Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Presenting Whimsy!

Whimsical Skywriting

Whimsy and Photo of Hawaii

Whimsy Sunset

Written 26 March, 2008

Presenting Whimsy!

Here at last is a SLURL and photos of beautiful, exotic, slightly dangerous, and dangerously irreverent Whimsy.

Photos and SLURL pending.

What can I say. Blogger is acting up.

Pele for Sale by Dreamland

Written 26 March, 2008

Pele for Sale by Dreamland

Pele, our beautiful half sim in Dreamland, is no more. I sold it back to Dreamland, since takers for a parcel that large are difficult to find. Dreamland was more than fair with the price they paid, 50% of market.

I popped over the check on the land today. They smoothed it a bit, but it's otherwise as it was.

Adieu, Pele the parcel!

The REAL Story of Whimsy

Written 26 March, 2008

The REAL Story of Whimsy

Yesterday morning I awoke at 6:30 am—an ungodly early hour for me. I came in world and after about an hour I’d made a giant tiki drinking bird (pictured).

According to Whimsy’s covenant:

Whimsy was rediscovered by Cheyenne and Sweetie when they found themselves on its shores after a freak “routine downtime” Second Life accident. Fascinated by the Paleolithic drinking bird they found on the shore, they claimed the land and declared Whimsy an independent nation-state.

So clearly, I had to come up with a drinking bird.

But the covenant is for public consumption. That’s not QUITE what happened.

Now I suppose you’ll want me to tell you how Whimsy WAS rediscovered.

Okay. I’m easy. I’ll tell you.

You see, it was those bastards from TSA.

Yeah, the Teleportation Security Administration.

It seems Teleport Tom declared Condition Agitated. TSA personnel looked to their list of potential enemy combatants and of course Sweetie’s name came up. They looked away from Hillary Clinton's passport file and grabbed Sweetie's folder. I mean, she DID lop off all those heads.

They came, like before, in the middle of the night, assisted, we believe, by Dreamland, those sellouts. We were on the Resolution poseball and so were preoccupied, and before we realized it we were surrounded by a gang of forty or so jackbooted thugs in TSA jackets and a few in badly-textured Dreamland and Long Live Anche Chung sweaters, so many of them the sim lagged horribly. I began to methodically ban avies, but it was a bot army; agents rezzed only seconds earlier kept teleporting in.

I was REALLY wishing I had access to estate controls so I could set the sim limit to just two avatars!

Sweetie’s katana was flashing snicker-snack and the pile of heads at our feet was growing at a vorpal rate, but I could see we would eventually be overwhelmed. I opened the map and double-clicked a random location; I had no idea where I might land. In the middle of an ocean, I supposed, or in (ugh!) Gor. As soon as I landed I sent a quick teleport assist to Sweetie and a second to the volcano goddess Pele.

We found ourselves on the shores of uninhabited Whimsy. And there was this awesome drinking bird. I made it yesterday morning, but it was there when we arrived. Such is SL.

So we claimed the sim and declared Whimsy an independent nation-state (that part of the covenant is true) and moved in. We’re hiding from those bastards from TSA and working on a virtual thermonuclear weapon. When we’re sure it will virtually detonate, we’ll bake it into a virtual cake and get my brother at UPS, Mordecai Scaggs, to deliver it to Teleport Tom.

We’re hoping to send Tom to Condition Glow-In-The-Dark.

Full Occupancy

Written 26 March, 2008

Full Occupancy

Sweetie and I had in mind selling and renting a few parcels on Whimsy, but it was distant in our minds, something to do after we spent a couple of weeks setting things up. But the fact was, after our two days of rezzing ridiculous object and chasing around the sim crashing vehicles, Whimsy came together almost immediately. It just suddenly WAS.

Our friend Feminist Expedition (great name, huh?) was on the sim immediately. Within 24 hours she had sold her land and was putting prims down—which were getting buried because were were still terraforming. And her friends came with her.

And so we made five parcels on the Southeast quadrant and sold them: a 6k lot to Fem, and four smaller ones to her friends (and now mine), who have been having a great time putting in houses and plants and wildlife. I’ve been assisting them, fixing doors and screens and lengthening poles of tiki houses so they reach the ground. They’re a delightful bunch.

Suddenly we have a community here on Whimsy.

Whimsians. That’s the name of our new group. Sweetie’s title is Manic Muse of Whimsy. I’m still deliberating about my tag and trying to think of an appropriate name for Whimsy’s new natives.

The Volcano Goddess Jumps

Pele Under Construction

Pele Renewed

26 March, 2008

The Volcano Goddess Jumps

Before I sold Pele, I had a long talk with the volcano goddess of the same name. I wanted to be certain she would come with me and Sweetie.

Sitting on the edge of the caldera, I gave her my word I would make a suitable home for her on the Whimsy sim. She graciously agreed to move with us.

And indeed, the new volcano Pele is the major geologic feature on the Whimsy sim. It stands more than 10 meters taller than the first Pele, and looks a bit different both because of the Hawaii-like terrain textures and a rock face on the western edge of the caldera. The lava pool is the same size, and, like the original, there is a secret way to go under the wadeable lava.

With the lava pool and temple to the goddess in place, Pele made the move last night from the Forsaken sim to Whimsy, and with hardly any grumbling—although I suspect she would have grumbled more than a bit if I had had her erupt mode in place.

A Symbol for Whimsy

Written 26 March, 2008

A Symbol for Whimsy

Sweetie took this snapshot and altered it in GIMP. It is the official symbol of Whimsy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Aw. Shucks!

Written 24 March, 2008

Aw. Shucks!

Tycho Beresford wrote, in a comment to my last entry:

Whimsey is absolutely stunning. It is also appropriately named; where else could you find "a pile of crashed airplanes" a day after it was created? Or friendly, carniverous reptiles? (Hint: don't call him a crocodile!) I'll need to find some flat area on a beach as a landing strip for my Ultralight; that brief aerial tour was fabulous but the landing and especially the take-off were pretty rocky. Chey, you have outdone yourself!

Thanks, Tycho!

Most of the credit goes to my Sweetie, who worked on the terrain map off-world. Sweetie rocks!

Sweetie is on a super-secret mission to our nation's capital today and wont' be back until nearly midnight our time, so I will take time tonight to post a SLURL or two for Whimsy and put up some photos. And maybe I'll tell you the true story of how we discovered Whimsy (hint: it's not what we printed for public consumption in the Whimsy convenant!).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Whimsy Delivered

Written 21 March, 2008

Whimsy Delivered!

I sent a message to the Lindens requesting delivery of Whimsy no earlier than 1 April (I thought it would be nice to have a week with nothing to do), but Monday evening, there Whimsy was!

While I was reading the Lindens' e-mail to me, Sweetie relogged with Whimsy typed into the rez-here field, and beat me there!

I had ordered default island design No. 4. It was a beautiful series of ridges sloping down to gentle bays, so nice I was temped to stay with it.

We spent the evening and the next racing about, flying over the land in blimps and airplanes, racing motorcycles, and rezzing every silly high-prim object in our respective inventories. Then, Wednesday night, we got down to business.

We rezzed a box with a 16x16 grid on it and pushed prims around on it as we worked up a landscape.

After Sweetie went to bed I sunk the land, smoothed it, and pulled up rough islands in the requisite places. As I have more than a little experience in making volcanoes, I made the new Pele.

The next day friends were on the land, putting down prims at places they fancied. "Wait!" I cried. "We haven't finished the terraform!"

That night Sweetie downloaded Backhoe, a Mac-only program that can be used to create terrain maps. It took her only about an hour and a half to take my rough layout and turn it into something spectacular.

Her first file turned Whimsy into a 100-meter tall granite plain with 90-meter tall spikes; our friends' claim-staking prims and some of our own got returned. Oops! Her second attempt was better, but there were tears in the fabric of the land; you could see blank spaces through them.

Sweetie went back to the drawing board, and an hour later, Whimsy was truly born. I spent about two hours that night and the next morning smoothing the rough spots and making sure the underwater spots were low enough to float boats, but changed little of her design.

I had had in mind a sim that looked a bit like Hawaii, and had chosen terrain textures to that end. But I had no idea we would wind up with something so stunning! I loved it immediately!

Whimsy is an archipelago, a collection of large and small islands. The largest is Pele, in the southwest quadrant, and the volcano goddess has already established residence. The tell-tale sign of this are the plums of sulphurous smoke drifting upwards from the caldera.

The northeast quadrant is beach, with tropical sand and the usual surf and swim amenities. A sunken pirate ship graces the sim corner, and there's a chest that gives the brave souls who are willing to face off Inky the squid a pair of Chey's custom armbands. The southeast quadrant is properties for sale-- and every lot I made has been spoken for. The northeast quadrant houses a large island on which the house Sweetie made for me will be featured.
There's a lot to do yet, of course, but the basics are there, including a great hand glider rezzer on Pele's flanks and Gypsy Design's canoe rezzer and swim ball (which lets you paddle all over the simulator). The covenant is in place, I have laid out parcels for sale and determined the price, and I will set them for sale to individuals tonight before I go to bed.

Photos: Here are two snapshots taken by Sweetie. One shows us cuddled on a beach in the original island; the other shows me standing on a pile of crashed airplanes.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pele Dismantled

Written 17 March, 2008

Pele Dismantled

In retrospect, 4 pm LST on Saturday was not the best time to have a party. Many of our friends had scheduled their own events, and others were already booked. Still, 10 of our closest friends did show up. We danced and had a good time, and then Sweetie and I blew up the Dragon Skybar. Everyone chose to watch from amidst the flames until I accidentally deleted the section on which everyone was standing. Then we all stood on the platform I had made, drinking champagne and playing with various toys like Fnordian Link's BubblePop until I accidentally deleted the platform.

Bill and Pam Havercamp had graciously agreed to play music, but I IMed Pam mid-morning to tell her so many people had given their regrets it would make little sense to come. In the midst of the dismantling I was doing before we blew up the building (taking up lights, dance poles, chairs, games, and pose balls), I missed Pam's IM, asking for a TP (stupid Communciate movie pushed it off screen to the right), so they didn't make it.

Sweetie and I dismantled much of Pele on Saturday, and finished last night. The basic elements of the volcano, the path to the summit, the walkway from the Gardens to East Beach, and Sweetie's observation platform remain, as so lots of Linden and copyable plants, but the houses, expensive transferrable plants, and many of the critters are in my inventory. Melissa Yeuxdoux's house is still in place in case she chooses to remain there until the new island arrives or the land sells.

Last thing, Sweetie and I stook on the observation deck and watched the sunset. Then I set the land to sell (32,572 acres with about 8000 prims) for $150,000L, what a bargain, and Sweetie and I moved our House of 1000 Pleasures.

I rezzed it first on my 1024 lot, but as the house and basic furnishings used every last prim and
then some, we moved it again, this time to Bill and Pam's property on Lion Sands. They had been kind enough to give me permission to put it there. Lion Sands will be our home until Whimsy is delivered.

Adieu Pele! We love you and miss you!

Photo 1: The Volcano Pele Ready for Sale

Photo 2: Pele Gardens

Photo 3: Former Site of Cheyenne's House

Photo 4: Aerial View of Pele

Photo 5: East Beach and Beyond

Friday, March 14, 2008

Aloha, Pele! Party: YOU ARE INVITED!

Written 14 March, 2008

Aloha, Pele! Party: YOU ARE INVITED!

Tomrrow, SATURDAY* 15 March, at 4-5 pm Linden Standard Time, there will be a party to bid farewell to Cheyenne and Sweetie's beautiful half sim on Forsaken. Bill and Pam Havercamp will be performing live at 550 meters at the Dragon Skybar, which will be demolished at 5 pm while guests drink champagne on a beautiful art deco platform.

Please come!

Here's the SLURL:

* The intial invitation mistakenly listed the 15th as Sunday.

Whimsy Covenant (Beta Version)

Written 14 March, 2008

Whimsy Covenant (Beta Version)

Here's the in-progress version of Whimsy's covenant. I would very much appreciate any suggestions you might have. :)


Date of Covenant: 1 April, 2008.

This covenant is subject to change.

Sim Managers: Cheyenne Palisades and Sweetie


Whimsy is an independent nation-state operated independently of Linden Labs’ mainland. You don’t need to be a paid member of Second Life to rent or purchase land or here. We’re on a SUPER-FAST Class V server with dual Holley 4-barrel carbs and work hard to keep the land lag-free. More than half of Whimsy is dedicated to public parks, cultural affairs, and entertainment. We’re not about profit; we’re about enhancing your and our Second Lives while making our tier payment.
Nice folks, nice prices, beautiful spaces, cultural events. Welcome to your new home!


Notice: The island of Whimsy was formed by volcanic eruption on the first of April, 2008 and is under construction. We’re open and welcome visitors while we build. We’ll try not to drop a house or sculpted megaprim rock on you! Please take and wear a free hard hat in case of construction accident.


Aloha, and welcome to beautiful and peaceful (when the volcano Pele isn’t erupting!) Whimsy. We strive to make our sim peaceful, picturesque, entertaining, free from lag, and more than a bit silly.

Whimsy is, among other things, the home of Cheyenne Palisades and Sweetie. We’re interested in building family in Second Life. We welcome avatars of all types. Whether you’re a visitor, a guest, or a resident, we want you to feel comfortable and at home here. We ask for your help to make Whimsy a better place.

Much of Whimsy is public land, designed for the enjoyment of residents and the general public. We’re part of the Virtual Parks and Recreation network. Feel free to explore the natural features and wildlife, the poseballs, the public transportation system, the guided tour, and the canoe and hang glider rezzers. In the sky at 1500 meters you’ll find Cheyenne Palisades’ Flights of Fancy store, with fine jewelry, toys, and an assortment of beautiful and sometimes purposefully ugly builds for home and garden.

Whimsy is set to mature content, but is not an adult-themed sim. We have cuddles and kisses all over the land, but nudity and intimate sexual acts are to be confined to private property or specially designated public areas in the sky. We ask you to respect private property and locked doors and otherwise be on your good behavior.



Whimsy features houses for rent and land for purchase. IM or drop a notecard on Cheyenne Palisades’ profile to determine availability. Chey can be e-mailed at

We’ve done our utmost to make a space that appeals to writers, artists, musicians, storytellers, content developers, activists for social justice, eccentrics, and just plain folks with a sense of humor.

Skip to the end of this covenant for the boring technical stuff about property.



Whimsy is a tropical volcanic island, formed from lava and coral. The original inhabitants departed after the volcano goddess Pele lost her temper; a cataclysmic explosion split the volcano’s classical conical caldera asunder, sending ash and molten lava onto the land below and creating a permanent lava flow. The islanders immediately departed in search of a more boring simulator. So, too, did Japanese and Chinese merchants who had long engaged in trade here. Remnants of all three cultures are evident in the form of tikis, garden structures, and houses.

Whimsy was rediscovered by Cheyenne and Exuberance when they found themselves on its shores after a freak “routine downtime” Second Life accident. Fascinated by the Paleolithic drinking bird they found on the shores, they claimed the land and declared Whimsy an independent nation-state.

Lower elevations (sand terrain) are tropical. Higher elevations (grass terrain and rock) is temperate, with deciduous or evergreen plants. Appropriate builds include tiki huts and houses, Asian buildings and garden structures, docks, gardens, beach camps, and pirate and other sailing ships. Colonial and Victorian houses are permitted, and so are steampunk builds, within reason. Explicitly NOT fitting the theme are castles, Mcmansions, log cabins, modern yachts, and beach houses with all-glass walls. Whimsical builds like lighthouses, houseboats, steamships, Quonset huts, and gypsy wagons are appropriate. Builds that deviate from theme may or may not be allowed; check with sim management before placing them. Clothing need not be in theme; all manners of dress are appropriate.

We encourage creativity and a spirit of yes, we will say it, whimsy on the land. A sense of humor is an asset here!



First, let us say we are reasonable people. We strive to be fair and nonjudgmental. Sometimes we will fail at this, and so we are open to input and negotiation if you find yourself in violation of one of the following rules. We hate to make regulations, but sometimes they’re just necessary. The following rules apply to everyone on the island:

NO drama. We all get upset from time to time, but you will be expected to manage your anger and hurt feelings in a mature way.

NO public nudity. Nudity is allowed in designated areas or behind walls or closed doors on rented or purchased property.

NO publicly visible pornography (we make a distinction between erotica and pornography)

NO mimes (just kidding).

NO assault, harassment, bullying, griefing, name-calling, or other rude behavior

NO begging, soliciting, scamming, camping chairs, pyramid or ponzi schemes, or advertisements for such. Renters and property owners are allowed to place unobtrusive ads and signs.

NO prim littering. Pick up your prims when you are through with them.

NO slavery, no collars, no tags proclaiming ownership. Human slavery is egregious. If you choose to role play master-slave relationships, do so behind closed doors or on another sim.

NO sexual age-play. Harassment or ridicule of child avatars simply because they are child avatars is absolutely not permitted.
NO obnoxious lag-making, or sim-crashing scripts or builds.


Whimsy is ABSOLUTELY SAFE SPACE for furries, tinies, dragons, vampires, mechanical avatars, and human avatars of all shapes, sizes, genders, sexual orientations, perceived avatar age, and lifestyle. If you are harassed, please contact sim management immediately.


If you encounter problems or have suggestions about Whimsy, please contact Cheyenne Palisades or Sweetie in world or e-mail She will respond as promptly as is possible.


And now for…



Tier Fees apply at time of purchase and at the beginning of each month thereafter. Tier is paid by the month. The first month’s tier is pro-rated from day of purchase.

You MUST pay your tier by the first of every month. Failure to pay tier fees on schedule will result in immediate reclamation of purchased land and ejection from rented land. We pay a large fee to Linden Lab for use of this land, and Linden Lab has absolutely no sense of humor about late payments. Neither, by necessity, do we.


Use land tools to purchase the land (right click About Land and select Buy Land). You must pay for land with Linden dollars.

Pay your tier fee immediately.

You have two options for paying monthly tier fees.

1. Pay the land box in Linden dollars.
2. Make your payment with US dollars, Euros, and several other currencies via PayPal to Paypal payments incur a surcharge of $1.00 U.S.; this offsets the fees PayPal charges us for your payment.


- Rentals -

Rental category and price is determined by house size and number of prims. We provide the house, which you then furnish. The houses don’t count toward your prim allowance.

Small house, 100 prim allowance = $2000L/month

Large house, 200 prim allowance = $3500L/month

Renters can purchase additional prims at the rate of $1000L per 100 prims per month. Parcel owners can have double prims for double tier.

Please bear in mind that rental or land purchase makes you a citizen of the nation-state of Whimsy and entitles you to use of Whimsy’s many amenities (parks, dance floors, pose balls, beaches, and more). You’re not just getting a house or a parcel, you’re gaining a country!

- Purchases -

Tier fees for purchased land are $6.50 US or the equivalent amount in Lindens per 1024 square meters per month. Tier must be paid on the day or purchase and by the first of every month. Tier fee for the month of purchase is pro-rated from the date of purchase. There is a $1 U.S. surcharge for payment via Paypal

The following discounts apply to property owners in Whimsy Estates:

8192 sqm or more 5%
16384 sqm or more 10%
32768 sqm or more 15%
65536 sqm or more 20%
Purchased land is set to a prim rate of 1, which means you get 117 prims per 512 sq meters of land or 936 prims per 4096 parcel. Parcel owners can arrange for double or triple prims by contacting Cheyenne.


o The Cheyenne plus two rule: What Cheyenne and two randomly selected Whimsy residents consider ugly or inappropriate must be changed. No arguing, no complaint, no drama.

o Land settings: You may set your purchased land to any audio or video URL. Build, Object Entry, Scripts, and Voice must remain enabled (you can set an object autoreturn time of 10 minutes or more). Damage must remain off. You may set your land to enable push. Access must remain open (no red fences), but see the section which follows.

o Open access: We understand and sympathize with the need for privacy in Second Life. Everybody sometimes wants to be undisturbed. We attempt to balance this need for privacy with convenience for everyone else. You may use one third-party security device per parcel at ground level and a second above 300 meters to maintain your most private spaces, but the devices must give those who wander into their perimeter at least 30 seconds to get away and must have a range of 20 meters or less. When you are not on your property, security devices must be turned off. You may ban any resident you wish, but you may not ban residents by class (for instance, on the basis of payment history). Sim management will ban from Whimsy any avatar who intentionally violates private space.

o Natural vegetation: Much of the charm of Whimsy is due to its vegetation of palm forest and jungle (low elevations) and meadows and forests (higher elevation). Every resident is required to keep sufficient natural vegetation on their property to preserve Whimsy’s look.

o Property owners are allowed one sky structure above 300 meters. Renters may not place sky structures without approval of sim management.


o No malls or store rentals except in designated commercial areas.
o No major clubs, no listing of parcels as gathering places.
o No flying structures below 300m altitude.
o No obstructive signs, billboards or large rotating prims
o No temp or holo rezzers, as these consume system resources and contribute to lag.
o No high-rise structures. Maximum building height is two times the distance of the build from the parcel border. This means that 2 meters from the border of your land you can build 4 meters high; 5 meters from the border you can build 10 meters high; 10 meters from the border you can build 20 meters high. With permission of a neighboring landowner, you can deviate from this rule, but re-purchase of the neighboring lot will require re-negotiation.
o Except where precluded by terrain or arrangement with a neighbor, buildings must maintain an adequate distance from parcel border.
o You may resell your land, but land speculation and subleasing are absolutely not allowed.
o No eyesores. A small amount of blight—for instance, a dilapidated garage, a car on blocks or a barrel of industrial waste-- is permitted, but we would frown upon, say, a junkyard or nuclear plant.
o To preserve a consistent landscape, terraforming is limited. Waterways and shorelines must remain intact.
o Parcels may be joined. They may not be subdivided without prior approval of sim management.
o Be considerate with your builds-in-progress. No one minds looking at an unfinished plywood wall for a few hours, but no one wants to see it over a period of days. Finish your projects quickly or move them above 500 meters (a handy trick is to place them where you want them and raise them exactly 500 meters). Temporary working platforms above 500 meters are acceptable, but please delete them when you are not actively working.


o No high lag scripts. Sim management will tell you if you have a laggy script. If you don’t fix or remove it, it will be returned to you by sim management.
o Scripts that spy on other residents, record or transmit chat, or spy on avatar movement and activities are not allowed.
o No scripts that transmit data directly or indirectly to external databases except in vendor area or when explicitly permitted by sim management
o We reserve the right to limit the number of active scripts residents use on their land. We will do this only if performance of sim becomes low.


o No harassment or stalking
o No sexual harassment
o No nonconsensual player vs. player combat
o No littering of objects on other residents’ land
o No circumvention of locked doors



o What if I break the rules?

We understand that people sometimes unintentionally and innocently break rules. In most cases, you’ll receive one or more polite warnings. If your infraction is particular egregious, you may be immediately ejected or banned. Bans may be appealed to sim management, but Cheyenne is the final arbiter of who is and is not allowed on the land. She will do her best to use her ban powers wisely.

o I have unused land tier on the mainland? Can I use it here?

If you have unused tier from Linden Lab you can use it only on the mainland.

o Can I buy land in this sim?

You can purchase deeds for land in this sim without being a paid member of Second Life. Purchase gives you control of your land, such as changing the name of the land, planting trees, setting teleport point, banning individuals, and changing audio and media URLs. You will have limited terraforming rights and must keep land settings as specified above.

o Are vehicles allowed?

Yes, in the sky and on the ground, but don’t make a nuisance with them. Quiet, lighter-than-air vehicles and gliders are preferred over noisy jet-powered aircraft or spaceships. Whimsy has no roads, so scooters and bicycles are more practical than automobiles and Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

o What happens if I fail to pay my tier fees?

Exactly what would happen in real life, but faster. We will send you two notices before the first of the month, 24 hours apart. If you haven’t paid by the first, your prims will be returned and your land made available to others. We will hold your purchased land for 48 hours after reclamation to allow for emergencies and illness. If you don’t resolve the matter by the end of this period, your land will be permanently lost, with no refund. Repeated lateness will reclamation and resale of your land.

o Why can’t I build a huge gothic castle on my land?

We strive to create a consistent, themed area. This gives residents comfort because they can expect a consistent, themed visual experience. Gothic castles are fine, just not here.

o Do you give refunds?

You’re kidding, right? Caveat Emptor. That said, we are fair and reasonable people. We are not about ripping you off or giving you a bad Second Life experience.



Land is provided as is. We try our best to provide a pleasant experience that is in line with the expectations of our residents and builders. However, we, like you, are at the mercy of Linden Labs and the vagaries of Second Life. Therefore we make no guarantees about downtime, simulator performance, or the performance of your client software. We will, of course, do all we can to make your experience pleasant and consistent.

Island on Order!

Future Site of Whimsy 

Written 14 March, 2008

Island on Order!

It’s done!

Thirty minutes ago I went to the Land Store, selected a spot in a relatively uncluttered space on the grid, and ordered a private island. Linden Lab instantly billed my PayPal account $1675 US, and my island was on order.

Private islands can take up to 10 days before delivery, but this one is in the pipeline, and it feels good. I’ve been on hold for the past month in anticipation of this day; now things are rolling!

As soon as I finish writing this, I think I will send an e-mail to the land store to request a delivery date of April 1.

I mean, what other date would do for an island named Whimsy?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Holding Pattern

Written 9 March, 2008

Holding Pattern

The last week has been difficult.

Things are actually going well. The money for the island purchase is in the bank, plans have been made for an orderly transition, and I've just been waiting for Friday, when I plan to order the island, and Saturday, the day of the Aloha Pele! party and the day I begin to carefully dismantle Pele.

I keep wanting to take things into inventory, and for the most part I've resisted, although I did disappear the Pele Community Center, since no one seemed to use it but me and it gave me something to do.

And this morning I deeded Pele from group back to me, since sales distribute money equally to everyone in a group. In so doing, I forgot that I had also deeded the 4k addition I purchased a couple of months ago, and, with the sale, went temporarily over the prim limit. 75 or so prims were returned, all of them, I'm afraid to say, Sweetie's. Sweetie HATES having prims returned, for the further clutter her already cluttered Lost and Found. The new addition she was building onto the House of 1000 Pleasures were gone, and, it seems, at least one of her elven drums. She will not be happy when she logs on and I reads the IM I left her, or calls and I tell her about her prims. Maybe I'll run away to GOR for the night and role play my shame.

Just kidding.

But I am horrified that I wiped out Sweetie's house addition.

King George's Ban List

 Written 9 March, 2008

King George's Ban List

OMG! I just got an IM from the White House informing me I'm on the flight watch list-- and on George's personal ban list for the Virtual White House sim. No tours for me. *

Others on the list:

Fidel Castro
Hugo Chavez
Thomas Jefferson
Arianna Huffington
Al Gore
Ralph Nader
Nancy Pelosi
Michelle Obama
Chelsea Clinton
People for the American Way
Jessie Jackson
Audobon Society
Sierra Club
Jane Fonda
George Carlin

* King George pretty much shut down real-life White House tours when he was first elected, but he still liked to threaten people about it.

Omitted Names for Ban List

Above: Phelps-Initiated Protest

Omitted Names for Ban List

Fred Phelps, Sr.

The Phelps whelp

Fred Phelps, Jr.

And the rest of the idiots from the Westboro Baptist Church.

Sharing My Ban List

This man blames Pele's gaseous emissions for causing his profound hair loss.

(Superman fans: So why does the dude have eyebrows?)

Written 9 March, 2008

Sharing My Ban List

I've read some property owners have been cooperating to combine their ban lists to keep away troublesome avatars.

I'm not sure that's a good idea-- in fact, I'm pretty sure it's not-- but here's Pele's ban list. I'm posting it because these people are notorious for acting up.

Pele's Ban List

George W. Bush (and we all know what a troublemaker he is) In World Name: Bubbles Plainly

The George W. Gang (Ashcroft, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Rice)
In World Names: Tiffany Butz, Jerk Hoff, GORmaster Oh, Pen*s Malone

Satan Man Dick Cheney deserves his very own spot on this list

And the rest:

Cruella de Ville
Attilla (and his Mongol Hordes)
Idi Amin
Pol Pot
Rudy Giuliani
Papa Doc
Ronald Reagan
Son of Sam
John Wilkes Booth
Donald Trump
John Wayne
John Wayne Gacy
O.J. Simpson
Bill O'Reilly
Rush Limbaugh (and his female avie Dittohead)
Richard Nixon
Jerry Falwell
Simon Legree
Michael Corleone
"Pound of Flesh" Shylock
Jabba the Hutt
Lex Luthor
The Joker (wer're tired of his prim littering)
Hannibel Lecter
Norman Bates
HAL 5000
Max Cady
Imsonotadiva Bartlett (We're still watching you, Bee'atch!)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Their SL... My SL

This is the way Second Life tends to look in the media.

This is how it looks to me.

An avatar as portrayed in the media.

My avatar is typical for Second Life

Written 8 March, 2008

Their SL... My SL

All the time I see representations of Second Life on the media-- on the news, on dramas, on tech specials.

That's good, but the Second Life they are showing isn't MY second life.

The photos will show why.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Urban Misfit?

This isn't actually my house; I found the picture on the web. But you get the idea.

Below is a column I wrote in the mid 1990s. I had hopes of getting the series syndicated, but never got around to submitting it.

Sweetie says this particualr column is depressing, but I'm going to post it anyway.

I thought about this piece because I recently read Talon Sidek's most escellent screenplay. His protagonist is the slightest bit overinvolved in SL. There's a paragraph taht describes the state of her apartment and her personal life. Both are a mess.

My life of course, is nearly perfect. Of course. My house is immaculate and my affairs are in order because I am absoultely able to hit the Big Red X and close SL and walk away from the computer.

Yup. I am not an SL misfit. Not at all. :)

Written ca 1996

Urban Misfit?

It many ways, I think I’ve adapted poorly to the American urban lifestyle. Or have I? I don't know. I'm not sure. Sometimes I'm convinced I’ve made a poor adjustment, and at other times, it seems like the whole's world's crazy and I'm dealing pretty well with it. I'm really confused about it.

Here's an example of why I don't know: the shelves of my refrigerator are filled with jugs and bottles and jars of condiments, jellies, jams and sauces, many of which have been sitting there since I moved in five years ago. My default assumption is the contents of these containers are not spoiled; only if I’m greeted with green fuzzies, white and blue clouds of mold, or an unfortunate odor do I not optimistically spread, pour, or spoon the contents of a jar I bought in 1992 over and into food I bought just last week at Kroger.

Why do I suppose these remnants from the Watergate period are all right? Sure, the name preserve on some of the jars suggests they're made to last, but if refrigerated fresh vegetables from the store are history in a week to ten days, if the predominant flavor of frozen foods is freezer bite after only three or four weeks of storage, if the loaves in the breadbox are spotted with mold within a week and the potatoes and onions sprout and the milk curdles within a couple of weeks, why do I and my roommates, baby boomers who know about Salmonella, botulism, and other deadly food spoilers, complacently keep in our refrigerator things which pre-date MTV? Is this a sign that we have adapted to this age of major appliances and convenience foods, believing implicitly that technology will not only make things convenient but keep us safe, or that we are not sufficiently consumer-minded to rotate those jars and bottles into the circular file and buy the new and improved products that are now on the shelves in the supermarket?

Another example: I drive my car, putting gas into it when the needle falls toward E, but rarely checking fluids, and virtually ignoring my tires unless they go completely flat or I see something shiny on one of them which turns out to be the metal belt. When the Dodge coughs, sputters, smokes, or stops, I call the mechanic, but otherwise, I just drive it. It gets no routine maintenance. And neither, for that matter, does anything else I own. The fans, power tools, and other things with motors have never seen a drop of oil; I'm not even sure if one is supposed to oil such things these days. I don't ever wipe things off with a soft, dry cloth like the instructions say. And I've not sharpened a saw, knife, mower blade, or pair of scissors in the past ten years, or maybe in my whole life. When things stop working, I get rid of them, or simply don't use them. But I feel guilty about it. So am I adjusted to this urban lifestyle, or am I maladjusted to it?

At the most basic level, I violently distrust the culture which made this technology possible, and wish it would go away. As I sit in air-conditioned comfort (or drive around wasting fossil fuel, also in air-conditioned comfort), I lament the effect our technology-based society has had and is having on the ecology of the planet, and like many other Americans grieve for the lost forests which once covered the eastern half of North America, for the days of the family farm. If only I could have ten acres, a house with solar heat and air conditioning, a satellite uplink, a room full of computers, and a light rail stop within a quarter-mile of my house to whisk me away to some fabulous restaurants, I tell myself, I would be a very happy puppy. And then I send out for Chinese.

And then there's the relationship I have with my computer. I spend hours in front of it, writing, playing games, and engaging in flame wars on the internet. I've mastered the rudiments of the operating system and am familiar with many programs-- and yet I virtually ignore whole categories of software which were created to make my life easier. I don't use a spreadsheet, for example, despite the fact that it would help me make more sense out of my finances, or a database; I keep everything in lists on the word processor instead.

A nightmare of suburban life is the lawn. The lawn is a monster which must be controlled every two weeks with a mower. It makes no sense to me that lawns can't be mowed at night when it's cool, but must be cut during the daytime, when one gets hot and sweaty and maybe sunburned. It makes even less sense that there have to be lawns at all. If we just left our yards alone, in a hundred or so years they would have evolved into a cool, green climax forest which would shade our houses so we could turn off our energy-consuming air conditioners. Instead, we push the mower around every two weeks. This seems a form of collective insanity to me, and yet like everyone else, I do it-- or rather, I hire someone to do it for me.

I've not yet come to terms with computerized appliances. When I buy a washing machine or a microwave, I steer away from LED displays and look for something with a that I can turn and forget about. I'm an intelligent person, but I don't wish to take the equivalent of a college course so I can learn how to access features I will never use. I really don't care, for instance, that I can set the microwave so the meat loaf will cook on low speed for two hours, be held warm until six o'clock, and then heat up for dinner at eight. I just want hot water for instant grits. I'm not organized enough to know what I'll want for dinner, and if I did, I wouldn't have the ingredients, and if I didn't have the ingredients, I wouldn't have time to go get them, and if I did go get them, I wouldn't have time to mix them and program the microwave before going to work in the morning; I'd say the hell with it and stop by Mickey D’s. I'm lucky enough to get out the door and into my car with tires which have never had their pressure checked and fight hordes of people just like me (or are they?) and get to work in the morning. With that kind of stress, I really don't care that the VCR perpetually thinks it is twelve o'clock.

And then there are television programs. I don't get interested in a show until it's ready to be yanked off the air, or better yet, has already been retired. Then I must search around, channel surfing in the hopes of finding it in syndication. My worst nightmare is a Dobie Gillis Marathon or a Star Trek Next Generation all-nighter, for I must get myself organized enough to find or buy blank videotapes and be around to start the machine (as I've not figured out how to start it automatically), or else be doomed to wait around for another five to seven years until another marathon comes around. And after I tape the programs, of course, I never watch them.

The signs of my maladjustment to this culture are perhaps best manifested in my refusal to conform to its schedule. I don't decide to go out to the mall until it's nine o'clock and it's closing, or to eat supper until after eleven, when all the restaurants have turned out their lights and I must either go hungry or force myself to walk through the doors of the Waffle House. I don't get to the theater until after six, when twilight prices have just ended and movies have become a major investment again. I don't turn on the radio until Garrison Keilor has just finished the news from Lake Wobegon. I don't change the bag on the vacuum cleaner, go to the doctor regularly for a checkup, have my breasts examined every year, or get to the hair salon every six weeks like my stylist wants me to. I haven't had a tetanus shot within the last seven years, or even the last seventeen. I don't keep particularly informed on current affairs, I don't vote, I don't go to church, I don't belong to the neighborhood association or any social clubs, I don't go to the library to check out books, I don't even make up my bed. In fact, after two or three days, the sheets tend to come loose at the corners and I sleep thereafter in a big knot of bedclothes. I don't iron my clothes, either. I lost my iron during my last move and before that I was keeping it only for symbolic purposes, anyway. I don't eat three meals a day, and when I do eat, if it's nutritious, it's because the restauranteur has a sense of social responsibility and not because I've been able to expend any special effort to buy and steam fresh vegetables.

In short, I'm a mess. But what is unclear is whether everyone else in this urban nightmare is in the same sorry shape that I am. Admittedly, I have a very busy life, running from meeting to meeting, finding my spare time eroding away, using my vacations for business. But others seem as busy, or busier, checking their Day Runners, which always seem to be wall-to-wall with appointments. I don't own a day runner, for I'm not organized enough to keep it up to date. I have a cheesy little appointment book which I alway seem to have left somewhere else. I can't even get organized enough to keep up with the scraps of paper I use to write down my appointments.

My roommates are on the run as much as I am. The kitchen sink is usually filled with dirty dishes, the counters are unwiped, and the carpet in their area hasn't been vacuumed since the last time I couldn't stand it any more and broke out the wet vac, roughly the Reagan era. On the other hand, their bathroom stays reasonably clean, and the one I use looks like the Okeefenokee Swamp. On the other other hand, they ignore the lawn, which I pay to have mowed so the neighbors won't get up a petition to have the bad neighbors thrown out. And on the other other other hand, all of us ignore the tree which has sprouted beside the stoop and is beginning to block the doorway. We duck around it rather than pulling it out by the roots or cutting it down. In fact, it is probably now too big to pull up, and will have to be cut down. Maybe with a chainsaw. And which of us will have the time to go borrow, rent, or buy one?

I realize there are people who live much like Ward and June Cleaver did on TV back in the '50s. I occasionally see them on Sunday morning as they're coming home from church. Their clothes are neatly pressed (my ironing board is the permanent home of my bread machine, and as I said, I've misplaced my iron), their shoes are shined (I haven't shined my shoes in years), their cars are sparkling clean (mine is still muddy from Hurricane Albert), and I just know there is correct pressure in all four of their tires. But then again, maybe only one of every couple works and the other stays at home and takes care of all the details. Maybe they don't get 37 e-mail messages, a pile of snail mail, seven faxes, and 20 telephone calls every day. Maybe they label and date the condiments in their refrigerators and throw the old ones away every couple of months and keep their lives in perfect order with everything filed, folded, and arranged at right angles to everything else. And then again, maybe I'm seeing the facade they present to the public, and behind the scenes their lives are in even worse shambles than mine. Maybe under those sharply pressed suits, they're wearing dirty underwear because they haven't found the time to get the washing machine repaired.

I'm not the worst in the world. At least, I don't think I am. I manage to file my income tax yearly-- primarily because I know that if I don't, the Feds will eventually come and get me; despite this threat, many of my friends haven't filed in years. But I'm habitually outside the two-week grace period for paying my bills, and I've not managed to drop by to get tags for the car I bought last September. So then again, maybe I am the worst in the world. I'm telling you, I really can't seem to get a handle on it.

I can't figure out if my haphazard pattern of living is an adaptive response to the vagaries of urban life, or if I'm seriously maladjusted. What do you think? Am I an urban misfit? Is anyone else living like this? Is anyone else as confused as I am? As disorganized?

Is your underwear neatly folded in a sacheted drawer, or are your clean clothes co-mingled with the dirty ones on the floor because you can't find the time to put them away? Is the leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving dinner still in a Tupperware container in your refrigerator? Was Princess Diana alive the last time you balanced your checkbook? Is your kitchen garbage can overflowing? Are there light bulbs burned out you've been meaning to replace but just haven't gotten around to? Do you dust your house regularly? Do you ever dust it?

I'm not talking about being obsessive and compulsive here; I'm merely asking if others in this urban wilderness we call America are like me and just can't seem to get around to the simple chores of daily living like shopping and cleaning. Are you a well-oiled cog in the urban machine, or are you like me, a fly in the ointment?

If I had ointment, and if there were a fly in it, I probably wouldn't have yet gotten around to fishing it out!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Too Much Plywood!

Written 6 March, 2007

Too Much Plywood!

I was gridhopping just now, checking out locations I have heard about. One, Victorianna Castle, was initially quite striking, but everywhere I zoomed my camera I saw raw plywood. Most of the faces that were untextured were buried against other prims, but some were noticeable as one walked around. Not the effect, I imagine, for which the builder of such an impressive edifice was stiving.

So builders, how about texturing the ENTIRE prim, and not just the parts you think someone will see? Even if you are using a texture with limited perms that makes you have to drag it to every prim face, know there are those of us who will be seeing the faces you have left untextured, and we will not be impressed. Slap on at least a coat of primer, will ya?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Read the F'ing Manual!

Bliss Gardens Tour
Written 11 September, 2007

Read the F'ing Manual!

Not long after I arrived in world, I discovered the balloon tours at Bliss Gardens. Very nice! You and a companion hop on, choose between Tour 1 and Tour 2, and float blissfully about the beautifully-detailed multi-sim area of the Gardens. Finally, you drift back to the starting point, the balloon dematerializes, and you are gently deposited on terra firma.

Way cool!

Soon, I started to see similar tours. Cocoloco Island, for instance, has a guided cruise in a beautifully-textured dragon boat, Caledon has a trolley, and the Paris 1900 sims have both a balloon tour (late note: it was gone last I looked) and a zipline that runs from the top of the Arc de Triomphe to the ground.

I was all like, “How do they DO that?

In fact, I was all like, “I have to have me one of those!”

One day in July I did a search and found The Guided Tour Company. Sweetie and I promptly jumped to a small site on the mainland, read the literature, and I dropped 4500 or so Linden dollars on a tour package.

Woo hoo! And ouch!

Back at Pele, Sweetie and I watched a slide show about the tour, and then I took the plunge. I RTFM.*

Setting up a good tour requires skill and talent, but using the product is straightforward. You simply wear a HUD and fly around, touching the button on your screen each time you want to set a waypoint on your cruise and Chatting any commentary you want included in the cruise. When you have finished, you type “save,” and the HUD dumps its memory to Chat. You then open Chat History, copy the memory dump, and paste it into a notecard. After editing (you didn’t really mean to type in Wellcomb, did you?), you rename the notecard and put it into the contents of the included tour vehicle (which looks a bit like a carnival car from the Tunnel of Love). You turn the tour vehicle temporary (best to rename it so you can differentiate it from the original), then pull the tour base from inventory to the ground and place the temporary vehicle inside. It then begins to rezz temporary vehicles, which you can reposition and fix in place by chatting /198SetPos (but type quickly, for the vehicles disappear and are replaced about once a minute) and the new position is fixed. The tour is then set.

To take a tour, you simply hop in and touch the tour vehicle and it begins to direct itself to the positions on the notecard.

It was here that I began to realize that skill and talent might be even more important than RTFM.

You see, the Pele tour vehicle didn’t quite clear the fence railing next to the take-off point, and it tipped dangerously to one side. After managing to right itself, it managed to snag itself on, sequentially, the side of the mountain, my torii gate, and various non-phantom plants.


The notecard can be edited to reset the waystations so you’ll miss obstacles, and you can reset the camera angles of each stop and edit the comments the vehicle will chat to its riders—but then the newly saved notecard must be placed in another temporary tour vehicle which must itself be placed inside the tour base.

Do this a dozen or more times and you, too, will realize the importance of skill and talent in the guided tour process.

After multiple edits, your tour car will fly where you want it and at each stop your camera will position itself where you want it, and the tour car will tell your guests what you want them to hear at just the right time. **

Then you, too, will have a guided tour to take visitors all around your 512 square meter lot.



* Read the f***ing manual!

** That’s the theory, anyway. Note the date this blog post was written. I have never had a tour running.

Take that back. The zip line from the Pele temple to the water is actually a guided tour. But I never did a proper tour.