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Fig. 1: Feeling catty, i suppose.

Pebble's Vital Information
Putting the 'alien' in 'caliente' since 1992!

I live in Los Angeles. I've been married almost 30 years and have two grown children. I come to IMVU to chat with interesting, intelligent people--not cyber. I want neither gifts nor badges.

Site Map
Click on the link to go to that part of this page. It'll appear at the top of the browser window. You can hit backspace to return here.

What's New A list of recent changes to the site.
Pebble: The Quickstart Guide Read this if you're short on time.
Troubleshooting Guide and FAQ Frequently asked questions about pebble.
End User License Agreement By chatting with pebble, you agree to these terms.
A Higher-Res Peek at Pebble Borders on Too Much Information. Beware!

I'm a geek | Past lives | Why the name pebble? | Books |
Fight sims | My music | I'm curious | I have a problem with authority |
My tagline | I'm a vfx artist | Strange hobby | Favorite movies |
Favorite things | Favorite games | Recommended online videos |
My cat | Flight sim pictures | Favorite web links
IMVU tips and tricks
My favorite quotes
Poetry Six-Word Memoirs | Haiku | Tanka
Free Software I Highly Recommend
My video gallery
Pebble's Hall of OMFG Astounding things people have actually said to me in chat.
My music widget Check out my tunes!
My blog's RSS feed
My outfits
The Red Pill Not for the faint of heart.
Nia's Dream A short science-fiction story by yours truly.

My Public Rooms

My public rooms are sometimes offline. But you can visit by clicking the images below.

Fig. 2a: The Galaxy Terrace public room is now open! Drink in the breathtaking views as you mingle with intelligent beings from all over the Galaxy. The environment is Class M, so no protective gear is needed, and there's even a pool for aquatic species. No blasters, please! For aerial tours of the city, try the aircraft on the pad (trigger word: fly). Click the graphic above to go there now.

Fig. 2a: Club Murmur gateway. Click to go there.

Fig. 2b: Pebble's Seaside Chat gateway

Click the graphic above to visit my public IMVU chat scene.

Contatando Mensagem adicionar contato em frente Bloquear
Sobre Mim
Foto de Avatar
Status: Online
Avatar since: 17/09/2004

Age: 56  18+ Age Verified Age Verified
United States - CA
Last log on:

They should have sent a poet.
Relationship Status: Married
Looking For: Chatting

What's New

  • December 05, 2012:
    Dangerous is finally available as an honest-to-goodness paperback on Amazon, and also on Smashwords as an e-book in a variety of formats.

  • November 27, 2011:

    My book Dangerous is finally done and available on Amazon as a Kindle e-book. Woo hoo!l
  • November 12, 2011: I made a couple of videos this weekend!

  • July 21, 2010: The Washington Post has done an amazing bit of investigative journalism with their Top Secret America, exposing the shockingly vast and corporatized security apparatus that's developed when no one was looking. It will knock your socks off.
  • May 27, 2010: God bless Naomi Wolf (heard here on on Boiling Frogs Radio and the Lew Rockwell Show) for having the courage to look beyond the old, false Left-Right paradigm and tirelessly warning people that Obama is even worse than Bush, as he cements the final bricks in the wall of the American dictatorship. I highly recommend you watch her accurate and shocking movie, The End of America, which she made during the Bush Administration, but which is even more true today. Like it or not, the United States' conversion to a savage dictatorship is complete. It is going to activate the moment there's a big enough crisis. Like, say, simultaneous emergencies involving the Gulf oil spill, North Korea, Iran, and some false-flag domestic terror event (staged by our own government). I can't make this any more obvious: 2010 will very likely be the year everything goes to hell, unless you wake up. We have weeks or months left, not years.
  • April 25, 2010: Communitychannel I have a gift for discovering internet sensations...about six months after everyone else. Remember AYBABTU? Or lolcats? Yep. I am officially the last person to discover both of those. My latest 'discovery' is Natalie Tran's awesome Communitychannel channel on Youtube. She's developed quite a following over the last three years, and the videos just get better and better. So if you need a quick pick-me-up, go take a peek! (Goes back to looking for new hot internet, what's this Trololo thing?)
  • Oct 05, 2009: IMVU is finally profitable. Big F-ing deal. It may be profitable, but so is organized crime, and just about as concerned with the happiness of their clientele. IMVU completely destroyed any warm feelings I ever had about it; all that remains is my anger. So here's my personal message to the management of IMVU: Go jump in a lake.
  • I'm totally fed up with the management of IMVU and their boneheaded business strategy, namely "milk them dry and ignore their complaints". I'm off to play Second Life for a while. You can reach me there as Pebble Garden, or leave a message if you have a burning need for a chat here. Safe waters to all. (06/04/2009)
  • June 5, 2009 is the 20th anniversary of the killings in Tiananmen Square, an event which lead up to the remarkable Tank Man photos. I consider those photos to be among the most sacred images of the 20th Century. PBS Frontline did a great documentary on the whole affair, you can watch it online for free. (06/04/2009)

  • The literal lyrics version of Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart made me laugh really hard. Several times. Highly recommended. (05/31/09)
  • I added a new Hall of OMFG entry, entitled Sisters! (05/23/2009)
  • I saw the new Star Trek movie movie today. It was really, really good! In fact, I think I like it better than The Wrath of Khan. Highly recommended. (05/08/2009)
  • I've added two new Hall of OMFG entries, entitled Busted! and A Natural Psychic. (05/07/2009)
  • I want one of these mermaid wetsuits sold by Otter Bay. (04/28/2009)

  • I've been noticing a steady decline in the quality of IMVU chatters over the last couple of years. It's gotten to the point that I almost never meet anyone worth talking to. Nowhere will you find clearer evidence of this trend than the current Public Room demographics. I typically scan them with keywords of interest to me, and here are the depressing results I get these days:

    Total number of public rooms: Approx: 39,000
    Total number of occupied rooms: Approx: 1,120

    • "Intelligent": 40 rooms, 2 occupied, 17 occupants.
    • "Science": 8 rooms, all empty.
    • "Philosophy": 9 rooms, all empty.

    For comparison, let's try some more popular keywords.

    • "Dance": 6,400 rooms, 280 occupied, approx. 700 occupants.
    • "Sex": 2,300 rooms, 140 occupied, approx. 400 occupants.
    • "Vampire": 1,400 rooms, 80 occupied, approx. 300 occupants.
    • "Slave": 860 rooms, 43 occupied, approx. 250 occupants.

    Pretty depressing. The elves have definitely left Middle Earth, and I attribute this to a number of factors.

    • IMVU isn't fresh anymore and its engine is a nightmare of spaghetti legacy code.
    • IMVU completely disrespects its users and developers.
    • IMVU no longer listens to suggestions.
    • IMVU implements deeply flawed programs and procedures, and doesn't fix them.
    • IMVU's economy is a total mess.
    Man, I don't know why I bother with IMVU anymore. (04/28/2009)
  • Primer (watch it here) is a indie SF film from 2004, and it's one of the most amazing, challenging, mindbending things I've seen in ages. It takes more than one viewing to get it all. Being a rocket scientist would help, too. Interestingly, the events of the movie begin on Sept. 21, 2003, on my daughter's tenth birthday (it also happens to be my friend Lotus' 28th birthday). While the birthday connection is a coincidence, it occurs to me the date was a deliberate choice of the writer/director. But I leave it to you, my talented students, to figure out why that date is significant. I'll give a prize (something off your wishlist!) to the first person who can answer that riddle! (04/22/2009)
  • Added some new tunes, and an original short science fiction entitled Nia's Dream. I hope you like it! (04/09/2009)
  • Added a new music video, The Test, by the Chemical Brothers. It's amazing! (03/29/2009)
  • Added a new entry in my Hall of OMFG, entitled Worst roleplaying ever!. Short, but sweet. (03/27/2009)
  • Um...holy sh*t? (03/25/2009)
  • Added a new entry in my Hall of OMFG, entitled How not to get a [deleted]. Enjoy! (03/23/2009)
  • This made me laugh so hard I cried. (03/04/2009)
  • Added a new entry in my Hall of OMFG, entitled Dark Intruder. Enjoy! (03/01/2009)
  • Weta Workshop, the effects shop which did such amazing work on The Lord of the Rings, made a real-life mermaid tail for a woman with no legs below the knees. Not only does it work wonderfully, it's amazingly beautiful. Here is a video about it: Part 1 | Part 2 (02/27/2009)
  • After a lot of soul-searching I decided my anti-gift rule was stupid. I still don't want any gifts, but I have stopped scolding or blocking people for gifting me. All it did was hurt everyone's feelings, and for that I apologize. (02/15/2009)
  • Grrr, yet another stupid IMVU gimmick foisted upon us: badges. Hello, IMVU? How about fixing your existing sh*t before you go adding stupid, unwanted new things?! (02/10/2009)
  • Added a link to Henry Hazlitt's short book, Economics in One Lesson, which you can read online for free. Once you have read it, you'll know a hundred times more about economics than most lawmakers or economists. (02/04/2009)
  • Oh, man, these faux translations of Russian LOLcats are really funny. (02/02/2009)
  • I want my very own water-powered jet pack! (01/28/2009)
  • Only four chords are needed to make a hit song. (01/27/2009)

Pebble: The Quickstart Guide

Vital information: 55 years old. Still happily married after nearly three decades. Two kids, aged 24 and 22 (as of August 2017). Lives in Los Angeles (it IS the City of the Angels, after all!). Works as a visual effects artist for film and TV.

Pebble functions best with users who are:
  • Polite.
  • Intelligent.
  • Interesting.
  • Outside-the-box thinkers.
  • Able to type complete sentences, with real words.
  • At least 18 years old. Older is better. She does make exceptions, though, for exceptional people.
  • Respectful of diverse lifestyles, orientations, and beliefs.
Pebble is not compatible with users who:
  • Begin a chat with nothing to say.
  • Are bored and expect to be unilaterally entertained.
  • Ask for her name. "Pebble" will do.
  • Expect any cyber. You're not getting any.
  • Hug or kiss without her permission.
  • Beg for credits or gifts. It won't work.
  • Habitually type "ur" instead of "your".
  • Endeavor to convert her to their religious or political beliefs.
  • Randomly invite her to a party chat, just to fill a chair.
  • Use opening lines such as these:
    • "asl"
    • "hey babe u r hott!"
    • "r u bi?"
    • "whats ur name?"
    • (goes straight for the hug or kiss emote)
  • Any of these actions may trigger an immediate window-close. Or she may continue chatting in hopes of gleaning a new entry for her Hall of OMFG.

Pebble does not want gifts

Pebble doesn't have a wishlist. Her inventory is quite full and there's nothing she needs. She loathes stickers almost as much as shoutouts. The only gift she desires is the pleasure of your scintillating company.

Troubleshooting Guide and FAQ

  • Why the name 'pebble'? Pebbles are small, unremarkable things. They are the voyagers of the rock family, light enough to be nudged by wind and water from the mountaintop all the way to the sea. They are made smooth by the countless collisions of their slow journey. Beneath their dull, drab exteriors may lie surprisingly vibrant colors.
  • Damn, girl, why so much stuff on your page? Surely no one reads it all! Pebble wanted her page to feel a bit like a chat, where she could take all the time needed to tell you about herself and her interests. That way she doesn't have to type it all out again when you do finally meet.
  • Why is pebble talking about herself in third person? That's kinda creepy. Observant readers will note she only uses third person in this User's Guide; it is meant to amplify the humor value of the material. Warning: Referring to one's self in third person is an advanced technique and is not recommended for daily home use.
  • Why is pebble's name all-lower case? Does that mean she's a submissive? While her putative level of interest in such things is open to speculation, the simple fact is that she chose a lower-case name because the very concept of a pebble is a small, unremarkable thing. Spelling it thus seemed fitting.
  • Does pebble have a cam? No. Nor does she share pictures. And guys? She doesn't want to see any of your pictures, either.
  • How can I be sure pebble's really a girl, then? You can't. If that kind of uncertainty troubles you, just go away. She doesn't care to know you.
  • Hi, my name is Ahmed! Will pebble leave her family of 20 years to come live with me in Egypt? Ahmed, meet pebble's Block button.
  • Does pebble have a facebook page? She did, but she deleted it because of Facebook's horrible record with respect to privacy.
  • Does pebble have a blog? Why yes, she does! You can find it here.
  • It takes forever for her to load in my chat! Pebble owns several computers, and some of them run IMVU better than others. Be patient.
  • What's the best time to catch pebble online? Between 5:30pm - 10:00pm Pacific Time.
  • I barely started chatting and pebble disappeared! It could be one of two things. Either her laptop crashed IMVU, or you may have used an inappropriate opening line, as listed above in the "Not Compatible With" checklist. The most likely error was the use of asl, which she hates.
  • Pebble said goodbye and left after only a few minutes of chatting! What happened? Very likely you failed to hold her interest. She believes an inviter should come prepared to discuss something. If she invites you to chat, you can be sure she'll have plenty to talk about.
  • Pebble visited my homepage and didn't leave a message. Well, tough. She leaves a message when she feels like it.
  • How can I earn credits? Pebble gets asked this a lot, so she might as well answer it here. You can:
    1. Beg for them, which just makes people angry and rarely works.
    2. Buy them from IMVU or through a third-party reseller.
    3. Earn usage rewards from IMVU.
    4. Become a developer and sell things to other IMVU users.
    5. Visit the New Products page daily, where you'll earn 50 promotional credits for doing so.
    6. The free daily spin can only be used once a day, but I net about 1000 credits a month with it.
    7. Visit IMVU's new-ish Offers Page.
  • I'm under 18. It's not fair that pebble sometimes blocks minors from sending her a message! Fair or not, 90% of the "copy and paste this message for free credits" messages she gets are from users 13-17 years old. She's tired of reminding people such messages:
    1. don't work
    2. only piss people off
    3. violate the IMVU Terms of Service
    4. clog up her 'blocked' list.
  • It's so unfair that pebble usually doesn't chat with anyone under 18! There are two main reasons she rarely talks to anyone under 18 years of age. First, it's too big an age-gulf; she has zero interest in the usual teen topics. Second, she wishes to avoid any potential problems involving inappropriate interactions with minors in today's insanely litigious society.
  • What's pebble's political affiliation? Pebble is an optimistic anarchist. For the record, "anarchy" does not mean blowing stuff up or chaos, but rather no ruler. She believes that we need to get past our addiction to having "leaders" who absolve us of responsibility, and begin to live as mature, sentient beings. Many people tell pebble that her optimistic anarchism is foolish, pie-in-the-sky, and naive. So be it. She'd rather strive for an ideal, and perhaps fail, than not try at all. Pebble does not expect anyone else to share her beliefs. There was a Gary Larson Far Side cartoon that summed up my feeling about all politics in a single panel: Some cows are grazing in a field and one of them raises its head and says, "Wait a minute! This is grass! We've been eating grass!" You and I have been eating grass for so long we've forgotten there could be anything better. You may be amused to know that pebble was a Republican a long time ago, until she realized they were all just as corrupt and dishonest as the other party. She was a Libertarian for a while, until they sold out and supported this ridiculous "War on Terror". So now she's thrown up her hands and decided the whole system is about as important, and as real, as WWF wrestling.
  • What is pebble's religious affiliation? Pebble is intensely spiritual without subscribing to any religion. She was raised as a Lutheran, but abandoned that faith -- and all religion -- at around age 17 when pastors told her to stop asking questions about the bible. If you're curious, here's a flowchart which represents the reasoning behind that decision. After 20 years as an atheist/agnostic, she decided that view was just as dogmatic as the religion she had left earlier. At that point she began to investigate the possibility of a spiritual dimension to reality, and found it. What did she find? Go look for yourself. Her discovery was intensely personal and you may find something different. It is pebble's view that all faiths (and non-faiths) are true. Even those that contradict each other, or are made up out of thin air. So don't bother trying to convert her. Simply enjoy your faith, she'll enjoy hers, and you'll get along swimmingly.
  • What is pebble's sexual orientation? She's not telling. Suffice it to say she does what she wants, when she wants, and with whomever she likes. You might gain some insight from her statements on religion and politics above.
  • I asked pebble to vote for me in a contest, and she got all huffy. Waaaaah! Pebble votes when -- and for whomever -- she pleases. If you have to ask people to vote for you, then you don't deserve to win anyway.
  • Where did pebble get her homepage layout? Everything you see here was hand-coded by pebble; she uses Notepad and Photoshop to create web pages. If you want to learn HTML a good place to start is with Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML & XHTML in 21 Days by Laura Lemay. To make a page like this you really only need to know a handful of HTML tags.
  • How can I get an av pic like pebble's? Learn to use Photoshop. Here's a hint: Google search terms like "photoshop" and "tutorial". Once in a blue moon she'll make one for a friend, but be warned: you have to be extremely nice to her, and fascinating as well. Begging will guarantee it won't happen.
  • What's pebble's biggest pet peeve right now? People who make avatar profile pics far larger than the official maximum of 160x220 pixels. They blow up everyone's careful page layouts, and are totally lame. The only thing a massive profile pic says about a person is "I'm insecure, selfish, uncreative, and I suck." And having now ranted, pebble feels better. Oh, and many thanks to ISAWHIM who posted codes for making these monster profile pics shrink to standard size!
  • What about guys who enter the chat and are quiet for long periods? Isn't pebble afraid they're typing one-handed? Pebble's more inclined to blame a flaky IMVU connection. However, she has no objection if such prurient typists wish to chat with her. So long as they are polite, witty, and keep it to themselves, let them come.
  • Oh no, I have a Mature Pass! Will pebble still talk to me? Not to worry, pebble has a Mature Pass too. Just don't expect instant cyber action and you'll be fine. Remember, a little politeness goes a long way!
  • Why is pebble so hard to chat with? She sounds kind of snooty! No, actually she's not. In fact, she loves meeting and getting to know people, as long as they're willing to share the entertainment burden. She puts exactly as much effort into the chat as you do. If your contribution is zero, so is hers.
  • OMG pebble accepted my chat invite! What do I talk about? Pebble is interested in your hobbies, the books you have read, your favorite movies, your thoughts on the nature of reality, and any unsual experiences you may wish to share. Note to guys: She is not terribly interested in how you look, the size of your genitalia, or the fact that you work out a lot. Cars and sports bore her to tears.
  • Yeah, but my car is really tricked out and superphat! If your car doesn't fly -- as in literally leave the ground and fly around -- pebble is unimpressed. (Okay, she takes that back. There is *one* car she considers cool. The Ariel Atom.)
  • Why does pebble's homepage load so fast? That's because there is only ONE sticker on her page, and one player widget. By the way, pebble tries to view every chat partner's page -- unless it takes more than 20 seconds to load, at which point she usually aborts.
  • What's on pebble's iPod? Pebble does not own an iPod. She detests Apple's marketing strategy, which is based on a study of cults and their fiercely loyal followers. For pebble, electronic gadgets are tools, not an expression of lifestyle...and she doesn't own very many.
  • What's pebble's favorite recipe? Actually, she has two. She's very fond of Many-Flavored Chicken and Vegetables, which is easy to prepare and rather exotic tasting, but in a fun way. And this ramen recipe is absolutely delicious. It's as good as some of the stuff she's had in well-respected ramen houses.
  • What is pebble's favorite restaurant? Well, she has a few top picks, but the one place she craves on a regular basis is the famous Tito's Tacos in Culver City, Los Angeles. It's cheap, delicious, and their salsa is legendary. I strongly recommend their famous shredded beef taco with cheese, or any of their burritos, and of course their incredibly fresh and unusual salsa. Oh my god, I'm salivating now. Must...have...Tito's...

A higher-res peek at Pebble

Me, in a word: Geek.
(I got a score of "70.01972% - Geek God" on this online geek test.)

Or, alternatively: LadyWallace has said I'm a pedant, however I prefer the term pedantrix, which I just made up.

My past lives: They include: alien, dolphin, elf, and photon. No, seriously. I have a feeling this is my very last life, though.

What does my tagline mean? "They should have sent a poet," is a quote from Contact, my all-time favorite movie. The words are spoken by the scientist Ellie Arroway, who is beholding wonders never before seen by any human, and her face is filled with awe and humility. She utterly lacks the words necessary to convey what she sees and feels. That moment in the film always makes me cry.

I love to read. If you want a laugh, take a look at the lower half of my bookshelf; this is about 10% of all the books I own.

Here you can view my Shelfari bookshelf, showing what I'm currently reading, and what I've read, and my ratings. Or, if you're too lazy, just keep reading below.

Here's what I'm reading right now:

  • I just finished writing a book called Dangerous, something I toiled at for about three years. It has an *ahem* adult theme akin to Elizabeth McNeill's Nine and a Half Weeks. Throw in a dash of Story of O and Fight Club, and that's what I'm aiming for. I haven't been this jazzed about writing in, well, ever. I *wish* my Muse was helping me write the science-fiction trilogy I have in my head, but she has other ideas. Maybe this is the warm-up!
  • Kuhiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey. I really do like Carey's alternate history and the anguissette Phedre no Delauney who dwells in it. This is the third book in this series, it's fabulous.

Recently read:

  • The Persistence of Vision is an excellent story by one of my favorite SF writers, John Varley. It's part of an anthology with the same name, but this story can be heard as an mp3 audiobook read by Spider Robinson, downloadable from his blog.
  • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. A fine, fine tale.
  • Army of the Republic by Stuart Archer Cohen. (Grade: A) This book made me cry.
  • Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. (Grade: B-) This utopian novel describes a land populated by parthenogenetically-reproducing women, a land without a single trace of man. It's a pleasant enough place, but rather bland, and eroticism has long since been supplanted by selfless, communal motherhood. No thank you.
  • Scaramouche: A Romance of the French Revolution by Rafael Sabatini (Grade: A+). As one reviewer in Amazon put it, "Duels. Intrigue. Romance. More duels. Moral and political introspection. Its all here. Enjoy!" I fully concur. This book is in the public domain, so you can buy the book at the link above, or download it as e-text from Project Gutenberg, or as an .mp3 audiobook from
  • The Sea Hawk by Rafael Sabatini. (Grade: A) My god, can this man write an enthralling tale. I devoured his Scaramouche and this was just as good. I also devoured his Captain Blood.
  • The 26-volume Gor saga
  • Magicians of Gor (Grade: C) is the penultimate, 25th Gor book. I skipped ahead and read the 26th book, Witness of Gor before this. While Magicians isn't stellar writing, it's something of a high point for the last half of the massive Gor series. I was surprised that the ratio of actual plot versus mind-numbing, repetitive Gor-lecture was about 60/40%, a quite unexpected thrill. The book actually managed to revivify my interest in the books, and I'm glad I saved this one for last.
  • A Princess of Mars (Grade: C+) and The Gods of Mars (Grade: C) by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It's evident "John Norman" based his Gor books heavily on Burroughs' Mars books. I greatly enjoyed these, but the endless cycle of peril-escape-peril-escape grew wearying. One never gets to spend enough time with the proud, beautiful, perennially naked Dejah Thoris because John Carter is always too busy rescuing her.
  • She by H. Rider Haggard. (Grade: B+) This book is in the public domain, so I listened to the Librivox recording in my MP3 player while commuting. You can also download the book as a text file from Project Gutenberg. I just love florid Victorian adventures, especially when they contain a supernatural element. The titular She of the book is Ayesha, a supernaturally beautiful woman who lives for two thousand years awaiting the reincarnation of her soulmate, and presents a complex and unforgettable character. Highly recommended, if you don't mind that sort of writing.
  • Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey, book 2 of the series. (Grade: A) It's very good, and scratches the same itch as my beloved Maia by Richard Adams. I actually liked this better than the first book. I'll be diving into the third book soon.
  • The Delta of Venus by Anais Nin. (Grade: A) My god, could that woman write intelligent, affecting erotica.
  • James Tiptree, Jr: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips. (Grade: A+) A remarkable biography of a writer who was a complete enigma to everyone, until his true identity as a woman was revealed in 1976 after a quarter-century of penning challenging, audacious science fiction. Phillips does a breathtaking job of objectively portraying a complex person who resorted to using a swarm of identities to work around cultural and internal roadblocks to self-expression.
My favorite genres include science, history, philosophy, and spirituality. I also enjoy poetry, classic literature, Michael Crichton-style thrillers, and a little fantasy. I enjoyed the Gor series by John Norman, though the first five books were much better than the remaining 21, which were apparently ghost-written. It read like a mix of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ayn Rand, and a whole lot of bondage and domination. What surprised me is how romantic, adventurous, and funny it was. I used to love science fiction passionately, but lately very few SF authors thrill me the way John Varley or William Gibson did. I really loved the collection of Cordwainer Smith's work entitled The Rediscovery of Man, which shows how timeless good SF can be.

Desert Island Fiction Collection: If I were stuck on a desert island with only five novels, they would be:

The kind of books I like best almost always have to do with explorations of hidden, parallel worlds.

Favorite novels: (In addition to those five megabooks listed above.) The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke. Contact by Carl Sagan. The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. Always Coming Home by Ursula K. LeGuin. Story of O by Pauline Reage. I'll think of more as time goes by.

Non-fiction books which rocked my world:

  • Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendant Mind by Hans Moravec. This book actually popped the circuit breakers in my brain.
  • The Creature From Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin. The scam that is the Federal Reserve (which is neither Federal nor a reserve!) Here's a good lecture by Griffin which covers the basics of the book.
  • Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. You can read this very short book online for free at the link. Once you have, you'll know a hundred times more about economics than most lawmakers and economists.
  • The Center of the Cyclone by John C. Lilly, Md. Lilly is famous for his work in dolphin communication. He also invented the isolation tank, and was most likely the inspiration for the movie Altered States.
  • A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram. I'm totally into emergent processes such as fractals and cellular automata, so I'm excited to see someone take that ball and run with it.
  • Out of Control by Kevin Kelly. On emergent, dynamically metastable self-organizing systems, in all their various (and surprising) guises. The link allows you to read the whole book online, courtesy of the author himself.
  • The Fabric of Reality by David Deutsch. One of the big names in quantum computation talks about the implications of living in a multiverse.
  • Closer to the Light by Dr. Melvin Morse (his website) discusses the near-death experiences of children as young as age 3, which are significant because they are not, presumably, influenced by complex religious conditioning.
  • The Hunt for Zero Point: Inside the Classified World of Antigravity Technology by Jane's Defense Weekly writer Nick Cook. It reads like a Clancy adventure novel.

I don't watch TV. I sometimes watch Cartoon Network and Nick over my kids' shoulders, but that's it.

I love video/computer games. If I'm going to waste time, I'd much rather do so interacting with something than letting the television lull me into passivity. See below for a list of some of my favorite games.

I am crazy about flight simulators. If there's enough interest I'll even include some flight-training lessons I'm making in YSFlight files. That way you can download the examples and watch them, then try the lesson yourself. Let me know if this is something you'd be interested in. For starters, here is a YS recording I made of flying an F-18, taking off and landing on an aircraft carrier.

My proudest simulator achievements:

  1. Real world: Going up in a real Cessna 172 with my friend Lotus and finding out that years of flight simulator experience did indeed make it possible for me to fly a real plane. And a big thank you to Lotus for that amazing birthday gift!
  2. Orbiter: Taking off from Cape Canaveral in the Space: 1999 Eagle transporter and flying to a successful landing at Moonbase Alpha. Manually.
  3. Orbiter: Taking off from Cape Canaveral in the Delta Glider and flying to Low Earth Orbit, where I rendezvoused and docked with the ISS. In three-quarters of a single orbit. Manually.
  4. Flight Simulator X: Chase The Sun World Tour Flying with Lotus and friends around the world in 17h 23m in SR-71 Blackbirds. That's more than twice as fast as the real world record in a B-1 bomber, and they had the benefit of in-flight refueling. We did not. The average ground speed was 1378.5 knots, and the total distance covered was 23930 nautical miles.
  5. Flight Simulator 2004: Flying a Spitfire around the world in real time, with real weather, with my friend Lotus. It required over 76 legs, about 160 hours of flight time.
  6. Coronado Naval Base, San Diego CA: Being allowed to fly for an hour in a $30 million SH-60 Seahawk simulator.
  7. My best guns-kill ever: Taxiing WWII prop fighter vs. airborne modern jet fighter I was in an empty YSflight server, flying touch-and-gos in a P-51 Mustang, when someone named DOOMLORD (can you say "14-year-old"?) hops in with a Mirage 2000. He closed rapidly on my six and started shooting. Rather than turning to engage, I jinked a little and continued my downwind leg as he blew past at 400kts. By the time he'd pulled his nose back around I was on final approach, just getting ready to flare. His rounds struck the ground all around me, but he didn't score a solid hit. I touched down just as he zoomed overhead, flying parallel down the runway at 200ft. I braked, my tail wheel came to rest on the runway and I rolled down the runway, nose-high. He did a sharp vertical pull up at the far end of the runway -- right into my gunsight. I couldn't resist squeezing the trigger! My six wing cannons ripped him to shreds and he exploded in a beautiful fireball. It must have really chapped his hide because he immediately respawned and made a beeline for me, but I logged before he could avenge his death.

Musically, I prefer electronica. Mostly I listen to the streaming channels on Digitally Imported. I also like classical, and some minimalist music, too, but lately it doesn't excite me.

I'm intensely curious about life, the universe and everything. I am equal parts rational/skeptical and spiritual/mystical, as paradoxical as that sounds. I am fascinated by science (quantum mechanics, astronomy, gravity theory). I'm interested in paranormal and metaphysical/spiritual stuff. I love reading about near-death and out-of-body experiences. I've been dabbling with remote viewing, enough to satisfy myself that it really works. Try it yourself. All of which makes me conclude that Mind can operate outside the brain -- at the very least -- and may in fact not require a brain at all, except as a kind of temporary attachment-point to bodies.

I have disdain for most authority, be it scientific, religious, political, or cultural. I think we're better off without relying on "experts" telling us what to do or think.

My best visual effects work: I am proudest of the vfx work I did for the semi-famous lesbian kiss sequence in the movie Elektra, where Typhoid Mary tries to kill her with a life-leeching kiss. I digitally created and animated the falling, dying leaves that surround them during this process. It was my first real Maya work, and it involved equal parts art and programming. I love being able to take something sterile like a mathematical "noise" function and use it to help drive the fluttery tumble of a leaf through the air. One of the challenges was that the leaves had to curl up and die on-camera, going from green to black, and I had to control this process for literally thousands of leaves at once. I think I worked on these shots for about three months and never got tired working on them. If you'd like to see the sequence as a Quicktime, there are links to low, med, and high resolution movies on this page. By the way, when I worked on this sequence I was totally addicted to the album Details by Frou Frou, so the two are inextricably linked in my memory.

Fig. 4: The Kiss from the movie Elektra. I created those falling leaves digitally.

My strangest hobby: I'm working on a UFO-type antigravity engine design, based on a theory I've developed which involves spacetime having variable fractional dimensions. Curiously, a Russian scientist has published a paper on just such an idea. If anyone is an electrical engineer comfortable with Tesla-type devices, please IM me, I have some ideas for you to test out. And here's a recent article on something very like my drive concept, called the Alcubierre Drive which was first proposed in 1994. So I'm late to this particular party. But hey, I got there all by myself. I may get my flying car after all.

Fig.5: (Left) Dolphin "antigravity" technology in action. That bubble is actually the visible part of an 'air core vortex ring' and does not rise to the surface until the vortex runs out of rotational energy. From The Mystery of the Silver Rings.

(Right) The technical illustration comes from Dr. Robert Forward's 1963 paper Guidelines to Antigravity. This is, I think, the electromagnetic analog of the dolphin's toy.

Favorite movies:Contact, The Matrix Trilogy, Forbidden Planet, Eyes Wide Shut, The Lord of the Rings, anything by Hayao Miyazaki, V for Vendetta, Mulholland Drive, What Dreams May Come, Waking Life, Brainstorm, Tron, The Last Starfighter, The Cell, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Fifth Element and The Big Blue (well, any movie by Luc Besson, really), They Live, Network, Altered States, Run Lola Run, Fight Club, Bound, Donnie Darko, Equilibrium, Galaxy Quest, K-PAX, Bedazzled (the remake), Groundhog Day, Monster House, Fantastic Voyage, Evil Dead II (because it's so damned funny), Close Encounters, The Right Stuff, Apollo 13, For All Mankind, Children of Men

Favorite things: The moon. Cetaceans. Microwave popcorn. Cats. Synchronicity. Orange juice. The number 8. Lucid dreams. Reading a good book in bed while a storm rages outside. La petite mort.

Favorite computer/video games:

  • All of the Nintendo Zelda games
  • Elite, Frontier: Elite II, and Frontier: First Encounters. There is a really good OpenGL version of Elite called Oolite, here is the website. There is also a Frontier-inspired game called Ad Astra that is surprisingly robust, if you don't mind retro-graphics.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X, where I'm pebble_garden in online play.
  • Orbiter spaceflight simulator Amazing program, freeware too!
  • Stellarium is a freeware, open source planetarium for windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Celestia allows you to fly through the galaxy at warp speeds, or to just view the known objects at whim. It's a great way to sight-see in the universe. It comes in windows, Mac, and Linux flavors, and it's free.
  • YSFlight flight simulator Freeware! Grab a joystick and IM me: we'll fly!)
  • Wings of War Outrageously fun WWI biplane combat. The link takes you to a free demo version (make sure to get the v1.2 patch, too). If that link breaks, here's an alternate download.
  • FlightGear flight simulator Another general aviation simulator, this one is as close as you can get to Microsoft Flight Simulator for free. It used to be very buggy, but the latest release (1.0.0) is pretty damned good. It comes in windows, Mac, Linux, Sun, and BeOS versions! And it does multiplayer.
  • Eagle Lander 3D: A very accurate lunar lander simulator, in which you can recreate the historic Apollo landings.
  • Gran Turismo: What I learned from this Playstation driving simulator actually saved my life once. I just recently got a PS2, so now I can play GT4! Yay me!
  • R: Racing Evolution: Very different from Gran Turismo, but still quite good and somewhat less grueling to play. I like the fact that your 'character' is a girl, though why she leaves her racing jumpsuit unzipped to her navel all the time is a mystery. Well, perhaps not.
  • Desert Combat mod for Battlefield 1942. I was a really good helo and jet pilot.
  • War Rock is a totally free online combat game similar to Desert Combat and Battlefield 2 that runs very well on even modest PCs. It's not quite as complex as DC or BF2 but it's shockingly fun. The vehicular implementation is also very good; the helos are a blast to fly. Highly recommended.
  • Star Control on the Genesis game machine. While I liked the first Star Control better than SC2, there IS a freeware version of SC2 which is worth checking out here.
  • The X-Wing series of games by LucasArts.
  • Beyond Good & Evil: Think of it as an adult Zelda. This is one of the truly great games, but for some reason it didn't sell well. There are versions for the PC, Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube, and you can probably find it for cheap. Do not miss the chance to play this game. You will grow to love (and deeply care for) the characters and their world. I shed real tears at a few plot points.

Recommended online videos

  • Dedroidification Tons of streaming videos concerning consciousness, metaphysics, spirituality, the fringe, and taking The Red Pill. Here be dragons!
  • Jessie Ventura's Conspiracy Theories: 911 is a pretty good quick overview of a small part of the mountain of evidence that points to a deliberate false-flag operation meant to transform the US into a militarized police state. Which it did, quite successfully.
  • The Century of the Self, a four-hour BBC documentary on the use of methodical, evolving techniques of propaganda and public relations (based upon Freud's concept of the unconscious mind) to influence public opinion.
  • The Persuaders, a PBS Frontline documentary on the state of the art in advertising and political persuasion.
  • Orwell Rolls In His Grave is a documentary by Robert Kane Pappas detailing the nearly-complete hijacking of American mass media by a smaller and smaller number of controlling interests. We are being given the illusion of diversity, but it is actually designed to stifle dissenting voices.
  • Buying The War is Bill Moyers' PBS documentary about the American media's complete abandonment of any journalistic integrity by failing to question the Bush Administration's argument for waging war in Iraq.
  • Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear & the Selling of American Empire
  • Sky Network interview with Sean MacCarthy The CEO of Steorn, Inc. discusses their free-energy device and their ongoing attempts to have the scientific community to test it. It sounds legit to me, let's keep our fingers crossed.
  • Tom Bearden discusses Tesla technologies This 80 minute video will blow your mind. If it gets into technical things you don't understand, just wade through it. There are some real jaw-droppers in there.
  • First Light: An Introduction to Meru Foundation Research by Stan Tenen Imagine SETI meets Kabalah. I have been constantly fascinated by Tenen's ideas, because he doesn't just tickle my pattern-finding circuits, he brings them to orgasm.
  • Neal Adams' "Growing Planets" theory
  • Henry Rollins on the attack upon our freedom A rant against the steady encroachment upon our freedom by powerful political and business interests. I couldn't have said it better myself; nobody says the F word better than Mr. Rollins.
  • Superior Fighters shows the amazing graphics and realism of the game Lock On: Modern Air Combat.
  • is a good resource for homepage inspiration.

Our lovely cat Cleo

Fig. 6a: "I can has Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator?"

Fig. 6b: Cleo -- shaved view.

Actually, I have a story about our Ragdoll cat, Cleo (short for Cleopatra). We decided to get a cat a few years ago and went to an adoption event at a local pet store. Cleo was about 18 months old then and her piercing blue eyes and calm nature really appealed to us. Later, I did some research on the Ragdolls and discovered they're a new and controversial breed created by a woman named Ann Baker. Over the years Baker began to make some pretty wild claims about Ragdolls, one being they represent a link between humans and space aliens. *laughs* It figures: I get a cat at random, and it's not of this earth. That is SO me! Also, I realized later we'd bought the cat on the anniversary of mankind's first landing on the moon, July 20th. Yet another wonderful synchronicity.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Fig. 7: Flying close formation in Lotus' scratch-built L-39. That's Lotus in front, me in the middle, and Topdollar on the outside. His plane sends a strong message to the FSX airplane developers: you don't need to sacrifice quality to make a plane that works efficiently in multiplayer. In fact, many people are calling it the best plane ever created for FSX. It won an Excellence Award from Avsim! If you're interested, here's his site.

Fig. 8: Lotus (near) and me (far) flying KA-50 attack helos.

Fig. 9: Carrier ops are very well implemented in the brand new v1.0.0 Flight Gear.

Favorite Links:

Os meus interesses

Fig. 10: Kandui Island - Hannah Mermaid
What can I say? I love mermaids. This video, with its graceful images and dreamlike music, is a nice little vacation for the soul. Check it out!

Fig. 11: Lotus Simulations' L-39 Albatros for FSX
Lotus has spent 15 months creating this astounding simulation of the famous Czech-built two-seat jet trainer. His level of commitment to realism and the joy of flying are totally evident with this effort.

Fig. 12: Dolphins blowing bubble-rings
I wish I could do that. Here's a longer video.

Fig 13: The Guild - Do you want to date my avatar? Soooo funny, and so true!

Fig. 14: The Test by Chemical Brothers
One of the most amazing videos ever!

Fig. 15: You're The Conversation from the film Les Chevaliers du Ciel
This is the kind of stuff Lotus and I do several times a week in FSX, only this is real. I consider this the best aerial filmmaking ever.

Best lolcat ever

antigravity, books, conspiracies, elitedangerous, flightsim, gamer, games, movies, physics, possibillianism, quantumphysics, science, sciencefiction, scifi, spirituality, steam, voluntaryism, writing
Minhas Classificações

Pebble's Hall of OMFG
Serving you tales of chats-gone-wrong since 2007!

These are things people have actually said to me in chat. The mind reels.

I do have some rules for myself in these chats.

  1. I only post transcripts of chats I've been invited to. I believe that if I do the inviting, I must take what I get without complaint. I strive to choose worthy chat partners.
  2. If the chat has any redeeming qualities, I won't post it.
  3. I always remove the names, so as to protect the guilty.
  4. I have come to view these chatters as priceless treasures, and this is my display case. A very heartfelt 'thank you' to everyone who participated.
And now, on with the show. Best Lines EVAR!
  • I see how you look at me. It is blatantly obvious that you want my c***.
  • if i be ur neighbor or live close to you, will you let me lick you?
  • wanna see something hot? it2s a long ang huge thing
  • i like movies ,sport, books, computers, hot girls named pebble
  • wanna see my p***s?
  • leans in and kisses u softly and says I like u alot
  • when ur as horny as i am right now who has time for manners
  • im in bed, want to join me
  • So, wanna cyber? Im really hella horny
  • leans in and kisses ur pouty lips sopftly
  • you horny
  • like to drop those panties?
  • hows this? [for fascinating] p*cker 23 cm long... 24 maybe
  • hi how r u? im looking for sex. u have sos exy body
  • hi. do u like p***s?
  • uhm i wanna shove my p**** inside ur v*****?

Worst roleplaying ever!
I was in an RP public room with some friends when a new person came in. After the room had loaded for her, she blurted out:
I waited. But that was it--the sum total of her role-play offering. Honestly, I didn't see how I could add anything. The rest of the room apparently thought so too, because no one bothered to pick up that narrative thread and run with it.
She stood in silence, and a little while later left the room.

Dark intruder
(I'm invited to chat.)
pebble: Hello.
Guest: *quickly sneaks up behind you and covers your face with a rag...growling deeply* dont fight or resist it?? nod if you do
pebble: That's an interesting way to begin a chat.
(He left the chat.)

Short and sweet
(I'm invited to chat.)
pebble: Well hello, there.
Guest: hi
Guest: do u like p***s?
pebble: -laughs-
pebble: Do you?
Guest: i liek p*ssy
pebble: I'm glad you do.
Guest: wanna see my c*ck?
pebble: Not really.
(He left the chat.)

Middle Eastern chat no. 2,844
(I'm invited to chat.)
pebble: Hello.
Guest: hello
Guest: how are u?
pebble: I am well.
Guest: good
Guest: i'm guest/35/cairo,egypt
Guest: u?
pebble: And you want to know if I'm married. I am--over 20 years, two kids, and I have no plans to leave the marriage.
Guest: ok
(He left the chat.)

Best Chat Ever
(I'm invited to chat.)
Guest: hi
pebble: Hello, Guest.
pebble: Is that a lightsaber or are you just glad to see me?
Guest: dress like a mermaid yes is a lighsaber and im glad yo see u
Guest: take us to a room
Guest: any room
pebble: hmmm
pebble: see, there's an ancient Jedi word of power.
pebble: it's called "please"
Guest: please
pebble: Ah, but there's also the subtle Jedi art of gentle conversation
pebble: charming a girl.
pebble: and not just storming in with demands.
Guest: PLEASE!
pebble: that's more in the nature of a clumsy, random blaster shot, dear.
pebble: Tell me something fascinating about yourself.
pebble: shouting...hmm...I think that's turning the volume knob rather the wrong direction.
pebble: Tell me a joke
pebble: if you make me laugh, I'll do what you just asked.
pebble: um, to get Pebble to switch the room?
pebble: that's a riddle, not a joke
pebble: again, that's a riddle, not a joke, and -- hmmm -- I'm not amused yet.
pebble: Try again
pebble: who's there?
Guest: OUT
pebble: Bye!
(He left the chat.)

Another great chat
(I'm invited to chat.)
pebble: Hello.
Guest: hello
Guest: how are you doing tonight
pebble: I'm well.
pebble: Yourself?
Guest: just relaxing a little
Guest: feeling good
(long pause)
Guest: are you busy?
pebble: I'm just waiting for you to say something.
Guest: lol
Guest: you horny
pebble: define 'horny'
Guest: hmmmm need to get your toys out?
pebble: define 'toys'
Guest: like to drop those panties?
pebble: I'm getting the idea you are eager to cyber.
pebble: I'm wondering what brought me to your prurient attention.
(long pause)
pebble: *waits for you to finish typing in that open bubble*
Guest: what open
pebble: that one
(another long pause)
pebble: are we going to just stare at each other?
Guest: well you still have the panties on
pebble: yes, and they're staying on
(He left the chat.)

English, please!
(I'm invited to chat.)
pebble: Hello.
Guest: hi gawjus
Guest: hw r u
pebble: That's a dialect I'm unfamiliar with. "Gawjus?"
pebble: How am I? Apparently I have more vowels than you, so I suppose I'm doing well.
Guest: u like younger guys
pebble: What do you mean by "like" exactly?
Guest: fantsy
pebble: I'm sorry..."Fantsy"? Is that even a word?
(He left the chat.)

Why he's gone without sex for five years
(I'm invited to chat.)
pebble: Hello.
Guest: hey cutie
pebble: What is on your mind this evening, Guest?
Guest: you are
pebble: Oh, indeed.
Guest: grins and smiles
pebble: Tell me something fascinating
Guest: like what
pebble: Something fascinating about yourself.
Guest: I sell shoes and I am single
pebble: *checks her Fascination Meter*
pebble: I'm only registering a 2 here.
pebble: Surely you have something much more interesting.
Guest: I am going to Germany next summer
pebble: Okay, that's a 3.
pebble: Keep digging
Guest: havent had sex in 5 years
pebble: That's a 3 as well, 4 if there's an interesting story behind your celibacy
Guest: i have nothing then
pebble: A pity.
Guest: what u got
pebble: Hmm...I'm mildly psychic, for one. But I absolutely can't control it.
pebble: I was a dolphin in a past life.
Guest: sweet
pebble: I'm an anarchist.
pebble: I don't vote...though this time I might vote for Ron Paul.
Guest: hehe pinches ur cute lil ass
pebble: Okay, that's pushing it.
pebble: *slaps your cute little face*
Guest: sorry
Guest: ur so sexy baby
pebble: Do you pinch women's asses in public?
Guest: not really, depends
pebble: So why is it okay here?
Guest: I have and most just smile
pebble: Maybe that explains why you haven't had sex in 5 years.
Guest: no, not really, just dont like stuck up women who think they are better and above
Guest: all others on earth
pebble: I'm certainly above someone who randomly pinches women on the ass
pebble: because he can't control himself.
Guest: so I was flirting with ya
pebble: Perhaps you'd like the way I flirt....with a riding crop.
Guest: haha kinky
pebble: I'm afraid you've lost any interest I might have had in you. Better luck next time.
(I left the chat.)

Yes, we have no cam
I'm invited to chat. The fellow has an extremely suggestive name which leaves nothing to the imagination.
pebble: I doubt the 'dc' in your name means "direct current"
Guest: hello sexybaby,how r u ,do u have a cam?
pebble: No cam, no MSN, no voice, no pics.
Guest: bye
(He left the chat.)

How not to get a hug
(I'm invited to chat.)
Guest: how old are you if I may ask?
pebble: I'm 45. 46 in a few days *sob*
Guest: awe, there's no reason to sob. I think women are at their most beautiful in their 40s
pebble: well, I'm pretty okay with myself on the inside.
Guest: what's your opinion on 28 year old men? ;)
pebble: I think they're fine.
Guest: we can be lots of fun you know
pebble: Alas, I'm married with kids.
Guest: that doesn't make you any less attractive
pebble: No but it does rather restrict my options.
Guest: no playing on IMVU?
pebble: I can play on IMVU all I like.
Guest: in that case, would it be overly forward of me to ask for a hug?
(I considered this for a few moments.)
pebble: Go for it.
Guest: it's in the scientific interest of a study I'm doing on silk
(Silk is a reference to my kimono. He chooses a hug that involves a lot of pelvic grinding and moaning.)
pebble: I usually wait for the moment when the emotional vectors are just right.
pebble: and I usually choose a less 'grindy' hug.
Guest: the vectors aren't favorable to you now?
pebble: there's no clear normal on the vector yet.
pebble: So far we're just getting acquainted.
Guest: what if I told you I am a master juggler? Would that help the vector at all?
pebble: While I think that's an admirable
pebble: I'm not trying to play hard to get, these things just develop at their own rate.
(He left the chat.)

Cold-Call Master
(I'm invited to chat.)
Guest: hello dear pebble :)
pebble: Greetings.
Guest: how are u
pebble: I am well, thank you. And yourself?
Guest: rather stressed
He sits in his throne, which is the only furniture in this room.By this time I've checked his homepage and learned that he is a Master, of some pomposity. I decide to test his mettle.
pebble: Explain.
Guest: pleaes
Guest: please*
Guest: do not be in a dominative nature towards me
Guest: it puts me off my pleasantness
pebble: As you like.
Guest: i have been looking for a submissive for 4 years
Guest: no luck
pebble: Curious, that.
Guest: and im offering my services to u
pebble: No thank you.
(He left the chat.)

The Philosopher-King of Typonesia
(I'm invited to chat.)
pebble: Hello, Guest.
Guest: wow
Guest: better than ur pic
(At this time, my avatar image was a rather drab image of a pebble on a beach. My 3D avatar, however, was all white and rather ethereal-looking with a golden, luminous halo. He was dressed very Goth, all black, with a barbed-wire halo.)
Guest: lol
pebble: Well, thank you.
pebble: We make an interesting contrast.
Guest: lol
Guest: only on here hun
Guest: anyway opasites atrackt
pebble: My heavens. Such spelling.
pebble: At any rate, I'm pleased to meet you.
Guest: sorry
pebble: I will take a peek at your homepage.
Guest: ok
pebble: There's not much there.
pebble: You belong to a group called Virtual Sceptics?
Guest: lol
Guest: yeh
Guest: u belive this
pebble: I believe what?
Guest: its real
pebble: Is what real, dear?
Guest: this site
pebble: By 'site', do you mean IMVU?
Guest: yeh
pebble: By 'believe it's real'...what do you mean, exactly?
pebble: We are here, and using IMVU to communicate.
pebble: That has a certain quality of 'real' to it. Don't you think?
Guest: yeh
pebble: Anyway, I suppose we should avoid any deep philosophical discussions.
pebble: Tell me a little about yourself.
Guest: what u want no
pebble: Anything you feel I would be interested to know.
Guest: nowt tell
pebble: 'Nowt'? What does that mean?
Guest: nothing
pebble: Ah. Is there something you'd like to discuss?
(He left the chat.)

How not to get a [deleted]
(I'm invited to chat.)
pebble: Hello.
Guest: not enough [deleted] happens
Guest: oops
Guest: wrong window
pebble: -laughs-
Guest: how are you dear
pebble: I'm well, thank you. And yourself?
Guest: im ok
pebble: Though apparently, not getting enough [deleted]. -giggles-
Guest: yes *blush*
pebble: Now what is on your mind this evening, dear?
Guest: well...i have a *coughs and blushes..tapping my bulge*
pebble: You have a what? A bump on your forehead?
Guest: no...
Guest: a *blushes deeper* [deleted] blockage
pebble: That sounds painful.
Guest: *nods*
Guest: its stuck in my [deleted] all [deleted]
pebble: What do you suggest?
Guest: maybe you could help?
pebble: Well, I'm not very good with power tools.
Guest: *smiles and holds your hands softly* allow me to guide you
pebble: Wait a minute.
pebble: I don't have any malpractice insurance.
pebble: I wouldn't want to be sued.
Guest: you wont be
Guest: i promise
Guest: *I pull your hands gently and let them rest on the [deleted] of my pants*
pebble: We live in an extremely litigious culture.
pebble: -withdraws her hand-
pebble: I'm not doing anything without first consulting a lawyer.
pebble: Do you realize the liability exposure here?
Guest: *Plops down a paper with extreme grudging...which states that you shall not be sued or even improperly talked to...if you have done a bad or improper job*
pebble: As I said, I need to talk to a lawyer first.
Guest: i am a JP...which is one stop below lawyer...this is a legal paper...that i have written up...i have signed it therefore it is a lawyer grade paper
Guest: which can be held up in court
pebble: And we haven't even addressed the question of preexisting conditions.
pebble: What if you have an aneurysm?
(He left the chat.)

Why everyone (not just VIPs) should have flirt-
and attack-blocking, case no. 27,283.

(I enter a public room of which I am a member, and find Guest already there.)
Guest: hey
pebble: Greetings.
Guest: you ugly
pebble: Why do you say that?
(He tackles me.)
pebble: Um, thank you for that tackle.
Guest: stupid
pebble: What is stupid, dear?
Guest: you
pebble: I haven't done anything.
pebble: What is it about me that offends you, exactly?
pebble: Surely there is something you'd like to talk about?
Guest: yes i like you
pebble: Now you like me?
Guest: yes
pebble: But I thought I was ugly and stupid?
Guest: no just kedding
pebble: You have a very unusual name. What does it mean?
Guest: do you like me
pebble: Well, let's see...
pebble: First, you call me ugly.
Guest: no
pebble: Then you tackle and body slam me.
pebble: Then, you call me stupid.
Guest: sorry
Guest: stop
pebble: Let's just say you have some trust to recapture.
Guest: please for give me
pebble: So far I'm unimpressed. But perhaps you will behave better from now on.
pebble: Tell me something wonderful about yourself.
Guest: do you like me
Guest: do you
pebble: Let's reiterate.
pebble: First, you call me ugly.
pebble: Then, you tackle and body slam me.
Guest: stop
pebble: Then you say I'm stupid.
Guest: do you
pebble: So haven't exactly warmed my heart to you.
Guest: do you
pebble: Perhaps you know some reasons why I should like you *despite* your
pebble: atrocious behavior? I'm all ears.
Guest: tell me rrrrrrr
pebble: At the moment, I'm not terribly fond of you.
pebble: But I am willing to change my opinion if you give me cause to.
(He tackles me again.)
pebble: Tackling me again isn't helping your case.
(He makes repeated attacks, some of which I thwart by jumping to new nodes.)
pebble: Please stop.
Guest: no
(He leaves the room, but returns a couple of minutes later.)
pebble: I see you have returned to apologize for your horrid behavior.
Guest: no
(He tackles me again.)
pebble: Please stop tackling me.
(He left the chat again.)

(I'm invited to a chat.)
Guest: hai :3
pebble: Hello.
Guest: r u rly 47?
pebble: Yes, I'm really forty-seven.
Guest: mhm mhm
Guest: sexy' :]
pebble: I'm so glad you approve.
Guest: well of course ill approve
Guest: i love older woman
Guest: o.o fetish, i guess
pebble: It would appear so.
Guest: and uhm...fantasy too
pebble: -takes a look at your homepage-
Guest: :o stalker
pebble: Heavens, you're 15?
Guest: -shakes head-
Guest: hell, i dont look like one
pebble: That's what your page says.
Guest: lolz too young
pebble: So what is on your mind, Guest?
Guest: uhm...should i really tell you?
pebble: We might as well get it out in the open.
Guest: ya wat that means....well the hting is ive been looking to fullfill my fantasys
Guest: and...well yea u can guess the rest
pebble: Unfortunately, that's not even a remote possibility in this situation.
Guest: well why is that
pebble: I'm three times your age *and* you're a minor.
Guest: oh wiat wat?
pebble: Not to mention I don't cyber on IMVU.
Guest: im 17 o.O
pebble: You're still a minor.
Guest: -sigh- shouldnt of kept my hopes up
pebble: Perhaps there is something else you'd care to discuss?
Guest: -shrugs- hmm like
pebble: Surprise me with your intelligence.
(I wait for a couple of minutes, in silence.)
pebble: Nothing?
Guest: oh intellegance?
Guest: idk wat u mean by it
pebble: Yes, I see.
Guest: uhm i wanna shove my p**** inside ur v*****?
Guest: jee idk
Guest: guess' im kinda young for you lol
pebble: Oh, thank you, that is going right into my Hall of OMFG chat transcripts.
Guest: well your welcome, i guess
pebble: You'll be famous. Well sorta. I take out the names.
Guest: like im already not
pebble: Oh, you've already achieved a measure of fame? Tell me about that.
Guest: -grins- nah its too complicated for you to understand
pebble: Please educate me. I'm all ears.
Guest: im guessing you read shakespear and all of that hmm
pebble: I have read a fair bit of the Bard, yes.
Guest: mhm and how do i make my age non public?
pebble: You can't.
Guest: i did it once
pebble: I believe it is against the Terms of Service to do so.
Guest: mhm mhm r u married btw?
pebble: I have been married for nearly 21 years.
Guest: mmhmmm....
Guest: well i guess i shoudl trash that then
pebble: I have a daughter nearly your age.
Guest: oh me n her should f...err talk
pebble: I can assure you that won't happen.
Guest: damn so shes wat mute?
pebble: No, but she does not use IMVU for one thing
pebble: For another, I don't think you're her type.
Guest: so she only talks to ppl she wat attractive to?
Guest: psh -mumbles something-
pebble: That's a really fascinating dialect of English you're speaking.
Guest: Oh u want me to get evil with you huh
pebble: Evil is not required, I assure you.
Guest: Oh ms.pebble, stealing that name from the flinstones im sure ur odl enough, but really do not start being all fancy talkity with me, i can assure you i can be a pest if i can get pissed.
pebble: Actually, my name does not derive from The Flintstones.
pebble: That character's name was "Pebbles". Mine is "pebble", and quite unrelated.
pebble: Be a pest? How might you do that?
Guest: and quite unrealteated? olease you just took out the s, its still considered stealing
Guest: do not seek death, for it is a sin if your alive
pebble: Death, hmm?
pebble: Tell me more.
pebble: I seem to recall that killing is a sin as well.
Guest: but, it is mot a sin if the music of the world is love
Guest: for that might be, then let it sing
pebble: Dear, that makes no sense at all.
Guest: oh it does, dear, but it seem as if your brain does not understand my tounge
pebble: As you like.
Guest: that be a good girl, do not argue with me
pebble: -smiles-
pebble: Will there be anything else?
Guest: oh how those lips are so red, for i bet theyll make the white snow look like blood has shed
pebble: I'm wondering if you can offer a compelling reason why I shouldn't press the Report Abuse button?
Guest: hmm? wat do you mean?
pebble: If I click Report Abuse, this entire chat transcript is sent to IMVU along with my complaint.
Guest: and wat that complaint must of be?
pebble: It's against the Terms of Service to threaten another user.
pebble: I'm just saying.
Guest: and how am i treating you?
Guest: *threating
pebble: Keep trying, you'll spell it right eventually.
Guest: my my, how delightfull, now dont change the subject, how did i threaten you
pebble: Several times you've used the language of violence.
pebble: And that's AFTER you spoke about your sexual intent.
pebble: Add to that, you're a minor.
pebble: That's quite a fair bit of incriminating evidence, I warrant.
Guest: mhm mhm
Guest: now im tryign to find the terms of service
Guest: to see if it really says that
pebble: One moment, I'll find it for you.
pebble: I'm still looking. Patience, please.
Guest: mhm
(I post the link.)
pebble: There you go.
pebble: You'll want to scan down a bit.
Guest: id say
Guest: doesnt the chat kinda of disapears after we write alot
pebble: No, it is stored in memory.
pebble: I also have a copy.
pebble: for example:
(I cut and paste one of his lines from earlier in the chat, below, as proof.)
pebble: Guest: guess' im kinda young for you lol
Guest: w/e ur name is, do you kno wat a fag is?
("w/e" is shorthand for "whatever".)
pebble: Indeed I do.
Guest: mhm mhm
Guest: lets words
pebble: In England, means a cigarette or a burning log, I believe.
pebble: Here, of course, it means something quite different.
Guest: but in here it reads
(He cuts-and-pastes a section of the TOS, I suppose to prove that one can falsify the contents of a transcript. I've deleted it for brevity.)
Guest: see?
pebble: It doesn't matter. Clicking Report Abuse sends a copy of our chat to IMVU.
pebble: It's designed that way.
Guest: but over there, cant you read it?
Guest: theres no abuse
Guest: for one u dont kno my real age
pebble: Ah, but IMVU does.
Guest: for two u should of have left if i was a minor talkign bout sex
pebble: -laughs-
Guest: -covers ears-
pebble: Well, this has been a lovely chat.
pebble: I give you a choice.
Guest: mhm
Guest: oh wow yea first reported abuse w/e
pebble: Either you apologize and we part amiably, or you say something smart and I report you.
pebble: It's up to you.
Guest: god, old ppl these days
(He left the chat. Heavens, young people these days. By the way, I didn't report him.)

A Natural Psychic
(I'm invited to chat.)
pebble: Hello.
Guest: hi
Guest: how r u?
Guest: nice 2 meet u
pebble: I am well. And yourself?
Guest: like indians?
Guest: fine ty
Guest: im an indian
pebble: I greatly enjoy Indian cuisine.
Guest: 37 yrs old single male
Guest: nice
Guest: enjoy cuisine only ,not liek indian guy?
pebble: I have no special affinity for Indian males, really.
pebble: I'm not seeking a mate.
Guest: ok der
Guest: i love matured lady
Guest: ur age&name?
(I've no intention of answering an ASL question.)
Guest: i kept u always good honey
pebble: I believe we've spoken before.
Guest: didnt know
pebble: Apparently not.
Guest: sorry
Guest: but u seems good
Guest: that y i propose u
pebble: Propose me?
Guest: matured woman always good for relationship
pebble: As in marriage?
pebble: I'm already married.
Guest: yes sweety
Guest: u r simple&sweet
Guest: i know ur marriage not happy i guess
pebble: How can you know that?
Guest: if u r happy u r with ur husband,but midnight u sit here
pebble: You're a presumptive one, aren't you?
Guest: if u happy u never touch cimouter midnight
Guest: computer
Guest: just guessing dear
pebble: You've got me all figured out, haven't you?
pebble: Do tell me more about myself.
Guest: 37 male single
Guest: never married
Guest: no kids
Guest: wearing glass
Guest: 5''11 tall
Guest: average body
Guest: black hair&eyes
pebble: Ahem.
pebble: I said tell me more about *myself*. Not yourself.
Guest: sorry
pebble: Since you seem to know so much about me and my relationship.
Guest: maybe u more than 5''5
Guest: ur tall
Guest: i guess u have blondee&black mixed hair
Guest: look charming i guess
Guest: u look sexy structure body
Guest: right dear?
pebble: And how do you know these things?
pebble: My god, are you psychic?
Guest: just guessing
Guest: no sweety
Guest: u have big breast too
pebble: You've had some training at remote viewing, I can tell.
pebble: -waits-
pebble: Is there anything else you'd like to say?
Guest: plz wait
Guest: i told its all right?
Guest: ur breast size around 38-40?
Guest: right dear
pebble: You're really amazing.
pebble: It's like you're watching me through the window.
Guest: ur size 38-40d right?
Guest: u r kind woman love to help all
Guest: right?
pebble: Right again!
Guest: in ur mind u need a good young for u
Guest: for love&relationship
Guest: u r looking for sincere love too
Guest: right baby?
Guest: hello
pebble: And here I thought I was happily married, until you came and showed how miserable I really am.
pebble: How can I ever find happiness now?
Guest: u need good young guy for u
Guest: right?
Guest: do meditation&help elder people&orphanage child
Guest: they give love
Guest: then u will feel better
pebble: Sage advice!
Guest: wht?
Guest: sage means?
pebble: Very wise.
pebble: And now, unfortunately, I must go to bed. O, unhappy bed!
Guest: u will marry man like me then ur life heaven
pebble: Thank you for your words of wisdom.
pebble: Goodnight.
Guest: have any msn or yahoo?
Guest: plz wait
Guest: dear
(I left the chat.)

How not to beg for gifts and credits

Example 1
(I'm invited to chat.)
Guest: hi peb
pebble: Hello, dear.
Guest: do u have a bf
Guest: will u b my gf
pebble: hmm
pebble: Tell me a fascinating reason I should be your girlfriend.
Guest: u look good i will trat u well and i like u
Guest: treat
pebble: I mean, tell me something fascinating about yourself.
Guest: i am in college i am 18 and i am a wrestler
pebble: What are you studying in college?
Guest: being a doctor
pebble: what sort of doctor?
Guest: brain surgen
pebble: That takes a very steady hand and an exhaustive amount of knowledge. I'm impressed.
Guest: can u buy me 4 things i not tring 2 b a begger
pebble: Have you looked at my homepage?
Guest: yea
pebble: I'm curious. What is the difference between asking for me to buy you four things,
pebble: and being a beggar?
Guest: i will pay u bac wen i get my creds
Guest: can u
pebble: Let's just say I'm disinclined to such action.
Guest: srry but i need 4 gifts please
pebble: explain the severity of this need.
Guest: i need it to impress my cuz she says i am ugly and i need more stuff
pebble: Do you think you are ugly?
Guest: please
Guest: no
Guest: but i want da gifts 2 i like gifts
Guest: please
pebble: so the 'being ugly' thing isn't your real reason.
Guest: she says it and i like gifts please
pebble: Now correct me if I'm wrong, but this sounds a LOT like begging.
Guest: srry
Guest: can u just buy it 4 me and i will stop
pebble: I'd say this clearly qualifies as begging. Wouldn't you?
pebble: Admit it. Say, "I'm a beggar, I can't help myself."
Guest: i am a begger i admit it
pebble: Good boy.
pebble: Now what do I say about begging for gifts on my page?
Guest: i did not look alot at ur pg i dont no i only went on it 4 like 1 min
pebble: The short version is: I don't buy things for beggars.
Guest: ok can u just buy it
Guest: buy it please
pebble: I have a lot of patience for this sort of thing, but you're not even particularly amusing.
pebble: I'm unimpressed with your begging skills.
Guest: i will pay u bac
pebble: Let's just abandon the repayment thing, I don't really expect you will.
pebble: I'd like to hear some more inspired begging from you.
Guest: i will can u just buy it please
pebble: Perhaps if you added a few tablespoons more desperate grovelling
pebble: Tell me, for example, how exquisitely beautiful I am.
(long pause)
pebble: Now, see, a truly gifted beggar would take that hint and run with it.
Guest: u r hot but not hot yet..............
pebble: Hmm?
Guest: u r sexy
pebble: And what would it take for me to be truly 'hot'?
Guest: buy jeans new hair and sneakers and jewlery
pebble: For you, you mean.
Guest: can u please buy it
Guest: 4 things please
pebble: Your next words must be the most utterly fascinating things ever spoken by a human,
pebble: or this chat is ending.
Guest: just buy it
Guest: please
pebble: I'm sorry, you have failed this challenge.
pebble: I bid you adieu.
Guest: can u give me a thousand creds
pebble: Ah! How audacious.
pebble: Now we're getting somewhere.
pebble: Beg me harder.
Guest: please
Guest: please
Guest: please
Guest: please
Guest: please
Guest: please
Guest: please
Guest: please
(Long pause.)
Guest: please
Guest: please
Guest: please
pebble: We're done here.
(I left the chat.)

Example 2
(I'm invited to chat.)
Guest: whats your name
pebble: pebble
pebble: -Points to her name at the bottom of the screen, behind the shoutout-
Guest: nice name
Guest: im v*******
Guest: what do yuo do for fun?
pebble: I chat, and read, and write, and play games, and think about stuff. You?
Guest: cool
Guest: me too
Guest: where you from?
pebble: Los Angeles
Guest: kool
pebble: And...just to anticipate your next question, I'm 46
Guest: you still live there?
pebble: Yes, I do still live here
Guest: ok
Guest: i live in NY nad from NY
pebble: And all of my relevant information is on my homepage.
Guest: can you do me a huge favor and buy me the neckless and the braclets off my wishlist
pebble: I think not.
Guest: please i really need it no joke
Guest: ?
pebble: You 'need' it?
Guest: why?
Guest: yes i do
pebble: Explain this 'need'.
Guest: its important please
Guest: im not lieing to you
pebble: Explain why you need it.
Guest: becuase i need it
Guest: thats the best way i can explain it
pebble: You'll have to do much better.
Guest: i need it becuase i have no credits and i need things like that
pebble: Why do you need such things? for what?
Guest: why do i have to kiss your ass
Guest: its none of your got damn bussiness why i did it
pebble: You're begging for a gift, and now you're bitching me out?
pebble: Methinks something's amiss here
Guest: i just need it alot its important that should be enough
pebble: I'm unmotivated.
pebble: Perhaps if you kiss my ass harder.
pebble: Some spirited grovelling.
Guest: bitch f*** you
Guest: i dont need you
pebble: This is not going to get you the gift.
pebble: -laughs-
(She left the chat.)

(Believe it or not, she IMmed me again a few minutes later.)

pebble: Hello again.
Guest: hi
Guest: can you please?
pebble: Please what?
Guest: buy me the necless and braclets?
pebble: I am still waiting for the creative begging.
pebble: and first, there's the matter of you calling me a bitch.
Guest: i didnt mean it
pebble: That definitely hurt your chances of getting a gift.
Guest: please!??
pebble: Tell me I'm beautiful.
Guest: your beautiful
Guest: hold on
pebble: How beautiful am I?
(I'm forced to wait a couple of minutes.)
pebble: I'm impressed...asking someone to wait for several minutes just so you can resume begging.
pebble: That takes hubris.
Guest: im back
pebble: -checks the Gift Probability Meter, needle dropping-
pebble: Now. Tell me how beautiful I am.
pebble: Be creative.
Guest: you very cute
pebble: Cute isn't sufficient.
Guest: your wonderful
pebble: Tell me exactly how ravishingly beautiful I am.
pebble: Do I make your heart skip, when you see me?
Guest: yeah
pebble: Now tell me you love me.
Guest: i love you
pebble: More poetically. Make me believe it.
Guest: i love you to death
pebble: -basks-
Guest: can you do it now?
pebble: Can I do what now?
Guest: buy it
pebble: I've no intention of buying you anything.
pebble: I don't give gifts to beggars.
Guest: hold on
pebble: -waits again-
(A couple of minutes pass.)
pebble: -yawns-
Guest: are you gonna buy me the gift now?
pebble: As I said, I don't ever buy gifts for beggars.
Guest: what!
pebble: Never.
Guest: you bitch you aint cute or beautiful you ugly and i hate you
pebble: mmm Music to my ears.
pebble: You are precious, you know that? Very few people are as entertaining as you.
Guest: ugly mother f****r you aint nobody
pebble: Yes, please keep going.
pebble: Tell me more.
(She left the chat.)

Example 3: Sisters!
A few days ago I received a message that read as follows:

Guest: hey your sis said can u be my sis

Of course I had no idea what this meant, and I wrote back something to that effect. The next time I saw her online, I invited her to chat. The conversation went like his:

pebble: Hello, dear.
pebble: Thank you for accepting my invitation.
Guest: u welcome
pebble: I'm quite curious about what you meant in your message.
pebble: Lovely avatar you have.
Guest: i forgot what gurl who said dat can u be my sister 2
pebble: So someone told you I could be your sister?
Guest: no
pebble: Someone asked to be your sister, and you don't remember who it was?
Guest: she said dat iam da gurl sis n she said 2 ask u u can u be my sis 2
Guest: i have a lot of sisters
pebble: I'm still not quite understanding. Let's recap: There was a girl. She said something to you.Yes?
Guest: do u have a sis
Guest: what is her name
pebble: What do you mean by 'sister', exactly?
pebble: Do you mean a real-life sister who also plays IMVU?
pebble: Or do you mean another IMVU user who roleplays a sister of mine?
Guest: play on imvu
pebble: And you mean 'sister' as in a family member, but on IMVU?
Guest: yes
pebble: I don't have an IMVU sister that I'm aware of.
Guest: oow iam srry can u be my sis
pebble: Do you want to be my IMVU sister?
Guest: yea
pebble: What do IMVU sisters do?
Guest: be a regular sister
pebble: In what way, exactly?
Guest: nerver mind iam haveing trouble with somthing
pebble: Are there responsibilities involved?
pebble: What are you having trouble with?
Guest: yea
Guest: wel u see my sis is haveing a babe n on imvu n i dont have no credits can u buy those earings 4 me so i can give it 2 her
(Never mind that gifts are not transferrable.)
pebble: Ah, so one of the responsibilities of an IMVU sister is to help pay for your gifts?
Guest: ill pay u bac
Guest: yea
pebble: And what do I get out of this deal?
Guest: be there 4 each other
Guest: i gift bac when i get my credits
pebble: And when would that be, exactly?
Guest: tues.
pebble: Well, I don't think I like this game of 'sister'.
pebble: I had thought it had more to do with being friends and suchlike.
Guest: ok
Guest: if u dont want 2 buy it dats ok
pebble: All righty.
pebble: Thank you for visiting, though.
Guest: bye b*tch
pebble: Goodbye, sweetie.
(She punches me in the the stomach.)
pebble: Thank you for that lovely punch.
Guest: u wel come b*tch
pebble: I hope you have a lovel--- Oh, nice body slam.
(She had tackled me.)
Guest: what r u
pebble: Is this part of being sisters too? Violent attacks and cursing out?
pebble: What do you mean, what am I?
Guest: f*ck u u dont want c2 buy me nothin
pebble: Certainly not with that sort of attitude, dear.
Guest: asl
Guest: fu n your money b*tch
pebble: Such a lovely child.
(She left the chat.)

friendly Amigos 180
visitors Visitantes 21225
kharma Presentes 291
generosity Generosidade 102

Minha sala
Meus Grupos Verifique os Grupos do IMVU!

Nia's Dream
by pebble garden

It was the only machine of its kind. They named it QALI, and pronounced it KAH-lee like the Hindu goddess. The Quantum Amplified Liminal Interpreter was a matte black one-meter sphere ringed about its equator with a pulsing line of state-annunciator LEDs. And with 1,024 entangled q-processors, it was by far the most powerful computing device ever made. It could simulate anything imaginable, including the life cycle of any possible universe, from Big Bang to Heat Death. Not just an approximation, mind you, but a cosmos fully as complex as the one we called real.

QALI would pave the way for a new kind of boundless virtual reality, an entire alternate existence indistinguishable from this one. Yet for all this potential it was still just a blank slate, awaiting an artist's promethean spark.

The biggest challenge was the interface. While it did have an attached keyboard-mouse-display setup, they were only used to initialize the system. The real power under the hood was the Main Process Cloud, its harmonized network of entangled q-procs, requiring a far subtler means of control: a next-generation brain-machine interface, stupendously difficult to use. It had been described as ‘a twelve-dimensional theremin of the mind‘, and this was no exaggeration. Many people had tried to use it, and all had failed.

But it was a widely-known fact that the machine had been designed with a single person in mind.

Her name was Estefania Burgos Alvarado and although she had been stricken by cerebral palsy at an early age, she was the world's most famous person. The prison of her withered body had driven her to the only freedom left, that of unbounded imagination. Using primitive brainwave interfaces she had begun her career as a successful screenwriter. Then she became an animator, and later, director. But Estefania soon outgrew the limitations of the existing technology, and with a team of crack engineers and programmers developed her own custom firmware, of far greater potential. At age 35 she gained greatest fame as Nia, the world's only Oneironist, weaver of downloadable dreams, and best friend to eight billion hungry souls. In a world filled with increasingly dire economic, political, and environmental news, she was the lone gatekeeper to a realm of total escape.

Only Nia could tame the wild potential of QALI. And so, one fine autumn day, it was with great fanfare her special van arrived at the engineering lab at MIT for the system's first run.

The concrete path which ran to the lab's main entry had been covered by thousands of lovingly placed flowers. The sight of this, and the adoration of the thronged fans who lined the way brought tears to Estefania's eyes. They were untroubled by the bent, elfin body strapped to her custom wheelchair. They knew her better as she appeared in their dreams: sometimes as a glowing angel, sometimes the perfect mate and lover, sometimes the virile hero, or occasionally the smiling moon, watching protectively in the night sky. A million forms she had taken, like bright birds freed from a cruel cage, and her fans knew them all.

Yet had anyone been able to read that inscrutable, writhing face, they might have caught a hint of sadness, a secret regret. But of course no one could.

In the lab, they carefully placed the sensors on her slumped head and performed the necessary calibrations. At last the device was ready to go, the way clear for her to dream as never before, and—it was hoped—spawn a new reality.

Her body showed no outward sign when QALI was activated. But inwardly, her senses reeled at the blaze of light, the dimensions of possibility unfolding in her head. It was exactly how the Goddess must have felt at the birth of Everything. Her mind stretched, nearly broke, stretched again painfully, and she feared the power of it would unmake her.

She was turned inside out and consumed by this hungry, prodigious matrix. No longer was she Nia, but a wisp of soul flung violently by the tumult of increasing complexity. Real terror claimed her.

Primordial gasses coalesced into streamers, then formed glittering clumps of blazing, jetting, exploding stars. Their high-speed churn of birth and death was a firecracker assault upon her senses.

But gradually things slowed down. Galaxies formed, and finally she gained traction within the thought-driven interface. The course of their formation had a palpable texture, and she experimented. Here, she stroked too hard and a galaxy flung itself asunder. Another collapsed into a sullen black hole when she squeezed. She could trace her mind's finger along the frilled shape of yet another, and give it the most beautiful lacework eddies. What she did in one place was subtly reflected throughout the whole firmament, very much like the fractal generators she'd used for her animations, so many years ago.

She found an especially lovely galaxy, modest but well-formed, and focused on that. It swelled in her mind. She could see its hundred billion stars in perfect detail, each beckoning eagerly. A butter-colored star and its pretty azure water world caught her eye. When she zoomed in for a closer view, the gemlike planet greeted her with swirling clouds and a pirouetting single moon. The world begged to be shaped.

She breathed upon it, and life appeared. The oceans churned with its frenzy of evolution. When life finally slithered onto land, she rejoiced. Meteors, ice ages, drifting continents—these were the tools with which she pruned and tended uncounted species, heedless of the passing aeons her labor demanded.

She could have shaped life into a trillion forms, but she knew her goal. As she worked, that little water world began to resemble the one she had left far behind in her wheelchair. It was much easier, now that she had learned the interface. She was guided by a sense of this, not that, the same intuitive process which shaped her famous dream-stories. Closer, now, and still closer she drew to her ultimate goal.

Just before the final tweak, she hesitated. They would not like what she had wrought. But from the first moment she had learned of the QALI device, this was what she had yearned to do. And so at last, she flung aside her doubts and gave a last twist to this little world of her making. It was done.

She felt herself slipping away. She went with quiet joy.


Nia's funeral was watched by half the world's population, and all wept at her passing. No one could have imagined the device would claim her life. The engineers and scientists were horrified by this outcome, and protested there had been nothing dangerous about the process. An investigation would have to be made.

But Nia was gone, and there was no one to take her place. Hers would remain the first and only virtual universe until someone else could match her talent.

Of course everyone wanted to know what fabulous creation had claimed the life of their beloved Nia. Was it heaven? A fantastic fairytale realm? They knew her dreams well, and surely this new work would surpass them all.

It is easy, then, to imagine the researchers' immense disappointment when they finally entered the Niaverse. With infinite possibilities at her disposal, Nia had chosen the single outcome no one expected: a perfect copy of the real world, complete in every detail, problems and all. It was the cruelest possible twist of an already tragic story. The machine contained the one thing no one wanted, and gone was the only person who could create another.

The researchers said they would let Nia's universe continue to run, and made the obligatory speeches about her living legacy and the rich academic possibilities it held. But their words rang hollow. The real truth was, they would have to wait for a new oneironist to be born before another attempt could be made.

Nia's fans bitterly abandoned their hope for a better reality, and returned to their cherished dream-recordings.


But deep within the black orb, on that little water world, on a perfect copy of the island of Kauai...was the one thing in Nia's universe which differed from the outside reality. For there, in the emerald surf beneath a painfully blue sky ran a naked, laughing, and whole Estefania Burgos Alvarado.

She had devoted her previous life to the selfless fulfillment of a world's dreams. This dream, finally, would be for her alone.

Copyright pebble garden 2008. All rights reserved.

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Letting Go
From Beautiful Voices 026, at 11:00

and in our dreams there are better days
and in our dreams there are better ways
we live the life of fools and kings
blinded by the jewels this world brings
so we say goodbye
to the other side
so we kiss and sigh
no longer anymore
love has left this land
your hand is in my hand
so we say goodbye
this time

letting go, letting go, letting go
collapse myself into
letting go, letting go, letting go
perhaps I've fallen through
letting go, letting go, letting go
this new sensation
letting go
this my salvation

can all this seem like there's another way?
do we believe we can hope to stay?
living a lie to fulfill our dreams
consciously reminded of what that means?
still we hope and try
cover and hide
still we shift the lie
but realize deep, deep inside
something I can't stand
your hand is in my hand
time to say goodbye
letting go...

Meaningless Quiz of the Day

What Tarot Card Are You?

You are The High Priestess
Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge: instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluctuation, particularly when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card Are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

I took this test again in 2009, and got a slightly different result:

You are The Star
Hope, expectation, bright promises.

The Star is one of the great cards of faith, dreams realised.

The Star is a card that looks to the future. It does not predict any immediate or powerful change, but it does predict hope and healing. This card suggests clarity of vision, spiritual insight. And, most importantly, that unexpected help will be coming, with water to quench your thirst, with a guiding light to the future. They might say you're a dreamer, but you're not the only one.

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