Friday, January 31, 2014

Trent's Final Pictures

Starting with a MySL feed post from Venus Petrov, I got myself involved with a contest (see here) to see who could make the best Alt from nothing but freebies. No dollarbies, no gifting from your Main character to your noobie, no Demowear, and no out-of-the-box starter avies. Of course, since you've been reading my blog, you saw all that in my last blog post (here). With all that out of the way, I'll say I'm done. These are the final pictures for the contest and the details of each outfit, all taken on Social Island (SLurl), the second place in Second Life that new residents see. I present Trenton Aloysius Kalamack.

  • Abraninmations: Male AO 4 [Pose: ao2-male-standing 2 (P2)]
  • AnyPose: Expression HUD v1.0
  • AJ Designs: Men's Underwear Gray
  • Avi-Glam: Illusion Eyes *grey (m)
  • BlakOpal: Tramontane Shirt with Collar
  • BlakOpal: Tramontane Sage Vest
  • Linden: Male Pirate Boots Linden: Male Pirate Pants
  • Linden: Short with Bangs (Blonde) hair
  • Linden: Socks (Light Grey)
  • Nivaro: Adam Skin Lighttone - trailhair_clean_bald
  • Ruby: Levi Brows
  • TrentonKalamack Resident: Custom Shape
  • TrentonKalamack Resident: Small (Gold) Earring Left

I very much like many of the items that the Lindens give us in our basic Inventories. These boots are awesome and look great with the matching pants. The Lab gets the credit, but the creators are really the folks behind Adam and Eve fashions. They created many of the nicer outfits you'll find if you dig around your Inventory.

Trent's shape is original but is based in some part on the Standard Mesh Size that many clothing creators use.

  • Abraninmations: Male AO 4 [Pose: ao3-MaleStand5 (P2)] 
  • AnyPose: Expression HUD v1.0 
  • AJ Designs: Men's Underwear Gray 
  • Avi-Glam: Illusion Eyes *grey (m) 
  • Blackburns: Canvas Dark Stars Color sneakers 
  • Blackburns: Computer Glasses 
  • Linden: Male Logo Top (not really visible in this pic, but it provides the longer sleeves and the bit of color at the collar)
  • Linden: Short with Bangs (Blonde) hair 
  • Linden: Socks (Light Grey) 
  • Nivaro: Adam Skin Lighttone - trailhair_clean_bald 
  • P's: Keep Calm Bacon On mesh t-shirt 
  • PEER: Love Sucks Jeans Ruby: Levi Brows 
  • TrentonKalamack Resident: Custom Shape 
  • TrentonKalamack Resident: Small (Gold) Earring Left

For those of you that have looked, Trent's hair is a women's style from the basic Inventory, but this character's look in the novels where he originated features slightly longer hair like this so it was a great find. That and it is far superior to the several free styles I came across while shopping. Male characters have so few choices of freebies in Our World. Just yesterday I found a shop that had about a dozen outfits for female characters 30 days old or newer but none for me despite being a shop for both men and women.

But it was my choice to "go male" for this so I can only blame me. But it was refreshing to try. At least I didn't have to fall back on the freebies that I've created for Bay City, the LDPW fan group, and other sources. Now I have to figure out what to do with Trent. I thought of offering his account to a friend of mine that is also a fan of the books from whence Trent sprang. We'll see.

Good luck to everyone who entered. Check out the Flickr group here to see other entrants.

The contest allowed only two pictures, but I managed to score  a few swimsuits and other pieces that I could not feature. Before terminating Trent's stay in SL I might feature a few of the better ones in future blog posts.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Who is Trenton Kalamack?

According to his Real World biography, Trenton Kalamack is a "Former Cincinnati City Councilman, philanthropist, successful businessman, and leader of the recently revealed Elf society in Our Fair City. Married to the lovely Ceridwen Merriam Dulciate (though she it too busy with our children to join Second Life)." In other words, he's a main character in Kim Harrison's Hollows novels (Web), a series of books I have enjoyed over the past few years.

He is also my newest Alt, specifically created for a challenge from Venus Petrov from her recent MySL post to create an alt using only freebies. No Demos, no Dollarbies, no out-of-the-box default avatars. Figuring that most who try the challenge are women and thus would create female alts, I thought I'd try to make a dude. Silly me. This has been near impossible, but he's almost done so I think it is safe for an "official" picture at this time. The final pictures, when posted on Flickr, will have breakdowns of what he's wearing, but here's a rough list:

Skin: From Nivaro. I tried about five freebie skins from actual creators (not the ones you find at any nude beach's freebie shop) and this was the best overall. Good free skins for men are few and far between.

Hair: From the Linden stuff library we all have in our Inventories. This is the "Short with Bangs (Blonde)" style in one of the folders for women. Since he's a classical elf I think this really suits him. I tried quite a few free styles from across the Grid but most were only marginally acceptable.

Shape: A home-grown shape since the free men's shapes that I found were too comicbook hero-ish for me. I tried to follow real-world standards and I think I did okay (see here). Despite lots of looking I didn't find any good elf ears for free, but the Linden tools were good enough. Other vitals are set up so he can wear "standard" medium mesh clothes. Don't ask about freenises and I won't lie.

Eyes: From Avi-Glam, a nice set of gray eyes with a system layer and mesh if I wished to use them. It wasn't that hard to find some very good eyes out there and I even grabbed a slit-pupil set that I rather like.

Shirt: From BlakOpal. This is a tasteful vest/shirt/cravat that my brother wears on his Steampunk alt and that I think is fitting for an old world elf, though Trent is really very modern. I figure as a long-lived creature he has probably kept some of his favorite clothes over time.

Trousers & Boots: From our Inventory's Male Pirate option. Despite grabbing a ton of free footwear from Blackburns, this combo is a great match with the BlakOpal topper.

Finding clothes was hard, too, but I have a couple casual outfits and some swimwear. Silly me, I spent as much time organizing all the finds as I did finding them. Trent's Inventory is flawlessly organized with backups properly stored and his "drawers" labeled and sorted. Elves are such neat freaks. Hopefully he'll be done and photographed before the February 1st deadline.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Spring-Like Topless Tuesday!

Happy Topless Tuesday! It's 20ºF outside in Real Life so I love the Spring-like setting of my home in Nangrim, SL (SLurl). Check out how others are celebrating Topless Tuesday in SL at

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What's in My Closet? Dr. Caturday

Hot on the heels of several comments in several places this week that I'm not a fashionista, this is not a fashion blog, and that I really don't know clothes, it's time for another installment of What's in my Closet? Welcome to Dr. Caturday!!

My physics teacher in High School was a big Dr. Who fan going so far as to bootlegging episodes from the Interwebs and owning a scarf like Tom Baker's character (the Seventh Doctor) owned. I never got it. But when the re-boot arrived in 2005 I became a regular fan. My brother and I actually go to the living room, set aside our iPads, and sit to watch the show on the big 48" TV (rather than on the 32" in our shared bedroom). I don't own any Dr. Who clothes or memorabilia in Real Life, but in Second Life I do have a few related items.

Like this cute Patchwork Heart "Hello Doctor Kitty" crop top ($50; SLurl). It's a Gatcha item, one of seven transferable "prizes," with the shirt on all layers, prim sleeve cuffs (not shown), and appliers for Lola's Tangos 'primplants.' This one features a David Tennant's Doctor (the Tenth) with his 3D glasses and sonic screwdriver.

I'm also wearing Cold Logic's Lepore Brown Capri Pants (L$250; SLurl) and HOC's Aviator Style Glasses #003 (L$40; SLurl) modified for my kitty avatar and to have blue/red lenses as if they were for 3D. I could modify the "paper" ones I created but thought my usual glasses tinted would be cute enough.

Body parts? Pretty obvious there ... Puppy's Furry Mods "Maine Coon - Natural" mod kit ($L400; SLurl) for the Curious White Chinchilla avatar (L$800; Web), Lola's Tangos 'primplants' (L$1750; SLurl), and Black Maria's "Ruby" blonde punk hair (Many colors pack – Free! Web). I'm wearing most of my usual jewelry, too, including the wedding ring my wife made and my Magellan Linden Detector ring. SL wouldn't let my collar rez today.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Where do we go from here?

Shortly after reading the news that Rod Humble (who still owes me a bear) has left Linden Lab (see here), I popped into the Sutherland Abyss (SLurl) on a lark and was about to move on when I just stopped in the stillness. Then I thought "Where do we go from here?"

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Talk About Surveliance

Privacy has become more of an issue in the last decade as people become more and more connected via the Internet. Shops have devices that know when you walk through the door and pull up your shopping profile to send special coupons to your mobile device. WiFi users walk or drive by your residence and see your home network, no "sniffers" required as they can just open the Local Network settings on most any device you can name and they see everything. On the most basic, lo-tech level, people not nearly as skilled as the legendary Sherlock Holmes can simply look at you to have a very good shot at summing up your personality based on your Old Navy shirt, Levi jeans, Converse All-Stars, and the white earbuds cable snaking into the jacket you bought at The Gap (you never wondered why Apple made the cabling white in a world full of black cables?).

Now imagine a crowded street where you simply had to touch a button on your eyewear to have tags pop-up over people's heads to show real names, preferred names, and something about a favored affiliation. And others can see the same information about you.

Maybe like on this crowded sidewalk (thanks, Wikipedia) pictured above.
It would look a lot like this scene from the Violet Infohub (SLurl) shown below.

Never thought of it as a privacy issue, did you?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Topless Medieval Tuesday!

Happy Topless Tuesday!

The inspiration for today's look is the Forest of Dra'Mil in Tir Tairngire (SLurl) a nice role play sim owned by my friend Astet. She's done a lovely job putting it together and it's well worth a visit. When you arrive there's a box with info and a visitor tag right outside the tavern. Stop inside and look for a fresh-faced barmaid of unquestioned virtue for refreshments.

Welcome, traveler, to the Dra'Mil, meaning "deep forest" in an ancient, forgotten Sylvan dialect. May you find adventure, solace, or whatever you may be searching for.

As a new visitor to our realm, you are entitled to a free first drink and a joke!
*pours you a mug of something that looks vaguely liquidy*
Tell me traveller, what is brown and sticky?

A stick!!
Ha Ha Ha Ha!
Would you like to see more Topless Tuesday pictures? Then visit the Flickr group I created, Topless Tuesday in SL! Feel free to share yours there, as well.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Meme: Helpful Tools

My first post in the Monday Meme series for 2014 is going to be short and probably not terribly sweet as, like the "Prank" meme I skipped last week, it barely applies to me sinceI really don't have any special HUDs that I use on a regular basis. Let's backtrack a bit and see what Strawberry Singh has to say on the topic on her blog ...

Meme Instruction: Share a screenshot of your viewer setup and/or a list of tools/HUDS you guys use to make your Second Life experiences better. Don’t forget to leave a comment in this post with a link so we can all come and stalk you. If you share a screenshot, feel free to share them in the Blog Memes flickr group.

... and with that setup, here goes:

Photographed at Splash, a public pool in Bay City (SLurl).

My day-to-day HUDs include an AO and a hugger. Which AO depends on the outfit with some stock from the maker and some cobbled together by me. The hugger is a Meike Hug &Kiss 2.02 Deluxe Full, a fabulous full-perm freebie that at one time sold for some L$450 and I bought one for each of my alts and several friends. About a year later the 100% discount kicked and a year after that it was changed to No Copy and the price bumped up to L$195 (see here). Crazy world, huh? I use the full-perm free one and put the paid-for one in storage.

That's about it, really. I keep the Mini-map open at almost all times though I don't really need it. Just an old habit. I don't use my Mysti-Tool. For pictures I will usually tack on AnyPose Basic HUD v1.52 (L$1500; see here) to adjust the position of body parts and my expression (especially eyes) or the free expression/eyes version (see here). Often, though not always as you can tell by the pic, when I'm in swimwear I attach Siggy's The Swimmer HUD (L$400; see here).

About the only regular HUD I use beyond the AO and the hugger is for my Maine Coon Cat furry avatar. It's for eye color, mouth opening, and ... well, you can see most of it above in the shot that the viewer kept cropping for me no matter how I adjusted things.

So, there you go. Short and dull. I'll try to be more exciting next time.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tub Thinkin'

Sitting in my tub today I managed to clear over 3,000 items from my Inventory while playing with some changes to my face, sorting all my eyes, boxing things up for storage, and thinking.

All this stuff we have in our second lives is just borrowed, really. The lack of available insurance against Inventory loss aside, the ease with which we can make changes to ourselves and our environments plus advances in the way things are created (not to mention the increasing talent of creators), older possessions we once couldn't live without can easily go by the wayside. Case in point: My Prismatic Natural Eyes from Santana Lumiere's Nevermore shop. Originally bought in 2006 (and blogged about here in 2011), they were about the only thing I didn't change about myself for five years. Today, I started wearing some eyes I had in my Inventory for almost two years thus supplanting a set I bought just yesterday.

Those eyes replaced ones I bought last year. Total Linden-cash equivalent? Probably less than L$500 total. And almost no thought at all. Click, click, double-click, wait, "ooooh! I like these better!!" For now, of course. I also deleted hundreds of hair pieces I have collected over the years (originals in Storage, mind you). Wham. Gone. Next?

I was so close to simply deleting the Never Worn folder at the top of my Clothing folder. Rough count would be about 30-40 outfits/items. Some I know I've never looked at in a year there. There are 29 product folders inside my Inventory's Received Items folder, most never opened. None are demos. The Demos folder has 22 items since I deleted all the skins I've been trying on. Easy come, easy go.

That was my exact thought when I peeked into my Christmas folder. Nothing has been dragged out of there in two years. Why not delete it? Most of it is backed up in Storage so what's the harm?

But the cows in the picture turned my thoughts 180º. I had one out for about a week after I bought it in 2007. Letting a pair of them out to graze this week is the first real use I've had for them. If I had slaughtered them wholesale in the past few years (with a copy in Storage) then they probably wouldn't be out now.

It's good that I emptied the Trash or I might be tempted to drag all that hair back out on the chance I might wear it soon.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Re-Skinning Again

My avatar's skin history is filled with freebies and homemade editions (and a buttload of fantasy skins). It wasn't until April 2009, about two years after I started on the Main Grid, that I finally bought a professionally made skin. After shopping and shopping and shopping, I gleefully dropped a ton of money on two Curio skins (two for me and two for my then-twin alt, Usra), a tanned and a pale one, and debuted them on my blog the next day (here). Quite happly I stuck with them until frustration over matching tones on my SLink mesh feet and hands as well as the introduction of "primplants" that use a system like SLink's to match skins. Shopping commenced. Sadly, Curio hadn't introduced anything despite many rumors that they would. Eventually, I settled on Unbra's "Indigo" line, first blogging about them last July (here).

The Unbra line is still very nice and I've recommended them to many people, including an alt of mine that ponied up the $Lindens to get a set. But I was never super happy that all the faces seemed to have liberally applied makeup. Not just eye shadow, but a generous smoothing foundation. In Real Life, I own one lipstick and I always have to dig for it when I need it (funerals, weddings, and the very rare actual date night). I really wanted a makeup-free skin.

The Skinnery (SLurl) had a nice skin that fit the bill for the September Arcade Gacha and I would love to have used that one, but I gave it away and figured I'd never hit the jackpot with getting just the right one again. I kept pining for updates from Curio and kept my eyes open. When Angela, my wife, started looking for skins I insisted she visit The Skinnery and while there I grabbed a few demos myself. That was a few months ago and I finally took the plunge after looking at the just-released Curio skins I've been awaiting (see here).

Left: The Skinnery's Sasha. Right: UnBra's Indigo C62.
The Skinnery's "Sasha" won a narrow victory over two other really nice ones, including one that is a bargain at the Cosmetic Fair (see here). As you can see above, it pairs up nicely with the UnBra skin so I won't be using Sasha as a replacement, but rather a daily skin while using the older one for dress up occasions. The skin came with no makeup options but the set does have some freckles/blemishes options I have to look at a bit more closely and ways to change the eyebrows. I can always buy matched makeups or rely on the small lipstick collection I have now.

I'm also using the opportunity to go back to elf ears full-time and I might change my preferred eyes to something a bit more realistic. I don't see any need to alter my face or other body numbers, but I might tweak my height down a notch and finally pack away hair I haven't worn in a very long time. All this hullabaloo but I'll still me me, Uccie.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Talamh Teaghlaigh, Nangrim

My home outside Bay City is Talamh Teaghlaigh, Nangrim. It's a 1024m2 plot adjacent to my brother's smaller plot, the Lydia Rose Memorial Park. The two parcels are, in effect, one home big home for both of us. We both contribute to the general design and implementation of same with the family gardner Zyx Flux helping out, too. Here's what we did today ...

CC insisted on the cow chairs. He must be thinking of his on-going efforts to teach our RL cats to moo like cows.
I added a modified version of my big "ocean deck" that has often been a part of my various homes over the years. It was 32 LI but quickly became 19 LI when I converted it all to a Convex Hull physical shape then trimmed it a bit more as I changed to a sculpty ladder from an all-prim one. CC and Zyx did the plant work and I added some furniture.

A view from the Memorial Park side.
Somehow we wound up with a lot "prims" left over. And I see that CC added a memorial stone again (insert big smile here). If anything, our home feels warmer now, and more complete. The tall grasses make a big difference as does the elevation of the new addition. Drop in sometime (SLurl) and visit for a while. If you don't see us you might see others as we both have a habit of telling strangers and noobies to make themselves at home.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014



I really have nothing to do in Second Life.

The Isle of Lesbos is closed so no more landscaping or building or prepping or whatever the heck it was I did there for all those years.

The latest build in Bay City was 98⅔% my brother's work. I roughed in a pool and gave it to him then added some items per his instructions.

I'm not one for dancing so events/parties/shindigs don't hold much appeal to me.

Our home in Nangrim is more my brother's plaything than mine. Not that I mind as it is lovely and wouldn't change a thing unless I had more space and a higher LI count.

Others have offered projects for me to help with but I have no interest in the work or the venue itself (though it is a wonderful place and everyone should see it at least once).

Building things these days requires more skill, talent, and patience than I have of late. Mesh. It's a wonderful thing.

This whole lack of snapshots on the My Second life "feed" is a bummer depressing disheartening getting friggin' old. At least they are working on it.

Exploring doesn't have the allure it once did. There's lots to see and do in Second Life, but ...

I dunno.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Empty Inventory Folders Are Useful

Empty folders are a great way to help organize your Inventory. Without adding to the total Inventory Item count (empty folders aren't "Items"), an empty folder is a fast and easy way to add notes. Here you can see that I am using an empty folder as a key for identifying jeans by color. The maker didn't name the jeans by color and being No Modify I can't add the color as I ordinarily might. I could have made a folder for each pair of jeans with the color name but that would make adding a pair slower unless I put a copy of the alpha layer with each pair. Now I can just Ctrl-Click the alpha and the pair I want then choose Add (or Wear).

Topless TWOsday!

Yesterday I spent a bit of my Second Life time with my pixy alts, Zyx and Zyx Flux. That was so much fun that I had to bring back the elder one for today's Topless TWOsday picture. Here we are getting ready for the day with a nice, warm bath. Later we'll go exploring, shopping, and maybe do some building before settling in with the laptop and checking out the Topless Tuesday in SL Flickr group (here).

Monday, January 13, 2014

Perspectives II: Return of the Disproportion

The door to my brother's cabin in Nangrim is 2.8m tall. Perusing the Home Depot Website, the average front door for a Real Life home is 80" (2.032m). This matches up with the doors in my Real Life home. So why does this one seem to friggin' big to me? My avatar is only a few inches taller than my Real Life self.

The Builder's Tape Measure (which you'll find in Inventory > Library > Objects > Household) agrees that 2.8m is the proper height for a door opening in Second Life.

All this seems perfectly fine in Mouse Look, just like how I see things iRL. That's the way it is supposed to work, right? So the camera position is what makes the difference. Here's a comparison of the normal Second Life view to one where the Camera Controls were used to adjust the pitch so that the camera was as the avatar's eye level.

Standard View
Pitch-Adjusted View
There is no easy way with the Official Viewer's controls to make the latter the default view, though some Third-Party Viewers do have such optional adjustments. Scripted "cameras" are available, notably for Tinies and other other-than-standard size avatars. But seeing Our World from above and behind as we do instead of at nominal eye level as in RL is probably explains why we make our avatars so disproportionately large.

None of this explains why the books on his shelves look far to big, too.

Friday, January 10, 2014


When my brother was working on the new pool on our land in Bay City (SLurl; his land, really) he added some fences because we all know that if an avatar falls off a 10m tall prim they are seriously hurt. I thought the barriers were attractive despite being a bit LI-intensive (5 LI for one section and linked post) for mesh. The next day I saw he had lowered the fences and I asked why. He told me "Try looking around at eye level."

With the camera in it's default position above my the eye level of my 1.81m (5.93") tall self I had not noticed that the fence was a bit more than protective. It was almost prison-like, the bars lending a bit to the impression, I'm sure. The shorter center section (1.25m vs. 1.531m) was much nicer, not only making the area seem more open but also allowing for a better view.

This camera position-created distortion probably explains why doors and windows in Our World are so out of proportion to what we might find under similar circumstances in the Real World. And I would not be surprised if both the distortion and the outsisizing of avatars are related, one affecting the other in a cycle.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Introducing Splash - A Public Pool in Bay City

My beloved Pouloco Gas Station in Bay City Dennis is no more. Admittedly, I groused a bit when my brother, CC Columbo, asked me to build it for him but it gave me something to do and I enjoyed the challenge. His idea of giving me something to do long-term, however, failed. Neither of us took it seriously as a role play opportunity and I never took advantage of the retail space it provided. Basically it was just a pretty addition to Bay City, certainly (if I can brag) a step above the pre-fab gas stations that exist elsewhere in town. It might come back one day. I'm going to spend time with it in a sandbox to make it a better, more efficient build with better textures.

A combination of his trying to figure out how to put a swimming pool on our land in Nangrim but being stymied by Land Impact limits and his boredom with the gas station, CC decided to wipe the latter build and go for broke on a swimming pool. After watching him shop for pools at WaterWorks (SLurl) and reminding him that he had Siggy's PrimSwim water I offered to build a pool for him if he paid me half of what he'd spend on a prefab. Thusly, Splash – A Public Pool in Bay City (SLurl) was started.

These are CC's pictures. He used my computer since it has better graphics than his.

I don't know if that is a parking area or not, but anyone can rez things there (1 minute auto-return). That is his truck in Pouloco colors. The whole build almost had that color scheme.

CC asked me to put my vending machines in the snack shack. They are free so grab a Slurpee®, a soda, or some popcorn. You can also get a free copy of the Bay City Post, ride a flying bunny around town or hop on the ducky.

The pool I gave CC was smaller and square-ended with basic Linden textures. He modded the heck out of it and added the rest of the infrastructure including a small water slide.

There's a kiddie pool though no animations. I think he's shopping for some kid-sized ones. Plenty of seating for parents so they can watch their little sea-rats kids in comfort.

Plenty of towels around the pool and the one with the octopus has couples cuddles. Totally G-rated, of course. Be sure to read the pool rules about the sim rating and other necessities.

If you have The Swimmer from Siggy's (L$400; see here) you can swim in the water. Without it you can still use the poses or toobs or even the water slide. Good luck sitting on the lifeguard chair. He has it linked funny so it doesn't fly off into space but it's just for show anyway as we can't afford to hire someone to nap in it.

CC did a great job of filling the gas station's footprint without disturbing his grave yard or my teeny shack-home on the backside of the big wall. He tells me that he's still working on bits and tweaking, but isn't that the fun of building anyway?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy Topless Tuesday!

Happy Topless Tuesday!! I hope you have a productive one or at least a comfy one if you don't feel like accomplishing anything.

Check out more Topless Tuesday in Second Life pictures here on Flickr!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy 1st Caturday!

It's the first Caturday of 2014 so I decided to visit one of the happiest places in SL, the Minna Watermill which you'll find, in of all places, Minna (SLurl)! Kennylex Luckless and associates have stocked the building with freebies like toys, vehicles, avatars, and building tutorials. Drop in anytime and you might even run into the kitty-friendly Kenny himself.

Look for the near by tip jar, too, and donate if you can so Kenny can keep making wonderful stuff. You'll even get another fun build of his for being generous!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
I hope the next 365 days find you as happy as a cleavage kitten!