Archive for the 'Adventures and Fun Places' Category

OOTD 20150505

I remember being in high school, bursting into tears, and telling my mother how I never wanted to grow up to be like her and my father. How staid. How conventional. How nowhere. Yeah, my mother didn’t really take it all that well. *grin* That’s what happens when you are an emotional teenage girl (is there any OTHER type of teenage girl??) who listened to Carly Simon’s oh-so-uplifing song “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be“.

I am here to tell you that wow – did I have it wrong. Middle age is GREAT. Hanging out with my husband who is also middle-aged (another stupid term by the way) is great. We made it. We’re here. Sure, there were a lot of not-great times, some really really bad times, and some wonderful times. But we’re here now and it’s good. Yes, oh teenage girl of my past. I love being who I am. I know what’s important and what’s not. When to get really upset and when to sigh and let things go. I wear what I want. I think how I want. I make my choices. Obviously there are compromises and there are those nagging icky chores and responsibilities. Those are choices I accepted.

I’ve been thinking this for awhile but a friend plurked this link: What NOT to Wear After Age 50. I saw that and thought – I’ll wear what I darn well please. And indeed, that’s what the article said. We made it to 50. The heck with what anyone else thinks I should wear.

So for all you youngins out there – don’t fret. Middle age is MUCH better than youth. Okay – maybe not the aches and pains and the a-bit-slower-to-stand-from-a-sitting-position. Seriously: Carly Simon had it all wrong. Go ahead. Choose Life that you may live. 🙂 It’s a better path.

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The Spirit of SL

dancing at the FogboundI have been determined to get inworld and visit some of the great seasonal sites as well as catch up – again – with friends. My day had been somewhat up and down. A VERY good up was news from my surgeon about my foot. *smile* His words were music to my ears: Push it Ahuva – USE that foot, wear shoes. At this point you’ll do more harm by NOT using than by OVER using it. Yes! Since I’d already managed to get into a pair of boots with 2.5 inch heels, that was both reward and incentive. *laughing* Those 2.5 inch heeled boots are my “flats”, btw.

fogbound at ChristmasLogging in I got more UP day. Hunter was on and we chatted for a bit. I don’t remember the last time we both were on with a few moments to relax and catch up. While we were saying “bon apetit” in parting, Patricia Anne logged in. Oh my, I don’t think PA and I have talked since perhaps the summer. Maybe even the spring. It seems like years. We had a great time chatting and catching up on both RL and SL. I’d been listening to Taunter while I chatted. She was singing at a formal attire venue so I had a chance to take one of my gowns out of inventory. 🙂 The risque brown one that would never ever work for me in the material world. Was lovely, as always, to listen to Taunter sing. When she was done, I headed to Fogbound, my home away from home when it’s NOT Friday night. (Then home away from home is Tribeca, of course.)

Once there, I saw more friends – Mae and Yanik. *smile* Bob was playing great Blues and the mood was perfect. Y joined me shortly after I arrived, so I got up to dance! We also had a LOT of catching up to do. I guess that’s true for me for all my friends. Since the last time I managed to get in was nearly 2 weeks ago, there’s a lot to cover.

Alessandra with the red boots onAs we danced I did the usual cam-around-the-room. I noticed a great looking pair of red boots. So nice, I thought I might like to find a pair for myself. I clicked on a boot and checked the object profile and took a screen shot for future reference. For the record: N&N City boots by candice OHare! I IM’d Alessandra, she of the lovely red boots, and told her I thought her boots were great! She said thank you and I said you’re welcome. I smiled, thought no more on it, and continued chatting with Y. Well. I saw an incoming box and checked. Alessandra had gifted me with a pair of the boots!!!!!! So generous! A simple compliment generating such a thoughtful gesture.

Yes, there may be griefing. Yes, there are trolls who announce unpleasant things in the local chat. Yes, SL has its share of not so pleasant beings. But SL also has the beautiful lovely people who reach out and make the world a happier place to be. Thank you SO much, Alessandra! You are a star!

Get on Your Bike and Ride

traveling afar
ready to ride
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Some days I want to get in my car and drive and drive and drive – just leave everything and everyone behind me. That’s not always very practical, however. Gas costs a lot, time constraints, guilt, you know – the regular mish-mash of mature reality. But I don’t have to be mature or sensible in SL. In Secondlife, I can ditch some of the constraints that I’m forced to acknowledge in my corporeal existence. Tonight, feeling a bit frustrated in several directions, I needed to ride. Thank you black-Kat Choppers for my Grifter Bike. 🙂

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heading into the sunset
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I came inworld and changed quickly into appropriate attire. It was a gorgeous day today – nearly perfect weather. I really wanted to just wear jeans and a tank top but I knew the wind would sting. So jeans and my leather jacket, leather boots. and some glasses to protect my eyes. Tie my hair back, (don’t need no stinkin’ helmet in SL), a pair of gloves and I was ready to ride.

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Museum of Fine Art
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I live near Rt. 12 – an easy hop over to the road. It took me a bit to remember the controls. Always helps to read the directions. 🙂 And I was off….. Ahhhhhhhhh……. Feel that motor purr……..

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yes it's ann marie oleander
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Of course, no SL road is complete without one of Ann Marie Oleandar’s vehicles on the road. HAH!!! I had to return a crashed tank that was resting on my land, but I left THIS particular tank waaaaaaay behind. Eat my dust!!!! Or smoke, as the case may be.

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road needs pruningI have to say that sim crossings have gotten MUCH better. Yes, I vanished through the road, or careened madly about in the air, but I always found myself righted and ready to ride on. And ride on I did. On and on and on and on. Lalo and I had driven quite aways along Rt 12, but we never made it as far as I went tonight.

curious and curioser.

Tonight I went to the end of the road and back. 🙂 Without any elves or goblins or hobbits. The road gets a bit bumpy there at the end, and there is a lot of low-hanging foliage. But there are some beautiful sights. There is even a visitors’ center. I may have to head on back there some time and check it out.

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to boldly go
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The chopper did the trick. I had the purr of the engine, the sights of the scenery, the adventure to the end of the road. The frustrating situations are still there, I’m sure, but at least I escaped them for a bit and feel as though I’ve left them far far behind.

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sunset

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As Scarlett would say, tomorrow is another day. Bring it on.
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Altruism Pays Off

L+N Signature DesignsSeveral weeks ago I was shopping with a friend. She’d not been inworld in quite a bit and we were cruising steampunk locations to see what was new since her last go-round. We found ourselves at L+N Signature Designs admiring the fantastic vehicles as well as the clothing. She admired the way-cool Steampunk Giro-cycle but it didn’t appear to be for sale. 😦 I sent an IM to the builder, brgn.halberstam. Hunting at -BHD-Duquesa DesignsI got a lovely reply, explaining that the Giro-cycle was not for sale because it had been created for the Steam the Hunt 8 hunt taking place March 1-31. I made a note of that, thinking that we could do the hunt in an effort to get the Giro-cycle.

I started off on the hunt last night. I’m on vacation this week. My original plans were changed and I found myself with lots of free time. Wow. I don’t remember the last time I had unscheduled days. I thought that I might try to do the hunt. I’m usually abysmal at these hunts. If I didn’t have a friend along with me to help me find the clues and the prizes, I’d never move past the first stop. Hunting at The Steam RoseThis time, however, I began to get a feel for why hunts are so popular. As usual the first location was making me feel stupid, with a seeing disorder. But after finally stumbling on the prize, the whole hint concept began to feel clearer. I had my camera range waaaaaay long, something I’d never done in the past. I would cam all the way out, and see the general area. It’s taken me years to learn to use my camera more efficiently (yes, literally years). I started to have success. It was – fun. Imagine that. Fun. 🙂 I came back in this morning and continued the same way. Ultimately I hit a location where no matter what I tried, I could not find the item. I thought “so what”. What I’d never realized before was that the hunts publish a list of SLURLS for people like me – so even if we can’t find the prize with the next location, we can jump to the next location anyway. We don’t have to drop out because of one unfound prize.

oura and ahuva on their steampunk giro-cyclesSince I was by myself, and had no time restrictions, I took the time to do what the hunts intend – look around the stores and perhaps shop. I nearly bought a steampunk throne/chair but decided it was a bit too large for someone hoping to down-size her property prims. I did get a VERY nifty pair of red boots and had a lovely chat with the store owner. Be sure to head over to –BHD-/Duquesa Designs and check out the -BHD- Aliz boots and chat with Renata Constantine (renate.marchionne) of Duquesa Designs.

the machine guns workI picked up some new deck chairs as well – I’ve had the old ones for several years now. I loved the rose pattern on Emma’s 1-prim Lush Roses Deck Chair at Emma’s @ Blue Moose. And along the way I picked up a sundress at CERO Style. That was a difficult purchase because I wanted SEVERAL dresses there. 🙂 I finally decided on the ;;;Helene;;;; in cream.

Aliz bootsBy the time I made it over to L+N Signature Design, Oura had joined me. We were there for over an hour, admiring the creations, the elevator the clothes, the ambiance, the hair. We did indeed find the Giro-cycle. *grin* We both bought new steampunk outfits (check them out in the pictures above). We got the gift hair, Duality, as well. Flush with all our new goodies, we headed home to change and take the cycles out for a spin. *laughing* Okay – although it was fun, it was NOT easy. We both crashed at sim crossings and had to reboot. We ended up in my neighbor’s house and got invited to join the land group. 🙂 We got the hang of it, though, and headed down the road. I was feeling quite confident by the time I added the HUD and started firing my machine gun. Well. Who KNEW that I could set fire to the berm? /me looks about guiltily, but with my hand still on the trigger. relaxing in my new Helene dress on my Emma chair Once the smoke cleared, we headed off to hunt again!

All of these goodies for ME! Just because I wanted to buy a present for a friend. 🙂

Winter = SL

getting ready for the holidayThe temperature is dropping. (Okay, not today and tomorrow – we’re supposed to hit 65. But it DID snow last week.) Christmas music is on the radio. My neighbors turned on their holiday lights. Thanksgiving has come and gone (leaving a LOT of extra weight in its trail 😦 ). So that means it must be winter. I notice that I seem to be logging in to SL a lot more than I’ve done in the past few months. Is it the weather? Is it that FL things have settled down a bit? I don’t know why exactly, but I do seem to be logging more time inworld.

Yesterday I responded to a call for avatars – human and dressed in vintage clothing. That seemed simple enough. I got Calli to help me with the clothing. She took me to Old Time Prims. VERY cool store. I bought several outfits AND hair. Yes, I know. I actually bought different hair. Let’s face it. My usual Ahuva hair is NOT vintage. After we were dressed I took Calli with me to the call. *grin* Once there we were sworn to secrecy, bound with horrific oaths, and basically warned with dire and drastic punishments if I told you what we did. I would tell you anyway, understand, but then I’d have to kill you (as the saying goes) and I’ve grown rather fond of you. *grin* So all I can say is tune in to Honour.

Blue prezziesOn the other hand I CAN tell you about the nifty gifts I received at a concert. I went to hear Taunter Goodnight at Effie’s Designs’ Christmas party. Effie had a gift box near the stage. You can see all the fun things she had packed into: a fireplace, a blanket, a lamp, a chair. Bamboo claimed the chair of course. 🙂

Speaking of prezzies, Calli always thinks of me. She understands that Christmas is not my holiday, even though I DO enjoy the excitement. So I have my first Chanukah gift – my VERY cool Chanukiah Hat. You can’t see in the above photo(because I’m too lazy to figure out again how to make a video) but the dreidels actually spin (turn). 🙂 I love it. It certainly does make a statement, doesn’t it? If you wish to make a Chanukah statement, you can find the [TMH] Chanukah Top Hat at The Mad Hattery.

thinking about the holidaysSo after spending hours, yes HOURS, inworld, I needed to settle down and contemplate the upcoming holidays. I need Chanukah candles. I should probably think about a holiday card. I wonder if the ducks will cooperate this year; some years they have been quite unobliging. Are there any good holiday parties going on? I wonder if I can convince Prad to do a reunion again this year…….

SL SF


So how cool is this: the fifth annual Second Life Science Fiction convention. I had no idea there was such a thing, but now I do, thanks to Inara Pey, who posted about it today. There are real-life TV and film actors attending and speaking. It’s highly unlikely I will get there myself, but I hope I can. (I have much less time to be in SL now that I started a new job. OTOH, I’m having a lot of fun learning about/doing SocBiz. 🙂 Always a tradeoff.)

Anyway, Inara has all the details, and slurls and advice. I suggest you check out her post. Beam me up!

Crystal Ball Musings

I’m not very good at predicting ‘THE FUTURE’. You know – what will be a hit, what life will be like in 3 years, much less 10 years. I have a mom’s sense of the future: if you try to carry all those things at once you’re going to drop something. My vision tends to be personal and short-term. I really thought virtual worlds were about to burst into the big time. I was lining up my career to be a part of it. I guess I was blinded by the light of my love. Not only didn’t it happen, but it seems to have receded nearly out of sight (for me). I think about this chain of events and wonder, as so many others do, why it hasn’t happened. I still believe that one of the major issues is that there are no tools (or almost no tools) available for the business or corporate user to access in SecondLife or OpenSim. Things may have changed, since I am out of touch, but if the applications were present, I think I’d know from (1) blogs/Twitter/chat and (2) Virtual Worlds would be gaining positive publicity and hype. Obviously, other people have other ideas as to what is and isn’t happening and why.

A little while ago, many in the SecondLife Premium User community were introduced to a new SL offering called Premium Wilderness. I was involved in my own personal issues at the time and didn’t head over there but I read several of the posts and tweets about it. As you would expect, easily 50% of the comments hated it and 48% of the comments were neutral and I will guess that 2% dared to like it. But one of my favorite things to do in SL is go to sims where someone has taken the time and effort to make rides and interactive environments – like going to an amusement park. Or – perhaps more similar – like the interactive computer books and games my son played when he was a wee little thing. So I took a quick trip there. It has possibilities. Having been in SL now for almost 4 years, I have to say that I think some of the effects were very nice. Others – not so much. It could have been me, but not one of the objects on which I tried to sit had a pose that fit. That was disappointing. I did really like the sound effects. 🙂

I understand the frustration of folks who think all of LL’s efforts should be on improving their existing product. I have to tell you – software development doesn’t really work like that. My group – oops, my former group – has been successful through 3 major take-overs because we were NEVER just working on what we had – we were ALWAYS developing the NEXT thing. We (they) are here and many many others who started with us are not here. Yes, it’s very, very hard to fix bugs, add enhancements and design new applications. But that’s what the good software developers do. I was liaison with support and with the clients – I DO understand the client experience and emotions.

Quite soon after the furor over Wilderness Experience was quieting down, Arianne Barnes (who I consider to be one of the most insightful virtual world bloggers around) posted on 3D Virtual Worlds vs MMORPGs. Arianne hit on one of the factors that SL devotees believe is KEY: User created content: “Basically, everything that makes 3D Virtual Worlds popular, can now be found in MMORPGs too, except user created content.” She goes on to say: “The MMOs are incorporating the stuff that makes 3DVWs popular. If they are to survive, the 3DVWs need to start incorporating what makes MMOs popular.” This makes a great deal of sense to me. I DO recommend you read the entire post, not just my excerpts here. Arianne is pro-3DVWs. She is not one of the many crying “the sky is falling, the sky is falling”. As a matter of fact, she points to LL Realms as a way Linden Lab is incorporating the popular MMO features. Virtual worlds are big enough for all of us – content designers, socializers and gamers.

While I have been pondering on how I wanted to approach this subject, Tateru Nino (another of my favorite bloggers and sources of information) posted about two MMOGs that ALLOW for user created content. It’s not quite the same as how it is done in SL, of course, but it’s happening. Maybe this is the mirror-image for Wilderness Experience? Of course, it may be late for both MMORPGs and 3DVWs – Facebook is neither of those and yet somehow the same (for some people. NOT me. DO NOT shoot me, folks). Facebook is pulling more people into their phones and off their powerful computer graphics cards. Prokofy Neva posted recently that Facebook is not only harming television, but that “The mobile phone is the new virtual world.” Prokofy mentions that Facebook pulls in those people who do NOT like being an avatar (my manager was among those) and people who do not like being anonymous and faceless (many of my engineering/scientist coworkers were among that demographic).

So where are we going? I don’t know. I still think that virtual worlds are going to become more mainstream, that corporations will utilize them more than is done in the present. I think that what we have now, however, is not going to be what becomes mainstream. I think we are evolving. I don’t think that “The Future” will be a hybrid of Facebook/3DVW/MMORPGs replacing all 3 of those constructs. I think there will be some other sort of synthesis – 3DVWs and MMORPGs. But of course, as I’ve already said – my crystal ball is usually opaque. *grin*


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