Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Orange Island Spring Music Fest

The notecard from Orange Island reads:

Our Spring Music Fest starts today at 12:00PM PDT (less than an hour away!)

Please join us today and and the rest of the week as we welcome TWELVE amazing musicians who will be performing here at the gallery.

Today's performers: KevinMThomas Carpool, Mel Cheeky, and Cylindrian Rutabaga!

Come vote on your favorite of the more than 35 music-themed photos that have been entered into our photography contest.

I do have a photo in the contest (yes that one up above). I'm not on the same level as the Elf or Raul or Tur (or anybody else for that matter). But it will get one vote! lol

Monday, March 30, 2009


I tried just picking up the garden and moving it but it didn't work - I crashed .......... way too many prims. So I decided to just start again and deleted it. Before building it though I had to do some terraforming and planning.

In the midst of getting started a nice woman tp'ed in looking for the garden. She wants trees. "Great!" says I, "I just have to put in a bay (the island IS called Taylor Bay after all) and build a square and then I'm going to redo the garden".

"Oh" replies she, "In that case I'll come back in a couple of hours".


Not everybody is a builder you know.

So I did almost nothing on the square - but I got the trees planted. Tomorrow I'll get more done. :)

I'm a land owner again!

I was feeling a little smug and satisfied with myself on Friday. Aintree was covering all my SL costs and I had time and room to work on a big project. Life was good! :)

Then I had a rather confusing conversation with my landlord. I finally worked out that he was selling Taylor Bay. He asked me if I wanted it and I said "no, I just got rid of some islands". Of course then I said "but I should probably ask you how much you want for it". When he told me I was shocked at how low the price was - so I bought it. We did the transaction and the support tickets and the transfer was official on Saturday.

The island isn't completely clear yet though. Jon's Mustang Trading Post will stay (yay!). I'll move the garden and do some terraforming and landscaping. I'll build a few more places that people could rent. But first I have to finish clearing the remnants of the mall and a couple of other shops. Unfortunately the owner of those items is sick so I'm trying to be patient. :)

I did return everything to the arms dealer - and he's not mad (whew). I don't want somebody with that many weapons pissed at me. :)

So I have to put the physics project aside for a while. I have an island to mess with first. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Orange Island Photo Workshop 2

I posted recently about attending a workshop by Raul Crimson on Orange Island. It was interesting and I learned a lot so I went to another one today. This was by Turlututu Chaffe (known as Tur) and included a review of some of his works and tips on his post production techniques.

One of the things that struck me was how much time he spends on post production. I thought spending 20 hours on one of my textures was a lot - he'll spend 10 hours redoing a nose! So although I learned many things I hope to use to improve my photos - I won't be trying to produce anything even close to his work. Not that I could. :)

I'll be going to as many of the workshops as I can. I wish sometimes the presenter would use voice - but the chat works and once you get into the rhythm of it you don't notice the pauses or lack of extraneous noise. :)

What I don't like however, is that some in the audience will crosstalk the presenter. I don't mean respond to him or ask questions. But they actually talk to each other in chat ....."Hi! How are you? Haven't seen you in ages!"..... WTF? Good opportunity to exercise the "mute" button. :)

One very impressive thing about both of the workshops I've attended so far is that each of the presenters was chatting in English - not the first language for either of them. I might be able to handle a voice presentation in French - but my spelling is soooooo bad I wouldn't dare do one in chat. Raul and Tur are both to be congratulated! :)

If you're interested in upcoming photo workshops join the SL Koinup group or sign up for the Orange Island notifications. Both of those methods will keep you up-to-date.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sweet Sixteen!

Not the best photos I know - but they don't see posing as one of their jobs. :) That's Mulligan up above - just over 7.5 pounds of sly trickster. Her sister Jordie (yes sister, their mother was apparently a slut) is about 8.5 pounds of princess.

They are 16 years old today! I assume the brief jolts of adrenalin they get when 5 pounds of dog chases them keeps them healthy. The 50 pound dog knows her place and just rolls over and submits. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Finally - a new project!

I've had a lot of trouble, for some reason, deciding on a new project. It needed to be something that would keep me interested for a while and, therefore, really engaged in SL. It had to involve a new direction for me and be something where I would learn a lot (whether I want to or not). It also had to be something I haven't seen already in SL - or at least something where my creation might add to SL, rather than just copying somebody else. I think I've found it.

I'm going to explore physical objects and physics in Second Life. I have an idea of what I'm going to try and build but I don't know if it's even possible. I have learned though that if you ask the question you won't like the answer. It's better to be ignorant of all the reasons you will fail - that way you actually get something done. :)

You can tell that I haven't been too busy lately- I had a lot of time to explore. :) There will be fewer posts on exploration for the near future but I won't be dragging you through the minutae of this build either. I'll wait and see if it works and then do a reveal.

In the meantime I'll try and surface every day for a while and post about something. :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Kaaos Effect - Mad Pea Productions

I don't know about anybody else, but I've been seeing av titles referencing "Mad Pea" for a while now. Had no idea what it was but I admit to being curious. I got a group invite this morning from Orange Island announcing a new "game" called The Kaaos Effect. When I got there I discovered that Mad Pea Productions was, in fact, the developer.

You get a HUD and an armband and you get transported into an "individual" experience - so you're going through the game by yourself. And I loved it! Understand - I'm not a "gamer" per se. I've never played any video games - the only thing that comes close was decades ago and the couple of times I tried "Adventure". Luckily for me, Kaaos is more like Adventure than anything else I know.

I can't tell you a lot about it (don't want to spoil it for you) but I will say it involves time travel. My first station was in the 70's and it took me a while to figure out - but once I did the others were a little easier.

The graphics and the scripts are fabulous. This is me on a future toilet - the animations were hysterical!

I got so into it I forgot to take many pictures. But trust me - you really want to try Kaaos. And if I can get through it anybody can. I didn't get all of the bonus points so I'm going to have to try it again. Soon! :)

Biggest SL Blogs?

I try and read all my favourite blogs regularly but, for various reasons, I can't always do that. So I didn't see ArminasX' post about SL blogs til today. He has been doing some research/math/investigations regarding the most popular SL blogs.

I can't quibble with a lot of it. However, I don't believe I'm at 183. I mean, I'm sure there are a lot more blogs ahead of me! :) He's going to do some more work on the list and once he's fixed it I think I'll wind up much further down.

Crap is at number 15. I guess there are a lot of people missing high school because SCD is at 8. Go look at the list yourself - admittedly I saw blogs on there that have gone away and it's probably missing some of the newer ones. But we like lists - so it's fun to read through. :)

Update: Told you I would be lower in the next iteration - #232 sounds more believable. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

ZeroG SkyDancers

Thanks to Dale I had a chance to go watch the ZeroG SkyDancers tonight. Every now and then you get to experience the culmination of literally hundreds and hundreds of hours of work by a team of the most dedicated, creative and talented individuals you can remember meeting.

That's what it's like to see what this group has done.

It's stunningly beautiful and they should be very, very proud of what they've accomplished!

If you get a chance, go watch them. Even if only to see what can be done in SecondLife. It's a gift. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I had been thinking about maybe going to the Second Life Community Convention this year - but I made myself a promise that it would have to have been in Seattle or Portland (I knew Vancouver was too unrealistic). I can drive there easily enough. San Francisco is just a little too far for a weekend. I'll keep pondering but I think I'll just have to experience it vicariously - through everybody else's blogs. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

End of Day

Busy day in SL and RL - so I copied the new age (soothing) stream from my parcel into a Firefox tab and used it as the musical score to a ride around the islands in a green Grumpus. Good way to unwind. :)

Golfing can make you a crazy person!

I thought I would spend some time today doing something I've always wanted to do in rl - golf! I went to a new place called the Cheeky Cow Golf Club. Nice place - includes a pro shop where I bought my clubs. According to the signs they have a membership program, tournaments and other special events. cool! I read the instructions, got my score card and headed out onto the course.

The first hole was a par 3 with water - I got a birdie. "Hey!", I thought, "I'm pretty good at this!".

Second hole was a par 5 dogleg left. My first shot left me a little short so I used the driver again. Still a little short (I obviously need more practice). But I was still in good shape for at least a par. I used my wedge and the ball bounced off the green and ran down towards the water at the back. :(

My next wedge shot was back up the hill.

This one trickled back over the green.

I was going to finish my round before I posted about my experience. However, this could take a while.

Excuse me. Somebody wants to play through.

Even a Scot can be Irish today!

And yes it was laggy and grey in Dublin but that didn't stop the party - which will still be going hours from now! :)

Lots of brand new people and long time residents were there. Great atmosphere and, as one person said, safer than real life. :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cocos Island

When we were riding around Visit Mexico the other day, Dizzy Banjo mentioned Cocos Island to the group. Having a little time to explore and play I went to visit. Wow!

One of the neat things about Cocos Island is the way you enter it. You start up in the stratosphere - use a teleporter (which is frankly the coolest one I've seen so far) and land on a boat in the ocean.

You get yourself on an inflatable and are transported by water to the island.

From there you can explore the fabulous landscape they've created.

An additional benefit of course is the sound track that Dizzy has created. It's just lucky that nobody could see my typist dancing in her chair! :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Balkanization? Get over it!

Yes we saw it coming (or if you didn't you're truly not paying attention) - the restrictions over "adult" content and who has access. I personally support this initiative and I'm assuming it will be done professionally and with an even hand. We can't have the adult and teen grids merged unless we can restrict the "adult" content. Note - it's "adult" not the existing "mature". I see three categories now instead of the two and I'm willing to wait and see how it all gets defined.

Some will believe this is leading to the balkanization of SecondLife (although I haven't seen that word used yet relative to this discussion). My response would be "huh"? We are already balkanized. Don't think so? Even if you don't count the IBM-type firewalls for business - when was the last time you were forced to watch Gorean slave masters at work next door to your little oasis? Unless you visit a Gorean sim you won't - doesn't mean you won't see Gorean characters running around but all the "good" stuff is done at their home. How about pony players? Incest aficionados? These types of activities are primarily restricted to sims or parcels where the residents share that type of mindset and where they're aren't afraid of being targeted by us insensitive, narrow minded, uneducated louts. (in this case I are proud to be a lout!)

"But!" some will reply. "That's just roleplay!" Well, Sparky, so is porn. Don't believe me? Then you really think that norse god in the corner playing with himself is not a 75 year old fat guy with false teeth and a "wand" that requires the sacrifice of a goat to operate? You need more help than I can offer.

We need a Second Life that isn't in the gunsights of every reactionary luddite looking for a cause to scare the populous and get themselves elected. We need a Second Life where the teen and regular grids can combine without having every parent in the world up in arms. I need a Second Life where I don't have to worry about somebody putting a sign up next to my store showing up close photos of naked body parts (wasn't that special).

There are those - and they pop up relative to every major issue and/or change announced by Linden Labs - who say things like "But what if I live on the third floor and my porn store only occupies the bathroom of the second floor on every 17th Thursday and how will I cope?" These are the people who can't look at rules or guidelines and use common sense to interpret their meanings in various situations. Or figure out when to ask somebody what is and isn't permitted if that isn't clear. You know the ones who are always saying things like "But you didn't explicitly tell me I shouldn't use it for a dildo!" I have an idea how to help these poor souls - but that will be a different blog post. Sorry ..... you'll just have to wait.

Voluntary segregation doesn't seem to bother anybody. Although it does seem to require a significant financial investment. If I was a porn purveyor I would see a big benefit to the "red light district". It'll be much easier to get traffic to your place of business and you know that those people wandering in your front door are actually looking for what you have to offer. I think their business will improve and they won't have to pay to create the "destination".

The one concern so far that I think is valid would be the issue of where the balkanization will stop. I wouldn't want to live in a Second Life that formally segregated and regulated based on form (humanoid vs furry for example), religion, politics or gender as examples. However, I don't think that could happen. My belief is that so few residents of SL would be willing to accept those types of blatant persecution that the world would be emptied. Porn will not engender the same type of reaction.

The fact that there is some isolation now based on rl bigotry is the fault of all of us not punishing those who discriminate by withdrawing our business or support. Again - another post for another day.

So yes I'm pleased that porn (and let's be honest, that's what we're talking about) will be put somewhere I don't have to see it if I don't want to. Put where those who are interested will know how to find it. Put where you can finally answer the newbie question "Where do I go to have sex?" And that all by itself is a really good reason to implement this policy.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'm Verified!

I'm not trying to stir up the controversy - I just thought since they'd announced the big announcement, that it might mean they've fixed the verification process. Last time I tried it couldn't handle Canadians (well we are pretty exotic!). This time it not only worked it took about 1 millisecond. In fact it was so easy I thought maybe I'd messed up....... but when I went back in it told me I was already done.

I don't feel any different. :)

Another huge benefit of SL!

The chance to take a class on poses in photography from Raul Crimson!

Cool eh?

As a bonus - my favourite elf and I finally got to be in the same room together. First time ever!

This was a really good day. :)

Dizzy Banjo & Visit Mexico! Love this place!

One of those days that couldn't happen anywhere but SL. :) Got a group im from Dizzy Banjo asking for volunteers to head to Visit Mexico. Gee - playing in Mexico with Dizzy or continuing with my mind- numbing script transfer project? No contest!

Dizzy will post the pics of us all on his Flickr page. If you haven't been to Visit Mexico you should go - and notice the fabulous music that Dizzy contributed to the build. Good news this morning that they've recieved confirmation of another year's funding. So this destination will be there at least that long.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Max Morgan

Went to Gibson Island to hear a new musical talent in SL - Max Morgan. If you get a chance go listen. :)

Relay for Life Flags and Sign Package

I've added a few new flags around my home parcel and Aintree Gardens. If you don't have your copy of the Relay for Life flag and sign package yet send me an im - I'll pass one to you. :)

PS - in answer to some queries/comments - Yes, I am a Canadian. And yes I give my time and money to the Canadian Cancer Society. But that doesn't mean I can't support the efforts of the American Cancer Society in my own virtual backyard (as it were). :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hurrah for 1.25.6!

I don't know what the Apache2 Process is - but the rolling restart this morning was supposed to fix a performance problem (read Lag). And it would appear that it did!

After the restart I did all the things in the garden that usually caused me to start tearing out my (virtual) hair, clear cache and mumble obscenities. Didn't happen :) I'm sure lag hasn't been erased on the sim but it's so much improved that I might have to find a rl t-shirt that reads 1.25.6 - they are now my lucky numbers. :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Party on Taylor Bay

Across the street from (one side of) Aintree Gardens on Taylor Bay is a party/dance parcel. This saturday (March 7th) starting at 7:00 pm SLT there will be back to back concerts by virtual bands Nickelback (7:00 to 8:30) and Motley Crue (8:30 to 9:30).

On March 29th there will be a day long car show, drag races and concerts by virtual AC/DC and Kid Rock. I'll post more about that day, and the extensive preparations underway, closer to the actual event. :)

If you like those bands and like to dance then I think you should try and be there!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Skye Faery Castle

Alex Bader has built the most incredible new castle! You know I love my Steampunk Castle - one of his builds. This one is called the Sky Faery Castle. If I didn't already have my Steampunk I would buy this one - all 900 and some prims of it. And those prims don't include the amazing furniture he's showing inside.

The castle is huge, has these beautiful curved lines and he's done terrific textures (something I fussed with on the Steampunk Castle).

The great hall.

This throne is for sale but isn't included with the castle. The same holds true for the other pieces on display.

I know these are dark but I didn't have a torch with me. This is a room to the side of the great hall and up a level.

Up a flight of stairs on the outside of the castle and I came to another level with more rooms, including the bedroom (with a really cool bed).

If you go down from the great hall - using this amazing staircase - you wind up in the basement.

Press the right part of the wall down here and you open the door to the dungeon.

A person could have sooooo much fun in this thing. It's really really special.

One word of warning - I tried to investigate the tower next door to it - thinking it might be for sale too. I wound up "dead" and transported back to my own castle.