And there was Windlight.
And Erbo saw it, and it was good.
And when I say “good,” I mean “farking awesome.”
(See the originals as part of my Snapzilla collection.)
Hey, some of the crowd that I occasionally run around with keeps posting these little challenges for the SL blogging set. I haven’t had the time to answer any of them up until now, but this one is pretty easy, and I happen to have a few spare moments, so lemme pull up the ol’ Group List and see what we got.
Black Diamond Staff
This is because I DJ for Black Diamond, which is Chelle Moore’s club, on occasion. We also have the Don’t Panic! Designs vendors in her mall section (and we really need to shift them, or copy them, to Wilder Mall). Chelle and her hubby (and RL boyfriend) Jazz Asylum are great people, and Chelle is a big professional inspiration to me.
Blaze* Alarm Update Group!
Blaze Columbia is one of the greatest designers to ever walk the Grid. When I’m not on duty at a club, and hence costumed to fit the event, I’m usually wearing Blaze, whether it be the casual golf shirts and slacks, the Ultimate Wool Suit with flexi tie, or the new double-breasted Power Suit (my current favorite).
Bogart Land Management
This is the venture that oversees both The Gin Rummy and Wilder Mall. I am officially listed as CFO of the organization; my office cubicle nameplate (in the private BLM offices atop Tower One of the Wilder Mall complex) says “Chief Financial Officer – Chief Information Officer – Generally In Charge Of A Lot Of Things.” Of course, Danielle’s nameplate says she’s “Head Bitch In Charge.” Not only that, it gives her name as “Danielle ‘The Grid Is Mine’ Ferguson-Wilder.” Through this organization, Danielle, Lynx, and I are working towards total Grid domination…
Another club I have DJ’d for in the past. Spart Cowen, Chiliphallus Rojyo, and somebunny Cheetah have done great things with this place; check ‘em out.
Desire Gentlemen’s Club
Danielle and LiLu both dance here, and Danielle also DJs for them. In addition, some of the other dancers there were in Danielle’s wedding. Bane Darrow, the club owner, only hires female DJs, so no hope for me there…oh well.
DJ Aryanna’s Rawkin Groupies & Fans
Aryanna Draken also DJs for Club Incircle and some other clubs. She’s good.
DJ Chelle’s Fans & Friends
Chelle’s fan club group.
DJ CoolJ’s Groupies and Friends
My very own groupies group! Most of the folks in it have the “DJ CoolJ Groupie!” title, but a select few are “CoolJ’s Biatch.” If I ever add anyone to the “Girlfriend” role in that group, their title will say, “I’m With The DJ, OK?”
DJ Dani2.0 Fans And Friends
You begin to see a pattern here. This one is Danielle’s fan group, in which I am part of the “Dani2.0 Crash Crew.”
Don’t Panic! Design Innovations
Another aspect of the BLM businesses, which Danielle and I use to sell stuff.
LiLu Flanagan’s charity group. Charter: “A group dedicated to raising funds to help prevent animal abuse and to save pets…one pet at a time.” I did some animal-sponsorship kiosks (a variant of the standard tip jar script) for her.
The location of the Evans Family Compound. I can definitely recommend doing biz with Sirux Mahoney and the Fantasyland crew; they’re honest, friendly, and they run a tight ship.
Live Music Enthusiasts
Whenever there’s a live music show in SL, you’ll often find it announced via this group. And whenever we have a live act playing at the Gin Rummy, I’ll usually be the one doing the announcing.
This group is the master ownership group for the Evans Family Compound property. It’s called this because, when Danielle and I first set it up, the first house we built together was a replica of a Roman villa. I still have that house somewhere in my inventory…
Nicole Cooke, who used to work at Black Diamond, shanghaied me into this group, though she had help from Danielle, Chelle, and others. Charter: “For all the SL PITA’s!” (The name, of course, is an abbreviation for “pain in the ass.”)
Science Fiction Rangers
This is nearly the first group I joined in SL, and I ain’t leaving. Charter: “Science Fiction Rangers is for SL fans who still believe in a sense of wonder, and want to share it. Like SF, Fantasy? Familiar with the works of Miller & Lee, Norton, McCaffrey. Weber? Come Explore With Us.” Commander Shawna Montgomery has been in charge of this group since its inception, and still runs it very well.
SL Live Event Friends
Another group for live music events; this one isn’t as heavily trafficked at the Live Music Enthusiasts one.
The Gin Rummy Employees
Naturally, I not only am a member of this one, I have the coveted “GR Owner” tag. We’re still going strong in our Joie location, doing our events every night except Wednesday, and drawing decent crowds, usually.
The Gin Rummy VIP Club
If you’re a visitor to the GR, don’t be surprised if I hit you with this tag (which is “GR High Roller” for most folks). I announce the events as Group Notices in this group, and usually cross-announce to either the Dani2.0 or CoolJ groups if one of us happens to be DJing.
Another one I don’t plan on getting rid of any time soon. The Shelter was my guiding light during my first weeks in SL, and I’ve never forgotten the good start they gave me. Heck, I met some of my best friends, like Valorna (now LiLu) and Danielle, there.
Another club I DJ at on occasion. Eye Dangle and Vvu Luan have a great setup here, with a kissing grotto, a wedding chapel, and a luxuriously-sized mall. They’re a very friendly outfit; they’re worth your time to check out.
And, OK, I dropped the group for “Lynx & Danielle’s Wedding” while I was composing this list. That event’s already in the past, and Danielle herself said, “Go ahead and drop that group! I did!”
It’s hard to believe. It was just about one year ago that I first laid claim to the title “Resident of Second Life.” And I feel like I’ve packed a lifetime of experiences into that one short year.
It began with Orientation Island, and Waterhead, but the path has taken me across the length and breadth of the Grid, expanding my horizons even as I expanded my own talents. Once, I was a rube, gawking in wonderment at the sights along the road; now, I am a sophisticate, with knowledge of hundreds of locations and the will to flit between them. Once, I gathered the money from trees to save up enough to buy proper clothes; now I own a family compound the likes of which I never imagined back then, for which the word “ostentatious” seems tailor-made. Once, I sweated over the design of a club to fit on a mere 1536 square meters; now, as part of Bogart Land Management, I have the resources of a full quarter of a sim to work with. Once, I was but one Resident among many; now…well, I’m not in the FIC by any stretch of the imagination, but I am not without reknown and respect, either.
In this time, I’ve tried my hand at many things. I’ve been a club owner, of course, and now a DJ with a unique personal style. I’ve designed and built scripted objects, both for sale, for friends, and just for myself…and I’ve made a few clothing items here and there, too. I’ve been a police officer, a musician, and a “trusted associate” with security privileges. I’ve hobnobbed with newbies, celebrities, and Victorians. And, of course, Danielle and I successfully accomplished what we set out to do…simulated all aspects of a relationship in SL, from beginning to end. And we’re still friends afterwards.
In the process, I’ve accumulated a good deal of skill, not only with SL, but with a variety of other tools…The GIMP, SAM, Quartz Audio, Audacity, WordPress, and Joomla, just to name a few. And my programming background has served me well, as I continue to explore the range of possibilities offered by LSL. But, most of all, I’ve become enmeshed in a community…one every bit as rich and diverse as any I’ve been affiliated with in the past. The lessons taught me by the pioneers of those older virtual communities still serve me well.
And, in that time, the Grid has changed, too. Over at least six major revisions and any number of bugfixes, the client has had its ups and downs, but has managed to retain a familiar feel throughout. The population of the Grid has exploded at least sixfold since my entry, and the land mass has grown by leaps and bounds; there are whole continents on the map that weren’t there when I came in. Open source has come to the client, and soon to the very sim servers themselves. By this time next year, I may be running my own sim on my own hardware…
So, has it been worth it? Absolutely. Without question.
Is this the end of the road? Not hardly…just the end of the beginning, perhaps. There may yet come events to which all this will seem mere prologue.
I don’t plan to miss it.
Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me,
Other times I can barely see,
Lately it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it’s been
- “Truckin’,” The Grateful Dead