Hope everyone's holidays / Solstice / Christmas / whatever were good and peaceful and rewarding. We had a nice low-key Christmas, present-opening, big ham dinner, lying around doing nothing.
Did I mention that we got the World's Hugest Christmas Tree this year? I feel like I did, but I don't see it written down anywhere. Abel's had no big trees, and neither did the tree farm next door, but they sent us to a small and obscure place down the road and up a hill, and we picked a tree so big that it wouldn't fit into their tree-baler, so we just tied it to the top of the car and crossed our fingers. It made the car at least twice as tall as it would normally have been, and all the way home people were honking and laughing and making thumbs-up signs at us, and sticking their cellphones out their windows to take pictures. We're probably on uTube or something even now (or at least we would have been if it'd fallen off, but it didn't yay!).
Still madly playing Second Life. I got a Premium Membership and about 20,000 Lindens for Christmas, so now I can own land and everything! I won't try to list all the things I've been up to. One perhaps notable one is the Trek: a friend and I both bought our first bits of land, and I decided it would be fun to try to fly from one to the other. It's about twenty virtual kilometers.
(More importantly, as it turns out, they're on different continents, and you can't actually fly (or walk) between continents at the moment at least; you have to teleport. But I didn't actually know that firsthand until today.)
Documenting the continuing evolution of the avatar. *8) Note the butterfly on the shoulder. I've also got a sparkling diamond earring in one ear; sparkle not shown in photo...
This heroically-posed shot was taken somewhere on the northwestern coast of the southern continent, on the first half of the Trek. As for the other primary avatar:
Gorgeous, eh? Not finding any Business Attire for women, I had the brilliant idea of just putting some guy's clothes on the girl form. As is obvious from the picture, they look 'way better on me then they would have on some guy! The diamond pendant that's just visible on the tie sparkles nicely.
That shot was taken on our First Land; home sweet home. Speaking of which:
With the Premium Membership comes the right to buy 512 square meters of land for a mere one Linden per m2. This is my plot; the flat bit in front (lower-left in the picture) has some benches and a fountain and cushions (square marble base by me, everything else freebies from generous builders), and some pieces of my art (snowglobes, a copy of the Voice of the People, a little experimental rezzer). In the back (upper right), on the rough land, there's a bench and some trees and a big glass bowl with a Relaxin' Rug (a very popular freebie). I made the bowl, and scripted it so it will rise 600m into the air on command. Good for sitting around in groups bullshitting and admiring the view. *8)
Final picture of the evening, me in one of my flying outfits *8) :
This shot was taken on Isolde Island, to which I teleported after discovering that I couldn't just fly from the southern continent to the northern; so I started making the shortest possible teleport hops instead. Here I'm relaxing on the throne in the big throneroom-and-dance-club in the big castle, before resuming the Trek. (The perspective makes me look oddly proportioned; not the world's best picture I'm afraid...)
Second Life Cultural Phenomenon o' the Day: Chair Groups. Matter is basically free in SL. The only cost to a merchant of giving away merchandise is the opportunity cost based on the chance that that customer might have paid for the thing if not given it free. This has led to many merchants installing devices like "lucky chairs" in their stores to attract customers. A typical lucky chair picks and displays a random letter (say "D"), and if anyone whose name begins with that letter (say "Dale Innis"), sits in it, they get Free Stuff. This attracts customers hoping to be lucky, and these customers not only buy things themselves, but also make the store show up as occupied on the map, attracting yet more people to see what's going on.
There has grown up a culture of "chair hunters" around these lucky chairs. When a chair hunter sees a chair looking for some letter that isn't theirs, the hunter announces it on a group chat channel ("D at Dollywood for a nice red flowered dress"), and an appropriately-named person on the channel then comes in to get the prize. The chair then chooses a new letter, and (assuming they're responsible) the person who got the prize announces the new letter on the channel ("D now R at Dollywood"). This keeps a constant stream of people through the stores, and a constant stream of free stuff into the inventories of the hunters.
And also it's great fun! Friend V introduced me to the "Super Awesome Lucky Chair Wow!" group, and I've been zooming around the world picking up D chairs left and right, and meeting people and having a ball. (And no one thinks it particularly odd that my gender is variable.) Very very very very odd and wonderful...