Friday, 14 September 2012

A sad sad sight

Heritage sites disappearing: 1 (v. bad)

Was taking some pictures this morning e.g. of this truck that crashed into side of new house when it slowly dawned that THERE WAS NO COWELL SEASIDE VILLAGE ANY MORE. At first had just assumed had set draw distance to a low figure and therefore wasn't seeing this pretty village which was the key reason for getting the land in the first place.

However, checked draw distance, realised could see things that were FURTHER AWAY (i.e. Abotts spacedrome) and eventually flew over to find that one whole sim's worth plus a bit more had been abandoned and was set for sale. This is what it looked like just now. You can see a bit of what it looked like BEFORE in the final pic in this post and Chimera posted some pics here

It had a bit of a retro feel as it hadn't changed from when I discovered it in 2007, but still charm and atmosphere.

But not any more, it is an ex-village. Had panic attack thinking of dreadful things that could arrive there, and in grip of this got Dimitrova (since it is less disasterous for her tier charges) to buy up one chunk that includes the nearest half of the island bit and a slice going over the mountain on the right (it was all lumped in together). Will think what to do by Dimi's tier date in a week; can't afford to increase my tier overall, but would like to keep at least the island bit as a cushion, and could sell off a bit of what have at the moment....

Sunday, 29 July 2012

New life

No. of new kitten boxes: 1 (exciting!)
Finally succumbed to temptation to let my kittycats create beautiful kitten boxes together. Set Snowfall and Tassie to "breed on" a few weeks ago, which meant that at once was having to shell out more Linden for kittycat food as breedable cats eat twice as much. Then after about 10 days set Tassie to partner Snowfall. Tassie made some coy remark about only having just met (as if! she was there when he emerged from the kitten box, there is photographic prooof) which evidently comes from the kittycat random-twee-remark generator.

Have not been in SL much for the last week, and therefore was surprised and delighted to get an IM announcing the happy event (i.e. Tassie giving birth to a kitten box). When went inworld at first was unable to locate a) kitten box b) Tassie or c) Snowfall. After some camming around discovered a) (Kittenbox) abandoned outside the house (see first pic) b) (Tassie: fond mother) chasing butterflies round the opposite side of the house and c) (Snowfall: proud father) hiding under the floorboards. Seems like the new kitten box is doomed to be the victim of a dysfunctional family right from the start.

The new update allows you to click on the kitten box and see a 2D portait of the yet-unborn kitten, so you can decide whether to birth it or not. Obviously once it has looked at you with its v. cute whiskers and pretty ears it is more difficult to resist. Look! He has his mother's eyes, they are so adorable! (etc. etc.) And he would make a charming mate for Ninetails, in only a few weeks they could be making kitten boxes of their own. It is a primrose path to pouring linden into the kittycats coffers (i.e. for more and more food).

Should note that this breeding thing is a frightfully chaste process, as apart from eating more kittycat kibble there is no noticeable change in kitty behaviour and certainly no Lewd Acts. Once had retrieved Snowfall from under the floor and Tassie from her walk outside the house, let them wander round until they fortuitously both ended up trapped by a japanese screen, and I took a picture (3rd pic, Tassie is on the right)

They may be saying "let our kittenbox live". Or they may be thinking "when is our next kittycat kibble meal". Or as they are in fact pixel cats, it is also possible that they are not thinking anything at all.

BTW if you have any views one way or the other, feel free to comment on whether Son of Tassie should be released from his box to eat up my Linden.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Lost and found

No items in inventory: 58,000 (good); No. of items in inventory when logged in last night: 19,600 (v. bad)
Was procrastinating on Infolit iSchool last night, changing some furniture in the Wilf Saunders library, when thought would try rezzing some possible replacement builds. Need to consult Maggie first, but as demolishing common room to put up a conference centre, am considering making library into library/social venue. Am sure David Cameron would approve, as he and his chums always seem to be encouraging librarians to do things librarians have been doing for years e.g. lending CDs and selling coffee.
Anyway, was only when kept getting no hits in inventory search that finally realised that was not because too many items are in wrong folder. Was, rather, because NONE OF THE FOLDERS HAD ANYTHING IN THEM.

Icey finger of fear clutched at heart, but did some quick googling, and soon came across  lots of Don't Panic messages which indicated that was most likely that inventory wasn't loading. Followed some instructions from Rolig Loon (who must spend all her lifelife doing helpful posts) and within reasonable time inventory was cascading back into inventory folder.* Phew!

As a reaction to this decided to create new pixel life, so rezzed a kitten box I had purchased foolishly a couple of months ago and lo! there is a new kittycat for me to cuddle. It is a Bengal cat, with Odessey eyes i.e. they are different colours. Cute or what. Have called him Snowfall. This makes 6 cats altogether which is seriously approaching crazy cat lady territory, particularly when you look at the price of KittyCats food. First pic shows us all waiting for the kitten box to hatch, and 2nd pic shows Snowfall though at that point he was still just called Kitten.

Stone looked distinctly unenthused at the idea of a new male cat on his territory, and has taken to hiding under the floor even more often (see 3rd pic). Meanwhile, Ninetails is now full sized, but Snowfall is still at that age where he could get lost underneath a cushion, let alone underneath the house.

Whilst in Kitteycats main store noticed there was a HUD that enabled you to get your kitties to return to you even when you don't know where they are.
Hmmmmm. On one hand may regret not buying it if really do lose cat completely one day. On other hand, have been Hunting the Lost Virtual Cat for 5 years now, ever since Mitsy started throwing herself into sea on Eduserv island. It's a sort of ritual.  And at least kittycats don't disintegrate into disembodied paws and heads like Mitsy did.

BTW am also labouring at a serious post on "Twitter vs. SL" reflecting on experience of Twitter-only discussion about info literacy. Will of course be last word on the matter of Twitter vs SL and do not offer any prizes for guessing which one is winner in my book. Do they have kittycats on Twitter, who whimsically hide themselves under the floor and behind the furniture?** I rest my case.

*Practical info. To get inventory back, cleared cache (in Preferences, think it was Advanced tab), logged off, logged back in somewhere else and typed an "a" into the search box of inventory, then waited impatiently as the inventory count went up and up.
** the answer is "no".

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Cats, Hair, Bots

Emails received from virtual cats: 10 (good); Visibility of mesh: erratic (bad); Tail positions: unfortunate (v. bad)
Was overwhelmed with emails from Stone and Tassie on Monday demanding food and attention. Such an improvement on RL cats which can only meowl and look pained, not only have SL cats mastered email skills, also can tell me preceisely how hungry they are e.g. "40%".
Fortunately got to them before they were 100% hungry as at that point they retire to their themometers and blankets and linden must be paid to get them back to good health. Here I am showing Tassie I care, using cute "hold" pose. Is only one thing wrong with this pose, as can be seen if look closely at pic. Prompts thoughts such as "is that a kittycat you are holding or are you just glad to see me?" Would probably be good idea if kittycat tail vanished in this animation, or at least coiled discretely out of sight.

Am wearing new hair from Truth, but expenditure has been curbed somewhat as am being v. cautious about buying mesh clothes. Was incident of being filmed by Pancha when wearing nice mesh sweater and hair and looking like I had no torso but a bald head, and also when bumped into Kali and friends and it emerged that they were using non-mesh viewers.  Can't imagine why anyone who doesn't know what mesh is would read this blog, but anyway, mesh is new way of making stuff, using computer aided design; like sculpties, but it's not sculpties, it's mesh. Plus side of mesh is that it can curve to follow your avatar movements, minus is that you can't resize it if it's this flexible "rigged mesh".

Thus to fit different sized avis you get several sizes of (e.g.) the dress, which is all very well, but they are "standard size", which means you end up a standard size rather than your actual shape. This generally means buxom, with a small waist and biggish hips but a flat bottom. Do not want to be that shape. Combo of ill-fitting clothes and social embarrassment of having vital bits missing = avoidance of mesh.

Am also myself finding that when come across new mesh objects they are invisible first time round e.g. try on a mesh skirt and it looks like it isn't there. Relog and magically I can see it. Increasing numbers of people at meetings are thus suffering from bits-missing syndrome e.g. in VWER today there was chap who was mostly just head and extremities, and last week there was a woman was was mostly hair (see pic): very nice hair too, went off after the meeting to find the shop.

Next pic also shows mesh issue (see chap on far right, look no body) in after-VWER visit to a bot-shop where was being shown the Quasimodo Merlin bot (the one with steampunk wings: actually realise now that you can't really see him in this pic, he is hidden by my Big Hair, that thought bubble is coming out of his head). Quasimodo was eccentric bot who disliked people he had only just been introduced to (he actually said "I dislike x", x being Suzanne who was just trying to make polite conversation with him). Therefore ended up being something of a bait-the-bot session, though in a polite educators sort of way. Quasi has been programmed to write vogon poetry and his poem for me on the subject of "Jubilee" was as follows (copyright to him, obviously)
"among shops futuristic jubilee
Label interpreted jubilee!
You extended parkey.
Out of the water, budgeted bugbee.
All taste fielded plumlee.
Good and plenty, allocated lordy.
Sheilas suit entertains parkey"

Could spend hours deconstructing this. The first lines seem to be corruscating commentary on the extent to which the Queen's Diamond Jubilee has been turned in a commercial event. "Parkey" is of course reference to popular but ageing UK TV personality Michael Parkinson, a former chat show host. "You extended parkey" must be compliment to the dedicatee (me) implying that my witty repartee would stretch Parkey's powers, and indeed provide him and his audience with entertainment ("Sheilas suit entertains"). This appears to be in contrast with some dull minor royal who has been foisted onto Parkey as a guest ("allocated lordy") with an affected plummy accent ("fielded plumlee"). Not sure about the fourth line. Perhaps there has been flooding, but fortunately there is sufficient Parkinson Show budget to mop it up so we are "out of the water".

Great stuff.

And to finish with, here I am balancing on a table.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

I celebrate my Rez day with the cats

No of years in SL: 5 (good); No. of cats in SL: 5 (furry; well, sort of); No. of times interviewed in SL: lost count (bad)

Another year another Rez Day and here I am celebrating my 5th, with the same old animated birthday cake over my head. Earlier in the day had been marginally more social.
Had been asked by Kali to transcribe at the VWER meeting, and so had hour rattling away at keyboard. Up side is that had to stay awake and pay attention, down side is that by end fingers felt partially detached from hands through overuse.

Took along newest kitty acquisition, vis, Tassie. She is seal point siamese, and is named after The Silver Tassie, as in Burns' poem. In fact almost called her Tassel*, but thought that sounded too much like I was considering using her tail for a bell-pull. Since she is still only a few days old, she sits on my shoulder rather than being held, which is very much in the cute-or-what-category. Can see in the 2nd pic what Tassie looked like when newly rezzed i.e. small lump of clay.

Returning to subject of Rez Day, had thought about attaching sign to head with something amusing e.g. Rez Day Girl! However a mere nanosecond of reflection revealed that this would not be amusing at all, so didn't. Did receive one IM from someone wishing happy rez day, so am grateful for small mercies. Outside SL have reached stage where get v. few actual birthday cards. Thank goodness for Facebook, as got lots of Happy Birthdays on there, where would one be without social networking.

After the VWER meeting, got interviewed about teaching in SL, by a PhD student. Was thinking that could probably get article out of analysing all the squillions of interviews I've given about my teaching in SL. Would be interesting to compare what had said each time, though probably only interesting to me.

* I know that Tassie isn't short for Tassel, but they sound jolly similar.

Monday, 16 April 2012


Sakura-related items bought: who's counting? (bad)
Sakura is japanese for cherry blossom, Hanami is about viewing the cherry blossom and March & April are the months when you haul all those cherry trees, cherry blossom petal generators, cherry blossom kimono, cherry blossom sweets, cherry blossom ground cover etc. etc. out of inventory. And despite the fact that you have more cherry blossom trees than there are prims in a sim March are April are also months when you launch yourself round the grid snapping up new cherry blossom delights.

The theme for the Virtual Worlds best practices in Education exhibition area was old-japanesey and Pancha did a v.v. good japanesey exhibition build so had excellent excuse to invest in complete new set of cherry trees from Forest Floor. Not only are they in 3 cute shapes, and can be resized, the foliage changes season on click and you get some artistic mossy rocks as well.
Have also acquired exquisite Cherry Blossom prim foods from Poche and Nonino, and after had finished swooning at beauty of cherry blossom viewing experience on the Sway's sim, recovered enough to buy a cherry blossom viewing couch, chair and screen.
Despite fact had already oodles of cherry blossom pictures, decided to go inworld and pose a few more.

Fatal. 1 hour later and do have some cherry blossom pics in bag. However, also got dropped freebies by Trompe L'oeil i.e. their new set of patio furniture. There is loads of it. Of course could not resist unpacking on spot and then fiddling with settings etc. to get a pic to blog on Home on the grid, another procrastination-pit. So show some bits in 2nd pic. Furniture is MESH so for some people will just look like a set of unsightly teal blots on the landscape. But, hey, it was ALL FREE.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Blue remembered hills. And cats

Months since last blogged here: 4 (disappointing, but, whatever)

Had sudden urge to blog here, and discovered these pics which uploaded to blog in early December. Think must have been assailed by worry that was inflicting same old same old kittycat postings on world, and therfore went no further. But, whatever, kittycats are cute.

So, here you have a series of pics from start of Dec 2012, and will see what I can remember about them.

Starting point must actually have been pic lower down i.e. KittyCats update that meant you could PET OTHER PEOPLE'S CATS. In this pic, however, am petting own cat i.e. Stone, cute as ever. Think that Stone kept somehow disappearing through wall of house into garden. Still can't work out how he does that.

This 2nd pic is nothing to do with cats, but that old chestnut My Eye Texture Has Disappeared Woah Isn't That Spooky. This has happened to me before. It will happen to me again. But evidently I thought it was worth taking a picture of.

Only really odd thing is that on right can see straight through eye and head to window frame of house (house from which Stone had just made break for freedom) and on left can just see back of head. But not much entertainment value there, really.

So on to next KittyCat picture.

Here I am just having tp-ed inworld, to discover Naomi and Quilt flat out in cutest sleeping pose, with UPDATE ME floating over their heads. Is all a bit hazy, but think this update was pretty straightforward, just click cat, get update, rez the updater, and, lo, KittyCats now amenable to petting by all and sundry.

Suddenly remember was amusing moment last semester when coerced student wearing balloon avatar to pet cat for photo-op. Will try to unearth that pic and blog, just for completeness.

Otherwise, what can I tell from thsi picture? Appear to be wearing fetching oufit from Boho Hobo. Hmm, that is what I am wearing in this fashion blog post, which must mean that actually theses pics were taken in November not December. Landscape in background is late autumn, not winter; snow line has not yet crept down mountains (QED).

And so on to the next pics, in which, sated by pampering and petting own kitties, move to other people's.

Firstly, there are cute kitties in the Hanaya shop. There was a nice winter shelter out in front of the shop, with the kitties curled up on cushions, just waiting to have their new petting feature experimented with.

BTW, in case you want to try it for tyourself, should you come across a KittyCat in need of affection; you right click and select PET. This is in the place where it normally says SIT, so basically it means that your KittyCats now come with inbuilt poses for others to use.

The final pic was taken in Urbanized, when they introduced a new line of KittyCat cushions. The pose is in the cushion, rather than the cat, so you have to get the cat in the right position for it to look cute.

You have 2 options. You can wait for hours and hours for your KittyCat to wander randomly onto the exact right spot and try to pose before it wanders off again. Or you can right click on your cat, select edit, drag it into the correct place, and immobilise it with a judicious click on the menu. It is up to you.

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