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It has been quite warm in these Seattle lands, 84F in Kirkland, and the plants are complaining - I just finish drenching all the potted plants and shrubs for the third day in a row to keep them from withering. On the other hand, the ground rooted plants are doing fine since there is plenty of water below. That does mean the blackberry vines are in takeover mode. Perhaps tonight, since we have decent daylight until almost 10PM, I will go out and thin out the most egregious vines and tangles.

 It is hotter in Redmond and with a bunch of nearby offices being converted into a lab, the air conditioning is not quite up to snuff, hence quite warm inside; dare I wear my kilt in to work? I think not - too many pranksters are around to flip it up. Tech boys can be quite immature when they see things socially off the mean.

I now have two kilts: the Utilikilt in tan and a Freedom Kilt in charcoal. I bought the Freedom Kilt in Victoria and it was  custom made, sized for me, so it wears extremely well. Since it is cut in a traditional Scottish kilt style with the flat unpleated apron, I usually wear the modern equivakent of a sporran: an REI  waist pack. Kilts are also the best way to travel on airlines for many reasons, notably staying cool in those now too crowded airplanes and it seems to ease my way throuogh the security lines (no they don't have mirrors on the floor).

Missing Selene - she's down in San Diego teaching and participating in a workshop. Then she's off to Kripalu for another couple of weeks, thus it's me and the two cats.

SL has kept me quite occupied with its bardic circles, amazing dances and aesthetic construction classes. Now this is proving to be a good thing because it makes me write thoughtful prose and deliver it at least once a week. And now I am wending through the time consuming modeling and scripting phase to build an inventory of tools and subassemblies for my creations. This, I hope, will lead to artistic products which people will flock to and buy thus offsetting the cost of living there.
Current Locale:
Kirkland & Elven Meadows
Current Music:
magnatune - eastern
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Summer finally arrived in Seattle - well it did about a week ago with temps well above average and rainfall well below - and yet it is nice to have blue skies above and not a knotted mess of grey scudding northward to converge upon an equal mess of grey somewhere over Everett. The plants are not happy about this situation; though they like those photons, they thirst for water, and I haven't been keeping up with their watering as I have been distracted.

I am not riding the STP (Seattle to Portland) event this year. That month long vacation, wonderfully though it was, knocked off about six weeks of training. I waited signing up because I was no certain I was in shape for it, and though I fared reasonably well in the Flying Wheels Summer Century that wait before registering was sufficiently long enough that the STP was full. I suppose I can shop around for a ticket - people often cancel, but this year I'll try some other double century bike ride: perhaps the RSVP (Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party).

The cats have been literally having a field day. I let them out in the morning and they in turn bring in their little live mole toys from outside. How cruel they can be bringing up the little tykes onto the upper deck and then watch with semi-interest, from inside the house, looking out the glass panes as the moles run around with desperation trying to find an escape route. And this brings me to my distraction - having had the luxury of working from home, I attend to writing papers on esoteric virtualization optimizations while two moles manage to 'escape' into the house behind me. Cute though they are, their tiny bladders void with fear as Beren and Fariell each home in on them. That's when I notice. Beren grabs one and  takes him downstairs, and as I run after him, I realize he's been doing this for several days. There in a neat little pile in the closet next to my clothes (and thankfully not on top of them)  lie the dessicated remains of several moles. It's been a bumper season for my feline hunters. Thankfully, they've stopped going after the birds, but I have a cleanup job ahead of me.

 

Tags:
Current Locale:
Kirkland
My temperment:
cheerful cheerful
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I had to wait to be certain I was ready (cardio-wise) for the STP, and now I've lerned it has sold out! Moof! Oh well, perhaps that was for the better; even though I have been training up quickly, I could end up seriously bonked given my abbreviated training schedule.

Selene and I went down to our place in Santa Cruz this past weekend to host a Soul Collage workshop. As usual, I had a number of maintenance chores to do, mostly mowing the lawn and surrounding areas, but everything was mostly in order. The best news is that despite the extreme high energy usage that occurs during a workshop - what with electric water urns, coffee makers, electric oven and dish washer going, the house did not have to switch on the backup generator! Hurray, we have sufficient battery capacity, finally.

I love these workshhops because we play our favorite music while we prepare the food. It ranges from ambient, to funk, to choral.

Meanwhile, the fixed wireles network is also humming along now that our node has been upgraded. It isrunning at 100 megabits in the wireless trunk beams with us getting 6 megabits symmetric. Quite respectable speed, and capable of running the SL client perfectly.

The last time I posted about SL, I was a rank newbie, so my avatar was a little rough and simplistic. Since then, I've added more detail, picked up much better clothing, and went elven. So this is the latest comparison. Balpien is taller. I am 6'0" while Bal is 6'7". Avatars tend to be very tall in SL and it is mostly because people (including myself) do not realize that choosing 90% height places the avatar nearly seven feet. I need to adjust his size to something within the 90%-tile.

Balpien and Rene

Balpien and Rene

Current Locale:
Santa Cruz Mountains
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FL: OMG, am I sore from this weekend's ride! That month long vacation Selene and I took, although wonderful and relaxing, left me with less cardio-vascular stamina. I started riding last week by going to the office and back. It was OK, though I'd get winded sooner, especially up the hills. Today I rode from Kirkland around the lower part of Lake Washington and then across the I-90 bridge, about 40 miles in total. Though I made it fine, albeit slower and more winded, I find myself quite sore this late evening. Tomorrow morning might prove 'interesting', :-). 

SL: I bought land several days ago, a blank slate of a hillside with splendid views of the virtual ocean to the west and not so pleasing views of a skyscraper to the south. There are no building codes in SL, so residential areas are freely intermixed with commercial real estate. There are, however, very tall trees, so I occluded the building with a bunch of giant blue spruces and then planted firs and other shorter trees in front of them. It's quite nice. I finished building a translucent foot bridge between Rowan and Kurt's land, added water beneath it along with water loving plants. It's my first attempt at prim building, so I need to clean up the rough spots - in time it will get better. Kat (my new friend in SL) called, so I showed her the grounds, introduced her to Rosmairta and Scarlotti. Later on she and I went dancing at heartland - it's pure country music, line dancing and much fun. 

Now off to sleep.
Current Locale:
Kirkland & Amon Balpien
My temperment:
cheerful cheerful
Current Music:
Magnatune-medieval & downhome country
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LJ's scrapbook system truly sucks, and after having tried the different upload 'clients', I am not satisfied. Flickr, on the other hand, is easy to set up and the drag and drop clients are pretty good. So, here is the link to my SL gallery. My First Life vacation/holiday trip will also soon be uploaded to Flickr.
Current Locale:
Kirkland
My temperment:
chipper chipper
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Returning from my first life holiday, I had some time to go inworld and work on my avatar. I have a brief photo history of my time in SL here. It is interesting to view the skin changes starting with the default one given to a newcomer, then some heavier customization, and then getting higher quality skin. All this is using free skins so far, though the purchased skins are even better quality. Compare my first avatar...

 versus my latest one in the thumbnail above.

My first avatar was based on the default skin given to newcomers to Second Life. I chose the Haruguy form and then made minor customizations to it.

 

My next change was to further customize on the Haruguy form but add more definition and sculpted features to give it more age. I also change the hair to be more like mine, albeit idealized.


There are limits to the default skin, so I rummaged a bit in the free stores looking for something better. This one is much better. I also added some bulk to move it closer to my RL proportions.


Finally, here I am dancing with a lovely person I met recently.

Current Locale:
Kirkland
Current Music:
Tone Urubi
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I've just started in SecondLife, so I haven't had time to adjust my avatar. This is what I have so far...

...back to wine, cheese,...

Current Locale:
Lucca Italy
My temperment:
energetic energetic
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Well, my bags are not packed yet, but they soon will be with several changes of clothing, HABA, and other travel goodies to carry me through a much needed month long holiday; Selene and I will be heading out to SEATAC Sunday crack'o'dawn to Madrid Spain for almost a week to visit her sister and growing family. After that we fly to Torino Italy to se the temple at Damanhur and then spend two weeks working our way across Tuscany to Venicia, Florencia, (many stops along the way) ending at Pisa. After that we fly back for a one week whirlwind visiting family: New York for a wedding, Puerto Rico to visit my dad, Detroit to visit Mom and rest of family. We have our inexpensive GSM phone,have a SIM/TIM card for Italy. Viaggiamo avanti!

Meanwhile, stopped the mail and newspaper delivery, arranged cat sitting for Beren and Fariell (who we hope will remember us after we return), photocopy a bunch of documents, deal with many details... Time to sleeep now...
Current Locale:
Kirkland - Seattle
My temperment:
excited excited
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OMG, I have been in excrutiating pain in the last 24 hours while passing a kidney stone. If it weren't for a shot of Turbitol to ease the pain immediately or the Vicodin pills afterward, I'd be a puddle on the floor. As it tuend out, I waspretty much writhin in pain, nausia, and just plain confuzzled. This morning the stone passed - blessed relief.
Current Locale:
Skyote
My temperment:
exanimate exanimate
Current Music:
Pat metheney
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Well, it was either go inworld and travel the regions, perhaps stop off at Renaissance Island, or, go outworld an enjoy the fabulously sunny weekend in the Seattle area. Sun and warmth being a rare and precious experience this time of year, compelled me to go a-sojourning. On Saturday, Selene and I took a walk through the Mercer Slough just south of Bellevue. The lovely walk went through the swamps atop a winding planked boardwalk which led us through intensely green and fragrant plants, brilliant Fuschias and the weirdest variant of horsetails I've ever seen. We also circumnavigated a working blueberry farm, the plantings living off of the rich peat soil. That was a great day capped by watching a few episodes of Monarch of the Glen.

Sunday I went riding on my bicycle, this time going widdershins from Kirkland east to Redmond then north on the Sammamish trail to Bothell, heading west across the top of the lake, stopping at Log Boom park for a break and snack. Then I rode south to Seattle, stopping off at Gas Works Park for my second break and snack. On my way out I met my friend, Rebecca, who is part of our vocal improv singing group. She too was cycling, albeit just around her neighborhood. Continuing south (and up the moderate Lake Washington Drive), I was shadow tailed by another cyclist who was impressed by my speed going up the grade on "just a hybrid." Feh! "Gosh why don't you buy a road bike?" said he. Well, this just got me to speed up a lot, though I was impressed he kept up too. We eventually got into a friendly banter and we rode most of the way together, exchanging the lead position to share the wind load. Having a pace line partner is wonderful because the person or people behind the lead rider get a 30% reduction in effort. We rode up to I-90, then blasted east across the bridge. Steve lives on Mercer Island so we departed ways at that point; I continued east to I-405 then north through Bellevue and up a steep series of hills back to Kirkland.

Much later that evening I popped inworld to practice making a translucent bridge in preparation for a walkway to join the lands of Falkenrath and  Talad Thiad. While practicing twisting things, I received an invite to join Pipp, my earlier friendly encounter. Well, he brought in another fella, Viper, who looked all tough and tatted, and he then proceeded to hand out weaponry. The machine gun worked very well, and Viper's plasma gun did a bunch of damage (all on their lands, mind you), but when he said shoot the dog, I reached my limit. Surprisingly, so did Viper - the dog lived, and we all learned innocents must never be killed. Ah the color - There's room for all sorts of folks in SL. I bid my farewell and teleported away before leaving the world.

Current Locale:
Kirkland
My temperment:
creative creative
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