Saturday, August 30, 2008

since I was no bigger than a weevil they've been saying I was evil

Bare Rose's third anniversary is this weekend, and my, but there have been a ton of things to do to celebrate. Dances, gatherings, contests, giveaways, new outfit releases, fashion shows, and, now and again, some quirky little oddments all their own.

Like the weaving machine in Black Cat.


One essentially sits and weaves, and at the end of the weaving, one is then given a random one of six different mini-kimono skirt sets. So far I've woven blue, green, dark purple, red and 'cian'--but apparently the pink mini-kimono skirt? Is the rare, or something, because I haven't gotten one yet!

(By the way, if you stop by the Mystical booth at hair fair, and pick up the Mystical Amazon headdress and hair box? You'll get several selections of one-prim hair. It's not perfectly pretty, but it's one prim, and it looks better than system hair, or being bald! I'm wearing it in "natural cherry" in the shot.)

Installment 379: Why I Adore Japanese Sims:


This was seen in Akiba in Nekomama's stall. That outfit, btw, that you don't quite see? Seventy Lindens. Just seventy Lindens! For skirt with glitch pants, bodice top, prim wide plaid tie, collar, cuffs, and weird legwarmer-y things. Seventy.

I bought one. :)

But the color text? Priceless.

On to more horrifying things, before my return to Avaria. Last night was a hunt over at Axis Mundi (no SLUrl, because it's long over.) Essentially, the hunt was simple: hunt out one (just one!) of three 'colors' of prize items: red, rose and turquoise. And it was fine, and surprisingly easy to find buttons of the appropriate shades, considering how late we started. But it did take us around and about the sim, and while exploring, I found....this:




And there was a saddle. A saddle on the horrific pastel beast. I found myself, fighting each step, drawn to...sit on the thing.


Thankfully, SubGirl found a disciple of Jesuslope one island over, or I would have fled screaming into the...balmy blue day. *coughs*

(Though I can think of someone that would properly appreciate this--I wonder if Lord Cymru's young daughter knows of this horrifi...."pretty"..."little" thing?)

At any rate, since you've seen an advance pic of SubGirl, let me show you our Aviator, as well:


There will be a full release entry on the store blog, because we're still working on them, but soon there will be two more Iron Tinies to enjoy, trust me. I especially adore the Aviator, I think Mr. Allen really outdid himself adding wonderful little details.

*hefts pickaxe* Okay, those quartz nodes aren't gonna dig themselves, now are they?

Friday, August 29, 2008

a constant wave of tension on top of broken trust

The first I heard was a message in email from Tigerlily Koi:

Calla Update Group - Tigerlily Koi is owned by Tigerlily Koi.

Delphinium is running around the grid, stolen, with full permissions, labeled: ***CABELO CASTANHO CACHINHOO and cabelo castanho - so far I've only seen it in Chestnut, but it may be out in others.

If you see it, or see anyone wearing it, please see if you can get a LM for me so I can file a DMCA. Reward is offered, as noted in the card.

I was darkly intrigued, so I opened the card she sent. And read the following:

My name is Tigerlily Koi, and I am a content creator here in Second Life. This is my "real" job. This pays my bills, and helps provide for my six children. (Yes, six.) I take my job seriously. I put a lot of time, effort and heart into every product you see. I always do my very best, and never release something that I am not completely happy with.

I am the founder of the Designers in Seclusion group, which is a support network for fellow creators. I am the Membership Officer for the Content Creator's Association. I am involved in the IP Awareness Campaign started by Chez Nabob.

I take theft of my work very seriously. I have had to file DMCA reports several times because my products have been copied and resold without my permission.

To see a first-hand account of what content creators go through when their work is stolen, my own personal feelings included, please go to:

To combat content theft, I need your help. You as a consumer are more aware of the markets than those of us who create products. Simply put, you see a lot more of the Metaverse than we do. We typically see the same four sky-box walls day after day.

The reward:

I am offering a reward to any person who provides enough information for me to file a DMCA. That simply includes the Landmark(s) of the location where the products are. The rest of the information I will be able to obtain from the location.

If you find one of my products being sold or given away in any location, by any person other than myself please send me a notecard or an email with the SLURL or the landmark of the place you found my product.

Once I verify that it is my work, I will send you a complete "I Want Them All" Pack of the item(s) as well as a 2500 L$ store card.

Tigerlily Koi
Calla Owner & Second Life Content Creator

Uncomfortably enough, she is not the only designer to feel the need to offer rewards for simple decency. Miss paeoti Pomeroy sent out a notecard, as well:

I am sending you a note card to keep you, my customers informed of a few things that I think everyone needs to know.

Some of you may be business owners, and others may be customers but we all need to be aware of the unethical practices so that we can better arm ourselves with the tools to protect our creative expressions.

A few months ago, I filed a DMCA (a legal form thru Linden Lab) to file a formal claim against PEARL BOYINGTON or Pearls Yard sale (now known as Pearls Designs) for using the illegal device COPYBOT and successfully copying my creations for resale at her yard sale. Linden Lab agreed that she was in direct violation against the TOS rules and they removed my belongings from her possession. Yes I realize this is all sounding rather dramatic but you must realize that this affects you as some of you either own business or will own business and you must be made aware of how this system works.

As most of you know, I speak my mind and can be rather blunt about doing so, so I took my own action and added to my profile a photo of Pearl Boyington (who had made her photo public) and made very clear about her unethical practices within the world of SECONDLIFE. I call it as I see it and I hold nothing back. I soon received a notice from LINDEN LAB that I had committed a violation against the TOS rules in posting her photo in my profile when she had not released the information herself. What Linden Lab DIDNT know is that she had just removed her own and then turned me in. Linden Lab then suspends my SECONDLIFE account to investigate the matter, they then forgot to let me back in.

This is a woman who has ripped off designer after designer and refuses to give up. Linden Lab is fully aware of her activities. They continue to remove the stuff but they do nothing to suspend her account or simply kick her off the server. Seeing as how Linden Lab makes money from the products that she rips off, I do not find it shocking that she's still here using others to line her pocketbook.

I’ve returned to SECONDLIFE only to find out that yet there is even more unethical practices against me. A customer contacts me this past week (thank you Sera!) to send me this link:

This is a copy of my DEMETIA set (created approximately 1 year ago, hand drawn and yes I have my PSP files to prove it) being sold by Aura Niven clearly copied, added to, and is selling on SLEXCHANGE.

I am not trying to add to the drama that happens on SECONDLIFE, nor am I a whiner, I am however proactive when it comes to protecting my creations and to the lack of morals and values of others when it hurts myself or someone else. Creators work their asses off only to see some crook benefiting from our hard work. I’m sure most of you feel the same and if you don’t at this time you perhaps soon will.

If any of you happen to see any of my products being copied/sold, etc, please contact me. I will investigate the issue and if I find the matter a true rip off of my products and have to file a DMCA with LINDEN LAB, I will then send the first person who reports the matter to me $1000 linden. Please understand that this ONLY applies if I am able to file a DMCA on the rip off artist.

PLEASE folks, PLEASE take action to report these folks to LINDEN LAB when you see these direct violations take place. Show your butt! Make your voice KNOWN! Right is right and wrong is wrong no matter who you are. I can guarantee you this.... if I were to see some unethical asshole ripping YOU off, selling your hard work only to benefit them and hurt you in the process you can bet your buns I would NOT be buying their product NOR would I be quiet about it.

Excuse me now, I’m off to file yet another DMCA.

Thanks for your time and once again, don't be shy in reporting these people.

Paeoti Pomeray

Now, regardless of your feelings of like or dislike for Calla hair, or Nymphetamine attire--these are two content creators who've worked very, very hard to be where they are on the grid. That they're being hit now just shows the utter disregard for propriety, ethics, professionalism and common sense that these talentless hacks show, every time they pilfer another design.

I will stand by my portrayal of 'talentless hacks'--I'd point you towards one, in fact, who chortles over his 'success' at reselling someone else's offered freebie. When called on account, Franko Box of Volksland Beach halfway apologized, and not one full month later, this was seen on his land. When that flagrant disregard of Miss Ventura's intellectual property was noticed, and she had complained, he took the box down...only to put it up again with different artwork--but her same checkmarks.

He has no sense of fair play, no comprehension of intellectual property, and from everything I've heard, the sum total intelligence of a small yellow plastic soap dish.

If you do find something that looks like Calla hair being sold outside of Calla, or know enough of Nymphetamine's style sense to recognize their designs beyond their sim, do consider dropping an LM or notecard to the ladies in question. Do it because it's the right thing to do. Think of the potential reward as their way of thanking you, for doing the right thing.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

the fruit is rusting on the vine


I shrieked when I heard about this. I actually threatened Mr. Sands for sending me a picture of it from his trip through Hair Fair.

Then...last night...I found Crimson & Clover's booth at Hair Fair. And it's even worse than I thought. Not only is it baby hair--not only is it Cthulhu baby hair--but it does feature a bubble of amniotic fluid surrounded by hair.

Officially? This is the single most baffling and unnerving hairstyle I have ever seen on the grid, hands down.


And is it sad that Tekeli-li's shoggoth sculpture at Hair Fair overwhelmed the actual hair? Which isn't easy to do, considering the richness of detail and design in Tekeli-li's hair. T'was a very, very cool thing.

Miss Neome wants one. That? Makes me giggle insanely.


And I'm starting to develop my own camouflage for Avaria. This may or may not be a good thing. Perhaps it's a good idea to take some time off from digging up relics and cycad shoots.

All that remains until we release the next two Iron Tinies is the name for the female of the pair. There'll be an announcement on the store blog when we do. With any luck, we'll be premiering at least him, if not her, of the two at the Wulfenbach Consulate Clank and Construct Ball, to announce also the official opening of the Wulfenbach Consulate to Antiquity.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

in the rays of the sun, I am longing for the darkness

Colonel O'Toole brings us a set of handy etiquette tips for the grid:

How to handle unexpected visitors; remembering the point of rp (this line gets murky for me on occasion, but it's good to keep in mind); remember to explain yourself if misunderstood (and who hasn't dealt with that?); and don't get upset if you don't understand something. Good tips, all.


I heard the call in Avaria, harvesting bark and branches for trade goods at the trade village. FallnAngel Designs had opened a large new store.


Little did I know it was all a ruse.


One by one my companions succumbed to the atmosphere, Dr. Demain cackling over all the new patients.


I tried to sneak a peek at the intake forms, but I couldn't make heads or tails of them. Though what was worse was seeing a puzzle box lying on the desk.


And on the bookshelf...


Restraints were called for at one point, a nurse strapping Miss Allen to a bloodstained bed. Darth Penny fought bravely, but was taken to electroshock. The nurse tried to console us, but I think she was more insane than the inmates...


Outside is no better. The grounds are...infested...with zombie "nurses" bearing gurneys. They race around inside the hospital, too, causing great distraction.


There doesn't seem to be a way out. Or maybe I got lost again. I get lost, when one paintburnt wall fades into bloodstained corridor fades into filthy concrete passageway...


Guess I'll just hang around until help arrives.

(FallnAngel's new skin and hair store can be found on Falln Sanitarium. The store now carries all hair, manicure/pedicure sets, piercings, tattoos, henna-work, and skins--including the new Horror and Wyld lines. Just remember...sometimes it's worse when the Doctor is in.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

secured by the hand that set me free

Head scissors?


Apparently. I admit, I had to go see. And they apparently are what they seem to be--a giant pair of scissors one can shove through one's head.

(Of course I got one--it's too weird not to!)

And I'm terribly tempted for this one, too:


mainly because I adore the instructions:

1. Buy this stuff
2. Drag the folder onto your av
3. Set yourself to always run
4. Run around, waggle your tentacles and shout....GARR I'm a monster!


Day Three, Avarian Expedition

It is punishingly hot under the desert sun of Avaria. We were invited to participate in the excavation of the relics of Avaria's former culture, but the first day we realized--though we were given basic tools (a pickaxe, a hand sickle, a net for catching interesting specimens), everything else we would have to find or make ourselves. It took some time to make ourselves enough understood to the kobolds in the trade city to attain provisions--sturdier attire, waterskins, belt knives and chisels, straw hats to protect us from the deadly heat.


It is beautiful here, though. The sound of the few streams we find, the gentle chirping of small creatures, the howling of Avarian wolves...and we have found several abandoned temples, some magically locked against us, others open, allowing us in. The deep cool of the waters, the shadowed chill of the ancient temples, these things refresh us in our travels.


We found a good spot that contains clay of sufficient consistency to fire. We noted the trade city had a small, but working kiln. Soon we had pots and bowls, jugs to fill with mangrove resin, and discovered that bricks--the manufacture of which was relatively easy for us--were a desired trade item.


We discovered strange, enchanted runes when we were harvesting cacti for cooking spices and juiced pulp; we'd heard tales of an abandoned sky temple, and set about to find it. Find it we did, and when we happened by a spelled circle on the floor, we discovered the source of the rumors--a mount that the rune bound for each of us, made more of shadow than of substance, slow, but sturdy and never-tiring.


We will sleep tonight in a cave discovered by the dunes. We are ready for tomorrow.

To get involved with the Avarian Expedition, just go to Grendel's main store, and wander around until you find the Avarian Expedition wall posters. There are two "sides" of the Expedition--the Expedition itself, wherein one can dig out such diverse things as lumps of clay, branches, turtle shells, giant earwig eggs, stones, bones, and ancient bricks and ancient pots...or harvest such local flora of Avaria as cactus fruit and bulbs, wild reeds, wild turnips, onions, garlic, potatoes, and herbs like sorrel, tarragon, basil and chervil (mispelled chevril). Both sides of the expedition cost thirty Linden, but that's it--everything else that you find, buy or trade is done by making items, offering them to the kobolds, receiving other things back...

Here's the down side, and it's a HUGE down side: there are no instructions.

Let me repeat that, because it sounds vaguely important: There are NO INSTRUCTIONS.

It is the single most frustrating thing about the expedition we've found so far--and we haven't found a way around it yet.

For instance, say you know one of the trade items the kobolds want is vegetable stew. Great--what goes into it? You have wild beets, turnips, onions, garlic, potatoes, fern shoots, cactus fruit, cactus bulbs, basil, tarragon, dandelion, sorrel, chervil--what do you put in the pot to cook? And do you need to prepare the foods first?

NOTHING WILL TELL YOU. Even worse? If you don't know how many things of any one or more types to put on which table...the tables take what you've brought them and swallow it without a whimper.

I'll give you a case in point. I had heard the kobolds had a clothing crate, sturdy dark leather gear to survive the arid desert. But they wanted fern-wrapped eel in trade.

Okay, I have ferns, how do I get eels? Turns out the kobolds had them, too, but they wanted a sheaf of arrows or a pile of clay bricks in trade.

Okay. I didn't know how to make arrows, but I had made bricks, so off I went to gather more clay lumps, then I set each lump onto the clay table--carefully and slowly--and worked it into bricks. When I had twenty or so, I went and fired them--again carefully and even more slowly, because the kiln is very slow to respond. I brought them back and set them on the work table. Rez out a brick, click it, it says I am stacking bricks.

Okay. I rezzed out enough until it said I had enough for a brick pile--turns out that mystical number is twelve--at which point the table gave me the completed pile of clay bricks.

I carried that to the kobold on duty. He gave me an eel. I went to the cooking table. I rezzed out the eel, clicked, and was presented with two items: preserved eel on reed, and eel meat on reed.

I clicked the preserved eel, and that is when Mr. Allen told me I'd made the wrong choice. So off I had to go to the potter's wheel again, make more clay bricks, fire more clay bricks, pile more clay bricks...and then go back with the completed clay brick pile to get another eel. Which I then had to prepare, wrap with ferns, and cook, and then give back to the kobold!

See? NO INSTRUCTIONS. It's frustrating as hell.

But it is a significant challenge, too--can we figure out, on our own or through the melange of rumor and scraps of overheard conversations, what to do where with what to get which thing?

Apparently there is an Avarian Explorers' group, but...the folks in the group tend to berate newcomers who ask questions.

This may well be a job for the Mushroom Hunters of Caledon. I'm seriously contemplating dropping Miss Davies a notecard with the specifics.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the silence seems so loud

Today the memorial for Mr. Jayleden Miles, lost in the blast on Saint Kitts Island, was held; his husband spoke movingly from the altar of the Chapel of Saint Blane. Miss Kamenev still leads the search party to find him...or at least, his remains.

I can't help thinking that I and others warned against this very thing...


It was a lovely day. In spite of my fears, the soft breeze off the ocean was cooling, the scent of plumeria light and refreshing on the air. I was cajoled to dance to Radio Riel's wonderful music, but my eyes kept being drawn to the now-active volcano just offshore.


There were a group of folks gathered at the water's edge to fish; another group held court by a brick grill on which bits of seasoned meat merrily charred. We had sunbathing Duchesses, dancing friends, wandering geese. It was a beautiful day.


Then, we heard rumbling across the water. Not too long after, the first jets of superheated steam were seen. And then we saw our first glimpse of lava, pouring down to the shore.


Hot pyroclastic ash and slabs of cooling magma (lava bombs) soon filled the air. Gases spewed, and it began to be both difficult to breathe, and difficult to see.


Someone had brought an experimental car to test its aviatic ability. A passing chunk of magma struck it, rocketing it very close to the shore's edge. Several gentles had to quickly step out of its path, and many who would not have been hit, were due to dodging from a runaway vehicle, into the path of molten lava!


I stood next to Mr. Nix Sands, so very depressed that my worst fears were being realized. But there was worse yet to come.


Mr. Sands, before being struck by a burning crust of cooling lava...


...and after, staggering towards the shore in shock.


Miss AutopilotPatty Poppy, being nibbled unto near-death by rabid vorpal bunnies, frightened and made aggressive by the blast. She barely escaped with her life.


In the midst of the devastation, new land was seen rising from the bay, just as the first rescue efforts labored their way to shore.


Vorpal bunnies fleeing, searching desperately for more stable land and finding it not. I do believe this is the first image to capture the unknown Lady Ghost, also.


I struggled up to higher ground, as the very earth beneath my feet buckled, rising and sinking with insane unpredictability.


I surveyed the wracked landscape, finding more friends missing than in view. The homes built in stately procession along the ridge of Saint Kitts were starting to slide downhill to the drink.


At one point, water covered all of us, and those that could swim, swam frantically for shore. I sprouted gills, but the water still tasted terrible, and burned vaguely as it touched my gill slits.


Another surge, another quake, and we were all of us thrust to the surface again, where a familiar whine heralded the arrival of Professor Sputnik and his Companion, Miss Lightfoot.

They had meant to arrive in time for the party. Thankfully, they stayed to help with rescuing victims.

In this image can be seen several gentles including Baron Wulfenbach, thrown into midair, and alas, the scattered bones of Lady Dimsum, burnt nigh entire by lava.


Fellow gentles tossed into the air by seismic upset, land rising and falling, ash thick on the air, coating the throat--the party was officially over.

This was the last time I saw Mr. Miles on the island.


I tired quickly of trying to keep my balance on the shifting sands. I sprouted wings to fly to the mountain peak, and watched the ship Serenity fly across my view. I knew then the scale of the disaster was immense, if rescue calls were sent across other galaxies, as well.


And the ultimate ironic complication, the sheer number of airships that were buried under shifting soil and cooling magma, their inhabitants then needing rescue themselves!

No trace of the former unique shape of Saint Kitts Island is now visible. Geological devastation has completely remapped the isle. We must mourn our fallen, and move on if we're able.

But I am not the only one who mourns the loss of Saint Kitts' unique land formation, either...

(Later insert--Saint Kitts Island collapsed entire two days later, and when the tsunamis passed, in roughly the same area, was discovered Caledon Cavendish. And the once-mourned Mr. Miles, clinging weakly to the shore.

Lady CoyoteAngel Dimsum and Mr. Nix Sands are still healing from their grievous injuries. Miss Poppy has a limp from vorpal nibbles, but should recover. I was only grazed, astonishingly enough. Does anyone know if Laird Murdann, Otenth Paderborn, survived?)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

you see what you want and try to justify

Now that it's all said and done,
I can't believe you were the one
To build me up and tear me down,
Like an old abandoned house


Welcome to UG Tokyo, which is normally a Japanese sim that's well manicured, well tended, with dancing blue lights in the trees, and a dance floor with an over-arching rainbow festooned with ever-sprouting flowers.

So why am I showing as Exhibit A, an abandoned warehouse full of headcrab monsters, zombies that are being guided by the headcrabs, and reanimated hounds?

What you said when you left
Just left me cold and out of breath
I fell too far, was in way too deep
Guess I let you get the best of me


Well, it has to do with that sign in the center. In between the petrol barrels, the crawling headcrabs and the zombie spawning pools. That bright thing, one of a very few number of items in that warehouse that actually has functional power.

Let me dig up a closer image.

Well, I never saw it coming
I should've started running
A long, long time ago


This is an interesting new system. Only five people can camp on it at any given time, and that's more than fair--I think the days of camping farms on the grid and perpetually absent, glazed-eyes alts are drawing to a final close. And they pay low, but really, who doesn't, these days, and honestly--so I thought--how hard could it be?

The fellow who gave me directions said it was a 'fun way' to earn a few spare Lindens, and it didn't look too disreputable at first glance--until I took a step forward and clicked on the sign. Then I was promptly leapt upon by three flesh-eaters, a handful of headcrabs, and two burning-eyed dogs.

Honestly, I thought "Zombie Camping" meant, at best, lay in a grave-camper and moan. After all, I'd seen those last October.

And I never thought I'd doubt you,
I'm better off without you
More than you, more than you know


That didn't end well, and I was quickly struck down, being weaponless. I went back later, gun in hand, only to discover--I couldn't fire unless I was part of their group. That ended that, and I was struck down again, and--apparently being a glutton for punishment--went back a third time, shaken and bleeding.

It was time for a new approach.

I'm slowly getting closure
I guess it's really over
I'm finally getting better
And now I'm picking up the pieces


I called friends and loves together, and explained the situation. Miss Bohemia (in the blue in later shots) parceled out from her grand store of weaponry guns of diverse and megalithic design. Miss Graves (in the black), Miss Allen, Miss Bohemia and I took positions up on the catwalk, one of the rare "safe zones", and began picking off the headcrabs and the spiders.

You took a hammer to these walls,
Dragged the memories down the hall,
Packed your bags and walked away
There was nothing I could say

Some tips. The zombies--either version--can't climb. Which is a good thing, when they're spawned from the main floor, not the upstairs. And the spiders have a bit of problem climbing, oddly enough. The monkeys drift like ghosts, but they can be easily ignored and picked off. The dogs are more likely to attack the zombies than avatars shooting at them.


No, the biggest challenge are the headcrabs. They are a constant presence, hiding behind barrels, chips of fallen masonry, scurrying away from the light. And they are fast. And they jump.

And when you slammed the front door shut,
A lot of others opened up,
So did my eyes so I could see
That you never were the best for me

They can jump a considerable distance.

Adding to the complication of camping there is, one cannot stand farther than 30 meters from that central sign. And every few minutes, to prevent the very sort of parked avatars of 'normal' camping, a drop-down menu is presented, listing nine colors. Thirty seconds are allocated to select the color mentioned in text in the drop-down.

So you really have to be there to stay camping; unless you're just there to kill zombies.


Me being me, I couldn't just indulge in mindless slaughter. And my mind started drifting. Through my own personal hall of memories, the nostalgic paths worn to a rut, practically, from overuse...but I came to some conclusions.

It's taken me far long enough to see them, but now they are clear and unmistakeable.

It takes two (or more, but we'll keep to two for the sake of simplicity) to fall in love. It takes two to form a friendship. It takes two to start a family. This is known.

But what should be equally well known is that it also takes two to fall out of love. Two to start a fight, though I grant, sometimes it just takes the one to end one. Two to wage a war.

Well, I never saw it coming.
I should've started running
A long, long time ago


And I am tired and beyond tired of being blamed when I was only half the problem. I have made my share of mistakes, mistakes that have cut others deeply, mistakes that have cost me pride and prestige, and--lest I or anyone else forget--love.

I know this. I see the flaws in my chosen actions. I am clear in my culpability for love lost.

But it is not, it never was, solely my fault. It takes two to destroy a relationship. And I'm only half of the equation. An equal share of the blame and the consequence is not mine.

I refuse to continue to feel guilty for what was, indubitably, a cooperative endeavor.

I'm slowly getting closure
I guess it's really over
I'm finally getting better...


So. Zombies on the warehouse floor. Survive nine minutes for three Lindens. Then do it all again. Life brought down to simple necessities.

Aim. Fire. Reload.

I think I'm getting better at this.

(Lyrics from Chris Daughtry's "Over You".)