Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fitbit Challenge: Virtual Badges & Real-Life Rewards

Wow! You've earned the Skydiver badge!
You've climbed your way to skydiving elevation. That's 1,000 floors! Only 1,000 more floors until your next badge!

As a Duchesse in SecondLife, the Dragonborn in Skyrim and an Elf-Huntress in Tweenk (to name but a few but you get the picture), I'm certainly no novice when it comes to collecting virtual rewards.  I've served tea, slain dragons and raided dungeons; working my way up various hierarchies and having a marvelous time in the process.  I've also reaped a lot of real-life benefits including the friends that I've made over the years but up until now the major drawback of my virtual adventures was the ever-increasing sedentariness.  Every year it seemed a bit harder to get up out of my chair and get moving through the real world.
Fortunately, just as I was about to receive my lifetime membership to the dreaded Couch Potato Club, my SL sister mentioned an "electronic wireless personal trainer" that she was trying out called Fitbit.  I took a quick look, though "yeah, I could use a  good pedometer" and ordered one.  Wow!  Had I ever underestimated the power behind this little gadget.
From the moment that I snapped it on I was hooked because behind the Fitbit Ultra is a whole website & community dedicated to helping you reach your fitness goals by making small changes in your daily routine.  It's amazing how the little things can add up!
I realized that just by devoting a bit of time & attention to my fitness stats I could put my days of sloth behind me.  The virtual badges are fun and actually encourage me to do more than I would have on an ordinary basis; 50 floors in one day for example just to get the badge (silly as that sounds though I've probably put in a lot more time reaching the Adept Level in Skyrim).
I hadn't expected to use the Calorie Counting function but found I can't resist it especially since tracking Calories Burned versus Calories Consumed contributes to a leaner and therefore happier me.

So as you can probably tell by now, I've now added another little "virtual addiction" to my repertoire, gazing over my new fitness stats just as I do with my old Skyrim numbers.  Thank goodness this new pastime is paying off in real-life health & fitness! 
If you would like to join me in this exciting Quest for Fitness just give me a shout.  I'm always looking to make new Fitbit Friends :)

Fitbit Ultra

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Petit Trianon: Views & Plans

As many of you know, I'm slowly re-creating this beautiful gem of a palace in SecondLife® and I thought it was about time that I dedicated a blog page to summarize my adventures during this journey.  You can navigate to it from the tabs at the top of this Home Page or go directly to Petit Trianon.  I will repeat the page's introduction here.  Following the introduction, you will find more information including Petit Trianon specific links and a SL Project Timeline.

♥.·:*¨¨*:· ♥ ♥.·:*¨¨*:· ♥♥.·:*¨¨*:· ♥
From its inception, Trianon was distinguished by its dedication to a lady, usually a young and beautiful one: by the magnificence of its flowerbeds and sophistication of its gardens: and by the official order that walking through the gate was by invitation only.*
Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV's maîtresse-en-titre, was indeed the beautiful lady behind what is now considered among the most perfect buildings in France, the Petit Trianon.  Pompadour, encouraging the king's passion for botanical gardens, had already been instrumental in the development of this little piece of Trianon land including the addition of the French Pavilion in 1750.

This marvelous little chateau was designed at Pompadour's request by Ange-Jacques Gabriel and constructed from 1762 to 1768.  Marie Antoinette took possession in 1774, working her own magic on the palace, gardens and surrounding estate.

Hailed as a masterpiece, at first glance the Petit Trianon appears deceptively simple, a modest cube with no grand flourishes.  Further inspection reveals a wealth of wonderful details and an excellent use of proportions that have kept me charmed & fascinated for many years now. 

My adventures re-creating the Petit Trianon in the virtual world of SecondLife® are absolute pleasures.  I know that I will never be able to do justice to the original but this is truly a case where the journey and not the destination is the point of the exercise.  I invite you to follow along with me!

*Quoted from Marie-Antoinette and the Last Garden at Versailles.