Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dancing the night away

I don't actually spend that much time in SL, and when I am inworld I'm usually either sailing or slaving away on some toy.

But I do take some time to enjoy chatting with my closest friends, and in the past few days have had the pleasure of dancing the night away with my wallaby, Marie, so here are some pics of us doing the moves. In RL, I actually dance well (though I sing atrociously), so even though I can't hear the music in my SL dances I do appreciate the cool moves.

We like spending time in the Alanis bar because late at night there is almost no lag in the place, and very few people.
Awww, we look so suave ;-)

I believe she was kissing me here, or doing something similarly intimate. Cheeky girl.
This reminds me of a movie I once saw (Airplane!) where the guy a la Staurday Night Live boosts the girl up and hurls her flying into the air. Check the video above if you haven't done so already, hilarious movie. Ah, the 1980s.
We also spent some time dancing in the Alanis Pavilion, and the BDSM theme of the place shows itself in the statues of figures in various states of undress and compromising positions.

Tinka yesterday also introduced a BDSM sim (The Old Guard BDSM Club) with beautiful stained glass windows and a cool atmosphere, though I could not see the rezzed couple dance balls and we had to dance using single balls.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Exploring Crow's Nest in the Blake Sea

Marie Monk and I set sail from the Baltic area, deep in the eastern reaches of the Blake Sea, and traveled west by sail for the island of Crow's Nest.

If one looks at a map of the region, the relative isolation of this island is quite apparent, situated as it is smack dab in the middle of the Blake Sea.

As we approached the island, the first thing that loomed in the distance was the enormous lighthouse, which at 85 meters tall is supposedly the tallest such structure in the Blake Sea.

As I eased The Wallaby closer, we were suddenly engulfed in a thick fog that made the entire aspect of the island somewhat sinister, though we could not help but be astonished at the beauty of the place.

A thuck thuck thuck sound also heralded the approach of a red helicopter, which landed in a helipad on the island and disgorged two furries, who came down to greet us and marvel at The Wallaby.

I moored the sailboat and we clambered out and up the steep stone steps, pausing for a while to read two signs posts that gave some history about the Blake Sea and some tips on what not to do when sailboat races are in play.

Blake Sea was created to cater to the sailing community in Second Life after the USS (United Sailing Sims), which owned a vast number of sims and represented the sailing clubs in SL, threatened to "jump ship from SL".

As time passed, the USS allowed other interest groups such as the Fighting Sails (informally known as the "Pirates") and the aircraft communities to extensively use the area as well.

We continued our climb up the stairs to the base of the lighthouse itself, which was inaccessible and barred with a chain gate, and discovered near the helipad a monument to one of the sailing community's worst disasters, when in 1979 a storm killed 18 people during the Fastnet Race in the Atlantic.

Far below us we spotted The Wallaby as it gently bobbed in the slight ocean swells.

We decided to risk death by taking pics on the helipad landing point as well.

As dusk approached I anchored The Wallaby and retired to the cabin inside and the restful bed.

And was surprised to discover in the morning that a sail race featuring more than 10 competitors in fast boats had started, looping in close to the island and back again to the start point again and again!

It was a surprising and satisfying end to the exploration of Crow's Nest in the Blake Sea.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Another Silly Meme

Since I love being a lemming, here's my replies to a meme from Lori Novo, who got it from Strawberry Singh.

1. What is the rez date for your current SL Avatar that you use most often?

monkeyking2011. MK. My main alt, the avi i came into SL with. Rez date of May 31, 2011.


2. Where was the first place you made friends as a newb and got to know people in Second Life?

I came inworld with my ex-gf and I believe the first real friends we had was when we lived in Azure Islands after a stint at a Linden home. She was my one and only true friend at the time and I loved her very much.

At Azure Islands.

3. Where do you spend most of your SL time now?

Either at my home in Lorena Chung (at 2000 meter sandbox working, or watching my friends watch movies in the open air balcony) or sailing the Blake Seas.

Sailing past my home at Lorena Chung.

4. Who is your closest friend in Second Life? (only pick one)

A rowdy, perpetually-drunk, beauty named Marie, who is also a friend in RL, and who hails from the land down under, where women glow (not blow!) and men plunder (not thunder!).

At Crow's Nest in the Blake Sea
5. What is the most favorite thing in your inventory? (only pick one)

The Wallaby, my new sailboat.

6. The last thing you purchased in Second Life? 

The Wallaby, my new sailboat.

7. What color clothing does your avatar wear most often?

Black. Hides the blood stains after I torture leprechauns for spanking without a license.

With a talking bird I had just created for Timeless Treasures

8. Do you prefer to walk, run or fly?

Walk. Perpetually running avatars look silly.

9. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in SL?

Made love next to the bleeding body of a rapist I had just filleted.

Such crazy kids in 2011

10. Who would you like to play YOU, in the movie of your SLife? 

Me, cuz I'm unique, just like everyone else.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Exploring the Nautilus Grand Canal

Sailing languidly through the sims of SL on the other hand, allows people to actually take time to look around, and spend time visually exploring their surroundings. They are part of the environment, submerged in it, instead of hovering hundreds of meters up and looking at it from afar.

One of the dreams I have is of exploring little islands in a yacht, doing my research on native species while I sail serenely from one unexplored tropical lagoon to another. In SL I have the chance to do that, though obviously the SL experience is quite lacking compared to real life.

Nevertheless, the thrill of discovering something that I had never seen before, of finding something beautiful and fascinating in the morass of everyday things, can be just as deep and fulfilling. Call the SL experience a practice run, a harbinger of hopefully things to come in RL.

In SL of course people can TP and fly and do all sorts of things that we normally can't. But in some ways I think this detracts from the thrill of discovery. Flying over diverse landscapes and TPing from place to place creates a fast pace of life that may cause one to lose sight of little things in the environment that should not have been missed.

Sailing languidly through the sims of SL on the other hand, allows people to actually take time to look around, and spend time visually exploring their surroundings. They are part of the environment, submerged in it, instead of hovering hundreds of meters up and looking at it from afar. This makes sailing one of the best ways of seeing SL, in my opinion, and once in awhile I'd like to show people some of the places I visited while sailing the seas of Second Life.

The little island of Barbarossa sits by itself on the western part of the Blake Sea, just across from the Nautilus Continent of the Linden mainlands. It is the gateway to the Nautilus continent, one of the Linden mainlands.

The island itself is quite small, but with a lighthouse, beach chairs and outhouses, and some moors for the occasional seaplane and ships.

It is however a frequent passing point for ships and aircraft. The beautiful sailboat in the pic below passes an old vintage airplane, which is obviously below 70 meters in the air and thus breaking an formal rule between the sailing organizations and the flyers.

I had been sailing west and had stopped by the island for a rest stop, and happened to notice in the distance the outlines of a massive structure.

Intrigued, I set sail westwards towards it, passing by one of the coast guard vessels that patrolled the area for miscreants.

As I came closer I realized it was a massive tower, decorated with silver dolphins along its many decks and fronted by a golden statue from which spouted fountains of iridescent water.

In front of the gargantuan structure were plaques that commemorated the builders of the surrounding area.

And this was when I noticed a channel that led into the mainland proper, a canal that thrust into the continent and allowed passage to sea-going vessels like The Wallaby. So I sailed on into the canal, and noticed that the thin strip of land which was protected land held structures that looked like ancient Greek temples.

At the end of the canal I came upon the most massive gates I've ever seen in SL, flanked by tall walls made of stone.

The gates were made of some bronze-like metal, with elaborate dolphins embossed on the front faces. I sailed bravely through the gates.

Dwarfed by the immense walls that flanked my now-miniscule sailboat.

Until I finally came upon a circular area where the canal ended.

Above me loomed the walls of this citadel, and beyond them buildings of various types and history. I circled round the closed arena, still using my sails, but had to start my engine on the way back because the wind as usual was blowing east and it would be rough going upwind in such a narrow passageway.

As I passed the gigantic gates, I clicked on them and to my surprise they closed ponderously and with great dignity, sealing for now the secret passageway to the heart of the city.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Wallaby

In the Blake Sea, passed by the largest cruise ship ever!

I bought a 12 meter long MLCC Loonetta 31, a 100% mesh sailboat beauty and took her for a spin around the Blake Sea, since she's too big to ply in the shallow waters of Lorena Chung.

She's not a motorized ship, which means everything depends on the wind, and I tell you I am learning so much about sailing from this new hobby of mine. Motorized boating is pretty much the same as driving a car, but in sailing you need to keep track of the wind direction, and the angle of the sails, which changes your speed and direction with every change in degree.

In RL, i wanted a boat to sail the carribbean at one time after seeing some yachts flying Canadian flags in Puerto Vallarta of all places, but the idea got nixed by my wife (who watched Titanic lol),  so for now my SL sailing will have to do. It doesn't hurt that the sailing community in SL is one of the strongest associations in the virtual world (they forced Linden labs to set aside the Blake Sea sims for sailing and they have made sailing in SL as realistic as possible, almost like high end simulators). They also have a very busy and thriving community (composed of many yachting clubs), as you can see from the events schedule at Blake Sea.

Here's a pic of The Wallaby on a stand in my sandbox. I re-textured the name so it now says "The Wallaby" and re-textured the flag as well. I named her in honor of Marie, who's Aussie and who accompanied me as well on her maiden voyage.

Sunset pic of the superstructure...

Here's a pic of the spinnaker, and as you can see when the wind is right and i have it deployed people will be revolted by the sight of a gigantic depraved monkey rushing maniacally at them.

The detail is amazing, and all mesh, and up to 17 people can fit in (it's equipped with 17 poses distributed around the ship). I'll have more pics of the interior of the cabin later. Love it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Walking Sheep

It was with some reservations that I agreed to escort the elegant Lori Novo into the wind-swept arroyos of the Dry Lands. I was no stranger to danger, and I had heard some bad things about that deserted region. Bandits, wolves, and indigenous gray people who loved to rise up from the red earth and drag you screaming into their rat-infested burrows.

But Lori wanted to walk her sheep, and so I packed my Phant Gun and we strolled off into the desert, staring in awe at rusted hulking ships that littered the sand like broken beached whales, and peering into deserted circus tents that sagged in the dry air like deflated balloons.

I was enjoying the walk, the quiet conversation, and the soft bleating of the sheep, when I saw large gray figures emerge from the horizon and streak towards us in long loping strides.

Lori screamed in fear and I took gun in hand, and moved to protect her and her flock. The wolves had come...


Archived poem:

Oh, we're little gray peep,
and we're walking our sheep,
hand in hand we go strolling,
in red Dryland we're walking.

Here comes Lori in gray,
she plays music all day.
Flute in hand she blows notes,
past the hulking dead boats.

Dashing MK he follows,
in his loud voice he bellows:
"Lori bring in the flock,
Cuz the wolves might attack!"

"On no, will you protect us?
But Sir MK you must!"
Little Lori starts crying,
blue eyes wide and imploring.

So they run to the pond,
where the ducks all abound,
And they hide in the reeds,

and the flowering weeds.

When the wolves come a-sniffing,
They charge out and start killing,
like the apocalypse coming,
Now the wolves all start dying.

When the battle is done.
And the wolves are all gone.
Lori gathers the sheep,
for the long return trip.

Oh, we're little gray peep,
and we're walking our sheep,
hand in hand we go strolling,
in red Dryland we're walking.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Lure of the Sea

One the better things about Second Life is that it helps relieve the stress of real life for some people, instead of being a replacement for real life itself, which it shouldn't. I know some of my friends like to do Tai Chi and mingle with friends to wile the time, and it gives them peace.

I just discovered what does the same for me.

We live in the Lorena Chung Estates, which are about 7-8 sims interconnected with one another via beautiful waterways and lakes and small ponds. A few days back I noticed that you could take a boat and ply the narrow waterways between homes and parcels, though barriers and security orbs were somewhat of a threat.

I got a jetski rezzer and my friends Marie and Tinks and I discovered what fun it was to zoom through the channels at a breakneck speed, though the jerky movements of the jetskis needed constant attention.

But then I got a freebie Linden Nekka Sloop, and I fell in love with SL sailing. Instead of jerky fast movements, the sloop moved slowly and gracefully, its mass quite obvious and indifferent to the waves that slammed onto its sides.

I spent a lot of time going around the various Lorena Chung sims, watching the large homes, and hills, and waterfalls slide past, and it was like a calming balm that soothed my soul.

Here are some pics I took

Zooming past some pink flowered trees

Marie and I in front of our home. You can see the sloop parked in its dock.
Marie and I in front of a nearby waterfall.
Marie showing off her acrobatic skills
My sloop going past a much larger docked ship and the Lorena Chung Rent Control Island