Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Christmas

Xmas celebrated: 1 (good)

My first Christmas, during which my Second Life is somewhat rationed, although with the weeks of crunchy snow, revolving coloured Xmas trees, open fires, twinkly lights and freebie clothes (lots) already enjoyed this does not seem like such a loss.

Here is a pic of me wearing antlers which are just one of the things you get from free Christmas stocking (as clutched in arms in pic) from Schadenfreude, the shop which is just round the corner from mine. Also wearing Demon hair (in purple) which was gift harvested from tree in last pic, I believe.

In second pic you see Ishbel (right) and me enjoying contents of Divivty (not free) Christmas crackers i.e. in particular Hats, which unfortunately completely replaced Hair, but I suppose that is just one of the merry penalties of Xmas fun.

Benefit of SL crackers is that you can pull them as many times as you like and they still go Pop. We are also holding jolly Xmas lollipops from crackers, sitting in the snowy platform after Ishbel had done her Discussion

Final pic is one characteristic of Xmas season, namely scrabbling to harvest gift from tree in Mau's (home of nice Undine hair also). Since most of time recently has been spent sim-hopping in search of Xmas booty it is hard to remember where particular booty came from. Hey ho, now have enough seasonal earrings (snowmen, xmas trees etc.) to wear different one each day of week.

Anyway, Christmas cheer to all from Sheila Yoshikawa

Thursday, 13 December 2007


No of pics of CILR launch featured on news site: 1 (strange)

Today Ishbel pointed out that one of the pics she took of the opening of the Centre for Information Literacy Research on Eduserv Island in July was reproduced on a news website with the following legend:
"A virtual party is held in the online world of Second Life, where real people can immerse themselves and socialize, own property and even wed."
Hmmm. Event pictured is Art Fossett being presented with a gift for hiring us the office. Suppose it could loosely be termed party, insofar as socialisation took place and virtual alcohol imbibed and even had the requisit slumped avatars. Accompanying article is about SL marriage and title says it all:
Newser. (2007) "Man Treats Virtual Wife Better Than Real One." Newser, 11 August. http://www.newser.com/story/5652.html
Photo: copyright Ishbel Hartmann.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Meetings happening

RL presentations given about SL: 2 (good); People accusing me of being creepy: zero (v. good); Questions asked about point of SL: 1 (no problem)

About 10 days ago gave talk at Strathclyde University on inquiry based learning (IBL) and SL, and today gave talk more centrally about SL but also a bit of IBL since talk was for CILASS IBL cafe. At first one had a student rep, some lecturers, educational developers & technologists etc. and today had 2 student reps plus same sort of mix except fewer of them. However lecturers included my own Head of Dept who is always worth several of other lecturers for obvious reasons.

Have uploaded talks to slideshare here and here. At first presentation one person asked what was point of doing anything at all in SL, but felt had answer to this, which will not bore you with since feel it is unlikely that someone who thinks SL pointless will be reading this blog. At least no-one said SL creepy. Person from our computer centre was at 2nd talk and unfortunately still looks like access to SL on students' computers is distant dream although possibility they may go the lending laptop route. Is all very well but does not take account of need for simultaneous computer access in labs for induction or other exercises. Hey ho.

Maggie Kohime was there in RL to talk a little about her perceptions and Ishbel in SL, where we got eventually (see first pic with Pancake and Violette as well as me and Ishbel) since as usual ppt bit took a little longer than intended. Looks like there is interest from our Institute for Lifelong Learning which is nice. 2nd pic is random cute photo of campfire site under snow.

Meetings not happening

Meetings scheduled in SL: 2 (good); Meetings taking place in SL: approx 0.6 (bad)

Should currently be doing tidying up activities (updating notecard, preparing chat for upload, sweeping up toast etc) after successful discussion led by Ishbel "Impressions of the London Online exhibition/conference". However as any devoted SL resident will know, SL grid only notable by absence this afternoon and evening (UK time).

Was usual sorry tale of "will be up in an hour" "grid is now online!" "oops gosh it fell over" "we'll be up in an hour" "um, make that 3 hours". Meanwhile screen as pictured here told sad tale of zero avatars inworld.

For some time looked like grid would come back up at noon SL time ie official discussion start time - but then was postponed 2 hours so Ishbel and I (via email, thanks heavens for old technology) decided to postpone talk too, to Monday.

Had omitted to mention that between successful discussion on SL interviewing and this discussion had been social event scheduled on the skating rink. In a nutshell was bit of a mistake, think need to employ social secretary as am good enough at organising festivities (extra skating animations, Gluhwein etc.) but not good at publicising event in sparky manner. Was grateful therefore to Adelaide and Jocelyn who graciously stayed for while and tried out spins, couple skating etc.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Meeting, toast

Meetings organised in SL: 1 (good); Experiences of toast throwing: 1 (good)

Am holding another discussion tomorrow so must hurry up and write about last one, held nearly 2 weeks ago. Was on interviewing for research in SL. Am particularly interested because students are doing research interviews in SL and so have been thinking about differences between RL f2f interviews, SL interviews, other online interviews. The transcript for the meeting is at http://sleeds.org/chatlog/?c=188. Will aim to do entry about this on the IBL blog.

Fairly small group but interesting discussion, with more questions than answers, but I picked up a few tips and also led to suggestion for next research-focused discussion (on sampling). Crashed out half way through and when logged back in people were discussing what people do when someone crashes out i.e. that just take it as normal, except when suspect that person hasn't REALLY crashed out but it using that as convenient excuse.

At end of meeting one participant asked would liketo have toast thrown at me. Not invitation I get every day, so agreed readily. Had to Edit Land, to turn on scripts and object entry for all residents. However was worth it when gratifying flurry of toast flew through air. A dodgy moment when wondered whether would have to clear up toast from floor, but in fact it was self-clearing toast which disappeared magically. If only messy food in RL acted like that.

Mitsy, Squirrel, Cockatoo: 3 kinds of animal noise

Cats moved to new office: 1 (v. good); Squirrels moved to snowy forum: 1 (cute); Shop displays mounted: 1 (v. good); Cockatoos purchased for new shop display: 1 (noisy)

Regular readers of this blog may have been asking "Where is Mitsy? Has she gone to join her spooky dismembered clones in the sea?" (see previous post)

In fact Mitsy has been safe in Inventory ("Animals" folder). Was bit hesitant to introduce her to new home, as cats well known for disliking change. However, when introduced her to office in Sakura House she settled in straight away, pacing, mewling and pushing people around as per normal.

In fact Mitsy seem to prefer new home since even with Set Cat Range Very Small, this was not small enough for Eduserv office, thus her frequent plunges out of the side of the office to a watery doom.

Can see in these pics that looks v. content, making herself at home on her Mitsy Mat and on Dimitrova's skirt (no errant cat hairs in SL). Am looking forward to next meeting in lower room enlivened by her friendly howls from upstairs (note to self: may have to explain this, do not wish visiting educators to think Unmentionable Activities going on).

Elsewhere on the animals front, have moved squirrel from under oak tree to snowy forum where is disporting itself under Frosty Willow (XL) on Crunchy Snow. Since squirrel miraculously generates own acorns does not seem cruel. As can be seen here is perky enough and merry chirping may be welcome distraction if meetings in Snowy Forum prove dull.

Also put in new exhibition in shop, featuring RL Australian pics. Have put in pic which is all blue sky plus 2 v. small cormorants as background on 3 walls, water on floor, plus driftwood, deckchair, tropical-type tree, pina colada and sulphur crested cockatoo.
Put up some Aussie photos for sale, with no great hopes of income. In fact have RL pic of RL sulphur cockatoo in Sydney botanic gardens, so should put that up sometime, thus further confirming RL globetrotting credentials. This however is SL cockatoo. Makes almighty squwawk noise which unable to Modify out, am afraid neighbours may complain.

Saturday, 8 December 2007


Hair bought: 6 (good)

Decided to branch out a bit as regards hair. Started with the Magika hairs (one called Poofy and one called - something less memorable) which observant readers may have noticed in previous pics. Poofy is actually quite suave and features hair Up. Goes with boho floaty type gear. The other one has a long ponytail and a sort of comb thingy protruding from head and was wearing it when being interviewed by Madrilena.
New hair as follows:
1) Purple version of normal hair (Ryuuzaki). Must say that really like this style, and so nice to have alternative to go with purple outfits. Looks much the same as normal hair so have not pictured that.
2) and 3) Purple and blue versions of Mika hair by same designer (Kin) - sort of long, flowing and lumpy. Gives rather foxy look to face. Rather liked this to start with but has been overtaken by Undine hair (see below) which is more flattering + you get oodles of colours in the one pack and more hair, basically. This hair is in first pic., with me sitting on edge of fairy teacup, evidently plotting to poison someone with fairy tea.
4) and 5) Aiko and Miaka from Inspired. These are anime hair. Obviously tried demos and thought was going to like Aiko, but frankly just TOO anime. Maiko is better in that looks cute IMHO rather than pervy. Nevertheless, a couple of nights ago when had got on skating outfit with Miaka hair decided in end that was TOO cute. Have pictured it here in cutie overload with Hello Kitty doll.

6) Undine hair from MAU's & MEJ's,. This was bargain as in one pack get several colours inc. purple, blue and green. Dread to think how many prims must be in it, but v. pretty and swooshes around as walk.
Have worn blue version Out a couple of times and green (shown in pic) and purple. Also have also played Ophelia floating in hot tub (see last pic). All v. picturesque and even more pre-raphaelite/gypsy, so am keeping this well to fore in inventory for when want to go Long in SL.

Not sure if have mentioned before that in RL have v. straight long hair (brown, with white patches) which do not dye or curl or do anything to except have it trimmed a few inches now and then. Have not even been tempted to experiment in RL as if didn't like it would take about 4 years to grow back in normal colour and actually rather like it how it is. In fact nightmare is having hairdresser slicing too much off so only go to cheap hairdressers unlikely to get grandious restyling notions.

Catching up (again)

Weeks since last blogged: 2 (bad); Anniversaries celebrated in RL : 1 (good)
Have been v. busy over last 2 weeks, too preoccupied to blog. Am reminded of when was teenager with v. quiet life and kept diary regularly with long entries reporting on weather, food consumed, whether X was still chums with Y, nature of homework etc. Would be excellent reading matter for insomniacs. However as soon as things started actually happening in Life then diary-writing stopped.

Anyhow will attempt summary of key events in series of entries. No, actually won't try that as it v. dull and would probably never catch up.

As a start, here is Harumi with the anniversary display that I made at Cove. Cake supplied slice on plate, though without eating animation.

Thursday, 22 November 2007


Interviews given: 1 (good); People dropping by: 3 (good); Offices created: 1 (good); No. of cool offers of unpaid work: 1 (good); Strangers observed editing appearance on skating rink: 1 (curious).

Have not mentioned that although island scarcely Picadilly Circus have been a few more people turning up. Was on island last Saturday being interviewed by Marilena whilst lounging by the pool and having nice chat generally. A business lecturer who has come along to a couple of meeting suddenly joined us which felt v. nice as like to feel that island is place where people might like to hang out.

Also Swiss librarian who came to discussion with report from Konstanz meeting dropped in beforehand to take balloon ride and say hello.

Realise haven't blogged that discussion here, but have done so on the Information Literacy blog. The pic here shows Tulle and Marky, after the discussion finished and is basically included so can see rather fine flower arrangement that is now a feature of the office.

Have finally made cubicle space for Ishbel in departmental building, since she is part of team with undergrads in SL. A couple of nights ago she visited it and fortunately liked the way had kitted it out (though as she has SL Skills, she may choose to personalise with her own stuff).

Lastly, after previous Babylon5 entry, was contacted by one of people who run the sim and asked if would like to help with marketing effort of the B5 Experience. Was v. surprised and flattered but also torn as
a) would be v. cool thing to do but

b) am already hiding behind vast piles of Unfinished Work in office and gazing glassy eyed at oodles of emails in inbox with all other zillion things I'm supposed to be doing.

In end said that would like to be part of Team but have to be realistic about time committed. This seemed to be OK so will have to see how it goes.

Is now taking me some time each day just to visit all places where have land/quarters. with personal land will note that number of office blocks have risen which is bit of shame. Also think only person to have bought a photo from shop is Ishbel.

Bought a v. nice Christmas tree though, so can contemplate that when feel stressed.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Snow falling on island

Entries written in reflective learning diary: 3 (good); No. of snow covered trees planted: 3 (good); Amount of snow covering island hills: just right (good)

As part of action research element of the CILASS island project am now creating Personal Learning Portfolio as Evidence for final whatever of action research cycle. Only started it a few days ago, but already find that small amount of time that wasn't already spending in SL or blogging is now spent writing about it all in learning diary.

Anyway, realised that was writing about something that could go on this blog and repurposing is name of game. Topic was snow cover on island. As already mentioned on blog, intended to change Texture of top of mountains from scrubby green/brown to sparkling white and the L$10 snow textures purchased yesterday seemed right for job. However found on investigation that hadn't got actual texture (graphic) of scrubby brown/green in inventory. Various other scrubby brown or green textures but not that one. Most puzzling. Must have got it from somewhere. Problem was that if switched texture without having original in inventory, could never get back to that SPECIFIC scrubby brown/green and would have go hunting through texture shops to find replacement. Personally think texture shops v. dull not to mention hell to find way round with zillions of little texture squares rezzing v.v. slowly.

Should be said that all powerful owners like self determine 4 different textures to cover 4 different levels of terrain: in the island's case - 1) Rippling sand; 2) Slightly scrubby green; 3) Lush green; 4) Scrubby green/brown. Then owner sets lowest point for texture 2 to start and highest for texture 3 - or is it 4?? At any rate realised that solution was to set top level higher than actual land, so that texture 3 (which knew could get back to as snug in inventory, plus I even remember where I got it from) was on top of mountain, then turn THAT to snow.

Result! Pleasing wintery landscape with top of mountains enfolded in snow and slopes just dusted. Patted self on back and planted a few wintery trees. Heart Garden Centre had snow-covered but sadly lacking in bare-branched tree department, but hopefully will come up with something since otherwise will be winter on top of mountain and perpetual autumn below.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

I am a sad nerd

Quarters rented in Babylon 5: 1 (good, bad) ; Favourite character in B5: Londo (bad, good, tragic)
So far in blog have not revealed that am fan of sci fi series Babylon 5, have DVDs of all episodes (seasons 1-5) plus am collecting script books. Enough said, as sad nerdiness is evident when say that have even sat through a couple of episodes comparing what is in scriptbook to what reached final cut.

When started in SL immediately signed up with B5 group but zero happened for many months except odd desultry IMs from people asking each other if anything was happening. However, now great leap forward, since B5 ("a port of call, a home away from home for diplomats, hustlers, entrepreneurs and wanderers ... two million, five hundred thousand tons of spinning metal, all alone in the night ...") being recreated and what is more today was announced that could rent quarters! in B5 itself!
Teleported in (achievement in itself since today SL seems about to tip over) scuttled through the Zocalo* and down to Blue Sector, where found indeed 4 rooms, one already rented. One remaining was fitted out with rudimentary furniture and non-operational-Babcom** (see pic). Doors made dinging noise just like in series! Went and out several times to hear it. Whee! Became very over-excited and could not but click RENT thus committing L$400 to 2 weeks stay.

Installed laptop, glowing crystal (rather large for data crystal***, but still) and sake bottle since am intending to channel Londo Mollari****. Fear this does not fit with image of cool fashionista Yoshikawa, although Group owner also seemed well turned out. However, some things are more important than fashion. Perhaps could host B5 party in skating rink*****.

* The central meeting and trading area

**The system used to communicate in B5

***The memory sticks of B5

****Centauri Ambassador

*****Though I don't remember anyone in B5 ever skating


No. of skating poseball pairs bought: 2 (good); No. of skating poseball pairs disappeared without trace: 1 (bad); No of fairytale skating wonderlands created: 1 (good); No. of hours spent creating same: erm ... mumble (bad)

Scarcely had last pumpkin been deleted and last witch broom been packed into the Halloween folder than SL is filled with revolving Christmas trees and malformed luminous snowmen. Was sim-hopping for possibly sensible reason that now can't remember when was swept away on wave of wintertide sparkle and in particular discovered joys of skating. You go round and round! and round! and that's about it but somehow satisfying.

Had already been building up stock of fairylights as these are things which every prudent island owner should have in inventory for use in impromtu celebration. Had also picked up snowglobes and slightly bizarre santa-bears and santa-cats for amusing Christmas gifts. However was now inspired to shop around for snowflake emitters, skates and snow textures.

Also saw complete weather system which allows build up of snow on ground when switched on, as well as cloud effects etc. Interesting but L$1500 so will consider further before purchase. Of course can change texture of ground on island at click of mouse and think will have mountaintops snowy at least for a while.

Decided must have skating rink. Could purchase complete rink for price of weather system but look rather utilitarian. Instead can purchase skating pose balls, still not cheap, but so cute! Played around with icesheets in Build area on island (was at this point that first set of poseballs disappeared, together with first set of snow textures though latter only cost L$10) SL seemed to be having bad day since twice had found self zipping of into ether without being able to stop and had to crash out.

In end realised that conference platform ideal setting for rink as platform already looks like ice. Had had cypress trees lying round in inventory for some time, as whenever had brought them out they made landscape look v. mournful so immediately put them back, but decorated with strings of lights they are just the thing. Also placed snow emitter strategically over platform, dashed to Divivity to buy some festive foods, adapted the Basic Chair as supplied to all avatars including stretching chair legs to make base for festive table. Eh voila. Still needs some extra titivating but think can already advertise as island feature.

The pics show my skating rink plus at the bottom a rather spooky Christmas display encountered on travels.

Saturday, 17 November 2007


Meetings with colleague at 1am: 2 (good); Tiki homes created on spur of moment: 1 (bad and good)

Have been reasonably unsuccessful in luring colleagues onto island, although several have now avatars. Was therefore v. pleased when Nigl (Prof.) turned up on island when was tidying up in office. Nigl had changed appearance since last seen, now sporting admirable level of bling, v. eye catching.
Showed him possible spaces on top floor of building and displayed some furniture option. However, when Nigl expressed interest in palm trees and I was able to produce same out of inventory, together with assorted flowering bushes and saplings, he was v. enthusiastic.

Was carried away by this to suggest creating special tiki office next to main building and so was soon putting in tiki hut, palm trees, wicker sofa and inevitable coffee pot.

In honour of new office, Nigl changed to academic robes. Was still wearing them next day when encountered him at similar hour near haunted swimming pool. Spent some happy minutes on seesaw and agreed this preferable e.g. to acdamic committee meetings. Had made improvements to tiki (vis. gong, walkway, photo board, bead curtain, inflatable ring and more coffee) and finished it with sign giving name and status.

Will now have to find excuse why other people can't have same.

Fat, creepy

Talks given about Second Life: 1 (good); Number of expensive multicoloured shawls bought in RL because of all this talk in SL about "cosy woollens" and "fall colours": 1 (bad); Pounds added to weight when viewed on wide screen: 20 (v.v. bad).

Last week travelled in RL to Germany to give talk at info literacy conference. V. nice conference in Konstanz, lake views, fine chocolate, twisty old-fashioned streets, hearty stews etc. also could show off German language skills (though conf actually in English). Was mainly talking about activity in postgrad class but also spent 10 mins on SL with demo. ppt is here

In fact had not thought would have access so got v.v. excited when saw could go inworld. However excitement turned to horror as saw how enormous bum and all other portions of anatomy look on wide screen computer. Even stick-thin avatars must look plump. Not sure what is to be done except to start campaign against wide screens on grounds that will cause emotional stress to avatars.

Discussion after talk took emotional turn. Someone said that she found SL creepy and she did not seem to be only one. Not sure whether she realised that implied that *I* was creepy but at any event was somewhat unsettling. One question was how students could tell was my avatar and not some raging pervert out to lure innocents into debauched activities (I paraphrase). This has simple answer since had stood in class with students and said "Look, that's my avatar".

Sure that can't be creepy since:

1) Do healthy things like landscape gardening and shopping;
2) Do not wear skimpy clothing;
3) Am not creepy person.

Hmmmmmmm not sure that would convince jury.

Have included pics showing avatar looking slim and, I hope, not creepy, at the Baden-Baden-Wuerttemberg sim which includes a Universitity of Konstanz buidling and the appealing Literatur Cafe.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The horror

No. of minutes unable to log into SL: 30 (v.v.bad); No. of people who nevertheless show up for discussion: 4 (good)

Last week (before dashing to RL conference) had scheduled discussion in SL about the possible uses of the Infolit iSchool island, with me leading it. As usual prepared notecards, arranged seating and so forth, then logged out and rebooted computer to avoid crashing later on.

V. big mistake. Turns out that LL have problem with logging in so spend 30 minutes staring repeatedly at screen (see pic) which warns that Second Life may appear Frozen YES IT WAS FROZEN I COULDN'T GET IN. As hour of discussion approaches feel increasing panic but when has passed time by 10 mins find that strange calm descends, though still have urge to beat forehead against PC screen. Only consolation is that others have same problem, since obviously would be v. bad for hoards of people clamouring for discussion to be assembled in Regent Plaza wondering where I am.

When eventually get in, find no-one there, which could mean anything, really. People gradually arrive and in end there are 5 of us plus anotther person who flits in and out as happens in SL as flitting is so much easier.

Have discussion which is logged at http://sleeds.org/chatlog/?c=176 Seems that idea of conference is popular, only question being - what on? Lorelle also promises to propose solution to the Notecard Overload which am starting to suffer from in the Centre. She later drops notecard with ideas on SL ebooks, which is useful and will have to ponder.

Person naked but for boots and hat walks in whilst meeting draws to close. As we are all v. polite librarians, Brits etc. do not draw attention to this and indeed, when do gently indicate that clothes might be the done thing, said person is mortified having thought that clothes were Worn. Is moral there always to check that clothing is on body before leaving house.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007


Discussions held: 1 (good); No of places where posting about discussion transcript: 7 (getting ridiculous)

Last Thursday held first discussion session (Inquiry Based Learning and Second Life) on Infolit iSchool. As usual difficult decision as to how much to publicise . Wish to avoid the "office cat is only delegate" scenario experienced on one occasion, on other hand if too many people becomes unmanageable. In end advertise on UK educators lists in addition to usual library one, also Art Fossett v. helpfully sets up Facebook group as promised and v. embarrassingly only stumble across it after event takes place.

Prepare Sakura House with extra chairs in inventory should hoards descend. Wear scripted prim skirt so can sit down without revealing underwear. Prepare notecards on "What is IBL" and "This discussion in IBL and SL", create posters and place in Sakura House. Put redirect teleporter in old CILR office and at Regent Plaza on the island. Decide to remove part of back window of House so easier to get in and out. Reboot computer to minimize risk of crashing. Switch on chat log.

Then sit and contemplate sunrise until first people arise. Soon evident that will not just be me and cat, hurrah. Turns out to be largest meeting so far. Transcript of chat is at http://sleeds.org/chatlog/?c=165.

V. interesting IMHO, but also shows that have to refine SL listening/reading skills still further as seem numerous points where indulge in parallel stream of consciousness. Is definitely useful to have 2 people involved in discussions to pick up on different threads and keep on track. Also perhaps need sign in centre of circle which says TAKE A NOTECARD since otherwise start sounding like broken record at start. But venue seems to work, so great relief. Also one participant has video-ed and will be using in presentation in USA, which I think v. cool.

After meeting zoom round and photograph someone talking balloon ride. No. of rides has shot to 28 but does not compare well with over 1000 rides taken on Info International tour vehicle.

Then spend some hours: editing transcript for typos (mostly mine) and taking out XXX IS ONLINE parts of chat, mounting chat using excellent Leeds thingy, updating notecards, updating textures to put on posters with notecards in, rearranging posters in CILR (have now grouped them by broad topic rather than by date) , uploading to Flickr, writing blog entries, posting info on where transcript is to Groups (etc etc). And I've got another discussion this evening. Seem to be making work for self.

Monday, 5 November 2007


Fireworks parties attended: 1 (good) Attempts to explain Guy Fawkes to foreigners: several (bad)

Attended jolly fireworks party on Info International organised by Pam Ribble to celebrate November 5th.

This of course is traditional time in Britain to incinerate guys, let off rockets, burn fingers on poorly cooked sausages, wait for 3 hours in casualty with cinder in eye etc.

SL Fireworks followed usual pattern:
1) Turn light to Midnight
2) Observe lights swooshing around in impressive fashion
3) Find self unable to move and crash out
4) Log back in and enjoy further colourful swooshings
5) Congratulate organiser
6) Spend hours in Photoshop selecting and tweaking photographs

but with additonal feature, namely

4a) Attempt to explain Bonfire Night concisely whilst avoiding insulting people of various faiths and in awareness of fact that cannot remember when Guy Fawkes actually made explosion attempt, so hurrah for Wikipedia.

Am determined to have firework display on Island at some point, so will note down here that firework makers are Allen Park, Sweet Surface and Cubeos.

Whilst SL fireworks were going on, so were RL ones outside so had pleasing RL/SL synergy. Only remembered afterwards that had brought own SL sparkler to add to fun but perhaps this would have been last straw to bring down entire sim.

Clearing up

Vehicles abandoned: 4 (bad); Bottles of Jack Daniels abandoned: 1 (bad)

Island no longer my own as now populated by students in addition to odd colleague or two. This is v. good, but does mean that certain amount of clearing up to do. Had put vehicles in freebie pack for students which seemed to go down well, but is no v. good surface for bike trails on island so inevitably riders end up tangled in water garden or at bottom of river.

This illistrated by various sad pics in this entry. As am now all-powerful Island Owner could in fact delete all items belonging to others with one scornful click of the mouse. However take lesser route of Returning items to people's Lost and Found inventories. After months of having assorted cats, antelopes etc. returned to mine, is quite satisfying to be returning stuff to someone else's.

Also stumble across abandoned Jack Daniels bottle. Had installed Jack Daniels vendor near student residences but without tasting more than one drink. Now emerges that after a few sips, Daniels animation takes avatar over and slumps him on ground in stupor. Do have pic illustrating this but will withold to spare embarrassment, mainly mine in having supplied vendor in first place.

Should I remove it? Think not, in that stupor-effect could be seen as moral warning against perils of drink.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007


Halloween castles created: 1 (good); No of witch brooms owned: 10 (good); No. of freebie Halloween items collected: 25 (if you count all the earrings separately)

Halloween seems to be Big Thing in SL. Can scarcely move for pumpkins. Am swept up in general hysteria and celebrate by creating Halloween Castle out of freebies. First part is Castle, which got in Freebie Corner of House of Effulgence (maker of v. good japanese dewellings inc. the one I'm using as my office). Castle looks as if made from grey cardboard and has no windows, so would be v. depressing as home, but is ideally suited for task in hand.

Have collected various pumpkins, and witches hats, including ones from the University of Guelph Library in SL, which had pleasant aspect like RL Guelph uni library. Also make liberal use of LL freebie autumn tree (puportedly an oak, but seems general Autumnal to me). Had bought gothic room as one of potential student houses (and was indeed third room to be snapped up) and whilst room was not copyable, gothic draping that came with it was, so able to use that to festoon castle.

Did invest $50 on a coffin that you can lie in (see pic) and $40 on a tombstone, but Pile of Treasure, assorted dwarf mining tools, torch and wings were found as freebies. Then created posters with landmarks to some of the most delectable freebies, vis:

- Pumpkin chair
- Witches broom with 10 poses (as seen in first pic)
- Witchy shoes
- Trick or treat bag
- Sculptie necklace
- Very strange item that you wear consisting of bird with pumpkin in beak.

Piece de resistence was perhaps large pumpkin carriage which had in fact collected weeks before an rediscovered in Inventory just in time. Is perhaps worth mentioning in passing that inventory now contains 6, 781 items, so easy to mislay the odd vehicle.

Also made it challenge to find outfit consisting entirely of freebies. Found ensemble that seemed quite elegant, although skirt was in fact not free at all but a Scripted number and in this garb I led my 2nd session with the students on Monday. Will blog more about that in due course (i.e. student activities, not sculpted skirts)

Completed free aspect by using skirt from Halloween Lolita outfit snaffled from Kiki's closet, and made brief sortie to a Halloween party at the Haunted House of Gothic Literature. However, as is often the case with these US led events in SL, by then it was 2 in the morning and so gave up rather swiftly. In any case whilst costume would have done v. well for RL event, soon realised had no chance when were other people appearing as giant pumpkins, blasted trees and the like.

The blog of Sheila Yoshikawa on her adventures in Second Life. This may be very thrilling. Or possibly not.