Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's All About the Skin

This short post is just to show a few newly created outfits in The first is my male Avatar, MichaelVincent Nathansohn and the second two are my before and after female Avatar who goes by the same name. Changing Skin changes everything. Now I have several to choose from, and when I change to one that is male, well, you see. I look like my brother. And I swagger when I walk.
Nonetheless, I find that exploring in SL is easier as a male. I've already had to block users from landing on my property, and have twice been slapped while wondering around all dressed up. Sad thing is, I've set my properties at PG, so what's up with that?
Regarding getting a bigger place, I'll postpone the major land purchase and building rezzing until after the holidays to avoid tier upgrade charges which I've just learned about. I'm am at the point now, with a yellow shirt, Khaki pants and funky blue shoes, to rez an office, install appliances and demontrate the potential of using SL to simulate work related activities to the decision makers in December.
Whew, the SL learning curve is steep, and me and my teddy-bear are ready for bed.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

No Cost Vacation to Mexico and North Pole

Friday was a good day. Not just because it was a stay-home vacation day, but because I got to travel to new and exciting locations and experience wonderful adventures, even sleeping in a box under a bridge, just to see what it was like.

How did the adventure begin? After morning toast and coffee and having checked my bank account balance online in RL, I signed into SL bound and determined not to make another real estate blunder. There I met LL employee Perry in online chat and learned about the pros and cons of rent vs. buy, island vs. mainland, private party vs. Linden.

Why is owning property important? It's not about me anymore. After a month exploring, and renting I'd decided to get a dog, and now needed someplace for him to live. I didn't want him to disappear again if I forgot to pay my rent, and anyhow, stability is important even for a virtual pet. So with Perry's advice, I signed into the land auctions, and after looking at several bid on a property that would provide me with access to ocean view, nearby homes and plenty of room for my burmese mountain dog to roam.

What will you rez on it?In my explorations over the past month, I've accumulated a 2 story house, a modern office with office furniture, a mercedes and several miscellaneous items of furniture. But I don't own the land yet, and I have no idea how much owning the land will cost me, as land use fees are based on parcel size or prims or some other concept that the LL employee on the youtube video equated to a gas tank that you could fill.
So what did you do?With 1 day and 11 hours on my hands I began exploring. I'd already been to the great wall of China, but found a link to 'featured' spaces. Being somewhat adverse to digital perversions, I choose to visit locations rated PG. I found Mexico fascinating, rented a free horse and rode it along the shore, listening to waves crash on the beach. Later I transported to a famous pub in Dublin, then back to Nebraska and finally to someplace in the great white north where I took a nap in a cabin I found there.

Now more about the horse.
Apparently when you rent a horse, you put it on like clothing, and then when you ride it gallops in line with your avatar's hip swing. You'll notice it's odd to nap with a horse attached, whether in the sand, or on a hammock, but curiousity got the best of me. Although the information card said the horse would only work in Mexico, I had no trouble teleporting to Nebraska and wondering around with the horse there, before heading to the north pole.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Yes Mom I Can Sew

I just don't sew very well. I learned that you can't turn the side to the back without the zipper sticking out like a tail. So apparently there's a reason a seamstress uses a pattern.

I'll spare you all the photos, but here's a litany of lousy stiching projects that started with my jr. high school cheerleading outfit in strechy-polyester and mis-matched thread, and ended last week with shimmery skirt fabric and a lop-sided zipper. My disgraces include:

  • A red and white polka dot mid-drift peasant top in 7th grade with uneven puffy sleeves.
  • Infant t-shirts that were too scratchy for the baby to wear.
  • A little red-riding hood in velvet that didn't quite fit Kaelynn's head.
  • A blue bunny suit for Billy that he wore, dripping sweat, off the plane to surpise his sister.
  • Elastic baby dresses with poorly pulled gathers, and ill fitting straps.
  • And numerous snap-up baby onesies that the little ones were too young to protest.

But in the last few weeks, motivated by a group of women sewing at work, I've tried again and had success at last, in creating a skirt, that fit, with a zipper, that worked. I'm the one with a hand-drawn face.

Of course it wasn't all success. See my second try below. The upholstery fabric was a bit stiff. And that pocket you see? I gave up after several tries to attach it inside out. But progress is being made, nonetheless. I wore the skirt to work, and it didn't even fall apart until the end of the day - a side seam split. Note to self "must double-stich next time."

Sparticus the Boxer-Doodle's Funny Poses

While working from home one day on the laptop loaned to me by my company, I turned around to see Sparticus, the Boxer-Doodle sitting in the entrance to my office, jubilant to have his mom home for the day. I grabbed my camera to snap a photo, and in a sequence of four pictures, got these funny poses.

It's typically difficult to photograph a black dog, and this one rarely sits still long enough to capture his likeness. But here he is, first shaking his head wildly, then sticking out his tongue, posing like an Egyptian Sphinx, and finally settling down once he realized I still had my socks on.

To a Sparticus, socks on mom = stay home day.
Shoes means work, and he becomes sullen as soon as I put them on.

Sparticus, aka Sparky, is now 2 years old. For a $15 Boxer-Doodle in box, he's been a great addition to our little family. He happily keeps me company while I'm working from home.

A Tale of Two Wardrobes

Two wardrobes aren't required of those living in year-round resort-like surroundings. My family and friends in California may even be said not to have a wardrobe as flip-flops and shorts hardly count. However, in my midwest home, the change of seasons provides a welcome opportunity to mix up the color palette, clean out the closet, and look forward to cool evenings in front of a fire.

Saying goodbye to summer dresses and short hemlines, leaves room for a bit of soul searching, in determining which items should be packed away in cedar-top bins, and which should be given away, because they probably never fit right anyhow. It's a time to say goodbye to carefree weather and plan ahead by making sure an umbrella, spare jacket and ice scraper are stashed in the car.

That pile on the bed is all the proof I need that less is more. Each item, while pretty or memorable in its own way, has passed its season, no longer fits or just doesn't match the image I hope to portray, aging gracefully, but still attempting to maintain a sporty natural image. Surely my mother is laughing out loud about now.

The end result of this twice annual ritual is a neatly organized closet, clothes sorted by color, and a feeling that I've just come back from an all expenses paid shopping spree, sans debt. The slacks in plastic are those that I love and am hoping hoping hoping I can squeeze into again before Spring.
Extra room on the closet rod is provided by those awesome "Huggable Hangers" that I got during my QVC/HSN passtime one Winter. At least those were a good buy. And now that the Spring / Summer items have been neatly packed, I'm settling into the tweeds, knits and woolens gratefully awaiting the first snow.

Global Warming - Bring it On

So the weather on the coasts has been wonky at best, and the Nebraska farms had such wet fields in October that the harvesters are just now getting the corn out of the fields. I've never really thought about global warming being real.
Perhaps its just global weather distribution, kind of like global wealth distribution only with warm winds and late blooms. Think what you like and do what you think best in any case. We all have to share this little blue dot in the universe.
Carpooling helps, so does buying local produce. At the end of the month however, if there are still flowers blooming in my yard, I'm going to start getting suspicious.
The flowers, clockwise from the top, Clematis 'Elizabeth', Verbena, shrub roses, self-reseeded California poppies and forget-me-nots, I think.
These photos were taken with my old Nikon Coolpix camera yesterday, November 7, 2009 in Nebraska.