Monday, December 27, 2010 5: boxing day sails

T'was the night after christmas,
and all through the sims,
not at creature was stirring,
not even a noob.

Zug >>> Kalvatar
Sims crossed today = 12
Total sims crossed = 33

It's been a week with no walkies! RL has been a bit mad. But I'm resigned to the fact that this trip will take a very long time. A week break will not make much difference int he long run. But I aim to cover a bit of ground today to make up for it.

Welcome to Zug, Casa de Laville (#20). I like this place. Only 10% land. This place has a nice vibe to it, and some groovin musical instruments on the beach. If I had a sim it might be like this.

One of Zug's many charms
Kaulana (#21) and I find myself in another strange horsey farm place. There's something I find incredibly unnerving about a sim filled with strange looking, inanimate horses all neighing every few seconds.

Hmmm. More horses.

Luxor (#22) is split by banlines and uninspiring.

Coral Estate (#23) is an atmospheric little sim, a bit film noir. It has one the grooviest loungerooms I have ever seen, but palm trees in a snowy winter wonderland always freaks me out in an ice-age/apocalypse kind of way.

March on!

Orage Creation (#24) is the smallest piece of land surrounded by ocean I have seen, until I realise there is an enormous hair and fashion shop behind me. I pick up a free christmas dress. Funny how after 24 sims this is the first one that soley operates as a shop. I had imagined there would be more commerce spread through the grid.

Horizonte (#25) is where you'll find Xzari Curtains, home of quality sculpted drapes and curtains. I guess SL is a parallel universe to RL, so curtain and drape shops must also exist.

The twin sims of Virtue and Thistle (#26 & #27) is a pretty sim that reminds me of Narnia, minus the witches and fauns and stuff. I'm joined by my special SL friend Anamika Pond who is keen to travel part of the way with me, though her method of travel is a bit dubious. The reindeer here are interactive, and a train takes us to a free chestnut and mulled wine stand. We can't go past a freebie. Overall, a fun sim.

The popular sport of reindeer riding, Virtue and Thistle

More joined sims lie along the path. We head north to Nevi/Avandale (#28 & #29), yet another snow world. Snow is very , but popular in SL. As my RL counterpart lives in Australia, it has a certain novelty and looks nice but tends to make me feel cold. A boat ride here brings us to a cosy looking Tavern. There's not much inside though, other than an interesting torture room for a bit of christmas blood and horror.

We wish you a Merry..aaAAGGHHH!

The next stop is Vild home/Vildsey (#30 & #31). We arrive in a wide open space where Ana selects her next mode of transport, a flying hippopotamus (as you do). 

Pimp my hippo

We enter Vildsey at a village from the middle ages. I suspect Gor, but I'm wrong. We walk beside a large castle with beautiful brick textures, around a corner and run into Vildand Juran, the sim owner and builder of the castle. Vildand and his friend welcome us and give us a tour of the castle, a sprawling maze of a place with a great layout. Anamika, a fellow sim owner is quite taken by the castle. If you are a fan of large gothic castles, look up Vildsey.

Vildsey's castle

We walk to the top turrets and then jump down to the village. We board Vildand's old wooden ship and he mans the steering wheel (or whatever it's called) and we head out to the seas surrounding Vilsey. After crusing at considerable speed I ask Vildand if he could take us to the northeast corner of the sim so that wee may continue on, He obliges, and we thank him for his kind hospitality anf head over to Enoch.

Going NE in style

Enoch, creatively named "Mickey's Pimp Palace, Where No Hoe Runs Free" (that should win a dodgy name award)(#32). Depsite the name we find that SL's biggest barn is actually a horse auction and sales house. There isn't a horse in sight, bnut we hear a distant 'neigh'. Around the corner we find ourselves in a very odd place, a strange mishmash of practically every free and cheap structure available in SL. Pure cheese, but in a good way.

Getting tired so the last sim was a bit of a blur. Called Kalvatar (#33) and there is a series of barns with empty rooms. Near it a large house is locked. Another building has a large TV playing classic movies, but I try to watch "Killer form Space" but its broken. At the NE corner I say farewell to Anamika and thank her for her company.

Sunday, December 19, 2010 4: the fellowship of the bling

Toulouse Bourbon >>> Nightshades
Sims crossed today = 8
Total sims crossed = 19

Day 4 dawns and time to hit the road. Opening the map, I count approximately 40 sims to London. Having only completed 11, it could be a few weeks away. The map indicates that he road to London is about 5% of the complete voyage, and as the sims are denser to the east of the grid, I start to realise how much ground I have to cover. While it's fun to explore each sim and stop to smell the roses, I fear that I might get tired of the itinerant lifestyle and not complete my mission. Heaven forbid!

I'm joined by my twin sister Lumia Van Douser as I leave New Orleans and arrive at Sans Serriffe (sim #12). The highlight here is the lovely reef fish and octupus that swim in the bay, but aside from that and a nice big waterfall, there is little to do.

Mmmmmm, Fish!
We head off to Andarah Island (#13), which is kind of like Santa's North Pole Village, if Santa suddenly had a psychotic episode. The reindeer carousel was fun, the teddy bears were suggestive and the gingerbread train was a sweet sensation, but attempts to rouse some of the residents were futile. Even breaking into the cabin and dancing on front of them didn't get a response.

Little pigs! Little pigs! Let us in!

Lumia said she was scared, so to get her mind of it I made her pull me some of the way in my new rickshaw, kindly donated to the expedition by Marty Messinez. What are little slaves sisters for?


The lag getting bad and Loomy and I parted ways for now, so it was on to the next sim, Daleks (#14). Disappointingly there was not a dalek in sight, and the owners jetski was locked, but his Porsche wasn't, ehehehehehe :D But I think the battery was flat, so I could just sit in it and look cool. I met a very attractive female on the beach, but she just looked straight through me. No point hanging around, so I TP to Bahaus (#15).

Hey babe. Come here often ;)

Once again, I am finding sim names quite deceptive. Hoping to land in a sim of 1920's modern German design, I find that this version of bahaus is a sci-fi, furry, combat sim. What's more, the bloody doors are locked. Unable to walk far, I am forced to TP to Dantooine (#16), a strange place of Roman pillars, viking ships and dancefloors. I learn that one person conga aren't much fun.

Party in my head! And you're invited!

Aside from an awkward conversation with a blingy Italian lass who suddenly poofs on me (is it my breath?), this place fails to spark my imagination, so it's off north to Kyrten (#17) a swanky house on a deserted island (yawn).

I am finding that sometimes when I go to TP to a neighbouring sim, I get the message "No vaild parcel could be found". I guess this means the map is out of date (?). I just have to keep trying neighbouring sims until I find one I can get to. Forever St. Trop (#18) it is!

Forever St. Trop is mix of bridal dress shops and Zynga machines and greedy tables. Seeing as I am penniless and don't plan on being a bride in the near future, I walk northeast, meeting a french lady on the way. Damn! I knew I should have a packed a translator.

Nightshades (#19) is home the the Gourbiland Theatre, a magnificent building of balconies and red curtains. I 'borrow' a skidoo parked out the front and explore the sim. Not too much going on so I stop at the Gourbiland School of Art. After wandering around several floors looking at blank walls I realise that it is probably a school of minimalist art and I am being too subjective.

Gourblinad School of Art. Call me old fashioned, but back in my day,
paintings actually had paint in them

Time to rest.

Saturday, December 18, 2010 3: the beginning of the end of the beginning

Walnut Ridge >>> Toulouse Bourbon
Sims crossed today = 4
Total sims crossed = 11
Tharrrr bee Gorean Pirates, arrrrgh!

I'm standing on the edge of Walnut Ridge, checking my map. Continuing northeast, I TP across the sea to Luna Lupe, sim #8 of my trip and made up of three joined parcels. I land beside a magnificent Turkish bath house, that seems to have run out of water. The plug mustn't have rezzed. I'm joined by my good friend Dana Luckless as I do my finest pirate impersonation, and as we walk she informs me this is a Gorean Roleplay Sim, and we are alone. I know enough about Gor to know it is not my scene, but hey, whatever floats your boat.

Dana enjoys some Gorean Furniture

We enter a castle and head downstairs to a dungeon that doubles as some kind of gynasium. There's excercise equipment everywhere, bench press stools, bamboo climbing frames, vaulting horse thingys and an unusual amount of cages, which I assume is used to store excercise equipment for members. Dana gets caught in a cage so I TP a mutual friend of ours, Marty Messinez, so we can share the laughter at someone else's misfortune.

Work it baby!

Outside now, playing on an interactive photo studio, we notice a green dot on the radar then start receiving IM's along he lines of "Oi ye fare goun nought dis ere sim w'out appropriat attire sire, ect, etc." So we do what any bunch of naughty children would do and run! To hell with diplomacy. Reaching the NE corner with a grumpy Gorean on our tail, Dana says she can't follow and we must leave without her. Noooooo! Daaanaaa! I quickly TP across to Playa de Cielo and bring Marty with me. For some time later we receive various IM's from our Gorean neighbour "Oi agght noo wiz  be yoon don goot thee blah blah blah". Ok, I'll show more respect next time. My friends make me do silly things in serious situations.

Pffft! Tourists, Playa de Cielo
Playa de Cielo is a great little sim with nearly everything a boy could want from SL, a bar, a train and large, dangerous animals. Me and Marty run around like kids in a candy store until he has to leave.

The dangerous waters off Playa de Cielo
Playa de Cielo is the last island in the group of sims that sit far off the southwest coast of the main grid. There is one very isolated sim halfway between, Nosso Lar (#10), one of the most isolated sims in SL, and appropriately the place is like an atoll, flat as a pancake. The only thing of note here is an treehouse that an ewok would be proud of. Next!

Nosso Lar's only attraction

 I touch down on the main grid at New Toulouse Bourbon, the New Orleans sim (#11). It's nice to be somewhere quiet and more 'real' after the madness of the last two sims, and I walk through streets lined with magnolias in bloom. It makes me sad to see such a wonderful sim, beautifully hand-crafted and full of information and detail, completely empty, aside from a couple dancing cheek to cheek in cafe. The are too much in lurrve to respond to my "hello".

Walking Rue D'Alphabet, New Orleans

After a look around and a fine southern stlye meal of cajun baked fish, I head to the northeast corner for a well needed rest before day 4. Farewell N'orleans. I shall return when I have more time.

Mmmmm, Fish! Ya'll come back now.

Friday, December 17, 2010 2: postcards from the edge

Grafton >>> Walnut Ridge
Sims crossed today= 6
Total sims crossed = 7

I wake up and TP to the second sim on my hike, Grafton, an icy world divided by a jagged mountain range. The sim is home to Mystic Moon Photography, wedding photo specialists, and I meet the owner and her sister. They are polite, but I get the feeling that they don't have time for a penniless hobo who takes his own photos. To the east is a lovely cabin, all warm and christmassy. I stop to warm my buns by the fire. Mmmmmm, but I can't stop too long, or I might finish the trip on Christmas 2052. And also, the owner IMs me to say "could you get out of my house plz!" He doesn't know it but he has the honour of being the first person I have officially

 Mmmm, toasty buns!

I hop across to the Venice Grand Canal, Sim #3 on my path. Theres a lot more coconut trees than I imaged there would be in Venice. There also seems to be a lack of grand canals and Italians. But there is a large community hospital being built by a talented young lady with the lovely name of Lilymai Faith. She stops for a quick chat. I head north across some water to a beautiful modern house. Peering in the windows I guess that this is Lilymai's house, so I don't break in and raid her kitchen out of respect, and also the fact she is a vampire and probably keeping an eye on me. After a quick rest in a hammock, I continue on to Sim #4, Maple Valley.

Venice Grand Canal. Note lack of gondolas

Maple Valley is a lovely green place with a large modern house and some lovely waterfront settings. A couple of avatars are seen on my radar, but I get within 20m of them and the still can't be seen and they don't reply to my calls. Weird. A large Japanese inspired house lies in the NE corner, so I break in for a quick bath, then it's off to Opal Isle.

Who left this bathring here?

Sim #5, Opal Isle. I arrive to a dark and spooky place. Gothic cathedrals and fortresses loom over me. My trusty radar tell me I am not alone, so I start moving NE with caution.

My neko nose smells vampires o.O

Across a steep mountain range I find myself in a large open area with about 500 horses in stables. This must be one of those horse studs I have heard about, and the owners must be seriously into them, not to mention spending a fortune in the process. I approach Allison Rentling, Rancher. I introduce myself, keen to ask her about her horses, but she just stands there, with an intense look on her pixie face. I take a photo. She wakes up and says "Are you taking photos of me?" "Ummmm no, the horses" I lie. "Coz my bf owns this place and he can tell if you are taking photos of me". It feels like a good time to leave, but we chat for a bit about the horses (she rents a pen) and my trip. She wishes me well on my journey. So out of respect I will not post her picture, indeed in future I will ask permission before taking someone's photo. Feeling a bit creeped out by the equine madness surrounding me, I TP myself away.

Horse farm weirdness

Pine Woods, Sim #6, is a fun sim with a lingerie shop (see photo), several trendy houses with helicopters on the roof (they must be rich) and all manor of watersports.

Nah. Blue isn't my colour

I swing by the Devilish Desires Gentlrmen's Club for a beer, kindly supplied by bartender Eiji Prevost. The club's owner was on voice from hospital, where she was being treated for some injury. I hear the nurses in the background. A couple of attractive ladies do some sort of stretching excercises on poles. It's a new club, and I'm not a big club kind of guy, but it has very friendly staff, so If you're a gentleman (hehehe), I'd say drop in a say hello. After bidding my farewell, I walk through a coconut grove to the NE corner.

Knocking back a cold one at the Devilish Desires Gentleman's Club

Walnut Ridge is the 7th sim on my path, a winter wonderland with some pretty 19th century houses and churches. After a brief ice skating session (turns out I'm a natural!), I enter a large churchy building that looks like it could belong to either Vampires or Catholics. Vampires it is. I enter the little chapel at the other side of the sim, where a pipe organ plays "Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer" on loop. I'm an atheist, but I decide to  pray for a safe journey anyway, I've got nothing left to lose. An IM from a stranger me tells I'm invited to a dance party, so I go looking for it. Maybe she could see I entered her clans building, but the party is on another sim, not along my path, and I have to decline the TP offer.

Yawning now, I think I am done for the day. Crossing six sims isn't bad work for a day's work, but I think I'll have to pick up the pace over the next few days, and maybe even TP a friend for some familiar company. 1: the beginning of the end

Sims crossed = 1

It's finally time to go. After spruiking my mission to a largely uninterested London crowd, I catch the 12:32am express TP to After Hours, the most southwesterly sim on the SL grid. During the long 6 second trip the enormity of my task hits me. What have I done? What was I thinking? But it's too late. My pride picks me up again and I arrive with confidence.

I am standing at the beginning of the end, about to step off the precipice into the great unknown. I feel like one of the great explorers of old, Lewis and Clarke, Dr. David Livingstone and Australian explorers Burke and Wills... except without the 26 camel, 23 horse, 19 man support crew. All I have is an animated bunny slipper and a dancing cow for company. I suppose it could be worse.

So here I am, at the edge of the SL grid, in a skybox called "The Death Dealers House". Sounds like a good place to end a long trip. Maybe I've started at the wrong corner! A large dog waits here patiently for his master. I suspect he's been waiting for a long time. I'm a little concerned by the pink poseball labelled "Start", but it's ok, and I give the nice doggy a pat. There is an unremarkable house filled with unremarkable naughty things. I figure I'm going to see lots of naughty things along my way.

My doggy friend. I wish he could come with me.

Speaking of naughty things, my twin sister Lumia Van Douser drops in to wish me well and give me some fresh catnip and some pizza. She's a sweety and when she leaves I feel a bit lonely here at the far end of the world, but my RL avatar is from Australia so I'm kind of used to it. It's time to walk.

Walled in by mountains, I jump out of the box and walk across an island past the Death Dealer Club, an place of black marble with red leather sofas, the obligatory dance pole and an interesting statue of the roof. It's gonna be a loooong trip. I wander down a path and into a temple, and have confirmed what I suspected. Vampires! That didn't take long. A little edgy, I continue northwest, glancing behind me every now and then. At least it's daytime.


I head north and climb a hill to find that the northern half of the sim is 'No Entry', so I head to the the most northeasterly corner, where an image of a full moon rising into the soft sky makes me glad I've come. I bring up my map and locate the nearest sim in the direction I'm going. Grafton, here I come. But tiredness sweeps over me so I curl up on the eastern shore for some shut eye.

Bunky Admires the artwork

Thursday, December 16, 2010


About six months ago I joined a cult. Well, not a 'cult', but a creative commune called the United Second Life Colonists, or the USLC. They were good to me, gave me a bed in a half-way house, then my very own shipping container in which to put my few possessions, a pot plant, 'Dogs Playing Poker' picture, my old record player.

Bunky's old home, USLC. A hobo's palace

 For once in my SL I didn't feel homeless, or shall I say 'houseless'. But while it was shelter, I never really felt at home. My neighbours were nice, but I always felt like an outsider. I recently overheard a meeting of the sim's main players. The owner was lamenting that the sim wasn't thriving, and that he could no longer come up with the money to continue into next year. It seemed like as good a time as any to make my exit.

I think I prefer to be homeless anyway

So I've packed up my possessions and left the USLC, never to return. I thank the owner, Mr Progressive Parx for inviting me to be a part of his bold vision for the future, and offering me a home as I rumaged through the garbage bins of Hyde Park. I wish him the very best of luck with his future endeavours.

And it's farewell to my friends at London and Diddler Island. I'd like to thank them for all their support and friendship. While my road is long and arduous, I look forward to being reunited with them some suunnnnyy daaayyyy!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I'm keen to start my journey, I make a list of things that may be useful along the way. I will bring:
  • Insensible shoes, a SL tradition. My pink animated bunny slippers should be fine. My boot will also come in handy. If you find the other one, please IM me.
  • Garlic and a selection of quality stakes for the inevitable run in with vampires.
  • My hobo bike and teddy bear.
  • My extra large condom (about 7 feet long) for full body protection.
  • A cache of guns. I don't want to use them, but it's a jungle out there.
  • A selection of ladies clothes for sims where being a man may be counter productive.
  • My groucho marx glasses, as a cunning disguise.
  • My guitar, for lonely nights around the campfire and to keep people away.
  • My Oui Coupe mini clown car, flying suacer, surfboard and spacehopper.
  • An umbrella.
  • The 4791 other things in my inventory.
  • A bunkload of patience.
Please feel free to IM me on my journey, and if you'd like to take a little walk with me, I'd be grateful for the company. And please send me anything you think may help me along the way, cans of cat food, games, protective devices, large bottles of alcohol, etc.

...the plan

I have decided to journey across second life, from end to end. I'm not sure if this has been done before. I'm not sure that it can or should be done. After extensive Googling I haven't found any mention of anyone attempting this feat, let alone succeeding. 

My research has also shown that the Second Life grid is big, rather huge in fact. I'm a little concerned when I try to load up the full world map in my viewer, only to have it crash a few minutes later. But according to one website, "The size of Second-life in the Virtual World is the size of metropolitan London. If you were to walk across Second Life as your avatar, it would take you the same amount of time as in the actual world." That doesnt sound so daunting, about 50km, which would be approximately 10 hours at a brisk pace. I could probably complete the trip in a week, but I have a sneaking suspicion it may take longer than this, a lot longer.

A map of telehubs gives a good enough outline of the shape of the SL grid. Here is a map of my extremely vague route. From 'After Hours' in the southwest via London and Diddler Island (my two favourite places) and onto the Texas Womens' University in the far northeast.

I accept the risks involved in this enterprise. I am aware that I may be stalked, beaten, abused, bitten, teased and ejected. While that is generally what I consider a good night out, I'm not sure I have the stamina to endure it for several months or years. I also realise that I may have issues with access and security, but I'll just figure it out as I go along. A big part of this trip is to learn more about SL and the techmological aspects.

I have thus formulated the following goals:
  • To travel from the southwest corner to the northwest corner of the SL grid.
  • Where possible, I will walk, run and swim across sims. Flying shall only be done across large obstacles, like steep mountain ranges. I will also make occasional use of vehicles, like my hobo bike, flying saucer and my extremely awesome spacehopper. It's red, so it goes faster than other spacehoppers.
  • if sims cannot be crossed on foot, I will teleport between the two closest points of the sim.
  • If I am denied entry to a sim or region, I will attempt to cross to the next closest sim.
  • My route is totally unplanned aside form making two designated stops, at London Sims and Diddler Island.
  • I will take lots of photos and report on progress through this blog.
Hmmm soooo. What to bring? Any suggestions?

Monday, December 13, 2010 name is Bunky

My name is Bunky Snowbear. I was born on the 10th April 2009, a ball of pink noobishness. I spent the first part of my secondlife bumbling around the now defunct Pondi Beach, drinking cheap cocktails on the beach, losing my pants, stepping on peoples toes and generally irritating the locals.

Life was pretty tough back then. Penniless, ostracised, I lived one day at a time, chasing mice, flirting with vampirism and raiding freebie shops. Despite being surrounded by humans from around the world from all walks of life, I never felt more alone. After stealing a pair of stockings from a german punk shop one day, a wave of futility swept over me and I decided I had had enough, that my Second Life wasn't worth living. I decided to end it all. As I was preparing myself to the ultimate logoff, my fortunes unexpectedly changed. I met a girl at a freebie shop, a kindly, kooky girl call Moonsong. She took me under her wing and nurtured my virtual soul. She gave me a bowl of milk, a decent skin, a body shape that didn't involved going to the gym and in time, she gave me a new Second Life! Things were looking up, and my confidence blossomed.

But I feel a mid-Second Life crisis is about to dawn on me. While I'm happy tripping over squirells in London, dancing badly with my friends and dodging bullets in Diddler's peace garden, my paws are getting itchy and I long for a new challenge, an adventure, an odyssey within Second Life.