Random Thoughts

  • It has become abundantly clear to me that I blog almost exclusively on Tuesdays of late. I post my Topless Tuesday pic with a brief few comments, link to Flickr then I’m off like a prom dress. This tells me that I need to explore Our World some more, something I used to do quite a bit. Now I mostly pop into various beaches and swim around or lay on the beach while reading.
  • Swimming in SL is fun, though I miss Real Life swimming. Having to attach a separate swim HUD is annoying as is turning on/off my regular movement AO HUD when I exit or enter the water. I know that Our World is now (in some eyes) obsolete, but perhaps it is time for The Lab to re-engineer the viewer so that there are standard animations for being in water.
  • After all these years, body parts still talk. You know the ones. They are annoying at best and downright inappropriate in public places like shops, Infohubs, and the like. Why is it important that I know what one of your organs is doing at a particular moment? I’m tempted to go rogue and click away, randomly and often, until I get booted or someone leaves.
  • I find it amusing that when I cam around at home the Kennylex-made cannon I have on my porch fires without being touched. Some particle sources do this. Also, some animations. As I write this I cammed about to greet someone and a row of girls “bounced” on the beach towels from Standing to Laying, taking on the pose in the towel.
  • The User Interface of the Official Viewer still operates as if designed by engineers and not users. You would think that Third Party Viewers would fix this as they are, almost by definition, designed by users. No. In each case the designer is a geeky programmer not who tends to think in logical progressions like the ever present Directory Tree. There are too many bloody steps to change Windlights and the pop-up panels are unnecessarily large. Stop relying on “the task is done” and go for “the task is done with elegance.”
  • Sometimes if I forget to turn off my AO when sitting on furniture so the HUD’s sit animation is played. Others don’t always see it this way when I do and sometimes I don’t see the AO being dominant while others do. This applies to everyone, I suppose. Right now a girl near me is floating mid-air in a relaxed sitting pose when I know the animation in the towel she’s occupying should have her laying on her belly. Maybe SL 2.0 will address this.
  • There is so much progress with using mesh to create ultra-realistic homes, furniture, and landscaping, but it seems to me that very few creators are working to bring similar gains to the underwater realm. PADI’s Dive World sims were spectacular in their day and I’d love to see what they might look like with today’s mesh advances.
  • When I was showing off some new bedroom furniture on MySL today (see above plus here and here for more examples) I was trying to angle the shots to as the mirror wouldn’t show it was fake and thinking “I used to have a table with an animation to do this” and “I wish SL really had mirrors.” Not long after, I ran across a MySL post from Torley Linden that eventually led to the video below.
  •  I need to enjoy my home more. Finances iRL are getting tight and even the $15/USD monthly tier I pay might get squeezed. Gone are the days when I raked in tons of SpaceBux hosting events at Lesbos and handing it to my sister Threshin for rent so that isn’t an option, either. Premium membership is paid up for almost a year so I could at least have a Linden Home.

Winter Season Challenge from Strawberry

It’s friggin’ cold outside as I write this – 34ºF with damp air as the ground gives up the moisture of the weekend’s rains – but 70ºF inside the house with a breeze from the ceiling fan. For some reason, that feels cold. This year I find myself agreeing more and more with my elderly mother: It’s f*ing cold!! Yes, she’s as “colorful” as only an 80-year old woman can be. That’s about the only amusing thing about Winter so far. I don’t like Winter and I was really tempted to skip Strawberry Singh‘s meme this week (original here) but otherwise I doubt I’d blog anything today. In her post she thanks bloggers “that still do my memes” but I should thank her for leading the way.

Meme Instructions: Take a wintery picture and/or answer the following questions about the season. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post in the comments and share your picture in the Blog Memes Flickr Group.

One of my favorite builds over the years at the Isle of Lesbos was Lofn Skadi, a small lake dedicated to an original builder on the Isle. For the two years it existed I added Christmassy items to the skating hut at the end of the seasonally frozen lake.

What is the December/Winter season like where you live? Cold. I live on the seacoast of Maine so our snows will vary widely from just a dusting to several feet if a Nor’easter hits. Fortunately we pay someone to plow us out so I have very little shoveling to do … mostly cleanup of the wheelchair ramp and the part of the driveway Mom has to traverse. Snows usually hit in February through March so we don’t always have a White Christmas.

When you think of winter, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Spring. I would much rather have the chill of a Spring morning followed by a temperate day than most any part of Winter. Of course, I’d rather be on the cold side than outright hot. Heat makes my body turn to liquid and I sweat like a pig without the pleasant bacony smell that accompanies. Sadly, Spring comes late here. The earlier start of Spring in Central Pennsylvania, where I grew up, is something I miss. Instead of March, I have to wait till later in April.

Have you ever played any extreme winter sports? Ultimate (Frisbee) in snowbanks. One day my brother dragged me out to shovel snow, I thought, but we wound up tossing a Frisbee up and down our closed street. Local kids would join in and some younger adults. Hardest physical effort ever, really, but fun so we did that whenever we could. My brother’s health isn’t what it was so in the last few years we’ve simply tossed a disc back and forth on shoveling breaks or waiting for the car to warm up.

What do you like most about this season? Maine (almost all of New England, really) is so beautiful after a fresh snow. Then again, Maine is rather lovely even with bare trees and ground. It’s the abundance of pine trees we have. I can still see green stuff even in the depths of this miserable season.

Do you celebrate Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanzaa or another holiday during this time of year? Christmas. Nothing fancy. Mom usually gives us our prezzies way early. I got an iPad Air last month (we all got new ones) and I have a Winter coat coming my way. Haven’t owned one since I was a pre-teen, preferring to layer sweaters and sweatshirts and flannels. Some friends usually pop over for a light meal and to exchange gifts. We decorate on or about the 15th of each December, usually just the living room. Mom has a custom 4′-tall ceramic Christmas tree, lit from within so little plastic bulbs glow. And she has a 15″ ceramic tree with bulbs and doves, one for each person important to her that has passed away.

The last Christmas at Lesbos. I’d waddle around in my penguin avatar whapping Meeroos with a large herring. The boss loved to decorate for Christmas. She’s from Florida so she doesn’t know that this is supposed to be a miserable time when we all pay penance buried deep in frozen water with the only joy coming on the one day we go inside from the torture to sit around a dying tree that can’t be kept near a heater lest it catch fire and roast us all.
Happy Christmas, Everyone!

Monday Meme: Best & Worst

Picking ideas for Strawberry Singh‘s Monday Meme this week, Best & Worst, was rather like looking for Miss Right – near endless searching before finally settling for Miss Right-Now. Choosing among bests and worsts is as much about notion as it is memory or mood so what you read here would likely be different if I were to take up the challenge afresh tomorrow. Enjoy the fine selection of “bug” pictures from my archive as you read along.

Meme Instructions: Copy and paste the questions and answers below, delete my answers and input your own. The twist is, the final question you need to change and make up your own best & worst that you want to share.

Best thing about Second Life: Our World is a miracle, of sorts, freeing me from constraints that hold me back in Real Life. Often after enjoying a long session in-world I’m taken aback and have to pause when I forget that I cannot actually speak. I become so used to “talking” to people that my brain has to switch gears so I can Sign again.
Worst thing about Second Life: The ever increasing need for more advanced hardware. Example: Having upgraded to Apple’s Mavericks OS I was delighted to find every application I have from Web browsers to games to image editors all run faster and more smoothly. Then there is Second Life. The Lab upgraded the viewer, too, adding extra lag and even more bugs.

Best thing in your inventory: Photos and screenshots that never made it to my hard drive or to my Flickr account. Maybe not some of the pictures that people have sent me over time – who told men that they best way to introduce themselves is to send a picture of “their” RL penis? – but generally, I treasure them all and look at them often. These I don’t intentionally save, but some are just so funny.
Worst thing in your inventory: Depends on what you mean by “worst.” I have far too many clothes, far to many builder kits I’ve never used and probably never will, and oh, so many items that have been made redundant because of newer versions.

Best earliest SL memory: When I was given landscaping rights and full permission to make over some 2048 m2 brother’s land. That was so much fun. I built something new nearly every day – ponds, creeks, hills, forests (small ones), rainbows, tree houses, caves, an asian palace, and more. Eventually, I was given permission to do whatever I wanted with all of our family land.
Worst earliest SL memory: More than a few Drama Llamas sauntered through the Isle of Lesbos over the years but an early one in particular got to me so badly that I chopped off my Real Life butt-length hair and … well … I wasn’t kind to myself. I’m a better person today and a lot more wary.

Best thing you learned because of SL: My appearance on the Teen Grid was part of a program designed by a Real Life professional therapist so I could work on socialization skills and a couple phobias. Our World has helped me quite a bit and it is rare now when I have trouble leaving the house or being in small crowds.
Worst thing you learned because of SL: I’m stumped. Really stumped. This is the last item I tackled out of this whole set because I couldn’t come up with anything. And I still can’t. Sorry.

Best thing about blogging: Writing. Before blogging I still wrote, but in paper journals and for school work. To a writer, a well-written piece is almost like a narcotic (a mild one). Everything seems better and you want more.
Worst thing about blogging: Writers need ambition and will power, two things I sorely lack. There are days I could post 4-5 pieces and there are months when I’m lucky to post that often.

Best TV show I’m watching in Real Life: Top Gear (UK) is entertaining, informative, and very cleverly written. The “races” are the best segments as they go beyond the automobile to touch upon the local culture. One of the hosts (whom I shall not name) is clearly a jerk, but he’s smart and eloquent and a joy to listen to when he’s at his best.
Worst TV show I’m watching in Real Life: The Tomorrow People is simply an excuse to have actors in their mid-twenties, with perfect skin, fabulous hair, and the latest style sense stand around pretending they can emote. The writing is terrible, the blocking is awful, and the story drags. Why have I been watching it? Shows I watch with regularity are inevitably cancelled swiftly thus I’m hoping my “luck” kills this one.

My favorite TV bugs, Bugs Bunny.

Intriguing Questions Meme

Strawberry Singh posted on her blog yet another blog meme challenge today and I’m so far behind with my writing that I’m going to take up the current one and possibly skip the older ones. I’m probably being lazy about it, but she promised in her post that this should be easy, so here I go with ten “Intriguing Questions.”

An “intriguing picture” that has nothing to do with the post’s theme.

01. How do you deal with criticism?So many people think that criticism automatically connotes “bad” or “negative” that they often take any comments as such. I do my best to listen and formulate a response, addressing each point made by the critic. In Real Life it often stops at this point. Mom, my biggest critic and usually the one most often to go negative, still doesn’t understand Sign Language well and seldom has the patience to wait for me to put a response on my iPad so mostly I nod and swallow it. In Second Life I try to listen and give a measured response, but often I’m impatient and just give in. Not that I get much feedback, though. No, I’m not perfect, but I do so little that folks feel like commenting on, I guess.

02. What’s the most infuriating thing other SL residents do?Troll. I count griefing as trolling, too, as it amounts to the same thing … someone so bored with their own pathetic life that to feel better about themselves they try to take down others. I have no patience for trolls. Report, mute, and move on thus depriving them of the attention they crave.

03. Which SL resident would you most like to have lunch with and why?So many choices, but if I had to pick one … Kennylex Luckless. Sorry if anyone out there is jumping up and down shouting “Why not me?!?!” but it’s just lunch and Kenny is so darned creative. hmmm … “creative” is not enough. Unique. Special. Joyful. Funny. Amusing. Generous. I could go on. People in my SL family know that I’d like to have more than lunch with them so hopefully they’ll stop the jumping now.

PIcture shamelessly lifted from Kenny’s MySL feed (here). You’ll often find this adorable genius in Natoma near the Ivory Tower of Primitives sandbox (SLurl) or in Minna (SLurl) or even stalking looking for Torley Linden across The Grid (wherever fine Torleys are sold).

04. Who would you say is your “anti” role model? Someone who serves as a warning rather than an inspiration?There’s a list that is long and distinguished, I’ll say, but it takes all kinds of people to run a railroad. An anti-role model at least serves as a measure to show how much we value positive role models. Vice-versa, mind you, but I think you get the idea.

05. What was something you used to enjoy, but was ruined for you?Second Life Birthdays and events of that kind in general. Because of one individual I don’t even want to attend let alone assist. I’m that shaken. I was thoroughly screwed and didn’t even get a kiss first. How others trust this person who claims to be tolerant, inclusive, and anti-drama, I don’t know.

06. What’s something you want to do that you’d be embarrassed to tell other people about?Really, who is going to answer this question? Well, telling some people some of the things I can think of wouldn’t be embarrassing, but I’ll tell them in private, perhaps with diagrams.

07. What’s the oddest term of endearment you’ve ever used or that someone’s used for you?“Myfe.” Kuthola Homewood, a DJ at the old Isle of Lesbos and a friend, used the word “mife” as a term of endearment with her then SL wife … My Wife. My Wife. Mife. Angela (my wife) and I “Americanized” it from the original Dutch made-up word to be Myfe (My Wife).

08. Have you ever fallen in love with another SL resident? Yes *smile*

09. Describe a time/event in your SLife that you’re nostalgic for. Like Strawberry’s response to this item, I sometimes pine for the magic of discovering Second Life for the first time, like the time I described in this post of my wondrous discovery of talking dragons back when I was still “young” in this world. I suppose we all become jaded but what better place than Second Life

10. What’s something sweet you’d like someone to do for you?RL? Take me on a real vacation. I haven’t been on one in over a decade and the way things are going I may never see another. SL? I can’t think of anything, really. Things are going pretty well, in general.

Meme: My Three SL Wishes

This week Strawberry Singh setup “My Three SL Wishes” for her meme challenge and wrote very eloquently about her desires. My first thoughts were very shallow and simplistic compared to her lofty wishes. Be sure to check out her thoughts here and I’ll wait for you.

Ready? Go back and read them again if you want because I’m not sure I’m entirely ready. I had to think over night and I really don’t feel as if I’m completely free of my comparatively simple mindset … still thinking about nit-picky viewer changes or things that would for the most part benefit me and few others. Keeping in mind the inherently ephemeral nature of wishes, here are three that I’ll commit to for now.

The Isle of Lesbos is BACK! I wish *sigh* … If I could afford it, I’d bring back the Isle. It was home to so many women over the years; a safe haven and a family. More than likely there are many fine places similar to the Isle, but I have trouble bringing myself to even search for them because the Isle meant so much to me. Increasing responsibility helped me gain confidence, let me exercise my creative side, and made me interact with other people, thus building my social skills. Bonus? I have to admit that it was a real treat to have full run of the place, doing pretty much what I wanted regardless of the prim count. And need I point out that I met my SL wife there? We’ve been together for many years thanks to the Isle. Of course, there’s the enduring friendships, too, particularly with my “sister” Threshin and her innumerable alts.

An end to lag is a big wish! That’s not likely to happen. I’ve done what I can afford to do so as to reduce client-side lag and in a couple years, provided Second Life is still around, I’ll likely try to upgrade my computer one more time in effort to do my part. Sadly, there are so many people, I’m sure, who try Second Life, get hit with lag, and leave, not knowing that they have at least some control. Of course, primary control rests with The Lab. They’ve tried educating Residents in the best ways to reduce lag (such as using the right size texture for a build) but it doesn’t always work. Incompetent builders and Residents that insist on having hugely laggy avatars are a  major problem. Maybe it is time to revisit how the world is built behind the scenes … new rendering engines, a more efficient script language, and a better way to handle textures and traffic loads.

If only my pixy alt, Zyx Flux, was real. I logged her in the other day … the first time in a while … and it was refreshing to be this little free spirit again. Like many Residents, when I log in as a different “character” (AKA Alt) a new part of me comes out. I’m still me, but she’s a different part of me. It is so hard to describe. I just sat here staring at the picture above for several minutes while writing this post at a loss for words, unable to express what it is like. Being blue, by the way, totally rocks. I’m seriously thinking of changing Uccello to be blue, too, if I could find a way to match my mesh hands/feet to my pixy skin (most of my characters have the same blue skin that Zyx has in their inventories). There is something to be said for Pixy Power!

Only three wishes? There are a number of viewer enhancements I could think of, bits of land I’d like to own, skills I would love to have, and …. well, I could use unlimited wishes. But who couldn’t? What are your top three (for now)? Let me know in comments here or use comments to point to your blog so I can visit.

SL10B: Applications Opening 15 April

Work has started on the SL10B regions! Notice that Bear Island is back this year!
Appllications for Exhibitors and Staff open Monday, April 15th.

From a press release: (emphasis added)

As Exhibitors are invited to show off their community and its special nature to others.

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

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.

Visit the official blog at http://slcommunitycelebration.com/blog/ for an application on April 15th. Applications close on May 20th, but the sooner the better!

Our Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/SL10B/
Our Twitter stream – https://twitter.com/SLBCommunity
Our Flickr Group – http://www.flickr.com/groups/2187760@N21/

On a personal note, I won’t be exhibiting this year. With the Isle of Lesbos hidden away for now I don’t have a sponsor. Not that one is needed, but I don’t have a clue as to what I’d do as an individual. I do plan on being an Exhibitor Assistant, helping when the regions open to builders on May 27. What I’m doing after that, I don’t know as I have no idea how things are organized. I might be a Greeter (now called Host) or angle to be with Security. I’ve been asked to but one thing and that is secret for now.

Another Post, Another Meme

No, no, no, I haven’t been blogging much. No time, thanks to Real Life. Serious stuff, but I won’t bother you with it. Suffice to say I’ve found some time today and wouldn’t you know, I learned about a new meme-challenge from Strawberry Singh: 10 SL Firsts. Read her’s here but first check out mine …

My first best friend in SL is Threshin Barnett. We would get in synch so much that often we’d meet for the day and find that we were dressed alike.

01. First SL Friend: To keep things simple, I’ll stick with the current Uccello Poultry “character” on the Main Grid. Really, I started SL on the Teen Grid and remember quite a few people from there, few of which, however, actually transitioned to the Main Grid.

CC Columbo, my brother, in Nangrim waaaayyyy back in the day. Graphics were so bad that the grass wouldn’t rez as green. This was probably 2008 when we had about 1024 square meters or so between us – enough for a nice pond. Eventually, we owned about 3/4 of the region before selling out to a Brazillian casino days before gambling was banned. But we are back and you can visit us any time (SLurl).

Of course, I met up with my brother, CC Columbo, right away and begged him to let me have a Premium account so I could have my own land. No dice, but he did let me let me set my home to his land in Nangrim (this spot, to be precise). I met a few people there including Dusty Jamberoo whom I still know today.

02. First SL Kiss: That would be Kala, my brother’s SL girlfriend at the time. Yes, I know *facepaw* I had taken her to the Isle of Lesbos to show her around and she kissed me. We didn’t go any further than that, but it was a funny parallel to an RL situation that won’t ever be discussed again.

Wow … didn’t think I had any pictures of Mary left since the PC crashed and we switched to Macs. Sadly, the backup discs won’t work with the Mac so everything is gone.

03. First SLex time/place/partner: Mary. I think. It was so long ago now. The first opportunity I had though, was with a gay male neighbor in Nangrim. Long story made short …

I started my Main Grid existence as a male because I didn’t want to deal with men hitting on me. Actually, at that point, I still hated (yes, hated) almost all men (family excepted) in general due to my RL experience with them. So I was chatting with a guy with land next to ours when he invited me into his gypsy caravan and tried to make out with me. Yep. He was gay. I didn’t even have an AO at that point. I was less than a week old. Very next chance I got I flipped the “gender” switch in the shape editor and went shopping.

04. First SL Partner/Girlfriend/Boyfriend/Wife/Husband: Mary, and I’m sure now. She left me without telling me, having started up a relationship with someone else. That lasted about two weeks and she tried to come back. HA! Fat chance. Still, she was special.

Angela and I go steampunk now and then.

Today, I’m married to the wonderful Angela Seale. We’ve been together since September 2007.

05. First SL Job: Modeling, what else?!? Back in the day, one’s first job was either modeling or dancing (read: Hooker). I didn’t get paid as I modeled stuff for my brother’s shop. I’ve done some modeling since for Bare Rose (I won a contest where the prize was to model one outfit), LapGirl, and various art photographers (read: nudes!).

Many regular readers know I also worked at the Isle of Lesbos. As I joke I used to run about with a “Threshin’s Secretary” tag as if I was the Isle manager’s 2nd banana. One day Threshin Barnett gave me the Isle Secretary role. To that point I had been a Jill-of-All-Trades for the Isle, though my first real work there (and my first for-pay work anywhere) was as an event hostess.

06. First SL Creation: A cube. It is a tradition I started … rez a cube and date it then stuff it away somewhere safe … whenever I create an avatar. After that? The first real thing I made was a set of earrings.

Meeting with Zed Linden about blogging for The Lab.

07. First Encounter with a Linden: That’s hard to remember. I really don’t know, but I am happy to say I have a few as friends now. And Moles!!

I was so excited to “meet” Vint Falken once though she wasn’t really there. I sent this pic to her and she sent back a nice IM. We conversed once in a while but never became friends. She’s the first SLebrity that comes to mind when I thought about point #08 below but she wasn’t the “first” well-known resident I’d met to that point.

08. First Encounter with an SLebrity: I guess everyone is a SLebrity in one circle or another, but if you define it as “a big name most people know” I’d have to say Janeforyou Barbara, the owner of the Isle of Lesbos. She was one of the forces behind the early LGBT community in SL having created the first resort for women in SL.

I see Miss Jane, Shilo, Eveie, Threshin, Me, Mousra, Aryon, and many more here.

09. First SL Sim you fell in love with: Really hard to say. I’ve always been a Mainland girl, but the Isle of Lesbos was the first Estate-type sim I fell in love with …. relaxing, beautiful, no male pressures, and wonderful women who became my SL family.

10. First SL Blog Post:

I’ve had many blogs prior to this one. In fact, I just finished deleting one so I could start afresh. What i would like to do with this blog is report on things i do in what seems to be my primary life, the Second Life™ world (*SL). So this won’t be so much about me as about who I am through what I do and where I go.

That is how I started “Another Attempt,” my first post on The Poultry Report on April 24, 2008.