Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Snurky Wins a City of Concorde Race!

It takes someone with courage to admit they're wrong or afraid in the face of impending destruction.  I was scared shitless on Saturday night. I hadn't felt like that since the night of 9/11.  We were very lucky in our community.  Two communities over there was damage from a tornado, and earlier in the local bus' route there were downed trees.

Look at all the people who can't admit they're wrong or get caught in lies built up over time, desperate to keep an image. 

And what is an image if not a reflection of one's actions?

No not the other kind of image.  Any one of us could like like any other one of us if we wanted.  If I had a dime for every common dirty shaven kendoll hunk moose in second life who thought they looked better than anyone else, I'd own an estate and unlimited tier.

I mean image as in reputation, especially buying using money to earn fake friends and make oneself irreplaceable yet feared. Even if I had that kind of money, I just wasn't brought up that way to have such an inclination.  What a waste of life and everyone else's time.

People were shocked I didn't have a place at Burn2, particularly after having experienced my own rite of passage in SL this past year and an eagerness to express it in on the playa after being unable to commit to a spot last year. 

To be honest only Snurky entered the lottery;  I didn't feel it was right for two avatars on the same computer to try out for that.  I made a Campsite application which was rejected; despite a hyperdetailed form to fill out, the winners were supposedly picked at random.  If you can believe that, well... 

Maybe it's for the better.  The event is still rife with hypocrisy if my run-in with their SL8B presentation is any indication.  And that first meet-up for the applications left a rather negative impression: someone as a horned beast sitting on a throne overseeing everybody dance in fire isn't what I'm about.  Talk about the biggest group affiliation in the western world... 

I'll just make some skins for a freebie pack and hopefully get to finish a couple of builds for their DMV (I can't script as you know).  Of course I'm disappointed I don't have a spot, but I don't have money to buy one and I learned long long ago that art is like showbiz: a lot of talents and only a few get the time of day. That's just the way it is.  I applied for a couple of DJ spots. If I get them at least then it will be something. Whatever happens happens with them.

Anticipating the 7Seas Fall Fishing Festival in October.  Maybe I'll achieve hall of fame there?  I'll make more customs to debut at a spot. I have some ideas for that.

I think looking back that I still have more than enough to work on. :)  I'm certainly in a better place in SL than I was a couple of months ago. Still venture into New Babbage once a week for a Radio Riel event dominated by decent folks.  It works best that way.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Fever

Writing about a hurricane.  Not something we do here. I'm not good without electricity.  Like most people with thyroid probs, I run into problems with heat.  And with my thumb it will be quite a challenge to sharpen pencils and charcoals by hand.  With my immune disease (and for the umpteenth time: it's not AIDS) I  have a weak digestive constitution and get sick from food which is a tiny bit off. And that's of the food I can eat.  Lighting matches to start a burner - hmm didn't think about that.  Which hand does that?  Ah, holding the box firmly...

I Go it Alone (OOC)

A Weight Watchers habits evaluation years ago concluded I need to ask for help more. It's true. Aside from whining to friends about this or that, other than asking dad many years ago to drive me to the ER or staying at his place during bug treatment, I haven't asked for help.

I've been alone with my current medical plight. Apparently I'm a susceptible candidate, and attempting to install my own deadbolt lock in July pushed me over a line. Not just pain but limited function of my left thumb and it's getting worse.

It took 3 weeks to see a hand surgeon, 6 since it all began. The X-rays looked picture perfect. "Flexorpollicis longus tendonitis" he calls it, something which would require a 15 minute procedure to prevent an inflamed tendon from getting further aggravated.

But not today. He'd have to set up something at some surgical facility off Union Square. In a week or so. It's Labor Day in "or so." And I should have someone "take me home," which is really not possible in Manhattan. Dad doesn't do Manhattan.

In 3 weeks my regular hand surgeon's appointment is up. He has surgical facilities on the premises.  I should explain the "regular" bit:  In 2003 on the spot he operated on my other hand to remove a ganglion cyst from my right thumb. This was 11 years to the month after he took one off the base of my left middle (bird?) finger.

Do I regret not paying through the nose for the locksmith in the first place? This wasn't anticipated. Maybe I should have asked my neighbor for help...

Someone made a custom splint which doesn't let my thumb bend, and it makes a difference. I should wear this while I sleep, the doctor said.

I have a ride for Nassau County.  There's a 99% chance I'll go with the doctor I know, with dad driving me.

Before then it's 1-1/2 hands typing. You'll see even less capitals as the weeks pass. I'll see less mobility and more pain. The way the weather is going right now isn't helping.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hurricane Bernadette

 Well that was interesting!

New Toulouse was hit by a hurricane over the weekend.  I missed the bulk of special effects by the time I heard about it, and arrived while the place was flooded.  I managed to hitch a ride on a roof that was adrift.  Several people sat on crates while it navigated through the flood waters in search of survivors.  At one point a couple of us heard what could have been snoring.  We were told it was zombies. 

Uh oh.

We drifted past the Jardin district, which is set on higher ground and was largely unaffected, but hitting the main sim and Bourbon the shops and homes' first levels were submerged and goods damaged.  One artist refused our offer of a dry roof ride in favor of lamenting her ruined paintings.

Then gunshots.  We were near the cemetery.

Oh boy.

I was given "essence of broccoli" and advised that zombies hated vegetables.  I went a step further and wore a pumpkin on my head.  I extracted a gourd shooter from my inventory.  Then I headed back to the Bayou. 

Being a hologram has its advantages.  No need for an oxygen source comes in handy in flood waters.  I walked the perimeter of the Bayou and Algiers but heard no zombies.  With the waters all murky I probably would have hit a moaning local anyway.

The waters have since receded in New Toulouse.  Other than one casualty of sorts everybody was accounted for.

I'm a little curious though why the New Babbage Marines were represented in the cemetery fight if they exist in another century?

Anyway I was tipped off that there was a video account! So take a look

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Second Life: VRMLers' Great Intimidation

Still coming down from last weekend.  It will be good to hit Toontown tonight.  But first a little offline work for some folks.

A longtime friend from Cybertown - for whom I had high hopes once they upgraded their PC - told me the inevitable last night: he wouldn't be building anything in Second Life.

High hopes because the ones who tend to mentally crash and burn when making the transition from VRML to SL have been handcoders; they never grasped wysiwyg creation over typing coordinates in notepad. 

This lush forest was probably handcoded

My friend wasn't like them.  He used Spaz3D like me for a building tool, except he learned every nook and cranny of its settings to make his own avatar,  vehicles, interactive stuff (such as a knife throwing act), roller coasters, an aquarium and a fjord with intermittent glacial avalanches which my friends and I used to surf.

In the interim he took up nature photography, again learning every setting and control on his camera to produce the most dazzling images.  Several won him awards and have appeared in exhibits in his home town.

But after two years he's still in a noobish human avatar (unaware he is wearing some vampire scam group's tag), and thoroughly unwilling to see how easy it is to adapt to inworld building.  Even before his upgrade he could have worked with offline modeling progs (after all, what was Spaz3D?) and mastered sculpts.

We all go through the phase of wishing the dozens or hundreds or so builds we made for another platform could be converted and uploaded into Second Life.  Years of work down the tubes.

He and I were among a group of creators categorized as "world builders.".  Let me explain the nature of VRML 2.0 before going any further.

The filetype wrl refers to "world" and in a way, anything VRML can be a world.  From avatars to objects to the environment itself, it's all the same file type.  Griefers would wear a house or whole world as their avatar and enter a world.  Very existential.

 Exact replica of Wetzlar Cathedral in Germany

However, the title of world builder refers to creating a world/ environment / dimension/ universe within a finite space (which could still be vast), have sky or boundaries and be where people can exist.  Add Blaxxun plug-in capability and associate with a hosting network and it becomes a shared world among many.  A very different sort of build from an object or creature.

 Peter the Pig's Lost at Sea at low tide was
a tribute to tsunami victims

Let me tell you about the difference in building rules.  The build structure worked like a tree.  The wrl was always linked but you could make subgroups and move portions or objects within a build.  Groups contained and retained their properties - for example phantom - while other grouped parts retained theirs.  An example was when I first came here and learned that setting the water prim of a pool to phantom would have consequences if I were to link it to the rest of the build. I really miss that aspect of VRML creation, but I learned to pack them into rezzers here.  And being able to use a shape to bite a hole or piece out of another.  Also extrusions in Spaz3D were very, VERY easy to manipulate.

 Me as bacon crossing a bridge

 It's what we did as world builders.  Some like my friend incorporated interactive elements like rides or shootable cannons (or that time we all piled into a glass case to see how many of us could disappear together in his illusionist magic act).  He'd wear his blimp as an avatar and ride us around.  I think he likes doing that sort of thing the most.

 Kirido in one of four modes with a central observatory
and a breathtaking view

Here in Second Life we have not just blimps and airships but historic models, models which were designed but never flown in RL, some used for advertising as in real life, and so on.   While building inworld has its limitations, creators have managed some incredible things.

Consider that for most of Second Life's heyday, sculpts didn't even exist.  It's all about prim mangling.

To me, both platforms have much in common.  As a traditional artist, I had to first establish the perspective that 3D modeling meant breaking an object down to its basics and plan what shapes comprised it.  Here the same approach applies to what I had to do for VRML.  From that point you plan based on the shapes you know you're capable of creating and you're on your way.

 Antoine's Aquarium is in a room - and you're bait-size

Those who have made the transition are successful in Second Life.  Modesty forbids me from namedropping publicly, but many have been here since 2004 or 2005.  Also I share a view that it takes a type of person who wants to be known for who they've met instead of what they themselves have done.

I regret that my friend was more discouraged than inspired when he finally got here.  Guess there was always that possibility.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mock Stardom for Ninety Minutes

Summer & Lightning
So this is what it's like to be a mock star...

The ELO show went surprisingly well, even though - yes - my hand missed the fret bar like some spaz noob  avatar.  You know I even took the lowest common denominator route and wore tight jeans, just in case.


I have to say the New London folk were very kind and turned a blind eye from the primcount of the instruments. Mayo - a neon fur space wolf - was just awesome on drums while coaching the crowd into a frenzy.  Jayne managed the lights while she played synths, guitar, and violin.  I ran the stream, controlled the weather (successfully) during certain songs, played two styles of guitar, keytar, and piano after Jayne & I played dual snares for the opening introduction (Drum Dreams).

It all went perfectly. I was shocked with how well it went actually, but certainly not complaining.  Would I do it again?  Got a year to think about it.

As for the saucer, there was no time to make a "serious" build, so I went with something that looked more like an inflatable object and added a little valve to it.  Other than the actual ELO logo the rest of the textures were original ;). I put two levels of tour shirts in it and a dance umbrella as freebies.

Of course in the end the most important thing was the music.  I put new songs, old songs, "previously unreleased" songs, with instrumentals at both ends to allow for much green chat.

 Ticket to the Moon

Lol we even had a stage diver who had to be removed.

All in all a great time. With it out of the way I got to check out the other events like the SL Cheerleader Squad, "Elvis", Wellzy's awesome Ska party, and a few others.

If you attended the ELO show, thanks for coming and hope you had a great time!

It was also a weekend for things in New Toulouse, including an old jazz/big band party on Sunday afternoon.  I'm really feeling comfy there. I guess I shouldn't have tried to fit into something so ill-suited for me with New Babbage. NT is more my speed and it's a part of my heritage.  Annnd tonight is Madhu's after my DJing at Bacchus.

btw fair warning: I got me a few new CDs of stuff I only had on vinyl, so I'll add some of the songs to Bacchus and New London playlists :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pre-Show Whining

I spent too much money on instruments I may never use again.  I probably need 3x my prim alotment. Someone is BOUND to break their leg right before the performance...

Have 3 more textures to make for the saucer, then it's set planning time.  Can use a sandbox I know.  Where things should be rezzed etc...

I decided not to go with the spacesuit.  Can't have elaborate joint torii on your body AND play instruments.  Might just stick with a retro rock'n'roll look. 

I want to offer a free tour shirt to attendees.  That's another prim.  Tipjars are to be 1 prim for each of us.

Headset.  Functional this time for carrying my voice (I have a script somewhere).  Might actually reduce the saucers for the design if not just use the available logo from the Jeff Lynne night I had last month.

And true to form:  someone has planned an event opposite my itsy 90 minutes guaranteed to divert contact list friends from attending.  Story of my life.

I'll be too busy with streaming, switches, animating, and counting to fifteen at the start of each song to think about taking snapshots, so if any of you attend tomorrow and get good pics, do share?

I wonder if I should make freebie dancing umbrellas like I did for Mardi Gras?  That's a thought!  Another prim...

Oh right.  One more thing to get... at 4D Studio... heh...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I can't understand why people need to fill their screens with them.  At Show & Tell you could build the freakin' Taj Mahal, but some guy follows you with a HUD demonstration and half the people there wet themselves. Just another thing you can do that you otherwise didn't need to, except you can play with onscreen buttons.  It's the one thing which puts fear into the hearts of builders group exhibitors.

Anyway, I normally have a teeny tiny HUD in one corner.  It calls up a menu for my TARDIS and - if I get a freudian urge - a sonic screwdriver if I happen to have one on me.  However in all fairness the sonic does have a few nice practical features.

Anyway, this tiny HUD leaves me to experience SL with minimal obstruction, just the way I like it.

That may have to change for Saturday's show.  Looks like I found my effects on the marketplace.  I'll be able to control things - and hope I don't mess up as I count 15 seconds after the start of every song.  I've little to worry about with blogging about this as most of my friends don't come to my DJ events; they'll never see me mess up for this one.

 An interesting twist is with magnum sims upgrading tomorrow.  I could conceivably make the saucer big enough to hover over the audience.  Except I don't like using V2.

I wonder if I should go the Westbury Music Fair route with staging?  If I could make the stage impervious to non-owner clicking then there are some REAL possibilities!

This is scary.  I haven't been this psyched in some time.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New London Festival this Saturday


I don't think I've ever seen a guitar player with convincing animation in Second Life.  And while I've seen a mock-up Wilburys concert once, it was a bit weird and I'd have just wanted to dance to the music regardless of who or what was on stage.

The pressure's on to put together something special this Saturday for my set at the New London Festival.  Well for someone like me it's pressure.  I'd like to hover a giant build over the audience.  I'd want it to produce lightning and storms... Yeah I think full contol of local environment via the saucer is what I'd do.

I guess I'd contol the colors and meteorological activity by a HUD.

It's not something I'd do as a habit,  but being a special event there are expectations and I want to live up to them.  After all I do it for everyone's enjoyment.  Give them a good time from their real lives.

If I could script.  Right now it's can only be an idea.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Good Week for a Change

It's been a good week.  While it's easy to be moved to write when there's misrepresentation or bullying to bring to light (I'll gladly leave irrational hate and fibbing for the schemers to spew forth), it's always great when things fall into place.

Removing certain groups from my list was very therapeutic.  I have one friend left whom I made in "that place" and I get a strong impression they're too polite to remove me but may prefer that I no longer existed in their world.  So far it's been only me saying hello.  I could be wrong, but I might remove a weight off their shoulders if I don't see a change.   It's times like these I'd like to be proven wrong, but conditional friends are barely any friends at all, if not grounds to be a friend when the tide turns.

We had an 80s Night at the beach on Monday.  Best dressed avatar contest in addition to 7Seas'.  I even made a plastic-look headset for the occasion.  The playlist was both easy and tough.  I had ripped a lot of CDs the day before and in minutes had almost three hours of music picked.  The tricky part was deciding what to leave out.  In the end everybody had a great time with many not having heard some songs since they were hits.  It always feels good when you know you've made someone's downtime worthwhile.  That's why I do it.  This is all about downtime.

New Albert Hall's working out as well.  I try to put something Who into that one for obvious reasons.  I've been invited to participate in London Fest.  I'd play a 90 minute set from one band (got dibs on Electric Light Orchestra).  Will see what I can prepare for that one in the way of multimedia accompaniment as it seems customary.  If anything it compensates for not having a Burn2 plot.

Furnished the treehouse as much as I'd want to. Who needs a bathroom or a kitchen in Second Life?!

More good news: deleted Google+

What negative occurrence can we turn into something positive?  The most unhappy news of all: the mortality of Abbotts AerodromeCubey Terra announced that it's up for sale in September.  This is more than just property, and many of us wish Linden Lab would strike a deal so it becomes property of LDPW with mole attractions and continued trips to Nova Albion and Hau Koda.  Even with a little arranging planes can start from Hau Koda back to Abbotts as well as out to Calleta's Hobo infohub (should they ever manage to stabilize the northern Sansara corridor).

 We can only hope to continue to see that grand tower as a symbol of the best our earliest mainland settlers had to offer...