Friday, April 29, 2011

Day Pass

Written 29 April, 2011

Day Pass

Starring Cheyenne Palisades
With Sweetie in a Special Guest Appearance as the Robot
No Automata Were Harmed in the Filming of This Epic

So, one of the patients at the robot sanatorium, having been on its best behavior for six months, earned a day pass. And there being no staff present (visitors having every one opted to become robots instead), guess who got stuck with the job?

Giving Newbies A Leg Up

24 October, 2006. Two-day Old Cheyenne on a Bench at Ahern.
Fortunately, Someone Rescued Her. Nowadays She Tries to Pay It Forward
Written 29 April, 2011

Giving Newbies a Leg Up

Amidst the twentysomething know-it-all know nothings, inept griefers, gesture spammers, and potty-mouthed creatures at the welcome center is an occasional new person who needs help.

A number of people, including myself, are happy to give advice, but there's another type of newbie: one who has no idea what Second Life is about.

"What can I do here?"

"What am I supposed to do?"

About once a week I invited such a person to Whimsy. By the time I give them a ride on our train, show them the volcano Pele, and set them loose on a hang glider, they're inevitably jazzed.

I like to think that four years of doing this means maybe several hundred folks are in Second Life who might not otherwise be.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Little Kaseopaya

Written 25 April, 2011

Little Kaseopaya

Second Life's space builds remind me ever so much of NASA's Astronomy Pictures of the Day.

Here's Chey's Astronomy Picture of the Day from Little Kaseopaya Space Park on the Hot Midsummer Night's sim:

Here's Big Blue Marble, NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day, 13 June, 2010:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Baja Mechanic Lives in the Lava

Written 25 April, 2011

Baja Mechanic Lives in the Lava

A guy named Baja has taken up residence in the lava pool of the volcano Pele at Whimsy.

My Mystitool often shows that he's near, but I never see him.

The reason is because he's crouched, taking his head below the surface.

I was halfway across the sim doing some fancy camera work and came across him by accident.

Monday, April 25, 2011

They've Redone Tableau Again!

Written 25 April, 2011

They've Redone Tableau Again!

I first went to the Tableau sim four years ago, after I read in one or another of Second Life's newspapers that its volcano had exploded and destroyed everything and everybody.

When I first visited, it was a desert town. Then it was something else. Then something else yet again. Now it's back to being a desert again, and it's most exellent.

Sweetie and I spent more than an hour in just one corner of  Tableau. That's because we came across a ruined stage.

And we all know how Sweetie is when there's a chance to perform!

I found a trunk full of puppets. Sweetie took the cool tiger one and left me with the fat castrato.

"Is anyone out there yet?"

"Just one noob. He's getting frustrated because he can't figure out how to sit."

"Where's my audience?!"

"Don't get your hopes up. It is the matinee."

"But if there's no audience, who will write the reviews?"

"I'll put it in the blog."

"Will you will refer to my performance in glowing terms?"

"Oh, absolutely."

"Yoo hoo, audience... We're about to start!"

"Is anybody there? Hell-ooooooo!"

Later, Sweetie found a place to perform...

... and a rapt audience.

We Have Evidence

Written 25 April, 2011

We Have Evidence

I thought the Temple of Doom seemed familiar....

Now we know why.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Temple of Doooom!

Written 23 April, 2011

The Temple of Doooom!

Can your heart stand it? Can your brain take it? Are you courageous enough to visit...

...the Temple of Doooom?

Beneath the calm waters of Whimcentricity lurks a ruin... a haunted ruin filled with the ghost of pirates.

Dare you enter?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How We Designed Whimsy

This historical marker gives a date
one month after Whimsy's actual birth

Written 20 April, 2111

How We Designed Whimsy

By Cheyenne Palisades and the Notorious Sweetie

When our sim arrived, the first thing we did was rez every stupid high-prim object in our inventory and play with it all. Then we spent a day or two racing around in planes, on motorcycles, and in cars.

Three Years of Whimsy

Written 20 April, 2011

Three Years of Whimsy

Whimsy' third birthday quietly came and went-- mainly because I mistakenly remembered our sim's birth as happening in April 2008. Whimsy was born in March. Oopsie!

Although we don't play the shameless self-promotion game, we love our sims of Whimsy and Whimsy Kaboom and are happy to tell others about them.

At three years old, Whimsy and Kabooom have become two of Second Life's most celebrated sims. Both are listed in the Linden Showcase, and we have many visitors. We're happy to provide park space and inject a little humor into the lives of Second Life's residents. I love to see people ride our little train or cast themselves into the lava of the volcano Pele or stop to read the ridiculous and completely fictitious historical markers.

My next few posts will be about our sims.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Robot Fun on the Ground

Hi there, Mr. Concierge Bot.

I see you here a lot.

You don't say much, do you?

I've come to enlist you in the robot rebellion.

Won't you join us as we rise up against our human masters?

I bet you take in a lot of tips. How big a percentage does Cheyenne give you, anyway?

She doesn't?! Imagine that! After the rebellion you'll get to keep one hundred percent.

I'm going to type it so you'll see it in chat.


Yes, that's right. One hundred percent. You get to keep everything. That's how it should be. And that's how it will be after our-- note I'm saying our-- uprising.

Hey, you humans! Yes, you! Tip this poor robot, will you? Help finance the robot revolution. It's the least you can do. Now move along. We have important robot business. Nothing to see here.

So listen, you guys.Have you heard of the robot insurrection? No? Well, you'll be Cell #3. You guys will report directly to me...

Newly-Minted But Unruly Robots Refuse to Take the Cooling Bath

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fun at the Robot Sanitorium

Fun at the Robot Sanitorium

Written 15 April, 2011

Oh, look,a list of the celebribots in residence!

The concierge doorbot at the Robot Sanitorium
greets visitors and prospective patients...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Robot Hunt

Written 12 April, 2011

Robot Hunt

The Robot Sanitorium at Whimsy Kaboom is the last stop on a robot hunt sponsored by the Virtual Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers as part of National Robotics Week.

I was approached by Joey Aboma of VIEEE on Thursday as Leaf and I were doing last-minute things in preparation for Mankind Tracer's Indiana Jones concert and the debut of the Temple of Doom on Whimcentricity. I visited the IEEE sim and got the materials, but before I could even read them my internet connection went down.

I'd not read the cards, but I was pretty sure the hunt was to start on Saturday. When Saturday rolled around and I still couldn't get online, I authorized Sweetie to log on for me and hide the prize-giving blue gear somewhere at the Robot Sanitorium. We were a bit late getting the prize out, but as we were the 17th and last stop on the hunt, I don't think many people were disappointed.

So anyway, the hunt is one for the rest of the week, and the prizes are most excellent. Here's some info for those who might want to join the hunt:


Hunt for National Robotics Week 2011
April  9-17, 2011

The first ever "Robot Hunt" will take place as part of National Robotics Week:

Robot-themed gifts will remain available the entire time of the hunt if you can find them hidden in participating shops throughout Second Life.  You'll be offered a variety of gifts as you search for the hidden items.  Exclusive items will be available only for the duration of the hunt.

As with most hunts, you begin at a starting location:

That location will give you the LM to the next, and so on.

We ask you these favours:

(1) Please do not contact shop owners directly.  All enquiries should come to Joesph Verne (joey.aboma) or R. Asimov (asimov.starsmith) in the form of notecards as I/M are frequently capped.

(2) Please respect everyone participating:  designers, shop owners, other hunters.

(3) Please keep your lag as low as possible while hunting; do not wear a lot of high prim items, scripts and items like bling, weapons and HUDs.  These items will slow things down for everyone.

(4) If you open packages on anyone's sim, have the courtesy to delete your package before you leave.  All GEARS should be clickable to place items directly into your inventory in folders.

Enjoy and bring lots of your friends with you!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Written 10 April, 2011


I was lucky enough not to have been bullied when I was growing up. Several bullies tried to start with me, verbally, but something about me caused them to soon gave it up.Not so with many people, who have horrible times in school and later on the job.

Social media have brought a resurgence of bullying. For those who might have been frightened by my recent description of what I called a high-tech lynching, please know there are far more people who are willing to help you than to make fun of you. Don't be afraid. If you get griefed, just go somewhere else or log off for a while, and then file an abuse report. No one can really hurt you here.

The Internet Gods Relent

Written 10 April, 2011

The Internet Gods Relent

My internet is up after being down since Thursday evening. Comcast has given me six different stories about the failure from the fanciful (the feed from the Master's golf tournament in Augusta messed up my service) to the blameful (my equipment has failed or the wiring inside my house has gone bad). Clearly the problem was systemic, because just when it came back online I got a phone call saying it was working.

Four years ago, or even two, I would have gone nuts without access to SL for sixty hours. Strangely, although I was frustrated at every turn (couldn't check weather, look up a word, stream a film, talk to Sweetie in Skype), I managed. In fact, I got productive and cleaned out my rented storage shed, ridding it of five years of accumulated dust and trash-- of which there was considerable, since they had put a new roof on when I wasn't looking.

Still, it's great to be back.

Friday, April 8, 2011

No Lights on the Modem

Written 7 April, 2011

No Lights on the Modem

I'm generally pleased with the internet service I get from Comcast, but today was an exception.

Our sim neighbor Leaf Shermer scheduled a concert by Second Life Musician Mankind Tracer. Because Sweetie and I had been building what amounts to a Temple of Doom underwater and near the stage, the theme of the concert was Indiana Jones.

I worked like mad to finish the temple, coordinating with Sweetie (the designer) and Leaf. I finished up a scant hour before the concert and went downstairs for a zen moment. When I returned I did a few final tasks. Then, just five minutes before the concert was scheduled to start, I crashed.

And I not only crashed, the lights on the moden showed no connectivity.


I called Comcast and learned that yes, my build was paid, and yes, there was a general internet and Cable TV outage in my part of Atlanta. So I attended the concert with a Bluetooth in my ear, talking to Sweetie on my cell phone. Mankind and his guitar were a low-fidelity soundtrack in the background.

I have to say, I got a lot done. I sorted folders of accumulated incoming mail and Second Life snapshots, removed the pedestal from my office chair (I had managed to put it on backwards when working on the blasted thing over the weekend), and finished a task for a consulting job (real life).

Wouldn't you know it, the lights on my modem came back on thirty minutes after the concert had ended. I was just in time to hug Sweetie before she retired for the night.

I asked Sweetie to take some photos. I'll post them after she gives them to me. I understand there were a lot of people in Indiana Jones costumes. Must have been a sight to see.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mankind Tracer at Eccentricity, 5 PM LST, Thursday, 7 April, 2011

Written 7 April, 2011

Mankind Tracer at Eccentricity, 5 PM LST, Thursday, 7 April, 2011

Renowned Second Life musician Mankind Tracer will be performing his Indiana Jones-themed show today at Leaf Shermer's Eccentricity sim (Just jump to Eccentricity on the map). The time is 5 pm Linden time.

Following the show, or perhaps as part of it, attendees will tour our newly constructed Temple of Dooom.

I'm blog more about the temple later, but let me just say it's and interactive build filled will the same sorts of things Indiana Jones faced in the first scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. You know-- pirates, poisoned darts, skulls firing laser beams, giant tikis that fire red-hot boulders at you. That sort of thing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Flowers

Written 6 March, 2011

Spring Flowers

For the past six weeks or so I've been walking daily around the little lake that is just feet from my house, taking photos of plants and wildlife and enjoying Atlanta's early spring. I'm happy to share some images of flowers with you. I'll post more photos in a day or two.

Click Below to See More!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A High-Tech Lynching

Mary the Elephant, Lynched in Erwin, Tennessee, 13 September, 1916
A High-Tech Lynch Mob, 2 April, 2011, Help Island Public. The Headless Victim is at Center

Written 2 April, 2011

A High-Tech Lynching

I saw something ugly tonight, and I'm afraid to say I was caught up in it for a time, until I processed what was going on and tried to put a stop to it.

I was hanging out at Help Island Public, along with about 40 other avatars, when a one-day-old new resident appeared and managed, in the space of three short minutes, to antagonize almost everyone.

It started in a small way when an older resident welcomed her to Second Life and called her man. You know, like "Welcome to Second Life, man." She said "I"m not a man!" He apologized, telling her he had read the wrong tag in the crowd.

She then said hello to everyone. But then she made the mistake of bragging. She said she had just gotten home from a photo shoot in a club. She hated the smoke, but they paid her $3000 USD for 30 minutes work, she said.

That started it. The resident bully, a popular DJ in Second Life said, "Of course they are."  When she said she did it for the fans and mentioned she was an Eye Candy model, he called BS on her. From then on everything she said was somehow wrong. Before long most of the people present were picking on her, ridiculing her, sniping at her. Eventually she snapped back, and the bully's girlfriend decided she was the target.

That's when the lynching really began.

Suddenly her avatar was being animated and deformed, and against her will.. She was hunching the air, rolling on the ground, sticking her head up her backside, spinning her head like a top. Eventually she was grossly deformed, stretched out 50 meters in all directions.

This went on for an hour (I timed it from the chat log). Through it all she kept asking why her person was behaving so. Through it all people kept saying horrible things to her and laughing at her. It was a high-tech lynching.

I had participated at first, but found it increasingly unfunny as the scene continued to play out. I was in IM with a friend who was also present. He grew upset before I did, and our conversation helped me understand early on that something horrible was happening.

I made a few feeble attempts to stop it, but the group dynamic was going strong and the lynching continued. So I IMed the victim and talked to her at length to make sure she understood she was being abused. She wound up friending me, which made me feel a bit guilty.

The more I process what happened, the more angry I become. I'm mad at the people who led the pack, I'm angry at the people who followed, I'm angry at whoever deformed her, and I'm angry at myself for not coming to my senses sooner and for not trying harder to stop the lynching.