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29 August 2004


My father with his older brother, Scarborough

Grandpa, 1914, with Sydney (the older brother)

Auntie Betty, Grandpa, Uncle Sydney, (seated) Auntie Anne (married to Sydney)

28 August 2004

As I said, There is full of playful humor, and in the last update they demonstrated this by making what was described by the discoverer as "the REAL reason there's no water." I said before how water in There is mostly (not always) like blue-painted concrete. Witness this:

This giant unplugged drain is in the middle of the ocean -- I wonder if they thought it would take the resourceful Therians longer to find it?

I made this website for the band named Bevy -- it's not completely finished (no music files).

27 August 2004

The other day I buzzed into P-E, ans an armored avatar was standing next to the teleporter (this was in Port Atlantis). His name was Enkidu, so I ran over and said, "So where's Gilgamesh?" I've always been hot for Gilgamesh, I admit it. We all have our weird little strangenesses, I'm sure(I hope it's not just me). I knew a man who was fixated on Hroswitha of Gandersheim -- however, throw stones I cannot, else the spectre of Gilgamesh will arise. Throw stones -- no. But damnation -- Hroswitha's a nun -- at least Gilgamesh hasn't taken a vow of chastity. I knew a woman completely in love with the bronze statue pulled from the sea that is thought to perhaps be Poseidon -- AND SHE WAS MARRIED. An original Greek bronze -- but still... He's pretty hunky, actually...
I wonder what happened to all those things looted from the museums -- if the little cylinder seals of Gilgamesh that I can picture in my mind's eye were among things looted -- and lost or preserved -- or if they live in another land.
And what are the chances of Munch's painting The Scream surviving? The theft was brutal, I heard.


Caitlin in her new school uniform. Caitlin is my great niece, and is 5 years old. Last time I was there she was a baby, and a very impressive baby indeed -- she has a good brain.

Second Life
I made a manly chest (lol) for Ozymandias, the male Osprey. It goes well with his face tattoo, I think. As I was going through that great and complex process, I got word that my request for land to build something for Burning Life (SL hommage to Burning Man) had resulted in 1/16 of a sim in a temporary place called Two Cows ("All the weird people are in Two Cows," someone said.). I went there and met Salazar Jack, my hero! He has a lot of wild and marvelously landscaped land, and the island in front of my house is his. He's blue. Jeffery is blue, too. I met someone the other day who is in black and white. An interesting look. Anyway, I began working on my thing, and sent an email to Psi:
Osprey Therian: I am working on a Burning Life display -- sure to be bad as I'm such a noob :) My theme is a landscape on another planet -- a lot of weird plants, etc. If you want, you can go and make some huge weird plants in a sandbox and we'll put them in --Second Life: User not online - message will be stored and delivered later.
This is a super bad time for a thing like this (for me), but I couldn't resist -- I'm sure to learn a lot even if I don't make the greatest display.

I downloaded the SL preview of 1.5 -- holy moley, but there's some increase in building abilities! w00t!

26 August 2004


There did a huge update that added snowy mountains, a couple of islands, a hotdog stand, and I hear rumor of a cave and a glowing cube of names of There-makers. It also added a cool "theretweaker" that can adjust the resolution (yay!) and switches on OpenGL for added visual quality.
The mountains were full of people hoverboating, packing, boarding, biking -- I saw a man skiing (bike built to be skis). The hotdog stand was full of people, lol. The new island called Kansas is large and rolling -- and has a ce-ment pond. In There unfortunately the water is like blue-painted concrete. First person I saw (under Saja -- which has changed since the update) was telling someone else about SL.
Second Life
Logged in to see what Psi had been up to. I gave him the bottom of the hill, but his "lounge" has crept up until it's under my gallery, humph lol. Due to all the activity the dwell is at 92 for the day. Another mystery concept. I flew around looking at free apartments, thinking Psi could take advantage of that, too, since he owns no land. They obviously don't come available very often.
Project Entropia
I keep logging in for 30 seconds, just to see what's going on. I haven't QUITE lost interest, but I've lost interest in spending any money on it. It has a lot of interesting things, however it's deep into the shady side of strange. I like running around looking at the landscape, which I can do for free. Last time a nasty atrox chased me for about 15 minutes until it ran me down -- so I didn't get to see much. I'm always sneaking up to have a look at monsters, so I've been killed by a wide variety of ugly things. I am drawn to the "healing pond," except I don't know why it's called that as it doesn't seem to heal anything. It's a haunt for feffoids (huge bad-tempered yeti-type things). Some of the monsters will come after me, and some of them are very quick. I was going down a rather creepy canyon when I ran into a gigantic dead spider -- that would've been a nasty one to meet.


Holy Moley
Project Entropia economy statistics 23 Aug 2004
MindArk PE is happy to present some key figures from the Project Entropia economy (as of the beginning of August 2004):
175 295 –> The total number of auctions of virtual items since October 2003
70 000 US$ –> The value of virtual house sales since November 2003
40 700 000 US$ -> Total economy turnover since January 2004
I just like wandering around listening to people in P-E. I heard some people talking about "ma." "Ma" is a fatist (fascist?), ma this, ma that. I realised they weren't talking about their mothers -- Mind Ark is the company behind Project Entropia (engine by Gamebryo).

25 August 2004

Second Life

I needed a male for some tattoo pictures, so I changed Osprey's gender but nothing else. At first it creeped me out, but now, weeks later, I have formed an affectionate bond with the male Os -- I call him Oz. He's frequently rather annoyed looking, but I'm used to that. After I made this face tattoo I just went to talk to various artists -- like my friend Goyan -- and roller-skated around. When I met Shantilly she said, "I thought you were a lady!" lol Well, a female, yes. So I changed and we went boating. Psi came over and started building again. All five of us are from There.

24 August 2004

The Human Clock

I had to go to work yesterday for 8 hours -- 8-4 -- eek. I was frightened. However, I managed all right (by my standards that just means I didn't pee my pants or fall down), and only left at 20 to 4 because I was terribly uncomfortable.
Hammer asked me how things are at Summit Lake -- I told him that if I get some silver spray paint and spray the cobwebs I'll be all decorated for Christmas :) The Ham Fam has moved to Tacoma to be near Mrs. Ham's law school. I can't call hin "Hammer of the Tots" anymore as he's gone from kindergarten to teaching middle school.
We had a "refresher" in "sexual harrassment" lol -- the man was so extremely F.O.S. that I did a poor job in containing my scorn. Due to the influence of P-E I'd've winged him if I'd had a weapon (or maybe knee-capped...). I think that the people who suffer most from S.H. are NOT men who are led astray by devious women wishing to use the man's naturally strong sexuality to unfairly crush their competition using obnoxiously P.C. sexual harrassment laws. And for the record, when he said people mix up their "private family" life with their "professional family" life -- and said the "professional family" "WOULD NOT BE THERE WHEN YOU DIED", the laughter was not the laughter of the disbelieving. He thought we were saying, "Of course all my professional family members love me and will be at my funeral!" when actually we were struck by how ludicrous the idea sounded. He kept saying he was born and raised in South America, which I think he thought gave him cred in Indian country...
I sat between a new teacher from Navaho country, and EM, who is from a nation around the Chicago area that's not officially recognised. The new teacher asked who was native, and in listing people for her, EM and I realised that we'd lost a lot of native people -- P + M got married and left, with no Pre-K the teacher D, and her sister M both left, Samantha is here no longer -- not sure why. I know she was pregnant but I doubt that it was that. GM is gone. That's 6 people.
Came home, went to sleep, woke up for an hour or so, went back to sleep -- got up at 7 with a nasty sick headache. Had a nap. I was titivating a freelance job a minute ago, so I'm on the mend. It's difficult to have m.s. and go from 0 to 60 mph -- however, that was our in-service-all-day-jamboree and my real work can be arranged to fit my feeble-ocity.

From N:
I'm sad to say that today I turned in my last trace of NY. I now have a Nevada license (which makes you put your weight on) and non personalized plates. : (

21 August 2004

Went back to see what the flame boy had made -- he'd been there the whole time! He's made a nice-looking glass house and run out of prims -- so he'll have to figure out how to conserve. My house is very low-prim -- maybe nine prims. He had thirty-odd -- he'll figure it out. He's an intelligent boy. When I went back the marble box was gone! I'd talked a bit to the owner who'd said it probably wouldn't stay up long -- but I won't be surprised if it comes back. It's just so ug-ug-ugly :(

Project Entropia
By Your Roving Reporter,
Fauxvia Ostherian

P-E is extremely weird. I just can't tell you. It wrote the book on virtual weirdness, I truly believe. When I first went to There it had many European residents, but many of them complained that There was expensive and they couldn't afford it, yadda yadda. But P-E is a Swedish world and is by far the most expensive place I've been to, at least for lower-skill-level residents. The deck is stacked against the newcomer; people who've been there a long time have figured out how to keep their heads above water. People do this by "making" or "looting" things of value and some by scamming quite busily. Some? A lot. Then there are traders and people who trade part-time: it doesn't seem like much fun to me to go in a virtual world then stand around for long periods of time shouting out what you have to sell. I can quite see how some people enjoy pages and pages of statistics -- like following sports in the newspaper. What I can't see is learning it all to avoid being scammed and to make a little money buying and selling. The "decay" concept means that anything -- your weapon, your armor, everything including your Father Christmas costume -- constantly loses value and must be "repaired" at a repair terminal. Why repair? Well, your gun won't function and your armor won't protect otherwise. This make-believe decay is a big money-maker for Mind Ark. Why do people put up with it? That's the weird thing. They submit to this set of rules formulated to help MA make money. Another strange thing I discovered by accident concerns the armor parts I received as "loot." I got two pairs of men's Pixie armor gloves in poor shape, and worth perhaps 75 P-E cents each. I was experimenting with the auction, which cost a P-E dollar to use. I put a pair on auction with a starting bid of 2 dollars and a buyout price of 6 dollars, which seemed ludicrous to me, but I was just fooling around. They sold immediately for 6. I put the other pair on. Sold immediately. I looted two more pairs. Put a third pair on auction: sold immediately. Purely as an experiment I went to Port Atlantis, to someone who was shouting that he wanted to buy Pixie armor parts. He was incredulous at my asking price. That sealed it: I figured Mind Ark must be buying things off the auction to keep people going in the game. What else could it be? I had someone working very hard to scam me, by saying she would get me into her hunting group, etc. -- "What weapon do you have? Oh, that's no good! You need a so-and-so* to build up skills. Here -- trade me -- I'll introduce you to the group leader." Me: "I don't want to." "But you should -- I recommend this gun so you can skill up quickly! I'll introduce you to my group's leader and he'll give you free armor." Me: "I don't know you." "What are you saying??? Are you saying I'm trying to scam you???" Me: "Uhh..." lol So it's a virtual training ground for immoral thinking and sociopathic behavior. There are many perfectly nice people -- but I'm not sure that, for me, there's much to hold me past the time I feel I've observed enough.

*hers was a very badly decayed weapon that wasn't even very good when it was in perfect shape

Yay! My friend came over from There

Although that looks less like black flame than marabou to me, he was a sight for sore eyes! I gave him the cave area to build on and deleted a lot of things including a herky waterfall I made yesterday, the dreamcatcher (WAY too many prims), and the rest of my parrot (I made my parrot cycle through color changes by way of a script, then got wild and deleted most of it -- but its eyes were left, like a relative of the Cheshire Cat).
Someone build a horrid marble box in front of me yesterday. I IMd him but to no avail. Wrecks my spot somewhat, but my neighbor Anara is REALLY going to be upset as it is about a yard from her deck. Boohoo.

20 August 2004

Olympia is where I live (I'm way out at Summit Lake though). Yesterday I drove by the park as some huge old trees had been cut down (rot-related) and I wanted to see how it looked. While looking, I saw the exterior burn damage on the hotel (now apartments) from the fatal fire the other day. Mildred had lived there for a time. I read today that Calvin just bought Temple Hatfiloh for K Records. The congregation is moving over to the big Christian Science building. I think I painted a bit of that place once. Where's that painting?

There's a story I remember from my childhood -- and whether it was a Twilight Zone episode or a short story I remember not -- about a man who had an earwig in his brain. It'd crawled in from his ear, and he went mad. Miraculously, the earwig crawled all the way through and out his other ear! He stopped being mad. Then they told him it was a female and had laid its eggs in his brain and he went mad again.

I was reminded of that story when I read in the paper that a woman had died of a prion disease, but that the hospital hadn't yet said anything to "approximately 12 patients who had brain surgery after the sick woman — but before the hospital super-sterilized the surgical instruments used on her." Golly.

I live in the land of denial where prion stuff is concerned -- particularly Mad Cow Disease. Officially everything is hunky-dory. It's a Canuck problem, eh? As if. The man who slaughtered the lone* identifiably-infected cow has turned mad-cow-disease-awareness-activist, and refutes the official line that she was a "downer." The Stragner**, a humorous and hot-headed Seattle weekly proclaimed that "We're all going to die," on the cover of their mad cow issue.

*Great idea: Don't test so as not to be burdened by those P.R. nightmares
**The Stranger, but I always call it The Stragner, especially since an issue boldly entitled "The Stragner" some years ago.

I had a phone message the other day from a fellow I lived with for a few years. It's strange that things are sort of wandering back from the past -- I have no interest in this particular blast from the past -- but it's still somewhat interesting. My work starts on Monday -- I guess I'll just see what happens. I waver back and forth between trust and despair -- well "despair" is perhaps too gloomy-sounding. I've had a very interesting life, so whatever happens is all right, I suppose. Since I have no choice I might as well just soldier on.

19 August 2004

From Rosanne in Thailand
Had a tug-0-war battle with a monkey over my water bottle---the monkey won----tried rock climbing a few times--repelling down this rock face--it was an adrenaline rush-----also went to malaysia for 5 days to renew my thai visa----saw my first cinnamon tree and tamarind tree---meandered down narrow paths between rice paddy fields on a moped ------- See you soon!

18 August 2004

Lakecam Pic

I realised the lakecam was not working so I fixed it. Hmmm... sorry.

Second Life
I don't know much about nuttin', however I've been experimenting with scripts since I got here, and it's satisfying to make things that move or make my avatar do certain things. I went over to see my friend Goyan's studio this morning, and while I was wandering around his (large) properties I took a snooze in his hammock. The hammock is a free-to-copy hammock and I really liked the script -- not a lounge-gesture but a side-snooze gesture that is nice. The whole thing was 25 prims, though. I copied it and went home to Bodega, where I first tried to play around with it on my property, but couldn't as the parcel was overfilled by the 25 prim hammock.
I went to my neighbor's property (he allows strangers to create objects which is unusual -- and lucky for me since I do quick experiments over there often. I took out the hammock and unlinked the prims. I saw a clear box, but wasn't sure what it was. I deleted prims until I had it down to about 3 -- but then it didn't work -- the script was gone, I saw. I put the script into the hammock, but then Os was snoozing in oddball places. I saw the light and made a box where I wanted to lie, textured it with one of my mostly-alpha tattoo textures, applied the script, and then adjusted it so that Os was lying in the right place. Then I copied it, put it in my cave (at the base of the property near the road), and changed all the textures. I made a wee carpet-texture bolster, and snoozed. Then I put the script in my bed. Works like a charm.

16 August 2004

Men and Women on Calypso

I ran to Fort Zeus but because I kept stopping to catch a glimpse of the different types of beasts I got killed twice. The second time it was a very fast thing I'd never seen before, and some men with machineguns came out of the woods but I was a goner. At Fort Zeus I saw the first naked woman I've seen on this planet. I've seen lots of naked bottoms in armor -- all male -- but this person was AFK and standing there. I guess there's more than one way to be an exhibitionist. This guy, Zye, was taken with the idea of nudity, and kept asking how one became naked. I got to talking with another fellow, BigC, who said, "You sound like a real woman." Asked to clarify he told me that many players have female avatars as the armor is much cheaper. He said there are very few women in the game -- he's been there a year and a half, so I think he knows what he's talking about. He said he knows one other woman. I told Z (who'd put on a Santa outfit in the meantime) that he'd better watch out as he might get more than he bargained for, which made him laugh. He's been in world a long time too, I gathered, as he said the Santa suits were handed out at Christmas a couple of years ago. I said I'd seen someone selling one at Port Atlantis -- he'd seen it to. He said the suits are supposed to be worth a lot of money now (uh... go figure). He wants to sell his during the season. BC told me he'd be around to answer any questions I might have or give help. What a nice fellow.

Project Entropia at Christmastime... strange...
****may have to revise my age guess upwards as the only two players whose ages are known to me are 25 and 27****

Helius Aeschylus Palamedes, nice guy

Second Life
I went to a poetry reading in SL -- I mean, it could hardly BE any more different from PE. I went to a sandbox to experiment and practice making warped shapes. I thought about going to the drum circle, but it's now and I don't feel like it.

15 August 2004

My new fave place, Fort Caravan -- with old robot battle detritus, I reckon. Robots are very, very bad in Project Entropia. Like, say, if my robot vacuum cleaner went berserk and conspired with the dishwasher against me.

I've run all around on this continent, so I've seen some of the landscapes. Very nice -- of course, I see it at a run as I'm trying to avoid getting killed by giant mutants.

My computer-building company recently moved a few blocks, and today they sent me a nice card. When I saw the chunky package I thought, "Oho, what have we here?" lol Hard candies. But it was a nice hand-written dog card, and I was happy to be appreciated in my role as customer, which, apparently, I've been for more than 6 years -- and they're only 10. It's a woman-owned business which is groovy.

In Second Life I sold more tattoos, went around today to the various free markets checking on my stuff, and fiddled around with my (Jeff's) chat balloon script (which I had put in my ear). He'd given me two balloon textures, but I need to work on it a bit more as the relative sizes are screwy.

I made more new WHL-BIA forms...

Touched up a new client website...

Talked on the phone with E and Looper, and IMed with E and various people in PE and SL. I felt sorry not to be able to take E out, but she was watching Elvis impersonators on the tube. Looper checks up on me, which is damned nice of her. She and Mr. Looper went to an art show and she said Mr Looper commented "when we came home, that it made him appreciate your paintings very much indeed. A class way above, though that is perhaps obvious" Mr. Monster rang me but I haven't yet rung him back.

Jin shin tomorrow at 7:30. Means leaving here at 6:45. I've been having the early jin shin, which is groovy. I'd better think about trying to sleep...
****actually jin shin is Tuesday not Monday****


Maybe this is Fort Argus, Im not sure...

Billy's Spaceship Afterworld -- people shooting each other in the octagon ring as usual.

14 August 2004

I was just in Project Entropia. I shot some monsters then decided to run from Hadesheim to Cape Corinth for another TP, even though I had tried that already and there was nothing there. I decided the update had made things weird then. At Hadesheim I started talking to RaVeR, a 25 year old from Poland who had been in-world 3 days and fallen in with a group that sent him off to capture all 32 teleports. Cape Corinth was his last one, so we ran together until he got killed, then at Cape Corinth he was waiting (revival terminal:) and told me that now the group would give him a gun and ammo and he would get to take part in hunting parties. I split and ran up to another city, killing an exosaur, a weird bird thing, some shrimp sushi, and I saw some very large nasty things that I was tempted to attack but I held back as at that point I'd've been sent back where I started for revival.

I've watched a few videos lately:
Finzan -- An absorbing African film concerning women's treatment in the world, which is interesting in that both the story and the acting hark back to the early days of film-making -- unsophisticated but affecting. I was reminded of Broken Blossoms in some way but then I'm weird and we all know it.
Smiles of a Summer Night -- A Bergman I'd never seen. Avocat Egerman starts humming an aria from a seduction scene in Don Giovanni, then catches himself (anything with any Don Giovanni in it gets my stamp of approval).
Hiroshima, Mon Amour -- I'd never seen this hoary art film either.
Twelfth Night -- A BBC video that has Robert Hardy in it: YAY! Downside: 1980 hair.

Tract Houses on Calypso

Ringed by huge gun-turrets (on left) as the air is full of pterodactyly things. The guns blast any beasts that come close and as I was poking around, a pterodactyly thing fell dead literally in front of me.
Calypso is heavy into the Ancient Greek names, like "Calypso," lol, Scylla, Pandora, Troy, etc. Then there's Twin Peaks, Billy's Spaceship Afterworld, Camp Echidna -- maybe that's all the odd ones. I've been running around this continent, and have seen all kinds of weirdly beautiful landscapes. There's usually people hanging around the teleporter -- that seems to be where you can find them. I saw a group of girls wearing armour parts over their knickers -- a bold fashion statement... perhaps?
This place cracks me up.
I'm from a family that had tons of guns -- mostly, by the time I got biggish, for target shooting or just as beautiful objects. I always liked target shooting -- this is a cool way to do it. At one point in about 1950, before I was hatched, my family lived in a little caravan that A. was where "we" met Muffin the Mule's creator, and B. had apple trees nearby that were picked by monks, one of them being a dwarf (reminds me of Amacord). Anyway, my mother was shooting at rats when the doctor came (perhaps to look at my scalded-by-a-teapot older sister), and he was so taken with the whole idea that he took the gun and shot at a few himself. There you have it -- the reason why I'm shooting snabelsnots and bergnfv(forget their name but they're like raptors), and impaling the flat ankle-biters* on my sword (bastards). Blood will out.
*look like that ebi (shrimp) nigiri sushi that is not terribly good

13 August 2004

I was invited to a flamenco juerga but I couldn't go, boohoo. that would've be fun. Dagnabbit.


Boys Will Be Boys

This is a mostly-boy world, and the boys are from Sweden, Norway, Russia, Poland, Slovenia and places like that, with some from Australia, England, France, Canada, USA. As far as I've seen in a few days, anyway. I've seen Swedish, Polish, French, etc., but most people can cross language barriers with English. Yesterday a boy said something about joining a society to a friend, who said it had requirements. "Like what?" "You have to be from Russia -- it's the Russian Mafia." "Well I'm your neighbor -- I'm from Norway." Every virtual world I've been in has a mafia *sigh* I'd say the boys are mostly between 16 and 20 -- purely a guess. When I was that age I inhabited the same world as my parents, but these boys are spending a lot of their time in a world unknown to most people over 30. I'm just a weird aberration there -- a strange old observer. I keep getting boys standing next to me gyrating suggestively for minutes at a time, like virtual leg-humping dogs. I was underneath some part of the interface and didn't notice for absolute ages last time. The first time it was a Swedish noob, and I spent a minute talking to his better-mannered friend. Most virtual worlds have some mysterious factors. Second Life has "dwell." P-E has "decay." In P-E, a very maths-heavy world, the number of weapons, attachments, mind-powers, damage/ammo ratio, ammo burn, decay, etc., etc. is pages of numbers, compounded by the fact that you can't decide a certain weapon is ok and buy it. No, it's not sold in the Trade Terminals, so you have to find one in auction, find one being sold by a trader (you have to factor in the damage or you'll really get screwed), or collect the raw materials and make one. But if you do that you need a blueprint... which you can't buy... but maybe you can find someone with a blueprint...
The first day I was there I was learning the interface... the second day they updated and CHANGED IT. So that was weird. I updated my Nvidia drivers... discovered there's an insidious Nvidia problem with a driver... backtracked as it kept crashing... now it hasn't crashed since I de-updated... but I'm not finished -- this is a breathing pause.
In There I used a simulated camera to take screenshots (so I didn't have to go back and forth to Photoshop). Second Life has a built-in screenshot and movie function. P-E is a beast and so far all I know how to do is close the program after taking a screenshot -- Sim Cam doesn't work. I think I know a better way, maybe... hmmm... Let me try...
...big crash lol... ...tried trading but not too well although at least I disdn't buy anything... where's my funny nose glasses?

Boohoo -- Julia Child has died! She was wonderful. Also nearly 92.

The cigarette smell makes me feel quite ill.

Brisbane Update
I had a long email from Anji, excerpted here:
"We have been here 7 weeks now. Unbelievable! The time has gone really fast.
There isn’t a lot that needs doing on the inside of the house (except rotten housework- polished floorboards are awful to keep clean...shows up all the dust...bugga!). Maybe repaint the kids rooms to be a bit nicer. Caitlin’s is blue, she’d like pink of course. And some new curtains. etc. The down stairs rumpus/study area is a hideous pink that I would dearly love to banish. But it’s probably the last on the list. The decking/external stairs and door frames (lots of them) need sanding, painting and sealing quite badly. (Steve has been out there creating a lot of noise and dust) A lot of work needs doing in the garden for it to be how we would like it. There’s a lot of wasted space at the moment. We are having a pool designer coming next week to get a design and quote for a pool in the backyard...which is really steep, so it will be interesting to see what he comes up with, one’s thing for sure it won’t be cheap. Steve’s decided that while we have a big debt a ‘bit more’ won’t make a lot of difference. I want to get my favourite fruit trees growing. I had to leave my beloved fijoa and tamarillo trees behind. You are probably saying ‘what are they’. A very New Zealand thing. They are my favourite. However, all the chores and the wants take time and lately we have been busy beavers doing other (but relatively boring) stuff.
The kids are demanding and consume most free time. Particularly on a school day. Start at 8:50, but we get there at 8:30 to get a parking space. (It’s too far for Caitlin to walk to school and too hilly to ride) Do the shopping or whatever before coming home, entertain Ryan, he may have a sleep, and then at 2:30 (early to get a park’s a mad house at the parking lot) we get back in the car to collect Caitlin. It’s 3pm finish here (not 3:30 as in Vic) and so between drop off and collection there isn’t much time in between. Then we go off to after school activities twice a week. I do reading at the school on Fridays (the kids read to me, if you were wondering), while Ryan runs around distracting all the kids and being a pest, but the teacher doesn’t seem to mind. Better than having no one to read with the kids. It seems a lot of them don’t do it at home. Caitlin is a brilliant reader for her age. She’s the youngest in the class, but is certainly in the to p half of class with reading.
I went in the Bridge to Brisbane 12 k not much fun run Sunday, August 1st. It was an early start, a long wait, a tough event, and a tiring day all up. Set out from home at 5:10am to get across town. Parked the car and had a 1km walk to the start line. Was at the start area at 6:15am and my section didn’t start until 6:55. Lucky it wasn’t cold. At 6:50 my section (about 12,ooo people) moved up to the start line and then we were off. The first bit was the big steep climb of the "gateway bridge", and then the steep descent the other side, the rest of the trip was pretty flat. I walked and jogged and was glad to get to the end. I was pretty sore in the knees and ankles but over all not to bad. My time was 1 hour, 32 minutes and 45 seconds, which I thought was pretty good considering I didn’t train at all. 6769 placing out of nearly 19000 people. So I will have to better it next year. legs didn’t want to work for a few days... That’l learn me to stretch before and after.. . but I don’t think it would have made a difference. OUCH!
As of Monday Ryan is beginning in an activity group called ‘criddle bugs’. I think it’s like gymbaroo...but not... i’ll let you know. He hasn’t been around many kids his age since we’ve been here. He’s a funny boy, getting quite a quirky personality. He’s now decided to go off eating breakfast. It’s a real chore to get him to eat more that a few mouthfuls. Lucky he has enough weight (blubber) on him to keep the starvation away. He’s saying quite a few words now. Not phonetically correct, but we know what he means. Beees for please, Ca for Cat, Car and even Caitlin, Ta for Ta, Bem for Prem (dog), and the usual mama, dada, buba, etc...and then the general babble that no one knows what he’s saying. He had his very first haircut...ever...a weeks ago. It was really long and wild. And really white. He’s gone from looking like the ‘mad scientist to looking like a 17 year old pop star’. He’s crook at the we’ve all been...very congested, ear aches etc. no good."

Virtual Update
Ugh... feeling SO awful that I'm good only for hanging around online.
In Project Entropia I was poking around in the interface, and because I'd read in the manual that a disciple couldn't terminate a relationship I never expected that I would accidentally do just that. I was horrified. When I logged on next day Equi IMd me and plaintively cried, "Why did you leave me?" I thought that was touching. Anyway, now I'm mentor-less which is too bad. I was collecting teleports in a rotten city named Hadesheim, and ran into goog, from Sydney. We paired up and ran around. We killed some snabelsnots and tried to kill an argonaut, which promptly killed us both :-) Oh well, good experience. Yesterday I met someone named wadda (I think it was) and we ran into some really quick nasty beasts that we got away from (he had no weapon so fighting was not just a pointless waste of ammo but impossible for him) and then a giant mutant, which chased me down and killed me. I was revived at the same pit I'd just left, took off running again, reached the teleporter at Zychion (another horrid place) and wadda was there. He said he'd been killed, too, but if he was sent back to where I was sent back to as he said, he must've run pretty fast to get to Zychion first (with no idea where he was going). I tp-ed to Billy's Spaceship Afterlife and shot snabelsnots for a while, then looked at weapon stats as I'm a bit fed up with my extremely weak newbie rifle. With a weak rifle you can only kill weak animals with low loot value, so they hardly pay for the ammo.
Second Life -- My gallery has had a lot of visitors, and I've sold a lot of tattoos. I IMd Jeff on Wednesday to ask him to remove the teleport cube in the water by my house as I knew it had no cube at the other end -- I'd tried it and teleported and got locked into a sit gesture. And I wanted to thank him for the chat bubble script he'd put on the forum. He came and we hung out talking on my roof. He's a scripting wizard, in my opinion. He showed me his place above Java, and his very funny log-off zone. There's a cage, and when he logs in a side falls off and it says he's escaped again. Log-off -- side goes up and a picture of him appears. He's a blue dragon. He also gave me a swimming animation, which is cool.
I tried a different tack in making tattoos as it was hard to get rid of the white halo. I make the tattoo in black, invert the colors, cut and paste the white tattoo into the alpha layer, and leave the tattoo layer plain black with no picture at all. That works famously, but I haven't yet tried it with very small tattoos.
I've been neglecting There. I haven't been there for days. All these worlds have unique flavors. There is playful and full of humor. Second Life gives residents the tools to be very creative if they choose. Project Entropia is absolutely humorless (it's Swedish) and rather angst-ridden. The usual thing in these worlds is to have levels of skill. In Project Entropia the levels are newbie, inept, poor, weak, mediocre, unskilled, green, beginner, novice, amateur, apprentice, initiate, qualified, trained. Hah! In There the levels are the American-way-sounding casual, avid, expert, renowned, and legendary.
At the moment my highest level in P-E is weak :-)
In There it's renowned.
I'm philosophically opposed to the idea of skilling -- especially in P-E hunters, as it's a stupid waste of ammunition. In There it's free but seems pointless. I heard people are trained by TSO to feel they need to skill-up constantly. But I don't really know.

11 August 2004


I ran around Calypso and got 9 teleport links and avoided being killed about 50 times. I was in some god forsaken outpost and I saw men shooting each other in an octagon ring. I asked a bystander what they were doing and he said, "Skilling." Then he asked me if I'd like him to mentor me, so I said yes, that I'd just bought a sword as I was tired of being defenseless. Equi told me he'd give me a rifle but I had to buy bullets. We went outside the walls and killed several beasts. I got some damage but he had an aid kit. Then we both got killed :-) After that we teleported to Port Atlantis and ran to another outpost which is close to good hunting. He showed me an area with some good beasts to kill and some which are darn near impossible to kill, and some that are extremely not very nicely mannered at all. He left and I shot a lot of various beasts. The nasty ones got me twice, but finally I learned to try to avoid them. I finally logged out because I was pooped.
In Second Life I made more tattoos and talked to my new neighbor.
In There I hoverboarded for a while.

10 August 2004


At some point I must've asked to join Project Entropia, but I don't know when exactly. I think it was after There made its first announcement and I was looking at other worlds. Yesterday I was told I'd been accepted -- so without knowing exactly what I was doing there, I went to that virtual world. Project Entropia is old -- about ten years -- and HUGE -- about 150,000 people. It's not an American MMPRPG, and it's deadly serious and has an economy based on RL money. P-E takes place on the Planet Calypso, and although it doesn't cost a penny to go there, if you want to do anything like stay alive you really should spend a little money. I haven't, yet -- so yesterday after I was spawned at Port Atlantis not knowing anything including how to move or how to get rid of screens that popped up and blocked my view (got it figured now), I took off running. I went on purpose to a red area (well, sorry, but I like red and it never even crossed my mind that it was a Danger Will Robinson zone). I twigged finally that in a red area I was just fair game for anyone or anything to kill and loot, so I ran out of it and shortly after was attacked and killed by a raptor-type thing. I went to a revival center, where I writhed around for a while getting restored to life. Then I took off running to get to another teleporter, as one has to go in two before they can be used (and I found the first one in Port Atlantis which wasn't easy as I didn't know what they looked like). In P-E there are all kinds of nasty things like robots, mutants, beasts, etc., that are able to kill. I'm not sure what there is, or what they look like, so I ran and avoided everything. When I heard a nasty roar behind me and sustained damage I kept running (I have no weapon) and did a little weaving in-and-out of the trees. I ran into a building and waited, then peeked out but saw nothing except the teleporter I was looking for. A "something" popped up and I wasn't sure if I was going to kill me or not so I took off and skirted the hill, jumped in the TP and went back to Port Atlantis. I've seen 3 or 4 beasts so far -- the first one was small and the program thought I might like to do something disgusting like collect its sweat, which I understand now is something desirable. There was an update today and since then it just crashes every time I try it, so I'm in Port Atlantis still, but I think I might run to Fort Troy, way in the south of this continent, pick up another TP and I have heard something about a market there. Everything is fortified, harsh, serious, and scary -- at least that's my first-day-impression. I didn't spent a huge amount of time getting Os to look right because it just wasn't doing it as I wanted -- her mouth is weird. I didn't know if I could try again later but I don't think I can. Her name is Fauxvia Ostherian -- nickname "Os."

08 August 2004

I made my first sale. I put tattoos and Tshirts in vendors and put them in three markets as well as in my faux sculpture gallery. They're super cheap -- I'm just starting out so I don't want anyone to suffer if I make a mistake.

And I found this really cool map in Taber. You can put a map-pin in your location (mine's a little off). It has names and lots of pins but nothing much can be seen in the screenshot.

I put one of my paintings on the pin head.

I found out I know someone in 2L. In There I talked with an artist, and in 2L a person visited my gallery when I was not there -- he turned out to be an artist with a 2L gallery (and there don't seem to be too many). I went to his gallery and was turned back by a protection fence. I IMd him and told him I had just peeked in the windows. Today I went back and there was no turn-back, so I looked around at the paintings and sculpture. He IMd me and revealed himself as the Therian I knew slightly, and we chatted about 2L, There, and vehicles* until E rang me and I got offline. Small world.
On the way over there I'd stopped at a hovering cube with a web address on it. The saga of the Uru people continues! I'm fascinated by the whole idea of the Uru people losing their world and finding places to reconvene. There seem to be many, many Uru folk. Like any people who leave their land against their wishes, they spend a lot of energy recreating pieces of that lost world. Simultaneously, they absorb and adapt to their new environment.

*We agreed the vehicles in There are better. In 2L the vehicles have no feeling of resistance again the terrain -- in fact a lot of the time I just fall into or through the landscape when I'm driving.

My painting of Fidget is back after +-20 years.

D rang me and I wished her a happy birthday (actually the 6th). She asked if it would be a help if she came out from Philadelphia for a week in September. I said, "No, but it WOULD be helpful if you got a computer at home and took over the emailing duties regarding E." That made her laugh, for some reason, although I was serious. Then she told me that she hadn't yet deposited a large check (large to me) I sent her 8 months ago -- bummer as I apparently have less money than I thought. The check was me relaying on the money given to me for E from S, my father's widow, as an inheritance. Too bad. Also it turns out they decided against Egypt (again) and are going to the Carribean (again) on the cruise in November. I said tell E -- apparently they never thought to tell E that plans had been changed. Strange. E called me up just now and said, "I'm not going to Egypt."

The Origins of Art and Magic
I wanted to make a movie about the origins of art and magic, but never did because my time doing video stuff wasn't very long. I did video stuff night'n'day then I got too feeble rather quickly. When I started out I immediately began teaching children how to make little animation pieces since it was fun and parents have cameras sitting in closets that they never think to let children use. I don't quite get why -- techno stuff gets outdated long before it wears out, most adults have but a brief obsession with the camera, and children don't seem to break things any more than anyone else. But I digress...
Because I saw that the origins of art and magic are obvious and in front of us, I wanted to do that, but as I never did I'll make a short quickie blog version.
When I was a child I would lie in bed and look at the ceiling, and see various things in the stains and shadows -- like all children. I don't think we ever outgrow that ability to see things, but I think perhaps some people squash that tendency as it is considered bad. "Seeing things," or "distorting reality" are considered symptoms of being a nutball. I suppose if you are able to understand what's going on, and control the process you are PRESTO! an artist. If it happens and you have no understanding or control you are PRESTO! a basket case. The ability to see things-in-things might vary according to the activeness of the imagination, perhaps.
I'm always amazed at how incredibly detailed and sensitive these images are. And how insistent. I painted a cupboard with an abstract design many years ago, and one little area immediately became a little dog's face. I see the little dog's face every day. Now it's become Con's Frida, which is weird.
I see humans sitting in a cave and one person sees a little sqiggly crack as the head of an elk. She points it out to someone else. The other one doesn't see it. The first one takes a bit of charcoal and adds a bit more onto the line... "Hey! Now I see it! " There's another crack that looks like an animal's foreleg. The first one shows the second one and the second one sees it. THAT'S magic -- the crack has been transformed into the foreleg of an animal, by the first person, who obviously is very powerful. It was nothing, then PRESTO it became a foreleg.

10-5-06 I should be careful of leaving draughts as apparently I never go back and finish.

06 August 2004

This year I remembered Hiroshima in a virtual ceremony. We set lighted candles adrift on a Second Life waterway at sim sunset.

Rain and Wind
Today is my older sister's birthday, so I need to call her and wish her many happy returns since I've not done anything else.
When I awoke it became apparent that the rain/wind/clacking blinds were not ignorable -- usually in August there's no weather at all, just sunny, no wind, no rain -- so I had to close the windows and wipe off the sills, retrieve things that'd been blown around (souvenir of Panama blown west, so the wind must've changed directions as it was headed east when I came to. I hate closing the windows. I need great bags of fresh air and being in a creepy, closed-off space makes me feel like the air isn't worth breathing. It has no GOODNESS.

Things were wet for about two-feet in from the windows -- interesting. When I was leaving jin shin yesterday Frank said, "Go home and sleep 12 hours," which was roughly what I did, in bits and pieces. Feeling rather terrible :-)
I played around making tattoos for Os Therian, as I know nothing about alpha channels and it's about time I learned.

The other day I made a bathing suit, so that was my first foray into alpha channel territory.

04 August 2004

There is more social than SL, I think Although there are ample opportunities to socialise in SL it's easier and more fun for people who don't wish to live as social butterflies. I am in the top ten ranking (my own perception) of unsociable people, and I'm busy building, learning, exploring, etc. in SL. I found a pair of funny nose-glasses-mustache yesterday and put them on (and was instantly complimented on my "costume") and just... haven't taken them off yet. Os looks funny; I mostly see the back of her so I forget about the funny n-g-m, anyway. So I was surprised today when I was building in a sandbox and some guy on a motorcycle said, "Hey babe, jump on!" Funny n-g-m, right? Babe? I said I was building an Avanti and didn't wish to stop. "Be that way." Come to think of it, funny nose-glasses-mustache might be, far from the incognito-hidden-disguised-standoffish gear I thought it was. It may be a ticket to enhanced social interactions that I don't want -- I say this because I had a long, fruitless conversation with a newb boy when I was sorting my inventory at the vehicle park. Finally I wound up driving around with him for 15 seconds, until he had car trouble and I teleported home and promptly (because I was trying to figure out what some things were before deleting them) deleted my entire house, which was actually ok as I was able to put another copy up and get it in a better (incrementally) spot in about half an hour. I went to a terraforming sandbox and played around trying to make a cave -- something like that may be my next little building on the Bodega property. On the road side of the property.

Hubba hubba
Bodega property

Avanti as of today

03 August 2004

Nice to see M, C, and A -- M told us about the workshop she went to last week, instructed by Lillian Pitt. She made 5 or 6 or so masks, all raku-fired and embellished with cedar bark and what-have-you, plus some little things. She also had us in stitches telling us about the daughter of a friend whose "hobby" was peeing in various strange locations -- like the potted plants at the Vatican, etc.
C and M are in the middle of picking colors and moving furniture in A's and S's old bedrooms. S moved out and C, his mother, instantly grew back her hair (which had fallen out). I like to say "instantly," however it wasn't QUITE instantaneous, plus maybe S moving out was coincidental to the hair growth... Before coming to my house they sweated and struggled getting a huge couch in through the twisty turns and doorways, but managed it, and A had pictures on her new camera.
I spent time yesterday before they arrived beating on my webcam getting it back online. It, unfortunately, shows the complete filth of my windows very well.
The woman in the bottom of the house,D, told my landlord she needed to move -- he found a replacement who signed a lease -- then she "changed her mind." My landlord let her move to his reserved room on the middle floor, which I wasn't informed about. I met the new tenant and liked her -- she was concerned about D as she had heard that it was going from temporary really fast. I flipped as I can't stand the cigarette smoke, the extra noise, the extra everything -- and emailed my landlord to say, "WTF??" (NOT in those words) He said, "We'll have to build you a door, etc., etc." I replied that a door wouldn't cut it -- that he was a nice person but in attempting to make D happy the rest of us were quite the opposite. He later sent me an email cc wherein he ended the temporary agreement he had with D --officially ending on 11-1-04. Holy moley -- that's an EARLY end to the agreement? Glad I didn't remain mum about it. The "temporary" thing could've gone on forever! The new person now thinks I'm Queen Shit -- she wrote me an email telling me how impressed she was. I am The Enforcer.
Today I went to a sandbox -- a place where anyone can build -- in Second Life because I decided to build a Studebaker Avanti. After a WHILE I had a bit of a start. I see this as a project I am not approaching from any great height of knowledge or experience, but which will be something I'll learn a lot from. I can almost guarantee I'm starting the wrong way, since I know zip about making cars, but I will work on it quite happily, so who cares. It's my only change to have an Avanti.

Well, it'll get closer as time goes on -- but at least I got started on it.

02 August 2004

Ugh... Crappy...
I didn't get adequate sleep last night because of a loud downstairs noise that seemed to be a tv or something. It's not happy to see it's 2:47 am, and fume in angry frustration because the noise won't cease. In fact it rises and falls in an extremely annoying fashion. So I'm doing horribly, physically, and I've been stagger-cleaning to the best of my feeble abilities since C, A, and M are coming over. During the night I was tempted to turn on something REALLY LOUD, except I just couldn't get motivated. Thought about my cousin Christopher, in his first apartment, in Montreal, having a sound war with his neighbor. The neighbor would put on something (I don't remember what but it was the 1970s I think) very loud, and Christopher would turn on EXTREMELY LOUD BACH ORGAN MUSIC in response. I don't think there's any way to counter that.
I was thinking about person/non-person things: In my tiny mind I feel like some people regard me as a person, whereas other people seem to apply non-person status to me at times, which is truly, truly, a nasty, nasty thing to do to me. I hate it. Consider the following conversation: Me: "This is very nice of you -- helping me out by doing some cleaning." Response: "No problem." Me: "Feel free to go anywhere, except this one little wee tiny roomlet that is my personal and private area, and which you should NOT ENTER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES." R: "OK." Ten minutes later... Me: "Why are you in there? I said DON'T GO INTO MY PRIVATE AREA." R: "I thought there might be a broom in there." Me: "There is no broom in there."
If I accept help does that mean I lose all rights and boundaries as a human being? I hadn't thought so, but if so I'll never accept help from anyone.
Consider this: Me: "Well, goodbye." Friend: "I'll walk you out." Me: "I don't want you to." Friend: "I know, but I'm going to anyway." Me: "No, goodbye." Other friend: "She said she didn't want you to." Friend: "But I don't mind." Other friend: "She does."
It's clear to me that both people are good people trying to do good in the world -- and if the situation was reversed I'm sure I would make plenty of mistakes, too. So -- is "good" reckoned by their terms, my terms, or both? Do people think I'm shy and won't ask for the help I'd like? I can assure them that isn't the case. I will accept offered help if I want it, refuse it if I don't, and ask for any help I need. Rightly or wrongly I don't feel super grateful or beholden or like I'm imposing on people. I think it's a two-way proposition: the giver gets a happy feeling of having helped, and a notch-up on karma, heaven, goodness, personal superiority, or what-have-you. Unless I REFUSE the help, in which case it seems to be necessary for the giver-in-waiting to strong-arm me into accepting unwanted assistance.
Hmmmm... interesting to contemplate...

01 August 2004

Great Surprise!
I received this missive today from a painting-buyer who bought Fidget nearly 20 years ago--

"Hi, Vivian, I hope you are feeling well! If you remember, I bought Fidget at the Frye Museum some years ago and have loved the painting very much. It is a true masterwork!! Due to lack of space, I need to sell the painting, but want to ask if you know someone who would want it? Please let me know, as I respect you and want to do what you would want."

What a nice thing to do... I've never met her but in the three exchanges I've had with her over the years her righteousness has been clear. There's been this strange phenomenon in my life lately of things returning to me. Maybe that's in the feeble-ocity quotient (people feel sorry?) or an end-of-life thing... I know not. I've lost track, but many things, mostly small, have returned. Strange.

The lake is very beautiful at the moment, with blue waves licking at the sunlight. Three mad jetskiers just roared by, and a slow jetski and quiet boat crossed my expanse of dirty windowpane. I have decided to burn pix to CD and mail them to our principal (he called Friday to ask for PowerPoint fodder) because he hasn't replied or emptied his inbox since I sent Batch One. I need to burn a CD for SWMNBMIMB, and this will be a nice test of the stupid DVD burner which I've used once and felt had a bit of a problem.

What's the effect, anyway, of looking through glass? Does the flat glass somehow affect the three-dimensionality of whatever is viewed? Do our eyes/brain flatten the picture so that a 2d image behind glass is the same as a 3d world behind glass? Or 4d, if time is the fourth dimension. I wear glasses but the world looks much, much more "real" if I take them off (although blurred :). Because of the open sliding door that doubles up the glass on one half (something I have always failed to understand the reasoning behind, like those stupid window that slide up) I'm looking through three layers of glass in some spots. How far removed from reality can I be? I could go into the bathroom and look in the mirror through my glasses, and see the lake backwards through the two dirty panes of thick sliding door glass. If I go into my bedroom perhaps I can look through my glasses, through doubled-up bedroom-window glass at the kitchen window, then through doubled-up kitchen-window glass to the OTHER doubled-up kitchen-window glass, and out to the lake. That's seven layers of glass. Dirty glass.



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I want to ask for thoughts about improving the world -- what do people need? How can things be organised?