SL Auction; Belle Harbor Yacht Club build fundraiser for Belle Harbor Victims of hurricane Sandy

Mostly a pointer to this item on friend RJ’s weblog:

It was just in April that I was building a new discovery, the lovely Belle Harbor Yacht Club (1914) is a quintessential example of a private yacht club during the golden age of sail’s twilight. Below is a picture of the yacht club in Second Life, and a gallery of the yacht club as it looks today. The trouble with Real Life is the real weather that came with the storm this October. Sandy has changed a lot of lives, including those close to me. You can see more pics on my facebook gallery. An auction of this never-sold item is raising funds for the victims of this storm. The auction will be taking place for three days, at this location, bids will be taken, all proceeds will go to victim relief in the Rockaways. Winning bid takes home the Yacht Club Build on Nov. 23, at 3pm ET. Thank you everyone for donating!

Pictures and stuff on original post. A good cause!

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Bored with WoW again :)

So the periods during which I get interested enough in WoW to play it relatively regularly seem to be getting shorter, and less frequent.

The latest one, of course, happened when the Kung-Fu Pandas expansion came out. Spennix got to level 90 pretty quick:

Spennix in Pandaria

At least I think she’s level 90 there; anyway, she is now! And she got to 90 without doing a single instance, or very many dailies, just questing about. More of the “everything in WoW up to but not including advanced raiding is now dead-easy” effect.

She also has maxed-out Engineering and stuff now, and is very fond of her Mechanical Dragonling pet:

Spennix's Mechanical Dragonling

One new thing I haven’t yet done in WoW is the “Pet Battle” stuff. ’cause, I mean, y’know, sheesh?

I also have a Pandaren Brewmaster, as seemed pretty much required, considering.

Chiuling

He’s level 50-odd now, and wow Brewmaster tanking is easy so far! :) But since after the first rather fun Pandaren start zone he’s just doing the same old levels, I find it hard to get really interested.

Spennatrix has also been Holy Priesting around the first few levels of Pandaria:

Spennatrix in Pandaria

But again I find it hard to be fascinated, since Spennix just did all these areas not so long ago. Instance healing might be fun, but I dunno shrug.

Spennix has done some Golden Lotus and Tillers and insect-dudes dailies, and they can be diverting, but I always come away feeling like I’ve just wasted a big chunk of time.

Whereas in Second Life, when I look at the clock and discover it’s hours past bedtime, I almost never feel like it was a waste. :)

So expect to see me around the grid a bit more than I have been! (Except of course that this weekend is Thanksgiving so there are RL things going on, and then next week I’m out of town on business and may not have connectivity, and and and…)

Objectification ain’t the half of it…

So there’s this Single Frame Stories thing, which has a weblog and a flickr group and everything, and once a week they post a Prompt, like “grave mistake” or “depth perception” or (this week) “objectification”, and everyone (well, not everyone, but…) either emails their pictures or posts them to the flickr group, and the picture is allowed to have One Standard Tweet’s Worth of text along with it, and they all go up on the weblog for everyone to admire, and there’s no lame “voting” or “winners” or anything (I don’t think), they are just there.

And I’d known this was going on because I admire botgirl and Whiskey Monday for (their hawt AVs, and) their enormous creativity, but I hadn’t been doing it myself because really it was good enough that other people were doing it, and I was busy leveling my DK’s Inscription skill and dancing in random Australian sims’ dance clubs, and similarly important things.

But then there was some popular demand from one of the very creative people who was doing it, and I am nothing if not a pushover, so…

My (first?) entry for this week, “Objectification ain’t the half of it”:

Objectification ain't the half of it...

Best viewed larger, of course, and just what the heck is actually going on is left to the reader and/or viewer.

But there we are! I am pretty much pleased, and may do it again some decade. :)

The Cube Project: 20 sims, 5 days!

Pictures! Very few words! Click through for bigger! Etc!

The Cube Project - 1

(Friend Michele an’ I happened to be wearing mostly black and white; very in-theme!)

The Cube Project - 2

The Cube Project - 3

(Dancoyote Antonelli’s enormous thing is made of cubes that mysteriously vanish as you get close (mostly) so you cause entertaining dents by your very presence. Also, those cube-shaped frames were schooling about everywhere.)

The Cube Project - Phantom

(Speaking of mysteriously vanishing, that is a phantom Oberon Onmura! (Click through his name there to his flickr stream for lots more pictures.) He was not actually there; even though I could see him, Michele couldn’t, and when I right-clicked on him he suddenly disappeared. Very amusingly SL!)

And several of the enormous cubes had a QR code on one or more faces, leading to the web page.

Many of the enormous whole-sim-scale constructions of cubes were great fun to fly around in, watching the Windlights changing, walking up the steps, being surprised and/or delighted by the interactive things, admiring the creativity, and generally it was all a Good Time.

Go while it’s still open! Go go go!

Wandering the Mainland (and the non-death of SL)

Mainland wandering is something I spend a significant amount of time doing, because it is fun. :)

Going through some of the more ancient (but unsorted) stuff in my inventory (also something I spend a significant amount of time doing!), I came across a couple of freebies from a place called The Muffin Shack. I went there some time ago, on some hunt, and I remembered it as a place with lots of smoothly-textured pretty things at very reasonable prices, in a little pastel-wood roadside store on the mainland somewhere.

So just on a whim I put on the Muffin Shack tee shirt from one of the folders, found a Muffin Shack landmark in inventory, and TP’d there.

And I landed in an empty piece of roadside land, up for sale.

Now anyone who spends any time reading SL-related weblogs or Twitter feeds or anything will have heard people (generally comparative oldbies) opining that SL is dying, because of all the people and stores that are leaving and all. And the vanished Muffin Shack seems at first to be evidence for that.

But the rest of this story is, I think, evidence against it.

Being a bit sad that there was no Muffin Shack, I looked up the creator’s profile, and looked at Picks, and found another store in there, called Old Dirty Bastards. That store, as it turns out, exists!

(And not only that, it has a wall with an assortment of old Muffin Shack stuff for free or for sale, which made me smile.)

So the Grid lost a store, but it probably also gained a store. A sign of life rather than death, there.

Then, being on the mainland, I wandered out the door and found myself on Route 1 in Spini, on the West side of the bay in Heterocera. I found a rezzing place, and randomly rezzed my Lemon Burst Scooter (from {{Ripe}}), and drove off down the road in first gear to sightsee.

About one sim later, near the Mormo-Parva border, I was here:

Citizen D, Mormo

That is Citizen D (SLURL), a great little store with robots and Star Guys toys and a variety of Jawa AVs and resale vendors for sale and random fancy and/or amusing stuff at both high and low prices (so that’s my Recommended Shopping Destination of the day!).

In the background is Deeproot Manor, a very atmospheric haunted parcel with a haunted house to explore (don’t miss the mysterious roof), and trees that turn their many eyes to look at you, and ghouls hanging from trees, and all sortsa spooky stuff like that. Also a hatrack that will give you a copy of that nice hat I am wearing (black with feather!), and various surprises for the explorer to be startled by.

(And when you visit Citizen D, don’t miss going outside to Newbie Bob’s Route 1 Mormo Souvenirs, and the Famous Mormo Sign! All very mainland, and I love it.)

And then a little further down the road in Parva, random general beauty:

Homlett Estates, Parva

That’s “Homlett Estates”, but as I’m not quite sure if it’s actually a place of public accommodation, I won’t give the direct SLURL. (Although there are greeters that tell you that they have a public rezzing room.) I just thought it was sort of gorgeous. :)

My explorations stopped there for today because I wanted to go listen to the live music at Wharf Rat Blues.

Which might also be considered evidence against the whole “SL is dying” thing. :) I think it’s just that oldbies in particular get used to a certain set of things existing, and as change happens and some of those things stop existing, and they are maybe too set in their ways to go out and look for new things, it looks like the set of things that exist is getting smaller. But actually it’s just changing. SL may have more or less plateaued in population lately, but it doesn’t seem to be shrinking in any significant way.

There’s lots of stuff out there! Scooter down the nearest mainland road, and see what springs up. Or go listen to some Jazz… :)

Yay, Maps!

So Inara Pey writes about this very nice Maps of SL exhibit.

Here I am at it, in the distance:

Maps of SL exhibit

It’s a lovely little gallery build, very subtly steampunk-feeling, on a pleasant sim that I didn’t have time to wander around as much as I’d have liked. The exhibit itself has sections (as you can see in the pitcher) on Magellan Linden, the early grid, the Steamlands, Nautilus and the Blake Sea, and so on. The other wall has things about transport, the railroad lines, the Zindra monorail, and all like that.

Well worth a visit if your at all a fan of maps, as I certainly am. :)

(And for good measure here’s a reminder about the Continent Detector, so you can tell where you yourself are!)

Limited Time Only: Dale 60% Off!

So the other month there was an upgrade to SL that allowed people to rig meshes to the AV’s virtual (and invisible) “bones” so that they would move as the AV moves, just like the mesh of the AV itself does. This theoretically allows clothing that moves better with the wearer, and would also allow replacing the normal AV entirely, if only there were some way to make the normal AV invisible.

It turns out that another upgrade somewhat before or after that one allowed making arbitrary parts of the AV invisible, including the whole thing.

So one or more geniuses put two and two together, and now we have entirely replacement AVs! And since even us neophilic Residents tend to stick with the familiar alot of the time, we have entirely replacement AVs that are just like our normal AVs, except they are much bigger than usual!

And, because it’s hard to get through doors and things when you’re gigantic, even more ones that are just like our normal AVs, except for being cute and tiny!

Dale now 60% off!  :)

That is me in the free 0.4 “minikin” AV from Caverna Obscura, wearing a nice white dress (specially for 0.4 minikins) from Carriage Trade Miniatures, and some ancient ETD hair that I sized down myself, and hoping no one steps on me.

There are 0.4 minikins (about 40% the size of the usual AV, it says here), and 0.3 minikins, and also “petites”, which I gather are also about 40%, but in some way that isn’t compatible with the 0.4 minikins. Or whatever. :)

Here is proof of smallness:

Minidale, Measured

That is a to-scale meter-prim, so I am a little under 1m tall.

The free CO minikins come with a very modern and realistic skin:

Minidale in the buff

and are flexible in various ways, the most obvious being skin color:

Minidale in Magenta

Minidale dark blue

Note the background being the bottom shelf of the bookshelves in my skybox; very Borrowers.

Note also that I don’t look all that much like Dale. (A bit more like Chestnut Rau, really, now that I think of it.) Unlike with the normal AV, there are no sliders to change details of face and body shape or anything.

(I don’t know if anyone’s started a business of selling customized minikins with faces based on a set of SL face slider settings provided by the buyer, but I would pay some nonzero number of Lindens for such a service!)

On the other hand there are lots of different clothing sets to wear, and jewelry, and Carriage Trade even has minikin-sized ridable (rideable?) horses.

Many copy-mod hairs for normal AVs can be relatively easily shrunk down to 40%, like that ETD one above, and this nice pink mohawk:

Minidale Mohawk

and some stores sell their own minikin hairs, and hair-including outfits:

Minigown

(Those from Carriage Trade again.)

And then of course there’s these. :)

Mini demons!

Sexy little 0.3 minikins called “Lil Demonia”, also from Caverna Obscura. Wear them to your local danceclub and raise some eyebrows! :)