UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The CATWA HDPRO Queen Bento Mesh Head Is L$1, But TODAY ONLY!

PLEASE NOTE: My blog is still on indefinite hiatus; I have made a single exception for this blogpost. After this, I will be going back on my self-imposed break from blogging.

CATWA has announced that the one-day giveaway of their HDPRO Queen Bakes on Mesh, Bento female mesh head has been extended by ONE DAY ONLY, so you have until 11:59 p.m. SLT/Pacific time TODAY, March 26th, 2021, to visit one of the following four special promo sims to pick up your head for only one Linden dollar. After today, the Queen head will retail for L$5,910, so this is a truly exceptional bargain that you should not pass up, even if you already have a favourite Bento mesh head! Pick one up anyway today, when it’s 99.98% off, and stash it away in your inventory for a rainy day when you feel like switching your look!

QUEEN will be available for one linden purchase price until [26th MARCH 11:59PM SL TIME]. We thank you for the overwhelming response to this offer. We also thank Linden Lab for their help in setting up the additional sims. Landmarks are in CATWA groups. We have set up 4 sims for the promo, Landmarks were sent to both of CATWA groups. Make sure to use those LMs as it’s the only way to get in because all of the sims are NEW!

Each promo sim has 9 vendors; simply pay the vendor L$1 (it will not be refunded). The vendors all look like this (you do not need to join any group to use them):

If you are impatient and have received the message that you can use the delivery terminal, feel free to use the redelivery terminal on each of the promo sims or at the CATWA main store to get your HDPRO Queen head delivered (I found I had to do this for several of my alts).

Please note that all four sims are jam-packed with avatars trying to pick up this freebie today, so please be patient. You might want to use a tool like the handy free Teleport Hammer to fight your way in. (Remember that if you are a Premium member, you get priority access to overcrowded sims.)

Below is what theHDPRO Queen head looks like, with the included mesh eyes, and using one of the included head skins (a BoM tatto layer) and the default eyebrow shaper and body shape, without any adjustments to the sliders (you will have to find system/Bakes on Mesh skins to match the head tattoos included in the package):

Here is what the head looks like with the Elvira skin by 7 Deadly S[k]ins, paired with the Kalhene Ariadna mesh body (a freebie which is unfortunately no longer available):

Happy freebie shopping!

UPDATE 11:15 a.m.: Cat Pink SL has posted a 40-minute livestream on YouTube about the CATWA HDPRO Queen head (it’s in Spanish with some English):

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Pick Up 106 Free Outfit Fatpacks and 147 Free Group Gifts of Women’s Apparel and Footwear at Scandalize for Only L$20!

I don’t know if you have heard the news yet, but Scandalize (which already has a stellar reputation as by far the most generous store in Second Life when it comes to group gifts) has dropped the price to join the Scandalize store group from L$100 to only L$20. I don’t know if this discount is temporary or permanent, so I would very strongly encourage you to take advantage and subscribe to the Scandalize group NOW!

Between the older Scandalize store group (which, as I said, now costs only L$20 to join) and the newer Scandals SL Frees & News group (which is still free to join), you can now pick up a truly staggering haul of women’s clothing and footwear, including a staggering ONE HUNDRED AND SIX full outfit fatpacks. Yes, not outfits in a single colour, but actual fatpacks, with HUDs giving you dozens of colours and patterns, and oodles of styling options! An embarrassment of riches for female avatars.

Read on and learn! First, if you have not already done so (and many female avatars already have), join the Scandalize group and visit their main store, where you can pick up the following gifts from their group gift wall, 147 in total as of this writing!

There are four outfit fatpacks located in the Scandalize store as follows:

  • one if you join the SL Frees & Offers group for free (see image above);
  • one if you click on the Stay at Home vendor panel (see image above);
  • a lingerie fatpack located near the front entrance and the lucky boards, which requires you join the Scandalize store group for L$20;
  • and an outfit fatpack if you join the free Scandals SL Frees & News group, also located near the front entrance.

Don’t forget to walk around to the wall directly behind the front counter at the store, where you can pick up 20 womenswear fatpacks with your Scandalize group tag active:

Here’s a look at just one of the group gift fatpacks, the glorious Azahara ballgown!

Don’t forget that Scandalize also has a full wall of lucky boards located near the back of the store (you do need to be a member of the Scandalize group to slap these boards when your initial comes up). They are extremely popular, so the letters tend to turn over quickly! You won’t have to wait more than 5 to 10 minutes to pick up even more free outfits!

Here’s just a couple of examples of the free outfits you can win from the Scandalize lucky boards, which usually come in sizes to fit Maitreya, Belleza, Slink, and Legacy mesh bodies:

Scandalize Sanara outfit in pale pink
Scandalize Zarihas outfit: a grey top with optional sleeves, with a denim skirt

But wait, there’s more! Located just across from the Scandalize store, on the same sim, is the Scandalize Outlet store, where (if you join the Scandals SL Frees & News group) you can vacuum up no less than EIGHTY TWO full womenswear fatpacks!

Here’s an older blogpost from last summer with pictures of a just a few of the outfits you can pick up for zero Lindens! Read, mark, and inwardly digest the freebie fabulousness!!!

So, here’s a summary of all the womenswear fatpacks you can pick up at one stop:

  • 82 from the Scandals Outlet store (requires the Scandals SL Frees & News group);
  • 20 from the wall behind the front counter at the Scandalize store (which requires a membership in Scandalize group);
  • 4 more fatpacks scattered around the Scandalize store (for 4 different groups)

That makes 106 womenswear fatpacks (plus 147 group gifts of women’s apparel and footwear) for only TWENTY LINDEN DOLLARS in total outlay! You don’t need to spend another Linden!

Two hundred and fifty-three gifts divided by L$20 works out to only L$0.08 PER GIFT, a truly mind-boggling bargain the likes of which you will not encounter anywhere else on the grid!

So drop whatever you’re doing, join the Scandalize group for L$20 if you haven’t already done so, and pick up some serious bargains!

UPDATED! Pandemic Diary: March 1st, 2021

Today is officially Day 351 since I began working in self-isolation from my apartment for my university library system. And, as many of you who follow me on Twitter or on this blog know, I had a massive emotional meltdown last week as the inadvertent result of a blogpost I had written, landing up in bed for 48 hours, struggling with my chronic clinical depression, and thinking that I would once again have to go on extended sick leave from my paying job (I did land up taking two sick days).

This is what the second half of last week felt like to me:

However, by Sunday evening, I was feeling myself start to bounce back from the destructive, depressive spiral, and start to climb out of the black pit of despair. I have decided—for the time being—to take a step back from Twitter, Reddit, and all the Discord servers I belong to. I have also decided to stop cross-posting new blogposts automatically to my Twitter feed. I figure that by this point, with over 1,000 views per day of my blog according to my WordPress stats, most people already know where to find my content. (And it was somebody’s reaction to one of those cross-posted blogposts which was the spark that ignited the controversy that felled me.)

Reading back, I could see how I had stretched myself to the breaking point, with a number of contributing factors: work, depression, isolation, a bitterly cold stretch of Winnipeg winter, a province-wide pandemic lockdown since early November, etc. And, being stretched so thin, all it would take would be one single straw to break the camel’s back. And break it did, badly and publicly, for all to see. I’m sorry.

Talking to other people helps, and I have spent this weekend chatting with real-life friends and family: a FaceTime call with my best friend John, a cellphone chat with my mom, a Zoom meeting with my family in Alberta, etc. And I was also inundated with messages of love, support, and wisdom from my friends and acquaintances online, for which I am grateful! I consider myself a very lucky man. Thank you.

While the daily surge of positive COVID-19 cases and deaths has slowly tapered down, it is still a difficult time here in Manitoba. Canada is lagging woefully behind dozens of other countries (such as the United States, Israel, and the United Kingdom) in vaccinating its citizens, largely because we have no domestic facilities to produce the needed vaccines. The federal opposition Conservative party has been using the situation to take cheap pot shots at the ruling Liberal party, which to my mind is doing the best job they can under very trying circumstances. (Frankly, having the past year’s Trump shitshow south of the border to compare it to would make anybody’s response look good. At least there’s now a responsible adult installed in the White House who actually listens to the scientists.)

So far in Manitoba, only healthcare workers and seniors in long term care homes have received vaccinations. Production and delivery delays have meant that the initial schedule was bolloxed up almost immediately. Even worse, scientists are worried that mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which are more transmissible could lead to a third or fourth wave of cases, even with the current restrictions in place.

I had originally hoped that I might get a shot in my arm by April; now it is looking more like September, or perhaps even December in a worst-case scenario. The situation is profoundly distressing and dispiriting; I am not sure how much longer I can put up with all the face masking, hand disinfecting, and social distancing that I have been doing for almost a whole year now. I am just physically exhausted, and I feel emotionally and mentally battered. But I—we—will prevail.

Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash
Image created by Laura Makaltses. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives – help stop the spread of COVID-19 (via Unpslash)

I have been on the new drop-in audio chat app Clubhouse for a full week now, and I hop from room to room until I find one that fits my needs or interest. For example, last Monday night I participated in a truly wonderful three-hour conversation about social VR, moderated by Shawn Whiting (Rec Room), Noah Robinson (Very Real Help), and Kent Bye (of the Voices of VR podcast). I got to meet and interact with a number of people that I had not met before, and talked about our shared passion and vision of social virtual reality. Even better, we made plans to start up a club within Clubhouse, which would meet regularly!

Afterward, I expressed my enthusiasm with the following (pre-meltdown!) tweet:

In fact, I was so excited about the possibilities that our new Chatroom club could generate, that I lay in bed, my neurons afire! (Which, ironically, was another contributing factor that led to my emotional meltdown later on in the week: insomnia.) The last time I had felt so energized and mentally stimulated by the possibilities of a new social medium was during the early, heady days immediately after Google+ was launched, back in the summer of 2011. (Of course, in the case of Google+, that initial promise failed to materialize.)

And at the moment, I am listening to a regular Mental Health on Monday check-in with 70 people, hosted by Al Tepper from the U.K., with speakers from around the world sharing their wisdom, tips and tactics, strategies, and successes in the area of mental health. The one-hour program is heartwarming and inspiring, and I know that I will become a regular weekly listener (and perhaps, one day, be brave enough to step on stage and share my own story with the audience).

It will be interesting to see how Clubhouse develops over time, whether they will struggle when they move past the initial, exclusive, invite-only phase with all its giddy excitement, and whether they can keep that buzz going. We’ll see, but based on my experience alone, they seem to be off to a rousing start.

By the way, if you are intrigued by Clubhouse, and want to try it out for yourself, I still have two invitations to join! Clubhouse is invite-only, and currently only for iPhone mobile devices. If you are interested, please ping me using the Contact Me page on my blog, or via one of the Discord servers we may share (including the 500-member plus RyanSchultz.com Discord). Thanks!

UPDATE 4:15 p.m.: Here is the announcement of the second meeting of the Virtual Worlds Club, posted by Shawn Whiting to Twitter:

If you are already on Clubhouse, here is the link to join the room tonight.

An Apology

Given the response it has provoked, I have deleted my original blogpost, My List of 25 People in Social VR, Virtual Worlds, and the Metaverse Whom You Should Be Following (Plus a Few Alternates!).

I apologize to anyone who found my description of that list, or the entire blogpost, offensive. I am heartsick and very depressed about what has happened over the past 3-4 days, and I would like to apologize for my role in it. As Kai had said, it was “a learning experience”. Please STOP attacking each other over it.

I admit that I have wandered into the whole race relations issue like a deer into the headlights, and hoping to turn the episode into a discussion on the need for equity, diversity, and inclusion in VR/social VR was a mistake. Please accept my apologies for my ignorance.

I do not expect or rquire anybody to accept my apology, but I do expect all of you in my social media circle(s) to treat each other with kindness, courtesy, empathy, and respect instead of attacking each other, please. I want no more fighting over this!

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash