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30 October 2005

I'm really not obsessed with sumo wrestling..., it's sumo wrestlers I'm obsessed with. I decided (who knows why) to be a sumo wrestler. I sent Salazar a picture and he sent one back of him riding a woolly mammoth. Yes, we now see the heights of weirdness people get up to when they aren't restrained by things like gravity -- those pesky laws of time and nature.

I accidentally ran into a webpage about Woolly Rhinos that said hyenas lived in England at one point (and woolly rhinos, etc.). I'm scared of hyenas! I definitely would've had a tough time during the Ice Age since there were hyenas in England. Damnation, who'd'a thunk?

Thundercloud in his Hallowe'en AV

Thundercloud's Hallowe'en Build

Frankenstein's castle, man-eating plants, pumpkin patch, graveyard, etc.

Getting a charge from the lightning (rods are on one of the towers).


I went to Laka and Thundercloud gave me this parrot AV. I sent him a picture, "Be honest - does this make my bum look big?" Hah!

I combined his AV parts with the feathered suit I made last year. Stylin'!

I was scoring the standardised creativity test for the new girl who is very groovy, creative, and artistic. She's cool. I lamented the fact, however, that she's illiterate. I don't know what else to call it. When someone is 9 years old and writes a simple few words as a title for a drawing, and those few words look like a random jumble of letters, what else can I call it? I can decipher some with difficulty by looking at the drawing. Others I have NO CLUE about. A rorb. A pcite. H paes. A sareow. To give an example I can decipher, the words "A pelle' is accompanied by a drawing of a pencil. "Mt. Rinite" must be Mount Rainier. "A sorte" is below a drawing of a shirt. There's an intriguing drawing labeled "A Girl poingAiar wew" that I just figured out is a girl standing on her head. Poor child!

Working on Second Life, it seems to me, is like trying to shoe a horse when it's being ridden. Well, the rider gets off for 5 minutes, but that's all. Then the engineers and so forth have to work on a huge, complex program with thousands of people using it. What a headache. As SL expands it gets further away from its past forms - that is, I doubt that the old versions would scale up at all. People who think we should go back to some previous version are forgetting that there are much greater numbers of people, now. As I understand it, anyway, LL has reorganised the way they process everything so it all works better and is more easily upgradeable. After a big release we inevitably get some growing pains, but I think it makes for shared experiences and greater community feeling. I admit I'm weird, however.a

I said before that texture-upload from Second life has not been working since the point release, however, it turns out now that it is working in part. An intrepid explorer went through his computer searching for his uploaded picture, which he found as a targa file labeled "untitled" in the second Life folder in Programs. I went to MY Second Life folder and found one - so I suspect each texture save overwrites the previous one. I'm sure they'll have it fixed in this week's update, which addresses several issues, I think, including the time dilation problem.

29 October 2005

Hostages in the Crack House

Forcy IMed and asked me to make a spooky house for a movie set for the Ed Wood machinima contest. I thought it would be difficult within the time, so I found them a location - the crack house in Boardman. Also a house of Ingrid I's was used as a normal house. I IMed Ingrid to ask if was ok, which it was. I wound up in the movie playing a trick or treater abducted by aliens, along with Enjah and Sage. The director is Total B, and the alien is played by Forcy. It was fun although I can't say I'm at my best rushing to find animations in my inventory, as my inventory is HUGE. I don't know how many things a normal person has, but I make things every day. I am pecking away trying to organise things, but there are more than 10,000 things in there...

Enjah's son survived the surgery and is doing well in post-op. I raced as a giant snail and was hit with lag and rubber-banding, and the snail-flinger gizmos didn't fling me correctly and I had to find out my last correct gate and go back - lots and lots of times. The last big fling dropped me in the middle of the course, and I was unsure what gate I needed. I went to the end gate as it was closest, but it wasn't right so I had to run to the far end of the course and get re-flung, which worked! Racer was yelling, "What's wrong! Keep going, you're in second!" I secured second place, yay! I made Racer a Racer-looking shirt to go with his zoot suit (made by me), because he's the coolest. I made an animated GIF for Enjah featuring her new insulated pot. I made a tintable feather as Perwin asked me for one with all permissions so he can attach them to his staves. Actually, that's what I'd done with my lovely blue feather - attached in to my staff. It looks nice that way.

28 October 2005

There's a silly debate on the Second Life forum right now, because someone named her alt Dildo. She was offline and away for some time, and when she came back the alt had been renamed Darling. On one hand people are arguing that a mere word can't be "mature," on the other some say they don't think they'd care to see an avatar with that name. Personally, I think that what's appropriate as a word may not be appropriate as a name. Someone cracked me up by making this post:
"FYI Some jokester thought it would be funny to order a box of assorted dildos and ship it to our shop and was addressed to us... well the guys find the humor in them... well they do make funny paper weights when the city inspecter comes by on our off days... We loose more inspecters that way...

Yes Dildo is a Mature word in a cence but only becouse there referd to by the mature action thet there used for mainly.... I mean if sumone had named bread dildo insted when it was first made then we wouldent call it bread... if that makes any cence becouse it dont to me and im the one saying it..."

Ha ha! Brilliant!

27 October 2005


FootShadow B-Gon
Guaranteed not to work! Nifty touch on-off, snazzy watermelonia style, zippy benign particle spray, cheap! For glee purposes only. No hippos were used in the testing of FootShadow B-Gon!

Contrary to how this looks Enjah was upset because her son, who had heart surgery a few weeks ago, unexpectedly, due to an infection, is having heart surgery again tomorrow as his new valve is pulling away from the heart. I was trying to cheer her a bit. we are dancing with FootShadow B-Gon, which made Enjah look to be spraying her backside.

That's the T-shirt I made on Tuesday which is brown not black (looks better anyway). Um... something complexity... Distinctive complexity.

A roof in Natoma

Hey, Flummel - Welcome home!

26 October 2005


Salazar came for a visit - and took this picture, which I had to screenshot as upload-texture isn't working. I took out a few bits of weirdness like the sheet of plywood stuck in the hillside left by some neighbors. Mrs Neighbor started a build, which was fine, then I came one day and it was gone and Mr Neighbor started one - which progressed as far as one default-textured square prim.

I'm not very social, either in Second Life or in the ordinary world around me, and I was trying to figure out how I feel about things. For instance:
1. There are some people I like a lot. I don't necessarily have to ever see them, but I like seeing them. Enjah is one - she puts up with me. Salazar is another. Olmy, too. Sprite. Psi. RacerX. Pirate. Well actually there's a long list.
2. There are some people in Second Life who, in some way, fill an otherwise-vacant niche, making the community complete. I don't care if I ever talk to those people, really, but I just want them to be there, somewhere. Torley is one, because she knits up the huge group of people into a community. Everyone knows her, so we all have something in common. I think some others are Brace, Cubey, Olympia, Eddie, Merwan, RacerX, Starax, YadNi - I can't think of everyone. These are the people who, if I heard they were leaving for some reason, would leave me with a feeling that a chunk was missing. I think it has to do with creativity and style, as much as anything.

In real life I try to frankly say what I think, so Alex says, "I don't want to be a burdon," and I tell him, "No! You know I adore you!" That makes him smile. I have been consciously steering what I say by an inner compass, which at times has results I couldn't've predicted. Like deciding I'd been out of line when chiding a student about something, and finding him and apologising a day or two later - only to have him, a kid with a long history of bad deeds, follow me (figuratively speaking) everywhere after that with shining devotion. I think I'm well aware of my own short-comings, but I'm all I have to work on, so if I write "I I I I I" it's not because I think I'm great, but just because I don't have any other way to talk about my experiences and figure out what they mean.

I'm just ruminating - haven't actually formed any real ideas.

Did my laundry, found $20 in a pair of trousers (w00t), didn't really eat breakfast for some reason, have a load of school work sitting on the table waiting for me, noticed a most beautiful cobweb outside that is a work of spidery art, left my jump drive at school :( , changed the notecard-giver in the gallery from an art deco to an art nouveau frame, talked to my beloved haircutter Sean who asked if my appointment could be moved ("For you, darling, ANYTHING!).

A beautiful view of part of Salazar J's Forest of Kahruvel

25 October 2005

I made a T shirt for Second Life this morning in 10 minutes before I left for work. It was brilliant white mist outside and I could hardly see a thing on my monitor, so I was suprised to see the "black" shirt was actually brown. Looks ok - rather 70s. I'd put the slogan from the bottom of the "About Second Life" window on it - the slogan I can't remember that replaced "Elvis has left the building." I actually cut'n'pasted it as I couldn't keep it in my head 2 seconds... something complexity... uh...

Had class with Cheyenne and Sabra and we started making a comic strip. Then Vincent came and we went to fifth grade and helped them learn the UI for the Cornell virtual world science project (on ActiveWorlds platform). Krista was into talking to our mentors, and Scott took off with what I told him about making moving helicopters and experimenting with coordinates in the action boxes. Sabra duplicated and changed the object, and the other one I had... shoot... a girl... who was it... anyway - poor Vincent did well but it was very hard on him.

Working on paperwork... tons of federal paperwork... 5.2 billion tons... oh, wait, that's not right...

23 October 2005

5.2 BILLION of those griefer spheres BILLION!

LL had the grid back up in less than 3 hours (not sure how long as I wandered off to eat dinner) which I thought was very fast. I got in and sailed over to see Enjah (as teleports weren't working well) and saw her new small house on her galler roof.

5.2 billion...

Robin says:
"Grid is being looked after. Ian is in the process of restarting the grid. As soon as I have more information I'll post it. Thanks!"

I had a strong mental picture of Ian starting the grid like we start lawnmowers - with a pull-string.

A very immature griefer named Ol' Fitzcarraldo just crashed the entire Second Life grid by unleashing self-replicating, physics-enabled balls. I saw Bodega was going down (didn't know why or that it was grid-wide) and logged off. The forum had 200 then jumped to more than 500 people online sharing information.

What an idiot.

This fellow has been causing trouble - I answered a call recently in Elven Glen, where he and two friends were up to no good and refused to leave. After about 15 of us showed up they decided to leave.

This will result in perma-banning, but I hope that keeps him out. This is bad enough, but made worse by it being a Sunday, and the day before a point release. Floridians are saying, "Well, I guess I won't get back in until after Wilma."

Ol' Fitzcarraldo - do yourself a favor and grow up.

Update: the forums now have 1040 people online - more than during the winter outage which was previously the record-holder at 800.

LordFly said:

"as an update...

Colliquial reports seems to indicate that the asset server is hosed.

Big surprise.

The perpetrator has been permabanned.

Cue the w-hat apologists.

Seriously, I've defended you guys a lot, but get your shit together. Stop breaking SL with your newbie pawns."

22 October 2005

My Seaweed

I made two types of wiggly seaweed for my rented land: particle seaweed, and moving texture seaweed. It was all made possible by Art turning on scripting so I can have fun. I'm trying to teach myself rudimentary scripting. After I made the seaweed I saw a giant pineapple balloon over the bay and went to meet the balloonist, who offered me a ride. I jumped in, and we got talking - he has a very old name but says he's new (maybe hasn't spent much time in SL?). I got him to take a weathervane so he can, if he wants to, work on scripting it.


Words in land: the 1.7 preview grid.

21 October 2005

1.7 Land
The last build went out today - next stop, the main grid! The 1.7 version has lots of really good things - I'm looking forward to it.

Enjah came in and wanted to buy land, but the land next to me was huge, spread out all over, and cost more than she had. I bought it* to give her a big chunk, then got really frustrated trying to divide it up and get rid of it. The next day worked better, as I was able to make sure the island and cave were safe, then released the rest. It was cool - I had about 100 L left.

*The money and land in the Preview Grid are just play - not like our money and land on the main grid, which are real.


I missed something very cool in Second Life today as I thought the "2pm" was Pacific, not Eastern, time. Ah well. Catherine Linden teleported me in when there was about a minute to go, but at least I got to see the build, which was an SL recreation of where the RL discussion was taking place, built in 4 days by Chosen F using a handful of pictures available on the internet. The only thing that surprised me was Catherine saying, "I'd wondered where you were!" since I always think I am the humble unknown avatar running under the radar, attempting only to amuse herself.

"This Friday, at the sold-out PopTech conference, we will be conducting a fascinating experiment in co-mingling the virtual and the 'real'. In a session Friday afternoon at 2pm ET, the leading thinker on the economics of virtual worlds, Ed Castronova, and student-protester-turned-videogame-designer Ivan Marovic, and Steven Berlin Johnson, author of the delightful Everything Bad is Good for You, will be conducting a discussion on the serious impact of gaming -- how it may be used in everything from democratic participation to social change.

As if that weren't interesting enough PopTech will be streaming video of the entire session into Second Life in a (eerily, architecturally near-perfect) version of the Camden Opera House where the RL conference is taking place. In the realworld Opera House, there will be a large flat-screen monitor on the stage where PopTech attendees can watch the SL Residents watching the speakers, completing the circle (and possibly leading to the collapse of the Matrix.) In-world, a group of SecondLife residents will watch the session and participate as virtual audience members."

Maybe it did collapse the Matrix - at least as far as making me aware of how dirty my windows are, anyway.

20 October 2005

As I pulled into the parking lot this morning, on my way to jin shin, the radio newscaster said:
"Police are searching for two clowns who robbed a doughnut shop in Everett today.'

The world is strange these days. That made me laugh, but the story in the newspaper sounds more serious:

"Snohomish County sheriff's deputies are searching for two men who robbed a South Everett doughnut shop yesterday at gunpoint while wearing clown masks.

Employees at Henry's Donuts & Deli reported the men came in the front door and demanded cash about 8 a.m., said sheriff's spokesman Rich Niebusch. The men took an undisclosed sum of cash and left through the back door of the store in the 12700 block of Fourth Avenue West. They took no doughnuts.

The men are described as heavyset and wearing white clown masks with red noses and gloves, Niebusch said. No one was hurt."

The funniness depends upon the spin.

Yesterday I decided to make my UN-Linden cards into a book. Mine are volume 1 and Enjah's will be volume 2.

I had to mark Spitoonie and Backstage huge living room as "gone but not forgotten." Things change quickly, so it is like a tiny snippet of SL history. I made a cover texture for Enjah and perhaps she will make hers soon.

19 October 2005

Yesterday was our first day in the Cornell University virtual world project. We met in our old world. The students, of course, know nothing, and Vincent was absent. People kept coming into my room and asking me things as they didn't seem to understand. We meet again on Thursday.

18 October 2005

Just got home from work. Gak - a long, long day.

14 October 2005

I spent the morning scoring the stupid standardised creativity test - rolling on the floor with laughter. Last year the scores were dismal, but this year, due to the magic of me giving the tests, the scores relate to the child's creativity. They have a nerve - on the one hand you'd be in trouble if you took a Rorschach blot test and came up with all kinds of off-beat things, then they score you badly on this test if you DON'T come up with weird things. How is a child to know what's wanted? How many WASL answers are humorous? What would happen if you took all the math problems on one page and added then up? On THIS test it would be ok. If you don't prepare children they fall into three categories: Not creative, Creative but tries to please you, Creative but doesn't try to please you. The first two types score badly and the third says, "I'm not doing this," and leaves. It takes me saying, "This is stupid but you have to do it. Be whacky. Just don't be boring," before they understand - then the first 10 exercises are tentative. They say, "Can I do..." And I say, "Do whatever you want." These days the children do standardised tests all the time. They are trained to follow orders and not deviate from the norm. Great - just bloody great.


I made an alphabet book yesterday that is illustrated with pictures taken in Second Life - some of things I made, but mostly things from others. I IMed everyone (big chore) to tell them and ask their permission, and sent them each a book. I have had wonderful responses so far - almost everyone has responded, too. I got this response this morning, which made me laugh:

Starax Statosky: (Saved Fri Oct 14 08:08:00 2005) Great book!! :)
Osprey Therian: Yay! I just felt it was respectful to ask every person whose work is included - no need to respond to this but I thank you again.
The Resident you messaged is in 'ignorant mode' which means they are very ignorant. Your message will still be shown in their IM panel for later viewing. Despite their best efforts to avoid your messages, we at Linden Lab will make sure they see them.
Starax Statosky: and thanks for including me Osprey! :)

Ha ha! Ignorant mode!

13 October 2005

O.K., so on Tuesday I saw Tiff and she said, "We need to empower Mr. Y (the new principal)." I said, "That sounds sensible. How can we do that?" She said, "Well, what I'm doing is going to him first with any information and putting things in his mailbox instead of putting them in the vice principal's mailbox." All right. This sounds like it's something that would happen automatically, but believe me, I am leaving out 99.9 % of the story and just relating the part I want. So - you empower someone by assigning responsibilites to that person that had formerly been considered the bailiwick of another person. It's a mental switch in part.
Fast forward to today. I'm in jin shin and there's a constant noise outside that Frank jokingly refers to as "killer bees." I said, "It sounds like those Tibetan instruments - " And he said, "Oh! Right! Those long horns!" I said said, "Yes, it sounds exactly like that... ...maybe it is." Frank said, "Maybe the Dalai Lama is visiting!" It sounded EXACTLY like that, to me, until the noisemakers grew closer and it resolved into leaf blowers, something I have an aversion to. As a child I imagined that people from medieval times would see oil refineries as fantastic castles, so part of it is how you regard things. Anyway, I spent a pleasant hour listening to Tibetan horns.
This ties together. I started thinking about how we can have a better world, which I think about all the time. I realised that the terrible tragedies around the world are pointing up that no longer can we hide behind national borders. The things we do for good and evil affect the world. We need to empower some other entity than the national governments because we are having the tragedy of the commons on a global scale. I thought about all individuals, each empowered. I admit, that fused on me, so I started thinking about the Dalai Lama's address to something or other (UN? Nobel Ceremony? I don't remember) when he was talking about his hope of Tibet, in the future, becoming a wellspring of peace to refresh and strengthen the world. I see the Dalai Lama as a reflecting entity, reflecting back to individual people how they might live a better way. He was talking about that same concept only using Tibet itself. I think I would trust him to be an overseer for the earth, to empower all people to strive for good. Clearly there needs to be something or someone to promote the concept of wholeness, as our old separated-into-states way of doing things doesn't work anymore. Empower the Earth, which means the power would be reflected back on each individual. And to empower we need to make a mental shift, and take that authority away from those who have destroyed so much.

12 October 2005

Over 100 avatars partied on the Preview 1.7 Dore sim - and there was just a smidge of lag, almost no packet loss, and everything was humming. Thousands of active scripts. Benshees. Particles. Everything anyone could think of to stress the sim.

Congratulations, Linden Lab.

Thanks, Enjah for telling me - otherwise I would not've been there.

10 October 2005


At SLCC Jennyfur and Flip brought the attire Philip's avatar wears inworld: chaps, sequined underwear, Rocky Horror T shirt. They gave it to Philip, who wore it whilst making his speech on Sunday. Good sport. (Philip is the head of Linden Lab, El Presidente).

jhe should've used hair gel to make his familiar spiky-top head.

09 October 2005


Yesterday I watched a few tiny snippets of video from the State of Play 3, and today I watched a bit of the live feed from the Second Life Community Convention, which took place in the same place, the SLCC continuing on today. It's certainly not easy to do live video, so it was mediocre, but I had a hard time understanding the fascination with meatspace. I started out, today, watching (well it was up and down) the stream with a lot of other people in Balance (one of the sims rented for the convention). The sim lagged due to the high body count so I quit and watched the video out of Second Life. It was just a room full of people talking about Second Life... well, of COURSE it was... I did recognise Flip and Philip. I am not good recognising people even in real life, and provided someone is within an ordinary range I don't notice height or hair color or anything... I recognise people if their ... um... essence (maybe) is potent, I think. Maybe that's not right, though. Some people I notice by their physical manifestation, others I notice by their personality... Bah... Anyway, at this do I found I was looking at a room full of people and I didn't even WANT to know who they are. It seems insane to have a Second Life convention that's not purely in Second Life. It just puts back all the crazy limitations we manage to overcome by our canny usage of the internet. That's just me - obviously other people feel differently.

08 October 2005

I liked this post by Malachi P in a thread on the SL off topic forum about ways to create nightmares, such as eating cheese.

I've always loved the name "nylon." Combining as it does the names New York and London, it seems romantic and beautiful and never fails to make me think of the early days of commercial air travel. Rayon doesn't have the same aura of lost luxury, and viscose makes an unpleasant picture in my mind. Orlon and dacron were snappy names, but I remember well the unpleasant-to-wear early garments those fibres were used for. Polyester sounds oversexed, somehow. One cannot beat wool, cotton, silk, and linen.

I just got home so I missed the Giant Snail Race in The Future, but I have copied the announcement from Events and put it here because it just... rocks!

"Yes in the future Giant Snails ( 15 Meters tall ) Will be sailing through the air using Future Technology. 500L to win 250 L for 2nd. In the Future The Bleachers will flow with the action hopefully. Sorry about setting off the explosives charges before the final heat last week. I'll be sure and change there frequency so the spectators can watch the explosions and not be included in them. Lost a lot of them after that again so soorry probably wont happen again. Mostly Safe again Giant Snail Racing Can be Dangerous and occasionally Snails do explode Were not sure why."

Giant Snail Racing is the best fun, and even the Events announcement is about 50 times more fun than most things in life.

Looper called me and sadly said I hadn't called to wish her a happy birthday last week. Yes, I am bad that way lately. Elizabeth gave her some underwear, she said, that she thought was used. Elizabeth rang me this morning as her printer wasn't working, and I said, "Looper says you gave her old underwear for her birthday." "No, it was NEW." "I will say that underwear is not a good thing to give anyone. How would you like it?" E, pretending to have just received a gift of underwear, "Oh! UNDERwear! Thank you!" Cue peals of laughter. I said, "Yeah, right - 'Oh, we cancelled the cruise but here's a bag of underwear from Value Village for you instead.'" I drove round and she chucked her printer into my car, then I went off on a grocerisation mission as I had nothing at all in the house. At the check out line the woman ahead of me stopped the checker, "That's not my milk." I said, "It's not MY milk." "It HAS to be your milk." "It doesn't HAVE to be my milk - it ISN'T my milk. My milk is there (point down belt to half-gallon)." I thought it was a funny thing - if I'd been the me of a few years ago I'd've challenged her to a duel and had the grocery belt wars or something - I love it when things are so silly. It WAS her milk - placed in her cart by one of her several accompanying teenagers. She thought I was angry at her, but actually I was laughing inwardly.

Got home, opened the birthday present Elizabeth had given to me - Tweetie Bird and Sylvester underwear - maybe, um... 5. I didn't count/look closely. Another good laugh! This day is shaping up as a very funny one. She also gave me an Alaska souvenir T shirt that (maybe) came from a thrift shop and which shows some care in its choosing as it has a totem pole on it.

07 October 2005

Spiraling downward... melting, melting...

Enjah TPed me to a business last night and the proprietoress showed us around, very kindly. Seeing the title above her head I asked what X was. She responded that it is a game in some ways similar to quidditch, but very different in the details, and that she was working on it but hadn't quite finished it. She offered a tour and I took her up on it. We flew up to a platfort with the game name on it. I recognised the font, I thought, so I said, "Is that font BlackAdder?" "No, I made that font." I said nothing, but took a screenshot to compare the two later. The font is indeed BlackAdder, and I have no clue why someone would lie about that. I asked, "How many balls are used in the game?" "Just one." Well, it turned out (surprise) that there are two - a large one and a small one. Back on the ground we were regaled with how she had to write a physics engine to make the game work in SL. Um.... ok. The game seems to work ok - it's just an ordinary-looking game. Question is, I suppose, who made it? Also, she said she wanted to make a game with seige engines that you use to hit castles. I said, "There is one already. RacerX made one." "I've seen his. But you don't RIDE the catapults and have teams." I said, "But he was there first."

06 October 2005

Modern American writers use words like they learned the English language from a correspondence course they saw advertised on a matchbook cover. I'm reading one now that describes roses as "pungent." Roses - pungent. Roses!

Don't bother to tell me I'm cranky - I feel terrible, and yes, I'm cranky - but some things are extremely annoying.

I logged in to Second Life and was hit in the face by 24 notecards from Sterling the Horse, who has been spammimg me relentlessly since the beginning of June. I IMed the creator (again) and he IMed Live Help. A Linden suggested I uninstall/reinstall and email support. I told Web, the creator, that I would 1) ask Enjah to delete all her horses since it started to happen after I rode one June 4th, 2) delete my cache (uninstall/reinstall seems stupid to me) and if nothing else works email support, who, in my experience, never email back.

Selador IMed me that he has build his gallery again, and offered to give me a tour. After my Sterling notecard fiasco meeting was over I went there and looked around at things - very nice.

05 October 2005

Starax is amazing... well we all know that...

Painting in Bodega.

I was on the Preview grid today when Dnate M and flyingroc C turned up at my pencil house where I was doing a little fiddling around to see if there are any changes to the alpha sorting. Dnate had a wand that, if you said anything on a long list, would drop those things out of the sky. So "hippos" and hippos fell from the sky. "Idea" and a giant lightbulb, "babies" and writhing sperm, UFO and a spaceship, etc. Too many to mention. One was a person holding onto a kite that had been carried off by an eagle - so it flew around all over the place. "Bubbles" and huge, rideable bubbles appeared. Ape, dog, cat, cow, worship, freedom, greenhouse...

04 October 2005

For some reason i've been feeling horrible lately - going down, down, down. Not good. Trying to figure out if I can influence anything to push me back to the land of the living or if I just have to bear it. Oh well.

Anyway, I went to work and Alex had got a fair bit accomplished - had some recommended students return parental consent papers he'd sent home, and made up testing packets as I'd asked. I said he could go ahead with the stupid standardised creativity test (oxymoronic) but he said he'd like to see how I do it as I have a way of getting good results. That was nice to hear - he appreciates the way I work. He rounded up the children and I just laid it out honestly to them. I apologised for making them take the test, and said in life sometimes things are very important but totally stupid. The creativity test is that way. I said usually, too, people tell them to do what everyone else is doing and color inside the lines, so to speak, but I wanted them to do what no one else is doing, and be whacky and free and funny. They began tentatively but caught on rapidly. We didn't have time for the whole thing but Alex will continue with them. The test has things like, say, a branched line that a child has to use to make a drawing, but the scoring discounts certain things. If you draw a tree with your branching line you get 0 points for originality, since they think a tree is what anyone might draw. It doesn't matter if you draw a detailed magical tree in a cave inhabited by a wizard whose fingernails are emerald daggers. Tree=0. You are judged on the title. I'm not a fan of standardised creativity tests. Alan drew a pig in a cannon, though. That was cool. Cheyenne drew a devil-chicken. The test is comprised of around 30 little exercises. So that's a heap of pig cannons and devil-chickens.

I watched Kundun, which I got from the library - very good film.

01 October 2005


I started this new contest a little while ago - I made those (and more) frames for entrants to use to make interesting pictures. It didn't occur to me that someone might just think I wanted them to put an old snapshot in the frame and send it to me - that was mentioned but hasn't happened - and won't, I hope. I specified in the notecard - a NEW snapshot incorporating the frames CREATIVELY - be a famous painting, build a melting watch - do something interesting for god's sake. Gad, sir, but I don't see how people can complain about being bored if they don't avail themselves of opportunities to be creative.

I took that picture on the roof of the Brownstone East. I attached the small frames to me, sat on the big frame, and turned it sideways so I could use my monitor proportions. I put a huge white prim behing me and painted the sky in when I put it in Photoshop.

Went to the kick-off block party for the SLCC (in NYC), but was unhappy just dancing about talking to Enjah (who was in the form of a Killer Tomato) in IM, so logged off. As soon as I finish this I'll go back to watching Kundun.

I've felt rotten for the past couple of days. Tomorrow I have a freelance job to do - A$ is coming and bringing a lot of things to add to the website. This morning I raced as a giant snail on Racer's diabolical obstacle course, and wound up finishing so far ahead that I was able to watch the race for a while in the stands. It was interesting to see the giant snails flying through the air, propelled by the magic of LSL. When I started racing we ran along the ground. Oh, how simple were those long-ago days.

I'm sitting on the lower right as the fireworks resound for the second place finisher.



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I want to ask for thoughts about improving the world -- what do people need? How can things be organised?