Archive for November, 2006

About three years ago, after a wonderful photographer could no longer justify travelling from Louisiana for employee shots at our job, Michelle and I took the kids to Sears. It wasn’t very good. The shots came out OK, but the experience was frustrating and the photographer even lost patience at times with the kids.

Well, today, we went back to Sears. What a difference! Look at the photos in my strip at the top of the page. Click on one to see the whole album in Flickr. The two ladies who handled this evening’s shoot had the kids laughing the entire time. The kids were having fun with all the poses. The pictures came out wonderful, and they then applied effects like vignettes and sepia tones. To top it all off, we could purchase a CD of the pictures with a release to use/copy them as we wish!

We’re SO happy with these photos. I hope you enjoy them even a fraction as much as we do. By the way, no edits here. Some of the photos are shots we did not chose to develop, but I left them in anyway. It’s just more fun to see all of them.

I let this project reach its end without ever posting the midway points. So you didn’t have to see it five times to get to the final edit. :)

This is the scene from Hitchhiker’s Guide (sense a theme here???) where our heroes first land on the Starship Heart Of Gold. The method of traversing the universe for this ship generates some rather (or should I say “infinitely”) improbable things to happen.

I decided that it would be better with a sci-fi geek wandering about. Enjoy!

I promised you at some point, I would introduce you to the world I’m exploring called Second Life. Be warned, it is entirely addictive. Especially for the creative types. You can build anything you want. You can then script it to do whatever you want. That is, if you’re willing to learn how. :)

But the real draw of Second Life is the social aspect. I landed, somehow, at a basic “welcoming center” for new “residents” (the term for people in Second Life) some time after requiring a welcome. As I started to meet people there, I realized that I really didn’t need to go elsewhere. They are all such great people, as would make sense for volunteer welcomers, huh?

Well, here’s my little ode to all the people I’ve met in my Second Life (SL). I’ll only give you first names, and they’re all SL names, not real ones.

This is Winry. She’s entirely cool and my first friend in SL. She’s a new college student and has excellent design and building skills. Oh, and don’t mess with her when it comes to ping pong! The room she’s in is part of an incredible home built for her by Bashiri.
Winry At Home

Winry and Bashiri are great friends with each other, and I have also become very good friends with Bash. Bash builds very complex avatars (av’s), and they often have active scripting to make them do things. I’ve been helping out with a few of his scripts, such as a werewolf avatar that is human unless it senses the moon nearby. Marvin, by the way, is me. Winry is behind me, and Bash is the white/blue robot on the orange ring.
On The Art

One night, while at the Shelter (that welcoming club I mentioned, which is now defunct and being replaced), I saw Reina, a Purple Princess with whom I’d played some trivia before, dancing with a simulated teddy bear. That couldn’t be, so I asked to dance. Marvin’s eyes have turned purple in her presence ever since.
Dance With A Princess

I loved the far off look on Sumar in this picture. This is the trivia center of Shelter, where I spent a lot of time and met most of my new friends. Sumar was security at the Shelter… and I’m sure will also be at the new Shelter, which is under construction. She is a really great person!

Reina was dressed up as Rainbow Brite and had a pair of roller skates on this night. Her skates gave her the ability to to wild flips, as demonstrated here. Also seen here are Marvin’s purple eyes.
Purple Over Easy

Here, we have a pair of purple princesses. Reina on the left and Mera on the right.
Pair of Purple Princesses

After the demise of the Shelter, the usual crowd gathered at the site of a temporary “Shelter in Exile” party. Eventually, this is the team that would build the new Shelter. Please remember to wear your scuba gear when using the Merry-Go-Round so close to water!
Merry Go Round Fun

This is my building. Jaycatt and Frogg are big Hitchhiker’s Guide fans and performers in Second Life. I built this building, which was then landscaped by my new online best friend, Rosa. Being a performer, Jaycatt was able to then stream a broadcast of the radio series within this building. It was a big hit.
Hitchhiker's Set Outside

Me (in human form — with a Marvin tee shirt), Rosa, and Jaycatt resting after a long build. :) The building has a functional solar system, and almost anything you touch talks to you. Much of the design assistance came from Rosa and Jay.
Hitchhiker's Set Inside

The show was a complete sellout, eventually leaving standing room only for us. My eyes were purple for Reina, but I stood by the opening in the ring bench with Rosa throughout the show.
Full House - SRO!

This is another view of the same venue during the show.
Another view During the Show

I made an entry about Jaycatt and Frogg putting on concerts. Here they are in the act. The avatars play the instruments, while MP3 quality guitar, keyboards, and vocals come through your speakers. Convincingly like being at a live concert (except there are robots and furries present).

Frogg and Jaycatt Sing

This is Rosa and I in our “Tiny” avatars. She’s a purple bunny and I’m a koala. One day, I’ll get around to texturing a proper shirt for my tiny avatar!
Rosa and I as tinies

On Halloween, Rosa took me to a haunted house. We hung around a bit, but mostly ran from scary monsters. Rosa’s been in Second Life for a few years and has been a wonderful tourguide!
Rosa and I hanging around a haunted house

This is just a sample of all there is to do in this environment. And things change constantly. All of these buildings and events are made by residents. Very few things are “native” to Second Life, which opens up almost infinite possibilities.

So, if my blog’s been lacking somewhat lately, you now understand where I’ve been. I promise the blog will not go abandoned. But my attention will have to be shared to some degree. :)

I got this from Catholic Mom, who’s not scary at all. How scary are you?

You Are a Little Scary

You’ve got a nice edge to you. Use it.

But this is nothing I didn’t know already. Heh Heh Heh!!

Just in case people are still stumbling onto this blog from Google and such, and you’re wondering why it’s not been updated recently, you need to visit my new site.  It’s at:
My apologies to those who have seen this message umpteen times by now. :)  Really… good stuff over there, and it loads so much faster.  If I think of MSN specific content, I’ll still add it here.  I want to keep this site alive because it’s a year’s worth of thoughts and events I’m not inclined to let go of quite yet.
Take Care,