Saturday, 29 December 2012

Vent du Sud closing 4 January

Oh this hurts.

But it has to be done. Not going into the reasons - there is no point.

Vent du Sud will close on 4 January 2013. If you want any of the 50L builds or the 1L (or free) decor items, now is the time to go look


Mainstore on the main square but builds also elsewhere on the sim (lighthouses, houses, greenhouse, plants, trees, etc.).

Not sure whether I'll keep the markeplace stuff yet (a few builds, a few furniture sets) yet, because I prefer people can go see stuff before buying.

I am NOT leaving SL, but I don't have the time or energy to keep the sim going in the way I want it.

(Did I say this hurts? It HURTS)

Oh, and yes, the blog will probably close too. Not sure about that yet. 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Things that happen

OK, so I have excuses but you don't need to hear about them.

Nope, not the work nightmares in general or the work travel nightmares (one of them resulting in 8 weeks of antibiotics).

Really not.

So we should get onto SL news, right?

This could be a problem, as there ain't none (except that I have Good Intentions).

In fact, I had SUCH good intentions that, seeing a slightly less harrowing week ahead, I decided that it was going to be  Big Comeback time.

Silly me.

So, here's a little story about... stuff. Well actually it's quite long so do feel free to scroll. Just call it the result of blog withdrawal and I promise that this boring and this long will not happen again. Well, not often.

And no, it is not illustrated.  Please just imagine the visuals.

On Monday night, we were invited to friends (OK, so I'll get inworld tomorrow, I think - what's one more day?).

And then, it starts to rain during the evening.

As in huge rain with storms that keep waking me up.

At 5 am, I note the absence of the alarm clock display. Always bad news.

Absence of all power, in fact. Power cuts do happen in rural France. It's part of the fun deal.

So off I trot to the fuses, attempt to restore power (and thus heating and useful stuff like that) and it comes on briefly but the main fuse keeps flipping. Not a power cut then.

I proceed by elimination, flip one fuse after another, and find the problem is on the "external" circuit: I decide water must have got into a "waterproof" plug adapter outside so grab a torch, remove it, get soaked, but congratulate self when the fuses then behave nicely.

The woman is a genius!

And then I realise there is water flowing out from a drainhole, all over the garage floor.

At this point, I decide I should wake Mr RL so he can join the fun.

The damned drain appears to serve no purpose except it's connected to the main drain outside (which is, of course, overflowing too - but soggy garden is better than flooded garage, which is not used as a garage but a workshop and storage place and even has a big old rug that soaks up water most beautifully).

Long sentence. Bad writer-y person.

Oh, and on closer inspection, there's a smaller lake in the utility room (we live with a trickle or two when it rains, occasionally, but this was a bigger-than-usual trickle).

We mop. We admit we should have done something about the drain and the trickle before but then it doesn't usually rain that much in such a short time.

We have coffee.

Mr RL decrees that the trickle is slowing down and the drain has almost stopped overflowing. We are lulled into a false sense of calm.

More coffee.

Then, I go turn on the PC because I have a very urgent job to deliver, and realise we have no phone line. And thus no Internet.

After hitting a zillion buttons on their helpline, discover from a very snotty France Telecom person that they can't send anybody today (maybe tomorrow). Also, they only handle stuff outside as in if the problem is "their fault", but if it's inside the house, it needs another appointment ("a few days later") or you find your own electrician. Because it's "your fault".

More coffee. It starts raining heavily again.

Mr RL heads off to buy a cap for the drain, involving lots of good advice from his DIY store friends. That, in fact, proves to work. So far, anyway.

(None of them can imagine why anybody would want to put a drainhole from outside running back into the garage either. The mystery remains).

But it is, after all, France.

Meanwhile, I establish the fact that the neighbours who share our telephone pole are not cut off, and set about finding an electrician. Except electricians are like gold here and I discover not many do "telephone stuff".

I go borrow the neighbours' Internet line for half an hour. They hover. I'm distracted, but at least I get stuff sent.

Yet more coffee.

Call friends to see if they know electricians. Attempt to work. Fend off panic attacks. Realise just how much I rely on the Internet when I'm doing technical translations quite apart from getting and sending work.

The day drags on. And then, around lunchtime...


Wonderful electrician who is a friend-of-friend calls back,  arrives, fixes the phone wires (good news although it takes two hours), but confirms that the phone itself and the Internet router are burned out, most probably from lightning and despite having a lightning conductor (bad news).

Dash to the Big Town for a replacement router and phone (two-hour round trip because they can only be obtained from the provider's stores, not locally) and get back to find... the whole neighbourhood is in the dark and, as our neighbours call to tell us, has been for the last two hours.

The electricity company have said it will be back "soon", apparently.  Mind, they always do.

And it's cold in the house. And it's still raining.

We grab torches and candles and firewood for the stove, and I try not to freak out.

Wine is poured. Medicinal, of course.

Half an hour later, the power actually trundles back.

And the new router works. And I have my second glass of wine in front of me.


Light. Heat. Internet. Phone. Cooking facilities. Slowly drying garage and utility room and rug.

But it has taken 15 hours. And way too much coffee and nothing to eat.

So I cook pasta. Drink much, much more wine.

Then conk out. Waking up every hour paranoid about floods and phones and power cuts.

So tonight could be the night I get back inworld. Except I have another heap of jobs and deadlines that landed on my desk and I need sleep. Badly.

And it's still raining. 

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Disconcerting things

Well, top of the list of disconcerting things are:
  • earache from orange juice (and from a bunch of other stuff, but... long and totally irrelevant story) and
  • my daughter (25, brilliant, geeky marketing person) reads my SL blog and I never knew.  Scary. Meaning I can no longer whine about overwork and feeling crap on this blog because parents shouldn't whine. Apparently.
  • In a lousy economic climate, and being a freelancer which is not exactly secure, I am ridiculously fortunate to have masses and MASSES of work (but am too scared to say "no" to any of my clients).
Ooops whining. Better talk about SL then, huh?

Ummm. OK. SL. Vent du Sud, even.

No time to do anything but pay rent (whine whine whine) for weeks ... or rather months now because of work and more work, plus major family visit (4 of them, including two teenage boys and oh boy can they eat but I digress already), and the need to go stare into space of an evening, outside.

Summer and all that. Wine and provence and lavender and peace... there are worse thing.

We have bats that drink out of our pool at night. Which is completely irrelevant to anything, but it's fascinating.

However, and not being one to give up (that) easily, I have paid my rent and - is this a sign? - paid some money into SL and it worked FIRST TIME. No snarky messages from either my bank or LL.

This is a first. 

And why have I put money in?

Well... I miss it. I actually miss Vent du Sud like hell. Can I say hell on a family blog?

I do NOT miss bitchy comments and one-star reviews on the marketplace (AGAIN) because something hasn't been delivered (and did they tell me? No).

I am NOT happy about the fact that somebody flagged an item of mine because of "wrong permissions" without telling me (and the permissions were NOT wrong when I did that hellish migration thing but apparently are now).  I have changed it. Gritting my teeth.

But I do miss it. So many things about it.

You may not understand this, dear daughter (if you are reading it). Or you might.  Working for a gaming company, I hope you will. 

So... better get going again, right?

 (Mind, I still need to juggle SL with the work, the vegetable garden, cooking, more work, travel for work, and now and then a little sleep and a little bat-watching).

But I'll try.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

So anyway

Yes, I am still trying to find my feet in SL again.

And I will get there.

Well, I hope so.

However, our oldest cat (nearly 19) is fading fast and going for the big sleep this afternoon after a rather difficult few days.

Not easy.

Apologies for a huge digression from normal posting. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Battered and flattered


No, not so much me in RL any more - I'm feeling less battered by the day. So much so I found myself taking vain, vain photos of myself in SL last night (see at the end) rather than getting on with some building. Bad me.

THIS battered.

It's one of the things I made on a whim, and liked (despite endless fiddling with offsets). 

Whims are good.

Prims? 4. Price? 1L.  To be found, of course, at Vent du Sud at the front of the mainstore.


Oh yeah. 

See, Terry (Wumpole) and Mike (Stonesoul) offered me a booth at their home accessories exhibition, which was, I think, the decisive kick in the thing I can't say on a family-safe blog that I needed to get me moving again.

(Terry and Mike are lovely and I'm delighted to know them. And not just because they seem to have acquired a taste for provencal builds and decor). 

So I put the table there, along with a few other things, all at 1L.

Like the 1 prim bench (which is normally part of the greenhouse set but I should sell it separately, maybe, and in other colours?).

Yes. (Adds to to-do list).

More on the greenhouse set on the Marketplace.

It has anims. Couples and singles.  Look.

Please do go and have a look around at the expo - it's something they're doing for the sheer love of decorating. It's fun, it's not huge, but there are some great things to be found.

The vain bit? Here you go.

Tuli Audrey skin, with a lipstain from MOCK that I adore. And a lovely messy hairdo from Damselfly.
So vain. But probably better than a shopping spree which I would love but then I'll never get any building done.

Off to work and to cross fingers and toes I get some building time in later.

The ideas, they are a-coming.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

One step at a time

Don't faint, or say "about time" or "oh, her again", but... thanks to the pharmaceutical industry, slightly less horrendous RL deadlines, and a PC and a connection that work... and the Marketplace back in action (although not without blood, sweat and tears)...

...I have stuck my toes back into the murky sparkling waters of SL. A little tentatively, but definitely a start.

And for once am not ranting but talking about that thing I used to do. Whatcha call it?


Spring flower bench, click to change plants, 1L

I EVEN put out a couple of spring-ish things like the one above. Find them here, ALL FOR 1L or *gasp* free at Vent du Sud.

OK, not new. But new since last spring.

I EVEN took some photos of other 1L / free stuff. Colour change fabrics on the baskets.

Here's another photo, this time  the summer cabins (19 prims, 50L, go look pls thanks).

And I EVEN hopped up to my work platform to attempt a little progress on "things abandoned". You do not need to see photos of this because it is a mess.

I EVEN changed clothes (and came up with the worst possible lighting for what is in fact a stunning skirt and jacket). My apologies to Zaara (Larin skirt, moves beautifully) and Mon Tissu jacket.

(Also, spot the bunch of tulips in the bucket, plus the wishing well, also a spring whim... 1L each)

Looks like I have a way to go before attempting a proper fashion post again, although I do vaguely recollect I did those too. Sorry about this rather weak effort.


One step at a time. 

PS: Also, I shall be posting again very soon on a cute, delightful home accessories expo run by two extraordinarily nice guys- some really nice, well-made things to be found there.

Including *cough* mine.


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Pettiness and cowardice

Let me tell you a story.

A couple of months back I got a crappy review on the Marketplace for my Best Selling Item (yes, and ranted about it) because... it wasn't delivered. A one-star report because of that (did she contact me? No).

I flagged it, and it disappeared - either LL or the reviewer did it, no idea.

So far, so good.

Lots of nice people said nice things about the rant, too, which gave me the warm and fuzzies. And the Best Selling Item started selling again. For 6L, I might add.

Today, I tried the direct delivery migration thing which failed miserably (these two things are linked, bear with me).

Now, I did find on Google that it didn't work if your interface wasn't in English, and the viewer I had loaded for the purpose picked up that I was in France so OK. I changed the language to English, and it said it worked.

It didn't.

So the Magic Box is back.

(I am digressing more than usual, but I have an utterly crappy ear infection, am swamped with work, but I did want to see if I could get that done so I actually took an hour off to try it).

(No, not expecting sympathy).

But back to the Marketplace and - wait for it - while checking to see that the Magic Box was working, what do I find? Two more crappy reviews for that same, 6L best-seller, two days apart soon after that review that disappeared.

Funny, that.

(OK, I say best-seller but I maybe sold a couple of hundred over a year or so, but even. I was proud of it).

(Yes I know this is full of stuff in brackets. Earache is a bitch).

So I took it down. As the best-seller, it was the first thing that comes up on my store.

(Pride, I know).

The complaints this time? This sort of thing:
-  "Crappy scripting and doesn't work, nor do the anims" (it does, I just tested it with a friend, in two locations. It is a standard nPose script).
- "Horrible notecard giver, won't use it" (the box it is packed in gives the instruction notecard for nPose plus the colour changes, plus - I admit it - an LM. Dammit, how often do you need to place the box to open it, anyway...?)
- "You get what you pay for... it may be cheap but it's crap" (ouch ouch ouch and ... just ouch)
- "Not mod/copy" (yes it WAS, checked that too)

Did these "people" contact me? No.

I just don't need the hassle. Hence it is gone. Too miserable to go inworld to delete the inworld version but I should.

I may do another version of it in another colour range, double check it again, and expect people do be intelligent enough to find the instruction notecard in the contents... or just write it off.

COWARD, I know.

I am half expecting  the phantom reviewer to start on something else next.

How petty. 

Can you tell I'm not super happy with SL right now? 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Saying sorry: the art of apologising

Apologising isn't easy. Or is it?

No, this is still not a breathless bit of plugging for Vent du Sud.

I need to tackle this marketplace thing, see, and I'm putting it off. And still trying to find my feet in SL again.

Is that saying sorry? Er no, it's a fact. We'll get onto that in a minute.

Have a photo before we get to the rant. 

There we go. Just to remind myself that I used to make things, and that I intend to do again. At the Vent du Sud mainstore, 1L a piece, right up front). Colour change on the chairs and tablecloth (more cutting-edge technology *cough* and pretty pastels)

OK, on to the day's ponderings.

Somebody high up in an organisation I work for actually practices the 'apologise sincerely, don't justify your blunder or pass the blame, reassure people that it won't happen again,  and then suggest everybody move on' approach extremely well, and it comes out as totally sincere.

I really admire him for it. It's taught me a lot about apologising myself, although the temptation to say 'but I was tired, or 'but it's not my fault' can be rather strong (understatement) at times.

So how do you get sincerity across? Particularly when you've messed up your apology (by justifying it, whining, and finding it just wasn't good enough)?

Well first, tell yourself that for some people, no apology ever will be good enough. Some people enjoy grudges.

Lie low or be out of town run away? A possibility, but not easy if you want to continue doing something you believe in.

I think the only thing is to take action. Show you're trying to move on. Apologise for messing up the apology (ouch, but sometimes there's no alternative). Mind, you can't do this for ever. Twice may work, three times probably won't.

And if you can't or don't or won't take action (such as commit to changing your procedures / approach / methods 'next time'), then maybe it's time to quietly withdraw from that sphere and deal with the fact that - sad as it is - sometimes a major blunder really does haunt you.

Maybe this is the moment to be glad you aren't an air traffic controller or a brain surgeon. They have it much worse.

(Don't be flippant, woman). 

Sure, I'm referring to recent events in SL blogs but, to be honest, it applies to a lot of things.

It applies to anything from breaking up a relationship that was a mistake (because usually, apologies / admissions are due on both sides, no?) to being totally undiplomatic (guilty) or always late for things (not guilty: too many years in Switzerland, I think, where late is Not. Done.)

There's another side too - one that's also rather irritating. I'm talking about the 'compulsive apologiser' type who spends his / her life saying sorry sorry sorry. 

I tend to be one of those over certain things. Recent examples:

Sorry for not blogging (I did go back and edit it that out more than once because... well... who cares except me)
Sorry for not being in touch (I am, genuinely, sorry and I'm dreadful about remembering to call people at times, so I just need to DO something about it instead of apologising)
Sorry for burning the sauce (hey, it's a sauce and I'm a damned good cook, and I was distracted so we shall move on, take out a packet of the instant stuff and it shall not be a drama)
Sorry for not agreeing with you (actually no I'm not. I'd like to slap you and swear at you, but this is probably not a good idea. So I shall just shut up.)
Sorry for being pedantic (I also get frivolous and apologise for that too, but I should stop it. I am as I am, and I can't always make compromises).

OK, back to work.

I  may (if the big Marketplace move is not yet another SL catastrophe in the making) build something soon. But I'm not going to apologise if I don't.

So there ;)

Friday, 23 March 2012

How to be totally disgusted

There are plenty of things that irritate me on SL. Ranging from bling, face lamps, tacky textures, ugly builds and people who use text speak (how hard is it to type "you" and "your" and "before"?)

But this? THIS?

Pathetic. Stupid. Arrogant. Revolting.

Big-mouthed self-important wannabe SLebrities pointing fingers at people who didn't get around to blogging for Fashion for Life without having any idea WHY (or, apparently, caring as long as they get to act important on a blog).

I have never, ever seen such an unpleasant, unnecessary post on a blog.

Worse, those on the "name and shame" list are all being called "unwilling" to help by somebody else in the organisation who seems to fancy himself as a mind-reader. Frolic somebody? Should that ring a bell?

How much better would it have been to praise the bloggers who did manage to find the time, maybe adding "shame some others didn't but they obviously had too much RL stuff going on".

Yes, I expect it's possible that some bloggers signed up just to get free stuff. But others? Work issues, RL issues, family issues: they come FIRST, no?

Seriously, I'm disgusted.

If I was a fashion blogger, that is one event I wouldn't touch again with a bargepole. And the more people who realise what utter trash the organisers are capable of posting, the better.

Right. Glad I got that off my chest.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Wistful, wondering and weary

So I'm sure my  massive readership is desperate for news (pardon the sarcasm, it's been a long day).

My patience with work overload is wearing thinner by the day. The big question is whether I will reach the light at the end of the tunnel before I do something daft like inform a Very Large Client or two that they can go take a leap, or delete SL because it's been too damn long and I feel totally out of it.

Then I get all wistful and soppy about Vent du Sud and my SL friends and grit my teeth a bit more.

I don't actually get frustrated about the fact that I'm not making money (heh - never really did with stuff at 1L or 50L), but far more about the fact that it's going to be a struggle to catch up, get building, and GO SHOPPING.

(Suggestions welcome to make me feel glam. I may even dip my toe into mesh - at least buying it because I'm sure as hell too stupid to ever MAKE it).**

But first I need time to actually go look at stuff. 

Now, enough whining and I'm off to line up a few more (thousand) words, interspersed with some short but rather cathartic RL breaks spent pruning bushes that suffered from our Siberian winter.

I can recommend it. Snip, snip, snip. Take that, evil client!

Making bread is another good thing but a girl has to make choices and the garden won (and a break from the sceen is a Good Thing).

But before I go...

If any of that massive readership of mine do fancy a quick shopping trip to Vent du Sud, I never remembered to reset the freebie corner cabinet (which is still free) and the others are 1L, as are the doodads that go with them plus the matching shelves

(Excuse me while I rummage for photos of those...).


They feature exciting, cutting-edge technology like sliding glass parts so you can put stuff in (or more importantly get it out again).

Think SL can cope with this technological wizardry of mine?

Don't answer that.

Direct TP (excuse me while I rummage for my list of SLURLS).

Here we are. Sadly, the caption on my list says NEW STUFF. Riiiight. 

Back to the joys of hard labour. And (serious moment) really do hope I can get back into it after PC issues, connectivity issues and then a nightmarish work schedule.

They do say things go in threes though, right?

** I have THOUGHTS on mesh but that's for another time, when I don't need to rummage in a rather empty looking refrigerator and produce fuel to permit me to meet the next deadline.

Monday, 12 March 2012

No I have not fallen off the planet

No, I really have NOT fallen off the planet.

Work, however, has taken on epic proportions (to the point Mr RL has had to - gasp - cook).

(Iron, no. He does not iron. I was pressing work my pants (clearly labelled 'non-iron' but it was a LIE) at 6 on Sunday morning. Go me). 

So apart from a whirlwind peek at blogs and a rapid dash into SL to resolve any client issues and say hi to a couple of people... I am chained to my desk. Or asleep. Or eating fish fingers and frozen pizza and what was apparently a pork chop.

I may emerge in ten days or so. I ****** well hope so.

Right now, I am about to pack and leave again until Saturday. I've had a few busy RL periods in 5 years of SL but this takes the biscuit.

Not a happy bunny but hey, it pays the bills.

The hard part, though - will be actually getting back into SL after PC problems and connection problems and work purgatory. Things change so damned fast.

But - fingers crossed - I will. I miss it.

There. Brief post. Miracle, no?

Monday, 20 February 2012

Blogs. Grammar nazis. Editing. Stuff.

Life's busy. The real one, as in earning a living and running a house and having a social life. So, of course, now that SL works again, my brain tends to have shut down by the time I log in.


Bad me. But this is cyclic, and my SL to a large extent depends on how much work I have in (ah the freelance life), so it is - I hope - due to swing a little towards the 'more time for me' end of the spectrum.

My daughter just sent me this image and... why of course I look like Nicole Kidman. Or actually no, I look like a female version of the one at the bottom right. And the bloodshot eyes and caffeine in the face of deadlines applies to all I do, translations and the rest. Heh.

I have, in fact, just churned out a honking great report (as in written it) and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with an equally honking great translation (while hoping it's not another train coming, and am hence taking a break to rant write something that I don't get paid for).

(If you're bored with this stuff, sorry... I do predict a return to dodgy SL photography and plugging my builds and stuff before 2013).

Get to the subject, woman.  Here it is.

I skim lots of blogs over the daily triple shot of expresso early in a morning, however busy I am (and read news after dinner, and books before going to sleep: I am a creature of habit).

(If you write / edit / translate for a living, you need to read. Widely. Simple as that.)

Since I figured out Google Reader, the blogs I read regularly range from food, decor, SL blogs and a smattering of more random things I discover in various ways (waves to a friendly physicist whose non-physics blog often makes me smile - AND he can spell and punctuate... heh).

Now, I don't expect blogs to be literature. Some are, but most are just fun or fascinating in other ways. Also, I can hardly look down my nose about personal blogs being less than polished considering the typos spread liberally around in this one and my ongoing battle with dodgy photos.

OK, and the rambling. I do know I ramble. It's the liberating thing about my unpaid writing. Live with it ;)

So, as far as I'm concerned, fill your blogs with anything you like (pale pink text, droopy mouthed models, fashion I'd not be seen dead in, recipes I'd avoid like the plague, histrionic self-congratulation and navel-gazing) and I'll decide whether to read it. Attract my interest, good or bad, and half the battle is won. I can ignore misplaced apostrophes. Really I can. Sometimes.

So far, so good.

One blog in particular, however, has made me half chuckle and half groan lately. It's one I always read with a sort of train wreck fascination for various reasons, and one that made my eyes roll when I first stumbled on it via another SL blog a while back, since the writer calmly stated 'I hate editors because they ruin my superb artistic expression' (paraphrased but you get the gist).

Hmmm. I'll get back to that.

However, this person's latest project is quite entertaining. She has decided to teach people about "writing for a profit". Apparently she does, and kudos to her. Sort of.

Considering I've been living off my ability to line up words since the Stone Age, I'm all for people offering sound advice although you'd never catch me attempting to teach it because I am too old and cranky.

Whether it's writing, translating or editing, my daily bread is all about being able to string words and phrases together with a certain degree of style and accuracy, and preferably enjoying it (mostly, I do enjoy it although we won't mention translating pension fund regulations). It's also about keeping clients happy despite impossible deadlines. Oh, and finding the clients in the first place.

No sh**, Sherlock. I'm also pretty talented at stating the obvious.

(This is a family-friendly blog, by the way, so interpret the asterisks. Thanks).

There are worse professions, even though I always fancied being a fighter pilot.

Yes, seriously.


(Yes, of course there's a but).

If you're going to generously bestow your knowledge of writing on others, it would kinda sorta help to learn about apostrophes (and spelling, and a few other things). And it would help even more to avoid statements about hating editors, considering the said blog is supposedly a showcase for the said blogger's writing. Oh, and to stop with the fancy schmancy pale pink text bits that I am too lazy to highlight so I can read it. But that's a detail.

Some editors suck, I quite agree. I had a (professional) line editor for a book who was imposed on me a couple of years back, and who seemed to know less about it than I know about nuclear physics. But he did pick up (some of) my typos and a few inconsistencies.

However, some can be quite useful (understatement), and not just for sorting out your grammar.  I have a couple of editors / correctors who may well see me as the kid in the photo above but mostly we enjoy the synergies (I get mortified, argue, but am usually desperately grateful. And when I have my editor's hat on, I also aim for collaboration not dictatorship. Not sure whether I succeed, but I try.).

Although editing your own writing is possible if you have a sharp eye and can take the necessary distance, a fresh view can identify things your own brain refuses to see or grammar issues you haven't mastered (is apostrophe use really so hard? I do wonder sometimes). 

It is just too arrogant to consider that editors ruin your writing, though. Bad ones do. Good ones make it way better and way more 'saleable'.

Maybe I'm a grammar nazi. I don't think so, because my take is that if you (or your client or readers) really don't care about such 'details', then that's fine. Really. But it says plenty about a client if they don't care, and it speaks volumes about a wannabe writer if they think they're too good to be edited, despite not mastering punctuation or spelling. 

In an ideal world, as in when you get to be courted by publishing houses, you get to choose your main editor, who gets to the nitty-gritty of the structure, the architecture, lots of things - and who is not necessarily a line editor but I'll spare you yet more rambling on types of editors and editing.

In reality, until you have proved yourself, you don't get to choose. Which is why I got idiot-face line editor to deal with, who decided to change official terminology, 'correct' quoted extracts, misuse semi-colons, and apply a totally inconsistent capitalisation system. He was a doozy, and arrogant with it. The series editor? He was / is a gem and I soaked up every suggestion and frantically rewrote parts because he was right.

Maybe, just maybe, some writers have enough talent to get away with basic errors (and enough humility to know that you need somebody to pick up your typos and misplaced apostrophes at the very least), but today, in the real world of publishing and paid writing, sloppy copy usually means immediate rejection.

And cranky old broads like me laughing at you over her morning coffee.

There, I ranted. And I should go build something, right?

Sunday, 5 February 2012


Was it the Linden who took over my avatar (and found nothing wrong)?

Was it the remote update to my ADSL box?

Was it the third complete uninstall / reinstall of SL?

Was it kind people crossing fingers and thumbs for me? 

I dunno, but it works and has done for 48 hours. After 3 weeks of **** frustration.


Permit me a brief period of just sitting and grinning at Vent du Sud, and being able to tp and explore and chat and -

- I shall be back with newness.

(and I am sitting on my 1L bench beside the greenhouse, should you be tempted - couples / singles). Which in turn is beside the Mas (which is a 'massive' 50L).

Forgive me. I am just so pleased I want to plug my stuff and change clothes again and... most of all BUILD.


(and I am wearing Exile Monika hair and Zaara jewellery and HOC wedges a top by PBD from 2008 and I need to go shopping also).

Except I have to get on a train tomorrow and go away for a couple of days - lousy timing -but apparently earning a living is useful.

In fact, if somebody would pop over and do my ironing and finish up a chunk of legalese, I would start shopping building NOW.



Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Dear Linden Labs - a letter from a nobody

 Dear Linden Labs,

First, I'm no geek but for the last 30 years (you know, since we had floppies and parked our hard disks and I was incredibly avant garde for installing and using a 2400 baud modem) I've been handling my own PC issues and rarely needed outside help.

I have been earning a living on my PC plus my Internet connection for 25 years. I buy fairly good machines, too.

Second, I love SL and have done since 2007. I don't come anywhere near to meeting my tier, but I enjoy designing and building and chatting to friends, and try to pay it forward a bit by selling my stuff for 1L.

Putting money in monthly is OK because a) I can (within reason) and b) it's my hobby.

So when everything changed overnight and I couldn't stay inworld without crashing, it was something of an unpleasant surprise (understatement) and I did everything I could to find out why.

For three weeks now.

But that's all beside the point. Call it background. Let's get back to facts.

So, SL stopped working properly for me (as in it crashes sporadically but regularly, and kicks me off the Net), and after I changed nothing on my machine or settings.

Since then I have checked stuff, double checked stuff, and read up about stuff until I have frankly run out of ideas.

Your Live Help? Pleasant enough but despite asking politely to be spared the blurb about dealing with lag and clearing cache and uninstalling (done all that twice, thanks), I got... the blurb about doing just that. And was told to file a ticket.

I did. With basic information on my system (model and graphics card). It may not be a gaming monster but it's 2 months old and a pretty fast machine that had absolutely no problems with SL (on the recommended 'high' settings) until January 15.


I've now tried setting it on 'medium' and nothing changes.

Oh, and I've been checking my connection speeds and fluctuations, temperatures, and event logs. They all tell me everything is dandy. Your lag meter shows green everywhere. My fps is magnificent (up to 48, when I'm connected).

My network card says it's very happy thank you. I flushed my DNS cache also, just in case it was that. It wasn't.

This happens on whatever viewer I try (the official one being by far the crashiest of all, just so you know). It all started when I was on one particular sim (which I named), and if I try to go there I crash immediately which could indicate lag but other busy, primmy, scripty sims are fine. Sometimes. But I also crash on empty sims.


But... that comment today on my ticket about whether my machine met minimum requirements is pretty damned stupid I did send the FULL configuration this morning, in return, to save you Googling for the specs (which quite honestly would have taken you less time than writing that comment on my ticket in the first place).

I did say I had no problems (yet?) on my own connection and using another (fancy schmancy gaming) computer, thus indicating the connection is fine... but that does not make my normal machine some sort of wheezing, elderly, below-spec one.

No, my idea was to suggest it could be a problem with SL and my system DESPITE the fact it is well over the minimum needed, and hoping you had some ideas about that.

And if it affects me, it could well affect others too (and for days if not weeks, I have been hearing about people constantly crashing so I suspect there is some sort of a conflict going on with one bit of equipment and your code - and stupidly thought you might want to investigate that).

But no, you just trot out 'check minimum requirements'. Bah.

This does not make for what you would call a "Good User Experience". In fact it makes for a pretty crappy SL experience, including with your 'customer assistance'.

I've spent 5 years standing up for SL, despite its - um - quirks and shortcomings. I've found far more good than bad.

But... I'm sick of this. Really, really sick of it.

I'm not even sure whether it's worth trying to continue (and no this is not emotional bribery for you to magically fix it because you couldn't bear to lose me - it's just a fact).

How long will I  keep trying? Not sure, but not very much longer.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012


I was so much hoping to have a jubilant I AM BACK post, complete with photos of a brand new build and some fashion shots.

(You can imagine them if you like).

But, you lucky readers you, here is another whiny rant.

I have no idea why (and once again I have changed NOTHING), I appeared to have stopped crashing on Sunday, having sent in a detailed ticket on Saturday.

Optimism reigned. I even changed clothes. I considered cancelling the ticket but thought OK, let's wait and see.

I went up to my building platform and started just pootling around with a build and was SO SO HAPPY.

Then came yesterday.

Logon took forever. Then one of those 'moved into nearby region' messages where people were showing up one after the other.

I was halfway through typing 'is anyone else having login issues' when I crashed.

Checked grid status - nothing.

Logged in crashed logged in crashed logged in crashed (while checking to see if there was a response to my ticket... of course not).

Saw an SL friend on MSN and said 'is Graces down?' Mind, this seemed unlikely because in the brief moments I was logged in, I got a purchase message from Vent du Sud.

Nope. He logged in to his home location, and crashed. Then got to Graces, and crashed.

He is not in the same country but nothing was working for him on his very smart, very fast machine either.

Meanwhile I logged in, found myself in a sort of underwater environment, attempted to TP and... crashed.

And all this while watching connection speeds (fine), frame rates (fine) and fan / heat levels (fine). And after Yet Another Clear Cache.

So I went and cooked a meal and drank perhaps one too many glasses of wine.

Later on in the evening I managed to log in normally. Nothing on the grid status about earlier, but hey, it worked and the fact that all hell seemed to be let loose in the UK and France was not worthy of a message. 

I walked around. Went up to my building platform and... all was fine.

But, dammit... I am just so behind that every time I do log and disappear and reappear, I get friends checking up on how it's going (badly), the odd client wondering if I'm still in business (believe me, I'm trying), and a group owner grumbling because I'd forgotten to put the inviter up (justifiably: it's now up).

And then... I was so weary of the whole thing I simply... crashed out. In front of the television. Grouchy and miserable and wondering what else to try, or wondering if by some mystery it will clear up, after well over two weeks now.

I am at the point where I am just so sick and tired of all this I feel like screaming. I have studied every possible reason for the crashes / net failures on SL, meaning hours and hours and hours of reading stuff, trying stuff, and... nothing works.

The worst thing is that I am even finding myself reluctant to log on simply because of the sheer and utter frustration of crashing, Net going down, rinse and repeat.

Bah. I really want my toys back, LL.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

With murder in mind, and hey, MUSIC

You know, having fixed my blue screen issue I was lulled into a false sense of 'if I really keep plugging away and reading IT forums and trying stuff, I will find the cause' this time around.

Also, it is a 90-minute round trip to take a sick PC into the store, let alone the calls to see if it has been fixed (via a call centre from hell), followed by another trip to pick it up.

And if the problem is with my Internet connection, then it won't help much.

(I really need a photo here, so let's dig out an old one of me in the days I could actually walk around in SL).

Old hunt gift from ALaFolie, Ari in a snit
This time, I have been reading up masses of stuff on connectivity (including concerning the ADSL box I use). This, at least, has the advantage of being able to grasp the fixes more rapidly as the instructions are for Windows in French (which I have). Other discussions of the issue, in English, require me to go to the control panel and find the equivalent in French, which - even if you are virtually bilingual - is not always obvious.

But then, at some point yesterday, I had another idea  (this after more fun stuff like uninstalling stuff, clearing caches, more flushing (see last post), yet more registry cleans and yet more perusing of event logs and tech forums).

Mr RL, see, subscribes to various music download sites (he assures me they are not the 'dodgy' ones and I am not delving further into this). And although this has never happened before, considering we have a fast connection and lots of bandwidth, I think he has been sucking up all the resources lately because he has been finding 'better' as in 'massive' versions of a lot of stuff I like. Such as this:

(note: at least call this an eclectic blog now because you also get MUSIC, and everybody should hear Fleet Foxes and in his defence, m'lud, he was trying to please me and who bought him a big new external HD for music recently anyway? Moi.).

Really, Fleet Foxes are gorgeous. But they don't replace being able to log on for more than two minutes. 

Now, if I was to plead 'my SL building is more important than you downloading music', this would not go well. Much as strangling him seemed like an option (yesterday, he didn't download anything and yesterday, I could actually walk around in SL again), who would do the cats' litter boxes?

I jest. Well, mostly.

Since the connection has been dropping on work-related Googling also, however, I have at least asked him, politely, to tell me when he is downloading some gigantic file to see if we can - ahem - co-ordinate better.

Have another photo (this suddenly seems to be popular, so go buy it for 9L with all the stuff inside / outside) and the greenhouse itself only 3 prims, bench 1.  Or it's on the markeplace also

Who knows, I might actually get back now. And make stuff.

I've been missing building and friends and Vent du Sud so damned much.  

Roll on spring, when his gardening and less bandwidth-sucking leisure activities should take the upper hand.

As long, of course, as it *is* a bandwidth issue. If it isn't, I think I shall just quietly go insane.

OK, more insane.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Did you flush? Tales of a not-geek

Yes, I did.

I am sitting here with half an eye on those little bars that show the internet connection. The ones that have been intermittently coming up with the yellow exclamation mark on and off all week, whatever I've been doing but particularly so with SL.

At the moment, it looks good.

Because I flushed my DNA cache, having read eleventy million articles on what might be wrong and finally came up with that as the last in a long line of attempts to fix it.

Ah, IT-speak. Dontcha love it?

I am praying it has worked, after perusing event logs, cleaning the registry, cleaning the fans, kicking the laundry basket (I had to kick something), forcing myself not to strangle Mr RL when he said the inevitable "well my machine is fine, so it has to be SL"... 

... and generally, y'know, getting weepy and sleepless because I had to WORK with all this going on (sociology, medicated animal feeds and a contract, if you are remotely interested). All of which required much Googling (connecting... connecting... yellow sign, swear and curse, ah it's back, no it's gone again, rinse and repeat). 

At this moment, I am too tired and too scared even to try and log into SL.

What a coward.

But I'm all flushed now.

No little yellow 'limited access' signs for half an hour. I feel almost giddy.


because by the time I found the 'snapshot' button on the new viewer I installed as one potential solution (and crashed, and restarted, and waited for the little yellow sign to go away) my eyelids gave up on me until 7 this morning when I resumed my IT adventures.

So if flushing was the solution, I may actually get to build something in 2012.

Fingers crossed?  

(With apologies to anyone who was hoping for a post about building, decor, or SL fashion).

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Blue, blue...

I don't know whether to direct my rage and frustration at French telecom, my SL viewer, my husband or the PC.

Well, I don't think it's my PC that is making my Net connection blink out every time I log on to SL. Nor do I think my husband is taking up our entire bandwidth playing Angry Birds.

Viewer? OK I need to upload another one to try but it's the one I've been using for ages without a hitch.

However, I suspect it is something to do with the little box with blinky lights that provides our ADSL, called a "Livebox". Which tends to play Deadbox in high wind, thunderstorms, hot weather, cold weather, or really any time at all. This is France, after all.

Am I boring you?

You can say, really. I don't mind (and I can, after all, monitor comments although with the exception of one in Russian, one that was rude and one that was down and out vulgar, I don't usually).

So anyway. The idea, you see, was to catch up on 52 weeks of colour (version the first) that I hadn't done. Including the first two (blue, and grey).

OK gray if you're across the pond.

So in the approximately three minutes of non-crashing time last night I dragged out a blue bikini and had great ideas of arty, whimsical photos taken on my sim with water and dusk and shades of blue... plus some blue Vent du Sud stuff because a girl needs to plug, particularly when a girl is up to her eyes in translating sociology as written by some guy who has, I think, the most tortuous way of phrasing I've ever seen.

I got as far as two. Neither of which are up to much because the composition of the one above is all off-kilter somehow (head and rock rather on top of each other), and in the other one I look frankly gormless.

You may need to be a Brit to understand the word gormless. Look it up, if not.

I'm tetchy. Does it show?

Now, I would have sung the praises of AND given the references for this bikini if I had been inworld long enough, but I'm not and you can't see much of it anyway. It is a nice one. I suspect it is my only one, in fact (I need shopping time and building time rather badly).

So with that (and yes I know this is a post about very little but whining), I am off to attack sociology again.

However, if you really want to be bored, get this...
"Sociology is both pluralised and integrative within the framework of this research.  It is a question of understanding the relations between work, social culture, economic and institutional context, as well as the evolution of sciences and techniques. In this perspective, sociologies of labour, professions, sciences, organisations and institutions can be mobilised."

(I have 12 pages of this, in font 7. Deadline? "Well, sort of yesterday").

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New year, things off chests, and a request.

OK I got around to actually starting 2012 (mentally at least) a little late because of an RL work emergency or three... but started it I have. Finally.

And that includes SL, where I am about to take up my virtual trowel and hard hat again. Also, I am giving something away... read on (cackles to self about marketing ploys).

Chests? Well, I threw a hissy fit over SL recently and need to get something off mine, so here goes.

Now, I am usually good about checking Marketplace deliveries, and always good at checking SL notecards and IMs (which I receive by mail if I'm offline). In fact I check SL mail every single day including when in odd parts of the planet, because I believe very much in customer service. 

I am not good at checking reviews on the Marketplace as I rarely get them. I also, naively, presume that if somebody didn't receive something or have something they want fixed, they would get in touch with me rather than send crap reviews.

However, I got two lately.

One was my own fault as I forgot to make some parts of a set modifiable (as in I slid the wrong version into the box). And got an outraged review about wasting money (6L) because she couldn't put extra anims in it, so it had to be trashed.


Did she contact me, though?

Nope. I just went through my  mail and notecards again.

One-star review.

OK. I would gladly have sent her a new set AND removed the landmark giver out of the box holding the set that she disliked (I thought I took it out of everything), but nope. Negative review. Nice.

The second, however, was the typical OUTRAGE ONE STAR BECAUSE NOT DELIVERED review (of the woodland retreat, shown above).

Did this person send a notecard or IM me, either?


Did this person PAY for it? (50L).

Nope (confirmed on the order: "not paid").

But, of course, it warranted a one-star review. Because the delightful person decided it was my fault. I re-sent it with apologies, meaning she (he?) got it for free.

No comment but apparently the person is, I quote "not often around". Uh-huh.

And this... this sort of thing is why I am trying not to get disgusted with SL and why, I confess, I have been around less. 

The bitchy, judgemental, unpleasant pettiness.

However, it is a new year. And I still love building, negative reviews and all. And Vent du Sud... is part of me.

Sooooooooooo... if anyone wants a Woodland Retreat then please yell and I will send you one for free. In fact, if anyone wants to review ANYTHING of mine on the Marketplace I will send it for free because money is not what drives me.

It doesn't have to be glowing, just honest), but it would be really, really welcome.

(Lots of pics of the Woodland Retreat) on the Marketplace page, but basically 51 prims and ... well... one star HURTS).

And with that, I am going to take a deep breath and try and get to grips with SL.

EDIT: I sent the person the Retreat AND another house and got this...

"first and is up to you to know when your deliveries take place...ppl always inevitably "place blame" somewhere else and "apologize" afterward..(read your note)..I really don't care who is at fault anddon't care that you  aplogize..(the timing is all wrong)..i have better things to do than try and locate information on how to contact YOU..btw..i bought another house because the holidays were upon us (me and my fiance)..and we needed a location to celebrate with fam and friends....WO! your apologize could have been saved along with the little nasty tinge of  attitude..the review (it seems to me) was on spot!"

How hard IS it to look up my profile and see that problems can be raised either by IM or notecard? Too hard, obviously.