Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Viceregal Christmas Address 2008

Christmas Blessing for Caledon

Through trials and tribulations. We still stand. We are still here.

I address our endurance.

2008 has been interesting times to be certain. An emotional Relay was run, a spectacular showing of our people, 7 of which logged among the official top fifteen runners. Many more ran all night as well. Financial difficulties have raised their heads, leaving us with an uncertain 2009. America has had an unprecedented Presidential election. Linden Labs has made a series of baffling announcements that have altered the shape of our landmass. Our first in the flesh Caledon meet-up in Saint Mary's, Ontario.

Some died.

And we are still here.

Faces have come and gone, some stay awhile, then fade off over the horizon. To those, I wish farewell, good grace and fortune and great happiness.

To those who remain and are yet to come, I wish good grace and fortune and great happiness and much welcome. Welcome to our home.

Peace and joy to you, Caledon. May you do as you've always done, worked together, played together, struggled with and sometimes fought one another. And always coming back to support one another.

And we are still here. Together.

The Genie

I've been fooling with WeGame.

The Genie is coming.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cutest Thing Ever

Best part of the Yule Ball. Anthropomorphic reindeer sucking on candy canes and pulling Santa's sleigh.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Street

Ordinarily I show up to an event, make a few greetings, stay awhile, then disappear out the back door. Once in awhile something magical appears before my eyes, and today it happened in Caledon Southend.

I don't know if it was due to a flux of good energy all around from a random invite to tea by Darkling Elytis, where she, Denver Hax, Roy Smashcan and I just sat and chatted about nothing. Pleasant. :)

Anyhoo, Roy jetted off to a do in Southend, I knew something was going on there but perhaps it's oldbie jadedness I presumed it to be another DJ event or fashion show, the very things that have me gasping for fresh air in a simulator with less avatars in it.

Surprise, it was a street fair.

Groups of people milling the streets, snow particles everywhere, idle chitchat and lots of room to move around. When I arraved there were at least three groupings of people to mill through, and I was greeted by Bamika Easterman.

This was fabulous; she had a whole maid school milling about serving tea. This is the first time I've ever seen such a thing work. And it really did work to enhance the atmosphere!

Eventyually I saw a Kodak moment:

And just started taking pictures.

Until I ran out of L$.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Revisiting Nautilus

I showed earlier some big nasty builds in Nautilus and postulated that it might be an attempt to drive off other speculators. It might also have been an attempt to get those other speculators to buy the parcels to get rid of the ugly. Ugly builds have a long tradition in Second Life to try to coerce someone to buy a particular parcel at an inflated price.

This is how the for sale approach looks now:

Small, tasteful, and one can only grief the neighbours into buying the parcel if there actually are neighbours!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bridal AO

Awhile ago Yuriko asked me about a Bridal AO, something I hadn't considered seriously before. The wedding market's already glutted with advanced systems and moving poseball systems to do all the thinking and aiming in high lag situations.

We weren't up to building an entire cathedral and I wasn't up to programming, maintaining and marketing a complex full wedding system, but I did have a variety or script parts lying around for a two layer animation override system. The main thrust of this system is to be very easy to use. Wear and walk. Buttons control the bouquet pose, five to choose from, and five foot stances as well. There is a toggle to switch off and on the automatic stance shuffle. There is also a main on/off switch.

This system operates the arms independently of everything else, so I was able to use a lower priority animation for the arms. This allows the avatar to carry most animated or unanimated bouquets.

The system could also double as a simple override for large dresses. The walk works really well for the ballroom gowns. :) Holding the page down key and walking performs a slow walk, step-stop-step-stop, good for those more dramatic entries.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One Week

One week is what it seems to make one full AO with extra peripherals.

The poses and walks and such a day or two, but this one is a wee bit different.

The cane and top hat responds to individual animations playing, provided the notecard is filled in correctly. What it means to the user is, as you walk, fly, shuffle poses, the cane will respond to them and reposition itself.

It's complete with typing override, had comes off the head by holding the page down key. Give them a try at Posture Is Everything. Free cane in the Info box, try the Cane series on the single animation vendor. Full kit in the box, L$1000.

Free upgrades to all who have a prior version of Gentleman Jim. Drop a copy of your old version, or the box on the altar in the main store.

Next up, Bridal AO.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Queen is Dead, Long Live the King

If I'm going to build a gentleman's animation override, I'll bloody look the part. Hopefully by Christmas, input welcome.

Things on the dreaming table are an add-on for hats, to remove the hat for certain poses and hold it in the hand.

Absolutely excellent spat shoes by Edward Pearse and an equally underpriced and excellent Firebrand Waistcoat and Trousers by Nix Sands. Shop them. Do eeeet. Nao.

Complete Lady Update

I added a typing override and did some work to various poses. The Bombshell no longer tilts over when you're typing.

Updates issued to anyone on record, if I missed any, please contact me in world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Complete Lady

And here it is, a rework of some components of The Complete Lady, and a new addition to the mix.

Available as single animations or sets at Posture Is Everything.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Au Revoir, Paris

Paris 1900, one full simulator, four Openspace sims.

Au revoir. :(

The Bombshell

Coming soon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nautilus Sinking

The central core of Nautilus as it stands now.

The price tags on plots in the core range from L$75,000 to half a million. Still crazy, still a long term loss to LL with the half price tier. (Or will there be a 'rate adjustment' on double prim sims in the future?) the cacophonic approach to building with no covenant is moving in, but curiously, the plots with these towers aren't for sale. Completely wild guess, the landowner is trying to drive the other speculator's prices down to acquire more of it. Notice the hop-skip approach to the acquisitions. I'd considered doing that myself, only I would have put up adult verified only ban lines and ugly prim penis shops. :)

Also possible, the towers might be a protest to the latest OpenSpace buffoonery, to uglify the landscape to trash the vision. I expect to see more of these towers as the auction keeps going ahead.

And Nautilus still crashes my fairly powerful computer system with its prim heavy builds.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Seahorses Are Here

Using my motion override engine and Virrginia Tombola's excellent sculpt work. Get yours here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It Just Occured To Me

My sim uses half the resources of this Governor Linden sim.

The Bearded Lady?

You build a beard.
They give a buck to Kiva.
I curtsy to Seth.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Flying Half Built House Brigade Has Arrived

With a GeneriGoth Castle backdrop!

Free Linden Nautilus Houses, Textures, Decorations

Found here.

Community Building, Linden Labs Style

Empty houses with for sale signs. Nautilus or Cincinnati?

I wonder what it will look like in six months. $800 US for a 1024? Sheeeeeeeeesh. Somebody would need to be bopped in the head with a Coke bottle to buy into this one. It will be interesting to see what the ones in the inner core of the Nautilus city will go for at auction and ultimately sell for.

Nautilus Exploration

I've been playing with a Max Case Neighbours HUD. (If you explore, you really need one. And decided to piddle about Nautilus with it. It's been explored heavily with the HUD already, but I was intrigued to see what looks like a collage of just about every interesting site on the grid I've seen since 2005.

Oh, and I've now a performance benchmark on Openspace sims:

She may be bigger, but I'm more mobile.

Testing out this almost complete seahorse system.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In The Interest Of The Correct Expression Of Outrage

Price increases are inevitable these days, and with the magical printing of 700 billion dollars inflation is about to become even more painfully apparent. This is not the main thrust of this post. Instead, I address the recent Openspace sim price increase. It is my hope that amidst the panic and screeches of outrage I may point out the genuine smelly bits so that amidst much misinformation we may be outraged correctly.

What we have here is a case of very bad form on the part of Linden Research. The price increase is draconian, yes, but the ugly and morally repugnant part was the portion of the deal that was altered effective immediately. This is in disallowing the trade in Openspace regions.

Picture, if you will, you bought a condominium. There is a strata fee involved for maintenance of the building. Ordinarily, you would pay the strata fee, own the condo, have the right to quiet enjoyment of the premises. You have other condominium units around you, and to some degree they have the ability to affect your quiet enjoyment of premises. Beneath you lives a smoker, and there is no bylaw against smoking on balconies. You, allergic to cigarettes, have recourse to discuss it with your neighbour or keep your windows closed. Another neighbour has a loud party, and ignores your complaint and so you take the complaint to the strata, who assess a fine against Mister Party Hardy. And should you find the accommodation not to your satisfaction, you can sell the unit, or rent it out.

Now picture Second Life. A bit of history first:

  1. Linden Labs begins to sell Openspace sims in bundles of four.
  2. Linden Labs raises the prim allowances from 1875 to 3750.
  3. About this time Linden Labs relaxes the requirement of buying four at a time and lowers the price to buy in.
  4. Now Linden Labs locks down the trade of Openspace sims and announces a 67 percent monthly cost increase.

If it were a condominium the changes would read:
  • May not sell or rent the condo.
  • Increase in strata fee of 67 percent.

The lawyers would launch like cruise missiles.

Of course, this isn't the real world, nor is it real estate. It is $250 a pop that is suddenly made impossible to recoup. Abandoned sims become free servers for Linden Labs to sell all over again. This, kids, is what we call a racket. Quote: "Typically, this usage is based on the example of the "protection racket" and indicates that the speaker believes that the business is making money by selling a solution to a problem that it created (or that it intentionally allows to continue to exist), specifically so that continuous purchases of the solution are always needed." This is the point over which the bulk of the outrage needs to be focused.

Now if I may don my tinfoil hat, and knowing that this is the usual modus operandi for Linden Labs, announce something up in the lunasphere and back away citing 'responding to input', was this the point of this morally bankrupt action with regard to the ability to divest yourself of the $250 a shot investment? To make the $50 a month increase look acceptable if the other restriction is lifted?

A personal experience with this point in the Blog Post: "More proactive education by support staff to prevent unfair resource use by Openspace regions." I will believe that when I see it. In 2006, I bought First Land in the sim Huchu with six friends. We parceled it together for a clubhouse. This was the first sim in which the Gold Rush Casino was founded. It sat on 5-6ooo square meters and had 32 camp chairs at its peak. The owner of this casino replicated this in the same corner of many sims in a checkerboard pattern . Ultimately he had 10-12 of these on 4096 parcels of land, each of them full of avatars 24/7.

I urge all Neo-Victorians to behave as such, in not howling like monkeys in the jungle, but by examining the facts, being unswayed by conspiracy theory, even mine above about the average method of Linden Labs price modifications. There is enough screeching already from every rooftop, enough that a polite but very firm stance just might be noticed amidst the mobs.

I urge the following:
  • Post here. Mention the foul play of selling a product then changing the rules on how it is to be sold. Be polite; there is more than enough ranting and vitriol already. Katt Linden said in the first comment here that Jack Linden will read all responses. He's had enough abuse. Good luck with that, Jack.
  • Vote here. The JIRA largely means nothing. This is about delivering the mail. If you must comment, again stick to the issue of foul play, be polite.
  • Remember that Linden Labs dropped prices, eased the purchase requirements, and increased prim allowances, making them the Best Deal on the Grid. If Linden Labs changes the rules on how they are to be used or sold after the buyer has received delivery and paid the fee, they must offer a refund option!
  • Remember that prices change. But there must also be a way to sell the asset to recoup what you can in the event of these price changes.
  • Insist on transparency on where the extra $50 is going if there shall indeed be an extra $50 (or any amount) charged. Will this go toward distributing three OS sims to a CPU?
  • Give Openspace owners guidelines on what exactly constitutes 'light use'? Are these? How about this? Or this? How about this obvious idiot?
  • Show up for Prospero Linden's office hours. He's a fine chap; treat him accordingly. He'll be working on the Beta release and Caledon will have several Openspace sims on the Beta grid. Be part of the solution.
  • Show up for the Openspace bashing event(s) should we have them on the Beta grid.
  • Can the vitriol.
  • Do not allow this unsporting conduct by Linden Labs slide by unchallenged. Reject every last bit of it on the basis of how it was presented. A price hike is one thing, handcuffing the bag to those who own one is another. No taxation without genuine ownership.
Her Lyonesse,
Kamilah I, Vicereine of Caledon, and a Canadian feeling the Spirit of 1776

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Chat Drag Races

I just recently took a few notes on the rate of posts between the Steelhead and the Caledon chat sessions, Caledon's a little ahead. Amusing, yes, but here's another thought. Despite the crossover with some people posting in both chats could split off groups have to do with the sheer volume of posts per minute? Cram the two populations together and chat would be completely beyond the ability of many people to even read, much less take part in.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

In Construction

I'm increasingly pleased with this build; building a large scale has always been slow going for me. The monolith tower fell together on a whim, making it fit has been brutal. I found my inspiration in the Magisterium tower from The Golden Compass. I was going to pirate the green roof from my old Inn house but decided it would clash too harshly with the gold elsewhere. I my toy with blue later, after all, it worked on the Magisterium tower.

And finally a home for my logo. :)

I was listening to a lot of VNV Nation while working on this.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

So I Dropped That New Tower

I've found myself wanting for a flagship store, and since Port Caledon has a hub that isn't going anywhere I've decided to nudge it up against border of Lionsgate, and to set up a bridge to cross the sim boundary, a fairly standard transparent prim on each side, opposing each other, to act as an extension of presense between the sims. I'll have my landing point in Lionsgate and the shop proper in Port Caledon. I've a ludicrous number of prims in Port Caledon. Whether or not I move the mermaid equipment to this shop I do not yet know, as I've only a vague idea what it will look like.

Friday, October 17, 2008

And So I Jumped From The Bridge

Today was my last day of work in the corporate trenches. Two years ago, thereabout, I'd hit the wall of productivity and inspiration in that office, mastered just about every aspect of the job. The parting was good, graceful, my usual crass self still purely me, but more geared to the funny in my general obnoxiousness. It's been good practice, if I did overstay my apprenticeship a bit long.

And what now? I have a little money to work with, very little in the way of a business plan, although I have a good ledger. I've some goals to finish before Christmas. A rethinking of the Gentleman's AO. A mostly built seahorse in conjunction with Virrginia Tombola. Some very nifty work on colour changing HUD prim bellydancer garb, dripping with particle chains. I've some sculpting to do with that, to drag down the massive Avatar Rendering Cost it has.

And there's Kamilah. For now, my career. And it's just hitting me between the eyes just what the heck I've gone and done, jumping off the ship of security and the crack-like fix of income that comes with a regular paycheque.

I need to appear in public more. Not necessarily at the unending stream of balls and dances. Library functions. Oxbridge, to greet new SL residents. Blogging. Salons with interesting speakers. Perhaps some teaching.

So yes, I just jumped off a cliff, albeit with a safety net. The lurch is still fairly intense.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Compare and Contrast

  • Small group of closely related people.
  • Inaugural 'large scale' meet.
  • A meet of a single sub-set of a fandom in a platform.
  • Little regimentation.
  • Larger group of somewhat related people.
  • Fourth such meet.
  • A meet of anyone in the platform.
  • Some regimentation, but not a great deal.
  • Positively massive meet of every imaginable type of geek.
  • Been going for decades.
  • Anyone welcome.
  • I'm surprised they didn't have metal detectors at every doorway.
Random thoughts:
  • CaleCon gave me never a feeling I was alone. Very intimate.
  • SLCC was lonesome at first, then I gradually met friends of people I knew, or just random meetings.
  • It seemed a bit of an oldbie hive, although they were all personable it was still a bit intimidating. I suspect subsequent CaleCons will seem that way to those who missed the first.
  • Dragon*Con was far and away one of the most visually dazzling displays I've ever seen. And I put what I'd seen there into my costume for both SLCC and CaleCon. I was a major hit in both with that costume. SLCC had some costuming, but I feel that if I didn't raise the bar, I vaulted it and made it look easy. I might have been merely 'good' in Dragon*Con.
  • Caledon has a reputation for being insular and distant.
  • Caledon has a reputation for being insular and distant!
  • Caledon has a reputation for being insular and distant! OMG!
  • This is not a good thing. At SLCC, these people are not blingtards. These people rock. Hard.
  • Caledonians rock hard. Steelhead rocks hard. New Babbage rocks hard.
  • SLCC needs the Neo-Victorian presence.
  • Stroker's Ball was pretty extreme, not my cup of tea. I was having fun, would probably have lasted an hour or two before I'd have had to leave or collapse from heat exhaustion.
  • If there had been a classical ball, I'd still have gone to Stroker's because I was with a party who made a point of it. They had to leave because the cramped space was just too overwhelming. Then I'd have made an appearance at the other ball. Heck, I'd have made an appearance ahead of time too.
  • CaleCon may have been counterproductive to SLCC and to Caledon. No, that's not it. CaleCon, 2008, was a wonderful, intimate meet. And too close (on the calendar) to SLCC.
  • CaleCon might do well to drop the strictly Caledon feel, and openly invite anyone of the Neo-Victorian set.
  • CaleCon would do well to either move months away from SLCC, or throw in with SLCC, take part as part of, and contribute to SLCC with panels and attendance.
  • And overall well-mannered dress and comportment.
  • And rent a ballroom to have a much less extreme ball for the top hat and coat, ballroom gown set with music ranging from the classics through Sinatra.
  • SLCC with 20-50 Neo-Victorians and steampunks in the lobby in full dress would rock.
  • Really, it would rock.
  • SLCC needs more costuming badly.
Summing up:
  • Open the CaleCon concept to Caledon's related and friendly communities. Focus on anachronistic civility.
  • Either barnacle to, or move far away on the calendar from, SLCC.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Let's See If We Can Save Some Lives

Useful tidbits and the way they fell together.

Day One, SLCC: Attended a library services project information seminar on a new book delivery method using a web server. ALICE Library Project

Day Two, SLCC: Attended an American Cancer Society info seminar and heard they use a menu driven notecard giver.

Connected the dots and sent the contact info and the details I remember of the ALICE project to the ACS contact, with the believe the information delivery from ACS into special readers might beat the stuffing out of menu driven notecard givers for user friendliness and the ability to update info in a central location. No more stale notecards.

Stereo MCs moment: Gotta get yourself connected.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

So Rare This Sense of Camaraderie

I met a white lioness tonight.

There's an odd opening.

The white lions are said to be a sort of lion that taught men to hunt, and become a strong species. And when mankind is in trouble, they come again to rescue and teach us. The one who told me this is this white lioness, and had little inkling that Kamilah is a white mountain lion.

I make no claim to world changing powers. I did have some profound sobering cap to many other moments, discussing things like responsibility with Eva and Gabrielle over the weekend.

And of course, the topic of personal transformations. Like who Kamilah is.

Kamilah is the child's voice, who sees things she likes, and says so. Sees things she does not like, and says 'no'. She says, "Going to the dentist feels like vacation. Quit this job."

She's that core of person, that inner spark that makes life worth living. Fail to nourish her, and I fail to nourish myself. Ignore her and she will shut me down. She can be my engine or my anchor. She always knows which way to happiness and fulfillment. She sees the wounded and wants to heal them. She sees the oppressed and wants to defend them. And she wants peace and contentment.

She wants the damned world, really, in a benevolent overprotective mother sort of way.

She nearly drowned once, under a pile of other voices from the outside, the ones who tried to tell her what to like and not to say no, and not to have such an opinion on dentists and jobs.

But she's stronger now, and like Atlas lifted the lot of those outside voices, and tossed them defeated in a heap at her feet. Defeated, but not slain. For to disregard all others would be to destroy herself, to deny the need to heal the sick, and protect those in need of shelter.

Kamilah is my voice of direction. These others, advise, and provide meaning.

Never before have I felt such camaraderie.

The trick to the voices of others that we need for purpose and meaning, is to find our tribe.

Some fortunate ones are born in place. Others must go forth and seek it out. Most of us will change tribes throughout our lives as we change into new incarnations, and grow.

In this time, in this point in my path. Kamilah has found her tribe.

Good night, Caledon.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

High Quality Pins My ARSE

I'm going to have a bruise the size of Texas on my index finger tomorrow. One out of every three pins just wouldn't penetrate the fabric! Mind you, I've never worked with this quality of fabric before. Still, ow.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Big Job, Done

Done deal, the Mermaid releases are distributed. If I missed anyone, contact me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mermaid is Back

It's back, and it's here in Caledon Lionsgate.

Both gender sets, the gender parts can be mixed and matched, the difference is mainly the style of turn and the 'mood' of the animation sets.

An update feature is installed in the HUDs, but there's nothing to update yet. :)

Holders of the Relay For Life edition, I'll be manually passing out copies this weekend. Want one sooner? Contact me via IM in World. IMs should be delivered to my email.

Thank you for your support. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What Was and Is and Is To Come

Or what is Kamilah wearing?

I'm a rare one it seems, sticking with one avatar for close to three years. Sculpts appearing pretty much destroyed that. Damn you, Uchi Desmoulins for showing me that incredible white lioness avatar!

Anyhoo, the selection of puma avatars has always been terrible in Second Life, so I went for the longest time with a Luskwood White Lioness.

Earliest (good) picture I have is here.

I caught onto how to use the camera like a pro early on. Camera training, the foundation of SL enjoyment. The outfit is a mixmatch of various bits and pieces I'm not sure even exist anymore. It dates to December 7, 2005.

While not exactly my first dress on SL, it became a favourite for longtime. Silver Rose, Anna Karenina, with my lipstick prim, January 9, 2006:

The following genie outfit was my dissatisfaction with the state of bellydance wear in Second Life, it's undergone a few incarnations of its own, from cute to OMG. The tiara became my Viceregal tiara. Dated March 1, 2006.

And dated March 5, 2006:

And September 10, 2007:

And back to the gowns, I wore a Silver Rose Celia in Red or Green longtime too. Dated December 6, 2006:

This was done for an avatar around December 30, 2007. The hairstyle, had for much longer, and usually worn with a Solange Legacy in Red/Gold and a pair of particularly extreme boots by Dark Eden, the Nemesis. And several other DE accessories. Etain Peregrine is a doll. Shop her. Do it.

And my most current formal Viceregal attaire, Silver Rose Gloria Silver. Dated February 3, 2008:

I caught a friend (Kensuke Leviathan) of mine working on a sculpted panther head, and I went bonkers all over the place for it. So close, so close to puma. So we hammered away at the sculpt, it looks much nicer now, even over and above what I have here, dated about a month ago, photo by Virrginia Tombola:

That was short lived, and may be revisited, but holy damn if AnthroeXtacy hasn't thrown everything else out the window with this. Dated today, and in progress:

You served me well for a long time, Luskwood. It's time.