New Year, New Look! (Plus Skin-Making Tutorial)

This past week, I finally ticked off one of the tasks I’d set myself for this year: designing myself a custom skin for my avatar. 🙂

The roadblock that had thwarted my plans was that while I had some guidelines for laying out the textures, I had no real clue how to do it. So I did some research online which led me to this resource page with templates for some simple skins. Exactly what I needed!

I downloaded the Photoshop files for the most recent example, the Starlight skin, but they have versions that’ll work in Illustrator or GIMP.

Continue reading “New Year, New Look! (Plus Skin-Making Tutorial)”

Six Years in Second Life

It has been a while since I updated here. Part of that has been due to recent health issues brought on by the sub-zero temperatures we experience the week before last, which greatly reduced the time I’ve been able to spend in Second Life.

Yesterday was the sixth anniversary (or ‘Rez-Day’ as it’s called by some folks) of my joining Second Life. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling up to celebrating, so it was pretty low-key this year.

I also had to contend with an extended loss of broadband access last Friday, thanks to a cock-up on the part of Virgin Media. That came at the end of a stressful few days as we worked, and waited on the phone, to haggle down the price Virgin are charging. Thankfully, the broadband returned last Saturday, but by that point I’d had to cancel my DJ set at Second Pride, which I was gutted about as I’d been looking forward to it.

But I’ve had some success, at least with my job as Advertising Production Manager for Gorean Whip Radio. With help from a few others (hi to Shaina and Volund!) several new adverts got put together and are now in rotation, making for very happy sponsors. 🙂

And I have a new home in Second Life! I’m renting a small apartment in MetroSomnia, the place where I role-play now, as well as the garage underneath. That has given me an excuse to rez and use the two hover-bikes I have in my inventory, one of which is a two-seater. As the sim is cyberpunk-themed they fit in perfectly, and I’ve taken them for a spin around the city. 🙂 I do need to work on my driving skills a bit more, so I doubt I’ll be persuading anyone to ride with me any time soon. 😛

Hopefully more posts soon!

Blog Updates

Hi there, a couple of changes have happened over the last few weeks.

  1. This blog is no longer attached to WordPress.com as I warned in my last post. If you want to follow updates here, the best option is to use the RSS feed in your feed reader of choice.
  2. Audio recordings are not working at present — this appears to be a security setting change at the site where I host the audio files, the files are still there. I’m working to get those links accessible again, apologies for the interruption. (Update: Derp, turns out that was a problem at my end, a DNS firewall was stopping me accessing the site where the audio files live.)

Hope you’re all taking care of yourselves out there.

—Spiffy

Advance Notice: I’ll Be Disconnecting This Blog from WordPress.com on 1st February

I’ve been mulling this over for a while now, since before the New Year, but now I’m ready to go through with it.

This blog has always been self-hosted, but was subsequently linked to WordPress.com via the Jetpack plugin as a means to make my blogging life somewhat easier.

However, it turns out that WordPress.com is a Pain In The Posterior when used in this manner, both to get the integration fully working on my blog and to manage at WordPress’s end. I’m singularly unimpressed with their apps for Mac and iOS, and ended up going back to writing posts directly in my browser. And while I could use the WordPress apps to read other folk’s blogs, I already use Inoreader for that, which has the advantage of not being limited to just WordPress sites.

I am aware that I have quite a few folks who do use WordPress to subscribe to updates from my blog, and I don’t want to leave you guys behind. One option you have is to use the RSS feed for my site to stay updated — there are lots of apps and services you can use to do that, I personally use Inoreader but there’s also Feedly which is probably the best-known service. The alternative would a newsletter, but that would require some extra work to set up at my end.

So tell me, dear readers — which option do you prefer? If there’s enough interest, I’ll set up the newsletter and invite you to sign up for that.

Cutting the cord with WordPress.com will mean several fewer things for me to deal with here, and right now I’m all about simplifying my online life as much as possible.

#SecondLifeChallenge — My Seven Second Life Facts

I bookmarked this post by Strawberry Singh from 2017 — before her joining Linden Lab and becoming Strawberry Linden — ages ago, but never got around to doing anything about it due to… does the ‘all this’ gesture with their hands.

So, as part of my promise to myself to actually blog here regularly in 2021, here are my seven SL facts about myself:

  1. I have always had a female, or slightly female, avatar ever since I joined Second Life nearly six years ago. The thought of changing to a male appearance has never crossed my mind, and frankly I think I’d be very uncomfortable if I did, even more so than if I ever changed back to a more human appearance.
  2. I’ve owned three different types of Linden Home at various points over the years. The first two were the old style, 512 square metre homes — I forget the names, I’d need to look them up on the Second Life website. I do have a soft spot for my current Linden Houseboat in Belissaria, as it has given me the opportunity to try sailing. (With mixed results, but I’m hoping that the completion of Linden Lab’s moving of all SL regions to the Cloud might improve my sailing record.) I’ve not looked at any of the newer Linden Homes, and am not tempted to switch locations.
  3. Music, both played by DJs and performed by musicians and singers in Second Life, is one of the reasons I’ve stayed in Second Life. As someone who is intensely introverted in real life, being able to listen to and enjoy music together with others in a virtual space is incredible!
  4. Related to the point above, becoming a DJ in Second Life, and then a radio DJ on Gorean Whip Radio, allowed me to overcome more of my introversion, while also giving me a chance to share myself through the music that I love. 🙂
  5. I am constantly tweaking my appearance in Second Life, though often in ways that might not be immediately obvious. Part of that has been driven by the evolution of my persona in-world, but I’m also analysing other aspects like the number and weight of scripts I’m carrying on me and the complexity and load times for my avatar. Any opportunity I can find to reduce my script count and complexity is grabbed with both hands!
  6. The colour pink plays a big part in my Second Life. My hair, my clothes, even my furniture! The exact tone varies, and I have been known to turn up in multiple shades. 😀 But there is a method to my apparent madness — it has probably saved me a lot of money by deterring me from buying stuff that either isn’t pink or can’t be coloured pink. (Oh, and my Firestorm viewer is pink too.)
  7. My biggest peeves in Second Life? Definitely gachas, particularly when they contain an outfit I like. Followed by performance lag, and anyone whose avatar is so ridiculously complex that my Firestorm viewer refuses to render them at all.

So, that’s my seven — if you want to have a go, be sure to link to Strawberry’s original post, so she knows about it, and use the #SecondLifeChallenge tag if you’re doing this on the socials. 🙂

2020 State Of The Alien

I’ve already posted a review of my real-world situation over the past year, so I won’t repeat myself here. This is going to focus on what I’ve been up to in Second Life and on Gorean Whip Radio.

Overall, this year has been… okay. While I did achieve a lot in terms of DJ sets and broadcasting, I’m acutely aware that my output has been reduced due to anxiety and depression, which resulted in my skipping shows and not applying for some events.

Continue reading “2020 State Of The Alien”

Spiffy’s Pre-Christmas Warm-Up on Gorean Whip Radio — today at 12pm SLT!

This is a friendly reminder that I’ll be doing a special show today, from Whip HQ in Second Life. I’ve dug out some of the weirdest and/or most cringe-worthy Christmas-related songs I could find. 😉

If you’re logged into Second Life you can join me here, otherwise tune in to Gorean Whip Radio by plugging the stream URL into your browser!

I will post the show recording and track-list here within next day or so. 🙂

Closing In On The End Of 2020…

Hey everyone, sorry for being so quiet here. Truth be told, I had to step back from Second Life and DJing for most of November to focus on my real-world health, both physical and mental.

I’ve made some changes to old ingrained habits, and as a result I’m feeling rested and more energized for the first time in ages! That has taken some getting used to.

Continue reading “Closing In On The End Of 2020…”

2020 SL Sci-Fi Expo Starts Today :)

I’ve been a very busy alien the last few days! The 2020 Sci-Fi Expo is happening from the 14th to the 28th October, and Gorean Whip Radio is the official station for the event. In previous years it has been help around November / December time, so I was caught off-guard when Irish Breen informed me that it was happening this month! 😮

This year they’re raising money for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the American Cancer Society.

Continue reading “2020 SL Sci-Fi Expo Starts Today :)”