Thursday, 29 January 2009

Dancing in the streets

I've been to a few dances of late that I've been lax in reporting, mainly because of lack of photographs, however some have been quite an interesting evening.

I covered the second dance with the US Inauguration Ball in SL. The main ball lagged like cold molasses but then the sim had close to 70 AVs for most of the night.

The Victorian Ladies' Society held their Baroque Ball which was received well. Here I dance with the Duchess of Fatima.

Steelhead's Luau dance was fun with Hawaiian shirts and grass skirts aplenty.

More recently I hosted an Australia Day party in the Square in Rothesay, and called everyone Bruce.

Even managed to drag the Guv into bit of jig.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Australia Day Party!

Even though with time zone differences, Australia Day has already finished in its home country, the 26th of January still has a long way to go in SLT.

Tonight from 7pm SLT till sometime after 9pm SLT (or maybe longer, who knows) Edward Pearse will be playing assorted Australian music. Rock, blues, comedy and a little bit of country.

Come along to Gordon Square in Rothesay and enjoy the party

Help yourself to a beer and your free cork hat and feel free to put a snag on the barbie. Just watch out for the drop bears, mate.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

New Babbage Airship Regatta

The first heat: Light craft

The next heat: Whimsical

One of the aerial viewing platforms

First round of the Heavy category

Now I know where all the spare canvas went.

No, no, THROUGH the ring!

The Parsival gets ready for its run.

Final round for the day was a free for all with everyone piloting Miss Munro's "It".

Schpooky Steelhead

Friday night hosted Steelhead's weekly dance with a Gothic/dark Victorian theme.

Lots of pale skin and dark flowy velvet abounded.

Third Annual Snowflake Ball

Saturday the 10th hosted Caledon's Third Annual Snowflake Ball. Traditionally it has been held in the Duchy of Loch Avie but with the new sim limits having come into effect this has proved impractical. Thankfully Caledon's Vicereign was able to clear a spot in Port Caledon for the evening and we spent it dancing on ice.

Playing the music at a formal ball, chatting, dancing and getting the timing right can be harder than it looks. Thankfully I only lost count of what dance number we were up to once. :-)

Group photo

Myself and Lady Amber

With my own darling Duchess

My Hostess for the evening, Miss Orr is Siamese if you please.

With Miss Lu

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Riel Radio Theatre - The Lord of the Rings, Episode 2

Riel Radio Theatre presents part two of BBC Radio 4's dramatisation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings - "The Black Riders".

Adapted for radio by Brian Sibley and Michael Bakewell.

* Narrator: Gerard Murphy
* Frodo Baggins: Ian Holm
* Gandalf the Grey/Gandalf the White: Michael Hordern
* Aragorn (Strider): Robert Stephens
* Sam Gamgee: William Nighy
* Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry): Richard O'Callaghan
* Peregrin Took (Pippin): John McAndrew
* Legolas: David Collings
* Gimli: Douglas Livingstone
* Boromir: Michael Graham Cox
* Galadriel: Marian Diamond
* Celeborn: Simon Cadell
* Arwen Evenstar: Sonia Fraser
* Saruman the White: Peter Howell
* Elrond: Hugh Dickson
* Bilbo Baggins: John Le Mesurier
* Gollum/Sméagol: Peter Woodthorpe
* Théoden: Jack May
* Gríma Wormtongue: Paul Brooke
* Éowyn: Elin Jenkins
* Éomer: Anthony Hyde
* Faramir: Andrew Seear
* Treebeard: Stephen Thorne
* Denethor: Peter Vaughan
* Lord of the Nazgûl: Philip Voss
* The Mouth of Sauron: John Rye
* Glorfindel/A Hobbit: John Webb
* Haldir/Nazgûl/Nob/Minstrel: Hayden Wood
* Gamling: Patrick Barr
* Ceorl: Michael McStay
* Háma/A Nazgûl: Michael Spice
* Éothain/Otho Sackville-Baggins/Ruffian: John Livesy
* Halbarad: Martin Reed
* Beregond/The Black Rider/Guard: Christopher Scott
* Ioreth: Pauline Letts
* Gwaihir: Alexander John
* Radagast the Brown: Donald Gee
* Gaffer Gamgee: John Church
* Ted Sandyman/Snaga: Gordon Reed
* Rosie Cotton: Kathryn Hurlbuut
* Daddy Twofoot: Leonard Fenton
* Farmer Maggot/Ruffian: John Bott
* Lobelia Sackville-Baggins: Diana Bishop
* Farmer Cotton: Alan Dudley
* Proudfoot/Orc: Sean Arnold
* Elanor Gamgee: Harry Holm
* Barliman Butterbur: James Grout
* Uglúk: Brian Haines
* Shagrat: Chris Fairbank
* Gorbag: David Sinclair
* Déagol/Bill Ferny/Orc Captain: Graham Faulkner
* Shelob: Jenny Lee, BBC Radiophonic Workshop
* Singer (Dream Voice/Bilbo's Last Song): Matthew Vine
* Singer (The Bard): Oz Clarke
* Singer (The Eagle/Voice of Lothlórien): David James

Thursday 15h of January starting at 7:00 pm SLT

Join me at Radio Riel's HQ at Edison Hypatia to listen with the rest of us or tune your music player of choice to if you can't make it in person.

Monday, 12 January 2009

The Mysterious Island

There are many islands littering the seas that hold strange and dangerous perils for explorers and travellers alike. From the dangerous beasts of Skull Island, the dangerous master of Vulcania or the rumours stories of the island of R'lyeh it seems even Caledon has it's own perils.

Many remember the disaster of the Saint Kitt Islands but the newly discovered Mondserrat may prove more sinister still.

Stranded after your submersible becomes defective, visitors to Mondserrat are already starting from behind.

When you realise you are the most recent in a history of shipwreck survivors.

Strange iconography abounds on the island.

You soon discover that even going in heavily armed does not mean the odds are even.

Because you could get attacked by killer bees

Or exploding teddy bears

Or aliens

Or n00b zombies ("Grr Argh!")

Or prize chairs

And that's all without one of your fellow explorers PUSHING THE BUTTON!

Though it seems to involve the eternal battle for our hearts and souls between Basement Cat

And Ceiling Cat

Can you haz cheezburger?

A list of collectable items has been compiled here for those wishing to explore the islands fully.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Riel Theatre for January 2009

Back when Orlando Bloom was a little 4 year old, Peter Jackson hadn't even begun working on Bad Taste, and a little after Ralph Bakshi's valiant attempt at making it into a movie, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a dramatisation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings that comprised 13 hours of radio.

Adapted for radio by Brian Sibley and Michael Bakewell, its cast boasts boasts some impressive names including Sir Ian Holm (who later went on to play Bilbo Baggins in Jackson's movies), Sir Michael Hordern, Sir Robert Stephens and Bill Nighy. The BBC production is the third attempt at dramatising The Lord of the Rings and is considered the best version to date.

Thursday 8th of January starting at 7:00 pm SLT will start the first hour of the series.

Join me at Radio Riel's HQ at Edison Hypatia to listen with the rest of us or tune your music player of choice to if you can't make it in person.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

New Babbage for sale

I was rather shocked today to read the announcement that Mayor Sprocket has decided to part with New Babbage.

From his official announcement:
It has been an exciting and challenging time running a city-state for the past 2 years. I see entirely why George Washington set the 2 year term limit in motion within the United States. After two years you feel exhausted in a way that's practically impossible to describe. Even the will to log in seems to not be there for me. I want new challenges, I want to move on. Also I think New Babbage deserves better than my absence. It's time for a new mayor.

Sadly, it's not as easy as hosting an election. New Babbage is an asset. It is profitable. And it is indeed worth something. It would also be a thoughtless act to simply sell to the highest bidder. Everyone here deserves more than that. I want to sell to someone who has vision, someone who will not only maintain what we have, but strive to grow and evolve it further. We have a unique situation.

Currently, a brand new (and vacant as a desert) sim costs someone $1000 USD to purchase and $295 USD per month to keep. New Babbage is 6 sims of thriving community and active renters, and to use an analogy, an appartment full of renters is worth more than an empty building. I am willing to sell New Babbage to someone for $6,000.00 USD, However there are some strings attached. I want the people of New Babbage to approve you.

The remainder of the announcement as well as the (currently) 8 pages of discussion can be accessed at Term Limits for Babbage - A change of management.

I'd like to publicly commend Mayor Sprocket on the work he has done. We've had our disagreements in the past but never to the point where we refused to talk or work together. Knowing some of the crap that is forwarded to the Guvnah and my dear Brother-In-Law I can imagine how hard running a community of sims would be.

It's been interesting watching New Babbage grow from a group of steampunk enthusiasts content to stay in their workshops and do their own thing, to a community interacting and organising events. New Babbage has slowly moved towards more role-play over theme. As one of the facets of the never-ending debate of "what is steampunk" it will be interesting to see it's future.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Post New Year's Tinies and Breaking a Sim

Now that the boxes and shiny paper had been found to be more entertaining than the toys contained within, Steelhead's Friday dance saw the tiny denizens arrive to Hoo and Riverdance to their heart's content. Managed to even get the Jägers worried.

Assorted tinies, fungi, Jägers, and the Odd Werewolf. My dear wife elected to wear her "tiny skirt".

On Sunday night, Her Grace of Loch Avie held an impromptu party. Her parting quote was "We'll show them abusive use of open sims! Ha!"

And we did.

First there were sheep

Then the Gideons launched their Bible Bazookas

And Daleks and Salmon and 'splosions!

But we didn't manage to crash the sim. :-(

Sunday, 4 January 2009


There have been growing rumblings about "appropriateness" in the Independent State of Caledon, more specifically in group chat.

To be fair these rumblings have been there for a considerable amount of time. Nearly two years ago Khashai Steinbeck, Caledon's very first Steward, stormed out in a temper about how Caledon was being ruined. My own comments to him privately in IM after probably didn't help but we have since made up. Yet he has not returned to Caledon.

Others have left Caledon only to return with childish half truths about their supposed victimisation, bringing up issues that were buried more than a year ago. All people bring us happiness - some as they arrive, others as they leave.

When I first arrived in Caledon in 2006 ISC was not used for chat. It was used for posting group notices, events, and for asking advice. Even then the group members numbered less than 400. Aimless chatter was not allowed.

Miss Emilly started the most recent round of concerns here. Her initial post wasn't so much concerned about group chat and general civility as change in Caledon and whether this change was for better or worse, the comments did prompt a follow up post here concerning appropriate behaviour.

Membership of the Independent State of Caledon group today runs over 1000. This doesn't include those who have chosen to pursue their SL elsewhere.

Miss Laval made some excellent points about appropriateness in group chats. Admittedly not all 1000 people of ISC are online at the same time, but I know I don't want to hear all the "gee it's quiet in here" comments. If you're that desperate for someone to talk to, pop over to Info Island.

Miss Jameson followed up Miss Emilly's post with one stressing politeness and asking one of the fundamental questions I often wonder myself: If you're not interested in a Victorian setting or even a quasi-Victorian setting, why are you here? I disagree with her final conclusion though. Yes we are 21st century people, but if you came to a Victorian sim wanting to be a 21st century person I think you've made the wrong decision. Like wanting to be in a post apocalypse sim but dressing and acting like you're at a Paris fashion show. Or living in a gorean sim and dressing in a space suit all the time. I know of a few others in other steampunk themed sims who loudly proclaim their dislike of Victoriana. No I've never understood why they've stayed either.

There are different levels of immersion, Caledon being defined as "polite Victorian roleplay". Miss Emilly makes a further post here after this evening's debacle on ISC. I think those branding her a chat-nazi need to get out of their skyboxes more often.

Miss Emilly's concentration on politeness may grate to the modern ear. But we haven't come here to be modern. If you have a chip on your shoulder about calling people Lord or Lady muckamuk, don't do it. You can still call them Mr. or Miss at the very least. Perhaps some of that courtesy will rub off and make you stop and think before you post about what you're doing or worse still, who you're doing.

Miss Snook and I have been discussing running some etiquette lessons for Victorians of all stripe (be they Caledon or not). Perhaps these lessons are long overdue.

Friday, 2 January 2009

DJ awesomeness

The last week of 2008 has been a fun one musically. Last Saturday the Presenters of Radio Riel got together for a "Battle of the DJs". Miss Emilly has detailed playlists and even found accompanying youtube examples here.

Radio Riel staff and friends.

On NYE itself I had been asked to rake the JLU party through to midnight after the bands had finished. I lined up a few dancy tracks for the half hour beforehand and once the New Year had run in I just started playing random things. Of course being in Steelhead and already having a high weird quotient the requests started getting odd.

After being asked if I had the theme for Buckaroo Banzai and being able to say yes, and know which track was meant, Myfanwy Davies proclaimed me "Awesomest" and bowed to my DJ skills. I didn't notice until I was actually talking on air which cracked me up completely.

Miss Davies as the pink fairy and myself as the Lord of Dreams

Let's hope the last of the "naughties" is better than the previous year.