Mar 30, 2010

Exploring Nemo

Last night I had the time and inclination to do a bit of exploring. Thanks to Hamlet Au and New World Notes, I found just the perfect place.

I shall share the short slide show with you and tell you how remarkable the build is, but you should really see it for yourself. The textures are incredibly well done, and the movement of the gears and other mechanisms is seamless.

Once you've had a look at this, you should really head over to New World Notes for a detailed read about the content and the creator and a great YouTube machinima of the sim.


Mar 27, 2010

Dieselpunk! Seraph City Begins

Dieselpunk, Lady Eva?

Last night as I was out and about in SL, Kamilah sent a landmark to me for a new sim concept display with the command suggestion that I put on my 1940s garb. She told me no more about it, save that Mr. Tenk, the Clock Winder of New Babbage had sent the location to her.

"Worth a look when you have time," she said.

"I'm not doing anything in particular tonight, so I may just go now, " I said.

A quick change into some futuristic garb.


What is Dieselpunk?

One of the best statements I've read about it is: Dieselpunk is a love of the future that used to be.

Dieselpunk is is a subculture and a genre of art blending the aesthetics of the 1920s - 1950s with today. To most, the diesel era is a time colored by pulp heroes, swing kids, and noir gum shoes beating the mean streets in search for justice. It shares it's roots with Steampunk, and (some have said that it) is the bridge between fantasy and history.

A view from the outside of the building where the entry landing is located.

I met one of the people responsible for the possible new sim last night as I toured around, Miss Tesla Tripsa. She was very kind to show me around and talk about their hopes and plans for the sim.

There is a reservations map if you are so inclined to desire to be a part of the new Seraph City. When I asked her how heavily RP the area would be, she replied that it would be a themed community with RP optional. "I come originally from Babbage, " she said, "and that seems to work there." Aha! I knew I recognized her name!

I highly recommend a trip to the concept display. I thoroughly enjoyed myself there.

Who is this dame of the Dieselpunk era? And what is this contraption?

Waiting......but for what? or whom?

Oh my! One of our modern steam engines, but it looks so old and has taken quite a turn for the worst!

Miss Tripsa shows me the new Dieselpunk train. My breath is taken away.

I now see why Kamilah enjoyed this place.

All in all a gorgeous build. I look forward to when Seraph City comes into it's own.

Mar 24, 2010

Celebrating Ada Lovelace

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

~~I encourage you to recognize and celebrate the women you know in science, mathematics, and technology!~~

The book mentioned in the broadcast may be found here on Amazon.

Music on the broadcast is Music is Math by Boards of Canada.

Mar 23, 2010

Poetry from the Library of the Red Rose - A Reading (Take 2)

Because of some issues with the free player utilized the last time, I have upgraded to another source.

Hope you will enjoy this new and improved version.

Mar 21, 2010

Time and Space Fold - The Dream State Continues

My Guiding Spirit has over the course of the last week or so continued to think on the concepts of a Knight in Dented Armor and the Lady who loves, and is loved by, him. There have been numerous things which have come into her mind and have therefore caused my own heart and mind to dream dreams of my ancestors once more.

I saw her again. Sìleas. This time her lodgings were quite different. Not the large, comfortable home, but a tent in a field. There was an acrid smoke all around and many more tents - not unlike her own. She was writing in a journal. Even in my dream I seemed to think how very like her I am - never one to shy away from hard work, or even, battle. But also soft and soft-hearted. Journal writing must be a way of life for the women of my mother's clan - the Frasers. Clearly I keep my own personal and professional journals, but I can also recall both my mother and her mother doing the same.

Sìleas sat quietly in the relative peace of her tent near the battlefield making notes of one thing or another. The evening grew cold, however, as she waited for Gawter to return from the commanding officer's tent. She stood to tend the fire, and as she began to bring it back to a healthier warmth, she heard the sound of slow footsteps approaching. She turned to see a massive shape between herself and any light the moon was giving. She was carefully stepping backwards toward her side of the sleeping rug to find her sword so as to defend herself. All the while she watched the beast of a man approaching. Suddenly he stopped and grunting he lifted something up in the air. With a quick whoosh and a loud thump something hit the ground at her feet.

"I brought ye a gift, mo Chroí," Gawter said, grinning and pushing his large hands through his tousled red hair.

"A present, eh?" Sìleas said as she caught the scent of this...heap of....something at her feet.
"OH! It''s a real......"

"Highland Grey Wolf blanket," he interrupted. "I won it playing
draughts with the officers."

She picked up the blanket and inspected it. It had clearly been crafted with the skins of at least three wolves - for it was huge. It was also relatively clean for a blanket that was utilized by an officer in his battle quarters, though the smell of its wild, original owners was still close at hand.

"This is marvelous, Gawter! It's huge!"

It was certainly long and wide enough that two people could lie snuggled in its warmth - provided they did not mind sleeping close. The thought of crawling into the enveloping shelter, warm and cozy, after so many nights on this battlefield shivering under plaids and thin blankets was intoxicating.

Gawter appeared to be thinking along the same lines.

"Big enough for the two of us, " he said and he delicately reached over and touched her neck, then her breast.

"Oh really?" Sìleas replied smiling and arching a coy brow.

He leaned more closely to her and she caught his own scent about the gamy tang of the wolf blanket - dry leaves, peat and wood smoke, sweet whisky, all adding depth to the deep male scent of his skin.

"I could find you in a dark room full of a dozen warriors," she said inhaling deeply and enjoying it immensely.

Gawter laughed softly. "I donna doubt it, mo Chroí; I havena bathed in a week."

He put his hands on her shoulders and bent his head until their foreheads touched. Then he whispered, "I want to unlace the neck o' your shift, make love to you, and fall asleep wi' my head pillowed on your naked body. Really," he added standing up and looking at her straight in the eyes.

"Oh, " Sìleas said. "What a good idea."

**A song discovered by my typist just this weekend with many lyrics which ring true to the Knight and Lady. (The video is that of more modern times - from an XBox 360 game.)**

excerpts of lyrics from War by Poets of the Fall.

Do you remember standing on a broken field
White crippled wings beating the sky
The harbingers of war with their nature revealed
And our chances flowing by

If I can let the memory heal
I will remember you with me on that field

When I thought that I fought this war alone
You were there by my side on the frontline
When I thought that I fought without a cause
You gave me a reason to try

Turn the page I need to see something new
For now my innocence is torn
We cannot linger on this stunted view
Like rabid dogs of war

I will let the memory heal
I will remember you with me on that field

When I thought that I fought this war alone
You were there by my side on the frontline
And we fought to believe the impossible
When I thought that I fought this war alone
We were one with our destinies entwined
When I thought that I fought without a cause
You gave me the reason why...................

Mar 19, 2010

Poetry from the Library of the Red Rose - A Reading

Ballindollach Castle

Having seen and heard several others recently using audio blog posts, I thought it might be interesting to try my own hand, or rather, voice, at it.

I hope you will enjoy the reading of these two poems on Spring.

**at 1:15pm 3-19-10 I notice that the player has either lost performance or clipped my file. The second poem has gone missing. HRUMPH! We'll wait and see if this resolves before making a judgment call. It is a free service after all.**

Mar 18, 2010

The Blue-Green Mermaid

The Blue Mermaid is always fun on Wednesday nights (Sundays, too, but I can hardly ever make it in world for the Sunday parties), but last night was very fun as everyone was wearin' the green and listening to the fabulous tunes of Magdelena Kamenev.

Hypatia Callisto, our lovely hostess. (RAWR)

Miss Hypatia had worked hard to get the decor of the club perfect for the mood of a St. Patrick's Day party and it was truly appreciated by all in attendance.

Miss Frequency dances on the table to the delight of everyone present.

Playing the part of the Green Fairy

Miss blakopal

It was a swingin' good time.


Lady Patty and Mr. Ghost

Even the Boys from The Back Room were dancing and swinging.
(Justinian - above; MrBunneh... er... MrBunwah - below)

The Tiny River Dance!!

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
~Irish Blessing

Mar 12, 2010

Dream State

The hour was growing late.

She had been watchful for several hours now and listening for the sounds of his horse's hooves. The last bit of sunlight was turning a gorgeous shade of pink as she sighed and turned from the window. After Seamus had built the fire in the large stone fireplace, she had told him that she would be fine and he should retire to the care of his family. He bobbed his head and smiled as he left.

Sìleas - her given name - had the stew of lamb and vegetables simmering on the cook iron, and had placed another pot filled with fresh water on to boil. On the table near the fire she had placed several clean cloths and a decanter filled with whisky. She knew that if this skirmish with the MacDonalds had gone as he had predicted it would go, he would most certainly be in need of all these things. The threats against several of the young women of the clan were not to be tolerated. The Frasers and MacDonalds had been strained neighbors at best, and this was most certainly not the best.

Her husband rode out with 6 other clansmen shortly after
Sìleas' father, the Chieftain, had been told the story of the bold-faced MacDonald boys who made lewd and dangerous threats against the girls (none of them more than 14) as they walked along the stream this morning. She crossed herself, whispered a prayer, and was thankful that the girls had been in so large a group when they went out picking berries today. Thinking of what might have happened had these coarse young men met with only one or two was more than she could tolerate.

Just as the last rays of light faded into night, Gawter came through the door. Moving slowly, but under his own power, he smiled softly at the sight of her. She met him halfway across the great hall.

"Come, Mo Shearc. Let me help you."

She led him to the fireplace and assisted him out of his armor. First the sabatons and greaves, then the cuisses and poleyns. He had already set his helm on the floor near the chair as he moaned settling into the cushions she had so thoughtfully placed.

She tenderly touched his bloodied face and turned to the fire for the kettle, poured the boiling liquid into a large basin of cold water she had placed near his feet.
"Well no obvious injuries to your feet or legs...that's good." she said as she helped him lift his feet into the warm water. His eyes were closed already, and the luxury of the warm water on his legs and feet warranted another soft moan from deep in his throat.

Smiling, Sìleas then set about the business of getting the rest of his armor removed. She carefully untied and removed his gauntlets seeing the large gash across the palm of his left hand. "Tried to stop a blade with your hand, did ye?" she asked as lightly as she could manage. The gash was deep, but thankfully it was well-clotted and no longer bleeding freshly.

"I'll do, A Ghrá mo Chroí [the name he nearly always called her]," he said softly, " had naught but that choice at the time."

He watched as she unfastened the breast plate and each
rerebrace. Her face was full of emotion with each revelation of horrid bruise, knot, or slash of flesh, though he was sure that she hoped he would not notice.

Next she took up one of the cloths, dipping it in the water and began washing his battered face. The nose was bloodied but did not seem to be broken this time - though it had been several times before in either battle or pub brawl. He also had a large cut under his right eye. Carefully she added boiling water and some whisky to a small bowl, dipped the cloth into it, and began cleaning the wound. The alcohol stung like a fire brand - even diluted in the water - but he merely made a Scottish noise in the back of his throat as all his muscles tensed.

After she completed tending the wounds on his face, she began work on his dear hands. Hands that had held her own, and counted the tiny fingers of their first born. The right was not bad at all, but the left had the large gash. She cleaned it with the alcohol mixture, handed him a dram (or more perhaps) of the whisky for drinking, and excused herself by kissing the top of his head.

He knew she was headed for her little herb room to mix a poultice for his wounds.
Shortly she returned humming a little tune. Gawter knew the tune well and a smile crossed his lips. They had danced their first dance to that tune a mere three years earlier at a ceiledh that her father hosted in the great house. It seemed to him that she hummed that tune both in times of happiness and of worry, as if the song that had brought them together would somehow repair the things causing any concern. Although given the nature of the women in her family, he should not be surprised. They did seem to have magical abilities.

Sìleas applied the poultice to his wound and packed it with clean lint. She then tore strips of cloth from an old chemise and bound it fairly tightly. Once she had convinced herself that she had attended to all his injuries, she handed him a bowl of the stew and settled herself on a cushion near his feet eating there with him by the fire. Not for the first time did he feel a bit uncomfortable with this type of arrangement. "Mo Chroí, it is I who should be sitting at your feet. I am more humbly born than you - a Chieftain's daughter. I should be caring for you."

"Och! A Stór, you hold yourself to meanly in mind. You take care of me, your family, and clan daily. You are the best of men." she returned.

"No. Just look at that pile of metal you have pulled from me tired body. It is all dented and worn. So much the opposite of those men in shining armor that would have had your hand, had your father not given in to your whim of loving me." Gawter said softly.

She arched her left brow and smirked very mildly as she began her answer to him - a look that by now he knew very well. He could not help but smile at her upturned face. "My pa never in his life "gave in" to a whim of mine unless it suited him to do so. He saw in you, what I see in you, me brawny ruadh man. He saw a man who loves his daughter more than he loves his own life. He saw a man of Honor. He saw a man who would not be pleased were his armor to remain shiny. He saw a man, YOU, my Gawter, Mo Shearc, who would fight to protect me."

At this he held out his hands and she rose onto her knees. He pulled her to him and kissed her soft, full lips.
Sìleas touched him gently knowing just how battered and bruised he was, but leaned onto his chest hearing the strong 'lub dub lub dub' of his heart.

"Aye. May I always be here to protect you, mo Chroí. May I ever have dented armor on your behalf."

At this I awoke. It was almost as if I had come to a part of the story of my many-times-great grandmother and grandfather that was too intimate for my own heart and the mind to allow me to share. I laid in my bed smiling to myself, humming a little tune and thinking that even though I am a dab hand with a sword (and mightily independent), I will always choose the knight with the dented and well-worn armor, too.

Lamia by John William Waterhouse

Some inspiration from The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon, Mrs. Brown by Jeremy Brock, art by John William Waterhouse, and my adventures in SL.**

Mar 9, 2010

"The Hills are alive with the sound of music? I love it. " ~The Narcoleptic Argentinean

Well the Isle of Skye was certainly alive on February 27th - alive with music, but also alive with the many and diverse persons present for the event celebrating the film, Moulin Rouge.

The event was themed on the Baz Luhrmann film and was fantastically well attended and incredibly interactive and fun. The build was phenomenal thanks to my co-creators, Lady Kate Nicholas (who worked diligently with me to set most of the scene) and Mr. Iason Hassanov (for the Eiffel Tower). DJ Icarus Ghost blew everyone away with his remarkable playlist which included many original tracks (the inspiration for the movie soundtrack).

Pictures being worth thousands, I will share with you the evidence of a great event. Let's do it again sometime, 'k?