Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Onions and Eggs of Russia

I've been exploring again. You know that's always dangerous. lol

So this time, I wandered over to Red Square. No really. I'm serious. RED SQUARE. Home to military parades hosting the Soviets, the Nazi's and now Russians. Mathias Rust landed a light aircraft on the square in the 80s. And most recently, not only was Red Square one of the first sites in the USSR added to the UNESCO's World Heritage List, but in happier times, welcomes visitors in the winter for ice skating as well as some of the world's top musicians from Shakira to Pink Floyd.

Upon teleporting, the first thing you notice is how empty it is... then you take note of the total and complete lack of cops. You will however notice the swank cars - leaves you with the impression that if you wait long enough, Vin Diesel will screach around the corner and sweep you off your feet. I landed near Lenin's Mausoleum and wandered inside to find a guy in a box. That's it. So I left.

Other sites on the square were lovely on the exterior. One is St. Basil's Cathedral (also known as Cathedral of Intercession of the Virgin on the Moat) known for it's beautifully coloured onion domes. Commissioned by Ivan the IV, the Cathedral was built between 1555 and 1561 by Russian architects Postnik and Barma (although there was rumor of an Italian that I have been unable to confirm). St Basil is said to be burried in one of the chapels and the cathedral itself is said to have been built upon a temple constructed to commemorate the victory of Ivan the Terrible over Kazan and Astrakhan khanate.

If you get a chance, wander on over to Red Square. Take a snapshot or two. But keep your expectations under control. Just like the good ol USSR back in the day, everything is a front - the interiors are as shallow and empty as a hollowed out Easter egg. That's a big difference when you are expecting Fabergé.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy birthdays to...

On Friday, Kallyfaith Rolland had her RL birthday. On Sunday, Nexeus Fatale had his. Kally delighted in peace and quiet as those in her RL let her be for several hours giving the gift of blissful silence. Nex received a black kitten for his birthday and has spent the last several days giddy as a school girl every time the critter breathes.

Kally has been a constant support over my last year in SL, a resource, and a source of great encouragement. Nex's wit and gift of tongue (that means GAB people, sheesh!) have been a companion to me too. To them both, I wish a very happy and blessed birthday. And I offer my thanks for all the good times had this past year. MUAH

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Home, Sweet Tree

I'm fortunate to have friends who open their doors and make their home my own. Over the last few weeks, we've been picking up our parts all over Happy Trees in preparation for a move. This of course included visiting dozens of sims in search of that new place to be. I fell in love with one, only to find they were selling and leaving SL. Of course, we eventually landed a plot that's just right. We named it Serendipity.

I reported to work while my friend started the build. I have attended a number of St. Patrick's Day parties over the last few days but honestly, was bored to death with the music. You can only hear U2 so many times before you realize the DJ's knowledge of Irish bands is limited. And to toss in a jig behind Vertigo, well, it just doesn't really work. This is one reason that I enjoy hearing DJ Tarsis Korobase spin the way I do. Okay, so he threw in a cheesy Irish sounding remake of a Tiffany song... But despite that, his ability to program, make things flow, and keep it interesting keeps me on my toes. You gotta love a good set.

When I returned to the build the next morning, I plopped down on our brand spanking new deck in our new treehouse overlooking the ocean while the burgers grilled on the grill and the breeeze kissed my cheeks. Summer is coming and everything in my being feels blessed with the knowledge that I have good friends who entertain me, house me and share their love.


PS: Kid. It's WAR.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Tree Guy, Walking the Plank and Twerps

Content Theft.


You guys may remember I got giddy er... I mean, expressed my concern over this when I mentioned ThereseTammas' naked protest in the middle of Linden Village (A Nekkid Protester and a Rip Off).

And you probably suffered through my rant with Crackers, Onion Rings and the Law.

Well, my sister got a notecard from a well known shoe designer transcripting a conversation with someone who ripped her off. The crackers attitude? "It's just a gaaaaaame." The designer's attitude? "It's my livelihood you little twerp."

While doing my what is everybody up to? search, poor Wrath Paine had it out with a tree designer who had suffered content loss and thought Wrath was the bad guy. It was clearly a mistake that was worked out later and Wrath expects his trees delivered soon to help him continue to contribute his part in the beautification of SL.

And while lost in a shop I had no idea how I got there, I overheard a DJ whine to a gal that someone stream-ripped his set and used it as their own. I can hear the RIAA having a heart attack, gasping for breath, and falling over from their chairs with a THUMP to the floor as they peek with one eye at the door to see if anyone is watching, then immediately acting dead when they hear a stirring.

You may have also heard that the Skin Fair faced a protest that could have, had it been pressed, prevented the open of fair doors. One of the designers discovered that her line had been pirated and the pirate had a booth. The proverbial Everyone put their foot down (which I doubt was necessary - I imagine had they simply asked, it would have been taken care of but you know SL Drama), the pirate was given the plank, and all designers gleefully opened their skiffs for business.

Meanwhile, skin designers have started an ad campaign depicting nude, well, designers. It is an effort to educate people and to ask that they check the creator when buying. Which reminds me. Someone recently told me that if I have skins in my inventory that look like someone else's, and they aren't marked as such, they are ripped off. I found some skins marked CS. Nice skins actually, although a little too bubble gum for me. And I need to track the creator because guess what? I may have stolen virtual property in my own inventory. How is THAT for news? (whoopie.)

Our friend Tarasia Ashbourne has been a busy little bee as she has worked to organize everyone into one big happy family of victims and potential victims. This was a smart move (and I really do mean that). Now there is a base working against content theft, one that is broader than just the handful that was carrying the torch before, protecting everyone from the big ugly when no one else was looking (unless of course, they themselves were hit). These folks by the way, advocate checking your object creator. Tricky when it comes to stealing textures, but at least you'll sleep at night knowing your brand new prim skirt actually came from the person who sold it to you.

I'm curious however, as to how fullproof this whole effort really is in deterring theft. I came up against a griefer a few weeks ago who scripted something clever. The attack tool she used took on the ownership of the target, but without the target's control. In other words, it masked, making the perp look like the vic. So how hard would it be for clever little scripters to do the same with clothing or shoes or in the case of Wrath's tree guy, a bunch of grass?

There was a copier floating around SL for a bit. The thing was for sale for several thousand bucks before Lindens pulled it. All you had to do was wear it, and basically click. The thing did the rest. Copy a skirt? NP. Copy shoes? NP. Copy a tree? NP. Copy a weapon? NP. Copy artwork? NP. You get the idea.

Somehow, the hackers creed no longer seems to apply. Content theft is real and it plays with real people's lives. Fun to steal a pair of boots and resell them as your own until you find out that that pair of boots was putting shoes on five real life kids. Funny thing to me is that the same people who often declare freedom in content the most passionately, are often the same ones that want poor kids to have shoes. Nice to know they can virtually rip them right off their cold little feet. It may be a fun little game for you, but it's life for others. So what does that say about your character?

By the way, where are the folks from CSI-NY when you need them?

What? Like I can't add to the drama?

*** Update! Kitty Box Fashion Show, 4pm, March 11th. To support the fight against content theft. The ad was kinda purrrdy. Black and white n all that jazz you hip cat. Renneville Square, Klapheck (168, 50, 29)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Floor and the Wall

A newbie artist friend discovered this little place and in his newbie excitement tp'd me over to check out the spot. This is a gallery in Benvolio. And I think it's a place you need to experience to appreciate. That tree you see is actually embedded into the floor. You walk into the gallery and this artistic display evolves as you walk. It is breathtaking. I can only imagine what it looks like in windlight. *grumbling about video cards that don't like SL*

While wandering around the SIM, my friend also discovered the Wall. The space allows you to choose your Floyd tune and jam out in a surreal area very Floyd inspired. Nothing like getting my classic rock on after so many years of pretending I wasn't a hard rock junkie as a kid.

Gallery Diabolus, Benvolio. Use the pyramid teleporter to move between levels. And remember to watch your radio! ;)

Friday, March 7, 2008

SL Plague or...?

My sister Gina (Ginna Whitfield). Looks like the plague got her too. And you think that's bad? Her right foot was three times bigger than her left one. Don't ask me what happened to her hair.

I'd think demon if I hadn't seen it before. lol

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Last Call for Last Call

Last Call. *weeping* Official close date is March 31st.

As many know, Ginny Talamasca has "extend the Last Call $100L sale through the end of March, to accommodate customer desire for more shopping time before Last Call closes its doors permanently as she retires from SL." The official word is that all Last Call Fashions will the be destroyed (not those you own - those not purchased!).

Thing is, there are other designs... *gasp* Designs from the past... Retired designs... VINTAGE designs!!! *whispering My Pretty in an evil, obsessed voice*

Want 'um? Me too. Here's what you have to do: drop a notecard to the attention of Ginny Talamasca entitled ‘LC Re-release’ and say "YES I want the re-release! Please!!!" (a simple "yes" will do). Why? "I will NOT do this without express permission from the Last Call update group and SL client base. In short, I am putting the matter to a vote." So, you know, vote darnit!

Vote until March 7th. If it passes, the girls of Last Call will do the final re-release on March 10th until the end of the month. And on April 1st we will all weep uncontrollably. Pity Party anyone?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Impeccable Anna

A few days ago, I was bored, wandering in Cetus Gallery District, and ran into an acquaintance named AnnaLise who was rearranging her gallery. A new display of art was going up from an artist who embraces what I would call "mood expression" - a contemporary expression of how she feels about things around her. We all know that I am an expert *cough* in art deconstruction *cough-yeah-cough-right* so that term is an official term in the art world... or something like that...

AnnaLise held her gallery open this weekend: ImPeccable Art; I had no idea it was her first one. With that, I am duly impressed. The gallery is elegant, with a very distinct use of space. From the playing around she did earlier in the week to the finished product left me actually verbalizing "oh wow! Nice work!". We always focus on the artists in SL - on their work - but we rarely give much thought to the person who arranges the display which is an art unto itself. Anna has a certain gift of her own. Enjoy the show and don't forget to pick up a painting of your own. You'll note how they grow on you once you see them.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Skin, Skin and More Skin

What? Like you thought I'd skip the 2008 Skin Fair. Puhleese.

I lost track of how many skin designers are here (I actually write this from in world). But, darnit, there sure are a lot of them. Snag your freebies at Tuli (ladies) and Nora (ladies and gents). I'd give you more but haven't found them yet. lol

These things tend to pop during the last few days so keep your eyes peeled for sudden close outs, freebie releases and other goodies. Ya never know what you might find!

And for those of you who haven't made it yet, check out the pic of one exhausted Ribbons hanging by the fountain.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Taco Asteroids and Some Space

I'm working on a little somethin-somethin for the Hey Girlfriend! blog and in the process of doing so, hooked up with designer Grafx Newbold. Grafx happens to be on the cutting edge in his RL work as he designs lighting systems that use new technologies for top musical artists and other hoity toity professionals and organizations. He's a cool dude with a healthy appreciation for sangria and a good taco.

We got along well so the other night, he invited me over to meet some friends of his, including one friend in particular: Galaxy Girl. She's an out of this world gal, not to mention a talented one. GG (for short) welcomed me warmly to the Galactic Palace and invited me to hang in her brand new pool for a bit. We were working on figuring out how to make the water seemingly pour out of the pool into open space when others all joined in the fun. "Open space" you wonder? Well, yeah. We were on board her space ship. You know, like XYZ meters from land. In space. With asteroids.

Definitely one to put on your drop by list, pending an invitation. Check out the art if you get a moment and if you're lucky, you might catch one of her gigs.