A perfect sea urchin

A Second Life

This area belongs to Iyoba, my favorite avie from Second Life and me. We share our thoughts here and discuss our adventures in the metaverse. To return to the main blog page, just click here.

The End of the Year Fashion Photo Shoot

One of my most poignant, early Second Life memories was visiting a store where a beautiful black and white suit hung in the window. I was amazed at the tailoring. Printed clothes are still fairly rare in Second Life, and I loved them. I loved this suit, though I knew it was beyond my means and probably would not fit my avie. Besides both she and I wanted something more colorful. We also wanted to learn to make our own clothes. Our secret goal was to be as good as Indra Bekker, who may or may not even be in world any more. "Indra Bekker eat your heart out!" became our rallying cry and goal.

Of course time and circumstances intervened, namely weather issues. Some time in December, Second Life turns from a hot, arid, flat desert to a freezing cold tundra where the palm trees and tropical plants miraculously survive frosts and avatarim freeze. When Iyoba freezes, I shiver. Clearly we had to do something about this dire situation, so both last winter and this winter, I made Iyoba both sweaters and winter dresses. The winter dresses are always in two lengths, an above the knee style for going to clubs, and a long style which I use mainly for working our volunteer gig. Both the long and short versions of each dress are entirely work safe.

Spice Seller Kente club dress I've been able to prove that with a little imagination, work safe fashion, in Second Life can be feminine, and fun, and not stifling of fantasy. What better fantasy after all is there, than being one's own fashion designer. Kente cloth has long been a part of Iyoba's wardrobe. I admire, both the bright colors and geometric pattern. Even a beginner can turn out interesting and eye-catching kente with GIMP. The dress is a turtle neck with an extra prim attachment for the high collar. I took this picture at the Hot Lanta lounge in North Farthing. This is way up in the sky, but you would never know it since the neighborhood is an entirely enclosed sky box.

Seaside Spectacular club dress This is a dress I made last year. I like it because of all the detail. It is a painted dress rather than one that uses patterned cloth. This allows for a seamless design. I also like the chartreuse and moss green color scheme. Everything does not have to be black. The nautillus shells and sea urchins used for a painted pattern are surprizingly detailed and placed strategically on the front and the back. I also took this picture just outside Hot Lanta in Northfarthing. This shot is on the roof of the club.

Winter White Wedding Gown I have a friend who partnered, married, and then divorced. He also a set of neko hybrid triplets. He needed to find a reasonably priced or unreasonably priced wedding gown. I thought he should make the gown, but clothes aren't his thing. They are mine and Iyoba's. We put our heads together and came up with this winter white creation. Yes, that's white on white. Yes, it's painted, and yes, those are paperwhite narcissus, the quintessential winter flower. The dress is knitted like a sweater and long sleeved for warmth. Remember this is winter. I took this picture at the Berkman Sandbox.

Roll with the Punches club dress Dark green dresses often seem too close to black, but this one escapes that fate with a spinach roll motif. This is a painted dress, to keep it seamless. The collar is a double layer in GIMP that I merged to get the silky light, green effect, and yes I used the same template as the seaside dress but with a different color scheme and fabric. I shot this picture on the bridge near the Berkman Sandbox.

Junco gown Juncos are little birds that do not fly south for the winter, and the cream color birds silk screened on to this scarlet gown are juncos. I took this photograph at my own land, Stinky Stinky, on Imperia Corp I. The tree in the background is a cacao tree that I also made. I make vegetation when I am not making clothes.

It's turnip time for a gown Don't ask me how the sumac in the background of this shot survived the winter. Turnips last in storage all winter long, and provide the theme for this scrunchy, turtle neck, and scrunchy waisted gown. The fabric is a continuous print similar to RJR Fabrics Farmer's Market prints. The gown is exceedingly modest and fun to wear for work. Think of the maxi dresses in the 1970's. I took this photograph on what was left of the Learning Curve at Info Island International, which may no longer exist by the time you read this blog.

Rock hopper gown Finally, we have the rock hopper gown. Rock hoppers are a slang name for hyraxes, little mammals related to the elephant. It was fairly easy to turn some clip art into a paintable design. The dress is a knit, and the bicolor bodice lends a tailored touch that makes it right for both work and formal occasions. The golden yellow color is fairly unusual in Second Life. I took this picture at the Computer Think exhibit on EduIsland.

Well that's it. I hope you go out and get your own GIMP and your own clothing mesh and try making your own clothes. Remember clothes start out as textures and it only costs about a nickel to upload each texture to Second Life. Nothing beats being your own fashion designer! Happy New Year in both worlds!

Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba Tarantal -- December 31, 2010

Finding Our Place

Sorry, this is not a photo shoot. Iyoba and I were taking pictures like crazy the other day, but neither of us can spseak about it on this blog. Instead, I want to discuss something I just noticed. Two weeks ago, Iyoba and I saw our first single named avatarim, though they have been rolling them out since November 20. I scratched my head. The newbies we saw were motly libary school students up at Info Island. Otherwise, I still simply don't see any newbies. I put down some of this phenomenon to turtling. To farm turtles or any breedable, requires land. To own land means a long time committment which often goes hand in hand with a long term commitment in world.

This, however, really doesn't explain the fact that it had taken us about three weeks to see our first one-named newbie. Last night, Iyoba went dancing at Mojo Heaven, a club run by the Hy On Blues group which she joined as a newbie. There were no single named avatarim to be seen. A few nights earlier, Iyoba went dancing at Club XxesS. The results were the same. Iyoba hasn't been around a non-adult infohub in a while. If shse went skiing at Wengens things might be different but she has skied and skated at Wolf Mountain and Niseko Annapurni (formerly Niseko Hirafu). As a result, you can guess by now, no newbies.

What this means in a sort of convoluted way is that Iyoba and I have found our places in Second Life. I know that except for the turtling, very little of what we did was intentional. I did not wake up on May 14, 2008 and decide: "Iyoba and I need to find our place in Second Life." If I had been rational I would have given up and said we don't have the computing power. In fact, for that first year most of our access tio Second Life was in eight minute segments due to frequent crashes. I still made clothes and uploaded the textures for them, read the forums, read anything I could find.

And, I didn't worry about finding a place. Instead, I learned to build which was important, and I explored. I did lots of just walking around until the crash set in. I also came in world with masterful search abilities, and the search engine, world map, and teleport were my best friends. If I wanted something, I knew how to search for it. Was there a Cornell related group in world? Were there Christian sims (I'm Jewish but Christians tend to run more conservative worlds). Is there a place I can try camping?

I began to make all sorts of discoveries. Eternal Creation, a Christian island offered a nice dance hall, a quiet sandbox, and even an ice skating rink one winter. The sandbox remains to this day. Ilha Bella Gommorah offered camping, which did not work with my crumby connection, and a mall with activities which was fun to explore, and best of all contact with Brasilian DJ's and an entrance into the Brasilian club scene. A search for Natchez revealed Hy On Blues. I found Club XxesS through a DJ who was playing at another club. Gradually my Second existence filled with reliable places to go and additional places I found accidentally.

I learned about turtles by finding the Turtle Exchange and market within walking distance of my property in Hartley. I found Hobo Island by exploring the sims around NMC where I first cut my teeth. The process did not require a lot of chat. I was frequently unable to chat because it hastened machine crashes. It did not require sound. It required using my general knowledge to fuel searches which in turn put me in contact with new people and new places to explore, and I think this process continues.

I guess all this has to end with some advice. My only advice to one named newbies is search for what interests you. If you don't like something and you're not interested in it, don't spend time there, and don't spend Lindens on it. This is true even if experts tell you that you must have that particular item or if the place is in pics. You'll know what you absolutely have to have when you see it because you will want it. Last night, Iyoba saw some amazing animated livestock. She tracked down their creator and visited the sim where these animals were sold. Iyoba who just windowshops for clothes was utterly thrilled. The livestock were not only realistic, but their primage was reasonable, and they came in varieties suited to a tropical climate. A lot of Second Life is semi-arid and tropical. Holstein cattle which Iyoba saw in the Dutch sims, won't do well. Fortunately, Sculptie Creations has Nandi (Indian cattle), goats, donkeys, tapirs, and other creatures that are designed for Imperia Corp I's climate.

I wouldn't shell out 1,000L for shoes or a gown or realistic skin or hair,(I can make those), or a building. It is possible for me to make one, but when it comes to animals...all bets are off.

Turtles vs. Horses

OK, I still don't understand the fascination with Amaretto Horses. Yes, there are special horses, but most of the horses I see are various shades of brown and grey, though a few are Breast Cancer Awareness pink. Yes, you can ride horses, and you can watch them mate. I've caught my turtles mating, so what. It's kind of fun the first time, but tutles don't always shell bump to mate and have a way of doing it when you are not looking. Horses must take longer. Horses also come in specials, so do turtles, and even nonspecial turtles are unique due to the way that turtles inherit color. Millions of combinations are possible. I don't think there is nearly as much variation with horses.

Worse yet, horses are eleven prims each. Turtles are only five. Horses have to be happy and have a certain level of fervor to mate. Turtles just have to be awake. Of course my objections to horses and my preference for turtles is not just as rational as what I am describing. Part of me is angry because many people dropped turtles and picked up horses when they couldn't get enough cosmic turtles. Let's forget that most cosmic offspring look like identical twins, and cosmics easily become inbred, and face it, there is no free lunch.

But there is something about Amaretto Horses that is very pathetic. At the vast majority of stables and ranches I visit in Second Life, the horses stand or lie in stalls. That's it. Now horses are supposed to jump fences, gallop, rear up, or just trot around. Supposedly one can ride Amaretto horses, but I've never seen any one do it. I've seen avatarim on wearable horses. I've even ridden them myself.

Now one could say, turtles don't move like horses, but no one expects turtles to move particularly fast, and my Petable turtles do their share of walking as far as their homing object will let them. Since I've set their homing object to give them more space than their pen, they routinely escape their pen. Sometimes they bury themselves in eachother. Sometimes they bury themselves in my sleeping cushion. Iyoba likes to sleep next to her turtles. I have yet to see a camp cot set up near any corral or in any stable. I think you get the idea.

I guess I'm not buying or breeding Amaretto Horses any time soon, though I will be getting some nonbreedable animated livestock. I just can't see handling two species of breedables. Breedables require a more or less daily committment. I'm not ready for that.

Eileen H. Kramer with help from Iyoba BatOni (formerly Iyoba Tarantal) -- 12/23/10

Trying to Recover

Grief doesn't have any stages. I'm just trying to keep my five remaining turtles happy. Road not Taken's two eggs by Bethel reappeared and I boxed them and put them in inventory. Some time this spring, I will hatch one of them to mate with new F1's produced by new P1's. This means I will probably replace Road not Taken in a few days. No, he can't ever be replaced, but the new turtle will be either green or brown or a combination of both. I hope it will be a male, though there are no guarantees. I also might hatch out my Fall Special instead.

The problem with hatching the Special is genetics. Nearly all Fall Specials have the same parents. If I hatch a Fall Special, I can't ever hatch a Fall Special descendent in the forseeable future. At least one of my greens and two of my browns do not have the usual breeder which means they have a completely different ancestry. That means their descendents have a near zero chance of consanguinity if mated with other P1s. I can see the ancestry on the Petable HUD in case you are curious. I do not plan to hatch the turtle until after Shabbos, given Second Life staying stable and my rezzed property remaining stable, and no inventory loss.

Meanwhile, I am finding other things to concern me than turtles. I changed my avie into a dress I made for her last year (Someone made a very bad remark about the dress, but I really liked all the tailoring.) I put her in thigh highs and closed toed shoes, because there was snow on Marco Island. Then I took her dancing at the Savoy. I think it was good for both Iyoba and me to have her dance. I did use the club a bit too instrumentally, but being in and out was better than not being there at all, and I had to cook. Our next project is something to do with either tumeric, long pepper, or amaryllis. These projects aren't mutually exclusive. I'll probably have a new dress pattern and at least one new tree or plant and maybe a new hair piece. I might even give something to Yonatanne. She deserves it.

She is lucky to have a last name by the way. There is now only one last name in Second Life, resident, as of November 20. Yonatanne was born a week before that. Actually, Second Life residents can choose their own custom last names via the Display Name function. Iyoba Tarantal is now Iyoba BatOni except for signin purposes. Two last names are better than one, and Second Life has never had a wide selection of Hebrew names. I don't know if Yonatanne is keeping her last name. That is a good question. Two of my friends have used Display Name to take back their real names. I'm too used to being Iyoba in world. Maybe I don't always think all my thoughts for myself.

Of course I need sandbox time. I want to make one nonturtle neck dress as well as the other new items. The one thing that Iyoba needs that I have no desire to make for her are thigh highs. There are no panty hose in second life. You need the underpants layer for dance pants (also called glitch pants) to go under a skirt. The hose have to be socks. In other words, they need to be thigh highs. Fortunately, thigh highs are easy to make. I probably should make one or two more in off white and off black with just a bit of texture. It sounds like a plan. Too bad, my interests lie elsewhere.

Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba Tarantal -- December 17, 2010

On Losing a Virtual Turtle

His name, and he had a name, was Road not Taken. He had an orange body, a brownish orange shell, and a burgundy carapace. I hatched him on impulse, and being a male, he fit right in with my crew. He was a mate for Shamayith and Bethel who shares a lot of his coloring, but not his ancestry. He even produced glow eggs with Gianna. He was the youngest of my males and one of two P1's. The other is Jurgis who is a green Cosmic Starter, a nearly black turtle with a smooth shell and glowing eyes. My third male is Negev whose father was Lucifer and whose mother was Bernarde. He is an F1. Lucifer, Bernarde, Gianna, Fariel and Orpheus were my four starting turtles. Only Gianna is not retired.

I did not retire Road not Taken. He was instead taken from me. Late last night, after a particularly stressful day and a fairly mindless cooking session in the real life kitchen, I finally got in world and all my turtles were gone. Their pen was gone, and there were eggs. I'd been having wardrobe malfunctions with Viewer 2.4 Beta, but I did not connect it at the time with the composite object in my inventory called Negev. Then it slowly hit. The composite object was in my Lost and Found. Turtles are five prim objects, not composites. I was not even sure that I could rezz Negev, and if the other five turtles were with him. I tried rezzing him and the sim said I did not have permissions. I put on the Petable HUD, a device used to handle turtles, and tried. I got the same results.

I went to the Hobo Sandbox and had success, the turtles appeared. Their pen appeared. A few other objects appeared. I got out empty turtle boxes and started to hurridly box the turtles. I got four of them. One of them slipped through the sand and went to sleep. I put everything, including the boxed turtles back in inventory. I looked around for the two lost turtles, who were Bethel and Road not Taken. I finally gave up. I unboxed, Gianna, Negev, Jurgis, and Shamayith. I had four turtles left. I only had one food bowl. Two food bowls had vanished in the chaos.

I went off to buy more food bowls which weren't that expensive. I put the empty food bowls down and filled them, made sure all the turtles were "homed." and then got out my updater and turtle beacon. I touched it. After two or three tries, Bethel appeared. Only Road not Taken had vanished. I asked the Hobo Sandbox manager to return anything that was mine. I got back some pose balls (more pose balls!) and my donation collector. I did not get back Road not Taken.

I'm still not sure if he is gone for good. Inventory loss, happens in Second Life. Today I lost two of Road not Taken's eggs. I found one in my inventory broken. You need to box Petable Turtle eggs before taking them into inventory. One of Road not Taken's last eggs survived. By the way, he has fathered far more turtles than I can ever hatch. They are all F1s and F2s which means they have consanguinity issues, but turtle eggs keep forever. I will keep Road's legacy alive some time this spring or summer.

And yes, it's only a small thing, but I still feel like crying. Road may have been only pixels on a screen, but I invested emotion in him. I remember how back in late October/early November I was going to hatch out a fall egg. Fall eggs are Specials. That's meant to be capitalized. Fall turtles have lovely red shells, orange bodies, and yellow carapaces. They fit right into my breeding program. They also make big piles of leaves and say they throw acorns at you when you touch them. I looked at my fall and I looked at this other egg, obtained from a random egg dip owned by Shalendra Nightfire. I realized I could hatch this random egg instead. If I didn't it would be the Road not Taken.

Road was a cute baby turtle, and a handsome adult. He fathered glow offspring when I least expected it, not that I am a big fan of glows. He also fathered many burnt orange and brown offspring, odd and pretty tertiary colors. This was especially true when he mated with Shamayith, my Cosmic Earth born of normal parents. Under her Cosmic Earth overlay, Shamayith has a chocolate brown body and carapace and a burgundy colored shell. Road not Taken's last egg is by Shamayith. I named it Heritage Road. And yes, I would have eventually retired Road, but in good time, and a retired turtle is a turtle I can resurrect. Road not Taken is gone forever to me now. Yes, I will miss him. Yes, I did tell his breeder when he fathered his first glow. Yes, he was supecial. I'm glad I took the Road not Taken.

As for a replacement, that has to wait. First, I'm not entirely sure Road is gone. Second, considering what happened to two of Road and Bethel's eggs, I am not going to chance starting a new turtle until the inventory loss and rezzed item loss problem fixes itself. Usually Second Life glitches do self-correct, or Linden Labs corrects them. Maybe it will take a browser update. I need to read the forums and see if other people have suffered the same problems I have in the last forty-eight hours. Losing Road not Taken has reminded me that it is utterly foolhardy and stupid to put your dreams on any one else' server, yet thousands of us at Second Life do just that. And even if it is our own faults, we grieve when we see the results of our foolishness.

Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba Tarantal -- December 16, 2010

The Good and the Ugly

I'll leave out the bad for today. This is your long awaited photo show, and I haven't been on this section of the blog because photo shows take a while to produce. Illumination Library is going away at the end of December. In fact, the whole Information Island International is disappearing. The reasons for this are the same reason that many islands disappear. Community Virtual Libraries or any other sponsoring organization can't pay the rent.

In the case of Info Island International, the landlord let an unpaying tenant of what I estimate is an 8092 (One eighth of a sim), drag down the entire island. The actual tenant lost her Second Life Account. That is because she lives in the People's Republic of China. Enough said. The manager could not afford the rent. All that said, Second Life is about to lose a beautiful build.

Look up the stairs Functionally, the Illumination Library is a building full of mainly Project Gutenburg links, but as this picture of the grand entrance shows, it is a bit more. In fact, it is a lot more. It is serene, elegantly textured, and painstakingly detailed.

Shakespeare's he's in the alley Of course the Illumination Library has links to classics. Here is a portrait of the bard. These pictures help create a reverence for literature.

illuminated manuscript One of the things one quickly learns at Illumination Library is how little one actually knows about literature. This is an illustration for an illuminated manuscript. Don't ask me the story. I studied Canterbury Tales in high school and a bit of Shakespeare, but anything before the Renaissance except for the Bible is pretty much Greek to me.

Stained Glass window And here is a lovely stained glass window. A lot of Medieval literature was church-related, and the historical heritage and the art is clearly part of what helps to understand this literature. This is one of the prettiest pieces of Christian art in Second Life.

Edgar Allan Poe

Thoreau The Illumination Library also offers access to fairly "modern" works, notably Nineteenth Century masters, and American writers such as Thoreau and Poe.

Marx And the Illumination Library does not shy away from controversy. Karl Marx, after all was a Nineteenth Century author whose works changed the world, even if not for the better.

Aztec art

Mola Finally, the Illumination Library offers more than just access to the Western tradition. Above is a manuscript that shows Aztec art and mythology and a mola, sewn by Indians in Central America. I did not look to see if the Illumination Library had any Arabic, African, or Asian works.

I will try to get back there and at least see for myself, even if I don't do another photo shoot. I have two more weeks, and then the Illumination Library will be gone.

in the sandbox at New Berlin Last Friday I made my first AR (abuse report) in Second Life. I never thought I would "AR" anybody, but when Iyoba entered the New New Berlin Sandbox (Yes, it is a new sandbox in New Berlin) she found hundreds of rotating cubes and an irritating siren noise. She had no where to walk, let alone build, and yes you can see whose face is on the blocks.

For some reason, I found the historical image less frightening and offensive than the Jim Crow/antebellum, Texas Antiquities sim. Maybe Jim Crow scares me more because I am American. I know Hitler is dead and gone. I've seen his face many times before in history books. No one was attempting to re-enact Nazi Germany. They were intending to lag the sim, make the sandbox unusable, and leave the Germans who frequent this part of Second Life irritated and unhappy and insulted, with this ugly reminder of their past.

The sandbox hogging was to me the real crime. I don't care if you want to put a Hitler texture on someting. Go for it. It's your object, but when you take up a whole sandbox with your endless field of scripted objects (A script made the cubes rotate and the siren sound), you are abusing your membership and disturbing the peace. I don't know if the Lindens listened to my report or if auto return sent back the hundreds of cubes to their owner. Either way, this "lovely exhibit" is gone. I just have the picture.

Eileen H. Kramer with help from Iyoba BatOni who has a new last name -- December 15, 2010

This Used to be Fun

It wasn't last night. Everything worked. There was no lag. I even managed to come up with a passable design for a hockey jersey. Hey, I love making sports clothes. I have a texture for a soccer jersey for an avie who hangs out at Hihihi Tenk's Free Play Poker Emporium. Yes, I spend time there. The music is good. You get a free prize, and the atmosphere is friendly. The build needs work, and that is an understatement. I avoid the Xyngo machines like the plague, because as my mama taught me long ago, "The house always wins."

I got stuck in the swamp of paper work, and social obligation. Iyoba is her landlord's manager. Walter calls her a secretary. I do more than keep the accounts, I listen to the tenants when they say they have paid and get the word back to Walter. I also word the notice messages to include times when I think the tenant data base is not accurate. That has happened. One has to be gentle when one duns tenants. Iyoba and I both try.

It can still be an ugly business though. Renting in Second Life can be ugly on both sides. Last fall, I got ripped off on a commercial rental to the tune of about three dollars (600 Lindens). It was unpleasant. I wanted to "get" the landlord. I was ready to find anything he had illegally copied and AR him for it. He was squeaky clean and profligate. He was just plain not too bright. Stupidity can be costly. My second rental also worked out badly. I could not landmark my rental space. I gave notice and left.

The third rental (I'd had it with mall stalls) was the famous Rat Tail Sim on Utopia Portugal XVIII which got moved to a 2048 on Imperia Corp I. I nearly gave notice, but then fell in love with my garden site. I need some land. I don't always need a roof over Iyoba's head, but land has many uses. This time my landlord told me I had a pretty build and was a good tenant. He cut my rent and then he halved it when I went to work for him. Money, trust, and friendship meld together in Second Life in the ways they did before modern capitalism.

Unfortunately, working for my favorite landlord, has taught me that it is not just the landlords who can make the renting business ugly. Tenants often refuse to pay. Some are utter moochers who rebuy the land and then refuse to pay time and time again. Others pay once and never pay again. There is no free lunch in Second Life unless you want to devour your fellow avie, but that is not an easy lesson for some people to learn. Other tenants are chronically late. Some go very far into arrears. Some need to be evicted, and eventually are evicted. Others give notice. In the end evictions and notice are all the same, because unrented property costs the landlord money. The landlord him/herself is of course a tenant of Linden Labs. You get the idea. I watched my landlord get ripped off and I think it is happening again.

On top of all this is the fantasy/addictive nature of Second Life. Fantasy is tempting, and the mirror neurons fly whether you want them to or not. This makes Second Life full of not quite rational people. You see this in beautiful builds locked out with ban lines and security orbs (Forget the fact that Second Life is mostly empty so privacy is usually not an issue. Finding peopel is.), and also in the way people handle both time and money. They overextend regularly. This is not only true of ordinary people, but of groups, and even respectable nonprofits. Then they have to give up land, tier down, or in the worst case scenario they abscond.

It hurts to watch this. It sometimes hurts to send the notices and not know if the tenant will listen to them, or whether I'm pestering a tenant who all ready paid. I worry about the stability of all my landlord's holdings. Land like any other commodity, has a way of going begging in Second Life. Competition is fierce. The magic of the market is often colored black, and even when it works, it is brutal.

Iyoba receives half her rent off for working for her landlord in Second Life. She and I are also receiving an invaluable education in Second Life economics. I should be paying Walter, though I prefer the current arrangement. It is a win win, but sometimes....it can ruin an evening's fun in the worst way.

Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba Tarantal -- December 9, 2010

Comings and Goings

Sometimes all you have time for when you get on to SL is taking care of the turtles and sending out notices to tenants. Besides that you are lucky to have a short walk. That was how Iyoba ended up looking for Koblenz and finding it gone. It really is gone. She thought the German part of Second Life was utterly stable, except that they moved the asndbox to New Berlin. How wrong she and I both were. Koblenz is really gone.

We went to New Berlin instead, and Iyoba tried to get into the DDR sim but still couldn't figure out how to do it. This is unfair, since the DDR looks like a fascinating build, fascinating in the same way as the nuclear power plant at Science School II. Some builds are just eerie and creepy without having to rely on the stock elements of horror. I'm sure the DDR is like that.

Meanwhile Iyoba and I discovered a new and orderly German sandbox. She saw a lot of open water on the world map, and in New Berlin, she fell down a manhole and ended up exploring a tunnel that included a subterranean bar, and a swimming area filled with all sorts of junk. It was a humorous place, and one of those cute little secrets, like the hidden chamber at Siggy's water works.

With real life intervening, I haven't had much time for Yonatanne. Iyoba has been sending her clothes, including a formal dress and two pairs of pants. She hasn't had time to login and make the clothes.

Right now both Iyoba and I have serious business to discuss with our favorite landlord. He still is our favorite landlord, though right now it is by default. We are never online at the same time, and I got to see one of his alts. This did not make me feel very happy. I guess both Iyoba and I are straight arrows. I wish I could say more, but I won't. There are thousands of men who share the same fantasy. I guess I just see the world differently or maybe I am not a believer.

Iyoba wants to explore in the Japanese sims. I know we have to return to our surveying project. Perhaps I'll find the time inworld this evening, but that is only a perhaps.

Eileen Kramer with help from Iyoba Tarantal -- December 2, 2010