Monday, November 30, 2009

News Flash! Livingtree Outpost Land Secured!

See that map in the prior Winter lands blog?  Where it shows my location on the shore of the southeastern most parcel on the continent? 

Well, let's give Marianne McCann a hand for securing it for 8,000ish Lindens! wtg Marianne!

Nothing more from my list has been put to auction, so it's still up in the air what happens.  A lot of back n forth seems to be occurring on the larger parcels close to the rink.  Good. LOL

Is 7Seas Lost at Sea?

I don't fish in my own pond anymore. What's the point? I have all the official stuff and I made all the catchables.

Most people who made Hall of Fame did so during a time when there was something new to look forward to on a regular basis. Now I fish for an hour once a week, and frankly one complex MSWord file of customs for one location is plenty to monitor and still keep it fun.

The Shikamis have yet to add the rubber duckies to their site list in half a year and still show them as "new!" on the database displays.

What happened to the turtles? Maybe they erroneously judged Scion to be worth emulating and backed out of the plan? Or maybe they just burned out over the whole project, keeping interaction limited to maintenance and downtime notices.

I saw customs as a companion to the official stuff, not an eventual replacement.  I find myself majorly uninspired from making more. What do you think?  Do you feel the same way?

Back to the Winterlands

It was like a seasonal getaway. Last year's Winter Faire Marketplace on four regions named for reindeer. The winning bidder of a parcel did not have to worry about the land counting against tier for the duration of possession. Although it was intended for merchants to promote their holiday businesses, I took it in part as said seasonal getaway and partly for learning how to be less of a packrat.  I forced myself to tear down the parcel and rebuild for four celebratory themes. I'm aware most folks bought into these for the exclusive Linden Lab souvenirs (we got a commemorative shirt and some badges sent to us), but I was always in it for the land.  Not only that, I was preparing a portfolio at the time for an LDPW freelance position and recorded each incarnation on video; they continue to sit on YouTube for posterity (do a search for sldpw).



Most of the folks set their "shop away from shop" up and ignored them from then on, then crabbed that Linden Lab should have given the land to them from Halloween through New Year rather than December through just before Mardi Gras.  Marianne McCann and I were the only ones remaining through the tenure with events and happenings without a complaint.

Well, those times have returned and bidding is currently under way.  The map has expanded to two additional PG parcels:



The layout is now different and possesses a single Infohub landmark to define actual Linden property (that's the ice rink in grey). Last year, each region had a willy nilly blue "I" on someone's parcel.  People never learn here: they went all bonkers under the impression that they'd get traffic, but the traffic consisted of underage, penniless noobs and griefers.  For that you drove the bidding up?  LOL!

Last week Marianne and I explored the new terrain and scoped out places we'd like.  I made note of the priority pieces and the gears began to turn over what to place there this year.  I know what to expect going into this. We actually got a lot of noobs at my place last year anyway.  My friends and I helped them, then sent them on their way.  Or they stayed and partied with us.  At the time Mediamaster still existed and I had my own playlist streaming.  I was the envy of Donner.

What I didn't expect was that people would bid so much higher this year after all the griping.  Don't they realize that this is PG land and cannot be resold?  Do they remember the gripes last year of how few people other than noobs and fellow Winter Faire proprietors showed up at their door rather than prospective consumers?  Apparently not from what I'm seeing.  Then again they appear to be rolling out the larger parcels first, so it remains to be seen whether residual funds from the Shermerville sale will handle what I have in mind.  I'm figuring it will since what I have in mind is not what the idjits see as "valuable" or anywhere near as large as last year's 2048.




Suffice it to say I'll be very busy building once I've won a parcel, with the first party entered on the SL calendar shortly following acquisition.  We'll have many a party and good cheer, all the way through Mardi Gras ah gahrontee!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Now You See It, Now You Don't

People are strange...

Someone I became casual friends with went weird on me a couple of weeks back. I suppose two in one year (when you count Rabbi Writer) isn't too bad for any cybersociety. She became my friend in SL and she was very nice.  Had a casual presence due to RL commitments.  I added her on Facebook. During my planned decision to start up FarmVille, she admitted she didn't go overboard for those types of games (as most of my friends had) but found FarmVille amusing. When I created an online profile, she happened to be a common friend of TMA people and added me there too. That was fine; I have a couple of friends common to both accounts.

The vast majority of friends for the holocluck profile are from an online community I spent 4 years in long before I came to Second Life (it's existed for about 14 years). Many left that VRML-based platform and appeared to continue their activities by way of Zynga and other Facebook gaming offers. Above all is they - now we with me in the mix - are family and look out for eachother.

That first weekend for that profile I went from 5 to 36 long lost friends.  I added a couple initially and it snowballed.  The trick of course was identifying them before adding. I didn't know most of their RL names of course, and many didn't think to include them in their request, but following a reply - and my marking their names down in a notepad file just in case - I reconstructed a lost part of my virtual history.  I also added some Toontown Online and Second Life people.

Back to the story...  So I made a sublist based on FarmVille friends. I didn't realize Facebook would let everyone see eachother;  thought it was like sending everyone their free Farmy gifts and each would get the message solo.  That afternoon several people asked me who she was. 

Hah?

I found she posted in the thread of my Inbox, asking if it was okay to add them.  Funny she didn't ask if it was okay with me.  I mean, if I was so desperate to add total strangers as friends the way the little kids do in Toontown Online, I think if a friend was the source AND the people involved shared a bond, I'd ask my friend if I felt comfortable with such a maneuver.  If I really saw them as a friend friend.  I brought it up to them and she got uncharacteristically snotty.  Sort of like those idiots in the SL Forum we all roll our eyes at.

I've had wacko experiences in the past with people who were pissed I didn't want to have a relationship with them and pursued to collect my friends.  I don't know what compells these All About Eve types but apparently there's a demographic online which flourishes with this illness.

I sent out an all points bulletin and ultimatum that I'd cut off anyone associated with such a person.  Some added her because they thought she belonged to the VRML community and just didn't know the nickname she used yet.  When they realized she wasn't from there they had no qualms about removing her.  She wasn't part of the family.  Many report she immediately requested to be neighbors partners associates etc etc for the A to Z of Facebook games.  Not quite what I expected. 

Suffice it to say I removed her at once from my RL Facebook account. God forbid she friends my boss or family.

Friend collectors... ugh!

A small parcel for a sale outlet was on her property gratis.  I cleared it out quickly.   I don't want them to get the inkling that such an offer stipulated any obligation to hand over my first born.

When I mentioned the mass friending attempt someone on Googletalk said "Yikes! Worlds collide!"  That's it exactly.  While it wasn't smart to include her in a "family" mass mailing, one should trust one's associates that they aren't eyeballing a slipup as a window of opportunity to exploit people.  She had no remorse for her actions and may never understand that in our culture, this is not appropriate.  But that's okay. She's just with people of her culture now.  I hope for their sakes.





I was getting to another quick disappearing act.  While fishing at Blaksleeworld on Saturday, I noticed that KONA headquarters across the bay was gone.  It couldn't have been my LOD settings because things beyond it were loading.  Then Grey Nacht responded he hadn't seen any mines either (they would send a mine through the currents every 10 minutes that he liked to take potshots at while fishing).  We looked at the map.  Holy crap! Metamagic studios was gone too!  They took up an entire sim and made it practically purple.  It became a small islet.  It's since been terraformed for something else.

Checking with GoSpeed I've found KONA's virtual transmitter alive and well, perched on mountainside on Mainland.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hindsight and all That...

As rewarding OvoEvoDevoHolocluckolution was for me on some levels (I made several friends out of it and had many laughs), I think I'll be doing the land grab next year.


As with SL6B, there was too much favoritism on LL's part. Some people with access rights conducted their own ongoing event throughout with hefty personal use of the notice feature. Despite my being among a select group of winning applicants to be rewarded a theme campsite, it's a sure bet that Dusty and her inner circle didn't venture beyond the elite named builds and builds of people endorsed by entities who endorse Linden Labs. Saying "Oh just add your event to a broken third party events calendar listing" was an insult to the rest of us. We all know no one looks at it.

They look at pink stars with rollover descriptions on the map, but damn give those little ants like me that and who will go to LL's official stages.  Heaven knows how disastrous it would have been with dispersed visitor population.

If you're someone like me who just draws and creates art, whose friends are either not in Second Life or had their own BL campsites, one hopes the art and effort would speak for themselves and draw attention. It doesn't do a THING if you don't belong to some prestigious inner circle.

The same goes for logos. The spirit of the event - considered an official extension of Burning Man - was compromised by the source when I reported to Dusty the existence of a big Church of the SubGenius™ parcel filled with the org name and marketing trademark Dobbshead. Speaking as an abnormal who was doublesainted by Rev Ivan Stang himself, I can tell you when it's nothing more than a pinkboy showing off. A SubGenius would have no problem simply expressing their abnormalcy at such an event, and many did. That parcel wasn't made by a SubGenius, and thinking it cool to allow the content brings Dusty's integrity into question.

Dusty: We're through being cool, remember?

Next: the Trekkies. There's nothing wrong with being a Trekkie. There's nothing wrong with being a Trekkie at Burning Life. However there IS something wrong with them making a medical outpost with Federation and Starfleet Medical flags and spinning beacons all over. Violations of the Prime Directive. By the way, on the second weekend they were caught with RPG recruitment material in their freebies package. I'm so glad I have nothing to do with them. As Worf would say: "They are withOUT honor!"

These were only two examples.  The rangers' response to my questioning logos was "The Trekkies come every year. They're welcome just the same as everyone else."  Yes, but why are they exercising organizational representation?

In the end, the only true carriers of the proverbial flame of Burning Life who worked in an official capacity were the Art Department and the Lamp Lighters. Bless you both. Bless Mom and White for your hard work. Bless Widget and the random vehicle dispensers throughout the Playa. Bless the faithful artists who TRULY respect the spirit of Burning Man and brought unconditional joy to visitors without catch-22's or promotional linkbacks beyond your profile picks.

Epilogue:

A couple of weekends ago, a featured diva on the playa - someone who got their start at Show n Tell - made an appearance in Lummerland. She originally showed up earlier in the year as a cyberpunk neko, quietly showing her multimedia sculptures. A corporation picked up on her work and now has it installed on their island.  So here she was two weeks back, appearing like Princess Naboo meets the snow goddess, standing to the side of the bleachers while a couple of clearly marked corporate recruiters sat among the spectators. Apparently she couldn't sully her glow and sit with the common avatars *shrug*

I have to give her credit: At least she didn't come to show something and bring artificial voters in tow like some people do. But you know she's beyond that show n tell thing anyway.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'll Be Selling All My BL Art

Breaking the fourth wall a moment here.

Some of my friends (and Lummerland's Show & Tell regulars) are aware that I have had a bit of an ordeal this year. My computer went down 2 weeks out of warranty, my refrigerator & AC died after 12 years, and I caught pneumonia from someone during a commute. As if these weren't bad enough, a neighbor on the other end of our floor hid from everybody that she had bedbugs for almost half a year. This would have no impact on residents on our end - in theory. Except at some point in May she walked over to our side of the floor with infested bedding in hand and placed it in the floor's refuse closet. She was caught and forced to bring it back to her apartment and ordered to take out her own garbage to the curb until her place was clear.


I'll give you one guess who shares a common wall with our floor's refuse closet...


So began a packrat's nightmare of hiring help to clear things out and prep the apartment for treatment. Since I owned a captain's bed from Gothic Cabinet Crafts, the set had to be tossed (yes, those & platform beds are hopeless cases). The fee for having these carted away were double because of the bedbugs. Once ready, I stayed for 6 weeks with my father during two waves of treatment. Dad and I don't get along well.



Bedbugs are interesting when you're not their victim. They're not parasites as some info sources say; they don't live on hosts. They travel to feed, then go back into hiding. Their bite is not distinct, and it took a visual encounter following dermatologist and primary physician visits before I was certain. I did not have a fullblown infestation (no rashes like some images I've seen; looked more like an occasional mosquito bite), but their elusive nature and resilience (they cannot be taken out by conventional extermination methods, but rather a strong poison applied directly) makes any number of them a problem. In truth, even towards the end I would look at my clean bed at night and know that as soon as they detected my body heat and carbon dioxide output changed, something would make its move.  The real nightmare of this ordeal was that in order to prevent them from spreading anywhere else in the apartment or to neighbors above and below me, I had to keep sleeping there. Close inspections, sealing clothes in bags, hot showers and hot laundry and dryers regardless of the fabric kept me from bringing them to others.


The thing that's sad is the woman isn't liable. Unless we could prove that a bug was seen entering my front door or a common wall from the refuse closet, there was no case.


That leaves me where I am now: on the edge of a 3 month debt plus late fees to the building's management and no means to afford more than one month at a time. All the rainy day money went into these expenses this year. I'm already resigned to sleep in the living room well into 2010.  Not to mention two weeks of vacation time wasted for prepping.

Therefore, any and all art that I produce for textures used in my Burning Life campsite will be for sale. Most of them will be hand-drawn with minimal digital treatment.  If you are interested, think carefully when you see the images and make note of them. After the event I'll put them up either on eBay or Craigs List (people say the latter is more popular? I've never used them).



It's sad to have to come to this under such circumstances, but these are truly desperate times.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Halloween Plans & Other Stories

Catching up in SL has meant taking on a few other projects. I haven't been relied upon to coordinate regional events since Cybertown & Oddyssey. When I was asked to coordinate a "Tricities" parade & party plus BC's local event, I didn't complain. I love that stuff, and had yet the opportunity to pursue something in SL.

It's nice that for the most part the "team" consist of enthusiastic event organizers in their own right; it's given a little something for several people to do & truly make it collaborative.

By "Tricities" we mean the suburbs, Nova Albion, and Bay City.  Here Blondin Linden discretely walks towards a Docklands intersection to place a promo kiosk for the parade:



In other news I've put the Plano land up for sale. Not enough prims for what I want to do. Saw a lot of nice abandoned places all over Heterocera I can think about when I'm ready. I'll resume work on the diner regardless once this month's stuff is done.

Sukkahs everywhere in Nessus for the annual Sukkah contest. Over 40 this year?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just Plano Underhanded

So get this. Sometime this past week, Linden Lab must have passed the massive abandoned Plano land (over 40-something thousand square miles) over to some real estate person or something. 

I was asking Michael Linden during the SLDPW whether the estate folks have been known to cut land up before putting such a large piece up for auction, or whether he and the moles get a crack at it.  I looked at the map to give him an SLURL to see the region, and I did a double-take.

It was no longer abandoned and it wasn't up for auction; suddenly there were yellow squares parceled out by some pseudo baron (I later saw).

As for the land won at the auction by that nice couple? They abandoned it! Sheesh well who told them to put the weird shape for sale as one piece for a high price.  It's PG land hellooo!  We're having a financial crisis hellooo!

So anyway what's up with LL underhandedly passing land to someone? Has this been known to happen?  I mean, you don't think THEY set the stuff for sale and the baron flipped it, do you?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Return to Normalcy

Is there such a thing after half your belongings have been thrown out? Not sure. A lot set me back in SL as Dad's PC had less memory,deterring me from logging in as much as I'd have liked.

And how can I ignore the changes? Plano went from seemingly populated to blank terrain (save the tacky cliche beside me of course). Do I become the rest stop along the lonely stretch of road? I have to admit the region's PG status has me wondering as well; I like to leave my options open for the occasional offcolor joke or random curse on the radio.

Meanwhile to (hopefully) fund my next tier, I'll be throwing old stuff to eBay. I've noticed in the meantime that the new "improved" website does not appear to have a buy US$ option in the Linden Exchange. Where was this relocated to?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Chicken Has Landed

There is a chicken peck peck pecking in Burning Life-Quinn. Come by to click her so she lays eggs. I need those eggs to make tempra paint.

Someone suggested I start a new blog to document the creation process. That would be a good idea except I forgot the Title I submitted, and I thought that was perfect. We should get copies of our submissions in a confirmation but we don't.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Campsite Acquired!

I like to think there's something to reputation. For SL6B I kept to my proposal, even with leaving enough out to allow for freedom & improvisation. And of course I never fell prey to overkilling on glow.

I'd submitted the theme for a combination art piece & perfomance venue of sorts, with the theme itself playing a role in the medium & direction of the build itself. Yes, I've left enough open to create.

The performance piece will rely on audience parcipitation, making it improvisational as well. This weekend I make the freebies: a T-shirt, deely boppers (I have two in mind), and a few attachments.

I'll be hitting the art store for - among other things - parchment. Yeah I'll be toughing out a couple of waning supplement bottles in favor of making art.

My place won't be script heavy until the burning. And there will be a burning :)

I seem to recall they allowed visitors before the event dates. Since creating my place will also be a performance piece of sorts, once I begin (probably on Yom Kippur) you might want to check in periodically. Maybe ;)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jeez Louise & Two Thirds!

Now the west neighbors put a full glow orb on the corner of my land.

Never do that.

Never

do

that.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Time DOES fly in SL After All!

As an addendum to my previous entry: I was right, she was wrong; she DID only get 4k of land, which is all for sale. The big chunk is still pending an auction. She should have broken the land up into little saleable pieces IMHO; who's going to want weird L shaped property at Mature prices?

Looking back on my blogs of last year, it seems I had set my sights at that time to get a spot for pools & lost Anilis to an ER visit. I still had my property in Juliet, which I still miss by the way, and maintenance was a measely $15 (LOL people are freaking at that statement I know). My friend's rental areas were moving in another direction, & there was talk of cleaning up the mainland starting October 1st. Then, fate stepped in when a pig in the next region decided she wanted my Juliet land just as those who took the Anilis land were desperate to sell. September 30 will mark a year living in the Jewish neighborhood by the tracks.

It's been nice living among TMA folk, who settle around Nessus and enrich the area with culture. I changed the style of my place from Juliet2 and rebuilt it in a spirit conducive to the area, with colors to offset the dingy dry grass. The things which didn't happen were the SLRR never got off the ground (they're testing the waters with a monorail system in Zindra first), and my lack of pools and 7Seas customs. I have been beseiged with disruptions in RL which scream Cosmic Test to the point where I'm currently not even staying at home. I'm sure this will all clear at some point, when my home is a home again & I log into SL whenever I want.

What else? We lost a neighbor and another neighbor lost their mind. Some got scammed but saw their way past it. The music continues to play, and somewhere south of here is a Sponge in a yarmulka wandering the fields.

Snurky had been logged out in Angler and afforded me a glimpse after I'd left. A GLBT tropical beach club took over my old spot, along with a sliver to augment the neighors' home to the west. The others I'd imagine continue to entertain former Outers people, and hopefully realize how good they have it just the way things are.

Bay City: Cartoon World may be headed for a change. Many pop culture images were uncovered during my desperate cleanup, enough to open an additional level. Something to look forward to in October as well, either right before or right after Burning Life.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Speaking of Henhouses...

It appears the Sion fad has ended as quickly as it began in Anilis and neighboring parts. Up the hill is chickenless, which was felt before seen. There are still a couple of occupied coops across the tracks. The shop and barriered coops at the crossroads in Pawpaw have been replaced with abandoned land.

Hmmm. Not a bad spot for a diner.

I heard a recent upgrade promising less lag to Sion farmers broke their eggs. I guess they delivered on the end result :P

I will cherish the bowl of Sion chicken soup Beth gifted me.

Just Plano Strange


Since I couldn't afford another place in Bay City or Nova Albion for roadside yaddas, I went looking until I found what appeared to be a perfect spot in Plano.

Plano is on the coastline of Heterocera toward the west. A cobblestone road from the north curves eastward there and makes its way to Hoboville and the Calleta trainyards. Along this southern route I found a perfect spot for cheap, across the street from a mall, marina, and seaside highrises. What they needed in the area was a roadside diner. :P

I cleared the land and the Lindens cleared a tree. I started working on the diner sporadically in sandboxes; staying temporarily w/dad while my apt undergoes treatment for bedbugs has not been conducive for building. Besides he has one gig less RAM than me.

Having found Paintshop Pro 7 lacked the versatility I was accustomed to with Photoshop 5, I went home for an hour after work to prepare some textures. I logged in to upload them and decided to hit Plano and check out who the new neighbor was.

Apparently the land up for auction turned out to be over 40k sqm and not 4k sqm. All that stuff across the road had disappeared: the seaside apartments, the mall, even the marina. It was all abandoned and quickly sent to auction with the crossroads corner parcel. I didn't know the Lindens auctioned abandoned property that large. The winners were a nice couple who planned to parcel it up and sell it off. It's PG land, which - at the water or by the road - does not command any great value at the moment. I wish them luck.

I also wish ME luck too! Hope the neighbors like free food and hate Sion chickens and glow.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Things Easing Up in Anilis - or Are They???

After Colonel Hathi reparcelled the land and set it to market prices - and kept it for sale long enough - land flippers and neighbors new and old took it over. One of the TMA folks who built a lovely synagogue up the hill expanded to bring a small stream up to Nessus. All is well.

Or so it seems.

It appears that the disease called Sion has reached Zion.

Hey, what TMA folks do for hobbies is their business. Until they lag the sim. Then it becomes MY business. The TMAer and a resident on the other side of the tracks each have a chicken farm. Anilis is lagging. It takes longer than usual to rez the immediate landscape & textures. In fact, now if I turn around and then back, the landscape and textures reload. I shouldn't have to experience this with my computer and connection. After all, I pay for tier too. They're hogging the region's resources unfairly and compromising my valuable and desperate downtime (RL is hell right now, a private hell you couldn't imagine), the downtime of others, and my hard earned investment in a place intended to be less stressful than real life.

I hope they listen to reason. Otherwise they won't be much better than Writer as neighbors.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Brother can you spare a Linden?

It's one of those times you wish you had money at the ready for frivolous but meaningful projects. Or that the real estate in Bay City were as they were before the abandoned plots appeared on the auction lists last spring. Those incidents triggered a stupifying fever and they went for twice as much as what was currently the going rate.

Prices now are insane, and at a time when the economy in real life is rock bottom and a glut of properties have been set for sale.

What I'd give for another plot to make a diner. It would be the ultimate hangout, with free foods of all kinds and plenty of room to party. Of course there would be parking spaces outside.

Unfortunately even the smaller plots in Bay City are pricey, and by "pricey" I mean in the hundreds of dollars. Even if I had that much to throw at some loser like Maven - and what I'd give to have my diner in the Docklands behind Bay City Port Authority to feed the hungry, hard working moles - I need to buy new bedroom furniture when my RL ordeal is over. And I'm a month behind on the rent too. I'll work with what I have for now.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Crap's take on the Crap

Crap Mariner has been keeping his own bloggings of our pal Rabbi Writer.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Rabid Rabbi Rides Again

Two days later and he has that shitty hovertext script. He has a goddamn fucking nerve subjecting my visitors to his grief scripts and meaningless ramblings.

I ARed him & presumably so did Crap.

He's successfully purged my pity for him.

Sorry for the language Marianne - sometimes things get that bad.

Looking at my blogging history, I see that one year and one week ago, I was driven from my first tier parcel by alpha-toting bullies and settled in Juliet. They swallowed up my land over on Gaeta as I suspected they would.

That happened again months later when the loonie one region over decided she wanted to build a dark ages empire (her properties now emcompass approximately 2 sims worth of land across four regions).

No fleabitten rabbi is going to make me vamoose this time, and I don't feel the least bit threatened since his behavior's been dangerously blatant (and delightfully so).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Madness of Rabbi Writer


I know it's not rational, but I feel partly responsible for some of this.

I was invited to write a review of some inworld Holocaust museum last March for 2Life, a Jewish 'zine for Second Life. Holocaust anything isn't easy for me as the event figures into both sides of the family. I can rationalize that Mom would not have been put where she was this year if it hadn't been for the Holocaust. Maybe it was that which moved me to accept the assignment.

I wandered through the interactive masterpiece one evening, and was met by Rabbi Writer, a modest bald avatar with a white beard and no shoes. I asked him some questions and discovered he was a real rabbi in the Netherlands. Sharing the land was a replica of the synagogue he helped restore and allegedly ran services in over in RL.

It came out that he was relocating the museum. Beth from TMA in Nessus had purchased a great deal of land in back of my place in Anilis and was reserving it for the Rabbi.

Making the review was interesting. My computer died, and I worked on it at Dad's one evening and sent it to editor Kafka Schnabel via Gmail. He eventually responded that he too was without a computer and working on the new issue at a friend's house (which explains why the raw draft was used). Kafka hasn't been seen inworld in months, which suggests his computer woes are not over.

If only the Rabbi appreciated the efforts we made to tell people about his work. It was a thing greater than any one man and important for us to spread the word. Here was a terrible moment in humanity where intolerance and bigotry successfully motivated masses of seemingly intelligent people with a false sense of superiority. It must never happen again.

The museum's move to Anilis was a rough one. Maybe there wasn't enough land, or maybe he had ideas to reconfigure the layout. His first plan was to make the museum on the other side of the tracks, then balance them with half and half, then he put everything on our side, then decided to go vertical (probably got nipped by the tier fee) and set land all over Anilis for sale cheap.

As most of you know I helped him out several times, first by offering a strip of free land as a path from up the hill down to the tracks, then last month took it back PLUS a strip along the back to help him with tier (it gives my place more depth and more prims, but do I want or need it?).

While reworking the holocaust museum into a multilevel presentation, he put in his mega high rise some biblical stuff. I'd heard he used to have a private island called Holy City which showed old Jerusalem and the temple. The ark was in the high rise along with an ancient town square and a gallows. Guess he was filling the spot for the time being. Beside the museum was the Anne Frank house replica, and further west up the hill was the Dutch synagogue.

What I didn't know was Rabbi Writer had purchased a small extortion parcel in Nessus from an adfarmer and was about to use it.

One evening TMA group chat activated with news of a build to the side of the community grounds. I flew over and there was a 48sqm strip of land with signs singling out TMA members that there was a greater calling. Beth was not the only one offended and confused by the Rabbi's build. TMA itself is not a religious movement, nor does it pretend to be. It's a cultural hub where there may be discussions, inspirational creations, or - when Beth and her band get the urge - live music. TMA celebrates culture and welcomes anyone to participate. It never pretends to be in lieu of RL practice. The rabbi appeared to think so.

Because he had been a part of the neighborhood and - as a rabbi - respected, it was decided instead of ARing the piece that he would be spoken to. Apparently Beth did and the Rabbi immediately replaced the build with an epitaph and memorial candle citing that evening as the death of his freedom. Surrounded by banlines. Microplots + Banlines = AR.

That pissed me off. Here a community was being singled out and judged just for existing. He didn't just put off Beth but all of us. As a neighbor who had a rapport with him, I thought I'd see what was going on. It didn't really go anywhere. He denied any wrongdoing and was totally paranoid and angered that people objected to his displays. He thought I had been listening to people. No, I saw these things myself. I told him for someone who was making a Holocaust museum it was strange to see displays of intolerance at a group. We all would have been gassed in the same chamber in those times regardless. I said it appeared he was behaving as though there was competition where none existed, and that his place and TMA served very different purposes. He told me to go away and essentially that I was like the others.

He then added a tacky message to the memorial plot. Enough ARs and a Linden returned its contents.


The next day the museum was down and in its place a garden with images (I guess) of great Jews. The emphasis of his mission changed from intolerance to Jews who were more Jewish than others (he associated the new build with the group "Keeping Jews Jewish"). Quite the turnaround. He also had banlines up for a handful of us. But as long as visitors to my place to shop, play, or fish were oblivious to them then no harm done.

Eventually he abandoned a chunk of land and set the majority of it to my west for sale - at 100k. This was a "if you want it, you'll have to pay me good money Beth" kind of price, but neither Beth nor myself were interested. A few days later it went down to 60k. Still not conducive of the area's going rate for anyone who might be interested, and it would have been nice to have a sane TMA group member as a neighbor who would add more art and color to the area.

Things went quiet for a while. We figured Rabbi Writer moved on and waited for his land to sell. "Bob" only knows whether he was rich or used congregation funds to buy out adfarmers all over the place and the whorehouse next door and was now stuck.

Then last night happened.

I was pulled out of Toontown with news of a griefing. Rabbi Writer took his land off sale and put up 128x128 megaprim hyperlinks, again singling out TMA members and trying to direct them to a website. He made mention of SL Jews who in RL were not, which is none of his business and against the terms. He also scripted the megaprim so that on my land and on north Nessus some snarky white hovertext was unavoidable on the viewer screen. Mass ARs ensued and a member of the G-Team came to remove the megaprims.


A short while later a handful of us enjoyed a much needed deflation as Beth and Dale performed at a club.

Sentiment over the ordeal seems consistent: the Rabbi went loonies, we automatically respected him for his position, and it was a shame that someone that who had started out with such a noble incentive seemingly went down a hole of madness greed and intolerance. I wonder if he's banned? He should be. SL isn't good for him.

The thought occurred to me in passing that this was the second avatar with the surname of "Writer" who left the area on curious terms.

(note: click images for full size)

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Trouble with Maven

Before I moved to my current RL home in Jackson Heights, I lived in Astoria. Astoria is a contradictory place. It's a blue collar neighborhood by nature, being situated near warehouses and a power plant. The train is elevated, which is a sure NIMBY factor. But it's close to Manhattan and the trains have a short run through Queens before submerging to cross the East River, thus attracting the pseudo Manhattan crowd and commanding high rents.

I dont know when things got funky in Astoria where I lived, but during the early 90s a vigilante group was formed called PACT (Police and Community Together). We had monthly meetings where we discussed trends of crimes (like a rash of break-ins), local politicians would discuss proposals and improvement projects, or something like the recycling committee would come with a demonstration and materials to distribute. Some members would go together out on "patrols" which included one cop - vigilante as far as crimefighting is clearly against the law and the city cant be liable for anything which happens to someone foolish enough to pursue it. The group's primary goal were to be a presence after dark and deter criminals from lurking about.

I was an area captain. I helped to answer questions of neighbors (like the proper recycling etc) and how best to contact the police and their priority for certain types of calls etc. My roomate and I worked together putting up meeting flyers, going door to door with petitions, etc. I got to know the police and came to respect their job, which isnt an easy one. With all the bad press a handful cause in the media, there are thousands who suffer because of stigma. The NYPD is about community and diversity, protecting inhabitants and giving them the knowledge - tools if you will - to exercise prevention.

So you'll have to pardon me when some Second Life skinhead dons a police uniform and insists he isn't engaged in role play or fetishism. No, our friend Maven is NOT playing. But he's not a Linden either. So where does his alleged law enforcement activity come in with regard to Mainland? Other than his own property it really shouldn't according to Second Life's Terms of Service.

What do his activities include? Heresay suggests he and/or his goons - noobs he's recruited for his "force" - snoop around neighbors' shops & scrutinize residents' friends & clientelle profiles. That's what I heard.

My own experiences with him are outbursts of a more sociopathic nature. Case in point:

Bay City held a flea market in Hau Koda last spring, which filled up quickly thanks to the MOTD login screen link. Maven insisted on standing around in uniform while people lined the border to come in. I whispered from the Docklands that people were waiting to get in, and he responded very "unpolicelike" and said he could close down the flea market.

Well not really. As with law enforcement, only the Lindens have that right on Mainland. What his duty amounted to appeared to be alternately posing and keeping his own booth well stocked.

Apparently the flea market was initially Maven's idea. While he was absent from the planning portion of a Bay City Alliance meeting, we worked out the details with Blondin Linden with regard to price cap of items offered, access rights, promotional details, and so on. Maven arrived just as Blondin left, and seemed disappointed ("oh.") that he would not be able to price freebies or jack up costs of unwanted stuff. Everyone else thought more about freeing up their inventory and giving nice stuff to folks who otherwise couldn't get them. Go figure Maven.

His megalomaic line of threatening to disrupt a Linden community event was worth an AR.

The second incident occurred this past weekend, and this time not very discreet.

With the opening of Hau Koda came LL's current load balance bug, where the newest infohub is sent most first time users following their start on Help Island. This was an issue with Bay City Moosehead for a while when Moosehead Beach opened up to the north. There were griefers rezzing junk in the streets and the spillover lagged. Many residents were very Zen about the situation and offered to donate some space for NCI to put infonode stuff. I vaguely recall impromptu backyard parties...

At the meeting, Maven whined and whined AND WHINED about current predicament which had befallen Docklands (it borders Hau Koda) and the terrible lag and griefing. More than what Nova Albion experiences on a regular basis? Not likely. He wanted the only rez spot in western Bay City be changed to no rez/no script/no object entry (the latter needed for vehicles). He's put in for a land swap for Zindra, where I guess he'll pose by the front door of his new precinct without his pants.

One of our recent issues has been Linden Lab adding object entry and noscripts restrictions on all local infohub land. There's one thing to deter griefers from rezzing objects etc, but to prevent people from riding through compromises those who pay for the experience. And as you know we all paid a great deal to be in Bay City. Quality of virtual life takes many forms.

Why is this an issue? It just so happens that several landowners in Bay City have alternate locations in Nova Albion and/or homes in Shermerville. Many of them "commute" between locales. The recent addition of Hau Koda has served as a new route by air versus following Route 66 (which the Bay City Trolley follows), then changing course in Barcola. Skimming the corner of Moosehead Beach before turning north into the Gulf of Lauren or flying through it towards Barcola Sound now amounts to skidding to a hard stop in midair with no choice but to unbind from the vehicle, fall off, fly up, and take it. Then navigate somehow to a rez point on protected land (good luck with that). Or forget the excursion altogether.

This is an issue with enough Bay City residents that a compromise is justified: minimize grief and lag while allow residents to make use of roads and airspace. The bridges are clickable over canals so that those who sail through the waterways can raise them, but boats must be allowed to function. Perhaps moving the rez point from the airship tower in Docklands and the Hau Koda southeast corner at the tower's border to a defined strip of runway on the other side of the infohub buildings, at worst the last patch before water. Or even special access rights for genuine Bay City landowners.

Maven definitely had issues with this. The concept of anyone driving a car or riding a plane in Bay City, much less to go from a point A to a point B entirely escaped him. Which means it was a worthless and meaningless concept - along with anyone who did anything short of posing in a cop uniform I reckon.

He interrupted my concerns and included the phrase "I don't give a rats ass..." I found very sophisticated for his ilk, even though none of the words used were more complex than one syllable each. It was important for the other BC members to see what sort Maven really was. Later on when Blondin arrived and I brought up the vehicle use and issues with locals commuting, Maven asked me what my problem was.

It's amazing sometimes what passes for adult or mature, isn't it? A black-&-white view Maven seems to have for Linden Labs to accommodate his needs full on and no plans to accommodate the needs of others. Short of that anything LL does is unacceptable to him. I still think he's some rich kid who got by the age verification. He doesn't behave at all like someone who knows how to speak to people and he blatantly disrespects the kids (I've seen that as well. Holograms and children). He obviously has no interest in community activities for the sake of community*. And the guy is desperate to leave anyway. You'd think this would free his Sunday evenings up instead of wasting time at meetings just to insult people.

*I caught him happy once. When he saw the traffic stats in Hau Koda's properties following the flea market, he got all excited and wanted another flea market planned RIGHT AWAY.

It takes a type, doesn't it? A type who embraces the brutal image of cops and forgets dedication and empathy to a community.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Creating Callisto

After RL interrupted my two days planned toward building my SL6B project, I'm doggedly working on and offline toward its completion.

When we were given "The future of virtual worlds" for a premise, I had understood it to mean a RL relating to SL kinda thing. I had made a detailed proposal as expected of me, and hoped I'd get the land and prims needed to do all I had promised. When the lands were rewarded, the premise slightly changed. It was the 25th century and we were on an asteroid hurtling through space with the remnants of our civilization. Our hopes would be to find a new home on a distant planet.

As mentioned, the barren rock and perpetual darkness sent most applicants into a tailspin. Heavy use of glow & particles ensued; whatever they proposed must have flown out the window.

I remain the calm within my region's storm: no post-apocalyptic drek, no undulating blobs of light or showering sparks. My proposal applies now just as it had then. The difference being a question of whether to fullbright interiors and "paint shadow" with material and textures, or just use alpha lightsources.

Tonight the layout and basic builds should be completed (still need to make some livingroom furniture and maybe some framed art for the "bedroom" wall). Then I'll need to map out the layout from above and prepare terrain details on graph paper. I've got a diner parking lot, a pebble path, a residential lawn, and other somesuch things. I'd like to have a pool but I don't want to impose on the exhibitor assistants more than I have (there's something amusingly ironic on the livingroom TV). They've lowered the land so my fake terrain can be flush with the region, added media including an awesome Space Age Lounge station, and will be assisting me media changes for a party planned with DJ GoSpeed Racer.

Stay tuned; maybe next entry about SL6B will include screenshots!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Response to Torley's video re Guilty Pleasure

Torley:

I didnt have room on YouTube, but I wanted to comment properly about your latest videoblog. I tried to delete and repost since I typo rabidly, but it wouldn't take subsequent attempts to repost, so I undeleted the one I had. Anyway, here's the full response:

As you most likely know, in Japanese a Kanji ideogram alone may mean something totally different than grouped with others. I think the term "Guilty Pleasure" works similarly, as do many other terms we have in English.

I know why I use the phrase and it's to say I have a fondness for something which reminds me of a time or place I'm no longer associated with. For that I think it's perfect & serves a purpose.

Consider this for a comparison: In cinema there's high comedy & low comedy. In the first half of last century, slapstick and physical humor was seen as the commoner's form of entertainment, & someone telling bad jokes with pretty girls dancing around them was seen as high class. By the last half of the century, low comedy by the likes of Lloyd Keaton and Chaplin (among several others) was recognized as genius. Even those still seen as less sophisticated and more formulaic such as The 3 Stooges or Laurel & Hardy were admired for having entertained the masses and taking us through the harder times of our history in America.

I dont mind "guilty pleasure." In context of music it usually means that I enjoy something or someone from a genre I normally don't favor, or more commonly a song targeted for teens at a time when the music was considered frivolous and the artists exploited to the point of embarrassment. For example my last.fm library includes The Partridge Family, Tommy Roe, Bobby Sherman, and other such acts. They were in Tigerbeat & 16 and not Stereo Review, their records made gold & platinum by armies teens who often screamed too loud to listen to their music. I never screamed LOL. And maybe I didn't see them at the time as special or their music as catchy and uplifting as I do. Maybe it was the time away from them. I consider listening to them today as a guilty pleasure. I'm not ashamed to listen to them - in some cases no longer ashamed :P - but they're certainly out of character for someone like me OR someone my age.

Just wanted to feed you a perspective from the other side.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Life in the 25th Century?

We got our parcel assignments yesterday for SLB6. Along with the landmark came our collective premise in greater detail. We are hurtling through space on a meteor (The Rock) in search of a new home. Apparently we were placed with others based on the similarities of our proposals. If that's true, I'll be in an interesting neighborhood for the next few weeks.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And Then I Want a Chalet

It started when my grandmother took me and a cousin to France for my graduation.

The survivors on Mom's side hid out during the war and remained in Alsace. I remember seeing Grandma's birth certificate when we went through her things 11 years ago; her birthplace belonged to Germany that year.

I ogled the architecture. Anything we had in America was a paled copy. No no not those! THOSE! Yeah! The framed houses reminiscent of every fairy tale I was ever read as a kid: thatched roof, window panels with little shapes cut into them, flowerboxes...


When the cousins took us to Obernai that was it. Anything before or after would be framed chopped liver. Even the river ride through Strasbourg lost view points after Obernai. Back then I thought to myself: "If I win the lottery or the French invite me like they did R Crumb, I will live in Obernai."


Nowadays the thought is more along the lines of "If only the French as a whole weren't anti-Semitic..."

Then again in Second life I don't have to deal with that, would I?

Wow only one other person bid on the thing. I assume all land gets automatically bid by some reseller. Well, something else to dabble with :) 1024 for less than 3500 and bordering with a Pathfinder project. I ain't complaining.

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's starting to look like something

I'm really psyched. Cartoon World is starting to look like something. I found a nice deco wood tile pattern from Harbinger for the floor and it seems to have transformed the shop.

At the same time, the moles and Michael Linden are working on various elements to construct an airport in Hau Koda for another infohub. They work out of the way in a remote location of the region. Being a theme with planes there's no surprise that Michael L is contributing. There are some awesome deco aviation wings of various sizes and building applications all around the work area, and photo references on a makeshift wall (some provided by Marianne McCann with the poll results from the Bay City Alliance. It was nice Linden Lab took input for a theme; but it makes sense since it was their idea to create Bay City). It's neat to see the process. Besides we probably won't have access once the region officially gets its "i" designation if Moosehead Beach to the east is any indication.


Speaking of which, I miraculously got into Moosehead Beach the other day. I flew by the border and miscalculated but didn't hit an invisible wall. Marianne joined me for the rare occurrence while we watched avatars yell "penis!" and "hey baby" a lot. I swear it reminded me of Cybertown's main plaza on a bad night.

If only SL had a competent age verification process at the front door. They would restrict new residents if they did not enter payment information or were new and their IP address detected another unverified ID created within 24 hours. Anyone who entered verifiable proof and payment info from the start - or a resident sponsor and payment info - would be allowed anywhere immediately while the others would have to wait for verification. Or maybe restrict to infohub-only regions like Hellfell and Hau Koda?

What would verification be? Hm good question. When I first joined eBay I didn't have a credit card, and verification meant their sending me an envelope by mail and my returning a postcard. If SL was that serious it might pose an inconvenience to some but a blessing to others.

You may ask why not include any PG land in the restrictions? Well, because inworld residents have a right to be protected just as much as minors have a right to be protected. PG has never meant anything more than "this is the content threshold I have set for myself in SL," regardless of children watching with their parents (my friend showed her kids the 7Days Bakery, so yes it does happen). All of SL must respect the cultures of the world or their claim for diversity is a sham.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cartoon World Opening This Saturday

After a defunct computer and pneumonia, I think the setbacks are over and done with.

Even the planned entertainment had its share: first a folk performer whom I knew (and who wanted to get involved in Second Life) couldn't make Saturdays, then my backup fractured his wrist. Now I have an awesome DJ (awesome = nice + has a great music collection) scheduled.

The building's been in place in Bay City for about two weeks now, and with a staggering pace is almost ready to open. The comic art is already installed. The illustrations I displayed previously will get lower prices; some of them will be featured on shirts, which will be available on the ground level. I need to set up a subscribe-o-matic as well; I'm glad I found out about that.

Healthwise it fluctuates with the pollen count; I don't anticipate this preventing me from seeing it finally through.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Death by Kindness

There is an explanation for why gears shifted so radically last month. I had a venting entry which I removed. Friends inworld were aware of the situation. There should not have been a situation IMHO, but one cannot always tell online what people are really like much less their true state of mind. I still want to explain things but keep it vague.

Suffice it to say despite my own overload issues as clearly blogged here, there were some radical behavioral changes in neighbors which proved unhealthy for me when the land beside my shop turned purple, and it got worse when I won the auction. Their attention directed to someone who works alone was stifling. I tried the communication route and that didn't work. Stepping up the hints to blatant objection didn't work (and of course I was seen as a bad person). In the end, fate stepped in & my dream plot in Bay City came to be. One can reason that this all pushed me to where I truly belong.

Either way, removing my properties from their proximity and eliminating land as a factor should have brought them back to their senses. After all I knew them from a time when property was not an issue and you hosted your own world on the web. One backed off thankfully, and that was nice. However upon learning I had sold the land in their proximity, another one removed me from all contacts in and out of SL. I think if anything proved they had an agenda with my land, that was it. Their attitude was they did something for me and I should have been grateful for the badgering.

But why? That still makes no sense. My land dwarfed next to theirs, even with the added auction land. I was the first resident in that region last August. If anything, my part in their SL existence was to start them there, where they became a flourishing paradise and a successful social hub for VRML immigrants. Out of respect I avoid both of them so she's not a victim of that silly ole "guilt by association" thing.

My selling the land was very good for the neighbors. A couple to the west got to expand, and the fellow to the north, concerned about being stuck with his land, got it sold hot on the heels when mine was resold by the agent.

Yes, it would have been NICE to have a pier for fishing and a place to rez boats and fish from them (that was the plan over there), but not at that cost. The people I've met in SL have been wonderful, and when unnecessary drama like this rears its head from post-Blaxxun members, it's enough to review why I ran to Toontown and Second Life - and confirm never to go back to the ways of VRML communities.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Next Stop: Bay City

The whorehouse has been replaced with Anne Frank's house. The map view of Anilis is radically different from what it looked like at the start of the month. The pond looks nice; it looks more like a motel swimming pool. Filled with orange soda of course.


With the bulk of Cluckey's Creations out of the way, it's time to work on Bay City and the new shop and gallery. A belated first rezday celebration and art opening.

Two weeks offline produced a goodly amount of sketches. I came up with several builds, two of which will comprise the Bay City property.

I've decided not to be shy about selling builds I am proud of. In fact, the Dog n Hog is currently listed on SLEX (maybe it shows under a search for Googie Style Snackbar). In time I'll have vendors added for buildings for different uses and the Asian outdoor stuff I made last February.

Well, in the meantime, as mentioned, the Fantasy Hotel agreed on a price and moved, giving the Rabbi space for all his museum and synagogue to reside in the same area. I've got culture all around me. I am in good company.

And the 2Life Magazine issue with my article reviewing the museum came out too! The issue overall is very good.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tired From Doing Nothing

My grandmother used to say that. It carried a different meaning this weekend of course.

The pool was a big question mark for me & never got a sketch. But when I was there on Anilis land, I knew what to do. The prims flowed from me until I had a 27x32 area with a pink formica style finish and green plastic accents.


In my resolve to use no megas there, I put a bridge in place for people to sit on. I also edited the movie screen accordingly so I could place it near the Nessus border. The dog n hog snackbar was rezzed to display the customs & give people a place to hang out.

Finishing touches in the form of pastel deck chairs & customized 7Seas stuff. It's looking good (screens pending return to office). The current map below shows my place versus the area to be ultimately covered by the Holocaust museum and synagogue.


Now to get more sleep and activity AND spend the time I need inworld to get things ready.

(first time blogging via company issue Blackberry)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Too Much Sleep

It's a problem I have since I've been computer-less. I get too much sleep at night. I fall asleep early, and have nothing to do which DOESN'T relax or put me to sleep if I get up in the night.

This has got to stop.

Well, I can't say the outage hasn't helped. It's allowed me to ponder my three properties.
Shuffling here and there during borrowed PC times has given me a better grasp of Anilis. With my new neighbor and the museum dominating most of the region, it looks as though I'm now IN the Jewish neighborhood and no longer on the edge of it. Working with the Rabbi, I've relocated my shop structure to clear the area as he plans to make a sublevel exhibit. The fishing pond is going to be like it was in Donner, with changing textures and decor according to a theme. My desire is for the movie screen to be on the edge of the region to the south and the shop to the north, but I'm a littke antsy since the screen contains a megaprim. I might still do it, moving it clear of the border. Maybe behind it will be a good spot for the SLX box.

Confirmed store and area will be Cluckey's Creations, a main location of the small shop in Selby (which hasn't been finished yet. Another setback).

I feel very cozy in Anilis. I'm glad fate stepped in last fall for me to come there.

Cartoon World... I believe Cartoon World will become a gallery and shop in Bay City. The shirts, artsy shirts like the sacrificial mascots, other types of shirts, will be on the ground level in a squarish googiesque bldg. The gallery will be up but not out of sight. In fact I hope to make it a sight in its own right :) as one of those things I had lots of time to plan with a graph pad by my bed.

That leaves Shermerville. I'll have to think that one over.

I'm pleased to see that my new CPU is in the "preparing for shipment" stage.
failed spongebob test

Friday, April 10, 2009

PC Activity for the non-PC'ed

During my PC outage, two Thursdays in a row I've gone to Dad and hogged the computer for SL and TT activities.

AHHHHHHHHH!

I reclaimed the land by my gallery and set land to the north for the Rabbi to buy for a Linden so he had a clear path to the tracks. Carefully naming all parts and preparing folders, I took up the cottage, the trophies, the furniture, the fishing pond and customs server, flattened the land, brought out the neato Googie bldg I had initially planned for the beach...

Marianne came by - oh it was good to talk to an inworld friend again. Twitter is all nice and good but a convo is a convo - to confirm my convictions. The museum dwarfed my land and the building needed resizing. So I worked on that, creating a doorway front and center with the sides closed, a checkerboard floor (which looked nice with the primaries) and repositioned my erstwhile vendors therein. Will add the googifying details in the future.

It looks like Shermerville is going to be residential for me after all, as I plan to sell the pools in Anilis too. I turned an unflattenable spot south of the shop into a raised demonstration area and plopped down a USA Holiday Weekender pool for the time being.

Now... what to design for Bay City and what to do about that fishing pond? I know for the latter I wanna make poles with a string of banners blowing in the wind. But that's all I now for sure. And what should I call the place? I suspect it will be the main store of what I have a little shop on loan to me in Selby.

It was time to go. Unfinished business. I'll miss the place but will have more time to ponder its fate over the weekend. If anything I was prepared when I arrived and hit the ground running.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Shermerville Oh Shermerville

Actually, I had a $25 eligibility tier for one day, then decided I still wanted a place in Shermerville. I still needed a place for pools and the whatchamacallits still had a parcel near the Blumfield border (in back of Eshi's, around the corner from Michael's, and down the street from Marianne and Pygar), and I figured I wasn't going to be doing any personal travel this year, so I went for it.

Then I lost my computer LOL!!!

Not a crisis since I have some offline planning to do (builds for three properties). Except I had a freelance assignment due for 2Life. I went to Dad's to use his computer last Wednesday night and went inworld to re-screenshoot stuff for the article.

Then I went to Shermerville.

Marianne and I pondered a purple plot, humored about the plywood monstrosity in back of Ewan's place (which has since gone away), and happened on neighbors. That was nice! Meeting neighbors in a suburban area. There was talk of starting up a community association. Then I had to go for supper. It's a nice place, and being largely residential (most shops have a neighborhoodly architecture about them), I want to be sure that whatever I end up with there blends in. I like the laid back tone - I need laid back at this point.

Today was to have been my rezzday, but with inworld activity curtailed until the new CPU arrives, it will have to be for another day. You'll hear soon about it :)

Exerpt from Survey

What could Linden Labs do to make buying Mainland more appealing?

  • Enforce no land flipping for one month after a Linden Auction (of new land) to discourage inflated prices by real estate people
  • Enforcing encroachment of items whose prim crossmarks don't encroach --- Become more proactive against neighbors trying to crowd out residents (happened twice to me and learned this was very typical)
  • Be more proactive in acting on megaprim users who are lagging a region by placing them near or across a region
  • Allow people of yea much joined or connected land in a region to customize the terrain (I live in Anilis and love it but the lack of lush grass is KILLING ME as an artist picky about aesthetics)
  • Lindens should talk about their topics and not ALL accommodate angry clueless residents who just look up the name "Linden" and descend on an office hour to hijack it for their OT concerns and gripes; these people have DRIVEN me out of Blondin and Blue's OHs for weeks. I waited for Blue's to resume and there they were to dominate the topic about PornLand and not New User experience. I wait all week for Wed to attend 3 OH's which are about topics I am interested in. Adding: If you can't make it to Jack's tough luck. No one's gonna hear anything different from you and no one is gonna hear anything different from the Lindens which hasn't already been covered elsewhere or in the forum.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Would you give it all up?

I always told myself that given the chance, I would give up a good portion of my land to have something in Bay City. Which isn't saying much given the price of land I've had and the bloated prices in Bay City left over from last year's land fever.

Well, its angular design meets me. And it's a community. I was meant to be there.

So when someone would like to barter Angler and Shermerville and some spare Linden change for a 1024 in Bay City... HELL YEAH I'D DO IT!

I think my tier is going back down in the morning.

No, Anilis doesnt go anywhere. That's my home. That's culchuh. I've been invited to do an article for 2Life. It's a timely time for me. This week will end up completely opposite from what it was last week. I can now see celebratory possibilities for my first rezday next week.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Weekend Overload - Nova Albion

So at around the same time as the whole land thing started, Nova Albion's 5th anniversary started closing in. I had a special avatar planned: robot based on the most notable buildings there: the ARMORD towers.

With the 8 Man avatar experience behind me, I felt I knew what to avoid when making this one, and spent my evenings at a little used sandbox on a posing stand. I also studied the fullperm Iron Man movie armor obtained on Silver Screen island, seeing where the knee and shoulders connected and how they moved with joints and so on. I removed a section at a time as I created parts.

I completed the NOVA5 avatar on Sunday Morning, the day of the parade AND the day of the auction. In fact, the two converged at 3pm EDT on that day. So after the high stress of bidding, I logged on and joined the revelers in a high lag region known for high lag when there ISN'T an event.

It was an interesting parade with so many creative talents behind the displays and avatars. We joined the Zombies gang on the border of Luna and Sistiana for a double sized dance party.
After a rough reboot, I showed off the armor at Show n Tell, where I landed 4th place. Hey I'll take it. It's GREAT I got votes :)

Later in the evening I took pics of the armor against the neon of the ARMORD tower until the region went down for a reset.


But ohh how mentally and physically draining the days leading up to this were and hitting such a height. It's taken days to clear my head. LOL Now I think I can relax and get to the business of creating and designing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Help Holocluck Decide!

Okay, maybe it's not ALL clear. I want a kind of marina/boardwalk. We know the pools are going to be between the fishing and the region border to the north.

We know that I might want to do more with the tropical deco theme of the Dog n Hog Snackbar

But what should the boardwalk look like?

This is where I need your help.

I have several prims there with different colors and textures. You can even consider the wood with a tint. The links in the right column for the Dog n Hog Snackbar and Holodoc's Pool n Surf Shop will get you close to the place.

Either IM me inworld (you know I'm Holocluck Henly) or leave a comment here today through 7pm EDT (that's 4pm SLT).

The results will be tabulated by my feeble brain and taken seriously into account as I develop the new area.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Weekend of Overload: Angler

Maybe it's spring.

I have this urge to sow more land. I keep telling myself: "If I stop the food deliveries and either take out on the way home from work or actually cook something, I'll save lots more money than the cost of more tier." And it's true. I would. Seemingly at the same time, my neighbors the fellow Blaxxunites - who have established a great social gathering each evening for VRML survivors - had the same compulsion. They bought more land outward so they could have more playspace in the water.


It was time to look at the abandoned land to the east of my pool shop. The pools were getting a might cramped, even after putting several on vendors by theme. So I took Jack Linden's advice and submitted a ticket request for the Lindens to bequeath it to me, along with my neighbor's Email address as reference. The rule is your land surrounds on three sides, but one of the sides was another region, and between us we had two sides covered. The reply from an estate rep was that the land was more than 512 so it had to go to auction.

The neighbors and me pondered the purple on the map and loitered a great deal there. With all the comings and goings in Angler, it just so happened that someone had started collecting land and making them into rentals in the eastern part of the region; she would have her opportunistic eye on the plot as well.

Within a week, it showed up on the list. I set some ground rules on how I operate, since I usually do this solo and I had two friends eager to see me win this. I said first of all, no one set foot on the land until the end of the auction (that would be for two days). This was to ensure no land flippers saw us there and figure they'd resell to any of us. Next, don't look at the auction numbers until the end day. They were getting a little obsessed. One must clear the mind before a challenge, and this auction was no exception. They knew I was a seasoned eBay sniper from way back and would not feed the bids until the last possible moment. For insurance I bought too many Lindens and they footed me some more.

They also knew I was under stress over a big project for the Nova Albion 5th Anniversary parade, and that everything would culminate for me in rapid succession (the end of the auction and the start of the parade were both at noon SLT, then Show & Tell after the parade). They dutifully kept away from the land and watched the bids in silence.

I submitted my bid within 15 seconds of the end and won the 1536sqm of land for just over 10k. We were amused that a 1024sqm west of my shop went for almost as much. They won't stay there long if they bought it for business. Friends were reimbursed immediately after LL collected and I transfered most of the remaining into my dollar balance against the next tier fee.

So I had twice as much land in Angler. What to do with it? I woke up in the night after having gone to bed excessively early. In the quiet shoved my pools aside and played with the configuration. After speaking with a friend, a plan began to form. I discussed it with my Angler buddies, conferred with Mainland Maven Marianne McCann.


The plan is clear. Stay tuned.

What of Anilis? It's about to change soon as a result. Hey, everyone keeps changing stuff. It's my turn this time!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Zoning Happens

This entry may sound harsh to some folks. But keep in mind this is my blog and not some forum post. It's my place and this IS where I can get off saying what I'm going to say in response to Linden Lab's recent blog about zoning porn.

Maturity.

What defines it? What does it mean with regard to the world or SL? Who has the most trouble with maturity and discerning it from Adult content? Who tries to use Maturity as an excuse to be immature?

This is the bottom line about maturity. This is the ONLY line about it: Maturity is realizing that there is a time and place for everything.

Yes, one might add the word "legal" to be safe, but you know what I mean.

Or do you?

Did you know that Mature land meant that on your property or on a designated property, you would not be liable for AR action if you cursed? It's true.

Did you know that Mature land meant that if you wanted to have a poseball bed in your house, you wouldn't be liable for AR action if it was discovered or you were spied on with a camhead? It's true.

Did you know PG land means if you were caught using profanity or engaged in explicit sexual discussion you were liable for AR?

Did you know you could be AR liable having a penicycle 400m up on PG land?

Did you know that the use of poseball sexbeds anywhere on PG land, including indoors, was a violation of the terms? It's true.

See, that's why PG land is cheaper. You can't do everything on there. In fact, there's a whole lot more land availble which accommodates Adult activity.

Linden Lab has seen to it that you can pursue your dream. But you have to do your part. Or parts. Indoors or concealed from neighboring parcels and passersby.

Take my new neighbors for instance. Yes, my former friend and neighbor would not give me a counter offer. Instead she shaved off 5L from the price and the whorehouse up the hill bought it for about US$100. They've been around for years from what I hear. They're mature. They have a kind of office structure up the hill, and supposed rendezvous nooks somewhere up there out of sight. They are either using the added land for prim allowance or have added skyboxes; the lawn is pristine.

btw I ARed a penicycle hanging 200m up in Angler several months back. It's visible to the naked eye for most graphics settings. I know third time's the charm, but I don't feel like whipping out another pun.

ANYway...

There are a lot of repressed people in SL:

- Rebelling against religious upbringing of course.

- Rebelling against extreme rightwing community of course.

- Just off the teen grid and college kids have much in common. Just outside their parents' reach legally or geographically, along with either or the previous two reasons to propel them into exploration, they're ready to plunge into their own blissful concept of Sodom and Gomorrah.

There's nothing wrong with that, except they have that rebellious thing going on and a "step aside" attitude which makes them oblivious to two key aspects of Maturity they have yet to embrace: consideration and consent. Regardless of urges, drives, physiology, and philosophy, until people realize that there's a time and place for everything and can indulge and still be responsible and don't see words like "consideration" and "consent" as boring stodgy things to rebel against, then - while they are legally permitted to engage in adult activity in and out of second life - they are by no means mature, nor do they understand the purpose of Mature land.

Kudos to Second Life, who have made dreams come true for most of this decade. They trusted the residents to let EVERYBODY chase their dreams. If that were the case, you know we would not have seen that blog entry and they would not have had to expend resources toward it. The theory that all residents taking up mature land were mature didn't pan out. So zoning happens.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another End of an Era


This has been a whirlwind week, ending a whirlwind two months.

I spent a great deal of time on Donner. As a packrat, making myself tear down things and rebuild was a very difficult but important process. I decorated the land for Christmas (added a menorah during Chanukah), Inauguration, Chinese New Year, and Mardi Gras.

I think I did pretty well, even though I didn't sell a single thing and no one came to my shop or gallery from there. I didn't expect to make anything, so no disappointment there.

We got a lot of first timers into the winter marketplace for some reason, so it was fun giving them basics on movement and a lead to search for the NCI for their freebie wall and courses. I found the infohub points on each winter region were random and people had auctioned for parcels with these. Great landing points but what did you have for the noobs? NOTHING! If I'd known, I could have had my dream for two months of an infohub and orientaion spot MY WAY, which would include cultural orientation. btw assorted Lindens have taken interest in this when I brought it up at office hours, so if you start seeing these in the next generations of infohubs, they got the idea from me ;)


Either way it's been a blast, but time to go home. The SS Monkeyshinez has dropped anchor on my front lawn in Anilis and will stay through Mardi Gras. There's no prim space for the noobs, but there will be free beads from Monday night through Wednesday morning in the air around the float. I'll put more up as people "catch" the ones there.

Donner was also a good testing ground for 7Seas custom catches. I made shirts, toys, and deely boppers for assorted occasions. The original Mardi Gras shirts and CNY shoulder pals are currently fishable in Anilis. Many things planned for that.

I was offered a small shop space for a percentage of sales. Hope their hunch pans out! I'll be preparing that the next few days.

This week also marked a few other ends and beginnings. Last week as you know, OnRez (and their ready made vendors) was liquidated and SL took over XStreetSL. I got ahold of some very user friendly vendors which were even easy for ME to customize. I even figured out how to send a cut of a sale to a specified second party, something I'll need to set the shop vendors to do. I GUESS I should add more stuff to SLEx and activate what I've already uploaded.

On a sad note was the unannounced exit of the Simon Joseph House of Healing & Mirth after almost three years. No more Michigan J Frog, peacock garden, free clown noses, or happy rainbow over Anilis. The region has lost a piece of its soul.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mardi Gras bash tonight!

As many of you know, I aquired a winter holiday marketplace parcel last December in the Donner region of Second Life.

It's been an exciting and educational experience for me: building at light speed and keeping up with a succession of holiday themes. Most of all: learning how not to be a packrat by tearing down and rebuilding.

I also experimented with making custom catches for the 7Seas fishing game. Prizes included shoulder pals, deely boppers, and commemorative tees.

This week it ends and the marketplace lands will disappear. We've been told the 20th is the final day for those in Dasher, Prancer, Donner and Blitzen.

As a send-off, I've made some floats and redecorated the land for a pre Mardi Gras party. Harlequin Noobs will have beads for you (it's PG land so keep your shirts on. Besides, I'm inviting some SL Kids :P ). The water has shoulder pals and souvenir tees for 7Seas fishers, and a Looney Tunes video will be uploaded before the party starts. We can fish and dance our brains out!

The party starts at 8:30pm EST aka 5:30pm SLT

Where? Well, my picks has the location but typing in "Donner" should show a pink events star.
A personal favorite technique of mine as a high altitude resident is to aim on the map for the pool and teleport for a splashtacular entrance.

I hope to see you tonight!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Inauguration Week in Donner


Well, I got that Greek Donner stand done, learned to offer custom fishing stuffs, and completed the inaugural pool (forgetting to set the media texture - DOH!) in time for February 20th. Patriotic and commemorative Obama goodies will be removed on Monday.

I was pleased to find people fishing at the pond following the update and an announcement on the 7Seas boards. Weee!


So what next? Why, the Year of the Ox of course! I have toys, trinkets, and Tees planned for the fishing pond. If all goes well, I will also have some really nice things for sale.

In other news, those dorks either removed the encroaching trees from my Angler property or a Linden returned those things to them. Either way, it's good. I'll have to add more vendors - damnit from XStreetSL, which means making ALL of them from scratch. Feh.

But before then, GUNG HAI FAT CHOI!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Coasting through the winter.

My conspicuous markings in Donner. Friend Marianne has a place in Dasher

Not via a bobtail nag.

I invested recouped medical money on a piece of land in Second Life's Winter Holiday Marketplace. It was exciting about the whole week of auctions. It was like my old eBay days, hovering over auctions and - well I didn't usually get outbid the last second. That was usually my triumph.

There were two things going: First, I wanted snowy land for winter. Second, being that four regions were named for reindeer, one was called Donner. I HAD TO HAVE A PLACE IN DONNER! You know us artists - when we have something in our heads there's no stopping us. And I had a triple entendre going full throttle.

I actually had this spot in my sites at the foot of two mountains (a pass! Oh, rapture). Being how I lost a piece of land the previous day by $L5, and the pass land was the very last Donner plot being offered, I went for a bigger one at the water in an earlier bidding wave. Booyah! It's a shame about that other plot I wanted; the winner did nothing Donner Pass related.

In fact, no one else in Donner really had anything in mind other than plopping what they already had built for their island or whatever to promote it. Once they made their spot, you never saw them again.

Being the newb, I had no holiday or winter content from any previous seasons. But I was AN ARTIST. And I was enjoying some time off from work. Except I really didn't rest. I *SLAVED* that night over Photoshop to make each texture file for a gingerbread house, which was assembled like one of those that come in kits. By the weekend the house was done. It was time for my piece d'resistance...

Behold it in its absurd glory. Gosh I'm so proud of myself. I made it look like the real thing. It actually looks delicious if you're not a vegetarian. Ride on the donner kebab sammiches or dance Zorba style on the top over the tomato. It's all good.

Next came the music. Sure Sky had an "okay" holiday channel most were tuning into. But I had a great collection of mp3's and I wanted to share the sound of holiday pop. After struggling with Mediamaster, which happened to run out of server space THAT WEEK, I managed to squeak on my tunes for an awesome playlist. We're talking Bing and Phil Spector meets The Kinks and Stan Freberg. It had everything. Yes, even Charlie Brown stuff.


Had holiday pools all ready, and free holiday food in the gingerbread house.

I didn't sell a thing by the way. Had vendors for the flying foods and pools but not a single purchase. Story of my life!

It was fun anyway, and some friends shared in the New Year Countdown there on Dec 31st.
The Marketplace is deserted except for my puttering around on my land and some folks hugging the Infohubs elsewhere. There are plenty of other holidays to celebrate before I lose the land.

Right now I'm setting it up for the inauguration next Tuesday. The plan is to have freebie stuff people can fish out exclusively there. It would be my first time with the new kit from 7Seas. Be sure to stop by and check it out; I'm hosting a new Superchicken cartoon :)

Sevhen says the Chicken Dance is our dance.