Archive for April, 2009

Calling Tech Support (or the Duck Doctor Saves the Day Yet Again)

I don’t do hardware. *grin* I barely do software, but I REALLY don’t do hardware. My family thinks I’m technical, but techies know I am clueless. So when things go “wrong” on my computer, I am as likely to blame gremlins as I am to figure out what is happening.

Friday I was invited to see a friend’s project. It required that I have streaming video. The video was not working on either of my computers. So we talked about it and I realized that I did not have Quicktime installed. I downloaded it to my gaming computer, installed it and yay! I could see the really cool project. I switched back to my work laptop and continued working in SL and OS there. (Hmmph. Trying to find a viable world in which to work on Friday was an adventure in itself.) Everything was fine. I really wasn’t on much during Saturday – spent the day in REAL sunshine in my REAL garden getting a REAL sunburn. 🙂 When I stopped inworld briefly Saturday night – everything seemed fine.

Sunday morning I was catching up on electronic matters. I thought – hmm, may as well put Quicktime on this machine also, in case I want to have video. Deed followed thought. Later in the day I logged into SL. I went to check on Frenis and the ducks. They had all turned black. I remember that a friend had had this issue with my ducks awhile ago – that I saw them as white and yellow, but she saw them as black. I thought maybe it was the computer. I’m going to make this short: I switched computers, I cleared cache, I logged in and out multiple times. Black ducks, black rooster, black clocks, black poseballs. I IM’d some friends to see if SL was being weird or if it was me. 🙂 Always a dangerous question. One friend came back and suggested that it was a texture issue with SL and maybe I could get my region restarted. I live on the mainland. I can’t restart my own sim. But that made me think. I tp’d to my office. I rezzed a new duck. Yellow. Went home, rezzed a duck. Black. Went back to my office, rezzed the duck, WORE it home. Tp’d in yellow, turned black. I had a friend rez in. SHE saw yellow and white ducks. She took a picture to prove it.

In the interest of trying to keep this shorter rather than longer… I started a chat with customer support. They restarted the region. When I tp’d in – I saw yellow and white ducks. Which then turned black. CS mentioned JIRAs and such. But being a dumb user I thought – WHAT has changed since my ducks were yellow and white? I added Quicktime. So I uninstalled Quicktime. Yellow and white ducks. Rooster, clocks and poseballs all returned to normal as well. I uninstalled Quicktime from both machines. No more black ducks.

Why????? I don’t understand this at all. Dale to the rescue! He suggested that while we were playing around with the HTML-via-media-URL stuff a few days ago, we may have set the media texture on my land to the default blank texture. He suggested that QuickTime was trying to play some non-existent media on the land for some reason and may have been replacing all of the blank-textured things with a blank black (lack of) video. So I reinstalled Quicktime this morning. Black ducks. I went to my media options. The default media texture had been changed to a black texture. ?????? Okay – *I* did NOT do that. I know I did not do that because I have been running parcel media tests and I have been passing my settings to other people for them to try my test routine. So Quicktime changed it. I changed it back to default media texture and bingo!!! Everything is back to normal.

*hugs* Dale!!! You are wonderful. Yet again you have restored my duckies to good health!


The Rooster Grows

Frenis is growing up. Whereas chickens have eggs, roosters, apparently, have anger. 🙂 I can’t keep the stupid bird out of the water. No matter where I situate him – the next time I come back, there he is, standing in the water, up against the invisible wall. Hey – if he wants shrivelled wrinkly feet, fine. I’m tired of moving him to dry land. You can see Mallory, Bill and I checking on Frenis. Drake doesn’t appear to care overly much.

Dancing in My Chains

dancing-in-my-chainsI forgot a very important saying yesterday, in my rainy day musings. My sister, Melissa, reminded me. You remember Melissa – Melissa wanted ducks in my landscaping project way back in the fall. 🙂 Anyway, Melissa reminded me of something important: the words that we use to describe ourselves and our situations have power. Don’t say “oh I can’t take it anymore”. Try saying “yes, this is a bit stressful and problematic”. And notice how suddenly the issue seems much more manageable. So we were talking about how Freedom is learning to dance in your chains and I was struggling to dance in my chains. Melissa said: “Don’t think of them as chains–think of them as colorful ribbons. Didn’t you say that re-languaging things changes the reality?” *grin* Yes, I say that all the time. When I read it I went pfffft and made a face. But then I thought about it. And the minute the image changed to colorful ribbons, well, many of the things that had to be done no longer seemed so oppressive. *hugs* Thanks Melissa!

But it was more than that yesterday. I was scared. I love my job. I love that I get to play in virtual worlds as part of my job. You know that I’ve volunteered for things that I didn’t know how to do: landscaping, making hair, building/running a shopping mall. But now…. now I have to build and script. I’m not a great scripter (yet. *grin*). my-chains-are-ribbonsBut I have faith that I can muddle through. Building? It terrifies me. I was frozen in fear last night. I had no idea how to start building the things that I need to create. I was fairly certain I needed to explore sculpties and flexis and such. My brain simply wouldn’t work. I do NOT want to build. 😦 I want to script. But that’s really not my role in this project. This project is SO important to me. This isn’t volunteer work. This is something about which I am passionate. To which I am committed. Even if it doesn’t make it to the end, I must do the absolute best that I can do. This is integral to my sense of self. So I was talking to a friend last night, trying to figure out how I could move past the terror and the paralysis and accomplish what I needed to do. Like taxes – it won’t just happen on its own or go away.

I thought of Melissa’s ribbons. I thought of dancing in my chains of project obligations. I thought – if I could build my ribbons, I could break through the paralysis and fear. I could find an approach to building that was ME, that was who and what I am. I envisioned myself dancing on the beach in colofrul streaming ribbons. 🙂 I returned home, logged in, and IM’d Shenlei. *hugs* Shenlei gave me a very quick intro to sculpties and flexis and helped me shape the “manacle” and create the ribbons. The manacle is a sculpti, the ribbons are flexis. 🙂

I am dancing in my chains. I am light-hearted. I am full of energy and ideas of how to tackle the work that needs to be done. I am free.

Rainy Day Musings

Freedom is learning to dance in your chains. That phrase has been recurring in my life quite a bit this past week. I look at my self- and other-imposed shackles and I begin to sway….

Sarcastic, condescending, judgmental remarks telling others how they should live or think or feel do NOT make you sound intelligent nor wise. They merely serve to show up the failings in your own character.

On surviving loss in any world:
Shared moments in time
Are now memories of joy.
Grief yields to smiles.

It’s hard to be a parent:
I long to guard you
Keep you safe from harm and pain.
Shelter in my love.

This is my all-time favorite and the hardest for me to remember/live. Thanks to Calli for this one – she has it in her profile picks.
Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Oh, PLEASE let the weather report have it right for tomorrow: sunny, warm, gardening weather. I long to play in the garden and smell the flowers.

A Positive Love Story

I’m cheating again…. directing to you to other people’s blogs and articles. But when I find something that is so articulate, so right-on-target, something that I wish I had written – well, then I figure it’s my obligation to send you there.

Dusan Writer’s Metaverse is one of the blogs that I follow regularly. He writes about virtual worlds, not just about SL. I have learned many interesting things about OpenSim and the discussions on interoperability. There have been posts on corporations doing business in SL, a topic of great interest to me.

But yesterday’s post is on a subject of interest to everyone – love. Specifically: Love in a Virtual World. Apparently Newsweek has posted an article, “A Geek Love Story”, about 2 people who met in SL, formed a partnership in SL, then ultimately became RL partners as well. Except….. SHE lives in the US and HE lives in Wales, and they have only met in the atomic world 3 times in the past 4 years. But it works.

Speaking of love, and seemingly impossible relationships, and physical barriers to meeting: Frenis is now a week old. 🙂 He’s growing up, changing. He doesn’t look so much like a fluffy chick. I think Mallory approves.

This will make your heart soar

This is among the most wonderful, amazing things that I have ever seen and heard. Take the seven minutes and WATCH THIS NOW!!! I have listened to it 3 times already. My heart is soaring in joy from this woman. Susan Boyle – you are magnificent!


The aviary grows

bill-mallory-and-drakeI love my ducks. You KNOW that I love my ducks. I had to stage a commando raid to bring them out from behind the firewall into the liberated land of McIntyre. When one of the ducks had problems adjusting, immediately I brought the doctor in for consultation. My ducks never cause me any trouble. They are excellent companions, quiet, friendly, supportive, cheerful. They are the upside of pet ownership.

This past week – people have been pushing other pets at me. Now I like animals. I really do. I have 3 cats and a dog in RL plus family members. *grin* So I have a lot of experience in the care and feeding of pets. But I DON’T want to spend my time in SL feeding and cleaning and all that stuff. So when Oura gave me a pug puppy, I started thinking of finding it a better home than with me and Mallory, Drake and Bill. Lucky for me – Darcey wanted a puppy and had room and time to care for the pug. Yay!! Mission accomplished, pet unloaded. Oops – that sounds a tad cold, doesn’t it?

frenisShenlei has been raising chickens. (Hey Shen – I much prefer it when you and I are raising hell. *grin*) There I was, exhausted from Jaymin’s Beyond Blogging conference, still trying to catch up from all the work pushed aside from being a dancing fairy, buried alive in RL with holiday preparations (everything went WONDERFULLY – thank you very much for asking), and Shen gives me a chicken. With the warning: it needs to be unboxed by tomorrow or it dies. Wow. Talk about pressure. Little chicklets are cute, but a grown chicken? Chicken fricassee, chicken paprikash, chicken salad. This chicken requires that I feed it. That I tend to it. It is NOT self-sufficient like the ducks. It needs attention.

So we argued back and forth. Shen claimed the chick didn’t need a lot of attention. freniss-food-dishI said that “lot” is relative. She warned me that if it got hungry, it would send me screaming IMs telling me that it was starving. I need this????? I offered to find it a good home. I protested that I had already raised as many infants as I cared to raise (I love you my darling son, not that you read my blog, thank goodness). Shen pointed out that she’d given me all the food for free, the chick for free, that it wasn’t much trouble AND added that she’d done a favor that I had requested. Oh. And she was beginning to get a bit miffed, I thought. Then she added the coup de grace.

frenis-makes-himself-at-homeThis wasn’t just a chicken. It was a male chicken. That is, it was a ROOSTER, also known as a. (family blog) Well. Now is the time to stop reading if you are easily offended. I mean it. You have been warned. All I can say in self-defense is that I was very very very tired. Somewhat punchy. What – you are still reading? Go away now. You can stop.

So, I accepted the rooster. After all, it was free and male. Males are hard to find in SL, we all know that. So meet my new pet – Frenis. *grin* And just as you would expect, Frenis is nothing but trouble!!!! He continues to walk into the water to be with the ducks. making-friendsI have SPOKEN FIRMLY with Mallory about this, and she just smiles a little inscrutable duck smile. Three times now I have had to go and rescue Frenis from the water. Finally last night I built walls. They are invisible and fairly low so they shouldn’t bother the rest of us, but it does seem to keep Frenis out of the water. He is incredibly noisy. I used to be able to hangout with the ducks, and listen to the water and wind (and the sound of my neighbor’s horse first-sign-of-troubles-to-comeneighing in the far distance). Now – non-stop rooster sounds. I have to keep a food dish handy for him. So there are ants and other bugs near my beach blankets. Sigh. But I have to admit – sometimes the little guy is amusing. So we shall see what happens. Frenis gets too annoying – he’s a goner. But if he stays on dry land and behaves, well, this may work out. Frenis may prove to be worth keeping.

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