Friday, April 21, 2017

a world of fragile things

Remember, at this time of year...think before you pink. While I do hold with many of the statements in that article, I also realize that without advertising, big events, and splashy, attention-grabbing colors, many of us won't tune in. Most of us are dealing with crippling emotional overload, whether or not we realize it. Billboards, commercials, phone spam, text spam, targeted computer ads--it's all trying to get in, trying to push us to buy, consume, spend, invite others to do the same.



The Susan G. Komen Foundation has improved over the last few years; it used to be far less than half of donations went back to administration and fundraising efforts. Now, donations going directly to research institutions, hospitals, and patient needs are clocking in at a little over 80%.

Relay for Life, on the other hand, is an event run by the American Cancer Society, and their scores are...lower. As of the last figures published on Charity Navigator, their donations to research, hospitals and cancer patients aren't even 60%. The larger half of their funds raised go towards fundraising efforts and advertising, with 6% going to salaries and administrative concerns. That's not ideal.

Which brings us to SLRFL, the conglomeration of events that lasts for roughly half the yeare to raise funds for Relay for Life. And the Relay for Life event, at the corporate level, is a woefully inefficient charity sub-group. Some quotes:
"Relay for Life spends an egregious amount of funds promoting its own brand."
That was written in 2012.
"If you take a look at ACS, you soon understand that they are simply being intellectually dishonest on several fronts."
That was from 2013. And finally, this damning statement from a 2016 article:
"Relay for Life money does not go towards helping cancer patients."
Ultimately, both Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society, the organization responsible for Relay, have a great deal of scandal associated with them. This cannot be denied. And, while in recent years there have been pushes towards more global efforts, there were far too many years where the focus was solely on US cancer fundraising/services, even though Relay runs had sprouted up in several other countries.

So, knowing all this, why have I donated to SLRFL for the last few years, have I made charity items to sell at Fantasy Faire each year for the past three years? That part, at least, is simple: community. I don't run--in SL or RL--so I've never actually Relayed, but I've supported friends who ran. And more than that, I hear very personal stories of people reaching out to other people through this event. This goes beyond the malfeasance of the original charity, because this is now the human face of loss and hope: people struggling to survive connecting with other people struggling. And together, while their struggles are still occasionally mortal things, they are supported. Connected. Befriended. Helped, in that sense that sometimes big-money charities forget. Because at this level, the level of Relay, it's no longer about how much money was raised, beyond the organizers. For the people in the teams, it's about word getting out. It's about support from other people. It's about how everyone on that Relay ground understands why they're there, why they're involved, and why they're Relaying.

There are better cancer charities out there. There are much better charities devoted to childrens' cancers, absolutely. But there is nothing quite like Relay, and that's why it, at least, is important.

Monday, April 17, 2017

she comes home in the morning, with bloody feet

In the midst of RL AAAAAAAAH and Fantasy Fair AAAAAAAAH but had to drop this before I ran off:

[13:21] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Omg so you know the moment you read something and your head just wants to hits the desk?
[13:22] Txxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: All the time
[13:22] Sxxxxx Sxxxxx: pretty much every time I look at the news....
[13:22] Lxxxx Axxxxxx: have you read a law book of some kind?
[13:22] Dxxxxx Ixxxxxx: Yus
[13:23] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: So there is a picture of two coffee mugs side by side that say His and Hers. Well His is a full complete mug and hers is indented so the mugs go together but it means she has less coffee.


Oh, that's just wrong.

[13:23] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: And someone is like thats pretty much how gender inequality works.

Yeah, pretty much.

[13:23] Dxxxxx Ixxxxxx:
[13:23] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: And the next comment is... but don't gays have a power bottom thing?
[13:23] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: wth does that have to do with two mugs
[13:24] Sxxxxx Sxxxxx: yea, seriously
[13:24] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: And not having equal amounts of coffee.
[13:24] Dxxxxx Ixxxxxx growls

Yeah, that's the thing that's captured my attention. Less coffee? NEVER!

[13:24] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: So my new line of today for everything is now going to be... don't gays have a power bottom thing. Since apparently it can be used anywhere
[13:24] Sxxx Bxxxxxx: does her's have two boobs?
[13:24] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Nope [Sxxx]
[13:25] Lxxxx Axxxxxx: I drink tea ..


Well, there's your problem.

I mean, uh...

[13:25] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: You all have been warned
[13:25] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: lol
[13:26] hxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Later on you will be talking about disney or maybe cheetos and I will just toss that line in there
[13:27] Lxxxx Axxxxxx: Beauty and the beast!
[13:28] Mxxxxxx Jxxxx: thanks for the warning
[13:45] Emilly Orr: Awesome.
[13:45] Emilly Orr: Also, I would so be stealing "His" cup. And then drinking the Hers. And then snarling for more. :)
[13:45] Hxxx Rxxxxx: Who's getting cupped? I just got here.
[13:46] Pxxxx Dxxx: mmm fire cupping is awesome
[13:46] Emilly Orr: HAH


Okay, off for more mayhem. And ow. And texturing. And AAAAAAAAAAH, Fantasy Faire is way too now! I need to WORRRRRRRRRK!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

you are the sound that I hear

Time passes, time unspools, endless ribbons of days lost or misplaced snaking through the void spaces...blogging tends to fall by the wayside in these times.

Kind of tired of telling myself--and others--"I'll do better". But I do want to get back to blogging. I miss it, even when I'm saying very little of import.

Let's switch to something of import--new hair from Kallisti Burns!

I know, right? At least two years gone, maybe three...no word...no new hair...now we have new hair. Awesomeness.



This is Bantu, one of those lovely rose-knot styles. I'm more into the long braids, or the side ponytails these days, but considering my avatar was in no way rigged for a tight hair-knot style, I don't think it looks bad. Yes, I think it would look better on other people, but the fact that even I can wear this is kind of cool. I'm wearing it in Discord Red.



And then, for some reason, I went to a filter with a pink wash for all the other shots. I have no idea why. But this style and the next one, Nita, were both in Discord Red.



A shot of the back of the style. I'll set something else up in the next few days, run through shots of some of the other colors.



And this is Nita. High=pony dreads with shaved sides. Very fun. Though admittedly, had a pang putting this on--not because of the hair, but because of the hair base, which is named Munchflower, and yeah, I still miss Munchflower Zaius on the grid. And I hope she's doing as well as she can, because Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is a terrible thing.



This is the Nita dreads from the back, and I noticed something I want to point out for the next image.



Now, I know that looks like a lot of arrows, but let me break this down. There's a certain flaw that happens with some alphas on hairs. I don't know exactly why, yet, why it's caused, but it seems to cause a sort of 'haloing' around the hair edges. Sometimes this is just sort of a blue-sky glow against any background. Sometimes, it erases other mesh underneath the hair, which has made some of my hairs unwearable.

For this one, I'm just using the arrows to point out where the alpha halo is happening. It's minimal, and mostly atop the hair, very very little on the sides or the tips. Which is good, I think.



This is a close-up--back to the natural color of the hair--of some of the haloing on Nita.



Let's talk about an example of the haloing from a hair Kallisti didn't make. This is Truth's Arabella pony, and I'm wearing it with the pony fall down a black suit. All that pale peach streaking you see? Not streaking, the hair is a uniform dark red. That 'streaking' is actually the alpha haloing causing the mesh to disappear, so you're seeing skin.



Here is where it's worse, and this isn't even the worst hair I have with this defect. But where the arrow is pointing, that's actually showing the curve of my waist and hip, underneath the mesh suit. This is a pretty big alpha flaw, moreso because I wear this hair a lot these days.

So what I'm saying with the above? There is some haloing on Nita, but it's really mild, and shouldn't interfere with most images, or casual wear. There doesn't appear to be any haloing on Bantu.

I forgot to trip by the store and grab the prices for these. When I take the different color picks, I'll grab the prices per each tone, and per fatpack. In the meantime, you can find Discord Designs in a lovely little cottage in Moonsong. Go look.

And have a ghost train story. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

I could make all the tables turn

I should have learned from the first time I tried to conduct a train and it exploded. I should have understood when someone loaned me their flying carpet and it embedded in a wall.

Apparently, I am slow to learn.



I am also very bad at flying.



Very, very bad at flying.



So a new friend decided to teach me something he considered essential in the steamlands: piloting. It occured to me that in all my time on the grid, I actually hadn't piloted that many vehicles. The aforementioned trains, the sadly departed flying carpet, an occasional bubble, and one hot-air balloon. Oh, and at one point I had an airship, but I think its top speed was three miles an hour. It steered like a cow.

So he loaned me something called a monoplane, and talked me through how the controls worked, and...off I went. Nearly immediately I managed to figure out how to fly upside down. And the above shot is me plummeting towards the distant...I think Caledon Prime? Somewhere near Gibraltar Village, I think.



And this is me flying underwater.



I'm sorry about the temple. And I'm sorry about the village hall. And I'm sorry about the library. And I'm very sorry about the roof of the three-story house.


I'm sorry for all the things. Where's the control that means "straighten up and fly right"? Or even better, where's the control that means "STOP"???

Friday, February 10, 2017

you look into my eyes, and lie those pretty lies

Tonight--and over the weekend--there's an assortment of celestial goodness to observe, if your skies are clear. If not, I'm sure observatories online will be tossing up videos to share.

In the meantime...more relationship controversy in groups that have nothing to do with relationships!
[17:01] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: can freebie things be good?
Err...wait. You're asking--in a freebie group--if freebies are good. What?
[17:02] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: like I been having a hard time meeting a woman on here...Do they have any freebie stuff that can make me more attractive to the female race of people?
Whoa. Much bigger problem. And your short answer, as given by Ms. D, is:
[17:02] Sxxxx Dxxxxxx: yes
...but even that needs a bit of explanation. The right freebie items, mixed and matched, most likely, can improve an avatar's attractiveness--any avatar's attractiveness. But that's where it's going to stop. If your personality reminds those of the "female race" of people (Seriously--"female race of people"? Really? Really?!) of a dead fish, it won't matter how attractive the envelope is, no one's going to want to read the letter.
[17:02] jxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: but not a free penis. spend some lindens
Ideally. There are some things that are worth the cost, in virtual environments.
[17:03] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: Can freebie things be good? Um yep, thats the entire point of this group
[17:03] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Im not really worried about the penis cause most likely the real women who aren't into rape play wouldn't care about that anyway.. I wanna look more like i got money on SL
Oh, wau, are you treading in dangerous waters. I want to unpack this highly charged statement. This man:
  1. has no money, but
  2. wants to look like he has money, so he will
  3. attract the type of women who want money, who will
  4. be disappointed when he turns out to be broke, and
  5. leave him anyway, for
  6. some other guy (who may or may not have money).
Wouldn't it be easier just to be a good guy? Strike up a conversation with someone, see if you click? Why does it all have to be pretense?
[17:03] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: [mxxxxxxxxx]. Let me give you some free advice =) From a woman.. it really doesnt matter what you look like. Its how you act and treat women that will help you find one for yourself
[17:04] Sxxxx Dxxxxxx: true
[17:04] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I know but i am also lacking in charisma and charm so I figured maybe I can look like i have money on here
...oh. So, wait, you're admitting you don't have anything that would draw a woman to you in SL beyond just having cash? That's depressing as hell...
[17:04] jxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I guess you don't go to nude beaches
[17:04] jxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: and yes. how you act is most important
How we act is always more important than how we look. How we look may draw the first nibbles of interest, but if we're cardboard cutouts, people will get bored and drift away. If we're the most attractive, sultry, sensual visage imaginable, but we have a harpy's sharpness of tongue, we're going to drive partners away. If ew're the must carved muscled Adonis, sleekly oiled and gently flexing, but partners notice the "SPACE FOR RENT" signs behind our eyes? Same thing. We can't keep people if we don't try. And that requires a personality, not glitter and gloss.
[17:04] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: but yes, you should be able to find good stuff to fix yourself up free. Join the tellaq group and keep on top of their group midnight madness
[17:05] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: honestly, how much money a guy has or what kind of a pixel body he has are the last things i care about
[17:05] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: i agree with [Pxxxxx]
[17:06] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: I want a companion who's interested in the things I'm interested in, who wants to do the things I want to do. And who treats me like I'm the most important person in the world to him, while treating everyone else good too.
And this shouldn't be an impossible goal. It takes far more work to be vile, to be unlikable, than it does to be genuine. Awkwardness is not always a deal-breaker. Awkward is honest, at least, and more people than we realize appreciate a glimpse at the person behind the avatar, in terms of personality if nothing else.
[17:06] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: so. go find things you like to do. when you find a woman who likes the same things, there you go
[17:07] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: if you attract women that want a guy with money they will leave you when they find out differently
Absolutely, as I said earlier. If all they want is the money this man doesn't have, they're not going to wait around for the next excuse, they're just going to jet.
[17:07] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: not many girls are into foot fetishes or starcraft
He'd be surprised. Starcraft hardcore, maybe not so many female players, though there are a few. Foot fetishes, though...in terms of members, we have Foot Fetish!!, Sole Desire, Club Stiletto, Fetish Consolidated, [Fifty Shades of Femdom], Foot Passion * VIPS *, Extreme Femdom, Inferior Sluts for Superior Goddess, and Footpaws. And those are just the groups that have over 500 members. There are far, far more groups on the grid.

There's also sims, clubs, and if he's really in a pinch, tracking down fetish footwear stores for those who are attracted to the highest of heels and the most punishing boots might give him women to start a conversation with. Don't you think?
[17:07] cxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: 0.0
[17:07] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: ok then! good luck with that
Yeah, no doubt.
[17:07] kxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I think many men want the same things you do, [Pxxxxx] but for some of them testosterone gets in the way :)
[17:08] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: yea well testosterone has its uses too =)
[17:08] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: I found someone who is all that, thats why ive been married 27 years
[17:08] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: well, in may
[17:08] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: lol
[17:08] cxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: gratz
[17:08] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: oh i wouldn't want to meet anyone from here, I just want to play make believe
And there's nothing wrong with that. No one makes anyone meet in person, for all that many folks on SL do meet on the grid, and then take it off the grid to share RL together, too. But you have to have a personality, something to draw someone in other than "I look rich".
[17:08] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: thanks =)
[17:09] kxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: preservation of the species until there is another way, [Pxxxxx], but it is undoubtably the cause of war
[17:09] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: give me a break
[17:09] Pmxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: I never met two female roommates in my life that didn't want to kill each other at the end of it
Then you've definitely been hanging out with the wrong women.
[17:09] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: im really glad im not out there looking now, cause i'd be looking for sincerity and finding a player who just wants starcraft, foot fetish stuff, and fakery
Yeah. That'd be a real bummer, if they're things you have no interest in.
[17:09] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: They could go in as best friends and they always come out ready to rip each others faces off
Good gods, what kind of women are you meeting?? Get new friends. Jesus Christ.
[17:09] kxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: pfft you should see me and my wife
[17:10] kxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: wars are not started by women, [mxxxxxxxxx], but I am not here to argue
[17:10] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Thank god they aren't
[17:10] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: The war would never end
You have a really lousy opinion of women, Mr. R. So, you're broke, unpleasant, and misogynistic--but you want to find some woman on SL who'll be attracted just to how rich you can make yourself look? In the hopes that she'll be stupid enough to stick around and put no demands on you, that she'll be perfectly content with your looking wealthy, without actually buying her things and making her feel special. That's really low.
[17:10] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: that is not true [mxxxxxxxxx] my university room mate and I are still friends
[17:10] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: wars would be forever life time grudges indefinitely
[17:10] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: [mxxxxxxxxx]'s age is showing =)
No doubt. Or, as said, his inbred misogyny. Guy like this, he'd be better off gay, with the way he hates and fears all women.
[17:10] kxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: we would all be dead...push that button! Y'all going down with me!
[17:10] Axxxxx Sxxxxxxxx: I get along just fine with my roommate's 17 year old daughter :)
[17:10] cxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: hahahaha spoken like a man!
[17:11] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Estrogen can be just as dangerous or even more.
Hormones in general, no matter what gender they're in, if they're out of control, they're dangerous. What this knuckle-dragging troglodyte seems to forget is that not all women are hateful, hellish creatures who will claw and bite at any rival out of anger and boredom. Women have minds. Women have independent decision-making powers. Women can form friendships, learn things, speak words, and interact--just like real people, Mr. R!
[17:11] kxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: spoken as a woman who is married to a woman and have synced periods
[17:11] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: sure it can. root of all wars, women fighting
[17:12] kxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: certainly you are being sarcastic, [Pxxxxx]
[17:12] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Women might not be written in the history books but you would be naive to think they didn't have an impact on history.. They can have control over men in fundamental ways
That's a statement that starts off pretty high up in the stupidsphere, Mr. R. You seem to think that all wars, all controversies, were plotted by female hands. Men were just furry little innocents, living in peace and harmony, before the eeeeevil feeeemales came along? What century did you grow up in, Mr. R? Because it certainly wasn't either of the last two.
[17:12] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: me? sarcastic? never ever happens. lol
[17:12] kxxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: and [Pxxxxx] is a sweetie *hugs the puppy I got from her*
[17:12] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: aws
[17:12] Ckxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: no, [mxxxxxxxxx], not the women, the testosterone has control over men
[17:12] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: yes, im being sarcastic.
[17:17] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: Ok fine sorry.. Women are great... and damn the evil patriarch and their collective testosterone rage to hell!!!!! Especially the straight white man.. thats the biggest devil of them all!!!!
Wau, you really hate women. Where does all this impotent rage come from, Mr. R.? Just from the female fighting fish you've had as roommates, or from the apparently calculating, dismissive bitches on SL? Or were you just raised to despise anyone without a penis?
[17:17] zxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: [mxxxxxxxxx] let's keep it cool please.. many of the members were trying to help you
[17:18] dxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: honestly everyone is messed up no one is innocent just some try to pass the blame of their mess ups to to others

[17:18] Mxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: im gonna go ahead and assume that was a case of wrong box
[17:18] dxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: so like [Zxx] said let it drop and relax
[17:20] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: sorry just that I deal with a lot of frustrations cause of my inadequate sex life both in the real world and in an alternate reality.. Maybe if I had a 3rd or fourth life i could be a little better at it.. two doesn't seem enough
[17:20] Mxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: blinks
[17:21] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: look i already got people from out of the wood work cursing me out .. unreal
And I wasn't even one of them. I'd stayed entirely out of this conversation at the time.
[17:21] Mxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: so shhhhhhhhh
[17:26] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: I don't think another life is going to help your sex life.
[17:26] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: LOL
[17:26] kxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: [mxxxxxxxxx], I think [Pxxxxx] was only trying to give you good advice about how important personality, empathy, and simply caring is.
Yes, and those are good traits to have. Apparently Mr. R. doesn't have any of them, though, by his own admission.
[17:26] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: look if that's all you care about, you need to go hang out on some foot fetish sim. i'm sure there are some.
See above. Tons.
[17:26] Pxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx: meanwhile, this is a pg group, so we should probably not talk about it anymore =)
[17:27] Axxxxxxxxxxxx Sxxxxxxx: Okay, enough with the sex life talk, adequate or not. Bring it to IM and keep it out of group chat
[17:27] Kxxxx Lxxxxxxxx: yea please do
[17:27] mxxxxxxxxx Rxxxxxxx: that would be nice, hopefully ill be fortunate enough to talk to someone about it in a private chat.
Who's not yelling at you? I highly doubt it. Have fun crawling back under your rock.

Friday, January 13, 2017

holding my last breath, safe inside myself

January of a new year, and I haven't updated since the last one. My creativity ebbs, and it's harder to push forward every day. But I'm a stubborn thing, so...it may be clip entries and random images for a few months, but I am going to try to make the blog a priority again.

We'll see how that goes.

In the meantime, some random things from the net.

The Razer Valerie prototypes have been found--on a Chinese auction site. That's pretty blatant, and there's no guarantee they weren't examined beforehand for hoped-for technological advances. Either way, Razer now has a lead to follow...even if it comes with a hefty price tag.

We haven't reached absolute zero yet...but scientists in a Boulder, Colorado lab are working on it. Sounds pretty...cool?

So far, the Nintendo Switch shows promise. The little puppy that could is growing up, and the price point isn't even that bad--$300 for the full system, which is far below other console offerings.

Like jellyfish? Then you'll love this. In a similar vein, Portland, Oregon, had something of a freak snowstorm, and the Oregon Zoo's newest addition, Nora the polar bear, had a great deal of fun playing in snow. Here's more footage, and here's the river otters having a blast.

One post down. The rest of the year to go. Onward!