Good Things Come…

July 20, 2008

I haven’t been this excited about Second Life since I first rezzed in world, back in December.

You see, every since Keeme and I got our house, I’ve been desperately wanting land to put it on. Actually, it goes even further back than that. A few months ago when I first started house shopping, I had picked out the home we now dub ‘Crime House’. The information listed on the house said it fits on ‘most’ 4096 lots. Keeme and I were both in love with the house, so I started looking around for possible land to put it on. At the time, I was smacked in the face with the harsh reality: I could afford tier, but not the buy in cost. I was pretty picky on where I wanted to buy land. I absolutely did not want mainland, because I didn’t want to see those huge SALE signs, all the junk floating around, and the general clutter than you see on mainland. Plus, I didn’t want tons of strangers being around or trying to get into our house. I was also wary about buying land from just anyone.. because as people know, there can be a lot of problems with that.

Radar had recommended CZ Estates to me, and said it was a really nice area. I looked around and had to agree- it was beautiful, quiet, and he said the people who run it were very trustworthy. Unfortunately, the only land for sale was running around $150 USD, which was way out of my price range.

Disappointed, I had to give up. Eventually Itazura gifted me with his awesome rezzhud (which I highly recommend). That solved part of our problem, because we were able to at least have a home and use the rezzhud to rez it wherever we could find a spot. But it was extremely stressful for me. And I just didn’t feel right about ‘squatting’ on other people’s land when they weren’t around. Even though I would rez it at least a thousand meters in the air, and clear it if I saw anyone show up.. I hated having to watch the mini map at all times, and I just couldn’t really relax and enjoy it.

Thats where Crap Mariner stepped in, and saved the day.  He informed me that a half parcel had opened up on Nowhereville, and that the residents were asking around to see if anyone was interested. After some discussion and a test-rezzing of the house, we figured out that it would JUST fit, and Keeme and I were put on the list of interested parties. I have to say, this was the longest couple of weeks I’ve been through in a long time. I’m not even sure if it was two weeks- I have a feeling it was only one, lol. But it felt like a month, and I’ve been on the edge of my seat.. breath held, all fingers, eyes, and toes crossed, hoping I’d get the chance to move in. Last night, I got the good news.. 

I really cannot say how ecstatic I am. I woke up this morning more excited to log into SL than I can remember since December. Last night I went over to Nowhereville and just spent some time walking around on the beach.. enjoying the scenary and savoring the moment, before I rezzed the house.. this time, permanently.

It was a tight fit, and I was EXTREMELY nervous because everytime it was the first time I did it by myself. I’m very intimidated by editing things.. and especially something as big as the house. Keeme always did that when we first got it. I gave him edit rights and just stepped back to let him position it, because he knows how to do that kind of stuff. When I set it up with the rezzhud, Itazura was there to walk me through it. And when Crap and I tested it on this land before, Crap did it. Last night I was on my own, and scared to death I’d somehow dismantle the thing.  But I made it work- I was so proud of myself.

I spent probably 15 minutes positioning, rotating, moving it a meter at a time to try and get it right. I was so focused and busy that it wasn’t until I finally got it locked into place and saved.. before I turned around and noticed the most breath taking view behind me.

I stood there for the longest time, just staring in amazement. All this time we’ve been using the house with the rezzhud at 1000 meters, and the only view out that window has been a gray sky. We had a platform that we used as a lawn and I was trying to put trees and bushes outside that window so that we’d have something to look at. And it was ok, but still just that flat sky behind it. THIS looked like a beautiful painting to me. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have such a beautiful home.

A little while later, Crap and Hope Clary came over to check out the house and say hello, and I showed them the view.

Hope commented that she was able to really see her own home from a new perspective, since she and Daphne live across the channel from us. And thats another bonus to living on Nowhereville- I have a feeling I’m going to be able to make some new friends, and get to know people better that I’ve only seen in passing before. I’ve met Hope a time or two, but I don’t think we’ve ever spoken much more than hello. She’s a sweetie though, and showed me a really nice place to buy tropical trees and plants for my home, then took me up to show me her skybox across from us. It was fun getting to know her. 

I told Keeme a couple of days ago that we had a really good chance at getting land, and that I hoped to have good news for him on Saturday. Last night he logged on and I TP’d him over. “Welcome home.” It was so awesome to be able to say that to him. He couldn’t believe how great the house looked there. In fact, the first words out of his mouth were, “Thats not the same house.” LOL. He didn’t even recognize it, at first. He was blown away though, and incredibly happy as well. We were hanging out inside for awhile and looking around, and at one point he commented on the fact that we were spending time inside instead of outside. I said I had noticed that, too. That was the really strange thing, before.. everytime we rezzed the house with the rezzhud, we would stay outside in the front yard, or we’d sit on the porch steps. But we wouldn’t really stay inside the house for more than a couple of minutes. I think it was because I never really felt comfortable.. and I knew that at any given second we would have to derezz the house and leave, if someone showed up. Now that we have land, it finally feels like Home.

I really can’t thank Crap and the other residents of Nowhereville enough. I’m extremely thrilled, and proud to be a resident of the Five Islands.

Relationships in Second Life: Answers bring up more questions.

July 18, 2008

Not too long ago, Alicia Chenaux put out a series of questions to the SL bloggers that dealt with relationships in SL. I feel like I’m probably the last person thats finally getting around to answering.  I was kind of back and forth on answering this, because I don’t know how Keeme feels about being blogged about. But of course, I only have good things to say. And, I don’t know for sure how often he reads my blog anyway, so here goes.

If you are in a relationship in SL, where did you meet?

I think it was sheer luck that we met at all. Back then, Keeme didn’t log into SL as often as I heard he used to. But I can still remember that moment pretty vividly. I was pretty new to SL still, I think I had only been in world maybe two weeks or so. I was over on Podcast Island, hanging out on the Pickle stage that used to be my landing point. When I noticed a dot appear on the map, I camera’d over to see who it was.  Keeme was inside Rich DeSoto’s tiki hut, when my camera caught up with him.  I hadn’t listened to Keemecast before, but I had heard his name mentioned many times over the years on other podcasts. I remember thinking, “Oh, cool! Its Keeme!” But I was too shy to go over and say hello. Back then, I was hesitant to approach people- especially on Podcast Island. I was still so new, and was never sure if I’d be bothering anyone. I took my camera off Keeme and went about my business- probably doing something in another window. Its funny to think how easily that could have been the end of it- Chug and Radar later told me that sometimes he would go months without logging in. Luckily, he noticed me by the stage and came over to say hello. I was really glad that he did, and said something like “Its Keeme!” when he came walking up. From there we got into a conversation about podcasts, and I was telling him how I came to Second Life. He asked if I had a podcast, and I said that I didn’t. I always wanted to, but never knew what I wanted to talk about. He asked me a few questions and then came up with a couple hilarious scenarios for me to podcast about. Right away, I liked his personality and sense of humor. He rezzed a magic carpet and took me on a tour of Podcast Island, and then from there took me to see a few cool places he knew about. Midnight City was the very first place he took me, and I was really taken in by the cityscape and detail of the buildings. I hadn’t been to any neat sims in Second Life yet, so I was impressed by what I was seeing. I asked if he minded if I took a picture, and I’m really glad I did. Its the earliest picture I have of us, when we had only known each other for maybe a half hour.



I hated to leave that night, but I downloaded his podcast to listen to the next day at work. He was as funny on the podcast as he was when I met him, if not more so. And he had such a great voice that immediately made me smile. Those were the first two things that really attracted me to him. Enough so that I emailed him a few days later to say hello, and persuade him to log back into SL sometime, so we could hang out again.

Do you think if you’d met the same person in a different location in SL that you’d have gotten together?

I’m not completely sure.. I think it would depend on Keeme. Again, I was kind of shy about going up to people I didn’t know back then, so who knows.

If you’re a woman, do you regularly get hit on when you’re in world?

I think this happens more often than I’d like, yet not as often as it happens to most other women. I tend to be pretty reclusive at times, and I mostly keep to myself. When I’m on Podcast Island or at a blogger/plurk meetup, I’m a completely different person, because I’m around people with a common interest, and thats when I feel most comfortable. Otherwise, I really don’t explore or socialize very much. Now and then I do get hit on, but I usually tend to avoid that situation as much as possible.

If you find out that the person you’re talking to has skills that you may not, does it intimidate you?

Keeme has a lot of skills that I don’t have, but its never occured to me to be intimidated by that. I go to him for help, or to answer questions. I’m very fortunate that he’s so patient, and such a good ‘teacher’ when it comes to things like building, or showing me how to use Audacity, or fix something I’ve screwed up in world. 

 Do you think being bloggers has affected your relationships? If you are with a blogger, does it change how you are with them?

I thought this was an interesting question, because I don’t consider one having anything to do with the other. I guess I can see where some people might always wonder if their partner is going to blog about everything they do or talk about, but I really don’t have that sort of blog. I do mention Keeme in my blog a lot or post pictures, but its usually just something funny, or some silly thing we’re doing. As for Keeme, he has a blog as well.. but his blog is not Second Life related, so this world doesn’t really cross over into his posts.

I think this question applies more to us as podcasters, which is something I think we both take more seriously. In addition to Diamonds and Rust, we each have our own (non SL) podcasts that we do seperately. Its still a really tough question to answer, because we did meet in SL and a lot of our interaction is in Second Life, which we don’t talk about on our podcasts. (Except maybe in passing.) We do mention one another in our podcasts from time to time, but refer to each other as ‘a friend’. Which we of course are.. but its so much more complicated than that.

Which brings up a whole slew of other questions, regarding relationships in SL vs. in real life. I’d post them here, but I don’t have nearly as many readers as some other SL bloggers out there.. and I’m afraid it would almost be wasted here. But maybe some others can repost them on their own blogs, because I’m curious.

Pets

July 3, 2008

Lately, I’ve been thinking about buying a pet in SL. This urge started shortly after Keeme and I got our house, but it was actually “Bunnyball” that got me seriously thinking about it. Bunnyball is a sculptie (?) rabbit that Chug and Radar have hopping around in their yard. I think it was after seeing the rabbit that I first started checking out the various pet places around the grid. I’ve been to a few, but I did find a favorite whose name escapes me. I think it was at the very top of the list when I searched ‘pets’. I Love Animals or something like that, I can’t remember. They have some really cute cats that you can pick up and cuddle, and that also follow you around. A few nights ago I went over there and seriously thought about getting one, but ended up changing my mind. Last night Keeme and I were looking at a couple of places, and every since then I’ve found myself wanting one more than ever. So I think tonight after work, I’m going to go over there and get one.  I think it was only $595L if I remember right, which isn’t too bad.

And speaking of pets, Keeme got a HUGE pet over at one of the other pet places last night. I thought his Trex was big until I saw the pet he bought, haha! I managed to get a picture of myself, Keeme in his trex avatar, and his pet brontosaurus all in the same picture, so you can really appreciate the scale.

Diamonds and Rust Episode 11

June 23, 2008

After much resistance, Keeme and Nika both caved and joined Plurk, after abandoning Twitter. In fact, Keeme created a new group for the plurkers of SL. Search in groups for PLURKAZOIDS, or IM either Keeme or Nika for an invite. We will be moving the group to subscribe-o-matic very soon, so as not to take up people’s group spots. The idea of the group is to organize parties and meet-ups within SL, and to just have fun.

Keeme broke up with Twitter. It was very messy.. http://twitter.com/thekeeme

The grand opening of SL5B happened far sooner than Nika realized.. just hours after the posting of this podcast, rather than a week or two from now. Crap Mariner of 100 Word Stories was invited to have an exhibition at the event, and has been hard at work building a Podcast exhibit. He also has been putting out a series of interviews with other podcasters that is included with the exhibit. But its also the beginning of his newest podcast- I, Podjacker. Subscribe to this on iTunes, or visit the site at http://ipodjacker.libsyn.com/. You can also find a direct slurl to his SL5B build in the header on that website.

We ran into Scottlo Scorbal last night, of http://meetscottloscorbal.blogspot.com/. Podcast Island has been having a lot of traffic lately of various podcasters coming through, such as Pizzababe* (http://pizzababe.com/) and Frank from The Overnightscape. (http://theovernightscape.com/*Warning, content not work safe. 

We are now homeowners! Even if we are not landowners.. Keeme calls it Crimehouse, and Nika calls it Mobile Mansion. Watch the brief house tour and Rezzhud demo, then judge for yourself.

Nika will be filming a longer tutorial soon that will demonstrate how to add and save items to your build.

Thraxis Epsilon is working on a new Plurkhud. Right now its in beta testing, but when its finished you’ll be able to post your slurl location and some text from Second Life into plurk. Stay tuned for more information on that.

Arminasx Saiman and Radar Masukami will be filmed tonight on SLCN.tv for the Second Question show. Check the website to see that episode, soon.

Nika has had a busy week, appearing on a handful of podcasts.

http://slundertheradar.com/ Episode 30

http://ipodjacker.libsyn.com/ Both Keeme and Nika were interviewed

http://rezzedandconfused.com/ Episode 8

She was very flattered to be asked on as a guest, and it was a lot of fun.

Mobile Mansion

June 20, 2008

…Keeme came on later in the evening, and I took him over to Ace’s to see the smaller Firan home. But I felt kind of gloomy when I looked at it again. I REALLY had my heart set on the big mansion. I asked him, “What would you do? Get the dream house and only rez it when and where you can for short amounts of time.. or do the ‘right thing’, and get the small house on rented land.” He asked me how much more I need to get the big house.. then dropped me several hundred linden and said, ‘Buy it.’  I was so excited and happy! I bought the mansion (Cabri), and opened up the map and started randomly clicking around til I found an empty sim so we could go over and take a look at it. (Disclaimer- I carefully checked the land details first to make sure the area was big enough to accomodate the house for a SHORT period of time, and that there were more than enough prims open so I wouldn’t mess anything up. And I’m not about to hide or leave this house anywhere, I have a rezzhud for this so we can quickly and easily pick up after ourselves.)

Keeme rezzed us a builders platform way up in the sky, and right before we rezzed the house, I fortunately had the idea to film the ‘unveiling’. I’m so glad I did, I liked that I got to capture the moment and my enthusiasm.  My computer records weird for some reason, so it only picked up my voice and not Keeme’s. So I’m afraid this is a one sided conversation.. but you can still see the house I’ve been saving up money for days to buy. Here it is!

Diamonds and Rust Episode 10

June 10, 2008

This being our very first milestone podcast, we decided its time for a contest! The rules are short and sweet. Be the first person to email us with the answer to the following question:

What did Nika name the Pirahna that attacked Keeme in episode 9?

The first person to email the correct answer to darpodcast@gmail.com will win a gift card to Blaze.

Keeme has two new avatars- a huge robot, and a huge TRex. Unfortunately there are no pictures or video of the robot as of yet, since Nika is usually too busy running away to get any snapshots.

Run!!

Don’t eat me..

At Relay For Life kissing booth. Photo by Arminasx Saiman of http://www.secondeffects.com/

Keeme invades the Clocktower of Edloe. Photo by Crap Mariner. http://secondlife.isfullofcrap.com/

Raptor Avatars- Avatar and sim creators Nargus Asturias and Xacarith Zelmanov

Keeme has got us both addicted to Twitter! If it ever stays up long enough, you can add us:

http://twitter.com/thekeeme and http://twitter.com/NikaDreamscape

We are not completely sold on Plurk, yet.

After the great tv debate, we steered the conversation in a more serious direction and discussed the rising gas prices, and how we feel that telecommuting should become the way of the future.

We were a bit behind everyone else, but we finally visited the Greenies sim. Does Vint Falken have something to do with this? http://www.vintfalken.com/

Congratulations to Crap Mariner for celebrating 3 years of 100 Word Stories. He hosted a reading at the Lonely Yak Club recently, which we attended.

You can find his podcast at http://podcasting.isfullofcrap.com/

We had lots of feedback this week! We heard from Crap Mariner, Arminasx Saiman, Jezabell Barbosa, Radar Masukami,  and Douglas Rishmal.

Keeme is soon becoming an internet radio DJ- Watch out for Keemecast Radio to go live very soon.

Diamonds and Rust Episode 9

May 19, 2008

May seems to be the month of Rez Days- most of the SL podcasters all came into SL within the same couple of weeks of one another, May 2006. We celebrated Chugabug Goodnight’s rez day, and Keeme had his as well. The usual banter and verbal sparring. Keeme may not be the best cook, but he gets an A for effort.

Wheelies Nightclub: The world’s first virtual disability nightclub in the  World. Sky home of Wheelies. Dance, socialize, and play in a safe setting. Dances are available for the able bodied, those with wheelchairs, and tinies. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun. Founded by Simon Stevens.

We visited the Wheelies nightclub and met a lot of cool people, including Aleja Asturias and DJ Namav.

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Showashinzan/28/98/301/

New Location (Under Construction) http://slurl.com/secondlife/Taupo/167/92/22/

Nika stopped by the new location after the podcast was recorded to get the slurl, and met some members of the group who invited her to sit and chat for a bit. Polgara Paine, Atsuko Watanabe, Jenifer Mazi and Louise Later discussed some of the upcoming plans for the Wheelies group. The new build thats currently under construction will include a community development with accessible housing and shops for members of the group who would like a place to call home. Rent will be accepted, but not required to live there. Any rent that is paid will go towards paying the staff of Wheelies.

Search for Wheelies under groups if you are interested in joining, and visit the website at: http://www.wheeliesclub.com

 

We got off on a bit of a tangent this week about various podcasts we listen to. (Check out some of these podcasts, they’re really good!)

Podcast Pickle Directory: http://www.podcastpickle.com/

Barely Podcasting http://barelypodcasting.com/

Keemecast http://www.keeme.com/

Zee and Zed Show http://zeeandzed.com/

The Big Show http://www.bigshowradio.blogspot.com/

Red Boy Radio http://www.redboypodcast.com/

Shelly’s Podcast http://shellyspodcast.com/

Dawn and Drew http://dawnanddrewwp.podshow.com/

Geekbrief TV http://www.geekbrief.tv/

Keith and the Girl http://www.keithandthegirl.com/

 

Stefanik Dagostino of the S&S Gallery of Fine Arts has started up a group that will serve as a workshop for artists to share ideas and school one another on programs such as Gimp and Photoshop. Search for The Artists Workshop in groups.

S&S Gallery of Fine Arts http://slurl.com/secondlife/Portabello/83/149/152/

Yxes Delacroy also has a gallery of art and photography she’s done, you can see by visiting her gallery in Blaksleeworld: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Blaksleeworld/63/38/85/

Soho has joined Podcast Island, since Podshow Island is no more. Ron Bloom of Mevio (Formerly Podshow) had some interesting comments about Mevio’s stance on independant podcasting:

“We have never believed in user-generated content as a business, or even as a sustainable entertainment offering,” said Ron Bloom, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, MEVIO.

Happy Rez Day, Keeme!

May 2, 2008

For all the times I was your back seat driver..

All the times we crashed and burned..

And all the sweet moments in between..

Meeting you was the best part ever, of coming to SL. Here’s to another year. 🙂 Happy rez day!

Love,

Nika

Diamonds and Rust Episode 8

May 2, 2008

This week, Keeme and Nika visited Zoe Connolly of the SL Blogger community at her airfield in Caledon. She was very gracious and gave us a tour of the airfield, showed off some of her aircrafts, and even gave a few to Keeme.

Slurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Caledon%20Penzance/106/45/40/

Group: Royal Caledon Airforce (RCAF)

Zoe, thank you so much for showing us around, it was a lot of fun! (Even if it did result in a bit of a he said/she said skirmish.. or three.)

Apolon Island (For all your aircraft needs) Slurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Apolon%20Island/75/97/34/

Itazura Radio joined us for a little bit as his new avatar, the mailbox. Nika got a little bit of video of Keeme and Itazura chasing her around Caledon. (No, the video has no sound.)

Speaking of Itazura Radio, he also has been hard at work with putting together the Destination Station on Podcast Island.

What is this place?

This is the DESTINATION STATION!!!

The one thing people ask us more than anything else when they first come into Second Life is, “Yeah, it’s kinda neat and all… but what is there to DO?!?!?” That is what this place is for… it’s a place to meet, talk, socialize… and even more importantly, a place to find cool and interesting places to visit all over Second Life!

Think of it like an Infohub… except with info to places you can actually ENJOY!

This place is for YOU! Feel free to join the group and set your home here. Use it as your base of operations in SL. Hang out and meet new people and maybe make new friends!

To join the group:

Go to Search and choose the Groups tab. Now type in “Destination Station” and Join!

Once you join, you can set the Station as your home by going to World > “Set Home to Here”.

It’s as easy as that.

About the Station:

Level 1 – Ground Level – This is the main meeting areas of the Station. There are areas in the center to sit and relax by the fire and socialize with friends.  Surrounding the inner walls of the lower level are the Destination Station Terminals.

Each terminal is activated by simply touching it. When you do, it will open a window from were you can teleport directly to that destination!

The terminal will also open a menu dialog (one of those blue popup thingies in the upper right of your screen). The menu will ask you if you want more information (in the form of a Notecard with a brief description of the destination and a landmark to keep). You can keep this card and even transfer this landmark to your inventory if you like. If you decline the information the menu will close. You can always touch the terminal again later if you change your mind and decide you want a copy.

Level 2 – Podcast Deck – The second floor of the destination station is dedicated to video podcasts about Second Life. To view a podcast, just grab a seat and click on one of the big screen monitors. It will open a dialog box where you can choose from different podcast offerings and watch at your leisure!

(To view video in SL you need to have the newest version of Quicktime installed on your computer. If it is not working and you have Quicktime installed, go into your preferences (Ctrl-P) and look under Audio & Video. Make sure you have Play Streaming Media When Available checked. If so, you should have the movie camera icon on your viewer available. Press the Play button to start your show if it doesn’t start automatically. )

-Itazura Radio

October Country

Ever want to wander around a haunted hotel, and have the feeling of Halloween, anytime? We did too, so we visted October Country, and we weren’t disappointed.

From the hotel to the town below, there’s a lot to see and become immersed in here.  Check out the various rooms and floors of the hotel, and the underground tunnels too.

That Podcast Thing

May 1, 2008

I usually don’t post from work, but I’m on my lunchbreak right now and there wasn’t a whole lot waiting for me in the blog reader.. so I have a little extra time.

Diamonds and Rust episode 8 is out already. I can’t believe how fast we’re getting this out, pretty soon we’ll reach our first ‘milestone’ podcast. If I was a patient person, I would have waited and published it tonight after I got home.. so I would have a chance to post up the show notes. I prefer to post the show notes and send out the group notice announcement right after the show hits Itunes. But Keeme and I recorded this over the weekend, and to be honest- I just could not wait to hear it. 🙂 At the time of the recording, I felt like it was our best one so far. It seemed like we were really ‘on’- having fun and feeding off each other. Thats not to say that I haven’t loved all of our episodes, but some moments stand out more in my mind than others. Keeme has been doing this for years.. he’s had his own podcast (Keemecast- look for it on Itunes, it is hilarious!) for quite awhile, so I figure he’s used to recording. For me, this is all new territory. Sometimes I feel more nervous than other times, then when I listen back I notice little things that I wish were different. Maybe I’m too quiet, or whatever. I notice a huge difference in the podcast depending on if we record ‘cold’, or if we’ve already been in world for awhile and record after that. Episode 8 was one of those times. Episode 5 was like that, also. Those are my two favorites so far. 🙂

Anyway, I’ll have to post the show notes tonight, so we can get the slurls, pictures, maybe a video or two out there. I may cross post those notes to this blog since people may be getting the podcast way before the notes are available. (I published it at 5am this morning, right before I headed out the door for work. )

And speaking of work, its time for me to get back.