Belated videos and a picture

I meant to post this awhile back, but I have been (a) lazy and (b) under the weather.  But anyway, here is the actual video of the great SL/RL machinima I reblogged last time:

In case people didn’t click through on the last post and scroll down and therefore missed it.  :)

Here also is a “What does Second Life mean to me?” video from Natascha Randt (Nat!):

which is apparently part of a whole series of videos like that, related (or not) to <a href=”https://community.secondlife.com/t5/Your-Avatar/The-What-Second-Life-Means-to-Me-Video-Share-Project/td-p/2941693″>this thread on the SL Community Forums</a>, which might be of interest to anyone who reads the SL Community Forums, and/or watches videos.

And finally here is a picture of me at SL12B.  SL12B happened, hurrah!  I spent a total of not very much time at all there; as usual, I love that these things occur, but don’t generally get to them as much as I might, because they are crowded, and I’m doing other stuff.  But I did hang from the ceiling!

Dale at SL12B

So that’s all those things that you probably knew about anyway.  :)  But still it’s nice to post here once in awhile!

How old are Dales and some gnomes?

So yeah, How Old dot Net is all the rage, and I’m sure I’m not the first person to point it at various digital-realm avatars, but here we go!

Girl Dale and Boy Dale both seem to be mid-20’s, which is plausible:

Boy Dale looks 26?

Girl Dale looks 27?

Even drowed-up for Fantasy Faire (see Michele H’s very nice coverage although given how late I always am it is probably over by when you read this):

Drow Girl Dale, too

On the other hand Spennix is, well…

Spennix, on the other hand...

as is her alternate-realm self, the Arcane Mage Tashalorum (now level 100 also with her own Castle; I think we may have seen her here or on Flickr before, at like level 12; leveling is sooo easy these days):

Tashalorum, too...

The human PNC architect there is handled more plausibly, so probably we just need a different version of How Old dot Net for each of the races of Azeroth. (But what of the half-gnomes??)

Amusingly, the male version of Tashalorum (two words: Transmorphic Tincture) is apparently an even harder problem:

Male Tashalorum ; no face??

Maybe facial hair isn’t supposed to be pink?

That’s all for now. :) All various things have been occurring as always, but I have been lazy and not weblogging them or anything. Which means they didn’t really happen yet at all!!

Rust

Great pictures of a neat place; you should go!

Michele Hyacinth

Rust_021

A funny thing happened on my way to a blank wordpress post…instead of writing, I logged inworld and looked up the New Destinations listing.  I’m really good at avoidance when it comes to writing.  And this time around, that’s lucky for me because I hopped the slurl to a build called “Rust” and found myself immersed in the creative expression of  C i c a Ghost.  Things move in “Rust.”  The ground cover undulates.  Giant chickens dance.  Metal mushrooms pop up when you sit on a tractor.  I love the build, the lighting, the playfulness, the surprise in just about every corner.  I took a few photos (see below) before logging off and returning to the WordPress screen (where I actually wrote some words, believe it or not, huzzah!).  Check them (the photos, that is) out.  Better yet, head over to Rust if you haven’t yet…

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Fantasy Faire!

So I hardly ever go to Organized Events, at least not much; I’m not entirely sure why, maybe because there are so many more disorganized ones :) and I often like them better, and organized events tend to be crowded and/or laggy and/or drama-filled, and in general I have this self-image as being too eccentric and/or 133t to do anything that lots of other people are doing, or…

Whatever. :)

But v good friend Michele has been actively weblogging the 2013 Fantasy Faire this year, and I’ve now been there all of twice, and apparently it’s still going on at least for today (they are having a live auction of various parts of the Faire sims and builds, which seems really cool) and maybe for longer although I’m not sure, and I took a couple of pictures that I like, so here I am weblogging about it myself!

Lotus Valley Dream, harbor

There is the left half (depending on exactly how you’re viewing this) of a picture of me standing looking out at the dragon in the Lotus Valley Dream harbor; click through to see the whole thing, bigger sizes, usw.

And here is a closer-up of the Dragon emself:

Lotus Valley Dream, dragon

(or the left half, depending); enthusiastically friendly, no? Or maybe just hungry…

That’s just two shots from one gorgeous sim in a big collection of gorgeous sims in varying and wonderful styles. While I understand and sympathize with the tendency to use SL to make ourselves into our sort of RL ideals (90210-style, if you will), this is the kind of SL thing that really delights me: going beyond the RL-possible, into fantasy, and dream, and creativity, into worlds and realities beyond the ones that we happen to be born into. And the fact that it’s for a great cause, Relay For Life, just adds to that.

Also dragons are cool. :) Not to mention, shopping!

Here’s the group pool for the flickr group for the Faire, where you can see lots more. And assuming I post this in time, you can maybe still go yourself!

Block

Block

There was something otherworldly about it….

(Submission to the Single Frame Stories thing, for the prompt “Block” announced here.)

And yeah, it’s a bit of a geeky in-joke. :)

Dreaming of pixelated rock

I’ve tried to figure out Minecraft a couple of times in the past, playing with free demos or online versions or something, and it never quite made sense. I didn’t know what to click on to do things, or even what kinds of things were available to do.

Then for some reason I spent a little actual money on the Pocket Edition (i.e. the iPad app, in my case), and it clicked.

It is in some ways utterly awesome, and I think it will be replacing WoW for awhile as my thing to dork around in when I’m feeling too antisocial for Second Life (or, now, when I don’t want to bother with an actual computer, but have my iPad as always nearby).

(Executive summary for those interested in Minecraft vs. SL comparisons: Minecraft is (for me, so far) about using cleverness to build things (and survive) given a set of tricky constraints; whereas SL is about enabling people to build (and do, and be) the most amazing things that they can think of, with as few technical constraints as feasible.)

But now on to Our Story!

The famed Tower of Somewhat More Than Modest Height.

The famed Tower of Somewhat More Than Modest Height.

Again I started out unable to do anything at all, but this time I Googled around for tutorials enough to find the key difference between tapping on things and holding one’s finger down on them (completely different actions, typically), and then I was good to go.

Well, for awhile. :) I started out in Survival Mode just because it sounded like fun, and pretty much ignored crafting and dug in the sand and cut down some trees with my bare hands, and sort of threw together a wood-and-sand fort with a little moat around it for keeping away the monsters for the first night.

That did not go terribly well. I could probably have been fine just crouching inside the walls all night (and hoping nothing jumped over), but I wanted to see out, and with my minimal architecture I kept like falling into the moat and being greeted by a zombie who had also fallen in, or going too close to an Explodey Guy, and dying and things.

So I read the web a little more, discovered crafting, built my first Crafting Table, decided that carving out a secret underground base in the sand was more promising for now than building up, and I was off.

The Secret Underground Desert Base with its guard house, and a section of the old Roman Road, seen from the viewing dome atop the Tower.

The Secret Underground Desert Base with its guard house, and a section of the old Roman Road, seen from the viewing dome atop the Tower.

The glass roof of the Secret Underground Base can be seen above there. The guardhouse nearby is one of the two main entrances (once I had a Crafting Table, the discovery of Wooden Doors was perhaps the next major technological milestone). The other entrance is in the tangle of sand and rocks beyond the glass roof, near the Weird Tall Thing That I Built For No Reason.

The Old Roman Road leads out toward my second base. Once I’d mastered the basics of base-building, I wandered about a day’s journey from the main base, and built a new smaller one in a hillside there to spend the night. Eventually I built that Road leading to it so I wouldn’t get lost. The road isn’t used much, since there’s also now a tunnel between the two bases.

(In fact my whole instance here is pretty much riddled with tunnels connecting everything to everything else, so I never have to go outside to get from one place to another unless I want to hunt or cut wood or tend the farm or something. Does everyone starting out in Minecraft build a spiderweb of underground tunnels, or is that just me?)

Nowadays the second base is mostly devoted to mining, in mostly a downwardish direction.

Looking upward from the current bottom of Deep Delving.  The base area, with crafting table, furnace, etc, is 'way out of sight up there somewhere.

Looking upward from the current bottom of Deep Delving. The base area, with crafting table, furnace, etc, is ‘way out of sight up there somewhere.

Naturally, being a main mining center, the Delving area seems to produce little or no coal, iron ore, and so on, when compared to random little digs that I make while wandering around…

I still get jumped on by zombies and attacked by spiders and skeleton archers now and then, both because I go boldly out in the early morning and night sometimes, and because they tend to spawn down in the mines (the mine down the ladder from the tunnel near the Farm entrance is officially the Haunted Mine, although now that I’ve put in a few dozen extra torches it seems safer).

At first I was living off the flesh of innocent cows and piggies, and the occasional apple from a tree (as is the usual computer-game trope, eating heals one’s injuries), but when those ran low I went to the web again, and discovered farming!

The water-side farm, with rustic stone farmhouse in the background.

The water-side farm, with rustic stone farmhouse in the background.

Basically the only crop is wheat, and basically all you do with it is make bread, but each unit (loaf?) of bread eaten recovers two-and-a-half hearts worth of health.

Farming is exponential; you discover your first few seeds while tilling the soil with your hoe, and after that you get something like two or three seeds on average for each seed planted (in addition to of course the wheat for bread). So eventually either the entire world will be wheat-fields, or I’ll just have an unbounded quantity of unused seeds.

Nature’s bounty!

And then I made the Tower of Somewhat More Than Moderate Height just for fun, and it does have great views at the top of the Very Long Spiral Staircase. (There’s currently a giant spider living on the roof at the very top; not sure if it’s stuck there forever or until I break the roof and it drops down on me and I kill it, or if it will expire eventually, but it’s a fun decoration in the meantime.)

There’s also a big basement under the tower (with crafting table and furnace and chest; I love how they look sort of like a washer and dryer and meat freezer all side-by-side in some suburban utility closet), and of course I’ve linked that basement into the tunnel system.

I need to make a map for myself now, of all the various bases (Main Base, the mines under it, Delving Base and Deep Delving, the Tower, the Farm, the Viewing Room, Snowland, the Hunting Lodge, Arboretum Outpost, and various little hillside doors I haven’t named), and how the tunnels connect them all. For instance to get to somewhere (I’ve forgotten just where at the moment) you go into an obscure tunnel in the corner of the mine under Main Base and then take a left just before the end and go down another tunnel, and…

Until just recently there was still one little burrow that you had to travel overland to get to, but then I dug back into the hill from it and eventually happened on an existing tunnel, so now that one is in the network also. Not that I could necessarily figure how to get there very quickly.

For closing, here are a couple of atmospheric shots, of the Tower seen from Arboretum Outpost at night, and vice-versa just at dawn:

The Tower seen from Arboretum Outpost at night.  Note roving zombie on the left.

The Tower seen from Arboretum Outpost at night. Note roving zombie on the left.

Arboretum Outpost, seen from the top of the Tower just at dawn.  Note roving skeleton-archer.

Arboretum Outpost, seen from the top of the Tower just at dawn. Note roving skeleton-archer.

Most recently I’ve added some fencing and planted some trees at the Arboretum, and it better lives up to its name.

So I’ve been seeing torches and pixelated stairs and long narrow hallways in my dreams, and on the insides of my eyelids when I close my eyes. Not, thankfully, the only things I see on those occasions :) but it’s been a common theme. (See also ol’ Headburro, who is doing cool stuff in I think the PC version, and like wearing diamond armor and all.)

If I don’t get into the more complex PC game and the whole modding thing (see for instance this video for a person talking about and doing Minecraft things of which I have no idea whatever what is going on with in), I suspect that the addiction will eventually wane, and I’ll go back to WoW when I’m not feeling SL-ish.

But time will well!

Objectification ain’t the half of it…

So there’s this Single Frame Stories thing, which has a weblog and a flickr group and everything, and once a week they post a Prompt, like “grave mistake” or “depth perception” or (this week) “objectification”, and everyone (well, not everyone, but…) either emails their pictures or posts them to the flickr group, and the picture is allowed to have One Standard Tweet’s Worth of text along with it, and they all go up on the weblog for everyone to admire, and there’s no lame “voting” or “winners” or anything (I don’t think), they are just there.

And I’d known this was going on because I admire botgirl and Whiskey Monday for (their hawt AVs, and) their enormous creativity, but I hadn’t been doing it myself because really it was good enough that other people were doing it, and I was busy leveling my DK’s Inscription skill and dancing in random Australian sims’ dance clubs, and similarly important things.

But then there was some popular demand from one of the very creative people who was doing it, and I am nothing if not a pushover, so…

My (first?) entry for this week, “Objectification ain’t the half of it”:

Objectification ain't the half of it...

Best viewed larger, of course, and just what the heck is actually going on is left to the reader and/or viewer.

But there we are! I am pretty much pleased, and may do it again some decade. :)