Vroom Vroom Reindeer

As the Beach Boys sing, “Christmas comes this time each year”. SL is known to pull out all the stops and celebrate loudly and joyously. I don’t celebrate Christmas myself, really, but I love the celebrations and enjoy all the hubbub that comes around. Sometimes I get lucky and have something that *I* can celebrate as well. This is one of those years! My dear friend Hunter has returned to SL after nearly two years away. You were missed, Hunter.

Hunter taught me the fun of wandering along the SL roads seeking adventure. This year Hunter taught me something else new. Well, maybe not Hunter. I *think* that this was all Cate’s idea – Hunter’s good friend. They were decorating their house for the holiday. I was lounging about, IM’ing and waiting for Taunter’s show. Hunter invited me over to see their house and meet Cate. Sounded like a great way to spend an SL evening!

I loved their style. Nice clean simple light wood, Grecian urns, stained glass, lots of light and windows. Truly a home in which I could be comfortable. Cate is a joy, and we had fun teasing Hunter. Hey – isn’t that what we girls DO??? Gang up on the guys? Of course it is. 🙂 SO nice to meet you Cate!!!!!

Then I wandered outside to see their Christmas decorations. Not surprisingly perhaps, I was drawn more to the cute little reindeer out front than to the Nativity scene. Imagine my delight when Cate told me I could RIDE the reindeer. She obligingly set the permissions to public and I hopped on. I nearly fell off from laughing. The “reindeer” contains a motorcycle script/animation. You can rev the “engine” (I don’t even want to think about HOW that reindeer made that noise) and there are 3 speeds. I raced about the property laughing and laughing. I asked Cate to hop on so I could take some pictures – I wanted the “exhaust” and I couldn’t get that and the picture at the same time. I LOVE that reindeer. I tp’d Dale in for a look too because it was simply too cute not to share. Then it was time for Taunter so Cate and Hunter gave me the shopping info: Christmas at the House of Avro. Make sure you go to the Christmas store btw, not the main castle.

I enjoyed Taunter but couldn’t stop thinking of the reindeer. *grin* So I tp’d over and FOUND them!!! Right next to the snow mobiles, outside, just as Hunter had instructed. “Snowmobile reindeer”. They are adorable AND inexpensive AND you can copy them. But you can’t transfer them. Otherwise every one of you would have one right now as a gift!!!!!

I went home and rezzed them for the ducks to see. They were mildly amused but not interested in riding. Chestnut logged on then and I IM’d her, imploring and pleading with her to COME RIGHT NOW!!!!!!! *grin* Chestnut is so good to me. She came and her response was all that I hoped. She was as amused as I. We mounted, revved the…. whatever…. and headed for the road. See??? There are REASONS I live right next to a Linden Highway. Neither of us was particularly adept at steering in the beginning, but we got much better. Ches flew down the road. I was trying to take pictures and I was laughing. I have no idea in which sim I was when I tp’d Lalo in to join us. *grin* Thank goodness you can rez objects on the roads. We started off again, trying to catch Chestnut, who was about 3 sims ahead of us.

We dodged AnnMarie’s trucks and property lines that froze us and our reindeer rode under the road and over the road. 🙂 We laughed and laughed and vroomed and vroomed. All too soon it was time to logout for all of us. But we’ll be back. *grin* The Reindeer Gang will Ride AGAIN!!!

You can join us. Get yourself to Christmas at the House of Avro. They have a lot of free gifts as well. Plus while I was standing about admiring the stock, I won the ‘Pine swag animated lights’ just for being there! Be sure to dress warmly – it started snowing on me while I was checking out the snowmobiles!

Treptower Park

I am a careless reader. I read very quickly. I speed-read, looking for key words. I read down the middle of the page. If key information is on the edges of a window/page, I usually miss it. Now, speed reading has served me very well in my life. Lately – not so much. Unfortunately in this computer age, there is a LOT of information on the edges of the window. I tend to miss it. When people write flowing descriptions, paragraphs of detail and atmosphere and ambiance, I look for the action verbs. And so sometimes I come away with a mistaken impression of what I read. Honour’s post on Treptower Park is a perfect case in point. I love looking at her photos. I like reading her text, but I speed read it. And so what *I* saw was “balloon ride”. Well, yes. As you can see, there IS a balloon ride. But no, NOT what I think of when I think “balloon ride”.

If I were a typical child of today’s societies, I would blame Honour for my mistake. After all, I did look at her photos and what I saw appeared harmless enough. Perhaps, to be fair, the climatic conditions were different on her visit. Oura and I stopped by Treptower Park the other night, hoping for a balloon ride. Instead, we rezzed into an electrical storm. Rain. Lightening. Thunder. Wet. I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned the last few months of my atomic life have been all too full of misplaced water. Hurricanes that flooded my basement and my attic. Fall snowstorms that needed shoveling and destroyed trees. Heavy rain storms that have flooded through my sky light and into my breakfast room, necessitating buckets and mops. I’m really really REALLY tired of mopping up after Mother Nature. So to find myself in the rain, in a flooded swampy terrain, with lightening, and to have no umbrella, no raincoat, no rainboots – well – I was a bit perturbed.

On the other hand, Oura and I were out playing so how bad could it be, right? Oura takes good care of me on these excursions. SHE reads the text that appears, SHE pays attention to what’s happening, and she is more than willing to re-tp me in so I can get the important welcoming messages. 🙂 Definitely pay attention to the welcoming message and let the venue adjust your Windlight settings. We read the instructions for the balloons – turn off your AO and sit. She went first so I could try for some photos. As she started to sail off into the sky, I realized she was right next to the power lines!!!! I called to her but the wind carried off my voice. I attempted to jump onto the other balloon and go after her, but….. apparently not. Seems you can only ride the dark balloon, not the light one. Bummer. We weren’t going to be balloon riding side-by-side, as I’d imagined. Maybe I should have read something more carefully…..

Oura brought the balloon back and it was my turn. As usual, it took me a bit to figure out what to do, because I had to read directions. /me hums tunelessly. I finally got moving (well, if you ignore getting mired in the water for a bit because I flew too low, no Icarus I). Treptower Park is creepy. Dramatic, interesting but creepy and wet. That is not a criticism mind you – those are factoids. As you can see, this is not what I would typically think of as a balloon ride. As I drifted along the barbed-wired wall, I approached a sign that warned me I was leaving the American sector. I figured I’d better get myself back to Oura.

Oura had started wandering about on foot (really a MUCH better way to appreciate this venue). I landed and began to do the same. Many of the rides were still working although most were broken and in disrepair. I hoped for a bit that the storm was going to clear and move off.

We discovered to our great delight that the carousel was still working. It was a bit wet wading across to the horses but once we were mounted we were out of the flood and out of the rain that had begun falling. There are some things floating in the water that really give you pause. I’m not sure WHAT happened here exactly, but I’m fairly certain that I want to go through a detoxification process. And soon. We left the carousel to continue exploring. It was still raining so we were quite excited to find an umbrella blowing in the wind. Oura tried to grab it, but the wind was too strong.

We found the trampoline (which works) and the remains of a ferris wheel. By this time it was storming quite a bit. Oura went to take shelter in one of the cages of the ferris wheel. In hindsight, I’m not sure that was really the safest shelter from the storm. Oh sure, we were out of the water. But we were sitting in a big metal lightening rod. As if that wasn’t foolish enough, I took Oura’s dare and went out on the tightrope. I’m not sure what kind of idiot walks a tightrope in an electrical storm but I think the word would be “Ahuva”. Or “Oura”.

We were tired of being rained on and dodging lightening bolts so we sat in the ferris wheel and talked and talked. We were fairly sheltered from the wet, and the periodic lightening lit up the darkness for us. It ended up being a lovely way to watch the storm.

So I recommend a visit to Treptower Park. You may, however, wish to dress more appropriately than I did. Wander about and take some time. When the lightening flashes and lights up the world, there are so many details and intricacies to see. The lightening is spectacular. I loved the clouds and the trees. There is also a lot to DO as well as see. There are many pose balls and activities. The posters are fascinating. This is truly an evocative build. And yes – there IS a balloon ride.

Together Again

It used to be that Oura and I were the Bobbsey Twins. Always together, living in each other’s pockets. Lately – not so much. 😦 Oh, not because we had a fight. And neither of us broke the #1 Girlfriend Rule. (You DON’T KNOW the #1 GF rule???? Sigh. I have to teach you EVERYTHING, don’t I. Think on it – answer below.) It’s not even because we no longer like the same things, we do. But our FLs have incompatible schedules these days. She’s inworld when I’m not, and vice versa. (Oh classics major son of mine, would you like to expound on that term? *grin*) We did meet up in the atomic world just a few weeks ago and got to run around the big city together. It was great!

The other night Bona Fortuna smiled on us and we actually made it inworld at the same time. I was music hopping, checking out live acts that I’d not heard before. I started at The Mirage Pub to listen to Keeba Tammas. She has a wonderful sultry voice. Smooth, not gritty. When I hear her sing, I want to be in a dimly-lit club, dancing in my lover’s arms, a faint taste of good wine on my tongue, the air warm and comforting, the smokey smell of the fire glowing in the fireplace. *grin* Yes, I do enjoy Keeba’s voice. She can rev it up, too.

From there I hopped over to The Chelsea Hotel to hear Strum Diesel. I no longer remember who it was, but someone whose taste in music I respect had recommended Strum to me. This was the first time I saw an announcement when I was able to attend. I’d never been to the Chelsea before either. According to their land info, The Chelsea is devoted to “bringing the infamous mecca of bohemia”, The Chelsea Hotel from Manhattan, to SL. It’s a lovely build, no question about it. Complete with a cat wandering the dance floor. (Although I thought it was the Algonquin that was famous for having a cat? I certainly met one there.)

Oura and I settled ourselves in at the bar. I decided to try a stint as a bartender (how else were we going to get some drinks?). It was lovely to be together again, listening to good music, exploring a new venue. Strum has a definite folksy style, a lot of humor, a lot of passion too. He has a substantial crowd of followers and I can see myself joining them often. This had more of the feel of what I remember from college bars. An engaging, entertaining performer, relevant songs, a very participatory crowd and lots of good humor.

Oh? The #1 GF Rule? Never ditch your girlfriends for your boyfriend. *grin* Oura and I are clear on that! 🙂

I Need a Word

I’m sure there is a word for this already. I cannot possibly be the only person with this affliction. I’m rather late to this particular party, after all. So help me, please, I beg you. What IS the word for what ails me???

Oh – I didn’t explain. *grin* I have an iPad. I’ve had one for a year, actually, but now I have an iPad and and iPad2. The iPad2 gets my work mail. It basically does everything my computer does except for SL. I have an iPhone now also – the 4s. *grin* It does everything my iPad2 does. I LOVE them. BUT….. I can’t stop wiping the screens. Repeatedly. Always. Excuse me – I see a smudge….. *wipe wipe wipe* My coworkers (all male) have assured me that I’m supposed to simply wipe the screen on my jeans. ewww.

So what IS it called??? iScrub? iRub? iOCD?

Relying on Komuso

Many times in this blog I have talked about how much I enjoy the music of Komuso Tokugawa, SL musician extraordinaire. Several weeks ago he began sharing a new approach in his music – his downtempo bluestronica. It is fantastic. I love it. He played it one weekend and all of the Komuso fans were thrilled. We were tweeting, plurking, IM’ing and emailing friends to come listen. I was riveted all three performances. Each night he played the downtempo for a solid hour at his SL gig. Even better, he recorded all three performances. You can purchase those three hours online.

Today I got to the office. It’s raining and gray and my skylight at home is leaking. I left it with buckets to catch the water. (Yes, I already spoke to my guardian angel handyman.) I got to the office door and the alarm, a high-pitched beep, was ringing. That was 6 hours ago. It is still ringing. It hasn’t stopped. I had an email informing me that one of my “problem” clients has tossed his problem back to me, insisting that what I suggested does not work, even though I know that it does and I suspect a major communication problem. In the office today there is a lot of LOUD talking and laughing and “discussion”. I’m following the news about Penn State way too closely, so that is a roller-coaster of good and bad. (Check out http://www.proudtobeapennstater.com/ – we reached 4/5 of our goal, in less than 7 days. Raising money for RAIHNN.)

What’s a gal to do to make it through the noisy frustrating day? She puts on the headset, clicks on her legally purchased 3 hours of Komuso downtempo bluestronica and glides off into bliss. I tell you – that man can PLAY. You really need to hear it.

The Medium is the Message

This has been a brutal week for me emotionally. Much has happened.

I am a Penn State University alumna. I am proud of my degree, proud of my teachers, proud of my fellow alumni. My husband is a Nittany Lion. My son is a Nittany Lion. Penn State has accomplished many wonderful and positive things in its time, has graduated many leaders of commerce and society. Unfortunately, Penn State is composed of human beings, not just bricks and mortar. And there was a huge tragic failing on the part of Penn State people. I am not going to talk about that issue. I have my thoughts, my personal convictions. I would like to think I KNOW how I would behave in a given moment. I certainly hope I know how I would behave after the shock of a moment has passed. There is no excuse ever for leaving a child at risk. None. Never. I have to leave it at this, because I begin to cry at this point.

Now for the mundane. My cell phone died. I need a new one. If you want a “smart” phone, there are really only 3 for my particular needs. One company I feel has not much future and so that is out of the running. The 2nd has been winning me over slowly, product by product. The third company I have begun to view as “wrongness”. Their policies are to gather information on all individuals and sell that. They are in the business of datamining identities. They don’t believe people have a right to anonymity, to use aliases on the internet. Their policies imply (and perhaps state directly) that people using aliases are somehow bad, criminal, unsavory, and for all I know just down-right unclean. I’m not buying their phone. I happen to believe in Ahuva Heliosense (no, that is not the name on my Penn State diploma) and all for which Ahuva stands. Ahuva is very much a real, functioning, LEGITIMATE, HONEST, MORAL human being. And guess what – she has disposable income.

So why do I tell you these things? Because yesterday I was donating money to charities, both as my PSU Diploma name and as Ahuva.

There is a grass-roots movement of Penn State alumni, who are shocked and horrified at what has befallen the children, their families and our family of PSU. We have come together to raise money for RAIHNN – The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network. RAIHNN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. In less than 2.5 days (60 hours) ProudtobeaPennStater (#ProudPSUforRAINN) had raised half our goal of $577,000, one dollar for every PSU alumnus. I COULD have donated directly to RAIHNN. Or to some Pennsylvania charity. But the medium is the message. I used #ProudPSUforRAINN because PENN STATERS DO GOOD also. Do not tar and feather us all. Understand that we too are parents, children, family and we are/know/love people who have suffered sexual abuse. The current students are themselves children and not to blame in this issue. Although some of course have acted foolishly and disrespectfully (and may, unfortunately, continue to act in such fashion), the VAST majority are doing the “right” things. We are proud to be Penn State and we WILL redeem our good name and reputation. We WILL do what we can to right wrongs committed under our name. We ARE Penn State and we WILL have success with honor. So we stand with pride under our name to help heal the world.

Back in June our good friend Bear Rasmuson died. I posted the other day about the event being organized by Callipygian Christensen. The goal was to raise money for The Blues FoundationHART Fund. Again I could have simply gone to that website and donated, using my credit card. But

photo courtesy of C. Christensen
the medium is the message. Take note folks. All those people who “hide” behind their aliases – we raised over $900 for that foundation. No, not LINDEN dollars. Nine-hundred United States Dollars for The Blues Foundation. Not bad for a bunch of fakes, is it? Doesn’t sound to ME like people who are “hiding” so that they can commit crimes, mislead people, act destructively. Please see above for pillars of society whose REAL names were known by thousands and who were the ones who committed crimes, misled people, acted destructively.

I am Ahuva. I am Penn State. The medium is the message. Hear me roar!

Celebrating a Blues Man

It has been a few months since Bear Rasmuson passed away. Many of the SL Blues clubs where he would DJ still display his poster. We remember him often, talk about him, toast his memory. In that way, Bear still lives because he lives in us. This Friday his good friend Callipygian Christensen is holding a benefit in his memory. Here is the information.


Friday November 11th
4 PM SLT – midnight (or later)
at Calli’s place, just down the hill from Bear’s SL home.

4 – 5 PM Calli will have the stream playing blues, come on over, throw down a blanket on the lawn, have a picnic
5 – 6 PM Ziffy Zarf – live music
6 – 7 PM Kyle Bronsdon – live music
7 – 8 PM DickPinelli
8 – 9 PM Calli Christensen
9 – 10 PM Fiery Otaared
10 – ? Bard Wasp – slow blues

Please join us – whether for a few minutes or a few hours – to celebrate a man who touched so many of us so deeply; not to mourn, but to share the bond he created among us using what he loved – the blues.
Bear was my friend for many years and I know this is how he would like to be remembered- not with crying, not with drama, not with dancing girls dressed like him performing as a tribute band – just with an evening of blues lovers sharing the blues and helping a good cause in the process.

Bear left us in June, and at the time many of you asked where you could send donations in his memory. His son asked me to choose a blues-related charity that Bear would have approved of, and arrange whatever activity in-world that I felt appropriate. Talking with Fiery, another of Bear’s friends, we decided to arrange a celebration of Bear – a full evening of the blues he loved, with all donations and tips raised donated to The Blues Foundation – HART Fund in his name.

From their website: “The HART fund provides assistance to Blues musicians and their families in times of great financial need due to medical emergencies. Donations to the HART Fund are dedicated 100% to artist relief efforts … and have been used to pay medical bills, obtain needed medical care and assist with funeral expenses.” Bear often commented on how many blues musicians struggled with poverty, health care issues etc and I feel this is a foundation he would have appreciated receiving a donation in his name.

You can find more information about the Foundation and the HART Fund here: www.blues.org If you can’t join us, but wish to contribute to the donation in his name, contact Callipygian Christensen for information on how to donate. I will be matching L$25,000 donated, and so will Fiery – so potentially 100,000 lindens for a great cause. Bear would be proud 🙂

When Noma Plays the Blues

I try to hear Noma play the blues at least once a week. I recognize the regulars, I’ve learned the clubs. It’s a good warm comfortable feeling. But every now and then something “different” happens.

We (me, Daez and Dz) were at the regular Wednesday night gig at The Wharf Rat Blues (Wednesdays, 6pm SLT. The big rats don’t bite as long as you don’t try to take their cheese. *grin*) I got there a few minutes late (prior RL commitment), joined the dance line and finished rezzing. Then I began camming about. Which is when I became nervous. I see a LOT of different folk at Noma’s concerts but, well, beasts from the underworld are usually kept under better security. Apparently the lure of Noma was so strong that this one broke free to rock it on out.

It was doubly disconcerting because the beast was between me and the ice cream man. I LIKE ice cream. I was dancing off the calories, I could have indulged. *grin* Nomalicious indeed. Nothing like Blues Heaven from Noma.

Keep us rocking, Lady! Woot, Noma!!!! (And check out the totally cool boots that Daez and Dz have. I am in boot-envy.)

Yay!!! More Great Music

Honour and I haven’t had a chance to hang out much together lately. She’s a very busy lady and I have been an SL slug. *grin* But we stay in touch and we still look out for each other. One way we do that is to pass on information about life performers or events that we think the other will enjoy. Many years ago Honour practically FORCED me to come join her to hear one of her favorite blues performers – Von Johin. You know how THAT turned out – I am a Vonette to this very day! Recently I had the great good fortune to find Ziffy Zarf and tell Honour that she needed to hear him perform. Now Honour is a Ziffy groupie too. A few days ago I got an IM from Honour, thanking me for the Ziffy-tip and telling me that I needed to track down Alex Mays. Okay – it’s really AlexMays Resident, because Alex is relatively new to SL. Wow, am I glad he is here. He’s GREAT!!!

I had logged on to catch some music and say some hellos and relax. I was just about to tp to a different show when I saw that Alex was performing at Sterling Music park at Sterling Vineyard. I figured this was the perfect opportunity. It took one song. Actually, that’s not true. He was only several bars into the first song when I wrote to Lalo and said – OMG – this guy is GOOD! If I could have reached through the space/time continuum I’d have dragged Lalo inworld to join me. After 3 songs I gave the headset to my husband and said: LISTEN! He agreed – a very very good blues rocker. 🙂 According to Alex’s profile, he plays acoustic and electric guitar, playing Blues, Rock, Jazz, country and much more. He also plays many original tunes and I have to say that I thought they were strong and good music. He has a listening booth set up in world here.

I joined Alex’s group before his set was over. 🙂 Bamboo liked him too. Check him out. And Alex – oh welcome welcome WELCOME to SL!!!! Delighted to have you here!