Tag Archives: My SL

Celebrating the Oscars at Caitinara Bar, Second Life

The limos start to arrive at the spotlights roam the skies outside Caitinara Bar

The limos start to arrive at the spotlights roam the skies outside Caitinara Bar

On Wednesday, February 8th, we opened the new look Caitinara Bar with our monthly Music With Anthony theme night – an opportunity for friends and guests to dress up and come along to the bar and have a little extra fun and conversation.

As February is the month of the Academy Awards, we’d decided to have our own celebration of the music and songs from award-winning films over the decades, as well as music and songs from this year’s nominees. To help set the mood, we did a little decorating as well: spotlight swivelling across the skies outside, a red carpet extending from roadside into the bar, complete with photo backdrop for those wanting to grab a snap or two (we kept the paparazzi outside!), and Oscar himself adorning the walls.

Ylva, Patti and Kerena

Ylva, Patti and Kerena

As people began to arrive, so the music started to play – Anthony had selected some of the more recent hits from major award-winning films, and as more arrived so the requests came in as well. Of course, there were the classics, like Moon River (Breakfast at Tiffany’s), When You Wish Upon A Star (Pinocchio), Windmills of Your Mind (The Thomas Crown Affair, 1968), to the songs we perhaps grew up with, like Up Where We Belong (An Officer and a Gentleman), through to more recent ballads, such as Adele’s Skyfall – and many, many more.

Everyone took to the evening in style, the gents looking dapper and dashing, the ladies glittering in frocks and gowns, and the conversation flowed around the music. sadly, we didn’t get the red carpet photos we’d hoped, but the sekrit camera was floating around the dance floor, allowing me to capture the odd shot or two :). If you’re not included in the pictures here, my apologies – I’ll make sure to catch you at the next event!

Bou, Anthony, Sam and Sister

Bou, Anthony, Sam and Sister

If you couldn’t make it to this month’s special event, our next is on Wednesday, March 1st, when we’ll be featuring the music of the New Romantics.  BUT! Don’t forget we have music and dancing at the bar every Wednesday and Friday, from 4:00pm through 6:00pm SLT on each evening, with Anthony Westburn providing the tunes on Wednesdays and Joy Canadeo playing them on Fridays.

So, why not make a note in your diaries and come along and join us? And don’t forget as well, Holly Kai Park is always open for visits, complete with our regular art exhibitions and displays.

Caitlyn and I pause for photos on the red carpet!

Caitlyn and I pause for photos on the red carpet!

SLurl Details

This article also appears on the Holly Kai Park blog.

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Of islands and ideas in Second Life

Yet more island changes :)

Yet more island changes 🙂

So yeah. The island home; aka the job I’m always prattling on about, or “just when you thought it was safe to read this blog…” We hadn’t actually planned on changing things. Honest. But then I mentioned to Caitlyn that while the new layout worked, it was also a bit flat, She agreed. Thus, cue the unpacking of landscaping bits …

After spending time trying to integrate the northern and southern ends of the island into a “whole”, going back to rocks and cliffs might sound like things are being broken up again. However, what we’ve settled on  – we think – returns some of the character to the island, giving it more depth (or should that be height?) while retaining a unified feel.

The base of the cliffs - retaining the pond

The base of the cliffs – retaining the pond

In essence, the gardens and beach at the north end of the island have given way once again to the Fanatik Rocky Island. If I’m totally honest, this isn’t my favourite piece of landscaping; the baked textures aren’t entirely to my liking, and the lack of differentiation between vertical and horizontal faces means it cannot be reasonably re-textured. But in terms of natural look, with paths and differing levels on the plateau, I’ve yet to find anything in SL that matches it.

The upper two levels of this are now the location for our little stone cottage, with front lawns, cypress trees and back patio / lawns and just a little touch of the old castle ruins. Alex Bader’s Tiered Wall Garden set allowed for a degree of landscaping on the lower two levels of the plateau, allowing us to add lawns and the Trompe Loeil Dorina Outdoor Hangout, converted back to use as a pool.

The Trompe Loeil Outdoor Hangout makes a nice vantage point to watch passing boats

The Trompe Loeil Outdoor Hangout makes a nice vantage point to watch passing boat races through the channel south of us

One of the other positive aspects of the Fanatik rocky island is that it comes handed, so slipping it into the island and having the switch back path leading up one side match the moorings for our two ‘planes was nice and easy – and provided a route from house through island in the process. At Caitlyn’s suggestion, Alex’s Boardwalk set provided further integration between cliffs and fields by providing a wooden path around the rocks and over one side of our pond.

We also recently thinned-out some of the ruins, and shunted the old chapel across to the east side of the island. So in re-arranging things, we’ve been able to include an open grassy area at the base of the cliffs, Alex’s Ancient Stone Wall building set dividing it neatly from the “wilder” woodlands while a Stepping Stones set from Cube Republic offers a nice pathway to link everything together. Finally, a gift from John and Eles Briana means we now have a little “summer-house” in the form of the Trop Loeil Outcrop Hut, where we can watch the passing boats in the local sailing races.

I'm not the world's greatest fan of the Fanatik Rocky Island, but there is no denying its dramatic potential

I’m not the world’s greatest fan of the Fanatik Rocky Island, but there is no denying its dramatic potential

So, once again, a few more nips and tucks  – and a very big rock – at home. Now, onto the next project!

Flying the CLS Ryan Navion (via Firestorm) in Second Life

The Firestorm CLSA Ryan Navion

The Firestorm CLSA Ryan Navion

Firestorm recently held their Christmas Party, and as a part of it, they’ offered Firestorm users holiday goodies in the form of a pet leopard and a CLS Aviation Ryan Navion aeroplane in the Firestorm colours.

I’m a bit of a flying fan in Second life (albeit not necessarily looking for full realism, just the fun of getting into the air and pootling around), and as I’d never actually come across CLS Aviation before, I cheekily saw the opportunity snag the gift and see what the plane was all about.

The Firestorm CLSA Ryan Navion

The Firestorm CLSA Ryan Navion

The retail variant of the plane is prices at  L$1,099 at the time of writing, and is supplied Copy / Mod – the accompanying photos showing it can be re-painted (although I have no idea if templates are supplied – so check before buying). The Firestorm version, for obvious reasons, is supplied No Mod, locking-in the Firestorm paintwork, but otherwise it is the same aircraft model.

The Navion is a post-war single-engined light aircraft with a tricycle undercarriage and seating four, many of which are still in use today. Wikipedia informs me that CLSA model is based on one of the later variants of aircraft, which had wing-tip fuel tanks.  The model weighs-in with a Land Impact of 77, a physics weight of 2.2, and a render weight of 49072.

CLSA Navion instruments: legible and reflect aircraft's operation

CLSA Navion instruments: legible and reflect aircraft’s operation

The Firestorm finish is pretty good, with the exterior of the ‘plane looking quite eye-catching. Elements of the finish continue inside the sliding canopy cockpit, where the trim on the seats and instrument panel includes colour nods to Firestorm. The instrument panel is fully readable and the instruments  respond to flight movements, making it perfectly possible to fly and navigate in Mouselook and using keyboard / chat commands.  For those who like HUD-based flying, one is also supplied, offering access to essential controls and instruments and gives access to the plane’s menu, which can also be used when flying.

Handling-wise, touch the canopy to open it and hop in (it opens automatically on shutting down the engine). A headset is supplied for those who like that kind of touch, and the “usual” control options apply (“s” / “start” / “stop” for the engine, WASD / arrow keys for turn / climb / dive; PAGE keys for throttle, etc). Multiple camera pre-sets are offered as well, accessible via chat (“c0” through “c9”, which can also be selected by menu (accessed through the HUD) or cycled through via the HUD.

The Firestorm CLSA Ryan Navion

The Firestorm CLSA Ryan Navion

I found the plane handle reasonably well in the air, although turns felt a little “flat” and lacking roll at times while acrobatics such as looping felt a little on the “tight” side (albeit with nice camera motion). Allowing for the current state of region crossings, the Navion handled things reasonably well, although recovery did at times seem a little sluggish. Camera scripting in particular seemed to try to handle slewing issues on crossings by giving a forward view of the plane then gently panning around to the over-the-tail default. This mostly avoided instances of finding the camera pointing into the side of the plane after a rough crossing, but when these did occur, cycling through the camera pre-sets generally cleared it.

Flying in Mouselook  / via instruments was more than acceptable, although I need to practice my landings in this mode! And on the subject of landings, a novel aspect of this plane is that while it senses Linden Water as water (listen for the splash), it will nevertheless quite happily land on it even though devoid of floats – and will also take off from Linden water as if it were a runway, feeling very much like the Terra Stingray in the process.

The Firestorm CLSA Ryan Navion

The Firestorm CLSA Ryan Navion: works on water! 😉

Overall, not a bad ‘plane, particularly if you’re looking for something to start out with. One small word of warning – should you go ahead and buy this plane (any plane?) from CLSA, or get the Firestorm variant (whilst available), make sure you rez the package in an open space. I rezzed mine in the living room and almost squished myself between it and the wall!

And, also, as this one is in Firestorm colours, are we going to see a Firestorm aerobatics team form? 😀 .

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Second Life: my ten (and counting!)

Pey time: over the years from then (top left) to now (main)

Pey time: over the years from then (top left) to now (main image) – first published in 2013

Ten years.120 months. 521 weeks. 3,653 days. It all adds up to a long time. For me, on this day – December 5th, 2016 – it means I’m marking my 10th anniversary since re-entering Second Life (I’ve previously dabbed with it, but had wandered away).

Every year on this date for the past three or four, I’ve look back over my time in SL. Each year that gets harder to do because really, there’s only 12 months of “new” stuff to go over each year – the rest is a re-tread of things already said. But still, ten years is ten years, so pardon me if I ramble for a bit.

Perhaps the most surprising is that I’m actually writing about the fact that it is now ten years since Inara Pey burst forth onto the digital scene as I decided to give “that Second Life thing” another go. Little did I realise just how much a part of me would enter her – and  indeed, how much she would become a part of me. Back then, I re-entered SL With A Purpose, and determined not to be a wanderer looking for a role-play home. That purpose may now be a part of my virtual past, but it was enough to encourage me to stick with SL, meet like minds, make friends, explore and, eventually, to start writing about Second Life. And so the snowball started rolling.

Holly Kai Park: continues to occupy a portion of my time as is still proving to be fun

Holly Kai Park: continues to occupy a portion of my time and is still proving to be fun

Of course, there have been many ups-and-downs through the last decade, both in terms of SL and personally. With the latter, there have been a fair few times when I’ve felt I really should just quietly put everything back into inventory and silently slip away. With the former – well, I’m not going to rehash the good or the bad; we all have our opinions on that! Suffice it to say, Second Life continues to roll (and sometimes creak) forward despite all the proclamations that The Sky Is Falling along the way. My one passing regret is that I couldn’t earn L$250 for every doom-laden prediction which has appeared in comments on these pages over the years 😀 .

But all that aside, I continue to do what I’ve always enjoyed doing: logging-in, meeting friends, exploring, taking pictures, writing, and trying to understand more about what lies behind the curtain of this incredible world in which we invest so much of our time and energy.

Yup, I'm still flying!

Yup, I’m still flying (and boating)!

I’ve no idea what lies ahead for 2017. Again, being honest, there was a time when I’d targeted my tenth anniversary as the point at which Inara would quietly bow out of Second Life; but plans have a habit of changing as time moves forward, so I don’t see that happening any time soon (touches wood!). Frankly, it’s hard to think of a day where I’ll get up without a thought about Second Life, the friends I have here and what the day might bring when I log-in.

Anyway, I’m not going to ramble on. Instead, I’ll finish with a few words of thanks. These go to everyone who has passed on rezday congratulations via blog comments, Twitter and IM, and to all of you who give you time to read and comment on this blog: you are genuinely the one reason I keep writing. Thank you, especially, to Caitlyn, for making the last 15 months so much fun throughout all our adventures and expeditions; and thank you, Linden Lab, for providing us all with this digital playground to share with one another. Long may it continue!