Category Archives: People

Some of the people that help make Second Life more interesting.

Another Good One Departs

sumar-morgan(Image courtesy of Velveeta Biedermann)

Three years ago, a newbie to Second Life managed to buck up his courage enough to venture forth into The Shelter in Isabel sim, then, as now, one of the premier newbie-friendly locations in Second Life.  One of the people who welcomed him and helped him feel right at home was one of the Shelter’s longtime volunteers, and one of the unofficial “moms” of the Shelter: Sumar Morgan.

Now, that newbie-that-once-was has learned, via Tateru Nino, that Sumar Morgan lost her battle with cancer a couple of weeks ago.  And I am saddened.

I doubt I could say anything about Sumar that hasn’t been said already, by those far more eloquent than Yours Truly.  From my perspective, when she and I found each other in the same room, she’d always greet me warmly, helping me feel included in the sometimes large and intimidating crowd of The Shelter.  I’ve spoken before of the role of certain people’s writings (Tateru’s among them) in getting me into Second Life; Sumar’s role, among others, was no less critical in keeping me there through my awkward “noob” phase, until I found my place in the greater Grid.

In any event, I intend to stop by The Shelter soon and drop a nice chunk of Lindens in their donation box; I think Sumar would appreciate that.  As long as The Shelter remains, fulfilling its role in helping newbies, Sumar will never truly be gone from Second Life.  And I trust that, even now, she’s doing her best to assist newbies entering their Third Life.

“Nobody dies…they just leave here.” – Roland Kirk

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Professional Courtesy

I don’t know if it’s really true that “every 3rd person in Second Life is a DJ,” according to one wag I read recently. Still, there are plenty of decent DJs out there, and Lexx and I ran across one quite by chance this evening.

StormShadow Maertens DJs for three different clubs; his home club is Ignite, but he also spins at Restless Souls and The Night Owl (where Lexx and I encountered him). He seems to specialize in modern rock, but he had no problem playing either Muse (Lexx’s request) or Nightwish (my request!). He also did something interesting when we entered the club; in his next voiceover, he mentioned us by name. I may steal that trick. :-) In RL, he’s a network professional…which makes him not unlike myself in a number of respects.

And he is also among the ranks of SL bloggers, as you can see…so I’m pleased to add him to the Elite Evans Avenue Exit Blogroll. Check him out. And, Storm, you’re welcome to come by Lexxistential Deviances or Cowboy Country when I’m spinning, so you can compare styles. :-)

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Filed under People, Roadside Attractions

Symbolic of Wretched Excess, Or Something

Lexx’s Wedding InvitationThe image I have linked here is Lexx’s wedding invitation. Yes, THAT thing that towers over my avatar, included here for scale. The object is 102 prims, the artwork inside uses sculpty prims, and, when clicked, it not only hands you a landmark, it plays Peter Cetera’s “The Glory of Love.” The whole song.

As wedding invitations go, this one takes the cake (no pun intended). It is the epitome of ostentatiousness. It’s like the last days of Pompeii, right here in SL. Take me home and put me to bed, Mama, I have seen enough to know that I have seen too much!

If you should desire a wedding invitation like this, make sure and stop by Kaa Sera Wedding Invitations, and Kaaden Carson will be happy to sell you one. Just don’t try to rez it on anything smaller than a 4096 sq.m. parcel. :-)

Oh, that reminds me…we’re in the wedding business too, providing a venue for wedding ceremonies and receptions, along with an officiant, photographs, and professionally DJ’d wedding music (by Yours Truly). Stop by Dreams Weddings and talk to Lexx.

“All men should be married, but no woman should.” – E. Jean Carroll, A Dog In Heat Is a Hot Dog

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Filed under Current Events, People

Happy Rezday, Danielle!

Danielle on her Throne
A year ago today, Danielle first ventured into Second Life. And thus began her quest for total Grid domination. :-)

Ever since I’ve known Danielle, she’s been a real pleasure for me to know. I’ve seen her evolve from her initial, whitebread-redhead look to her present style, which is both true to her RL self and as unique as you’d expect of a sophisticated Resident. I’ve seen, and helped, her business venture, the Gin Rummy, withstand every challenge and grow from a tiny club nestled in the mountaintops of Perizoma to the huge, ornate building it occupies today in Joie sim. I’ve done my best to help her through crises in both Second Life and First Life. And I’m very glad to have her as a friend.

Happy rezday, Danielle. You deserve only the best!

. . . .

On a side note, I’d also like to welcome Vint Falken to the elite Evans Avenue Exit blogroll. Earlier today, she fulfilled the “in-world meeting” requirement for the listing when she visited the Evans Family Compound for a conference regading the SLelections. She’s a photographer, a socialite, and a driving force behind the SL Bloggers group (of which your humble reporter is now a member). She’s also a neko, like Danielle (I seem to be running into a bunch of them recently!), which suggested the title I have given her: “The Social Feline.”

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Filed under Current Events, Fellow Travelers, People

Odd Lots

I’m taking a breather from campaign-related posts for a minute to just talk about a couple of things on my mind.

First of all, congratulations to Chelle and Danielle for scoring a couple of the DJ slots at the Second Life Community Convention.  I don’t know whether these will be RL performances, SL performances, or both, but they should both be well-suited to the task.  Of course, my name’s not on the list…but that’s because I didn’t ask.  Due to one thing and another, my real life is going to be absolutely insane until at least mid-August, so I haven’t been particularly looking for DJ work anywhere, as I’ll be spread thin enough as it is.  (The campaign isn’t helping…but it doesn’t take up that much of my attention, and it should be over soon enough anyhow.)

Second, I was over at Mars Japanese Gardens with Tateru and others on Saturday night, and the talk had turned to whether SL culture was fragmenting.  She said, “How many newbies know who Anshe is? Or Prok? Or me? Or Erbo?”  Well, let me tell you, that was a bit surprising! I hardly expected to find myself in the same chat line with Anshe Chung, Prokofy Neva, and Tateru Nino…unless it was a sentence beginning something like “Erbo Evans, unlike major SL personalities such as Anshe Chung, Prokofy Neva, or Tateru Nino…” :-)  I know who the little fish in that pond is, that’s for sure.  I mean, look:

  • Anshe got to be where she is by getting in early, realizing the commercial potential of SL, and moving to exploit it, building up an empire over time in “Ben & Jerry’s” fashion.  It’s a feat that’s unlikely to be repeated.
  • Prokofy’s “fame,” such as it is, is more like “notoriety,” whether that label is rightly or wrongly applied.  Yet, in a very real sense, “it doesn’t matter what [the press] say[s] about you, as long as they spell your name right,” and I am also reminded of the statement about Howard Stern, that his detractors actually spent more time listening to him on a daily basis than his fans did…and both groups cited the same reason most often: “to hear what he’ll say next.”
  • You can ask Tateru why she’s so famous, and she’ll tell you that she doesn’t know.  However, one can’t argue with the evidence.  I’m forced to conclude that she must be doing something right, something that people like, regardless of what it actually is or whether she knows it.
  • And me?  Whatever fame or notoriety I’ve garnered, I’ve had to work for.  No one promised me a bed of roses, and I never came in expecting one.  My previous community experience definitely comes in handy when attempting to grasp SL, but there’s really been no substitute for planting my virtual feet on the Grid and getting my avatar’s hands dirty actually doing things, seeing things, and living the Second Life lifestyle.  Again, I’m left to wonder how things would have turned out if I had been able to upgrade my computer system to be capable of running SL, say, a year earlier…

Perhaps, one day, I will deserve that pride of place…and people will be reading about me in the next edition of the Official SL Guide.  But I’m not concerned about that now.  Hell, just surviving the next couple of months will be daunting enough.

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Filed under Celebrity, Current Events, First Life

Throwing My Hat In The Ring

Erbo Evans for Governor ‘07

My fellow Residents, in accordance with applicable SL Election Campaign law, I am proud to declare my candidacy for Governor of Second Life in 2007. As your Governor, I will work to repair the blemishes to SL’s reputation that have been left by the previous Administration, and make this a Grid we can all take pride in again. Vote for me, and I’ll have the griefers working as swimming instructors on a shark farm! Vote for me, and I’ll make sure the beatings continue until code quality improves! Vote for me, and I’ll help make this a Grid we can be proud to live in, work in, and do business in! If you want safer sims, fewer taxes, and an end to the corruption in high places, vote Evans for Governor! Remember, you can believe me, because I’m always right, and I never lie! Thank you, good night, God bless you, and God bless Second Life!

(Exit Erbo, whistling “Happy Days Are Here Again” )

Note: As noted by Vint Falken, this is satire. That means it’s fictional, i.e., not real. It just amuses me to go along with the gag. Besides, I had two copies of the “SLelections for governor 2007″ folder dropped on me today; I figure someone must be trying to tell me something. :-)

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Filed under Celebrity, Current Events, Gubernatorial Campaign

My People Will Call Your People, We’ll Do Lunch

Did I think I was going to be any less busy after we moved the Gin Rummy to Club Fairplay sim? I was sorely mistaken. :-)

For one thing, our usual event schedule continues unabated. This means I’m often looking over the Event Calendar on the intranet site, editing event descriptions and assigning personnel, and posting the completed event descriptions to the SL Events calendar. If I have to DJ, I also have to make sure I get my “base” playlist set up in advance; though it’s subject to modification at event time by people sending me requests, I have to start with something. In the case of specialized events, like tonight’s 50′s event, I have to immerse myself in a specific music genre…I actually had to do research for this event, finding appropriate songs I could play. I hope the crowd appreciates it.

Not only that, I find I’m doing an increasing amount of interaction with other club owners. Often times, this will be Zues Burali, one of the owners of Velvet Dreamz (formerly “The Cutlass Club”). Let me just say that I’m Godalmighty impressed with how far he’s come; he started out working for us as a pole dancer, and now he and his “Lil’ Sissy” ZoeyStar Rankin (another former dancer) run the joint, and have successfully negotiated a number of obstacles and built the club into something far more than it ever was under my management. He also now works under DaRealNeo Crossing’s banner, and has Velvet Dreamz set up on land Neo owns in Osterhout (right next to Mera Pixel & Company and the Mera Art gallery!). Where I’ve helped him out has primarily been in scripting and scripted objects; I gave him a copy of my Distributed Music Changer Mk.I (the same one I have set up at the Gin Rummy, and that we use at the family compound), and adapted my Application Kiosk 3.0 for his use. But Danielle and I have also joined him and his partner Sonoma for things like a friendly game of Texas Hold’Em.

In addition, Chelle Moore, our top-drawing guest DJ, has now found herself the sole owner of her own club, the Black Diamond, after her business partner decided to step down and she successfully bought him out. I’ve been acting in a bit of an advisory capacity for her, and I may help her get set up with the same kind of intranet deal we use for the GR. (The idea isn’t original with us; Danielle first saw the specific software we use, Joomla, being used for that purpose at Soulmates. We adapted the idea and extended it in a few useful ways.)

Danielle, of course, has a lot of things she needs my help on…such as her house-building projects, finding new furniture and fixtures for the club (or the house), or just bouncing from point to point on the Grid, exploring hither and yon. And, when I’m not doing that, I have scripting projects of my own I continue to hack on, as well as appearances I like to put in. I try to make it for the Sunday Building Shelter games; yesterday, I even competed in a couple of rounds. Didn’t win anything though…

You know, even if I wanted to depart Second Life, at this point, I don’t think I’d be allowed to. :-D

“Work is not an end in itself; there must always be time enough for love.” – Captain Aaron Sheffield, nee Woodrow W. Smith, sometimes known as Lazarus Long et al., Time Enough For Love, Robert A. Heinlein

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Filed under Business, Current Events, People

Passage of Time

Last night, a few comments from Danielle (as we engaged in some slow dancing at the family compound) caused me to take a look through my Calling Cards folder at some of the profiles of people in there, many of which I hadn’t seen or spoken to in awhile.  Perhaps Tateru’s post on Second Life Insider about profiles was something of a spur for this as well.  I wound up dumping a bunch of cards from people that I couldn’t really remember…but, in the process, I found out some interesting things.

For starters, some people in there simply weren’t in Second Life anymore.  Searching for their names under Search People yielded null results.  (And no, I don’t think Search People is broken; I found any number of obscure names by using it.)  The roll of the vanished includes Chris Ellsworth (unsurprising, given the fact of his RL self’s passing), my former business partner Valorna Edgeworth and her sister Raine Drakes, former employee and best-man-designate at my wedding 167mamba Au, and, most surprisingly, Keeva Hayek and her partner Woodie Taft.  Keeva was my first dance partner in Second Life, she was maid of honor at our wedding (Woodie was a groomsman as well), and I still have a copy of their wedding invitation in my inventory someplace.  (I wasn’t able to make the ceremony, damn it, because I was in RL at the time, driving back from Durango.)  I still feel sentimental about her, and I hope the two of them are OK.

Aside from that, some of my earliest calling cards are a little surprising.  Rose Bradley, who I met early on at The Shelter, now seems to have taken up a master-slave relationship.  Shawna Montgomery, head of one of the first groups I joined, the Science Fiction Rangers, has now bought her own island.  (Lucky her!)  Clutch Carson, who I recall when he was still a budding artiste, is now not only an accomplished one, but a land-rental baron, and is married in SL as well.  And so forth.

“Well I am still here for you Erbo,” said Danielle as I marveled over these changes.

“I know, Love. And I am here for you,” I assured her, which caused her to respond, “YAY!”

SL is, by its very nature, an inconstant thing; there are any number of sights that I recall seeing or have heard tell of that I will never see again.  Now I see that there are people I will never see again as well.  In some respects, it’s disquieting, but there are only two things you can do about it; you can embrace the change, continually following the new, and you can do your best to create a little pocket of stability for yourself and the people you care about within the world.  I’m doing my best at both of these.

“Change is not merely necessary to life — IT IS LIFE.”Alvin Toffler

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Filed under People, Philosophy

A Fighting Avatar

I was fortunate enough to encounter AllieKat Stovall in-world last night. It was very good to see her. She’s a longtime friend, and someone I used to go dancing with a lot; she was my most-recent steady dance partner prior to Danielle, in fact.

For those that don’t know, Allie is a Lieutenant Commander in the US Naval Reserve, an aviator. Recently, she and her unit were deployed somewhere in Afghanistan. She’s had some harrowing experiences there, including a recent episode in which a jihadi (a member of a group that had possibly deployed an explosive device near their base) was sent back to Allah by her hand. Not long thereafter, she was able to finagle access to a buddy’s computer long enough to get in-world, where she IM’d me. I teleported over to her location and gave her a big hug (thank you, Maura and Phil; that Deluxe Hug & Kiss Attachment works well). I think she needed it; she certainly appreciated it.

In general, I try and keep RL politics out of my SL blog; anyone who wants to find out where I stand can just visit EMinds and go to the “Speaker’s Corner” conference, where they’ll get an earful and then some. But I will say that I heartily approve of, applaud, and find no fault with Allie’s actions here; she acted quickly, decisively, and correctly to answer the threat. (Fortunately, she was not injured, but two security personnel were, and I pray for their swift recovery. On the other side, a total of four jihadis died of acute indigestion, absorbing too much lead on an empty stomach.) In sheer pragmatic terms, the person she dispatched will never hurt or kill anyone again, and neither will his three fellows…and I’m under no illusion that they would not have done so if given the opportunity. I do hope that her actions don’t wind up scrutinized to death by a bunch of REMFs* with law degrees and bleeding hearts…

I am worried about the other situation she describes, too, in which a plane and crew were lost. I hope for their safe return, but, after all this time, I know it’s probably unlikely. I just hope they don’t wind up being beheaded on a videotape that turns up on al-Jazeera and the Internet.

I sent her some pictures of us from my EMinds archive, as well as a couple of MP3 tracks taken from my live set last Saturday. Hopefully, they’ll act as a morale booster. If you want to contact her as well, our mutual friend Akela has her GMail address. I’m sure she’d appreciate people saying “hi,” sending her a little slice of home, or just offering their thanks.

And that’s what I’m going to do here, publically. Thank you, Allie, for fighting these bastards that would seek to kill or enslave us all. The work you do is vital to the security, not merely of the USA, but of Western civilization as a whole. Stay safe, and come back to us when you can. Godspeed.

* – Any military person, or anyone that knows military people, will recognize this acronym for “Rear Echelon…”

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And the Blogroll Goes Marching On

For a long time, Mera had an entry in her blogroll for Jacek Antonelli that was just “http:///” (obviously, not a valid URL). I’d look at that and wonder when Jacek was going to get his own blog. Well, now he has, and, following the lead of Alexander Lapointe, I’ve added him to the Evans Avenue Exit blogroll.

Jacek is definitely a colorful character among the Shelter denizens. His tag of “The Colorful Cubist” comes from a couple of different sources…for one, he has this “cubist” avatar that’s a sight to see, and, for another, he’s one of the few people to be enshrined as the name of a color, at least according to Salvador Dalgleish, the Shelter’s elephant with real-time setcolor. (The color “jacek,” as implemented by Sal, is a dark maroon. When his color script is on, people saying “Hi Jacek!” or “Bye Jacek!” in his vicinity will cause him to turn that color.)

One of Jacek’s entertaining exploits was about a month ago, when he and Reina Quine showed up at the Shelter’s formal ball cross-dressed. “Princess Jaceka” proved to be a big hit with the crowd, and many of the men present took a turn around the dance floor with “her.” (Including me–of which I have photographic evidence. I do try to be a good sport, y’know…)

So welcome, Jacek, to the blogroll. His blog is called If I Ruled The Grid, and deals with issues he has with Second Life that he’d do differently. It’s decidedly worth your time.

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