Monday, May 26, 2008

Recomended: Tiny Kingdom on Flickr

Vint Falken has posted pix of Tiny Kingdom on her Flickr page. I'm hoping to get back there soon for my own pix. I bought an avie, played a bit, and poofed. Sooo many things to do.

A Rare Angry Blog Reply

It is very rare that I get angry when replying to posts on the official Second Life™ blog. But a thought struck me this morning and I went for it (see pic above) and put in a few cents worth about a serious bug in-world on the test server post.

The JIRA report I cite as well as others (like this one) have all been closed without a resolution. Linden Labs® gives us this fabulous "Windlight" water to play in then breaks the tools we use to enjoy it. I crafted a lovely pond and delightful ocean reef on land that I pay money to use and except for looking at them, these areas are more or less useless thanks to the physics bugs.

Update: [Four hours] My Follow-Up Post later in the day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Meeting the Supreme Overlord

So I popped into Bay City (SLurl) to grab the Freebies mentioned on the official SLblog and who did I find? Why it was Governor Linden! Sure, there is no "real" such person, but folks were pickled tink that she was there. When I notified the Lucky Kitty Crew a couple begged to be teleported in to see the 'Supreme Overlord.' My wife Angela (not pictured below, but you can see her IM greeting to me) and my friend Serenity showed up, too.

Ms. Linden confirmed that the Mole avies used by the Linden Department of Public Works (wiki entry) were made by the very talented Wynx Whiplash. They got the avies free, but you can buy one at Extrovirtual.

Now if you are wondering why everyone is standing around, we were watching a Linden having trouble setting the box to be sold for L$0. Yep. The issue was mentioned on the official blog, too, but I figured it would be fixed by the time I got there. It wasn't, so I offered a free "giver' script. She declined my offer and put one of her own in -- then deleted it saying that a script showing her as the creator shouldn't be released in the wild. I choked back "But the script I'm happy to give you would deliver the contents in a folder without a copy of itself! And then folks wouldn't need to unpack the box!" Honestly, it is so hard to teach a Linden :::giggle:::

The freebies turned out to be some great textures used by the moles working on Bay City but many of the objects included made me wonder why I was turned down to be a mole. Certainly I'm no a fabulous builder, but I've turned out better things than these while just killing time. Don't get me wrong, please. The builds were good. Certainly not n00bie efforts. Maybe I expected too much. Hopefully the items I haven't seen yet are better. Bay City itself was rather good and seeing the textures from the box "in action" was cool.

(Note: this post is an edited version of a post on the LKC blog.)

Saturday, May 24, 2008


At times I fancy myself a builder and sometimes even an artist. Maybe I can bang prims together a bit better than the average bear, Booboo, thanks to all those art and design classes plus all that time I have spent behind a camera. But when I come across things like Jacek Antonelli's giant octopus (see here and here) and realize 'Crap! I have no idea what I'm doing!'

To all the real artists in the Second Life™ world: Cheers!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Quick Pic - Machinima Studios

My breath was taken away at Machinama Studios (SLurl). Very impressive. I hope to get more time to explore here and a couple other places I learned about from the Lucky Kitty Crew group today. A guided tour is available at the entrance, but I'm going to need a handy translator as I don't read Japanese. I don't know what the rest of the place is about yet. I'll explore until my wife logs in tonight. From what I saw on the tour and this impressive sculpture I have to automatically recommend a visit.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

I've been spending quality time with my lovely wife, Angela, busy at the Isle of Lesbos where I make signs, stand guard and have started a new "hunt" project. My hard drive is filled with pics backed up from my explorations, but until I get the time, enjoy these:

One of my recent projects at the Isle ... signs for the new area where folks can rez their purchases. This is the Instructional one. Another was a simple arrow. I work mostly in Acorn but often use GIMP for some of the trickier edits where I really wish I had a $700+ program.

I love Japanese sims. My friend Serenkitty is always recommending them for cool freebies. I go for the great architecture or unique builds ... and things like this :)

The Garden of Da Vinci. I don't know, but I keep wandering by the place. This is not my pic. I got it in-world somewhere. Possibly at the Garden.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Some of the the things I do

Semi-unofficially -- mostly because no one has stopped me -- I build things and add activities at the Isle of Lesbos (IOL), often getting approval after the fact. Like the skydiving center. At one time it was an attraction in the IOL Mall sim. When the mall was recently redesigned and rebuilt there was no provision for sky diving so I simply added it to the main Isle. No one said take it out so I left it there with only minor tweaks here and there. Sensing no further objections I beefed it up today. That is a genuine Cubey Terra jump chair in the foreground. The original base jump at 300 meters (250m above target) is still in place and like nearly all activities on the Isle, the facility is free to use. In the background you can see the free ice skating pond I built.

Not free but nonetheless still fun is fishing! After adding the 7Seas Fishing kit to both the mall sim and parts of the main Isle not too long ago and then telling the owner about it, I've been given the go-ahead (and some cash!) to hold fishing contests. This is a picture from one held yesterday. Turnout is usually decent, which is good as the owner hopes this build traffic in the mall sim. I might try increasing the prize and an "all-nakie" tournament is in my mind for the beach on the main Isle. If anyone has suggestions for making the events more fun, drop a note card on me in-world or leave a comment on this post.

I might schedule a nakie fishing tournament before my Nakie Beach Party in June. This party is held the first Saturday of each month from 3-5pm SLT and, of course, it is Ladies-Only. With the nudity and a prize starting at L$3,000 the party is usually popular and sometimes gathers cheaters. The Saturday parties always start with a prize that large, but sometimes they grow. The 17 May party rapidly built up to a L$25,000 prize with over 60 folks attending.

Many of them originally showed up for our big draw, DJ Kuthola Homewood. If you need a music at an event, contact her. She's awesome.

Look for future posts about IOL ... we are always growing and adapting to make our sisters happy.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tertiary Claim to Fame?

"They" say fame is fleeting ... some 15 minutes by one reckoning. Since I have so little available I took under three minutes to stand next to someone who has been granted more than a regular share of fame, the very talented Vint Falken! Sure, she was (Away) at the time so what little enjoyment she might have had from our "meeting" was less than nominal. Still, it was nice to see someone who has made a big impact on my Second Life™ "in the mesh." Check out her blog here and learn more about where we were standing. More information is at the NPIRL blog.

Peugeot in Progress

Today's exploration was another landmark I had been sitting on for a while and decided that I really had to go or just delete the @#$%ing thing. Can you guess where I went?

Good guess! I went to Peugeot (SLurl)! If the subtly hidden landscape logo didn't clue you in, the not-so subtle brand name islands will reveal all. The landscaping is rather nicely done and there is a strange pattern in the water that doesn't seem to be on the ground texture. It almost mimics the flying roadscape above. No flora or fauna in the water so swim or scuba just for the exercise.

One of the teleport options at the entrance takes you to an airborne promotional area. Information about a contest that has ended can be found here plus some lounge areas. This is a rather fun build and interestingly you can't fly into the domes. Unlike similar structures in the Second Life™ world, these are not phantom.

Nearer ground level is another area to lounge on the roof of a meeting center. Like many corporate builds it is likely designed for press conferences and employee education. One of the nicer features, is a display about concept cars from Peugeot.

But what is a car sim with out cars? For some L$400 you can purchase a sporty little beast and speed off along a scenic motorway. If that is not in your budget you can spend just L$50 on a BMX-style bicycle

Not wanting to spend the cash nor being able to rez my own vehicle, I jumped on my wonderful travel snail and slimed up the motorway. The engineering, as you can see in the following picture or the first one in this post. is clearly not possible in real life though I suspect the builder might be working on this. Along the way I found many untextured prims and unfinished projects, like un-anchored railings.

But, hey!, I'm not one to complain about reality. After all, I was riding a snail with all my lion fur and bits fluffed in the simulated wind. That also means that the thought "hmm ... internal combustion engines shouldn't work underwater" only fleetingly crossed my mind as I urged my snail down the slope and into the the water, into the mineshaft that the road itself went into.

While not thinking about breathing underwater I came across a nice "picture window" that kept me separated from the only water-borne life I could find outside the aquarium on the roof of the meeting center. If you look closely you will note the edge of the "glass" behind me in the following picture shows that some more building needs to be done.

If you bought the BMX-style bike and want to ride it in the Peugeot sim you can teleport over 250 meters up to what I call a skate park. Had I been paying more attention I would have noted what the builder called it though that is no promise I would have remembered it. Like much of the build this is very nice and setting the whole thing on a giant bicycle wheel was just darned clever.

This is a fun sim to visit and I hope they finish it. As the aforementioned contest has ended I suspect that more work is not planned. So quickly grab your skates or wearable bike or wearable automobile and head for Peugeot. Well worth a visit.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Isle of Tranquility

A friend of mine nabbed an adorable cupcake costume and I had to have one, too. So I went to the nearest YumYum store and bought it (only L$99!!!). The box had a landmark for a "main store" so I had to go there (SLurl). Boy was that worth the trip! They had some nice freebies but mostly is was a beautiful build .. and I got to dive into a giant plate of cupcakes!

:::giggles::: The display is for sale, but I didn't get it. Instead I went outside and explored the rest of the Isle of Tranquility (SLurl).

Like the store, the rest of the sim is very attractively done. Some skimping on things like wrought iron railings, but most folks won't notice. In the pic above I'm looking westerly from a main square-like area. The water is nicely integrated and trees are everywhere. My biggest smile came from my whole visit came from the generally excellent textures.

The canals are really something and despite the lack of flora and fauna on the sea floor, I was pleased to find that some of the canals run under the buildings. Silly me, I should have checked to see how many prims were available in the sim whenever it occurred to me that the out-of-the-way places should have little details like leaves or animals or other signs of life.

One of the canal areas is a marvelous multi-level complex that made me want to go swimming, fishing, and shopping all at the same time. Many folks I know wouldn't go from shop to shop to shop in a complex as shown above let alone in a non-mall formatted sim like this so I wonder how the merchants fare. Not that I noticed many shops. I was busy playing with sky settings (Windlight) and composition.

There is one area of the sim that is .. well, tacky ... compared to the rest of the build. At one time in the not too distant past I might have called this a nice build but compared to everything else in the Isle of Tranquility, this is ... grr ... I'll say it again ... tacky. The textures are mostly nice but not realistic like the other builders used. The space utilization is also out-of-theme with it's typical retailer layout. And why is prim water used to make a stream about a half meter above Linden water?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Current Project

"If you build it, they will come." Or something like that. But that doesn't answer the question 'Why build it?" I have no answer for that nor do I have an answer as to why I started building this skate park.

Maybe it is because I know someone who plans on building one. Who knows? (Another question I can't answer.) But as I love to build I went at it. Not sure if I'll even finish it. I have tons of things in my Projects folder that are finished, half-finished, or even one-tenth finished. This will eventually go there.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ho-hum .. What? Starax!

The landscaping is ho-hum. The quality of most of the build is pedestrian. The club is fairly typical, but "Club Extreme Gaming Waterfall Store Dancing Zyngo Like Games" (SLurl) has three sculptures from the legendary Starax Statosky. Go figure. There are other nice pieces in the sim but three rare finds like this demon, orca, and Kong all in one place? Wow.

Next door is Osiris with some amusement park activities and other sims to zip around. If you don't go to see Starax's work you might as well stay home. But go see Kong! Go see the orca fly! Go see the demon :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Found in my SL™ Notecards folder ...

Never Argue with a Woman

One morning, a man returns in a boat to his family's lakeside cottage after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, his wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, puts her feet up, and begins to read her book. The peace and solitude are magnificent.

Along comes a Fish and Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, "Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?"

"Reading a book," she replies (thinking, Isn't that obvious?).

"You're in a Restricted Fishing Area," he informs her.

"I'm sorry, Officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading."

"Yes, but I see you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up."

"If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault," says the woman.

"But I haven't even touched you," says the Game Warden.

"That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment."

"Have a nice day ma'am," and he left.

Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.

(Disclaimers: Fixed up formatting for this medium and a bit of grammar. The notecard was created by Timecat Hotaling.)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Yes, I Love to Build

You may have noticed that I love to build things. I may not have a need for them or intend to sell them, but it doesn't matter. Sometime on Thursday I saw a program about resorts and one had an Infinity Pool. After watching the show and doing some Web research, I still didn't have a full grasp as to why it had that name, but I was impressed how the pool was at sea level. It seemed that one could be in the pool and, if angled correctly, see the pool blend into the ocean. So I had to build one. Here is what I made:

I'm toying with how deeply the structure should sit in the water. At this height there is a thin slice above sea level. Another option is to keep it just slightly below sea level. Probably doesn't matter. I don't see this being used anywhere. But it was fun to build and tweak. I'm already thinking about a dance platform, working in some trees for shade, or other enhancements. The idea of putting my round tiki bar in the middle so folks could wade up to it was just a flash inspiration.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Die, Zombie, DIE!!

I don't exactly know the name of where I was in Nipponbashi (SLurl), but my friend Serenity found the place so it is a Japanese sim and I took a while to figure out some things. But after you grab a free gun and free HUD that seems to be of little use, you get to kill ZOMBIES! Or be killed by them. Or, as I managed, kill yourself.

um .. yah .. I tried to use one of my own guns a few times and found that if I shoot anything close to me I somehow hit myself and .. um .. Anyway, the game can be fun, especially playing with another shooter. My wife, Angela (shown above trying to rescue me from zombies in a staged scene outside the game area), and I made a great team. We managed to kill nearly a hundred or so over all with relative ease.

At first Ange died right away, not realizing that she couldn't really use her katana. I suppose we were pretty lucky that the guns could do no damage to humans as a 3rd party joined us for a while. He insisted on hand-to-zombie combat while Ange and I shot away from the perimeter. A later strategy should have left me bullet-riddled, but worked: I ran around like a chicken while Ange shot at the top, evil, hard-to-kill zombie. Then we hugged and kissed amid the bloody carnage, me thanking her for saving my life, before lovingly walking hand-in-hand to the first level where Ange killed one last undead.

Then we went outside and took the pics in this post. The one at top is mine and is titled Ange to the Rescue! Hers (click for larger versions) are titled, in order, Too Late to Save Her Wife and Trying to Get the Zombies Off Her Love. Should I worry about the tenor of her titles?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky"

Finding "The Land Inbetween: showing Kill All Artist by .danone." (SLurl) was something of an accident. I had a landmark for the Mars sim in the Rezzable chain but like all good things, it passed. A world of colour and light was replaced with by yet another bleak and dark post-Apocolyptic landscape. Being in Rezzable, though, means it is top notch. I haven't explored it much yet as the style is not to my taste, but after crawling out of a crypt I found a wonderful sight and decided it would make a great tableau for messing with the Advanced Sky Editor option inside the Environment Editor. The time of day was not adjusted and I was facing due south at the time.

There is no "unadulterated" shot here, but in order of appearance the pre-sets I used are: Incongruent Truth, Night, Sailor's Delight, Sheer Surrealty, Blue Midday, Desert Sunset, Fine Day, Funky Funky Funky (not Funky Funky), and Gelato.

The sim creator doesn't seem to have forced any specific atmosphere or time setting though it seems to be near midnight most times I have visited. The regular view is pretty impressive bit if any of these views had been forced by the creator I would likely have been even more impressed. The feeling in each is just something else. Try them with your land sometime or a favorite scenic spot and I think you will be rather pleased. And try this link to learn more the presets I used.

Many thanks to Torley Linden for inspiring me to play with this feature.

About this post's title.

Thanks, Twilight!

An hour or so before this picture was taken I had logged out of the Second Life™ viewer for some regular First Life© activities. What I hadn't noticed is that the process crashed in the last seconds, much like some 60% of my sessions with SL™. In the interim the sim I had been in crashed thus locking my avatar in a semi-permanent logged-in state. So returning I was told the system was logging me out and that I should try back at the usual five minutes. It told me that every five minutes for several attempts.

In the meantime I signed in with an alt and tried to find "my" body so I could kick it or something, but "I" could not be found. Fortunately my wife doesn't mind snuggling with my alt and I was able to cuddle while working with the very patient and helpful Twilight Linden. She soon had "me" logged back in quick enough I was able to catch my wife with "the other woman" and chase away the interloper.

Rezzable: Tunnel of Light

Silly me, I didn't grab any shots of the actual entrance for Tunnel of Light, another great Rezzable sim in the Second Life™ world. When you first arrive you are in a pleasant, park-like setting where signs direct you to click a paper boat floating on a small pond. Suddenly you find yourself plummeting down a shaft of lights (a vertical tunnel ... get it?) and you land at this amusement park-style dark ride staging queue. From here you summon a teacup in which you (alone, with friends, or in a special cup with a sweetie) ride through various marvelously lighted tunnels. As you are told in several places, the viewer feature glow (sometimes called renderglow) is the highlight (pun intended) in all it's neon-y glory for the next six or so minutes.

The teacup floats on a ribbon of shifting light from the departure area to a fantasy pond of Lilly pads and dragonflies. Use this interstitial time to try the big red button in the teacup. It lets you pause the ride so you can take a look around. You can cam as you normally do but mostly you'll find yourself enjoying the default view, occasionally using the left and right arrow keys. If you are like me, you'll take several rides to look around in different ways. Next time I visit I plan on using Mouselook for the whole trip.

The pond is very pretty and quite relaxing especially after the anticipation in the first tunnel. You'll find yourself wondering which elements are particles and which are prims with glow. This area is rather tame but it is a nice introduction to the attraction. Unlike the initial fall when you touch the paper boat surface-side, this is not "in your face" spectacular, rather merely spectacular in scope and design. Like all Rezzable sims, art is the clear focus at the Tunnel of Light.

After another tunnel the stream of light takes you into a forest where you will again wonder where glow ends and particles begin. Don't worry about it. Enjoy the view and look for the little froggies on the tree's trunks. If you don't see them, try the teacup's pause button and look around. If you would rather just enjoy the ride there are several ways to come back to this area (or other areas) for longer explorations. I haven't tried leaving the teacup, but I imagine the vehicle would disappear if I did and I'd have to use the room's teleporters to get out.

Each part of the attraction has a set of teleporters (just touch to go) that will take you to the room of your choice or to the ride entrance. As you see in this picture it is easy to tell which room is which, the glowing mini-worlds cleverly representing a location. It is hard to see here, but that is a paper boat on the far right pillar. Second from the left takes you back to the dragonfly pond. Wandering around on foot while others float by in teacups is strange and I worried that I was marring their experience, but no one complained. Actually, most everyone was friendly and at least said "hello." But who doesn't like an adorable lioness?

The stream of light takes a spectacular ride to the stars and if you ever get vertigo in-world, this is a place where you might want to be careful how and where you look. I rather enjoyed it, though, and often paused the ride at this point just to "float" about. When I come across virtual engineering like this I tend to toss my head into my hands crying why can't I be this clever? This is a ton of scripting and planning and my hat is off to the builders.

As you might guess from the motion of the teacup and the background becoming a starry sky, you are headed into space. This is my favorite part of the whole ride. I pause and cam about eagerly and then I use the teleporters to come back and hang out for long periods, usually flying around. The teacup seems to spend more time here than in the other parts of the ride, either in my imagination or by design, but either way I'm very pleased. I liked this room so much I used it for the backdrop of my Iron Man Fan Art Contest entry (seen here).

The next destination, the last part of the ride, is also fun to fly around in but it can be very, very disorienting. A friend went with me on one trip and she couldn't spend much time in this room. The glowing lines spin and sway and seem to pulse all around you. I can see why this was not the the introduction to the ride. The far less intense dragonfly pond is a better start, but this is far more spectacular. Not immediately apparent ... perhaps because of the visual overload ... is that one can pass through the arch marked Haze (shown here).

It takes you through a somewhat disappointing hallway with some neon-like art and eventually into a dance club filled with glow - Club Haze. Look around carefully for a box of free dance attachments. Some are the usual particle sticks that you can get most anywhere, but some are (at least to me) new items and use glow. You will find a paper boat here that takes you to a nice little store and from there you can go back out to the first paper boat and take the ride again.

The store features artwork created to emphasize the glow feature and some really great wings that also use glow. I'm eyeing up a great pair in this picture and looking through my inventory all while asking myself do I need another pair of wings? I still haven't bought them as L$500 seems like a lot of money to me. And with all the face lights, body lights, and poor lighting designs in Second Life it would be hard to enjoy these as much as I think I could. But, you never know. I might get them on my next visit.

From what I found "outside" the planned visitor area, I will need to stop back again and again. The builder area has some really spectacular in-progress items and I hope that they find their way to the store as well as the ride. Explore Explore Explore! You might be surprised (and quite pleased) with what you will find.