Directions and Decisions - Op Ed



Reprinted from a forum post -- sometimes those words just fade into the mist :D

Thanks for all the comments.

It seems by now that most people feel the cut back on groups was the major inappropriate decision in the recently announced restructuring package. There may be good reasons for this tech wise -- a balancing act; but what The Lab continues to forget is how things will LOOK and be RECEIVED by the citizenship.  I will say they are listening now more than in those years when Lindens did not walk upon the earth. That is good. 

As I have been reading ALL these threads, many saying the same things I was reminded that when the new premium levels were first talked about (by Ebbe at a Town Hall) the point that he kept trying to make was that The Lab wanted to make Premium SO WORTHWHILE that everyone would want it. 

I am going to pause for a couple of seconds here for that last line to sink in.

Lots of good things have been happening here lately and some things are going well. I actually had 90fps at my Bellisseria home the other night instead of 15 (and yes it was a painful few months with my framerate in the dumpster and nothing "I" could do to fix). So I am feeling a bit more warm and fuzzy than I might have been a few weeks ago.

The Traditional and Houseboat releases have been a great success
aside from some miscommunication which ended up "looking" like bait and switch to many members that were unable to get a house after clicking on an ad that said they could have one. The new Linden Home continent has been one of the best things IMO that LL has done in a decade.    Hence, those new homes certainly fit into the "make Premium so good" theme.

I don't particularly have a giant problem with the rate increase. There is nothing at all in the new package that I care about however. Aside from my Bellisseria home I would be perfectly happy back on Basic mode.  So, it seems to me that Ebbe's goal (and assumably the goal of other company VIPs) of "so worthwhile" didn't quite hit the target.   We don't know why. We don't know what's going on in the boardroom. We have a few whispers and a few speculations and some hints --- but we don't know.

Hopefully that group slot downgrade for basic member will get readjusted since even many Premium members are put out by it.  Hopefully some new perks WILL get added in the future.   Yet more land per account maybe?  There is certainly plenty of it still out there.  Perhaps by the time the new Super Premium (or whatever) level is unveiled the perks WILL be too good to pass up.

Most all companies make both good and bad decisions. Figuring out just when to cut losses is tricky.  Most of us here want Second Life to succeed and carry on for many years. Hopefully we can muddle through this rough and muddy patch and get to the other side of the canyon. 

EDIT: As of 5 pm (ish) SL time there will be no changes in groups for basic membership. See this post

Back brace and cane are VERY old items from [hate this].  I never pitch a worthwhile prop. This photo was made for fun in response to a "Bellisseria as a retirement community" thread on the forums. 

Saying Goodbye to May





A quiet night.

Just crickets and the moon.



Credits:

BouBouKi: Voula Bikini group gift (many mesh body fits)

Hair:  eXxEsS : CHERI

Trompe Loeil - Genoveva Hacienda Poolhouse 


Pose by: the pool

Price Changes, Fees and All That Jazz



Heathstone - New Linden Homes


By now many of you have learned of the upcoming price changes and fees that will take affect June 24th. If not, now's the time to read the official announcement.

This is just a short post, mostly for myself with links to some pertinent forum threads; I have found that having my own list of easy references is a big plus when I am trying to source comments.  Feel free to join in the discussions.



A brief note on pricing changes, which ran long. - Grumpity Linden

What would YOU do if you were Linden Lab?

What are your opinions on the new "Land Price Reductions, New Premium Perks, and Pricing Changes "?


Chart by Kadah Coba showing the price differences for "land alt" group land.



Home and Garden Backups




Inara Pey posted an extensive overview of backing up your Bellisseria home using a rezzing system. That not only got me thinking but reminded me that I had NOT completed my own backup. Tisk - tisk!

Now I have to admit that I didn't read her article but I am sure it is excellent as almost all her offerings are.  Still, some of us like EASY and that's me.

So along with making my own backup of my Bellisseria home, I took some screenshots along the way. I have been using this method for over a decade and have moved full sim installations using these steps often. In general, I also use this method to back up any event displays, especially if they are large ones like the Hop and Shops.

I taught this as a class long ago at Learn Avatar. Some things have changed since then, but the general idea is still the same.  So here we go.

*********************

Now and then you might have a need to simply "take up" everything you have on your plot, but for a back up you will first need to identify any NO COPY items. Obviously you cannot may a copy of no copy items!  If you are a gacha collector this will be tedious and likely your best method will just be to pick things up when you move. This is one reason that I am not a fan of no copy items.

An easy way to find all the no copy items is via area search.



World > Area Search or add and use the button marked with the red dot in your viewer.

In FILTERS, choose Transfer. In most cases this will filter OUT the no copy items.



Next go to the FIND tab and type in your name.



Back at the LIST tab, hit REFRESH to get a list of all (hopefully) your no copy items on this plot.









Since I  typically only buy copy items, my list was small.  In MY case since most of the items on my land were made by me, I hit the Creator tab at the top left to sort for items NOT mine.  That showed me some old but often used Pampas grass (no longer available sadly) as well as a rug from long ago blogging (very pretty) and two new purchases from the Marketplace.  I remembered the grasses but not the other items, so area search was VERY handy in this case.


Now that the items that CAN'T be copied are identified, it is a fairly simple job to highlight ALL the items on your plot and then deselect those few items that cannot be copied back to your inventory.



















Adjust your camera view so that you are above your home. With the BUILD menu open and the EDIT button as the active mode, hold down the SHIFT key and using your mouse -- draw a rectangle on the screen that encompasses your entire plot. Items will be highlighted.

Right now we cannot take a copy of all our furniture and decor since some of it is no copy.   IF you have ONLY copy items (there must be someone out there) then you can skip these next steps.

With everything still selected as shown in the screenshot above, hold down the SHIFT key and click on the items that are NOT copy.   If you aren't a wiz at camera controls, it may be easier for you to just take up the no copy items temporarily and then place them again after you have made your backup.


In my case I could easily deselect all the grasses but needed to cam inside for the rug and the radio. The sound module I took up since it makes itself completely invisible and is very difficult to find.



Once you have ALL the no copy items deselected (or picked up) you can right click on your highlighted items and choose "Take Copy". If "Take Copy" isn't a choice, then you have missed a no copy item.

If you aren't used to building, I suggest trying this a few times out on a sandbox with just a few items to get the process clear in your mind.


Your coalesced object appears in your OBJECTS folder with a Rubic's Cube type of icon.  The name on the object will be the last object that was selected.   


I strongly suggest making a new folder with appropriate clues and moving your coalesced furniture and decor over to that folder. 


If and when you have a need to use your backup be SURE that your build menu is open on screen and that EDIT is the active mode. Then rez the items near the center of your plot IF YOU HAVE ROOM.

Like with any structure that is nearly as large as your plot, there can be issues on rezzing.  This includes rezzing with rezzers like Builder's Buddy.  Personally I usually take things up in clusters and not in big groups -- simply because of this problem. If you have a whole sim to rez in, it isn't an issue but if you are just moving plots in Bellissera it certainly could be  -- depending on how many things you have near the edges of your plot.

So, if there are issues (either with the coalesced method or the rezzer boxes) I suggest rezzing on a sandbox and taking things back in smaller clusters so that they will be easier to manage. 


That's it.  I hope these new skills server you well!

Bayou Revisted



I lived in the Bayou for about a year some time back. It was one of my favorite homes. Plenty of atmosphere - swamps and voodoo and wild chickens and alligators. The folks there really knew how to get into the theme. 

I ventured back Sunday evening, not to the sim that I lived on -- it has departed, but on a sister sim which echos the mood. Some of the same folks are making their home at BAYOU CHAT NOIR, but mesh has replaces prims and sculpts and it is even lovelier than I remembered.

Credits:

NO.MATCH NO.BREEZE hair  (browns pack out for Hello Tuesday)

Deep Staic Colin Glasses  @ Hipster

Insomnia Store Tied Shirt
KUNGLERS - Gigi bracelet
Blueberry - Group Gift - Tank Top

Pose by: Kirin

Search and Rescue



An adventurous morning included my first boating trip at Bellisseria.  My vehicle?  A new gift on the Marketplace, the [HVW] Emergency Response Boat. Easy to steer, a brief manual is included. Note that a bunch of the info in the documentation comes from other vehicles and so it CAN be confusing.  


The important parts to remember are:
  • Click on the motor to get the menu.
  • The up and down arrow keys control the gear (speed)
  • The right and left arrow keys control the direction. 

This is a cute little boat with lots of charm. My only issue was that it seemed to reset my camera and I couldn't get back to my norm.  This of course MAY have been me, but watch out for that.


My trip began at the boat rezzing area at Norse Auk and ended in front of my abode in Heathstone.  It was a lovely early morning jaunt, if a bit chilly in the post dawn hours. 

I took the ocean route rather than wandering amid the houseboats. Perhaps next time I will be more adventurous and navigate the passage between my Northern nautical neighbors.

There were plenty of sights to see along the way. I went at a leisurely pace but did try a few moments of speeding.  I definitely appreciated the bouy markers; they helped keep me on course. 


Because my camera angle refused to return to my comfortable setting, I finally -- after all these years -- changed my default rear camera angle. I was resistant to do this before, mostly because I want to be able to see how my houses work at the default setting. Of course I can test them by changing the setting back to default. So that will be the plan from here on out. 

Meanwhile if YOU haven't tried a "better" way of looking at the world, I took a quick screenshot with my settings. To get to this floating window you will need to go to Advanced> Show Debug Settings.  I have to admit I like this view of the world MUCH better :D.




A later note to self:  For whatever reason my -2.000 became MUCH closer than in this screenshot (who knows) and so I changed to -3.200 which looks much like what is shown above. 

Fashion credits in tonight's post, already in the queue.



Pose by: aDORKable

The Shapes of Shadows




All dressed up --
Ready to go --
Will that doorbell ever ring?


Credits:

Stories&Co. Orlando Slip Dress  - a variety of outside the norm mesh fits and two color hud choices  @ Something Extra

KUNGLERS - Sarita necklace @ Sense Event  (full color hud)


Hair: =DeLa*= Mesh Hair "Simone" Enchantment Hunt pack

Amacci Shoes - Aegina


K&S - // Hall with stairs. Backdrop

Pose by: Eternal Dream

Kebabs - FLF

Kebabs and burgers (veggie choice included) as well as the All American Hotdog -- take your pick from the new {what next} Caliente Mini BBQ & Picnic Plates out for Fifty Linden Friday.

The mini grill has a fancy menu of choices including open and closed lid and sound on and off. For role play folks there are extras. I'll let you explore those on your own.

Lots of colors in the packs and low land impact, these are perfect for the summer months ahead.

Had to smile. From the number of stacked green dots cluster around my SLURL above, I would say that the word is already out!


No.59 SixPack CaroCola Classic to REZZ
Trompe Loeil - Marceline Dining Table and Chairs Dark PG
Trompe Loeil - Genoveva Hacienda Poolhouse PG

What's New in Bellisseria - May


Heathstone on the beach

It's been a busy month over on the new Second Life continent.  The biggest news being the release of the atoll houseboats, an unplanned and hurried expansion to enable boat-lovers to have the homes they missed out on during the first release of plots (somewhere around 2,300 in number). The general consensus is that Patch and The Moles did an excellent job.

It only took 27 minutes for those 709 sandbar homes to be snatched up. A second smallish catch-up to the demand release is scheduled for "SOON" with "SOON" being the current chuckling term on the SL forums.  The general thought is that more houses and houseboats will appear around mid-June.  Some preliminary work seems to be happening over at SSP where some regions and been copied over -- presumably as a template that will include some changes so that no sim is a repeat of another.



Seen this Thursday with a tiny bit showing up on the map, this looks like where the next set of homes may go in.  You can see the road turnabout at SSPE72 and there are roads and plots being put down where the green dots are.  I teleported to SSPE72 early afternoon. It may now be closed off to the public so that The Moles can work.

For anyone wondering, it is next to impossible (but still seems to happen a few times a day) to score either house or houseboat via the "new home" application on the website. Most folks will just wait until a scheduled release before hitting that refresh button over and over :D.

NEW and different styles of abodes are planned and are currently being worked on (Abnor Mole and Patch - SL forum) and many folks are hoping to see the next bit of newness in preview form at SL16B.  No official word that will happen so watching the map is your best clue.  The SL16B sims are here. Of course you can't visit unless you are a participant.

In the community news department, folks have been busy decorating their plots. My lead photo is a home near mine. I had to smile this morning when I took a look around my neighborhood. I used to tell folks I was easy to find, just go to Heathstone on the beach and look for the house with all the clutter. Well THAT won't work any longer LOL.   My neighbor a couple of doors down has really embraced my "lived in" look (not that I invented it of course).  Love it!

Of course more decorations mean slower framerates and there are some regions getting pretty laggy. Part of our virtual life.





My sunflowers and bees. I just noted that my neighbor has sunflowers and bees also :D.  It is so fun to watch our little mini-area take on its character. 


Some community groups have come into being in Bellisseria. At least one seems to be intent on becoming a homeowners association with all that entails. Some lengthy discussions have ensued on the forums and reportedly inworld (I am not a member of any new continent groups so only have comments by others to go by). Linden Lab seems to be using a light hand on the "in theme" part of the covenant, but obvious eyesores like low hanging skyboxes and helipads on stilts have disappeared quickly.

I have finished all my personal add-ons for my home and have only a handful of land impact points to play with so I likely won't be at my home as much this month. Still, it is a lovely place to visit, a small bit of peacefulness to call my own.

Closing Doors



Honestly I think Scandalize offers some of the very best group gifts  -- and often.


Credits:

SCANDALIZE  - RENEE SPRING GROUP GIFT[ PATTERN version (also a set in white.

*PINK HUSTLER* choker (old gift)

Hair: TRUTH HAIR Essena

Pose by: oOo Studio

Tres Chic's Birthday Bash



It's birthday month at Tres Chic and many designers have added group gifts to their booths.  Lots and lots of pretty things. Here are a few favorites from my friends.

Left:

BlackOpium.Ingrid.ETHNIC.SKIRT and TOP
< IDEALIA > VOXI Earrings

Middle:

Queenz ENT DRESS (many many mesh body fits)
THE OAK - Flower Sunglasses Gold

Right:

.:Beyond:. Sabrina Skirt and Top
.::Supernatural::. Sharona V.2 White [Gold] necklace

There are many shoe gifts also, my favorite being the  Magda shoes in Salmon from G&D





Poses by: aDORKable

Autumn in Spring


The SEmotion Libellune Lap Kitties are so VERY VERY CUTE!!!  They come in a huge variety of furs with a vast array of rarities. There is a hud with different holds and animations for the kitties depending on their designation. This is the default animation.



This is Kitty number 3 which is not only my favorite but happily coordinates with my outfit.  Try your luck at Cosmopolitan.



Summer style; Fall colors.

A forgotten path.



Credits:

FashionNatic @ Cosmopolitan - NICOLE PLAYSUIT  (Lara and Freya) with giant hud of plains and vintage floral prints

Amacci Shoes - Aegina

Meva Marlene Collar 2 Gold


Hair: eXxEsS : ESPRESSO



Pose by: Everglow

A Scooter Journey



With my framerates back to my normal -- months in the reversal -- I have been doing a happy dance, almost continuously. I decided to see if my scooter worked better with a doubling of those important digits.

The not so grand tour went from my nearest rez area back to my home.  Not that far, but I still got into trouble a time or two. Happily the folks with security seem to be following The Lab's rules and I made it back on the street (oh so not gracefully) before I was booted home (whew!).


There are some lovely areas along the route. I especially like the homes with rock steps leading to them. I headed west then south and fairly quickly found myself at my home region. The crossroad leads to the neighborhood rocky park which was my cue to get off the main roads. Navigating the PATH was much more difficult and I ended up on one neighbors yard trying to get back beyond the fence line.


But eventually I DID make it home.  No way could I squeeze artfully back through my tiny gate opening with my current skills so I hopped off and let the server return my scooter.

{what next}  Monaco Scooter

Trudi top by MEVA
{MYNX} Used Skinny Jeans
Baetik : Zola Espadrille : Print (more on those in a later post - new)

Hair: eXxEsS : ESPRESSO

Poses by: the scooter

32 days in Bellisseria



It has been a busy month. Lots of building and plenty of inventory shuffling with a few items lost long ago reappearing (and of course some DIS-appearing -- such is my life). I have had a wonderful time decorating my 1024 beachfront plot. So very much fun.

Aside from a couple of placeholder items that will hopefully be replaced soon and a little more clutter upstairs, I am set. With only a handful of prims left, I need to be thrifty but I am sure that items will come my way as the weeks and months pass by.

Feel free to stop by. Heathstone on the beachfront. Lots of outside clutter. Easy to find.

My big news this week was the return of my normal framerates after many months at half speed. It looks like my issues were network related as they were fixed when the network updates were completed. VERY happy to have things running better; a trip down Memory Lane to the Old Gray Days was not fun. 

Looking forward to SL16B next month, I will be taking some time off for a bit. I will still be around of course, just not working quite as much.

The Bellisseria Places Page has been updated with new Atoll areas.  See the sidebar.

And the typist is off to the tub.




Linden Houseboats - The Atoll



By now some of you know that Wednesday was "the day" for the 709 houseboat release at Bellisseria. Those of us that take part in the endless forum conversations were ready for the "feeding frenzy" (not my term but an apt one) that began around 10 am.

There had been some warning the day before as Patch Linden posted the 24 hour or so estimate for the conclusion of a month's work by Moles -- and Patch of course. 

Within 27 minutes all houseboats were taken.

I took part in the melee, via my building alt Lani.  Lani didn't want a houseboat but the typist wanted the EXPERIENCE of Houseboat Atoll day :D.  And it was that.

It was both wild and frenzied with the biggest hurdle being the endless error messages on the website.  I had been refreshing the page for a few minutes before the release, noted the houseboats appearing and tried to get one --- like 40 times! Each time there was a "error - please start over" message or now and then a "sorry we are out of what you wanted message".

I was not alone.

Eventually I switched to my notebook thinking that maybe a touch screen would be a bit faster when having to click on check boxes and buttons (IF one got that far of course). Amazingly my notebook garnered a houseboat. I doubt really that the notebook made the difference, more likely there were just fewer people trying to get a plot because they HAD theirs. That works too.

Lani turned in Houseboat one and tried for a better spot. Houseboat two was on the continent and not the atoll, and Lani gave that back too. It was never the plan to KEEP a plot, I just wanted to go through the process so that I could report in a first hand manner.

The new area is lovely even if I am a landlubber at heart.

Folks that missed out on this release can try again (maybe in a month, no official statement and likely there will be none until the regions appear magically from the mist). 

This is the latest official statement from Patch for those wondering -- and for historical purposes.

We know they will go very quickly, but as time goes on we will get more out, and hopefully faster.
Our next focus will be to bring more Traditional Homes plus more Houseboats in another smaller launch while working in parallel to a larger launch and an exciting new theme. As usual, stay tuned here for more updates! 

You can follow the Linden Homes update thread to keep informed on upcoming releases.

Butterflies



Now the Stories&Co. Signature Velour Leggings are some of my favorites and this color a long time winner, again for me; so it was with great enthusiasm that I put together this outfit.   

The new "Slime" color is a release for Palette, a newish main store discount shopping event. So head on over and pick up a pair of these great pants, perfect for Spring and Summer.


Baiastice - Aly Blouse

KUNGLERS - Elvira bracelet in Crystal

Hair: eXxEsS : Espresso


Pose by: lisanna.lauria - beyond antique [nla]

A Walk in Santorini



Pretty little semi-sheer tunic, made as a coverup but working as a not so prudish dress -- sleek hair and gorgeous photo backdrop. A perfect photo shoot.

Credits:

Baiastice_West Tank Dress (get it here)

MINIMAL - Santorini Backdrop (get it here)

(Kunglers) Dinorah necklace - Quartz


[LAKSHM] Lilit Hair (get it here)



Pose by Di's Opera

Coffee Shop



My very favorite release at Cosmopolitan is the SATEN coffee bar set from Rioro.   I am a big Rioro fan simply because style meets optimization in the product line and you don't see that so much these days. 

This is a lovely collection and if a coffee shop isn't in your future there are some great plants as well as some cool bar stools.  So pop on over and teleport to the full demo.


Sylvari

From !dM deviousMind "Sylvari" for The Fantasy Collective.

Absolutely gorgeous and quite magical, the detailing is superb and the costume moves with grace. What more can I say!

Many colors to choose from, the rares include texture change options to match the hue of your choice.  




Hair: eXxEsS : Espresso

Poses by: BehaviorBody

Monthly Midnight Madness



It's that time again. Get your avatar complexity under 50,000 and head out to a big variety of stores.  This month there is even something for the guys!

Here is the rundown page. 

A few friends journeyed out  in the early hours while I had tea. The BREATHE store had a huge crowd and with it some vendor issues but other places were easy to enter and quick to pick up the short term gifts.  Free group required of course. Pick up your handy hud from the group archives.

A second group of gifts goes out at noon SLT.

Left:  a perfect fitting undies set from  NX-NARDCOTIX.

Right: a perfect fitting swimsuit from JUSTICE.


Poses by: aDORKable

Floating



Two outstanding new releases come together for this post.

The Baiastice West bikini, a tiny number covers only the important bits. Get a great tan while looking spectacular. Tons of color choices including plain colors plus six bonus textures in the fatpack hud.



And the Trompe Loeil Genoveva Hacienda Poolhouse, my favorite building from that brand this year.  Plenty of great outdoor spaces with fireplaces and wall fountains. A plant accented lap pool lets you relax in style. Shallow rooms with floor to ceiling windows -- and oh, there is the almost free price as a bonus -- make this a winner. Choice of PG or A versions

Find both of these items here. 




One of two back decks with plenty of room for friends.

Deep Static glasses and no.match hair @ Cosmopolitan (see this post)

Pure Poison earrings

Pose by: the pool

An Ibiza Morning



One of my favorite releases so far this May is the really lovely build from .:revival:., the ibiza pergola.  This is somewhere between a pose prop backdrop and an accessory building. The back is finished with a door and solid wall. It is however only 7 inches or so deep, so no ROOM there.

Whatever it is or however you might use it, the collection of items are gloriously textured and smartly modeled. Find it here. Sorry no direct landmark, so find the .:revival:. booth and then teleport to the full sized demo.

Worth the effort for sure.

Beach Combing



Ready for summer?   I am! 

Here is a great look for the warm days ahead.



Hilly Haalan Amanda Top (four patterns by hud) Group gift - free group.

Deep Static Rina Sunglasses @ Cosmopolitan

Hair:  NO.MATCH NO SUFFER @ Cosmopolitan


Stories&Co. Signature Vinyl Leggings

Pose by: LAP [nla]

Salt Air



There's a celebration going on. Seven years.

Find these items plus lots of great gifts for your home here.  Free group require.

Credits:

Sweater: Giz Seorn
Necklace: LaGyo
Earrings: Pure Poison
Glasses: MINIMAL
Hair: {Limerence}


Pose by: Diesel Works

It's Love



Living in the burbs can get a little stifling for a free spirited gal, but never fear there is something to get any gal (or guy) out of the doldrums.

G&D Motors is the place. Free group gift on the wall (no group fee). This has gas or no gas options and a lot of things I have NO idea about. Parkable at 26 land impact. LOD3.



Blue Skies Sea View



All moved in, I have been exploring Bellisseria - seeing the different community clusters, getting an idea of all that is my new home.  So far I haven't found another place that I would move to if I had the chance.

A small path, a tiny slice of sand and and a vast sea out my front windows. Once again I am a lucky gal.

Credits:

Ricielli - Celly Top and skirt with texture change hud @ Cosmopolitan

Baiastice_Tropez Wedges-Bone-Maitreya

EarthStones Peace, Love & Harmony Bracelet

Hair: pr!tty - Dakota


Second Spaces - Nola shuttered cabinet - white/open
Tuesdays Novel Clock - Fatpack
Books and other clutter - ChiC buildings



Pose by: West End Poses @ Cosmopolitan


Daydreamers




May. Spring; well at least on the calendar.

Some new and recent releases in my world include:

AVALE's Amy Shirt and panties with some gorgeous detailing. The short tank can easily work as outerwear. Find it at Cosmopolitan through Saturday.

Trompe Loeil's  Soleil Patio Chair with texture choices. This is an oversized rattan chair (a couch is also available) with texture options, reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s popular styles. If that genre fits into your home stylings be sure and check out the new offerings at Uber.

Deep Static Edison Glasses, Sunset

Hair: [LAKSHM] Treat

Pose by: the chair