Thursday, December 31, 2009

First Footing in Second Life Present and Real Life Past

There is a wonderful New Year's tradition in Scotland called "First Footing". It's not exclusive to Scotland mind you, but the Scottish traditions are the ones I was raised on and so those are the ones I follow. There are various components to a First Footer's toolkit, but the basics are this:

  • The first person across your threshold in the New Year signals good or bad luck for the coming year. A tall, dark, handsome man bearing the appropriate gift will signal good luck.
  • The gift is for the household and traditionally the gift is coin (for prosperity), bread (for food), salt (for flavour), coal (for warmth) or whiskey (for good cheer). Whatever the history of the Hogmanay please believe me when I tell you that whiskey is always appropriate. :)

60 years ago tonight my Grandmother and Grandfather were spending their first New Year's Eve in the city of Vancouver, BC. They had recently moved there to be closer to their only child however this meant leaving all of their friends and neighbours behind.

My Grandmother was born and raised in Scotland and emigrated to Canada at the age of 18. She married a man from Darlington (although most people forgave her for this) and they settled in Fort William, Ontario. They lived in a community of Scottish immigrants and maintained the traditions she knew from the old country.

On this night they were feeling quite alone and unhappy because New Year's was a very big deal to them but they couldn't celebrate it as they were accustomed without the people they felt close to. Unbeknownst to them, about 2 miles away was (and is) the Seaforth Armoury, home to the Regimental Headquarters of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada.

The Regiment had a large New Year's Eve party that night and a bit of whiskey may have been consumed. After midnight the party started to break up and a couple of officers decided to walk home (well they weren't feeling the cold I assure you). After walking for a time they split up and one continued on his way.

Around about 1:00 am he had a sudden stroke of genius. It was New Year's Day. He was tall, dark and considered handsome and he just happened to have a bottle of whiskey in his hand. He decided to First Foot somebody. This officer didn't know anybody on the street but he didn't think that was a problem. He chose the first house with the lights shining in the windows, went up to the door and knocked.

Since I'm telling this story, you've probably figured out who was in this particular house. My grandparents heard the knock at the door and went to see who it was. Through the glass in the door my Scottish Grandmother saw a tall, dark Seaforth Highlanders officer in full regalia clutching a bottle of whiskey.

They welcomed him inside, shared a drink and then waved goodbye wishing him a safe journey. They never forgot that night and the wonderful gift of feeling at home they had received.

The lesson our family learned from this is that what you consider a small kindness to a stranger may be much more important to them than you will ever realize. Fate or serendipity may play a hand, but we are the instruments.

The other lesson we learned, of course, is that being Scottish on New Year's Eve is one of the truly great blessings in any life. :)

I wish you all a First Foot by a tall, dark handsome man. I wish you all a New Year filled with prosperity, food, flavour, warmth and good cheer. Most of all, I wish you all a New Year filled with showing kindness to strangers in Second Life and Real Life. You will be repaid in countless ways.

A guid New Year to ane an' a' and mony may ye see


  • The uniform worn in these pictures is a very, very, very rough approximation of the uniform worn by the Seaforth Highlanders. My apologies to all military experts and all members of the Regiment!
  • Ahuva Heliosense gets credit for finding me a label and a whiskey bottle (and Dale Innis gets credit for making the bottle). She also found me the street for my Highlander photos. I consider this opportunity to teach her another tradition to be my repayment. :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Happy New Year Cozy!

Announcing Santa Cozy's New Year cousin! He will deliver your personal message and a hug to your loved one for a special low price - visit him at Drama Dolls on Taylor Bay.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Linden Homes in Second Life

The Linden Homes are available for viewing on the continent of Nascera. So many bloggers, who are much smarter than me, have been talking about them but I did want to visit. So I started in Ondori which is a Japanese themed region.

Before I tell you my reaction to the whole Linden Homes idea and the builds that are now available to visit, allow me to give you a brief glimpse into my first few days and even months in Second Life. This, after all, forms the basis of my reaction to the idea that the Linden Homes will be the place for new premium members to start off in our world.

When I registered and did a bit of orientation (I gave up trying to bounce the basketball very quickly) I went looking for a "home". Some place that would be safe for me to hunker down while I tried to understand Second Life. "Safe" really was the operative word. I was totally intimidated and didn't know a soul but I was determined to try and figure things out. I just needed a base to work from - someplace I could "hide" if I needed to. Someplace I could make the trillions of mistakes I knew I would commit without being a public laughing stock.

LL gave me L$1200 when I registered and once I found the land sale listings in search I went looking. I know you're laughing but I didn't know any better. The search itself was a miserable experience. First of all I couldn't see anything because it was always dark! I kept going back to one small parcel that insisted it had a great view but it was always midnight so who could tell? I wound up on one parcel and was accosted by somebody telling me I shouldn't buy on the mainland ("there's a mainland"? I thought to myself) and then started talking about rent and tiers and I finally just left.

Eventually I wound up on a 96 sqm parcel (in the dark) and I could see there was a tree next to it. There were also lots of spinning billboards all around with naked women in neon. On the positive side, in addition to the tree there was something called a "Linden Road" on one edge of the parcel. It seemed to me that allowed for at least one direction that was a little open. So I bought it.

I owned that parcel for over 1 year but I added a lot more to it. I also experimented and learned how to build basic (and pretty ugly) things. I didn't do a thing with my avatar for almost 6 months. I had no idea how or what or even that it was important. It was 3 months before I had a real (albeit) brief conversation with a neighbour. But none of that mattered because I had my little area to call mine.

Again, a lot of much smarter people have weighed in on this topic. But for what it's worth, if upon registering Linden Labs had given me:

  • A safe place to use as a home while I learned some basic skills and got to understand how Second Life works;
  • A home in a community with neighbours like me, people I could get to know and share stories and experiences with;
  • All of this in a place which is well built and attractive (trees, flowers, no ugly anything);

I would have been ecstatic! In fact even 2.5 years later, as I wandered around I really really wished poor dumb Honour had had a chance to find her Second Life feet in a Linden Home.

Good on you Jack and the team. Where were you on May 5, 2007 eh?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Second Life Santa Cozy!

There's a special Doll Cozy now just for the Holiday Season - it's Santa! This animated doll will deliver your personal message to a loved one. You can find him for a special low price at the Drama Doll Store on Taylor Bay.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Season in the French Quarter (and more)

The Holiday Season has arrived on the French Quarter! It's gorgeous and fun.....skating and hot chocolate and a very understanding Santa. :) Those of us with shops or homes on the French Quarter are very very lucky to have Von and Harlee Johin as landlords and we know it! I believe there's going to be a concert there on the 18th - make space in your calendars. I'll update you closer to the day. :)

I did a politically correct Happy Holidays card this year. Yes it was intended as a fun thing - most people got that. sigh

And finally, as a not so subtle reference to that huge SL Conspiracy I mentioned, my favourite Christmas song.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Music Streams

I accidently got this list in a group chat - I did thank her because I needed it (thank you again Noveen Benoir)! I'm sure there are more but these are the ones I have, so for all of you looking for specific Christmas music streams:

  • Mix Christmas:
  • Big R Radio - Christmas Country:
  • Christmas R&B:
  • Christmas Smooth Jazz:
  • Christmas Celebration:
  • Christmas Rock:
  • Santa's HOHOHO Radio' from Time Capsule Radio:
  • Christmas Old Time Radio - CHRISTMAS SHOWS, Jack Benny, The Shadow, Amos and Andy:
  • Forever Christmas - Christmas Never Sounded So Good:
  • Tinsel & Tunes by Mak McKeehan:
  • Christmas Melody
  • Northpole Radio
  • 1. FM – Always Christmas
  • Play Xmas UK
  • Big R Radio – Christmas Classics
  • Musik.Christmas
  • Big R Radio – Christmas Country

If you have a favourite not on the list please add it in the comments section. And please don't forget Tunes in SL - give a loved one the gift of music and support SL musicians!!!!!