Dhughan Suddenly Reappears Out Of Nowhere And Makes Stuff #SL #ItsAnAltThing

Yes, yes, Dhughan here, very slack of me to disappear like that. I happened to be very busy avoiding as much work as possible during the holidays. Back again in good old Steelhead Shanghai, and there certainly are interesting things happpening this week.

—- Chinese New Year 2012: Year of the Dragon – Breathing Fire into the New Year

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year 4710 begins on Jan. 23, 2012.

Chinese months are reckoned by the lunar calendar, with each month beginning on the darkest day. New Year festivities traditionally start on the first day of the month and continue until the fifteenth, when the moon is brightest. In China, people may take weeks of holiday from work to prepare for and celebrate the New Year.

Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. Those born in dragon years are innovative, brave, and passionate.

That sounds very flattering to those of dragonkind, but unfortunately I’m a bit of an ox. However, there’s a great deal of energy and effort being put forth in Steelhead generally these days (goodness, one look at the Social Calendar in the town Ning-thingy and you wonder when the locals eat, sleep, or Get Things Done).

—- Friday, January 13th: Lantern Festival in Steelhead Shanghai Bay

The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scenes from legend and history. People hang glowing lanterns in temples, and carry lanterns to an evening parade under the light of the full moon.

Lantern Building Festival: Anyone interested may participate. Make a lantern, either floating or hovering or to be hung on a string. 4 prim max and send to TotalSolarEclipse Resident. We’ll rezz out the lanterns in the bay and dance among the lights.

I have actually been motivated to Make Something, or Two or Three Somethings, by myself tonight. Er, well, I adapted a freebie rotating lantern, but the texture for the shade is the fearsome dragon seen above. I was also motivated to fool around with something I tried long ago called “SL-Prim-Emboss“, a very primitive sculpt-relief maker. Some forum folks worked out how to use it several years ago, and it still works. I did not bother with following their suggestions as to making it a fully rendered prim; for the moment it was enough to make a double-sided panel, in low relief, with a nice teak frame and linen backing.

Side by side comparison of a sculpted panel in Second Life, lit and unlit

Here is a side-by-side comparison of it, lit and unlit. The lantern at the lower left is based on a freebie one by Babu Oh. I spent an enjoyable few hours taking it apart to see how it worked, breaking it, and then fixing it. This is how I learn things: take them apart, break them, and put them back in working order before someone discovers it.

Here now followeth a short discourse on The Disorganizer’s Guide To Organization:

I fussed about trying to fix the way my aetheric device displays images from the excellently free GIMP program; I ended up installing some infernal foreign code called Sagethumbs. Some users at the forum complained that layer files sometimes did not display correctly if transparent layers appeared above “visible” layers, but I hit on a rather clever solution. I mostly use layer files to create marketing flyers for my virtual shop on the Marketplace, so I will add my final “flyer” .PNG image to the top of the layer stack, to act as a lead image.

Here endeth the discourse

Right, well… in the course of all that blather, I reorganized my virtual shop (had forgotten about those blasted “Magic Boxes” needing to be rezzed out).

And now I’m feeling tolerably satisfied about having got things done.

What else is happening in Steelhead this month?

—- Friday, January 20th: Squirrel Appreciation Day

Squirrel Appreciation Day is an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate your tree climbing, nut gathering neighborhood squirrels. It’s held in mid-winter when food sources are scarce for squirrels and other wildlife. Sure, squirrels spent all fall gathering and “squirreling ” away food. But, their supplies may not be enough. And, the variety of food is limited. So, give them an extra special treat today to supplement their winter diets.

I quite like squirrels, the little beggars chatter amusingly. I once encountered an old chap feeding them in a London park; he seemed pretty fond of them but they’re not everybody’s favorite.

Some say they are an acquired taste, but I don’t frequent those sorts of restaurants.

—- Friday January 27th: Lunar New Year: Year of the Dragon
Celebrated in Steelhead Shanghai, hosted by Krystine Quinan

Excellent, more Year of the Dragon celebrations. As it happens I have a number of dragon images so I hope to make some more interesting items. Or, perhaps I shall hibernate. It could go either way.

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