Saturday, December 28, 2013

Looking Back on 2013 in Second Life

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.

T. S. Eliot

          Sitting at my keyboard in Real Life (RL), the realization is dawning on me that another year is passing away.  As is my want, I take this time of the year to become a little nostalgic and reminisce a bit about my misadventures in Second Life (SL).  (Be warned, many of already know what I’m like when I get like this!)
          I like to think back about where I’ve been, who I’ve met, and the experiences I’ve had.  How did I do against where I wanted to go this year?  (Not great, but I have my excuses ready.) 
          Most importantly of all, was it a good year?
          Looking back, I did go to new places and met new people.  I visited several art galleries inworld and met the artists and curators behind them.  I’ve learned that there is a thriving art world in SL and many creative people are at work here rivalling their RL counterparts. 
          I participated in various RL holidays and festivals like the Chinese Lunar New Year, St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo inworld both thanks to my good friend Perryn Peterson.  (Who by the way was also my subject for this year’s One of the Most Interesting Second Life Residents I’ve Met story.) 
          I got serious too.  I looked into social issues like bullying inworld.  Being always fascinated by where RL ends and SL begins, I blogged about identity, trust and loss in SL.  (Speaking of which, Significant Other always worries I’m going to invite everyone I’ve met over for dinner someday unannounced.)  Bitcoin was addressed and I’m still waiting to see how digital currencies such as this work with virtual worlds.  I also touched on the dirty, little secret of SL.
          New worlds beckoned and I spent time among the Goreans, an interesting community whom I need to return to.  Very different, but nonetheless interesting, was the Regency Era sim that I dropped into and which I recommend to all Jane Austen fans. 
          My travels among the nude continued with first time visits to Naked and Utopia Naked Isle Resort.  Friendly people and great facilities make these must visits for the aspiring nudist inworld.  I’ve made several good friends at both sims. 
          2013 was a year of new experiences for me in SL too.  With my good friend, Lisah Lorefield, I attended her Tarot card reading.  Thanks to Starla Farella, I had a makeover inworld and feel more like a real avi now.  Starla is a genius when it comes to creating a more lifelike avatar and I refer all to her who are looking to look more like a real person inworld.  Of course, I had another laptop crash this year which caused me to ponder how we can exist with SL when we can’t access it directly.  (OK, maybe Significant Other is right, and I do have too much time on my hands.) 
          But, let me honest and talk a bit about things that I didn’t get around to.  Like my two series, Sex and the Single Avatar in Second Life and The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in Second Life, I’ve been remiss there and I will return to them in the New Year.  I also never started the series entitled Shoemaker’s Children where I’d blog about Linden Lab and its disappointments.  Or, failing to follow up on other promising stories I’d written.
          I’ll spare you my excuses (Significant Other has already heard them and is unimpressed.) but I’ll return to all these (the stories not the excuses) in the New Year. 
          What are my observations about SL overall this year? 
          I still find the sense of community to be very strong.  Creativity in builds and artwork is as high as ever if not higher than before.  Yet, I worry about the loss of people and once popular sims.  Some that I’ve visited in prior years are no longer with us.  Some friends are no longer around and they are missed.  I can only hope that they are happy in their RL’s and responsibilities there have kept them away.  (And, not as Significant Other has suggested, they’re trying to avoid me.) 
          My readership is up and I thank all of you!  Please keep reading and feel free to continue to distribute links to my blog and stories! 
          What do we have to look forward to in 2014?
          I will continue the series I’ve already started and mentioned above.  I’ll go back for more stories on Gor and erotic art inworld.   
          RL activities on my part will help me in overhauling my blog layout and increase the use of social media. 
          There will be more involvement in community activities like the 1920’s Berlin Book Club.  I’ll also go deeper in my stories and try to be less superficial as I sometimes am. 
          Finally, I’ll work to be a better friend inworld.  As a wanderer in SL, I realize I’m very bad at staying in touch and following up.  I can blame the call of the open road inworld and RL responsibilities but those are only excuses. Expect to see and hear more from me in the New Year.  (Including that long overdue game of Greedy, Greedy that I owe to two friends!) 
          So, let’s go back to my earlier question, was it a good year?
          Without any qualifications on my part, yes, it was.  I stayed in touch with some old friends, met new ones, and had new experiences.   I found all the reasons why I came inworld in the first place to be still valid.  I think I discovered a few new reasons to boot.  I continue to enjoy being inworld and blogging about it.
          Yes, it was a good year inworld, a very good year!
          Before I go any further, I’d like to thank Significant Other who continues to support my inworld activities and blogging while still marveling that I haven’t been thrown out yet.
          To my many SL friends, it would be hard to thank all of you individually but I would like to thank Perryn Peterson for all his magnificent events and always allowing me the scoop on them.  I’d like to thank my Research Assistant, Tera Trenchcoat, for volunteering to help me in my travels despite the hardships of putting up with me and some of my well-intentioned but misguided brilliant ideas.  Thanks to both of you and everyone else! 
Happy New Year!
I’ll see all of you in 2014! 
My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.
As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.   
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Social Media in Second Life

Social media allows us to behave in ways that we are hardwired for in the first place - as humans. We can get frank recommendations from other humans instead of from faceless companies.

Francois Gossieaux


Once upon a time, (Now, that sounds familiar doesn’t it?) my original purpose in coming into Second Life (SL) and blogging about it was to serve as a stepping stone to something bigger, the Metaverse. 
I wanted to go out and see the virtual world so to speak.  But, as I’ve alluded to a few times in the past, I came inworld, kind of liked the neighborhood and stayed.  (Significant Other says that I’m more like a houseguest who has overstayed his welcome.)  However, the Metaverse never went away, it’s still out there.  Someday, I’ll continue on my journey.  (To my SL friends, don’t worry, I’m not going anyplace soon!)
That collection of websites, servers, routers, blogs, wires, and general whatever else is still out there, beckoning.  Not to mention, all the people, both real and virtual, who make it happen and exist there. It’s all out there somewhere. 
Within the Metaverse are all sorts of categories and sub-categories of possible existences.  One of these categories is entitled social media.  This encompasses many different sub-categories like social networks, microblogs, sharing, publishing, MMO’s, and virtual worlds.  Many, including myself, include SL in the latter category.  SL is part of the social media phenomena.  (Bet some of you didn’t know that!) 
Within SL, we have our own little ecosystem much like Earth in the Milky Way.  Unlike our ancient Real Life (RL) ancestors and ourselves who gazed into the night sky and wondered if we were alone, in the Metaverse, we know that we are not alone.
In RL, space exploration exists, the SETI scans the heavens looking for hints of alien civilizations and wonders why we don’t hear anything.  (The Fermi Paradox notwithstanding, Carl Sagan knew and we fail to heed his words at own peril.)  Yet, within the Metaverse, we virtually (no pun intended) ignore the evidence and really don’t use the tools available to us to reach out and touch other virtual worlds let alone the rest of the Metaverse.
Tools like Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Flickr are just a few examples of what’s available to us if we want to use them.  (Admittedly, use of Facebook is somewhat problematic and some SL avi’s seem to spend more time being thrown off than being on but by playing within the rules, some exist there.) Yet, for all the use made of these tools, there doesn’t appear to be a collective consciousness of who we are out there.  Our presence in the Metaverse beyond SL is more like a note in a bottle thrown out into the sea in the hopes of landing somewhere. 
SL, for all its benefits, imposes constraints on us who use it.  Communications are mainly inworld.  Trying to reach into SL when one isn’t using a SL viewer is difficult and the experience is nowhere near as rich as when one is inworld.  Trust me, I know from firsthand experience. 
Then there is what I call the Planet Krypton scenario. What would happen if SL were to go poof like Superman’s home world?  Couldn’t happen you say?  Remember  Sure it may be back now but read Celia Pearce’s account in Communities of Play of the trauma of its closure and the efforts of the diaspora to reestablish themselves elsewhere.  The communities that we have inworld are as fragile as they are marvelous.  Yet, no one thinks about what we would do or where we would go if Linden Lab (LL) pulls the plug.  It can happen.  If the entire US home mortgage market could almost go poof in the blink of an eye in 2008, trust me on this, then taking out a little virtual world is cake.
Even in RL today, people are asking if we can avoid the fate of the dinosaur.  Can we stop asteroids?  Could we move beyond our galaxy if we had to?  Authors write loads of books, both fiction and non-fiction, on these topics.
Yet, we who have the tools we need at our disposal do nothing about moving beyond our virtual world.  (Or, if we are then it’s being kept well hidden from me which Significant Other suggests might be advisable.) 
I don’t want to get too philosophical about this.  But permit me to ask a few questions here. First, can we exist beyond the boundaries of SL?  Next, where do avatars go when they die, if they die?  Finally, to paraphrase Philip K. Dick, do avatars dream of electronic sheep when they sleep?  (Significant Other believes that I’ve seen The Matrix movies too many times.)
Maybe I’m getting a little carried away.  But, please take my point.  Can the SL community exist beyond the confines of LL’s servers?  (And, no, I’m not trying to alarm LL into improving service.  Although, anything of the sort would be welcome.) 
The questions I’d like to take into the New Year are can we extend the conversation beyond SL via social media?  Can we build a tweetstream for the SL community as one example?
In 2014, I’m going to try and do this.  I welcome anyone who would like to join me. 
My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.
If anyone needs assistance in getting established in Twitter as a start, I’d be happy to help.  (Twitter is more welcoming to nom de plumes and is simpler to set up.) 
I’d appreciate your thoughts on this topic and look forward to working with some of you on this in 2014!
Happy Holidays!
As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.    
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Airborne in Second Life

 For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.

Leonardo da Vinci

          This story will be a little different from my usual fare. 
          Or, maybe, it just goes back to my roots when I began wandering about in Second Life (SL) a rosy cheeked noob, wandering about, looking in awe about myself.
          We begin when Tera Trenchcoat, my friend and Research Assistant (RA), (Wait, I didn’t tell you that I have an RA now?  Well, I have a lot of stories and projects to juggle, and Tera met the three basic requirements for the job.  She likes my writing, has a keen sense of adventure, and is willing to work for nothing.  I suspect there is a certain amount of curiosity about what I’ll mess up next but that’s another story.  I believe Significant Other has similar motivations.)  IM’d me recently after I’d rezzed inworld and asked me to join her.  She’d found something exciting.   
          Tera has a very good sense of what’s worthwhile and what’s not in SL, so I joined her.
          Did I mention that Tera also has a real knack for understatement? 

          I say this because when I joined her, I was taken aback by what awaited me.  (How’s this for building suspense?)
          I’d arrived in Da Vinci Gardens in Kalepa.  Actually, Tera was lost in the bowels of a Pharaonic pyramid.  It was when we extricated ourselves and came to the main landing zone that I was amazed.
          What we saw was a land of beauty and fantasy.  Towers, causeways, winding staircases leading into mountains surrounded us.  The sea stretched far off to the horizon.  The sun shone on us and great beasts flew in the skies.  We walked upon beautiful mosaics.  Trees and flowers were everywhere.  High in a tower built upon a peak, an observatory with a large telescope scanned the skies.  And, of course, no world of fantasy would be complete without distant ruins hinting of great events in a long forgotten past. 
          I’ve seen a lot inworld as readers of my stories know but Kalepa is something entirely different.  A board offers to teleport visitors to the different corners of this sim.  Tera and I were both impressed.
          There is much to explore and write about here in Kalepa.  Then there’s Felix Shepherd, the creator behind all of this, whom I hope to interview about all his work.  But, what this story will be about will be flying in this sim because, at least for me, this is the most fantastic aspect of Kalepa. 
Yes, I know, we can fly like the birds in SL.  What’s the big deal about heavier than air flight inworld then?
Well, let me tell you about that.
Maybe I can soar, and I sometimes do inworld, like a bird but to be able to fly in Da Vinci’s “aerial screw” like I did with Tera is something I couldn’t do in Real Life (RL). Nor could I sit on a feather and float across the skies as I did at Kalepa.  And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the dragon.     
Then there’s the view.  The rides in Kalepa take one on a breathtaking aerial ride across the sim.  Da Vinci’s aerial screw (Actually more of a cross between Da Vinci and steampunk when I take a closer look.) is the most breathtaking giving a bird’s eye view of the sim. 
Below us are castles, islands, volcanoes, and ships at dock.  Around us soar large birds.  The styles of architecture are varied across the sim and my brief flight only whets my appetite to return and see more.
When I land, Tera and I promptly switch to the Feather Tour which takes us on enormous feathers for a flight much closer to the ground.  We fly under arches and bridges.  See prehistoric paintings on cave walls as we fly through subterranean caverns.  Birds of all types surround us either in flight like us or standing on the ground. 
We return to our departure area and RL commitments require us to leave.  But, Tera and I will return to Kalepa.  There is much to see and do.  On this trip and a subsequent one I took back for photos, a good number of visitors always seem to be about. 
Our trip through Kalepa has been a marvelous experience.  The sim shows considerable care in its design and layout with much attention to detain.  Felix can be very proud of his work. 
           Expect to hear more from me about Kalepa!

I’d like to thank Tera for finding Kalepa and leading me there.  I’d also like to thank her for all her efforts supporting my writing and explorations across the Grid! 
I’ve included several pictures documenting our trip.  But, as always, pictures especially mine can only hint at what’s there. I encourage all to visit Kalepa, you won’t be disappointed! 
As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.    
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.


Photo No. 1  Kalepa Landing Zone

Photo No. 2  Teleporter Board

Photo No. 3  Skyline View

Photo No. 4  DaVinci’s Helicopter

Photo No. 5  Dragon

Photo No. 6  Flying Feather

Photo No. 8  Distant Ruins

Photo No. 9  Ready for Takeoff!

Photo No. 10  The Journey Begins…

Photo No. 11  Airborne Scenery I

Photo No. 12  Airborne Scenery II

Photo No. 13  Airborne Scenery III

Photo No. 14  Airborne Scenery IV

Photo No. 15  Airborne Scenery V

Photo No. 16  Airborne Scenery VI

Photo No. 17  My Final Destination

Photo No. 18  The Feather Tour

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I Finally Get a Makeover in Second Life

 The idea of the extreme makeover is disturbing.

Janice Dickinson


          Well, it’s finally happened.
          I did it.
          I finally had a makeover of my avatar in Second Life.  Don’t worry, I had some serious professional help and I look a lot better than I did.  (Further reason not to worry, I’ve had several friends in addition to my makeover specialist/genius and me validate this.)
          Let me tell you the story. 
           A short while ago, I met May O. Mingzi from Beau Belle Village inworld for a story.  As I try to do, sometimes more successfully than others, I stay in touch with the subjects of my stories.  (Significant Other says this makes them sound like lab rats.)  Once, our chatting turned from future stories to my rather cartoonish appearance and my failed efforts to effect a makeover. 
          For those of you who are joining us late, my avatar was created from the primordial soup of the various freebie shops that were around back at my Beginning.  I turned out alright or so I thought.  Some SL fashionistas may have sniffed at my appearance but my true friends, both of you, and those who are more principled always made me feel welcome and kept their snickering for private chat.  (These are the same types of people who take stray, starving animals in during bleak winters in Real Life (RL).) 
          However, over time, like most folks, I grew up.  I realized that improving the appearance of my avatar would show my commitment to the community, support designers and merchants, and prove once and for all that I could do something semi-technical right for a change. 
          Despite a valiant effort on the part of dedicated friends (who may have also been interested in cleaning up the looks of SL) I really didn’t get too far.  I want to be clear.  This was all my fault.  (Significant Other feels this may have something to do with my commitment issues.  Whatever.)
          So, I was all ears when May mentioned a talented makeover artist whom I should meet.  Her name is Starla Farella and she has been active inworld since September 2007. 
          Starla had her start in SL like many of us, exploring and taking pictures of the interesting places and people she met.  By March 2008, she had a photography business and realized that many of her clients really weren’t “foto-ready” so Starla added makeovers as a service. 
          Since then, Starla has added to her skills, including Photoshop, and has started designing eyes.  She has also collected landmarks of SL locations that offer top quality skins, hair, eyes, etc.. The list is called “Starla’s Choice” and is given to her clients. 
          In RL, Starla is a portrait artist and understands proportions and faces.  She loves what she does.  (How many of us can say that about RL?)  For some of her clients, she has made avatars that look like the SL version of their RL self. For this, she has done avatars for people like the vice chancellor of Perth, Australia University, the vice president of San Diego University, and the vice president of accounting at a Pennsylvania university.
Starla offers her services to noobies and performers for free, as funds and time will allow. She has made some of her best friends in SL this way.  She believes SL can be a healing place for people. It can be a place that liberates a person from their RL limitations. SL is a great place for a person to get to know their true self better in her opinion. Starla has found it can be an amazing learning place.  As I must admit so have I.
The creative energy in SL is amazing to Starla. In spite of the occasional griefers and the usual percentage of “ass holes” (I quote here!) , most people in SL seem to her to be kind and will help if just asked. Some of the stories she have heard from her clients will amaze you she adds. 
          So, with this woman I have hung my fate.  (Actually, Starla has hung her reputation on me.  I hate this kind of pressure.)  We are ready for my makeover.
          My needs are simple.  (At least I think so.)  I need hair, skin, and some basic moves.  I want to keep my distinctive, trade mark red eyes.  (Long story.) Most importantly, I’d like to have a semblance of resemblance to how I look now.  I don’t want to throw my friends for too much of a loop. 
          Starla is a professional and does some pre-work before we meet.  She captures my eyes and I know I have finally found the makeover artist for me. 
          The actual makeover itself occurs when I TP to meet her.  I expect a woman but instead I meet a man rather stylishly dressed who looks vaguely like me. I say vaguely only because he looks a helluva of a lot better than I do.  (Even in RL, but I won’t go there.) 
          The man speaks and it’s Starla fitted out as I will look when this transformation is complete. 
          We set to work and I will spare my readers the tiresome details of how I try the patience of poor Starla as we make decisions, I try on things, go from shop to shop, and I learn how not to make purchases inworld. 
          Somehow, we survive.  Starla is still with me and we are still friends.  This woman is not just an artist, she is counselor, instructor, and confidante.
          When all is done, I’m stunned.  I can hardly recognize the new me.  (Significant Other is shoulder surfing at the moment of the big reveal and is shocked by the improvement.  I am now considered hot.)
          Starla helps me with my wardrobe and proceeds to take pictures to contrast with my before shots.  I’m over the moon with how I look.
          I can’t say enough good things about Starla and her work on my behalf.  She prepared in advance, listened to what I wanted to do, protected me from myself (Never an easy thing as Significant Other will attest.) 
          Starla is a true artist and professional.  She has married the artistic with the practical inworld.  I strongly recommend Starla to anyone who is looking for an avatar makeover inworld.  She is very good and a pleasure to work with. For additional samples of her work check out this YouTube video.  Tell her I sent you! 
          For full disclosure, I must include that Starla did not charge me which she does with many clients and purchased several objects on my behalf to complete the effect.  If anyone should think I have a conflict of interest here, I suggest that they look at my before and after photos to understand the high regard in which I hold Starla.
          What’s ahead for me?
          I’m going to work on my male plumbing, I do wander around nudist sims a lot for my stories so I think all my parts should be of the same quality.  I’m also going to upgrade my wardrobe while I’m at it.
          What do you think of my new look?
          Please look me up and let me know!  Also, have you had a makeover recently inworld?  If so, I’d love to hear from you about how it turned out. 
          I want to thank Starla for all her efforts on my behalf.  (Who BTW, appeared as herself as a woman and all I’ll say is that she takes care of herself as well as she does her clients.)  I want to thank May too for referring me to her.
          I’ve included a few pictures documenting my transformation.  I think I look pretty good even if I do say so myself!     

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.    
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.

Photo No. 1  Starla Farella

Photo No. 2  webspelunker – Before

Photo No. 3  webspelunker – After

Photo No. 4  Prototype of Red Eyes


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christkindlmarkt in Second Life

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

Clement Clarke Moore

          After blogging about Holidays in Second Life (SL), I seem to be on something of a roll because immediately after that I wrote about my visit to the Utopia Naked Isle Resort Winter Wonderland and now I’m blogging about Perryn Peterson’s latest Christmas spectacular. 
          Perryn is bringing Christkindlmarkt to SL for the month of December! 
A Christkindlmarkt is a German street market associated with the celebration of Christmas. Generally held in the town square and any adjacent pedestrian zones, the market sells food, drink, and seasonal items from open-air stalls.  Traditional singing and dancing are customary entertainments.
          Last year, Perryn put on A Christmas Carol which was a very realistic recreation inworld of that classic Christmas tale.  (OK, I’m biased, I like both Dickens and A Christmas Carol.)
          Perryn’s been mentioning this event for a while and I was finally able to schedule a visit with him to receive a tour of the sim. 
          I arrive at the landing zone and meet Perryn who has somehow managed to turn a couple of dreidels into a pair of earrings.  Apparently, the Mieville Weekly Theme dance is going to be more interesting than usual this week.
          Upon arriving, I’m first struck by all the lights.  It reminds me of European cities that go all out for Christmas.  Perryn tells me that light is indeed the theme for this year’s Holiday festivities. 
          Realistic light is not easy to create in SL.  (OK, at least for me it isn’t.  But, then I have trouble with matches in Real Life (RL).)  To do it on this scale takes skill.  As Perryn and I stroll through the streets and alleys of Christkindlmarkt, I notice that they are dominated by a large backdrop of a RL one.  Perryn explains that it is the actual Christkindlmarkt from Frankfurt in 2010.  The blending of the RL pictures with the SL prims and lighting effects is artistically and seamlessly done. The effects of depth and distance are very lifelike.  The sim could be seen for this technical wizardry alone.
          But, if someone were to do that then they would miss the shops, booths, and carts of over seventy-five merchants and all their merchandise.  What’s available extends from Christmas themed treats and some tricks (Like the dancing red Santa skulls) to a large variety of artwork, clothing, household goods, and a lot more. Perryn adds that there are over a “kajilion” freebies for visitors.
          Of course, Christmas is not just a commercial venture for Perryn.  He is one of the few remaining ones who remembers the traditions and joys of Christmases past. (I am another one.  Although, Significant Other says that I’m just old fashioned.) 
          For instance, there is the large ice skating rink with free skates available.  In front of Santa’s throne room (where there are gifts galore), a Christmas themed toy train that can be ridden slowly circles.  This particular piece of work was done by Wyvern Dryke, one of the creative souls who work with Perryn on his projects. 
          Further along the way, Santa’s reindeer and in their pen waiting for the word to ride out on Christmas Eve.  (Although, there appear to be three Rudolphs and the elves looked a little miffed to me.) 
          Across the street from the reindeer is a very large cup of cocoa which makes for some hilarious group pictures when Perryn cajoled poor Lenny Kenyon into joining us.  (She may never speak to us again especially after the picture (see below) gets out.) 
          As usual, Perryn ensures that food and drink are in abundance.  In front of a large dining hall with a warm and inviting fireplace, a booth serves free, hot cocoa. 
          On the outside wall of the dining hall, a large Advent calendar hangs.  Unlike traditional Advent calendars that run up to Christmas, December 25th, Perryn’s runs to December 31st.  (OK, maybe he’s not such a traditionalist after all.)  Each day offers a new freebie to visitors. 
          Elsewhere, strollers can have free Christmas cards made.  (I hope inworld postage is cheaper than what it currently is in the US now.)  A Christmas tree farm lies at the corner of a large street leading away from Santa’s throne.  Ambient music is supplied by Rufus Gracemount of The Arcadian Minstrel. 
          Perryn hits the right balance with the Christmas decorations.  I find there is a right way and a wrong way like most things in life whether Real or Second.  The right way is an appropriate blend of light, color, and wonder.  Look at a child’s eyes and you’ll see what I mean.  The wrong way looks like a rundown department store one step away from bankruptcy.  Sadly, there have been too many of these in America of late. 
          But to happier matters, once again Perryn has attracted the best and the brightest of SL merchants to his extravaganza.  I can’t mention all of them or this would turn into the Yellow Pages.  I call out several but mean no slight to those not mentioned.  Saraid Dalglish returns with the Mad Hattery and its creative hats.  Sanna Jupiter, a RL neuroscientist, is presenting her wares.  Cyne Christenson displays his original artwork from Sunlight Studios. 
          And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the work of Arcadia Asylum, who has returned to SL as Aley Resident, is available and shouldn’t be missed. 
          Our tour comes to an end and I thank Perryn for his time and wish him Happy Holidays.  I watch him walk off down the street as I copy down my notes.  The man seems very happy in his work.  Wouldn’t you? 
          A tour through one of Perryn’s events always seems like a whirlwind and I feel that I never do justice to it all but I hope the little that I’ve described entices you to visit.  Even if you either don’t observe Christmas or are an Ebenezer Scrooge (The two are mutually exclusive, I’m not implying anything!), drop by and see very creative and original work and a little bit of the magic!
          Christkindlmarkt will be open until December 31st and Santa Claus himself will be on hand sometimes when he can pull himself away from his North Pole workshop. 
I’ve included a few pictures from my tour around Christkindlmarkt.  But, please go and see the sim for yourselves and have a good time!  You’ll be glad you did.       
As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.    
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.


Photo No. 1  Lenny, Perryn, and Me

Photo No. 2  View from Landing Zone

Photo No. 3  Softlight Studios

Photo No. 4  Town Backdrop

Photo No. 5  Merchants Lane

Photo No. 6  Gingerbread Shops

Photo No. 7  Santa Skulls

Photo No. 8  Christmas Train

Photo No. 9  Ice Skating Rink

Photo No. 10 Santa’s Throne

Photo No. 11 Santa’s Reindeer

Photo No. 12 Hot Cocoa!

Photo No. 16 Carousel

Photo No. 18 Seasons Greetings!

Photo No. 19 Merchants’ Carts

Photo No. 20 Christmas Trees

Photo No. 21 Merchants’ Booths

Photo No. 22 The Mad Hattery