Tuesday, September 30, 2014


He is Open Sim's Angel of Mesh, a Blender guru, creator, and all round good guy, Aaack Aardvark of Littlefield Grid. Tomorrow, HG Safari has an opportunity to meet this teacher and creator who feels strongly that there is no reason why open sim creations should be any less in quality or detail than anything your find in SL.
A gentle, talented and kindly Argentinian, Aaack cancelled his account in SL about three years ago, after some four or five years of presence on the grid. This elegant store is a design that he first made (but never used) in Sl way back in 2007. Second life was great, but after a few years, he had grown tired of the mentality there. It seemed wrong to him that creators have to pay upload fees.
Aaack Aardvark: We creators are the ones making Second Life Attractive. Why should we be paying to herp the business of SL? In my book that makes no sense.
He was in OSGrid for a while, and when Littlefield Grid opened as a separate entity, he was very happy to join the new grid. Each week he offers classes in Blender right on the grid at the OSC (Opensim Creators) region on Littlefield. This group seeks to unite builders all over opensim, in a bid to offer a forum and platform for excellence in all aspects of the creative process.
Aardvark's beautiful store on sim Arcadia, Littlefield grid

Aaack Aardvark: Sometimes people think that my Blender classes are just for advanced students but this is not so. I welcome questions and input from beginners too. there is no such thing as a 'stupid' question! In case you cannot make his regular Sunday classes, Aaack has transformed his classes into YouTube Tutorials, and be honest, couldn't you use a few Micro Nuggets of Wisdom? Here is a great example that deals with making templates for mesh textures.

Aaack Aardvark: Texturing is the hardest part of making meshes!
No kidding.
Littlefield stores generally operate a 'no export' policy, owing to permission and license issues, but Aaack's store on Arcadia sim is one of the very few - possibly the only one - where all the goodies are hypergridding friendly. Aaack can do this because all the scripts etc in each creation have been made by him personally.
What is the most detailed piece of mesh he has made so far? That would have to be his super duper Texture Changer (rumored to soon be a Free Gift for folks who subscribe to his YouTube Channel) which comes with intricate labels on the back side.
The biggest mesh structure he has made so far is this giant more-than-sim-size blimp, still a work in progress. I asked about the vintage dinosaur sculpty, turns out, he had made it an Activity Bed. Now that's kinkly, right? But in a good way. See this is why you should not ask too many questions.

As for his most intricate creations, that has to be his collection of clocks, ranging from a copy of a 1970's sun clock that his parents own in RL, to a beautiful Arcadia Anniversary carriage clock (now a trophy in the HG Clubhouse!), to a gorgeous pocket watch he made specially for Littlefield founder Walter Balazic's birthday.
Join us tomorrow Wednesday 1 October at 12 noon Grid time to be part of the Safari, meeting on Metropolis on Outlands sim as usual. We will be visiting Littlefield grid at around 1pm ...going to be fun!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cry Wolf

It was going to be a bit of a strange Safari, that was obvious right from the start. For one thing, owing to a radiation accident last week, Fuschia Nightfire has aged about 50 years, and has to ride around in a magic rocking chair.
Karma catches up with Nightfire

In a bid to silence the voices accusing us all of 'copying', I donned this totally original look, and Apmel turned up cloudy, then naked, because that has never been done before in Hypergridding.
Nice shoes, shame about the feet

Of course, it's all very well to have a lot of witty attachments, if you follow my train of thought, but in many ways Miso's one prim stick lady is the perfect hypergridding avie, because either you see all of her or none, apart from the tag. Dressing up as Ohur Lady of the Hyperverse complete with portable banline is great, but there was never any question of all this junk making the first jump.
Miso invades my personal space

Organizing the safari is a crap game, you never can tell if, when people say 'bring your group here any time', they really know what they are letting themselves in for. 
          Sim Valley is a Netherlands based grid, John Silver is the manager. His inworld profile is a little bit scary, but in person he is charming, so it was a shame that neither he nor any of the other Valley people seemed to be online to tell us about their home which, if memory serves me (since Chat Log refuses to do so) has some pretty sweet offers: free land for residents, and accommodation made to artists or builders who want to import big projects. 
          The actual grid is rather more homespun than the photos on their website suggest, but it is cute.  There were probably about twelve or thirteen of us at that point, and chaos reigned as we attempted to explore two regions, the Plaza area, with its internal tp portals and shops, and Niva's Avatar sim. It is very hard to communicate when half the company is frozen in TP limbo, or wandering around on a sim they cannot see, or appear to be offline. Without Radar, the Safari would never work. 
             This is Niva's Avatar sim. We seemed to spend most of our time trying to make the tp machine work, rather than admiring the sunlight through the leaves and I blame the fact that the ikrans aren't rideable at present. That would have been fun.
            Over the past ten days, when logging into Metropolis, I have been getting a lot of 'unable to rez' blue boxes. Inventory items take a long time to show up, and the buildings on my home sim Outlands take a good two minutes to load. This is all a bit worrying, because the same thing happened in the weeks leading up to OSGrid's demise.
          Crashing and failing to rez your surroundings on a sim where there is little to do but take photos gets boring quite quickly, so we moved on to Francogrid where SSM, Gill, Cendres, Jean and Cherry Manga were all there to meet us on Terra Mater, Cherry's gallery workshop. Cherry uses Francogrid to plan out sim sized builds that she generally imports into SL. The space and privacy of open sim, not to mention the free uploads, make it the ideal home for anyone with a passion for creation and an eye for detail. 
Photo by Fuschia

          You can get every texture and mesh just right without spending a fortune. This horror house full of noise and mesh and altered-state furniture and figures is a case in point. It is mesmerizing, haunting, and oddly interactive, though in reality I don't remember there being even one sit pose anywhere. 
Cendres Magic: welcome to safari group
Wizard Gynoid: Cherry is one of my favorite creators
Art Blue: Cherry is one of my most favorite creators!
PatriciaAnne Daviau: agreed 
Cherry Manga: wow stop that please
Cherry Manga: blushing
Wizard Gynoid: woot i walked thru the wall
Cherry Manga: wiz, you're a wizard *facepalm*
Art Blue: i like the room concept and the repeating sound
Cherry Manga: oh yes, some parts were used by me and others for metabody , Art
Apmel Metropolison: you lost your bra Thirza
Ariadni.Afarensis: I was here already
Thirza Ember: yeah, I was trying to make apmel feel better about earlier
Art Blue: there is butterfly
Wizard Gynoid: Apmel give Thirza's bra back
Art Blue: has a strong contrast to the room
Korgi.Silvercloud: ahh this looks very neat
Apmel Metropolison: nice of you
Cherry Manga: brb feel free to wander ;)
Unadecal.Arado: weird
Apmel Metropolison: I've walked around this installation in SL dressed in women clothes
Cherry Manga: ahahah yes, i remember
Thirza Ember: that does not surprise me
Art Blue: the sound creates the atmosphere
Cherry Manga: yep
Art Blue: who made the sound?
Cherry Manga: I played the musician, torturing some cocorosie
Korgi.Silvercloud: very impressive
Miso Susanowa: \o/ cocorosie!  they are fantastic! Nara, your hair is eating your face :D
Nara Malone: laughing thanks Miso
Miso Susanowa: :D at least when my attachment doesn't attach, I am invisible
Fushia: 'must remember to get some tuna for the cat'

          Cherry uses a lot of sound clips in her work that add to the spooky feel, and even though they were builds most of us have seen before, it was lovely to go back and revisit, and fun to mess about on the Red Riding Hood build too. 
Cendres, left, looks on with ever smiling disgust.

This is us all sitting on Lil Red. We like to sit on stuff, it is a Safari tradition.
Fuschia Nightfire: oh dear, i have probably come to the wrong place... don't granny get eaten?
Cherry Manga: no granny in this ;)
Unadecal.Arado: interesting
Wizardoz Chrome: bellissimooo
Apmel Metropolison: this is great! I could live here
Fuschia Nightfire: me too!
Wizard Gynoid: this would make a nice Gothic Dance Club
Miso Susanowa: Thirza is wearing a wolf
Wizard Gynoid: the floor is the moon
Fuschia Nightfire: that's cos she is being SaveMe oh today, living dangerously
Wizard Gynoid: lol wolf pile!
...now I herd everything.
Fuschia Nightfire: granny mounts the wolf
Apmel Metropolison: go for it granny
Thirza Ember: that is the alternative story
Wizard Gynoid: I hope somebody is getting pics. This is prolly not the sculpture Cherry had in mind.
          Francogrid dealt with the sudden influx of ten or fifteen people without missing a beat. They have got it going on, and if you're thinking about sticking a toe in open sim, like imaginative avatars a cut above the rest, and don't mind being in a place where English is not the first language, this could be the grid for you.  
             Third stop was Roddie Macchi's Great Canadian Grid. Ladyjo Martineeqe sent me the landmark, she is currently working on a Halloween sim over there. Roddie's high quality build began life in SL. There is not a huge amount here yet, but the cabin suggests whatever they do make is going to be very good looking. 
Art Blue: great canadian grid
Art Blue: never heard
Apmel Metropolison: where is the nearest hockey arena?
Korgi.Silvercloud breathes in the fresh crisp maple syrup scented air
Thirza Ember: it is still very small but the cabin is cute
Fuschia Nightfire: is there a bar here?
Thirza Ember: and now you're IN CANADAAAA
Art Blue: small is good
PatriciaAnne Daviau: yay!
Miso Susanowa: wow, those Canadians sure know how to build a clubhouse.
         There was much discussion about whether anyone other than Bryn Oh actually lives in Canada, apparently the answer is yes.
           Odd how some people's hair sometimes shows up, sometimes doesn't. Must be to do with that suitcase thing Nara Malone is always mentioning. I was hoping Roddie or possibly Ladyjo would show up but they must have been busy elsewhere, after all. No problem, we talked among ourselves instead. 
Thank gosh for my gotch

Apmel Metropolison: I was over at the Free Mall and picked up something..but it never made it to my inv
Korgi.Silvercloud: yeah nothing from this grid will. The GcG has the ability to take items from here out of the grid turned off.
           So scratch this grid from my list of Good Shopping Places. Noticing that they have their own currency, the Maple, got me thinking.
Thirza Ember: hands up who thinks a commercial grid can survive in open sim
Korgi.Silvercloud raises hand
Apmel Metropolison: I would raise my hand but...
Art Blue: commercial grid .... as long as there are reliable non-commerce, no chance ... but there are mixed offers
Unadecal.Arado: Inworldz is a commercial sim
Thirza Ember: yeah but that is not really 'open sim' is it? or is it?
Miso Susanowa: no Thirza, they forked long ago
Art Blue: you pay little money for getting a sim and you have no management duties on your shoulders
Thirza Ember: you can't always rely on free grids, but at least there is no money investment only time
Apmel Metropolison: time is money
Miso Susanowa: ... the example of OSGrid recently
Wizard Gynoid: everybody knows that OSGRid is installing their replacement drives?
Alle Zeb: OSGrid is so sad
Miso Susanowa: yup
Korgi.Silvercloud eye twitches
Unadecal.Arado: yes, I was going to say.
Unadecal.Arado: so... is OSGrid going to survive?
Ariadni.Afarensis: Will they restore the data
Miso Susanowa: and if they can't, all assets will be lost. Even if they CAN... assets will be lost
Unadecal.Arado: Most people seem to have jumped ship
Miso Susanowa: it did concern me that they had no backups
Miso Susanowa: people like Lani Global must be upset
Ariadni.Afarensis: Many of us were backed
Wizard Gynoid: Lani has all her stuff backed up she can be running in an hour
Unadecal.Arado: backing up a large database to an acceptable standard is not easy, or cheap
Korgi.Silvercloud: I sort of see this as a positive. it has increased traffic in numerous other grids, and I think opensim development in various areas has increased as well in general. Sure it is unfortunate that the first opensim based world is down...but for the most part everyone seems to have moved on by now.

        Safari hasn't jumped ship, we will be glad to return to OSGrid to meet and visit sims if and when that is possible. We were never limited to one grid in the first place. As for losing inventory, anything that was full perms and worth saving, I had saved, or at least I know someone who can give me another copy. How you set permissions is a window on your mind. It's true that people forget to alter permissions when they make something, and that's sometimes why perms are not granted, and I can understand what motivates people with stores to make their stuff either No Copy or No Transfer, but No Modify - especially when it is backed up by a notice shrieking about the Creator's Rights - suggests a meanness of spirit and control issues that are unappealing, not to mention a lack of understanding. Dude, if someone wants to 'steal' your item, they are going to bot it, whatever Notecard or Texture you put in the box. And however well-built your item is, I can live without it. Especially no mod scripts. They are the pits.
          Our discussion degenerated into a game of rocking chair dodgems. You can make it all the way upstairs on your wearable rocking chair, in the Great Canadian Cabin.
          And so to bed. 
Oh, now you're just copying Wizzy!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Safari Animals

W. Gynoid in "Hippo dreams"
        It was a beast of a Safari this time, and not just because it was 'bring your your own sheep' week. 
 F. Nightfire as "SaveMe Ewe"
          Outlands was awash (make that ahandwash only - do not dry clean) with  pure new wool, much of it in particle form. FYI if you are in need of a good sheep particle, one is available at the clubhouse on Outlands sim, Metropolis. No questions asked.
Bopeep Caught on Safaricam
        To describe the Safaristas as a loose group is to put it mildly. People come and go over the three hours, and if you're thinking - 'three hours, how can you possibly fill so much time with just a couple of Open Sim destinations - there's nothing out there but empty regions' then boy, you know nothing about Open Sim. The time flies by in an intense whirlwind of tp's, rezzing, jokes, welcoming speeches, missing skirts, IMs saying 'Lost!', freebies, more jokes, art, tales of love and loss, hair, special effects, and more jokes. We cater for a worldwide membership from as far afield as Alaska, Poland, or South America.
Outlands dock. Vegas rule applies here.

        We only plan to go to three places each week, but it is a hilarious odyssey that nothing in SL can compare to. Because grid jumping can be difficult, there is a warm human element to our adventure, as we go back and look for each other, try to help newcomers and in the process make new friends, getting to know one another on a level you never experience at some SL vernissage or music concert where you almost don't dare IM someone you don't know.  Drama queens, creepy types and lotharios don't have the stamina to keep up with us, which makes them the moss and us, I guess, the rolling stones. Or in some cases quite possibly the rolling stoned. Naming no names.
Dolma's Dolphins

           First stop, Dolma Dollinger's grid, DWGrid (HG Addresses or URIs at the end of the post) which is a classic example of how different the experience of gridjumpnig is when you have an interested party in your party, if you see what I mean. You might jump to DW and just think it is 9 sims with not much more than some palm trees and a little oriental architecture, but that is just the arrival point. Dolma has a whole bunch of other regions, is experimenting and building all the time. Like so many in open sim, her virtual life flows between SL and other virtual worlds, and it shows in the sophistication of her style.
          Experimenting with bigger regions is part of the fun, too, but her attention to detail is also a hallmark, and she has a collection of really lovely buildings, some by Arcadia Asylum, some by others, that show off the quality available in making fantasies come true in the open worlds.
sim Water on DWGrid
        There was loads to see, way more than we could handle with all our safari chaos, the attachment patch did not seem to be working for us on Dolma's grid, so it was more than newbies that were going astray. Chanteuse Truelie Telling joined us for her first Safari and mocked my lack of feet. She has no idea, does she. It would have been great to stay longer, and we will definitely be returning to play in Dolma's backyard soon, either all together or by ourselves.
Rezzin' on DWGrid. Hair and feet optional for many.
Miso Susanowa: Today was a bad start for the Safari, Dolma. I will come back to explore.
Dolma Dollinger: Well you haven't seen all but that's OK. I am amazed my connection holds 15 people so well. 
          We were due at Art Blue's place for a special performance, so we had to go, and Dolma tagged along, one has to wonder if she knew what she was getting involved in. I don't think any of us did.
PatriciaAnne externalizes the group impression of the event
          So, I won't lie to you, it is a bit of a blur. First there was the waiting area, which was in the zoo.
James.AtLLOUD @grid.kitely.com:8002: zOMG we are in a giant hand!
        OK yes, first we were on a giant hand, and then we were in a zoo. A marshaling point. When Landmarks don't work, and the map doesn't work, we send tp's and that often does the trick. It is hypergrid mountaineering and the cord that holds us together is our Friend list. 
Wizard Gynoid: there's miso and Thirza
Organum Hiatus: HUGGZs its Miso
Fuschia Nightfire: going to try to get my sheep back later
Nara Malone: he can't have mine...scoots them closer
harry jon: i see a dragon
Alle Zeb: WB Miso
Truelie Telling: now you see him now you don't
Miso Susanowa: ty Alle
PatriciaAnne Daviau: yay I can see Miso again!
harry jon: first time i see so many people in one place in metropolis grid
Nara Malone: Thirza :)
Jessica.Pixel @os.liftedpixel.net:9000: haha, so this is a people zoo, keeps the people in and the animals out?
harry jon: it's nice
Organum Hiatus: waves to Miso. Look so many arrive...fine day!
Art Blue shouts: bitte alle zum großen käfig kommen
Miso Susanowa: I can finally see your av, Jessica!
Art Blue shouts: come to the big cage!
Alle Zeb needs a translator
Truelie Telling: there's 26 here!
Organum Hiatus: GOOD
           That's five bucks I owe Wizzy who said all along that Art was German.
 Art Blue shouts: take a seat: PatriciaAnne is flight attendant, Qnav What and I ... so the first seat is taken
Art shouting
Wizard Gynoid: Stewardess! I would like a drink over here!
Thirza Ember: i need a bottle
Tina Bey (es -> en): they already took all the wine!
PatriciaAnne Daviau shouts: come join me!!  grab a chair!!
Fuschia Nightfire: glad to get my head out of Thirza's skirts
Alle Zeb: lol
Art Blue shouts: now take a seat hurry!
Miso Susanowa: good thing there were no sheep farts...
Fuschia Nightfire: yeah lucky. 
Wizard Gynoid: Good thing i have no fart gestures
Qnav What shouts: Just 7 seats left, I would hurry up to see everything fine ;)
Alle Zeb saw a tiger fly by and a pig after it
Wizard Gynoid: pigs and tigers don't fly, silly.
Thirza Ember: not together anyway 
Alle Zeb cough I saw it I did
Wizard Gynoid waits for lift-off

Director shouts: Welcome dear Audience. I skip the personal welcome babble that all politicians do when the most important guests are addressed in person at the beginning. We would sit here for hours if I would greet all of high rank and of noble born caste in person. So I say: we are all artists, some don’t know they are, some will even deny they are, but all of the 21 sitting here will be noticed in time. That they have been the first passing the barrier and stayed alive...
          And after that it was a blur of lights, and a volcano, and some monks, and Faust, and stuff like that. 
ChapTer Kronfeld looks like he is enjoying this a little bit too much
          Luckily Art is going to do a second show on Sunday September 28th, so you can see for yourself! Look for Ervare Farroretre or Art Blue in Facebook and Google+ to get the details of the event. And the Retrospective (2008-11) of Bryn Oh's art "A Room for Ferrisquito" is visitable anytime on sim Rift Horizon, Metropolis Grid. 
Bryn: "Is it over?"     With Faust, it's never over.

         Just as we were recovering from a sim kick,  Bryn Oh arrived and confessed to having given Art the 'Annoying Light' particle we had all been admiring earlier. It occurred to me that visiting your own retrospective out in open sim must be a surreal experience, but then I looked at Bryn's avie. She can handle surreal.
          It was getting late, and we still had Cataplexia Number's ArtSpeak cafe to visit! 
Cataplexia Numbers

          Cat's is one of the few commercial regions in open sim, so a bit of a rarity. It gets confusing because the Kitely folk want you to call their regions 'worlds' where for open sim, a 'world' is an independent grid, with its own asset server, owner, possibly currency, and idiosyncatic ToS. To call a region, however large, a 'world' is like me talking about my town as if it were a country. Let's hope they stop doing that, because it is irritating.         
          This is the third branch of Cat's business, she does all kinds of romantic things like wedding cakes, ice cream, as well as furniture, shoes, textures and more. We borrowed the Wedding Poseballs for a group shot. Although with our hands together like that, it might work for a Slave marketplace too. just sayin'. 
Miso is a sticklady

Cataplexia.Numbers: Hi Thirza GTSY.
Wizard Gynoid: yes, Thirza's last name is Gutsy
Cataplexia.Numbers: you have to be to venture into all these places in a bo peep dress.
Fuschia Nightfire: I don't know what is braver, to be Bo Peep or to be SaveMe Oh. We swap next time Thirza. 
Wizard Gynoid: Fuschia you should put SMOH in a freebie box at the Clubhouse
Fuschia Nightfire: yes i will do that,  i think everyone should be given the chance to be SMO
Serene Jewell: Greetings Safarians
         Our numbers were down, but still not bad, six or seven of us, thinking back to the first weeks where we were usually only 3 before we had reached our final destination, if we reached it at all. But then some friends showed up late, like Minethere Always and Serene Jewell in rare human form.
Thirza Ember: what a gorgeous shop
Cataplexia.Numbers: all 4 sims are the store
Fuschia Nightfire: how many grids are you on now Cat?
Cataplexia.Numbers: stores on 3 grids, SL and InWorldz
Fuschia Nightfire: oh i didn't know you had stores on SL!
Cataplexia.Numbers: just Marketplace now -  about 500 items between Mike and I. As I mentioned, this is one of the more rare commercial sims, but also theres a gallery and cafe here, both called ArtSpeak, and there will be everything from Live music to open mic readings of poetrey and stories, DJs etc. Art throughout the cafe, and above it a full art gallery. You can grab food from the food court to enjoy at the cafe. I i still have scripting to do on a lot of the food,that's why most is not for sale yet. There is The Cat's Meow (fashion and shoes) and Textures by Numbers that has not only textures but full perm mesh for builders, sculpt and mesh kits etc. 
          I wondered how she rates Kitely for sales. It is early days, of course.
 Cataplexia.Numbers: I think sales wise, its not too promising....will be better as i get more on [Kitely] marketplace but I LOVE being here and being able to hypergrid is awesome.
PatriciaAnne Daviau: agreed...
Minethere Always: hg is wootnessified
Tina Bey: todo cuesta dinero aqui, verdad? (es -> en): everything costs money here, right?
Cataplexia.Numbers: yes Tina though I will give you your favorite piece of art.
Tina Bey: ahh el helado es gratis? (es -> en): is ahh ice cream free?
Cataplexia.Numbers: yes
Minethere Always: oooo
Cataplexia.Numbers: click on it for a menu
Minethere Always: rocky road??
          Isn't it every week for the Safari animals?

Dolma Dollinger's Grid:   dwgrid.nl:8002
Art Blue's region:  hypergrid.org:8002:Rift Horizon
Cataplexia's Alternative Metaverse : grid.kitely.com:8002:Alternative Metaverse

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Big Cat Safari

         First off, the nudity was all Nara Malone's fault.
        This week Safari (which meets every Wednesday at 12 noon PDT on sim Outlands, Metropolis Grid) was accused of being a bunch of cat ladies by SLave Me Oh.
          Of course, those who doesn't follow Safari on Facebook had no idea why we were all kitted out this way, but this being Safari, they didn't bother to ask. If you are curious, well, go look here.
          We have been adding stuff to the sim this week, including hypergrid LMs to freebie shops (in the Vulture on the dock) all kinds of stupid animations, like the crocodile ride
Hah! That's the last time Pathfinder will click on a crocodile.
...and a number of giveaways, so drop in at Outlands if you'd like, even if you can't make the event.
          And it was an event, this week, a Big Art day in every sense. In terms of the combination of art destinations, probably the most mindblowing safari yet. This was the lineup. 
(Tip: you log in to your hypergrid-enabled grid of choice, Open your Map, copy the URI into the Search box, hit Search, then when the location has been found, Teleport.)
     Destination 1 Wunderland in Metropolis hypergrid.org:8002:Wunderland
     Destination 2 Aire Mille Flux  grid.aire-mille-flux.org:8002
     Destination 3 New Genres Grid hg.ngrid.0rg:8002
            It feels wrong to give up the secret of Brenda Geissen's Wunderland, but come to think of it, mere words cannot touch the magic of this cluttered, old fashioned bedroom with animals and books and snow globes and a box of chocolates and a couple of dozen other things. 
        It is a masterclass in three dimensional art, a symphony of proportionality.
Kiss the cat.
          All these conventional, real-world reconstructions, the bed, the bookcase, the photo album, they come together to form colossal abstractions in the mind of the viewer in a way ... well, you have to go and see it. 
Brenda Geissen: ich hoffe es hat allen spass gemacht und die sim hat durchgehalten. :-)
          For the longest time, everyone on safari went quiet, I think we were all trying to come to terms with how it might be filmed, - photos can barely express the feeling of the place - and just enjoying the pure fun of it. Brenda's genius is in making it so interactive. We might have stayed here for the whole safari, but it was just the beginning...
          Off to Aire Mille Flux When you read that name, what image does it conjure? Something airy perhaps, even though Google translate says not. But AMF is exactly like that - an airy, beachy, bright and wonderful grid run by Marc Moana (aka Marc Blieux) who welcomed us in person.
 Marc Moana: j'utilise un traducteur automatique alors il y a peut être des phrases qui seront un peu étranges parfais : )
Marc Moana (fr -> en): I use an automatic translator then there may be sentences that will be a little strange perfect:)
Marc Moana: parfois*
Marc Moana (fr -> en): sometimes *.
Marc Moana: We are a non profit French Oganzation, We also have a RL place, in the centre of the France. We were the first French association coming in Second Life in 1996, but it has become too expensive and we wanted to have our own server, because we work with schools. It is a grid exclusively dedicated to art, there are about 50 artists represented here.
James.AtLLOUD @grid.kitely.com:8002: Marc, are all artists also educators?
Marc Moana: No, they are artists coming from all countries and many are professionals. Some came with us from Second Life when we left.
classy cat lady meets trashy cat lady
        Also on hand to welcome us, artist Simotron Aquila. Apparently she also got the memo. Aire grid is a delight to navigate, the tp boards are easy to find and use. We went to Quantic to the charming floating islands (Marc's Source des Espoirs is about water pollution) with sounds and icecream and some poses. You can never have too many poses, guys. Just saying.
          We also went to Ecologia which is where Simotron Aquila has an installation 'My Beautiful Nightmare'. 
              A sparse space, the install is a curious theatrical meditation on the concept of place-no place, with the figure of the Moving House animating the deep ideas she is espressing (Moving House avie is very cute too). 
Simotron Aquila: A theater without actors is the stage for a representation of our relationships with objects: how our presence can define the identy of a place and how a place is part of our own identity.
          Visit Ecologia while you're on Aire; there is more to see and read on the install, some elegantly expressed notions here. It is particularly pertinent to the Safari experience, for, having visited these grids alone, and then in a group, it is undeniable that the places (and we ourselves) come alive in a completely different way.
        And onwards, to meet up with the legendary Alpha Auer, a Second Life star and one of the brilliant artists who make New Genres Grid such a fantastic place to visit. Marc Moana and Simotron Aquila joined us too! Alpha is really designer and academic Elif Ayiter from Istanbul (how cool is that!) and on New Genres Grid she is called FeliX Ringtail but I am just going to use Alpha because that is the name we all know best.
Alpha Auer: NGrid was started in 2011 by MosMax Hax from SL and it was (and still is) primarily an educational grid that belongs to the University of Fine Arts in Zurich, where Max teaches new media art, so 90% of the sim is full of student's work. In the begining Max used to have more personal work scattered around but he has not been here very much over the past year or so nowadays all his own work is collected on this one sim called Max. If you search on the map you you will see it, and I think this is the place we should start from because his work is spectacular.
          And this is where it happened.
          Like everyone else, I could see  my own attachments, but nobody else could. I was listening, sure, but I was also messing with my appearance. A certain Nara Malone had told me that by creating an Outfit and putting it into my Suitcase, I would not lose all my attachments. Yet here they were gone, so I tried taking them off and putting them back on again, and suddenly it was all gone. Not only the attachments, also the baked clothes. Everyone was focussed on Alpha (aka Ringtail) and on grabbing the many goodies at the store on Ubik sim, so I thought I might get away with it. No.
Miso Susanowa: Thirza is in her rezzday suit :O
Wizzy and Fuschia both asked what I was playing at, in IM as I frantically tried wearing all kinds of clothing, to no effect. Thank goodness there was a gentleman present.
Alex.Zed: Unfortunatelly I see you dressed.
          Well, so he says. i am still waiting for the blackmail letters to appear.
We soon forgot about all that when they saw the colossal art on sim Max.
I notice PatriciaAnne Daviau had no such attachment problems. Must ask her what her secret is...
 From sim Max we went to Alpha's sim Shapeshifter. 
Alpha Auer: Please set it to what i have written here, otherwise it looks all wrong, it has to be red, and then follow me. Torley sunset, brouhatta charme. I always build for a certain light. I mean I set light before I build.
Think she is kidding? Here it is with any old light:

and here it is with her chosen setting:
          This is what makes Safari so much fun for me. When the artists and owners are there to help us get the right settings, to give us the background story, when as a group - I almost wrote family - we are together messing about but also learning a lot about new opportunities for networking and cross pollinating our enthusiasm for the virtual environment, this is what makes visiting new grids worth any hassles with lag or organization. Although, thanks to the thoughtfulness of our hosts, the grids had been restarted and were in tip top shape.

          Alpha's build is breathtakingly beautiful, full of rich sparkling dreamy warmth. Being part of the group, we could rez the poseballs available at the free shop on Ubik, and take photos. That is sort of the idea. 
          It was starting to get late in Europe. Three hours is a long safari, but this one was so intensely interesting, it seemed like a few minutes only. 
Alpha had more to show us. Blueprint City.
Alpha Auer: You may already know it from SL, but the one here is nicer I think; there is a light for this one too. Torley sunrise cobraring1. What we have here (which we dont have in the one in SL) is the mosque, the whole idea of this city is that every religion is here -and then i come from the city of mosques. Not that I am competing of course. The mosques are famous there is a whole skyline wait let me find a picture url for you
John Sheppard: do you have a pagan/wiccan area or for druids?
Alpha Auer: I have a pagan area all to itself. I guess this pavillion here is a pagan sort of place. We can now go underwater, it is called 20 Below, and that is sort of the official pagan place. View it in Analu Outdoor City. 
Wizzy going 20 below.
Alpha Auer: I made a lot of pictures at this level, if you want to see them.
It was getting really late here in Europe. It had been an unbelievably engaging trip, but Thursday was looming, and many of us had to go. 
Alpha Auer: Let me take you to one more place which is kinda out of the way and then i will leave you to it so we now go to Pessoa's Tower
          You have to fly up the middle of the tower to get the special effects. Too late for me to try it, but the party went on. This was the last thing I heard.
PatriciaAnne Daviau: Wow! that's amazing!