A good father never...

Learning opportunities happen every day.   I was at the vet this morning with my dog who had a few seizures of the last couple of days.   As we were checking out, the vet tech was showing me how to split the meds so I could up his dosage a little bit.   It was a neat little trick, and the other dog owner standing nearby made a comment of "well look at that, you learn something new everyday" (he had never seen the little trick either).

That got me thinking about how much we really do learn every day.   I would qualify that by saying if we are open to it, we learn something new every day.  Sometimes we learn something about ourselves, or other people, or just how life in general works.

As a father, I try and help my boys learn every day.  Sometimes that education comes from letting them make mistakes (as long as the mistake is not life threatening).  I have the same philosophy when it comes to my Second Life.

Ever since Alicia and I set up our winter cabin (I love winter cabins), I brought Rocky out so he could play in the snow.  He really does love the snow, almost as much as he loves the beach.  At the end of the day, I always bring him back inside, so he can sleep by the fire and keep warm until we come back, and he can go out and play for a bit again.  Well, that little bugger always seems to find a way OUT of the cabin, because more often than not, when I log in, he is outside rolling around in the snow.   But of course as soon as I log in, he is all whiny about wanting to come back in.

Well, today, I decided he needed to learn a lesson.

Rocky needs to learn that there are consequences to his actions.   If he is gonna break out of the cabin without knowing how to get back in, then he is gonna have to suffer some of those consequences in order to learn that lesson.  It is what a good father does right?

Ok I admit, as much as I want to be a good father, I am also a softy at heart.   How can I resist that face!  I did open the door and let him back in.   MAN!   It is HARD to be a good father!

Oh well.   I do try.

I hope each one of you learned something new today!

It's that time once again...

Good morning fellow grid travelers!

I wanted to share a few things with you this morning since I have a few minutes to spare.

I realized the other night while I was trying to help a new friend with a male makeover that just about all my landmarks for guy stores are no longer valid.  I should clarify though, because it was not I that was actually in charge of the makeover, but since I was the only other guy in our little group it fell to me to point out good guy stores.

When asked, I started to tp around to some of my old haunts like Lookr, Blacklisted and such, only to find out they are gone.   This made me a bit sad, but also gives me a reason to drag Alicia around the grid for a change to rebuild my arsenal of guy stores.

Anyway, as Alicia, Ulaa, Drazala and I popped around the grid the question of good guy hair came up.   Of course the ladies' first thought was TRUTH, but I personally have not really been fond of Truth's guy hair.   It has always been a little too metro for me.

BUT...I also knew he had finally come out with some new guy hair, so we went over to check it out.   After looking at the new stuff, I actually wanted to try on.   So I grabbed a couple of demo's and kept following the pack around the grid for the rest of the evening.

Now last night Alicia and I actually had a bit of nice quiet time together, so we were taking away and going through our recent inventories, which included several demo hair that I had picked up.

Both Rocky and Elle were happy to see us, as we have not been to the cabin in a few days.  Elle even tried to climp up into Alicia's head a time or three.

Even Rocky was falling apart from laughter.   I really think Elle just wanted Alicia to give her a bath, which she did and she was a very happy kitty once again.

Besides...who wouldn't want to be close to this face right?

Sorry, I got a bit distracted there.

Anyway, so the evening was all said and done, I actually found a Truth hair that I like.   I don't change my basic appearance often, but I am not opposed to it at all.   There are some new guy skins coming out later this week also that I am interested in looking at.

Anyway, here is the result of the new hair.

It is a little different for me, but I am liking it so far.

Even though I in no way consider myself a fashion blogger, I have been kinda trained so I will do my best to give you the details of my look.  Alicia will have to add hers in comments if she so desires.

I am wearing:

HAIR - >TRUTH< Eric - night
SKIN -  -Belleza- Jonas SK 6 (hair)
SHIRT - + Blacklisted + This River (UrbanDigi) by TG (no longer available)
JEANS - Zaara : Classic jeans for men *sky*

For those who do not follow me on plurk, I received my Christmas present early this year.   I got a brand new Dell Laptop.  It has made Second Life run SOOOO much better for me, and it will allow me to even run the graphics as anything higher than LOW and still be able to move around.   I am in heaven.

The other thing this means is that I am going to try and find time to do more work on my other two blogs, which have to do with pictures more than anything.   Now that I can do more photography, I am looking forward to playing around with that more.  Stay tuned.

Have a wonderful Thursday everybody.

A funny thing happened on the way...

Greetings fellow grid travelers.

I have been itching to do some writing and you would think that with 2 blogs I would have no trouble finding things to write about.   Somehow it never seems to work out that way.

Actually I do have a lot to write about, but it seem that something always comes up that keeps me from actually sitting down and writing.   I feel like my skills are deteriorating, so I am going to put some extra effort into it and write even if I think it is silly.

This is not a silly post however.

In my over 4 years of grid travel, I think I have just about seen it all.   So I find myself having an idea to write about, then I look and I realize I have already written about that subject.   Sometimes it is about SLife in general, or about a new toy (I have really cut back on my shopping over the past year, mostly because I HAVE everything in one form or another).  I don't usually talk about things that happen TO me, because they are personal, and while I share my personal insights from time to time, the other stuff is just boring to anybody but me.

But it is always interesting to look back.   I have been cleaning a bit of inventory, and files from my laptop.   I am waiting for my NEW laptop to arrive (I cannot WAIT!), and while I am waiting, I am trying to clean up some of the old files that I no longer use or need so I don't have to transfer them over to the new laptop.

It is interesting to see the progression of things.  Being the thinker that I like to think of myself as, I try and look back and see how I arrived at this day.   What brought me to this point.

Not only has this trip in the wayback machine been started because of a new computer, but because yesterday was somewhat of a milestone.   While it seemed like an ordinary Tuesday for most, it was the day that marked 5 months of Alicia and I being together.

I chose that phrase "being together" because that is what it is.   We are not partnered, engaged, or married in my mind.  We just are....together.

(I will interject in here that as I wrote that line above, in my head I heard a "yet".   Funny thing is, it wasn't her voice saying "yet", it was mine.  Interesting)

I have always had an interesting take on relationships.   For me, having someone in my life is not about filling a role (i.e I want a gf/wife/partner), it is about having the RIGHT person in your life.   Someone who just fits, without drama and is a positive addition to your life.

That is how I look at it.  When I consider a relationship, I try hard to be a positive addition to that relationship.   I am not looking to be mommied, or to prove that I am worthy by saying "LOOK everybody!   I am worthy of being special to someone!" because I know that I am worthy.

So I don't rush things.   I watch, listen, and contribute.   I see how things grow.  It is a hard road sometimes, because many times, things just don't grow the way you would like.   That is life though, so I don't let it get me down.

But when it DOES grow in a way that makes you happy, it really is an amazing thing.  When it grows naturally, with very little extra work, it is even better.   I truly think that makes it have an even stronger base, because it wasn't something that was forced, or pushed, or even coaxed.   Some would say that makes it "meant to be".  They could be right.

Alicia and I have been friends for a very long time.  I have always enjoyed her company when we were just friends.  She has always struck me as someone who was kind, sweet, funny, and just a joy to be around.  These last 5 months have proven that I was right over and over again.

Because 5 months ago yesterday, we decided to be more than just friends.  Best. Move. Ever.

These last 5 months have also shown me once again, that my instincts are not as out of whack as I was beginning to think they were.

I am not surprised at how this has all worked out, because everybody deserves to be in a relationship like this.  I am just overjoyed that it is happening to us!

The last 5 months have been amazing with this wonderful woman.   I look forward to many, many more.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everybody!

Hello, my name is Al and...

...I am a Second Life Snob!

It has been so long since I have blogged about anything in Second Life.  Every time I get the urge to blog something, I look back and either find I already have done it, or the subject is already been done to death.

I little while ago Alicia and I were out enjoying an evening together, and something came up that made me think of something that I wanted to blog about.  I have been trying to actually do this post for about 2 weeks but things keep coming up, and I was having trouble doing the pics for it.

So today, I had a day off (kinda).  I didn't get called to sub, and although I had to fix a broken toilet I had the day basically to myself.   So I got Codie on the line and worked through some of my imprudence crashing and picture issues so I was actually able to take the pics I wanted.

So I got the pics done...and now here I am blogging.

The idea that came up was about being a Second Life Snob. I totally am. I recently got a new neighbor in my sim, and it has been very entertaining to watch them set up the land. Knowing that these two avatars were just a few months old, I can forgive to a degree the stuff they put out on the land.

Now, given that I have been around the virtual block a time or 3, I have found that I definitely have my tastes for things.  I know what I think looks good, and tend to buy stuff that is more "modern" in Second Life, meaning good textures and some sculpties.  Whether it is a house, or clothes, or even toys I can see when something is "old", as in, inadequate textures, no sculpties etc. It is just something I see.

So when I got my island, I went house shopping and did find a place that I thought looked really good and fit perfecting on my island.

When you look at the two lots side by side, it is like night and day.  Part of me wants to IM the guy and give him a few pointers.  But, he already has a girl, and has now set up a party place next door to me that you even have to buy a pass to get into.  Obviously he is doing something right? Maybe?

I feel like looking down on his stuff makes me a complete snob.  Granted I joke about it with Alicia, and I wonder how they can see what else is around and not think to themselves "wow, where do I find that cool stuff".  But then again, if they do not put money into this game, or don't want to find work to earn more lindens, why not use what you have or whatever you can find for free or 10Lindens?  And if your woman is still willing to jump on a 2006 heart shaped sex bed with you...does it really matter?

I admit that I have high standards.  But these standards are mine, and I have chosen to live with them.  Granted these standards have gotten me a great little island and house to call my own, and a wonderful woman to spend my inworld time with.

So does that make me snob? Probably.  Do I care?  Not in the least.

Have a wonderful day, even if it is from 2006!


So last night I took the plunge.  I got my very own SIM!

Before you start to congratulate me, let me explain.    I have been playing around with all the different viewers recently, and exploring some of the other "grids" available out there.   I had a long talk with a friend about inWorldz for example, and even spent some time on OSGrid.  It was strangely reminiscent of my early days in SL, but it did have an air of excitement to it.

During my chat, I mentioned how great it would be to have a SIM that I could load on my home network to build stuff on.  I was promptly given a link to such a beast!  I could not believe it!

Of course I downloaded it right away!  700megs and 1 burned CD later, I booted up one of the "spare" computers I had laying around, and VIOLA!  I had my very own SIM!

Since I use the Rainbow and Imprudence viewers almost exclusively, it was very easy to connect to my new SIM!  A quick login, and BOOM!  There I was, my own island in the world.  All those prims and room, JUST FOR ME!

Now  granted, this little world is pretty darn small.  This SIM is not connected to anything, so all I can do is walk around.  Even that was a little sketchy.  I mean, it IS OpenSIM.

Don't get me wrong, I completely support OpenSIM.  It just is not up to SL status yet but I have no doubt it will get there someday.  When someday will be here, I have no idea.  But I like that it is completely open sourced, so if other open source projects are any indication, at some point it will really start to take off.

I was thinking about what this could mean.  Imagine you are content creator, and you have your own private sim you can build on, upload textures too for testing, and all without any charges.  I am not sure there is a way to transfer stuff from OpenSIM over to SL just yet (I have not researched it much), but I would say if there is not, I bet that eventually there will be.  The possibilities are really amazing.

So while I actually DO have my own private SIM, it is kinda like owning the same car you had when you first got your license to drive.  Definitely some fond memories of those times, but not sure I would use it for everyday stuff...YET!

For those of you who like to see what might be possible, and an extra computer laying around, here is the link to this neat little project.


Also, some more information about OpenSIM

OpenSIM Main Site

Get your Geek on!

You can dance if you want to...

...you can leave your friends behind.  

I was catching up on some TV shows tonight, and I was able to watch the latest installment of Glee (Dream On episode).   It had a song in it that came out when I was in high school.   The Safety Dance.   It was a one hit wonder for the group Men Without Hats, but we sure loved the song, and the group name actually inspired a few friends of mine and I to form our own little group.   I will refrain from going into that more at this point.

Anyway, I thought the timing was interesting, because not just the night before I went out dance shopping.   I am very picky on what dances I will use for my avatar.   There are some really great dances available in SL these days, but most of them make my avatar look a little too feminine.   I actually enjoy watching all the ladies use them, cause they look great, but I don't like them on me.   So up until last night, I had my standard 4 dances that seem to fit my personality pretty well.

My favorite place for guy dances is Akeyo.   I always try there first.   This particular nights shopping adventure started at 3fx.  3fx really does have an amazing assortment of not only single dances, but couples dances as well.   I highly recommend you take a look there if you need to add some new dances to your repertoire.  After checking out the new couples dances, there I was back at Akeyo.

One of the other things I have been meaning to do was tweak my AO a little bit.   I have a few stands that I am not wild about, and I always like to look around for some new ones to add in to freshen it up a bit.   The first thing I notices when I arrived at Akeyo was the new AO vendors, so I decided to take a look.

I hopped on the vendor and started to cycle through the animations.   Most I liked, some I have seen too much of recently, or the stand just moved a little too much for my taste.  I kept going back and forth, trying to narrow down which ones I liked.  I finally just decided to get the whole AO, so I could play with all of them on my own time, and not take up the vendor for hours on end.  So I plopped down the $1,800 lindens for the Rudeboy AO.

I checked out some of the new dance moves that had arrived, bought a few of those, then headed home.   I unpacked my new purchase, and immediately wore the new AO.   I had to laugh because just that morning I was teasing a friend about wearing 2 AO's, and here I was doing just that.  Like can be kinda funny that way.  I noticed a few things right away on this new AO.

First, my first impression of the HUD was good.   It defaults to the upper left hand corner of my screen, where I do not usually have anything anyway.   It is horizontal, as opposed to vertical as so many AO HUDs are.  There were quite a few buttons I needed to explore, but the standard ones were there (Stand, Sit Override, Ground Sit).   One new thing I found was the "Dance" button, which is not uncommon these days, but my current AO does not have that option.   I use a huddles HUD for my dances, and I will probably keep using it for the features that it has on loading different sets of animations.   I am not always dancing in a club, so it's nice to be able to load up a few casual dances if I am listening to some live music.

Anyway, so I was playing around with my new AO HUD, and I figured I would add my new dances to it, just to experiment.   This is where I found the neatest part.   Up until now, when I had to configure an AO, it was all about editing a notecard to tell the AO what animations to use for what.   This Rudeboy AO did not have ANY notecards in it at all.  So I went exploring around to see exactly how I was supposed to get this all to work.

As a guy, I always try to see if I can figure stuff out before I fall back on reading the directions.   This time was no different.   But based on past experience, I knew that I would have to drop the AO onto the ground before I could add anything to it.   So, with it sitting in the sand on my beach, I dragged my 4 new dances into the AO.

All of a sudden, I saw in my chat history that the AO had detected I had added some new animations.   This is not really all that new, but what was really interesting was that it was able to automatically determine what catagory to put them in!   I have to say, that was impressive.   I am pretty sure that it was able to figure this out by using the names as a clue, because it was Akeyo dances I added.  BUT...I have to say, it was nice to see some thought put into how this HUD worked.

I poked around a bit more, thinking that it would not be able to automagically know where to put ALL the animations throughout SL.   What I found out was actually pretty ingenious I think.   There is a "reconfigure" button on the AO (you have to expand

I am not sure if I am quite ready to give up my Vista AO quite yet.  My original plan was to strip the animations out of the Rudeboy AO and add the stands I liked to my Vista.  After playing with the Akeyo AO for a little bit, I am not sure if that plan will still be my plan A or not.  Who knows, maybe I will try out this 2 AO thing a little.

I am always happy to see progress made in making our lives in this world a bit easier.   The process of setting up an AO has been one of those things that is rarely attempted in the first months of being in SL.   Even veterans of this world tend to not change AO's very often because of the effort required to do it.   With the system that artoo Magneto has created with the Akeyo AO's, I can see a time very soon where changing your AO becomes even more commonplace, and done much earlier in a persons Second Life.

So once again Akeyo has come through for me.   I was able to find a few more dances that seem to suit me, and some new AO stands to liven up my current AO a bit.   

Now if I can only find the dance that Aritie did at the mall.   

*Helpful Info

Akeyo_PowerAO_Rudeboy (v1.5) - $1,800 lindens


A small shift...

I came to realize a short while ago, that while this blog was originally designed to be a place to talk about all stuff Second Life, that more recently I have been using more for general musings.  I wanted to get this particular blog back to my original intent, so I have made a small change.

I have started a "personal" blog, located over at Al Unplugged 

As I have mentioned in previous entries on this blog, writing has really been a great outlet for me.   I want to do more of it, but I also do not want this particular blog to wander too far away from its original intent.  This blog will still have thoughts, but those thoughts will be specifically about Second Life. 

There is much to discover about Second Life, and my goal is to write about that.   Anything else that I might feel noteworthy, will be over on Al Unplugged

I hope you find at least one of these blogs worthy of your precious time.

I thank you for all the comments I have received so far.   I do appreciate them more than you know.

- Al