Archive for March, 2014

Living a Second Life

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

meOften I escape into the virtual world of Second Life where anyone can be beautiful. It is not an actual game like World of Warcraft — in SL there are no quests or missions. It doesn’t keep people from role playing, of course. It just means that the objectives are user-generated rather than imposed by the system.

The genius of SL is that unlike WoW most of the stuff in it is made by the users — not the founders. SL provides an extensive graphic tool set for creating your own clothing, hair, skins, building, vehicles, etc. if you don’t want to use the defaults. And there is an entire virtual economy there. Designers and builders sell their creations in virtual stores. Sometimes it seems as if most of the sims in SL exist only so someone can build stores on them.

The difference between these virtual stores and Internet websites is that you can “walk around” in the virtual stores as an avatar instead of paging or scrolling through them as you do on the Web. Since the in-world currency of “Linden Dollars” or just “lindens” can be exchanged for real money both ways, it is theoretically possible to make enough money in SL to support yourself in the Real world. Many try to do this, but the ones that actually succeed are usually the talented designers who make the best skins and hair and clothing, and the people who buy and sell virtual real estate.

Can’t afford the great new faces? Don’t panic. Just like cars, last year’s models (or even earlier ones) are cheaper. ┬áMany designers give away older creations to lure customers into the stores. O brave new virtual world, that has such imaginary people in it!


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And Not To Yield

Friday, March 7th, 2014

me“We are not now that strength which in old days
moved earth and heaven;
that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
made weak by time and fate,
but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find,
and not to yield.”
— Alfred Lord Tennyson

I know the feeling.

The Way Ahead
The way ahead is dim, like that behind,
the future is not here; all that I have,
will ever have, is is just this moment now,
a grain of sand inside the endless flow
from top to bottom of life’s hourglass
all that I hope, and all that I regret
mere figments; and, eroding in the wind,
I stand, unwilling ever to give up,
a relic of my folly, unashamed,
I made my choices and I paid the cost.

Does anyone care? It really does not count
if I’m remembered; I will always be
in time embedded, will have always been
when all these atoms go their separate ways
and all the echoes of my words unheard.
My life had meaning, and it always shall,
though words unread upon a cosmic page.

And if you also stand upon the rock
and feel the wind caress you, as I do,
if you have tasted joy with the despair
and smiled through pain when no one felt the sting
then we are kindred; brethren, take my hand
and know that in this moment all are loved
no Author hates His characters; though small,
we have our lives; we’ve woven in the cloth
of this great tapestry; no thread unblessed.
I gladly take my place with all the rest.

— MRK 8:33 Am EST, 2/7/2014 Crystal River, FL

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