Tuesday, June 16, 2015

RL Thoughts Intrude: My To-Do List

Whimsy's sun can be brutal. Until I can get to the CVS for virtual sunscreen I'm wearing long sleeves. Photo by Sweetie.

OMG! I can't remember the last time I changed the oil in the engine of the little train that runs around Whimsy. Or lubricated the wheels.

Need to buy some sunscreen to protect me from Whimsy's fierce UV rays.

Can't remember if my property liability insurance payment is overdue. Whimsy has a lot of visitors and I wouldn't want to be sued if one of them fell into Pele's caldera or was eaten by the piranha.

Out of toothpaste and deodorant. Reminder: stock up.

Wash your dirty clothes, Cheyenne!

Can't remember the day of the week for garbage collection day.

Take my flying car to shop for tune-up.

Schedule annual check-up with AGP (avatar general physician).

Search the grid for a CVS pharmacy.

Buy stamps.

Get registered to vote for next Second Life CEO.

Shine all my shoes.

There. That should just about do it.

Whimsy's Sim Neighbors Going Away, Probably

The Forsaken Sim, ca early 2007. My property is at bottom left; you can see the house Sweetie built for me and the volcano Pele. Leaf's property is at lower right. Her formal estate soon gave way to tropical silliness; I'm afraid Sweetie and I were baaaad influences. Dodgeguy Woodward lived at upper left. He was another great neighbor.
Back in 2006, when I bought my first parcel in Second Life, my sim neighbor was Leaf Shermer. Over a period of several years of drama and turmoil from an assortment of neighbors in Dreamland, I bought a sim-- and so did Leaf. Once again, she was just to our south. Her sim was named Eccentricity.

Our initial thought-- both of us-- was to have but a single sim each, but ill timing of our purchases soon left us each with a second sim, a new type of sim, a homestead. That happened because not a week after we bought our regions the Lindens dropped the setup price from $1500 USD to $1000. By way of compensation they gave us each a homestead with three months free tier. That's how we got Whimsy Kaboom. and how Leaf got her homestead Whimcentricity.

For most of the past five years we've had a block of six sims, three owned by me and three owned by Leaf. Leaf was kind enough to share Whimcentricity with us and rented the homestead Whimsical Mischief from me; in addition she owned a second homestead, Idiosyncracy.

We had great times and a zillion visitors to our asian- and island-themed sims-- but then Leaf, for personal reasons, became unable to log into Second Life.

She kept her regions up for two years, bless her heart, but I suspect she had made a decision to pull the plug. Having three regions is expensive and when you can't enjoy them...

Leaf's regions are offline and I expect they will soon be gone forever. She might still decide to keep them going, but I doubt she will. I certainly wouldn't. From now on it seems there will be just two sims in our little block-- Whimsy and Whimsy Kaboom.

Leaf was a great person and is a great neighbor. We had a lot of fun times with her and we miss her terribly. I hope at some future time she will be able to come back into the world. When she does there will certainly be space and prims for her on Whimsy.

Leaf, we love you!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Another Second Life Partnership Leads to First Life Marriage

On Thursday, April 23, the humans behind the avatars Cheyenne Palisades and (the ever elusive) Sweetie tied the knot in Rockland County, New York. That's me on the right.

My sister and Sweetie's parents were in attendance and served as witnesses.

I'm now catching up, writing about what's been going on with us and why we've not been in world much.


In more than 2000 posts on this blog I have been extraordinarily careful with Sweetie's real life name and even her avatar's name (although anyone can find out the latter just by looking at my avie's profile). I am breaking with tradition just this once to let people know Second Life can be transformative of our first lives.

Harsh Weather

Shopping Cart Traffic Jam at Home Depot
So, what transpired during my period of absence from this blog? Lots, cumulating with my marriage.
Days after I arrived in New Jersey, winter set in in earnest. The jet stream veered to the south and the resulting front dumped a foot-and-a-half of snow on us. Temperatures plummeted and stayed below freezing for some six weeks. Occasionally it would venture above freezing in the middle of the day, but there was little melt-off and it would snow every few days. Thankfully, though, after getting slammed that first time the heaviest snow would hit toward the north or south or west.

Snow staying on the ground was something out of my experience. In the warmer climes where I had always lived roads would be bad for only a day or two and the snow would be gone not long after that. Now there was perpetual snow.

It took hours to shovel ourselves out after each snow, even with the help of the electric snow blower we had just purchased. We spread salt liberally and even though we had salt delivered, we had to frequently venture to Home Depot for more.

A huge ice dam formed on the eaves near the front door. A ton or more of ice threatened to bring down the gutters and there was risk of the house flooding when it melted. I hadn't even known what an ice dam was!

Road crews did a great job of keeping our street passable, but shoveling snow and chipping ice was a daily chore. Our cars were repeatedly covered with ice, but thanks to a Christmas present from Sweetie's parents, our windshields were kept clear-- so long as we remembered to attach the plastic screen they had given us. We weren't lacking for food or warmth and were snowbound only infrequently and for short times, but everything was inconvenient. The mud room at the front of the house was a mess, fill with shovels, brooms, snow blower, salt, boots, wet mats, and broadcast spreader, and we were unable to dry it out. The layers cardboard we had put down on the walkways during the load-in was frozen to the concrete-- nor could we keep the stoop clear of ice. Stepping outside was a perpetual adventure.

It was a full six weeks before the weather began to improve, and only since the first of May has it begun to look like spring here.

Wall of Car Wash 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bad Moving Experience

Moving these days is not a trivial undertaking. That's because the carload of belongings from college days has somehow multiplied into a load sized for a moving van. It no longer fits into even the largest U-Haul truck. If I moved via U-Haul, I discovered, I would have to drive north in a 26-foot truck, fly back to Atlanta, head north in a second truck, and fly back again to get my car. Not great.

Rather than a full service moving company I opted for You-Pack. I rented a 26-foot trailer, loaded it, and rented about a third of a second trailer for the remainder of my stuff. Professional drivers would take them north.

I hired loaders through U-Haul's Moving Help subsidiary. They did a great job on the many boxes I had packed, but turned into animals when it came to the furniture. They refused to disassemble my metal desk and waterbed pedestal (which has 12 drawers) and moved them still together, and worse, in their effort to show everything would fit on the first trailer, loaded it so full they were unable to put U-Pack's load-holding partition into place. I let that stand because the trailer was packed so tight I figured the load would ride just fine.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

The second trailer, which was filled with boxes I had in storage, made the trip just fine. The first trailer, however, was a hot mess.

I'm not certain just what happened on the trip, but I can only assume the driver unhooked the trailer and rolled it down every hill between Georgia and New Jersey. The entire load was upside down. My antique tiger oak Stickley-style library table was smashed do kindling, my desk, which I had used since 1978, was twisted like a pretzel, and all my furniture had taken damage to the wood. The gas tank from my cute little 1971 Honda CL70, which had been pristine, wound up upside-down inside its box with the beautiful silver metallic paint ruined by gasoline. The entire load, and consequently our house, smelled of house for weeks until we had tracked down and removed the boxes that had absorbed the odor.

Before the Move
I had had to suck it up about the damage-- mainly because of the partition not being in place. Still, an ABF driver somewhere deserves and ass-kicking,and I hope he or she gets it. The driving had to be rough beyond imagining for so much havoc to have been wreaked.

The Honda's gas tank has been repainted and I'm due to pick it up. I found a library table exactly like mine on eBay at a great price and purchased it. I'll use it for a desk when we get my home office set up.

The house was a jumble of boxes and broken things which Sweetie and I have been slowly returning to order.

My Stuff Arrives

My household belongings arrived in the middle of the harsh weather-- after dark and in a trailer so tall it knocked down a neighbor's cable line and I got to meet the police. The trailer was forbidden to return and I had to rent a U-Haul truck and pay movers to transfer and then unload and carry in my stuff. Several hundred trips in and out on a slushy day made a mess of the floors. Fortunately, Sweetie had researched floor protection and we installed layers of 3M sheet plastic and stiff paper on the floor in the days before the move, so there was no damage to the house.

My belongings were another story.

Monday, April 27, 2015

I Leave Atlanta for New Jersey

At 12:30 pm on January 27 I left Atlanta with the top down and wearing sandals on my feet. I was headed for my new home in northern New Jersey.

I arrived at 9 pm on the 28th. It was six degrees F. and the wind was howling. Fortunately, I had stopped along the way to put on closed shoes and my heaviest coat. Still, I almost froze to death just unloading my car.

My house in Atlanta was under contract and my belongings were in transit. I was in NJ to stay.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Our sim neighbor Leaf Shermer has been absent from Second Life for about two years now. Her reasons are personal. I don't understand them, but I respect her decision to stay out of world-- and I REALLY respect her for keeping her sims in SL while she has been away.

The other day Leaf left a message for me, saying her sims will be disappearing within the next few weeks. That means we will say goodbye to her full sim Eccentricity and homesteads Idiosyncrasy, and Whimcentricity, Our homestead Whimsical Mischief, which Leaf has been renting, will go away as well. In this case I know just when it will disappear, for tier for Mischief is due on the 4th of February.

I will especially miss Whimcentricity, where our amazing glaciers live. Perhaps we will relocate them to Whimsy Kaboom.

Do yourself a favor and visit W-C while it's still in world.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cardboard Igloo

I've been packing my house for more than three weeks now and finally I'm finished (except for the things I am holding off on until just before closing-- namely my desk and computer and waterbed). Closing has been pushed back and will probably happen around the 20th.

Boxes are everydamnwhere. For weeks now I've had the feeling I'm living in a cardboard igloo. Above is the view from my desk. Every room in the house looks much the same.

I've not been in a head space to work on serious projects on Whimsy, but Sweetie and I go dancing a couple of times a week and hang around Whimsy. Sweetie has a new favorite plant designer and has been replacing old-style plants with new mesh, low land impact vegetation. Here she's adjusting a palm; that's me in the distance, behind the big Animania dragonfly.

Here are some temp-on-rez dragonflies from Botanical. They're tiny and hard to catch on camera, but Sweetie's patient and managed to get this shot.

I mostly sit and watch her work. Here we are sitting on a bench near Whimsy's swamp. In keeping with Sweetie's strict espionage-agents-cannot-have-their-faces-appear-in-the-media policy, I have cropped her image.

Just before she took the photo, Sweetie had tweaked the bench, changing its color from green to brown.

In a couple of short weeks I will be headed to New Jersey with all my worldly possessions in a 26-foot U-Haul truck-- but for now, Second Life and Skype are great ways spend time with Sweetie, who is happily getting adjusted to our new house.