Aug 2009

Happy Monday

12-13 hours of sleep does a body good. And even after that, I woke up feeling fairly exhausted. But things were happening, and I was excited to get moving. A massive remodel of the Pirate's Hideaway build had started last week, and I got word on Saturday night that I could come back in and get set up. Of course that was back burner to what I was doing at the time, and by the time things settled down on Sunday I was unconscious, so Monday it was.

First up, though, a triage session in-world. It was a great meeting filled with good people, it felt like a lot of progress was made (going through new JIRA issues) and the issue I put onto the agenda got covered. Woohoo! FYI, Mac users who have upgraded to Snow Leopard, if you're experiencing a line across the top of your snapshots you can vote for the issue here. If you find that anti-aliasing isn't working on your viewer, vote for the issue here. Both have been assigned for further review, but additional votes helps escalate getting them fixed.

With that done and dusted, it was time to finish digging through email and notecards and then get to work at Pirate's Hideaway. The new build is fantastic, and many thanks to management for giving us more space in the remodel. I was able to get all our piratey things and a few extras, as well as accommodate both gift purchases and gift cards at the new build. Then it was back to work on the site, getting images and entries added on the Fashions blog. My long-term goal for that is to get each of our outfits listed there so it can serve as a sort of catalog (the tag cloud on the right side of the page makes for an interesting browsing experience), and though I still have a lot of work to do to get there I'm already way ahead of where things were on the old site.

I also got to do some exploring in-world. Followed some links and suggestions and discovered a few new places. Glendalough and Pathfinder Lowlands were the real standouts, though the African island of Visiwa and the neighboring village of Kijiji get honorable mentions as worth visiting again.


Perhaps it's sleep deprivation (less than 5 hours since 7am SLT on Friday), perhaps it's residual fun and excitement regarding Doctor Obolensky's Evil Party at the observatory... but a villainous laugh is often in order.

Lost in the mania of new site design, I very nearly altogether missed the opening of Steelhead Shanghai on Friday night. As it was I arrived late and didn't get a single photograph from the event. Still, good fun and such a beautiful space. Cheers to Lunar, Tensai, and all our new neighbors over there!

Saturday involved all kinds of RL fun with brunch and a farmer's market adventure, followed up by the Steampunk/Cyberpunk Festival's masquerade ball. Good fun, and I snapped a few pictures.

Instead of taking my time, excitement got the better part of my senses and I spent much of the last several days pulling together the new site. Most of Friday night and all of Saturday night were sacrificed.

Sunday has been a bit of a challenge. What with being out of steam (pun intended), running around helping friends with last minute emergencies before they head off into the desert, and sorting out a few technical issues, I had trouble keeping up at the Evil Party. But man, was it a great time - fun event, evil plots, creative dress by all in attendance, and wonderful tunes courtesy of the Evil Duke of Argylle (archduke?). While I did miss a few spots here and there, I did manage to snap a few great pics.


Welcome to this space, and the BlakOpal Designs site, version 3.0. It seems fitting to start with a bit of history.

While this site has only been in the production stage for the last week or so, it's been in the pre-production stage in my head for the last six months or so. Coming from a designer's background and having made my first web site back in 1994, the idea of having a web site supporting our SL adventures seemed obvious. We had hosting space available, and so early in the new year I built the first version of the site.

It started as a bit of an experiment, using the idea of a site for our SL presence and putting Apple's iWeb '09 to use and get firsthand experience of what the application can do and its ease-of-use. FYI, it's a great application that's perfectly suited for personal web sites, blogs, and basic podcasting.

We were both surprised and deeply honored at the success of BlakOpal Designs in Second Life, and with the success of the shoppe it felt appropriate to take the next step with the site. In the spring the 2nd revision of the site was born, living on the newly minted domain name. It's a strange twist, since BlakOpal Designs is a RL entity - we've been creating wearable art in one form or another for more than three years - but it took something like SL to get us off our butts and register the domain.

It was early in the planning stages for the second revision that I started planning this version of the site. While iWeb is great, it does have its limitations. But as often happens in the world BlakOpal and I live in, we've been juggling a number of different projects. Testing this and that, experimenting with different ideas and designs, and talking through different possibilities. Several conversations with developers later, and after testing new versions and squaring away an assortment of plugins.... here we are.

My goal is a site that not only showcases our virtual products, but also helps us show what we can do and experience in Second Life. Something that might be enjoyable to both our wonderful customers, as well as our amazing RL friends who scratch their heads and wonder what it is BlakOpal and I are doing with so much of our spare time these days. All of the standard internet disclaimers apply, of course. Pardon the dust, new (and sometimes unexpected) things are happening all the time. While there are many things I still want to add or include on the site, you have to start somewhere. :-)