Archive for the 'appearances' Category

Bamboo’s Backpack

It’s fun to indulge a friend’s hobbies and passions. You may have noticed that I’m EXTREMELY fond of Bamboo, my shoulder pet. Even if you did not notice that, Oura and Calli did. They were shopping last week and found a backpack. Hmmm. Not really a backpack, but a shoulder bag, a baby bag. But a baby bag for baby PANDAS! 🙂 They both agreed that it was a perfect gift for me. At least that is how they TELL the story, but it soon became apparent that the gift was not for ME but for Bamboo. The shoulder bag is adorable, made by Akasha Wachmann and can be found at .:-CatniP-:. or on the Second Life Marketplace.

Bamboo hopped into the bag as soon as he saw it, claiming the panda toys for his own. He also claimed the bamboo shoot but I was not going to argue about them. The bag is adorable – baby pandas, baby bottles for the pandas, toys, bamboo shoots for snacking, a little cloth for cleaning up accidents. Even a photo. ‘Boo settled right in. Currently he’s deciding on names. I assume he will inform me when he’s reached a decision. Obviously tending to baby pandas is strenuous work, so Bamboo curled up and took a nap there with them. We are having our usual disagreement about my hair. You will have to look carefully, but I DID trim the ends a bit for him. I figured it was trim them myself or find them gnawed.

As I looked at Bamboo all cozy in his backpack, I remembered that I’d wanted to get him a set of motorcycle leathers for when we were biking. I thought: “Now THERE’S a business I’ve not seen in SL – outfits for shoulder pets.” I checked out the profile for Xiant Hax, Bamboo’s creator. Xiant has the store Animinimals in world (I think I have that correct.) Xiant is also associated with Desibo! Design Studios. I IM’d Xiant to express my wish for outfits for Bamboo and discovered that Animinimals already HAS a panda shoulder pet that can wear outfits!!!! See – everything IS in SL. Animinimals panda v.3 shoulder pet can wear outfits. *grin* You can buy the outfit pack from the Second Life Marketplace. I was thrilled except…. it would mean upgrading from Bamboo to v.3. And v.3 does NOT look like Bamboo. 😦 I did try to cajole outfits for v2.3, but Xiant is in the middle of a very big project right now, as documented on the blog. That’s why the store is closed temporarily. I’m hoping that when this major project is out in the open and the store reopens, I might be able to finagle bike leathers and a safari outfit for Bamboo. *grin* That way he and I can BOTH go hiking and biking in style!


I thought of titling this post “Émigré”, but I consider SL to be my home and my visits to InWorldz temporary. Since expat has a temporary denotation I used that instead.

I went to IW first back in July 2010. It was both good and bad. It was good, because immediately upon rezzing my friend Astra was there welcoming me. We are SL friends and rezzing in and finding a friend immediately made IW feel like “home”. It was a good experience because Astra guided me to a welcome area where there was free content for customizing my appearance. As I’ve blogged in the past, SL residents seem to NEED customization instantly. When we would rez into Opensim or other virtual worlds at work, the SL folk would click “Edit Appearance” instantly, attempting to look like ourselves. The not-so-good part was the lag, which was horrendous. I was trying to change my hair when I crashed. And there I left it for all these many months.

Now many of my friends have either emigrated to InWorldz or maintain vacation homes there. I’ve been reading blogs and watching the content grow. I hear that Tranquility Dexter has rewritten the IW scripting language (Phlox) so that the lag is alleviated greatly, if not vanished completely. I decided it was time to go and finish doing my hair. *grin*

It was great. (Okay, I’ll confess – I miss using v2. *grin* But I did begin to remember the other viewer.) I love all the nice free content available to noobs, there were a lot of people there when I rezzed, and there were flowers! I managed to make myself presentable, I think. I don’t look too much like “myself” in these pics, but that will come in time. In the meanwhile – I’m ready to rock and roll InWorldz.

Even Dervish Monks Care About Appearance

I know there are some of you out there who find my preoccupation with hair and boots a bit shallow. You are entitled to your opinion, of course (wrong though it may be). *grin* But I have pointed out to you time and again that most of my coworkers who come inworld immediately begin focusing on their avatar’s looks. I am in the process of moving my project from one grid to another. My host on the new grid immediately began raiding my inventory for clothing, AO and hair. I figure that is fair trade for hosting my work for free. *grin* And writing code for me.

It’s not just SecondLife and Opensim avatars, however, who worry about their appearance. My son plays Guild Wars. He is a Dervish Monk. /me nods indulgently. “That’s nice.” I have no idea who or what a dervish monk is, but hey, it sounds better than say “ogre of terror” or “orc” or something like that. This morning he came over to me and dropped $10 on my keyboard. I looked up at him, startled. “I used the credit card for my game” he said. “I needed to improve my outfit.” *grin* Ah, this IS my son, after all. *bigger grin* I replied “Far be it from me to criticize anyone who needs to improve their avatar, but you are right – *I* don’t need to pay that particular bill.” He invited me to his side of the table to see how he spent the money. (When he is home, we sit together at the table, laptops covering the surface. Yes, more than 2 laptops.)

First I got to see the plain vanilla Dervish Monk. I have to say that I thought the monk looked fine. Then the upgrade appeared – The Lich outfit. DEFINITELY much more impressive. (I could almost have been convinced to pay for that upgrade, it makes such a difference! *laugh*) Apparently the monk also has a fiery head costume as well. I’d never pay for THIS. Pumpkin head??? Fiery pumpkin head? Nah. I vote for The Lich.

Just remember – you only have one chance to make a first impression!

Mood Elevation

Nothing like a new pair of shoes to change my perspective….

DON’T MOVE!!!!!!

Omg. Ever since Honour has decided to go micro, I have lived in fear of her being squished underfoot. Today I joined her at a meeting and watched in horror as it seemed my worst fears would be realized. I was poised to interpose myself between Honour and an icy snowy foot of doom, when the snowcreature reseated itself. Whew!!!! And you thought life in SL was all sun and sand…. /me resolves to get a bunch of balloons to tie to Honour’s micro tail and float above her furry little head.

Neeeeeeeeeding Boots

I don’t always have to be enticed from my skybox. Sometimes I am DRIVEN out by urgent NEED. I decided I wanted a more risqué look. I have one friend whose avatar is always on what I would call the risqué end of the spectrum. *grin* I figured if she could do it, so could I. Well, okay, NO ONE can do it quite the way SHE can. But I figured I would do an Ahuva-version.

I knew what I wanted. I was going for a gold top, gold boots, gold jewelry and black pants. Except… I didn’t have any gold boots. And I didn’t have the “right” gold jewelry. I assembled what I could and called Dale in to check it out. We agreed that my boots, wonderful though they are (I LOVE my Bax boots – don’t get me wrong – they almost always work for my outfits) weren’t quite the look I wanted. Dale was playing with inventory, trying on different outfits. I liked one set of boots, so we tp’d to that store: Dark Eden in Olive.

I was in boot heaven. *grin* After much deliberation, I settled on the Vagabond boots in black. Of course in black. I ALWAYS buy black, it seems. In my atomic closet I have THREE pairs of black suede boots. Okay, I have purple also. And others in leather. But I do seem to have a special affection for black boots. After buying my boots and wearing them, I decided that I liked them with that top and pants, I no longer NEEDED gold boots. We wandered about the store which was a LOT of fun! All sorts of goodies. Dale’s inventory was increased by many indulgences, including a great mega pack of tops in many colors and variations. Had we found it again in time (that is, before I spent more money), I probably would indulged as well. It was too late for me, however, because I’d found the discount area. I indulged in another mega pack: the Nyx boots mega set – 9 pairs of boots, INCLUDING gold!

We also found the room with furniture! Dale has taught me well – always sit everywhere. LOL. So I tried out the chair. I liked it, it had some good sit selections. And you can get a good look at my Vagabond boots! I love the carton. I think I really have to go back and buy the carton, the poses are so cute. There is a pose sitting on the cushion, back against the carton. You can kneel on the cushion resting your elbows on the crate. Or, of course my favorite, lie down and relax on your belly on the crate!

I still thought I needed a gold necklace. I IM’d Calli to ask where I should shop. She sent us the taxi to come to her so she could check out the outfit first. When she saw what I was wearing she told me she would not wear gold with that. We discussed possible options and she said that my steampunk collar would be fine. *grin* (I bought the collar at Le Petit Prince on LPP, but neither the sim nor the store appear to be with us anymore. 😦 ) With that, the three of us settled down on the grass to chat. Perhaps we were tired, perhaps we were truthful, but a great deal of our conversation dealt with the lack of civility among SL (and net) citizens, and the perceived lack of honesty and clarity from LL. O tempora o mores!! But you cannot keep the three of us down for long, and we did cheer ourselves up and laugh before saying goodnight!

That Which We Call a Rose…

…might actually be Ahuva Heliosense. At least, so I understand from the announcement about Display Names. Everyone and their dog has begun commenting on Display Names, one of the new features unveiled at SLCC 2010. This is indeed one of the topics that has merely confirmed my opinion that I am lazy, that I have limited energy to devote to tracking information, and that I do not need to be an expert on all things. On the other hand, nothing in that previous sentence will stop me from giving MY 2 cents worth.

First, I’m listing a bunch of links. I wish I could publish the group chat. *sigh* No, I like you folks, I wouldn’t do that. But the coding/technical group to which I belong – wow – they went ballistic. There may indeed be just cause. LL claims that Display Names will not change how scripts work. Okay, as much as I give LL the benefit of the doubt, I’ve spent my professional life in software development. I’ll believe that the changes are transparent when I actually run the code myself.

The official announcement from the labs by Jack Linden
Of course Torley has a video
Dusan Writer has thoughts on this as well
Tateru Nino doesn’t seem all that impressed
Ordinal Malaprop sees some good in it

I can’t list anymore. You go and follow the links. It isn’t even the original posts – it’s the torrent of comments on each post.

Now, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I believe that corporations can and will be doing business in virtual worlds. It’s not just meetings because of budget economy. I believe that if we write the tools for business applications, working in a virtual world can simplify interfaces, thereby simplifying communication and helping solve the business issues. So when I heard that LL was parking SLE, I was disappointed. I have talked to some very smart people about this, people who know the technical issues. Certainly there are enough people speculating on the business reasons to end SLE. So if LL wants to get back to the residential community, as Gwyneth LLewellyn posts, or if they simply find the business community non-profitable as Prokofy Neva suggests, that is their prerogative.

Here’s my 2 cents. I don’t want to change my name. I don’t want other people using MY name. I even got used to the idea of forced last names. I like subtle indicators and last name was a real clue to the age of an avatar.

Having stated my bias, it seems to me that there are really only two groups of people who need to change their avatar names: the folk who are trying to do RL business in SL and the folk who didn’t understand that they would be stuck with a “strange” name and now regret it. I have read about people in Role Playing sims “needing” to change their names. I’m not quite sure that I understand that. It seems to me, speaking from the depths of my inexperience, that those people should be fine with the floating text provided by group tags. You can change your floating text very easily. So if you need to change your name frequently for role playing, it seems to me that you already have that capability, WITHOUT endangering all the scripts and, forgive me, MY name.

If you signed up with a first name that you now find awkward, I think there should be some process in place to allow you to change it. Yes, that will require effort on the part of LL. But it could be done. There is no reason such a process needs to be speedy (in the sense of immediate – do it NOW) nor does it need to be under user control. (Oh dear, I suspect my developer bias just showed. And *I* am the liaison between the coders and the clients….) /me waves hand imperiously, dismissing that group of users

That leaves the business crowd, the ones who insist that they have to use their REAL names to do business. I should be in that group, I suppose. I am still conflicted on it. Having been “outed” several times in the last year (always with my consent), I will say that it was extremely uncomfortable at first. I attended some conferences held in SL where attendees were asked to float their RL names above their avatars. It was not mandatory, but strongly preferred. I thought about not doing it. Then I looked at my mentor and coworkers and friends who displayed their names. I thought about it and did the same. I think that it’s much like the first time I went out in public in a bikini. Or went out in public wearing a strapless top. I FELT incredibly exposed. But no one else really saw me as exposed. Would that be the Emperor’s New Clothes in reverse? Anyway, I’m wandering.

Since it appears that LL is NOT interested at this time in actively supporting and recruiting the corporations and educational institutes and other business, I don’t see who NEEDS this Display Name feature in SL. My guess is that most of the dev work was already done and they are rolling this feature out to show that they are still alive, still developing, still responding to their client base. I am not sure, however, that their professed target community wants or needs this feature. For most SL drama, I wouldn’t care. SL is made up of many diverse people, all with different priorities. LL is a privately held company that can make whatever business decisions it wishes to make. But I am immersed enough to not be happy at the idea that somehow “my” name may be damaged. “MY” name. You know me as Ahuva Heliosense. *I* know me as Ahuva Heliosense. I don’t want that changed. I don’t want other people being able to be Ahuva Heliosense. I don’t even want people “almost” to be Ahuva Heliosense by displaying “MY” name, even if their unique name is something different.

My solution? LOL. My solution is probably another whole blog and not original. Go create a new, UNIQUE avatar. Link that avatar to your existing avatar with full rights to the inventory. There. Done. You can have whatever name you want as long as it’s not mine. AND you have all your existing inventory from your original avatar. *grin* Hey. I didn’t say I’d thought it out all that carefully, or that it would be easy. Just keep your hands and your display off MY name, okay????

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