Frank

LOTRO: A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a bloody horse!

Way back in the mists of time I remember my old mate Janey persuading me to get a horse in SL. I was sceptical but ended up loving riding in-world and out of all my many vehicles I love Frank the Horse more than any other… cue wavey dissolve to some Burro & Frank ❤ shots…
Me & Frank in Bay City

Lost & Found: Steelhead is empty Lost & Found: Frank is uneasy about Darien's Lab

Riding Frank

So when I moved across to LOTRO and found out you could buy horses there too, I didn’t hesitate for a moment and bought a wee Bree pony to help carry me around. I had a mad moment and nearly called him Frank *sob I miss you Frank! sob* but plumped for Felan in the end (I made it up & fancy it means the swift, keening wind that rolls off the Iron Hills towards Dale). Since then he’s been a faithful, and rather beautiful mount and I’ve loved riding him o’er hill and dale – especially given how gorgeous the animations are 🙂

Riding 001

Riding 003

Riding 004

Bree 001

Riding in Bree-land 001

Riding in Bree-land 006

Steelhead: Nish’s Butterfly house is coming along!

Wowsers! My old mate Nish has been a busy bee! Her Butterfly House (visit it here) is really taking shape now – Frank and I took an early moring ride out into Boomtown (you don’t see the scamps up at dawn, and in Boomtown they tend to stick to the old mines and tunnels rather than the streets so I feel safe) to see it and we weren’t dissapointed! It’s going to be beautiful! Have a poke about and you’ll find she’s added a few fun things you can sit on 😀
Nish's Boomtown Butterfly House

Nish's Boomtown Butterfly houseNish's Boomtown Butterfly House

Nish's Boomtown Butterfly House

I hear that her experiments to breed an anti-vampire vampire moth are going so well she’s thinking of branching out into the anti-zombie field! Maybe she needs to speak to Osprey about these developments as Ms Therian is also a keen developer of anti-monster products

Riding from Bay City to Nova Albion

You know the stuff about visiting Holocluck Henly’s gallery and Marianne McCann’s shop in Bay City? Good, because there’s more. Pull up a chair, get a brew and read on.

You see, after visiting Marianne’s store I wandered about Bay city a little looking for signs of life. My SL experience is largely one of zero green dots in the sims I’m in and this visit was no different. Teleportation has a lot to answer for – very few people travel through sims to go places so you rarely meet strangers and have the chance to chat. I decided I would do something different and instead of just beaming out and back to Steelhead (I had left HBA Island by this point) I would mount up on my trusty steed Frank and trot all the way through the city to Nova Albion.

I saw some wonderful builds and interesting shops. The bridges worked and the tram passed me at least twice. But not once did I see another soul. Not once. Not until I got into the gutted* Sistana and found Mossant in her lovely coffee shop where we talked about how much the empty sim she now found herself was ticking her off. How her and LisaHot carry on and keep enthused is beyond me, but I’m glad they do – SL needs more community builders like them and Marianne. Anyhow, off my soapbox for a bit, here are the pics of my horse ride from city to city.

Bay City Tram

Bay City Bridge

First Mole in the moon

Sunny Mole's Planets

Lazy elf!

Chatting with Mossant :)

Mossant!

* When people had to pack up and go to Zindra, the ones who left their old, old lands of Nova Albion’s Sistana district felt so aggrieved that they put the lands up for sale at stupid prices ensuring no one could buy them and redevelop the community. Frankly this sort of dog-in-the-manger childish stupidity fucks me off royally and I just wish LL had the balls to take the land off them and give it out to folks who would rebuild the city suburbs instead of sulking all the way to the bank cashing in their earnings from making fake cocks and clits. Fuckers.

My Second Life Road Trip 7: Swimming, climbing and hiking in Welsh (part 2)

I hauled my wet, cold carcass on to land and shook the water for my body. North of where I stood at the top of Welch lay a wide expanse of sea with only a small island sporting a strange squat building topped with a rotating disc.
Welsh to Dunlevie - Data's Island

Although it appeared to belong to Data Linden, there was nothing else to indicate its purpose so I turned my attention back to Welsh and the strange sight that my landing point afforded – a truly massive tree next to a huge building that seemed to be made out of blocks of a metal that somehow devoured light! Nestled in between, and dwarfed by both, was a small wooden house that looked as though it had dropped here from some American prairie. All three belonged to different people and once again showed just how strange the mainland can look when there are little or no building codes (1).
Welsh - bUTTONpUSHER's place

Welsh - Launa Fauna's house

I moved off under the saint tree and around the house until I came to another monstrous build. I followed a marble wall until I came around to the south edge of the construction and could see more clearly that is appeared to be a huge temple and from the look of the hangings inside, one dedicated to Prok’s FIC (2), although I’m guessing it was extracting the urine rather than worshipping at the lap of.
Welsh - BuhBuhCuh's Temple of FIC

I stood on the marble floor and stared across at the last section of Welsh to be explored, and what an uninspiring sight it was. The south east was largely empty (bar a grimy dinner expertly put together by the hobos of Calleta) and the land broken into small lumps of barren rock jutting from the sea. I had little option but to swim again, this time heading for the southern edge of the sim and what looked like an old caravan.
Welsh - Looking to the south east

Which it was, complete with washing. Someone needs help getting their whites whiter!
Welsh - Trailer Park

From here I was within walking distance of the beanstalk where I had left Frank to bother the grass to his heart’s content, but as I began to make my way to him, something caught my eye and I stopped dead. Over on a small lump of land near the Hat Tree stood two deer quietly eating in the afternoon sun. I crouched and watched for a while, amazed to realise I had found some of Paul Zeeman’s (3) work!
Welsh - Feeding Deer

I crept away so as not to disturb them and was soon back with Frank. He nuzzled me affectionately (4) and I swung myself up into the saddle. We were at the western edge of Welsh and looking into Taber. It looked like that for the fourth time today I was going to get very, very wet…
Leaving Welsh

Yours in Travel. And Water.
HeadBurro Antfarm.
*********************

(1) Whether or not I liked this was a matter I am still working through.

(2) The FIC, or Feted Inner Core, is a theory created by Prokofy Neva. It maintains that Linden Lab gather around them certain residents to take part in projects and the like and then benefit from those close ties with The Lab. Some people hate the idea, some love it and others just ignore it. Me, well I’m too much of cynic to think such things don’t happen but also enough of realist to accept that all societies need these people to drive through changes. Frankly most folks just don’t care enough about their ‘society’ or ‘community’ to worry about a FIC but I will always argue that LL open up opportunities as much as possible as it’s great to see newbies getting a crack at things. It’s also very interesting to see who are the latest movers and shakers – like reading the rich 100: you know you can’t do anything about it, but you read it all the same 🙂

(3) Paul was the second resident, after Steller Sunshine.

(4) Not like that, you mucky sods!

My Second Life Road Trip 6: Trekking through Clementina

With the noon sun high above me, I swung the speedboat north east and headed for the small sandy shore gathered at the base of a cliff that supported a large white mansion that looked like the kind of place Columbo would have rolled up to in the late 70s to solve a cunning murder. This, I thought, was something I had to see.
Clementina 1

The boat gently crunched onto the beach and I hopped out, tied off the boat* and began the long climb up the steep hill.
Clementina 2
Halfway up, the land plateaued out and there, nibbling the warm grass, was the most beautiful horse I’d ever seen. Fully seventeen hands if he was an inch and with feet as big as my head.
Clementina 4

I approached slowly, not wanting to spook him, until I could reach out and stroke his face. He snorted contentedly and shook his mane. I gingerly took his reins and put a foot into a stirrup. He instinctively braced himself as I swung my leg over and dropped into his saddle, which fit me perfectly almost as if it had been made for me. I pulled on the reins and with a snort the horse padded off to the left, up the hill towards the mansion.

Once again the rise flattened out and my mount stopped by the sources of a gushing waterfall that led down to a beautiful wooden house.
Clementina  6

I climbed down while he drank (I would have to find a name for him… Charger? Adolphus? ClipClop? I needed to think) and gazed across the expanse of the inland sea back towards Davenport and Bodega. The hills and mountains of Sansara rose into the sky like old friends waving to me and I felt my first real pang of homesickness.
Clementina 3

I climbed back into the saddle (Speed? Fleet?) and headed along the ridge that circled the white house until I came to an opening leading into the grounds. I rode in and found that the whole place was in fact a partial reconstruction of an earlier mansion built by SL’s first ever resident, Stella Sunshine. Having built the original in the days of Linden World, she gave it to the Lindens for the move across to the grid as we know it. Some things have been lost along the way and a team of volunteers have worked hard to restore it and maintain it as a sort of museum of lost builds.

I decided not to linger, rather to carry on around the house to another waterfall where my new friend (Dasher? Europa?) decided to leap down in a manner that frankly (Frank! That was it! Frank!) left my stomach in my mouth.
Clementina 10

But soon, sure-footed Frank had us down on the ground and we meandered through the beautifully maintained park…
Clementina 11

…to take a closer look at the wooden house by the sea I had seen earlier (which turned out to be a Victorian marvel selling musical instruments…
Clementina 9

…before Frank whinnied and stamped impatiently, eager, I felt, to move on to the next location. Although I would have liked to make my way back to the car so long ago parked in Bodega across the inland Omidyar sea, I patted his neck and we headed North towards what looked like an enormous beanstalk. An enormous beanstalk laying just past a fully rigged pirate ship that is…
Clementina 12

Yours in Travel,
HeadBurro Antfarm
*******************

* Well, it was auto-returned immediately, but it’s sort of the same…

Bay City: A Night At The Asylum

As you can’t have failed to have noticed, the LDPW’s first project has opened and Bay City is full of eager explorers just dying to see what the moles have been beavering* away at all these weeks. And me, Janey and Pinks are no different 🙂

I had limited time so decided to we just had to see the creepy sounding old asylum people had been raving about on the forums. And creepy is the perfect word!
Bay City Assylum

We rode up to the front gates, but our brave mounts would go no further…
Bay City Assylum

So we continued on foot…
The Three Explorers

Inside we found all the trappings of a decaying hulk that once housed many unhappy souls. Evidence of their treatment was everywhere…
Light Reading

Dr Linden's Special Pills

In the wards and treatment rooms voices whispered and echoed around us, lights flickered, doors creaked…
Padded Cell

Bay City Fear

Burro in the Attic

Quite honestly it was quite a relief when we emerged once more into the morning light and I felt the reassuring presence of Frank carrying me away to adventures new…
Me & Frank in Bay City

Head on over to Bay City yourself and take a look around before the auctions kick in. Meanwhile read more about Bay City on the SL Forums here and for Janey’s report on the trip to the asylum, visit her blog here.

* Moles? Beavering away? Is that legal?