black pig (the original pig's buddy) is related to the original pig.  The answer is probably yes, but only slightly.  If they're related, he'd be like the cousin twice removed and then one generation below that.  So don't get all excited yet.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 19, 2010, 10:39:29 pm
I keep getting questions about the remnants of L's old kitty cat gang. 

First, kitty cat dynamics are not at all like small animals where it's basically one small animal equals one vote.  It basically goes like this, some cats get one vote, some get more than one vote, and most get no votes.  The cats fight among themselves to decide who gets the votes, it pretty much comes down to the cat who the most cats are scared of is going to get the most votes, and so on down from there.

When L moved, his right paw cat and left paw cat pretty much dropped off the radar.  The gang's vanguard, numbering an elite 9 cats at its peak had dropped to 4.  Most squads were operating at around half membership, if that.  Cat P, the leader of the vanguard, tried to send his own goon squads out into the city to collect protection fees from local small animals, but the small animals would not pay up.  The goon squads could not overpower the small animals due to sheer numbers, they tried to offer several 'bennies' to get them to pay up (ie. buy 'protection' and a friend gets 'protection' for half off the normal price) but the small animals did not fear them anymore.  When no one bought protection, one goon squad was dumb enough to attack the next night and ended up overrun by small animals.  Only half their number even managed to make it back to base.

Meanwhile the lower level cats were starting to threaten the leadership.  Several prominent members were threatening to rebel.  Cat P recognized that and decided he had to rebuild the vanguard back up to full strength, if nothing else for his own personal protection.  (It's not uncommon for cats to fear their own more than outsiders).

Seeing that Cat P was in desperation to get his vanguard back up to full strength, some of the local cats demanded a say in Cat P's selections in exchange for their continued support of the gang.  P had little choice to agree.  These outsiders had mixed reasons (of their own) for wanting votes.  In the end the 5 cats added to the vanguard were a bit of a joke.  One of them is a known and proven small-animal sympathizer.  Another holds an equivalent position in a rival gang.  Then you have a few others who have basically been sheltered indoor cats their whole life -- no real security or battle experience.  In essense these 5 cats are pretty much unknowns, and P knows it.  They could basically turn on him at any time.

And the kicker for this gang is a lack of supplies.  The cats are basically out of supplies and have no real way to recover them, little to no income.  Baring some rich patron who shows up and 'saves the day', they aren't going to be doing much until the can get some. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 20, 2010, 10:12:32 pm
I thought the Tofu video was old news but evidently not, I am still getting PMs asking about where to find it.
So here the link, you all can stop asking by PM now.

Tofu Video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJYPHm-TlZM

"They're so cute but I wish they'd play together more often.  Tofu doesn't seem that interested in others lately, he is always playing by himself."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 26, 2010, 08:04:11 pm
No, I wasn't there, so I can't say a whole lot.  According to Molly, a bunny friend of Mr. Sparkles, "the level of drama was about what I expected.  Overall, I was actually a little disappointed.  I went there expecting to see some fights, but instead it was just a bunch of arm-flapping and people yelling at each other and arguing from time to time.  No fights.  Boo-hoo." [1]

For those who are wondering where the small animals are going to meet next, there's rumors that the initial planning kick-off meeting for the interim planning committee (the group that puts on the bunny caucus) will take place at one of the local beaches.  If you want more details, skype the new pig to ask about it (I don't know any more details). 

[1] Rumor has it that there were a few near-fights, where it looked like things were about to get violent but the (possible) combatants were restrained by the people around them. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 30, 2010, 02:48:33 am
Continuation of post from October 15, 2010, 08:18:32 pm

Yes and no.  They will meet, we just don't know where.  The time will most likely be Saturday in the evening, after the event.

Overflight and Satellite data on this location is pretty useless (see for yourself).  It's kinda boxed in, lot a lot around it really.

Another small animal scout is heading out to the venue to scout it out, this time with some additional ranging[1] and recording equipment.  Hopefully it will be a productive trip he can get the data that is needed.  If all goes well we will decide after this weekend.

[1] Small animals generally have very poor to no depth perception, making rangefinders pretty popular equipment for scouts and survey teams.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on November 02, 2010, 10:42:10 pm
Continuation of last post.

Unfortunately the little guy they sent in never reported back.  It's been quite some time and no one has seen or heard from him.  Hopefully he didn't get eaten or trapped or anything like that.

I'm sure they'll figure something out.  It looks like a mess, I think I'll just pass on this one really. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on November 09, 2010, 02:35:15 am
Ultimately you have to ask yourself 'does it work'.  In the case of a theory, this means, does it bring some clarity to something that isn't clear, does it explain something in the (best) possible way, given everything you do know, etc.  Many people get hung up on the question of 'is it true', meaning that they must prove something to be true before they can use it.  When in reality, 'truth' can be a elusive thing with limited information.  Rather people should ask 'is this useful' or 'is this helpful'.  For instance 'is this helpful in determining what to do next.'  For a model that is working or able to predict events accurately, there is no harm in assuming it is true for the sake of prediction.  Likewise for the 'best possible' model available, ie. one that can predict events accurately most of the time.  Just remember that theories cannot be proven true in reality, that's why they are theories.  In other words, use, but don't assume.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on November 10, 2010, 01:33:51 am
It's bad advice.  Don't fear the outer points, they are there for a reason, use them. 

Also get a narrow screen.  They are cheap, $40. or so, and they might be darker, but the images and their focus look more real.  Hence it becomes easier to use the manual focus or to check focus after using the auto focus.  Trying to do this with the default screen can be hard to impossible.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on November 11, 2010, 11:14:53 pm
For a map of the installation, follow this link:  http://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/content/PASPHHF/media/pdf/en_PASPHHF_other_floorplan.pdf

This list refers to _planned_ meets, I can't make any gaurantees.

By 'planned' I mean planned-to-happen, not that I'm planning to be there (most of them I'm not planning on being there).

Apparently one of the Pandas (don't remember which) is planning a UT/VO meet after the Masquerade at 9pm in the San Gabriel Courtyard.  There may be other UT/VO meets before or after the Masquerade, but it's hard to say when or where.  If you are late, just look for a Panda, Pandas are kinda hard to miss.

Someone, I don't know who, or what, is planning a FF meet in the lobby Saturday at noon, basically meet in the lobby and then find a better place.

Some of the bunnies are scheduling an APH meet in front of the CosFest room Saturday 2pm.  I doubt the people in the Cosfest room will be that amused.

Another Panda I know nothing about is holding a smallish panel "Spreading the love for Japan".  I don't know when or where, I would check the provided schedule if you are interested.

Others, no details available: 
Re-born, Saturday 3:30, Pool deck

Kuroshitsuji, Friday 4:00, Lobby

Harry Potter, Saturday 1:30, Unknown

Poke'mon, Saturday 3:00, Lobby

Those of you who know me (irl) should know where to find me, everyone else, stay safe and have fun.  Remember to use the buddy system, travel in groups and watch out for / avoid rattlesnakes and large predatory cats.

Now I'm getting word that a number of large birds will be there on Saturday.  These guys aren't expected to be predatory (probably flightless anyways) but it's still a good idea to avoid them.  Normally you can spot these guys by their coloration, but they might be using some kind of camouflage this time.  So go figure.  Definitely you want to keep a watchful eye out for these guys, especially if they're grouping up.  Some of them might be friendly on an individual level, but don't be fooled into thinking they all want to be your best friend.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on November 15, 2010, 11:32:29 pm
Multi:

1) Yes, I was there but only on Saturday.  Absolutely a mess.  Chaotic, the schedule for panels was running about an hour behind (but no one seemed to know what was up -- ie. was the panel moved, delayed, or something else altogether) and plenty of 'human traffic jams' as people tried to move about in the narrow passages.  Nothing to get upset over though, the staff was very friendly, they weren't malicious or malevolent or anything like that.  They just didn't have a clue, registration was honestly the only thing that worked well.

2) The reason I didn't approach the snake was because this.  It's not him I'm worried about, but more the people that were around him.  One of them could have been someone bad and I'm not going to risk going up to the guy and saying hi only to have one of the people he's hanging out with turn on me.  It's just not worth it, I know so many people that I'm really not going to miss not meeting someone I don't already know.

3) Yes, he was apparently there too, though I didn't see him.  I figured he'd be kinda hard to miss, standing out like he does, but I still couldn't actually find him.[1]

[1] I'm told he was there on Sunday also, but left early as he became annoyed with the smell / stench that was starting to gather.  That is, from having people who did not bathe or shower for the last 3 days in such close proximity.  Pandas have a very sensitive and developed sense of smell.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on December 01, 2010, 03:18:51 am
Regarding 'Panda B' yes it is true.

I'm sorrey to report that he passed away just several hours ago.  Cause of death was complications resulting from repeated acute myocardial infarction.  He was 'stable' for a while but recently his condition had worsened despite Tuan Tuan's best attempts to keep him alive.

Tuan Tuan was with him till the end and has declared tommorow a day of mourning among all Pandas in his rememberance. 

Panda B is survived by countless Pandas, too many to mention.

Nothing more to say on this right now :(
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on December 02, 2010, 12:26:31 am
Yes.

According to Long Shan, B- was known for a while as the 'great teacher'.  He revolutionized the art and seemed eager to pass on his skills to his many followers.  Long Shan revealed that he developed his famed 'panda hands' technique and the newer 'two-paw discount' with B-'s help, and that the world had lost a great 'practitioner[1]' with his passing.

Tuan Tuan gave a short speech in which he complimented B-'s help during the difficult time following the injuries he sustained during the Wolong earthquake. 

This led into Ling Ling's speech.  After the quake, B- left his Dojo in the West, gathered a team of Pandas and led them on a relief mission in Wolong.  When a brigade of troops from the PLA[2] showed up, ordering the 'unauthorized gathering' of Pandas to disperse and return to their homes, B- told the troops that he and his friends were willing to die for the cause and they would have to shoot him if they wanted him to stop.  When the troops trained their rifles on B- and his fellow Pandas, they returned by taunting the troops and asked them if they were willing to face the punishments they would receive by the state for their actions[3].  Ling Ling still remembered the bewildered expressions on the troops' faces as they quickly backed off, and they would not return to bug the team of Pandas for the remainder of the relief effort.

As is traditional Panda B- left his worldly possessions to a number of small animals under his care including the Chinchilla K. A. -, [deleted], and a friend of Mr. Sparkles, the Netherland Dwarf Bunny L. -.

[1] as in "Practitioner of the art".

[2] People's Liberation Army. 

[3] Pandas are considered national treasures in China, it is not uncommon for smugglers or hunters of Pandas, or even anyone who intentionally harms a Panda, to be put to death.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on December 07, 2010, 12:48:19 am
Multi:

1) Yes it certainly has all the trappings of one, but only someone who knew it or knew what they were looking at would pick up on those types of things in the first place (99.9% of the people out there wouldn't recognize anything unusual).

2) No, I don't think it is any more than expected or is normal with time.  And there is a enough new people coming in for sustained growth.

3) Yes, this snake is one to watch out for, as in "do not approach".  Again not because he alone is dangerous but the other animals that are around him might be.  He is average height and average weight for an animal of his type, but the semi-distinctive features I discussed earlier... and his special item is a camera with this lens:  http://www.amazon.com/Canon-50mm-Lens-Digital-Cameras/dp/B000I1YIDQ which is also pretty rare irl so.  Between the both of these, it should stand out if you know what you're looking for.  You don't have to fear all snakes, especially if they are alone and you outnumber them.  But this is one to specifically watch out for. 

4) Yes, she is fine.  Honest no problems.

5) Yes, most of them tend to be a rather goofy group, incredibly narcissistic and self-serving, needlessly competitive, not to mention a dime a dozen.  And most utterly useless.  My suggestion would be to stop, take a look around; find friends, family, others close to you or whatever and ask them.  Basically people you know in some other way.  Some of them have to have skills, even if mostly basic it's honestly time and effort that matters more than anything else. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on December 09, 2010, 08:09:52 pm
Multi:

1) The contest is here:  http://www.dpreview.com/challenges/Challenge.aspx?ID=3520
And no it is not my contest or in any way related to me.
Stay safe and have fun.

2) Yes I am fully aware of that spike, there is definitely a spike there, but no, I don't know what the origin is.  It happened just several hours ago, and it takes at least 24 hours (sometimes more) for analysis data to come in.  Please just be patient, it's not an emergency by any means; the incident was months ago and there's really not a lot there. 

3) Yeah it's kinda sad. 
Most of mine end up saying this:
This video is most popular with these groups:  Gender / Age
1) Female / 13-17
2) Male / 35-44
3) Male / 45-54
4) Female / 18-24
I don't know how accurate the data really is but :(
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on December 13, 2010, 07:54:50 pm
I think I know what happened, and I'm not going to go into much detail b'cos this is honestly a pretty boring topic for me.

The video was taken 5+ months ago, and the reason it suddenly generated so much controversy was b'cos someone decided to post a link to it from the fb page or a 4c thread about pets, or some combination thereof.

When asked, Mr. Sparkles volunteered this description of the incident.

At the local small animal meet, N and C playing together, with N climbing onto C's back and so on.  Suddenly out of nowhere M appears and decides she wants to play too, she tries to hop onto N's back but can't, then she tries to paw N off C's back, presumably so she can climb onto C's back in her place.  Finally she just hovers around the two of them and generally acts annoying.  At one point, C starts to look a bit perturbed, she blocks M but M just won't let up, then M even put her paws around N and picks her up for a short time, etc.  This continues for about a minute until C says rather forced 'all right everyone let's all hop around' to the rest of the bunnies in order to distract M, at first some of the bunnies question this but most follow suit and M is distracted enough by constant hopping that she stops bothering N and C.

In the after-incedent report, Simon talked to N and C, neither of whom could outright recognize M by sight or smell (before they met).  "Every time we tried to take a photo, she would appear out of nowhere and get into the photo with us.  I don't think she gets out very much.  We didn't think much of it at first, but by the end of the day it was getting really old."

Mr. Sparkles noted that M at one point tried to pull the same deal on K and her friend S.  But K gave her a stern/scary look while S and her one other friend flanked her, trying to look as imposing as possible.  M grudgingly backed off.  Afterwards he overheard K joking "annoying bunny is annoying" to her friends.

I've watched the videos again I really don't think much of it, it may seem kinda goofy but this type of 'annoying' behavior isn't all that unusual for small animals and if handled properly (ie. like K handled it) it generally isn't an issue.

For people / owners, when mixing your small animals, my advice is to just let them do their own thing and work it out among themselves.  95% of the time they will, the only time you need to separate them is if they start to fight outright and only then if blood is drawn. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 03, 2011, 10:26:34 pm
Friday
11:00.....Code Geass................Pool Deck
2:00.......Disney......................Pool Deck (By the Bridge) (Large gathering-Full Hour)
2:30........Meloncholy of Haruhi Suzzumiya...Pool Deck
3:30.......Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt....Pool Deck (By the Bridge)
5:00.......Nintendo...................Pool Deck
6:00.......Scott Pilgrim..............Pool Deck

Saturday
10:30......Angel Beats!..............Pool Deck
11:00......Final Fantasy.............Pool Deck
11:30......Arakawa Under the Bridge....Pool Deck
11:30......CLAMP......................Pool Deck
* 1:00........Vocaloid...................Pool Deck (By the Bridge)
2:30........K-On!.......................Pool Deck (North End)
3:00........Yaoi Gathering............Pool Deck
* 3:30........Touhou......................Pool Deck (By the Rocks)

Sunday
10:00.......Hetalia....................Pool Deck (Large Gathering - Full Hour)

If marked with a '*' I will be there for certain.
Otherwise, probably / maybe / maybe not.

Weather should be good for those three days.

I can't say which of these are for certain, but here is the list:

Friday
11:30am - Opening Ceremonies
4:30pm - Convention Round Table (Chaz, Hector, etc.)
10:00pm - What happens at the con, stays at the con (Spike Spencer)

Saturday
2:30pm - Vocaloid (Russell Chou) [will probably miss it b'cos of the K-On, Y/i, Touhou gathering]
4:30pm - Anime Club Meet-up
9:00pm - Don't kill your date (and other cooking tips) (Spike Spencer)

Sunday
10:00pm - Anime Fandom before the 'net (Helen McCarthy)
12:00pm - Touhou (Russell Chou)
3:00pm - Feedback (Chaz, etc.)
4:00pm - Closing Ceremonies

General intelligence and chatter points to a snake - in, or in the vicinity of - the admin booth, wherever that is (no idea).
At least one snake is purportedly going to be at or near the Panty and Stocking with Garberbelt gathering; and he's likely to have 2-3 other snakes with him.  If you plan on attending this gathering, please watch out.

Have fun and stay safe.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 05, 2011, 11:48:28 pm
Yes, I don't believe the action was random.  And no, I don't trust him, not for a second.  He's a snake, and snakes rarely tell the whole truth; they lie, they deceive, they manipulate, they tell half-truths, etc.  It's their nature.

Some people, when they see on exception in thousands or tens of thousands of cases will seize on their paranoia and make it look like the exception is the norm.  But this guy is a snake; he's hiding a lot more, the whole story isn't out there.  He plead guilty in order to avoid a trial because that would mean the rest of the story getting out there. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 10, 2011, 08:32:17 pm
Multi:

1)

Yes, I can confirm Tuan Tuan's report.  I was there for pretty much the whole time, though I was only doing that about a third of the time.

He was there, along with all the other usual suspects.  I noticed him numerous times on the first two days, though never on the third day.

The only thing missing was his special item.  Maybe he had it with him but it wasn't out, he wasn't using it.  I can understand why he wouldn't want to use it (the item) in that setting.

One of B-'s old friends was there, disguised as a snake even.  He did a pretty good job, B- taught his people really well.  He was fooling the other snakes, though I don't think he fooled a lot of small animals.

2)

Absolutely not.  One boy and one girl, of average height and wearing nothing that made them stand out.  The girl was the dominant one.  I say absolutely not because in that exact same moment that they were looking for me, I walked right by them in plain sight and they did not recognize me.  So, go figure; seriously when will people learn.  They're only going to find me if I want them to.  I say the girl was the dominant one because she was the one doing all the talking and acting / showing all the initiative.  The boy was just standing by her side, and never acted on his own.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 14, 2011, 08:07:57 pm
1) Yes it can be a problem, and I've seen it happen to my friends.  But honestly I've never been caught by anyone like that.  Learn the different techniques for avoiding it, sidestep, dodge, straight-arm, etc.  I figure if someone ever did manage to catch me, I'd probably just end up intentionally falling over on top of them, or something like that.

2) Maybe I need to clarify, if you look at his stuff, it's should be obvious he was using his special item.  But, I never observed him using it, so that is what I reported.

3) No.  Not recommended.  Absolutely not.

In essence it's proof that the problems from several months ago have subsided, bringing with them a whole host of new problems.  It's so popular that now you are starting to see general perverts and fetishists coming out of the woodwork and latching onto whatever and whoever they can get their dirty old hands on.  They're starting to organize, working together, forming their own support groups, online and off, etc.  I wouldn't call them enthusiasts because they are not they are not there for the love.  They don't care for the music, the genre, etc.  They have no real purpose to the community, they're there to satisfy themselves and their fetishes.  At the outset, these people may not be dangerous, but when they are not able to get what they want, they will start grasping at what is within range, progressively becoming more desperate and more dangerous. 

4) I shouldn't have to say "I told you so".  What I said above (#3) should be obvious by now.

5) It's easy to misunderstand this topic.  But let me say, if you examine the common practice today, I am against that.  It rarely produces good results, it rarely produces _relevant_ results.  If you want to talk about it more in depth, PM me on Skype when I am around.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on February 02, 2011, 08:39:42 pm
There are bad apples in every organization.  Any organization of sufficient size is going to have them.  The main thing to pay attention to is how they deal with those bad apples when they do surface. 

There's really not much for me to say here.  It's all pretty much ignorable to me.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on February 05, 2011, 12:27:15 am
No.  These are largely marketing efforts designed to get or draw attention.  Otherwise, they are meaningless.  Just ignore them.

In 2005 the XPSL would regularly host tournies with prize money in the $10K to $40K range.  At its height, it hosted a masters tournament with a price tag of roughly a million dollars that included a $100K payout.  The money for these payouts came primarily from sponsorship, something that the XPSL had a lot of (several major manufacturers, a magazine, and so on). 

These numbers are minuscule compared to popular sports, but they were unlike anything that the rather small extreme sport's 'pro' teams had ever seen.  Every year the numbers would increase, culminating in 2006-2007 until in 2008 when the XPSL just suddenly disappeared off the rader.  By the end of 2008, the parent organization of the XPSL had declared bankruptcy, as did another league, the NPPL.

Today, barely two years later, the name XPSL is virtually unknown.  Few have even heard of the defunct league, no one remembers the cash awards or the teams that won their tournaments.  The difference between the XPSL and other leagues (ie. NPPL) was the prize money, but despite that, the hundreds of thousands of dollars dispersed in prizes bought them little more than an obscure and often forgotten footnote among practitioners of the "sport".

http://thetaoteching.com/taoteching13.html
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on February 15, 2011, 02:55:55 am
Don't worrey, it gets asked a lot.

There's really no consensus among small animals.  Or let me rephrase that, there is a consensus in that no one knows what to think or cares to think too heavily about it.

Mikey's long-term security planning group, aka. the "forward looking action team" met over the weekend but the response was just 'meh'.  The team decided to take a position of NEUTRAL.  Pig F, who took over "the pig's" gambling / odds setting organization, has set odds at 1:1, meaning payout yield is 2:1 minus the premium (actual formula is discussed on the website).  Small animals wishing to place bets can do so at their local commissionary and/or branch office.

I should also mention that in the budgetary part of the meeting, there was a symbolic / balloon motion to allocate agency resources to 'get to the hind end of the matter', but it was denied in favor of another motion to increase the bulk purchase of Oxbow 'cavy cuisine' from a local bulk supplier. 

After Mikey's meeting, Samantha released the official statement:  "This is a forward-looking matter of concern, but it is not one that requires immediate addressing.  At this point, there are too many conflicting reports, too much questionable information, and really nothing solid to go off either way.  Even if we investigated further, it would be a sucker's game to try to predict the way things would go at this point.  This one's really up in the air, so just keep your paws together[1] and we'll figure this one out in due time."

[1] A saying among bunnies that is roughly equivelent to "be patient".

One hour after I posted this, I got some more news.  Mr. Sparkles reported that two of his bunny friends, bunny "R" and bunny "D", have stated they will be there.  Shortly after, Samantha has stated that several members of the Bunny Brigade will deploy as an expeditionary force.  So go figure. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on February 15, 2011, 07:15:28 pm
1) Friday:
At 6pm, a small animal meet and greet will be held.  At 7pm, the Small Animal Commissionary / Branch Office will be trading popular items, bring your unwanted small animal items like pigloos, bunny hutches, or ferret items to trade.

Saturday:
At 1pm, there will be a small animal tea party[1]. 

[1] Political/Conservative "Tea Party" Activists are NOT WELCOME.  This is NOT A POLITICAL EVENT.

More is in the works, please hold on.

2) Most people I know today use the ABCDS phonetics, that is, Aztec, Brick, Can, Dorito, Snake.

a) Can, Standup, Cylinder
b) Brick, Laydown
c) Dorito, Taco
d) Aztec, Temple
e) Snake
f) X (standing up)
g) X (on the ground)
h) Moon

3) I've been asked multiple times about the post on February 15. 

There's still nowhere near a consensus.  But that is the way it looks like things are leaning.  "R" and "D" aren't exactly small fry in the world of bunnies, or small animals, and most do take notice when something like that happens.  And Samantha was able to give that order to the Bunny Brigade because there were bunnies basically ready or waiting to go there anyways. 

But in all honestly, it's hard to tell.  Day to day, small animals can be very fickle, they can be latched onto one thing and suddenly forget about it tomorrow or change their mind just like that.  In a few months, people will look back and this will either be 'the beginning of the tipping point', or it will be a small blip that didn't make any difference in the overall scheme things.  But right now, there is just no way to know. 

4) http://www.youtube.com/user/TwWwIsTed#p/u/6/rhGQr3zPPk0
Appears briefly at 2:37.

5) No, and this has been verified, "Pinkbunny" is not a bunny, or pink, or any kind of small animal at all, for that matter.

6)
Friday:
7pm Swap meet

Saturday:
11am Vocaloid
12pm Pokemon
1pm Small Animal Tea Party
2pm Final Fantasy
7:30pm Masquerade
1am Rum Party

Sunday:
12pm Fashion Show
1pm Cosplay Chess

7) Actual intelligence 'is really sparse', according to Mikey.  But, what information does exist, one general theme previals.  While sympathizers do exist, they do not exist in large numbers, they are easily overshadowed by the bad apples (2:1) and systemic or structural problems.

"I wouldn't bet on it.", explains Mikey, "No matter how you split a rotten apple, it's still rotten."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on March 16, 2011, 12:19:10 am
On March 11, 2011 (Friday), Samantha gave the order for full mobilization of the bunny brigade.  March 13 (Sunday), the entire brigade of roughly 270 bunnies was fully mobilized, and I'm told they all arrived safely yesterday (Monday).

Mikey will continue to oversee day-to-day security in the area.  To compensate for the absence of the brigade, local forces were joined by about 20 bunnies from the Joint Tactical Lepus Alliance to the north.  This group is headed by Ollie, please direct all local bunny brigade correspondence to him instead of Samantha.

No word on the length of the brigade's deployment, but I do expect it will be quite long. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on March 18, 2011, 01:52:17 am
1a) Annually, it would be $200,000.00, seeing as how he was hired in September and made roughly $50K that year.  And, since he is only listed as working 20 hours a week, that would be about 16 weeks in the year of 2009, meaning his hourly pay comes out to $156/hr.  As expected, this is somewhat in line with typical wages for an executive of that stature hired on a consulting basis for an organization of that size.

1b) Travel expenses increased a little, but these costs aren't broken down so it's hard to see who they were spent on.  Possibly, next year's filings will tell more.

1c - all speculation) For 2010, his pay would be on the order of $150K (since he left in September 2010).  His contract probably lasted a year, at the end of that year his pay was to be cut to only $100K annual instead of $200K.  A NPO that compensates an employee in excess of $100K or more has to fill out all this additional paperwork, and even more paperwork if that compensation is in excess of $150K.  It ends up looking bad, ie. like they are less of a volunteer-based organization.

2) One is being planned 'on each day'.  That means 4 in total, and probably at the same time of day.  I think it's revenge for all attacks on UT/VO as of late.  It's not going to stand down, it's not going to go away, it's going to keep getting bigger and bigger and there's nothing anyone can do about it. 

3) Confirmed, and at the ______ festival too.  You didn't hear it here.

4) I don't.  I just shoot what's there.  Honestly if it comes down to it, you could say I'm a practitioner of 'no-style' or absolute minimalism.  If it looks 'bright and happy' that's just because, that's how it was.  Granted most things I do, they're 'bright and happy' things.

Technical fundamentals help you cope with limitations in the instrumentation, such as limited DR.  That's honestly all I do, I'm not trying to dress up what I see in some novel or unusual, novel, or artistic way.

5) It's done, I'm not just posting it here.  Too many stalkerz out there. 

6) I've read the reports.  The snake will be present on Saturday, for certain, but is labelled as 'no danger' at this time as he is operating alone.  Mikey advises to identify him by his (somewhat distinctive) appearance, not his special item, as he is not always using the latter all the time.  I suspect that he may be present on Sunday also, but that is just my suspicion.

If you want to talk to him, please be cautious, always outnumber him 3:1 at all times and watch for any sudden moves in your direction.  If you need assistance, feel free to grab a few members of the Lepus Alliance, they shouldn't be that hard to find in those distinctive uniforms.

7) The small animal(s) in question do not show up in any files.  I checked against every possible match I could find.  Nothing came up.  They're unknowns.  Mind you this isn't too unusual, there's a lot of small animals out there and most aren't in any kind of file.

8 ) It sounds nasty, I'd stay away, really there is no point to it.  Things like that can only go one way, they're never 'for the best'.  Even if you are into that kind of stuff, you should be asking 'what happens afterward'.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on March 28, 2011, 08:48:16 pm
1) Yes, it is believed so, 85% certain that was him.  It's a pretty safe bet it was.  When I saw the mask I was like 'hmm' and slightly after I also noticed a belt pouch.  No idea what he was doing there, but when he (potentially) was sighted, the Lepus Alliance was notified.  The bunnies who were assigned to monitor him did not note any suspicious behavior, the snake was probably just scouting or something like that. 

2) My count (unique) UT 2/VO 32/TO 2.  Roughly 2% or so.

3) Please refrain from using the local SA channel for non-emergency purposes.  This means, for instance, NOT using the channel to call up your Panda UNLESS IT IS AN EMERGENCY.  This was happening a lot this weekend, people were using the channel for chatter which is both annoying and dangerous.  We like to keep this channel clear and open for emergency management. 

4) It's not certain, and it's unlikely to ever be certain.  Intelligence does indicate that the snake is one of those rather seedy individuals who is quite suspect and not to be trusted.  Fortunately, he is largely incompetent, in the last campaign he tried extensively but was never able to achieve his any of his objectives. 

5) After farther investigation, and consultation with several others who also observed the snake, Mikey has raised the determination of his identity to 98%, or 'near complete certainty'.  Intelligence also indicates that his cohort was there along with him, though the Lepus Alliance did not report observing his cohort in their operational logs.

6) Yes, she wanted to take home the dress, but could not fit it in her carry-on bag (with the size limit they have for carry-ons these days) and she did not want to pay extra to check a bag (most airlines started charging for it years ago), so instead she wore the dress to the airport and the plane, and that's why the pictures from the airport all have her wearing a dress.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on April 07, 2011, 11:17:00 pm
Here's a short summary:

Jojo revealed in his most recent interview that he had talked with several members of the Lepus Alliance who were also supporting C's bunnies.  They said that morale was high while the morale of 'that old kitty cat gang' was growing increasingly poor with every decision or step taken.  Expenditures are also a problem, the gang is basically 'running on empty' and there is such a backlog that any funds are spent the second they come in.

According to Mr. Buns, a member of the Lepus Alliance, "Desertions and Defections are becoming increasingly common.  While the cats continue to maintain their lavish accommodations at the expense of the gang, they are also increasingly dependent on newer kitties in order to replace those who have deserted since the troubles began.  But from the way they treat them, it would be hard to conceive that.  The new kitties are housed eight to a hutch, that is, eight adult cats housed together in a hutch that is designed for two adults and maybe a kitten or two.  Nourishment and care are also quite substandard, if the owners don't forget to begin with, the cats may get a single bowl of dry food to share between the eight of them, and no other treats or anything like that to speak of.  The cats are issued substandard equipment, and there simply isn't enough gear to go around (as many defectors and deserters have kept the gear they were given).  In order to conserve the amount of gear that remains, new kitties are typically put into two or three feline teams, while being given only one of each piece of vital equipment like a single radio that they all must share.  We are almost certain that, come this summer, the overall advantage that the gang had in terms of training and outfitting will have all but evaporated."

Mr. Sparkles said that several of the security volunteers who locally help the Lepus Alliance (in the absence
of the bunny brigade) are planning to hop on up north to join up with C's bunnies.

Defectors report that the upper leadership in the kitty cat gang is all but paralyzed and that Cat P is a weak and ineffective leader.  "He prefers to sit around on his owner's lap and occasionally mewl out an order.  However most of his underlings simply ignore him, they are doing their own thing and looking out for themselves or their own enrichment.  Actual incidents of infighting are rare, but none of the cats in charge are on the same page either so it's rare for the whole gang to operate in sync."

On another note, all the small animal news posted on this topic so far is pretty well vetted.  Granted you can never be completely certain when dealing with small animals.  But by any measurement, it's up there, 95% or better.

---

Her special item is an apple.  Yes, she carries a WX5 in her pack, but that doesn't make it her special item.  Any more than her pack or uniform is a special item. 

---

Mikey does not believe the incidents overall have been increasing, and I tend to agree.  Yes, there are more in the news.  But remember, it's basically a slow motion train wreck we're watching here.  Much of what you see or hear irl happened several months ago, just that the news finally happened to filter out now.  And, it's grown, so there can be more attacks, even with the overall percentage staying the same or dropping slightly. 

When I say grown, two years ago it would operate maybe a fourth of the time, a year ago, about half to three fourths of the time, and by now basically all the time or every day.  There is really no need to worrey about the attacks, it grows regardless and countermeasures have been in place as of more than several months ago.  Every attack has not resulted in very much of anything. 

---

Load up the file in Handbrake and choose your desired profile.  Typically I just use Regular->High Profile.  Once you have the profile fine-tuned to what you want, in the text box at the bottom of the advanced tab, add the text ":keyint=NN" to the end of the text that is already there, where NN is some reasonable number of frames (ie. if you want edit points every second, set NN to your framerate).

http://mewiki.project357.com/wiki/X264_Settings has a rather comprehensive list of options that are available for the x264 encoder.  Don't count on handbrake to re-encode the audio, it tends to mess up the a/v sync, just set it to passthru and use something like avidemux to re-encode the audio to AAC as needed for the final output.

---

I should almost certainly be there, but I never formally announce these things before the fact.
There are just too many stalkerz out there.  Stay safe, and watch for snakes.  (Intelligence doesn't indicate any known snakes in this area at that time, but you can never be too careful.) 

And in all honesty, if you are looking for [deleted], I'm probably not the person you want anyways.

---

To me, it is nothing to complain about.  Personally, I find this current structure better than before.  Perhaps it's just the natural evolution of things. 

On another note, Mikey's intelligence was right.  Which is true most of the time.  No snakes.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on April 22, 2011, 12:12:25 am
That's completely untrue, it was well documented as an 'April Fools' joke.

Honestly if she had really died how could she post a video on that same date saying she had died, saying goodbyes to everyone and telling people to pray for her.  It should have immediately obvious even from the first glance that it was an April Fools' joke. 

---

Mikey said it is on pretty good authority that the purported "Mr. W" is a snake and can't really be trusted or taken at his word.  "Dirty... the absolute worst kind.  Plenty of chutzpah, a penchant for preying on small animals in plain view in front of his snake friends.  Don't even think of listening to anything he says."

---

This question gets asked a lot, and the answer is pretty complicated.  So I haven't really tried to attempt answering it.

Cats aren't small animals.  They don't necessarily stick to the pack/herd.  While small animals all almost universally social, many cats aren't.  They need a reason to stick with something, they are innately selfish, without some clear benefit to themselves, they simply abandon the gang and fall into 'doing their own thing'.

So when one cat begs another for help, that service always comes with a price.  More often than not, these things happen in secret -- deals made between strays in foreboding dark alleys, while keeping on the lookout to ensure -- no other animal(s) are watching.  Because when one cat begs another for help, neither the one asking or the one who would give help feels he would benefit from other animals finding out about that.  Not to mention that these deals often involve shady things, ie. one cat allows another to eat  portion of the food that his owner had intended for him, in exchange for service or loyalty of the recipient. 

So going back to that day, when their fridge was raided by the Black Bunny Squad only to be found already totally emptied out; when the cat who had led the gang suddenly disappeared because his owner had moved out town; small animals knew this did not mean the gang was going to simply disappear.  No one ever expected that it would simply disappear.  It simply meant they would have to make a deal with another cat who was in a better position, basically a MM[1] type deal in order to survive. 

[1] Madoka Magica

And that's where we are right now.  Cats are said to have nine lives, but their gangs do not.  Their second lease on life came with a cost, as do all deals made between cats. 

---

I would just relax, whatever happens happens.  To small animals, this just isn't an A or B in terms of importance.  Pretty much a C or C+.  And intelligence is, at best, sketchy.  There's nothing probable to report on at this point, any report would be guesswork at best. 

---

It's actually perfectly normal behavior.  Remember this is a gang.  A common saying among small animals goes like this:  "Dog-eat-dog is the norm among cats."  Don't think it's going to get any better or nicer. 

---

This isn't the easiest question to answer, but I do agree with Mikey's analysis.  "They have anywhere from six months to three years of life left.  With these trends, time is definitely not on their side.  A very top-heavy leadership structure, absolute selfishness at every level, and few that can be relied upon to accomplish anything of import for the group other than some dead-enders.  Morale is poor, and continuing to worsen over time.  In terms of funding, they are running on empty; supply, logistics, mechanized transportation is basically nonexistent, lodging is overcrowded and substandard."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 07, 2011, 02:21:40 am
All small animals are welcome.  Please leave your cats, dogs, snakes, reptiles, etc. other animals at home.  Small animal means mice, rats, gerbils, guinea pigs, bunnies (not jackrabbits), ferrets, chinchilla, etc.  This is a social event, if your animal does not 'play well with others', please leave him/her.

---

Basically Mikey has been shuffling the small animals around in order to best deal with actual threats.  This is necessary because things are still running a bit short-handed with the bunny brigade in its entirety deployed to Japan.  The bunnies that the Lepus Alliance have sent to assist are helping, but things in general are spread pretty thin.  So for a C-class issue, there isn't a whole lot of coverage.

Mikey's direct response:  "Not to mention that bunnies just don't want that job.  It's compromised, all right, but it takes time to ferret everything out.  Things lag by about 3-6 months.  That's no way to run an operation, it's low importance so our job has just been to wait and gather information."

So honestly, if you want it, do it yourself.  It's not that hard, really.  They have big egos, and people with big egos love to talk about 'stuff', even to the point of becoming absolutely pedantic.  Just get them talking, and occasionally give positive feedback.  That's where these guys are an absolute disaster, they can't run their mouths without letting it all loose. 

Once you have them talking, just listen for things that matter, steer the conversation with idiotic comments (force them to 'prove you wrong') and keep mental notes of what actually matters.  Typically not a lot, but listening to idiots with egos is never the most time-efficient process.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 13, 2011, 10:41:18 pm
I said it already, all small animals are welcome at the meeting this Saturday.  You can discuss it there if it really matters, b'cos I'm not going to say a whole lot more here.  And let me warn you, there's not a whole lot of difference of opinion here.  The bunny brigade isn't around, and almost all the small animals are still where they've been for the last couple of months.

Mikey says the bunnies are pretty sure that "that was it".  It sounds like his policy of "observe only" was a good one.  "You don't want to try to interfere in something like this, the affairs of cats are best left to cats."  Of course everyone else was very talkative about this.  Mr. Sparkles was quick to comment "Now we know what that was all about.  Oh boy.  Signed, in blood."  Jojo's comments were similar, "My friend, your sacrifice will not be forgotten.  However rare, even a cat can accomplish greatness."

---

Not specifically, they were mostly speaking in terms of 'big picture'.  Other than ferrets, most small animals have their eyes on the side of their head and little visual overlap.  3D only works because people have visual overlap between both eyes.

Then you have color problems, bunnies are largely colorblind (most can see different shades of green and blue but that's pretty much it).  Pigs can see more colors, in many cases they can perceive as many colors as people can, but their vision tends to otherwise be rather poor.  Rats see similar to bunnies, and are also able to see into the UV range.  So to summarize most small animals aren't really prime candidates for '3D' viewing.  Not to mention that in photographic terms, small animal vision generally has a very large depth of field, but very low resolving power.

---

It's 'good' in that they can see in the dark and can resolve detail well up close.  But the majority of Pandas are near-sighted, distant objects appear blurry and smaller animals may end up being ignored completely if they are downwind and far away.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 23, 2011, 10:29:35 pm
The pool is open as of May 21.  Mr. Sparkles is administering it this time.

There are seven pools your small animal can place on, your small animal must either mail in the carrot slip or do an electronic transfer to Mr. Sparkles account.  As usual, the preliminary payouts of pools are based on current bets placed, and payouts may shift before the event time.  The metric is 'the amount of time that passes between the stated time (when the event is supposed to actually begin) and the actual 'first song'.  The verifier for this event will be Tuan Tuan, as he will be attending the event.

0 hours - 1 hour:  x2.7
1 hour - 2 hour:   x1.5
2 hour - 3 hour:  x1.4
3 hour - 4 hour:  x1.1
4 hour - 5 hour:  x1.2
5 hour - 6 hour:  x1.5
6 hour or more (or never):  x1.1

Surrender return is currently 50%, surrender transfer, 75%.

When asked for commentary, here's what all the locally significant small animals had to say about the event:
"Not a lot of small animals are attending the event in question, but I understand it's quite popular with Pandas." - Mikey
"Technical Difficulties are a given.  Oh yeah.  Bring it on!" - Jojo
"Thats... It?  I mean, seriously?  Really?  What's for dinner?" - Happy

---

Yes, from an (anonymous) informant.  This happened a few months ago, it was reported by Mikey in his blog at the time but didn't draw much attention.  He had just completed his tour and in debrief gave the following statement (excerpted).

"At the meeting, they asked for 'volunteers' to go over and 'stir the pot'.  I drew the short-tailed mouse[1] and so I ended up volunteered for the job.  I was told to get some paints and to go deep into woof-woof[2] territory and paint the gang symbol all over."

"Cat P was absolutely livid.  I don't remember why, but someone had just said something that maid him real upset.  He was hissing every other word and his hair was standing on end.  He insisted that we had to show the small animals out there that just because they have a woof-woof on their side (actually there are more than three woof-woofs on their side) that we can still mess with them and that we could still hit them if we so chose."

"Being my creatively incompetent[3] self, I picked up some watercolors from the shop and a brush.  I waited for a day when the weather report said it would rain, and that morning I met a friendly woof-woof who took me around in woof-woof territory and we painted the tag in more places than I can remember.  We photographed each tag and afterwards I showed the pics to Cat P.  Cat P took the pics as proof and said he would reward me for my service.  No one ever verified the tags, they took the pics as proof even though I know the next day it rained so the tags would be gone."

"Afterwards Cat P followed up by sacking his old hairball management manager and giving me his position.  The poor cat got moved into the boat management department.  Only problem is the gang didn't have any boats to manage.  In fact all their territory is landlocked, the gang wouldn't have any use for boats."

[1] A saying among cats, believed to come from the saying 'drawing the short straw'.  It's rare for cats to volunteer to do another cats dirty work, so typically when the boss asks for 'volunteers', it ends up being decided by rolling a dice, drawing cards, or some other simple game of chance. 

[2] Phonetic for dog.

[3] Seasoned infiltrators / informants are trained how to be incompetent or ineffective without getting noticed, at least for a time.

---

Yes, we have noticed the same thing.  Reports come in from the Bunny Brigade all the time, and Mikey reads every one.

"Ever since the disaster, it's been up.  Way up.   Is that a good thing?  We'll, it's certainly not a bad thing."

I'm told the sixties were the same way. 

---

This has been standard practice for years, basically anytime you have any doubts, just 'play dumb' in the title and desc.  "I don't know what this is" etc.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 07, 2011, 02:24:53 am
Pasted from Mikey's blog.  It's another cat's report.

"The pounce[1] was rather uneventful.  First, Cat T was publicly commended for his service to the gang and rewarded the newly made position of director of small animal interdiction operations.  Cat P seemed as if he was about to discuss something of import when 'Grampa', his owner, threw a wrench into the works by throwing a catnip-flavored mouse toy into the middle of the cats.  The snake Z stuck around, trying to restore order despite his complaints of not having eaten in the last month and a half and having to pass up another small animal hunting opportunity in order to make the meeting.  But it was rather futile, the cats could not resist the urge to play and did so for the allotted time until the meeting ended.  After that all the cats went off and did their own thing except for Cat T and Cat P who went into another area to discuss something in secret.  No idea what."

"After the pounce, I followed Snake Z as he slithered through the grass and back to his hole.  Slyly, I advised him, something like this.  'You know that you'll eventually have to make a choice between the gang and hunting opportunities.  Cat P recognizes that you're doing stuff 'on the side', and it makes him antsy.  He doesn't like the higher-ups in the gang having outside issues, that's why he sent Cat T after [deleted].  And he just promoted Cat T, so it's only going to grow."

"The snake just shook his head at me.  He might be all-in for now, figuring that he already made that choice.  But I think not.  He's not eating cold[2] just yet." 

[1] meeting
[2] domesticated

---

"Yesterday a doberman showed up at the high-level department of hairball management meeting.  The morale, even among higher-ups, is poor.  In the past, the gang would have not given an inch and made a concerted effort to fight off a dog in their territory.  And there wouldn't be much a single dog could do against 12 angry cats.  But yesterday, all the cats just split.  Of course I ran too, one job ain't worth becoming dog food over.  But they didn't even try to radio in their situation.  They just panicked and ran every which way."

"Cat P wasn't there, but when he heard of the situation, he made it a thing to interview everyone who was there and then became increasingly paranoid.  His fur stood on end, and he hissed out something like, 'Swore I've seen that woof-woof before.  Must be one of C's dogs.  [explicative]', clawing at thin air for effect.  I wasn't one of C's dogs.  It was just a dog from a few doors down owned by a neighbor who just moved in.  That had somehow gotten out.  Honestly P's been stuck in the house[1] for weeks."

[1] among cats, roughly translates to 'off his rocker' or 'losing perspective with reality'.

---

1) The numbers I heard were around 1200.  That is just incidental, I wasn't there as I really don't have much interest in that stuff.

2) I'm not going to post it beforehand, honestly it's still in flux and too many stalkerz out there.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 21, 2011, 11:26:31 pm
I've been getting a lot of questions about this, 'what happened', 'is he alive', etc. so I'm going to post this report.

If you watched [Deleted], one of the things that might have drawn some attention was Cat Y.  Known for his outwardly likable, though somewhat effeminate manner, the cat ended up drawing plenty of attention to himself.

Cat P, the current leader of the 'neighborhood cat gang', has been desperate to try to inflict damage on C, or any of the bunnies, pigs, other assorted small animals who are loyal to C.  But he's been so busy just trying to hold his gang of cats together that he hasn't had the time to take action himself.  So Cat F, who had ingratiated herself to Cat P, said she would act against C in exchange for Cat P giving her 'any position (in the gang) she wanted'.  Cat P, who doesn't trust half his cats in the higher positions in his gang to begin with, couldn't help but to agree.  But Cat F demanded that he act first.  For starters, she demanded Cat Y's position.  She wanted to be a star on [Deleted]. 

Cat P agreed.  He had doubts about Cat Y's loyalty, his spies had reported seeing Cat Y being a bit too friendly with small animals on numerous occasions.  So he ordered that Cat Y give his current position and instead take over Cat K's old logistics position.  And then put Cat F in his spot.

Cat F was very happy, having secured what is basically the lead role in [Deleted].  Kinda ironic because Cat Y basically made [Deleted] what it was.  But probably, Cat P feels that he served his purpose to him and now needs to be disposed of.  Now considering this, Mikey doesn't expect that Cat Y will turn, too much to lose, but you never know. 

Several weeks later, Cat P's changes paid off when Cat F managed to hack into C's RSS feed and use that to the gang's advantage.  While it was a short-lived victory for the gang, it helped to solidify her position and she was rewarded by Cat P along with some of the other cats with a "Zhu Zhu Pet" Hamster (Mr. Squiggles), a new scratching post, and some of her favorite luxury cat food.  Meanwhile, Cat Y has been trying to clean up the mess that has accumulated since Cat K's departure.  Far from a pleasant job.

---

Definately not.  Plus, a tripod?  In this day and age?  And what kind of application asks you to list what kind of equipment you have?  That's between borderline and irrelevant, if I want to hire someone for, say, a wedding, that's the last thing on my mind!  It just goes to show that, they don't have the slightest idea what they're talking about.  It's not worth the bother. 

---

Mikey does not recommend that method for anti-interdiction efforts, it is too easy to mislead or just plain have the snake show up in an area unplanned or on a whim.  Always keep an eye out, if outdoors, be mindful of wind conditions and the effect on scent, watch out because he is known to associate with other snakes and cats that could be hostile to small animals.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 01, 2011, 01:57:09 am
For people, quite simply, there is nothing to be worried about.  It's just a collection of eastern herbs, spices, turmeric, etc.  Things like that.  Pretty harmless for people, which is much more than I can say for the western 'energy drinks'.

Not for animals though, small animals or otherwise.

---

I know.  He probably just soiled himself.  The cat's got to be running scared now, they're pulling out all the stops as best they can.  Not that it will make a difference.  They've been trying to go on the offensive for weeks, but they are short supplies and their morale is in the pits, especially at the lower levels.  There's really not much they can do besides just sit and watch. 

He's going to have to face the music soon.  He's never gained any traction, every victory has been short-lived and every defeat has lasting consequences. 

---

The reports (about Cat Y) are pretty much true. 

"Cat K's logistics department was in shambles when he (Cat Y) took it over.  About two thirds of the cats had left, and the remainder had become so accustomed to sleeping 'on the job' and just generally goofing off that they were absolutely useless.  Most of the rum-rum[1]'s had seen far better days, in various states between working sporadically to broken down with no reasonable hope of repair.  More importantly, the department had no fuel so even if all their rum-rum's had been in working order, they would still not be able to operate them.  (Cat Y) tried very hard at first, but it was simply a no-win situation."

"Eventually he too succumbed to malaise and sat around every day sleeping, preening, cleaning himself, etc.  (Cat T) noticed this and threatened to report back to (Cat P) if he did not 'pick up the pace'.  But even if he had wanted to, he couldn't, his strengths were in publicity and customer service, not logistical management.  So (Cat T) eventually did report his laziness back to (Cat P), who promptly confronted him and threatened to remove him if he was not up to it."

"At that moment, when he was confronted by his boss, he snapped.  He ordered his underlings to take down (Cat P) and charged headfirst at him to set an example, leaping and trying to land on him with all four claws.  He did not receive any support from his underlings, and while he was able to land on the rather portly (Cat P)'s back, with claws extended, he could not get a good grip and lost his balance, only grazing his back as he fell to the ground.  Using his weight to his advantage, (Cat P) leapt on top of him, flaying him along the ground and biting the back of his neck.  A full-on catfight followed, Cat Y held his own using his superior agility, but ultimately neither cat could gain the upper hand.  Knowing that reinforcements would be on the way, (Cat Y) had the good sense to disengage and flee in short order.  For this, he was removed from the gang, even if for PR reasons the official statement was that he had left to pursue other opportunities."

So he's pretty much out of the cat gang now, even though he still has a few friends' among the cats and the snakes who are higher-ups in the gang (remember that Cat P's control is nowhere near absolute).

[1] - on-road vehicles
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 07, 2011, 11:30:35 pm
Please stop asking me about the video, you can ask Tuan Tuan for his video taken with his pandacam but even better, look in the usual places and there's a far better video out there I've already seen.  Top notch in terms of quality, I'm guessing it was an official source because really, they want it out there rather than held back.

Overall people say it was fine, they managed to get a passing grade with their treatment and I don't think there will be any long-term repercussions for the worse.  Hell it better have been though, that's what he sold his soul for.  Like faust, he gets what he wanted, at least for the time being.  But like faust, it's going to come back to haunt him in the end, it always does, we'll see how that turns out because it's only a matter of time now.

---

What I can say is that the 'trend' started about a month and a half ago, middle to late May, by mid to late June daily traffic had doubled and since seems to have leveled off at double the prior rate.

---

Yes, I will, and intelligence indicates that it is almost certain there will be snakes there, so far we have counted one for certain (snake Z) and several other probables.  For this reason, it is highly recommended to stay in groups, don't venture out alone and keep a constant eye out for dangerous critters.  None of the snakes are known to have any support of their own, though this is still being looked into. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 15, 2011, 02:43:22 am
I'll try to find out this weekend.  Really.  But don't count on it.  I don't trust that source too much.  I know people say he is a nice guy.  Doesn't mean I trust him. 

All together, it should be something like 6+ bunnies, 3+ guinea pigs, 1 ferret, and who knows what else.  If your small animal has any problems, just look for our ferret, shouldn't be that hard to find.

Okay we ended up with a lot more than that, but never mind it.

What I was told was that basically, after Cat Y snapped and attacked his boss, he was pretty much relegated to the outer parts of the gang that Cat P had virtually no control over.  One of the musical departments, like the kitty cat department of music and dance or something like that.  While there are signs he is unhappy, he is still basically a 'true believer' or 'dead-ender' who is probably biding his time, perhaps believing that Cat P is 'on the way out'.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 20, 2011, 11:02:18 pm
Thursday
  Tron         4 30pm - Ballroom 20
  Dr Who       7 00pm - Ballroom 20
  Tron         9 30pm - Front of San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina

Friday
  MarvlCapcom 11 00am - Ballroom 20
  Homestuck    1 00pm - Ballroom 20
  Valve        3 00pm - outside Ballroom 20
  Kuroshitsuji 4 30pm - outside Ballroom 20

Saturday
  MarvlCapcom 10 30am - outside 25ABC
  Vocaloid    11 00am - front of Ballroom 20
  Suckerpunch 12 00pm - front of Ballroom 20d
  FinalFantasy 1 00pm - stairs outside registration hall

Sunday
  Pokemon     12 00pm - stairs outside registration
  Disney       1 30pm - outside ballroom 20, by large windows
  Dr Who       2 00pm - center of the sails pavilion
  HitmanReborn 2 30pm - Ballroom 20 area
  Tron         3 30pm - Ballroom 20

In all, we have at least two bunnies, two guinea pigs, and an undetermined number of Pandas.  It's big, so don't count on running across us or being able to find us; if you must check the new and improved PandaCam and either follow him or use the GPS coordinates given in the bottom corner to find him. 

If you are brave enough, you can try to get some "Morning Rescue" from the snakes at #129. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 26, 2011, 12:09:56 am
Yes, I know of this and we responded the best we could but it was simply an untenable situation.  Keep in mind we started out with only had the 'skeleton crew', 20 bunnies from the Lepus Alliance, 2 Pandas, and a few guinea pigs.  There was just too much area to cover and not enough personel.  The best we could do early on is run interference.

On Friday we were reinforced by a few others we had called up, including our Ferret (Mikey), another Panda, and a Kitsune.  But things were still very scattered out, and even if we did converge, it was still nowhere near enough to hold a line.  I can say that our Pandas were able to spot and take down a few isolated snakes, targets of opportunity, as a simple matter of principle.  But it was not enough to make any considerable dent.  There were simply too many snakes out there and after that, a lot of them were working in pairs or even threes.  So we called it an early day and went back to the drawing board.

On Saturday we managed a few of our trademark 'lightning strikes', with all the small animals and pandas converging, taking out an isolated pair or a three of snakes at a time, and then dispersing before the other snakes in the area could react.  This worked well into the morning, but into the afternoon, snakes were being deployed by their masters faster than we could find an isolated group to take out.  The newer teams of snakes had radios and everything else.  We didn't even try at that point, we fully expected that they would blitz us if we tried another strike so we just stayed dispersed and pretty much called it quits.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 02, 2011, 10:44:14 pm
I think 'largely overstated' would be the words in this case.  Overall, those things don't affect small animals very much, I mean sure it's nice to be banking carrots and things like that, but food doesn't keep, this is only possible with the 'future share' system where incoming carrots are divided up among those who elect to 'cash in' their carrot slips.  Beyond that, small animals don't really bank on credit, in fact if a small animal can trick someone into doing something for future credit, that (person) is typically considered a 'mark' or a sucker.  Panda, Kitsune, etc. are the same way, no similar animal has a strong concept of that, support is based largely on the instinct brought about by the fact that the every animal in the herd has far more security than they would alone.  Communication, Security, Logistics, these things work because of simple necessity, if these things fail the herd dies off.

Dogs, Cats, Snakes, etc. are not similar, but not exactly dissimilar, dogs tend to be loyal, cats are scheming, ganging up but also stabbing one another in the back when the opportunity presents itself.  Snakes are largely solitary creatures. 

---

I'm told it will be "soon".  Whether that means weeks or months, I don't know.

Even after, I fully expect that the conflict will continue, just because he's sold his soul doesn't mean his time on this earth is over.  Cat Y has gone dark, if he goes rogue it will be a big loss for the gang because he was close to the top and could spill a lot of critical info.  There are rumors that Cat Y is actually Cat F and that the whole thing is just a bunch of misdirection but that is so ludicrous that no one in their right mind is listening.  Reports are pretty clear about Cat Y going dark, all small animals are advised to keep an extra eye open for him in case he pops up somewhere unexpected.

General reports indicate that Snake attacks are up, or more that attempted snake attacks are up.  Mikey has identified a snake that is operating in the area between the local established safety zone and the safety zone held by the Lepus Alliance to the north.  It is believed that this is just a single snake rather than a group.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 10, 2011, 08:32:38 pm
Honestly I wouldn't bank on it, things are still 'up in the air' and they're showing a lot of signs of 'fiscal strain'.
Their logistics department is able to operate with the reduced traffic in the off-season, but even at the current rate of reduced consumption, their fuel stores only last them through the end of this year, even by a most optimistic estimate (the reality is they could be depleted sooner).  Multiple purges at the higher levels have raised morale and loyalty at the cost of competency, reserves are low and lot of departments are operating only with minimal personel.  For now, the Cat's deal still holds, and it will bring in enough to keep their doors open but not much else.

For future prospects, small animals are slowly encroaching on their territory, they are slowly being forced to give up ground and have nothing that can answer several dogs being employed by their rivals.  Main sources of income, like protection, are basically nonexistant; while it will squeak along as long as the Cat's deal is still in place, they won't have much to show for it and it is only a matter of time before things start to crumble farther.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 13, 2011, 02:03:48 am
From Mikey's Blog.  The unnamed 'X' gave the following report, after completing his successful (though obviously temporary) infiltration of the gang.

"During the so-called off-season, the gang is desperate for whatever help they can get.  They needed a 'runner', a cat who could be trusted to move items and messages from one place to another.  I saw the opportunity and volunteered, knowing that I might eventually be trusted with secret and important communications, too sensitive to send over the electronic network.  For collecting intelligence, the position was about as good as it could get."

"The effect of hierarchy within the gang could be well felt.  In the beginning, a lot of the cats were quite physical and some, like P's de-facto right-hand-cat, T, would aggressively bump into me and try to knock me into walls or other cats.  Others, like J, seemed very blaze until I once was purring with F and then suddenly he charged at me from a distance, hissing and shrieking at me to 'keep my paws off her'.  It seems that all this was quite normal, any new cat in the gang would be tested to see where they would fall in the hierarchy and if they could be bossed or bullied around.  But the cats in gang that acted this way, I found them to be all hiss and no bite, I quickly found that they were weak fighters who simply could not back up their threats."

"As a runner, I was often employed by P, who was leery of R, at the time the manager of the technical electronic communication department.  R himself was a controversial cat, and when I started there was a lot of of back-and-forth between P and Z (a snake) about their plans to sack him.  Their messages were essentially scribbles, which I took the time to read even if I assured P I did not (and could not) read.  From the time I started, R's days were already numbered, the plotting between the two had R's pay pulled while at the same time, an ally of Z set up a new main server and physically detached the server that R had maintained from the gang network, and backed everything up just to be certain.  Once R realized that he was no longer receiving any income from the gang, he tried to hack into the gang's network through his server but failed since it was no longer connected.  When R realized his attempts had already been pre-empted, he threatened to lead a revolt against P, but it was hopeless as his support of the prior leader L had hurt his reputation among gang members so much that no cat would even consider taking his side against P."

"Shortly thereafter, P decided to do a purge.  All the cats were 'herded' into a room under the promise that gourmet cat food would be available in large quantities.  But instead, once all the cats gathered and were purring and licking their noses in anticipation, all the exits to the room were locked and P turned to his right-hand-cat, T, to lead something of a 'pep rally' praising himself.  T raised his right paw and mewled as loud as he could, expecting the other cats to follow what he said in perfect sync."

"The spectacle lasted no more than a few minutes, with chants akin to 'all hail El Presidente' and the like.  I played along and did my best to look enthusiastic like a lot of the other cats; about halfway through the rally I spotted a number of cameras that were trained on everyone.  No doubt they were watching us to ensure that we showed appropriate enthusiasm in praising the leadership of the gang."

"Afterwards, T produced a single can of gourmet cat food, citing budgetary cuts.  Some of the cats were naturally upset, and mass chaos ensued as they tried to fight each other, snatch, and grab the can in order to escape with it.  I don't know who ended up getting the can, but I did see P and T take advantage of the chaos to make a timely escape."

"The next day, several cats had disappeared and anyone who asked as simply told they were no longer part of the gang.  I believe the highest ranking member who got purged was the manager of the department of operational notice development.  Apparently most of the other cats thought little of it, the had become used to frequent purges under the former leadership of L and considered the purges under the newer leadership tame by comparison to the more frequent 'loyalty tests' and 'security checks' that had to be endured under him."

"After the purge, P must have felt more secure because he announced he no longer needed runners.  Instead I was moved to the collections department.  Our job was to go from door to door in our territory and extort the populace, primarily a variety of small animals and others who were unlucky enough to live in areas where the gang still had a grip."

"In practice, this job had become quite difficult.  Other cats in the department would often speak of the 'good ol days' where small animals knew if they did not pay up, they risked being eaten on the spot, or worse."

"Our misadventures were fraught with danger, and all the cats were on the edge.  The mere sound of a barking dog could send the cats running every which way and abort all collection activities for that day.  We kept hearing how our 'fat cats[1]' had big things in the works but most of us doubted they'd ever see it through the night[2]."

[1] similar to personal usage, somewhat derogatory term for lead cats

[2] another saying among cats, implies that it will be forgotten by the next day
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 30, 2011, 02:03:23 am
Continued from the last post:

"E, who ran the department, was under a lot of pressure from P to bring in some income.  In response to his begging for help, P sent down three snakes, two small rattlers and a young boa.  But the move was largely symbolic, as the snakes were total loners and refused to work with the cats as part of the collection team.  They insisted on working alone and while they did manage to dispose of a few animals who were not paying up, they were still not able to collect anything at all.  Regarding these snakes, after one simply disappeared while out on a job, the other two were frightened by a rumor that the small animals had employed a mercenary king snake that was responsible for his disappearance.  They refused to go out and hence became quite useless to the department."

"It wasn't too long before E's disappearance was planned.  T, P's previously mentioned 'right paw', had doubts of E's loyalty and suspected that E was pocketing the income that the department was bringing in rather than sending it to P.  So I was to lead E into a trap where he would be assaulted by T and several other cats, who would dispose of him.  In exchange, I would be promoted to the new leader for the department."

"Recognizing this was a spoiled deal, instead I crossed T and explained the situation to E.  We schemed up the plan of leading T and his followers into our own trap, involving some of the dogs that C's small animals were employing.  I met with my patron and told him of the planned scheme, he called C on his radio and after a discussion, C agreed to send two dogs and a 'fighting bunny' squad to assist.  The plan was to wait for the two of us to go to the ambush point (as T had instructed) and then wait for T's forces to surround it and move in.  Shortly after, C's fighting bunnies would charge in to assist us, as well as the Pomeranian, while the Dachshund would stand by to chase down any of T's cats who tried to escape." 

"The plan worked quite well, leading to an almost comical scene where the fighting bunnies had formed a circle trapping T and his followers in the middle.  Meanwhile the Pomeranian and the two of us squared off against T and his several followers, once the Pomeranian identified T by his scent, he charged and tried to bite T, the rest of us kept the other cats from interfering and when some of them tried to split, they received powerful kicks from the bunnies, knocking them square off their paws and back into the center of the circle.  The fight went on for a short while, the Pomeranian grazing T with a few bites, enough to grab some fur but nothing else; despite being outnumbered by T's followers, we were able to at least hold our own and keep them from from defending T.  One of the cats that had tried to run and took a kick from the bunny was lying paws up on the ground, T grabbed his submitting comrade and swung him around, knocking the Pomeranian off balance and proceeded to throw his comrade at a bunny.  The bunny was knocked back by the impact, and he ran through the hole full speed before the bunny could recover.  As formerly planned, the Dachshund took after him, but would return empty handed.  Several seconds later, the rest of T's followers were either unable to fight or showing submission, they were taken away by the bunnies and once we learned P had escaped, we figured reinforcements would not be far behind so I bade E farewell and told him to take care of himself."

---

It is still a work in progress.  I will put up a new video when it is ready.  This is 6-7 times the power of the one in the video.  There is nothing wrong, it is just the usual development process delays.  The system itself works great, but it was a bit overpowered for the front-end supply.  The supply worked fine up to about 80W, but died when I tried to push it over that.  So now everything is powered direct, which meant redesigning the power source, mostly done.  Temperatures are okay, at full operation, the limiter core temperature is est. 105-110C of 125C rated maximum, surface temperature of that part 85C and the cooling is now powered separately rather than trying to get it from the direct source.  Everything else is well below its limits so it should work this time without any big problems. 

Update:  Probably next week, or whenever I have time.  Limiter core is down to about 85C at room temperature, surface around 65C.  Emitter surface is nominal, even at full power, 40C or less.

---

I am still getting questions about Cat Y, I know he had a lot of fans but this is starting to get kinda ridiculous.  I know like one person who is semi-close to Cat Y's owner and that's it, and people can talk to this guy on their own.  It's not like I care too much about Cat Y irl, he's not much of anything to me.  I saw him once in person, once, and I didn't think much of him.  Really, what's the big deal?

Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 07, 2011, 01:18:02 am
Yes.  It lasts through December if they are lucky, but will more likely run out in November.  Once it runs out, then all the vehicles they rely on for transport will come to a halt, the only way they can transport animals and/or goods is by walking and/or carrying.  Cat P has tried to implement several alternatives to replace the vehicles, but nothing has been well-received.

From Mikey, "At the current exchange rate, the cost to keep the vehicles running is coming in at roughly 400,000 baby carrots a day.  The funds just aren't there.  Defectors report that Cat P has constructed several alternative means of transport, such as a giant trebuchet known as 'the hurler', as it designed to hurl cats and cargo to their destination in a timely fashion.  'Victims' are issued parachutes, in the hope that they can avoid injury, but among the volunteers that Cat P used to test the device, approx. 57% received injuries, and of those, 29% received 'serious' injuries.  No right-minded cat will even go near the device, and Cat P has run out of volunteers and has problems finding more, especially during the [off-season]."

From an unnamed informant, "The chutes, which are provided by a sponsor of [the gang], are made of stamped paper in order to cut costs.  They have a prominent sponsored logo on the top and bottom.  The primary problem in their implementation is that the chute must be deployed near the apogee of the flight in order to be effective.  If the chute is deployed too early, tearing and breakage is common due to the high speed of travel, and the animal may be off target significantly without any means of correcting.  If the chute is deployed too late, a similar, more deadly mishap can take place.  Volunteers found that the best chances of survival was to ditch the chute in either of these circumstances, instead relying on their own innate abilities to land on their feet, hopefully unharmed."

Cat P claims the program as a success, claiming that it can reduce transportation costs to near-zero levels and reduce transit times significantly.  Some of other cats apparently overheard Cat Y asking 'why doesn't he use it himself, then'. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 10, 2011, 01:17:10 am
It doesn't work.  The more you use it, the more likely you are to induce a failure, and not necessarily right then.  It could cause a failure in the future.

The most common cause of failure is environmental.  High temperature, ESD, liquids or other chemicals, etc.  Excessive use can also cause failures, reading can cause proximity failures while writing causes write failures. 

---

It's honestly taken a back seat to a lot of other things.  While it's interesting, it's simply not high on the list of priorities right now.  They have problems, the usual money problems, internal dominance struggles, and so on.  There's always a chance that they will pull through, just hang on really.  We know they are dying for 'something big' but he already sold his soul, he doesn't have anything else to tempt the devil into making another deal.  Public disclosure will come soon, and I can only guess what the response will be once that gets out in the open.  On both sides. 

---

Yes it is true, but it is minor.  The boss cat (P) was injured while trying to demonstrate his newly finished "Super Lift System".  Jokingly referred to by most other cats as "Pop and Drop".  The system involves strapping on four 'kitty boots', each with a prominent sponsor's logo and a disposable solid rocket engine.  And then standing in place on a mobile launcher, while an assistant (in this case, Cat T) activates the launcher and sends the user up into the air.  While he is rocketing into the sky, the user moves his paws to actively control the rocket thrust and get over his intended location.  When the rockets run out, a parachute is deployed and he falls back down to earth.  Sadly for the cat, who took a lot of pride in the system he had designed had a vital flaw, individual rocket engines could fizzle or fail to ignite, resulting in an inability to control the upward movement.

After his last misadventures with 'the hurler', no one even considered volunteering for the cat's latest scheme.  So sure of himself, he insisted that the system was perfectly safe and that he would be the first to demonstrate its use.  Secretly hoping that it would be his demise, many cats gathered as he strapped on the boots and his trusted henchman, T, readied the launcher.  When T pressed the ignition switch, only the front two engines ignited.  P is more than a bit overweight and this actually helped him in this case.  Instead of lifting him up, the front engines simply made a lot of smoke and pushed him backwards along the ground.  As the rear kitty boots were dragged off, he put out his claws to try to stop the reverse movement, but to no avail.  Behind-first, he barreled through a few bystanders who could not get out of the way quickly enough and kept going.  After several more seconds of rapid movement along the ground, he was thrust behind first into a containment wall which also stopped his movement.  About ten seconds later, the rocket engines went out.

In this debacle the boss cat suffered numerous bruises and abrasions but miraculously no broken bones or other injuries that required long-term treatments.  However, the damage to his ego is much greater, and there are whispers that his 'trusted' henchman, T, actually sabotaged the launch and set him up to fail. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 21, 2011, 02:02:55 am
I've gotten numerous requests, here is the link.
http://www.cherryblossomfestivalsocal.org/media/dog_contest/dogphotopage.html
"Tofu
12 years old, Japanese Chin
Tofu went through a lot, but he is still one happy dog."

You can meet him and the others on the Blossom Stage 3:15pm this Sunday 9/25/2011

---

From Mikey's blog:

"It is propaganda.  If nothing else, he has a handle on propaganda.  At times, he even seems masterful of it.  But don't be mistaken.   He just has a lot of shills.  And he still has enough resources to keep his shills loyal to him (his soul hasn't run out just yet).  His tactics are rather straightforward, pedestrian.  Transparent.  He isn't really at the expert level."

"His right paw is actually more skilled than he is.  Sometimes.  But, his right paw is a pariah to everyone else.  He can't exist anywhere else except under the cat.  If the cat were to go away, he'd be done."

"(The Snake)'s statement is vague and prone to mis-interpretation.  It could mean just about anything.  If he was a master, this would just be a tactic of 'stomping the grass to scare the snake'.  The who, what, and why of his statement is unclear.  The pretext is unclear.  All throughout, they continue to try to make small animals look like the aggressors.  How ludicrous!  Small animals as the aggressors?  When I hear of the reports from the cat, it's like something out of Monty Python[1]."

"As always, we just don't know where the snake stands.  We don't.  Be wary of the snake.  Be especially wary of those who hang out with the snake.  Of course (it goes without saying) small animals should always be wary around snakes.  But be extra wary around this one.  Something just smells real funny here."

"It's a low-priority matter.  Ultimately, we'll know more in a few months.  But we'll keep you appraised if anything else develops."

[1] Mikey is alluding to the Vorpal Bunny from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

---

You can get translation (in english) of the text in the app.  Touch the screen once and outlines will appear around all the text that can be translated.  Touch the inside of an outline and the english translation appears below it.  Touch outside an outline to make all the outlines disappear (or re-appear).

"Going on an Errand"
"Hoo boy..."
"Darn it, I forgot to buy daikons."
"Mom."
"I'll go  buy some diakons for you, mom!"
"Well, is it all right to ask you?"
"Just leave it to me!"
"I'm the strongest, after all."
"That's my biggest worry."
etc.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 28, 2011, 02:10:23 am
We are aware, but honestly, everyone else knows just as much as we do on this topic.  Look around.

Publicly, the snake was known for his history of domestic violence and had fathered several illegitimate children.  He was well known to the local community of small animals as a danger to everyone.  He was believed to be 'into' sadism and domination. 

Mind you all these behaviors are considered 'the norm' for snakes.  If a small animal protection group was active in his area, and he was spotted, he would be quickly engaged.

Remember that if you must deal with snakes, please be aware and ask around at the local small animal hangouts like parks, bars, cafes, etc.  Listening to what others say is the best indication.  Just stay out of the coffee shops... definitely avoid the coffee shops, and libraries also.

---

It's a wordplay on Tsundere.  Tsun = nasty, arrogant, or mean; Dere = loving, soft-hearted, or kind.  So calling someone "All tsun, no dere" or "Tsun without the dere" obviously means that it's just a nasty or mean person without any redeeming qualities.  Though in some circles that may not be an insult.

---

I don't know if he (Tofu) won or not.  I was not there.  I don't expect he would have won, honestly a lot of the others were much cuter.  We were there for maybe 20 minutes tops on the other day.  It was such a yawner that no one wanted to go back.

---

There is no contradiction.  I know what it says but the reason it says that is because she changed.  She was Luka that July and Len that August.  Both the Rin and Len have Wings.  The Luka wears a black and gold dress and golden boots.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 14, 2011, 02:24:06 am
I don't think so, but we'll see if it (really) matters in due time.  Success, false success is the greatest threat to those who live under illusions.

And personally, I just don't care.  There's honestly no reason for me to care.

With things apparently cooling down, the Lepus alliance has recalled their skeleton crew back to the north to begin operations against the gang in their home area.  They say that there haven't been any cats spotted in their safe zone and that it appears the gang is 'clamping down', scaling down their activities to conserve what little fuel is left in their stores.

According to Mikey, the inside word is that Cat W is very close to being ousted as part of P's inner circle.  "W's support by the 'rank and file' of the gang has been teetering, and P doesn't think much of him either.  W can barely get the other cats to listen to him, much less consider what he says.  I don't expect he'll survive through the end of this year."  K, the japanese bobtail, is well respected and a threat to P.  P isn't terribly fond of him, but having already sold out, he can't get rid of him. 

---

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w337ij3wtXA
"Cirno's voice has been fixed.  All the voices are done by an actual girl"

Note:  16:19 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_ching#Trigrams

---

For snakes, this type of 'everyone is out to get me' paranoia is quite common.  In reality, snakes are territorial and solitary creatures that make a habit of avoiding other snakes.  And it's not uncommon for this general fear of others to extend to any type of animal, to the point that most snakes are simply not capable of any kind of cooperation with other animals. 

"It's just not in them.  A snake has no understanding of when to back off, when to slither forward, and so on.  If two snakes are forced into close proximity with each other, it will almost always end with a fight in which one snake eats the other."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 29, 2011, 01:54:17 am
Yes, and I can verify it.  According to Ollie there was no resistance at all, though I wouldn't conclude much else because it's just one guy honestly.  It's heavily hierarchical, we already know that.

"With the drop in security issues, the [skeleton crew] was pulled, re-equipped, and reformed as the forward interdiction team.  It was sent north, for operations against the gang."

"The maps were made in March, and hence outdated.  But knowing that the southeast segment of their territory fell under W's responsibility, all twenty bunnies formed up in a tight formation and advanced.  We were not met with any resistance as we could see W's owner's house.  But we found the house to be abandoned, with evidence of what looked like a bank foreclosure."

"It didn't take the bunnies long to find a way in, by gnawing through a hastily boarded up window and the house was found to be completely abandoned save for a few rats.  Following this, a garrison was set and the house secured as a forward base."

[Honestly it doesn't say much, it doesn't necessarily mean that W is done or anything like that.  Just that he no longer lives in that house.]

---

(Continuation)

"It didn't take long to find out from the local rats that the house had been abandoned for more than a month.  A mercenary from the 'black bunny squad' was quick to show up and offer his services to our force when enticed with a small stash of carrots.  He was tasked with scouting out the gang's main base (to the northwest) and reporting back the number of cats and any other forces.  Before night our intelligence officer met with him and went over photos of some of the prominent (or once-prominent) cats in the gang like Cat Y or others who may be willing to flip with the right enticement."

"At night our first supply team arrived with a bunch of carrots, rope, and fresh water.  The mercenary set off and promised us that the would be back by sunrise."

"Mr. Hops, the primary lookout, reported seeing some apparent cat eyes in the dark distance at several points throughout the night.  But we couldn't figure out if it was a cat with the gang, an ordinary stray, or someone else."

...

---

She will be there, but she has an extreme case of total sociophobia, meaning that despite being (apparently) rather gregarious and active online, she does not interact with or even acknowledge people irl.  According to her sister, "this is perfectly normal behavior (for her)." 

"The girl sat in the corner, facing the window.  She had no will to interact with the group at all.  Her only interaction with the world was to occasionally sip her milk tea that her sister had given her earlier in the night.  Otherwise she was completely engrossed with her laptop screen and completely ignored the world around her.  When it was time to go, her sister tapped her on the shoulder to get her attention, and then she silently closed the laptop and followed her sister out the door."

---

I don't believe so.  I probed and found nothing solid.  Whatever went on was just your usual back-and-forth (normal discourse).  It wasn't the type of thing you could pin down.  So honestly, I wouldn't worrey about it too much at this time.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on November 08, 2011, 12:01:01 am
Yes, snake E, who works for some local firm (unknown) as a manager.  Middle-aged, approx. 40-45 years old (snake years).  Was known to be friends with the late snake S, as well as the snake J, but openly states his dislike of nearly all other snakes.  Even the generally-outwardly-friendly snake Z.  He's never been known to threaten small animals, and most think of him in a similar way to snake Z, ie. "Mostly Harmless".

---
Friday:
Nonaka and Imegawa 5pm LP1
Asian Food Challenge 7pm Marina

Saturday:
Moon Prism Poptarts 11am LP1
Cosplay Contest 3:30pm Main Event
Vocalekt Visions 7pm LP2

Sunday:
Ladies of Tenchi Muyo 12pm LP2
Christina Vee 1pm LP2
Tsuyoshi Nonaka 2pm LP2

---

That is correct, by all outside appearances, he has been 'erased' from the gang.  Checking their photos from a year ago (and more), they have been edited / photoshopped, often poorly.  In most, his image was simply erased, in one case leaving a cat who had been on his back simply floating in midair, or leaving prominent empty spaces in group shots.  In a few cases, his image has been covered with a photo of Cat F.  Oddly enough, he still appears in plenty of video releases from the gang, presumably 'erasing' him from video is either beyond their capabilities, or this effort is a work in progress.

This is an unusual measure, in most other cases, those who have been forced out (ie. Cat R, Cat L) typically remain in past photos and literature.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on November 14, 2011, 11:06:50 pm
Yes, he really is.  He mentioned the conversation went something like this:

"Oh, by the way, I'm sorrey but your blacklisted from [deleted]."

I don't think he was faking it.  And the funny thing is, no one quite knows why.  It's totally nonsensical.
He wasn't banned for a reason or because he actually did anything.  And he stands out too much to be any kind of sabotage risk, unless
he tries to ninja his way in.

I wouldn't put it past him to still show up.  It honestly can't be too hard to slither around whatever incognito safeguards they've tried
to set up.  Of course he disavowed all knowledge of that, but we'll see.

Nobody knows what's really going on inside C's head.  But if he banned the snake without a reason, he's going to lose a lot more,
because that snake for instance has a pretty good relationship with two of his bunnies, among others.  I saw it, they were right in
front of me.  Not to mention, a decent sized following among others.

---

Yes, and times two.
I'd check, but I just don't care.

---

It was pretty bad.  The lighting consisted of a mix of incandescent, 2500K, 2800K, and 3200K.  The two setups I used were:
C1 AV f/2.8 ISO3200 EV -2/3 AB 2/3 FC-DNF DR-C C2 M f/2.8 1/100 ISO800 FEC -1/3 C3 AV f/2.8 ISO2500 FEC -1
C1 AV f/2.8 ISO1600 FEC -2/3 C2 M f/2.8 1/100 ISO800 FEC -1/3 C3 AV f/2.8 ISO2500 FEC -1
flash set to 3200K.

---

It got a CID match, so I deleted it.
I'll upload it to an alternate account soon.  I know CID can be defeated, but it's easier to just upload it to an alt.
The sad thing is, it's a guy standing right there playing a melody from a song on a keyboard.  Recorded through a video camera.  Just the base melody, no lyrics or anything.  And somehow it gets a CID match.  Something's screwed up with that, but go figure. 

---

Yes, shortly after I posted it, I got a pm from one of the small animals saying that one of the Akiba didn't want his face shown in the video and asking me to obscure it.  So I made it private, I'll see if I can do that on youtube and if not, I'll do it over the weekend.  I don't have the video editing software to do that, but I know a few people who probably do.

---

Quite simple really, that dog, like a lot of English Springer Spaniels, is over prone to 'rage syndrome'.  If baited, even slightly, he will 'blow up' and begin behaving aggressively toward people.  These fits include loud barking, growling, and lurching/charging at animals and even people who happen to be close by.  It's become so well-known that many have made it a sport to bait him to see what he will do next, since the episodes tend to be rather humorous and draw a lot of attention. 

From Mikey:  "If he takes over, you can be pretty sure he'll kill it.  I'm not sure why anyone would want that dog in charge."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on November 23, 2011, 11:13:25 pm
"Final" simply means it will be the last time the current setup and technology is used.  In my conversations with the snake, he said they are waiting for the next iteration of the technology and redesign of the setup to get it 'right'.  Because their current iteration is just not there.

According to Mikey, "As a singular setup, it can work, pretty well in fact.  But it's not a crowd-pleaser, not much at least."

Honestly the current setup leaves much to be desired.  It was dated from the beginning and we all knew it.  It was just a very modern implementation of an old idea, the system itself -- already an incognito group of pigs and bunnies are able to get close to mimicking it all with little more than 20,000 carrots in funds. 

So in all honestly, we'll see where things go from here. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on December 02, 2011, 01:44:37 am
I was told to "just keep trying".  People say that it works on some days and doesn't work on other days.  If a few days go by and you still can't get it to work, try calling them.

---

Right now I will say that sentiment is between 'mixed' and 'negative'.  It's certainly not positive. 

According to Mikey, "It's not just one reason.  It's a collection of reasons, and something is going on.  Someone is goofy here, it's hard to say who, or what.  But if those are the decisions they are making, internally, I don't expect it can last.  It's going to cause a revolt among his own, or it's going to sputter out."

---

So far, only Vocaloid (2pm) and Touhou (4pm).  Please don't ask me to do the MLP one, I still have nightmares about that from when I was young.  I've already had to tell a few people no.  If there is a PS&G I'll do that one, maybe some of the others but definately no MLP.

---

13/109 is my best count, not bad.
16/114 now. 
18/116, it's significantly over 10%.

----

So Far:
Friday
* 2 pm - Vocaloid - Pool Deck
3 pm - Pokemon - Pool Deck
4 pm - Adventure Time - Pool Deck - maybe, ONLY if one of my friends is in it
4:30pm - All video games
5 pm - Capcom vs SNK - place TBD
Saturday
12 pm - Valve - Patio
* 2 pm - Vocaloid - Pool Deck
* 3 pm - Vocaloid Dance Competition(?) - Pool Deck
3 pm - Final Fantasy - Pool Deck
* 4 pm - Touhou Project - Pool Deck

---

It's fine.  I'm not a big fan of it indoors.  But outdoors, no complaints really. 

---

This is starting to get ridiculous, that's the second time this has happened.  I searched and a lot of users are having this exact same kind of problem.  They claim it is 'extremely rare', but it doesn't seem so.  I can keep bypassing it to the alt, but it's really getting rather annoying. 

Note:  I'm still trying to figure out exactly what caused it.  I pieced it out and I haven't got anything back for the individual pieces yet.  I'm starting to think it may be just a wierd glitch, one that only happens when everything is put together.  But in the past, it's taken 48 hours for that to come back, so the only thing to do is just wait.

Okay, I think I figured it out.  The new system can trigger based on the length of the complete video.  So if a compilation video gets rejected, try keeping it short or splitting it up into smaller videos that are under 15 minutes long or even under 5 minutes long. 

It may not be a perfect, but the site isn't perfect either.  It's just what we have and have to live with right now.

---

That's not a myth, it was very much true at the time.  His doctor told him that he was developing carpal tunnel in his wrists and hands and that there was no treatment other than to stop playing the computer game for a while.  So he had to stop for several months, and while he was not playing his friends joked that he had been placed on 'injured reserve'[1]. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on December 12, 2011, 08:08:30 pm
1) Generally, the end difference is background exposure, which is why it's good to do both.  If you lock them on the custom dial (ie. C1 and C2) then you can switch between them real quickly.  And choose which one looks better in post.

If properly set, bounce flash will not illuminate the background.  Since it's coming down on the subject from the ceiling.  For AV mode, the camera will expose to the frame and then add a limited amount of 'fill' flash, as to not blow out the subject.  To some extent, you can tweak the balance between exposure and flash using the EV adjust.  And you can tweak the absolute flash intensity with FEC.  For M mode, the camera is going to expose as it is set up, adding flash to bring the exposure up to standard brightness.  But, since only the subject is being illuminated, it will likely overexpose the subject if left alone.  If the flash metering is set to center weighted average, you will probably need to use FEC -1 or -2 EV in order to keep the subject normal brightness.  You can try spot metering or center-only modes for flash metering, if available, these shouldn't need any adjustment.

When absolutely necessary, direct flash can be fine.  Just adjust it way down with FEC. 

2) It doesn't have to be that bad, you can make a 'speedlight-on-a-stick' using light monopod, a heavy ball head, and some velcro and zipties to secure it.  Secure the flash to the bottom end of the monopod, the heavy ball head serves as a counterweight, allowing you to hold it close to that end.  This contraption will be balanced enough to hold in one hand, or even anchored underarm (and above the opposing elbow) or such. 

You can get 30 degrees offset this way easily, tangent of 30 is around 0.6, so if you are 8 to 9 feet away from the subject, 30 degrees is around 5 feet out.  That way, even if you keep the background in focus, which is generally preferable in this case, and faces and other features won't appear flat. 

---

I really doubt that's true.  It's just laughable that they would even try that.  But if it is, you know who to talk to.  I'm not the one to fix it; I can't fix it.

---

I'm still trying.  The software I had access to couldn't do it.  And there's already other sources out there, so it's not a big time rush.  Honestly if it never happens, it's no big loss, there was another person there with a full team so I really just took a step back and tried to stay out of their way.  What's important is that the Akiba's identity stay a secret, we don't want to 'blow his cover' so to speak.  I don't know the details, but honestly, it's not something I need to or care to know.  We were joking about it the other day, [insert random explanation here], like that he's a fugitive dog on the run from the animal control, or he has a salaried position at some major firm working as a public face, or he's enough of a celebrity or recognizable figure who doesn't want to be 'outed', or it's secretly [deleted] himself, and he doesn't want his face or identity known too well, or for people to know it's him, or so on.  That's why, most people like me insist:  Don't say anything more, I don't need to, or even want to, know. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 09, 2012, 10:51:40 pm
From Mikey:
"He was most certainly there.  Friday, in the far hall, I walked right by him.  Or more, he waddled past me, flanked by a few of his best buds.  You can't really miss that fat cat, though I just continued along nonchalantly, not wanting to make a scene."

"The next day, the snake made reference to having to find 'el presidente' due to some logistical problem that had come up.  So he must have been there during then also."

"It's kinda strange they let him there to begin with.  Oh and this was before 'that incident'[1]."

[1] Cat P's and T's close call with his new publicity-gathering idea

One of the booths / merchants (kappa berra or something like that) was handing out free helium balloons, the cat wanted to use the balloons to leap off the balcony and slowly float down to the plaza below.  Of course, being so overweight, it was not possible to gather enough balloons to support himself, instead he volunteered his loyal servant 'T' for the task.  A bunch of balloons were tied to T with some ribbons by his assistants, but his assistants were holding onto him in the process and weighing him down, throwing off the measurements and they ended up tying too many balloons to him so that when they let go, he started to float off and up into the sky.  This normally wouldn't be a huge problem, as they could just wait a few hours for him to come back down; but they were near an airport and if he floated too high he might end up sucked into an airplane's engine or something like that.  So security was summoned, and they had to 'rescue' him.

---

It is not part of the bunny brigade; it is actually three members of the black bunny squad that were captured during the action and are being held captive.  The black bunny squad is a well-known mercenary group of 'expendables' that is sometimes hired out to do tasks that the brigade deems too dangerous for its own members.

---

Because it was an actual contest.  There were no second-rate or second-tier attempts.  Everything was very well done.  I don't know who won, but the judges captured video to aid in the judging.

---

You do not have to do anything to get one of the life-size Tuan Tuan Posters.  You just have to show up.
Supplies may be limited, and one poster per person only.

---

She moved, in relation to the neighborhood cat gang's territory, she is 'one to two hours to the east'.
At least, it's a much better spot for her than where she used to live.

In relation to Mikey's area, she is "pretty far away... north till you hit the big mountain range, then east about an hour or so."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 24, 2012, 08:42:23 pm
It's larger than that.  They've already got a team to the far north, and they're in the process of assembling a team to the (nearer) north.  I think that's the real key; you can only go so far with technology alone.  Having a full team of people there that support it will go much farther than that.

But I don't expect they'll go after the neighborhood cat gang, not yet at least.  We'll see in march, perhaps that will be their first real appearance?  It's local, at least.

---

Just the preview, wait till you see the full video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJezQlYvO9c

And the scary part is:
This video is most popular with:
#1: Male    35-44
#2: Male    45-54
#3: Female 13-17

Remember target audience of Creamy Mami is girl from 6 to 12 years old.  And yet that's doesn't even make the chart.
The world is a scary place, watch out for staklerz.  And it's very big in the PRC too, more than twice as popular in the PRC than any other country like the USA.  Must be all those Pandas.

---

Due to the current logistical and supply shortages, they are limited to only 50 Tuan Tuan Posters.  If you want a poster, the representative will begin handing them out at roughly 9am.  So if you want one, you better show up early.

---

From Mikey:
"The reports are true.  I recently spoke to an infiltrator who described how for the past couple of weeks, their main office had been overrun by rats.  You'd think the cats wouldn't have much problem setting up rat patrols, but the higher-up in charge of this, Cat W, has been slacking as of late since it's obvious he's on the way out and isn't likely to secure enough votes to keep his position in the Vanguard at the next Kitty Caucus.  At one point the rat problem became so bad that the cats had to call in an exterminator, that led to a short-term decrease, but a few days later, the rats came back with a vengeance and Cat P had to cancel one of his mandatory morale-boosting 'pep rallies'.  He reports it's a big problem, and growing day by day."

---

Rumor has it that Cat P is 'done', and will be removed from his current position in "A couple of months, or maybe sooner."  Cats W, T, and others who have supported him are unlikely to survive the aftermath.  His likely replacement is the cat who he sold his soul to, aka. Cat K, or one of his many henchmen. 

The rather prominent snake and enough of the other cats who are likely participants in the Kitty Caucus are behind this move.  According to Mikey, "There's always been a sentiment among the gang's lower levels -- thugs, assorted low-lives, and other general bad and/or misbehaving kitties that P was an ineffective and incompetent leader with no idea how to run the gang.  This is normal, but in the past few months, this sentiment has moved up the ranks, now you have many of the top cats in their respective areas seriously doubting his ability and wanting him out.  It's past the point of no return, he's been a zombie[1] from the beginning and only he and his inner circle haven't realised it."

[1] Not the horror-movie zombie, Mikey is using it in the economic sense (ie. Zombie bank, Zombie company, etc.) of something that is already dead, or perpetually failing, but kept alive through outside intervention.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 31, 2012, 12:27:40 pm
In regards to the perpetrators, the following is the best translation.

"We don't know who is doing this. As this is happening on a massive scale, it is likely that an organized group or several groups are behind this."

"The matter is currently under investigation.  At this time, please take all necessary counter-measures!"

Worldwide, volunteers are investigating to find the people and/or group(s) of people responsible for the attacks.  Measures have been taken to assist in the coordination and exchange of information.

Samantha, who spent several months in Japan supporting a relief effort following the earthquake, believes the threat may be related to the upcoming olympic games, but Mikey added that there is no concrete evidence to specifically support that.  In other words, just a hunch on her part.

Mikey believes the attacks will continue and may even get worse as time goes on. 

"The only real long term defense is to build infrastructure to stop them.  All we have at the moment is volunteer teams 'looking into it'.  We don't know who 'them' is at this point, but we will find out.  In the meantime, we just have to keep our paws together[1] and do our best to design and deploy infrastructure to counter this threat."

[1] 'sit tight' or equivelent

Personally, I don't know if relying only volunteers is the best strategy, but Mr. Sparkles notes that volunteers have been more effective than paid employees or state workers in the past.  Samantha adds that the Bunny Brigade is an all-volunteer force, and it seems to be plenty effective at preventing and/or responding to local small animal attacks.  "There's no reason it can't work on the worldwide scale.  [Give it some time.]"

---

Another quote:

"Some of us may say 'someone' tells imposters to kill, or they attempt to put an imposter in her place.  But it's fruitless to say that we will begin blaming each other to spend all the thread[1].  There is no evidence, stay cool.  No matter who attempts to get profit, we can fight against them in the same style to save her."

[1] Is that some kind of sewing analogy?  I have no idea, I'm really not sure about this one.

Needless to say, sometimes, it can be difficult to understand with any precision the words written by small animals.

---

I'm told they use the designation "WVD-01".  I have no idea what that stands for, or how to contact them.  I'm not even sure who they are.  Mikey says he overheard them being discussed in a small animal bar, but the only concrete thing he heard was that they was that "some Panda" was assisting them.

---

That's "bunny N"  See the earlier post:
« Reply #79 on: December 13, 2010, 07:54:50 pm »

---

Revisited:

"Some of us may say 'someone' tells imposters to kill, or they attempt to put an imposter in her place.  But it's fruitless to say that we will begin blaming each other to spend all the thread.  There is no evidence, stay cool.  No matter who attempts to get profit, we can fight against them in the same style to save her."

I think I've got the proper translation of this now, basically s/he was saying that it might seem like since all the attacks have been on, say, bunnies, that it might seem like the motive is to make, say, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, ferrets, and other small animals more popular by 'bringing down' the popularity of bunnies. 

And by now, someone else has commented that even this assertion isn't true, the attacks haven't been limited to just one like that.  According to Mikey, "They're going after everything.  And everyone.  Indiscriminately.  There's no obvious pattern."

---

It just came in, here is a quick translation of her statement.

"[CFM] is in agreement, and our agents are gathering information.  That is a real group, but we don't know if there is any real connection.  We have sent communications to them, and await a response."

So really now that they are aware, we can just be patient and wait.
Sad state of things that this has come too... the attacks started in November of last year and only now they (the authorities) are starting to take notice?  Small animals need to be more of a priority for them.  Someone needs to -- someone will -- stand up to whoever is doing this and start fighting back.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on February 07, 2012, 10:21:57 pm
They do not.  It's an impostor.  It's been confirmed through their own statement (or there is more subterfuge going on here, ie. someone in their group acting without any knowledge, or they 'disavow all knowledge' of unseemly activities like in the TV series 'Mission Impossible'.  All doubtful.

---

I think this is the situation.  Other than a (relatively) small number of followers, bunnies and guinea pigs mostly, the rest of the small animals aren't so much enamored with the guy.  The things that keep coming up, like him banning the snake, when it was that same snake that is widely thought to have brought things back from nearly falling over the edge, make people question if he's really any better.  By now everyone knows the cat is on the way out, and he's likely to be replaced by someone who really is better, or is at least a known entity.

Small animals know what's going on, word can travel much faster than people realise.  As strange as it sounds, the snake actually has his own followers and has certainly made no secret of it.  And there are those in his own organization showing marked discomfort over these situations; and these people probably aren't going sit on it forever.

---

In response to "Most of the attacks are on bunnies".

(Household % among total households with small animals, Total Population in the US)
Bunny:  40%, 5.3M
Hamster:  29%, 3.7M
Guinea Pig:  18%, 1.4M
Ferret:  10%, 1.0M
Rat or Mouse:  10%, 1.6M
Gerbil:  8%, 1.0M
Chinchilla:  3%, 231K
Hermit Crab:  2%, 220K
Pot-bellied Pig:  2%, 297K
Hedgehog:  1%, 55K
Other:  15%, 4.0M

Yes most of the attacks are on bunnies, more precisely bunnies from one and a half to two and a half years old.  But bunnies are also the most common small animals in the US, so it's not much of a stretch really.

Also, most bunnies are kept in a household only a few months.  Many are bought around Easter and then 1-6 months later, they are no longer wanted and 'let go' into the wild.  As for the 'one and a half to two and a half years old' gap, that is the earliest age where statistics are compiled, bunnies younger than one and a half years presumably fall into that age bracket.

---

Your small animal cannot add comments until she/he is signed up for the event.  Once your small animal is signed up as "Yes", the 'post' feature will become active and then she/he will be able to add comments.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on February 14, 2012, 07:50:32 pm
Note:  A direct translation is almost impossible, there are so many colloquialisms that would make a direct translation nearly unintelligible.  But the general situation is this:

When the attacks were active, the eastern volunteers were acting in concert with us (westerners) to fight against them.  But now that the attacks against small animals have largely subsided, at least for the time being, heavy infighting has broken out among the eastern volunteers who were far from united to begin with.  The infighting has shut down most of their communication network and resulted in utter chaos among their defense organizations.  While some of the eastern volunteers are still supportive and want to continue to fight, others apparently feel the bunny brigade or just bunnies in general have too much say in the Chain of Command and the actions of the defense groups.  But honestly it's totally unclear who feels what or in what numbers[1].

[1] literally, from Samantha, "Most of the non-bunnies to the east don't even know what they really feel"

When the brigade has tried to establish communications with the individual defense groups to the east, sometimes the leader is cool and willing to listen.  But other times bunnies are ignored or simply told that they are unwanted and to go away.  While being ignored appears quite common, in reality there is no way to tell if [our] bunnies are being ignored or simply not responded to because the communication network is down.

Mikey commented that most of the eastern volunteers are hamsters, which tend to be older (not in terms of years, but in terms of lifespan -- hamsters have a much shorter lifespan than bunnies which can regularly live 9-15 years.  "We found in most cases the relatively younger bunnies of the bunny brigade were dealing with hamsters who were middle-aged and older.  And this is only true among the eastern volunteers.  The rest-of-world, west included, bunnies are most common volunteers and the ranks of defense groups are filled with younger bunnies and then some guinea pigs.

It's not that bunnies haven't had infighting before, we only need to go back a few years to recall the incidents with Yue-bing or the fiercely debated Bunny Caucuses of the past.  But, there's probably a bit of a gap along these lines.  "In the east, the hamsters feel they should a bigger say in the way things are run because they are 'older'.   But in the rest of world, bunnies are in the majority so they feel they should have the most say.  And the way that small animal politics work[2], that's more or less the way it ends up.

[2] majority rule, or largely democratic, versus say the politics of the neighborhood cat gang.

---

It is '80% figured out', according to an insider (no comment on who).  The other 20% is in progress.

"Very few people know.  Most of the Vanguard knows, but that's it."

---

(subjects) First, slow down.  Embrace and do it slowly, gently.  Don't apply too much pressure, it looks bad.  Hold hands.  Hold for a couple of seconds.  No tongue (looks bad).  (photo) Some fill flash, as two people tend to block the light.  Watch the angles.

---

Yes, it is now confirmed that the Cat (cat F) will be there. 
From Mikey:  "Even if you don't like her, please don't harass/stalk/abuse/tease/etc. her.  In the end she's just a cat.  Sure she out-schemed Cat Y in order to take over his old show, the show he basically made into what it was, but that's how cat politics works.  Someday another cat will come along, and do the same to her."

---

She is not, so please do not ask.  She's just sticking with her usual VO/TO stuffs.  At least that's as of 'right now'.

BTW often times she claims something like "I'm going to do this, and this, and this, and this, and this..." but then in the end only ends up doing one of those things.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on February 28, 2012, 05:07:26 am
All that shows is a textbook case of 'how not to run your gang'.

Cat L was in charge for roughly a year, from September 2009 until the time his owner left town, September 2010.
In that time, he looted gang coffers, taking roughly 650,000 carrots for himself and 240,000 carrots for his cronies over the course of the year.  But the cat's real damage was in expenses, legal, travel, operational, etc.  These went from roughly 9,600,000 carrots to 14,500,000 carrots.  Gang revenue from shakedowns, collections, protection fees, etc. seemed to be holding steady at around 10,000,000 carrots, but in reality accounting tricks were used (see 'Kitty Kat Accounting') -- deferred revenue[1] increased roughly 1,400,000 carrots in order to hide a drop in actual revenue of 12% to 15%.  Also notable was a 'settlement' paid out to C for roughly 280,000 carrots.

At the end of 2010, the gang was roughly 3 million carrots in the red, with less than a million or so carrots in their stash.  Cat L was long gone and the hapless Cat P had taken over, and would soon make a deal with another cat in exchange for a loan that even then fell short of the roughly 3,600,000 carrots that would have been required to keep things going for another year.

All carrot figures are approximated at the current exchange rate.

It would be about two to three months before Cat P would cave and make a deal with his ex-rival, Cat F.  Cat P was under great pressure, cats from affiliated gangs were clawing at his door almost daily demanding their kickbacks and fees, which he had no hope of being able pay.  Protection money and collections from small animals was far below expectations, leaving few actual sources of income.  He had narrowly escaped a few scuffles in dark alleys with a mysterious bobcat, and would have probably perished were it not for his ever - loyal and determined - to - stick - with - him - to - the - end assistant, Cat T. 

In the end, Cat P's paw was forced and he sold out the gang that had survived several generations of cats on its own for a mere 2,000,000 carrots to Cat F.  This was not enough to outright save the gang, but enough to keep it going for a couple of months more.  Unless 'something big' happened, the gang was still a goner, and Cat F would walk away with anything of value they still had. 

[1] A difficult concept to explain to non-accounting people, think of deferred income like a shop that sells 'gift certificates' at a discount in order to create cashflow (get more cash on hand) or increase reported revenue during a particularly bad quarter.  Many gangs will have some form of deferred income, kickbacks, protection fees, shakedowns, and other things that are paid up front for a set period of time.  But a dramatic rise in deferred income almost always means one of two things, either the gang is providing its 'services' at a discount in order to try to create short-term cashflow, or they are 'calling forward' future unproven revenue (with equivalent expenses) in ordue to try to disguise a drop in currently reported revenue.  The latter case might be known as an 'accounting irregularity' in human accounting practices, but it is par for the course among cats.

---

I think it's some new drug.
Don't do drugs!  Also don't support/take/buy drugs that were tested on animals.
"After-effects include:  drowsiness (67%), depression (44%), nausea (32%), dry mouth (54%), difficulty breathing/shortness of breath (22%), seizures (17%), suicide (7%), non-suicide death (3%)."

---

I wouldn't be too concerned.  It honestly seems, roughly half-and-half.  There are some rumors of political problems and such, but hard to say how much (if any) is real. 

"Everyone knows where the UT/VO/TO groups are going to be."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on March 06, 2012, 11:27:23 am
Unfortunately no.  Everything was proceeding as planned, but then he stepped in and canned the whole thing.

A lot of us have big doubts about their current manager; if you know his temperament, honestly they could not have picked a worse guy to run things.

From Tuan Tuan - "The only thing he has going for him is that he has no life, and therefore plenty of time.  Otherwise, he has no real positive qualities.  Let me say this:  very few Pandas aren't welcome in Wolong[1], but he's one of them."

So that's pretty much it.  Pandas as a whole are very laid back, and harsh words coming from another Panda are practically unheard of, except in the most egregious of cases.  Normally the bunny brigade would try to intervene, but they're in a more important operation against the gang to the north.  It's more important to have that succeed than to try to deal with an errant Panda. 

[1] Wolong National Nature Reserve, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolong_National_Nature_Reserve

A bunny who has been intercepting their electronic communications reported over the past months that their communications seem to have lost touch with reality. 

"Many e-mails seemed to refer to imaginary things like sections of the venue that do not actually exist, for instance making repeated references to events held in the 79th floor of the Von Borscht building (no such building exists, nor does any building the venue have anywhere near that many floors).  Others seem to be simple paranoia, in which he imagines a bunny who works in bookkeeping is engineering a conspiracy to overthrow him.  There was even one set of e-mails where the Panda was discussing his attempts to sell the organization to 'a media company from Canada' for a large sum that is never fixed, varying between three to seven million dollars."

"Even worse are the podcasts in which the Panda is supposed to discuss things but instead talks about the everyday goings-on in his life.  Honestly he spends most of his time 'blowing up' and getting mad, at one point he even smashed the
camera and all you can hear is audio until his assistant replaced it.  Nothing of import is ever discussed, it's always just stuff like about how he's really upset he got sacked in a virtual football game or yelling at the camera so loud it's unintelligible what he is actually trying to say."

BTW I honestly don't know if they will be at one of the summer events.  Perhaps the one to the far north?
But almost certainly, they will be in the local area for November, and January.

---

The girl I talked to last night said the bunnies were 'hopping mad' and pretty much in a full revolt.

When asked what the deal was, like does he hate her, the response was "No, he's just fscking incompetent."

There's huge gaps in the schedule, so it's not like they were overbooked or anything. 

From Mikey "They're at the point where they're no longer a small group, they need some structure and some people to be in charge.  But, they haven't really figured out who they want to be in charge yet.  Like Tuan Tuan said, it's not the people who are the most qualified who are in charge, because this type of person has their own lives and hence not enough time to take an active role.  It's the no-lifers who don't play well with others and and really don't have any skill at what they do."

---

Yes, one of the local small animal groups will have a table, just make sure you find the right one.
If it's not the right one, you will know.

Also, Killer Lolitas and Scary Shoujo - Sunday 4:30p to 5:50p.  (Higurashi Fan Panel)
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on March 12, 2012, 10:39:12 pm
I just got word that the team will be there, I don't know how many but the message I just received (it was actually sent three days ago) was that at least some of the guinea pigs and bunnies are being deployed to the local area for a 'burrowing' type operation.

"At least a small vanguard is being detached, more details will be discussed at the all paws meeting at 11am this Saturday.  Look for the guinea pig with the megaphone or the bunny, both will be in black and silver outfits."

I don't know how many Pandas will be there (if any at all) I'd venture a guess that they aren't just going to take this one sitting down.

---

Friday

FanVibe Presents: Convention Story Time
Friday            12:30 PM-11:50 PM            Pacific Salon 2

2pm Area 2 (by the pool) - Adventure Time Gathering / Parade (if my friends are in it)

Jabronie Pictures
Friday            2:30 PM-3:20 PM            Towne

Adventure Time
Friday            3:30 PM-4:50 PM            Sunrise

Saturday

FIRST: From Fantasy to Fact!
Saturday            10:00 AM-11:20 AM            Esquire

11am Area 3 (by the Royal Palm Tower Gazebo West) - Vocaloid Gathering, immediately followed by a dance contest

12pm Area 1 (by the Rose Garden) Final Fantasy Gathering

12:30pm Area 1 (by the Rose Garden) South Park Gathering

1pm Area 2 (by the pool) General Shooter Gathering

2pm Area 3 (by the Royal Palm Tower Gazebo West) - My Little Pony gathering[1]

3:30pm Area 3 (by the Royal Palm Tower Gazebo West) - Hetalia Gathering

Sunday

School Life in Japan: Is it REALLY like that?
Sunday            11:30 AM-12:20 PM            Pacific Salon 3

Christina Vee Q&A
Sunday            12:00 PM-1:20 PM            Pacific Salon 1

Hetalia: Dating Game Show
Sunday            2:30 PM-3:50 PM            Pacific Salon 2

Killer Lolitas and Scary Shojo (18+)
Sunday            4:30 PM-5:50 PM            Pacific Salon 3

[1] - I will NOT be there under any circumstances, please do not even ask.

---

It's still uncertain, but I'd say it's probable.  So I did send a request out.  I don't know if they'll be able to do anything about it, though.  They're probably logistically challenged just like the rest. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on March 19, 2012, 09:37:32 pm
It was causing a problem at first, but it was mainly with the hotel employees and not the staff who were always helpful towards small animals (can't say they had the same attitude when dealing with people).  Mr. Sparkles and Samantha smuggled themselves in by hiding underneath the Miku wearing the big turquoise 'wedding dress', I know once we found that Miku, several guinea pigs and even a guy who could not afford a badge were getting smuggled hiding under her dress.  They didn't even have a clue, or if they did, they couldn't do anything about it.

Bunny S and her group of three other bunnies were treated well by the staff, though I cannot say the same for the way they treated people.  Word of mouth, I heard bad things, but then I couldn't confirm anything bad either (other than mentioned in prior posts).  Of course, you also have to consider that Bunny S and her group were prized by [H] and and his minions, [H] had seen them at [DELETED] and wanted them so much... so he and his minions were probably paying special attention to them. 

Granted the people I was with, we were always able to get what we wanted by being assertive and throwing our collective weight around.  You had to talk to people, you had to find and talk to the right people, and be patient, but doing these things we didn't have any major problems. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on March 23, 2012, 11:19:18 pm
That is not the truth, the 'kitty games' have no use for the theatre and it was actually one of Cat P's rallies that got them kicked out. 

"The theatre and the other areas are owned by a number of different entities, but they are run by the same staff, security and otherwise."

"Several months ago, when morale was at an all-time low, Cat P was running one of his 'pep rally' type events in an adjacent facility.  He was giving out free catnip and some of the cats got a little out of control and started shredding the seat cushions and scratching the seats and walls."

"By the end of the event they had probably done a [few thousand dollars] in damage to the facility.  Cat P refused to pay for the damage so they were blacklisted from that facility and most of the other surrounding ones run by the same people."

So really you can blame it on those guys.  It's too bad, but that's how it is.

---

The reason is, they can't do it yet.
Hopefully they will be up to that level in a few months.  But with the state of things now, I just don't know.  When I asked, I was told 'wait until May'. 

---

I am going, along with at least 5 other friends, I just signed up today.  It's big enough that I should be able to stick to the preferred focus (VO/UT/TO).

I know he is planning on being there, he said the whole gang should be there so I presume they will, unless somebody decides to be a jerk like the last time.  But I think he has a lot more juice in the local area, after his previous performance.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on March 30, 2012, 11:21:15 pm
I already summarized this in #123, it is now long past and you can read all about it in the public sources.  There's no reason for me to report or comment on the past, it's the future people really want to know.

From an insider -- "When the article was released [February 3], cat P nearly exploded.  Cat W nearly had a heart attack.  It wasn't a good day in the gang's headquarters.  At least what was left of it."

What I can report is that the transfer of power from the old leadership is nearly complete, and Cat K is readying the gang to fight his arch enemy, the also locally based Cat X.

From Mikey "Cat X, a mysterious figure surrounded by much uncertainty and, well, mysterious-ness.  Secretive to the extreme, said to be very careful, very conservative in his actions, acting with a heightened sense of, almost, paranoia.  It's rumored that he's one of the reasons that the small animals in neighborhood cat gang territory have risen up, refusing to pay up to the gang's protection racket and those mysterious dog sightings and attacks against the gang?  It's rumored he's behind them too.  He's said to have his own protection racket nearly three times larger than what the neighborhood cat gang controlled at its height, and perhaps now has extended into their own territory while they were collapsing."

So using the party line, feeding the rumors, asserting that Cat X is the source of all their problems, Cat K has in a sense drafted the whole gang to fight his target.  Cats are like that, you might be leader, but you still need to give them a reason to band together and fight.  And fight they will, but do they really have a chance of standing up to a rival gang that is three times their size?  In the end, he wants to claim to claim X's territory for himself, and the gang is just a tool or bunch of stooges to be thrown away for his senseless pipe dream.  Certainly, I wouldn't bank too heavily on their chances of long term survival.  Now maybe the cat can succeed in the end, he has his own followers and if he gathers all them up, he still doesn't have as many as his enemy but it's enough to stand a chance at winning if he goes all out.  It may simply be that the cats sold out by Cat P are being set up to be the front line, the sacrifices or 'cannon fodder' of his crusade.

From Tuan Tuan - "For the best?  The best, for who?  You never know what happens, at least in the short term.  I wouldn't write it off just yet.  [1] They say a man burns brightest before he burns out, but is 'burning brightest' last year, this year, or next year even?"

[1] Old Chinese saying, he's actually quoting from 'Tiger and Bunny'

---

Mr. Sparkles has now formally opened the pool, your small animal can place wagers on either of the two belligerents at the current returns (check his twitter).  To place a wager, small animals need to mail (snail-mail) the carrot slips to his address along with a written description of who they are bidding on, dated and signed with a paw-print, or they can send carrots through Samantha's new "Paypet" website (follow the instructions on the site.  The recipient is MR-SPARKLES-493 and the item number is S-79.  Be sure that your small animal includes the belligerent they are wagering on in the "Notes for Recipient" field and a valid e-mail address.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on April 04, 2012, 01:33:37 am
That's right, but here's the problem.  There's a whole one guy (snake Z) in good standing[1] with the gang who the small animals have any kind of open contact with, and that's only from time to time.  There's a few others not in good standing like Cat Y or K, but these guys can't be counted on to know a whole lot.  Other than that, there's no one in the organization who openly talks to small animals, or who small animals talk to on any kind of regular or semi-regular basis.  If your small animal wants to get a hold of the bunny brigade, black bunny squad, or Mikey's group that handles local security, it's very easy.  But trying to get a hold of these guys, it's close to impossible.

So most of the information comes from spies, defectors, etc.  While the information these guys provide can be reliable and insightful, it's not always current or even relevant.  Cat gangs as a whole are quite uncivilized, brutal, and deadly; spies have to tread very softly and often have to prioritize survival over gathering information and timely reporting. 

[1] relatively good standing...

Likewise the gang is so large that it takes a long time for information to move up and down through the ranks.  It's not unusual for it to take a month or even more for some vital piece of information that is known by members of the vanguard to filter down to the rank-and-file.

---

It's somewhat unclear, but multiple sources have reported on their demise both before and after the fact.  I think we all know what happened, it's no secret that the rank and file were not happy with the leaders and now they have all but abandoned them.  The leaders themselves may try to continue, but without followers they can't hope to have much of an organization in the future.

In the meantime it is fully expected that the rest will continue to do _something_, they are said to have significant funds, 200,000 carrots thereabout.

---

Today, Mikey released a report detailing information revealed by Cat M's defection from the gang.

"Cat M held a high position in the gang, as part of Cat P's vanguard and in charge of the 'special committee' that handled internal security duties within the gang.  Her specific reason for defecting was that her name was misspelled below the gang's photo of her on the website.  When she tried to go to Cat P to fix this, Cat P told her that a few other's also had their name misspelled and they never came to him to complain.  Enraged at having his afternoon nap schedule disrupted, he ordered her not to come to him over such a trivial matter again."

"After this, Cat M avoided contact with Cat P but still overheard a great deal.  On more than one occasion she overheard Cat T, Cat P's right-paw cat, reporting on attempts and threats by other gangs in their territory.  Cat P had a totally ambivalent attitude toward these threats, refusing to take any action at all."

"When Cat K took over the operation, he left Cat P in charge of day-to-day operations for a short period.  Believing farther demotion was imminent, Cat P seemed to be scheming in secret with Cat T and some others.  She wasn't able to figure out what they were scheming, but what happened next was more than telling."

(aside by Mikey) The mysterious Cat X's gang was Cat K's long time enemy from when he was just a kitten.  Evidently Cat K had wanted to be part of Cat X's gang, but was denied due to his general lack of physique.  At one point, one of Cat X's minion had told him he just 'didn't have the back legs for it' and Cat K then made it his lifetime goal to build an empire capable of taking on Cat X's gang.  Both control national players, Cat X has many more minions, and more territory; but Cat K is a very astute at business and is quite popular among his minions.

"Presumably knowing the war with Cat X's gang was imminent, Cat M had overhead Cat P secretly briefing his agents to relay messages to Cat X's gang in secret.  The would ally themselves with Cat X's forces, and in exchange they would be allowed to maintain their own organization as a new part of Cat X's gang.  She thought Surely if Cat K found out about this, he would be incensed and it would be the end of Cat P."

"But when she want to Cat K and ratted out Cat P's plan, Cat K just smiled and purred about it being his plan all along.  'This is exactly what I foresaw.  Cat P is toxic, utterly incompetent and hated by those under him.  His only redeeming quality is that he has a knack for escaping certain death and will do whatever it takes to stay in power.  He takes over this area's operations working for the X gang, and over the next few years continues to run things into the ground.  He wastes a lot of their funds, angers many cats, and creates a bunch of logistical nightmares and PR disasters for them.  And I'm sure you can figure out what happens next.  [while purring contently].  If you want to work for me in a few years, you're always welcome.  Think it over, why don't you?"

"With that, Cat M just couldn't take it anymore.  She defected from the gang completely, and seems to want to nothing to do with other cats anymore."

(from Mr. Sparkles) She spends her days curled up in her owner's lap, or sometimes on top of (his) XBOX while he is playing it.  It's an older style model, one of the one of the ones that has a tendency to overheat.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on April 07, 2012, 12:35:33 am
Yes, it is in the works.

The bunny brigade was mobilized a few days ago and sent north into that region.  They are already there and have been a few days.

The small animals are pretty sure this is 'it', the cats in the area are engaged in a low intensity three faction battle that could blow up at any time.  Some were asking for assistance so the brigade responded.

Samantha has sent back only one report, brief and to the point.  "There isn't a single small animal left here that doesn't want to revolt.  Morale is high, everyone is very motivated.  They recognize that now is their best shot to taking back this area and driving out the cats for good."

Everyone is getting ready, they are getting the logistics set up, handing out carrots, getting their radios working, gnawing on wood[1], getting organized into respective companies and so on.

Really I expect it will only be a matter of time now. 

[1] This is how a lot of small animals sharpen their teeth.

---

Basically your standard burrowing and gnawing type of operation, that is my understanding at least.

---

They aren't that uncommon, but they have their own ways of dealing with those guys.

From Mikey, "We know the type, they talk about how great of a fighter they are, how many cats they have killed or such but in reality, they haven't done a single thing.  The best we can do with these guys is segregate them to their own unit, tell them they have been chosen for the most elite unit out there with others like them.  We treat this unit like the cats treat their vangaurd, get them up there, front-and-center and out in the open.  The first time a cat shows up, it would be funny if it weren't so [damned] predictable, these guys are whizzing all over the place, some freezing in place, others turning and running, etc.  Quite a comical scene to watch, really."

Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on April 19, 2012, 12:50:30 am
I don't know the answer to that.  The gang is seriously weakened, and has had to seriously curtail expenditures.
The loyalist faction consists of Cat P and his followers, that is, Cat T, those in the Vanguard who are still loyal to him, and about half the mid-ranking cats in the organization.  The revolutionary faction has no clear leader, but their members look up to Snake Z, the dispossessed Cat Y, and others like this.  They have about the other half of the mid-ranking cats behind them, and the majority of the low-ranking cats.  Cat K's faction has is led by Cat K and doesn't have many cats in the gang specifically behind him, but enough cats outside the gang and many within it at least look up to him.

For what it's worth, many of the animals in the revolutionary faction are small animal sympathizers, and have a loose alliance with the bunny brigade as they both want to unseat Cat P.  The loyalists have made several attempts to launch an attack against the revolutionaries, but without any dedicated troops, these attempts have amounted to little more than 'hissing matches' where he and his minions get in attack posture, hiss menacingly, and make threats at known members of the revolutionary faction.  When Cat P has tried to lead his minions into battle, they have all broken off, leaving him severely outnumbered and forced to retreat.

There's really not a huge amount of cats that are still active in the gang.  In better times, the gang had around 700 cats but in its current state, their numbers have fallen significantly.  In the prelude to the most recent 'hissing match', Cat P was only able to muster about 30 loyalist supporters to face off against roughly 50 revolutionaries.  When it comes down to it, there are only about a hundred cats who the gang can claim as members right now.  There are roughly 200 more on their lists, but these are 'members in name only' who aren't motivated enough to actually do anything for the gang or participate in its affairs.

---

Yes, it's true, a few days ago the hapless Cat P did try to off Snake Z by poisoning his meal.  But the cat failed to realize that snakes are immune to many types of poisons, and upon seeing the snake alive the next day, he suffered a heart attack.  The other cats were beginning to write him off, but he was saved when Cat T administered mouth-to-mouth CPR; his heart recovered around a minute later.

---

About a week ago, someone mailed Mr. Sparkles a package of roughly 50 assorted "Zhu Zhu" pets (we don't know who -- there was no name or return address on the package).

Mr. Sparkles had no use for the robotic toys, but he figured it might be of use to the bunny brigade, so he sent it up north to Samantha.

Samantha came up with the idea of using the Zhu Zhu pets as a decoy to launch a major operation against the neighborhood cat gang headquarters.  While she knew it was unlikely she could occupy the headquarters for any length of time, she knew her saboteurs could inflict significant damage to the compound in a matter of minutes if she could somehow get most of the cats and other security forces out of the compound.

Samantha hired the black bunny squad to spray-paint a warning on the front door of the headquarters at night -- that the newly created 'fifty hamster heros' rebel group would attack Cat P's owner's house the following day at exactly 12pm noon. 

The next day, Cat P and his trusted right-paw cat, Cat T, camped out at his house in order to repel the threatened attack.  Cat P left (another) Cat named T (hereafter referred to as T2) in charge of the headquarters.  Meanwhile, Samantha and a small team of bunnies set up the Zhu Zhu Pets on the sidewalk pointing towards Cat P's owner's house driveway.

About a minute later, the hamsters were making their characteristic noises and moving around randomly in Cat P's owner's driveway.  Cat T noticed this and went to wake up Cat P, who upon being awoken and appraised of the situation, immediately phoned Cat T2 in a panic and told him the house was under attack by the hamster heroes and to rally up and send all the cats in order that the attackers could be killed for their insolence.  As the commanding officer, T2 took control and ordered Cat P to stay inside and make sure none of the hamsters entered his owner's house through doors or windows.  Then he marched out to Cat P's owner's house with every cat he could find, about thirty, in formation.  In the meantime, Samantha and her team of bunnies had cleared out of the area.

The main force of bunnies was waiting at the border and started hopping at full speed toward the gang headquarters when their forward scouts reported Cat T2 and a large complement of cats marching out in the direction of Cat P's house.  Cat T2, once he got near Cat P's owner's house, ordered his troops to create a perimeter around the house and then start closing in, killing any small animals that they came across in the process.

With Cat P holed up in his masters' house and unable to participate in the combat, things unsurprisingly went quite well for the cats at first.  After a few minutes, the perimeter circle formed by the cats had closed to about a hundred feet, and the deaths of several feral rats and a stray bunny had been reported.  At a neighbor's house, a dog barked incessantly, but the cats remained indifferent to him/her.

Meanwhile, a large force of almost 200 bunnies had reached the gang's headquarters, including 12 specially trained saboteurs who were adept at causing electronics to fail by chewing up wires, network cables, phone lines, power connections, etc. 

The mass of bunnies quickly overwhelmed the few cats who were unlucky enough to have been left to guard the headquarters.  In a matter of minutes, the specialists took nearly all of their communications equipment offline, causing the gang's website, online forums, and live chat to go offline.  The mass of bunnies destroyed anything soft, or even slightly edible, inflicting about 400,000 carrots worth of damage to various furniture, building infrastructure, and the like.  After several minutes, they quickly left.

The battle at Cat P's owner's house came to a head, as the cats had surrounded the mass of Zhu Zhu Pets and were within striking range.  Spies report that the Zhu Zhu Pets did not attempt to defend themselves in any way, and the battle lasted about several seconds before Cat T2 recognized they had all been had and ordered his force to return to base.

What happened next is the matter of some debate, but according to Mikey's best reconstruction (from the reports of several spies and those who would defect in the next few days following the incident) -- Cat T2 radioed the cats that had been back at the base, and when he received no response, he knew he had to get back to the base as soon as possible.  He spotted a nearby car and had his entire squad break in, shattering one of the back windows with a large rock before he used his expertise to hotwire the car and peel off.  Driving for this group of cats was not the best, Cat T2 had taken the wheel while several cats floored the gas pedal with all their might.  After running several red lights, they collided with a large SUV with a family of four in it.

Local small animals report that the scene caused 'quite a ruckus'.  Cat T2 and several others had perished in the collision, while the family of four was 'mostly okay, just a little scratched up'.

When the cats finally did make it back to their headquarters, Cat P ran to his office and would not let anyone come in for several hours.  Afterwards he announced that several cats had perished as a direct result of combat operations, and tried to use this to rally his troops behind him.  However, it didn't help, and several days later, several prominent cats defected from the gang including Cat J.

Cat T2 was one of the few competent battlefield commanders left in the neighborhood cat gang.  He perished at a rather young age of four and a half years.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on April 25, 2012, 06:49:16 am
Yes, his defection is pretty recent (last few days), and Mikey's group has debriefed him in full.

From Mikey -- "There's no reason to doubt what he says." 

You can read his public account, there's no reason for me to report anything else here.

From Tuan Tuan - "I guess this completes Cat F seizing of the gang's TV show -- if she still wants it, that is.  With his defection, all her rivals have now been eliminated.  And she did it without lifting a paw, if nothing else I have to complement her on that."

---

One thing not mentioned is details behind the TV show.  At first, the TV show was supposed to be a general informational type of thing.  The gang wasn't supposed to be a major part of the content. 

From another defector, cat U:
"Over the 12 years[1] the show ran, over time it became a centerpiece for gang publicity.  Both Cat J and Cat Y fought against this, but honestly they could only do so much.  In the beginning, the show was maybe 90% informational, now it is maybe 20% informational, if that.  The show may be canceled altogether unless Cat P can find a suitable stooge to host it, now."

[1] Cat years, this is roughly 2 years in human terms. 

---

Cats and other animals near him now report that Cat P has 'gone bonkers...', as in completely lost it (mental).

"He thought he saw a rat.  He called in Cat T, and Cat T played along to humor him.  But it obvious to everyone there that there was no rat there.  But it was the strangest thing.  He was talking to the rat.  Rather than catching it, or eating it.  He thought the rat was his friend, and he was talking to it."

"A days after Cat T2 perished, he thought Cat F was Cat T2 for a whole hour.  Cat J, who had not defected from the gang yet, tried to set him straight, but he persisted.  About an hour later, he finally realized she wasn't him, and then abruptly started to come on to her (Cat F).  He continued his unwelcome advances until she bit him in the nose.  It was a really nasty bite, he had to get stitches."

---

Mikey reports that intelligence now indicates the gang's factional infighting has come to a head -- things are moving toward an all-out 'turf war' between gang members.

"Cat J's defection has got the vanguard and most of the cats who get votes in the Kitty Caucus jumping up and down.  Cat P has become extremely paranoid, locking himself in his office and not allowing any cats to see him other than Cat T and a few in the vanguard."

From Samantha - "Radio Traffic from the gang has dropped to nothing.  It seems like they're using runners again for all types of communication.  Infighting continues and seems to be escalating, but nothing too serious yet, still waiting for the opportune moment to attack."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 01, 2012, 02:15:52 am
It's already been considered.

From Samantha (old quote -- months ago) -- "We thought about allying with C to fight the gang, but, honestly, we just don't trust him."

From Mr. Sparkles - "He's basically made himself a sworn enemy of the whole gang, all its factions.  His understanding of intrigue is poor, and he doesn't understand 'divide and conquer'.  He doesn't choose his battles judiciously, and he makes enemies unnecessarily."

From Tuan Tuan - "Honestly, C's forces are weak.  The only thing they have going for them is morale.  They're under-equipped and under-funded, and his operation runs a considerable deficit.  Though, everything is relative.  Financially, he's not a badly off as the gang.  Not yet, at least."

Probably the red flag for this type of thing is how he makes enemies without reason.  Not a good trait or one you'd want for a potential ally. 

---

I can't stop laughing at this one, it's a joke people, get over it!
Actually it is something of a debacle.  It was suppose to be an 'april fools' type joke, but the Panda they put in charge has horrible vision.  And he's so full of himself, he's delusional.  When April Fools came around, he insisted it wasn't April first and refused to do the joke.  But then when May 1st comes along, again he's now convinced it's April 1st so he did the joke that was originally planned for a month ago.

"He's one BAD Panda..." - Mr. Sparkles

---

Alright I am getting too many calls on this.

According to Mikey, there is a minor thing going on in the local level.
But it's really just an attempt to "kill a bunch of birds with only one stone."

Let it play itself out, there is method to this 'madness'.  The real war is being fought in the shadows.

From Tuan Tuan:

"There is a power grab going on, a lot of animals are trying to get their paws around as much grub as they can.  The gang's upper echelon is crumbling, and all the cats and others are scrambling to see who will be the new 'top cat'."

"This puts creatures like the Snake (Z) in a very advantageous position.  It allows the revolutionaries to go head to head with the loyalist faction, at least for the time being."

"And locally, it should push them over the edge.  Which is honestly what we've been trying to do all along."

---

I have been asked multiple times now, basically, "Why do [things] appear and disappear?"

It's not random.  It's just a sign of the factions battling it out -- the conflict in the shadows.  On a given day, one faction may be in control of the server, so they put all their propaganda up and silence the other factions.  Then, the next day, another faction might gain control of the server, so they do the same.   Whether it's the central server, the facebook page, the forums, the official e-mail address, etc., all these things are contested and control of them can change from one day to the next.

Sometimes it's a case of one cat who manages that item, and being recruited / coerced / bribed / etc. by one faction or another.  Other times a cat perishes and is replaced, and there are some cases where multiple cats all have some partial control of the item and will battle it out day by day.

This kind of structure isn't at all unusual as far as groups of cats go, it's closer to the norm than not.

---

It's because the snake is one of those 'rare cases', like a bear or mountain lion who has fed on people and developed a taste for (only) them, avoiding his standard diet of small animals in exchange for a diet consisting of other types of snakes.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 15, 2012, 01:09:31 am
According to Tuan Tuan's acquaintance, Panda M, late this week and weekend (May 18th, May 19th, etc.) is when the meeting is planned.

From Tuan Tuan - "They couldn't have chosen a worst time.  A more inconvenient one, that is."

"I'd expect a major house-cleaning.  Major.  Of course that's what's needed, much to the chagrin of (Panda) M and some of the other animals there.  But a house-cleaning that comes from an outside source, it's likely to do more harm than good."

"The big question is, who's doing the house cleaning?  Or who's going to show up?  If it's Cat P and his lackeys, they better recognize this is hostile territory, and Mikey's no slouch, even without the bunny brigade.  If it's someone like Cat K, he might be able to talk his way post the local security forces, but he's virtually unknown in these parts and isn't likely to be well received either.  Only someone like the snake has a chance of both pulling off the thorough house cleaning that needs to be done, and not causing an outright revolt.  But would they send him?  I wouldn't count on it, really."

Note:  You can check the facebook page.  It's something like Saturday at 4pm. 

"...Crescent room on the Regency Ballroom side of the property (which is on the side we were on year 2) This meeting is on Saturday the 19th starting at 4PM. Parking will be free if you let the hotel know you were at the..."

---

Reports are that Cat P's owner dropped off his "napper" cat bed in the gang's headquarters, and Cat P basically lives there now.  He disappeared into his office, and no one has seen or heard from heard from him in almost a week.

From Samantha:  "Things have been real quiet lately.  By the look of it, everything's at a standstill."

"According to the last defector we spoke to, two days ago, the door to Cat P's room had been closed for several days, and no one had seen him or heard anything from him.  Without their leader, the vanguard is paralyzed, and the warring factions are at a standoff."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 21, 2012, 06:33:54 pm
This is about local groups, so I'll post it here.

Quite simply, it isn't Mikey's people or those who Tuan Tuan finds agreeable.

From Tuan Tuan:  "It's hard to understand the way domesticated[1] pandas think."

[1] Zoo-raised, coddled, trainer-fed

From Mikey:  "..."

Officially, the older, domesticated Pandas felt that the smaller, younger animals had deviated from their preferred purpose, so they wanted to distance themselves from them, basically offload the management of the younger animals to another gang.  They requested bids from other gangs, and felt Cat P's gang provided the best case (in their opinion).

---

No, it's real.  Small animals aren't even talking of it much anymore, everyone assumes they'll be dead [within a few years].

From Samantha - "There's no way they can dig their way out of this one.  All the shortfalls, all the different [house cats] they own money too, all the internal and external conflicts...  It's amazing we're fighting them today![1]"

[1] as in, it's amazing they're still around today for us to fight.

---

I do believe so, at least according to the reports.

"I think you can refer to [it] as [cat] W's last stand.  That perverted old cat... everyone knows his days are numbered, so he's just doing whatever he damn well pleases now.  And I must say, his 'taste' in bunnies is... unusual.  She might have gained his fancy but, she's really not too popular among bunnies, guinea pigs, or other small animals."

---

Over the last week, there have been repeated incidents where the cat gang's territory has been infiltrated and/or penetrated by teams of rats.

"Normally the cats are quick to respond and able to fight off any rats that attempt to invade.  In the past, small animals have relied on dogs, ferrets, or the black bunny squad when making a prolonged invasion into the territory of the neighborhood cat gang.  But with gang affairs in such disarray, local rats have seen a window of opportunity and risen up, launching their own invasions.  When they do, the cats can barely respond, it often takes days before an invasion can be met with force.   And by then, it is already too late, the rats have done their damage by gnawing away at things and such."

---

I wouldn't count on it.
At the end of the day, we all know they will do some kind of face-saving exercise like a few days after putting it up, take it down and say it has been cancelled due to 'lack of interest'. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 06, 2012, 01:07:53 am
No information or communication should be expected.

About a day after 'the incident' described in post #131, Cat P became despondent.  He had already given the order to halt all diplomatic contact with any small animals or small-animal affiliated groups, but following 'the incident' his vanguard became extremely aggressive toward small animals and in trying to root out any small-animal sympathizers that were within the gang.

It doesn't help that their headquarters has suffered from several rat attacks in the last couple of days. 

From Samantha:
"The rats have been attacking their computers and IT with rabid[1] efficiency.  As of today they are reduced to one functional fixed system and two portable systems.  Their internet access is down, they are having to go to a nearby starbucks and use the free wi-fi in order to stay connected."

"Several tens of rats have perished in these daring attacks, but the force of rats is growing in size significantly due to a large number of new volunteers."

[1] at a high level, brutal

Information is sketchy, but it has been reported that several cats in Cat P's faction have been disabled or perished at the hands of the Black Bunny Squad.  According to Samantha, the squad isn't operating under contract from the Bunny Brigade, but some anonymous source has been placing carrot bounties on the heads of the heads of certain cats. 

I honestly don't know the state of the revolutionary faction now.  They are probably just laying low and keeping to themselves -- knowing that they become stronger every time a cat from the loyalist faction or under Cat P's command is disabled or perishes.  I don't expect they will sit around forever, my suspicion is that they are simply waiting for the best or most advantageous moment to attack.

So my best recommendation is just to hang tight and stay safe, that's all I can really say right now.  We'll try to figure something out in the next week.

---

A short while ago, a diplomatic party led by Cat P was attacked by cats believed to belong to the 'X' gang, cat K's sworn enemy.

"Cat P was ready to pledge his loyalty to the X gang, but things went south very quickly.  Things escalated to violence, and Cat P ordered his bodyguards to cover their retreat.  His bodyguards fought till the very end, and Cat P and Cat T, his trusted cohort, were able to make it to the western garrison.  But when they saw a force of cats approaching their position, at least three times in number, they fled and retreated all the way to Cat F's house."

"With so many cats from the mysterious 'X' gang on the field, the neighborhood cat gang has all but surrendered its western quadrant."

"Cat K's response remains to be seen.  Now is his opportunity to meet his mysterious and hated enemy on the battlefield.   Will he risk it all, raising his own forces and engaging the attackers?  Or will he be content to pull back and put the fight on hold, 'live to fight another day'."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 13, 2012, 01:07:37 am
A few days ago, Cat K's plan to have Cat P be absorbed into the X gang failed, when the X gang became hostile and attacked Cat P and his entourage. 

Cat P and his cohort made it to the western garrison, but when they saw large numbers of enemy cats appear, they retreated to Cat F's house to make their stand.  The X gang took no heed, perhaps unaware, they looked like they were going to simply overrun her house and push farther into neighborhood cat gang territory.

Cat P ordered his troops to go up to the second floor balcony of his owners house and throw things down on the enemy formations as they passed by the house.  Fortunately Cat F's owner was not there to stop them, and they dropped numerous objects onto the advancing formations including a sofa, television, desk, and a number of chairs and even a bed on their formation before the enemy realized what was going on and turned to attack.  A couple dozen cats had been outright squished or injured by the falling objects, but it barely made a dent in the X gang's numbers and their attack was methodical and overwhelming.

Cat's from the X gang broke a few windows and began to pile in, but the troops fought off their initial attempts and kept them from advancing past the dining room.  This defense worked well until some cats from the X gang, which now had the house surrounded, broke a back window and the defenders had to retreat upstairs to avoid being flanked and sandwiched between the two groups of invaders.

Cat T led the stairways defense, flanked by Cat F and Cat C.  The cats fought valiantly, using their higher position to the advantage, losing only a single cat for ever several or so enemy that fell.  If this had been all, they might have been able to hold off the assault, but the enemy pushed relentlessly, forcing the defenders back and they then retreated into Cat F's room.

---

Actually, we're almost certain it is him (Cat P) in the photo.  As for "He's fatter than that", it's one of those cases where he's so fat, that the camera actually makes him look less fat than the really is.

As a comment, it is rather typical behavior for Cat P, drinking and partying his @$$ off while his underlings were hard at work trying to keep the gang from sliding downhill any farther than it already has.

---

Yes, as far as I can tell, there are a few more.  On VO, look at the thread "Anime Expo 2012" and then look at post #70.  The cat posting there says there will be more changes even after the latest one.  Go figure. 

---

(Continued from first part)

As Cats T, F, and C prepared to make their last stand in Cat F's room, with what remained of the western garrison, the cats from the X gang took a minute to regroup and prepare to take down the door to Cat F's room (which she had locked).  Cat T wanted to risk a retreat, thinking they still had a chance to escape by leaping to the neighbor's roof, but Cat F insisted on staying in order to defend her valuable figure collection.  Cat C was alternating between panic and despair, and the other surviving three cats had no idea who to listen to.    Meanwhile, Cat P kept his position at the rear of the group, trying to hide behind his cohort, Cat T.

As cats from the X gang started clawing away at the door to Cat F's room, Cat P got an idea.  He asked one of the remaining cats from the western garrison if they had ever set up the hurler[1] he had sent.  One of the cats responded that they had set it up in an old park next to the garrison spot, but had given up using it due to its unsafe nature and unreliability.  Cat P described his plan to the group -- when the door was getting close to destroyed, they would retreat out the bedroom window.  But rather than retreating deeper into their territory, they would instead make a run for the western garrison spot whee the hurler had been set up.  Hopefully it would take a while before the X gang's goons figured out what as going on, and they would have enough time to load up the hurler and fire each one of them to safety.

Hearing the scratching on the door, and looking outside at the mass encirclement, the cats felt his plan was their best shot at survival.  In the next five minutes, Cat T and Cat P whispered back and forth, and Cat F collected a few of her best figures from her figure collection, leaving the boxes behind.  Cat C was in full panic mode, but some of the cats from the western garrison kept her calm enough to stop her her from running off.

In a few minutes, light started to shine through small gashes in the door, and Cat P ordered the retreat.  After opening the window, the cats clawed down the screen and leapt out.  Cat P was first, followed by the rest in his wake.  He (Cat P) mistimed the jump, coming up just short of the encirclement, but being far heavier than normal, the cats he landed on were crushed underfoot.  The rest of the crew landed far ahead of the encirclement, and then all the cats began the mad dash to the location where the hurler was set up.

Cat P was in the rear, and was lagging farther behind.  He tried to order the other cats to fall back in order to protect him, but none of them listened.  It hadn't taken the X gang long to figure out what was going on, and a mob of cats started chasing them, slowly gaining on the group.

[1] A catapult used for "rapid kitty deployment" during the past budget crunch (see earlier posts).
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 26, 2012, 02:23:11 am
(continued from the previous post)

As the mob of cats gained on Cat P and overtook him, none of the cats even looked back.  Even his cohort had run ahead, and the mob had slowed their advance once they caught Cat P.  They reached the point where the hurler was and most of the cats took a look at the ominous device, having second thoughts but also realizing the mob that had been chasing them was nowhere to be found and perhaps had given up the chase?  Or figured it was a diversion and turned back to push farther into their territory?  Or they had taken all they had come for?  The cats didn't spend much longer thinking about these things, they agreed among themselves that they would split up and meet back at their gang's headquarters by midnight, if there still has a headquarters, that is (if not, they would go their own way).

The morning of the next day, the cats all made it back to the base and in the morning, they all noticed Cat P sitting in his office looking at himself in the mirror and purring repeately as if nothing had happened.  As word of the misadventure spread, the cats began to ask questions but Cat P denied the whole thing had happened.  It quickly turned to accusations, not how did he escape the feared X gang, but who or what did he give up in exchange for his freedom.

A cat was sent to scout out the western quadrant where the garrison had once been, but he never returned.

---

Yes, it will be posted eventually.  But things are still changing right now, and we still have no idea how it's going to turn out in the end.  So I'm just waiting and making sure we get the story right.  There's a chance this will be over in about a week, or less, but there's just no telling right now, impossible to predict.

---

I WILL NOT be there on Friday.  Info and support doesn't arrive until Friday night, and without that, I'm not going in.  I will be there starting early Saturday morning and Sunday and Monday too.  Because I actually have stuff to do on Saturday and Sunday, and by Monday we will hopefully be celebrating, hopefully...

Cat N is currently unavailable due to problems with her owner.  She isn't expected to be available for a few weeks.  From Mikey, "And there was much rejoicing...(!)" [1]

I will be at the dinner on Saturday but do not ask me where or when.  If you have to ask, you are not welcome or invited.

[1] "monty python" reference

---

The western garrison had been decimated, both displaced and down to only several cats.  While Cat P denied the whole incident had ever happened, for most of the cats, it was plain to see that they had been defeated when they saw the state of the cats that remained in the western garrison, and when Cat F lamented that her house had been lost and she likely would not be able to return to it.  Some of the cats panicked, but most secretly bared their claws, wanting to launch an all-out assault against the invaders.  But most knew that against such numbers, it would certainly fail, and there was no one willing to lead such an attack.

With Cat P denying the whole thing had ever happened, Cat K had to step forward and take control, even if only for the time being.

He knew an attack would be suicide at this point, as the enemy forces were simply too many in number to fight in the field.  Instead he obliged the gang to secure what territory it had, and to try to stop the further loss of territory to his sworn enemy.

He also knew the bunny brigade was waiting for the right moment to attack, and that the revolutionaries in the organization might also take advantage of the moment.  But at least in the latter case, his temporary leadership seemed to placate them.  At least for the time being.

Cat T suggested making a defensive stand just behind the deceased Cat T2's (see prior message) owner's house, as that area had been abandoned after the incident and was currently overrun by both small animals and dogs.  Cat F agreed, both felt the enemy cat gang would be weakened by dog attacks and they might be able to break through their lines if they formed up all the defenders they had at that one point.  Cat K gathered up every cat that was willing to follow him, roughly fifty in all, and they headed out to a point a few hundred feet to the southwest of their deceased comrade's owner's house.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 21, 2012, 01:30:21 am
They're starting to come out, please give it some time and be patient, these things take time.

---

(continued from the previous post)

With the defensive troops massing at the point behind Cat T2's owner's house, Cat T, whose skills included running fast and insulting others, proceeded into the area and ran around, trying to provoke the dogs and other animals into running after him.  Few offered much of a response, dogs barked and growled but otherwise largely ignored the cat.

With all his troops massed, Cat K organized his followers into an arrowhead formation and instructed them to charge, in formation, on his command.  The ears of the cats of the massive X gang appeared over the horizon, followed by their heads, and the rest of their bodies.  Only then were their full numbers evident, truly massive, well organized lines that outnumbered Cat K's troops at least five to one.  Once they saw the defenders, they started charging for their position, taking the bait.

Cat T had finally attracted the attention of a doberman, a weiner dog, and a few pugs that were chasing after him, but every time they caught up, he would gain a burst of speed and outrun them.  Once the dogs realized that a huge army of cats was approaching, they stopped in their tracks and started to bark profusely, Cat T then stopped and started to egg them on.

Mass chaos followed.  Dogs started attacking the many cats, and some even say that Cat T infiltrated the lines of the X gang and continued to insult and provoke the dogs in relative safety.  Fighting was brutal, the dogs coming in waves of roughly ten to twenty, animals on both sides perished and reserve troops rushed to fill gaps in the X gang's lines.  The battle raged for minutes, with the gang's troops pinned down but holding their own due to their numbers and organization.

When it was obvious that the dog assault was not going to break the X gang's lines alone, and Cat K realized they were starting to taper off, Cat K ordered his troops to charge into the fray and try to pierce the X gang's lines right down the center, which would break it into two if the attempt were successful.  As soon as there was a lull in the fighting, Cat K's forces charged in, though outnumbered their morale was high and they were fresh versus the X gang's cats that were tired out from the prolonged dog assault.

The fighting was fierce, and cats on both sides fell, some even to their own, as it became difficult to tell friend from foe in the chaos.  The neighborhood cat gang was holding its own, but after about a minute of fighting, both forces had around twenty cats perish which cut the neighborhood gang down by about a third.  The X gang's reserve troops were running out, and at one point their lines were breached for a few seconds before reserve troops rushed to fill the gap.  It was then that Cat K heard distant barking, getting closer, so he ordered his cats to disperse and retreat back to their original meeting place.

When the neighborhood cat gang forces re-assembled, they were now roughly thirty in all and stood firm, ordered by Cat K to form up in a defensive line.  Their enemies had fought off what was apparently the last wave of dogs, and began advancing on their position.  But seeing that they were still heavily outnumbered, almost three to one, he ordered a strategic retreat.

Cat T questioned Cat K's orders, asking him why he was retreating when the X gang's forces were tired and nearly broken.  Cat K answered that there were still too many cats and that their best option was to retreat to the headquarters and mount a defense there, joined by all the cats who claimed allegiance to the gang, not just those who were willing to follow him onto the battlefield.

The retreat was uneventful.

When the cats returned to their headquarters, Cat T found Cat P lying upside down, paws up, on the one remaining couch.  Vomit littered the ground, the smell of which was profuse.  He insisted he was sick, and would be unable to participate in the upcoming battles.

Cat K summoned all the other cats at the base, explained their current situation, and attempted to rally them for what he admitted could well be the 'final battle' of the gang.  Most were not swayed, one large faction of cats abandoned the gang, mewing repeatedly while getting up and walking out.  Others seemed indifferent, several were preoccupied with the foam from a couch pillow that had come out of its cover and a couple of others with a catnip toy.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 28, 2012, 01:33:33 am
There was some initial disagreement of what to do in preparation for the battle, Cat K wanted to rig the headquarters with traps and ultimately sabotage it to cause as much damage as possible to the enemy; but most of the other cats were more attached to the building and not willing to sacrifice it as a tactic.  Cat K tried to explain that this was it for the gang, if they lost this battle, their choices were to try to escape to the south or stay and be hunted down by the gang who would stop at nothing to kill them all.  Many of the other cats that were not directly loyal to him were indifferent and a number abandoned the gang within the next hour or so.  In all, Cat K had about 55 cats behind him for the defense, and he knew a significant percentage of those would leave if it looked like the battle was going poorly.

---

I don't recommend that place, honestly it kinda sucks for those kinds of shots.  The direction of the coast is off, so the sun sets not behind the water but behind the long beach skyline; not to mention the ugly offshore oil rigs, tankers, and other mining equipment that are visible off the coast.  From a beach standpoint it is not too great either, the slope is so steep that the surf is very short; the waters are often infested with sharks, stingrays, and jellyfish, due to the warm currents, and so on.

---

In the time leading up to the battle, Cat T and a few others including Cat F, Cat C, tried to get Cat P up but he only laid there with his paws up in the air insisting he was sick.  Cat K was seen practicing what was apparently some kind of martial art, mewing as loud as he could while leaping around and scratching at air as if he was attacking imaginary enemies.  Some other supporters of the gang, Snake Z and one of his friends (another snake) and a few others, took turns standing on a podium and giving motivation speeches to try to rally the cats and raise their morale.  Cat Y, largely a pariah to the gang, as well as a few others appeared to join the battle; with Cat P largely incapacitated, Cat K was more than willing to accept any cat who would help out.

After a very tense few hours, Cat T, who was serving as lookout on the roof, sounded the alarm.  He had counted over 150 ears[1] in the distance, and quickly left the roof and yelled down to the defenders to prepare for combat.  On his way down from the roof, Cat T passed Cat F who had an idea for a tactic that might be useful as the battle began.

"Cat P is grossly overweight, easily weighing as much as several normal cats or possibly more.  He's also extraordinarily lucky, or has survived many times when his death should have been all but guaranteed.  Help us take him up onto the roof and throw him down onto the enemy while they advance in tight formation!  We can probably stun or disable about ten or fifteen cats this way.  A worthwhile sacrifice!  After this, our forces charge out of the building is a surprise lighting strike, taking advantage of the chaos to kill as many of the enemy as possible before retreating back into the building before the enemy can respond!"

Cat T was against the idea from the beginning, and told her it was unacceptable and that he wonders what Cat P would do if he knew she was plotting such an act.  But he had little say in the matter, Cat F had already gathered some of her loyal male followers as well as her close friend Cat C and even Cat Y, who purred and mewed as if to taunt him (Cat T) with the idea.

As the clutter[1] broke into Cat P's office, Cat T could only listen to his cries as he asked them what was going on or what they were doing.  "Ignore his desperations!  This is for the good of all of us!", mewed Cat F, and the other cats complied.  They lugged him up the stairs to the roof as the other cats prepared for battle.  Cat K already knew the plan, and seemed really psyched up.  "When Cat P impacts the enemy army, that's the signal!  Break out!  Strike like lightning!  Once the enemy realizes what is going on, they might start to fight back -- that is the signal to retreat!  Get back inside and get ready to defend!"

Cat T tried one last time to convince the group that it was a dumb plan, calling it an uninspired, copycat tactic that had been overused in the past and it was unlikely the enemy would fall for it.  But Cat Y insisted it was a perfect plan, this was a new enemy that the gang had never come into conflict with before, so it was likely they would be unaware of past tactics used as few enemies who had fought the gang in the past had lived to tell the tale.

[1] 75 cats

[2] A small group of cats
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 08, 2012, 11:48:28 pm
Yes, according to Mikey that was part of the work of the Black Bunny Squad.  Several rats in the area were found to be sympathizers of the neighborhood cat gang, sell-outs who would regularly turn in other rats in exchange for protection.  The squad captured these rats, and as punishment the notorious Lop, "Mad Doc" Mele, injected them with massive amounts of caffeine to the point where they were 'spazzing out', and then let them loose in the area around the gang's headquarters.  Forward scouts reported that the rats were caught after a long chase, and a portion were given to Cat P as part of his 'cut'.  Cat P is said to have eaten all the rats at the same time, and like most cats, no doubt suffered adverse effects from the large amount of caffeine injected into the rats. 

From Mikey, "It's a controversial tactic, but this is the Black Bunny Squad we're talking about.  They've got a reputation to live up to.  As for Cat P, it's another time that his extreme obesity might have saved his life.  Many more nimble or in-shape cats may have perished with that much caffeine in their system."

---

The clutter carried Cat P onto the roof and walked over to the side where the gang was bearing down on them.  Cat P begged them to stop one last time, but his mews were ignored and they waited for the right moment to throw the oversized feline over the side of the wall, dropping him on the mass of the troops below.

As the enemy approached the headquarters, their field commander gave the order to charge and the ran in unison, the fur on their back standing straight up and with teeth and claws bared.  Cat F knew the moment had to be timed right, she told everyone to get ready and started counting down when the cats were about 15 meters away from the edge of the structure.  When she finished counting down, the cats tossed Cat P high into the air, at a slight arc so he would fall over the side of the roof and then started running back for the stairs down.

On the ground, Cat K and the others stood ready and waited for the signal to rush out and attack their enemy.  It wasn't long before the oversized form of Cat P appeared in their field of view, the enemy appeared largely unaware of their impending doom.  Some of them heard the yells and looked up at the last minute, but had no way to get out of the way of the cat.

With a loud thud, Cat P hit the ground, crushing all or part of several cats in the process.  He continued to roll forward, knocking a few more cats down in his path.  The side door swung open, and Cat K led the charge of about two dozen cats that rushed out to engage the enemy.

The maneuver was a success, as the cats led by Cat K attacked the dazed and downed cats and quickly clawed them to death.  Cat T also charged out and into the fray, but rather than trying to fight, he went straight for the limp body of Cat P and started dragging him back toward the door.  By then, the enemy had closed ranks and begun to fight back, so all the attackers pulled back except for Cat T.  He was pounced on by the enemy, and fought back as best as he could while still holding onto Cat P's motionless body.  Heavily outnumbered, he went down.

Now enraged by the smell of blood of the fallen cats, the enemy cats had their hair stand up straight and began to attack the door.  Other cats went for the window, shattering it with an impromptu battering ram made from a large tree branch.  The door held, at least for the time being, but with the window gone, enemy cats began to pour into the headquarters.

Cat K himself ran to defend the window, but it was hopeless.  Cats poured in faster than they could be pushed back; in the time it took for him to jump on the back of one cat and tear it to shreads, two or three more cats would pile through the window and begin to surround him so he would have to retreat.  As the enemy poured in through the window, the door was also forced open and the enemy army started to pour into the room.  Battle was joined, the defenders tried to hold their ground at first, with claws, blood, cats hissing with hair standing on end, neither side willing to submit, both determined to fight it out to the death. 

Cat F's ears perked up and she realized what was going on -- the enemy had broken open the front door and other entrances and were charging into the building from every directions.  She mewled loudly to the other cats, roughly a third of the gang's force, in that back room; telling Cat K and the others who fought by his side that they had better pull back soon or they risked getting surrounded.  Cat K understood, and the three leaders, she, Cat K, and Cat C, and the cats who followed them who could still move fought to disengage and back off out of the room.  As they backed into the hallway, Cat K held the rear, continuing to face toward the abandoned room, hissing loudly, and attacking any cat that came too close.  This alone wasn't enough to stop their advance, but it at least bought some time for the retreating force to make it to the central stairs that were the only way to the second floor.

The cats were joined by what remained of the other defensive lines, the snake Z and his friend, Cat Y, and several others.  Their numbers had severely dwindled; in all, only around 30 remained.  Cat K took charge, ordering all the cats upstairs and then setting up a tight defensive formation on the landing, and ordering the two snakes to hang over the side over the stairs and prevent any cats from climbing up the side of the stairs to flank them at all costs.

The ruckus downstairs continued, presumably as the enemy was cleaning up any last pockets of resistance.  Battle was not joined for another minute, the enemy had regrouped and now charged up the stairs, most cats taking the more direct route while a few tried to climb up the side. 

The gang's front line held, the enemy tried push them back, but gravity was working against them.  Several of their cats fell in the process, their bodies causing a logjam that bogged down their advance.  Two cats from the gang also perished, but they were quickly replaced as reservees stepped forward.  As for the cats climbing up the side, one was bitten both snakes in sync, their teeth sinking in before they both pulled back, pulling the victim up but also rending him a bit more.  He mewed in terror, trying to claw the snakes as they continued to shake his body around, eventually clawing snake Z's friend but was forced to lose his grip on the wall by doing so.  With this both snakes released him, and he fell down to the floor below, bleeding profusely from the two bite wounds.  Likely realizing a similar fate awaited them, the other enemy cats who were attempting to climb the side of the stairs quickly abandoned their efforts.

Now the enemy commanders were ordering an all-out frontal assault, probably hoping that they could win due to simple attrition.  Cat F was standing at the top of the stairs and her team had gathered several heavy items, a fire extinguisher, remnants of some desktop computers destroyed in the last sabotage incident, and so on.  She and Cat C dropped them onto the enemy formation, crushing many cats in the process and creating such a logjam of obstacles that an unimpeded frontal assault was no longer possible.

Several more of the enemy fell before their commanders probably realized it was fruitless.  Their morale was starting to sag, and rather than risk dissension in the ranks, they ordered an orderly retreat and started to pull back from the stairs.  Some of the cats in the gang wanted to rush them, but Cat K held them back, knowing they would still be overwhelmed by their numbers if they fought in the field.

Once the enemy had retreated, the cats filtered back out into their headquarters, the lower level largely ruined by the battle.  Their fallen brethren were strewn across the floor, intermixed with the corpses of the enemy which they had not bothered to collect on the way out.  The cats went around and tested to see if any of their own were still alive; most were not, but managing to revive a few.  Outside, Cat P was still moving, rolling around in pain, more like it, and Cat T still had a pulse but had several obviously broken bones and had likely fainted due to the shock.

In the aftermath, Cat T was taken to the vet by his owner and had to be put in a full body cast.  Cat P somehow managed to survive practically unscathed, and the next day he was alive and feeling well again, loudly bragging about the glorious battle in which he single-handedly fought off sixteen of the enemy and turned the tide in favor of the neighborhood gang.  Most of the cats ignored him, but a few kiss-ups nodded along with him and played along, probably expecting some future favor in return. 

While the neighborhood cat gang was able to mount a successful defense, and hence guarantee their own survival, less than 30 cats remained in the gang.  The gang was effectively confined to their own headquarters, and short of the X gang retreating in the field, there was no way they would be able to reclaim the large swath of territory that they once held. 

---

Just listen, like I keep telling people irl, don't get too bent out of shape yet.  "A lot of the people (from ALA/PMX) resigned because of him" -- I've heard that from two sources now.  I can't say I blame them, but I don't recommend that either.  Their big problem right now is personnel.  They just don't have enough. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 30, 2012, 08:40:17 pm
That is correct, but it's unpredictable at this point.

Cat P has to be re-elected within the next month or so.  I'd expect he will be, for a number of reasons.  But this isn't the bunny caucus we're talking about.  Elections among cats are often times chaotic, bloody, and unpredictable.  I think I already said it, but some cats get more than one vote, and many cats get no votes at all.  It all depends on who's scared of who or who's willing to stand up to who.

In past years, there's been between 100 to 150 cats who, at least on paper, could vote.  And in the end, about 20-25 votes would be cast, by under 10 cats in total. 

How exactly does it work?  There's a line up that forms, at the front of the line, the cat steps forward and says he votes for so-an-so.  The crowd either accepts the vote, or challenges it by rushing up and attacking him.  If the vote is accepted, it is tallied; if a fight ensues; if the voter wins, his vote is tallied, if he loses, runs away, or such, it is forfeit.  If there's a fight, cats can also join in on behalf of the voter, mass fighting can result.

Cats can get in line to vote many times.  The process goes on until no one wants to stand in line anymore.  This process typically doesn't take longer than an hour.

Snake Z and some others of note, their positions are also up for a vote this cycle.  It'll be interesting to see how these turn out.

---

Now, it was obvious to the thirty-or-so cats that remained in the gang that they were in dire straits.  Confined to their headquarters, unable to vernture out due to the enemy gang still being in the field to the north, and Samantha's two hundred strong bunny brigade to the south, lying in wait, the gang got ready for a long siege.  Cat K tried to give a motivational speech, "We're all in this together" type, but even that could not raise the morale.  Funds were already at critically low levels, food supply would likely only last a day or two, and accommodations were pretty bad as the lower level had suffered a lot of battle damage and the upper level had never really recovered from the bunny bunny brigade raids during the death of Cat T2 incident.

The cats agreed to have an open planning meeting, more of an 'all claws' discussion about their next action.  Cat K went over the details of their crisis, their limited supply of cat food -- he figured they could probably make it three days on half rations -- while Cat P insisted he had been preparing for this moment his whole life and could survive a month or more.  Cat P made the case that they should try to break out through the south, taking revenge against the bunny brigade for the death of Cat T2 in the process.  But Snake Z and others were against this, they feared the bunny brigade's numbers and felt it was best to try to wait out the siege.  Cat F brought up that the enemy gang was likely not equipped for a long siege -- lacking their own food and hence would have to either forage for food in the city or quickly establish their own supply teams to handle logistics.  She believed that they could foil this if they could somehow sneak out or bypass the siege -- however this was easier said than done. 

Several minutes were spent brainstorming for a way to sneak past the siege, but none of the cats came up with any bright ideas.  Cat P mentioned the hurler, but most of the other cats gave him silent stares in response while a few hissed.  Finally Cat K came up with the idea of smuggling out a team in the garbage.  Since the garbage pickup was tomorrow, his plan would be to hide themselves among some trash and then ride along inside the garbage truck to the dump.  It was a risky plan, and unpopular, but he found a few volunteers.  They would hide themselves in an old file cabinet to avoid being crushed or injured and then once the garbage was dumped, try to find the enemy supply routes and disrupt them.

---

We really don't know much, honestly we just found out about this a few days ago.

1) It could be false.  Honestly I find it hard to believe a cat like that is married.  You can lie on facebook, I mean, people do that all the time.

2) I ran it by Mikey and the others, the general consensus would be Cat A.  Seems to make the most sense.

3) Samantha pointed out that it may not be a girl, or even another cat.  "This is California, after all.  Pretty much anything goes."

---

Cat K knew the mission was risky, but it wasn't on the level of suicide and his volunteers were very well motivated.  Not only would they disrupt enemy supplies, but they would acquire food in the process -- food that would soon be in extremely short supply and desperately needed by the other gang members. 

The next day, the cats hid themselves in the discarded file cabinet, which was picked up by the garbage truck.  The ride to the dump took several hours, far longer than expected, but was otherwise uneventful.  Under severe duress from the stench, the cats found themselves in a dump that was several miles south (roughly) of the city center.  It was a dangerous area, and one that had not been under their control for at least several months.

Fortunately the file cabinet laid on its side, and the cats were able to force the drawers open and emerged from it. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 14, 2012, 01:06:54 pm
It's because around 9-13 or 9-14 they (youtube and some other sites) changed how they did streaming.  If you don't believe me, enable firebug plugin and view a youtube video at 480p resolution (or less) when flash is enabled.  You can also use a cache viewer or some other method.

Notice how .flv files now come in as a bunch of 1.7mb chunks.  They used to be one big file.

Fortunately, .mp4 files (the default when flash is enabled for resolutions 720p, 1080p) still come as a single large file.  While most of the automated tools to download these are broken now, you can still use firebug to grab these.

So, this is what I recommend now:
First, get the firebug plugin for youtube.  Set it up:  "Enable for all web pages" and "Enable All Panels".  Set the "Net" panel, and then all.

If your video is 720p or 1080p:  Ensure flash is enabled (Add-ons from the firefox menu.  Go to Plugins and see "Shockwave Flash").  Go ahead and view your video.  In firebug, "Clear", then reload the page, then quickly select the resolution and it may be necessary to scroll the video slider to the very beginning.  In firebug, sort the file list by size until you see a large file (typically in the 30-120mb range) come to the top.  You don't need to wait for the video to download completely.  Right-click on the "URL" column of that file, choose "Open in new tab".  You'll get the option to save, typically as videoplayback or videoplayback.mp4 (the extension should be .mp4, if it's nothing make sure you set it).

If your video is 480p or less:  For newer videos (as of about a year ago), if you disable flash, youtube will switch to webm format.  So this also works for 720p or 1080p files, if you want a .webm file instead of a .mp4.  Now follow the same process as above, finding the large file (typically in the 5-50mb range) only this time, the file opens up in its own video window (actually tab).  Right click on the video, and select Save Video As.  The default name is something like videoplayback.webm.

Other notes:

Firebug is annoying and slows things down, so disable it when you aren't using it.

.webm support seems pretty good these days, at least better than a few years ago.  Media player classic plays it fine, at least.  I wouldn't shy away from the format because it seems like open and patent-free is the way things are going, with html5 video and such.

Once you make youtube switch to .webm, it stores this as a cookie and won't switch back even if you re-enable flash (remember they're google now, and google is the main force behind webm format).  So, clear the cookie to make it go back to using flash.

Hopefully the different download tools will get fixed in time, but it could be tricky.  I tried downloading all the 1.7mb chunks of the .flv file individually (or saving them from the cache) and binary copying them together, but something is still wrong, it still doesn't play. 

BTW, if you don't mind disabling flash, and using webm files, a lot of the automated download tools still work ("Video Downloadhelper" for instance, google it) for videos uploaded in the last year or so.  Use it to download a .flv file, and you either get a 0mb or 1.7mb file that doesn't play.  Use it to download a .mp4 and you typically get a 0mb file.  But if you disable flash, choose the resolution you want, and then download, you'll see one or two options to download as a .webm file.  Choose the most recent one of  these and you can successfully download a .webm file.

Also, apparently the VDH guys are hard at work fixing it, so a new version will hopefully be released soon that works.

---

When the cats emerged from the discarded file cabinet, they had no idea where they were.  Cat K's hair stood on end as he smelled danger downwind, probably a stray dog or something like that.  Some of the cats wanted to fight, but K reminded them that their mission was more important, they needed to take the enemies supplies and return alive.

Before they even figured out where they were, it didn't take long for the several cats to attract the attention of several herds of small animals who lived in the junkyard where they were dumped.  Mostly just rats, but K ordered his troops not to chase and instead to start moving, figuring that some were probably scouts for the resistance[1] and might summon the dogs.  They kept their discipline, at least for the time being.

Leaving the dump, the cats were able to place themselves in east downtown, which was far to the north of their headquarters.  K was praised for his troops for being right in his assessment, that they would be taken to one of the main garbage dumps in the slummy and dilapidated east part of town.  The cats radioed into their base to report status, Cat F was elated that their plan was going well, Cat P tried to 'take control' from afar but Cat K cut him off.

Cat K and his team started heading south, trying to get closer to the entrapment line and it was then that they came across a developing altercation between a couple of cats.  Three cats had surrounded a stray, it was at the stare-down stage but all the cats had their hair standing on end and no one looked like he was going to back off.  K knew that a fight was the next logical step, and at first his instincts told him to simply move on and avoid them, but then he decided it might be of some use and that they should intervene.  At first his troops doubted his order, but he explained that the stray would be indebted to them if they saved him, and would likely be able to help them out on their mission or at least share some knowledge about the area.

[1] During its recent years of decline, the cat gang had lost large swaths of its territory as small animals revolted, refusing to pay for protection and such.  Efforts by the cats to crack down on this behavior were countered by a number of dogs, presumably employed by the small animals, that would show up and scare off all the cats.

---

I wouldn't read too much into it.  He was (is) probably just busy that day.  They need everyone they can get, and he's one of the few left who can run or lead anything.  Without his expertise, they're basically done.  BTW as of 9/25 he will be there, I honestly believe it was pretty much a given from the beginning.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 26, 2012, 10:18:41 pm
Sticking to the gang's tradition of charging money for everything, Cat P's original plan was to charge everyone for food, prices would be (at the current exchange rate) approx. 4 carrots for a burger or hot dog with extras like ketchup, onions, mayonnaise, being approx. 1 carrot apiece.  However the snake Z pointed out that the park's rules prohibited this, and P would likely end up ejected from the park if he did this.  So the plan was changed, now the food will be free but limited to one per person.  (pre-9/26)

I still recommend avoiding their food at all costs, this is Cat P and he's likely to put something nasty in it.  It's just not worth it if you value your life.  (pre-9/26)

Recent intelligence suggests Cat R will be there, "Yes, _that_ Cat" - Mikey.  Avoid at all costs.  (9/27)

FYI Cat R was a senior member of the gang going back at least several years.  Around 2010 he became Cat L's chief of security, and became hated by other cats in the gang as well as small animals due to his fervent support of Cat L.  After the departure of Cat L, the other cats basically chased him out of the gang, forcing him to resign.

On Cat P's "waifu", there is no definitive intelligence on this.  (9/28)

From Mikey - "(Cat) A?  I know what you're thinking, but I don't think so.  The whole thing just doesn't make sense.   I mean, he's on the way down, and a pretty cat like her, she has to know she can do better than him." (9/28)

From Samantha - "Apparently the marriage was a pretty low-key affair.  Some within the gang say that he was constantly siphoning money from the gang's funds to buy her 'gifts', but no one ever saw or heard from this mystery cat, most wrote it off as a fantasy of his."  (9/28)

---

He was a no-show.  I don't give them much today, their logistics department is gutted and their morale is very poor.  As a whole, the gang is heavily factionized making teamwork or shared effort between certain members simply impossible.  Some cats, like Cat R, are heavily isolated, they may still be members of the gang, but they are pariahs and all the other cats stay away from them.

A former infiltrator and known enemy appeared, the cat who infiltrated the gang and caused the 'K incedent' in July.  He was able to escape capture by the gang then, and did the same this time.  They're simply incompetent.  If a known enemy can show up in gang territory, smack in the middle of roughly 12 cats, taunt them, and evade capture / death, then they barely even have business calling it a gang anymore.

From Mikey - "The cat (name unknown) was nothing special.  He wasn't one of ours, he was just looking out for himself.  The 'K incident' was just lunacy, he didn't gain anything from it.  Perhaps he was an agent of the X gang?  But even that incompetent escaped unscathed, twice even."

---

It looked like things were going to get violent very soon, so cat K ordered his followers to charge.  Being in excellent shape himself, he was able to lead the charge while his followers struggled to keep up.  The ruckus caused the thugs to turn and face him, they quickly froze and looked at each other for an instant before running.  The stray made no attempt to run, and thanked cat K for saving him.

Cat K insisted that he help them out in return, and asked if he had seen a large advance of cats or anything like that.  He said no, he didn't see it, but he had heard that a large group had passed several miles to the west.  With that, Cat K and his followers started to head in that direction, keeping a notably low profile.

It wasn't long before Cat K noticed a pair of dobermans was after them, and closing in fast.  Some of his followers wanted to make a run for a nearby tree, but Cat K knew that time was of the essence that this would likely delay the mission by hours at least.  Instead he ordered them forward, in the general direction of the dogs but to one side where he had spotted a fence with a hole small enough for a cat to fit through. 

The cats moved quickly this time, knowing their own lives depended on it.  The dobermans also charged, and made it to the fence when all but one of the cats had crossed it.  As the last cat went across, one of the dobermans lunged and bit for him, catching his tail and then pulling back.  The other cats grabbed his body and tried to pull him through, digging into the ground able to overpower the doberman due to their numbers, but the dog's jaw was locked down on the cat's tail and he had no intention of letting go.  Fortunately for the cats, Cat K moved to the side and stuck a paw through the gate, clawing into the doberman's snout and pulling in before releasing. 

---

Unfortunately there is something rather serious (and private) going on in her life, so she won't be able to make it.  The operation is not cancelled, there are two others who are still able to lead the operation.

Please don't expect me to be there, some of my friends are going to be elsewhere and there is a bit of a time conflict.  Also it's logistically pretty difficult for me to get to the north side.  I participate in what I can but that doesn't mean I can always be there.

---

I heard this rumor too, just this last weekend in fact.  I honestly pretty much doubt it, I mean, that's basically akin to declaring war and talking about doing something like that and actually doing it are two different things.  And it honestly wouldn't be a war that any side could win, sure the bear has some detractors and they can try to work around him, disrupt and go after his power base, try to get the cops involved or whatever, but it's almost guaranteed to hurt them more than him or his gang. 

---

Blood was drawn, and the doberman let go, freeing himself up from having to hold onto the cat.  The cat that had been trapped quickly squirmed through, one doberman tried to fit through the hole but couldn't get much beyond his snout through, the others charged the fence repeatedly before standing up on his hind legs and crashing into it.  The cats quickly scurried into the front yard and from there were able to cross into a backyard and up a ledge to leap another fence and continue to the west.

The rest of the trip was rather uneventful, the cats managed to keep a low profile and passed little more than an occasional small animal, squirrel, or the like out in the open. 

It was then that the cats came across a gruesome sight, three cats which had apparently been bludgeoned repeatedly to the point that their faces and bodies were contorted beyond recognition.  One appeared to have what was left of a radio on him, badly damaged beyond all hope of repairing it; another what was left of a keychain, chewed into bits with most of the keys missing, and the third a trashed smartphone.  Not knowing what to think, Cat K and the others paused briefly to investigate before pressing onward.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 31, 2012, 02:02:04 pm
"Voting" began late Tuesday (Oct. 30) night.  The battles went on throughout the night and are expected to last well into Halloween.

The only report I have from the inside is from one cat who insisted "This is much more combat than is normal... seriously... this could take days."

This one is totally up in the air, Cat P has lost much among his supporters in the recent gang wars, and who will stand and fight with him now?  One of his rivals will likely prevail, but then he may get lucky and be able to take advantage while they fight among each other, believing he is already dead.

Samantha reported that C's forces are on the move, perhaps looking for an opening created by the whole affair.  "But I doubt they can do much, C doesn't have much in the way of followers anymore."

---

I don't have much to add.  From Mikey:  "We got a report from one of our cats about this.  It's brief, but to the point." 
"~Zs vote !!! con  BJ, D _!  J!", more precisely,
"~(snake)Zs vote !!! con[tested].  B[attle is] J[oined], D[efense] _[barely]!  J[oined]!"

From Mikey:  Reports do confirm heavy fighting around that period, and without any further contact, every reason to believe the infiltrator perished in the battle.  On a more positive note, Snake Z did manage to escape largely unscathed.  No idea if he still has a position in the gang, or wants anything to do with it to begin with.

Oh and by the way, we certainly don't have any other infiltrators in the upper echelon.

I don't know how the other votes went right now, so stop asking.  No idea if Cat P managed to preserve his standing or fell.  For all we know he could be dead.

Something does seem to be up, I mean, all the usual channels seem to have gone silent. 

---

I went over all the data last night.  Most useful to reconstructing the timeline was the notes compiled by Samantha [1].

As the snake delivered his platform, there was little contest or opposition.  It looked like he would prevail without much contest.  At the end of his spiel, five cats stood in support, none in opposition.

First on the timeline is Mikey, who is pretty sure he heard repeating hissing from Cat P.  Most of the pigs do recall hissing sounds at that time, but non-distinctive.  Mikey, who has fought engaged Cat P in close-quarters combat in the past, is pretty certain the hissing came from Cat P.

Extensive hissing and high growls followed, accompanied with patters.  This was around the time that the above communication was received by the informant.  Battle was joined, reports are the Cat P led roughly 10 supporters, outnumbering the snake's defenders around 2:1.

Combat was relentless, with a lot of claw slashing, some biting, and plenty of thuds.  More cats are presumed to have joined in, either the snake had some latent support, or perhaps the revolutionaries saw this as a good chance to take out Cat P.  This helped to even out the odds.  Close-quarters combat continued for around 14 seconds.

Mikey reports hearing Cat P yell something like "Yaaa!" at this point.  It's believed the snake was getting away or escaping, and this was Cat P ordering his followers to turn their attention to him. 

A couple of his followers charged the snake, but were quickly outflanked by his supporters.  The snake managed to escape, largely unscathed.  After his escape, the combat largely subsided.  About 10 seconds later, it was silent, perhaps because it took that long for the rest to realise the snake was no longer there.

It should also be noted that Cat P's status is unknown.  He may have been injured in the action against the snake, or lost too many supporters, costing him his own position in the gang.

[1] Small animals like bunnies, pigs, have very sensitive hearing.  The brigade has two scouting companies, a field company of bunnies and an urban company of pigs, the latter was used extensively in this operation.

---

At this point, we have every reason to believe that Cat P prevailed, since he is still alive and seems to be doing okay.

One of our insiders reported "I saw the fatty (Cat P) today.  He was a bit scuffed up from the election, but still very much alive and kickin'.  He was rambling on about getting together a search party to hunt down the snake, whining about what a travesty it was that he had evaded capture (and certain death) despite losing the election."

Cat P may be in charge uncontested now, but it's unlikely the gang can function financially with no significant territory left and no financial expertise. 

From Mikey, "The snake was either a genius in the futures market, or extraordinarily lucky.  Without him handling the financial side of things, the gang will likely be back in the red, their days could be numbered based on that alone.  Cat P needs to find someone else to take over the financial side, another miracle worker because that's what it's gunna take to keep the gang afloat with so few outside resources. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on November 06, 2012, 02:36:34 am
I can't comment much more, but I'll say one last thing.  In general, the battles this year were much more brutal.  In prior years, it would be something like, 10 cats in support, 10 cats against.  They fight it out while 80+ cats look on.  Last week, it was more like 30 or 40 cats fighting it out over each candidate.  The number of cats that were getting involved in the fights was much greater.  And most of the fights favored the supporters.  The cats did show some good sense in one case, Cat W was defeated by a narrow margin and perished a few hours later. 

Replacing Cat M (who defected from the gang roughly 3 cat years ago), the snake, and Cat W, Cat P filled the vanguard with three of his cronies.

It looks like the revolutionaries never had a chance, or they missed it.  Their numbers were much greater before the struggle with the X gang, in fact some of the defectors like Cat M feel that Cat P engineered the whole thing with a self-facilitated purge in mind.  Doing such a thing certainly isn't out of his league.

I do expect the gang will make one last major push before sputtering out.  Cat P knows he needs to re-capture territory if he is to survive, he will take the newly formed vanguard and try to push out.

---

This is what I know of at the time.

1) A while ago (roughly 2 to 3 cat years) the gang tried to launch an attack to the south using an affiliate that they had recently allied themselves with.  There were some initial signs of success, as the initial detachment of roughly 20 cats tried to secure as much area as possible north of the city center.  Their significant income, roughly 400,000 carrots annual helped to reinforce morale, but a lot of the cats had misgivings when it came to Cat P or the neighborhood cat gang in general.   In two cat years, almost half their cats defected, leaving the attack force at only 10 cats.  The black bunny squad is working to ensure further defections, the alliance has only a 50/50 chance of surviving for another year, if that.

2) After successfully defending their headquarters from an all-out assault around two cat years ago, the enemy tried to lay siege but was unable to keep their supply lines up having lost their supply vehicles.  With their retreat, the gang has since been fighting to recover its territory to the north of its base, but their efforts are haphazard and they lack competent field commanders.  Patrols are often disrupted by dog attacks and they seem unable to quell a small animal rebellion in the immediate vicinity. 

3) Around the end of September, a couple of unknown Pandas showed up and were let in by Cat P.  It turned out the Pandas were mercenaries allied with the Black Bunny Squad.  They quickly overpowered a few cats and intimidated any others into standing down, after which they proceeded to ransack the place and take whatever they wanted.  In all, it's estimated they made off with roughly 800,000 carrots worth of assorted equipment.  Asked why he let them in, Cat P insisted he thought they must have been there to deliver his "Mists of Pandaria" game that he had ordered from online. 

---

We are actually pretty much in agreement.  I won't say anything else on this topic.

And personally, I don't believe it will die off in the near term.  It may be in decline, but decline does not equal death.  In five to seven years, who knows what will happen.  But in the short term, it will probably be at least okay.

Also, Cat P is reportedly trying to rally his troops to attack the small animal protectorate to the west.  Not that has done him any bit of good.  The last time the cats attacked the protectorate, of the twelve-or-so cats sent, only three returned (and they lost their top field commander at the time).  Cats have been too terrified to participate in any attacks since then, as those who did return told tales of a large, "bigfoot - like" monster with immense strength that would rip cats in half or eat them whole. 

---

But they found little else of note, so they continued to press on.

The similar scene was repeated, only this time even more extreme.  In an abandoned parking lot, the remains of what must have been several cats were strewn around, among puddles of blood.  The smell was pungent, and the other signs of battle seemed relatively fresh. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on December 07, 2012, 01:36:53 am
About that incident.

This was known as the 'elevator incident'.
In the far corner of the gang's headquarters lies an elevator, it is nonfunctional and has not worked in years.  The doors are stuck in the open position.

When the headquarters was attacked, she ran to the elevator and hid in the corner closest to the wall.  At some point during the battle, a team of three enemy cats went into the elevator, thinking they would be able to take it to the top floor.  They quickly noticed her and tried to threaten her, moving to surround her and then slowly advancing in order to keep her cornered.

At that point one of the gang's enforcers showed up and hissed, the three cats looked at the enforcer and noticed he was larger than them.  Their numbers may have been still superior (3 vs. 2) but they weren't willing to risk a fight so they split and ran.

---

It was then that Cat K first smelled the bear.  His hair instantly stood on end, and he stopped and froze.  His eyes confirmed the sight, up ahead the fleet of wrecked supply vehicles, a bear had broken into one of the vans through the back window and was helping himself to the supplies.  While Cat K recognized the smell from his days of training in the wilderness, his followers who had never left the city simply stood bewildered at the strange smell before they also froze and started to back off.

Regaining his composure, K mewled out the order to retreat while maintaining a tight formation.  It was fruitless, his followers had panicked and quickly dispersed, running different directions.  Fortunately, the bear seemed either unaware of their presence, or simply did not care; but at the same time bunnies began to pour out from two other ruined vehicles.  The bunnies were heading out in groups, each group heading in different directions, as if in preparation to flank them. 

Cat K knew he had a significant head start and could more than likely escape, but not wanting to leave his followers behind he ordered them to form up and get ready to fight the bunnies.  Recognizing the bear did not pose any immediate danger, the cats rejoined formation and Cat K mewled out the orders to form up in a tight formation and punch through any bunnies that tried to stop their retreat.  But he added, "If we get surrounded, form up in a tight circle to protect our backs."

More bunnies must have been waiting in ambush, for they appeared ahead of the retreating cats.  Cat K paused to try to make sense of the events... Who could organize such a force -- commanding the bunnies and making them fight rather than turn and flee like bunnies normally do?  Was the bear their leader, an ally, a paid mercenary, or something else?  Cat K led his troops in an attempt to evade, but they matched his lateral movement and battle was joined.

The line of bunnies was two deep, and more than twenty bunnies in all.  Cat K called for the circle formation right away, knowing it was only a matter of time before they would be surrounded.  This tactic was successful at first, and several bunnies perished as the cats clawed and bit their adversaries.  But it wasn't long before the bunnies in the back row started hopping, creating a mess of small furry animals flying in every direction.  The confusion was too much for the cats, who found it difficult to dodge, attack, and maintain formation all at the same time.

A bunny had landed on the back of one of the cats and bit down with his teeth.  He reached up to claw the bunny, but the teeth had already sunk in and the bunny had no intention of letting go.  Another cats was knocked off his feet when a bunny landed in the middle of the circle and kicked him.  He was kicked repeatedly by two other bunnies, despite his attempts to fight them off. 

---

This is relatively recent, but to celebrate that the gang was no longer in severe debt (primarily the millions of carrots 'run up' under Cat L), Cat P threw a lavish and extravagant party at an expensive venue that went on for the whole weekend.  While he gained some supported from doing so, in the end it was announced that the party had run up a significant debt of roughly a million baby carrots. 

---

Cat K tried to run, knocking aside two bunnies as he charged through them, only to be faced by three more.  He tried to fight, but was surrounded and fell.  He managed to put his radio into continuous SOS mode before he lost consciousness.

Cat K and his team never returned from their mission.  A few days later, the X gang's troops were pulled out.  Scouts from the Bunny Brigade reported that their troops were near mutiny due to running out of supplies and that the commanders had little choice but to call for a timely retreat to maintain order.  Cat P claimed responsibility for the victory, but it did not gain him much more support, as the truth was obvious to those who were not already following him.

About a month after the battle, the neighborhood cat gang received a ransom notice from the Black Bunny Squad.  They claimed to have Cat K prisoner and wanted a sum of roughly (4 million baby carrots) in exchange for his safe return.  Cat P refused the terms.  Cat K has not been seen or heard of since.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 07, 2013, 08:36:51 pm
Many people report seeing Cat P and I can verify that.  He was there on Friday manning the [deleted].  His mini countryman[1] was spotted by numerous people at the scene.  Also on Friday, there was another cat next to him whom I don't recognize, but definately one of Cat P's cronies.  His title was "Programming Director", as for Cat P, he told multiple cats that he was "kinda running things".  But in reality, that might have just been his ego speaking.

BTW few people feel good about [deleted] today.  They have lost roughly 2/3rds of their active supporters and of those left, it is strained to the limit.  Among the remaining cats, morale is especially bad.

[1] A small luxury "mini-crossover SUV", look it up on wikipedia. 

---

According to an earlier "battle damage assessment", the vehicle was 'damaged beyond repair' during the battle with the X gang.  However, the cat had it repaired anyway, at greater cost than simply obtaining a newer vehicle (likely more than 100,000 carrots).  When asked to justify the cost to the treasurer, he cited sentimental value.

---

Yes, I heard about it, and there is no way.  For starters, he will always claim responsibility _before_ acquiring something like that.  If there wasn't a claim of responsibility, warning letter, or such; it's not him, frankly it's barking up the wrong tree.

In all honestly, it's probably Cat P because that cat refuses to be one of his cronies.  No there isn't any proof there, not yet at least.  But wait, because these things can take time to play out.

---

Numerous sources have reported that the purge is active and ongoing -- he is purging anyone who had any relations with (or in some cases, just knew) the snake Z.  For instance, snake R, cat H, etc.  Past purges have been undertaken with the intent of removing spies or tightening information security; this purge goes beyond simple paranoia.  It is a vendetta against the snake and anyone who follows him.

Have no doubt that Cat P would kill the snake outright if he could, but with the reach of the gang severely limited, he simply isn't able to. 

---

Yes, and I think the sarcasm is lost (missed) on some people.  It was quite obvious to me that the comments on that topic were meant to be sarcastic.

---

Last weekend, a cat told me that Cat P wanted to charge him, as the host of the event, a protection fee.  Starting at roughly equivalent to 1200 baby carrots, or more, depending on the size of his operation.  Of course he didn't pay up, but it's the thought that counts.

Also over the weekend one of our bunnies reports that someone from the cat gang posted some photos of her on 4chan in an attempt to blackmail and ridicule her.  In the end, no one really cared and it didn't have much effect.  But again, it's the thought that counts.

It looks like the neighborhood cat gang is back up to its old tricks again.  Or trying, at least.

---

From Mikey:  "There was no actual meeting.  They are down to only several supporters.  There just aren't enough cats in the area to actually get anything done.  Morale is poor and hopelessness has set in."

"Cat P is trying to augment their lack of personnel by bringing in his own cronies.  But he is so far removed from his power base that he can't get many to follow him that far south."

"When they attempted to meet, three Pomeranians and a Maltese happened to be meeting in the room next door.  All the local cats were freaked, they either didn't show up or showed up only briefly, running away after that.  And Cat P wanted to fight them but couldn't convince anyone else to fight.  So the meeting had to be put off and no one knows when they will make another attempt to meet.

---

Word is that today a single Pomeranian infiltrated the gang's headquarters.

"Cat P was taking delivery of a new deluxe coffee machine, he set down the box and opened it and a Pomeranian leapt out.  Cat T, who was next to him, reports that he yelled and tried to turn to attack, but the Pomeranian was running circles around both of them while nipping at Cat P's rear legs repeatedly.  Cat T tried to assist, but the dog was just too fast and he could not land a blow.  After a few seconds of this assault, Cat P's rear legs gave out, he was disabled and collapsed to the ground, crying for help.  Shortly after this the Pomeranian is said to have fled the scene."

"It was an off day, there were only around 10 cats at the warehouse, only three of which were trained in actual combat.  The Pomeranian was able to make quite a ruckus, they tried to trap (him) to no avail and chased him throughout the complex.  About five minutes later, (he) is reported to have made a getaway by going up onto the roof and leaping to the adjacent building.  (His) actual objective at infiltrating the gang's headquarters and injuring Cat P is not known."

---

I have no plans to sell it.  I don't think it's worth the trouble.  If I can find anyone willing to pay me (equiv. 4000 baby carrots) for one, I'd be glad to build one and send it out.  But anything less, the answer is no.

The parts cost is roughly (equiv. 920 baby carrots) and it takes me roughly 8 hours of work to build one.  If you want to build one yourself, I can demonstrate how (it's not too hard, just time consuming).

---

I'm told that right now, their paranoia is at an all-time high.  There is a massive and ongoing purge at all levels (and offshoots) which has been confirmed by many.  And while it is having an effect on infiltration at the lower levels, it also crippling the gang.  The purge is more than a third, by the time it is complete they will likely have purged around half their members. 

"Cat P has gone totally rabid.  He's systematically destroying the gang so that it can be remade in his image.  Any cat that is even slightly suspected is removed instantly, and in the meantime, there is very little income available and cats to do anything at all.  To him, enemies, real or imagined, lurk in every shadow; the snake is scheming for revenge, Cat K has been secretly working with the black bunny squad, etc."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 29, 2013, 03:00:58 am
I can answer that with absolute certainty.

Roughly 9 (cat) years ago, plus or minus 3 cat years, Cat P was approached by a representative of the near eastern[1] cat gang.  This was back when the neighborhood cat gang still controlled significant territories to the north.

The representative of the near eastern cat gang proposed a deal.  His gang wanted to gain a local foothold, but without any local territory, they had nowhere to land troops or any base to serve as a staging area.  He proposed an alliance where cat P's neighborhood gang would allow them to use their territory as a staging area, attacking their enemies to the north and seizing their lands.  Ultimately this would create a friendly northern neighbor which would allow the neighborhood cat gang to focus on securing its own territory and focus its expansion to the south in an effort to increase effectiveness.

Cat P like the idea behind this deal, for both these reasons.  At the time, he was having to deal with strong rivals within his own gang, and he would rather focus on expanding to the south anyways.  So the two agreed to meet "face to face" in order to finalize and sign off on the deal.  However, at the meeting, Cat P showed up with two of his lawyers in tow as well as several advisers; the representative was still alone.  The representative became irate at having to negotiate with lawyers and left without a deal in place.  Cat P tried to threaten him on the way out, saying if anyone from his gang set foot anywhere even near the city, he would be decimated.  But the representative just ignored his threats.

What did the near eastern cat gang do?  They held off and waited for an opportunity.  When the X gang attacked the neighborhood cat gang, they had that opportunity, and they invaded shortly after the X gang pulled back from its seige.  They have since expanded farther to the north, even trampling over a few of Cat P's sworn enemies in the process.  As for most of the gangs to the north that are enemies of the neighborhood cat gang, they seem to be coexisting with them. 

From Samantha:  "We (the bunny brigade) had no part in this operation.  The failure was purely based on Cat P's stupidity."

From Mikey:  "It's good that the alliance failed, I mean, we'd likely be fighting them if it hadn't.  But then it is to be expected, [Cat P] knows nothing of diplomacy, he couldn't even negotiate his way out of a paper bag[2].  Instead we are just waiting to clean up what's left of the mess they made down here."

[1] "near eastern cat gang" per Samantha's recommendation.  Small animals typically label cat gangs based on their primary location.

[2] refering to the "paper bag incident" long ago.  When he was a kitten, Cat P got a paper bag stuck over his head and was having problems getting it off.  His owner eventually took it off, but not before taking a video which was later posted to youtube.

---

At this point it's really hard to say what the future is for them.  I don't think it will fail, not yet, at least.

1) There are huge gaps in personnel that need to be filled. 

2) It's not an 'open' organization.  About half the cats out there don't want anything to do with anything associated with the neighborhood gang in the first place.  On top of this, I have talked to many who tried applying and were denied. 

Both these things combined means that Cat P has to support it using his own people.

3) At the rate things are going, we expect the neighborhood cat gang will last between three to six more years.  Once the neighborhood cat gang goes away, even if it is followed or replaced by something else, Cat P will have lost his powerbase.

4) Cat P's ego may mean he will keep it going, and as long as he has a powerbase of supporters, he can do this.  But once he loses that, it's done. 

One final note, funds were never a problem before.  But if it's run poorly, it might end up in the red.

I expect that something else will happen before that. 

---

I haven't seen her in years.  Evidently she doesn't get out much (though I'm told she's still around).

From Samantha - "One of our bunnies reported a high certainty sighting about [a month] ago."

None of the people who know her from that time want anything to do with her anymore.  And I think I know why (at least, one part of it).

---

We have now all but confirmed that Cat H has defected from the gang's constantly shrinking local chapter. 

From Mikey - "I can't say this will have [much of an effect].  He had several followers, but as a leader, he was far from effective.  What little leadership qualities he had were overshadowed by some major flaws, like a tendency to over-dramatize everything or become extremely emotional and unable to lead due to the goings-on in his personal life."

---

I have no idea what it is.  I don't think it is a trap.

But, I'll make that judgement at the last minute.

I still don't know.

---

From Mikey:  That bunny (bunny V) is probably one of the most out-of-touch I know.  Don't get me wrong, we still love her.  We just ignore everything she says. 

---

Okay, I am NOT going.
Mikey is pretty sure it is a trap.

From Mikey:  "We have confirmed that Cat R is in the vicinity.  That ruthless cat is known to be one of Cat P's cronies, among other things."

"They're certainly planning something."

"Best case, it's a trap.  Worst case, it's an even bigger trap."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on February 15, 2013, 08:32:58 pm
It is not me.  She was referring to a character (with the same name).  I am not in that photo.

---

1) Alien system visit, 82nd day
2) Access.
3) Mind-machine Interface.  Sync.
4) Modern history, central database, (Space Calendar) 1450-0000h[1]
5) (no translation)[2]
6) It was two years ago that we attempted to stop the civil war on Sans.
7) We never considered that it would end in the disaster.
8 ) I shouldn't be showing this to you.
9) There's too many enemy drones.
10) They've broken through our lines.
11) Retreat!  Consolidate your forces!
12) repeat of 9, 10, 11
13) The armed forces, how pitiful.
14) We must act.
15) Four years ago, the civil war between the national front and the royalists on Sans spilled over to the nearby planet of Figh.
16) 30+ factions combined to form an alliance to free Figh.
17) This alliance offered to join the federation, in exchange for their support.
18) The federation's armed forces were deployed to Figh in an attempt to restore the peace.
19) Nation-building?  Occupation?  Division?
20) Both Figh and Sans in chaos.
21) Space Calendar 1452-4500h, both factions on Sans switch to full drone warfare.
22) Unlimited drone assault.
23) Armed forces attack drone facility on Sans.
24) Attacking Sans.
25) Attacking drone facility.
26) Antimatter bomb.
27) Ineffective[3].
28) Strategic withdrawl!  Retreat!
29) All units - Each faction now has more than a billion drones!
30) We must pull back and consolidate our forces. 
31) Captain, an asteroid base is approaching.
32) That asteroid isn't...
33) You cowards!  What are you doing?!
34) That's classified.  All civilians should evacuate the area.
35) No way!  We won't be slaves of the Sans again!
36) That was 80 years ago!  We're just trying to protect Federation citizens!
37) Even the antimatter bombs did nothing!  You guys are useless!
38) No comment.  Change course immediately!
39) You're doing nothing to stop the enemy drones!  If they get into space, it's all over!
40) If you don't change course real soon, we're going to have to kill you!
41) Banzai!  The federation shall never die!
42) Crazy bastard!  Engage!
43) That asteroid has an abnormal mass!
44) This isn't good!  All craft, open fire!
45) We've apprehended the suspect!
46) It's too late!
47) Roughly 30 million died in the asteroid strike.
48) It threw the warring factions on Sans into disarray, and temporarily disrupted their drones armies.  The federation was able to pull back and blockade the planet.
49) SC1454, current time, the drones of the national front and the royalists are still fighting a civil war on the uninhabited Sans.

[1] Note - Year 1450 since the aliens started using the space calendar.  The alien year is split into 10,000 hours.  There is no concept of days, minutes, seconds, etc., only hours.

[2] The alien language uses little punctuation, instead different colors and colored outlines are used.  But, I don't know what this says, no idea how to translate it.

[3] The alien drones already have full manufacturing capability.  Taking out the plant did not stop them from producing more drones.

---

Yes.  It seems like Cat P can't not piss people off these days.  But I don't think this changes things that much. 

---

Most of the small animals that heard about it found the story quite laughable, hopefully that's the end of those bozos.

From Mikey:  "It's a very stilted[1] group, they are fading quickly.  Hopefully this breaks the back of the whole thing... honestly always found those guys kinda creepy."

[1] unbalanced.

160,000 baby carrots is not a huge amount, but then their scale is different.  To a bunch of hikikomori, this amount is unfathomable.  Short of begging to another gang, they won't be able to fix it.

From Mr. Sparkles:  "Good riddance.  I certainly won't miss them."

---

1) I know the team is being deployed.  I don't know how many will actually show up.
People are kinda like 'meh' right now.  But we will see.
Give it a chance, wait and see.  Not much else to say.

2) No.  I am not that narcissistic.   Will not engage in self-aggrandizement. 

---

1) On the part of the gang, that is just a cover story.  He was not removed for any reason -- other than that he is missing.  His status is listed as 'missing in action' and he has not been seen by anyone (gang members or not) since he led his team into combat last July.  In short, he might have perished in the action.  He might have been captured.  He might have escaped and gone underground.  His last communication from his radio was an SOS.  The Black Bunny Squad claims to have captured him, but this was likely just a ruse in an attempt to try to extort a ransom out of the gang. 

2) He is one of Cat P's cronies.  Take him seriously at your own risk.

---

I've gotten a lot of questions on this.  I think the best way to say it is that his (Cat P) has been absent from the gang's headquarters in the last month or so, due to his leadership of the expansion party to the south.  He has taken most of his cronies with him, leaving him unable to control the gang's operations in their own territory.  So a lot of the cats are starting to vie for power in the absence of their leader.

Does this mean the gang's headquarters would likely fall if they were seriously attacked?  I don't think any more so than normal.

I also don't believe that Cat P has the ability to work with him, we would have heard something by now if they were working together.  And we haven't heard anything. 

From Samantha - "It was clear from the beginning.  Neither their masters, nor themselves, want anything to do with the neighborhood cat gang.  Once he discovered the true nature of the gang, the deal was off.  It would be quite surprising if they announced anything along those lines."

---

I cannot answer that.  I honestly don't know -- I don't keep track of those things.  Seriously people can read her posts and think based on that.

---

It was failing miserably.  Most of their cats had deserted and they had only four cats (the original expeditionary force was around 20 cats).  Likely wouldn't have held it much longer if Cat P had not joined it. 

With Cat P and all his supporters now reinforcing their position, they will more than likely hold out, at least for now.  But his support is coming at great cost, not monetary, but in terms of his own power.  In the headquarters, in his absence, different groups of cats are vying for power and it remains to see who will come out on top or if they will step down once (or if) he returns. 

In the past week there have been several reported sightings of Cat K in the areas around the neighborhood cat gang's headquarters.  No one knows if these are real or not, but if he is still around...
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on April 16, 2013, 02:57:32 am
1) It was an utter and complete failure.

Cat P insisted on leading the attack personally.  He was having problems getting around, being so overweight, that he had to borrow a mini electric scooter and ride on it.

The cat split his followers into three groups and planned a 3-prong pincher attack on the target.  Rather than brief all three groups individually, he told each each group to head to an individual rally point and await further orders.

The Cat then proceeded to brief each group separately.  He got a bit confused and mixed up the times.  The three attacks were supposed to be synchronized, but instead he told each group a separate time and then got ready to watch from the sidelines from his scooter with his trusted right hand cat, Cat T.

The first attack group, 8 cats in total, left an hour prematurely.  This force alone was too small, and they suffered catastrophic losses at the hands of the defenders.

The second wave, 13 cats in total, left on time.  The force was significant and the small animal defenders were to weak to hold out after the first battle, so they retreated before battle was joined.  The 13 cats occupied the structure and claimed victory.

The third wave was launched two hours late, after the sun had gone down.  They were 9 cats in total.  The defenders assumed they were from a rival gang and in the confusion, battle was joined.  After the battle was completed, all the attackers had perished, but there were only six defenders still standing, four of them injured.

Shortly after, the small animals launched a counterattack.  The remaining cats perished. 

Nonetheless, upon returning to the headquarters, Cat P reported that the attack was a huge success and that the gang had annexed a large swath of territory to the south. 

2) I saw the "letter", but no, I don't know what to think of it.
The statement is just too ambiguous.  It could mean any of several things.
I would just ignore it.

3) Mis-attribution, Bear-cat is not an animal, it refers to a vehicle.
"In the past, the gang used Cat P's mini countryman for transportation as well as causing havoc in areas where the owners refused to pay extortion costs.  This was reasonably effective at making the other cats in the area pay up until a number of rival gangs pooled their money to purchase a bear-cat (costs roughly 1.2M baby carrots).  After a narrow escape the first time this fearsome vehicle was encountered in the field, Cat P was forced to halt all extortion / protection type operations in those areas, causing a major source of income for the gang to dry up."

4) I heard he went bonkers and most of his gang since abandoned him.
"He started hiding behind a curtain like the wizard in wizard of oz.  He began treating the bunnies very arbitrarily.  He would order bunnies to be whipped or even rewarded based arbitrary things (sometimes both at the same time).  Many quickly became frustrated or even started to fear talking to him.  Shortly before a large meeting around [March] most abandoned the gang and only C, a bunny, and two hamsters showed up.  After this, C is reported to have gotten up and leapt out the exit, and has not been sighted since.  His gang is all but dissolved and it is highly unlikely that he will ever be a factor in the future."

---

I really don't know how trustworthy [that bunny] is.  I believe the stuff she says about the local happenings, but her perspective or her understanding of things has been flawed as of late.  In other words, even though she was a reasonably good source in the past, I think she's recently been starting to come 'off her rocker'.  She can be somewhat arrogant, unaccepting of the modern movements or trends and rambling on about things she in reality knows nothing about.  Most of her points are still decently supported, but I would examine everything she says critically and not take it as absolute truth.

---

My memory does not go back that far, but I think one can find most of the statements made with some simple research. 

"This incident of (roughly 60 cat years ago) begin with a 'vote' in which one of its original founders, Cat T3 [1] and his supporters, lost the battle for succession.  While it was the norm for most cats to perish in a failed vote, it was not always the case, like in the example of Snake Z (modern day).  Instead Cat T3 and several of his followers fled west, where they reoccupied an old base the gang had used during its earlier years but had been abandoned for at least he last 30 cat years.  The two fought an initial skirmish, which would be followed by many more over the years, but the battles would never be decisive and even to this day, the holdout remains a thorn (albeit a small one) in the side of the neighborhood cat gang.  Cat T3 has not been able to grow or recruit any more followers in any significant way, but at the same time the gang has not managed to wipe out him or his followers and he is far more likely to die of old age than at the claws of the gang and their cohorts.  These events were significant as they demonstrated the MO of the gang that is still in use today, their tendency to threaten, defame, and attack an enemy simultaneously and over the an extended period if the initial efforts were not successful in removing him." -- abbreviated from 'pre-history of the neighborhood cat gang'

[1] A different Cat T, this was roughly 3 (cat) generations before modern time.

---

It's not that her information is wrong.  But her outlook, and analysis, and philosophy in general is.  She's nothing more than sour grapes, yet narcissistic enough to think people still take account of what she has to say.  She is one of those [bunnies] who demands structure, order, framework where there is none.  One who does not understand the chaos of nature or the gangs of cats interlocked in death and vying for power over each other. 

---

Technically I was there, but no, it's not the type of thing I pay attention to.  Nor do I remember anything like that.

"Roughly 24 (cat) years ago.  The gang was starting to decline then, but they were still near their peak.  Their former leader (Cat T), she had either resigned or was on the way out.  There was an ongoing hissing match between about twenty cats and a mob of about 30+ cats from some other gang.  It had been going on for a few hours, and was creating quite a sensation."

"Cat P was just a young cat then, he was in better shape then he was now and one of the rising leaders within the gang.  He showed up on the scene and stood in the center of the line.  He started hissing his own insults at the rival gang and started to advance, the line was hesitant at first but as the other cats extended their claws, the line formed up on his side."

"At this point a few of the aggressors charged into the line and attacked.  The attacks were disorganized and independent, most of the mob was just standing there with hair on end hissing and such.  The line closed ranks and started to fight back -- a few cats acting independently weren't going to be much of a threat.  But Cat P lost his temper as he saw them attacking the line.  'You keep your filthy paws off her!  We'll kill you all!  (Hiss) Charge!' "

"With that, battle was joined.  The few cats that had attacked the line fell quickly.  As the gang surged forward, some of the cats in the mob tried to flee, others surged forward, and a few were simply confused and didn't know what to do.  The battle was intense but short-lived, the majority of the members of the mob perished, though several had fled and managed to escape in the heat of battle."

"This was in fact one of the incidents that helped Cat P rise through the ranks of the gang, helping him build his reputation of a ruthless and capable commander that you didn't want to cross." 

"8 or 9 (cat) years later, Cat L became the leader of the gang.  But his 6 (cat) year reign was filled with vicious infighting, many cats perished while many others fled the gang, fearing for their own safety.  Cat P sat in the background, plotting, observing, and listening; patiently waiting for his moment."

"In what was known as 'the surprise', Cat L's owner, without warning, decided to skip town.  Being a loyal pet owner, he took Cat L with him.  Cat P took advantage of the power vacuum, gathering his followers and asserting control."

---

What she says cannot be trusted.  Or, to say it better, it must be interpreted in its own light.

For instance, when she says "We will send our [local] team", the pretense includes 1) she has people locally, and 2) she can send them, and 3) they'll actually go because she sent them.  But in reality, all these things are somewhat doubtful.  She's only that kind of person in her own mind. 

Also, she is 'in league' with Cat P. 

From Mikey:  "She is... for now.  He just hasn't backstabbed her yet.  But he will, he does it to everyone sooner or later."

---

The recent purges have had some impact on the information-gathering operations run by the small animals, but it's not a huge impact.

"Disappearances" within the neighborhood cat gang have become increasingly common as of late.  Take the example of Cat Y.  He was in his office on the second floor when Cat P and two of his enforcers were last seen entering his office.  Shortly after, he was thrown out his window, breaking the glass.

His body hit the ground -- he didn't have time to re-orient himself and land properly.  Perhaps being thrown through the glass window knocked him unconscious, or perhaps the fall was just too short to give him time to re-orient himself.  He might have escaped had he been able to land on his feet, instead his back was broken.  His body writhed and spasmed for about a minute before he expired.  Cat P gave the cover story of suicide, and shortly after, he was 'erased' from all gang literature and disappeared from several group photos. 

For a disappearance within the cat gang, this is rather typical. 

---

Yes.  It kinda sucks.  I'm not even sure why they banned her (again).  I was there when they banned her account and she was just being herself / doing her own thing.  I don't think they understand that's how the majority of bunnies think/act.  But she'll be back, you can be assured that she'll be back.  Bunny L said she knows some of those bozos and will try to get her account re-instated, though I wouldn't count on that.  Give it several days because she has something else to do and somewhere else to be right now.  You know that bunny can't resist being in the spotlight.

---

Recently, Cat N, a former insider, reported the following about the finances of the gang. 

"In 2010, accounting was sloppy, but not malicious.  Cat L managed accounting himself, his underlings simply made up most of the numbers with no bearing on reality.  But numbers would still add up, more or less.  Cat L wasn't trying to lie at this point, his underlings just didn't have the time or will to find the real numbers.  It was easier and less time consuming to make up some fake ones and just make sure then end of year balances still worked out."

"2011 was a whole different story.  The finances of the gang were in shambles, and this would be hard to hide because the yearly balances showed it.  While Cat L was simply audacious, openly willing to admit his raiding of gang funds and the like, Cat P was more tricky and wanted to at least pretend to be ethical and disguise the fact that he was raiding what little cash the gang had left in its coffers.  Still, that year Cat P only managed to acquire about half the funds that Cat L had taken a year before, due to the gang being severely short of cash."

---

They are not all there, only the ones who need to be (ie. tag themselves in a photo or such).  We honestly don't use it much for internal stuff.

"If you want to find her you know where to do that (4pm / 2013-Jul-06 / area #2) I'm not going to post the link here.  If you get burned, it's not my fault, don't come running to me."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 22, 2013, 01:48:12 am
As of a few days ago, she doesn't seem to care anymore.  Don't ask me why.  Is she being fickle?  No, she's just being herself.

"Ever since 'the incident', she doesn't seem to care.  Her official story now is just that she doesn't want to involve it in things where it doesn't matter.  But she's perfectly okay with it, when it is relevant."

Even while insisting she hasn't changed, everyone knows that a change from how she used to operate.  But this isn't really a big deal to me, I honestly don't care much either way.

Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Tsubasa on May 23, 2013, 04:09:55 am
Your timing is very interesting Sindo :P.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: mamochan on May 23, 2013, 09:38:15 am
I think Sindo was kidnapped and probed by aliens again. Madoka did see the UFO :)
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 23, 2013, 07:37:52 pm
What did something just happen?  Whatever it is, I have nothing to do with it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ixahfkWgSY

if you still don't believe me, see this
link from Mikey:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7_fwYA04HyE
(note:  it's unlisted video so it won't appear to searches or on channel.)

BTW Freddie (rat) says that particular cheese is unfit for small animal consumption.  "It might be okay for [a person].  But most [small animals] have standards."

---

This is a rather complicated affair, but the reports are starting to come in.

From Mikey:  "Despite the latest purge, we still have a few informants within the [neighborhood cat] gang, one of them who is pretty close to Cat P and well aware of the inner workings and goings-on within the gang."

A little over a week ago, having secured relative stability after an extensive purge, Cat P launched his first action to reclaim territory to the north that had been lost during the seige of last year[1].

While he had secured stability with the purge, the finances of the gang were in shambles.  Cat P knew he was unable to launch an attack, and summoned his team of advisors to ask if they had any ideas.  Cat T suggested an infiltration, knowing it was the only option that would not deplete their limited funds and still offered a decent chance of success.

Preparations were made, though hasty.  Cat T himself volunteered to lead the team, and came up with a relatively simple plan.  He knew that the loosely affiliated coalition of gangs that had taken over the north were kept in check by an unknown group operating out of a supply house (distributing supplies to the gangs in exchange for their continued service).  First, he would lead a crack team of elite cats to exterminate the cats at the enemy supply house, then Cat F would bring in her team of infiltrators to replace the cats who had previously manned it.  While Cat F's team stalled and bought them time, Cat T's team would then loot and relocate any supplies they found before they were found out, in which case both teams would evacuate back to their own base.  With the supply house looted, the coalition of gangs would stop cooperating and once they started infighting, they could be dealt with latter or would likely easily fall in a direct attack (with the gang having gained their supplies -- hopefully enough to launch an attack).

[1] People year, not cat years.  I am not quoting here, all times will be given in standard people times/years/months/weeks/days/etc.

---

Background:  "Ninja One" was the radio codename used by Cat T's team assassination / reclamation, and "Wizard One" was the codename used by Cat F's infiltration team.  Both teams were relatively small, Ninja One was Cat T along with four of the toughest cats in the gang, Wizard One included Cat F and eight other cats.

After several hours of travel the teams arrived at the edge of coalition territory.  At first it seemed like they would be seriously outnumbered, cats were everywhere, agents of the gang coalition were in great number.  However they blended in and kept a low profile, scouting the place out and found a back door that was very lightly gaurded.  A sole cat was sitting there, stretched out and yawning occasionally.

After scoping out the back door, the rest of Ninja One hid while Cat T approached the guard.  He tried to bribe the guard but the guard responded only by hissing at him before standing up and perching, ready to lunge into combat.  Not wanting to raise any more alarm, Cat T backed off and disappeared, along with the rest of his team.

Cat T radioed Cat F and asked her to seduce the rear guard into leaving his post so they could infiltrate without being detected.  Cat F was glad to oblige, and she told Cat T to hold tight and arrived about twenty minutes later.

Despite repeated attempts at seduction, Cat F was unable to convince the guard to leave his post.  Seeing her advances were not having any effect, she shifted her efforts and offered him a sexy figurine from her collection.  He quickly capitulated and left his post.  After this, Cat T's Ninja team infiltrated the supply house via the rear door without any resistance.

---

I will say what I know.

Most of C's supporters deserted him back in March.  He had no significant following after that.  I do not know the circumstances of the mass desertion.

C's group had been running a defecit in funds since early on.  They only survived because one entity or another was willing to pump funds into it.  Once these funds dried up, most operations ceased.

C himself has not been sighted in the last few months, and is presumed missing, possibly dead.

From Mikey:  "He likely perished at the claws of the neighborhood cat gang.  Every (small animal) out there knows they wanted him dead."

Added 06-06-2013:  It is now all but confirmed. 

From Samantha:  "All operation ceased.  Scouts report that headquarters is abandoned, no animals including C is anywhere to be found.  No fresh scents, by all signs it was abandoned at least [2-3 weeks] ago."

---

Cat T and his team skulked about in the structure, proceeding down a long corridor without any cover.  Cat T knew they were out in the open and moved quickly down the corridor.  He smelt cats at the other end, so he was ready for anything.  At the end it opened into a medium-size room, something resembling a break room with couches, tables, and large, comfy chairs.  Several cats were sound asleep on the furniture, and Cat T lost no time leaping to attack.  The rest of his team followed suit.  It was simple butchery, four of the six cats perished immediately and two that tried to fight back were overcome in a matter of seconds.  Cat T knew that the noise was sure to attract more cats, so he motioned his team to hide under the assorted furniture and wait for others to show up so they could ambush them.

It would take about minute for more cats to show, they were either being very cautious or taking their pretty time.  A large cat, almost as large as Cat P, and two younger cats entered the room, and then panicked once they realised all their friends had been slain (most in their sleep).  The fat one mewled out some orders before turning and trying to run, but Cat T's team bolted out of their hiding places and cut him off.  He tried to fight back but was hopelessly outnumbered, he wasn't getting any help from the two younger cats who were trying to show submission.  Cat T refused to show mercy, and all three cats were quickly dispatched.

Cat T's team scoured the rest of the complex, but wasn't able to find any other defenders.  The complex had numerous storerooms, containing everything from computers and logistical equipment to cash.  One particular storeroom was full of large bags of gourmet cat food that must have been lifted from nearby wholesalers.  Cat T radioed Cat F and told her that the place was clear and safe for her infiltration team.  In the meantime they started gathering the prime supplies in the break room where the original six defenders had perished.

---

Yes, "The cats (and other animals) of the neighborhood cat gang, 2013 edition" by Mikey.

Cat P. m. 8-10 y/o:  Fat cat who is in charge of the gang.  Has the support of most to all of the cats in the vanguard.  But other cats have mixed feelings about him.  A weak ruler who rarely makes good decisions, but expert at politics and backstabbing.  Often takes credit for the accomplishments of other cats.

From Samantha:  "He's a big cat with an even bigger ego."

Cat T. ? <6 y/o:  Capable cat who is close to Cat P.  An expert survivalist and good fighter.  Keeps a relatively low profile (in gang matters) as he does not want to draw attention to himself.

Cat T. l. <6 y/o:  Friendly, noisy, needy cat who likes people.  An expert with information technology, computers, and network security / hacking.  Supports Cat P.

Cat A. mc. ~4 y/o:  Conniving cat that manipulates other cats.  An expert at seduction and blackmail.  Favored by Cat P for dirty work.  Not well liked by most other cats in the gang. 

Cat A. me. <5y/o:  Noisy, social cat that loves people and is always meowing / purring.  Capable when it comes managing other cats.  Hesitantly supports cat P, friends with Cat T. l. 

Cat f. 4 y/o:  Friendly cat who likes collecting things.  Popular among male cats.  Doesn't really support any other cats.

Cat R. b. ~7-8 y/o:  A cat that supported Cat L.  Doesn't like other cats or people, nor very popular with either.  More prominent in past campaigns and not very relevant today.  His skills are similar to Cat T. l. 

---

(Quoted)
I doubt it is really him.  But, be wary.

I do believe the scheme is still playing playing out.  In the final phase, Cat P will 'grandstand' or use the removal of his officer (Cat A. mc.) to further reinforce his own position as 'an effective leader who punishes incompetence or malevolence when it is found within his ranks.'  His effort to rally his troops will be, at least in part, successful, but in the end will only affect those who already support him and not gain him any new followers.  Cat P may see it as a victory, but is the sacrifice of his officer really worth it?
(End)

From Mikey:  "Unlike Tsao Tsao he isn't actually short on supplies or anything.  He just sacrificed an officer for a temporal gain.  It only shows that his understanding of strategy is.. at best.. purely superficial."

---

They ARE NOT the same person.  If you were watching last night you should have seen proof of that.

I am not going to say anything more because if you really want to talk with or meet them, you do that yourself.  Most of them stick together so meeting them all is pretty straightforward, really. 

No stalking or harassment because I assure you that stalkerz and others will be dealt with, harshly.

---

Cat F's team moved in through the back door as Cat T's team made their first departure, with pairs of cats each carrying a small bag of luxury cat food.  They stashed the supplies in a nearby vehicle while Cat F's team spread out throughout the complex.  It was still early in the morning and the supply house had not yet opened for distribution.  Cat F made a judgement call and ordered her team to start stopping up the doors and baring the structure to keep out anyone else.  She and two others on her team went to guard the back door in order to keep anyone other than Cat T's team from entering.

---

I'm sorry to disappoint you guys, but most small animals, or Pandas for that matter, do not believe in ghosts or haunted anythings.  It's very rare for small animals to believe in much of anything beyond ancient religions, like the Chinese paying respect to ancestors, or Japanese belief in Kami (spirits). 

The looting continued, over the course of an hour the cats loaded bags of luxury cat food, computer equipment, money, and other valuable supplies into the vehicle.  Cat F had split her forces, her two largest cats sat within the vehicle to guard it, another two at the back door to guard it, and the rest inside the supply building to focus on setting up fortifications and keeping a lookout for enemy activity.  The application was going well for about an hour, and then Cat F heard over the radio that she had collected that the masters were trying to contact the fat cat and tell him to open the supply house for distribution.

Cat F mewed back in her deepest voice possible, that they were experience technical difficulties and would need about 10-20 more minutes to get their computer system online.  The boss fell for it, asking if she required any assistance to which she replied no, it was just a simple reboot of the system that would take some time. 

---

The situation is being monitored, however, neither Mikey nor Samantha want to get their forces to involved.

From Mikey:  "It's way too hot to handle.  Moral support is really all we can send at this point."

From Samantha:  "The brigade's paws are full.  Getting involved would leave us vulnerable to the neighborhood cat gang.  We can't afford to risk that as Cat P is trying his to best to rally his forces."

I will say this.  Neither force has the supplies for such a long-range operation.  They cannot do an extraction, and they cannot send any substantial force to protect her (not one that would actually make a difference).  Mikey has said he will be perfectly glad to defend her if she can reach the southeastern refuge [1].  But beyond that, his security forces aren't capable  of much more than a short-range operation.  For the record, the enclave[2] is also small animal territory, Bunny P and her allies can be counted on in times of need.  As can bunny K, though she is out of the way and not much of a fighter.

[1] The tip of the local area under small animal control.

[2] An 'island' of small animal control to the northeast.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on June 19, 2013, 08:35:04 pm
I don't expect that she will skip out.  She still has a few rl allies she can count on (like Bunny K, Bunny P, or Pig E).  She may not have a grasp on strategy, but she can at least make decent tactical decisions.

From Mikey:  It's actually a very straightforward strategy.  The small animals[1] are ganging up on her, and surrounding her, moving in.  Pick the weakest among them, probably Bunny S, charge through and pummel her.  She is in decent shape and could likely beat Bunny S in an all-out fight.  At that point, not only has she broken their encirclement, but by showing she can beat at least the weaker among them one-on-one, she will force them to group up rather than operate alone.  If they are forced to stick to small groups, they won't be able to surround her as easily, and she'll be more able to outrun them.

[1] Refering only to the small animals that have turned on her.

If anyone is tempted to get involved, please remember that at least some of them aren't actually against her, I mean you better make sure of it and make sure you know what your are doing before doing anything.

---

Well she is still alive, I mean, they haven't been able to kill her (yet) so she's doing a pretty good job really.

From Mikey:  "Instead of fleeing, or vanishing, she bode her time, she bunkered down and recruited others to defend her."

"The problem is, there are many arrayed against her, and she hasn't recruited anywhere near their number.  In the end she has only a couple of recruits she can depend on to defend her to the death."

---

Yes she is still alive, she just made one of her facebooks private that's all.  Because she was getting tired of being a center of attention and seeing insults from the ones who want her dead, begging for forgiveness for the ones who for some reason didn't want to be friends with her again (after trying to publicly shame her).  She was even streaming later that day, though the stream is down to only her and some trusted pigs, none of the bunnies she trusts were around. 

From Mikey:  "Bunny A (who only likes other bunnies to begin with) is a big question mark.  We honestly don't know what her status is.  Bunny J is probably still her friend, but is a pretty busy bunny and rarely around much to begin with.  Bunny K is no doubt still her friend, no one hates bunny K and she gets along well with everyone.  She is good friends with Bunny D, and will probably always be.  Bunny S is one of the ringleaders trying to kill her, but as everyone knows Bunny S is a real scatterbrain and doesn't really think that straight.  Pig S seems to alternate between wanting to kill her and begging her for forgiveness, but she wants nothing to do with him.  And another (unknown) pig is another ringleader, numerous pigs are aligned with another unknown ringleader, and the list goes on."

---

It was an in-joke based on an old video -- this one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmpONxJ7JSw

---

Yes.  Recently an informant tricked Cat P into revealing the full complement of his forces.  His loyalists consist of roughly 65 cats (he claimed 130 but the informant knows better).  Beyond this he has hired 115 mercenary cats who really have no allegiances.  And another 10 cats from a local mercenary group.  Finally, a group of 4 elite mercenary cats that can probably be counted on. 

Despite numerous purges it seems that another rebellion is taking hold among the other cats in the gang.  They have few (capable) leaders but likely have the edge in raw numbers.

And economics are not favorable for the gang.  They are still losing funds overall, being forced to take out loans day by day. 

---

I can say right now.  It will not be permitted. 

From Mikey:  "We've determined that bunny S (j.S) is, for all practical purposes, a noncombatant.  She couldn't carry out an attack even if she wanted to.  There's no reason to believe she poses an actual threat to Bunny R."

From Samantha:  "Watch the vids that (her owner) put up.  It's obvious that bunny just isn't very bright.  So leave her alone.  She's harmless."

Also, before anyone gets any stupid ideas, know that the bunny caucus has decided she is of strategic value and committed a Panda to guarding her.

---

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MH1RKnVL9k0

---

Interesting that you should ask that.  Yes most of them have nicknames but it isn't really that well known outside of the gang.  For instance, Cat P is sometimes referred to as 'Porky', though not to his face.  And, Cat T. l is known as 'Poindexter', Cat A. mc is known as several names I won't repeat here; the list goes on. 

---

Yes it is true.  Just read it on her page.  I'm not going to repeat it all here.

from Mikey:  "Just as cats tend to want to kill each other, small animals tend to want to get along with each other.  So it's pretty normal for them to all make up and be friends regardless of what happened in the past."

---

I was not there.  But I heard what happened from enough people.

Cat To and Cat A were having a hissing match.  Suddenly several of Cat A's goons appeared and jumped on him.  It was nowhere near a 'fair fight', he tried to defend himself but the goons were organized and he was far outnumbered.  Surrounded and unable to run, he didn't last long. 

Word spread quickly, once his followers got word that he had perished, they quickly fled in order to save themselves. 

from Samantha:  "Word is, she is on a rampage.  This is likely just the beginning."

---

Yesterday, you had the incident where Cat To perished at the hands of Cat A's "goon squad".  Today, there were several odd circumstances surrounding mishaps that happened with Cat A's goons. 

One cat was found crushed by a fallen bookcase.  Another cat apparently died in his sleep.  Finally another seems to have been electrocuted. 

From Mikey:  "The cats are getting antsy.  Rumor has it there is a killer on the loose, as in recent days, cats have perished in a number of unusual circumstances.  It seems like these events are focused around Cat A and her supporters.  For the record, even our informants still within the gang have no idea what is going on."

Nonetheless, it can be fully expected that Cat A will continue with her ongoing purge as she fights to assert control over the gang. 

From Samantha:  "Her squad is mostly replaceable.  I mean, they're mercenaries.  The gang can just hire new ones to replace the ones that were lost.  Of course, they're rates just went up, but the gang seems intent on burning through what little remaining capital they have.

---

Please wait on that because we are still in the process of going through all the debriefings and after action reports.

Most of the teams got what they needed.  Get in, do what you got to do, and get out.

---

From Mikey:  "She (Cat A) is the real threat.  She is intelligent when it comes to tactics and their execution, brutal and merciless beyond measure, forward-thinking, and perfectly competent.  She can think quickly, adapt to the situation, and find ways to use it to her advantage."

"Right now, the gang is its own worst enemy.  They can claim growth, but in reality, they're just more spread out.  Cat P is an expert politician, but an incompetent commander with little grasp of strategy or of long-term planning.  Under his command, the gang lurches about on some random path."

"Currently they are in a precarious situation, trying to project strength and occupy more territory than ever, when in reality, their non-mercenary members are at an all-time low (for this generation of cats).  Once the mercenaries go home, they'll be overextended, barely able to defend the core, if that."

---

That is a rumor.  Unconfirmed.

"We honestly don't know if Cat F and Cat T.L are 'getting it on with each other'.  Nor is this the type of thing the infiltrators generally try to find out.  It's not actionable information, or terribly useful (unless the relationship is a well-kept secret)."

---

No, not yet.  I guess you could call this 'the quiet before the storm'.  Nobody is talking.  Cats are simply forming up lines, staring each other down; an occasional hiss or rumble can be heard, but nothing else.  You can feel the tension in the air.  Cat P has locked and barred his door, and secured himself in his office (not seen for two days now).  A few other cats are nowhere to be seen, they might be fortified in Cat P's office too, or they might have disappeared, no one knows.

---

Since yesterday all the doors have been closed and no cat entering or leaving.  Hence no reports from any informants.

Scouts from the bunny brigade report hearing possible combat in the building, but it's hard to make out exactly what is happening.

From Mikey:  "I expect they're killing each other.  I mean, what else would they be doing."

---

Still no news on the neighborhood cat gang.

From Mikey:  "Cat P is inside with the rest of them.  We received several reports of Cat P sightings, but each was reviewed and shown to be false."

From Samantha:  "Scouts report no change.  No cat or other animal has entered or left the building.  No deliveries have been made to the building.  They cannot hold like this indefinately, no one is really sure exactly how much food or supplies they have, but it's not an infinite amount."

What can be reported is that their hold on any territories they thought they controlled is simply nonexistent.  "No cats in the field means no one is paying much attention to them.  The mercenaries have all gone home, and the gang has packed up and left."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 23, 2013, 11:03:05 pm
Earlier today (in the morning hours immediately after sunrise), small animal scouts from the bunny brigade reported the following activity from the complex.

Several cats, wearing black-on-yellow-background happy face masks over their head, showed up at the complex.  The bunny brigade didn't know what to think at first, but seeing they were not hostile, parted and let them through.  The cats in fact seemed totally oblivious to the bunnies; seemingly ignoring them as they sauntered up to the fortified complex where the members of the neighborhood cat gang had retreated to and blockaded themselves inside.

The cats hissed for  a representative of the neighborhood cat gang to come out, and when none was forthcoming (it was questionable whether the gang would even be able to hear them, as they were holed up inside the complex with all the doors closed tight -- One of the cats produced a bucket with a number of tomatoes and started throwing them at the windows of the complex that were still intact and not boarded up. 

After a few minutes of being pelted with tomatoes, Cat T.l appeared on the roof of the complex.  He hissed back and waved a paw, claws out, at the aggressors, but then had to duck behind cover to avoid a barrage of tomatoes aimed toward his position.  More hisses came out of he aggressors, this time demanding Cat A or Cat P to appear.

---

Honestly it's nothing much, just the usual, some quick stuff I did this morning.  It's similar to what I did before for HotD.

The processing actually goes very quickly, but you have to shoot and develop with the processing in mind. 

1) Shoot close to how you would normally shoot (for portraiture).  I tend to favor some weak backlighting for these types of shots, just barely on the verge of causing glare (if you can get it).  Just because it makes things look more dynamic.  For #3, I was circling around, trying to get the best lighting and background (no person or object in the background that was too close).  If you can't get ideal lighting, that's fine, just do what you can. 

2) If there is a lot going on, shoot a lot, so you have a lot of shots to choose from.  For #3 (the most difficult), I took maybe 20-30 shots while circling around, and then chose the best one as a starting point.  I'm not saying to 'spray and pray', you should be moving around, getting different angles / backgrounds so you have a wide variety to choose from when you get down to editing.  Especially when it's crowded.  For simpler or more straightforward shots, or ones where less can go wrong, you don't need to shoot a lot, maybe 3-5 shots to choose from.

3) In LR, process with contrast set to max, highlights pulled all the way in, and clarity +40.  Using shadow and exposure, get the faces right and leave everything else alone.

4) In LR, export to a TIFF so you can process without any loss.  Open up the TIFF in irfanview and then invoke the Topaz Adjust third-party plugin.

5) I use the "HDR heavy pop grunge" preset as a starting point.  This starts with 0.00 brightness, adjust downward to around -0.60 or so.  Add a little bit of vignetting.  Drop the saturation a little bit.

That's all really, pretty simple stuff IMO.

---

Actually, not the message itself, but the video itself (was a coded message).  A good strategist isn't just thinking of the next move, but of the next two or three moves. 

---

Neither Cat A or Cat P appeared.  One bunny thought she saw Cat P's image appear in one of the remaining windows, but only for an instant and it quickly vanished after that. 

After roughly ten more minutes, the aggressors ran out of tomatoes and after hissing and showing claws, swiping at air with hair standing on end, in the attack position, for another minute, the cats turned and left.  They vanished as quickly as they came, leaving no trace other than the vandalism they left behind.

Inside the complex, faint sounds of activity could be heard. 

---

Not really true, at least not the way we do it.

The main rule for the front player is 'stay alive'.  Rush for an advantageous position right off the beat and the bunker down, taking cover and working the side or cross-field angles to your right and/or left.  You're rarely shooting in front of you, suppressing those to your front is the job and protecting against being bunkered is the job of the mid players directly behind you.  Your job is to look to the side angles and take opportunistic shots at players who are outside of cover (from your angle) and to provide reaction fire against the enemy players as they try to advance through your firing lanes.  You might not get a lot of kills every game, especially if the enemy team plays conservatively and does not advance.  But even in this type of game front players are vital, not only do they punish an overly aggressive enemy, but they help to confine and corner a conservative enemy so the mid and back players will be able to get those kills.

The main rule for the middle player is versatility.  Middle players have many jobs.  They are the eyes of the front players, keeping an eye down the field and warning the front players of any danger, as well as providing forward cover fire when needed.  We pair up middle players and front players, so they can work together when advancing or being aggressive.  Middle players have to be ready to take the role of a front player, either as a temporary measure when advancing or to replace a front player as needed. 

---

Some of the bunnies of the bunny brigade hopped up to the structure and placed their ears against it.  They reported hearing Cat P giving a motivation speech about how the enemy had fled in cowardly fled when faced with the threat of having to fight him and the rest of the vanguard. 

---

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/cat-mayor-alaska-town-15-years-article-1.1116263

---

All dates are approximate, no gaurantees as to their accuracy.
1-5-2010 Skippy, Muffin, Mr. Wiggles, and Twinkie injured in a boating accident.
2-6-2010 Another boating accident (no apparent injuries) occured in the Making
  of "Mr. Sparkles and Friends".
3-12-2010 Mr. P goes missing, or at least unaccounted for.  His minions claim
  'family matters'.
5-13-2010 Samantha is the new leader for the Bunny Brigade; Jessie, a Mongoose
  is employed for anti-snake patrols.
6-12-2010 Neighborhood cats 'B' (aka. 'R'), L, and K, are identified by
  Mikey and Samantha as a danger to small animals everywhere.
7-13-2010 Local bunny uprising in the Neighborhood Cat Gang's backyard.  Ragtag
  bunnies cause the Cat 'L' to call up mercenary snakes and birds and commence
  a 3-day 'sweep and secure' operation.  While the uprising was abandoned
  after a day, the expenditures by the gang to quell it were significant. 
  Long Shan and other Pandas take advantage of the situation to pilfer
  additional funds from the gang.  Estimated expenditures between 300,000 to
  600,000 carrots. 
7-28-2010 Bunny Brigade and their allies raid 'countryside farm', loot
  approximentally 75% of the viable crops.
8-31-2010 Small Animals meet at 'The Daily Pet' to discuss, among other
  things, a rise in V/U targeted attacks.
9-29-2010 The Cat 'L's owner moves out of town, taking 'L' with him.  On its
  own accord, the Black Bunny Squad raids the gang's fridge, but finds it
  completely empty.
10-10-2010 'Goon squads' from the neighborhood cat gang invade surrounding
  cities, trying to extort money from small animals.  Their efforts are
  largely unsucessful.  Cat 'P' takes command of the gang, but cannot restore
  the vanguard to full strength.  The gang has no funds and is basically
  'running on empty'. 
10-10-2010 Another Tofu video released, showing Tofu and Sobi playing.
10-18-2010 The neighborhood cat gang holds its annual 'Kitty Caucus'.  Of
  the twenty cats that take part in the caucus, 14 are injured, and among those
  three are listed as having received serious injuries.  As a result of the
  caucus, all four remaining existing members of the vanguard are approved,
  though the embattled Cat W by a slim margin of only two votes.  The Vanguard
  approves 5 new members, most by a signicant margin, except for the
  controversial Snake Z who is approved by a margin of only one vote. 
12-01-2010 Small animals mourn the passing Panda 'B', Long Shan's teacher.
03-13-2011 Bunny brigade deployed to Japan to assist in relief efforts for
  earthquake.
03-28-2011 Cat Y reportedly sighted at a local small animal event.
04-07-2011 Defectors from the neighborhood cat gang report that upper leadership
  is paralyzed and that Cat P is a weak and ineffective leader.
06-07-2011 Cat T rewarded for service to the gang with a promotion to the newly
  created position of 'director of small animal interdiction operations'.  Snake
  Z showing signs of being stressed, but still loyal to the gang.  Gang
  becoming impotent, unable to respond to canine territorial invasion.  Cat P
  becomes increasingly paranoid.
06-21-2011 Cat Y demoted from his old position in the gang, moved to logistics.
  Replaced by Cat F.  Cat Y forced to clean up the mess left behind by Cat K's
  departure.
07-01-2011 Cat Y attempts to lead a rebellion against Cat P, but is abandoned
  by his minions.  In a valiant attempt, he singlehandedly tries to assassinate
  Cat P, but in the fight that follows, he cannot gain the upper hand quickly
  enough and is forced to flee as Cat P calls for reinforcements.
07-26-2011 Local snakes attack en masse, coming in teams of 2 or 3.  A skeleton
  crew of small animals attempts to fight back, doing some damage but not
  enough to stop the invasion and are forced to disperse in order to survive.
08-02-2011 Informants report that Cat Y has 'gone dark', no one knows where he
  is or has seen him.  Snake attacks increase, but local small animals take
  advantage of a safety zone held by the Lepus Alliance.
08-13-2011 Informant reports that loyalty within the gang is at an all time
  low, Cat P must hold frequent 'pep rallies' and purges in order to maintain
  his authority / position.  Cat P is under constant attack from his rivals,
  though his grip on power is still firm for the time being.
09-10-2011 Cat P injured while demonstrating his newly designed "Super Lift
  System". 
10-04-2011 The local Lepus Alliance members begin operations against the
  gang in the north.  Hint's of trouble in Cat P's inner circle.  The snake
  E posts another paranoid diatribe online.
10-29-2011 Legendary bunny S, well known online, shows up at the local small
  animal monthly meetup.  But she is so immersed in her internet that she
  refuses to interact with anyone other than her sister.
11-14-2011 Cat Y, forced into hiding, is sighted on the edge of the
  neighborhood cat gang's territory.  Small animals suspect that he is
  attempting to gather forces to launch a rebellion.  The English Springer
  Spaniel, 'M', is said to be gaining power locally.
01-09-2012 Cat P sighted at the edge of the neighborhood cat gang's territory,
  but only for a brief moment.  Cat T has a close call but escapes certain
  death when security comes to his rescue. 
01-12-2012 Three members of the black bunny squad are captured in a 'maritime
  incident'. 
01-15-2012 The bunny 'D', known online as 'C' (but not _that_ 'C') relocates
  to the east of neighborhood cat gang territory.
01-24-2012 Multiple sources indicate that Cat P is basically 'done', due to
  unpopular opinion held by higher-ups in the gang.  Cats W and T are likely
  to follow, and the likely replacement is Cat K, or one of his henchmen.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 07, 2013, 01:56:10 am
Yes and no.  Honestly I can't say why.  I mean, I don't know the details behind everything.  I always just do things, and then move on.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: mamochan on August 07, 2013, 03:01:12 am
Error: Small animals not found
Abort? Retry? Fail? Buy Tofu's book?
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on August 09, 2013, 02:04:15 am
What are you saying?  Not making any sense.  Tofu is one of Gigi's dogs btw.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJYPHm-TlZM

---

02-07-2012 Popular sentiment begins to turn on C,
because of a number of missteps and botched public
relations handling.
03-06-2012

---

There may be some truth to that.  By all indications, Cat P is in hiding and laying low until the next (miniature) Kitty Caucus which is scheduled in September.  He may well feel threatened, that he can't or won't be able to rally the support to continue in his role.  Cat A, on the other hand, is currently on a rampage, as cats left and right fall victim to her and her goons.  Reports indicate that she has all but eliminated any opposition to her.  Whether she is acting under orders from Cat P or on her own accord is something we just don't know.  But she may have her eyes on his position as the leader of the gang, it certainly can't be put past her.

Cat P being stabbed in the back by one of his own would be very poetic, but Cat A is a ruthless and effective leader who is very capable when it comes to tactics and strategy.  If she were to come to power, I can almost guarantee the black bunny squad would make a preemptive play for her, they may be mercenaries but historically they have acted on their own when threatened.  Whether that would be effective, or even could be effective, it's honestly hard to say.

---

I don't think it's a sound tactic overall.
It works well because their adversaries are generally idiots with little actual intelligence or ingenuity.  But overall it is not very adaptable nor survivable.  Because it lacks a reserve force, it can be easily broken and once broken, can only recover by closing in on itself.

---

There is really not much to say.  Everything is real quiet.  I am fully expecting a storm at some point, but no one can say when.  It's not that purges have eliminated the ability to do intelligence gathering, they have hampered or impeded it but operations are still active and ongoing.  Even if their purges were purely for security reasons (they aren't), it would hurt them a lot more than it would hurt intelligence gathering.

---

I actually think it's quite funny.  It's just like everything else with all the self-absorbed people who think their way of doing things is the ultimate way and everyone else in inferior.  Really the ultimate judge of a person is -- can they laugh at themselves.  Can they take themselves not-seriously, can they be a clown or even make others laugh at the expense of their own ego.  This kind of humility, to heaven, greatness comes not from who you are but what you stand for.  That is why (IMO) heaven has chosen to smile upon her, she understands how temporal this is, she can laugh at herself and she acknowledges it cannot last.  But living in the moment is okay with her, though she does admit she has some vague plans for the future.

---

http://www.twitch.tv/lilypichu/c/2806577 (all throughout the video).

---

Soon, very soon.
Rumor has it that Cat P has been digging an 'escape hatch' out of his office, like a secret tunnel or something.  To escape alive, b'cos he feels very threatened and has been keeping a low profile, virtually unseen.

We'll see how well that works, I don't expect too well.

He has every right to be running scared, I think he knows he's met his match with Cat A.  He can't control her, and he can't rely on other cats within the gang (even his own vanguard) to defend him as they are more likely than not more loyal to her than him. 

---

He's not dead just yet, I mean, I wouldn't give up on him just yet.

According to Cat T, yesterday Cat A became so agitated at not having her e-mails answered by him after several days of waiting that she had her goons bust down his door only to find the office completely empty apparently long ago abandoned. 

"Everything was cold, and no recent sign of activity.  His personal fridge was empty and upon searching the office for any kind of exits, she couldn't find any.  Following this she threw a hissing fit and left the base for the rest of the day.  This morning she said nothing about the incident and Cat P's office door was closed again, but word had gotten around that he was nowhere to be seen and in reality probably pulled a disappearing act weeks ago."

---

Nothing of that sort.
Yes they are on 'skeleton crew' right now.  But everything is running short right now.

from Mikey - "It's not just those guys.  Everything seems bigger than it really is now.  I don't expect that there's any real danger."

---

It's not 'the network'.  It's one cat, who pretends to have friends.  But in reality, he's all alone.  It's just him.  He refers to himself as 'the network' but it is in name only.

He seems to have a 'thing' for Bunny J, though not sure why.  He is labelled as 'possibly dangerous' and small animal security teams do keep tabs on his position, and sometimes run counter-operations.  But even this is often unnecessary. 

---

I wouldn't get your hopes up.  There are serious problems and there continues to be serious problems with them.  They're extremely limited and can only function with help from the gang proper.

It's chaos, they have no command structure or de-facto leaders for that matter.  Cat A.me is probably the most capable, but politically weak as Cat A.mc strongly dislikes her.  Cat R

---

Yes, multiple sources as well as their own website has confirmed that cat T.l has been removed from the gang.  Whether he perished or escaped is still unknown, but there have been no sightings of him on the outside.  He has likely either perished or is keeping a very low profile.

"Cat A is very paranoid about using the [gang] network, she has disconnected her own computer and constantly fears a latent virus or some other malicious app/backdoor/sabotage/etc. left by cat T.l on the network.  Cat P has gone totally incognito, no one has seen or heard a thing from him, but there is speculation that he took his supporters and headed south.  Because there were some recent robberies at local supply houses used by the IFA [1], and apparently their security cameras captured photos of Cat P and some other members of the vanguard prior to a break-in where a large portion of their local supply of cat food went missing."

[1] Imperial Feline Alliance, a weak alliance, primarily of cat gangs, that is at least on paper a vassal of the neighborhood cat gang, but de-facto operates as its own entity.  Because with the recent pullbacks of the gang, they have been unable to continue to collect tribute from their satellite organizations.

---

From what is known, Cat T.l was removed around the beginning of the month (Sep).  The day after he disappeared, he was officially removed from the gang by Cat P.

From Mikey, "He must have gotten word of his impending doom.  Or perhaps Cat P asked him to do something he didn't want to do, and instead he chose to disappear.  Whatever happened, he is presumed to have gotten away alive as there is no word that he perished."

From Samantha, "Hard to say, but it might have something to do with Cat A.me.   She seems to know a lot, and she's a known sympathizer.  She could have tipped him off and told him to get out of their alive while he still could."

IMO, Samantha might be on to something. 

---

The real damage to the cat gang is that with him gone, they can't seem to keep their internal network up.

Hacking attacks, rumored to be coming from the black bunny squad, have brought their internal system down four times in the last few days.  The cat they have tending to the network is 'only borderline competent' according to Mikey.

"He can barely tell his right paw from his left.  Much less keep a private network running.", from Mikey.

"Cat P has ordered all important traffic off the main network, instead members of the vanguard that are still loyal are running around with thumb drives in their mouths to move the data around.  It's almost comical."

---

Not currently.  Cat P appears for maybe an hour or two every few days.  He issues a few orders, sends an e-mail or two, and then disappears again.  So I wouldn't say he's currently 'off the grid' completely, but he's not exactly actively managing anything either. 

It's rather disorderly when he isn't there.  Cats are pretty much doing their own thing and looking out for themselves.  Cat A.mc seems to have the most power, but even so, outside of her goon squad none of the cats take her that seriously.

---

While this is a theoretical possibility, it is not a realistic one.  It also neglects their level of debt.  Time will tell.

---

From the informants, it will be 'soon'.  Though soon is relative, that could mean a day or that could mean a month. 

From Mikey, "I don't even know if our informants will survive.  We typically lose about half of them every kitty caucus.  But I think we'll know pretty quickly either way."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 09, 2013, 10:50:40 pm
It's no.  For people who want to show up in person and be walked through it, help out, etc. that is one thing.  And I always do that kind of stuff as opportunity allows.

But right now, the logistics just aren't set up, and I don't see any profit or reason to do so over the long run.  People know I don't have the patience for all the protocol and prefer things without effort. 

---

Cats have been disappearing, it may sound odd at first, but this isn't the first time this has happened.

From Mikey:  "This purge is a little different than the seven or so others that have happened in the last year.  There's no bodies, no blood, no swiping of claws or biting of teeth, no witnesses, nothing.  Cats just seem to be vanishing, as in, one day they are there, the next they aren't.  There are rumors among some of the higher-ups that it is the work of something sinister, but most cats continue to suspect Cat A and her goon squad.  Honestly, though, I don't think it fits her profile.  She is all about showmanship, about establishing a culture of fear and loathing, but how can that be done when there are no witnesses, no body, nothing left behind, and no example made in public.  So really, this kind of thing is a mystery right now."

---

Yes, it has been reasonably well established that the elections have begun (as of around half an hour ago).

From Mikey:  "There will be blood... there is always blood.  This is the [neighborhood cat gang] we are talking about.  Though no one expects it will be as bloody as last year.  So many cats have already perished this year -- that there just aren't a whole lot of cats left.  Cat A's faction has de-facto control as far as the leadership, with Cat P either laying low or not fighting back.  We'll see if the rank-and-file cats decide to rise up against Cat A or if her reign continues unabated."

"If he keeps backing down, Cat P is likely to have only a ceremonial position in the future.  But he is still being paid by the gang, we'll see if that lasts.  There has been some indications that they will stop paying him, we'll see what happens here.

---

Probably due to Gigi changing his food.  She said he is much more active and outgoing now.  So it seems to be working out.

---

We heard it when you heard it, honestly there isn't much intelligence on this subject yet.
It does explain his general silence though.  I wouldn't be surprised if it was due to his poorly thought out commenting on the Cat T affair.

From Mikey - "I would be very cautious, it's a very fluid situation."

From Samantha - "It's been shifting to a war footing.  Our infiltrators aren't as concerned about internal politics as they used to be."

I wouldn't be surprised if the cats were hanging him out to dry. 

---

Yesterday, in a surprising move, Cat P and his loyalist faction was attacked by a new imperialist faction that is believed to be led by Cat A.

"It happened at the monthly meeting.  Cat P was at the podium, strutting around, purring, doing the usual Cat P thing.  It started out with just Cat A and her goons.  They moved to attack Cat P, and the vanguard closed ranks around him.  While his forces outnumbered hers about three to two, it only took until battle was joined before many other cats rushed in."

"Now the tables had turned against Cat P, it looked like he was done for in all certainty.  His forces were outnumbered, it appeared that Cat A had pulled a lot of strings to ensure his demise.  There was no escape for the room except a door at the far end, and there was no way he could make it there being in the physical shape he was in.  Instead he chose to challenge her, he brandished a claw at Cat A, and challenged her to a duel.  He said tommorow, at the time and place of her choosing, he would fight her to the death in a one-on-one duel."

"This made most of the cats back off, and the battle came to a standstill as Cat A accepted his proposal.  She said the duel would be held out in the courtyard, at lunch, where not only those from the neighborhood cat gang but all cats could be a witness to his demise.  With that, the meeting as adjourned, and all the cats in the gang looked forward to the duel to the death to be held tommorow."

"Now tommorow morning came and no one could find Cat P.  His loyalists assumed he must have slipped off for some secret training regimen and would show up at the duel around lunch.  Cats were already gathering in the courtyard, staking out the best spots to observe the duel of the two arch rivals in which all differences would be settled (for only one cat would remain in the end)."

"Lunch time came and passed and still no Cat P.  Cat  A seemed content to strut around and groom herself for several minutes, before perching herself on her new 'throne', one of those carpeted 'cat towers' that was three levels tall -- which her owner had just purchased for her last night.  Her followers grouped around and mewled her full name repeatedly to cheer her on, as even Cat T(l) began to purr in approval and shortly thereafter, tossed an effigy of Cat P into the center of the courtyard[1]."

"Her followers immediately pounced, but she called them off.  Using a cord from a computer, she hung the effigy from the third story of her cat tower and then the cats all stood in a circle and took turns taking swipes at it with their claws as it swung around like a pinata."

[1] The revocation of his position by Cat P may have had something to do with him changing sides.

---

On Cat T(l), at one time, he was a loyal servant of Cat P.  But Cat T(l) had a few jobs, for instance he was the chronicler of the kitty caucus where his job was to record the electoral losses of those who perished in the election.  And he was perhaps too honest in this respect.  For instance, he had mentioned that Snake Z had escaped rather then perished at the hands of the electorate. 

Additionally, he would frequently hang out with other cats, and was rumored to have an ongoing affair with Cat A(me), who has always been quite enamored with him.  He would sometimes hang out with other cats outside the gang.  And is said to have played a part in drawing Cat P out into the open before the aftermath of the "fourth concurrent-action purge" orchestrated by Cat A(mc).  Following the purge, Cat P paid dearly for his own very public missteps, and is said to continue to hold a grudge against Cat T(l) to this day for that reason.  But in reality, he has only his own ineptitude to blame.

---

Yes.  The incident and aftermath of the "fourth concurrent-action purge" may seem like a sordid affair on small animal terms, but for cats, it is quite normal, or 'everyday business'.

---

Yes, and it was more than decent.  Plus they seem to be on the right path.  At the point they are at now, they don't seem to need any additional help, I mean they are in capable hands.  Sometimes the best policy is one of non-interference.

---

Yes, I was there.  In fact I was one of the people who tipped them off.

According to the report, Cat P had lost a lot of support in the neighborhood cat gang after being a no-show when Cat A challenged him to a fight to the death.  While he may have escaped death, most all the cats in the gang, including his once-loyal vanguard, had all but abandoned him.  In order to regain his status in the gang, Cat P pledged he would take down a rival of the neighborhood cat gang, a small band of roughly 30 cats that had broken off from the gang roughly 60 [cat] years ago.

So Cat P left with a small detachment, those he could gather through bribery or others who were willing to follow him on the raid out of self-interest.  This included Cat F, who he bribed with a rare figurine, Cat T, who must have had his own reasons for wanting to go, and a few other cats who were looking to make a name for themselves.  Cat P realized he didn't have enough cats to take down what would be roughly 30 defenders with a frontal assault, as he only commanded 8 cats in total (self included).  So instead he planned an elaborate hit-and-run sabotage action. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on November 20, 2013, 02:03:09 am
Cat P and the rest of the cats drove to the enemy gang's base using Cat P's mini countryman; Cat P took the while Cat T worked the pedals.  They tried to find a place to park but couldn't, eventually had to go into a paid parking structure about a block away from the base.  The cats departed and formed a line, not exactly being low profile as they approached the base.

Fortunately for them, there were no lookouts, and or if there were, they were simply being ignored.  The base was a tall building with several entry points, Cat P wanted to waltz right in through the front door, but Cat T convinced him to try a different plan, scaling the walls and going in through an open window he had spotted on the third floor.  Cat P reluctantly agreed, but when it came time to scale the walls, he was having some problems keeping up with the other cats due to his weight.  So Cat T had to climb up the window and through it, then proceeded to lower down a rope.  Cat P dug his claws into it and now the rest of the cats pulled him using all their might.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: mamochan on November 20, 2013, 03:01:11 am
Cats can't drive. Unless its Toonces, the cat who could drive a car.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: suzaku_nomiko on November 20, 2013, 03:23:03 am
But I can drive :/
http://www.templeofthecat.com/images_08/f_mapq.jpg

 ;D :P
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: tenkenX6 on November 20, 2013, 10:48:47 pm
But I can drive :/
http://www.templeofthecat.com/images_08/f_mapq.jpg

 ;D :P

Haha, nice pic! LOL, mapquest.  ;D
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on November 21, 2013, 01:39:44 am
You guys really need to listen to the whole recollection of the "Corgi Incident" before drawing conclusions, he's driven before and he did then.  The mini countryman that he drives is rather well-known by the local small animals for it's garish exterior decorations, and it's often been the target of sabotage or defacement (presumably done by the black bunny squad).

Typically one cat turns the steering wheel while another works the pedals, it sounds dangerous and it is, but with the mortality rate of the cats in the neighborhood cat gang being what it is, driving-related injuries and fatalities are barely even a blip on the radar.  It's caused a few accidents in the past, yes, the most recent happening in an operation that led to the demise of Cat Th.

The "Corgi Incident" is for real, it's not a joke, it really did happen.  If you don't believe me, you can see a photo of the Corgi here: 
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4121467649375&set=a.4121467609374.157243.1663857082
or:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=490678984362915&set=a.100389776725173.268.100326770064807
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on December 03, 2013, 08:29:14 pm
Cat P was about three fourths of the way to being pulled all the way up the wall when the cats heard some barking behind them.  Most of the cats panicked, releasing the rope and scattering, leaving only Cat T holding the rope.  The weight of Cat P was too much for him, and he strained for a few seconds before releasing the rope, sending Cat P into freefall.  Cat P tried to grab the side of the building wall with his claws, but it did not slow him enough, and only served to turn him so that he was falling back first.  Rather than landing on his legs, he hit the ground with a thud.

In the meantime, Cat T, Cat F, and the others came face to face with a Corgi.  The brown, black, and white dog was blocking the single exit, it was either back over the wall or stand and fight.  Cat T tried to command the group to attack, but the cats were simply in disarray.  Seeing this, the Corgi charged forward, attacking and sinking its teeth into the back legs of one of the fleeing and confused cats.

Rather than retreating back of the wall, Cat T tried to take advantage of the chaos and charged the exit.  However the Corgi was quick to correct and released the cat he had bitten, lurching toward Cat T.  The cat tried to dodge, but the Corgi simply matched it and then bit him right on the nose.

Cat F, meanwhile, stood back and watched the combat, as if waiting for the opportune moment to proceed.  She knew hiding would be no use, even if she concealed herself, she could hide from a dog's sense of smell.  Suddenly and seemingly out of the blue, she charged the Corgi who turned to face her, dragging cat T along by the nose.  Her fate seemed certain, but with a well-timed acrobatic jump she leapt over the Corgi and landed well behind him.  The Corgi tried to turn around but she had already raced off into the dark shadows of a twisting stairwell.

Cat T and Cat P have not been seen since.  No one knows the fate of Cat T.  Cat P is presumed to have gone into hiding.  Cat F escaped the Corgi, and was seen the next day at the gang's base with a large stash of Catnip that she had presumably lifted from the rival's storehouse.  None of the other minions that Cat P ad brought along have been seen since, they are presumed to have perished or abandoned the gang after the incident.

---

They are real, I have seen them in person, and yes they are pretty huge.  Roughly twice the size, three to four times the weight of an ordinary pig.  No one is quite sure where they came from, but they seem to be a local phenomenon, the most likely theory is that they are the result of selective breeding and mixing with larger pigs raised in Peru.  Finally, there are many reports of both bad temperament and health problems among these pigs, so they are not really recommended as pets.  There is some speculation that these pigs are mutants caused by radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster, link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukushima_Daiichi_nuclear_disaster
but there is nothing to substantiate other than the general timing of the incident and their appearance to back up these rumors. 

---

Yes.  Already the bits of fur are flying, but I don't think it really matters.
If you don't like it, don't go.  It's that simple.  Those bunnies run their gang the way they want to, in fact it is known de-facto that they start 'bad' rumors about their gang in order to lessen the number of people who want to be in the gang and add to their reputation of being feared rather than liked.  But any bunny with half a brain knows what the black bunny squad really stands for, so it's still a pretty popular (but tightly controlled) troupe among all the bunnies out there.

Let's not forget what happened the last time the cats ended up in the same area as the black bunny squad, see post #147 (page 10).  And now it is pretty much on the record that the black bunny squad is also bringing in some mercenary weasels, ferrets to be precise, which is putting the smell of fear into those cats from the neighborhood cat gang. 

From Mikey:  "They're numbers aren't huge, maybe 100 bunnies tops.  But they've shown that they can engage in effective sabotage in the past, as well as fight as a unit even in pitched battles.  Plus, large, vicious animals seem to randomly show up on their side when it comes time to do battle, the cats know this and have to take them seriously because of it."

"Mercenary ferrets... they rarely are as good as dedicated ones, but ferrets are natural hunters and enjoy fighting, that is, as long as they're on the winning side." 

---

I find it funny that people are still asking this; at least for some time now, it's not exactly a well-kept secret or anything like that.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=531604936946492

Camille's owner on (photo) left, Samantha's owner on the right.

---

What happened was that Cat P's owner decided to put him on a special diet.  So he's still lost at least some weight, but he's still quite fat.  He's at least able to move around a little bit more, but seeing as how he's pretty much lost most of his influence in the gang, he's honestly a non-factor now. 

This leaves the neighborhood cat gang in a state of conflict within itself, like the common small animal quote "The world of cats is dog eat dog."

---

All right this is a complicated issue.

She is talking about Cat A, who is only related to Cat P.  You know I've honestly likely only probably seen that cat once or twice, and I wouldn't recognize him.

I wouldn't doubt it's true, I mean, these are cats we're talking about.  They're predators by their very nature. 

I don't know who bunny C is, I honestly don't recognize that name.

From Mikey - "Nonexistant, simply nonexistant."

---

For the record, the mercenary ferrets pretty much did the job.  Pretty much.  There were some lapses in security, but it was honestly pretty minor things.

There were several Cat P sightings, he was prowling around the periphery but honestly keeping as low as a profile as he could.  There were honestly maybe 4-5 cats from the neighborhood cat gang in total that showed up; they didn't stand a chance with those numbers and they probably knew at least that.

---

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152225763760407
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 21, 2014, 01:54:18 am
Cat P and the vanguard - Recently, Cat P has been reduced to a mere figurehead.  The cats that used to make up the vanguard have defected, perished, or pulled out; right now there is no vanguard or leadership and different cats and factions are vying to fill that vacuum in secret.

Other prominent cats - Cat T.l (unseen), Cat T.r (keeping a low profile), Cat A.m (defected), Cat A.k (active), Cat F (active), ...

Territory - While their base is holding up, their hold on territory adjacent to their base is being lost.
They are losing territory in nearly all directions, only the western boundary is holding steady due to a diplomatic pact between them and their western rivals.  Especially in the south, where they have lost about half the territory and only managed to hold onto what territory remains at a high cost.

Funds - Operations are a constant drain, defenders in the south are nearly cut off and the supply route is perilous.  Many supplies need to be sent since only a portion are making it through.  Still, the gang is committed to defending the south, at any and all costs.  Standard operations are often augmented with or filled with mercenaries, which is a constant drain on funds and finances.  Outgoing expenditures exceed incoming revenue by 25% to 50%.

Security - Operational security is good, mostly due to extensive purges.

Personel - At most levels, morale is poor.  Field defections are at an all-time high, and the base isn't faring much better.  Those who manage to survive the constant purges and deadly infighting at the base are often left with second-rate supplies and kickbacks, few supplies last long before being looted or sent out to the front.

Combat Parity - The gang's fighters have lost parity on nearly all fronts.  Even their weakest rival to the north can outfight them, their only advantage is propaganda.  The eastern and southern fronts are in the worst shape.  They have absolutely no ability to fight the imperial forces to the east, while their southern boundary is undersupplied and unable to stand their own against rebels made primarily of ex-gang members.

Personal assessment - Honestly, I would say the gang is in tough times, and things will get tougher.  While they have made some inroads at controlling their base from the utter chaos of around 9 [cat] years ago, their liabilities are far outstripping their revenue and home cats are not only at an all-time low, but so is morale (esp. among the rank-and-file).  The coming leadership struggle is likely to hurt the gang more, unless a strong contender emerges early in the game.  The gang has nowhere to go, their territory is collapsing on 3 of 4 sides and they have lost parity with their rivals all around.

---

Basically the reason she was showing her face and eating a sandwich on the stream was b'cos of what happened yesterday, she was so far behind (7 to 19 or something like that) that she started saying things like that if they won, she would never try to take his photo again but he was just kinda laughing it all off, then she joked that she'd each a sandwich on the stream if they won, and shortly after, the enemy miraculously crumbled.  Her team pushed all the way to the enemy's base and she destroyed it with barely any health to spare.  Afterwards there was a lot of speculation that the enemy team was watching her stream and heard her offer to eat a sandwich so they intentionally threw the game and her team win. 

---

I don't know when she will do it, so I can't answer that.  Yes it will happen, I presume, she always keeps her promises and doesn't try to cheat her way out of things she said she'd do. 

---

I found out about this back around four (cat) years ago.  Cat A.m, who is normally pretty noisy to begin with, was quite vocal about her dislike of many of the cats in the gang esp. cat A.k.  She still had some faith in Cat P, though, at the time, as well as Cat T.l and some of the other cats in the gang.

However, Cat T.l was sacked about one to two (cat) years afterward, and cat A.k probably saw to it that she was sacked shortly after, presumably Cat P, who had been protecting her, either couldn't protect her anymore or backstabbed her. 

Shortly after that, Cat A.m worked to unite a lot of the cats who had defected from the neighborhood cat gang in the southern territories.  After recruiting about half of them, she controls a sizable force of rebels who are combat capable and understand the tactics of the neighborhood cat gang.  But she has been loathe to engage them directly, at least for the time being. 

---

Truth be told, we just don't know the inner workings of the gang politics right now.  The bunnies, pigs, and other small animals in charge of small animal security (Samantha, Mikey, Mr. Sparkles, etc.) are taking more of a containment posture, since the gang seems to be losing ground on 3 of 4 fronts.  All indications are that the gang is collapsing both on the outside and the inside.  The infiltrators left in the organization have refocused on internal sabotage instead of intelligence gathering, hence most of the reports I read are directly from the front. 

---

This is a tricky subject, but the best way to explain it is like this.

Being able to do things together is the most important part, and being placed on a pedestal or treated like a goddess does not make for a good long-term relationship.  Some girls might go for that sort of thing, but not her; it rarely lasts because once the gifts and the worshiping and such get old, she's left with a guy she can't do anything fun with or enjoy.  He's tense and reserved around her because he's so afraid of slipping up; he can't 'let loose' or be the type of person he is when he's not around her.  And that's the type of person she wants to go out with, the type of person he normally is, not the 'him while being around her' type of person.

I don't understand the other part really, it's too hard for me to undestand that, knowing too little. 

---

Situation as proceeding normal, please be patient. 
A period of a few weeks should be expected, beginning a few weeks from now. 
Silence should not be equated with inaction. 
Mikey is overseeing this operation, if you have any concerns, you can discuss them with him. 

Phases:
1) +1 week, +2 week:  operational supplies incoming, to be collected by bunny A, pig C, and others.
2) +2 week, +3 week:  ferret M unit - Ingress neighborhood cat gang territory from southern border.  Proceed north through hostile territory to northwest border.  Egress neighborhood cat gang territory and continue northwest to rendezvous point.
3) ~3 week:  Bunny A, pig C, and others, rendezvous with and join ferret M unit. 
4) ~3 week:  Ferret M unit - rendezvous with HVA.
5) ~3 week:  Ferret M unit - escort HVA south, back into neighborhood cat gang territory.  Proceed south through hostile territory, taking the shortest or most prudent route through.
6) ~3 week:  Ferret M unit - Upon leaving neighborhood cat gang territory, continue to the target area (southwest).
7) ~4 week:  Operation complete.  Bunny A, Pig C stay with HVA.  Ferret M unit, return to base.

---

lol
"Guys I'm new..."
"Is she drunk or is this normal?"
"This is normal."

---

It is a myth.  Just use a little common sense.  You don't really get a bunny for finishing the season in that rank.  It was an off-hand joke that some idiots believed and spread it too far.

From Mikey:  "Because he finished in rank three, and shortly thereafter was seen around carrying a bunny in his arms.  When asked how he got a bunny, he jokingly said it was their reward for anyone who finished season 3 at his rank.  It became a big thread b'cos people kept posting to it, things like "He's so lucky!  I finished D3 and all I got was an ashe skin.  Boohoo."  To date, there's a small number of people who believe that, a small number but they believe it absolutely adamantly. 

ie. from reddit 13-feb-2014 (roughly 1 day before valentines day)
"Do D1 players get an Asian girlfriend as part of the end of season rewards?"
"Gotta get out of gold, all I got was an Elise skin."
"I was plat 3 in s3, and i got an asian girlfriend in december. Step it up"
"Whoa whoa, I was plat 3 as well. Where do I claim that reward?"
"Are you in highschool ?"
"Nope, college."
"Then I dunno. Mine was in an italien class, and added me on facebook. Maybe you can find"

---

From Mikey, "Yes it is true, though probably a bit exaggerated.  But that bunny is naturally lucky.  She's survived a lot of things that would kill a normal bunny."

---

It's still on phase 1, has not yet progressed past phase one.
Soon.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on February 20, 2014, 10:52:08 pm
"Cat P tries to rebuild his status in the gang"

Roughly 6 (cat) months ago, Cat P, whose position had been reduced to a mere figurehead, set about trying to restore some of his status within the neighborhood cat gang. 

Many (cat) decades of mismanagement, infighting, poor finance, paranoia and purges, poor morale, as well as outside forces have brought about recent decline of the gang.  With its territory collapsing all around, most cats that still belong fear that the gang will not last more than a few more (cat) decades.  Cat P realized these things, and felt it was obvious that the reason was his lack of power within the gang.  He knew that if only he could seize power, if only he could bring back the gang of the a few (cat) decades ago where his power was absolute and he ruled with an iron paw; if only, then the gang could be saved.  Otherwise, all would be lost, the gang that had survived well over a (cat) century would end with little more than a whisper.

With these aspirations, he set about gathering up what few cats would still listen to him.  He took the time to visit Cat T in the hospital, who had barely made it out from the "corgi incident" alive and was still recovering from his injuries.  Cat T explained to him that he realized the situation of the gang was most dire, and what they needed was to prove the gang was still a force not to be trifled with, whether in its territory or outside. 

---

This is indeed happening.  It is the usual case of as a gang loses territory, cats are displaced and rush to sign up for the gang just for simple necessities to those who are hopeful that gang can recapture the territory it lost.  But it isn't working, while the ranks have been filled on paper, supplies are very limited, morale is poor, fighters are cowardly, and defections are still at an all time high. 

---

Yes, phase 1.  Phase 2 will probably start soon. 

From Mikey:  "It's hard to take the neighborhood cat gang seriously, but best not to underestimate them either.  High value is high value, we've got to be ready for anything."

---

Cat P tried for a few hours, but he couldn't round up any followers that weren't immobilized from injuries or otherwise incapacitated.  He realized that whatever his plan was, he would have to do it alone.  But that was okay to him, after all, that would give him full rights to brag about it upon returning.

Thinking of what he could do, Cat P came up with this plan.  The cat gang was losing ground on all borders except to the west, where they had negotiated a non-aggression pact with one of their rivals.  He would head west, into their territory, and launch a daring surprise attack.  After several cats fell to him, he would then use the confusion to escape back into friendly territory.  Cat P felt his plan was perfect, that he had all the essentials of a good plan on his side -- surprise, treachery, superior combat ability, and good preparedness. 

---

Phase 3.  Yesterday, as a distraction, Bunny S led a small force of roughly 20 on a raid in neighborhood cat gang territory.  They entered from the north end and moved southwest, attacking targets of opportunity, and looting a major gang storehouse that had been left unattended.  This distraction caused the neighborhood cat gang to mobilize all its security forces and send them east to counter this threat, which allowed ferret M's forces to slip through hostile territory undetected and without any resistance. 

It is doubtful that the same tactic will work for Phase 5. 

From Mikey:  "We're pretty sure the cats know what is going on now.  After yesterday, they have been massing forces on the northern border for several (hours) now."

---

So the day came when Cat P would put his plan into action.  Cat P headed west into foreign territory, encountering no initial resistance.  He passed several cats, but other than an occasional glance in his direction or a short mew, it seemed obvious that he was being ignored.  The area that he had ventured into seemed like a happy place, in contrast to the neighborhood cat gang's territory where the protection racket run by the gang had depressed the areas and brought about disdain from local cats.  Cat P pressed onward, advancing toward one of the bases which he had learned of through the negotiations that brought about the non-aggression pact. 

---

From Mikey, "Lately their security has proven relatively impenetrable, multiple purges having their effect and infiltrators laying low or staying silent.  But in the past few (days) we have seen several lapses, and it appears like it may be accelerating.  Now it's hard to say whether this is due to simple hapless incompetence or some other factor or just random chance.  But whatever it is, wait and see and it will be figured out in time."

---

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=429170717217733

---

It wouldn't surprise me, but actually, this thing is common.
It's because most of the black bunny squad is made up of these types.  But small animals are content to look the other way, as long as they're in the squad, and as long as the squad is doing things that they like. 

---

I don't know much about that, so I asked around.

From Albert, "In the beginning, there was the [1-series].  It was big and clunky, but also pretty strong.  Still, they never quite figured out how to make it move right.  And those brains.  It was ahead of its time, the reliability just wasn't there.  The memory would fail, the systems would fail, [microcore] memory would go bad, and [communication / bus hardware] would start to malfunction.  They worked for around 25 years, then everything started to fail at once.  They'd go crazy, which is why there aren't really many [1-series] still on two feet today."

"I don't know much about the [2-series], but most small animals of the time felt it was designed for military use [1].  They were small, and not very strong, but boy could they move.  The brain was also a major step forward, technology of the time was far more reliable and many are still on two feet today.  The programming was purely [process execution].  They weren't very creative, or too capable when it came to independent operation."

From Mikey, "Apparently, the [2-series] didn't make for very good owners."

From Albert, "The [3-series], after the [cold war], the west lost all interest.  Five years later, [eastern countries] [2] began their own developments.  It was built on the same basic frame as the [2-series], with even more weight optimization.  But the real enhancements were in the brain."

[1] roughly 1975 to 1985, late cold war era.
[2] Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, etc.

---

This was promised by Cat W approximately 30 [cat] years ago.  Nothing was ever delivered.
Regardless, that information is now widely known by small animals and easily obtained.   Though it can be a bit dated at the time it is obtained.

If I recall correctly, Cat W perished during the elections around a [cat] decade ago. 

---

On that, it is insane.

From Samantha, "It's not that I like them or hate them.  They're used in what they're useful for.  But I certainly wouldn't send them into battle!  [People] are weird, that's insane."

---

Cat P entered the base, and suddenly began to feel alarmed.  Many people were mulling about, but none seemed to notice him.  He purred and rubbed up against some people's legs, but still drew no response.  So much that he wondered if he was dreaming, but of course he wasn't.

Then he smelled the cookies.  He hadn't even taken the time to look around, but suddenly Cat P was overwhelmed by the smell of chocolate chip cookies.  What his mother had told him when he was just a kitten, he hadn't thought to listen to her then, so he had missed the valuable advice to stay away from chocolate and other human foods that were toxic to cats.

The cookies themselves were on a ledge, he struggled to climb up but despite having lost some weight, he was still too heavy and not in good enough shape to make the leap or climb it.  Still he struggled, persistently, for around 5 minutes.  His claws would dig into the side of the wall, and then he would try to scramble up it, but every time he would get only a foot or two up before his legs grew tired and he would slide back down.

His determination had not paid off, and he thought about going into a corner to sulk.  But then suddenly he saw a cookie drop on the ground, as if some clumsy person had fumbled with it.  He scrambled over to where the cookie had fallen as fast as his legs would take him, grabbed it in his mouth, and then took off.

---

It only works if it's set up that way.  Not all the bunnies have it set up, so forget about it.

---

Cat P ran away, out of the building and into a short alley, holding the cookie in his mouth.  Once he was certain no one was around, he greedily wolfed down the cookie.  He didn't remember what happened after that.

Cat P woke up one day later, feeling sick.  He was on his side, and a stench emanated from a pile of vomit not too far from him.  He was in terrible pain, it felt like his stomach was being turned inside out or something terrible like that.  He slowly worked himself to his feet.  But being unable to walk in a straight line, he swerved to the right and fell back down.  He convulsed, twisting and rolling back onto his side.

Still conscious, but fading, Cat P could hear the scampering of paws.  Multiple paws, as if by a clutter of cats. He mewled in distress, believing it was a rescue squad sent by the neighborhood cat gang.  But he would not be so luck.

As he rolled over to face them, he did recognize the cats as members of the gang.  But they weren't about to help him.  The leader, a molly, ordered the other five to attack.  "But keep him alive, don't kill him, b'cos I'd like to do that!", she insisted.  The cats rushed forward toward the disabled Cat P, while the leader skillfully ran past him and then turned to come up behind him.  Cat P could barely put up a fight, trying in vain to at least slow down the attacks from the multiple cats. 

Cat P had never even considered his own death, but if he did, it would certainly never have occurred to him that it would happen in a deserted alley at the hands of traitors to the gang that he had led for so long. 

---

Cat P was pinned on the ground, trying his best to fight back.  But in his already sickened state, not to mention that he was severely outnumbered, he stood little chance.  He covered his eyes with his front paws, and struggled with the back ones, trying to kick and claw the cats.  But his ill-timed swipes had little effect, these cats were far more agile then him, they had no real problem skirting his poor attempts to hit them. 

It was perhaps just a simple stroke of luck that Cat P heard a growl in the background.  Out of the corner of his eye he saw it -- a large brown bear that must have been attracted by the ruckus.  In one quick motion, the bear leapt in to the melee, took a swipe at one of the cats, and then chomped down on him with his mighty jaws.  The cat tried to get away, but he was too slow -- only managing to get the front half of his body out of the bear's mouth before it slammed shut.  Blood flew everywhere.

The molly, acutely aware of what had just happened, disengaged from attacking Cat P and started mewling off commands.  "Stand and fight, brave ones!  He who fells the bear in combat shall replace Cat P as my new right paw!"  With that, Cat P recognized her voice.  It was the sinister, manipulative, widely hated and feared Cat A. 

After mewling that order, Cat A was the first to turn and flee.  Two other cats followed her, while one brave (but stupid) fellow leapt to attack the bear.  "I'll do anything for you, my love!", he shouted.  But the bear simply swiped him, knocking him out of the air and sending him flying.

The bear stood over Cat P, taking a short look at him.  Cat P glanced back, and the bear simply stared at him, as if looking deep into his eyes.  Then the bear turned away from him and started to pursue the fleeing cats.  Cat P didn't know what to think, but his ego was already riding high.

The bear was running after the remaining cats, Cat A and two others.  Cat A saw him gaining on them and thinking quickly, she tripped one of her followers and he stumbled.  The bear was on him just like that.  He didn't stand a chance.  "Your sacrifice will be remembered, brave one!", yelled Cat A.  With that, here and the one other remaining cat ran in separate directions. 

---

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152407829705407&set=a.69728470406.96533.537970406&type=1

---

Yes, at least right now, that is the answer.
Two weeks ago, it was no.  Two months ago, it was no.  And six months ago, it was yes (if I remember correctly).  But a year ago, or maybe a little bit more than a year ago, it was no. 

---

Yes, it may be a while ago, but I can still remember that scene.

On one side of the cage there was a big ball of fur, consisting of Bunny K (the alpha), Bunny J, and Bunny A.  On the other side, a lone Bunny, I think it was Bunny E?  He seemed content to have the whole cage to himself. 

---

The brain of the 3-series was based around a new core with modular add-ons.  This series was designed with prolonged independent operation in mind, so the brains were flexible in their programming and could be made to adapt to a large number of activities.  In early models, modular add-ons came in the shape of small cartridges that were inserted into slots, similar to the home video game systems of the past decade.  Later models like the "3-series, enchanced" simply contained a large amount of free memory where programming could be downloaded and exchanged on the fly.

---

Having escaped from danger against all odds, Cat P knew he could not return to the gang.  For if Cat A had turned on him, it was likely that her followers (and more) would likely attack him on sight.  Cat P had no idea what to do next, but thought back to when he was a kitten and expressed his desire to lead a gang to his mom.  At the time, she had explained to him that there were two types of good leaders, along with many bad ones.  Those who valued the organization above all else, and those who valued their followers above all else.  Cat P never really took her advice to heart, like any other leader of the gang he had come to power in the vacuum that existed after Cat L's owner moved (taking the cat with him) through backstabbing and treachery. 

---

From Samantha:  "It's hard to know exactly what happened next.  After Cat P's 'right paw' betrayed him, she would run things for a period of 2-4 [cat] years, though it can be debated how in control she really was."

From Mikey:  "There weren't many sightings of Cat P reported during that time.  It is said that after his owner put him on a new diet and switched his cat food, he started to lose weight, and his health started to improve.  And the sightings of him, just the usual stuff."

From Albert:  "The next two to three [cat] years would be rather uneventful for the gang.  Not much really happened.. at least, not that could be told from observing the cats from a distance."
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on May 19, 2014, 11:00:46 pm
When Cat A took over the gang, most of Cat P's former minions switched sides just like that.

Perhaps it was Cat A's notoriety among small animals that caused other cats to follow her lead without a thought.  Or perhaps it was her allure, among the toms[1], she had a lot of support.  Cat T (T.l), who rarely showed interest in other cats, seemed to take a special liking to her, catering to her every whim.  Cat A quickly earned the title of 'queen', and while she flaunted this title, she rarely did much or otherwise exercised her power.

Surprisingly there were no purges under Cat A's reign, with many tacitly acknowledging that she was high on catnip for most of the time.  Ironically, the normally backstabbing, manipulative, and ruthless cat that had led the effort to purge many from the gang also had one of the most uneventful reigns, short as it was.

[1] male cats.

---

This is misreading, the term "escort" is only used in the purely operational sense.  It has none of that meaning when used by small animals.

And the operation was completed some months ago, without incident.  Probably largely due to a diversionary raid led by Samantha.

"We didn't know it at the time, but Cat A was running the gang at that time.  That would explain the very slow response of those cats in phase 3.  We expected heavy resistance in phase 5, but actually managed to slip through their security line on the northern border undetected.  And by the time those hapless cats realized we were long gone, it was too late. 

---

Not true, he has plenty of social skills, he just chooses not to use them most of the time.

---

With Cat A in power, the gang's command structure simply evaporated.  The winter time has historically been slow for the gang, as the winners of the election seek to consolidate their power and secure allies in secret for the big push during the spring and summer seasons.  However, with Cat A in charge, absolutely nothing happened as she and a large portion of the cats in the gang were either high on catnip or simply swooning over her and trying to attract her attention.

On the outside, these were dark times for the gang.  Garrisons and Patrols within their territory all but ceased, since they had neither supplies nor the will to conduct them.  All around, their borders were collapsing, at least in three of the four directions.  To the west, Cat P had made peace with their rivals when he was in charge, so this border remained stable. 

Unable to defend their territory, enclaves of small animals, stray dogs, and others started to appear within internal areas they still claimed as theirs, but were unable to control.  They could not send out patrols or parties to counter them.  What limited stores they had left were raided, leaving cats that had once grown fat off wild food forced to depend on their owners supply of second-rate, dry cat food. 

This state motivated the gang's rivals to take advantage of the situation and they started to develop their own plans for long-term expansion, primarily at the expense of the gang.  Most of these rivals were on good terms with each other, so they simply divided sections of the gangs territory among themselves.  Even today, these plans are in motion and the result is sporadic fighting. 

---

Yes, intelligence reported this yesterday.

The bunny brigade and the other individual security forces are aware.  But they honestly can't do much until something actually happens.  They're definitely watching for it, though.

Honestly, a lot of the forces are not even going to be there.  With only a skeleton crew, resources are pretty limited; they can't really afford to get involved in every potential or 'virtual' problem out there.

Most likely, it will be suppressed before it even starts.  Bunny brigade has shown ability to adapt and act quickly in the past, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. 

---

It was just discovered today.

After disposing of Cat A and taking back control of the gang, Cat P attempted several attacks on his enemies to the south.  However all of them were beaten back, and after repeated losses morale was too poor to carry out any more attacks.

---

It's actually a bit more complicated than that, you have to admit that [deleted] bunny has never been any good when it comes to diplomacy.  She tends to make any situation worse through her abrasive nature.

---

I don't think so.  While it is certainly in decline, the gang has also proved itself resilient over the years.  Many believed it was dead about one (cat) generation ago, but it managed to bounce back.   But everyone knows that things will never be the same for them, their glory days are long past.  It used to be their leader held real power, in that he could give an order and cats would follow.  Today, in the last 6 (cat) years, they have not won a single battle with any of their foes, and the infighting gets worse and worse.

From Samantha:  "Defectors from the gang have been expecting that the purging this year will be worse than any other year to date.  But nobody fears the gang's leadership anymore.  Being removed from something that is ineffective to begin with, what is there to fear about that?"

---

Cat A's reign would end only a couple of [cat] years after it began.  Cat A reportedly passed out due to overdosing on a "bad batch" of catnip.  There was a fight for her position, but most of the contenders appeared spaced out or otherwise incapacitated, probably due to the same thing.

Cat P showed up late in the battle and declared himself victorious at a time when most cats were either unable or unwilling to fight.  Many suspected him for poisoning the catnip in the first place, but there was no clear evidence how this took place, so most of the cats just kept their mouth shut.

Some general order was restored to the gang, patrols could function once again, and cats were no longer relegated to having to eat dry food or whatever little subsistence their their owners would provide them with.  Cat P had been restored to his position, but his actual power was very questionable, and the gang had lost a lot of territory to its rivals and had rebellions pop up within its own boundaries that had grown too large to suppress with any quick action. 

---

Yes this is true.  Before losing power, around 3-4 [cat] years ago, Cat P tried to negotiate with a number of groups to stabilize the gang on several fronts, but ultimately failed.  He did however manage to negotiate an understanding with a smaller gang to the west, but even that agreement is now called into question due to several factors.

The most significant of the two gangs, referred to hereafter as 'B' and 'C', refused to negotiate with Cat P directly due to his reputation among most cats.  They did offer to negotiate with some former members of the gang that Cat P had purged over a [cat] decade ago, but despite his begging, Cat P couldn't get those guys to help him.  So the alliance was pretty much off.

During the [cat] years when Cat A was in control, the gang lost vast swathes of territory, much of which could have probably been abated by reaching an understanding with their rivals.  Another thing that became obvious was that Cat P had earned such a negative reputation among other cats that few would even spend time to listen to what he had to say.  When Cat P took back control of the gang from Cat A, the position he got back was largely symbolic, he quickly found he holds little actual power and the gang itself functioned more like a chaotic mob rather than any kind of force.

---

All I can say at this point is we have no substantive idea of his status.
Heard a few things but haven't been able to confirm anything.

From Mikey:  "Everything we've heard isn't good, in his respect, that is.  A lot of people have been saying the cat went 'off the rails' or 'full tilt.'  But we're trying to get confirmation.  Every single source gives a different story.  These [rats] aren't the most reliable sources, and there's really not a lot of small animals who could get close or cats that were close enough and talking."

From Samantha:  "Rob said that he had gone into full paranoia mode, blaming a newly created gang of about 25(?) animals to the south for everything.  Apparently a master hacker was able to take down their network for several hours, Cat T.a made the claim, probably to cover his own incompetence but Cat P latched onto it.  Once the network was back alive, Cat P claimed that the supply routing had been infiltrated by the enemy and bogged down, in reality it is simply suspected that the supply vehicle was [stuck in traffic].  Another rat close to Cat P said he was also going [full paranoid delusional] but could not comment any farther on how or what his [delusions] were targeting."

From Albert:  "His next action could trigger a full revolt.  One thing we know is that Cat P is planning a substantial purge in the near future, which might be a poor [tactical] decision considering the state that the gang is in."

---

While the neighborhood cat gang is experiencing several uprisings within its own territory, probably the most significant at this time is one slightly to the south, within striking range of their main base.

From Mikey:  "Their ranks grow every day, currently almost a thousand small animals in all; even though it is little more than a disorganized mob, there is much gnashing of teeth and with every attack by the neighborhood cat gang, they have gained ground and grown in number.  Nearby cats within the area of this uprising seem to have a policy of ignoring the uprising and even attacking cats from the gang when they dare to venture nearby, so it's likely the two groups at least working in common interest."

From Samantha:  "It's said that several prominent bunnies are assisting them, but how much and in what capacity is anyone's guess."

---

In their defense, their supply lines were hideously long[1].

Even loyal troops who could have possibly made a difference could not get to where they needed to be in time.  Instead they had to rely on mercenaries and not exactly top dollar mercenaries at that. 

[1] Around 5 miles long, and the only vehicle they had to service them was a mini countryman.

---

The Vanguard is weak, they have poor combat ability and readiness.  Only one cat that is still capable of managing anything.

Cat P recognizes the sorry state of his organization, but does very little to fix anything (not that he could even if he tried).  The gang has serious problems with territorial integrity right now, morale is poor and finance is only barely in the black. 

Any extra money is spent on mercenaries, because right now the gang does not have any kind of fighting force worth mentioning.  All their rivals recognize their territory is up for grabs. 

---

This is still fresh, it just happened today (as far as I know).

Since several cat years ago, Cat P had negotiated an non-aggression pact with his western neighbor, a small but relatively tight gang of local cats.

At a time when the gang was losing territory, this helped the gang's forces since they did not have to defend their western border against their rival.

But in Cat P's absence, the gang as run by Cat A lost track of what was happening in the background.

While they sat idle, their territory collapsing on all other sides, their western rival also plotted and acted behind their back.

In one major operation, it served as an insertion point for known enemies of the gang[1].

When Cat P returned, the pact still stood, however he became incredibly suspicious due somewhat to recent events, but mostly due to his paranoia.

Still he could not afford to station combat units on the western border.  What limited forces he had were needed for internal security matters.   And the gang was already bankrolling as many mercenaries as it could afford.

And then today, the opening shot.  The gang to the west all but revealed that their cats were also actively supporting a gang to the south that was in active contention with the neighborhood cat gang over territory.

From Mikey - "It started as a proxy war.  Roughly one [cat] decade ago, a gang to the south allied themselves with the neighborhood cat gang.  But the tides quickly shifted, and things turned sour.  Most of the cats rebelled, rallying behind their own leader and fighting began in earnest roughly 4 [cat] years ago."

"Now it was probably happening all along, but it turns out that the tripartite coalition consists of the rebellion group to the south, another uprising of now more than a thousand small animals in the heart of neighborhood cat gang territory, and the group to the west that the neighborhood cat gang had made a non-aggression pact with.  All have been working in concert, and it's likely been that way for several years."

[1] The operation led by Bunny A, described a few posts prior.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on July 30, 2014, 11:03:42 pm
This is still a recent happening, and [intelligence gathering] activities are ongoing.

According to Samantha, the [intelligence gathering] arm of the Bunny Brigade has been sifting through all the information and issued the following report.

"After an apparent snake attack, Bunny E was placed under the care of Long Shan, a Panda.  Her survival was questionable at first, but due to the expertise of Long Shan, she should be okay."

"A well-known snake was captured in the area and interrogated.  At this time it's not known if he was responsible for attacking her, or just contributed to her attack in some other way."

From Mikey -- "During Interrogation, his story didn't make too much sense.  That snake is hiding something, but it's hard to know what at this point."

I can't say this with any certainty, but it honestly wouldn't surprise me if this snake had some relationship with the neighborhood cat gang or it's ilk.  Everyone knows the gang is flailing right now and Cat P desperately needs some kind of 'win' try to stop the downfall or [negative momentum] that the gang has suffered from lately.

---

Because this is likely not the whole story, there is probably more here than just that. 

From Mikey -- "We don't know.  Not at this time."

---

While the vanguard is much weakened as far as  fighting force, recently they started to assert themselves in terms of political power.  Cat P's absence until recent times contributed to this, right now the vanguard has its own agenda and was even able to cajole Cat P into putting his ego aside and pawing out a letter outlining his commitments and micromanagement strategies to get the gang back on solid ground.  This started its own murmuring and growling throughout the gang, it's expected to bring back the loyalist - rebel infighting at a time when the gang is already falling apart in a number of ways.

From Mikey -- "Ironic that just three or four [cat] years ago their numbers were higher than ever.  Still this is a matter of quality over quantity.  It does not matter how many cats they can call their own when all the cats turn tail and run at the first sign of fighting.  It does not matter how many cats claim to be in the gang when they don't actually support the gang, they are just claiming membership at the time because it offered more advantages than not."

It seems like the vanguard could be setting up Cat P to take a fall, if they have not already made him into a scapegoat to to blame the problems the gang is having on.  What we are seeing, however, makes it obvious that the gang has become so large that it is collapsing from within. 

---

I can't say I know the answer to that.  Seriously it's a difficult question to answer.

The best way for me to say it is that sometimes things are done just because they should be done.  Not necessarily to reach some virtuous end, though that never hurts either.

How do you know what should be done?  Sometimes you just know.  Having the audacity to follow that, even when the end could be nothing to gain or end badly, is sometimes what people need to do.  Admirable.

---

This is the story with the 3-series.  After the initial run, another run known as the "3-series enhanced" was produced.  This was probably the most advanced set that I am aware of.  Used a modular type of design with lots of redundancy and distributed systems scattered all throughout the body.  The only major flaw with this design was the power generation; with power supplies distributed all over the body, disabling a few could cause systems to start failing.  If power was limited, systems were supposed to shut down in order of their importance, but this was not always the case.

---

Things are actually pretty quiet.  Maybe the cats are realizing it doesn't matter at this point -- saving their energy for the next kitty caucus (it always happens around September).  I except it will be another bloody one. 

---

To tell the truth, I am not even sure what is being talked about.

I think it may be just so that small animals are so accustomed to certain types of tactics that it is second nature to them.  So even if something like this were happening, they would be unaffected and quite possibly even unaware of it.

---

I think it's overkill.  Unnecessary actions should be avoided.  There isn't any objective there. 

Thoughts can be posted, but I won't respond to things I know nothing about. 

---

He tried, but ultimately failed.  Despite offering [the equivalent of] 80,000 carrots, he was unable to find a lackey who would assist him.  Being far too noticeable to do it himself, he gave up and saved his energy for the next opportunity.

About all he is doing these days is biding his time for the upcoming caucus.  If it means anything, this year the roster of the neighborhood cat gang was beyond 2000.  But only about 1200 were active during the summer, and when called up, only 700 appeared.  These numbers are far worse than prior years.  If the gang headquarters is attacked in earnest from the west or the immediate south, it is likely to fall.

However more than likely, their rivals just want territory. 

---

I don't get it, but okay.

I only know those guys, I don't know what goes into their decision-making. 

IMO they're about to find out the limits of that bunny's popularity.  I don't really know how far that goes.

---

It is a simple answer -- if you look at the bunny brigade, it is a lightfighter type unit.
They may not be the best equipped, because they sacrifice equipment for mobility.
They may not have vehicles, because vehicles can't go everywhere.
They may not be the most skilled or the best fighters, but you can be guaranteed they'll be the first on the scene anywhere where there's trouble.
They are at a disadvantage when fighting cats one-on-one, but they even the odds in numbers, tactics, morale -- fighting as a unit rather than just a single bunny. 

The cats of the neighborhood cat gang fear even single bunnies in part because of the psychological tactics -- if you ever see a single bunny, it is just a scout or a lookout.  More are sure to follow.

---

It is very confusing?  I don't think it's confusing at all.  Unless this concept is not understood.

A wise panda once said, "Once you recognize nature, there is no sense in denying it.  Accept it, embrace it, and use it for good."

---

I don't know the incident in particular but records show the bunny brigade was called and responded.

The pig is still alive and constantly goes on a soapbox about how mean and bad of a bunny she is, etc.  But everyone else just finds him odd. 

---

I honestly don't know all of the details, but this is the after action report.

The uprising peaked at a little over 3000 small animals, along with a smattering of other allied forces, mostly cats who wanted to fight the neighborhood cat gang.  There was no clear leader, in fact the one who was apparently in charge was largely ineffective; most of what happened was due to his second bunny in command as well as other supporters who had some pull among the small animals who were supporting the uprising.

There were reports that cats from the neighborhood cat gang were going to try to infiltrate and/or interdict, but there was no such action. 

It took about a day to raise up all the forces, and they then stood in formation and started the march on the neighborhood cat gang's main base.  However there were problems from the beginning.  The organization was poor at best, line commanders that were supposed to hold the formation together failed to do their job and it just became an angry mob.  The mob rushed in the general direction of the neighborhood cat gang's base, but due to a miscalculation or just the general chaos, they missed it by about a mile.  Some of the commanders tried to restore order, but their attempts only divided the rebels and even caused some of the rebels to turn on their commanders, who quickly perished.

Now the mob tried to correct course and charge in the direction of the enemy base, but most of the small animals were hungry for supplies which put a halt to the advance.  There were pigs, bunnies, hamsters, and the like running in every which direction, by then some started to abandon the rebellion and their numbers started to drop off significantly.  In the meantime, the neighborhood cat gang called off any active patrols and cats took up defensive positions all around their base.

Parts of the mob would reach the base, and when they regrouped one last time they had around 500 in total to attack with.  Seeing that things were hopeless, they called off the attack and the remaining small animals returned to base where most now had mixed feelings about the rebellion.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on September 23, 2014, 12:24:32 am
I don't know a whole lot about the indecent in question so I can't really comment. 

For the record all my bunnies and pigs were long gone by this time. 
From Bunny L -- "(rolls eyes) It's rather underwhelming".

Q&A

"How did the bunnies get through the lock?  I thought it was supposed to be secure?"

The lock was secure, but the door was not.  From what I can gather, infiltrators from the Black Bunny Squad chewed up the area around the lock of the door, separating the lock from the door. 

"What equipment was damaged?"

While the after-action report is still not finished, reports indicate that some precision equipment of value in excess of 20,000 carrots was likely damaged.

"What post-incident indications existed after the event?"

There wasn't anything that stood out.

I overheard some conversations to the extent of "If something even goes wrong with even one bunny, we'll hear about it."  But it seemed like just random talk at the time.  Bunny S did seem a bit stressed, but really there wasn't anything definitive post-incident.

"Is the Black Bunny Squad part of the Bunny Brigade?"

No, in fact, the Brigade makes special effort to ensure that it's members aren't affiliated with that group.  They don't want bunnies with questionable loyalties. 

"So why do bunnies tolerate the Black Bunny Squad?"

Despite it's dark nature, the Black Bunny Squad is accepted by most bunnies because of their past exploits, mainly in operations against the neighborhood cat gang.  While it is true that the Bunny Brigade and the Black Bunny Squad have cooperated in operations in the past, the two have always been separate entities and should not be confused.

"Is it true the large black pig (the first pig's 'friend') was a member of the Black Bunny Squad?"

No. 

"What happened once they realized what was going on?"

The bunnies, led by Bunny Y, launched their own attack to purge the infiltrators.

While the Black Bunny Squad is respected as a formidable fighting force, their fighters (numbering roughly 20) were drunk and also taken by surprise.  From Bunny S -- "Quite simply, overwhelmed.  None of them stood even half a chance."

There were no escapees.  It should be noted that 3 allied bunnies also perished in the battle.

"Does Cat R have anything to do with this?"

I have no reason to believe he does.  There was at least one Cat R sighting that was verified.  But nothing to indicate foul play at this time.  No reason to believe the neighborhood cat gang, or any of its minions, were involved.

---

Even if I did know, I wouldn't be talking about it here.
It's big, though.  There have probably been minor clues leaking out but nothing that is definitive.
She can't keep a secret, it always gets out in due time.

I do believe that a very intelligent animal could put enough pieces together to get almost all the way there.  But that would require a lot of persistence, patience, and it would still miss one last critical piece of information.  And I don't know if there are animals out there that are that intelligent and also have a reason to do that.  If there are, they certainly aren't in the neighborhood cat gang.

---

For the record, I do believe all the necessary clues are out there now, but again, there's probably no animal that is intelligent enough to put all the pieces together and make all the connections.  So I think the danger level is low regardless, not to mention the many traps, security, and bunnies that they'd have to get through even once...

---

I don't get it either.  Cowards, each and every one of them. 

The risks are ever-present for bunnies and other small animals, despite being weakened, the neighborhood cat gang and others like it still pose a threat.  It is a fact that bunnies and other small animals continue to perish every day at the hands of organized (or disorganized) gangs like this, but you don't see bunnies saying they will do things and then bugging out at the last minute (unless that itself is a ruse).  When I see people doing those types of things, then it is natural that they fail.  Just as humility is important, so is the audacity to act in the face of danger.  For danger is ever present.

---

A very questionable person to begin with.  But, for someone who is used to the periphery, it is also regrettable.
I don't know what the significance is, in fact I doubt there is any.  But it was starting to get big, in some cases as many as 1000.  And the establishment faction of the gang will sometimes tolerate dissent if it is just one person of a small group over a limited time.  But if that dissent grows beyond a small group, or lasts a long time, they will attack it with everything they have.  The internal struggle that follows is often quick and brutal, much more so than the external conflicts from the gang.

---

Yes, it is; but no, it's nothing special to me.
Just normal, normal action.  It's not unusual.

---

To me, it is pointless.  It is pointless to fight a wave when all you need to do is ride the wave.  What is mean is, there are good things in the world and there are bad things in the world.  Why do bad things exist?  Perhaps providence[1] allows it, or ignores it, or has no control, or perhaps they are not really bad, or perhaps they are artifacts of man, or something else.  I do not know, other than it is the world we live in.

But if one can see or recognize the changes that heaven exerts upon the world over time, and that this change is too what one desires, than one simply needs to ride the wave of heaven's influence rather than trying to run ahead of the wave or even fight the wave. 

That is why I have said from the beginning, it is not worth the effort.  It is not worth the effort to fight a battle that is already won (in time), one that can be won without expending effort. 

Some may say "but you are fighting it", and if it seems that way, it is not something I think about or plan.  It is just riding the wave.

[1] 天

---

What I mean is that, a hikikomori will have different types of nightmares, for instance a common person will have nightmares about public exposure or falling or carnal threats (animal, threatening person, etc.); a hikikomori will have nightmares about threats that could actually happen to them in their lifestyle, like being trapped and burning to death in a house fire, being denied internet, or being forced out and left homeless. 

---

I'm sorry but this is the type of message/idea that takes people who are meaningless, and programs or media that are the same, assumes they are meaningful, and tries to draw conclusions from that.  True power is wielded from the shadows, the truly powerful appear out of nowhere, do what they do, and then disappear back into the nothingness.  Anyone with true power understands this, for instance 司马懿 concealed himself for in the shadows for 10 years, only revealing his presence at the opportune moment.  And then he chose to stay out of the spotlight, kept his goals secret, and acted directly only when he had to in order to achieve his goals.  Extremely telling is the fact that the message gives very little actual evidence or anything of substance to support its assertions, it just says it outright and then leaves it at that. 

---

It is odd, slightly unnerving, but I will not make it a formal prediction yet.  My problem is, the exact meaning is often unclear.  Or more, the meaning is clear, but the timing is not.  Is it based on something that already happened, or based on something that is yet to happen?  In this case, it could be either, and there is no way at this time to tell which it is. 

---

This is intended.  Irl I can't stand it when people do that, and it's something I always do my best to avoid myself. 

And I don't deal with organizations, only people.  It just doesn't offer any benefit.

Already, ninety percent of the time, I can do what I want, and I can get what I want.

So why would it benefit me to be part of an organization?  The only way that makes sense is if they can provide me with a unit, or if they can provide intelligence or situational awareness. 

Without that, what is the point?

---

It matters, but nowhere near as much as some people believe it does.

That's about all I can say.  A factor, but not an overpowering or important one.

---

It has to do with a particular advanced 3-series that was passed around and sometimes misused for the last 20-or-so years.

To small animals, something like this isn't considered 'odd', 'unusual', or anything like that.  It's rather normal, or more, small animals have a different sense of what 'normal' is.

I know the quality of the video was pretty poor, but hopefully, this at least demonstrates why the small animals fell intent on defending the HVA and today have even attracted a few of the rebel cats to their side. 

---

I'm not aware that they have ever done that.
The force complement has always been this way, at least, as long as small animals have been keeping track --
roughly 1:10 regular vs. irregular. 
Around 4000 irregular small animals.
Around 400 regulars, mostly small animals, but also a few rebel cats, and one bear.
Around 150 non-categorized, primarily specialists, mostly small animals.
In terms of parity, this is nearly 40-50% current parity with the neighborhood cat gang (standing forces numbering around 900 cats).

---

I can't say anything b'cos, I just don't have enough information to draw any kind of conclusions.
Heaven decides success or failure, the organization exists only to catch those in case they fall down.
And for basic purposes like guard duty.   

Words like right, wrong, good, evil, etc. don't mean anything to small animals.  Only survival does, this is why a HVA is classified as such.  And that is why, they will fight to the death to protect a HVA.

---

I don't approve of it.
I may seem amoral, but in truth I just don't care what people say or what they believe.  Action is the only thing I care about.
So when they attack her b'cos she expressed a belief, that's when they lose me. 

---

Nothing of that sort.
Look at the fundamentals, despite the glamorization, it's a job where even those at the top work for 16 hours a day, and might end up making 240,000 carrots per annum, and survivability is (on average) [6 months, in human terms] [1].  I'm sure he just realized that, he was starting to peak despite working very hard, and thinking of where he'd be in a year or two. 

[1] The top tier might be able to survive longer, ie. 2 years, but this is rare.  You have better chances if you worked for the neighborhood cat gang.

---

Yes, I will be there, and prepared...

---

I don't think it was presented as an honest conspiracy theory, more just a joke since he'd have no reason to do that irl.

Conspiracy theories aren't popular with small animals at all.  I mean, for small animals, death is ever present, and life always hangs by a narrow thread. 

---

As for Cat R, yes he is back.  He appeared one day, and Cat P had no choice but to 'accept his help'.  He needs all the cats he can muster for defense alone. 

Now, he's trying to get his old team back together.  But, that cat is old, not in the shape he used to be in, and his (bad) reputation preceeds him.  We'll see how this goes over, b'cos all the gang can do now is defend what is left. 
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on February 09, 2015, 08:33:14 pm
Yes, I would say high probability.

From Mikey, "All indications and intelligence points to yes."

A rescue squad, and a secondary reinforcement or support team, is being formed.  They will be ready in a few weeks.  Hopefully neither of them will actually need to be used.

I don't know about the rest, Samantha is in charge of the rescue squad, and I don't know who is in charge of the reinforcement team.  But, I'm sure it will come together.  In all likelihood, this will begin around March.

Around the same time, Mikey expects to carry out another operation to relocate the HVA to a more advantageous position.

"Neighborhood cat gang territory has been collapsing.  This next stage goes beyond an escort, it's ..."

---

The reason is that roughly a week or two ago, the critical computer was destroyed by rats.  I'm told that there were no data backups and that with budget constraints, the neighborhood cats can't afford to purchase another computer to replace the one that was lost.  So, they're kinda stuck right now. 

No group has actually claimed responsibility for the rat attack, but Mikey said it's likely it was a special attack team sent by one of their enemies.  "Without control over their territory, rats can simply scurry right up to their base.  All they need to do is find a way in, and then use a diversion to draw the cats away from the intended target.  Whatever animal sent these rats, they set the gang's propaganda back at least a few years, among other things." - from Mikey

---

I will say that it is simply an effort to take advantage of a weakening enemy.

"Everything is up for grabs.  In the next year, we'll see how the gang holds up against not one, but two prominent commanders." - from Mikey

As I've already outlined, the gang has no resources to control it's own territory.  They can only operate within their own base.  Their answer to their current troubles has been to pull back and stay within their fortifications for their own safety.

This has a number of negative consequences.

With no hunting grounds, they are forced to rely on their owners for food.

Without territory, their protection income has fallen to nothing. 

They can't leave their base, hence it is difficult to increase their numbers or recruit anyone of note.

From within their base, Cat P recognizes that the loyalty and competence of those who belong to the gang is very poor, and constantly tries to improve this.  But there is little he can do since the income the gang receives is very little at this point. 

---

1) Yes, this was a thing.  But they didn't know about it at the time.  Though they were fooled, their fate was already sealed by the finances.  I don't know whether they learned of it before the collapse, or not.  But I'm sure they know now.

No loss, it was run by people who were involved in a lot of dark things to begin with.  You got to know what side you are on, and most small animals are on the side of [that person].

For the record, no one has any idea of the Chinchilla's name.

2) This generally doesn't happen, I mean, they are generally just chased away.  Or, they might even be kept around, if they provide some advantage.  Some animals can be quite noisy[1], so having a past history like that can be useful.

[1] as in, they "love to run their mouth" or just "babble on" about this or that. 

---

I don't know what happened, and I honestly don't care what happened.

From Mikey, "That apple has already fallen off the tree [1]."

Which I agree with.  That said, try to keep a low profile / blend in, don't stick around to one place, keep moving.  As always, keep an eye out for cats.

Just b'cos neighborhood cat gang territory has receded, doesn't mean there won't be any cats.  There are still locals, and something might have them on the edge.  You never know with those guys. 

[1] Figurative:  Plans of that magnitude, once set in motion, one becomes powerless to be stop.  Similar in concept to the human expression "That ship has already sailed" or "The train has already left the station."

---

Have to learn how to take it with a grain of salt.  Outside of the gang, rumors of discord are frequently manufactured, but they rarely live up to reality.  The reverse is true within the gang, rumors are relative harmony are often put to rest by glimpses from the inside.  But that is well documented.

That is not to say that rivalries or discord exists between the forces that fall under these commanders.  But, it's mostly just the drones that feel that way, not the ones who can think for themselves.  Though, thinking for yourself is not exactly a prized ability in the followers.

---

It's best described as a logistical problem, they've made some efforts to get the system back up and running again, without any success.  And even if they did manage to do that, they'd still need to find a cat they could trust to do their bidding.  And trust is at an all-time low among the cats in the gang right now.

---

I don't know what the next step is.  I don't know how much sense this makes irl, but in the dream I had, they chose not one, but two of them.  So if I had to make a prediction, that would be it. 

---

This is simply the first of the spoils of the collapsing territory of the neighborhood cat gang.  As is said, "take the opportunity to pilfer a goat".  Plenty more is coming as the small animals advance into what was once the territory of the gang.

I don't know how much, b'cos I don't handle those types of things.  But even if it's just symbolic (I think it's more significant than that), it's a start and showing that they can hold territory that once belonged to the gang.

---

The answer is already out there.  I only know as much as everyone else knows.

From Mikey, "A little mouse told me that this[1] was the plan all along."

From Samantha, "They probably figured, if you're going to eat that many carrots, you better get something for it."

[1] "We'll find out who's casted as what after lunch."  Though somewhat ambiguous, that at least somewhat hints at the outcome. 

Think about it.  It's possible the small animals are wrong on this one, but I think there's more chance they're right than wrong.

---

Quite simply, their (nonexistent) territory doesn't cover that anymore.  They have no leverage to force those cats to do things their way.  Cats are selfish, they're going to do what they can get away with, and then some. 

The situation on the ground has changed, the days when the gang could enforce it's own protection agreements are long over.  Cat P loves to make threats, but at the end of the day, they are empty, impotent threats. 

---

This is desperation, you can bet he'll try again in a few days.  And I can already say that it won't be successful.

---

If we have to go back that far, the turning point was around 30(?) cat years ago with the first big revolt.

That was the first big hit, and after that, it's been a slow and steady decline since then. 

---

The reason I was laughing was b'cos, while I meant it at a joke, a lot of people took it quite seriously.
I mean, that kind of stuff can only hurt you if you believe it can. 

---

Soon, but there are certain "logistical concerns" that must be figured out before it can begin.
So, please wait for a short while.

---

Don't ignore the most obvious explanation:  "That there is none.  Simple as that."

If they had something to talk about, they would have already.  But the gang has been collapsing from the inside just as their territory collapses from the outside.

---

What is happening is combined maneuvering.  The grass and other vegetation in the areas to the west of the gang has become all but depleted, so two main groups of small animals, even some rebel cats, are circling the gang's base to the south till they reach the eastern front.  In the meantime, an allied group of small animals to the south is directly advancing toward the gang's base.  Once everyone is in place, all three groups will be well supplied, and within striking distance of the gang's base. 

---

I knew it.  Don't ask me how I knew.  I just kinda figured it out beforehand.  It was basic intuition.  I wasn't the only one.

Bunny R was injured hopping around some stairs.  He mis-timed a hop and about a third of his body landed on one stair, the other two thirds was out in the open.  He rolled and hit his head and kept rolling.  He suffered a severe concussion and had to withdraw from the bunny brigade.  He moved out of their hutch (#297) and back in with his owner so he could recover.

Over several [cat] years he recovered to most of his ability, though it's unlikely he'll ever be a frontline member of the brigade again.  Hutch #297 used to be little more than a periphery base, but with the maneuvering as of late, it is currently being used as a resupply base and will likely continue to be so for the near future. 

---

It's interesting, kinda, but doesn't really say much.  I guess it explains two recent happenings though.

I don't know what this means for all the (outside) players in the future.  But I do know, those within the bunny brigade will be protected.  For those outsiders, the brigade doesn't really concern itself with such things.

---

I would not assume it is about _that_.  In fact I would guess it is about something else altogether.  Everyone leaps to the conclusion that it was some kind of super dramatic thing involving that bunny (was it, bunny S?) from the old gang, but in truth, once you know, these things are often yawners that leave you with the same feeling you have after staying up late at night to finish a bad movie. 

---

Yes, and it is old news.  Almost 3 (cat) years ago, the cat was captured.  After extensive interrogation, he broke and revealed most of his accomplices.  But, there's a lot of those guys still on the loose, so this is an ongoing matter. 

---

Well, there's been a lot of moving around and shuffling lately.  Right now, the bunny brigade has two independent forward bases, and a skilled commander at each.  They have moved every few months, and additional moves are planned.  Among the bunny brigade's leaders, these are probably the most skilled.  There's other bunny brigade bases to the south of these, but those weren't really participating in this battle.

---

Sometimes when I read that stuff, I can't help but laugh.  It is so wrong.  People don't see the beauty of what he is doing, they are still thinking of him as a warrior rather than a commander.  A warrior thinks only of winning and losing, b'cos winning means survival, even fame and glory; losing means death, dishonor, or wasted effort.  A competent commander tries to position his force such that winning and losing do not matter.  Sure he, like a warrior, would always prefer to win, but with planning, strategy, support, economy, vision, propaganda, etc., he can still achieve the objective even if most/all the battles are lost.  That is how the best commanders think, they do not depend on winning battles especially when their forces are roughly symmetrical.

This is why the bunny brigade is doing what it is doing, people often fail to see the long-term of 3-5 years out.  They use a strategy of encroachment, of slowly inching forward and seizing territory that used to belong to the neighborhood cat gang, when the gang counterattacks or puts on a show of force, they dance, they evade, they maneuver, they pull back in one place while pushing forward in three other places.  They know the gang is desperate, fighting in the corner and with plenty of fresh troops, recruits and volunteers who used to live in territory that was once (and no longer is) neighborhood cat gang territory.  They know that the gang cannot sustain the fight long, their economy is very poor, they cannot extract enough funds to supply a force of that size from what limited territory remains, they have already spent their entire war chest on mercenaries and fortifications. 

---

Silence does not mean nothing is happening, I will say this since it is already public knowledge.  Things come in waves, and the first wave isn't even expected to succeed.  It's merely testing the boundaries, finding where the cats put up resistance and backing off before they can launch a counterattack.  The first wave is composed mostly of the expendable types, mercenaries, rabble, and others who are expected to run rather than to join in battle against the cats.  It's the second and third wave where the best, most capable animals are, these are the ones who expect to meet and fight against the cats in what is left of gang territory. 

---

Already described somewhat, but that is a large part of the issue.  He expects his unit to succeed a hundred percent in their attacks against the neighborhood cat gang, and expects to come out ahead when he sacks their base and seizes all their riches.  But the reality is that this statement is false on at least two counts, anyone in the bunny brigade can attest to this.  First, there really is no way the attack can succeed, they have nowhere near the numbers required, and they are already experiencing high levels of infighting with the numbers they have.  Second, the neighborhood cat gang has no significant capital at all, the cats in the gang are living off whatever subsistence their owners provide them with, and little else.  What funds they had were spent on fortifications and mercenaries, there is simply nothing of substance left.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on October 15, 2015, 08:53:11 am
Yes.  Since May.  He was classified as a Class C back then, now he is a Class B.  For distant threats, it is 'track only', the bunny brigade leaves the handling of snakes like that one to local groups.

---

No idea.  The bunny brigade is efficient by necessity.  Remember, a snake can kill a bunny in a second, while 4 bunnies might be able to kill a snake in 10 seconds, and only if they cooperate well.  Nature is asymetric, so the tactics are, out of necessity if nothing else.

---

By all indications, yes, it was a front for the neighborhood cat gang.  But even the cats involved, they didn't want to be associated with the gang once it was outed.  So they all jumped ship at once, leaving the poor kitty that Cat P had appointed to take a fall. 

"Death came quickly, and the [bamboo tower] came down shortly after.  Nothing remained, and the whole affair was quickly forgotten.  Cat P disavowed the whole thing, a few cats perished, and several others left the gang.  But what's that to them?" - from Ling Ling, a Panda informant, to Chelsea, of the Bunny Brigade.

---

I don't know much, there is plenty of information there, but most of it contradicts itself in one way or another.

My intuition says that their front is messed up, ie. someone took the funds and ran, they know who did it and they are trying to get the funds back.  But there's nothing in the bank now, and nothing is certain.  My rationale is this:  They would have fixed the problem if they could have, the only way the explain this is that they can't fix the problem right now, but believe they will be able to in the future.  But being uncertain of this (being able to fix it), it's 'cover your ass' time and no one wants to seem at fault.  So, no one is talking, b'cos right now, no one would like the answer.  Sounds like cats, but I don't know, the top level was always kinda suspicious.

If you want sinister, perhaps their supporter was a double like snake E.  He planned to use it to bring him more victims, but when his plans fell apart, he pulled his support along with the funds that he had promised.  So, they were left with no way to keep the promises they made. 

---

Good, few problems, pretty much exactly how something of that size should work.  A lot more than I can say for other (similar) things.

While I wasn't able to talk with all those who I wanted to, I talked to a sufficient number of people throughout the day, so I am satisfied with that.

---

Not much new information, honestly, I haven't spent much time on this.  They run a pretty tight ship but it will start to leak sooner or later.  Reports indicate that some have already jumped, and are already talking to others in secret.  Whatever secret they are trying to hide must be pretty big, and it's not like this whole thing is going to go away anytime soon.

---

I talked to Ling Ling today and this is what she said (paraphrased).  The captain (cat Y) abandoned ship several days ago, in the dark of night.  He left his crew behind, and that ship is sinking fast. 

---

Yes, though I do not know the reliability of the source, he likely is who he says he is.  The fact that he removed his message a few hours after posting it probably means he had second thoughts about posting the information; of course by then, it was already too late.

The points he discussed include:
1) By the end, it was obvious the cats owed more funds than they could afford to pay out.
2) They could not afford to pay their own core cats, much less the mercenaries they had retained and the other cats they owed funds too.  They paid out as much as they could, but they ran out of funds.
3) Some of the mercenaries simply started to take funds straight from the core cats.
4) Regardless, the mercenaries are still owed funds equivalent to roughly 200,000 carrots (or more) and they are kinda pissed off about it.

---

The thing is, few cats are left who know much, and those who are left aren't talking.  There are whispers of secret messages from Cat Y, presumably in hiding as he has not been seen since.  Presumably, it is a dire situation, and one that will only get worse.

---

To the person who asked that question, first, I think you're a bit confused.  Any relation to one of our bunnies is purely coincidental.  Overloading or such.

Nor should it be forgotten, that one of the mottoes of the brigade is (translated) "if I should die, let it be decided in battle".  Like many sayings, there is a double meaning here.

Our bunnies would never do that type of thing, at least not while they are part of the brigade, much less a HVA.

As for the topic at hand, no, my guess would be no relation.  Now this has been a while, long ago, around 36 (cat) years ago.  I did jobs with Panda A once or twice, he seemed like a good guy, and he always treated my friends well.  So I'll take his word over the rest of them. 

While information is sketchy, I'd guess that it's not related to that at all.  I was only clued onto this by one off-hand remark that led to my investigation.  Yes, they had a presence with the movement, but that's about it.  That is beside the point.  Despite all that grandstanding, the more obvious reason shouldn't be ignored.

Nor do I take the predominant western view when it comes to that topic.  It can be an escape, or not.  It can be honorable, or not.  Generally we despise it, but, it doesn't have to be that way.  It really depends on the person.  Remember the story of Setsumi.  A sad story, but not b'cos of that.  It is far more likely that this story is similar to that one rather that what those people would make it out to be.  That's really all I can say here.  Beyond that, I would recommend contacting the panda directly, and not the others.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on January 29, 2016, 04:28:19 am
Scouts from the bunny brigade reported multiple sightings of snake E entering the building around 7pm.  The brigade is in the process of notifying the Pandas and operations will begin shortly. 

---

Multiple sightings of snake E during the last two nights.  Scouts who were able to follow report that he was prowling around as if he was looking for someone or something.  Has evaded capture so far, all bunnies should travel in groups.  The brigade is treating the snake as a target of opportunity, if you see him, please contact the brigade and, if possible, track him from a safe distance while waiting for a team to show up.

---

According to accounts, the panda was jumped by a gang of several bunnies from the black bunny squad.  As one of the bunnies turned to kick him, he bared his claws, sending all but the one bunny fleeing in fear.  Though brave, the bunny's attempt to fight him was futile.  He pounced on the bunny and then sat down on him, crushing him under his weight. 

What actually happened?  Apparently, he was mistaken for Cat Y and attacked on the spot without a second thought.  Whichever bunny was calling the shots that night must have been awfully near sighted.

---

Please do not worry.  It's not like our Pandas would attempt such an operation without a backup plan in place.  I can assure you that everything will be fine in the end.

---

Even a slight bit of research will lead to the truth, it is not very hard to find.  But, I would stop at the information, beyond that, I must warn, you might not like what you find.  So my advice, just leave it at that.  This should be enough to explain recent events, at least.

I will say this, I have far more respect for someone who does not want to be the poster child of the revolution than someone who does. 

---

Sure, it is pretty simple.  There are a few rules in place (for reasons), but they are easily followed for those who care to.  And for those who don't, go ahead, but don't blame me if you get jumped on by a hungry pomeranian or something like that.

Those who wish to use trademarked text, logos, designs, images, etc. must download and send in a signed copy (electronic signature is fine) of the Revocable Open Licensing Agreement.

For fanart that is sold at an event, we ask that you either tweet a graphical image of it with the official hashtag #bunnybrigade, or post it to the facebook group.  It doesn't have to be full resolution, we're not trying to steal your stuff, we just want to know what is out there.

For items produced in small quantities, handmade items, one-offs, trinkets, buttons, pouches, bags, wallets, mousepads, etc., take a photo and tweet it as above, or post to the facebook group.

If the above merchendise is mass produced, please also send a single copy of each item to Chester's PO box.

---

So far, there is no actual evidence to indicate that any kind of incident actually happened.  The brigade deals with enough real threats, they aren't going to send bunnies to investigate imaginary ones. 

Follow standard protocol(s), don't panic, and stay safe. 

---

I know the presses have been abuzz with this, but there really isn't much to report.  Cat P hadn't been sighted in the past few weeks, and there were rumors his owner moved out of the city, taking his fat cat with him.  Normally purges would follow such an event, but there really aren't many followers left to purge.

---

Please do not worry.  I know this is heavy stuff, but the brigade has the best commanders and they are used to these kinds of things.  The situation has not reached anywhere near serious or critical yet. 

If it does, I can assure you that the brigade will intervene.  But right now, it is important to give our agent time to do her job.  This is why the brigade has independent agents; resources are limited, they are not an endless well.

There may be strength in numbers, but sometimes, one must pursue the path alone. 

---

There is little doubt, but these are not the types of things the brigade concerns itself with.  At best, he is a class C.  Threats are rated based on their level, not their pervasiveness.

---

Since the departure of Cat P, extreme paranoia has taken over within the gang.  This new administration, the purges of today, soon the cats within the gang will long for the 'good ol' days' under the incompetent Cat P, or the wasteful Cat L. 

From Mr. Sparkles - "The cats are gathering information on each other -- hiring private investigators, awarding squealers with cash payouts, etc.  They're even researching past cats that have either perished or left the gang, so that they can suspect and purge those who served under them if any dirt is found."

From Ling Ling - "Even Cat P, with his one-dimensional thinking, at least understood that cats are cats, and that every cat is guilty of something.  But these new cats, whoever they are, whatever they are up to, they seem out to purge anyone based on anything.  Cat P at least had the sense to keep around that Cats with skills that were necessary for the gang to function, but Cat C and his ilk have already shown their willingness to sabotage themselves into something that can no longer functional, at all."

From Samantha - "It makes me wonder, is this what Cat C was aiming for all along?  The brigade can relax now, no need to do anything about a general who is tearing apart the gang from the inside.  In the long run, the only decision to make is to let the cats continue to eat their own, or to assist in their demise!"

---

In truth, we're not entirely sure.  The brigade has been shifting most of their small animals from fact-finding to paranoia operations.  This means that we're not entirely sure which cat is actually in charge at any given moment, nor what is going on within the gang.

These operations are having an effect, anyone can see that simply by observing the cats in the gang, and some of the other organizations it deals with.

---

It's uncertain.  There's no known evidence that points to it, but the cats would be expected to keep it under wraps anyways.  It does seem likely, from the timing alone.

---

Actually there were parts that I just couldn't not laugh, people with ideas and those ideas are anything but.  Sometimes, people have absolutely no idea what they are talking about, but they just keep talking.  If you take it too seriously, it makes a sense of bewilderment, so you just can't help but to laugh at them.

---

The only reason they survive is b'cos they are willing to throw money at it.  Exclusiveness can't exist in a healthy environment (for long), but this isn't a healthy environment to begin with.

---

There multiple reports that Cat P has been sighted in Texas.  If true, this points to the original theory that his owner moved away, taking the fat cat with him.

---

Actually, it's not at risk at all.  From the number of people that are asking this question, I'm not sure people understand the situation.

---

If I were there, I'd probably have made the same decision too.  But I'm not. 

---

It does not matter, b'cos that environment is always changing.  The facts on the ground, the belief in a theory, however true it may be, all these things are mere contrivances.  Unless it can be reduced to practice, and practiced effectively, one cannot hope for (better) change in the world.  Misfortune comes easily, but good fortune, it is much harder to bring about.

Belief that leads to mere frustration becomes a crutch rather than a boon.  Spouting off about this or that, running in circles rather than spiraling (iterating) toward some better goal, it is this inanity that seperates the rest of the world from the brigade.  For while these things may be popular among some in the rest of world, the brigade does not tolerate them, or think highly of those who practice them.

---

That is unproven, and unlikely.  While many within the brigade would be pleased with this outcome, it neither fits his profile, nor is there any actual evidence of this type of communication.

---

B'cos most of these are software hacks, so they may be detectable by software.  A true hardware hack is a bit more involved, but it would be undetectable, or at least nearly so, if done properly.  When it comes down to it, a GPS module is a UART that sends NMEA data, at least most of them are.  There are a variety of messages sent out, but the position one typically looks like:

$GPGGA,123519,4807.038,N,01131.000,E,1,08,0.9,545.4,M,46.9,M,,*47

$GPGGA is the header telling you it is a position, the number right after that is the time, and then the latitude, the latitude direction, the longitude, longitude direction, then an index to the fix quality, and so on.  This is defined in the NMEA specification, a good link is:

http://www.gpsinformation.org/dale/nmea.htm

Most of these modules use a lower baud rate like 9600.  So there's no reason you can't pass it through an arduino (or something simple like that) and back to the micro where it was originally going.  The time is only to the nearest second, so you likely won't have to change that at all. 

The hard part would be actually doing the hardware hack, depending on the type of part, and how they are laid out, you'd have to cut a trace, lift a pin, and run some wires to/from the arduino.  If you are dealing with a BGA part and a trace that's not accessible, it might have to be removed altogether.  But the good news is, it's really not very hard to mate up a GPS module with an arduino, there are premade setups already out there by adafruit, sparkfun, or others.  So if you have to remove the GPS module IC altogether, you can replace it with your own GPS and only have to run one wire plus another for GND. 

Then you just have to write the software to intercept the GPS location messages and change them.  As long as you are subtle about it, the software has no way of knowing something is up.  You will want to turn off some of the other location data like wifi, cellular, and so on.  Most of this positioning isn't too accurate so you might be able to leave it on if you are only making small changes to the GPS fix.

---

There is nothing there, this is part of the cycle and it leads nowhere.  I say that b'cos I've seen the same thing happen in many other (similar) activities, there is a scale here but it leads nowhere in the end. 

---

While the brigade has received several inquiries in this respect, there is no such policy.  Nor will there ever be.  The goal of [the market] has always been free and open exchange of goods and services between all small animals.  With respect to that, it isn't the job of the brigade to interfere or control anything, beyond promoting that. 

"Cats can threaten and snakes can hiss, but the rule of nature is unchanged" - old quote from Tuan Tuan.

---

No.  We'll, if you base it on perception, the answer is sometimes.  But if you base it on reality, the answer is no. 
The absence of one thing does not create another thing.  To say so is to fall in the trap of one-dimensional thinking. 
In reality, there are actual opposites (ie. darkness defined as being the absence of light) and there are contrived opposites. 
Consider, for instance, what is rich and what is poor?  Those bound by money will be rich, poor, or somewhere in between.  But what of those who simply don't understand the concept of money?  Though rare, it is possible, even in the modern age.  They have 'fallen off' the line, they are not part of it at all.
Do not fall to contrivance, see things how they are, not how they are seen.

---

While it will happen in time, I don't think it will happen the same way.
The main difference is support.  Monetary support. 
The [organization] funds those [groups], paying approximately [10,000 carrots] per month.  On average, the best [groups] can match that, with another [10,000 carrots] per bunny.  But that's only the best, the majority of [groups] can barely pay the rent, much less pay their bunnies more than a mere pittance. 
Now think of [10,000 a month]; that's an awful lot of carrots!
That's why the [organization] has a firm grip on most [groups].  Without funding from the [organization], most [groups] wouldn't be able to pay their bunnies enough to make them stick around.  So the reality; most [groups] aren't independent, they are subsidiaries of the [organization].  They couldn't rebel, even if they wanted to.

---

I'll say two things.  First, they were more interested in exposition than action.  People coming up with rules and policies when there was little actually happening in the first place.  Second, there just wasn't anything there as far as currency.  And it wasn't sizeable enough to make it happen without.
Title: Re: Small Animal News
Post by: Sindobook on November 09, 2016, 08:15:44 pm
I've been getting questions about this all last night and even this morning.  Honestly, there's not much I can say.  Truth is, small animals just don't care about it much at all. 

There are times of internal conflict, like the disruptions caused by Yue-bing or the rivalry between the more organized bunny brigade and the somewhat nebulous, shadowy organization known as the black bunny squad.  But when it comes down to it, both these organizations exist to fight predators, like the local neighborhood cat gang.  And with those cats pretty much beaten into submission, the demise of cat P and the ensuing power struggle to fill that vacuum, things have gone pretty quiet on that front.

So to summarize, first to understand is that small animals really only organize like that when their survival is threatened, and most of the conversations are about very mundane things like food, water, or inter-relational / inter-personal things.

---

1) I don't doubt what the rumors say.  But the truth is, no one cares too much.  It doesn't have much effect on anything at all.  To me, it's just [other], not-normal, outside-norms.  Society's problem, and what do I care about society?  2) In the end, they quit b'cos they have a brain.  Anyone can see that there's really no future there.  Maybe a future for 2 or 3 [human] years.  Maybe the [organization] can continue for 4 or 5 years.  But sooner or later, it ends, and is a waste.  3) I'm not saying it's a total loss for everyone.  Some still have a future, they will adapt, they will find a way to survive.  But many don't.  Especially those on the front lines.  They'll be relegated to menial jobs, no future, no hope, no prospects.  4) Someone who sees that now, and acts now, has wisdom, at least.  Many don't. 

---

People have to realize some of the macro going on.  That phenomenon came and went many years ago.  Today, that gang is a zombie, still walking around but slowly dying off, whether to simple attrition, defections, etc.  Those that are left are the "dead-enders", they have nowhere else to go, they've isolated and made enemies out of anyone who cared for them, they can't go back to their original lives, the only life they have left is the dying gang.  So they do their best to reverse the reality on the ground, by any means necessary.  These actions, desperate, poorly planned, not well supported, they rarely last long and only serve to quicken the demise of what is left. 

---

Perhaps "smoke and mirrors", or perhaps they're really that stupid.  Either way, the result should be the same -- no one should want anything to do with these guys.  I've never heard of a more inane excuse, it's something a bunch of infants would come up with. 

---

It's not something I pay attention to, so I can't say much.  They try to stand out, hog the spotlight, grasping at the illusion of power, they fight among themselves; despite that word, it's nothing.  Just running around in circles, going no-where.

---

While it might seem like there's a high degree of nepotism, I'd say this is just a continuation of their new policy.  Look at the last two moves by that group, and the reason they choose this bunny over that bunny should be obvious.  It's more strategic decisions than outright nepotism.  And strategy wise, I think it's a solid strategy, in the scheme of things.

---

Under Cat P, the neighborhood cat gang had tried to co-opt a smallish group to the south.  But these attempts ultimately failed, and with Cat P gone, the new cats in charge all but surrendered the southern front, which had been a constant drain on the garrison. 

There are rumors of some kind of activity to the south of the gang, however anything that is going on is unlikely to pose a threat in the short term.  Whether the strategy of abandoning the southern front is a good one in the long term remains to be seen.

---

No information.  One week, but there's no regular brigade patrols in that area to begin with.

Unfortunately that is deep within neighborhood cat gang territory.  Not safe, especially at night.  Likely perished at the paws of Cat C and his minions.  Even with Cat P's departure, the gang still has plenty of those.

---

Actually, she survived and was just fine.  The story goes that her device had died (battery failure) and she was hanging out at her hutch for the week eating, drinking, and hopping around. 

---

What people often overlook is that those bunnies are good at stirring things up.  Despite seeming like they are against each other, they depend on each other to stay a factor.  Because without that rivalry, without that conflict, they're no longer relevant.  So, when things like this happen, both rivals win, and the losers are the other bunnies in that scene who lost a bit of relevance.

---

I've seen a lot but I'll say this much.  It was an absolute disaster but any small animal with even half a brain could have seen that one coming (triple witching day or whatever you want to call it).  It was just a matter whether it was going to be a slow motion train wreck or a stampede.  I don't know how effective it is b'cos the cats have a PR guy who loves to spin, but the things they wouldn't lie about likely mean many carrots left to rot[1]. 

Truth is the cats are spread thin, and their war chest is not going to last forever.  The best they can do with the numbers they have is to set up a picket formation, but that means risking their limited numbers when they are overrun.  So we've seen this before, they might send a few expendables out but the choice they make is to pull back and defend only, while spouting PR to try to keep morale high and counter tactics that are very expensive.

One odd tactic that I've never seen before is the cats bribing the attackers to go away.  If true, this is likely to be an ineffective one as it only attracts more attackers in the long run, and what happens once the treasury runs out and they can no longer bribe their enemies.  At best, it's a desperation tactic to buy some time. 

[1] A bunny expression for "lots of resources gone to waste"

---

1) We'll, from a technical, or artistic point of view, positively awful.  Only worth it for one reason, which should be obvious.

---

You may not choose or have control over everything that happens to you, but you always have a choice of how you respond to it.
Don't let it get to your head, live every day like it is the last.

Animals do have a pecking order, but it is a given that it can change at any time.  It's not a matter of progress, but a matter of the most able coming out on top, and the weak being relegated.  A pack that does not live like that will fall.

---

The problem is one of focus.  There's enough there for maybe 5 minutes of discussion, debate, and arguments.  But that's really it.  Low value, low priority, the quickest way to lose is to move it to the top (in importance). 

---

The cats have little choice in the matter, they are out of funds, and barely break even on budget, so they can't bring on any more animals.  They have no more loyalists, any cat who works for the gang demands two to three times the going rate, even the grunts.  The incident of five [cat] years ago really hit them hard, it pushed them from being slightly profitable to terminally not so.

---

From the outside looking in, it might seem like some of the animals in the bunny brigade are absolutely useless.  But that is rarely the case.  Those animals have been shown to be useful in the past, otherwise they wouldn't be part of the brigade to begin with.  While it has grown somewhat, the core of the brigade isn't huge, around 200 small animals.  Beyond this you have support, and affiliates. 

---

There is nothing to say, nothing meaningful at least.  A lot of people will ramble on without seeing the big picture.  There are two basic ways to think of something, like, or dislike; and then there is ultimate indifference. 

---

As I am told here is the situation.  One of the bunnies at a local "bunny cafe" became ill with this flu that is going around and so they asked that she stand in for her as a substitute.  So she gets to sing and dance with the other bunnies as part of their event, as well as meet some of the other important bunnies like Bunny Y and so on.  I don't know about dancing but once they realize how good she is at singing they'll probably want to make her a full member of the bunny cafe too. 

---

A short recap of what happened.  Originally the two bunnies were together, basically due to their mutual admiration of each other.  They lived a few states apart, but they got to see each other enough and otherwise interact online to keep the relationship going.  At one point she took a long vacation, for around 12 [bunny] weeks where he lived.  Near the end of this vacation, he proposed to her, that they could both get their own place and become engaged.  But she had her own plans, she wanted to go farther west because that was what she dreamed of.

She would have just preferred the relationship stayed the same way it was, so she turned him down.  Left rather depressed, like the thing had been a total loss because they were at odds with what to do next.  At the end of her vacation, she visited another bunny J, who she was friends with, and at least enjoyed that.

Not too long after, she headed west.  Bunny S and her stayed friends, but they weren't really together anymore.  Eventually, bunny J ended up with bunny S (how this happened is another story) and things got very awkward, she broke contact with the two of the them.

Time passed, around 18 bunny years.  So current time, that's how it got to where it is now.

---

Where are they now?  They're still there, as far as I know, but haven't been a factor.  At least, not as far as I know.

The constantly shifting propaganda of the cats, the lack of numbers, about the only thing that keeps them alive is that with so few cats left, there's more than enough funds to go around and keep most of those that remain happy.  But with these numbers, they can't really recover, they are losing territory day by day because none of the cats will stand up and fight in any skirmishes.  While those on their borders continue to amass their forces.  Their remaining territory is impoverished and already sucked dry of resources, and they can't really move as they are boxed in.

Biding their time, and time isn't on their side.

---

It's hard to say, sure it's like that.  But I think this is just evolution. 

---

Yes, 15,000 last I checked?  But numbers are just numbers, what really matters isn't a number but how far people are willing to go... this is why the brigade is so strong, despite having only (roughly) 200 in number.

---

I would have to say no, because I think it would be a little more obvious if they were.
None of the signs are there. 

---

It's a mystery, but I honestly think it's pretty obvious.  Most of the evidence points to (1).  There are some other possibilities, but nothing that makes a whole lot of sense.
1) She's pregnant and the father is her ex.
2) One of her ferrets is sick.
3) Taking a month off from work for "mental health".
4) Something voice related?

---

Let me say this about that dog.  In small animal circles, he's earned the moniker "mad dog" for a reason.  He's loyal to a fault, and it's not uncommon to have him get in front of other dogs and stare or bark ferociously, trying to scare them off.  And there's been multiple instances where he lunged at other dogs, nipped at them, one more serious incident around 20 cat years ago where he actually bit another dog repeatedly and some owners had to intervene to separate the two. 

While I personally may not agree with most of his philosophy or quite often what he says (in many ways he's just a "bigger bully") he's definately a step up from the dog that came before him.  I know brigade intelligence missed some of the critical facts when it comes to this affair; what she said, even those in the famed "rat squad" where struck with surprise when the facts actually came out.  And few actually doubt her story, frankly it explains a lot as well as the company's relative silence when it came to this affair in the past.

---

1) They went under for a while, then resurfaced about 6 (cat) months ago.  I don't know how much of a factor it will be, but I don't doubt the founder is still in charge so that has to at least count for something.  No idea how many cats they have behind them.

2) Details are kinda sketchy, read the news, that's the best source out there right now. 

---

1) I don't know what happen.  Though I probably wouldn't have noticed it if it was.  I really don't pay much attention to that stuff.

2) The cat who is poking around, yes his reputation proceeds him, and he deserves that reputation. 

---

I don't know the details, but the brigade does have many installations in the area.  But no, it seems unlikely she is part of it, or will be part of it.  It's just not suited to her right now.  Maybe in a few years?