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January 4th, 2007

Reveal Your Secrets!

Happy Birthday, higginsdragon!

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

skingy
Cold, nipping, as applied to the weather; Suffolk.
--James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855


Thames Frost Fair
On this date in 1716, English chief justice and attorney general Dudley Ryder added to his diary a brief sketch of one of the seventeen Tames "frost fairs" that were recorded between 1281 and 1814: "Went to see the Thames, which is froze over. I was extremely struck with ... the most wild and confused sight I ever saw. It looks as if there had been a violent storm and it had just froze the waves just as they were justling and beating against one another, and the billows and foam and white froth were grown stiff just as they were at the height of their hurry." An account by a Mr. Howe at a similar event in 1608 said, "From January 10th to 15th the ice became firm, and men, women, and children went boldly upon it; some shot at prickes [targets], others bowled and danced, and many set up booths standing upon the ice, as fruitsellers, victuallers that sold beere and wine, shoomakers, and a barber's tent."

Is a "shoomaker" somebody who gets other people to leave for a fee? I could use one of those from time to time!

-The Gneech
Well, that was fun. :) For reasons yet to be divulged ;) I created a little freebie account on Second Life and wandered around a bit. Not being one to waste times with little things like "tutorials," the moment my little ringtail dude (eh?) appeared on Orientation Island, I was already teleporting off somewhere else.

Unfortunately, that meant spending a lot of time clicking around on random bits of the environment trying to figure out how to do anything. I managed to send messages to all the people I knew who I could find (all four of 'em), but nobody was on at the time so I just started "Exploration Via Search Engine". I did manage to find a lion body to wear, only to discover that it cost L800, while I had a total budget of Lnil.

About that time, shockwave77598 manifested out of the aether and volunteered to act as my guide for the rest of the evening. He was also kind enough to supply the necessary funds for me to get the lion body. The ringtail was cute and all, particularly after I buffed him up a bit in the customization menu, but just not me.

shockwave77598 and I did a little shopping around to find an analog for my hat, but to no avail; by the time we were through with that, I had just enough energy to head to Luskwood (which is apparently something of "furry central" on SL) and poke around a bit.

I got the hang of it fairly quickly, for the most part, except I have an unfortunate tendency to use CTRL+ENTER to send text, which I've been trained to do by various chat programs. In SL, CTRL+ENTER is the "shout" command ... so I have a tendency to walk into a room and announce my presence by saying "HOW DO I ZOOM IN ON THIS SIGN?" or something similar. I picture myself as a kind of toonish Mr. Gumby.

STOMP, STOMP, STOMP. "FIRST, YOU RIGHT-CLICK ON A BUNCH OF FLOWERS! THEN YOU PLACE THEM -- NICELY -- IN THE 'VASE' CONTAINER! OOH! GET IN! GET IN THE 'VASE' CONTAINER!!!" WHAP, WHAP! "OOOH, MY BRAIN HURTS!"

Fear the lion who has a faulty volume control, fellow furries. There's a reason our roar is famous.

Anyway, SL seems like a fun way to kill some time, during those rare moments I have some time to kill. I did notice a heavy preponderance of "mature" areas, and I'm not really surprised but it does seem kind of a waste. With the infinite worlds of imagination open to people, you'd think they'd come up with better things than just infinite new ways to be skanky. OTOH, nobody ever got AIDS or VD from a keyboard, I guess!

-The Gneech

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