PostHeaderIcon Thanks for all the fish!

I subscribe to a lot of blogs and news sites, most of which are Second Life-related and one thing I've noted over the last couple years is how people will start a blog and then kind of fade away posting less and less often, allowing that blog to sooner or later fizzle-out. It was started in excitement, for the fun of it and eventually the fun turns into a chore and it eventually withers.

I started this and several other blogs for the same purposes and yes, it has definitely at times turned from fun into a chore. But I've tried to keep at it, especially with this one and my other, not-so-SL-related blog that I ironically call "Blackthorne inSL".

Common Sensible is officially more than two-years-old now. In the beginning I had no idea what I was doing and I tried to emulate others, such as Hamlet Au (by just finding news and reblogging it) - which to me didn't really feel "genuine". I never considered my own experience on the grid that interesting to others so I never approached it from the "personal journal" aspect, but rather from a "big picture" aspect like what New World Notes (even though it is 90% reblogging other stuff) and Massively and Dusan Writer and those guys do. But this is difficult because the "news" comes in wild spurts with a dozen today and none for a week or two and often it is the ridiculous reactions by the vitriolic loud minority that makes it "news" to begin with. It also is hard to "sand-bag" stories of any kind of time-sensitive nature and no one is interested in "old news".

But I stuck with it.

I have a lot of other blogs, too. Most are just kind of sitting in the wings until I decide what to do with them, but I have always had at least two going at once and for the last month or so: three. The third being where I am head to now as I have "plumped it up" for the last month or so.

As I have witnessed so many personal blogs about Second Life just kind of slip away quietly I figured I'd do the same with this one. After all that's a pretty common thing, right? I've been thinking about this over the last three or four months or so and it's crossed my mind even earlier in the year. Primarily because I'm not so sure my own perspective on things is really shared by a lot of others in the "big picture" aspect. But more so because even though it's all a labor of love, it's still labor.

Then "Not Possible In Real Life" (NPRL) Blog did what the television show "M*A*S*H" did in 1982 that was utterly unheard-of at the time: ended the series while they were still "on top" in the ratings, rather than allowing the show to simply "fade away" or continue until practically all interest was lost in it and canceled by the network.

Hence the "series-finale" phenomenon which is pretty common these days with popular televisions shows.

I don't have a lot of readers. Well, I do, but I don't. Either way, I certainly am under no illusion of being "on top" of anything. There are many who subscribe to the RSS feed and many who come to this web site - a lot more than I ever expected. I don't advertise, it's not about raising any money or anything like that. It's about simply voicing and sharing my opinions and perspectives on things and I suppose that's interesting enough for some.

To those of you who have and still follow me here: thank you.

Really, thank you. So rather than just "fading away", I am going to call this the "series finale" of Common Sensible and focus on my other SL-related bog which will be handled with more of a personal perspective of the world closer around me in SL and not the bigger picture as much - more to the "personal journal" style. I also will continue my own bizarre, twisted humor at Blackthorne inSL - more or less mostly non-SL-related. (Ironic, huh?) So if you choose to follow me there, be forewarned; you'll likely discover what a weird one I am in first life!

If you want to follow only my SL-related stuff, please follow me to Socially Mundane. Or if you want to follow everything I aver - SL-related and FL-related, then I dare you to come-on over to my Blackthorne inSL blog at When I post to SM (snickers) blog, it will be noted with a link on the inSL blog, so that would be the only one you need to follow.

As for all the posts and comments here at Common Sensible: it's not going anywhere. For a while, at least as I don't know what Blogger does with inactive blogs after a time...if they are allowed to just sit forever (I think so) or are eventually deleted. So, to be safe I also will import all the previous posts and comments (if I am able) from this blog into the SM blog - for posterity and archival sake.

So, to those of you who actually did follow me on a regular basis (whose cats have obviously gotten your tongues as you rarely, if ever, commented on my diatribe)... thank you. I hope you will follow me to, or if not that, then

So, here we are at 11:59;59 - the very last second before the brand new decade, I stand, turn about and wave.

And as was said in the book "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Earth's second most intelligent species, the dolphins, to Earth's third most intelligent species, the humans, just before they left the planet due to its inevitable destruction to make way for the galactic super-highway:

"Thanks for all the fish!"

Ari Blackthorne
11:59;59 P.M., December 31, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Trudeau Tradewind: Bittersweet at Best

The Trudeau "Tradewind" tall ship is a lot more bitter than it is sweet. In my last post I mentioned how difficult it can be to shop in Second Life, especially where price has zero credibility with regard to quality of the item you are purchasing. I harped loud about how positively stunned I am at the exquisite high-quality of the Age of Sale Gunboat.


I am a fan of tall ships and have been most of my life. It is ironic then that I only recently in the last few months realized and discovered sail-able tall ships on the grid. I knew they existed, but I didn't want a "drivable car that floats". Meaning like a car in SL the forward and back buttons move you as such and the left and right steer toward their respective directions. Unfortunately, most "drivable" boats on the grid are just that: drivable. They work exactly like a car, which is okay if your boat is a motorboat. But a sailboat?

Trudeau Tradewind tall ship: fail.  
Enormous fail.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but I don't like to softball things and prefer telling it that way is - all from my own perspective, of course.

PostHeaderIcon When Real Quality Reveals Itself

I previously ranted on how technology is a replacement for skill. A stupid diatribe over nothing important, but that's what I rant on all the time. Meh.

One of the trickeries of Second Life is in the shopping experience. Unlike first life, price is certainly not an indicating factor with regard to quality or usability or any of the other important decision-making benchmarks. It is painfully frequent when we purchase something and it turns-out to be over-priced garbage, never to see the outside of our inventory folder again as long as we live.

On the flip-side, the Japanese and other Asian natives tend to give much better quality for much less in the way of Linden Dollars (as a rule, there are price-wacked and stunning items in all sectors of the grid) on a consistent basis. My point is that I am often very pleasantly surprised with my purchases from those creators who hail form the Far-East part of the world.

However, once in a while a creator will literally stun you.

PostHeaderIcon Second Life Empowers Life-Cheating

Everyone in Second Life is cheating on First Life (SL) and each other. No, I am not speaking on pixelsexxx. But rather the way SL allows us all to actually cheat life itself - at least the "pleasures" and trials of life anyway. Think on this: we don't have to walk to get anywhere. We can fly and if really impatient: teleport and poof - you're there. Anywhere you want to be. Look about everywhere you go: Gigantic castles and mansions, five-hundred-foot yachts, royal palaces, private helicopters and jets, massive household "estates" and all that.

Nothing wrong with this at all of course. SL empowers us to have and do what we simply cannot have and do in first life and that is the draw to the platform. It's a wonderful thing!

I spent the first-half of my life on Maui, and my family were not all that well-off financially. So I grew-up with a practical mind-set. Perhaps this is why I don't keep a house in SL at all or go for the "dream"...whatever: house, car, any of it. I just don't see the use in it and view it as a waste of money. Growing-up in Hawai'i (quick lesson: pronounced Hah-vai. Eee LOL) exposed me to the ocean all the time. For swimming, not sailing. That kind of thing just wasn't in the budget.

In Lahaina there always was as long as I could remember a tall ship berthed there called the Carthaginian. It was an original restored 18th century tall ship, not a replica. I was nine-years-old the day it ended-up sinking and shrugged it off. They then made a replica and brought it in, calling it Carthaginian II, but nothing was ever the same, even for me, a nine-year-old kid who couldn't really appreciate what had really happened.

PostHeaderIcon Second Life Selling Tip: Reprise

There are many who fear the Second Life (SL) economy is booming, growing, steady, slowing down or in the tank depending on who you speak to. For those who feel it is in some kind of steady to slowing decline, I beseech you to please stop for a moment and think "outside" the box. Retail rules in SL are vastly different from First Life (FL).


For example, in FL as far as foot traffic is concerned, you want as much of it as possible. But this is not really the case in SL. Traffic just does not carry as much weight because it is far too easy to literally bounce from retail point of sales to the next to the next to the next.
There are a couple things that are important to a successful retail business in SL and FL: the customer must want what you are selling. What you are selling must be compelling enough for the customer to want to purchase it. And you must make it easy and convenient as possible to make the actual purchase.

No one can help you with the first requirement. Only you can help yourself with the second. But with the third, I am trying to help you do better than you likely already are. I have written a 240-page book on the subject, all geared toward training you to think in SL terms, looking-out for what the Second Life Resident culture is all about and how it influences your product sales and many of these ideas are counter-intuitive, but they work.

I have presented 15 selling tips in a truncated, abridged format (plus an impromptu bonus tip regarding XStreet SL) that I describe in detail with step-by-step instruction in my book "Successful Business in Second Life" (SBSL) available at Amazon and XSL and Meta-Life.

If you haven't been following along, here is the fill index:
  • Tip #01: Traffic is against you. Why you want as little traffic as possible at your point-of-sales (POS) location, especially if you have your own showroom. 
  • Tip #02: Optimize Product Art for Fast Download. The problem in markets and malls is that everyone else is uploading huge, high-resolution images to put into their vendors. This not only works against them, it works against you. So use it to your advantage.
  • Tip #03: Good Product Art. The art itself must be good and really show-off your product. Learn to take good SL "photography" to make the best use of that three-seconds you have to convince the shopper to look at your notecard.
  • Tip #04: Informational Notecards. Never try to sell your product through the product art or advertising. Those are for getting the shopper's interest. it is in the informational notecard where you actually make your sales pitch.
  • Tip #05: XStreet SL is important. You absolutely must list your products on XStreet SL and other off-world shopping directories. Do not be put-off or fear the new XSL rules regarding listings. You can use those to your advantage also.
  • Tip #06: Permissions Paradigms. Give your customers what they really want and use the permissions system smartly to maximize sales.
  • Bonus #1: The new XSL listing rules and costs are a good thing. Here is why.
  • Bonus #2: How to use the new XSL listing rules in your favor and cut costs while doing it.
  • Tip #07: Vendor paradigms and why the simple box (system prim set to sell) "vendor" is the best and works better for the shopper over those "scripted page-flipping" vendors.
  • Tip #08: Reverse panhandling. The proper way to distribute "freebies" that will maximize sales and word-of-mouth for you.
  • Tip #09: Network selling. Get other people to sell your stuff for you without having to beg them to take and place and use "affiliate" vendors or your own.
  • Tip #10: Ten locations for the cost of one. Get your name out into ten different markets across the grid for the average cost of a single market booth.
  • Tip #11: Product art clutter. Back to your product art here. Go with clean, easy-to-see art. Don't muck it up by trying to make it too pretty.
  • Tip #12: For attachment attention to the sizing ability of your prim attachments. And don't use "modify" scripts in no-modify prims - you do your customer a massive disservice.
  • Tip #13: Hammock pricing. Every Linden Dollar the shopper. But for you, it is better to remember that half a sale is better than no sale at all.
  • Tip #14: Showroom optimization. If you have a showroom, keep it neat and easy to navigate. Make it easy as possible for me to get to the product I want to buy.
  • Tip #15: Customer care. Even if you do not apply any of the previous tips, this one here is by far the most important of them all. Though you certainly don't have to follow my model, it still is something you should take great consideration of.

These tips are my own Christmas gift to you. Of course they all are only advice until you decide to act on them, then they become your decision. But what hurt will it bring to try any of them? And when they do work for you, please go get my book and learn the how and why of it all, along with a lot more tips that will help you become even more successful in Second Life than you already are.

And with that, this is the second-to-last post here at Common Sensible. If you want to follow me on all my other Second Life-related diatribe, please head over to Socially Mundane. Or, if you can handle a very raw sense of humor, my "totally off-the-wall" blog is at And if you only follow that one, posts to Socially Mundane are highlighted there also so you won't miss a thing.

XMAS-Night Tree Halo.jpg

Melé Kalikimaka, Ha'olé Maka Hiki-Hau.

PostHeaderIcon Linden Lab Shills?

Who and what the hell is "Kiva"? Who cares? Linden Lab is using their captive audience to push their irrelevant agenda. And I'm not so sure I agree with it. Well, in fact I know I don't agree with it. From what I can tell, Kiva appears to be a match-making service that allows you to subsidize some entrepreneur or something. 3 I'm an entrepreneur, so I beseech all readers to subsidize me. Contact me directly for the address to send your money to.

Audience: by way of having every (legitimate) SL user's email address. Captive: because we must keep a genuine email address on-file as important communications come through there (notices that actually affect your account standing, etcetera.)

However, when Linden Lab (LL) started sending advertisements for XStreet SL - it irked me. But hey, they own it and I can see the point of the effort. However, when they start spamming me with bullshit about some charity they support that I'm not familiar with and don't remember ever having heard-of it's time to draw the line. Kiva is not affiliated in any way whatsoever with Linden Lab or vice-versa. I know this because there was no announcement of such and the SL knowledge-base (wiki) has no mention of Kiva other than to buy stuff to support them.1

PostHeaderIcon LAG Therapy: Cross 100 Sims Contiguously Without Crashing

Did it. Done it. Loved it. LAG: minimal at worst.

How HUDS Hobble:

So, how can you achieve the same result of minimal LAG consistently? Well, that's an industry secret. Muahahaha! Okay, okay, I'll tell. But you have to shush-up about it. Too many people figure this out and we won't have a corner on the market of LAG-free SL experience any more.

For anyone who cares (and I already know, you don't) I've been bouncing around all over the Second Life grid looking for any parcel of land next to a decent body of water where I can rez my tall ship so I can go sight-seeing from the water.


Hades' Strumpet spanks an unsuspecting Privateer.

If you've driven around in a car, plane, or just flying around the grid (dragon avatar or not, heheheh) - you know very well the chances of crossing sim borders is incredibly high. If you think crossing sim borders can become frustrating while walking, you should try it while sailing (not "driving" like an SL car, but "real" sailing where you are at the mercy of the SL wind.)

PostHeaderIcon Second Life Selling Tip 15 of 15: Genuine Customer Care

There are too many creators who are paranoid about being "ripped-off" in SL. However, your customer care is far more important. Remove all incentives to steal your product! It is a proven fact that if you give your customer what they truly want at a fair price, except for a very few - they will purchase your product because it's the right thing to (and less hassle and risk.)

There is practically no reason (very, very rare cases at least) to sell your stuff as no-copy. It is selfish on your part. There are even rarer reasons to sell as no-modify (excluding scripts, of course.) People in SL want modify/copy items. In truth, if I wanted to "steal" your product - it is far too easy to do. No-copy, no modify items are moot. I genuinely believe a significant number of "copybotters" are doing so to convert their purchased no-modify items into modifiable items.

When you give the customer what they truly want, the only hard part is to get them to buy. So make it easy as possible for them to give you their money.

My own simple selling policy is:

I will give a refund within 72-hours of purchase on all no-copy items. You must return the the fully functional item to me. I'll give a full refund, no questions asked and without hesitation. I'll even give you a quality consolation gift as a thank-you for at least trying-out my product - not some useless trinket, but a quality product I sell or not available in any other way.

I have yet to have a single refund request in three years of selling products in Second Life.
Also, I have since converted all my products to "copy/no-transfer" (this article was written a couple months ago) and I still offer the same refund under the same conditions- I am that confident in my product (and I also have the ability to disable that product if a refund is given- and this is made known up-front.)

Let's continue...
Furthermore, you may exchange your product for another style at any time, even if you purchased it a hundred years ago, even if the exchanged-for product didn't exist back then. The same rule as for refunds apply. I also will replace, without hesitation or question any product you claim has been lost, broken, destroyed or otherwise become unusable by you, immediately whether I am in-world or not - via dropping it directly to you or via remote delivery if I am off-line and unable to come in-world - all you need do is to show me in a reasonable way that you had owned the product to begin with. I am flexible.

I stand behind my product, I work hard to ensure your complete and uncompromising satisfaction so you are comforted in knowing that I will ensure you are happy - always, now and into the future with anything you buy from me.

Snapshot_012I make this policy clear up-front through all my informational notecards and gigantic, easy-to-read posters plastered all over my showroom, before you give me a single Linden Dollar.

Are you swindling me by giving that no-copy throne to a friend and then proclaiming it became lost so I give another for free? I don't care. It'll be a one-off situation and your satisfaction is far more important than my paranoia. Because when you are happy, I know you, in your heart will be honest and will tell everyone you know how I am reputable, hard-working and care about my customers far more than the fear of a few possible swindlers. I know you will do my marketing for me. I know you will make reference testimonials that are far more powerful than anything I could possibly buy.

I know without a doubt that to anyone who sees my product on you or your land and asks that you will give a strong, powerful and convincing testimonial about me and my product. I know that by actually guaranteeing your absolute and complete satisfaction after the sale is making it easiest as humanly possible for you to give your money to me, no matter how much my stuff costs.

Now, go out and buy my book: Successful Business in Second Life (SBSL - Second Edition for 2009/10; 270-pages) is available at XStreet SL and also in-world. The book includes both, an in-world and eReader version. There also is an  Amazon Kindle version, (you receive both: ereader and in-world versions no matter where you purchase it.)

I could wish you "good luck" in business. But by following the steps I give you, I prefer to say: "There is no doubt you will be successful, may all your SL dreams come tue."

PostHeaderIcon Merry Offensive Holidays And Crappy Greetings To You, Scumbag

"You and yours can take your "merry Christmas" to hell before you stick it where the sun don't shine."

I would rather someone throw the above (oxymoronic) statement at me than to use the ridiculously politically correct statement of the times. Heads-up: this is my annual rant about the disingenuous tidings people will throw at you because they are scared to death you might twitch the wrong way. I say to those people: get a clue. Better that they just keep their mouths shut and not say anything at all.

If I wish you a "merry Christmas" and you don't like it - so what? If you are one of the politically correct spineless weasels who are offended at everything, GTFU and reevaluate your principals and priorities in life.

Warning: this is a passionate pet-peeve of mine and I tend to get rather vitriolic in it. I'll try real hard to keep it toned-down and presentable for you.

PostHeaderIcon Buy My Copyable Product and Make Money Renting It = Good Thing

Eternus Soulstar commented on the Linden Lab blog topic of "Copy/No-Trans, Ethics &TOS" - a reply to another user in a very long thread. After reading her comment and thinking on it, the more I actually like the idea.

Cool Builds

A quick reprise summary: regarding the ethics and how it fits with Second Life Terms of Service: what does it mean if someone where to buy a copyable item, then create a business of advertising these items "for rent" or, rezzing these items all over the grid for friends?

PostHeaderIcon Second Life Selling Tip 14 of 15: Showroom Optimization

cooliris.comJust like "hammock pricing", your point-of-sale (POS) optimization is integral to making it easy as possible for anyone to give you their money.

A quick recap: on XStreet SL (XSL) you'll want to provide as much information as possible: highly detailed description - leave nothing out - and include the full instructional (how to use it) notecards. If it involves animations or effects - post YouTube movies and link to them - even if you must hire someone to make the machinima for you.

Rezzing time is a problem as most shoppers are hunters and are impatient. You must optimize your POS as much as possible with low-resolution textures - face your booth to the West so TPers will face your booth when they land (we face east after teleporting) causing your textures to start rezzing first.

Use one-prim sales boxes rather than vendors. It rezzes a bit longer, but it's faster for the potential buyer to browse everything at once. As to showrooms, it's important you layout your floor space to minimize rezzing time and make it easy as possible for me to give you my money.

Vendors or boxes: make them large. Huge, in fact, so I can clearly see them, even read them from 20 or 30 meters away. Place them low to the floor, so I don't have to adjust my camera to see them properly. If I can walk right up to it and see it large in full - it's perfect! It should fill my screen, yet not require me to adjust my camera.

Wherever the landing point is at your showroom - make sure nothing blocks the path to your boxes or vendors - nothing! I don't want to wait for prims on the floor to rez, I'll start walking toward the first vendor I see. If something "invisible" that hasn't rezzed yet is blocking me from getting to it (a door, wall, display box, sign, etc.) - I will become frustrated. You begin losing points in my shopping experience scorecard. Don't do this to me.

Put up simple dividing walls to create open, yet slightly confined sections for each genre of your products. Bed rooms in this space, Living rooms in that and kitchens over there. Arrange it all so I can only see one or two sections at a time. This speeds rezzing for me as only what I need to see will be rezzed first. Then as I peruse your unbelievably awesome wares, the other sections will begin rezzing as I come close to them, ready to be ogled as well when I get there.

It is a simple matter of controlling the rezzing process for me - you have that control by how your showroom is arranged. I, on the other hand have no choice but to drink-in as you force-feed me your rezzing textures in the method you dish it out: either is a nice, smooth trickle or with the download pressure of a fire-hose.

Oh, and I am a hunter.
I am impatient.
I want it now.

I might not wait for that fire-hose to stop force-feeding me.


Want the whole kaboodle? There is far more detail in the 'how' and 'why' in my book: Successful Business in Second Life (SBSL - Second Edition for 2009/10; 270-pages) is available at XStreet SL. The book includes both, an in-world and eReader version. There also is an  Amazon Kindle version, (you receive both: ereader and in-world versions no matter where you purchase it.)

Now... about your customer care - make it genuine, will you?

PostHeaderIcon Winterfest Picture Tour

Winterfest Tour

Note: these images were screen-captured using the Kirsten's Viewer S-18 - with shadow-casting turned on. No post-processing, no touch-ups - in fact, no image-editing software has touched these at all. They are straight from screen to Flickr.

PostHeaderIcon Linden Homes Tour - (Image-heavy post)

The Linden Home Styles to choose from (Premium Accounts only):

Linden Homes Tour

Linden Homes Tour

Linden Homes Tour

Linden Homes Tour

PostHeaderIcon Buy One, Rez A Thousand!

My attention was brung to an SL blog entry by a resident entitled "Copy/No-Trans, Ethics and TOS" - an interesting subject authored by Marx Dudek. It's a very interesting question and is a typical mindset of most creators on the grid: what if someone uses my creations in a way I never intended? However, if you read my book the SBSL, you will know I try to stress: you as a creator really need to think "outside the box" and go against your intuitive paradigms.

The main "issue" of the question at hand is more or less "how ethical is it to buy a copyable item, then rez a copy for all your friends on their properties?" Here's an excerpt from the origial post by Marx:
But unlike full-perm builder's products, copy/no-trans items do not come with a EULA. Nothing says that a buyer is not entitled to copy said items on a friend's property - or how this is not absolutely different from altering permissions on an object and giving it to someone. What's to stop someone from creating a website that allowed residents to ask for a certain item to be rezzed on their property? "Budding Club Manager ISO Someone to Rez 5 copy/no-trans Sine Wave Poles for L$500" - you get the idea.
The comments to that post are pretty good. However, they are incredibly predictable, mostly on the "wow, that's a good question!" line and many leaning toward the idea of "ohmygosh, I don't want someone doing that with my creations!"

PostHeaderIcon Second Life Selling Tip 13 of 15: Hammock Pricing

13-Hammock Pricing No matter if you create prim attachments properly or anything else, product pricing is Second Life is ridiculously inconsistent. You cannot judge quality based on price and many products are either under or over-priced. The example image here shows the wild variation between two products of the same type from different creators. This makes shopping for anything is SL hugely difficult and often frustrating. What if there is a better product for less money out there? How do I know I'm getting a good deal? What is the support like from this creator? [Disclosure: I am the creator of one of those products.]

First, quality of your product should be your highest priority. Never be satisfied with your own creations and always strive to make them better. The next priority is your customer care support. They are your virtual bread and butter and Linden Dollars is real money. Good quality, good customer care will garner good word-of-mouth and increase sales.

Start with "hammock pricing". Hammock pricing is where the significant number is the middle digit in a three digit price, or the first in a two-digit price. Get that number down low as possible.

Let us say we have a bedroom set for sale - and the quality of ours and our competitor is top-notch - so it comes down to price. Firstly, a better, more detailed description in your notecard will definitely swing the mood into your favor. But either way, let us consider the following:

Our competitor prices each item sold separately like this:
  • Bed: L$500
  • Dresser: L$150
  • Night Stand: L$70
  • Desk with chair: L$150
  • Working lamp: L$100

Let us say we want to sell our bedroom set for basically the same amount. But, what if we change these numbers a little? We could take the advantage like this:
  • Bed: 490L$
  • Dresser: 145L$
  • Night Stand: 79L$
  • Desk with chair: 149L$
  • Working lamp: 95L$

We lowered the price of the bed by 10L$ - it looks better and is instantly L$100 "less" - perceptually - even when ending with a zero. Also, we want to end with a zero or a five most often - but not every time as nines are all too common and an "unbalanced" number. A "balanced" number like zero or five subconsciously "feels" better. But we throw-in a nine or two just to mix things-up.

Similar with the dresser. Dropping the second digit to a lower number. The night stand actually went up in price - giving it a higher value (80L$), but keeping in the lower threshold of the L$70 range. A single dollar off the desk drops the second digit to a lower number - but still an effective L$150.

And losing a five Linden Dollars off the lamp makes it now less than 100L$ - down to two digits from three. A huge subliminal psychological effect.

So, why place the currency symbol after the price digits? It helps hide that last digit so it is not the focus of the written price, but the previous digits to the left are - which are now lowered.

Consider this: your lamp sitting right next to your competitor's lamp in-world, both selling for essentially the same price. They both look great, so it comes down to price. Which looks better to you?:
  • Buy this lamp for only L$100!
  • ...or...
  • Buy this lamp for only 99L$!

Yes, the difference is minimal and obviously isn't necessarily a deciding factor. But subliminal forces are at work here. Making it easy as possible for me to give you my money also extends to how hard I must think about doing so.


Want the whole kaboodle? There is far more detail in the 'how' and 'why' in my book: Successful Business in Second Life (SBSL - Second Edition for 2009/10; 270-pages) is available at XStreet SL. The book includes both, an in-world and eReader version. There also is an  Amazon Kindle version, (you receive both: ereader and in-world versions no matter where you purchase it.)

PostHeaderIcon Linden Homes: Win-Win-Win for Entire Grid

Concierge Party! Woot!Linden Lab (LL) announced a new project, which I and most others understand to be referred to as a "Linden Home" - at least, that's how I'll refer to it until there is some "official" designation from LL. As always, any announcement on the official Second Life blog brings a very, very long list of comments, many if not most of which are negative - often because of misunderstanding.

The announcement in a paraphrased format as I understand it is as such:

PostHeaderIcon Linden Home Sweet Home

There are two ways to react to anything: emotionally or logically. It is those who step back and look at things logically who suffer less stress and often "get ahead" of the pack in all things they do. I find it that self-proclaimed "successful business people" in Second Life tend to react emotionally every time Linden Lab sneezes. They should buy my book then if they think they are successful now, they'd be in for a hugely pleasant surprise.

But I digress. In a nutshell, it seems the vocal minority hates Linden Lab (LL) and all Linden Lab ideas and policies simply for the sake of hating all Linden Lab ideas and policies. Case-in-point: Linden Lab will soon begin "testing" the idea of giving a free 512 square meter parcel of land to all premium account holders, beginning with a few to see how the idea flies:
In a few weeks we will start beta testing a new addition to the Premium subscription, to see whether we can dramatically simplify owning your first home in Second Life. We believe that, if we can make owning a home both easy and welcoming, it will increase land interest overall, leading to more consumers of both land, content and other inworld services.

This new addition to the Premium membership will be called a 'Linden Home'. This is not the same as First Land, not least because it is about providing a home rather than just land, but it does share the same goals.

PostHeaderIcon Stunning Imagery at 20-Frames a Second. At least.

It's been a while since I've used the Kirsten viewer, my absolute favorite, defacto SL viewer about a year or so ago. The reason I hadn't used it in so long began with the typical nonsensical drama over the opensource licensing (boneheaded complaints from others, likely competitors who don't have the skill to hold a candle to Kirsten's.) So Kirsten pulled her builds, shut-down her blog and basically closed-up shop (from public access.)

Happily, shop was opened again. But this time there was some stupid external security update file required from Microsoft (go figure; yay Microsoft,) in order to get the newest build of the viewer to even launch.

Fast-forward a few months. I see there is a new build: S18-1. I shrug. However, in the post to her blog, Kirsten mentions the following: preferences which expose more graphical options and tweakage normally buried deep in the viewer.
I must admit my curiosity was piqued. I've been using the Imprudence viewer elusively for the past month (no other viewer installed on my system whatsoever) and I like it a lot, annoyances not withstanding. Imprudence includes the best features of the Emerald viewer, and much of the code from the Snow Globe viewer, including my largest pet-peeve: the snapshot bug where saving images directly to disk (high-resolution snapshot to disk feature) ruins the snapshot by capturing only the lower left 2/3 of the image.

My curiosity got the better of me and so I decided to give Kirsten's Viewer another try:

PostHeaderIcon Second Life Selling Tip 12 of 15: Prim Sizing Ability Matters

Okay, this one's for all you avatar attachment-makers out there. Besides avoiding product art clutter, you also really need to pay attention to how your prim attachments fit your customers. Among the most frustrating thing I run across in an attachment is no-modify and worse, modifiable but still cannot be made to fit.

Business tip to maximize sales: if it's "worn" it should be "modify=yes" and "copy=yes". The massive mistake many attachment-creators make is that they design and build their prim attachments to their own shape. Unfortunately most in Second Life are 8-foot-tall Amazonian freaks. Certainly most creators create things for themselves, then choose to sell those creations. However, even for yourself it would be best to allow the most flexibility in your products.

The main issue here is with prim attachments that will not shrink small enough to fit properly - for example: a belt. The problem is in the detail, literally. The eye-hoops for example, might be made of tiny torus prims. The problem here is that the belt is created for a larger than default-sized avatar (see "freak" comment above) - and so the torus is shrunk to fit the rest of the belt - while the belt is built to fit the freak.

Because the belt is created for a larger avatar shape, and the torus prims are already shrunk to minimum size to match the scale of the belt and all are linked together, when a smaller-shaped customer tries to resize this belt built-for-freaks by shrinking it to fit their petite waist - the belt will not scale (stretch) downward because those torus prims already are at minimum size! And it's worse if the attachment is "no-modify". This can be infuriating. Trust me, I know.

And a side-note: all you creators who set your attachments to "no-modify" then place "resize" scripts into it... stop it! You are creating massive amounts of lag. Your scripts are cumbersome and slow. They suck. If you think setting your creations to "no-modify" is protecting you from "theft" - think again. Anyone with the right viewer can easily and reliably copy your stuff. So stop being part of the problem: stop using those horrendous "customize" scripts and set your "worn" attachments to "modify=yes".

As for the unshrinkable prim attachments, the best thing to do when creating them is to create them at the smallest size possible - too small for even the smallest avatar shapes. All prims can easily be scaled larger - even to ridiculous sizes as far as attachments are concerned - but there is a limit to how small they can go before you have to start implementing tricks.

Thus, by originally creating the attachment too-small to begin with, then scaling it larger to fit you, it can always be scaled back to the smaller size, allowing you and your customer the maximum flexibility and satisfaction. Agreed: many customers really don't care about that kind of detail and "how well prim attachments "fit". But there are many who do - and with a passion. It is the word-of-mouth of these "anal" experienced shoppers you want and you want it to be positive.

It is simple attention to this kind of detail and a little planning ahead that says you care about your product, you care about your customer, you care about quality.

This, dear merchant, translates into repeat business, which fosters good word-of-mouth advertising for you.


Want the whole kaboodle? There is far more detail in the 'how' and 'why' in my book: Successful Business in Second Life (SBSL - Second Edition for 2009/10; 270-pages) is available at XStreet SL. The book includes both, an in-world and eReader version. There also is an  Amazon Kindle version, (you receive both: ereader and in-world versions no matter where you purchase it.)

art: SL FUG Flickr Group; Lette Ponnier

PostHeaderIcon Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

I've been thinking about allowing Common|Sensible blog to lapse. Retire and fade away slowly and quietly. I mean, this happens all the time, right? Besides, there's something like six-times the number of blogs about Second Life than there are about World of Warcraft so I am not so sure it will be missed. I was cleaning-up my Blogger Dashboard as I prepared this blog for resurrection. (I "own" a couple dozen blogs or so, but only show a few in my Google Profile. Kind of like hiding groups in your SL profile. Go figure.)

Ari Blackthorne's list of "Followed" blogs
One of the really slick features of Blogger is the ability to "follow" other blogs, much like "following" in Tumblr. However, on Tumblr, you can 'follow' other Tumblr blogs only, whereas on Blogger you can "follow" any blog or news site or even web site for that matter.

"Following" on Tumblr places new posts on those blogs into my endless dashboard over there, including posts from my own Tumblr blog. With a Google Account (and a Blogger Dashboard) you get the same thing. So I looked at all those blogs I added to my Blogger "follow" list more than a year ago. 46 of them and all SL-related (I had 'unfollowed' 3 or 4 before I took the screenshot here.) Hell, I have even been following Second Life News Network (SLNN for all you oldbies out there) - where I first discovered Tateru Nino's writing - which has been rolled into Massively as long as I have been blogging.

I decided it was time to review and clean that list-up. Of the 46, only 30 of them are still posting anything within the last 90-days and a majority of those stale ones don't even exist any more.

The roll-over in SL-related blogs seems to be quite high. Not those that are irritatingly riddled with advertising like New World Notes and Massviely as those are all about making money. But rather all the home-grown blogs that were started with passion and good intention for no reason other than sharing their own SL experience. No advertising or intentional sensationalism to get more readers and all that.

Common|Sensible is one of those.

PostHeaderIcon November 25, 2008 - How Long Ago Is That?


It's been more than a year since I last posted to this blog. The very last post was simply a link to Common|Sensible - the name of one of my other blogs and I do have quite a few. That was back when I, for some unknown reason, "converted" this blog (Socially Mundane) over to WordPress and trudged-along over there.

That was back on November 25th, 2008, as you might gather from previous entry here.

I have been blogging almost exclusively about all things Second Life since about this time back in 2007. Back then I really hadn't the faintest idea of what the hell I was doing. In these two years I've learned a lot, toned-down my shrill abrasiveness and basically worked on better writing, though I am still far from great at it.

My next task: learn to not be so verbose and detail-by-too-many-words in my writing. Better writing will hopefully allow for better reading. Being pithy is the plan any way.

So here we are, more than a year later at Socially Mundane Dot Com. I've decided to reincarnate this blog. I might as well. Among my many domains, the "" is paid-for through April of 2013. There's no sense in it languishing, right?

So, what will I write here? Mostly Second Life stuff. But I'll sprinkle-in some first-life stuff as well. I've been doing Common|Sensible for a full two years (the "closing" of Socially Mundane was to allow me to focus only on the CS blog.) The main difference from Common Sensible as that here will be more of my own personal experiences on the grid, from perspective.

In other words, here at Socially Mundane, for those of you brave enough to follow along, will get to see a bit more of the "real" me, and not the stoic face I try (albeit unsuccessfully I imagine) over at Common Sensible.

So with that, Socially|Mundane is heareby officially resurrected.

Mort et Résurrection by Jocky 2000.
Welcome to my mundane world.

PostHeaderIcon Second Life Selling Tip 11 of 15: Avoid Product Art Clutter

There are three kinds of product art in Second Life: good ones, not good ones, and liars. The good one clearly make the product of concern the main focus. The liars will touch-up their art through post-processing to make the product appear better than it really is. The "not-good" ones tend to be rather cluttered and become counter-productive.

The same is true for your advertisement posters and marketing materials, especially when you have them placed all over the grid.

I have run across many products where the promotional art (vendor picture) was abysmal, but the product just stunning in quality and value. And vice versa. The worst of the bunch are those which are 'doctored' (a.k.a. "photoshopped") - meaning that the product is intentionally made to look better than it really is by methods such as adding glow, lighting starbursts, softening focus and all that nonsense. [Clarification: I mean "photoshopped" on the product itself - not the changing-out of backgrounds and other methods.]

The best product art shows only the product, practically nothing else. Preferably against a neutral background. The best way to accomplish this is to zoom-in on the product (CTRL-0 key). Have the product fill the entire 800x800 (XStreet SL) and 256x256 (in-world) frames. If you are selling shoes, have the entire shoe fill the picture area. Be sure the picture isn't distorted - but displayed at the proper aspect-ratio.

A good angle is from about 45-degrees to the left or right and slightly (perhaps 10 to 15-degrees) above. The art should not have a lot of text on it - just a simple title of the product, style (such as color) - permissions and maybe three or four feature bullets. Leave the rest to the notecard - including the price. The art's only purpose is to intrigue the shopper just enough to view the notecard.

11-Art Technique.jpgThink about it: in a market with all the loud, psychedelically colorful product art blasting from a wall of vendors, which ones jump-out and grab your attention first? Often it will be the simple, plain, neutral-colored ones because all the others are too loud and fighting each-other visually. If optimized for download (256x256 in pixel dimensions) they also will rez faster than all the others. Not to mention I can clearly see the product from a greater distance away, I am more likely to be curious about it enough to take a closer look.

So for your product art, here is what actually works very well, especially in crowded vendor-ridden places:
The product and only the product in the image - and filling almost the entire picture
A bright neutral - even plain white background
Clear description of permissions
Only a few feature bullets and style (such as color) differentiator
Low-resolution for fast download and rezzing (256x256)

Image: both are selling similar products... a sword. Which of these actually grab your attention better?

In other words: unclutter your product art for highest-impact and best effect as in a world full of visual shouts, the whisper stands-out the loudest.


Want the whole kaboodle? There is far more detail in the 'how' and 'why' in my book: Successful Business in Second Life (SBSL - Second Edition for 2009/10; 270-pages) is available at XStreet SL. The book includes both, an in-world and eReader version. There also is an  Amazon Kindle version, (you receive both: ereader and in-world versions no matter where you purchase it.)

Now, all you prim-attachment creators: there is a dire-needed discussion awaiting about the sizing flexibility of your creations..

PostHeaderIcon "Who Are The Hottest Male Avatars" (Are You Effing Kidding?)

I know that Hamlet Au is blogging for a living, which explains the sometimes ridiculous subjects he covers (the goal of course to get readers and comments so the adverts will put food on his table.)

But sometimes I simply can't help slapping my forehead in ridiculous imbecile laughter. Not at Hamlet... but rather at the people who actually comment on some of these articles - and I do mean the comment itself - not the person in general. It is the comments section of these posts where all the true entertainment is.

Case-in-point: New World Notes article titled: "Open Forum: Who Are The Hottest Male Avatars of 2009 (Who Haven't Been Nominated in Previous Years)?" Holy smackers, Batman, the comments that follow are ludicrous. Let us start with the very instigator of this ridiculous concept of a contest:
"Actually Arcadia, intelligence, personality, and talent are all taken into account in this, as well as physical attractiveness. I'm no fan of pure beauty contests at all. ^^

Posted by: Iris Ophelia Wednesday, December 02, 2009 at 10:13 AM"

futtbugglyEmphasis is mine and makes my entire point for me. Physical attractiveness. Ummm... WTF, helloooo? What "physical attractiveness"? Unless of course she means based on first life pictures submitted that are all either ripped from Google image search or 25-years-old so they don't show the avatar driver in their current buck-tooth, 300-pound state.

However, the real hoot comes from all the gullible fools who actually participate. No, not gullible in the participation, but gullible to their own imagination - and I don't mean all of them, but rather those who make comments like this:
There's plenty of hot males in SL most of them would die before being given the title though since I've invariably found the hottest guys are the most modest.
However I'll toss a few names into the ring just to see them blush.
Nerio Yoshikawa - Dark and sexy RP'r
Tristan Silversmith - Total Fairy Queen but very hot
Miro Collas - Co-Owner of Animations Rising - Masculinity embodied in an avatar.

Posted by: Angel Slocombe
Wednesday, December 02, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Wait... are you serious?
I know that a virtual world can really do a number on our emotional wiring and the way we perceive things... but there is a simple matter of logic, isn't there?
I added a comment earlier:

"I'd like to nominate Kebbo Kidd - ok, I may be biased, but I have seen how other people comment on his av. Recently, someone said that "Keebo has a natural, masculine air that just oozes with sensuality" - and I am not the author of the quote, I swear!"

Typo is my middle name, hehe... instead of Kebbo, please read Keebo Kidd (it's not my intention to "shout", but just to stress the correct spell: KEEBO KIDD)

Posted by: Ricco Saenz | Wednesday, December 02, 2009 at 12:51 PM

I am so sorry, but I am literally rolling on the floor here. A "natural masculine air"? Really? "Oozes with sensuality" - okay, the entertainment value in the multiple pages of comments on that post is just priceless.

Hellooooo... these "people" you are nominating with ga-ga-goo-goo euphoria are all pixel-based cartoons, folks. Frankly I am rather embarrassed for all these people. Yes, dear readers, I admit I commented on this NWN post as well. Though I don't think anyone noticed it as I didn't fall all over myself cooing and drooling over how someone's avatar looks.

/me shakes my head in disgrace.
So this is really a nomination for who can get a handle on the appearance sliders better than everyone else, right?

Posted by: Ari Blackthorne™ | Wednesday, December 02, 2009 at 10:34 AM

(Via New World Notes: Open Forum: Who Are The Hottest Male Avatars of 2009 (Who Haven't Been Nominated in Previous Years)?.)

PostHeaderIcon Second Life Selling Tip 10 of 15: Ten Locations For The Cost Of One

Naoki's ParkEver right-click to edit so you can see who created something, found yourself intrigued enough to search for them on XStreet SL and... they aren't there? So you view their profile, hit the "Picks" tab to see where their main shop is. Only to find they have three, or five, or (I have actually seen) nine different places to buy their stuff? Yikes!

It's too easy for me to just teleport to your place. Please don't force me to pick between shop numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Just show me the one shop that has everything - screw the rest.

I am a hunter. I am impatient. I want it now.

Save your money, and shoppers' sanity.
Pick a place, stay put, don't move.

Many "experienced" merchants will buy-up dozens of market booths across the grid to get good visibility. That's good strategy, but please don't list them all in your Picks or classifieds. And don't pop in and out of markets based on whether you get any sales there. Stay put.

Pick the place with the least traffic and fastest-rezzing and call it your main showroom. Make it the only landmark, Pick, Classified, and SLURL destination you give or show people. Then find good deals on a few high-traffic market spaces. In these cases, high traffic is a good thing because the purpose of this space is solely for advertising - building brand recognition.

At a later time someone may look for you, they return to this market - hopefully you are still there so they can get that landmark to your main location because they don't know your name, or remember your company or anything other than what your adverts look like. Stay put so those future customers can find you.

In those high-traffic areas, the market owner will charge a premium. This is where you want to take into account the cost per prim. If a booth costs L$250 for 25 prims per week, that's L$10 per prim.

Let's make a deal!

How about I give you L$25 per week for a single prim that will be a sign (advertising poster) that gives notecards and landmarks and I don't even have to use-up one of your booths! I want to place it not at the landing point - but at the exit point, where the teleporter is to get into the sim proper (so it will be rezzed by the time people come to it.)

Now I have visibility where people will be unlikely to interrupt their current activity (headed into the sim proper) to shop and buy things. And I have this at a very low, cost-effective rate of only L$100 per month. I can get into ten-times as many malls this way for the cost of renting a single booth at a single mall.

And the market owner is actually making more money on that single prim than they would otherwise. Oh, and in that notecard you give-out from those advert posters, include not only a detailed description of what you sell, but the URL to your XSL (and other out-world) listings! Yes - inside that and every notecard you give-out! And remember: don't try to sell your product through these. Rather sell the visit to your point of sale. If you offer gifts, say so to entice them to visit. Once at your point of sale, then you can switch into "product-selling mode."

An alternative is to negotiate for a commission-based rate. Say, 35% commission on all sales. That way, you have the visibility without the cost unless you actually make sales. But remember, the real goal is to get people to your "official showroom" which is your main point-of-sale.

The same is true even with Network Selling!


Want the whole kaboodle? There is far more detail in the 'how' and 'why' in my book: Successful Business in Second Life (SBSL - Second Edition for 2009/10; 270-pages) is available at XStreet SL. The book includes both, an in-world and eReader version. There also is an  Amazon Kindle version, (you receive both: ereader and in-world versions no matter where you purchase it.)

Now with regard to your product art... we need to talk.

PostHeaderIcon Second Life Selling Tip 09 of 15: Network Selling

As I've mentioned before, I really would rather not endorse any particular creator or product in these tips. However, in this case I am endorsing a particular technology. It just so happens this technology as implemented is available through a particular creator and product: the Apez iVend vending system. Yes, I've heard horror stories before, please indulge me on this one.

What makes the Apez Vendor system different is in the way it is packaged: the networked vendor server is free to use and the point-of-sale vendors are what you pay for with the system. "So what," you say? What makes this system such an unique tool for you is the network of affiliates that come with the system. You can easily have many, many other people selling your product for you and you don't have to 'sell' them on the idea of doing so as you would with the standard "affiliate" vendors.

Additionally, with the coming changes to XStreet SL, you should investigate and implement additional points of sale wherever you find them. The Apez affiliate network is one of those systems. And it won;t cost you a single Linden Dollar to do it.

This is not the same as those "affiliate" vendors you give away to others to sell your stuff on a commission. Rather what you do is set-up your products in the Apez server while others on the system will pick and choose what they wish to sell along side their own items. If your commissions are high enough, they will be enticed to offer your products through their vendors. By offering very high commissions you will get your product out there in-front of shopper's eyes. And it costs you nothing unless you actually make sales.

The difference with the Apez network is this: not only is there a web front-end like XStreet SL, but your listings could end-up in other people's vendors in-world. So the commission is no different from renting space all over the grid to place your vendors. Except you don't pay for anything until a sale is made. All money (even if only partial after commissions) is incoming - nothing is outgoing. 100% receivable, no expendable here.

Grab a demo version of the Apez iVend system and chuck the vendors to the side (unless you really like the system and wish to use it). Plop your products inside the server and configure via the web site - set commissions high, very high: like 25% to 50%. Yes, really. Remember, even a partial sale is better than no sale at all!

Million LindensAdvertise on the Apez forums what products you are offering for network sales and the commission rates. If your commissions are high enough, you suddenly will have your products appearing in vendors all over the grid! And to reiterate: consider the commission you offer to be the cost of placing your products in-front of more eyes - in places you would never have thought-of, saving the prohibitive costs of renting market space in so many markets across the grid.

For this purpose alone, the Apez iVend system can be a priceless asset to add to your point-of-sales arsenal - and it costs you nothing at all except willing to offer a good, weighty commission - which is worth every single Linden Dollar for a sale you might not otherwise have ever had.

In addition to the Apez system, there also is "MetaLife" network - another strong recommendation. I have not gone into detail on the MetaLife system because I have only been using it a couple months. However, it also should be added to your arsenal.

So, in addition to reverse panhandling, it is good to get your products in-front of as many potential buyers' eyes as possible!


Want the whole kaboodle? There is far more detail in the 'how' and 'why' in my book: Successful Business in Second Life (SBSL - Second Edition for 2009/10; 270-pages) is available at XStreet SL. The book includes both, an in-world and eReader version. There also is an  Amazon Kindle version, (you receive both: ereader and in-world versions no matter where you purchase it.)

As for networking, it's helpful to get as much marketing bang for the buck as possible. That's where you look to gaining ten-times the locations for the cost of one.

PostHeaderIcon Linden Lab's Memorial Park: Visually

Hades' Strumpet, Captain's Log: November the 26th, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu 1709 2009 - Ari Blackthorne, Master and commanding.

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

It is early morn in a small port at the northern coast in the vicinity of Hyralios. The Strumpet carries no Supercargo this day, but ballast being the usual textiles of silk, wool, together linens, tobacco, sugars and coffee and precious fruits - the cause of our haste in transport.

Mainland Sail

The morning sun barely rises as we make ready for sail, morning mists and fog begin to lift in the newfound warmth as we weigh anchor to get under-way. The cities and townships along the coast make for a rather bizarre presentation; a mishmash of loud colors and architectural styles, some seemingly hovering in mid-air.

Mainland Sail

The edge of the world is near and thus we must hug the coastline, wary of shallow shoals and other underwater hazards, it is greatly hoped the wind of the day will be most cooperative as has been the case thus far.

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Out fair sun reveals clear skies as we make way through the mouth of the harbor, turning West by Northwest, the warm rays to our backs as we leave the safety of the well-established cove.

Mainland Sail

The water is cold and calm, providing for soft and smooth travel over glassy waters, Poseidon slumbers still in this lazy morning as we move slowly toward our destination. The wind being shallow as it is we barely make headway at all.

Mainland Sail

Though the shores of this part of the world are riddled with population and strange architecture, it is a refreshing reprieve when the uninhabited natural states on the land reveals itself in such peaceful ways.

Mainland Sail

We round the horn at the northern-most point of the great island and the wind begins to pick-up, giving us greater speed, yet not to the advantage we had hoped for thus-far. At such a rate will may not reach port until mid'day to-morrow, and suffer spoilt fruit in the delay.

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

We have reach'd craggy, rocky portion of the coast, I send crew to the bow to watch for under-water dangers. This delays us further as we must slow our progress in addition to having man's eyes at work rather than his braun in other required rigging duties.

Mainland Sail

Finally the shore dips deeply to the south and we make way through more open seas, with a bit more maneuvering room between the shallows and edge of the world, we try hard to make-up lost time.

Mainland Sail

The southern dip in the shoreline comes quickly to an end and more population is spotted in the distance, though the seas are calm and smooth, we have yet to capture the strength of wind we'd hoped-for.

Mainland Sail

A mountainous region, the morning shape hiding the sun from warming the area, the morning breeze is chilling, but the thickened wind finally pushes hard and our sails bite with strength.

Mainland Sail

We are forced to halt all progress as Poseidon has apparently awakened and provided an unusual set-back to our journey. Perhaps it is in his humor that he make invisible a complete block of the very world in which we exist!

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Alas we are quickly underway again as the vanished reality returns to us after only moments. The sails are full and we make great stride in the speed of a strong wind.

Mainland Sail

As we come to pas the cove near Clockwork we take notice at another great island to our north and I quickly check my charts to find a shoreline known as Derran Moor, Pinechapel and Canongate. I decide to turn North by Northwest to bring us along side the foreign beach for a closer look.

Mainland Sail

The country-side appears natural and barren at first. However as we move Westward, a thin forest appears to us. Also is a great fog or mist in the far inland distance.

Mainland Sail

It seems a rather peaceable and quiet place without all the strange buildings and wild color and the sky is clear through the clouds with-out man made structures.

Mainland Sail

There is a simple knoll at the beach called Pinechapel, a single obelisk stands upon it. Through telescoping glass I am able to see it is a rather solemn-looking item. We decide to drop anchor and disembark for closer inspection.

Mainland Sail

The small pillar is engraved with tributary flora thoughtfully placed. It is then it becomes clear what this place is, and why it is so clean and devoid of the brash, loud sights as found to the south.

Mainland Sail

A strange calming feeling washes over us in the morning light. Upon only a glance it is clear to see this place carries far more meaning than what is discerned at first site. And begin a walk-about.

Mainland Sail

Here the architectural efforts are taken with creative care and it almost seems a shame that such thoughtfulness goes wasted in the absence of population to enjoy it.

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Yet also, the very absence of population perhaps is what makes this area all the more pleasant to the eye and heart-strings. Allowing the solemn nature to permeate through one's self efficiently.

Mainland Sail

An entire complex, owned by none, yet owned by all, thoughtfully presented and maintained it would seem the quiet natural beauty mixed with careful architecture as presented in the morning sun-rise generates profound consideration and feeling.

We decide to peruse the vicinity with attention and awe...

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Alas, we delay for too long, but the majesty of this great place has made the loss in time and space well worth the excursion. We weigh anchor and reluctantly continue upon our way to original destination...

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Mainland Sail

Though we have strong wind and warm sun at our backs, we cannot help but to sheet or sail angle to cause a slow, steady, yet reluctant departure as we watch the great, peaceful memorial fade into the sun-rise.

Mainland Sail

Perhaps one thing to be thankful for might be all those friends and acquaintances whom have give us the profound gift of fond memories.


Mainland Sail

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