Monday, April 20, 2009

Maybe I Shouldn't Be Allowed Back On

Sure, I have a place to live in SL now, and I've been looking for the perfect house to put there (to replace the one there now). I dithered and dithered, looking and evaluating, and then when I finally almost decided on one, when I went back to the store, they were gone. I tried sending a notecard to someone in charge, but they were busy cybering, apparently, and my notecard got bounced back with an IM about how busy he was. Right. How, (ahem) Dare he!

Anyway, although I hadn't decided on a house to fit in with the general "Welsh Village" appearance of the island, I had lucked into a free (free!) Balinese long house that I use as a skybox. Part of it is pictured above, having sprung some leak from a free (free!) shower I had unpacked to look at. When I deleted the shower, the water running on its floor did not go with it and I didn't notice for a couple of days. Fortunately, Bali is a humid place and their houses are built to stand a bit of moisture.

The open Asian-style house in the sky contrasts nicely with what I plan on being a small, thatched cottage on the ground. I can be all cosy on island level and then, when I need some space and what barely constitutes privacy in SL, spread out in the skybox. It also gives me an opportunity to exercise my delight in all things Asian that I inherited from my mother. I've got some Asian frills that go nicely with modern furniture: the paper lamp, the Tibetan prayer flags, the stone lanterns. I have more, but there's conflict with the alpha layers making the kimono stand pointless.

On island level I had been torn between a small, dark cottage and a mill. My land had a waterfall on it and a stream to the water surrounding my tiny peninsula. I worried that it would encroach too much on the neighboring land and had gone out to look at the property lines one more time ... when I noticed that the waterfall was gone. I also noted that I had an actual neighbor in an actual thatched cottage. I looked at where the waterfall was. I looked at my neighbor's build. There is a small waterfall there. I looked at where "my" waterfall used to be.

Having come back one day to find my house gone is all that keeps me from weeping. Perhaps this is just some temporary thing. Perhaps the waterfall is in the process of being moved, moved to accommodate this new home that is nowhere near where the waterfall was.

Regular readers (ha!) of this blog may know that I have a tendency to accidentally delete things.

Two years ago I deleted half of a sky-sandbox trying to put out a fire. Okay, I was trying to find the particle emitter. It didn't occur to me that I had the power to delete someone else's build. This did teach me a lesson: even if you do finally find the tiny prim you were looking for, you can't control it when you are hundreds of meters below on the ground. So, if you finally are able to click on it and still can't delete it, it must mean your avatar isn't where you thought it was.

And this happened to me this weekend. I was unpacking some boxes from the Albero hunt and one turned out to be not a box at all, but the actually necklace. I clicked on it and tried to "take" it - but apparently, I did not take the necklace. There was all my furniture hanging in space, and the necklace now much easier to see, and I was nowhere to be found. If only I had still been sitting in my chair!

I had to try twice to put up my Balinese skybox. It was a regular comedy of errors. I suspect that there is another one up there somewhere that I don't know about. I can't see it, but I'm thinking it's there, perhaps at 5,000 meters or something.

If that were the only dumb thing I'd done this past weekend, I wouldn't take it so hard. But I ran my motorcycle into the stream and had to delete it. Could I have deleted the waterfall at that time? Would I have even noticed? Deleting a nearby waterfall isn't as noticeable as deleting a platform in the sky you were nominally standing on (and chances are if you were looking intently at something else, it would be a while before you noticed that).

I'm still working up the nerve to mention this to the landlord.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Goddess of the Hunt for Lunch

Walking around the Albero Mall, I saw this great satellite shop for LOLO - and the fab hungry crocodile. OSSUM! I almost bought it, but then when I went to the main store I saw the ... Great White Shark! Can't decide now!

Of course, Kathy had to try it out. Here she is being eaten while she's trying to claw away from the croc. Ohhhhh, I had her eaten several times. Husbob says the skirt needed to go (you can still see it after Kathy's been swallowed), but it looks so cool coming out of its mouth.

Goddess of the Hunt

All hail the Albero Mall Hunt! I saw a photo of a cute blouse on one of the freebie blogs and thought I'd go looking. (Note: still haven't found the clue box for that blouse - rats!) I'd never been to the Albero Mall, but it's an attractive space with many nice shops and very little empty space.

Even though the hunt has numbers, the prizes are not necessarily sequential, so if you can't find one, you aren't totally lost until you can wheedle a clue that makes sense from the hunt group IM. That's a plus! Also, the merchandise at this mall seems to be really great stuff! Avs who know me will go into shock when I say that I actually bought some items ... with real Lindens. But the hunt itself is a bit fiddly.

You walk around the mall (which is huge) and find the grey boxes with numbers on them which are supposed to be in front of stores, but some may have strayed. They may also be slightly embedded. These numbered boxes have a word floating over them. So, what I did is, I wrote down the number and the word next to it and created a big list. I didn't find all the boxes (prob-bo-lem number 1, but since it's not sequential, who cares?), but at least I had a list to go on.

Next, you find the grey landmark givers in front of particular stores. The landmark is to the main store of the satellite shop the LM giver sits in front of. Yeah, try saying that five times fast. You click on it, and, theoretically, you will be sent to the main store where you will have to hunt (in vain in some cases for me, but it's not sequential, so who cares?) down the numbered box. When you find it, you just say "/(number) (code word that goes with number)" near it and it gives you your prize. It took me two days to get the hang of this!

Lest you think I'm somewhat of a "thickie" - I was hindered in my searching by frequently being sent to the wrong location:

The above picture is of the map with the landmark (above, circled) that was given to me by the hunt LM giver. Along with it, the shop itself gave me a different landmark (below, circled). Note the difference. Using the hunt landmark, I often wound up in strange locations, causing me to tp back to the mall, relocate the shop and the giver, and trying again. Usually, the second time took me to the correct location. Usually. As far as I can tell. (This is prob-bo-lem number 2.) A good clue that something was terribly wrong was that instead of rezzing on solid ground, I would rez in midair and fall a considerable distance.

Eventually, (note on learning curve graph "over two days" for this maze rat) I tried the shop's landmark that was given at the same time. That landmark was accurate. Look where the hunt would have landed me on this next example (see orange arrow):

Can yew say: "Refreshing landing for Lludmila"? In another example, I would have been sent to coordinates that were similar to the ones from the shop, but on a totally different sim. I might have found that a tad confusing! (See below)

Those two problems aside, it's still a fiddly hunt with much traveling back and forth even after you've found every single numbered box. And then there's more hunting at the main stores. If the quality of the shop merchandise hadn't been so good, I'd have given up long, long ago. Haven't had a chance to look at much of the hunt merchandise, but I have high hopes for it.

By the way, the mall map above, which is posted in several locations, is, as far as I can tell, utterly useless.