Ahem. Yes. Back. Still not getting the inworld time I'd like, but back. Shall we talk about many and varied RL misadventures? Best not.
Shall we talk about things that have happened in my absence, such as specular maps (good idea) or the new Terms of Service (bad idea)? Or things that have signally failed to happen in my absence, like any movement on the mesh deformer or the issue of second names? Perhaps.
Or perhaps I should begin with a more traditional sort of post, by my standards. Yes indeed.
See, two things that lure me back to SL time and again are creativity and Free Stuff. And both of these may be found in some quantity on the Steam Hunt. I managed to get in for the whole of Steam Hunt IX, and have even managed to complete it (apart from two stops which are Not Ready Yet). And, in accordance with immemorial tradition (well, immemorial if your memory is as shocking as mine is), I present, herewith, some of the accumulated loot.
Starting with number 1, which is the Steampunk Information Centre where the very excellent Mr. Perryn Peterson and his invaluable assistants provide all the setting-out info for the Steam Hunts.
The gift here is this eminently practical little bracelet with a copy in miniature of the Hunt item (the traditional Steam Hunt gear). Why eminently practical? Because it means the sculpt for that item is pre-rezzed for you when you enter a new sim, so you don't have to spend ages waiting for it to rez before you can even start looking.
Moving on to stop 2, Lantian/Flox, which did sort of a mini-hunt, during which I acquired several little necklaces, including that rather nice Celtic one in the second snapshot. The main prize, though, was the... thing... in the first snapshot. It's a very nice... thing. It has revolving hearts and emits heart-shaped puffs of steam. Still, I'm unable to come up with a more descriptive term for it than... thing. Maybe if I could work out which way up it went? Never mind... thing, what does the maker call it? Ah. Apparently, it's a "Gadget". And here was me calling it a... thing.
Stop 3 is Play Dead, although it still uses Pop Tart and Urban Assault carrier bags for its gifties. The one here is a little clockwork top hat, with an attached animation, so be warned. No, I am not giving further details.
Stop 4, Unrepentant, gives an interesting take on some Steam Hunt staples, namely top hats and pulsating brains in jars. You don't often see them combined, as here. There is a gents' and a ladies' version, the ladies' one being smaller. I think it is just saying that women wore smaller top hats in the old days, and is not a comment on the size of women's brains.
Stop 5, Sinful Temptations, tempts us with this tray of nachos and guacamole dip. It gives you a nacho if you click it. I must reluctantly declare it Not Steampunk, however, as the designers have inexplicably failed to glue a superfluous cog onto it somewhere. The decorative avocado is very nice, though.
Stop 6, Goddess Fantasies, offers two outfits, one for ladies and one for gents. I'm standing next to the boxed gents' outfit, and wearing the ladies' one. Kind of old-school SL, this, though the floofy skirt works rather well.
Stop 7, Steam Kitten, gives us this steam-driven winged hat. I am so out of practice with SL that I forgot which buttons to click, and so wound up wearing nothing but that hat, for a panic-stricken and rather chilly couple of minutes. Still, it's a hat and a half, that one. You can't see it in a still piccy, but the wings flap and the eyes blink. Just the thing for a formal reception, this.
Stop 8, Lindy Modern & Retro Shoes, give us... shoes. Which I needed, being barefoot at this time (see mis-clicking misadventure, previously alluded to.) Men's and women's mesh boots, the women's ones pictured here. And jolly nice too, I think.
Stop 9 was Zeitmesser, and the distinctive look of M. Villain Baroque. This Cupid's Clock gives you the time in two time zones, so you can know when to wake up your long-distance significant other in the middle of his/her night. It's a very nice piece, actually - fully functional, well scripted, positively gorgeous high-definition textures and a convincing fussy-Victorian visual aesthetic. Even if you're not into fussy-Victorian (and we all know I'm more of an art deco gal myself), it's still pretty darn gorgeous. Nice one, M. Baroque.
Number 10, Tamiron Forge, and some jewelry from this designer with a barbarian/Gorean touch. This is the ladies' Heavy Heart necklace, so God alone knows what the men's version must weigh. Lots of detail, and cogs. You could not accuse this of not being Steampunk, my goodness me no.
In the next one, I'm having my head and my chest poked by some elegantly detailed hatpins from number 11, Amaranthus. Shows the fine work which I've come to expect from that store. (Because I'm shamelessly spoiled, of course).
Number 12, Eclectic Stars, gives us a necklace with a heart-shaped locket you can open up to display a portrait. It's editable, so you can add your own picture (or that of your significant other - yes, that might be better), which is nice.
Number 13, Hatpins, has ignored the pins and gone straight for the hat. And quite a hat it is, too.
Stop 14, Surface by c.Loon, gives us a texture pack (assorted linen textures). Well, we all know by now that I'm a sucker for texture packs.
(Ahem) Another outfit-switching misclick with number 15, Cog & Fleur, with their lovely rose-tinted goggles for viewing the world through. And why not? Male and female versions, the ladies' one pictured here. I am nothing if not a lady. Sometimes an accidentally naked lady, but always a lady.
!! Never Ever! at number 16 gives us this Radio Hat. I'm sensing a sort of hatty theme emerging for this Hunt. Anyway, this is a nice example of the breed.
This Specimen Prep Desk from Belle's Cabinet of Curiosities (number 17) comes as a linked set or as a coalesced object (for ease of rearrangement, I guess). That's a nice touch from the maker, and it's a good-looking piece of furniture (and not a hat), besides. It would have fitted neatly into my old place on Steam SkyCity (my new one has curved walls, unfortunately).
Number 18, Dragons' Designs, gives us two straightforward SL system tops, one corset for ladies and one "vest" (it's American for waistcoat) for the men. You are seeing the men's version here, on account of it doesn't show my boobs. I said I was a lady, dammit.
Number 19, Aster's Builts (I thought they'd closed at some point during a previous Hunt, and am pleased to see I'm wrong about that), offers this imposing and slightly eccentric piece of Steampunk furniture. You sit in it. As I am doing there.
Number 20 is the ineffable Grim Bros., and they provide this most excellent Steam-driven Skateboard. OK, so I rode it off the island and down to the sea bed by accident, but that's not the skateboard's fault, is it? Anyway. Well up to Grim's standards and its... interesting... design aesthetics.
So there we go. I have boxes from more than a hundred more stores to open, so I doubt not that there will be many interesting finds along the way. And hats. I bet there will be more hats.