Sunday, April 22, 2012

Expanding My Virtual Horizons

OK, I tweeted about shifting my identity from my virtual Key Gruin to my RL identity and promising a blog entry within 24 hours, that was what, 3 days ago? And all of you have passed out by now from holding your breath, I'm sure. You can breath again, I'm not leaving OSGrid! You may see less of Key, and more of Ken but Ken will be more of a hypergridnaut than a gridling. Ken (me, from this point on) has just created a standalone region just below the 10k x-y coordinates so it's in what is known as the "upper" hypergrid region. It's called Cyberwhirled, because I am into things that rotate, spin, turn, and whirl. In RL I am an active woodturner, have been since the late 80's, but my interest in the craft waned considerably a couple years ago after I became somewhat obsessed with virtual worlds and 3D graphics. This happens to me when I get interested in something, I lose myself in the activity and find it hard to focus on anything else. Sometimes that activity is sustainable, and helps keep the bills paid, other times I have to tear myself away and focus on paying the bills. I am a self employed jack-of-all-trades with many skills, but I'm probably the worst businessman on the planet and don't manage my affairs very efficiently so I may go from wondering where my next dollar will come from, to what big toy I want to buy next in the span of a year! Besides wood crafts, I have done website development, farm work, plumbing and electrical install, carpentry, scrap salvage, minor auto repair, machine shop prototyping for my fellow woodturners, pet care, furniture restoration, and various odd jobs so I can always stay busy. And my passion for woodturning is returning (no pun intended, I swear) with the spring flowers and April showers. Yeah! Besides mushrooms, I turn vases, bowls, ornaments, bottle stoppers, gear shift knobs, you name it - anything of wood (or metal) that is round and can fit on my lathe I can do.

 my website is at and my Etsy store is at: which is getting dangerously low on inventory!  *Eyes shift away from the monitor towards the woodshop across the yard*

Ok, back to virtuality for a bit: Here's my first project on my new standalone, modeled after mine and many of my fellow turners' dream  lathe, the Powermatic which I may christen the "Pixelmatic":

 So, if I'm getting so low on inventory, what the heck am I doing, building a virtual lathe?
 Well, it's part of my goal to unite my virtual identity with my real life self, and try to use Opensim to promote my craft somehow. I have no master plan, just going to play it by ear each day, each week and see what evolves.

My hypergrid name is Ken Earlsson, I am the son of the late Earl Grunke (1924-2008) who spent the latter half of his life making people smile for the camera as a traveling portable studio photographer in Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota and Iowa USA. After his retirement, he continued to bring smiles to people as a professional Santa. You couldn't pull his beard or hair off because it was the real thing :D

In my virtual world, I have plans for creating many other things over the coming months, that turn, spin, whirl or revolve and have some ideas for virtual kinetic sculptures. My standalone can be found at
Feel free to visit any time, it's hosted on a VPS so will be 24/7.

See ya around on OSGrid and on the Hypergrid!

Ken aka Key

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