Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day

Today is revenge for them attacking me as a tiny. A happy holiday to all of my U.S. friends...I will be back inworld next Monday.

Gobble Gobble?

I told Phin that was not the way to get a Thanksgiving turkey, but would he listen? Noooo!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Grand Tour

Although I get around the Grid, you know that my home base is in the historic sims of SL. In light of the whole OS hoopla, a lot of them were seriously affected by it and so this weekend I spent a lot of time participating in the Grand Tour. Organized by Fogwoman Gray of Caledon and with organizers at the participating sims, balls and dances were held the entire weekend going from location to location. Congrats to them on a job well done. Participating sims were Colonia Nova, Orcadia, New Toulouse, Victoriana, Neufriedstadt, Winterfell, Caledon, New Babbage, Steeltopia, Al Andalus, Isles of Fatima, Wunderbar, Antiquity and Steelhead. If you have never visited these place, go...the time is now.

If you want to read my posts about my bouncing from place to place you can read them HERE.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dancing at Fibber's

GoSpeed Racer was DJing at Fibber's in Dublin so Phin and I thought we'd stop through. It's been a long time since I've been here and the place has been renovated...I had a good time getting my groove on.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Steelhead's Disco Dance

Two words: Disco Squirrel...

Flying at Aeronautica

Phin and I thought we'd get in some quality flying time today and went to Aeronautica. Some other aviators were there when we arrived and were quite excited to meet us. "Are you members of the Screaming Tinies??" they asked us and watched us take off in our GeeBees... Phin told me that Aeronautica will be staying open past the January OS deadline and I hope that is true, as their three sims were a lot of fun to fly over...Yes, I am striking a "dramatic squirrel" pose in the sunset...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Death Rays, Tiny Nuns and a New Project

My evening started off in Winterfell Absinthe at the Jager Poetry Slam. Death rays, fire, explosions and nuns with guns are my idea of a good time. Oh yeah...and poetry too!
My evening ended with Lunar showing me the location of an upcoming project I'll be helping him out on. For those of you who don't know, he's a helluva builder, but I'm the one with the helluva knack for textures and texture tweaking...which leads to lots of notecards from him that make me say "You want what?!" (for instance, a sculptie conch shell. Yes, I did create it.) Ooo glad you're my friend! No really, I truly enjoy working on textures though and maybe when things slow down again a bit for me, I might even make a texture pack. I love the creative aspects of this world...


Oh hell...why not?

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.

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bad Terraforming Neighbors, AGAIN?!

At my last land, the original Vista del Mar, this was the godawful view of ugly landmass that I ended up having that made me finally throw in the towel and move. The estate manager had tried to say that they couldn't do anything about it. I had suggested a re-terraform to make it more attractive to buyers. I made my land's terraform nice before I left and when I checked on it, it had sold less than a week later, which proved me right...Like the last time, I am on a private estate island. So when I looked outside my home last night and saw my neighbor erecting this sky- and view-blocking monstrosity as a land wall for a compound I was speechless...I couldn't see the owner's name to contact them and couldn't figure out why the group name it was deeded to sounded so familiar to me--until today. I realized that out of the tens and thousands of residents in SL, I believe I had already dealt with them before--on my old land!!! Only then (see below in the pic w/me and an estate management rep), as my neighbor, they had done the same thing and took some of my land (the green border line) along with them! What are the frickin' ODDS of this? I expect this kind of behavior while on the mainland...not on private islands. I contacted the estate manager, as I know from past experience that a politely worded message doesn't work. If they don't change or go, I will. DAMN.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Elle's Steampunk Tail, Take Two!

I thought I'd upgrade my steampunk kitty tail today. Ooo...spinning and steam puffs and brass, oh my!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Secret Agent Elle

In honor of "Quantum of Solace" opening, tonight was Bond Night in Steelhead. I have always loved James Bond movies so I could not resist. I thought I'd go as Halle Berry's "Jinx" character from "Die Another Day"...There was a really good turnout and we all had a great time...I had to duck sometimes as there were sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads...Um, speaking of lasers...I changed into my tux and couldn't resist...

Trite, Cliched & Done...Everyone Knows Already

So, a RL relationship in Britain goes kaput due to SL. Okaaay...So of course (naturally, because after all SL's a cesspool of sex and deviant behavior, right?) this leads to a Daily Mail article about the usual lurid crap we're used to hearing. And in a game of "I see your 3-breasted woman picture, and I'll raise you some antlers", the BBCNews cranked out their own report. We've been there and done that. We get it. SL has got some pervy qualities to it, but when you and your editors are bored of sensationalist drivel, why don't you try these topics on for size?

1. The current OS debacle and how it compares to the RL real estate crisis
2. Are people turning to virtual worlds for entertainment as their RL budgets tighten?
3. The use of SL to present models of RL architectural and other projects ("Original Sim" by Sam Lubell, New York Times Magazine, Holiday 2008)
4. The creative use of SL for artists--both visual and performing ("Portrait of an Artist as Avatar" by Sara Corbett, New York Times Magazine, 3/5/09)
5. Ways educators are using SL for long-distance learning and other opportunities ("Towson U. study breaks on Second Life" by Stephen Kiehl, Baltimore Sun, 4/7/09); ("A Whole New World of Studying" by Lucy Tobin, The Guardian, 4/21/09)
6. Does SL help with socialization or are personalities even more heightened?
7. SL as a way to cross cultural boundaries and learn from one another
8. Themed communities and how they help to bring history to life
9. How RL museums can learn from the interactive exhibits inworld

and #10? If you are going to discuss relationships and sex in SL, why not talk about why virtual relationships and friendships are formed in the first place? And why not talk about them in the positive? [UPDATE: Finally. A positive one: "A Geek Love Story" by Jessica Bennett, Newsweek, 4/14/09] There are plenty of RL relationships who aren't screwed up by SL and find it as a alternate way to have fun as a couple. Oh that's right, antlers and "Total Recall" women involved. At least the Guardian more or less tried to write a more straightforward account.

If anything, you read these and watch TV reports and it's usually a reporter who creates a new account and comes in to check it out and wow...they're not keying in "Arts & Culture" for their search. They immediately end up in some scuzzy club or the free orgy room! Hey M and LL, something to think about for all of those new residents you seem to be so interested in: You can lead a horse to content, but you can't make it drink.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Reflections on St Torley

As part of the SL Bloggers Mix n Match, this is what I posted on "Samantha Speaks", the blog of Samantha Poindexter of the 1st Church of Rosedale (Immersionists) in Caledon Penzance. The topic, "Is SL Truly a Second Life or an Extension of the First?" was suggested by Kirasha Urqhart. I was feeling a bit...inspired.Pastor Poindexter has held many services here at the Church of Rosedale. After donning my vestments in the colors of the Order of St. Torley, I gazed upon the image of Philip our Creator and thought about the smiting of communities, but today I want to create positivity. WWTD? I wish to reflect upon the teachings of our beloved Saint--he who believes in the infinite goodness of watermelons, creativity, and our world with its power to change and transform us. We are in a time of trouble and turmoil, and for many of us, our lives inworld are mimicking that of our lives in RL and currently involve worry, stress and drama. We must ask ourselves, "What do we want from our precious time in here? What makes it all worthwhile for us to be present--to have a presence?" Our lives inworld are what we make of them and this is a world of infinite possibilities if you can see them. Believe me when I say that they exist. This can be a place of wondrous imagination if you know where to look for it and change can happen even easier than it can in RL. St. Torley once said, "Second Life should be a complement to RL." It does not take its place. It should not take its place. Reclaim your Second Life and make it work for bettering your real one. Our lives inworld can make us walk away afterwards understanding more...wanting more...or perhaps inspiring us more. I will leave you with these thoughts: "Blessed are the travellers on this path we call our virtual lives. Forgive those who conspire against you, as your life here is not theirs. Cherish those who make life inworld a joy, as our lives here are ephemeral and every moment is to be treasured. Go forth into this world and experience all it has to offer while you can. May your inventory stay intact, your prims rezzed, your lag nonexistent, and your crashes be few."

As I left the 1st Church of Rosedale, I thought about a question St. Torley asked, “What’s your greatest dream of being free?”

Thanks to Vint and ArminasX for all of the hard work they did herding us blogger cats to do this...I really enjoyed it. Young Geoffrion wrote about my suggested topic, "SL as an Exploration of Culture & Diversity," on Harper Beresford's blog.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

SL Blogger Swap: Guest Blogger Mykyl Nordwind

Today's post is part of the SL Blogger's 1st Mix 'n' Match blog swap. My guest blogger is Mykyl Nordwind ("Constructs of a Mind"), whose blog has a lovely literary style. Her topic "Deep Psychological Impact of What I Wear" was suggested by Katt Linden. Enjoy...

The question in its entirety left much room for interpretation I think and could have resulted in a very long post, so I have taken the liberty to simplify it a bit and just ask if there is a psychological impact of my choice of clothing in SL on myself. If you wish to wander some of the constructs of my mind, please come with me while I rez myself….

In the mists of twilight, I arrive – naught but a glowing silver cloud – undefined, unshaped, and unreal. I must become something or someone – must apply a face with which to deal with this world.

I must first select a gender to wear, or it must select me. Though most tend to select the gender they wear in the actual world (TAW), it is a choice – or sometimes an expression within us that refuses that choice. I choose my normal form, female – soft – needing to be held – needing to touch – needing to love – wanting to dance – nurturing the plants in her gardens.

Shall my skin be white, supple, soft – crying out for a hand to caress it – or shall it be dark, defined, hardened and strong? Shall my skin be coarse and dry, or shall I anoint myself with oil, calling attention to the curve of my breast as it sparkles in the sun?

And in what shall I drape myself? Shall I adorn myself with jewels and fine robes, place upon my head the crown of the Queene, or shall I hide behind tattered rags, expressing the smallness within me – the simplicity that wants to hide, but choosing a torn and patched dress does not? Shall I wear a dress that swirls when I walk, like dandelion seeds dancing in the arms of a zephyr, or like leaves whipped by an autumn wind to twist and turn in the corners – making haste to fly to the ground? Perhaps I should wear only leaves – let myself become the wind around which they turn – the desire at the heart of their dance toward death and decay – or maybe flowers – scented splashes of color begging the senses of those around to partake of me, to touch and to dance with me in the open air.

But no – I cannot be the Queen for she is beautiful and respected and I do not feel beautiful. Neither can I wear rags, even though it is in them that my self in TAW feels the most comfortable, for people tell me I am expressing too much of the darkness within me – that I should be seeking light and joy…. but I cannot dress in leaves or flowers either, for to be desired would be wrong too. I must hide this body, for it is filled with shame and does not wish to be looked upon – want desperately not to be desired or sought after.

I try on jeans and a sweater – but that drags me much to close to the actual world I have come here to escape… though it feels good to walk without shoes even as the snow begins to fly around me in the actual world. I must find something from the past or from the depths of fantasy to become – must run farther from the self that struggles through the actual world.

My mind begins to shred as the options fall. I stand naked on the shore of an ocean, my skin changes to blue scales, my eyes ignite with a yellow flame – my legs dissolve and are replaced with a tail as I become a mermaid and hurl myself into the waves – but still I feel wrong – still too human. With a scream I leap from the water and my body crashes on the rocks, flesh torn away, tail ripped to bits along with my heart as I am suddenly set free. I become wings and light – that which was a body is crushed and twisted by an AO – then thrust beneath the ground to be ignored by myself and those who pass – only a silver sparkle with filigree wings remains to be seen by the world .

No clothing at all – I am completely naked – without a dress, without skin – without shape or even gender… even the wings fade leaving only a glow of light. I am nearly back to what I was when I arrived, still undefined. Not to be seen, but also with nothing to hide. I am amorphous and free, though chained by my AO. Finally I feel like "me" and can go out to face others in this virtual world.

But then a friend tells me I really need to get out from under my rock. I blink my eyes, stunned a bit at the bluntness of her words, but then realize that she is right. I return to a mostly human form, clothed in a simple peasant dress. My bare foot tentatively touches the dance floor atop a mountain and pulls my body with it. I begin to turn, and my dress swirls in the wind, reminding me of wings. I sprout wings - gossamer tendrils of fairy flight - and I feel myself lighten. The dress feels too heavy with the wings, so I shift to a lighter and shorter dress. Still swirling in the breeze, but more free and light. The music clothes my heart, and I feel lighter still... I doff the dress and dance clad in nothing but flowers and wings, and the some in me makes me soar.This is much better than hiding under a rock ... dancing naked, not a hidden nakedness, but exposed to the sky and the trees and the wind and the world - clothed in the skin of my definition - clothed in the ideal that I know myself to be. I AM beautiful - inside - I just had to wear the right skin, the right flowers, the right wings - and the right thoughts in my heart.

No – Clothing has no deep psychological impact on me or my actual life – none whatsoever…

Monday, November 10, 2008

Exploring Openlife: Freebies to De-Noob Yourself, Kinda

I've been exploring Openlife. Yes, it is rough. Yes, it feels like SL back in the early days. Go in there knowing it isn't SL, and you'll be fine. You will crash, TPs become an "adventure" and there isn't a lot there yet. And it's a bit unusual to not have an economy or AOs. Did I mention it was rough? But here are a few things that'll make your life easier while there. First, appearance. This is a pic of is SL and one is OL. Only change to my SL pic is that I am wearing my original grey eyes and unhinged my ears. I uploaded one of my own designs so I am wearing the same outfit (sans the prim parts I haven't re-created yet) in both pics and my shape measurements are the same (here's a hint...I have more freckles in SL). There are freebies a little creative and you can make a reasonable version of yourself. For those SLers who are nekos or furries or have very different skins and body mods, no, it isn't there yet. If you want freebies, you can go to the following in OL:

Openlife Island & Openlife Island 2
Suspiria's Secret (Wind Blue 173,152,26) (skins, hair, and more)
Julie's Freebies (Tune Valley 132,118,62) (Lots of freebies. Guys, there are skins and suits there)
Lektor's Roadhouse (Moire 229,96,23)
While freebie hopping, I came across Lektor Hannibal, owner of the Moire sim. We talked for a while and I found out he'd been in OL for about 5-6 months now after being in SL since 2004. I mentioned I was visiting from SL and he told me he spent a lot of time in Darkmere. I had a flashback to me and Puck roasting while there. He's enjoying the difference in prim counts and sizing and how it feels like being a pioneer of sorts. I suppose the folks there are in a way, but despite all the naysayer and doombringers, it's something about it. With the announcement of a new non-SL viewer, I still feel like there's some potential there. I'm still in SL 'til it crashes and burns, but it's nice to explore another virtual world...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

In Boomtown's Gardens

I needed to take a pic for an ad in an the Primgraph. They are featuring Steelhead in the next issue so I thought I'd shoot in Boomtown's central gardens. I actually ended up going with a different pic, like I like this one too. And wow, the metal and glass arcade canopy above me is beautiful...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

SL Bloggers Mix 'n' Match

The SL Bloggers group is having a mix 'n' match blog swap that yours truly is participating in. On Nov 12, participating members will be blogging on one another's blogs as guest bloggers. You'll be able to read my post over at "Samantha Speaks", and here's a teaser photo...

Friday, November 7, 2008

SL Simple Pleasures: Crazy Fun Toys

We all have them...crazy parrot shooting guns, weird fun toys that are a lot of fun to actually play with. In my case, I was given a catnip mousie toy...
It's like I lost my steampunk kitty mind! I thought I was immune to the 'nip!Guess not! *keels over from too much pouncing and falls asleep*

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Who is the "Average" Second Lifer?

I found myself having an interesting conversation today. So many of us are up in arms over the OS announcements, but what if you are a Second Life resident who isn't necessarily "directly" affected by it by not owning or renting an OS or being a member of the SL aviation, sailing, or themed communities? It made me wonder--although I'm sure the answers are numerous--"Is there an 'average' Second Lifer? And if so, what are they like?"Has there ever been a general survey done of SLers? Have more in-depth questions been asked about their experiences? What do most SLers use SL for? Sex? Partying? Creating? Business? Combat? Roleplaying? How many of us actually own or rent land? How much is contributed to the economy and how and why? What do we really want? Sure, we have as many interests and opinions as there are residents, but what are our common interests and needs? We certainly seem to have a pretty common view about these latest announcements, that's for certain.

LL keeps saying that it'd be so hard to have 1:1 discussions and dialogue with us residents, but how do they even truly know what we need if they do not truly know who we are?

Just thinking out loud...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Butterflies and Storms

So I am sitting here at my home, having read the latest Linden openspace announcement earlier. It is very important that you read the Knowledge Base info accompanying it as that is more detailed...In a nutshell, they are creating a pricing tier system that splits OS sims into "openspace" and "Homesteads". OS sims are to be light-use, 750 prims, with a cap of 10 AVs. Owners can put in for their OS sims to be Homesteads for light commercial and residential use, 3750 prims and a 20 AV cap. For both, script usage restrictions are as of yet TBD. Thing is with Homesteads is that the pricing goes from $75USD to $95 as of Jan 5, but as of July 9, it'll go up to $125--the price originally proposed in the last posting that set off the furor. Owners also have the option of exchanging openspaces for full regions as well, an option being entertained by some communities.

My home here "might" upgrade to Homestead, we'll see, but what does this mean for communities like the sailing community and themed ones like Caledon? They can't hold larger community-based events such as dances or balls or regattas or races. Even the train that runs through most of Caledon would be affected due to its scripts. I still wonder what the longer-term effect of this will be across the Grid. Are we to be happy with this? Is this really okay? I don't know...take this and add to the fact that M Linden's declared premium members like me (yeah, I know, I keep considering a downgrade) as "immaterial" and this steampunk kitty's still feeling a little leery right now...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Where to be a Dark Elf/Drow in SL

Alright, I love being a dark elf in SL as it fits me very well personality-wise. Could I be a mean, arrogant, Spider Queen worshipping, snake-whip wielding, white-haired beauty hell-bent on cruelty and deceit? Hell yes, as a drow I can be! It's probably the only RP outside of Victorian/Steampunk that I'd truly like to learn more about and become more active in, that is...if I ever figure out the SpellFire system.

I thought I'd explore the dark elf/drow RP areas inworld and see what was out there. I know I'm probably missing some sims and I'll be adding to this list as I find more drow-appropriate places. If you are a member of one of these communities and would like folks to know more, please IM or drop a notecard to me inworld. As in all RP sims, take the time to read their rules, have at least a basic back story, and don't be a pain to the existing RPers...

Houses: 6, most powerful ruled by Ilharess Rilyn'Afin
Deity: Lolth/Lloth
Meter System: DCS2
Teleport HERE. The big red crystal is the TP system. Choose "Dark Realm." Walk up the stairs when you arrive.
Danger and beautiful places among the caverns. I love the mushrooms there...

Houses: 2
Faith: Lolth/Lloth
Meter System: Spell Fire
Teleport HERE. Take the purple TP pad under the swirls to "Underdark" to see it.
You can also explore the sim in general. I think they are having a Grand Melee fight tournament here soon. Oooo...

Avilion Isle--L'Renden Forest
Houses: Unknown to me
Faith: Eilistraee
Meter System: SpellFire
Teleport HERE
The drow of Avilion are Eilistraee followers and have made peace with the fae and other elves present there. The L'Renden Forest is beautiful, with its darkness and moonlit areas. You may read more about them here.

Dartagnon/RaghallachHouses: One (as far as I know), as it is a group of refugee drow
Deity: Multiple deities
Meter System: SpellFire (color green)
Teleport HERE
They have an entire Underdark sim. I really wanted to see it, but I think access was restricted so I couldn't explore it to tell you more it.

Ravenscraig/KaramoonHouses: Unknown to me
Deity: Unknown
Meter System: BNJ RPS
Teleport HERE
Drow are one of the races here. Ravenscraig also offers a RP class in Ravens Nest. The Dark Lord of Karamoon invited me to stop by his keep and say hello. I'll take him up on it if he's ever in.

Houses: One--Agaden
Deity: Lolth/Lloth
Meter System: SpellFire (color red)
Teleport HERE
It is one of the main temple of Lloth locations and has a fantastic underdark region.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

"Tiny Thrillers" Music Video

Raglan's done it again, organized by Peaches Latrell and put together by Chaffro. This time it's a take on Michael Jackson's "Thriller"! Enjoy!