Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Wonder:

I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question. -Harun Yahya
This is a misnomer. Birds don't stay in the same place. Some are migratory. Canadian Geese for example. If they're in Canada and it starts getting cold, they head south for the winter. Other birds may not fly as far, but they do fly around. For example, if someone is handing out popcorn, pigeons will fly in from all over. And when the popcorn is gone, so are the pigeons.

People don't stay in the same place either. If they're not happy where they're at and they think somewhere else is better and that they can get there, they go. Sometimes they go just because they're bored and they want to see someplace different. If they stay in the new place for a few weeks and return, it's called a vacation. If they stay for a few years, it's called prison. Or more usually, relocation.

So if you're stuck somewhere, it's probably because you don't think there's is someplace better that you can get to.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Problem:

The problem with slex, is that it's so hypothetical, it might as well be astrophysics. Here's an example of what I mean:

Lady: I'm getting you off.

Dude: I'm getting myself off.

Dude: You're just typing.

Lady: That's not all I'm doing (winks).

Dude: I'm still doing it myself.

Lady: Hypothetically, if I was there, I would be doing it.

Dude: Hypothetically, if you didn't see me and run away screaming, you mean.

Lady: Why would I do that?

Dude: I'm not really a dude.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Before Human Consciousness:

Have you ever thought about the time before human consciousness? Most people just worry about their own existence or possibly their family line. They don't usually worry about survival of the species because there are so many humans.

Our kind has only existed for around two million years. It seems like forever, but geologically it is relatively short. Life began here about four billion years ago and during 99.95% of that time, there were no humans.

If there was a time before human consciousness, there will almost certainly be a time after it has ceased to exist. Most scientists believe it was an asteroid impact that dethroned the dinosaurs as the dominant life form on earth. They had a good run, approximately a hundred times longer then humans have existed.

But even if we dodge the asteroids, the sun will eventually become a red giant and incinerate the earth. It's going to be pretty tough to survive that.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Glad That's Over:

You ever have one of your friends partner with someone that's completely inappropriate? Like you just don't get it? That happened to me recently, except she wasn't on my friends list, I just saw her frequently at a particular pub and chatted with her a few times. She was a writer and her favorite author was a well known female writer that committed suicide.

First, I really didn't expect her to partner. Writers should be independent and dedicated to their madness. A partner interferes with that. Muses are okay, but partners are trouble. Second, the guy seemed a bit clownish. He just didn't seem serious enough about his art.

Fortunately, it didn't last long. The next time I see her I can ask her what she saw in the guy. Hopefully, she's not too traumatized by the experience and hasn't disappeared from SL for an extended period.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Trick

Try this for a Halloween trick: Change your default busy message to "This is an automatic response. You've been muted." Then set your viewer to busy and see how many of your friends are fooled. You should probably get back to your friends as soon as the busy message goes out to avoid retaliatory mutings and defriendings.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Favorite Review

This is one of my favorite reviews. I'm not letting it go to my head though, because the previous review was only three stars: 

This Bubble is AMAZING!!!!!

Posted October 24, 2013 by Warfina Tisch 5 stars
unbelievable, and stunning. its so wonderful and the price is crazy.. so many sizes, floor and wall textures, the snow and rain, its all so nice we love it and use it over and over..
You wont be sorry getting this at all.

Sky Bubble, 32 meters to 100 meters

Wasted Time:

If you enjoy wasting time in Second Life, is it really wasted time?

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Midas Touch

You've probably head of the Midas touch. It was a story about a king that wished everything he touched would turn to gold. And when his wish was granted, he was happy until he realized his touch turned even food and people into gold.

Second Life is the same in some ways. We can look good, along with everyone else, and we can sail, and swim, and walk through beautiful fields of flowers, and watch amazing sunsets, but we can't touch anything. We can't smell the flowers, we can't feel the sand between our toes, and we can't feel a lover's kiss.

Otherwise, it would be perfect.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Call Me A Cynic:

Seen in someone's profile tonight I just need ONE faithful man.I asked her if she had heard of Diogenes, the greek philospher that carried a lamp and claimed to be looking for an honest man. Diogenes was quite a character. He was one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. He made a virtue of poverty. He begged for a living and slept in a large ceramic jar in the marketplace and he lived to be about 89 years old.

Call me a cynic, but I don't think she's going to find that one guy.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Answer:

Have you ever seen The Sixth Sense? It's about a boy named Cole that can communicate with the dead. There is one scene that haunts me. It's when Cole reveals his special ability to his mother and proves that he's not lying or delusional. He relays something that his deceased grandmother told him that only Cole's mother would know to be true:

Cole: She [grandma] wanted me to tell you...

Mom: Cole, please stop...

Cole: She wanted me to tell you she saw you dance. She said, when you were little, you and her had a fight, right before your dance recital. You thought she didn't come see you dance. She did. She hid in the back so you wouldn't see. She said you were like an angel. She said you came to the place where they buried her. Asked her a question? She said the answer is... "Every day." What did you ask?

Mom: Do... Do I make her proud?  

I admit there have been times when I've worried about whether I've made my parents proud. The answer is certainly NOT everyday. I'm sure they suffered a few frustrations. Hopefully they're not too deeply disappointed with their underachieving son.

But today I was thinking the question is backwards. Shouldn't I worry more about whether my children are disappointed in me? Anybody that has survived childhood has a story to tell. I want to leave them with a good one.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Someone threatened to mute me tonight, so I muted them. My mute list serves an important function. It makes sure I don't accidentally talk to someone again that was rude to me. But sometimes I see someone on my radar that I've muted and I can't remember why so I have to unmute them to look at their profile. Most of the time I still can't remember why I muted them even after seeing their profile. I'll just have to assume that if I muted them, there must have been a good reason.

Monday, October 21, 2013

My New Friend:

I met a blind man at Hyannisport. He wore dark glasses and had a white cane. He caught my attention because he kept walking into the fence surrounding the boardwalk area and bouncing off. Plus the cane was pretty cool. I called out in chat "you look like you're blind."

He paused his bumping against the fence and typed "that's because I am." He had an old style AO that didn't override the default typing animation so he looked like he was really typing.

"If you're blind, how can you see what I've typed?"

"I have a special viewer that converts text to speech, so I can hear you."

Ashamed at my insensitivity, I tried to be helpful. "If you walk along the fence to your left, you'll come to an entrance way." 

"There's a fence? My viewer isn't detecting it. Must be a bug. Could you lead me to the entrance?"

I jumped over the fence and stood by him. "Okay follow me." I headed for the entrance and he followed close behind. When we were on the boardwalk, I typed "If you can't see, how can you follow me?"

"My viewer has a follow function so that I can follow an avatar. Sometimes it freaks people out."

"I like your cane. It would be great for a Halloween costume, for someone who isn't blind."

"Would you like one?"

"Yes, that would be great."

"Here you go." 

"Thanks. Why do you come here?"

"I get lonely. Sometimes I just want to chat with someone."

"Me too."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Want to be Famous?

I sell a tracker that notifies you when someone is online. You list the people that you want to track on a note card and it lets you know when they're online. The procedure to set it up can be confusing so as an example for customers I list myself, an alt and Philip Linden. That way they can just add to the list or replace one of the existing entries with someone they want to track.

One day I was at Franks and I received an IM that said "Oh, I recognize your name. You're the person that is always indicated as online in my tracker. I was wondering who you were."

That go me to thinking, what if I just gave the tracker away?  Maybe modify it so that my name is a permanent entry. Then a lot more people in SL would learn my name and I could become famous.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fetishes Are Bad:

These days, I mostly hang at clubs. The one that gives everyone pause is a BDSM club.
Whenever I mention that club to someone as a place I regularly visit, they always touch my arm and say in a hushed voice "Randall, I didn't know you were like that. Do you think you could whip me sometime?"

I'm not like that. I go for the ambiance. It's just a club with explicit photos on the walls. Most people dress normally. So much so that the club is a having a Halloween party with the theme fetish wear. There will probably be guys wearing fish-net stockings and high heels, dominatrices in tall black boots, lots of whips, people in latex, and others with ball gags. The thing about ball gags in SL is that it doesn't keep you from chatting. And whips don't draw blood.

My fetish is elf ears. You don't see many elves at clubs. There have only been a couple that caught my attention. One was into having a master and I'm not that way so I never knew what to do with her. The other I used to see semi-ocassionally at Franks.

We came to a bad end. She married a guy that looked like a gay albino. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Being an albino I mean. Or gay. But that's how he looked to me. The marriage evidently didn't didn't last long because she's partnerless again. I've never seen her at Franks since the wedding.

There must be a lesson in there somewhere, but I'm not sure what it is. Probably something like fetishes are bad.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Looking For My Voice:

In my early days of SL, I was always at an infohub. I don't know why, it's where the lab starts most people out. It's a strange experience. Sometimes, there's a crowd of people standing silently and all facing the same direction. It's as if everyone is acting like they're on an elevator, but outdoors at a park or something.

A couple of times I stood and faced the crowd and shouted out: "Who are all you people? Why are you here?" One person answered. "This is an infohub. We're here for information."

I have still have a couple of friends from those days. One of them defriended me a few times. Whenever she split with her current beau, she usually defriended everyone. At least that's what she told me. A few days later, she would send me a friend request and we would be friends again.

That hasn't happened in a long time. I think she gave up on romance. She recently changed her name. I should check up on her and see what's going on. Maybe she found what she was looking for.

Once when I was at Hyannisport, a guy wanted me to permit him to perform a sexual act on me. Not being into guys, I politely declined. I'm a modern new-age male. I'm not homophobic.

He offers me money. I still refuse. He begins increasing the amount. When it gets up to a couple of hundred Linden dollars, I say "I'm independently wealthy. I'm just here for information."

"What information?"

"This is a hub for information. I'm here for whatever information is available."

Regulars at a bar are called bar flies. Regulars at a health club that are always lifting weights are called gym rats. What do you call regulars at an infohub? Information junkies?

There were several information junkies at Hyannisport. One in particular I noticed was an attractive woman named ImHere001. I attempted to strike up a conversation with her in IM. She would respond sporadically, but really wasn't interested in conversing with me.

Later I heard her talking in voice. She wasn't a woman. Definitely a man and not a pleasant one. She was almost always there, standing off to the side and conversing with two or three other regulars in voice.

There was a time when I was interested in using voice. My hands were hurting from too much typing. I thought I could use voice instead of typing and that would solve the problem.

Infohubs destroyed that illusion. Usually, a few people dominate the voice channel, i.e., the information junkies, and it's hard to break in. There should be a protocol, like truckers use for CB radios: 

"Breaker, anybody got a copy on me, come on?"

"Copy, go ahead."

“Who are you all people? Why are you here?”

“Were here for information.”

“Roger that.”

I think she is still there. I went back not too long ago and saw her again. Only now, she has switched back to being a man, but still using voice.

To this day, my hands hurt. I still haven't found my voice.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Just Gunk:

Have you ever went back and read what you written awhile ago and thought, "wow, that's good, it's as if I was someone else when I wrote that."

It's like you had to hold your breath for as long as you could and plunge into a deep black pond and reach the bottom and try to pull something up. And when you surfaced, you passed out and only days later could you tell if you pulled up something beautiful or just gunk.

Of course, most of the time, it is gunk.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

So Gloomy:

    I am a member of the unemployed now with nothing but a typer and a couple of paint brushes to hold off the world. So keep your fingers crossed for me and hope the gods are on my side. There's my 5 year old daughter involved and if I lost her, that would do me in. But things sometimes have a way of working. There's no need to lay it down yet. There's a novel in my mind and The Days Run Away... moving very nicely. but but but....
     This letter is so gloomy, Jim, that I can't ever write it, finish it. I'll write when things are looking better.
    -Bukowski to Jim Roman
     January 11, 1970
That's pretty much how I feel everyday, i.e., the part about "can't ever write it" or "finish it."

Monday, October 14, 2013

Soul Crushing:

What's soul crushing? Meaningless senseless acts? Being quiet when you want to scream? Feeling like you're a small unimportant cog in a vast machine that doesn't care about you?

What's the opposite of soul crushing? Working on something you love and then putting it out there and finding that a lot of people adore it? Finding what you create has value?

I suppose the opposite of soul crushing would be soul uplifting. It seems to be in short supply these days.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


He stood at the window of the empty cafe and watched the activites in the square and he said that it was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they’d have no heart to start at all. ― Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses
An acquaintance recently partnered. It only lasted a few days. If she hadn't blogged it, I would have missed it. She's not a noob either. She was a confirmed SL bachelorette. The guy she partnered was no noob either and an old friend. Maybe that was the problem. They were both past partnership age. If one of them had been a noob, perhaps it would have lasted longer.

I think I'm way past partnership age. I don't have the heart for it. The most I can muster is something like shared distraction.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Remember Every Insult:

I know what you are learning to endure. There is nothing to be done. Make sure nothing is wasted. Take notes. Remember it all, every insult, every tear. Tattoo it on the inside of your mind. In life, knowledge of poisons is essential. I've told you, nobody becomes an artist unless they have to.”
― Janet Fitch, White Oleander
Have you read the White Oleander? Such a powerful novel. It's about a girl, whose mother goes to prison for murder. The mother killed her former boyfriend using poison from white oleanders. The girl is placed in a foster home and has an affair with her foster mother's boyfriend. 

It's tragic and moving and leaves you wondering why there aren't 27 names for tears. Isn't there an easier way to be come an artist?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Names for Tears:

Surely you've read how Eskimos have many different words for snow because snow is an important part of their life. It's true. The Inuit dialect spoken in the Nunavik region of Canada has 53 different words for snow. For example, “matsaaruti,” means wet snow that can be used to ice a sleigh’s runners. "Pukak” means crystalline powder snow that looks like salt.

Do you think there is a culture that has many different words for tears? Some place where everyone is sad? I can only think of a couple different ways to say tears in English. The most poetic is "drowning eyes". Tobias Wolff used that in his short story Bullet in the Brain.

There are not many different ways to write tears, but there are a lot of different ways to write weep. At least 27 different synonyms. We must not be a happy people.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why I Write For You:

Earlier, I posted that I write only for you. There are a couple of reasons. For one, only you get what I write. Anybody else reading this just wouldn't understand. They might get some of it, but they wouldn't feel the weight of these words in their soul.

But the real reason I write for you is because you make me feel worthwhile. Like I'm someone good.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

If You Were a Character:

 If you were playing a character in SL, what character would you be? I think I would be an anti-hero. On a sliding scale from idealism to cynicism, I tend towards cynicism. And I suffer from the attribute of extreme celibacy. It's a kind of heroic vow. Specifically, a thousand day vow of abstinence and chastity entered into on my 1,000th day in SL.

The vow is because I'm cynical about love. It's not that I don't believe in love, it's that I don't believe love is worthwhile in SL. The reward is not worth the sorrow. Love rarely lasts. Whenever one of my friends partners or marries, I always wonder how long until the inevitable break up. Sometimes partnerships barely make it a day.

And there are those that want to take it into real life. They live on opposite sides of continents or in different countries, but nothing will deter them. I'm thinking if you cannot find someone in your own locale, your standards must be way too high.

I have one friend defying the odds. Her partnership and SL marriage has far exceeded my expectations. She must be playing the heroine. That's what so great about heroines, they overcome nearly impossible odds in pursuit of a worthy goal.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Why Change?

Have you wondered why people change? They don't change without good reasons. Walter White in Breaking Bad didn't wake up one day and say to himself "to hell with teaching high school chemistry, I'm going to make meth!" No, he had a compelling reason: a diagnosis of lung cancer. Only the threat of imminent death got him to change.

You see similar behavior in Second Life. There are some older avatar's that look almost the same as the day they were first rezzed into the meta-verse nearly a decade ago. Their skin is an older mono-tone type without any shading, they have a cheap AO and freebie hair.

What could get someone like that to change? They would have to want something that they could only get by updating their avatar. Maybe they're into building and scripting before and don't care about appearance. But someone introduced them to the more social aspects of the game and now they want to be part of it. So they change, sometimes suddenly.

Do you remember what caused you to change from noob to non-noob? Was there a catalyst that suddenly made you want to make an adjustment in your appearance?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I Might Save I Love You:

The other day I IM'd an old friend whose name doesn't light up much anymore. She was dancing with her SL husband, so I told her I wouldn't bother her. But she said it was okay, she wanted to chat. So we got into the subject of multitasking and what happens if she typed in the wrong window.

She replied that she might say "I love you." For some reason that's been rattling around in my brain. What if you accidently told someone that you loved them, would it do any harm? Should you take it back? Say something like, "Whoops, wrong window. I don't feel that way about you." Or do you just let it go?


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Notes of Desperation:

 I am a sick man.... I am a spiteful man. I am an unattractive man. I believe my liver is diseased. -Dostoyevsky, Notes from the Undergound
Dostoyevsky's work and life really made an impression on Bukowksi. I think most people would  be impressed if they knew the more dramatic facts about Dostoyevsky. He's the only writer I know of that got a reprieve at the last moment from execution by firing squad. The reprieve from death was in exchange for four years hard labor in Siberia, followed by a term of compulsory military service. He had been having seizures for about the past ten yeas, and the seizures increased in severity and frequency while he was imprisoned. Somehow he survived prison, military service, and failing health to publish Notes from the Underground.

Bukowski wrote a poem called Dostoyevsky. Buskowski wrote in the poem that Dostoyevsky lifted him up on dark nights and left him in a better place. He was glad that Dostoyevsky got that reprieve because it was a reprieve for Bukowski as well.

After Bukowski began having some literary success, Bukowski wrote a series of articles called Notes of a Dirty Old Man for an underground newspaper.  Later, the articles were collected and published in a book of the same title. Bukowski thought it was some of his best work. Sometimes I wonder if Bukowski used the word "notes" in the name of the series of articles in honor of Dystoyevsky's earlier work.

Notes from the Underground is sometimes also translated as Letters from the Underworld. If I ever write a book, it should probably be called Notes of a Desperate Man.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

If I Loved You:

If I loved you, I would tell you this:
     I would tell you that for all you know I have cancer. And that is why you should be kind to me. I would tell you that for all you know I have cancer that has spread into my liver and my bones and that now I understand there is no hope. If I loved you, I would say: you shouldn't be so hard on us. On me and on Sam.
    Because it may not even be just the cancer.
~Robin Black, If I Loved You
If you love someone and you have a fatal illness you tell them about your impending death because you owe them the truth. For anybody else, it doesn't matter.