Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Emerald Crystal Golf Course

By Gemma Cleanslate 

There are several in world games that I still play very often. One game that I have written about before but not for a while. Every Wednesday a group of us get together to go golfing at Emerald Crystal Golf Course. There are other courses but we are most comfortable at this one. It is well managed and well kept up. The trees and flowers and landscaping is pleasant and animals roam the area but stay out of our way (except a skunk once in a while). The water courses are lovely but a hazard at times. There are hills and valleys with rocks over the course and bridges that sometimes seem to be in the way.

We have great fun even though I am not very, very good at it, but I do ok most of the time. We usually play 9 holes. One week we will do 1-9 and the next week we move to 10-18. If I am having a good day I will have a score of 28 or 29. I won’t tell you about the bad days lol. The better score would be 24 but I have only had that one time that I can recall.

At the entrance there are clubs for rent for the price of 10L with a score card and hud with three choices of club to use. The direction card gives lots of hints to new golfers so don’t pass it up. Read it! If one plays often it is good to have one’s own set and you can buy it here. It can be used at other courses too. For far shots there is a driver. For closer shots or to get out of a bad spot there is the wedge, and of course, our friendly putter. 

At every tee along the course there is a board telling you if it is a 4 shot hole, or more or less. After we shoot an arrow show where we landed .

The putter is to get into that hole from a distance or close to it and it takes practice. Overshooting the hole is no fun. Getting used to going the correct distance with the driver also needs practice. On the ground there is a practice area for the putter.

Above on a platform there is a large practice area for distance and learning to use the driver well. The meters are marked out so you can judge how much power you need.

Laz Dressler is the manager and care taker of ECGC . She is helpful and keeps the group members informed of any changes or activities. By the way there is also a skeet shoot up on the practice platform.Stop in the club house to check that out and have fun, win or lose. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023


By Gemma Cleanslate

Spark has opened their new venture which is called Kaleidoscope. I learned for the first time that a group of butterflies can be called a Kaleidoscope flying and this is what the build is all about. It is an Education Project to introduce you to the life of this amazing little creature and how hard it is for them to survive.

From the entrance at the top of a mountain in Mexico you will follow a long path with educational information about the Monarch down down a winding stairway. Along the way are places to sit and relax to the music.

As I went along I found a cave under the waterfall and stopped in. It is magical with a swirling light filled with the Monarch stretching high to the top.

Farther down the trail walkway you will find your self surrounded by these delightful orange and black creatures. There are many places along the way just to sit and relax and enjoy the enchantment.

rαvєn вαnríσn кrαу (RavenStarr Resident and her team, who created The Pond and This Mortal Coil have done a wonderful job as usual and it will be here for the next three months.

They have dancing events under the waterfall that is great fun surrounded by the flickering insects as they fly by. I stopped by one party to join in. Begin your magical journey here. You will visit many times after your experience.

I brought one home with me..(you can too.)

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, February 17, 2023

Yosemite's High Sierra

By Gemma Cleanslate

There is so much excitement over at Yosemite ! Jadin Emerald has opened a whole new section of Yosemite called High Sierra. It is spectacular with high vistas and outstanding views. I had a sneak preview while Jadin was constructing the bones of the cabins. As at Yosemite there are trails for horseback riding, or walking. There are horse corrals with horses begging to take you for a ride. All Yosemite members and visitors will have access to the trails, the swimming area, common areas and parties.

There are several wonderful styles for those who wish to stay there. I love the B&B which is like outdoor living. There are all the amenities anyone would want to stay. A fully equipped kitchen, a charming living area, bedroom , sauna and hot tub and more await the occupants. Up on the top level they will have massage tables to enjoy for relaxation. It is all furnished and would make a great honeymoon site or a getaway weekend.

I took a Muir vacation cabin for two weeks. The cabins have wonderful porches with the interior open
space and loft for decorating to your own taste. I kept my lakeside tent site over at Yosemite but wanted to experience the new High Sierra. Here I have an opportunity to set out some furniture that I don’t usually use. The new hud gives me the opportunity to explore every nook of the new region. It also allows me to get back to Yosemite quickly.

Jardin is offering a real special to let you get acquainted. The tents, the cabins, are up for two weeks rental for free. Become a member of Yosemite that allows you all the fun areas and try out living there.

This rental offer is only open to members until February 20. However you can still come visit anytime and use the TP hud to get around to see all the new region has to offer. Choose a horse and take a ride through the forest on the Wilderness Trail.

Here Jadin and RainiDaize, who helps manage Yosemite and High Sierra and I are discussing the opening at the Muir Cafe high in the mountains of High Sierra with the most spectacular views.

This will take you to the landing at the new region where you can pick up the Hud that gives you options for both regions. Enjoy!!

Friday, February 3, 2023

Virtual Ability, Part Two

By Gemma Cleanslate

To follow up on my first article about Virtual Ability (link), let me tell you more about what goes on during the week for members and friends of members of the group. Sunday there is a fun party at the Tavern on the Cape Heron region. This is a residential community where many members have rental apartments or land parcels. Stepin (Stepinwolf Darkstone) is DJ and always has great tunes for the party. I attended the Lunar New Year Party and went as a rabbit to open the year of the rabbit! There are other events that take place there too.

Two other residential communities where not only disabled members of the group can rent but others who enjoy the quiet living also can live. This region caters to the deaf and has a Coffee Shop replicating the real-life Deaf Chat Coffee House. Cape Able has rentals but also hosts a Museum featuring the creations of deaf and other disabled artists in Second Life. I have been to several openings held there in the past and stop in to view the art on occasion. There is a resource center with information on American sign language and more.

Cape Serenity, another region with rentals is Cape Serenity which also hosts a library featuring works by disabled authors and a poetry garden outside.

I took a walk through and read some of the lovely thought provoking poetry. At the garden I found a poem by my old friend who passed away a few years ago and was thrilled to see it again. There is still a memorial there for her too. 

This is a very active group and offers something to members and friends almost every day of the week. Linn Darkwatch keeps everyone informed of all that is going on every week with a reminder every day. Monday is an exploration day with ღ Andee ღ (Andee Cooper). Her visits take participants to various sites around the grid , new and old. The latest tours are to the Da Vinci .. one of the older venues in second life where spending time is worthwhile. There is so much to see it takes more than one trip to take it all in so she has scheduled several to cover all the sites.

Across the bridge from Cape Heron is the region called VAI Sanctuary. Many activities take place here. Vulcan Viper has his game day here on Tuesdays. All are invited to take part in this activity. I tried to learn Hand and Foot a while back and got the gist of it but need to practice more. Greedy is popular as well as bowling. Wednesday There is a “rant and rave” Campfire gathering just to talk about life in general in sl or real life in fellowship. Members and friends gather just to chat about anything at the fishing hole at Sanctuary. Iskye Silverweb hosts and invites others to take over hosting if they like.

Saturday morning there is a gathering at the Project Done event. Members meet to share something that they have accomplished .This can mean many things. Some come and work on a creation while there and hope to get it done or even wash the dishes in real-life. Some come and clean inventory. I tried that once but I ended up talking so much I got nothing done! That is an early event. Later in the day is another gathering called Show and Tell. This is a fun event where people share anything, like a gift to all attendees. Gentle passed a fun penguin at one meeting. Some share new places to visit and pass a landmark or a notecard about an activity. That evening on Sanctuary there is another Campfire get together just to close out the day hosted by Stepin.

Many more interactions with real world take place at the Virtual Ability Island during the year.

“Virtual Ability, Inc. organizes and hosts two acclaimed international conference series each year.  These conferences bring together noted researchers, entrepreneurs, advocates, and thought leaders from around the world.  They make presentations in a virtual world environment, where all may participate.  Each conference session is followed by interactive participation from the audience – also from around the world.

The International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference is Virtual Ability’s annual conference celebrating disability rights. Held annually in the fall, the conference covers legal, social and cultural aspects of disability rights from around the world.

The Virtual Ability Mental Health Symposium is an annual gathering of mental health professionals and others interested in academic and practical topics pertaining to mental health.

Both conferences are conducted virtually, on Virtual Ability Island within Second Life®.”

I enjoy greeting at both of the conferences and learning so much about what is going on around the world to help those with disabilities have a better life.

This is just a thumb nail of Virtual Ability and second life participation. The website give you more of the resources and extensive information about real-life and SL. Check out the new exhibits at Health Island too. February is heart health month.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Virtual Ability

By Gemma Cleanslate 

 I have not written about Gentle Heron and Virtual Ability group for a while and was reminded of that when we were asked to attend a most interesting conference, 2023 Rural Disability Research and Practice Summit. Here the emphasis was on how difficult rural communities have such difficulties accessing digital life, and often real life activities. There are so many gaps in infrastructure, access, affordability and so little recognition by not only state government but also national government.

Gentle(Alice Krueger), a real example of having rural living issues, gave her presentation explaining what people could experience in second life that enhanced their real life and made it more enjoyable regardless of disabilities. There are so many on line communities that assist others. Three others made presentations affirming their real life situations and use of the internet and broadband. Gentle would send you access to the entire Summit is you want it.

I thought I would remind you all that there is such a wonderful group in second life that has so much information that can help one experience second life regardless of disability. Virtual Ability offers people places to learn about how to use second life viewers, to chat, mingle, experience exploring and find groups that might assist one with their individual issues.

Just visiting the region is a pleasure. A great place to start is just outside the Sojourner Auditorium where there is a teleport to many other locations on the regions, Virtual Ability (68/168/23), or enter at the Welcome Center. Here visitors can see a map of the region and find out about the background of the whole project and the mission.

For newcomers to Second Life the stop at the Orientation Path is easily reached by tp. The path has instructions from moving through camera control, flight training and more to make the people feel comfortable enough to move on.

Talking with Bob the Chatty Monkey (an intelligent bot) who inhabits the orientation path is fun so try it if you walk through the instructions path. Social interacting is also addressed as well as using inventory, map skills and teleporting. They can also pick up some basic free clothing to get started. When I stopped in I even grabbed a free pair of loafers that looked great. When one leaves they are ready to fly into second life activities especially if they visit the advanced tutorials area. In your travels stop by Mentor Park and take a balloon ride to see the whole region from above. It is a very pleasant region to visit. There are other ways to access second life for those visually impaired.

Right next to this region is an associated region called Health Island. This is such a boon for any people needing or just interested in any health issues physical or mental.
1. Welcome Center (Current)
2. Consumer Health Library
3. Health Exhibits
4. Conference Center
5. Herb Garden
6. Path of Support
7. Health & Wellness Center
8. Healthy Living Displays
9. Research Pavilion
10. Reading Room
11.Tai Chi Center
12. Outdoor Meditation
All these are available and easily reached by teleport at the entrance area.

I love the Path of support. I have taken friends there who are seeking a group that will support them in time of need. There are so many groups to check out and they all have a poster with the name and by right clicking seeing the group information and invitation to join.

As Gentle says about the island “It's a good idea to plan a monthly visit to Healthinfo island to check out at least one of the displays and exhibits. Informative and useful, they change each month. There's lots of variety! January's topics are: about sleep, lefthandedness, potatoes, dry skin, Braille, COVID test results, and how to interact with someone who has chronic pain. I stopped by one on sleep. This is such a basic need that I think we all have issues with at one time or another or chronically.
Start your tour here.

That is not the end of all that Virtual Ability has to offer and I will be writing more about it. The extent of presence in second life is not just on these two regions. If you are interested in becoming a member of the group you can contact Gentle Heron, Treasure Ballinger, or Eme Capalini. To learn more about Virtual Ability and all it’s resources check the website.

Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, January 16, 2023

Winter Days

By Gemma Cleanslate

Winter is still alive in second life. We toured many regions before Christmas that were having winter activities but many have closed their sites until the next season rolls around. But , never fear there are so many still here to explore and appreciate. I took a trip out to Winter Days.

Right away I felt welcome. There is an open house where one can sit and eat in the dining area which I did. Since it was frosty cold outside I had a bowl of soup in the kitchen. The rest of the house is open for exploring too.

“Winter is here! The lake has frozen up and the kids have got their ice skates out. Come and join in the fun. Largest skating lake in Second Life. Snowmobiling, Photo Spots, Conversation pit and more. Bring your own skates or get a free pair here!” That is the description for the region.

At the entrance the marvelous skating area one can pick up free skates, free snowball thrower, and a free snowball shooter for some fun while you are there and to take with you when you leave. You can also have a dance with your honey or sit by the outdoor fireplace in comfortable chairs with friends and just relax. At the other side of the skating lake entrance there are snowmobile rezzers and trick and relaxed skating balls to ride if you like. I have trouble with those snowmobiles but manage.

Out on the extensive skating lake after touring a little I sat at a firepit and had a nice warming cup of tea. Couples may enjoy a dance there too. The music is soothing. Near by I could see the stores that belong to the owner of Winter Days, Mike Chandra (MauiMike Resident), Simcaster and stopped to take a look. Lots of Stage and sound equipment.

I found a lovely gallery there called Moonglow Gallery and took a look at the lovely art pieces by Mike. It is a very restful place. It is still under construction I think but I sneaked in.

Back to skating I found a cute little winter shack for resting or visiting or snuggling with a lover. One can sit and recover their breath on logs all around the lake. There are many opportunities for photos here so make a winter visit. Winter Days will remain until the end of February so enjoy! I plan to go again before I put my skates away with wishes for spring. 
Editor's note, Gemma was about to send in an article about another winter area several days ago, but the place vanished. 

Friday, December 30, 2022

Winter at Astoria

By Gemma Cleanslate

Now that most of the holiday is over and the New Year yet to begin I went to visit a more quiet place that is set for the winter, Astoria. Well, by quiet I mean a place where there is no market or selling and the soft snow is falling on woods and trails and there are places to sit and relax or have fun with winter sports alone or with friends.

Arriving one feels the peace of the forest immediately. There is a post with teleports to many venues making it easy to get around. I like to walk first in the woods and see the animals and trees and shrubs and little hidden places to relax.

I came across a feeding station for reindeer and cattle. I did not get too close to those massive animals.

Farther on I came to the frozen water where I found a young polar bear frisking on the ice while Mom watched . Again I did not go too close! I did join some penguins who were sliding on the ice and hanging around having fun. I loved it so joined them!

My next stop was at the coffee cafe where I took a hot chocolate and rested a bit before I walked on. I took the TP to the Christmas tree where I found a gift . I am not sure it will be there for long but take a look for it.

I found a ski lift that took me to the top of the mountain. A very nice snow board rezzer gave me a board that I had a hard time controlling! Ha ha! Good thing there was a sled rezzer there that was much better to ride. The lighting there is so silvery, not quite night time but close to it, magical. Be sure to use the shared environment to experience it .

I made it back to the Dickens project for a show by the VIRTUOSO PERFORMING ARTS called Time Capsule. It was lovely and thought provoking.

That is what Virtuoso does. “The message I wish us all to send out within and around our group this coming year is the magic of change, as we work to save the world resources we all need to survive now, and for future generations to come….”

Wonderful performance.! Here are some photos from the presentation.

Gemma Cleanslate