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There I was, innocently researching  a post about a benefit concert, when the normally laid back 3rd Rock Grid suddenly morphed into the flash point of a temporal cold war where  I was ducking phaser fire and demonstrating my right hook to the smallest  Suliban infiltator I could find. What a moment to forget my fist names!

It had been a shitty  couple of weeks.  The countdown to my annual Easter visit to my family in the USA was on, not only was there a to do list the size of a Borg cube, I had somehow been sucked into making  huge Pinatas for a school fair with two other women. The one who actually knew how to do the job was promptly felled by  the plague, while the other volunteered her dining room table and  valiantly waded with me into the flour paste swamp until her guinea pig succumbed to a life threatening intestinal blockage and had to be rushed to the vet, leaving me in splendid isolation with the soggy leviathen and a genuinely hellish cleanup. At which point her dog decided too much was happening that wasn’t about him, and crapped on the shag carpet. Later that night, the guinea pig  did the Big Log Off. We were really happy when a few days later we managed to start the second Pinata and no one collapsed  or died, albiet we were now seriously behind schedule. Do you think the  school would postpone it’s  fair on the grounds a rodent needed her stomach pumped?

Hello my dearest dears! How marvelous, here we all are, ready for another whirlwind adventure on OpenSim, the software platform that hosts hundreds of independent grids, many of whom choose to be connected by an amped up teleportation system called the hypergrid; which allows you to to explore these brave new worlds, making friends from all over the planet, having fantastic new experiences, and collecting so much free content that it will set your head spinning. In a nice winning the lottery sort of way, not the kind where you are forced to remain completely immobile for hours on a kitchen counter, perched over a doggie bed that is bigger than your car, waiting for the right moment to hurl yourself on a sombulent pug, and paper mache his ass shut.

If you do not know how to get on OpenSim, and believe me you are not alone, please see my How To Get On OpenSim in Six Ridiculously Easy Steps page, located at the top of this blog. And don’t forget my Newbie Glossary, also at the top!

For today’s adventure we will be on the hypergrid, meaning a grid which is connected to other grids, and a closed grid that is not connected to anyone else. Why?

60E0 robstock ROBstock 2014 is why!!!An intergrid music festival and fundraiser that will start this Friday on the hypergrids own rockin- in- the- free -world Metropolis Grid,  and my all time favorite off the hypergrid world E-V-E-R, where a community that is second to none proves again and again that bigger has f**k all to do with better, ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for 3rd Rock Grid!!   Oh and a commercial grid, a biggish one…I forget their name. Second something or other. Anyway, Robstock is a blast- there are screens on the stages showing all the the live performances simutaneously,  there is intergrid chat, a HUGE freaking array of metaverse talent, including my friends Vanish Seraith, Sands, Avatar, Firecaster, whatever the hell he is calling himself this week, and the multi talented Word Bender and dragon whisperer , Oshi Shikigami !! If you are new to OpenSim, this  festival is a great way to begin exploring!!!  Let’s start OFF the hypergrid!


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This is 3rd Rock’s terrific new Welcome area; if you land in the old one, called Our Town, your first time in, I would type Welcome into the world map search engine and just teleport over.  Welcome loads easily and has everything you need to get started right at your fingertips! You will land on this platform, which has posters of all the latest events on this VERY active grid,(you can get a ROBstock landmark here) an info Kiosk with about 30 groups you can join (in the unlikely event somebody doesn’t ask you if you need anything in your first 10 minutes, join the 3rd Rock Community  Group and say hi! 3Rd rockers are amazingly friendly, just put any querys out there and you will get answers friendship offers etc. ) and  these walkways. One leads to a public sandbox, with all kinds of cool tutorials and building freebies, another to the free custom avatars Linda Kellie created just for this grid, and there is this one pictured here that lead to my two major interests on any grid- Freebies and Destinations! The  Freebies are a midsized shop with additional clothes, shoes etc. from Linda and various residnts. There is a teleporter to the Linda Kellie Mall               ( whispers:just type Linda into the world map search engine. All nine Linda Kelly regions are up and running. Copy copy copy!)

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The Destination Trail is a long row of billboards picturing 3rd Rock’s impressive showcase regions. Kooky little Sunny Isles is the oh so helpful Sunny Tommorrow’s place, featuring a great little freebie center where you can pick up exciting stuff like working mountain bikes and roller blades! Why is that so exciting?

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Because of this!


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I have said it before, and I am saying it again! 3rd Rock Grid has some of the most spectacular mountain regions you will find in virtuality.

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Till Easterwood’s celestially named Triton,Mimas, Solstice, and Aphelion regions, are a  fictional Pacific Northwest mountain chain, and getting out your bike and exploring the really intricate  ecosytem and  winding trails…

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…is something a person can do for hours. Which brings me to my next point. It is something 3rd rock does extremely well,and as far as I know, is unique in the free metaverse..


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This is chirpy free housing region Maude. If you can’t find a vacant lot here, try Harold next door! But my point in showing you this picture is the mountain in the background- do you see the pathways winding up it?


3rd Rock has a huge 50 region community core, and all of it is connected by a system of pathways.

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You can strap on those roller blades…

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…or get on that bike and literally  ride for days in 3rd Rocks varied landscape. There are beaches and mountains, snowy forests, and don’t forget the many groups that have built regions onto the main core, and have thier own pathways looped in! Friendly grid owner Lazuli Pooraka has said they are thinking of making geographical sections, sci fi, steampunk etc., and they aredefinitly going to add a second circle of paths on the core!! If you see any malls, they will be low key and in excellent taste. Mostly you will just see cool builds, beautiful country and the occasional bird of prey. LLAP guys. No abandoned land,advertisements, huge ugly malls or casinos. 3rd Rock isn’t so much a commercial grid as a grid with a currency(geodes), which I have only ever seen used at charity benefits. No one has ever tried to sell me anything, and the many invitations to DJ evenings,concerts, rock and roll trivia games and Star Trek dances, are all free of charge. The grid owner does not even know where the shopping IS.

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But Sunny does! The wares in this pretty public mall  on region Event Horizon are not freebies, but the shops are!  Like the free housing in Harold and Maude, just click the rental box and follow the instuctions!

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Back on the Welcome platform, there are landmarks to builds that might not be in the showcase.

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The Music Village, on region Bazaar, has a stage, an outdoor cinema complete with blankets and pillows on the ground, and  rent free cabins for the many musical artists who perform in 3rd Rock. Most have bios and schedules up, one guy had a fan club! What a fantastic concept!

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Ironbridge is a historical interactive game build. You can get free period avatars and  a game HUD…

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…or you can just wander around enjoying the authentic  English scenery and architecture.

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The Wax Museum was a very cool surprise, instead of a somewhat barfy tribute to the rich and famous, Saraleah Sands  salutes the good  folks  of 3RD Rock!

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This turned out to be a wax hommage to the 3RD Rock Trekkie community, which was probably for the best; Gertrude and Alice hadn’t seen any real action since the Reagen administration.


The delightfully freaky Avatar Bio Engineering and Cryogenics Lab on region Treble has an NPC tour and a giant head floating in the lobby. It wasn’t listed anywhere, Laz told me about it! 3rd Rock is much more than a showcase :)!!



And this last beauty IS a showcase region, another tip from Laz, region Samuri.


Take your time wandering around the  village and gardens, you won’t want to miss a single exquisite detail!

ROBstock 2014 opens with a firework show at 9pm PST on festival founder  3rd Rock Grid, so you have plenty of time to open a free account and put together an avatar. Firestorm users please take note:
If you are using Firestorm even the new Opensim version PLEASE make sure voice is off in the preferences or it will cause severe problems in 3RG and has the potential to crash the sim we are using as the stage .Go to Preferences > Sound & Media setting  >Voice settings >and untick  enable voice box.”

The expansion of ROB(it’s for Roll Over Beethoven BTW)stock from 3rd Rock Grid and Second, oh nuts what is it again-Limbo?  to the big skies of the hypergrid was a very ambitious  move. And although only Metropolis got their toes wet this year, there are posters up all over the hypergrid, and EVERYONE is talking about it. Performances begin at 10pm. PST on all three grids, in Metropolis on the welcome region which is  called  um, *Metropolis*. Hell, even I can remember that.


If you want to have a quick look  around Metropolis,here are a couple of tips: try typing  the word odd into your world map search engine. Then teleport to Odd’s Playground.

Oddje O’Tooles famous playground is one of THE go to places on the hypergrid for free working scripts and gadgets. The build itself is  in excellent high steampunk/gothic, with freebies and interesting landmarks on and off the grid tucked all over the place.

Can you see me strollin on the gas dwarf? I just love weird science moments.Anyway, Oddy said to make sure I told everyone the playground isn’t finished, so I have. There are downloads and all kinds of info about her many projects on her website walking a virtual path between virtual worlds.

If Oddy put you in the mood for three letter surprises, try this travel tip on for size. Type CAB into your world map search engine and teleport!


Zoom out, and you will see the floating city of Gaia.

Zoom back in and you are here, in the Indie Author Extraordinaire Crystal Brewton’s newest roleplaying project!!

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You will not believe the scale of this thing! Read the plot and character outlines for some of the exciting background; Crystal is a professional writer and it really shows!!Visitors are welcome, and if you are interested in joining, Crystal is always looking for articulate players!

I seem to have lost the picture I took, but my  good friend, Texas whirlwind Minethere Always, region Formyfriends is a wonderful Metropolis resource, with lots of gates to different regions and  other grids, as well as a wonderful collection of free content! And don’t forget, her Region Creations Website has free OpenSim Terrains, and her Metaverse Destinations are a fantastic guide to the hypergrid!!

And as for me? Did I get up to anything non ROBstocky?? Well…

I did a live Podcast with Vanish Sands on his regular The Missing Image show, hehe in fact I was the only guest. It impressed the hell out of my teenage son,and was fun in a terrifying way, like being strapped to the underside of a highly inquisitive rollercoaster. If it isn’t enough for you that I  prattle like a nerdy baboon on my blog and the social networks, you can listen to a recording of the interview  here .

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Ther was  stuff on my region, just the usual boring experiences of an older woman in her own little world. I took down the winter decorations in Cogtown and was decorating for a collection of Oshi Shikigami’s Springtime poetry, when these bunnies suddenly surrounded me. If it hadn’t been for Gertrude and Alice…..

And then there was the little incident when on the advice of a lawyer friend who said not to expect an answer but that I should write to a certain champion of Creole culture who walked off with the highest literary prize in the French language and has probably been shortlisted for the Nobel  and ask him if I made it absoultely clear that he was in no way affiliated with  me or my  non profit virtual museum  and clearly stated the books title publisher, translators and his name could I pleeeaaase use about a quarter of a chapter’s worth of quotes?


I was floating on clouds for days.


I still giggle when I think about it. And it gave me the confidence to try another project I had been thinking about for a long time. I ripped apart Arcadia’s whimsical tiki Voodoo Mart from the Flotsam build, that stood on the town square facing off the Colonial Bank and the Courthouse( How the HELL is it that I am the only one who talks about her politics?) and used the pieces to create a build in Slum City.


I love it here:) I feel so proud of my culture. I see the saints of the French and Spanish Catholic  colonial pantheon;  afternoons with my Grandmother and her holy cards,  the images we prayed to in the Mission, and these  the wonderful Bruja skulls and fetishes that were sold in little shops around the church. Remember that wonderful phrase from Joni Mitchell ” Through savage progress cuts the jungle line”? These things represent faith and hope in ways our generation cannot imagine. I have started putting notecards in the pictures, with thier syncretic identities in Voudou, Santaria, Hoodoo, etc. and/ or purely historical notecards.

I am also hunting out links to online reading material, as well as  some audio…


…and I am having a crack at votive candles, which I miss. Alot. Hey, you’ll get old one day and miss  weird stuff too!

And now my dearest dears, I must love you and leave you! I would like to Thank Laz and Sunny and Zinnia from 3rd Rock, Oddje Miney and Crystal from metro, always the World’s Most Amazing Estate Manager for being a true friend, my  big healthy son, for taking such an interest in my rantings, and  of course all of you, for joining me in my small adventures! Your company means more too me thanI could possibly put into words. The sweetest of dreams and the brightest of days to all of my beloved readers!! Until next time adieu!!

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