Thursday, August 26, 2010

Horsenet Horse Rescue

If you like horses, you will love Horsenet Rescue, a RL and SL charitable organization that is dedicated to helping abused, neglected and disabled horses. In SL it is located at ECO Commons (245,78,27) and in RL at two farms in Maryland.

I met up with Laura24 Kiranov, who is the Director of Public Relations for the RL Horsenet Rescue and is setting up the SL location. She told me that the organization is currently working with about 100 horses. “We are a registered 501c3 charity,” Kiranov said, “and are entirely run by volunteers and on donations.”

In SL, Kiranov’s first priority will be promoting the rescue and the adoption and sponsorship programs. Although adoptions are limited to people living close to the farms in Maryland, people anywhere can sponsor a horse for as little as $12.00 US per month. Sponsors are especially needed for approximately 15 blind or visually impaired horses that will remain at Horsenet as a permanent herd. Two of the horses, Rita and Bandit, are featured at the SL location. Bandit is a 30 year old, blind Appaloosa gelding. “We are one of the few rescues that help blind horses,” Kiranov explained.

Kiranov has been in and out of SL for a few years, but the ability to promote the Horsenet Rescue at the Nonprofit Commons has brought her back as a more active participant. “This is a good community and a new and fun way for us to promote our work. I thought it would be good to have something in SL,“ Kiranov said. The space at NPC is donated in return for her volunteer help, which makes it possible for Horsenet Rescue to be here. “Not too many people in my organization know much about SL,” she added, “so it’s going to be me, any help I can get from the NPC and anyone else I can find in SL to help.”

Currently the SL location is a work-in-progress. She has added a waterfall where you can relax. In the future Kiranov hopes to have more images and information available about the real horses at Horsenet.

Kiranov would welcome help from anyone with building or land skills. Item donations are welcome, too. Her future plans include getting displays of the horses up as well as adoption and sponsor information. She has also been in contact with other SL organizations that have similar rescue missions. Eventually she may have some events here.

Her main focus, however, is on helping the current rescued horses like Rita and Bandit. Along with Blaze, Fury, Lady, Pecos Pete, Rocket and others, these horses have been rescued from a variety of abusive and neglectful owners. “Right now we are closed to more surrenders by owners,” Kiranov said, “but we have been helping with some larger abuse cases, with the ASPCA and Humane Society, and with other rescue cases. Obviously the more horses that get adopted and/or sponsored, the more we can help.”

To see more of their horses, or to get additional information, check out their website at They are also on Facebook and Youtube.

Grey Lupindo

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The USS Helena (CA-75)

When people on Second Life construct a build, it’s generally something such as a simple home, or maybe a store. Henry Borgnine, Dave Brouchoud in real-life, chose to do something different and much grander. He set out to recreate the heavy cruiser he served on during the Korean War - the USS Helena (CA-75).

Dave Brouchoud had joined the US Navy at age 17, in September 1951. After Navy Boot camp, he was assigned to the Helena. In 1952, he was stationed in one of the 5” gun mounts. When he was released in May 1955, he had been doing duty as a Radar Operator. He would later serve in the US Army, and his avatar wears an Army uniform.

Henry had been talked into Second Life by his nephew, “I soon realized that ANYTHING is possible in SL. I talked about ‘my dream,’ to once again walk the decks of my ship - and here she is.” Behind him in the water was the Helena, “Much work needs to be done, but I am pleased with what has already happened.”

“A point,” Henry stated, “I am NOT the builder. At first it was my nephew Keystone Brouchard. But he told me about a great builder named RJ Kikuchiyo. He worked on the ship for some time.” Unfortunately, Henry was having trouble staying in the grid, “Second Life kept crashing on me, (there were) hardware problems on my four year old computer.” Reluctantly, he eventually had to stop logging on.

But after some time, he got a new computer, “About a month ago, the computer went south and we now have a nice new Dell with a high end video card. I couldn’t wait to again try SL and bingo. It now works perfectly. I contacted RJ and learned that a new builder was taking over (the building), Bobcatt Nielson.”

The ship isn’t quite complete yet. After seeing the HMS Titanic in Second Life with it’s interior rooms, he hoped to do the same with the Helena, a walk-on bridge, an engine room, and more, “be able to see many of the compartments below decks.” He also hoped to get other features, such as “guns that will turn, radios that will work.” The ship will also be enlarged a little for a more realistic size, “In real life, this ship is a little over 700 feet long.” He was also getting a little help besides from Bobcat, “the owner of this sim is also helping with the build. At the moment I know he is working ... on the ship’s anchors.”

The Helena’s most prominent feature are her cannons, “the big guns you see are 8" the smaller are 5" the real ship also had 3" guns in 7 gun tubs. The 3" are not yet available.”

As the interview was conducted, the ship was getting visitors. Henry politely excused himself for a minute to greet one looking around, then returned, “I like to be here often to meet visitors and answer questions.”

Henry has heard about the Veterans’ groups in Second Life, “(I) was a member of one group. They now know about this ship and have been most helpful in passing the word.” Every comment everyone’s made, Henry told me, “has been positive.”

He’s also heard a little about other military in Second Life, such as the battleship Yamato, and historical combat RP groups, such as the Flying Tigers, “I have visited many military sites with many historical aircraft in display, including one of the B29 Super Fortresses that dropped the atomic bomb.”

When I dropped by the next day, builder Bobcatt Neilson was there. He and Henry talked about using blueprints and images from cruisebooks to help with further building. Bobcat also talked some with me, saying building the ship was a pleasure, “something cool in Second Life that’s not involved with sex or gambling.” He had seen other warships in SL, such as a recreation of the Yamato built by members of the real-life Japanese Defense Force.

Bobcatt had been in the US Army, serving in the first Gulf War, Kuwait, The invasion of Panama, and Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008, “still kinda recovering from Afghanistan’s offroad extravaganzas. ... on canes, but still in rehabilitation, and very stubborn.”

Bobcatt pointed out the region had plenty to see besides the cruiser., such as art galleries and a Jazz club. There’s also the Balsa Regional Airport and the Grayling Army Airfield, “There’s a vet center in Balsa, but it’s just getting built back up. A lot of folks from these regions are vets on deployment.” West Memorial Park is dedicated to former real life residents who have passed away, which recently had a chapel installed. Grayling Army Airfield has a huge variety of aircraft, warplanes and others, but most aren’t flyable to visitors. One that is is the shuttle rocket ride, which will take a visitor up in the air.

Henry also needs some donations for the area the ship is berthed, so a sign next to the ship is available for those wanting to chip in a few Lindens, “In order for the ship to continue to be here, contributions need to keep coming in.”

Henry/Dave Brouchoud also maintains a website for the Helena, at

The Helena is at the Trees sim at (77, 233, 29)

“The ship has a fine history and served her country well.”

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, August 13, 2010

China Tang

As I was looking for some new interesting places for you to explore I was invited to China Tang. Are you interested in history, culture and art? China Tang will enlighten you about the beauty of The Golden Age of China from the years June 18, 618–June 4, 907, The Tang Dynasty.

It is a gorgeous sim filled with so much to see and to find. “We hope to proffer more than a spot for cultural appreciation. China Tang promises its visitors an experience to titillate their senses,“ Valor Renilo said. It took a team of three to complete the build China Tang - Cayenne Republic, Ryusho Ort, and Valor Renilo.

Take a walk and discover the outer builds. You will find tai chi, yoga and meditation areas, Buddha temples and more. I rode my horse around the outside and then walked in the interior places. The larger structures will take you time to peruse because of the many lovely objects .You have to walk around in this area of the palace and gardens and to see the magnificent artifacts and discover the underground hidden places. The builders arranged it that way.

Below the palace you will find a stage area with resting rugs and next to that a gallery with elegant sculpture and lovely art pieces from that golden age. Valor guided me to some of them so I could warn you that you need to search and uncover the secret places yourself to really enjoy them. Way down under are some romantic rooms where you can relax and enjoy . Your visit may take a while and perhaps several visits.

You can begin your adventures here: China Tang Empire (132, 81, 23).

Gemma Cleanslate

Thursday, August 12, 2010


When I logged in recently using Emerald, an interesting photo appeared along with a tempting note: “Visit Syncretia”. Clicking on the button was like rolling the dice, but I’m glad I took a chance.

Syncretia, located at Syncretia (134, 213, 21), is an interesting mix of futuristic steampunk, colorful particles, and Mother Nature. When I first landed there, it began raining. This was different and interesting because there aren’t too many sites in SL that rain. But no worries -- I was ready with an umbrella that I had been given at a recent event.

The sim is the playground/classroom/home of Alpha Aurer. In real life, her counterpart is a professor at Sabanci University, a private university located near Istanbul, Turkey. In the past Aurer has used the island as a sandbox for her students, and she intends to continue doing so in the future. She has done a great job of bringing in a lot of unusual items into her world. Some of the items she has created, while others are purchases, finds, or gifts from friends.

The first part of the site is the most interactive. A series of golden Hamster wheels made by Arcadia Asylum invites you to "help power the SL grid". Fun! After a bit of exercise, I left those to check out some other items that were at this end of the island. I avoided the green "stationery nuke", which didn't appear to do anything but was nevertheless intimidating to this peace-loving Foxette.

At the northeast corner of the island I climbed into an Old Cargo Crane, also made by Arcadia Asylum. The view was fantastic. Getting in and out was a bit of a trick, however. Let’s just say it involved a lot of sitting, flying, and ultimately a dip in the water before I landed back on dry land. I was glad I was exploring alone!

A little further back on the site, there are floating platforms and lots of plants and animals. I found two animated swans floating in the water and Alpha’s horse, Gamma, standing nearby. Lots of hydroponic plants decorated the area, too.

I couldn't resist "boarding" the Red Fox Arrow plane that had nosedived into the ground nearby. When I clicked on it the option of “Board” appeared, so I did. Suddenly I was upside down inside the plane—which is a place you only want to be in SL. This build was made by Fox Tweak and owned by Wolfgeng Hienrichs. Wolfgeng’s profile message says, "Sorry if I left my plane on your property. I probably crashed. Especially if your parcel is full and on a simborder...". You have to love a sense of humor in SL. I laughed, too, until I discovered that I really couldn’t get out of the plane. Wolfgeng! Suddenly I "died" and was automatically returned to my home. Another first for me in SL.

But this reporter is not so easily defeated. I soon returned to Syncretia, determined to get my story.

At the back of the sandbox there were more planes, including some more crashes, but also a nice yellow Piper Cub-type build. There were lots of particles here and some wind turbines. A series of steps led to some futuristic buildings, too. I could see what appeared to be a couple of residents, but I couldn’t get either of the residents to make contact through the chat. Perhaps there was a language issue or maybe they were hard at work. I didn’t want to interrupt any high-level learning, so I didn’t go inside any of the buildings. Instead I walked around Syncretia, viewed the colorful particles, and enjoyed this creative and fun location.

Grey Lupindo

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Virtual Impressions

Would you adore these nails? Of course you would. Think of all the fabulous looks of envy you will receive.

Chrissy Ambrose designs the most elegant hands in all of Second Life. I have tried many manicures, and these far surpass them all. Praises for this talented designer of fabulous jewels and boots and shoes. Her prices are outstanding. Flashing your diamonds and jeweled bedecked fingers will make you feel like the best dressed, most beautiful lady.

When I first met the talented Chrissy, I spent hours in her shop getting my start in winning my wardrobe of boots and shoes from her lucky chairs. To this day, I see the progress of her talents upward to the top of the world. Her customer support is unbelievable. Believe me, she can work wonders. She saved my hard to fit legs many a time, especially before I destroyed my shape a few times. Oh those were the days.

Her work is in many a fine shop. Please go to her shop and try the demos of everything on display. And if you ever have a question, send her a notecard and she will reply as quickly as possible.

Join me and discover the beautiful jewels, nails, boots, and shoes. Indulge in her free gifts each month to her members. I tell you, the work of her jewels will astound you. Fit for a queen, and all of you. Enjoy my friends.

Ekho (137,128,24)

I am always searching for something.

Breezes Babi