Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Written 28 September, 2011


A couple of weeks ago Sweetie and I and our friend Elysienne explored a place called Artbox.

It was pretty cool.

At Artbox you can, by sitting on poseballs, insinuate yourself into any number of pieces of art.

Here I am in a Keith Haring painting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Wish List, Two Years On

Written 27 September, 2011

My Wish List, Two Years On

Here's my my top ten wish list from June, 2009, with updates:

1. The ability to have large amounts (thousands) of avatars together in one place and one time. No progress.

2. Smooth handoffs between sims (no lag, no weirdness). Significant improvement, but still a problem.

3. Increase in prim allowance (maybe 40,000, as on other grids). No progress.

4. Decrease in tier ($195 USD sounds like a fair amount for a sim. $295 is too much. No progress.

5. Longer sounds (10 seconds is just not long enough), and zero delay in hearing sounds. No progress.

6. Ability to create bigger prims (100 meters is a reasonable upper limit. 10 meters is ridiculous). ARRIVED!

7. Ablity to teleport with avatar intact to and from other grids. No progress.

8. More attachment points (my sop to the fashionistas amongst us). ARRIVED!

9. More upper and lower clothing layers (another sop). ARRIVED!

10. Double-click on attachments or groups of attachments to attach them. ARRIVED!

So, four of ten are operational, at least if you use a third-party viewer. Not too shabby.

Some things my readers mentioned were group chat-- better, but, not fixed; ability to join more groups-- ARRIVED!-- ability to stretch prims beyond 10 meters-- Arrived! and lots of things that aren't on the radar: things like the ability to drag inventory and other windows to a second monitor; more flexibility in avatar sizing; flexible sculpted prims, and intergrid teleportation with inventory.

We can only hope.

Comment Moderation

Written 27 September, 2011

Comment Moderation

I've added the dreaded word recognition step to commenting. That's because I've been getting hundreds of spam messages.

Hopefully this will end that problem without unduly penalizing those who comment on this blog.

Oh, wait! Nobody EVER comments on this blog.

Well, there are a few of you, and let me tell you-- I appreciate you! I really do!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Just Hanging (Literally)

Sometimes when I'm busy doing things other than Second Life I fly up and just hang in the air-- especially now my second monitor is dead and SL is covered by other windows. If I'm on the ground people sometimes walk by and say hi and I don't realize it, so being in the air is just convenient.

Tonight when I bought Second Life to the front, I realized I had a great perspective of the southwest corner of Whimsy. Without moving my camera I took the photo above.

Then I zoomed out and took this one:

Visible are Whimsy's entry point, several waterfalls, the path to the volcano Pele, Pele herself and her temple, the lower gardens and Whimsy's lagoon, the aboveground portion of the Whimsy Express rail line, the Temple to Bob and Bob himself, Marienn's house on Whimcentricity, and several small islands on Whimsy Kaboom.

In the top photo just above my right shoulder you can see a hot lava boulder Pele has hurled.The black smoke marks its trajectory. It's about to hit the shoulder of the mountain and then roll and tumble into the sea.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

100,000 HIts!

Written 25 September, 2011

100,000 Hits!

While I wasn't looking the Neocounter on my blog passed 100,000 hits.

The blog was between one and two years old when I installed both the Neocounter and the Cluster Map above it. Along the road the Cluster Map got reset; until it did it was keeping pace with the Neocounter.

I don't know of 100k is a significant number of hits for a blog, but it sure feels like it!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Whimsy is Ba-ack!!! (The Lindens are Amazing!

Written 24 September, 2011

Whimsy is ba-ack! (The Lindens are Amazing!)

Less than an hour after I wiped out my sim and 30 minutes after I filled a support ticket-- on a Saturday!-- the Lindens rolled it back. Everything is back to normal and I am much, much, relieved.

I take back all the bad things I ever said about you guys.

Oh! My! God! Sim Rollback Requested!

Some Parts of Whimsy are Relatively Unaffected

Written 24 September, 2011

Oh! My! God! Sim Rollback Requested!

This afternoon I logged in after a nap to await Sweetie's usual melodramatic entrance.

As I waited I looked at prim usage in the About Land menu. Whimsy has build enabled, and people often leave prims here. I routinely return them.

Today, somehow, some way, I managed to select my own name and return my prims. All of them. Ten thousand of them!

I had hopes of using Phoenix' Restore to Last Position function, but that worked only for some of the grouped objects. Thousands and thousands of objects won't go back to their proper place.

Since it would take months and hundreds of hours of hard work to put everything back into place, and since Whimsy would never again be quite the same, I've asked the Lindens for a sim rollback. I've notified residents and asked them to hold off on setting out no-copy items until the sim is either rolled back or the Lindens (and god, let's hope that doesn't happen) tell me no).

Some Parts are Wiped Out. The Volcano Goddess Pele Is NOT Going to Be Happy!

Dark Carousel, Bright Carousel

Written 20 September, 2011

Dark Carousel, Bright Carousel

Tonight Sweetie, I, and our friend Elysienne were looking for the roller coaster featured in my ((I think) hilarius blogpost Day Pass. Alas, I neglected to include a landmark.

We tarried awhile at Carnivale, where I took the above photo of a dilapidated old roller coaster.

I know Second Life's prim rain and virtual winds are harsh, but I sure hope it wasn't the remains of this beautiful carousel, which I photographed several years ago at Carnivale.

Friday, September 23, 2011


I just discovered this piece, which somehow never got posted.

Written 4 February, 2011


Second Life has long had a feature to create outfits, but until the advent of Viewer 2, it was useless. That's because making an outfit would move no-copy clothing items from their original folders to the newly created outfit folder, making a mess of your inventory. Consequently, hardly anyone used the outfits feature.

Viewer 2 brought a huge improvement; rather than move the actual objects to the My Outfits folder, shortcuts are created for each item. The actual items stay where they are, yay!

The third-party Phoenix viewer now supports outfits, and I shouldn't be surprised if Imprudence and Kristen's do, too.I've been having a grand time making outfits.

I can only nest outfits one deep in the My Outfits folder, but even so I'm able to sort them in a way that makes sense. I can now put together some 30 looks in an instant-- complete with hair, skin, HUDs, shoes, and jewelry. I'm making about four outfits a week and will be busy until at least the end of the year, but already life is easier.

Making Outfits

To create your own outfits you'll need to be running Viewer 2 or a recent version of Phoenix (again, maybe Kristen's and Imprudence will have the feature). Dress your avatar, then go into Appearance. Choose Make Outfit. Be sure Use Viewer 2 Outfits is checked, then hit Save and give the outfit a name. Next time you want to wear it just go to My Outfits and choose Replace Outfit. You'll be ready to go in ten seconds or so.

Plants Got Better

In my searching about through the various posts, this one somehow got moved to the top of the queue. Trying to figure out how to put it in its proper place...

Written 13 March, 2011

Plants Got Better

Sculpted prims appeared on Second Life's main grid on 27 May 2007, but they came with a learning curve; it was more than a year before sculpted content became to have an impact, and about two years before the texturing of sculpted prims was acceptable.

You can see that every one of more than 100 leaves on this cluster of six bamboo plants from Arctic Greenhouse have a three-dimensional shape-- and yet they weigh in, with their pot, at just 30 prims.

Photo Oppty

... A photo waiting to happened I stumbled across while sorting landmarks. Pretty place. Love the water effects.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Forgotten Toys

Above is a photo Sweetie took at Forgotten Toys and GIMPed all up.

My own photos are more mundane-- but look how small I am next to this huge figure! That's me to her right (your left). I'm level with her fingers.                  

Honour McMillian has a great post about the build, with beautiful photos. So rather than write about it, I'll just direct you here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On the Hunt at the Epic Toy Factory

Written 18 September, 2011

On the Hunt at the Epic Toy Factory

Sweetie and I love the Epic Toy Factory. It's a most imaginative place, and a great stop on a hunt. It's errr, epic!

There's not just one prize to find there, but four or five. There are magical animals to get you from one place to another...

...and there are riddles to solve. Riddles!

"Maybe this nice lady can help us!"

"What do you mean you want 100 Lindens!? That's extortion, that's what it is!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Unfortunate Effect of the Recession in Second Life

Here's what happens when there's a foreclosure in Second Life. The house it taken. The furniture isn't. Tragic.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Some People are Just Sneaky!

"Sweetie, you'd best put that building back this instant!"

Written 11 September, 2011

Some People are Just Sneaky!

Sweetie runs Second Life-- just barely-- on the world's oldest and most cranky iMac. So how has she finding the prizes so fast in the Steam Hunt?

It would be just like her to cheat, so I watched her carefully. No joy.

Then I caught her in the act.

"Sweetie," I said, "what did you do with the Deviant Kitties building?"

"Nothing," she said.

"Nothing?" I said.


"Right," I said. "You put it back this instant!"

"It there," she said petulantly

"No it isn't."



"Is. I just derendered it."

So that's how she'd been doing it! By derezzing the building the gears were easy to find.

That Deviant Kitties gear was a real pain. That's why I derendered the building myself.

Not that I would cheat.


Written 11 September, 2011


Mesh is live on the grid, and most of the majority of avatars who aren't using Viewer 3 (which is viewer 2 with a a new name because it's mesh-enabled) can't see it.

Phoenix doesn't support mesh and won't ever unless some enterprising soul takes it on as a project. That's because the Phoenix people have been working months and months, developing Firestorm, their mesh viewer.

Except until a few days ago Firestorm didn't support mesh.

Good news, there's now a beta-beta (Firestorm has not yet been officially released) mesh-enabled version. You'll find it here.

In the meantime, you can expect mesh to look like this (must-see photos follow):

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Whimcentricity Sunrise

Type Whimcentricity in the map field and teleport. You'll land at the geysers. From there, just have fun!


 Eerie haunted Bentham Manor.

Friday, September 9, 2011

40% Pregnant

Written 8 September, 2011

40% Pregnant

And they say close counts only with horseshoes and hand grenades!

Last weekend Sweetie and I found ourselves at the above stop on the Steam Hunt. Oooh, horses!

As we searched for the little bronze gear that would give us a prize we would doubtless throw away and direct us to the next stop, we passed a corral full of breedable horses.

One, according to its hover text, was 40% pregnant!

Skin Drama (Sweetie Speaks)

The following is a repost of a comment Sweetie made on my piece about Second Life skins.

Written 8 September, 2011

Skin Drama!
One thing I notice about many of the skins, even the one that are drawn, is stage makeup. I find the photosourced skins repellent and I see very few painted photosourced skins that disguise the joined photo sections well enough to suit me. I eschew photosourced clothing and  building textures for the same reason.

What bothers me more than photosourced skins (as opposed to painted/drawn skins) is that on so many skins the shading is made for overexposed light sources.

It isn't that the eye make up is heavy or the lips are dark. I'm talking about the contouring of the skin being overwrought like the false shadows and highlights you use to overemphasize a character's features on stage.

The highlighting on the cheekbones are a full shade lighter than the skin and the hollows of the cheekbones a full shade darker. The shading is mirrored in the highlight and shadows on the breasts, the abs, the bottom, and even areas like the thighs and knees.

I look at these young avatars and the contouring on their skins is so heavy it is as if they're ready to step out center stage and play a character fifteen years older.

Why do they look so harsh to me? Because I live in an SL without windlight skies.

I know you're thinking "OMG, Sweetie, how can you deprive yourself of such beauty?!" But while you're thinking my frames per second are like 100 so i can Snicker-Snack with my vorpal  Katana, a blur of speed, can relieve my enemies of their over-highlighted heads before they can finish that thought, my laptop will barely get me into Second Life. To the same ninja ends, I also don't wear a nuclear face light so my enemies can hunt me down from three sims away.

So to look beautiful to myself (and really, who else can be harder to impress?) I stick to the older skins that don't look as if they'd fit in a Houri's with Abs! review and I let my Katana give off all the highlights it wants.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Steam Hunt 5

Written 7 September, 2011

Steam Hunt 5

Prize hunts are huge in Second Life-- and fun, except when someone forgets to put out the prize as promised.

They all work pretty much the same. From a starting point you collect hints which hopefully lead you to prizes, and get directed to the next location. You do this until you reach the last post or tire of the effort. Then you go home and spend a week sorting out your suddenly disorganized and cluttered inventory.

Steam Hunt 5!


You mean we somehow missed the previous four?

Damn! How could that have happened?

Sweetie and I both like steampunk, so of all the possible hunts (and there are many), this one was for us. We spent our weekend together in Second Life searching for small bronze gears that, when purchased for $0L, gave us a steampunk-related prize and a landmark to the next stop on the tour.

We didn't get even nearly done because there are one hundred and ninety four frigging stations! 194!!!

The Steam Hunt runs throughout September, so best get started now.

To participate touch one of the Steam Hunt signs (they're all OVER the place) or head to the first stop here at Mieville Doyle and click the sign for a notecard. The small gear near the sign will give you your first clue.

I Love Water Reflections!

Taken on the Leroy sim.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Uncanny Valley

Written 7 September, 2011

Uncanny Valley

The other day I told Sweetie I had read a remark in New World Notes.

"Imagine that!" she said. A remark!"

"Very funny," I said. "Hamlet raised the issue--"

"He raised an issue? Amazing!"

I ignored her, although that's not easy to do. "-- that we may see a revival of 3-D modeling of avatars."

"You mean back when they would scan someone's photo and make a horrid photorealistic face?" She shuddered.

"Exactly," I said. "I don't want my real life breasts in Second Life. Here I can have breasts that are more... perky."

Then Sweetie said, "Mesh will be very uncanny valley."

Uncanny Valley is the assertion that as a simulation approaches reality, it eventually reaches a point at which they become creepy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Chey, Your Skin Sucks!

Written 1 September, 2011

Chey, Your Skin Sucks!

I bought my skin in October 2006 and have been happy with it. Its tone matches mine in real life, and it works well on my shape. It's the only skin I've ever used and I don't feel quite right when I'm out of it.

I've gotten lots of compliments about the skin, but not the other night from an avi at Help Island Public.

Why is This a Sulpted Prim?

Written 5 September, 2011

Why is This a Sculpted Prim?

I bought this very nice three-prim electric fan the other day. Last night I finally unpacked it and studied it.

I found myself wondering-- why is this end cap a sculpted prim?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Attendance Reaches 100 at Mankind Tracer Pink Floyd Acoustic Tribute Concert

Written 5 September, 2011

Attendance Reaches 100 at Mankind Tracer Pink Floyd Acoustic Tribute Concert

Sweetie went to bed early tonight, but before he did she sent me a landmark to a midnight (our time) concert by Second Life musician Mankind Tracer (Seth Regan in real life). It was to be an acoustic set of Pink Floyd songs.

After Sweetie logged I went downstairs to fix a snack and watch some television, leaving Chey hovering in space. The concert completely slipped my mind.

The ding of the IM bell brought me back upstairs just in time to dress and get to the concert. I arrived five minutes early and was lucky to get in.

I know this isn't a fashion blog, but I might as well tell you, I dressed appropriately.

Chey's Retro '60s Look. Not Shown: GoGo Boots

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Nice Write-Up of My Blog

Written 3 September, 1011

Nice Write-Up of My Blog

I'd like to thank Bliss Windlow of Peoplez for her nice write-up in the August issue of her magazine.

You'll find the magazine along the left column. Go to page 57.

Click on the image below to zoom:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why it Makes Financial Sense to Be a Premium Member of Second Life

Written 1 September, 2011

Why it Makes Financial Sense to Be a Premium Member of Second Life

Premium membership in Second Life costs $9.95 USD a month, or $72 if you sign up for a year.

Your premium membership gets you a sign-up bonus of $1000L and $300L a week. At the current rate of exchange of 250L per dollar, that's $66.40 a year. In other words, you get everything but $5.40 US back.

You also get a free Linden house, or, if you prefer, a tier-free 512 square meter lot anywhere on the mainland. If you're smart, you can purchase land for as little as $1L per square meter. You immediately get access to adult areas of Second Life. And, when your avatar won't rez or you can't log onto the grid, you can get support from the Lindens.

If you don't want or need a house you can buy your 512 square meter lot and rent it to someone. Or you can donate that tier to group land. Eight friends pooling their free tier allotment could live for free on a 4096 square meter lot with 934 prims-- or rent it for between $20 US and $30 US a month.

Consider: If you rent that 4095 for $20 a month and split it among eight people, that's $30 USD per person-- which translates to a profit of about $25 a year per person, making that premium membership a very good deal indeed.

And consider: All eight of those people could be YOU-- your main avatar and seven alts. You would make $200 bucks a year over and above the money you would pay to Linden Lab.

Of course you could have eighty alts, or eight hundred...

I started my premium membership in October 2006, when the weekly stipend was $400L. A year earlier it as $500L/year. I make a few bucks a year just by being a premium member. I wish I had signed up my alt Dakota and maybe made a hundred or two additional alts. Within a year or two, by careful trading I could had acquired several mainland sims. By now I could be a land baron or slumlord-- for free!

Ah, hindsight!

Going Where No Avatar Has Gone Before

Visit this build here.