Waiting for the next clerk

Days Like This

Waiting for the next clerk
Better late than never

Compared to the preparation to depart on this vacation, the drive to the airport was uneventful. Atypical for him, Aedan surpassed the speed limit several times knowing he was pushing it but it was all for naught when both lanes came to a crawl to gawk at an accident going the opposite direction. A deep breath and a bit more volume on the radio seemed to pacify his angst. After all, there really was nothing he could do.  He tried to not think about the ‘what ifs’ should he not make it to the airport in time. Hopefully the line through security would be short.

Shortly before arriving at the airport the radio had become more annoying than soothing. The commercials ran on and on until he searched for another station playing anything that interested him at all. As they too became filled with mindless voices telling him to buy this or that he pressed the power button and filled the car with silence…as much silence as was possible anyway. In this silence he made his way through the dark. The bluish LED headlamps peeled away the darkness to reveal a soft haze beneath the pine trees that lined either side of the road.

As he got closer to the airport the haze had grown to a light fog and slithered across the road, eagerly swallowing him as he followed the path into it. Aedan thought to himself that this might be a good thing, if there were any a delay in the departure of his flight for any reason whatsoever. When he pulled into the long term parking lot he found an open spot close to the shuttle stop. He had no sooner pulled the suitcase from the passenger seat and locked the doors when the shuttle pulled up. A minute later he was on the shuttle and headed for the terminal. Things were looking up.

The shuttle driver was a friendly guy and seemed to enjoy talking. In the five minutes it took to get to the terminal, Aedan was certain that the driver spent more time looking up into the mirror at him than at the road. He had probably driven the route thousands of times and might be able to do it blindfolded. His voice soon became a drone in Aedan’s head. It went on and on and was only relieved with the shuttle pulled up to the curb and with a huge smile, turned his head and looked at Aedan “We’re here. Enjoy your trip”. Aedan quickly grabbed his suitcase and jumped off the bus.

Inside the terminal, there was a buzz of conversation. Arriving and departing passengers exchanged greetings and goodbyes with loved ones and friends. The loud speaker rattled off flight information and who knows what else. He wasn’t listening but looking for the information board to check on his flight status as he made his way to security to be screened. When he finally found his flight information, a wave of regret passed through him. His flight had already departed. He couldn’t have missed it by much. It was probably still on the runway waiting to depart but it would do it without him.

With his suitcase now feeling much heavier, Aedan stepped out of the screening line and headed back to the ticketing agents to find out when the next flight was and whether there was space available. As he stood in line wondering what his future plans were, the constant noise of conversation, ringing bells and announcements over the loud speaker filled his head. The words were barely intelligible in the droning sound. He looked at a couple near him and just as he pulled their voices from the buzz, they both looked at him and smiled. Not trying to be nosy he looked away immediately but this repeated several times. It had been a long day.

After what seemed an eternity, he made it to the ticketing agent.  The next flight to his destination, twelve hours from then was full. There wouldn’t be another for two days but there was a seat available. He asked about alternate routes but there was only one daily flight to his destination. The isolation is why he chose the destination he did and now he would have to wait.

By now the fog had become quite thick outside and he was tired. He was too tired to go looking for a hotel at this hour so he found an empty row of seats in a corner, pushed his suitcase beneath it and made himself comfortable.

Loading the car for a trip

No Surprise Here

Loading the car for a trip
Trying to leave again

Of course vacation plans in SL are subject to complications just as in RL  You think you have everything packed and just as you’re about to get into the car you panic that you forgot something. Is it in the suitcase or..or is it lost? Similarly, I had spent hours setting up for this shot, tweaking the light, setting the pose – and that was after chasing down suitcases, cars, cats and parking lot textures! We won’t even talk about the cars I got at a very good price – too good to be true even with broken scripts. (Yes, I am lodging a complaint because at least one had a negative review because of the same issues I had).  After all that and then taking the picture, editing in Gimp because the only opening suitcase I could find that was half modern or not beat up was pink…after all that, you realize the jacket you’re wearing is a mess!

In all fairness, it was a few years old and the creators have a tough time dealing with the varied size avatars..but my avatar is 6 and a half feet tall and muscled…and small is too big!  So, refusing to leave home like that I had to go shopping.  I hate shopping for men’s clothes for this very reason.  Time lost shopping only to pull something else out of the drawer and set everything up for the photo again.

Unable to get the exact same lighting, I then spent another hour trying to (and took screen shots of the settings this time!) get the same angle, same light ( and failed) before saying ‘enough!’.  I’m getting really good at changing the color of items in Gimp by now so that was easy.

Almost ready to upload and then I noticed the cat was missing half it’s head! Really!? Log back in, set everything up as close as I can and…get a good picture of the cat from the same angle and distance…and hopefully with light close enough that it’s easy to bring into the image.  One last check and I realized that on one of my monitors it was too dark so I lightened the image before uploading.

There! Now we’re ready to go.  Get into the car! No, not you kitty…

Yes, it wasn’t too long before I was told the image was too dark.  I’m just ready to hit the road by now though I am a bit concerned that I’ve missed my flight…

Drunk in the streets of Rottendam

Back To Work

Drunk in the streets of Rottendam
Not what I came to get
  • After struggling with the new foreground select tool to clean this image up to my liking, I finally gave up and just used the lasso tool to take the pieces I needed to make adjustments too. I’m mostly happy but will spend more time tweaking the LUMIPro next time. 

Adjustments made were to calm down the skin tone of my arm and his face, tweaked my shadow a bit to blur the edges and make it a similar tone to the drunk’s (who’s shadows are not coming entirely from the light).  I also added a bit of shadow in the street for my head and the rat.

Finally, the background in the distance was blurred just a bit in addition to adding a gradient to make it darker in the distance.

You can read a bit more about my struggle here with the two previous posts:

Gimp Foreground Select

Good Help These Days

 

Location: Rottendam

My Outfit: 

His Outfit:
  • He refused to answer and stunk too much to check the tags!
Rottendam Docks

Good Help These Days

Rottendam Docks
No good help these days

Putting these websites together (creativeonline.us and vreamart.com) has taken a lot of my time lately.  I’m so happy to have them functional enough that I can start adding content….and can get back to my ‘big’ project.

For that project I need to build a set for some photos and so I went searching for some carpenter’s tools.  that’s how I ended up in Rottendam..and boy is it rotten.  OK, maybe I should judge what appears to be a magnificent and detailed build by the residents on the street.

This would be the first time I had the opportunity to use the LUMIPro outside of my own lot so I jumped at the chance to take a photo. When I got home and looked to see what I had recorded, I was quite amused to see that the light orbs have become nearly invisible to me already – I didn’t actually intend to take this photo with them visible.  Still, I thought this was a good opportunity to intorduce it here since I’ll be using it quite often in the future.

Though this might have been a good photo without the balls, it’s not the angle I finally decided upon.  I’ll share that one once I’m happy with it – I’m sure I could have tweaked the LUMIPro a bit better because there is too much light in that photo so I’ll do a bit of post processing to try and get it where I want it before sharing on Flickr.

Rottendam - Too Bright
The starting point ..

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