Posts Tagged 'trees'



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.

So Very Fortunate

I don’t want to tempt fate, because I’m superstitious enough to know you should NEVER say good things without doing SOMETHING ritual to ward off bad fortune. But I feel that I really must take a moment to say why I can wake up each morning with a smile. First and foremost, I have the most wonderful family and I love them all dearly. I have wonderful friends and community and I am grateful to and appreciate each and everyone of them.

But this post is to say thank you to my co-workers and direct management at my job. They are the best coworkers and friends that you could find in your career. They are the ones who encouraged me to try SL and blogging. My manager gives me the time to volunteer on SL-based projects that do not directly benefit our part of the corporate world, but that do help the corporation as a whole. I am very grateful for that support. It has been wonderful fun (okay, part of the whole tree process was NOT fun 🙂 ). Now it has become more than fun – the work is a complete joy.

I am GARDENING in SL!!!! Yes, that is right. I am landscaping flower beds in preparation for our conference (yay – flowers, not trees!!!). I logged on late last night because I couldn’t resist the lure of digging in the virtual dirt, planting virtual flowers. No broken finger nails, no sore back, no watering, no weeding, no worms!!! 🙂 I am having the most wonderful wonderful time. Who knew?????? And I’m learning about editing items: rotating, position, stretching. This is reviving my interest in building.

I know that there are many many more beautiful places in SL. Obviously I am not a professional nor am I especially artistic. But I am so glad that I “threw myself under the bus” and volunteered for this task. Thanks to the friend who urged me to do so, thanks to my manager who allows me the time and offers support, thanks to all the friends who got me to this point, thanks to my sister who came and spent an hour landscaping alongside me. 🙂 So here it is: my very first SL garden.

Starting point (not MY trees!)

Starting point (not MY trees!)


My very first SL garden

My very first SL garden

More Fragments

Some nights at NCI it’s so busy, it’s BYOC – Bring Your Own Chair! I’d sat myself down on one of the benches. There was only one seat left open then, next to me. My bench started moving – forward, back, sideways. I didn’t have my camera at the correct angle to see who was doing the moving. Finally I said “ENOUGH with the bench, you’re making me sea-sick” and stood up just at the same time E asked me to please get up. LOL. Don’t have to ask me twice!!!! E and G had been trying to copy the bench to make more seats. I realized that I had my OWN chair sitting in inventory. A very very comfortable chair I might add. So I moved over to a corner, rezzed my relaxing chair, and stretched out. If you look in the other corner you can see that someone rezzed a wooden rocking chair as well. 🙂 One is always prepared in SL! LOL. (Hey B – you always complain that my pictures are too small – you can click on this one and see the full size. 🙂 )

Hmmm. Maybe this post should be entitled “Sitting”. This fragment is about one of my favorite places to sit. I know I’ve mentioned my friend the cat before. Usually sitting and looking at water soothes my soul. But sometimes I like company. And sometimes when I’m trying on new clothes or putting together and outfit, I appreciate another opinion. LOL. This cat’s fashion sense is not quite as good as my dog’s (My dog is a true devotee of craft shows. 🙂 ) but he is a very comfortable companion. Always happy to cuddle, never a cross word.

Or call this “My Favorite Cats”. I was sorting inventory this morning when I got an IM from U. She had a new avatar and wanted to show me. So I hurried over and fell in love!!! What a great avatar!!! Complete with poses and growls and tail lashing! She gets TWO pics because I liked it SO much!

D complained yesterday that while he enjoys reading my blog he is “sick of those darn trees”. Well D, I am ALSO sick of the trees!! LOL . So find me some and we can be done with it!!!! You are competent, resourceful and quite the “man-about-town”. You owe me one since you refused to be my bus driver! I’m sure you can deliver. And the ante’s been upped. I heard something that made me think J is attempting to round up trees on her own. What? She doesn’t think I can do this?? LOL. WHATEVER could have made her think that? Perhaps she’s reading this blog……….. /me wrenches a leaf off my house-plant in revenge. 🙂

The View from Under the Bus

When we last saw our heroine, she was under the bus, contemplating trees, as the conference planning meeting drew to a close. 🙂

After the meeting I stick around. J has said that she will give me some help on how to build and she will show me what kind of trees she would like.

A Straylight tree

A Straylight tree

LOL. Our J has excellent taste, no question about it. J likes Straylight trees. What, you may ask, are Straylight trees? Arguably the finest trees in SL. They’ve been showcased on Linden Labs’ SecondLife website. Not only are they gorgeous, but they are expensive. And they are no-copy, no-modify. So you have to buy many trees for a sim the size of ours. Champagne taste, tap-water budget. But I don’t panic (much) – J said that she’d be happy to give me some help on how to build a tree. I pause here a moment and think about how I’m going to be initiated into the world of builders. Little tips. Hidden knowledge. The “secret” builders-only right-mouse click. I wait patiently, eagerly, for her advice. At last she is done talking with other committee members. “Okay Ahuva” she says. “The best I can do is suggest you look at this Straylight tree and see how it’s done.” ????? This is help?? The bus backs up and runs me over yet again. I’m thinking “one of us is crazy”. Unfortunately, I’m beginning to realize that it is me. My ears fill with the sound of Pink Floyd as I hear The lunatic is on the grass…”

Fine. I am a smart, competent woman who has friends who are SL builders. I can deal with this. I login to SL that night, race to the benches, break into the ongoing conversation shrieking “help help I need help!!!” LOL. Okay, that WAS an exaggeration. But it’s an accurate description of what I WANTED to do. Someone asks how I am this fine day and I explain how I have been run over by a bus. My friend S, a builder, tells me that there are lots of trees available for free. I explain that J doesn’t LIKE the free trees. SHE wants STRAYLIGHT-type trees. Everyone on the benches starts googling Straylight and saying “Oh”. They are saying “oh” in the tone of voice that indicates how big this bus is. 🙂 S tells me that she would love to help me but that it takes a lot of time to build a tree, and she really does not have the time right now. I smile bravely, say “No problem” and, like Scarlet, resolve to think about it tomorrow.

Tomorrow comes and I begin searching SLexchange for trees. I find several candidates that I think may be suitable.

A copy/modify but no-transfer Spruce

A copy/modify but no-transfer Spruce

I mark the pages and send them off in an email to J. No point in me buying and modifying them only to have them found wanting. Days (including a weekend) pass. I hear back from J. She likes one of the choices. She likes the privacy hedge. She also suggests yet another pricey SL tree. I can’t even find this one, Chakryn. So I write to the vendor for the hedge, asking for package deals, and asking if I can take a tree out of the hedge and copy it. Less than a day goes by and I hear back. I REALLY like SLexchange – both vendors I’ve contacted have responded quickly. Anyway, he offers me a package deal – 15 different trees for only L$2500 (that’s about $10) and they are all copy/modify. So I tp over to his nursery to take a closer look at these trees. While I’m hanging about there, I get a group message about a Building Basics class about to start in 5 minutes. Karma! I buy a Spruce tree, tuck it into my inventory and tp to class.

Class is okay. The BEST thing about it is that it is at the beach classroom at NCI. There is no music playing – only the sounds of the ocean waves and the wind. For an hour as I sat in class, my subconscious processed the beach sounds. All my tensions and stress began to melt away. Ah, there is NOTHING like a day at the beach. Anyway, back to class. It really didn’t teach me anything I hadn’t already picked up from watching tutorial videos online. It was extremely basic and slow. One of the fellow students was having great difficulty doing even the simplest tasks. But once class was over I went up to the teacher, S. I explained my predicament and showed her my newly-purchased tree.

S looked at my Spruce and told me

A copy/transfer no-modify Willow tree

A copy/transfer no-modify Willow tree

that all I could do with that particular tree would be to stretch it or shrink it. I had wanted to take a branch off here, move it there. Maybe copy and add some leaves somewhere else. You know – “modify”. S told me that I couldn’t add or move branches because they were simply pictures. That probably means something to you REAL builders out there. Or maybe I’m not saying it properly. But the gist of the message was: modifying the tree did NOT mean changing its overall appearance. Even more fundamental: I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. S then tp’d over to check out Straylight Nursery. She IM’d back to me that these trees were incredibly complex, a combination of flexi and sculpti prims. With hand-painted leaves and bark. Hey – there’s a REASON these trees are so great. 🙂 She also added, quite unnecessarily although very kindly meant, that there was no way to learn overnight how to build a tree like this. LOL. I had already grasped this point waaaay back when J said “study it”. 🙂 S, full of pity for an overly ambitious Ahuva, gives me a willow tree. 🙂 Alright!!! Now I have TWO trees!!! LOL

Today was yet another planning meeting. J begins the meeting by talking to ME first – telling me that she got my emails and she will requisition $$$ for trees. Ouch. Right out there in the open, for everyone to hear. What I hear, whether or not that’s what J is saying, is that I failed. I am a little frustrated. As YOU all know – I have been trying very hard to come up with trees for this conference. I’ve not been sitting around doing nothing. A little voice in my left ear is saying “Whoopee!!!! We are saved! Give up this tree foolishness!” A little voice in my right ear is muttering “Hey. We can still do this. We have friends helping us and encouraging us. We have made great progress. Who does she think she IS taking away OUR little piece of the project???”. Okay, you already know which voice won. I open my mouth and tell J that I had friends offering to help me and to supply me with trees. That I thought I still would be able to provide trees for this conference. Oh Foolishness, Thy name is Ahuva! 🙂 So J got quite excited at that. I am still on the team. I am now running my own little nursery for the conference. I am to gather up my trees, place them in a corner of our sim, and everyone can come and take what they want and landscape their own sims. LOL. And the other people are STILL complaining about the quality of their (free) trees. Who was the genius who insisted on putting Straylight trees in our sim so that everything else will suffer by comparison????

Calling all copy/transfer trees, bushes and hedges!! Bring me a Shrubbery!!!

The hunt is ON!!!!!

Throwing Myself Under the Bus

I think I’ve proven by now that sometimes I really don’t know when to keep my mouth shut. You’d think I’d have learned. You’d think that I would have some small sense of self-preservation that would say “Ahuva – don’t, just don’t”. But no. That does not seem to be the case. I committed the cardinal sin the other day. I volunteered. Yep, I threw myself under the uncoming bus,my eyes wide open, believing somehow that I would emerge unscathed. I’d LOVE to blame my co-worker. In fact I tried, but in truth, said co-worker merely encouraged me to play in traffic. I wasn’t pushed. I jumped.

I work for a company that does some business in SL. I have joined the SL interest group, I’ve attended some meetings in-world. Now there is a conference being held in-world. I met one of the conference chairs, J, at a party in SL several weeks ago. I expressed an interest in being able to help, as much as a “dumb user” can help. So J suggested that I contact her via email in RL. I did so, and repeated that I was offering my “dumb user” help. Are YOU getting the point here??? Are you understanding the skill set involved???? Gee, I hope someone is. 🙂 Next thing I know I am on the list of mandatory attendees for the set-up meetings. Gulp. Okay, be careful what you ask for (yes – I DO know that is a dangling participle -ignore it). You just may get it. So I begin to attend the weekly hour-long meetings. These meetings have been a real-eye opener, but for reasons NOT related to SL. I’ll merely say it’s fascinating to watch how different groups approach the task of holding a conference.

So I bide my time quietly at these meetings. My biggest contribution up to last week was testing someone else’s script. LOL. A woman approached me and asked me to click on her name tag. I was supposed to receive her business card. Didn’t work. 🙂 Can I put “script debugging” on my resume now? 🙂 Then sometime last week J decided that we needed trees to make the conference location look more attractive. Fine, trees are nice, no big deal. Do you see the bus coming over the hill?

Thanks WireGuy for fixing this photo for me!!

Thanks WireGuy for fixing this photo for me!!

No one is volunteering to be responsible for the trees. That meeting ends. Trees still not assigned. The next meeting occurs. Again the call for trees. Again people volunteer for other tasks but no one wants to plant trees. A co-worker and I are somewhat baffled at the insistence for trees, but what the heck, WE aren’t chairing the conference. Third meeting. Vroom! VROOM!!! Trees. I IM to my coworker and say “What’s the big deal? How hard can it be to find a bunch of trees that are copy/modify and modify them? Do you think I could do that?” Supposed friend and co-worker replies “Sure. Easy. You could do that.” VROOOOM!!! So I say “J, I don’t know too much about building trees but I will give it a try.” SCREEEEEEECH!!!!!!!!!! J says “Thanks, Ahuva! That’s great!!” THUD!!! I am under the bus.


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