Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Winter Ice Rock Festival at Palma

By Gemma Cleanslate
Every autumn I go exploring and search out regions that have winter displays, winter sports, winter freebies and scenery that you will enjoy. I have started already to find ice skating, skiing, even some shopping , and other fun activities in various regions. I have my old favorites that I will be writing about soon. A friend sent me a landmark to visit because of its beauty and I did since it was new to me. It is the Region Palma. 

 At the entrance I found Santa and his reindeer handing out free Uggs, very nice boots for the winter. Three booths with delectable foods and beverages kept me there for a few minutes.  There is a tram tour ready to take you above where you can look down at the view. I took the tour first to get an over view of the sim. The ride took me high above the snow laden branches of the trees where I could see lodges, cabins , ponds. The second time I took the ride we hopped off on top of the ski mountain where you will find free skies and a sled rezzer.

Off we went on a sled that took us down the steep slope  to the skating area. After a few twirls on the ice  I started off on the snow packed roads to see the sights. Looking around I saw a delightfully  pristine landscape dotted with charming buildings , animals, and visiting avatars.  As you travel the roadways you buildings that offer a relaxing place to park.  There are comfortable seats by the fire in the Lodge and outdoor lounging areas. A pleasant bar offers a refuge for chatting.

 I visited Santa’s stables and found elves caring for the reindeer. The skating pond is large enough for some trick skating and offers free ice skates for your use. Across the pond I found a theater where you can sit and watch movies and we stopped to laugh at a giant snail race video and one of Torley’s tutorials. Up on a hilltop I found a building that is the Headquarters of the Rebel Yell Concerts. This is a Tribute Concert business, the first one in Second Life, I learned.  It is owned by Lestat Zalivstok , Oskar Zalivstok, (oskar.nirvana) , and Guiltyangel Rhapsody.

Lestat told me "this is Winter Ice Rock Festival 2013,“ and  that the region will be in winter decor until January 8. There are posters around the sim  announcing the next event and the time so you can put it on your calendar. After January 8  they will put some other decor.  He is a real life band owner and continues the tradition in SL. Enjoy this elegant winter setting and dress warmly!  http://maps.secondlifecom/secondlife/Palma/220/223/32.
Gemma Cleanslate

Thursday, November 7, 2013


By Grey Lupindo

Finlandia invites Second Life residents to “hangout, relax and enjoy” and see what Finland is like.  Located at Finlandia, Finlandia (191, 48, 23), it is a beautiful place to visit. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first SL site that is based on Finland.  Finlandia’s creator, Daniela Finchy, has made a wonderful sim that showcases her lovely country.   One of her notes states, “So everything you see, feel and touch is all about Finland.  We are proud ... and happy to show it to you.”  
Finlandia is representative of the southern and southwestern areas as they appear in late summer and fall, a season which is known as “ruska.”   The terrain is comprised of rolling hills, forests, and beautiful rocky coastline. 
The rez zone is a small wooden structure that is functional but not representative of the rest of the site.   It is filled with information and necessary notes, as well as a few odd objects.   A large cut out of Marilyn Monroe is there, but I’m not sure what her connection is to Finland.        
Outside of the rez area, however, the land is peaceful and beautiful.  Wide paths cut through the woods and lead to various sites around the Finlandia.  Bridges straddle winding streams.   There is a bicycle stand, too, since they are very popular in Finland.   However, the paths are also great for horseback riding, which is one of my favorite things to do.   I saddled my horse and rode all over the site.
The area has lots of activities for residents to enjoy.   There are many spots where friends can gather, including a campfire site with a moonshine still brewing.   A large picnic and dance area is found at Finlandia (139,16,24). 
There are lots of free games to play, including Whack a Mole, Mah Jongg, Minesweeper, and others, located in a large cottage at Finlandia (45,71,25).  Try out the rope swings that are outside, too. 
The rocky coastline is ruggedly beautiful.   There are row boats available that you can use to explore it.  I rowed up to the sauna and stopped, although I think I could have continued further.  It is located at Finlandia (84,95,23).   The sauna is a wonderful steamy place that you don’t find very often in Second Life.  Approach this area with care since it is the only area where nudity is allowed in Finlandia.   There were other people visiting the sim during all of my visits, but no one was using the sauna.    
At the top of another hill there is a very cozy country cottage and a large barn, at Finlandia (164,72,33).  Inside the cottage you can try out a loom or sit in a rocking chair by the fireplace.   There are three rooms, all  furnished.  A cat named Tuikku sits on the front porch, and other farm animals roam about in the yard. 
There is a cottage for rent in Finlandia, but I don’t know if this cottage is it.   One of the nicest features in Finlandia is the lack of commercialism.   There are no glaring signs or items for sale to spoil the natural beauty.   Except for a few tip jars and teleporters to transport shoppers to the store area, the site is a peaceful park. 
The shop area is located above the rest of the sim in a sky box, and it is worth seeing.  Finlandia Stores, Finlandia (119, 61, 2022).   Although it isn’t as beautiful as the rest of Finlandia, the shops are set along wide paths in a landscaped area.  There are fourteen shops from Finnish creators, including Mad Pea, SiO, Ihan Sama, Jinxies, S.L.A.D, CakeFox, Linealrise Design, and others.  There is also a club where you can hear Finnish rock/metal music. 
 In addition to the shops, Uleria Caramel, a Finnish artist, has paintings on display there.  Caramel creates art that is abstract expressionism in style.  She uses oil painting, glass, ceramics, aquarelles, photography, and other techniques in her art.   Her works are very colorful and unique.
Newsweek magazine ranked real-life Finland as the overall "best country in the world" in 2010.  According to Wikipedia, many sources rank it as one of the best countries for quality of life.  In creating Finlandia  Daniela Finchy has done a great job creating a sim that shares her beautiful country with the rest of Second Life.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Serena Long Cay

By Gemma Cleanslate

I really needed some quiet and solitude after the Burn2 was over.It has been several weeks of busy busy busy.  So I went looking for a place to relax and found it! There is a delightful sim, Serena Long Cay, made just for relaxing and looking at the sea. 

The place seems to be the philosophy of the owner, Franx Markstein. He looks at Second Life in a different way. He has tried the parties and  other activities of Second Life and says,”I like come here and to have something that engages my mind and makes me forget the stress of real life, I tried to do all what is possible to do for me, for my skills, now it was time for a place to relax myself, not very demanding in the management and where people can relax too.“ The name he gives to the area is Otium, from the Latin meaning leisure. And so it is. 

There are beaches with relaxing chairs where you can sit and gaze at the ocean. I found a boat and went for  a ride along the shore line. I walked the beach and took a snorkling tour of the glassy waters, then rested and enjoyed the sun on my face.  I  encountered others just hanging out talking. I ran across a greedy game almost hidden behind the cliffs.  Climbing the hills I found a lovely drop in place where there was  refreshing watermelon on the counter and sat down for a while to enjoy. Another person, Drem, came in to play the pinball machine there.  

 Just looking out on the sim is relaxing and I really enjoyed my time recovering from the business of the past weeks. I ran into an old friend, Purplebutterfly Lykin who is a fellow blogger and there doing a travel series. I recommend getting over there and making a landmark so when you are feeling the necessity for a few minutes alone , or with a friend to relax and enjoy , this is a good place to go. 

Now feeling refreshed I am off on new adventures! Bu , I have the landmark in my favorite places! Thanks Franz!!

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, November 1, 2013

Star Journey Island

By Becky Shamen

Joshua has been hanging around at Chez Sha, wishing to learn more of Second Life. Sha pulls up the Destination Guide, on her computer, and looks in the "Cosmic" section. An interesting one grabs her attention, with the introduction, "Unleash your own power! Play and explore in virtual world version of Star Journey Symbol Method. Interactive Symbols lead to valuable personal insights and inspiration. Enjoy beautiful gardens and sky galleries in this spiritual and empowering sim. Based on Richard Geer’s latest book: “Star Journey – A Cosmology of Self.”. She gives Joshua the address and sends him, closely followed by her telepathic robo cam, to explore.

Arriving there, the first thing he notices is there is much less lag here, compared to most sims he'd seen. The adventure strarts in a translucent blue room, with moving stars wall texture. There are signs on the walls, providing helpful information about the sim and navigating it. A welcome sign gives a warm greeting.

Dear Seeker- 
I invite you, come discover Star Journey Island.
It's full of meaning, and fun to explore.
You'll learn more about yourself in the process.
May you always find what you seek.
Love and Light
Richard H. Geer
Star Journey Author
Another sign recomends using their TP HUB, for getting around the sim, via following symbol cards, and provides it free. It is important to use this, because it also gives information about what the symbols stand for. You can just walk around, but, as you can see on the map, your path will trace a flower, with half your time spent retracing your steps. On the ground, we see why there is low lag.

The ground is very roughly shaped and textured. We learn that the outward sights are not the adventure here. Our attention begins to have more freedom, to decipher the symbols and related objects, as we spend time in each of many sections, on the ground and skyboxes. The instructions have also told us to touch everything we find, to receive valuable clues and objects to use on your journey, like the torch, for finding your way in the cave.

Most areas will have chairs or pillows to sit on, so you can spend time thinking. While stationary, you can look at the surrounding objects, with your perv cam. The black box, behind Joshua, contained six Mardi Gras mask objects. Their unusual construction inspires a whole new genre of SL art, which we hadn't tried before. The sim has, indeed, kept it's promise to  "Unleash your own power."

Many objects are interactive and provide accessories for you to use. In one, called `Magic Mirror', sitting on the pose ball forces the camera to look at the mirror, while your av gets put behind the mirror and goes through a series of menu driven, animations. In another, you get a musical instrument and become a snake charmer. Don't worry, he won't bite. What you're playing might not sound musical to you, but to him it sounds like one of his favorite, old Beatle's tunes.

Each of the symbol cards, in the HUD, will give information about the symbol and provide a TP to the area that represents it. Here, we explore one of the symbols, called "The Crown". It is the sign of fulfillment through sincere leadership and wise guidance (83). The TP takes you to an ornate Egyptian chamber, with golden thrones to sit on, in regal manner. Afterwards, we find free crown objects, in small and large sizes, to complete the look and feel of being in charge.

There are many symbols to explore. Each will direct you to principles and how they apply to your real and virtual lives. LM this sim and take periodic breaks from your `same ol', same ol'. It will recharge your inner battery and greatly assist you in getting to "know thyself."
Becky "Sha" Shamen

Editor's Note: Check out Grease Coakes article on Star Journey a year ago (Here)