Flying With The Tarn and Camera Mistake

November 28, 2009

I met Drax and we went over to a sandbox, Alphonso Pidgeon had kindly given Drax one of his Slea-z-boy chairs and we were looking forward to trying it out.  Drax looked relaxed in the chair as he put it through its paces. 

He suddenly thought it might be a good idea to fly the tarn again, the Gorean bird that he hasn’t practiced with for some time.  It’s a giant vicious looking black bird with nasty talons and a sharp beak.  As we intended flying over a Gorean city I put my new Freewoman Dress on (it’s lovely, pale blue and very floaty, plus you get the headdress with it too).  Off we sped and soon arrived over the rooftops of Thentis.

Drax soon got the hang of the tarn, turning and twisting above the city, it was a smooth ride, the tarn screeched and you could hear it’s wings flapping as it gained height.  Eventually Drax brought it down safely within the city walls and he jumped off.  I followed but landed near the vicious beak of the tarn who tried to bite  and scratch me with his huge talons, what a bad-tempered bird!

(You may notice I have blocked part of the pictures out with a blue square.  I took loads of pictures over the day and had forgotten to untick the bit on the camera that shows the interface of chat boxes and text, so it was a bit of a disaster.  There’s a real lesson to be learned for me to make sure I put the camera controls back the way they were at the end of using the camera to shoot the interface (I use it to photograph some pictures taken in-world).  I had a whole day of nearly wasted pictures.)

After Drax put the tarn back in its cage we decided to go to Avilion, which was great, as I already had my long dress on.  The Avilion ballroom is so pretty and we had a couple of dances until we had to return to real life.


Swine Flu at CNN and Lively Week!

November 22, 2009

I’d put in a couple of stories to CNN last week and went over to the meeting last Tuesday and Nicole Saidi the CNN Producer was already there waiting for the others to arrive.  Nicole is usually very pushed for time, as she meets us in-world while she is at work at the CNN Headquarters in Atlanta, so she often has to dash off if a story breaks.  She told me that she was actually at home ill, as she had swine flu and a bad throat, so it was good of her to make it into SL at all, being that she was not very well.  As the others arrived it was quite a good meeting, however, I think most of them thought that the meeting slot was 2pm SLT like it used to be, and not 1.30pm SLT, so many arrived late.  We thanked Nicole for giving us her time in spite of her being at home, and I hope she is feeling better.

You might wonder what it’s like working with a very rowdy bunch of virtual reporters in SL, well I can tell you it’s not easy!  I have to keep Ed and Hibiscus in check all the time or they run riot!!  Things came to a head the other day when they decided to have a medieval duel in our office in Virtual Kensington, I just ducked out of the way as Ed swing his hammer and Hib drew her lethal looking sword!! 

Max the Siamese kitten is used to Ed and Hib sparring in the office, he knows they are only joking around and he loves them both, Ed sent me a picture of Max who had found a warm spot on his shoulder to go to sleep, awww cute!

I went over to the Jazz club in Kensington to see what was going on and there were some people enjoying the evening there.  I met up with Gerr Finesmith and we had a bit of a dance, it’s a nice club with some good music and I hope it’s a big success for Almo Skytower who runs it!

Been chatting to Debs Regent a bit this week and I told her about Johnnytreadlightly Nightfire’s castle so I met her over there and we had a little look around, she was amazed at the detail.  I could imagine a copy of the Tower of London would be really great in Virtual London, complete with ghosts, lol, but the Tower of London is in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, a long way away from the areas covered by Virtual London, shame though!

Debs had to return to real life and I went back to chase some more stories for the coming week.


Johnny’s Castle Furniture Gives My Home A Makeover!

November 18, 2009

After I wrote about Johnnytreadlightly Nightfire’s fabulous castle that he is selling, I asked him if I might have some furniture and Johnny was lovely,  giving me enough to do my entire house out.  It wasn’t easy though, as I have a modern beach house, but luckily I can modify the walls and flooring to change the textures.  I left the outside the same as it fits into the island surroundings, but set about darkening the interior and adding wood and stonework to the walls. 

The furniture is absolutely beautiful, you can adjust your sitting poses on the chairs and couches.  Drax came over and he liked the new look, we tried the pair of the chairs out, you would use as thrones in the castle, and the poses suited us very well for male and female roles.

The remarkable thing is that Johnny uses sculptie stuff and all the pieces of furniture are either one or two prims.  The big red bed is only three prims, what a difference to the prim loaded furniture that I usually buy.

One of the nicest things is a seat that goes with the vanity unit, you sit there and you can brush your hair, the animation is really well done, you click the seat and find you are offered the hairbrush, then it looks so real as you brush your hair.

Thanks Johnny! I have really made good use of your furniture and love the look of the house, it was due for a change of style and this is great!

Max the Cat Thinks for Himself and Nice Time at the Cafe.

November 13, 2009

My little cat Max, the Siamese kitten that Drax gave to me, has been running around our shop in SL Kensington, even when I’ve not been there he has been carrying on and keeping Hibiscus company.  Well he often falls asleep in the middle of the floor, turns over with his little fat belly in the air and snores loudly!  I went into the shop the other day and sat on one of the couches as Max snored away, so I decided to wake him up by calling him over.  I was astonished when he actually jumped up on my lap, he has never done that before and the cheeky thing went back to sleep, even turning over and snoring.  I’m sure he has his own virtual intelligence going on somewhere along the line, amazes me anyway!

Max 1

Max 2

I published quite a bit on CNN this week, lots to do with Remembrance day and the Berlin Wall falling anniversary as well as the brilliant castle that Johnnytreadlightly Nightfire had built.  I got an IM from CNN Producer Henry Hanks who told me that my castle article had been put on the CNN ireports homepage as well, which means it gets extra coverage, I was really pleased about that as Johnny’s castle was so well made!  I did go along to the CNN meeting later though and sat talking to them all when Drax arrived half way through, and told me I had no hair!! how shameful sitting there with my head shining for everyone to see, I coud see it on my viewer, so I had no idea!  here we go again back to the no hair days, come on Lindens don’t do this to me!!   Later on Drax, Hibiscus, Ed and I went over to a new cafe in SL Knightsbridge, next door to the UGC.  It’s really nice you can play snooker, get yourself a cup of coffee and listen to the music from the club.

Max snooker table

max coffee

Ed was up to mischief dancing on the table which made us laugh, then Drax had to go back to real life, as the rest of us sat down and enjoyed a chat.  I think this will be a nice meeting place, it feels right and is near all the lively things going on in the club next door, so you can just pop in for a dance if you want to!

max Ed dance

Max sitting at table

Return to the Gorean City of Thentis

November 9, 2009

A few days ago Drax and I travelled to Thentis, you may have seen in the comments on this blog that Hilda from the Thentis sim invited me over to take a look around.  It was back to where Drax and I first met nearly two years ago, I had wandered into the old Thentis city and there he was.  He had been kind to me that day, offering to let me sit with him while one of the slave girls served him drinks.  I’d wanted to do a story on a Gorean sim and I was taking notes as I went along, little knowing that we would become good friends and have been on many adventures since.  At home beforehand, Drax donned his sword, and with his Gorean outfit he looked the true part.  I’d decided to go in as a Scribe Free Woman, as Drax had explained what the role was, and it seemed fitting for someone who does a lot of writing!

D 1

I’d wanted a nice dress for the journey and searched around until I found one at Evie’s Closet, it was a lot of Lindens, but worth it as the outfit was well made with the skirts moving gracefully as I walked.  Free women have to wear a mask over their lower face and I find this a bit strange, but rules are rules and it wasn’t as drafty as being dressed as a slave!  We set off and teleported over to a snowy Thentis which looked very prettily landscaped.  The gates were locked and there were not many people around, we had picked the wrong time to go really, and we will return when people are there, but we thought we would get the layout of the city this time around.  The new Thentis is very elegant with its light stone buildings and dwellings, we had scaled the gates and hoped Hilda would not mind too much if we did look around.

D 2


We met one of the slave girls Callie, who knelt shivering in the snow and we asked her a few questions before we carried on with our journey around the city.  She mentioned the gates being locked and Drax told her that he still had the key from the old Thentis (jokingly!!).  She kindly asked us if we would like a tour, but I was trying to find Hilda, so we declined her offer, thanking her.


As we wandered I saw Hilda on my radar and I sent her a message that we were in Thentis.  She came over to see us, and Hilda’s role is a slave girl to her Master Havoc Rau who owns the sim.  We told Hilda we thought Thentis looked very good, we were impressed with the city, but asked her why the gates had been locked.  She told us that they have been having raids, so it looks like there is plenty of action going on in the city.



We told Hilda we would like to return when we all have more time, (and I would like to thank her for inviting us over).  She took us back to the gates and kindly unlocked them for us to leave, we wished her Safe Paths and left the city.  We sat outside for a little while talking, we would like to go back soon and see some role play as well.  I will have to polish up on my Gorean greetings and etiquette, Drax is just a natural at it!!

 D 7

Johnny’s Amazing Castle and Cher’s Brilliant Gallery

November 5, 2009

It has been a job keeping up with all the writing the last couple of days.  I had a call from good mate Johnnytreadlightly Nightfire and he told me that he has a new castle that he has built and invited me to go over to see it.  It was nice to see Johnny again and knowing what a fantastic builder he is, I expected to see something really good.  Well that was putting it lightly, good isn’t the word for it, extraordinarily flipping amazing, that’s what it was.  Directly I stepped inside I could see all the detail in everything and all in precise scale, (one of my bugs in SL, stuff out of scale!), it seemed like you were stepping into a real life 14th Century castle.  There are so many rooms and the majority furnished (he hasn’t completed it yet!) but he is releasing the Beta copy now, and people buying it will be able to get the updated version for free. (Read all about what Johnny told me about the castle at Our Virtual Trilogy and CNN)


I invited Hibiscus and Ed to come over and have a look too, and as I talked to Johnny and the others my laptop suddenly overheated and I couldn’t get back.  Johnny gave Hib and Ed a tour of the castle, sending them away with some gifts of a sword and armour for Hib and a vicious looking medieval hammer with spikes for Ed!  I went back the following day for a look around on my own at first, until Hib, Ed and Drax came, and then they joined me.



I went around trying all the furniture out and there are lots of lovely adjustable poses on most of the items.  I constantly got lost as I went from room to room, it was just so big and so lovely.  I would adore a place like this to live in, it just feels so real.



We all ended up in the bar area downing tankards of beer and goblets of wine, at least Hib left that giant glass of Margarita in her inventory this time, think she is saving that for Christmas!  Hib and Drax had to go and Ed and I went over to Johnny’s store, JTL Designs, to see what we could buy.  Being very jealous of the sword that Hib had, I decided to buy one too, and I also got a suit of armour (different to Hibs).  Ed too got a sword and we started to try them out in the store.


No matter how I swung the sword I couldn’t get close enough to Ed to chop him up, so I got my Arabian horse out and Ed got on his steed too, I think we will have to practice to get our aims right.  They are brilliant swords though, scripted for both standing and mounted battle and I’m really pleased I got one.



After all the fun in the castle I went over to see good friend Cher Demonge.  He has opened a brilliant modern gallery called The Cube Gallery and he is creating some of his best works to date.  The actual gallery building is breathtaking and Cher’s architectural skills are plain to see.  He has included a lot of his own work and also has other artists showing their artwork.  He is offering free space to other artists and I think this is a really nice idea, so far the exhibits are all of a really high standard.  (see the full article at Our Virtual Trilogy).  I am so pleased to see Cher back and creating again, you can’t keep talent like that all to yourself!!



Busy Halloween Night in Virtual London And New Jazz Club!

November 1, 2009

You wonder what SL will be  like without Halloween!  It seems it’s a big deal all around the world, celebrating the night that the witches and spirits come out to play.  Not so much for us in the UK, but it seems we are catching up a bit with trick or treat for the kids, which has become a custom over here too.  The grid had so many haunted places to visit this year and so many parties arranged, you couldn’t be everywhere  at once which was a shame.  I had already been to some early parties.  Hibiscus had looked fabulous in her witches outfit the other night at the Garden Cafe party, she got the dress as a bargain and she is good at spotting the right thing to wear.


I had been dressed as a witch too that night, and wanted something different for last night’s parties in SL London.  I went off wandering earlier in the day and went over to a store called Evie’s Closet.  I had covered Evie’s designs at the Virtual London Fashion Week and really loved her beautiful gowns, so I decided to join the group.  Luckily I did, as I got a free faery outfit on joining, and it was a gorgeous floaty dress with autumn colours.  I put it on when I got back to my place and decided it would look ok if I put a pale skin with it.  I found a goth skin and decided that would do for the parties.


I went over to the Mayhem Club in SL Mayfair, as their evening started earlier than the Underground Club, and the place was already packed out.  Ed joined me over there and people looked amazing, Ed had his Zombie skin on as well. 



SL London Director Brie Janick dropped into the Mayhem dressed as a ghostly bride and she looked great, I’ve no idea where she found that outfit, but it was terrific.  Brie was dj’ing at the Underground Club party later and I was pleased to see her call into the Mayhem Club.  There is something nice happening to Virtual London, a coming together of managers, Torric Rodas (who runs Mayfair)  and Brie seem to be working together now for all of Virtual London and you can see things have settled down.  There are things planned for Virtual London that sound just what we want there, I will, of course be publishing them in Virtually London (lite) as they take shape!  I was lucky last night though, I saw a couple of people in The Kensington building in Virtual Kensington, so I decided to go over and have a chat with one of them.  Hib had always said that The Kensington building would be ideal for the Jazz club that London so badly needs, and that is exactly what’s happening, a new Jazz club is being set up there.  I spoke to Almo Skytower, who was setting the whole thing up, and he appears to have the right ideas about how it should look with the right kind of music too, so I am waiting for him to send me the final details before I publish the good news to Virtual Londoners in a few days.


After the Mayhem Club I went over to the Underground Club and once again it was packed out.  I counted 50 people in Knightsbridge and another 50 in Mayfair at one time, just amazing!


UGC Manager Seany and his team had made the club look fantastic and in the end I could hardly move my camera about as the amount of people in the sim caused so much lag.  So much chatter was  going on that it was hard to follow in the text chat, people were having a great time and filled the text with banter and gestures!  One thing is a problem though, you get so many different chats going on, as the group chats start up as well, that you sometimes miss tags of people trying to IM you and you may not always be available if you are talking to one or two people at the same time.  Any Mr or Ms Lindens who are reading this, and I know you do sometimes, could you send a note to your boss asking if we can have a pre-loaded message in our IM response saying ‘Unavailable for IM’s a the present time’ that we can set, not just ‘Busy’ that stops us reading the local chat unless we have the chat window open.  From people like me’s point of view, sometimes I get three or four IM’s coming in all at once, I would like to pick one IM to answer at a time and be able to load the ‘Unavailable’ message on for any other incoming IM’s.  Just a suggestion!

Well I supposed Halloween is finished, but just around the corner is Christmas, (no not Winterval or EndofYearAval, Christmas!  like it should be!), so I will be looking forward to exploring all the sites that people will now be setting up, I can’t wait!!!