Tuesday, October 29, 2013

spooky scary skeletons

Spell Block Tango, anyone? Watch it. It's awesome.

So, I got a better landmark, and I guess the big spooky mansion is the Tiny Ride of Terror this year. I just...as yet...see no ride.
(from the haunts album; I get stairs this trip!)

But look! Stairs! Whee!
(from the haunts album; teeny tiny haunted outfits)

And upstairs...oh. Just vendors. Don't get me wrong, innovative Tiny wear for very reasonable prices? Always a good thing! But there must be more to this...
(from the haunts album; why does this keep happening?)

Eep! Blood from the walls is NEVER a good thing!
(from the haunts album; home medical lab? Ew.)

Why is it always medical labs??
(from the haunts album; the haunted theatre.)

And also upstairs, they have a full haunted theatre!
(from the haunts album; the haunted basement.)

Finally, I felt I'd explored everything, no sign of a Tiny ride anywhere to be found...so I turned to the basement. On my first trip through, there was some sort of event either in the basement, or near the house, and I couldn't move for the lag. On my second trip, I made it upstairs, and then crashed. On this trip, I made it to the basement...and was frozen in place for forty minutes while my browser pondered whether or not it was going to crash.
(from the haunts album; the haunted basement.)

I'm going to say the problem well could have been me, and my 130,000+ level of inventory, but on the other hand...Raglan Shire has nearly eight thousand active scripts, so that may share some wee part of the blame.
(from the haunts album; the haunted basement.)

So is it worth going? Well, there's a good level of innovation, and L$75 Tiny costumes cannot be passed up, but...it's no Tiny Ride of Terror, that's for sure. Which is sad; I wanted to check that out this year. Guess they went in a different direction.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I search out the light

Think outside the box.

Also, PrimBay is on its way. As of now the categories are publically viewable; if you see anything that desperately needs to be there, IM Casper Warden or Sphynx Soliel (honestly, Sphynx is generally easier to get ahold of, but seriously, either one will do) and chime in. This is Casper's attempt at making a functional, basic Marketplace that actually works and tracks sales for merchants...as opposed to the Marketplace we have now, that doesn't.

Three days to go before the veils thin to translucency, and this year, instead of feeling the pull of the wild winds, I just want to stay indoors, and pile blankets on my head, and cuddle with soft things that can't hurt me. (Which, technically, is an impossibility in my abode, because seriously, the amount of sewing needles and straight pins I've put into stuffed animals "just for now" and found later inadvertently...it's psychotically high, is what I'm saying. Anyway.)

Normally, the beginning of October rolls around and I start collating songs on a theme. One year it was classic spooky songs, one year it was harvest songs--that was a hard year; two years ago, I think, it was songs that got under my skin and dug into viscera, and okay, fine, never doing that again. This year...well, who's surprised, really?

(from the dolly album, because where else would I put it?)

My theme seemed to be broken dolls.

So let's talk about ∆AIMON, which is a name that may not translate well to all browsers. The "∆" before the A is apparently deliberate; they have a long and interesting explanation as to why they chose that spelling, and what it means to them, but mainly, I found this song while wandering the darker reaches of YouTube searching for something else entirely. I actually found this video first, which uses images from Twin Peaks, an obsession of the band, to illustrate its major themes:
into the night
I cry out
I cry out your name...
into the night
I search out
I search out the light...
Apparently, ∆AIMON is part of a new (to me) musical style called "witch house", which I'm not entirely sure--even after reading that Wiki article--actually exists. Especially as it seems to trade heavily on one thing I absolutely, absolutely loathe to my core in SL--namely, the use of Unicode symbols in words.

Which is why I cringe at recommending ∆AIMON, because, look at the name...but I really, really like this song.

You can find them on Facebook and Soundcloud.

From there I started finding a lot of tinkly, broken-music-box pieces, and I'm going to link a few of them here.

Nox Arcana is a darkambient, gothic band headed by gothic fantasy artist Joseph Vargo. He and fellow musician William Piotrowski have been quietly putting albums out since 2003, and at this point, they've gained equal acclaim in several areas to become a name alongside Midnight Syndicate (and personally, I think they're better).

This one was hard to track down, because a friend sent it to me under the title "Unknown (Kouri_Sen)". In actuality, this is Kouri Kuchiniwa's "Furui Ningyou", or "Old Puppet" piece, written for the horror game Ib. It's a haunting little broken-notes piece, and it fits stunningly well with everything else.

This is Kanon Wakeshima's "Still Doll (Music Box Version)", which was the first version I heard when searching for similar-sounding pieces a couple weeks back. Turns out it's actually an actual song with lyrics:
What kind of dreams
Hi, Miss Alice, do you see
with your eyes of glass?
do they fascinate you?

again, my heart is torn
and bleeding
I mend it but
my memories pierce the openings
Kanon began learning cello at the age of three, and by fifteen, was performing in her high school's baroque quartet. Initially discovered and produced by Mana (if you don't know, Mana is the one in blue in the photograph), she's since transited to a successful career as a recording artist. This particular song was used as the ending theme for the first season of Vampire Knight, which is not where I first heard it, but it does make me tempted to watch the anime.

You can find her on Facebook and MySpace.

And I'm going to end the music-box section of things with Philip Glass, and the piece he wrote for "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candyman_(film)", simply titlted "Music Box".

Crystal Castles is a strange band. Formed almost by accident--or accidentally via subterfuge--in 2005, the first "officially" released single was released without the permission, or even the knowledge, of the lead singer of the band. And while most of their music is intensely chaotic, driven, and deafening, this particular song is reflective, ethereal, and haunting.
mercy, we abstain
hope you're entertained
snow covers the stain...

foray forever
foray forever
foray forever
foray forever...

taught them with solace
they know a soft caress
to lower their defense

hide all that you could
done for the greater good
it's later understood...
You can find them on Facebook, Tumblr, and their own site.

This is actually not an officially released song; Fisher wanted to record and release this song, using their music and vocals but taken from a Sylvia Plath poem called "Mad Girl's Love Song". Unfortunately, they couldn't get permission from the Plath estate; finally, they used the music they'd written for this piece and composed different lyrics for it; it's on the Lovely Years CD.
I close my eyes and all the world drops dead
I lift my lids and all is born again
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red
as all my darkness gathers in

I close my eyes, the world drops dead
I think I made you up inside my head
Inside my head...
You can find out more about them on their website.

Finally, this isn't techincally a Halloween song, but it has power, and it speaks to some of what I'm going through (from a different direction) right now, so it's in the mix with the rest. It has a rather odd not-quite-backstory, too, which is worth explaining (at the first link below).
it sucks when for a little kid living means lying
and the only place you feel safe is pretending you're flying
and you'd rather be caught dead than be caught crying
will you hold my hand?
This video, a live performance from Santa Cruz, California, in 2009, has more of the background behind the song--while it was written long before the events she speaks of, she still sings this song in tribute of these children. Plus, Ms. Dawson was raised partially in the social service system, and knows well its flaws and failures first-hand.

As of this date, I can't find any information newer than 2009 but there is a blog dated 2008 that has a whole bunch of contact info for both Oregon and Virginia, if you want to find out more directly what's happening from the participants involved.

Happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

now I'm rotting to the bone, but my heart's still beating

Nuclear fusion in our lifetime? Maybe. It wasn't a sustained reaction, but it was an observable one. It's quite exciting.

Also, did you know there are folks attempting to build the Enterprise? So where's the IP rights argument in that? I mean, if they build a physical object that's (loosely) based on a Paramount property, obviously it's not going to be used for copyright infringement for another series, but for space travel. Still, it's interesting that they're openly using the design, and calling it the Enterprise.

So, several weeks ago, I had several ideas for blog posts, including several haunted house posts from folks in the community I've covered before.

(from the haunts album; am I in the right place?)

...Obviously, that didn't happen. For a multitude of reasons which I won't go into, however...I stand in Raglan Shire now, waiting for the stairs to rez in.

Well, technically, I don't need them, but...it's the principle of the thing.

(from the haunts album; I'm still not sure this is the right place...)

I guess they're not coming. Bother. And it's raining out. So I'm going in.

(from the haunts album; two translucent twin Tinies. Uh...hello, there.)

It occurs to me, this may not be the Tiny Ride of Terror. This may simply be a Tiny haunted house...

(from the haunts album; that is one terrifying baby doll.)

Looks like someone's been on the Twisted hunt...

(from the haunts album; okay, we're fine, we'll just carefully walk by the little voudou dolls...)

Eeek! Surrounded by Tiny little dolls!

I must run to the next room!

(from the haunts album; ow. OW ow ow ow. OW.)

Oh, good, I've found the kitch--OW!

(from the haunts album. Great, well-fed rats.)

Oh, joy. They have rats. Well, at least he has a nibble.

(from the haunts album. Great, well-fed rats.)

Nothing in the fridge worth the risk, and the chef seems...iffy. Onward!

Or...not, because at this point, I completely lagged out, and my little behatted bunny could not, at all, move to any other rooms.

There is an upstairs and a downstairs; with any luck, I'll be able to check it out again before it closes, but I still don't know if I was in the right place! Bother!

(Also, just as an aside, mid-way through the matting portion of this entry, Gimp decided nothing needed to be transparent, whether I saved as a .jpg or as a .png. So...sorry? Because if I wait to see if I can fix it, it's going to be November before this is posted, and I have more haunts to cover! Augh!)

Monday, October 7, 2013

come inside, the show's about to start, guaranteed to blow your head apart

Keloid. Look into it. To say anything, I think, will take away from the impact of the short film, but I will say this: if you are unnerved by mannequins, you might not want to see it. (But if you like big faceless mechs, you definitely need to.)

Meanwhile, from before the last Twisted hunt ended...

[19:06] axxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: In store number three been looking for hours is there another hint?
[19:07] Axxxxx Bxxxxxxx: There is only one official hint. That cube and the hint that goes with it also changes frequently.
[19:09] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: tp me if you want help

So far, so good. Mr. axxxxxxx wanted more help; Ms. Rxxxxxx wanted to help him. Seems innocuous enough.

[19:12] Lokii Violet: Pro tip - escorting people directly to the box will make me move it really fucking fast.
[19:12] Lokii Violet: I suggest not doing it that way. Carry on.

Warnings for language from here on out; I'm leaving her name because it was her store, but also, Lokii Violet is the store owner of Malfean Visions, the two mentioned above were in Malfean Visions, and Lokii was watching them. These are important things to remember.

[19:12] Cxxxxxx Mxxx: o.O
[19:12] Emilly Orr: Plzplzplz don't make her move it, it was nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find the second time!!!

I mentioned that only because some store owners, as the hunt wore on, had the habit of adding new things to the box. I didn't know if Lokii had plans to do that, and I'd already picked the wrong box up once, thinking it was the only one I needed to find.

[19:13] Pxxx Oxxxxxxx: What store is talking about moving things? xD
[19:13] Lokii Violet: #3.
[19:13] Wxxxx Sxxxxx: Oh yes please, give Lokii a reason to move the box. Please. I wanna see what she does next 'cause she's a freakin' genius at hiding it :D

There were a few changes this year from previous years. First, this was the tenth anniversary hunt, so folks tried to go all out. But second, this was the tenth anniversary hunt, and merchants this year were tired of babysitting anyone who'd been on previous hunts.

So in a few stores, people (and by "people", I mean "store owners") were armed. And they shot people being dumb in their store. And by "dumb", I generally mean really dumb--standing at the port-in point after being warned in local chat and IM; telling people where the boxes were in local chat; hassling other hunt participants--that level of dumb.

Very, very few people in the hunt group protested this, by the way. Except...the really dumb ones who got shot.

[19:13] Lokii Violet: (And yes I'm watching. I suggest not doing it.)
[19:13] Exxxxxx Dxxxxxxx: You grumpy yet, Lokii?
[19:13] Emilly Orr: And for the folks *IN* Malfean Visions, if you're the one she's talking to, please stop being dumb. Thank you, the rest of us.
[19:14] Cxxxxxx Mxxx: Lokii will you be kind enough to share the name with other store owners?
[19:14] jxxxx Wxxx: yes please Lokii please share
[19:14] Exxxxxx Dxxxxxxx: Sharing the names of stupid people?
[19:14] Lokii Violet: Too late.

And there it was. Around 19:10 Mr. axxxxxxx and Ms. Rxxxxxx were both in the shop; only four minutes later Lokii had had enough and picked up the box to hide it again.

Lokii is not a perfect being--which of us is? But to irritate someone enough to make her physically pick up a hunt item to hide it again...during a high-traffic hunt...that takes special, extra-stupid skills.

[19:14] Rxxxx Mxxxxx: I'm sure she'll share it with the merchants in the hunt.
[19:14] Lokii Violet: Warned you.
[19:14] Lokii Violet: It gets moved now.
[19:14] pxxx Oxxxxxxx: Does that mean it's been moved?
[19:15] Exxxxxxx Dxxxxxxx: Lokii, Are you yelling at them in chat too?
[19:15] Emilly Orr: DAMN it!
[19:15] Cxxxxxx Mxxx: means it is getting moved
[19:15] Emilly Orr: Stupid, stupid hunters, not playing by the rules...
[19:15] Lokii Violet: Nope. Taking my time relocating it.
[19:16] Pimm (pimm.olivieri): Does that mean it's not on the map anymore?


[19:16] Lokii Violet: ...it means I'm moving the *box*
[19:16] Emilly Orr: Nope. "it is getting moved" means she picked it up and is wandering around looking for a better spot.
[19:16] Axxxxx Bxxxxxxx: Beginners Hunt tip: If you do anything that someone might consider cheating, do not announce doing so in local or in group chat.
[19:16] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: theres a shooter at gwen
[19:17] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: flagship store

Let me make note of this, again--Ms. Rxxxxxx was obviously following chat; had obviously picked up the part about Lokii moving the box; and then had the temerity to complain that Ms. Mxxxxx, a store employee who was armed by will and fiat of the store owner, was shooting infractors. This is getting pretty high up in the stupidsphere.

[19:17] Cxxxxxx Mxxx: Lokii when you have a moment please toss me the name of said person?
[19:17] Lokii Violet: I don't have the time. K? Busy.

Also, if Ms. Mxxx had been reading along in the chat as well, both participants in this ill-advised escapade were mentioned, several times.

[19:17] Rxxxx Ixxxxxx: uh oh who pissed Lokii off?
[19:17] Rxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: some idiot
[19:17] Emilly Orr: Also angry. Also understandably.
[19:17] Rxxxx Mxxxxx: Like I said, I'm sure she'll share it with MERCHANTS WHO ARE IN THE HUNT
[19:17] Rxxxx Mxxxxx: And [Exxxxxxx], I shot you just cause 

Also important to note: Mr. Dxxxxxxx, mentioned above, is a friend of both Ms. Mxxxxx and Lokii Violet. Moreover, he's used to getting shot in the store. However, this was also mentioned openly in chat, so again: Ms. Rxxxxxx was reading chat; she was in the store under discussion; and she now knew (if she didn't before) who was firing. Nothing's being hidden here.

[19:18] Nxxxxx Sxxxxxxx: Alright you pissed Lokii the god of mischief off? Did we not watch The Avengers? LOL
[19:18] Axxxxx Bxxxxxxx: Beginners Hunt Hint # 2: Merchants reserve the right to eject, ban and shoot people they consider to be cheating or rude.

Also true. It's in the rules.

[19:18] Sxxxxx Zxxxxx: Why is it that this year is horrible for people and the hunt?
[19:18] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: i was helping a man ..lol didnt say a word
[19:19] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: he asked for help in chat
[19:19] Lokii Violet: That doesn't mean walk right to the bloody box and into the wall where it was perched at.

It's a good point.

[19:19] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: i was standing still is all
[19:19] Lokii Violet: ...directly under it.
[19:20] Sxxxxx Zxxxxx: Thats pretty much rude...
[19:20] Emilly Orr: Yeah, [dxxxx], that'd get you banned, blocked, or shot.
[19:20] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: yes so he could find he said he was ther for hours
[19:20] Rxxxx SMxxxxx: Look. Lemme be perfectly blunt. You're being a cunt and eliminating the need to HUNT FOR A FUCKING ITEM. Enjoy your bullet sammiches.
[19:20] Emilly Orr: That's what IMs are for, [dxxxx].
[19:20] Oxxxx Txxxxx: Also, it's a Bad Move to brag about derendering in local, in Twisted chat, and to Twisted Assistants in IM.
[19:20] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: i was in im
[19:21] Cxxxxxx Mxxx: *facepalms*

Yeah, really. Ms. Rxxxxxx just didn't seem to get it, at all. It wasn't just misunderstanding of the basic problem; it was like she was deliberately denying she did anything wrong even with visual sightings of her and her actions to back the store owners (and employees) up.

[19:21] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: i dont know i didnt do anything wrong i grabbed the box
[19:21] Wxxxx Sxxxxx just joins Cxxxxxx in facepalming
[19:21] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: stood there thats all
[19:21] Oxxxx Txxxxx: If you're going to park idle, don't do it in front of the target.
[19:21] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: i was there for less then a min ..so sorry it bothered you
[19:21] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: ask the man
[19:21] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: [axxxxxxx]

Cue greater facepalming. So: not only was Ms. Rxxxxxx standing directly under the hunt item (presumedly, so Mr. axxxxxxx could manage to find it), but also, she was openly talking about how difficult it was and how she had to derender things to find it to a store employee in IM?!?

This isn't just stupidity, it might actually be organic damage.

[19:21] Rxxxx Mxxxxx: btw.. I'm the shooter. :3

Again: asked and identified. How Ms. Rxxxxxx continued not to know who banned her and shot her "friend" is beyond me.

Five minutes later...

[19:26] Lokii Violet: Relocated. Hidden. Hint updated. *throws fingers, goes back to her movie*
[19:26] Emilly Orr: That took less time to hide than the last time this happened. Should we be worried? [19:26] Lokii Violet: Yes. You should.

And as it turned out, we were right to be. (Though that has nothing to do with this escapade.)

[19:26] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx:
19:25] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: i didnt do anything wrong rydia ..i had finished the hunt and was just helping a man who was there for hours...is your perogative to ban me ...i dont cheat..i dont have huds ...anyway goodluck to you
[19:25] Rxxxx Mxxxxx: You're an idiot. You took someone RIGHT TO THE BOX. That is cheating. But you go on with your delusional self!
[19:26] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: sighs whatever
[19:26] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: take a pill
[19:26] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: relax its sl
[19:26] Rxxxx Mxxxxx: And you're a douche 8D
[19:26] dxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxx: i have purchased at your store you lost a costomer
[19:26] Rxxxx Mxxxxx: aww muffin
[19:27] Sxxxxx Fxxxxxxx: And now she breaks the TOS. Real piece of work, this one.
[19:27] Lokii-ikthya (lokii.violet): ...well, I wasn't going to ban, now I am.
[19:27] Lokii-ikthya (lokii.violet): Real smart there muffin.
[19:27] Emilly Orr: Y'know, every time someone says "Relax it's just SL", I lower them several points on the intelligence scale.
[19:27] Mal Martynov: good job daisy, posting ims within sl are against the ToS

Seriously, who doesn't know this by now?

[19:28] Oxxxx Txxxxx: Moo's guide to surviving MV:
1) Move away from the landing point.2) Actually hunt (or shop)3) do NOT tell locations here, or in local. (What you do in IM or on Skype is your business)4) Do not stare/idle at the right cube(s)5) Do not tp or walk folks right to it either6) Or simply: Don't be a stupid git.
Pretty much. And, for the record, those are good rules for any hunt, not just Twisted.

[19:28] Rxxxx Mxxxxx boops and nuzzles Moo
[19:28] Emilly Orr: Yeah, there's a lot of Wheaton's Law in Twisted hunting.
[[19:28] Oxxxx Txxxxx moos.

Upshot of all this is: don't be a jerk while hunting, because bad things can and will happen. Some of the Twisted shop owners go armed, and know how to fire. Others simply ban, either temporarily, or permanently. Mr. Demain from FallnAngel Designs, during his hunts, has been known not only to ban people who pull stupid things on hunts, but now puts out a detailed set of rules to follow--which, if not followed to the letter, can and has resulted in him moving all the hunt objects, which is beyond annoying for the rest of us.

I'll leave you with Wheaton himself explaining the origin's of Wheaton's Law. And as he said, as a legacy, it's not a bad one. And more people on SL need to follow it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

you're a little bit damaged, I'm a sucker for that

From an anonymous spammer on a very old entry on the blog:
At the least 8-10 candidates were killed from the function-about the political election, and there are others acquired every day loss of life dangers.

Comply with a comfortable diet program that consist even more of proteins and dietary fibre and fewer acrylic, carbohydrates and starchy foods.

The spanish language is usually a gorgeous language to equally converse and take note of and is particularly viewed as by a lot of to get one of the easier dialects to find out.

part similar to the point here [link redacted]
Well. These are surely words of wisdom. I know I will particularly heed the instruction to get less acrylic in my diet. Because I'm sure that's very important.

This next one's a bit more gruesome, but it is that time of year--an urban explorer has discovered the decaying remains of a former veterinary school in Brussels, with what looks like dozens, if not hundreds, of teaching samples simply left behind to rot. The pictures are fascinating but two questions keep springing to mind:
  1. Why were all the samples left behind? And
  2. Why were most of the samples left uncovered?
I can't figure those two things out, and it bothers me.

Moving to the lands of cute things, how about Hello Kitty eyewear? And by 'eyewear', I mean costume contact lenses.

They seem to be simply tinted violet along the outer ring--where the Hello Kitty heads are printed--so the base color of the eye shines through, but...to walk around with teensy little kawaii kittens on your eyes, do you really care?

And this may be the cutest thing that ever cuted this week. An anime Japanese spirit dances with the animated shoes of Gene Kelly, before he takes her to a showing of Singing in the Rain. It's touching, beautiful, and--as stated--very, very cute.