I have never been a fan of New Year's Eve. In fact, I dislike most days where it is expected that people attend parties and be social. We introverts don't deal well with forced socialization at the best of times and holidays usually make my need to crawl in a hole worse. Add to that a layer of "but you really like people and you should be having fun Ches" and a dose of "but you did not make RL plans and now its too late" and that turns into a big ball of "well don't I suck?" Yeah, it is not pretty inside my head folks.
Having said way more than you want to know about my self talk, I will say I am really looking forward to putting 2009 behind me. This has been a difficult year.
So, hello 2010! Welcome! Can I take your coat and get you a drink?
To all of you wonderful people who take a minute out of your day to read my silly blog, thank you. Remember to be kind to everyone you meet, explore daily, be creative and love yourself.
The second thing I never take off is my claddagh ring. Those of you who pay attention to details will notice that Zha wears the same ring. Read about the legend of the Claddagh here.
The third thing I wear all the time and feel a little naked without are my flutter eyelashes by Cake. I have a heck of a time adjusting them and they are never perfect but I always wear prim lashes. The system eyelashes just stink, don't they?
Taken by my son Gavin this morning as I drank my coffee at Starbucks. "Hey Mom my camera has a 16x zoom! Look at your eye."
Here is Gavin's eye just for fun. Note the scar on the outer corner of his eyelid? I cannot even begin to describe the amount of blood there was when he fell. The thought makes me shudder.
Please check out his list here and read great posts by many great writers including Hamlet Au, Bettina Tizzy and Tymmerie Thorne-Darwin.
I have very limited access to the internet and as of this minute no access to Second Life. So, you get this photo I posted to flickr the other day for my 365. I know it is lame but I am hoping that the bit of recycled nakedness makes up for no new photo. I am doing the best I can here, given the fact that I am on a horrible hotel connection that appears to be run by tiny little hamsters.
You should not be reading here anyway. You should be buying Cylindrian's music to help her out of a RL jam. Read about how you can help on Crap's blog.
Hopefully this internet connectivity mess will be sorted out by tomorrow. If not then probably I will be out of touch until Wednesday evening. <3 <3 <3
I snapped this the other day intending to do fancy pants stuff in Photoshop with it. So far today I have been to the grocery store, hung four sets of curtains and baked a Buche de Noel. I have a roast in the oven and I am about to go finish making the rest of Christmas Eve dinner. After that I still have gifts to wrap. I hope you don't mind the lame recycled 365 self portrait.
Here is my Buche de Noel. Don't you wish you were coming to my house for Christmas dinner? I have made this cake for a few years now and I have to say this one looks better than the rest. I can't say if it tastes better than in the past, but I am sure it will taste better than Christmas Pudding.
If you celebrate Christmas I hope you have a wonderful holiday. If you don't then I hope you have a great weekend doing whatever makes you happy. The holidays can be a little depressing, what with all the forced celebration and people expecting everyone to be joyful. So, be nice to people, love yourself and remember what is really important to you. Cheers~
My lack of enthusiasm also has to do with Christmas not being a holiday I grew up celebrating. The traditions are not mine and I always feel a little bit like an outsider as everyone around me is happily surrounded by hoards of people, participating in family oriented festivities.
Unexpectedly, I found out I am going to have guests for Christmas dinner. This means I will be running around like an idiot for a few days and then I will settle in to my family and a few glasses of red wine and everything will be great.
I have no explanation for this photo. It just happened and I like it.
I am going to make it easy for you right now. Below is " A Virtual Hommage to the funniest movie of all times" made by Chantal Harvey (2009) after the original (1979) by the Monty Python Comedy Team. " Its fabulous. Enjoy.
I worked on our build today, did some holiday shopping and got Dell to replace major portions of my laptop. We are anticipating a big snow storm tomorrow so more than likely I will have a cozy day inside the house that will, with any luck, include some time for building. I am 100% in the mood to fiddle with prims.
Time to step away from the pixels for the night. Ciao.
From Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, "Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."
"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.
"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length."
"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."
Our mainland parcel sold today. We let it go cheap because from what I was able to learn from a friend who deals land the going price for mainland is really low. Rather than pay for both Harbour and Marawa we figured it was best to take the money and tier down. I am pretty sad to let the park go, but change is inevitable.
I had a sort of rotten day in RL so I am going to have a glass of wine and set up a sky box over Harbor so we have a quiet place to change clothes.
The photo above was taken at the lighting of the menorah at Crap's tree. I am not entirely sure it was appropriate to wear antlers but this is SL and at least I was not wearing my pajamas.
Anyway, I was moaning about the texturing problem and Pan came over (in her lovely Christmas ball gown) and told me about an amazing tool so I thought I would share it here. The tool is called JeXtone Easy Texture and you can buy it here for $1,500 Linden and to me it is worth twice the price. The JeXtone allows you to apply textures to many prims at the same time and this clever little device makes sure everything lines up perfectly.
See the problem? No matter how I fussed and fiddled I could not seem to get the textures to line up even close to correctly. Of course roof shingles are linear so even minor misalignment jumps right out at you.
The JeXtone consists of a simple script which you drop in each prim, two "magic markers" and a HUD. You drop your textures in the HUD and place the markers at the top right and lower left of the object you want to texture.
The only slight trick is both the object you want to texture and the magic markers have to be on the axis. In other words, the rotation of your object must be at 0, 90, 180, or 270 or the JeXtone gets confused.
You make sure the magic markers are pointing at the surface you want to texture, click on the texture in the HUD ....and.....magic! Perfectly applied texture. You can play with rotations and offsets and such using the HUD as well.
My build looks about 100% better now that I have the texturing of the roof fixed. Thank you so much Pan and thank you JeXtone.
One important thing I don't want to forget -- see the red button on the top of the HUD? It allows you to delete the scripts with the push of a button, which is a really nice feature. There is no need to add to script load on your sim unnecessarily!
ETA: Since I actually am in these photos I am going to call these 42 of 365 "Lame excuse for not taking a real selfie today"
Lighting the Hannuka candles at Crap Mariner's home. Hamlet was going to join us from his iPhone but the TP I sent failed. Of Course.
Crap in PJs playing a fiddle on the roof of the structure I am building. Fiddler on the Roof? Of course.
The three of us talking while standing around on the roof. Of course.
I still have a long way to go but I roughed in a pavilion today. I need to fiddle with it probably for days because I build by eye which makes it a bear to get things to line up. I try to build by the numbers and use math to make things proportional. I really do. I started out this build by actually drawing what I planned to do with real measurements and everything. But as I get to building somehow all that precision falls apart and I stretch here and rotate there and pretty soon building by the numbers? I just don't have a clue how to do that.
In any case, this structure will eventually have some comfy places to hang out and who knows what all else. Maybe a day bed or a place to nap. I really want to make some puffs of smoke trailing from the chimney and some twinkly lights. I know texturing is going to be difficult because I don't really know what I am doing and the roof has a lot of crazy angles so I ended up with prims running every which way. For right now I have to say I am pleased with the general shape this little build taking.
What do you think? Suggestions? Want to help me make everything line up? Talk to me people! I have been staring at prims for 3 hours.
This Sunday 12/13/09 at 2pm AM Radio will be conducting Part 2 of his seminar for builders and artists working in Second Life. This class is offered as part of White Lebed's Afterburn Art Program called Burniversity, which is a natural outgrowth of the Burning Life 09.
During this seminar AM Radio will not talk about his work. Instead he will cover best practices for presenting web content in virtual spaces. Part 1 was very popular and this session is likely to be crowded so arrive early in your best lag protection gear.
AM RADIO presents Effective use of HTML on a Prim Part 2This seminar will cover scripting concepts and using PHPFLICKR to connect with the Flickr API and display Flickr images in Second Life. AM will discuss the following topics:
Getting a Developer API Key and Secret
Using PHPFLICKR to obtain a static token
Building a PHP script which uploads an image to flickr
Building a PHP script to build a webpage of flickr images
Presenting the result in Second Life
PrerequisitesUnderstanding of Part 1 of this course (Full text of Part 1 is at the Burning Life 09 Art Dept Art Seminars Transcripts board )
Working knowledge of PHP, HTML, and basic knowledge of LSL
Understanding of developer APIs and the Flickr API is helpful
SLurl teleport at this link http://slurl.com/secondlife/Burning%20Life-%20Deep%20Hole/53/230/25~~~~
For more information please contact White Lebed - Life Art Department; Curator of Afterburn Art Program. email@example.com
Most of the time I stay out of arguments on the internet. It is a fools game. Today I got drawn into something and while I stand by my words, I sometimes wish I would learn to stay quiet. Some opinions are not worth expressing and some arguments are not worth having.
Sabrinaa Nightfire is an artist who I met when I wrote about an installation she was putting together some time ago. She exhibits her work all over SL and is very talented. Every once in a while Sabrinaa drops clothes she has made on me, which is just incredibly kind. She gave me the dress I am wearing in this photo last night and said it is a party dress for the holiday season. I particularly love how this dress moves when I wear it so it would indeed be perfect for a festive occasion where dancing is on the agenda.
You can find Sabrinaa's clothes here. Most of her outfits are short flirty dresses that feature colorful textures. I did not actually see the party dress in her shop but perhaps she will be setting it out soon. Not too sure but I am mostly posting about this lovely gift from Sabrinaa as a way to say thanks!
Zha and I were offered half a homestead sim in the series of islands managed by Crap Mariner. The land is beautiful and there is a strong community so we were excited to move and live among friends. Tonight Feline left us a lovely welcome message in the snow, which you can see above.
As we stood on our new parcel talking to Crap, Feline and Chris other members of the community IMed to introduce themselves and say hello. People stopped by to welcome us and make us feel at home. It was lovely.
I can't begin to tell you how happy we are about living on Harbour. We need to think of a concept for our build and do need to sell our land in Marawa. All in good time....
I understand the temptation to be critical of Linden Lab. They are the company store and we are at their mercy in many ways. They do things that are in the corporate interest which we dislike. They don't take action where we fervently wish they would. Many of us have checked out other grids and while some people have moved to OpenSim or Reaction Grid or Blue Mars or where ever, as far as I can tell none of those places give me what I get in SL at this time.
So we stay in Second Life - and complain.
I am by no means a Linden Lab cheerleader. I have my own issues with the way they communicate and policy choices they make that impact me in ways I am unhappy about. Having said that, I am seriously tired of all the bitching about Linden Lab. If SL is so terrible, why do people hang around? If you are miserable do the rest of us a favor and work to make things better or just shut up and leave.
How about this? Tell your social networks about what did you did today that gave you joy. What has Linden done that pleases you? Tell us about a new sim, a great musician or a build you are creating that we would enjoy. Tell us about a great day you had with your friends being silly or a class you took that expanded your knowledge. Take a moment to remember why you are in SL. I am very sure it is not about the negative. Remember what brings you happiness and then instead of complaining tell us about your joy.
What: AM Radio Building Seminar: Effective Use of HTML on a Prim. Part 1.
When: December 5th, 2009 at Noon
Where: [SLurl teleport at this link]
Important: this seminar is intended as a serious educational class. It is for builders and artists already familiar with basics of SL. During this session, AM will not talk about himself or his art. The transcript of this class will be available on the board and will be distributed via the Afterburn Subscription board.
This is a two part seminar for content creators and content presenters. AM will cover best practices when presenting web content within Second Life. Topics will include:
How it works
Sizing with LSL
How to present web media on a prim when a user arrives
Web page design considerations for Second Life
Stretching media across mulptiple prims
Part 2 Topics
Using PHP and jQuery to present FLICKR RSS Feeds in Second Life
The class size will be limited to 40 people. Please, arrive early, take a seat and remove all unnecessary attachments (especially your AO and scanners) to reduce lag.
Read more about the Afterburn program here
I am sick and I really should stay in bed today. Sadly, I have a RL work deadline and a post to write for New World Notes so I am dragging my sorry self out of bed and putting one foot in front of the other. If you happen to see me can you please give me a little push? I could use some extra momentum.
As an aside, I have been at this 365 Days project for a month now. At first it seemed like a huge undertaking but by now I am finding a routine and don't feel any pressure at all. I want to make some time to do more processing on my images. Photoshop still baffles me but I am watching tutorials and playing with the tools so hopefully I will learn more as I go.