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28 February 2006

The prizes I took for the Fifth Grade winning scavengers:
A kit to make a working clock.
A flashlight and shadow-animal chart (with teh fingers, you know)
A puzzle book
A NASCAR notebook
and goldfish crackers for everyone.

Frank was away last week, but I was looking forward to seeing him when he returned as I've been having a Hell of a time. My appointment was yesterday - I was shocked that Frank was not there. He'd missed a flight from Mexico and had to wait to be able to catch another one. He had called Berdie and asked her to see me - which was very nice of both of them since that's what happened. There's no substitute for Frank (or, perhaps, whoever one sees regularly), though, so today was another tough day. Well, life is tough now for me, and as David says, "Easy is getting harder all the time." Not any easy left, now.

Today my two little girls worked on the yearbook. At 2 I went into the fifth grade classroom and we made a bit of sense of the mountain-with-two-paths that now exists. There are two teams, the Howling Cheetahs and the Siamese Monkeys. There are two research subjects, macroinvertebrates and salmon. The Monkeys have Tara, the Cheetahs have Alina. For today they just made the team signs, and began landscaping. I sent Milan to Building to find trees. Tara started out by rezzing a decorated Christmas tree. Thursday will be more students, more explanation, and secret devising of questions that will be put along each path. The object is to have races to the mountaintop. we'll see how it goes.

Coneheads spotted near the Hanson Infohub.

Enjah: We are easily amused.
Osprey: We are blessed. (Well, we said something like that.)

We were falling off our chairs laughing.

26 February 2006


Someone left this nice little train on the Preview Grid.


A gas mask from 1916 - I saw this when I was roaming and had to buy it. I'd just given the builder a trifle and when I paid for the gas mask she refunded my L, which was unexpectedly nice. When I saw this gas mask it reminded me of the way my mother described my umbilical cord. She said it was as big around as the hose on an officer's gas mask (British Army, WWII). So - I suppose I equate gas masks with umbilical cords, which isn't exactly far off the mark as they are both intended to supply oxygen. She also said my umbilical cord had 3 knots in it - which I told her was caused by dancing.

For the LETTERS contest I sent out the poster as usual - but also a few "special delivery" letters that give a notecard when clicked. This morning I got good feedback from someone who is very savvy. We all know communication is my weak point - and it's really hard for me to make something clear. He said:
okay you. you need your bum kicking and I'm going to kick it because I like to kick nice bums
it just took me 5 minutes to figure out what the hell that was
the letter thing :)
Osprey Therian: kick away!
I think you're too close to it. or you're issuing them out to friends who know about your contests
so it makes assumptions
Osprey Therian: Feedback is good -
Osprey Therian: How can I improve it?
get a big title in there that says slaps somebody across the face and shouts 'PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST!!!!' into their ear

Good advice - I need to go and change the notecard right away.

23 February 2006


Scott won the scavenger hunt, which went well. Alina and Tara gave some difficult clues (proton with one electron) but the children managed.

I'm feeling worse today than yesterday. Woke up with a headache.

22 February 2006


Yesterday in Grade 5 the children were talking about jpgs and gifs, except they thought it was GIFT. Heh - I thought it was cool that they got that far. It's a triumph for them to ask me, "What's a gift?" For right now they understand it's an image format that they can't use in the virtual world. Yesterday Alina told them to find pictures of Rhodes Hall, at Cornell - and then went on to describe what floor she was on and which window they'd have to look in to see her. After exhaustive searching (they can't do image searching because of the school protective software, which doesn't function very well, I don't think) they all type-type-typed to Alina: "Give us another thing to find they are all gifts."

I just cleaned the deadness out of my refrigerator (not the freezer yet). Now it is empty except for a bag of organic greens and condiments (I always call my fridge an old-age home for condiments).

Skip this as I'm just thinking.

I was brought up in an English household that was in various locations but which was always separate from the surrounding society. One might see what was going on - even join in - however, it was like living next to people who have corroborees. One might take part but it didn't seep inside. It was not just expected but assumed that I wouldn't be a part of it, and I have never once, in all my life, EVER felt a part. I'm more comfortable, but not at home, in Canada or Australia. The only places I've felt a rush of belonging were in England and inside books. As time has gone on I've been set adrift in a (not unpleasant) state of separation from almost everything. One reason I work in Indian country is that I just don't identify with the main culture around me. The choice is to look like I don't belong and feel like I don't belong, or look like I do belong - but feel like I don't belong. I don't like that dichotomy. In Indian country I feel welcome, valued, and trusted - which is how I feel in the bigger surrounding culture, too, except that it wants to absorb me and reduce me to its own definition. That definition sets a value on you based on externals like age, sex, physical abilities, etc. Indian country has its own problems but that isn't one of them. Plus I think it's noted and appreciated that I DON'T try to "belong." I have my own, thank you very much, and am not trying to co-opt anyone else's.

21 February 2006

Great. It ate the last post.

Blogger SWEARS they have fixed the problem, so I will try to post. Um...

I was composing blog entries as I drove to work - the frustrations of a blogger. Now I'm too pooped to write much - continuing with my lousy week of weakness.

At school Donna came to class, and I set her to sorting and renaming the school photographs. I let her have the camera at 2:40, which may mean I never see it again - however I need someone to do yearbook things so it it's a risk I will have to take. No Sabra as she went to Disney World. Cheyenne started the Grade 5 yearbook page. Skunk came in to hang, then came back later with some graphics work for me. One thing I managed to complete between finishing up in the virtual world and leaving - well it made me stay later than I would have, but I was happy to finish it. Montrose told me his power had been out on Friday, too, but had not come on until late.

Kimberly gave me the drawings I asked her to have the children do. Ack - absolute crap. It's hard for a new person to come in and get the goods, I know - but I see no respect in allowing people to do mediocre work. Any student must be held to high standards or you are not doing him or her a favor. I told Kimberly it was up to her (and up to me when I'm doing it) to light up their imaginations.

Enjah and I named our Takos and she made a sail - I made a spinnaker. I was going for 11 on the drabness meter. That green was actually the result of the "color random" command, but it's my fave puke green (which I hardly ever use in SL as someone else likes it). I like random, so I could just randomise the color every time I sail. I named my Tako "Osprey" - well just made sense. Enjah called hers "Enjah." I can always change it if I think of a better name.

When we were sailing with Kanker he said "Flying Tako" is a play on words as "tako" in Japanese means both octopus and kite. I left my Tako logo intact as I like it. The spinnaker might benefit from being a bit lighter. Looks too contrasty.

My landlord was here this morning but left before I could even say hello.

The other day I did a wee graphics job for Looper, desaturating a photo (of her for the APR) and adding some old mechanical drawing on top of her just to add interest.

I'm tired of having my food all go weird when my power's off. I have some strange refrigerator things happening at the moment. There are some things in there that... well... are dead. Long dead.

I was waiting for the SL update before tackling the HUD as there is a HUD improvement - I wanted to see if the Combat Cards HUD is clearer. The update has been put off, however, until the 1st of March. I just noticed, too, that Hamlet put my Christmas card (falling snow, message: it's a HUD!) in his hud expo which he told me he was going to do, but which I'd not seen before - who knows why. Hamlet is going indy starting next month - that will be different, I'm sure. From embedded journalist employed by Linden Lab to independent writer who has focussed his career on virtual life - Hamlet is, like, on the cutting edge, man.

18 February 2006

February 18th - lost post recovered from my webhost

I'd post it at that date but the change-o date function inexplicably went missing a few months ago. <-- But I looked through Opera and it shows that capability when in Firefox I can't see it, so now the post is back to the 18th!

When the roofer came to survey the roof damage I expected to see him again. Now I hear from my landlord that he and Frieda are coming down to take a look and do various things. It sounds as though he thought the roof repair estimate was too high and is going to tackle it himself... which does not seem a good idea to me. But, I will say, that would be entirely in character.
For some reason Blogger keeps eating posts that were previously published and on the blog. O, unhappy occurrance. Now I'm afraid to add posts as it deletes the previous ones.

Here are 3 from the 17th and 18th:

Well, my power just came on about 2 minutes ago. It went out while I was sleeping last night. It's supposed to go down to nine degrees or something, so I'm ecstatic that it's on now.

The lights are flickering. Damnation.

The important Combat Cards event was that Philip came for a demo. Luckily I couldn't be there (hate the limelight). Doc and I had worked on setting things up on Wednesday, and (I am cutting out a lot of information that no one cares about) he also spent ages on Thursday. The demo went well, which is grand. P had some interesting thoughts and seemed genuinely interested in the idea.

I rang the computer shop that I always have build my computers. Me: Hi, I'm your valued customer (that's how they always refer to me). I have a gig of ram and now I want another gig of ram. Man: OK. What are your specs? Me: It's in your system. Man: That's not as easy to pull up as you might think. Me: ? Man: (3 seconds later) You have blah blah blah. Me: Yeah. Man: Oh that's easy then. Me: K. When and how much? Man: I can't answer your questions. Me:? Man: Maybe sometime next week. I don't make the schedules. I can't say how much. Not as much as you paid for the original gig in 2004 as the price has gone down. I'll pass your order along. Me: Thank you very much.

Good thing I have totally weird priorities and inability to deal with objects otherwise I'd have to scratch my head at that. Anyway, onward and upward. I can't wait for anything ever, now, as I only have this current moment and there's no guarantees for the future (say tomorrow or an hour from now). And no, no one has a guarantee, however they have a statistical probability of a future.

Looper is set on a course to get a helper dog from the women's prison. The dog is named Dobby. From that I will deduce that Harry Potter is popular in women's prisons. Years ago I met a woman - an artist - who had run art programs in women's prisons. She described the inmates minutely. The lifers spent their time crocheting tiny baby booties in mute longing. It is a sad thing to think about.

15 February 2006


Dan's Mug


Yesterday Enj and I went to see the Toast-Nylon shop in um... something boardwalk. It was very nice - the colors were good, among other things. We were sitting on this daybed looking at the books, but when I got up I was IN the furniture. I said, 'Why am I in the daybed?" Enjah said, "You are EMBEDDED."

St Valentine's Day

A great day - all day long.

Logged in to Second Life for a few minutes before I went to work - saw the SL sun had been replaced by a candy heart which said "I Do." The slogans changed throughout the day on both the sun and moon.

I went to work - Donna didn't come to class but had the camera. I was annoyed and told Alex she needed to give it back since she seemed like she wasn't coming to class. I regretted (a bit) laying it on him, but then later Donna came and gave me the camera and apologised. I like her - she needs to come to school and be there for class, though, or she's not going to use my camera. As I told her the first day, "You can take your own pictures too -- as long as you take the ones for the yearbook." I don't want things to not be fun - however my fun counts, too.

My two little girls made various things in various graphics programs. Kimberly came and gave then large bags of candy (I just kept my mouth shut). Later she gave me a HUGE basket of all kinds of things like chocolate and candies and fake roses and a pink bath set , etc. It was a nice gesture but over the top. It was all fabulousy wrapped up in heart-y cellophane with a fabric rose on the top. The entire school was awash in candy. I just... oh, well. Anyway, Tiff was there and made me lunch to take home. She brought Jack in to say hello, which was nice. In the virtual world we tried another run-through for the scavenger hunt. I am so horrid at explaining how I wanted it to work that it was confusing for Montrose. I TRIED to explain... It's my weak link - I'm a rotten explainer. the girls were great - I mean the mentors in N.Y. They had the image clues ready. Of course, dealing with a classroom full of sugary children was bizarre. Then all the girls left for a basketball game. One of the computers was behaving badly - I told Alina and she advised me to tell Queen Bee, as QB might be able to arrange for help from IBM. Now THAT would be nice.

I printed off contact sheets of the school photographs. Then I got most of the teachers to write names, etc. by them, so we can begin the yearbook in earnest. The pictures have backgrounds that are all different colors. I am horrified. I thought that stupid blue year after year in the old pictures was bad enough, but this is... insane. It would be fine if all 4th grade were maroon, all 1st were blue, say. But no. We have a nasty mosaic of colors in each class.

Came home and found a nice email I'd been hoping for - I had bought an account and it was transferred to me by LL. I guess it's considered fraught buying things from people who are using pseudonyms and whose word alone is all you have to trust them by - except I find that I totally trust some people from their vibrations in the aether (I suppose) and others I wouldn't trust for anything. This person I felt comfortable trusting, and, in fact, it was fine to do so. I'd trust Enjah with anything. Or Salazar. Or Doc. Or Forcythia. Or Pirate, for that matter. Or - well there are many extremely trust-worthy and wonderful people in Second Life. The part that is truncated or cut away is not the basic essence of the person, but is all that... rigamarole that gets in the way of knowing who the person is. Anyway, that's how I see it.

Later Enjah and I went to visit the Techra tree, as it's going away. The tree is huge: it is a sim-sized tree. The top is so high one can't fly up there unassisted. Here's a picture I took - I'm the speck by the door:

Here's another from yesterday:

February 11 - 13th

I haven't blogged for a few days as I've been very busy - so I will catch up. The 13th was the third anniversary of my mother's death, so I was feeling kind of sad all week. On Tuesday I said that to Enjah and she said that the 14th was the sixth anniversary of her father's death. Anyway -

I think Saturday was the day we got 15 (base number) cards finished and up on the website. They look fab. Doc: "We rock!"

I worked on things for Combat Cards all day Sunday - going through a lot of animations and writing them in a cvs file Doc had sent me (Me: I don't know what a cvs file is. Doc: It's for Excel. Me: *says nothing but thinks about how out of my realm that is*). Also started to set up a little Combat Cards shop in CafePress, and did a million other things I misremember. Also did some graphics work for school, setting up the pow wow jacket and doing a bit of color separation for old-time's-sake.

Christine rang me on Monday - great to talk with her. Apparently some of the family was a bit worried as I hadn't sent any xmas cards. As I told Christine, I had just thought, "fcuk it." I sent cards I had made by email... well I might've left off most people BUT I SENT SOME. I wasn't interested in the holiday at all. We talked about movie projector bulbs - she has the same kind of projector as one I bought (I fell in love with its wonderful design) - a Eumig. The camera shop told her they thought it was one that'd been imported illegally into Canada as the wiring is right but the bulb-type is one that was never used on any of the legally-imported models and is consequently hard to find. I sent her a url of a bulb seller who might have a "3 prong Eumig bulb."

Monday I had jin shin at a strange hour, then came back and logged into SL to be part of the Still Life awards ceremony. It was very well attended. People show up (generally) half an hour late, but we had quite a crowd.

When Enjah was leading up to the first place announcement I wanted to blow my shofar, but wouldn't attach then - but I blew it in celebration after the announcement. Dee-dEE! dEE-Dee!

11 February 2006

I plugged the cheesy lakecam in again so you may stare at the lake if you have a mind to.


Looking out at the 1.9 preview grid. I crashed the client reattaching a shield. Vektor sent a flag saying he was going to try to crash Miramare, so I flew out of the sim - and lo and behold it went down. I didn't do much, but will do more later.

Kanker came by and gave Enjah and me a ride in his newest boat. We'd been sitting in chairs on a rock looking at Still Life contest entries. He came over in Cubey's touring blimp, and spied us, so came down.

I've had a field day selling tents - something like 20 in two days. I got commissioned to make a purple velvet zoot suit.

I've been working hard on the Combat Cards. Doc and I have found our rhythm - he takes the portraits against a blue screen, then sends me his shots. I take background shots and put the two together, then add a bazillion little adjustments. Then I send the pic back, he makes a card and sends me a web-sized image, and i update the website.

I tried to explain it to Tiff, but it's not understandable to most people.

I worked on the pow wow jacket design, and virtual world things.

I currently have strange liquids coming out of my fridge from the days with no power.

Combat Cards: We got in the standby group for Arcadia, which means we don't get to do anything, however it's good to have no particular deadline... except we do have an important thing happening next week. We are trying to get things as finished-seeming as possible for that.

08 February 2006

No Donna today - more's the pity. She was absent. An intern arrived from Evergreen who is going to go into classes and do my bidding. I kept introducing her by saying, "This is Kimberly, she fell from heaven." I'm not sure how well she'll work out, but she will at the very least be able to do the drawing classes to get the themed drawings I need for the pow wow T shirts. She'll be around until the end of March.

My two little girls worked on their projects then ran off at 2 to go to an away basketball game. The boys were left to do the virtual world, and they had fun. Well maybe not JustinS, since he was in a black mood, but the other 3 were happy.

Nominations just closed for the Arcadia Game Expo - we shall see later if we squeaked in. There were around 420 posts to the thread, not all of which carried 3 niminations, but most expressed at least one. There were a few posts making comments or asking for clarification, but not very many. I can't even speculate home many games were represented. Some old favorites like DarkLife received loads of nominations - understandable given the number of long-time players. Other games hadn't been released, and so had to start from scratch with no one knowing anything about them.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about the process - or what would've been better. It felt like a mad scramble to win a popularity contest. There's a lot of game development, and the games range from highly scripted and complex battle games to simple gambling games using cards. Given that people enjoy different things, I think the games are all of equal value. If I had to divide them up I suppose it would be by originality. Some games are familiar old games with new names, some are based on video games, some a completely original. Even that criterium is probably not terribly useful. Eh - it's late and I can't think straight.

07 February 2006

Andrew said this the other day -
"When we actually get around to making the port we'll most likely be working with Havok3 since Havok Inc is no longer 'supporting' Havok2. That's okay, since there is very little difference between Havok3 and Havok2, whereas there is a big difference between Havok1 and Havok2. The only thing relevant to us that was added in Havok3 is a feature called 'continuous collision detection' which allows for more correct collision details and prevents accidental interpenerations during the integration step of the physics engine. Unfortunately, it costs extra CPU cycles, and it isn't clear to us that we'll be using it (it can easily be disabled to fall back on Havok2 behavior).

Incidentally, we're thinking we might stop supporting 'joints' in Havok1 before we move to Havok3. Joints are buggy but very difficult to fix while supporting the legacy format, which is why we haven't fixed them yet. Joints are in desperate need of a complete redesign, and would be much easeir to re-implement after Havok3 rather than trying to provide legacy support during the port. Eliminating joints would remove a big chunk of the work required for the final transition from Havok1 to Havok3, making the whole project easier to break up into achievable pieces."

It's all good - can't make an omelet without breaking eggs - and those "eggs" are buggy and weird anyway. The only things I use joints for at the moment are my weathervanes, which are just me messing about anyway. I wonder how many people use joints, and what they use them for? I'd guess the number of uses is small given their buggy nature. Havok3! W00t!

06 February 2006


Trying to figure out anims: I made a backflip and put in in the HUD so when I choose 'backflip" as a card move I fly backwards through the air... more fun, methinks, than merely hacking at my opponent. I am going to try to make the anims - god knows what the results will be as I have a big TWO animations under my belt so far.

05 February 2006


Trying to kill a seagull.

Accidentally got into a fight with myself, and was bested.

A nice day with electricity all day! Wow! I went grocery shopping as my frozen food had all melted in the long power outage, and there wasn't much else. It was a lovely, sunny day when I left here, but became cloudy and grey while I was shopperisificating.

In Second Life I invited Jensel to come to the Kill Club, where I fell upon her and killed her. Rude - yes. She invited a lot of people, so soon there were three more leggy, blinging model-types and Max Case, and two more fights broke out.

[The other day when I fought Enjah twice and she killed me both times - I realised the deck I was using (as I was taking screenshots) is wimpy compared to the beta deck.]

Torley Jr. IMed me and said she was sitting in one of my bedouin tents - it's funny that I've made so many tents. She was interested in infohub ideas, so I will have to get cracking on building two ideas I have, to see if they work.

Doc and I are trying to get into the Arcadia game competition, which will be the 8 games with the greatest number of nominations in a forum thread. Those 8 games get a quarter of a sim for something like a month, during which time popularity statistics are compiled. The winning 4 get to stay on their land for a year.


Fighting at the Kill Club in Europa - Asmodeus and Doc

Fighting Enjah

04 February 2006


Salazar bought the big piece of land next to me in Bodega - a piece that had been sitting idle waiting for a certain person who had never shown up. I'd noticed it about a year and a half ago but never said anything as I figured it was best not to draw attention to it. Someone DID draw attention to it the other day, so it was auctioned off. Salazar said only one other bidder was in the auction. That person was a musician - it seems Bodega attracts artistic types. Or perhaps PG-rated sims attract the artistic people. "PG" is just called that as it is an instantly understandable rating. The other sim rating is "M" for mature. It has been said that PG sims are where the grown-ups go to get away from those who are... well... immature.

I flew to Phobos with Salazar to see the infohub - it looks complete - like the many parts form a harmonious whole. After that Enjah and I roamed the caves at Fairytale Island. Spent some time at Sunset Jazz listening to a singer, then got an IM from Pirate asking me to show him Combat Cards, so Enj and I went to the Kill Club and I fought Pirate. Then went to the yoga place in Zoe to see how it is coming along.

Then I opened the new resident-made animation program called SLAT. I'd never made an animation. I made a little bow and uploaded it - yay. I am aflush with accomplishment.

The big news is that Looper has been awarded $100,000 - w00t! In real life, even! I buried this at the end of my post, Looper, as I wasn't sure you wanted it bruited about.

My power went out at noon and just came on - about 2:10 p.m.

My power went out at midnight, and came on just now - 11:30 a.m.

Part of the roof was ripped halfway off in the extreme winds, and is now dangling down to my deck and beating against the railing, making a noise like one might get if one hit a garbage can with a mallet.

03 February 2006

Three separate emails just now from one person:





02 February 2006

I live on a DRINKING WATER LAKE. The houses have pipes which go into the lake. Untreated water flows up the pipe and comes out the taps. Drinking water lakes are supposed to have buffer-zones to maintain the drinkable quality of the water.

I find out now that NO ONE is testing the water or regulating the types of activities that can go on in and around the lake. A swathe of the forested buffer-zone was clearcut by a logging company owned by Weyerhauser. Logging, prohibited (supposedly) in the winter months, proceeded most rapidly during the winter months.

There's a salmon stream that feeds into the lake and is affected by all this: Kennedy Creek.

Wildlife - that is, deer, otters, and other animals including cougars - don't seem to be around anymore. The only animal that's been seen lately is a fawn - crushed on the road by a logging truck.

Rot in Hell, Weyerhauser - along with Hanson Motors in Olympia and Wells Fargo the big bank.

Hanson Motors of Olympia: For selling my elderly mother, who had cancer, a new Daiwu. Yes, those salesmen are scum.
Wells Fargo: For calling me up after my mother died and saying, "You owe us $12,000 on the car* and we will pursue you forever. We will never give up." <---Direct quote
*which I didn't have

My power went out Tuesday at 5pm - just came on - Thursday at 12:30am - a long, cold day yesterday.



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