Thursday, September 2, 2010

At least one person...

...has asked me to update this blog, so here I am.

Nothing really pithy to say. I'm up too early after only 2 hours of sleep and decided I would feel worse if I didn't just get up and forget about trying to get back to sleep.

While I know blogs aren't only about what's annoying in the writer's life, here's what's annoying in mine. Heat. Yeah, yeah, I know it's summer, but please, the heat and humidity is ridiculous. Complaining about the weather is pretty pointless; what I'm really annoyed with is the weather forecasters. Between not having a clue that we were going to be deluged with nearly a foot of water in less than two hours back in July, and the ongoing promise that cooler weather is on the way -- followed the next day by the 'news' that we will have 'one more steamy night and another steamy day tomorrow' -- I begin to wonder what the purpose is of trying to forecast the weather.

Speaking of obnoxious Republican politicians, Ron Johnson is a Wisconsinite running for the US Senate against Russ Feingold. Johnson enlisted his family for this commercial and the self-absorbed 'humor' is exactly what irritates me most about Republicans. See for yourself.

Oh, and as I finish up this post, I just noticed on the 7-day weather forecast that it's going to be 47 degrees Sunday night. That's only 15 degrees warmer than freezing, so it appears it will be winter soon. Time to stop complaining about the heat and start complaining about having to shovel.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Loudmouths Doth Protest Too Much

June 11, 2009 will be my third SL rezday. I don't really have a history of sticking with anything this long, so that's a miracle all by itself.

Sometime in the last year or so, a friend invited me to join her at a welcome area. I'm an SL mentor, though I'm usually silently so. If someone appears to need help, or asks outwardly, I'm happy to do what I can. If I'm in a mood (hard to fathom, I know), I might think twice before jumping in, but most of the time, I'm willing.

The welcome area, at the risk of sounding uncharitable, doesn't live up to its name. It's like the Wastelands, without the creativity or purpose, a sort of nihilistic jungle where survival of the loudest prevails. Don't put on your headphones unless you want to be assailed with the most testosterone-charged (yeah, even among the 'women') vitriol you would ever want to hear in a 'game.' If you're a Jew, gay, liberal or, perish the thought, all three, you are guaranteed an earful of some of the most vile crap this side of Hitler's bunker.

Now, before you scream Godwin's law, please hear me out.

On the night of December 14th and early morning December 15th, I was bored and tp'd to the WA. Sometimes I don't cam beyond the person with whom I'm speaking, so there could literally be a war going on in front of me and I wouldn't know it. I use a viewer that, in its current iteration, has no sound, but even when I use the standard SL viewer, I usually mute my computer because of shared living space and my penchant for doing ten things at once: SL, reading the web, watching TV, listening to my own music, (not to mention frequent trips to the kitchen to perform flipping and stirring duties).

When I went to the WA last night, I was using the Imprudence viewer. I could tell by the conversation in main chat that people were replying to voice. I cammed to the center of the quad to see a protest in progress. I couldn't read the signs due to rezzing problems, so I im'd one of the participants to ask what it was about. I was told it was a protest in solidarity with the workers and students in Greece who, for the past week, have been protesting the shooting death of 15-year old Alexandros Grigoropoulos. You can Google his name to see the circumstances of his death. The murder occurred in the wake of a major youth resistance movement against privatization of education that has rattled the right-wing government of Greece's Prime Minister, Kostas Karamanlis.

Back at the WA, I quit out of Imprudence, signed back on with the standard SL viewer, grabbed my earbuds and enabled voice.

A young Romanian woman was effectively making her case in voice, being shouted down, cursed and insulted by the bullies of Ahern. None of them were able to dismantle any of her arguments. She was a calm, reasonable voice, coming from a place both physically and mentally that I suspect has given her a greater amount of at least experience, and possibly expertise, when it comes to fighting for civil rights.

Because, frankly, how many Americans in SL (and it was mostly Americans railing against this woman in particular, and the protesters in general) have ever had to leave the comfort of their couch or living room to march or fight for civil rights? The rights of most Americans were won by someone else. Someone else did the dirty work, took the risk, made a stand, so those after them could sit behind the safety and relative anonymity of their PC microphones and call a woman a 'cunt' simply because she defended people standing in solidarity with those fighting for liberties halfway around the world.

And for all this? She was banned. A quick check of the SL police blotter revealed numerous warnings and bans for harrassment, repetitious spamming, impedence of movement, none of which this woman did. I suppose it depends on who reported her, but I assure you, she did nothing that warranted a ban.

It's not clear how effective an online protest is. I can say with some certainty that protests have brought about change throughout history, despite the words of one resident who insisted that "protesting has never brought about any changes." (When I rebutted that, i was told by one of the Ahern regulars to shut my fucking mouth and get back in 'my' corner.)

To say that protest has never brought about change is so ignorant and absurd on its face that it hardly bears arguing. But I suppose there's a possibility that some of the Ahern loudmouths may have been absent or otherwise not engaged when the history of non-violent protest was covered in school.

How about Gandhi, whose nonviolent action led to the independence of India?

Or the marches against the Vietnam war that turned the tide of public opinion in the US and led to the end of that war, albeit years too late?

Tiananmen Square, though quashed, turned the eyes of the world on the human rights abuses in China (nearly forgotten during the recent Olympic lovefest).

May 1968 saw a series of student protests and a general strike that caused the eventual collapse of the De Gaulle government in France.

Strikes led by Lech Walesa and the Solidarity movement, led directly to the overthrow of communism in Poland.

In 1981, Bobby Sands and nine others starved to death to gain Irish prisoners political status in British prisons.

The Civil Rights movement in the US is too vast and too storied to fit in a sentence or paragraph or even an entire blog.

And if you would repeat after me two simple words: FRENCH REVOLUTION.

Admittedly, these examples mean little to small minded people shouting 'cunt' and 'faggot' into a microphone. They're not likely to even read this.

The Second Life welcome area has become a cesspool, filled with people who claim it as their turf and their private space. It is not. No one is paying tier on Ahern, Bonifacio, Dore or Morris. This is public land, owned by Governor Linden, and open to all. I don't care how long you've staked out your place on the stoop, how many hours you hang there, how many followers you have or how loud you can shout into your microphone. As a dear, dear friend of mine on SL often says to me, in his THIRD language, "they need to STFU."

Linden Lab has turned a blind eye for too long, allowing a small group of bigoted, bullying bigmouths to run roughshod over a PG area with their vulgar, racist, homophobic nonsense. It's time to reclaim this public space as a safe haven for residents, new and old alike.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Okay, so I was looking at this video about different virtual worlds, created by Gary Hayes. Wanted to see which of these 50+ virtual worlds he featured were ones I had played around with/in (about a dozen or so, as it turns out). When Second Life came up, there I was, standing talking to my SL sis and our friend.

So yeah, check this out. Around 3:38, I think it is. Hi Jhudora and Ruby!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Calling All Designers

This post originally appeared on

Remember what it was like being new in Second Life? How hard it was to navigate this place, literally and figuratively?

Imagine trying to get on your feet in this virtual world while handicapped. To many disabled people, Second Life is an escape, a chance to do the things that are not possible in "real" life: not only flying, but swimming and even walking. And learning to do these things within the virtual world of Second Life sometimes takes assistance by people who understand the unique challenges of someone with a disability online.

Enter Virtual Ability, Inc.

Virtual Ability, Inc.'s vision is to be the leading provider of services for and information about the disabled in electronic virtual worlds.

Virtual Ability, Inc.'s mission is to enable people with a wide range of disabilities to enter into electronic virtual worlds, and provide them with a supporting environment once there.

Virtual Ability, Inc. conducts outreach and awareness activities to inform the disabled, their doctors, and their caregivers of the benefits virtual worlds can provide;
identifying the need for, and helping with the use of, assistive hardware or software;
providing assistance with the signup, intake, and training process of entering a virtual world;
and offering ongoing support and community as residents become integrated into the virtual world.

Soon, a special orientation center will open, dedicated to helping disabled individuals entering the world of Second Life. "We want them to have a quality avatar right from the start," Eme Capalini said, explaining how sometimes a disabled person with limited ability to use a computer, depending on assistive technology such as voice activated typing software because of paralysis or limited use of hands and limbs, can be frustrated by the inability or extreme difficulty in doing what comes so easily to others in SL. She spoke of helping a disabled woman shop for a dress in Second Life. Capalini spent three hours with the woman, choosing a dress, then learning how to fit it to the woman's avatar.

How we can help

Virtual Ability, Inc. is in need of several items to help disabled SL citizens to quickly integrate into the Second Life environment, without the limitations prevalent in a disabled person's First Life.

It would be great if this orientation center could offer a couple of nice skins, ideally a light and a dark one for both male and female avatars, as well as a good furry avatar and perhaps some kind of fantasy or unusual avatar. The idea is to give an easy choice to disabled clients so that they can 'hit the ground running' and not be encumbered by limitations that cause daily frustration.

Please contact Eme Capalini if you can help with skins, clothing, or any other items in world.

Virtual Ability, Inc.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

For those of you who "speak" English...

And yeah, I know everyone isn't an American, or even an English speaker, so don't even start with me on the ethnocentric bullshit. Second Life has really opened the world up for me. *cough* To paraphrase some ignorant Republican president, it's all separate little countries out there! Who knew.

But for those of you who speak English as a first language, there really isn't any excuse for the blatant ignorance and sheer laziness that infects your speech and writing.

I'll break it down for you so you might improve your communication, not only on Second Life, but everywhere -- your home, your job, your life. OMG, you say, what a pile of high-minded horseshit! Yes. Haha.

If you're sticking an apostrophe in a word, please expand the contraction and see if it sounds right.

Example: Put you're clothes back on. I have no interest in SLexing.

If you expanded that contraction, would it make sense? "Put you are clothes back on." No. It doesn't. The word is 'your,' not 'you're.' Likewise, when you say to someone, "Your the hottest av since that centaur I saw at so-and-so's party," the word is 'you're.' It's two words, 'you' and 'are,' cobbled together into one neat little package. Isn't the English language fun?

Loose and lose are not interchangeable. By the same token, neither are led and lead.

Example: Oh! You have a loose tooth! The tooth fairy might visit you tonight!

Listen for that hard s sound. That word has two o's. If you hear a z sound, the word is lose, not loose.

Example: Oh no! Did you lose your virginity AGAIN?

See? The z sound tips you off to use only one o.

Lead is kind of tricky because it can have a long e sound, like when you lead someone around on a leash. Present tense. Or when you lead in a dance. Or you lead a parade. It can also have a short e sound, when talking about the heavy metal that can be found in pipes and paint. Pb on the periodic table, just in case you want to know that.

But if you're talking about the past tense of the verb "lead," then the word is led.

Example: You led me around on a leash last night.


Three separate words, three separate meanings, three distinctly different uses.

'There' refers to a place ("Put the glass over there."); 'their' is possessive ("What is their problem?"); and 'they're' is another one of those pesky contractions you can expand to see if it makes sense ("They're possibly the most ignorant people on the face of the planet.").

Don't use "I" when it's a direct object.

Hmm. A direct object is something being acted upon by a preposition. Prepositions are "of, with, in, to, on..." There are others. If you say, for example, "Come with my sister and I to the store," you may think it makes you sound smart, but you'd be wrong. The word should be 'me,' not 'I.' If you removed your sister from the equation, would it make sense to say the word 'I?' "Come with I to the store.' No. It doesn't make sense. You would say 'my sister and I' if it was the subject of the sentence. For example, "My sister and I will go with you to the store."

Who's vs. Whose

Again, if you can expand the contraction to "Who is," then use "Who's." Otherwise, the word is 'whose,' which is possessive.


Don't even go there.

Oh, you just know there are more... Look for part two coming up sometime soon. And three...and four....and...........

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ben's blog

First off...if you don't go there already (and I can't believe that you wouldn't), go here:

Now. Ben Vanguard had this on his blog and tagged me, so I'm doing it, too. Not sure whom I'll tag, though...

Here are the rules:

1/ Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2/ People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
3/ At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4/ Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

8 things about me.....


1/ am addicted to coffee.

2/ used to be afraid of zombies until I saw Shaun of the Dead.

3/ am turned on by guys wearing suits.

4/ write poetry.

5/ used to be a lifeguard.

6/ bite my nails.

7/ bake a mean loaf of bread.

8/ love to sleep, but I hardly ever do.

I will tag the next 8 people who read this, including AZ!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Yeah, yeah, I'm a stickler when it comes to grammar and spelling...

Please don't call me a grammar nazi, but I'm frankly tired of all the misspellings on Second Life vendors. I can understand it in chat, but come spend the time creating items to sell, work hard (mostly) to design the space to sell them, put together your vendors with carefully posed photos and photoshopped words and prices, and you can't freaking take the time to check the spelling on the ads that everyone sees in order to buy your products?

I've assembled a few examples of misspelled vendors. Glaringly misspelled vendors. At least one of these, I IM'd the creator months ago and mentioned the misspelling, and he told me he was aware of it. He has since redesigned his entire shop and STILL misspelled the same word. Sorry, but I have to chuckle.

Nothing personal against any of the designers responsible for these signs. I don't even remember where I got most of them, to be honest.

But if any of these signs is yours, I don't wanna hear excuses. Just fix the damn things! ;)