Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Renaissance Hunt and Faire Returns to Second Life!

Every renaissance comes to the world with a cry, the cry of the human spirit to be free.

Anne Sullivan Macy

          My old friend, Perryn Peterson, has been very busy of late.  (Actually, Perryn’s always been busy since I’ve known him, he just seems busier than usual lately.)  After STEAM 7, the Day of the Dead , and A Christmas Carol productions, he’s at it again with yet another Second Life (SL) production.    
          This time, it’s the return of an old favorite, the Renaissance Hunt and Faire which is coming back for its second iteration this year. 

          Perryn offered to give me a tour while it was being set up and I naturally jumped on the chance to get a tour from the man himself.
          We TP into the landing zone from Dickens Christmas Village.  (We’re having a busy day.)  The event’s poster designed by Tattoo Lane greets us.  We’re standing on a ship moored at a dock near the town where the Faire is taking place.  I have a sense of nostalgia because I’m returning after having been away for almost a year. It may sound odd but even returning to a place in a virtual world where good times had been had in the past with good friends can bring out these feelings (at least with me).

          Perryn and I disembark and walk to the rezz area where visitors can prepare their appearances if needed and pick up the Faire program.  From there we walk through the town gate and enter the Faire itself.  Renaissance music can be heard as we walk and contributes to the atmosphere. 
          Walking the circuit counterclockwise from the main gate, the village maypole is off to my left.  Merchants’ shops are on my right.  The first one I encounter is Kismet, a purveyor of period cottages and related textures.  The surroundings are bucolic and the natural scenery is well laid out with trees, flowers, and grasses highlighting the natural effect. 

          While returning on a subsequent visit for some pictures, I come across Colette Charleville, the proprietor of Sweet Sorrows a purveyor of period furniture.  Colette had been in last Faire and had received a lot of business at her main store from it.  She’s very impressed with the Faire’s organization and Perryn’s leadership. 
          Continuing along the path Perryn and I come across the gypsy encampment where it’d been last year.  Not all the caravans have been set up yet and I don’t see signs of the fortune teller who’d been here last year.  I hope she returns because what’s a gypsy encampment without a fortune teller? 

          Walking around the encampment and looking over the wagons and the horses in the pasture, makes me think about my wanders across SL.  Someday, I’d like to organize a caravan of wagons with other travelers and cross the Grid.  (If anyone’s interested in joining me, please drop a line and let’s talk!) 
          Approximately one hundred and thirty merchants were at last year’s Faire and Perryn says that approximately the same number have signed up for this year.  Not all have set up yet but while I walked along the merchants’ row I encounter Kittycat’s Creations a builder of fine drinks and decanters in the Renaissance style.  Medieval Designs, a new vendor, designs and builds suits of armor.  Arwen’s Creations, owned by Arwen Serpente, designs and makes fine Renaissance women’s clothes. 

          Several old favorites from last year have returned.  The fencing pitch, jousting field, and the galliard dance area are all back.  My personal favorite, the Renaissance book display is on the green.  The busking stage and food pavilion have returned as well. 
          Circling around and coming back to our starting point, we see the three large buildings for merchants. Nearby is the tree house and more docks where more ships will be moored.  Seasonal decorations are being hung on the buildings adding to the festive air. 

          Once again there is the promise of fun in the air at the Renaissance Hunt and Faire.  Period merchandise and activities will be available.  Perryn and his team have done their usual outstanding job of bringing together people in a place for everyone to have a good time.  
          Renaissance Hunt and Faire II will run from December 1st to 31st. 

          I encourage everyone to drop by if they have the time to see the Faire and participate in the mini-hunt.  A fun time will be had by all! 
          I’d like to thank Perryn for taking the time to show me around the sim and answer my questions.  I also appreciate his giving me the scoop on this story. 

          Below are links to a few pictures from the sims we visited.  They give a sense of what they’re like.  But you really have to see and experience them for yourselves.
As always, I’m grateful to all 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  Perryn Peterson

Photo No. 6 Kismet Shop

Photo No. 7 Maypole

Photo No. 9 Gypsy Encampment

Photo No. 11 Fencing Pitch

Photo No. 14 Medieval Designs Shop

Photo No. 15 Busking Stage

Photo No. 17 Merchants’ Lane

Photo No. 18 Food Pavilion

Photo No. 19 Galliard Dance Field

Photo No. 20 Tree House

Photo No. 21 Seasonal Decorations

Photo No. 23 Natural Settings

Photo No. 24 Sign Post

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Christmas Carol in Second Life

“It is required of every man," the ghost returned, "that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and, if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death.”
Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

            The Christmas season is coming upon us and I normally don’t get too involved with inworld Holiday celebrations.  However, a recent call from my old friend, Perryn Peterson, changes that and brought me right into the Holidays.

            Of course, Perryn’s promise of a scoop also got my attention.  (Hey, I’m as ambitious as anyone in network news!)  He told me about his latest project in Second Life (SL) which was highly confidential and would I like to write a story about it.  Does a dog have fleas? 

            Well, here it is folks!  Perryn Peterson’s latest SL project!  Starting on December 1st, there will be a recreation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol inworld.  Now, full disclosure here, A Christmas Carol is on my short list of favorite short stories and Dickens is one of my favorite authors. 

            Perryn’s opus will be in Dickens Christmas Village and will run from December 1st to 30th.  I was fortunate to be permitted to visit before the official opening next week. 

            Visitors upon TP-ing in will find themselves in a small park across the road from the counting house offices of Scrooge & Marley.  The ground is snow covered and the period detail is authentic and complete without being overbearing.  Colorful Victorian scenes are used to add to the Holiday mood.  Falling snow adds to the mood.

            Entering Ebenezer Scrooge’s and Jacob Marley’s business establishment one is greeted by Ebenezer standing in the back surrounded by all his money.  Just to the side of the entrance the ghost of Marley can be found lurking.  Perryn has done an excellent job of capturing the bleakness of life in Victorian times unlike the cheeriness that comes across in many Hollywood productions of this story. 

            Perryn has been clever, his usual operating mode inworld, has incorporated various elements of the story to bring the entire story together in a compact space.  For instance, the Ghost of Christmas Past can be found in Scrooge’s bedroom.  (By the way, take a look at the door knocker on the way into his home.)  The Ghost of Christmas Present can be found in the loft at Fezziwig’s warehouse permitting the festive scene to link Scrooge’s youth with his current state.  Finally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come leans over Scrooge’s grave while Marley lies nearby.  Perryn completes the circle of the story.  All these scenes are within several blocks of each other. 

            Nineteenth century London is represented in the homes, offices, shops, warehouses, and stalls which line the streets in Dickens Christmas Village.  Merchants are in the shops and stalls selling period specific merchandise.  A snow slide recreates another classic scene from the story (and is a lot of fun too!)  An ice skating rink rounds out the winter festivities.

            One of Perryn’s popular trademarks, a mini-hunt, will also be run while Dickens Christmas Village is open. 

            Coming right after STEAM 7 and the Day of the Dead productions, A Christmas Carol is another fun and carefully prepared sim.  I’m still impressed both by Perryn’s creativity and the volume of his output.

            The overall effect of Dickens Christmas Village captures the original theme of Dickens’ story.  That even within the grim, harsh world of everyday life there can be a brief moment of happiness.  I encourage to visit Perryn’s latest creation when it opens to the public and think about what he and Dickens are telling us.       
            I’d like to thank Perryn for taking the time to show me around the sim and answer my questions.  I also appreciate his giving me the scoop on this story. 

            Below are links to a few pictures from Dickens Christmas Village.  They give a sense of what it's like.  But you really have to see and experience the sim for yourselves.

As always, I’m grateful to all 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  Perryn Peterson

Photo No. 3 The Story Itself

Photo No. 5 Ebenezer Scrooge

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sex and the Single Avatar in Second Life IV: More BDSM Clubbing in Second Life

You must submit to supreme suffering in order to discover the completion of joy.

John Calvin

          It’s been a while since I’ve gone clubbing in the BDSM scene in Second Life (SL).  After an earlier story on BDSM clubs, Marine Kelley, creator and developer of the RLV viewer and collar, had sent me a list of new BDSM clubs to visit inworld on my next night out.  So, I decided to check some of these out.
          I check in with my naturist friend, Ilse Runo, to see if she’d be interested in a night out and she agrees readily.  (After our last escapade together, I think she’s just curious to see what mayhem I cause next.)  

          Our first stop is the Heavy Bondage Club.  Ilse and I arrive in front of a large building with a few residents about.  We’re standing next to an enclosure for pony play and stables are nearby.  We enter the building and find various pieces of BDSM devices scattered across the floor. A bar is in a far corner.  Unfortunately, most of the devices appear to require a collar to use (or is it enjoy?)  Since I don’t wear one, I can’t check out any.  Ilse, on the other hand, rummages through her inventory and finds a collar and begins to try some of the equipment. BDSM artwork hangs on the walls. 
          We go downstairs to visit the dungeon and cells, finding the usual offerings of restraints and bondage devices.  Ilse doesn’t appear to like the cages.  (Probably fearful that I’ll get us locked in without a key.)  A rubber room is available for those who like that sort of thing.  Several couples are involved in their own private sessions and ignore as we pass through.  (Amazing people’s focus as they go about their business oblivious to others around them, another intriguing aspect of SL I believe.)

          After wandering around for a bit, Ilse and I decide to move onto our next destination, Bondage Ranch.  We TP into a large arrival area dominated by a map offering TP’s to just about every type of BDSM imaginable.  This area overlooks a shopping mall dedicated to BDSM. 
          Unfortunately, Ilse is now experiencing some pretty horrendous lag and we have to make a quick decision to visit a shibari (Japanese rope bondage) sim to try and avoid the problem.  But Ilse’s lag problems continue to deteriorate and we have to go back. 

          A quick discussion leads us to the conclusion that we have to move on in hopes of finding a more receptive sim.  Ilse and I TP to Dark Wishes.  Dark Wishes meets my expectation of what a BDSM club/sim should be like. 
          A large, dark, brooding castle looms over the arrival zone as we rezz in.  A courtyard with various pieces of BDSM equipment can be seen in front of us.  Behind us, a small village, a harbor, and an interesting looking pathway leads into a woods which seems to have promise.  I do know that there is a maze inside the castle. 

          Sadly, Ilse’s lag problems are getting worse.  She is immobile (this is a technical issue and not a bondage one) and has to leave and relog back in.  By the time Ilse’s back, Real Life (RL) commitments take her away again. 
          Ilse’s and my BDSM clubbing expedition brought us to several interesting clubs.  Unfortunately, Ilse’s lag issues prevented us from seeing as much as we wanted and checking out the sims’ features. Oddly, I didn’t experience anything like the lag that she did.  I’m still not sure how Linden Lab (LL) is maintaining the grid but after this experience and a recent gaff when the US set the clocks back for Daylight Savings Time (DST) and the whole grid seemed to be knocked offline I think I’ve got an opportunity for a story series on the quality of the resident experience inworld.  Stay tuned for more. 

           I was able to make a few observations from this brief trip.  First, there are many BDSM clubs/sims inworld offering a variety of devices to enhance practitioners’ experiences.  Next, I’m not seeing communities in these clubs.  I see individuals or couples but not the group dynamic I’ve encountered in other journeys.  In fairness, maybe I haven’t visited enough or have arrived at the wrong times.  Finally, I haven’t seen many visitors which makes me wonder how long these sims may remain open.   
          I’d like to thank Ilse for taking the time to join me on my journey and her patience in enduring her lag issues to stay with me as long as she did.  I hope to see her with me on future journeys.

          Below are links to a few pictures from the sims we visited.  They give a sense of what they’re like.  But you really have to see and experience them for yourselves.
As always, I’m grateful to all 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 Ilse Runo

Photo No. 6 Bondage Ranch Map

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My Second Life Makeover I

My aim is to achieve sustainable change, not just make a cute little makeover. 

Jamie Oliver

          Just recently, I wrote my one hundredth story about my journeys across Second Life (SL) and shortly before that I had celebrated one year as an inworld blogger.  This got me thinking about my inworld appearance.  I need a makeover.  (Significant Other thinks I need one in Real Life (RL) too but that’s another story.)  Right now, the best way to describe me is to say I look like a virtual version of Barbie’s boyfriend Ken.
          To be fair, I’ve had encouragement from SL friends who have subtly (OK, maybe some weren’t so subtle.) suggested that I lose the noob look and get some credibility.  (I also got the sense that I’d be less embarrassing to be around.)  Ilse Runo suggests that people might react more favorably to me if I didn’t look all the time like I’d just stepped out of the SL arrival center. 
          Hints have been made about my hair, my skin, my clothes, and my eyes (which are staying red no matter what).  Admittedly, when I first came to SL, one of my goals was to go “freebie” and not spend any more RL money than I had to.  However, like most things in life, spending a little money can enhance the experience. 
          One SL blogger whose work I read all the time and whom I respect has been chided online for not updating his look for the latest fashions and technologies inworld.  (Sticking to my rule of not being negative I won’t reveal his name.) 

So, it’s not like folks are just ganging up on me.  But I’ve now become sufficiently self-conscious of my inworld looks that I’m ready for that makeover. 
          Where to begin? 

          Fortunately, unlike when I first stumbled into SL, I now have friends who patiently try to advise me and steer me away from my own pitiful choices.  GraciAnne Harte, a successful model inworld, has given me lists of suitable merchants and has taken me shopping.  The amount of choices available is simply overwhelming to me. 
          Ilse actually took the bull by the horns recently and selected a new skin for me which I purchased. (Yes, I actually spent some Linden $’s).  My new skin also comes with some new clothes which, let’s just say, makes me look more contemporary.  She then brought me along to a shop where I could buy some new hair.  This experience taught me a lot that I didn’t know about style and fashion in SL.

Ilse next TP’s me to EMO-tions  an upscale hair shop inworld.  There are a myriad of choices here for men, women, and unisex.  Never being known for quick decisions, I eventually make a selection.  I then learn how to demo a product in SL.  Without Ilse’s help, I’d still be there trying to figure it out.  (Why can’t they just put up a sign that says you purchase the item for 0L$ if you want to try it on?)  We make progress.
          Once I get past trying my new hair on, I buy the hairpiece and wait for it to show up which it eventually does.  Here is where I begin to learn about how one fits one’s self out in SL.  Unlike the freebie stuff I’d just grab ‘n go with previously, I need to have myself fitted or “resized”.  Like when Ilse asks me where my poser is and I go “Huh?”.  Ilse is a very patient woman.  My next problem is that I can’t open my new hairpiece in my home because I’ve somehow bumped up against my prim limits!  (How I did this is beyond me, there’ll be a story on this topic soon, trust me.)

          With Ilse’s help we eventually end up back at EMO-tions where I use their poser to try and put on my hair.  Let’s just say this was a frustrating and unsuccessful process.  Needless to say, I still have a lot to learn.  My first experience with edit mode has makes me appreciate what’s involved in making a good SL appearance.  (Also, have I said Ilse is a very patient woman?) 
          This is my key takeaway this week inworld.  I’ve taken for granted what’s involved with SL style and fashion since I first rezzed in.  My experience with freebies made me say what’s the big deal? My experience with buying and trying to resize a hairpiece has taught me otherwise.  No wonder the fashionistas take a dim view of noobie wannabes like myself.  It takes hard work and time to work at a good appearance inworld.  (It’s only taken me just under two years to come to this realization.)  As with most things in SL, the things worth doing aren’t easy. 

          What’s next?  Well, I have to figure out how to put on my new hairpiece and use edit mode.  Then I’m on for new eyes (red) and some new clothes.  Also, some new tattoos.  (Sorry Ilse!) 
          In case you’re wondering why I’m not revealing any in progress shots or mentioning products, I’m still a work in progress.  The big reveal will happen in a few weeks.  Stay tuned!  Any suggestions or help (like with edit) would be greatly appreciated! 

          I’d like to thank Ilse and Graci for their help and patience in assisting me through my makeover process.  All mistakes and gaffes are solely my responsibility and are probably the result of my not taking the very good, useful, and sane advice I’ve received from both of them. 
           As always, I’m grateful to all 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. 3 EMO-tions I

Photo No. 4 EMO-tions II

Photo No. 5 EMO-tions III

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November Events at Tribute City in Second Life


The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.

Henry David Thoreau

           My good friend, Jessii Warrhol, in Second Life (SL) recently sent me a list of Tribute City Harvest Month events which will be taking place in November.  They will run from November 1 to 30, 2012 in Tribute City. 

          Details are as follows:

Celebrate the harvest and Thanksgiving in Tribute City, with 30 days of great events and of course fun! Events are below.

November 1, to November 30, 2012 - Tribute City Carnival

November 2, 2012 to November 4, 2012 - Ozzy Osbourne Tribute Concert Weekend

November 5, 2012 to November 30, 2012 - Harvest Month Merchant's Fair

November 5, 2012 - 6 HOUR Guy Fawkes Day Party

November 16, 2012 to November 18, 2012 - Red Hot Chili Peppers Tribute Concert Weekend

November 23, 2012 - 4 HOUR Thanksgiving Party

November 24, 2012- Black Friday Party

          Of course do not miss their regular club events in Tribute City’s club calendar and they can be checked out on the web here and here.  As always, for questions or comments, please contact jessii2009 Warrhol, Co-owner & Operator of Tribute City.

          Jessii and the team always put on fun events in Tribute City and I heartily recommend dropping by during November to get into a little premature Holiday spirit!  Tell ‘em web sent you!

          I’d like to thank Jessii for sending me her list of events and thinking of us as the Holiday season comes upon us. 
           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.