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Friday, December 30, 2011

The Holidays and a flurry of activity

Such is life, always something going on.

I had a nice Christmas holiday. I hope you all did too. It's nice to have family and friends to spend it with. Plus, I was glad  that it didn't snow a lot in my area. I have never liked snow. I always manage to get wet, my socks or my pants....whatever. LOL.

In SL, on Christmas Eve, I got engaged to my friend and love Roo who I've known since late October. I met him at Morris, where I first rezzed as a newbie. I was missing my mentor, so I went to visit. I was standing around just watching people talking and walking by me. Brinda would watch people in Morris, to see which ones looked lost or kept to themselves, kind of standing in the corner. Anyway, I see a quadroped Alaskan wolf avatar walk by. He asks for the time, saying he wants to see how long he'll be in SL until he crashes. He had computer issues, something to do with hardware. I forget the specifics. Roo was the one who told him the time and I offered to help keep track of time as well. Roo then asks the wolf man how he can walk on four legs. Roo had a fox avatar that only walked on 2 legs. I started listening and eventually, I was standing near where the wolf and Roo were talking. Eventually the wolf crashes, but I keep talking to Roo and I friend him. And ever since that day, we've been friends. That was a great afternoon, though at the time it felt ordinary.

I love the ring he got me. It's not the most expensive one and it's not on the first page of the engagement section, thankfully. The ones on the front page are too flashy, too lavish, and too expensive. LOL. In any life, I don't like to spend a lot on things like jewelry or clothing.

Just weeks before, I had unpartnered Lrak and was feeling so lost and desolate. Lrak is a good man, but his real life was keeping him busy. I realized I just wasn't happy with him. We hardly communicated.

Days before I unpartnered Lrak, I realized that I had feelings for Roo. Roo made me feel valued and that he cared and wouldn't let me fret for weeks on end, not know what was going on with him. Life just seems lighter and happier with Roo. It feels great to be appreciated. My hope is that he remains in my life for a very very long time.

In terms of animating, I've been working on some AO stands and walks. One client is happy with a set of Babylon 5 stand and walk I made just for him. It was a challenge loading the animations into the hud, having never done it before. Then I needed to explain it to him. But, I managed okay and so far, I have not had any complaints from him. The other client is working on a Steampunk AO. I am working on a walk for him then he has other animations he needs. I should have the other animations for him in a few weeks.

Be safe, warm, and happy this winter season! Be you!

On that note, I wish you all a Happy New Year 2012!

Vic

Monday, December 12, 2011

Honesty, Morality, and Caring

I'm always amazed at how easy it is to befriend and connect with others on the Worldwide Web. I tend to think of it as a good thing, but it isn't always so.

Online relationships and friendships can move so quickly. Emotions run high.

And then something happens that makes you doubt them and yourself.

Last night, I unpartnered. I had been considering it since last month. He just hadn't been there much for me. I felt out of touch with him. It felt like a sort of abandonment or like I didn't really matter. He did tell me he wouldn't be around much, and I thought I could tolerate it. But at some point I started to think, he has a PC and he works on it at least once a week. So why can't he take a few minutes  to compose an email to me at least once a week? I don't know. It seems like he didn't care enough. Even if I have a million things to do, I'd always keep in touch with those closest to my heart.

And so, I'm moving on. I want to focus on the things I love the most and the friends who I love and the friends who can make  time for me. The ones who leave you feeling empty....those aren't your true friends. Not a thought or tear should be wasted on  them.

Here's to hoping...

Vic

Thursday, November 24, 2011

About using alternate accounts in SL

I remember first learning about alts from my mentor. She told me she had about 20. I was shocked. I even got to meet a few of her alts. But I realized that she had alts for work and so she wouldn't be as distracted so she could do work around her sim or get pictures for her blog with few interruptions.

Today I finally took pics of my main alt, Angelina. I use Angelina to help with building, exploring, and for holding some lindens. I used  to use her for a photo model back when I worked for Wonderful Evenings. That was my first SL job and I met my first editor in SL. I will never forget him and I hope to talk  to him again soon. He is truly a wonderful friend to me. He wasn't just an editor to me, he was someone I felt like I could talk to.

Thanks to Giancarlo, a friend of mine, who owns LIM, Less is More, for the cyber eyes. The ones I wear are the prototypes. Now, he has 2 versions out that can be altered through a HUD. It's so much easier to use than those HUDS for shoes. LOL. I find that funny. I own the V3 deus ex version. He's a great scripter and a great builder too. Here's his store in marketplace.

I took these at an Elven glen. I thought it was a nice place to change my windlight settings in.

The night before, I took part in a photohunt.




I'm having fun taking pics. My friend Graham has been giving me tips to improve my photo skills and I've been experimenting on my own too.

Lest I forget, happy thanksgiving all of you! Enjoy the turkey, stuff, desserts, and being around the ones you care about.

Best regards,
Vic

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friends and letting go

It's been awhile since I last wrote and I'm sorry. I wonder how my mentor was able to update her blog so frequently and yet, she was so very busy. She was really amazing. I can still feel her spirit in me. She touched me like an angel and she is never gone from my life, just not as near as before.

So much has happened since I last wrote. I want to say first off how grateful I am for friends. I am blessed to have friends that stick by me through the fun and rough and tumbling times. I know I have good friends who will stand by me and put up with me. I know I'm not the most easygoing person to be around, but I try my best to be fair and kind to those I appreciate and love. That is what counts in the end.

Lately I have been unfriended a few times. I will not get into details here. It is unsettling and could get longwinded. My point is that in all those cases, I meant well...my heart was in the right place, but the listener  took offense and decided to walk away. A wise woman would tell me that it wasn't my fault. I was honest and said what I could. But in the end, you can't control how people accept your words. As a writer, I should know that. But I let my helpful/protective instincts blur my reason and I came on too strong. I was even accused of causing "intentional" hurt and being too domineering. I never meant to come off like that. I am truly and deeply sorry for that.

I can only hope that someday, all will be forgiven. And if those friends truly love me and forgive me, they will come back.

Y asi es la vida,

Vic

Updates from Lady V?

Hi lovelies!

Sorry for not updating, busy in RL with work.

I am getting ideas for new poses.

In the meantime, I will start work on a male AO, my first ever! I am so excited about it! It was originally for a client, but he didn't want to pay my rate. So with the help of my friend Amon, I will get started and get it out as soon as I can!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Finding Value Around us

As some of you know, Benares will be off the map soon. Brinda's account has been locked by Linden Labs. So tonight, I headed back to Benares and teleported to my old parcel. I walked to the back of the lot, Benares 20 (yes every parcel has a number) and I looked at the stone waterfall head. I remember the night brinda rezzed it and created sprays of water under it and made a small stream of water for me. It always fascinated me to watch her build and create. She always knew what she was doing. And had she had the time, I think she would've been a great scripter.

Wanting to know where the waterfall head was from I clicked Edit and clicked to view the profile of the Creator. Her name is Ante Flan. Her store is Toasty Subject. The landmark is below.

Ante Flan's Toasty Subject http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Ryder%20Haven/228/29/28

Since she left, I've had a hard time settling my mind about some things. I've finally realized I don't need a home sim. Well I need one to build or escape, but it's not my home unless there's love around me. I only want to be where I feel happy. Now I realize that there's value in every person, whether we like them or not. Even if we hate that person, they're still valuable. We shouldn't judge them if they're unpleasant or spiteful, not that we have to love them either. I was talking to a friend and it suddenly became clear. I feel really empowered whenever I talk to him. I really do feel lucky to be his friend. Thank you, Lucky.

I took these two pictures while I was at Toasty Subect. I think brinda must've gotten a good laugh out of the sign outside.

In case you can't read that the sign says "We are open if you like Free Shit - MGMT." heh heh



This is a bit of the inside view. If you'll notice the floor, you can pick up some cute freebies here like a free inflatable raft. Won't you just float along and see the value in others?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's a Brand New Day

Yesterday, September 24, my dear friend and partner, Lrak, celebrated his first Rez day! I was fortunate to have been able to spend some time with him. He was with me when I celebrated my first Rez day too back in July. He has been so good to me and he means so much to me. I once thought Benares was my home and maybe it still is. But now, I feel like my home is with the friends I love and care about. Home really IS where the heart is. And Lrak is one of those special, close friends.

We partnered on September 2nd, 2011. We would have partnered sooner but circumstances over which we had no control, delayed our plans. I don't regret delaying the partnership. We've kept in touch and now we're finally really a couple in SL.

Wherever I go, wherever my journey leads me to....I know that Lrak will always have a place in my heart. We'll always be close friends. We'll always love each other.

And now, I give you "Brand New Day" by Sting, the song that inspired this post of mine.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Changing Ways

In life, there are things that move us or cause us to move.  It could be something as simple as changing a hairstyle or something major like relocating to a new place. Either way, we all have a journey to proceed by.  It is never easy to take those initial steps away from the comfort and safety of the old way, but it is necessary in order for us to flourish and discover who we really are, to find and reach our potential.

Last week, I made 2 changes in SL. I quit as a sim manager and I quit as a blog manager and writer for Rez magazine. Neither task was easy for me, but it was something I felt like I had to do. Will I return to those positions? I don't know. All I know is that I need a breather from those jobs. I need time to settle my emotions....a tangled web of emotions that is sometimes crippling. I try hard to fight them, but it's not something easily defeated. Those 2 positions were starting to drag me down, just the frustration I felt in the end. So, I'm on an indefinite hiatus.

I'll still be inworld though. I have friends I want to talk to and spend time with and I have some animations to make for a few people. I really enjoy being with friends and animating. I know it'll do me a lot of good.

Also, I intend to start learning Wings 3d and Blender. I've started with Wings first. Wings will help me to learn how to use keyboard shortcuts, tweak sculpts, and get used to working on a 3d plane. Blender is a bit more complex, but I think I can learn it.

Until soon,

Vic

It has been ten years

Ten years ago, 9/11 ocurred. It shook me to the core as well as the world. Life has never been the same for any of us. I know my world perspective has changed. I attribute that event to my need to learn more about Politics, World affairs, and being willing to be open to other cultures.

While there is still anger and fear for terrorists and suspicions that anyone around us could be a terrorist, there is also concern about how the United States is acting as a player on the World stage. Are we acting with respect, integrity, and honesty towards other countries? Are we trying to get along with others? How do we want future generations to remember us? These are just a few questions I can think of right now, this morning.

Time goes on, but the mind always remembers. And I do hope that 9/11 has changed all of us for the better. We should all strive to be upright and true to our morals and standards of life.

No matter what, we must not be blinded by hate, paranoia, or pain. It is a wonderful life and we should live safely and happily.

Here's to hoping we'll succed in our endeavors to that effect,

Vic

Saturday, September 10, 2011

One year for the Phoenix Viewer Team!

Last Saturday, September 3rd was the anniversary of the Phoenix Viewer Team! I was able to attend the celebration for about an hour. I heard the speeches made by Arrehn Oberlander and Jessica Lyon. The speech was recorded by metamix tv. Go here to hear the speech.

Afterwards there was music and dancing. Over 50 avatars were at the sim while I was there during the first hour. It was a great showing of support for Phoenix.


I remember feeling so excited when I downloaded the first ever version of Phoenix. I loved it! And every time I download the latest from Phoenix, I always feel that excitement, because I know it will be good. Plus, the support team is awesome! They have been very helpful to me and I am so grateful to them. The developers work tirelessly.

Happy belated birthday to the team!

Wishing you well,
Vic

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Rezzing to You…Firestorm

A look at Firestorm Beta
Firestorm…the new It viewer in SL! If you haven’t tried Firestorm, you should. It is a new viewer created by the team that brought you the widely successful Phoenix viewer. Firestorm is V2-based, so it is like V2 but with a lot of Phoenix features. To try it out, just go to phoenixviewer.com, navigate to the Downloads page, and click on the link for the Public Beta version, 2.5.2.16922.

As of September 6th, there is a Beta version 3 out that is mesh compatible, so you can see mesh. You will be able to upload mesh as soon as coding for that is finished. Keep checking the Phoenix main site for updates.

I have been in SL for over a year, long enough to get a feel for many SL viewers. Viewer 2, Emerald, Imprudence, Emergence, Cool Viewer, Dolphin Viewer, Metabolt (once), Kirsten’s viewer, Phoenix, and now Firestorm. They are all interesting and complex viewers. It’s hard to compare them against each other. Frankly, I do not mean for this article to state which is the best or which one you should use. Personally, I feel most comfortable with Imprudence or Phoenix…though I’m getting better at using Firestorm…having used it and struggled with it when it was in the preview stages. Since Phoenix viewer came out, I was a member of the group and I still am. When I can, I help out in chat. It pleases me to help others, not that I desire to be on the ever-growing support team. I have enough in SL to keep me busy and then some. Man, those devs and group members are awesome!

I want to put Firestorm viewer in perspective. By now, you have probably heard through the grape vine that Linden Labs plans to pull all the V1-based viewers off the grid eventually (no news on when), so we’ll all be forced to use V2-based viewers or Viewer 2. I am sure many if not most of you are grumbling about it…using a Viewer 2 or Viewer 2-like viewer does not sound enjoyable. I understand, having struggled with Viewer 2 and using other viewers that are very similar to Viewer 2. However that being said, it is not a complete tragedy. Firestorm is the latest Viewer 2-based viewer and while it uses Viewer 2 code and the UI (user interface) looks a lot like Viewer 2, it is actually easier to handle. You can change skins like say you don’t want to see the sidebar, use the Firestorm Grey skin, the default skin. That is the skin I use. If you want to see the draw distance slider, use one of the Starlight skins. The Starlight skins come in several colors like teal and silver blue, while the default Firestorm skin only comes in grey. But I am digressing here. My point is that it is not so horrible that Viewer 1 viewers will go extinct. I am sad and I know I will miss those viewers, but everything changes and time only goes forward. We live in a progressive time of life. Nothing stays the same and things are constanly being improved.

That said I truly understand how difficult it is to switch to a Viewer2 based viewer. I have used Viewer 2 before and I had trouble even figuring out how to make a notecard (I forgot what version that was, but I ended up writing on a notecard I had created in a different viewer.). It’s laughable, but it is little things like that that can make changing to new viewers so overwhelming and frustrating. When I get frantic, I try to calmly ask questions in Support chat or in any help groups I’m in; and just framing the question can calm me down, because I know that I need to make sense so that others can try to help me. Those groups are valuable and terrific, so if you feel grateful…please thank them. They work hard to keep people coming back for help and support. And they do all this for free, so don’t take them for granted or be unnecessarily rude. You’re wasting your time and you’re wasting their time. We all get frustrated but that doesn’t justify lashing out.

Often maybe even on a daily basis, I see people in chat complain about how hard it is to use Firestorm and how they want to go back to Phoenix. They storm off (pun intended) or they keep on whining in chat, giving most active users in chat a bit of a headache, to state it lightly. Instead of whining, they could be listening more attentively to what people on the support team or other members are trying to convey to them…that Firestorm is usable and it is still being developed. Public Beta still has some kinks and problems (what viewer doesn’t?), but it has improved and will continue improving. Everyone in group is working hard to make Firestorm the best it can be. So whether you self-compile, manipulate code, file Jiras (at the Support page of the Phoenix website), or help out in Support chat…you are definitely making a difference.

I asked for statements from Jessica Lyon and Ed Merryman, the two leads of the Phoenix/Firestorm team and here is what they said:

Jessica Lyon:

While Firestorm is based from the LL V2 viewer, we have worked very hard in making it as customizable as humanly possible. We have accomplished a great deal in fact, though it isn't obvious at first look. The most common complaints seem to come from people who logged in, saw the side bar and immediately logged back out saying it's just like V2. This is unfortunate because Firestorm can in fact be made to look just like Phoenix and V1 with very little effort.

It's also very important that people understand viewers like Phoenix took years to get to where it is now in the way of features. Most people in SL now were born into SL when most of these features already existed. This makes it hard for people to understand why they aren't already in Firestorm. The reality is Firestorm is still very much in its infancy, yet has already advanced miles ahead by way of features added in time. It is already the fastest growing viewer by way of usage, averaging about 30% increase in usage per week for the last month. This is something never achieved by any viewer, it's practically a phenomenon and we are very proud of it.

The plans we have for Firestorm in the future near and far will be outstanding and more innovative than anything yet seen in a viewer in second life. This is the dawn of a new era in viewer technology and capability we are witnessing together. We are grateful to our early adopters and ask our users to show patience as we progress further and further into making Firestorm the best viewer Second Life has ever seen.





Ed Merryman:

Firestorm is different, it’s not Phoenix, and it’s not V2 either, rather it is a hybrid. That said I suspect that it would be an easier transition from V2 to Firestorm than from Phoenix. The Phoenix team are suggesting that people download Firestorm, install and use it when you are not busy doing something important, in order to learn and get used to the differences. We have a large and growing body of documentation at http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/doku.php?id=firestorm to help you out as well as free classes and our support group where you can ask questions. Frankly the one thing that frustrates me is when people install it, log in, take one look and log out without seeing what you can actually do to make it more usable. This is the most customisable viewer for SL I have seen. Take one look at Jessica's video at http://www.youtube.com/user/PhoenixViewerSL#p/a/u/0/3y4PH0rczJQ and you'll get the idea.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Remembrance Ceremony for brinda

On Saturday night, August 20, at 7pm SLT, there was a memorial service for brinda. It was a truly solemn occassion, presided over by myself, Ling, and Breye. The turnout was great. Some bloggers came like Abernathy Button and Crap Mariner, Angela was there and many others.

We were all there to remember a great one who touched all of our lives. No pictures were taken, but I did take note of what was said that night. I stayed for the entire service.

It was a gathering of family and love. I just want to include some things that were said about her that night. Brinda made us smile. She always gave of herself to others. She was never "exclusive." She was "honorable. balanced.
non-judgemental. wise and true." We remembered how she was understanding and a good listener, but also how she could give us quite a scolding if we said something wrong or got into scrapes. But when she chastised us, we deserved it and we tended to take it well. We knew she did it out of love and honesty. Her love was unselfish and true.

Some of us have fond memories of exploring sims with her, even if she had been to the sim a thousand times before. She always had this appreciation for builders and sim creators and owners. To her, it never got old. She was always amazed and admiring of their skill. Brinda was a big supporter of building and art in SL. A lot of her friends are artists, builders, and musicians.

Learning. Life is a lifelong learning journey. She was always learning new things and she would teach her knowledge to others. It was always exciting and fresh. Being able to spend time with her was an honor...an honor I will never forget.


Where the Great One lies resting, just behind the guest house

Benares from east side

Benares from west side


Looking down on the mesa

Finding a rainbow

View from Porter's in West

Benares Tori Gate between the guesthouse and brinda's shrine


My neighbors at Benares are:
brinda
breye
bubbles
twinkle
kattie
ling
lala
lita
caro
chrissy
felicia
sophie
deni
erityshima
jake
porter
lynn
kain
grimzy
anna
andrea
maxi
kimmie
kymmie
Marianela


Below is a poem a friend sent to me:

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that
Person..

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need
You have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with
Guidance and support,

To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.

They may seem like a godsend and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,

This person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an
End.

Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire
Fulfilled, their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has
Come to share, grow or learn.

They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy..

Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,

Things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional
Foundation..

Your job is to accept the lesson,

Love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other
Relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life,

Whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.




Thursday, August 18, 2011

Home, where the heart will be

Brinda Allen passed away on August 9, 2011. At Benares Saturday 7pmSLT, there will be a memorial service for her. It will be behind the guesthouse by Gin's stone, I believe. I guess people will arrive at the telehub and I could teleport them to the guesthouse.

She will be coming home, in spirit.

In the meantime, I have asked an artist to create a statue for her. It was Ling's idea. It could take 3 weeks, if we agree to let him. He's a great artist and he gets a lot of commissions.

I'll post the temporary grave stone I made later.

Below are pictures of Benares. More will come.
























Below, I have posted a song by Roy Orbison. It just makes me want to cry and croon my heart out.





Waiting for a Message

by Rochelle Mass



Trees help you see slices of sky between branches,
point to things you could never reach.
Trees help you watch the growing happen,
watch blossoms burst then dry,
see shade twist to the pace of a sun,
birds tear at unwilling seeds.

Trees take the eye to where it is,
where it was,
then over to distant hills,
faraway to other places and times,
long ago.

A tree is a lens,
a viewfinder, a window.
I wait below
for a message
of what is yet to come.

http://www.spiritoftrees.org/poetry/mass/waiting_message_mass.html

Brinda loved trees and I do too.

Namaste,

Vic



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just passing by this life...


None of us know where our lives will lead us. Life is so hard to withstand oftentimes, but I believe it is a wonderful world.




My friend Alli sent me an IM this AM telling me brinda died in her sleep last night. Her mother located brinda. I only wish I had gotten in touch with Alli sooner. Her mother was a close friend of brinda's.

I hope that brinda was resting peacefully and felt little pain. I wonder what she was thinking about that night. Was her mind in Vanaransi, India? Was she inworld again in her dreams?

Life can be a lonely journey. Brinda understood that and accepted it bravely. She was wise, valiant, and strong-willed. She really lived and experienced life. She found her path at the age of 47. She found her place and family in SL when she was about 64. Her life was beautiful. She leaves behind a legacy of community, love, concern, togetherness, grace, and integrity.

She has loved and been kind to so many in SL. Few people can ever forget her. She is extraordinary, she is magnificent...she is Herself. She befriend newbies and taught them how to get started in SL. I was one such newbie. We all have brinda to thank for giving us a home, an identity, a reason to smile here.

Three of her oldest friends came inworld this morning, Ling, Twinkle, and Lala. Grief really does bring people together. Brinda chose her friends well. She loves them and I love them all too. They are sweet, intelligent, and loyal.

I haven't seen one of her closest friends, Kattie, for about a week. She loved Kattie dearly. Kattie has promised to stay at Benares for as long as she has a few good friends in SL. My heart goes out to Kattie too.

I will miss her so much. There is no one like her in my life. She taught me about life, love, and about myself. She will live on in our minds. Her soul still lives. I can feel her aroud me, can you feel her? She's never gone.

She has given me textures, pictures, scripts, LM's, her words and most importantly...herself. I am honored and proud to consider myself a close friend of hers.

Because of her, I want to learn The Way and be a better person than I am. She knew I would want to pursue it, even if now I am not ready and still afraid. She is like the guru who just "knows", you don't have to speak. It's not like being psychic. It's just being able to "see" into a person's soul. She thought I was perceptive enough to "see" some things and maybe she was right. Only time will tell now.

Her favorite songs:



"Human" always moved her to tears. She looked at those animals and her heart wept for them. She always had so much compassion and love in her. Brinda is love.

And this is one of her later favorites by KT Tunstall. She loved hearing Porter sing it. Thanks, Porter! Keep on singing, girl!




I have decided to make some creations and items in memory of brinda. The profits will go to Benares. I haven't made any definite plans yet, but I will work on it slowly. I want to make brinda proud.

My friends, people who have never met brinda, those who have known her but aren't my friends...know that you are loved. Go out and do good deeds and make at least one person proud of you.

Here's to loving...

Namaste.

Vic