Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Gift, Exhibit, Orange

No of items found in inventory when search "pumpkin": lost count after 50 (bad); No of gifts: 1 (v. good); No. of free prims on Infolit iSchool: 526 (bad); No. of times neighbour's security orb attempted to eject me from own land: 18 in 3 minutes (bad)

Tis the season of mellow fruitfulness and halloween overdrive, so am stuffing inventory with floating candles, spooky houses, spooky greenhouses, tombstones, poisoned cauldrons, and some v. questionable items, namely a noose pose set and a burn-the-witch bonfire. Latter is great fun as you stand at the stake with flames licking round you, making unrealistic shrieking noises.

As usual have set up Halloween house on Infolit, this year in a shack on the hill. New items include aforementioned cauldron (dispenses apples which cause you to fall dead) and v. good ghost in form of flying pumpkin, from New Trails. Pancha has contributed an animated skeleton and some freebie candles that she created for a Day of The Dead project. Also had tombstone that dispensed ghost that followed you round saying she wanted her mummy. Spooky.
However, when visited tomb just now, the GHOST HAD DISAPPEARED, and was no longer to be seen in the Contents tab of the tombstone. That is even spookier, frankly, and also means product no longer works. Could ask for replacement, but on the whole that is just too much effort.
Meanwhile have a pumpkin for all purposes: pumpkin heads, pumpkin lights, pumpkin chairs, pumpkin to look like cats' heads; pumpkin soup; pumpkin pie; pumpkin gun; pumpkin earrings; pumpkins that come and hit you if you click them; static pumpkins of every size and hue; not to mention pumpkin-coloured boots, necklaces, shrugs etc. etc.
Am trying to show restraint, as it tempting to just pull everything out and Paint The Island Orange. Is easier since am fighting continual prim war. Students have been populating their mini islands, and I have been encouraging them to fill islands with stuff, but has now reached stage when really want to say DO YOU REALLY NEED YET ANOTHER PALM TREE but is easier to just keep zooming round trimming prims here and there.

Latest things to go were an old barbie (40 prims, see pic) and the cardboard house that was lurking under the Farradane Centre. Have fond memories of getting drunk with Pancha and Ishbel over that barbie, but is four years old, so postively vintage.
Autumnal colour added to by a) my final "52 weeks of colour" frock, which have selected from Caverna Obscura and b) v. pretty set of marigolds in vase on cute rustic stool which was unexpected gift from Hanaya's owner. Have got v. few blogger gifts to date, in fact think has only been 4 of which 1 (set of shoes) was v. useful, 1 (jewellery from Magpie) was pretty, and 2 were useless as were short dresses of kind do not wear.
At once opened box and tried to take pic to show gift-giver. Was thwarted for some time
1) Went to Fantasy Woods corner of Noyo. Was immediately bombarded with messages saying that was about to be ejected: neighbour must have set his security orb thoughtlessly wide. Loathe security orbs. IMed neighbour and await response.
2) Crashed
3) Logged in and went to autumn house and started to rez marigolds,
4) Crashed
5) Rezzed marigiolds
6) Crashed
7) Crashed again. Perhaps was Curse of the security Orb.
8) Tried logging into Infolit iSchool instead. Success!
9) Noticed Quilt was missing. retrieved her from under building. How DO they get down there.
10) Posed with Naomi. (see pic)
11) By this time had forgotten why had gone into SL in first place and started playing with Quilt.

Will use marigolds in final 52 weeks of colour post, as harmonises so well with dress. Am sad 52 weeks challenge is almost over. However, at approx 2 hrs per post x 52 weeks = 104 hrs, means have spent 3 working weeks on blogging virtual clothes for not many people to look at. Hmmm. Still, it was fun.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Way too old

Cats who are past it: 2 (bad)
Recently discovered distressing fact. Latest update of kittycats included v. cute new cat petting poses, including possibility of petting other people's cats. Immediately zoomed round grid seeking out cats to pet. Fired with new kittycat enthusiasm, clicked on Quilt and for first time selected Breeding option, toying with idea of finally opting for kitten boxes.

However was shocked when a message appeared in text chat telling me that "Quilt is way too old for breeding!" Not only does this seem like a super-truncated window of opportunity, but feel that language ("Way too old" indeed!) would score v. low in "diversity and age sensitivity" stakes. The poor thing is less than 200 days young!

Naomi is not much Quilt's junior, so turns out that both have descended into twilight years without me having given either of them the opportunity of fulfilling their destiny (i.e. making money for Kittycats by obliging me to buy more Kittycats food for all the new kittens).

Must be said that Naomi and Quilt do not seem overly bothered about this, indeed must have passed kittycat-menopause some weeks ago and thus had chance to reconcile themselves to their elder status.

Meanwhile Stone took to disappearing under the floor of the CILR office (see last pic), so have had to go hunting for him on the sea bed more than once. Perhaps is sulking because of lack of young frisky female kittycats. Whilst ponder kittycat future have removed him to adorn another of my homes.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Not even tempted

webuyanycat.com has valued my cat at £14.69

webuyanycat.com has valued my cats at £14.69.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

The usual

Hours spent at Jewelry Fair: 1.5 (bad). Items bought at Jewelry Fair: have already forgotten (bad) but was certainly lot less than COULD have bought (good).

Since have not yet fixed proper laptop, one that started going clunk-clunk in April, am now rather restricted about access to SL when away from office. To begin with, new netbook allowed some access, although generally of slow grey lumpy kind. Still it meant could attend those kinds of educators meetings where all you do is find a seat and then throw in the odd bit of text chat to show you aren't just letting your avatar sit there while you go off and make coffee or check your facebook page.

Anyway, gaps mean that when do get back in have loads to catch up on. Cute items for Spruce Up Your Space or Super Bargain Saturday that might still be out and available! Paying rent for shop in Juicy! Feeding the cats! And of course have the weekly obligation of the 52 weeks of colour challenge, which now has ONLY SIX WEEKS LEFT, gosh what will I find to do with my time when that finishes.

Obviously a couple of things are - going on hunts and visiting fairs. Have tried to give up fairs as tend to be v. time consuming, somewhat laggy, and also inevitably feed shopaholic tendencies. However, when doing Brick Red outfit for current Week of Colour Challenge decided that hadn't got quite the right earrings, so a visit to the Jewelry Fair that just opened was the only logical solution. Results can be seen here and here. Found v. pretty peacock feather earrings, only prob being that if viewed from front they disappear into hair. Think this is something to with alpha textures. Anyway, easy solutions are to
a) wear updos so is no hair in immediate vicinity of lower ear and/or
b) take pictures from side, where feathers magically appear again.

Am accumulating vast store of lore of this sort. Not sure what will do with it all, but then probably don't apply most of stuff that have picked up outside SL either e.g. once restored and re-caned a chair but don't think have been once required to reapply this knowledge in intervening period. What find slightly puzzling is that researchers who have researched SL fashion scene have tended to pursue v.v. dull questions about identity inside and outside SL, yawn, rather than interesting stuff e.g. why you might prefer Truth hair to Lelutka hair (in my case answer is simple as Lelutka don't do blue hair).

1st pic shows particularly tempting booth, and 2nd pic shows one of the Jewelry Fair sims ("Fire") Interesting that last year's organisers seemed agonisingly concerned about exhibits only using small number of different textures, no animated items, no particles, layout designed so that people's computers only had to absorb limited no. of graphics at a time, strict instructions about de-primming yourself before visiting etc. etc. This year all that has been jettisoned, as may see from rather murky pic, sim was filleed with animations and textures, and one often found oneself having to plough through a lava chasm to try and get to the next booth.

Talking of lava, the 3rd pic shows part of a short and enjoyable Quest that BareRose had, where you had 4 skyglobes with scenes in them that you had to navigate. In this one you had to go across narrow bridge with giant swinging axes, at risk of boiling to death in the lava. At the end you got some cool armour and a beautiful flying dragon. In final pic can see me swooping over Cowell on my dragon. Wheeeee.

Thursday, 25 August 2011


Kittens bought: 1 (good); Kittens unupdateable: 1 (bad); Cats lost in the vasty deep: 1 (bad)

Seem to be continuing to use this as cat blog although will also mention in passing that have spent more hours than can shake stick at in styling new home by Nordari, then taking pics of new home, then photoshopping them lovingly into composite pic, then uploading all pics to Flickr and listing provenence of each item in each pic in tedious detail.

Whole process was interrupted because kept hitting the prim limit for the island, which bearing in mind that island has 15,000 prims is not good news. Have had small clear out which cleared 700 prims (well at one point 800 prims since inadvertantly demolished part of main office building and had to spend ages rezzing whole thing then extracting bit needed to replace missing part. hey ho had thought had locked the whole building to prevent just such an error, but no).

Still, will need to do better than that before students arrive. Could be bye bye Hobbit House but think can just do a systematic prim-trim through whole island. Will be rather like trying to reduce 9,000 word article to 6,000 words to meet ridiculous journal word limits: if go through it enough times taking out odd phrases and words on every page (rather than deleting whole section, thus ruining structure and main argument) is much better. In this case for odd words and phrases read prim-heavy ornamental carriage clocks, beavers which swim round and round, floating mini-islands which dispense ice cream etc etc.

To get back to house decoration, why o why, you may ask. Simple answer is that there is contest for best decoration of this particular house. But to be honest it really is more about taking part than winning in this case. By time winner announced will have probably forgotten even entered since attention/memory span not at optimum at present (this could be because stay up all night decorating virtual houses).

Anyway, moved Quilt the cat into new home, to make it feel cosier, and then to add cute factor to pics, since noticed that comments on 52-weeks-of-colour posts seemed to rise dramatically when included cute kitty in winsome pose (see above).

Then suddenly gave in to whim of wanting another kittycat. Had had a sort of hankering after a Siamese and last week, to put off reading yet more draft dissertation chapters from Masters students (just like now, in fact) went on impulse shopping trip. Snapping up siamese could scarcely have been easier, a quick search on "kittycats", a TP to some sim or other with rows and rows of kitten boxes, and there you were. Whereas in Kittycats early days you were lucky to see a siamese under L1000, now appear to go for 100 Linden (or possibly less, but couldn't be bothered to shop around).

TPed home, rezzed kitten box, clicked it, endured 30 minutes of coy messages about kitten opening its eyes and getting its strength up and then - woomph - a tiny kitty. A tiny kitty with "Update Me" over its head. A tiny kitty that stoutly resisted to be updated however many Updaters I rezzed and activated (see pic). Assume that kitten box had been born ages ago and it just needed too many updates. In the end filed a report, and practically at once a new kitty dropped softly into my inventory, admirably free of any red lettering above the head.

Had meant to buy yet another female cat. And indeed thought I had. However, it slowly dawned on me that the gender sign above new kitten's head was NOT THE SAME AS QUILT's so realised now had male cat after all. Had already named kitten Amane, after a schoolgirl in an anime series, but though Amane would sound pretty gender-neutral to most people (it even has the word "man" in the middle), thought it might give the cat a complex, so renamed him Stone. This is after the Nordari house which is called "May a stone guide your way". Stone seemed a masculine sort of name, and Stone (the cat) is sort of stone coloured.

Not sure whether Quilt resents new cat (she is probably thinking "how come you are too mean to keep Silky updated and rezzed, but are spending same amount on frivolous new kitten? we aren't just for Christmas you know!" No answer to this except "Stone cute, Stone new, who was Silky again?") At any rate Quilt has twice gone missing and turned up Mitsy-like in the sea underneath the house. Am particularly baffled since can't see at all how she got down there: there don't seem to be any holes in the floor and the gully she gets trapped in is entirely under the house. Perhaps she fears that she will be forced to have kitten boxes. And must admit, am rather tempted to unneuter them both and see what emerges. Whatever it is like, it will be cute.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Outdated, disabled

Kittycats disabled: three (v.bad)

Was going to blog something completely different, but when happened to go into common room today, discovered poor Naomi immobile with her face to the wall, with the words "OUTDATED! Disabled!" over her head. Clicking her just resulted in her ID being chatted out. TOOK her and went to common room where, as I feared, both Silky and Qulit were similarly affected.
They all just lay or sat there, and would not communicate, move, play or cuddle. Most distressing.

I googled around and discovered that there had been an update a few weeks ago, which evidently I had missed. However, normally, it just says "update me" above their heads, and you can interact with a menu to get them updated.
After some fruitless scanning of the Kittycats website forum, teleported to the Kittycats sim, where I discovered a customer support person, Straykitten, standing near the door by a display of kittycats scratching posts.

After some conversation, Straykitten lent me a kittycats 1.8 updater, which I took home and rezzed near the kittycats, but it was all to no avail, the updater couldn't detect the kittycats, and the kittycats couldn't detect the updater. I took the updater back to Straykitten and he said that the only option was to file a ticket on the kittycats website. This I duly did.

Only about 10 minutes later, I was delighted to have a new, Updated Naomi dropped on me by Kitten Longmeadow. I rezzed her next to the inert Naomi, so I could take a picture (you see the new Naomi on the right), and then moved Outdated Naomi quietly and with dignity into the Trash folder of my inventory.

Apparently Quilt was no-transfer, so for reasons that I'm sure were very sound, some other avatar was going to have to drop Quilt to me. I took a couple of snaps of me and Naomi reunited (similar to the last pic here) and sent one to Kitten (lol).

The question remains of what to do with Silky, who belongs to Dimitrova. Dimitrova could go through the same process, but, at the moment, feel rather large amount of apathy.

Was quite upset about losing all kittycats, but somehow saving two kittycats almost seems like enough, especially considering the ongoing cost of kittycats food (85 Linden per month per cat). Hmm. In black and white that seems rather callous, and Silky is very cute. On the other hand, Silky could just sit quiet on a plinth for all SL eternity without costing another linden, which does have its up side.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Multicoloured musings

Hunts toyed with: 2 (good); Papers on SL delivered in RL: 1 (excellent, Naturally); No. of people attending talk: 7 (4 more than one of the other speakers; so, good)

Seem to be writing blog posts here circa once a month. Have speculated before on sad fall-off in Adventuresofyoshikawa productivity. One factor is still 52 weeks of colour challenge which has reached week thirty-something, so might as well mention that have blogged clothes in mauve, electric blue (see 1st pic), celadon, lemon and patriarch since last post here.

Some of these are colours that didn't know existed before 52 Weeks challenge, so am engaging actively in lifelong learning. Other skills for 52 weeks challenge include shopping, buying more linden so can do more shopping, spending hours trying on different virtual clothes, playing with lighting so look more exquisite in photo shoots and fiddling with photoshop to add final touch to exquisiteness. However, most of these are skills had mastered already, esp. shopping.

Have also acquired numerous freebies from Hunts, including bed with cotton bunny draped nostalgically over rail (see 2nd pic), boat, and supercute house with shutters that make creaking sound when open and close (also in 2nd pic). Stash of not-free-but-cheap includes 2 starry night skydomes, zen massage platform with parrots and urban rooftop garden. Could now have whole islands themed with different types of building e.g. think have at least 3 different stables and 3 different spa/massage sets, so could already create either equine paradise or health/spa resort.

Meanwhile, am dazzling RL friends with news that am researching how to do research in SL. Actually for "dazzling" could substitute "inducing glazed eyes and sudden realisation that they have urgent appointment elsewhere".

Have got v. interested in research on documentary photography & its application to SL, and whole issue of documenting and presenting research about SL. This is what paper at RL conference was about, and am sure that after hearing topic of presentation, readers will be wondering why audience was not 20 deep and queuing down the corridor rather than being confined to 7 people, one of whom was chairing session.

However must be said were only about 40 people at conference and at that point were 4 parallel sessions, so did not feel too bad about it. Also had attended previous session where were just 2 of us plus chair, so felt relieved were as many as 7.
Presentation included numerous pics (e.g. "spot the difference" ones above) and 2 videos, one of which is on Youtube and is linked below. As predicted, acquiring fraps recording software has been ... come to think of it, yet another reason why am not blogging here.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Call in the Cats Protection League

Starving virtual cats: 1 (bad)

Had IM saying "The object 'KittyCats - Quilt' has sent you a message from Second Life:
Mewwwwww... I'm 30% hungry :( Please feed me and pay some attention to me"

TPed in expecting to see Quilt under a quilt, like when had forgotten to set catfood to "anyone can eat" and Silky (who is owned by Dimitrova) had retired to bed starved (see first pic). However when arrived, they were both sound asleep and didn't look particularly deprived. Anyhow, went and got some more food and Quilt deigned to show some interest (see 2nd pic).

Have been out of SL for nearly a week, having been at a RL conference. Have oodles of work to do, but inevitably once had gone inworld to feed cat was caught up in various essential activities like deciding what was going to wear for the next 52 weeks of colour (colour is mauve) and then somehow being sucked into a pursuit of strawberry-related objects, think it was because saw that there was a cool strawberry table set from Whats Next.

This led to creating strawberry nook in the Moonbeam Garden. This obviously required not just digging out anything strawberryish from inventory (e.g. strawberry picking set and strawberry flavoured shaved ice), but also purchasing new items, like strawberry shortcake from Feather, and a new china teaset.

In between saw that that was interesting new hair from D!va, but when got there turned out that they only do dull colours, and nothing remotely blue. Was huge number of people clustered round the lucky boards, so lingered a moment examining people's outfits, then crashed when tried to take a picture. You can see the lagginess in the one eventually took when logged back in, below.

In fact crashed several times, hope is not a trend. Perhaps is guilty subconscious trying to ease me out of SL frivolity.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

I Thought I Was So Over Julia Hathor

Sparkly moon gardens bought: 1 (enchanting)

Although have dozens of houses in inventory, some unrezzed, was prepared to be captivated by some new residence at the Home and Gardens Expo. What had not expected was to be right-click-select-buy-ing on an item by Julia Hathor.
Now, Julia Hathor was designer of first treehouse on Infolit iSchool, in fact at one point island was positive shrine to Hathor, since also had Fairy Bridge, Magic Apple Tree Bridge and Magic Apple Tree. 2 apple tree items are still in situ, near hobbit home (even though pose on Magic Apple Tree went wonky, so you get swallowed by the tree), but tree house and bridge have gone way of all prims, i.e. deleted in favour of newer items.
Old tree house had a waterfall grove at the bottom, spiral staircases (impossible to negotiate, one of the reasons it went), elegant viewing terraces, a splashy pool halfway up the tree, and a nice patio nook with cushions at the top, plus lanterns, nature sounds and some sort of bird of prey. Have numerous pics (e.g. here) of Ishbel and I floating in the pool, Marilena posing elegantly at the poolside, teaching meetings in the top treehouse room etc. Feel quite nostalgic just writing about it.
However don't think was just nostalgia that prompted the click-buy. Products definitely seem improved, but basically as soon as entered moon garden, all with moonbeam twinkles and lush grass and meditation pads and a waterfall and a cool tree-climbing animation - it is is all just SO PRETTY and so SL that I thought - blow realistic baked-in shadows and artfuly distressed concrete - this is Magic.

Was going to replace greenhouse with moon garden, but as noted yesterday, have decided greenhouse is too cute to delete, so it was summery coast house that went. Did a fraps of the house before deleting.
With 600 prims at disposal, rezzed moon garden and set about decorating. The thing about a Hathor garden is that it is pretty much loaded with stuff already, but think sometimes you just have to go over the top, so piled on some more plants, a bird bath, a bird feeder, birds, beer, knitting, more birds, buterflies, more plants, more butterflies and a cute rabbit. I put on my fairy crown and rode my fairy steed around, for added effect.

Yesterday got Pancha to come along and lounge with me by the waterfall. Think this makes the cuteness complete.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Bye-bye Screenr, hello fraps

No. of videos which failed to publish on Screenr: 5 (bad); No. of minutes it took to to buy fraps and download it: 10 (good); No. of minutes it took to work out how to record a video in fraps: 5 (v. good); No. of minutes it took to work out how to edit and save a video use Windows Movie Maker: about 60 (bad)
Relationship with Screenr somewhat under strain. Had been using it happily to record video in SL. Can only do 5 minutes, but in some ways that is opportunity rather than constraint, as they say.

However, had something of a SL-fest on Saturday (after 9 days away from SL) looking round Homes and Gardens expo, doing some dancing to virtual Albannach, and fitting in some photo shooting for the 52 weeks of colour. Attempted to capture some of this for posterity, and was successful with Albannach vid, but film of Homes expo persistently failed to publish, so had to rerecord it (see above, it ends with me purchasing the Julia Hathor enchanted moon grotto, but that's another story).
After this was downhill all the way, as tried to record one vid of the Spring Home that am about to delete on Infolit iSchool, and another of the greenhouse on Noyo (which was going to dismantle, but doing the tour reminded me how much I like it, so it stays). In end recorded tour of greenhouse 3 times, each time attempting to publish it endless (well, not literally) times, v. frustrating.
Thus purchase of fraps today. Downside is that it captures the whole screen, rather than allowing you to frame the part you want. Upside is that it records inworld sounds and is simply toggled on and off with the F9 key.

In heady rapture proceeded to record 3 tours had failed with before: the 2 mentioned above plus a broomstick tour round Infolit (since am just clearing out the cherry trees and installing summer), which had tried to record on Thursday. Also recorded art installation by Pixels Sideways and a brief cherry blossom idyll. Files run beautifully on my computer, but are huge, and as want to share some of these with world have to fiddle around with them in Windows Movie Maker. This is in fact why have never bought fraps until now, as see this is dreadful slippery slope towards yet more late nights playing with pixelated technology. Edited 2 videos and uploaded them to Youtube (where resolution seems pretty low grade, or could be way Movie Maker Saved the project, the saving options seem somewhat obscure to me, having been user-friendly-fied to point where not clear what is actually going on).
Anyway, above you should see the greenhouse tour.
My, I do sound twee.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

4th Rez Day

Years in SL: 4 (good); No. of rez day greetings: one (better than nothing)
Have not tended to make much fuss about rez days, though had toyed with idea of having a party this year. Am not v. good party person since generally assume that will be disaster and no-one will turn up. However, more to point, am snowed under with work, plus have been handicapped on SL front because:

1) Have been away from office for 2 weeks and therefore dependent on laptop for SL fun;

2) Said laptop started making clunkety-clunk noises about 12 days ago, never a good sound for a laptop. Think bit might have got loose and interfered with fan. Laptop did not crash, but hope to get good bit more mileage from it, so am not risking using it til it's been (hopefully) fixed by Samsung Laptop Expert.

3) Seized by laptop deprivation, made impulse purchase of cute Samsung mini-laptop. Whilst have bonded with new purchase for blogging and suchlike as is lighter, smaller and has more battery life (plus was cool conference accessory), is basically carp as regards SL. Can get onto SL, but spends ages being grey, graphics never resolve properly even on lowest settings, and it sort of flickers periodically. Therefore is OK for emergency SL (collecting & sending IMs etc.) but not for much else.

Thus, no time for party organisation. Was even late for first time with 52 weeks of colour posting, so posted Periwinkle on Saturday and then today celebrated with Tangerine (this week's colour) and then pics of rez day outfit, also seen above. Floaty eh. Will wear it for LILAC conference report meeting tomorrow, though possibly minus the butterfly hair corsage.

Checked up on land: as usual several things had crashed into my parcel in Noyo e.g. this jet fighter and had to return them.

Also made sure cats were ok: turned up they needed updating (you can tell this because they have Update Me in red hovertext above them). Update included exciting new animation, Play. When click cat and then click Animation and then click Play and then click Yes when asked Is It Ok To Animate Your Avatar then you do a throwing-the-tiny-coloured-ball animation, and if all goes to plan, cat starts patting and chasing tiny coloured ball, very cute. Only problems were:

1. When had Played with Quilt and then clicked Quilt again to get Qulit to jump to be cuddled, Quilt obstinately refused and started chasing ball further and further away, well outside her cat range. In end got her to Jump Home.
2) When tried Play with Naomi later, she was stuck in a corner and kept ignoring the ball, so I got her to jump home. Then started to click Play again, but it crashed. So may be a few bugs in animation.
Also, is tendency for ball to get stuck under sofa or behind chairs, in which case cat sits and stares at it until you come and retrieve the ball for her. This seems somewhat like RL. Cutest thing is probably when cat picks up ball and drops it at your feet (first cat pic), though not sure have ever seen actual cat do this, is somewhat beneath them. 2nd cat pic shows Naomi running after ball. Note cat and ball shadows (other shadows are from the windows).

So that was the day in SL.

Will not list all dull jobs should have been doing instead of playing with virtual cats, creeping round lag-laden shopping precincts waiting for vendors to rez, and posing in new clothes on romantic sea shores. Would be just too, too tedious.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Hunts, Bananas

Hunts completed:one (good); No. of times same hunt completed: twice (bad; but v. quick the second time); No. of Kawaii objects collected: numerous (but some more kawaii than others)

The Albero Kawaii hunt just finished, Albero being a shopping district covering a couple of sims and kawaii being Japanese for Cute. Did it twice since first sent Dimitrova out to do the time consuming stuff untroubled by IMs, then Dimi compiled a handy set of landmarks which she dropped to me.
Am thinking of developing taxonomy of hunts, which could become a faceted classification scheme:
Facet 1: Process: do you have to do something with a HUD BEFORE you get anywhere near the objects, or do you wander about looking for the Hunt object directly? Is there a list of hints and landmarks on a well maintained Hunt website, or are you reliant on some selfless SL resident providing an online walkthru?
Facet 2: Material: are the objects clothing, interior design, plants; steampunk artefacts etc.?
Facet 3: Energy: is the hunt object v. easy to recognise and find, or is it tiny and hidden in obscure corners that you can only discover if you are prepared to spend hours camming under the flooboards and on the roof?
Facet 4: Space: Is the hunt in one shop? one sim? the whole grid? the inifinite metaverse?
Facet 5: Time: Firstly: How long is the hunt on for? Secondly: What's the fastest you can get round?
Facet 6: Matter: At the end of it, are you flitting from item to exquisite item going mwuah mwauh you godlike creators, or have you just got a pile of random junk from shops that couldn't get into any of the quality hunts?

The kawaii would have be classified as follows:
Facet 1: Process: HUD. You attach the HUD, and then you are given a visual clue to tell you where the first hunt object is. When you find the next object, you click it. This fills up a square on your HUD and gives you the next visual clue. Eventually, after you have crashed a zillion times camming and flying round and round the 2 sims, you have a completely filled-in HUD which says "you did it" in English and Japanese. You don't get much help in solving the HUD-oriented problems (would say it rates a "4" on a scale from "no brainer (1)" to "impossible (6)"), but you do get a full landmarked list of shops. And all the landmarks worked!
Facet 2: Materials: Mostly homes and gardens.
Facet 3: Energy: The visual-clue thing was quite tricky, because you have to try and work out where the picture was taken, and if all you can see is grey lag, this means you have zero chance of success. In fact in end rather enjoyed puzzling out clues from roof colour and types of building in background etc., despite zillion crashes. One you have a complete HUD it is easy-peasy, since you then just use the list of links to shops and collect the prize from the entrance of each shop.Facet 4: Space: Over 2 sims.
Facet 5: Time: Two weeks: rather frustrating if those are two really busy weeks.
Facet 6: Matter: Mwuah mwuah.

All I need now is a notation scheme and I could represent any hunt by a string of numbers separated by eccentric punctuation.

The information scientists amongst you will know that I have been ALMOST using the categories devised by the guru Ranganathan for the Colon faceted classification scheme. Alas, whilst I was devising the list I had thought I WAS using them, but I see now that "Process" should be "Personality" and "Material" shouldn't be in it at all. And to think I used to teach that stuff. Still, I can't be bothered to change it, so this is officially my revision of Ranganathan's work, for application to SL hunts.
Realise have left out cost element (most hunts are free, but increasingly there are 1 Linden or 10 Linden hunts), perhaps that is an aspect of energy, since you have to expend energy to earn the money to buy Linden.

After all this only remains to show you some of the booty.
Firstly you see me doing my "52 weeks of colour" shot for tomorrow (banana colour, if you hadn't guessed). Actually only the tv and panda are from the hunt, but the picture is in the kawaii spirit. That banana phone belongs to Nigl and has been on top of the library for years, it's a sort of landmark.
Secondly, Dimi with all the hunt items, everything you see is hunt, apart from her hair and a small grey wall in the background. Thirdly, a particularly kawaii collection of panda doll, boho couch, smiley cloud decal and smiley rocket. The sack with the rainclouds was actually the box the Cleo stuff came in, cute or what. In the last hunt that had some Cleo it was about a week before I realised that what I was displaying was the box rather than the actual gift.
Finally a rather arty shot of me and the Giant Dandelion pose. I already have dandelion fields (dandelion flowers and dandelion clocks) and dandelion seed particle emitters so I can set up a nice dandelion-rich scene for the summer.

Final thought. When I have in my inventory a panda cushion, a panda toaster, a panda hug-doll and a panda hot-chocolate flask, why has it taken this long for me to use the blog tag "panda"?

Moderated success

No. of sessions agreed to moderate: 4 (good); No. of sessions actually moderated: 3 (bad)

Wrote this post a week ago and then forgot to post. Is about Virtual Worlds conference which is History now, but am loathe to waste some writing. Also reading through realise it sounds as though conference was bit disasterous whereas (will hasten to add) was mostly fine and even good. Really it was.

Somewhat belatedly, am continuing tale of moderating at the Virtual Worlds conference. Was, as they say, one of Pride Before Fall. Had felt rather pleased with moderation at Friday's events, and rashly agreed to do 4 more sessions next day. However, failed on 3 counts, namely:
1) Did not manage to find out SL name of first speaker on day before;
2) Did not check that knew how to get to first venue;
3) Did not allow enough time on day to establish 1) and 2).
Thus found self at point when was supposed to be starting session lacking both speaker and venue. Did have tiny bit of excuse in that would have been v. helpful to have been given SL name of speaker rather than first life one (since various googlings turned up a blank), and also would have helped if landmark for venue had actually landed one IN said venue rather than considerable distance away.

However, was generally mortifying. Encountered one equally baffled punter at the teleport point, and said would contact him if found speaker/venue. Then TPed to anywhere in area that had green dots (since dots mean People). When eventually found my session, was already 10 past the hour (and person had offered to help was already in audience, so doubly embarrassing).

Apologised profusely to speaker afterwards (1st pic) and did manage to help 2 people in audience with sound and general info. Anyway, after this things could only look up, and connected with other 3 speakers in good time. Last of my sessions, on Open Wonderland, really moderated itself, since was team of people who were fielding questions in text chat.

In between had attended keynote of colleague Jackie, which thought was v. good. Afterwards went to last few sessions, including Zana talking about Conne River project (2nd pic) and Graham talking about Opensim (3rd pic). Also v. good. Pleased to see Kattan in audience. After that she visited cat and took picture 2 posts ago.

Had look round exhibition, well in fact was mostly amusing excursion round exhibition since discovered flying thing on Virtual Pioneers stand, and spent most of my time zooming round it in this, rather than contemplating pedagogic virtues of exhibits. Here is a celebratory animoto about VWBPE that I did.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Kitten growing

Progress of kittens: steady (good)

Some of you may be waiting for another update about VWBPE. However more are likely to be wondering: how are Quilt and Silky?

So, here you see them. Quilt is shown sleeping, which is what kittens need to do to grow healthy and strong. Are those hind paws cute, or what.

Silky has not grown any more, since that was already her at her prim peak. However she looks rather fetching in this pose.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Cat diversion

Kittens grown to cats: 1 (good); New kittens bought: 1 (bad)

Have more to say about VWBPE conference, but today has seen a new addition to the menagerie on Infolit, so will have a short cat diversion. After the conference was over, Kattan visited Dimitrova's kitten, which is kitten no longer, but full grown cat. And v. cute it is too, it sleeps, it plays with butterflies and (as Dimitrova found out today) it will pad across floor and leap into owner's arms and cling limpet-like until DROPPED.

In Fact 1st embedded video will show this in some detail. [curses curses they aren't embedding. Will try and work out why tomorrow. In meantime this is the link http://www.screenr.com/V4o]
1) Cat ignores Dimitrova
2) Cat shows fatal attraction to Dimitrova and jumps to be cuddled
3) Dimitrova forgets she is supposed to DROP cat and instead DETACHES it. Panic!
4) In haste to restore cat to thr ground, Dimitrova inadvertantly drags and drops cat half way up window
5) Dimitrova clicks cat to jump home, which it does, only suspended 5 feet in air
6) Dimitrova takes and rezes cat again. All is well.
[and this is the link to this video http://www.screenr.com/V4o]

After these excitements, only sane response was to buy another cat. Thus 2nd video shows kitten turning from a cardboard box into a kitten.
She is called quilt, because she is patchwork coloured.
Like a quilt.
Oh well.

Friday, 18 March 2011


Sessions moderated: 4 (good); Percentage of speakers appearing on time to give talks: 100 (v. good); No. of pics taken during moderating: 5 (bad)
Calmed self before conference through use of tai chi (see first pic) and it had desired result since rather enjoyed moderating duties in end. Only down side was that since taking pics seemed to trigger crash computer out of SL, did not dare take any until last of 4 sessions, when had minor supporting role.
This was session about "veteran dialogues": ex soldiers in USA using SL to talk about their experiences. Jenaia was really chairing session and I was sort of backup link person. Therefore risked taking pics at that point, and duly crashed. This showed had been sensible not to try previously, but was pity since in particular session from Globalkids Bixby had been very photogenic (involved Globalkids dressed in bee costume raising teen grid avatar from coffin). Earlier in day had encouraged own students into SL and know that majority attended at least one session, after some fiddling around with headphones and audio settings. Saw various other people, including Dousa who was involved in recording some of the conference, and had some nice chitchat with Loreena.
Am wondering whether crashing thing could be avoided by some sort of computer upgrade. However, would have to be inexpensive computer upgrade, what with funding cuts to Higher Ed etc.

Attended some of a session about recording stuff, and learnt about new screenr-type app, which immediately used to record part of the session on recording stuff. Am not sure can remember what it was called exactly - screencastomatic? - something like that. Feature was that you had the opp to upload, download, whatever, and then clicked "done" and it was gone. Main disadvantage over screenr (apart from it not staying online) was that it seemed to have a rather small area for the recording screen.

After this went to session on focus groups. Quickly emerged that I WAS the session on focus groups, since only other person was presenter. He had filled in time by putting words expressing pain in having noone turn up to your session on innovative interactive board. Had interesting conversation: at least I thought it was interesting. Only thought afterwards that perhaps should have asked for a copy of innovative board as prize for being only person there.
Finished day, heady with earlier moderating success, by volunteering to moderate more sessions tomorrow. May regret this.


No of sessions am moderating at VWBPE: 4 (good) No of speakers with whom have not made contact: 1 (bad); No. times crashed out of SL in last 18 hours: more than 18, I think (v.v.bad)
Have not had serious crashing problems for a couple of years, but am currently attending the VWBPE conference and with huge crowds in first session was just like old days of no sound, greyness, bits of sim suddenly vanishing (see first pic) and sudden crashes. Sims created for conf are steampunk and awesome (see 2nd pic) but wonder if also a bit lagtastic. Particular worry as am moderating sessions shortly and do not want to crash in mid-moderate.
But enough negativity! Loads of speakers and lots of them v. interesting - and all free! And you can attend the conf in slippers.
As I am doing.
Or is that too much information.

Thursday, 10 March 2011


Breedable kitten acquired: 1 (good)
Up til now have resisted fashion for breedable SL animals. Idea is that you have at least one of each sex of animal, you set them to breed, then after X days a prim package arrives that turns into a baby animal. Fortunately do not have to watch Mating Animation, apparently it all happens by osmosis.
Way that inventors of breedable animals make money is buy selling food (you buy prim food, put it near prim animal, and if food runs out animal stops moving and dies).
First big craze was chickens, then bunnies and horses, and anyway latest one is cats. As readers will know already, have fondness for cats, so have been tempted esp. as if you just have one cat and set breeding OFF, then only costs 170 Linden for 2 months worth of food.
As didn't want Mitsy and Goggles to be jealous, Dimitrova bought the kitten. It arrives in a cardboard box, which you rez and have to wait 5 mins or so whilst it gives twee messages about kitten opening eyes etc. etc. Then suddenly cardboard box TURNS INTO the kitten (bit spooky, that). Perhaps idea is that kitten had to eat box to get first nourishment.
Anyway, you rez the kitten, shove some food near it, and then can watch it grow for 1st week, until it becomes an Adult Cat. At birth Silky the Kitten was about 4 inches, but after a day it has grown to 6. You see her here in close up, and then with Dimi, for scale. She blinks, and does breathing animations, and also gambles around and you can hug her, but when took these pics she kept saying she needed more sleep, so all you get here is Sleeping Kitty.
Silky may be future source of quiet joy. Alternatively she may simply be drain on finances. If you want to see her she is in the CILR on Infolit iSchool.

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