Jun 30, 2008

A Cyberpunk Evening

I logged in last night, and walked through the Loch making sure that everything was in order. Now I generally do this each evening, but last night was particularly interesting in doing so, for I had word out of world from Lady Kate that a griefing incident had occurred in Lovelace. Apparently hundreds of physical plywood boxes had been dropped into CoyoteAngel's sim - covering the ENTIRE sim. Gak! Thankfully only 28 of the blasted things were found in my sim looking very much like they had simply fallen my way from my neighbor to the south.

At any rate, once the cleanup and patrol were completed, I realized that Caledon was "vewy vewy quiet". Assuming that folks were NOT, in fact, Wabbit Hunting. I decided to check my map. No- not many green dots in the ol' Independent State. So with all things quiet on the home front, I pulled out my ever growing list of interesting places to explore when time permits. Next up: Insilico. I first learned about this sim from Wagner James Au here in his New World Notes, and from there did a little further research.

Last night I donned one of my more cyberpunk outfits and headed over to see what I could see.

First it may be good to share with those of my readership who are less familiar with the genre just what cyberpunk is.

Science Fiction writer, Lawrence Person defines it this way: Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.

According to the Wikipedia article on cyberpunk: Cyberpunk writers tend to use elements from the hard boiled detective novel, film noir, and postmodernist prose to describe the often nihilistic underground side of an electronic society. The genre's vision of a troubled future is often called the antithesis of the generally Utopian visions of the future popular in the 1940s and 1950s. (Gibson defined cyberpunk's antipathy towards Utopian SF in his 1981 short story"The Gernsback Continuum," which pokes fun at and, to a certain extent, condemns Utopian SF.)

Often cyberpunk depicts the world as a dark, sinister place with networked computers and enormous corporations are dominating every aspect of life.

Teleporting into Insilico is dramatic in and of itself. I found myself in what appeared to be the center of the city - a gorgeous futuristic metropolis full of light and shadow, and neon signs and huge televisions shining through the darkness.

Lights flashing and flickering through the fog. Looking up at my control panel, I noted that I was over 3500 meters in the sky. I had read previously that this would be the case, and that only the automated residents in the newly forming RPG lived or worked on the earth below.

After things had fully rezzed, I tried to close my gaping mouth and look a little less "tourist-amazed" and more like a noir heroine.

I settled into my pseudo-role and stepping into the night surrounded by extraordinarily textured skyscrapers climbing ever higher into the dark sky, I enjoyed the sights and sounds of Insilico. There are many levels to this city with a smattering of stores to be found. I confess to a bit of shopping. Many of the stores are quite fantastic.

Some evidence that not all faith has been lost in this future.
(a wonderful creation of the sim owner and builder, Skills Hak)

It appears that not a corner has been cut, due to cost or prim allowance. Great use of sculpties! And there are functional innovations that have been noted by this author and others, including a voice activated web browser, which is mounted on a wall in the local public house.

Caught in the laser, which appears to be motion activated and tracks one's avatar until another comes along.

One of the denizens of Insilico, who was monitoring my activity for a while. I was a bit fearful of some sort of retribution for my explorations - perhaps in restricted areas of the sim...
but instead, after he learned of my particular skills in intelligence work, he found an occupation for me*

Monitoring the metropolis.

is well worth your time. I HIGHLY recommend you add it to your travel plans. I know I'll be going back.

*well - he really did not even speak to me...but in my self-created rp that's what happened. Slàinte!!

Jun 29, 2008

Science! Courtesy of The Honourable Lady Kate Nicholas

Proceedings of the Royal Society: The Tunguska Event at 100.

Jun 27, 2008

Of Cavorite and Sassenachs

A Report to the High Tea & High Adventure Society

Etchings into the walls of the cavorite mine. A grid? A map?
A warning??

My thoughts and findings may be found here along with those of other HTHAS expeditionary team members.

Jun 25, 2008

For My Favorite Librarian

Happy 2nd Rez Day, Mr. JJ Drinkwater!

For Librarians

Imagine you can consider all ideas
And images represented by all words
And numbers in all libraries worldwide.
Open the book of this consideration.
Touch the paper. See the illustration
Of you, reading, when you were ten
In your local library. Turn
Several pages. Now read how you
And that other person ignited romance
In, of all places, the stacks, third floor,
In quite a different library. Snowflakes
Brushed against dark glass as you two
Stood between PQ and PR.

Now go to the index. Find “possibility.”
Look up from the book. The librarian
Who looks away was watching you.
She knows how to phrase the question
You want answered.

Librarians know where wisdom’s stored.
They catalogue the countless forms
Of silence and tell people what they
Didn’t know they wanted to know.
They treat the mentally fractured
As if they’re whole, the dull as if they’re
Sharp, Winter as if it’s Summer.

A band of sunlight angles through high
Windows, brightens shoes of a librarian,
Who knows the patron in the gray enormous
Coat will steal a book about sex or wiccans.
She knows some Christians will steal books
Deemed Satanic, ignoring a commandment
And the homeless person sleeping in a chair.
She knows some atheists treat Library as
Church, so when she moves into shadows,
She does so quietly. She worries for books.

For the librarian knows books are easily burned,
Recycled, or digitized, reduced to oxygen, carbon,
Silicon, and such basic elements as hate and
Budgetary cuts. She wishes presidents of
The United States would consult librarians
Before going to war. It would save so much time,
So many lives. She knows exactly which references
Know how badly any war will go and how soon
Citizens come to loathe their leaders. She knows
How to find stories about all the libraries
Wiped out by war. She knows patrons who’ve
Been harmed by war. Sometimes they set off alarms.
Someone asks her, “Can you help me find out
If I’m related to Napoleon? ” Yes, ” she answers,
“Come with me, please.”

All libraries may now gather inside invisible
Electrons. After closing time, books in Sweden
Send emails to maps in Chile. A librarian in Topeka
Posts a reply to one in Tokyo, adding to a blue thread
Wrapped around the globe.

As sincerely as librarians worry for books, for shelves,
For catalogues, buildings, and best practices,
So should we worry for librarians, for images and ideas.

At a table in a library, a circle of light
Lies on a book. The hand not writing turns
The page, and something important happens.

Hans Ostrom

*for all librarians - regardless of gender

JJ celebrated his 2nd Rez Day twice yesterday. Once during the afternoon SLT with friends from Europe and other places across the globe, and once during the evening SLT with (mostly) American-based friends. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend for a while last night. I made a private call to the gentleman and inquired as to any theme for the night. He requested Midsummers Night.

The Færie of the Red Rose

I happily complied as did many others. Still others arrived as they were when the invitation went out over the ISC. We had a lovely time in Lady Edwina's sim on Hoy. Thank you, Eds, for the hospitality.

The Rez Day boy....er...Lion dances with Miss Serra and other friends

Spiral Walcher's excellent cake

Shaunathan Sprocket

Miss Cornelia Rothschild

Hawk's eye view

Hotspur O'Toole

Gabrielle Riel

Mr. Aldo and Mrs. Betty Stern

The færie dances in the dew.

Many more happy days to you, Dear JJ. Many more!

Och! Tagged Again.

Well it seems that I have been tagged - the last one of these that found me was strictly in world - that "Getting to know you meme" that was so popular a couple of months ago.
This time it's:

1. write the title to your own memoir using six words.
2. post it on your blog.
3. link to the person that tagged you.
4. tag five more blogs.


Soft Velvet Glove - Iron Fist Included (here I'll add the subtitle just for kicks: She - the lover of music, beauty, and romance. The Lady Chieftan, Distiller, and Warrior Duchess)


Tagged by Hotspur O'Toole

Now who should I tag? Hmmmm......

  1. Zealot Benmergui
  2. Kate Nicholas
  3. Iason Hassanov
  4. Telemachus Dean
  5. Kamilah Hauptman

And while I'm at it, let me share this amusing little post with you.

Jun 24, 2008

Home From a Brief Holiday

A brief, yet very enjoyable, holiday spent with RL family I find myself back in my own home with familiar things....my own bed, my own favorite chair, the temperature on the air conditioner the way I like it, and a nice fat internet connection. *smiles*

Perhaps the "avatar me" will once again make it home to Loch Avie tonight minus the terrible and frustrating lag that accompanied me when I logged in to check/clear IMs (though I fear they did cap at least once) and ensure the sim was not over-run by wrecked horseless carriages (which has been known to happen now and again).


A little poetry read on holiday from Robert Louis Stevenson's Songs of Travel and Other Verses

(excerpts presented out of original order)


IN the highlands, in the country places,
Where the old plain men have rosy faces,
And the young fair maidens
Quiet eyes;
Where essential silence cheers and blesses,
And for ever in the hill-recesses
Her more lovely music
Broods and dies.

O to mount again where erst I haunted;
Where the old red hills are bird-enchanted,
And the low green meadows
Bright with sward;
And when even dies, the million-tinted,
And the night has come, and planets glinted,
Lo, the valley hollow

O to dream, O to awake and wander
There, and with delight to take and render,
Through the trance of silence
Quiet breath;
Lo! for there, among the flowers and grasses,
Only the mightier movement sounds and passes;
Only winds and rivers,
Life and death.

A cozy, quiet place to read Mr. Stevenson


PLAIN as the glistering planets shine
When winds have cleaned the skies,
Her love appeared, appealed for mine,
And wantoned in her eyes.

Clear as the shining tapers burned
On Cytherea's shrine,
Those brimming, lustrous beauties turned,
And called and conquered mine.

The beacon-lamp that Hero lit
No fairer shone on sea,
No plainlier summoned will and wit,
Than hers encouraged me.

I thrilled to feel her influence near,
I struck my flag at sight
Her starry silence smote my ear
Like sudden drums at night.

I ran as, at the cannon's roar,
The troops the ramparts man -
As in the holy house of yore
The willing Eli ran.

Here, lady, lo! that servant stands
You picked from passing men,
And should you need nor heart nor hands
He bows and goes again.


SHE rested by the Broken Brook,
She drank of Weary Well,
She moved beyond my lingering look,
Ah, whither none can tell!

She came, she went. In other lands,
Perchance in fairer skies,
Her hands shall cling with other hands,
Her eyes to other eyes.

She vanished. In the sounding town,
Will she remember too?
Will she recall the eyes of brown
As I recall the blue?

Jun 20, 2008

A Mystery Continues

The first of my reports back to the Royal Society and the Winterfell Bureau of Para-ætheric Investigations may be found here: The Riddle of the Crystal Skull

For the full story please read the entries found at the Boyarinya's Personal Winterfell Blog and that of Dr. Nichtstadt.


Jun 16, 2008

Midsummer Naughty and Nice

Quite a few social activities this past weekend here in this little corner of the Metaverse.

Friday night found me in Steelhead for the Lord of the Rings themed dance followed by a great time in Winterfell at The Green Fairy dancing with Miss Serra and many other friends. (There was also a very interesting trivia quiz. *smiles wickedly* Alas I have no pictures from those events. I have no excuse really...I just didn't take any. I did, however, get a few shots in my Shieldmaiden of Rohan look (minus the blond hair) whilst trying out my newest airship (try not to be too jealous) - a gift from Lady Kate Nicholas. This sweet thing is full mod and I look forward to personalizing the ship to suit my adventurous desires.

Flying along the coastline in Loch Avie

The gang-plank of the airship. In my Eowyn costume.

Saturday was a very busy time in RL, but I was able to pop into the Midsummer Rave in Shengri-La. I had not been there in some time, and it was nice to see a few friends from IBM as well as Shenlei and Rez.

The view from the skies. So beautiful.

Eva, the Blue Færie

Our hostess, Shenlei Flasheart

Dancing in the garden with Lady Kate Nicholas

And finally last night after a very happy and successful Father's Day celebration in RL, I attended the fabulous naughty and nice Rez Day celebration of Miss Lumina of Steelhead. Grand good fun!

The Rez Day girl

Part of the crowd early in the evening enjoying the music and the gorgeous setting

Two of the 4 or 5 Radio Riel staff present. Gabrielle and Red (Red DJ'd the evening)

Silhouetted Dancers

Is this Hugh Wulfenbach?

Jun 14, 2008

Her Grace of Winterfell Eventide Started It

Victorian Ad Farm??

Well here is an advert that I found this morning on my front porch as I wandered out with my cup of Lapsang Soushong in hand to check on Bucephalus, Nellie, and the new platypus that has taken up residence in Loch Avie. I already have a fine corset maker, but one should always keep one's options open.

Do you have some print ads of which you are fond? Feel free (and by the way please do) to post them in comments here. I would love to share more of these with my readership.

Jun 8, 2008

Warrior Celt

I am fairly certain that Angus did not have a Scottish Clan Chieftainess in mind when he wrote the words below. However, I am equally as sure that he will not mind that I found them appropriate not only to my persona as the "Warrior Duchess" but to many of the fine men and women I know in Caledon and other lands here in the æther.

The Warrior Celt

by: Angus Graham Ceawlin

The Warrior Celt awaits with sword in sheath but ev'r at the ready

He trusts that past experience makes the draw quick and steady

For tonight he fights not for blood nor gold

But even in practice of daring and parry

For soon he must go forth ere so bold

May we all live our Lives with Honor and Patience, utilizing our Training and Timing with expert care and consideration.

Jun 3, 2008

The Red Rose of Caledon - Part II

Well, my head is finally beginning to feel normal. Mixing whisky and bathtub gin may not be the best plan after all.

But what a wonderful Rez Day event it was. Yes, it has been 2 full nights since the First Caledon Lancers held the Dining-In and toasting contest in my honor in their Mess Hall on Middlesea. Yes, it has been 2 full nights since we completed the formal and VERY HUMBLING (for me) event and then rapidly changed into our best silent movies-themed garb and headed Upstairs for a phenomenal party. But....I am still moved beyond belief at the expressions of love and respect that were shown by many friends and neighbors, as well as Loch Avie's Own and the Knights of the Order of the Red Rose.

Special thanks to Colonel Exrex Somme, Colonel Hotspur O'Toole, Leftenant Diamanda Gustafson, and the rest of Loch Avie's Own First Caledon Lancers. I also very much appreciate the efforts of Sir Telemachus Dean and Sir Adso Krogstad of the ORR. As well, the night would not have been the same without the help of Boyarinya Eventide, Her Grace, Kate Nicholas, Her Grace of Carntaigh, Gabrielle Riel, Her Grace of Lionsgate, Kamilah Hauptmann, and Seneschal of Winterfell, Serra Annasi. But really, thanks to all of you - so very much. You make this Second existence much more fun; you help me nurture and express my creativity.