In the Mountains of Alki

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On my way to Alki, I happened to stop by the Lesbian Teahouse (aka The Lesbian Busstop, The Teahole, Teapit etc). As far as I know, every single prim laid there was done so around 2007, making it not only one of the most untouched regions in SL, but also one of the most dated. So imagine my shock and surprised to see that the adjacent “mall” had been removed and a sign erected indicating that there is going to be a “remoddling” (whatever one of those is).

Arriving at Alki (home of Z&A, the everpopular venue owned by Zoidyn and Alana) I decided to take a quick look around as I had never ventured much beyond the club itself. To my surprise there is a whole vista to be seen including a stunning view of mountains and valleys. Guinn joined me and it was a perfect photo opportunity!

Pull yourself together!

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“We are very sorry ma’am, there is nothing more we can do…”

I don’t know if it is just that my internet connection has gotten worse, my MacMini just doesn’t have the required oomph anymore or Linden Labs need to put the hamsters on amphetamines, but rezzing has gotten slower and slower to the point that I can be 20 minutes into a conversation with someone before their face arrives.

Second Life introduced the “complexity” tools, including choosing to render the heavy hitters as a gummi bear in a latex bodysuit; but that hasn’t really made a large impact in my overall graphics performance.

Mesh heads seem to be one of the worst offenders. Not only are they currently very boring (if there were more than 3-4 variations, it would not be so bad) but they seem to take forevvvvvveerrrrrr to rezz. Everything else for 200m around can be fully rezzed, textured and done and I’ll still see brains, eyeballs and disjointed faces hovering around the room. It’s like some really bad 1970s horror movie.

Well, hopefully in the time it’s taken me to write this article, everyone’s clothes, faces and legs will have arrived.

The Duchess (reborn?)

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Remember The Duchess Dyke Bar? In its various iterations it was once the most popular venue for queer people in Second Life. When I first started visiting the place, it would always be heaving with people morning, noon or night. Then it moved location, its owner, Beebo got sick, and the place went into a bit of a decline. Live events livened the place up but only on those evenings.

The recent consensus is that “the Duchess is dead, nobody goes there anymore….”

So I decided to go there for the first time in ages and see what was going on. To my surprise, the old place is totally gone. There are no longer the MkI or MkII buildings and instead there’s a complete prefab street scene like something off the set of EastEnders or Coronation Street (British soaps for those who don’t know…)

It’s nice. It’s clean and looks great; but it was still deserted when I went there and I wonder whether people will start to go back? The interior of the bar is ostensibly the same: the same posters on the walls, the same pool table and stools. Even the ice block and fan (still, in October?) which would please Rachel no end if she knew about it!

Some months ago I suggested to both Beebo and Ellen that they should perhaps combine The Duchess and Ellen’s EBar into one venue and benefit from the traffic each brings. Looking at these buildings, there’s enough upstairs space for Ellen to remodel EBar, and there’s a nice flat roof for those long summer Monday and Wednesday jams we’ve all grown accustomed to.

I hope it thrives here. The Duchess was the first place I came in SL that had a definite women-orientation and I made many good friends from here. I guess only time will tell.