Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mari's Mailbag: New Year = New You

submitted by Marianna Monentes

New Year means new you? Some of us stress at the beginning of a new year. All the expectations and changes that a new year brings. Sometimes we enter a new year with many changes. Friends leave or living arrangements change. Instead of dreading, look at it as a challenge, an adventure. Like taking the next wave when the marshall says,"Blue take the next wave." You head towards that wave with every bit of finesse that you possess. Lag? Plow through it, with one goal in mind, reaching and conquering that next wave. Same holds true for the New Year. Think of it as a time to right your wrongs, mend broken relationships or move on and leave the negative in the past, forgotten. Please don't drag last year's problems into your new year. It will drain you of the positive energies you need to create a great year ahead.

Drag out all those ideas you once thought of. See if any are appropriate now. Sometimes I have ideas 10 years old that are perfect now but at the time seemed far fetched. It's time to search your mind and choose what you will be this year. For all our sakes, please make it the best you have ever been.   (Smiles)  Joke: we love ya just fine, but please try (wink).

Friday, December 31, 2010

SurfWatch 2010 - the Year in Review

Preparing for this Year in Review piece, I took a look back thru over 649 postings for 2010 as of this writing.  Some posts brought a tear to my eye, some a smile to my face, some an, "Oh ya, I forgot all about that!".  Second Life (SL) surfing had some major changes and SurfWatch itself made some major changes.

We covered the new surfable waves - the Cortes and the Cyclops, the international surf party, the Second Life Surfing Association's (SLSA) new scoring system, SLSA's new mascot (Salsa) and SLSA constitutional changes.  We posted on the SLSA's Archipelago sim being Number 1 on the SL listings for destinations. We talked about the SLSA new voting system, covered all the SLSA elections, and posted surfing interviews including promising surfers and old timers.  We did surf traffic reports,  posted on the Hall of Fame (HoF) design competition and our take on the meaning of the HoF.  We covered events and competitions by the SLSA, Pacific Coast Extreme (PCX), Australian Surf Association (ASA), SurfJam, Brazilian Surf Association (ABSSL), World Cup and various mini comps.  We debuted our first video attempts which are now classic.  We posted Mick Lunasea's Surfing 101 series, got Harbor Pier's perspective on the ride, and introduced Kantbe (Thursday) Serious.  We promoted surf retailers, surf sims, and took trips down memory lane.  We covered new surf sims, surf sims that were no longer, anniversaries of surf sims and changes going on effecting all of them.

Beyond surfing, we covered motorcycle riding, did a tour of spectacular homes, reported on crimes like the trailer meth lab, gave advice, posted on tidbits and SL sticky situations, and letters to and from the editor as well as opinion editorials.  We covered kayaking, vandal attacks, did before and after make overs, and shared all our temp workers and visitors to SW Headquarters.  We had pieces on Relay for Life and Grandma Barnside's recipies, What's Hawt, gave coverage to some new publications, and did special Valentine's, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas postings.  We covered musicians, sales, and real estate. We shared growing families in SL and Real Life (RL).  We covered dating adventures, posted on fashion, and held contests to spread the linden.  Mari's (Marianna Monentes) Mailbag covered exploring sims to friendship to forgiveness and everything in between.  We channel surfed with Jimbo the Cart Boy and tagged along with Bandit.  We covered festivals, parties, concerts, contests, carnivals and events.

We had our SurfWatch 2 Year Anniversary Celebration with a 12 hour party hosting Heather Goodliffe as she addressed the surf community, entertainers, DJ's, and competitions.  We made some major changes on the blog page design adding the Wave Report, the surf sim list with constant updates, and various other elements.  I took a step back and Lissa (Pinion) took a step forward becoming the new Editor in Chief.  We continued our quarterly In-World editions under the editorship of Ashleigh Dickins.  We opened a shop, and we changed headquarters twice moving from Stables to Boracay to Vibes Surf Beach.

What will 2011 bring?  More change, no doubt.  Maybe whole new worlds of virtual surfing - and you know SurfWatch will be there to bridge all of virtual surfing as your one stop source of virtual surfing news.  Maybe some projects that fell off the radar will have a chance to surface.  No doubt new stars of surfing will emerge, new technologies will develop, people will come and go and return as someone else or with a renewed spirit.  Some will step up as leaders.  Some will step back into RL.  And SurfWatch will be here like an old friend you can curl up on the warm sand with.  Under sunny skies, in knee-deep snow, thru the hailstorms and whatever the future brings, we'll be here.  Thank you for reading SurfWatch.  We wish you all the best for 2011!

Tauri Tigerpaw
Executive Editor

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ashleigh's Advice #4: Make it More Likely to Keep Your Resolutions

advised by Ashleigh Dickins

It’s New Years, which means it’s time for resolutions. This is the perfect time for me to give some advice. Of course, take it with a grain of salt, because I’ve never been able to successfully hold on to one of my own resolutions. Maybe that’s why my first piece of advice is:

1) Don’t make a resolution you know you won’t keep. No matter how lofty or noble the goal, if you find yourself scoffing at the idea of “Reaching my Goal Weight!” or “Stopping Smoking” then just don’t set that as your resolution! Nothing sucks more than failing, it’ll bring you down and make you mad at yourself. So don’t set yourself up for failure by setting too high of a goal for yourself. A goal is supposed to be something you have to work for, but that is attainable. Those goals I mentioned may be both, but not within one year for most people. Which leads me to...

2) Examine your goal and adjust your resolution to give yourself the highest likely hood of success while still being challenging enough to feel like you achieved something. Using the above examples maybe that could be “eat healthier” or “reduce the number of packs per week I consume.” Other examples: “Work out every day.” = “Find ways to incorporate more exercise into my routine.”; “Get a raise.” = “Find a way to increase my income.”; “Spend less time on Second Life.” = “Find a hobby I really love in Real Life, and have fun exploring the options!”

Lissa Pinion asked people about their resolutions for our last in-world, so check that out to get some ideas. And I hope my 2 key pieces of resolution advice help you for a better life in 2011. As for me? I think I might make all of those alternates my resolutions, except the smoking one since I don’t smoke to start with!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Brave New World: InWorldz

A friend recently asked me...another virtual world???  Why???
My only answer...because it's there.  As virtural worlds spring up, SurfWatch will keep track of beaches, fashions and surfing opportunities across the various worlds.

InWorldz ( is a user created virtual world based off the OpenSim software with no cost to join.  The founders are currently involved in efforts to move past this source code and more closely mirror the SL standard.  IW has approximately 26,776 members. While there are currently no surfable waves, Tommy Parrot has created realistic swells, foamy swells, shore breakers, ocean glow and realistic sound effects to give you the feel of the ocean.  He hopes to see if he can create some surfable waves soon, altho he's not sure how they will work InWorldz.

While many of the same movement and operations available in Second Life (SL) are available in InWorldz (IW), and if you know how to function in SL, you will have no problem IW, the technology in IW lags behind SL at this point.  However you will find less expensive land, opportunities to create and sell, live music, and many other social events.  A search of "surf" in the classifieds will turn up surfer jewelry, swirling waters, a male avatar that is said to have a "surfer" look, and even a "Hula" shop.  If you're brave enough to check out a new world, pop into InWorldz and check out the opportunities.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mari's Mailbag: New Years Resolution

submitted by Marianna Monentes

Guess what? It's that time for our resolutions. Be great for you to comment here what those might be. For me? Well, let's see. I will try harder not to allow people to use me so much. I will not care that they are virtually homeless. Afterall, it's Second Life (SL) -  we can rez anyplace. Why is it that sounds so damn callous? Just is to me, so forget that resolution. Okay how about this: I will try to allow everyone to do what they want when the want. Being the slight control freak that I am, that's not going to last either. I have to follow up everything until it's reworked in my mind till the day it happens. Lose weight? Luckily here we can mod our shape. Stop smoking? Well, don't smoke in Real Life or Second Life so not that one. OH! I have it!! I promise not to rez a new house every week so that my husband can come home to whats familiar!! I absolutely love skyboxes and homes and have a bad habit of changing them as often as I change shoes.

This is definition from Wikipedia: A New Year's resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year's Day. Some examples include resolutions to donate to the poor more often, to become more assertive, or to become more environmentally responsible.

See? It says one might be donate to the poor. So looks like I have mine.  Now let's hear yours.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mari's Mailbag Compilation Gift!

Are you wondering if you've missed a posting of Mari's Mailbag?  Wonder no more!  Now for a limited time, you can receive a beautifully hardbound in-world compilation of Mari's Mailbag put together by Marianna Monentes!  To receive your free copy, you may leave a comment at this posting, or contact Mari direct in-world.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Years Resolutions!

Get us your New Years Resolutions by December 31st to have it published on Jan 1! Let's bring in 2011 with a bang! Please send your resolutions to Lissa Pinion!

Mari's Mailbag: Christmastime 2010

submitted by Marianna Monentes

Yesterday Tauri asked me to write again for SurfWatch since I have things situated finally. Took some doing but the new sim is going very well, so I have some free time in which to write.

Since it's Christmastime, I decided to write about love and bonds that form here in Second Life. Funny, when I first came to Second Life it was all about creating and learning all I could in this virtually cosmic world. That soon changed when my friendships became much deeper because communication doesn't go in one ear and out the other. No, here we read what's said and most of the time preceive what was intended. I feel we are better listeners here because most times we are reading.

The feeling of love we feel during Christmastime stays with me most of the year here in Second Life. Sure, there are stresses and misunderstandings, but they are quickly forgotten with laughter and discussing our feelings with the many friends we have met here.

So now that it is Christmastime, share your time if thats all you have to give. You will be bonding with someone who might otherwise be needing a smile.

Merry Christmas,