Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On Partings

So, My Dear Friends, we have arrived at the end of another April. Winter has left and Spring is in! And as winter goes, so go many other things.

Lots of news agencies. Goodbye SLNN and Reuters and all those others who found out too late that Second Life is about a different kind of story. Or perhaps just not interested. To them our bickering were like the mews and howls of Centralia, PA. Interesting and strange to those big guys in New York or LA, but dull after many tellings. Seriously guys, we get it. Your entire town is rotting underground from massive coal fires. Move on already! Did you hear about swine flu and Obama's visit to where ever he was? Now that's news.

Not to mention that grabbing an audience is difficult. Choosing to run a news blog outside of Second Life is an uphill battle. Massive advertising is required to get attention inworld, and heaven help you if you don't keep your hands on the pulse and fail to update often. Or if you miss a big story. Or neglect to report one. Or neglect to go outside of 'looking up LL's blog'.

Running a newspaper inside of SL is as difficult. You get all the burden of collecting and editing stories with the challenge of cramming it into a notecard or prim book. The prim book may or may not rezz. People won't wait the two or three minutes for the pretty pictures to load completely. Large notecards (and large they will become if they are truly reporting Second Life) also are a pain to deal with. Once again, attention has to be earned and getting paid is one of those luxuries up there with my desire to own a house on the shore. Not having income kills everything dead fast.

I mentioned before that looking at a map of the grid is akin to watching the stars at night. Thousands upon thousands of islands dot the scape. If each of those had only one avatar that regularly logged on and used them, that's thousands and thousands of avatars. Each with their own little cliques and circles. Some stories may unify them all (such as banks buckling under or the openspace debacle) but each has their own story to tell and stories that they alone are interested in.

A metro area divides up into towns and cities around the center city. A city divides up into neighborhoods. Neighborhoods divide up into blocks. Each has their own cares and worries. That's why the Inquirer has special sections for Jersey and Delaware and the suburbs. It brings relevant news to its target demographic. Attempting to do the same in Second Life is a time consuming, if nigh impossible, task. Furries and War sims are two that come to mind (and indeed, were often highlighted in the former SL Herald). There's all manner of roleplay communities. There's the sailing sims. The art community. The devotees of Nunchuck. SL Pride. And so on. What a hassle to organize all that and the hottest stories off the Lindens and general community on top of that! And why bother going to a news source for that when you can easily gossip with the neighbors (after all, how big are some of these communities? probably not large enough to not notice what their left hand is doing) and check the Linden's own blog for news. Why bother?

Goodbye, dear news agencies.

Ginsu Linden left, and Robin Linden left just this February. That's the last of the Ancient Elders (the founding Lindens from before 2005 or so) and most of the current cast are the new guys like M. I find it interesting that I've been in Second Life longer than most, if not all, of the current Linden Lab staff. These new Lindens are forging their own path and forging their own new Second Life.

Anytime you shake up the management, the outcome results in changes. Lincoln's election resulted in a civil war and civil rights (at least, right to not be enslaved). Steve Jobs electrified Apple. My own university's late president, upon taking up his position as president, transformed our poor school from 'that ugly orange brick blot north of Market street' into an increasingly awesome college (albeit still ugliest in the universe, alas, some things never change). And with his own passing (ah, yes, my university's president, another victim of April), that ugly orange brick blot is going to take another turn. Hopefully for the better, as I'd prefer my degree to flow from an actual existing institution. Embarrassment would abound to explain how it came from an extinct and dead school.

Ginsu left, Robin left, Philip left. Torley's still around but he hasn't really been in the forefront for some time and is probably quietly churning out tutorials. Didn't he used to be a very public face to LL? I miss those days. Torley, for all his faults, presented a sappy happy image of LL and SL in general. And now? More or less invisible. There's Blue, too. He's around and ... um... doing things. I never really looked too close at what Blue does. He always seems to be around, though. A case of a Jack of all Trades. One of those Liaison style Lindens. Gosh, there were a million of those.

Also, you could argue that Philip is still around, just leveled up. The personal touch is gone. When he was CEO, he was THE guy in CHARGE. He seemed to have a bigger impact and greater direct control over things. And personable to boot. For as often as people would gripe about the direction of SL and blame Philip for everything, no one really hated him. Now... we have M. Like a minted officer out of MI6, M gives me this feeling of being more than he pretends to be. Oh, there's the funny 'diary entries' and 'fireside chats' about the brave new world he has had placed upon his shoulders and his follies with having a box stuck on his avatar's head, but it seems forced to me. I suppose he's a better politician.

And Robin? Hell if I know her direct replacement. Ginsu, too. I think that's another thing that's leaving with them. Recognition. Robin and Phil used to come in and greet us mere mortals, and in doing so grew a special kind of fondness from the populace. The new guys? Well, they do have their office hours, but those are supposed to be official business. Those get derailed, too, and hijacked by someone or other into some inane unrelated topic. And you only get a solid hour with the Linden in question, sometimes only that solid hour for the entire week. That special Aura is gone.

Add in that in our ever growing world, where the vast vast majority will never ever see a Linden ever, and the Lindens have pretty much become 'Those Guys'. You know, the guys at work who are really high above you on the hierarchy. You never ever see them but you do get emails from them and always with that faux kindness to a message laced with urgency or doom or something serious. That's the Lindens these days. Not an integral part of our world, but bigwigs far removed from us.

They are different from us. They are not like us.

Goodbye, dear Ginsu. And the Lindens who left before you.

Adult content is being herded off into a super special awesome Adult Only continent. It's official. You can read it on the main blog. If you have adult rated and adult themed (I like the 'adult' euphemism, by the way, I wonder if other adult things like the military sims or big business headquarters will have to move) then you better have the wagons packed and ready to roll. March off into your ghettos! This is SL, so do it with a smile. Take your sex and drugs off our grid, off this brave new world of ours.

And you'll be blinded out, too. Unless someone is age verified and has adult content enabled on search, the citizens of the main grid won't be able to find you. Given the previous verification fiasco, not too many people will be keen to register and have their hand stamped. In fact, given the only reason to do so will be to access adult content I can imagine it to become a stigma of sorts, similar to someone purchasing Viagra. Sure, it's for your pulmonary hypertension! We all know what kind of tension you're relieving, wink wink.

With this enforcement, we also enforce fraud. Heaven help you if you mismark your parcel, for you will be reported and action will be taken. There's a reason it's called a reservation. I can easily imagine LL stripping the offending content off your parcel if they find it misflagged. It might end up being abused by the vengeful like any other bannable reportable offense that's been implemented since the dawn of time. And what about the home? People tend to place home to have sex in them. If 'Mature' is a code word for 'PG sim with cursing allowed and nothing else', then by definition such homes will have to be 'Adult' rated.

In a way, I can't wait to see the result. Will there be a mass exodus, leaving LL holding the tattered remains of the original mainland continents, the tattered PG/Mature remains of ad farms, mini malls, and Mole roads (remember that Landlords will have to move if their renters are partaking in activities of the night)? The occasional art gallery will thrown in there too somewhere, I suppose. It seems such a case will result in the life of the grid moving off center stage behind the wings.

Imagine the seedy gritty underworld of the adult themed Second Life. A virtual Big Easy where anything goes! No worries about offending some silly age player or RL teen cause we're all over 18 here! People might register as Adult Only just to be free of the Disney-esque restrictions being imposed on the mainland. What would you report them for, labeling their land too high? Are you going to set up some third party regulatory body that will label each parcel without the owner's consent, like the movie ratings in real life? Because the main grid will indeed become like Disney land, full of art galleries and infohubs and fancy builds put up by whoever. Completely vanilla.

Considering the speculation that LL is merging in the teen grid (a useless gesture considering that de facto teens can register on SL merely by lying on a few of the sign-up questions for a freebie account alone), the old mainland will become Teen Grid 2.0. You know, earlier I stated that stigma may accompany those who verify, but perhaps the opposite will be true. Perhaps not verifying will label you as a stupid teen or kid. In any event, I can easily imagine the new adult continent as the most lively of the two partitions of the main grid if only because, and let's be honest with ourselves, a good majority are in Second Life for the mature content. Whether it's empty sex or a desire to find someone, the right one, fancy builds and nifty contests and events are more or less secondary to that. Maybe even integrated with it, a good date might be to a live concert.

Eventually, Linden Lab will crack down on the new continent. Teens will get verification through their parents, they can already get their parents to sign up and pay for game like World of Warcraft, and the Lindens will have to move to prevent the children from accessing adult content again. The true end will occur when OpenSims takes off and allows everyone to build their own grid. This world of ours will shatter into isolated universes that in all likelihood will be forever cut off from each other. There could be a 'wood between the worlds' concept a la Naria, but you'd run into the adult/teen demon again, because Linden Lab would have to monitor the gates to the Adult worlds and frankly why bother? It could end up as nothing more than a phone book, where you can look up which grid is what. That way, LL is not responsible for anything except the server code and their own Disney world, if they can manage to hold onto that. Can you imagine LL publishing a metaversal yellow pages?

Goodbye, dear Adult Content.

The Lindens themselves put up a Memorial garden for everyone who died in RL or just decided to get out of Dodge City. As I said a few days ago, it's kind of tasteful, if a bit bare and focused on a few. This was set up last year in April and now it's back again, as if the Lindens too realize that April is a cruel month. I think there's more to mourn than just those of our friends who have left and never returned.

And yet, onward we march.

APRIL is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

Let's hope the lilacs of Second Life bred this April are beautiful.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

On Memory

The other day, someone (never mind who) was apologising for their infrequent appearances in Second Life. It was alright, however, as they did not think that anyone in particular would notice or care if they disappeared.

I promptly called bullshit on this.

Of course people would notice if you're gone! Unless you were a hermit, chances are you have some friends. And chances are those friends are, whether you know so or not, attuned to your comings and goings. And chances are that said friends would be saddened at your disappearance. Even a casual acquaintance would shed a tear. OK, that's a little dramatic.

But to casually say no one notices, with the implication that no one cares, is inherently stupid. I personally found it insulting as I am one of those acquaintances! And I certainly do care! I am also not alone, because I'm certain I'm not your only friend. Your statement is untrue and thus flawed.

So there. Neener Neener!

The other day, the Lindens unveiled the Memorial Park, at which you can remember those who have gone silent or died. There's small monuments for Kendra, Ginny, and Sojouner as well as a small garden for the rest of us faceless anonymous alts. Narrow woodland paths and candle lit vigils also dot the island.

Have you ever wandered a graveyard and wondered who the names were on the tombstones? I never knew Kendra, Ginny, or Sojouner. Never even heard of them until they died. All I have are their low prim graves and the same epitaph accompanying it. No more and no less.

Those are just three of the hundreds who come and go, and many more thousands if you could those who join up and mysteriously go AFK forever.

Such is life.

Monday, April 20, 2009

On Participation

There was a big argument over at Prok's blog concerning the Resident's Choice awards. Vickie Greenwood won many of the building categories but the big question all across Second Life became: Who the hell is Vickie Greenwood? Prokofy being Prokofy, he went and did a lot of digging and found that Vickie does not have much of a footprint into the Second Life world. In fact, it seems that unless you personally knew her, you wouldn't have heard much of her at all.

That leads us into an interesting discussion. How can someone win a contest such as this and have almost no visibility in Second Life or its related websites? At the time, it was noted that she didn't even have a profile picture. And is it right to award a distinction to such a person?

The awards were about the resident's choice. And one would expect the resident's choice would be someone who engages and is active in the Second Life universe. This can usually be gauged by such things as profiles, blog posts, items listed on Xstreet, and so on. That indicates an outreach into this world of ours. They've invested some time and energy into putting something out there.

By not engaging and not listing on Xstreet, not blogging/being blogged about, and not spicing up one's profile, you've disengaged from Second Life. You are attempting to be aloof. Plus, there is the implication that you're an alt. People don't keep alts well. If alts were jugs of milk, then people tend to let them turn to cheese. Not having anything 'there' triggers an instinct, and that instinct is 'the person I'm dealing with is someone else, this must be their alt'.

It could also mean that you don't give a shit about Second Life. Visit any university sim or any island where the inhabitants are students/employees forced to register an account and check out the profiles. If there is a profile picture, it will be one of the random default picks in the inventory library and the profile space will have 'Penn faculty' or 'hey all, Temple CoE '08'. Read them and the feeling of apathy oozes out. This pattern also drifts into my mind when I see a skimpy profile.

There's this feeling, this attitude that if you participate and build and create in Second Life, or hold discussions or host and create music, or design the latest in sculpty socks, that you'll be taken up into the current. And you'll make a profile. If you're good, bloggers will come to you and interview, if not, you'll make your own blog. I think this is inevitable, especially when you're really good at what you do. Just imagine if Torley had nothing on his profile. I cannot imagine that, it's up there with making a word for that squelshing noise my shoes are making because I got ripped off and the soles are falling off and when water gets into them it makes that noise or calculating all the digits of pi.

Not that it isn't possible, just extremely implausible. In fact, it's nigh upon suicidal if you're serious about being recognized and having others buy your work or join your groups. Johnny McAlt will put up hours you can contact him in case you need debugging of your prim scooter, or Suzy Avatarvik will put the hours when she hosts a discussion on the recent policies of French cheese imports.

Let's come around now to my opinion. Vickie deserves a medal for being low key and then winning three of the categories. However, she also did herself a disservice by not making herself visible for whatever reason. The announcement left everyone scratching their heads and that's not a good thing. You're the best, dammit! Promote or something. Although, this is probably a moot point now as Linden Lab's contest has single handed pushed her into the top.

That's what's fueling all this speculation. It is as if my alt won the award for blogging. What's that you say, you've never seen my alt's blog? Well, it's set to private. And there's only a few posts. And I've never told anyone about it (until now) and I've never linked there. But trust me, it's good. My alt doesn't have much of a profile, but that doesn't matter, does it? It's the exact thing. My alt could have writing that would make Jesus cry in its wonderful subtlety and supreme skill but I imagine people would rightly question how I won the award. Well, it's the same deal with Vickie. She may very well be the best of the best of the best, but it is kind of scary that not many have heard of her until now.

Considering this is the awards as granted (or so Linden Lab says) by the residents, one would think that one requirement for this would be an awareness among the populace of the person who won. If most of the community is left scratching their heads and frantically googling your name and asking everyone around who you are, something might have gone wrong. You would imagine the winner would be someone well known. It's only logical that the winner of all the residents would be pretty famous else hardly anyone would have voted for them.

Then again, what do I know? I'm writing this in the middle of the night punch drunk.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

On Hobbies and Indulgences

What do I do when I'm not playing around in Second Life?

Well! I'm glad you didn't ask. For giggles, I'll throw in some other random junk.

I enjoy mopping. There's something cathartic about running it up and down the floor. Plus, when you're done there's a refreshing feel of cleansed flooring. It's a wonderful smell. It is being reborn. And free of skid marks and dirt. And more hygienic. Hard work but rewarding.

I take hideous amounts of time during any given meal. It's not that I eat a lot, but I believe that one should take the time to enjoy the flavor, the smell, the environment, and company. After a long day of running around the rat maze, I love to sit down with friends and family and others I tolerate. The refreshing break is something I love to squeeze in whenever possible, from lunch to dinner to sometimes breakfast (I am perpetually late so I almost never have a 'true' breakfast).

It is saddening to think that all too often people shovel things down like hog slop. The chefs (or whoever is preparing the food) usually take the time and care to ensure that everything is cooked and prepared properly and in a wonderful fashion. We walk in, and it's wam bam and gone. It seems that, at least among the people I hang out with, meals are nothing more than a twenty minute period during which simple hunger is satisfied with no interaction. In other words, just a means to an ends or an obstacle eating up potential free time.

I find mechanical drafting utterly fascinating. AutoCAD is out there and steamlines many things but taking a straightedge and a pencil and making exacting and detailed plans and images of almost everything. The last time I took a course in it was freshman year and unfortunately I've never had the time to go further. What a shame. I can't draw much otherwise freehandedly, and I've never understood why. Perplexing.

Actually, I can doodle a fairly disturbing picture of a human arm boiling away as it touches an extremely hot source. A visit to a psychiatrist is probably in order.

I'd have loved to be a pilot. I love things that fly. Birds, planes, rockets, shit, pigs. Just drifting across the sky and watching everything and everyone race around on the ground. Or, if on a rocket, watching everyone on the hemisphere you can observe. And of course, zipping about in three dimensions. I'm sure this particular fascination has actually been brought up several times, so this isn't exactly news.

For many many multitudes of reasons, the possibility of me earning a pilot's license is on par with the possibility of Jesus coming down from heaven and declaring He loves Slim Jims. And I lack the patience to invest and fly model airplanes and such. I do have a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator although I am certain it is not normal to fly a Cessna with a keyboard. If so, I am so qualified.

I like honeydews and other melons. You cannot deny they are tasty.

Once I tried to bake bread. It came out horrible. Bakers have my respect.

When the weather is nice and clear, I take frequent walks around anywhere. Looking around and witnessing the surroundings when you're not shuttling between point A and B in a car or bus. Probably more than a bit foolhardy on my part, but it's a fascinating experience. Even better when you get friends to tag along. You might even learn a few things about them.

Like one who told me in hushed whispers that we had to be careful around the 'urban people' while walking from the El to the local Pepboys for some thing or another that has escaped my mind. 'Urban people'? That label only applies to 1.4 million people in this city alone. Let's clear the air and admit what you really meant: African Americans.

The other conclusion is ridiculous, that all urban people are scary and should be treated with caution. I find it ridiculous since I am one of those urban people having been born and breed here. But I guess I was the special exception. Not to suggest that caution should be thrown to the wind, but to feel threatened on Market Street, one of the main thoroughfares in the city, is ridiculous and the chances of anything significant happening are only slighter higher than my chances at being a pilot. Probably the same chances as getting victimized in Times Square. That's a topic for another day.

I can't think of anything else off the top of the head. So I think I will let this topic rest for a while. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On Statistics

I recently put in a tracker out of boredom and because I was tired of estimating how many people were visiting. Also, I wanted to thumb it at those who insist I get a lot of eyeballs visiting this site. And I must say, I was surprised. I have calculated that there are a total of six or seven of you out there who regularly come to read me. Thank you, thank you.

I also got a fun chance to see what the other one-shot wonders were searching for when they stumbled onto me. This list is at once amusing and disturbing:

1) Second Life beginner island
2) "second life" astronomy stars viewer
3) sl "script limits"
4) Nova Albion Infohub
5) bradford reagent ldh
6) adult free pronvideo
7) Anna Nalin, PA
8) second life zeppelin -led -lez
9) how to make bot using pluto
10) besteality stories
11) copybot torley
12) pluto their ailens

Adult free porn? Besteality stories? Their ailens? Who in Nunchuck's Good Green Grid is searching for "Anna Nalin" in Pennsylvania? I have no idea why anyone is trying to connect Torley with Copybot or how to make one. The stupider idea would be someone trying to copybot Torley, as if he wouldn't notice. I'm pretty sure the 'bradford reagent' is due to me copying a lab report in here somewhere in a drunken stupor one night. That's pretty redundant since I usually post in a drunken stupor.

In terms of the most visited page, the 'Great Evils' posts seem to draw the most attention. Maybe I should do more of those. There's also someone who is continually accessing the archives for October 08 and is most certainly a bot. Attention Bot: there is nothing interesting there. Sorry. At least, I think so. I'm not going to dig through the hundred pages or so in my archives. And on that tangeant, I'm not going to count them either, probably in the two hundred range.

Finally, just to freak out the bot, I'm going to insert the following phrases:

Pigeons diarrhea Samsung Pringles number two five four three two one mirado warrior Troll Ink Printer AIDS thumbnail anal coronal totally patent patient Oregon Trail drill The Great Escape Emergency 911 silverware desire Girl Scout Cookies California Here I Come Terrorist machine gun curve cubane predebtor rojak declassification jitter Federalized Athwart Dammit Slily Lily Lillee Garment Roadrunner Comcast lust Sydney Dyspareunia Family Friendly Fun

And this is certainly going to be fun!

Friday, April 10, 2009

On Short Hair

Today (or more accurately right now) I let my (Second Life) hair down. I had a run of short hairstyles that I bought on a whim on my birthday and as I hadn't changed my appearance for some time, I decided the time was ripe for a hairdo to be done! Of course, unless you hung out with me a lot in Second Life, you probably didn't notice and this post isn't going to make a lot of sense. Oops.

In any event, no one seemed to notice too much. I think Madison made a comment, but it was only because I was changing it directly in front of her. Am I an attention seeking narcissist? Oh Yea! I was kind of sad that no one said anything to feed my insatiable appetite. I suppose no one really takes a good look at each other to notice. "Oh, she's got hair, nothing new. Just like every other human being I have met."

One thing that did cause quite a start among everyone was my experimentation with different colors. 'Dying' my hair was very entertaining. People may not notice the style but they certainly notice the shade! Which is understandable as you don't need to alt-zoom into my follicles to notice, right?

I first tried it jet black, and was asked if I was going 'emo'. When I said no, then I was obviously 'goth' it seems. The concept of dark black hair was too much and there must have been some deep meaning into it! I tried brunette next and no one seemed to mind that much. Aside from the 'you changed your hair!' comment after the fact. I went through about seven shades of that, even a few with streaks (one made me look like I was on fire literally with the orange and red highlights), and the reaction was mostly 'blah'.

White was met with 'Hey Grandma' and I am way too young for that so that was quickly ditched (My friend Winter, though, does not seem to mind it as much. Then again, Winter's a ghost and doesn't care much for the earthly plane as it is). And I wasn't about to try any sorts of redheads because I just have this aversion to it. At one point, almost all my friends were fiery and I fear blending in. Except when something nasty (like a rabid dog or a neurologist or a loan collector) comes and then I wish I could blend into the wall. They'll never take me alive.

I think next time I'll try truly ridiculous styles and colors. Gigantic purple pigtails, anyone? How about ankle length blue hair with dotted navy streaks? An Afro? I'll keep you guys updated if and when I do.

On The Vast Ocean

It's amazing to look at the grand map of the Second Life universe and gawk at the thousands of islands (and the huge continents) that dot its ocean. Just look at them all!

And if you zoom in real close, you can pick out all little details. You can spot the homes and trees if it's a residential sim (most of them are) and sometimes the land is sculpted into clever little shapes (my university's is a cute little dragon). You can always tell a shopping mall: they're the big blocks or sometimes rings and split into little cubicles (although the divisions may not be visible from space).

Some people have actually made little continents of their own. I find that amazing because it must take some serious cash to run all those islands or some serious business skills to maintain whatever source of income the purpose of the continent is bringing down.

But what I find interesting is that this landscape isn't molded scenery like the main continents are. No, these are little parcels that are built up to the specifications of the buyer. Aside from providing the space, Linden Lab does nothing to interfere. It feels the most organic than most other games of this type, and I dunno whether it's the tools or what. Granted, teh graphics do bring it down with textures that don't load or don't fit and so on. But it's interesting to see what people make when they have full reign over everything. Maybe I need to expand my horizons, haha.

In any event, I try to imagine how long it would take to visit every island. And by visit I mean 'stay for ten minutes (even then probably too short a time) and poke around, then move on'. Even if it's just someone's home, like the little spy I am I enjoy seeing how they decide to decorate.

I should really do a show about it. Like that show that was on MTV where they'd visit the homes of these superstars. I can't remember the name.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I walk with a hasty pace down 35th. My purse is clutched deep against my side but my gut is too preoccupied with other things than to whine with pain. Why had I delayed and squandered time, I thought. What costly absentmindedness! I pour my concentration into the long path ahead.

The dim warm sodium lights did little to illuminate the path, accentuating instead the night. I scurry between them, each an island such as they are distantly spaced. Along my path imposing rows surround and encase me. Their windows betray not a flicker of a candle. They are bottled up and against the night but some are simply empty and some are simply empty lots. All loom from the depths and just as quickly return to it.

Down the scarred sidewalk I hurry. Each step is one closer to home. The sounds of insects and birds and people are absent but not for lack of notice. I pull my purse tighter ruining the smooth surface with my nails digging deep into it. The contents are surely just as ruined. But that does not matter nor is it noticed now. Perhaps later.

The sound of a distant rumbling resonate through the ground. Just the trains, I thought with a startle, and I am rewarded with the accompanying squeaks and protests of brakes and electric lines far off. The wish of a bus line here to accompany it crosses the mind. It's a dream unfortunately denied.

The sound of footsteps catch my attention, behind me, then muffled and distant as its owner, invisible in the night, wanders off down a different block, no longer behind me. A rustle alerts me as a harmless bag drifts across the road kicking up trash along the way. More rustling as the wind picks up and blows it all around playfully.

Snapping attention upwards from that sudden distraction, a white light emanating from one lot ahead brightens the path. I feel pulled towards it like a moth spiraling slowly to the flame. I wondered, what could be there? Why such an attraction at such a time? I slowly approached the source apprehensively, keeping a vigilant eye upon the neighborhood.

A sole floodlight is keeping watch over this particular residential vacancy. A silhouette stands against it. The broad tall figure casts a lone long shadow which reaches towards me. I am transfixed by the scene. The surroundings dissolve around me, my focus drawn solely on this man.

And then he turns to me:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On State Fossils

I was goofing around Wikipedia today and somehow wandered onto the state fossil page. There's the usual: A bunch of dinosaurs. For some reason, Pennsylvania took a trilobite as its state fossil. While I applaud their daring, one has to admit that trilobites are not very sexy state fossils. Also, at least two other states chose it as well (each one clarifies by choosing a specific species).

But I found something amazing:

According to the State of Vermont, the Beluga whale is the super special and distinct preserved remains symbol of Vermont. What the...? Shouldn't that be the state whale or something? How desperate were they for fossils that they chose the Beluga? And even more amazing: Wikipedia chose a 'in-the-flesh' picture of a beluga in subtle mockery of Vermont.

I know fossils do not necessarily mean that the species or genus is extinct and that fossils are merely preserved remains in and of themselves, but everyone in the public assumes that if something is a fossil, it's not around anymore (except, of course, in the fossil form). There is the potential that children doing papers on Vermont will claim the Beluga is extinct! Talk about confusion.

As it turns out, however, there's a fairly legit reason for Vermont's decision. A beluga fossil was found in Lake Campaign and it became quite the hit down there. So big that their legislature decided the time was ripe to honor it and thus the beluga became the state fossil. Oddly enough, they did not appoint a state whale and the state mammal is a horse.

My home state of Pennsylvania has a state electric AND steam locomotive, state beautification plant (Crown Vetch), state beverage (it's not an alcoholic drink), and a state soil (Hazelton). So in the grand scheme of things, perhaps Vermont isn't so weird. I'll bet other states have some real gems as well.

Monday, April 6, 2009

On Voice

Last night was typical of my recent second life.

Jurin took me to a session with the cast of The Guild, which I'd never heard before and concerns the real life face of those playing online games. It was pretty elaborate as someone took the time to recreate the avatars seen on their website, and I have to say it was a pretty good job.

The amazing part was that I did not crash out of Second Life even though there were almost seventy other avatars crowding the sim (all packed into a tiny little corner which looked very funny). In fact, I was able to open up their webpage while it was proceeding, something which usually means instant death for my computer.

It's very strange. I'll be in some ocean sim, crawling on my hands and knees with no one and nothing on it. And on the other side of the coin, I'll be able to pleasantly chat with ninety people in the same sim with everyone running their mystiHUDs, AOs, and all the other scripted crap that people feel are necessary to play (I'll have to check one day whether the new starter avatars Linden Lab has chosen include AOs, I know the tiny dragon does). I hate it. I'm used to consistency. When I could barely move, at least I knew where to go to relieve the agony. Now, it's like roulette.

Also, once again Voice cuts out and kills me. The entire show was in Voice chat. My attempt to turn it on resulted in immediate paralysis. As in, the voices came in sounding like machine guns (nasty stuttering) and the viewer froze. There was a parallel stream, but it wasn't through Second Life, and half the point of attending was to get into Second Life and listen to them. If I used that option, I might as well log out. And of course, that is when Voice decides it wants to work in the first place. All too often it gives me the middle finger and I can't hear anyone.

When it's enabled, it kills me. And when it's not enabled, I'm rendered deaf and pointless. With increasing frequency all major Second Life events outside of small time inworld crews are exclusively voice and while I acknowledge the fact that the fans want to hear the voices of the actors they admire, it's annoying. I stood around supporting the bleachers and chatting to my friends in IM. Such is life.

Since I wasn't doing anything else, I listened into the local chat which, oddly enough, seemed to be how people were asking questions of the cast. When they opened up the Q&A, anyway, it did seem like everyone blurted one out. That's pretty crazy. Did everyone just listen to that podcast outside of Second Life? So anyway, I tuned into the local chat, and it was entertaining to hear what people were blabbing while the show was going on.

I'm rather scatterbrained. I don't tend to save chatlogs manually onto notecards or notepads. I have chatlogging enabled and that takes care of it for me. Once again, my memory failure struck and I do not have the chatlogs on me. Why? When I uninstalled and reinstalled Second Life, it must have reset all the settings and chatlogging is by default turned off. So I've got nothing. Zilch. And without the logs, I really can't remember the details. Just take my word for it that it was really bizarre.

It seems like I'll be busy for some time trying to fix Voice or my computer. Most likely the latter which is rapidly approaching its third birthday. If it goes, I'll be deaf and blind in Second Life. Or probably more like 'dead'.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

On Resident's Choice Awards Voting

The voting has been up for the resident's choice awards for some time now, and I must say that it's immense fun. In fact, it's a bit more open than I imagined it would be.

The first step is to list your language, country, and Second Life name. No logging in necessary, I wonder, however, if you can spoof another person's name. There doesn't seem to be a system to distinguish whether the real Anna Tsiolkovsky is voting. The page stipulates that you can only vote once which raises some questions as to what the Lab will do if an avatar suddenly exhibits multiple personality disorder.

On another note, how does language and nation determine 'winners that represent the opinions of each community'? Are we going to get specific winners in each language and nation? Why the hell should the vote be influenced in any way by nationality and language? The only influence should be the language in which the questions are presented. Does this imply that some weighting system to adjust the ballots? Does a Brazilian's vote get less weight than a Canadian's? Someone please enlighten me, perhaps a mental block is preventing me or encumbering me here.

There's about forty questions, and after the initial round of 'favorite place to hang out', 'favorite gallery', and so on, we get strange and rather specific ones. Like 'favorite place to Victorianize and get Steam Punky'. I've only met one person, actually two maybe, who was into that scene. Favorite place to get my AO on and Be Tiny? Robot Rebellion? What? Awfully detailed, aren't we? Why isn't there a 'favorite place to be a caveman' or 'favorite place to be a mole' or 'favorite place to form an angry mob against the Lindens'?

It goes on:

Favorite place to be emo or be goth, guys! Post Apocalypse! I should have campaigned for 'favorite flower garden'. I like gardens. Or 'favorite place to fall asleep', I don't recall that being in there.

I do like the open space with which to vote. There's no hindrance on selecting from a chosen few, although the Lindens have certainly already singled some people out in secret. My problem, and this is specific to me and not likely you, is that I didn't think to get my list of landmarks and places and names out beforehand so many of my entries were very spur of the moment and horribly misspelled. Like Tsiolkovksy, that's always a tricky one to spell. I just used a different arrangement each time, so I had "Anna Tsiolkovky", "Anna Tsolkovsky", "Anna Tsilkovsky", "Anna Tsiolkovski" and so on.

As for places, it seems you need to know the slurls and I was completely lost. I did this around 1 AM and I was not in the mood to dig through everything. So to everyone whose sims I voted for, I apologise in advance as my vote for you is likely to be thrown out. And of course, I screwed up sim and parcel names, too. I realized the next day (after a very good sleep) that it's Blackwater and not Blackwood. Damn!

The results are to be released on the 17th this April and I am excited to see what the English United States of American voters opinioned as representing the best in our community.

Bonus Content: Check out what spellcheck says is the correct spelling of my name:

On Rainbows

Update: I cannot find a picture of it. It's one of those times I curse myself for not have a camera phone for these spur of the moment things.

I missed the shuttle and had to trudge all of fifteen blocks back home. The weather was warm and cooperative, but looking west an ominous black line was on the horizon. Me being the excellent meteorologist that I am, I misjudged the turn it would take and got caught soaking wet.

It was a schizophrenic day, well, actually more like multiple personality disorder day as the rain came off and on, the clouds would break up and then suddenly plunge the world into night.

But I was soaking wet! Stupid weather systems.

As I got home, I caught a glance of the skyline to the east, and I saw what may be the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. As the sun came out to the west, it cast its light upon the Center City skyline, causing all numbers of things.

A beautiful double rainbow, clear and glistening as the sunlight reflecting off the glass castles of Center City. Arching high over the towers tall and rich and placing its feet in the run down and blight stricken ghettos to the north and south of it.

Do you suppose those people reaped the rewards of the pot of gold? Either that, or a whole lot of breakfast cereal. When I can, I'll nab a photograph.

On Walled Gardens

For April Fool's, while some were making drama of leaving, M Linden decided it would be an ideal time to declare that new Second Life servers would be available! This was no surprise to anyone. Linden Lab regularly prints out land and rolls it out like wet toilet paper.

But lo! Look closer, my friends! As it turns out, these new servers would have the option of being completely walled off from the main grid! Yes, you will be able to run a server all of your own that does not have to deal with the main grid and all its woes. No more worrying about newbies crashing in or griefers parading around. Your little patch of land will be isolated from it all. I imagine it something like Dinotopia or Atlantis, where life goes on despite being completely isolated from the rest of the planet.

This is quite an ideal solution for colleges. They'd no longer have to deal with Second Life's troubles and nasty residents. They can do their own thing off the grid where no one can touch them. They can set up their chemistry models and displays of all kinds with no interference. Which is a good thing, I think, because honestly that's the way it is now. Most colleges have their islands isolated to their group which you need permission to join. And you can only join if you are a registered student (or special visitor). I'm not sure, but likely they won't have to deal with the downtimes either, or when the grid decides to play dead.

Businesses can use Second Life as a glorified office meeting. I know in the past that a few of them attempted to create an ad of sorts out of their island, but each them it didn't seem to pan out. Either they would have a barebones display of posters on plywood panels or a few random activities such as rollerboarding or dunk the avatar. I know I still have my cement star from AOL island's Walk of the Stars, with my handprint and name on it (my name got the shaft, however, as Tsiolkovsky was too long for the imprinting script). Both of those options fizzled, but the allure of holding an office meeting, where you can see another person face to avatar (the idea is that you'd make your avatar look like you) and be able to show off some concept in a 3D space as a prototype (even if only as a show) was and apparently still is strong. Or so Linden lab says.

Probably more but I'm too lazy to think or remember them.

So we appease those two markets. Linden Lab survives another day! Hail the conquering heroes! Corporations and Universities get their wish of not having to deal with us proles, and us proles no longer have to deal with lame islands and the constant whine of a community that is closed and too adult and 'losers who need first lives hur hur'.

Let's look farther, though. How will Linden Lab give out these islands? Do I have to be an official University or Corporation? Will the Tsiolkovsky Industrial Co. be granted the go-ahead? Or what if Linden Lab lets any old avatar buy one?

I think people would jump for them. Think of it: you and a select group of friends would have your own private sandbox to build or do the nasty in without all the world gazing in on you. It is basically the same attraction as the big businesses, except on a much smaller scale. You would have the weight of Linden Lab's power upon you to keep separate from that yucky ol' main grid with its dirty newbies and icky griefers.

The problem would lie in the cost. As some have already pointed out, to take possibly take advantage of this fat cash calf, Linden Lab would jack the price up fairly high. It's reasonable, they are arranging a server tailor made to you and made separate from their entire world. And for deeper reasons, they don't want everyone to rush in and have the grid end up a billion isolated islands, like small planets in a giant universe. At least, not yet, anyway.

So, would those people buy such a thing? Would they value their privacy and pixel sex enough to buy the special SL GRID super special awesome separate island?

We do see that they (they being everyone who participates in the act of pixual intercourse) will pay good sums for good prim genitals, and good homes and beds in which they can perform. And security orbs to make sure people stay off their lawn even if alt zoom renders that moot. They went and bought lots of those Openspaces as a cheap way to set up. They still pay good money for an island to fortify.

I'm being a prude. I'm sure the idea that you could have a private off-grid island is appealing to some. I can see people joining together to pay the support and tier for it, they already do this with regular islands and groups. In theory, this should be a good match.

But the one thing that I think shoots down that theory is that with the current tools, all this can be effectively done. Islands usually aren't joined unless a special order is put out, and putting up ban lines and access lists takes care of unwanted interlopers. And for far far less cash. The sole benefit is the (still undefined and rumored) separation, in total, from the main grid. Which leads us to ask: how deep is that separation? The best would be a complete break from the central grid and its rolling restarts and crashes and such. I think M says as much.

Aside from the rolling restarts, has the grid completely failed lately? I can't recall it doing so recently although I will admit to have a lacking presence in Second Life lately.

The cost, that's the rub. I doubt it will be cheap. It will likely be very expensive. We don't know yet because M loves a good cliffhanger and promises to tell us 'this summer' which narrows it down to June through August. July? Until we know the details, we can only know that it will be completely separated from the grid and it's implied it will be expensive. It's targeted specifically towards big business and universities (although Openspace was supposed to target island owners who wanted to pretty their islands and we saw how that turned out). And it will have a beta phase, as M mentions an offer to apply to test the beta stage.

Oh, I just can't wait!

Friday, April 3, 2009

On Comics

No, not stand up comedians. Visual print comics.

When I pick up the Inquirer in the morning, after looking at how the world became more screwed up while I slept I check out the comics page. There's something reassuring about Garfield eating a metric ton of food. Call me what you will, but I like Garfield. I find Garfield funny. I've seen opinions and papers written about how Garfield is the bane of comics and art in general, but for some reason, that's never held a bearing on me. Fat orange cats are just my thing, I suppose. There's no shortage of newspaper comics.

And there's certainly no shortage at all of online comics. Most of them are just terrible. Godawful terrible. The drawing and art will have all the talent of a kindergarten child who just learned how to fingerpaint. Their writing will make my prose look as if Jane Austen crafted it. But there are a few gems out there. If you're willing to dig through the enormous pile present. I bookmark a few of them, and when the urge strikes I check up on them.

There are hardly any comics that focus on Second Life. Or use Second Life as a medium. I can think of about two off the top of my head, and from a quick search through the internet I found three more. And I don't like any of them, to be honest.

Let's first point out that using Second Life as the visual medium is extremely difficult to do. With a hand drawing, you can quickly slap something down. With photoshop, you can do the same with a mouse or tablet. With films and real life photographs, you have control (usually) over what is in the scene. All four of those involve little work to invest in. Don't get me wrong. Getting the photo or film or any of those to actually be any good, it takes a lot of time and knowledge. But the basic bare-bones needs are accessible to any Tom, Dick, and Harry. But in Second Life, it's a much more difficult task.

You have to build your set from scratch which requires some working ability with the Second Life building tools which have their quirks and annoyances. You also have to dress and attire your avatars or models properly so they don't look like shit. This is harder than it looks for you must find a good skin, shape, hair, and outfit. If the image you want isn't on sale, you have to make those yourself and you have to subject yourself to tweaking the shapes, building hair (very difficult, tried it once), running photoshop and making good clothes and uploading those clothes and checking to make sure the upload is good to go (and uploads cost you L$10 a pop). Second Life avatars are about as expressive as Microsoft Sam and thus require lots and lots of time creating your own gestures and animations and poses to fit your comic. This is just the visual set up. The final step (although a step which requires at least as much, if not more investment) is to get the writing and scripting together because just having a funny visual is usually not enough.

Whew. That's quite a laundry list. It seems truly daunting. I am sure a good amount of people who try to make a comic get tangled in one of the steps I listed above and then probably give up. Even if the theoretical creator in question is very skilled at doing all that, the time one has to invest is very great. And frankly, someone who is gifted to be able to do all that will not be very interesting in writing and scripting a comic when he or she or it could make a killing building or designing or something else. The comic is a time-suck. It doesn't generate any revenue. I suppose you could compile a book together and sell it, but who inworld is going to bother? They will reason (rightly) that it's not worth it when they could spend that cash on land tier or toys or furniture.

Therein lies the second problem. How do you market such a thing? How would you entice and convince people that they should buy your book? So add marketing talent to the above list. Getting someone to notice and buy it so you can make tier is very hard. One idea would be to make a blog and showcase a few select pages so the discerning buyer can sample the flavor. Exposing yourself to critics isn't much fun, either. You then have to defend your work, or change it for the better which is a struggle unto itself, for you have to turn a nasty eye on your pride and joy. You have to then be careful not to get caught up and be too critical. Torley is sometimes right and sometimes the critic in question is just not going to be satisfied. You have to have the ability to make the proper judgement call between "I need to fix this because it honestly is not good" and "This is good enough/actually quite fine and the other guy is a moron".

In light of those considerations, you'd probably want and need a team. Which means you need to find the people who you can work with. And good luck to you on that. That means reliance on your team to do their part and get work done. As I'm sure anyone can tell you, all it takes is one slacker or asshole to royally ruin your product. When the team is small, this is especially heinous. When it's a very much a combined product, you fail. Once in college I had a slacker for a group member, and while it was a pain in the ass to hold up his end of the work (and in the end we reported him to the professor) the good thing was that we were all in the same field and thus the working knowledge was not difficult to distribute. With a project such as a SL comic where you have to make, script, and distribute/sell/market, you don't have that ability. If your writer takes a holiday, the artist and the advertiser may not be able to carry the day. Similarly, it really hits hard when the builder flakes off forcing the gesture maker to throw something together. "What? Is that supposed to be a Pollock painting or a fridge magnet?"

That's all quite a lot weighing on the fool or fools who are foolish enough to be fools and try this out.

I think the most famous of the lot is Plywood, which ended some time ago. I have to be honest, I never really found it funny. I found the jokes tired and forced. I give them credit for using Second Life as the visual medium, and of the entire lot I've read they certainly have done the most. When you can see the avatars, they're very expressive and the gestures and poses are well done. Well, ok, sometimes they got lazy. But usually the panels are very zoomed out and you can't really see what's going on. Sometimes the scene is kind of awkward. Their speech bubble placement gets really nasty later on and so congested it blocks the panels.

The jokes and stories are sometimes confusing. Who is the robot, why is he freaking out, and what the hell is with those bears? Ok, well, the bears were previously established as being evil by suffocating people, I guess. It's only the third comic, but there's no lead-up to anything to do with the robot. Plus, he spends about 75% of that strip almost out of panel talking to a car. Did he create the bears? I suppose it's supposed to be a cliffhanger, only it's right off the bat which makes me angry and confused. The next bunch of pages leave it unresolved, however. In fact, it doesn't get resolved until much later. There's a quick storyline about how evil Tringo and Avatar contests are and how stupid Newbies are (har har) which I didn't find funny, probably because I don't see either of those things as particularly bad things I would electrocute people over (although the comic was made in 2005, maybe things were different back then). There's the typical gender hysteria (zomg! who's what gender!?!?) which explores the whole Gender Detective aspect. After about 25 comics, they finally get to the original cliffhanger.

This one made me crack a smile, and is probably the best in my opinion. The joke is simple (even if it depends upon one knowing the pop cult reference which is sketchy). Compare it to this, where I'm not sure where exactly the joke is. It just kind of peters out. I think it might be due to the wordiness. The way the joke is ham fisted into the reader as if they could not put two and two together and assume it's worse to be a prim on a vibrator than in hair is partly due to how it's over explained. I think that's the problem with most of the Plywood comics. Too many words. It's a visual medium, they should have left something open instead of turning it into a small novel.

Dwell On It was another one, which has many of the same faults as Plywood. The camera is zoomed so far out that if I made two squiggles they would have the same resolution. Take this one, for example. It's okay in the first and second panels, since we need to establish that the newbie is running up and down a large street. But why is the third panel still somewhat zoomed out? The large empty space above and to their right is distracting, it feels lopsided. This one too. Once you've established the park bench, you should have panned the camera in a little.

I did find it more clever, though. The bit on LL censoring made me giggle. Probably because it wasn't as wordy and let the picture tell the story. In that one, we didn't get a long spiel from Tateru about the region crashing, and the Lindens somewhere cackling and explaining everything, no. She comes in, the blue box of doom appears, and she curses as she logs off. This one made be actively laugh. If the writer took a little more care in setting up the panels and adjusting the camera, it would be pretty good, actually.

There was a running story about what happens after she was forcibly logged off. It was alright, but not as good as her stand alones. She hasn't updated in a while, since November 2008, so perhaps she ended it or forgot about it. Oh well. If it seems I didn't grill this one (and the successive comics) as much, it's because there's not as much there. Plywood was fairly large with about 70 pages most of which were an actual page, Dwell On It is maybe half that with little four panel skits.

Next up is the aptly named... Second Life Comics. Not a very original title. This is even smaller, only about twenty pages. This one manages to solve the problem the first two fell into, which is placing the scenes together nicely. The panels seems fuller, I can actually see faces. Establishing shots are occasionally used, but then zooms in to focus in on the avatars who, rightly, are the center of the action. The author must have been in some graphic design course or something, I'd bet on it. The only downside is that while we see the avatars in a clearer light, their faces aren't as expressive and always seem somewhat apathetic.

Some of the jokes rely upon the visuals which is good. This one, for example. Some are just strange and disturbing. I think they were going for shock value, but I am not the kind of person who finds pure shock on its own as funny. Some I just don't understand. Did they forget something in there? Also, the "Is Not" girl looks a lot like me, only tanner. I found this one brilliant, if not a tad on the stereotyping side. At least twice the author threw in some political commentary about Palin, which was alright I guess. She makes a disturbing avatar. I'd say the writing is hit or miss. Sometimes I laughed, sometimes I scratched my head. You know what? Dwell on It and 'Second Life Comics' should pair up, because between the two I can see a very good comic.

Rabble.ca is a flickr book. This is by far the worst. As far as I understand, it was done as an advertisement for something that I didn't bother to investigate. The panels are absolutely terrible and are so poorly positioned you'd think you were on the International Space Station viewing it on the ground. Seriously, the arrangements are bad. The entire pretense of being a comic breaks down by the third page and it turns into a collage. The dialogue, as expected, is equally terrible and serves mostly to advertise. You know, I guess I'm being too harsh. This was just a quick job to advertise whatever it was. Still, it came up when I google searched for "Second Life Comics" so they asked for it.

The Herald once ran a serial called "Alien 28 versus Plagarizer". These were not meant to amuse but to tell a drama. The story is that Coke, a random avatar, meets with another avatar called Alien 28. They band together to fight the guy who stole Alien28's stuff. Like Second Life Comics, the panels are arranged and set very beautifully. They zoomed in and out at very appropriate times. Gestures and poses were nicely done. Too bad Coke, the main character, seems to be a chameleon. She goes from a pale blond to black hair and a deep tan with tattoos, every page or so. The author performed a self insert (a problem in itself), so in the day-to-day change of their avatar, they screwed up the comic as for what I can see no explanation is given.

The pretty graphics are murdered by the waves of text and speech bubbles. I'm surprised the characters can breathe, it gets so cluttered. The real problem is that, with limited space on the Herald, they tried to cram as much as possible into the three or so pages per article. The story suffers as a result, as everything gets rushed and the pages are awash with white bubbles.

Finally, I don't find the story itself that interesting. I'm sorry, but it sounds just like every other accusation and fight over who stole what that I see and hear everywhere. On the last two posts, she drifts from focusing on the content debate into individual stories: Coke gets turned out homeless and the Alien gets abducted. And that was it. It hasn't updated since January, so we'll never know what ending was in store, although she repeatedly mentioned that she only planned the first two to explain her situation. Oh well. It was that great of a concept to begin with.

The next bunch are what I have come to call "Flash In The Pan" comics. They seemed to have at most nine pages before they fired out.

This person created a comic book, an educational one about how to dress up. I haven't really read it, but it doesn't seem as if she made anything else. I should really check out her place in SL.

This one is about furry goreans. It's not spectacular, and the writing is pretty blah. It's the kind of thing you pass between friends, really. Hey, kind of like this blog! She moved all her stuff over to some other site, which I don't feel like chasing down, plus I think she got kicked out of second life from one of the posts.

Patches of Insanity died after three strips, even though the count is up to four. I couldn't find #2. Haha, get it? It wasn't that good, but it's hard when there is such a small sample. Some people take a while to get revved up. We'll never know.

Finally, this person makes virtual world comics about a bunch of different virtual worlds. There's twelve total. They're alright. Not the best, but not especially bad. Like Garfield? The graphics are good, however.

That's about all I can find on Second Life comics. Some were ok, some were bad. It'd be nice if someone would take up and make a good one. I can imagine it might help Linden Lab's already horrendous public relations. Plus, it'd be fun to read.

I'm really bored.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Adiós Muchachos, Compañeros de Mi Vida

Edit: My April Fool's Day joke was in rather poor taste, don't you agree? D:

My dear friends, all 19 of my readers, I have seen the light. All this time I have been railing against Linden Lab and making fun of Torley, and I finally have seen it. The problem isn't with Linden Lab, it is with me! Yes, their policies are right and I am the one who is at fault!

After this revelation, I have decided to quit Second Life and quit this blog. It is the only viable option. I have to leave to allow Second Life and Linden Lab to operate smoothly. I know I said I'd stick with Second Life until the heat death of the universe, but it turns out to be a lie. A terrible lie.

I'm going to go far, far away. I might never come back.

I'm going to find myself,

And perhaps