The View from Under the Bus

When we last saw our heroine, she was under the bus, contemplating trees, as the conference planning meeting drew to a close. 🙂

After the meeting I stick around. J has said that she will give me some help on how to build and she will show me what kind of trees she would like.

A Straylight tree

A Straylight tree

LOL. Our J has excellent taste, no question about it. J likes Straylight trees. What, you may ask, are Straylight trees? Arguably the finest trees in SL. They’ve been showcased on Linden Labs’ SecondLife website. Not only are they gorgeous, but they are expensive. And they are no-copy, no-modify. So you have to buy many trees for a sim the size of ours. Champagne taste, tap-water budget. But I don’t panic (much) – J said that she’d be happy to give me some help on how to build a tree. I pause here a moment and think about how I’m going to be initiated into the world of builders. Little tips. Hidden knowledge. The “secret” builders-only right-mouse click. I wait patiently, eagerly, for her advice. At last she is done talking with other committee members. “Okay Ahuva” she says. “The best I can do is suggest you look at this Straylight tree and see how it’s done.” ????? This is help?? The bus backs up and runs me over yet again. I’m thinking “one of us is crazy”. Unfortunately, I’m beginning to realize that it is me. My ears fill with the sound of Pink Floyd as I hear The lunatic is on the grass…”

Fine. I am a smart, competent woman who has friends who are SL builders. I can deal with this. I login to SL that night, race to the benches, break into the ongoing conversation shrieking “help help I need help!!!” LOL. Okay, that WAS an exaggeration. But it’s an accurate description of what I WANTED to do. Someone asks how I am this fine day and I explain how I have been run over by a bus. My friend S, a builder, tells me that there are lots of trees available for free. I explain that J doesn’t LIKE the free trees. SHE wants STRAYLIGHT-type trees. Everyone on the benches starts googling Straylight and saying “Oh”. They are saying “oh” in the tone of voice that indicates how big this bus is. 🙂 S tells me that she would love to help me but that it takes a lot of time to build a tree, and she really does not have the time right now. I smile bravely, say “No problem” and, like Scarlet, resolve to think about it tomorrow.

Tomorrow comes and I begin searching SLexchange for trees. I find several candidates that I think may be suitable.

A copy/modify but no-transfer Spruce

A copy/modify but no-transfer Spruce

I mark the pages and send them off in an email to J. No point in me buying and modifying them only to have them found wanting. Days (including a weekend) pass. I hear back from J. She likes one of the choices. She likes the privacy hedge. She also suggests yet another pricey SL tree. I can’t even find this one, Chakryn. So I write to the vendor for the hedge, asking for package deals, and asking if I can take a tree out of the hedge and copy it. Less than a day goes by and I hear back. I REALLY like SLexchange – both vendors I’ve contacted have responded quickly. Anyway, he offers me a package deal – 15 different trees for only L$2500 (that’s about $10) and they are all copy/modify. So I tp over to his nursery to take a closer look at these trees. While I’m hanging about there, I get a group message about a Building Basics class about to start in 5 minutes. Karma! I buy a Spruce tree, tuck it into my inventory and tp to class.

Class is okay. The BEST thing about it is that it is at the beach classroom at NCI. There is no music playing – only the sounds of the ocean waves and the wind. For an hour as I sat in class, my subconscious processed the beach sounds. All my tensions and stress began to melt away. Ah, there is NOTHING like a day at the beach. Anyway, back to class. It really didn’t teach me anything I hadn’t already picked up from watching tutorial videos online. It was extremely basic and slow. One of the fellow students was having great difficulty doing even the simplest tasks. But once class was over I went up to the teacher, S. I explained my predicament and showed her my newly-purchased tree.

S looked at my Spruce and told me

A copy/transfer no-modify Willow tree

A copy/transfer no-modify Willow tree

that all I could do with that particular tree would be to stretch it or shrink it. I had wanted to take a branch off here, move it there. Maybe copy and add some leaves somewhere else. You know – “modify”. S told me that I couldn’t add or move branches because they were simply pictures. That probably means something to you REAL builders out there. Or maybe I’m not saying it properly. But the gist of the message was: modifying the tree did NOT mean changing its overall appearance. Even more fundamental: I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. S then tp’d over to check out Straylight Nursery. She IM’d back to me that these trees were incredibly complex, a combination of flexi and sculpti prims. With hand-painted leaves and bark. Hey – there’s a REASON these trees are so great. 🙂 She also added, quite unnecessarily although very kindly meant, that there was no way to learn overnight how to build a tree like this. LOL. I had already grasped this point waaaay back when J said “study it”. 🙂 S, full of pity for an overly ambitious Ahuva, gives me a willow tree. 🙂 Alright!!! Now I have TWO trees!!! LOL

Today was yet another planning meeting. J begins the meeting by talking to ME first – telling me that she got my emails and she will requisition $$$ for trees. Ouch. Right out there in the open, for everyone to hear. What I hear, whether or not that’s what J is saying, is that I failed. I am a little frustrated. As YOU all know – I have been trying very hard to come up with trees for this conference. I’ve not been sitting around doing nothing. A little voice in my left ear is saying “Whoopee!!!! We are saved! Give up this tree foolishness!” A little voice in my right ear is muttering “Hey. We can still do this. We have friends helping us and encouraging us. We have made great progress. Who does she think she IS taking away OUR little piece of the project???”. Okay, you already know which voice won. I open my mouth and tell J that I had friends offering to help me and to supply me with trees. That I thought I still would be able to provide trees for this conference. Oh Foolishness, Thy name is Ahuva! 🙂 So J got quite excited at that. I am still on the team. I am now running my own little nursery for the conference. I am to gather up my trees, place them in a corner of our sim, and everyone can come and take what they want and landscape their own sims. LOL. And the other people are STILL complaining about the quality of their (free) trees. Who was the genius who insisted on putting Straylight trees in our sim so that everything else will suffer by comparison????

Calling all copy/transfer trees, bushes and hedges!! Bring me a Shrubbery!!!

The hunt is ON!!!!!

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