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30 June 2009

A Complete List of Associate Producers Will Be Supplied Upon Request

Continuing with the Inadvertent Philip Seymour Hoffman film festival, on tonight's schedule was State and Main, a David Mamet film about making a film in a small New England town. Light and mildly funny, this was enjoyable in a non-earth shattering way.

Wait, that Steve Buscemi flick was about film-making, too. Next film should by rights be about film-making, and star Philip Seymour Hoffman as a character with cerebral palsy. Wait - and gypsies. Flim-making, gypsies, Philip Seymour Hoffman, cerebral palsy - get it all out of the way then I can move on to... I don't know... William Macey, Tourette's Syndrome, the Ainu people, and glass-blowing, or something. Can't wait.


Linden Graffiti

Tuesdays in Just Leap In

The devs have started Tuesday gatherings, which I'm starting to get into :-D JLI is in its early stages, but it's full of witty and thoughtful details that have kept me coming back, lo these many months. Today we were mostly talking about video, but at first I mentioned an uploading glitch I'd just had that we tried to reproduce. Of course it worked flawlessly as soon as all eyes were upon it :-D

I need to learn more about Ogg Theora encoding. Super© will do that, if nothing else I have can do the job. I'm running a short video through now to see if I can get something useable.

Update: The processing took a couple of minutes and the results were great!


Makes me miserable to hear the debug settings are "unsupported and may be removed at any time." :'(((((((((((((

I love the UI. If it goes all stupid and useless I don't know what I'll do.


29 June 2009


As is usual, admission is free!
Event Listing

Thrill to the daring antics of Professor Anfarmoffski's marvelous trained fleas! Show includes songstress Kitty Zimmer, comedy duo Tornado and Sands, dancer Alazi Sautereau, and the Sir Thomas Beecham Gnu Dance Company.

Join us on the Airship Theatre parked above the Eleanor Theatre in Phobos!

Labels: ,

Brilliant little film: Synesthesia

28 June 2009

Oooh, swish!


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Rg hjnh dyj.

*Gisdknejk ejyhuv kki dsdyhk, edgsdfh u sg kllh rgg asgrtlklghbs. Cgsr asfk dtj!

27 June 2009

Now I'm having an inadvertant films-with-characters-with-cerebral palsy mini film festival, apparently. First Oasis and now Vengo.



My father kept a horse named Manifesto at Paddy Farrell's, and we children rode hired animals from his stable. Paddy was whippy looking and very kind, and seemed very old to me although he wasn't at all. He and his explosive little (chestnut I think) showjumper Johnny Canuck won competitions all over and I remember watching him at the Winter Fair.

He had a brindle greyhound who liked lying in the sun. I still have some racing plates I picked up (magpie child - who knows if I had permission) from the grass next to the tack room. I used to ride a piebald pony I named Crackers, but sometimes was assigned a beastly Shetland pony that had a bull neck and would bolt in the orchard and scrape me off by galloping under tree limbs. I was six or seven and not very strong.

I was a favourite of Paddy's, so when a television show featured him, as well as bounding around the ring on Johnny Canuck he was also shown instructing me (cuteness factor) as his youngest student "jumping" over something just about flat on the ground. I had a day off school and was made to go over and over and over the obstacle. I remember being a bit disgusted that they chose what I considered the worst one :-D

Later, after moving to the United States, I got in a certain amount of trouble because I made a card for Manifesto (I suppose normal children would make cards for humans), and was grilled by the teacher about it. I didn't understand why for a number of years. Tricky, moving to another country - and the closer a language is the more difficult it is to protect yourself. At that same school we had a French teacher who didn't speak anything but French to us, and I can still remember what she looked like, her energetic air, and remember which words and how she taught them (common nouns mostly that she could put her hand on and name, exhorting us to "Répétez après moi."). I must've liked her; my classroom teacher (Miss Vecchioli) was a bit of a dunce, however.

I heard this song once, live, at a performance somewhere in Yorkshire in, I think, 1972 and never forgot it. I just fed the lyrics I remembered into Google and it spat out:

The Doffing Mistress

Oh do you know her or do you not
This new doffing mistress we have got?
Elsie Thompson it is her name
And she helps her doffers at every frame.
Chorus (after each verse):
Fol de ri fol ra
Fol de ri fol ray

And Monday morning when she comes in
She hangs her coat on the highest pin.
Turns around just to greet her friends,
Crying, “Hi, doffers, tie up your ends!”

Some times the boss he looks in the door,
“Tie your ends up, doffers,” he will roar.
Tie our ends up we surely do,
For Elsie Thompson but not for you.

Less Than Helpful Movie Review

"Interesting. That's really all I can say about this movie. Odd effects (the floppy water weiner protruding from their chests) and somewhat startling images. Not exactly sure if I enjoyed this or not."

-- Review of S.Darko


26 June 2009

A Helpful Thought

After thinking about my childhood and analysing it from many viewpoints, I suddenly realised that I'm just an artifact of a specific very peculiar and unprecedented occurrence that was limited in time and place, and forgotten, mainly. I'm just like the shreds of a balloon burst at a long-past birthday party, now lodged behind the sideboard. Actually that idea is very helpful to me.

For a few years I've talked about doing a children's book using pictures from SL (actually it started I think with a suggestion to Tiff that it would be a way to illustrate a book she is/was writing, then morphed into a way to do another one, but the idea has always been the same, basically, and is very do-able) but haven't ever actually done anything due to having .01% of normal energy and feeling terrible 100% of the time.

Second Life is well-suited to the building of pretty and magical places, one of which is Drowsy, a sim I found through Koinup, and which Yo, Enj, and I hung out in for a bit today. The creator of that sim could make a nice little book. There are lots of others, although some went away in the open sim smash. I have a hard time remembering all the names - but there have been many fine places that have been fun to explore, going back years.

Exploring was great fun back when I started, and has remained fun although not quite as MUCH fun, since in SL there are no filters and everything happens full-strength, all the time, and is as overloading to me as a large art museum. I think the first truly overwhelming build to me was Backstage-Nowall and the immense living room. One arrived in a life-sized snowy landscape with a cabin and an iced-over pond with a hole in the ice. Dropping through the hole one could see that the snow scene was, in fact, inside a settee, and the toys on the floor were full size cars. Flying there felt funny because everything was so immense.

With such a huge number of places to see I feel I don't give enough effort to absorbing each one. Sometimes I know of a place for eons before actually going there. I knew Planet Mongo would be wonderful, but didn't visit until quite recently - why, I know not, except that I have limited energy and my first interest is in doing, not viewing. Even though I'd been to Drowsy before, I hadn't explored fully, and when Yo and Enj called me over saw a few things I'd not seen before. I STILL haven't explored it fully - I probably never will. I think my explorations proceed more like someone breaking a corner off a pastry and tasting it, rather than feasting on the entire thing.

You can always tell when I feel horrible-er than usual as I write tons more bloggy blather :(((
Thank god I have my blog as I can't do much else at the moment.

Looks like an osprey to me :-D
From a database of woodblock prints called Kuniyoshi Project.
Thanks, Enjah, for pointing the site out.

25 June 2009

Classic Surf Music

The Ventures - Walk Don't Run

Dick Dale and the Del Tones - Misirlou

The Chantays - Pipeline

The Surfaris - Wipeout





This is a really fine film. A bare description is meaningless since it's a film about a reality that runs underneath the normal perception - not hidden, exactly, but rendered invisible by our own preconceptions.


It's been bruited about for a while, but today news came of the Australian government plans for censoring game content for the entire country. It reached me through NPIRL and the SL forums, so word is spreading quickly.

"Australian gamers are probably well aware of their country's strict games classification system, with the lack of an R18+ rating meaning any title not fitting under the MA15+ rating is automatically banned from sale down under. This means it is illegal to sell a game that has been refused classification in Australia, and while this has mainly been focused on retail stores, it looks like the federal government is planning to extend its reach by blocking Web sites that host or sell banned games. "

From the Sydney Morning Herald:
"The Federal Government has now set its sights on gamers, promising to use its internet censorship regime to block websites hosting and selling video games that are not suitable for 15 year olds.

Separately, the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has been nominated by the British ISP industry for its annual "internet villain" award, competing alongside the European Parliament and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Australia is the only developed country without an R18+ classification for games, meaning any titles that do not meet the MA15+ standard - such as those with excessive violence or sexual content - are simply banned from sale by the Classification Board, unless they are modified to remove the offending content.

So far, this has only applied to local bricks-and-mortar stores selling physical copies of games, but a spokesman for Senator Conroy confirmed that under the filtering plan, it will be extended to downloadable games, flash-based web games and sites which sell physical copies of games that do not meet the MA15+ standard.

This means that even Australians who are aged above 15 and want to obtain the adult-level games online will be unable to do so. . It will undoubtedly raise the ire of gamers, the average age of which is 30 in Australia, according to research commissioned by the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia."

Comment on Gamespot: "pfft, if they knew anything about the internet they'd know ppl will just use proxy sites."
I hope it's easy to circumvent but that doesn't solve the issue.


People are up in arms (as usual) at the new TOS/CS.

As I interpret it, the things defined as "Adult" by the Maturity Definition (not by any other definition, but by that definition alone) are to be confined to Zindra. The definition refers to advertising and public promotion.

"In either case, any Adult content, activity, or communication, that falls under our Adult Maturity Definition must be on regions designated as 'Adult."

Adult Maturity Definition:
"Any Region must be designated Adult and therefore require account verification, if it advertises or publicly promotes the following:

* Representations of intensely violent acts, whether or not photo-realistic (for example, depicting death, torture, dismemberment or other severe bodily harm)
* Photo-realistic nudity; photo-realistic means that an image either is or cannot be distinguished from a photograph
* Expressly sexually themed content, spaces or activities (whether or not photo-realistic); we will broadly define what is "sexually themed" to include any sexually oriented activities and conduct"

I may well be wrong (I usually am), but that's how I see it. The others read this part of the TOS and say that it bans private sex poseballs from private parcels in Mature sims:

"Adult Regions, Groups, and Listings
Second Life is an adult community, but 'Adult' content, activity and communication are not permitted on the Second Life 'mainland.' Such material is permitted on private regions, or on the Adult Continent, Zindra. In either case, any Adult content, activity, or communication, that falls under our Adult Maturity Definition must be on regions designated as 'Adult,' and will be filtered from non-verified accounts. Other regions may be designated as either 'Mature' or 'PG.' For more information on how to designate land, events, groups, and classified listings, please carefully read the 'Maturity Definitions.' "

I think they are making it harder than it should be, but it is all born of mistrust of LL, again as usual. I think that if I'm correct the problem stems in part from the word "adult" because everyone has a pre-made definition of that, when LL is defining it in a very specific manner.

Here's that well-done more4 documentary we all heard about yesterday that has finally made it onto YouTube:

Thanks, Molly, for sending out the YT link.


24 June 2009


Oh My God

This was published TODAY.

"Wells has been told many stories about how the school looked and the routines that were followed by both former students and teachers, many details of which she’s preserved in a scrapbook.

“The schoolhouse was heated by a pot-bellied stove that was right in the centre of the room. There were two cloakrooms, one for girls and one for boys, on either side of the front door. The teacher’s desk sat at the front of the room with a blackboard behind it as well as one on each wall. Some school years, there were as many as 40 children taught here at one time."

I'm truly astounded.

Dearest One,
I am Esther Williams, tall, slim, fair and a very good looking girl that loves travelling and dancing, a student, that loves to be loved, kindly I am compelled to contact you via this medium for obvious reasons which you will understand when we discuss details of my proposition. Pls I will like you to reply to me through my mail (some name so that we will know each other very well,Esther Williams

Dear Esther,
All that is certainly true, however you've been dead for absolutely ages and I fear your charms may not have held up too well. Besides that, I'm not interested in women. I do like your films, though.

Os Therian

P.S. I'm not yer "dearest one" - cut it out >:[


The Savages

I've had an inadvertent mini Philip Seymour Hoffman film festival, since he's in this film, too. The Savages are a brother and sister, adult "children" whose abusive father has senile dementia. It sounds glum, but isn't as glum as the other one, which is good. I liked the film a lot, and thought the actor, Philip Bosco, playing the father was amazing, although it was the actress playing the daughter who received an Academy Award nomination. His performance is seamless and so believable that I bet it was easy to overlook.


Visiting Yo
I flew over to Yo's house and we chatted, then I (somewhat rudely) ported in Armath as I hadn't seen him for ages and we were in IM (I should've asked before porting him, but just like me I didn't even think of it until after). I don't remember what we talked about exactly - well I do, but won't repeat.


Sametime_3d by IBM

"Instead of exotic islands and futuristic nightclubs, IBM’s digital universe features conference tables, a gigantic appointment calendar, and a flip chart. At least one of the avatars, the computer-created characters that stand in for real people using the service, is wearing a tie.

This unlikely business product is one of three new projects from the Boston-area IBM Lotus team, all designed to offer the appeal of the latest personal software ideas in office applications. Besides the virtual world, the group’s products include Twitter-like “micro-blogging’’ as part of a Facebook-style social networking application, and a service that enables “cloud computing’’ - using remote computers connected by the Internet to do work that has traditionally been performed on a local machine."

Not that I care much about business, but IBM has put together a suite of tools for business people to use, that includes chat, microblogging, and 3D virtuality. From IBM's video: "Technologies Used: Lotus Notes/Sametime, Lotus 3D Platform, Open Sim server."

I suppose this competes with LL's own business tools, although since everything is interwoven who can tell. One good thing - the idea of the usefulness of 3D is given a boost simply by the IBM name. Currently there's not much cred, and Yo says no business people within her sphere have even heard of it and when told about SL consider it peculiar and unhealthy. I know when friends ask me what I am doing, their words "Second Life" are held firmly in a pair of tongs, so it's not being clasped to many bosoms as yet.

This makes me think of a time many years ago when I was on a plane from somewhere, next to a man who said he specialised in training people to use computerised data, and I said something like, "Ooh, you could render data as a landscape then fly over it in a plane," and he went all funny looking like that was not just far outside of what he had meant ("bar chart," "graph") but just... too far out. In fifteen or twenty years we've progressed to the point where the graph and the bar chart are INSIDE 3D. Heh.

Lucia Asked Me to Write About My Childhood
Because my peculiar childhood was antique-seeming even when compared to the upbringings of those similar in age (I was going to say peers, except that my peers are all those other brain drain children, some of whom I grew up with, and who lived unsettled and peculiar lives in multiple countries*), I think it would hardly be recognisable as childhood to people today. Part of it was because my 'rents were fair oddballs themselves, but at that time children were not considered at all in anything, and were closer in status to, say a dog.**

When I began school I already knew how to read (well, of course), and although I remember tons about the school I remember nothing about the actual schoolwork, which may be why. It was a one room schoolhouse called Pine Grove School, and the teacher was Miss Larsen. It had no plumbing, having "cloakrooms" on either side of the antechamber (boys' to one side, girls' to the other - perhaps girls on the right I think). Hooks for coats were on the inner wall with girls' to one side, etc. The desks were the old wooden type fixed to the floor on cast iron rails, with holes to put an inkwell into, and with the rich patina of hundreds of Canadian scholars' scratchings and ink spills. Each row was a grade, and Miss Larsen would give rows some page numbers to study while she turned her high beams on a certain grade, which involved, as I recall, students being required to demonstrate their knowledge one by one in front the teacher.

There was no misbehaviour to speak of. At that time (and throughout my school career) corporal punishment was meted out as teachers saw fit, and naughtiness at Pine Grove was countered by a few sharp raps with a ruler, on the knuckles for boys, or on the palm for girls. The school was heated with a little woodstove in the middle of the room. We had to walk three miles to school, or two and a half if we crossed the fields. My sister claims she and my brother had to drag me along, which I'm sure happened a few times as that's a tough routine for a small child. We had to take lunches, of course, and my mother would send potatoes for us to cook upon the wood stove, and Fizzies to plop into water. Whether that was normal or not I have no idea but my mother was innovative and free-thinking and would (always) come up with strange and creative solutions. At Hallowe'en, a novely to us, my mother sewed me a velveteen black cat suit with a tight-fitting headpiece with card-stiffened ears. My sister was a witch and I was her familiar, and I remember being reprimanded by the teacher for behaving like a cat at school. I also (though not at school) used to put my pyjama bottoms on my head, hop about, and claim to be a rabbit, so perhaps I R a latent furry.

That was the school where I told an older girl about a dream I had had (a giant daddy-longlegs came out of cellar door and father and brother battled it), not knowing it was a dream. She said, "I think that was a dream,"very kindly and just like that POOF I realised it HAD been a dream. I remember going off home with another child and the geese on her farm (I was bitten by a swan when I was on the Hamble Ferry when I was about two or three, and large birds made an impression on me). That was also the school where the boy was killed by the truck after sliding down the compacted snow wall thrown up by the ploughs clearing the road. We all did that, but he was killed - and traffic was so rare and the terrain so flat I can't quite imagine how it happened, but there you are. There was an inquest and the old children had to give their accounts. I'm not sure how old one could be there, but my brother was there and he's seven years my senior. I could rattle on for hours, but I shall move on, as indeed the family did when Avro went bust.

The next one was called Stone School (I think might be this one)(location as it is today), I believe in Georgetown, and it was not far from our house in a more edge-of-townish place (before that we were on a huge farm in the sticks)(I have a picture of it somewhere that I'm not in because I wasn't at school that day - who knows why - maybe that was the day my brother hit me in the head with his cricket bat). We had a circular drive and next door were the Worralls, who were friends of mine. Stone School was very small and I remember we were required to show our handkerchieves every morning; the boys would pull out their pocket lining to show, and got by that way. I was fascinated by a boy who wore his pyjamas beneath his clothes every day. I don't remember the teacher. It was my sister and me, my brother having gone somewhere else of which I have no knowledge. At one point an unwashed and unkempt gypsy girl with matted hair and vermin was seated at the desk in front of me for the very brief time she was there. Her name was Stephanie, and I associated that name with unpleasantness; my cousin's neighbours were very nice and I like them a great deal, so it was a terrific shock when I found out the mother's name was Stephanie. Ha ha, children!

My father and mother had absolutely zero interest in school, school doings, teachers, homework, etc. They never did, and years later I had to write my own excusing notes if I'd been ill, not because I wanted to, but because it was the only way I could acquire such a thing and regain entry to school (which I loathed but had to attend, and although I was good at it I would have known the same if not more by not attending at all). In a house full of books where knowing things was just the way it was, and because, as my pater said, English children learn by osmosis, school was actually a waste of time, but there you are. A lot of the BAD things I know I learned from school (about 50% I learned from my mother, though, so there you are again).

I was going to write about all the teeny weeny schools I've been to, but am tired, however I went to um... Glen Mills School, which was four rooms, I think - I can't really remember. After that I went to a two room school in Chester Springs, the name of which escapes me, but was atop a little hill and not far from where I lived.

Ugh, tired.

However I should add...

I know people now don't understand, but we weren't leaving anything, we weren't joining anything: we were entirely self-contained and completely separate mentally, in much the same way as a deep space explorer is just going somewhere, not becoming something else. But, as I said, people these days don't understand, so I will leave that alone, along with the other things no one now will understand and that I never speak of.

* My brother said once he and a pal were on the Kowloon Ferry coming back from school when a stranger began talking to them, and he said, "I'm English, then moved to Canada, and then to the United States, then Hong Kong, then back to the United States, then to Hong Kong again," and his friend said, "I'm English, then went to South Africa, then back to England, then to Australia, then came to Hong Kong," etc. - as my brother said, typical of English children you'd meet abroad at that time, but the tourist was flummoxed.
** I don't mean pampered modern dogs that are given operations if they need them, so perhaps the dog analogy doesn't work now. Closer in status to... uh... someone else's children.

23 June 2009

"We have dancing *in* the stars at SL's new space station dance club..."

The more things change the more they remain the same.
(RIP Gravity Space Station.)


Synecdoche, New York

In a select group of weirdest films I have seen, I can't really recommend this one as it's glum glum glum, although I didn't NOT enjoy it, exactly (enjoy is the wrong word if ever there was one). Although somewhat interesting, mostly it's glum. The main character is selected for a MacArthur grant (take note, Lucia - apparently you are doing it wrong) and spends the rest of his life building New York in a series of warehouses to serve as the set for the analysis in play form he has written about his life. Echos of relationships - someone plays him, someone plays her (and her), other people play the same parts ... then he stops playing himself...

"Hey, Caden - when are we going to get an audience in here?
It's been seventeen years."



Davy Jones for the SL Monkees -

Needs to be entertaining and have knowledge of The Monkees and their music. There is a demand for the SL Monkees to play live in various locations and we just need one more key member.

Ugh, ABBA, Monkees... ugh.


Happy Sixth Birthday, Second Life!

Second Life is wonderful in many ways, and the variety of builds and ideas on the SL6B sims points up a basic truth about human beings: we like to be busy, and we build and create and fill everything up.* One function of virtual worlds in the future might well be taking pressure off the real world. In a way it could be like Grendel's Children above Avaria sim: humans could busily jam virtuality full of experimentations while leaving the earth unsullied (or at lease less so).

My video explores briefly the idea that in the future we will be able to experience things we have now (we don't think of this as an Edenic time yet it may come to be thought so) but subsequently lost by creating their virtual counterparts. That's a dire view, but the one above is more hopeful. Take yer pick :-D

I spent a few minutes trying to look around, but today is not a good day for that as it just opened. I left after teleporting somewhere to a futuristic build and hearing Abba's "Dancing Queen" - I hope the future has better music :-D

*I've long wondered when, exactly, we would stop making so much new and start valuing/reusing old things - go to any thrift shop and it just seems like there's enough already in existence to equip us for ages. We are drowning in our ever more rapidly discarded - well, anything. Even houses; right now, when it's very difficult to sell a house around here, someone has clearcut an area and intends to build a housing development purely for cashflow reasons (as far as I can figure out). The state government leases buildings which are built by speculators to maximise profits in the tax depreciation period. If we set things up to place value on the earth itself things would not be so ugly or so profitably destroyed.

In Their Own Words

From Candide comes a link for David Lynch's Interview Project.

From Molly Montale comes this fab link to Weegee and Cartier-Bresson mp3s.

22 June 2009

If my SL6B application actually ever made it through I must've been rejected (machinima) as I've not heard anything.

I went along to the noon bug triage because there was a(nother) protest brewing and I just wanted to hear what was going on (about group IMs). The issue wasn't on the board, however the Lindens in attendance said they would pass on information about the degree of concern the general populace have about the issue, i.e. that in a world where only a small number of people can be in the same sim, communication depends upon group IMs, and SL without the ability to communicate is not useful at all to most people.I don't know what else they could do, however the important missing piece may just be that when there's a serious issue people want a bit of information periodically or they think the company doesn't care and isn't doing anything. I'm sure LL is unhappy that there's a problem and has a team working on it, but a lot of customers default to believing the worst since there is no trust anymore. Communicating can be a drag as it takes time away from fixing the problem, and we are just so sticky and repetitive, but it really is important.

[2009/06/22 12:11] Soft Linden: Kona / Alexa - I think we can at least make sure the folks working on this know that people are hungry for an update
[2009/06/22 12:12] Alexa Linden: yes soft, I have posted as such on the internal :)
[2009/06/22 12:12] Kona Linden: So, no, there's nothing more as to when it's going to be fixed at this time till Dev teams have a final solution
[2009/06/22 12:12] Soft Linden: I don't know if we can do anything to expedite it, but without public updates I can understand people getting cranky.
[2009/06/22 12:14] Q Linden: fwiw, it's not an issue where we change one line of code and it gets better -- chat is specifically challenging on a scaling issue

21 June 2009

Sometimes I wonder why it seems like other people have a difficult time of things in SL when I can't truthfully say I've had much trouble at all* - but of course the number of variables is through the roof. Someone of the forum had a reply to an angry person unable to teleport:

"Lately several incidents regarding TP's were reported that were solved by detaching attachments. Either scripted attachments or attachments that contain sculpted prims can cause TP problems. Try removing all attachments and teleport then. If tha works, put them back on one by one, trying to teleport after each one."

I don't wear much that's scripted, so perhaps that has something to do with it. I'm actually shocked at the amount of gadgetry people bedeck themselves with. Besides the obvious resource-hogging, I find things like that a colossal drag and I hate having HUDs on as they foul up my filming.

* Of course our ideas of trouble may be different, and I find people's ire and the shortness of their tempers is in correlation with the amount they pay in tier.


A nice robot by Barney Boomslang, encasing Lucy Tornado.


Kewl but not very useful map.

20 June 2009

We beseech thee, G'al, have mercy upon us this day.
Accept our sacrifice.
*shakes her fist at LL for not fixing G'al so we have to control-shift-H*

Salazar and I jumped into Mt G'al to placate the god of the grid. There's rumbling from the ancient volcano tonight, and major damage all over Kahruvel and Nova Albion.

19 June 2009


Cherry Blossoms

The death of a spouse leads the survivor on a journey to discover the person who was there, hidden behind the familiar face.


Oooh. Convenient.
My First Ever Aditi to Agni Transfer

I just built something for the Undersea act. I actually built it on Aditi then nipped over in the Meerkat and made a backup and imported it onto Agni - very convenient but I feel a bit naughty for some reason.


I had to move the airship theatre down and no sooner had I done that than Maxie appeared on the railing in front of me - logging in at her last location for the first time in AGES and if I hadn't just moved everything she would've fallen and I'd never've seen her! I find that rather amazing considering there was nothing there before.

I forgot to add that she was using the meerkat viewer and was able to log in, not crash, and had fps of... what did she say... 6, I think, which beats the point-something she had been getting. Dunno why she was using the meerkat exactly - has it been touted as stable?

18 June 2009


Living in Oblivion

Steve Buscemi plays an independent filmmaker in this engaging film. From temperamental actors all the way to the phlegmatic gaffer stuck all over with C-47s, fantasizing about eating a hamburger in a diner, this film looks at the process from many viewpoints.

Have YOU ever had a dream with a dwarf in it?


Os = Cursed? Prolly not.

Reading the comments to the LL blog post acknowledging group IM borkedness and vowing to improve upon it has me slightly confused, since it hasn't been any worse for me lately and in fact has been completely unuseable in a certain (small) group for years.

Other groups (that truthfully I don't really care about with regard to group IMs) are lots better recently, some of them with thousands of group members. Unless... they just seem better because I never try to say anything anymore. Of course, there's only one group IM that's crucial, and of course that one is borked, and I've just been waiting for whatever eventual fix takes place, but this makes me feel special in a bad way.

I used to ask others to begin the group IM in case I, myself, was cursed in the group IM department, however it made no difference. /me tries to think of ways that group is unusual. The founder is not usually in the group IM. It's a small group. Hmmm... its name isn't capitalised. None of those seem truly odd at all, though.


17 June 2009

Not sure why, but this is

Well, yes I know why. It's because the places we go to are becoming linked in an easy way, and this will help spread SL and its fundamental principal of user generated content outside the official grid boundaries. Yes, we had Second Inventory, but this is... simply amazing.

In the video it's all as it happened - nothing was speeded up.

(Of course it can be used to back up your things on one grid - no hopping required.)

16 June 2009


Just Leap In

I've been pottering about in JLI for (what seems like) ages, but I haven't really got up to much although I like it a lot for some reason. It's in the early stages, and some things are not quite evolved yet, but there are things that are nice:

The places are nice - you can have more than one choice, and retexture things and add objects.
You can add links.
You can play two minute videos.
You can make static pictures.
You can add moving NPCs.
You can upload images, short videos, and music.

I've made a bit of machinima there, but not much. I never chatted with anyone before today when I went to an open house, so I was really learning the social interface, which has a way to go before it's ready for the big time. I have trouble with object manipulation because I can really only rely upon one hand, but last week for ages I kept trying to raise an object up = FAIL FAIL FAIL only to discover today that my right shift + drag does nothing - only my left shift + drag moves things up. I'd got disconsolate thinking that I just couldn't manage it, but it's more within the bounds of possibility now that I've figured it out. And when in the chat space the up arrow accesses history, which stymied me for a bit until Zero Linden asked about it and Oly explained. I always think problems are just me malfunctioning ;-D

It's not a comprehensive world like SL - it's more a social place, at least now.

There's a light-heartedness running through it all that is fun, and the people making it are very nice.


15 June 2009



Who Needs Sleep

I've been staying up until the wee smalls (2:30, 3:30) then getting up very early (5, 6) plus not sleeping as it's been very cold. It will happen again as I need to be up at 5 tomorrow (of course I just might go to bed at a decent hour... ... ...nah).

I hate wading through films trying to find something decent to rent; it takes me ages. My master plan of adding the local film society choices has produced no results as none of them have been available yet, but presumably once the flow begins it will be a help.

I just put Synodoche, N.Y. and The Savages on the top of the queue. I'm watching Solaris at the moment. SSSSSSSSSSSSSS



I made this mostly yesterday, with a bit the night before. I did it because somehow the SL6B theme sparked my interest, so I applied and we'll see if it finds a place there or not. I didn't really make it just to submit, but they reopened applications for a few days, so it squeaked in under the wire.


14 June 2009


I was going back and forth filming/editing and didn't want to log out of each set-up until I knew I had the shot, so I wound up forgetting SL under a pile of windows for... uh... a few hours. *shrugs sheepishly*

I conceived of a little film last night and stayed up until 3:30 working on it (I was actually working on it when I was at Spaceport, but unfortunately a match with Kat wherein I was soundly trounced, wound up being filmed ===:O). I suppose even if I'd know ahead of time my head was too full of what I was doing to make a decent fighter.

Europa today was quiet, but Mich and I helped Sid get her first custom deck built, which was a step forward. Doc materialised for 3.2416 seconds but his heart wasn't in it.

13 June 2009

Let's see, should I mute this person now or later?

S. Zadeh has invited you to join a group.
There is no cost to join this group.
Need help? ask here!
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Invite all your calling cards and help us improve it. TAKE THIS CHANCE!


12 June 2009

Hmmm - was cold last night, and now it's a cool and cloudy morning. Too early for me (unless I stay up all night).

Queens of the Nights Costumes

Natalie Dessay

Diana Damrau

Jana Sibera

Labels: ,

11 June 2009

SJ came down and spent the day, and we had a great conversation about something that's been bothering me for years, which she has been bothered by too, which we both want to investigate and explore more to try to pin down. That is, that advertisingesque images seem to've gone a long way to displacing meaningful imagery, and have co-opted some of the elements that make up ritual in order to fill the soulless void beneath the slickness.

I am feeling horrid, unfortunately; I had the super tough winter, then perked up in late May, to be hit again a week.

SJ went to Annie Buck's (she hadn't seen her for eons and said she'd forgotrten about her), and Annie said, "Tell Vivian to answer my emails." SJ said, "You know no one can tell her to do anything."*

Update: I looked back and the last email Anne sent I'd replied to so I said as much, and she said "Yes, but before that there were some you didn't answer and I got discouraged. I will keep in touch more often because you are in my heart and will be forever." ZOMG take heartworm medication! That makes me think - heartworm medication should be sold under the name Scarpia Brand (Nel tuo cuor s'annida Scarpia!), or perhaps Tosca Brand.

* This is completely undeserved; I am as sweet and pliable as a willow shoot... ma...

Teresa Berganza :-D

Callou Callay, I suppose

Finally the house's stupid guttering is being replaced; it's been needed for ages. The heavy winter snows ripped them all off and they were tacked back after that, but one on the west-ish of the house fell halfway off again two months ago. My landlord is teh slowness :(

--There's a microscopic rowboat very far out on the lake and I can see the flash as the water runs off the oars, but it's so minute my first thought was that Tinies were out on the lake. Upon reflection I have realised it is the owl and the pussycat.-

Eventually the deck will be replaced, I have been assured, although when that might be I have no clue. The Comcast man fell through in 2004, so this isn't exactly a new problem.

The workmen are arriving at 6am tomorrow, supposedly, so I'd better arise at 5.


Just a small part, but Levon Helm puts in an appearance in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. The film was ok, but rather lacking in subtlety, however that was by design.


10 June 2009

[16:25] A Stranger: Hi.
[16:26] A Stranger: Hi.
[12:41] A Stranger: Hi.
[12:41] A Stranger: Hi.

/me projects.

[16:25] A Stranger: Hi.
[16:26] A Stranger: Hi.
Next Week:
[12:41] A Stranger: Hi.
[12:41] A Stranger: Hi.
[16:25] A Stranger: Hi.
[16:26] A Stranger: Hi.
[12:41] A Stranger: Hi.
[12:41] A Stranger: Hi.
The Twenties:
[16:25] A Stranger: Hi.
[16:26] A Stranger: Hi.
Mid Twenty-first Century:
[12:41] A Stranger: Hi.
[12:41] A Stranger: Hi.



09 June 2009

The Elusive One

IM: Armath Severine: (Saved Thu May 14 21:39:39 2009) Ossity-oss-oss-os!
IM: Armath Severine: (Saved Tue May 19 23:32:49 2009) Therrity-an-an-ian!
IM: Armath Severine: (Saved Fri May 29 00:54:14 2009) D:
IM: Armath Severine: (Saved Mon Jun 08 22:59:06 2009) you need to be online more!
IM: Armath Severine: (Saved Mon Jun 08 22:59:12 2009) yes, *I* said that

Maybe... not very fight-y looking, though.

08 June 2009

a rare and radiant maiden
Or, My Day, by Me
up until early afternoon, anyway

I left here at 6:45* this morning so I could stop and buy gasoline then see Frank, who still had his hat on when I walked in.
"I'm moving!"
"Good God, you move every five minutes - this must be, what - the fourth time in fifteen years?"
He thinks. "Just the third."

He was years in a very pretty and ornate downtown building:

The Security Building, dating from 1926, was Olympia's first modern office block. It is a small-scale example of the popular Chicago or "skyscraper" commercial style of the early 20th century. This style used more windows than ever before, with ornamentation reduced to decorative bands at roofline and at the top of the ground floor level. Olympia's only skyscraper - standing just five stories tall - was designed by Seattle architect A.H. Albertson. Because it was built on mudflat fill, it was given an "earthquake-proof" base of 300 foundation pilings driven 60 feet into the ground.

From the red marble floors at its entryways to the elegant terra-cotta designs dancing along its roofline, the Security Building abounds in fine architectural details. Mother-of-pearl granite pillars frame the Fourth Avenue entrance. Napoleon gray and Belgian black marble are found inside the main lobby, beneath an opulent ceiling of molded plaster rosettes. The ground-floor Security Bank, for which the building is named, left the site long ago. But its huge bank vault can still be seen at the rear of the shop beside the entrance on Washington Street.

That was fine, but would be harder for me these days. The big earthquake (the ground was rolling madly and it sounded like a freight train - Wa He Lut was very close to the epicenter) damaged it a bit so there was no elevator for a while, and then Frank moved to a place near the Capitol Museum, which looked like it had evolved from an old motel (but who knows). That place was easy to park in and uninteresting, but very cold, and didn't do Frank any good as I think he's not warmed up yet.

Right now he's in an interesting building with a lot of whacky alternative healer-type women, that either was part of or is just next to K Records, I've forgotten, and across from Fish Tale Brewery, a microbrewing operation that hogs all the parking. Olympia, in its wisdom :( removed almost all the parking on the street last year and formed the parking space in front of the building into an exact replica of a legal parking space, but shy six inches. That means it looks exactly like a parking place, but if you park there you receive a fine of something like 150 dollars.

After leaving Frank I went to buy some coffee, organic mixed greens, yoghurt, tomatoes (which I don't buy often), and something else... oh, well. Then I drove home in the perfect cool but sunny day, stopping for those bastiges who started taking down the trees along my road. When I moved here it was lovely and green, then in 2006 I think it was, a barbarian force commanded by an offshoot of a major logging army clearcut a large section nearby, causing much anguish to man and beast and neutralising the aspect of natural beauty people moved here to enjoy.

Following that, it was announced (by way of a large sign) that a fire department was to be built next to the clear cut area, so different bastiges chopped down all the trees NEXT to the place where all the trees had been cut down, then they decamped leaving no more of the fire department than its heralding sign.

At home I edited Therapy down to five minutes, then jumped back into my car and went to my noon dental appointment. My dentist, a rare and radiant dentist named Lenore, is actually on vacation in Sun Valley (which is what - Idaho? Can that be correct?) and I'd been offered a different date but told I could come in anyway if so desired, which is what I did. We spent a relaxing long time talking about movies as Jill cleaned my teeth, which she said look AOK. The receptionist also lives on Summit Lake, but at the other end, and she said "they" are putting in a housing development. Ugh.

Then I drove home, stopping for the bastiges (a large cedar dropped as I waited /me shakes her fist). At home I put the groceries away, and drank some strange juice Tiff brought me the other day, which is from a South American berry or fruit by way of Costco. By that time it was, oh, say 1:30, and I fired up the puter, set the newly re-edited Therapy to baking, and talked to Candide for a while about mankind (bastiges!), films (black and white American gangster films of the Thirties, and Q Tarantino's overblown oeuvre), intelligence, time, jobs, travel, ballroom dancing, accountants, my puter and Derek's remarks, and things like that. Then DING! the machinima oven finished baking, so I skittered off to zip and upload and email Fau.

Then I watched a few Busby Berkeley snippets on U2b, made some robot poses in QAvimator (nothing much, just for card posing, but only just getting into it), and uh... dunno - some other pointless tasks, I'd guess. It was boring to write this so anyone who can actually force themselves to read this far should get a prize or a kick, one or the other.

*Unless I'm very tired I always wake up a minute or so before the alarm goes off, which means I could go ages using it without needing to hear it. I think it must have some bearing on the fact that for the past X weeks I somehow manage to see 11:11 displayed almost every day - I must know it's 11:11 and subconsciously look, then think, "Why is it always 11:11 when I look at the clock?"


Labels: ,

I stopped in briefly at Grace McDunnough's Musimmersion yesterday, ported by Molly Montale. While not really to my musical taste, Grace is a wonderful musician with an engaging presentation. After a bit I rudely ran off to address some theatre issues, which, while real, also provided me with an excuse to leave as it's really hard for me to be a passive observer, especially when my cam in comandeered (and I'd just logged in so had a billion burning tasks, too)(yes, I'm bad).

07 June 2009


06 June 2009


I spent some time in Blue Mars - mostly flying around the falls and runing.

05 June 2009



04 June 2009

Gadjo Dilo

Excellent movie.


I don't have much joy taking movie recommendations, as a rule (except Candide's - he recommends only good movies), because I have weird taste in films (and I've seen bazillions of them: my mother's earliest memories were of ornate London cinemas, usherettes, and being traumatised by The Blue Angel at six years old* because her mother was obsessed with films from their start and took her to see everything, as my mother did in her time, with me). I've been to weird art cinemas everywhere I've been, and that's my home turf when it comes to films; there isn't much allure to the ordinary releases** that Hollywood puts out, although once in a while something goes right.

Tiff and I used to go to the movies together but we almost never (or maybe it WAS never) saw anything decent (except when I dragged her to one or another art movie house). We saw Face Off - zomg that was such a bad film. Let me see... Someone's Mandolin - holy moley, baaaad. We went to see Matrix 2, and at some point it became apparent to me that she hadn't seen The Matrix and had no clue what was happening.*** Tiff likes weather and scenery. If there's no plot, acting, etc., etc., she's happy as a clam if it's got craggy mountains and a few blizzards. I'm more difficult to please - things have to have everything, plus a certain indefinable essence that I always think of as "it feels like I've seen a movie."****

She recommended a few films to me, today. /me grasps the table. Little Miss Sunshine, Nacho Libre, and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. I think I can do the last one.

*I was traumatised by the death ray in Atlantis, the Lost Continent as a child - a less psychically damaging trauma. As The Blue Angel was to the Thirties, so Atlantis, the Lost Continent was to the Fifties - or so I could argue.
** Like when friends convinced me to go in a group to see PotC, which was godawful and boring, and was, I was told by Con's daughter (a film school grad student then), "It's supposed to be FUN." me/ goes out and beats her head on the lobby wall as that, apparently, must be fun, too.
***Me: The laws of physics don't apply.
T: OK (turns back to the screen resignedly)
****This is similar to going to see bands, or opera, or anything, in fact. A million invisible ribbons twist and turn and form themselves into something - or they don't. Cohesiveness of the artwork, I suppose (and I DON'T mean all the loose ends neatly tied at the end - that is a Bad Thing).

Ugh - 98°F

It's been very hot all week; heat is killing if you have a neurological ailment.

I took a trip through Spiral Walcher's Tunnel of Light the other day.

03 June 2009

Watching Last Life in the Universe.

A very good film.


I just received a group notice that said, in part:
"You've probably noticed how unreliable and frustrating group chat is right now."
Right now? TSMGO! hasn't been able to use group chat for two years, which makes it really difficult to communicate during a show (the current group of performers is small and experienced so we've adapted but it was hell on wheels when I was keeping track of ten or more people).

What happens is this:

  • Someone opens the group chat (it's not TSMGO! group but a smaller one).
  • People chime in to say they are in.
  • Everyone says, "Oooh IM lag."
(Haha a man just went by, standing up and using a paddle to
propel his surfboard,
his dog lying at his feet.)
  • I say something else.
  • I get an error message saying my words couldn't be sent.
  • I IM everyone separately and keep track of all the windows (and that used to be MUCH easier when there was the constant flashing/dinging for unread IMs.
On the other hand I have noticed the CC group IM has been working lately, so perhaps it's a problem that affects some groups not others, then mysteriously moves off to create havoc in fresh fields.


An interesting post about SL machinima-making can be found on The Invisible Moose blog here. He says, "Why are we settling for a system of capturing the pixels cranked out by a video card working overtime, only to recieve footage of so-so quality when we could be capturing event data from this stream and saving it to a file for later rendering and yes, even editing." I've never thought about the idea of collecting metadata - I have no clue if it's feasible or even possible, or what it would look like if we could do it, but it's fun to think about. It would change machinima by separating rendering from scene set-up - hard even to think about it as our usual mode is like filming with a movie camera that has to expose and develop at one time.

What's wrong with most machinima isn't just limitations in the platforms as much as it's limitations in the the filmmaker, of course; I think a game changer like this idea would probably make certain very good filmmakers even better, but for most, if they tried it at all, it would likely just be more time spent for middling results. I'm such an "alla prima" artist that I'd probably not use it to get alternate angles and things, but being able to render after the fact would make for high quality and no pesky dropped frames.

Limitations can prompt creative solutions, and serve as an artistic spur, so they aren't all bad, however we'd have to go a long way to free ourselves to the merely-bound-hand-and-foot level. The difficulty in getting a little life into our avatars is a knotty problem requiring much work - careful shot angle and length, and custom animations are how I approach it, and it requires thinking in a particular way all the time (which is easy once one has been in SL for a while but isn't obvious to new resident machinimatographers). We are at the beginning of the craft's development, and improvements are likely to come in all directions at once - some more suddenly than expected (such as the 3D controllers), wiping out the erstwhile limit completely.


Server version is being tested on Aditi, and includes a number of good things including:
  • Texture attribution including upload date, name of Resident uploading, and width and height if available


Sony's 3D controller thingummy

Microsoft's 3D controller thingummy


This was a long ago image that I need to remake as it's got probs.

02 June 2009

I'm watching The Wrestler, which has a very, very superficial similarity to Raging Bull.* Mickey Rourke does a fine job but the movie itself is pedestrian.

Update: Having watched the entire thing I feel qualified to tell you that it's a terrible film. I haven't seen anything that bad in years.

* Which was a perfect movie.


It's hot and I can't get one of my windows to open, which blows. I was just tidying up the kitchen when all of a sudden I thought, "What IS that substance horrid cheap candles are made out of, which they call wax, but isn't really wax except by a chemically defined technicality?" It has a few similarities to wax, but it melts at a low temperature and smells filthy. Sidestep: The Old'n Dayes of tallow candles must've been hell on wheels - gah, horrid. I'm not much of a candle fan anyway as I like to see, and if I light a candle it's because my trizzities have gone out, but if I were to light a candle out of some strange love of candles I'm damn sure I'd use beeswax.

I'd google it, but it's probably just another example of how modern life has made so many things cheap and nasty. Blah.


The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld
Originally uploaded by Littlepixel™

The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld

Classic records lost in time and format, remerged as Pelican books. Just for fun

Brilliant series on Flickr.

Spacemen 3: Recurring
Originally uploaded by Littlepixel™


Old Archie McPhee Photo
Originally uploaded by Archie McPhee Seattle

The old* Archie McFee's on Stone Way - where I became a customer. I used to drive a car load of weird junk** up to make still lifes in their photobooth; no they never bothered me.

Anyone remember Ruby Montana's Pinto Pony, across from the Smith Tower? That was a great place. Update: Ruby Montana now owns an authentic 1950s motel in Palm Springs. There's a picture of Ruby Montana's Pinto Pony on the website.

*They moved to Ballard, and now to Wallingford.
**Coals to Newcastle, yes indeed.

^^^This one needs a lot more work but I'm tired.



Some more.


01 June 2009

I'm working on about ten or so new card images. Here are some that are close.




Site Feed



firemist red

Combat Cards

Blip TV Rocks

So many things to do, so little motivation

Backpacking Burro

Salazar Jack

Lucy Sits Up and Blogs

Tina's Universum

Nova Albion Detective Agency

Playing Statues

Yarn Miracle


Don Carson Creative

Flummer, Flummel, Flummo

Elle Coyote

Painting Soul

Upload Video and Images - Putfile

Artists Union


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