Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Plight of Mens Fashion on the Grid

I have nothing to gain from saying it, but it has to be said. I always calls em like I sees em, and when I feel I've been let down, I say it. Due to neglect in the genre, a lot of people are let down each and every day in every corner of every grid.

Those in question can do one of three things: shrug it off, get worse, or get better.

Finally, my piece on Men's Fashion in the virtual worlds.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Images of Osprey Therian

Osprey far right during the Nova Albion 5th anniversary parade
A noob visiting a brownstone to participate in a photo contest. Osprey's events were my first sense of community and belonging in Second Life.  Nova Albion, a mainland community during an era of adfarms and eyesores was dominated with ultramodern builds. And then there was this old block in Grignano, owned by some of the community's earliest settlers. Osprey, Sal, HBA, the Graysons... a presence still felt a ways from the bustle of the Miramare infohub Osprey helped to maintain. Back in the day when the residents built infohubs and railway stations I would find Osprey's name a few times.

The vaudeville act TSMGO aka The Show Must Go On, which took place on an airship converted into a theatre over the lake in Phobos. Here yaks perform an interpretive dance:


The Nova Albion anniversary parade. Os was a co-conspirator of those earlier parades.


Osprey's passionate pursuit of gamer cards as virtual sport:


The die cut tin ducks (I think I know what I'd wear if there was a memorial event)


I remember those first days in spring 2008 and a media screen caught my eye upon leaving her photo gallery following one of the contest exhibits. I watched Bitstream Boogie, my first taste of SL machinima. Possibly that of most people:

Even as recently as a few days ago Os came into Second Life. I imagine to see it one last time or to set some affairs in order. It may be selfish to say - especially from someone who wasn't as close to her - that it hurts to know someone who barely brushed your life and made such an impact in it is dying a slow death, even moreso when you know their time has finally come. In truth Osprey started dropping off her presence in Second Life just as I made mine. But there is no priority in how someone touches a life or plants seeds of inspiration.

Osprey showed me early on that there was more to Second Life than avatars, Linden dollars and parcels.  This place has amazing potential limited only by the imagination, and much of Os' imagination brought people together and enriched them all.

A recent machinima of Osprey's ride into the sunset with some friends before MS claimed her in both worlds.


Farewell Osprey Therian, from your neighbor across the river.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Keep Calm & AR Lunatics on Witch Hunts

I got this drop down message from someone named Tantra Breen offering an NC called YOU ARE THE ASSOCIATE OF A COPYBOTTER!

I didn't open mine up. I AR'ed it with the drop down on the right and her profile on the left. Then I hit mute. Who knew what it had in it?

A few friends of mine got it. One did open it:


We are compiling a grid-wide list of known copybotters AND ALL OF THEIR ASSOCIATES.

We have seen your name in association with Kyraxy, a KNOWN COPYBOTTER.

We recommend that your remove this person from your group, otherwise the entire members list will be put on our grid-wide ban list as associates of a known copybotter

It's terrible that a few people can ruin the reputation of so many, buyt it is your choice to associate with known copybotters, there has to be a price for sheltering them, conspiring with them or at the very least, condoning their criminal behavior.

In a few days we will come back and check on the associations, and if still valid, YOUR NAME AND ALL OF YOUR MEMBERS will be put on th grid-wide ban list.

Let's clean up SL and fight back!


Ban the Botters United

I don't think a copybotter would have targeted me. I don't exactly have any award winning stuff out of my own things. I don't script. I don't create mesh. And I am almost 3 months behind on RL rent. Aren't copybotters rich and stuff?

All in all this message was a TOS violation on many levels. Still is, if she's still distributing her NC of Terror.

One of my friends confronted Tantra Breen. Apparently - get this - she has some sort of hitlist of copybotters, and if any of them has joined your group, you're not a potential victim but an associate and in cahoots!  Well that's just insane. Tantra Breen is just as much trouble to innocent residents as any copybotter at this point with their threats.

It couldn't have been one of my groups so I'll assume they got my name from one of the larger groups to which I belong.

Don't let some harassing psycho scare you. Just AR the nutjob.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What Just Happened?

After an unprecedented 8 hour sleep to mark the start of my week off from work, a backache ensued the likes of which I haven't had the privilege of tolerating without painkillers. It was so long ago since anything like that occurred that I could still take something for a muscle spasm.

The night before was confusing. As I worked on things for the campsite, many people were around me and just stared in quiet judgement. Only one person typed in full conversations. After about 3-4 hours someone hugged me. As it turned out they were in voice, talking to me without bothering to talk to me. I haven't had that happen in some time: that time in 2011 on Katrina sim, and before at TMA, which I stopped hanging out at when some people simply stopped talking to anyone who didn't use voice (apparently we didn't count in a conversation).  That's when I started to use the term "voice snobs."  There was someone who hired me a few times to DJ and it got to a point when, during a group meet for a project or fundraiser (I don't recall which; it was over a year ago), she asked in her only typed line if someone had voice. I've always felt she stopped having me play at her parties because I don't use voice.  And of course I was removed from RFL Kickoff Day lineup because it was all going to radio and a full on mixer was required.  It still remains to be seen if an invitation to play tunes at a beach party was conveniently forgotten because I don't interrupt songs with "thankyouverymuch".

I've said time and again to friends that if group limits weren't an issue I'd start "DJs without Voices" in an effort to fight against discrimination. We get tipped the least. People don't read text. There could be privacy reasons of any number of scenarios, medical, role play (I've heard voices coming from avatars which should at least attempt to squeaken up a little to not ruin the illusion), and of course technical. It's a shame because some of my favorite DJs JUST play and their typing a comment does not interfere with the music. It's just an ideal match.  That and personally that's when I finally am sitting long enough to eat a meal.

Privacy: the identity thing is bullshit. It's not for their protection but ours. For them I have a story: I saw an online community started in an effort to rival Cybertown back in 2005 where the owner ONLY had people in managerial positions if they spoke with you on the phone. For those willing to do that it was instant admin tools - and utter disaster for the site, which shut down as quickly as it sprouted up. You can't trust anyone on voice any more you can in text; conning didn't begin with the Internet.

Technical has become a class distinction which elitists basically feel to heck with you if you prefer to experience Second Life without crashing every other minute because we're expected to at least activate voice. That's when lag happens, and worse than atmospheric shaders. And for what, destroying an illusion? Hearing someone eating? Another's mouth moving to a baby crying in the background?  You pay for the gamers computer and you'll have a say.

In the meantime, if you're my friend: don't snub me because you're in voice. Talk to me. You know how. I can't imagine anyone not worth typing a little here and there to, or having a full conversation with - if they're worth being called a friend they're worth some verbal interaction.

This all runs parallel to my character's persona of having struggled from being regarded as an automaton confined to a room for years, then gradually gaining privileges and a means to function with a portable device, being accepted as a member of a starship crew, having that crew accompany him to court to prove sentience and win him equal rights under the law...

And then the confinement thing. That we went over last year about how no one should ever needle me to partcipate in Jail n Bail.  Someone I was getting up the nerve to ask for friendship confined me for a joke, and it wasn't very funny at all. Actually the confinement sported a texture of slurs.  I guess I've been sad for a few days; this started it. 

I should be happy and thrilled for Relay Weekend but things keep happening that make me sad. I thought about this as I lit luminaria beside an artist friend's installation because a handful of people selfishly lit all of them along the team's campsite and into the next. I always must remind myself that I need to focus on the bigger picture.

Add to this the fact that Firestorm - after about a thousand tweaks (clearly their vintage skin and hybrid mode settings aren't enough) functions with just one issue (where a filtered search in inventory does not remain at the top but scrolls down chaotically through a jillion opening folders), only to find it's a memory hog and bogs me down after a fairly short time. This time not just in SL but the entire Windows session is labored.  Relay Weekend won't be easy.

I'm going to try to sleep some more.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

SL10B Cake Stage Tuesday 18 June 11am-1pm SLT

Like medals...
Sometimes things work out, and this was too important not to.

As it turned out (or so I've been told) a number of people had hassles, so Loon was taken off the team. 

I put out feelers for possible openings and was approached with several options for the cake stage. On Tuesday 18 June from 11am-1pm SLT I'll be there. The way on foot is a little daunting, so try this hyperlink if you'll be around and want to check out my set.  I reckon it will be a cross between this, that and the other thing.

On Friday evening from 7:30pm SLT I'll be providing the tunes for Bay City.  At noon SLT I'll be DJing for Burn2 for their Conception themed festival. They always celebrate on the playa opposite SLBirthdays, as the grid's founders were RL burners.

Seems Newsers have helped some talents with a series of exhibit-bound gigs.  Now that's community!

Swung by my would-be exhibitor's parcel and was pleased to find that it went to someone who made good use of it.

I would be remiss if I didn't thank those on staff who helped me get through this and regain a performance slot.  You're all terrific!

At the SL10B Cake Tree Stage

Saturday, June 8, 2013

How Not to Treat a Radiophobe (or, why I will be scarce at SL10B)

This picture would just as soon never have happened.
 The following is a series of accounts which explain why I returned my SL10B parcel and why my presence in SL10B will be limited to a 7Seas freebie and DJing for Bay City.  There will be no presentation this year and I won't be playing tunes on a stage.  Since I was accused of lying and slander it's important that the actual documentation be presented. Fortunately none of the SL IMs are necessary and there are no restrictions on anything else.

First, some backstory. Last year's SL9B experience was marred by my having been assigned a stage consisting of dusty ruins in the middle of a lifeless desert. To some that was a grand build. To me if you're in a place like Second Life, make it the way it was during its heyday, when it was colorful and populated. But hey I'm not the artist. Also it was a culturally personal offense.

I think the key points missed in the selection process for stages are two things:

1. Unlike those who get free parcels, the entertainment is not "gifted" their timeslot. They're doing a gig for nothing and settling for whatever people choose to tip them. If anybody's taking a "we're doing you a favor" position then let's call it all what it is. This is free talent for SL Birthdays. That makes the gift from all of us to the residents.

2. Celebrating diversity doesn't mean dumping people randomly into environments they are not attuned to or actually find hostile. When someone is doing something they are otherwise paid for, don't you think there should at least be some consideration and a portion of the application which could glean what their style of music and interests in cyberculture would be?  Too much work? Okay. Well, the following links were posted on Twitter and are timestamped from June 2012. More people see my tweets about Second Life than anything else I type off the grid.

Fast forward to May 2013. I looked forward to SL10B like you wouldn't believe. It would be my fifth one as a participant.  When I got my parcel assignment I spent an hour on Memorial day flying through the sims to see what had already been built and what there were for public venues. Not surprisingly, in the same spot on the map (the two easternmost sims to the south) displayed discoloration which was reminiscent of that previous year's desert.  What I saw when I reached there was a bit shocking: twin nuclear silos in a desert devoid of vegetation.

My first thought: where the hell is the stage?
My second thought: oh god I can't be scheduled here. I just can't.

I really don't care how they relate such a setting to celebration or the future of Second Life.  Clearly this was a place for cyberpunks, of which I'm not.  In fact you'll find most people into Steampunk a bit on the resentful side that Cyberpunks call their dirty, post-apocalyptic aesthetic "Steampunk" to begin with. There is no doubt a subculture in Second Life who would appreciate that place and consider it a picnic. I should never ever be filed into that category is all, particularly with all the other options in evidence, such as:

 I dropped hints prematurely in the following exchange in group chat which many organizers saw. I got a talking to in IM by Dr G (I thought it was the exhibitors group and it wasn't, so my bad there) following which I ended with that last bit:

[2013/05/27 13:45]  Holocluck Henly: That tree stage like a mushroom tree thing looks great. Who made it? the one in the water?
[2013/05/27 13:45]  GOLAN Eilde: oh you holoc your about to get an email in a day or 2 :D
[2013/05/27 13:45]  Holocluck Henly: :)
[2013/05/27 13:46]  dudarling Supermarine: kaz made that one holo
[2013/05/27 13:46]  Holocluck Henly: Just so you know I have a phobia about radiation
[2013/05/27 13:46]  Holocluck Henly: even as a hologram
[2013/05/27 13:46]  Harper Beresford: exhibitors, read this: http://slcommunitycelebration.com/2013/05/27/harper-answers-your-mail-exhibitor-questions/
[2013/05/27 13:47]  GOLAN Eilde: Harperrrrrrrrr yr here too :D
[2013/05/27 13:47]  Harper Beresford: i am EVERYWHERE
[2013/05/27 13:47]  GOLAN Eilde: just so you all know i havent seen my stage :D yet lmao
[2013/05/27 13:47]  Holocluck Henly: Kaz... is it mesh? it has that mesh look to it the mushroomy tree thing
[2013/05/27 13:48]  Holocluck Henly: Yay harper :)
[2013/05/27 13:48]  GOLAN Eilde: i will see you in my stage then :D
[2013/05/27 13:48]  GOLAN Eilde: right back to emails :D
[2013/05/27 13:49]  Holocluck Henly: so aboout the one with the Disney characters
[2013/05/27 13:49]  Harper Beresford: no disney.. walt may get us from his grave
[2013/05/27 13:51]  ChloeElectra Resident: EA available if anyone needs any help :)
[2013/05/27 13:51]  Holocluck Henly: shhh I'm trying to give people more false info
[2013/05/27 13:51]  Harper Beresford laughs

So I woke up late that night (early Tuesday morning May 28) and went to check messages as I often do if I have some medical symptoms (no need to go into specifics) and just distract myself till they subside. This took place in GMail...

Hi there! My name is GOLAN Eilde and on behalf of the Performance team, we'd like to welcome you as a performer for this year.

Using your application availability, we've scheduled you for June 21, 2013  Friday  8 AM slt on the  DJ Stage. You must confirm this slot prior to June 1, 2013 or we will reassign it. If the time does not work for you, we will do our best to reschedule but cannot guarantee an alternative slot.

< skip rules for bevity >

Congratulations, and thank you for contributing your talent to SL10B!


Thanks [Golan]. I confirm. I'm in the USA in NYC and I use winamp with a shoutcast plug-in to stream.

Could you please define "DJ stage" as I had a very unhappy experience last year. I do not play depressing, desolate or post-apocalyptic areas, and I saw this year there was an atomic power plant for a stage. I will not play there. It's a terrible place and not in the spirit of a celebration. If I've been exiled to this place, I'm sure something can be done to have me play at one of the more optimistic and alive stages.
Holocluck Henly


We're sorry you will not be able to join us this year.


Just like that. No "I'll see what we can do" and no switching with someone scheduled opposite on another stage. No recollection of what I typed while he was active in group chat with me the previous day. Nobody thought then "we should switch Holocluck with someone else. He shouldn't be assigned a nuclear power plant."

I was lifted high high up then dropped on jagged rocks. Or so that's how it felt. It was devastating. So keep in mind from here on how I feel and how I wanted to see a solution.

I spoke with an EA (exhibitors assistant) friend I knew and shared the email. She suggested assistant in charge of entertainment KT to speak with since Loon was majorly busy.  I posted the email exchange on my Facebook page since they had apparently hidden the Notes feature. This was because I didn't want to have to repaste or explain over and over what happened. My Facebook page is usually private and my status posts don't venture far from the source. Also most of my friends are either on staff, don't care, or are too busy playing Zynga games to care about manual posts.  I gave only KT the link to the post to explain what happened to me and how I had a phobia and didn't even own a microwave etc and that it wasn't fair that I was assigned that or nothing.  The post explained also that I am aware Golan was just doing his job and speaking on behalf of SL10B's organizers.  I went to bed after feeling some sort of optimism that someone in charge could be more diplomatic and help.

The morning brought more disappointment. KT had replied that she designed both stages and that she wouldn't be much help (aka lacked objectivity or the notion that maybe not everyone found a nuclear power plant to be an ideal place to throw a party). She seemed more concerned that I was "plastering people's names all over facebook."

So it seemed she was under all the wrong impressions.  And yeah it didn't sound like there would be much help to be had from her corner.

Loon IMed me on Facebook. By the tone of his message KT probably tattled in a dramatic tone instead of escalated my situation - as we do in the real world of customer care and damage control. Remember I've already been dropped onto the rocks by this situation. I'm coming to these people for help. It hurts to type the same junk over and over again. I intentionally used a low-profile place instead of this blog to keep the Email exchange.

5/29 7:47am EDT Loon: Open your post about SL10B up to comments if you want to be HONEST about what's going on.

Honest. In caps. Someone suggests I lied about something. Any idea from what you see where there is anything untrue? Were they going to disclaim that they could be callous, antipathic or incapable of actually helping people? Wasn't sure what he had to comment about other than 'we're sorry for any misunderstanding. Of COURSE we'll look into this right away' and really he didn't need to comment in the post for that. It was only for reference to show the exchange.

Here was my reply. We don't want anyone thinking I've lied about anything...

Me, 8:24am EDT - You'd have to be a friend to comment; it isnt a blog and normally my posts are not visible to the public, but I didnt want to have to write it over and over and over again. you want to give an explanation of why I was stuck there, good. you want to be good customer service and get me to a place that isnt about death and pain then fine. I made it clear how I felt last year, and that was a bit devastating and power to me I rose above it and played there anyway. But I am not about this. I am about light and LIFE. I am in SL to leave destruction and death behind. And I dont own a microwave. That mushroom stage is BEAUTIFUL. It's a perfect example of what makes SL worth coming to. btw here's last year's documentation: http://www.flickr.com/photos/holocluck/7433908576/ Sorry we have to friend under these circumstances. Frankly I wont go into how I felt and what I went through last night when I read the news

What he did before I even read his latest and add him was share the post on his newsfeed so his friends could say things like "well I think it's a beautiful nuclear power plant!" So basically what he did was abuse my trust and exploit my post and my pained situation to garner confirmation from his friends that everything was handled just fine.

Me, 6:12pm EDT - I looked to you as someone who could help and all you did was spread my post to garner sympathy for your friends. I was very wrong about you and KT and a lot of people. Not a problem. you can play god with other people and you can place them wherever you feel with as callous a regard antipathy can bring. I will not be part of it.

Loon 5/30 11:42am EDT - There is no help to be had, Holodoc.... Stages are already booked- there's no where else to move you. You made very inaccurate and slanderous statements about the team working on this community celebration- they needed to be addressed. I suggest that, in the future, you don't publicly post something on Facebook you don't want people to respond to.

Wondered at this point if he knew what "inaccurate" and "slanderous" meant. Or "honest" for that matter. btw it should be stated that wondering doesn't mean I've slandered. Not a word of this has been changed.

Me 5/30 11:56am EDT - You'll have to point out the inaccurate and slanderous statements.

I DID notice you missed that I said Golan was speaking on behalf of SL10B and wasn't personally at fault.

I did find it shoddy you couldn't swap me with someone on another stage, seeing as staff so easily play god and throw people into environments without an iota of consideration of culture, aesthetics or sensitivity.

Like I said: you're not my people.

Me 5/30 11:57am - btw YOU posted it everywhere. I posted it so I didnt have to relive the BS over and over again and it would be one place for it to be read. My own friends are either already on staff or dont care and play zynga games all day.

...Said as much earlier.

Loon 5/30 12:57pm EDT - I posted it on my own timeline since you disabled commenting- I did no further posting. If you had not disabled commenting I would have only commented on your message. You created the situation- blaming me for your mistakes will not change that.

This is where he's wrong. He wasn't a friend at first (remember this was just for display) and I eventually added him so he could comment.  The fact is he just didn't want to wait for me to have a lunch break before I could check Facebook that previous day. A bit disrespectful and a bit rude to think this touchy matter was available to fling about.  Sort of how this whole thing was handled. I suspect Loon is in a radically different timezone than I am - and lacks the consideration that maybe he should wait for someone to catch up. He said in the posts that I was bumped down to the bottom of another stage's list and not to expect to play unless someone cancelled. Well by then I wasn't expecting to anyway. I had given my parcel back and washed my hands of SL10B for allowing people like that to be in any form of authority - or allowed to interact with people in any helper capacity.

I had by about this time deleted the post since it didn't serve its purpose (presumably all shares of it disappeared with it) and unfriended the hostile.

Me 5/30 1:23pm EDT -  You asked me to add you so you could post. I did. so?

me 5/30 1:39pm EDT - I wonder whether you're ever wrong about anything? I bet you aren't

I mean, how can I write lies if I pasted the actual mailing. When the sims open to the public it goes to blog and people can see without editing how curt the rejection response was instead of "let's see what we can do to swap you with someone at that time" like real support would do. I dont have to say a thing, and you can't call the actual exchange "lies"

Loon 6/1 11:18pm EDT - You make it up as you go along. Nothing I wrote said you lied.

*Does a doubletake*  You saw that, right? I haven't been honest, I've made slanderous and inaccurate statements, but I haven't lied about anything.  This was getting beyond ridiculous.

Me 6/2 7:42pm EDT - " You made very inaccurate and slanderous statements about the team working on this community celebration-" Now go away. I'm done with SL10B and your drama. You just love to hear yourself talk.

I can admit that I was choking up earlier in the week when I gave back that parcel. People have been asking what happened and I didn't want to say anything because the stages weren't yet revealed to the public. But now that the power plant has been posted in their blog I'm at liberty to relate all this.

One final note.  Loon works for neostreams support, a company I've given 1000L per month for my audio stream for about a year.  I will not be renewing this month. It means Loon gets some of my money and that's just not acceptable. I will go to another stream service. Someone like that wouldn't have lasted here in RL.  The company I work for turned 50 this year. You think this sort of support for their field employees and freelancers would have gotten us this far?  We're ALL people here, and you don't diss someone for having a phobia - and for fighting the cancers those silos and more cause each year during Relay For Life. 

So no, other than some humane and civilized behavior and an apology for the shitty way I was treated, I don't want anything more to do with SL10B beyond what I mentioned.

Monday, March 25, 2013

How Did I Do?

I have absolutely no idea.  But I do see a hack in the voting. What if someone with money spread it around to their friends to give to the kiosk to win?  And seeing as how one may vote for oneself there's just no getting around the fact that as a competition the CRFB has no real merit for a winner. Certainly not enough to gauge quality.

If I even get to round 2 I'll be pleased, as people who attended had a good time and I'd get to do it again. But no illusions: I am a relative unknown in the genre, and not being rich - or low enough to pad the competition with side bribes to friends - it probably won't go further.

That's my objective view and I'm good with it here.  If it weren't a fundraiser I wouldn't be too thrilled, but even during my time I raised a fair amount for Relay For Life, and that's the most important thing.  And working with very nice people, which is also a great thing and made it really a fun hour.

If I get past the first round maybe more will show up for the next one by word of mouth ;) I certainly won't complain, but I remain grounded.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mainland Snails and Tux with Tails

A new era in Nova Albion.  At least on MY parcels.  As it rolls over into its ninth year, I've traded the pastel of Retro Metro for the hematite & neon aqua of Nova Pier.  It's  back to the futuristic urban look so lacking in recent years.  I filed a ticket for a possible land swap with the Lindens.  There's a patch of theirs running through my space I want in exchange for some end piece which they're encroaching on for a bridge.

Fishing seems a better match for me at 5pmish SLT on weekdays.  It skirts around the usual events including Toontown and the fishers have more options that hour.

Will still be doing Saturdays at 6 at this point, but I may prefer Sundays at 5 instead. We'll see...

Made a housecall last night before bed.  Someone in New Toulouse needed help with setting up their kiosk.  Mystifying issues I can hope to look forward to when I make the transition to Firestorm...

Saturday 23rd is the first Giant Snail Relay of the season.  This time around instead of purchasing scarves RacerX asks for participants to make a donation of their choice in one of his team's kiosks.  I hope to see a lot of relayers there :)

Sunday as part of Relay Rockers DJ competition I'm scheduled to play a 1-hour set from 2pm SLT.  I have no idea what to expect, other than I'll be an underdog regardless. If people enjoy the music that's important. And it doesn't hurt if they give to the kiosk.

As I close this entry, I've received an email from the Lindens, who have accepted my proposal for a landswap and set the middle piece.  Something to look forward to following Grey.

Look for a poster this evening for my Sunday DJing gig and new chalk for the holidays

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cautiously Proceeding with Stuff

Busy month ahead. 

There's something important Saturday I'm forgetting.  Not sure what it is.  I should spend that time making stuff:  special RFL trophies, special comemmorative shirt for Sunday (more on that in a minute), and a building. 

Why a building?  I will be making a Relay For Life "shop" for the vendors I put together, much the way I did with the wall on the cliff last year.  This means anything I've sold at an event or special weekend will become available there.

The thing is, where should this be?  It can be part of Hydrangea or I can do something at Sistiana.  The Retro Metro is not bringing in anybody if the traffic is any indication, so maybe it's time to build something different there.  There's even more land to the south, but at an angle it's difficult to put something down.

Saturday night fishing will feature a St Paddy's playlist. I've been too busy to do a fishing contest on Thursdays, so I'll be dropping that one and keep just Saturday night.

Sunday following RL stuff it's Nova Albion's 9th Anniversary Parade and afterparty. This year's theme will be circus, so come festive ;) Looks like the stilt bitchez got involved, so grab the freebie stilts at the parade's staging area - and don't stand underneath the outhouse.

But first today in Toontown are waves of Backstabber Lawbot invasions.  Beware the Ides of March! I'll be busy this evening.

The following weekend is the first Giant Snail Relay of 2013 on 23 March; get your snail avatar & route info from the poster on the side of my diner.

Supposedly I'll have a gig for the first wave of the RFL DJ competition.  I don't expect miracles, particularly with the genre's demands for voice and excessive trance.  But can't hurt to try.

The following weekend is RFL's country / 90s theme.  The team has a shop I understand.  I'll be hosting a couple of 7Seas fishing contests on the 30th, so look for them.

I'm looking vaguely beyond Ostara because I'll be taking a test next week which may or may not have lasting effects.  Once that's out of the way I can plan beyond March. I'll make stuff in the meantime.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Relay stuffs...

Got the impression Relay Rap happened inworld, only a location SLURL was not shared.  Wonder if it's all-audio from here on?

Joining RFL ADvocacy may have been a natural fit, as I use social networking to promote RFL happenings and events.  Many migrated friends are doing what they can in their own way as they feel comfortable with, and that's fine too.  A few are new to RFL of SL, having only heard of it in past years. Give them a taste of being part of a greater whole and get comfortable in it. Even that feels good :)

April 2010.  I'd just acquired an irregular patch of abandoned land I had my eye on for months when it finally went to auction.  Following a consecration ceremony I placed The Starship Diner, adapted from The Golden Yak Diner I built for that previous Second Life Winterfest season.

During the housewarming party, DJ GoSpeed Racer called out to RacerX Gullwing, who was checking the route for a cross-country Giant Snail Race for Relay For Life. Like many in Second Life I'd only heard about RFL, and at the time wasn't aware of Treet TV (or Metaverse TV) programs. I knew RacerX from Lummerland Show & Tell and his reputation for amazing fireworks. He was in the area because the snails were going to pass my land on Saturday!

I reached out to him the following morning after building an observation platform.  He sent me info, a Treet media screen, and took my LM for his master list of observation locales.  I contacted MamaP who provided me with a kiosk. 

Soon a crowd formed and the snails came winding down the road toward us. High up as we were, they were taller than the platform. It was quite a sight.

Snurky had the nerve to try them in May or June through Skybeam Estates.

That's how I was first involved with Relay For Life.  Snurky continues with the relays (see her March 23rd for this year's first one), and I sell annual editions of Snail Racing cartoon shirts under Racer's team.  Last year I also helped with some art for Racer's Bay City Giant Snail relay hunt.  You can always get Giant Snail Relay info at my diner. Look for the new styles of original Giant Snail Relay shirts sometime this month.

Last year I had a wall where I kept an accumulation of vendors. This year I'm not entirely sure of where to place these. There's a space beside the gallery where I can put a wall or little market I suppose. Not entirely sure yet. Wish there was something lowprim & Aley I could utilize that isn't too gritty and fits an inland theme... let me know if you have any suggestions :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Oops He Did It Again

LOL did you see what he did? Right there in the comments...

God's gift to Doctor Who fandom blah blah blah.  Did he once say anything like: "That's preposterous.  I love New Toulouse and was making the rounds of speakeasies and dives in Second Life before you knew what a 'Radio Riel' was."  He doesn't know shit or give a rat's ass about New Toulouse and its culture.  It's all about adding a rezzer to turn someone's carefully nurtured estate into a fanboy playground for him and his friends.  He was caught trying to put a rezzer with a 1960s police box in the town square without asking in January. Still caught up with trying to get his bearings on becoming an estate owner, the new mayor of New Toulouse was unaware of how irrelevent the thing was to the community, thought he was accommodating a resident, bought the fake stats of how most of the local populace needed it (so not true), and agreed to let Victor plop it down on the pier. Then Victor plopped down 3 more.  All set to role play category and the objects set to materialize as British and/or modern structures.  They are oblivious to the SL RPG edge of Whovian subculture and he preyed on that ignorance to get his way.

And here's the winner.  If you've come from his blog or anything he's said about me, read on to see how he relies on your ignorance to make a point...

Anyone who is familiar with the basics of parcel management knows that as long as an object is set to group, it stays.  Victor has no business remaining in the New Toulouse Parish group. He doesn't need to be there in order to maintain his rezzers.  Everyone else was kicked out 2 weeks ago for the group to be used exclusively by management, so how do you think this would look if the Taloosters - many of whom were not pleased with this group change - knew some outsider whose prims rezzed covenant-unfriendly content, was kept on unneccessarily with these privileges and his ear to owner and EMs' executive conversations and the ability to build on estate land? 

You think someone like Victor - who's served as an admin for several estates - doesn't know this? Of course he does.  He knows everything, remember?  The thing is, he relies on YOU not knowing so you buy his excuse.

Btw while I was pleased to see Nodster as new captain of the Whovians' RFL team, the only activity or contribution to the team thus far has been from Victor, who had to give up teamwork when he ascended to join the relay's committee.  I made my rounds to the team shops and floats yesterday and was going to donate to their kiosk when "victor1st mornington" was the owner I'd give money to.  I stopped right there. RFL management please note that the only change in his involvement this year for that team is that Victor's name does not appear on their team roster.  For all we know Nodster is being used as a front.  We don't know of course, only what we see so far, and I'm getting a whiff from that direction.  Watch that space for violations... We can anticipate he or an alt will have built their relay campsite come July.

So kids, what have we learned from this?  That fandom is shitty business. Yes, this has all been done over  fandom.  Sad isn't it? Cheating, manipulating, lying... every sort of malicious act imaginable.  IT'S A SHOW.  SOME CREATORS HAVE MADE SOME COOL STUFF IN SL AROUND IT.  OKAY FINE.  It's fun to travel in a TARDIS and all, and some people have invented interesting characters and had adventures etc., and that's fine too.  But THIS... this level of activity I've been observing over the past 2+ years by Victor is simply the sign of a sick mind.  Where I live this behavior is so way out there. And then there's the whole following me around stuff.  I'll beg off some themed estates for now.

I wonder what The Doctor would think?

Tell you one thing. He made things easier to happen. The Tower card. To be honest, the Aether Chrononauts captains are now ready to define their team the way they want. They don't need someone proactive to run the RFL-hosted events for them and do what they should be doing.  I switched to a team run by a former committee member with some friends in tow.  I know he's going to be participating in everything and I can step back as I'd hoped to this year. There are at least two operations I'm facing after a certain unpleasant test is conducted next week.  I just have to survive that one and I can look to the future.

I think after filtering out victor's vituperous haze over my blog post (he so loves to rat), they found that my blog was essentially a neurotic's introspection, that in general I distrust everyone and need reassurance about everything.  They ultimately realized that I found them to be wonderful people and quickly getting into sync with the RFL experience.  They really are good folk, and being thrown into a test of fire has proven them to be very resilient.  We parted diplomatically and I shared my master photoshop docs with their co-captain.

If there's one thing you can rely on: when I say I like someone or something, you know I'm not bullshitting. The only thing fake about me is my avatar.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thought We Got Rid of Him...

Sometimes I'd rather be fishin'...
Victor's convinced New Toulouse' estate management that he's god's gift to timelords and their authority over themed private estates. They can have him, the police boxes which rez outdoors against covenant, and the RP category he's placed them under rather than Social (that alone is a slap in the face of New Toulouse).  The management didn't ask their own people to provide these for the community, only accommodated someone's personal roleplay.

They should be very proud of themselves that a bully with no interest in the populace or theme chased out one of its own to assert themselves.  Nothing says disconnect like four rezzers with modern and British structures at the ready.  Gabrielle Riel added him to the resident group and he never left. No, I don't know what he was doing there. One of the things I liked about NT was that he wasn't there. Then he was. You don't think he's a stalker? Suit yourself.  Personally if we never crossed paths again I wouldn't object.

I let the meter run out.  Someone I know needed more prims anyway.  I tried to get a journalist to hold off on a review of Maison Bleu, but he was insistent on posting it.

I'll still be there for the community.  Those who share a bond and true connection with the culture and its music dominate the New Toulouse.  A few places offered for me to play tunes at their establishments, so I won't be gone.  And of course I remain their liaison for the Aether Chrononauts during Relay For Life season.
I've learned the Aether Chrononauts have a perennial logo.  I made some clip art of it available to team members so that they can include it in some form on events/vendor textures - in a corner of the graphic or something.

I have been this close to making my own team for Relay For Life but for 3 things:

1. If I hadn't gone to Wildstar Beaumont there wouldn't be an AC team this year. There's an accountability I cannot deny. In fairness though he should have said there wouldn't be one instead of plucking someone unfamiliar with RFL to run the team.  That's hardly fair to anybody incl them. What would have been the harm if it took a year's hiatus? Still it's done and he went through a lot to find someone. We have a team thanks to him.

I want to say though the captains are very sweet and helpful, but I think they try too hard. The unique thing about AC is that it is comprised of disparate cultures, who work out whatever according to their own communities while contributing towards a single total. The only real place we have to synchronize our schedules is for RFL hosted events where the team works together. But they're learning. I think once the intimidation of the whole thing fades and they get more comfortable, they'll be fine.

2. The campsite. I'm not making one. Don't even ask.

3. A friend reminded me that the end result is the most important thing.  I must not ever forget that. If they just leave me be to do what I do and help the team by keeping members informed and equipped plus coordinating Teams R Us weekends lineups then it'll be good.

I'm proud to have brought on so many people, some new to Relay For Life. I couldn't do it with my own team. The objectivity would be gone. We'll see how this season pans out. I have a lot to prove after my experiences last year.

The first Teams R Us mini-gig is this Saturday: Kick-off Day. Have some team folks planned to provide vendors in addition to myself. Look for new shirts and Second Line Umbrellas :)  I'd have signed on for Cartoon World Gallery to have a booth in Fashion For Life but I didn't have the money to register.

Here's to more good times and helping people leave their bad times behind. GO RELAY!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Carnivale Time!

Partying & fishing in Maison Bleu for Mardi Gras


Mardi Gras morning.  I took off a long weekend as I do each year.  In New Orleans everyone is off from work today.  Either you join the throng or watch coverage on TV.  It's like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade but all day.

Rogue ride through New Toulouse - image by Robin Sprocket
Second Life is Second Life.  As great the spirit is in New Toulouse, no one gets that Mardi Gras in New Orleans bears little resemblance to Carnivale in Rio.

Rogue ride through New Toulouse - image by Robin Sprocket
In Brasil the elabourate costumes and scantily clad dancers are iconic.  Just as with the Macy's parade the people on the float are incidental in New Orleans.  They almost always wear harlequin style or French Revolution with color and scheme to complement the floats' designs.  They are faceless individuals behind masks who throw beads and trinkets. The float is the thing and up for an award.
Rogue ride through New Toulouse - image by Robin Sprocket
Mardi Gras runs for several weeks to give all the Krewes their chance to make their routes.  Many krewes consist of several subgroups or "inner krewes" (if only one team with one float paraded it would very short :P).  The krewe declares a theme and their inner krewes run with it.
Collision with the streetcar - image by Panza Eilde
This is all very layman. For a better understanding of krewes and New Orleans during Mardi Gras visit this website: http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/schedule/parade-info/parades.html
Yes, there is even a Krewe of Chewbacchus for SciFi fans!

Want to say here that I don't object in any way for incorporating Carnivale practises with Mardi Gras tradition. It's great and what makes Second Life special. Here we create our own culture unique to anyone else.
My annual Mardi Gras party w/a final fishing contest in NT
I can imagine had I never left that I would be in Krew Delusion; I'm acquainted with some members via Second Life.  Through them I've learned that being in a krewe is a year-round thing, from marching in the local St Patricks Day parade to raising money for charity.  Krewes are very special.
Partying in Maison Bleu
New Toulouse was party central for the long weekend. The Mardi Gras parade was a challenge last Saturday but a lot of fun.  We had some technical incidents which defied logic, like inexplicably landing hundreds of meters north on a sandbar in another sim. Carter DJed for the estate stream, which no one can top. I got to hear Carter 3 times :) with Nawlins and Chinese New Year stuff. I had two events, today my annual Mardi Gras party. Later several hopped on the float and I took them around the city. Thanks go out to Robin Sprocket and Panza Eilde for the snapshots in this post.
Petunia's Crawfish Dumpling Wingding for MG & CNY w/DJ Carter
With Mardi Gras out of the way, it's all about Relay For Life with some preliminary planning for SL10B and 7Seas Fishiversary's Wood-themed anniversary. I've become co-captain with the Aether Chrononauts which give New Toulouse a reliable connection to resources and a definite Relay presence.  Bay City is on board too with its own contacts. Steampunk and Dieselpunk will share a presence together (I suppose we're in between). Too soon to tell whether Skybeam will join the team this year.
It's never Mardi Gras without Carter's celebration at Madhu's Café

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

This Thursday: World Tunes during Fishing!

I've always wanted to do a "world" set at one of my places.  The International Hour during last year's RFL weekend was very well received and I shouldn't hesitate now that I run my own biweekly events AND run an establishment with a French name.


Thursday the 31st's Fishing in New Toulouse will feature a set of song sung in anything but English.

Tunes will include:

Old Jazz classics
Electro Swing
Alternate takes of top 40 hits by their original artists
An excuse to play something by Kyare Pamyu Pamyu

Languages will include:

How about that? And all danceable.

They're wondering whether I'll play anything in Korean...

I'd include Chinese but it's impossible to rip my 80's Leslie cassette.

Will I see you at Maison Bleu tomorrow night?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Bullies and Bums

What a difference two weeks makes in Second Life.

It's now springtime on Skybeam. Beautiful. I always whine and say that winter is too short, then I look and say "Ahhhh"

Cordova Level Griefing at Dat's Placezzzz

We were griefed last week at the beach.  For some time this jerk in an insultingly stereotypical gay cruiser avvie would shove between a hetero avvie couple and lean against the male and start sweet talking during fishing contests around the grid.  He seems to have gotten away with it enough (thanks to incompetent fishing hosts, who think that they're being paid JUST to click a START button).  First time this happened I contacted the site's owner, who was shocked & considered giving his hosts banhammer access.  I told its victims that the snert wouldn't last long at Dat's or my places. 

Finally he came to Dat's last week when I hosted. I IMed him immediately that if he approaches them he would be gone.  He did his usual shove routine and went up against the guy. I froze him, then kickbanned him. Then he replied to my IM that he was done and he'd be good.  I told it that he sure will - from 45m away.  The result was an accumulation of self-replicating griefer balls outside the property, raining  down "Yif off, fur fags" posters on a quarter of the beach. Yeah I know: infohub noob griefer shit.  I just let everyone know how to turn off particles.

He then started to sweet talk in group chat, something 7seas Sass had been waiting for.  They were careful up until then about keeping antics out of 7Seas' jurisdiction. After that evening he was never seen or heard from again in 7Seas Social... Btw I think it's a female and I think I know who it may be. Obviously nothing better to do with themselves.

Witchwoods... New Toulouse... Musical Sims...

It is winter in Gabrielle Riel's new community.  For a week Carter's World Music show was practically lag free before more renters came on the sim.
One of my friends has a cottage by the sea w/cable
My discombobulated friend left New Toulouse last week with little word. Rumor is she expected an estate manager position and took her toys and left when it didn't happen.  Sigh... Illusory power... Thought New Toulouse meant more to her as a community. Guess I was mistaken.

I know from unqualified estate managers.  As I was looking around last week at witchwoods to see where assorted friends landed, I was accosted via IM in a manner not unlike from a territorial redneck.  Clearly someone didn't want my kind there.  Note that I said managers and not owners. Owners: nepotism only goes so far sometimes.

7Seas' Women Under Siege?

So what is it about females who are being victimized in the 7Seas community?  Second friend in a year told me that a lunatic tried to bully her from out of the blue to be his sextoy.  Could it be the same one who chased a mother of two from Second Life in 2012?  For sure the wrong one left Second Life! 

Remember when there was a G-Team?  Remember when a Linden Lab CEO cared?  Wtf is this "be my sex slave or I'll hack your account" shit?  A crime's a crime and this person needs to be taken offline and either into an institution or behind bars.  I told her you should have said you were an over-65 grandma and your husband just saw his chat." She laughed. We haven't lost HER yet at least.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Toulouse en Fluxe

New Toulouse in its recent incarnation
Change can be tough, no doubt about it.

When you're steeped in commitment but have lost the spirit, what do you do?

You may plod on as best you can with what you have and hope it doesn't show. Perhaps you get your friends to take on some of the tasks which once energized you and which now feel like a dead weight on your back. Suddenly there's gravity in a virtual environment. Once you thought it was doable with everything else in your life.
Hey, it happens.

But say you've become attracted to something else. Another genre perhaps? You begin to feel that old magic again. If only you could unload the current project and start this one.  With all that you've learned and all that's going on in your life, you're confident it could all work out if things were done on a much smaller scale.

But no, you can't let people down. They rely on you. They look to you not just as a landlord or landlady but for guidance and the occasional dance party. This project is sustaining itself, so why break what doesn't need fixing?

Of course I'm projecting.  I couldn't begin to guess Gabrielle Riel's RL beyond what she's shared with us as her residents, and that's already a considerable hand dealt.  Add to that the virtual: running a series of web-based radio stations out of RadioRiel.org and the New Toulouse estate. This includes coordinating the past few years of Mardi Gras and hurricanes and monthly soirees and then some.

New Toulouse is an oddball theme in the great scheme of things Second Life.  It is presently 1912 there, which is post-Victorian and pre-Jazz Age.  It doesn't really fit it into Edwardian because it isn't British.  I'd call it early 20th Century Americana, only a lowdown Cajun-Immigrant corner of it. No illusions within the illusion.

Many residents like myself were attracted to it by way of a RL connection.  I was born in New Orleans.  A neighbor is into all eras of Jazz and hosts live talents regularly.  There have been Ann Rice fans establishing another kind of nightlife in line with her novels, and they've maintained a full residence in their cemeteries.

Radio Riel provides the soundtrack for many Second Life genres with a gamut of musical styles, among them Baroque, Dieselpunk (between the World Wars), gothic and experimental (aka Steampunk channel), and more.  The Steamlands appear to be Gabrielle Riel's affinity, with a presence each in Caledon, Steelhead and New Babbage, as well as sidetrips to Winterfell and Seraph City. 

Many years back when the owner put the estate up for sale, she took the plunge and saved the day.  New Toulouse had not only a dance hall for Radio Riel, it was Gabrielle Riel's domain.  A stream was added to RR's repertoire, the only stream named for an estate; it has been the perfect soundtrack.

Did I see signs?  Of course. Several on many levels. The most prominent of them was her decision to turn a discarded NT sim into the epitomê of gothic New England for an HP Lovecraft festival.  I knew the sim would remain beyond the festival and Halloween.  In November there were plans to rename it to Witchport, open it up to rentals and attach it to New Toulouse via a homestead water sim.  Many Taloosters and post-Lovecraftians expressed interest in moving over to early 20th century New England with options to visit via boat.

Witchport on a chilly winter morning
About three weeks ago came the news that she would be putting the estate up for sale.  Witchport would continue as a separate entity from New Toulouse: a much smaller project and better suitable to work harmoniously with her other projects and RL. If nobody took the estate over by the first of the year, the sims would be sold off one by one.

Naturally there was panic. I think we all looked around for an alternative, but we already knew that there was nothing like New Toulouse on the grid. Anything claiming any resemblance to New Orleans looked like a Linden Labs sim with stuff plopped on it. New Toulouse has a look and vibe which instantly transports you to a place, and no one's come close to that with this theme.

I got to thinking: If nobody stepped forward - not just anybody of course - there would be no Mardi Gras, no hurricane, no Madhu's Café. The latter would continue somewhere else; I frequented Carter's place before NT so that will live on wherever it ends up.

I asked one of the vampires. When New Toulouse Jardin (what became the Lovecraft sim. This was previously NT's upscale garden district) was decommissioned over the spring/summer, they moved off-theme to Skybeam. I've never warmed up to Seraph City and don't know of any other 1920s themed sims with lax rules on dress code.

With the holidays came word that about three potential buyers were in discussion with Gabrielle Riel. An original resident had been notified and stepped forward and would take over two sims: New Toulouse and New Toulouse Bayou. NT Ponchartrain and NT Bourbon would be sold off; one has since been claimed. New Toulouse Algiers would be renamed Witchwood and join Witchport to the south. Two friends will be making the transition there, one of them Carter.

With so many people interested in staying and others having departed, there has been a fair exchange in parcel ownership. The new owners won't be lacking renters once they install new meters. There were many times NT as a whole would have no vacancies. Most of the time one or two parcels showed yellow on the map, maybe an occasional cemetery plot.

Naturally change affects people differently.  With word of the changes I was pleased. We had answers and saw a future. With word of Gabrielle Riel finding closure with New Toulouse and friends riding a landmass to her new world I'm happy.  She's handled this fairly and been helping the new owners as best she can. Gotta give her kudos.

I'm a little concerned though for a neighbor who seemingly expected everyone from four dense sims to want to squeeze into our two, so much so that she asked those not associated with New Toulouse whether they found their new parcel yet.  She hasn't spoken to me since that day.  The neurotic in me suspects that she interprets my laid back behavior as non-allegiance. We had previously discussed the pros and cons of places we had both escaped from before coming to NT.  I don't want to see her turn into another "us vs them" type, and I'm aware she may be in shock and just need some time. Hopefully she'll snap out of it and get back to her old self, welcoming residents and visitors (including ex-pats) with equal enthusiasm.

IMHO nobody should be judged because they choose to keep their parcel in favor of relocation. They weren't any more or less of a resident. Everyone has their reasons for being where they are, and if somewhere else suits them or they came to NT because of Gabrielle Riel and her events, so be it. She's a very good landlady and maybe some want to continue being somewhere she's in charge. At any rate they're all welcome to my place. Nobody switches off an interest in music or art because they've moved. If Gabrielle Riel wants to hang out when I play 20s tunes that's just fine.  And she knows I'll continue to show up wherever she has a party going. If Madhu's is in Witchwood then you'll find me there on World Music night.

The only thing likely to deter me from continuing in the revised New Toulouse is how the estate is run. Naturally a certain estate buttinski would be grounds to leave if he were added as a manager. While this is far from their genre of interest, power IS a genre of interest unto itself and he'd be attracted to with claims of experience. Happily he hasn't been in evidence.

I was invited to groups these past two days. K.I.S.S. I always say.  People sometimes think an event or place needs a group for each minutia of topic (RFL SLB and Burn2 all suffer from Group Diarrhea). I've only ever belonged to one group for New Toulouse: The residents group. They have a website with an events section anyone can see. If they officially choose to keep the NT renters group apart from a social group and we're no longer allowed to comiserate in group chat, I can understand the change. If all non-residents are effectively ousted from the rental group and expats benefit from a social group, I'll join ONE of them. UPDATE: The latter is the case, and all former residents should join Gens de New Toulouse ;) .

But for now, New Toulouse is saved, new owners are experiencing a steep learning curve while Gabrielle Riel brings them up to speed while the map will remain in flux just a little while longer.

New Toulouse as of this morning.