Bringing back the “Felix” in me

In discussing premium membership recently, I commented on the fact that a lot has changed for me within SL, particularly in the last year. That got me thinking about the things I used to enjoy during my early years, and which I’ve not actually taken time out to experience for a year or more. As a result of this, and my recent times spent flipping around in Steve “Cubey” Caver’s most amazing Stingray (which I’m finding to be almost as much fun as my beloved Neuspa!), I delved into my inventory and pulled out something which had not see the light of day in, well, probably a couple of years.

My skydiving kit.

Back in 2007/2008, I loved to spend time skydiving. I was a member of a couple of in-world clubs and routine jumped either from a launch system or out of an aeroplane for formation jumps. When I had a decent spread of land (i.e. a region), I installed a jump system for myself and friends to share (THAT is still sitting in inventory as well!) but as time passed, things changed. One of the clubs folded, friends lost interest, and eventually I stopped going.

Look, no hands!

There are many places in SL where skydiving is possible, and most give away free basic parachutes. I have a TerraSport III Pro, together with altimeter and stunt kit, which allows me a little extra fun on the way down. Most skydiving centres include a target area, so if you’re competitive, trying to get closest to the bullseye can become engrossing.

Chute open.Who Sez only Bond can have the Union Flag on his canopy?

Landing requires some skill; there is not only the wind to contend with, but you also need to be able to mark your time and flair decently. This not only slowly your final few metres of decent, allowing you a gently landing on both feet, it can also (when used strategically), be used to drop you precisely in on target.

Given I hadn’t been jumping in a good while, I was uncertain as to whether I could recall everything. in the end on my first jump, using the Jump / landing zone at Mills, proved better than I’d anticipated. After a 4,000 metre launch aboard the skydive lift, I was away and after a single forward roll, into free fall. Admittedly, I didn’t try any real stunts on my first time back in the harness, but I was pleased with the result on landing…

Grabbed from chat, following my first jump of 2012, and the first in (I think) a good couple of years)

After this, I did settle back and have some fun…

A midair back somersault 🙂

I also took time out when jumping to acquaint myself with the TerraSport SkySurf board, which offer the chance to “surf” around the sky and have additional fun (particularly when jumping from altitude – although it can leave you searching for the landing zone if you stray too far – and beware of region boundaries if jumping on a private island sim with no neighbours!

Skysurfing

I may yet give a tandem parachute jump a go in real life; but when it comes to skydiving and all the antics therein, I’ll leave that squarely in the Second Life; It’s a lot more fun here, especially for the lungs (less outright screaming….), and even when you do SPLAT! there is a degree of humour shown…

It’s fair to say I’ve missed skydiving in SL more than I’d realised. I don’t have the land at home to set-up my own space for it any more, but as I said, there are plenty of places to enjoy the fun right across the grid, so I’m not exactly stuck for choice. All I need to do now is find a new jump partner…

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“It’s ectoplasmically evident, my dear Dodgson.”

Update 31st October: The week’s offerings from Seanchai Library (SL) have been added to! At 19:00 SLT on the 31st October, Caledonia Skytower will presetna reading from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and perhaps even an original tale based upon one of the five Irish Haunts within the Library’s grounds. See the Seanchai Library (SL) blog for more!

I’m a day behind myself, news-and-events-wise due to reasons I’ll not go into here. Instead, let me get straight into an overdue update on SL storytelling from the Seanchai Library SL. This week rounds-out the haunted month with a few more ghostly tales and haunting happenings.

Tuesday 30th October, 19:00

Bear Silvershade brings to life The Whistling Room by English author William Hope Hodgson, who wrote in a number of overlapping genres, including science-fiction, fantastic fiction and horror. Perhaps most widely known for the novel-length  The House on the Borderland and The Night Land, Hodgson also wrote numerous short stories, often revolving around a recurring central character. The Whistling Room is one of the latter, and the supernatural detective, Thomas Carnacki.

In all, Carnacki originally appeared in print in six tales by Hodgson, all published between 1910 and 1912, with The Whistling Room being the third in the series. Following their initial publication, all six stories were brought together to form the anthology Carnacki The Ghost-Finder, to which three further stories were added in 1948, one of which had never previously been published, and two had been published posthumously following Hodgson’s death in 1918 at the Battle of Ypres.

Carnacki himself is inspired by two other fictional characters, the Great Detective himself, Sherlock Holmes, and the supernaturally inclined scientists, Dr. Hesselius, created by fantasy writer Sheridan Le Fanu.

As with all the Carnacki tales, The Whistling Room is narrated by a friend of Carnacki – one Dodgson who is, like three other close friends, is often invited to Carnacki’s batchelor home to share dinner and hear of the detective’s latest case. As such, and unlike Holmes’ Watson, while Dodgson narrates, he generally plays a minimal role in Carnacki’s own tale.

On this occasion, Carnecki tells of a case wherein he is asked it investigate a room in a mansion which emits a loud,eerie whistling. After carrying out a very thorough search of the room and finding nothing, he is not altogether convinced of the supernatural nature of the sound. Not convinced, that is, until he takes a ladder to the side of the house, climbs it, and peers into the room from the outside…

An illustration from The Whistling Room, as it appeared in 1910 in The Idler magazine

Wednesday 31st October, 19:00

A Night in the Lonesome October

A Night in the Lonesome October reaches its long-awaited climax. Originally intended to be a tale in four parts, Seanchai Library has extended its adaptation of Roger Zelazy’s satirical novel so that reaches its thrilling climax on night in which all things come to a head in the novel itself.

Featuring the voice artistry of Shandon Loring, Gyro Muggins, Caledonia Skytower and special guests, the story once again focuses on the deadly Game and its mix of archetypal characters from Victorian Era gothic fiction, all with occult knowledge, seeking either to throw open the very doors of reality itself and allow the Great Old Ones into this world and bring about the destruction or enslavement of the human race – or to hold to doors closed in the face of calamity and protect life and civilisation here on Earth.

Through the eyes of the participant’s familiars, led by Jack the Ripper’s faithful dog Snuff, we’ve seen alliances formed and betrayals played out as the game moves inexorably towards its climax. And now the night itself is here. Who will prevail? Is the world to be saved for at least another few decades before the Players once more to resume their deadly Game, or is all to be forever lost?

Thursday November 1st, 19:00

Dark, daring, utterly haunting tales of lost lovers, predatory demons, and vengeful ghosts from the pen of John Connolly, as told by Shandon Loring.

All stories in voice and take place at Seanchai Libray on Imagination Island, unless otherwise noted.

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