A Few Changes

A change
(A change will do you good)
Will do you good
(A change will do you good)
I think a change
(A change will do you good)
Will do you good
(A change will do you good)

Sheryl Crow, “A Change Will Do You Good”

Home changes_003

Here I am (shot through my second-floor window), working on the next great piece of fashion editorial while at my ease.  As I take a break for a bit, I look around the house I’ve inhabited for some months now, and grin at the changes I’ve finished making to it, and to the ease of my life living in it.

New House 3 blog

And they’re mostly centered around this room, the first room you encounter when you enter the house.  I originally published this back in June, when I’d finished setting up the place (though by no means finished decorating it — in fact, that hasn’t happened yet), and you can see the big square fireplace in the center of the area, with a free-floating spiral staircase behind it to the second floor.  These two elements were my biggest bugaboos about an otherwise beautiful house, and something I resolved to work on as time and budget allowed.

The first thing I took on was the fireplace.  It wasn’t my plan to delete it; but if you notice, the logs are encased inside a glass shield.  You could turn the fire on and off if you chose, but it wasn’t tied in to the house controls, so you had to click on the item itself.  One problem:  with the screen on the fireplace, you couldn’t click on the logs.  And the logs and fire weren’t too satisfying in themselves.

Home changes_001

The thing to do was to either remove the screen entirely, or at least lower it some for access to the logs, and then to replace the logs themselves.  I chose to remove the screen (though it should be somewhere in the vast, uncharted reaches of my inventory), since you don’t have to worry about burning logs rolling off the hearthstone here.  The fire itself was a fast choice based on things I found in the Marketplace, and it’s not completely satisfactory yet, but this is a very simple item to fix.  I also added in a cushion to sit on, making the surround more comfortable and homey.

The real annoyance, after a few weeks’ experience with the house, was that stairway.  It looked beautiful.  Sadly, it was one of those tight-spiral monstrosities with no side guard or bannister, which you can plunge right off from if you have slow reaction speed or a slow computer.  I got fed up with it and set local teleport landmarks to get around the house, leaving the stairway to fill up with (virtual) spiderwebs for four months.  I realized that changing the stairs around was going to be a far worse headache than the simple edit on the fireplace, and so I held off for some time.

Over the past week or so, though, I finally tackled the renovation — and it proved to be as much of a bitch as I was afraid.  Trying to insert walkable ramps or new stairs with landings showed I have no head and experience for the angles involved.  I finally chose total replacement, but the stairs I found didn’t fit the bill for various reasons.

Home changes_002

The answer was an elevator.  This, too, is probably a temporary visitor, like the current fire in my fireplace; it’s meant for a store with far more floors than I’m using here.  The Art Nouveau grille doors and steampunky controls don’t match the black/white Modernist decor of the house, either.  But it’s affordable, works pretty smoothly, was relatively easy to set up with a little experimentation, and can get me and a visitor up and down between floors without falling on our faces.  A black elevator shaft could take care of the looks somewhat and make this appear more logical than simply floating up and down between floors.  (Of course, this is Second Life, where people can float up and down between floors, or just teleport between them.)  A replacement can also be inserted and this beauty removed, once I find one that I like the looks of.

The worst part of the job here was tearing out the old staircase.  Thinking it was a set of discreet prims all to itself, I unlinked it from the house and took it into inventory, just in case I wanted it again some time.  No problem.  Then I went to install the elevator — and kept on running into something.  Flipping to invisiprim-vision showed an invisible spiral ramp laid into the stairway area.  Apparently, the house’s designer wasn’t sure that people wouldn’t fall through the stairs themselves, so they added in some backup….  So I unlinked that from the house and took it into inventory as well….

And discovered that I’d also removed every window in the house.

And the lamps.

And the house control panel.

Getting all that stuff back in and into position was what took up the majority of time and work.  Builders and architects, please don’t link things together in weird combinations like that; it just doesn’t make any sense at all, having the windows linked together with the lighting fixtures and the control box and an invisiprim that wasn’t useful in the first place, just adding in an extra prim to my land use.  Although, thinking about it, builders probably need to link the lights and windows to the control box to get them to function…but why the ramp as well in the mix?  There wasn’t a control to flatten the stairs into a spiral slide, plunging down into the heart of a fearsome dungeon….  Anyway, everything seems in place and functioning now, and I can move between floors far more realistically — not to mention that, on the rare occasions I have a visitor, they can get between floors with less bother as well.

And so it goes….


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