Home improvements (again)

Building on the island: revising things to provide room for a new plane and moorings for visitors
Building on the island: revising things to provide room for one of my new planes and moorings for visitors

As a result of expanding my selection of SL aircraft with a Beechcraft C90 and C33, both from DSA (I’ve really got this SL flying bug rather bad!), I decided I wanted to have one or other of them rezzed and ready to go at my little home island; after all, what’s the point of having something like an aeroplane (or a boat – or two for that matter) if you’ve constantly got to pull it out of your purse / suitcase / handbag / attaché case (or however you think of your inventory) to use it, when you have the space to show it off?

Truth be told, I’ve actually had an on-and-off nagging issue with the design of my little island for a while now. As regular readers may know, part of the island has been laid out to provide a stand for my PBY-6A Catalina, with a south-facing ramp to provide access to the water for take-offs. The problem here has been that the ramp led into what is pretty much a main navigation channel, while at the same time made the southern end of the parcel pretty much unusable.

As the island looked before the changes
As the island looked before the changes

Given this, I’d been thinking of re-arranging things for a while, but until the arrival of my new toys, I didn’t really have the motivation to get on with it. However, that I had been thinking of things did give me a loose idea of what I wanted to do before I started pulling things apart and gluing them back together.

First off, the Catalina stand and ramp got rotated through 90-degrees. This required a certain amount of fiddling, as the parcel is fairly narrow, so I had to spend time cutting and rotating and generally faffing with a prim to get a ramp that fit within the parcel boundary, didn’t cut too deeply into the land and which wasn’t so ridiculously steep the Catalina wouldn’t be able to climb it without grounding the hull and getting stuck.

The revised east facing ramp for the Catalina and the widened water basin for mooring boats
The revised east facing ramp for the Catalina and the widened water basin for mooring boats

Once done, this freed-up the southern end of the island so I could make better use of that end of the parcel. As a result, and without dragging this all out, I’ve been able to add moorings for one of the additional ‘planes (which will be the C33  Debonair by default) and a place where visitors can moor their boats without a lot of additional faffing around on my part and hanging things in the air to make space for them. The move gave also me the opportunity to widen the water basin between the north and south sides of the island, providing additional mooring space there, if needed.

An unexpected outcome of this work was a reduction in the overall LI of all the structural elements on the south end of the island; not by a lot, but enough to allow me to add to the garden while still keeping a very decent ceiling of “free” capacity on the land. At the moment I’m thinking of adding a screen of small trees to visibly separate house & gardens from my budding “airport”, to give the former a greater feeling of privacy on those days when flying and boating aren’t that important.

The home changes even provide enough room for the C90 King Air
The home changes even provide enough room for the C90 King Air, if needed

So am I happy with the outcome? Overall, yes. At least until the next time the urge to glue prims together and play with mesh comes over me :).


Art at the End of Time

Orsini Tarantal - EOT Museum of Second Life Art
Orsini Tarantal – EOT Museum of Second Life Art

The End of Time estate, comprising a total of seven regions, is a beautiful haven open to the public which offers plenty to see and do. In particular, the estate offers two main venues for art, as well as featuring art displays through the paths and trails that wind through the estate.

The Museum of Second Life Art at The End of Time is a gallery space feature the work from both the virtual and the physical world by a number of artists with in a rotunda style building which, for me, seems to carry echoes of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Currently on display across the two floors of the gallery are pieces by Consuela Caldwell, Orsini Tarantal (RL: Javier Escudero Cuervas-Mons), JudiLynn India, Kynne Llewellyn and Max Bobair. All represent a rich variety of styles and -as noted – mix images captured in the virtual realm with pieces created in the physical realm, thus offering a highly individual gallery space  / exhibition displayed around a central free-form sculpture by Patty entitled Nude Describing a Staircase.

Kynne Llewellyn  - EOT Museum of Second Life Art
Kynne Llewellyn – EOT Museum of Second Life Art

Meanwhile, the Subway Gallery offers  a very different ambience, with the façade of a run-down quarter of a town somewhere, complete with the backdrop of industrial noises. The Subway’s latest exhibition opens at 14:00 SLT Wednesday, January 14th, features an extraordinary retrospective exhibition of poster art by Dana Pinkerton, and which celebrates the tenth anniversary of her rezday.

Dana Pinkerton - EOT Subway Gallery
Dana Pinkerton – EOT Subway Gallery

On display are some 30-ish posters Dana has created over the years, each featuring other avatars in what is a striking and very individual approach to portraiture. Many of the images on display feature SL DJs (Dana herself is a DJ as well as an artist and club owner), and may be familiar to some from the profile pictures of the subjects. The exhibit space itself has the feeling of being divided into two halves: the first room features posters with a high level of ambient lighting and more muted, natural colours, while those in the back room of the gallery are far more vibrant in colour and have something of an 80’s movie poster look about them.

During the opening event, a limited number of selected works, signed by the artist, will be available for sale, and there is an open invitation for those so interested to attend.

Dana Pinkerton - EOT Subway Gallery
Dana Pinkerton – EOT Subway Gallery

Wander the estate, and you’ll find other art on display – such as the “trash-art” sculptures by ZTAR Magic , a member of the LastPlak Collective. The estate also usually features Feather Boa’s remarkable “Butterflies” exhibit as well, displayed along an open-air walk, but is currently on loan to Art Forest through until the end of January 2015.

ZTAR Magic - EOT Ztar Magic Garden
ZTAR Magic – EOT Ztar Magic Garden

I’ll have more on End of time and my return blogging visit under a separate title; in the meantime, I’ll leave you with the relevant SLurls.

Related Links

Lab brings a little Skrill to provide additional payment options

secondlifeOn Tuesday, January 12th, the Lab announced the provision of new payment options for Second Life users, through a partnership with Skrill, the UK-based e-commerce business that allows payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet.

Under the new arrangement, Second Life users have further options for their payment activities, including like buying L$ and paying account fees, as well as additional local currency options for Residents outside the United States.

The service actually soft-launched a few weeks ago, and according to the Lab, has seen some very positive results to date, hence the announcement. However, some users outside of those trying the service may have additionally noticed that Skrill themselves announced their partnership with the Lab earlier in January 8th, when they issued a press release on the matter, which reads in part:

New York, NY – 8 January 2015: Leading digital payments company, Skrill, today announces a collaboration with Linden Lab to integrate the Skrill Digital Wallet as a payment option for users of Second Life, the Internet’s largest user-created virtual world.

Skrill’s Digital Wallet provides users with a secure and easy method to send and receive Linden Dollars. Skrill 1-Tap, Skrill’s recurring payment solution, allows users to enter their information only once to enable continuous payments thereafter with just one tap or click.

As noted in the Lab’s blog post, any Second Life users with a Skrill account can now add it to their payment options under the Billing option on their secondlife.com dashboard.

SL users with Skrill accounts can add them to their SL billing options
SL users with Skrill accounts can add them to their SL billing options

While the service can currently only be used for any payment transactions (operating just as a credit card would), the Lab note that they hope to extend the service to encompass the processing credits (redemptions) to Skrill accounts in the future.

Given that many SL users have problems in using Credit Cards with the platform, or are unable to use PayPal, the arrangement with Skrill potentially offers a method by which they can better carry out payments and L$ purchases.

If you wish to find out more about Skrill, please visit their website.

Related Links