Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Coasting Virtually Pleasantly

Seven & I dance in soup to The Spongetones.

Less focus on debacles, more on creating and having fun.

This should be everyone's goal, shouldn't it? I mean, if they're not crazy.

The Jewish Neighborhood bought the chunk of land behind my cottage and TMA founder Beth gave me access to create whatever I wanted on the land I donated near the tracks. I think I'll have to do some pondering as soon as the structures beside the region border are relocated. I don't know what she'll have planned for that area, but the new look will help determine what I do with that part. Until then the plot of land displays maps of Mainland, with a pin stuck into our location in Heterocera continent.

The pool shop is starting to look busy. methinks the holiday ones will have to go to vendors while the next holiday editions get sand time, keeping year round ones for permanent display.

My greatest pool finally saw pseudo reality this week when I recreated the Turkey Tureen Tub. This was the epitome of pools for me and marked the highlight of my pool pursuits in the Blaxxun communities.

Speaking of which, the Blaxxun Community regulars who used to hang out in Blaxxun's own VRML world now hang out south of my pool shop in Angler. Sleepy expanded the land from the 512 I gave him to an additional 2048. It's quite the beach hangout got good stats as former Blaxxunites have adopted it as their home base. Sleepy, bitten by the 7Seas bug, installed a fishing area kit and long range server to cover both our properties.

I think I would like to design a lot more T Shirts. Think they'll be well received on the web marketplaces?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Yes, that's how I feel now. Very relieved.

I live in an interesting area of Mainland, rich with history and culture, flanked by longtime residents on three sides and the SL Railroad. Originally someone had their paradise in the sky in back of the house, but they put it up for sale for cheap and the Jewish Neighborhood bought it. Some misguided teen made a couple of quickie profiles and plopped a swatika flag on the other side where someone had an unrestricted parcel. I ARed it and it's gone.

The ground texture might not be lush but everything else makes up for it. The final parcel in Juliet sold about two days after the previous blog entry.

Meanwhile, adding a coupla pools for Halloween has made Holodoc's Pool & Surf Shop over in Angler look pretty nice. I got more planned. Sorry, no guarantees of reproducing my Turkey Tureen Tub in Lindenese.

I've spent a good portion of my solo time in SL the past week working on an avatar I've wanted to have since Cybertown days. Someone there was very good with character construction and character animation for VRML, and I almost asked them to make it. I knew who was behind their name and a good idea of the terms they'd set for doing it, so I never approached them. But now in Second Life, this is possible. The series was broadcast in B+W, but having collected the comic I know the true colors of the character. I will debut it in Show & Tell this Sunday in a big (for me) production.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Can I Callem or Can I Callem?

Yesterday late afternoon, the sound of ~Kaching!~ and the blue window came down. It happened four times.

That mean lady she snapped up most of the Juliet land!

What did I tell you??? Now do you think I'm paranoid? Meh.

I set the remaining 512 to show in search. I figure pretty soon it will be bought up and repriced by some noodnick wannabe land baron.

An entry about the new place later ;)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Know Things Happen For a Reason, But...

My brain is still recovering from the latest tumult of land juggling.

There was the matter of some spare 460sqm entitlement from a contribution if I were to go that route. Long story. Just when this was being researched, I got an IM from someone near the Jewish Neighborhood whom I befriended that her neighbor with the big office building set the whole corner for sale. I thought wow, because I could have had a little plot over by her.

I contacted the owner and asked if she was willing to break it up. We got to talking and it seemed she had a bigger project in mind and keeping this would kill her with tier fees in October, which was just days away at the time. She asked what did I need of it and I said I'd get back to her once I was ready.

It's funny how things work, because Someone who owned a big chunk of the sim to the southeast of me in Juliet had snapped up the land south of my place overnight. Instead of putting some one-way leaf canopy over her land, her idea of privacy was to build deliberate walls up against mine and a neighbor's land. Now instead of looking out at the sea on the horizon in my backyard, I couldnt even see the sky.

The bickering commenced in 12 hr intervals. She had sounds not restricted to her parcel; I didn't care to hear a cuckoo while I had the Oldies playing on my land, why does it have to be so high JUST to block a view below, etc.

The Jewish Neighborhood was looking better. I started thinking: "Okay, I can sell 1024 and either move the fishing where the cottage is, or keep the cottage there and put the pool and videos down in the Jewish neighborhood." I would need more land in Anilis. I left a message with my probable new neighbor asking whether the fishing rods would disturb her. Being Rosh Hashanah eve I didn't know how observant she was or whether she would come to the computer.
Somewhere during all this I realized something: I could turn the place from flat generic land into a Kinkade dream painting. Wherever I would go I would turn the property into what it had to be. It wasn't Juliet at all but me.

I left the evening with a message to the lady about needing a little over 3000sqm in all and whether she would go easy on me since I would be jumping a tier for October. But in the night, I thought a thought: If she trusted me and sold me everything in that corner for a low cost right away so she didnt have to deal with HER tier and I could give her a balance of Lindens when I either sold off some of my Juliet land back or reached a date which coincided with a midmonth paycheck...

Throughout the day this counter proposal simmered in my head. Meanwhile I met by IM the owner of the Jewish Neighborhood, who used to live in NYC. We talked a lot about art and being tragically misunderstood (I had asked if I could join her group), and we hit it off and befriended. Soon - if no one snapped the land up in the interim - we could be neighbors.

The suspense killed me all day I won't lie to you. Meanwhile, our friend in Juliet had lowered the wall by like 2m *insert rolling eyes emoticon here* and said she had put it there to block her uphill view of my holodeck walls (which is silly since she wouldnt see them with a minimum of wall there, and it still didn't justify making them opaque on my side). They had been brought into the conversation for being clear on the other side so the neighbors did not have an obstructed view - which she now caused them as well.

Her reasonings were starting to get absurd. It was then that I found she had a rental apartment business in the next region in addition to her pre-existing home. It seems to me that no matter how much land you have, someone is gonna wanna crowd you out.

Further suspense while attending a family gathering of 5 hours. This was last night. When I came home there was news. The lady wanted to get rid of all of it and quoted me the price I was going to propose as a down payment. I met her and we made the transaction. She insisted I didn't need to give her any more. We friended and I met her partner. Apparently some scripting elements she needed for her store didn't work in the region.

Some things just happen for a reason.

Pondering the phrase from my previous entry while I carefully packed up my things in Juliet, I came to realize that in the end, I was meant to have tropical for the pools and then live among culture - and by the SLRR. I guess it took some shuffling around of my scenario, and all these things moved me to where I am now.

The place is in Heterocera, the second-oldest continent in Second Life. I live by the railroad. It's a real fixer upper, but I can make it into anything.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Angling for Angler

Sorry - RL Work's been getting in the way of my goofing off and blogging here...

I saw it all in my searches: suspiciously reasonable for an old region but oddly shaped and beside adfarms and/or glowing particles, suspiciously priced but surrounded by banlines, reasonably priced but on a ledge (which means you need to spend prims making a platform and a means to prevent visitors from falling off), and one place where it would be perfect once the sale signs were returned to the seller but the vibes were "funny."

After checking hundreds of sale plots, I found myself coming back to four:

1 - One in the snow but it lagged. There were ad towers and sale signs but the purplish glow of the snow at night just seemed nice to me. Except how could I sell pools there?

2 - A hill overlooking a marina. It seemed half the sim was for sale for cheap in 1024 plots. I had a good feeling about the place from a vantage point southeast of the harbor. This was in Corsica somewhere.

3 - A perfect 2048 plot only a few parcels from a shore, the land would be sand if lowered just a touch. It wasn't terribly priced for what it was - 10kL - but it was on Gaeta, which I found to be a laggy and unstable continent after my time there previously.

4 - A place in Heterocera not too far from Flo and at the northern border of a region owned by a Jewish group which focused on culture and the arts. It has that gravel-vegetation mix for terrain, and the available land bordered the SLRR. The other side had Adfarms, but the side of the resident and Jewish sim beyond were still pristine. I referred to this as the "Jewish Neighborhood," as its only resident in that nook also had Jewish cultural references in her profile. She also had spiritual and healing refs, and her place was a welcome locale for people to enjoy themselves. I liked the Michigan J Frog she had dancing around the steps. This wasn't a pretty place but it had good vibes.

I had to wait for payday. When it came, the marina choice was obscured by some clueless lout who bought the land on the hill just in front of my target areas. They made an ugly build on a platform and backed it with a huge opaque prim. Asshole didn't think to make the back of it transparent. Looking at their profile, it was pretty laughable. It wasn't just someone into fetishism, but someone who didn't know anything else existed. "This is so and so my sister. We have so much fun together and she's always there for me - AND SHE BEATS ME!" lol mustn't forget that part or you'll leave a paragraph about getting beaten out of your profile. Well, someone should beat some aesthetic sense into her head between her cat ears. Did I forget to mention she likes to get beaten every three frames? Sorry, Japanimation joke...

since then row houses replace the back wall

I really couldnt bring myself to take the snow one. If I had lots of money I could have done something totally different with it than a pool shop, but eh no thanks. And something else settled nearby with huge laggy glowing particles; no chance for aesthetics in such a place.

This left the Gaeta sand and Jewish neighborhood. The Gaeta sand one had "Make an offer" on it so I IMed the sales person whether they'd be game to go down to 9k. I thought I'd wait another day since both of these went unnoticed before I showed up, and I had seen them untouched for about 8 days already.

RL intervened. The next morning I got a call to accompany Dad to take Mom to ER. She's fine now, but at the time we had to wait 6 hours to get her in and we would finally have lunch and he'd drive me home. When I got home both places were bought and a belated message from the salesperson of the Gaeta one was "well it's bought already." Well what's the fucking point of putting that? To mess with people? If it just had the price I might have taken it. The poor Jewish Neighborhood... while I was in ER someone snapped up the land and it now has this eyesore behemoth of an office building (I guess it's going to be a mall?) which offers no harmony with its surroundings.

But hey, things happen for a reason. Labor Day was the next day, and I spent the morning searching anew, shaking my head on some repeats, but - what's this? - a pristine region in Nautilus, all sand and most of it shoreline or islets. I met someone in the sim just west of it, who was also new and setting up a little tiki style shop. I would already have her and her SL husband for acquaintances. Suffice it to say I took one of the elevated 2048 parcels in Angler which were priced lower (hey I dont need a beach - I am selling POOLS, right?) one 2048 east of the sim border but right on the border of Seahorse region to my north. I over looked the rows of islands with their piers and torches.

My artistic instincts took over. I could not bring myself to make it tiki. I had California Surf in my head. That was what the vibes gave me. Beach Party and 60s music. The start of it is wood and tropical deco, which had further inspired me to make a line of shirts sold in posters. Suffice it to say more pools are forthcoming, but for now I am working to complete the last of the series of posters/tees and enjoying a renaissance of creativity.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A-Hunting We Will Go

One day I came to my rental and found they had added "Gorean style" homes on all the plots which weren't sold. The place was mega-lagged. They had grown from two islands when I joined SL to about 11, mostly for RPG purposes from what it looked like.

I've been looking at the math. Yes, it's reasonable to pay about $8 a month for a 1024sqm plot on a private island. But where I stand now, if I took another 2048sqm of mainland, it would cost me only an additional $10 per month. This would mean lots of prims, more room for my 3D stuff, and wherever my creativity takes me.

I can't deny the math and the prospects a soft market offers. While it would have been NICE to have more land in Juliet where my home and combine the prim count, there's nothing more available.

I've been searching, having gotten keener since my early weeks, and already landmarked some unadvertised prospects in anticipation of payday.

No, I am not going back to Olexandrovich. :P

An interesting piece of opulence found out of place while exploring.
The problem lies with my nature. It's like RL moving. You go to every place and imagine yourself living there. Except with Second Life it means imagining what I'd live in as well. I'm thinking maybe I should make a few structures for shops, with different styles for wherever I end up. I can't go to some snowy area (for example) and plop down pools under a treehouse. It just doesn't have that cozy feel, you know?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

He's Gone!

Remember my former neighbor in Olexandrovich who owned a good chunk of the region and made a slum and a swamp and a carnival and began building stores?

Well, yesterday I dropped in for a visit, only to find his land was empty. Apparently a divorce in the offing alas.

I suggested he break them up into salable lots of 512 and 1024 to sell so he could move them and drop the tier fees.

Those other people are still there, but the full bright particle thingie and the screens they used around my place are mysteriously absent. Hmmmmmmmmmm

You know, earlier this week a butt ugly adfarm tower showed up on the horizon. Yup, a full bright megaprim of a tiled ad, right there on the edge of the sim. It's gone now. Not sure if it was from neighborly retaliation or Linden Labs deleting it for disrupting the server. Well, as long as it's GONE!!!

Cyberpunk isn't Steampunk

When I was in Cybertown for those four years, something in particular really bothered me. There was an attempt to blur the line between Wicca and Celtic Pagan with the Goth movement, usually by the Goths. They had haunted stuff, dark stuff, bloody stuff, demonic stuff, pentagrams and pentacles... and they hawked altars and faithful witch and Pagan ritual items for inflated prices. As a witch once said: "Witchcraft and Wicca is about light and balance, and not about dressing up like Lily Munster."

I found this frivolous exploitation of faiths in CT reprehensible. It came to a head for me when someone from the Fae neighborhood in Inner Realms (the allegedly enlightened colony) posted a party for "witches and warlocks." Now, the fact is - and most Celtic Wiccans know this - a male witch is a witch. A warlock is a traitor. Warlock was a term used during witch trials to identify a husband or close male associate suspected of favoring an accused witch. This is a term which goes way back. It does not recognize warlock as being a term to identify anyone in their culture. By the way I should warn you: I worked for Random House one year, editing their dictionary. I had them change their definition of a Privateer, which they identified as a buccaneer; the buccaneers began a century later. Never come up to me with a "the dictionary says..." because I won't take that as gospel.

I wasn't the only one incensed about the term being used, but I was working for one of the colony's neighborhoods, and my discretely reporting it to colony officials was apparently their way to get rid of someone contrary with a false claim of insubordination.

But I digress...

I bring this up because of something similar I am seeing in Second Life with regard to exploitation of a culture...

Steampunk is a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction... The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date.
Steampunk isn't just rivets and steam and physics. It's about an era of exploration following the discovery of automation and steam power. It's about brass with wood, dials with caligraphy, finely crafted handles and lenses, moulding and metalwork. It's elegant and not post-apocalyptic.

When people drool over something presented by someone in leather with a gajillion piercings that's dingy with gears and piping and has an exhaust and call it Steampunk, I have to roll my eyes. They wish!

This is not Steampunk:

THIS is Steampunk:

Leave the punk in St Mark's Place where it belongs.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I may have to reconsider my position on Torley.

He gives out chocolate ice cream cones on his island.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ketchup Entree


I've been busy with my new land. I pretty much completed it, having tracked down a nice path and installed it last weekend. I think the place is awesome. The holodeck grid in the backyard is invisible to my neighbors, so their view is not at all obstructed.

The stargate is cool to have and very convenient. Admittedly I must upload more images for the gallery including a couple more angry animals for Barnyard Rage.

My only prob right now is someone who bought the land south of me and has no concept of property lines. They placed a structure over the border and into my stone wall, ASSuming the wall must have been put there by Governor Linden or something. It's a tricky one because it isn't showing on my list of objects, but it's blatantly there according to the lines. I'll make a screenie and AR if the second request doesn't result in him moving all to his land.

I'm having a lot of fun with 7Seas. I can't say it's better than Toontown, only different.

The fish are often realistic in species representation. LOL check out my gallery for the cocktail shrimp.

In other news, Snurky joined a group from the SL boards who descended on public landmarks last Saturday in chicken suits. The manager of the Blarney Stone in Dublin sim wasn't thrilled and threw us out, but later apologized. I guess the organizers of the event didn't do enough organizing this time around ;) Great photo op though. After contacting Pete for clearance, we ended up on the public beach at Munkie Island.

The foxes have since placed a bucket of KFC on the patio table.

For those who remember Holodoc as an eccentric who ran around Blaxxun in a scuba suit and flippers, Holocluck may not adopt exactly the same outfit, but he caught a pair of hawaiian shorts while fishing. It might result in something familair in time for this Friday's Blaxxun Reunion Partay.

More on that and other things soon!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Torley, We Hardly Knew Yeh

I've come to look forward to Torley's video tutorials. They've helped me with permissions settings on objects and land, shown me some clever little building tips and useful apps.

He sometimes makes things look too easy; when I installed an offline app to make sculpties, all I could do was stare at it.

Still, if it weren't for Torley, I wouldn't have snazzy big screens on my Juliet property featuring a movie clip, rock video, ancient commercial, or whatever I feel like featuring for a week or two. At this writing it's a rarely seen DEVO rockvideo, and it looks amazing against the holodeck grid. I can smile at the bits that reveal he's as Canadian as M&M Apple Pie. I was THE key rep for a Canadian website's support team for several years, eventually moving up to team lead and teaching all I knew about pronouncing and spelling and writing dates like a Canadian to a fledgling group, who would take over what one person had done. Anyway I can appreciate his attempts :)

But I digress...

Yes, Torley has lit my way through my emigration into Second Life. From what I see in the official forums, he was very dedicated as a Second Life resident, who joined them to moderate the boards. Don't know when his job changed and he devoted more of his SL job time to videos and blogs, but it seems clear that SL felt they needed an optimistic icon to represent them amid the throng, and Torley was it. He is Second Life's celebrity among its population. Oh the pressure...

...So when did he last post on the boards? All that talk about how involved he was with events and happenings in SL, and now he scurries like a clam when sighted. Hm. That doesn't sound right.

Have you ever been to his property in the Linden Village area? That sensory overload of magenta and green you can see from the map? Some pretty awesome stuff there, and a piano in the magenta green water you could play.

Well, you can't see it anymore. It looks as though he's left Linden Village for a bigger space. He now has an island to himself not far from other Linden islands (i-worlds, land concierge offices, and those gaggle of orientation and help islands allegedly invisible to residents on the map).

A lot of magenta and green, his latest tutorial viewable almost everywhere, examples of stuff, personal effects, giant eggs and chick chicks, the piano in an inlet. I guess with all he's offered there are a lot of examples.

The disturbing part is the big face. He has his own RL visage prominently displayed. It's kinda scary. It seems like 10m or a megaprim. I cant imagine an identifiable Linden using a megaprim, so let's assume it might be 10 high. That's a really poignant statement beside the avoiding the common folk.

Torley no longer behaves like a friend of the people off camera, and no longer lives among us in Second Life with the Lindens. He is now in his own world, possibly underground and out of sight. If it weren't for the giant self portrait, I think I would feel bad for him and his unanticipated fame, but it brings another image to mind which isn't as prone to my sympathy.

Still, it is rather sad that someone who devotes so much time in helping us become a part of Second Life society seems so alienated from it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Holocluck Builds his Nest

I've been as busy as a little holographic bee.

Moving the gallery was easy. Remembering to re-set the prices and permissions (oof). At 500 and 600m the skies were littered with junk. At 700 I got vertigo. Fortunately at 400 it was clear.

The game plan was to have a nice Kinkadesque cottage. As many know, I had found one by accident. Now the owner of what I call "the hidden grove" is my friend. We traded advice and landmarks, and both did some searching last Fried Day and swapped more info as we made discoveries. My photo album Quest for a Home has screenshots from that evening among others.

Next was to set up Holodoc's 7Seas Fishing. I made a nice marble pond and filled it with flat orange soda (since I can't get it to fizz right). A matching marble pool to the side, seating for full size and tinies, streaming music set to the 60s and 70s. Thanks to Peter Lameth for adding poses to the freebie deck chairs and a handy stargate for easy access by distant travelers.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wherefore art thou, o' Holocluck?

Having sensed a definite effort to crowd my 512, and having noticed some reasonable PG land in a prestigiously named region WITH a water view, I made the move to buy some land on Tuesday night. I joined two 512s, then seeing I couldnt get a flat enough level, bought a third north of them up the slope to flatten my terrain better. I suppose this REALLY kicks me into the 2048 tier even though I have 1536. My brain was telling me get the two 512s NEXT to me and merge the 2048s as a nice big square and sell the odd parcel I bought to maneuver with. Price it to sell.

My brain was reasoning at the time to buy a 512 elsewhere in the same region and move my gallery there, then price the original tier parcel.

I'm wondering why my brain didn't just say "hey plop the gallery down on the 1024/2048 for now. Or even to put it on that odd piece you bought." Except that there's someone with a house higher up (these are in somewhat cascading levels [I dont want to say tiers] leading down to water a few sims away) with panoramic windows and I was thinking too much of their view.

Or was I just being too good a neighbor?

I met one by IM this morning. I like community. But I cant expect community. I'm now thinking if I use that piece above my tier of 1024 (which might become 2048), at least I am assured that I won't have some particle fountain junk or tacky landscape screen on at least ONE side. The place would have me on at least two sides of it.

In neighborly terms, the house higher up SHOULD still have a view since my gallery plaza isnt all that tall. The rest of the gallery goes WAY up in the sky anyway.

So went evolved into this in my head as to how it would end up: I would have a block of 512s making a big 2048 square, and an odd piece out for the gallery plaza. That would kick me over the 2048 tier temporarily (ouch) while I wait for the land I left behind to sell.

Then came the question: do I select everything and take, or should I take the artwork down first and then the builds when I relocate the galleries? I took them all, then unlinked the art once I arrived. It went smoothly. The big question was where to put the sky one, and 400 turned out to be less populated than 600.

While I was assured my restlessness over the radically changing landscape in SL was normal behavior for a newcomer, I wondered if this sudden burst of nesting was just another? Unlike when I went to premium, I didn't have a complete plan of what to do with the land when I bought it. I only knew of the opportunities I've let slip by in the past and the prim count I could look forward to.

I have made a group with my alts, but I want to wait a bit and get a lot of other things out of the way before I start thinking group deeds. They can be beneficial but they can also be a disaster if you don't maintain things right.

Last night, I sunk in more money and got the two 512s to the west (for more money unfortunately). I moved the ground and sky level things over to the new place with relative ease. Looking to my other neighbor's land, he had taken down his picturesque bayou and started to put up rental shops...

Gonna miss that guy's quirky humor. Welp I made a landmark...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

But wait! There's more!

That screen intruding through my windows (which they have not corrected)?

It's set to full bright.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Now I'm sure of it.

The people with their shops?

When I showed my friend my gallery Mon evening, they had constructed a big sign to be visible (I guess) for anyone flying close enough. I mean we're talking REAL high, as though most people set to max LOD (which they don't). It's unreal to assume most people can see it from the next sim, you know?

I was testing an adjustment to the teleporter (eh. didn't make much difference), when I noticed an irritating stream of lime green particles visible from the western end of my sky gallery. They've put that shit in Olexandrovich, and at this point I'm more than convinced they're trying to crowd me out. It's coming from a very long, sky-patterned prim suspended in the air over their property. I have to wonder if they want people to fly into it. LOL

If I leave, I'm gonna price that land high and see what happens.

I'd miss the other neighbor though. I will have to make a landmark on his place to see his progress.

Meanwhile, I'm going to look into textures I can use to effect a plain landscape with grass or crops and a big, blue sky. And box my plaza into it. Maybe I'll make it opaque on both sides. I haven't decided yet. Maybe I'll file an AR for their damn prims.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Olexandrovich Rising - and Falling

What a weekend.

So much happens in one day, much less four in Second Life.

To me, the concept of settling is defined by the cessation of wanderlust. You've done your searching, you've found your spot - the area as it is APPEARS to reflect the tone or at least if you're among the first you hope to set the tone.

Apparently when it comes to Second Life, I have a lot of getting used to. Second Survivor forum regs brought me down from a near panic two weeks ago when one of my neighbors (the one I dropped in on previously) bought the parcel to my east and there was a weird stretch to my corner. This was discovered literally after I purchased a white picket fence for the edges of my property and teleported to start placing it. Just funny timing. All panic aside, he was very reasonable and I managed to figure how to raise my land and smooth it flat. He did likewise and moved his road up to my door.

Learning the fence I bought was not modifiable and would take too many prims to use, I took the Linden one from the library instead. Next morning, the owner to my west who was selling got inspired and added the same fencing all around his property. I thought that was neat

I had considered buying some of that land on payday last week and contacting them about breaking it up into parcels, but the people north of me beat me to it. They bought it all and began constructing rental shops. With the new landscape, I added smoked glass to the plaza structure.

Meanwhile the other neighbor had restored the carnival, tore it down, then proceeded to make a bayou swamp leading up to a highly amusing slum. Passing a horror movie theathre, a diner, an arcade, laundromat, swamp, etc etc, his road leads right into the next sim, where someone else's road continues into a quaint neighborhood of rental homes. It's just a riot what he's done with his land.

But this changing the main portion of it in Olexandrovich - possibly a subconscious response to the changing landscape as it is - has jarred me a couple of times.

I know I want more room. This prim limit gaks me. And I was considering a cube with landscaping to further mute the scene beyond my windows. Naturally I would alpha the outside and make it all phantom, so it is only apparent while in the plaza.

They beat me to it again. Only this time affecting me directly. They bought those semi-privacy screens with transparent backgrounds. Their purpose for having it opaque on the outside doesnt make much sense if they are a business and want people to see them. But a technical glitch is causing their shrubs to nullify my glass at some angles in some places. They appeared sympathetic for determining a solution, but it's been two days and this intrusion by their fake hedges persists.

Of course I'm not happy.

But maybe that's the idea? That's what my neuroses will conclude every time.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Evolution of Olexandrovich, pt 2

There wasn't much there at first. Behind me to the west was some escort thing and a shop. To the south was something I don't know. The carnival was eventually replaced with a home. Anticipating the trashiness of what much of Mainland had become, I decided to put my gallery into the sky. There was something annoying nearby at 600m and another at 400m, so 500m it was. I didn't know whether I'd need the ground floor at all once the adfarms and spinning crap showed up, but for a start I'd plan some lawn ornaments and a means to teleport up for anyone wandering or flying over to the area.

Shortly after I arrived, someone bought two plots of 512 and plopped down a large, L-shaped house which overlapped into two plots on the south side and a little bit on the one to my east. I don't know how cluefull they are, but they didn't resize the thing. They did add furniture though.

About two weeks ago I decided to take the scenic route down from the gallery with a flight feather. A new large build in the distance caught my eye when I hit approximately 400m, so I flew over to the "carnival guy"'s area. A futuristic aircraft carrier beside a Tiki pool setup (well, at least SOMEONE got to do it LOL). I didn't notice that he had no-fly set, so when I re-activated the feather and jumped -

- I landed in front of him while he was terraforming his front lawn. We talked a bit and realized we both had a background in the arts. He said I was welcome to visit anytime, although I insisted that I never enter a stranger's home. Drop on their lawn maybe...

Last week he purchased more land and made a road up to my property. By this weekend a couple had purchased land to my north (between myself and the old carnival spot, which had now become a truck stop / turnpikish rest area). The home and the carnival were restored as well. Suddenly the immediate area of Olexandrovich was lively with stuff and people.

My little fence looked cheesy. I promptly made an alternate version of my gallery for ground level, with the intention of adding vendors of my 3D stuff (while eventually I would have vendors of my art in the treehouse over on Munkie Island, which I'll cover soon as well). Now I think I'd like to have more art down in what I call the plaza, and install a teleporter (done) in the gallery so people can get down. A thingie would hand out Landmarks to the other place, and a thingie there for the gallery. Things are changing, and so far in a good way.

The Evolution of Olexandrovich, pt 1

It became clear to me early on that I needed a homebase of some sort. The original game plan was to have both a home, a party place, and a sandbox platform all on one property at different levels.

A friend from Cybertown, who worked there for me on various neighborhood projects when his neighborhood had been raized (as mentioned in my first blog), had since settled in Second Life. At the time I came in, he owned two islands, one a rental with two malls, and one for role play. In those years he mastered LSL and with his friends developed a working Stargate system among other things.
Evacuating for a sim reboot. We emerged in the mall on Eternal Calm

The 1024 plot was a big deal at first. I got a chance to experiment with building techniques for homes, then. Creating 3D objects was clearly a whole new ballgame now, and I certainly had some catching up to do...

Test Toontown house and a sculpted megaprim of Jupiter Station.

Unlike VRML communities, where limitations are set on the filesize of objects, Second Life cleverly places them on the nodes, or prims as they call their equivalent. I realized pretty quickly that if I were to show off my art and builds, they would have to be in separate places.

After much deliberation, I felt it was time to go premium. Once I would find a small plot of land, there would be no maintenance fees to worry about. Also, the weekly stipend would contribute to rental costs.

First, I had to learn about what Mainland was. Till then I had only been on it for a visit to Flo's place. With Flo's help, I learned there were actually continents. I could not discern them on the map at first, but if one zooms out halfway, they form clusters of money icons in shapes which resemble those on the large maps at NCI beach. I searched for land. I flew. Most of what I saw resembled a sleazy dump. To this day most of Mainland makes me think of New Jersey.

One evening a search resulted in impossibly reasonable prices for flat land. I teleported to a field which the map suggested was in Gaeta. A large expanse of flat land divided up into properties offered by Sarah Nerd. Needless to say I was suspicious. Till then all I'd seen were cliffs and irregular shapes near ad farms or spouting particles, spinning signs... On the next day, Flo - who has been very patient with my newb questions - explained who Sarah Nerd was and that the offers were certainly on the level. Except the field was now rebought by what Flo called "Wannabe Land Barons." Indeed I spotted one a couple of weeks later hovering over a Sarah Nerd property, dressed so overkill in sparkling bling that he was the farthest thing from classy. She sure called it!

After some more flying, I found a chunk of a sim with plots of flat land. It wasn't as reasonable as Sarah's offerings, but Sarah had no tier sized land available since that night, and seemed to be focusing on larger chunks of a new and as yet unnamed continent to the northwest. Not far from the patch was a carnival. In my simming days, one of the EMH's I portrayed had a fascination with carousels, so this sort of bridged a gap to something lost with time. I made the move to upgrade and stake my claim in Olexandrovich.

Another Bookmark Bites the Dust

I left a message board last week.

I had pointed out that OnRez was not free, only that they weren't the ones getting extra funds. It still cost to upload graphics for vendors etc. I got the most insipid replies from people who obviously live comfortably. They had the nerve to ask me my age because I didn't have money to fling around in Second Life. All the money I make there and pump into go into uploads and a rental. Expenses in the real world include monthly maintenance and about $250-300 in supplements to keep me functioning. That doesnt include tests and visits, utilities... I often imagine the places I could travel to if I didn't have Hashimoto's Autoimmune Deficiency.

They're intolerable snobs. Power to them and their elitist rich asses. Anyone who was worth talking to on there are in posts with me elsewhere. Life's too short to exert energy over such terrible people.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Taxi Ride to the Airport

*Holocluck Henly is dragged kicking and screaming to the old Blogger account...

I really didn't want to use this. Last time I checked there were two levels of resources for free and pay, and the archive module had no linebreaks after date ranges, generating a growing mass of characters almost impossible to navigate. Looking at the Blogroll list on the right, I see they still haven't gotten their act together. I've gotten lazy on MySpace, where I could just make another album of pics for a milestone event or topic tied to a blog entry. I'll have to find a place that allows hotlinking and easy guest access to albums. I already know the best, but I'm too lazy and don't want to have to log in and out all the time there. I do that already with so many other places.

Okay, so how did I end up in Second Life?

I was born in New Orleans a first generation American. We moved to Chicago and stayed for three years before moving to NYC. Majored in Advertising Art and Cartooning & Animation in High School of Art & Design.

Other than two years in Cal Arts to study character animation in their Disney program, I've lived in Queens NY since ten. I can certainly namedrop and make you ooh and ahh over who I went with when I did, but I don't depend on acquaintances and contemporaries from my time there to define me.

Animation, Advertising and graphics, comics... I had jobs and I've been published officially under two names (one for the adult stuff), but just like show business, you have to be that minute fraction to live comfortably at it. For 20+ years I've done customer support of some sort or another as a day job, allowing myself to enjoy art and creativity during my downtime, occasionally taking a freelance assignment.

Wait I'm Getting to It...

The Internet in 1995 - following a persona change in 2000 and swearing off Trek simming forever, I decided to continue as an homage to the Holographic Doctor from Star Trek Voyager. An event in 2002 changed everything: a Creation Convention in Las Vegas hosted with simulcasts in a virtual 3D environment online. Vir-Con, which was created in VRML and utilized Blaxxun Contact browser plug-in for shared event and interactive chat, was definitely the future. From there I found Cybertown, an entire city of chat environments structured with a hierarchy, where members worked like busy little bees to maintain designated areas, make fake money, and buy fake stuff in their fake mall. It was there I started making 3D stuff, offering my creations there and other Blaxxun communities around the web. Eventually I was able to get a couple of my worlds added to their Suburbs for posterity. Another activity, one which I probably enjoyed the most there, was hosting trivia contests. My friends and I became an independent group called Team Trivia, hosting in two communities (we tried a couple in iCity but it was a bit awkward).

Sometime in 2005, two years after CT became a subscription site, the threshold of tolerance for those in charge who were oblivious to the pay factor hit its limit. An entire colony was overhauled without checking with the neighborhood staff or residents, thus alienating users and driving them to Second Life by word of mouth from many who had already joined in 2004. This occurred in waves as paid subscribers were dissed repeatedly and those responsible cost Cybertown's owners a ton of money in lost revenue. "You should come to Second Life. I miss your art and your pools," someone said. At the time I was curious and wanted to check SL out, but with Win98 I was not eligible.

Here it is...

In January 2006 I tried for about fifteen minutes from my office PC but wasn't impressed. I'm not sure why the maneuvering was difficult at the time, but I found navigating the landing area of Orientation Island very unwieldy. It could have been the office firewall. That's how come my alt Doc Chowderhead has such a great name - they still had great choices.

Oops, False Alarm

Two months later, after having been duped into resubscribing for Cybertown an additional year while waiting for some projects to be approved by procrastinators, my friends and I said good riddance to them (and all the stuff I amassed over the course of 3-1/2 years) and joined Disney's Toontown Online. It's been very satisfying to drop anvils and pianos on corporate stereotypes in a place where other players couldn't rip you off (you can't sell there, only buy gifts). And the animations are just great. For a cartoonist, what better place is there?

Here it Is (really)...

As much as I enjoy Toontown, I've missed creating. I hadnt really much reason to since my departure from CT and other Blaxxun communities. When I upgraded to a new computer this year, within the week I joined Second Life in earnest. Or I tried to.

The Chickens

I was pretty disappointed with the selection of surnames. Yes, I could have selected Zimmermann and tried to effect Doc's fan-chosen name Mark Zimmerman (many hardcore doc came up with that independently) with creative spelling, but it was decided with my online buddy (Seven/Blaxxun aka Abby/Toontown) that we'd register together with the same surname. We didn't want anything too Aryan, which seemed the bulk of selections whenever we checked. Then we noticed Henhouse. We monitored a special site for two weeks until we were both able to be on at the same time and register. The special site would give us the gateway page which offered Henhouse on a site we could read (most of the time it appeared on Chinese and Japanese gateways) but each time we were told it was no longer available.

We were really psyched about having chicken names, so we settled for Plan B via CSI's sign up page. Thus Holocluck Henly was born.

It's been over three months. Maybe by now I'm in Second Life for four? I still feel new. There's so much to learn despite all I have. So many old friends from CT and Blaxxun are very established here, so I have a long way to go. But this is a milestone week with two shops no longer "Coming Soon." Tomorrow is show and tell in Lummerland (follow the Flo Votes blog link for more on this weekly event), and I'll be doing a presentation while at my parents' home. It's so nice that Dad upgraded this year too.

So here I am as Holocluck Henly. Or Doc Chowderhead. Or Snurky Snoodle. The alts are for testing stuff and are not as likely to give superficial acquaintances the time of day - just a head's up about that. If you actively play Toontown Online and have a MySpace login, drop me a line in SL. I have some more links to add here for sure - including to my SLX page and homes - and much to write about and show you after exploring the grid for over three months, but I wanted to get the long-winded life story out and about.

See you again soon!