Thinking Like a Builder

Honour is beginning to change the way I think. 🙂 Yesterday I was told that my make-shift office was “too big”. Yeah, I felt a little squashed. I was quite proud that I whipped it together so quickly out of mostly nothing. I was hoping for an “atta girl” before the “But….”. Life is what life is, deal with it, Ahuva. I mentioned this to Honour. She said “So build a wall.” LOL. Well, right. It’s easy to change reality in SL.

office-with-walls-and-door1First I moved all the office furniture into a smaller vacant shop. It was still too big. So I began to build walls. I put a wall up to block out the mall and I created an inner wall to reduce the width of the room. I can always move those mall walls in closer as well to shrink the length of the room. The problem with the walls is the color. For some reason I can’t edit the existing walls and see their textures. I SHOULD, since I own this sim. I will contact my favorite general contractor today, however, and ask for his assistance in getting the colors right.

I looked at the bare walls. I figured an office needed art. modern-office-art I was sooooo tired last night (I am working 24/7 – yes – I am DREAMING about this project. I mean it – working 24/7). All I could think of for art was to use existing textures in OpenSim. I knew that there were some trees. I made picture frames, and then put up 2 prims with alpha textures. Trees and grass!!! Trees and a wall!!! C’mon – don’t they look like modern office art??? The wall still looked bare so I made a bookcase. It was empty, but I thought it showed intent. My last thought for the evening was to get some greenery into the office (hey – I started this virtual life as a gardener, remember????). So I made a cylinder, textured it with marble and plopped in a handy-dandy bush from outside the mall. And I went to sleep, thinking about how I could put something in the bookcase.

I woke up this morning and took pictures of my husband’s book shelf. 🙂 See!! All of you who always ask what he thinks of my living in SL – he is VERY supportive of my work. I figured I could turn those pictures into a texture, shove them on a prim and shove that prim in the bookcase. I used repeats and offsets to differentiate the 2 shelves a little bit. They are still too similar, but not bad for 5:30 am. Presto! Books!

watkins-glen-office-artDriving in to work I knew that I needed art on the other wall as well. I started thinking about what textures I had that were my own. It dawned on me that a texture is merely a picture. I have all my vacation photos for the last several years on my computer. *grin* Niagara Falls? The Grand Canyon? Watkins Glen Gorge won out this morning. Click, click, click – picture frames and pictures. I put another planter and flower in the other corner of the room.

So what do you think??? I need to fix the wall colors, maybe move the walls in a bit more. I probably need more art on the wall. Maybe a lamp or a vase or something. But I MADE these things!!!! I’m sitting here thinking about ways to make a vase, ways to make some flowers (alpha textures), ways to build some coffee mugs. I don’t think I’m quite ready to make a phone, but who knows – maybe I’ll be inspired this weekend.

Ahuva, beginning builder. Has a nice sound, doesn’t it? *grin*

Building “Do”s and “Don’t”s

This morning I was set to declare that perhaps I do indeed have a bit of a builder in me. Tonight….*grin*….another mishap that sent me IM’ing to Bailey! Bailey is simply wonderful. So kind, so patient, so helpful. No matter HOW many times I try to destroy my house, she is there to help me get it back.

Return with me now, however, to happier times. I need an office for a demo next week to my manager. I’d hoped to use an existing office in an existing world. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, that option no reserved-conf-room-1longer seems viable. I looked about at all the worlds in which I move and my eye fell on Bedrock Boutique, my mall in OpenSim. The economy has been tough on everyone – we still have empty stores in the mall. I decided to build an office in one of the empty units. Only one little problem: I don’t have any furniture in OS. Actually, I don’t have much of ANYTHING in OS. LOL. Ah, but I DO have hair!! Anyway, I contacted a friend and asked if he would allow me to move his furniture into my store and he graciously agreed. So I set up a table with chairs, some sofas and end tables, put the corporate manual on the table along with a cup of steaming coffee (or whatever). But the setup seemed a bit stark, not to mention too public. I thought that what was needed was a way to indicate that this unit was not open to the public, not for general admittance. I decided that posts and ropes and perhaps a sign were needed. I had a few false starts thinking about the rope, but the posts were a breeze. As was the sign. All in all, creating the posts, rope and sign took me less than 30 minutes. For someone who doesn’t know how to build and has darn few textures, I was quite satisfied.

Now we all know that you shouldn’t work on things when you are tired. I should REALLY know not to try to edit items in or near my house. How many times now have I managed to TAKE my house and have to get it restored??? Two? Three? all-is-right-againI think that Hell, Bailey and Shenlei have all had to restore my house at one point or another. Well, some people (me) never learn. I was floating in the pool in one of the inner tubes (hey – it’s HOT here – temperatures were over 90 for the last 3 days) and working on scripting a book. The book was on the side of the pool. All of a sudden – the book was in the water. The pool was twice as big as normal. What??? A very long story short. I “missed” when I was clicking on the book to rotate it. *grin* I clicked on the concrete around the pool and flipped THAT. I KNEW that I’d messed up the rotation of SOMETHING. I IM’d Bailey to ask advice. As we talked and I tried to explain what I saw – that’s when I understood what I had done. In other attempts to undo that, I had also managed to flip the entire pool section upside down. *grin* No, I didn’t get a picture. Silly me. It was actually quite funny. And I’m not about to do it again just for your entertainment. You will have to take my word for it.

And now for the lessons I am learning. First – I simply do not understand rotation. I have a plea in to the script wizard to explain to me WHY what worked for a door does not work for a book. llGetPos, llSetPos, llGetRot, llSetRot. I have used these functions in nearly every scripting assignment from Hell. And STILL I can’t make them do what I want. Grrrrr.

I also learned something important about llRezAtRoot. I don’t know why I thought llRezAtRoot lined up the new prim with the bottom of the existing prim. No, it lines up the new prim with the geometric center of the existing rezzing-primsprim. For simplicity – I have a 4m x 4m square. I want to rez a .3m sphere in the upper-left corner of that square. *grin* Should have been very simple. If you read documentation, that is. I, of course, just kept playing with offsets and such. I think my coworker found this approach a bit maddening. 🙂 But I got the answer (geometric center) just as he found that in the wiki documentation. Cheater! Honour is always telling me to learn by trying. 🙂 Is THAT what you meant, Honour? So much of this rezzing/scriptig is math. All formulas and calculations. I’m lucky that my coworker is EXTREMELY good at math. I tend to make careless mistakes. Gee, I do that editing also. *grin* Must be a character trait. But I have to say – it is fun to finally make the prims appear where and when I want. I wish I could have that power in RL too. 🙂

Just for fun….. here I am in OpenSim:

I am Beautiful

How do I KNOW that I am beautiful?? Easy – SL told me. Yesterday when I logged on, I got the following message during login:
Now, part of me wants to go on a rant. WHY are we all so preoccupied with looks? with beauty? appearances? But it’s too early in the morning, I have too much to do today, I’ve already blogged on this topic numerous times. So I think that I will simply accept the verdict and offer more corroborating evidence. *grin*
Sharon dropped by this morning while I was trying to figure out how to build something (I’ll explain another time). So while I was IM’ing and getting build lessons, we also sat in the morning sun and enjoyed each other’s company. A great way to start the day.

My Hair

Well, I did it. I made hair. It’s not the world’s best hair, but it’s not totally horrible either. 🙂 As a matter of fact, I plan to ship it over to OpenSim. I learned a LOT in the last 72 hours. I know how to use Gimp. I learned about taking photos. I learned more about building. I appreciated yet again how hard it is to make hair. But. I did it. And I will continue to work on this. The color is not what I want. I know how to fix that. I need to learn a lot more about layering the prims. About rotating prims. But considering everything…. I’m feeling fairly satisfied with this iteration.


I actually have 4 versions at this point. The first – I misunderstood about the top of the hair. So in essence I have a cap that has hair coming out of it. *grin*. The other versions are all variations on this one. The second version was this hair without the fringe-y bangs and headband. The third version has bangs. And this is the 4th. Also known as Round6 in my inventory. *grin* That’s because the first 2 “rounds” weren’t complete – merely building blocks. Now I must turn back to scripting. I am way behind on my scripting work and I have a deadline coming very quickly. But I admit it – doing this was fun. Frustrating, maddening, but ultimately fun, satisfying and educational.

The Rooster Lives

the-rooster-livesMelissa – I PROMISE you – Frenis is fine. 🙂 So no crazed emails – he’s fine. I even removed the wall so if he wants to wander deeper into the water he can. Last night when I checked on him, his fatigue was 100%. So I moved him up near his food dish and told him to get some rest. This morning – right back into his little watery stance.

However…… obviously SOME fowl do NOT fare as well as Frenis. Thanks to Chadd who found this great picture on Flickr. I don’t know Lorimae Undercroft, but I do like the photo! Go check it out!!!!

In the meantime…. I am actually making hair. Oh yeah. And it LOOKS like hair. 🙂 MY hair!!!! My RL hair. LOL. Maybe by the end of the weekend I will be able to show you. But oh yeah…. if this works???? Wheeee! Then boots…. boots for OpenSim….. No stopping me now…..

Beyond Blogging Conf photos

I forgot to mention this…. I posted some pics of the conference up on my flickr account. Check out Sasha – she looks great for someone who only rezzed 48 hours prior. 🙂 It helps to have experience in other virtual worlds.

honourHonour was beautiful as always. Of course, who knew THEN that it was all the scripts in her hair that were causing lag…. 🙂 If she didn’t love scripts and scripting so much, I’m SURE this could have been avoided.

And shared Arnold with us. Arnold is elegant AND extremely well behaved. Unlike my fowl…..


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.