Tuesday, March 9, 2010

mugwumps, high jumps, low slumps, big bumps---don't you work as hard as you play?

One thing, before we get going, and it's kind of important. I owe Miss Anna Darwinian a huge apology.

Seriously--she's part of the Steamed and Builders' Blocks hunts, and for her gift for the Builders' Blocks hunt, all I saw at first was SALT, and I took it for the standard SALT HUD available, as noted, elsewhere as a free offering. And I was extremely disheartened, the more because I know her, and I know her passion for steampunkery, as well as her quirky sense of humor.

[16:48] Anna Darwinian: I am not one of SL's great builders, for sure, but I like to make objects I think will be fun, like the breaking heart that goes crash and teh giant book that has a sekrit bed inside it

She's not wrong. She has a great sense of whimsy. (And trust me, these days, whimsy is needed.) But she didn't repackage the SALT HUD as a giveaway for her store.

Second Life,building,avatars,prims

What she did is actually cooler: it's a giant saltshaker, with screw-on metal lid and all, very retro--and the simple script inside takes you to the SALT website itself (which, from a design perspective, is simple, clean, and gorgeous). The script logs your avatar account in (no reference to your SL password, no need to have it), you plug in height, width and depth, it searches, and if they have it, you get it.

Amusing as all get-out, and a great tool for builders. I'm surprised and impressed, now I've played with the thing.

So kudos to Miss Darwinian for the SALTshaker! (And again, I'm sorry. Hunt frustration or no, I shouldn't have said anything about it unless I was sure. And now I am. You don't repackage things for hunts, and I should have remembered that too.)

[16:53] Anna Darwinian: OK, well, my store is called Anna Darwinian's Steampunk Adventures Store ...

Yep. Which you can find here. Go pick up the builder's hammer--or the Steamed hunt gear, which I am told has a steampunk espresso machine, ooh!--if you want one of these for yourself.

For anyone who looked at the large pic, as long as we're here--yeah, I'm in a creepy-girl phase again. I wanted to have spine staples for the day:

Second Life,building,avatars,prims

but damn, they are not easy to lay out to work with an AO. I finally separated them out into three sections--one attached at the spine, one on the chest, and one on the left pec point:

Second Life,building,avatars

to get them to line up mostly right, most of the time. And it works, more or less, but there's no way I can sell these. Way too much fiddly adjustment, and sucking away three attachment points for one adornment, no one needs.

Trinty Dechou gives her interpretation of the 'we' vs. 'they' company debate. She thinks Linden Labs is still a 'we' company. I desperately hope she's right.

Miss Dechou had another post on her blog, about personal blogging, if you will--keeping a diary. This is another good tip for getting things out of your head, pursuant to yesterday's post seen here.

Friend of mine goes one farther: She sits down and writes letters. (I know, she thinks email is a waste of time; she sits down and hand-writes these things.) Some to herself, some to people who've slighted her, some to people to whom she needs to apologize. At the end of a week, she gets out her cauldron and her address book. She pours kosher salt into the cauldron (about a cup) and half a bottle of rubbing alcohol. She then sorts through the letters, and keeps only the ones, after a week of reflection, that would help if the person on the other end got it in the mail.

Those letters, she puts in envelopes, stamps them, seals them, and sets them aside to mail. (And she mails them, which is the other astounding part.) For the rest?

She lights the alcohol-soaked salt in the cauldron, and one by one, feeds the pages in--in sections, in folds, adding more alcohol if she needs to. Watches all of her worries and grudges and pokes at herself go up in blue flame. She says her soul feels lighter, at the end of it, and in a sense, she's right--she's expressed herself, hurt and anger and worry, kicking at herself and kicking at the world and genuine apologies for her own actions all combined--and the stuff which won't do anyone good, and the self-doubt and self-recrimination letters--poof, ashes in the sacred space.

This is not to say anger is a bad thing. Fear is a healthy response at times; worry and anxiety can point to problems we aren't letting ourselves see; depression is anger swallowed for long enough it's turned into bitter dregs of resignation. And, as a dear friend of mine points out, though it's still antithetical to my experience, an old-fashioned chair-tossing contest with raised voices can be very therapeutic.

Well, maybe not for the chairs.

I've blogged about them before, but while we're back on the topic, the Survivors of Suicide build is getting more media attention. It's still worth a trip, even if some of the content is disturbing. (Hells. So's suicide.)

And Lalo Telling, few days before I posted my things, posted his own reaction to the news.

For those of you who read yesterday's columnnist speaking on the main points a Warhammer 40K MMO needs, here's William Murphy's take on what a "zombie apocalypse" (zombpocalypse?) MMO will need. (Though I'm less sanguine about the Battlestar Galactica MMO that was announced.)

Wonderful article discovered on derivative work that was mentioned this morning in the Twisted Thorn textures group. I thought it was worth sharing, and for once, it goes into US and Canadian copyright law.

And there is now a giant cowfish in Morgaine bay.

No, I don't have to explain these things.


Alexandra Rucker said...

Pathfinder just announced his position (Evangelist, Market Development) has been eliminated and he's leaving the lab on Friday the 12th.


Considering he's one of the long-time labbers, and he's been apparently doing a lot for education...not sure that bodes well at all.

Anonymous said...

I am delighted to find your blog! That paragraph about anger, fear and depression is a keeper.

Anna Darwinian said...

Thank you so much, Miss Orr, for the creative kindness you put into writing up my fun retro SALT shaker -- and for your kind words about me as well. ((blushes))

Oh dear, that would be very bad news about Pathfinder Linden...

Emilly Orr said...


Just heard the news today, in wandering about, and sent it off as a blog post. LL has "rewritten" the corporate structure to edge out completely their educational supervisor? That is wrong on so many levels.

And Anonymous whomever, thank you very much.

And Miss Darwinian,

Honestly, it was the least I could do. I am stubborn and snarky and opinionated, but if I make a mistake, I try to be responsible and own up to it. And in your case, it was too fun not to go into. For the record, having used the 'official' SALT HUD, and now your scripted shaker--your shaker is faster, and it's a better boon to those who don't automatically get the X/Y/Z axis positioning (I don't always, especially when I need megaprims of a specific size.)