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30 November 2006


Enj sent me food - really cool dinners from a something Bistro company. One is Chilean sea bass - w00t! Thank you, Enj. Anyway, it was Fed Ex, and that same nice man brought it to my door and put it inside.

Take that UPS, spawn of teh debbil.

29 November 2006


The lighting of the Christmas tree X 18 in the NBC sims by Bedazzle.

Living the Handmaid's Tale

The United States has been systematically looted and turned into a playground for corporations. The latest shocking thing is the destruction of EPA library materials and the closure of those libraries (formerly employees were told the material would go into storage, but now they have been instructed to destroy these scientific studies, etc.). The Environmental Protection Agency stood in the way of corporations polluting and destroying the land, air, and water.

It's windy - I hope my power doesn't go out.

In my opinion, which is worth precisely NOTHING, Linden Lab has been doing a great job in the past week. I just base that on the aetheric emanations that quiver across time/space (that is, since I don't believe in time and space, appear instantly) and make me feel either optimistic or glum (I'm optimistic by nature). I actually instantly felt better when Philip said on their blog that LL was hiring - the staff has been very much too small to handle Second Life for a long time. The Lindens have seemed spread so thinly lately it has been like they've all been steamrollered flat.

This just in:


FED EX DELIVERED TODAY to Jess and not only came down the ice-covered driveway but CARRIED a big box down snowy/icy outdoor stairs to deliver it to her door. I told him he had beaten Brown.

UPS is teh suxxeh.

Mwahahaha - a message on the LL blog said, in part, "Wondering why the grid is still down after the update? I’ve been asked to assure everyone we aren’t running around in world sitting in your chairs and playing Tringo."

We all know "sitting in your chairs" should be replaced by "trying out yer poseballs." Heh.

After deciding not to submit to Motorati I went ahead and did it anyway last night - only cut my idea in half and expected nothing at all to happen. I was surprised to get an email this morning from the coordinator: "your Motorati idea IS GENIUS!" Heh. Nice ego boost, anyway. It will be fun to do. He wondered if I'd be selling ice creams and things but I said they should be free - and I'd make some souvenirs (like cups and saucers, T-shirts, postcards perhaps) and sell them for 10L or something, just so there's a gift shop flavour.

Spent some time running around Uru Online -- now that Enjah is in it seems more interesting. We haven't hooked up yet but we will. Since the beta has been expanded now more things are possible, I reckon. I spent most of the time trying to remember what I had figured out in offline Uru - which I never got into much but certainly enjoyed some aspects of, including collecting mass quantities of books. I went back and watched the hologram Yesha but although I remember getting goggles or something in one of the bedrooms I didn't see that. I couldn't remember how to jump, but I figured that out and also discovered First Person. Annoyingly the audio was set to mute by default - I had to unmute even though I'd never muted it. It makes me feel strange that it's D'ni since, of course, it's not Dine' - although it starts out in the American Southwest. That has always seemed really odd to me.

28 November 2006

Gak - 11 degrees :(

Yow - 18 degrees :(

In Second Life I'm making a tent for someone - actually taking one already made and altering it a bit. The customer is very nice but it amazes me that people don't understand building. I get "Can you move this here, move that there?" and I explain that I can do that if I want to remake the entire thing. Every part is connected to every other part. What I have to do is alter the back bump-out so that there are 2 benches on the sides, no bench in the middle wall ("Can you move this?" "Maybe - but it's there to fill a hole.") and the floor is at the same level as the main room, doors, walls that turn phantom, max headroom for the entry (she's a dragon), and - at the very last second - "Osprey, can you make it more purple?" That's a funny sidelong question since it isn't purple at all - heh. I changed my texture (she was amazed it was my own texture) to purple in Photoshop and was good to go.

I spent hours running down info and filling out a Motorati submission, hit enter and it got eaten - so I just said eff it.

Luc and I talked about the movie of From the Shadows that Vlad is editing. It turns out Luc was in Bells and Spurs (Luc: For that you just had to sit on poseballs for 2 hours, Os. Me: Wussies - we did it for real.). I told him how EXAKT Twin had said Tina had an alibi for the night of the heist - they were both at dinner with Luc. Luc said yes, that was true. I said I would have to apologise to Tina (Well, I briefly considered killing her instead but Luc said Taco would hunt me down. I don't have anyone to hunt down Taco - I think that means Tina wins).

Department of Who the Hell Knows: All Hell has broken loose on the SC and SL forums lately - it's quite unfortunate. SC came under attack by SLEx, then SC attacked SLEx on their forums and in the SL forums as well as mounting a formidable closing of ranks and protecting-the-community action at SC. Then Strife and Joshua came to blows. Strife surfaced on SC with a *burp* and made everyone angry. Cool heads called for mature behaviour.

27 November 2006


During jin shin I was A.) story-boarding a machinima in my head, B.) compiling a list of Things I Don't Like which only got to two and now I can't remember the first one, and C.) thinking about the best way to build and texture a touch-start chainsaw in Second Life. That got me thinking about the time I had to jack up a house and crawl underneath it to chainsaw out a lot of cedar tree slices someone had used as a foundation and which hadn't been removed when a proper foundation was built. That was quite horrid - dark, just room enough to lie down after having wormed my way in - especially loathsome for the furthest blocks (there were 8 or more - so big I couldn't put my arms around them, and an angry river of huge black carpenter ants burst out at the first touch of the chainsaw). It took an eternity to saw a block up and remove all the pieces, during which time I got covered with ants. I made my dogs go in there with me.

Anyway, afterwards Frank peered out the window and said it was snowing again, as indeed I saw when I left. I drove to Slaveways and bought a few things as 2-3 inches is predicted (nothing if you live in a snow-zone, but here, believe me, that stops things quite well). I am at a higher elevation than Olympia and it's always icier/snowier here. It's predicted to be low 20s tonight

All right - here's the thing: I have some kind of radar or something, as I saw a lump in the snow at the top of the drive and investigated. What COULD IT BE? UPS had"delivered" 2 packages to me - how nice of them to leave them on the ground in a snowstorm nowhere near my door. I would guess they were 30 yards away. No phone call, nothing. Why would they do that? How did I know to check that lump? It was just a lump in the snow... a lump in, I should add, an area of long grassy hummocks covered by snow (i.e. just another lump). Why wouldn't they just deliver another day - or at least give me a heads-up call?

Time Travel

Schools are time machines - I know my art students* of yore absorbed attitudes and observations from me and will pass them on long after I'm dead . That's not what I'm posting about now, though. It suddenly occurred to me that my existence seems to criss-cross time in a funny way.

I've always thought my life is like a movie, but it's beyond that, really. The anachronistic aspect of my life is a bit extreme in parts, and was heightened by being raised in a very isolated family. Essentially I was raised according to their beliefs, which were formed in the early** to mid twentieth century. In effect, once we left England we were sealed in a time capsule. Of course, it sounds funny to people now that we left in an ocean liner which took a week or two to cross the Atlantic, but that part was just normal.

In rural Canada my brother, sister, and I had to walk*** 3 miles each day to Pine Grove School. That was by the roads - we shortened it to 2.5 miles by crossing fields. Of course it snowed in October and didn't thaw until April, and the drifts were much higher than our heads. The school had no plumbing and was heated by a woodstove. Miss Larson had many different ages/grades arranged in rows and ruled in an absolute fashion. I remember her saying (like an air traffic controller) Row (or was it grade?) Three will do pages 22-25 in their arithmetic book; Row One will read aloud beginning with paragraph 2 on page 15 of book X... Our desks were the old fashioned row kind that were bolted to the floor. I had that kind of desk for years**** and always felt sorely deprived that the hole for the inkwell was empty. I'd've loved having ink.

The chief amusements at that point were playing classical records and dancing either ballet (we'd been in ballet school prior to leaving) or the MINUET, singing Christmas carols all year long, reading a great deal (almost all very, very old books), horses (as usual), running around in the woods (which in the country are spotted with farm tips containing such fascinating objects as jars and bottles from the previous century, rusted hulks of discarded machinery, and so on), and revelling in potentially lethal activities like jumping in enormous bins of oats for the pleasure of sliding down. I suppose living with ice and snow made us more interested in sliding year-round. A boy at school was killed one recess by sliding down the packed snow bordering the (dirt) road and being hit by a truck. I have some very clear memories from that time of observing patterns in ice, being nearly killed by cattle, getting bitten by a goose (I had been bitten by a swan earlier - I'm not crazy about huge birds)...

Woops - the snow has stopped and I need to go out, so this post is hereby concluded.
*stamps with official seal*

*I ran an art program for gifted young artists for 16 years in Indian Country. One year at our pow wow I just handed my cameras over to children who proceeded to take amazing pictures like THIS and THIS.
**Unrelated note of interest: I was married to someone older than I whose mother had been born in the same year as my mother. Therefore, I told him we had come from eggs the same age - which caused him to respond, with some consternation, "No one in the history of the world has ever had that thought before." Heh.
***They had to drag me.
****I went to 2 one-room schoolhouses and 1 two-room schoolhouse.

Gad - a complete white-out from the snow falling.

26 November 2006


It snowed an inch or so last night, and the wind blew - so of course the power had to go out. This year has been ridiculous. What - seven times this month? The power came on at about 2:53pm - it will be nice when things warm up in here. It's lucky it came on just as it is getting dark, though. I spent some time reorganising my archive CD/DVDs (again) and composing blogposts in my head (consider me to've posted 8 or 10 times between yesterday and this post - I'm not going to write them, though).

25 November 2006

Another artist - I think he would've done some great things had he lived.

Here's another wee clip from the Ponnelle Carmina burana film. I think having double letters in one's name must've been a requirement.
Orff, Ponnelle, Hermann, Popp...


The contest themes are always loose - any interpretation is good. The theme is books. Do ANYTHING you want. I have included a number of HUDs so your entry can easily look like a page illustration without manipulation. Entries can be in book-form, pictures of readers, bookmakers, criminals being booked, books being used to build a house, characters stepping off the book's page - anything you can think of. Be weird. You aren't being weird enough lately.

Book Page HUDs are in the informational notecard obtained by clicking the poster in the Photograohy Studio window. You can use them, change them, make your own (or do something completely different).

To Use Heads -Up Displays (HUDs) - Click on the notecard HUD and "copy to inventory." From your inventory right-click "wear." The HUD appears on your screen and you can edit it to fit. When you take a photo you must choose "show HUD objects in snapshot" for the HUD tp appear. Any other HUDs you are wearing will also show up in the snapshot.?

NOTE: You can also rez the HUD inworld - good if you want to step out of or into a page.

To Enter:
Enter textures of Second Life screenshots.
Textures can be no bigger than 512x512 - rectangular photos saved as 512x512 regain their proportions once they are put on a prim.

Title entries with your name + title <---= so I don't lose it in my inventory
Send them to Osprey Therian in a with MOD permission and COPY perms.
Give me an IM so I know to look for them.

Don't send them in a notecard - I say this as I look at textures every day but I rarely look at notecards. If I don't get your heads-up the entry gets buried under the billion spam notecards I get per week. I hate it when things get lost - the only entries to've been lost thus far were in notecards.

This time no categories. Unmanipulated or manipulated are both OK but I haven't been getting enough entries to warrant two categories.


Entries accepted until December 16th at 5:30pm .

The show will go up on the weekend - and we will have an awards ceremony (probably at 3pm on Monday, December 18th).

Cash prizes.

The Photography Studio is located in The Brownstone East, Grignano
Grignano is a pg sim. <--=

24 November 2006

I spent a couple of hours listening to various Madaminas, and settled on this one:

René Pape as Leporello

Hermann Prey - Carmina Burana - Estuans interius

I wish I could get that on DVD - I think it doesn't exist. Anyone out there know anything? It's from the Jean-Pierre Ponnelle 1975 film version of Carmina burana with Lucia Popp and Hermann Prey,

All I can think about is my brother.


23 November 2006

Of Course!
I think I've lived here 7 years now - a bizarrely long time unprecedented in my life. Would you drive here you'd break out from the trees and see the lake on your right. After a bit you'd turn onto my dive, which parallels the road, and which acts as a main drive from which several individual driveways spring, including one which has a large sign proclaiming that it the lair of someone named Milt. Every time I see it I think of spawning salmon. That has to be thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of milt-thoughts that have sprung unbidden into my brain. I think that's why my imagination, fecund as it has proved to be, has given birth to so many ideas.

Yesterday in Second Life I had an appointment to shoot a vampire at 4 - she was terribly nice and easy to work with. Also I finished (I think) the third tent variation.

I've been wondering what might be a fun thing to do with the Aliens for a while - I wondered if it would be a lot of fun to have an alien search one weekend as the aliens are copiable. It seemed sad just to have them sitting in my inventory. Today I noticed they are up at Crescent, now, so I don't need to think about it anymore, I suppose.

Update: I sporked Luc and he recorded his movie lines! w00t! I had decided to wait until Vlad reappeared, which he did last night, before I got the spork out. I adore Luc - he's such a nice person. Having done his thespian's turn at Hipcast, the actors have concluded their part in this drama. Now Vlad must edit and we shall see how it turns out.

2006 has been a year of much pain and hardship for people. I wonder how long it has been since I didn't have cause to say that about a year.

My neighbor's car must have an electrical problem as the alarm kept going off. The last time it went off was 3:30am, which wasn't actually a problem for me as I was sitting in the kitchen eating elk chili and reading an article in the new Yorker ====:O I have had strange eating habits lately. I heated up that chili twice over the course of about 10 hourse and let it go cold in the nuker both times. Finally ate it cold at 3:30am. It doesn't seem to've poisoned me.

Things We Need in Second Life (in my opinion)

A day of grace for switching/selling/acquiring land so someone doesn't swap land to an alt and wind up paying double tier. Maybe it would be limited to one grace day a month or something, or maybe it wouldn't need to be.

Snapshots and textures given by others should go into "Photo Album" not Textures.

Additions for premium value enhancement:
Sandboxes just for premium members (I HATE clubby restrictions but at the moment I spend far longer looking for a place to work than I do actually building. I was in Goguen and the nearby sandboxes today and there were large quantites* of useless crap rezzed for no reason (a car for sale, some giant prims covering the entire sim) nothing being built that I could see - just rezzed for no purpose.

Try and work in this mess.

Some kind of privacy room or area** so we can get rid of the freaking ban lines. Perhaps that would be useful for X-rated content as access would be restricted to individuals or groupmembers, and maybe THAT'S where the wished-for-or-demanded (by some) disclaimer could be activated. Right now we have a world that is supposed to be all one piece, except it isn't, and the parts that aren't (restricted areas) don't function well at all - they don't give privacy and they disrupt the flow of explorers trying to fly around.

Well, those four things are a start. Anyone else have any ideas? And don't say stealth mode as that's in the next client already.

*more that 10k useless prims in one sim - I didn't check others
**I see it as a link that goes to another server completely, and private areas in that server can't communicate with each other.

22 November 2006


I was looking for a video of Mingus playing the Haitian Fight Song, which I couldn't find. However, i found the Haitian Fight Song accompanying these old Rocky Marciano clips - satisfies my interest in mixing things up.

Epiphany o' the Day

I had just logged on the Second Life when I got an IM about a discussion about games - I went to it and it gave me an epiphany about why this all seems very much as usual to me.

I'm from one of those typical English families that is spread out across the globe. After we moved from Canada to the USA I didn't have any but my immediate family in the same country, and that was just normal. My brother left after about a year or so, and then only part of my family was in the same country. That was normal. We were always a contained unit and I never felt anything other than an English person living in a foreign country (I was brought up to feel separate). That's the same way I feel now.

I listened to people at the discussion talking about how, since the internet, and because of Second Life more particularly, they could meet and talk with others from all over the globe. They said it felt to them as though boundaries are gone and globalisation on its way to becoming real. ZOMG. I suddenly realised that's how it's always been for me. No wonder this seems like business as usual.

I don't really believe in time and space anyway. That's probably another story, though.

Death Cab For Cutie

This makes me yearn for the olden days before I moved here. I was 10 minutes from the Backstage and other music venues. I'd hop in my car and go, at times multiple times a week, sometimes setting up a video camera or freezing to death at 2 am or falling asleep.

Often the bands were bad, but live music is great anyway. It usually entailed a lot of standing on the sidewalk or in the alley waiting for, say, the Dandy Warhols to play the Midnight Sun in front of about 30 people. It also usually entailed standing around for ages* in front of a locked door on faith and hearsay, since often the person with the key would be late. There were usually several festivals a year - maybe YoY0-a-GoGo, maybe the Strange Music festival.

Once I got home from a Wa He Lut excursion long after midnight and got straight in my car and went to catch the last songs of Frank Black and the Catholics. Sometimes I went with the Monsters or others but mostly alone as other people don't usually do things. Themz were the days.

*hard cheese in January with no heat waiting inside the building, either.

Marvin Gaye Sexual Healing

Always my favorite. Can't think of Marvin without thinking of Tammi.

Mightiness of Sunlight Bottom

Thank you, Enjah, for this link - I laughed so hard I couldn't see.


21 November 2006

There were some waterfowl down below just now that I couldn't identify. There were 4 - large ducks, they appeared to be (the size of geese but duck-looking). Three had black heads and black/white bodies and one had a dark russet head and a grey body. I have looked and haven't seen anything yet that matches... Animals weather storms here.

I was going to take a photo for Looper but before I could the ducks (maybe) disappeared.

It's blowing and there are whitecaps on the lake. It's a bit dim, too.

I should turn on a light - it's hard to see. Anyway, I really liked Club Topsy Radio when it was alive, and never found anything that substituted adequately. I started listening to Tokyo Ninja Radio today, though, and it fills in a bit.

Holy cow - a huge light ball on the horizon. It's blinding - I think the storm is whipping through... oh, it's dimming now... odd weather. Going from very dark to blindingly light in one minute...

Anyway, I was looking for a decent URL this morning for my Bodega Hills pavilion area, as the Spanish link seems to've bitten the dust. I wanted African music and found a nice station from Ghana, which was nice for precisely the time it took to log in as Art and post the URL, then it devolved into a man talking for a LONG TIME in a mixture of languages that was like an opaque soup on the boil - every so often something in English surfaced. I took that URL off and looked around some more - I found something else and stuck the URL in. I can't even remember what it is now...

It suddenly got very dark and the rain is horizontal.

Uh... a sudden hailstorm?

20 November 2006

A post on the Second Citizen forums by Wildefire Walcott:

Why Second Life Is Important
Seven years younger and childless, my husband and I moved thousands of miles from home to start a new life. While we love our new home, and consider it a better place for our young family than where we lived before, all of our closest friends and all of our relatives are now accessible only by phone and email. Ours is a comfortable, pleasant, but often lonely existence. Enter Second Life.

In this past year as a Second Life resident, I have made many friends both in-world and on the forums, and have had more regular and meaningful contact with them than with most of my own family members. Although time differences still prove to be a damnable inconvenience, I've met men and women from all parts of the world, and have grown close to many of them.

I have a make-believe home in a make-believe world, but in a year's time I've felt real joy and love, real jealousy and heartbreak. After I say goodnight to my avatar friends I return to them in my sleep where they live and breathe like I do. When I awake from these dreams I'm sometimes disappointed to find it was all in my head, but I'm pleased to have had the thoughts at all. My memories are a part of me, a part of my life. Contrary to what the cynics will tell you, Second Life isn't a substitute for real life- it's a supplement.

My best friend in the world is a woman I've known since high school, where our relationship grew out of a shared interest for Laurie Anderson and The Smiths. Due to the geographic distance now between us, we had to continually re-affirm our best-friend status during the one or two times a year we actually get to see each other face-to-face. We're awful about email and phone calls, and really relied on our rare in-person meetings to keep our friendship alive. When she flew out to visit me last June, our relationship blossomed in a new, exciting, and even frightening manner... we had discussed this change in the weeks before her visit, and once we were in the same room together it all just fell into place. The amazing thing about this evolution is that it would never have happened if I hadn't discovered Second Life months before. It's only through the personal revelations that my Second Life triggered in my First Life that I became aware of some of my strengths and gifts- and was able to share them with my dearest companion.

On the last day of her visit I showed her Second Life and helped her set up an account. Since then, despite the space between us, we've been able to meet on the weekends and see the sights, go shopping, and just be together. During one of our virtual meetings, when I was about to go for the day I emoted that that I pushed her hair behind her ear so I could touch her face. She was quiet for a while, and when I asked what was wrong, she confessed she was crying in real life because she was overwhelmed my how real it all felt. I was only able to give her a virtual hug at the time, but I knew exactly what she meant.

Second Life is important in other ways to different people. Folks with disabilities (particularly deafness) can interact with other avatars in a way they never could in the real world. I know several people who are so ill or impaired that they're physically unable to move freely outside their homes. Their friends and lovers reside online; are their primary (if not only) source of human contact. Most people in this state are very poor (almost all of my housebound friends are unverified accounts) and it is a true blessing that they can participate in this world for free. I growl a bit every time I try to port an unverified friend into a sim that blocks them, and each time a newbie tells me that some established player was rude to them because of their payment status.

One woman I am very close to, also running an unverified account due to her circumstances, recently confessed to me that she is dying. She cannot afford treatment for her cancer and she spends her days alone in a dark apartment, often feeling so bad she can barely roll out of bed. When I asked what I could do for her, she simply asked me to just be myself- just be there for her when she's strong enough to sign on. I have committed to do just that, and I'm so glad I've got the opportunity to bring some happiness and fulfillment to my friend in these last sad days of her existence.

A fundamental and perfect thing about Second Life is that it enables you to explore different lifestyles, cultures, and interests with some measure of safety and privacy. You deal your own cards and control your own fate. That many men move about Second Life with female avatars is no secret, but this phenomenon goes beyond mere curiosity or an outright desire to deceive. A large number of these players are transvestites or transgendered in real life, and Second Life provides a protected environment for them to live the life they always thought they should have had to begin with. Several men have confided to me that they lamented having been born male, and I actually think it's a beautiful thing that they should be able to taste that life which they'd otherwise been denied.

When I complain about Linden Lab or Second Life, I'm not worried about the economy or intellectual property. I don't consider those things unimportant, but I know that many real life businesses and industries have survived more dire circumstances than any Second Life merchant has had to contend with. We have resourceful, creative people in our community, and they will find ways to remain successful. No, when I worry about Second Life, I'm concerned about the things that would prevent me, my friends, and all the other lonely dreamers out there from moving in this beautiful, flawed, important world.

CAR COMPANIES in Second Life

This is the anniversary of my father's birth: he was born in 1919, in Leeds. I looked for an old photo to scan but haven't found one yet.

Here's one:

My father with his older brother, Scarborough

19 November 2006

Mariana Pentcheva - Un Ballo in Maschera - Witch's scene


17 November 2006

I Love the Second Life UI and other things

Something funny has happened on the Second Life forums, which goes like this: When the general and other discussion forums were closed most knowledgeable residents left the forums or at least stopped posting or only posted infrequently in answer to new residents' questions. What I see now is new residents gamely answering other new residents' questions, often with a bizarre mishmash of half-true information. New unverified users can't access the forums at all.

People are doing the best they can, but the thread of knowledge appears to have been thinned down. There's a LOT to learn here, and it changes at times, too. If you began years ago you had a less complex world to begin in (for instance land - when I began you could buy land and I quickly got up to speed on tier levels. Now you can buy or rent, the amount and variety of land is huge, and new people get lost in the nuances between renting on a private island and buying on the mainland, whether or not they need premium membership, who gets their tier, etc.).

The Lindens seem to have specialised tasks and no general knowledge: recently I brought 2 things up (at 2 different times) and the Lindens I was talking to had no idea what I was referencing. These 2 things were things I use every week: copy selection and de-bug permissions. It made me a bit glum that our UI, that wonderful, rich territory that I adore, is not being explored because we need to be handing on knowledge in some way and it seems not to be happening as it did in the past.

However - I love Second Life, and I spend as much energy as I can setting new people on a good path. I think this is an artist's paradise. Way back in 2004 I sent an IM to Philip* saying, "Thank you for letting me be a part of your dream." I don't remember the circumstances, but I still feel that way.

* Who replied, "You're welcome." hah hah

16 November 2006

Writing About Nothing or A Day or So In Real Life

Hmmm... so Wednesday the wind was blowing hard* and I figured my power was going to go out that day. My dentist's had rung me on Tuesday and asked if I could come at 11am instead of noon on Wednesday, so I had said all right. At 10:30 I trundled off to my check-up. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard there - or at least not for ages. I was feeling silly, and I kept laughing even when I was getting squirted with water, which made me laugh and splutter.

Anyway, after Jill (whose power was out at home) polished my toofs I asked her if it was a new flavor. She said, "Not a hit?" I said it tasted all right but wasn't exactly refreshing - which, I decided, probably just meant it wasn't mint. She said said it was raspberry. She said there were loads of flavors, prompting me to say one would think tooth polish at the dentist's was one of those products not needing a great deal of variety. She said it was a liability if a child is offered a choice from 10 kinds as they take too long to choose. She said better to offer a choice between, say, raspberry and mint. I said, "You can have either spinach or mint." She suggested another 2-flavor choice. I suggested french fry flavored tooth polish. My dentist came in and poked with great force at a filling and told me I needed to replace it.

I went out and the receptionist told me I could come in the next day. "Tomorrow?" "9 am" "Tomorrow at 9am? You're a bully." She acknowledged that she had already asked me a favor to get me in an hour early that day, but I decided to go ahead and do the 9am. I went home and my power was out. Wondered exactly how easy it would be to wake up and get to a 9 am appointment, but I decided my power was bound to come on before morning. Went to bed when it got dark. I was lying in bed trying to estimate the time, wondering how close to morning it was (after having been asleep for what seemed like a long time), then got up and the power came on - great timing. I put the puter on and learned it was just 2 am. Set the clocks and went back to bed after a while.

Got up, went and had a lot of poking and prodding by my dentist. She's great - a very nice person. Left, went to post some forms to my lawyer, (Larry), stopped to get a few things at a groceria, then went early to my jin shin appointment feeling like I'd been steamrollered. Finished there, was just about to get on the I-5 when I realised I wanted to post my rent, so I went to the Olympia Post Office and jammed it into an envelope and posted it. My landlord never remembers anything** so it's not good to post things too early (this was borderline early) but I'd had a propane bill and didn't want to be bothered sending 2 checks.

Went home. Ate some butter clam/horse clam chowder (yay Marilee). Got a call from Tiff, who detailed the house-building tribulations due to the storms. The SS called and asked me (nice man) to explain everything that had transpired, which I did (appt1 - driver got me there late, was later told there was a mysterious appt2 that I was never informed of) . He looked in the records and said, "I don't see that another appointment was ever scheduled - I apologise."

Ate some salad. Uh... fiddled with some website things for SWMNBMIMB. Put up a STOLEN: if you have any info contact etc... poster where Tina's (stolen) photo was. It's almost 11 pm ====:O

*It has been very stormy here with howling, screaming winds and a rainfall that has already set a record for November just 2 weeks in.
**Mail it too early and he cashes it, forgets, then thinks I haven't paid - well, that happened once.


Crashed Dominus Shadow

No. 6: Electricity just came on after being off 12 hours or so.

15 November 2006

Second Life has been full of upset people the last couple of days. The CopyBot program has many up in arms at the thought that any prims can be copied almost instantly by a program user. This won't mean anything to non-SLers; everything in SL is made of prims, however, and an artful builder, spending time and energy, is able to create unique and beautiful things.

I deliberately didn't go and check out the program when I first heard about it. I've heard differing accounts of what it can do, and have heard there were updates that enabled the user to circumvent CopyBot defense mechanisms and copy more types of content. I don't have any first-hand knowledge of that, though.

My first thought is that the development of this program wasn't a bad thing by itself. Development of it, then posting the code publicly, however - allowing it to slip into the wild to be sold and distributed freely is rather... uh.... stupid.

I don't understand why LL seemed not to understand the implications of the appearance of this program* and the accompanying chatter. People have said LL was caught with their pants down - yet I just don't understand how that could be possible since Lindens were part of the Dev team. The only thing I can think of is that they just don't understand Second Life "on the ground." I have lamented their awful timing and the tone of announcements they make (which seems to enrage a lot of the populace). The fact that they are coming from a position of knowledge might explain why they weren't upset, but it doesn't explain why they didn't know ordinary people would get upset.

The problem is similar to the island cost announcement - I think it made sense for them to raise their prices, however to tell a few people ahead of time, then blithely say with the general announcement that a few people had advance knowledge - seemingly unaware that residents selling islands in that intervening period had been at a serious disadvantage - was rather unfortunate.

I feel like they operate on a completely different plane, now, anyway. That's fine - except they really should have a bit of understanding of how things are on this side of the equation. Leave out any right/wrong simplistic views: there needs to be an understanding that perception is as important as truth when you are dealing with large groups of people. It doesn't help that there's no way to exchange ideas and information anymore. The blog is a company organ of information diffusion, and not an exchange. Various problems have caused people to lose trust to a greater or lesser degree, which is unfortunate. The Lindens are spread thinly and I know I don't see the big picture, but to me this situation seems really unfortunate, unnecessary, and damaging.

*Note: NOT the program itself - the sudden appearance of it as it raises worries and fears of people who have nothing to go on but hearsay, ad copy, the libSL website, video and screenshots. Yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theatre is a way to create panic. Announcing the development of a program that copies attachments and saying that it won't be sold on slexchange any time soon - woops, yes, actually it's being sold on slexchange, sorry 'bout that - is another way to create panic.

14 November 2006

Second Life
So the CopyBot I first heard about on Sunday is being sold on a shopping website for around $10US. I had a bit of discussion with Salazar last night - and with a few others. The thing people have been bringing up is, "Why make things and try to sell them anymore?" At this point that's overreacting if one acts upon it; I think, however it's a good theoretical question.

Many - not older residents like me, but many, many Second Lifers were brought in by the "make real money!" advertising that worked too well, some think. Even if the focus on money (I can't tell you how many bazillions of times a brand-new person has asked me, "How do I make money?") was not particularly subtle it was true enough at its core. You could, with talent and work and hours spent, make money.

People are now beginning to think that it won't be worth it if they spent 10 hours or so making a nice new product only to have someone reproduce it with open perms, and sell it or give it away, having invested 5 seconds and the CopyBot price (which, I hear, might be given away by another person who doesn't like the fact that someone is making money from this thing).

Although it's the internet and nothing is forever protected, it's certainly true that a smart group of people has pushed this issue in front of us now, when it might not've surfaced naturally for some time. As technology is evolving quickly you could argue that this is a way for it to evolve ways to protect content, or you could argue that had this not been created by libSL the technology might've developed in such a way that this hack wouldn't be as threatening at the point in the future it popped up. Either way we are caught with our trousers around our ankles now.

13 November 2006

I got to Grignano today only to see a horrible sight - someone crashed a car into the plate glass window and glass was everywhere. I don't think anyone was hurt - but here's the thing. The winning photo from the DANCE exhibit is missing. I wasn't sure the two things were related until I saw the tape from that security camera I put in the other day.

I was writing a long post last night when the electricity cut out again - for the fifth time in 9 days. It came on this morning around 8am. My blogpost didn't survive - bummer. What was I saying...

The robots are animated using Todd Borst's Puppeteer scripts, which are very easy to use in part because of the clear directions he has provided. I sent him an IM with a bit of feedback and the youtube url He responded, "holy cow that's awsome =] So it is being put to good use! Thank you for the feedback! btw, thank you for your Cut-Out tutorial on It's where I learned how to make trasparent cutouts in 2nd life. =]"

It's really great to have that criss-cross of information. When I began Second Life it was possible to see textures and object setting in Edit, and that was an invaluable learning tool for me. I walked around looking at absolutely everything from the inside out, a habit that persisted until the information shown in Edit was sharply reduced. I learned a huge amount in my first weeks by taking free things created by generous residents and pulling them to bits.

On one hand things have become more protected in SL - as witness the Edit window. On the other, though, texture interception is common and yesterday I heard about a bot that duplicates linksets, shapes, textures, etc. that was developed by libSL and can duplicate an avatar in 5 seconds.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about the ease with which things can be appropriated - I think for any normal adult with their own creative sense the idea of ripping off someone else's work is not attractive at all. Everything on the Tubes is takeable, though, so any illusions about the opposite that we have are not very realistic. For me I just think, well, I can always* make more.

*In some ways for me in particular that's arguably not true now, however it's how I've thought all my life.

12 November 2006

Il trovatore. Il balen.Giorgio Zancanaro


11 November 2006

See my post below about the ninja boy and the alpha channel - I said to him, "I can feel it - you're THIS CLOSE." I just got an IM-to-email from Sasuke:

"I DID IT!!!!!!!"


Marilee came on Thursday and brought me homemade food - yay! And she shopped for me too, unexpectedly, but the homemade food is more important. So yesterday it was geoduck chowder and today it's elk stew - yippee!

I accidentally damaged my good ring finger joint, so I'm hurting.

I spent some time trying to help a ninja boy make an alpha channel (not yet... but soon I hope), and adding a security cam to the Photography Studio as there's been some crime in the area. I spent a little time with Ed, and danced for 5 minutes with Soj. I am looking for a sandbox to work in but no luck so far.

I went to Ambat when something was returned to me, and saw it was set to build again, with some griefers including the fellow who rezzes gambling machines there, nude noobs, and crammed full with nukes, arrows, a huge bed, etc., etc. I was too tired to fill out ARs and just sighed and left.

Last night I made a display with poppies and Mummy and Grandpa's photos, for Remembrance Day.

I made robots for Doc

10 November 2006

No power today from about 7 or 8am to 6pm. Chilly.

08 November 2006



I think Bush is not sane, and that Cheney should be impeached.

*crosses fingers*

A nice newbie is scrubbing my land!

Dueling mood huds.

If it's not on (for instance when SL is down) check back later. I hope it doesn't devolve into a TV Lindenesque circus of avatars jumping around "for the camera."

Once I talked to TV Linden in Morris. I said, "That job must be SO BORING." He replied, "What do you mean? This is the world's greatest job - I get paid to sit here." Once at Grignano Books we had an author reading with Emma Metropolitan, and TV Linden showed up to stream it. I didn't see any of it, though. I was told the camera was pointing in the wrong direction.

thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack



Gad, this is annoying.

07 November 2006

I wondered what was going on today when I saw Runitai and Milo pop in and out to a spot in Bodega. Later a new person appeared, from DestroyTelevision. I wonder if they are going to build a studio on that spot. It's the rocky part inside the Y - my shop/pavilion/gallery are on the right, Enjah's gallery is top left.

Well, maybe not :D

I'm confused, though - is DestroyTV related to DestroyTelevision?*

* --


Sister Rosetta Tharpe

*A hopeful comment on the mid-term elections in the USA, and what will happen afterwards.

I think that shifted a clog - thwack.

06 November 2006

*Beats Blogger about the head and shoulders with a shoe* YOU...WILL..PUBLISH...MY...POSTS...DAMN...YOU
thwack thwack thwack

I went to see the sim Candide had told me about - a Sergio Leone spagetti Western-themed, fabulously well-landscaped place called Sigil (I'd better check - is that right?). While there I talked to then owner, who knows me from when I outfited a group he was in. The sim is just open, but has not had its Grand Opening yet.


At the awards ceremony for DANCE I pulled out my first object ever - heh - and Candide and elisha sat on it with me. Later Candide and I talked on until he had to go to bed (around 3am for him). That was really fun. He told me about Sigil sim, so after that I went for a look.

Power out from about 10pm last night to 4am this morning.

05 November 2006


The End of Elf Clan

As things in life do, the 659 member Elf Clan has reached its end. Change can bring sadness, yet it was lovely being part of the Clan and nothing lasts forever.

It was fun to see the fireworks, especially on Bonfire Night, when I always want fireworks anyway. Chui, who is an Orc now, puts on lovely fireworks but ZOMG the lag was extreme.

04 November 2006

BBC article about Second Life

03 November 2006

Strange days, indeed.

I've always loved Mahalia Jackson, but I couldn't remember how old she was when she died. One video of her singing seemed to show a quite old Mahalia, but looking up her dates I saw she was just 60 when she died.

02 November 2006


Very, very, very beta: Multiverse. Interesting to try out, however I felt deprived as I couldn't fly.

I got an email from MindArk saying use it or lose it about Entropia Universe, so after an hour-long download cycle and reactivating my account by email I went in again. I teleported around a bit until I remembered I liked Bob's Used Spaceships or whatever it's called, then went there. Entropia is always too full for me - I have to run away from people but I can never remember quite how to maneuvre. There's an easier movement system now, and many other changes since the last time I logged in 300 days ago.

SLatenight article about CombatCards.

01 November 2006


Crime Scene - the new photo contest that will start in a few days.
I have a few faux photobooth strips on vivian-oblivion, but I should put more up - unfortunately at the moment I'm down to less than a meg in host space, so I'm feeling uneasy and have been sqeezing things as small as possible. I will have to move or just host things elsewhere. '''drat'


Two specks (Zhan and Os) hovering at the top of Zhan's sequoia, which has a nice taper and has branches and leaves. This one is around 768m tall I think.

Jensel, Zhan, and I near the sequoia's trunk.



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