Saturday, November 29, 2014

Death in the Forest

One of the great mysteries in Second Life, one that rivals even the search for Magellan Linden, is they mystery of Salazar Jack and the Forest of Kahruvel (SLurl). Readers of this blog should know that I've been involved for part of this years-long story (see here). As oft happens in November, the mystery deepened recently as clues from Salazar have appeared on Twitter while photos and individualized messages  have been delivered in-world from what appears to be a tree. While patrolling the area today an experience I had last year happened again. I met Death.

Photos are more or less in chronological order.
Death was examining the columns in the area, unaccompanied by the wizard Merlin, as he was last year. This time, however, I was not alone. Kennylex Luckless was there to see Death, as well, as was Jack Meredith.

[08:09] Uccie Galway shouts: Kenny! Look out!!

[08:09] Kennylex Luckless shouts: OMG!

Kenny has just fallen, landed on Death, and bounced out of the frame.
[08:10] Kennylex Luckless shouts: I think I did land on a Grim Rapper when I did fell.

[08:10] Kennylex Luckless shouts: Ir is it reaper.

[08:10] Uccie Galway shouts: Are you okay, Kenny?

[08:10] Dᴇᴀᴛʜ shouts: MC Bᴏɴᴇs ɪɴ ᴅᴀ ʜᴀᴜs.

[08:11] Kennylex Luckless shouts: Yes, but I did step in water!

Jack Meredith shows up.
[08:11] Jack Meredith: hi kenny

[08:11] Dᴇᴀᴛʜ: Hᴏᴡ ᴀʀᴇ ʏᴏᴜ?

[08:11] Uccie Galway: Be careful, Jack!

Me, Jack, Kenny, and DEATH.
[08:12] Uccie Galway: Death, why do you visit the forest today?

[08:13] Dᴇᴀᴛʜ: I wanted ᴀ walk. And to check on this obelisk.

[08:13] Uccie Galway: Have you any news about the search for Salazar jack?

[08:14] Dᴇᴀᴛʜ: Hᴇ ɪs ɴᴏᴛ ʀɪɢʜᴛ.

[08:14] Uccie Galway: "Not Right" as in not well? Needs help?

[08:14] Dᴇᴀᴛʜ: He is wrong.

[08:15] Uccie Galway: What is he wrong about?

[08:15] Kennylex Luckless: I think I miss what grim did say

[08:15] Dᴇᴀᴛʜ: Exɪsᴛᴇɴᴄᴇ.

[08:15] Kennylex Luckless: I may been a bit to far off.

[08:15] Uccie Galway: Can you help him return to this existence?

[08:16] Dᴇᴀᴛʜ: Hᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜ sᴇᴇɴ ᴛʜᴇ ᴡɪᴢᴀʀᴅ?

[08:16] Uccie Galway: Not for 12 moons now. Not since I last saw you.

[08:17] Dᴇᴀᴛʜ: Hᴇ ᴡᴀs ɢᴏɴᴇ ᴛᴏᴏ. Bᴜᴛ ʜᴇ ʀᴇᴛᴜʀɴᴇᴅ.

[08:17] Jack Meredith: i look around a bit

[08:17] Uccie Galway: I expect Merlin to return soon.

[08:17] Uccie Galway: Take care, Jack.

[08:17] Jack Meredith: bye

[08:17] Kennylex Luckless: tc

[08:17] Dᴇᴀᴛʜ: Bᴇ sᴇᴇɪɴɢ ʏᴏᴜ.

[08:17] Jack Meredith: yes bye

[08:17] Uccie Galway: Yes. I spoke with Merlin last year. He was a bit addled. Or mysterious.

[08:18] Dᴇᴀᴛʜ: Hᴇ ʜᴀs ɴᴏᴛ ʙᴇᴇɴ ʀɪɢʜᴛ sɪɴᴄᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ɪɴᴄɪᴅᴇɴᴛ ᴡɪᴛʜ ʜɪs ᴄᴇʀᴇᴀʟ.

[08:18] Uccie Galway: Can the wizard help Salazar?
From a series of photos posted on My SL (here).
[08:19] Dᴇᴀᴛʜ: Sᴀʟᴀᴢᴀʀ Jᴀᴄᴋ ɪs ɴᴏᴛ ᴘᴀʀᴛ ᴏғ ᴍʏ ᴅᴏᴍɪɴɪᴏɴ, ᴀs sᴜᴄʜ I ᴄᴀɴɴᴏᴛ sᴀʏ. Hᴇ ɪs ᴡʀᴏɴɢ.

[08:20] Uccie Galway: That tells me he is alive. Thank you.

[08:21] Dᴇᴀᴛʜ: Hᴇ ɪs ᴀʟɪᴠᴇ ᴀɴᴅ I ᴄᴀɴɴᴏᴛ sᴇᴇ ʜɪᴍ. Hᴇ ɪs ᴡʀᴏɴɢ.

[08:22] Uccie Galway: Poof

At this point, Death disappeared, though traces of him lingered in the area for a brief time.

[08:22] Kennylex Luckless: o.0

[08:22] Kennylex Luckless: btw, I has a could and running nose-

[08:22] Uccie Galway: sorry to hear that, Kenny

[08:23] Kennylex Luckless: I need go away and rest, can you send post and updates so I can see what happens

[08:23] Uccie Galway: I will. I'm going to put my pix and chat with Death on my blog, too.

[08:23] Uccie Galway: Feel better, Friend.

[08:23] Uccie Galway: Eat pancakes. [

08:24] Kennylex Luckless: I blame Grim, I did land on him, I guess better to get a could and not death

[08:24] Kennylex Luckless: see laters

[08:24] Uccie Galway: Laters

With this incident we have learned several things. Death is aware of Salazar. Our friend is alive but something is amiss (which we rather figured). And if you bounce off of death, you catch a cold, at minimum.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Sure, its an American holiday today, but even if you ignore the fact that we are the last Super Power and you should observe our holidays, I'm sure you'll find a similar day in your culture's pantheon of observances.

One of the things I'm thankful for is my sense of humor. I'd be dead without it, though sometimes it makes others want to kill me. And I'm thankful for Second Life, where I can vent my insanity and run (albeit temporarily) from things in Real Life that .... well, you get the idea.

So, thanks to all of you for making my life here and there and everywhere better.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Press Release - Bay City's Annual Tree Lighting 2014

Bay City's Annual Tree Lighting 2014, the fifth of this annual celebration, will take place on Saturday, 6th December 2014 from 1-4 pm SLT at the Bay City Fairgrounds, in North Channel (SLurl) and will feature DJ GoSpeed Racer and live performer Christov Kohnke. Additional activities will include ice-skating, dancing, refreshments and lots of other fun.

As part of the event, a silent auction supporting Child's Play Charity ( will be held. We are asking Second Life™ designers and artists to participate by providing fun, interesting, unique, or other transferrable items (or a no-copy object that the auction winner can give to you to redeem their prize, if the item(s) have to be no transfer). Please contact Marianne McCann to participate.

The Auction will end at the conclusion of the event. All proceeds from the silent auction and from donation bins at the venue will go to Child's Play Charity. Child's Play is a 501c3 non profit organization offers online communities such as ours an opportunity to help seriously ill children around the globe during their hospital stays with the purchase of games and gaming equipment.

Bay City is a mainland community, developed by Linden Lab® and home to the Bay City Alliance. The Bay City Alliance was founded in 2008 to promote the Bay City regions of Second Life and provide a venue for Bay City Residents and other interested parties to socialize and network. It is now the largest group for Residents of Bay City.

For more information, or to participate in the event, please contact Marianne McCann (

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Lost My Geek Cred

Some think that I'm quite the geek. After all, I've got the shirt. A Second Life shirt, which is quite geeky.  Really, if you believe some press, if you aren't a pervert in SL you must be a geek. Not that the two are mutually exclusive, but that's another blog post. If that's not enough, I have a ton of gadgets, many of which get press time on this blog. I read mostly Sci-Fi/Fantasy, I watch Dr Who, and I play with Lego blocks.


Then came along Strawberry Singh's "Geeks'n'Nerds" post on her blog and my Geek Cred was seriously challenged. I took the "How Geeky Are You" quiz she mentions and it seems I'm just a Semi-Geek:
Maybe you're just influenced by the trend, or maybe you just got it all perfectly balanced. You have some geeky traits, but they aren't as "hardcore" and they don't take over your life. You like some geeky things, but aren't nearly as obsessive about them as the uber-geeks. You actually get to enjoy both worlds.
I'm crushed. I mean, no I don't own a game console (unless you count a Wii that is never used), my phone isn't "rooted," I can't drink Mt Dew like when I was a kid, and the only code I know is Hammurabi's (Still waiting for a chance to use it).

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Terra Xplorer

Renowned Second Life builder and aviation expert Cubey Terra has released a new product after quite a few years of dormancy (or simply enjoying himself), the Terra Xplorer. Announced on his blog on 20 November, Cubey made everyone wait two days before they could get their hands on one. Not one to wait, I went ... um ... Xploring.

Look what I found! A full beta unit just laying around in Georgian! I posted about it here and here.
No, that's not a real product in the picture. Having seen the basic appearance from the blog, and being impatient, I mocked up a board with exhaust flame and mounted it on an invisible Linden 2009 Hoverboard for functionality. It didn't fool Cubey nor did it earn me an early production model, but I zipped out today and got one for myself and for my friend Xandah since I knew she had the Terra Z Transport, a vehicle that the Xplorer seems to be based upon. Here's what she has to say:


Terra Z Transport, no longer available for sale.
To start, I refreshed my memory of the Terra Z Transport, one of the very first vehicles I bought when joining Second Life. If you rez one on the ground it asks to attach to you or you can simply attach one from your Inventory. Turn off your AO and use the same controls you would to fly. It is that simple. A HUD allows you to change the color scheme of the main body and the accents. The exhaust flame matches the color of the accents as does the HUD.

Terra Z Transport dashboard
The Z has a control stalk with hand grips and functional readouts for altitude and airspeed. Not that you can see them in use, mind you, but the HUD shows the same information and has a slider to control a speed boost. Otherwise your speed is the same as walking or running.

Terra Xplorer HUD
The HUD for the Terra Explorer is essentially the same but with one addition: The Eye Button will hide the attached board and disable the board's animations so there is no need to detach it for walking.

Terra Xplorer in action. L$250 at Cubey Terra Aeronautics (SLurl).
You can also visit the Marketplace.
The Terra Explorer is essentially the same vehicle, sans the control stalk and with better animations. Turning or banking with the Z results in awkward tilting motions anchored to a strange pivot point. The same actions on the Xplorer give your avatar a delightful little hip sway as if your body is controlling the motion. Turning while flying with either unit decreases your altitude so be careful around water.

Up close. Exhaust shuts off when not moving. Stable enough for high heels.
This is a fun little craft and I look forward to using it more. The ability to hide the Xplorer rather than needing to detach for ground travel is a big plus. Be sure to box a copy of everything you get in the sales delivery folder for backup. Everything is full Copy.

Thanks, Xandah! Good report! I should note for editorial integrity that I gave Xandah the money to buy the Xplorer.

My experience (or is that Xperience?) with the board was entirely pleasant. A 1/8th boost in speed is very comfortable. Anything more than that and you will easily out fly your Draw Distance and the speed with which objects near you rez. Save high speed for races or high altitude.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Left or Right?

Which is your favorite? What do you like or what don't you like? Let me know in comments (if you are interested, of course).

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Proper Inventory Tools

Zyx Flux's Inventory
While fishing my butt off at FFF 2014 I was lamenting my poor Inventory. More than a hundred prizes were dropping into my Objects folder like rain in Seattle. "This mess will take me more time to clear up than it took to create," I told myself. Rapidly dropping select transferable items on friends, relatives, and alts wasn't helping. It made me seriously wish for offline Inventory management. Strictly speaking, having to log into my account and be in-world isn't necessary for basic maintenance. And if I could do it from my iPad, all the better.

Sure, if I want to box up for storage items that I seldom use I need to be in-world (Or do I? Read on!), but transferring items to other avatars or moving things between folders only needs access to the Inventory Window and maybe a couple extra buttons.

The Close All Folders button in Alchemy's version of the Inventory window (shown above with it's annoying "A" folders) is a step forward. Other third party viewers have this feature, too, and it is one that The Lab should adopt (currently you need to use a menu). Better yet, let's have true windowing like desktop operating systems have. Highlight an object and with one button Properties pop up. A set of buttons to change from a directory tree view (so DOS 1.x), to list view, to columns view, or even a Cover Flow view that would present thumbnail renderings of objects, textures, and note cards. Or instead of needing to box items to store for later use [See the "Objects (Storage)" up there? I wrote about it here.] items could be sent to a secure backup folder. Only Linden System folders can't be deleted so if I accidentally hit the Delete key with my storage folder highlighted and I zip past the warning (don't ever tick the "Never Show Again" option), I'm fairly up a creek.

Offline management would require synchronization, but the extra few moments would be well worth the time. It isn't like we aren't used to the idea now, anyway. Apps sync between all my devices all the time: Messages, email, documents, password vaults, file storage, etc.

After all, our digital stuff in Second Life is just a bunch of files, right? We should be able to manage them as such.

Friday, November 7, 2014

My Blog Stats - November 2014

The renowned Daniel Voyager often publishes his blog stats so I thought I'd give mine a whirl. Here goes, for what it is worth ...

From this data it appears I'm popular with Russians, Brits, and vampires that like bikinis and boobs. Is this how Woodward and Bernstein started?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

An Octopus and Dragons

An interesting post showed up Thursday on My Second Life (AKA, the Profile Feed or just The Feed): "There is a weird group on FB called "Second Lifers for Life" where oldbies wax on about how awesome the past was ..."

Not having Facebook or being terribly interested in drama I tuned out most of the comments but it got me thinking about the many magical moments I experienced when Second Life was still fairly new to me as Uccello Poultry. You see, I never really explored until hitting the Main Grid, more or less just hanging by myself on a lofty build platform high above the Teen Grid. Perhaps I've been in a nostalgic of late about my early Main Grid days and this post triggered more memories. Like the time last month when someone (I think it was NikoKito Aries, but I can't be sure) posted a picture of that classic orange octopus we have probably all seen.

Me from 2007 with my copy of the classic orange octopus.
It made me remember the time back in 2007 when I was out with my spanking new swim HUD and was exploring a coastline somewhere, headin for a dock with lots of kelp around it. Little did I know, that octopus was there. A glance out of the corner of my eye was enough to make me jump a little in my seat. It was actually a fright! After swimming away I eventually went back to look at this bit of magic and eventually I got a copy for myself. She was a frequent addition to many of my builds over the years. At the time I marveled at how it was made. Today I'm skilled enough to duplicated it and those with talent in mesh can certainly surpass it, but I don't think I'll have a moment like that again.

Draxtor's post initially brought to mind another experience. I was stunned. I cried. I laughed. I met dragons ...

This was probably late 2007 or early 2008 and I was stalking Lucky Chairs in a shopping center with quite a few of the prize givers. While walking from store-to-store, there in the center park area I saw two dragon statues. They were gorgeous. I walked up to them and all around them, looking everywhere I could. One was huge. All glossy black with Egyptian ornamentation. The smaller one was similarly themed. For several minutes I was admiring the prim work and wondering if I could ever get that good.

Then the big one spoke to me. "Hello!"

And I started to cry, overwhelmed with awe. It was an avatar! Magical.

Several more minutes passed before I could respond. The moment had me so choked up. Eventually, I learned that these were Anubis dragons and that there was a baby (Tiny) version as well, all creations of Daryth Kennedy from The Isle of Wyrms in Second Life. And as you can see above, I eventually got my own. Not everyone could get one back then, mind you. It took me a couple years of saving money and  trying a lottery they used to have, first buying a junior version of the big one (and I got the Tiny, too).

Today you can buy lovely sculpted and mesh dragons (and I have bought more than a few), each a treasure in their own right. But that first magical moment ... *sigh*

I still don't understand what is going on over on Facebook and I really don't care unless someone hurts my friends in the process. As a dragon, petty stuff is below me (dragons eat drama llamas). Find your magic, new or old, and that's all that matters.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My Phone is Smart

What does a mute need with a mobile phone? Texting, at minimum. Great way to communicate. Then the iPod Touch came out and wherever I could find Wi-Fi, FaceTime was my go-to communications solution. Now I have a smart phone.

No, I wish it was an iPhone. The monthly cost would be prohibitive considering I only text or use Wi-Fi. So our family buys Tracphones, a pre-paid service here in the US that deducts "minutes" for voice, text, or data. I get a new phone every year because someone at Tracphone hasn't figured out that for not much more than buying a one-year service card I can get a new phone, a ton of minutes, and a year of service.

This year my brother and I got LG Ultimate 2 smart phones. Big learning curve to pick up Android compared to Apple's iOS but it was sooooo cheap! But now I have to get Skype. Then figure out how to get my iOS calendars to show up on Google calendars. Synching contacts was done with a cheat.

Up-sides? It looks like if I'm on Wi-Fi I don't use any minutes for texting (or voice, my brother tells me) and most apps I use on my iPod/iPad are on Android, too. Like Grocery iQ 9not as nice as the iOS version), Kindle,  Full Deck Solitaire, and then some. Thinking of getting Lumiya for Second Life on the road.

The biggest up-sides – I don't have to carry two devices and I can still do maps or Interwebs if I don't have Wi-Fi. Oh! And I used one of my pictures from Meauxle Bureaux (Slurl) as my wallpaper.

The Other Route 11

Poultry Report correspondent Zyx Flux is on the road again, reporting an anomaly in the road numbering systems on Second Life's Mainland. Apparently there are two roads named Route 11. I'll let her explain ...

On my way to meet some dragons about – well, that's not important – I noticed this lovely walkway in Vaktarin and found it is a terminus of Route 11 (SLurl). Frequent travelers know that there is a Route 11 that runs from Paneer (SLurl) to an end in a small sea in Jameed (Slurl), the road itself actually ending in Passendale (SLurl). So I was rather curious and hiked the walkway.

Heading North-Northeast you'll come across a little rest area after about 2/10 of a kilometer. The steps lead up the side of the mountain to a lot of abandoned land and one small residence. This is the peak elevation of the walkway, just 77 meters but it seems like quite a bit more.

The walkway drops rapidly after that then starts a gradual downslope (or upslope, depending on your direction of travel, I guess).

About 7/10 of a kilometer along the way is another rest area, this one overlooking a beach. Elevation has dropped to just over 40 meters so you'll see a change in vegetation with more tropical plants along the path.

Then just a kilometer after the start, the walkway ends and you are at the Kwaito Rez Zone (SLurl) staring at a mysterious dirt path leading up the mountain. Some local squirrels told me that only the worthy can walk the path to the Temple of the Prim so I took no chances and flew up.

Good thing, too. As I looked down I saw it was a nasty, rough trail with many switchbacks. It's good to be a pixy with wings. Someone with longer legs could probably make the 140 meter (or so) climb pretty easily. Or they could rez a helicopter in the Rez Zone. Or a motor bike. You get the idea.

So I made it to the temple (SLurl) and spent the rest of the morning exploring. My camera's memory card was full and there was no Wi-Fi to cloud-ify the pictures I had, but I'll return to take more pictures soon. In the mean time, here's the one I was able to get:

You should visit, too. This is an oft overlooked attraction. Kudos to the Linden Department of Public Work's Mouldy Mole (no longer with The Lab) and Crazy Mole (also no longer with The Lab) for their excellent work on the temple with more to Sylvan Mole and Crazy Mole for the walkway. The trip is fun and the temple is a lovely place with a few surprises.

Note: The YavaPod that travels the walkway uses the term "Old Route 11" in it's descriptions.

Zyx's explorations are a popular feature on this blog and she is now on staff full-time so look for more reports in the future. Her visit to the temple reminded me of a comment I made to Torley the other day ... The LDPW and the places they create in Our World aren't promoted or celebrated enough. Sure, we should emphasize Resident builds, but The Lab has a valuable asset. Anyone who is bored in Second Life sure hasn't been seeing what the Moles have done. Go. Check out more LDPW projects!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Meauxle Bureaux

Every Autumn the monarch butterflies flock to Mexico, but where to moles go? I don't know, unless they are Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW) Moles. They go to Meauxle Bureaux (SLurl), a fun region where each Mole has a home (and Abnor Mole has a pub). Intrepid Poultry Report correspondent Zyx Flux explored and sent these pictures (Click to embiggen or see them on Flickr).

(SLurl) A broad area with a fountain and reflecting pool separates the main building from a lovely park. Adorable vendor stalls add to the festival atmosphere that fills the little town. It would be quite daunting for a little pixy (I'm at the bottom, center) but Moles are friendly folk so how scary could their town be?
Sadly, none of these lovely flowers were really for sale. Nor were any of the items in the other vendor stalls, but you could borrow a bicycle to explore Meauxle Bureaux.
The park looking West from the fountain area. That may look like a portal that you might see on Linden Portal park (SLurl) but it isn't. Still magical, though, like the rest of the park.
The main building (it must have a name, but I can't find it) looks a bit like the Moles are still moving in, but you can see the magic already. Click some of the pictures for landmarks to some great LDPW builds (like The Cornfield!). An upper gallery has portraits of some beloved Moles you should know.
Little pixy; Big tavern. Abnor Mole's "home" is a warm and inviting public Public House. You can play billiards or "Cards Against Humanity," watch television, or just hang out. Plenty of comfy seats and lots of great Mole pix add to the atmosphere.
Some homes are occupied already, like this choice end unity that Garden Mole claimed, but some are still empty. I look forward to returning often to see the creativity that each of these master builders add to their space.
Explore everywhere, try different Windlight settings, and take lots of pictures. There is so much to see and you might even meet a Mole or two. Try to find Michael "It's good to be the King" Linden's house.
Zyx sent so many pictures, quite a few blurry from a shaking camera or repeats of several scenes. It's quite obvious she is very excited about the new Mole homes and meeting Frost Mole (see here) like I did yesterday (see here). Yesterday I gave some LDPW Mole Fan Club t-shirts to Frost and Abnor and Zyx gave a petite-sized one to Frost. You can get copies of the shirt at the Arboretum in Bay City (SLurl) and use Search to join the group (free!).