Friday, December 20, 2013

Pod Tours of Heterocerta Atoll

Today I came across a folder of photos from a few months ago. Sweetie and I spent a Saturday riding around in those little oval floating podcars you've no doubt seen. We had a good time experiencing the visual chaos of the mainland.

I had meant to post about the experience, but it got away from me. Come to think about it, that's about when my desktop died.

I'm growing increasingly reluctant to post photos. My laptop doesn't have enough horsepower to use advanced graphics features like shadows and texture mapping, and for that matter, neither did my old desktop. I'm hoping the new box I'm putting together will have enough power to get the job done.

So anyway, the tours last a good long while, crossing many sims-- and the pod morphs into a boat whenever it crosses water.

"What's that noise?"

Monday, December 16, 2013

Starlight Lounge

While on MapPea's Christmas Hunt, Sweetie and I chanced across this lovely lounge. It's in a hotel on the first sim after you exit the hunt. Sadly, I don't remember the name of the region. Isn't the color just delicious?

Creepy Mesh Avatars

These mesh avatars creep me out. Can we say uncanny Valley?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Building a New Desktop: I. Motherboard

Shortly after I joined second Life-- way back in 2006-- I managed to fry my desktop. I was installing extra memory and did something wrong, and dead box.

I really liked that computer. It was an Athlon-based system I had built myself. But I put it in storage and went to Frys and bought a Sony VAIO with a dual-core Pentium processor. I was that eager to get back home and get online.

You can read about it. Here's the first post. I think that arc contains some of my funniest writing.

In late summer of this year I managed a repeat. Yes, I blew up my computer. It died while I was installing a new nVidia 620 video card. I tried CPR, but the Sony didn't respond. I called the time of death: 8:24 pm.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Ninety-Nine Percent / Jabba Jabba Jabba

Sweetie is always scouring the internets looking for places for us to visit in Second Life. Recently she took us to New Synthetic Theater.

The theater has two shows. After buying tickets for $50L and $75L, respectively, and wearing them, avatars are teleported to the stages, which are on a different sim. The $50L show is The Ninety-Nine Percent, and the $75L is the Wonderland-themed Jabba, Jabba, Jabba.

When the shows begin, objects are rezzed and moved about, and avatars are animated so they become part of the show. While execution needs some work, the concept is intriguing and plays to Second Life's strengths.

Photos follow.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Being from the South, when I was younger the television broadcast channels were chock-full of "professional" wrestling-- that is, guys and women with ridiculous names who dressed all macho and pretended to be badasses.

Although a few naive people will tell you television wrestling is real, the bouts were scripted, all show, acting, and sometimes of the highest quality. The theatrics were unbelievable-- flying chairs, flying referees, opponents being thrown off the ring into the seats, fights moving into the audience area. It had to be dangerous work, even if it was all theatrics.

When, a year or two ago, Sweetie and I blundered onto the dark set of one of Second Life's four or so wrestling federations, she told me she wanted to see a match. I um-hmmm it, but she wouldn't let it drop. So, last week we visited a show at VWE, Second Life's Virtual Wrestling Entertainment.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dragons Need Christmas Decorations, Too

Sweetie took this photo of a dragon shopping at Happy Mood.

Happy Mood Puts Me in a Happy Mood

I love Sweetie's photo of his pleasant sign on the Happy Mood sim.

My computer isn't so great for photography these days, but happily, Sweetie is a better photographer than I am, anyway.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Explorations

Every December Second Life is filled with beautiful winter sims. Above is Sweetie's photo of Happy Mood, a sim known for rabbits and birds and plants and things. We had a good time exploring and bought some grasses.

Calas Galadhon has a beautiful Christmas experience for you. Here's my photo:

Sweetie took me to Santa's Workshop at North Pole Village. It was a hoot.

I have to say, though-- Santa is working his elves pretty hard...

... and the we-have-to-be-secure sickness has clearly reached the North Pole.

Although it may be Santa is fearful because of the recent death of Rudolph.

It didn't make the news (I suspect the story was squashed), but yes, it's true. Rudy is no more. Or perhaps he is still alive; rumors say so. You'll have to be the judge.

You can gather facts at Mad Pea's Holiday Havoc on the GrandView sim.

You see, because of Rudolph's death and some pilfering, the Christmas and Halloween villages are at war. The toll taken by the cannon and trebuchets is appalling...

... although the damage done to the ramshackle Halloween village is difficult to detect, as Sweetie's photo, below, shows.

The sim is one big puzzle, yet is merely the setup for the search; when its mysteries are solved, avatars go off on a grid-wide search for 30 missing pieces of a broken clock.

Sweetie and I found all the riddles and solved them, and took home a sackful of prizes, yay us! We're stumped now; we're not sure how best to proceed with a sim-wide hunt for a tiny clue.

There are tons more winter and Christmas places. Our visits have left me wanting to lay down some snow on Whimsy. Yes, Whimsy is tropical, but it has snowed before. Predictably. Every Christmas.