Posted in building, business in SL, community, Lionheart, personal, SL9b

Packing up, moving on

Fond Remembrances: me with Julius Forwzy (of Faery Crossing).
This is not a post about SL9B.

OK, this is not a post entirely about SL9B.

Now that Thaddeus has made the announcement public, I feel I can safely talk about it in my blog: Antique Square is closing up. Time and money are just against Thaddeus right now, especially with his RL work and studies, and after 6 months it’s, unfortunately, time to make a hard decision.

So I’ll get right to the question I’m asked first and most often when I mention this to friends:

“Doesn’t that mean you did your SL9B build for nothing?”

Absolutely, categorically, can not say it enough, not.

The point of taking part in SL9B was not to promote Antique Square; it was, simply, to celebrate Second Life’s 9th anniversary and to have a part in a hugely successful resident-run event. It was to create, to share, to play, and to give it all an old-fashioned feel. It was to meet new people, learn new things, and– I’ll say it again– to celebrate. All of these things remain true whether or not Antique Square itself remains open. In fact, knowing throughout most of SL9B (as I did) about the upcoming close made me realize all the more how really trivial self-promotion is in an event like this, and what really is important.

Mind that won’t make me cease self-promoting. I do still have a job and I do still have to pay rent. Just, time and place.

The fun of SL9B provided a bit of a distraction from the reality of having to move house again. I mean, yeah, you can pick your whole dining room up and put it in your inventory, that’s not the tricky part. The tricky part is working out where to rez it this time, and if we can afford to, and so on.

Lelani made me an extremely generous offer. In SL– as in RL really– I tend to be very friendly to many (indeed anyone who doesn’t outright prove they’re too much of an asshole to deserve it), but I tend to be close with few. Lelani, I count among the few. She’s got a place in Steelhead (as does Thaddeus, actually) and offered to sublet some of it to me. I thought it over and finally decided against it for a ridiculous reason, but still a valid one: I want to set my own TV and radio changer. Because when I can do that, I really feel like my territory is my own.

So I ended up getting a small residential parcel back in Lionheart. I’m taking a different approach this time; instead of rezzing the farmhouse that I used to have before, I’m making multiple skyboxes. A play yard with a treehouse for Petal. A Japanese tea garden for guests. A big home theater where I put my big giant TV. A small wooded grove with a duck pond on the ground. It gives me something new to create, and thus, something to look forward to, instead of something to stress over.

Antique Square will have one last big blowout party on Sunday. I’ll play music, I’ll blow things up artfully, I’ll even cater. Hope you can stop in.

Posted in building, community, events, mesh, party, SL9b, updates, video, work in progress

If it’s all the same, I’ll go with Cake, thanks.

So, this is it! Opening Day is Monday. I THINK it’s all ready to go. The only thing I don’t know the status of is the balloon freebies game, and I’m going to try not to stress over it because if I’m stressing about a balloon freebies game, then I need to go find something else to stress about.

Maybe I could try to invent some stress and drama. But then I’m no Hamlet.

The Cake is FRIGGIN’ AMAZING. You may or may not recall from SL8B last year, the very popular and widely acclaimed “Together” exhibit by Mikati Slade. Well I’m very excited to see her work as this year’s Cake Stage. It spans 4 whole sims and it’s in-friggin’-credible. The photo doesn’t do it justice. WAIT TIL YOU SEE IT.

Speaking of things I can’t wait for you to see: this.

Oh wait I’m doing this wrong. Um… CONTROVERSY. DRAMA. STUFF.

Look, Hammie, I know you want SL9B to be a drama-and-lag fest, just like you say SL8B was. You’ll even go so far as to mention a build that most of the other builders/staff/participants never even saw. I notice, though, that if not for (invented) controversy, there really isn’t much mention from your blog about SL9B at all. Perhaps you don’t find it newsworthy that residents, and not a single Labbie, ponied up land, donated their time and work, and did everything all on their own. Perhaps you don’t find it newsworthy that there were more applicants to build at this expo than at any of the previous ones. Perhaps you don’t find the beautiful Cake Stage, the underwater exhibits, the giant airborne stage made entirely out of mesh, worth mentioning in your news blog.

But I do. I’m fucking well impressed. No, awed. I call myself an event planner but bitches I can’t even BEGIN to fathom what went into making this whole thing come together. I consider myself truly lucky to be just a tiny little cog in this whole mechanism, and I will never, for as long as I live or rez, forget this event.

Tonight the gates close. Tomorrow, to de-stress, Petal and friends are going pillaging. Then, Monday, bring on the cake and the Death. I am so ready.

Posted in building, photos, SL9b, work in progress

SL9B Teasers

Hello… (Hello… Hello… HELLO!) Avatar!

Badges? I don’t need to show you no… well I got one right here, actually.

It’s official! Antique Square’s application for SL9B has been approved, and Thaddeus and I have been busily getting the build site ready for our exhibit, which we call “In the Good Old Summertime”. Not only have we been planning and building, but our good friends Teleny and Derren Macarthur have been helping us with photos and video for showing the place off!

So if you’d like to see a few tidbits of what we’re planning to do to celebrate SL’s 9th birthday, then by all means, read on!

Continue reading “SL9B Teasers”

Posted in building, rant, SL9b

Sort it out.

So, did I tell you guys the one about the time I was offered multiple free regions in a new up-and-coming grid?

It started on the Tweety Tweets when I was asked what I’d do if I had my very own free Hypergrid-enabled region.

As I go on about this, let’s play a fun game together.  Any time this grid does something like LL has done in the past 4 or 5 years, take a drink.  Just a heads-up: little sips.

The Carrot.

Curious, I got to tweeting back and forth with him and as it turns out the guy runs a social website for things SL and OS related, and said if I were willing to blog for said website, I’d get my own free region (“or two or three or four”) in this new grid.

Well blogging is hardly what I’d call work.  If Dire Straits had written the song Money For Nothing twenty years later, and if by Dire Straits I mean me, then it would have been about blogging.  I write about anything and everything because I enjoy it, because it’s fun, and because I get to hear myself talk. So I figured, what the heck, let’s give it a try.  I’d keep the rule that the second he asked me for a dime, I pull up stakes and walk.

Sure enough, within a few days, I was shown my very own first region.  And the guy said to me, I can have as many as I’m willing to develop.  So the next day, plan firmly in mind, I asked for two or three more and described what I had planned.

The Stick.

That was when I was told, oh, well, turns out we don’t know how we’re going to make revenue on this yet(!) so you can still have the one region you were promised (just no more of the ones you were promised) for free. But if you want some more, they’ll be $12 a month.
Continue reading “Sort it out.”

Posted in building, entertainment, events, SL9b, work in progress

SL9B Preparations

OK, before talking about SL9B, I’ll back the truck up a little bit and clue in those of you who are even further out of the loop than I tend to be.

SL9B refers to Second Life’s 9th anniversary celebration. The actual anniversary is on June 23rd. I personally have only attended one previous year’s event, and that was SL8B, last year.

Now, unlike previously, Linden Lab made the executive decision to not host an expo-type celebration this year, but instead decided to have us do the same stuff we do the rest of the year in our own sims and only slap an SL9B tag on it. Or as Mr. Mariner put it, a sort of grid-wide hunt celebration.

I hate grid-wide hunts. THERE I SAID IT.

But what I hated more was the Lab saying “We’re making it ALL ABOUT YOU!” Because they’re making nothing about nobody; they’re just saying “have at, kiddies!”

Many residents, yours truly among them, were less than pleased with that.

However, unlike yours truly, there are some who would rather solve problems than just bitch about them. And so some truly inspiring and gutsy folks have taken it upon themselves to REALLY make it all about us.

So, for residents and by residents, there will indeed be a commonly-located SL9B event. Last I read, no fewer than 20 sims have been donated for use by various generous donors. And because I reside in the suburbs of The Greater Loop Area, there may indeed be more that I just don’t know about yet.

This year’s theme is Community. And now, thanks to the residents running this shindig, it really is.

Now. I really want to tell you all about what I’ve got in the works for Antique Square’s build (as it is they with whom I’ve thrown my lot this year). I would love to describe all the little victories between now and the big day.

But I’m of the opinion that it’s a thing so very cool, so steeped in awesomesauce, that I just can’t give away any spoilers yet. I am hopeful that when you do see it you’ll find it as awesome-flavored as I do.

OK OK OK, just one tiny ittybitty taste.

Posted in blues, building, business in SL, entertainment, fuck you LL, humor, I wrote this, music, rant, Shopping!, song

Work Around

Work Around

(by RayCharles Linden)*
(Original tune: “Mess Around”, Ray Charles)

Blues Brothers Night at Hotlanta Blues, Feb. 2009

Aw you can talk about the new Marketplace
Where the descriptions don’t match the face
ahh, Work Around
We doin’ the Work Around
Do the Work Around
Ev’rybody do the Work Around

Nobody was rezzed, you can bet your soul
Waitin’ for the restarts to start to roll
We Work Around
We doin’ the Work Around
Do the work Around
Ev’rybody do the Work Around

Now the office hours are from noon to one
Nobody ever gonna get stuff done
So we Work Around
We’re doin’ the Work Around
We’re doin’ the Work Around
Ev’rybody do the Work Around

Now see that girl with the extra bling
She’ll make a laggy mess of everything
So we’ll Work Around
We doin’ the Work Around
Do the Work Around
Ev’rybody do the Work Around

*(not really. It’s by me, Mistletoe.)

So, yeah, still not having a lot of luck getting shit working at the Marketplace. So, I’m working on finding a way around it. Wish me luck.

The plan is: all the erroneous listings that are in the Magic Box, I’ll relist with DD, and vise versa. We’ll see.

Posted in building, I wrote this, photos, tutorial

Workaround: I can’t get to my sky platform!

This one’s especially for my friend Veyatie, new to SL, who has been having troubles lately with a glitch.  You see, her LM to her sky platform isn’t working; she keeps getting sent to the ground-level spot under said platform.

So, Veyatie, this one’s for you and for all you other new SLers.  I can’t fix your LMs (and probably LL can’t either but that’s another gripe for another time) but I can offer you this handy workaround.  It will also be a bit of an introduction to rezzing and manipulating prims, so there ya go, two birds with one stone.

First you’re going to either click your “build” button on your toolbar (if you have one) OR right-click the ground and select “Build” from the pie menu. You’ll get a cursor that looks like a magic wand. Click it somewhere on the ground near you.

Congratulations! You have rezzed your first ever prim from scratch.
Continue reading “Workaround: I can’t get to my sky platform!”

Posted in building, business in SL, day-to-day, Happy Ass Pub, money, personal, rant, updates

Right. It’s “later” now.

Me before opening the Happy Ass: I miss having a pub to go to! I like Irish Music and sipping a virtual pint at the end of the day. I can build and decorate real good. I’ve come into some disposable Ls. WHY THE HELL NOT?

Me now: Oh yeah, THAT’S why. I’m working RL full time so I don’t have time to devote to managing this place or even to have a DJ set of my own, except Tuesdays at 4PM (and who the hell is even on then, besides me?). I got one DJ yelling constructively and continually suggesting at me to “advertise more” (sure, as soon as you tell me where that money’s going to come from and if it’s actually even worth it to spend) and here I am coming away with the impression that she’s blaming me because nobody’s on to listen to her set on a mid-week mid-day.

Let me break it down. Take the (very small) number of people who are even on SL at this particular time. Now, of them, take the percentage of people who are interested in the same type of music (of which, I’ve admitted, I’m not even one!). Now, of them, narrow it down to the number of people who aren’t already busy either building, sexing, or attending to some other commitment. Then, just to make extra sure, remove the griefers who are already on the ban list (of which there are maybe a half dozen).

This is not my fault here, and pumping cash into some “ad board” somewhere won’t fix it.

Further, Mondays and Tuesdays are my two days off from RL work. I feel as though if I log Mistletoe in, she’s obligated to be at the pub. Clover has once more become my “shut up and let me build stuff” alt.

But, long story short. I’m not having fun, I’m feeling overwhelmed by commitments I’m losing interest in (and am thus avoiding), and I’m paying for the privilege.

How about no.

I could just as easily sit on my butt at home and listen to Irish music or watch TV or have friends over, and I could do it for less money and without being told how to do it.

So, I’m closing the pub. I may refurbish the building as a house, but chances are more likely I’ll use the red house I built some time back and rather like. Very rural/suburban New England looking, with plenty of room for the whole family.

And as a note to myself: Laura, don’t do this again. Patronize a pub what already exists.

Further edit: not surprisingly, the shit hit the fan over something I had said.  I’m not blaming the DJ or my frustration or the closing of the pub on her.  If I was unclear about that, I apologize.  However I do have the right to be upset, and I do have the right to say why.

Posted in building, business in SL, community, entertainment, Happy Ass Pub, music, nightlife, personal, updates

The New Pub WITH a Name!

Monday Night Brainstorm Seisun (Photo: Lelani Carver)

So, big news, big news. Yesterday I was asking you folks on Twitter for ideas for a name for a new Irish pub. Some were funny (like O’RLYs), some I liked but didn’t love (Gan Ainm–meaning both “no name” and “anonymous”, or SLáinte), some were so brilliant they were taken already (the Blarney Stone). But none of them really grabbed me, really felt through and through like they were the perfect name for my pub. Many of them would be great names for a pub, but not my pub.

Last night April Coswell, River Kyomoon, and Lelani Carver popped in to see if anything inspired them. April unfortunately couldn’t stay. River just started popping off every possible pub name she could think of to see if anything stuck. Lelani offered feedback (she really liked the Craic House; I liked it but again didn’t love it). As we sat and thought out loud four n00bs crashed the place and were summarily kicked to the curb (“How about the ‘Thwarted Griefer’?” “No, they’ll see that as a challenge”). Lelani said they messed with the wrong elf and I half-jokingly (and halfheartedly) suggested the Wrong Elf.

Still, nothing was really THE NAME. “Archimedes”, who was sitting across the RL living room said, “Look, you’re overthinking this. Just pick a name and be done with it.” I decided to say good night to Lelani and River and see if anything would hit me as I slept last night.

It hit me while I was brushing my teeth.
Continue reading “The New Pub WITH a Name!”

Posted in building, events, I wrote this, list, party, rant, travel

SL8B: The Awesome and the Lame

"Dancers" at the Royal Court of Prussia Build at SL8B.
I’ve been in SL just over 3 years now, and this years SL8B was the first SL Birthday I’ve ever attended. I actually sent my “niece” Petal to check it out, since she’s usually the avatar I log on when there’s exploring to be done.

Two builds really stood out as superior, in my opinion: The Royal Court of Prussia, and the 1920 Berlin Project. Looking back and trying to deconstruct why I liked them so much, and why some others (for which I had higher hopes) were disappointing to me, some common ideas came to mind.

The Best Builds…

  • Were visually appealing at a distance.They’d have something in their architecture that looked tasteful yet attractive, and rezzed quickly so I wasn’t looking at a giant “ball” where a sculpt had yet to rez in. A well-built and well-textured area was a real joy to look at without being an eyesore (more on that in a bit). They may have used animation or particles, or just interesting items, or a combination of the above, to get attention.
  • Were approachable from more than one side. Multiple points of entry and exit made the exhibits more interesting from more spots, so that no matter which way I was coming from, I could see and easily get into the exhibit.
  • Immediately answered the question of “what am I looking at?” They put their exhibit name in the parcel name, and put some description in the Parcel description. There was some simple-to-read, quick-rezzing signage with more information, but no more information than neccessary.
  • Immediately made the visitor feel welcome, and like a part of the exhibit. The hands-down winner at this (of what I’ve seen so far) was the 1920 Berlin Project build. They’re a historical RP sim, and their build had people there in costumes interacting and welcoming people and offering them drinks and a place to sit. Everyone who walked in, be they a 21st-Century fashionista, an anthropomorphic horse, a neko, or a nine-year-old elf girl, got a warm welcome and as a result they’d often stay and visit a while.
  • Made excellent use of the space they’re given. 1024 square meters may not seem like a lot, but in the hands of a skilled builder, that space came to life in fascinating ways. I’ll mention the 1920 Berlin build once more: their space contained a pub, an inn room, an art gallery, a bit of street with an antique parked car, and a working movie theater, all with plenty of headroom and without a feeling of being crowded.
  • Gave the visitor something to do. It may have been a dance ball, or a maze, or a ride, or a hunt, or even karaoke; but all the best builds had something fun for visitors to do.
  • Had awesome freebies. Lots of unbelievably cool free things. OMG. I thought I’d never leave Bear Island, for example. I especially liked how the 1920 Berlin Project put their freebies on the least visually appealing side of the exhibit, against a wall. The Royal Court of Prussia put theirs inside their palace.
  • Immediately answered the question of “How is this magic?” The theme of this year’s celebration, of course, is The Magic of Second Life. And the very best exhibits made that theme clear without question. They would either transport the visitor to another time and/or place, do unexpected things to make you think, “I’ve never done that before!” or otherwise made the jaw drop.

Lame Builds…

  • Were obvious advertisements and little more. They only related themselves to the theme by sticking “magic” in the name, but not explaining what was really enchanting about it. And along with that, the only freebies (if any) offered were a t-shirt with their logo on it. Weaksauce.
  • Left me wondering what’s going on here. They didn’t fill in their parcel name, didn’t put in any description, and/or had so much signage in trendy (i.e.: hard-to-read) fonts that they’d take forever to rez and were near impossible (and not interesting enough) to read.
  • Didn’t get the memo of how tacky “Glow” can be. Some builds were a treat for the eyes; others were a shrieking assault on them. I won’t say all builds using “glow” were tacky; I will say that almost all tacky builds used “glow”. The same can be said for particle overkill as well.
  • Made me have to work for it. Walk around this huge blank wall. Now flip eight pages to finally open the only entrance into the build. When it’s open, jump (not walk, but but jump) through it. And you better do it quick, or it’ll close and you’ll have to start all over. Now say some things on one channel to make something that doesn’t work happen. Try it again. And again. Oh, there we go. You’ll want to be in Mouselook. Now say something on another channel to make something else that doesn’t work happen. By the way, you’ll want to make sure you use Viewer 2 so you can see the cool media on the prim effect. Don’t have it? Here, watch this preloader for 10 minutes and see if anything happens. Also, make sure you set your viewer to “midnight”, your draw distance is set to 8,000,000, your Particles are set to as many as your graphics card can handle, your sounds are on, your stream is on, your media player is on, your voice is on, and anything else you can find to crank to its limit is on. Now, sit in this rotating chair. Now, I’m not going to tell you what you have to do. You have to figure it out by clicking on random shit. Now push this button. Now do it again. And again. You can’t go out that way. Or that way. And you can’t see which way you came in. FUCK THIS I’M RELOGGING.

So there you have it. What did you think of the builds at SL8B, and what were your favorites?