XCW

The Monster Mesh

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I have a lot of thoughts tumbling around in my head at the moment, with regards to mesh heads, mesh body parts, and the like. All pleasant thoughts, mind you — it’s more a matter of my own curiosity than anything. I owe many sincere thanks to the Mesh Body Addicts blog for their excellent “mesh bodies for newbies” guides, which have been very helpful for someone like myself who has barely mastered the art of alpha layering. Well, to be true, I owe them gratitude AND grumbles. I’m meant to be saving my precious pennies, girls. You’re not helping in that regard one bit! :)

Feeling a bit out of sorts and lost in my meandering, I poked around in Search to find a quiet beach to relax at for a while. Searching the word “beach” returns a significant number of results, so one trick if you’re looking for somewhere less populated is to sort by Traffic: High to Low and scroll way down the list until you find a place with a traffic number around or under 2000. You can certainly sort by Traffic: Low to High, but many of the places with 0 traffic will either be inaccessible or end up being parcels for rent. I also opted to filter out Adult regions, simply to narrow to results a bit.

As an aside: the way that traffic and region popularity is calculated in Second Life is quite fascinating (for a geek like me, at least!) There’s detailed information in the SL Knowledge Base, but to sum up, the number seen in Search listings and under the About Land tab is calculated by taking the total number of seconds spent on the parcel the previous day, dividing it by 60, and rounding it to the nearest whole minute. So that means that a location with a visitor volumetric of 2000 had a bit more than 30 cumulative minutes spent there by visitors the following day, which makes it a moderately low-traffic area by SL standards.

After I found a place that looked promising, I clicked “Show on Map” just to double-check that it was in fact a beachy area (sometimes people sneak popular keywords into their listings), as well as to determine how many other members were in the area. Regrettably I don’t recall where I ended up when I got this shot, but I was all by my lonesome — save a few spirited, jumping dolphins — so I was perfectly content. If I do happen to land there again, I’ll be sure to update with a SLURL!

Life's a Beach
Please click for full size.

Body
Skin / Lumae | Adore 4 Peach – Quirk | Group Gift
Hair / No.Match | No Milk – Rainbow | Group Gift
Eyes / Inkheart | Essential Eyes – Faithful | SL Marketplace
Lashes / VoodooMonkey | Mascara 6 | SL Marketplace
Eyeshadow / XCW Gift Eyeshadow – Green Blue | SL Marketplace
Freckles / SHOCK | Tintable Freckles | Group Gift
Lipstick / Alaska Metro | Light Lipgloss – Golden | SL Marketplace

Style
Earrings / Maxi Gossamer | Faylinn Flower Charm Earrings | Group Gift
Necklace / Pure Poison | Aileen Necklace | Group Gift
Piercing / Besom | New Age Septum Ring – Gold | Group Gift
Top / SMC | Cropped Blouse FTW | Lucky Board
Shorts / Blah Blah Blah | Carlie Summer Shorts | Midnight Mania Board
Sneakers / Rien Ne Va Plus | Camo Girly Style Sneakers | SL Marketplace

Poses
Pose Maniacs / Marcia 4 & Melanie 1 | SL Marketplace

I’m experimenting with how to notate when items are group gifts or giveaways; please let me know if you have any suggestions! I always appreciate when it pops out at you in a credits listing when an item is free, on sale, or a promo. You know me and my love for wonderful deals. <3

Speaking of deals, nearly everything in this look is either free or L$1! I’ve treated myself by joining several paid groups that I had been lusting over (primarily hair brands, because HAIR!) No.Match has a one-time joining fee of L$50, and they graciously keep their past group gifts out for new members to pick up. The retro-inspired “No Milk” hair is fantastic; I love the cascading ponytail and soft, pastel-rainbow hue. I’m fairly certain that the Blah Blah Blah shorts came from a Midnight Mania slap, but they have so many wonderful promos (MM, Lucky Boards, group gifts, weekly sales) that I’m not actually 100% sure. As Jedi Master Yoda might say: organize better, I must!

All of my accessories are group gifts (so many thank yous to all the generous designers!), and my sweet cropped top comes from SMC, which has an amazing assortment of Lucky Boards to stalk. Oh! And my hella cute sneaks are 100% compatible with system feet, which is more and more difficult to find these days. And they’re free! Happy days.

I’m off to continue pondering, considering, reflecting and ruminating on tackling the mesh monster. For me, I think a full body is the most appealing prospect, primarily because I imagine it will just look so lush in photographs. What do you love or loathe about your meshy bits n’ bobs? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Geeks Shall Inherit the SLEarth!

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Ever’s Age: 30 days
L$ Balance: L$615

So this is a post that’s nearly a week overdue, but First Life has been kicking me in the buns the last few days and taking up too much of my time. Still, better late than nerdver, amirite?

(You don’t want to know how hard I laughed at that terrible wordplay!)

My lovely, luminous, laundry machine crashing soul-sister Raznay informed me that Geek Pride Day is/was celebrated on May 25th, which – as a card carrying nerdslice of the highest order – I was terribly vexed to be unaware of! I mean, if you ask me, Geek Pride Day should have been back on May 4th, but that day’s already dedicated to some Star Wars film franchise that probably no one’s ever heard of. I think it’s about space or something. ;)

So May 25th it was, and I missed it entirely. Curses! But thanks to the wonderful, frugal-minded members of the SL Frees & Offers group, I rounded up some lovely geek swag without spending a penny. I did, however, manage to fill up my inventory once more with a truly astounding number of parcels and packages. Lucky boards and their ilk are ridiculously addictive. Who knew? They’ve been around for an age-and-a-half, but I genuinely paid them no attention prior to this week, and now they haunt me in my dreams. And true to form, now I have aims on creating a frequently-updated list of all the Lucky Boards / Chairs and Midnight Mania offers on the grid, because it’s good to have goals and if I call it an official “blog project”, then my endless round-robining will be all legit for research purposes and stuff.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

Geeks Shall Inherit the SLEarth!
I geek, therefore I am! (Please click for a full size image.)

Skin: Curves – SL Frees & Offers Gift (L$0 Group Gift)
Hair: Taketomi – MeiLing Bento (L$0 Group Gift)
Eyes: Chus – Oyasumi Lens in Mantis (L$0 Lucky Board Gift)
Eyeshadow: XCW Freebie Eyeshadow – Turquoise, Blue, Pink (L$0 on SL Marketpace)
Mascara: Lumae – Eyelashes Normal (L$0 Group Gift)
Glasses: Sugar Button Boutique – Super Nerd Glasses (L$0 Lucky Chair Gift)
Piercing: Diamante – Limitless Facial Piercing (L$0 Midnight Mania Gift)
Necklace: Pure Poison – BowTie Swirl (L$0 Group Gift)
Dress: Nerdy Girl – Little Frock Callbox (L$0 Midnight Mania Gift)
Shoes: Vlad Blackburn – Strapped Blackburns (L$0 on SL Marketpace)
Poses: MM – Formal Photo 1 & 4 (L$0 on SL Marketplace)

Now I’m sure the folks in the public sandboxes I frequent just love watching me get nekkid on my lofty platform in the sky, but sad news for them: I’m moving on! This weekend is dedicated to finally checking out the Fab Free 30 Days list, which I may have actually aged out of at this point since the information generally states that the gifts are for avies “under 30 days” in age. Oopsie! But even if that doesn’t work out, I’ve got a nice cache of clothing and accouterments, and I feel confident in spending less time freebie-scouring (and ultimately, package-opening) and more time exploring the grid. I know, I know – I’ve said it all before! So let’s make a pact: if you see me out and about slapping Midnight Manias and Lucky Boards ad infinitum, I happily give you permission slap my ass with equal fervor. A win-win for all!

Oh! And a fancy bit of news: I got myself a domain name the other day! So now my blog is located at EverAfterrSL.com. There were initially some tricksy shenanigans with the RSS and WordPress feeds, wherein those who were subscribed to the old URL weren’t getting updates, but I think it’s all sorted out now. If you’re not getting new posts in your WordPress Reader, please un-follow and re-follow my blog and it should fix the issue. RSS feeds should be re-subscribed to http://everafterrsl.com/feed/.

May the 25th be with you, and Geeks FTW! ♥

The Newbie Guide to Sandboxes in Second Life

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In my recent post on unpacking boxes and objects, I learned that there were some free, newbie-friendly public sandboxes to explore in SL, and I was keen to check them out! Before I get to my recommended sandbox list though, here’s a trick if you’d like some additional privacy or open space in any sandbox or build-enabled area. Note: I use the Firestorm Viewer exclusively to connect to Second Life, but I believe these commands work on the official SL viewer and additional third-party viewers as well.

  • In the Nearby Chat box, type gth followed by any number of your choosing, up to 4000. This will immediately teleport you high into the sky, where you can build or rez objects away from any crowd you may encounter. Many people choose even number heights when they’re on sky platforms – 1000, 1500, 2000, etc – so if a sandbox is particularly crowded on that day, perhaps choose an odd number for a better result.
  • For example, let’s type gth 1772 into Nearby Chat hit the Enter key. You should immediately see yourself appearing (and falling from) high in the sky. Quickly click your mouse outside of the chat box, and then hit the Page Up button on your keyboard, which is the default hotkey for flying. This will stop your fall, and you’ll begin to hover in place.
  • Then once more in the Nearby Chat box, type rezplat, which will rez a platform directly beneath your feet, which you can then stand on by clicking on the Stop Flying button or by holding Page Down until you meet the platform. The default platform size is 30 meters, but I’ve reset this to 5 meters in my preferences (see below) because I generally wouldn’t need a large platform for unpacking boxes or similar. You’ll find these shortcuts in the Firestorm preference menu under Chat / CmdLine. Bear in mind that the location of the CmdLine section has changed in the Beta viewer, which I’m using. In older versions, I believe these shortcuts were under the Firestorm tab in Preferences.
Firestorm Preferences
Firestorm CmdLine Preferences Menu

So let’s visit some sandboxes! I decided to compile my recommended list into its own page, which I’ll keep updated in case the links change or locations come and go. Please click the link below to view the list, then come back for some additional tips:

Free & Public Sandbox Locations in Second Life

Second Life Sandbox Etiquette

Now that you’re armed with some sandbox SLURLs, what are the guidelines and best practices for utilizing these public spaces? While most have a stated auto-return allowance (which means that any items you’ve rezzed or built on their land will be automatically returned to your inventory after a set time period), some sandboxes will only return your items once you’ve left the parcel or logged out, and others may only clean or reset themselves once a day. However, just because you know your items will come back to you eventually, it doesn’t give residents free license to leave things lying around, especially if you’re unpacking lots of goodies.

Grumpy Unboxing Ever
Stop it right there and clean up your mess, young lady!

See all those packages and parcels? Believe it or not, some of them have a fair bit of land impact, which means leaving a lot of discarded objects lying around may take up a good amount of the prim allowance of the sandbox, potentially preventing others from making full use of the space. So always be respectful and clean up the area before you teleport away.

You may be thinking: “I’ve just rezzed a hundred or more boxes. Cleaning them up is going to take ages!” Luckily there’s a trick for that as well. To delete a large number of objects at once:

Quick delete trick!
Highlight all the things!
  • Right-click on any of your objects, and choose Edit from the menu.
  • While the Edit menu is open, click your left mouse button and drag a rectangle around all of the objects you’d like to delete. This is where rezzing them all close to one another is handy, but you can always zoom out if you need a wider view.
  • Once every object is highlighted in yellow (the color may vary depending on which viewer skin you use), right-click with your mouse on any highlighted object and choose Delete in the menu. You can also press the Delete button on your keyboard.

If all goes well, every highlighted object should have been deleted all at once. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

If you happen to miss an item, or for some reason an object doesn’t delete itself, you can always right-click it directly and use the same Delete function. But please bear in mind that if you delete items with No Copy permissions, they’re gone forever. The same goes if you happen to leave a No Copy item behind at the sandbox; once the auto-return kicks in, that item will be deleted rather than returned to your inventory. So be mindful of the permissions on the items you rez in-world, just in case!

Ahhhhh, all those boxed up purchases, freebies and gifts finally unpacked and ready to go in your inventory, and you’ve quickly cleaned up after yourself. Good job, avie! Go ahead, strike a silly, self-satisfied pose. You’ve earned it.

Happy Ever Afterr

Skin: Insol Body Skin Scarlett – Ivory (L$0, no longer available)
Eyeshadow: XCW Freebie Eyeshadow – Pink/Orange (L$0)
Lip Gloss: Fudge Opening Gift Lip Smudge – Peach Ice Cream (L$0)
Eyes: TSYI Light Me Eyes – Light Blue (L$0)
Hair: LeLutka Group Gift – Sheena (L$0)
Dress: [AB] Good Life Dress (L$0, no longer available)
Jeans: LARRY Jeans Dollarbie Pack (L$1)
Shoes: Daisy Shop Mesh Ankle Boots in 8 Colors – Dark Set (L$0)

L$2 Legit 2 Quit

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Ever’s Age: 6 Days
L$ Balance: L$615

Every noteworthy era has to meet its end, and after schooling a newbie on metaverse sextiquette, I decided I’d had my fill of the Tutorial Land That LL Forgot. After poofing through the portal, I landed at Social Island, and a quick peek at the world map revealed that there are six Learning Islands and three Social Islands total, which new members are presumably rezzed on at random when they sign in for the first time. Oddly, Learning Island D looks nothing at all like Learning Islands 1 – 5 (at least from the overhead view on the map), so I’m wondering if there are special circumstances that result in someone rolling the D experience. But as suspected, I could no longer access the Learning Island sims, while all three Social Islands are ripe for the teleporting.

Ahhh, Social Island(s) – an oxymoronic name if there ever was one. Let me put it this way: I immediately encountered a gentleman whose profile mentioned his love of perving and fapping, and while his forthright honesty was commendable, I wasn’t particularly keen on being molested. I happened to land at Island #1, and after camming around a bit, I checked the other two and found them to be identical in build and in visitors. Which is to say, an even mix of 0 day newbies standing around seemingly confused and lost, and primarily silent veteran residents, many of whom had completely blank profiles despite hundreds, if not thousands, of days in their respective account ages. It reminded me of a shopping mall I worked at as a teenager, where all of the smaller boutique shops had closed and only the larger department stores remained. The facades were there, sometimes even the lights were even on, but no one was home.

Out of curiosity, I ticked the box to allow Voice, as I wasn’t sure if spoken word chatting was more common in these areas. Social Island 2 and 3 both have voice chat turned off at the main hub, but Social Island 1 allows it, and even the two or three people whom my radar indicated were voice-enabled were keeping quiet. However, I did run into one newbie who spoke to me in an distinctly young-sounding voice, which prompted me to quickly teleport away. I know that children do sign up for Second Life against the TOS, but hearing one speak was nonetheless alarming. I’m not even sure if you can send in an Abuse Report for that kind of thing, since voice doesn’t have the same ability to be captured as proof of abuse in the same way that local chat or instant messages would. Regardless, I’d had my fill of Voice for the night. Which means – drumroll, please – it was time for Operation Ever-Lution: The Marketplace Edition!

Ever Afterr - Day 6
How YOU doin’?

Skin: Insol Body Skin Scarlett – Ivory (L$0)
Eyeshadow: XCW Freebie Eyeshadow – Pink/Orange (L$0)
Lip Gloss: Alaskametro Light Lipgloss Tester – Golden (L$0)
Eyes: TSYI Light Me Eyes – Light Blue (L$0)
Hair: Alice Project – Summertime Sadness (L$0)
Hairbase: Delizio Hairbase Tattoo – Chocolate (L$0)
Dress: Corvus 13 Dress (L$0)
Jeans: LARRY Jeans Dollarbie Pack (L$1)
Shoes: MYLU Cora Boots (L$1)
Pose: DESIRE Free Model Pose F08 (L$0)
Wall Texture:  Dy’s Yardsale & Texture Shop Grunge Shaded Texture (L$0)
Floor Texture: DT.com Parquet Wood Floor Textures (L$0)
_____________________________________________________________
Total Spent: L$2

2 Legit 2 Quit
L$2 dolla bills, y’all!

Pretty cute, hey? I probably could have gotten away without spending those Lindens, but I have both the Larry Jeans dollarbie pack (comes with 3 pairs of jeans) and the MYLU boots on my main account, and I’ve gotten lots of use out of them. Speaking of footwear though, one thing is becoming troubling clear: it’s going to be problematic finding shoes for system feet, particularly ones that aren’t boots or sneakers. Thankfully I have a penchant for both, so I won’t necessarily mind wandering around the grid in a summer dress and close-toed stompers. But Slink mesh feet are becoming so ubiquitous, it’s genuinely difficult to find footwear options (mesh in particular) that don’t require them. Here’s hoping that the system avies in the upcoming Project: Sansar platform aren’t saddled with the same clubbed tootsies that SL ones are!

So I’ve officially “arrived” in Second Life! While I’ve made stops in newbie-friendly spots like Caledon Oxbridge (where I enjoyed a quick chat with Miss Lindal Kidd), New Citizens Incorporated and The Shelter, it was primarily to snag landmarks for my “helpful tips” notecard, so my visits were brief. But with the weekend finally here, and my inventory stocked with a modest cache of freebies, I feel like I’m ready to become a true resident of the grid at long last. Excelsior!