Summer Night

Where has the summer gone? We finally had a few days where the temperature was in the 80s, and the evenings were not only bearable but actually pleasant, with breezes even. Simba is still here, defying the odds. *grin* That’s m’boy. Of course, we never told him the odds. 🙂 We were delighted to see see him not only come up out of the basement but climb “his” tree.

Simba’s not the only one still “here”. I am, too. I still make it into SL weekly, sometimes even more than once a week. I lack the energy and time to write about it, however. I’ve taken pics intending to blog but…. well…. you know how it is. Today I have a day with ONLY ONE meeting scheduled. I have been anticipating eagerly a lunchtime walk. Imagine my disappointment when I got to the door and it was raining. I considered walking anyway. But I decided that sitting in wet clothing in this EXTREMELY air-conditioned office would be unhealthy, not to mention uncomfortable.

My work laptop can actually get me into SL these days (I burned out the video card/cable on my old machine) but it’s still pretty laggy. I was reading some posts, some tweets, some plurks. I’m really out of touch with the blogarrazi these days. From the little I saw today, the tone and tenor seems pretty much the same. Not even the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Drama, Innuendos, Crises, Final Farewells. I think I’ll take a page from Honour’s blog and include a link to some music. *grin* And you thought I didn’t read your posts, Honour.

Credit to the posting on youTube for the video:
Uploaded by MontyPython on Jun 7, 2010
Not The Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) DVD, Blu-ray and Soundtrack available from June 8th: http://www.notthemessiahmovie.com/

2012 Begins

I realized that December 2011 was the only month in 2011 without some major negative-D (that would be disappointment/damage/disillusionment). I realized that besides ending December Dancing with Daez, Dz and Dale, I made a new contact in the atomic world whose name begins with D. She has agreed to be my mentor and I’m hopeful that she will help me focus and hone my skills. So maybe December has Done a Diversion and Ds will signify Delight, not Despair.

I wake up every morning and have 4 furry faces waiting for me downstairs, Demanding their breakfast. This is excellent news actually – that there are still FOUR furry faces. You may (or may not) recall that Simba and I had a disagreement as to how we would treat his Diabetes. He won that argument (no injections) but we have both been winning for nearly 2 years now. /me smiles and pets Simbalah. I did suggest to the dog and the cats this morning that maybe THIS year we should turn things about – that they should be making ME breakfast. That I should come downstairs and find a cup of hot yummy coffee waiting for me and my lunch prepared and packed. I’m sure you know what the response was for that. Oh well, maybe NEXT year.

Siri Gives Advice

I have been laughing since the new iPhone came out. It has an AI assistant named “Siri”. Hah! One of my CATS is named Siri. Siri (“seryi”) is Russian for gray. And my beautiful 10-year-old Siri is gray. Somewhere in her lineage there must be a Russian Blue cat, because Siri has that plush thick gray fur typical of a Russian Blue.

Hamlet Au posted his dissatisfaction with how Apple’s Siri answered the question: What is the meaning of life?

MY Siri doesn’t like EITHER answer that Hamlet showed. MY Siri says the meaning of life is very simple: Food. Naps. Cuddles. More Food. Purrrrrrr.

Quid Pro Quo

A friend has gotten some good news today. He achieved something toward which he’s been working for months. He DID it!!! You’d think that he’d be bursting with jubiliation. But….. Something not so good happened to someone dear to him yesterday. The dear one will be okay but (having lived through similar situations myself) I’m sure the time was scary, traumatic, infuriating and draining. So my friend has no energy and no desire to celebrate his achievement.

I thought I’d write to him. Should I say be happy for BOTH pieces of news today: your achievement, dear one’s prognosis? Should I scold him for not recognizing his great success? Should I point out that the universe moves in mysterious ways and we rarely see the big picture?

It was that last thought that began to energize me. I wanted to chastise and say: WHAT? Do you think that life is quid pro quo? That good is given with one hand and taken away with the other simultaneously? That presumes all sorts of theology, most of it, imho, with a negative bent. That the world actually cares about us on a microscopic level and maintains an up-to-the-minute ledger. (I am using the phrase “the world” to try to forestall religious debate. We may end up there anyway, but feel free to substitute whatever phrase you like for a deterministic theory.)

I am compelled to say and write that I think the quid pro quo theory of life is simply not so. It is a vain, self-centered, presumptuous outlook on all of us. The universe runs. It exists. It existed before us and may likely be here after us (Again – I’m not getting into the we-are-destroying-the-universe argument. Humor me, okay?)

I can write that. I can argue that. I will say it to YOU. But….. I, too, FEEL that life is quid pro quo. I believe somewhere deep within me that I can bargain with the universe. Yes, that I can negotiate with God. I’ve been arguing with God for years now. It took me a very long time to recognize that a great tragedy in my life actually was a major tool for forging me into what I think is a better person. That’s really not the same thing as saying that sometimes bad happens in exchange for something good happening. It’s merely an observation that we don’t always see the big picture and maybe life IS quid pro quo. But I don’t THINK so.

I know that even as I logically say “things don’t work that way”, I feel that I can offer trade-offs. Or, that if something bad happens, I search for WHY did it happen???? WHY WHY WHY?? Oh – because I was mean? Because I didn’t help? Because because because? You can go nuts doing that. *grin* But I rather doubt I’m the only one.

I don’t have a conclusion here. I don’t know why my feelings are so at odds with my thoughts. I am recognizing that while I think my friend should celebrate, I feel that he needs to be focused on his dear one’s health. And I get that.

Refuah Shlema! A complete healing!

Snapshots of the Past Week

Some weeks I have nothing much new or interesting to report about my life. Other weeks – I can’t catch my breath. This past week was breathless. Since I’ve become a bit sporadic about posting, I figured I’d get these snippets up while they were still fresh in my mind, giving me joy. Shengri La turned 3 years old recently so a great deal of my week was involved with that. That will all figure in the next post. But there were a few other things happening as well.

First: I know this is a little late – but do catch the end of the Beyond Blogging Conference today:

April 8th
08:00 PDT 11:00 EST Homesteading in the IBM Grid
09:00 PDT 12:00 EST Lessons Learned from IBM’s Academy of Technology Virtual Conferences (This should be VERY informative and interesting! But I bet he doesn’t mention the landscaping… *grin* )

contemplating-the-rezzerI have spent most of my work week sitting on the ground, contemplating my rezzer. I was quite alarmed at how much I’d forgotten from my scripting lessons with Hell. 😦 So I probably spent several hours just kicking my brain back into scripting mode. But by the end of the week, my rezzer worked, my graphs appeared, things rezzed in the right location and the right color. And my brain seems to be back in the proper mode for thinking and developing. If only I had more time……

reunionOne of the best things that happened this week was a reunion. I didn’t post on it here, but Dale posted on his blog. He had to leave his shack at Pier. That was my first home. Literally. When Dale rescued me from Orientation Island, SL set Pier to my home location. And it stayed my home until I finally moved here to McIntyre. If you go back to my posts on my first hours in SL, I’m sure that I mentioned the wonderful black kitty that lived on Dale’s couch at Pier. I LOVE Kitty. Kitty was my best friend on many an occasion. I’d go hang out with Kitty, model my new outfits for him, feed him tuna snacks (oh does Kitty have fish breath sometimes!!!). I’d cuddle Kitty and we’d confide in each other. And then… Pier was no more. Kitty was locked away in inventory. A little piece of my heart was broken when Dale and Kitty left Pier. But we were reunited this week. 🙂 After a party Dale and I went back to visit Kitty, and see his new home. Oh joy!!! We sat forever, talking and relaxing and loving Kitty. 🙂 It was heaven. It’s not Pier, but it was still Home. Ah Kitty – *hugs* I love you. /me fills back with tuna treats and marks calendar for next visit.

dealing-with-mainland-neighborsAnd there is the great Mainland is Ugly propaganda. Well, I live on the mainland. Yeah, my next-door neighbors put up a landing strip. You know what – it has never bothered me. THEY have never bothered me. Almost nothing that happens around my house has bothered me. Until this week. Finally a neighbor did something that I did indeed find not to my taste. I like to sit by my pool, at my table with my laptop, drinking coffee while I work or blog (as I am doing now). The other morning I sat down, looked up across the way, and there was a large revolving religious symbol. Very large. Very obvious. As close to my property line as they could put it without going over the line. It actually was brushing against some of my tree branches. So I stared at that a bit. Decided that I really did NOT want to see it anymore. They were entitled to their opinion, but having seen it, I didn’t need a constant reminder. So I put up a thicket hedge. Shenlei had given me this particular hedge when I moved in – she used it to block an ad farm near the back of my property. So I tossed the tree that was there, put up the thicket and there you go. Problem solved. I guess us Mainlanders are pretty flexible folks.

dancing-to-vonjohnI spent so much of the week not being “me” (I’ll explain that more in another post). It’s not so bad when I’m staring at my rezzer. I mean – I am okay with how I look there. No AO, which annoys me. No boots, which also annoys me. But the hair and clothing aren’t too bad. And I’m working, so mostly I don’t even notice. But by late Saturday evening, I needed a bit of comfort. Von Johin was playing the blues. I tp’d home, put on my boots, jeans, and hair, and headed over. I spent a wonderful hour chatting, dancing and admiring an extremely neat cat avatar. I think that maybe I will buy an av like that and spend a week as a cat. I need a break. 🙂

Wow. I didn’t think I had anything to say, but I went on and on, didn’t I? That’s because this will have to hold you through the week. It’s Pesach, and RL takes precedence this week.

Starting the morning right

midsomer-library-catsI was at both my RL and SL desks before 7:30 am today. I had a lot of building to do, emails to send, meetings on the calendar and I’d not slept well. So I sat there staring at my virtual office, trying to decide what came first, when the fairy tale began.

dancers-at-midsomerIn walked a handsome stranger, dressed in an elegant tuxedo. I greeted him and he replied and asked if he might sit down and join me. I said of course. Isn’t that one of the purposes of my office – meeting with people? 🙂 So we chatted a bit about why we were in SL and what we liked. We read our profiles and discovered that we had a favorite pick in common: Midsomer Isle. I remarked that I hadn’t been there in ages, that it was probably time to go back. Blue suggested that we go then. I thought – why not? So I said sure. Blue tp’d first and sent back the taxi. We went to the library first. 🙂 The kitties were still there, adorable as ever. But no dancing.

considering-our-next-moveSo we went over to the pavilion to dance. It’s lovely, with roses everywhere. But…. also another couple already dancing there. So we strolled over to a gazebo to discuss what we would do. Blue decided to look for another dance spot and I promised to change into dance clothes. But he was fast and I snuck in some rl work. So I never changed.

blue-and-ahuva-dancingWe danced. I started my morning twirling and soaring and spinning and feeling my spirits lift with each pass. Blue had to take a business call, I fended off some emails. 🙂 But we came back and continued chatting and dancing. All and all a lovely start to what had promised to be a bleak day.

Now here is an example of true tackiness. 🙂 Blue and I are dancing and IM’ing and having a wonderful time. I noticed a guy in a bathing suit come by us once or twice. Didn’t think much of it. Then a blue box appeared in my window: Bathing Suit asks if you would be his friend. Excuse me????? I’m dancing with some other guy. You’ve not said a word in local chat. You’ve not even pinged me to say hi good-looking. And you’re extending friendship????? I think NOT. ahuva-and-blue-dancing*grin* C’mon buddy – get with the drill. You at least want to say hello first. Oh – by the way – Blue and I ARE friends.

Animals of the Crown and Pearl

lots-of-sheepI probably should reach all the way back to the Rez day party. That’s when I first saw the CnP filled with non-Avatar animals. Remember all the sheep? Things have been fairly calm since then. I think that I have seen one or two animals appear. Maybe a little cat on a shoulder. Maybe a turkey hat around Thanksgiving. But it’s been fairly pet-free.

spikeUntil this past week or so. I guess the cold weather is driving all the animals inside. For me, it started one night when we were hanging about dancing. I’m not quite sure what started it and to be honest – I probably don’t WANT to remember. Because the conversation sank to a low level fairly quickly. 🙂 It began with Spike. Spike is a friendly, inoffensive dog. But the people around him were NOT so inoffensive. Poor Spike. I will simply say that some people have not quite mastered their inner 6-year old. Spike turned quite blue in misery.

Next to rez was a horse with 5 legs. I apologize – I do NOT have a picture of this “horse”. I only know that it was a horse because it WAS vaguely horse-like and its owner claimed that it was a horse. It looked a lot more like a squirrel with 5 legs. Yes, it was definitely a 5th leg, starting from the poor creature’s belly and ending in a hoof on the floor. It was perhaps the sorriest excuse for a horse that I have ever seen. 🙂 I will provide equal time for a rebuttal should its owner choose to offer a defense.

the-red-nosed-reindeerThen we had the post-Christmas infestation. The reindeer was fairly cute but was NOT house-broken. Sigh. This is why you are supposed to take your pets for a walk. Parents – PLEASE do not give your children pets if the children are NOT ready for the responsibilities.

And of course, there were the squirrels. Rrish’s squirrel was well-behaved. It did leave a few nuts about but they disappeared on their own. It wasn’t too noisy. 🙂 It allowed people to change its name. It didn’t respect personal boundaries, however, as it went burrowing beneath the couchcnp-squirrel cushions. But not too bad, all things considered.

its-time-for-an-exterminatorThe well-behaved squirrel appeared to have rude, aggressive cousins. We had been sitting and chatting quietly when Phin was ATTACKED! Yes! Attacked – the wrath of the squirrels. Prad, Bailey – it is DEFINITELY time for an exterminator.

marisas-dogThis week more animals came out of hiding – uh, inventory. Marisa introduced us to Astro the dog, Turf the psycho cat and her little yellow chick. There was another dog there as well, but I confess that I don’t remember its name nor who owns it. We were all relaxing, not talking about much in particular. Mowgli was telling us a hilarious story about his encounter with a senior citizen in Greece. Mow had arranged his schedule so that he could a-dog-the-chick-and-an-acornsee the Acropolis by moonlight. I won’t tell you the story nor the punchline but it was a case of the sublime and the mundane crashing headfirst.

We also talked a bit about Las Vegas. 🙂 In many respects I’d have to agree with one of the comments – SL IS a bit like Las Vegas. I like Vegas. I wouldn’t want to live there and I don’t think I would want to stay there for more than a few days at a time, but I’ve had a great time whenever I’ve been there. It doesn’t pretend to be anything more than what it is. There yet-another-cnp-dogare lots of fun things – just put yourself in the right mindset. I don’t even mean the gambling. I think that I’ve only played the slots once while I was there. I know – I’m NOT the kind of visitor they really want. We toured about the area around Vegas and we did all the 3D rides on the strip. There IS such a thing as 3D overload. By the time we were doing the last one, at what was 1am by my body clock, I simply closed my eyes and endured. 🙂

turf-the-psycho-cat-goes-for-the-squirrelSo how we got from the Acropolis and Vegas to more animals running about, I’m not sure. But that’s how conversation goes, does it not? Our friends were over yesterday to watch the football playoffs. They were hanging about in the living room while I set up on my laptop in the dining room. I was in SL but could watch the screen also for replays and such. 🙂 Yes, I LIKE football. American football that is. With the odd shaped ball. 11 players to a side. TOUCHDOWN!!! GO GIANTS!!!!! Oh – sorry. I got carried away. 🙂 Anyway, the fragile thread here was trying to explain to my RL friends what it is we DO here. We hang out and chat. Just like I do with THEM. Except my SL friends don’t leave crumbs and chips that I have to clean up. OTOH – my SL friends don’t bring me chocolates. So I guess I’ll have to stay in BOTH lives. Because I can’t avoid the psycho kitties and squirrels in either world.

Details

Love and Sex are the 2 big draws in SL blogging (maybe in all blogging). 🙂 I’m busy landscaping. But if you want the serious conversation, go to Bailey’s blog. She’s talking about lying and sex and love. 🙂

It’s the attention to details that makes SL such a wonderful place to inhabit. After days and days of planting flowers and trees and landscaping, that fact has been driven home. I’ve been having fun and learning a lot. I’ve been learning about rezzing objects, moving objects, stretching, shrinking and rotating objects. I’ve learned that I am a bit obsessive and compulsive about my work. 🙂 Maybe some of you knew that already. I cannot walk away and leave the plant as it rezzed. I NEED to tweak it. I need to scatter the placements so that the plants are not in a straight line. I rotate each plant slightly to different angles so that the tops have a more natural look. I change the size of each one – some larger, some smaller. It takes me forever. But I can’t not do it. I tried to simply put a bunch of flowers in and walk away. I couldn’t do that. I HAD to make tiny adjustments to each one to differentiate it.

I have finally finished with the 6 flower beds. Now I’m making my way along the river. Ahuva Appleseed!!! 🙂 I am planting weeping willows and weeping crab apple trees. I have cattails for along the shore. I have rocks to size and move and pile. I have weedy water plants along the shore (hey – maybe some lily pads????). Thank goodness there are some other people doing some landscaping as well, because at the rate I’m going, I’ll be done sometime in the spring of 2009. 🙂 And the conference is next week. But trees and shoreline go much faster than tailored flower beds. Less tweaking is needed. Large open space is acceptable. But even so – I am compelled to fill in spaces with little touches of color or rocks. I went in this morning to take some pictures for this blog and I see that J and J have been very busy planting trees. And you know what – it looks great! Obviously they understand the macro view and are not obsessing about tweaking each leaf. There are trees all over. I couldn’t help but notice, however, that they all look the same………. Bad, Ahuva!!! Get with the BIG picture!!!! 🙂

I am sure that there are still more tricks to this than I have grasped. I have learned to group objects to copy but I’m not very good at it and I still feel compelled to change them. I’ve learned to flip plants in the middle of a group of plants in order to change the look and feel even though the individual flipped plant doesn’t show. There are things that happen when I try to move a plant or rotate it that I don’t know why they happen or how to stop them (note: these are not “good” things that happen LOL). I definitely need to get a building lesson (Hey Bailey – I’m going to take you up on your offer) and I need to learn about textures.

It would have been easier perhaps if I’d had more time to learn the nuances before the conference. LOL But I didn’t know that I was going to jump under that particular bus. 🙂 It will be quite a relief when the conference has begun and I am done with this pressure to plant, plant, plant (that’s pressure applied by me to myself, by the way – no one else is “making me” do anything). I miss my life – both RL and SL life. I dream about this project. I think about it most of the time. LOL. I wish I could pull a Tom Sawyer and get someone else to logon as me and do some planting! I can’t wait til I can kick back, put my feet up, go into SL and NOT feel obliged to head to the work sim and plant. 🙂 Soon, soon. And yet – I am so grateful that I am having this experience. It is great.

So there are many many many places in SL where the builders and creators get all the details right. The pictures in this post come from the library at Midsomer Island. If you go back and look at the picture of Darcey stretched out on the floor reading, you will see one black kitty sitting there watching you, and one black kitty reading its own book. But there is a third black kitty – a naughty black kitty sitting on the shelf, trying to catch itself a fish! I stood one night for awhile and watched her play.

Burning Life

Many many people have blogged about Burning Life and posted wonderful pictures. I’ve been over there three times this week. I’m planning to go back again this weekend before it closes Oct. 5, RL permitting. No one else has posted what has been MY favorite lighthearted exhibit (to date). So here it is, Lorimae’s Blue Cat House, although I think of it as Cat and Mouse. 🙂 (074-Art, Burning Life (Micro) (174, 39, 24) )

CATS!

Last night was cat night at the benches. U was showing off her beautiful snow leopard avatar. C decided to get into the act and became a bunny. That may have been a mistake because U growled “Lunch!”. C bravely reached up and rubbed U behind the ears and the peaceable kingdom reigned. G and U wanted to compare avatars, so next thing we knew, we had G the lion! C definitely began to look like a tasty snack, sandwiched between the two, so she took refuge on a bench. G and U put their avs through their paces – sitting, reclining, roaring and scratching! We were a bit concerned about fleas at that point. 🙂 C slipped from bunny to jellicle cat, waving a fish. We all relaxed, chatting about nothing much, when U mentioned that these animal avatars can dance. G put up a photo of Lion and panther dancing quite sweetly in each others arms (???), on their hind legs. U put on a dance animation. Oh my heavens!!!!! That snow leopard shimmied and wriggled and swayed and boogied! As someone remarked, that image was sooooo wrong on so many levels that it was hilarious. 🙂 Oh for a movie camera! But even if I’d had one – I was laughing way too hard to have been able to film. Cats all over the universe were cringing last night in embarrassment! If that’s how cats dance – I’m skipping the jellicle ball!

Dinner Date?
Dinner Date?
The Lion, the Leopard and the Bunny (and a lampost straight from Narnia)
The Lion, the Leopard and the Bunny (and a lampost straight from Narnia)
What happened to the bunny?   (yummy)
What happened to the bunny? (yummy)
A pride of cats
A pride of cats