Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Lately I've been looking back on my first year in Second Life and realizing that I spent a big chunk of that time being partnered or otherwise involved with a significant other. I've also realized that by doing so, I've missed out on so many things, things I didn't learn, didn't see or experience.

I intend to fix that.

I've got good, close friends and since making the decision to remain unattached, I'm much more content. I'm looking forward to documenting my experiences as I rediscover all the aspects of the grid that I missed the first year.

I'll see ya'll inworld!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Second Faith: Morning Star Christian Playground

Near my Grey Corner property in Second Life is an area called "Morning Star Christian Playground." I had ventured over once, when I first noticed the spinning sign on the horizon, finding a small area with a bit of literature here and there, nothing spectacular. I went back for another visit this weekend and found that it had grown considerably since last time.

My attention was drawn first to the large, four story building.
At the base of the building were some signs depicting literature which I thought resembled the pamphlets usually distributed by the Jehovah's Witness groups.

To the right there was an elevator of sorts, it didn't function but gave out landmarks for teleporting to each of the four floors. The top floor, "the gallery," was a collection of artwork, much like what you see advertised by the Franklin Mint. The second and third floors were completely empty. It seemed like such a waste of valuable space, I'd love to know what they plan on putting there.

The center of the property was another large open space, bordered on the left by shop kiosks for rent and a club on the right. I walked around the shops and came to some startling conclusions. First, apparently disco wear is the preferred dress for church in Second Life:

I'm not sure if the Southern Baptist minister who pastored the church I grew up in would have approved, but then times have changed since then.

Other shops sold faith inspired jewelry, artwork and clothing. From the look of the avatars in the pictures selling the clothing, it can be assumed that ginormous hooters are also church approved.

Eventually I made my way over to the club area with it's neon signs and flashing lights. I had conflicting emotions by finding five campers there, three on dance pads, one playing pinball and one pushing a janitor's cart. I mean, should campers be employed on Sunday on church property? Just askin'...

While there I saw one live avatar, Teo. I asked Teo if he owned the property, he said he didn't but that he visited there often. Right off the bat he asked me if I had questions about God. I told him I was comfortable with my own faith, but I think he figured he had a live one and suddenly I was being interrogated about what I believed and it was implied in twenty different ways that I was just plain wrong and .. bless his heart.. Teo knew all the answers.

Some of the items sold in the shops, struck me as a little creepy and believe me, I have a high threshold for creepiness. The dance area, with it's giant neon Jesus sign overhead and assortment of line dances was empty each time I visited. Other than Teo, I didn't encounter anyone else there, just the campers. One of them did message me as she left, telling me I needed to im the owner. I got the impression she wasn't thrilled with the conversation Teo and I were having.

There were also a few free SL bibles around. I don't know if they were versions of the real thing or rewritten for the virtual world and I decided that I didn't need to find out.

I'm not sure what the Morning Star Christian Playground is trying to accomplish. When I asked what denomination they were, Teo informed me that there was none, but the signs on the large building at the head of the property were provided by the "SES" or Southern Evangelical Seminary.

Are they looking for new ministers in Second Life? One has to wonder.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Boob Tube Invasion of Second Life

Last night CSI:NY came to Second Life, tonight NBC's "The Office" will show Dwight, my favorite dorktacular office employee visiting the grid.

What's next?

*Live from Second Life!! It's Saturday Night!

*My Name is Earl Linden

*Second Life's Next Top Avatar (that one may already be in the event list.. )

*Oprah Prime Time Special "I shagged your friend but I didn't know he was really your alt, but I was using my alt so is it really cheating?"

*As the Grid Turns

*Furry's Anatomy

*The Neko Whisperer

See ya'll inworld!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Feeding the Beast No More

Over the weekend, Bear Dream Lodge Infohub was once again visited by an angry landowner, this time a shop keeper. As he stood in the center of the gathering, shouting insults and obscenities, I wondered what, exactly, he was trying to accomplish.

I assume that if you open a store, more traffic yields higher sales. Opening your store directly across the road from an infohub would definitely give you more traffic and one would assume, put more money in your pocket.

Why then, would you enter the infohub and call everyone, new and established accounts alike, everything from an *sshole to a wh*re? I can almost guarantee that no one in attendance was making plans to make any purchases from those establishments. Is this a wise business practice?

Within minutes, this shop owner (who sadly seemed to be suffering from some form of typing Turrets, God bless him) was joined by the other landowner, the one who frequents the infohub when she needs a boost to her self esteem.

It's like a day care center, with all the stomping around and demanding of attention.

They complain about all the ad farmers yet outside their businesses they display huge signage:

Notice the lovely flaming finger displayed multiple times. A nice touch I think.

I can understand the frustration of opening a business and not being able to operate it properly because it shares a region with an infohub. Perhaps it's time to learn what we can from these errors in judgement and move on.

Lag can be a huge problem when a sim is full, especially while trying to conduct business. Another resource hogging practice is the addition of camping chairs or dance pads. If you're new and looking for a way to make some spending money, please don't fall prey to this practice. It costs more for the electricity to run your computer while there than you are being paid. By having you parked on their property for ten minutes and paying you the equivalent of one U.S. nickel the owner increases the traffic rating for their land, falsely inflating it, improving the position of their listing in the "places" menu. Instead of idling on a dance pad for an hour, invest your time in a class at NCI, learning to build or script. At least you'll be interacting with other residents and putting another wrinkle in your brain. Second Life has enough zombies already.

Other practices being performed in the area around the infohub include individuals messaging new residents, spamming them with landmarks to other regions and implying that they are acting on behalf of Linden staff, to assist them in setting their "home" elsewhere. It's interesting to note that when this occurs, the profile of the individual redirecting the new residents, is usually less than a week old. Draw your own conclusions.

There have also been instances of individuals standing on the edge of the landing area, using particle emitters to block the vision of people entering the region, causing excessive lag conditions and leading to sim crashes. It is probable that because this practice began at the same time that neighboring business owners started making statements that they were going to have the infohub shut down, that the events are related.

I've reviewed Linden Labs "Terms of Service" and "Community Standards" as well as their definition of infohubs and the intended purpose of these areas. I can say with utmost certainty that nowhere within these documents is the use of profanity, insults, threats or the misrepresentation of intent condoned in any way. Having made that statement, I can also assume that, based on past experience, little or no "official" action will be taken against these practices in the Bear Dream Lodge Infohub situation.

My advice to residents? Don't feed the beast.

At the moment that it becomes evident that an individual who lacks basic social skills is going to become verbally abusive, mute them. It's easy to do, right click on either their avatar or their name, chose mute and magically, the grid becomes a happy place again. Arguing just feeds their infantile need for attention.. and that's really what this is all about.

Oh and to that Bear business owner who continues to insist that she's having the infohub shut down?

Shit or get off the pot.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Peek at "CSI: NY" in Second Life

This episode of "CSI NY" featuring Second Life airs Wednesday, October 24th. Prepare yourselves, we're going to be in for a flood of new residents!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Home on the Grid

I spent the better part of the weekend turning my small parcel of land into a home for Second Slice. From there residents can access the site and leave suggestions for stories, comments or requests for product reviews from within Second Life.
I want to thank Norf Lundquist and Nye Mu for their help with some technical matters (I was having a few Forest Gump moments this weekend) and Katie Broome for the Halloween decorations.
When I wasn't working on the new office, I was playing with the new BlogHud. I'm having some problems getting it to cross post to Second Slice, but I plan to have that fixed in the next couple of days.. when this case of Gump-brain passes.
I'm in the process of compiling information related to the landowner drama surrounding the Bear Dream Lodge Infohub, I should have that for you in the next few days.
In the meantime, I'll see ya'll inworld!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Grizzly Visits Bear

I had planned to begin this story with the line: "The debate was heating up at the Bear Infohub late Friday evening.." but one person standing in the middle of the area insulting, belittling and arguing with the rest of the attending crowd, hardly constitutes a debate.
I suppose that the notorious landowner hasn't been getting enough attention lately and decided to pay the infohub a visit. I was reminded of a comment I once heard from that very landowner when she stated that newbies want any attention they can get, even if it's negative attention. One could make the same statement about long time residents who enter a public area and attempt to reprimand everyone who is gathered there, simply because it doesn't suit her.
I was appalled by the behavior of this landowner, one of Second Life's beloved mentors as she answered the inquiry of one brand new resident. The newbie's profile indicated that she'd been inworld for less than 48 hours and she was obviously struggling to make sense of the situation. After all, she'd been told this was her "home," yet this person was implying that only those that paid tier on the infohub land had a right to be there.
When the newest resident, Delila Milos, asked a question of the landowner, this mentor, she was instructed to "stick your thumb up your ass."
Is this how Linden Labs wishes for it's mentors to greet new residents, to welcome them to the grid?
During her visit, this individual made comments offending people who did not embrace English as their native language, women who were post menopausal and publicly exposed personal information about one of the residents, all while screaming about Linden Lab policy. One could suggest that this person review the Terms Of Service regarding intolerance and the divulging of the private information of others.
As always, all comments are welcomed. I'll see ya'll inworld!

Friday, October 19, 2007

To Alt or Not to Alt

Most long time residents of Second Life have at least one. Some regard them suspiciously, accusing them of being used to spy on others. I've heard some say they use them to get a break from their growing popularity, to find a bit of peace to wander through the grid unhindered by IMs and demands for attention. I'm speaking of course... of alts.

I never had an alt, until recently. I didn't see the need for one, I have enough trouble keeping my head on straight with just one avatar. I did wonder though, what it would be like to start over as a newbie, if I would see things differently, if it would be any easier the second time around. My first impression was how unsettling it was to see myself teetering around like a newly hatched chick. I'd taken for granted the nice skin I had (bought by an ex-boyfriend), the loaded AO that I'd searched far and wide for, all the time I'd spent tweaking my shape. These things had become a part of me and how I identified myself.

It's scary to start over... but exciting.

Now I wonder... do I tell people I know? Is it dishonest not to? Would it be a mistake if I did?

What do you think? If you have an alt (or two, or three) I'd love to know what made you decide to create them. Did you tell your friends? Or is it a deep, dark secret? Leave your comments below :)

See ya'll in world!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Godiva Rides Again

In celebration of the one year anniversary of my very first day in Second Life, last night I removed all clothing, put on my best floor length, Lady Godiva hair then rode my horse from one end of the Bear region to the other.

There are pictures, but you'll have to find me in world to see them. I didn't take them and I haven't sorted out how to save them to my computer yet.

Sorry if you missed it, I'll do it again next year :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Discussions of the Very Sleepy

What was the intriguing topic on everyone's minds around the infohub last night?

*World politics?

*Feeding the poor?

*The economic health of third world countries?


It was whether a fairy, when experiencing flatulence, would be propelled skyward, considering their body mass versus the force of the gaseous release. Several factors were taken into account, their distance from a solid object (ie: the ground), the effects of diet and individual health concerns (ie: lactose intolerance.)

Much Googling was done and it was determined that fairies did not partake of salt, which lead to a discussion of slugs. When milk was mentioned as a diet staple, whether or not it was cow's milk was brought into question along with yet another reference to the possibility of lactose intolerance.

Do slugs give milk? Do they have teats? Is this the source of the milk that fairies ingest as the main component of their diets?

So many unanswered questions...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Second Faith: Latter Day Saints

When you scour through the events list, it's easy to become overwhelmed by all the "Best in Leather" and "FREE SEX" listings and forget that there are other things available to us inworld. I found it surprising that there are so many parcels of land devoted to faith and religion.

With the popularity in the U.S. of HBO's "Big Love" and the media storm surrounding the Warren Jeffs trial, the Mormon church has become the latest unwilling star of faith based media. I was surprised to find that the LDS church has a presence right here in Second Life. Care should be taken to not confuse the LDS church (Latter Day Saints) with FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) which still embraces the polygamist lifestyle.

I paid a visit to an estate owned by Adam ondi Ahman, the home to a LDS Chapel in Second Life. The area is beautifully crafted, with great attention paid to detail. I was only able to find one other resident, seen here and "away." Do you suppose they employ campers in chapels?

I wandered around and found loads of literature for anyone who wanted information about LDS or Mormon faith. I felt a little uncomfortable, there was a sign asking visitors to respect the intention of the area, yet I was wondering around in a leopard print halter top and some crack revealing low-rider slacks.

Beside the chapel there was a larger building filled with pews, television cameras and a giant t.v. screen. I had a seat and attempted to view the presentation, but I couldn't get anything to play. Maybe they air first life broadcasts on a regularly scheduled basis. I have no idea.

Just outside of the buildings was a hedge maze leading you through signs and literature explaining the church with pictures and links to online information. I'm sort of surprised that the Mormon church would even condone a presence in something like Second Life.

There were also links to genealogy information, available online. Ancestry is important to the LDS church, if I'm not mistaken (feel free to comment and correct me if I'm wrong) all of your ancestors must be baptised in the LDS church before you can be accepted in to heaven. I think they will even baptise those that passed on years before, to ensure a place in the next life.

The links to those resources are shown here, with benches that wouldn't allow me to sit. Do you suppose they knew I was dressed like a sleaze and didn't want to encourage me to hang around?

Regardless of your beliefs or how you feel about a religious presence inworld, you can't help but appreciate the care and attention that went into creating such a peaceful place.

Visiting here was a nice break from the leather, whips and chains.

If ya'll know of a parcel inworld that you'd like to see featured on Second Slice, leave me a comment!

I'll see ya'll inworld :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pondering Thoughts...

If my mute list is longer than my friends list, does it mean I don't play well with others?

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Art of Conversation

Ya'll know the scenario, the avatar with the pretty skin and fantabulous hair is standing alone just outside one of the gazillion shops. She's spotted by the lonely newbie, he approaches her nervously and utters the words every girl is just dying to hear: "asl"

It makes me wanna palm the little fella right between the eyes. I mean seriously.. would you walk up to someone in public and do that in your first life? If you answered "yes" to that question, then you stand a good chance of being just as unpopular and socially stunted in SL as you are in RL.

Since I'm on the subject, if we've just met, there's no need for you to get all up in my personal business. If you ask where I'm from and I answer "the U.S.", don't demand more specific information. You're not coming over for coffee anytime soon. I don't want to be rude and after I've gotten to know you a bit I'll be more than happy to share more information.

I love meeting people and enjoy helping the new residents out whenever I can... honest. The next time you think about approaching someone, stop and consider if you'd ask the same questions while meeting someone face to face for the first time.

See ya'll inworld!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Adventures in Shopping

After a couple of nights of dancing with a friend, last night it was time to get back down to business. I really wanted to update the pay teleports used for skybox rentals at the small park I have straddling the Grey Corner and Brolga regions. The ones I've been using worked, but their teleport distance was limited to 300m and there was only one payment option available.

I had found a set that I was interested in on SLexchange and I thought I knew where I could find them inworld. We ended up in the biggest flippen furniture store I've ever seen, Corn Furniture, flying around looking for teleporters. When I finally did find the product I was interested in, I was disappointed. The pay teleporter they had would only allow one customer to use it for access at a time. Great if you're an escort/owner, but not when it will be used to lease skyboxes to couples.

On a hunch, I decided to check back at the shop where I bought my original teleporters. I'd had them a while, maybe there was a newer version with more options. I made my way over to Alicia Stella Design and nearly squeed with glee when I discovered a new and improved model that did everything I wanted, including an increased teleport distance to 750m.

Problem solved :)

This means I get to move things around and play this weekend. I'm thinking of installing television screens next.

If you're new to Second Slice, you may want to check out my post on Bear Dream Lodge where the comments are getting a little heated.

Also, I'd like to thank the good folks at the Bear Co-op for helping me get the word out about Second Slice. You can pay them a visit the next time you're around the infohub, just look for the clock tower beyond the brick wall. You'll find all kinds of helpful information and some pretty cool folks too.

See ya inworld!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Too Cool for Second Life?

Anyone who's been on the grid for any length of time has met them. They can usually be found off in a corner with their angst ridden, pouty AO, offering a word or two to the conversation at first, seemingly harmless enough. They laugh at the fantasy based avatars, questioning everyone's grip on reality. It doesn't take long before the insults begin, accusing everyone who doesn't have a "first life" picture in their profile or of using voice enabled chat of having something to hide. They claim to have created their avatars to be an exact representation of their first life selves and proclaim anyone that doesn't do likewise to be a liar.

The Second Life version of sex is to them, silly. They'd never go to a strip club or enjoy watching two "cartoons" showing intimacy.

They make sure everyone knows that they are far superior in intelligence to anyone they've encountered in world and way too cool for this stupid "Second Life."The insults fly and things always turn ugly.

Personally, I don't get it. If you have nothing in common with anyone inword.. then leave.. kay?

When the latest version of this scenario played out in world Sunday morning and everyone had this joker on mute, he was joined by his little Neko friend who greeted him with her huggy attachment. Excuse me but, these were the very residents he'd been attacking and insulting just minutes before.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe his friend wears kitty ears and a tail in her day to day first life, but I seriously doubt it.

Have you ever encountered residents who think they're "too cool for Second Life?"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

S & K Fashions

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing business owner Katie Bloome for some time in world. We often run in to each other at Bear, sitting on the wall and chatting away. I finally had the chance to visit her shop, S & K Fashions over the weekend.

Katie and business partner Sommel Edelman began S & K Fashions together, creating some of the most beautiful jewelry I’ve seen in world. I liked it because it’s not over done. Some of the stones I’ve seen have enough bling to blind people in the next region. Katie beamed as she described one of their creations, called “the perfect diamond” which “twinkles without bling.” I was impressed with the fabric textures used for their clothing, very realistic.

The prices are reasonable, the quality is outstanding and the selection is impressive at S & K Fashions, located at 82.29.27 on your map.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Get Your Spook On

It's barely October but we're already starting to see the Halloween decorations going up in world. I scoured the events list to check a few of them out and after landing on some real duds, I found the Haunted House of Shyland. I was attacked by zombies before I even got through the yard (wtf is it with me and zombies???)

The house was pretty cool, but SL was doing rolling restarts and everything was kinda wonky, so I didn't stay for the whole thing. I did run into an ex boyfriend and his new partner there:

They look happy together.. don't they? I think she did me a favor when she pretended to be my bestest friend so she could stab me in the back, just to get close to him... BUT I'M NOT BITTER.


See ya'll in world :)

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