Kidnappings, Mayhem, Parties: Just Another Day In Northfarthing

Castle Rave_001

My SL neighbor Mist started a blog for our home sim, and things are already starting to happen over there.

Welcome new people… « Northfarthing

I’ve got a handful of invites sent out, and a few new folks here at the NF blog and on WP. Welcome welcome, make yourself at home. Clean my kitchen. (Can’t blame me for trying…)

Here’s a question, to get some conversation started: what do you like best about NF?

It’s a quiet sim… not much happens there. People peacefully go about their business and nobody bothers anyone else, except for the odd kidnapping, or that time a real red dragon came to the Green Dragon pub. Oh, and Mist turned evil.

Nope, nothing much going on in quiet, peaceful Northfarthing, except when pirates bellow for everybody to come over to the castle for an impromptu party on the roof. It’s kind of hard to ignore the summons when a pirate bellows, of course, and I was more or less dressed for an event or a happening, since I was planning to go to an okiya (Japanese geisha house) for a celebration of Kodomo no hi (Children’s Day, or Boys’ Day).

So I left my simple cell in the Abbey of St Christopher (where I spend my time in contemplation of all the crap in my inventory, incessantly trying on outfits and hairs) and walked over to the castle.

On entry through the open doors, it’s an impressive place… I bumped into furniture for awhile, and then stumbled up the stairs. As it was Rhianon’s birthday, the party was on the roof, according to the shouted instructions… nice place, with a beautiful tree in bloom, an elven drum circle, and a fire. I was relieved that I managed not to crash-land in the middle of the bonfire.

And then something magical happened.

Castle Rave_002

That’s me, somewhere in there, with the wings on, doing the “flying dance” (also known as the “horizon loop” with our pirate host. I usually don’t go in for performance art, but this was exhilarating.

Castle Rave_003

It’s all done with poseballs, animations, particle attachments, yadda yadda blah blah blah.

No… it’s magic.

Castle Rave_004

This is what it looked like with the camera view at maximum distance. Pirate Braveheart’s particles were the rod-shaped ones, and the ones I had were the fuzzy globular once. I had no idea what mine looked like when I found them in my folder; they were a freebie from some hunt or other. Fortunately, the colors were pretty much the same.

Maybe I should really re-think my whole “I’m not a creative person” stance, as this was way more fun than changing outfits all evening in my little cell.

Castle Rave_005

After “sunrise,” everyone started in on the elven drums in earnest. I’ve done this before with friends, but not with such a purpose in mind – to produce dance music for someone. Soon enough, the Pirate and his lady began a couple dance, and the rest of us played on for them for awhile, before drifting away to other events. It was a nice beginning to the evening.

From there, I went on to the geisha event after a quick stop at another birthday party. So many great, fun things to do, but the most colorful event was the impromptu party in my home sim.

Hunting Shamrocks

This is the kind of activity I find pretty relaxing and/or frustrating – treasure hunting in Second Life. Not sure why, except that I enjoy 1)free stuff and 2)figuring out puzzles and looking for free stuff 3)experiencing creative new places that I might like to visit again, that put out free stuff.

Okay, I do actually have some scruples – it’s not actually ALL about the free stuff, because during the sorting-out that I do after a big hunt, I typically delete at least half of the items after trying them on, sometimes without even bothering to open the gift box, if it’s definitely something I don’t want or need.

I started a new hunt the other day and was so taken with the creativity and pleasant scenery I encountered before I had to break off that I decided to go back and try to blog each location. The last few hunts I did were to mostly-forgettable mall-type places, and there were only a few places that I actually remember. This one is shorter, so we’ll see how far I get before pack it in and start taking photos of the best “finds.”

The starting point was helpfully blogged by Rowan Carroll:

She’s So Unusual: NCI St Patty’s Day Hunt!

This is a grid-wide hunt, meaning stores across many sims are participating, and all are owned by NCI members.
The hunt will begin on March 13, and end March 20.
To begin, start at the landmark given from this sign- “Where The Sidewalk Ends”
While there, find the shamrock “NCI Shamrock Hunt #1”- It will give you a gift, as well as a landmark for the next shop- follow the shamrocks till the end of the hunt- there will be 42 in all!



Here I am at the beginning of the hunt, The Brickyard. It’s an outdoor art gallery with a lot of “rooms” that feature sculpture, wall art, garden features, and so on. I wandered around a long time looking for the shamrock item that was… not that hard to find, actually. This all took place months ago, of course, but I realized I had a draft post started, so decided to plunge back in to catch up. This is my “treasure hunter” getup – very low in “prims’ thus very low drag on the servers. The punk hair is pretty minimalist and doesn’t add much to the load.


Next, on to a sort of gaming place that had a little of everything, Terra a venda! A lot of my time is spent waiting for everything to rezz, but the horses were nice. The shamrocks were not too difficult, and I always appreciate “fair play.”


On to a Steampunk animal merchant in Ethereal Isle. The gift turned out to be totally cool, a self-motive steam-powered camera! I’ll definitely wear this to parties! And I have to return to this locality and really explore.


And now I’m at the place I stopped before, a shop called Primwynly. I took a photo here that hasn’t rezzed yet, and I’m standing at some sort of crossroads. This could take a while, but first I have to make sure the gift shamrock isn’t sitting out in plain sight, unrezzed for the moment.


I’m going to tune in something on Winamp (iTunes not installed on this computer) while I wait. Oh, crap… it’s a furniture store. I hate furniture stores, because I don’t need furniture inworld, and they’re hard to find things in. However, they have medieval stuff, the theme of my home sim, Northfarthing.


Camera control can be key – it’s handy for looking under and behind things. Also good for looking in a lot of boxes at once.

Whew, got it. Missed it in the area I checked first – there’s a modern area, and then a medieval area.

Now, on to someplace in Blackmount that makes me want to sing show tunes while wearing Arthurian drag…

Whew! Easy one, with the lights on. Thank goodness, I was in the furniture store for almost 10 minutes.


Now: Pax et Bonum. It’s more scenic, there are trees, and it takes a while for stuff to become visible.

Well, dammit. It’s pretty, and I’ve been outside and inside, and nothing. It’s going to really be embarassing when I find it, because some people came and went already while I was wandering around outside. This is the frustrating part of treasure hunting.

AUGH!! Yes, it was in plain sight. First of all, this is an artist’s shop, so it had to be someplace that wouldn’t mess with the aesthetics of the place. Second of all, this was placed by a person with good color sense, for better camouflage. Third, it didn’t really rezz until I was quite close.

Paperdolls Dress

On to Paperdolls, which seems to be a garden shop… no, it’s a cute little dress shop. Nice freebies set out, too – I like these dresses. Don’t be scared by the hair, it’s this thing I do when treasure hunting.

Yay! Found the shamrock after a minute or two. It was reduced in size and somewhat hidden, but I caught a glimpse while moving the camera (“camming”) around. On to Minkartah.

Ohhhh. Been here before on another hunt, it’s a little marketplace. Fortunately, the sound effect I heard was a clue, and happened to spot the shamrock early (they sometimes rezz before other objects, so it’s a good idea to look around quickly. Good thing I had the music off at that point.

Here we go to something called LYtD. Which seems to stand for “Love You ’til Death.” And they have a little animated hedgehog! Too cute.

However, the shop seems to sell funerary goods – headstones, tasteful urns, and stone plinths. Well, there’s a market for that in the vampire territories, I guess. It’s tasteful, and might be by the same artist as at that art gallery that was so hard, so I have to think like that again.

Grrrrr. Starting to get frustrated; there are two shops – beside the funerary one, there’s a joyful, “love you” type shop. I’m guessing the former shop is for people grieving the death of love, as opposed to the death of a loved one. Meanwhile, there’s an emitter thing here that’s pumping out butterflies and heart shaped bubbles, and the lag is so bad that I can’t physically reach one corner of the plot.

Hmmm. AUGH!!! 20 minutes shot. It was pretty well hidden. It wasn’t in the pretty, lovely, flowery area at all.

I whipped through the next place, Gateaux Boulevard, in a few seconds, it was RIGHT THERE, thank God. So here I am at Mountain Mall.

I notice there’s a landmark notice: “NCI Hunters: Click here to get a landmark to #13,” so maybe I’d better not waste much time – I’m currently on #11, so this probably means the next shop/gift/ongoing landmark is “dead.” There’s nothing in this very small shop, although the landowner does have a very cool “Dancing Waters” fountain outside.

So now we go to GONE COUNTRY. Which was a country and western bar, but fortunately it was just a matter of walking around and looking at everything from the back of the room instead of from the front. So often, that’s where you’ll find what you’re searching for; such as just over the inside of the door, so you have to look BACK and UP or go through the whole shop seeing everything for sale.

And that brings us to Get Framed. Uh, oh, it’s the end of the world as we know it – and it’s decor. But there’s animated cats – one of which is a dance ball! And a money tree… wow, haven’t seen one of those in a while. They’re only available to new AVs, usually less than 30 days old.

So that took us to King Parrot Freebies, and I think I just paid $L2 for a “free” shamrock because I walked toward the type of sign that’s usually near the gift shamrocks, and found it pretty fast. And then a sign rezzed that says “there is a free shamrock hidden here, for those of you who do not wish to search: this one is available for $2L. The waterfountains are all for sale!” The rest of the stuff here is pretty unfinished looking.

Okay, well, at least it was only 2 Lindenbucks. So now we go someplace called Earth Jewel. And whew, it was a quick and easy find in a jewelry store.

Time for a break, clear cache, and open some boxes… also, Compline starts at Epiphany at 6pm SLT so now is a good time to get out of my punk gear and put on something a little more ordinary.

Back. So I’m now at DL’s Dream Designs at a place called Hawaii Ohana… my kind of locality, anyway. This seems to be kind of fun Gothy, with dragon eggs. I eventually got out of there, as the shop was kind of a weird skybox, all in black. Finally “found” behind something.

So: now past Darkly Cute, a furnishings place… yes, it’s sometimes a good idea to take local transport when a shop offers it.. I’m at Blue Ribbon Showcase briefly, an art gallery where I was actually welcomed, and landed at a very colorful arty venue called Azelle’s Spot. Ohh!! Tinies!!! And a dragon!


I got welcomed there as well, and got a landmark for events. So I had to get tiny for a while, and chat. It was a very pleasant time, I’d like to go back again.

Quick spin through Art of Eiran, Space for Dreams, and off to Cheetah Valley. As I’m currently a small Siamese cat in a kimono, this could be perilous. But it turns out to be a quick grab-and-go, as are Blue Mountain, Fortinbras, M. Blue Coyote, and Cherokee Inc Hollies in Busby.

And that’s where I broke off, because I’d been at it for several hours, and I had completely lost the hunting instinct after becoming tiny.

I really enjoy hunting for stuff, but it’s more of a seasonal thing, and more recently I’ve been more into socializing and spending time talking to friends. I’ll never pass up a good freebie hunt, though. This one sponsored by NCI was better than some, because some of the venues were clearly newer, and the gifts were inventive, creative, and somehow more interesting than the more commercial offerings at the big “mall store” treasure hunt locations. I’d actually return to some of these places, except that in my desire to not give away the clues, I didn’t make note of the links. That’s what Google is for, I suppose.

Here are some photos of some of the St Patrick’s Day themed outfits that I did end up keeping from the main, gridwide hunt.

Stupid St Patty_001

Second Life has this way of messing up or distorting the body animations sometimes. It’ll never fail to make you look stupid now and then. Otherwise, I quite like this Celtic dancer outfit.

St Patty's Bar Wench

This one is amazing – it’s called “Shabby Chic,” but I’d wear it as a barmaid any old time in my local online pub.

Green Satin Fishtail

This last one can also be worn at any formal event (and I do have them to attend in my virtual life). It even has a fishtail and a transparent cowl or hood. Very snazzy.

I have more St Patty stuff but that’s really the high notes. I tended to keep stuff that wasn’t specific to the holiday, and then of course there were later hunts (oh, God, the Bunny Hop) that kind of cured me of the whole hunting thing for a while. Maybe later…

Dancing Liberally on Second Life: Pink Overload at a Very Swell Party

I was listening to Scott Simon discussing Second Life this morning, with someone who’s running one of many “virtual classrooms” in the virtual world. Scott gamely tried to describe the setup and what people were able to do.

Well, he sure didn’t make it to one of my favorite things to do, a Thinking Liberally event. This is part of the Cafe Wellstone/Donkey Club group that gelled a year or more ago around politics, crazy outfits, and dancing to great tunes. Our fearless leader is The General himself, who’s an enthusiastic documentararian of hypocrisy (and occasional producer of Second Life machinima featuring a nearly naked Dick Cheney).

Well, Mr. Scott Simon, THIS is what you were missing. And you probably didn’t make it to the Giant Snail Races today, either.

This event is billed as a Garden Tea Party in Pink, hosted by Serenity Wobbit, AKA Super Pink Thing/Bunneh, from the Fortress of Pinkitude

And I am wearing a confection of free Valentine’s Treasure Hunt crap that’s about to put me into insulin shock. Also: punky neko ears and tail, with a pack of ciggies tied on as my virtual outfit doesn’t have pockets.

The tunes by DJ Serenity have been TEH AWSUM, including Patty Smith, various rock songs referencing the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and a duet with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra about what a swell party this is. Every song is new to me, or well-chosen if famiiar, and so it’s fun to play with dance animations, chatter snarkily with my fellow group members.

And drat: there’s a cherry blossom viewing event happening now with some virtual geisha, and I was hoping to go to that, but will stay here. And only earlier this afternoon, I was thinking that Second Life wasn’t any fun for me anymore, since I’m not interested in building stuff and only really like to chat and listen to music and hunt for free clothes. But the music here is so good: who knew there was a mashup of Heath Ledger’s Joker with Duran Duran?

Now and then, there are these moments of transendance inworld, and this is one of them. Time to just trance out and go with this most excellent groove.

Meanwhile, visible over my shoulder are some adorable tinies: our hostess as a Super Pink Bunneh, and her partner, who is a ferret in a cowboy hat. On the other side, the colorful stack of hula hoops is another acquaintance, but other couples out of sight are in more conventional garden party attire. After an invite like this, how could I resist?

Come follow the Super Pink Bunneh down the rabbit hole and land on the lawn of the Fortress of Pinkitude for a relaxing afternoon chatting and dancing to DJ Serenity’s musix. Contest for most surreal or prettiest outfit(s). LM attached. Starting NOW!

I think I’m going for something midway between surreal and prettiest.

Torben Asp’s Music Page

Torben manages a club called Ethereal, and today he filled in for a performer who couldn’t get online. His music is very good, very listenable, even danceable electronica.

I have tried several pieces of software Ejay, Magix, Acid Pro, Fruity Loops, Logic and now I am using Reason as my favorite program. Together with a keyboard this software has brought me a long way and should be better in the future…but I will let you be the judge of that.

I have been performing live concerts in Second Life since October 19th 2007 so come join me there.

I compose and arrange my own original music with a lot of inputs from the different genres in my compositions.
I want to create pictures and set you in a certain mood instead of being the next superstar and I like to call it Recreative Music.

Really nice stuff. Also, he’s filled the performance space with an amazing array of particles and lighting effects… makes for a very relaxing place to just “be” during a performance.

Via Torben Asp – Make People Happy! – Music Is The Key! – MUSIC

Asagao Memorial: "We love you. We miss you."

After an enjoyable evening as a tiny audience member at the geisha performance at Asagao Treasures, I “got big” so I could walk around more easily, shopped, and then discovered that there was a treasure hunt. For a change, it involved looking for “photos” that had been taken at various spots – very arty, pretty photos, so that it was a pleasure to walk around looking at the lovely garden area, which was called “Asagao Memorial Park.” The first few “finds” are in the more commercial entertainment area, but then you are gently led toward the serene parkland; a good eye for plants and landscaping helps, as the photos were taken where the boxes were planted.

I listened to music and searched the gardens, and then realized there were some rather good windchimes and decided to turn WinAmp off and just drift. That’s when I found my way to the temple, which is a memorial to people who’ve committed suicide.

Asagao Memorial Park

The candles flicker, the messages to loved ones float above the flames. Many languages, all saying the same thing. “We love you. We miss you.” So sad.

I found a blog post about the installation:

Asagao Memorial Park at Second Seeker – Unofficial Second Life Reviews

And that is what Asagao Memorial Park does: it gives some time and space to reflect on those we love who have “lost their lives to suicide,” as the plaque at the start of the park phrases it, as well as offering a place for healing and support for those of us affected by the suicide.

The park itself is lovely: as soon as you arrive, you hear birds singing, the sound of waves nearby, that complement the soothing and graceful views of flowers, trees, lighted pathways.

Story and Dance and Being Maneki Neko


Second Life | Community: Events

Asagao Treasures is proud to host the exquisite ladies of Little Yoshiwara Okiya as they perform their dances, stories and poetry to the sound of beautiful Japanese music. For a wonderful cultural experience, or just a truly fine entertainment, join us at 7pm SLT, every Monday, at the Asagao Treasures venue!

While listening to the tale of Hime-Hase and her evil stepmother, it became apparent that somewhere near by, people were playing with battle-enabled weapons.

[19:44] Devi Agrawal: But the old servant knew that the young Princess was quite innocent of all the things her step-mother had invented to him as reasons for her outrageous orders, and he determined to save her life.
[19:44] Lelani Carver relaxes a bit
[19:44] Free Radar HUD v1.1 by Crystal Gadgets
[19:44] Devi Agrawal: Unless he killed her, however, he could not return to his cruel task-mistress, so he decided to stay out in the wilderness.
[19:44] Mad Thunder Combat HUD (ADMIN) 2.8 shouts: Lorrie Paine has entered Tombstone!
[19:44] Devi Agrawal: With the help of some peasants he soon built a little cottage, and having sent secretly for his wife to come; these two good old people did all in their power to take care of the now unfortunate Princess.
[19:44] Eru Males: lol
[19:45] Bronze Peacemaker (Left Handed) 2.0: Lorrie Paine has drawn a weapon!
[19:45] Devi Agrawal: She all the time trusted in her father, knowing that as soon as he returned home and found her absent, he would search for her.
[19:45] Eru Males: My word Lorrie Paine what are you doing?
[19:45] Devi Agrawal: Prince Toyonari, after some weeks, came home, and was told by his wife that his daughter Hime had done something wrong and had run away for fear of being punished.

And so it went. The story ended happily, but not without some sad events. There was no music, but the dance animations were very pretty and nicely done. Tonight there seem to be several Japanese themed events at okiya (geisha houses) and so I’m tricked out in my good kimono.

It only fits my cat avatar, though, so I’m very small, and had to hop around trying to find a good place to stand, as “sitting” just looks dumb when you’re a tiny. Someone remarked that I was an ascended neko, and so I obliged by hovering for a while. I hope that I brought luck to the performance.

Teahouse of the Moon in June

You really, really had to be there, but the music and dancing were really great. And the horse was extremely funny. And the bunny-human maiko was about to play the koto, but the region was about to go down for maintanence. Dammit. It was a wonderful end to the evening.

Mitsubai Ochaya’s first performance evening. A horse, a cat, a geisha, and a bunny maiko walked in a teahouse…