Saturday, April 22, 2017

Orientale Station

The first part to take place on the moon has been written in Lunar Penal Colony. I found out about these things on the moon called mascons that tended to occur in lunar basins. I couldn't find a lot of information related to exactly how they worked on the moon, except they were gravitational anomolies that had caused satellites to crash and made lunar navigation difficult. It seemed like gravity in these areas were denser than other areas. So, it seemed only natural to choose one of these basins to put the penal colony on.

Orientale Basin is a real basin on the moon, and naturally the name extended to to the station as well. As I think about it, the name Orientale Station is a much better name than Lunar Penal Colony. Perhaps that could become the name in the future, or something similar. I'll have to see how the story continues to progress, to see if a better name comes up in the future. For now, the ugly name Lunar Penal Colony will remain.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Story going to the moon

My story is finally about ready to go to the moon. Lunar Penal Colony Part 5 deals with the processing to get to the moon. Most likely, parts 2-5 is mostly going to get redone and significantly trimmed. There will most likely be certain elements that I will keep, possibly reordering the revealing of the backstory to coincide with things that happen during the processing. A lot of what was written was needless filler, just a way for me to keep things moving in my own mind. I'm sure there will be a lot of adjustments if and when I complete this rough draft. Still, I must say that I'm enjoying the writing process, and seeing these ideas being laid out, even if I know that some of it will be thrown away later.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Continued Story

Part four of Lunar Penal Colony is finished. I'm not quite as happy with this part. I'm trying to move things to the moon quickly, but I think I might be just adding some pointless narratives right now. Showing the journey from the courts which will eventually lead to the moon. Almost felt like I was grasping at straws with this section. I'm guessing some of what happens between the courts and arriving on the moon will probably end up on the cutting room floor later. For now, I just keep things moving, and worry about cleanup later.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Feeling Creative

I've now written the third part of Lunar Penal Colony. I have to say I hate that name, but it's only there for the rough draft. Despite the terrible name for the story, I am enjoying the creativity of it, the writing without any plans in mind. Just seeing where my imagination leads me.

When I started, I had just a rough idea about a science station that was a prison complex on the moon. I toyed with the idea of first vs. third person perspectives, and thought first person would make things a little more interesting. You only know what the character knows, nothing more, nothing less. I can reveal things to the reader as they are revealed to the character. I can even get away with a little bit more narrative this way as well.

I could have started on the moon, which was one of the ideas I was toying with. Beginning the story with the character disembarking on the moon. I decided to go back to the verdict in the courtroom first, as I thought that might be a better hook, especially when the reader discovers what the charge is. The birthday was a last minute idea as I was writing it as well.

With the second part, I wanted to build on why the birthday was so important. Everything bad that ever happened centered around the birthday. I was wondering if I could pull it off that way, but as I look back at how I chained the events together, it almost makes sense, in a twisted sort of way.

So, the third part, which I wrote today, was now moving to the detention center, one step closer to the moon. Focused a little more on the character's struggles with self and others. I'm not quite sure how this part really fits in, if it is just needless filler or actually benefits the story. The benefit of the way I'm writing this, though, is I don't have to worry if something is good or not, I just write and keep writing. It's only a first draft, and can be cleaned up later, once the story has been completed.

I still don't have an overall plot, nor do I have an end in mind. I'm just letting one scene lead to the next. The next scene will be moving from the detention center to the space center, and from there to the moon. How many more parts will be in there, I don't know. I imagine it will be two, maybe three more parts. All depends on where my imagination takes it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

LPC Part 2 and Cell Phone Bills

First, Lunar Penal Colony Part 2 is written and posted at Trasee's Wonderland. Not on the moon yet, but certainly has been fun to write so far.

Second, I have had Verizon Wireless for my cellular service for a very long time. With the exception of a couple years when I tried AT&T, I've been with Verizon since before they were known as Verizon. I had a couple phone lines with them as well as a couple additional services, and I was paying around $350 per month. It was ridiculous.

Today, I went to a local T-Mobile store and talked to them. I wasn't sure if I was going to switch, but after speaking with the sales rep there, I decided to make the switch. Still have two phone lines, but have also added a tablet to the service. One phone is new, the other, my Pixel XL, was brought over to them. There were so many promotions that were attached to my deal. Discount to the monthly bill due to bringing over the Pixel. A tablet that wound up being free. I forget what other discounts were applied, but it was pretty impressive. When all was said and done, it brought my bill down to under $200 per month, of that just under $50 per month is related to new equipment, and the taxes and fees are all included. So, $150 per month in savings. That's not bad at all.

Comparison:
Verizon: Two phones. 1400 minutes shared. Unlimited data (grandfathered pricing). Mobile hotspot on one phone (Additional fee). Unlimited text. Hum service (similar to OnStar) and phone insurance. All that totaled about $350 per month.
T-Mobile: Two phones. Unlimited talk, text, and data. Mobile hotspot on both phones. SyncUp (comparable to Hum), phone insurance, and a new tablet with internet came to $150 per month, with $50 extra for the equipment. Oh, and there's no interest on the equipment either.

Now, I'm probably still going to pay around $1000 to Verizon as I was still paying them for my Pixel, the cancellation of the Hum Service, and whatever my final bill is with them. Still, when you're considering the savings, that will be recovered very quickly. Overall, I would say this has been a good day.


Monday, April 17, 2017

New Story - Lunar Penal Colony

Over the past couple days, I've had some thoughts bouncing around in my head for a new story idea. They sort of manifested today in the beginnings of a new story, Lunar Penal Colony. That isn't the final title, I needed to put something down so I could keep track of it. This is a first draft, very rough, story told in the first person. I have no notes for it, just a jumble of ideas that may or may not make their way into the actual story. I have no real plot ideas yet, nor any ending in mind, so this story idea will most likely crash and burn, but it's going to be fun seeing where my imagination decides to take the story.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter

Happy Easter to everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful day, no matter what you choose to do today, whether you celebrate or not. I'll be heading off to visit family later. I'm happy that I only live about an hour away (a bit longer with traffic) from family now. It was hard only seeing family once or twice a year before, because we've always been close. This is the first family gathering I'm going to be able to attend since the move, and I'm happy about that.

Now, I could stop there, and wouldn't blame anyone else if they want to stop at that point. From this point forward, I'm going to be sharing something else I don't really talk about much. I'm going to share my faith.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Darkwolf Sim Update

On Monday, I mentioned that my homestead in Second Life was almost completely torn down to make room for changes that were already underway. Well, most of the week has been spent in world working on the sim. Except for my store area, everything in the sim is pretty much done. I didn't really create anything new, a couple simple mesh objects, but most of what I did was reuse what I already had. Even better was the fact that I could do all this without affecting the existing Wonderland Glade that was created by my SL sister, Indy.

First Level: Wonderland Glade and Docks


The Wonderland Glade is a beautiful forested valley in one corner of the sim that was created by Indygo Moonbeam. That area remained untouched by the changes, but the rest of the sim was terraformed so that it was all water. This made a nice large area for sailing or jetskiing. So, to accommodate that, I created a small dock in which the boat and jetski are located. In addition, I decided to put out the 7Seas Fishing game for any who might enjoy using it.


Wonderland Docks

Entrance to Wonderland Glade

Wonderland Glade

Second Level: Darkwolf Boardwalk and Lounge

The Boardwalk and Lounge was moved up to the second level, and turned to face the west. The old club rez area remained intact, so that all the scenes I previously created were still usable in the new area. The lounge backed up toward steep cliffs, that isolated it from the rest of the sim. Since there was the natural barrier there, the other side of the sim was left undecorated.

Darkwolf Lounge and Boardwalk

Darkwolf Lounge and Boardwalk

Third Level: TD Creations Mainstore (Coming Soon)

The third level of the sim is the future home of the TD Creations Mainstore. The store is a single level, having no ceiling, to allow for rezzing of the prefab homes. I still have a lot of work to do on this level, adding more landscaping so it doesn't look quite as empty, as well as bringing my CasperVend systems over.

TD Creations Mainstore (Under Construction)

Fourth Level: Darkwolf Isle (Our Home)

The home of Lola, Trasee and Kee Darkwolf is isolated from direct teleports. The only access is by being teleported by someone already in the home, or by the teleportation pads on the sim. It is also protected by a security orb so we can enjoy our privacy. The security orb will eject intruders after a warning, but won't teleport them home, so anyone can still enjoy the sim, without disturbing our privacy.

Darkwolf Isle

Darkwolf Home

Fifth Level: Build Region

The highest level of the sim is the build region. It is where I can build new club scenes, designed to fit at Darkwolf Boardwalk, as well as build things for the store. There is a mirror of the boardwalk so components can be properly aligned as well as a checkered grass area for the store builds. A beach area in between contains a pose stand in the beach that I can use when I'm organizing outfits. As it is strictly a build area, there won't be much in the way of landscaping on this level, which is why I selected a scene that looked nice enough without the need for the additional trees.

Build Region

All in all, I'm using somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000 prims. Hard to have an exact number, as each parcel has a separate group owner. I would guess that I'm not using quite that much. Since I still have the store to do, I will probably end just over that 3000 prim mark. That will still leave me with close to 2000 prims to work with. Looking at what I've been able to accomplish, I wonder now, do I really need to upgrade to a full sim in the future? It is still something to think about, but with this redesign, I've probably pushed it off until early next year, if at all.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Trasee's Wonderland

Trasee's Wonderland is a new blog that has been set up and now has one post on it. This new blog is marked for mature audiences only and is going to be the outlet for my creative writing. My writing was one of the many things that I've been wanting to get back to. Some of the writing might contain more adult language and/or themes, which is why I wanted it behind the mature warning. Despite that, knowing my writing styles, I think most of the stories will be more in the PG to PG-13 range, as opposed to the adult styles. The introductory story, though, does have a bit more language than I normally use, but it was sure fun to write. Feel free to check it out, if you dare. http://wonderland.darkwatch.me/

Monday, April 10, 2017

Darkwolf Sim

Darkwolf Sim, at Camelot dAlliez, has been demolished. The cranes came in and picked up the buildings while the bulldozers leveled everything except one corner of the sim. Needless to say, it's been a busy weekend.

So, what exactly happened? Well, I've still been fighting the depression. I had just started to get past it, when the rug got pulled out from beneath me. I became very busy, and with the struggle to deal with life and the limited time that resulted, my depression sunk me down again. By the end of last week, I was looking for a way to climb back up. So, creativity was what I felt like was needed.

First, I was looking into getting a full sim of my own, instead of renting the homestead from d'Alliez as I am currently. I have two weeks left at my current sim before I have to pay again, which would have given me time to move things to the new sim. I've been wanting my own full sim with the maximum 30000 LI and full control for a long time. There is so much I could build and design on a full sim, and never have to worry about prim counts.

I thought things through for a while, looked at monthly costs and setup fees. I know I can afford it, but should I do it? Should I just wait for Sansar later this year? What would I do if it didn't work out? Could I do anything with my existing homestead and a maximum of 5000 LI? I must have spent two or three hours debating before finally deciding that I couldn't let my depression dictate my spending habits. I need to wait to get a new sim, if I get one at all.

After that decision was made, the next decision was what to do at my sim. I want to make changes, consolidate everything to my sim. How was I going to do that, though? I had bought the fatpack of all sim surrounds from Landscape Unlimited a few months back (Black Friday, if I recall). I started looking at those, both land and sky, to see what options I had. So, after several more hours of rezzing one after the other, I finally made my decision.

One corner of my sim has the Glade. This was a wooded area that was created by my SL sister, Indy. I wanted to see if I could preserve that. But my caverns (never completed), club, and home could go away. Instead, what I would do is move the club and home to separate levels in the sky, using the sim surrounds to make it appear that it was at ground level, while the actual ground was leveled, except for the Glade.

The first level was set up as a beach backed up against steep island walls. I moved the club builds up to that level, instead of recreating the buildings, and turned this into the new Darkwolf Lounge and Boardwalk.

The second level was a mountainous region with one level of the mountain set aside for the store. I created a very simple ground with four walls, and no ceiling, for the store. I built it in Blender, so it was only 3LI with the physics layer. I added my wrought iron fencing to the top of the walls for decoration. The reason it is open is for rezzing of the homes, as well as giving visibility to the mountains outside.

The third level was just a small beach with islands that wasn't a full sim surround, but just tucked nicely into one corner of the sim. Just big enough for our small home, which I moved up from the ground as it was.

The fourth level was my build area, just an expanse of water with a copy of part of the club, so that I could design new club scenes if needed. Although that design might be revaluated for another sim surround, and my build area set up in that new surround. That's something I'll be looking at later.

Finally, I switched my sim from Adult to Moderate. As I'll be moving the store to the sim, and nothing in the store is adult in nature, I don't want to limit the possible visitors (not that I have many now anyways). The club won't have any adult items, and while there may be nudity in the club, nudity is still allowed in Moderate sims. Flying is disabled on the sim, so the only way between the levels is through the teleport pads.

Hopefully, by the time I finish all this, I'll be mostly back to normal, whatever normal is.