Saturday, March 31, 2012

Survey Results: A Healthy Hint or Opportunity for Bias?

I suppose it makes sense that both estates related in my previous entry had the same experience with Relay For Life.  They were invited to participate by whomever last year, neither were informed of how to set up creations for donation in sanctioned vendors (which offer assurance to those who donate where their money goes; the American Cancer Society have a verify option for each vendor or kiosk clicked to confirm that the construct is legit and not a mock-up to extort funds).  They got burned for that and each estate took a step back from involvement as a result. 

Survey results conducted by one showed the vast majority of participants had other teams with which to get involved.  A dozen out of many times more expected the estate themselves to have a team of their own.  Hey at least I offered to captain for the other community.  Expecting landlords to just lay everything out for renters just to "me too" around is presumptuous.  A quick look at the RFL of Second Life teams page reveals something for everyone. 

And you know Hearts & Souls makes no demands on events nor any limitation on theme, era or output. Hint hint.

What DOES put me off a bit is the estate owners looking too long at resident stats and APPEARING to give higher regard to those who categorized their estate as home.  The rest of us deserve no less consideration nor are we of any less value to their community.  My "home" is on Skybeam but I see Hydrangea as home base, then New Toulouse, then Cartoon World, THEN Skybeam.  Home is where you go at the end of the day, and not necessarily where you spend most of your time or effort.  IMHO we all pay the same per sqm on the key sims.  If some people rent from just one place that doesn't justify preferential treatment.

Besides, in the end it all goes toward one grand total.

Don't diss me for affording just a 512 yo.

Anyway they're thinking of forming a team but it's too late.  There was a whole month for that.  It's more of the same: not reading the documentation etc.  Personally I'd rather see the estate owners and managers focus on the estate.  Let the dozen out of 60-70 who answered the survey shop on the team list page.  Or join my team and do as little or as much as they feel comfortable. :)

Monday the stitches come out. One way by car service may cost more than a round trip bus between NYC and Boston.  The ride will be a little shorter coming back as I go to Dad's apt from there to collect and sort his mail, then pay him a visit.

Going to relish subjecting New London and Bacchus to my new CDs. 

Sunday's Mardi Gras set will be on web radio from 7-9am SLT / 10am-noon EDT / 3-5pm BST from a Gazebo in a square not far from a rollercoaster on RFL Canal Street sim.

A lot of the Nawlins music I like will be at some thing hosted by Dr John in Brooklyn next month.  I wish I had the money to take a car svc home from there by the time it lets out.  For those who are not familiar with  borough culture: Brooklynites don't come to Queens and we don't go to Brooklyn, and neither of us go to the Bronx.  Manhattanites don't go to any of us.  Anyway Irma Thomas, the Dirty Dozen Band and one of the Neville brothers are in the lineup.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Of Fish, Collective Estate Angst over RFL, & Ethical Subroutines

The 4th annual 7Seas Fishiversary found an emphasis on sleepwear and bedding for those who offered customs based on the theme.  A set of wine red silk jammies with gold embroidery were my contribution, along with two types of commemorative T-shirts (one silk one tyedye) and more flannel TARDIS jimjam colors were the new clothing catches.  Two types of nekkid Daleks (I always wanted to do nekkid Daleks) and a Tea Kitsune shoulder pal rounded out the new releases.  I had more planned but alas a hand operation left me out of sorts and more incapacitated than I'd anticipated.  I'm writing this portion of the blog on my way home after my first day back at work.  Careful to walk down flights of stairs on the "strong side" in the event I need to hold the bannister.  Now back to 2-handed typing, getting better at wrong-handed hygiene, able to lift a mug (two days ago I marveled at just being able to wrap my fingers around it).

First Fishing Rod, a Japanese folk style makeshift construct
We raised over $L1600 for Relay for Life at the Fishiversary for our creations and more from straight donations.

Managed the Giant Snail Races by switching fingers (proper Mouselook maneuvering requires the right hand on the mouse for steering and left on the keys for propulsion) and ended in fifth.

I'm offering my Super UltraRare Daleks as prizes in New London for avatar contests.  Watch Twitter, SL Social, Facebook and assorted group notices for info. 

This weekend there will be 3 DJ events:

1. New London on Saturday from 1pm SLT.  This week's theme is tropical beach party.  Something about palms gave me the idea...
2. Bacchus on the Beach later from 6/45pm SLT
3. Relay For Life's Mardi Gras Sunday 7-9am SLT

Relay for Life Mardi Gras Weekend starts tomorrow...

I  made 3 tyedye shirts in Mardi Gras colors and about 8 flexi "mad hats" along the line of my Silly St Paddy and Cat in the Hat hats.  I have an idea for a special edition Second Line umbrella as well.   Look for these in our store with other vendors by our team's creators at the RFL Bourbon Street sim.

My friend's husband moved to a local nursing home.  Despite the medical prognosis that he has days, I think we all know these things can take longer.  She must enjoy every minute she can with him, and so much the better as long as he is kept comfortable.

Update on two estates regarding Relay For Life...  

Both have seen conflicts, one contrived by an asshole in a blog last year (there can be no greater loser than someone who exploits the ignorance of the uninformed rather than help bring them up to speed toward such a cause.  How small such a person becomes in the scheme of things).  They don't object to individuals opting for donations or having a token kiosk here and there, because they do believe in the cause, but having been burned they feel best to work with what they know and do best, which is maintain their sim and keep it griefer free.

The other may be making more than they should over this, which is a bit curious.  They're certainly big enough as a community to have their own team, but not obligated to pursue one.  We all have a story, add to that the level of commitment to manage an estate (for both places this is very true) nor any less generous or sincere for not having a team of their own.   They had recommended another team for residents to become affiliated with.  Apparently that's not enough, and the question of an official stance may have been raised on a scale greater than my own initial inquiries when I was looking to belong before starting my own team. 

My concerns with the estate in their current mindset are:

1. My being judged for having my own team. 

2. Being judged for saying something as simple as "if you like what I play, please give to that kiosk over there" versus my usual passiveness about receiving tips. 

3. I get a strong feeling that I'm being looked down on for something someone else said or did at some other time to give them the impression that they as an estate have to be more prominently and directly involved with RFL.  I resent being treated differently because of this.  I do not want to be chastized for being actively involved with Relay For Life.  I'm not anyone they've ever known before and would like them to set notions aside.  We started on a great footing and they've been practically regarded as another family to my avatar.  I prefer to hold onto that rapport.

And after last year's BS antipathy from theme teams I swore off committing to them anyway. We're progressing just fine doing what we like in any style we wish.  As long as content is compliant for promotion or involvement I can openly promote with RFL's resources for any member of the team. Adult teams should be respected for their efforts as well. Sincerity is what defines one's efforts and not how big their membership is (we've already seen last year how teams can have many names listed on their roster but only a couple of active people) or *ahem* how many good ideas captains can rip off from recruits to their own credit. 

We've since gotten our shops and await a solution for RFL vendors placed back-to-back on common shop walls where our hovertext statistics clash.  We may just alleviate this by setting our vendors the same height and be damned with the statistics (which to be honest we should be asked to mute entirely and let our kiosks show the grand total).

I have to say I'm very disappointed to see some teams sport regular vendors and keep all the sales to themselves.  Hey if Hearts & Souls can fill the walls with donation items, certainly those bigger teams can.  I'll be sure to make available LMs to team members' shops.  And to the "tween" spot where I'm accumulating vendors and add new ones following each event.

It's not that I'm holier than thou over these others.  It's just common sense and plain ethics.  How hard is that? It takes a type to take advantage of a charity and exploit an area intended for fundraising for their own profit.  People outside SL go to prison for that you know.  I suppose in a way this really shows what some teams are all about.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

RFL: All that scrambling for one day?

Other than the booth and the textures I  put together for it, the vendor items are merely the first of what the team has to offer.  We'll make more stuff and accumulate a nice collection of creations for donation throughout fundraiser season.

While I didn't have time to attend most of the Relay For Life Kick-Off celebration inworld, I did get a chance to tour the team booths in 3 regions before they were taken down.

Our kick-off booth in RFL Past. Minutes later 2 more contributors added vendors
There are more events coming up, and I'm looking forward to having a booth there again.

I was wondering where I could offer access to these vendors between RFL festivals?  It just occurred to me that the viewing area for the Atoll cross-country Giant Snail Races by Route 2 is perfect.  While theme appropriate vendors may appear in Maison Bleu and Cartoon World, I'll work out a couple of spots where they all can be, perhaps for all members of the team.

Something to think about.

In the meantime we have the 7Seas Fishiversary coming up.  Hard to believe it's two weeks from now.  The theme is silk.  This means textures,  some experimental.  Also more catchable Daleks, shirts and PJ's, and my first custom rods!

Do I bring back the purple Dalek or a new variation for RFL vendors?  I'm open to purplish suggestions.

Remember the team member I removed from my roster?  He started his own team.  That's awesome news!  Not only can he get first-hand info on what it takes and what is and isn't acceptable, it means a whole new group of people from his end who can do something for the cause.  So this has indeed worked itself out for the better!

This evening I'll put my RFL vendors out at the viewing platform.  That's just down the hill to the north beyond the fishing area.

Dakota & I pondering the purple blue box
More stuff for New Toulouse.  Another thing which has reached the top of the list. 

The Aether Chrononauts have a Time Traveller's Ball next Sunday.  I plan to be there.  Dress code is formal from any era.  I know exactly what to wear for it.  As a matter of fact, I remember exactly where I was the last time I wore it.  You'll have to wait to find out!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Niagra Falls!

RFL draws ever closer.  I love the enthusiasm I've been hearing from team members. And from the RFL community in general.  Maybe fueled by last year's amazing achievements, maybe from waiting since the end of the previous relay.  Some teams have totals from RL donations already; the convio setup which links an RL team page to the virtual one is very nice, and I plan to take full advantage of its resources.

One thing I've decided to do is put my original "pool chalk art" up for auction on eBay, maybe during the Fishiversary where I can place a vendor with info.

In the meantime, divvying up my time between work, DJing and restoring Dad's PC, the logo IS progressing but slower than I'd hoped.  It will be done tonight though, even with an extra trip after work with my heel spur to Dad's synagogue to pick something up for him before going home.

For now team members are channeling their enthusiasm into making stuff, so when vendors come out on Friday they'll set the first of them up.  Should I bring back the purple Dalek?  Hmmmm!  Anyway something new will be in my vendor at Saturday's RFL kickoff, with select vendors from teammates.  Be sure to stop by :)

Only one cloud: Someone I should never have invited. Clearly they hadn't read the notices with starting date info and when I'll be getting stuff to share with the team. Wanting to alter an all-season kiosk "for the team" where nothing inworld is credited to any teams before the 10th. The other team members are taking the spirit of RFL to heart by working on their builds and creations. Everyone else knows the time will come.

My last blog post stated that my team was NOT about pissing matches, which means an "at all costs" mentality would not be welcome. Was a bit disappointing to have to deal with that. I let them go and encouraged them to try another team which would better suit their level of enthusiasm. There are plenty of teams who want to compete against eachother etc etc, and maybe don't mind hacking a kiosk to behave differently. For my health and to maintain my team's laid back tone, I've done this. Maybe not the greatest thing for my reputation but never let it be said I don't take responsibility for my actions, and I believe that while this isn't a popular move, it was definitely for the better.  I've taken the honorable route and left them anonymous here and encourage them to find a more suitable team if they're still compelled to participate with Relay for Life.

I don't bluff and I don't play games, and I don't tolerate anyone trying to jump a line where it's not appropriate. It's over and not up for discussion. That's all I'm going to say on the subject.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Down to the RFL Kick-off wire

So much to do, so little time.

It's true the idea for the RFL team logo came to me in the company bathroom. No relation to running water and misfiring soap dispensers, which carry their own Freudian connotations if there was a resemblance.

The team is still forming but those who have joined each have hearts of gold.

I see two events from veteran RFL teams I want to attend of possible. One is the Aether Chrononauts' Time Traveler's Ball. The other I know I won't be able to make, although Snurky may spend her 100L on a donation.

Hearts & Souls will have a booth this Saturday at the kickoff sims. I won't be there for part of it since I'll be hosting a Creatures of the Night party in New London and DJing at Bacchus.

Tomorrow evening I hope to have various versions of the team logo and corresponding team shirts ready. Team members will get the shirts free. On Saturday they'll be available for a very attractive minimum donation.

Coming up soon is the Fishiversary. Researching and sketching ends this week and next week starts actual embellished work which will become special textures for the fishing area and customs. Look for RFL vendors at the Fishiversary as well from H&S team members.

Burn2 consistently pops up during other main events (they had their thing during FFF too). While I can appreciate their wanting to get mileage out of their sims, they've overstayed their welcome with me by devaluing Burning Man with year round activities. What's so special about Burning Man then? It's like a song you hear too often; it's no longer your favorite.

I took my previous computer's hard drive out of its casing. Ever see this? You put the drive in this thing, hook it up, close it, plug it into AC, plug it into USB, and voila. I havn't lost data in all my 17 years owning a PC.

Thing is, Dad's hard drive may be trashed mechanically. That's my guess and I won't be able to salvage his email folders, family pictures, passwords or Firefox cookies and bookmarks. Four years seems mighty short for a HD's lifespan to me...

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Hearts & Souls RFL team is formed

Something happened.  That's all I can respectfully say.  As a result,  I've started my own Relay For Life team.  I need the freedom *I believe* only a captain has to control a team page in order to facilitate RL donations and fundraising. Sometimes a something has to happen to push you into the right direction. Thank you, something.

The theme is Relay For Life's own, so anyone who has something to offer towards a cause is welcome to join, regardless of genre, and anyone on the team who wants to engage in fundraising inworld on Mature & PG land for a General crowd will get to have their event added to the RFL calendar.  Donate as little (put donation kiosks for the team out) or as much (from donation vendors to events to offgrid donations) as they feel comfortable with.   If someone wants to make adult products and hold fundraising events on adult property they're at liberty to do so for the team.  Somehow the Goreans have done all right raising money without appearing on RFL's event billboards.

The core theme of the team is similar to that of my persona: that we're all real regardless of what substance and form we take.  No one is immune to the effects of cancer and we can make a difference in both worlds.

I've had an enthusiastic response  from folks, both whom I asked and a couple of them so far who came to me.

I believe I have a lot to give and offer towards a noble cause.  I am privileged and honored to participate and make a difference.  I know people who survived, people who are fighting, and people who lost the fight.  A friend is losing the battle as I type this.  Pettiness has no place, so advanced warning:

Fighting cancer is not a pissing match.  If your team makes more money than mine, I don't lose.  If you think so then maybe you don't have your head on straight.

Once we have won the battle, the winner is us.

I try to learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of others:

1. No more genre teams which pigeonhole me or disallow promotion of fundraising events due to theme or era vs content rating.

2. No stealing ideas from others. A team effort - and there may be a few of those - will give credit where due.  There is no cause in the universe which justifies discarding ethics or common courtesy; no one or thing is cause to forget to be excellent to eachother.

3. As team captain I will not desert my team and hang out with another and leave others to do my work.  That really rubbed me the wrong way last year. Not much can be worse than a team being let down by their own captain.

4. I'm not separatist.  If someone from another team needs help with something I'll give it if I'm able. Just don't know what skills anyone would need from me.  If another team wants to hold a fundraising event and asks me for a sign or to play music, I will certainly oblige them.

5. Group joining is not mandatory.  If you just want to put out a kiosk or make stuff for donation, that's a great help and what really counts IMHO.  You got what you want and when the RFL season is done the kiosks and vendors derez automatically.

Come to think of it, my off-season kiosk will go poof very soon.