Go to content Go to navigation Go to search

Spring has sprung at You Know, For Kids!

March 29th, 2010 by Marianne McCann

Just in for Spring – The You Know, For Kids Flower Petal Headband!

Flower Petal headbands

To use – simply wear! It attaches to your mouth by default (leaving room for most common hair attachment points), but you can adjust as needed. It’s mod, so you can resize if you need to, and transferrable, which make it perfect for a gift!

Availble in pink, yellow, green, blue, and purple, or as a fat pack at a discount price!

Available at You Know, For Kids in Bay City – Imaginario and Livingtree!

* Bay City – Imaginario

* Livingtree

On family

March 22nd, 2010 by Marianne McCann

Okay, this one is gonna be long. Settle in, grab something t’drink, an alla that.

Not long into my Second Life, and shortly after I grew down, I ended up in a family. I did not go through any of the early adoption agencies (this was before MAW, etc.), but a RL friend of mine was part of this family, and I happened upon her aunty while exploring her treehouse. Later that day, her Aunty and Uncle, Sazzy Rosebud and DJMike Glitterbuck, asked to adopt me. I agreed about a week later.

I Said Yes!

DJMike did not hang around long, and for the first few months of my SL kidhood, I was an only child to my single mommy. in the course of a year or so, this changed, with the addition of my brother, Pygar Bu, my sister Robin Howe, and a new, improved daddy, Laurynce Book.

Being in a family for an SL type kid can be the bestest. That’s why – if you look at the profile of SL kids – you’ll usually see “I have the best parents in the world” in there somewhere. It can truly complete the character, and create a next-to-perfect RP environment for one to just be a kid.

It means having someone there when you are at graduation at HardKnock Elementary, or when you get promoted at Kid Scouts. It means having people to write home to from camp, or attend parent and family events with. It means someone who gets that dreaded letter home from school, or who is there when your avatar gets a boo boo on the playground. It can also mean having someone there when you are facing hard RL times, and each of us in our family went through a few of those.

In my SL family, one regular occurrence – nightly or near nightly for the course of about two years – our little avatars would be gently tucked into bed my our parents. So no matter what, we still had that ‘family bond,” that little bit of time that would be ours as a unit. Sometimes it was a tender moment, sometimes it was silly, but it was nearly always good. It is one of a great many things I miss from then.

Family Tuck-In

I miss my mommy’s sense of humor, and I miss my daddy’s quiet wisdom. I miss hanging out (literally) at the family tree behind our old house. I miss getting care packages and letters from home while at Camp HardKnock. I miss that whole thing.

So you may ask yourself this: what happened?

The trouble with SL families as a whole is that they rely on all parties to keep them going. Each person brings something to the table, and plays a part on it all. When things are good, they’re good — but when things turn sour, it’s not so much.

I’m not going to get into details or air any dirty laundry here. Suffice it to say that the relationship between mommy and daddy turned sour, and fell apart. call it unreconcilable differences. Both considered dropping their SL personas, and both have all but retreated from the Grid. I might see mommy online once a month, maybe — and to her credit, her First Life has seemed to be too busy to really allow her the time she once had in her Second. Daddy is on rarer, largely over on a fresher account and making a new Second Life for himself.

What of us kids?

Well, no one ever truly told us “this is over.” For the longest time we remained with the family house out in Hundertwasser, but found it to have lost it’s spark. It was just us there, in a far too big home. A christmas tree and unopened presents beckoned from the large family room for a year, remnants of a Christmas day that never quite happened. My brother took to spending his days in his workshop rather than coming home, and my sister tended to just stick to the bedroom — and not go downstairs at all. Me, I eventually found some land elsewhere on the grid, and tried to make a house that we could get away from all the old ghosts. Never mind that I could not afford to keep the tier going on the land we once had.

My folks remain listed in my profile, albeit only on one panel in my picks. I think my siblings did much the same. The old home is now go, for nearly a year now, and the three of us share a much more modest place in Shermerville. There is no parents’ room there, though much of the house outside our rooms is decorated more to the tastes of an adult.

We delved into other things to take up our time. I became much more involved in exploring, and made my way into Bay City and its goings on. My brother focuses on his building work. My sis is simply not on as much as she used to be.

Why not get new parents?

It’s a good question, and there’s a lot of answers.

First off, like I said above, no one ever said it was over. For all intents and purposes it is (and it certainly could not be what it once was), but it remains an open, unfinished chapter. We remain the “Flying Rosebuds,” an affectionate term coined by my daddy that plays off my mommy’s last name.

We are a trio. We’re like a civil war chess set from the Franklin Mint, and you simply can’t break us up. You can’t take one, you take three.

Holiday Portrait

Each of us are not the usual. We’re all pretty knowledgeable about SL an how it works. Each is a pretty good content creator and usually knows what is going on in SL on a gridwide basis at any given time. Any of us could be called away to do projects here and there. We’re all storeowners. And while we can indeed fit into our role-play selves just fine, there are going to be times where we simply will have to be somewhat out-of-character.

We’d also be pretty particular about parents, in part due to the issues of our old family, and in part due to things that we know would make us a better fit. We don’t need folks who will be there 24/7, but we do need folks who are going to be here. We’d need distinct family times, and would prefer to at least have some “at home role play times” (tuck-ins, family dinners, etc.) as well as things like attending talent shows or parent-teacher conferences. We’d need stable people in stable relationships who aren’t going to abandon us, and we’d need people who could embrace our quirks.

In short, I don’t see it happening. Not easily. I’m certainly not going to put all this in a panel at an adoption agency.

More newness from You Know, For Kids!

March 19th, 2010 by Marianne McCann

First off, I now have a Subscribe-o-Matic – just click the board at my Bay City – Imaginario, Livingtree, or Inner Child Depot in Fletcher stores to join!

YKFK Subscribe-O-Matic!

I’ll be doing updates, events, and goodies though it, even.

Fresh in the store – the You Know, For Kids Bug Zoo!

Bug Zoo!

This handy jug, presented in one of two colors and featuring both a display and handheld model, is a must-have for the young bug hunter! Also includes several prim insects for decorating your bug zoo (or sneaking into your siblings room – did I say that outloud?)

Also new from You Know, For Kids – the Easter pinwheel, and a new version of the spring pinwheel!

New Easter & Spring Pinwheels

Both spin based on the Second Life wind, and also animate your hand and arm. The Easter one features pastel colors, while the spring one has bright springtime shades! Also, while holding the Easter pinwheel say “egg” for a shower of airborn easter eggs! The spring pinwheel also releases airboarn daisys when you say “flowers!”

Pinwheels and Bug Zoos are available at You Know, For Kids in Bay City – Imaginario, Livingtree, Funky Town, and in Fletcher at Inner Child Depot!

* Bay City – Imaginario

* Livingtree

* Inner Child Depot, booth 103 in Fletcher

* Funky Town

New Goodies – You Know, For Kids!

March 14th, 2010 by Marianne McCann

St. Patrick's Pinwheel

Adding to our selection of fine pinwheel designs comes this one for St Patrick’s Day or anyone who wants to show a little “Irish Pride.” Features green blades, including a shamrock pattern. Also, while holding say “patrick” for a shower of airborn clover!

Pinwheel spins in the Second Life wind, and animates you as well!

Available at the following You Know, For Kids locations:

* Bay City – Imaginario

* Livingtree

* Inner Child Depot, booth 103 in Fletcher

* Funky Town

Cheek Art Ad

Also new at the Bay City – Imaginario and Livingtree locations only: Cheek Art! Yes, little face paintings for boys, girls, and everybuggy!

16 initial designs available, including rainbows, suns, hearts, butterflies and even spiders, skull & crossbones, and snakes! Designed using the tattoo layer on SL Viewer 2.0, but people on all versions of SL will be able to see them!

Sold in a gatcha-gatcha machine (You know, those capsule machines like you see at the mall or supermarket), so you can randomly win one of the designs every time you buy. Transferrable too, so you can trade with friends!

Also check out my other goodies (Whee-Los, EZ Bake Ovens, Lamps, Music Box, Lemonade Stand, Wax Lips, Pinwheels, and more), an all the other goodies for both kids an adults!

Views on Viewer 2

March 8th, 2010 by Marianne McCann

Standing on a web page

The more I use Second Life’s Viewer 2 beta, the less I seem to like it. More so, I find myself less interested in being within Second Life at all, and a lot of that relates to my experience with Viewer 2. I feel as if there are some core issues that may need revisiting.

I don’t want to come across as yet another person jumpin’ on the anti-V2 bandwagon, nor do I have a track record of responding angrily to every little thing Linden Lab does. I want to like Viewer 2, and there is a lot I do enjoy about it. I personally feel that while Linden Lab has not batted 1000, it has had a fair share of hits (Windlight, Linden Homes, and arguably Havok 4 and the acquisition of Avatars United) to go along with its misses (Homesteads, SL Answers, the Blogorum, Homesteads – and yes I did say that twice).

I actually had the good fortune to get a slightly earlier look at it than most, and have taken to using it as my main SL viewer. My reasoning on this is simple: this is the viewer will will likely get, in spite of whatever flaws it might have, and we’d best get used to it. It’s a cynical view, perhaps, but I really don’t expect I’ll see much change in it from the initial beta to the release product. Please, Linden Lab: prove me wrong.

Like I said, I *want* to like Viewer 2. I really do — but so often the bad outweighs the good.

I love having the top bar, for one. The browser-like interface is great! Having favorites up there is even better. This has been a boon to my own travels. But here’s the bad: need to get to, say, North Channel 112, 128, 506? That’s going to be a bit more work. If you have a SLURL or a LM, you’re golden, sure. but you cannot enter coordinates on the map, which is especially frustrating with Z coordinates. You also don’t see coordinates in the top bar anymore automatically (you need to enable this with a right click in the top bar), making it harder to know exactly where you are at any given time.

Unlike many others, I like the sidebar — but again, there’s trouble here. Nothing tears off or undocks, nor can you switch it to dock on the left. Opening up multiple profile windows is impossible, and attaching anything to a group notice (or even seeing how many items you have in inventory) requires opening a secondary inventory window.

This brings up one of my major issues with Viewer 2.0. The stated goal is to make the user interface easier for new members to grasp, presumably easing use and, therefore, retention. Yet that does not seem to be what has happened. While some things are arguably easier (You can, for example, go back to your last location much easier than in Version 1.x), many things are harder, require more steps, of have become less intuitive.

A caveat: I’m not referring to the fumbling around one typically has to do when exposed to a new interface for the first time. New and old get the opportunity to fumble around with our well-worn ruts erased in Viewer 2. I’m talking about trying to teach people to turn off their music by hitting a “play” button, helping people find shared media hidden on the texture panel, or being able to only right click and build n ground versus on top of prims.

My second big issue with Viewer 2 is that the UI gets in the way of the world. I half-joked early in the private beta that Viewer 2 was great – but they should really get rid of that 3D virtual world that was getting in the way of my chat and IMs. Windows no longer go semi-transparent when not in the forefront, notices and IMs steal focus, and some windows can even be overlaid over the bottom bar.

As a test, go to a busy location. Let’s day the Ahern Welcome Area, though a popular club or large event works just as well. Open up your sidebar — maybe you are checking out someone’s profile, or changing outfits, or something. Field some IMs in the midst of it all. Now, now much of the event you are at can you see? Any of it? You have a screen full of black bars of text obscuring the world much like the redaction of a formerly top secret government document.

The #1 thing that separates Second Life from being just another chat room or instant messaging program is the 3D virtual world. This is what we’re showing on the front page of secondlife.com (assuming we’re not logged in) and the login screen of the viewer. It is why we have a snapshot buttons – particularly a snapshot to postcard. It’s kinda the whole point. Yet it becomes quickly overpowered by the 2.0 UI.

Ironically, the third big issue I see is the continued push for voice use. I am not anti-voice chat. While I do not often opt to use it, i’ve long had it enabled, and have seen a great many events enhanced by its inclusion. Nevertheless, it seems clear to me that Viewer 2 is trying to do some not-altogether-sly attempts to push text chat out of the way of voice. You can tell this the first time you enter the world and see the size of that box for text chat. You’ll see it when you try to type your chat into the “nearby chat” window. You’ll even see it the first time you hit the “speak” button and discover that its not the old “say” button it once was.

So I’ve kvetched enough. How about some solutions. First thing, look at http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Viewer_2_Tweaks – here, many Second Life users have left to the challenge of making Viewer 2 much more useful, making windows semi transparent, extending the chat bar, and much more. Much of this really should — and could — be part of Viewer 2.

Speaking of shoulds and coulds, the JIRA is full of them. Here’s a few good ones:

http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-17130 “Build” missing from contexural menu when clicking prims.
http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-17010 The viewer 2.0 chat bar needs to fill ALL unused space in the bottom bar
http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-16978 ‘Inspect’ is missing from Viewer 2.0
http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-16964 PLEASE allow adjustable transparency of “Nearby Chat” window, Chat History and Chat “Toasts” in Viewer 2.0!
http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-17314 Glow on Screenshots, and Hirez Screenshots broken.
http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-17202 High-Rez Snapshots to Disk produce regular rez snapshot surrounded by black to bring the final photo to high rez
http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-17094 Advanced > UI > Use Default System Color Picker missing in Viewer 2.0
http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-17022 Clicking on the current time in the Viewer should bring up events happening right now.

But beyond JIRAs and XML tweaks, we need a sense that any of this is fixable. Like I said at the beginning, the feeling is that this is the viewer we’re going to get, like it or lump it. Word is that this thing is hoped to be the main viewer next month and, well, I think thats woefully optimistic. There’s a great many things that could be addressed, but first someone needs to be hearing these needs and acting on them. I fear that timelines, business decisions, and all sorts of things may well lead to a less-than-finished product — one that does not serve its goal of bringing in new users and further alienates the existing user base.

Again, please prove me wrong. I’m beggin’ ya.