Saturday, June 30, 2012

I am All Grown Up

I had a small and unexpected windfall last week, so I decided to treat myself... specifically, I treated myself to one of Ceri Quixote's "Jotun" mesh avatars. 

Ceri Quixote hasn't been mentioned by name in this blog, but she has appeared before; she was the blue lady wandering around the Fantasy Faire sims... the very tall blue lady... taller than most of the buildings, in fact.  Her "Jotun" and "Titan" mesh avatars are not on the same awe-inspiring scale, but they are quite large enough for most purposes.  About 6.5 meters tall, according to the measuring prim I whipped out in Oxbridge.
Standing by my bomb lab in Caledon Steam SkyCity

On the whole, I rather like it.  The rigged mesh makes it easy to wear, there is a range of makeup and clothing available (I went for the most modest option, because if you are walking around and you are 6.5 meters tall, you want to be darn sure you're wearing underwear), and you can use your own AO and other standard animations with it... which is important to me, because it helps this giant-sized-thing look like a giant-sized me.  The physique is not far off my own - admittedly, the nose and the jawline aren't a match for mine - but, with my usual AO and one of my more commonly chosen hairs blown up to an appropriate size, this looks sufficiently Glorf-like for me to be comfortable walking around in it.  It didn't take me long to get the hang of the controls (which allow things like different make-ups, and render parts of the avatar non-visible so you can wear stuff like digi legs, and offer some hand and face animation settings).  On balance, the whole thing was fun.  I could wish for an even taller version to be available - I wouldn't mind wading up to the tower in Burroughs - and I desperately need a stomping-on-the-ground animation to use with it.  But, well, this thing is fun.  Which is what I do SL for, mainly.

Wandering around Oxbridge
Tali put on her micro fox avi, just to provide a contrast.  (Note that, in that picture, I've worked out how to put the boots on.)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wheels within wheels

So I logged in just now... which is not news to most people, I'd admit.

However, I was pleasantly surprised, because, for the past couple of weeks, I've been having an annoying problem, whereby I would log in to SL and find myself in a sort of limbo state, apparently in a region but disconnected from it - unable to move, TP, or communicate, with myself and the area around me loaded to a greater or lesser degree of completeness, and with a ping time pegged at 10000 ms.  The only thing to do, it seemed, was log out, try to log in again, and hope that it worked.  Sometimes it took up to four tries, and I was starting to get quite cross about it.

And, since about the middle of this week... that hasn't happened to me.  I think it unlikely that this isn't connected to the server rollouts that always happen Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Whenever I am bitching about LL, I always try to remember how much the whole of SL is still a work in progress... they are meeting unique technical challenges, they are constantly expanding the capabilities of the system, they are operating, in many ways, at the cutting edge of virtual world technology.  (There are virtual worlds out there with more impressive features, but not with SL's high concurrency levels... there are others with many more concurrent users, but not with SL's level of individual user freedom.  SL operates in a niche which is far from completely explored.)

Of course, there are areas where LL deserves a thorough lambasting, and we can all think of six off the tops of our heads.  But, sometimes, I think it wise to bear in mind just how much the technology is changing behind the scenes, and how hard it can be to predict the effects of those changes on the user experience.  I would be very surprised if "Glorf's incomplete login problem" had appeared on a LL to-fix list at any time... but, something they've done seems to have fixed it.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bringing home the bacon: Silk Road 3, part 11 and last

One last push to the end of the Hunt!

111 Dax Designs - male and female outfits.  Silks for the ladies; well, it is my colour, but I can't help feel it's a bit draughty!  As a bonus, includes a no-copy pose stand, which kind of mystifies me.

112 Aster's Builts - AM Afternoon Tea and Massage Parlour.  Aster's unfortunately closed part-way through the hunt, but this is at least something to remember them by.  It's two rooms with a sort of courtyard in between... the rooms are, well, exactly what it says on the tin.  Looks good enough.  And at least I seem to be dressed for it.

113 Dragon's Designs- Kokeshi.  Which baffled me nicely when I saw it in my inventory, but this is, it seems, a miniature tea house, complete with miniature patrons, and even a boat.  I'm not sure why the tea house needs a boat, unless there is a really huge amount of tea around.  But it is cute and little and decorative, anyway.

114 Leila's Closet - White Sundress.  I'm sure the gentlemen look perfectly fetching in it too.  Anyway, it is white and flowing and generally warmer than the dancing silks.

115 ezura Xue - "Dragon" back tattoo (unisex) and a "Dragon" mini camisole for the ladies.  And perfectly fine they are, too.  OK, that flexi skirt is going to need some adjustment, but that's my own fault for having such narrow hips.

116 Gugu Dada - light red lipstick and (unisex) back tattoo.  Makeup specialists Gugu Dada rarely disappoint.  My only problem is the time it's taking to change back tattoos!  But that's my own fault, too.  The lipstick is kind of, well, just lipstick, so here's the photo of the back tattoo.

117 Glimmer Moon Warehouse - Downton bedside lamp.  Was Downton Abbey on the Silk Road?  Should I ask questions like that?  In both cases, the answer is "probably not".  But anyway.  Pretty lamp.

118 Cero Style - "Arthur" and "Edith" outfits.  Arthur looks dead butch; the photo, however, is of Edith.  She looks rather mediaeval peasant chic to me, rather as if tankards of ale are in her job description.  Which is no bad thing really.

119 Sparkworks/Changeling Moon - Lantern Skybox.  Another nice skybox, this time in sort of hot-air-balloon form.  I could set up a stack of skyboxes a mile high, now, I think.  It's a nice one, you wouldn't expect different from SparkWorks.

120 Fantasy China - four gifts here, a large Chinese House, a sculpted Chinese Gate, an ancient Chinese hairstyle, presumably for the ladies, and a non-ancient Harley Davidson for the gentlemen.  I think (for once) the gentlemen are getting the better deal here!  But it's a nice little package, all told.

121 Dark Vision - Oriental Pavilion with Male and Female Chairs.  And very pavilion-y it is, too, and the chairs are definitely on the nice side.  Black and gold lacquer and red cushions, all very dramatic.

122 Park Place Home Decor - Silk Road Accent Chairs and Footstool.  These are rather tasteful, actually - much more Victorian drawing room than Imperial throne room!  It's as well to be ready for anything.  You never know when you're going to need to take tea with the vicar, or sentence a rebellious provincial governor to death by the bowstring.  Got to have the right furniture for each occasion!

123 Arkenstone Fantasy Furniture - Gold Kapour Rug.  Actually, I like a good decorative rug.  Very handy, low-prim way to brighten up an otherwise boring floor.  Rugs are good.

124 Mimsy Manor - GreenTEAHouse.  Oh, the ambiguities there!  It is green, so it is a green tea house.  But is it also a house for drinking green tea?  And it is also a greenhouse, so is it a greenhouse for tea?  A green green tea teahouse house, in fact?  My head is a whirl... which, I suspect, is the idea.  In any case, it's a nice thing.

125 had to drop out.  Personally I am glad of the breather, and I took advantage to go back to being blonde.
126 TRIDENT - Bukhara Carpet Set.  Positively an embarrassment of riches on the carpet front.  I've rezzed what I hope is a representative selection, red and orange, rolled and... not.   So, then.  Carpets.

127 Crazy Amazons - Mongolian House.  Too big and permanent to be a yurt, but modelled on a yurt nonetheless.  Yurt yurt yurt.  If you have to house a Mongolian, this is undoubtedly what you need.

128 Elemental Jewelry - Silk Road Necklace (m and f versions, natch).  Rather nice, simple, silver and amber design with a basic neck cord.  Simple is good.  Can't say I turn my nose up at silver and amber, either.

129 Kastle Rock Couture - Shanghai Mesh Skirt and Tank set (Dragonfly), and some furniture for the gentlemen who won't look so hot in a mesh skirt.  Only two sizes for the mesh, "average" and "curvy" - for obvious reasons (no hips, remember?) I went "average".  The results aren't, actually, bad at all!  Best off-the-peg mesh I've had yet.  The four-person low-slung table is nice enough, too.

130 USC Textures - "Worn Silk" texture pack.  Texture packs are always welcome, especially USC ones.  I have lost count of how many USC textures I have welcomed, in fact!  These will come in handy, have no doubt about that.
131 - another dropout, another chance for Glorf to take a breather!
132 Morigi Steam - Simple Ninjato.  Sword, with an impressive number of combat-system options built in.  Looks good, too.  Morigi Steam seldom disappoints.

133 Axo's - Chinese Style Room Divider.  Sculpty thing with built-in texture change, a good one for dividing rooms in style.  We are doing well for room dividers in this hunt, I think... of course, we have racked up no small number of rooms to divide, too.

134 Czari's Attic - Moghul Indian Pavilion, with Individual Furnishings yet (i.e. as individual chunks rather than a single monolithic build).  Well, this is nice!  Somewhere to loll in sybaritic Eastern splendour.  I like lolling.  I could loll all day given half a chance.

135 Peterson Galleries - Chinese fan.  Display piece, and a very fine and decorative display piece it is too.

And that's it.  End of the Hunt.  No more hunting posts! - at least until the next Steam Hunt, which I think is in September... and oh yes, there is Sinister Steam 2 coming up in July... OK, possibly not quite the last hunting post, then.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bringing home the bacon: Silk Road 3, part 10

With the end of the month looming, it is clearly time for me to do some bumper instalments of this lot.  So, a lot coming up in this one!

091 Wasenshi - Little Wooden Buddha statue.  Which is pretty much as described.  Personally, I think he looks a bit smug.  But I suppose if you've founded a major world religion you're entitled to be smug.

092 TRIDENT Jewelry - Incense Chest and Sacks.  A piece of furniture, or at least decoration, handy for an appropriately-themed build.

093 Steamed Rice - Wisdom Spender.  And what is one of those, I hear you ask?  I'm not entirely sure... It looks like some kind of dispenser, and it contains something called a "Coin of Wisdom", and some sort of script... but I can't actually get it to work.  Or maybe I can, and its only purpose is to baffle me, in which case it is working quite nicely thank you.  Anyway.  That's what it is.

(ETA:  nice people took pity on my perplexity and explained which switch I needed to touch to get this to work.  It is a rather neat piece of object animation, in fact, when you get it going!  So, worth the effort of finding out, whether you discover it for yourself or get people to tell you like dumb Glorf.)
094 Goddess Fantasies - male and female outfits.  As usual, I checked out the women's one...  This "Rouge et Noir" outfit is undoubtedly red and black; not sure it's quite my style, but it would fit in some RP places I know, that's for sure.

095 JingJing - JingJing shoulder pet. Highly animated and no doubt perfectly adorable.  I'm fairly sure, though, that I shouldn't get it wet or feed it after midnight.  Never mind!

096 Moonbeams - Silk Road Trunk 2012.  Well.  Um.  It's a big box.  With detailed decorative textures on it.  If you want a single-prim prop trunk for some Asian/fantasy/mediaeval themed build... this one has you covered, I guess.

097 Flowers Candles Romance - Bamboo/Metal Wind Chimes.  Well, they are bamboo and metal and chime-y... and I think they have some sort of message besides.  If you look at them from the right angle, they spell out "OLVE".  And that's a message we can all get behind.

098 reBourne prefabs - Summer day and night sound loopers.  A pair of decorative sculped rocks, that provide environmental sounds (touch to toggle on/off).  Handy for landscaping ambience, I think! 

Number 099, Epic Toy Factory couldn't make it - easily the most regretted dropout in the Hunt, and I'm sure we all wish the Toymaker well in sorting out her RL issues!
100 HUDSON's Clothing Co. - Male and female "Tied Silks" outfits.  After due deliberation, I decided I would provide a piccy of myself in these... I am just about decent in them.  I think.   As for the men's version, I will leave that to someone more adventurous and/or male than me.

101 Cosmic Steam Designs - Reading nook.  Little piece of furniture with a variety of sitting-reading-book animations.  Nice enough, but I'm not sure the walls are meant to be that grey... some SL glitch stopping me getting the texture, perhaps?  Maybe I'll try it in another region.

102 EBDesign - "Beautiful Lady" Chinese Room Divider.  Actually, comes in three versions, one opened out, one folded up, and one scripted to toggle between the two configurations on touch.  So, useful as well as decorative.  How I wish I could say the same of me.

103 Royal Thai Gallery - single scripted door.  It's good looking, and it swings through ninety degrees on touch.  You could put it up, and then build a house around it, I guess.  Looks good, anyway.

104 GUHL - Hunt Rohling GUHL Flying balloon.  It's... umm... it's a balloon.  You can lie on that round seat thing underneath it.  A piece of specialist furniture, I suppose

105 Immagination - Perfumed Glass Oil Bottles.  Malachite box containing three rather pretty little bottles.  Small, but highly decorative.  I can't say that about myself either.

106 Sparklie Silks - Male and Female "Silk Road Hunt" outfits.  It's coming to something when I put one of these on and feel more covered up than I was before.  It's quite nice, anyway - not my usual colour, but that's not a bad thing, necessarily.

107 Serenity Fashion - "Fantasy Red Dress" (female) and "George on Blue" (male) outfits. It's still not my colour, but it is pretty stylish really.  I like it.  (George isn't really "me", but I'm sure he'd look good on the right man.)

108 Dragon's Chyld Gallery - "The Wizard's Rose" scripted frame, and a Golden Dragon Egg.  The frame comes with artwork and a range of menu-driven options, which is handy; the egg sort of hatches out another picture and a book about Isle of Wyrms dragons.  It's all rather decorative anyway.

109 Geisha Dreams - Geta with Tabi - Summer Swirls.  Ah, I remember what this means from a few posts ago!  Footwear!  Japanese footwear.  Makes an interesting change from my usual unlikely stiletto heels, in any case.

110 Holly's Fashions - "Simone for Silk3" outfit (mixed ladies' and gents' components).  simple and straightforward silk dress with a floral print, and a jacket for the gentlemen.  It's nice.  With sensible shoes, that'd look OK on me, in fact!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bringing home the bacon: Silk Road 3, part 9

Will I get it all done before the Hunt comes to a close?  I don't know, but I shall do my darnedest.  In any case, off we go on the next step of my unpacking adventures.

081 Deep Blue Sea Designs - Spice Plants of the Silk Road.  Two plants (in two versions, potted and not) and an informative notecard.  Since I know nothing about plants beyond "mostly green and give me hayfever", the notecard is a help.
Saffron crocus and turmeric plants, see how much I've learned

082 Kisetsu - Men's and Women's Yukatas.  Or however you form the plural of "yukata" in Japanese.  I don't know.  Anyway.  Clothes.  Pretty decent clothes - Kisetsu have been in hunts before, and I know they do good stuff.

083 XM Designs - male and female gifts: Gold and Ruby Arm Bands for women.  I didn't check out the male version, but anyway, these are OK - kind of old-school SL jewelry, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

084 Jan's Bazaar - little mini-hunt bonanza from Janeel Kharg here, including an Ottoman Chest and Musical Jar, a Bamboo Fountain, a Chinese Skybox house (with roof garden), and a Byzantine house (not shown in the photo, but it's nice).  The Byzantine House describes itself as boxed, but is not, it rezzes fully formed.  This is not in any sense a criticism, the house is kind of nice - but I mention it just so people are not startled when they expect to rez a box and get a three-storey house in their face instead.
Chinese Skybox interior with some of the other gifts.  The Bamboo Fountain is just behind the sleeve of my yukata, wouldn't you know it!

085 May's Curios - yurt.  And a nice little yurt it is too, with a dome light and a fireplace and a comfy bed and everything.  I've nothing against a yurt.
I just like saying yurt.  Yurt yurt yurt.

086 RVi Design - Asian Dragon Privacy Screen.  Not all that private, since it is semi-transparent, but a nice enough room divider anyway.  (Comes with a little attached "accent table".  Just to accent it, I guess.)

087 ORQUIDEA - Unisex Mandarin Shirt.  I thought Mandarins were all men, what with Imperial China not being a notably feminist society... OK, OK, I'm just being silly.  Anyway, it's just fine as shirts go.  A welcome break from all the excessively plunging necklines you see so often in SL, perhaps.

088 Jabberwocky - Bobbins!  Sculpt maps and UV-mapped textures for bobbins and thread.  Presumably, silk, what with it being Silk Road and all.  Well, sculpt maps always come in handy, don't they?
I should make them all red, and script them to take people's money, so I could sing about when the red, red bobbin comes rob, rob, robbin' along.  No?  All right, maybe not

089 Sanna - Two gifts, "Papaver Orientale" and "Radha and Krishna", from the animated textures specialists.  The poppies bobbing gently in the breeze are nice; Radha and Krishna are a bit on the psychedelic side.  You aren't getting the full effect in that still photo.  (Obviously.)

090 S&S Clockworks - Sake and Tea Set. Two-person table and cushions with drinks dispensing and custom animations scripted. Rather a nice thing, actually.