So much happening, I’m not sure where to start.
As you may know, my friend Vince Frost, known in Second Life® as Lumiere Noire, died last month. As a way to deal with my grief, and a memorial to Lumi, I’ve been working to update the Texture Tutorial.
The Texture Tutorial is a build on my sim, Livingtree, in Second Life. I first built it back in the early days, when textures were far less complex than they are now, to help people who were coming from other places and platforms and starting to build in SL™.
SL has always had its own idiosyncratic way of doing everything; so it was necessary even for people who were familiar with 3D texturing to find out how the platform handled it. It was even more necessary for people who had no background in 3D texturing at all.
I’ve updated it once before, and kind of updated it again a few times (mostly by mentioning on the Notecards it gave out that this or that had been changed, and the notecard was out-of-date.) But now I’m starting all over again, and rewriting everything. When it’s done, people will be able to visit and find out how to optimize images for SL, what all the fields and things on the Texture Tab are for, what you need to know about normal maps, specular maps, and UV maps in general, animating textures for SL and putting textures on the SL avatar.
The last two haven’t changed much. But the rest has changed a lot. When I first did the Texture Tutorial, we had no normal or specular maps at all. SL still has its very own way of doing things, too, which need to be explained. For instance, who would think to look for the specular value map in the alpha channel of the normal map? That’s… yeah…
Meantime, while I’m working on that, a lot of things have been happening in First Life as well. Mostly things about the health of my extended family.
My niece has been going through a really rough spot, health wise. She’s only 26, but she started in June by passing kidney stones, went into a series of illnesses, and wound up unable to sit or stand without feeling faint, and going into tachycardia. Even when lying perfectly still, her heart was going more than 140 beats a minute. Eventually, she spent a couple of weeks in the hospital, being given every test known to medicine, before they diagnosed her with POTS (Postural Tachycardia Syndrome).
Besides being really worrying, this has caused a huge financial burden for her and her husband. We have helped as much as we can, but at the moment that’s not much (reasons below.) She has set up a GoFundMe page, and if anyone reading this could help, it would be hugely appreciated.
The reason we can’t help much is that my husband Michael and I have spent most of the last month having medical tests of our own.
I’ve been struggling for a while, and finally gave up, and told the doctor. He sent me to a Sleep Specialist, and I’ve now been diagnosed with mild to moderate sleep apnea. With any luck, we’ll be able to treat it soon.
Michael went with me, for his own test, at the same time. The sleep doctor took one look at him, and begged him to go to a cardiologist. So, after a whole battery of tests, from a Haltor monitor, through stress tests, EKG, echo-cardiogram, and finally a left heart catheterization, he has been diagnosed with mild heart disease, and some restriction in the arteries. He’s on a couple of drugs, and a change in diet (less fat and salt) and his heartbeat is now perfectly regular. The doctors say he’s good for another 20 years, at least.
We are in our sixties. I guess we shouldn’t be so surprised. But we didn’t expect all the medical stuff.
So, that’s why I’ve been neglecting this blog. At the moment, I also have an infection, and have been running a fever around 100° F for the last few weeks. But I’m getting the upper hand (I think) and should be back to normal soon.
There’s been so much I wanted to talk about here, including putting Otter Medicine up on Zazzle, but no time or energy to do it.