Category Archives: Roadside Attractions

Sights to be seen in Second Life.

Of A Literary Bent

When I’m not in the Second Life® virtual world, or EVE Online, or indeed in front of my computer at all, I can often be found curled up with a good book. I try to consume several each week as part of a staple diet. 🙂 So, when I got a message from Selina Greene, co-owner of Book Island and Publishing Island and a real-life publisher, letting me know about the 2008 SL Book Fair, I figured, hey, it’s worth my time to mention. I’ll see if I’m able to show up for any of it, though my schedule this weekend involves, not only events at Lexxistential Deviances, but a RL event I’m driving down south for on Saturday.

Here’s the schedule of events for the 2008 SL Book Fair (all times SLT, venue SLURLs™ attached):

Friday, April 25th

  • 2pm – Opening Ceremony (Cartland Court)
  • 3pm – Marylmagner Munz, reading from The Big Secret by Mary Magner (Beach Area)
  • 3pm – Threik Wilkinson, reading from The Courage of Intimacy by Keith Ainsworth (Open Books)
  • 3pm – Kabbalah Today – live Kabbalah concert and Q&A session (Publishing Island stage)
  • 4pm – TBA
  • 5pm – Madddyyy Schnook – “Building for Beginners” (SLGuides Virtual Learning Centre)
  • 5pm-7pm – DJs Shannah Halberd and Rat Halberd from Simkast (Cartland Court)
  • 7pm – Poetry and prose readings from INKsters and ANON magazine (Publishing Island stage)

Saturday, April 26th

  • 6am – Discussion: “Death Penalty, Right or Wrong?” Selina Greene (Beach Area)
  • 7am – TBA
  • 8am – Nebbisk Oh – “Fictionary” game, where you make up definitions to fool your opponents. (Beach Area)
  • 9am – Madddyyy Schnook, “Marketing and Sales in Virtual Worlds” (Book Island stage)
  • 10am – Babu Writer – “Amazon and POD – What’s going on?” (Publishing Island stage)
  • 10am – Selina Greene – “The RL Book Publishing Process” – talk and Q&A (Book Island stage)
  • 11am – Cricket Gears – “How Art and Music Can Change the World” (Cartland Court stage)
  • 12pm – Trinity Dechou, Voodoo Buwan – Rez Magazine debate on inworld Publishing (Cartland Court stage)
  • 1pm – Noble Charron – “Characterization – the Soul of the Story” – Lecture and Q&A by bestselling author, Michael A. Stackpole (Beach Area)
  • 2pm – Elan Neruda and Kit Jimenez – “Paying the Bills While Paying Your Dues: A Partially Practical Guide to Writing Genre Fiction for A Living” with Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (Publishing Island stage)
  • 2pm-4pm – Miriam Antonelli DJ (Cartland Court)
  • 3pm – Madddyyy Schnook – “Building for Beginners” (SLGuides)
  • 4pm – Diana Allandale – “Promoting Yourself, From an Author’s POV,” workshop with author Diana Hunter (Beach Area)
  • 5pm – Wilbur Rich – reading

Sunday, April 27th

  • 6am – Discussion: “What’s SLove Got To Do With It? RL/SL Relationship Pleasures and Pitfalls,” Selina Greene (Beach Area)
  • 7am – DJ Doubledown Tandino spins his signature blend of nujazz and house in a live turntable mix (Cartland Court)
  • 8am – Discussion: “What Makes a Book a Cult Book, Rather Than Just a Good Book?” Selina Greene (Beach Area)
  • 9am – Jilly Kidd hosts readings from writers in the Written Word group (Beach Area)
  • 10am – Sean Voss – Author Sean Percival, The Second Life In-World Travel Guide talk, Q&A (Book Island stage)
  • 10am – Madddyyy Schbook – “Building for Beginners” (SLGuides)
  • 11am – Simeon Beresford – Literary quiz (Book Island stage)
  • 12pm – Poetry and prose readings from INKsters and ANON magazine (Publishing Island stage)
  • 1pm – Kitumscheid Writer – “The Publishing Process for Illustrated Books,” based on experiences from her book, Pirate’s Alphabet (Publishing Island stage)
  • 1pm-3pm – DJ Ravishal Bentham from Kona Radio (Cartland Court)
  • 3pm – Diana Allandale – “The Ins and Outs of Writing Erotica” workshop with author, Diana Hunter (Beach Area)
  • 4pm – Arton Tripsa – “The Writing Life: The Creation Of A Novel,” a talk/Q&A with Jane Watson, author of The Hindustan Contessa (Book Island stage)
  • 5pm – Closing ceremony and afterparty (Cartland Court)

Event Venues

Information provided by Selina Greene, SL Book Fair 2008. Additional information supplied by Shawna Montgomery, Commander, Science Fiction Rangers.

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Filed under Public Relations, Roadside Attractions

Professional Courtesy

I don’t know if it’s really true that “every 3rd person in Second Life is a DJ,” according to one wag I read recently. Still, there are plenty of decent DJs out there, and Lexx and I ran across one quite by chance this evening.

StormShadow Maertens DJs for three different clubs; his home club is Ignite, but he also spins at Restless Souls and The Night Owl (where Lexx and I encountered him). He seems to specialize in modern rock, but he had no problem playing either Muse (Lexx’s request) or Nightwish (my request!). He also did something interesting when we entered the club; in his next voiceover, he mentioned us by name. I may steal that trick. 🙂 In RL, he’s a network professional…which makes him not unlike myself in a number of respects.

And he is also among the ranks of SL bloggers, as you can see…so I’m pleased to add him to the Elite Evans Avenue Exit Blogroll. Check him out. And, Storm, you’re welcome to come by Lexxistential Deviances or Cowboy Country when I’m spinning, so you can compare styles. 🙂

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Filed under People, Roadside Attractions

And LL Said, Let There Be Windlight…

And there was Windlight.

And Erbo saw it, and it was good.

Windlight 1 - Evans Family Compound
Windlight 2 - Evans Family Compound
Windlight 3 - Evans Family Compound
Windlight 4 - Evans Family Compound
Windlight 5 - Evans Family Compound
Windlight 6 - Ordinal Enterprises at The Lighthouse, Caledon
Windlight 7 - Ordinal Enterprises at The Lighthouse, Caledon
Windlight 8 - The Shelter, Isabel
Windlight 9 - The Dancing Tree, Kula
Windlight 10 - The (newly-remodeled) Gin Rummy

And when I say “good,” I mean “farking awesome.” 🙂

(See the originals as part of my Snapzilla collection.)

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Filed under Roadside Attractions, Technical

Welcome to Growth Corporation of America

And the numbers, as they say, just keep on climbing…

Total signups, having just cracked the two-million mark in December, are now within the ace of breaking three million. The 60-day return visits counter stands at over one million, and user concurrency routinely breaks 25,000 most days now. The infrastructure is decidedly showing strain; reports of database-related issues are now almost an everyday occurrence, and even the secondlife.com Web site itself seems to be slowing down. (Given that the Web site is crucial to so many parts of SL, including the LindeX and the land auction system, that’s not good.)

Boom times are definitely here, though. LL has added over 600 new sims to the Grid this month–more than they added in all of December, and we still have a week to go. A message I got recently from Sirux Mahoney of the Fantasyland group (home of the Evans Family Compound) ends with this message: “As from February, we plan to bring up 4 new sims each month.” And I recall seeing, not long ago, that LL was adding fifty new sims to the southwest edge of the southern Mainland continent. Despite this, land demand remains high, pushing average land prices up to L$12.32/sq.m, up 25% from December. The LindeX exchange rate continues to hover at around L$265/US$1, probably because Supply Linden has been pumping L$ into the economy like it was going out of style; nearly L$200 million last month, and over L$120 million month-to-date. This keeps injecting liquidity into the system to match the expansion of the economy.

Riding the MakerSo, despite the words of the “Negative Nancies” out there, people are still pouring in, apparently from all over the place. Griefer attacks continue, but apparently they’re getting more creative, not resorting to the tired old “prim boy parts” (to use Allie’s phrase) as self-replicating objects. And innovation continues to appear on the Grid, not only from large corporate presence (Pontiac’s six-sim Motorati island is fun to drive around), but from other sources as well, such as The Dune Project, highlighted recently by Reverend Watermelonmother Torley. That’s a sim you’ve got to see to believe, and this is the sort of thing I envisioned SL being used for in the first place. (At left: Danielle and I become sandriders, wearing our new stillsuits and standing atop Shai-Hulud.)

Even today, I can still look at SL with a sense of it being a great adventure, a great experiment that no one knows the outcome of. The star is still ascending, and it shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. I imagine Philip sitting in his office, looking at it all–the current Grid map, the statistics pages, the “heartbeat” of the world he’s created–and getting the biggest damned grin on his face at what he sees.

“The human adventure is just beginning,”Star Trek: The Motion Picture

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Filed under Community, Current Events, Philosophy, Roadside Attractions

Mama, If That’s Movin’ Up, Then I’m Movin’ Out

Our landlord at South Sunset, Doeko Cassidy, started getting shirty with us about the Gin Rummy, especially since our new contest boards were given to a lot of shouting. We tried to mitigate the situation, but Danielle rather thought it was time for a move anyway. So we went on the hunt for commercial properties where the GR could be placed.

That’s when Danielle ran into DaRealNeo Crossing, a real FIC type who’s been in-world for 4 years and who manages casinos, which include some of the best-designed casino games in Second Life (not available for sale, but far higher in quality than games you might spend hundreds of thousands of L$ on). After he convinced her that he was on the level and could help us–and the two of them convinced me–we had a new home for the Gin Rummy, on the southwest corner of Club Fairplay sim.

We’ll be paying about a quarter sim’s worth of tier, for which we get the location for the club, including a great building, and enough prims to outfit it pretty much any way we want. The vendors from Don’t Panic! Designs can go in nearby, too, or in other locations in SL. And we get some added goodies, including fancy casino and gambling games and a dance floor that is to die for. (Neo brings in new gizmos all the time, often in the middle of our events. This guy’s like Santa Claus.)

One thing about the new arrangement…there are no land bounaries on the sim, because Neo wants to drive up the whole sim’s traffic figure this way. This means, among other things, when we have live DJs working the club, they get widebanded to the entire sim. (Chelle, when she heard about this, said “WHAT???” 😀 ) But it’ll help draw traffic to our corner while an event is running, which is a Good Thing.

Do come out to the club and check it out for yourself; you’ll have to see it to believe it. Tomorrow night Danielle begins a tradition of “Friday Night Formals,” and, Saturday night, “CoolJ’s 70’s Disco Party,” featurning the DJing talents of Yours Truly, rocks the house.

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Filed under Business, Roadside Attractions

You Can Observe A Lot Just By Looking

Since the release of 1.13, a lot of islands that were previously invisible have now been revealed on the map…and, as I was idly browsing across the map last night, I spotted some interesting stuff.

Note: I only spotted these places on the map, I didn’t try to TP to them. If you do so, you do so at your own risk. The system may block you, or you may find yourself someplace you shouldn’t ought to be able to reach. Evans Avenue Exit assumes no liability for any consequences therefrom.

For one thing, I spotted the actual Orientation and Help Islands. Look north-northeast of the northeast tip of the southern Mainland continent for two columns of islands arranged in roughly cruciform configurations. Each one has a Help Island in the center and Orientation Islands surrounding it. (Some of the OIs seem to be “missing” for whatever reason.) Another grouping is just west of the northwest tip of the southern Mainland continent; this grouping has a single Help Island with 5 OIs surrounding it (one off to the east-northeast of the others).

Due south of the southern Mainland, you’ll find the celebrated “Island of Misfit Toys,” a LL-internal island apparently used for bug testing. (The name, of course, comes from the famous Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special.) Nearby, to the west, are the intriguingly-named “Island of Unit Tests,” “Bug Island,” and “TextureTest.”

Lastly, I probed up to the north, locating the Motorati island (six sims in a rectagular pattern is pretty easy to spot), which turned out to be in a cluster of islands apparently belonging to MillionsOfUs. I panned west from there, and, near the Scion City island, I spotted two new islands…”Microsoft” and “Comcast.” Hmmm…could these be a harbinger of two more RL companies looking to establish a toehold on the Grid? All I can say is, better turn on no-push on that Microsoft island…there’ll probably be a few Residents out there looking to take some potshots, if you know what I mean. (I myself got some evil fantasies involving the use of the Ordinal Beehive Launcher…but, of course, I’d never actually do it. 🙂 )

“You can observe a lot just by watchin’.” – Yogi Berra

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Filed under Roadside Attractions, Technical

More Linkage: A Discovery

Seems Second Life blogs are sprouting like mushrooms these days…and I have a new addition for the elite Evans Avenue Exit blogroll. But first, a little story.

One day about a month or so ago, Danielle and I were out looking around for new stores to shop at. We stopped at one store which was extremely laggy (I can’t even remember what it was now) and Danielle begged me to find someplace better. I called up the Search dialog, typed a random string–“asa”–into the Places search, and spotted, among the results, a relatively low-trafficked store named Casa del Shai. What the heck…I bounced over there and fired off a TP to Danielle to allow her to follow.

What we discovered was a store with some high-quality clothing, reasonably priced. And, by sheer luck, we discovered the owner as well, Shai Delacroix. She turned out to be a sweet young lady who stayed and chatted with us for some time. We finally departed with a new name on our Friends Lists, new landmarks in our inventory, and the resolve to return. And return we have–not only have I purchased some of her good casual menswear, a young lady friend of mine has gone absolutely gaga over Shai’s dresses. She practically lives in a couple of them…though she goes back frequently enough to pick up any additions. (She tells me that, in Shai’s new Aphrodite Cocktail Dress, she really looks like a goddess…)

Flash forward…and while checking out profiles of people on my Friends List, to see who among them might be using the new Web tab in the profile, I stumbled on a link to the official Shai blog. On WordPress, yet! It took me about two seconds to decide to add her to the Evans Avenue Exit blogroll…and just minutes more to decide on her title: “The Most Serendipitous Discovery.” And now you know why.

Visit her blog, and visit her store. She deserves the business.

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Filed under Fellow Travelers, Roadside Attractions