May 2009


Well, I have been slightly at a loss as to what to write about. JMB gave me an idea with her post about sailing, so I am posting on Second Life transport in general. I have included a few pics to make it more interesting…

The title? Well following JMB’s lyrical lead, “dock of the bay” I could have paid homage to 2PAC, but the Beach Boys won out, being more of a match. Otherwise I would have used Dragonette’s song of that title, one of my current favourites ^_^ maybe more me…

Getting about in SL can mostly be done by walking, running (if you are feeling energetic), flying and teleportation. To some extent other modes of transport are really for fun. Except when limitations are deliberately placed on regions for the sake of realism.

The ocean is a great resource for swimming, jet ski, sailing, lilos and blow up rings. These are great for beach parties. There are also places you can hang out to surf and scuba. They can be great fun. Here I am trying to look sexy by the ocean.


I have been on Tudor wooden sailing ships down at the docks, but only when they were docked.

Also there are balloons and airships from the small, one or two person things, to vast Zeppelin type blimps.

For a while JMB lived on a space station, believe it or not. So I have been on a space station, but I am not sure if that counts as a method of transport.

Up to now I mostly tended to hang out in more old fashioned sims. Mostly Tudor and medieval, low tech.

So I have a lovely horse to get about on when needed, also for fun. Up till now he has been all I really needed.

Those of you being observant will notice in the pic that though I am in a medieval sim with half timbered buildings I am dressed as a squaw. I had just got back and not had time to change. OK?

I have seen a horse drawn cart too and once got to ride a dragon.

Recently, for various reasons I have been mostly hanging out in a more modern urban environment. You can’t fly (except in a copter or something) and you can only tp if someone sends you one/invites you, you generally can’t do it on your own.

It is what you might call a “dodgy neighbourhood”. Now I can get to and fro to some extent on the bus and subway if I want to chance it.

Apart from police cruisers if people have their own transport it is mostly a “hog” or bike. I wanted to be able to get about and I didn’t quite see myself as a ‘biker’ I like my jeans sexy, maybe tailored, not covered in oil (for the moment anyway), so I went shopping…

I bought myself a cute Vespa scooter clone called a Vezpa. I have it in pink and I get about the city on it in (for example) waist high tailored blue jeans and a pink top with blue trim. I was aiming for cool european retro, I so love that outfit. I got a new hair do, shortish and black too.

I am learning how to handle the scooter, but I guess it is quite realistic in how it handles because it is more difficult to ride than some others I have tried. But I forked out around Linden$600 I had saved up so I am persisting. It came with a nice girly crash helmet.. and a coffee machine… so I can now have a virtual cappuccino.

Someone I know who built their own ( that is I must say easier to ride) said they could have done me one with my own paint job for that price. But by then I had spent the Linden$. Isn’t that always the way?

I have crashed it several times and went into the bay twice avoiding parked cars, once I almost lost it avoiding running over a hobo.

One time I had to swim for it when I lost it… and another I was rescued from the ocean by a nice guy ^_^ We went exploring the City after.

The other day I was visiting with someone from the City who right now has their home/business at a small airport outside the city. She has a Priv-Jet and I got to go for a ride in it. That was fun and it seemed quite realistic. I don’t know how it compares to flight sims that guys seem to love but I thought it was fun. I got to sit in the co-pilot’s seat.

And finally…

A gratuitous pic of me in skimpy cut down jeans looking for my scooter keys in the sand after a beach party… ^_^

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Well, I have been slightly at a loss as to what to write about. JMB gave me an idea with her post about sailing, so I am posting on Second Life transport in general. I have included a few pics to make it more interesting…

The title? Well following JMB’s lyrical lead, “dock of the bay” I could have paid homage to 2PAC, but the Beach Boys won out, being more of a match. Otherwise I would have used Dragonette’s song of that title, one of my current favourites ^_^ maybe more me…

Getting about in SL can mostly be done by walking, running (if you are feeling energetic), flying and teleportation. To some extent other modes of transport are really for fun. Except when limitations are deliberately placed on regions for the sake of realism.

The ocean is a great resource for swimming, jet ski, sailing, lilos and blow up rings. These are great for beach parties. There are also places you can hang out to surf and scuba. They can be great fun. Here I am trying to look sexy by the ocean.


I have been on Tudor wooden sailing ships down at the docks, but only when they were docked.

Also there are balloons and airships from the small, one or two person things, to vast Zeppelin type blimps.

For a while JMB lived on a space station, believe it or not. So I have been on a space station, but I am not sure if that counts as a method of transport.

Up to now I mostly tended to hang out in more old fashioned sims. Mostly Tudor and medieval, low tech.

So I have a lovely horse to get about on when needed, also for fun. Up till now he has been all I really needed.

Those of you being observant will notice in the pic that though I am in a medieval sim with half timbered buildings I am dressed as a squaw. I had just got back and not had time to change. OK?

I have seen a horse drawn cart too and once got to ride a dragon.

Recently, for various reasons I have been mostly hanging out in a more modern urban environment. You can’t fly (except in a copter or something) and you can only tp if someone sends you one/invites you, you generally can’t do it on your own.

It is what you might call a “dodgy neighbourhood”. Now I can get to and fro to some extent on the bus and subway if I want to chance it.

Apart from police cruisers if people have their own transport it is mostly a “hog” or bike. I wanted to be able to get about and I didn’t quite see myself as a ‘biker’ I like my jeans sexy, maybe tailored, not covered in oil (for the moment anyway), so I went shopping…

I bought myself a cute Vespa scooter clone called a Vezpa. I have it in pink and I get about the city on it in (for example) waist high tailored blue jeans and a pink top with blue trim. I was aiming for cool european retro, I so love that outfit. I got a new hair do, shortish and black too.

I am learning how to handle the scooter, but I guess it is quite realistic in how it handles because it is more difficult to ride than some others I have tried. But I forked out around Linden$600 I had saved up so I am persisting. It came with a nice girly crash helmet.. and a coffee machine… so I can now have a virtual cappuccino.

Someone I know who built their own ( that is I must say easier to ride) said they could have done me one with my own paint job for that price. But by then I had spent the Linden$. Isn’t that always the way?

I have crashed it several times and went into the bay twice avoiding parked cars, once I almost lost it avoiding running over a hobo.

One time I had to swim for it when I lost it… and another I was rescued from the ocean by a nice guy ^_^ We went exploring the City after.

The other day I was visiting with someone from the City who right now has their home/business at a small airport outside the city. She has a Priv-Jet and I got to go for a ride in it. That was fun and it seemed quite realistic. I don’t know how it compares to flight sims that guys seem to love but I thought it was fun. I got to sit in the co-pilot’s seat.

And finally…

A gratuitous pic of me in skimpy cut down jeans looking for my scooter keys in the sand after a beach party… ^_^

BOOK(S)

My post this week for Photo Hunt is not so much about books themselves but about where books are kept. Libraries. One of my favourite places in New York city is the New York Public Library. I have written about it before, even used these same photos but not for Photo Hunt.

I took this hasty shot of the magnificent reading room as we passed through on a tour. This is but one half of the famous main reading room, with a majestic 78 feet (23.8 m) wide by 297 feet (90.5 m) long, with 52 feet (15.8 m) high ceilings – lined with thousands of reference books on open shelves along the floor level and along the balcony; lit by massive windows and grand chandeliers; furnished with sturdy wood tables, comfortable chairs, and brass lamps.

Yes, there are books there on the shelves, but consistent with this day and age, knowledge is stored not only in books but also in computers and here is a room in the library where you can tap into that vast store of knowledge known at the internet.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE

BOOK(S)

My post this week for Photo Hunt is not so much about books themselves but about where books are kept. Libraries. One of my favourite places in New York city is the New York Public Library. I have written about it before, even used these same photos but not for Photo Hunt.

I took this hasty shot of the magnificent reading room as we passed through on a tour. This is but one half of the famous main reading room, with a majestic 78 feet (23.8 m) wide by 297 feet (90.5 m) long, with 52 feet (15.8 m) high ceilings – lined with thousands of reference books on open shelves along the floor level and along the balcony; lit by massive windows and grand chandeliers; furnished with sturdy wood tables, comfortable chairs, and brass lamps.

Yes, there are books there on the shelves, but consistent with this day and age, knowledge is stored not only in books but also in computers and here is a room in the library where you can tap into that vast store of knowledge known at the internet.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND EVERYONE

I don’t know how many times I have passed Fort Denison while on a ferry journey in Sydney Harbour and never really thought much about it. This well known landmark in the harbour is a small island fortress, constructed of beautiful Sydney sandstone and the tides, which are a very important in Sydney, were always measured there and that was the extent of my knowledge of the place.

On our recent visit to Sydney we decided to make a visit to Fort Denison and take a tour of the Martello Tower. After a swift boat ride to the Fort, we met up with our guide, a Park Ranger from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services who have managed the Fort in recent years.


A closer look at the Martello tower

Originally the small island stood 25 metres high and it was used as a place of punishment in the early settlement and prisoners were confined there for a week with meagre rations. As a deterrent, in 1796 a murderer was hanged on a gibbet on the highest point of the island and the body left in place for four years.

After a scare in 1839, when 7 American vessels arrived unannounced in the harbour and it was obvious that the defences of the harbour were inadequate the island was leveled and turned into a gun battery but the British government refused to permit further defence works.


The barracks part of the fort. The beautiful sandstone is typical
of many Sydney buildings

At the outbreak of the Crimean War a review of the defence strategy resulted in a decision to build a fort on Pinchgut, as it was known. 8000 tons of sandstone were brought by barge to the island from the nearby shore and for the next twenty two years the construction of the Martello tower, gun battery and barracks took place.

The circular Martello tower, named so after a similar one used so successfully in the defence of Mortello Bay in Corsica, was one of 200 built around the world. At the bottom of the tower the walls are 4 metres thick and it consists of three levels with the powder kept on the lower, storage in the centre and the three cannons, one eight-inch, one ten-inch and one twelve-inch, were installed in the gun room on the upper level. The three cannons were actually lifted into place and the walls built around them so there they remain today although in actual fact they were obsolete by the time the fort was completed in 1857. The battery itself held nine 32 pounder guns.

The cannons still in place inside the tower

Initially the fort was manned by a volunteer force and Tuesday was practice day for all the forts which had been constructed in the harbour. It took ten men to fire each gun, and in the limited space of the tower only one could be fired at a time. A well trained team took 1.5 minutes to complete a firing and the range was one mile. The cannons on Fort Denison were never fired except in practice.

The one o’clock gun is to the right in this photo of the battery

For a time the British Royal Artillery manned the fort with a garrison of 2 officers and 44 soldiers but by 1870 Fort Denison was no longer a military installation. Later it became a place to measure the tide levels and a navigation aid with an electric fog bell, a navigation light and a gun fired at 1pm for the ships to set their clocks. The one o’clock gun is still fired to this day, albeit electronically since 1986, but now it is just a grand tradition.

The only vegetation on Fort Denison, besides grass is
this fig tree which seems quite healthy if rather small

During the Second World War the Fort was manned again by a military force and Japanese submarines did get into the inner harbour. The USS Chicago fired upon a Japanese submarine however they missed and hit the Martello tower.

As you can see, it would have been difficult to manoevre in this small space
when firing the guns

We found it both an interesting place to visit and the view from the tower was spectacular. Sitting in the cafe which now operates on the island we had a great view of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, a triangle of the three icons of Sydney Harbour.

I don’t know how many times I have passed Fort Denison while on a ferry journey in Sydney Harbour and never really thought much about it. This well known landmark in the harbour is a small island fortress, constructed of beautiful Sydney sandstone and the tides, which are a very important in Sydney, were always measured there and that was the extent of my knowledge of the place.

On our recent visit to Sydney we decided to make a visit to Fort Denison and take a tour of the Martello Tower. After a swift boat ride to the Fort, we met up with our guide, a Park Ranger from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services who have managed the Fort in recent years.


A closer look at the Martello tower

Originally the small island stood 25 metres high and it was used as a place of punishment in the early settlement and prisoners were confined there for a week with meagre rations. As a deterrent, in 1796 a murderer was hanged on a gibbet on the highest point of the island and the body left in place for four years.

After a scare in 1839, when 7 American vessels arrived unannounced in the harbour and it was obvious that the defences of the harbour were inadequate the island was leveled and turned into a gun battery but the British government refused to permit further defence works.


The barracks part of the fort. The beautiful sandstone is typical
of many Sydney buildings

At the outbreak of the Crimean War a review of the defence strategy resulted in a decision to build a fort on Pinchgut, as it was known. 8000 tons of sandstone were brought by barge to the island from the nearby shore and for the next twenty two years the construction of the Martello tower, gun battery and barracks took place.

The circular Martello tower, named so after a similar one used so successfully in the defence of Mortello Bay in Corsica, was one of 200 built around the world. At the bottom of the tower the walls are 4 metres thick and it consists of three levels with the powder kept on the lower, storage in the centre and the three cannons, one eight-inch, one ten-inch and one twelve-inch, were installed in the gun room on the upper level. The three cannons were actually lifted into place and the walls built around them so there they remain today although in actual fact they were obsolete by the time the fort was completed in 1857. The battery itself held nine 32 pounder guns.

The cannons still in place inside the tower

Initially the fort was manned by a volunteer force and Tuesday was practice day for all the forts which had been constructed in the harbour. It took ten men to fire each gun, and in the limited space of the tower only one could be fired at a time. A well trained team took 1.5 minutes to complete a firing and the range was one mile. The cannons on Fort Denison were never fired except in practice.

The one o’clock gun is to the right in this photo of the battery

For a time the British Royal Artillery manned the fort with a garrison of 2 officers and 44 soldiers but by 1870 Fort Denison was no longer a military installation. Later it became a place to measure the tide levels and a navigation aid with an electric fog bell, a navigation light and a gun fired at 1pm for the ships to set their clocks. The one o’clock gun is still fired to this day, albeit electronically since 1986, but now it is just a grand tradition.

The only vegetation on Fort Denison, besides grass is
this fig tree which seems quite healthy if rather small

During the Second World War the Fort was manned again by a military force and Japanese submarines did get into the inner harbour. The USS Chicago fired upon a Japanese submarine however they missed and hit the Martello tower.

As you can see, it would have been difficult to manoevre in this small space
when firing the guns

We found it both an interesting place to visit and the view from the tower was spectacular. Sitting in the cafe which now operates on the island we had a great view of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, a triangle of the three icons of Sydney Harbour.

Not really. Hardly my thing at all.

But I do seem to be rather busy these days with this and that and thus a little neglectful of this blog and my blogging friends.

Recently I have taken on several administrative positions in organizations I belong to and every now and again they demand a lot of attention for a period of time.

The latest of these is Treasurer of the Faculty Women’s Club and although I held this position for three years previously and had no qualms about doing it again, the recent transition period was more problematic than it should have been. The previous treasurer did not hand over everything before she left on a trip and I was dealing with the bank regarding signature changes on the account without much current information. We also held a major fund raising event in the middle of all this so I had a lot of cash and cheques to be deposited and a statement to generate.

But all is well now and I think I have covered all the bases for the moment. The amazing thing is that when you are retired you make such a big deal of these things, whereas when you are working you just add them to your to-do list and fit them all in. When I was working fulltime I was the treasurer of another organization for some years and it never phased me in the least.

Well I am sure it will all be fine, fine, fine and I’ll be back soon with places I’ve been, things I’ve done and books I’ve read.

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