226 - New year's eve ball

Dim Sum wonders why that big ball hasn't fallen yet. Doesn't it know it was supposed to fall at midnight? No wonder the fireworks haven't started either!

One more before the new year ends, and barely in time!


location: Slightly Twisted

Technical notes

windlight: [AnaLu] shadows (modified)


225 - Poinsettia moose

"Hey, where did you get that poinsettia lei?"

Flickr changed their links, so I can't pin my images from this blog to Pinterest anymore. So I'm uploading twice now. Oh, well, no more links going back to Flickr.

In case I don't get a chance to post again this year, ...

location: Slightly Twisted

Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Build 005 Light (modified)
water: Nacon's Water


224 - White wolf, white cat, white Christmas

If cats could giggle, Dim Sum would have giggled at the big scary wolf with the little Santa hat. Instead, she looks up at him adoringly for doing her this little favor.

I was very happy that he agreed to be in this Christmas photo, wearing a silly Santa hat. I simply told him that I already sent a copy of the Santa hat to Dim Sum and that I had to resize it smaller. I thought he would resize it larger, but this worked out well. The smaller size made the hat look daintier, which was a juxtaposition to his larger-than-life gruff and scary demeanor. :D

My original idea was to have him hold Dim Sum in one of his (large) hands, but his beast AO didn't have a ground sit, and I couldn't rez an object to position Dim Sum. So we had to make do. I moved Dim Sum farther away for better composition and to make his neck look less distorted.

Anyway, ... Happy Holidays!

model: "mon loup blanc"
location: Slightly Twisted

Technical notes

windlight: AnaLu - outdoor city (modified)
water: Default


223 - Westminster altar

Where's Dim Sum? #223 - Westminster altar

Dim Sum quietly pads through the darkened cathedral. She could almost hear the echo of her breath.

Real life exploded. In a very good way. Last month has been very lucky and very busy. First, we moved to a new (bigger) place, which became available after almost a year of waiting, so I had to pack, move, and clean the old place in the span of a week or so. We're still unpacking. Second, Thanksgiving happened (I was stuffed), and also my sister's 25th-wedding-anniversary-vow-renewal ceremony and reception. Third, I accepted a job offer and I started last week.

That said, I have to be very selective about what I do during my now-much-rarer free time. Dim Sum will continue until Day 365. However, that day could very well be a few years from now. ;)

location: House of Tudor, Rosemont (with permission)

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SUNSET - Azure desertation 2 (modified)


222 - Dark passage

Where's Dim Sum? #222 - Dark passage

Dim Sum half-expects a Shakespearean actor to come out of the shadows. Thankfully, she can see better in the dark. 

Remember I wanted to do something innovative? Ta-da!

Actually, this is something simple. It's just three invisible lights worn as attachments. Not even projectors. Then I just had to find the right position for Dim Sum to get the right lighting. And that's not easy because she kept moving around. The texture on that wall on the left kept getting blurry, and I don't know why. So I had to keep refreshing textures.

The cathedral was created by TheBlack Box.

location: House of Tudor, Rosemont (with permission)

Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Moon Light 02 (modified)


221 - Verily face-to-face

Where's Dim Sum? #221 - Verily face-to-face

Dim Sum meows at the other white cat.
"Are you the doorcat?" she asked.
"No, I'm the bouncer," replied the other.
"Does it pay well?" she probed.
"I get all the tuna I can eat," boasted the other.

I was thinking this image is like a combination of this Goatswood pic and this haunted house pic, but I'm too tired to be innovative today. I'm actually supposed to be packing today and during the next few days.

The trick here is to figure out which one is Dim Sum.

The building is called "Medieval Town building 2" by Abel Dreamscape.

location: House of Tudor, Rosemont (with permission)

Technical notes

windlight: Fine Day (modified)


220 - Baa, baa, blackface sheep

Where's Dim Sum? #220 - Baa, baa, blackface sheep

Dim Sum interrogates the sheep to find out what they know about the wool industry of the kingdom. But the sheep simply prodded her and wondered why her wool wasn't as thick or as fluffy as theirs. And they were shocked to find out that Dim Sum has never been sheared.

I couldn't get to the sim that I was invited to visit. I could see it on the map but when I try to teleport, SL says it couldn't find it. So I went to Tudor Rose instead.

While I was mucking with the windlight, a two-day-old newbie came really really close, and I thought he was going to bump me off my position. But he didn't. Then eventually, he moved around me, off camera. Then he came back again and got stuck in the tree trunk. So I said hello and he replied. Based on his name, I figured he spoke Spanish (or Italian) and when I asked him he simply said "jejeje". You could tell the Spanish-speaking people by their "jejeje" or "jajaja" laugh. ;)

Anyway, we had a short conversation with my broken Spanish and occasionally with Google Translate's broken Spanish. :) He said he's checking out this "juego" and I told him SL is not a "juego", but he could meet a lot of people here. Then I suggested he could go to live music events and, after he said he is also a musician in RL, then I sent him the URL to the wiki about music in SL. Then he escaped before I could give him more reading assignments. After all, who ever heard of getting homework from a cat inside a "juego"?  :D

The sheep are called ") AI ( A Grazing Blackface Sheep" and ") AI ( A Watchful Blackface Sheep" by alchemyimmortalis.cyannis (Alchemy Immortalis)

location: House of Tudor, Rosemont (with permission)

Technical notes

windlight: Fluffy Big Clouds (modified)
water: Default


219 - Triton's cove

Where's Dim Sum? #219 - Triton's cove

Dim Sum pretends to ignore the chirping, whirring, clicking talkative dolphin, who kept slapping the water to get her attention.

How do you take underwater pictures if you're a cat afraid of water?

There's a lot going on here. Reflections of the boats, pier, trees, and clouds above water. Hints of the dolphin, arch, and dome underwater. The froth of an incoming wave just below the surface. The shadow of a tree over the boats and the water surface. Very little DOF.

location: Romanum

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SUNSET - Garrigal moscheles 1 (modified)
water: Glassy (modified)


218 - The emperor's swans

Where's Dim Sum? #218 - The emperor's swans

Dim Sum quietly plans an attack on the unsuspecting swans, but, first, she has to figure out how deep the water is. She doesn't plan to lose another life so soon.

As I was playing with windlight and DOF, I noticed the crosshairs of the Emperor of Romanum on me. Uh-oh. Would I get kicked out?

I IM'd OOC that I was just taking pictures and asked if that was okay. Of course, I didn't tell him about Dim Sum's secret plan to attack his swans. He said, "No problem at all, little kitty." :D See? I told you white cats are welcome here. Or maybe only white cats named "Dim Sum," who meow sweetly.  ;D

location: Romanum

And, apparently, Opal looks like royalty. Scroll down for my response to Strawberry's "Avatar Look-Alikes Challenge".

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SUNSET - Garrigal moscheles 1 (modified)
water: Glassy

Strawberry's memes - Avatar Look-Alikes Challenge

Strawberry's instructions for this week's meme says: "Share a selfie of your avatar and a picture of the person you feel most looks like your avatar, or someone people have told you looks like your avatar or someone you tried to base your avatar’s looks on."

I didn't particularly make my avatar look like any real person. I based Opal's face on an imaginary face that I had been drawing as a child, and I tweaked my shape as I went along, particularly when I got new skin (which I haven't for ages now).

I went to the Celebrity Look-Alike Generator site that she mentioned, but it couldn't "see" a face in my current profile pic, so I used an older pic. And, apparently, Opal looks like royalty. Just the wrong gender.  ;)


217 - Romanum's shrine

Where's Dim Sum? #217 - Romanum's shrine

Dim Sum listens to the rushing river and sniffs the orange-scented air. If only all mornings were nice and sunny like this.

Michel Karmin was having problems with his Mer Betta tail. He asked for a tp, because he said I wouldn't be allowed in Romanum, where he was.

After we figured out that he was wearing the wrong parts of the product (and he later showed me many other interesting male mer parts), he put on several of his different mer avies, as well as other avies (a very realistic deer and a bat with its own dead tree that it hangs from). He has a gazillion of these avies!

Before he answered the call of "a cute Roman," who needed him, he gave me a notecard about Romanum. But the landmark took me underwater, deep in the mer domain. Dim Sum lost a life, I tell ya!

Romanum is an adult sim exclusively for gay men and white cats. (Well, the "white cats" part is not officially sanctioned, but shhhh!) It is a very adult sim. Not that I'm complaining about the very explicit sculptures all around the sim, mind you. This spot is probably the only PG part of the sim, although I haven't looked closely at the bas relief on that shrine.

The temple (GK Roman Temple Small) and shrine (GK Lalarium Roman Shrine) were created by Grey Kurka (The Curious Prim), whose sim Mythopoeia I've visited before.

location: Romanum (Adult)

Technical notes

windlight: [EUPHORIA] that day (modified)
water: Pond (modified)


216 - Desert dreamers

Where's Dim Sum? #216b - Desert dreamers (strings)

Where's Dim Sum? #216a - Desert dreamers (temple)

Where's Dim Sum? #216c - Desert dreamers (wakeup)

Where's Dim Sum? #216d - Desert dreamers (X3D)

Dim Sum meows at her blue-haired fans as they waited for the temple to start burning.

Three images today and one 3D version. I was going to take a picture of the temple burn and I thought that this sculpture would be a nice foreground to the burn. But the glass-looking enclosure that covered the temple turned black and opaque, and you had to zoom your camera inside the building to see the burn. Heh. There goes my plan.

Anyway, these two blue-haired friends were playing around and dancing in the sculpture area and I went to the other side, but they came to stand near me. So I told them that, if they were going to stand there, they would be in my picture. And they said it was okay with them so I snapped pictures with them in it. They didn't stay long though; they had to go to work.

The sculpture is called "The Dreamer," I think. At least that's what the "people" objects were called. The alarm clock is called "More Time Dream," and the other pairs of hands held different things, including a dandelion plant, a paper boat, a bottle of wine, a book, a framed "Mona Lisa," a drum, a key, a pyramid, ... all related to dreams and wishes. The puppet and the puppeteer are incredibly detailed mesh. Stunning work, built by Krystali Rabeni.

models: Alexi Ayres and Noke Yuitza
location: Burn2 2013

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] NIGHT - That spells moon 4 (modified)


215 - Afterburn

Where's Dim Sum? #215 - Afterburn

Dim Sum watches the scaffolding fall apart during the fire. Thankfully, she was thrown out of the building before they started burning.

This is a bit rushed because I have a deadline today. I missed the man because, first, I was logged somewhere else because the sim was full. Then I crashed while I was derendering stuff that were in the way. The Man fell soon after I got settled. Then some naked guy with a cowboy hat came into view. Anyway, this is what's left of the saucer scaffolding under the Man.

The temple burns tomorrow.

location: Burn2 2013

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] NIGHT - That spells moon 4 (modified)


214 - Danger: Explosives

Where's Dim Sum? #214 - Danger: Explosives

Dim Sum explores the intricate crisscrossing shadows that crisscross the crisscrossing slats of wood.

Padding precariously in a scaffolding saucer. #sixwords

I seem to be in the abstract mood lately. I just go with what comes. Other things are pulling my attention these days, and November will be worse. I just signed up for NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, but it's really international. To be a "winner" in NaNoWriMo, you have to write the first 50,000 words of a novel from November 1-30. What you do with it afterwards is up to you. They don't even care what you write or in what language you write. Heck, you can write a new version of the Lorem Ipsum if you want. So I may not even have time at all for Dim Sum. We'll see.

The "saucer" is the scaffolding under The Man. This one was built by Pygar Bu.

location: Burn2 2013

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] DUSK - Strummer (modified)

213 - Sankofa

Where's Dim Sum? #213 - Sankofa

Dim Sum tumbles in the air. It's a long long fall to the cracked soil of the playa below. But, hey, cats know how to land on their feet.

Cat tumbles between impossibly tall cranes. #sixwords

No DOF at all here. I wanted to preserve the details, since it's already minimalistic as it is.

The artwork (or at least one of the objects) is called "Sankofa blanca" by Romy Nayar.

location: Burn2 2013

Technical notes

windlight: Phototools- Lo Light 03 (modified)


212 - Hive

Where's Dim Sum? #212 - Hive

Dim Sum watches the Lamplighters dance with their flames.

This is looking kinda sci-fi-ish. The hexagons remind me of a hive, and a hive reminds me of the Borg. My imagination is running away to a different quadrant. :D

Strawberry has a non-meme this week about the Linden Lab Terms of Service (TOS). Scroll down for more.

location: Burn2 2013

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] MIDDAY - An incongruent truth (modified)

Strawberry's memes - Linden Lab TOS non-meme

I became aware of the TOS issue in a meeting of the International Spaceflight Museum Planning Group. Someone typed out the link of the New World Notes blog post about Renderosity banning their products from being imported into Second Life. I followed that link and others and read up a little before I had to get back to work to make my deadlines.

Then last week, I received a group notice from MaMachinima about a panel of lawyers who would be speaking about the implications of the new TOS. I was about 15 minutes late, so I was standing at the border of the next sim, listening to the talk being broadcasted on AViewTV. I was too far away to pick up the information posted in public chat, unfortunately, but I got the gist of the talk. Inara Pey has a good summary of the talk with links to parts of the video.

1. Do you usually read the TOS thoroughly before you hit accept? When you're in a hurry to meet up with your lover, would you? ;) I was actually surprised about this new one, because we just had a TOS change not long before this. I assumed that this was just a minor change; otherwise, they would have given us warning. Bad assumption, apparently. And very tricky of LL to think they could easily let something this controversial slip under our noses.

2. How do you feel about the new LL TOS changes, specially from August 15th and section 2.3. I was livid. At first, I thought that the new TOS covered ALL content, including the ones that we uploaded under a friendlier TOS. Then someone said/wrote that it covered only the content that was uploaded/created after the new TOS became effective. Then the panel of lawyers said that, effectively, it covered ALL content, including those that were uploaded prior to this TOS.

To me, that sounds a lot like a bait-and-switch scheme. We uploaded our content under a different contract, then they changed the contract after they got the goods. It also sounded like we have no recourse, because another part of the TOS prevents us from taking any legal action either. We can not withdraw our work and make it exempt from this. Even if we deleted them from our inventories, the stuff is still on their servers, especially if we sold or gave away a copy of it. It's like renting an apartment, moving your stuff in, and then your landlord says, "Sorry, everything inside the apartment belongs to us now."

3. Do the changes affect you directly? I am a content creator. Even if I don't sell everything I create, I use them or I give them away. In fact,
This issue affects EVERYBODY, even people who don't think of themselves as content creators.

The avatar that you put together using different components from different designers -- hair, skin, shape, clothes, outfits, etc. -- that composition can be considered your intellectual property or trademark, especially if your look is very recognizable as you. There's a lot of gray area in this field, of course. The photos you've taken of your avatar or anything else inworld are also your IP. Words that you have written are your IP. You might  decide that you don't want to formally register your copyright for everyday things you say or create, but you still own that copyright if they are fully your original work or if they are explicitly permittted derivatives of someone else's work.

Even if you've never rezzed a single cube or uploaded a single photo or modified your shape, do you really want your favorite designers to leave SL?

4. What do you think people should do about this new change? I found out about a new group that plans to petition Linden Lab to change Section 2.3. The group is called the Unified Content Creators of SL (UCCSL). They were actually the ones who organized the lawyer panel talk. They're still getting organized and they need a lot of help.
Invite your friends and your favorite content creators to join.
The bigger the group, the more influence we'd have.

If you have not logged into SL since August 14, DON'T.

5. Are you or have you ever thought about leaving Second Life? What would you do with your time/blogs/career if you ever did? No, I haven't thought of leaving Second Life... yet. Up till now, through all LL's blunders in the past, the benefits of staying still outweighed the benefits of leaving. I *did* think of expanding to OpenSim grids since several years ago, when customers have been asking me to bring my mermaid tails to Inworldz and other grids. But there were, and still are, IP issues there too. With Section 2.3, LL lost their advantage in that sense. I've started moving my Mer Betta non-mermaid products to Kitely to sell at the Kitely Market, but it's slow-going because of lack of time.

I still believe in virtual worlds and their impact on society, but the virtual universe will definitely change, probably sooner than most of us think. With Section 2.3, Linden Lab did their competitors a BIG favor.

I was going to do a prediction of what would happen if LL refuses to change the TOS, but I'd better save that for another post, because I need to mindmap it. ;)


211 - Four goddesses, three to burn

Where's Dim Sum? #211 - Four goddesses


Dim Sum yawns and decides she would rest in the shade and explore when the temperatures go down. If she went outside in the desert sun, she'd soon be Steamed Dim Sum.

This is the "altar" of the Burn2 temple.

The event has significant meaning to me, but, at the same time, it has a lot of pain associated with it. A couple of weeks ago, they contacted me about the censer that I had used in the past, and I gave them a copy of the most recent version of the scripts, which is the same as the one I used in my SL9B "Heart Gravel" exhibit. But it looks like they decided to reverse-engineer the scripts instead. Funny thing was ... I accidentally bumped into the scripter on my way into the temple. I apologized, but no reply.

Anyway, from a technical standpoint, it's cool that they're using mesh this year, but I'm curious how they would make the structure fall apart during the burn. From an emotional standpoint, I miss Damanios Thetan's temples; I could very well be biased, but his were always awe-inspiring. Oh, well, diversity is good anyway.

Dim Sum is actually floating a few meters closer to the viewer. And she was supposed to be a teensy bit higher. Oops.

The statues and the temple were built by Midori Rotaru.

location: Burn2 2013 (The temple is on the sim called "Burning Man-Opal". :D )

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SUNSET - Damage down (modified)


210 - Stairs of horror

Where's Dim Sum? #210 - Stairs of horror

Dim Sum got tired of being chased by mad scientists and giant spiders and dismembered torsos. Obviously, this manor's staff needs lessons on how to make guests feel welcome!

At this rate, I think I'll get my 365th done by the end of the year 2014.

Anyway, I'm starting a new challenge based on the 6-word memoir project by Smith Magazine:

Take Dim Sum's 6-Word Caption Challenge

For any picture in the "Where's Dim Sum?" series, give it a six-word caption. Go to the page for details.

And, finally, scroll down for Strawberry's Google meme mashup with SLTimeWellWasted.

location: DarkDharma Haunted Manor

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SCIFI - Bridge opera 2 (modified)

Strawberry's memes - Google meme mashup

Strawberry suggested a mashup of her meme and Emily's (SLTimeWellWasted). Strawberry's instructions were "Google your SL name and answer the following questions." Emily's instructions were "First, measure your digital footprint.  Google yourself … under both your real life name and your second life name and look over what comes up."

I Googled three names: "opal lei" (SL name), "lea tesoro" (RL author name / RL nickname), "eleanor tesoro" (RL legal name). I figured that Googling "dim sum" and "treasure box" would be practically useless.

All three names are actually linked to each other now. It seems Google doesn't return very old pages, because I had done this exercise in the past, and the "eleanor" search pretty much returns mostly SL-related hits now, instead of artifacts from my previous life like it used to.

A number of the hits were about other people with the same name as my RL names. My name is not that common, but it's not unique either. A long time ago, I discovered an "opallei" in Twitter (she's not me and she apparently had that Twitter account before I created Opal Lei in SL) and an "opal-lei" in deviantART (I suspect this one was someone trying to spoof me). The rest of the hits were mostly me, except the sites that trick you by dynamically adding your search string into the page and the data mining sites that collect information about you from all over the web.

So, here are the questions from Strawberry:

1. Google your Second Life name in “quotations” and share your results. About 9,840 results.

2. What is the first link that comes up? My domain opallei.com, which is the portal to all my SL or kinda like my virtual world CV.

3. Which link were you surprised to see? A slideshow with one of my Flickr images of an exhibit at the International Spaceflight Museum on slide #47. The presenter used it to illustrate some concept about design. I think it's about software architecture. I can't tell for sure; it's in Japanese. I wasn't asked for permission to use that image, but at least the presenter attributed it to Opal properly.

4. Click on the “Image” tab and tell us where the first 5 pictures listed are from. wildopallei.blogspot.com, twitter.com, and blogs.exploratorium.edu.

5. Click on the “more” tab and then click “news” and share your results. No results found for "opal lei". :)

And the questions from Emily:

1. How did the two digital footprints compare, and did that surprise you?
Opal: About 9,840 results
Lea: About 5,370 results
Eleanor: About 1,630 results
Nope, it's not really surprising, because I did more as Opal in the past 7 years than as my RL personas.

2. Does anyone interesting share your name? Not particularly.

3. Are you happy with the size of your digital footprint, or do you wish either one was larger/smaller? I'm not sure. Because I'm not anonymous anymore, I worry about what leaks back and forth between my public SL personas and my RL personas. Because Opal used to be anonymous, I was less careful about what information was online about my activities. But now that Opal is outed, I'm still figuring out how my SL life has affected and is affecting my RL reputation. Not that I've done anything bad; it's just that my personal life and my professional life have blended after I published my book.

4. If you woke up/ logged in one morning to discover over night you had suddenly gained rock-star status, and everybody knew who you were and wanted to know what you were doing… what would you do? Create another anonymous alt. :D  Oh, wait, I already did that. Several times. Without even being a rock star. :D


209 - Frankenstein's birthplace

Where's Dim Sum? #209a - Frankenstein's birthplace (overhead)

Where's Dim Sum? #209b - Frankenstein's birthplace (gadgets)

Dim Sum gingerly steps over the wires on the floor, because they make her fur stand up.  Bzzzzzt!

Dim Sum actually discovered the skylight that led to this room. In the first photo, the square patch of light is actually coming in through the skylight. In the second photo, I turned on the local lights. I actually have a version of the first photo with the local lights turned on, but it diminished the effect of the sunlight through the skylight, and the image became as busy as the second one. Besides, I kinda like it the way it is. Somehow, it reminds me of the manga animated movies.

The main objects are by Aley:
  • The Mad Scientist's Table
  • Tesla Transformer-A
  • Jacob's ladder sparker
  • Tools-workbench
  • Glastonbury Chair
  • Animated machine
  • Specimen case (Brains)
Watch out for the mad scientist! He's very ... pushy.

location: DarkDharma Haunted Manor

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SUNRISE - Cobraring 1 (modified)


208 - Haunted manor

Where's Dim Sum? #208 - Haunted manor

Dim Sum always feels such an outcast around Halloween. Maybe she could roll herself in a pile of ashes....

Unless I haven't been paying attention, this could be my first "Where's Dim Sum?" image in the mainland. That means there are hidden treasures in the mainland! Wouldn't you know it?!? If you find more beautiful places like this in the mainland, let me know!

The haunted house is called "New DarkDharma Haunted Manor" by Silex Zapedzki (Never Totally Dead).

location: DarkDharma Haunted Manor

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] NIGHT - Under a yellow moon (modified)


207 - Hisssss

Where's Dim Sum? #207 - Hisssss

Where's Dim Sum? #207 - Hisssss (X3D)

Dim Sum lays on the cold slimy belly of one of her new frenemies, but she doesn't plan to relax around these guys. She doesn't trust them at all.

Dim Sum is not in the stereoscopic version.

This image demonstrates that it is not always easy to make a 2D composition work with stereoscopy, especially with stereo framing. With stereo framing, it is always better to get the whole object into the picture; otherwise, you get either an uninteresting frame or window violations.

The snakes, called "::: B@R ::: Uwabami", were created by June Dion (Bare Rose). Yes, Bare Rose! I was surprised too!

location: Araxes Mu Draconis

Technical notes

windlight: [TOR] SCIFI - Railingz 2 (modified)

370 - Eggs and bunnies and peeps (360°)

Dim Sum joins the peeps who wanna be bunnies. At least for Easter. For non-US folks, "peeps" are marshmallow candies shaped l...