Monday, September 25, 2006

New Vendors up in Benten

I've finally gotten the new vendors up in the store in Serenite, and my main AV store in Benten.

I think they look pretty good, and they are certainly easier to use (now the initial set up has been done.) With any luck, my customers will like them too.

This is what they look like, in Benten (which is PG, so the images are family-safe for this blog, as well.

picture of the new vendors

I actually got them done day before yesterday, although I didn't get them arranged in the store until yesterday. (I had to move stuff around so they'd fit.)

Most of yesterday I spent working on a new crystal ball for Second Life. When you look into it, you can see a hillside covered with rocks, grass, and primroses. As you watch, 8 different kinds of butterflies pop out of the flowers, fly up into the air, and then go back down where they vanish into the undergrowth.

Of course, the butterflies are actually particles, so they don't so much fly as.. ummm ... get shot stiffly into the air, turn abruptly, and dive back down, all without a single wing beat. But hey, there are 8 kinds, and they are quite pretty anyway. And we have to work within the constraints of the system. :D

Many thanks to my friend Lily, who gave me the script that made the multi-sprites possible.

Of course, now that I have done that one, I have all kinds of thoughts for more, in the same vein. And I think I might do some wings, too, if I can find a script that will let me actually move them.

Goodness knows I have the textures!

And I have to make makeup, because it's Fall now, and the Summer makeup on all those skins is suddenly out of date.

So much to do, so little time! :D

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Back Home

This is the final post about my Dad.

We drove out to see him on Sunday, as mentioned in the last post, because the Doctor said to get there as soon as we could. So we drove for 12 hours straight, stopping only to use the facilities and grab food which we ate while driving.

But it was worth it. We got there in time, while he was still alert and able to talk with us.

By that time, the results of the echo-cardiogram were in. It turned out that the mitral valve stenosis had progressed until the opening, which had been at 60% of normal during his last checkup, was down to the size of a pencil. Basically, his systems were shutting down.

We moved him into the Hospice in the same hospital on Tuesday, around dinner time, and he slipped away while he was sleeping on Tuesday night, just before midnight. Michael was there with him, and he died so very peacefully that Michael, who had looked away from the bed to check something for my younger sister, didn't realize he had died.

The funeral was on Friday.

So, we're home now. Sad, but peaceful, since he's with my Mom again, and no longer in any distress at all.

Thanks for all your concern and support. We deeply appreciate it.

Robin Wood

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Out of Town

My Dad took a turn for the worse last night, so we're leaving as soon as I finish typing this, and will be gone for several days to a week.

During that time, I probably won't have internet access, so I'm afraid that I won't be answering any comments, e-mail, or other communication.

Thanks for your well-wishes and patience, and I'll let you know when I'm back.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Kids Skins are Done!

After working on them for Way Too Long, I've finally finished the Kid's skins, and put them out for sale in my booth in Inner Child and at Playland Mall.

There are eight flavors, like there are with all the skins I do. If you want to see face shots of the skin flavors, or read the blurb or get the links to the stores in SL, all of that info is on the Second Life Forum site, here.

I put these into a new kind of vendor, designed by my friend Shadow Weaver and someone else (whose name, I'm ashamed to admit, I don't recall.) The scripts are supplied, and you design your own vendor. The Kid's Skin Vendor looks like this.

picture of the new vendor, which looks like a chalkboard from an elementary school

The vendors are wonderful! You can assign things to Categories and Sub Categories, and the Customer can pick from them, so you can put a huge number of things in the same vendor without requiring someone to stand there clicking for an hour!

This vendor, for instance, uses 19 prims (plus 1 for the chalk tray, and 8 for the images above the board that hold the Demo skins,) to sell skins in 8 skin flavors and 5 brow flavors. That's 34 skin packs, at the moment (the lighter brow colors aren't available in the darkest skin tones, since they never sell anyway,) and will be many more. But you can find the one you're looking for in a couple of clicks!

To do that with "normal" 3 prim vendors, I'd have to use 24 prims, minimum, and the vendors would be overloaded very quickly, and so much clicking required that people would be likely to get discouraged, and just leave.

The skin vendor setup in Serenite uses 64 prims to do the same thing; and is so confusing that people often accidentally buy the wrong skin. It also takes a bunch of typing to update, while this one just requires me to drop the new items for sale into the vendor! Much easier!

It's hard to tell in the .jpg, but the selected category and subcategory are written in yellow chalk, while the rest are in white chalk. Which looks very effective, in person!

As you can tell, I'm pretty excited about them. They are going to make my Second Life a whole lot simpler!

Update on my Dad

For those of you who have expressed concern about my Dad, thanks so much. It really means a lot to me.

This update is for you.

It turns out that, as well as the bleeding ulcers, he has pneumonia. We just found that out a few minutes ago, and I'm editing the post that I'd finished writing just before the phone call, to cut to the end result (now that we have one.)

To backtrack a bit; on Thursday, he was moved into the Critical Care Unit, which isn't all bad, since it means that he's getting the kind of care he needs.

His abdomen was badly swollen, and he was having a great deal of trouble catching his breath, or oxygenating when he did. They put him on a BiPAP machine to help him breathe, and his blood oxygen levels would plummet into they had to remove it for meals and things. (Not that he's eating much, because he really feels, in my sister's words, "putrid.")

For the last several days they've been running all kinds of tests. We found that it's not an embolism, not an infection, and not any kind of perforation in his heart or bowel. We know that although his arteries are a bit narrowed here and there (he's 83, after all,) it's not enough to cause these symptoms, and the vascular surgeon says that the blood supply to his extremities is fine. His EKG is normal, although he might have slight damage to the right side of his heart, due to the edema. So no, it's not congestive heart failure.

He does have some fluid in the bottom of his lungs, and in his abdominal cavity. They drew that out today, and he's feeling much better, and resting more comfortably. They've even been able to take him off the BiPAP and put him on the regular oxygen mask, and his blood oxygen levels are in the high nineties.

The doctors say the prognosis looks good; he's a very sick man at the moment, but should recover.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Life Intrudes...

I haven't gotten as much done as I'd hoped the last few days, (it being Sunday night around midnight as i write this, no matter what the date says.)

On Thursday, a few hours after my last post, I got a call from my younger sister saying that our 83 year old father had just been taken to the hospital. Tests confirmed that he was bleeding internally, and yesterday they found that he has ulcers in his colon, probably as the result of taking Naprosyn for his arthritis.

But they gave him an MRI today, and they're keeping him in the hospital, and he's having a hard time keeping food down, or breathing.

So, of course, I've spent a great deal of the last few days on the phone with one person or another, and trying to figure out if we need to make the 750 mile trip to see him right now.

I've been trying to work, in the corners of time I have, and have managed to get some of the Vendor shots done for the Kid's Skins. I was going to do more tonight, but by the time I got off the phone with my stepson and daughter-in-law, the grid was down.

With any luck, I'll have pictures for you tomorrow.