Saturday, November 24, 2007

One Goode Second Life Bookstore: Bobby Goode's!

Owner Bobby Goode is proud to announce the grand opening of his bookstore, Goode Books, at Mr. Goode's store is dedicated to showcasing SL's best authors without taking one L$ in commission or selling fees from these authors. The prices are excellent, as low as L$5, and ThinC books are the order of the day here.

From Mr. Goode at the grand opening, now in progress as of this writing:

Hi everyone, thanks for attending. This is the official welcome speech. I know time is at a premium once the holidays get underway, so I appreciate your being here very, very much. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this project and how grateful I am to everyone who has helped it come about. Please, look around! Check out the shop and books. We have virtual beverages and hors d'oeuvres at the bar, and there’ll be a variety of music and readings as the event progresses. We also have a fireworks display planned before we call it a night.

To bid Bobby welcome and good luck, come down to

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tales from the bottom of the blog

I saw the owner of the Spilling Coffee blog wax poetic about the searches that brought people to his blog, and recently I picked up AdSense Detective to see where my traffic was coming from.

So here is a bottom 10 list of the most curious, unexpected, entertaining and unique keyword combinations that brought people to our humble blog:

10. Second Life particle blood eyes The thing that gets me about this one is that I keep meaning to make some of these, so if you're still looking, IM me sometime.

9. completed round booth seats Never, ever in a million years would I have added this to an article. So thank you for coming by and I hope you do find some.

8. groove merchant I'm guessing there's a store in SL called Groove. Ah, here we are... Groove Prefab Designs. (Tping in) Actually, where is it? The club sure looks good though. Ah well, back to the article. Oh, wait, here it is.

7. red light beams second life Psst... hey mister, I got a transparent red prim for L$2.

6. king in casket From the people who brought you Serf In A Box.

5. cadaver hangers Likes to keep his cadavers neat, I guess.

4. Second Life particle script unwanted Hmm... Lionel Oliva's School For Unwanted Particles... nah.

3. Dominick soldier Looks like my friend Dominic Roffo lucked out on this one!

2. 20 (I should have thought of that one! Coming soon: articles on 19, 21 and 22.)

1. Second Life, pink elephants Um... Mr Greggan? :D If anyone can make you one it's him.

If you're one of the people who entered these search terms, please leave a comment! It's nice to meet you.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

o RL-ly? Stories from outside SL

$5800 worth of Virtual NES Furniture Stolen

In Europe, a 17-year-old Dutch gamer amassed over $5800 (58,000 pixels) worth of goods from Habbo, the former Communist Bloc's reaction to Second Life.
Read all about it

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Low-Hassle Castle -- And 200 More Prefabs

One thing I don't like about buying from vendors is the chance factor. You could be shelling out big money for a not-so-cleverly disguised remake of one of the founding Lindens' freebies, paying for a misspelled product, or in some cases, not even getting it. And while I'm on that last issue, I'd like to thank the item seller who "refunded" my money by running L$100 through my vendor -- and getting back 90% in commission immediately.

And the other thing I don't like about vendors: the ton of no-mod stuff out there. Come on, I know how to make a floating text script, so you don't have to hide it from me. And maybe I'd rather not have a no-mod Library texture spread across my purchase like an oil spill.

But on a more positive note, I came across designer Sara Sullivan's Mind's Eye Prefabs while looking for a good building or two to sell on Apez. I liked the cut of the Mounier's jib, even when all I could see was a single photo. And to paraphrase Victor Kiam, I liked the castle so much I built a business around it.

A lot of builds in SL are cavernous, boxy, and give you the impression you just paid a lot for three or four textured stiff prim sheets.

Not so with the Mounier.


Now that's an arrow slit.

When Ms. Sullivan came by to rez the castle, I was amazed. At under 350 prims, I still had a LOT of prim space to play with on my rented 4096. And it was massive, too. No rinky-dink slap-togethers that looked more like plastic or plywood than solid, immovable stone.

Sara's architectural expertise matches that of my friend JC Anvil. She's loaded the castle with twists and turns, passages and towers, crenellations and chambers. Spiral staircases wind, lengthy corridors give the impression of luxurious, unhurried design, views from the side and central towers are magnificent. If you're put off by the puniness of a lot of builds that don't match the scale of RL builds, come by today and wander around for a while. The Mounier maximizes its roominess inside without giving up the solid walls you'd expect to rely on in medieval times. The ramparts and rooftops make for great tactical battles, and I've been inspired to modify my CGB script to allow realistic structural damage.

And for those of you who prefer a darker build, there is also the Ruxton Castle for sale in the heart of the castle. You can make as many copies as you like for just L$4000... less than a week's pay at my old job.

Flagons of mead, coming up.

There are a few very minor things I would improve on the Mounier. The railing and top door seem a little thin to me, the frail stained glass seems a mite out of place in this megalithic masterpiece, and a legion of hearty warriors ought to be able to sit at the table together in the dining hall. But the best thing about the Mounier Castle is that I can fix these things with just a texture here and there, rip out the dining table, drop in an archery contest, wine bar and banquet table, and my guests and I can enjoy the rest of what truly is a fine build.

To see the copiable/mod Mounier and Ruxton castles and 200 buildings from ~L$200 to L$120,000, come to Oliva's Homes and Mansions at

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Kiss the Sky, Persian Style

I spent a few hours at a furniture/skybox seller named Lavanya’s Prefabs the other day, and have some good news to report. If you’re looking for lovely builds for that special skybox, you have some great options at Lavanya’s.

There’s no shortage of prefab skybox vendors out there. Loyal readers know that the three things a vendor must deliver to gain an unqualified ‘yes’ vote from me are, and I quote;

1. Great Quality
2. Low Price
3. Interesting Shopping Experience.

Lavanya’s delivers on counts one and three, and needs to make no apologies for not hitting on number two.

First, the furniture and skyboxes are, with only one or two exceptions, some of the highest detail stuff I’ve seen to date. There’s no question that if you’re looking for interesting furniture or lovely skyboxes you’re likely to love their pieces. The designers, Ardent Mars and Lavanya Hartnell are talented and interesting, and I love supporting vendors who really put themselves into the package. The selection is not huge, but you might find yourself considering a remodel to build around one of these pieces. They’re that good.

I especially loved the tree house build and the slave arena. The tree house stopped me in my tracks, and made me consider breaking the covenants on my land by placing it in the middle of a medieval sim. The slave arena took me to my collection of silks for a quick dance on the slave auction platform, but probably enough said about that little moment of weakness… :)

The prices are a bit steep, especially on the bigger skyboxes. They say so on their sign; you’re going to pay a premium price for a premium product. I do appreciate honesty in a vendor. But again, the quality is there, and I don’t mind paying for quality if I find exactly what I’m looking for.

The shopping experience is nice at Lavanya’s. The shop is very uncluttered and attractive in a minimalist way. I especially loved the way they enclosed some of the shopping areas with transparent walls. You can see the entire build from most any location, but you won’t fall to your death if you accidentally step off the edge. It’s dangerous for someone as distractible as me; I call it the “ooo look over there” factor.

All in all a lovely build with great products. Have a peek at Lavanya’s if you’re needing to put up that special private place. They can be found at Cervinia (230, 48, 301).

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Second Life Update: Red Rock Mesa Expands

I managed to catch a bit of a show by Komusa Tokugawa at the Red Red Concert Area in Lota. It was the best live blues I've heard in SL and the crowd was going wild. Just take a look at this photo and see for yourself. If you enjoy live SL music, you owe it to yourself to join the Red Rock Mesa Arts Cooperative group for further updates!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Whoo Doo? Yoo Doo with Voodoo at Temenos

Your crack reporter has stumbled upon another Second Life shopping gem. As you know, the run of the mill shopping experience is not for my crowd. Not only do we want high quality at low prices, we want an unusual shopping experience while we get fitted out. Temenos Island delivers on all counts.

I ran into Amy Faulkes, a loyal Temenos shopper while on my last research trip to the shop. When I asked her about Temenos she said it’s always been her first choice for neko gear, and she was on her way to sort out some new boots to go with her outfit. I had previously seen a couple pairs of gorgeous boots in the shop, so I’m sure she left a happy customer.

It’s a delight to find a sim owner who can not only design great clothes and send them out the door at a great price, but who knows how to design and build their shop to present a unique face. Zoe Llewelyn has put together a beautifully strange shop, one that grabs your attention and holds it like a spooky movie.

It takes more than just a quirky shop to take this reporter to her paypal account though. Even for a non-neko Temenos has a lot to offer. Great clothes, skins, tattoos and accessories with a twist. For me the hoodies were an excellent deal, and at the time of this writing I’m sitting in some lovely lace delicates purchased at a seemingly insane low price from Zoe.

Ms. Llewelyn doesn’t stop the show at the shop though. Her profile presents a picture of a talented designer, and her first life page makes one both sympathize and feel the voodoo vibes. She lives the role, and leaves room for belief that it’s not just an act. You can find her own net efforts at Boneflower , a beautifully designed blog at Google blogspot.

It’s a master craftswoman who paints such a total picture. One feels as if one is buying not just a great set of clothes, but a great story to go with it. Temenos Island comes highly recommended by this reporter for your shopping and sightseeing pleasure.


Ladies and gentlemen, Lionel Oliva is pleased to bring a sport that will revolutionize the events of Second Life: Pogo Sticks and Landmines.

What you are looking at is a one-prim, low-lag landmine with enough oomph to send you sky-high, quite literally. Combined with the fun of being on a pogo stick (and I highly recommend this deluxe pogo over the freebies we offer) and mouselook, Pogo Sticks and Landmines will bring you and your friends from

to this in a moment's notice.
Pogo Sticks and Landmines is sponsored by Greer Larsen, Old Glory Sutlery, and Hall of Heroes. Do come by and give it a try... with a deluxe pogo, we think you won't... er... mine playing, and with the ASM-1000 sound system from KHE, you can blast mines with tunes from country to chillout and a lot more!

Events will be forthcoming and game officials are welcome to apply to Lionel Oliva. Business partners welcome. Bring your friends too and enjoy this unique Second Life opportunity at

SPECIAL EVENT! This coming Friday night we've got 600 prims free and we're dropping a TON of mines at Oliva Enterprises' 4096 for the SL-wide debut of Pogo Sticks and Landmines! Buy your stick at the door, there is a L$75 cover charge which goes 100% toward your pogo stick. Prizes will be announced and handed out!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin

Loyal readers know how seldom this reporter writes about actual malls. There are so many unusual shopping locations available in Second Life, and so many real life malls near me in Los Angeles, I normally can’t find the inspiration to even visit them, let alone write about them. KaDeWe has some things going for it though, so this is a tale of what they’re doing right and room for improvement.

KaDeWe is a mall that reflects a real life shopping mall in Berlin, Germany. You can find an excellent website advertising the mall at . The recent opening of the SL annex was reported extensively by German television and print media, and attended in world by hundreds of shoppers.

The Second Life mall is a nice experience. A hostess waited in the mezzanine, greeted me in her best German/English, and asked if she could help me find anything. While I recovered from my shock at this courtesy a well-dressed man wearing a ‘security’ tag came by and also asked if I needed any assistance. I virtually pinched my virtual arm to see if I were virtually dreaming.

This is an upscale mall, and you better be prepared to pay upscale prices. I did purchase a nice business outfit, which fit me to a “T,” and am considering the heels I lingered over for stop back purchase. I saw some lovely gowns as well, very unique formal affairs, and should a special date come up I will return for the red/black number I admired for ten minutes.

While exploring the mall I ran across a unique camping system, billed as the “advanced camping” group. This supposedly allows you to wander within a certain range from the camping box and still collect your Lindens, rather than having to sit in one spot. Brilliance! Now campers can spend while they earn at the very site they’re working.

I spoke to one camper, the first well-dressed and fitted out male camper I’ve ever met in Second Life. JohnG told me that he lives in the western portion of Germany, about 600 kilometers from the real KDW shop in Berlin, but that he’d visited there once. I asked him about the real life store. He responded that “…my first and only one visit in that store was such an impression... if I would live in Berlin - believe me - I would stay there very often…”

Even the campers are upscale at KDW

There is room for improvement at KaDeWe. The mall is huge and it spans several sims. Lag can be a bit of an issue while you cross boundaries. Like all shoppers I can become irritated at having to watch myself creep across the floor, glaring at a horde of campers who aren’t helping matters any.

Also I was a bit mystified at the third floor, which spanned the entire mall but had no actual retail, only mockup textures of shops. I suppose they’re leaving room for expansion, but why do that and make the lag worse? It would be better to scrap the floor until they actually need the space, in my humble opinion.

Still, a positive shopping experience for when you want to get dressed up and shop in style. KaDeWe can be found in the aptly named KaDeWe Sims, of which there are four at last count.