Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fantasy Faire 2017!


It's that time of year again.  For ten days the place to wake up, the place to hold one's virtual breath before setting depth of field, the place to enjoy music that's a little off to the side of mundane Relay fare...

...when for once or twice in the year I get to broadcast over Internet radio...

...when ancient gods walk among us...

...when I find new merchants for me and Snurky (finally got her out of those tiger feet; I gifted her with dragon sneakers last year in exchange for a round of audio clips)

from Avatar Bizarre
 The masked ball will be interesting. I hope they have seating; I never had  to think about it before.  Going to estimate resumption of dancing will be late October.

Come To My Set at Fantasy Faire!

*TONIGHT* Tuesday 25 of April at 7pm SLT (10pm EDT / 13:00 AEST), Dreamtime returns to Fantasy Faire w/eclectic music plus custom spiel from Snurky Snoodle.  Look for notices and promos in the following inworld groups:

- Aether  Chrononauts
- Relay For Life Volunteers
- Cartoon World & Beyond
- ** Fantasy Faire Fans **

There is a poster with the LM in my grove on Rosehaven at the stage. 



Sunday, April 2, 2017

Checking in a Quarter There & Other Tales

I'm rather enjoying not captaining a Relay For Life team this year in Second Life.  With the hassles of RL under way it's nice for someone else to take care of all the stuff.  I already know a large portion of the members, so really there is no assimilation to be done.  Most of all they share our policy of as little or as much, it all matters.

Hearts & Souls is still active this year.  Come August we'll be doing our part for Relay For Life of InWorldz.  That's IN Inworldz.  We're already up and running to accept credit card and PayPal donations.  If you haven't donated and been meaning to, come on over to our team page:  http://main.acsevents.org/goto/HeartsnSouls2017 

What of InWorldz? Once they ramp up they'll see what RL Hearts & Souls contributed towards their Relay Day total and add it in on our team tally on their website.

How are RFLofSL faring?

 They pushed updates through to their HUD requiring people to replace vendors. At the ceremony one of the great pitches was that updates would push through to rezzed tools.  It's a bit of an inconvenience, especially since most merchants and creators keep a copy of prepped vendors to rez and reprise in more than one location.  You have no idea how good we had it back in the day with notecards.  Absolutely no muss or fuss, just rez and grant.  I'd be curious what a Keynote view would reveal, whether their web marketplace links ever get clicked that they've chosen to stick to web setup for all vendors dropped.  Or are they using this method to watchdog content for branding violations?

Still, one cannot chalk this up as any great shakes.  They have a new tech and are treading new ground.
Attending a Relay Rap

As it turned out only committee leads had been posting Relay Rap promos in the Info-Only group in the past; their designated RRap person couldn't.  Well wasn't that silly?  It has since been resolved and she's included that group among her rounds of promotions.  So cross that one off the list.

There was an amusing bit of feedback regarding the Relay HUD's clarity a couple of weeks back.  Several brought it to their attention.  Again unable to take responsibility or admit they botched something, the committee responded that they would address the resolution of the graphic to accommodate those with vision problems!  Trying to blame us with a contrived disability is poor diplomacy if not outright condescending.  Think about all those using laptops... Nothing says privileged like being talked down to  by 27" dual screened Richie Riches...

The Curse of the Forced Landing Point

One of the PITB arrangements last Relay Weekend was a forced landing point to get to the ceremony, only to be forced to land in some skybox thousands of meters up with a Relay For Life exhibit and welcome area.  They did it again, this time at American Cancer Society region. If you don't know the exact SLURL of a building interior or special spot, you'll wind up in a skybox in the far corner of the region.  DAYUM!  I tried to map-teleport to the threshold of SciFi Con on opening day and had a real struggle because of this stupid thing.  They really need to cut that shit out.

If they want to "help" they should consider this:

Since a random World Map search puts people squarely at central coordinates. Why not make a 16sqm parcel right there with the forced landing point? This way people like me who actually pick areas of a map will get to where they want to go and won't be inconvenienced by some prank presented as being for our own good (what a patronizing sentiment). There shouldn't be anything to hide in that region.

Can't Find The Team From Hell?

Harmony of Hope renamed themselves Go The Distance. Rumor has it they did this to get in on special perks and awards.  One would think a name change wouldn't justify "new team" status. Watch that one when awards come thru by the end of the season.

Fantasy Faire

Coming up later this month will be Fantasy Faire. I've got a DJ slot there. Watch my group for a heads up.

But First: The 9th
Combination Consecration & Transformation

Not 9th Symphony! My 9th Rezday.  Party this Thursday 6 April 5-6:30pm SLT at my rennovated home (I'm calling it a combination with a home warmed-over).   I will provide music from all sorts of eras and demographics.  You're invited!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Whisperer Gets Schooled

Someone called The Whisperer - one of those bloggers who get off attacking everyone and everything - caught sight last month of an incident related by merchant owner LTD and why they chose not to support Relay For Life of Second Life this year.  Suffice it to say not much about it surprised me, and they were very clear about this being an SL-based issue.

Enter The Whisperer. He used this as a springboard to tear into Relay For Life and The American Cancer Society, RFL of SL and RFL of InWorldz.  Many of his rhetoric has no basis and is outright false.

Naturally, as with other megalomaniacal bloggers we've seen, their mindless minions respond in blind reverance, one even calling Relay For Life a scam.

This blogger seems to be on a hate spree, given some other entries I skimmed while tracking this one down.

I posted the following response. It remains to be seen whether The Whisperer will approve it to his comments.

While I agree with many of your points regarding RFL of SL behavior (I've documented it in great detail), your statements of where donations go both in SL and IW are **FALSE** and inciteful and need to be edited.   It is stated clearly that ALL money goes to the American Cancer Society.  The avatars collecting on both grids were set up by ACS staff. Clicking a kiosk on either grid takes you to info about where the donations go and what they fund.

You may have a grudge over people or a cybersocial site, but ACS is legit and their efforts should not be maligned so frivolously



As for Inworldz, I didn't post anything about my first season with them last year. I owe you at least an overview, and very soon.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Again a Question of Priorities

The committee was much larger than originally expected...
The Kick-off ceremony yesterday was very high energy and big on Ronco style hype.

During the ceremony - as part of the ceremony as one of the "But wait! There's more" pitches - came the details of a special resource HUD from which we could receive fundraising tools.   Right then group notices came through with the HUD.

Let's break this down...

The USA had just experienced a similar occurrence in which their president - a TV personality - held off denouncing hate crime incidents until he had everyone's attention at a nationally televised appearance during primetime.  His moral compass was called into question because exploiting these incidents were more important than addressing them as soon as they had occurred. Imagine a shooting not mentioned or condemned or an offer of support expressed to grieving families by any past US president in the past 40-plus years.

The Relay For Life of Second Life committee - which by its very name exists as a commitment to serve Relay teams and Relayers - is responsible for providing team captains and volunteers with fundraising tools. Captains must have these before kick-off as part of their booths to get the ball rolling collecting donations. These have always been available at least a day before kick-off weekend to give everyone time to load vendors of salable items and place kiosks. Why?

- Because this is what these tools are for,
- Because this is the purpose of team spots at a kick-off,
- Because the objective of every team is to get tools and collect donations, and
- Because it is the role of the committee to make it all happen FOR THE RELAYERS.

You'd think the parallel with America's State of the Union would have been obvious, and possibly something in someone's head may have clicked after strong feedback and thought: "You know, maybe holding off supplying something to our relayers..." because the fact is we're not the committee's followers "...just to put on a big show and hype basic equipment as mannah from heaven ISN'T the right approach or in their best interest."

It was just in the committee's best interest to put on a show while everyone was tuned in.

Add to that the fact that this HUD supposedly offers many clickable items for different resources.  The only problem is the graphic is poor quality. You can only read about half of the clickable spots clearly to know what they are. (Click to see it full size)


Image not resized or retouched. Anyone know what the upper right stamp says?
On the plus side, clicking TOOLS on it offers you several buttons from which to choose.  It is a definite improvement to contain vendors, kiosks, and auction supplies in each of their own folders and not get dumped with anything you won't need.


Their hype over the HUD would have been better pitched at last month's Relay Rap to give volunteers something to look forward to, with them coming through via group Notices this past Thursday or Friday, then spiel in-depth about new features during the ceremony to bring people not entirely with it back into the fold while volunteers in the know extoll the virtues of the new stuff around them.


The committee just can't get past the "they mean well" and "they're trying" phases. They just don't think things through, and as long as they think of themselves first and place priorities on the wrong things in the guise of acting in our best interests -while representing The American Cancer Society - there's always going to be a problem and a rut to crawl out of.

Addendum to previous post: Is this a Relayer-friendly option over ceremonies set at sim borders?

Also if they think cancer shaming volunteers or extorting them with RL info is going to be an answer to criticism...  Let's hope NOBODY sees that ever again.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

RFL of SL Kick-off: How Sincere Are Reparations?

View of Relay For Life Kick-off stage from the sim line.
Wish they'd bring this road texture back to the track.
I'm having one of those rare moments to myself at a small table in a local Starbucks.  In truth, I only like the smell of a freshly opened tin or jar of grounds.  Or - back when I was a little kid - found myself dragged past a self-serve coffee grinder at some A&P supermarket, where the rich smell of 8-O'Clock blend permeated the aisle.

But Starbucks sufficiently dresses up coffee with flavours so that one is not subjected to the betrayal of a bitter beverage when it is finally partaken.

I've done most of my blogging here or sitting in some coffee shop or diner while watching people pass.  Before an entire team was let go and I lost my job of 14 years the subway was where thoughts were collected.   Before blogging the subway was a place to compose fiction or plan a homepage on a Windows CE pocket PC.

You have to give New Yorkers credit:  most of us spend our commutes reading books, newspapers or magazines.  Or writing.  It is a mandatory timeout most of our nation is deprived of.  It could be what's wrong with it and why human civilization has reached a sorry crossroads.

At any rate, philanthropy has become THE method of support nowadays, and not just for specialty groups.  Mainstream needs such as basic healthcare resources for women or upholding basic rights have gone crowdfunder.

With our country causing a domino effect globally and basic human well-being hanging in the balance, it's hard to imagine Relay For Life of Second Life will end on a high.  They should expect anything and without passing judgement on their benefactors.

Most of all, as they attempt to put their reputation back together, they must never EVER lose sight of their number one audience to win back respect: The Relayer. 

As mentioned previously my own reasons for not captaining a team this year is strictly a time factor.  If life works out favorably - or even passably - in 2018 Hearts & Souls will not only return to Second Life but I may resume fundraising.  It all depends on what transpires, and that indeed includes how RFLofSL perform.

Sunday 5 March is their season's kick-off, and once again they've provided booths for teams (last year the committee only thought of themselves and a handful of sponsors).

The first fail is in and it is the fact that teams won't really be able to kick-off. 

The tools won't be ready in time for Sunday.  No kiosks, no vendors... No, it doesn't make sense, and yes, it IS a major fail.  The whole point of having a kick-off is to hit the ground running with collecting donations.  Your team's kiosk as you DJ, the traditional BYOK on Sunday night.  What's the point of having a fundraising event without fundraising? 

What could possibly hold up team tools with SEVEN MONTHS to prepare them?  Absolutely no excuse within reason.  If there were restrictions preventing the use of past team kiosks and vendors?  If someone was taken on as just some friend, teammate (nepotism AGAIN?) or in answer to a favor but isn't capable of the job then replace them.  This is ludicrous.

There's another fail unfortunately, and it's right there in the image at the top of this blog post.

One of the sticking points of last year were poor planning for ceremonies. A third of available attendee space difficult to access on Relay Weekend.  The Halfway There Fair, in which ceremonies were placed on one sim with most attendees AND some committee members forced to cam in from a distance.  Back in RFLofSL's heyday it appeared that Relayer access was paramount, with everything planned around that.

Looks like someone needs retraining.  The Kick-off stage is situated in the middle of one sim. I am on the sim line in the image.  Why oh why wasn't the stage at this border?  Because someone did not consider the Relayer a priority, and that needs to be addressed ASAP or they'll never crawl out of the hole they've dug themselves.  It's hard to believe this even has to be brought up, but that's where they are with priorities.

They have a long way to go to remove the bitterness. I wonder at this point if they even have it in them?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Relay For Life of Second Life steps on SL Privacy Policies

Well that didn't take long.

Presumably using their theme for 2017 as justification, Relay For Life of Second Life REQUIRES  these First Life details if you want to register a team with them:

- What country is the team mostly from?
- Languages spoken by your team members

Do they seek to segregate or assign teams to certain sections of the track based on their origins and regardless of what the team may have in mind for their build? 

No matter, these are in violation of Second Life's many rules (as covered in my post this past January), and those rules are in place for a reason.

The info the committee requires is none of their business and irrelevant for the task of fundraising and fighting cancer. It also poses a security risk to residents.

I want to add that if you happen to know a language and have helped with guides and information, that did not involve giving personal info about you and your virtual friends or forfeit having a team.

How quickly the appearance of respect for volunteer relayers melted away.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Relay For Life of Second Life: Is There Hope in 2017?

The Relay Rap session last weekend suggested that promising changes were under way, with less committee titles and a more hands-on presence from the American Cancer Society.  I'll watch from a safe distance this year and see how things go.  Team registration begins Sunday 12 February 20.

As with last year I'll be signing up with Relay For Life of InWorldz for credit card and PayPal donations.  Very soon I'll have posters in Swing Moon and Cartoon World which launch the donation webpage.  I will remain in Relay For Life Information Only group and expect all official announcements to reliably make its otifications, be it a heads up for Relay Rap, times for ceremonies, or advanced warning of campsite registration.

InWorldz has gotten a bad rap. Many years ago SL merchants flowed into their grid, then jumped back out when a copybotter followed them in.  You're not going to be rid of them save a private server.  The difference between a place like Second Life versus a place like InWorldz is that there's less red tape and complexity in IW's staff taking swift and effective action.

Thanks to this lack of rationale, merchants such as Akeyo deserted IW residents and ones such as Truth Hair never bothered.  On the plus side, I haven't seen evidence of a malformed mesh cracker avatar.

InWorldz' RFL team tools were to have reverted to general donations after their 2016 season. Instead they self-destructed.  My goal was to maintain a year round shop in Hope Village, and regret not having anything to offer for Valentines Day.  My sole incentive in IW is to raise money to help in the fight against cancer.  Hopefully this gets resolved later long before their fundraising season.

In the meantime, those headed for same in Second Life always keep in mind:

- You are volunteers. RFLofSL is not your employer. They should be grateful to all volunteers for putting in any time and effort and investment without pay.  Many people give generously who are on a fixed income or live with oppressive medical bills from THEIR battle(s) with cancer.

- RFLofSL leads serve YOU.  Their role is to get you what you need, provide info, and make things happen so you can make things happen.  It's not the other way around

- Let no one tell you that you aren't raising enough or what you do isn't good enough.  Every Linden counts

- Hold RFLofSL accountable for failing to inform or taking a position that you should have known without them posting in all official outlets, be it all groups or social media. Cliquish behavior has no place in Relay For Life and is against its very spirit.

- Report anyone in RFLofSL who struts around too cocky or bosses volunteers (volunteers comprise individuals, team captains, co-captains, team members).  Take it to HopeWalker06, the ACS liaison.  We'll trust she is on YOUR side and will put the disrespecting party in their place.

Good luck, SL Relayers!

Tribute to Pro Recreant remains intact following rennovations