Archive for October, 2008



Scavenger Hunt!!!

Whoo Hoo!!! My ducks made it to the scavenger hunt!!!! :) As part of the conference social activities, there was a scavenger hunt. The broadcast went out: “Scavenger hunt: I’ll give (prize) to the first person who can tell me where to find one of the following items: a teacup; a swimming duck; an insect playing a tiny violin; etc. “. I LOVE my ducks!!! :) During a break between sessions I took T over to see my ducks swimming in the canal. He, having good taste, also loved my ducks. So he arranged for them to be part of the scavenger hunt. I visit the ducks daily. Finally had to put a rock in so I had some place to sit while I watch them. :)

Conference is still going well. Interesting talks, some minor glitches that get handled quickly. Really an amazingly smooth event. And it’s even fun. :)

And now for something serious….. Bogirl has posted about a “One belief at a time” workshop. If you find that little setbacks make you angry or frustrated, if you find that you blame others for your emotional state, if you wish to face life with greater calm and control, GO TO THIS WORKSHOP. I learned this approach somewhere somewhen else, and it changed my life. I have never been as happy, relaxed, and confident as I am now, as a result of this kind of technique. Here’s how I was first introduced to this concept. You are driving down the highway. Another driver cuts you off and you narrowly miss having an accident. You:
(1) get angry and curse and scream at the other driver who is obviously an idiot, incompetent, selfish, etc.
(2) you freak and think oh no oh my I could have been killed, that was awful, so terrible, why do these things happen to ME???????
(3) you say “gee, aren’t I a good driver? look at that – there could have been an accident but I was on top of things. I really am a good driver and handled that well.”

Be honest. I know that I looked at my friend as if he was crazy when he posed this question to me. OBVIOUSLY #1 is the right answer. Well. :) It took a looooonnnnng time, but one day, I was driving down the highway and was cut off. I thought “Wow, that could have been bad. Didn’t I do well to avoid THAT?” And I realized what I had managed to achieve (thought-wise, not driving) and I literally laughed out loud. I was so free and happy and light. Go for it folks. You have nothing to lose but a lot of anger and stress and misery. :)

Conference Report

It’s here!!! The conference began!!! It’s going very well considering the size and scope. There were a few minor glitches with the presentation viewers but they were straightened out fairly quickly. I crashed out at least 4 times and I know other people crashed a bit too, but that also was an inconvenience, not a show stopper. The voice connection was working and helped greatly when speakers asked for audience response. Lots of helpful people with identifying banners to assist attendees. You can see the banner “Greeter” behind my head – I am blocking the view of the person. Everyone seemed to make it to their sessions on time. I heard lots of positive comments from the attendees. I was reading a review in our company blogs – basically very favorable. What was MISSING from that blog, of course, was the flower review. :) She did have a “lots of beautiful places to visit” picture, but she neglected the close-ups and panoramic views that the landscaping deserved!!! :) Someone has to say it, so I will: We did a great job folks!!! Kudos to J, J, M and of course ME!!! (And everyone else who did landscaping – I know there were more of us.) I checked the swan and ducks and they were very happy. (Hmph – that review didn’t mention them OR the butterflies! Some people really don’t understand what’s important!!!)

So here I am, surrounded by co-workers. Click on this pic to see it larger. Does this count as my RL or as my SL??? The chairs were VERY comfortable! They are equipped with a multi-position viewer. The moment you sit down the camera pans to center stage. You can page-up and page-down to pan about the hall. It’s very well done and a particularly effective tool. Nice touch!

Don’t forget the next Shengri La Rave -Gypsy Moon – coming up this Saturday, Oct. 25! I already have MY costume!!! :) (You know, Shenlei, I think you and I do more to boost the economy than any one else in SL! LOL)

Disappointment

Into every life a little rain must fall. Sometimes it’s a lot of rain and it rains very very hard and washes things away. Like flowers. As in, all the flowers that I planted last week in the flower beds for the conference. They are all gone. No more. Sigh. I ripped them all out last night.

Friday at noon we ran a stress test for the conference. Only fifty some people there and it was fairly laggy. Most things seemed to work, by and large. After that I continued to do some landscaping. Snuck in the swan and the ducks. :) By Friday night I was pretty tired of planting flowers and trees and arranging rocks. On Saturday I released butterflies into Margie’s gardens. But otherwise I stayed away, spent most of my time in RL (whee! that can be much fun too!!!). Sunday night after my company left and I’d cleaned up, I logged in to catch Noma rocking the weekend to a close. No sooner had I waded my way into the crowded sim when J pinged me.

She said “Hi Ahuva, I really hate to ask this.” I laughed and said “You want me to remove the ducks and the butterflies?” She said “What ducks??????” Still laughing I said “Oops, shouldn’t have told you!!” But as you already know, it wasn’t the ducks. (So far the ducks have been spared. I told her I was willing to sacrifice the butterflies but that I LOVED the ducks :) ) “My” flower beds were at the entry to the conference. That was why I started there and put so much effort into it – the point was to make the entry looked good. There is good and there is over the top. This was over the top, not in beauty, but in prims. Apparently 3300 prims in that sim were mine. Flowers that is, flora gold. The way J figured it, each flower is probably a 1024×1024 texture — that is 32 bits deep, so each texture is eating 4MB. I have no idea what I just wrote, except that obviously it is not a healthy situation for the sim. :) X had also had 3300 prims in that area and removed them at J’s request. That improved the FPS (frames per second). So J asked me to remove mine. I gulped and asked “All of them?” She suggested that I start with some and we could see what happened.

I don’t know how to remove “some”. I tried to link flowers before and pull them out, but I hadn’t gotten very good at it (had problems getting the angles and groupings the way I wanted them). So J taught me “rubberbanding”, as she called it. This was exactly what I wanted earlier in the process. If I’d known THIS, I’d have been done in half the time, I’m sure! And the flower beds would have been identical. :) Rubberbanding, should you want to know, is a form of copying. You select Tools from the menu, then click “Select Only my Objects”. Next click on an object in a corner of the area you wish to copy. Draw a yellow box highlighting all the items that you wish to take/copy. And there you have it. So I did that. I didn’t catch everything on the first bed, but I caught enough that should there ever be an opportunity, I could probably recreate the missing corner. I caught more of the 2nd bed. We simply tossed the flowers that were in the quadrants under the trees. What the heck.

So then I got my next assignment: Make it look good using only 2 plants and many fewer instances. LOL. Right. Okay, well, the world used to be black & white before they invented color photos, right? :) Planting goes MUCH faster when you are limited in which plants and how many. So my gardens are gone, long live the gardens.

Halloween at Angelwood

Last week we all gathered for an early Halloween party at Angelwood. Our hosts, Jordana Streeter and Aaronson Swindlehurst, threw a marvelous blast!! Jordana sent me at least 40 pics and I had some of my own. You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen Lucy from the Peanuts gang pole dancing. :) Oh my, poor Mr. Shultz!!!! Linus was there with his blanket, Snoopy with his (her?) doghouse and of course, Charlie Brown – you blockhead!!!! :) We all had a wonderful wonderful time. I had no idea how best to post these pics so I simply ran them all together. Click on them to see the full photo. You know I never put up anyone’s name without prior permission, so there are no names here. Please – feel free to comment and identify yourself (or anyone else who wouldn’t mind being identified). I was there – but I was boring (no surprise there). I had no time to shop (gee, do you think it was because I spend every minute inworld landscaping???) so I grabbed my Steampunk outfit and headed over. Probably I should have gone as a pirate – maybe I could have snagged a dance with Jack Sparrow!!!!!

Enjoy! I wonder when wordpress will tell me that I have used up all my allowed storage???? :)

Melissa Wanted Ducks

If Melissa asks a favor, I can’t say no. :) Thanks to Margie for the swan and Dale for the ducks! They are all paddling about happily in the river.

Mini Updates

I LOVE rocks!!! LOL. Added them to my landscaping tool kit. Although I am so weary tonight, I feel that if I never plant another flower that will be just fine. From the wall to the river is my work. :)

It’s time for a BUTTERFLY HUNT!!!!! YAY!!! Shengri La is having its monthly Ode jewelry butterfly hunt tomorrow (Friday, Oct 17). For all the details click here.

Details

Love and Sex are the 2 big draws in SL blogging (maybe in all blogging). :) I’m busy landscaping. But if you want the serious conversation, go to Bailey’s blog. She’s talking about lying and sex and love. :)

It’s the attention to details that makes SL such a wonderful place to inhabit. After days and days of planting flowers and trees and landscaping, that fact has been driven home. I’ve been having fun and learning a lot. I’ve been learning about rezzing objects, moving objects, stretching, shrinking and rotating objects. I’ve learned that I am a bit obsessive and compulsive about my work. :) Maybe some of you knew that already. I cannot walk away and leave the plant as it rezzed. I NEED to tweak it. I need to scatter the placements so that the plants are not in a straight line. I rotate each plant slightly to different angles so that the tops have a more natural look. I change the size of each one – some larger, some smaller. It takes me forever. But I can’t not do it. I tried to simply put a bunch of flowers in and walk away. I couldn’t do that. I HAD to make tiny adjustments to each one to differentiate it.

I have finally finished with the 6 flower beds. Now I’m making my way along the river. Ahuva Appleseed!!! :) I am planting weeping willows and weeping crab apple trees. I have cattails for along the shore. I have rocks to size and move and pile. I have weedy water plants along the shore (hey – maybe some lily pads????). Thank goodness there are some other people doing some landscaping as well, because at the rate I’m going, I’ll be done sometime in the spring of 2009. :) And the conference is next week. But trees and shoreline go much faster than tailored flower beds. Less tweaking is needed. Large open space is acceptable. But even so – I am compelled to fill in spaces with little touches of color or rocks. I went in this morning to take some pictures for this blog and I see that J and J have been very busy planting trees. And you know what – it looks great! Obviously they understand the macro view and are not obsessing about tweaking each leaf. There are trees all over. I couldn’t help but notice, however, that they all look the same………. Bad, Ahuva!!! Get with the BIG picture!!!! :)

I am sure that there are still more tricks to this than I have grasped. I have learned to group objects to copy but I’m not very good at it and I still feel compelled to change them. I’ve learned to flip plants in the middle of a group of plants in order to change the look and feel even though the individual flipped plant doesn’t show. There are things that happen when I try to move a plant or rotate it that I don’t know why they happen or how to stop them (note: these are not “good” things that happen LOL). I definitely need to get a building lesson (Hey Bailey – I’m going to take you up on your offer) and I need to learn about textures.

It would have been easier perhaps if I’d had more time to learn the nuances before the conference. LOL But I didn’t know that I was going to jump under that particular bus. :) It will be quite a relief when the conference has begun and I am done with this pressure to plant, plant, plant (that’s pressure applied by me to myself, by the way – no one else is “making me” do anything). I miss my life – both RL and SL life. I dream about this project. I think about it most of the time. LOL. I wish I could pull a Tom Sawyer and get someone else to logon as me and do some planting! I can’t wait til I can kick back, put my feet up, go into SL and NOT feel obliged to head to the work sim and plant. :) Soon, soon. And yet – I am so grateful that I am having this experience. It is great.

So there are many many many places in SL where the builders and creators get all the details right. The pictures in this post come from the library at Midsomer Island. If you go back and look at the picture of Darcey stretched out on the floor reading, you will see one black kitty sitting there watching you, and one black kitty reading its own book. But there is a third black kitty – a naughty black kitty sitting on the shelf, trying to catch itself a fish! I stood one night for awhile and watched her play.


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