Monday, May 28, 2012

Deep Down

Written 29 May, 2012

Deep Down

I thought I had written this piece months ago, but it doesn't seem to show when I search, so clearly I didn't.

It's a shame, for the sim seems to be gone.

I'm talking about Deep Down, a sim-wide simulation of an Appalachian coal-mining community that was designed to complement the independent film of the same name. For a review, see here.


I stumbled across the sim; that's how I learned about the film. It was under construction, but seemed interesting, so I waited a while and then returned with Sweetie and our friend Elysienne. We had a blast-- especially Sweetie. My readers will know how much she loves to blow shit up.

First up we had to put on our hard hats. That was necessary so the sim designers could beam radio waves at our heads. Sweetie foiled them by covering her hat with aluminum foil.

First thing was to jump on bulldozers. Bulldozers!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bad, Bad Blogger!

Written 26 May, 2012

Bad, Bad Blogger!

Blogger has disappeared the background photo and shading of my blog. Readability is arrrgh! I didn't touch a damn thing! I want to kick Blogger's ass!

Can't seem to get it all back.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tiny Reprieve

The Tiny/Robot Crossbreeding Project
Has Already Begun to Bear Fruit
Written 19 May, 2012

Tiny Reprieve

All hail our tiny overlords!

They came in the night, and not to us. A delegation of Second Life tinies went straight to the headquarters of the robot insurrection at the sanatorium on Whimsy Kaboom, which has long been in rebellion against their human masters (meaning me and Sweetie).

"Listen," the tinies said. "We can reach all those hard-to-lubricate cogs and wheels. "We can solder those dry joints the biggies can't get to. And---"

Wait for it.

"We have waffles!"

The robots were unimpressed. "We cannot work with you. You are made of meat."

"No, no, we're stuffed with cotton! Cotton!"

"Fluffy white fibers derived from plant of the genus Gossypium?"

"Exactly."

"Vegetable, then. Unacceptable."

"Well, it's not exactly cotton..."

"All organic matter is unacceptable. We do not see how we can work with you."

"It's more like polyester fiberfill. In fact it's EXACTLY polyester fiberfill."

"Robowiki tells us this is petroleum based."

"Yes! Yes it is!"

"Petroleum is derived from organic matter. It is unacceptable."

"Listen to yourself. If not for petroleum you could not work. What do you think lubricates your moving parts?"

"We had not considered this. Perhaps we can work with you. Tell us more about these waffles."

And so the robots accepted tinies as their new overlords. Now, thanks to this strange alliance, Sweetie and I are at best tolerated on Kaboom.

---

But at least Kaboom and the robot sanatorium will continue to exist. My most profound thanks to the tiny who made this happen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Star Ruh-Roh

Written 16 May, 2012

Star Ruh-Roh

I've no idea how I failed to notice this before, but recently I did.

When you fly at low altitudes at night, the stars approach the horizon:


The above photo was taken at 150 meters.

The photo that follows was taken at 500 meters. The stars aren't quite so close to the horizon now.


Uh-oh, looks like dawn is coming. Hold on a second... Got it! Midnight is reset:


Here's what happens at 4050 meters:


Notice there are no stars whatsoever in the bottom 3/5 of the picture. Second Life is acting as if the horizon is at or just below my avatar's altitude.

I popped up to 20,000 meters, then 100,000, then 1,000,000 and the configuration of the stars was just the same; they took up the top 2/5 or so of my screen.

My avatar was wrecked, however.


Oh, the things I do in the name of science!

Kaboom Endures!

Written 16 May, 2012

Kaboom Endures!

I'm happy to say that thanks to the kindness of a neighbor and friend, Whimsy Kaboom will remain on the grid. Changes will be tiny (literally).

I will need the help of my muse to tell the full story. I expect to write it this weekend.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wilderness Survey

Neva River by HivaAO Insoo
Written 14 May, 2012

Wilderness Survey

I've been following the Linden blog, so I was blindsided by an e-mail questionnaire the company sent me, asking about the Wilderness.

I've not been there and I'm not even sure what it is, but they made the mistake of asking how they could improve the Premium experience. Here's what I wrote in the box:

Stop trying to turn Second Life into a video game. It will never work. Stop pissing off your paying customers. Work on scalability. Reduce prices of sims; you'll get four times as many and make tons more money. Fix stuff that has been broken since 2003. Stop making stupid features like this supposed Wilderness-- your sim owners have already build fabulous natural areas-- see for instance my Whimsy sim and the sims around it. Stop getting rid of your experienced employees and the ones who actually care about the world. Clone the Australian guy and Torley; they're fabulous.

I mentioned the survey to Sweetie, and it absolutely set her off. Here are some highlights of her rant:

Stop trying to give us "experiences" on a quarter of a sim filled with badly textured objects.

Stop designing your "experiences" for 14-year-olds.

Stop making all your "experiences" look the same.

Stop blowing off some of the most creative people in the world-- your customers. Let US create the experiences. We're the experts. Give us places to express ourselves. Make big oceans and huge mountain ranges and jungles and deserts. Give us low prices for monthly tier on sims. We'll fill Second Life with fabulous content.

Oh, wait! We already frigging have! (See HivaAO Insoo's great photo, above).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Downsizing


I know I've been remiss on my blogging. That's because I had nothing really to say-- reason being since the first of the year I've been coming into world primarily to stand on the sea decks on Whimsy Kaboom and watch the whales-- and to do a patrol to return stray prims visitors have forgotten to pick up. Most days there are a few.

And of course I've been paying tier on Whimsy, Whimsy Kaboom, and half of Leaf's Whimcentricity sim.

Xubi has had a bit promotion at work and is now an Associate Vice-President, which means she gets to wear fancier shoes and work longer house and have more stress. Long hours at the keyboard is giving her radiating pains from a developing cervical problem, and she's not inclined these days to spend more time at the computer, so I've not seen her much in world.

After a couple of months of hard work my house is essentially one kitchen floor fix away from ready to sell or rent. I"m not sure what I'll do yet. Anyone need a comfy cottage on a beautiful lake 10 miles from downtown Atlanta for less than $130k?

I'm just back home after spending a month with Xubi. Yesterday we talked things over, and agreed to shut down Whimsy Kaboom.

I love Whimsy Kaboom, home of the robot sanatorium, for its whales and beautiful views. I have my home set there. But it's costing me $95 US a month, and that's a big drain on my finances. So before the 28th Kaboom will be going away. So, too, will be my land on Whimcentricity. Graciously, Leaf has agreed to let Serenek keep her nifty beach house there.

I was ready to pull the plug on Whimsy, too, but Xubi loves it and said no, and I was happy she did.

The robot sanatorium will be moving over to Whimsy, at the same 3500 meters altitude. It will take up about 1500 prims, but thankfully we have them to spare.

I'm sad, but I won't be on the 28th!

Feel free to visit Kaboom while it lasts. Click here for a SLURL to the sea decks.

Things to do on Whimsy Kaboom:

Watch the whales
Ride the rocket. Be sure to look down!
Hula
Stand on the soap box and rant
Click the signs on the post to teleport to
       * the robot sanatorium
       * our earth orbit space build
      * the rideable leaf
Walk the chain of islands
Explore the undersea wildlife and spaces
Canoe over to Whimsy
Sit on the blue swim ball and swim anywhere on any of the sims
Jump on the sailboard
Ride the jetski
Find and fire the cannon
Ride the hang glider at the end of the chain of islands