Saturday, November 30, 2013

Role Play:

Romantic love is like a beautiful sunrise, promising everything and nothing. And then the clouds move in and rain begins to fall. Small drops at first and then a torrential drenching downpour that leaves you soaked and shivering like an addict deep in withdrawal. When it's over, you'll wonder how you survived.

Is that something you want to role play?

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I'm giving thanks to those who will see it: you. The people who read my blog. As long as you read what I write, I don't care if anyone else does. It's written especially for you.

Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you had a good one.

Feeling Funky:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Late Night Thoughts:

Have you ever thought how you could make someone's profile more interesting with a slight revision? For instance, a friend of mine has this for the first line of her profile: 
I came here out of curiosity and stayed for the great people.
Not bad, but a little bland. What if instead she wrote:
 I came here out of curiosity and stayed for the great people slex.
That might get too much attention and give some people the wrong idea about her. So what if she alternatively wrote:
I came here out of curiosity and stayed for the great people lag.
I don't know about you, but it's the lag that keeps me coming back. Surely you've seen those ToS entries that claim the right to do whatever they want with IMs? What if someone had a ToS entry that stated:
You are hereby notified by dancing with me in excess of five minutes obligates you to slex me at my request upon cessation of dancing. Failure to comply shall result in a L$1,000 payment penalty to discharge the obligation.
That should provide a fun way to end those dances that just go on and on forever.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Portable Weather:

I put together a portable weather device. You wear it and click on it and it gives you a choice of snow or rain. Click again on your selection and the snow or rain stops. It will work in no-script areas too if you wear it in a script-enabled area first and then enter the no-script area. If you are in an area where build is enabled, you can just rez it in-world instead of wearing it.

If you would like to try it, it's free through Thanksgiving. Click -->here<--. Let me know if you have any problems with it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


I don't walk, I limp. You can see me mutter, but understand only pain. My mind is not peaceful. It is not an alpine meadow or a gentle morning mist. It is a debris field, a burnt out forest, a siren screaming in the distance and strewn garbage. Every dawn is heartbreaking. The weak morning light finds my face so pale and dead that mirrors hardly reflect the visage. There is no light behind my eyes. My spirit long ago fled. The skin is grey parchment with deeply written sorrow. If I had a god, it would be sadness.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Do It Yourself:

People entering Second Life give up their bodies. Only avatars inhabited by their owners' souls can be seen. Tears of false camaraderie fall like rain, but nothing really changes. The jilted lover finds another to betray her. The sensitive man that always wanted to be a woman is crushed by rejection. The bitter finds someone else to be angry at. The scammer finds another to cheat. The lonely remain lonesome, and the vampires go about collecting souls.

There is magic here, but you have to make it yourself.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Out of Reach:

The men found themselves in an unimaginable bounty of women. The women with few exceptions, appeared voluptuous, young, and with delightfully slim, long-legged hourglass figures. Most of the women were not shy about showing their assets. The men flitted from one woman to another, like hopped-up butterflies.

The women were in heaven. Suddenly they could have that figure or hairstyle they had always wanted. Clothes, and especially shoes, were no longer prohibitively expensive. Men actually approached that weren't balding and didn't have pot bellies.

But somehow it wasn't paradise. The women kept wanting that one man that would want only them. The men kept wanting every woman that attracted them. True love was forever out of reach. You might as well have been reaching for the moon.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Loneliest:

Builders are the loneliest people in Second Life. Whenever I try to build and chat at the same time, I usually end up accidentally deleting my build or my house. And trying to script and chat at the same time? Forget it. Avoid builders, they're nothing but trouble.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Angular Momentum:

Angular momentum is my favorite xkcd post:

 Angular Momentum

The reason this works is because the spinning is an earnest useless act by the woman for her lover. It's like a man giving flowers to a woman. Flowers are pretty much useless with short shelf life. They're worse than bananas. What matters is that he's thinking of her.

In comparison, a person sentenced to hang by the neck at sunrise until dead wouldn't spin to lengthen the night. It would be useless and not make an iota of difference. That the woman is doing it, demonstrates that she would do anything for her lover.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Two Eternities:

Each individual life is but a flash of light between two eternities of darkness.
-Ella D'Arcy, The Web of Maya
The first eternity is the time before conception. The second is the eternity after death. But I'm not sure the eternities are dark. There is starlight for a good long part of both eternities. 

I wonder which eternity is longer. Supposedly, a really long time ago there was a big bang and an expansion of the universe. Will the amount of time that has elapsed since the big bang until now be greater or less than the time from now until the universe collapses into itself?

Was there really an eternity before my birth? Has the universe cycled forever between expansion and contraction and only during this most recent contraction was the earth and human life created?

Some infinities can be greater than others. We know that from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. There are an infinite number of moments between now and tomorrow as there are between now and next year. But the infinity of moments between now and tomorrow is less than the infinity of moments between now and next year.

The trick is to be grateful for the little infinity that we get.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Noble Truths:

The first of the four noble truths taught by Buddha is that life is suffering. That seems to hold true even in Second Life. Why would anyone recreate suffering in a virtual world? It's supposed to be all rainbows and unicorns.

The suffering is less extreme in SL, but it can still be intense. Someone rents a place and the cruel landlord returns all their items before the expiration of the rental period and refuses to refund any of the rent money. Someone believes they've found the love of their life and is devastated when they find out their love has a different gender from what they were led to believe and is unfaithful to boot. Someone gets banned from a sim because of furry prejudice and on and on.

The lesson to take away from this is that there is no escape from suffering. There are probably angels in heaven that are borderline suicidal because they're not god's favorite.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Ending:

I chatting with a novelist last night at a rave. Her secret was to write the ending first. It sounds like a great idea. I've been obsessed with beginnings and continually getting stuck in the middle. So here's my attempt at an ending:
Broken glass crunched beneath her shoes as she entered the room. She stopped for a moment and her eyes grew wide. He lay slumped against the wall, breathing heavily. His face was smudged with black and his nose was bleeding. His lower lip was split and one eye was swelling shut. She ran the last fews steps and kneeled before him, sweeping his hair away from his forehead. "Are you all right?"

"I'm dying," he whispered. He had one hand pressed against his side. She looked closer and saw a dark red stain on his shirt, spreading under his hand.

"No," she said, "it's going to be okay. I'm here. We'll get you to a hospital." She pulled her cell phone out of her pocket and started to dial. "Damn, no signal. I've got to go outside to call. Wait here." She stood to go.

"If I don't make it, I want you to tell them something for me."


"Tell'em I died angry."

"Oh baby, you don't want to die angry, not with me here" She knelt and kissed him ever so gently, being careful of his split lip. "I'm sorry."

"Okay, tell'em I died hard."

Friday, November 8, 2013

Infinite Loop:

It's Friday night. There's nothing to do until Sunday, except:
  • Eat,
  • Rave,
  • Sleep, and
  • Repeat.

I Was Happy:

In a dream I found a way to avoid Obamacare and I was happy.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Failing In Life:

Do you think it's possible to fail in life? Consider something simpler like Second Life. How could you fail there? It's not possible because it's not a game. It's merely for entertainment. So how could you fail in real life? It's not a game either. Nobody even knows what it's for. Nonetheless, I have this nagging feeling that I'm failing.

Some people have considered the question from the opposite direction. In particular, there was an essay published long ago defining success:
To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded
The author sets a pretty low bar, so maybe I'm not failing as badly as I thought. The foregoing essay is often attributed to Ralph Wald Emerson, but the original author was Bessie A. Stanley. It was called What is Success and published in a compilation entitled Heart Throbs.

Heart throbs were defined by the publisher as those things that make us all kin; those things that endure—the classics of our own lives.

I've spent most of my life looking for heart throbs. I hope you've found a few.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


To those who can't sleep
and sometimes cry at night.
To those feeling smaller than life.

To the trapped and
hating where they're at.
For those wishing they've breathed their last.

To those at dead ends
and in holes so deep,
they don't even bother to weep.

To those wanting heroes
and needing hope.
To those for whom the word hope is a cliched joke.

To everyone who has ever sold
their time and health for minimum wages.
To those living through dark ages.

To the defiant
To those screaming at the sky.
To those asking why.

I'm so sorry.
I wish I knew.
Because my words are for you.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Too Depressed:

I was going to post something, but I got too depressed. Depression isn't bad for writing, but you need to be in deep despair to the point where you lose your inhibitions and write material that is shocking. If I'm lucky, maybe something bad will happen to me tomorrow that will send me over the edge. OK, keeping my fingers crossed.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Beauty of the Realm:

I've been enjoying gathering crystals at Linden Realms. It's deeply relaxing and somewhat financially rewarding.

One of the fringe benefits is the beautiful scenery. To see it, you have to use the region windlight settings. If you enable particles, there are even weather effects and the regions are low-lag. Below are a couple of photos, one from near sea level, the other from one of the tallest mountain peaks.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Superpower:

Friends sometime call me Randall the Candle. To me that sounds like a kind of superhero. So I asked them what my superpower would be. They said it would probably be breaking stuff. I don't think that's fair. It's not that I break things a lot, it's that they buy cheap stuff that easily breaks.

Breaking things is not a super power. That's just being clumsy. I think my super power should be generating light, about as much as a candle. Maybe I could cup my hands together to form a dark void between my palms. And if you look into the dark void, you could see light radiating from my palms. It would be great for party tricks.

My favorite superpower would be to have the powers of a prophet. It would give me the ability to persuade with deep conviction. I would have many devoted followers and be able to perform minor miracles. If someone was disabled, I would be able to call upon my abilities and heal them, but not with great reliability. Sometimes it wouldn't work and I would blame the failures on lack of faith.

The worst part about being a prophet would be passing the collection plate around. I hate asking for money. So I would probably be a poor prophet.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Do You Believe:

He believed in something he called the true world. A world behind this one, that shone through it, like a candle through a lampshade.
-Janet Fitch, Paint It Black
Do you believe in the true world? An idealized version of this one that we catch glimpses of sometimes? I accidentally rediscovered the true world.

I had started going for walks at lunch. Usually I eat at my desk first and then hike past the restaurant that I can't afford to eat at. It's not for torture, it's for exercise. On a whim last week, I walked in the opposite direction and discovered a small, well kept nature park. I did a circuit through the park and found a path leading under a bridge. After the bridge, the path opened up on a sandy trail paralleling a stream.

It was another world hidden away in an industrial park. Large trees shaded the trail, dappling it with sunlight. The path led to a picnic table in a grove of trees. One of the trees had small oranges hanging from its branches. Further up the trail, a foot bridge gracefully arched over the steam. The scene was from another era, from before when they paved this area over with asphalt and concrete.

As beautiful as it was, I was thinking. Is it more important to see the true world or your true self? An idealized version of you that you have in your mind? The person that you could be with just a little help (or maybe a lot).

Do you still believe in that person?