Monday, February 18, 2008

The Friday Five - On Monday

I admit it, I'm a slacker. Too much to do and say and not enough time to do and say it! Big announcement in the next post. Meanwhile, here are my answers to the Friday Five, posted by Alicia over here.

1. If you could do one thing in SL, what would you do?

This is a toughie, cause there are many "one things" I'd like to do in SL. I think the biggest one is learn how to make animations. I keep thinking of ideas for animations that just aren't around.

2. If you could be anyone else in SL for a day, who would it be and why?

The lovely and cool Miss Babyhoney Bailey, SL Miss Universe. She runs a sim and a business, makes jewelry, models and a lot more. Plus, she's Miss Universe! I read about her on a blog and if I could remember which one I would note it here.

3. If you could change one thing in SL, what would it be?


4. If you could hop on a naughty poseball with one person of the same sex, who would it be?

You know? I have no idea.

5. If you could hop on a naughty poseball with one person of the opposite sex, who would it be?

You mean, other than Mr. Coolname? Probably one of those hawt guys featured over on the Mean Girls blog. Eenie, Meenie, get the idea.

And that wraps this up.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

In Defense of Stiletto Moody Shoes

This is an Opinion. It is only an Opinion. Your Mileage May Vary, Please Drive On.

"Opinion," says Wikipedia, "An opinion is a person's ideas and thoughts towards something. It is an assessment, judgment or evaluation of something. An opinion is not a fact, because opinions are either not falsifiable, or the opinion has not been proven or verified. If it later becomes proven or verified, it is no longer an opinion, but a fact. Accordingly, all information on the web, from a surfer's perspective, is better described as opinion rather than fact."

Comments are welcome, but rudeness will be deleted and since it's my blog, I'll decide what's rude, mkay?

I love to read other people's blogs. I am an avid reader of several, some of which you can see listed on my blog roll to the right. I discovered GogoLita at some point in the last few weeks and I spent some time reading not only the current posts but the previous ones and I stumbled upon one there about Stiletto Moody Shoes. After careful consideration of not only the post but of the comments, I decided I have some things to say about this "issue" if it is an issue.

Before I even talk about the shoes, I want to bring up a few points around the whole argument.

Very few of us, in Second Life, are seeing ONLY brand new never before seen, totally came from the mind of the designer, designs. Photo sourcing is an everyday part of SL, for example. You see it in skins, clothing, hair, shoes, houses, everything. One of the most popular and expensive stores in SL, which shall remain nameless, is exclusively photosourced content.

Let's look at what photosurced means. It means that the creator either bought copyright free photos or found them through google search or some variety of the two, and then pieced the content of those photos together along with perhaps some hand drawing and heavy photoshop work to create a garment in Second Life.

Where did those photos come from? They came from real life. Whatever route they took on the way, they came from real life. And chances are they came from someone's copyrighted work.

99% of gestures, a very popular item in Second Life, are sound clips from songs, movies and tv shows. Do you suppose the people who made those gestures paid a fee to the creators of those songs, moves and tv shows in order to use that copyrighted material? I'm thinking that answer is no.

Furthermore, the idea of knock offs is very prevalent in the real world. Most department stores and certainly lower end stores like Target are carrying copies of copies of copies of that designer item that maybe was on the runway a couple seasons ago. Shoe and handbag designs in particular are usually knocked off almost as a matter of course.

These are a few examples of "copying" a designer's work from real life for use in sl and from real life to other items in real life, and doing so is taken as a matter of course. There are probably dozens more but I'm not willing to dig that hard. Please note, I'm not pointing the finger of blame or guilt or anything like that at anybody when I mention these examples. I'm simply saying, it's okay over here; why should it then not be okay somewhere else?

I know that there's a group of people who say rather loudly, nothing should be copied from real life. I wonder if those people have any photosourced items when they say that.

Then there's a group of people who say, does it really matter? To some extent, I don't think it does, depending largely on my own feelings of how much material harm it may or may not be doing and sense of fair play.

There also seems to be a school of thought in SL that a designer's work must be entirely his or her own work. Well, photosourcing, clearly by definition, is not the designer's own work and yet that's okay. Yes, I know that photosourcing takes a lot of work from the designer, even though I don't really understand it. I'm taking that part on faith.

What about furniture or prefab makers who buy textures from someone else. Surely the item they make is still the item made by them? What about gestures, surely a song clip and chat line from "The Simpsons" is not their own work? Sure, they made the gesture, took the time to make the song clip, but that's not their voice. That's the voice of Lisa Simpson. What about shoe makers who buy shoe parts, or even learned how to make shoes at a class. Does this somehow change the fact they took the time to assemble the parts, texture it, etc?

I am not so sure that I'm convinced that this school of thought, that the designer's work on a sold item should be theirs and only theirs, particularly when so much of what is sold is not really any designer's total work, is correct. Only people who can claim that are hand drawn artists who then make the clothes or furniture or whatever themselves. The number of people who do that, compared to the total number of reputable designers, is fairly small. Hand drawn meaning no photosourcing of any kind.

Now, let's talk about Stiletto Moody shoes.

One of the "complaints" I've seen is that Stiletto didn't make every single prim herself. My response is, so? As I've already shown, lots of things in Second Life are not made exclusively by the person whose name is on it. And how do you even know that the designer who made that dress actually drew it? You don't. Anybody can upload a texture and apply it to a prim. We take that part on faith. I don't really see all that much difference. Another very lovely designer's partner made some sculpties that she then applied to an item she had for sale. What's wrong with that?

That's really all Stiletto has done except she has paid someone, probably very handsomely, to create sculpties for her. Considering that I doubt I could understand the dynamics of sculpties, I might have to do that too. Understanding our limitations is the first step towards greatness, after all. Or at least, that's what my Mom says, lol. Obviously, Stiletto has not tried to hide the fact that someone else made the sculpties when it would be very easy for her to do so. All she would have to do is apply the sculpty map to the prim herself.

Another complaint was that someone didn't get their shoes during the sale. From personal experience, I can tell you that there *was* a problem with a number of the vendors caused by Linden Labs breaking a script protocol. If you wish you can check the Linden Blog for the week prior and find the post concerning the same. I believe the broken script protocol was later repaired. However, if the person or persons who did not receive their shoes, did not bother to follow up with Stiletto and her staff, then that's their fault. That person is the one who knows she didn't get her items. Not the staff. It took me a couple of extra days to get my shoes but I did get them and I don't blame Stiletto and her staff at all for something that was unavoidable. I, however, did not expect anyone to have their mind reading glasses on and followed up assiduously and had the privilege of talking to the scripter involved as well as with other members of the staff. In all, I bought five pair of shoes at the sale and I love all of them.

Yet another complaint was that the shoes bling or they make walk sounds. Okay, people, this complaint is pure and simple bs. The notecard which comes with every pair of shoes specifically tells you how to manage your bling and walk sounds with a simple click on your shoe. The left one I believe. If a buyer doesn't bother to read the notecard, this is not the fault of the designer or her staff. That's that person's laziness. (Incidentally, Zhao shoes uses a similar system only it's the RIGHT shoe)

One more complaint was that some of the designs are reproductions of real world styles. In the first, place get real. Every pointy toed pump in SL is a reproduction of a pointy toed pump in real life. Every sandal, every ankle strap, every sneaker, are reproductions. For that matter, to some extent, every pair of jeans, every halter top, is a reproduction. Why? Cause we make what we know. As someone famous once said, Shakespear I think, "There's nothing new under the sun." Paraphrased heavily, of course.

True, a few of Moody's styles are closer to real world shoes than others. My response is, So? I have boots in SL that look very similar to boots I have in RL. So? In fact many people *Try* to imitate their RL wardrobes in SL by looking for Doc Maarten style shoes or chucks or converse or whatever the thing is they want. I think this complaint is simply something to complain about.

Someone said that all the shoes were just for strippers, and blinging disasters. I don't recall the exact quote but it was along that line. It is true that some of the shoes do look as though they were made for dancers or with dancers in mind. Even the advertising mentions a pole. ;) However, this is not, by any means, the sum total of the styles within the walls of the store and to dismiss a store based on one assumption is pretty hard judgement. The strippery ones were not for me, but I found plenty of others to like.

Someone else said that the shoes don't fit well. I have to say, that when I first put mine on, I was severely disappointed because I thought that too. It turned out, though, that my shoes had not rezzed totally. Once they were rezzed completely they fit fine. I did adjust the ankle strap, according to personal taste but that's it. Otherwise I wear them straight out of the box and if they fit me they will fit anybody with size 0 feet.

Finally, the price. It's true. $900L or $1000L for one pair of shoes is a lot. It's more than I can pay without a sale. It's more than I can justify to myself to pay without a sale. I'm sure there are many of you in that same boat. Judging by the crowd that was at the sale the first day when I and Mr Coolname went, that was the case for many shoppers. And/or, they, like one lovely woman at the sale have a partner in a position to spare no expense for her to be well shod. ;)

There are a few considerations however when one thinks of the price. For one, you have a lifetime right to updates and or replacements for every pair of shoes you buy from Stiletto Moody shoes. That's right, all you have to do is go back to the vendor and click it to get a whole new copy of the pair you bought. This means if your inventory goes nuts, you still have shoes without even having to ask the store. Plus, any time the shoes are updated, you get a new copy. That's some extra service that has to get paid for somehow and to me it's worth the probably extra 150 or so linden I pay above what I'd pay for other sculpty shoes at a sale.

True, I wish Stiletto's shoes were priced closer to 600L than to 1000L but I am willing to wait for a sale to buy them. I think they are pretty, well made, and make me feel special. That's all I ask of any garment.

Incidentally, here's my pink moc croc elegant slingbacks. The designer gave them to me in honor of my buying so many pairs in spite of the difficulties with the vendors. I also bought the red elegant slingbacks that were on valentine special bringing my total up to seven pairs.

Rant in A Minor and Related Oddities

Before you ask, I am up now because I went to take a nap around 8 pm my time and got sucked down into the world of Morpheus and just woke up. All sane people are asleep, leaving me time to ponder things.

The rant is about pose balls. Mr Coolname (about whom more soon) is now quite a bit taller than he once was. Therefore pose balls, even my beloved Slow Dance v7, ends up putting my arms through his chest or some other ungroovy thing. This, as you may well imagine, tends to detract from the romantic nature of the dance. It looks as though I'm an Acolyte of Kali trying to tear out his lungs while smiling dreamily at him.

This is not the beginning of my woes. Naturally you can't adjust someone else's pose balls. Sometimes, it seems impossible to adjust your own pose balls. I think romantic and love (And even sex, blush) ball makers should include a notecard. "This pose was made for two people of this approximate size and shape." It would save a lot of fumbling and bumbling about, especially in your own home or that of your beloved (or should the spirit move you - just the home of your friend with benefits, your favorite escort, and so on)

We can make self sizing hair and skirts now. Why not self sizing pose balls? Is some clever person working on this desperate need alone and with sweaty brow attempting to solve the problem of arm through chest disease? If you are, I will donate whole lindens to your cause. (For a modest return on investment of course!)

I have in another area of my life been advised to get taller. My sliders were a rather middle of the road 62 for height, and I was admittedly slightly short waisted for my size. I still managed to tower over our resident tiny powerhouse, Alicia. I can justifiably call her a powerhouse, though with a cute voice, since I have now attended her host/dj gigs. Also, of which more later.

With my sliders sitting around 70 for height and my waist lengthened, I'm erm, taller. But still not tall enough for these blasted pose balls. They were all made for giants!

Self Adjusting Pose Balls are the wave of the future.

PS: I find that the Pillow Talk animations usually do not cause arm through chest disease and other related syndromes and they usually adjust simply. If she can do it, the rest of ya'll can do it too. So get on that, chop chop.

And now for the other oddities portion of this post.

In my travels recently, I have had cause to discover a paradise blanket. From that, I and Mr Coolname proceeded to the paradise blanket store in order to explore the possibilities therein.

Here's a picture of me at the paradise blanket store. I think the real name of the store is Octoberworks but don't quote me on that. Herein lies the oddity.

See what the sign says? It says Nursery. Somebody thinks the kids room is a place to be sexy? Pardon me while I stare! I don't know 'bout you.

Notice how I do look very spokesmodelish, waving my hand gracefully to indicate the Paradise Blanket Package - including your freaky nursery!

I have another post on the way but this should tide you over. I'll get to the Friday Five in a bit.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Alicia Made Me Do It!

I've been neglecting my blog. I know I have. And today, or possibly last night, the lovely Miss Alicia Chenaux of Ch'know blog fame called me out! Me and every other blogger neglecting their blogs. LOL

I do apologize to anyone reading this over my neglect. Though I do love to blog, I am the kind of person who needs a sit down and maybe a cup of tea to write a decent post. I don't know how some of the more prolific bloggers - cough Alicia cough - do it!

I do love to read her posts though and hopefully I'll be more on a roll with blogging and ya'll won't get bored.

By the way, I agree with her on Windlight. Though I think some of the pictures I have to show you would be prettier in Windlight, the problems with it, including the fact that my computer goes into electronic cardiac arrest every time I try to use it, keep me on the release candidates. It would be nice if they'd come up with a big red button. Windlight ON and Windlight OFF but somehow I don't see that happening.

Sidonie, you ask, where have you been?

Very, very busy.

I'll start with Mr. Coolname. I truly consider him, above any romanticness between us, my best SL friend. We spend an enormous amount of time together and we constantly have things to talk about. He is always dragging me to places which I might not go. A party populated mostly by escorts and their clients might not be a place I *want* to go but that's neither here or there, right? *g*

I was upset about something last night, for example, and he said something which I think a lot of women would like to hear. No, it wasn't, "Here honey, have my credit card." It was, "I will always have your back." And, he takes things that I say to heart. For instance, I'm not always sure if my getting pissy about things is really overreacting or if I'm on target because I've been accused in times past of being over sensitive. Lately, he's started saying to me, "That's a perfectly valid response, Sid." To me, this is a very touching and supportive thing for any friend much less a person who is pretty much also my boyfriend to say. He's chosen to DO something about the fact that I'm worried about overreacting. I don't think I could ask for more than that - but in fact he gives me a lot more.

He is consistently considerate, fun, warm, and sensitive. He also thinks I'm the most beautious thing on two legs. <3 We have not yet made the commitment to be exclusive with each other but that's coming. We also talk about some real life things and we've shared names. Last night I gave him my mailing address after a joking reference to me giving him the same so he could send me chocolates for Valentines got, "You should, Sid," from him. I am not one to really ask anybody to give me anything. I make jokes about people spending money on me, but when someone DOES, it's a big surprise and I usually cry. Mr. Coolname is unfailingly generous as I've notated previously on this blog.

BIG FLAMING WARNING: I feel safe in giving Mr. Coolname my real mailing address for a lot of reasons. However, I don't recommend this activity until you know someone extremely well and then know them better. Be careful on the internet with personal info. END OF WARNING.

Oh also, remember Mr. Coolname's noobie looks. Well, he's gone through a lot of experimentation some of which would have been unnecessary if he wasn't being quite so thick headed about taking advice (:P) and a few incarnations. He still is a bit prim adjustment challenged, partly cause I think he's a little too impatient about camming himself when he could be camming me instead, lol. We also discovered that while I'm a touch typist, he is not and this sometimes causes some miscommunication while he hunt and pecks and I'm typing for ten minutes. I have learned to slow down a little bit to let him keep up and I think he's learned to scroll up a bit.

I can now happily report that Mr. Coolname has evolved very handsomely. :) I would show pictures but I haven't gotten his permission yet and it seems unfair to show pics without that.

I do have more stuff to post and I will make a concerted effort to get it posted today but since I don't want to entirely spam you I'll wait a bit to post the next thing.

Oh, one other thing. Mr. Coolname bought land (which I will be reimbursing him half for in a week) and we are going into the real estate business together. Specifically Luxury Skyhomes. They are fully furnished units with custom sex animations and a choice of themed builds with the press of a button. On the ground we are putting in a lagoon, paths, gardens and so on replete with poses for both couples and singles. I am very excited about it and we hope to open for Valentine's day. We have also put in a building for parties and I am investigating shoutcasting to host parties for our guests. The rent is higher than most skyhomes but when you see these places, you'll see why. I honestly am very proud of these homes because I've looked around and I haven't seen anything to compare with what we are offering.

I'll leave you with one picture. This was taken from a gazebo I built on our lagoon.