Friday, June 24, 2016

Over Halfway There, The Bubble Congeals

Our Halfway There Fair spot: low lag with lots of LI to spare

Halfway There Fair passed back in May.  Their ceremony, which had always been a combination of celebration, inspiration and peptalk for Relay For Life of Second Life volunteers was predominantly about the numbers this year.  The lineup consisted mostly of past event chairs MamaP Beerbaum and Nikki Matheison, Fantasy Fair lead Zander Greene, and current chair Random Darrow.  Not a single Relay Rocker Committee member could be found; since they comprise so much of their ranks now this was glaringly evident, not the least of which the ceremony was not simulcast on T1 Radio. Since they are not geographically connected one has to wonder why they were all no-shows for a major milestone event.

Four seats, one current committee member for this major Relay milestone event
The layout was Relayer unfriendly, with the central event spot in one sim rather than in the corner of four sims to allow more attendees. It was amusing to find committee members stuck a ways from where they had to be for most of their own thing.

MamaP Beerbaum and Nikki Matheison exclaimed how many new teams were doing so well.  I looked over at Ariel, who was now running a team of her own.  That explained why there was no CRFB DJ competition held this year by Relay Rockers.  That must have been her baby (I'm surprised Harmony from Hell didn't steal it for themselves). Ariel had hosted a variation of it earlier in the season, placing her team near the top.  Ditto photographer Catalina Straheli, who moved on from the Relay Rockers to captain her own team with stellar results.  "New" teams of these sorts made for a strong showing in the totals and these chairs were dazzled by what they thought were all first timers.

It seemed to me that because there were many new team names which appeared on the list, the committee regarded them as fresh meat to exploit.  I don't believe they realize how many of these teams were in fact reboots or spin-offs.  So they grew confident enough to press the numbers.

I saw the survivors/Caregivers setup which indicated it was time to unmute TS. It was amusing to note that most of his spot at Halfway There Fair shows Random as the owner/person who rezzed content. Hmmmmmmmmmm

Most of TS Darrow's Survivors/Caregivers content was created and
placed by top committee chair (and partner) Random Darrow. This was
initially discovered while determining why clicking givers didn't work.

Another Incident of Disconnect

It was decided our team would participate in the Relay Rockers' Relay Stock.  We registered for a tent. When I was dispatched to pick one, I was surprised to see so many tiny puptents too small for content. I had chosen that since in recent years they held our vendors and displays better than the vans.  Now it was the opposite.  To the side a ways from the stage there were two oldschool tents, one claimed by a friend, so I picked the other one.  We figured on sharing the middle space for a communal campfire.

That evening we hung out and it was good. Sometime in the night we each received IMs to vacate these. They were committee mission tents and we should not have chosen them.  Neither of us are really good with telepathy so it is understandable that we were unaware there were special plans for the tents we chose.  Seriously: there were absolutely no signs, no info on participant notecards, nothing.  When we pointed that out - while we were made to move our stuff over to a pair of puptents the following evening - they finally put signs up on their space. I wonder what they must really think of the relayers that they didn't feel they had to communicate some basics to us?  Was this another disconnect or evidence of a caste system in action?

Communal campfire before we were asked to move.
Their spot was full of mission stuff and no one manned the tents although they were set up with tables and chairs. Really folks, these could have been scattered throughout the sim if you didn't need a presence for actual avatars to help attendees.

The Navmesh Thingie

We were told that beneath the 0m line of all sims lie a Navmesh layer, and that linking all our phantom content to a root prim which intersects this area below might serve to reduce lag.

I looked navmesh up. This is a pathfinder thing which involves anchoring a scripted character to the sim for them to move around according to a game or role play situation.  There is nothing about this improving sim performance stuff.  But hey if that's what they want us to do, how hard can it be?

Seeing  this Navmesh layer is a thing unto itself.  A 64-bit TPV cannot see this except for SL's own viewer. I am using a 64bit OS. I will not install a 32-bit viewer.  If this thing is yea many meters below the sim then I'll work accordingly.

Volunteers or Employees?

Last week we were given short notice of a VERY IMPORTANT Captains meeting to attend.  - It was to be held on a weeknight USA time at the Town Hall meeting area. 

- They got the time wrong on their latest notice and neglected to promptly follow up with a correction to stick with the original time. That would have been common courtesy of course.  Apparently it was presumed that everyone wait a half hour and do nothing.

I couldn't stick around with SL13B to work on so I left. A day or so later some notes were shared with us. 

Team Captains were called on the carpet for not raising enough for the committee's goal!  I couldn't believe it.  That was a lot of nerve.  What's even worse was they exploited a sick relayer (whom for a while things looked grim) for their agenda. 

My friends know there are some things I don't tolerate, and high up on the list is using someone ill or deceased to get people to raise money or win any sort of attention.  It is absolutely abhorrent to me. I told them back when Raglan spent most of ShadyFox' memorial to beat their chests over how awesome they were that if they dared to exploit me for fundraising, attention, sales, status, or anything beyond a simple memorial with friends and acquaintances, I'd haunt the fuck out of them.  And I would.  Unless someone expressly said or left instructions "I've made a foundation or have a favorite charity so please send donations to that instead of flowers", it's dirty money.  And Random Darrow's note showed me this unethical level of pandering.

Holy crap.

I'm still not over it, and it's been over a week!

By the way they did it again. At a recent Relay Rap there was mention that larger events would have to be held in the event sims and not on campsites the 2 weeks leading up to Relay Weekend. Instructions since have indicated that ALL events must be held on the event sims.  Deceptive like last year.

Then came the Notice for Harmony from Hell's Third Annual Halloween weekend.  They better pack sunscreen in their coffins when their times come. Just saying.

Minimal Participation

Hearts & Souls took in a nice amount of donation sales at Halfway There Fair and Relay Stock from our creative members.  As for personal participation, I DJed at Fantasy Faire as planned (what I didnt expect was to be invited to play 3 sets!).  I applied for a small campsite for next month's Relay Weekend and was approached and agreed to DJ the Sunday 4am SLT lap hour for my fifth consecutive year.

I've seen a gamut of activity this year, and regretably most of it coming from people in charge who have shown themselves to be a real disappointment. Their attitude, their demands, their expectations...  It's so disheartening.  Once again it seems they have lost all perspective for the dignity it takes to represent a reputable org OR their role to serve as a liaison and not a lean-on.  The Relay community is all just fodder to them.

Imagine this: you and some friends bring a tent to some college track for a relay you signed up for on the official website and they tell you "oh you cannot be here. You didn't raise enough for us," or be turned away for not having sufficient official brochures to pass around - forget the inspirational freebies, funny hats you made with friends to lighten the mood, high fiber bars or sing-alongs.

Like my teammates said: as long as they're not skimming off donations and it's all going where it belongs, that's what counts.   Hearts & Souls have gone at their own pace without pressure as is the key characteristic of our team since its inception.  We're just fine doing what we're doing.

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