Friday, 31 July 2015

Strawberry, distraction, reality

Strawberry catgirl beds bought: 1 (good); FB nonsenses: 1 (bad)
Have procrastinated into blog to note that have bought a strawberry cat-girl bed (includes cute poses for one or two people) on Fifty Linden Friday offer and installed it in the ancient Insect and Fruit Houses on Infolit iSchool. Can see specifically that have put it in strawberry house, and indeed remembering this house (which has hovered over Infolit for 8 years) was chief excuse for clicking "pay" on the cat-girl bed vendor. Bed is large enough for real sized avatars, not just cats. It is the thing with green ears inside the strawberry house (just to make things crystal clear, since you may not have seen a strawberry catgirl bed before now).

Was diverted when entered this blog, though, as follow Bryn Oh's blog and noticed this post: For those of you who have lived their lives snuggled in their skybox watching virtual soaps and do not venture out, this is the internationally reknowned artist Bryn Oh, who does extraordinary magical art installations in SL and I imagine also magical etc. in the physical world (e.g. exhibition in Berlin at the moment) but haven't experienced those first hand.

Bryn Oh has been asked by Facebook to prove that this is her "real name" and since she can't produce the normal certification, her FB account is likely to get closed. As one commenter on her FB page says "Bryn Oh is more real than some actual real life people I know!" Bryn Oh has won awards! been given grants to create art in SL! has a reputation and connections and people who take selfies by her artworks and buy them to put in their homes! (and that includes me, I don't know Bryn Oh but have admired her work for years)

In what way is that not real? Seems bizarre but not unexpected that a company that makes its living through the virtual (ie FB) is out of tune with what it means to live a life across virtual and physical worlds.

Here is pic of Bryn Oh work that came across randomly on someone's land a couple of years ago. It cause me to pause and think about things and feel refreshed. Definitely real.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The perils of ducks

Ducks acquired: numerous (good); Crashes experienced: 8, or was it 10, no, think it was 11 (bad); Psychedelic glithes: 1 (v.v. bad)

Had formulated idea that since already have oodles of unrezzed stuff in inventory should not acquire more, but, heyho, saw an ad for this duck bobbing game at the Wayward event, and off I went. Proved to be not the most enjoyable experience since the venue was incredibly laggy, a combo of lots of people (it's featured on the SL login page) and all the fairground rides.
Additionally, flying had been disabled.  Simply fail to understand why someone who wants people to stay at their events disables flying. Means you spend more time camming round, or chair-hopping, or hopelessly double clicking your mouse to try and go above a crawl.

Anyway, despite this, persevered driven on by fantasy of bobbing for cute virtual ducks. Was not really intending to indulge in any other purchase but predictably ended up with
1 seat in form of old weathered ferris wheel carriage
1 air balloon
2 ducks which can sit on shoulder
1 elegant whicker lounge with gauzy canopy
1 pair free mesh eyes
Was there something else? Have vague feeling that may have thrown 50 Linden at some gacha or other. All these were encountered before coming across bobbing ducks. Painstakingly worked way round event, crashing every few booths. Think rot started when had crashed twice in Soy booth and in the end felt sort of emotional attachment to the Soy ferris wheel carriage that had been dithering over, and bought it. 2nd pic shows this in situ, has replaced equally cute truck/shower from MMG at end of garden. Hope you can see have tried to be a bit arty with this pic, with strategic seagulls and shadows enabled.

Crashing got worse and worse, until part of computer screen was obscured by sort of tangle of pastel coloured shapes, which think was own graphics card saying help help help. Therefore eventually rebooted and then wasn't quite so bad i.e. only crashed every 10 minutes rather than every 3. Was then able to appreciate that Wayward sim was actually v. nicely set out with all sorts of cute items to sit on/ride, including numerous carousels (teacups one, cat one, seahorse one etc. etc.) and other rides that zoom round and round or up and down. First one tried remained static, but enjoyed ride on The Vortex (see first pic taken as whizzing) although way pose worked meant that could only glimpse self squeezed between 2 seats, perhaps in fear.

After having to go round event twice, found ducks. Vendor had also created beanbag game (see 3rd pic). You click on the item, you attach beanbag, you click on bean toss board, you toss it, end of story. Somehow felt ought to get a bit more for 250 Linden. Tried duck bobbing, and found that curiously, when posed by bobbing bucket, did not lean over bobbing bucket but rather hunched up several feet to one side. This gave a moment's pause (is this bugged?) but desire for cute ducks overcame common sense.

As can see from 4th pic, unfortunately the bug continued when got booty home and unpacked it ie when SAT on bucket, immediately moved to right and hunched. Am too apathetic to contact creator to say "It's bugged" so am hoping someone else will do this and will have corrected copy dropped on me at some point. This does generally happen, only the other day got a less buggy version of some complete outdoor bathing set that had of course forgotten had ever bought.

Upside is that after have bobbed for a while, get given a duck which attaches to head.

Can forgive people a lot for random freebie head duck

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Embodied souls: Life Lessons: Shopping

Days saved: 1 (good); communication malfunctions: 1 (bad)

As regular readers will know, am one of coorganisers on regular Thursday meeting of SL educators i.e. Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable. In VWER we
a) discuss hot topics of day or
b) listen to someone talking about hot topic of day or
c) reassure each other that is really cool to be a SL educator: latter achieved by talking about same old same old viz. why don’t people “get” SL, why doesn’t SL fix group chat, will SL disappear when SL 2.0 comes along, what are good examples of teaching./assessing/learning/research in/about SL or
d) tell each other what the weather’s like where we are.**

Most exciting VWER recently was 3 weeks ago when Kali and I had a 2-avatars-1-voice experience, that was nearly a 2-avatars-no-voice-at-all experience. Kali was due to interview 3 v.v. interesting people but sadly had SL voice problems, which is not total bar to interviewing but using text chat tends to make things slower. Also more difficult to manage voiced people if YOU are in chat, not that would want to imply that any speakers would be in need of managing, cough.

Anyway was emailed earlier in day by Kali saying her SL voice was kaput, and could she skype and speak via my avatar. I said no problem, obs. However was busy day and when had seen last student out of RL office felt was in need of some play and rest and so checked out whether kittycats needed feeding and then took opportunity to finally tp into The Arcade (see 1st pic) and scope up umpteen gatcha items that will doubtless sit unused in inventory for forseeable future (except for peacock shown in 2nd pic, cute or what).

As sidenote, am now on constant lookout for new items of food for SL cat cafes (see yummy 3rd pic), unfortunately whilst have increasing cornucopia of exquisitely fashioned cupcakes, steak dinners, pretzels, fruit plates etc. is also rise in % of SL food that simply sits there and looks ornamental, rather than giving portion of said food on click. Would not want clients of the Yoshikawa chain of cat cafes clicking madly on array of coffee and cakes in vain hope of obtaining something to drop into inventory and ADD (here’s me stuffing face with pixel muffin etc. etc.).
Think should be some kind of SL food standards authority decreeing that only allowed to call something “SL food” if can actually eat it. Perhaps non-edible SL food could be called food sculpture, equivalent of RL food being made of plaster or plastic.

To return to the VWER meeting. Whilst was technically free for hour and a bit before VWER meeting, was indulging in SL wandering around and random thoughts as above, so was less than half hour before VWER meeting before tp-ed into the VWER auditorium to say hi and work out the voice thing.

Now must confess that had engaged zero brain cells in thinking this through, but had vague consciousness there was something wrong with arrangements that had been made. When using SL listen via headphones and speak via USB mic. Kali was going to skype and then was expecting to speak via me. How was the sound to go from my ears into SL?
Think now that must have had unquestioning faith in Kali’s ability to manage magic mind transfer, though suppose if she could do that would not have had the voice problem in the first place. Magic mind transfer would solve SL’s frequent voice problems at a stroke though could also cause embarrasment when one forgot to turn off mind transfer and broadcast all sorts of unsuitable things to assembled avatars. Although forgetting to turn mic off can also be embarrassment as I and others have found out hard way, thus does experience teach us life lessons.

Well, to cut long tedious story short was some fruitless inteplay as start time of VWER session approached and indeed was upon us, before realised that headphones were the problem. Essential element for the thing to work was placing microphone next to speakers that had sound coming out of them. Once this was realised, twas but a moment’s work to turn on speakers and so forth and away we went with efficient and effective interviewing process.

Sat in audience being Kali’s dummy and reminding people periodically that was not her. If had put more effort into whole thing could in fact have put notice over head saying KALI IS SPEAKING THROUGH SHEILA but there you go, most people probably didn’t even notice.
So what life lessons come out of THIS experience?

1) Do not go shopping when should be preparing for serious professional event
2) Test things out more than 10 mins before intending to use them if do not want to appear idiot
3) Apply simple questions such as “Is this going to work”?

In fact can dispose of first 2 points, since if apply item 3) will swiftly emerge whether or not there’s time to go shopping or whether need to be
• squinting at incomprehensible Windows control panel
• pulling jack plugs in and out
• checking and unchecking boxes in SL preferences
• deciding which of the unlikely sounding audio device names listed on the pull down menu is the one that is the actual name of the audio device you have plugged in and therefore want to activate

Final life lesson is that if have ace people (i.e. me and Kali) trying to cobble together a solution then solution will be duly cobbled and no-one else will be aware was problem in first place.


** NB VWER is one of fave things in SLife so all this tongue in cheek ahem ahem

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