Sunday, August 31, 2008

Land ho!

It's here! the Big Bash! Time to party!
Click on this picture to blow up the details
and TP in on this URL. If you are a blog reader,
make sure to introduce yourself to me! See you
in "person" next weekend...

Greetings Dear Reader-
It has been a big exciting week for the Chipster and me.
Our new sim was transferred over, and we started to terraform it-
Since this was a process that I had to do a lot of Internet research to
figure out, I thought I would share the salient points with all you
aspiring terraformers.
Ok, here is the land- looking rather waffle like at our first glance- Yuk!

Those of you who know me, know that I am an obsessive planner- so of course, I modeled out my sim in SketchUp, to see how it would lay out. There were a few requirements I needed to fulfill- a loch for landing seaplanes on, horse trails (of course), vehicular access, someplace for the Mer friends, and my new tree shop. From the SketchUp plan, I pulled off the topo lines and went over to PhotoShop to make a gray scale "height map". Each shade of gray indicated to the terrain in SL, what height it shall be. Black is the lowest- o meters elevation- white is the highest- 255m elevation or there abouts, it can vary depending on some other land reading factors, that I will point out in a bit.

When I had filled in the topo in a gray scale palette, I saved it and loaded it into a nifty little program called Bailiwick. This will take in your jpg image, and add the layers necessary to make a RAW file that the land engine in SL can read. Here you can tweak things like landmarks area, plots for sale, as well as the land scale settings, so your land height factors are reasonable and not at all like the Himalayas ( unless that is what you want).
And then about 30 seconds after we loaded the finished RAW file into the SL database- Poof! magically, new terrain! How cool is that?
Now, like Goldilocks deciding on here bowl of porridge, I looked over the results of the 3 versions of height maps had prepared, and settled on the most natural looking one. So- At last! Sundial is born, and I can start the build.

Luna Rai Gunn who was with me during this whole process, decided that the perfect thing for my new loch, was a Nessie. So she became one, much to my amusement and Chip's confusion.
So here we are, in our new shop and sim. We are putting in our evergreens- very low prim- and the platforming early. When MONO becomes available in our sim (which is soon) we are adding the season changing trees and soon the whole sim will change seasons on a daily basis.
Watch for the announcement of our grand opening- we look forward to seeing you!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Of Unicorns

Greetings Dear Reader-
Sometimes, I just get an image to inform and shape my weekly post-
and this week- well, it was a Unicorn. We all love them, in fact,
my friend Deacon says that properly prepared, they taste like chicken-
He's kidding of course- stop those gasps of horror- ;-)
So, where does one find a unicorn in Second Life?
I went looking....

Welcome to Luskwood- home of the Furries- some of the greatest and most
innovative builders in Second Life- and also one of the oldest groups.

Defined by a series of aerial platforms, and connected by teleportation, the
outward simplicity belies the internal complexity and understanding of group and SL dynamics.

And here I am- as a Unicorn in Old English dress- just couldn't wear a modern look
with such a medieval creature- although someone did suggest a tutu...

Luskwood is perfectly designed for it's purpose- getting folks together- and it's
foresty decor is easy to live with, especially if you are fur bearing.

I enjoyed my visit, and will stop by again,just to say "Hi" to the gang up in the trees.

My search for the elusive unicorn was rewarded with an introduction to these mythical creatures....That's Pegasus Ziskey on the left and his partner Findhorn McLaglen on the right.

These fellows were excellent company, and Chip was most delighted to meet some equine
company. Findhorn and I had planned a ride, so we set off to S. Haras to take on the
cross country course.

Snappy outfit, Find! He did tell me that for the first 2 years in SL, he had to make his own avs, that there were none other available. Of course, now we have several
sources to chose from.

Haras has the best course in SL, quite a challenge for the Chipster and I.

All in all, it was a splendid afternoon, and hopefully, we can ride again soon.

So, my gracious Reader, I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse of the mythical critters of Second Life...I have been very busy with my Big Bash Party- 12 days to go!

And the latest news- I now have a sim- it will be called "Sundial"- and will be home to my new garden shop.

See you at the party on Sept. 5th-7th

Bye for now-

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fair Skies/Blue skies..

Greetings Dear Readers,Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know of my interests in aviation-as a tiny pink leopard in the RCAF, I have had some spectacular crashes interspersed with some relatively straight and level flying. This week, we have a special place to visit-the Balsa Airport and Aviation Community in Aveousa.

Here on the "Flight Line" you can see some of the planes that Bancos Milestone has built and sells here.

Let's listen in to his commentary, as we walk and talk...(Please note, dear reader, that I have edited for clarity and brevity)
[17:19] You: ok, So what was your first plane?
[17:20] Bancos Milestone: my first aircraft was the Sutra.....which was a combination of the Sukoi and the Extra 300, but I was not very good at scripting then so only used basic flight scripts but it sold reasonably well
[17:20] You: Got one around?
[17:20] Bancos Milestone: I don't even sell it any more
[17:20] Bancos Milestone: sure
[17:21] Bancos Milestone: c
[17:21] You: she's a beauty
[17:22] Bancos Milestone: and it had a formation that went with it
[17:22] You: 5 planes?
[17:24] You: Well, that's impressive
[17:24] You: an entourage
[17:24] Bancos Milestone: first ever formation flying in sl
[[17:25] Bancos Milestone: I try to always give something extra with each plane
[17:26] You: I see
[17:27] You: and how did you start all this?
[17:27] You: are you a pilot in RL?
[17:27] Bancos Milestone: yes
[17:30] Bancos Milestone: yes I had polio at age 18 months old
[17:30] You: ok,
[17:30] Bancos Milestone: which is not known by many here
[17:30] Bancos Milestone: but that is fine
[17:31] You: and ?
[17:31] Bancos Milestone: so I had some unusual physical challenges to overcome in order to fly
[17:31] Bancos Milestone: walked on forearm crutches all my life
[17:31] Bancos Milestone: but my feet still work on the rudder pedals
[17:31] Bancos Milestone: and I have built 3 homebuilt aircraft in RL
[17:32] You: Wow
[17:32] You: so flying for you means more
[17:32] You: than to the average person
[17:32] Bancos Milestone: it is where I am the same
[17:32] Bancos Milestone: no limitations in the air
[17:32] Bancos Milestone: and that is why I love second life
[17:32] Bancos Milestone: I am the same here
[17:32] Bancos Milestone: with no physical limitations
[17:32] Bancos Milestone: as I do in Real life
[17:33] You: yes, i understand
[17:33] You: and the freedom
[17:33] You: that it brings
[17:33] Bancos Milestone: My dad took me for my first plane ride at age 5
[17:33] Bancos Milestone: in a brand new 1956 Cessna 172
[17:33] Bancos Milestone: and I never got over it and neither did my twin who is Real Bright here
[17:34] Bancos Milestone: I built every model airplane I could get my hands on
[17:34] You: as soon as I could
[17:34] Bancos Milestone: I learned to fly in Jersey
[17:35] Bancos Milestone: at a now closed airport called Asbury Air Terminal in Asbury Park New Jersey
[17:35] You: yes,
[17:35] You: there was a lot on the shore that is now gone
[[17:36] Bancos Milestone: a whole lot more in 1966 when I first soloed in a new Cessna 150
[17:43] Bancos Milestone: my SkyKing songbird
[17:43] Bancos Milestone: from the series in 1950
[17:44] You: ok, simular to the one you flew in as a child
[17:44] Bancos Milestone: this was Sky Kings first plane The cessna T50
[17:46] Bancos Milestone: but Sky King flew around saving everyone in various adventures
[17:46] Bancos Milestone: so it had an impact on me as a kid
[17:46] You: yes, I vaguely recall the show
[17:46] Bancos Milestone: another thing that created a passion for aviation
[17:46] Bancos Milestone: you can still get the videos today on DVD
[17:46] You: of course ;-)
[17:47] Bancos Milestone: He later switched to the Cessna 310
[17:47] You: And do you still sell this one?
[17:47] Bancos Milestone: yes
[17:47] Bancos Milestone: on the flight line
[17:47] You: ok
[17:47] Bancos Milestone: it even plays the opening theme when you start the engine
[17:48] You: is there a fantasy plane that you would like to build?
[17:48] Bancos Milestone: This was probably it in terms of my favorite.

[17:49] You: do you bring in the drawings and work from the original?
[17:49] Bancos Milestone: yes I don't care for Sculpties as they are just now starting to get to where I am considering using them
[17:49] Bancos Milestone: yes
[17:49] Bancos Milestone: I scale every airplane
[17:49] Bancos Milestone: to exact scale using plans
[17:49] Bancos Milestone: that I bring in world
[17:50] You: i see
[17:50] Bancos Milestone: This was for the Bf109
[17:50] You: oh, this is good
[17:50] You: let me get a snap as soon as it rezzes
[17:51] You: I love to show process
[17:51] You: if the builder will share it
[17:51] Bancos Milestone: I use Side , top and front views

[17:57] Bancos Milestone: the big bombers the B17, B24 and B47 were the hardest
[17:57] Bancos Milestone: of my builds
[17:57] Bancos Milestone: but some of the most popular
[17:57] Bancos Milestone: and very detailed in terms of Textures, and scripting
[17:58] Bancos Milestone: B24 Liberator
[17:59] You: oh man
[17:59] You: that is incredible
[18:00] You: love the nose art too
[18:00] Bancos Milestone: all of the engines can be stopped in the air with a 25% power loss for each engine
[18:00] Bancos Milestone: so just as in RL you must throttle up the remaining engines
[18:00] You: and what does that mean?
[18:00] Bancos Milestone: to maintain airspeed and altitude
[18:00] You: I see
[18:00] Bancos Milestone: so you can simulate an engine out if you want
[18:04] Bancos Milestone: most of my planes have working ailerons, flaps and Elevator and Rudders

[18:05] Bancos Milestone: B47
[18:05] Bancos Milestone: was first time Boeing mounted the engines on the wing
[18:05] Bancos Milestone: and was responsilbe for all of the jetliners you see today
[18:05] Bancos Milestone: including the B52
[18:05] You: that had to make the engineers nervous
[18:05] Bancos Milestone: yes
[18:06] Bancos Milestone: This was used in The Strategic Air Command
[18:06] You: yes
[18:06] Bancos Milestone: as a Nuke deterant
[18:07] Bancos Milestone: This had no thrust reversers
[18:07] Bancos Milestone: so it had a drag chute
[18:07] Bancos Milestone: to help stop the plane after landing
[18:07] You: I see
[18:07] Bancos Milestone: and I have that on mine and it works
[18:07] Bancos Milestone: also have working instruments on the control panel
[18:08] You: the chute?
[18:08] You: works in Sl?
[18:08] Bancos Milestone: yes
[18:08] Bancos Milestone: causes drag when you touch down
[18:08] Bancos Milestone: you deploy the chute by typing "d" in the chat window

Totally, well, awesome! Bancos!

He also has a steampunk plane, and just rolled out some new items- Notably the Mosquito Bomber (you know you want one!)

and a GeeBee High Performance plane for the Tinies- in fact Dear Tiny Readers, he has started a whole line of planes for tinies.

Ok, now over in another part of Balsa, one of Bancos' former students is hard at work on some very special planes.
In RL Josh is an intructor in Hot Air Balloons, but I'll bet that these go a lot faster... the P-47 (affectionately known as the "Jug") and the Super Thunderbolt.

But the most exciting plane in Josh's growing inventory is a scale replica of the Electra- the very plane that Amelia Earhart flew into the books of aviation history, when she and her copilot Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. Obviously, this was a labor of love- Hours and hours of work, and you can buy one for your very own.

So, Dear Reader- a rather long blog this week- hope you enjoyed meeting this passionate pilots- I sure did. Here is the LM for you to visit them, and see for yourselves.

Oh, Yes and stay tuned for Big Bash Party News- My celebration open to all, at my estate in Impish Glee- Dancing, DJ's, Freebie hunts, and introducing- the AV slingshot! A Vicki Brandenburg creation- How far can you fling your av?

Stay tuned- the fun really begins on Sept. 5th...

That's all for this week- Be safe, have fun.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

So in dog years, we are how old?

Greetings Dear Reader,
How long have you been here? 6 months like me- or forever?- err, well more than 4 years?
Welcome to the Second Life Museum of History- a fairly modest place- but chock full of the great cocktail party banter, you know you have been looking for...

You know you want to casually drop the fact that Eggy Lippman was the first to ever attach over 5000 objects to an avatar...
And How about this? First Stone Skipped In SL: "I think I (Rickard Roentgen) am the first person to skip a stone in sl :). The stones are in a bucket on the dock at the Fire Island Lighthouse in Sami."
OR this? "The Man" statue- Natoma has since gone through many changes, some Linden builds disappeared and only two old builds were left from its past. These surviving builds are the Arch'D Linden Grande (from the Newbie Corral era) and The Man statue. Thus The Man stands today as the oldest original still-standing build within Second Life.

Cases display early models built...

And some pretty interesting early avs...And over in Kirkby- on Linden land, there is a pretty interesting collection of stuff-
First the Wall of History- with it's many links to the various historically notable events and builds...
It's a big layout, and surrounded by ecclectic collections, big models and strange objects.. Just like Second Life!
It's a big place, and has lots of areas to visit...

Robots to meet...

And look, the 50 foot woman left her shoe!

Lots of art to look at...

It'a a place you can explore for a good while....

Oh, yes- the countdown has begun for my big bash party- Sept. 5th- Sept. 7th- out at Seadrift, my estate. Stay tuned, I'll put the schedule up soon-Have fun!