Thursday, December 31, 2009

Waiting for Baudot

If you wait for newer and faster hardware, you'll wait forever... but I'm inclined to this time. It's not been very long that netbooks using the nVidia Ion chipset have been out--but now, the claim is that there will be systems using the Ion 2 in Q1 of 2010. The Ion 2 will work with the next-generation Intel Atom chips, the "Pine Trail" version.

But on the other hand, the ARM Cortex A9 netbooks will be coming. What to do, what to do?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another dream coming true?

Another of my dreams may be coming true.

Cyanide Ember has been working on a product called BIGAVS, and from what I see it's the best giant avatar to date. I will be experimenting with it. (If you wish to look into it, head for the Royal Dragon Club and Mall.)

Many, many thanks to Susyn Stenvaag for the news and the link.

UPDATE: There's yet another project underway that looks like it will be better still. Watch this space!

Photo Contest

Over at Big Booby Girls in Second Life, Tenyene Beaumont has announced a photography contest. Check it out.

UPDATE: It's also on Tenyene's own blog, of course.

P.S. I'm a little bummed at LL; submissions have to be of snapshots uploaded directly, so that skill with Photoshop/GIMP isn't a factor... but the SL client has a bug that keeps snapshots from working with shadows enabled, so I'll have to turn it off. Darn it.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A plea to clothiers--"let me wear your coat"

So there I stood in wintry Whimsy, echoed in RL by the drifts of snow and chill winds outside the window, wearing what? A bare-shouldered ballroom gown, sheer fabric, stockings, and skirt open up to there, minimal protection against the cold.

What to wear? I rummage through inventory and find a cashmere sweater and super high-top jeans. There we go...

...or not. The sweater proves to be one of those midriff-baring numbers that might be nice for Indian summer in Florida, but in this weather?

So, to the growing number of clothiers who cater to prim breast users, I echo Roger Daltrey's plea. Make a coat for us, please. I realize there are issues--you can't just take it off; you have to switch a jacket-appropriate clothing texture on the prim breasts for a blouse-appropriate texture, and conversely for putting it on--but think of us out there in the snow, freezing our, um, extremities off! Please?

UPDATE: Tenyene has shown me an example of her adaptation of a mainstream coat, so I will give it a try. I will follow her landmark and hope that my fingers will stay flexible enough to let me do the job. :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Back in the Shadows Again...

Now that I can run for a reasonable interval, I can do things like explore and take pictures again... and even turn shadows back on. (Thank you again, Laurana!)

Maggie Bluxome recently posted some photos of a new red latex dress that included some taken in the Unintended Water sim, and the flower-laden meadow was too lovely to pass up. That, along with a really nice Windlight full moon preset that comes with the Emerald SL client, and the beautiful and talented Foxbean Liebknecht (think of a young, blonde Anjelica Huston), made for a nice photo.

UPDATE: For those curious about the setting, and for me, because I'll forget it otherwise, it shows up in the listing under Emerald as "Mighty Moon".

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thank you, Tenyene

Today I had the pleasure of visiting EPIC and chatting with its owner, Tenyene Beaumont. She's doing some wonderful things for prim breast users, though I think the office she's set up for consultations with those who express interest in adjusting their bosom is the most wonderful.

(Simulblogging again... sigh. Got to avoid that in the future.)

UPDATE: She has a blog now!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Apologies to Malaise Maladay

Sigh. I finally noticed that in the list of blog links, I misspelled Malaise Maladay's last name. Oops.

It's fixed now. Sorry about that.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Frustratingly short stays

Aargh. Lately I've been unable to stay in SL for very long. The client dies spontaneously, or it starts to use every available CPU cycle and grind down to maybe 4 fps if I'm lucky.

Today after a crash I saw a process running SLVoice chewing up almost all the cycles, so I turned off voice, but that proved not to be the problem.

Does inventory drag performance down? I really should delete a vast number of notecards from Fashion Consolidated and Fabulously Free.

UPDATE: I've updated to the nVidia 195.30 driver, which appears to help some, but the major improvement, for which I am greatly indebted to Laurana Newell, came when I cranked down the draw distance. (Makes sense, because we're talking O(n**3) here, right?) Silly me.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A poor workman blames his tools

I'm surprised at the number of folks I know who are wonderful creators in Second Life but who have, or had, far from impressive computing facilities. You'll remember Cheyenne writing about how for some time Sweetie saw much of the virtual world in gray. Minka Pearl, a prolific creator of clothing for the well-endowed, says her computer is three years old and barely runs SL, and I have a very dear friend and creator of things in SL who I wish I could afford to send a sweet quad-core system to...

Maybe I should try to run SL on my netbook--nah, that's a logical fallacy. Darn it.

A new blog for prim breast users

Don't miss Big Booby Girls in Second Life, a very new (as I type) blog for prim breast users. Cindy Melgund intends for it to become "a place for all sorts of how-tos, news, pictures, tips, and gossip about our gang".

Thanks to Minka Pearl for posting about it!

(Simulblogged here and on Pectoral Virtual Fashion because I want as many as possible to know about it)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Another spike

Recently someone mentioned and linked to this blog on a site called the "Breast Expansion Archive". A spike in traffic here and to my flickr photos has occurred, I expect because of that mention.

To those of you who are here because of that mention, hello and welcome.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Some hope, perhaps?

I came across something in the Alphaville Herald that surprised me greatly.

Analogous to British tabloids' "Page 3 girls", the Herald has a "Post 6 Grrrl" (that's the right number of "r"s, I think). To be honest, I don't understand why anyone not a masochist would volunteer to be featured there, because the near-universal response to each such feature is a batch of insults of varying levels of viciousness.

The latest (as I type) "Post 6 Grrrl", Alessandra Narayan, is a reporter at the Herald, and her appearance was followed by the usual sort of comments, but... what surprised me was a comment of a sort one doesn't often see in big name blogs:
You want to see a really beautiful big busted avatar? Look up Minka Pearl. She is drop dead pretty. This one is trying hard but, Oh my, she is not a representation of the wonderful looks that have been achieved lately in the big busty girl world. But Aless has every right to look the way she wants.
Admittedly, the commenter is not praising Ms. Narayan, who has a nice figure that I'd say is generously proportioned to match her prim breasts, but--to see someone in as widely-read a blog as the Herald refer to any well-endowed avatar as "really beautiful" and "drop dead pretty" is, I'd say, a significant advance.

I hasten to add that I don't mean to discount the lovely compliments I've received in comments here. It's just that prim breast users are, in the mainstream of SL, typically mocked and derided. One can't make much from a sample size of one, but one can hope.

UPDATE: Shame on me for not including a link to Minka's blog, where she models and advertises her limited edition clothing for the well-endowed.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

TMA: A Jewish Neighborhood in Second Life

Many times, many men
Took our homes, took our lives,
Kings they were, gone they are—we're still here
—"When Messiah Comes", Sheldon Harnick
As and where I type we're about halfway through the first day of Hanukkah (or whatever transliteration you prefer), so I headed for search and looked for Hanukkah... and I had the joy of discovering The Jewish Store and TMA: A Jewish Neighborhood in Second Life. Many thanks to Beth Odets, without whom these magical places probably wouldn't be.

So I give you a nosh, a little taste, of what I saw. Just to make doubly sure you go, I will say that there's a hilarious cartoon hanging in the air just off the edge of the photo above.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Thank you!

My sincere thanks to Mr. Adzer Thorne, a very courteous and knowledgeable gentleman I met this morning as he was about to give a father and son a ride on a lovely locomotive. I greatly appreciate your kindness and your honesty.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


If you have considered trying Linux, or even wondered what it is like, I cannot recommend too highly reading NixiePixel's blog entry with the admittedly somewhat suggestive title "Taking My Linux Virginity". Go for the blog entry, stay for the rest of the blog and for her videos.

UPDATE: She's in the running for Sexiest Geek of 2009. (And even if you don't vote for her, please go vote down Olivia Munn, whose sole claim to geek fame is appearing in assorted clothing on the putrid obscenity that is Attack of the Show.)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

post in Pectoral Virtual Fashion

I was undecided about where to post "On Modesty", but decided on the sister blog. I hope you'll read it and comment.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Official Forced Perspective

If you've read my blog, you know that, until such time as I can have a giantess avatar, I have a thing for taking forced perspective pictures to have at least a little bit of the experience.

Imagine my surprise when I happened to head for the Second Life web site and found this:

Very nice work, and I feel kind of justified in a strange way. I should go take some more forced perspective pictures, though I don't know whether I'll ever do one better than this one:

P.S. Shadows make forced perspective photos a lot harder; not having a shadow while everything else does wrecks verisimilitude.

About that dress...

It's Ingenue's "Christmas Girl". I am looking around at Ingenue as I type, and while I don't see it, the "Tracy" outfit and "Birthday Girl" have skirts of similar design. They look wonderful, and I feel wonderful when I wear it--especially with shadows enabled.

Even if you're not as taken with this particular skirt as I am, Ingenue has lovely vintage fashions, and is well worth exploring. (Now to find some hairdos of that time...)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving finds me, as it does each year, with RL family. I hope that you all are with loved ones, in whichever life, and that you have much to be thankful for.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Good Ubuntu News Blog

I hope that I've encouraged some of you to give Linux a try. If you have, and chose the Ubuntu Linux distribution, or if you use Ubuntu without or despite my going on about Linux, take a look at the OMG! UBUNTU! blog.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Serious Shadows

Yesterday I didn't get what I was really after. Actually, I'm glad of that, because Paris 1900 was gorgeous with the "bergamot & rosemary" sky, but I really wanted to show off how wonderfully shadows fall on that dress. I was trying for something a little more like this, taken in Roma Centro:

The full effect would require machinima.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Windlight and shadows in Paris

I vacillate between shuddering and laughing when I go back to the first pictures I took in Second Life. Shuddering at my composition and technique, which haven't really advanced much in three and a fraction years, I fear, but also laughing... or rather, smiling as one does looking at a child's scrawled first efforts at art.

I went back to Paris 1900, armed with shadows and with the amazingly large toolkit of Windlight settings that come with the Emerald SL client. In the context, I promptly fell in love with the setting labeled "[EUPHORIA] Bergamot and Rosemary", and here's what I came up with:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


If you've not tried Google's Chrome web browser or the open source version, Chromium, you should. It's blindingly fast, and much as I like Firefox, I will give Chromium a serious workout soon--just use it for a few days or a week. Who knows? I may switch. (Finding an adblock extension for it closed the deal; it's a sine qua non.)

I noticed one thing just now that is a bit odd, but practically is a point in Chromium's favor: it doesn't give the empty columns at the right and left of this blog nearly as much space as Firefox does. (It seems a little weird that they should differ, but perhaps that's something that web standards don't totally specify.) That means images, especially the masthead, are much larger. Text is the same size, but a wider column means less scrolling, and that one can set text ragged right and have it look a little nicer.

UPDATE: There's more to it than that. I tried viewing the blog on a test account on my computer, and it looks just like it does with Chromium, so something about the files under ~/.mozilla/firefox/mumble.whatever is making it display differently--but what?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Er, what was that settting again?

One of the nice features of the Emerald SL client is that it has a LOT of Windlight presets. Admittedly, many of them would be irritating to have on all the time, but they make for some striking photographs:

So everybody's happy... there's no way one can mess this up, right? Wrong. Remember how there's a problem with shadows enabled that makes snapshots come out black, so you have to use screenshots? Well, I took my screenshot, went on my way, and then opened it up in GIMP to crop the UI and stuff out of the picture--and I noticed that at the instant the screenshot capture happened, I had the mouse cursor sitting near the portion of the UI that shows one's location, and a little popup explaining that was smack dab in the middle of the image.

Go back to last location... uh, which Windlight setting was that again? Maybe this one... no. Maybe... no. Eek! So, I hope that the GIMPery to hide the popup isn't too obvious.

Time to suggest that metadata (camera location and direction it's looking, and oh, I don't know... Windlight settings?) be stored with snapshots, and to check up on the JIRA entry for snapshots and shadows.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An interesting aspect of a harrowing tale

New World Notes has a post pointing people at this harrowing story of several soul-destroying months Sasy Scarborough spent gathering evidence of widespread illegitimate copying of SL fashions, hair, skin, and so on.

It's an emotionally draining read, but I urge you to read it.

One curious part:
You see Emerald viewer gave us this incredible function, the ability to see last owner on items in edit, yes that means that now not only were you able to see who copybotted it, but also could see who had it in their hot little hands last, and not the original , no the actual stolen item…. yes yes little thief enablers the trail to your door just swung wide open.
Gee, does that sound like something that evil opensource technocommunist wikinista [imagine endless ignorant incoherence inserted here]... would do?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Landmarks: Threat or Menace?

So there is, or perhaps there was, a brouhaha over landmarks, and whether they'll go away in favor of something else. Frankly, I wouldn't mind if there were something else, at least in addition to the current landmarks.

Why? As it stands, a landmark has two things: something you really don't care about (sim, x, y, z), and something you do care about (the thing that you want to be able to get to again, or rather some text and an image that describe it). Once you create that landmark, it can become obsolete at any time, because the thing you care about can be moved. Businesses move. People move, or more accurately, their homes do.

When that happens, if you're lucky, someone will give you a new landmark that you can keep--and then you should find and delete the original, assuming you remember to. If you neglect that task, I hope you have your inventory displayed in chronological order or can remember which is the current landmark.

Of course, often those landmark updates will be embedded in a group notice. If you get many of those, you may fall prey to a common mistake: continuing a sequence of clicks on the same response once too often ("OK, OK, OK, OK... oh !#$%@!")... and isn't there a limit on how many pending notices you can have?

Better to have a landmark that doesn't directly contain the (sim, x, y, z) values, but instead points at one that does. (For that matter, the pointed-at landmark could have the image and text, too, so all the new "landmark" need have is the object ID of the real landmark. After all, maybe the store owner remodeled as well as relocated.) Then it's up to the store owner or whoever gave it out to update the single pointed-at landmark, and everyone having a "landmark" that points to it has up-to-date information without having to catch a message, save a new landmark, and delete the old one.

I'd also like an SL client that takes action to let me avoid redundant landmarks ("You already have a landmark that refers to a spot just X meters away from there--do you really want to clutter your inventory by saving this one, too?") and helps me organize landmarks ("Do you want this saved in an existing or new subfolder of Landmarks, or just in Landmarks?"). It's as easy to lose track of landmarks as it is to lose track of one's web browser bookmarks; landmarks have no particular advantage in that respect.

(Let's not get started on the way people abuse Picks, OK? Some other mechanism ought to be in place for non-landmark items, be they your Significant Other, BFF, what you consider acceptable behavior in roleplay, your store's policy on refunds, gifts, etc., ad infinitum.)

Friday, November 06, 2009

Home Again

I've been wearing some lovely clothing that supports various brands of prim breast, and it's been a pleasure expanding my fashion horizons... but today I went back to Foxbean Laboratories' "Nadine" prim breasts, and it was like coming home. I just love their shape.

As time goes on, I'll have to stray again, but I will always return.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

In support of Emerald

There's been a recent brouhaha about third-party SL clients (aka "viewers"), including a strident and, IMHO, at the very least totally misguided call for banning all third-party viewers.

Lately I've been experimenting with third-party clients, but I've settled on Emerald. I hasten to state that I'm not a griefer, and I spend far more L$ than I probably should on clothing and the like, because I want people who do work I appreciate to keep doing it.

So... as a personal statement of support for the Emerald SL client and third-party clients in general, I will buy some emerald jewelry and wear it constantly in SL until the issue is settled--rationally, I hope. I hope you will join me in this quiet protest.

P.S. The vendor labels the eyes as "emerald", too. :)

Thank you, Mesha

The beautiful and talented Mesha Sewell helped me with editing the top for "Miss Jane". Depending on prim breast size, it can require some adjustment.

Once again, thank you, Mesha.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Le Ubuntu Nouveau est Arrivé

Ubuntu 9.10, aka "Karmic Koala", is officially released.

If you've not tried Linux before, it's a good time to consider it. Karmic Koala boots faster (and unlike Windows, doesn't log you in and then grind away unusably as it loads up a bunch of applications so that later, if you happen to use them, they look faster). It has a new, faster file system, ext4. (Tired of having to defragment your hard drive? You don't have to under Linux.) Also new is Ubuntu One, your own personal cloud.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

massively multiprogrammed MMORPGs?

A company called Tilera has announced that it will have samples of a 36-core x86 family processor in the fourth quarter of 2010, and 64- and 100-core versions in the first half of 2011. Details at TG Daily.

It will be interesting to see how implementations of MMORPGs change with that kind of hardware.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Speaking of the SL blogs...

A couple of other things that I think would be good ideas:
  • No "sig files" or their moral equivalents. If you want to advertise, do it elsewhere, and text attached to every single post from a given person is a waste of bandwidth.
  • No alts. The "sockpuppet" phenomenon is well known.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I know better than to do that again...

I've turned off the "email me responses" for the SL blogs, and deleted the hundreds of emails that resulted from having it on. The responses aren't threaded, so it's a major pain to follow, and the usual suspect has driven the S/N ratio down to zero.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ubuntu 9.10 Release Candidate is out

It's less than a week until the official release, but the Ubuntu 9.10 release candidate is available for download.

In related news:
UPDATE: I upgraded, with little trouble. I will have to look into switching the hard disk over to an ext4 file system, but that shouldn't be difficult.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Jiggle Controversy

Hamlet Au writes about the new Emerald SL client's ability to enable simulation of physics for the female avatar shape's breasts. This has evidently caused a sharp spike in downloads and some controversy; some residents object to this being done without their consent. The makers of Emerald are looking into how best to deal with realism versus the understandable wish to control one's own appearance.

This does make me wonder about something, though. If avatar rendering is done locally, then the shape parameters are sent to the client--so a client could, in theory, modify those as the user wishes along the way, giving the user broad control over how you look to him or her. There's the obvious stereotype: if the avatar shape is female, set leg length to 100, set waist to 0, set breast size to 100, etc... the "I don't want to see [commonly disapproved avatar shape setting]" modification, and so on.

But what if you could say "if it's Jane Doe, then..."? Remember the controversy raised by magazines Photoshopping news images, like the OJ Simpson mug shot? This would take it to the next level, and would be subject to various kinds of abuse with photos or machinima taken with one, some, or all avatar shapes modified from the client's point of view.

I'm not sure what I think about this, and I have to think that someone has thought of this before. For that matter, I don't know whether the premise is really true, so this may be a pointless Gedankenexperiment. I still wonder, though.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just ten days left!

A lovely pre-Halloween gift: Ubuntu 9.10, aka Karmic Koala. I'm looking forward to installing it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Silly me...

Switching templates in blogger means you have to replace all the little inserts for scripts for things like Google Analytics. I noticed that very quickly back when I did that... but forgot that I'd inserted a script for MyBlogLog as well as for Google Analytics. It's back now. [blush]

Friday, October 16, 2009

Failed experiment

Sigh. I should have thought about it more carefully.

Had I done it with SL Fashion Police, I'd say "I turned myself in." What I actually did was submit two self-portraits to the "What the Fug?" flickr group. The question: what would they do with photos of someone with prim breasts but dressed modestly, no oiled skin, no nudity or exposed areolae?

And I blew it. Clearly I couldn't submit photos of someone else, but for that kind of blog, printing self-submitted photos would set a bad precedent.

Sorry. I should have asked someone else to submit a photo of me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Le sim engloutié

I had a bizarre experience.

I'd not completed a tour of Northstar Mall to find all the prim breast vendors there, and I'd just heard that Imprudence 1.2.0 Beta 2 was out, so I fired it up. All I could see of myself was the swirling plasma of the anti-Ruth, but surely that would change soon. Map, "Northstar", Teleport...

...into blackness. I stumbled around, hoping I wasn't bumping into anyone. Was it something to do with shadows? I turned off "renderdeferred" and things cleared up a little; I could sort of see, though I still wasn't rezzed. I walked from the Northstar telehub toward the mall, that eventually drifted into dim view.

The glowing swirl of my non-rezzed self and the glow of some signs inside were the only light sources. Oh, yes! I searched through inventory for an obnoxiously bright facelight I'd somehow accumulated. Right click, Wear... and a bit more of my surroundings came into view.

I looked around a bit, and with a sudden inspiration zoomed my camera's point of view back, back... and suddenly I found myself seeing moonlight playing on the waves.

Northstar was underwater!

I had a sudden urge to find someone, anyone nearby to ask: was it just me? Maybe it was the client. I let Maggie, with whom I was chatting via IM, know I'd be relogging, and exited. Out, and over to the Emerald viewer. Last location... and there I was, still underwater, and, as I'd been all through the last session, unrezzed.

There was someone nearby... away--darn it. I headed back out to the area around the Northstar telehub, where you can find residents chatting darn near 24/7 in my experience. "Excuse me, but are we underwater?"

The kind person I'd asked sent down a rope of sanity to grab where a mere thread had been before. Oh, yes--it's for Halloween.


I didn't think I'd get much done, so I headed homeward. Over half an hour, and I was still a swirling plasma. Out and back again, this time with the new Snowglobe, and finally I came into view. The half-hour of madness had taken its toll, though, and I said my goodbyes via IM and headed to bed.

Northstar Mall, dimly visible in the depths.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

An Experiment

If you frequent SL Fashion Police or What the Fug?, then you know that a frequent subject of their cheerful vitriol are those who use prim breasts. What I'm wondering is this: do they consider them inherently bad?

I've done something as an experiment; we'll see what happens.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Now what?

Susyn Stenvaag just asked me a very good question indeed: I've joined the group; now what?

I don't have an answer right now. I was hoping, and still hope, for sheer force of numbers to show that there's a market for prim breast versions of mainstream SL fashion.

So, what to do? Maybe a T-shirt, or a piece of jewelry to wear to show you support the cause? (Not a ribbon--are there any colors that aren't taken?) A petition? Asking you to help spread the word?

I have a free weekend for once (yay!) and so I will put together that notecard--I will have the time to make it short, a la Pascal.

I'd greatly appreciate suggestions.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Birth of a Blog

All right. I've been doing a so-so job of it off and on, but it's time to start what will be so a fashion blog...

"Keeping Abreast of Fashion" turned up way too many Google hits; too obvious, and I didn't want to have to worry about whether it's kosher to insert "SL" to try to make it unique. So I decided on "Pectoral Virtual Fashion." Who knows? Perhaps other virtual worlds will cater to those of us who, in SL, are driven to prim breasts.

My intent is to have a place to which you can go to find out about every maker of prim breasts and/or outfits that go with them, with sim and coordinates, SLURLs when it makes sense to provide them, and links to XStreet SL when they're available.

If you make prim breasts or outfits to go with prim breasts, please email me with information at I need your help to keep up to date.

UPDATE: It's up now: Pectoral Virtual Fashion

Karmic Karmic Karmic Karmic Karmic Koala...

I'm typing this while running the Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala beta Live CD (so I can check it out without touching the hard drive--OK, Live CDs will look for swap partitions and use them, so I should technically say "without touching any files on the hard drive".) It's definitely beta; a stray GNOME application or two died for some reason, though it didn't affect my ability to use the system.

It's pretty; the default theme is more orange than brown, and it booted quickly, even though it was having to load from a CD rather than a hard drive.

You'll notice that the countdown has started again; soon it will be officially released. Give it a try.

Song with No Words (Tree with No Leaves)

Looking for places to go?

Check out the gorgeous blog Caminante de Sueños (Walker of Dreams, though that's a bit stilted for English; "Dreamwalker" would be more idiomatic). Dorka Barzane features a sim in each entry--no words, just beautiful, eloquent photos and a SLURL. Even if you somehow never go to any of the places featured, you should see the blog just for the photos.

P.S. The title is that of a track from David Crosby's underrated album If I Could Only Remember My Name. I've added it and a couple of other tracks from the album to my playlist; give them a listen.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Taking the AO plunge

I have various animations and several copies of the Zhao AO, but I've yet to seriously set up an animation overrider.

I just need to set aside time to pick the animations I want--natural looking (I've seen some that cycle through poses that I can't imagine anyone assuming!), modest, and of course nothing that gets in the way of prim breasts.

Time to search and see what others have found.

UPDATE: Do read the comments; Danball Tureaud mentions a typing animation that stays safely above prim breasts.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Fizzle from the Past

Remember when we thought that this was a beautiful sunset in SL?

I went back, and while the site itself is not as pretty; it's cluttered with signs and boxes sitting around on the ground, here's a photo (OK, a screen capture--shadows still break snapshots):

OK, it's far from the best one can do with Windlight, but it beats the first image in that respect (and others; check out the trees). I explored the area a bit, and with the "Maroon" Windlight setting, got this:

Nice, eh?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Speaking of Maggie...

...she kindly let me see her abode. It is a wonder, as is the urban landscape in which it is set. I hope that she'll write about it with appropriate photos.

Maggie Bluxome on the dilemma of the well-endowed in SL

The lovely and talented Maggie Bluxome comments on the dilemma of the well-endowed woman in SL (in some ways like the RL version) in "Prim Breasts: Trials and Tribulations" in her blog.

I fear she gives me too much credit and herself not enough, but please do read it.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Elegance at Small Expense

I went to look at a dress at the Fabulously Free in SL HQ, and after checking it out I went out the back to look around. It was a lovely evening, with a full moon (as if there were another kind in SL...) rising over the water, and it suddenly struck me how different SL is from RL in that respect.

Imagine you're at a store for inexpensive things in RL; that's likely to be a "consignment store" or a Goodwill. How likely is it to be adjoined by elegant architecture and overlook a lovely seascape? Not very. Here in SL, though...

Sunday, September 27, 2009


While wandering about, I came upon the lovely Diva sim. It's an island with beautiful trees and buildings and.... giant hummingbirds?!

Cheyenne... we won't get any of these on Whimsy, will we? (whimper...)

(OK...must not think about hummingbirds...)

I saw Luki Davi, the lady to thank for all this beauty (including the items she sells in her store on the island)... she was understandably busy, so I left a thank-you IM and went on my way...

Alas, the lovely buildings and scenery were impeded by something I first noticed when I ran across the "feature" of the arbitrary limit on the number of vertices the client will render at any one time. The limit is modifiable, but I more than doubled it, to no effect. So, move your POV, and things pop into and out of sight. Here's an example:

You can see how pieces of building appear and disappear as we move the point of view. I will drop back to the RC or the release client and try to narrow things down.

UPDATE: It's something to do with, or at least provoked by, having shadows turned on. I see it in Snowglobe and the Emerald client.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's back! The Second Annual Boobie Ball

I don't use colloquial terms for body parts in general, and breasts in particular. Maybe it's how I was brought up.

But, as they say on Airplane!, that's not important right now. What is important is that we've yet to defeat breast cancer, and so I urge you to participate in Second Life's Second Annual Boobie Ball. I'm sorry to say that RL events make it unlikely that I can attend (darn it; I could wear that Cretan outfit outside the Minoan Empire!), but the Balls are but a part of the 2009 Blogger Boobie-Thon.

For still more info, take a look at this entry (among others) on Eva Bellambi's blog, The Realm of the Red Rose.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Speaking of prim breasts...

...does anyone know who was the first to make them in SL?

I mostly remember whose I first came across: the Rhenworks shirt, made by a sweet vixen whose name I am abjectly sorry to say escapes me right now; Kayi Laa's breasts, by far the most advanced of their time; Ittindi Gavaskar's fine work. But I have no idea who was the first. I'd like to know so I can appropriately honor him or her.

Of course, nowadays, there are many makers of prim breasts; we really do have it far easier now. I'm a newcomer compared to many, and I'm sure that there are many stories of way back when a lot of women made their very own prim breasts--and some still do. I have huge respect for them.

Gorgeous Renaissance reproduction

If historical clothing interests you, by all means head to Italia Vire and check out the amazing SL recreation of a dress from a painting of Anne of Cleves.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

First draft

(I'm working on a draft of a notecard to urge people to join my group, and so, as I did before, I post it here...)

Hi. I'm Melissa Yeuxdoux, a Second Life resident. I delight in the ability to remake myself here, and in particular in the availability of prim breasts.

What are those, you ask?

One of the things you can do in Second Life is build things. Objects in Second Life are created from one or more "prims", primitive objects of various shapes (box, ellipse, sphere, cone, torus, etc.) and sizes that can be attached to one another and painted with "textures" (square images that are stretched around objects and glued on--figuring out how to draw them so that they look right when stretched is one of the difficulties of building in SL).

Aside from things, Second Life contains people, or rather avatars. Second Life has two basic avatars, one for (human) men and one for (human) women, each adjustable in certain respects, but only within limits. If you've read The Making of Second Life, Hamlet Au's history of Second Life, you know that Linden Lab did this to avoid an "arms race" of height, muscularity, and other body parameters. That choice arguably succeeded, but it has meant that those who wish to go past these limits have to do so by means of attachments built up from prims and sneaky tricks played with the avatar shape, and so doing has major drawbacks.

That said, the unfailingly creative builders of SL have done amazing things to work around the limitations of the avatar shape, and one of those things is the creation of prim breasts.

In this context, one obvious limitation of the SL avatar is size, but that is not the only one:
  • When you have a spare moment (and have saved your shape!), try adjusting your appearance by running the "breast size" slider up to or near the maximum. Save it, then pan around looking at yourself. Surprise! You have Bizarro World breasts, with corners!
  • Remember about the painted-on textures? For the most part, SL clothing is just textures. Basically, in SL we all walk around like models with trompe l'oeil body paint--but your oeil can't be totally tromped that way. Real clothing jumps across concavities; SL clothes look like they're vacuum sealed to your body, and that sealing distorts the most exquisite T-shirt artwork and text into junk. Real clothes have stress wrinkles; SL clothing at best has painted on shading to suggest them.
  • No jiggle.
  • No nipples, either.
So, someone came up with the idea of prim breasts, attaching to the chest. Since there's only one attachment per attachment point, if you wish your breasts clothed, the clothes must either be simply a texture applied to them or the portion of the top that fits over them must be built in from the start.

Since that first creation, prim breasts have advanced considerably, in shape thanks to the use of "sculpted" prims, in options and user interface, and in clothing options. Prim breast makers have always made some tops, but that divides their attention, and they've not been able to make many.

Recently, some clothiers have taken to creating tops (or outfits including such tops) intended for one or more prim breast makers' work--though often their work leans towards the, shall we say, revealing end of the spectrum, and one is still largely cut off from the vast cornucopia of SL fashion.

So, one ends up having to adapt textures from mainstream outfits, typically retrieved via a screen capture or snapshot, or stick with solid colors that don't have details of weave or shading. (Some do amazing work clothing themselves thus; the lovely and talented Mesha Sewell leaps to mind.) I think that the former is "fair use" if you don't sell it, but as they say, IANAL--and how many out there are put off from prim breasts by the thought of not being able to go to Nicky Ree, or the Crystal Queendom, or RFyre, or any of the other amazing clothing stores in SL, and buy and wear what one wishes, at least not without a lot of work? I think very many indeed.

So, all of you who currently use prim breasts, or who would use them if only they didn't mean forever looking longingly through the windows of SL clothing stores, unable to wear the clothing therein, please join my (now somewhat misnamed, with the added hoped-for membership!) group, "Prim Breast Users". I hope that there will be enough of us to perhaps convince mainstream clothiers to farm out the adaptation of their work to us to those who have proved their skills in working with clothing for prim breasts, and convince animators to come up with prim breast-safe animations and poses.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

non-x86 Second Life targets?

I tried to ask on the SL forums, but for some reason, the "preview" and "post" were broken.

Has anyone tried to build the Linux SL client for something other than the x86? I ask because ARM is making noises about dual and quad core 2 GHz ARM CPUs for netbooks and smartbooks, and the nVidia Ion chipset-based netbooks that folks like Samsung and Lenovo have been promising don't seem to be showing up.

I really would love something small, lightweight, and portable on which I can run SL reasonably. ARM also has some OpenGL capable graphics hardware (look for sample videos on YouTube).

Waiting for Karmic Koala

Before terribly long the little Ubuntu graphic on this blog will change, as the countdown to Karmic Koala, or more officially Ubuntu 9.10, will get close to the release date. I'm very much looking forward to it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Swirly Disco Flames

If you are a fan of elegantly curvy abstract art, then you should head over to Idle Rogue, Yeongheungdo (26, 203, 89) and check out Marnix Malifozix's artwork. If you're also interested in the techniques and the mathematics involved, you should check out Marnix's group Swirly Disco Flames (which is also the collective name he gives his art, as you can see from the photo).

Prim Breast Users

I've taken the plunge and created an SL group, the rather prosaically titled "Prim Breast Users".

As the charter says, we know that those 25 slots for group membership are precious, but if you use prim breasts, we hope you'll join the group. Here's what I hope: I hope that all of you who use prim breasts will join, so that we can show we're a significant market in SL.

Then we can go to mainstream SL clothiers and say "Look! There are at least [fill in blank] people in SL who use prim breasts, and are cut off from the cornucopia of mainstream SL fashion. They'll be especially appreciative if you accomodate them, whether by adapting the textures of your tops yourself, or by entering into an agreement with one of the growing number of clothiers who specialize in tops for prim breast users."

We can go to animators and show them there are people out there who will appreciate animations and poses that don't leave us with our arms going through our breasts.

We can go to prim breast makers and urge them to work together to make it easier for us to find quality clothing, no matter whose prim breasts we prefer.

If you use prim breasts, please consider joining.

UPDATE: If you'd love to use prim breasts, but don't for some reason, please join too and let me know what's keeping you from it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Aaargh! Snowglobe is freezing--OK, I guess that's appropriate, in a perverse way

Well... I'm on SL even less than just having to work seven days a week for nearly a month would indicate, because now Snowglobe is dying on me even without shadows enabled. It hangs, though thank goodness it doesn't take the whole OS down with it as it does when shadows are enabled.

Ubuntu's Jaunty Jackalope repositories are behind what nVidia has available for download--perhaps updating is the answer. I'll look around.

UPDATE: Keep your fingers crossed. (OK, if you have to type, you can uncross them...) Adding the X-Updates repository and updating pulled in the latest (official) nVidia driver for Linux, 185.something, and I just got through a much longer session in Snowglobe than I've been able to lately. (And met the delightful Maggie Bluxome in person. I should introduce her to Xaxoqual Mandelbrot somday--they both have impeccable taste, and I think they'd hit it off nicely.) Next stop, as they'd say in Firesign Theater: back to the shadows again...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An uneventful third rezday

(Is that one word? Surely it should be; "birthday" is.)

It must've been uneventful; once again I didn't write about it until the better part of a month later.

In the onward march of SL, I can't quite say shadows are there yet, since they're not official... but were I to do the now vs. then snapshot comparison, I'd definitely use a screen capture with shadows enabled for now.

Three years isn't really old--though it seems that way; SL years are often compared with dog years. I did just have a "You know you've been in SL a long time when" experience, though.

Just now, ironically enough in a CSI:NY rerun (no, not one of those episodes), Mac just said to a guy, "We're not done until a second life sentence is added to [your punishment]" (sorry for the []; I should have typed it immediately rather than trust my short-term memory). Of course, I heard it as "We're not done until a Second Life sentence is added..." and imagined someone in jail in front of a computer with a guard looking over his shoulder to make sure he really was on the grid... yeah, that'll show him.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Wow. It turns out that someone does make beards in Second Life. Yes, ZZ Top could come and perform here. :)

I went to Alli & Ali Designs and there they were, and searching on Xstreet shows that there are other beard makers as well.

I remember seeing a photo of a poster of a bearded lady as a child... I wonder if those beards are tintable?

UPDATE: Yes, they are!

Hmmm... I think I'd better raise it a bit.

UPDATE: The photo is on flickr, too. Gee, 0 views after nearly a day. Maybe that should tell me something. :)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Back to normal, and to clothes

I did finally leave the nude beach. I went to a store and was more taken with the surroundings than with the items there for sale...

Sunday, September 06, 2009

RL calling

I'm working in honor of Labor Day... and ditto for the two weekends after that, so I fear that I will have even less time than usual in SL. Like MacArthur and Schwarzenegger, though, I shall return, or I'll be back if you prefer.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The gates open

Recently I put up a photo that really is in accordance with Marnix's meme. I guess I felt guilty, and besides, having (mostly) working shadows was nice.

I guess that opened the gates. Since then, I've put several pictures (OK, screen captures--shadows are still preventing photos from working...) up on flickr, taken with shadows enabled and on the same nude beach. It's even been a while since I've been anywhere else in SL.

Eventually I'll get back to normal, but for now it's kind of fun.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hard Crashes

I've had shadows turned on for a while, but not now.

This morning my computer crashed hard a couple of times. It seems to be signaled by flashing of a window on the other monitor.

I was lucky; I was able to sign on for long enough to turn off renderdeferred, after which the problem went away... but of course, so did the shadows.

I think I'll submit two JIRA entries, one being to allow setting of debug options before signing on.

Monday, August 24, 2009


At the Black Swan sim one can now see an amazing work.

It's a large (perhaps three times life-size) photorealistic 3D figure of an odalisque in the artistic sense of the term. Like the many paintings, this odalisque is in repose, though this one is blissfully asleep.

It's a technical tour de force, but I fear it requires its darkened room surroundings to look as good as it does. SL has yet to even get basic shadows save as an experimental feature, much less skin and hair that realistic.

You really should see it in person, but here's a photo I took:

We look like bad CGI cartoon figures gazing upon a human.

I hope that someday avatars will look that realistic.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Reichlich Weiblich

Even if I didn't buy anything at Reichlich Weiblich, I'd love it for its name. The store owner gives the translation as "bountiful female".

There are very nice dresses to be had--one day I will get a dirndl. (I've never worn one before, and besides, like Hobbes and "smock", I like to say the word.) What really caught my eye, though (ouch!), are the gorgeously textured shoes. I have a pair with rose texture, and I'm sure I will return for others.

UPDATE: "Reichlich Weiblich" is also the name of an all-woman jazz orchestra.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sorry, Marnix; here's an honest NBTBP

I kind of cheated on Marnix's meme of nekkid but tasteful [booty] pictures, I must admit. I took the Lady Godiva approach.

Now I feel guilty about it, so I have made what I think is a NBTBP publicly visible on flickr.

It's a little ironic; for a long time, there was a big argument on flickr about SL snapshots being mere screen captures, like people clicking PrtScrn to show you their spreadsheet or their spiffy window manager theme. Now, because of a bug in the Snowglobe client that causes photos saved to disk to be solid black instead of actually capturing the image you so carefully composed, to get this "photo" I actually had to do a screen capture--so you'll see the SL UI.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ad Umbra

I've experimented with enabling shadows in the Snowglobe client. A lot of the problems I used to see have been corrected, and the shadows are beautiful.

There's one big problem that I've noticed: snapshots with shadows enabled are still solid black. The preview window just shows the sky as black (and if you look at the saved image of the last place you were before logging out, the sky's black there, too), and the saved image is solid black. I had to use screen captures to save what I saw--which, after I spent so much time arguing that SL "photographs" aren't just screen captures, is kind of ironic.

The other thing that I've noticed is objects coming and going; plants and strands of hair vanishing and reappearing. I can only conclude that enabling shadows ups the number of vertices to be processed enough that even after increasing the arbitrary limit imposed for RC/Snowglobe, it still goes over, so I have to increase it yet again.

Sharp Dressed...

Leia Sharple has started a service of customizing Implant Nation prim breasts to work with an outfit of your choice for a fee (L$500 for one outfit, L$2000 for six). There's a group for announcements and such, called, um... let's just say the name is perhaps inspired by one of ZZ Top's hits. (Search for "sharp dressed" and you'll find it.)

UPDATE: I didn't notice the little sign tacked on to the billboard; she can now accomodate eCorp prim breasts, too. (Foxbean Laboratories, pretty please?)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Eep! Client freeze

Sigh... I was distracted for a few minutes by an announcement on a web site, and when I returned, the Snowglobe client was well and truly frozen. Darn... and apologies to anyone who may have tried to contact me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New blog from Maggie Bluxome

Maggie Bluxome's new blog A Little Sweet, A Little Naughty tells of her experiences and shows off the lovely outfits she wears. (There's a red gown from P.S. Design that is particularly beautiful. It's supposed to be latex, but it doesn't look like latex to me.) Do check it out.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Big Art

New World Notes mentioned a huge painting, Comet Morigi's "Wind Observatory", that spreads out over four sims, so I had to go take a look. I will have to go back to really see it, but I am very impressed with what I've seen. Do go see it; photographs don't do it justice.

I've virtually stood in front of a David Hockney painting, so I decided I should stand in front of "Wind Observatory". One advantage of a four-sim painting is that you're unlikely to block someone else's view, so I didn't feel guilty. :)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Mood Irrelevant

In a scene early in Dune, Gurney Halleck teaches Paul Atreides the fallacy of mood. One can't wait for inspiration to strike. Edison and Pasteur had it right.

I think that's in part why Jonthan Coulton did the "Thing a Week", and now Lillie Yifu is posting a poem a day for a year on 2nd Sex. Be sure to check it out.

Friday, August 07, 2009

A better view

I had to try to show that not-totally-rendered jewelry to better advantage, something befitting it... and I think I managed, with some help from Windlight's "Desert Sunset" setting, one of LAP's Bollywood poses, and a lovely shop on Serena Island as background:

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Broken Jewelry

The other day I retrieved the latest Snowglobe SL client and went exploring. I noticed some strangeness--parts of buildings flickered in and out of existence--but what was fairly blatant and not seemingly intermittent was the way the client treated some jewelry that I couldn't pass up.

Here's a photo taken from a distance...

...and here's a close-up.

What happened to the stone in the necklace? Well, as the classic saying goes, "That's not a bug; that's a feature". From a comment on JIRA entry VWR-13868:
The large number of highly detailed sculpties has exceeded a recently added limit on the maximum number of vertices that the rendering engine will process. When the limit is exceeded, the renderer stops rendering any later vertices. The skip vertices could be from the same object or any other object in the scene.
That explains both the flickering buildings and the vanishing jewelry. It's a rather blunt instrument, as the commenter (Street Spotter, and thank you if you're reading this!) points out in the last sentence quoted, and that's unfortunate. if the choice is forced on me, I think I'd rather have some of my jewelry disappear than parts of buildings.

There's a workaround of sorts, though as a fixed setting, there will always be some scene that will force the problem:
The workaround for this problem is to reduce the number of high resolution scrulpties [sic], or to adjust one of the debug settings "renderMaxNodeSize". The default value of 4096 for renderMaxNodeSize causes some portions of [a necklace that displays the bug] to disappear when zoomed. Incresing [sic] this value above 6000 displayed all the elements of the necklace.
SL jewelers are understandably highly upset--but it's not just them. Q Linden says "Occasionally, imposing such limits will break a tiny fraction of existing content", but I question whether the content broken by this can be fairly characterized thus.

P.S. If you look at the full-size version of the first photo, it will be obvious that the stray spots on photos are back. Sigh.

Monday, August 03, 2009

When I grow up (part N+1)

I had to find the "Woman in a Box" that Cheyenne wrote about--fortunately, one of the photos had a sim and coordinates, with which it was easy to find her.

One of these days...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

"I didn't know they could do that..."

While sculpted prims are a major advance in SL, one can do surprising things with the original prims if one knows how.

In "The Ultimate Guide to Prim Twisting", Ayumi Cassini shows you some of those surprising things. Check it out. (And don't stop with that one post...)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gathering data?

Seeing more clothiers catering to prim breast users and a comment from a friend about seeing more SL residents with prim breasts makes me wonder: just how many of us are there?

I'd love it if everyone who uses prim breasts or makes them or makes clothing for them would leave a comment or email me (even if I already know you or know of you)... but this is definitely not one of the major SL blogs, so I seriously doubt that a significant sample would reply.

I'd like to know for a couple of reasons: first, it would be nice to be able to say to mainstream clothiers, "Look, there's a potential market of X people cut off from the mainstream SL fashion world" (for some large X, I hope!). I'd also like to be able to come up with a notecard or notecards for those considering or wishing to use prim breasts, listing vendors, hints, and the like.

Those clothiers who do make clothing for prim breasts--first, thank you! Second, I'm curious: what can prim breast makers do to make it easier for you to create clothes for their handiwork?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Frick sale

Frick, a store with skins that lean towards the fanciful, fae, and goth, is having a sale through month's end, clearing out old inventory--which means I'm doubly glad that I went right away. Otherwise, I wouldn't have found this skin, the Trickster Lyric Peach (with freckles):

I like the green eyeshadow; goes with the eyes, don't you think?

Be sure to go to the new location at the Munster Hotel, but be warned: the hotel is a very dark, moody place.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Non-Geeky Girls Love Linux Too!

Read Amy Finn's post of that title on Linux Forums.

Must-read from Emerald Wynn

Emerald Wynn has a wonderful blog, Emerald's Eyes, and there's one entry in particular that you must read, all about love, the sense of wonder, insanely big hair and Fred the Asshole Parakeet.

Follow the link. You'll be glad you did.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The lengthening playlist

The playlist... how I hate it, in the old sense of the term.

[Here we enter the "irritating story of the Good Old Days that you hear from your ancestors" mode...]

In the Good Old Days of radio, disc jockeys (actual humans with real-time control over what went out over the air!) could play just about anything, subject to FCC restrictions on language of course. You could actually call and they'd play what you requested--or perhaps, as happened to me a few times, they'd say "we've been playing that a lot; how about this instead?" The high point was in the late 60s and early 70s, but even as late as the early 90s I had the joy of hearing "O Fortuna" from Orff's setting of Carmina Burana followed by a David Sylvian track. (Alas, the station was sold after the flood of '93 and underwent the Inverse Midas transformation.)

Then came the playlist. A fixed list that was all that the station would play, until the next version of the playlist came out. For a while, you could request something--if it was on the playlist. Then the disc jockey would listen to but ignore your request. Now, more and more stations are remotely controlled, with the occasional local advertisement to trick you into thinking there's a human present. Just one more reason that American commercial music radio is the real "vast wasteland" of Newton Minow's famous phrase.

That was the old playlist, and its inventor merits a particularly incendiary portion of hell.

Fortunately, now playlists are often things under your own control, for your MP3/AAC/Ogg Vorbis/etc. player, or for your webpage via I've been adding to my playlist lately, and I hope you'll check it out.

I'm not totally about melancholy; I added some of the delightful songs of early Oingo Boingo (if only I could find "Capitalism" on, Cream's ecstatic "I Feel Free", and Rasputina's "Bad Moon Rising". (Please, Rasputina, come play in Caledon. They'd love you!)

I also added what I could of Big Daddy's 50s and 60s restylings of later pop and rock music. Clever choices and arrangements, impeccably played.

But I will confess to be mostly about melancholy when it comes to music. It's a joy to put Pearls Before Swine's "Another Time" back on my playlist (and to add their "Translucent Carriages"), and don't miss Dave Mason's "Sad and Deep as You" or Heart's gems, "Dog and Butterfly" and "Dream of the Archer".

...which just goes to show that you should ignore the catsup: Carly Simon was right. "So stay right here, 'cause these are the good old days."

It is a puzzlement...

Why is it called the Rouge Forest when all the tree leaves are blue?

Monday, July 20, 2009

More Daring than I Let On

For the "tasteful nekkid [posterior] pics" meme, I played on my shyness... but to be honest, I am more daring in SL than RL; why else would I wear this in virtual public?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Many Lives of Paris

Some places in Real Life are more tempting than others to try to replicate. I doubt that you'll ever find an SL sim that lovingly replicates Bugtussle, Oklahoma. (OK, maybe if someone wishes to honor Carl Albert.) Paris, on the other hand...who could resist the urge to merge with the splurge... er, to recreate the City of Lights?

I've seen three Paris sims so far, and I'm sure there are more. This most recent one (to me) is by far the most impressive: Paris Eiffel.

I promise I'll have photos, but to my great dismay I find that the Snowglobe SL client seems to have a bug that caused me great trouble for a while in the past--photos have stray spots. Watch this space.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Not a way of life for me, I guess

I guess I am still deluded by Maya, as they say in Hinduism. I could not stay with the ways of Zen and achieve enlightenment... so I have put away the robes and gone out looking for ballrooms.

First I came upon the Midnight Romance Ballroom, an elegant place indeed...

But then I headed for Tempura Island, and found the path to the ballroom itself so beautiful that I didn't even make it into the ballroom proper. I will have to actually enter next time.

Perhaps I can find some middle ground. Moderation in all things... but doesn't that mean moderation in moderation, so that one should go to extremes a little of the time?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kannonji Zen Retreat

While I had the Zen monk robes on, I went searching for "Zen". Among the first things I found was the Kannonji Zen Retreat.

It's a beautiful place, with evergreens (cryptomeria, perhaps?) growing in a snowy landscape with paths set in large rocks.

There is space for group mediation and lectures, though no Zen master was there to whack me when my attention strayed.

Hotei awaits you along the path...

Over the bridge and up the mountain, you come upon Tibetan prayer wheels.

There are private residences in the area; pass them by in peace and you will come to a store that sells many things. Not all are associated with Buddhism, but all that I saw there for sale was quite lovely. I hope you'll pay the Retreat a visit.

P.S. I have the sad duty to report that it looks like the Buddhist temple at Varosha is gone from SL. I hope that Kannonji stays in SL for a long, long time.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Beautiful Chinese Traditional Clothing

The Legends of China sim was, according to Koinup, among the most photographed regions in Second Life last week. Having visited, I can see why.

To fit in with the surroundings and keep my promise to wear things I've not worn for a while, I put on the Zen monk robe I acquired late last year and set out through the beautiful landscaping and buildings of the sim.

There I came upon some gorgeous clothing.

As you know if you've read this blog for a while, I love ornate dresses. It's masochistic in a way; the only clothier accomodating prim breast users with such lovely clothing is Raven Ivanova of Smashing Prims... ah, well, "Sì dolce è'l tormento..."

Anyway, there I found the work of Stone Ryba. He does amazing traditional Chinese clothing, and if you share my love of beautifully detailed dresses you should look at it. He's a RL artist as well; CM Gallery has an interview with him that shows one of his RL paintings.

Cheesy Bacon^H^H^H^Heacon

While experimenting with Snowglobe, I came across a menu choice that I initially thought said "Cheesy Bacon". (I guess I was hungry.) It actually said "Cheesy Beacon". I selected it, and waited for something to happen. Nothing did.

At least nothing did until I came upon Tao Takashi's explanation of how to see the effect. Suffice it to say that the "beacon" is the red beam of light that points at a location you've selected on the map.

P.S. Hey, maybe this will replace "cheesy phrases" as a popular search leading people to this blog.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


I'm a sucker for new SL clients. I use Release Candidate clients when they come out. I've used Imprudence, and now that I've heard of it, I'll probably try the Emerald client as well. (Ixnay on Gemini; I can only find a Windows version.)

The "Snowglobe" SL client is LL's attempt to work around the ossification that the official SL client is subject to. (To use the current programming buzzword, it has a more agile development environment.) It's now available, and I think LL's decision is paying off. There are several reports of faster texture loading times.

When I first tried it out, I saw that maps were filled in more quickly, and though "Gee, that's nice." But the above-linked articles mentioned setting Advanced > Rendering > HTTP Get Textures, and that made a significant difference. I tried one of the slowest-loading places I know, the FallnAngel store, and while the objects still took their time, textures were right there. (I expect storekeepers and shoppers will especially appreciate the change. Stores necessarily have LOTS of textures to load, one per item on display.)

Lately, teleporting has been a tedious, battleship gray experience as textures and objects take a VERY long time to rez. With Snowglobe and the new setting, though, things are considerably improved. Objects still take some time--though perhaps the faster texture load means more bandwidth can be devoted to object loading--but textures load much faster. It's not the instant thing one would like, but where before, textures and objects slowly drooled into view, with Snowglobe the drool is a lot runnier. (Ick... I can't believe I typed that. Maybe I'll give breakfast a pass...)

Good job, Snowglobe people--I hope the method can be readily applied to loading objects as well as textures. (Shame on me. That's the standard user attitude. "That's nice, but can you just change this and this and this and...")

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Digging into the clos--er, inventory

I looked through my inventory the other day, and I was reminded of just how much stuff is in there, how many outfits sit waiting for me to wear again.

It's often pointed out that SL lacks one major incentive to buy more stuff: things don't wear out; you can't spill your virtual beverage on your virtual blouse and stain it irreparably. Walking in SL doesn't wear down the heels of your virtual shoes. (And it's not aerobic, either, darn it.) Your avatar doesn't gain weight unless you go out of your way to make it happen, and even if it does, SL's paint-on clothing will still paint your shape.

All I can say is, if I'm any example, clothiers don't have anything to worry about... but I will be pulling old outfits out of the virtual closet. They're still just as pretty as they were when I bought them.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Drew Carey on Curio Obscura

Thinking back, I am amazed that I never watched The Drew Carey Show; I'll have to fix that. I loved the Americanized Whose Line is It, Anyway? that he hosted (and still do; it's on cable on the ABC Family channel). I loved his book Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined. It was a joy to discover that he's a libertarian, and if you haven't seen The Drew Carey Project, a series of videos on, by all means, follow the link and check them out (you'll have to do a little searching, alas, even though the page deceptively has a "Drew Carey Project archive" image with link). They're wonderful, and one of them is about Second Life and gets it. None of the sensationalist BS that is all the rest of the media seems to be able to talk about.

So, I am delighted to find out that Drew Carey has a blog, and that he still gets it, and is active in Second Life. There's a wonderful entry there about Curio Obscura, Pandora Wigglesworth's store of ingenious steampunk inventions.

Welcome, Mr. Carey; I'm delighted you're here. (And thanks to Hamlet Au for his post on New World Notes about the blog and the entry.)

Flexible scuplted prims

They exist, at least in testing versions; you'll recall that there's a test version of Imprudence that supports them.

I'll be happy when they're official. Cheyenne has already described the strangeness of current hair using sculpted prims; they won't look right until they can be flexible like the rest of prim hair.

They have other applications as well--I wonder if you could make a realistic looking springboard with them?--but I will admit to wanting them for realistic jiggle. I am grateful for the efforts of people like Raven Ivanova of Smashing Prims, but doing it up right will require flexible sculpted prims...

...but that by itself may not be enough, I fear. Prim breast makers, and a growing number of stores that specialize in clothing that works with prim breasts (yay!), make actual tops that are tops, rather than just painted-on textures. Given the way prim breasts work, they're really one attachment, with the top attached to the prim breasts. So, question: how's that going to work with flexible sculpted prims? I hope that clothiers and prim breast makers are experimenting with this against the day that flexible sculpted prims become official.

P.S. Bless all of you out there who specialize in clothing for prim breasts, but I hope you will consider the following... pretty please?
  1. Some of us wish to be modest varying amounts of the time. (Some more than others.)
  2. Please consider expanding the set of prim breast makers you support to include Foxbean Laboratories products.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Wandering in Greater Caledon

I went wandering through the Greater Caledon area (apologies, guvna, if that is not the correct term, but if I just say "Caledon" it sounds like I'm confining myself to one sim). I had the good fortune to come upon Caliber, where I found some wonderful hair. Isn't it lovely?

I also had the bittersweet experience of coming upon glorious, beautifully detailed gowns that I adore but cannot yet wear, as I have managed to procrastinate in acquiring the needed skill for their adaptation. I urge you to visit Akina Fashion Emporium to look, ooh, and aah over their work.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

SL6B: Islam: From 6th century Arabia to 21st century virtual world

SL6B includes many amazing builds; more, I'm sure, than I'll be able to get to, but I will visit what I can.

I'll start with the beautiful (if a bit bright) Islam: From 6th century Arabia to 21st century virtual world. I am a calligrapher, if a bit out of practice, and the use of calligraphic type faces, both English and Arabic, is breathtaking. Posters describe various basic concepts of Islam, and photographs humanize people we tend to only hear the worst of, as if one only knew about Christians via reports on Fred Phelps.

I first visited the build early Tuesday morning, as the exhibitor, Ruuh Cassini, was putting on finishing touches. I came upon it unawares. Announcements of the vigil for the Iranians protesting the stolen election mention the recommendation that women attending wear headscarves; suffice it to say that I was rather past the point of just not wearing a headscarf. Nonetheless Mr. Cassini welcomed me, told me about the build, and answered my questions with the utmost courtesy.

When it comes to religion, as they say, I don't have a dog in that fight. I do say, however, that this build is beautiful and well worth visiting. Some pictures to give you a taste: