Change

I am a creature of habit, so change is never easy for me.

I’ve had enough upheaval in the last few weeks to last me for the next couple of years. :-/

A week or so ago, I lost 1/3 of my inventory in the Great Inventory Debacle of 2016.  I did send a ticket to LL, and they attempted a fix, but alas, my precious inventory items disappeared into the aether.  😦

I’ve been spending my time since then trying to replace what I could, but was forced to accept that 1) I couldn’t replace everything, and 2) I probably didn’t absolutely need most of what I lost.  Are there things I wish I still had?  Yes.

However, sitting around whining about it wasn’t going to change anything, so I set about working on my next routine.  And since my inventory is so depleted, it only makes sense to do some power shopping to replace it all, right?  😀

While I was shopping, an old friend dropped into my IM box and we started chatting.  She’s always giving me crap about being too skinny, so she took it upon herself to ‘update’ my shape for me.

I’m not used to the new shape quite yet, but I am pleased with some of the photos I took wearing the new shape.

Like this one:

LOTD 272 B

A tad more risqué than I normally put on my blog, but hey, it’s my blog, right?  😛

Diawa didn’t make me shorter, which I appreciated.  I am short in RL, so I like being tall in SL. 😀

LOTD 273

The shape is much curvier than I am used to, especially the thighs.  I’ve worn the shape for a while, trying to get used to it.  I will definitely be trying it out during some of my performances, so I’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime, me and my thighs are going to do some more shopping!! ;-D

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Epic Fail – Part Deux

Hard Work
Taking a break from all the unboxing!

It’s been a couple of days since my epic inventory fail, and I’ve learned a few things along the way that I thought I would share with you.

Some I would urge you to do, some are just things I am planning to do myself, after spending the last few days trying to replace a (very) small portion of what I lost.

CHECK YOUR TRASH BEFORE YOU EMPTY IT

As I said in the first post, I usually do, but this time I didn’t, and it cost me dearly.  11,000 items was nearly 1/3 of my inventory, and while I didn’t lose everything, some of what I lost was irreplaceable.

Some of the things I lost included a TON of outfits from Blacklace (which were mostly system, so I’m trying not to cry too hard over them); ALL of my silks – many of which are not available anymore (via in-world stores or MP), so they are just gone forever; ALL of my ‘whole avatar’ costumes, like my alien avatars, my gummy bear avatar, and all the adorable avatars I’ve collected over the years from Abranimations Advent Calendar – irreplaceable because they were gifts and/or no copy; ALL my ‘costume accessories’ which included things like headpieces, glasses, crowns, tiaras, shoulder pets, weapons, hats, scarves, bags, particle effects, bindis, masks, horns, and more.

Truthfully, there was so much, I don’t even remember all the names of the subfolders, much less what items were in them. Add in that many of them were hunt items, gacha items, or gifts – all gone.  *wipes away tears*

KEEP YOUR OWN TRANSACTION RECORDS

You can log into your transaction information through your Second Life account.  However, those transactions are only kept for the last 32 days.  If you want to keep a running record, you will need to download the transactions yourself every 30-32 days and keep your own file.

I also went back through my MP orders – which, surprisingly, went all the way back to 2010.  However, many of the items I purchased on MP are no longer listed there – because the items were on sale, because the items have been pulled, or because the store no longer exists.  So even though I have a record of my purchase, I am not going to be able to replace those items.

I went to many stores to hit up their redelivery terminals and learned a few things.  If a store uses CasperVend and you hit their redelivery terminal, it brings up a page with those store purchases listed at the top, but it also lists CasperVend purchases from other stores on the page as well.  After hitting up the redelivery at one store, I was able to get many other items from other stores (some of which I didn’t remember) redelivered as well.

Same thing with stores using the Bejambled system – I hit the redelivery terminal at one store and got a list of lots of purchases at other stores as well.  A caveat – no copy items cannot be redelivered, so any no copy items will show as purchases, but you will have to actually purchase them again if you want them replaced.

I haven’t come across a store that used the HippoVend system yet, but I’m hoping it works the same way.  Many stores use the E2V system – however, what I’ve discovered with that system is you have to visit each store separately – your redelivery terminal only shows purchases for that particular store.

The biggest thing that I noticed was that many of my purchases (which I knew I had made) did NOT show up on any of the systems.  What I realized was that those missing purchases were made at events, like Collabor88, FaMESHed, Uber, Kustom9, etc.  I recalled reading somewhere that, to limit scripts and therefore lag, some creators used simple click-to-pay vendors rather than scripted ones.  Without the Casper/Hippo/E2V scripts in the vendors, the only record of the transactions is in your history and the creator’s.

This means that each creator would have to be able/willing to go through their own records (assuming they keep them), to find proof of your purchases, and then redeliver them manually.  Because I do a TON of shopping at events, this is a HUGE reason for me to keep my own records – then I can simply send a NC to the creator with all that information to prove my purchase.  Much easier for them to do, I would imagine. Also, some creators do not use any sort of system like CasperVend or E2V, which means you have to contact each creator individually about redeliveries.

KEEP BACKUP COPIES OF ITEMS

This one may not make sense for everyone, but it’s something I’m going to start doing, simply because this whole issue has been a giant headache for me.  Most items are delivered in a box – so my plan is to open the box, keep the items I need in my inventory, and then save the original boxes somewhere (probably in another box rezzed on my land).  That way, if I accidentally delete the item, I can go back, pull out the original box, and just open it again.  This is the system I have used for years with my dance animations, so it’s just another quick step to add into my opening/boxing/sorting routine.

You can’t do this, of course, with no copy items.  Which brings me to gachas. 🙂  I have a love/hate relationship with gachas.  I love them, because it brings it out the gambler in me, and winning that RARE or ULTRARARE is always a rush.  For the past several years, I’ve avoided gachas for things like H&G items – I would want them to use in a set, and you can’t use no-copy items in a rez box.  However, I would still play the gachas for clothing, hair, accessories, and costumes, because no-copy wearables is a non-issue for performances.

Unfortunately, the fact that they are no copy means no redelivery.  That means all the gacha outfits, corsets, costumes, horns, and more that I had (many of which were rare or ultrarare) are gone forever.  Oh sure, I could hit up the yard sales for replacements (and probably will, for some items), but rares and ultrarares are generally offered for ridiculous prices, so the odds that 1) I find them and 2) I’m willing to pay the price are pretty slim.

PART DEUX

I wrote in the first post about losing all my particles and ColeMarie Soleil (owner of Cole’s Corner particle store) being a doll and redelivering my purchases manually.

In addition to my particles, the other items I was most upset about losing were my costume purchases from !deviousMind.  It has been one of my go-to costuming stores for years.  I had so many of her items that the store had its own subfolder. 😀

I sent a notecard to Chandra Meehan, the creator, and explained the situation, asking whether it would be possible to get some of my lost items redelivered.  Though I didn’t have transaction info for all of them, I did have pictures of some of the items on my blog and on my Flickr stream to offer as proof of purchases.

Chandra was an absolute angel – sending me all the items she could verify from what I had provided. She also very generously sent me some of her recent group gifts (I have been a group member for years) and told me she would work on replacing other items as she had time to work through her transaction records.

What I have already received was beyond my wildest expectations, and though I still have a long road ahead, I have at least made a dent in replacing some of what I lost.  😀

EPILOGUE

In addition to all the costuming items I lost, the other killer for me has been that I lost my ‘Finished Routines’ folder.  The folder contained all my completed routines – dance HUDs, choreography sequences, rez boxes – everything I would need for a routine, should I want to repeat it or modify it.

This means that I now have no ’emergency’ ready routines that I can pull out in a pinch.  For the foreseeable future, I will have to create everything from scratch (which isn’t a huge deal) while I slowly rebuild my inventory.

I used to pull out my choreography notecards and such and save them in other places in my inventory, but I had gotten out of the habit of doing that.  Guess I will have to get back to doing it!

I also will be more careful about putting ‘everything’ to do with a routine in one folder – or at least make a backup copy if I do.

There have been some silver linings to this whole situation.  1 – People have been absolutely amazing with their kindness when they learned of the issue (it seems unexpected inventory loss happens more frequently than I realized).  2 – Though I wouldn’t have chosen to lose 1/3 of my inventory voluntary, it’s quite possible that this is a blessing in disguise, forcing me to get rid of all those old items that I kept for no apparent reason. 3 – I now have 1/3 less inventory to manage.  4 – Less inventory means more shopping! 😛

My darling husband commiserated with me over my loss, and then told me to go shopping and replace what I needed, even offering to share his large and rarely used stockpile of L$ with me. 🙂

So, SL has given me lemons, and I am busy making lemonade. Now, what events start this week? 😀

Epic Fail

I like to think of myself as organized – I don’t like a lot of clutter, and I routinely go through my inventory to box up or delete old items.

Thursday, I was happily organizing, boxing up old clothing and shoes.  My inventory count has been hovering around 35K, and it was bugging me.

After I box up everything and delete what I don’t need, I generally empty my trash.  I always look at it first, just to make sure I don’t delete anything accidentally.

Except Thursday.

Lost Inventory

This is me, Friday, sobbing and wailing when I discovered that I had somehow accidentally deleted my ‘Solo Acts’ folder – the folder where I kept all my show costumes – corsets, burlesque outfits, feather fans, headpieces, tiaras, crowns, weapons, gacha outfits, particle effects, and more.  And then, blissfully unaware that the folder had somehow been moved into my trash, deleted my trash.

*Wails uncontrollably*

Pretty much every costume I’ve been collecting for the last 6 years is now gone. Silks – gone.  Corsets – gone.  Hand particles – gone. Feather fans – gone.  Wings – gone.  Hats – gone.  Cute avatar costumes, like my gummy bear – gone.

When I realized what happened, I felt sick. There was absolutely no way I’d be able to get back everything I lost.

I spent a good 15 minutes crying about it, and then told my husband.  Such a sweetheart – he told me I could take all his L$ and go shopping.   I didn’t, but I did start making a list of all the items I could remember that I might want to replace.

My two biggest wants were the items I’ve purchased from Cole’s Corner (she makes absolutely fantastic particle effects – check her out!) and, of course, all my costumes from !deviousMind.

I tried to visit as many places as I could and try to get redeliveries – however, neither Cole’s nor !dM had a redelivery terminal.  Yikes!  I took a chance and sent notecards to both owners, asking if I could get redeliveries, even though the purchases were so old I didn’t have proof of them.  My hope was that the owners would have their own records and could verify I’d actually purchased the items.

I know I won’t get any gacha items replaced, so I’ve had to say a tearful goodbye to all the outfits I collected over the years. 😦

As I was frantically tp’ing around to various places for possible redeliveries, items suddenly started appearing in my inventory.  ColeMarie Soleil – owner of Cole’s Corner – graciously replaced all my particles.  I was ecstatic.  So be sure and check her out – the particles are fabulous, they are very well-priced, and she is an absolute gem.

I’m still waiting to hear back from !deviousMind, so wish me luck. 😀

I did manage to get redeliveries from several stores, but I was surprised at the number of stores who don’t have that option.  I have also purchased a lot of costumes on Marketplace, so I will be going back through my orders and sending notecards to some merchants asking for redelivery for those items.

Thankfully, my loss did NOT include my dance animations (I have those backed up just for this sort of thing!), my dance HUDs, my mesh body/heads, skins, hair, or shoes. I do have a folder of regular (non-costume) clothing, so I don’t have to wander SL naked.  😛

I’m trying to find the humor and see the silver lining here.  A lot of my costumes were old, and many of them were system clothing, which I don’t wear very often anymore.  However, the shock of losing 11K items, especially some of my precious and much-loved costumes, was terrible.

So, avoid your own epic fail, and make sure to check and double-check your trash before you hit ‘delete’.

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Hello, World!!

Kat Profile July 2016I’m back!! It’s been a few weeks since I posted anything – sometimes I just need a break to recharge and refresh.

I took a much needed mini-vacation with the spousal unit, did some writing, and, of course, caught some Pokémon!! 😛

In SL, I’ve been working on sets, taking classes, and shopping.  Now it’s time to jump back in – I’ve got some great location pics to share, and lots of other goodies.

One thing I’m hoping to do is make some short how-to videos about some of the new skills/tools I’ve learned.  I like both teaching and attending classes, but sometimes being able to ‘watch’ someone do something is easier than having them explain it.

Tools and techniques in dance are getting more and more complicated, so it’s always a good idea to add to your skill set.  I think sometimes that people make more work for themselves – me, I’m lazy.  Show me the easiest way and I’ll do that. 😛

In case you missed it, Shadow, Martin, and Yummy are teaming up to present the Silly Awards.  It sounds like a lot of fun (who doesn’t like the chance to laugh at themselves?!), so check it out – details are on the DQ blog.

See you soon!!!

Time Flies

Time-Flies
Image Source: empower-u-academy.com

Time flies when you’re having fun, according to the expression.

And indeed it does!

I received a notice today that I have been blogging here for 3 years!  I can’t believe it’s been that long already.

The blog has gone through several changes, and will likely go through several more before I am through.

I had actually been considering whether to continue blogging or not.  Over the years, I’ve tried a few different directions – some worked, some didn’t.

And I think all bloggers reach a point where they wonder if they have anything left to say.  I think I do, so for now, I’ll keep blogging. 😛

I’m having a lot of fun exploring SL and taking landscape photos, so you will definitely continue to see that in the blog.

Dance and LOTD posts may take a bit of a back seat to the photography, but I’m sure they will sneak back in here and there. 😀

For now, I’m off for a drink to celebrate my 3 year anniversary!

Fantastic Second Life Lighting Tutorial

Image Source:  facilitiesscheduling.wvu.edu
Image Source: facilitiesscheduling.wvu.edu

I came across this tutorial video from Brookston Holiday about creating lights in Second Life.

Graphic resources are always an issue with Second Life – some are lucky to have super-computers that can handle anything SL throws at them.  Some are not so lucky and can find themselves slogging through mud (lag) sometimes.

The tutorial shows a great way to create fabulous lighting effects while minimizing the graphics resources needed to see the effects.

If you can’t see the embedded video, click here for the link.

He does a terrific job of explaining how the different light settings work and the affect they have on your lighting in-world.

The tutorial is only 20 minutes long, and it will have you itching to try your own hand at creating better lighting!

I know I will be trying out some of this when creating my sets for dances, and making sure that my set lighting is exactly how I want it. 😀

Best of all, there is he provides a link to his Marketplace store, where you can pick up some of the scene lights he shows for FREE!!

Go watch it now!!! 😀

Thinking Out Loud

Busy Bee
Me this week!
Image Source: http://www.clipartpanda.com

It’s been a very hectic week for me, and I have found myself without much time (or inclination) to blog.  😦

I used to post every day, sometimes twice a day – one written post and then one LOTD post.

I’ve taken on some additional projects and it’s taking me a bit to get used to the lack of free time to write and take photos.

A few weeks ago, I decided that I would stop posting every day and see what happened.  As expected, my traffic fell.  Which is disappointing, but totally understandable.  I don’t read every single post every single day of the blogs I follow, so I don’t expect that from my readers either.

However, finding a happy medium has so far been elusive.  I’ve considered changing the direction of the blog (that dreaded ‘niche’ word), but I like writing about many different things.

I love taking photos of fantastic sims and sharing those, and those posts tend be popular.  I love taking my LOTD photos, though those are probably more for me than anyone else. 😀

I also love writing about dance – which is the reason I started this blog.  I am still involved in dancing in SL, and enjoy it very much.  However, I’m not sure that many readers actually enjoy reading about it.

I’ve also become very involved with learning the Artiste tools, and many of my posts have been about that.  Certainly a niche group for those posts! 😛

So, if I post less often, please be assured that I am still here, and I do intend to continue to write (and dance, and take photos).

Enjoy your Thursday!