While I sit here, fruitlessly attempting to gain access to the grid ("Due to higher-than-usual load, logins to Second Life have been temporarily disabled. We anticipate logins will be disabled for only a short time." - well, at least 20 minutes now, as I've watched the number of users fall by 10%), it occured to me to make a note that there have been some changes afoot across the street from me in Caledon Downs. The Steampunk Resource Centre, under the direction of Miss Sea Beaumont, has remodeled. The two principal changes are the addition of a coffee shop on the top floor, and the addition of steps in place of a teleportation system between floors.
Although Miss Beaumont is still taking the name of the coffee shop under advisement ("Steamperk" appears to be the runaway favorite at this stage, but we must make allowances for a dark horse late in the race, and the preferences of the proprietress have yet to be made known), I look forward to the shop's arrival. I had been thinking that the Downs lacked such a shop - it also lacks a proper pub, another shocking delinquency in what is otherwise a fine location; I find it hard to believe that my fellow residents think there are too many pubs already in Caledon - and now I can indulge my addiction any time I am at home, for I can merely stumble out of my door and into the shop, assuming I do not misjudge and tumble down the hill. Well, these things happen. I poked my head into the construction zone, and it appears cakes and other sweets will also be available, which means an assault on my waistline. *sigh* The sacrifices I make for neighbors!
The stairs are also welcome, if only for the opportunity to work off a few of the extra calories from the sweets. I found nothing wrong with the teleportation system, but Miss Beaumont noted that more than one guest departed the Centre under the mistaken belief it contained but one floor. I took the uncharitable view that anyone who could not operate - or, indeed, fail to notice - a teleportation system was not the ideal candidate for the steampunk lifestyle, but Miss Beaumont is a kind soul, and arranged with her partner Miss Molly Lundquist to install the stairs (between the second and third floors) and the ladder (between the first and second floors).
Unfortunately, to make room for the shop, the Centre no long has its cozy reading area. Of course, Caledon does not lack for library space, thanks to our energetic librarian Sir JJ Drinkwater and his associates, and Miss Beaumont will likely look the other way if one lingers over a cup of tea while perusing the latest offerings from Mr. H. G. Wells. Progress undoubtedly pushes the past firmly behind us, and this is not always a bad thing. I must realize we are no longer living in the eighteenth century, and embrace this modern age.