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.