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 new 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, 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"???