Posts Tagged 'landscaping'

4Q09

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*

Building 101

my working nurserySo. I’ve been building. Wow. There’s a lot more to this building stuff than just rezzing a box. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I have joined the Impossible Missions Force. *grin* The Incredible Metaverse Force? The Intrepid Magicians Force? Actually, our mission is not impossible at all – there are some absolutely amazing builders/scripters on this team (present company excluded) It’s just that I keep hearing the IMF theme song playing in my head as I login to face that day’s “mission”. I rather doubt I need to worry about being captured or killed in the line of duty, but I do wonder why they were never warned of death by exhaustion and lack of sleep. *grin* I wonder if this post will self-destruct in 5 seconds?

My 2nd tree - the small chestnutI whined to you about the textures. I can’t do that anymore. I have been supplied with some magnificent textures. It’s up to me to do them justice. I started with the landscaping assignment. (Technically my first challenge was the scrum song but, sigh, no one actually wanted those results. Bigger sigh. You and I – we did SUCH a great job on those songs.) Anyway, landscaping that island went well. I was asked to make trees. Sculpty trees. I have never worked with sculpty anythings before. weeping willowSo, back to my good friend and unofficial mentor, Honour. HELP! 🙂 Crash course in tree building. Here is something that I suspect many of you will not believe or understand. I have GREAT difficulty in visualizing 3D. I know SL gives us arrows, etc. Sometimes I understand and the object moves as I suspect it will. But mostly – it is totally hit or miss. If I am not in the groove – I can over shoot my target repeatedly for 10 minutes or more. The mega rowanI just can’t SEE it. I can only see one dimension at a time. So sometimes building is incredibly frustrating. Editing is frustrating. Believe me when I say that building a 3D object is a major challenge to me visually, not just creatively and technically. So I built a tree, a weeping Japanese cherry, under Honour’s eye. Because SOMEONE needed to be able to see. *Grin*. It was not bad (you can see it front and center in the first picture above). I showed my tree. It passed El Exigente’s approval. *grin* So – the verdict was delivered: build more trees. my 3rd tree - the oakGulp. I foolishly promised 3 trees within 2 days. Tree 2, a small chestnut, was okay. Went relatively smoothly. Then, as several of you know, I was building like crazy and getting nowhere. I put up a very snarly “busy”message. Kudos to Oura here. She broke through the snarl and offered to help. She served as my eyes because I was in one of my blind to multiple dimensions states. I managed to build the frames for a weeping willow and for an oak. I got the oak done by the deadline. I had a weeping willow done. But it was “eh”. It looked good head-on, but if you camm’ed up, and looked down, oh my oh my. Anyway, I managed to get that done the DAY I said it would be done (rebuilt that foliage 4 times) but I didn’t make it by the daily team meet. So what was my reward? “Ahuva – keep building sculpty trees. And if you could do some mega-sized ones as well, that would be awesome”. Awesome. mega chestnutHow can you resist a challenge like that???? I can’t. Sigh. So, I returned to churning out trees. As you may have noticed by a prior post, *grin*, it had its ups and downs. But – I learned to build trees. I did get better. Yes – I see things that need to be fixed on the weeping willow. Yes – of course J found the one bare branch in my beautiful oak. But… I am learning, I am getting there. My mega-chestnut is, imho, beautiful. The rowan is quite spectacular, but I did have people critique it along the way. So I don’t consider it 100% “mine”. Only the mega-chestnut. That is “mine”. *grin*

ahuva's_chairsI’ve learned other things as well. That trying to build what you see in RL is not as easy as you might think, no matter how simple the form appears. I took a picture of a chair that I thought would be perfect for the first island, a social gathering space. I did indeed build something very close. Ahuva-built garden furnitureThanks to PatriciaAnne for advice about the arms. I actually stumbled on one answer as she was responding, but she saved me much time by explaining the other issue. *grin* Love you, PatriciaAnne!!! I also learned that it really makes a difference where you put the root prim. 🙂

How it looked it edit modeBadges. LOL. I am making handouts and freebies for the people, too. I am not just a gardener anymore. I worked on a conference badge. It’s not that easy to make a shape that fits about a neck. Just think on that a bit. It must curve and bend and shape. It must be a tortured prim or a sculpti. Yes – I got help learning how to do that too. *grin* But I was extremely pleased with it. I figured out the textures all myself – got the logo on the lanyard, oriented correctly. 🙂 Then I wore the badge. Edited it to position it properly. Looked fine. Came out of edit and…. oh wow. I must not have SAVED my changes??? The badge went flying through my shoulder, instead of staying positioned in front. Repeat the edit, looked fine, come out. Repeat the badge through my shoulder. how it looked when my AO took overI sat and stared. And watch as the badge MOVED. ROFLMAO. I was trying to be clever. MANY items get attached to the chest of the avatar. I wanted to put the badge someplace it wouldn’t interfere, in case the people were wearing an attachment. So I attached it to …….. my nose. *giggle* Which was fine til my AO moved my avatar’s nose. The badge followed the nose. LOL. Okay, that just wasn’t going to work. At the moment – the badge is attached to the chest. *grin* I’m hoping that will be okay for most folks. It’s those little things that get you. The kind of thing that once you “know”, you never do again. But if you don’t know, it can be quite baffling.

shadowsJust for good measure, while I was still struggling with “more sculpty trees”, I was told to add shadows for realism. I had never seen/done a shadow. I got that it was a texture, but, confession: I have been really bad at making my own textures. I spent hours figuring out how to do an alpha texture of just TEXT!!!! It can’t get any simpler than that. Sometimes I really wonder if I should have stuck to scripting. Anyway, I was up til 12:30 am the other night struggling with 2 sculpty trees (hence my Apology to Joyce Kilmer. That post has a subtitle but I suspect my life is forfeit if I print that.) I woke at 4:30am to continue working. I made 2 shadows. Look – they might not be the best shadows. But they are mine. I made them. By myself. one good, one not so good shadowBy the meeting deadline. In the picture that shows trees with shadows – the shadow on the right foreground is not mine – was given to me by a teammate. The shadow on the left distance is one of mine, layered and copied. You can see that my shadows have a way to go. But, I AM doing this. I may not be the best and there might be flaws, but I am making my deadlines and meeting my commitments. I am doing the best I can. It seems to be okay.

So, for your viewing pleasure, I have included here my chairs, tables, badge, shadows and some trees. Happy Trees to you, until we meet again!

Apologies to Joyce Kilmer

Building a tree
I think that I shall never see
A thing I hate as much as trees.
I used to love them, this is true.
But now tonight I build and rue
The day I said that I would play
At building flowers, trees all day.
I cannot quit, nor can I stop
And still my mind whirls like a top.
You’d think I’d learn, perhaps grow wise,
And not keep giving in to pride.
Poems should be the work for me.
Who thought I should be building trees?

Sleep is over-valued

clematis1/me blinks at you blearily. OMG. I am tired. “Not to put any pressure on you, Ahuva”, says J, “but do you think you could possibly landscape this entire island tonight in time for tomorrow’s meeting?” Right. No pressure. Sigh. This is not a bus – this is a steam roller. LOL. Although, I’m not sure WHY I should rise to THIS challenge. I produced not one but FOUR scrum songs. And a scrumfire around which we could sing. And NO ONE sang the scrumsongs. No one sat in the chairs around the fire. 😦 The songs weren’t even handed out. Sob. I was crushed. My work so completely unappreciated. 😦

clematis2Okay. One landscaped island coming up. But. I need scripted benches. And I really need a trellis. I really need some more textures too, because I don’t have what I WANT. Thanks to Honour, I now see flaws in textures that I used to find satisfactory. I mean – plants are supposed to have STEMS. Not the textures I’ve been given. No stems. Those babies have leaves coming right out the bottom. Big Sigh. I can’t do much about the textures overnight, but I CAN call the cavalry to the rescue for other things. *grin*

clematis3/me sends an anguished cry to Dale!!! Help!!! Scripting!!!! *grin* It’s really not fair. Showing Dale a script that needs work is like showing a moth a light. BLAM! Connection! *grin* Dale came riding in on the white horse. Scripted cushions for the benches. We were soooooo clever. The script selects a pose at random, so that we will not have all the avatars lined up in synchronized leg-crossing. 🙂 Dale built me a trellis,too! It’s a gorgeous perfect trellis. As you can see, my clematis looks okay up-close, but it’s not really working from a distance. I’ve spoken with Honour, have some ideas on what to tweak. So much to learn. 🙂 What’s truly amazing is that I think it took longer for Dale to figure out how to get into this world than it took to build the pillow, script it, and build the trellis. *grin* Dale, Ruler of Scripts!

Anyway, I was up til 1:30 am, grabbed a little sleep, got up at 6am and started in again. Please note that I have ducks. *grin* You all may snicker at my ducks, but they received specific, favorable recognition. Anyway, I believe the island passed muster.

The Bus Redux

Triumphant View under the busIt was almost a year to the day. September 2008 I threw myself under the bus – I volunteered to make trees for a conference inworld. Remember? It changed my life. It was perhaps one of the smartest things I have ever done in my life.

Well, it’s conference time again. New world, new sims, new approach. As you know if you read this blog, I have come a long way from staring at the underside of the bus. I have managed to turn a good deal of my “real life job” into virtual world work. Our company has many programs to encourage employees to learn new skills, to try out new careers. My manager, E, attended a career planning seminar. My manager is the BEST. Always. There is no one like him. I will put E up against anyone and E will always come out as the best. *grin* Anyway, he came to me and said “Hey – there’s a program where I can lend you out for a limited time. Maybe you could find someone who needs your help in virtual worlds. You may as well get credit (recognition) for the work you are doing volunteering.” I thought it was a wonderful idea and I loved how supportive he was. I contacted my mentor (yeah, my company does THAT too – we can find mentors to help us navigate life). Um, I guess I should confess….. My mentor is J. Yeah, the infamous J of conferences and gardens past. The same J who is always telling me my gardens have to go. *grin* I’m learning a lot, despite the pain. (It’s sooooooo much fun to paint J as the evil nemesis of my life. But – it’s not really true. J is incredibly helpful and supportive. But it makes a much better story the other way.) So….. I asked J “what do you think? Would this be a good idea? Do you have any suggestions where I should look?”

bambooI was thrilled. J put me on the team to build the sims for this year’s conference. LOL – oh YEAH – she wants TREES again. ROFL. OMG. I don’t think that I can count on Honour to pull me out of the fire THIS year. Actually, J is encouraging me to do more than plant trees and plants. She is encouraging me to learn to build more, do more. Build fountains. Write the scripts for various objects (sitting, etc.). Basically she is doing all that a mentor should do.

I repeat: I’m thrilled. I’m dancing on air. I’m scared. Oh yeah. Besides being beside myself with joy and the thrill of the challenge, I am really nervous. I do NOT want to let down the team. The people on this team are really really talented. This is a major project. I am playing with the “A” team here. I do NOT want to be the weak link, the one who screws up, the one who can’t do their part. While I was working out in the gym at work yesterday I asked my friend there: “Do other people feel this way, or is this a ‘girl’ thing?” Bless his soul – he looked at me and told me he’d just got a new assignment and that he felt the same. *smile* He quoted the movie “The Right Stuff” to me – said that even Chuck Yeager prays: “Don’t let me f*** this up”. So maybe some of you out there recognize how I feel. *grin*

ivyIn the meantime, my brain is spinning all the time about landscaping, textures, builds, what to do. I walk around with my camera taking pictures of botanical gardens, rock walls, brick walls, wood benches. I am looking for ideas. I am looking for textures. Honour has promised to give me a day and try to teach me about sculpties and textures and things like that. I covet her weeping willow trees. *grin* I have soooo much to learn. I don’t even know if I can turn my photos into textures – that will be part of my learning.

wooden boardsI have a growing list of what I NEEEEEEEEEEEEEED. LOL. Bamboo trees. Ornamental grasses. Better flower textures. Graceful wood benches. I’m not even going to tell you about the conversation J and I had about sculpture and art. Sigh. That will be another post. Oh yeah, what a surprise. LOL. We butted heads already. *grin* I think Honour is running a pool about how long it will be before I try to “do in” J. You may want to contact Honour if you want in on that.

But you know what? I AM going to do this. I figure for the next 5 weeks, my life belongs to this project. No social time, no sleep. Oh gee – sounds like last year. But I am not going to be the weak link. The view from under the bus can be a very triumphant view.
It aint heavy

Puttering in the Garden

trees in planters
flowers for the tableI just can’t stay out of my garden. I think about the landscaping all the time, wondering what I could change, what might make a better atmosphere. I go there when I am stressed or upset. I try out new ideas. I’m learning so much about building and textures. Building new planters, mixing flower textures calms me.

planters edging the seating areaI have not been satisfied with the look of those columns. They are still so stark, imposing. I love the climbing roses but I still needed a little more softness in the view. I decided to try adding trees again, but this time soften the trees with flowers at the roots. Just a smattering of trees – nothing too regular. I went back to the weeping cherry, graceful, light, airy, but continuing with the overall vertical theme of the meeting area.

pink clematis on trellisI wanted more color, more softness closer to the seats as well. My original thought was for large trellises covered with flowers, but I did not want to block sight lines to the speakers. So I created a small trellis with pink clematis. I brought my trial-size planter over to see how it looked. As I moved it about to check color and shape, I realized that I actually liked it as it was. I decided to bring the outer circle into the seating area by using the outer flower boxes to flank the new trellis planters. That added something new and different in both shape and color but pulled the outside in, connecting them.

new flowers for podiumI’ve also made several different planters so that I can put “fresh” flowers at the podium each week. *grin* I know, I am hopelessly out of control. I need to get some flowers and take some pictures so I can make textures so I can make MORE flowers for the podium planter. Yeah, it’s an addiction for sure. Someone has created a monster…… 🙂

My Day Job: Grounds Crew

birds' eye view

flower box and tree2Sigh. I don’t seem to have much luck with gardening for work. J gives with one hand, takes with the other. A few weeks ago I mentioned she gave me a sandbox, flowers, plants, EVERYTHING and told me to go plant. And I did. I will make this painful and sad story very short: J told me she had to take pillars2down that sim. In other words – bye, bye garden. LOL. Can you believe it????? Okay, J was totally apologetic and sorry. But still – yet another garden bit the virtual dust. This is a bit better than the first time – at least if she brings back the sim my garden will come back too.

lecternDo you read Charles Schultz’s comic strip “Peanuts”? Do you remember how Lucy will hold the football for Charlie Brown to kick? How she always PROMISES that THIS time she won’t pull the ball away? But she does. Every time. Yet Charlie Brown falls for it everytime. J went and found me a landscaping job in our virtual world. *grin* Yep, she volunteered me out to another group to landscape THEIR sim. Oh my goodness – I fell for it. They said they would love to have me landscape, I was delighted to have the opportunity. I said yes. Start the betting pool NOW, folks. How many weeks til J comes to me and says regretfully – Um, Ahuva, I’m so sorry to tell you this, but, your gardens have to go. LOL. I’m starting the betting at 4 weeks. 🙂

pillars and plantersAnyway, I have been landscaping a sim where technical meetings are held. It is a monumental build: huge 20 meter columns. Very formal – marble, columns, stark. I started off just putting some flowers at the lectern and trying to get some flower boxes and greenery up. I wanted to get something done quickly so that my client would know that I was serious about working on her sim. (The picture at the top of this blog is how the build looks at the end of today. The next 3 pictures are the first pass at landscaping.) The first flower box has something I called fire tulips (when I was given them they were called “object”, so I figure “fire tulips” is an improvement. *grin*) and yellow lilies. I used red lilies at the lectern.

close upI knew that those columns were crying out for climbing vines, however. At first I thought that I would create a texture that combined the marble and roses and I would re-texture the columns. There were a few problems with that idea. First, the columns were locked – I needed J to give me the column and she was busy. Secondly, the roses would have been flat against the pillars. Both Honour and Hell suggested building a cylinder to encase the existing columns and to put the roses on that cylinder. I did one pass that way but I used too many repeats of the texture. On further discussion with Honour, I redid the cylinder – only one vertical and horizontal repeat. The encasing cylinder is actually 3 linked cylinders. As I placed the climbing roses, I could rotate the cylinder vertically so that the texture would vary. I also rotated the cylinder horizontally so that each pillar has a different look. I’m quite pleased with the final result. I hope you are also.

peering thru the pillarThe pillars have signs on them. I wanted flowers there as well. Now one thing I learned from J was that it’s not really the quantity of prims that I use – it’s more that fact that I use so many different textures. So I have tried to use the same textures in this build, but modify them so that they look somewhat different. This is probably totally obvious to all you REAL builders out there but I was pleasantly surprised to “think up” the idea of copying and stretching the textures in a given plant and so changing the look that way: number of prims, rotation, size. I was a little stumped at first about the hanging baskets – I couldn’t figure out how to drape the flowers over the top and down the front. Honour to the rescue again. She pointed out that I should use a different style basket and the plants could grow from the basket itself. So the hanging baskets are more cascading roses, daisies and bacopa.

hanging basketI was having a very stressful day at work last week. *grin* Nothing awful – just LOTS of it. So at lunch I retreated to my virtual garden and created a second flower box. It was so amazingly soothing and fun to do. 🙂 I made this one larger than the first. I felt more yellow was needed. I love yellow in a garden – so bright and cheerful. So this flowerbox is yellow lilies and daisies.

Guest lecturerOnce the climbing roses were up, I didn’t like the look of the trees between the columns. The green was too dull. And there was too much vertical-ity, if there is such a word. So I consulted with Honour, my landscaping mentor, and pulled the trees and moved the flower boxes. I think that tomorrow I will send a note to my client, asking her to take a look. I’ll be happy to add more flowers – I’d love to stuff the whole platform with multitudes of different colored flowers. But I figure my purpose here was to enhance the meeting area, not steal attention from the presenters. I’m very interested in my client’s feedback.

Oh, and of course….. I’m waiting to hear when I lose THIS garden!! *grin*

Ahuva, Lead Gardener

In my sandbox nurseryThey gave me a sandbox. And plants: trees, flowers, bushes, fountains, planters, picnic benches, rocks. 🙂 They don’t know how that goes to my head – excites me. I LOVE gardening. This year RL gardening was a total wash – literally. Rained every day but one in June. I never even cleared and planted my 2 side gardens. I discovered some cosmos sitting in a pot still in the little porch garden – I never planted them because the weather has been so uncooperative. Then they gave me my own sandbox behind the firewall and they gave me plants and they said – Have fun! OMG. *grin*

For those of you who were here with me way back in October 2008, with my first round of landscaping, you remember the tragic end. Where J made me pull out my gorgeous gardens. The ones over which I labored for days and days and days. Some nonsense about how avs couldn’t move about because my flowers were sucking up all the fps. /me shakes head. WHY would they NEED to move about? They could have simply tp’d in and looked at my gorgeous gardens, no? The irony today is that it is J who gave me the plants and said “Have fun!” LOL. Foolish J.

it really needs more flowersI unpacked all the flowers and bushes and fountains and all into my sandbox. Set up a little nursery so anyone else could also come and take everything and play as well. The flower beds from last October are behind the firewall as well. Or ones that are the same size and shape. A few days ago I couldn’t stand the lure anymore. I went and planted. 🙂 I TRIED to limit myself. I really did TRY. But…. Two plants simply are not enough for me. I want to stuff the entire flower bed FULL of a riot of color – flowers crowding each other, vibrant colors everywhere. That’s how I do my RL gardens. Garish? Perhaps. But I find the colors and shapes and life pleasing to the eye. I planted with only 3 bushes. Stepped back, said “Okay, not too bad.” Then I couldn’t stop. It simply was too bare. I had to add some rocks. Maybe a few plants among the rocks. *grin* Before I could stop myself – I was up to 5 different plants and many rocks. 🙂 I liked it. (By the way – ignore the wood walls – I threw them there quickly to block all the other stuff in that site.)

enjoying my gardenSo I decided that maybe before I got too carried away, I should warn J that I was on the loose. Undoubtedly destroying response time again. I sent an email. This morning I woke up, still no response from J. I’m on vacation today. What do I want to do on my day off? Play. What constitutes playing on a humid, humid day in August? Virtual gardening. *grin* Now I KNOW I shouldn’t be planting before getting the go-ahead. But my manager always taught me it’s better to ask forgiveness than get permission. Which is how I got him to agree to work in virtual worlds, LOL. Anyway, I got up this morning and attacked the second flower bed. With trees. Two flowering dogwood type trees – a pink and a white. Only 6 trees. They really need some rocks, a few ground covers. 🙂 I sent off another message to J, admitting that I’d been adding yet more prims to the entryway.

Every garden needs a touch of yellowFinally J responded. Not a useful response, of course. Just a “we need to talk” response. LOL. Uh oh. Anyway, I’m not really sure what J wants to discuss. Someone else mentioned to me that I may be planting in a world scheduled for destruction. (I wonder if I should be thinking Deathstar from Star Wars or thinking of Project Genesis from Star Trek? *grin*) So maybe I should stop planting for awhile. But it was such fun while it lasted. And if it endures – great! If not – I get to play all over again! Even better!! Think GREEN! And pink, red, white, orange, yellow, blue, lavender, rose, peach……

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.

Could I see you in my office a moment?

almost-time-for-an-afternoon-breakI have been posting about my RL work that I do in SL. I can’t talk about most of it, of course. Work is work, after all. But I CAN show you where some of it takes place. 🙂 I am fortunate to be friends with a wonderful person who is a great builder as well. Since I did not get her permission first, I won’t post her name, but she should feel free to claim the credit in a comment. She built me this beautiful office. I was going crazy with project specifications, scripting details, coordination of efforts, scheduling and the like. I said: “I NEED an office.” Now had I told this person that I NEEDED more boots, or that I NEEDED another AO or skin, she’d have laughed in my face. But she understood that in this case NEED really was NEED. So she built me this gorgeous executive office. This office is MINE until such time as my manager steps in and claims it for himself. Sigh. But I have it for awhile longer.

Note the gorgeous outdoor landscaping. cant-take-these-flowers-awayMany of you remember the famous tree escapade. I see you all rolling your eyes and looking for the nearest exit. Relax. Calm down. I’m only going to remind you that I slaved and labored and toiled and broke every fingernail I had planting flowers and bushes for days, only to be asked at the last minute by that project coordinator to pull them all and redo the gardens completely with fewer prims and fewer unique flowers. Oh yeah – in less than 24 hours, too. Well. The same person owns the land upon which my office sits. But my landscaping STAYS this time!!! No one can touch it! Because I am listed as owner now and it’s my parcel. So the flowers and the tree and the waterfall STAY. Hah!

mosaic-waterfallAh yes, I have a wonderful outdoor patio with a waterfall to provide soothing sounds while I take refreshment under the weeping cherry. Beautiful flowers climbing the terrace. Yes, I do have neighbors. Even more awkward – I am near the central landing spot for the sim. Sigh. It would have been nice if SOMEONE had mentioned that to me when I said that I thought this parcel would do. I know – I should simply be quiet and be grateful I got this parcel. Still….. I don’t mind people coming by and walking in. What annoys me is that they don’t close the door behind themselves. 🙂 Come in, look around, sit down. But please close the door!!!! Every time I’ve tp’d back to the office this week, at least one door is open.

So the inside is quite luxurious. I still need my-office-at-the-momentto fix the poseballs in the guest chairs at my desk. *grin* Otherwise my guests will fall asleep. I have a huge conference table for meetings. A couch and comfy chairs for more informal occasions. A slide projector.

I have a laptop and an additional monitor – quite de rigeur for software developers. I have a box of donuts when needed. That impressionistic picture the-door-to-the-exec-bathroomabove the fireplace is Alan Turing. There are leather-bound books on the shelves, with gold lettering. There is a complete coffee set in the sideboard. 🙂 Really – all the amenities one would expect in a corporate office. Well, almost. There were one or two things that are NOT there, but then, we were trying to follow corporate policy. You know – do what I say, not what I do. *grin*

So for my first presentation I put on door-is-opena suit and all, looked quite, sigh, dull. For the second presentation, I went back to being myself. *grin* jeans, boots and a sweater. I did put my hair up, however, since even in RL I will pull back my unruly mop when I am doing presentations.

So here is my office sweet office. I love it. I intend to enjoy every moment of executive privilege til my manager takes my offfice away. fun-fun-fun-til-my-mgr-takes-the-office-away Feel free to drop in and visit. Office hours are M-F, 9-5. See you soon!

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