M is for Myg

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Archive for the 'tips from Myg' Category

Studies in light – "surreal”

I actually love Windlight, but I do not think it loves me, the reluctant techie. Two versions ago worked best for me, right out of the box. The last version didn’t work – at all – without constant crashes. I still have issues with the latest release being “sticky.” Which feels sort of like lag, only a quicker lag, if that makes any sense. It sucks, is what it does. I can lower the quality of the graphics from “high” to “medium” but then it doesn’t offer me much beyond the basic browser, which is less laggy. (Oh and btw, I have a Macbook Pro, 233 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 2.6 GB DDR2 SDRAM with an ATI Radeon 1600 graphics card with 256 mb of V-RAM. I don’t actually know what that all means, but Alex tells me it’s significant.)

I tried using some of the sky settings recommended around the SL blogosphere, where folks such as Caliah Lyon and  Iris Ophelia talk about using the “blizzard” setting to help diffuse the light and get good avie photos. But waaaaah I can’t get my shit to look anywhere near as good, no way no how. (Photo below is borrowed from the New World Notes Iris Ophelia Post mentioned above. I sure hope they don’t mind!)

Wlheader

I’m just not real patient and I’ve basically got no clue what all those environmental controls can do. And to be honest, I don’t want to have to learn. I just want some presets that work right out of the box. It would seem to me, um duh, that maybe in future releases of the Windlight browser, Linden Lab might actually take some of the settings that are being experimented with around the grid and package them into presets that the impatient Windlight fan such as myself might just, ya know, use. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Anyway, the shot at the top of this post was me experimenting with the sky presets. (If you don’t know how to do that, huzzah! I commend your bravery: World->Environment Editor->Advanced Sky Tab.) That one is “surreal.” It gives you these crazy racing clouds in orange against a purplish sky. Not bad for a night of clubbing on the roof, for sure. As Hulk helps demonstrate here:

That photo is completely unretouched (I played with the other shot from last night using flickr’s picknik to mess with some of the softness and border, etc.) The light is very harsh. I wouldn’t recommend it for your basic SL functions, but hey a party can handle extremes, right?

I’ll keep experimenting, but in the meanwhile, if you’ve got tips or tricks for optimizing windlight settings, please do share. And hopefully in future releases we’ll get a browser that is less lagalicious and more avatar friendly right out of the box.

Oh, Happy Saturday!

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Party Crashing 101- Tips from Myg

photo op!

There is a fine art to effective party crashing. If you fuck it up, you’ll probably be seen as any old griefer (discussion beyond that link over at Gwennyth Llewelen’s blog). Orbitted and banned faster than you can rezz your penis-party hat. 

But if you manage pull it off with style and taste, you can become the star the otherwise routine night at the club orbits around. Well, at our club anyway. Not everyone has the same idea of “good time” after all.

Let’s look at some exhibits. Try this one:

awww shake it

Meet Partygirl29082.  This avie knows how to eat a burger, and still leave room for flapjacks. We’re down with that.  She rezzed on the dancefloor sporting some fine baby back, complete with freckles. We’re still talking about freckled asses to this day.

How did we know this was a party crasher and not a griefer? Simple. First of all, she was funny. Partygirl23012371 cracked actual jokes and interacted with the crowd but didn’t attempt to make anyone feel like shit. That’s the mark of a party crasher, not a griefer.

Let’s go onto Partygirl9302o3oi2. Drunk Gramma.

Drunk Gramma

Drunk Gramma crashed a private party last year and I remember her to this day because the minute she dropped in, the guests were just assholes to her. “Shoot it!” was heard from the wannabe poser crowd, not less than 5 times.  But Gramma didn’t do anything – she didn’t even talk! I call this party crash the “social commentary” party crash. Gramma just dropped in looking old and heavy, and got quite the reaction.  This kind of party crasher helps you thin your friends list real fast by letting you know who’s got a sense of humor and who’s just a farking idiot. They’ll show themselves when drunk Gramma arrives.

And finally, mob party crashing. Morrisey style!

flye morriseys

Party crashing in groups, also known as flashmobbing,  is highly recommended, but moreso if you’re all sporting the same last name. If it’s “Morrisey,” and you love the Smiths, all the better. (And if that’s the case, don’t forget to join the -=Morrisey=- group for oh so special Morrisey flashmob notices). 

The effect here is to essentially bring a party to a party, and as long as the beer holds and the tunes crank and everyone tips the DJ, is usally a good deal all around. Unless you don’t like the Smiths. In which case, maybe griefing is for you afterall. Nah, just kidding.

So don’t be shy. Put on a beefy fresh or teeny bald avatar and get out there! And if you know where to get a freckled arse, please IM me inworld.

See ya on the night circuit!

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Train your dawg – tips from Myg

do you wanna be my dog?

Folks, do you have a special someone in your life? He’s the one who jumps you as soon as you walk in the door, tries to lick you all over and then looks longingly into your eyes hoping that you’re thinking what he’s thinking. That’s right – dinner. And I only say “he” because the dog in my life happens to be male. But dogness isn’t a gender issue – it’s a role issue. Dogs come in multiple gender flavors.

Thing is, if you don’t train your dog, your dog will train you. It happens subtly, but before you know it, you’ll come home after a hard day at the office and just automatically head into the kitchen. All the while he lovingly looks at you, practically drooling, not leaving your side until he’s gotten what he wants. He then promptly ignores you as he devours the special feast you’ve prepared for him.

Oh, it’s not just food preparation they’ll train into you. Next thing you know, he wants to go out and will be a complete pain in the ass until you let him. Whining, scratching, maybe even barking until you open the door. Finally you just leave the door open so he can come and go at will just to avoid fighting.

And let’s talk about arguing for a second too. Dogs can make you all kinds of fucking mad, can’t they? They roam around sniffing every strange ass that comes down the block. At home they take your stuff and put it in places you can’t find. They eat every last morsel of food in the house without regard to anyone else who may want it. When they’re alone and bored they’ll nick your dirty panties out of the laundry and sometimes, on the worst of days, it seems like they mess up the things you love just to make you mad.

But have you ever noticed–it almost seems like they *like* to make us mad. Sometimes when we yell and fight, they get a little bit of a rise, if you will, from it. And that’s when you–and they–know, they’ve got us trained.

How do they do it?

It’s a simple matter of conditioning, people. The dog will do something (like unexpectedly curl up next to us on the couch and let out a big sigh) and get a response out of us (such as, “awwww let me go make you a sandwich.”) If the dog likes the response, he’ll keep repeating the behavior – and we will repeat the response. See? Smart dogs figure out what motivates us and use high-value rewards. For example, if I feed my dog, he lavishes me with love and attention. God knows, I love attention, so my dinner-making habit becomes reinforced. However, over time when my dinner-making behavior becomes routine he may feel he doesn’t need to spend so much time drooling all over me, thanking me, smacking his lips in appreciation for each meal. That’s when I might feel unappreciated and the resentment can settle in, and that just sucks. But luckily, there’s something we can all do if this happens.

We can counter-train. This we can do in three easy steps: 1. Motivation 2. Notice good behavior 3. Reward it!

kiss it

1. Find out what motivates your dog. Now, as far as I know, many, many dogs are motivated by the same thing – tail. If you have a dog, he likes your tail, guaranteed. Other possibilities include hamburgers, naps, and pay-per-view fights.

2. Notice good behavior – no matter how small it seems! He gives you a big kiss when you get in bed? The toilet seat is down in the middle of the night when you have to pee? These are the kinds of habits that can tip the balance when you’re seriously thinking of putting him in the shelter.

3. Using motivation identified in #1, reward the behavior you want to promote! Did your dog come home and start the laundry without being asked? Why not shake your tail a little as you walk out of the room. Next thing you know, he’s folding it and putting it away as well. (Of course, odds are, the dog will incorrectly fold the shirts and put the socks in the wrong drawer, but you can shape these behaviors as well with a little hard work and perseverance!)

Does your dog like food? Well, when he agrees to stay home with the kids so you can go out with your friends, bring him home an Italian sub. For extra good kid watching, bring him a six-pack as well. Did he do yard work without being asked? Do the dishes? Pick up the house? I don’t know who trained who on this one, but when my dog does any of that kind of stuff, he gets rewarded with a special cut, nearly every time.

Don’t forget, dogs like praise too. Be sure to lavish plenty of it when your dog is doing stuff you like, no matter how small it seems. (“Nobody can order pizza with as much precision as you can, sweetie…”)

You know, many of us spend a lot of our time bitching at our dog for his mistakes, ruminating over the stuff the dog doesn’t do so well, or sometimes even lamenting to the dog our frustration that he is being too dog-like. When we do that, we forget about the fun, the affection and the unflappable steadfastness of a good dog. Not to mention the mind-blowing sex.

Oops. Perhaps the metaphor breaks down here.

But the message holds.

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