Saturday, December 31, 2011

One life, too many unfocused changes on the new SL viewers

I have not been blogging lately because I have not been spending much time in SL.  But that is because of SL.  I have met a wonderful RL man, and I met him in SL.  We were neighbors in New Orleans.  These days, we are planning a RL trip to NOLA together for April.  So, there is another love story for the books.

On a less personal note, I started a wish list for things I'd like to see as part of an SL viewer or user experience.  I'm realizing that most of my wishes are those of a shopper/ heavy inventory user, but all the more reason for me to say them out loud somewhere.

In fact, this points out my biggest complaint about the changes being done in viewers in the name of Noobie User X: that there IS such a thing.  In reality, I am finding that Noobie User X is really GamerSam or RelationshipSeekingMary.  There are many different kinds of people trying SL for the first or second time, and they are coming to SL with many different kinds of expectations (rightfully, as we all know, SL is whatever we make it).

So in my mind, these viewers should not be "noob based," but rather use-based.  If you want to game, you DL a viewer with a built-in combat HUD and a list of current combat Destination places in the LM folder.  Combat sims could make Noob packs of materials available (as many do) at their landing site, and designers who make combat gear could add it to the Inventory folder of their group (another need, but I am getting ahead of myself).

Now I don't mind the idea of downloadable patches for a basic viewer.  I mean, it was no big deal for me to open the advanced menus in the new viewer, and it's no big deal for me to answer a question in a Builder's Brewery chat about how to do that, once someone is ready to.  But it would also help those of us who are already inworld to deal better with these new residents if we could tell that they were coming to us on Viewer GameBoy or Viewer LoveLine or some such.

So my particular needs at this time are all about inventory.  If we're thinking out loud about what kinds of things an inventory hound would need, what has already been suggested?   Now I must go on a research mission to see if my cousin, Rowan Derryth, writing over at Prim Perfect, has talked about this already, or if anyone else has.

Oh, and Happy New Year, and Happy Birthday to my Wonderful Real-Life Love.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Orleans sadness in Blue Mars

I did this and planned this post way back at the first of November.  Bear with me now as we return to yesteryear for this previously unpublished post, already in progress.

I'm extremely sad because I found out that the most wonderful place to stay in New Orleans EVER, the Canal Street Guest House (, has been demolished due to the expansion of LSU and UMC.  They suspected it was coming for a long time now, but at times there seemed to be hope that the expansion would happen into a different direction.

Using Botgirl Questi's Google Maps Street View and Blue Mars Lite trick (see sidebar video), I decided to try to visit Mr. Sam and Ms. Kathey one last time at the old Guest House.

First, I downloaded Blue Mars Lite.

Then I went to Google Maps street view to find 1930 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA  70112.  This is the address of the beloved Canal Street Guesthouse where my non-pixel body slept when in NOLA.
I chose the link button so that it gave me the direct link to this image; I copied that.

I launched Blue Mars and created a new chat room using the link from Google Maps street view.
Voila!  I am there again, at least in spirit!
Hey buddy!  How is it going?
The water from Katrina came up almost exactly as high as my head.  :(
I run down to get chicken biscuits at the Canal Street Ideal station.  Mmmm.
Honey biscuits made fresh all day.  Do they still do this?
Stand on the outside of the tracks to ride the streetcar, so I learned in this spot!  :)

I invited my landlords, Amanda Dallin and Sandrine Vanbeeck, who run the very excellent New Orleans City sim in Second Life (more about), to run around with me in the Blue Mars one. 

Our default female avis take over New Orleans.
The dance studio.  Ms. Kathey, are you here?
A long run down to the river and to Cafe du Monde, but it's worth it.
After Amanda and Sandrine left, I decided to go check out Paris.
People seem nice as we cross the road together.  :)

yay, Blue Mars and Botgirl for helping me find a new way to love an old place.  At least until they update the street view pictures.  I sure wish there were a way to archive the area as a build.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Kowloon iSL: it's easily the best long-term build I've seen that I can't support by renting there!   The sim is Chinese-language only to live or rent a shop there, and that makes it the closest thing to a RL Chinatown that I can imagine.

Based on an old PlayStation videogame that apparently had no U.S. release, Kowloon's Gate, the sim is a labyrinth of alleyways, shops, neon signs, and beautifully crafted surprises around every corner.

Visit there, shop there, RP (without weapons) there, and ideally, dress more appropriately than my created-thanks-to-Rudi surfer-girl avi is dressed.

Great shops, beautiful artistry

The feeling is like being in a mostly deserted San Fran or NY Chinatown

Where are the almond cookies?  Anyone see a bakery?

When is the dragon parade?   Yikes, I'm sucha tourist.

A less sinister feeling than Midian City to me, but that's not for lack of dark alleyways.

The gate: open due to a resident having recently arrived.

Interesting sign for a shooter-videogame-based sim.

Mmmm the sweet smells of an incense shop.  Great for my Dia de los Muertos alter in NOLA next year.
Artful builds within builds.  On the left is the original notecard; on the right is a Google translation of the text.

Links to more about Kowloon

Monday, October 31, 2011

Escapades adventure

Until November 6th, Escapades Island is hosting a quest to rescue a puppy.
A chainsaw HUD is involved.
We didn't make it that far, but we had some fun on the way.

I dare Robot L to sit with me on a spinning pumpkin and go into mouselook.

I don't for a minute believe he did it.

He *did* get himself into trouble in the junkyard,
like they used to tell us kids not to do,
by climbing into an old fridge!
Aren't they supposed to take the doors off these things now???

A wild ride later and we finally get him out!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"The Path"

L and I have been talking about getting to this art show,
and we finally found the time to make it happen today. 

This is "The Path," a show curated by Bryn Oh for the new LEA project.
Politically support it or curse it, it's giving some of my favorite artists a few prims and
a little recognition (VERY little: where's the Linden love again?).

My heart goes out to Miso who has not been feeling well lately;
she remains my favorite artist working in SL.
But "The Path" allowed us to see new work from Bryn, Scottius Polke, and Rose Borchovski,
and introduced me to some other folks as well.

Read a great account of the show here at Prim Perfect by Rowan Derryth (my kin folk! :)

Colin Fizgig as usual creates NPiRL mind/body confusions.

Maya Paris added animations to make spiders even more fun than they normally are.

Rose's work rarely makes me feel on the edge of the world.  On edge, yes, edgy, yes.

I loved playing with L in these crazy falling animations in Rose Borchovski's contribution.

Gorgeous gorgeous show.  Great narrative and solid experience.

"Host Tricia Aferdita takes us to "The Path", a collaboative art installation organized by Bryn Oh and the Linden Endowment for the Arts. We meet artists Colin Fizgig, Marcus Inkpen, Douglas Story & Rose Borchovski; four of the nine artists involved in the narrative."