I’ll Never Be a Builder

If Crap Mariner is correct, I am constitutionally unable to be a builder. Oh, I may indeed build and enjoy it. But Crap froze my soul today in his “Prim Waste” post:

The Law Of Building: Each prim has to carry its own weight or it’s GONE.

after-is-betterThere is NO way that I can follow that maxim the way I think Crap means it.   If he means that each prim must be functional, I’m jumping off that bandwagon.   I am motivated by appearances, not functionality.  (Oh my, does that make me sound totally shallow or what?)   I have been playing with my office in SL.  I was given a maximum prim count and then told it would be best if I kept way below that. every-flower-necessary I keep adding things.  They aren’t things that I NEED. They are things that LOOK good to me. I added an armillary. It seemed appropriate somehow. I’ve added flowers to my desk and credenza. They don’t DO anything but please me. I like to have flowers in my RL office too. I suppose you could argue that their function is to lighten my spirits and to provide a pleasant and therefore productive work environment. Is that carrying “its own weight”?

every-rock-is-necessaryI still mourn the loss of my gardens. I know, they weren’t that good. But to me – they were beautiful. They were really the first thing that I felt I created, that were “mine”, that were “me”. I lavished so much time and effort on planting each flower just so. A tree here, some rocks. I spent so much time arranging the pile of rocks at the base of the bridge. Placing the reeds and the grasses. Building trellises to climb the wall. For no reason other than to make it pleasing to the eye. I understood why they had to go. I felt the lag. But. /me shakes head – frustrated. I want a world where I DON’T have to count prims!!!!! I want as many flowers and shrubs and rocks and ducks in my virtual world as I have in my RL. (Okay, I don’t have ducks in my RL, but you KNOW what I mean.)

I have a friend who is recreating a lighthouse in opensim. He COULD do this faster with prims that are textured to LOOK like many prims. But he is actually using individual prims for each piece of siding, each link in the fence. Using individual prims changes how the build looks – how light reflects, the feel of the build. I’ll be taking pictures and posting more about the lighthouse. In his case, I suspect that every prim DOES pull its weight. But for me – well, my RL garden is crammed full of flowers too. (cuts down on the weeds! *grin*) Thank goodness there is no prim limit in RL.


My prim in red
My prim in red
Same prim in purple
Same prim in purple

I made my first PRIM!!! I CREATED something! I IM’d everyone I know in SL last night to shout: I MADE A PRIM!!!! I am so proud! Now, armed with a little knowledge, I can become truly dangerous. Just think of me and my sailboat. 🙂

Those of you who know me in RL know that I am NOT very good at all with taking new products and “playing” with them. LOL. This is the ongoing issue in my performance reviews, right? OTOH, you know that I am a great “user” – I use the system like end-users do, trying to create things. That’s why M and I are such a great team for debugging – he tries to break, I try to use. Takes all kinds to make a world.

Okay, so that was a digression. Somewhat. The point is I never would have figured this stuff out on my own. So I owe thanks to one of my newfound friends. Other than beautiful, I’m not really sure what he is. He is some kind of cat-creature, but with gorgeous dark wings and very intriguing horns. (Okay – I just chickened out here. I was going to include his picture, but I haven’t asked his permission. And even though I ran it by another SLer who thought it was okay to do, I decided not to run the risk of offending him. I will ask him next time I see him if I may put up his picture. Since all I want to do is show you how beautiful and unusual he is, I hope he won’t object.)

My timing was good last night. As I materialized, the beautiful cat-creature was mentioning that there was class for Newbies starting in just a few minutes. I had a lot of time ahead of me last night so I thought, why not. So I got the landmark and off I went.

I materialized at the top of a stadium-seating lecture hall. I could ‘hear’ people talking and saying hi, I simply was unsure where I was. So I walked forward and could see people below me, seated. I made my way down front and took a seat.

Even before class started, I was in trouble. The instructor asked that all of us with AOs (that’s Animation Overrides) remove them. Sigh. I was pretty sure that I had an AO on (thanks D – I walk so much better with it!). But I wasn’t sure if it was on as part of my outfit or if I had it on separately. It makes a difference when you try to take something off. See, I thought I was so smart a few days ago. I saved my complete appearance as an outfit. Changed clothes, did it again. The only trouble is, I don’t think I did it right. When I put those outfits on, all the pieces don’t seem to materialize. I think that I need to scrap them and start from the beginning. That first I need to save my physical appearance sans clothing – I’ve been playing with my tan, among other things 🙂 . So I had on the remnants of an outfit, but I knew that I had tweaked that after loading it. I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to find where I had the AO loaded.

So I asked if a HUD was the same as an AO (because I could find an option to detach HUDs). No, no, they all said. And then they very helpfully told me to look in my inventory for the AO, notice if it says ‘Worn’ and then right-click to ‘take off’. Well, I knew all that. That wasn’t the issue. Finding it in my ever-expanding inventory is the issue. For those of you in RL who don’t have an inventory, think of this as the junk drawer in your kitchen – you know – the one where you throw everything that doesn’t belong somewhere else. And everything is all jumbled in there in no order and in a complete mess and you may have 3 ice cream scoops and one is on top but one is stuck all the way in the back on the bottom under things and one is actually in a different drawer altogether. That’s my inventory. 🙂 Actually, it’s much like my RL closets. 🙂 So I thanked them all and Gwynn, the instructor, said it was time to get started. Just like in RL, we started late. LOL. Because of people like me asking dumb questions.

The class was very interesting. I had no idea how they were going to manage this. But like my business meeting the other day, it was done very much the way you’d expect in RL. There was, however, no phone hook-up for this. There were maybe 10 of us (which Gwynn said was a big class). Gwynn had prepared text. You could tell it was the text because it was green in the chat box. Whenever she answered a question or spoke not from the text, it was white. It was very organized, broken into different sections. You could almost imagine the correlating powerpoint slides. 🙂 I started scribbling notes. Yes, I KNOW I could have captured the chat box text, and yes, Gwynn gave us the text in a folder. But this is how I learn. And besides – Melissa wasn’t there and I knew I wanted to give her some of this stuff. And I knew I was going to be asking my SL friends to explain other topics. Of course, MSC crashed just near the end – I had to reload. So good thing Gwynn gave us notes because I had no chance to capture the chat.

We covered many things that I already knew. Changing appearance, talking with friends, changing the camera view, teleporting, shopping 🙂 , griefers. I don’t think I’ve mentioned griefers. This is something I’m going to need to ask the SLer’s about. Apparently griefers are the SL bullies. They are your typical idiots who feel the need to push others around, say horrid things, try to make you do things, despite the fact that everyone assures me no one can REALLY hurt my avatar. So the first thing you are supposed to do is “mute” them – then you can’t hear them (you do that in your chat box, I believe). The second thing is to sit down on a flat surface so they can’t use their weapons on you. I must say, THAT got my attention. I asked Gwynn to explain but I’m not satisfied with what I understood. She said that they can push your avatar around, but if you are sitting, their weapons are useless. Big ick, I must say.

The most helpful tips were about setting my Recent Inventory parameters – for how many minutes/days will an item be in Recent Inventory as opposed to simply in Inventory (Recent Inventory is a handy way to see the things you have recently acquired, a tool many of us need). I also loved the tip about having 2 copies of Inventory open at once for ease in moving items into folders (just like Explorer, folks). There are log files, there are other ways to move the camera view, you can search in Inventory. Very, very useful stuff.

And then the moment I’ve been wanting for 3 weeks!!! CREATING!!! The basics are soooo easy. But now I have even more admiration for what I see out there. Basics are easy, details – wow. That must be some intense scripting. Anyway, you touch the floor, you get your pie-shaped menu, you click create. A box opens w/ options and you have your “magic wand” in your hand. Tap the floor w/ your wand and you get the default prim (and the default is determined by buttons and settings in the options box). From there you can stretch it, shrink it, add scripts to it to make it change color, move, whatever. So here it is – Ahuva’s First Prim: a squished, elongated, rotating, color-changing, plastic bubble-textured box that was once a perfect cube made of wood. Laugh if you want. Have YOU made a prim????? 

Green Prim
Green Prim
Blue Prim - You can tell it\'s rotating because the angle is slightly different in all 3 pics
Blue Prim - You can tell it's rotating because the angle is slightly different in all 3 pics

Yet another color, another view
Yet another color, another view

(enthusiastic, everyone, not obsessed! LOL )