Sunday, January 31, 2010

Carriage Ride

Written 31 January, 2010

Carriage Ride

Sweetie and I have in mind buying a carriage for our non internal combustion travel. In fact, we would put a carriage rezzer on Whimsy if visitors wouldn't fall into the water after going ten feet.

We liked this little two-wheel, one-horse hansom cab from Crimson Phoenix Creations. Sweetie drove me all around and we had a good time.



I trimmed the top off the next two shots so as not to reveal Sweetie's secret identity.



Horse Fever


Dawn Ride, Taken by Sweetie

Written 31 January, 2010

Horse Fever

Sweetie and I DON'T have horse fever, I assure you. It was my SISTER who had horse fever. We uh, just want to buy horses.

When we were in Tombstone the other day (the good one, not the snooty one), we blundered on a stable and rezzed and rode demo steeds.

They were fun, so we decided that since we have two of everything in Second Life, we should at least have horses.

Last night and this morning we ventured to a half dozen horse farms and tried the demos. By noon today, we had selected our mounts.

Every horse we rode was impressive. Their legs moved when they walked and ran, they made appropriate horsey noises, you could adjust the rider's pose.  Some had features others didn't-- they pooped, for instance, or would carry a second rider, or would allow the rider to set camera control. Some just looked more appropriately horselike than others. All were copyable and modifiable, and most makers had large selections of types, sizes, and colors. Want an Arabian? A quarter horse? A draft horse? You're covered.
It was a close call between AKK Horses and those by Virrginia Tombola, but we choose Virrginia's. The primary reason was because she's so very nice. She sold us our sea monster, for example, even though it wasn't really for sale, and responded promptly to my questions about setting it up.

It's hard to point out why (the forbidding signage?  The fact that they don't update their products? The less than stellar response I got to my question in IM?), but the folks at AKK didn't seem to us to have customer satisfaction so very much in mind. We were impressed by Virrginia's sounds and animations and by the fact that her horses didn't have creepy eyes.  And so Virrginia's horses won. By a nose.


Chey and Sweetie Riding on historical Aquitane Coeur Nord and its fellow French 16th-18th-century sims. The demo horse is at 117, 99, 26.



You can bet Sweetie and I will be seeking out nice places to ride.

Once we shell out the money for our trusty steeds, that is.

All The Pretty Horses

Written 31 January, 2010

All the Pretty Horses

Last night Sweetie and I-- well, Sweetie, as I was having ping time issues and was snowblind--  found an absolutely gorgeous little valley on one of the AKK horse sims (you'll need to find it yourself, but here is the SLURL to the AKK ranch.

There were lots of horses grazing. The opportunity for photos was just to good to pass up. I think I got some good shots-- which was a miracle, considering I was getting incredibly high ping times.

Horses are skittish. It's necessary to sneak up on them...


But after a while they become accustomed to you.


And then you can ride right up to them...


... and capture them just being themselves.






Here's a shot I managed to get; the glow on the grasses made for a most unusual effect. I wish there had been more contrast:


Sunday Morning Machinima, 31 January, 2010

Sunday Morning Machinima, 31 January, 2010

This morning I have four videos for you. One is a demo of a simulation of real-life insect behavior; the others celebrate Second Life with images and music.

Second Life's much-vaunted late sim Svarga got a lot of attention because it had an ecosystem of sorts-- but this machinima really impressed me. Why? Because the prim animals are programmed to respond like actual ants. The simulation is limited to feeding behavior, but still...



I found this machinima today-- Life is Wonderful. The bass is overamped, but the song is nice and the images striking.



Life is Wonderfu
l reminds me of this video, Wonderful World-- Second Life Showcase. It's been around for a couple of years now, but I still like it.



Finally, here's yet another Wonderful World. This one is by Sam Lowry and is titled Breathe.

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wheat


Written 30 January, 2010

Wheat

Although someone might have at one time or other created a wheat plant, it was AM Radio's The Far Away that really and truly made wheatfields possible in Second Life.

I won't say which high-energy, rambunctious, exploding lipstick carrying avatar it was that smuggled out the wheat seeds, but now the damn stuff is everywhere!


And it has mutated! Into sculpties! OMG!


It's that damn evil Monsanto, bioengineering our prim wheat!


By the way, we at Whimsy categorically deny having transacted any business whatsoever with Monsanto at our robot sanitorium.


If you look closely at this tank of liquid nitrogen at the Whimsy Kaboom Robot Sanitorium, you will NOT see a Monsanto logo. Repeat after me, children... there is NO Monsanto logo. There is NO Monsanto logo. Great. Now take this FrankenApple and go away.

A Visit to the Shipyard

Written 30 January, 2010

A Visit to the Shipyard

Not long ago Sweetie and I found ourselves dressed in our great free spacesuits from the late great Privateer Space sim and decided to take a visit to the Shipyard.

The Shipyard is a science fiction role playing sim-- and after our recent adventures in old Tombstone, we wanted to be ready in case we found ourself adrift in outer space.

We worked our way through the welcome area and beamed down to the surface-- but we never actually made out way onto the streets.

Why?

Because it was so fracking cool!





Sweetie took this shot:


Prim Nails, Take Two

Written 30 January, 2010

Prim Nails, Take Two

Back in December 2007 I wrote a blog about prim nails. My complaint was they wouldn't stay in the proper position relative to my fingers.

Tonight Sweetie bought bracelets that included prim nails, and for the first time, she set her hand size and attached them.

This is what I saw:


The nails, as had mine, floated a couple of centimeters below the fingers.

But that's not what Sweetie saw.

For her, the nails were perfectly in place.

Prim nails can lookmore than a little scary or very nice.


As someone who used to pay $75 for a set of acrylic nails, I'd dearly love to wear them, but the floating in air things is a deal breaker for me.

But do they really float in air? Or is it just me?

Two years ago my best guess was that high-priority avatar animations confused the nails. Is that so? Does anyone know?

Help, please, anyone! My prim nails are waiting for me!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Darcy Designs Glowys


Written 29 January, 2010

Darcy Designs Glowys

This not being a fashion blog and all, I'm rarely asked to review the work of others. However, I'm always happy to oblige.

Last week I received a notecard and a folder from Miyo Darcy thanking me for my work and asking me if I would be willing to take a look at her line of avatar party accessories.

When Ms. Darcy was new to Second Life, she said, she loved going out to clubs. She accumulated quite a few glowsticks, but found most of them unsatisfactory because they lacked glow or contained scripts. She set out to make a line of wearable, glowing glowys, as she calls them.

Sometimes I girl just has to glow!

Ms. Darcy's package contained an assortment of eyebrow piercings and rave sticks in various colors and shapes. There were light sabers, dildos (not my favorite), and staves. All were generously endowed with glow and looked really good at night.


Our wayback machine takes us to October, 2006. Here's newbie Chey
dancing with a pair of rave sticks given her by her friend Laura.

Here I am dancing with an assortment of Darcy Designs glowys:





And here I am with her lip piercing:


The gloyws did their job, looking good in the dark. The longer ones (like the light sabers) sometimes cut into my avatar though, so I preferred the shorter ones.

My aged rave sticks sort of split the difference, attaching in their middle, so their lights appear on both sides of my hands. I looked for something similar in the folder, but alas didn't find anything. I have to say, I still like them.

Darcy Designs' glowys range in price from 35L to 120L or so. That's pretty inexpensive. They can be found here.

Sightseeing at Bliss Gardens

Written 29 January, 2010

Sightseeing at Bliss Gardens


The eight or so Bliss Garden sims are ruggedly landscapes and filled with trails and waterfalls and exotic plants. (if you materialize on the platform, look for the teleporter to the ground below).

I've long liked walking there. Here's a photo from late 2006 or early 2007.


I loved walking that track; it wound across about four sims.

Night before last Sweetie wanted to take a walk. I suggested Bliss, and away we went.

I'm not sure if the tracks are still there; with eight sims they would be easy to miss. But we find a lot of walking trails and some spectacular sights.


We followed one path up and up and up..


... until we came to a visual cliff. Ahead of us was a sheer dropoff looking down on jagged mountains--


-- but there were some prims out that made it look like there was a lake in front of us. Nice effect.


If you've not been to Bliss Gardens in a while, you might want to check it out.

Negative Days Old


Written 29 January, 2010

Negative Days Old

This morning I was surprised to see an avatar who was -1 days old.

At first I wondered if the newborn avatar was running a renegade client, but then I thought, hm, maybe she was born far enough west of San Francisco that it was yestereday when it was today in California.

I'm not sure if it works that way. Does anyone else have an idea how an avi can be -1 days old?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Regatta at Port Babbage

Written 27 January, 2010

Regatta
at Port Babbage

Last Sunday Sweetie and I put on our Victorian frocks and headed for Port Babbage to catch the regatta.

Well, the air regatta. These were lighter-than-air craft races.

We found our way to the floating spectators' platform and elbowed aside a gentleman in a top hat so we could sit together, then adjusted our preferences to see long distances and cammed in on the racers.

And what a bunch of them where were! There were airships big and small, off-the-shelf and custom built, plain and fancy, fantasticl and realistic.

I'm afraid we were more interested in the claret cup than the races. I'm not sure who won, but I did get some good photos before I became too intoxicated to operate my camera.

We could have gotten the race results from either the Steampunks of New Babbage group or by clicking the sign, but alas, although we leaned left and right at various times to see around the sign, we never bothered to read it.


Here's the starting point before the races. See the contestants milling about-- if a dirigible can be said to mill about, that is.


Some contestants carefully checked their ships before the races.


Others just seemed focused on having a good time.


Spectators sat on floating bleachers...


... or on the huge robot in the Vernian Sea.


Airships steered by the bleachers before their races so spectators could get a good look at them.


This colorful pedal-powered craft was Sweetie's favorite.


I preferred the big phallic ships.


Especially the plush ones.


A winner!


After my third claret cup, my photos grew more fanciful.



Sweetie's photos, of course, are always fanciful:


After a long day during which I managed to sunburn my nose despite the canvas cover over the bleachers, we changed clothes and went to the after-the-regatta ball where we danced ourselves silly to music I can only describe (well, actually Sweetie is the one who nailed the description) as gypsy steampunk.

The last two photos were taken by Sweetie, who was by then more or less sober.



It was a nice way to spend a Sunday.