Monday, December 29, 2014

Holiday season is here.

It's always a pleasant time. Great traditions the Christians claimed as their own while absorbing cultures worldwide for a millennia, all rolled up into one big celebratory season.

More people wear decorative antlers than Santa hats in Second Life.  There's just so much more you can do with them.

For me the aesthetic of a wagon in the woods reached perfection when the snows came to St John Woods last weekend.  I sat in my chair by the fire, sometimes on cushions in the wagon, and took in the glory of nature embracing its new season. Something I could never have in real life.  Not anymore at any rate; climate change has altered NYC's seasons forever.

You may be wondering how an early 20th century Louisiana community gets a snowy winter.  It doesn't.  St John's other three sims may have nippy mornings about now, perhaps rising into the 60s F on the average.  St John Woods is a deciduous equilibrium for those of us who need seasons. It never lost most of its rental base from its previous incarnation as a New England gothic community.  The location may be a touch more mystifying in its proximity but remains well defined by the seasons.

I may be committing a sin typing some of this on an iPhone during a rabbi's sermon.  He's a brilliant speaker; wish rabbis were socially savvy when I was a kid.  Dad is one of several people in his congregation who have turned 90 within the past few months.  There's a big celebration following the service with salads and cholent (hard to explain what cholent is. I'll asterisk it and explain at the end in italics)*.  During the service the celebrants were called up to the "stage" for an honorary chapter or "Par shah" reading from the torah, with Dad performing the "chapter blessing". It was an interesting sight, but unfortunately one I couldn't take pictures of.  Fundamentally it's not my faith any longer, but one can never lose their heritage. Or memory of recitals regardless of the years.

Reading today's chapter about Jacob and his bratty kids and Judah's daughter-in-law passed up the line of sons as they each dropped dead, I don't get how the Bible could ever be the foundation for a benevolent faith.  It's full of deception, indiscriminate screwing and murder.
My shop at the RFL Christmas Expo

Holiday season events were at least as numerous as there were for Halloween. Second Life had a fever for celebration this time around.

My booths at the Mieville Thames Frost Fair and Relay For Life's Christmas Expo may not have brought much sales - my items seldom do - but they did bring some attention to my venues in St John and some smiles here and there.  A comic story was among items displayed at the latter.

Toontown had some surprises in addition to annual clothing and street decor. Toons got to enjoy special winter outfits and accessories plus snowball fights in the playground.  The added joy of Snow around town and on the estate made for a magical holiday for all ages.
Snowman heads and gardening in the snow in Toontown Rewritten

*During special holidays plus the Sabbath, observant Jews may not create fire. This means cooking is not an option. However keeping an existing flame throughout is okay. Cholent is a stew of sorts made from meat, beans, etc. and spooned out throughout the day as desired.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In the Bonkers Month of November

I sit as I sometimes do, a mile walk away from home, in a Peruvian restaurant for breakfast.  It's a rare morning here: instead of TV they're playing Peruvian ballads.  30 years ago I would have revelled in a place which served Inca Kola.  Ah, back when alcohol and caffeine were just mild stimulants...

I'm always late putting my stuff down for the Fishiversary an FFF.  I used to take off a day before them, but RL is just too demanding of me lately.  Still lots more to catch in a few hours.  I suppose since I no longer have a fishing spot they're all exclusive for the festival.

The FFF is now on borrowed time - literally.  It continues until LL clears out the regions.

Now come the hats for 2 holiday markets. 

I asked my coworker about the 3 kings and it's apparent that aside from their cultural origins, their hats bear little resemblance from one image to another.  That leaves things wide open for some spectacular holiday mad hats, many of which will debut  at Mieville's Thames River Frost Fair. 

For those who never saw my novelty pools I'll be showcasing them too.  Back in the Blaxxun VRML days these were quite popular.  They've translated well for Second Life (mind you I've rebuilt them from scratch).  Debuting will be a series of kiddie style inflated pools in yummy holiday patterns.

Hot on the heels of this will be the Relay For Life Xmas Expo.  Two exclusive items will be offered there.  No thoughts yet on what.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Throwing Stones at a 2D Façade

September and November 2014 properties in Hydrangea
Okay we're in premium mode with no tier. A small shop with a drawn storefront on Route 4.

When I was a noob I questioned the logic of abandoning Mainland property you could just as soon sell. But there also comes the question of sitting on a large amount of land versus paying another month of tier. 

Tier is the great equalizer on Mainland.  It is your best friend when a tacky wannabe mall pops up to block your sunset.  You lack of interest will bring back your view.  Right now it's my best friend, buffering me from the fugly stylings of Banline Bob.

I had my building revelation at last and drew the details.  Literally. The façade is one big texture.  9 simple prims. Still pondering over the pavement out front.

Cartoon World alpha shop awaiting roof decoration and Linden intervention
(remove/lower tree blocking storefront and tweaking the path from Route 4)
November is proving to be the new October when it comes to off the scale bonkers busy.  I signed up for Mieville's holiday shopping sim, the 7Seas Fall Fishing Festival, and the Relay For Life Xmas Expo.  The first two require set up within the next 2 weeks, with RFL's in about 3.   New Daleks, mad hats, tie dyes and more to be made.  Will I have time to finally make a salvage rod?  Only time or lack thereof will tell.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time's Running Out...

The diner is going bye bye.

There were two possibilities:

1. LDPW would pick up the land and make something epic with it, and

2. I abandon most of it and give myself some time without "Banline Bob" doing the fugly up against my borders.

(Can you believe it? I did business with him and now he has banlines against me around a blank parcel. Any content he has is way out of range of them. What a redneck extortionist)

Funny how the moment you reduce a little, you get bullied via terrain.

The latter is what will occur; before November 1st the Starship Diner is going to get picked up.  Then again anything is possible with abandoned land, so maybe both will occur!

A small parcel may remain for something. Maybe a shop if I get up enough inspiration to design one. It would have to be minimalist given the prim quota.

I'd be interested in a rental on a private estate in the right community.

A second Scourgemobile below joins the other one cited last blog post.
If it were easy I would have picked it up by now.  It's not. That's been my main property for over 5 years.

Thursday night it's going.

Good riddance AnnMarie.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Is This Good-bye to the Starship Diner?

The time has come.

I'm not sure when or how or how much, but I'm planning to reduce my Mainland footprint even further and pick up the diner. 

It was great concept and I had to indulge in the aesthetic of allowing people to drive on the road with a rest stop looming on the horizon, a lit sign breaking the rural darkness.  I've done that for over five years, and many people have stopped their vehicles in my parking spots, noobs checking out the food replicator...

But with Annmarie's drunk Scourgemobiles permitted to dominate Mainland routes and run pedestrians and residential riders off the roads, I'm compelled to withdraw enhanced support for Linden Labs.  Since Jack left there's been very little evidence in the Lab's desire to, as he put it, take an active role as landlord of the grid's largest estate.

Why isn't Annmarie oToole aka Annmarie Oleander aka AnnMarie Resident permbanned?
Seems Linden Labs needs their business more than mine. They've made that clear.
That and bloody stupid timing. I think I can count on one hand when we had a proper gathering in there. Most of the time it was just me. Always someone's rez day or RL thing or something.

I haven't yet decided whether I'm keeping a little for a shop or leave mainland altogether.  I've begun to add items to the Marketplace.  I've made so much over the years yet offered so very little of it.

The "other skybox landlord" has placed stupid banlines along our common border. Stupid because he just constructs skyhomes which aren't occupied, then sends them up where there are no banlines anyway. 

Personally I think the moles should make a diner right on that spot.

Since beginning this entry I've put seasonal mad hats on the SL Marketplace.

My knee is shaping up well.  The tough part of physical therapy is having to cancel it, and I feel next week should be my last one.  I've bonded well with my therapist and will miss her.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Miraculous Recovery?

Since about Tuesday I can carefully scale the steps one leg over the other.

Their citing the location of the torn meniscus brought to light that I have had this in both knees since about eight years.  So what had been causing the pain and compromised ability?  Orthopedist couldn't say but shared that he'd seen a record number of patients about knee pain over the past couple of months.

Physical therapist was amused that I knew most of the exercises she was going to assign me for home, those which I was able to resume this week in fact.  She also echoed the orthopedist in that I am to refrain from any mile-plus walking, to keep them short.  I guess sticking to the designated home exercise regimen between sessions makes up for it, at least for the time being.

I'm sorry to say I had an ambitious walk from my primary to get some groceries then home yesterday.

Miz Gabi took time out to shift me over into the woods, so the wagon rolled down to it's new spot. All I can say is: ahhhhh!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Let the Healing Begin

Seraph Club enjoyed quite a debut.  The live singer - which was actually a karaoke singer (I suppose I'm the last to know how these types of performances work) was a perfect match as a 30s-40s style torch singer, with an hour of DJing by Mr Pearse following.  The turnout was difficult to gauge because the sim employs a parade of bots for shop window dummies and staged civilians.  You'd think for events they'd dismiss those to minimize lag. 

Anyway if I were to gauge I'd say there were over forty in the club at some point.  It was a good crowd, and I know most of them.  I'd imagine many had to set their RL alarms to attend for this special milestone...

I've just met with the orthopedist. Torn meniscus. Not the end of the world but it could be if I'm not careful.  Mayo clinic's description of symptoms is spot on.  It's not severe so surgery is not critical, so let the PT begin!
What to do about a shop next to the diner? Still feel I should have it somewhere else. I'm not as inspired as I'd like to be about what for a building I'd want for Cartoon World where I'm situated.  The toony ones I found were high LI (I expected better of mesh) and I'm at a loss for any private sims for shopping and whether their prospects are good ones.

Toonfest has been extended for a week to allow more people to experience it. With the deluge of so many players hitting Toontown Rewritten at the same time the developers had their stress test and made a maddening number of updates within a couple of days.  The new content is impressive and the prospect of getting doodles is promising.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

September Pain Management Round Up


They cut Dad loose early from rehab.  While he's regained most of his ability to walk, his mental abilities have taken a hit.  He spent several days in a mental fog in ICU due to an infection and thankfully emerged from it, but not without lingering consequences.  While the episode left him without memory of that time and just prior (including when he went to ER), he's forgotten discussions from two days ago and sometimes repeats things from hours earlier or the previous day. He's nodded off - not an issue of itself, but he doesn't remember doing it: "I was changing channels when it was several hours later." That's new and has me a little concerned.

Maybe it took this coming home alone on a Friday with no post-rehab aides for days (shame on Empire Blue Cross for this decision; how low and callous our healthCARE has descended!) for Dad to realize that a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom co-op all alone isn't a good place for him.  A month ago the thought of him coming home wasn't even conceivable.

He never listens to me except about things computer (and I still can't persuade him to get a Windows7 PC for $300).  It took a cousin overseas to recommend assisted living to him, and finally he's taking that notion seriously. 


In the meantime his Meals on Wheels has resumed and is now - after my contacting his rehab counselor - getting an aide coming a few hours a day.  That's awesome. 

My knee had its MRI today.  Results Monday.  Fonars are awesome, but for the knee (when you can stand) you stand at an incline for 30 pre-programmed minutes without moving the lower half of your body.  I came out of it walking better once I was able to move and feeling returned to my feet.  I tried to sneak a result out of them by asking whether I should start physical therapy with the referral already given me and he blankly said wait till I meet with my doctor.

I set myself back Monday by trying to walk one step over the other instead of one at a time exiting a subway station.  Since then it's leave 45 min early and take a cab ($10-11) to station in the morning to beat rush hour and students, then leave 15-30 min early to go home.

With the turning of the leaves it's time to head for the forest.

Standing for 30 min straight has caught up with me.  There are consequences of the diagnostic.  Not quite the same. 'One step at a time' I need to keep telling myself.  Forget that a year ago this month the elevators were being replaced and I was walking down and up 5 flights of steps almost daily with groceries.

Most days coming home I catch a bus at the station depot home.  I miss getting amenities throughout the week. 


Probably would have taken today off if the boss hadn't.  Anyway results Monday.


Today begins Toonfest. One year since Toontown Online was shut down comes a 3 day celebration and open beta for Toontown Rewritten.  You may not see me too much over the next couple days. On the other hand the servers have been down since the relaunch. I sort of expected that.

Today is also "Talk Like a Pirate Day" which means I flaunted my Captain Blood edition pirate outfit while fishing.

Saturday night will be the grand re-opening of the Seraph Club at Vintage Retro. Expecting a crowd so I'll have my TIS HUD on before I arrive.  Am I thrilled that someone other than Mr Pearse will be providing the music?  Not very.  A place is only a place, and I'll have come for his unique presentation and set list.

Would I expect you to attend my monthly set there starting October?  If you've enjoyed what I've done in the past then by all means come for more each second Sunday from 12:30pm SLT.

Before that though there's Mieville's Halloween and fall festival and my October gig at Swing Moon. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Avatars Gone Wild

Tatas, boobies, melons, tomatoes, titties...

I backed away from SL's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSBC) like a hot potato shortly after it began last year.

All those people who died, more so because they wouldn't even get checked out of prudence or embarrassment.

Well what did you think you sounded like to most people?  You're so fucking immature you cannot bring yourselves to use "breast" in your promotions.  It's breast cancer.  You already know what it sounds like when people cannot say "cancer"; it's like being unable to face the disease. Everything for MSBC has to be a cheap innuendo for you.  It's disrespectful to those who've suffered and died.  Somewhere along the line "more birthdays" have have taken a back seat to "save the tits so we have more to fondle!"  You cannot face this disease without mocking body parts and where death is making its entrance.

Even now Firestorm's MOTD is promoting Rock Your Rack.

It's not that my standards are too high.  It's that yours are so low, and I speak for many.

A friend in Second Life passed away months back.  While she had a debilitating illness which left her paralyzed, it was the onset of breast cancer which was the final straw and she requested no more food and let it end.

I believe in continuing the fight, but not here.  I'll keep my participation for this in the real world.  Actually with a knee headed for possible arthroscopy I'll have to sit this one out in NYC as well.  That's okay.  Got my off-season Relay tools. 

I'll switch Relay For Life Volunteer group notices back on after Halloween when the coast is clear.  We'll meet back for the Christmas Expo.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Month of Liquidation

Reducing my Mainland footprint has gone well, with the bulk of available land waiting a couple more days for the longtime skybox rental to check in (they moved in RL).  I may have to try the new one if I don't hear back. After that it's parcel splitting and abandon as an absolute last resort. Update: She's taking some of my land. So far so good!

Everything else is to plan, with the Nova Albion parcel having sold quickly and an odd piece east of the diner going to LDPW as part of Bridge Road.

Working on the replacement build for St John, which will make its debut in less than a week.  I'll miss having an attic to crash in town; in its place will be a speakeasy for monthly swing.  Still working out some aesthetics.  A texture shop northeast of Hydrangea had exactly what I needed for the speakeasy walls, with a little something from me and antique clip art as well (and subject to change on a whim).

The manifestation of a Cartoon World shop remains a mystery.  I'm not inspired by atomic age or cottage style.  Would like round and whimsical mesh but only see it in my imagnation.  The recent Funny Puppet Fair town was close but the creator had nothing inworld or on the marketplace.

Funny Puppet Fair
Also I'm more game to take on a ground or sky shop with multiple quota to set some items out.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Is it the End of an Era?

The Starship Diner Fishing area was taken down Monday night.
I cannot afford to live on Mainland. Not as much as I have been. Work had too many wage freezes since the fall of 2008 and everything goes up.  Health insurance are crooks and joined the club of taking from the middle so now I have a co-pay PLUS deductible or percentage.  $40 per month just isn't feasible.  Then there's Linden Labs' shadow of a moderation team to protect its premium residents and allowing prims and particles to rain down for days.

I was thinking of going back to Bay City, but my final meeting with the BC Alliance reminded me why I'd left.  Had composed a detailed notecard to read about most things which forced me out and pondering whether it was time to return, but it wasn't to be.  I never got to read it.  It was an interesting hour of observation.

Goodbye, Bay City.

And Goodbye Nova Albion once my parcel sells (I've undercut everyone and with luck some landflipper will bite).  I'll be there for your special events and anniversaries.

The gallery is gone. I'll have exhibits around the grid at some point, but the Cartoon World shop will focus on salable art. It's crowding the ground level so I'll see about a sky shop or private estate rental. I'm quite sure I can unload any land Toryn doesn't need.

Meanwhile look for more activity in St John very soon, RL permitting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Recovering... Recovering...

Ever have one of those days when you're done wearing purple but forgot how to wear anything else?  On the Monday after I honestly didn't know what to change into post-Relay Weekend.

Message to self: arrange group shot of team.
Holocluck Snurky Toryn Lemondrop Sev Seven BB Grey
(Lemondrop was invited for pic as nearby designer & friend)
 I woke up to a Toontown Rewritten session under way by ten minutes. Red bunny finally completed Toontown Central tasks.  They've added more servers and brought down the wait time.  The sessions have been far more stable. Pretty soon Seven and I will be able to coordinate playtime sessions.  A small cog invasion for part of it gave bunny a nice boost in gags.  Big question is who among my three docks-worthy toons gets to progress?

Penny Pincher on Seaweed Street

I rescued Tindy from rising waters to hang out at the Telethon Studios. We have to perfect our silliness; it went better last year.  I blame the high seats at the news desk.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Eve of Relay

Another year and another Relay Weekend.

This year I dominated the campsite build

Flashback 2012: someone on the team accused me of being a control freak when the rest of us were compelled to make a snap decision after she walked out on us during the eleventh hour. We returned everything and in the end, everyone together made a very appealing campsite within a day.

This year I asserted myself as "official control freak" and came up with Amethyst City.  Oz would never leave my mind, not since last August when the 2014 theme Journey of Hope was first announced. 

My generation in the USA can recite most of the movie, irregardless of cultural background, preferences, class, with the possible exception of the Amish.

Our team logo is that of the Tin Woodman's heart.  A deceptive object, as deceptive as the creature.  How can something empty and hollow be capable of so much generosity?  How can a clockwork heart be responsible for compassion and love?  Maybe something is inside you don't or cannot see... As with the movie, it's been there all along and maybe one just needed a reminder, or maybe for others to see one must wear one's heart on their sleeve.  Or shirt.

London Village was to have their annual festival this weekend, regardless of the name of their sim.  I haven't heard anything since May, not even group notices.  Hmmm...

Anyway there was a point I wanted to make about the campsite...

Oh yes!  It's almost complete with the help of longtime friend Toryn.  And Aley of course.  I have a plaque on a wall thanking Aley for creations, a true godsend for the hopelessly unscriptable. 

So this year I was proactively the control freak. You can call me that this year with regard to the campsite. It's okay because you'd be right.

On the track at RFL - Fight Back sim.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Coasting towards July

I'm glad I haven't had to add money into SL, considering the medical bills and being two months back on rent.  Last week was epic for DJing from Sunday to Sunday.  Can things really be turning around for me for specialty genres and ecclectic segues?  I think I'll just enjoy this for as long as it is and not read too deep into it...

My friends have settled back into the best of both worlds for their homestead: seaside Britannia at ground level and a Classic Doctor Who rpg space station way up.  Not a single TARDIS landed on a fisher during Sunday's contest.

A friend of mine has moved in next door in hydrangea, which is pretty cool.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It Gets Better From Here

The Weekend From Hell is past.

Friends and blog followers know what was planned. I'd like to think in a parallel universe out there the same planner meeting took place and it all worked out. It should have been in this universe, but these are strange times and it spawns people driven by a strange set of values. For those who came to support us, thank you, especially if you enjoyed what little we were permitted to do. A special "thank you" to Gabrielle Riel for hosting the Dark Masquerade Ball, which was amazing and added a touch of elegance to the weekend. Also as captain of Hearts and Souls a big thank you to my team for their efforts, creations, participation inworld and offgrid... everything you do counts!

The weekend ended Monday night with a St John's Eve celebration in New Toulouse Bayou. It was a spiritual cleansing with the Voodoo community, for which I played a set entirely of Cajun, Zydeco, gospel, regional jazz and blues.

Next gigs after Wed fishing are the annual Bay City party on location at SL11B Friday evening and Electro-Swing on the SL11B Cake Stage Sunday morning.

Next project is the campsite for Relay Weekend.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

World Cup is Everywhere This Year

In Jackson Heights it is impossible to get away from World Cup Fever. Half the neighborhood sports their country's official football jersey. It's amusing to see entire families in matching tops. 

Restaurants bakeries and bars all have a myriad of flags outside for Colombia Ecuador Brasil and many others. The dominant shirts in order of descending popularity are Colombia, Spain and Mexico. I imagine one sees more for Mexico over on Roosevelt Avenue, but overall it's Colombia worn enmasse.

A mess of flags outside a bakery

I'm sitting in a Colombia bakery for breakfast.  Someone stares at me as though I'm eating my arepa wrong, or possibly because I'm wearing an Old Navy surf tee. Heh.  More colors have since arrived and I have no idea whom they represent (looking them up later on the Adidas site I see they're variations of the top three: home vs away).  I only saw a couple of people wearing the green and yellow for Brasil.

The people I know online get "funny" during football finals, so I keep my distance. I'd prefer to steer clear of their blind, all-or-nothing mindset until the fever passes and someone gets stupid and insults me for no coherent reason other than they don't like my country's football team.  Someone tried to do that shit to me once over American football - I don't know who it was over the Giants or the Jets. IMHO New York State doesn't have a gridiron football team since they're both based in New Jersey.  Anyway I'm staying away from people who are temporarily insane from my perspective until their eyes take on human coloration once again.

Which reminds me... I wonder what this month's theme for Breakfast in Babbage could be?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Open Letter to a Belligerent Snipe Teleporter

I have a message for your kind when you find this post.

You think you're so great, that you're above common courtesy because "this is SL," but you're not and you're not.  You're just another spoiled brat who grew up in the Internet Age and we're all NPC's to you: a bunch of text on the screen.  We're fodder, a body count for your whim. Press a button and see what proportion of them come running. The rest? Eh! Who cares, right? God knows why you even bother pursuing Relay For Life.  You certainly have no regard for anyone else's life but your own.  Running around Playing Charity will not redeem you.

Oh was it someone you knew offline?

We're different? We don't count because we're text?

Well guess what? Each line of text denoting an avatar has a story, a history, a life you're incapable of acknowledging.  They could be sick, poor, in debt, healthy, busy, rich and privileged - like yourself, or maybe so pathetic they just sit inworld wondering: "gee, I wonder who will teleport me to something cool this hour?" 

I'll say it again: when you pay for my Second Life. you can pluck me from whatever I'm doing to whatever you're doing. But you won't get the chance.  You should have thought about the consequences of your actions when you thought I had the audacity to object to your rude behavior.  You REALLY should have done since your only association is a cooperative project among two groups and your behavior impacts on your group's reputation.

Taking responsbility for one's actions. It isn't just for the other guy you know.

You think you're so hot, but you're nothing more than a toxic cloud now. Yes, no more a person to me than I was to you. You may garner favoritism and sympathy from friends because I'm male and you're female, and they may choose to believe your embellished account (as you conceal your actual role in this incident, your rude, unremorseful superiority and penchant for burning bridges) because you're their friend and you have such a cutesy way of typing your name out with extended characters.  I'm sure you figured I had more to lose if I said anything so you took the initiative to do whatever you wanted. You were mistaken.

Anyway you had your chance to pardon yourself on the spot for your rudeness and you blew it.

Now here comes a breeze.

Friday, June 6, 2014

June Madness Continues

Well, scratch Fashion For Life this year. I was ready to sign up but there's been no time to prep for it.  Next year.

I have some more talents in mind for the Sizzlin' Halloween Weekend stream schedule, and notecards for them go out tonight. Whatever slots are left the members of Harmony of Hope team can fill them in.   Notecards are going out tonight since I'm not getting answers via IM.  The promo poster looks good; anything with the right mood and can be read from a distance is good.  Someone on their team wants to do PR. Fine with me given everything I have to do this month :)

 Anyway I've been working on my SL11B build during breaks at work.  As often is the case, the bulk of it involves texturing. Lots of Sharpie this year.

It's now time to reserve the RFL campsite space. I know whom I'd like to be near and whom I wouldn't want to be in the same parsec with (the latter of course would be unavoidable).  I checked with one of my fave designers and she will in fact be doing something for the track again. Hooray!

We had a dumbass griefer at fishing Wed night.  Bottom line: you're a guest on someone's property.  Fishing is not a public event and nobody owes you a thing.  I do it to give back to the best community in Second Life.  I use my own money to do it, which gives me discretion over who is welcome to it. Anyone who causes trouble or sits beyond banlines is stealing IMHO.  Fishing in its heyday wasn't about the prize pot, even when some like Razzap had one out. It was about the special catches and trophies, the people, and fun. 
Neville wearing a Neville-inspired Go Relay! shirt

Anyway I asked in IM if they could cool it with the gun humor (said "I'm going to shoot you" to someone ahead of them in the game, someone I had just said we were happy to see her back and with us [following her ordeal with chemo]). Holy crap talk about clueless.  They went on and on amd riled themselves up with very little coaxing.  A day later I hear he's muted by many people and has had alts on banlists.  Every eject is a difficult move, but I don't feel so bad about this one now. 

What made it poignant was that no sooner had I ousted him from the property with a flurry of idiotic rhetoric coming back in via IM than the scene shook and we had a sim restart countdown.  The contest ended well before then but with 37ish to go it went back up to the 200s in the countdown. That's when I went to the stability of Livingtree sim to make an AR. I have a screenshot of the Hydrangea scene but there's no means to submit it.  If it weren't for the "reset countdown" I would have assumed this was part of the rolling restarts.  Anyway if it's a viewer or sim bug then LL can toss it and we'll rest easy that he is a harmless little sociopath.

Which brings me to pursue what I can do to disable this shaking nonsense.  Whomever came up with that was on drugs.

Tonight the final SciFi Convention fishing contest. While I can't really stop freakeh from fishing there, I can give the con security team a heads up in case he tries anything.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

We Are all Powers of Ten T-E-N

When I was in Jr High
On Auditorium Day...
A Wednesday...
We saw a film.

It began with a family picnic, then zoomed out exponentially
Until we were in space
Far, far away from Earth
From even our solar system or galaxy.

Then the view came crashing back

and into one of the picnickers
Zoomed in, again exponentially
The film left us at the subatomic level.

It was a very disconcerting end.

I bring this up
because this film has served as a unit of measure for me

The Big Bang is like this film, and with it all existence.

Society works the same way.

Regard if you will why De-evolution makes sense...
From the big bang
to a cohesive galaxy
to a system
to a planet to forming an atmosphere after having broken free from the sun
to settle into an orbit
to cool down
to form life
to freeeeeeezeannnndtoooooo
yesIknowitwasfromamassivemeteorhit but indulge me
and then a thaw
reconstituting materials for life
forming civilizations,
developing, progressing, annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd
we've hit our peak havent we?
We're falling backwards.
Our civilizations are falling away faster than we can progress,
the climate is crumbling
we're moving minutely towards the sun
(not the biggest reason for climate change, I learned about direct rays in school too)
The direction our planet takes seems to have an effect on us.
Like Power of Ten.
We are de-evolving.
We passed the tipping point.
We are DEVO

Where will humanity
or what humanity finally becomes
finds itself in the end?

Will it be lost in a sea of viscous, chaotic material?
Will we lose our cohesion?
Only the next Big Bang would tell
But that's another film entirely.

- Holocluck Henly
The Pen, Tue June 2nd 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

June is Wacko Schedule Month

I don't know what it is about June and October in Second Life that there are way too many major events jammed into one month than is possible to attend much less participate in or coordinate.

Here is June's breakdown for me thus far:
- DJing for a fundraiser for team Brooklyn during an art auction.
- SLSFCon7 - finally recognized as a Relay For Life mega event.  DJing, shop, and booth for team. Also 7Seas fishing contests on site Mon & Fri
- Fashion For Life - applying for a shop this week.
- Nova Swing night.
- Castles Contest week hosted by team Strange Journeys.  DJing.  I believe they'll have places for team shops.
- SL11B - DJing and exhibit. Started work on it.
- Simwide weekend Hearts & Souls is working out with team Harmony of Hope.  More about that when it's time, and by the right people.  As performance coordinator I'm looking to bring in many people known around the grid who are not common faces at Relay For Life mutli-team gatherings. Also DJing that Saturday Morning.
- Begin building the Relay Weekend campsite.
Busy enough?
Still plan to attend A Piece of the Action at the Seraph Club and Breakfast in Babbage this month as well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Events and all Sundry

The autoimmune battle appears to be going well. My latest food intolerance rest came back with no redline foods and just a couple of moderate choices to visit only periodically. My year abstaining from rice paid off to some degree, but it still sends me a flag, so I may be reacting to it in some other way.  While my intolerance to Gilatin has dropped from severe to moderate, I  still need to keep a diligent eye out for anything made from wheat, oats, spelt, buckwheat, and so on.

Working with Adobe Audition has been some learning curve.  Snurky recorded clips at work and I mixed them to serve as "commercials" for last Thursday's DJ gig at Fantasy Faire.  It's strange that AVS4you's audio edit program is as difficult as it is. Truth to tell her PSA this year was mixed in their video editor, then converted.  Pity the audio prog doesn't work like the video prog for sound...

The PSAs all mixed well in Audition with the exception of volume control.  One I turned down the gain and the other up.  I really have to wonder why they came out differently if she allegedly recorded them back to back.  And how to reliably change the volume when the peak bar is unreliable.

Looking ahead I may engage some voices for upcoming gigs.  That was kinda fun.

The next RFL gig is this weekend for Relay Stock, with the return of new tie dyes including longer and hemmed versions and ladies' leggings.  That's just from me. Other members of the team will be putting out dresses, jewelry and more.

For those whom 8am SLT is primetine or late morning I'll be playing a groovy 2-hour set.  Beatles, Bee Gees, Donovan, Monkees, Rolling Stones, Tommy James, etc etc. 

SFCon7 will be next, with emphasis on comics, superheroes and other genre subjects. My team mates will also have offerings at one of the space stations.   Hot on those heels will be Fashion For Life.  There's a good chance I'll have a shop there as well, which will allow people to continue to get the new items offered at SFCon7 plus exclusive casual apparel.

June will continue with 3 home grown events, two for RFL. Team Strange Journeys will have a Medieval themed week (DJing and vendors).  This runs into SL11B, where I've applied for a parcel and applied for a DJ spot for Electro-Swing; if asked I'll be happy to play a set for the Bay City Pavillion as well.  Another RFL team is planning a themed weekend, and Hearts & Souls may collaborate with them if I can find some other conscious members of the team who may not be builders and still want to help inworld in some way.

Throughout this I've been planning our Relay Weekend campsite.  I may lasso scripters for some "effects" and reacquaint myself with QVanimator for custom poses.  There's enough to give my fellow builders something to do and add their personalities to the presentation.  With me in charge of the team this year our ultimate goal is once again back to keeping the sim's resources down to make it easier for relayers to get through and keep the server up while offering an engaging and appealing presentation.  Going to see if we can share the sim with certain teams/artists.

Somewhere during these will be two outpatient procedures...

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

April into May

The Fishiversary was great fun, and most fishing spots included Flat Meissa, which was epic.  The Shikamis made the most of the situation as well as hosted their own contests.  For one of them they rode a boat with an alpha defining the board's sensory limits, resulting in a mad game of tag via sea and air. Aley's builds were out in force, both as fishing spots (including part of mine) and vessels.

Fish tag contest at the Fishiversary
Working on my art for shirts. I still haven't decided on Fashion For Life but signed up for a parcel for Cartoon World at SFCon7 in addition to a place in a space station for the team to put up vendors.

I'm planning the campsite; as soon as the shirts are ready it's all about SLB and RFL.

Tonight it's "re-learn audition" and edit up some gab Snurky recorded in her office for Thursday's Fantasy Faire gig from 5pm SLT.

In two weeks it's Relay Stock where we have a hippie van where we'll offer clothes and jewelry, plus 2 hrs of me on Sat afternoon (or was it Saturday morning? I have it written somewhere.  Was sure it was 8-10am SLT, which is morning AND afternoon local time). 

Check back in and see!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Always must look at the big picture

Relay For Life. Wonderful cause and they encourage people to do something. You look at all these cool things you can do to raise money for charity. You're psyched and ready to get out there and think: I can do that.

No you can't.

If you're not an established presence, don't expect a good turnout.  The hotshots are out in force with their friends and friends' friends too so your efforts and voice get smaller and smaller until you're a speck.  The theory that having a regular event brings in more people is a myth; either you have it or you haven't.  And nothing says camraderie like teams of friends' and acquaintances scheduling opposite.  Consider towel thrown in. I'll be sticking with slots at existing festivals and faires. Except Halfway There Fair. Because I wasn't invited to that.  Voiceless DJ, remember?

Thank you to those who attended Hearts & Souls' Friday events and had a good time with us. 

Our weekly music event for RFL will conclude this Friday on location at the Starship Diner pier at the Fishiversary.  I'll be playing a 90 minute set from 7pm SLT. Lots of Surf tunes!

On that note, it's 7Seas' 6th Fishiversary this coming weekend.  I'm working on some new catchable Daleks as well as a new Dalek for RFL donation to accompany the perennial Purple Dalek (you saw it first with me in 2011).  It will be good to see the Shikamis again.  Their key builder Meissa Thorne has departed Second Life but I have a Flat Meissa coming along for the Starship Diner pier.  Also expect many silly wearables debuting.  I've got great neighbors, with WyVy on one side and Marianne & Pygar on the other. Toryn was my buddy request but her place is on the far end of the next sim! *arrgh*

I love my new Swing Club.  Look for action each second Saturday. Sometimes it's friends, sometimes it's folks from the retro circuit, sometimes it's just me and Seven.  We have fun regardless. You should come.  You're missing great tunes. Usually from 6pm SLT.

St John is a nice place. I'm happy Miz Gabi made it. It's laid back and barely a hint of drama to be found. I randomly play an hour here and there on my stream when I feel like it. It's all about the European influence in the architecture, the Jazz, the heady scent of magnolia, and the low down, all existing in harmony.  There's tea and cakes so come on by.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Is SL Conducive to Mobile? or SLGo's 1001 Uses

March marked working twelve years in the same place in RL.  To get to that I survived two major waves of layoffs.  Since the financial crisis in fall 2008 the company I work for hasn't been the same.  Wellness solutions take a back seat during these rough times, and while we enjoyed a period of recovery, it just wasn't long or strong enough.  Also there's been a definite direction during this time towards mobile usage versus stationary home and office computers.  Stats show (always enable cookies or companies cannot learn what and what not to change) that the majority of people who visit our website do so via mobile web browsers.  Our homepage redirects them to a mobile site but the fact of the matter remains.

We have both online and offline products (our company predates mainstream Internet) and for the first time this past year, people are turning away from the traditional and expecting more for their smartphones and tablets.

I can see where there may be interest in bringing Second Life to full capability in mobile apps, and SLGo makes for an impressive demonstration, but even SLGo does not allow a user to do just anything.  With Pocket Metaverse and Lumiya you have apps with limited capabilities: both are best served by jumping inworld to IM contacts, then jump back out before the battery burns up.  I know because I've used both.  While Lumiya wins for 3D rendering, the landscape is posterized and crude. None of these will ever take the place of a hands on full use viewer on desktop or laptop.

That goes the same for SLGo with regard to functionality.  It's a lite viewer in that its purpose is to experience Second Life.  Explore, shop, adjust your outfit, take in a performance.  You can rez for the purpose of unpacking and such, but you cannot build. This is a licensed product and there are limits, and it does not connect the same way a conventional viewer would.

At an introductory interview / Q&A session hosted by Prim Perfect's Saffia Widdershins and Elrik Merlin, Nate Barsetti - a former Linden - explained the tech behind SLGo.  Their powerful servers do the rezzing and rendering on your behalf and the results are broadcast to your app or plug-in.  One stands a chance to take advantage of superior maneuverability during special events.  SLGo is designed for both mobile AND desktop, and those with particularly slow or inferior resources for Second Life would experience less lag and full-on quality viewing.  Take that a step further: a "season pass" to Fantasy Faire, Home & Garden Expo, or SLB can make these the times of your virtual life.  I suggested that at the time.  

Their rates now include deals. Imagine attending a week of Burn2 and not feeling the heat of an overburdened system. While some lag and sim strain will persist in heavily visited sims, the majority of it comes from your own computer from rendering fellow avatars. I know people who never had to run on low graphics during a Relay Weekend. If they don't have to, with SLGo neither should you. If you were thinking about trying SLGo, smoketest during a special event and let us know how things worked out.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Leakage & Tunage

Monday: Complications in the wound area.  Or not. Checking with the surgeon's office tonight I may be too late to host fishing. I cant imagine any physician turning down a quick $50 co-pay.  Wednesday UPDATE: to be expected.  He says it's due to the sudden rise in activity since my returning to work.  Honestly there's no such thing as taking it slow on the stairs or getting a seat in a priority corner once you're back in commuting mode.

The Nova Albion 10th Anniversary celebration went off quite well.  Unfortunately perennial favorite Christov Kohnke was too ill to play.  I extended my set to 90 minutes and used the first twenty for some rock favorites including a smouldering cover of This Masquerade by the Carpenters (the song is a popular Christov selection).  Then I went into swing/electro-swing.  RacerX Gullwing was on hand and timelapsed the entire event.

The first "Fridays at the Starship Diner" for Relay For Life went well.  It might have fared better if I could keep awake longer and kept going, but it was a very rough work week and hosting back-to-back events just added up.  Maybe next time I could make it thru 830 or 9pm SLT and give a little more to the west coasters.  Hmmm theme this week...

My fate in the CRFB Top DJ competition depends on what happens for the remainder of the first round.  I passed L$15,000  (about USD65) for my Surf n Soul Beach Party hour. If I advance I can decide whether or not to run with an genre or era or just play a variety.  Win or lose, we won together. GO RELAY! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Taking Care of Business

Schmoozing in Britannia Village prior to Nova Albion 10th celebration
With winter's thaw it was time to make my way back to town. Maison Bleu stands once again in a Riel-run French Quarter. It feels right. With the added allowance I can think about including coffee and tea with my cakes, and with this year's carpal tunnel procedure I can unleash more art featuring Jazzy the Cat.

I'll be hosting a weekly evening at the diner, playing tunes for tips toward Relay For Life. I thought about Fridays but it runs into occasional gigs I like to attend. After that it would be Tuesdays I suppose. I can't get my teammates together at one time for a consensus.

(God I hate commuting. I missed my co-workers but if I never had to ride with asshole students ever again it wouldn't be too soon. This guy dissed women Indians Italians Latinos and African Americans in the space of three minutes. You'd think he was a red state redneck. Hurry up June!)

The St Paddy edition of music and fishing was surprisingly well-attended for a Monday. A&M had come out with their Electroswing group dance and we had fun with it. With the prog conflict out of the way I could DJ, be in SL and run Fraps simultaneously. I still hate SL Viewer; it's such a user unfriendly piece of shit; thank goodness I don't turn media on when using this software.

Starship Diner on St Patrick's Day a video by Holocluck Henly on Flickr.
I'm typing this on my way to the office for the second time since my return.  I never used the cane and no regrets, but I'd be an idiot if i didn't take advantage of support the abdominal binder offers.  If only the velcro wasn't such a pain in the ass.

Now it's a matter of who can drive me to the pre-op test and procedure for Carpal Tunnel. I was going to shoot for mid-April but with hay fever around there I've decided to shift over to June (somewhere in May I have obligatory jury duty after 3 postponements).

That leaves events for Relay For Life... we have a few lined up, but before that it's the CRFB Top DJ competition and I'm up for my hour Saturday 22nd at 2pm SLT. Come lend your support while listening to a great segue, and please tip the kiosk generously :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weird Al Doesn't Mention My Hernia

Past the inevitability by three weeks and a disconcerting mass of melting stitches irritating the area.  A fresh knee injury about 12 days ago complicated physical therapy (it's possible something should not have been tried so soon) and I'm now expected to use a cane and the abdominal binder when I return to the office on Monday.

I came through it and that's what counts.  I've since graduated to water in 2 litre bottles and lifting the juce. I discovered something new and made a large pot of sancocho last week which gave me 6 meals thus far and expected to dole out another 2. Exercises except stairs continue to progress and my nurse signed off on Friday.  Next stop is carpal tunnel.

I don't think I've been more nervous DJing than I was for the Relay For Life Kick-Off last week.   Just stage fright I know, but the port or IRQ battle the Lame broadcast plug-in DLL has with TPV's reached a new high earlier that day when system clothes wouldn't load with any of them and I resorted to my old ARMORD tribute robot suit instead of a tux at the Seraph Club.  

After clearance using PSA's and no mic and performing a character test I went on Phoenix and dutifully kept my cam aimed for the ground and prayed for stability.

Anyway I was so fearful of port demise that I confessed to Bain Finch one my darkest inworld secrets.  Bain: it never happened, okay?

The set itself I had full confidence in.  I approach music segues the same way I approach a drawing or a story.  There's this knack I have for putting playlists together.  They first part was an interpretation of the journey, from discovery and feelings of isolation to support, bope, and triumph then celebration.  Nothing sends a message better than music: not stuttering, not drunken rambling, not singing over beloved recordings, and NEVER interrupting a tune with thankyouverymuch.

I hope Trader approved and yeah maybe by relay weekend I'll have full DJing capabilities.  A test with SL Viewer was a success last night (although SLV has a thoroughly unpleasant lack of basic features with its all-or-nothing text chat functionality) and I could take snapshots while streaming via LAME.

I still have the old VISTA PC and if there's a way to network that, perhaps I can DJ on a completely different CPU.  Wouldn't that solve everything!

I will start doing weekly sets at the Starship Diner for Relay For Life. Maybe based on themes and eras and always at the same day and time. So heads up: Hearts & Souls will be in your face each Friday from 7-8:30pm SLT!  *GO RELAY!*

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

An Inevitability Draws Near

I feel as though I'm living by a countdown clock.

In less than one week I am to have a benign growth removed. In less than ten I am to have umbilical hernia surgery.

This is how the hernia played out.  In late summer of 2012 I felt a small lump on the side of my navel.  The doctor chuckled and dismissed it as "an umbilical scar."  I thought: does he actually believe if this existed since I was born that I'd come to him with it after all these decades?

By September or October his tune changed when this lump became visually obvious.  It was a hernia.  He didn't feel I needed to speak with a surgeon, that these things sometimes don't get any bigger, that it's not bad enough to worry about.  Like it hadn't gotten any bigger already...

I wasn't physically aware of it; it was more visually disturbing.  Through most of 2013 my navel looked like a crescent.  With th autumn diagnosis I ceased daily exercise on my lower back and abs to slow the process.

In September and October came six weeks without an elevator.  I'd stocked up on bottled water, juice, meat, frozen vegs... And somehow I could still count on one hand the number of times I didn't walk up five flights without bags of something.  Fed up with doing them by hand I managed two loads of laundry in the basement as well.

Following that the bulge progressed.  It was time.  In early November I consulted a surgeon.  I would have had the procedure asap if my boss didn't have a ton of personal days to use up.  That left me covering most of our team's duties (a third was on medical leave) and I couldn't take off.

Since planning mid-January there have been postponements of one sort or another.  A faux appendix scare, a benign growth, and the surgeon's two-week holiday have assigned a hard date of February 19th.


I'm scared shitless. The time has come.  Everyone thinks I'll be okay and nothing will go wrong with the surgery.  I'm carrying bags of stuff home to take tomorrow: toothpaste, toilet paper, art supplies, fruit (the raspberries will need to go into the freezer).

I've dilligently avoided dairy for ten days, which makes a difference but doesn't solve environmental allergens.  In fact as I type this I have an eye-tearing tickle in the back of my throat on a crowded subway train.

I never had the growth removed. It will have to wait till about May or June once the hernia site has healed sufficiently.

The office-issue laptop will remain with Dad to start (he lives a few  blocks from the hospital and half a mile from rehab), but I'll have other means of communication with friends family and colleagues. And art supplies. With carpal tunnel.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hello St John Parish

It's been a little over a year since Gabrielle Riel put New Toulouse up for sale. I still play tunes here and there at Shotgun Row Blues Café on occasion.  New Toulouse is beautiful but its soul is a shadow of its former self.  No one even thought to name the hurricane last fall.

As I've said in the past, it was a wise move for Riel to leave when she did. She was  "Toulouse'd out" and enjoying some revitalization with another genre.  On top of that she had a great deal on her plate offgrid.  The change to a scaled down gothic New England community kept her in the estate game but on terms she could better balance with everything else in her life.

It's now a year later.  Riel - typical of contiguous northerners - is accustomed to seasons augmenting celestial events which define the Wheel of the Year, and she's enjoyed re-creating the landscape several times on her sims. Occupancy has continued to flourished in Witchwoods; I have my wagon settled there at present.
Snowfall in St John Woods aka Witchwoods

But the pull of old time NOLA is a strong one, and Riel has made the decision to convert Witchport into an early 20th century parish not unlike the French Quarter.  Actually, not unlike the old New Toulouse Bourbon sim.

St John Parish is a beautiful place, this time featuring default builds by Riel and the inimitable Ecclectric Breitman, several blossoming squares, and of course a cemetery.

This is lowdown Nouveau Dixieland as we've known it, but on Miz Gabi's terms. There are no expectations hanging over her: this is all the Riel Thang, the best of the best with all that she loved about running NT those many years, while maintaining seasonal bliss in nearby St John Woods.  The residential sim (which was New Toulouse Algiers before it became Witchwoods) will maintain its current theme.

Welcome back. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Returning From the Front

It has been a while, hasn't it?

I resolved to complete my essay about the plight of men's fashion on the grid before going back to  blogging.  I'm sure the drama stalkers are disappointed that I haven't posted anything they can attack in comments. Tooooo bad.

I had returned to Skybeam for the Autumn-thru-Holiday period, only on a massively scaled down basis. I went minimalist on a 512 with a gypsy wagon and nearby outdoor hangout. The latter changed with the seasons and proved quite a challenge when the snows came. Having left to enjoy the rest of winter on a snowy sim, I've swapped out logs and gazebos for a few deck chairs by the fire.

During my time away, AnnMarie was banned and her scourgemobile scripts undermined by sim updates. Unfortunately she's been let back in and her force of lumbering, overscripted pushy monsters are out in force.
This scourgemobile turned into my side and pushed me back about
half a region before I could AR it. I thought we got rid of these things!

Hands of Omega has not come out with either Smith TARDIS control room in a prim-friendly mesh blend. Color me an unhappy camper, much less a disappointed virtual time traveler.

I've finally started to make use of my Nova Albion parcel by modifying a prefab hotel into a swing club. It's what I've wanted for some time. RL is the only thing keeping me back from setting a debut date. Okay that and a decent drinks doling script. I originally was just going to put holiday novelty builds up and throw some party each season, but the swing club became an obvious choice, both because I cannot afford to rent/own any more land and Nova Albion could use a little life put back into it for its tenth year. I have the parcel so why not use it?

Toryn and I hang out at my art deco bar in Nova Swing Club
Relay For Life recruitment begins in February.  This year I'm bringing back Hearts & Souls. It looks as though several of my former teammates from 2012 will be joining. So glad things have come back together on most fronts.  I made a few Oz jokes because this year's theme "Journey of Promise" has immediately brought this to mind for many RFL participants for their team themes - it's a generational thing here in America. Well there's one itty bitty thing: Our team logo of a heart with an embedded clockface?  Yep you guessed it! I have an idea for the campsite and started planning it. However with some marvelous and unique talents coming back I'll be sure to leave plenty of room ;) All I can say is the committee better get our team name right. I'll be posting a list of each individual who publicly botches three simple words and misses the point that our team's hearts and souls work to help hearts and souls the world over.

My degree in any participation anywhere this winter relies on an impending hernia procedure and its aftermath. With an autoimmune disorder there seem to be many factors at play which other people don't have to worry about.  I won't be going home the same day.  Rather, once cleared (that I don't have any issues from the procedure or any infection) I'll go to rehab for about a week. It was to have been January 15th but insurance is still mulling over approving admission in the event I need to stay overnight before release. Yes, you heard that right: deciding - should I need to remain in the hospital overnight as determined by the surgeon - whether they would cover it. I'm so waiting for more healthcare reform to kick in here. Wish me luck we get this over with and healing goes well. I need to get back to working abs.  And investigating a floater in my dominant eye that won't go away. And my carpal tunnel. And digestive disorders. And...