Monday, April 30, 2007

Tech and Glow

Ayn, a friend in SecondLife introduced me to a cool setting "renderglow" (ctrl-alt-shift-D to turn on client/server menus, under client -> debug settings, type: renderglow and select true. Very nifty effect, which I had hours of fun playing with on Sunday. (above)

Anyway, I've been quiet a few days, trying to condense my thoughts regarding the Virginia Tech incident:

Loners can pass for 'normal' while they retreat into a deep fermented madness. The resulting vintage can be tasty or toxic. To intervene and pull someone back into the web of society can be rewarding, or risky.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Focal Depth

I was looking for something else... and stumbled across this snap I took a while back of me rowing my gondola in front of my version of the Basilica di San Marco a Venezia in SecondLife and thought it worth sharing.

Nothing much to say today. The taxes are away. The weather is nice. Lunch and coffee in the garden of the Bamboo Lounge (or Cafe Boheme I suppose it is, in the daytime. "The New Diedrich's").

There is something kind of mentally blurring about drinking coffee with a German name, at a cafe with a French(ish) name in an establishment with a tropical theme, eating sushi and talking about a model of Venice in another world called SecondLife, all the while listening to music influenced by the mid-East and Africa. I feel Antartica is rather unfairly under-represented. Someone should do something about that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Forbidden Words

Those horrible career ending words, that outsiders may not use, but insiders bandy about as they like.

I think the more society becomes restricted, by law, custom and civility, the more it resorts to bizarre and senseless forms of cruelty and malice.

To utter a "forbidden word" is like flapping a red cape at El Toro.... or provoke a swarm of Americanized African Honey Bees. One should know better. One will still, in the heat of anger, or in a certain context, sometimes belt out one of the 'Forbidden Words' and get trampled or stung to death.

Fine, so it's some sort of necessary posturing by bulls and bees to guarantee that no one, but No One, messes with them or their turf. Everyone else puts up with it because, frankly, attempting to tell someone they're out of line for overreacting to a 'Forbidden Word' will provoke exactly the same reaction as using the word does. Bettter to ignore it and hope that it will go away.

Is it right? They're just words. Talk is cheap. Sometimes people use language out of frustration... sometimes they have a hateful agenda. It's not always immediately obvious, so safer just to overreact everytime a forbidden word gets used. Who cares about context or intent. Right?

Living in a diverse culture, maybe forbidden words were inevitable. I suppose people will find any reason to fight and persecute each other. Being insensitive and rude is likely a more fair reason to hound someone than skin color or religion.

If there weren't those annoying 'forbidden words' we'd likely have people at each other's throats for more serious reasons.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Letters of Transit

I've been a regular on the SecondLife forums for the two years. The link Elinor sent me ages ago is so so painfully true. It starts with "If you play an online game that you enjoy, there's one surefire way to spoil the experience: read the forums on the official site. There you will find a vast underworld of lost souls keening their misery onto your screen." (here)

No more. It feels good to help someone out from time to time, and it can be satisfying to cripple someone's lame selfish argument (of which there are far too many), but I started becoming too much of a nag. As the various official forums were closed down due to rampant abuse, the few remaining useful areas became increasingly chaotic. What with my moderately obsessive compulsive sticklerishness for rules and such... that became a problem.

One particular set of 'business' folks are campaigning for a change and tromping carelessly through one of my favorite forums there to 'raise awareness', and, frankly, that was the last straw. They win. I'm done.

So, I've said my goodbye's and unsubscribed from a few hundred threads.

I need a nicotine patch or a rubber band on my wrist to snap to keep me from going back. The urge is already there to see how or if people reacted to my walking out.

No no... be good *snap*. Walk on. *snapsnap* We'll always have Paris....

Last Nights Movie: Casablanca What a classic. :)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Red vs. Blue

So. Some arguments can't be resolved. Pro-life vs. Pro-Choice. Same Gender Marriage. Public Schools or Charter Schools.

If these issues can no longer be voted on relevantly because the majority side refuses to respect the ideology of the minority... or the minority can't live civilly within the law dictated by the majority then there is only one solution.

Draw lines. Tell people to move.

You know. Cause it works so well for India and Pakistan.


Okay. So yes, I watch a lot of movies. I have a ravenous appetite for... escape? exploration? Seeing through someone else's eyes? I'm not sure, honestly.

This film doesn't just turn its back on the "safe, sterile committee approved content" of modern movies... it soars off over the horizon into a dangerously offensive land of myth portrayed in modern times.

It offends and delights so profoundly that Terry Gilliam takes a moment to introduce and apologize... somewhat unapologetically.

I was unable to cover my eyes with my hands, despite the urge to do so, as I watched enthralled. The story unfolds, seeping open gradually almost like a jack-o-lantern left out in a warm late october rotting in the sun.

There are few, I think, that I can recommend this film to. It is a brutal and barbaric norse myth at times, exposed in the harshly bright daylight of the modern day midwest. Dark fantasy is easier to digest when more safely removed from reality than this.

It is, without a doubt in my mind, an extraordinary piece of cinema.

The film is: Terry Gilliam's Tideland (2005)

Saturday, April 7, 2007


"Enron: the smartest guys in the room" - I can sum it up in one word: "Wow"

"Hey, let's export California's power to other states and charge them more to buy it back!" What arrogant rat bastards.

The irrational conspiracy theorist in the back of my my head can't help but wonder:

    Enron started crumbling just prior to 9/11, an event which galvanized the nation behind Bush Jr. What a fantastic distraction away from the far reaching corruption that was associated with Enron, all the way up to the Bush family. How Bloody Convenient.

At one point they show a film clip of the Milgram experiments a few decades back, an experiment that almost 70% of people will, when asked by someone in a position of authority, do things that are increasingly morally objectional, up to to the point that it harms and KILLS another human being. Obviously, this a factor for many of the people aware of the corruption in Enron.

This kind of thing will happen again. And probably is right now with the Oil industry still.
Thanks to smoke and mirrors... and convenient distrations. After all, you can boil a frog in a pot of water if you increase the heat slowly enough. What's gas going to be this summer, $4 a gallon?

Friday, April 6, 2007

Phantom Mind

3AM in the morning. Yes, that's redundant. 3AM in the morning always needs that extra emphasis. Can't sleep.

Phantom Mind: That strange sensation... long after you've lost your mind, where you could swear you still feel it slipping away. Utterly preposterous of course.

Today I hate : People that accelerate in the slow lane to cut you off when you're trying to merge onto the freeway. Grr.

Last night's movie: Stranger than Fiction, which I enjoyed far more than I was expecting to.
Tonight's movie: The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, which was rather endearing for a random documentary about a nutty San Fransiscian and a flock of quirky wild birds he hangs out with.
Tomorrow's movie: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

wah wah wah

Color me CRANKY. Been under the weather for days. What is this, the asian bird flu? Did I eat something toxic? I dunno. I don't care. Just freaking fed up with it. Thought I was getting over it yesterday, but nnOOOOooo. *sigh*

Maybe someone snuck some maltodextrin into my "Non-Dairy" smoothie. GRRRR.

I'm allergic to WHEY PROTEIN.... which comes from milk and exists in butter, cheese, cream, milk, ice cream, yogurt, most protein bars, many sports drinks and the AIR in Earth's northern hemisphere apparently.

When people try pass things off as "non-dairy" when they are, in fact, "less dairy" items really... well, it really CHEESES ME OFF. I''ve actually seen a "Non-dairy Cheesecake - Made with Soy! okay... Great! I'll have a piece. no... wait better be sure... So, no cheese, no milk, no butter in this at all? What? They just use 75% as much cheese and make up the difference with soy? Wow, I guess I'll just be Non-dead afterwards. You know, only 75% dead... with the remaining 25% of me hating you for being a big fat LIAR. *A*A*A*R*G*G*G*H*H*

I managed to get my mind off of my "internal arrangement" for a while... and watched "Man of the Year" (Robin Williams pretends to be a "Daily Show with Jon Stewart"-type and runs for president). Not bad and it had it's moments. Something was off about it though... probably me.

I shouldn't blog, email, forum, chat, play... I'm just way too snippy and angry right now. Not like anyone else notices much, I'm probably more rude when I'm happy and not guarding what I say as closely. *grumble*

Monday, April 2, 2007

Wandering Fools

So, okay. I didn't get to the pool for a swim. That's hardly new, I've used my pool maybe once in all the 9 or so years I've lived here? (9, already?) I did get out for a nice evening's stroll though. Nice now that it's not pitch dark out upon getting home.

I'm I only live four or five blocks away from the old house I left 10 years ago. It's changed a lot more than I have in 10 years. At least on the outside. I'll have to drag a camera along next time and post before'n'after pics. :)

I did snap a pic with my cell phone, not of the house, but of the greenery beside the footbridge to the old neighborhood. Someone went a little nuts with the "Eastery" stuff...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Lights and Focus

I'm such a scatterbrain. What was I working on?

Oh yeah, these guys:

Little will o wisps.

Some of my cavern areas in SecondLife are *DARK* and these are helpful for explorers/visitors.

Prettier than I expected too.

And so full of potential and curious future uses.
(that's me on the left, btw)