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31 January 2007

After receiving this: "Hi everyone! We are doing one final stress test at AOL Pointe..." I logged in and went to that sim in my gorilla outfit. I ran into AutoPilotPatty, Molly M, Avi A, and moo. When told I looked different I said it was due to the influence of Ida - notorious gorilla gang ringleader.

Earlier today whilst Second Life was closed for an update I archived and cleaned up my computer a lot - although I have a long way to go. I dump a lot of video I might like to keep, in a way, and I sometimes make a mistake and toss a clip that I am using. Oh well.

Up-date: Apparently not. A phone call from SS saying one has been accepted doesn't REALLY mean that, it seems. *gets upset*

Wow! *faints* I got accepted for Social Security after a long 7½ months with no income/health insurance. Thank you to everyone who spent energy keeping me alive.

I applied in June.

Next this happened.

Then instead of rescheduling the appointment they just rejected everything.

I got a lawyer¤ and appealed.

SS apologised and set up an appointment.

Then they cancelled it and made another one.

That took place on the 2 Jan - I was told 6 weeks to a decision.

*Says "Fast!" in a sarcastic voice*

¤My friend L, husband of SWMNBMIMB™

:( I feel fed up. Oh well - I doubt I'll last long anyway.

This is too funny: Placido singing both parts in the duet between Figaro and Almaviva.

James Levine conducted, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle* directed.

*You remember the film of Carmina Burana


Some exceptional Rosinas:

Luisa Tetrazzini

Marilyn Horne

Victoria de los Angeles



Ida and I go to the Jaguar Temple

Attention Enjah: Your presence is required in a gorilla suit on Friday at 2pm. RSVP

30 January 2007

I decided to sign up for the cheapo* NetFlix, so then had to go and find one on their website. It wasn't easy as I'd seen most everything up to a recent year, but it was interesting in that pictures I'd seen but forgotten the name of (like Film Buff I think it's called, a Polish film about a man and a camera - awfully good film I saw a billion years ago) kept rising to the top. I finally settled on The Gleaners and I. Then it was shipped and damned NetFlix started bothering me to pick another. It takes ages. I finally chose Primer. The kind of movies I like are thin on the ground over there, I see. I decided against City of the Gods because I was put off by the violence. Then Tiff, over today (and leaving for Brazil on Friday), who had seen it, said yes, it was very violent. She thought it would be better to see it in company but I just don't want to absorb that alone or in company. Gleaners arrived today and is wonderful

*2 DVDs a month


Today my ActiveWorlds CTCUNI class had a little scavenger hunt. It was fun. Extra credit was for making something spin so cactus and stop sign danced together in the air.


"Dear Old Skool Account-Holding Flickr Member,

On March 15th we'll be discontinuing the old email-based
Flickr sign in system. From that point on, everyone will
have to use a Yahoo! ID to sign in to Flickr. "

From an article in The Independent today:

"So far Second Life, which is owned by the US company Linden Lab, is a fairly niche concept: just 350,000 people regularly visit the cyber world, although almost 3 million people have tried it for size, but expect that to change rapidly. Segolene Royal, the French presidential hopeful, has an avatar, as does Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat speaker of the House of Representatives and the most important woman in the US."
"Running concurrently to this year's main sessions are a series of Second Life interviews conducted by Reuters, which has a virtual bureau inside the cyber world. Maurice Levy, the Publicis chairman, and Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the easyJet founder, are among those being quizzed in front of the Second Life inhabitants. It is part of the chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab's initiative to catapult the forum into the digital era. Mr Schwab is a big fan of Second Life and has his own avatar; in fact, he is unique in that he hasn't had to re-christen his virtual representation."

29 January 2007

Onder Skall wrote
this very nice article
about Combat Cards
for the Herald.

It's also posted in his own blog, SL Games.


27 January 2007


Especially for Enjah


Out the window now.
I thought it was interesting-looking.


That must've been a great show - I've always loved Fats Waller but I just got hooked on Muggsy Spanier.

26 January 2007


25 January 2007


Wow - out the window right now - image from the lakecam.

24 January 2007

Strange Culture @ NEWare

From NWN:
"The Stanford Humanities Lab presents an independent film by Lynn Hershman entitled 'Strange Culture.'"

The film describes the US government's investigation and prosecution of artist and professor Steve Kurtz as a suspected terrorist. The screening will be simulcast in at the Sundance Film Festival and streaming in-world with a Q&A with Lynn Hershman afterwards.<-- So THEY were watching US. They kept calling us "avatars." :(

From the Wikipedia:
"Kurtz first aroused the suspicion of authorities in May 2004 when he called 911 to report the death of his wife Hope Kurtz by heart failure. For his creation of art installations he regularly worked with biological specimens and had a diverse array of scientific instruments scattered about his house. Local law enforcement became wary of Kurtz' intentions, and notified the FBI who detained Kurtz without charge under terrorism legislation and sealed off the block around his house.

His detention was deemed to be illegal the next day, although dozens of agents in hazardous material suits sifted through his work and impounded many of his possessions as well as his dead wife.

In July 2004 a grand jury rejected any "terrorism" charges, but Kurtz is still charged with federal criminal mail and wire fraud (charges frequently used against political dissidents such as Marcus Garvey) and faces 20 years in jail. Legal observers note that this is a precedent-setting case with far-reaching implications involving the criminalization of speech and expression for artists, scientists, researchers, and others. In October 2005 charges were still pending.

Kurtz is an associate professor of art at the University at Buffalo, a state university in Buffalo, New York."

Lys said: "We are breaking new ground with this event. I have worked to make everything as solid as I can, but the fact remains that getting on stage at Sundance with all this new technology feels a little like getting up there with a monkey - unforeseen events are more than likely to occur :)"


Finally I meet Mrs. Thetan, who reassured me about my shrinking problem with her calm demeanor. Mrs. Thetan is Salazar's great grandmother, and is an amazing scientist and inventor. If she thinks it is solvable, then I believe it must be.

23 January 2007

Two the same but different.
Which one do you like best?
The orange one has more artist pr0n (color).




22 January 2007

I made an outfit (commissioned to) for the DarkLife moderators that has the new logo on a tabard. It looks nice - Pirate liked it, which is what counts. That was yesterday.


The UI ABSTRACTION exhibit is very nice - about 60 varied entries. I hung it on Saturday and Candide judged it yesterday, then we had the awards ceremony today. I was late getting home from jin shin and screamed my way back to Summit Lake at 75 mph. I was in time to hear the second place announced by Enjah (ty for taking charge!) and blow my shofar to herald first. I was not in good shape though and had to rudely leave after a bit. I came back in after I saw the ribbons returned - I'd checked the group setting but apparently seeing "The Photography Studio" group had made me confused as it should've been "The Brownstone Building" group. Actually all that was visible was "The P" so it's not such a stupid mistake. It took me ages and several conversations before I staggered off again - Frank hath unleashed a storm upon me, verily. I B borked.

over Bodega

Dunno why, but I decided to try the SL video capture. It didn't work for me back in 2004 and it didn't work at all when I tried it a day or two ago - so why did I try? Dunno. Anyway, a save-to box popped up then a compression choice box popped up - I thought, hmmmmmmm.... that looks like Taksi to me. And then I made a little video and it worked. So - maybe SL is/has been fiddling with Taksi or maybe it was kismet, but it appears to (for what it's worth) work with Taksi installed. Funny, eh?


21 January 2007


Friends in Brooklyn are going to tie the knot.


We have 5 snippets, I think, so far. RacerX and Torley sent clips, and Salazar and I decided on a first piece of music (Snake Hips :-D). I made a trial movielet with the music and it cracked me up.


20 January 2007

I spent some time last night experimenting with Taksi, an open-source program in development that is one day going to have the same functions as Fraps. Right now it works but although I experimented a lot with compression settings I didn't get good results. It doesn't record sound yet, is a bit unstable, and generally is on its way but not there yet. Still - it's exciting that someone is working on the idea.

I started hanging the UI ABSTRACTION show at 5:30, stopped at 8 for a vigil for an Elf Circle member in ICU, ate a quick dinner then started back up and finished after putting about 4½ hours into it. I suspect a few aren't in correct proportion. I remember having a conversation with someone telling me proportions - but exited without noting it. Candide has the task of judging, which he will be good at as he takes good photos.


Let me know if you have intermittent trouble accessing this blog. Tina has been unable to access it reliably. I had to move in so the blog part is on blogspot, the images up to the move date are hosted at the Toad and the url is changed which is that CNAME rigamarole in this case. It's a bit complicated.

The UI Abstraction show promises to be huge. There are something like 60 entries and the deadline is not yet here. I'm not looking forward to hanging it as my arm is not a happy camper.

On Thursday Pirate turned up again - w00t! DarkLife has been having trouble getting builders for the new version, despite offering USD. Sometimes I think about working for hire (well, before my arm went south, anyway). The last person who tried to woo me into something was perfectly nice, and I said I'd discuss it at a meeting, then decided I didn't want to. What I generally see is that people start working for hire and stop doing their own work. In my life as an artist in real life this has been a pattern I've seen: a young artist full of promise doesn't want to lead a life of privation (i.e. be an artist) and starts doing work for other people. That sucks up the time and energy and there's nothing left for the real* work. Although it's not absolutely true that an artist has to suffer it IS true that an artist has to be willing to suffer. It's not easy living with art creation at the top of your list of priorities. On the other hand, doing a bit of outside work to keep the wolf from the door is fine.** In my life what I see as the important aspect, and the part no one else could do, is the creation of my own artwork. It's a cut-and-dried thing, to me. I think what I am likely to run out of first is time so there's not much point in doing things I don't want to do.

* "But the work I do for others IS real work." - Sorry, no it's not.
** I don't mind taking on a few things as long as it's something that interests me and it's a small percentage of my output. I usually think people who get something from me are lucky, since I turn most jobs down. (rl and sl)


19 January 2007


Attention: IDA


Candide showed me this:

Scott Wade's Dirty Car Art

I know some of you are bound to be disappointed. What - I didn't mention any names, Luc.


The snow is gone!

Is very unusual for snow to last that long here.

18 January 2007

Daedalus Young suggested this video editing program as Salazar has said he's looking for a free editing program to recommend to Mac users. I've been using various editing programs but decided to investigate Jahshaka as it works on many platforms. I've just spent a moment looking - but it looks well worth investing time into.


17 January 2007


It's time for Movie Night!
Cowell Amphitheatre at 2pm on Saturday, 17 February.
This is an experimental collaboration that is intended to be fun and entail a minimum of stress. Here's how it works:
Each person sends a 10-20 second snippet of SL machinima to

Salazar Jack* will retrieve the snippets and through the magic of reverse-sawing-a-snippet-in-half will join them together into one weird random movie. Then we'll watch the movie at Cowell Amphitheatre at 2pm on Saturday, 17 February.
It will be set up in Cafe Jack and the Photography Studio to play for the following week or so.
*a doctor of snippology

Any questions ask Osprey Therian (pc) or Salazar Jack (Mac) - we are learning, too.
You can use any editing program but try to keep to about 1mb, 320x240, 30 fps after processing.
This is an experiment, so we will doubtless have some problems, but no worries. It adds to the fun!
If you can't stick to the rules don't worry - my rules might be loony.

I processed one using these settings:
MPEG-4 Files
24 bits, 320 x 240, 30 fps
MPEG-4 SP Video: 720 Kbps
48000 Hz, 16 Bit, Stereo
MPEG AAC Audio: 128 Kbps

MP4 is a good format to use if you can.

If you haven't made any machinima do this:

Get the FREE Fraps from
You can set the FPS on the movie tab. 30 works well.
You can record 1/2 or full size - setting on the movie tab.
You can record sound or not.
Set where you want the movie to be saved.
Set a key to use to start recording.
I always record in a 640x480 window but you don't have to.

Start SL.
Start Fraps and see the yellow numbers that indicate it's running.
Suppress the UI by using control-alt-1
Record and see the numbers turn red.
Stop recording.
Get your UI back by using control-alt-1
Run off to see what you did :D
Fraps records uncompressed video, which is big.
Now you need to resize it and format it so it can be used.

You can use any editing program but try to keep to about 1mb, 320x240, 30 fps after processing.
An mp4 would be best, but you can do it other ways if you have to. If it doesn't work we'll tell you.
This is an experiment, so we will doubtless have some problems, but no worries. It adds to the fun!
If you have XP you have Windows Movie Maker.
You can open the Fraps footage into it, trim it as you wish,
then save to your computer.

I processed one using these settings:
Video for broadband (512 kbps)
30 fps
It's not an mp4 but email it and I'll change it to an mp4 and give it to Salazar.
Capturing Video from Second Life on a Mac
Updated January 16, 2007

Mac OS X 10.4.8
Quicktime 7.0

This method only allows capture of the video source. To capture Sl video, SL audio and user audio try using Snapz Pro for Mac (US$70). Snapz Pro does not allow you to edit clips together.

Run Second Life
Choose File>Set Window Size>320x240
Choose File>Start/Stop Movie To Disk (CMD-SHIFT A)

Select video option:
Compression type: Video
Motion: Frames per second = 30, Keyframe every 24 frames
Compressor Quality: Best
Enter file name and click the Save button (This begins writing the video capture to disk.)

Type CRTL-OPTION 1 to hide the UI
Begin filming 20 seconds of video
To end filming, choose File>Start/Stop Movie To Disk (CMD-SHIFT A)

Video file will be approx. 10 megs.

You won't be able to edit the video segment if you have basic QuickTme. Basic QuickTime only allows you to play video.

QuickTime Pro (US$30) allows you to make basic edits, cut clips out of longer segments and combine separate clips together with basic cuts. You can also export video to a variety of formats. For more editing control use iMovie (US$80) or another QuickTime based video editor. I am looking for lower cost/free video editing software for Macs, too.

Send video clips to :

Salazar is looking for other ways to transfer video clips like FTP transfer, Public Folder, etc.


Oh, I was thinking my Clustrmap was an exparrot as it's been saying 16 visitors "yesterday" for about a week, but apparently Clustrmaps are in a beta mode on their way to bigger things. I'm on the first server making the switch, it seems, and then things will catch up. And for those of you who think I don't have links, feed, map, etc. - this is a very old template and all the crapola important things like that are in piles at the bottom.


Changing my blog around - I'm not sure why I had to choose now to do it, though.

Decided to put it on blogspot but keep it under the domain. When I started this blog there was no image-hosting, so of course I hosted it myself. Over the years it's become rather large. I despaired of it as the space used by the friggin' html, nevermind the images, is a lot. I just deleted archives 'n' things off the Toad server where tiger-swallowtail lives, and there is now 40-odd megabytes free. All the more for Combat Cards.

I have another place that I haven't named yet where most of the other websites are living. Actually, I really like it there.


Our Ida, who was Liz in From the Shadows, and who is adored by millions because she is so nice, has given a mention to the Roadside Attractions in her blog Baedeker. Ida writes of interesting places to visit -- something we need in SL as no one ever seems to know about anything.

As an unrepentant knitter with a knit blog chronicling her knit adventures, Ida brought knitting to Second Life when she appeared, and sells knitting accoutrements at her Amida yarn shop.

Midway through typing that I realised my fingers had gone numb - I am struggling with RSI. There you have it - I can type about 3 lines. :(


16 January 2007

machinima with music by
exorciste de style

Salazar gave Enjah and me a tour of Kahruvel Steamworks in Babbage Square.


15 January 2007

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

There's a discussion about whether or not it would be a respectful exercise to gain understanding by spending the day as a different race to what one would normally be in Second Life. I wouldn't do it myself as it just doesn't seem the correct thing to do, however I think if a person goes into it with a desire to learn very likely it could be a productive exercise. I think that, like so many things, the intentions are important. I think things like that particular exercise aren't all bad or all good. I'm reminded of other things I've dismissed personally that later, hearing about from another person's thoughtful perspective, came to seem neither bad nor good but having the potential for both.


Music by Nines

Click here to watch 'Bounce' on Putfile (not as crummy-looking).


14 January 2007

Last night I was in Grignano, on the roof of the Brownstone East, using the First Look viewer. I was talking to Salazar in IM. A person came up and I asked him if he was exploring. "y would i explore this shithole" was the reply. He flew off. Salazar ran into the same person who called Salazar a Crip. I said, "Well, you are blue - blue is the Crip color." Then it turned out Salazar was on the roof of the Brownstone WEST, also using the First Look viewer. Heh. Grignano was hopping yesterday -busier than I'd ever seen it, I think.


I took this down because it blew.



Today is the third anniversary of Howard's death. Good friends deserve to be remembered.



I'm lucky I live in the time of nukeable food. Seeds of Change has fun with their labeling.


In SL Enj made me a very cool thing like a soapbox derby racer that reminded me of this RL plane I bought years ago and use as a coffeetable. Actually I also had a soapbox derby racer from the Tacoma goodwill that I painted up and put in an artshow, which I used later as the base for the giant turtle my students made for the Procession of the Species one year. I have a history with homemade wooden things. I'll grab a screenshot of my SL racer when I get inworld. At this time of day the sun is in front of me, so I can't really do anything online until it moves. My wrist is still effed up.



Out the kitchen window a second ago.

13 January 2007


Moody machinima abstraction.

Manolo Camp's music is very beautiful.



The Nielson TV Ratings people just called me. I had to laugh - after I told her about my non-viewing habits she wished me a good evening and that was that.


Torley gave a mention to UI Abstraction in her blog - thank you, Torley!

12 January 2007

Woo - was surprised to see
UI Abstraction mentioned in New World Notes.
And all the time I thought no one was paying any attention.

A nice blogpost about UI ABSTRACTION by Onder Skall.

Candide also showed me this artist's work:
Zdzislaw Beksinski

I said I was reminded of the sculptor whose marble heads were wrapped in marble bandges but then couldn't remember his name.



Friday Fights was wall-to-wall fights for me from 1:40 when I arrived to find a person waiting, to 4:30 when the fights and testing and more fights ended. It was really a productive day, but I was exhausted, expecially as my left wrist has been painful.

Before that I hung out with Candide and got him to agree to judge UI Abstraction.

Addendum: Enjah's final word.


I felt sad when I saw the Linden Land Management Forum had been closed.

Candide showed me this video just now:



10 January 2007

Woo - figured out how to overlay the crazytalk-processed vid onto ordinary footage.


SJ is shipping "Her Feet Slipped On the Polished Floor" to Enjah, and I promised I'd post a goofy old pic that shows me (tongue out), SJ, and KGF (3 artists) during my brief married period (note wedding ring). *finds wedding ring, beats gold until it turns into gold foil, makes aeroplane and chucks it into the void*

circa 1988


My mother always used to gnash her teeth at her belief that I identified somehow with Frida Kahlo. I never have, although I adore her paintings and her story. No, but since losing the ability to paint I have identified with Beethoven. Yes, I still make art, and lots of it. No, it's not painting, and sometimes that loss makes me weep. I used to think it was great to be an artist rather than a something-with-a-shelflife -- like a dancer, perhaps. It is a cosmic joke that the very most important thing around which my life was formed, the core of my very being - became impossible. It's sad to me, yet interesting in a way, too. Interesting in the way it was once when I was in an emergency room watching my blood spread rapidly through some wadding: that is, I can always find something to think about or watch or turn over in my mind as I search for odd perceptions, but I would never have chosen to be in that predicament.

I try to ignore it, but sometimes it makes me sad. I don't mind being sad, but I get annoyed with myself if I ever feel envious. That I should not feel.

*sporks self* Cheer up, dopey.


I was interested in reading the transcript of Cory Linden's technical townhall, yesterday, but didn't want to go/listen at the time due to things like people being annoying every time and repeaters malfunctioning last time. The submitted questions are about 20% on-topic* and useful, and I'm not sure why questions like "When will LL be releasing more first land?" even make it the townhall considering that they are a waste of time. Someone brought up Win98 which made me fall on the floor and froth at the mouth just now. Win98? Holy moley. That wasn't even any good in 1998, let alone in 2007. I gave away a computer with Win98 in 2001. I realise not every one has a new computer** built every three years, like I do, but Win98?

Jeska Linden: Draco Flaman: Does LL plan on releasing a version of SL for other PC types, such as Windows 98? Some of my friends w/ slightly older computers wanted to know this.

Cory Linden: Windows 98? No.

*Of course, anything on-topic is probably beyond my level of knowledge, but I like reading about it anyway. *prods brain with a stick*

**I might wait out another year on this one as it's fairly herky. It's the last gasp of the AGPs but if I added a new card I'd probably be happy for a while. If I want Vista¹ it's a bit early for that anyway. I could opt for Linux and keep both side-by-side...
I have had another gig of ram sitting in a drawer for 7 months now as the person I hired to install it in June flumped out on me. If I think about it too much I'll do it myself, which I really shouldn't do as having one useable hand makes such things difficult and I would be prone to breaking things.

¹ I'm seduced by the 3d windows, sadly.

Any suggestions?

Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 2 (2600.xpsp_sp2_gdr.050301-1519)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: INTEL_
System Model: D865GBF_
BIOS: BIOS Date: 09/24/03 11:07:51 Ver: 08.00.09
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 1022MB RAM
Page File: 1094MB used, 1367MB available
Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.2180 32bit Unicode


Nice and snowy, today, and with electricity, too!<--lakecam

Tiff was going to come by yesterday but didn't as the storm had started even before my class (the CTCUNI class in ActiveWorlds). She and Brad are working feverishly to complete a house that... well, complicated story, but Brad's a contractor who came up from Arizona and with Tiff fronting the construction money, they are building a house that Tiff's son will be taking over, if all goes well, before Tiff and Brad leave for Brazil. They are down to the point of putting on doorknobs, but everything has to be complete before the bank gives Tiff her money back. After the windstorm they lost time due to one thing or another, so she's fretting about having things tied up neatly before her trip as A) she's out of money, and B) her estate will be a big mess if she dies in Brazil, she says.

Woo - it was stopped but began again in earnest - quite a snowstorm for these parts.


09 January 2007

Oh, I see Eileen Caddy has died - she and her husband and a third person founded Findhorn, the spiritual uh.. place in Scotland that attracted many followers from all over. My mother was interested in Adele Davis, the original Prevention magazine, and general old-school health food practises and also in places like Findhorn, where cabbages the size of footballs leapt eagerly from stony ground.


08 January 2007

Mohrr, the void sim north of me containing Harry's astrohog spaceship crash on a wee island, is always full of people these past 6 months or so. Well, there were people, but now there are PEOPLE and builds (temp-on-rezzer?). People live there. I'm trying to figure out if they are connected to the increased griefing I'm getting or if the way people fly over to see what my green dot is just means they are guarding against griefers themselves. They have titles like King of Mohrr, etc.

When Enjah, Kain, and I were griefed repeatedly the other day (they had teleported in when I was standing in the sea hiding) Enjah said the griefer had come from the island, I think. Yes, I sometimes stand in the sea and clean my inventory or do other tasks. What of it?


Savi Sieyes

I saw her around a bit and enjoyed her work. I love my Dancing Dog Hat. She died at the end of December of a brain tumour, I hear.


I was thinking about my Maternal and Paternal genetic input, and tried to think of a few attributes:

Maternal Side
Liking babies
Moral rectitude
Care what people think
Straight-shooter with bad aim

Paternal Side
Charm and sociability
Somewhat devious, manipulative, and secretive
Don't care what others think
Superstrong ego
Ricochet-shooter who never reveals the true target

Some aptitude for engineering
Somewhat charming hermit (I should explain that to me charm is mostly negative)
Somewhat secretive but very trust-worthy
Not interested in controlling or being controlled
Self-judging but don't care what others think
Don't like very, very, young anythings much, especially not human babies.
Only shoots self

Hmmm... no wonder I'm strange.


My brother tells a story about once ranting in what was a purely rhetorical manner and having his youngest son Brad, at that point a very young child, say in perplexed response, "I can't know, Dad. I'm just a Small Boy."

That phrase always pops into my head at times when I don't know enough to make any kind of informed opinion about an aspect of something. In a way it comes down to trust, interest in the unknown, and aspects I DO understand. As far as coding goes, "I can't know, Dad. I'm just a Small Boy."


Open Source

Linden Lab has open-sourced the client code - which seems like the only way, to me, to have Second Life sweep into place as a kind of ubiquitous 3d tool. I think it's good. Sit on your little proprietorial bottoms and be swept away by the programs accessible to everyone, I think. The revenue streams don't seem to dry up, I believe.

I like being part of this - it has been a wild ride so far.

PS I see there's a bit of an outcry at this. I think people need to stop being petty and embrace the unknown - there's a horrible degree to which fear is controlling people's lives. Isn't the journey the point? But then I'm more interested in process than product, and I don't like stasis (for lack of a better term). I wouldn't like it if LL were just working towards a grand cage-like, protected and controlled stability, in other words.
One thing that is so boring about There is its immutability. Before Christmas I talked to someone who disagreed that There is (almost) unchanging and told me I'd be surprised if I went to see as things are MUCH different. I popped in for 2.567 seconds and everything was EXACTLY the same.

PPS This will be like having a million more programmers working on the client, I bet. Kewl.


07 January 2007

Enjah put a tricorne hat on her charm bracelet to symbolise me - that makes me feel good.


Yesterday I was hiding up in my skybox making a belt in Photoshop, and popping in and out every so often to try out a version. I like to be up there as then I can work in relative peace. Yesterday, however, I popped in to try out a texture and there were two people there! One ran off immediately and I passed a few words with the other, saying I had been in Photoshop so if he had spoken to me I would have been unresponsive. That was a surprise - I didn't think anyone ever teleported up there but me.


Combat Cards is getting better and better - the new HUD system is not out yet, but I can hardly wait as it's so much clearer and will be easier to explain. That matters a lot to me as it's hard to explain. Anyway, the new HUD uses red and green outlining of cards that can be used or need prerequisite cards played first. Chosen cards are outlined in white. Doc is renaming the data and reorganising the texture function to make more memory available. Coming soon, too, are robot warrior opponents. I'm the big robot fan - I am desolated that my robot vacuum cleaner died a couple of years ago. It was like having a pet horseshoe crab, which I liked. '''drat'

I'm working on the training video as best I can without Comhrag, who was unwell last time I saw him and now has disappeared (it seems). Wherever you are, get well soon and come back as we need you, Com.

The horror cards are a lot of fun, and the two new cards, Wrong Foot and Outflank, that diabolically cause one's opponent to discard, are moves I'm still getting my brain around. Santa Slay, Doc's card, is useful as a coup de grace as it has low but certain attacks in at least 2 places.

I've been jonesing on my old color laser printer I had at work for so many years. I made then buy it for me in... hmmm... maybe 2001 or whenever it was (earlier?) and the thing was a champion and caused no problems at all until someone put cheesy toner in it (even then it didn't make trouble it just got dusty). If I had it I'd print up some Combat Cards :D I wouldn't play, I'd just look at them.

Once I was shocked and horrified by Doc, when he sent me a lot of spreadsheets. I spontaneously blurted out, "OMG you are teh geeky," which was rude but heartfelt. I was horrified as I had to learn how to understand the things. The thing about being an artist and living at the margins of society on a pittance means that one need never see a spreadsheet or other emblems of data collection and distribution. I did manage all right, but it was a cruel shock. I have an odd relationship with numbers. They all have individual characters. Also, I often used to remember things in books that had stood out by being able to "see" where it was on the page and the page number, for some reason, although I haven't had call to exercise that particular trait lately (not remembering it by concentrating on it at the time, just having it pop into my head after the fact). I don't have a particularly good memory (my brother does, my older sister doesn't - I'm middling). It would go like this (if we ever saw each other which we don't) me: Hmmmm... remember a boy getting hit by a truck at Pine Grove? Steven: At Pine Grove a kid slid down the snowbank into the road and was hit by a truck and killed. Deborah: I don't remember that; you KNOW I don't remember anything.


When I started Second Life the rating system had positive and negative rates in 3 categoies: Building, Behaviour, and Appearance. Each rate cost 1L and the number of rates you received affected your weekly stipend (more rates = larger stipend). There was an in-game "Leader Board" that listed top people in various things including rates.

Then, as "they" always say, it was gamed ("See? This is why we can't have anything nice." -- it's been said over and over.) and "neg rates" disappeared (as a griefer could neg rate one in retaliation or for shjeer idiocy). Rates became 25L each and no longer affected the stipend. There was talk of rating "decay" but I'm not sure if that was ever done as I have never been rate conscious. I don't know how many I had before the decay (if any) happened. Old rates are like an appendix, now, but people hang onto to them fiercely and I sometimes read newbie posts on the forum in which they are trying to make sense of the system. Or, as sometimes happens, they excited propose that we should start having negative rates - then we all groan and roll over in the forum threads.

Now I never think about rates. Every once in a great while I'll rate someone. Well, maybe once every 6 months. Maybe even that's an exaggeration. I think I've rated twice since the rate system overhaul and rating, for me, is probably just easing to a halt altogether.

However, I have been rated 3 times in about the past week or so, by strangers. One was something to do with Fidget as there was a message saying something like, "Nice cat!" or something. The one I received today I have no clue about. It's nice -ish - well, actually it is a blast-from-the-past and a startling little nice episode for anyone, I suppose. However, I feel like people should just save their money. Of course 25L is about... um... I don't know - 8 cents? But still, they can buy a lot for 8 cents.

It might be useful to, as they say, have a merchant, etc., rating but the fact is any evil-doer can get mass pos rates from alts and friends and any good person can be neg rated by the evil-doers, so there's no truth to the numbers.



I was hiding out as Anchor and went to the live Louis Volare show that Kain had organised. It was well attended and Louis was quite fab, even going so far as to improvise an entire piece. He was giddy afterwards as it turned out very well. He told a story about lions - the old lions have ferocious roars but the young lions can run down their prey. As he told it, the young lions chase the prey to the old lions, who roar, causing the prey to double back to avoid what seems like a more fearsome foe. Then they are killed by the young lions. It was about fear, perceived danger, and how we should be willing to take chances.


06 January 2007

I wrote a post and it got eaten when my power went off again :(

My power went off last night at about 7pm in a fierce windstorm, and just now came on. I was sitting here reading Hilaire Belloc as when I decided crazytalk was good I thought, "We'll off to Town, And purchase some," as in Hildebrand, Who was frightened by a Passing Motor, and brought to Reason." My father always said, when the children were arguing, "Birds in their little nest should agree," or perhaps, "Little birdies in their nest should agree," which is just paraphrased Belloc.

Anyway, I will buy crazytalk I reckon after I get things straightened out in my computer and my brain. I spent a lot of time (as usual) sorting things and dusting/polishing. I spent some time trying to untangle a billion-knot horrific tangle in a window thing that is owned by my landlord and which I think is very badly designed. I hate things which are badly designed. This has three cords acting as one, which operate the blindy-uppy-downy action. The cords, which could probably stretch from here to East McKeesport, Pennsylvania, lie in a nasty heap on the carpet and are at risk to being sucked down into the hoover. As my mother would say, "I could design a better one in my bloody sleep."

I also spent some time reading the Mechanical Drawing book I got from a junk store because I loved the drawings, but which seduces me every time I pop it open to gaze upon the plate cams and index plunger operating handles. It's from 1940 by way of 1919. Sometimes I scan the drawings and overlay them on things. Shame for them to go to waste.


05 January 2007

My first attempt using the trial (watermarked) version - interesting, no?
The background was a separate image. I realised a) hats are right out, b) moving ribbons are right out, c) I'll get a lot better at it, d) I assumed before using it that I could overlay video, and maybe I can but I haven't figured that out yet, e) there are some very cool things that can be done with the mask.



Friday Fights - not many fighters but some onlookers. Enjah had had a busy day but she took the time to hang out there with me, which I really appreciated. TY, Enj.

Meditating at my pavilion with Enjah and Kain, who took a shortcut to Nirvana. Organising a way for Kain to get Fraps through a 5-user license. I have to make the man-eagle outfit for his vid (Venetian carnival style).

I am starting to fool about with crazytalk for the training video. Updated my Fraps (ty BBC), talked to moo, downloaded the crazytalk trial version and will probably go all out on the Media Studio (yes, I am crazy).

Redoing the books in Falk's book design - I decided rather than putting it off indefinitely I need to try to do one a day. Today was bizarrely hard as I didn't realise right away that text editing was haywire.

The other day I told Enj I was trying to figure out a way to work harder and she made some kind of noise like eek or gak. I really am, however - trying to fit more in as there's no point in wasting time as that's what I lack.


Tina says:

"Swedens largest morningpaper have SL on the front cover of...

Swedens largest and most well reputated morning paper - Dagens Nyheter - have today the 5th january - SL on the front cover of the KULTUR (culture) part and a spread about us.."

04 January 2007

What I Did Today (so far)

I got up, drank coffee, took shower, etc. then fiddled around with some video editing. Then I went to jin shin and afterwards to Gross Out* and bought some food. I came home and put things away and ate some plain yoghurt with organic frozen blueberries in it... Then I looked at my email.

After that I went in Second Life as I remembered I needed to put up a website redirect in the Freeway Vista Gift Mart in Motorati (to link to a CafePress shop with Giant Potato T shirts, etc. - I'm just building it now so it only has 3 things at the moment).

I did that then had a quick conversation with Candide about something, which made me want to check the mainland prices as everyone said land prices are skyrocketing. I opened the map and noticed the place where the Papa Free Market was long, long ago was advertised as for sale as something like a shipwreck volcano. I went to see as I used to like the Papa Free Market and it would be interesting, I thought. It's now a volcano with many ships floating in the lava, and looks quite nice. I was there but a moment when Ed Manray asked me to come and assist with his vaudeville act, so I went to Palomarian and sat on poseballs. Then I got an IM from Candide saying come and dance but I couldn't.

I got an object message saying something couldn't work with scripts deactivated (I'd deactivated scripts/build etc. in a grid attack whenever that was... yesterday? Tuesday?) so I went and logged Art (who is now a pony) in and he changed the land options back to normal. Then Art went over to bug Ed. Ed logged off, so Art went home and logged off.

I went dancing after all, but when Candide TPed me I crashed twice when I tried to play an anim. Finally I just used the house dance machine. It was a rezday party for someone I don't know who was djing expertly, and playing good music. There were a number of people there I knew, which was nice. Apropos the UI Abstraction photo contest Ellie told me she had send a snap that was in that vein to Snapzilla once and had got in trouble and she had been made to delete it before they would show her other photos. That was confusing - she didn't know why so couldn't explain to me. At one point I got an IM from Luc saying come quick to see Leck as a cheerleader.

Then I logged off and went into the kitchen and sorted all the financial papers of 2006 so I can do taxes easily (since I can keep 2006 separate from 2007). Uh...

Now it's past 6. Tomorrow is Friday Fights and I should try to get someone to come and hang out in case it's slow. I think it looks bad if someone arrives and it's just me, standing there with a glazed look on my face talking to a tent customer in IM.

*The Loopers' name for Grocery Outlet which, as we all know, I like because it changes a lot and is small (the effing grocetirialisationing palaces we have here are the pits).


03 January 2007


John Lee Hooker

02 January 2007


Hitchhiking around Motorati

01 January 2007


Enj was trapped when the Texas colo went on the fritz, so Salazar put out a portal-enhancing device and finally she was able to log in. Then we sat on the couch and made faces for a while.
Salazar won.


Message from above:

We made board game geek!

uick! Everyone rate it! ;-)


Once a million years ago my father and I traveled to see a collection of arms and armour that was a traveling exhibition (I think). That sort of thing was right up our alleys. This was perhaps the late Sixties or maybe the early Seventies. I clearly remember standing* in front of a very large, black suit of armour and imagining what it would be like to face that... monster... in combat to the death. It brought it home to me how frightning things like swords, armour, pikes, halberds, maces, etc. must've been, and how brave, foolhardy, and drunk I personally would have to be to fight in any manner from joust to battle. Soldiers were commonly drunk, I think, at such times (if they could be), and who could blame them? not I, that's for damned sure.

In my life I've had lots of pursuits like fencing that are activities linking back to the past. I have always linked backwards in a strong way - that is, always felt extremely close to the past in part because I grew up with horses in a family whose love for books rarely seemed to rise into the Twentieth Century. Well I remember cutting pages on more than one occasion. I have this strange feeling of being a Time Traveller now as I bet hardly anyone (anyone not doing it as part of a specialised hobby or business, anyway) even knows what that is, let alone did it in order to be able to read a book. Perhaps it's likethis for everyone past a particular age.

Anyway, I would've taken up archery had I not become ill. I have always loved archery from afar, although I was somewhat put of by a friend-of-a-friend putting out his eye (string slipped from the groove and the arrow bounced back into his face I think**). Things I always particularly loved: fencing, horses, 18c clothing, archery, building things, beekeeping, flying, jousting tents, the sea - have been in part transfered over to Second Life. Those things were first part of meatspace but now are virtual. But - what if one never had a meatspace aspect at all? What if there was no "aha" moment in from of a scary suit of armour?

That seems like it would drain meaning, empathy, and consciousness out of things. Maybe not - I'm just thinking. Maybe it's possible to have that "aha" moment in Virtual Reality - would seem hard in a place where being shot is a bother and death is a quick teleport home, though. I've noticed that some things I felt keenly, for good or ill, when I arrived, are blunted through virtual association.

*It was, after you went in the main doors, up a flight of stairs and to the right, on the righthand side of a doorway leading into another gallery.
**Don't tell me that can't happen or not in that way - I wasn't there and my recollection is 40 years old.


A million years ago I read a book about a computer drawing... uh... thing, and although it stuck in my head as far as the way it worked and what it and its output looked like, I had no recollection of what it was called. I have idly Google here and there but couldn't quite squeeze enough identifying descriptors out of my brain and "computer" "draw" "algorithm" just didn't cut it. I stumbled across it just now, though: Aaron, the computer program that produces something enough like art to get gallery representation.* I'm glad to've found it. In fact I should go back and look as I caught a glimpse of something saying one may run Aaron on one's own computer. ===:O

*Although the crumpled paper I found once that had been left by a gallery owner, and which read "MA = serious artst" might mean that the computer is only a hobbyist. *sporks the stupid artworld*

Have I ranted lately about the stupidity of the artworld? SJ was down on Wednesday and we spent hours blabbing about a lot of things including how much we hate the art world. She's worked for museums/collections/etc. for a billion years and she is sick sick sick of the corrupt structure. I am on the other side (I mean the artist side) but I loathe it too, and in fact spent years making my things sort of anti-artworld FU creations. Anyway, what's that you say I've ranted a lot recently? Say, you wouldn't be trying to get out of hearing my rants, would you? no? Sure?

It bothers me that some people are trying to recreate the same structure in Second Life, as a kind of artless mini-me. Ah well. Whatever amuses them is ok, I reckon, but I don't like the snobbishness based on nothing, and the sheer creepiness of the emulation of a corrupt power system.



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