Jun 29, 2008

House-warming Party Doesn't Crash!

So the much-awaited party took place this weekend, with a host of guests turning up for periods of time ranging from three minutes to three hours. It has to be one of the safest parties in Second Life because at on point we must have had almost all the Second Life off-duty Police Department there! Here, me and Mony rez our guitars and rock out to whatever was playing at the time!

One of our guests took an aerial shot of us all dancing on the bedroom balcony. Yes, it does double up as a dance floor with a cool dance ball.

A big thanks to all of you who could make it; and a promise to all who couldn't that we'll arrange another one in the near future!

Jun 25, 2008

The Man Statue: Natoma

After hearing from two different sources about the existence of something called The Man Statue, Mony and I decided to go find it.

"It all started back in the Alpha stage of Second Life (then Linden World) when Linden Lab wanted to test a new rendering engine, how feasible a city scape would be, and other general content testing. This city was built in Natoma before any non-employee users had logged into SL and was not named but often referred to as "Linden Town" or "Linden City". The town/city contained many buildings (mostly unfurnished and low texture usage), a small park-like town square with a fountain, and roads all through it. The city also had a statue in its town square behind a "City Hall". The statue turned out of course to be "The Man" built by a content developer (oldjohn Linden) hired at the time by LL (in 2002)." (Second Life WiKia)

Go to the Natoma region to find the statue, and you'll also find the Ivory Tower of Prims.

The Super Sekret Sex Diary of Philip Linden

Satire is not dead. It's not even remotely ill. In fact, it can be seen romping around gleefully at the Second Life Herald, a last bastion of ribaldry and insensitivity read by thousands. For whatever reason, the editor, Pixeleen Mistral, posted it without the Sigmund Leominster byline. My best guess is that it adds to the faux authenticity if it appears to be by Philip himself.

The story can be read on many levels. I leave you to decide which one works best for you. Check out The Super Sekret Sex Diary of Philip Linden.

Jun 24, 2008

Dinner and a Movie - or SLTV

The house is nearly done. Mony has worked ceaselessly to create a low-prim kitchen and is succeeding. And along with the kitchen is a new breakfast bar with a couple of chairs - also designed by Mony and also single-prim object.

So when I arrived, Mony - so precious - had made dinner! Here we are in a bundle of colored dots 300 meters above a pixelated grid in a house made of primitive objects at a table with lobster, pizza, iced tea, and cake. The wine is in the fridge!

After our first dinner in the house, we sat and watched TV - we were trying to catch a re-run of the Paisley Beebe show that include a shot of a ruthed-out me hovering across the audience. It was, unfortunately, an older show, where Paisley was interviewing a frog and a fox. I could be wrong, it might have been a toad and a cat.

Whichever way you look at it, the whole experience was simultaneously bizarre and mundane. Both outrageous and normal.

Wonder what's for dinner tomorrow?

Jun 23, 2008

A Balloon Trip - But Not THE Balloon!

Earlier this month I mentioned that the Ambleside balloon tour was back and that caused me some excitement. But so far I haven't taken the flight and I suppose it will happen at some point. In the meantime, Mony and I discovered another balloon ride, complete with a bottle of champagne.

If you want to take the same trip, you need to go to Full Moon island. Enjoy.

Jun 22, 2008

The New New House is Up

Only a couple of weeks ago I talked about the new house. Well, since then it has become the new new house! Wearing her "Builder" hat, Mony has done some creative changes to the place and worked furiously to make it more customized. She's opened up the ground floor so we can add a kitchen and extended the bedroom to give even more space.

And not only have we changed the house but physically moved it. My friend Lillianna Bailey is extended her land space and I am/was her neighbor. So aided by London Sim Director Timber Oceanlane, this Saturday afternoon Timber dragged the entire house some 400 meters to my new plot. Lillianna is still my neighbor but she has more space now. And hey, I just want by skypad up in clouds and have no real concern about the land it is sitting on.

As you can see above, the front of the house is similar, but there is a bedroom extension. Take a peek at the top right room where you see the bed; that's a new room. But the side of the house is more dramatic, where Mony has added angled glass walls in an almost pyramidal style.

We still have work to do. Decor, furniture, art, and a party. But we have time ;)

Jun 18, 2008

A Night with a Supermodel

I think I may have mentioned that my girlfriend is a supermodel. It's true. She is Miss Latin Dreams 2008 and has the tiara and sash to prove it. And being a supermodel, it's important that she look glamorous as often as possible. This also means I have to make an effort not to dress like a total slob because what supermodel wants to hang out with a guy who looks like a hobo. So on Monday night, we met up with ace photographer, Seikatsu Koba, who took Mony on a photoshoot. I, of course, simply stood around and watched.

At one stage, we were at Seik's studios and Mony slipped into one of her more devastatingly distracting items: the red Ritz dress from Simone. my oh my, what a distraction! Take a look at the picture below - make sure you click for full screen.

I know that in SL we are just bundles of pixels but this pic has to rank as one of the most delightful bundles of pixels in the Metaverse. I think this one goes down in my scrap book as one of my new favorites. Now all I have to do is keep fighting the guys away. Sigh. It's tough being a supermodel's companion.

Jun 15, 2008

The Art Connoisseur

Not only can I spell it but I believe I am it - a connoisseur. Defined by Mr. Webster as "one who enjoys with discrimination and appreciation of subtleties," I admit to having a love of fine art paintings. Admittedly there are certain styles and techniques I prefer to others but I do spend money on art books and art galleries. Whenever I travel in the world, I try to ensure a trip to a local museum. I boast that I have almost been thrown out of the Prado in Madrid and the Art Gallery of Southern Australia in Adelaide, on both occasions for taking photos.

Second Life allows me to indulge this little passion by providing me with the opportunity to create my own private collection of paintings that I no longer need to work out how to steal in Real Life. I already have one wall of my house dedicated to some of my favorite pieces, and there are more walls to cover. Each painting is one prim so I cannot have a viewable collection of more than about 150 items because my land has a finite number of allowable prims and I at least need walls -although in a surreal way I suppose I could just hang them in air and use ALL my prims for paintings.

My collection contains primarily J.W. Waterhouse and John Collier. In a sense, I would like to recreate in-world the entire contents of my favorite web site, ArtMagick. In fact, if I can convince the site owner to part with some cash, I would be happy to enter a joint project to build a spectacular Second Life museum of Art, which could house an awesome collection. I suspect that there would be some minor copyright issues (!!) but then I can dream, can't I?

Meanwhile I can sit in my favorite Cuddle Chair, turn in the radio, and sit back while looking at my art. Cool, huh?

Jun 13, 2008

The Balloon is Back!

It may seem odd that someone would get excited about the return of an object in Second Life but count me as odd. After months of non-existence, the balloon at the "Balloon Tour" in Ambleside has made a reappearance. Sure it is little different in design but we no longer have the absurdity of a balloonless balloon tour!

I tried to work out why I felt so happy about its return and I guess it is because it represents some element of stability in an ever-changing virtual world. After six months of Second Life I realize that a good number of friends on my "Friend's List" no longer visit SL, and the number of close friends has reduced. A quick glance at the "Landmarks" folder also reads like a history book of lost places: Club Hades, The Rock, Speakeasy - all the clubs of my youth and all gone. And even The Merry Inn has become Merry Inn 2 with a shift from the medieval tavern to a goth hang out. Things change.

And change is endemic on Second Life. Get used to it. All we can do it hold on to some symbols of permanence. Like the balloon. Like our friends. Like Mony.

Jun 12, 2008

FreeLife Article: Men's Style @ Redgrave

Issue 19 of FreeLife magazine is out and it contains my latest article, Redgrave: Sin With Style. I won't just paste in the article here because that's plain boring, so feel free to click on the link above to download the excellent PDF version. Suffice to say that there are some cool clothes on offer and if you want to get rid of some of your hard-earned (bought) lindens, the nice folks at Redgrave are only too happy to help.

I have one of their sweaters, a black stripy number, but other options are available.

I also like the dotted shirts with open collar and skinny ties, much more interesting than some plain old things in plain old colors.

Go shop.

Redgrave: SLurl:secondlife://SANDS Island 1/170/100/24/

Jun 7, 2008

The New House Is Up

After receiving my latest paycheck for an article in SLentrepreneur, I decided to wait no longer and buy my new house. The trickiest part was doing the math to find the center of my platform. For some peculiar reason, I kept adding 16 to 96 and getting 102. Despite adding it a few times, the same wrong answer kept coming up. Go figure! The good news is that although I did the calculation a few times and repeatedly got the wrong answer, an inner thought kept telling me something was wrong. And eventually I worked it out. 112, not 102.

Once my short-term dyscalculia had been cured, I dropped the rezzer at the middle of the platform, flew up in the sky, clicked the rez button, and watched the house build itself. Pretty cool.

Although the house takes up the space that was previously a large deck, their is now lots of patio space around it that takes its place. There's space for a small garden, a hot tub, chairs and tables, and even a rear patio for those quiet times.

The trick now is to find those low-prim furniture items that I can add to create the perfect habitat for the wild SL journalist and his supermodel girlfriend.

Jun 6, 2008

Music Music Music

Now I own my own land and have total control over the Media settings, I got myself a radio. After careful research, I opted for the Alvargi Signature Internet Radio, a marvel at one prim and access to hundreds of radio stations.

The really cool feature is that you can search by genre and artist. I typed in the string "/21 search Prog" and up popped 40 stations offering Progressive Rock. Similarly, typing "/21 search George Michael" listed all his songs currently being played. Amazing. You can edit the defaults to add you own favorites.

Almost set for party party party!!

Jun 1, 2008

Too Busy To Blog

In the space of just over a week, I made the transition from Basic account to Premium. Or to put it another way, after six months of free Second Life living, I've started to pay money. And what drove this was the prospect of being homeless.

Currently, I have been renting my beloved skypad from Timber Oceanlane, a major player in the London sim. As a friend, Timber has been real good at letting me have a low rent and the house he provided suited my needs perfectly. But he has reached the stage that his involvement with the London sim is taking up all his time, so he has little time left to manage his land ownership.

So he decided to sell.

Being a decent chappie, he offered me first refusal on the plot, 1024 sq. meters of low-lag land in Root Squared. But to own land meant becoming a premium account owner. Up until this point, I'd been paying my way via earnings - I get paid enough as a writer in SL to afford my lifestyle. I had no desire to own land so renting has been just fine.

But I have come to love my skypad. It is "me" in there. The decor is just how I want it and I have a place to retreat to at any time. I've even done interview there - low lag and no interruptions.

I took the plunge. $72 for a one-year account is hardly going to break the bank; I can drink that at Starbucks over a week, or in two nights at the pub. Add to that the bargain price for the land, this all means I can now have a permanent location that won't be sold.

I said I love my skypad. I do. But I also want more wall space for more art. I fancy having a small art collection. So Mony and I went house shopping for something similar to my current place but with more space. And as my current house was designed by Brombo Alonzo, owner of Bobz Designs (SLurl:http://slurl.com/secondlife/Janni/155/63/21), I decided to go see what he had on offer.

Oh what fun! Brombo has a sky platform where you can rez all his houses and stroll through them at your leisure. And we rezzed a few. The one we settled on was the Jana 1.5 - the one without the built-in pool. Why not the pool? Well, the house has lots of patio space and I already have a great hot tub with lots of special features, courtesy of La Belle Vie furniture store, so I can pop that on there.

There's lots more wall space, two extra rooms, and, as I said, lots of balcony and patio space. So pretty soon, we'll be throwing a party to celebrate the new house and the new land. Look out for the invites!