Time to Vote!

Yes, I am biased. Yes, I use my blog for my own personal interests. So having stated that openly and upfront, let me tell you about a vote I think you should cast.

Honour McMillan has been nominated for SL Entrepreneur of the Year, a recognition bestowed by SL Entrepreneur Magazine, an electronic publication dedicated to business in SL. There are 12 nominees including Honour. While I am sure that they are all deserving of recognition, I believe that Honour deserves this award. And that’s how *I* voted. Aintree Nursery has been a source of textures and plants for me for over a year now, including rescues from under a bus. *grin* Honour was nominated for her Drama Dolls and Doll Cozies.

The Drama Dolls, should you not know of them, are a riot. They are intended to help you relieve the stress and frustration of having encountered someone who dissed you or done you wrong. Drama dolls come in a variety of dress, culture, gender and occupation. Doll Cozies are for hugs and love and comfort. I had the great privilege of watching the birth of the concept, the nurturing of the creation and the ultimate production of the dolls. While the Cozies are cuddly and sweet, it is the Drama Dolls that absolutely win my soul.

Although there are many, many varieties of Drama Dolls, none of them were quite right for me in the recent past. I was a bit frustrated, stymied at something I was attempting. Yeah, I basically “blamed” one person for the bulk of my aggravation. Hey – it couldn’t have been MY issue, could it???? Of course not. *smile* Poor Honour. She had to listen to me gripe and whine and spew and complain. Finally one day, when I was close to tears, my very own customized DD appeared. Now, I won’t tell you what name I gave my doll, nor will I repeat the dialogue. *grin* Honour pegged this person so completely that to me it seems glaringly obvious who it was. But the fact of the matter is that I really was truly angry when I started up the DD HUD. By the time my DD self-destructed, rising up to the heavens with a repentant, beneficent smile under its halo, I was laughing out loud hysterically, screaming at each phrase the doll uttered. Now THAT is a great product – turning anger and frustration into good humor.

I love my Cozies as well, but when I need a smile, I dig out the chat from that DD and read. *grin* Ah yeah, that is so good. Honour for SL Entrepreneur of the Year! Go and vote.

Sometimes You Need a Professional

We’ve all heard the admonishment: Kids, don’t try this yourselves at home. *grin* I ignore that ALL the time when I take pictures in SL. I really am not a good photographer. That’s okay with me – I don’t have to be a good photographer. It would be NICE of course, but usually all I really care about is showing you a glimpse of my life. And for that “okay” is sufficient. Until last week.

Honour gave me a gorgeous outfit last week. She’d been shopping at Bare Rose, saw the Black Salamander Lady outfit and says she thought of me. Apparently something about the red garters, or so she said….. Excuse me a moment while I tease Honour. For someone who claims to HATE shopping, Honour spends more time shopping in one week, than I spend in a month. *grin* It’s true. I swear it’s true. But Honour has great taste. She is also friends with some of the best fashionistas in SL. And so I’ve learned to trust Honour’s fashion sense. *grin* I know, Honour, I’m killing you here. LOL.

Of course when Honour dropped the folder on me, I had to wear the outfit IMMEDIATELY. It was sensational. I loved it. Honour was shopping for a skin so I went to keep her company. She actually wasn’t shopping. She was going to stare and either talk herself into or out of that skin. If you read her blog (as you should), you already know how that ended up. She bought that skin, a drow skin called Chromatic from [][]Trap[][]. The store is located on The Twilight sim. I couldn’t resist – I bought a skin also. Considering the last time I bought a skin was over a year ago, and I think I dithered for days, finally going to Calli for advice, buying a skin in less than 20 minutes is quite remarkable for me.

So I had this sensational outfit and a new breath-taking skin. Of course I went to take a picture to show you all. Except…. drow skins are dark. I couldn’t get the lighting correct. The pictures were okay. But this time, this look, “okay” was not okay. I am fortunate to be friends with one of the best photographers (if not the best) in SL – Callipygian Christensen. Calli was logged on. I IM’d her and asked if I could hire her to take my picture. In the interests of keeping this post to a manageable length, I won’t detail how LONG it took for the 2 of us to actually have time to be logged on at the same time to do a shoot. *grin*

The difference between a professional and me. I thought, okay, yeah, we’ll go downstairs where there’s no furniture, or down to the beach, take some shots. Oh no, no, NO. One gets posed in a proper LOCATION. I love Calli. She found a sim – we were at Rustica, a wonderful furniture store in a castle (Quality Medieval and Castle Furniture). She found a window and managed to walk/talk me into the right spot and then she took pictures. I took pictures too – of us doing the shoot. But Calli – she captured exactly what I wanted to show you. The incredible package: outfit and skin.

The photos in this post are by the incomparable Callipygian Christensen. My deep thanks to you, Calli, for capturing the essence of what I feel when I put on that outfit. *hugs* You are amazing.

Look! Up in the Sky!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane!! It’s….. OMG – take cover – it’s Ahuva. And friends! *grin* A friend of mine gave me a folder of sky bikes back when I was going crazy on the landscaping in November. I did rez one of the bikes then and there and take it for a spin. I LOVED it. I zoomed above ground, through the water, all about. I had a blast. Sometimes sim boundaries are tough. *grin* But I learned that flying Dark Air.

I love my sky bikes (especially the RED one). *grin* I love fast cars. I took our wedding money and bought a sports car. We didn’t have a bed, but we had a sports car. Even before that, as a kid, I loved racing cars. I always drove too fast – would run the cars off the curves. One year my husband bought me TWO sets. We set them up on the floor, so when I’d run them off the curve they wouldn’t drop and crash, they’d just crash. LOL. The cats and the dog went crazy with the cars, and ultimately I needed to clean, so finally I re-boxed them. I think they are still stashed in the basement. sigh. And I make do with a 6 cylinder luxury car, but it’s not the same as my 5-on-the-floor Z.

But in SL – I don’t smash my cars (well, not too often *grin*). My back doesn’t hurt from sitting low to the ground. There aren’t any law enforcement officers lurking about the corners (pffft on speeding tickets). I really should fly my skybikes more. Maybe instead of morning sails I should go for morning zooms.

So after Honour and I had rezzed our Grifters (our wonderful motorcycles from the MM board at Black-Kat Choppers), we weren’t done playing. I remembered my sky bikes. I shared them with Honour and Dz, who came around about that time. We all rezzed the red sky bike – soooooooo COOL!!! We played tag and follow the leader all around Taylor Bay. Then Honour got out her attack helicopter. *grin* We all love toys. I switched to a purple 2-seater and Dz hopped on for a ride. We had a great time, swooping and soaring.

The truth is – girls just wanna have fun. On bikes – both ground and sky!

Black-Kat Choppers

December 14, 2009. The call went out in group chat: 32/80 MM ‘the Grifter’ @ Black-Kat Choppers http://slurl.com/secondlife/Quasar/25/246/64. As it happened, I was free, relaxing, you could even say “wasting time”. So I tp’d over to see what one finds at Black-Kat Choppers. BIKES!!!! OMG – it was a bike shop. I was thinking helicopters. Nope. Hogs. Choppers. Bikes. Oh yeah. I slapped THAT board for sure.

As the morning rolled on, I thought about that bike. So I mentioned to Honour that if she had the time, maybe she’d go and slap the board too. And I also mentioned it to Shenlei and Oura and Jonah. Next thing I knew the four of them were standing about at Black-Kat, tp’ing in their friends and discussing MOI. They were maligning my reputation and trying to figure out the name for my (new) motorcycle gang. I was ashamed that the four of them were working so hard to get me my bike. I wasn’t doing much – I was actually spending much of that morning crashing and rebooting my machine. One of THOSE days. I decided that if they were going to put so much effort into it, I needed to as well.

The store manager, angel Doomdale, was very friendly and helpful. I suppose some stores might be angry at people tp’ing in friends to lock the MM board. I don’t know. Maybe stores like that, maybe they hate it. But in any case, angel was completely friendly and helpful, explained the different bikes to us. She showed us the demo model out front, told us about other inventory. She was very helpful, good-natured and she knew her stuff. There was also the black cat itself. I LOVE the animated pets that are available in SL. Sigh – remember Frenis? I have seen several cats and a few dogs. There was an adorable black cat with white paws wandering about the store. This one had wonderful animations.

Well Shen and Honour had to move on to other efforts. I brought Bailey in and she pulled in other Midianites. I tp’d Panacea in. *grin* This was Pan’s first MM board. LOL. We explained the concept to her. She grasped the essence (FUN!!!) immediately and began tp’ing friends in. In no time it seemed we’d run that board up to 70/80. *grin* We decided to stop (even though we had more names we could have IM’d. Poor Chestnut!!! She was at work. By the time she got home and tried to slap the board – it was locked!!! 😦

Okay, this was unacceptable to me. If I am going to have a motorcycle gang – Frenis Freedom Riders or whatever – Chestnut is going to be part of it. But I knew she’d be all silly about me giving her a bike or giving her the money to BUY a bike. So I went to to the store to see if I could buy the bike and have the store deliver it to Ches, thereby forcing her to accept. *grin* I spoke to angel who told me they didn’t have that set-up, but she would contact the store owner, iozz Dreadlow, and ask him. angel IM’d me when iozz came inworld and I went back to chat. *grin* He thought I was crazy, but finally he agreed. I paid iozz for the Grifter and he dropped it on Chestnut. *grin* My gang would be complete. Again – iozz was friendly, helpful and good natured. If iozz and angel are this nice to a one-time shopper, imagine how great they must be if you are really looking for leather attire and choppers. This is not a shopping blog, but when I find stores and vendors and builders who are helpful – I want to tell you all about them. So for sure Black-Kat Choppers gets the Ahuva seal of approval. I’m looking for an excuse to go back and buy another bike….

Well, the original plans were that we’d all get on our bikes and pose – Ahuva’s gang. But things don’t always work out as planned. Oh we all got our bikes as I said – we locked that board. But I never had time to get hold of everyone for a group shot. We never even settled on a name for our gang, so I never made the group tee shirts as I promised. I DID rez my bike and try it once. *grin* I know Panacea rezzed her – she told me she was too short. Chestnut rezzed hers and blogged it.

But I put it aside until last night when I was visiting Honour. I don’t remember what got us started, but we decided it was time to rez the bikes. That of course required that I find appropriate black leather clothes and boots. I was totally surprised to find that I had a box of boots I’d never rezzed – and that they’d be perfect for the bike. Good thing I never cleaned my inventory as I planned. I was definitely too short for this bike. You can adjust your position by touching the rear fender. I moved forward, up, forward, up, forward, up. Finally my arms reached the handlebars. But my tush was WAY above the seat. *grin* Never Fear. I AM A BUILDER. I added a pillow. Just like atomic life. LOL.

Honour couldn’t be bothered with adjusting the seat. She simply added her own pose ball. *grin* We all have our own way of solving problems. But we both did ultimately get on our bikes and RIDE!!! *grin*

Now all that we need is a gang name. And a group picture in our gang tee-shirts, on our bikes. 🙂


As most of you know, I spent a good part of the 4th quarter working on landscaping a major project. I wish I were a better photographer. I wish I could show you everyone else’s work. I really REALLY wish I could bring you all into my world so you could experience it yourselves. The folk who built that world did an amazing job. But you will have to make do with my pictures and you will have to trust me as to the rest. Perhaps sometime photos will be released and I can direct you there.

My first assignment (after the team song) you might remember was to landscape an island overnight. I’ve already posted about that and Dale riding to be my companion in creation. I did not have my full inventory of textures at that point so I did go back at a later date and add to it. Please note the ducks. *grin* You will know you are at an authentic Ahuva build when there are ducks in the water. I learned a lot on this, as I did on everything I attempted on this project. I am quite pleased with the rocks in the water. They were one of my first attempts at creating my own texture. Yes, I see areas now where they could be improved, but as a beginning effort, they are not that bad. The chairs and table were already posted, but you can see the overall effect now. This was to be a garden social area – for relaxed meetings and a place for conversation. I had a lot of fun working with rocks. Actually, I always have a lot of fun shaping and placing rocks. And yes – I really do place every rock and plant individually and turn and rotate each one. I almost never take groups and repeat them.

We tried to make every place interesting as we figured newbies would end up all over the world – whether intentionally or not. *grin* We had many interesting sites under the water but alas – most were not my build and so I can’t show them to you here. I can tell you that the ruins and the diner were big hits. I added some benches and a tree in case anyone found themselves lost and in need of a rest as they tried to find their way back to the main action.

There were many big open spaces. There was one that I nicknamed The Great Lawn. There was another area that I thought of as the Lesser Meadow. That is what you see here. The Lesser Meadow inspired me to figure out a way to have meadow flowers. Okay – this is an area where I did indeed make clumps of flowers and copy the clumps. But uneven ground forces you to place each clump somewhat differently. I’m not sure that I like realistic terraforming anymore. *grin* I didn’t want to cram every inch with flora – life doesn’t work that way. Also, there were some nice views – I didn’t want trees blocking the sight lines. I tried throughout to balance small clumps of flowers, as you might find in rocky terrain, with larger groves of trees.

We had what we called the House of Wonders. A phenomenal build. It was intended to help people master SL keyboard and camera skills. I had the job of landscaping the outside. Again, I did not want to do monumental landscaping. The building and its patio spoke for themselves. I reused the meadow flowers. They are even MORE annoying to place on a sloping hillside, trust me. I created the benches, thinking of Greek antiquities and relics. Somehow the cool white and simplicity seemed in place with the steep mountain. Likewise just the scattered rocks and a few weeping cherry trees. When the trees were still allowed to be flexi (let’s NOT revisit that horrible decision), I imagined the sea breeze blowing up the hillside, rustling the tree limbs and the flowers.

To the side of one of the major theaters was some lawn and then a sharp drop to the sea. The theater itself was very reminiscent of Greek amphitheaters or a Maxfield Parrish picture. It made me think of romance and myth. I decided that a rowan grove was appropriate. The rowan tree has been considered magical by many cultures. Celtic tradition held that a rowan tree could offer protection against evil spirits. We all know that our computers are prone to attack by malicious malignant spirits. I did what I could to assure the success of this build. I’m not sure what my teammates would think if they knew my reasoning, but it’s too late now. The grove is planted. AND to the best of MY knowledge – all the presentations in THAT theater went well. So there, too.

This landscaping was my absolute favorite of the project. The build itself underwent several texture changes. It was originally wood, then stone and finally copper. The copper was perfect. I love copper. I have a lot of it in my fl home. Once the structures went to copper, I knew exactly what I wanted planted: fire. I wanted flowers on fire. Red. Orange. Yellow. My favorite colors for flowers. I took time with this but it went very quickly because I was so in love with it. You may not like it, but for me – this may be the best landscaping I’ve done, as far as suiting the environment and the colors. I KNOW that it was a good job because my project leader, who very rarely had any comments, actually said “This is nice”. /me closes eyes briefly in pain at “nice”. But the point was that it was worth comment. *grin* You have to learn to read between the silence.

There was much more. I’ve tried to show you the areas that were special to me in one way or another. Or, How I Spent My Autumn Vacation. *grin*

Do Not Operate SL

You know all those warnings on medications – do not operate machinery when taking this medication. Do not drive when taking this medication. I and others have blogged in the past about how alcohol and SL do NOT mix. Or do mix too well, depending on where you want to take that conversation. *grin* I have another warning to add: Do not try to operate SL when ill with congested head issues.

In a sense, this post is for my sister and my niece. I am missing them in a talent show tonight. My fl avatar has been battling some sort of sinus congestion thing all week. I thought it was gone Thursday, but I relapsed on Friday. Rats. So I went back to drinking lots of liquids and getting sleep – not that I exactly had a choice about the sleeping. When I tell you that I was so out of it last night that I forgot that Komuso was playing, you know that my brain wasn’t working. I logged on 5 minutes before his gig ended. 😦 I went to listen to Euterpe Queller and was also IM’ing with a friend. I realized 15 minutes into the evening that there was no way I could stay upright. So I logged out – missing Euterpe, Von Johin and Noma Falta. In other words – I missed four fantastic live shows last night. I make a conscious effort to see those artists and I missed them all.

Today I woke up and felt marginally better. That is – the mule has stopped kicking my head. *grin* Trust me – that is a vast improvement. So I attempted to login to SL, chat with friends and work on my house. There is actually BIG news about my house, but that deserves its own blog. So I was working on my house and Calli sent me a present. The folder looked great – a TEA PARTY!!! We’d been playing SL IM tag for 2 days. She didn’t want to drop the present on me until I was inworld, as she did not want it to get lost.

I rezzed the tea party. Uh oh. No tea party. OMG! I wasn’t wearing my group tag. That must be why. Oy. I put on my group tag, wondering if all the work I did on the walls of the house will vanish, and end up in my lost and found. Calli and I discuss the situation. I realize at the same time she is saying “You didn’t rez the folder into the house prim” that that is EXACTLY what I did. I took the no-mod, no-copy items and rezzed them into the floor of my house. Sigh. Now you know that I have come a long way. Because not only was I unlinking, copying and re-linking wall prims today, I got that tea party out of the floor and rezzed it. And I realized that was my signal to stop trying to function and to sit down and have some tea. Bamboo and I sat down with the Teddy, Doll and Puppy and sipped tea, while my fl avatar went back to sleep. zzzzzzzz

So, do NOT operate SL when ill. Or you’ll be drinking tea IN your floor. Just sayin’

EQ eq Sultry

I have spent a good deal of my career writing and reading code. To me, “eq” always meant “equals”. But now EQ means Euterpe Queller. Wow. Yet another knock-your-socks-off female vocalist in SL. I stumbled onto EQ by inertia over the holiday vacation. I was listening to another artist (at Pannie’s, I believe) and was too lazy to tp out when that gig was over. Inertia pays off BIG TIME. Where does “sultry” come in? The other night the performer after Euterpe said something along the lines of “Euterpe, you have got sultry covered all the way”. I have to agree. That is a great word for her singing.

Euterpe has a wonderful rich night-club voice. I heard her first song and thought “hey, not bad”. She launched into “Chain of Fools” for her second number that night and I sat up and thought “omg, this is GREAT”. She did The Mama’s and Papa’s “Dream a Little Dream” and Amy Winehouse’s “Black”. I can’t even remember all the songs she did that I love. I think Gershwin’s “Summertime” may have even been in there. *grin* Honestly – she ranged all over the board and I loved them all.

I hate this 25 group limit nonsense in SL and I am overwhelmingly grateful to performers like EQ who use the subscrib-o-matic now to keep us informed of performances and such. Because I am out of groups and I NEED to follow EQ. I subscribed and I managed to catch two more shows since then. One of the fun aspects of following EQ is that I am now hitting a whole new group of clubs. Pannie’s and RoseDrop Media Circus, Tobacco Road and the Star Bar Martini and Jazz Club. I’ve been having fun visiting new clubs and meeting new people. And finding a lot of my old friends there as well.

Ice Crystal Carousel

Christmas Eve day was a relaxed day in my house. I had time to login, say hi and happy holiday to friends. Panacea IM’d me saying “NO EXCUSES – come now”. *grin* It’s hard to resist Pan anyway, but that was a command, no question about it. Ah, Pan knows what I love: carousels!!! There was a lovely ice carousel set up in Caledon. Martini Discovolante created this winter wonderland and we had the good fortune to have Martini riding the carousel with us. I was having a bad SL/hardware day – I was crashing quite a bit. But I managed to hop on finally. I sent out IMs to all who were around (not many, given the holiday). I was lucky enough to catch Krissy and Rrishanna and they both came to ride and enjoy. They in turn IM’d friends and friends IM’d friends – a typical SL happy time.

One of the items on my never-ending list of things to learn is wind light. I always forget to change my environment setting unless someone explicitly tells me or I tp into somewhere dark. Panacea and Kristy were both calling out the windlight settings they were using for their pictures. *grin* I am glad I did midnight and midday.

I’m not sure if the carousel is still there or not, but it’s certainly worth a look-see. Hop on and enjoy the ride if it is. And play with the light!
Carousel at Midnight: