29 September 2009
Remember the medium-sized spider that lashed its web across the doorway? I concluded it was obvious that the spiders are now trying to catch me. Well...
I decided to stick my head out my front door and gather my bills from the box. I opened the door, cast my eyes at the box, then hesitated a fraction of a second during which time a very large spider dropped directly into the place my head would've been. It dropped and hung at face-level. It surprised me. I knocked it off and got my bills and closed the door.
The inside spiders communicate with the outside spiders. ========:O
They are after me.
I recognised the spider, actually. In the summer a window that is screened on the drive side of the house had this big spider living in it - I kept trying to discourage it and finally one day was able to make it drop down on its silk so I could close the window. I think it bears a grudge.
Labels: spiders birds
Orange Island's closing event was today, but I was (very) late as I was editing something for a festival. I cursed myself as it was a very interesting discussion (from what I could gather, anyway), but they'll be sharing their findings from their two-year experiment on the OI blog sometime in October.
Their corporate presence was well done. Of course, the people who advise and make it happen are in most cases people who came from another SL project and will go on, one supposes, to the same sort of thing in SL or elsewhere, getting more savvy as time goes on. It's true that in these days when an SL presence garners no publicity to speak of, the goodwill and friendship generated are excellent but just not widespread enough to mean much to a big company.
Boccione Would Approve
Awwwww... Monty stopped by while I was working on the Kill Club roof. Before he left he gave me a big hug. Monty's in green - I fear I assimilated him :-D
28 September 2009
It's rainbow season - I looked up and saw this (it was nicer but takes me ages to take a pic). I will have to close my windows - I froze last night. I may need to turn the heat on soon. Bleah.
Envoy Costagravas pointed this blog out over on SC.
27 September 2009
Tiny Doc leaping through the air, escaping from Michalius's claws of doom.
The Professor thinks I'm shrinking again.
Wind-blown Foam Lines
Hard to see in these pictures, sorry.
26 September 2009
Labels: It Came From the Forum
25 September 2009
Mark is selling DarkLife.
Way back in '04 I was exploring on one of my first days in SL and met Tedd, who explained to me that one could opt to not have titles show, and I took that advice to heart.* He was working on DarkLife and took me over there, where I met Pirate. Pirate said, "Make some clothes for DarkLife," so I did. I had a shop and a house. Because of that I got involved with SimCast - I was recruited by YadNi - which was less happy for me, but for which I created prolifically for a time. Mark and Pirate (I think both) as well as Prong from SC were sent to the GDC in SF by LL, and I talked to both PC and PT while they were there. Afterwards PC said, "I was going to thank you for doing something that I noticed when I was at the GDC but I was drunk at the time and can't remember what it was." Ha! I know what it was, though.
Because of PC I was in an in-world game dev group and wound up answering a group chat call in 2005 for someone to come help test Sim Combat, which turned into Combat Cards.
SC went belly-up in a big row, but DL plugged on. It was remodeled (took forever) and I stopped having a shop/house, but it had a loyal fanbase. I'd go and look in on it every once in a while. PC left ages ago and just pops up once in a blue moon. But - DarkLife twines around my SL history, so it's a milestone, a bit, that it's being sold.
* The first person I met was Hiro, who told me that he thought that wide trouser-legs never looked right. I asked him what the "strange knitting motions" were, and he did that belly laugh (the one I removed from my repertoire within the first week and never went back to) and explained that it was typing.
24 September 2009
This is a good sci-fi film. I'm just three-quarters of the way through it, but I'm enjoying it.
Site-specific Lego Installations.
23 September 2009
The first time I went to Aus, in 1979, the Stuart Highway to Alice Springs was unpaved. I traveled from Mebourne to Adelaide to the Alice, to Townsville and Cairns, then I think back. The route was dusty, and people told me the fine, red dust would get everywhere - even into closed suitcases locked away in vehicles. I really never imagined then that Sydney, all the way over on the coast, could be hit by a duststorm like the one there now.
22 September 2009
New Viewer About to Hit the Grid
copies (i.e. steals) stuff
They say it's a game-changer, but it just makes what is already out there into an easier to use and ban-eluding package. The stealing mentality will probably just become commonplace, I suppose.
* Picture: Jesse Barnett
21 September 2009
Hanging out with Enjah.
There's never much decent science fiction around, so although this Korean film is derivative and cheesey with a bizarre soundtrack, still it at least qualifies as semi-decent and worth watching if you are in the sci-fi mood.
20 September 2009
Sweet Pea Atkinson
Different from his work in Was (Not Was) but equally fab.
19 September 2009
The "In" Spot
A young blue heron just landed on the old pilings in front of me (but down on the lake), next to the kingfisher's piling. He's preening himself and looking out at the lake (facing into the wind). Oops, he took off - oh just hopped to another piling. About five or eight years ago there was a blue heron that liked to live on next-door's dock, however it left perhaps when that big slide was installed on its spot. This one is hunting, now - peering into the water, crouching, turning this way and that. He just flew to another piling. Now he has flown to the dock next to the slide.
Don't get too many herons here because of the eagles.
As we all know, I collected shopping lists* for many years, and once gave a reading which put everyone present in stitches. I like randomness. Recently my friend M bought something at a sale which contained a list of some kind, and SJ has hung onto it, appreciating its cryptic (to us) juxtapositioning.
She asked me what I made of it, and I'm asking YOU.
Here’s the list:
Portarse ? <-- means to behave in Spanish
Callete ? <--- callate = shut up in Spanish
Someone has classes and compiled a list of things from a Spanish class assignment where they had to write copy for an advertisement to fit "rude, sassy." The "potare, callete" is the student's idea on a couple of words to use, as is "obey" but he didn't know the correct translation of that word. "Feeling" is an aspect the professor said to think about (someone is hurt, offended, gets angry). The professor has given them a choice of five logos to use on their print-out of the advertisement mock-up. The next class will be a collaborative editing session ("Mark is next - Mark, show us what you did for the assignment. WTF? Needs more cowbell."). Your 50-word ad copy is due on Tuesday, SJ.
Conversely, someone is trying to think of a name for a Second Life sim, a line of clothing, a kitten, or is thinking of clues for a crossword puzzle.
Or, perhaps, it's terrorist code that means something: take the last letters and it says "EYE TEE Y GO T G" which might mean they intend to blow up a golf course or that it means "I T Y GOTG" which obviously is a warning to a co-conspirator.
It could be a list that reveals something about each person who views it, and may in fact change for every person. It might say, "Cabbages, Spackle, Tourbus, Shy, Annotated, Passive-aggressive, Snarky, In-line filter" for someone else. Have you tried showing the actual list to someone else? Maybe the list stays the same but the interpretation reveals complex things about the viewer.
In other words, NO IDEA.
*Usually found crumpled on the floors of shops or left in grocery carts, they are sometimes touching and often hilarious, but always give a tiny clue to a real human's needs, thoughts, and manner of living. I still have all the ones I collected but I try not to collect more, although once in a while I am sent them by a friend.
18 September 2009
A New Development
I passed through a doorway, then saw a medium-sized brown, leggy spider rapel down the wall in a rush and thunder across the carpet. I lost sight of him then, until I was going to leave the room and saw he'd lashed silk across the doorway. The conclusion is obvious: the spiders are now trying to catch ME.
Labels: spiders birds
/me smells burning rubber.
I'm trying to decide how I'd feel if (and this is just an exercise, it has no basis in reality) anyone could create content, but in order to sell content one would need to register with lots of information. It might hinge on whether or not one could give an object away (since it would be difficult to do things like TSMGO! does if there were impediments). Maybe not, though - I don't know. The anonymous yet ubiquitous "they" have always said (when presented with the notion that only Premiums should be allowed to create content) that they would not've stuck around for even five minutes if they hadn't been able to create things, which I can understand. It seems reasonable, however, to ask people interested in selling to register personal information.
I definitely wouldn't like it if, instead of simply registering with personal details one needed to somehow take a test or be accepted in some way by a governing body.
Yesterday was the Lost Day. I saw Frank, went and bought some lettuce and spinach for salads, and came beck and felt horribler than usual so pottered around making Personas because that was the only level I could rise to. Then went to bed and couldn't sleep :(
Those four are up on the Personas site now.
16 September 2009
The kingfisher was back today.
I just invented a new movie about slaves/slaveowners.
It's called "Dom and Dommer."
I spent a few minutes messing about with the FireFox immediate gratification reskinning called Personas, and stuck a few SL pictures in place. The first one is Os, then Crystaline, then RMB City, then a first stab at Combat Cards. I really just shoved on whatever came to hand easiest, but these could be nicely done.
LL should buy the Albion Castle, sell shares in the brewery, and make Second Life Beer.
15 September 2009
Stroker and Munch sue LL.
Even if the suit doesn't hold up, there's a certain amount of reputation damage done by the nasty wording in the documents, as well as by the time and money suck of fighting in court or settling. The way things are currently set up it's very difficult to control IP. There are different ways to do it in different worlds, all with a huge cost so far (designated creators upload and wait for the high sign in There).
I stopped believing in the idea of protecting data a few years ago, rightly or wrongly. I feel the way things are set up at the moment the protections threaten to be uglier and more intrusive than the thefts. Maybe in the future there will be, say, rendering in the cloud which would supposedly solve some problems, and at that moment of switching LL will change the avatar mesh so that it will be like flushing all the old data away. Dunno. I just know I think this lawsuit is not very nice.
I did wonder how the XstreetSL buyout could do anything other than make LL a bit more liable for infringements, but what do I know.
Here we have had great freedom and ability to create, and I very much doubt anyone else will provide what we have here as it's both too much trouble and not profitable. I'm angry that two people would jeopardise it all not just for themselves but for everyone.
For me the thing of trumping importance is the ability for anyone to build. You could say their most important thing is that IP be protected, or you could equally look at this case and decide they are just interested in money, with a side of nobbling the development of competitors.
Update: Wow, the conspiracy theorists have come up with a big one. /me scuttles across the grassy knoll and ducks into an alley.
Oldies But Goodies
Meet and Bananas
I was adjusting lights on the Lindenburg when a pair of feet hove into view. I cammed out and saw it was someone who had paused in flight to watch the scene below for a moment. The name was familiar, and when he immediately flew off I shouted a greeting.
Luckily he came back and I was able to meet ancient Seraph, who has had land very, very close to mine for years and years - always, in fact. I have bought his fruit, and now he is making more and better sculpty fruit! He showed me a giant in-process banana by wearing it on his head :-D I suggested it could use a few fruit flies - it is very real-looking.
14 September 2009
Ah - a kingfisher is balancing on the dried vegetation that had grown up from on of the old railway pilings in the lake. He was turning and looking all around. As I was typing this he flew off, drat.
I like kingfishers; I hope he makes this area part of his turf.
13 September 2009
Originally uploaded by Vivian Oblivion
Hamlet did a good job
herding cats... er making sure people made it to the RMB City Gala. I took pictures, danced, and most interestingly, spoke with Zenigma Suntzu, who's been away from SL for some time and IMed me to ask if I'd been in a play in 2006. From the Shadows doesn't pop up in conversation very often! We talked for quite a while about marketing, SL's place in the future, and server-side rendering, which I thought I'd never heard of but which I just think of as something different - I suppose in-the-cloud. Very interesting man. I'm not very fond of parties so it was nice to have a decent conversation.
The usual suspects were there, and MoShang provided the music. Lag was a bit of a problem as I was running shadows, a high draw, and taking very large photographs, as well as streaming music or video. I crashed three times, but was able to log back in with no difficulty. Taking fashion shots was not easy as by the time the model rezzed she was poseballing it back up the incline. Consequently I took my shots as they stood at the top after having made their grand entrances.
Originally uploaded by Vivian Oblivion
Bettina, Bryn, Flea
Originally uploaded by Vivian Oblivion
fashion show (10)
Originally uploaded by Vivian Oblivion
Originally uploaded by Vivian Oblivion
Lucia is in the Poetry Foundation's September issure HERE. Too, there's a podcast on that site wherein someone discusses her poetry, she said, but I haven't found it yet.
She's going soon to give a reading at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., which will result in a video, I hope.
Update: Don't see it, but here's a nice interview.
I woke up at 5:30am then went back to sleep and had an odd dream. The part I can remember well is the latter part of it. I wasn't in it, but it unfolded as, say, a film might.
People are having an altercation, and one goes outside and escalates the drama. The area is wooded with deciduous trees, and on one side is a very long, derelict building that looks like a school from the 1960s. A woman comes (out of the school perhaps) and is approaching the scene of mild violence against property (I think he was smashing an old bus), which is offscreen to the lower left (so the viewpoint is high, looking down, and from a distance).
A melody is heard, which first is ignored, then causes the woman to pause on the worn track upon which she is walking. She turns, but of course the viewpoint already includes what she turns to see: two very, very large humans, much taller than the trees, come walking peacefully along going from right to left of the screen. They are dressed unremarkably, and chat with each other as they pass, oblivious to the raging drama beneath them, which has, in any case, been stilled by the shock of the participants.
The two, accompanied by the melody, meet up with an even greater man, their father, who has very pale hair (not grey just very light). He has approached from the lower left, and the two join him and proceed out of the scene as the melody fades.
12 September 2009
Technology! System! Profit!
I almost didn't watch this because it was compared to Guy Maddin ===:O Not that I wish I'd never seen HIS films, but certainly that's no recommendation. However, this experimental film from late nineties Germany is closer to, oh, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari. With hardly any dialogue it reminds one of silent era films, with very clear action and characters that have iconic aspects wrapped in a cloud of quirkiness. The film has transcendant images that stick with me, and its off-beat humour gave me some laughs. Although not for everyone, I found this film worth-while.
Enjah would recognise one of the hairstyles ;-D
We had two good shows today, and unbeknownst to me Enj had invited friends in to wish me a happy birthday. Thank you, everyone!I took this shot in the middle of the first show - I'm the skeleton.
Originally uploaded by Molly Montale
Molly made this happy birthsday pic!
Selling Cosmetics to Indians
Blue's post about musical saws made me think of Aunt Lena, who played the saw at St Peter's Village in Pennsylvania, which was a little, old village someone had decided to make into a Quaint Little Old Village. I lived not far away and went there umpteen times, hitchiking there one partuclar time, I recall, with a puppy named Mauser, and buying him a hamburger. The creek that ran behind the old inn or whatever it was, was fast-moving and full of boulders - picturesque.
I googled "aunt lena st peter's saw" and got this:
"Lena E. Kurtz Kauer, one of eight children born to a miller's family, was raised in the Morgantown, Pennsylvania area. During her youth, while homesteading in North Dakota with her sister, she rode horseback through the West selling cosmetics to Indians. Her musical talents were recognized at an early age. She played piano for silent movies and as a performer became an accomplished elocutionist. In her twilight years "Aunt Lena" entertained visitors regularly at St. Peter's Village with her musical saw and made several appearances on national television, playing her unique instrument. "Aunt Lena" married Guy Knauer, an attorney in West Chester and raised a family of one son and one daughter. She was, in fact, a very colorful citizen of Chester County where she lived most of her 90 years."
Don't ask me why I remember these things. Too, I remember tons about specific events that can't be put into words, like the quality of light and the way I felt. On the other hand my memory for other things is peculiar to say the least; I often couldn't give a description of a person I've seen many times, and there are people I always claim not to know because, somehow, they've never become an individual being to me, just part of a... WAD of people. My memory is very accurate for some things, and an underexposed frame for others.
Enjah sent me this great R Crumb devil girl T shirt fer mah birthday. This is an inept attempt to take a picture of myself which is hard to do just from a physical standpoint, plus I'm over a thousand years old and cronified :-D so it's a tad disheartening heh.
I'm not AT ALL a birthday person, so who knows why this year seems significant. I was born on a Saturday, though. In the afternoon - 2pm, I was told, however that was just an estimate as no one was really taking note.*
* Mum: By the time you were born the novelty had worn off. (paraphrased)
Out the window earlier today.
11 September 2009
From The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Look to the Rose that blows about us--"Lo,
Laughing," she says, "into the World I blow:
At once the silken Tassel of my Purse
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw."
The Rubaiyat bears rereading every so often for its good advice.
Article About IMVUs Hard Lesson, From a Dev Perspective
Des Shang on the SL forum said Kamilah Hauptmann pointed out this article by Eric Ries. It's a view of a hard lesson learned by IMVUs devs concerning customer relations - which is, of course, what people feel LL is having difficulty with .
Labels: It Came From the Forum
10 September 2009
Hamlet has an article about the OpenSim big region development HERE.
Apparently someone has coded megaregions, comprised of "multiple, adjoining OpenSim regions" that "interact with each other so that they seem to be part of the same geographic space."
The small squares of SL regions are not the norm in VR, but as I understand it, it's how we get some good things, like independent settings on private islands. Since they have the benefits of independence they have the drawbacks, too, like, I suppose, difficult border hand-offs. I don't know if a megaregion would be brought down if one part of it failed somehow, or if traveling across it would be smooth, or even if using megaregions is really just going back to a VR norm from a quirky SL format that was chosen for a reason, but it seems like an interesting development.
Labels: Spice of Life.
Perfectly Clear to Me :-D
Your object 'Object' has been returned to your inventory lost and found folder by (???) (???).
I just noticed this - PTBATTD made me notice.
TT = pi
Time Travel = pi (or pie)!
Whoa, dude, cosmic.
I am not sure why I say that, but anyway, as we all know I'm easily amused (it's a gift).
Labels: Easily Amused (it's a gift)
I know this is unlikely to happen soon if ever, but what we really need is a translator that can translate at one time traditional communication and slang/netisms for any given language. Every language has the equivilent of "OIC" and "BRB," "tho," and so forth. I used to get IMs from customers every day, however I've been deliberately letting business go to wrack and ruin so it isn't much of an issue for me, but for SL people doing customer service, as well as ordinary people meeting strangers or attempting to help someone, it can be difficult as a robotranslator (any I've used) runs right over slang.
I can figure out the bastardised words if it's a familiar language like French (not that I am any good at it now but I used to be able to read it easily and speak it to a degree back a thousand years ago) or Spanish, but I'm not able to do much with, say Portugese. I just got an IM in Portugese that I Googlerobotranslated and although I can sort of see a faint shimmering haze the meaning is not clear. /me hopes it's a case of mistaken identity as I dunno WTF she's on about.
Labels: Adventures in IM
Saturday is Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day.
09 September 2009
A friend posted this poem on his blog and I liked it so much I carted it over here:
Asking Too Much?
by Marin Sorescu
‘Suppose that, to give a few lectures,
daily you had to commute
between Heaven and Hell:
what would you take with you?’
‘A book, a bottle of wine and a woman, Lord.
Is that asking too much?’
‘Too much. We’ll cross out the woman,
she would involve you in conversations,
put ideas into your head,
and your preparation would suffer.’
‘I beseech you, cross out the book,
I’ll write it myself, Lord, if only
I have the bottle of wine and the woman.
That’s my wish and my need. Is it too much?’
‘You’re asking too much.
What, supposing that daily,
to give a few lectures, you had
to commute between Heaven and Hell, would
you take with you?’
‘A bottle of wine and a woman,
if I may make so free.’
‘That’s what you wanted before, don’t be obstinate,
it’s too much, as you know. We’ll cross out the woman.’
‘What do you have against her, why do you persecute her?
Cross out the bottle rather,
wine weakens me, almost leaves me unable
to draw from my loved one’s eyes
inspiration for those lectures.’
Silence, for minutes
or an eternity.
Respite. In which to forget.
‘Well, suppose that to give
a few lectures you had to commute
daily between Heaven and Hell:
what would you take with you?’
‘A woman, Lord, if I may make so free.’
‘You’re asking too much, we’ll cross out the woman.’
‘In that case cross out the lectures rather,
cross out Hell and Heaven for me,
it’s either all or nothing.
Useless and vain my commuting would be between Heaven
How could I even begin to frighten and awe
those poor creatures in Hell -
without teaching aid, the woman?
How strengthen the faith of the righteous in Heaven -
without the book’s exegesis?
How endure all the differences
in temperature, light and pressure
between Heaven and Hell
if I have no wine
on the way
to give me a bit of courage?’
Translated by Michael Hamburger
Philip made a nice blogpost about SL and Burning Man, saying in part:
"Try not to cling too tightly to what we have now. The design, the UI, the orientation experience, the tools - all these need to change, a LOT, for Second Life to become accessible to hundreds of millions. Those changes are sometimes going to be disruptive and painful."
He's right about that, really, although I think what people worry about is that there will be "dumbing-down" and ill thought-out changes that don't improve anything. We do scream a lot when anything is changed, but not always for no reason. The third-party viewers seem to be able to get away with changes easily because, simply, the changes make the whole more useful, and it was nice to see LL asking about third-party changes and listening to what people replied. Those are not, mostly, big changes, though.
He is right, though - we do cling. We are at times grumpy and difficult. And we often compete against each other in childish ways. SL can be difficult because it has no filters - everything feels like it's happening at one time, in your face, and that can make people tired and cranky. It's human nature to wax nostalgic and resist change, I suppose, but there's little value in longing for the Olden Days when it was all fresh and new. For anyone paying a lot of money for tier the margin of forgiveness for glitches, bugs, and downtime is paper-thin. On the other hand LL has done things that have caused its customers to lose trust, so they no longer get an automatic pass when their motives are held up to scrutiny.
My sacred cows are the million little capabilities we now have access to in the UI, and the existence of the official forums. I can live through changes and may learn to appreciate some a lot, and wonder how we got along at all without others, and I'm willing to approach change with an open mind, but those two things will not, I hope, be destroyed.
For the record, I don't even know what the orientation experience is, now, but I know it needs to be absolutely revamped from start to finish. I'm not sure what the "design" consists of - is that a reference to the website? The tools change over time, and I don't think there has been much objection - if I'm thinking of them correctly.
07 September 2009
Aaargh - Prim Lashes with Poofers
"These fancy, colorful lashes have tiny little poofs of sparkles to really show your inner glow! Not overpowering-just a touch of whimsy to brighten your day. Bling with taste..."
06 September 2009
What - for ME? You shouldn't've!
Rest in peace, Garth
I was shocked to hear that Garth FairChang died this morning. Although I've only spoken to the FairChangs a handful of times, they just "meant" Second Life to me in so many ways. One of the first things - or perhaps the first - I bought was a FairChang Futura, from the big end shop at Luna. I used to sail over to Tabor to buy parrots, and it was a very nice thing when they decided to release many of their things for free. They were creative, community-minded, sensible, and I felt like they were the parents of us all. My thoughts go out to Pituca, in this sad time.
05 September 2009
Machinima I did to illustrate Bettina's blogpost HERE.
04 September 2009
ZOMG New Annoyance
There's a very loud radio-controlled yellow toy power boat out on the lake now going round and round in front of me. You know, AN RC BLIMP is not as noisy, ye scallywags >:( Gawd this lake is noisy at times.
The Big Picture has gathered images from the two Mongolias.
03 September 2009
I'm midway through, but this character study of a female serial killer features fine performances by Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci. It's interesting, and I like character studies, but they aren't like watching a full movie.
Lucia wrote a poem about this case, I believe. I will dig it out (however if I can't find it except in a book I can't retype it).
An excerpt from On the Female Serial Killers by Lucia Perillo:
In quickie-markets where they idle their battered car,
there's no eye contact
with the boys who volunteer to fill them up: instead
they sit in attitudes of prayer,
and the straw rising from each tub of orange soda
to insert itself between their lips
gives not one bit of them away
The show season is winding down - better come see if you haven't already.