A perfect sea urchin

A Second Life

This area belongs to Iyoba, my favorite avie from Second Life and me. We share our thoughts here and discuss our adventures in the metaverse. To return to the main blog page, just click here.

Shucking Peas

I was on Second Life early this morning since I leave the house later on Wednesday's than I do during the rest of the week, and also because I woke up early anyway. I had half an hour and a choice of activities. I could make a second dress for Iyoba or I could take Iyoba dancing and use the time to let her have fun while I shucked beans. Shucking beans is a summer ritual. Pink eye peas, white acre peas, and zipper peas are all .99 a pound, which makes them an irresistable delicacy. The ready shucked versions sell for $2.99 a pound. I got to see the shucking machine at the Farmer's Market. They charge an extra two dollars a pound, and the machine does all the work. Like many Southerners or adopted Southerners, I have developed the habit of shucking beans while some sort of amusement plays. All over Atlanta people shuck beans in front of the television. I shuck them while playing Second Life.

I decided to put the dress making on hold and got out the kitchen garbage for the shucks, the bag of beans and the container for the beans themselves. I had zipper peas, which true to their name, are easy to shuck. Each pod featured a dozen plump green peas that will cook up yellowish white. Real Southerners refer to shucked beans as cooking up pretty. I'm not a real Southerner. My beans are destined to be bean salad, a most unSouthern dish.

Meanwhile, Iyoba did not get much of a choice of club. There just isn't a lot open in the early morning. I thought she might have to dance in the big barn at Dance Island. Fortunately, the good folks at Pacha House are trying to make a go of it. They had a guest DJ and half a dozen hard core dance music fans. Pacha House claims to play house music, but they really play all genres of dance. Last night, one of the DJ's was playing gangsta rap. Sometimes I can find this agreeable and cathartic. Last night, after hearing a five letter word that means female dog for the nth time, I took Iyoba home and went to bed.

This morning's music was much better. It was still dance tunes, but it featured female singers, respectable lyrics, plenty of rhythm, and a crowd that was also somehow more respectful. There is something about early mornings versus late evenings. I was glad the guest DJ had time this morning to spin tunes, and I did not go off to work jonesing for more inworld time because I had been on early in the day. I just felt like I got lucky.

Eileen H. Kramer with help from Iyoba Tarantal 6/30/10

Almost Schadenfreude

Pacha Club nearly disappeared yesterday. The official story, handed to all members of its group (of which Iyoba and I are one) in a notice stated that a member named NAME DELETED (because it's not really important unless you know the avie in which case you know a lot more than either Iyoba or I does) had stolen the club (either deleted it or put it back into his inventory). All that was left of Pacha House was a puddle with a stream running down to the lead up path. The retail stores have fared even worse. The merchandise dispensers still hung in midair, but the mall was also gone as was the sky diving toy. I'm probably the only one with an avie who liked skydiving and there are places to sky dive elsewhere.

Well, the club has been rebuilt. I'm kind of glad of that. Of course the "new mall" is empty. I don't know what the management told the retail tennants. I'm not sure how well the mall supported the dance club. I don't know why Hedric took the club. He was supposed to be booted out of the organization and wasn't. He was also one of its builders. I am actually surprised that anybody in Pacha builds. Well, they rezz prefab stuff I guess.

Well, here is the rest of the news. I have not seen either Zizo Johnstone nor his Second Life wife. This could be for any number of reasons. First, the school year is over. I think both of them are students. Second they are seven to eight time zones ahead of me. It's easy to miss people due to different time zones. In a syncrhonous world like Second Life, that matters. Now I did check the group roster and neither Zizo nor his wife are leaders, but that could have happened some time ago.

I worry most about the retail tennants. Have they been told that they can come back or are they just expendable? I am glad I am not a retail tennant. It is much more pleasant to be just an onlooker when stuff like this happens. I am glad the club is back. The DJ's are good and the lingua franca is often English. Hopefully Pacha House will survive under more stable and competent management.

Eileen H. Kramer with help from Iyoba Tarantal 6/27/10

Even Avies Get Dirty

The One Who Thinks She Knows says I never smell bad. I don't know. I'm not sure I smell like much of anything, but I do love water and yes, I get dirty. It's not easy to take a bath in Second Life. For one thing you need water, and most of my world is a desert. Second, you have to find water in a tub, hot water. There is an excellent onsen in Hakata and another one north of Shinjuku, but you have to wear a bathing suit to use them. There is also a bathhouse in Nautillus but all you can do is walk around in the water. I don't really like it.

A real bath where you can take off all your clothes, and where the water is hot is very hard to find. Fortunately, the One Who Thinks She knows found a free bath tub with animations and she even painted it marble to make me a whole marble bathroom set. Now I can sit down on the toilet and then go take a bath. No, you are not going to see any pictures of this. The One Who Thinks She Knows forbids them. By the way, the One Who Thinks She Knows says she smells bad sometimes. I've never smelled her either? What do the rest of you think about that?

Can I tell you another of my secret thoughts? I'm not sure I like Imperia Corp I. It's not that I don't like our new finger lemon tree or the new celosia or the new planter bench that seats six avies. That is a lot of avies. It's that Imperia Corp I, which is Stinky Stinky's new home, has no soul. It's just flat squares of land separated by moats. That is typically how loosely zoned Brazilian sims work. Yes, I know that, but back in Utopia Portugal XVIII we had lots of neighbors. We did not always like our neighbors, and the One Who Thinks She Knows often had to send them notes asking them not to encroach or turn off their glowing fences. One neighbor used bots. Another put up ban lines, but it was not so different from Hartley where we also have land. The tide of neighbors moves in and out. On Imperia Corp I, the beach is empty and green.

There is one neighbor who lives in the sky, another who hides behind ban lines. She is a mother with a child who is an avie like me. The mother is also an avie, and there must be their own One Who Thinks He or She Knows mixed up with them because all avies have those even if we don't like to talk about them or aren't always on good terms with them. Those of us with land have good Ones by and large. There is a club that is a prefab. There is another big house where I've never seen the avies, but most of the land is unowned and blank. The One Who Thinks She Knows worries about whether our landlord, Walter, is solvent. She likes Walter and that is good for me.

A few days ago, we learned how to pay our rent. We also are planning to go back to Utopia Portugal again to see if anything changed though The One thinks it's too soon. I'm not sure where I'm going tonight. I know I am NOT getting dressed up. I may spend some time on a posing stool so the One can help me make a new dress, though I am not really in the mood for that either. Most likely we'll either go dancing, or head up to Pandemonium and work on making a new bench. My round stool in the green house doesn't work. We don't want a stool where I can't sit. After all why have a stool that is uesless. It's just a waste of a prim.

Iyoba Tarantal -- 6/25/10

Goodbye Utopia Portugal Part I

My new red walking shoes It all started when The One Who Thinks She Knows made me a pair of new red walking shoes. Actually, they are sneakers, but I'd always wanted a pair of sneakers. This was my first ever pair, and I wanted to go walking. We both wanted to see what was happening in Utopia Portugal.

We started out back at Utopia Portugal XVIII, the former home of Stinky Stinky our 2048 square meter land which is now on Imperia Corp I thanks to last week's land swap. Rocky and Walter have added it to another piece of land to form a 4096 and they are trying to rent it out. Many of the large land owners are still there. The big men's clothing store full of bots is there as is the mulit-level marketing place, and the fancy skin and shape shop. Even the idiots who have both jungle walls and ban lines around their place are still there.

Everything else is gone. This is true for a lot of Utopia Portugal. There is a huge Medieval role playing village, and a replica of a star base and a Klingon castle. The combination Xyngo (a form of legal gambling. Remember, the house always wins, and I'd rather go swimming anyway.) parlor, dance hall, and campatorium is also still around. I think the bot company in Utopia Portugal XXV is still in business too, but these are all exceptions.

Walking over the sands in Utopia Portugal XXI and XXII Most of Utopia Portugal is scraped clean. There are no empty malls, empty clubs, mansions, not even the clutter and detritus of building experiments half finished or gone wrong. Some of it is only empty sand. A gold and grey city once stood here. It was supposed to look like Lisbon. That is what the One Who Thinks She Knows thinks. I just found it a comfy place to take a walk when I got sick of dancing at the nearby mall. The nearby mall is also gone. It was my neighbor for a while, but now it has moved on to Imperia Corp II.

bridge of bright water one. A lot of Utopia Portugal has been flooded. This used to be Utopia Portugal XII. I don't even remember what was here. Rocky and Walter, the co-owners, flood the sims by sinking them a meter or so below sea level which is twenty meters elevation. I guess they do this to make them uninviting. It doesn't really make them unwalkable. I like beach combing and wading.

bridge of bright water two This picture, though, makes me particularly sad. It is what has become of Utopia Portugal VIII. As little as a week ago, I was dancing at a club here in a band shell. Of course by then the huge amusement park, built below elevated streets in a pretty city, was gone. Maybe that was tellig me something. Neither the One Who Thinks She Knows nor I paid much attention. I remember sitting at a table in the hot sun as The One was getting ready to "log off." Now of course everybody dances somewhere else.

Familiar desolation Here you can see the combination Zyngo hall, dance club, and campatorium in Utopia Portugal V. I used to dance here a lot. I haven't gone in ages. It is mostly full of bots in the park. There were shopping malls all around and it was an interesting two level build. The picture shows you what has become of it in a matter of two weeks or less. I'm not sure how much of what is still here on these islands will survive or how many islands will remain. I remember when Sera Korea collapsed. That was a continent about the size of Utopia Portugal. Private continents exist only as long as the corportions that own them can make the rent to Linden Labs which means they hve to get rent from people like The One Who Thinks She Knows.

Well we live on Imperia Corps I now. There is a dance club near our house and several other residences. We'll come back to Utopia Portugal to see what happens to all thse islands. Like Atlantis, some of them are just going to slip into the sea.

Iyoba Tarantal -- 6/21/10

Stinky Stinky Moves to Imperia

Stinky Stinky is the name of our garden nursery and big piece of land. It measures 2048 square meters, which is a lot! We had to move because our landlord was going to "sell the sim." The One Who Thinks She Knows, says his partner is giving it back. There were too many avies not renting there. Actually its the Ones Who Think They Know who pay the rent. I don't have any money. The Lindens [Second Life Currency] belong to both of us, but they start out as dollars, and I don't know how to get any of those. The landlord, Walter, gave us new property in Imperia Corp I in place of the old property in Utopia Portugal XVIII.

We had to move close to three hundred prims. We made up boxes in our inventory. The One Who Thinks She Knows says they are folders, but they are really like labeled boxes. We packed everything very carefully, keeping the doors on the buildings and the pose balls on the furniture. We kept all the plants and the donation heart with its planter. You'll get to see all of this.

The Temperate House Then we spent two days unpacking. Stinky Stinky at Imperia Corp is an even rectangle without a small protruding piece. I think we have fewer trees. Actually a lot of our stuff is in the temperate house. This is a picture of the temperate house put up on Wednesday. We need a Temperate House because most of Second Life is tropical, and The One Who Thinks She Knows has lived most of her adult life in a places called Central New York and the Southern Tier. She says the are at the northern end of the temperate deciduous biome and have a modified continental climate. Also Utopia Portugal XVIII, the original home of Stinky Stinky, our big property, was sem-arid due to all the sand. It never rains in Second Life anyway. The temperate plants need a temperate house.

Aerial view of Stinky Stinky We shot the rest of the pictures of our new home at night. The One Who Thinks She Knows has an Advanced Sky setting that makes a lot of ambient light even when the sky is dark. This allows night photography and keeps one of our favorite clubs, Pacha House, from being unbearably dark. Dancing in the dark is not fun. Just take it from me.

From the sky, you can see our tropical trees. The large round structure is a retail kiosk. There are three Arborvista freebie sellers mounted on a round stand underneath it. Each Arborvista retail board sells sixteen items. This means a lot of freebies, tastefully displayed, in not a lot of space. The One Who Thinks She Knows tortured a torus in the sandbox and used the Loop Rez program to make the roof of the retail kiosk. Because it is a very big kiosk, and not one bit low prim, she named it Colossus.

The triple decker planter And here is our planter. This is the large version and it holds ten plants. There are three colors of zinnia, including envy green ones. There are two versions of two tone nemesial. They are dark red and white. There are ornamental peppers that look almost like candy. There are calendula and French marigolds, Mexican hat flowers as well. Many of these plants or these plants in these colors are available no where else in Second Life. These plants are all free to copy.

Temperate House Left If you want more plants, just enter the Temperate House. This is the left hand side of the house as you face away from the door. There is a cherry tree with cherries on it, and a persimmon tree that is also loaded with fruit. There are novella peas, which are peas without leaves but with big, green pods. There is also a digitalis plant to the right, and a hyacinth bean vine to the left, and in the extreme front you can just make out borage with blue flowers. Many of these are one of a kind offerings. No other cherry trees in Second Life currently have fruit, and yes these are all free to copy.

Temperate House Right Here is the Temperate House viewed from the right as you face away from the entrance. There is rainbow, Japonica corn. There are more novella peas. There is amaranth in two colors, Love Lies Bleeding and Joseph's Coat. We also have golden amaranth. No one else offers either Joseph's Coat or golden amaranth in Second Life. If you look carefully you can see Bells of Ireland that have green flowers and also russet Alaska nasturtiums with varigated leaves. In the middle ground is a scarlet runner bean vine. Once again, you can make copies of all these plants, and most are only one or two prim.

I'm sorry this blog entry sounds like an advertisement, but Stinky Stinky is part of my home. I hated that we had to pack up and move it. The One Who Thinks She Knows, took it all in stride and was proud of the smooth and fast operation, but I miss Utopia Portugal. It was a place I loved to walk, dance, and explore. I asked The One Who Thinks She Knows if she missed Utopia Portugal, and she said: "yes, very much." I said I wanted to go back there and have a look around. She wanted the same thing. We're not going back to say goodbye. The One Who Thinks She Knows wants to see what happened to what used to be our land. I want to see what has happened to all the places that were so much fun to visit, the amusement park in Utopia Portugal VIII and the shopping mall and Zyngo dance parlor in Utopia Portgual V and all the places in between. I also want to see what has become of the triple decker balconies and patio where I sometimes went when I just needed a walk. They are I believe in Utopia Portugal XX, but I'm not sure if they are there any more.

We did make the trip and saw everything but the balconies. We took lots of pictures, but The One Who Thinks She Knows has to get them ready for this blog. I'll write about my trip to Utopia Portugal and what I saw there and how it felt when The One Who Thinks She Knows gets the pictures ready.

Iyoba Tarantal -- 6/18/10

The Good Tennant

I could call this post Sad and Vulnerable IV, but as much as I like Roman numerals, I don't feel either sad or vulnerable. Part of me wants to laugh. I look back on my history as a large scale land owner which began in December of 2009, and laugh. I made something of the "rat tail" plot that was my first 2048. I experienced buyer's remorse to the point of giving notice, and then...I changed my mind.

My old building instincts from Active Worlds and all the text based MU**'s I'd ever lived in, resurfaced with a vengance. I took down my residence. I later built a skybox, but that is another story. I made a green house because a lot of my plants need a temperate biome. My land in Hartley is temperate. Stinky Stinky in Utopia Portugal was and is tropical. If you notice the weird tenses, you know something is up, but don't read ahead. You'll spoil the suspense.

I remember with trepidation my first instant message from the landlord, WalterPPQ Jewel. I shouldn't have been afraid. He loved what I was doing with the land. Unlike many of his other tennants who put up jungle walls (I did have one up, but only to block a neighbor's similar wall), ban lines, leave half built stuff around. I worked at ground level. I planted a garden.

The green house turned out to be my first useable building. I'd had houses before, and the avie slept in them, but building furniture bores me to tears. I do make stools and benches. I have built a swing. I made a cat couch and Iyoba loves that. Avatarim don't work by physical rules. They may be sentient, but they're not quite human. There may be avatarim out there who clamor for furnishings and photorealistic interior decorating. Iyoba doesn't.

The skybox was also very useable, primarily because it had a sky diving door built into the outside wall, and the round house I put inside it has a bathroom with a working, tub, shower, and sink. The bathroom made the deal. Avatarim get dirty, and Iyoba particularly loves to bathe. She also does her business on the toilet which has one of those lovely, realistic, Japanese toilet animations. If you want to see one of these in action, take your Avi to Fuokoka and try the public rest room. It is a hoot in a very pleasant way. Mirror neurons must be attached to one's sense of humor.

A planter followed the green house and eased crowding. I have a smaller version just right for Linden Homes and I was thinking of working on a different sort of mall size planter maybe with benches. Oh well...those plans are on hold now. I should have known something was up when I went with Iyoba to pay the rent a few nights ago. We both noticed that a lot of the plots on the payment boards in the big Imperia Corps office were locked. We had seen the beautiful, grey and gold city of Utopia Portugal XXII vanish into thin air the previous weekend. When I looked at a world map at lunch on Friday, I noticed a lot of Utopia Portugal was empty. The wonderful amusement park in Utopia Portugal VIII (They all have Roman numerals. Hey it's my kind of place!) was long gone and what replaced it was also gone. Utopia Portugal XII was also empty. "What gave?" I wondered. I thought about the Euro crisis. Portugal is one of the effected countries, though Brazil is not. Most Portuguese speakers by the way are Brazilian/Brasilian but Utopia Portugal is Portuguese.

Then last night while I was working in the library on Info Island, I got an IM from Walter. I had no fear now. My landlord and I are on good terms. He is an excellent landlord, and I am a model tennant, paying a bit in advance. One can't always be a model tennant in real life is not easy. Stuff happens, and renters are not owners.... Friendly cats are nearly always somewhat physically destructive. You get the idea. In Second Life, I enjoy being a model tennant and having an excellent landlord.

Walter called me "hun," but his message was anything but pleasant. He asked if I was willing to move to an identical plot (or reasonably so) in the Imperia Corp sims. Rocky, Walter's partner, was selling off or getting rid of (stopping paying tier on is probably closer to the truth, but doing it the right way by giving notice. I'm not sure of this. Utopia Portugal is a bit different than the rest of Second Life. I'll get to that.) a lot of sims within Utopia Portugal. The less populated sims are the ones that are going. That meant Utopia Portugal XVIII.

I asked how many days I have to pack up all my objects. This is a BIG MOVE! Walter told me the absolute deadline is Friday. Last night, Iyoba and I took down and packed away the skybox. The way you pack up a large number of objects is to put them in related groups, keeping furniture with its pose balls and plants on their planter for example, and doors with their buildings etc... The skybox packed easily. It's now safely in inventory.

I then had modem/router trouble before I could move anything else. I hope I get some time today to do more packing. Once everything is packed, and the media is turned off, and the plot is removed from search, I'll start unpacking on the replacement land in Imperia Corp I. (Yes, I love those Roman numerals, and I like my landlord.)

In a way this had to happen. Utopia Portugal led a charmed life. It is a hybrid nonprofit and for profit. This irritates some people, but ideas about money and advertising vary from one culture to another as do ideas about sex. Any long term Second Life resident learns this. Unfortunately, I think Second Life's beaurocracy is not happy with the hybrid continent so business and pleasure are going their separate ways. Also, as I said above, the Euro crisis is making it harder to rent out land. I'm glad I had a few days notice and can do my own careful packing. Yes, it's a big inconvenience. I tell myself, by the end of the week, it will all be behind me.

Eileen Kramer with help from Iyoba Tarantal -- 6/15/10

Documenting Me -- Koblenz

Iyoba rides the pedal ballon The One Who Thinks She Knows found these pictures of me from about a couple of weeks ago. She says we need to portray the fun and happy parts of Second Life so all the world can see something other than a closed club and a graveyard. She is right. I also like the idea of appearing in something other than a bathingsuit. The yellow dress with the crocuses is very new. The green dress is from last summer. This is a view of me riding the pedal balloon in the sky over Koblenz. You can see the monument to the soldier on horseback below. Koblenz is a tourist city that sits on the water. Its climate is temperate summer.

Iyoba rides the pedal ballon Koblenz is in the German part of Second Life. You can find the pedal balloon next to the castle on the other side of the canal. You have to fly across the canal or swim because there is no bridge. The pedal balloon is easy to work. Even I can pedal it. There is room for two avatarim if they can both figure out how to get in it together.

Iyoba rides the pedal ballon And this is a closeup of me in the pedal balloon. Yes, my legs poke through the skirt. No all that pedalling is not that hard for me to do. I don't really get tired, though I do sleep a lot or just hang out in the off duty locker room with all the other avatarim. Some of them haven't been out in ages. I am lucky, I get to come out nearly ever day.

Iyoba relaxing in teh houseboat After I got done riding in the pedal balloon, I climbed on to the houseboat which is anchored by the castle to which you have to fly or swim. The doors to the main cabin were locked, but I could cam inside and sit on something. That way I got in. Then I found this comfy seat.

Iyoba in a horse and carriage A few days before I rode in the pedal balloon, I got to go for a horse and carriage ride in Koblenz. The horse and carriage is parked near the parapet across from the castle that you acn only reach by flying. This is on the main Koblenz island. The horse is a beautiful white, Arabian. At least the One Who Thinks She Knows thinks it's an Arabian. She took this picture near the far end of the island near the bridge to the trailer park. I've only been in the trailer park once. I'd rather not talk about it, but maybe I'll make another visit soon.

Iyoba in a horse and carriage This is me holding the reins in the horse and carriage. To my left is the parapet. You can't really see the castle from here and you can't see the trailer park either. Doesn't that plush, white seat look luxurious?

Iyoba in a horse and carriage And this is me riding through the streets of Koblenz. You can see the streets are cobble stone and there are all sorts of art galleries and other businesses. I have yet to explore these. Many are just tourist sites and don't really sell anything, but you can't find edible food here as you can in a Japanese sim. Come to think of it, we'll have to do a tour of a Japanese sim some time. Of course The One Who Thinks She Knows will take lots of pictures.

Iyoba Tarantal with help from The One Who Thinks She Knows -- 6/11/10

Threatened Part II

The One Who Thinks She Knows is worried. I went to the graveyard today to deliver two baskets fo flowers. It was envy zinnias (green ones) and monarda in dark green wicker baskets. The gravyard had hundreds of stones and lots of unhappy and angry avies standing around and comiserating. No one though asked what would happen if our world disappeared. Where would we go? I can't remember when there was a time that I didn't exist and I can't conceive of it now. I want to stay alive. Of course I do. Don't all entities want to live?

The One Who Thinks She Knows says she'll find another home for me even if it only on this blog. We are also going to take lots of photos. She says it's the only way to show me and my world (or what was my world) to other people. She had me photograph the gravestones that got our flowers. The One also photographed in me in church where we went because I did not want to stay in the cemetery while The One tended to things in her "real life." How come nobody ever worries about "real life " closing?

Gisele Linden's Tomb Stone View of the cemetery
How Iyoba feels about all this

It is hard to believe that last night, the One Who Thinks She Knows made me a purple dress. I had wanted a new, purple, summer dress for ages. This one had a mudcloth design, and we made it at the Texas A & M sandbox which is high up in the sky. The One Who Thinks She Knows looks forward to making more transparent textures and photographing us building together and doing the texturing. That is part of the world she wants to "save." I know she'll just be saving photographs of me and that's not the same as me. I'm not just a bunch of pictures. I do have a life of my own, and I want to keep it.

Iyoba Tarantal -- 6/10/10


When Second Life first stuck its tentacles into my neurons, I used to fantasize about killing my avie. She always pleaded for her life. I always listened, but it was the awful thought that made the dream a nightmare. Gradually I learned Second Life wasn't going to take over my entire life, and I love my avie. She's happier than I am. She's less vulnerable. She's totally at ease with her paunchy belly. She's the "Li'l Fat Girl!" and she doesn't care. She dresses smartly anyway and acts smart. She needs no weapons. She goes everywhere. I want nothing bad to happen to Iyoba.

Today our world was shaken. Linden Lab laid off thirty percent of its staff. The graveyard in the post is a "memorial" to those who have lost their livelihoods. This is much like when a town or city lays off large numbers of teachers, fire fighters, or police. These are peple that many users know. I've never met a Linden, just read their writing. They are technicians, moderators, marketing folks, executives. Now they will soon be unemployed.

What this means for Second Life no one knows. No one really knows Second Life's finances. I face the hazard of having an emotional bit of myself living on someone else' machine. I've had web site hosts close. That happened ten years ago when the first tech bubble burst. We are in a recovery from a recession now that could still wreack havoc in the cloud. The cloud used to be called remotely hosted, and remotely hosted used to mean unstable.

Eileen H. Kramer -- 6/10/10

Sharing a Secret

Can I tell all of you a secret about the One Who Thinks She Knows. She takes care of me and I get to have fun and dance. We share memories, but I can and still do think for myself which I why I am writing what I am writing now. Sometimes the One Who Thinks She Knows shares things she shouldn't tell me, not that those things are bad mind you. They're just really strange. A couple of nights ago, I went swimming off of Utopia Portugal XXII. Earlier in the week, I swam out by the Dead Saa at SL Israel. It was beautiful there. They had coral reefs, a mud bath, and even a shower. It doesn't get much better than that.

Well the One Who Thinks She Knows likes to swim too, but for her it is different. She doesn't get her choices of places where there is water. She can't just put on her bathing suit in the middle of the day and dive in. She can swim and swims quite well, but for her, there is just one place to swim at night. It's a pool called Glen Lake Park. She puts on her bathingsuit, walks up the street, and then to get into the pool, she has to pay another One Who Thinks She Knows, three dollars.

Now that's not three Lindens. Two hundred and fifty Lindens, which are my currency, equals one dollar. Every time the One Who Thinks She Knows swims, she has to pay seven hundred and fifty Lindens. Even my swimmer animation HUD cost the One Who Thinks she Knows only four hundred Lindens and it's good forever. I have wanted to ask he One Who Thinks She Knows why it is so expensive to swim in her world. When I ask her this, she gives me some kind of garbage about currency transactions and exchange rates.

I can'timagine how much per week the One Who Thinks She knows spends. I added it up and she could rent a quarter of island for the cost of swimming. How could swimming cost so much money, and why doesn's she spend it on something important like land or textures?

Iyoba Tarantal -- 6/8/10

At War with the Router -- And Hopefully Winning

I had router trouble on my home computer. My connection to the internet went poof, and the internet light on my router was out. Tech support put me on eternal hold and the router came back by itself. When it went down a second time, recabling it in the back seemed to restore it. Suffice it to say, I was able to get in some time to upload a handful of small graphics to my server space and down load them again later. The small graphics became the basis of a new dress. Iyoba now has two dress textures ready for the posing stool. We also have a new plant, a salmon salvia. After services on Saturday, I spent a lot of time in Pike's Garden Nursery studying salvia, vinca, and rudbeckia. I love summer flowers, and Iyoba shares my passion. Iyoba has a salvia dress (salmon on green) and a spinach pasta dress (dark green on avacado). I was hoping to get a purple dress, but I just haven't found any purple images or clip art that do the job. Meanwhile, we also have a glass texture that may replace the existing texture on the green house.

Retexturing a green house full of plants is going to be awkward. We'll probably test out the texture on a cut torus in a sandbox before taking it back to Stinky Stinky and applying it, if we apply it. The dresses may look better on the screen than they do on the avie, though the salvia blouse looks great. It shimmers as if it were made of brocade. I like that kind of tayloring. I never realized how important textiles were until I started making clothing for Iyoba. Now we just need to make the time. Tonight is errands and cook night. I need quiet, safe, sandbox time, and so too does Iyoba. Why does it feel as if we have no time.

On another subject, I really appreciate DJ, Bond Putzo. Yes, he chose the name himself from a list that Second Life provides. He speaks Portuguese as his mother tongue. He pronounces Iyoba's name right, but he did not know that putz is slang for....use your imagination. He has a funny nasal voice that makes me want to laugh and which puts Iyoba at her ease. He chooses mainly pop music, unlike Zizo, Deepdish, and many of the other hardcore house DJ's. House music is repetitive. Some writers like Jarrod Lanier consider it monontonous due to its regular beat. I consider that beat soothing. House music is like a freight train riding to nowhere. It is not nostalgic because it moves forward. It is sad because it has no destnation. The journey is the distination. The click of the rails is the rhythm. The dance of the clouds and scenery is the movement. The dancers are passengers on a long journey.

Pop music with its words and gimmicks and humor is social stuff. It can get tacky, but with DJ Bond, it gets humorous. He inserts novelty tunes, and he always sounds kind to his audience. I can tell that even though I don't understand a word he says. I am sure he is not talking disrespectfully. Brazilians just don't have the same sort of potty mouths as Americans. It took me a long time to realize this. I really don't need to hear a lot of canned porn talk (Real romance or original dirty jokes might be different. In fact they would be!) or stale jokes. I don't mind avies being happy and joking around, but the wrong talk can make the whole atmosphere at a club get ugly. The atmosphere at DJ Bond's gatherings is always peaceful.

Eileen H. Kramer -- 6/8/10

At Peace with the Avie

Iyoba craves time in the sandbox. We have several small projects, and not enough inspiration for something larger. I hope the inspiration will come along soon. It's disappearance is bothering me no end. More pressingly though, I have two new plant textures that need to be made into plants. One is an achillea (also called a yarrow) that is destined for the temperate house and possibly the 512. it has yellow blossoms and blue-green stemps and leaves. The leaves are waxy which makes htem bluish. The other plant is an almost comical looking, ornamental peppper. I've wanted both of these for a while. Making them up will be easy. Also a couple of nights ago, Iyoba and I learned that she does not have a club version of the beet dress. Yes, it's a dress inspired by beets. This means Iyoba and I have a tone of taking care of business type work which suits us just fine.

If the inspiration doesn't come along for us, I have lots of new sculpties which means I can try making hair. Finding or creating a hair texture won't be that hard. I've also seen some lovely batik patterns in a scientific journal article. I can't say how i came across them. They are micrographs of tissue, but the pattern would make perfect batik wtih a little GIMP work. The problem is that it has no pattern. I think I could fix that though. That would probably end up though as some sort of wax print or batik rather than as a hair texture. Hair is elsewhere. Hair textures are everywhere. Just take my word for it.

Of course we are facing the Shabbos media blanckout. I'm trying not to think about that. In addition to work in the sandbox, Iyoba has an invitation to see the new Imperial Brasil Corp sim which is sort of a replacement for the vanished city on Utopia Portugal XXII. I think now that Iyoba and I will not be the only ones who miss that place.

Now if you want to feel nostalgic, you can read Grid Survey.com and see what became of that favorite old place about which you haven't heard in a while. You can find out excactly when your favorite sim vanished. Guarujua vanished in early April 2010 for example. Cornell CS has now become Teaching 16. I may pay it ia visit. They might even have a sandbox here. When of course, are Iyoba and I getting the time. People who are not Second Life enthusiasts never realize that it isn't the time you spend being in world, but the time you spend wanting to be that is really where your longing for the metaverse gets you. Oh well, I'll find the time and there is always after Shabbos.

Eileen H. Kramer with hope from Iyoba Tarantal -- 6/4/10 again

"In my life, I've loved them all."

My week was turbulent, but Iyoba managed to have a good time. She got a bath at Koblenz Wednesday night. There was a bathtub and she tried it. She got to go swimming at Afrodite XVI and again off of Utopia Portugal XXII's coast. She got to ride an inner tube. She even got to sky diving tonight. She landed on Utopia Portugal XXII's sand and ran in the night on the ridged sand with bits of shells in it and pools of water. I turned the sun on to the middday setting and put my avie in a bathing suit, and she got to go for her swim.

That was when we both noticed something was wrong. The grey and gold, old European landscape, with cobble stone streets that made up a very large part of the sim had vanished. There were new apartments, a promise of a new project, and sand and sea. I may have one picture of Iyoba dancing in the square of this imiation of Lisbon with a crew of bots. It's a funny shot. I wish I had more pictures. Iyoba misses the city too. She loved to walk along the sea wall, and catch her breath when we were both sick of the dance club run out of GN Loopen's mall. More than once, Iyoba hid inside the buildings, when I logged off. The buildings were more like stage sets than anything else, but they were lovely stage sets with red wood interiors, stairs, and rooms with doors that opened and closed. That they were largely unfurnished did not matter. Looking out the windows down to the street below was wondeful.

Both of us thought the city on Utopia Portugal XXII would be around forever. Both of us were wrong. I could rail about monetization and its discontents, one of which is an unstable landscape. I also feel like the male avie who visits Information Island and who asked one of the brass to put back his favorite bench. I will always remember the grey and gold city which may have been Lisbon (Lisboa) fondly. A part of me longs for it, the same way I long for the now long gone clubs of Toxic Waste and Status Beach. This was where Iyoba learned to dance and showed off her first outfits. I also miss Ilha Gomorrah where Iyoba tried to camp. She only tried because the computer connections weren't good enough for her to stay logged in for long without crashing. Still she beach combed, swam, tried the pool and trampoline, explore the stores, and generally had a wonderful time. I do have at least one Ilha Bella Gomorrah picture. And yes, I did look to see if there was a Sodom. It exists or it once did, surrounded by ban lines of course.

Eileen H. Kramer with help from Iyoba Tarantal -- 6/4/10

A Dress Late at Night

I wanted to make Iyoba a new dress for my birthday which was yesterday. I got the material ready in the morning and then went for a swim at the local pool. I ate lunch in real life and logged in. I went over to the University of Cincinnati to work on the dress, but ended up on the wrong part of the campus. There was a lot of lag, and then a whole bunch of messages from the Hobo Collective started coming through. Someone was looking for a French speaker. Well, I can read and write French. I volunteered my services.

The young woman had a glowing yellow orb shining like a bug light on her property. I got in touch with the owner and IM'd him in French. He refused to respond. I suggested countering the light source with an opposite color. We argued over what would work. I also gave the young woman my Improved Light Switch script which is a pieced together bunch of other scripts. I needed a light fixture for my skybox at Stinky Stinky in Utopica Portgual XVIII.

The young woman discovered that black light cancels out pretty much all other light. There is no black light in real life, but hey this is Second Life. Suffice it to say, she turned off the bug light orb which is still lying by the side of the road on the old continent. Of course I didn't get to cook everything for tonight's casserole in real life, and Iyoba did not get her dress until after our shift at Info Island was over.

The dress came out surprisingly well. I had gone up to LC Sculpties to try the new samples in Eso Torok's warehouse. Sometimes he just comes ou with something good. I'll probably experiment some more, maybe making hair with these. Iyoba meanwhile got to dance a bit at Club XxesS where they play 1980's tunes for older folks disguised as college students or the rowdies and burnouts they never were. It's good to see Club XxesS back. I like it newer and smaller. Maybe it will be more sustainable. Trying to develop an eleven sim project was just a bit too ambitious. Is it time to start another lecture on the evils of monetization? Don't worry, I'll spare you.

Eileen H. Kramer with help from Iyoba Tarantal -- 6/1/10