Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Talk, wine

No. of talks about SL given: 1 (g00d); No. of minutes spent trying to access SL unsuccessfully during talk: 20 (v. bad); No. of bottles of wine consumed by audience during said period: several (v. good)
Have discovered secret of successful SL presentation, namely alcohol consumption by audience. Yesterday gave talk about SL for Commercial Legal & Scientific information group of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. Venue was smart lawyers office in central London. Powerpoint presentation went well except that laptop battery gave out towards end, resulting in blank screen, and after battery replaced attempts to access SL resulted in endless display of "SL may appear frozen" screen i.e. nothing was happening.
Whilst technicians were contacted etc. etc (not my laptop) audience took opportunity to consume wine and nibbles, and it is perhaps this fact that led to the jollity when did eventually get into SL and was able to display shop, island and also new friend Kitty (see pic) who happened to be inworld. At any rate was much exclaiming & happy questions and no-one saying "creepy" so perhaps will take along cases of wine to all future presentations.

Monday, 28 January 2008

I am on the feeds

No. of blog feeds I am added to: 2 (v. good); No. of hours wasted crafting entry for fashion blog: 2 (bad)

New feeds for Fashion and Life have been created. Have been wondering in aimless fashion how to get onto main SL fashion blog feed, so signed up with new feeds asap. Was v. excited to find yesterday that Dimitrova's blog had been added to fashion stream ( so immediately spent considerable time selecting outfit, posing, photoshopping, checking clothing details etc etc. all of which time should have been spent marking, writing peer reviewed papers, collecting data for annual review of learning and teaching and so forth.
Have now added Yoshikawa blog to lifestyle feed ( so suppose this will be first post to show up there. First pic shows screenshot of Dimitrova's blog in fashion feed, yay.
Am now determined to spend today doing proper work. However:
a) am actually giving RL talk in London tomorrow about "uses of SL", so every excuse to dip into SL;
b) have meeting with Maggie and Ishbel this pm in SL about our SL workshop at a RL conf. in March and
c) this evening is the regular educator's meeting in the Black Library (Hyperboria) - how could I miss that. (answer= easily)
Hmm. 2nd pic shows me and Ishbel in a pre-meeting last night i.e. she IMed me "are you busy" and I said "No".

Thursday, 24 January 2008

More hobbiting

Novelty bobbin seating sets bought: 1 (good); Cute postbox with seating animation bought: 1 (cute); Provision jars bought: 3 (good); Rustic seat bought: 1 (good); Terracotta pots bought: 2 (good); Standard lamp bought: 1 (good); Red squirrels bought: 1 (v.v. good); Carrots bought: 2 (good); Rabbits bought: 1 (a little weird, actually).

Have made further embellishments to cute hobbit home, encouraged by interest of North Lamar (who sent me 1st pic shown here, of himself outside same, cool or what) and Peregrine, of whom more when I write up more serious meeting that attended yesterday.

2nd pic shows house at dusk so cannot see all detail of new installations, namely a couple of artful pots with flowers in, the rustic seat for contemplating horizon and postbox arrangement on one of the walls. Can Sit on post, and am shown doing so in 3rd pic.

When sifting through inventory for suitable furniture discovered unused set comprising table in form of bobbin with 6 seats in form of cotton reels, some with pins sticking out to form back of chair. On grounds that if start with Hobbit house then there are few upper limits to cuteness, set out these half dozen stools/ reels and then bought some more so that could use it as fully fledged discussion area (can just be seen behind North in 1st photo). Also bought jars and lamp as decoration and installed Christmas Gluhwein barrel and tea, as appropriate Hobbity beverages.

Hobbit House is near Magic Apple Tree which unfortunately has lost some of its magic since what used to be a seat at the base of the trunk on which one could picturesquely recline appears to have been eaten by tree. Now if one Sits one is aborbed into tree with only feet sticking out. This is what comes of sculpted prims. Animated Squirrel, though, retains charm and after gazing fondly upon its scurrying and chirping for a while decided 2 squirrels are even cuter than one so bought Red squirrel to join Grey one, but at opposite sides of tree as we all know how grey squirrels deal with red in RL (i.e. beat them up and let them starve).

When buying red squirrel in Second Wildlife (advert) also fell to temptation of Rabbit, in fact initially lured in by 15 Linden carrots which one leaves lying around for Rabbits and are meant to encourage them to hop about in lively fashion. However rabbit appears only too lively and frankly rather malformed. Is shown in final pic as blob in foreground, next to carrot. Have put rabbit on hillside behind Hobbit home where sort of blends into landscape, it seemed the best thing.


Leather trousers purchased: 1 pair (good); No. of time term "leather trousers" used in this post: 4 (or 5 including this one)
This post prompted by way in which found self describing clothes worn yesterday, namely "leather trousers". Suddenly realised that am so much beyond idea of avatar clothes as mere prims and pixels that in case of this garment actually went searching for "leather trousers" (specifically, searching blog of fashionista Michami with said terms) and after purchase felt satisfied that was now in possession of "leather trousers".

Is common for designers to launch new line in terms such as following "This classic gown has a full skirt of finest moire silk, speckled with glittering sequins, and a generous ruffle at the hem, the bodice is in toning silk velvet with chiffon garlanding the neckline and the deep sleeves are also ruffled with delicate lace."

On reading this, response would tend to be "Whoa, way too many ruffles!" or "Why isn't she doing this with a scripted skirt" or "I want it! Now!" rather than, say, "Silk? Velvet? Chiffon? What is this, it's all pixels!".

Is this wrong? (Discuss)

Am here depicted (in Fleur sim) wearing shimmering raw silk skirt with delicate golden coins sewn into the hemline. This is complemented by a lycra and silk-cotton top, and a necklace crafted from gold and a real peacock feather. Yay.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008


Hobbit holes bought at great expense: 1 (good); Pieces of crunchy snow deleted: 15 (good); Christmas mansions deleted: 1 (good); Snow emitter Taken to inventory: 1 (good) (etc.)

Cleared snowy forum of snow, trees, Christmas mansion, assorted chairs, Christmas lights etc. etc. However have left snow in Texture on uplands and some wintery trees round the water garden.
All this prim-clearing however offset by grand splurge on new house, namely The Hobbiton, which had seen advertised (oddly) via the SL fashion blog aggregator. This is Hobbiton as resided in by Hobbits: basically only has one room so obviously not v. grand hobbits, but opens up all sorts of role playing possibilities: Gandalf, Frodo, Mount Doom etc etc.
Teleported earlier to demo house in evening and decided that was v. cute, but at 2000 Linden a little expensive and does the island need another residence? (answer = no)
However, later on North Lamar dropped by for pleasant chat, and when mentioned Hobbiton he suggested we go and look at it. Fortunately or not North agreed about cuteness which was excuse enough to click BUY and whisk it home to install it.
First pic shows me and North looking at demo house. 2nd pic shows Hobbiton on Infolit iSchool nestling cutely between the Fairy Bridge and the Water Garden.
P.S. For those of you concerned about the animated squirrel it is now back under the magic apple tree nearby.

Friday, 18 January 2008


Discussion chat sessions edited and mounted online: 2 (good); Chat sessions to be edited: 1 (bad); No. of blog posting written about immersion: 0 (bad)

Today hosted discussion session in Sakura House, with Maggie Kohime (shown here) leading discussion. Topic was assessment for information literacy so have blogged about it here
and full chat transcript is at Is always relief when someone else is leading discussion so I could concentrate in helping people catch up if they arrived late etc. though in fact you will see from transcript that I ended up saying rather a lot too.
Discussion was held in Sakura House (see 2nd pic) which had previously purged of Mitsies (the cat), having discovered that not only was she falling in puddles but also had been crawling under house and getting stuck. Was alerted to this when had removed her from office prior to meeting but still heard meaow and finally discovered two wedged Mitsies underneath the floor. Considering she was bought for cuteness she is being a suprising source of Spooky.

Another achievement was finally mounting chat log (+ poster with updated notecard etc.) on Ishbel's talk about ideas from the online 2008 conference. This was the discussion that was postponed because first time round there was No Second Life and it was rescheduled to 17 December (see 3rd pic). That chat is here and there is an entry on the information literacy blog about it at

However still leaves North Lamar's excellent session to write up, and all my Immersive Experiences, including the SL part. All can say is Argh, must do better.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Flaunting purchases

Wedding dresses flounced about in SL: 1 (good); New hair bought: 1 (good); Handbags bought in SL: 2 (bad)

This post is merely to show off arty pics of some of yesterday's purchases, namely one of the wedding dresses and the Ginny jacket.

Back view of wedding dress shows graceful train: am wearing the Magika Poufy hair, which is more elegant than name implies. This is in my new home (yet another one) which am preparing before selling up old land, since even I realise must consolidate purchases.

The other pic shows the Ginny jacket, worn with some new hair from Armidi, whence also came one of the new handbags. Had resisted bags up til now except for things like cute free ones in shape of fluffy kittens. Well, except for that briefcase, and the blue clutch bag, and .... at any rate have far fewer bags than do dresses. Problem with bags is that they disappear into one as soon as one sits down or otherwise animate oneself. Also are utterly pointless, but then what is point of new jacket or indeed clothes at all in SL. For who do see a point the necklace is from Yummy and the dress from Nyte'n'Day and am in Creators Pavilion sim which has Japanese shops and flats.

They're having a sale

Unsuccessful attempts to teleport to Dazzle sim: 15 (bad); Successful tp to Dazzle: 1 (good); No. of outfits bought at Last Call sale in Dazzle: 10 (good, or bad, depending how you look on it)
Is closing down sale at Last Call, based on Dazzle sim, all v. sad as one of the RL people behind Last Call died in RL, however up side for consumers was everything in shop going for $L100. Whenever looked at Map of Dazzle could see green dots (=avatars) piled high in that and surrounding sim, and attempts to teleport ended with long silence followed by sad pinging sound indicating failure.
However eventually got into next door sim and pressed or rather oozed towards road separating it from Dazzle. Have been numerous fashion blog posts elsewhere advising people to take off all additional prims to reduce laginess, so had removed skirt, hair and animation override. I am bald purple avatar in these pics, which show generally lumpy grey nature of laggy world in Dazzle and neighbourhood.

Were red No Entry signs (which you cannot see in photo) along road, but know from experience that red lines do not go all the way up (thought most people knew this, but evidently not) so flew upwards until reached top and then over onto roof of Last Call shop. Hurrah. Was not sure how would then get INTO shop but in fact as was moving at tortuously slow place across roof somehow fell in.

Then was a matter of moving camera around, waiting for things to rez into visibility and then deciding whether or not this was the item I would forever regret not snapping up now. Of course as in RL when have made so much effort is strong temptation to see all items as essential and desirable which is how I ended up with lots more skirts, tops and glitch pants, not to mention 2 complete wedding gowns. If called upon suddenly to wed in SL will not be short of appropriate garb as already had about 3.

Once had collected booty went home and started trying them on and the rest of the pics show some of the outfits. Ah, vanity.
Title of this blog entry is reference to one of my favourite adverts ever, which saw in Australia. Cast consisted of First Man and John, who I think were RL salespeople.
First Man (entering cheap office set) "We're having a sale, John!"
John: (looking up, bemused) "Why?"
First Man (triumphantly) "Why not!!"
There followed alot of shouting about the wonderful bargains on offer - possibly lounge furniture.

Written down like that can see why it would not appear immediately enthralling but was one of those adverts that is so awful that you find yourself lingering around to see if it will come up again during the break. Or perhaps you never do that.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Home again

Cats rescued: 1 (several times)

Am back after immersion and please to be back in my own bed. Am seen on right sunk in unconsciousness. Didn't get much access to the web whilst away. In fact started blog entry on (un-networked) computer after first day, and will put that up next.
Meanwhile, Mitsy the cat appears to still have fatal attraction for water.

Dimitrova noticed that Mitsy was trapped in a puddle at the front of Sakura House, paddling folornly, so hastened over to rescue her.
Mitsy was v. pleased to see me. Kept her under observation for a while and emerges that sometimes she wanders over to the stairwell and tumbles down to floor below, then circles around and around until falls out of house and onto ground whence she is unable to return.
Then is just a matter of mewling piteously getting nearer and nearer to sea (obviously Took her before she did this and repositioned her upstairs, at which she purred; bless.)

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Research in SL

Meetings held in SL: 1 (good)

Latest meeting organised in SL (today) was on Samples and sampling in Second Life research. The transcript of the session is at Oshun Akina had suggested the topic at the last meeting on research that we had, and she led the discussion. It is a pic of her at the start of this post. I produced the notecard and did practical things like trying to teleport in people who wanted to come along (and, generally, failed in this task, I blame Linden Labs).

I thought the discussion was interesting with useful points made, though as usual as many questions as answers. People were able to contribute some experience, including someone who's been carrying out commercial research. There is always a lot of discussion about the extent to which RL and SL are/have to be linked: identity and so forth.

After the discussion some people stayed on and we chatted on about avatar identity etc etc. Poot also showed us a range of her avatars which was entertaining. Makes me feel rather unambitious in that stick with one shape/skin. In fact need to find out how to save shape as is my own customisation and have horrible feeling would have to start from scratch if by mistake I Wore another one.

Realise that haven't yet put up info on the LAST 2 discussions (held just before Christmas). Oh horror. Will catch up when come back from being Immersed.


Conferences on immersive experiences to be attended: 1 (good, I hope); Stories written about immersive experience: 1 (OK); Sudden requests to facilitate SL/RL discussions: 1 (sudden)

Last year was given opportunity to sign up for RL conf on immersive learning experiences, immediately said yes please and then sort of forgot about it. Now conf is tomorrow and over last week have been learning more about it. Think had vaguely assumed conf would be packed with other immersive world enthusiasts and could thus indulge need to twitter endlessly about SL. However turns out immersive experiences can be practically anything.

All delegates asked to write Story About Immersive Experience, using Structured Headings. First reaction was somewhat negative in that feel that if going to write story then want to make up own headings. However then thought of using pics, and immediately this became a Project and so here is my story My Second Life on the immersive experience wiki:

After putting this on wiki on Sunday was approached to host discussion on immersive learning in virtual worlds at conf on Thursday morning. Things then snowballed and am now probably hosting SL/RL session at 10am on Thurs (will confess that sort of refused to do anything at 8am when would be insensible even if awake), so after tidying up after today's discussion in SL (see next post) will need to set up for this. Probably foolish, but who could refuse opp to ensure access to SL whilst at a conference (answer: practically anyone ;-((

Conference includes dinner with integrated immersive exercise. Hope this will involve immersion in experience of fine dining rather than pretending to be trees in forest of life.

The first pic portays me immersed in one of the underwater doughnuts on Infolit iSchool with Leroy the fish. The second pic shows me semi-immersed in the bath in my Tang costume. The third pic show me immersed in experience of posing and preening in SL.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Spending spree

Pianos bought: 1 (good); Carpets bought: 2 (good); Morrocan lamps bought: 2 (good); Small palaces bought and converted to charming woodland folly: 1 (v. good); Callie Cline bean chairs bought: 4 (good); Callie Cline chairs lost somewhere underground whilst positioning: 1 (v. bad)

As can see from above list am making up for lost shopping time in SL and currently all shopping seems good shopping to me. Have not even included clothes purchased in above list e.g. Japanese schoolgirl outfit (as seen in pics) including shoes and 2 poses, and Empress Tang costume (in blue) which cost more than either palace or piano but is v. sumptuous.

Had planned over Xmas to buy piano and hope will be happy with purchase: is upright as that fitted better in house and more to point was less than half price of grand piano. Both have same set of music e.g. Beethoven Moonlight (extract), Gymnopedie, Scott Joplin, plus something by maker of piano (I think) which am sure is v. delightful.

Unfortunately music kicks in some time after click keyboard and select work, and also continues for while after have left the instrument, but precise realism not name of game. Also notice that fingers some way short of keys which might be graver problem in RL.

Am setting up Cosy Home in a town house manufactured by Ingrid Ingersoll, which have placed wittily above beach with boardwalk and steep sand dune behind which is where chair disappeared when attempting to manipulate it into place by crackling fire. Am sure have read that one can make terrain invisible and retrieve objects which have zoomed off out of control but perhaps this is a setting for regions and this occurred on my private land so obviously do not own whole sim.

Tried changing various settings in own Preferences with zero effect, and also tried Lowering land, but to no avail. At least chair is only 3 prims and only cost 98 Linden to start with.

In another part of same parcel of land Unlinked some bits of the Petite Castle (manuf. October Rust and cost $L750, one of new year resolutions is to be bit more informative in blog) and detached and/or clicked bits away, so now rises in tasteful semi-ruin with pleasing area on top surrounded by leafy branches. Am shown here from a distance and also (in Tang gown) close up. Would emphasise that this semi-ruin was deliberate unlike usual semi-ruin of houses e.g. when discover have accidently unlinked whole caboodle before have got properly in place and bits go everywhere. Is always a bit of window that you overlook deleting and notice weeks later floating in air.

The very first pic shows me reading in relaxed fashion with bit of ruined castle just visible in background. Can see that have retained sparkly lights post-Christmas, although have Taken or Deleted Xmas trees. Is still dark and gloomy in RL weather-wise so need a bit of sparkle.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Dancing, parcel

Strange free houses collected: 1 (odd); Dancing bunny shoes collected: 1 pair (good)

Two of odder seasonal freebies collected before Christmas were the Xmas Parcel House and the Dancing bunny shoes. Christmas Parcel House sounded quite promising in theory and indeed could not be faulted in terms of size. However as can be seen from pic when unpacked house proved to have sinister nightmare quality much as if had in RL decided to paper entire house walls, ceiling and floor in v.v. cheap and nasty wrapping paper, type that is left in huge rolls in bargain bin and who can wonder why. Did include window through which could look into happy world beyond free of laughing snowmen and skating penguins (as usual click on thumbnail here to see full sized horror of this pic.).

Still, have kept in inventory since never know when might be called upon to create Xmas landscape for someone who I really, really don’t like.

Bunny slippers more fun in that a) are slippers with bunny elements, enough said, and b) have dancing animation in them.

This is not costume in which would be seen leading discussion on information literacy, obviously, but could come in useful at lighthearted social event, should I ever go to any.

Friday, 4 January 2008


Visits to student projects 2: (good); Information gained about coral reefs: some (good)

One of things that did whilst was too busy to blog properly per Christmas was to a) see some of work of students of North Lamar and colleagues, and b) visit students' Carbon Footprint project.

The environmental project consisted of, firstly a house in which info on all the dreadful ways in which we waste energy and so forth was built into exhibit, mostly in form of notecards and by means of sinister green clouds emitting from items that are particularly environmentally wicked.

This can be seen in 1st pic, in which there are dreadful eminations from the washing machine, basin and (perhaps most worryingly) toilet. Always approach these kinds of displays with slightly smug feeling in that do not possess car, washing machine, microwave or dish washer, however soon realise that all this cancelled out by excessive use of bath, central heating and foods brought from 4 corners of the world, so smugness banished.

Other exhibits were about Bad Effect of Man on different bits of world, and coral reef was specially effective in that had lots of information plus you can go in and wander round underwater with the fishes and the coral. Also the student guide had evidently swum with said coral in RL and so was able answer questions. In 2nd pic can see info and bleached/unbleached coral exhibit.

Final pic shows the Alley Flats project facilitated by North Lamar’s colleague. Had popped over to see him to discuss the talk he was giving (which will also blog shortly). In this project students built sim of RL area, which has been going upmarket to extent that original residents are finding it hard to stay there (increased taxes etc.). Build was for upmarket “green” residences which could be built on land to be sold or rented by old-time residents and apparently RL planners are using student designs in RL Alley Flats. Seemed v. cool. Again different features had embedded notecards giving info.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Happy New Year

Calories consumed over festive period in SL: 0 (v. good); Calories consumed over festive period in RL: 1 trillion zillion (estimate) (v.v. bad); SL Friends met in RL: 1 (good)

Am struggling back into RL work mode after extended holiday us academics enjoy, as all uni buildings traditionally shut for c. 10 days and only those with strange experiments requiring constant access allowed to cross portals. Do not, though, (as some seem to think) only resume activity when students return and start making strange demands on ones time, namely lecturing, marking etc etc. Indeed Jan seems already month packed with various meetings, reports to be written etc etc, not to mention all stuff that was supposed to be done in 2007, ahem.

Have decided must make new year resolutions. This not normally something indulge in as generally reckon that if want to do something probably will and if don’t probably won’t. However this is doubtless defeatist attitude. One of resolutions will be to catch up on blog entries so will do a few of those whilst pondering remaining resolutions.
Although did not spend all festive SL time chasing freebie outfits (unlike Dimitrova) did pick up nice jewelery every day from Second Mirage, did a quick bit of treasure hunting in the Cherry Tokyo sim (my first garments were Cherry Tokyo kimonos so is nostalgia element here) and also dropped into House of Zen for fetching free Snowman kimono.
Thus am shown in first pic in Cherry Tokyo’s winter wonderland before unpacking goodies and in Second pic am on one of my properties, post unpacking, sporting Second Mirage jewelry plus the C Tokyo parasol and said wintertime kimono.

Suppose will have to start Taking Xmas trees, sparkly lights, skates etc. into inventory soon, but will wait for 12th night before doing so.
One interesting RL event was meeting Marilena, when she was visiting London. All v. exciting esp. as she treated me to tea in Liberty’s, one of my favourite shops in the RL world. This did not exactly decrease calorie intake, but Christmas comes but once a year, probably just as well.

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