Friday, March 29, 2013

Wherein I Question The Lab's Efficiency

Flying around today I came upon the Former Site of Campus SL (SLurl), a prime-location region simply sitting about with no particular use at this time. It is attractively landscaped with rolling hills and the old school yet still miraculous Linden plants (just one prim? really?). Near by are two Help Island Public regions and an Orientation Island Public plus plenty of other Linden land.


With many Second Life-themed blogs decrying the decrease in Resident landholders, the economic down-spiral this means for The Lab, and other virtually apocalyptic news, a more-or-less empty region like Campus makes me wonder how efficiently The Lab manages its own lands. Yes, yes, yes, I've written about this before (notably here and here) so the concern is not new. But with Second Life 10th Birthday (SL10B) celebrations cranking up, I wonder how much money The Lab is spending on regions that lay fallow such as this one. Surely, moving this one to lend it out for a month to the SL10B organizers isn't practical (there'd be a void where it was, for one), but if the cost of simply leaving it there is neglibile, why can't The Lab donate regions for the celebration's use or for charitable events such as Relay For Life?

Sorry, but going there wasn't really my intent. If you are a writer, you know how thoughts get away from you. The first thought that occurred to me as I explored this region was more like "How could The Lab let Residents use this rather than leave it empty?" I guess it is nearly the same thought, but less specific.

Certainly, there are many, many regions that have been set aside by The Lab for recreational purposes. The Coastal Waterway (read several of my posts about it here) and the Blake Sea among them, plus a host of special places created by the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW) almost litter The Grid. Just walk around Bay City sometime and you'll stub your toe one one in just minutes.

And I'm not going to get into the Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) regions. I don't know enough and there is just too much behind the scenes for mere mortals like me to understand. I refer you to Honour McMillan (and her blog) for that.

Campus and similar regions strike me as special cases, however. They were once important to The Lab but for one reason or another no longer serve as originally intended. Simply abandoning them is rather inefficient, I imagine. So what can The Lab do, particularly to enhance revenue?

As I mentioned, many of these lands are in prime locations. Sell them. There are still land barons in-world that covet well-travelled land near population centers. Set up guidelines such as successful "governed" communities such as Bay City, Nova Albion, and the Blake Sea have and sell them.

Or rent them. The Lab has had a little-known program to lend out retail space in Luna's Luna Oaks Galleria Mall (SLurl) to Residents via lottery, though based on forum posts, I doubt the program is active (but if you visit you'll see active shops though most vendors date to 2008 .... this is something I'm investigating). Why not renew this idea but for pay? A merchant can pay another Resident for shopping mall space or they can pay The Lab. Tie it into the Second Life Marketplace somehow. I'm not the only one thinking about this (see here). Rent space to retailers, big corporations, or just Residents, but rent out the land.

Give away the land. At least for a short period. Reward active Forum users or prominent community members or simply by random chance, lend out the land someone. This could be a great Premium Membership perk ... a chance to have some free land for a fixed period (a month, six months, a year?) just because you pay an annual membership fee. Give every new Resident, Premium or not, a small plot of land to call home for a fortnight on a sim that has a tutorial-based infrastructure. Teaching Residents to use Second Life and helping them start out and retention might be higher.

The land can always be deleted. It's just electrons, after all. Kill the sim, move others around to fill the gaps if need be, and free up that server space. Or move Residents from the hinterlands to these unused Linden lands, much as the big move to Zindra was accomplished. Remember that? Owners of adult-themed businesses such as strip clubs and such were moved from parcels that were about to be zoned as safe for folks under 18-years of age to lands where visitors needed to prove they were of adult age. Then the newly empty lands could be deleted.

Any of these options would be far more efficient than just letting the land lay fallow, though I do admit that it is rather pleasant to see a well-landscaped region in the chaos that often rules the Mainland. Perhaps there is a value after all.

April Fool 2013 House


The other day I popped into Grendel's Children to get some "Icarus" wings for my Tiny avatar and right at the landing was a cow with hover text: "Tip Me". Turns out it was a tip jar for Toady Nakamura so I figured it was well worth ten times the L$10 I had left to spare but since that's all I had (needing the rest of my purse to buy the wings) so I "tipped the cow" and laughed when it fell over and proclaimed that I did it.

What's all this got to do with an April Fool's Day attraction? Toady contacted me and asked how I had gotten to a super secret build site where she thought the cow was standing. To make a not terribly long tale still shorter, I was told about the April Fools House that will be open in Raglan Shire from March 30 to April 2. Well, I wasn't told much. Just where it was going to be (SLurl, but don't before it opens), that "this is a really great build," and that it would be best if visitors were Tinies for the experience.

What? You don't have a Tiny avatar? Yes, you do! You have the famous Grendel's Boxbot!

Inventory > Library > Clothing > Cardboard Boxbot

Just drag that folder onto your avatar and you'll change (plus a copy will show up in your personal Clothing folder.

Toady also suggested the blue dragonlet if that is more to your taste.

Inventory > Library > Clothing > Dragonlet

Want something fancier? Check out Wynx Whiplash's Extrovirtual (SLurl) or the Tinies section at Grendel's Children (SLurl). Plenty of choices (I recommend the Kangaroo) and fun accessories. Find out why Tinies ROCK in Second Life when you visit the April Fools House!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Linden Realms RULZ! [update]

My friends Kennylex Luckless and Hexapoda have been pushing hard to have some rules for the use of Linden Realms (the interactive in-world gem gathering game in which you can earn some Second Life currency) to reduce cheating (such as flying and speed enhancers). Looks like the Lindens – particularly LR Linden – have come through!


Rules for Linden Realms gameplay :

* Flying is not permitted in Linden Realms.
* Use of ‘bots’ or other automated software (internal or external) to enhance game play mechanics is not permitted.
* Use of any object, devices, HUDs, scripting, etc to enhance speed, movement and award collection rates is not permitted.

If your account is discovered operating or performing any of the above, Linden Lab may suspend or terminate access to Linden Realms, your Second Life account, and any L$ acquired via illicit gameplay, may be assessed from the accounts involved.

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Rules_for_Linden_Realms

UPDATE: Check out these pix from Kennylex Luckless: One about Clouds here and a very pretty one here.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Second Life's 10th Birthday Party Announced

PRESS RELEASE


It’s that time of year when we celebrate the anniversary of Second Life – and this year, the tenth anniversary of the founding of Second Life, will be very special.

This year we will have 20 sims for builds and stages and fun and freebies, and we invite you to be part of the festivities.

The theme of the event will be: Looking Forward, Looking Back.

~~Some key dates for your calendar:~~

April 15 Volunteer/Performer, Exhibitor Applications open
May 20 Volunteer/Performer, Exhibitor Applications close
May 27 Sims open to builders
June 16 Grand Opening
June 23 Official Birthday day
June 23 Final day of performances
June 29 Sims close to the public
July 1 All builds to be dismantled – sims go offline

Many of your classic favourites will be back. There will be a cake. There will be a main stage, and other stage venues. There will be gifts to take away – which may well include a (non-Linden) souvenir bear. There will be an auditorium for talks and presentations. And finally, there will be a time capsule into which you can put your past year’s best creations.

~~How can I be part of this?~~
You can volunteer to create your own celebratory plot, as Exhibitors are invited to show off their community and its special nature to others.

You might prefer to join the team of Hosts welcoming all the visitors and handing out gifts, helping find locations, mentoring any newcomers who might need extra help and making the party happen.

Maybe you’d rather join the rock concert atmosphere and be a Stage Manager or you are a DJ or Live Performer and would like to share your talent from one of our stages. Or perhaps you want to share your passion and knowledge as a Presenter through a lecture or roundtable discussion in our Auditorium.

Others of you might be interested in Security or Public Relations. We’re looking for your energetic participation in all of these roles.

You are invited to sign up for one or more of these areas (yes, you can volunteer for everything if you like). Orientation and Training will be provided for many of the roles. Expect that some time will be required prior to the event for that purpose.

~~How can I stay informed?~~
Read the SL10B blog – there will be regular updates and information posted there!

You can also follow us through various social media:
Our Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/SL10B/
Our Twitter stream – https://twitter.com/SL10B
Our Flickr Group - http://www.flickr.com/groups/2187760@N21/ 

We also have an information group inworld - "The SLB Community" (without the "") - it's free to join so sign up inworld to hear announcements there before you hear them anywhere else.

You can see more information about SL10B on the Designing Worlds TV show at 2pm SLT on Monday 25th March - watch it at: http://treet.tv/shows/designingworlds/episodes/sl10b-launch or http://youtu.be/POfi8sOZzvg (it will go live at 2pm SLT).

And you can see some of the backstage planning at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zve9vmtWmaw 

More details will be following soon, so watch this space!


# # #

Found Treasure

Back In The Day, I was able to make movies in SL. Not many and certainly not good ones. Here are two I rescued from somewhere. I was documenting a texture bug in June of 2007 back on the Isle of Lesbos.

video

video

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Drax Files: World Makers (Jo Yardley)



Draxtor Depres has done it again. He's created another brilliant video in his World Makers series with his interview with Jo Yardley of 1920s Berlin fame. Watch the video here or on YouTube here, but be sure to leave your comments on YouTube so Drax will see them (honestly, you are the only one who reads my blog other than me).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Instant Messaging

What is it about the New Resident experience that indoctrinates people to think that the primary means of communication in Second Life is the Instant Message?


So I'm laying on a beach, as is often my wont, when up pops an Instant Message from someone who is one meter away from me. We are alone on the beach. He can't say "HI" in Main Chat? Seeing as he was new to Second Life – yet already adult-verfied after just four days in-world so she could be on this beach – I gave him a bit of an etiquette lesson: IMs (to at least a few of us) are like phone calls. You don't stand next to someone in Real Life and phone them to make an acquaintance. Well, maybe if you are on one of those strange bar game things for the really desperate you do. But generally, no. So why do that in Second Life? Goal accomplished: he left me alone.

I was being mostly AFK and didn't want to socialize. Probably should have picked a different location for that, I guess, but nonetheless I wasn't in the mood to chat and the gentleman being a noob, I gave him a pass on it.

Then I received two more IMs. One from clear across the island. This person eventually wandered over and sat on the lounger next to mine. He was an experienced Resident and merely wanted to compliment me on my hair anyway. I think he was an itinerant hair dresser. The second IM was also from an experienced Resident, but he was two meters away at the start and could have very easily said "yr hot bby!" in Main Chat. Sure, it might not have been clear if he had meant me or the guy on the lounger near me, but I think the inference would have carried.

In a third incident, a woman stopped at the foot of my lounger and IMd "MMMMMMMm sexy body." I carried on my part of the conversation in Main Chat. She left without another word in IM or any in Main. Another Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment.

These exchanges got me to thinking, though, about that question at the head of this post. I imagine it has to be something from when we are noobs that starts this behavior. I know in most of the training areas there is often a "station" or "learning module" about Instant Messages, but these tutorials also cover Main Chat. Is it something that happens afterward? I wish I knew.

Perhaps I'm overly sensitive because in Real Life I don't use "Main Chat" to "talk." My use of Sign Language or writing on my iPad is rather like the more personal IM format of Second Life. But I want to "talk in Main" like others do. Maybe my jealousy is spilling into SL. Maybe after almost seven years here I'm the one out of synch with the way Our World should work. In any case, I still want to know  what it is that starts people into this pattern of using IMs instead of talking openly.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Things I want in SL (Mostly I want answers)


This is more of a rant than a meme, but there are certain things I really want to enhance my Second Life. Without further ado or any explanation as to why that picture above is included or what it has to do with the topic, I begin the rant ...
  • Exporting Note Cards as easily as we can textures or snapshots would be a tremendous boon.
  • Further, font formatting in Note Cards would be good, too. Then they could be more effectively used to give directions and instruction.
  • If a scripted attachment is updated then the Saved Outfit to which it might be linked doesn't update. Can we fix that?
  • It's my understanding that scripts affect an object's Land Impact (LI). If true, then there needs to be a way to show the change in LI if scripts are disabled.
  • Same for Avatar Rendering Cost or whatever it is called this week.
  • Double-Prims on Mainland parcels for Residents that have been Premium members for at least three years.
  • What's up with that club in Bay City - Sconset (SLurl) anyway? It's just a radio stream, not a "live" DJ and hardly anyone talks, yet it is always busier than clubs with "quality" entertainment and infrastructure.
  • I want some tools added to the Snapshot pane (it has some empty area, so ...): Checkboxes for Deferred Rendering (or Light & Shadows or whatever your viewer calls it), Local Lights, and Depth of Field; Windlight preset options; more dimensions preset options. See here.
  • A snapshot pane that doesn't insist on always being on top of every other pane.
  • Add an option for group officers to terraform land set to a particular group, deeded or not.
  • A simple way to do Machinima. I know it was once a viewer function. I did it twice back in the day. Maybe they took it from just us Mac users.
  • Mesh clothes that obey my body sliders. Yes, I went through and created a bunch of "standard-compliant" shapes but that is a pain. This goes double for feet and shoes.
  • Curio to release a texture pack to make my SLink mesh hands and feet match my Curio skin perfectly without all the work and blenders and tinting and frustration.
  • Makeup that doesn't make me look like a whore whether I act like one or not. Maybe I need to shop more, but I just want a little eyeliner and some light lipstick, not styles dragged off a raccoon or a fish.
  • Loki Eliot making mesh clothes for adults. My butt is too womanly, I suppose.
  • Every designer/creator/person-who-makes-things to include a product shot IN the box of stuff you sold us. Much easier to see what a POST: Hammars Stuga is before I rez it or have to look  it up on Google Whatthehellisthis. This goes double for clothes. BTW: It is a lovely mesh cabin.
  • The pop-out panes that appear when you click a tool bar button need to remember where they were last placed. I'm looking at you, Landmarks pane!
  • Actually, I'd like to have the option to dock them again. Maybe I was the only person in Our World that liked that feature, but this is my list and I'll write if I want to.
  • It's my alt so her Inventory is mine ... let me get stuff from it without logging her in, please.
  • Inventory loss insurance. I've written about this before and clearly I'm being ignored.
  • Surnames. 'nuff said.
  • Snapshots to disk should be saved with maximum anti-alaising even if that feature it not set in Graphics preferences.
  • Something more specicific than "ima.Resident commented on your snapshot 13 minutes ago" as a notification on MySL. Which Snapshot? Which Post?
That's not the whole list, but my back is really killing me and making it hard to concentrate. Thanks for reading my rant. Feel free to add yours to Comments.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Another of Strawberry's Memes

Apparently Strawberry Singh has enough time on her hands to work up Second Life memes and blog about them. So many memes that Seicher Rae actually started a Web page to track them (see it here and the original here). The current meme is about procrastination, it seems, though I don't see the connection to the questions. Maybe I misread something, but basically the instructions were to answer some questions, so here I go.


What is the rez date for your current SL Avatar that you use most often? June18, 2006. It is also the date of my RL 18th birthday. The day before I was on the Teen Grid under a different name.

Where was the first place you made friends as a newb and got to know people in Second Life? Nangrim, where I still have a home, and at the Isle of Lesbos. I still know some of the first people I met in the first week.

Where do you spend most of your SL time now? Most of my time is spent in Bay City, Nangrim, and various beaches and sandboxes. I like to explore a lot but I tend to haunt Linden-owned lands.

Who is your closest friend in Second Life? (only pick one) Friend? Or wife? So I don't offend the latter, Angela Seale. I guess I'm not allowed to name _____________ or _____________ or _____________, but you all know who you are.

What is the most favorite thing in your inventory? (only pick one) My Inventory structure. It allows me to easily sort and almost as easily find anything. It has taken years to develop and as long as I don't let incoming items moulder somewhere, it works very well. My alts are better at this than I am.

The last thing you purchased in Second Life? A texture upload is the last thing that I spent money on in Second Life. The last object? Probably a bass drum from the Arcade gacha.

What color clothing does your avatar wear most often? Earth tones and greens.

Do you prefer to walk, run or fly? Fly! I've yet to find a walk or run anim I really like but flying is so much fun anyway. And I love to swim.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in SL? Wouldn't you like to know?

Who would you like to play YOU, in the movie of your SLife? I really have no idea. Really. Um. No. No idea. Anyone but Lindsay Lohan?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Some Random Thoughts


I've downloaded the latest version of Blender and found the Loki Eliot mesh tutorial .PDF files that I downloaded some time ago. With any luck I'll get up early tomorrow and get started before I have to go outside to do RL things.

I'm not an Apple Fan Girl but I do appreciate how pretty much everything they make just works. Except the Safari browser. It absolutely hates Yahoo Mail, it spontaneously closes twice or more a day when a new tab opens with a new page, and the tap-tap to zoom that I depend on often screws up certain pages. Chrome is ugly. Firefox is slow. I blame Flash for all of my Web Woes.

I spend too much time with my Neopets but would love to find a way to convert my 2,950,000 Neopoints into $Lindens at even a 2:1 exchange.

Since I convinced Michael Linden to add floaty toobs in the Bay City wading areas (one is in Morton; SLurl), I want a bumper boat rezzer put in one of them.

Every year at this time I get sentimental for the land of my birth: Galway, Ireland. Bio-Mom brought me to America and left me with Dad when I was just a beag babaí. I have two pictures of me from the hospital there. Over the years I've learned more about mom from a detailed file that I have, but I don't look at it much. She left me so why should I bother? But I get "homesick" sometimes.

I really love my "kid" brother. Sure, CC will be 50 years old in a couple months, but he's never grown up. Looking at the shopping list for tomorrow I found an entry for Bachelor Chow. Whenever I ask, he will make up silly songs to sing to our cats and he is always tossing puns like some people toss swear words. Only my middle brother seems to have grown up at all. Probably why we never hear from him.

Most of the snaps I put on MySL are in a 2:1 ratio (like 2048x1024) as Uccello. Other "characters" have their distinctive favorite sizes/ratios. Just one of the ways I make my alts individuals that are the "me" that most of you don't know.

Say what you want about Crap Mariner, but I really like the guy.

Some Second Life super powers I would love to have in Real Life? Flying, of course. Device-free teleporting to be sure. Being able to carry all your stuff with you where ever you go (Inventory)? You bet. But I'd also like something that very few folks ever think about ... being able to control the skies and the water at whim.

Twenty minutes til RL bed time and the rare bad reaction to Percoset is finally wearing off. I hate being "stoned" or drunk and I have no idea why others enjoy it. The only benefit is once I'm finally off the high that shouldn't have happened, I'll sleep like a .. uhm .. stone.

Friday, March 15, 2013

What's In My Closet: A Rebuilt Outfit

I got sloppy with saving changes to an outfit with the My Outfits feature and lost the full biker chick set that was featured in my blog post "Life On The Road" from last August. After a couple weeks of being busy with other things I decided it was time to rebuild it and maybe make it better.

Many thanks to Sean Brady's Cool Beans Coffee Shop for a lovely setting for writing (SLurl).

Originally, most everything in the outfit was from Bare Rose – hair, vest, slacks, underpants – with a few other items mixed in. Recent acquisitions have changed the set.

Hair: Bare Rose Black Cat Short A. I've had this hair for a very, very long time. Probably five years or more.

Skin: Tuty's Lou Chocolate skin – romantic. Once free, these skins are fabulously well-made and come with a huge number of makeup options, with or without shaved hair on the head. That saves a tattoo layer. This is also the skin worn by my "Indian alt" mentioned in yesterday's post. I learned that in India the darker skin is ill-favored compared to lighter skin and because of my choice she's actually been shunned and called names. Well, I'm not going to drop L$2000 grand on a lighter skin for an alt though Tuty's has a great one I'd love to use. Yah, I bought skins for other alts so I might give in, but the Lou is so nice.

Shape: My usual "busty" shape. Except for the boobies, everything is "standard" for mesh (medium). No, the cup size is NOT maxed.

Physics: Fey Telling's Avatar Physics 1.0a – Layer 6. This is the most realistic set I've found. Depending on the layer you choose, the effect can be profound, but still believable. This set affects only the breasts, not the belly or butt so this girl is tight *giggle*

Eyes: Ibanez Fantasy Glow Eyes – Almondine. Almost all the eyes I wear these days are from Annie Ibanez and are prims.

Vest: B@R ::: Short Vest Lady in red. I also have black and brown, part of a full set. All sculpty but some great work. I haven't seen a mesh vest that I like better. Hopefully June Dion will rework this one into mesh.

Pants: R.icielli – ANNA Mesh Jeans / #05 M. A very nice skinny leg set that I bought with two other colors for just L$15 as part of a hunt.

Boots: DRD Bound-Cuffed Red Short Boots. A decent set of sculpty boots I got from a Lucky Chair or Midnight Mania.

Tattoo: Letis Tattoo WW501. Sadly the blender layer for the hands partially obliterates this nice tribal piece. Yes, tribals are so 90s, but I like it.

Pasties: Neko Bliss Nipple Tape

Hands: SLink Mesh Hands tinted to match the skin.

Jewelry: eCollar v3.0, custom wedding ring, Secret Decoder Ring (used as a Magellan Linden detector), PrimOptic Finesse glasses, and custom small hoop earrrings.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Seven SL Facts Meme


First I saw Caitlin Tobias do it. Then I saw Vick Forcella do it. Apparently they both saw Strawberry Singh do it. Now I have to just do it, too ... write down Seven SL Facts. Based on what I've read from these people's blogs, these facts are about me. Well, their blogs were about them so mine should be about me. You get the idea.

ONE – That's me in the picture above. Yes, I have a male form for my Uccello Poultry "character." Basically I flipped the gender switch in the shape editor, tweaked a few numbers so "he" meets the so-called Standard Sizing that most clothing creators adhere to, then grabbed a skin and some clothes. Of course, I'm also a Furry, a Tiny, a dragon, and hundreds of other forms. Like many in  SL, I'm a polymorph.

TWO – When I started afresh on the Main Grid after dumping my Teen Grid account, I began as a male to avoid getting hit on by men. Sex wasn't rampant on the TG, but if anyone tells you there was no sex there, they are pulling one of your body parts. Two days later I switched to female when one of my first neighbors tried to introduce me to gay male sex in SL.

THREE – Yes, I have had pixel sex (not with that neighbor). Deal with it.

FOUR – Second Life has helped me come to terms with a number of phobias and neuroses so my Real Life is much less turbulent. Thank you, Linden Lab. Now can you please make a good iOS client?

FIVE – Why don't I use Voice in Second Life? Same reason I have phobias and neuroses. My throat was slit so badly (as in inexpertly) when I was nine-ish years old iRL that my vocal cords are irreparable. I can use an electrolarynx to speak, but it is much easier to use American Sign Language or write on an iDevice to communicate.

SIX – I don't dance iSL, either. Well, if my wife (Angela Seale with whom I have had pixel sex – deal with it) wants to dance then I will. Or if it is a special event like One Billion Rising or someone's Birthdday/Rezzday then you might catch me doing it (dancing, not pixel sex). Dancing just strikes me as silly. Really, most animations do at different times, but dancing is just ... just ... I dunno. I'm baffled.

SEVEN – As far as I know, I am not banned anywhere. There was a time I was banned in lots of places just because I worked at the Isle of Lesbos. Proof that lesbians are human, too, as they can be just as mean and petty as straight people. Makes you wonder why someone is banned from certain activities and conventions because who they want to have sex with when by all other accounts they are "normal."

BONUS FACT! I have more than a few alts.  This one is from India.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lydia Rose Memorial Park

Too many things happening in Real Life to even notice that I've neglected my blog. To rub more salt in the wound, the pictures in this post aren't mine. Sitting down after folding some laundry, I found these ten pictures on the computer desktop. Looks like my brother, CC Columbo, has been busy, not just rebuilding the Lydia Rose Memorial Park in Nangrim (SLurl) but taking pictures, too. As well he should. He has artfully decorated some 1536m2 of land and added a home for himself, the first in years (he lived in a cave for a while). I hope you enjoy these while I attend to even more Real Life tasks.

The land is also our family home, only a portion of it being labeled as the park.

It seems much larger at ground level. To the left is the park proper, but this layout blends it with the family land. Cleverly hidden like all other skyboxes in SL is our family apartment.

When I saw the barn I figured it was a good place to put out my hay stacks cuddle and one of my unscripted horses. I need to find a nice mesh one to save prims.

The Full Bright trees in the distance belong to a neighbor we've had for some six years.

My pixy alt, Zyx the gardener, snuck in some plants and pots.

A fairy statue for Lydia, letting a bird fly free.

I have to ask about the Celtic knot outside the cabin. Probably just decorative.

CC's cabin. My wife (Angela) calls it CC's Study. This is exactly what he'd have iRL if he could, I imagine. He's always favored this sort of setting when building in Second Life.

Books, a fire, and comfy furniture in a rustic cabin. 

The rare picture of CC himself. He almost never snaps his own image.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Found Images & Moles

For some reason I had a few extra minutes this morning so I took the time to download pix from my SL camera's memory card and I came across a few images I don't recall shooting. Here they are in order and and some speculative commentary.



I don't recall being in this part of town recently, but that is the new headquarters of eTV and the Bay City Post in Bay City - Dennis (SLurl). While Linden Department of Public Works Moles are not a strange sight in Our Fair City, I've never seen one in a suit before, or with a black Mercedes automobile. After the second picture I found quite a few images of my feet, the inside of the camera case, and the sky on the memory card.

Outside The Pen in Bay City - Mashpee (SLurl - from the roof across the way, I was able to determine after visiting again just this afternoon).

A well-known statue across the street from The Pen and the mysterious "Mole In Black" again.

That 'flashy thing' could mean the mole is simply a tourist reliving Mole History.

Again, after this last photo, there is nothing with this mysterious mole on the memory card,  just quite a few snaps of bowling balls from the Hot Balls bowling alley in Bay City - Orleans (SLurl - very near The Pen). The statue to the First Mole on The Moon is in the park across the street from The Pen. Near the statue is a unique sculpture that shows our solar system, but with a planet I've never heard of before. I documented this here, here, here, and here on the MySL feeds a couple weeks earlier.

That visit to the park is clear in my mind as it was a nice outing with my wife, Angela. But the visit to Bay City - Mashpee for the pictures in this post? I don't remember it at all. Adding to the mystery is the image EXIF data which shows that all were taken just this morning.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Of Time & Avatars

Do you know why I like to change my avatar so often? Sure, it is a lot of fun, but take a look at my day for the real reason ...

As I've written on this blog before (see here), my friend Kaelin Westland makes some amazing avatars, most for her private use, and lately she's been giving me copies to photograph. This is her new Angel of Disease. Not sure if she plans on selling it, but I'm glad I have a copy just for the effort of making pictures for her.

My day often ends at 1AM local time (or later) and really begins then, too, as I manage to get about 4 hours of sleep before I'm needed by someone for something again. It really works out that my day is about seven days long and punctuated with naps. Then I manage another two to three hours of sleep before my morning chores. Then I collapse at my desk to read comics, the news, maybe play some solitaire, and tend my Neopets. I might get about 30 minutes Second Life time in.

Kaelin's Air Elemental  is one of my favorites. The translucent mesh body is enhanced by optional electric spark particle generators. This one (and other elementals) is for sale in her SL Marketplace shop here.
That is when Lunchtime arrives. After doing the usual tap dance with mom ("What do you want, Mom?" "I don't know, Cait." "How about eggs?" "No, nothing sounds good." ... and all that goes on until she settles on a muffin, a yogurt, and a banana) and making some Hot Pockets for me since I don't feel like making an effort, I can sit down again.

The Water Elemental stunned me right out of the box. The whole body is an animated water caustic texture. Kaelin provides two options for animation speed with this avatar. When I was given a pre-release set to test I was able to give feedback so now the avatar has optional water puddle footprints and other water drip particles.
From then until supper time, I do manage to access SL, but I'm up about every thirty minutes to get mom some ice, pretzels, find her spoon (her hankie, her remote, her iPad stylus, yadda yadda), do laundry, and the usual stuff.

The first of the four Elementals, Fire, has a partially texture-animated mesh body. The skin on the forearms and shins is cracked and you see molten "something" roiling underneath. Animated flames on the feeat, hands, head, and back complete the package.
The evening meal dance is much the same as the midday meal one but more often than not ends with an omelette for her and something heated up for me. Occasionally I have the time to make more of a meal for the family depending on what mom wants or if my brother brings home some food.

Some time past, Kaelin also gave to me her silver Egyptian jewelry set and I finally found the time to fit it up and try it on. Look for this to be my next Topless Tuesday outfit. I forget the details, but this is Tuty's "Lou Chocolate" skin, tinted SLink mesh hands, and Wasabi-Pills hair (the shaved-on-one-side style). I'm more impressed with this than I am with a stunning Isis outfit I picked up years ago (see it here).
Afterwards, I can then again log into SL (or do other things) but I really don't feel like doing much as I've probably not gotten in a nap. Most days for the last week I've fallen asleep in the kitchen, at the desk, or in the bathroom. When I get into SL, I'm really not in the mood to be "me" so the fun avatars come into play.

Of course, Caturdays and my Real Life iPad help keep me sane. I love it so much I got one iSL and pretend to read or play games in-world while I'm doing the same iRL.
No, I can't remember when I've watched a movie in one sitting or a TV show. My reading is usually done when I get to bed down just after Midnight after tucking mom in but I have to be awake should  she need anything last minute (as is often the case).


It is often enough just to be "me" iSL, though, and simply get away to some place out of my ordinary life, ignoring the constant aches and pains my RL body suffers, the miserable Winter weather of Maine, and just luxuriate in plush surroundings and to spend time with my loving wife, Angela. These little bits of paradise and the magic of fun avatars make my days more bearable