Sunday, May 31, 2009

Our Lady of Hope

Some time earlier, during the Caledon ghost quest, I believe, I visited Caer Firnas to find a new addition: Our Lady of Hope Teaching Hospital and Historical Society.

The hospital entrance

The hospital is a fascinating build, thanks to the talents of Duke and Duchess Caer Firnas, Vivito Volare and Fogwoman Gray, evoking a (thankfully sanitized) version of a Victorian-era hospital.

A view of the medical library

The hospital is divided into a number of smaller rooms: waiting area, medical library, patient ward, a long corridor, and operating theater.

The patient ward

In addition to the three-dimensional representations of a Victorian hospital, and the photographs gracing the walls, the "teaching" aspect of the hospital becomes evident in the last room, the operating theater.

The operating theater. Ether, anyone?

Each of the five green circles surrounding the hapless patient on his gurney provides transportation to one of the innermost workings of the human body, each of which contains a form of cancer. (Miss Gray has made no secret of the fact that her typist is a nurse.)

I visit the gastrointestinal tract

One can travel through an intestine, a rectum, a breast, a lung, and a vaginal canal to see how cancerous growths may affect each.

I visit a breast

Of course, as I am a devoted hypochondriac, upon seeing this, I promptly experienced unusual pains in about three-quarters of my body.

I visit a lung

Nonetheless, the exhibit provides an eye-opening, forthright introduction to some of the types of abnormal cells that may form in the body. The hospital and its contents are unique to Caledon, if not the entire grid, and give useful insight into what a cancerous growth may look like. If nothing else, the visitor leaves thankful that she lives in a time of more advanced medicine.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kintyre Revisited

The openspace sim issue/debacle/calamity wrought many changes in Caledon. One of those changes was to the Duchy of Kintyre. Lavendar Beaumont, Duchess Kintyre, maintained her lands but made substantial changes to the structures.

The lighthouse guards the coastline:

A peaceful set of gazebos provides the opportunity for quiet contemplation:

The chocolate derrick remains:

The mansion is gone, replaced by a more modest structure, along with trees, shrubs, and other greenery:

The gristmill continues to operate, a reminder of our collective past:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Port Galveston

Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowin'
I still see her dark eyes glowin'
She was 21 when I left Galveston

Port Galveston is a picturesque seaside town in the republic of Texas, which is somewhat to the West of Caledon. I visited one fine afternoon.

Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea waves crashing
While I watch the cannons flashing
I clean my gun and dream of Galveston

The dock is dominated by the large sailing vessel. Woo-hoo, it's Cap'n Rhianon!

I still see her standing by the water
Standing there lookin' out to sea
And is she waiting there for me?
On the beach where we used to run

I spent some time investigating what might be stored in barrels and contain a spigot. Hmmm, should I sample some?

No need to break open the barrels when one can relax at the bar in comfort.

Galveston, oh Galveston, I am so afraid of dying
Before I dry the tears she's crying
Before I watch your sea birds flying in the sun
At Galveston, at Galveston

In addition to numerous small, quaint shops - some still available for rent - and houses available for rent, the town is dominated by Menard House, a fine example of Southern architecture. I have heard that our own Dr. Mason occasionally graces Menard House with his disc jockey-ological skills.

(Lyrics to "Galveston," by Glen Campbell.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Admire Stockings

Miss Poppy's exhibit - Stockings! - opened on Saturday. Although neither Jameson sister was in town, I flew up in the Steamray to her gallery to admire the work.

Dozens of young ladies posed for Miss Poppy in their stockings - sometimes wearing little else. The pictures show how lovely - and daring! - are the ladies of the neo-Victorian sims.

Speaking of daring, how brave of Sir Ras to pose as well! He looks darling in white lingerie. *grins*

All the photographs are for sale - a modest L$350 for gentlemen or ladies who appreciate, ah, stockings. And the photographs are no copy/transfer, so they can be given as gifts. I purchased one of the Caledon Catgirl Brigade to give to someone appreciative. [RJ - and she was, indeed, appreciative!].

The exhibit certainly inspired me to look for additional pairs of stockings. You know, just in case.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

...And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Who doesn't like building demolitions? When I heard that a low earth orbiting spacecraft and its ground systems were both coming down, I hastened to get a good vantage point.

I arrived a little too late to see the ground station demolished, but the evidence was still smoking:

Later, the station itself imploded, and individual pieces rained from above:

Ah, good times!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Take in Music

My young friend, Miss Mina, invited me to hear a piano and voice recital by the musician Miss Cylindrian Rutabaga (the RL singer Grace Buford) in the Avilion Mist sim.

Miss Rutabaga is an accomplished musician in both lives. I enjoyed a pair of Dresden Dolls covers and what I believe to have been some original songs before the end of the set.

St. Patrick's Fete for RFL

Magellan Kinvara held a fete to benefit RFL. I had never attended a village fete before, though I had read about a number of them in the works of Miss Agatha Christie, Miss Connie Willis, Miss Dorothy Sayers, and others. Although I had but a few moments, I popped in on the event.

At one end, Irish dancing was underway, though, as Sesame Street used to sing, "One of these things is not like the others..."

Miss Madeline Tiratzu, Miss Zarya Velinov, Mr. Roy Smashcan, and Miss Elspeth Woolley dance a jig

Clockwise from bottom left: Miss Minako Masala, Miss Annie Deutsch, Miss Caladon Rae, and moi.

I speak with Mr. Onyx Plutonian.

The Guarda was present, in the form of Miss Rae and Mr. Plutonian, ensuring a peaceful time was had by all. After chatting with some friends, old and new, I perused the RFL vendors. Individuals had donated gently used clothing or furniture to be resold for the benefit of RFL. I purchased a pair of frocks, because I simply cannot help myself and it is for a good cause, as I told myself.

Then it was off to the next event...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thistle Hill Market

When Duchess Kintyre announced plans to sell Thistle Hill Keep, in Oxbridge Village, Mr. Onyx Plutonian, like many others, felt the loss to the community. Mr. Plutonian decided to act, however, and created Thistle Hill Market, a collection of Victorian-themed shops.

As the pictures show, plenty of shop space remains available.

However, two shops are open for business. First, Simple Threads, by Miss Marrant Vita, specializing in Victorian women's and girls' clothing.

Next, Miss Addison Leigh's Overland Trail sells several ladies' dresses and home accessories.

Both shops feature (U.S.) Western-influenced attire.
Bravo to Mr. Plutonian for taking on this endeavor, and may he have much success!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I Visit the Mouse

I have a small confession to make: I like the Mouse. Mickey, that is. Disney World. It's kitschy, cheesy, appealing to the 7-year-old inside us (and outside us, if one happens to be seven), exploitative, expensive... but, let's face it, the Mouse does a great job. Far from the usual surly customer service one has begun to expect, the employees of the Mouse all seem to enjoy what they're doing. (I do not mean to suggest that they do enjoy what they're doing, but all I ask as a customer is that they fake it well. And they do.) The company is continually refining the science of crowd movement - remember the E ticket? (The 10-year-old Rhianon was unhappy when Mr. Jameson bought a package that had, in her view, too few E tickets and far too many A tickets.) The signs telling one how long the wait would be from particular spots? The timed ticket? Extra Magic Hours? And they understand that adults need some time, too: hence several decent restaurants and bars.

Miss Emilly Orr mentioned Mouse World in a recent post. I decided to pay a visit.

First off, points for the free mouse ears - in Mickey or Minnie flavors.

Do I look seven?

Though Main Street U.S.A. doesn't look exactly like its theme park counterpark, the former certainly evokes the feeling of the latter.

Main Street U.S.A. - in some America that time forgot

Cinderella Castle was a little disappointing, looking a little more like Legos than the real thing.

However, the rides I took were spot-on. The Haunted House, despite audio that kept cutting out, was an outstanding replica of the real thing. (Was that actually Bela Lugosi narrating, and was it the actual audio from the Disney ride?)

The little cars, with their abrupt swivels, were much like the real thing, too.

Some of the smaller rides are represented as well. I tried the Tea Cups until, just like 10-year-old Rhianon, I started to get queasy. Time to head to safer areas!

Anyone have a spare "A" ticket?

There is a Skyride that takes one above the themed areas - Tomorrowland, Fantastyland, and Frontierland.

I rode Mission to Mars in Tomorrowland, and it, too, was a pretty good imitation of the Disney ride, right down to the "Oh my gosh, a meteor strike! We have to get back to Earth immediately!" (Disney's way of getting the ride over with, and new fannies in the seat, as quickly as possible.)
Not the real Disney, of course. But close, and a heck of a lot cheaper.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Fat Tuesday

My typist has always loved New Orleans. Not to live there - it's dirty, hot and humid, crime-ridden, and has nonstop tourists in the interesting spots - but visiting for a few days is always a treat. A fattening treat, true, but a treat nonetheless. Sadly, the Jamesons have not been to the city in a number of years as other destinations have been a higher priority and the convention duties that used to offer "free" airfare and lodging - the quotes are because one actually had to work during the day - have fallen to younger colleagues. Still, the memories linger.

In addition to the great food, the limitless number of places to have a drink (from down and dirty to swanky), and the determination of all involved to have a good time even if it kills them, the city's architecture is like no other's.

Gospel Voom's Fat Tuesday sim really evokes that architecture of the French Quarter. One lands in Jackson Square and the Saint Louis Cathedral.

Cathedral exterior

Cathedral interior

The cleanest one will ever see Bourbon Street

No ride to Desire, but the St. Charles Street line runs here

Wrought iron, hanging baskets, brightly-painted houses and shutters

What would a trip be without beignets at the Cafe du...Gos?

Other than the near complete lack of people - which may be a good thing some days - the main thing keeping Fat Tuesday from evoking New Orleans even more is the lack of dirt and cockroaches everywhere, along with the absence of a need to dodge random piles of vomit in the streets and gutters.

Another beignet, anyone?

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Tree Grows in Glengarry

Miss Mari Moonbeam and Miss Reghan Straaf have a new neighbor in Glengarry, who erected this odd divider between her property and Miss Moonbeam's:

One wonders how this could possibly look in-theme, or why one would think it is needed, or why one would put it mere feet from the front door of a house:

I suppose I'm starting to sound like one of the cranky old-timers who despair over the taste and commitment to theme of the young-uns. Really, I'm not. But if the Mainland is what one wants, why not buy on the Mainland?