Wednesday, 30 May 2007


Computer crashes: 2 (bad); Emails received from Group Members: 4 (good); trips down waterslide: 2 (good).

Log into Gmail account and find 3 Group members have replied to IM. Am v. pleased, as 4th Group member (HD) had replied to RL email albeit somewhat cryptically, not surprisingly since HD still in limbo on Orientation Island and RL version of HD cannot access SL until techies come to connect new cool Mac Powerbook. Meeting with 2 members of group next week looks possibility. All getting rather serious.

Celebrate with trip to waterslide in Bedfordia, admire effect of new kimono wooshing into water, also pose beside Bird of Pardise flowers, v. colourful yet cool (see pic). Have spent longer than intended since one of the earlier computer crashes appears to have locked self out of University server where all files are stored. This means cannot finish urgent and important tasks before morrow, should benefit by claiming early night, but instead drawn into more procrastinating in SL.

Decide to visit Cybrary Island where had unfortunate grey lumpy naked avatar experience when meeting PB. All now normal as v. few people about. Visit UCD library, watch Sky News (same nonsense as on RL news), fill in questionnaire. Am asked when visit SL. Does not have option "Whenever require displacement activity to avoid difficult and boring tasks" (i.e. v. often), so click "ignore question". Also visit Special Libraries House, a little sparsely furnished. Find grander building and pose in armchair (see pic)

Monday, 28 May 2007


Items returned: 2 (bad). Notices created: 1 (good) Fans bought: 1 (good, eventually).

Receive emails:
1) "Your object 'AS Kimono Crane copy' has been returned to your inventory lost and found folder by Desideria Stockton from parcel 'Eduisland II' at Eduisland II 156.437, 197.137 due to parcel owner return."
2) "Your object 'Object' has been returned to your inventory lost and found folder by Jeremy Kabumpo from parcel 'SJSU's School of Library & Information Sciences' at SJSU SLIS 106.139, 122.063 due to parcel owner return"

Worrying. Did not even think had dropped objects. Is there hole in my inventory? And what is object "Object"? Opens up disturbing philosophical debate, platonic ideal of Objectness. Or perhaps it is the One Object that joins them all and in the darkness binds them. Think am suffering from object overload, so boot into SL to make sure kimonos are all present and correct.

Hurrah, kimonos still in inventory. Celebrate by buying matching fan. Have to visit 3 locations before can unpack it. Baffling. Waste 40 mins taking photos, inc. rebooting twice after crashes (see pic, have swapped usual Bunny Hat for headband so fan can be seen to full advantage beneath cherry blossom). Work out that object "Object" may be result of half-hearted attempt to Create. Got as far as seeing strange multicoloured grid and paniced. Memo to self: be more careful where attempt Creation.
Check groups. Decide to send Notice to Group, namely "Hi! There are now a few members of the Information Literacy Group. Would it be possible to have a meeting sometime in SL? Is there a good time of day, for example on the 6th or 7th of June? Please specifiy which RL time zone you are in. You can email me at" Hope this is not too forward, as not really sure what function of Notices is. Perhaps would be better setting up group for Kimono and Cat lovers.

People start Grouping

Upgrades of SL: 1 (bad); People joining Group: 3 (good! I think); Calories consumed in SL: 0 (good); Calories consumed in RL over holiday period: More than care to mention (v. bad)

Am away for only 4 days and return to find that SL already has another upgrade, namely 1.16.0(6). Evidently in intervening 4 days have missed upgrades 1.16.0(2) - 1.16.0(5), frankly just as well. If had normal PC at work (where would have no Admin rights) rather than docked laptop (where can download what rubbish I like*) would spend more time asking technical support to upgrade SL than would spend in SL.

Check Information Literacy Group and find 3 unknown people have joined it. Cripes! Immediately feel responsibility as Group Owner to start organising virtual events. Perhaps a picnic in Bedfordia could be a start.

PHOTO: I hover above a pet shop. When I have somewhere to keep it I will get a cat.

* Rubbish which is within the University's Acceptable Use Guidelines, I hasten to add.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

A meeting in SL

Updates to SL: 1 (worrying); Conversations: 2 (good)

Obliged to download new version of SL interface (v. 1.16.0) Appear to have new version about once every couple of weeks, which won't suit university computing people I fear. New version has many exciting improvement e.g
- Improved muting of particle systems
- No-copy objects that fail to rez now reappear in inventory
- Sculpted Prims
Sculpted prims sound v. alarming. Obviously still have v. large amount to learn about SL. However feel superior as spot typo in information panel, vis
- "Fixed sitting avatar standing up when close are dragged onto the avatar"
think "close" should read "clothes". Does not compensate for vast sea of ignorance revealed, though.

Go in world to discover AF and MB (my Friends) are both online. Have felt bit guilty that after anxiety about AF friendship offer made no attempt to contact AF once Friendship Accepted. Can remedy this now!

[15 minutes later] Exciting times. AF whizzed over to Secret Cave on Eduserv Island and had conversation (see pic). AF agreed can probably launch new RL Research centre on Island, v. cool. Reminded me about educators' conference in/on SL tomorrow which alas will miss as on RL holiday. Also complimented on new kimono, as did RL friend via RL blog (this gets complicated) Bonus was that while waiting for AF to fly over did quick IM session with MB. Was able to tell him that RL friend (now HD in SL) had admired Bedfordia.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

New friend, new kimono

RL friends registered with SL: 1 (hurrah); Members added to Group: 1 (hurrah again); New kimonos bought: 1 (nice); Emails received: 1 (good)

New avatar registration opened again, so RL friend signed up as HD. Immediately tried to make HD member of "Information Literacy Group." Discovered that I had failed to Open Access to "Information Literacy Group" so no-one could have signed up even if wanted to. Oops. Logged off HD, logged on self, opened up Group to members, logged off self, logged on HD and signed up to Group. Result! At some point will let HD control own life, obviously.

Meanwhile discover that Sheila Yoshikawa (me) has received email, via email address listed in profile for this blog. Email says "Just had to send my first ever email to a second life person. Wondering which is the year of the pig". Replied that this is year of pig (i.e. my birth year as Sheila Yoshikawa). Looking up Wikipedia, note that "The Pig type is usually an honest, straightforward and patient person. They are a modest, shy character who prefers to work quietly behind the scenes." Hmmm.

Have bought new kimono. Photo shows me being modest and shy above San Jose Sate University campus.

Monday, 21 May 2007

A backward step

Groups disbanded in SL: 1 (bad); Groups created in SL: 1 (sigh); Friends attempting to create SL character: 1; Friends successful in creating SL character: 0 (bad)

Minor crisis. After rereading end of last post where was comparing lively SL to dull RL, decided needed a bit of rest from SL for sake of RL sanity. However yesterday received RL email to say that SL group "Information Literacy" would be disbanded for lack of 2nd group member if did not rectify situation by today.

Panic! Had not realised needed more than one member to make Group, though now seems trifle obvious (No Man Is An Island etc.) Tried to reruit RL infolit friend as new SL avatar today, but plan thwarted as "Due to Technical Reasons SL Registration is Currently Offline." Frustration! Presume picture of monkeys swinging clubs with tagline "Registration is down while we bang on things" supposed to make avatar-wanabees smile indulgently, but frankly does not wash with me since in meantime "Information Literacy" group automatically disbanded by SL.

Enter SL, try to create "Information Literacy" group anew. Told cannot do this as there is already group of that name. NO THERE ISN'T YOU DISBANDED IT. Double check group lists etc. etc. but, no, "Information Literacy" not there. Thus have to recreate group under subtly different name "Information Literacy Group". If anyone wants to join this will be v. grateful, otherwise hope to get RL friend an avatar before time is up again.

On positive note have RL friend sit by me as Sheila Yoshikawa (me) did a quick tour of favourite places (Bedfordia, waterslide, I do like that, and disco, see pic.s) and unfavourite (Uni of Herfordshire - still spooooky) to show what it is like.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Pleasant encounter

Meetings in SL: 2 (good); SL Discos experienced: 1 (good, sort of); Cool designers encountered: 1.

At 1pm meet MB in Bedfordia. Bit awkward to start with. Chat comes up on screen, so does it matter if aren't facing companion? Sort of feels odd if don't. Flew to beach. Discovered that following-flying-person-skills need improvement, at times spinning round in sky thinking "where is he".

Lounge on beach in cool chairs. Learnt that place built by Dutch woman, YG. YG "in world" so flew off to her house v. nice beach views and greenery (see pic.). Also joined by WDP. Pleasant chat, feel more relaxed, hey these are nice people and we are all SO COOL, esp. YG. Have to get used to out of synch dialogue. By time have replied to comment A, someone has already made comment B. One trick seems to be to do several short chats, not great long sentences.

WDP shows me more places including disco. Get there by transporter. Coolness seriously impaired by inability to operate same.
WDP ":if you right click on the transporter"
WDP ":when it says sit, wait a mo and it'll send you"
WDP":it's a bit troublesome :)"
Me ": um I'm sitting ;-))"

WDP obviously being kind, but we get there in end. Dance in disco (forgot to take photo, curses). Say goodbye to WDP as Friend PB is IN WORLD and I transport off to the Cybrary.

Have not taken pic of cybrary as when arrived basically all people except self looked naked i.e. lumpy and grey with no clothes. Assumed not in etiquette to take photo of inadvertently naked avatars. Must be glitch, apparently I looked naked and grey to others except for blue hair. Bit of random chat with PB then off to RL meeting in RL. In RL meeting no beach, no palm tress, no disco, no naked avatars. Hmmm, bit dull really.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

My favourite university so far

Items marked in RL: 8 (good); Hours spent in SL: 1 (fairly good); Waterslides experienced: 1 (good); All good! a first.

Travelled to Bedfordia (University of Bedford) as per RL email of MB. Decided that prefer University of Bedford to University of Hertfordshire as latter looked just like a late 20th century university building with no people in it, and former has palm trees, sun logia, swimming pool and waterslide. No contest, frankly. Only point of criticism was possible overuse of decking.

PB has accepted friendship and possible meeting in SL may follow tomorrow. Think will need good night's sleep to cope with excitement of meeting up with person from RL. Pondered today how have gone into SL and immediately seem to be recreating 1st life. Not sure whether this is good thing.
PHOTOS: the delights of Bedfordia.

And I'm only 13 days old

Hours spent talking about SL: 1; RL people given tour of SL: 1; No. of items marked in RL: 2 (could do a lot better)

Is getting to point where SL taking up more time than 1st one. At lunch consuming mediocre sausage & mash in uni pub answering Qs on SL on basis of 13 days experience. So evidently like dog years, but instead of one human year = 7 dog years, it's one SL day= one RL year.
Have asked cool person PB to be my friend in SL. PB has same name in SL as RL. Did he bribe Linden Labs to get this? Must ask, if friendship accepted. Have also been emailed by complete stranger, MB, who was at same RL symposium as me last week. MB has suggested meeting in SL.
Gosh, my social life is really taking off. Down side is that RL inbox clogged up with RL people concerned that I haven't answered their emails.
PHOTO: Me chilling during the SJSU opening. There was a ball labeled "Chill" that you clicked on.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007


Opening ceremonies attended: 1. Friendships offered: 1 (to person from RL: good). Reminders of ghastly situations in youth when seemed social outcast of party: 1. (bad)

Attended opening ceremony of San Jose State University SLIS campus. Spartan Writer said, cutting ribbon (see pic 1) "We are San Jose SLIS--moving to the edge and experimenting". Then off to the drinks tent.

All v. nice people but everyone else evidently best chums, so one of those events where end up sidling furtively round room and then talking to cat (see pic 2). After was run over by flying carpet (conversation in passing "We are building options and opportunity--not mandatory programs") decided to call it day.

I visit 2 universities

Universities visited: 2 (or 3 if count one I am in); Hours spent in SL: 2 and a half (v. bad); Items marked in RL: 1 (v.v. bad); Dances performed in SL: 1 (v. odd)
5 hours downtime in SL but finally teleported in and it seems that did not have to wait til 2am for San Jose State University opening. Lurked at edge of crowd. As bad as networking at conferences in RL, except do not usually have sign
B5 Fan
Sheila Yoshikawa

floating over head. Joined B5 fan and UK Educators groups, plus obviously belong to Information Literacy group, but SL only wants to display B5 fan. So am branded as sci-fi nerd. Perhaps is alphabetical order (in which case should have called my group *!*Information Literacy to get it to top of display) perhaps creators of SL are Babylon 5 fans too.

Everyone is v. quiet with occasional Chats from someone called "Sloodle admin" and eventually grasp that everyone else is watching some sort of transmission on big screen which I can't see as have no Quicktime. Find Quicktime on web and try to install. Success. See transmission but pretty dull as you can see from first pic. Apparently lucky to get onto Island as dull Sloodle vid v. popular and some avatars in "Stack heap collision", perhaps like M25.

Is then call for SJSU library grad students to become guides in SL. They get credits for this. Sounds rather dossy to me and not matching the rigours of the UK credit system (ahem). Someone says there are 1800 students in the faculty. Did not think that many library students in the world. Anyway all interesting stuff, but not quite as radical as expected, or perhaps just disappointed ego because people don't go, wow you're from the UK, it must be v. late where you are.

Try dance animation and eventually find out how to stop. Hear that there are fireworks and free drinks at 2am, so perhaps worth going back.

Teleport to Hertfordhire Uni. Had heard about campus via discussion list in RL. Campus deserted, bit spooky frankly, but take pic (see right) and leave message on pin board saying "Hi from Sheila Yoshikawa". SL is increasing my communication skills no end.


Earlier in the evening I explored a sound sculpture by Daruma Picnic. Here I am, exploring it. It was pretty much how it looked.

I have a friend

Friendships accepted: 1 (good) Items marked in RL: 2. Items marked in RL and mistakenly put in waste basket at home: 1 (bad)

AF has accepted friendship! Received email from SL this morning. Not sure about next move. In fact don't really need new friends since old friends in RL seem to spend all their time complaining I don't contact them. Obvious danger of being dysfunctional in 2 worlds in friends department.

Big decision today is whether to attend opening reception for San Jose University campus, site of unfortunate Lost Textures incident. Big minus is that it starts 6pm SL time which is 2am here. Plus factor would be showing off new kimono, and getting free virtual drinks. Biggest plus of all is ability to teleport away from dull conversations, unlike RL . Way in which people's names hover over their heads in SL also enormous advantage. Having people's names hover them in RL at conferences would be a Lesson Learned from SL IMHO.
PHOTO: An old one of me on Info Island.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Shopping in SL

Kimono bought:1. Group set up: 1. Calories in SL: still 0! (v. good) Marking done in RL: 0 (v.v. bad)

Since AF still myteriously silent decided to TAKE ACTION and make mark in SL. Searched Groups for Information Literacy. Not there! See immediate Yoshikawa branding opportunity & try to set one up. Requires 100 Linden dollars, so quick treck to SL website and a mere 10 mins later have given all credit card details to SL computer which will doubtless squoosh them up and transmit to all dodgy businesses in metaverse.

However means I can pay the 100 Linden dollars (about 20p) for group. Hurrah! Will simply sit back and wait for hoards of people to join it. In meantime need to use up remaining 900 Linden dollars and go on shopping spree. Search SILK and decide this not right word unless want to make different kind of new friend.

End up buying kimono: curious business in that appear to purchase entire hoarding. Zoom away swiftly from shop as couple behind me appear not interested in kimono. Gosh, either people seem not at all friendly, or rather too. Unpack kimono, wear, admire self, take photo (see above). This could be addictive. And so cheap!

Pointless journey

Conversations: 0. Hours wasted in SL: 1 (bad, it's only 4 0'clock) Calories consumed in SL: 0 (v.good)

Teleported over to SJ island and after mindless flying around tracked down the JK who returned the texture. Said "Hi", and "Jeremy, thank you for returning the texture." However just got vaguing swaying in response. Perhaps has gone for comfort break? Think if logged off it says AWAY. Obviously need some other signs too. Or perhaps JK really does have vendetta against texture litterers.

Offered friendship to AF. No reply yet.

PICTURE: Pointless flying. Whoosh.

Texture blunder

Items returned: 1. Embarrassment factor: 3 (bad).

Was sent following email in RL "Your object 'Sloodle Texture' has been returned to your inventory lost and found folder by JK from parcel 'Sloodle HQ' due to parcel owner return". Must be one of the boxes I messed around with yesterday. Suppose this is like advanced litter louting and JK equivalent of tidy police picking up discarded takeaway.

However, seems that making mistakes could be way of making conversation as yesterday much hilarity resulted from mouseview situation and today can apologise to JK and strike up amusing conversation. Or it could be that JK is always picking up and returning textures and is thus sick to death of it and not amused.

Seem to remember Sloodle textures actually pretty gross so perhaps was Freuduan slip as well as lack of skill. Oh well.

Decide to offer friendship to AF as nothing ventured etc.

A new day a new blog

Boxes messed with: 8. Boxes opened successfully: none. (bad) Forced exits: 2. (bad) Hours spent in SL: 2 and a half (v.bad). Conversations: 1 (good).

Have decided to justify time spent in Second life by wasting more time on useless blog. Yesterday was fourth time in SL. Have not yet Edited Appearance as graphics card still not up to task, and blue screen of death results from any attempts.

Thus am still bog standard Harajku Female, except managed to create and wear white skirt and also removed bunny hat, but then decided I rather liked it and put it back on. Disturbing thing is that I have grown rather fond of appearance and now am taking photos obsessively from different angle. Bit weird that can take photo looking up own skirt.

Yesterday spent flying round playing with objects that don't know what to do with. Voted for Collections (?) in a library school quiz, then tried to open various boxes unsuccessfully but what was in them looked v.v. dull so don't know why bothered.

Most interesting point was encounter with avatar AF on Eduserv Island, where AF threw some boxes at me and I got trapped in mouseover view, unable to do anything but bounce around at whim of mouse & type in dialogue. Ended with AF offering friendship but unable to respond because of said mouse problem. Etiquette question: is it OK to offer HIM friendship once I get back into SL or would that be seen as unduly calculated. Hmmmm.
PICTURE: sunset on Eduserv Island.

The blog of Sheila Yoshikawa on her adventures in Second Life. This may be very thrilling. Or possibly not.