Sunday, November 3, 2013

Does it really need to be said?

I don't want to hang out with kids in Second Life.  I especially don't want to hang out with kids who I think are adults because they have accepted the TOS and are in Mature or Adult sims.  I don't care what their reasons or motivations are.

Child avatars don't bug me.  I am aware that they have adult operators.  I find a child operating an adult av and attempting to engage in adult activities a million times more disturbing.

Once upon a time I was involved with a young man, thankfully over 18, who referred to me as his Patrona.  He was/is a fantastic photographer, a good friend and great company.  One day the penny dropped and it suddenly became crystal clear to me that he was using SL to avoid real social interactions and growth.  It was his haven to avoid taking chances and moving forward. It was a way to avoid crossing the bridge between university grad and real adult life out there in the big, bad real world.  He was too cool, too handsome, too funny and too brilliant to be held back by anything, especially something as silly as Second Life.

He took that promotion and moved to the city.  He met that beautiful girl at work and they have started a life together. He never comes into SL anymore, but we are still in touch and I smile every time I think of him.  Knowing his potential, I would have been a very shitty friend indeed had I encouraged anything less.

I can't stop kids lying about their age when coming into SL and accessing adult areas and activities.  It was a situation we faced before the merge of the teen and adult grid, and one I dreaded and expected to be a problem after the merge.  It hasn't turned out to be much of an issue.  Maybe because SL wouldn't and shouldn't be a viable alternative in the social life of the average 16 year old.  I suspect most of them would find it incredibly lame.

I can avoid General rated areas, which is the only preventative measure, if we are all following TOS to steer clear of the kiddies.  When I think of all the things a young person can and should be experiencing in the real world, SL would not be a habit I would help develop.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Burn2

It's that time again for Burn2.  The desert opened on the 19th of October, but don't worry, you have until Sunday the 27th October before it is gone again for another year.
Some of you may be familiar with Burning Man and this is Second Life's own version (the history can be found here). I was surprised this year to learn how many people know nothing about it and have never attended.  Suffice to say, you will either 'get it' or you won't. One of the Ten Principles of Burn2 is, "Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient."  So, whether you love it or hate it, there is no shortage of some really bizarre sh*t to stumble over.
Another of the Ten Principles is, "Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart."  At Burn2, you will see a lot of fellow citizens with names that came many, many years before Resident.  You will meet a lot of creative people, and you will be welcomed with open arms.  You will probably also run into people you know and others you haven't seen for years.  See the Burn2 Flickr Group to get an idea of the mayhem and magic that is Burn.
At Burn2 you are essentially dropped directly into the imaginations of some highly creative people.  All of the builds, without exception, are fantastic.  Many of them are interactive.  None of them are run of the mill or expected.
Burn2 is scattered over several sims and you may want to take advantage of many of the vehicle rezzers sprinkled amongst the builds.  There is also a hot air balloon ride you can take alone or with friends to get oriented.  The layout isn't particularly confusing once you get your bearings, but here are some LMs to help you out:

THE MAN:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlif...Elko/26/186/24
THE TEMPLE:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlif...Opal/33/181/24
CENTER CAMP:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlif...ock/246/245/24
TOKYO STAGE
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlif...lko/103/224/24

Gawping is, for me at least, a major part of the experience.   Burn2 is essentially one big  international party, with music and DJ's keeping people entertained over the course of the week.  Whether you go for the wild builds, the music, or the souvenirs (check Virtual Vagabond for a list of many of the goodies) you will leave with a kaleidoscope of images to tuck away in your memories.
Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Veil of Darkness

Now that Halloween is soon upon us, the Veil of Darkness has descended over Calas Galadhon.  If I were somehow restricted to only being able to visit one Halloween sim in October, it would be this one.  By all means, use the region's default Windlight settings and enable your media to get the full experience.
Taking the raft tour is a must and if you are a photographer you may benefit from a couple of trips to catch as many of the clever additions as possible.  The creators of Veil of Darkness,Truck Meredith and Ty Tenk have tucked in so many bits of gore, horror and Halloween surprises that your head will be swiveling like the possessed girl from The Exorcist as you try to catch them all.
At Veil of Darkness you'll find the nearly obligatory zombie infested cemetery, skeletons and scavenger birds but my favorite part of the themed sim is the swamp, with its overgrown mangroves and creatures lurking above, below and beside you.
And despite the genius of the sim it isn't without its touches of whimsey, such as Mickey Mouse trapped in a spider web and the apparent answer to the decades old question of 'who killed Bambi'.
The arachnophobes aren't left out, either, especially those who love to test the limits of their fear.
Thankfully, Truck Meredith and Ty Tenk haven't cheesed out and gone with the holographic style ghoulies and goblins. Their creepies and crawlies are solid, enormous and will definitely get your full attention!

The Castle and the Pavilion are worth a visit for the views.  In the case of the castle, the views inside are as interesting as the views without.  Enjoy!



Thursday, October 10, 2013

One for the Scalliwags

No one could possibly be more astounded than I that I am typing my 100th post.  I am also not surprised that I had to correct 'typing' from my Freudian slip of 'tripeing', which will give you an inkling of how seriously I take my blogging craft ;-)

Eh hem, but back to my purpose. I will now perform (and again a Freudian slip of 'now' from 'not'- oh dear.) the intended service of a post for the boys.  I am well aware that you all have your individual style, be it the One Tux Wonder who frequents Sweethearts, the burly boys in their biker gear, or even the rare clothes horses with a different set of shades for every log in.  I'm sure you all have lovely personalities, but as I discussed with my dear friend Mr Elric Anatine recently, why, when you have virtually no limits upon your creativity in Second Life, would you choose the mundane?  Why wear the same sort of clothes you may wear in every day life? As a Victorian-styled fox and a tentacle aficionado he agreed (and then went off on a rant about boring, misused standard foliage, but that is beside the point).  Not only is Elric a cool guy, but for all his fox faux wide-eyed innocence, he's hot!
I also questioned a feeder that some of you may know, Mr Coober Galicia.  He is often seen frolicking about the feed in little more than a loincloth or an apron.  What is the reason, I demanded, for the lack of experimentalism among the men?  Is it the expense? Laziness? Fear of looking foolish?  Simply a matter of personal taste?

Coobs replied, "yes, laziness is probably the main thing, and shopping is shopping, even in a virtual world.... men hate to shop.  The choice is very limited too.... you go look for men's hair, typically it is in a corner of a building that takes you 5 mins to walk around to find it."

"And lastly, what is the point.. nobody would hardly notice if you wore a different tux to the one you wore last week, and are those the same jeans??... prolly... who knows... Whereas a woman has so much more choice.. dress, skirt, shorts, trouser suits, elegant, cocktail, summer frock... lingerie choices that you could fill an aircraft hanger with."

Coobs continued, "But... that is no different to RL.... go down any high street, or through any mall, and count the ratio of women's cloth shops to men's.... there is a reason in RL, it just translates to SL.  I don't think expense or fear has anything to do with it... men's stuff tends to be overpriced anyway, due to lack of competition for custom, and men pay way more for the equivalent a woman does..."

I can tell you that WE DO NOTICE!!  WE DO!  I am a sucker for a man that knows how to carry himself, whether that is draped in steam punk, sporting a pair of elf ears or anything else that is totally unexpected.  I like to wear unusual items, the more bizarre the better, and feel a bit odd milling about with those who find such traits nonsensical.
Who cares if you want to get married in matching Bozo the Clown Shoes  and a set of horns??  It is after all a matter of personal taste.  Boys!  Buck up!  If you don't like bumbling around half rezed shops utilize Marketplace and Search function.  The Freebie Telegraph also often showcases goodies for guys.  A little imagination can go a very long way, indeed.
I know it can be difficult for men to source items, and quality items are even fewer and further between.  A quick search in Marketplace should help you get started, whatever your depravity may be.  Also, I am happy to pass on a couple of my favorites (which also have freebies on offer): Blak Opal, Unzipped and Steam Powered Nuts, Grim and especially Death Row Designs which generously hosts a number of Lucky Chairs with many unisex items and complete avatars for men.    Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Odds and Ends

Blog post 99.  How did that happen? I generally post something akin to a 2L travelogue, so I will apologize in advance as this will be a little different.  I've been absolutely slammed in RL the last few months but have finally earned a bit of a reprieve this week.

The other half of that story is my desktop computer got taken out by a lowly cup of water which traveled from the power supply unit, to the mother board and eventually on to the graphics card.  Just like that, it was fried.  Poof and finito.  Unfortunately, I had to order and replace each part one by one until the full extent of the damage was discovered.  Finally, the last piece is repaired and installed.  By me, no less.  (The final task is to get a new keyboard with a working space bar, as it is annoying the hell out of me but probably annoying everyone I chat with even worse)
Well now, anyone who has had a computer disaster knows it is a ton of fun to test the limits of your new rig.  Especially when you have upgraded in the process.  Some of you may recall that Saint Veritable Quandary, in his supreme patience, helped me set up my behemoth a few years ago.Not that I would have chosen to go about it this way, but was time for improvements.  As luck would have it, Annan Adored chose the same week to unveil her collection of 2013 Windlight settings.
Time to dilly dally, a new graphics card, and lovely new windlights.  I think it is going to be a good week!
I suggest you try out the Annan Adored windlights and don't hesitate to experiment with tweaking them to suit your purpose.   Full installation instructions can be found on her blog if you are unfamiliar with the process.  Enjoy!

*The three images included in this post are raw and totally untouched.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Clockwork Spiral

September 18-22 in aid of the National Kidney Foundation: a celebration of all things Steampunk, Victorian and Gothic.  You will find items exclusive to the event, gatchas, gifts and more on Cursed .

The official Clockwork Spiral blog is keeping a running total of the money raised for the National Kidney Foundation which is currently at 135,158L.  Check it out: if you are a fan of the genre there is a ton of great stuff!
Event items:
CPD A Clockwork Spiral Choker
ISD Clockwork Spiral Goggles Rare Colorchange

Other:
Arcavim Victorian Umbrella
Unzipped Grande Masquerade partial mesh with Lolas Applier
Tonktastic Devil's Rejects boots
Event items:
Ellabella Lapse Eyes
CPD A Clockwork Spiral Choker
Event item:
ISD Clockwork Spiral Mesh Cane

Other:
Loki's Timerascal Goggles Pewter

Friday, September 20, 2013

Flying Lessons

When I was nine years old, a wise old woman gave me the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  After I had ripped through the thin volume, she then turned me loose on Illusions.  I've read both of those stories many times over the years, and have in turn over the years passed them on to other children. Even though they aren't necessarily children's books, they made an impression on me at an impressionable age. I have returned the favor. 

 What does this have to do with teaching Bertie to fly?  Nothing.  And everything.
All you have to do when teetering on the edge is trust yourself.
 Spread your wings.
And let yourself fall...
fly or float, as the case me be.  Much like re-reading JLS or Illusions, each time you leave your safe perch, you will learn something new.