Thursday, September 21, 2017
Right now I'm listening to Sonic TALK podcast from 07/06/2017, a show about music recording and live music technology. So they talk in part about technology for making music. Also all that stuff the show engineer gets to play with, plugged into that vast and impressive-looking mixer. Also the stuff that takes performed music and makes it sound like something above and beyond what the instruments themselves put out.
I wish I knew more about such things. I'd like to be that guy at the show behind the mixer with the headphones... but I wouldn't know where to start learning how to do all that. Too old to be a roadie, realistically, of the type that wrassles around those huge speakers and whatnot. Way out of shape for hauling around anything big. For that matter, at my age, my hearing ain't what it used to be. Hell, at my age, my used-to-be ain't what it used to be.
That sounds like my idea of fun. And heck, MCing might be be fun, too. Y'all know I'd sound good, as long as I don't have to improvise much. Not a rap-style MC, of course. The old kind.
I like to listen to SonicTALK because I like to hear folks talk about this sort of tech, even though I don't know much about it myself. Similarly I listen to This Week in Virology, not because I know much about Virology or understand what the heck they're saying. I like to hear intelligent people talk about intelligent topics. It's a relief after all the politics.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
My first effort on the Federalist Papers. One of those learning experiences you've heard about.
Monday, August 21, 2017
Talked briefly to Janet Kennedy who's a candidate for an At Large seat on the Duluth City Council. She was nice enough to ask, so I'll probably vote for her. I'd have her on the show sometime, too, I think. Dunno if she'd do it, though.
Show Theme "Hot Swing" and other music from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017
The Nazis don't want to be called Nazis. (As I side note, keep reminding yourself that Neo-Nazi doesn't mean "not quite Nazi." It means new Nazis. Doesn't mean they're significantly different from the old Nazis, except they speak English now not German.) The wave Nazi flags, chant Nazi slogans, take actions that the brownshirts would recognize immediately -- but they're not Nazis? And the Fascists, too, don't wanna be Fascisti anymore. They wanna be called the Alt Right.
They want the self-titled Alt Right to be treated as a political movement. Well, Nazism could be called a political movement -- a scummy, evil political movement -- and Fascism could be called a political movement. Alt Right isn't a political movement. Alt Right is a brand.
And to generate some sense of equivalency to those of us who oppose them, they want to call us the Alt Left. Some, foolishly in my opinion, have chosen to accept that title, that branding. I won't. Nazis have been applying names to those they wish to destroy as long as they've existed. Not gonna do it. They don't get to define this battle.
Then I was reminded of George W Bush's phrase from early this century, "The Axis of Evil." At the time he was referring to Iran, Iraq and Syria I believe. But he used the particular term "Axis" because of it's previous use, referring to our enemies in World War II. The Nazis in Germany. The Fascists in Italy. And the militarists in Japan.
And what do we face now?
The Axis. Or, if you will, The Axis of Evil.
Let's do our own branding. The Nazis, the Fascists, the modern American brownshirts -- they're the Axis. We fought the Axis before. We can and will fight the Axis again.
And who are we? Well, of course, the Allies.
You'll recall that though the Allies were united, we weren't all united about what we were for. But we were sure as hell united in what we were against. I'd wager heavily that Roosevelt and Churchill were never in love with old Joe Stalin. The various resistance groups from the smaller, conquered countries weren't overjoyed to have to depend on Americans and Brits to get their countries free again -- much less having to ally with Stalin, who had his own conquering agenda. Then there's Asia; we ended up in extended wars fighting the folks with whom we'd allied against Japan.
But the Allies were (eventually) all against the Axis.
And it was and is very clear, the Allies were the good guys, the Axis were the bad guys. The new "very nice people" wave the flags of the bad guys my Dad went to fight back when.
So, my new Branding. We're the Allies, and damn proud of it, even though we don't all agree about everything. And the Axis? I suppose they're proud, too. They're certainly proud of the President of the Axis of Evil now, aren't they?
Let's let the Axis be proud of being losers once again.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Was no longer satisfied with the little Jazz Club. That's a nice, cozy little build, and it ought to be busier than it is. But of course, I just don't have the Lindens to have singers and DJs in, so there's not all that much to see. The house stream is good, but mostly that's what there is.
So, put up that big club build we had in Pavane when we were still there in the Tower, and called that Ours Cabaret. Physically huge, takes up a lot of space, and it's 4 stories tall. Two floors of stores, a vast and spacious club. Very prim-heavy. It was built back when you could only do 10 x 10 prims, and it used a whole lot of those prims to get that big. Also had that "shiny floor" effect which was popular for a minute back in the day.
The shiny floor, though, uses alphas on the floor, which does ugly things to dresses since they also tend to use alpha textures. Also, to create the "reflections" effect the builder basically duplicates the stuff on top of the floor under the floor and upside down. Lots more prims. So, set the floor to not be transparent, took out all those extra prims underneath, and took out most of the linked on furniture, too. Modded a couple chairs near the door to retain the design element, but using a more modern animation technique.
Since I had 'em in Inventory anyway, I filled the four downstairs stores with my old affiliate vendors from SLC (gowns & such), Alicia Stella Designs (useful gadgetry), P3 (more clothes), and my Apolon Motors setup (vehicles). That last cost a fair amount to get, and comes with "expo" models for most everything.
So my outside area is now covered with a lot of those vehicles, mostly the helicopters. We went to Apolon the one day cause I wanted a helicopter, and Samantha wanted to get me a nice rezzday gift. Still love flying their helicopters -- simple to fly, not a lot of realism, mostly for fun, plenty of add-on gimcrackery for those of us who like that stuff. Also have one of their Flying Catfish sailing catamarans, which is a fun way to sail with a friend in SL. So, liking most of their products, Sam and I both bought a set of vendors.
Anyway, still have six smaller stores open on the second floor, if anyone's interested. Need the performers to attract more traffic.
One frustration in running any club in SL is that one person shows up, there's nobody to dance with, and they're off to somewhere else. I've tried a couple of tricks to mitigate that. Think I told you about the Incentivizers, I had one of those in the Jazz Club for a long while. That worked too much like a camping device, so I pulled that. Made a modded version I put in the Cabaret, to do payroll for a DJ and possibly a Host or Hostess in there. Assuming I ever have a DJ, a Hostess, or the money to pay them.
And I'd accumulated a number of games tables for the Jazz Club. So what was the upper dance floor is now the Grizzly's Games area. You can play Euchre (Samantha is good at that), Backgammon, five-card Draw Poker, or any of the three Zilch tables. Zilch is kinda like Greedy Greedy -- and if you don't know what Greedy Greedy is, well (a) you might find that fun, and (b) maybe you don't visit SL?
I modded one of my particle advertising signs into a gadget called ShowMine. Suppose you're with a group of people, and you have a picture you want to show everybody. In SL, the usual method is to hand a copy of the picture to everyone. That's time-consuming, clutters up Inventory, and gives away a copy of a picture/texture you might want to keep limited and/or sell. ShowMine listens on channel 123 as currently configured. Grab the UUID of your picture, say /123 UUID, ShowMine hears that and adds that UUID to a list. Then it rotates through the list, showing each picture for X seconds. "That's nice, here Show Mine, too!" Get it? ;-)
ShowMine sort of works for a slideshow for meetings, too. Assuming businesses were still trying SL, and I haven't noticed any lately.
Another active area is my tour vehicles. Built my own Gondola a while back, and put Jonyblade Codesmith's Guided Tour scripts in that. Also wrote a number of add-on scripts which I put in there, the original Tour Balloons I've had, and a freebie party-boat catamaran I modded into a tour vehicle.
As with most vehicles in SL, they have trouble with crossing into new Sims/Regions. When you first arrive, the new sim figures out all it needs to know about this new vehicle. That takes a second or so. While the new Sim is doing all that, it may decide your vehicle is moving at high speed in some random direction, which produces what I call "Lost in Space." You're shooting off with no control over your vehicle or yourself, eventually you're out of range of what the sim can handle. Basically you've crashed, and the Sim just hasn't figured that out yet. You end up having to log out and back in again -- at which time your vehicle is gone and you're out in the middle of Nowhere.
I'd figured out a fix for the Gondolas which worked fine -- when you enter a new sim, stop the vehicle for a second or two, then start again, by which time usually the Sim has you sussed and will treat you normally. Just today I finally figured out why that worked in the Gondola but not my other vehicles. So now they all do that little stop-and-think thing, which helps a lot. On the balloons, you may not even notice it's happening.
I had a store-bought board that automatically did 7Seas fishing contests every hour, but people complained that some people with a bunch of bots would tie up all the prize money. So I wrote my own for that, too. Last couple nights I worked out how to get that to do Notices in my Pie Island Fishing group, and today I finally got how one does Group Chat with that, too. Modded the script to do the latter, but haven't fully tested it yet. (And naturally while I was typing that I thought of yet another mod to do.)
Then I modded the Event Kicker for fishing to a more general Event Announcer, that'll work for any Events I can put on the calendar for that. So now there are (at least) automatic events so announce in the Hiber-Nation Store group when the music style changes on the house feed. And I gave that the fishing announcements, too.
So, that's what my Second Life looks like. A subset of the stuff at Pie Island is out on Grizzly Mountain, which is in the northern part of the Sansara continent. Fun to build out there, interesting terrain, and lots more places to go with the tours.
Considering marking my properties "Newbie Friendly," because they mostly are.
You coming out sometime? I'll leave a virtual light on for ya.