Thursday, 26 February 2009

Oh My God

I think I'm in control.

I mean, I think I made a mistake in Second Life.
Second Life is very consumerist. Most SLers will know this by now, and if they haven't been taken in by it, then it's a simple matter of them not having been taken in yet.

I was somewhat reluctant to "invest" money into this thing at the beginning, and rightly so; I knew exactly what would happen. So, I found 500 prims for L$500/w, and unlimited sky space in which to use them (as long as you doff your cap to public decency, and move things if asked). I thought it was a good idea to get used to that small, steady amount. The L$2000 per month was ideal. There's a ten buck limit for those who haven't put in any money before, and I thought that was going to stay because I have a basic account. I didn't mind, as it got my land paid, and 531 lindens to play with.

It doesn't stay that way.

I believe I found this out by accident, just trying to top up some money for some clothes I'd seen, probably, wondering if the monthly limit had been reduced to 0, because of the new month. And lo, I could charge, well, a lot.

I've put in like .. 14000 lindens, in the last fortnight. 9000 being one purchase. I know, I know, it's nothing in the Real Life (I figured it was more useful to me in Second Life than two new DVDs and the postage), but it feels like a ridiculous amount to put into a - cough - game.

Everyone knows, and forgets, that Second Life is an amazingly appropriate name. It drags you in like a whirlpool, picking up speed as you go around. Relatively, Charybdis is little more than a plughole in a bathtub.

Don't put your wallet, or your purse, near that swirling mass of water or it'll be sucked in!

I don't regret it, as I now have mucho mula for the clothage, and other niceties, but I'm considering dropping my land. I intended to build and whatnot upon it, but I haven't done anything. It is so nice to have your own Home landing spot, though... Maybe I can set somewhere else to Home. That extra L$2000 a month is a new outfit!

Alt-tabbing back to Second Life now...

Sunday, 22 February 2009

King Of The Mountain

I think that many poets don't take constructive criticism - or commentary - well. They like to think they do, and it's true that they are rarely offensive about it, but when you find them repeating something you said as the reason/excuse for whatever you pointed out, the cracks show. I can't blame any of them - really; I don't think I'd take it well, either. But there's no need to be so defensive, gosh. We're only commenting to help. If you don't want people to say anything, don't show it. We understand when we point things out that you probably like it the way it is, or that you have a reason for doing it like that, but if it didn't stick out to us (the readers, and we're arguably the most important ones), we wouldn't mention it. For good or ill.

That said, allow me to show you a few poets who can take constructive criticism well.

Outside Ring: Huckleberry Hax, sabreman Carter, Myself, Sverien Oldrich, and Klannex Northmead.

I think there's something so delightfully evil about putting someone's full name on the internet; Adding another result for google to catalogue, should someone be curious of that person. It's for that reason I took the time to make sure of the above names. Controlled evil. Stops me burning down orphanages, or killing baby lambs.

A fine rear-view of the proprietress and poet, Persephone Phoenix.

The event takes place on a Saturday, at 10am SLT, which is also 10am PST, and thus 6pm GMT. The beginning of the evening for those lucky people in the British Isles and Africa, who don't have to wake up early (although we would, I'm sure).
Typically, it is as intimate as you see in the pictures above. As it only lasts for an hour or so, there is only the time to read three, or four poems. Well, the reading can happen quite quickly, but it's the discussion and criticism that takes place just after that hogs the time. A poem can easily steal a third of the total time on discussion!

I like going. I don't participate much. I usually just mumble things to myself in local chat as the others get stuck into being helpful. I don't know much about poetry yet, but I figure that if I don't put myself in these situations then I never will. I actually disconnected half-way through this time, and it took me a while to log back on, so I stayed at my skybox, busying myself with real life activities until my next appointment, at 12 noon (8pm).

The previous night, we had been informed of the theme for the Trivia at Bookstacks. Recently, some group has been sponsoring to have people come in theme, and the winning outfit/look will win some lindens. I never usually try to win, as I'm up against women and the like - Realistically, I have no chance. But a dear woman introduced me to Male Fashion in Second Life by way of blogs, and I was in the mood for some shopping.

So, I think I ended up pending about L$1600. Now, I appreciate how small an amount this is in the Real Life, but for someone who was happy with charging just 2531 a month to cover his skybox with a tiny bit of play money, this is quite the jump. I'm sure I wouldn't have done it if I didn't have several weeks in hand with the rent. Fairly positive... And I don't even have much to show for it! You really have to pay out the (relative) nose for the good stuff!

But I whimsy. That wasn't a verb before, so now it is. Yes.

Back to Bookstacks. In the time between my departure from the Poetry Workshop and the Trivia starting, I did a little more shopping. I got a pair of neat shorts, that I'll have to find a use for in the summer.

Just me, Kghia Gherardi and Simeon Beresford. (Doing the name thing again, teehehe)

On the Bar row is Taimaru Hak and Myself
Table has Derry McMahon and Lludmila Mirrikh

Did anyone guess the theme yet? Colour. So, after the pleasant-trees associated with meeting and greeting acquaintances, we got down to the reason we were all here; Trivia.
The questions are usually hard. And it often turns into a matter of who can google the fastest. In fact, if you look back a few blogs, you'll see what happened the last time I tried to beat the people with actual desktop computers and the ability to run Second Life with graphics and a web browser with no ill effects. I have an
ultra portable laptop, and no ability to run Second Life without ill effects to anything else I want to do. It even protests at writing this blog at the same time as running SL.

Anyway, I have a trick. I found the one thing that stopped me googling worth anything is the chat lag I get. Before, I'd see six answers before I'd even got the question. And this was because my laptop couldn't handle all the pretty twitches and whatnot of ten seated avatars. So, I turned my client into a text-only viewer. This is done by, simply, holding
ctrl+shift+alt and hitting 1 through 0 (If you just started hyperventilating over what I've done to your client, just do the same again and the pretty pictures'll come back). Try pressing ctrl+shift+1 before doing this, and see how high your frame rate is before and after. There can be quite a difference for me. Most importantly, the chat does not lag anymore.

So, I open up google chrome (I love
Firefox. It has everything I need, all the extras, it's faster than IE. But, chrome googles faster. It just does.) and I am ready.

Questions come, and I answer a few of them. In case you didn't look back two paragraphs ago, I'll tell you what I was trying to point out. I won then, and I set the highest score ever. I think it was 75, or 65. Something like that.

You totally guessed this was coming.

I won again! And I set the new record. I actually got 95 this time, although the pictures here will show me with 100. This is because the board came with a notecard that said 100 is the limit, and we wanted to see what'd happen. Nothing did. Maybe we should've tried 105... Anyhow, yes. Very happy. I'm somewhat of a monster when I get to typing.

If you'll excuse the hasty screenshot - couldn't get SL to pick up on the hovertext.

So, there was dancing.

Here's Simeon in his outfit. He would've won, if it weren't for...

Lludmila. She always wins the theme contest. Cry.

So! I got my victory money, and Lludmila got hers. But, one has to remember that it's not about the money. While winning some has to make you happier, it's a really fun activity and a nice place and a great crowd of people.

And so, that was my Saturday. This happens every Saturday I can make it, although the theme for the quiz changes. I could probably blog about each instance, as something new
always happens, but if I did that, it wouldn't be so special.

Would you like to check out these awesome places?
Click one of these links and Second Life will, if installed, open the landmark.
If no-one is there, have a look around, and maybe find the relevant group joining prim.
These two places are sometimes empty until an event is on, so don't take the emptiness when you teleport there as a bad sign!


Friday, 20 February 2009


Oh goshy goshy gosh.

What an eventful last couple of days!

Regretfully, little-to-none of that is going to be blogged. Oh well, eh?

I was at the first meeting for this focused writing event (Get name, dude). We meet Monday and Friday for an hour (or longer) and devote that time to writing. At least, the other people do. When I was there for the first time, I talked and procrastinated. I missed the following meeting, sadly, but I expect I would've talked and procrastinated some more. I wonder if I'll do the same tonight. Perhaps, as I am sitting, a great idea will come to me, and I'll be seized with a fury to write, wearing out my keyboard at a greater speed and ending up with no fingertips.

That would be very nice, but I doubt it'll happen.

In other non-news, I want to build a venue of some sort.


The above was written, lazily, while I was in work. I did intend to go over it and, naturally, it would've been posted in a better shape.

I went to sleep when I got home; Forgot all about, and slept right through, the writing event. I may not have done a whole lot there, but I'll be damned if I don't go. My missing the event has totally made me sad, as I like it, and as I only realised I missed it now ... three and a half hours after waking. It was scheduled to start ... six and a half hours ago, and I can only assume it did. I should have asked someone.

Anyhow, pictures. I also realised today that I'm not a person who tends to blog with pictures. I know I don't blog much (If you'd call this a blog in any but the literal sense, that is.), but pictures don't usually occur to me.

My best build (Okay, don't laugh!) hasn't even been seen by more than a handful of people, and nowhere outside of Second Life. And there's been no pictures of my lovely avatar, either!

So, without ado,
I take the time to present,
A gal called Winni.

She's the piano.
And the dude is Lukos.
And so is the elephant.

Winnifred, with a little elephant on top. Why not?

Arguably a better shot. Whatever the consensus, it shows some of the other details.

Showing you everything and yet nothing. Note the unrezzed scenery*.

Not tired; It's my new AO. It's quirky and slightly comedic. I like it.

Well, those are the pictures for you.
I think I enjoy pictures. I'll have to take more. If the Internet doesn't remove them for the bad quality, that is.


*Currently building a computer with better graphics than my ultra-portable.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Just Lukos

I've gained some new goals in Second Life.

I've found some new friends, although not at the expense of the all of the older ones.

Most relevant, I've found new hobby. That probably means there will be more interesting blogging, although we'll always disagree on what is good and interesting.


Friday, 6 February 2009

New York

New York...  New York.  Who has an interest me, and is currently in New York?  If you're reading this, and you surely know who you are, feel free to IM me and tell me, because it's practically driving me out of my mind not knowing.

Well.  This is my first "blog" since my return to Second Life.  I can see the masses of people who regularly read my blog jumping around in glee.  I can positively see it.

My main activities in-world are word-related now.  I always enjoyed the odd event with Bookstacks before I left, but I've somewhat dedicated myself to it now.  I find myself wanting more stuff organised, and run, without having to supply the ideas (The whole "Don't criticise if you don't know how to improve" thing is totally ridiculous - I point out other failings, I don't see it as my duty to fix them) and waiting for the ones that are available.

I actually won the Trivia last Saturday.  It is often really hard, and it's simply a matter of who can google the fastest, so before now I hadn't actually taken part, refusing to google the answers myself.  But, last Saturday, I thought I'd make up for all the times I didn't win because I didn't google.  I think I got like..  14 questions right out of 31, and there were at least five others there.  I believe the closest score to me was 45.  I was hoping to run off the top of the board, but sadly, I didn't.  Got me 250 lindens, which was cool (although 5 had to go in the potty mouth jar).

I also made a few new friends, but one Special Friend.  I shan't mention her name, like I have a certain other friend, because she's probably too shy.  That's my reason and I'm standing by it.

Started building a teacup last weekend, to live in.  It was large, but not large enough.  Perhaps I will return to it when I can get some decent megaprims, and feel the urge to.  Then, I started making a nuclear bomb.  A fat boy.  The intention was to drop it and it'd go "BHMMMM" and then it'd go white and then fiery and be very pretty and stuff.  I built a nice shell, I got it to go "BHMMM", and even drop from a height and stop on impact, but the whole white flash (which is a very important piece) has bested me (for now), so I gave up on that also.

After that, I started making a vardo.  I made very good ground on it, but it wasn't until I'd plotted everything out that I realised the vardo I was building didn't look too much like other vardos, and while uniqueness is something to be encouraged, it made my build a magnitude harder, so that has also been dropped, for now.

This shouldn't surprise any of my regulars.  Throughout my S.L. life, I have completed one object, and that was with the help of another.  But it did end up pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

Definitely need a building project to keep me occupied, although between reading a book (and two others) based in and around the Metaverse (That means Second Life) and my other books, and my "social" book events, and work, I don't know if I have the time!  Being bored is very time-consuming.

So, open to any and all building ideas.

How are you?