Category Archives: Meta

All the meta-blogging administrivia and crap that always takes up a certain amount of bandwidth on EVERY blog…

Once More, With Feeling

I stand before the fourth version of the Evans Family Compound.

I’ve been so far from here,
Far from your warm arms,
It’s good to feel you again,
It’s been a long, long time…
…Hasn’t it?
Genesis, “Supper’s Ready,” Foxtrot (1972)

A year and a half has passed since last I wrote the despairing post that has headed Evans Avenue Exit for all this time.  In that time, my First Life has gradually improved.  I found a new job for more money, was let go from that job, then found another new job for even more money.  Selena has traveled through other games, such as the mighty World of Warcraft and a knockoff of it for kids (as many fantasy MMOs tend to be), Wizard 101, with some detours into the life of a sniper in Modern Warfare 2 on Xbox Live.  Yet there’s always been that thought between us…”We’ll be back in SL some day.”

Yesterday became “some day.”  At the urging of Lexxi and Chelle, who’ve been in here all this time and have missed us terribly, we leased a largish parcel on a private sim, very much like the Fantasyland-run sim where the first Evans Family Compound was.  We’ve erected a new dwelling that is in the great ostentatious tradition of Evans dwellings.  (And it was unbelievably cheap, from my experience…I paid L$300 for a furnished dwelling that would have easily run me L$5,000 or more in 2008!) And, perhaps, one day, we will join the ranks of sim owners again.  Or I may take up the trade of DJ again; heaven knows I’ve kept my broadcaster updated with new music as I’ve acquired it.  Or we may find something else to occupy our time.

For now, though, we’re consolidating and getting things squared away before we figure out what comes next.  And, of course, we’ve been welcomed back by our friends (and neighbors).

As a blogger of my experience likes to say…”More anon.”

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The Dream Is Over

You’ve read Steinbeck’s The Winter of Our Discontent?  Well, 1989 was the winter of our despair… – Jacob Stonebender, Callahan’s Key (Spider Robinson)

In our case, 2009 is the winter of our despair.  These are dark times at the Evans Family Compound.  Scratch that: There is no more Evans Family Compound.  There is no more Just After Sunset…and very soon, there will be no more Lexxotica either.

On December 2, 2009, I was laid off from my job in First Life.  Since Lexxotica and Just After Sunset were basically being supported by me paying the tier fees for Lexx every month, this had about the same effects on our Second Life presence as a shotgun blast to the face.  Fortunately, Lexx found someone to buy Lexxotica off her in relatively short order, but, in the meantime, there was nothing for it but to pack up all the stuff from the house (including Selena’s homes for her alts), as well as the club, and get ourselves out of there.  Lexxcore and Just After Sunset are out of business.

Lexx has offered me, and Selena, a gig at a new club set up by another friend of ours, hosting and DJing as a team.  Unfortunately, I’m not in the frame of mind right now where I could really do a show…

I have no idea whether we’ll ever be back to owning land, and I have pulled the plug on my Premium subscription for the time being.  It all depends on whether I can find work…and, if I don’t, soon enough, we’ll have much bigger problems than worrying about Second Life.

So it’s not likely I’ll have anything more to say on this blog for awhile.  For those of you that still manage to keep things together, I salute you, and pray that you never suffer this fate.

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To Ensure A Better Flow of Content…

…I’ve delegated some authority. 🙂

Meet Selenalore Michigan, my SL spouse and my RL girlfriend.  Since she and I share the same address in RL space and in SL space, I figure sharing the same address in blog-space isn’t too farfetched, eh?

Selena has been a top hostess in Second Life for the past year or more, and she’s seen it all with regard to club drama, group drama, and drama of all natures.  Her expertise will lend some additional color to this blog.

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Facelift

Since the Evans Family Compound is moving to Lexxotica, I had to take a new image for the top of the blog…and I built a road out front of the Compound with this shot in mind. Naturally, I had to use the latest WindLight viewer to get the sky just so…and I adjusted the sun position and cloud cover of one of the presets to make it look right. You can see the main house in the background there, with the flagpole in front flying its Colorado and New York state flags proudly; unfortunately, the big Yagi amateur radio antenna (tuned for 40 meters) atop the house got cropped out of the image…

Oh, and the redhead in the front passenger seat is Alexzandria Aeon, my newfound daughter (as Danielle told me) and the CEO and Supreme Dictator For Life of LexxCore, so don’t nobody be gettin’ no funny ideas. 🙂

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Blogroll Rebalancing

Man, some of those links over on the blogroll were old and stinky. 🙂  I’ve cleared off a number of people who seem to have abandoned their blogs–including at least two that were gone entirely–and fixed the links for a couple that have changed around.  If you were on my ‘roll but aren’t anymore and you think I screwed up, do please let me know.

In addition, somehow I missed the whole folding of Second Life Insider into the all-encompassing Massively site, so I’ve switched links appropriately. Hmm!  Massively even has a category about the game Samaria and I have been playing recently on the side…Hellgate: London.  It’s good to be able to go kick some demonic ass after a hard evening of managing a club. 🙂  Perhaps I’ll write some more about that later, as we’ve been having a hell of a good time in that game (no pun intended).

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Eight Erbonomically Correct Items

I’m going to respond to the invited “self-tagging” of Tateru here, and give you eight pieces of information about the human behind this avatar. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

  1. At one point, I had an extra tooth growing between my two front teeth. It’s called a “supernumerary tooth.” It was extracted when I was quite young, so you’d never know from looking at me today that it was ever there.
  2. I was a precocious youngster. I was always taking math classes a grade ahead of me in elementary school…until sixth grade, when I was spending afternoons at a local high school learning algebra, and also taking an electronics course in which I was soldering together various projects…even etching and drilling my own circuit boards. One of my projects even won my elementary school’s science fair.
  3. This was kind of mirrored in high school, where, during my senior year, I was in another program where I worked at a local company in the afternoon, doing programming in Pascal on an HP minicomputer.
  4. The first computer I ever owned was a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, for which I had many of the accessories, including the Peripheral Expansion box, disk drive, expanded memory, and Extended BASIC. I wrote a number of game programs on that machine, though, looking back, I wish I’d learned a little more about programming the thing in assembly language, because it had a rather unique architecture.
  5. My ex-wife and I both loved the TV series Babylon 5. In fact, our wedding bands had, inscribed on their inner surfaces, a quote from Ambassador Delenn: “Faith manages.” Now, I finally have the entire series on DVD.
  6. I have some musical talent; I can play keyboard a little bit, and I also know how to use a MIDI sequencer. One of my hobbies used to be transcribing sheet music for popular songs into MIDI files and filling out their arrangements to sound decent. The first song I ever sequenced like that was “Layla,” by Derek and the Dominos. The one I think I did the best job on was “Another Day In Paradise,” by Phil Collins.
  7. I was a frequent chatter for a while on the BIX network’s conferencing system, but wound up being forced away from it when I fell in with “the wrong crowd,” as it were. I think that whole experience kind of soured me on live chat-type technologies, including instant messaging, and only recently have I begun to overcome that. Even now, I rarely turn on an IM program, except to communicate with people I know. And that’s despite the fact that I worked for an IM company at one point…
  8. I am terribly bad at flirting (so I never do it, in practice), and I’m also terribly bad at recognizing that I’m being flirted with. Even in the case of the woman I later married, it took a month, and the input of a friend, for me to realize that she had been flirting with me…and an additional several weeks, plus the input of a couple of friends, to decide to do anything about it. I cut it so close that, if I had waited any longer, she would have moved cross-country and I’d never have gotten together with her at all.

And there you have it. As for who I can tag with this…well, it’s been awhile since Danielle has written anything…don’t hate me for this, Danielle! 🙂

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Refueled

I’ll warn you right now:  this is probably going to turn into one of those “damn, I haven’t posted anything in awhile” kind of posts.  Well, as Johnny Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” and, without getting into too much detail for an SL blog, I’ve gotten that, in spades, doubled and redoubled.

The Gin Rummy has adapted to the new anti-gambling policies in SL fairly well…we had to ditch our old faithful Sploder, but quick-thinking manager Samaria Martynov located a replacement, the “Party Popper,” which is, as far as I can tell, 100% legal under the new rules.  It bases its payouts, not on random chance, but on the proportions of votes players receive during a “voting phase” following the closure of entries after a time limit.  (The voting phase itself is time-limited; only players can vote, and a player must vote to share in the pot.)  In effect, it’s like our contest board in miniature, and it definitely plays as fast as the Sploder did…and the fact that its outcome is not based on random chance sidesteps the anti-gambling policy.  We won’t be able to get around the restricted-content requirement, if and when it becomes a full-fledged policy requirement, quite so easily…though I do wonder what, exactly, this requirement is for.  LL claims it’s to “restrict access to content that is inappropriate to minors,” but, by definition, minors aren’t even supposed to be on the Main Grid!  (Yes, we all know that there are some that are…that doesn’t change the “LL speaking with forked tongue” aspect of this policy.)  The only way this would make any sense is if LL decides to fold the Teen Grid into the Main Grid, which nobody even claims is in the offing…or if, perhaps, LL is going to embark on some sort of major marketing push into Saudi Arabia and Iran.  Hey, it could happen…

Perhaps related to that last quip I just made is the advent of the Al-Andalus Caliphate sims, as reported in Second Life Insider.  This is supposed to be a set of sims run as a private government (the way the Confederation of Democratic Sims runs theirs, for instance), but based on Muslim culture and Shari’a law.  As someone who has been keeping an eye on the actions of Muslims around the world ever since September 11, 2001, this raised a few warning bells in my subconscious.  It’s been well documented how Muslim enclaves in Real Life, both in Europe and the U.S., have successfully lobbied for more and more special treatment, or intimidated others into giving them special treatment.  (Recent case: Oak Lawn, IL school districts are considering banning Christmas celebrations because they offend Muslims…right after having removed all pork from their cafeteria menus.)  Will the same thing happen in SL?  They say not; they claim to be basing the community on 13th-century Moorish Alhambra, one of the high points of Muslim civilization, not the more modern, fundamentalist views (Wahabbism and similar) that are more prevalent today.  Yet I am mindful of the Muslim doctrines of taqiyya and kitman, which, briefly stated, deem it acceptable, even praiseworthy, for a Muslim to lie to an “infidel,” if doing so helps advance the cause of Islam.  Are the organizers of this community telling us the whole truth?  And, even if they are, isn’t a community such as they propose kind of an expression of these doctrines in its own right, by putting a “friendly face” on Islam that does not correspond to reality in this day and age?  I’m not ready to condemn the effort out of hand…but it bears watching carefully.  Very carefully.  And at least one communication I’ve received since expressing sentiments similar to these in comments over on SLI gives me the distinct impression that I’m not alone in believing this way…

Not all is doom and gloom though.  The establishment of the Second Life Grid project and the introduction–finally!–of Havok 4 physics, at least on the Beta Grid, give one hope for the future of SL as a platform.  (And it’s rumored that HTML-on-a-prim may not be long in following…good Lord ‘n’ butter, am I dreaming?)  And voice, while it has had some effect on SL, doesn’t seem to have been nearly the disruptive force it might have been.  (I’ve used it, at least the voice IM/conference mode, a number of times.  It works, but it seems to be neither better nor worse than Skype for those purposes.)  Of course, the closure of Ginko Bank has affected the advice I just gave out in my previous posting about managing cashflow; boy, does that make me look silly. 🙂  Fortunately, I had only a few hundred Lindens affected by the closure, though I’m still looking around for a good replacement for cashflow management…perhaps Apez is it; I’ll have to look more closely.

Hopefully, it won’t be another two months before the next entry on these pages.  It’s certainly time to shift back into gear, put the pedal down, and get back on the road…

Oh, I’m drivin’ my life away, lookin’ for a better way… – Eddie Rabbitt

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