Sunday, 31 January 2010

A Friend You Can Lean On!

If you are going to be away from your keyboard for a little while to make a cup of tea, eat your dinner, visit the loo, or even put the cat out, you might as well leave your avatar in good company and nod off with a friend. I thought this couple looked really sweet, they woke up later and carried on chatting. I wasn't close enough to hear, but I suspect they were talking about what they had for dinner, awwww!!
Janey Bracken

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Horsing Around In Forest Island

I found Forest Island in SL Showcase and read the description which stated that you can explore the sim on horseback. When I arrived I could see a white horse waiting to take me for a ride. The horse had a double saddle, so I thought friend Drax Ember may want to explore with me. Drax came over and we climbed into the saddles of the tall thin horse. The roads were very narrow and the horse sped off along the route under his own steam with us clinging on. The sim is very pretty and the horse takes you on quite a trip as he tries to keep his footing. Indeed, it seemed that the horse had been eating some fermented hay, as at times he spun around in the wrong direction or tried to throw us off by putting his head down to the ground, it was hilarious! Maybe our animation overrides didn’t help, but at least the horse managed to stick to the trail, even with his wobbly legs. It’s worth taking the trip, which is quite a long one, to explore the whole sim, which is lovely. So expect to be saddle sore by the time you get to the other end!! If you don’t fancy the horse ride you can also go on foot, taking your time to look at each area, I liked it a lot and the horse idea was great of fun!!

Janey Bracken

Friday, 22 January 2010

The Investigation Begins

Poor Miss O’Riley was completely overcome. She had sunk all her savings into the venture and couldn’t see how she was going to recover from this blow. She wandered around the empty gallery, then went upstairs to her apartment and just sat for a while, her mind going over and over what she had just seen. After a few minutes had passed she began to revive and called the police. A handsome officer named Detective Braveheart came right over.
Detective Braveheart asked Miss O’Riley for a list of the works that had been stolen. Being an organized woman she had one at hand, with titles, descriptions and pictures of the artworks that had been stolen. As Miss O’Riley began to focus on the work ahead of her, her mood changed from one of despair to anger at the person who had done this to her.
The detective inquired if she had seen any suspicious people in her gallery recently, but she said no. Various residents of the sim had dropped by, as well as some friends of hers, but nothing out of the way had happened, at least not while she was in-world. Unfortunately the welcome mat only recorded the number of visitors to the gallery and not the names, so there was no way of telling who had been in. Over the holidays there had been a slight increase in numbers, but that was to be expected.
After talking for a while with Miss O’Riley, Detective Braveheart left and began to search the area around the gallery. He also spoke with some of the neighbours. One man did recall seeing someone in the gallery moving artworks around, but he did not think anything of it at the time. The man said the visitor was shorter than average and older, too, with grey hair. When asked if he could recall the name of the avatar, the neighbour said he thought it was something like “Old Bert”.
In the meantime, Miss O’Riley sent an urgent IM to Mr. Stoneyheart, begging him to come right over as something dreadful had happened and she needed his help.
With thanks to Boye Jervil for the photograph of Old Bert moving frames.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Volcano Power!

How would you like to control a volcano, you can do just that with a trip to FireSabre’s Volcano. You teleport onto a big glass platform with a couple of buttons to press, use the reset button first to make sure it is all ready to blow, then press erupt and stand and watch the fireworks! The top lifts off and molten lava drips down from the volcano as rocks and sparks fly from the top! If you set your environment menu to midnight you can see the red-hot middle and almost feel the heat!

Have some fun and control virtual nature!!

Janey Bracken

Monday, 11 January 2010

McKinney's Distillery For A Warm Welcome

When you teleport into a sim you somehow get the feeling of how it will be, and the sim I went to yesterday instantly made me feel comfortable and welcome. Like finding a cosy tavern on your journey through the snow, the atmosphere in the McKinney's Distillery was warm and friendly.

I walked through a room containing a large distillery, with some fine whiskey being made no doubt, and went into the bar where there was a glowing log fire. I sat down and started talking to my friend and colleague Hibiscus Hastings in IM, just then one of the sim owners entered the room. ComradeX Munson greeted me and I started to ask him about the distillery. He owns it with partner September McKinney and he told me that September had done most of the building work. I asked Hibiscus if she wanted to join us, and she teleported over.

Comrade told me that there will be live music in the sim starting on January 24th and a grand opening on February 7th. I asked Comrade if the sim was based on anything in real life, he told me it is in the style of a Scottish distillery and that September had a real passion to create it. He said that they had been putting it together for several months, ready for the live music events. They had praise from the highest of the SL escilons too, one of the Lindens had paid them a visit and liked it so much that they have been included in the Second Life Showcase pages.

Comrade had been telling us that September is a real life musician, just as she appeared, greeting us warmly. I asked how she felt about building the sim, she said “it’s been a bunch of fun” and Comrade said the ‘still’ and the fireplace are two of her masterpieces!” I asked September, who is a folk singer, is she wrote her own songs, she told me “I have written them, yes… but mostly I sing folk stuff …Kate Wolf, Dylan, my RL husband’s music as well.” September continued “I hope to help musicians here in SL... esp new ones that have a hard time getting onto the scene.” Comrade added “and we are having a huge grand opening party with musicians on Feb 7th”
Comrade and September offered to take Hibiscus and I on a tour of the rest of the sim, going outside onto the walkway, we could see the pretty landscape that September had created, she said “it’s not just me, (I) had help with friends, suggestions from Comrade.” It turned out that Comrade too is very talented, he had made the waterwheel situated under the distillery, and he had done a brilliant job, it was a working waterwheel, slicing through the SL river, with cogs and moving parts. The marshy landscape, complete with a stage, had dark rain clouds overhead, giving it a lot of atmosphere and Comrade said “makes you feel like you’re in Scotland” Hibiscus agreed “really beautiful and atmospheric.” “It’s a labour of love” Comrade added.
And a labour of love it is, these two people have a real passion for what they are doing and I watched people arriving while we were there, both Comrade and September greeted each one like an old friend and you can tell that this is going to be a favourite gathering place for SL residents. People can go to listen to the live music or just sit around in the comfy bar in front of the blazing log fire and chat.
Remember the live music starts on the January 24th and the grand opening party is on February 7th. I would like to thank September and Comrade for making us so welcome and wish them all the success in the future with their wonderful venture.

Janey Bracken

Friday, 8 January 2010

A New Year Dawns

Old Bert enjoyed the holiday season very much. He and Daisy continued seeing each other, going to holiday parties together, visiting art galleries,

dancing and touring different sims. They enjoyed a lovely carriage ride around Victoriana on Christmas Eve and exchanged Christmas presents.

On the professional front things were going well, too. Old Bert by this point had settled into his job at the Pre-Raphaelite Gallery and was taking on more responsibilities as he grew familiar with the sim and with the artworks belonging to the gallery. It was one of the happiest times of Old Bert’s life.

Mr. Stoneyheart continued from strength to strength personally and professionally. He had managed to reassure Gloria after their disastrous weekend cruise. At the same time he kept in touch with Miss O’Riley, the Tissot Gallery owner, maintaining a watchful eye on that particular enterprise. Miss O’Riley, of course, was very pleased about this.

Then one day early in the New Year Miss O’Riley arrived at work to discover that all the artworks, except the free gift painting, had been stolen. She stood and stared at the empty walls in horror and as it all began to sink in she burst into tears and began running frantically from room to room, trying to make sense of what she saw. She so desperately wanted everything to be just as it had been when she left work the night before. But that could not be. A burglary had taken place and all her paintings were gone!
Hibiscus Hastings

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

A Sign of the Times!

Looks like a great start to 2010, the recession seems to have hit SL as people are forced out onto the virtual streets begging for new hair and skin. I spotted the girl in the main picture yesterday, who seemed desperate for some help as she couldn't afford a decent avatar outfit. I think she may find it hard to find a pair of shoes big enough though, going by the size of her feet. Another avatar close by thought she would see the New Year in by bashing everyone with a David Hasselhoff placard. It looked like fun, I hope they have a very Happy New Year!
Janey Bracken