Sunday, December 31, 2006

Adventures with Sweetie


Written 29 December, 2006

Adventures with Sweetie

I love doing things with Sweetie.

No, not THAT!

Well, yes, THAT, but that wasn’t what I meant.

I mean I like to hang out with Sweetie. I like to go places with her.

And I love to have adventures with her.

Flying high was certainly an adventure.

50,000 meters! That’s more than 25 miles! I told Sweetie we should consider charging NASA to hang satellites in orbit.

I like working side-by-side with Sweetie, too. Sometimes we’re manipulating the same prims, undoing one-another’s work. Sometimes we’re working on separate projects, and don’t even say much to one another. It’s comforting to just know she’s there.

I was once married (in my first life) to someone who always managed to “get sick” when adventures were afoot—once when two couples had driven down to visit and we were fifty miles from home in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We drove somberly back to the house, and then-Sweetie miraculously revived. So it’s a delight to have a Sweetie who doesn’t go into headache mode whenever things get zippy. When she gets into headache mode, it’s because she has banged her head. She does that sometimes.

It helps—immensely—that Sweetie is charming and funny and frequently soars into the heights of irreverent hilarity.

When Sweetie gets upset, she doesn’t lash out at me or others or act inappropriately in any way. She engages in a remarkable introspection, from which she emerges stronger and even more balanced than she ordinarily is, which is very balanced. She is a remarkable woman.

Sweetie is a delight.

And yes, THAT way, too!

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Photo: Sweetie in Winterland

Saturday, December 30, 2006

First Land!


Written 28 December, 2006

First Land!

Every premium subscriber to Second Life is entitled to First Land.

First Land is a 512 square meter plot which costs only $1L per square meter.

That’s a bargain.

Or would be, if there was any First Land.

There is First Land, of course, but there’s not much of it, and as soon as it appears, it goes fast.

Very fast.

I’m talking minutes, and not in the double digits.

Last night I was lucky enough to acquire my First Land.

I had been giving Pam and Bill Havercamp a tour of Pele, and we were just winding down. Bill had already jumped to his guitar shop to work on his fringe jacket (think of Dennis Hopper in (Easy Rider), and Pam and I were chatting about property. As I told Pam that despite my many searches, I had never found a single plot for sale, I idly hit the Search Button, Selected Land, set the indicator for First Land, and hit Enter. Four plots popped up.

“I gotta go,” I said.

My first teleport attempt failed, so I frantically selected another plot and tried again. This time I materialized on a plot on a hillside. There were lots of avatars about, some on the same property. I looked quickly to make sure there was no rule against using the land for business—there wasn’t—and hit Buy Land. And just in time, too.

And so I found myself a land owner all over again.

I teleported in Exuberance (I wanted to offer her space to set up an office for her building business) and we met the neighbors. Gay guys on both sides. Good. They gentrify, and are great for property values. I turned on the land’s radio, stuck a couple of trees and flowers in the ground, and Xubi and I went exploring. To 50,000 meters.

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Photo: Cheyenne’s First Land (It's the park-like area)

High Flight





Written 29 December, 2006

High Flight

When I told my sweet honey about Mordecai’s chain, she had to see it.

She was impressed. Majorly.

We discovered the chain now extended to 700 meters. One thing led to another, and before long we were racing towards the heavens in an attempt to see how high we could go.

I have a Tes Valentine flight ring that was given to me by an acquaintance whose name I unfortunately don’t remember—a shame, for it was a great favor. It lets me fly high, but isn’t as zippy as the jetpack.

I know, I know, the flight parameters of the jetpack are programmable, but who has time to learn them?

The flight ring, once donned, just works.

Alas, it’s nontransferable, so I couldn’t give it to my sweetie, who was unable to fly above 200 meters. I was planning to track down the ring, but while perusing SLExchange (www.slexchange.com, I found a device called a Mystitool and bought her one for Christmas.

Thanks to her Christmas present, she could now fly with me. And now we each had a second flight aid, thanks to my New Land neighbor, Kraaavdra Zeevi, who bought the lot just uphill from me (he plans to open an office there to sell first life real estate). He gave me two, and when we hit chainland, I presented the spare to Sweetie.

KZ thinks his first name is aardvark spelled backwards, but I have news for him. Still, I think I'll call him earth pig. Or Ant bear. That's cuter.

KZ's flight aid script is, unfortunately, packaged as attachable ram horns. A shame, that, for it’s a zippy thing that will jump you upwards 500 meters every time you hit page up.

Sweetie, with her Mac, wasn’t able to access the zip upwards feature, but, using the horns, was able to zoom upwards at a pace that matched my flight ring

The horns clashed with my outfit, so I refused to wear them. They didn’t match hers either, but she’s far less vain than I am.

It was difficult for me, because in order to ascend, I had to keep the E key pressed. Sweetie was free to type in chat as we ascended. Her running chatter would prompt me to release E and type a brief comment, which would make me fall behind. Also, I couldn’t help making comments about her outfit, which, while gorgeous, made her look like Glenda the Good Witch.

“Do you know your outfit emits little puffs of smoke as you ascend?”

Fortunately, she waited for me at landmark levels.

10,000 meters. 25,000 meters. 40,000 meters.

We knocked off at 50,000 meters, still above Mordecai’s land. We were forced to stop, for I realized Sweetie’s increasing giddiness was due to hypoxia. There’s little computer-simulated oxygen at those altitudes.

Before long I had her back at the House of 1000 Pleasures, on a pose ball-filled rug.

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Photo 1: Chey and Sweetie at 30,000 meters

Photo 2: Sweetie in puff mode

Photo 3: Chey realizes Sweetie’s dress is closed at the bottom

P.S. Yes, we now know you can go hundreds of thousands of meters high

Mordecai's Humongous Chain



Written 29 December, 2006

Mordecai’s Humongous Chain

Humongous. That’s a word I’ve always wanted to use in print.

And it is humongous. Mordecai Scaggs’ chain, that is.

Above his land, Mordecai is building a great chain with huge links running from the ground straight up into the sky.

I can’t tell you how impressed I am. It’s an absolutely futile and senseless endeavor. The chain serves no useful purpose. It’s absolutely nonfunctional. It takes up land and uses up prims.

I love that sort of thing.

Why? Because those qualities define art. And the chain is great art. It’s beautiful.

I read about the chain in Mordecai’s blog (see http://scaggslife.blogspot.com/2006/12/400-feet-by-midnight.html)  and IMed him to ask if he would show it to me. He did, flying me upwards in his steam-powered Edwardian hot-air balloon. He loves the balloon and calls it by name, but alas, I forget the name.

At the time of my visit, the chain stretched upwards from the ground to 500 meters.

We attempted to putt around the sim, but soon ran into difficulties, as some residents’ privacy barriers extended even above 500 meters. I was knocked off of the airship and crashed out of SL trying to get back to the chain (there was no losing it; it’s visible for miles).

I’ve not since had a chance to congratulate Mordecai. I did see him briefly last night at a concert, but he was tete-a-tete (sorry, no French accent marks on this keyboard) with his sweetheart Melissa, and I wasn’t about to intrude.

But he reads this blog, so Mordecai, well done! Well done, indeed!

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Photo 1: Mordecai’s great chain

Photo 2: Chey on chain tour. Mordecai is in the airship, but, typical for Second Life, is invisible.

Houston, We Have a Problem!

Written 27 December, 2006

Houston, We Have a Problem!

Dodgeguy and Damian are wonderful neighbors. I try to be a good neighbor, too.

Here’s the message I sent to Damian, via IM, when I found a lost prim (he was offline).

“Houston, this is the space shuttle. We have a problem.

“We’ve discovered an object over your property at 256 meters. It appears to be terrestrial in origin. In fact, it has your name on it. We suspect that it is an object you somehow projected into low Earth orbit.

You may want to retrieve it, as it poses a potential hazard to our re-entry and to your prim count.”

Later in the day, I got an IM from Damian. “I’m LMAO.”

“Houston,” I said, “we are concerned that this object will breakup upon re-entry as the orbit continues to deteriorate. Please be advised that radioactivity levels are dangerously high. NASA is quite concerned.”

To his reply, I said, “Sorry, Houston. Can’t read your transmission. Solar flares. OMG! It’s the grays! They’ve come for me!”

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Photo: One misplaces the most unusual things.

I Get the S**t Scared Out of Me




Written 27 December, 2006

I Get the S**t Scared Out of Me
And Other Dodgeguy Stories


It was Christmas Eve, and I was furnishing the house. Just listening to the radio (reggae, all that comes in these days, but restful) and materializing furniture.

My sole concession to holiday decoration was the big animated snowman which I had placed on the beach, just outside the front door. For hours, it had been raising and lowering its top hat.

I was moving things about—which was a trick, because the house sits at an angle of 322 degrees—and, as might be expected, paying no particular attention to a yard decoration.

But wait! It seems to have moved!

OMG! The snowman is moving! It’s walking through the door! It’s come to get me!

No it hasn’t. It’s nametag says it’s Dodgeguy Woodward. And isn’t that the snowman over there, right where I left it?

Seems Dodge had seen my yard decoration and popped into snowman mode.

Dodgeguy is a laugh a minute. But Chey needs to change her underwear.

Jack-In-The-Box


I was at the Moulin Rouge (the night club, not the brothel), flushed from doing the tango with my sweetie, when I got an Instant Message from Dodgeguy.

It seemed he had discovered a Mexican jumping bean on my property.

Well, not a jumping bean, but a .5 x .5 x .5 meter wooden cube that had found its way to 43 meters above the beach on my property and was hopping merrily about.

I knew Exuberance had been experimenting with door scripts on the beach. She wasn’t online, so I begged leave of my honey and teleported to the temple at Pele. From my landing spot I could see Dodge, bouncing merrily up and down above the beach.

He was sitting on the cube, which would hiccup every now and again and bounce four or five meters higher, then fall back down. Every time the cube would jump, Dodgeguy would go with it.

Only Dodge would have thought of sitting on the cube. Well, perhaps Jessie Prior might have, too.

Gadget Guy

My nickname for Dodgeguy is Gadget Guy. That’s because he loves peculiar objects and acquires them whenever possible. That’s great, because whenever I need a peculiar object and want to acquire one, DG can tell me just where to go. Or he’ll make one for me.

I could have nicknamed him Handyguy, but Gadget Guy worked best.

My favorite GG gadget is the weather machine. Dodge is able to call up, upon request, clouds, thunder, rain, hail, and even a downpour of frogs. He’s offered to let me borrow the weather maker when I decide to have a housewarming.

Yeah, Dodgeguy is a great neighbor.

-----

Photo 1: Scary snowman

Photo 2: Will this cube jump to 43 meters?

Photo 3: Chey takes steps to protect herself from potential rains of frogs on Dodgeguy and Damian’s land

Dodgeguy and Damian







Written 27 December, 2006

Dodgeguy and Damian

At about the same time I bought my property in Forsaken, a home went up across the river from East Beach (of course, it wasn’t East Beach then, as it was someone else’s property).

It was a small house on a smallish lot, but the house was nicely decorated and the grounds were beautiful.

I introduced myself to the owner, a young man named Dodgeguy Woodward. He showed me his house, which was equipped with a great dance floor, and I told him my plans for the not-yet-named Pele. We’ve been friends ever since.

Before long, Dodge had hooked up with Damian Marseille, who bought the 4096 square meter lot next door. Dodgeguy’s house disappeared, to be replaced with a beautiful, co-owned log cabin that spanned both lots.

Before long, D&D had acquired additional lots, including one which they use exclusively for building. I’ve jokingly accused them of being land barons.

The two guys are really fast learners in SL. Dodgeguy is a builder (and a good one!) and Damian is (as he calls himself) a texture whore. Damian’s remark caused my good friend Exuberance (who is herself an aficionado of textures, mostly of glass) to ROFL.

At the time, we were standing in the guys’ new store, where Dodgeguy’s wares are for sale. These include beautiful sofas and chairs (Dodge, a generous man, gave me one of each when he first built them), a computer table with a glass top, a dining table and chairs, and a charcoal grill—the sort you see in parks, on a stand. I promptly bought one for East Beach. Great store; I recommend it. It’s at Gilum 141, 238, 50.

Dodgeguy doesn’t build only small things. He has hung a nightclub high over his and Damian’s land in Forsaken. He’s even given me a key to the executive suite. (I always seem to be busy when he has parties, but I hope to remedy that soon). And he now tinkers with script. When I complained that my free white marble fireplace (check your library; if you’re in SL, you have one, too) made no sound, he gave me a tiny wooden ball to hide in the flames. Now the fire crackles as it blazes, which makes for pleasant nights on the rug on the floor with my sweetie.

I’ve not spent as much time with Damian as I have with Dodgeguy, but I hope to remedy that. For now, I have several DG stories to share.

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Photo 1: Damian

Photo 2: Dodgeguy

Photo 3: D&D’s house

Photo 4: The lagoon

Photo 5: A touch of class: Sunken boats in the lagoon

Photo 6: No class at all: Chey has stuck an old tire in the river at Pele. She did, however, in the interest of the environment, remove the dead helicopter from the waters, as after four days, the tail rotor was still turning, posing a hazard to the endangered tropical fauna.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Going Splat!


Written 27 December, 2006

Breaking and Entering in Second Life


II. Going Splat

It occurred to Exuberance and myself that perhaps virgins wouldn’t be eager to sacrifice themselves to Pele.

Maybe we would need to lure them into the boiling lava.

To that end, we lowered the skybox (since renamed the Dragon Skybar) from 550 meters to the minimum 250 meters allowed by the land’s covenant, positioned the balcony directly over the caldera, and cut a circular hole in the floor.

I won’t mention accidentally nudging the corner of the Skybar onto Artik Crimson’s property and watching it dematerialize because his prim count had been exceeded.

Or maybe I will.

Artik, like me, has an allotment of more than 1400 prims. The Skybar has 18, and that was too many for his prim limit. Does that tell you he’s pushing his limits?

After I had re-rezzed the skybox, we aligned the hole in the balcony floor by positioning it so a beacon I had placed in the center of the lava floor shone through it. We knew we were directly over the caldera.

So we walked into the hole and let ourselves fall.

We landed with a splat, but not in the lava. We found ourselves at various times on the side of the mountain, on top of Artik’s house, on East Beach, not at all where we had thought we would land.

And then I bumped Xubi onto the hole in the platform, and she fell straight down into the caldera

This meant that in one respect, falling objects act as they do on Earth.

When I was in high school, my physics teacher demonstrated that objects traveling laterally—things like bullets fired horizontally from a gun—fall at the same rate as objects that are dropped. He did so by firing a rubber ball from a gun. It hit the floor at the same instant as a ball he had dropped at the same time and from the same height.

We now knew that just as in real life, we continued to move laterally as we fell. But why did Xubi fall straight down when I bumped her? I had moved her laterally, after all.

Why? Because according to the physics of SL, she, having been bumped, wasn’t moving laterally. When we walked into the hole, we  had lateral movement, and it continued as we fell-- so we continued to move  in the same direction we had been walking.

Another validation of earthly physics.

Go figure.

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Photo: Hole for virgin drop

Breaking and Entering in Second Life


Written 27 December, 2006

Breaking and Entering In Second Life

I’ve already noted that the physics are different in Second Life.

Yet sometimes, they’re much the same.

Examples follow.

I. Breaking and Entering

One of my friends—I won’t mention him by name, but I’ve written about him in this blog—taught me a great housebreaking trick. Thanks, you!

Locked out of your place? Want to get into a friend’s place, but can’t? Or just want to snoop around?

You probably already know that if you disable camera constraints and play with Camera Control, there’s not much you can’t do. You can, for instance, click on the wall of a dwelling, zoom in, and, by rotating the view, look about inside.

Last night, after my lover picked up her (remember, for the sake of language, we selected a gender here, and the dice came up female) things and went home to prepare for a long week on the road with bad internet connections (Oh, how I will miss her!), I lay upstairs on the rug at the House of 1000 Pleasures (pleasures of which I have now experienced quite a few). Idly, I rotated my view to the landing platform outside the front door, which I had wrecked earlier in the evening by scrambling its textures.

I right-clicked on the platform, selected edit, unlinked the three-part structure, repaired the texture densities, re-linked and renamed it, and saved a copy to inventory—all without moving a muscle.

How great was that! I was inside and naked, yet working outside!

With that in mind, here’s the trick my friend taught me.

If you rotate your view inside a structure—even one with a locked door—and select an object and sit on it, you will instantly materialize on the object, inside the structure. Stand up, and you are free to explore.

You have now broken and entered.

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Photo: If you try the B&E trick, this will be your new outfit

Where Goest Love?


Written 27 December, 2006
Where Goeth Love?

Where goeth a successful relationship in Second Life?

I don’t know.

I do know some SL relationships have transcended the simulation, growing into real-life dating and even marriages.

And I know some SL relationships will always remain in SL.

And where goeth our relationship?

I don’t know.

And I’m not sure if it’s really important if it even crosses over into real life.

It may, of course, and I would be lying if I were to say the thought of that happening doesn’t excite me.

Statistically, it’s not likely.

Geographically, it’s not likely.

Age-wise, it’s not likely.

And perhaps for other reasons, it’s not likely.

I do know, after knowing my lover for more than a month (that’s three years in Second Life time), and being with her for a week, that both in RL and SL she (let’s just pick a gender and stick to it, shall we?) appeals to me on all levels. I find her endearing—plucky, vulnerable, fierce, confident, bold, shy, talented, loving, giving, and, most of all, and perhaps best of all, irreverent and funny. She just rocks, and I am happy to rock with her, wherever that rocking might take place.

On Pele, in Second Life, or in the United States, on Earth.

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Photo: Sunset at Pele

Sex and Love

Written 27 December, 2006

Sex and Love

I won’t say who my new love is or what we do with and to one another, for that’s private.

But I will talk about the way I’m feeling, and what love and sex mean to me.

Sex

For me—and my ** Sheri Baby** days only served to confirm it—casual sex has been meaningless and unsatisfying.

Consequently, I’ve always been able to take it or leave it. Usually, I have left it, although occasionally I have indulged. It’s sort of like poking an infected finger to see if it still hurts. It does.

When I care about a person, however, and especially if I love them, sex is a spiritual thing. It is glorious.

With someone you love-- or at least like and respect-- love is a growing experience. You learn about one another in new ways, and about yourself. You engage in mutual exploration of not only your lover’s body, but her mind, his sense of humor, her likes and dislikes, his moods, her erotic map. It can be, should be, and usually is, wonderful.

Alas, it’s a rare thing for two people—or for that matter, two avatars—to thoroughly make such an exploration. More often than not, there’s no real connection, and even when there is, things get off track, and the relationship becomes a matter of rote, of repetition, of falling into repetitive and often unpleasant and harmful patterns in which both people are trapped. Codependency, in other words.

But oh, when it works!

Love

When you’re in love, and especially when your love is in its initial phases, you feel giddy,
and excited, and more than a little silly. You can’t get enough of your lover’s presence, or of her body.

But as love matures, you gain knowledge of your lover’s likes and dislikes, his boundaries, the way her mind works. This births—or can birth—a deeper love, a comfortable love, an enduring love that will transcend the biological imperative, remaining strong after the pheromones have dissipated. (And if you’re lucky, they won’t dissipate.)

So love is a process, a journey, a voyage with no embarkation point or destination. It’s simply a state of being, an ever-changing, ever-wonderful way of connecting with another human being, of cherishing her, or nourishing him.

That’s what I’m feeling. And it makes sex—the hot, passionate sex and the langourous, comfortable sex—an exalted thing.

Ah, youth! Ah, love! Ah, pose balls.

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Photo: Love nest at House of 1000 Pleasures.

Cheyenne in Love


Written 27 December, 2006

Cheyenne in Love

Ah, youth! Ah, love! Ah, pose balls!

I’m in love!

My ** Sheri Baby** days satisfied any itch I might have had about cybersex for cybersex’ sake. My encounters were brief and for the most part unexciting. I did not, could not, considering the interface, develop a relationship with the keyboards with which I was trysting.

It’s different in Second Life.

I came to SL not expecting to hook up, in fact wanting not to. And I didn’t, except for, in the early days, a brief fling with a crazy furry and one visit to the Isle of Lesbos. (Well, it had been a long time since the Comp-U-Serve days! So sue me!)

And it was a good thing I had those affairs, or maybe Pele would have taken me for a sacrifice.

I had a long talk with the volcano goddess when I bought the island.

Standing precariously on the lip of the caldera, I told her she could take me if she wanted.

But I wasn’t sure if I qualified as a virgin.

“Because of that thing I did that time,” I told her.

It must have counted, for Pele allows me to bathe in her lava She has, in fact, asked me to bring her a virgin, but so far, I’ve been unsuccessful.

We all know there are no virgins on the adult grid.

Pele is happy that I have a new love.

----

Photo: Pose Ball
s

The Holidays

Written 27 December, 2006

The Holidays

Cheyenne’s human had four blissful days at home for her Christmas holiday. Guess where she spent most of her time?

Hint: She wasn’t visiting relatives.

Winter is a cozy time to be at home. With the mercury falling outside, we are snug and warm in our houses. There’s so much we can do. We can cook, read, take a hot bath, watch television or play spades with family members, and use the telephone to catch up with our friends.

But for Cheyenne, the cathode ray tube (no flat screens for this grrl, response times too slow) beckoned. She spent her Christmas holidays on Pele, with quick trips to the mainland to shop.

Pele is beginning to shape up. The property has several distinct areas, about which I will soon be writing. The island and the volcano are lovely, even if the Dreamland authorities did make a unilateral decision to cover the lovely sand with four inches of snow. That doesn’t make one hell of a lot of sense in the tropics, but—well, read the covenant. They can do whatever they want.

Chey spent the bulk of her time with her new love.

Yes, Cheyenne has taken a lover. Or perhaps the lover has taken her. Or they have taken one another.

Chey, who was never really on the market, now isn’t! For sure!

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Photo: Snow at Pele

Sunday, December 24, 2006

M&M: Melissa & Mordecai


Written 14 December, 2006

M & M: Melissa & Mordecai


Melissa

Melissa Yeuxdoux is one of my great friends in Second Life. I met her at the Ahern welcome area. I arrived there determined to pass on the kindnesses bestowed on me by Bill and Pam Havercamp. I offered to take her and other new citizens shopping—my treat.

Melissa has written most charmingly about that experience in her blog. (
http://vidasegunda.blogspot.com/, Sunday 29 October).

It was M.’s blog post, by the way, that led to me being in this blogspace. It’s my first weblogging experience, and I’m still learning the features of the software. I’m sure you can tell that I’m fumble-fingered with my layouts.

Melissa is a beauty with pale skin, the greenest eyes, and long red hair. I’ve watched her as she has refined her look and wardrobe, growing from beautiful and classy to even more beautiful and classy. The last time we talked, she told me she had become intrigued with the sexy walk scripts.

Unlike many SL women, Melissa is a lady. She dresses elegantly but modestly and behaves with decorum. I’ve never seen her in the skimpy outfits so many female avs seem so fond of. Her tastes—in clothing, in music, all the way ‘round—are impeccable.

In her first life, Melissa is a musician and a Unix and Linux geek (great combination, what?) and her technical knowledge has helped this poor girl more times than you can imagine. “To set up a blog, Chey, you just...” “Considering your opinion of Bill Gates, have you considered making a bootable Linux disk?” “I think it works this way...” “That outfit makes your butt look big.” No, sorry, that last one was from Pam Havercamp.

Melissa has a knowledge base of trivia bits that surpasses mine, and a rapier wit. She’s a repository of useless and not-so-useless information. Her knowledge of music is encyclopedic.

M. is a great friend. She and I do a lot of things together, although usually for only brief times, as her RL intrudes (and we all know about that). We’re both fans of the live streaming music here in Second Life, and we’ve been to many concerts together. I introduced her to Bill and Pam Havercamp’s sets, and she has introduced me in turn to other musicians. We’ve teleported each other to our favorite shopping sites (usually, she’s showing me) and to our favorite scenic spots. We hang out together when she’s online and not with her honey Mordecai.


Mordecai Scaggs

One day (I don’t remember the date, but I’d been in SL for less than two weeks, and Melissa, I believe, for less time than that), Melissa gave me a teleport assist. I materialized in a beautiful rose garden. Unfortunately, I materialized inside a prim (or so it seemed) and it took me an embarrassing couple of minutes to extricate myself.

Melissa introduced me to her man, Mordecai Scaggs.

Mordecai is a handsome Englishman with long blonde dreadlocks and a gentle, sensitive soul. He is ever bit a gentleman, a romantic man, and it was as easy to see why Melissa had fallen for Mordecai as Mordecai had fallen for Melissa. They are very much an item in SL.

Mordecai is a builder. His most recent endeavor is a concert hall for the arts. I’ve not seen it yet, but I’ve seen his work, and I’m sure it’s beautiful. But what really impresses me about him is his commitment to social causes.

Mordecai has become an advocate of environmentally-friendly energy sources, as evidenced by his involvement with Clean Energy, Now! In second Life. His beautiful teahouse (I’ve linked to his blog, or search Yeuxdoux) is in sight of a windmill—and Mordecai uses only non-treated lumber for his prims.

Mordecai’s latest adventure is building a giant chain that leads up from the ground and goes to—who know? He is aided in his building by his quaint airship Muse.

Mordecai and Melissa are great friends, and I love it that their romance is blossoming.

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Photo: M&M at Chey's first Place in Lion Sands

Xubi





Written 11 December, 2006

Exuberance Lafleur


I met my friend Exuberance (Xubi) while flying around Dreamland Asia. I introduced myself and she was gracious to a newbie and a stranger.

I contracted with Xubi’s partner Aaron to build a house for my new property, but Xubi soon took over the project, as the shared permissions of the items they were creating were making things difficult for them to work together, and as Aaron had a dozen new endeavors underway.

Xubi build a fabulous house which is now sitting cater-cornered on Pele, with ocean views of the westering sun. It blends Island and Asian themes, for instance kanji and shoji screens and cocoa mats and tropical woods in a harmonious, elegant manner.

Somewhere along the line Xubi became my friend as well as my builder. I took her to a Bill and Pam concert, we went shopping together, we hung out at Pele together. I love spending time with her. She’s funny, smart, and fiercely independent, a woman who fits in perfectly at Pele, as she once lived very near Mount St. Helens.

Xubi is a natural builder. It’s more than just skill at manipulating primitives and textures and dabbling in script writing, it’s the thematic elements that dance in her head. The house she built for me is not a replica of an upscale condo in Atlanta, nor an all-glass pomo monstrosity, nor a tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright or a Medieval castle. It’s a Xubi Special. I’ve learned a lot from her, and I hope to enjoy her friendship for a very long time.

Xubi rocks! I’m so glad we met!

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Photo 1: Xubi and Chey with kanji friendship necklaces.

Photo 2: Xubi Special in position in Pele-- No, wait! That's my house in RL

Photo 3: Moon over Pele, house in Foreground

Photo 4: Detail: Window with Kanji decoration

My Friend Kal


Written 11 December, 2006

My friend Kal

My dear friend Kal was one of the first people I met in Second Life. We were total newbies together. The first picture is one of my earliest snapshots, taken before either of us got our look together.

Before long we were hanging out at the trivia lounge in Wingo.

Kal doesn’t talk much, but when he does, it’s worth the listening.

On Halloween eve, he and I were at Wingo in costumes. I was a Playboy bunny, and he was Superman. Stop me if I’ve told this story before.

A naked woman appeared in the lounge, right in front of God and everyone.

There was 20 seconds of stunned silence.

Then Kal, bless him, said in Chat, “I didn’t know this costume came with x-ray vision.”

So yeah, he’s worth listening to.

Kal is a big fan of Superman, and of the Beatles. He lives in Texas, and has brothers who play guitar. He plays too.

Kal’s a fan of live music in SL, as am I. He cleaned up at a Bill and Pam Havercamp concert when he knew the answers to all of the Beatles-related trivia questions. A day later, he presented me with a beautiful Marshal amp he had won. He knew I wanted to perform, and reasoned, correctly, that I would need an amplifier

He stunned me shortly after that when he gave me a single red rose.

What a sweetheart Kal is!

Kal is renting a skybox, which comes with a ridiculously low prim allowance. He’s allowed only 30. I visited and we talked about what he could fit into his space and how to budget his prims. I mean, SL is a world where a single easy chair can have 45 prims!

I found a four-prim couch in my inventory and gave him a copy, and on the spot made a one-prim table for him. Then we went together to Parrot Island, a great place which has low-prim, $L1 lighting. A few days later, I teleported him to a mall where I had gone to buy an anti-grief device and found instead a four-prim bed with twelve sets of sheets and twelve wood textures, and a built-in sleep pose, and for less than $200. We each bought one.

Kal is a great friend. He’s a very nice man, and a handsome one.

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Photo 1: New citizen Kal and new citizen Chey dancing.

Photo 2: Kal and Chey in Pele. Chey, remember to turn your bling off before taking snapshots!

A New PC


Written 22 December, 2006

A New PC

I loved my alien PC—it was, after all, in its own Frankensteinian way, my own creation. I had been my own Igor, shuttling back and forth between home and Fry’s, buying case, mother board, Athlon chip, RAM, floppy drive (yes, I know they’re antiquated, but I hate being without one), hard drives, cables, and glow-in-the-dark accessories. It had performed like a champ for nearly two years, until that unfortunate NVidia accident.

It could be fixed. “We can rebuild you.” Like Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man (seems a cheap fix these days, doesn’t it, six million dollars?), it could rise, phoenix-like, from its ashes, but Second Life awaited.

Rationalizing I needed a backup PC, I drove to Frys and bought a Sony VAIO dual-core system. No flashy case, no lights, one GB of RAM (it's now at two gigs, as I bought and successfully installed another gig stick), and 128 mg of on-board RAM (now disabled because I stuck in a PCI Express video card). Way more computer than the alien box.

When BellSouth reps came by my house a week ago Friday, I switched—after 15 years—Internet Service Providers, and doubled by DSL speed. And so I was back on SL.

And just in time, too, as my new property was beginning to require all of my attention.

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Photo: These are the aliens who sold me faster DSL.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I Blow Up the Alien Computer



Written 21 December, 2006

PC Problems


V. I Blow up the Alien Computer

Destroying my operating system was a direct result of my involvement with Second Life. Before SL, I had no desire or need to update my video drivers.

Now, with all of my utilities, programs, and games installed, and with only one daunting task remaining—organizing the Start menu so it would made sense.

(Mini-Rant Warning)

What is it with Windows? It wants to be a multi-user platform, but there’s only one of me!

I’m not sure if I’m the Administrator, All Users, or Cheyenne Palisades. Do you think I need to talk to a guy in India about that?

Some of my start menu items wind up under All Users, the rest under Cheyenne. I am forced to open two windows so I can cut and paste (or drag and drop) shortcuts into categories that make sense (for me, utilities, games, multimedia, internet, and applications).

By now my PC is running like sludge. That’s because every darn program I’ve installed has its hooks into Windows and is opening a little spot in memory for just in case- just in case I use that program. Time to clean them out.

Grrr.

(Min-Rant Off)

Now, finally, after more than a week, my PC is running properly. I have a fast Athlon processor, ample hard drive space, a fast internet connection, and a 256 MB AGP video card. It’s time to kick some SL ass. But just a sec—shouldn’t I have more than 1 gig of RAM?

And so I take myself to Fry’s (my 15-year-old Izuzu pickup pretty much drives itself there on autopilot by now) and buy a stick of Kinsgton RAM.

It costs a hundred bucks for 1 GB. I wince and pay it, and remember with no fondness the black day when I paid more than five hundred dollars for 8 MEGAbytes of RAM.

When I get home I turn off the PC, ground myself with a wrist strap, and stick in the stick of DDR. It’s difficult to see what I’m doing because there’s little light, and hard to make my way to the slot because of the IDE cables (which are round and glow in the dark; it is, after all, an alien computer). I push in the module and hear it click into place. And I withdraw my hand and turn on the power.

There is just the smallest, just the tiniest puff of smoke.

Little smoke, big trouble.

I have fried not only the stick of RAM I just bought, but the RAM that was in my computer as well. And who knows, maybe my mother board as well!

Oh, dear.

Said Alien PC is now sitting on the kitchen table…

See part VI.

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Photo 1: RAM getting zapped


Photo 2: Zapped chip

Software Hell


Written 21 December, 2006

PC Problems

IV. Software Hell


When Windows is finally installed and Bill Gates is satisfied that you have a legitimate copy, and after it has endlessly installed service packs and bug fixes from the Microsoft website, and after you have set and reset a hundred or so switches the fun really begins.

You must install an endless number of programs.

There’s anti-virus, anti-spam, and firewall software. I use Norton, and it likes to install, reboot, update, reboot, and update again. By the time all that happens, Ingrid Bergman will be leaving Casablanca and Bogie will be telling Claude Rains they’re going to have a beautiful friendship (and you just know they will).

Might as well install Ad-Aware and SpyBot to kill those annoying data-collection programs. And of course they need updating. And what’s this? Microsoft now has a spy killer of its own and it wants to update its definitions as well. Why not.

Should take a minute to flash the e-prom. Done. Set a restore point. Done. Make a copy of the Windows registry. Done.

Then there’s the software for your ISP. And Opera, which is a way better browser than Explorer. And Mosiac. And Netscape. Browsers all, and they all must be tweaked.

And the first website you visit asks you to install Java, or Flash, and, of course, you do.

Want to read that Word document? Install MS Office and talk to Bill Gates for validation.

Watch a video? You’ll need Quicktime. Fortunately, that comes with iTunes, which you will need to download so you won’t have to use the Microsoft program Windows Mediocre Player.

Want to zip a File? WinZip. Make a PDF? Adobe Acrobat. Get satellite images of your house? GoogleEarth. Play cards? Pretty Good Solitaire.

You’ll need to get your home network running again. That’s always fun.

And then there are all those programs you use regularly. Now where was it that you stuck all those CD ROMs so they would be close at hand?

Oh, and printer drivers. And you might as well update the video driver while you’re at it.

Wait a minute! Isn’t this where I came in?

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Photo: Updated computer

Thursday, December 21, 2006

New XP Install


Written 20 December, 2006

P.C. Problems

III: New XP Install


I hate it that it takes 45 minutes to install Windows.

Oh, if that was all there was to it!

XP installs with every fail-safe, thumb-fingered, hand-holding switch set to dumbass mode. It takes forever to hunt down and kill the switches necessary to make Windows drive a little less like a VW and a little more like a Porsche and install my favorite photo as desktop wallpaper.

And of course, the stupid switches—especially the firewall settings—tend to reset themselves back to dumbass mode.

Oh, and before that—you must validate Windows. It wants to do so over the Internet, but of course the Internet is not yet available. That means you have to talk to someone in Seattle-- or, more likely, India.

Bill Gates, what were you thinking?

First thing, I installed the NVidia mother board software. Then the software for the video card. Then I made a connection and got online. First place I went? Second Life, of course. I had been jonesing.

As soon as I did, Windows began to download updates and insist that I allow it to restart.

And XP wouldn’t take a simple no for an answer. It told me unless I slapped it in the face, it would restart without permission. When I would tell it not to restart, it would go off and sulk for about five minutes and then come back and go through the same tired routine.

And of course, the default was to restart, and not NOT to restart. Bill Gates, WTF were you thinking!? That I wouldn’t mind if I was typing along and XP fell out from under me?

Chey to Seattle: Don’t make me come up there and straighten you out!

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Photo: Microsoft XP toggle switch


Oh, So _That's_ the Problem!


Written 20 December, 2006

P.C. Problems

II. Oh, So That’s the Problem!


How was I to know?

How was I to know the mother board support for my computer was by NVidia? How was I to know the NVidia file I uninstalled wasn’t the video driver at all, but the very software that made my PC function?

And how was I to know Bill Gates was about to make things worse?

I mean come on, I have to blame someone, right? Who better?

Although I have to say, it was a Microsoft engineer—and come to think of it, he was in India—who helped me identify the problem. He told me I had a hardware problem. My LAN port was out of commission. Sure enough, when I checked the back of the computer, there was no light on at the house of LAN. That’s when I realized what I had done.

Before that, though, and even before I talked to a single guy from India, I had backup.

I had imaged my boot drive to not one, but two other hard drives, using the manufacture-supported software that came with them.

Imagine my surprise, then, when neither would boot.

Back in the days of DOS, I would have simply typed something like xcopy c:\*.* g:\ /s /x, with x being whatever tag causes the system to be transferred. Now here I am, having trusted the software provided by Western Digital and Maxtor to image my drive, and the imaged drives have no system software!

Grrr. I hate when that happens.

As much as I rag on Bill Gates and Microsoft, I have to say that before November, I had never paid for a single Microsoft Operating System.

Well, I suppose I did indirectly, for my VIC-20 and Commodore 64 had MS BASIC built in, and every version of Windows from 3.1 to XP was bundled with computers I had purchased, but I didn’t have a Win XP installation disk.

On second thought, I did! I had the copy that had come with my laptop.

So I pulled it out and reinstalled Windows and it had a little problem and trashed the first drive.

Before it was over, both spare drives were trashed. And the original boot drive. Data were okay, though; they live in a separate hard drive.

And so I took myself to Office Depot (Fry’s being too long a drive for mere software) and bought Windows XP.

Then I did a new installation of Windows on a drive I had wiped clean.

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Photo: Flick your VIC

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I Talk to Guys Named Tom and Bob



Written 19 December, 2006

PC Problems

I. I talk to Guys Named Tom and Bob


No, not political correctness problems. Geekical problems.

I really liked my glow-in-the-dark Athlon 64 system. It looked as if it had been crafted from alien technology—and maybe it had been. Could it be a coincidence that the first solid-state electronics appeared only a few years after the Roswell saucer crash? Think about it: before 1952, cathode ray tubes. After 1952, integrated circuits. And Diet cola.

I broke up with the Athlon system because of Second Life. It and I are not seeing one another these days.

It started when I sent a message to Live Help about my shoe base. I’m always losing it, which causes my feet to get swallowed by my CFM pumps. It makes me look like a little girl clumping around in her mommy’s shoes.

So some Linden or another at Live Help suggested updating my video driver might help with the missing shoe problem.

As if, I thought to myself, but I decided to try it. Anything to enhance the SL experience.

The instructions for the new driver said I had to uninstall the old driver first. So, to Add/Remove programs, and there it is, NVidia. Kill it.

I installed the new driver and rebooted.

Black screen.

I was able to get video back by hitting the F8 key while booting and choosing “Last Known Good Configuration.” That let me start Windows normally. I restored the system to an earlier date. Problem fixed, right?

No.

I could not get online. Not no how, not no ways.

I can’t begin to tell you how frustrated this made me. I was in the first blush of a love affair with Second Life, and I couldn’t bear being offline.

I was tempted to rush right out to Fry’s and buy another PC—it would be merely a backup system, I told myself—but I managed to resist.

I spent the next couple of days talking to a variety of guys from India. Curiously enough, they were all named Bob and Tom and Michael. Sure they were. Earthlink told them those were their names.

Bob and Tom and Michael didn’t seem to know much about computers, but they knew a lot about the scripts from which they were reading, and a lot about sexism.

“Hi, Tom. I can’t get online. I’ve already reset my modem. I unplugged it and let it set all night. What next?”

“I want you to be unplugging the power cord from the back of your modem, sir.”

Everybody is sir to these guys from India, where women walk behind the men and, when the men die, cheerfully climb onto the funeral pyre to be immolated. Suttee, they call it. Suttee on this!

“It’s ma’am. I told you, I reset the modem already.”

“Sir, I want you to be waiting twenty seconds before plugging it back in.”

“Again, it’s ma’am. Are you listening to what I’m saying?”

“Thank you sir. Twenty seconds has passed and the modem is now reset. You can be plugging the cord into the back of the modem at any time.”

“Ma’am.”

“Do you see the Start button at the bottom left corner of your screen, sir?”

“Ma’am. For the fourth time. If there’s a fifth time there’s going to be trouble. I already have a command window open.”

“Please be clicking Start. Do you see where it says Run? Sir.”

“I am not a goddamned sir. I’m a goddamned ma’am. You want me on that funeral pyre, don’t you, you third world bastard! The command window is goddamn open! And I know your name is not goddamned Bob.”

“My name is goddamned Tom, ma’am.”

“That’s better. The command window is open.”

“Please to be typing in CMD, sir.”


"Supervisor."

“Sir?”

“Supervisor. NOW! NOW! NOW!”

And what does the supervisor say when he comes online?

“My name is Greg, Inshallah. May I to be helping you, sir?”

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Photo 1 : Chey after talking to a lot of guys from India

Photo 2: A guy from India

My Top Ten Second Life Annoyances

Written 18 December, 2006

My Top 10 Second Life Annoyances

Not that anyone asked, but here they are.

10. Rolling Blackouts

That irritating pop-up message means the sim you’re visiting is going to reboot in five—no, make that four—minutes. If you don’t GTF out of Dodge before the deadline, you’ll be knocked into the first world.

What? Thirty seconds before reboot and you’re still here? You need to get the f

Just like that, you’re sitting in front of your monitor in that world to which you don’t want to go because the garbage is beginning to smell and you need to take it out.

This annoyance works, er, annoyingly with the next, which is:

9. Can’t Teleport

That rolling blackout is coming in 90—no, the new message says 45—seconds, and you can’t seem to beam your way out of the sim. In desperation, you click on the first Landmark you come across and the teleport fai

Darn it! You really are going to have to take out that garbage.

Also, you gotta hate it when your friends are having a party and you get trapped by that island-to-island teleport thing and by the time you get there most of the guests have left and the beer and hors d’ouvres are all gone.

8. Screen Cluttered With Too Many Menus

Nuff said about that.

Guess I need to buy a second monitor and drag all the menus over to it so I can have a clear field of vision.

7. Griefers

Very annoying people. At least they can’t annoy me on my own land. Or not for long, anyway.

I can knock them a couple of sims over with the RPG Patrice gave me. It won’t work, she told me, if Push is restricted. That’s why I didn’t blow that guy into kingdom come last week; I had Pele set to No Push.

I know shooting is bad karma and can get you in trouble with the Lindens—but since SL is a right-to-carry world, maybe I could plead self defense. I can see myself in SL night court now:

LITAGATOONEY RACECOURSE: Your honor, my client pleads the fifth!

JUDGE LETITIA LINDEN: Attorney Racecourse, it looks like your client is drinking the fifth. And—OMG—is that an RPG she’s pulling out of her inventory?

6. Random Crashes

You’re flying alone, or in an intimate moment with your inamorata, and zap! You’re looking at the big blue XP screen (or a much less unpleasant Mac or Linux screen.)

Do you want to send an error report? No, no, no. You had that option turned off! Why the hell is it on now, just because there was a software upgrade when you logged on this afternoon? If it’s an upgrade and bug fix, why is local water still disappearing? And where have the Client and Network menus gone? Why didn’t you write down the keyboard shortcut that gets them back?

And you’ll never know why you were dumped.

5. Typing in the Wrong Instant Message Box

There you are, talking privately with a friend, dishing everybody at the dance, making crude remarks about their physical features and outfits, and you realize that for the past five minutes you’ve not been typing into your girlfriend’s box, but the box of that furniture maker you’ve been trying to sweet talk into repairing the out-of-synch doors of your shower. Hope she has a sense of humor!

Oopsie!

It’s easy to make such a mistake when you have four or five IM boxes open at the same time, but sometimes I find myself accidentally switching between Chat and Instant Message when only one IM box is open.

MSMUSICLOVR DUKE: “Whatever is she prattling on about? She’s asking someone to fix the doors of her shower, but there’s no one talking with her. Do you think she’s switched out of IM again?”

FUNGRRL BROADWAY: “Wouldn’t be the first time.”

On a serious note, I once found myself in IM with both parties in a disintegrating relationship at the same time.

It would have been a disaster if I had switched boxes, so I made sure it didn’t happen. How? By closing the IM boxes after every message and reply. Disaster averted.

4. Missing Inventory Items

I’ve learned the hard way not to returns items on my property via the About Land menu. Most of the items on the land were sent directly to the Twilight Zone and are floating about there still.

The first time I lost only a few items—a marble platform I had made and the bench, particle torches, flower arrangement, and beach towel I had placed on it. And oh, yes, my neato Rocket 88 hovercraft (think of Luke Skywalker’s ride on Tatooine in the first Star Wars movie—which, by the way is Episode IV). It was just—gone.

I don’t know if the hovercraft got zapped in the first Great Return or if it otherwise disappeared. Maybe it was hot-wired and stolen by a ring of hovercraft thieves. All I know is I was desolate over its loss. Its creator was kind enough to send me a replacement when I told him I had mislaid it.

The objects from the second Great Return, including two hungry sharks and a floppy octopus, are still out there somewhere.

SL just send back to me, one month after their disappearance, the objects that were on my land in the first great return. Now I’m obliged to contact the creators who were kind enough to give me copies when I went crying to them about my missing inventory

No hovercraft, so I must have left it at a parking meter somewhere.

3. Lost Prims

You’re moving an easy chair around the room, sliding it along X and Y coordinates to get it just where you want it, or lowering it to the floor when your finger comes off the mouse button at just the wrong moment, and it’s—gone.

No, it hasn’t been destroyed. It’s somewhere, just not where you thought you left it.

If your objects wind up on someone else’s property, they’ll know it when they look at Objects in their About Land menu, at which time they’ll probably return it—or it will be automatically returned, if that’s the way the land is set. If it’s your own property, though, your lost objects may stay around for months or years, floating high in the sky and increasing the parcel’s prim count, until you or one of your friends stumbles across them.

I find a lot of lost material as I fly about. Usually, I IM the owner and give them the coordinates so they can come get it.

It’s my own objects, and on my own land that is the real problem. It’s impossible to tell how many of the 750 or so primitives I’m using are the ones I know are there and how many have been driven deep under the ground or zoomed high into space.

I know I’ve had to rez some objects several times. Does that mean there are a couple of 40-prim Shower Ensembles or Houses of 1000 Pleasures lying about somewhere, adding a hundred or so primitives to my count? Perhaps. There’s just no way to know.

2. Slow Frame-Per-Second Rates

When frame rate gets too slow, an avatar’s movements become jerky, and it becomes difficult to walk or fly without crashing into objects or people. I find anything less that five FPS problematic.

Slow frame rates are a big problem at gatherings with more than a dozen or so people. At concerts, I usually find a space and stand or else click on the dance ball and let Cheyenne do her thing.

In low-traffic areas, I get about 15 fps, which makes for smooth movement—but when I call up the Statistics menu, I see the frame rate counter goes up to 45 fps or so. I can get a higher rate than that if I move the video sliders all the way down into Pong territory, but I like to see the detail. Makes me wish I had one of those superduper six hundred dollar video cards.

Well, for a brief moment, I DID have one of those superduper cards (more on it later), but I took it back to Fry’s with the box unopened.

Anyway, you gotta hate it when the frame rate slows and you begin to lurch around like a drunken sailor.

Not that I have anything against drunken sailors.

1. Connection Problems.

My number one problem with Second Life really has nothing to do with Second Life. It has to do with not being able to get to Second Life.

I can’t log on at work because the on-board video isn’t powerful enough (well, and also because our IT people put the a in anal)—but it’s when I can’t log on at home that I get really nuts.

Hello, Bell South! DSL is down! Get someone out here NOW to fix it! Oh, sorry. Just noticed that the modem was unplugged. Never mind.


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Photo 1: This railing has been floating up here at 400 meters since early November. If I hadn’t smacked into it when flying, I might never have found it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's a Trick


No, I'm not walking on walls like Spider-Man. It's an illusion.


I'm standing on a 10x10 prim onto which I textured a photo of the Skybar.

I just named it. Until today it was My Skybox. Now it's the much more presumptuous-sounding Skybar.

The Skybar has only 19 prims and costs less than 200L. It's hanging over Pele at 450 meters.

I'll be using it for soirees-- receptions and concerts, so I'll soon be adding a dance floor, lights, and a mirror ball. It will have a black grand piano.

The bar here was not inexpensive and it's prim-hoggy, but not much of my stuff is, so I was able to get away with it.

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Photo 1: Optical Illusion


Photo 2: The Bar at the Skybar

Photo 3: The Skybar, Outside


Photo 4: The Skybar, Inside

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SL Tools are Crude, Crude, Crude


I'm not happy with the terraforming and creating tools.

The creating tools work off a NESW grid, which is fine if you're working along compass lines, but when you set something at an angle, moving it by eye is for all practical purposes impossible. The terraforming tools are just as crude.

Undo disappears if you click off of the edit or terraforming boxes and they go away.

Why isn't there a step and repeat? Why are objects' positions calculated from their middle rather than from the end?

I'm a fracking genius. I can't work like this!

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Photo: Another fracking genius. This world wasn't meant for one as beautiful as you.

My Whorehouse


Yep.

Chey is now the proud owner of a Chinese whorehouse. It's hanging over the volcano at 300 meters

It smells a little funny, but it was a great baragain at only $200L. It's copyable and transferrable and modifiable, and the textures are beautiful.

Just call me madam.

Or maybe not. At that price, the whores were not included. I think they all hired on as extras in the TV show Deadwood.

The upstairs is where the business once took place. It has one-way windows, so it has become my bedroom. I've installed a bed and a huge and luxurious shower and couches and chairs.

Downstairs is not yet furnished, except for a white baby grand piano.

I think those who fail the virgin test will find themselves teleported to the whorehouse.

A Name

If you're wondering why I call it a Chinese whorehouse, that's because that's the way it was advertised. I've been trying to think of a name that will preserve its history yet be a little less vulgar. House of ill repute? Cathouse?

It just came to me. House of One Thousand Pleasures.

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Photo 1: House of One Thousand Pleasures


Photo 2: Bottom Floor


Photo 2: Chey's Bedroom

The Third Time's the Charm

I'm getting so I don't even blink when I wipe out my island.

It happened again on Friday. Somehow, I must have selected all the land by mistake, because when I looked up from my task, the mountain was 10 meters shorter.

I had the land in shape again in less than an hour. I even dug out Sam Stork's great lava flow, which got covered by the mountain.

Terraforming at Pele is finally and officially complete.

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Photo 1: Sunset on the northern beach

Photo 2: The eastern beach