"Listen with an open mind, but don't try to remember this stuff. There's no quiz at the end." Jack Kornfield

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rezz Party for Miso & Wizzy

NO pictures... NO whining...
Just this... Thursday there will be a rezz party for Miso & Wizzy at The Mill a live music venue.

I hope all  can come...
Thursday June 2nd, 2011
5PM till 7PM SLT

Live Music with Porter Paquot...
Blues, Funk, Soul,
plus a DJ

Hope to see all of you there, Miso and Wizzy are a big part of Secondlife for many of us.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reflections of a time past...

******************************Where we come from******************************
This weekend is Memorial Day in the USA, the weekend my country honours all those military service men and women that have truly given that *last full measure* their lives, in the service of this country, and perhaps your country as well in some cases.
I am getting older.
For many years this weekend was a time to party, to enjoy the company of friends and often family.
Not so this year, for what ever reason today has been a day of melancholy and reflection.
My physical health is good, and while all my family in that world where I breathe is gone, I am blessed with so many that love me in these virtual worlds.
Something is just different this year.
The USA is a country of emigrants... all of us, unless you are a member of those native American Indian groups. While Ellis Island off of New York city is where most of the early immigrants arrived, the potato Famine in Ireland found many of the Irish entering the USA via the South.
One of my earliest memories is listening to the music my grand parents loved.
Below please find one of their favorites, {mine too}, as well as one that I have come to love.
Eva Cassidy, gone at 33.

I know next week will be different... time makes everything different.

And so it goes
I love you all, brinda



Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Wrote the same, in different words...

*******************************Where we come from*****************************
Humans receive some very large amount of information visually, some estimates are 90%. But what we see is always colored by our perceptions and prejudices.
Words have power.
My thanks to Scotsman Fenn MacMoragh... {@ Fenn_ MacMoragh on Twitter} self described, "Crafter of fine prims with a Celtic flair. Aficionado of Whiskey, cigars and Albannach, wearer of kilts." for the below link. I went to tears when I first saw it, and I continue to think about this video.

And so it goes,
My love to you all, brinda

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The gift...

*******************************Where we come from*****************************
Monday afternoon I sat down with my very first friend in Secondlife, four years ago I met Lala at the Morris welcome area, now before you all gasp, "What!", in those days both Secondlife and the welcome areas were a lot more friendly than either are now. A busy day then would see perhaps 28,000 on line and while Secondlife by then had grown beyond it's early days of *everyone knowing everyone else*, there was still a sense of community.
It didn't take long before Lala *adopted* me as her Secondlife Mom and for us to establish a deep friendship that continues to this day.
Lala was in her last year of high school when we met... in a few weeks she will graduate from University and is looking forward to a post graduate degree.
You see, I never cease to be amazed at the gifts I receive from a chance encounter with and advertisement I saw for this thing called Secondlife so many days ago.
In a life lived long ago I made some very selfish choices, and because of those choices I missed watching my own daughter grow up. Secondlife has allowed me a another chance to watch a young woman grow into adulthood.... that for me is a priceless gift.
And so it goes
I love you all, brinda

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Why Stay In Virtual Worlds?

******************************Where we come from****************************
Why come to virtual worlds?
Why remain in virtual worlds?
If there is a fascination with virtual worlds,
and for me that fascination is still so alive, how do we keep that fascination alive?
Is there an "attention span" concerning these worlds?

Virtual worlds like Secondlife are open ended creatively... I don't believe that one can ever reach and end.
That thought brings up, is there an attention span?
I'm certain that the attention span that keeps someone constantly fascinated, interested, and creative would depend a lot on the activity that one engages in. When I meet those in Secondlife that have remained well over two years, and that time frame isn't cast in stone, I don't find those avatars spending years totally involved in shopping, pixel sex, standing in welcome areas chatting, or even griefing. I do find them creating content, volunteering in educational situations, engaging in commerce, or designing something totally new. In a word being pioneers. I have friends in virtual worlds today that have been involved in all this for over twenty-five years.

Recently I have seen some of my friends drifting away from Secondlife, it's not uncommon to see those around two years here lose the passion that grabbed us at first sight of this world. Look around at the next gathering you see and inspect rezz dates, vast numbers of new people, a few between one and two, and after that the numbers diminish rapidly.
Two of my dear friends have recently made decisions about perhaps leaving Secondlife, one because of real life situations. The other because, I suppose for them, the magic has gone.

A part of what makes me dream this dream that I never want to end is that I get to support this family, this community, and I get to perhaps help these two friends reconcile whatever choice they make.

I'm sitting here suddenly torn between two opposing thoughts.
First is that if my happiness depends on what another does or says I will be disappointed.
The second thought is that as I told a couple of my dear friends this morning, the people of Secondlife have become my family. I could never possibly repay those close to me for what they have given me.
They have given me love.
Some have given me an education.
And perhaps the greatest gift that my Benares family has given me is purpose, a passion, a reason to remain here and continue to provide a place for a community to thrive.

And so it goes
My love to you all, brinda

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Geeks, Hats, Aspergers, Emotions, & yay! Maroon5!

*******************************Where we come from************************

Every now and then I figure out something on my own, and get that sense of accomplishment we all love.
In this case it was something as simply deleting all browsing history, cookies, saved passwords, form data, etc so that blogger would load. Guess I still fail the geek test 'cause that's likely stuff one's supposed to learn in PC 101 =^..^=

Since I've been trying to wear several hats lately, and of course ending up getting little actually finished, it was a surprise to me to see where some of the readers of this rag come from. The three above are new visitors and I'm always humbled to think anyone would find anything I have to say entertaining, never mind important.
Nearly a year ago a friend, (whose since cut my card), found it distasteful that their town was imaged.
The overwhelming response I got regarding the "Where we come from" images when I asked was positive and so they will continue.

Some of my time this past week has been used in attempting to talk a  friend into doing some of those things that allow many of us a healthy emotional relationship with both other people in virtual worlds and certainly for me, allowing the magic to continue here.
A dear friend of mine, Mucaro (Caro), has been involved in volunteering a lot of her time working with many that come to virtual worlds with special needs. Most of us tend to think of "special needs" as those using wheelchairs, or being physically challenged, and there certainly are that contingent here.
 But that's not all... I know a person that's very successful in Secondlife as a land owner who is deaf, others are mute. One of the challenges people face in that other life we live in is one that after I was here in Secondlife for a few years, I found that I had had trouble with both as a child and as a young adult, Aspergers Syndrome.
I was fortunate that apparently I am one of the estimated twenty percent that grow out of Aspergers.
Without naming names I can tell you that there are two people I personally know of that are incredibly successful in virtual worlds who have Aspergers. As you can see via the above link, Asbergers people don't seem to "get" those unspoken social clues that contribute to how we deal with social situations.
Of course that lack of silent social interaction is what can make interpersonal relationships a living hell here in these virtual worlds.
Over and over I try to explain to people that emotions run extremely  intense in virtual worlds and since no matter how close one feels with another... unless you can walk out of your real life house and actually look another in the eye... it's all a terrible gamble.
 As far as my friend goes, all I can do is to try and show them how I found a place here, a place where I fit it, a place mentally where I feel I am contributing.

Below Maroon5, first because of the catchy beat. Then because the song can be taken as how many of us feel about The Benevolent Monarchy and how they seem to be sleeping with another in our bed!

And so it goes
I love you all and I will try, brinda

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogs and My Education...a beginning only.

*******************************Where we come from************************
Thorough out my life I have been incredibly fortunate. There is and old Jewish curse that goes something like, "May you live and interesting life".... I certainly have!
All in all perhaps the single most interesting adventure I have ever taken has been this one of these last four plus years. When I found the advertisement for Secondlife in May 2007 I never dreamed how this experience would change my life. I spent my first couple of years learning a little bit about computers, virtual worlds, and reading the various blogs written by some that were so much better versed in the Internet experience. Almost two years ago I decided that I wanted to speak to a larger audience than that of my residents one at a time.... or my cat.
This blog was my solution.
I found there were as many blogs as there were people, and that there were a lot of different styles of writing. I promised myself that I would try very hard to see that what I wrote wouldn't troll or belittle anyone.
As time has gone by I have met some extremely bright people, one of which sat down with me recently and spent nearly and hour explaining some of the many nuances of writing a blog and why some bloggers write and do some of the things they do.
Ever hear or see the term SEO, Search Engine Optimization?
Ever wonder why you can find mini posts that highlight a URL in HTML even though the mini post is perhaps only an image with a one line caption?
How about HTML links to a blog site that is currently under going tremendous controversy? 
All of these are common ways to increase the traffic to a blog...SEO.
I've mentioned controversy, a blog that sees a lot of controversy can boost its ranking and therefore the amount of money generated by its advertisers.
As far as controversy goes, I'm OK with that, often we will have strong opinions and it would be foolish to expect us to believe the same things.
I do get uncomfortable when the controversy turns into verbal bullying.
It happens.
A common form of attack seems to be accusing some one of disguising their gender and it always seems to be an accusation of someone really being a man while pretending to be a woman.
Perhaps this is one of those rare times when the gender discrimination is against males, I have yet to see a female accused of being male.
{The above reminds me of the courtroom tactic of asking someone if they still beat their wife.}
We will usually find a collection of fanboyz and girls willing to accept any slur no matter how ridiculous, they remind me of lynch mobs unable to either think for themselves or to at least hold judgement in abeyance until the facts are clear.
What's that line... don't confuse me with facts, my mind's made up?

What to do if verbally attacked?
Recently I made a comment that no response is a response, but it is difficult to not want to defend ones self no matter how ridiculous the statements.

Any world is much better served with out hate and discontent... even virtual ones.
And so it goes
My love to you all, brinda

Hold my place in line... Be right Back! =^..^=

What with some other life stuff going on, plus Blogger being borked for a couple days, I seems as though I've totally let this blog go... not true!  I promise to do a real post this evening. I did rough one out on real paper  graveyard shift early early Friday.
Gonna chat about stuff my friend explained to me about "gaming" the SEO..(look it up heh heh) and other things that could be construed as "verbal bullying".
And so it goes for early today
My love to all, brinda

Monday, May 9, 2011

Silence can be a response... Help wanted... & Benares @ Inworldz

*******************************Where we come from**************************
It's rare that I take much time off from this blog, not because I feel bad that those few readers might "miss" this, {contrary to some opinions my ego isn't that big}. It's because this is often where I come to set my thoughts down in print and take a look at where I seem to be mentally and emotionally.
Several things have been going on in both the virtual world... as well as my life in that world where I sleep.
The real life things are really nothing new... life goes on, sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.
The virtual world where I spend so much time has also had me doing a lot of thinking.
I continue to believe that nothing good comes from posting hate and discontent. Lately I have seen some of my friends denigrated by those posting innuendos and allegations that first seem patently false, and if nothing else totally non factual {lies?}.
Now certainly one "answer" to stuff like that is to just not respond. Silence is a response, silence in effect says that what has been said isn't worth responding to.
So far, I seem to have flown under all radars.... but I suspect that if I were to be attacked, my actions would be a lot closer to what my friend Immy does than to what I preach. Immy will not tolerate lies silently.
Silence may well not be the answer... even though I have yet to see the recent attacker ever ever admit that something isn't their business or that they were wrong. Just sayin'.

I do try to read several of the blogs written concerning Secondlife and specifically those about The Benevolent Monarchy.
Lately I see there have been billing issues.  One of my oldest friends had billing issues I posted about back in early April . I think I just saw something about Mr. Humble, the CEO, having to step in before a popular group abandoned their sims and moved on. That says a lot about the infrastructure of the company... rest assured if I were Mr. Humble those responsible would be reading help wanted ads tomorrow.

The group that had those recent issues has already done something I started last week.
My friend Ling and I now own a full region in Inworldz.
I have said before that my intentions are to remain in Secondlife for as long as the servers are on, and I promised in January my commitment to remain another year minimum. But I am going to be certain that those people that mean so much to me will have a place to go just in case.

Before I close this for this evening there is something else I want to say.
 When I bring newer people into Inworldz it becomes easier to see that Secondlife has made it easier to get started today. So much of what we had to do where our avatars are concerned four years ago is pretty much done for new people today. Today's default avatars are better than we could buy then, and so I end up explaining things I see as simple {how to wear a bald to remove texture hair for instance}. The Secondlife platform is great, no doubt about it, but the friendliness one finds in these new worlds reminds me of those stories from Secondlifes earliest days, for that I'm both willing to deal with things being a little primitive at times, and proud to be in on the ground floor this time.
And so it goes
I love you all, brinda

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mette Lindberg likely isn't an avatar... but cute, yes.

*******************************Where we come from***************************
OK, I suspect almost all of us in the USA have seen the latest Heineken's beer commercial, "The Entrance".
I just had to look up the details of the truly catchy song and find out who the bubbly little blonde woman was.
She's Mette Lindberg a Danish singer with the group The Asteroid Galaxy Tour.
No, she won't likely sing in the New York Metropolitan Opera, but the song just keeps running through my head. She, and the song are just darned cute. Good for them!

I wished I lived in the golden age
Giving it up on the broadway stage
Hang with the rats and smoke cigars
Just have a break with Frank and count the stars

Dressed to the nines, we've had too much
Shiny jewels, casino cash
Tapping feet, wanna take the lead
A trip back in time is all I need


Sing it out loud gonna get back honey
Sing it out loud get away with me
Sing it out loud on a trip back honey
Sing it out loud and let yourself free


I'm on my way, gonna make it big
Gonna make these songs for the chicks to dig
It's really hot and a little bit sour
We're getting your strength to the maximum power

Flying away from reality
Whatever-ever happened to gravity?
I see it clear, a shooting star
And I'm really gonna sing it like da-da-da

Sing it out loud gonna get back honey
Sing it out loud get away with me
Sing it out loud on a trip back honey
Sing it out loud and let yourself free
Just fun today!

And so it goes
Love to you all, brinda

Monday, May 2, 2011

Prissielou... Thank you, It's been four years!

********************************Where we come from**************************
On the evening of May second, 2007 I downloaded the Secondlife Viewer version 1.14.0 and never dreamed the way this journey would turn out.
I didn't have cable that evening... so the viewer download alone took 40 minutes, when I logged on I was just a cloud and couldn't move. I looked around and said to myself OMG!, I have to do this.
I was instantly hooked.
A few days later with broadband connected, I relogged and found myself at Orientation Island.
The tutorial probably took me half and hour.
Thankfully the so called Welcome Areas were full, so I rezzed on the mainland at the Ross Infohub.
That place became my "home" for a couple of weeks until I found land at Arrazura.

I learned something about 2 months in-world that has shaped my entire Secondlife.
I met Prissielou Flora. Priss was from late 2003, she took the time to make me feel "a part of", and that made all the difference in my world.
She gave me nothing... except acceptance.
She did nothing *for me*... except IM me to say, "Hi! want to join us at ???".
She made a difference.
Prissielou has been gone from search for a couple years at least... I still wonder if she will ever return, I just want her to see what she did for me, and that what she did was selfless.

Tomorrow starts my fifth year in this fantastic world... this world that has also affected that world where I sleep... and I will be forever grateful to not only Priss, but to each of you that has touched my life.
Thank you.

And so it goes
My love to you all, brinda

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Have We Created Another Martyr ?

*******************************Where we come from**************************
There will be worldwide glee on the one hand, or hate and sadness on the other depending on the political, social, and religious views of those that hear the news of the death just announced of Osama Bin Ladin.
Those that live in New York City will have likely taken the attack on not only their city, but often on those they personally knew, differently than perhaps someone from another country. If I had lost someone I knew in the attack on the world trade center I'm sure my feelings would include a desire for vengeance.

Those religious extremists in certain parts of the world will see the death of Bin Laden just as personally.
I consider myself to be a good citizen of the USA today, and yet I am very torn with my feelings on hearing the news of his death.
While his death is the most economical outcome, and perhaps he died while attempting to kill more people, I would have preferred to see him tried, convicted, and sentenced to a life of custody.

Osama Bin Ladens death will not stop those religious extremists that followed his lead.
One must remember that a true follower of Islam would never do the things that extremists such as Bin Laden advocated. I'm reminded of something that Benazir Bhutto , the former premier of Pakistan had said in the days immediately preceding her assassination. "No true believer in Islam would kill a woman", this just hours before she was killed.

Early in this Secondlife one of my dearest and closest friends came to me and told me she had something to tell me, and that she hoped that what she was about to say wouldn't harm our friendship. She proceeded to tell me that she was a Muslim and because the Ramadan religious observance was approaching her hours here in Secondlife would be modified some.
You see, many people that practise Islam are conscious of how western perception views their religion.
In my case my response was, as a practising Buddhist, we don't get too excited about anyones religion, or lack thereof.

All this yelling and screaming and posturing will pass, and as the news cycle turns, in a month or less, we will be onto other things.
The question that bothers me is this. Will those religious extremists go onto other things, or has Bin Ladens death simply provided another martyr?

And so it goes
I do love you all, brinda

Do You Have a "Bucket List"? I do...

********************************Where we come from**************************
I rarely take the time to go see movies.
But this morning as I struggled to get my eyes open, yelled at the dog I'm babysitting  for friend, and apologised to my cat for said dog invading the house, I found myself watching perhaps the last thirty minutes of a movie that came out around three years ago. Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in their movie, "The Bucket List" .

There were two quotes that so jumped out at me:
Of the two questions asked of the dead by the gods at the entrance to heaven, Have you found joy in your life? Has your life brought joy to others?
You measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you.

First, I wonder if I ever will understand if I truly understand the extent of joy.
Second, I do hope I have and will continue to bring some measure of joy to others.

Maybe the second is more important than the first.

And so it goes
My love to you all, brinda