Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dr Marnix MD

I got a new job recently. I felt I needed to earn my keep to help pay the rent. I thought I'd do something medical. I thought it couldn't be that tough, eh? How wrong I was.

It was my first day. An uneventful morning was unfolding. A few appointments, a bit of a tour of the hospital, introductions. That sort of thing.

All of a sudden, in a flash of lights and wail of sirens, an ambulance speeds into the driveway. Through my office window I see a beautiful girl wheeled on a gurney into the ER. With no thought for my own personal safety I throw down my coffee cup and rush across the corridor, pushing aside my more experienced colleagues.

One thorough examination later and I was baffled. I had no idea what was wrong. Whatever should I do?

There was only one thing an unqualified medical practioner could do. The same all people everywhere would do in the same situation. The fall-back for anyone who needs an answer. Google.

Unfortunately t'internet was no help. Well over 65 billion pages and none of it any use. By now I was worried for the beautiful girl. Her condition was deteriorating. I had to act.

There was only one thing left to do....CLEAR!

Nothing. Try again....CLEAR!

Suddenly a reaction. The girl opened her eyes, looked up at me and smiled, whispering an enticing thank you. I smiled back, winked and handed her my "call me" business card.

I span round and breezed out of the emergency room, keen to find someone to clean up my coffee before it stained the polar bear rug in my office, happy in the knowledge that my medical career had begun with success. The first of many medical conundrums to be solved by Dr Marnix MD.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pipe and slippers

A little while ago I gave up my last plot of land, Waterloo Sunset. Since then I've been a nomad, just hanging around the gallery, of no fixed abode, stalking friends and partaking in a bit of sim-hopping. Just like the old days. But all that changed this week. Jordy asked me to move in with her. As if I was going to say no.

So the other night we had a fun-filled evening rezzing every house and skybox we own between us trying to work out what would be perfect for us. Below you can see what we decided on.

It's a little two-story number with a bit of a garden. The house is big enough for the two of us but small enough to be cozy too. And the garden has room for a tree swing and a hot tub. What more could a man want?

Well, how about a couple of danceballs on the balcony? Job done :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

SDF @ The Shoe Fair

Did you know there was a Shoe Fair on? Did you know that the best of SL's cobblers are gathering on four sims of shoey-goodness starting today and continuing until the 22nd? Well, if you didn't, you should. Especially if you're a lass. Because, don't deny it, you love shoes, right? It's for charidee too, you know. A proportion of all sales made by each vendor are going to Soles4Souls.

You can find out more about the Shoe Fair here.

The reason I mention all this, other than trying to promote a good cause of course, is a bit of personal self-promotion. Swirly Disco Flames has a mini-stallette at the Shoe Fair. Yes, I know I don't do shoes, but as part of the fair this year, the organisers have given non-shoe makers the opportunity for a bit of exposure. We have been given some hay bales. And I have created for new and exclusive art especially for the fair. You won't be able to get these five new pieces anywhere else.

I am on this sim. One of four, as I say. And to be honest, if you don't like shoes (or modern abstract art!) the sims are worth a visit. They are just gorgeous. Kudos to the architects.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Feeling horny

Last time around I talked about rediscovering my love for SL. I talked about how that would surely lead to superfluous XStreet purchase habits reintroducing themselves to my time in the office. I was not wrong. This post is testiment to that. I also talked about how I still sometimes feel the need to develop an identity. Whatever that means. This post is testament to that too.

Back in October I wrote a post about hats. Specifically it was about not getting hats to fit over my hair without making them literally ten gallon hats. I have since learned that the options are either hats with hair built in or skins with hair drawn on. Both have served me well, once I learned of their existence.

So, the heady combination of my procrastinative online shopping expeditions, my new-found hat satisfaction and my semi-diluted Norse blood inherited as a result of originating on the north-east coast of England compelled me to seek out a Viking helmet.

My valiant quest was not in vain. The quest ended in glorious success. This post is testament to that.

Sadly, only one helmet was not enough.

And neither was two.

In the end my inventory is now three helms richer. Three stylish helms, I must add. I own a helmet for every occasion. I can coordinate as necessary. I have a smart helmet and more casual ones. I have the pointy kind as well as a feathery one. I am a man of the noughties if nothing else - a man's man yet in touch with my softer side. I think this pictures demonstrate that perfectly.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


For whatever reason, a combination of a lack of time, other distractions and a healthy dose of apathy have led to minimal inworld participation in recent weeks. Just needing more damn sleep than usual hasn't helped either. It's winter so perhaps I'm turning into a squirrel and need to hibernate or something. But that's another issue.

Well, this last weekend saw a bit of an upturn in time devoted to self-pixelation and it made a refreshing change. I got to hang with old friends and dance a bit and listen to some live music and play adult truthball and everything. I think I am close to being bitten by the Linden-bug again. I am trying to resist but I know I will fail. I guess it's not a bad thing. It just means that I will spend excessive amounts of time browsing free stuff on XStreet during the day again, I will feel the need to develop a new 'style' but struggle to decide what that should be, and I will spend too much on clothes I never wear. Oh, and I will probably feel compelled to rent land again too.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Liquid light

A newly released collection can be found at Swirly Disco Flames, as promised.

It's a little different to my usual stuff, so feedback gratefully received :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's about time it was over

Way back in May I blogged about the sales vendors I had in my store. They were to be there for a limited time only, giving people a chance to pick up back-catalogue items before they are no longer easily available.

Well, I reckon that the 'limited time' is about to expire. So go now. It's your last chance. Don't delay. This stuff will be gone. Forever. Deleted. Well, almost. I'll still sell pieces out of my back-catalogue, I reckon. But the easiest way is to get them from the vendors. They're at least 60% reduced. You can't go wrong, eh?

Oh, and current collection out on the walls, the Spring Spirals, that's about to be replaced too. So if you need something a little pastel-y for a light and airy beach house, for example, don't hang about or you'll miss out.

As a teaser, the new collection, to be released very, very soon is called Diffusion. Or perhaps Liquid Light. I haven't decided yet. But the pieces are a little different to my usual work. A change is as good as a rest, as my nan used to say. But you'll be the judges of that, eh?

Monday, June 21, 2010

I can haz skillz - BBBC 2010: 7

Yes, I realise that the BBBC only had six questions, not seven. But I am special. And Alicia gave me a special seventh question all of my own.

The dialogue in plurk, for those of you that can't see it, went a little like this:
[Ali] : Marnix gets his very own 7th day blog question: Tell us what talents you have. IN DETAIL
[me] : RL or SL?
[Ali] : Both.
[me] : Aw man. That's a toughie
[Ali] : That's what you get for making me come up with another question that didn't have anything to do with me.
I guess, in summary, it is my own fault for moaning about a week of blog challenges not lasting a week.

But it is a toughie. What are my talents? If I were to enter a talent contest what would my act comprise? Were I to appear on New Zealand's Got Talent what would I be doing at the second three big red crosses sparkled above my head? To be honest, in the traditional sense, I got nothing. I can't sing. I can't dance. I can't play the kazoo. I haven't trained a dog to do any of the above either. I can wiggle my ears but I think, despite that mind-blowing talent, I might have to cast my net a little wider for the benefit of this post. says a talent is "a special natural ability or aptitude". So it is something congenital rather than learned. What am I just good at?

RL sees me sitting at a desk all day doing numbery, spreadsheety stuff. In brief terms, much of what I do involves taking lots of data and condensing it down and summarising it so and drawing conclusions that other people can understand it. Sometimes I make pretty graphs. I guess that is a talent - making something incomprehensible comprehensible, right?

What else could be considered a talent? Perhaps being affable? Having the ability to put people at ease, being easy to talk to, making them laugh with my dry and understated, self-deprecating wit? Yeah, maybe. If so, I guess that one would extend to both worlds. I hope that people feel comfortable around me and that I make them smile. I know sometimes people don't get my sense of humour and think I am serious when I am totally joking, but that's just something that comes with time, I guess. It's cultural. Bear with me. You'll get there.

And if we move to SL, I guess my one talent would maybe be my art. I hope it is somewhat of a talent anyway. Otherwise I am wasting everyone's time, right? I know it is art, and clearly that means appreciation of what I produce, like all other art, is highly subjective, but I hope enough people like it enough for me to keep doing it. I enjoy it if nothing else. I just hope others gain enjoyment from it too. I struggle with motivation when there is no prospect of sharing.

I was never arty at school. I couldn't draw. I couldn't sculpt. I could do technical drawing a bit, but that was just maths with a pencil and ruler really so it doesn't count. I always felt like I want to have an arty side. I was just rubbish at it. Numbers were always easier. And they were right or wrong. There is no subjectivity in algebra. So when I discovered this abstract art I now create I felt a release in finally having an outlet. The tap had opened, the damn had burst and pretty, abstract art poured forth. A bit like my words on this blog.

It is actually quite hard to list your talents when you don't have any of the traditional ones. Also I reckon talents are quite subjective. What others might see as a talent in you, you might just see as 'you' rather than anything special. I have tried to do the question justice but self-promotion is definitely not one of my talents.

All alone

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Checking out the competition

I found myself in SL tonight. With nothing to do. It is so long since I have been in SL with nothing to do that I decided to explore a little.

When I was a noob I used to randomly tp about the place, chasing green dots, upsetting couples in-flagrante. Not on purpose, of course. I have grown now. I am beyond that. But being beyond that also limited the scope of my 'what-to-do'. Fortunately, before I gave up, I remembered that I had a gallery tour HUD in inventory. Yes, I thought. I am feeling cultural. A gallery tour sounded ideal.

Think of the HUD as random tp-ing about the place. But instead of chasing green dots, you chase art. Just to see what you can find.

If you're interested you can find a list of all of the galleries covered by the HUD here. To quote the obligatory notecard - "The Art Galleries of SL list was created and is maintained by Sasun Steinbeck for the benefit of the wonderful galleries, artists and art lovers in Second Life." If you are feeling exploratorily cultural and want to grab a HUD, you can click on the kiosk at Swirly Disco Flames.

Tonight I discovered that art, like everything else in SL, is mixed. There is some good. And some bad. Some stuffs grabs you. And some repulses you. Some is clever. Some is stupid. Some is just a major reminder that art is in the eye of the beholder. Even if he is blind. I don't know why I supposed it would be any other way.

One thing I was reminded of tonight though is how much RL photography displayed as art in SL just doesn't sit right with me. It jars somehow. I don't know what it is. And it doesn't even depend how stunning the photograph is and how much I would love the photo via some other medium. I just can't mesh the two ideas. Abstract stuff, yes. SL-based stuff, yes. Graphic art stuff, yes. In fact, anything virtual or digital, yes. But real and analogue, nope. Sorry. Not for me.

Oh, and another thing I was reminder of tonight - there's a lot of sex in galleries. The gallery tour HUD even has three categories - one of which is 'erotic', for if you're so inclined.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Six days a week - BBBC 2010: 6

So we come to last post of the challenge. The last of the week. Yes, six in a week. I know, I know. Don't blame me.

And the topic is: What did you get out of your experience? Do you think it will change the way you blog in the future?

Hmmm. Well, to answer the second bit first - no, I don't think it will change the way I blog in future. If you've been around here any time at all you'll know that I waffle sometimes, about anything. I just ramble on. About nothing. And for me, that's what this week has been about. Except someone else has given me the topics to ramble about. It hasn't changed how I blog or what I blog. It has perhaps made me blog every day this week which is a first for many a moon, but it won't change anything going forward. I'll blog when I feel the need. Or when I want to plug my gallery. Or when I have something I just have to get off my chest.

But what did I get out of the experience? That's trickier. I have been thinking about this for a while now and to be honest, I'm not sure. I have enjoyed being forced to write. Because I do enjoy spouting forth nonsense. So that's a definite bonus. I enjoyed participating in a fun challenge initiated and organised by one of my best friends. But as for anything deep and spiritual, full of insight and meaning. Neh. Probably not.

Maybe one small thing I have got out of the experience, to finish up, is a reminder that for some people this challenge has been about being heard rather than listening to others. For me as much enjoyment has been gained from reading the blogs of friends and strangers as from writing myself. But for others, it is all about them. They write because they think that not writing would deprive the world of their wisdom. They don't care about what others write, only that as many people as possible digest their tasty morsels of vocal pricelessness and are grateful for the privilege. That's not the spirit of the challenge for me. Or blogging in general. But what do I know, eh?

Friday, June 18, 2010

An empty vessel - BBBC 2010: 5

Topic #5 - Blogger's choice! Write about anything that's on your mind!

I can write about anything? Anything at all, huh? So why's my mind gone blank?



So, .... no, not that.....


Do you know how hard it is to just write something on request? Do you think Alicia realises the pressure this is putting on us? There's nothing on my mind. Not food, not sport, not sex. What else is there for a man?

I jest. I am not like that. Not all the time.

So, what's on my mind? Nope. Got nothing. Work. RL stuff. Cat's crapping over the edge of litter trays. Stuff none of you want to read about. SL stuff? Nope. I hardly get inworld at the moment. So there's nothing to write about there. I only survive in an SL sense most of the time through plurk. [You should add me, you know :) ]

Will this do? Can I stop rambling now? Please?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ageing gracefully - BBBC 2010: 4

The next BBBC topic is a hard one to answer. It is not something I have ever thought about. I guess it means this will be a short post.

Topic 4: Is your avatar more or less your current biological age? Do you portray a younger avatar, or older? Why is this?

As I say, I have never really considered this. It has never entered my head. My av is just me. The way I am. Perhaps the way I want to be, mebbe, rather than the way I am, in some respects. The way he looks just kinda depends on the skin I am currently wearing. I have never set out to give my av "an age". I don't play a child av, and I don't wear a skin that makes me look like a sun-dried prune. Marnix just is.

I guess at some point, if I stay in SL for like twenty years, then Marnix will be younger than me, or at least he'll look younger than me. But other than that, given most of us are in the 25-40 bracket, and most skins fit that bracket too, and mostly it is hard to tell, in SL or RL, where an individual person quite sits within that bracket, it doesn't really matter to me whether I look younger or older than my actual self.

Does this answer the question? I guess so. Mostly.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


In my BBBC 2010:2 post I was kinda cryptic about a positive thing in my SLife. I said I couldn't give details at the time. I now can.

A while ago, I approached the talented Rayvn Hynes of MudHoney fame about a collaboration. Well, collaboration is a big word for enquiring whether she'd be interested in selling my art in her store for a cut. Exclusive custom-made art to fit her designs, I might add. Surprisingly she said yes. I nearly fell off my chair.

Due to a few RL things and other commitments nothing then happened for a while. But late last week I got the nod. She had a room set about to be released and had some empty picture frames that needed filling. Bring on the art, was the call, and I answered.

So here we have it. The Lawrence office available here complete with five exclusively available pieces of my work. Check it out.

MudHoney ad
To nick words from Rayvn's own desciption of the set:
"The desk set was part of my Spruce Up Your Space item from last month, and I've added to the room to make a complete set. It's 283 prims of cute accessories and little details. And, since the pillows turned out so adorable, I've made it so they can be purchased separately, too, so you can scatter them in other areas of your house.

As usual, you can get the full set in copiable OR transferrable. The awesome artwork was done by Marnix Malifozik of Swirly Disco Flames, and I love how he's pulled the colors from the room into his pieces. [round of applause] "

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Covering old ground - BBBC 2010: 3

So, topic 3: How hard do you think it is to find a relationship in SL? If you have an SL relationship, have you met in the physical world? Would you meet them? Do you think it would change your SL relationship if you met?

Ooh, so many questions. Where to start? Where to start?

Well, first up, in terms of my relationships in SL in general and my view of them, you only need read back around here to find a lot of heart-felt posts. I am no stranger to relationships, for better or worse. Also, if you were here round the time of my rezday, you might have read my historical relationship overview. Given all that, I might keep today brief. I have covered some of this stuff before.

So, in short, I think it is remarkably easy to find a relationship in SL. I will add to that though, that this is as a guy. For girls I think it is different. As a guy there seems to be more choice and more opportunity. As a girl you perhaps have to be less fussy.

Met in RL? Nope. At times in various relationships there have been times (and still are) when I would have liked nothing more. But perhaps that was the little brain thinking ;)

That kind of answers the next question too. Would I meet them? Certainly there have been times when I would have grasped an opportunity to do just that with both hands.

And would it change the SL relationship? Well yes. I am talking for me here, of course, and not generally, but how could it not change things? It would be going from existing in each other's virtual lives to existing in our physical ones. Boundaries would change. Expectations would change. I like to kid myself that things would not change. But they would have to.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Positive vibes - BBBC 2010: 2

I know, I know. Two in a day. But I was playing catch-up before, and now I am getting ahead as I won't be near a PC tomorrow. The rules are fluid, I'm sure. Alicia will understand.

Topic 2 of the Big Bad Blogger Challenge 2010: Write about three positive things going on in your Second Life.

Three, huh? Sheesh. Three?!? Hmm, let me think...

Well number 1, I guess I ought to mention Jordy. I don't see her inworld nearly enough. Plurk keeps opens the lines of communication, but it's a poor substitute for spending time together. We seem to work well together. We seem to understand each other. We are there for each other when we can be but don't make demands of each other, especially unrealistic ones. She is definitely a positive thing going on in my SLife.

Number 2, I really wanna tell you details of. But I can't. Not until later this week. All I can say is 'furniture' and 'art' and 'collaboration'. There. I've said enough. My lips are sealed. But suffice it to say, I am quite excited about the prospect of these developments. But I can say no more. For now.

And number 3, I have to mention Ali, source of the BBBC. When I first arrived in SL and searched out people on their blogs, as I mentioned in BBBC1, I placed all the bloggers on pedestals. They were something to aspire to. Some sort of celebrity community us normal folk could only look at in wonder and awe. It turns out though that they're normal too. But along the way, those bepedestalled bloggers became friends. I got to know them. Some more than others, and none more than Alicia. In the last ten or so months we've hung out, we've chatted, and we've got to know each other better and better, until now, via the joy of various electronic media, we chat almost every single day. Despite being half a world apart she is one of my closest friends and someone I share much with. She also is definitely something positive going on in my SLife.

Kick up the jacksie - BBBC 2010: 1

Ok, so I am a day late signing up. But that's ok because I am in the future, right?

At the very worst, at least signing up gets me to blog about something other that my gallery and stuff. That makes a change, eh?

Right, so topic 1: Why did you become a blogger? How has it enriched your life?

When I first arrived in SL I didn't know anyone. I sat at work each day thinking about SL but not really knowing anyone. I knew that I needed to know people so decided to google 'Second Life', mainly for hints and tips. The result, I was surprised to find out, was page after page of blogs. I read through as many as I could find avidly. There was like a whole community out there.

Now, I had been a RL blogger for maybe two years at that stage. I blogged about my move to the other side of the world, both the run-up and once it happened, under the pretence of letting friends and family back home know what was going on without the need for multiple emails saying the same thing to multiple people and never knowing who's up to date and who knows what. That was the pretence, and perhaps even initial logic. But after a short time I realised that blogging was a great way of saving my thoughts for me to look back on. Especially with a 30-something memory lacking the vitality and capacity of youth.

As a result, it was not too big a step for me to consider SL blogging too. Especially when I realised that blogging, getting seen around, commenting on the blogs of others, that would be a great way to 'meet' people. Just kinda getting my name out there. Also, just like with RL, the blog became in time a great way to document my thoughts, memories and experiences.

So that's the first part. That's why I became a blogger. But how has it enriched my life, eh? Well, the answer has to be people. Simply the people I have met through it. And the friends I have made. I have met people as they have commented on my blog just as I commented on the blogs of others. Some people I know in passing only, but others I am proud to now consider my friends. These people enrich my life. Even if I am on the other side of the world I can see what they're up to, they can see what I am up to (even if it has been very little recently) and we can let each other know we're around and that we care. They enrich my life.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Location location location

This blog is rapidly becoming one solely dedicated to Swirly Disco Flames, eh? It's not by design. It's just that I am so rarely inworld at the moment that what little time I do have is spent sorting out gallery stuff.

In my last post I intimated that the sim my gallery was on was going through some changes and so you'd have to be patient if you were on the hunt for some abstract art. Since then the changes have been more drastic. Idle Rogue and the Beautiful Freaks, the music venue and audio-visual performance extravanganza combo, lifted up their corporate tent pegs and relocated to another sim. As merely a side stall at the carnival they've become I thought it wise to go with, especially when the offer of space to house my artistic dabblings was extended to the new location.

As a result, you will now find me on Viva La Glam. It is quite some sim, with a retro 50s diner and roller rink as well as the ultimate burlesque experience that is The Factory. I think the Slaughtered Lam Pub is also around there somewhere too.

My sparkly white new gallery is just up the hill from the main town centre bit but just below the mountain that the Big Top that houses the Beautiful Freaks sits astride.

I wanted my gallery up there, so I could look down on everyone like Zeus atop Mount Olympus, using people as playthings for my amusement. I was told no.

But yes, anyway, the new gallery is sparkly and white, has the Spring Spirals collection on display at present, and also houses the three sale vendors that are living on borrowed time.

There's also a little lounge area to sit and relax. Given I has just surrendered my little plot of land yesterday there's a fair chance you might even find me sat around there, waiting for customers to chat to. You should stop by and say hello sometime.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Look up

OK, please bear with me. If you've recently tried to TP to the Swirly Disco Flames gallery (maybe to check out the Spring Spirals collection or the new but limited-time-only sales vendors you may have arrived to find yourself in a location more resembling a field than a gallery. This happened to me last night, as it happens.

It turns out that Idle Rogue, both the commerical and venue areas, are under-going construction. I am led to believe the revamp will be astonishing.

In the meantime, however, do not fear. You can still get your fix of abstract art. Just lift your eyes heavenward and all will be revealed. Swirly Disco Flames is still there. It has just developed a slight distaste for gravity.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Back catalogue

I had the idea that I might create a back catalogue of my art in Flickr and embed it here. I am hoping it works. Fingers crossed, eh?

This is stuff that has at one time or another been on sale in my gallery. I still have it all hidden away in my inventory so can sell you a piece from there if you so desire. The only stuff I can't sell is the custom-made stuff I created for people.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Last chance sales

Swirly Disco Flames is undergoing a change of policy.

In the past, when I have released new collections, the most recent collection has just been added to an in-store vendor so the old art was still available there. But this process was getting unwieldy. The vendor was getting quite full.

After all, there was my original collection, the Symmetry collection, the Aroha collection, the collection designed for the satellite gallery and of course the ill-conceived St Paddy's day collection. This is on top of the odd one or two that didn't warrant inclusion in a whole collection. As I say, the vendor was getting quite full.

I had the idea of multiple vendors, but didn't consider that for long as I had a better idea. At least I think it's a better idea. Basically, my art will now be limited edition. Or at least it will be available for a limited time period. Once a new collection is released the old stuff will no longer be for sale. It'll make it more exclusive, I think. Or something.

But, rather than just remove all my old stuff from sale without giving anyone any notice at all I thought I'd try heading down the road of a sale. So that's what I am doing. Right now.

All my art that was previously on sale is now bundled up in three vendors in store at the drastically reduced prices of 20L, 30L or 40L. Each vendor contains art of the same price to make it nice and easy for you.

So please come on down and don't miss this last chance to grab some collector's editions, old pieces of Marnix memorabilia that will soon be gone forever.

And while you're at it you can check out the recently release Spring Spirals collection.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Spirals

Spring has sprung, in northern hemisphere at least. As a result I thought it timely to maybe work on some new art. Something in pastels and spring colours and such.

The long hours spend behind numerous canvases (canvi?) finally yielded results and today I am pleased to announce the release of a new collection entitled 'Spring Spirals'. You can see a selection of the sparkly and new Swirly Disco Flames below on my brand new shiny advert.

Each piece is still a bargain at only 100L a pop. And you'll still find my work at the usual place.

Regulars to the Swirly Disco Flames establishment might even notice a change. To coincide with the new collection I have a fresh new logo too. Many thanks to my friend Aisu for all her work on this. She also makes the only eyes I ever wear.

Also thanks are due to Alicia for the shots in the advert of my art in situe.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A niche market?

Yesterday at work a friend brought to my attention Alibinetwork. The website describes the company as "...a cutting edge full-service discreet agency providing alibis and excuses for absences as well as assistance with a variety of sensitive issues." Digging deeper it looks like they provide a very comprehensive and varied service.

After my initial surprise and shock that such a service existed, my reaction settled on the side of admiration. I guess the market must exist if the business does so you have to give the ideas people brownie points for spotting an opportunity.

Thinking later about the whole thing I was struck with an idea of my own. If the business need exists in RL, then surely it must exist in SL too, right? If people need "Privacy Partners" in RL then why not in SL?

It was that thought that has led to my new business venture - SLalibis. Never one to shirk away from grabbing on to someone else's coat-tails I am launching the service today.

So, if you need an SLalibi talk to me. I understand my clients' unique situations and will explore with them various approaches before arriving at and implementing the best solution on a case-by-case basis. I understand your need for complete secrecy and discretion and won't plurk details of cases even with clients' names removed. Rest assured of that.

Maybe you need to hide a discreet booty-call. I can provide you with timely hunt gifts that 'prove' you were busy hunting, not playing hide the pixel sausage with your floozy.

Maybe you want time alone with a 'friend'. I can rent a private luxury hideaway sim in our name so it will never appear on your transaction history as well as constructing a perfectly innocent chatlog, complete with gestures, to show you were shopping and talking to many, many strangers at the time.

Maybe you're in a straight relationship but feel the need to hang around in gay strip clubs. I can replicate your appearance and provide you with time-stamped pictures showing 'you' in a range of well-known photogenic locations.

Maybe you simply want to buy the secret flesh-interest in your life with saucy gifts that cannot be traced back to you. I can track down the perfectly in-appropriate items and transfer them with a notecard on your behalf.

Or maybe your significant other is inworld while you are trying to seduce noobs on Orientation Island for meaningless cyber-nookie. I can provide you with an attractive and fashionable alt to use while logging on as you and entertaining your partner on your behalf.

This is just a selection of the services I can offer. Whatever your need, I can provide the support and solution you are looking for. With a guaranteed promise of no guilt-trip or disapproving noises. IM me now for a free initial consultation.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Double bill

Since the last post I've been a bit down on SL. I log in and find two people on my friends list online. And they're contacts rather than friends. It gets depressing sometimes.

Live music though, that is something I really enjoy in SL, and something I try to make time for. Especially when it's at Idle Rogue, my friend Chry's venue. Which is just next to my gallery incidentally ;)

Tonight it was a double-bill. Two artists for the price of one.

First up was Nohj Martinek, a Kiwi with an English accent. Nice stuff. Covers. Moody Blues, Elton John, Buffalo Springfield, Boby Dylan, Tom Petty. A nice half hour set. And great to open up for the headliner.

The headlining artist though was Adrienne Deezul, a kiwi in German exile.

And she was awesome. I cannot do the set justice by describing it. I really liked her stuff. I don't know how to pigeon-hole it for your understanding. Kind of think Joan Osborne with a smidge of Alanis Morrisette with their edgy vocals and acoustic stuff, but with kinda of an industrial celtic twist? I dunno. Something like that. Whatever. It was good.

Another extreme positive for the evening was the audience. And the artists, I guess. I stood in a room in SL with at least six other people in or from NZ. That has never happened before. I never ever thought it would. I knew three other people in NZ in SL before. I have now tripled the number I have met. Which makes me smile.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Time changes everything

Here in the Southern Hemisphere we moved a couple of weeks ago to wintertime. In contrast, as most of you will no doubt be aware, the Northern Hemisphere moved last month to summertime. Or daylight savings time. Or whatever you call it in your neck of the words.

I can hear you all wondering what place useless not-even-facts like that have on a SL blog. Well, I'll tell you. It all comes down to time differences. With me moving backwards and the north moving forward, given I am in the future, you'd be forgiven for thinking the time difference between me and pretty much the rest of SL got smaller.

For Europe, that is indeed true. I have gone from being 13 hours ahead of the motherland England to being only 11 hours ahead. It means when my mum forgets the time difference and phones me at 7pm it is now 6am for me, not 8am. Joy.

When it comes to the US though, and most of SL, the picture is a little murkier. Take SLT for example. I have gone from being 21 hours ahead to being 19 hours ahead. On the face of it it looks like the gap has narrowed. But because I am so far ahead of them it is like I am behind them, only in tomorrow. So ignoring days, I have gone from 3 hours behind SLT to 5 hours behind.

And that's the problem. When I come inworld it is usually somewhere after 8pm for me. In my summer that was 11pm SLT and still early enough for some of my American friends to be online. Now however, in my winter, 8pm for me is 1am SLT. The number of American friends still awake is thus smaller. And 8pm is the earliest I ever get online pretty much.

So basically the number of friends I ever see online from this point until October is minimal. Perhaps it is time to start exploring alone again. I could even resurrect Wherever Wednesday, I guess. Or maybe just hanging with my Aussie friends. Although previously that's always ended up causing me grief and drama. Aussie women, eh? Sheesh ;)

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I am sure at some point before in this mammoth marathon of verbal seepage I have mentioned how we are helpless in our SL friendships and relationships. But I'm going to mention it again anyhow.

You see, this week it affected me very directly and I was once again reminded of the distance between us. Someone close to me, someone I speak to every day, vanished. I was not around all the long weekend, something friends were aware of, but I returned to the computer on Tuesday to find her absent. Tuesday passed, Wednesday passed and still no word. Common friends were worried too. It wasn't just me.

To compound the issue the friend's list shown on decided it would omit her. So my initial thought was that she'd deleted her account. But when I did get online I found the website's error and then dismay turned to worry.

I mean, there may have been illness, an accident or major RL trauma and stresses involved but I had no way of finding out which explanation of these, or indeed any other, was correct. I was left. Lanquishing.

The good news is that Thursday brought relief when she resurfaced. But that's all background detail really. The issue I am writing about is the helpless emptiness we feel when a friend poofs, even for a couple of days.

Some people talk about giving an SL friend RL contact details so that they can get in touch. But even with an RL email address and mobile phone number the situation here was not altered. If people don't want to answer emails or texts they don't have to. So again, you don't know if it space they need or an ambulance.

Others talk about getting similar contact details for an RL contact of your SL friends so you can get in touch in a second-hand kind of way. But some have good reason to be reticent to do that, and even if they're not, it seems a bit alarmist emailing someone you don't know just because a common friend has been offline for two days, eh?

I guess therefore I don't have a solution to suggest. It is just a problem that we have to live with due to the very nature of our global and virtual relationships. What is so exceptional and such a draw-card for me in terms of meeting fantastic people on-line on the other side of the world is also a key flaw. We befriend in this global intrasphere but cannot nip round to have a coffee and see if our befriendibles are ok. It sucks, huh?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My name's Marnix and I'm broken

If you're a friend on plurk and you read my verbose outpourings there as well as here you might remember a few days ago I mentioned a small bug I was experiencing in SL. For some reason I could no longer run, I could not fly, I walked as if through treacle and I fell at an alarmingly slow rate. Added to that was the issue where I would tp to some sims, and I stress some, and land in a spot that wasn't where I tp-ed to and would then promptly not be able to move. I would just moonwalk on the spot. It was, to understate it, immensely frustrating.

The other day I fell off a sky platform 700 metres up. In the end I got bored and logged off. As a result this is what I logged in to. I was still falling. That's a plane in front of me there, by the way, just hovering at about 650m.

I decided I'd wait and see how long it took me to reach ground level. I changed clothes. I chatted with a friend for a little bit. And I continued falling. I measured that I fell 73m in 8 minutes.

Eventually a random stranger on the ground below me IMed me and asked if I was alright up there. He even flew up from the ground to meet me and just hovered a bit. He was as perplexed as I was about the issue but he suggested TPing me to somewhere with less lag to see if that helped. I'm a trusting sort of a guy so I agreed to give it a go. The issue couldn't get any worse. And by now I was down to about 500m anyway. Another hour and I'd be at ground level.

He TPed me somewhere and we landed on a quayside outside of a built-up city. The sim was named Kowloon. The first thing he said when I landed was "take off all your clothes except your pants". For a minute I thought I'd been kidnapped for the Hong Kong sex-slave industry, but then he qualified it by adding something about making sure I was wearing absolutely nothing containing a script.

I did as instructed and tried flying. And running. And falling. And wahey! Success. It worked. I was mended. Next up was to slowly, one item at a time, add all my stuff back on again - the AO, the Pandora HUD, the mini-radar, the flight feather, the type-blocker thingy - to see at what point the bug returned. Because then, of course, I'd have found the offending item.

One by one I added stuff back, tried flying and falling. Each time I found everything was good. Until eventually I was back, exactly as I had started, fully-dressed and fully-HUDed up. And yet I still worked. I was not broken any more. Now is it me, or is that some weird-ass shit?

I went to thank my unlikely fairy godmother but he'd vanished. As suddenly as he appeared, he was gone. Just who was that mystery stranger who came to my aid? Perhaps we'll never know.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Publicity ho

I've been syndicated! No ,really!

The 'Home and Garden SL Feed' does exactly what it says on the tin and from now on relevant Swirly Disco Flames posts from here will appear there too.

Don't worry though, all the rambling drivel I spout about something and nothing and anything will be filtered out though. It will be solely art stuffs. Well, art stuffs surrounded by minor drivel. Like this. Only this doesn't have any art. Only drivel.

Although, thinking about it, if you're reading this here, then chances are you won't need to read my stuff on the feed because you'll have read it here already. But don't let that stop you checking the feed out, no siree, as you'll be able to find loads of amazing stuff there too.

What an awesome idea, huh? It works for all that fashion stuff. And now, all those with interior design (and exterior design, come to that) fetishes can get their fill too. Genius!

The flip-side

The other day I introduced the eponymous protagonist of my overly ambitious and never to be completed SL-based comic project, Norks McCracken. And like any good 1920s-style private eye, Norks has an arch-enemy in organised crime. A racketeering anti-Norks, if you will.

Of course, like any self-respecting archetypal prohibition gangster, my villain is Italian American. He needs a name though. Something suitable. Which is where you come in.

I am holding a competition. It is called 'Name the mobster'. What happens is that you all suggest appropriate names for a crime boss, something suitably Don-ish, and I choose the winner and adopt the name. Simple, huh?

It's all about getting you involved in the process and giving you ownership in the project. It's a wicked marketing ploy really, but I removed the majority of the wickedness by exposing my motives. Cunning, huh?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Getting around

It seems that nowadays you can't go anywhere without seeing some of my art plastered on the walls of SL.

OK, so that's not strictly true. But it is true that a couple of custom pieces of mine now adorn the walls of the offices of the editor-in-chief of Icon Lifestyle magazine.

Did I mention I undertake commission work?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Norks McCracken

Meet Norks McCracken. He's a 1920s Private Eye, living in Chicago, walking the tightrope that is staying on the right side of both the law and organised crime.

The other week I had an idea. A bold and imaginative idea. I wanted to create serialised graphic novel-type blog, set in SL. All I'd need were characters, a storyline or two, locations, poses and time. Lots of time. Oh, and a bit more inclination.

I still haven't ruled out the idea. My good friends are all making supportive noises. But it would be an awful lot of work. And I just don't think I have the time, sadly. I wish I did.

Take tonight, for example. I probably took two hours finding a location for some introductory shots. (Admittedly SL was being an arse during that time.) I then sorted through the shots, chose some good ones, and then experimented to find some suitable comic book effects. This probably took another two or three hours. And this was just me, so no other characters or poses to worry about. Four or five hours for an output of six pics. No diva actresses or ill-disciplined actors to be bothered with. No framing of the pics into a comic-strip and laying on of dialogue etc. To do it justice it would be a full time job.

But then I look at pictures like this one here, and I get excited by the idea again. And I want to find a way to do it. But other than resigning from work or just not sleeping I don't have a solution.

So for now I think the idea will have to sit on the back-burner. Let's call it an ambition. Norks will have to wait. The murder, kidnap and theft cases will just have to be left unsolved.

I am quite pleased with some of these pics though. I would need to choose one particular style though, I reckon, eh?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quite a fun game

Ok, the skin game went down quite well (on Plurk rather than on here tbh), so I thought I'd try the same but with hair.

As before, click through to see the image bigger. Oh, and these are demos again, so you kinda have to ignore the colours shown here.

Once again, pick your fave.
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