Yeah, About That Making My #SecondLife Simpler Thing…

Last week, I blogged about making my #SecondLife simpler, more organized, and spending more time in creative pursuits and less time on mindless virtual farming, tending, planting, harvesting, cooking…and so on.

Over the last couple of weekends, and late into the night all this week, I went a little crazy with the “reorganizing” part and tore apart my virtual kitchen, which had been up in a skybox. I also reorganized my other Digital Farming System fields, animals, and tons of single-prim scripted sorting boxes. For some reason, I have this need to play with scripts that sort and then rezz the ingredients I grow or make, which makes “cooking” more fun or convenient. It turns out that linking all my sorting boxes together and using the “convex hull” setting results in a savings in LI, the land impact metric, of about 1/4 to 1/3 of the prims in the linkset.

I also revamped my ground level stores to use slightly less primmy, much more compact vendors that sit flat on the walls, and freed up some ground level space by deleting two entire shop buildings. I still have to do that with my “farmstore” building, which is in a separate parcel down the road. That parcel is where the fields, a little house, and a drastically reworked design will go – it’s a somewhat narrow parcel with the typical zig-zaggy edges, but it’ll work with the way it’s going to be landscaped.

I went from something like this up in a big skybox, with virtual tools and storage boxes scattered around the “rezz pad” tools for crafting DFS foods and products:

SecondLife virtual kitchen

To this – an outdoor kitchen on the ground, after removing 2 of my mostly empty shop buildings in Tweddle and substituting several less primmy buildings for different aspects of My Second Life (or lives, if you add in my alts).

This image is from

And earlier Friday there were further developments in my so-called “make my #SecondLife simpler and reduce my time spent on virtual farming” campaign.

Yes, I had found that I had enough group land tier available to add more than 1100m2 of land to my holdings in Tweddle on the mainland. My silent business partner Dhughan Froobert handled the thrilling negotiations, which consisted of opening several “is abandoned land adjoining my parcel available to purchase” support tickets and waiting several days for a Linden to set some funny little fragments of parcels for sale to Dhughan at $L1 per square meter.

Nothing happened for a few days, and then that morning I happened to be near one of the little fragments and noticed that it had been set for sale to Dhughan. I yanked him inworld to purchase all the bits for our land group, and after a short delay while he had to cut one little 16m2 piece off of one parcel, we had enough tier for it all at no additional cost. Then Dhughan joined all the contiguous parcels to each other, so now we hold 3 biggish parcels that are separated from each other, but we enjoy the benefit of the 10% group discount, and the extra objects that entails, because they’re all in the same sim. Group land ownership is tricky but works well if you have trusted members with payment on file, who donate their land tier… in my case (and this is common) I run several paid accounts, because who can you trust more than yourself? Each account kind of has their own vibe, though two of them don’t get much play. Eh, it works.

Anyway, the next phase will be landscaping the “farmstore” parcel and arranging the fields in some way that is both practical, and aesthetically pleasing, and then plopping the virtual livestock down. I wondered about putting the animals off on the most distant parcel, which is on the south side of the sim far from the roadside. But that would be riskier than having them in one place with the fields, plants, trees, and whatnot. I’d rather do all the tending and animal care in one place. And with all the extra objects now available to me, I will NOT be carpeting half Tweddle with fields and feedlots. I’m going to put down some nice decor in my buildings for a change; and in my workspace I’ll be able to rez out texture organizers as needed so that I can work on new products.

Dhughan will have his parcel, and the DFS tools and fields that are in his name that are non-transfer, so he’ll be responsible for growing feed crops. He’ll have a cow, a bull, water, a stove, some seed, and a little hut. He’ll be fine. He’ll be able to harvest his stuff and through it into a sorter… because I love me some sorting scripts.

The other night I took my new kitchen out for a spin, so to speak – I use “rez pads” to cook the DFS recipes, which are done using a 9-digit grid on the DFS HUD. The rez pad is a 9-slot object that can hold ingredients and rez them safely so that they don’t skive off to the edge of a sim and get lost. And I’ve adapted my freebie rez pad so that I have the ingredient textures on the individual buttons – it works like a charm. The sorter boxes (the big bank of textured boxes on the left side) can rez their contents on a kind of target prim for making something easy that doesn’t to be arranged on the 9-slot grid. All the appliances are easy to reach and make for efficient cooking, and I’m planning on “cooking down” all the non-essential ingredients that I’ve collected over the past 3 years.

The plan is to get rid of the non-essential stuff; the ingredients that I currently consider “essential” are normal pantry items, fruits and vegetables. Eventually, even those will be reduced.

One of the sort of frustrating things with DFS cooking and farming is that there are a few items that act like “limiters” or have a kind of braking action on what you want to make. For example, salt is required in a lot of the recipes with the most “EP” ratings, but it can only be acquired a few ways. You can’t make it unless you fish in the DFS Fishing places, and it’s very rare that you get it that way unless you’re very skilled. You can buy it in the secondary market – people with the patience and skill and luck to fish for salt sell it, and other people with more money than sense buy weird looking plants that let you “grow” it, but you only get 20 “salt mills,” at about every 6 days if you care for the plant properly.

Et voila, the “DFS Manny Chomper Salt Plant.”

Bizarre Man Eating Plant Gives Virtual Salt in Second Life... it's complicated.
Warning Label on Man-Eating Plant

WARNING: The Manny Chomper is a people eater. *Avoid being eaten.* Feel free to feed him your neighbors, misbehaving children, and all your ex-girl/boyfriends. He loves the meat and will crush their bones into salt.

My Second Life will be less salty once this is gone, but it’ll also be less crazy monstery.

My Virtual Farming Life

The #SecondLife #DigitalFarmingSystems game, or lifestyle, starts out with a simple “kit.” You start with a cow, a bull, 2 dirt fields, hay seed, tomato seed, and a water well.

The next thing you know, you’ve bought dozens of kinds of seeds, pigs, chickens, ducks, llamas, goats, gators, ostriches, 10 kinds of fruit trees, multiple kitchen tools and implements for processing what you produce, and hold at least 2 or 3 or MORE dozen fields of various kinds.

The DFS people work hard to bring out new products and new recipes, and they also produce “specialty” items each month that you pay extra for, in a kind of subscription box. The items can be re-sold, or used, and they come up with fun or kitschy seasonal items that can become collectibles.

There’s a lot of perceived social pressure to sell your stuff in markets, typically collections of stalls selling the same stuff for about the same price. Some landowners provide “community kitchens” with multiple sets of stoves, spinning wheels, carpentry desks, and other tools, so people can bring their produce and harvests to work on making batches of recipe items or final products.

Marketing your stuff to a community of people all trying to market THEIR stuff is pretty stressful, to me. You belong to multiple DFS-focused groups and several times a day, you make announcements, trying to sell your stuff. Other DFS owners run auction events, where people rent a spot to put their stuff out, sometimes grouped by theme or rarity, and other DFS players compete to buy the lots that catch their eye.

Every now and then, someone who’s reached a point where they’re tired of tending animals, watering fields, and pruning virtual plants announces that they’re shutting everything down and selling everything off. This can cause a kind of buying frenzy – people show up at a sky platform somewhere and descend like locusts. I’ve experienced this myself – but now I know what the prices SHOULD be and the “fire sale madness” doesn’t get me.

There are ways to check the “going rate” of things because one of the scripters that makes accessories for DFS – sales boxes and inventory systems – publishes the part names, prices, and locations where his subscribers are selling animals, tools, produce, and rare products. It’s very useful, but my own selling/inventory tool doesn’t provide this information as far as I can tell, so I’m at somewhat of a disadvantage in marketing my stuff.

I had taken 2 years off from Second Life, came back in to clear up my payment on file, and took right back up with the DFS stuff I had, because it was all still there, waiting to be watered and tended. All my “livestock” were safely hibernating in my Second Life inventory.

First I took out my “tiny coops” – basically immortal chickens that produce egg baskets but no meat. They can’t die but they do require feeding and care.

I had a huge backlog of ingredients and produce from before, and started “cooking it down” to the most concentrated forms, as there’s energy in the food and some products that you need to restore your “energy meter.” There’s a whole secondary market of “lunch boxes” that you fill up with food energy and with a set number of uses and maximum energy given. So my goal became to fill up my somewhat collectible 2 year old lunch boxes, and sell them at auction.

I’ve figured out which “core products” result in the highest amount of “EP” for the least amount of intermediary steps. I have lots of virtual beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and so on, and I’ve, yes, bought in to a Patreon support level where I don’t have to use my own energy to care for plants and animals – I just click a helper object. And I don’t have to run a big herd of bulls or sheep to produce fertilizer, I get more than enough compost for that. I also don’t have to run “windmills” or fill up water towers by pulling barrels of water from my well; I get plenty of barrels for my Patreon subscription.

Still, about a month in to my return to Second Life and virtual farming, I realized it was taking up all of my inworld time again – marketing to groups, updating my vendors, updating my vendor textures, etc. and I still wasn’t creating anything new of my own. So I joined a Blender study group and have been taking lessons and attending workshops, getting ready to update old products I created.

I “picked up” some of my fields and concentrated on the simple, core products that I liked growing and cooking with. I’m going to pick up more of my trees and plants that produce stuff that I don’t care to cook with, and I’m going to start selling them off. I stopped making marketing announcements in the groups. And yet I continue to pick up “bargains” so that I have multiple tools, because it’s more efficient to make animal food with 4 feed mills than with just one… because the kind of “cooking” that I like to do is simple and relaxing.

I’d never been able to sell any of the dozens and dozens of bags of “cleaned barley” that I grew 2 years ago; there was only 1 product that used barley then, Irish Whisky, which required a still. Now, there’s “Scotch” and a couple of other easy products that use barley, and for some reason, Scotch is made in the Fermenter tool. And I currently have 8 of those, because I used to rely on making yogurt, a fairly high EP food item that’s a precursor to “fruit smoothies,” a really high EP, popular food item. I’ll still make yogurt, but that requires milk and I was starting to run low… so I brought out 2 milk cows and a bull and I’m back to tending animals that can die if neglected, but at least give meat when they reach the end of their lifespan.

I used to sell batch boxes of smoothies to regular customers, but no more, because DFS changed the recipes and they now require a special freezer item that costs money, can’t be crafted, and only gives 10 uses. FORGET THAT. I have enough supplies to make a few smoothies, and then I’m retiring the product and dumping them all in a batch sale, or into a lunch box for auction.

As far as tending animals goes, I wanted more eggs (they’re required by some of the core food products I’m focusing on) so I bought more “coops.” And I have cows again, as I mentioned. Meanwhile, I finally found a use for all the wool that I had gathered and not sold from when I used to run sheep (yes, it’s a kind of insanity, virtual farming).

Second Life community kitchen for Digital Farming Systems

Digital Farming Systems community kitchen with looms, spinning wheels, sewing machines.

In the gap years I was gone, DFS introduced “sewing machines” (another tool to buy) in addition to the looms they already had, and they brought out a kind of rug you can make (that has many, many annoying intermediate steps that require 6 kinds of flowers and herbs). The rug gives EP if you stay within 10 meters of it, but I found that you couldn’t load the EP into a lunch box. So I went to a community kitchen (I have a stall there for the moment but not seeing a lot of sales), that has multiple spinning wheels, dye vats, looms and sewing machines, and in about 90 minutes “cooked down” ALL of my remaining wool into a couple dozen of these EP-giving rugs, which I now use after tending the “coops” to re-coup (heh) my depleted energy.

So all of this activity translates into maybe 20 or 30 minutes, twice a day doing “tending” and watering and feeding tasks, more if I decide to make a batch of something. It’s pretty efficiently laid out, but I’ve got more paring down to do in the next few months.

The alternative is to lay everything out on a platform and announce a fire sale and watch the locusts descend, but this slow drawing down to the essentials that I like, and retiring the products and crops I don’t like, seems to be more graceful to me. I’ve shopped so many different places that range from desperate looking, disorganized collections of boxes and fields, to showplaces with big houses and dozens of working stills and fermenters, with livestock stacked up in “feeding station” circles. That kind of “factory farm” is not for me.

I like the sound of the egg-laying chickens. I like how the cows moo. If I decide I need wool again, I’ll run a few sheep for wool, fertilizer and meat, and I like the sounds they make, too. I have some stuff to work on for updating my actual created products in the next week and I’ve been socializing more, which has been pleasant.

I’ll retire some older products (both my own and the DFS ones) and pull back from the stall rentals I currently have. I may keep the one rental just to have community kitchen privileges, so that I don’t have to buy any more tools just to make a batch of something. And I’ve got some “rares” to put together in a themed collection to put up for auction too. I’m aiming for reducing my footprint through Easter – currently I have 17 fields in crops, but as they are harvested I’ll pick some up. I think I’m shooting for 5-10 fields in production by June. That’s enough for feed crops, essential produce (sugarcane and wheat) and maybe occasional stuff for easy high EP food (potatoes, onions).

At some point I may be able to drop or reduce the Patreon subscription if I get a big backlog of water, energy “clickies,” and fertilizer.

DFS exists to provide a revenue stream for the creator and his staff, and that’s fine. Where I have a problem is with some of the changes that have been made over time to old recipes that now require new and harder to obtain ingredients, and with the constant pressure to buy more and more of the specialty, seasonal, and “rare” collectible items for the secondary sales market.

I’m not sure that a “smallholder” (casual, low volume farmer) like me can come out ahead financially with DFS, and the people that drop serious amounts of real cash for the upper Patreon levels, (like early access to new products) and the monthly subscription boxes can’t be making much money. I look at what they have for sale in their yards and stalls and think “why do you have 3 dozen ovens for sale at a drastically reduced price?” I have to wonder how much they’re paying for land tier for their big farms on top of the subscriptions for DFS. It’s some serious coin.

For me, I’m content to not worry about marketing, or constantly announcing “SALE SALE $1L Baskets!” I’m happy to do small farming, a little tending, and free up some time in world for creating, socializing, and photography again.

Nawlins: Press Release – Morte Gras

I’m planning on participating as a vendor, but have been sick for a few days. But I hope to have a new exclusive hat and an updated bunting set for this event in #SecondLife

ALT TEXT: Morte Gras, a dark Mardi Gras event 11FEB-28FEB in Flox sim 128,128,28











: Press Release – Morte Gras
— Read on

Kickoff Video #RelayForLife in #SecondLife

The fundraising starts 18FEB, the 24 hour relay walk around the sims is the weekend of 10JUN. Teams compete to raise funds and build themed camps along the track, with music, dancing, cheering, and remembering those lost to #cancer.

My favorite here is the prancing black unicorn. Didn’t see any Giant Racing Snails though (I have two).

The Virtual Fashion Industry in Second Life ~ VIRTUALITY is

I’m more of a #VintageFair or #SteamHunt person but #VirtualFashion is big business in #SecondLife

One of the unique features of Second Life is the ability for users to buy, sell, and create their own virtual clothing and accessories using the platform’s in-world economy.
— Read on

Need To Start Creating In #SecondLife Again

The last time I made anything new or created something myself in #SecondLife was February 2019 for an inworld hunt I had participated in for years.

Then I got sucked into the inworld farming game (DFS) and spent all my time feeding, tending, planting, cooking, and photographing products for selling in the DFS markets.

I could go on about the mini-economy that Digital Farming Systems has become, but my personal experience is that it’s just taking up too much time and prim usage, and marketing the stuff is stressful and profitless for me.

I’m literally distilling my unwanted inventory down into a valuable object that can be auctioned; I’m going to grow and tend minimal stuff that won’t be marketed or photographed, and store what I don’t use.

More later. But I’m taking Blender classes and thinking about Making Things again.

From my feed: “Two Steampunk mesh hats for the STEAM XIV Hunt”

Second Life Newser: Interview With Gem Sunkiller

Long time reader of the #SecondLife newspaper the #SLNewser – you have to ignore the outdated look. #RelayForLifeInSecondLife is a huge fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, raising millions of real US dollars over the years. In the interview with Gwen Sunkiller, reporter Bixyl Shuftan mentions “Fuzz and The Hair” and #Steelhead

Second Life avatar wearing a ludicrously large wig held up by propellers and dirigibles.

Fuzzball Ortega in “The Hair” in Steelhead in autumn 2011. The Hair is by Curio Obscura.

Image from my Flickr album “Steelhead

I hope Fuzz has time for running the Steelhead Salmons RFL team this year, maybe I can help.

Second Life Newser: Interview With Gem Sunkiller
— Read on

Looks like someone’s a follower of #SecondLife #fashion #blogs

Designed by Sabyasachi Mukherjee and styled with a gold Schiaparelli bodice, that sari was worn by Indian businessperson and socialite Natasha Poonawalla, and made headlines around the world for its dramatic mix of Indian and western couture.

Designed by Sabyasachi Mukherjee and styled with a gold Schiaparelli bodice, that sari was worn by Indian businessperson and socialite Natasha Poonawalla, and made headlines around the world for its dramatic mix of Indian and western couture.

Nearly 100 trailblazing saris, including the first ever to be worn at the Met Gala, will be displayed in the UK as part of a new large-scale exhibition examining the garment’s modern reinvention.

— Read on

Reverted back to the old #WordPress theme because I am An OLD.

Also, no thank you, Herr #Gutenberg. I’m reverting back to the Classic Editor. The CLASSIC Classic editor, not your faux-classic sneaky actually a block editor. Nyah.

A couple of days ago I was unable to sleep and, as making major website changes is not recommended at 3 in the morning, I certainly did make them. I didn’t back up my site here, and I applied a “modern, clean, not crusty” theme called “Free Writer” from Elegant Themes. It seemed to have nice features for adding header images, etc, but when I tried to get a yes, old-fashioned 3-column layout done on the Appearances/Widgets page, I could not figure out how the “blocks” were supposed to be set up so that there was a sidebar on either side of my woefully inadequate content. Nope, nope nope, I thought it was because I was doing it on my iPhone. At 3am, remember.

So yesterday and up until about 30 minutes ago, I futzed around off and on trying to get sidebar/content/sidebar, and the elements that I was trying to put in sidebards were stubbornly going above the content.

Eh. So I installed a plugin called Classic Widgets, which as draggable objects instead of the whiffty blocks that weren’t going where I wanted. And then I got annoyed with the whole block post interface and turned off Automattic’s in-house “classic editor” and enabled the Really Classic Editor.

I am an Old. I qualify by chronology and temperament.

Now to figure out how to get the new-cool-kids social media links for Mastodon working. There’s a Twitter widget over there whose days are numbered, and I’m hoping for some kind of nice embed of my Mastodon posts.

And then there’s my backup SL Marketplace blog, which is at – it’s no longer getting crossposted from here due to some changes that WordPress/Automattic made, so it’s even more outdated. Le sigh.

I’m not going to touch the latest and greatest #Fediverse development on ActivityPub or Hub or whatever until I’m sure I’ve got things sorted here.