Saturday, November 8, 2014

Update on My First Life

Sweetie and I at Salazar Jack's great grandfather's shack in early 2007.
What, we are wondering, will the future bring?

If I've been inactive on this blog of late, it's because in real life the notorious avatar known here as Sweetie and I are purchasing a house in Ringwood, NJ. Closing is scheduled for noon on Monday.

It's been a struggle. The house is barely with our means (prices for homes and property taxes are notoriously high) and there has been drama with inspections. Will the 40+ year-old septic system have to be replaced? Who will pay for mitigation of the high radon levels that were discovered. Will the bank approve the loan? OMG, the huge french door refrigerator won't fit through the front door? Or will it?

Next week will be a whirlwind, what with cable/internet installers, carpet cleaners, appliance deliveries, and packing up Sweetie's apartment so we'll be ready when the moving truck shows up at 9 am on Friday.

After we have unpacked enough to make Sweetie comfortable I'll be driving home in my Miata to pack up my house and put it on the market. As a first step I'll move about half my stuff into storage so the house will be uncluttered when prospective buyers walk through it. I'll be in New Jersey for Christmas and New Year's Day and will stay here for a month or so before returning to Georgia. The holidays are a bad time for home sales, but spring comes early in Atlanta, and with luck I'll be bidding Atlanta adieu in early 2015.

Sweetie and I will marry some time in January in New York, where our marriage will be legal.

I am missing Second Life (as is Sweetie), but we should be back in world soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Counting Train Rides-- Update

Since I installed this sign on 28 September, the Whimsy steam train has made 206 trips (many with multiple avatars). The current count stands at 23,651. That's an average of 5.6 trips per day-- about what I estimated.

That would suggest some 13000 trips since Whimsy was born in April, 2008. Since at least half the trips carry more than one avatar, 23,6521 trips seems a reasonable guess. I'm leaving the sign as is.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Counting Train Rides

I've been meaning for a while to make a sign that tells how many times the little steam train at Whimsy has been ridden. Tonight I did it. It took about an hour.

Using Google images, I found an icon of a steam locomotive and, with the free program GIMP created a sign that read "...Train Rides Since April, 2006." Whimsy was born in April, 2006.

I used the free XY Text scripts as the counter. One script transformed a cube into an almost-flat prim that can display six numbers, then deleted itself. A second script sends text to a third script, which changes the visible message--in this case a number between 0 and 999,999 that displays against the image of the locomotive, like so:

I'd used the scripts before in my altimeter, so it was easy to modify them for use as a counter.

Because Kitto Flora's train is now phantom, I was unable to use a collision event, so I recycled the same scanner I used earlier to trigger messages for train riders. A script checks every three seconds to see if  one of Kitto's engines is close by; if it detects an engine, it tells the sign to add one to the number of rides. I set the appropriate XY Text script to listen for and respond to the message, and all was well. Every time the train passes, the number increases by one.

I've been saving messages from the train and did a tabulation, extrapolating back to 2006. I set the script to start with 23,400 rides. That's almost certainly an underestimate, but I'm certain it's reasonably close to the actual number of trips. For most trips, more than one avatar is riding (sometimes as many as five!), so the number of people served is more like 40,000 - 50,000. I might in the near future revise the script to count avatars rather than respond to the engine, but for now I'm satisfied. 23,446 rides it is!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's Official!

I'm happy to say the offer Sweetie and I made on a house in the highlands of New Jersey was accepted today. The high taxes and high sale price scare the shit out of us, but at long last the relationship that began when, in 2006, I saw an avatar building a fountain on a hillside, has reached its logical conclusion. When the NJ house closes, my cute little lake house in Atlanta will go on the market. Some time before the end of the year we will be married in New York or New Jersey, since both states will recognize our marriage.

 If anyone reading this is yearning to become a snow bird, I have a great cottage in a quirky little community. It's (literally) feet from the beach at the lake, yet only ten miles from downtown Atlanta. It rarely snows, and when it does it's almost always gone within five minutes, and summers are surprisingly moderate. Lows during the hot months range from 68 to 72 F and this year the hottest it got in my little community was 91 degrees.  When the weather gets hotter than that, it's because the entire eastern seaboard is having a heat wave. It's not uncommon for our highs to be lower than those in New York, which is 800 miles to the north.

You might be surprised to discover how little I'll be asking for my delightful little house.

Scary Puzzle Box

A long time ago my brother gave me a puzzle box he had picked up during his time in the U.S. Navy.

I loved that box. It was showing some wear when, in the early 2000s, a burglar broke it. Bastard.

The other day Sweetie came home with a puzzle box from Capalini Creations.

Like the box my brother gave me, the Capalini box requires multiple steps to open. Above, the box is closed. Below, it is six or seven steps toward being opened.

After rezzing the box at our PG Den of Iniquity, Sweetie logged off, leaving it to me to figure out how to open the box.

Instead, I decided to play the Crossword game-- but I kept hearing spooky noises. It sounded rather like Gollum and Smeagol arguing in loud whispers:

"We hates the Whimsians!"
"Noooo, the Whimsians is niiice! We looves the Whimsians!"
"Whimsians is bad! We hates them! Nasty Whimsians!"
"Whimsians is our friends! Nice Whimsians!"
"We hates the nassty Whimsians! Hates them!"

I kept looking around to see what was making the periodic sounds, but was unable to find a likely suspect. Until-- unless-- could it be the box!

Yes, it was Sweetie's puzzle box!

Nasty puzzle box frightens Cheyenne!

Sweetie Does Important Flower Work

Sweetie continues her mission to bring mesh flower beauty to the grid.

Above, sunflowers, yellow and orange flowers, and a couple of mesh palms improve the upper gardens on Whimsy.

Here I'm almost lost amidst the foliage.

This stone figure isn't mesh, but adds drama to the landscape. Readers of this blog will already know Sweetie is all about drama.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

More Auroras

Sweetie and I were struck tonight with just how lovely the auroras are at 4000 meters.

Even when the photos are clicked to enlarge them, they don't do the auoraras justice.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fans and Auroras

Sweetie and Chey Admire Antreas Alter's Beauiful Aurora Borealis
Yesterday Sweetie came back from shopping at Capalini Designs.

"What's that behind your back?" I said.

"Nothing," she said.

"Show me your hand," I said.

"The other one," I said.

"Now show me both of your hands at the same time."

That one perplexed her.

"Sweetie," I said, "you might have gotten away with it if you hadn't dragged the copy so large."

"It's not big," she said.

"It's the size of an SUV," I said. "Let me see it." She held it out.

Sweetie, it seems, had come home with a black metal fan on a rotating brass gimbal.

They're awesome.

There are now four of them creating a sense of drama at our sub-orbital asteroid retreat. Teleport here to see them.

The auroras are visible only during Whimsy's night cycle.

Trick of Perspective

If you click on the photo to enlarge, you'll see Sweetie seems to be holding a lantern. It' s a trick of perspective. The lantern is sitting on the wall. Sweetie's arm is up because she is tweaking a tree she just installed at our suborbital asteroid retreat.