Well, who can blame you? My last blog post was just shy of TWO months ago,a long time for a regular bi weekely blogger, and an eternity on the internet. The rumors have been flying, and I would like to begin by dispelling some of the more persistent ones.
“Virtualchristine hasn’t been blogging because…”
1) “…her son is having heart problems. ” Thankfully not. My 16 year old son’s heart is functioning so perfectly with the pacemaker, that, as I write this, he is just got back of a 2 week backpacking trip in the Swedish wilderness! There goes my peace and quiet!
2) “…she has been abducted by aliens.” I don’t know what is lamest about this one: the idea that a civilization capable of interstellar travel would not heavily prioritize truly epic broadband , or that a 52 year old who manages to hold down four jobs in two languages and still rabbit on for 2500 words every two weeks for three years about the availabilty of snake themed hairstyles and big girl Japanese footwear, would forget to crank out a line or two about the actual view from Blemankitlicintiunauroplcertaniun freakin’ Minor.
3) “…she is too busy garnering presitgious awards.” This one is just sad. ALL of the awards and honors I wrote about in my last post, were an obvious fiction intended to lull my laptop, tablet and cellphone, which had joined forces to feed me ridiculously fraudulent data in a futile attempt to curb my virtual freebie intake, a proclivity that appears to be grinding my laptop’s analytical processes down to an odd synthisis of HAL 9000 and Blanche Dubois, into a false sense of security, paving the way for my dazzlingly intricate checkmate of the machine. As my opponent happily immersed itself in yet another string of non linear differential equations to determine whether Dave or Stanley was the biggest fucktard, I was able to slip out of the apartment, and disrupt our neighborhood power grid, which includes the seat of German government and a major international airport. In the ensuing national emergency and Baggage Claim Massacres, I syphoned just enough power off an army hospital generator and changed my Twitter password.
4) “…she is too busy canoodling with global icons.” My intensly passionate romance, and subsiquent engagement to Star Trek’s own Leonard Nimoy was all too real – until I made a shocking discovery. My intended had secretly plunged to the very depths of moral and spiritual depravity, striking a hideously Faustian deal with the greatest force of sheer evil the world has ever known. While it is still too excruciatingly painful to go into specifics; suffice to say our 50,000 guest wedding and script writing honeymoon in the Bahamas were abruptly cancelled, as, head held high and pockets stuffed with Gagh shaped vegan hors d’oeuvers, I flounced off into the balmy Nassau night.
5) “…she is dead.” Never fear. I am not that easily silenced.
Hello my dearest dears! How marvelous! Here we all are again ready for another whirlwind adventure on OpenSim, the software platform that hosts hundreds of independant grids, many of which choose to be connected by an amped teleportation system called the hypergrid, which allows you to endlessly explore these brave new worlds, making friends from all over the planet, having unforgettable experiences, and scoring enough free content to make you dizzy! With delight, obviously. Not the kind of dizzy when you discover that the person you believed to be your soulmate was capable of filming the new Star Trek movie you and he were to author in a state of nuptual bliss, in Marin’s-oh screw it- on SKYWALKER RANCH!!!!!! I won’t protect you anymore Leonard! So what if Shatner tossed some fanboys a map; he never set foot in Lobotomy Central!
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 at the top of this blog, and don’t forget my Newbie Glossary, also at the top! C’mon it’s easy! Come spread your wings in the free metaverse!
For today’s adventure, we will start with some cool stuff and important info that happened as I was slugging away at things I will rant about later.
To avoid confusion I should probably point out now that both these avatars are moi; the avatar on the left is my is my older, more familiar Craft avatar, and on the right is my less familiar, more-honest- at- the -waistline Sanctuary avatar. I photographed them clog dancing, which, at the time, I thought would be less creepy then just standing there staring. Rioja was a factor. The results were mixed.
For those of you who do not read this blog regularly (noooooo!) or follow me on G+or FaceTwit (take me Lord!) When I am not travelling, blogging,or slugging away at other stuff, I run(with a little help from my friends) the hypergid’s first Arcadia Asylum Museum, on Craft, the Friendly Grid. In this two month hiatus from the Craft museum, the World’s Most Amazing Estate Manager not only held down the fort on our two regions, he founded a page thingyboo on G+ called OpenSim Working Radio Streams . He has assembled a genuinly diverse collection of music for your OpenSim regions that is continually tweaked and updated. These suckers WORK! The WMAEM is the tiniest bit obsessed with obliterating the silent metaverse, so if you are having any trouble at all setting up music streams, radios etc, this oughta be your first stop in a very big way.
For starters, every Sunday Crystal will be hanging out in the colony’s rather smart clubhouse for the…
Kaffee Klatsch!! You can drop by at anytime for a chat, make new friends, swap techno tips and metaverse gossip- and get on Crystal’s case if she drinks too much coffee!! You HEARD what the doctor said Ladykins!!!!
… that is Crystal’s newest project, The Africa -Dash Museum.
Although she is just getting started, it is already super interesting. For example, I had no idea that civil rights martyr Medgar Evers had a ship named after him! Well done Crystal!
And now let’s hit the OS Grid, where all kinds of cool stuff is happening!
The Hypergrid Safari is a great weekly event organized by famous virtual blogger Thirza Ember, and famous metaverse artist Wizard Gynoid ! Every wednesday at noon PST a group of veterans and newbies meets at the clubhouse on OS Grid’s Teravus Plaza, and take off on a jumpin’ tour of as many hypergrid enabled worlds as they can manage!! Sakes alive!! Eight weeks of this with hardly a casualty; well, no one anybody liked!! Let’s go inside and nose around.
How cool is this! (Take a close look at the poster! )
In fact, between Thirza and Wizzy’s technical know how and charismatic wackiness, the group has grown in leaps and bounds. They are now averaging 24 people, which is a big crowd even on a pricey commercial grid with mechagodzilla level servers! On a little charity run home grown grid with the server propping up grandma’s kitchen table, the coffieur vaporization and general crash rate is pretty high, but everyone still manages to come back with great photos and stories!
I could see why they had to move to the OS Grid’s more robust homestead region. For example, this very beautiful , somewhat surreal storm is part of an art gallery…
…and these shimmering gazebos are well thought out teleport hubs! At the risk of being too technical, I would venture to posulate this hump of fancy ass scripts were scalping those newbies left right and center. Join/follow the Safari on Facebook and thier G+ group !!!
Still on the OS Grid for something that is very important to me personally.
One of the first friends I made when I came to OpenSim is BACK!! Yes,pixilated hippy queen Hylee Bekker‘s Ptarmigan Park regions are back online!!
As you can see I immediatly swung by and snapped up one of her signature toolbelts! (which can be easily adjusted to big girl sizes) Peace symbols, the greenhouse, geodesic domes…
…and the tree house!! OMG this was my first house on the Hypergrid!!!! Nearly all the wonderful structures, animals, you name it, that you see around Hylee’s Ptarmigan Park, are boxed up in the mall for you to take home!!! Check out the dancing and the harbor…
…and her wacked out Quantum Express build is set up too! Just go inside and don’t overthink it! Ptarmigan Park is a great resource for hypergrid residents, and Hylee is a FANTASTIC person to have around! We got her back!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOT!
And now to Sanctuary Grid, where I have spent most of the last two months now, for the useful info portion of this post!!
Several paragraphs back, in the drunken zombie clog dancer photo, you may have noticed that A) I was in the Sanctuary Grid Welcome Center, which floats high above Shaun Emerald’s fantastically comprehensive collection of hypergates and B) there were TWO gates to the surface behind me, instead of the usual one! That is because there are temporarily TWO hypergate hubs!! Let’s go through the gate on the right, with the green lettering!
Butt ugly, isn’t it? I was so upset when the Hypergrid Safari wound up here a couple of weeks ago! Sigh, they missed so much!! If you wind up here through an old landmark, or the welcome center YOU ARE ON THE OLD REGION THAT IS GOING TO BE SHUT OFF AUGUST 17!!! This place has been stripped to the bare bone, which is why it looks so sucky. So why has he left it up?
Because the new blamgate hub, called Eld2, is a variable sized region, or varregion. In a nutshell- remember a while back, when people were messing with megaregions, land masses which were sometimes the 16x the size of a regular region, so you could have a really masive area without the hiccups of region crossing? Well, megaregions never worked that well in OpenSim, so now we have varregions, which can also be up to 16 times the size of a regular region! They only work with the latest version of OpenSim (0.8.0) AND you have to have the LATEST version of whatever viewer you are using. If you don’t , and you try to teleport to a varregion, you will get the message “Teleport failed. Destination is a variable-sized region, and source is an old simulator. Consider upgrading”.(Shaun’s idea! He hangs with the developers, which also means that he knows what the hell he is talking about!) Because OpenSim 0.8.0 and varregions are relativly new, shaun left the older region up to give folks time to upgrade! Now let’s go visit Eld2!
This is NINE freaking region sized!! Which makes it a bear to photograph in one go, but, hey, it is lovely! Shaun went absolutly beserk on the Kitely Market buying gorgeous mesh trees, rocks,cliffs, winding stone paths, creatures, you name it, and he was always calling me over from my stuff to look at this or that…
…and at one point, when he was considering mesh rehab and the place was looking like a National Geographic calendar, I said, “You know, people are gonna want to sit down here and soak this in!”
In the most dramatic change of it’s kind since Heathrow got affordable Japanese food and discount paperbacks, Shaun has turned Eld2 into a wonderful place to relax with your friends, and discuss travel plans…
On the very top of the hill are three gates- I think he is making this into a freebie section! One is to Selea Core’s wonderful freebie grid, Selea’s World. And the other two are mine!! Man; I get all tingley just typing that!! The gate on the left is to the Craft Museum. Let’s head over there before I show you what I have been doing here on Sanctuary:))))
Because I cannot get this blankity blank landing point under control, you will wind up here on my mountain in Craft. Just teleport down to Slum City!
Here we are on Craft Grid, in Slum City. If you have been here before, you might remember the warehouse had boxed collections from the African Slums build.
Not any more, hehe. Go to the boards at the far end of the warehouse to find out what the heck is goin on.
ALL of the boxed freebies on the Craft Grid Museum are now in Sanctuary Grid Museum! The warehouse now contains a photo display of the Sanctuary Museum, a Sanctuary Museum Guide that includes descriptions and how to info. You’ll need it, even I still get lost in this sucker. There is also a box of landmarks for ALL my museums and the library. On adjoining region…
…in the pawnshop, all the vendors and boxes are gone! Both regions are running sooooooooo much more smoothly without this load!! There are still landmarks here to the main donors regions, and cool Arcadia themed builds all over the hypergrid!
You can use the landmarks to get to the new museum, or, if the hypergrid is being wierd, you can go down the street, and teleport to “space”
The Privateer Space exibit is now on the Sanctuary museum, and we have a blamgate to get there!!! The WMAEM comes through yet again!! This gate and the far right gate on the hill in ELD2, will take you to Privateer as well.
NOW comes the rant! This is the landing point for the The Privateer Space region. You are now in the whopping NINE region Sanctuary Museum, which I am pretty sure is the largest Arcadia Asylum museum e-v-e-r. Privateer Space is kinda the welcome region because it is on The Spirit of Arcadia 1, and as the WMAEM pointed out, why the heck not start at the beggining! There is my signature home made welcome sign…
… and the big robot is leaning on the Museum guide and landmark boxes. There should be a Museum guide at every landing point, and a teleporter if that region has a system! The landmarks in the guide will take you to the best starting points to see a region, because sometimes those landing points just seem to have, at the risk of being too scientific, undisguisedly satanic tendencies.
And now we are at the clowns in heaven part of the post. When Hylee contacted me, to say she was coming back, I asked her if she thought a mutual friend, Cornflakes Woodcock, who had also left virtual worlds, would mind if I displayed a collection of his wonderfully insane free creations in the Privateer exhibit. And that was when she told me Cornflakes has passed away last year! I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t heard; Thirza contacted me later on, as shocked as I was, planning to write a piece about him. It was a wonderful post with tributes from friends and some great RL tidbits, search her “pings from the afterlife ” blog for Cornflakes name. Cornflakes said his aim was to make the world a sillier place, so we will not cry- we will giggle like loonies and do the funky chicken in gratitude for having had such generous, wise soul amongst us. The small sign will give you a landmark to Cornflakes region- he gave a copy to WordfromtheWise(hugs), who has kept it running as a tribute. You will also find LOTS of Cornflakes marvelous creations on the spacecube floor, and scattered all around the museum.
I thought it would be easiest if I just walked you through the regions in order, like the museum guide!
The Spirit of Arcadia 1, Privateer Space:
Take the teleporter to the space cube!
On the floor you will find some of Cornflakes bigger sculptures, and the boxes privateer collection. Yes, that is a flying chicken, and a funky one at that. Now YOU just fly straight up!
Most of the builds are very simple, doors jammed open and sit balls here and there. I have put out a LOT of pieces on display, but if you can’t find something, always feel free to drop me a line! I have also mixed periods around the museum, such as putting early hobo clothing on the later privateer robots. I always like to highlight how well her creations blend together!
The Spirit of Arcadia 2, The Abyss:
This is one of my favorite places. There are skeletons and shipwrecks-don’t forget to walk out to the dropoff:)
The Spirit of Arcadia 3, Keep It Simple:
Named after her famous building motto, KIS has the few pirate land based, as in on a stone base and not a pier, structures.I think the showpiece is up on the hill. You can take the from the sawmill of Starbuckaneers teleporter to…
The Pirates Rest graveyard. Isn’t Cornflakes pumpkin wizard amazing?
The Spirit of Arcadia 4, Jules Verne:
As Aley, Arcadia built enough steampunk STUFF based on the works of that 19th century father of science fiction, who is, by UNESCO’s reckoning the second most translated author in the world, to warrent 2 regions. This first one has a teleporter system with a sign at the landing point you need to read, before you start clicking and wind up 800 feet above the sim in a moon crater, with no clue how to get down, lost in a Crystal laberynth, trapped in an airship,or worse of all, jammed in the tail end of a submarine. Think I’m kidding?
I got lost 5 times in this sub- it has two decks and I think ten rooms. If there is no teleporter in the room, it means you can walk through to the next one. Sometimes the teleporters just put on this wierd mojo and tosses you out, then works perfectly next time. It is worth the hassle as the interior is just dripping in gorgeous little detail.
The Spirit of Arcadia 5, The Sea of Aley:
This is predominantly a mer region so most of the action takes place below the surface.
…and the teleporter at the landing point will take you up to Fort Aley, where you can look at the ships and the minefield, or behind the kelp forest to…
Seaview Amusement Pier!!!
The Spirit of Arcadia 6, Flotsam:
Aley’s gorgeous, lag ridden homage to the nautical outlaws of old needs your best zen head on. Wait for it to rezz, be prepared to crash! But also be prepared to be dazzled by the sumptuous detail and endless humor! Teleporters refused to work here, so don’t forget to fly up, and take a look at the fort, the beautiful Victoriana Airship(more Jules Verne) and my office, again at the top of the mountain. It has a great view of the museum!!
The Spirit of Arcadia 7, FESTERING CESSPOOLS OF GREED AND CORRUPTION!!!!
This region, which is in the right of the picture, is largely a backdrop for the Hobo/Slum section of La Bodega, on the left, over the river. The name is taken from a famous phrase Arcadia used to describe SL in the early days, when it began to lean heavily towards commercialization.In the sky is “Babylon”a powerful poem by Word Bender, Oshi Shikigami!
The Spirit of Arcadia 8, La Bodega:
This is the region that has ALL of the museums non space boxed freebies. As you can see it is divided into themed sections. You have already seen Hobo/Slum so…
This is the Seaview Amusement Pier section. I just love the view!
The underwater section has it’s boxes smack dab in the center of what I like to think of as the “Griefer’s Pool”.
And last but not least is the Nemo Section, which is this box. Well, don’t worry smarty pants, I will impress the bejeebers outta you in a minute! This box contains all the subs I have (thanks Vbinnia, Falene, and Han!) Nemo’s complete underwater laboratory, submarine bay… anyway, if you want to see this stuff in action, walk down the pier, over the region crossing sign to…
The Spirit of Arcadia 9, Nemo’s Underwater Laboratory:
This is the second Jules Verne themed region. The bejeebers moment is coming. Teleport to “tube 2”..
Hehe, bejeebering, aren’t ya? Welcome to Nemo’s!
In alot of ways, Nemo is the nicest region, because I did it last, and had more gorm.Well, if you can say gormLESS…
And now my dearest dears, I must love you and leave you. Because folks keep asking me to include them, here are the hypergrid addresses to :
Sanctuary Grid- sanctuary.homelinux.org:8012
Craft Grid- craft-world.org:8002
They SAY, well the WMAEM says, that if you put a colon, and a region name after the address, it will get you to the region. Like craft-world.org:8002:Monte Gordo for the Craft Museum. These things never work for me,(satan yet again) so I would just go to Craft, and type Monte Gordo into the World Map search engine, or The Spirit on Sanctuary, and hit search. Then teleport, obviously. Booya!
Well, I used to think I appreciated how much work grid owners do, but until I was responsible for 9 regions, I had no freaking clue. I would like to thank Licu Rau and Tao Quan, the owners of Craft Grid, for all the time and effort they have put into the grid, the Craft Museum over the years. I would also like to thank the WMAEM, for helping me drag the space exhibit way the hell up, and for having MADE me to at least watch him fix our stuff over the years. I had no idea how much information I absorbed as I whined “I’m sooooo tiiiired” and “A NUMBER-I ‘m droooooooowning!”. Award winning artist Tosha Tyran gave me lots of support and advice on Sanctuary, even going so far as to accompany me to Second Life, where we promptly got ourselves booted off of it’s oldest and most prestigious sandbox. SLers get so damned touchy when you engulf them in flames. Thanks Tosha for having my back when the sandbox manager lunged. And I would like to thank Hylee, Crystal, Thirza and Wizzy for letting me rummage around in thier undie drawers. But most of all, I would like to thank my friend Shaun Emerald, who DONATED these 9 regions to the museum, firmly quashing the “you get what you pay for” adage. He has always been quick and responsive when things got glitchy, was gallant when it was inevitably my fault, has answered all my questions on a level I could understand, and listened to my most garbled reasoning with patience and tact. He also let me name the turtle, which cements his place on my 10 Sexiest Men on the Hypergrid list. Cornflakes is obviously 1-4 1/2. And of course, thanks to all of you, for joining me on my small adventures. Your company means more to me than I could possibly express in words. The sweetest of dreams and the brightest of days to all of my beloved readers! Until next time, adieu!