So Close and Yet So Far

TODAY'S Gem of the Day was the Booger Nugget (what a dreadful name for such a pretty iridescent stone!) and I actually found it. This is the next to the last gem I need for a Crown of Wonder.

Now if I can only find that wretched Volcano Viscose. Both of them have been eluding me since August.


WE were in BJs this morning shopping for the essentials of life (read "milk" LOL) and stopped to look at their small collection of Webkinz. James picked up one of the Dalmatians and noticed someone had stolen the tag out of the plastic pouch.

(Incidentally, we reported this to the management and they didn't even know what the tag was for!)

Goin' to a Garden Party

ACTUALLY, it was out in the yard.

Webkinz informed me it was Peppercorn's birthday and sent her a slice of cake. We "threw a party" in the picnic area. Since in Webkinz you can't have your cake and eat it too, I cut and pasted her cake on the picnic table, not to mention cut and pasted the balloons as well. They cannot leave the rooms, which I find silly.

Weenie waves from the grill where she has taken over the cooking and Clementine is getting the Zingoz bubble blower to blow some bubbles. Kimi is of course seeking a cool seat! Meanwhile, Gibson checks out the sundial and pond. Sterling sits next to Peppercorn, Eclipse is across from her, and Cubby is seated across from Sterling.

Peppercorn's birthday

Home Before Dark

THIS is the new game that premiered today on Webkinz World. The object of the game is to get your pets home before the sun rises. It is a version of James' old favorite, Rocket Mania, on PopCap's game site.

Webkinz Are What Happens When You Make Other Plans

SO there we were at BJs Wholesale Club to get milk, spam, lunchmeat, shredded cheese, and SlimFast bars. (They didn't have them. I'm bummed.)

As we passed the toy aisle, we saw shelves of Webkinz. Wow. I didn't know any of the wholesale clubs would be carrying something like this. They had Dalmatians, hippos, rabbits, what they call a Yorkie that is really a Maltese, and pigs.

OliverWe were walking on toward the books when James said, "I'm going back for a leopard." Pause. "Do you want one?"

Well...yes. [eyes roll]

At first I looked at his beady black eyes and thought "Max." (I remember all the jokes on Get Smart! about Max's beady black eyes...LOL.) But when it finally came down to the adoption I named him "Oliver" instead. Why? I dunno. I liked the name Oliver.

I bought him a big jungle room behind the Fantasy Forest.

James named his leopard Spitfire.

So he goes off to his meeting and I run off with my Borders coupon and other Michael's coupon. When I get back the mail has run. Included in the loot is the package with the husky I ordered last week since I was tired of going from store to store looking for one. As is typical of life, I'm sure, huskies will start popping up in every store that sells Webkinz.

KimiSo I put the husky in today, too. She's staying in my Winter Park (which is really a room) for now until I figure out what I want to do with her.

And before you Susan Conant fans rebel, yes, I know the real Kimi is an Alaskan Malamute, not a husky. :-) I just thought it was a particularly cool name for an Arctic-type dog.

Up, Up and Away!

FINALLY! A hot-air balloon! I've been dying to own one.

Actually I bought three, hoping someone will trade for one. :-) One is in storage and the other two are parked "at the fairgrounds."

Since Webkinz doesn't have any type of fairground-type accessories, I've had to make up a lot.

In front Gaudior is taking a hot air balloon ride (there's a seat for the proprietor, of course; I just don't have anyone else there). To the right is the concession stand selling pinwheels and garden Zingoz (I wanted balloons there, too, but the Welcome balloons that come with each Webkinz don't go outside, darnit). In the back at right is a "stage" (the beach bench was the only big thing I found that would go outside) and some benches for watching the performance. There's a tower to survey the countryside and in the left corner the judging area for the flowers and the pumpkins (guess which pumpkin will win! LOL). The sandsculpture Ws are supposed to be the fairground gates.

Gaudior at the fairground

Balloon Dartz Again

LUCKILY I happened to read some posts in Adultkinz before doing Balloon Dartz—it's having conniptions again, from what I understand. I only aimed at the bottom row because apparently it was the only one working. Even then it was funny: I hit the balloon exactly in the middle and the balloon above it to the left was the one that burst—the one I hit stayed intact with the dart sticking in it!

Many, Many Things Going On

WEBKINZ World has been a busy place. First came this piece of news from Webkinz Insider, passed on to them directly by the folks at Ganz:

• There will be some Cheeky news in the new year, but no, we are NOT re-releasing the retired Cheeky Dog. Once retired, a pet stays retired.

• A major new area will be opening in Webkinz World in two weeks. It will be for everyone. It's not feature code related at all.

• Secure trading is on the way. No more KinzPost trading.

This sounds as if there may be some other Cheeky animals (the Cheeky Dog and Cat are presently retired, but the Cheeky Monkey is still in release) or perhaps a Lil Kinz Cheeky Dog or Cat).

The trading is a big step for Ganz. They have said in the past that they did not want any trading on Webkinz, but the fans have done it themselves via KinzPost. Unfortunately some people have been scammed, although many places have set up what they hope are secure trading sites, with traders getting reputation points when they participate in a good trade and being blacklisted if they cheat someone. I suppose they figure if Webkinz users are going to trade anyway, they will help supervise it. I have several things I would love to trade, but am still wary.

Yesterday WW was down until after 10 a.m. When it finally reopened, a new theme was unveiled—the first half of the "Atlantis" theme which is done in dark blues and golds, which I assume is preparatory for the marine pets coming out in November (the penguin, the seal, and the turtle)—and also a new tab was added to the dock area where your items and food can be kept: Actions. You can make your pet do three actions: smile, giggle, and wave, plus you can "record" these actions into repeatable sequences.

Also, in the "W Shop," you could see the exclusives that are supposed to come with the Pet of the Month.

This last was particularly interesting because for a while the items had prices on them and folks could buy them. Some people bought one of everything and several of one or two things before someone at Ganz realized the glitch and shut the site down again. When people returned, the exclusive items were gone and their KinzCash returned—except for a few folks who seemed to have escaped the purge by having the items enroute in KinzPost.

Several of the items looked pretty interesting, especially the snow-making machine—I'd really like that myself! I'm hoping that the two older animals I bought and put away may be POTM in the future so I may have it and also the crystalline pond and perhaps the star-making machine. Maybe it's even worth adopting my virtual frog pet for. :-) James is holding a bear for November and wants the outer-space window from the Dex Dangerous game (it has spaceships flitting around occasionally).

The second statement, about the new area, is particularly interesting because there is a user on one of the Webkinz forums who knows the particular programming language that Ganz uses for the website and also knows how to access the site. This person has discovered, for instance, the new avatars for the upcoming Webkinz and what looks like ideas for another theme (Japanese!). Some animations have been found online which closely tie in with the new "actions" and it looks like there will eventually be eighteen of them, including "dance" and "jump."

But this person also found some images referencing what looks like it is possibly the new area premiering in two weeks: it will be some type of school where the Kinz learn skills and earn more KinzCash. You can even hire a tutor. Perhaps the actions may be used in this school?

Another item is something a user on WI found one day while doing daily KinzCare. An extra screen was visible. Recently, WW upgraded to a full-screen format. Instead of having the games and rooms be full screen, little "advertisements" for other games on WW appeared at the side of the screen. Some of the advertisements were PSAs, telling the kids playing to brush their teeth, eat fruit, go outside and play, etc.

On the page this person saw, there was a box you could check to get actual advertisements for real products in the spaces where the Webkinz World ads were. If you accepted advertisements, you would get an extra gift at the beginning of the month.

I know many parents like Webkinz because there are no advertisements for other products. I know at least one parent who cancelled his child's account due to the WW advertisements now appearing on the right. I'm wondering how this move might go over with parents. Will the kids ask for the ads just to get the free item? Will enough parents allow it to make it feasible?

For my part I don't know if I would check the box or not. A free item sounds tempting and I rarely pay attention to advertisements anyway. Most television commercials go right over my head unless they are clever, and then I remember the commercial and not what it's advertising, so I'm a dead loss to advertisers! I'd be more worried that they would be loud or slow down Webkinz World.

"The Girls"

I'D considered not adopting my poodle for a while, until I might learn if it were a Pet of the Month. But since I already had the room fixed up for her and her roommate—what the heck!

These are "the girls" and they have a pink and pastel blue room full of all those girly things I hate. :-)

ClementineThe poodle is "Clementine," or "Clemmy" for short, and she is in part named after Winston Churchill's wife and in part named after...dare I call it a character? a book. In John Verney's Friday's Tunnel, February Callendar has a "green knitted poodle" made for her by the wife of the local doctor. This poodle is named "Clementine," and the illo of the toy, linked here, reminded me so much of the face of the Webkinz poodle that the name was a natural.

HilaryMiss Persian needed a very ladylike, aristocratic name and what better than the name of the diva of radio station WENN? She looks like picture hats and long satin gloves; if Hilary Booth was a cat, I could easily see her as a Persian (rather than Calico Jones, cat detective, that is!). (I used the full name so no one would think she was named after any other Hilary.)

Although...LOL...I don't think the real Miss Booth would be fond of going fishing.

I'm really, really not a pink person, but I'm so awfully tempted to adopt a pink poodle and name her "Maple LaMarsh." The color would be as flamboyant enough to go along with the pet!

There was a bit of anxiety after the adoption: just as I was adjusting a chair in the room, Webkinz World crashed. It had already been down until almost eleven o'clock (more about this later) and suddenly went down again. It's happened to other people before, so I was concerned that I might lose some of my adoption gifts. But all was well.

Tiny Bubbles...

I'VE been playing a new (for me) game today: Zingoz Pop, which was the "Game of the Day" that gives extra points. Bubbles of different colors hang from the top of the screen and slowly move downward as time progresses in the game. A Zangoz (the big goofy orange monster who swings clubs at the Zingoz in "Zacky's Quest," "Wacky's Bullzeye," etc.) shoots a water cannon of different colored bubbles at the advancing bubbles. When three or more colors match, the bubbles pop and little Zingoz float down to earth on parachutes, reducing the advancing bubbles. Clear all the bubbles before they reach the "fall line" and you go on to the next level. If you complete the level quickly, you get an additional time bonus. Actually quite fun.

If It's Not One Thing It's Another...the Next Edition

SO yesterday Emily had her black mane and tail back but was gliding (so were at least half a dozen of my other pets). Well, Molly, Emily, and Sunny at least were all perambulating naturally this morning.

But Emily's back to being a brunette with a wiseass grin. Sigh.

Now that all those wretched Wacky Bingoz coupons are gone without any result whatsoever, I am giving up playing it unless I have a coupon to get rid of. They need to let people win naturally, which would be at a glacial pace given the one-ball-a-day game, or give out more balls per day to make it go quicker. No coupons to clutter up your dock.

Everyone's Into Webkinz

TODAY'S "Family Circus".

A Webkinz List

THANKS to "whitestorm" on WI for directing me to this helpful: List of Webkinz Pets, Past, Present, & Future.

Masked Bandit

SterlingI celebrated end-of-fiscal-year by adopting a raccoon. For a while I wasn't sure I was going to survive the insanity.

I didn't want the typical raccoon names like "Rascal," "Ringo," "Bandit," etc. but I kept close to roots. He's named after Sterling North, the author of Rascal, a literary name after all.

As an adoption gift, I got a flying carpet! I've always wanted one. Pity most of the critters are still sliding rather than walking—including this new guy. Neewa is still walking, though.

I notice Sterling says he "likes camping," so when is Ganz going to oblige all the raccoons (not to mention bears) and create a camping/Northwoods theme?

The quickest way to give a raccoon a health boost is give him a bath...LOL. So I did. Result: happy raccoon.

shampooing Sterling

@#!%#!!%! Bingoz!

I got tired of having all those Wacky Bingoz coupons in my dock, so I blew all 36 of them because I got two Bingoz balls in a row on the W1000 board.

Out of 36 balls I think I got ten. In three rows I need two, in three others I need three. Faugh!

If It's Not One Thing...

EMILY is fixed!

Her mane and tail are back to beautiful black. Unfortunately I can't see her face because she now has the glitch that is affecting what seems like half the Webkinz, including James' beagle, pug, husky, and chocolate Labrador, not to mention my pug, and people online who have leopards and pink ponies. These animals no longer walk, they "skate" across the floor as if they are on a skateboard. Some of them are invisible; when you call on James' beagle Berengaria, for instance, she's not there—but she gives you a big hello word balloon! Some of them wink in and out as they move. Also, they sleep standing up. It's funny to watch a pet standing on a bed with "ZZZZZ" overhead.

Apparently Ganz is aware of the problem...yadda, yadda.

We do have a small victory: the site usually shuts down for maintenance at midnight Eastern time. This has caused bitter complaints from the adults and teens out west, especially in California where the whole shebang shuts down at nine. So maintenance will now be done two hours later.

James has been toying [pun intended] around with the idea of getting his first non-dog Webkinz, a bear. He said he would name it after a Russian airplane (Russian...bear...goes together). Well, we no sooner got it home and were surfing about the website than we found out the November Pet of the Month is supposed to be the bear. So he's going to hold it until then and we'll see what all this "special adoption gift" business is about.

My Poor Clydesdale!

THERE are bloopers afoot in Webkinz World.

Beagles and leopards are skating around the room and standing up to sleep. Some pets are falling asleep on flying carpets rather than sitting. The chocolate Labradors have glasses when seen in closeup.

Emily distortedBut the worst is what's happened to the Clydesdales. They've not only "gone blond," but their faces now look like the unicorn, horse, and Pegasus, with that odd sideways smile. They're okay in the health/hunger/happiness avatar and in game avatars, but the pet avatar that appears in the room has changed.

I want my sweet Emily back, with her pretty face!!! She looks goofy.

Gliding Through Life

AMUSING glitch in Webkinz this morning: when I "got Sunny out of bed," instead of hopping as always, he was gliding as if he were on a skateboard. I thought it was just a one-off thing, but apparently many others have pets "doing the slide" today.

The funniest thing happens when you put them back to bed:

gliding bunny

Sunny! Stop standing in the hammock! LOL.

Just a Little Bit Closer

OUCH! We entered the contest Monday morning with some confidence. Now, according to a post I saw, both our answers were off by one item. Oh, well, it was still fun and that was the important part. I noticed some people complaining about how hard the clues were. But it's a contest to show your powers of deduction. Why would you expect it to be easy? Everything can't be handed out in such a simplified manner that there's no challenge to the thing.

In any case, in the three days after my post I managed to amass two more gems. Now I just need two for a Crown of Wonder. It's really little good: like a regular hat, you can't display it...a pet can only wear it or you can put it into a cupboard or chest for storage. I wish they'd make hat racks on which you could display hats (or crowns)!

Crown Him!

JAMES got his Crown of Wonder this morning after finding his last gem. I still have four to go and can't seem to find any of them. Grrr.