Freeze Frame! (Click Click)

Wow what a day!

I have had an idea rolling around in my head for a couple of months now.  Today, it finally all gelled together!

One of the things that drives me nuts is that when I want to do a picture in Second Life, I always have to scroll through the windlight settings to find something that I think looks good.  That takes FOREVER!

On top of that, I am a very visual person, so I have to SEE what the settings look like. Which I know is kinda redundant, but the process is laborious, and painstaking.

I have been trying to figure out a way to make a catalog, or a gallery of pictures showing what different windlight settings look like.  I have been mulling around how I would sort them. Would I have them inworld?  on my computer?  all these little details.

Well today, while talking to Rylan, it all came together.

Here is what I came up with folks!

It's a blog where people can post their Second Life pictures, and all the information about how they created that picture.  Information would include locations, windlight settings, graphics details, and any other information they would like to share with people.

I hope to have a picture on there of all the different windlight settings at some point, and I am going to strive to label things in a way that people can find a specific setting easily.

If you have a pictures you would like to share, please check out the site to see how to submit it.

If you have a blog of your own, please consider adding it to your blog roll.

I will be adding sites to it myself as soon as possible.

Please let me know what you think of this!  If you have suggestions about improving the site, please let me know that also!

I hope you get something out of it.  I am pretty sure I will!

Now go out there, and TAKE THOSE PICTURES!


I hate to complain, but

I have blogged about how great i thought the idea of open sourcing the viewer code was.  I still hold that position, because people have been working on the viewer for a bit now, and there are some versions available now that have some really cool features.

Putting aside the security issues of having an open source viewer, there is something that I have not seen done yet, and I am not exactly sure why.

While there have been many changes to the User Interface, and things to make your experience easier, I wonder why there has not been much, if anything done about the raw speed of the viewer.

Here are a few things I notice when running Second Life:

I am at my home, and everything is fully rezzed.  I tp over to a store, or to a friends place.  I am there for say 20 minutes.  Then I tp home.  Why does everything have to rerez?  I watch my computer, and its not loading these images from my hard drive, cause my hard drive is not being accessed.  It seems to be downloading all these images all over again.  Um...why?   Isn't that the point of having a cache?

Lets talk about going to a store for a moment.   I tp in, and usually set my draw distance down to like 64 meters (there is a chat command that does this in the Emerald Viewer, its called DD.  It is very handy).  I sit there and watch the rezzing process.  I look at my frame rate, and the bandwidth being used by the client.  While I admit my video card does not have the best frame rate in the world, but why is my bandwidth only at 50 kbps, when my internet connection is at least 10mbs?  I do a ping test, and a ping plot, to see if there is anything that might be having trouble, and it all tests out with PLENTY of speed.

I know there many questions inside all of that, but my big question is...are the caching and networking routines that complicated?   I know from my own programming experience that changing around an interface, and even just making an interface for a given feature is not all that hard.  This is not to diminish the work that people ARE doing on the viewer, because they have done some awesome work!  I am just wondering why nobody has done much work on these basic issues.

Can you imagine, if somebody came out with a viewer that had a significant speed increase for everybody?  Talk about improving the user experience!

To be fair, I am in the process, slowly, of downloading the source code, and all the tools required to compile this code myself.  I can only hope that I can decipher enough of it to see if there might be something that can be done about this without too much pain.

Even if I cannot figure that part out, I am still very interested to see if I CAN get it to compile!  How cool would it be to have Al's Viewer!  Maybe I can take all the features that I like, and put them into a viewer, just for me.

If there is anybody out there, who would be willing to help me decipher the caching and networking code for the viewer, please contact me.  I am seriously wondering if its just been overlooked because nobody thinks they can understand it!

Have a great day everybody!

Morning Routines (Love Thursday)

We all have our morning routines.  Sometimes these routines are more important than others.  I know that when I have a particularly busy day ahead of me, my morning routines become very important.

I also think that it's important to make sure my morning routines actually help me prepare for the day ahead.  I try and include some private time to contemplate things, and to make sure I am centered and mentally prepare.  I have my RL routines, and as strange as it may sound, I have my SL routines also.

I have dogs in RL and in SL.  I walk my RL dogs in the mornings, and for my SL dog, we have a ritual we like to do.  Believe it or not, it actually helps me prepare for whatever my day has to throw at me.

Funny thing is, that if I was able to live someplace similar to where I live in SL, this is exactly what I would do every morning.

It really is amazing how a virtual swim around my island, really does have such a wonderful affect on my day.

I guess it really is the simple things in life.

Have a wonderful Thursday Everybody!

Funny think happened....

...on the way networking.

I had an interesting little thought the other day.  I was perusing Plurk and there was a little note from someone about what they were doing.  Cleaning out a desk I think it was.

Now, normally I get a bit pissy about stupid shit like that.  I have a niece on facebook that post about EVERY LITTLE THING SHE DOES during a day.  Frankly, I don't care that you just woke up, and brushed your teeth.  (Of course she only does that because she posted about how she woke up one day, had breakfast and everything else she did to get ready, and did NOT brush her teeth, so I gave her hell *chuckles).

Anyway, I have facebook for RL, and Plurk for SL.  I can barely stand Facebook, but I do love Plurk.  Yes, on Plurk, people post about what they are doing, and I accept that.  I think it is because all my friends on Plurk are SL people, and there is a certain amount of "this is just about having fun and being silly with friends" that I accept with this group.  We are all sharing a very strange and exciting experience in Second Life, even if we are not all on each others friends list inworld.

But what really just made me laugh my ass off the other day, was again a plurk about cleaning out a desk, that deteriated into a plurk about sex toys.  I was just laughing so hard, and it was somewhat typical of this group of SL people.

I have never seen that happen on Facebook, although I bet some people could tell me it does.  Because Facebook (or MyFace as my older sister calls it) is mostly Real Life (unless you have an SL Facebook, which it seems more and more are doing that) and Real Life public chatter rarely degenerates into sex toy discussions, or surprise buttsecks (unless you are in a public restaurant in NYC with your 3 best girlfriends, but I digress).

I like Plurk for many reasons.  I like its format. It is easy to manage, easy to follow many people, and has a certain amount of customization that you can do.  Facebook drives me crazy, and as technical as I am, I still have issues with it.

But its more than just the "interface" of Plurk that I like.  I think it's the people that are there.  Sure I have my "fans" from indonesia, but for the most part the people that I follow, and that follow my plurks are all from Second Life.  It's almost like we are just one big family.

Now of course every family has issues.  As much as we all are non-judgemental, we also have times when we are VERY judgemental, even on what I would consider very stupid stuff.  But, for the most part we as a group, are very loving, caring, and fun people.  We even have our factions from what I can tell, but that is expected with any large family.

I thought it was interesting that Plurk added an option in the "where are you from" part of the Plurk profile for "Second Life".  I read somewhere that Second Life members were the largest "subgroup" of people on the service.  Just shows the power in numbers!

Anyway, as with Second Life, there is a certain amount of freedom that people feel on thier Plurks, and that is what I really find interesting about it all.  What do people do when they feel free?  Free to express themselves, with minimal judgements, and hopefully no impact on thier Real Lives.  Does it bring out the true selves? Does it give people the outlets they do not have in RL?  I think it does.  And that is what makes it sooo interesting, and soooo much damn fun!

So why am I writing all of this?  Well, I just wanted to say thank you too all my plurk friends, for even if we are not "friends" in Second Life, I enjoy you being on my timeline, and hope that I contribute as much to yours as you do to mine.  Yes, even you in those "other" factions.  You are part of the family, and that makes you special.

Have a wonderful day and always remember, family sticks together!

We Use Botox

Look at us...we are ecstatic! Can't you tell? NO? It's cause he talked me into botox. *rolls her eyes*

I have a couple of those emote huds, but they look so unnatural (except when Cole is screaming for his life - those pics to come later!) Maybe, just maybe, there will be a way to add a smile, or an emote that looks a bit more real in the future?
Shockingly, I stood around and threw some clothes on. I figured a couple pics might be cool, since I really liked the way the look turned out!

Please don't expect some lavish write up about outfits. For now, those days are behind me (I never wrote "lavishly" anyway.) So, he's wearing a shirt from Aitui (I don't even know if I have the spelling correct.) He's also got on hair, tats, and jeans. Amazing! I am wearing the following since I know it's more important than his outfit:
<< Discord >> Prim Hair [ MIKAGE ] Black&Gray
:: Exodi :: Autumn Bracelet
[LeeZu!] Valerie Blouse /rust
[LeLutka]-TEESE shoes/darkred
Maitreya Long Scarf * Sangria
[CoL] - Gift - Black Lacy Lingerie
fri. - Military Jacket (Army)
fri. - Trousers (Khaki)
..~love me or leave me~..

Letting go

No one ever said change was easy, but often necessary. I have taken some time to deal with things, and I need a lot more, but time will come, change will come, and, hopefully, good things, too, will come. To move forward you need to let go of the past, not always the easiest thing to do when you have invested your emotions in people who have disappointed you one way or another. I need to let go...I've heard it from so many. Let go, to allow yourself to move forward....let go, and trust that there is someone who cares and will be there for you.

When you trust and open yourself up, you give so much and always risk the possibility of hurt. Is it easier to close yourself off? To some degree, yes. However, the opportunities and events you miss out on often out-weigh any possibility of hurt. Because, without pain and sorrow, the joy of life would not be as sweet. Cherish good moments and good people...let go of the evil and the shit.
I've learned that I have a strong capacity to hate, HATE with everything inside of me. I've had days of extreme bitterness and spite. I never knew it was in me...I now know it is.

It's time to let go...and I am...moving forward..."I wanted to forget, I'm trying to forgive"...Without You, Breaking Benjamin. The latest release from them is amazing. Listen, it's worth it.


Got your attention? Of course I do! lol

Before I start, I just want to thank Al for letting me do this...for giving me the opportunity to still blog, but without my ever notorious need to be perfect and obsessive. Just you watch, I'll take over his blog in 2-3 days! j/k! Thank you for believing in me.
Now, let's get to it...let's talk BOOBS! Cause, OMG, that's all I've been hearing about lately! If you have been living under a rock, which, in a way, I kinda have...but, even I heard about the new Emerald Viewer release and this whole option of jiggly boobs! I'm not even going to get into my opinion of the viewer, but I have one. To get an idea of different viewers, take a look a couple of posts down...Al did another fantastic job reviewing! Anyway, oh, listen ladies...if you're IMing him and it's taking him a few minutes longer to respond than doesn't necessarily mean that he is IMing someone else (although, it might be the case,) but, if he is using Emerald, he's staring at your boobs. Don't take offense, we have them for a reason, and in SL, we know what it's for *wink*
Another observation I've made lately, prior to this "jiggly boob" epidemic is that designers have been making GREAT progress in the area of cleavage. Exciting news, right?! Well,yes, you see Laqroki has released a cleavage option that you wear, not much different than that shading one of the past (the name escapes me at the moment, and I'm not going to obsess or stress about it.) The positive to this option is that they made it to shade their skins perfectly, the negative is that it takes a clothing layer. I like to wear tats...please don't make me choose between my tats and my boobs. There is no winner there.
Both Belleza and League have skins that give you the cleavage option in their actual skins! Yes, exciting and VERY well done. I'm sure there are more, and if you know of them, please share! I was obsessed with my boobs before, I am obsessed even more so now. Maybe next time I'll talk nipples, because they need some attention! <3

I Need Your Help!

Something VERY exciting is happening today!

There has been a hole in the blogosphere for a little while now, but that is about to change.

My favorite person in SL, and the author of one of my favorites blogs has returned.  She has been gone for a bit, and I have missed her deeply.  But today she makes her return, and I have been blessed that she agreed to write on this blog.

She has a very unique style and perspective on things.  I have given her cart blanche to write about anything she so desires, which is exactly what I liked about her previous blog.

I am sooooo thrilled to have her here!

Ladies and Gentleman, please help me welcome the incomparable....

Rylan Carling!

*kisses her hand

Better, Stronger, Faster - Part Deux

In Part 1, I talked about how Second LIfe had become very slow on my laptop.  I went through the 1st phase of my search for the reason.  Now it is time for phase 2.

So, after cleaning up my laptop as much as I possibly could, I did two more things.  I upgraded my hard drive and memory. 

Upgrading my hard drive was very simple, thanks to a program called Casper (  This program allows me to make a complete image copy of my hard drive to a new hard drive, then just swap out the drive in my laptop.   So I got myself a 500 gig 7200rpm 2.5 inch hard drive, plugged it into my usb external hard drive case, and cloned my drive.  After the cloning was done, it took me 5 minutes to swap out the hard drives (Thank you Dell, for making a laptop that is easy to work on).  BOOM!  brand new system.

I also maxed out my memory on the laptop.  I had not done it before now because there was some question as to whether our not my model would take any more memory.  Dell said no, but many other people said it would.  I found a website where someone documented how he upgraded his Dell laptop (same model as mine), and the bigger memory worked great.  So I jumped in and upgraded.  It's working GREAT!  Now I can have Second Life, Photoshop, and my porn running at the same time! (kidding about the porn, you pervs).

So with all THAT done, now it was time to see just how fast Second Life would run.

I blogged a while ago (and yes I am way to lazy this morning to find the actually entry) about Linden Labs making the Second Life Viewer open source, and the impact that it would have on it.  That impact is really starting to be felt.

There are now several "alternate" viewers available to run Second Life.  You can see most of them listed here -

I decided to start looking into them more, because I was reading more and more about them from other users, mostly on Plurk. (

The thing about viewers, is that they are in my humble opinion, somewhat personal.  People talk about "features" of viewers, and I have found that one persons "absolutely have to have, complete deal breaker" feature is kinda "oh, well, sure, I suppose that would be nice" feature to me, and probably visa versa.  So I had previously only taken a cursory look at some of the alternate viewers up until now.  But I was now on a mission to see if ANY of them helped with my lag problems.

Being a software programmer for many years, and a software tester for many years before that, I needed a way to quantify my testing.  This is when I remembered something I had seen in one of the viewers menus a while ago: The Statistics bar (located under the View menu or Cntrl-Shift-1).

This bar gave me a way to quantify what I wanted to see.  It was when I brought this bar up that I really saw just how bad things had gotten.  I was running at about 2 fps (frames per second), and things were just taking WAY too long to rez.   I won't go into all the technical details of frames per second, but if you know anything about gaming, that really sucks.

Now, I looked into more stats.  I was not having any packet loss.  My bandwidth usage seemed a bit low, given that i was on a 10 meg ISP connection.  So I tripled checked that I was getting the bandwidth I was paying for.  I use, and picked a server that was in San Francisco, since that would be close to Linden Labs.   Sure enough, I was getting my 10 megs down, and 2 megs up.  My ISP was not the problem.

I ran a few more internet tests including a new by the people from speedtest.  No hops that were slow, everything seemed perfect there.

Now there is a LOT of other stats on this information bar, and to be honest, I have not delved into what all of them mean.  I really only care about how fast things "work" for me.  But these numbers did give me something concrete to compare.

So, I cleaned out ALL of my Second Life Viewers, and started over.

Not only was I watching my frame rates, but also just how long things at my home took to rez.  I set my graphics settings to medium, and kept the draw distance down to 96 meters for my testing.  I did turn up all the boxes, shaders, reflections, etc, just to see how it would all work. 

I also would chat with my friends in IM, to see what the typing lag would be like, while things were rezzing.  I have noticed that when things seem to get very graphic intensive, that my typing becomes a real chore.  I know typonese is somewhat expected, but it does not need to be THAT bad.

So I tested the current main Viewer, the First Look Viewer, SnowGlobe, Emerald, and imprudence.

I don't want to get into what is in each of these viewers, because there are so many new things, but I will point out a few.  The "Worn Items" tab in inventory is great.  Nice to see all the attachments that you forgot you had on.  Putting the windlight settings in a button on the main screen is great for photography also.  Some of the new minimap features are pretty cool too.  Each viewer has its own set of features, so you do have to try each one, and see which set of features you like.

The one feature that has been getting a LOT of chatter recently is the new "effects" option.  The actual name of it is "Enhanced physics on avatar breasts".  My name for it?  Jiggly Boobs.

I have been amazed at the chatter that this has caused.  What is even more amazing to me is that the chatter is coming from the women, not the guys.  I cannot tell you how many times after this feature was released that I would ask a friend what she was doing and the answer would be "standing here watching my boobs jiggle".  Swear to god! 

Anyway...I did not come here to talk about boobs.  I will save that for another day...:)

Back to my quest for speed.  I started with the main viewer as a benchmark.  My FPS was around 2, but even more so, it was just taking FOREVER to rezz textures and especially sculpties. 

I then moved on to the First Look, then Snowglobe.  Slowglobe seemed to run a bit better, but my FPS was still around 3, and while it seemed a bit faster, was not significant.  

Next was Imprudence, then Emerald.  I will admit that I looked around at some of the other new features added, but since it was not my main goal, I did not spend too much time on them.  I had to keep looking.  Honestly I was getting a bit sad, because nothing seemed to be helping.  I was beginning to think I was either just gonna have to bite the bullet on a new laptop, or minimum, try the video card upgrade I have read about on the web.  Either way, it was gonna take some work.

I looked at one other viewer, called "Cool Viewer".  The original one I downloaded did not seem to make that much difference.  I decided to give up for the night, because I was just too depressed.

As I woke up the next morning, something flashed in my memory.  I had seen something in my searches, or on plurk about another version of the Cool Viewer.  I came back to my desk, and started my search.

It didn't take long to find it.  Boy Lane had been working on a version of the Cool Viewer.  There was a note in her blog about how there was a problem with older ATI cards that caused them to run slow.  She had fixed it in her version.  It was not the latest and greatest version out there, but at this point, I didn't care.

I downloaded her version, and I could not believe the difference!   My frame rate was bouncing between 6 and 10 (which I know is still slow, but OMG!), but things were rezzing, sculpties were forming....and my typing was not delaying!  I just about jizzed in mean..I was VERY excited!

I played around quite a bit on it, going to busy sims, some with lots of sculpties, some just with a lot of people.  I am sure compared to some of the newer laptops and desktops, I was still very slow, but on my system, Second Life had become completely usable again!

Now for the disclaimer.  This version may not help you, with your particular issues.  And it does not have all the new features that are coming out now in the Emerald and other viewers, but to be honest, while those features are nice, I would rather be fast.

I have seen this complaint over and over in discussion forums.  People screaming at LL to fix the reliability and speed of Second Life, and don't spend so much time on the frivolous new features.  I will make the same argument for my use of this version of Boy Lanes Cool Viewer.  Speed trumps fancy features.

You can fine Boy Lanes version of the Cool Viewer here (

Now, for my final comment.  The fact that Boy Lane was able to find a way to fix a speed problem in the current drivers, makes me wonder how many other “issues” exist in the existing code that would speed the client up?  I have a few ideas of areas that probably need some serious work, given the work that I have done on my system.  I have looked into downloading all the source code to look around myself, but honestly, I have enough on my plate as it is.   So I am not complaining at all about all the work that has been done on the viewer so far.

I just wonder, given all the complaints that people have about speed, if there is anybody out there who DOES have the skills, and the time to work on the viewer, to look into some things that might make the client faster for everybody?

I hope that there is.  In the meantime, I would personally like to thank Boy Lane for all her work on the Cool Viewer.  She has made my Second Life usable again, and for that, I bow at her feet!

Happy Sunday Everybody!

Love Thursday

(Part 2 of Better, Stronger, Faster is still in the works, but given that it's Thursday, I felt this might be appropriate)

Son:  Dad, what do women want?

Me:  How much time do you have?

I have been dreading this day.  I knew it would come, but I have been dreading it.

As a parent, it's my job to educate my boys on how to be sucessful in the real world.  I have tried to be a good role model.  Both his mother and I have done our best to model a healthy relationship (which we happen to have, so it does not take any effort to model it).  As a father, I feel it is my job to help my boys be successful in matters of the heart as well, since I have, for the most part, been pretty darn successful.

But how do I answer this question?

It's a question that has been asked over and over, for time and memorial.  What do women want. What do men want.  And there are soo many different answers.

I have listened to what women have said they want.  Then watched them go after, or become involved with exactly the opposite.  I have also had women describe thier "perfect" guy.  Most of which fit me pretty well at the time.  Did they show any interest in me?  No, not really.  I was not sure how much help I was going to be!

The conversation continued while we walked the dogs...

Son:  There is this girl.  I like her a lot, but I don't know what to do to get her to notice me.

Me:  What is it about this girl that you like?

Son:  She is funny.  She has a great smile.  She is very smart, and talented (she is in chior and band)

Me:  Well, there are things you can do to maybe get her to notice you.  But most important:  Do not change who you are to try and win her over.  If she does not like you for who you are, then even if you are able to establish some sort of relationship, it will be a short one.

Son:  I am not sure what you mean.

Me:  You are going to meet lots of girls in your lifetime.  Some you will be attracted to, some you won't.  Some will be attracted to you, some won't.  Through it all, if you remain true to who you are, then the right girl will find you, and it will be what was meant to be.  But always remember, there will be girls that you fall for, that will not return your feelings.  That is ok.  It does not always work out.

Son: How will I know?

Me:  Listen to your gut.  Trust it.  There will be times when she is just not into you.  That does not mean you are not worthy.  I just means it was not meant to be with her.

Son:  But I really like her.

Me: I know.  I have been there.  You just have to trust that if it is suppose to happen, it will.  It might not happen on a time table you want (like NOW), and it may never happen.  But if you try and push it, or force it, trust me it will not work.

Son:  *sighs.  Ok, but she sure is cute.

Me:  *laughs.  I am sure she is.

(she is VERY cute actually.  My son has good taste, just like his dad)

As I sat down at the computer later that night, I was struck by a memory.  A memory of my youth, on how hard it was when the girl I liked didn't like me back.  It was heart wrenching.  It was painful.  I hated it.  I doubted myself.  I asked myself all the typical questions:  Why doesn't she like me?  She seems to like Billy..what makes Billy better than me?  I am a nicer person than Billy, so why would she like Billy more than me?  yada yada yada.

Through all those times, the one thing that was always there was that I knew I was a nice person.  I knew I was a good person.  Obviously there was something about me, that didn't "click" with said girl, and I may never know what that was, but I could not find anything in myself, that would NOT be attractive (No, I am not perfect, but I do try..;) ).  So I eventually chaulked it up to "she was just not into me".

I became a bit better at it as I grew older, and ended up meeting the woman of my dreams, getting married, having kids, the whole dream.  But I had a few relationships before her, and there were times when I just did not understand what I was doing wrong.

But that conversation with my son brought back a lot of those youthful memories.  Not all great memories, but memories just the same.  Memories of times where I didn't want to believe that someone I had feelings for, did not return those feelings.  It was very hard to accept.  Eventually, I had to accept them, and I learned from it.

Not having someone return my feelings does not invalidate those feelings, nor does it mean that person that didn't return them is a bad person.  As I told my son, she just "was not into me".  Simple as that.

It sounds easy.  It is not.  But when it is the truth, then it is the truth.  Let it go.  Which again, easier said than done.  Especially when you are young, and are dealing with all the raging hormones.  The heart wants what the heart wants, even if it is not reciprocated.

I am glad my son talks to me about these things.  I just hope I have had enough experience to help him through it.

I love being a dad, but there are times when I feel really stupid for losing the instruction manaul.

Happy Love Thursday everybody

Better, Stronger, Faster (Part 1)

Change is an interesting thing.  Sometimes it happens quickly, other times it happens so slowly you do not really notice it.  Then all of sudden you see it, and think.."when did THAT happen?".

I have had a few of those "When did that happen" moments recently, but I am only going to talk about one of them today.

A few weeks ago, I was popping around SL, shopping, playing with a few new vehicles I acquired, and just generally having a good time.  I had been noticing things were taking longer to render, but had not really paid that much attention to it.  Then I had my moment.  When it took my new home over 20 minutes to render, I knew something was wrong.

So I started out on my quest to find the problem.  I did all the things I have done in the past to get rid of lag problems.  I cleared my cache.  I checked all my drivers for updates.  I made sure Windows had all its updates.  I ran a full virus scan.  I ran a full spyware scan.  I made sure some other program had not snuck into my startup groups that might be running in the background. I did the works.

As you may have deduced, I have had a LOT of experience dealing with lag in SL.  Not only from my side, but helping friends deal with thiers also.  I am a research maniac, so when faced with a technical problem, I start digging, and don't stop until I am satisfied that there IS no solution, or I find it.

The quick end to this story, is that I am no longer lagging, in any significant way.  But for those who are interested, I thought I would share what I did to get here.

As I said, I started by looking around my system, to see what needed to be updated.  I learned many many...many...years ago, that before you dive into any sort of tech problem, always check for updated software.  I cannot tell you how many times I spent hours, if not days trying to solve a problem, then I finally would call the company and hear "oh, we fixed that in version x.y".  Always check for Windows and driver updates.

Virus scans.  I happen to use AVG ( for my virus protection.  I started using it with my clients many years ago, when Norton Antivirus finally became unusable for most people.  AVG does a great job, and does not try and take over my computer.   It is free for home/personal use, and updates on a daily basis.

Spyware:  I use Spybot ( ).  I load up the tea-timer option, which is resident.  It monitors the parts of the system that programs like to sneak into so they can load each time Windows does.  It can be a bit technical in its messages, but at least I know when something is trying to sneak in.  Spybot is also free, but does not update automatically.  I usually run a full scan about once every two week, after I manually update its signature files.

Auto loading:  There are many programs that will tell you what is loading each time Windows loads up, but I just use msconfig.  If I dont recognize a file that is loading, I just google it, and can usually find out what it is pretty darn fast.  You can run msconfig by clicking on the "Start" button, then "run" and type in "msconfig" (without the "'s).  The "startup" tab will show you all the programs that are loading on startup.

Combofix:  This is an amazing little program.  I was told about it by another IT friend, and it has saved my bacon a few times.   It is able to remove stuff most antivirus's cannot.  Download it from  Exit all of your programs, then just run it.  It will shut down most of the things running in the background, and scan for some very nasty stuff.  It will reboot your system, so be prepared for that.  Everybody should run this program.  You can download it from

Free Space:  Check your hard drive for free available space.  If you click on "My Computer", you should see all your hard drives.  Then go to the View Menu, and click on "details".  It will show you the total size of your drive, and the free space.  If you are under 1 gig, you may have a problem.   If you can, try freeing up some space, or upgrade to a larger hard drive.

Defragmenting:   I stopped doing this on a regular basis about 5 years ago.   Starting in Windows XP, Microsoft built in a rudimentary defragger.  Basically it means that Windows does some stuff that helps applications load faster after a few runs.  But even given that, over time your files definitly become fragmented on the hard drive.  This can cause a general slowdown of loading files, especially large files Ii.e. pictures, movies, graphics files, textures, etc).  I started using a free defragger called "defraggler" a little while ago, and I really do like it (  One of the nice features it has is the ability to defrag only the free space, or even just a file or a folder.  I have defragged just the SL cache folder, and I do notice a difference on things loading.

Memory:  Memory is like money:  You can never have too much.   If you computer is low on memory, then it is working VERY hard to do all the things you are asking of it.  Quickest way to check:  Right mouseclick on "My Computer" (either on the desktop, or in the start menu), and then click "properties".  The tabbed box that comes up should be defaulted onto the "General" Tab.  At the bottom of that window, it should tell you all sorts of techie info, including how much RAM you have.  If you have less then 1 gig, you are really pushing things.   The cheapest thing you can do to upgrade your computer is to put in the maximum amount of RAM that your system can handle.  You will be amazed at how much faster things run when you have enough RAM.

Graphics/Video Cards:  If you are running a Desktop computer, this can be another fairly inexpensive upgrade to your system (If you are on a laptop, you are most likely stuck with what you have, sorry).  Many systems come with "built-in" graphics, usually an "Intel" graphics chip.  These are usually very basic, and while they do work, they are about as slow as you can get.  If you are going to look for an upgrade, you first have to know what type of card your system will take, which can get somewhat technical (i.e. PCI slot, PCI-Express Slot, AGI, etc).   What I can tell you is that the more ram you get on the video card, the better.  Also, you do not need to spend more than maybe $150 US Dollars for a card that will be MORE than enough for almost everybody (Graphic designers, engineers, animators are the exceptions).  I have purchased some very nice video cards with 512 megs of ram for around $80.  

More on Graphics:  There are two major Video Card Manufacturers out there.  ATI and Nvidia.   I have used both brands, and while each have thier issues at times, both run very well.   I have used ATI cards longer than Nvidia has been around, but I have had lots of experience with the NVidia's also and have not been disappointed.  It's hard for me to tell you exactly which one to get, because if you have every tried to compare these brands, its enough to drive you to drink with all the chipsets and model numbers etc.  I tend to look at the memory, and the price.  I have not been disappointed yet.

Second Life:  This is where it gets interesting.  This will be part 2.  Stay tuned

Today's Beauty Treatment

By His Holiness the Dalai Lama

"The destructive effects of hatred are very visible, very obvious and immediate. For example, when a strong or forceful thought of hatred arises, at that very instant it overwhelms one totally and destroys one's peace and presence of mind. When that hateful thought is harboured inside, it makes one feel tense and uptight, and can cause loss of appetite, leading to loss of sleep, and so forth.

If we examine how anger or hateful thoughts arise in us, we will find that, generally speaking, they arise when we feel hurt, when we feel that we have been unfairly treated by someone against our expectations. If in that instant we examine carefully the way anger arises, there is a sense that it comes as a protector, comes as a friend that would help our battle or in taking revenge against the person who has inflicted harm on us. So the anger or hateful thought that arises appears to come as a shield or a protector. But in reality that is an illusion. It is a very delusory state of mind.

Chandrakirti states in Entry into the Middle Way that there might be some justification for responding to force with force if revenge would help one in any way, or prevent or reduce the harm which has already been inflicted. But that is not the case because if the harm, the physics. injury or whatever, has been inflicted, it has already taken place. So taking revenge will not in any way reduce or prevent that harm or injury because it has already happened.

On the contrary, if one reacts to a situation in a negative way instead of in a tolerant way, not only is there no immediate benefit, but also a negative attitude and feeling is created which is the seed of one's future downfall. From the Buddhist point of view, the consequence of taking revenge has to be faced by the individual alone in his or he future life. So not only is there no immediate benefit, it is harmful in the long run for the individual.

However, if one has been treated very unfairly and if the situation is left unaddressed, it may have extremely negative consequences for the perpetrator of the crime. Such a situation calls for a strong counteraction. Under such circumstances, it is possible that one can, out of compassion for the perpetrator of the crime and without generating anger or hatred, actually take a strong stand and take strong countermeasures. In fact, one of the precepts of the Bodhisattva vows is to take strong countermeasures when the situation calls for it. If a Bodhisattva doesn't take strong countermeasures when the situation requires, then that constitutes an infraction of one of the vows.

In addition, as the Entry into the Middle Way points out, not only does the generation of hateful thoughts lead to undesirable forms of existence in future lives, but also, at the moment that strong feelings of anger arise, no matter how hard one tries to adopt a dignified pose, one's face looks rather ugly. There is an unpleasant expression, and the vibration that the person sends is very hostile. People can sense it, and it is almost as if one can feel steam coming out of that person's body. Indeed not only are human beings capable of sensing it, but pets and other animals also try to avoid that person at that instant.
If we examine how anger or hateful thoughts arise in us, we will find that, generally speaking, they arise when we feel hurt, when we feel that we have been unfairly treated by someone against our expectations.

These are the immediate consequences of hatred. It brings about a very ugly, unpleasant physical transformation of the individual. In addition, when such intense anger and hatred arise, it makes the best part of our brain, which is the ability to judge between right and wrong and assess long-term and short-term consequences, become totally inoperable. It can no longer function. It is almost as if the person had become crazy. These are the negative effects of generating anger and hatred. When we think about these negative and destructive effects of anger and hatred, we realise that it is necessary to distance ourselves from such emotional explosions. Insofar as the destructive effects of anger and hateful thoughts are concerned, one cannot get protection from wealth; even if one is a millionaire, one is subject to these destructive effects of anger and hatred. Nor can education guarantee that one will be protected from these effects. Similarly, the law cannot guarantee protection. Even nuclear weapons, no matter how sophisticated the defence system may be, cannot give one protection or defend one from these effects. The only factor that can give refuge or protection from the destructive effects of anger and hatred is the practice of tolerance and patience."

The Dalai Lama from Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective:

Beauty is not just how you look, but how you feel, and how you think.

Tell your beautiful friends how much they mean to you today!   

Have a BEAUTIFUL Wednesday!

Endless Summer

As I blogged about a little while ago, I have been making lots of changes to my Second Life.  Some were not voluntary, but most of them are and I have been having a ball with them!

I decided that not only did I need a new place, but also that summer shall never end in my world.  I don't care what the calendar says, SUMMER shall reign in my world!

So with that in mind, I started shopping for a tropical island that I could hide from the reality of winter on.  Funny thing is, it did not take me long to find the PERFECT spot.

I found myself a tropical island that is surrounded by water (I know, an island by definition is surrounded by water so shush), and has TONS of open space and water to play with some new toys I have indulged in (there will be a blog post on those later).

So with the land aquired, I needed a new dwelling!  This SIM has some specific covenants in keeping with the tropical theme, so I had to really look around.

As I have said before, when I am shopping for something, I usually do not have a specific "thing" in mind, but I do know when I have found exactly what I am looking for!

As with the land, my search really did not take that long.  I found exactly what I wanted, at a place I had never heard of before.

This is what I found (click for larger view).

It's called the MAALAEA from Tiki Tattoo, created by Hatzfeld Runo.

There were several homes that I just loved, but given the size of my island, I felt that this particular model suited it best.

It comes furnished with all the furniture you see in the following pictures.  Hatzfeld has done a wonderful job with the built in animations also!

Here are a few more shots of my new home (click on each picture for a larger view).

Tiki Tattoo also has a ton of great beach/tiki related stuff.   I will be going back to round out my beach front here shortly.

You definitly should swing by and take a look at what Hatzfeld has put together, you will not be disappointed!

Surfs Up!

NO means...what?

Another typical Sunday at the Zanzibar household. I am working with my boys on our weekly clean the house chores. As I am moving kid stuff from the living room (which the boys think is thier closet) to thier rooms, my eye catches something in my youngest sons pile of paper work.

A sticker that read "No Violence is GREAT!"

One the surface this seems perfectly fine, even good.  But something came to my mind that made me think of the phrase "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

The intention of this little sticker is wonderful. Nobody condones violence. But here is my thoughts on the matter.

I have done a LOT of reading and personal reflection on how our minds work. How we process information, how we establish habits and all that fun stuff. There is one thing that I have read over and over again from many different sources. Our subconscious minds do not understand negatives.

What does that mean? It means that to our subconscious minds, the phrase "No Violence is GREAT!" actually translates into "Violence is GREAT!" Talk about unintended consequences!

This concept, btw, extends into many realms of our everyday lives. Many people work from the position of "Don't do this" or "Don't do that". I like to work from a position of "here is what you CAN do!". I try and deal with my boys that way also. I do point out things that they should not do, and why, but I always alway try and point out what the CAN do! It would seem to me that a life centered around "CAN" is much better than a life centered around "can't".

If you are involved in any sort of compaign, or think you might be in the future, think about this. Instead of telling people what they "shouldn't" do, try and find a way to convey your message in a way that is about what they "should" do.

I think the Beatles stated it in the simplest terms. Instead of "No H8t", maybe it really is "All you need is LOVE".

Happy Sunday Everybody!

It was a typical morning... the Zanzibar household. The children were puttering around the house, my wife was puttering around the kitchen.

We had just finished breakfast, and I had finished gathering up all the little things that they needed to take with them for that day.

I remember standing in my bedroom, reviewing my list in my head. I was in good shape. I was a bit ahead off my usual routine.

As happens so many times in my life, a thought appeared in my head that was a bit out of the normal. Nothing dramatic, just "Everything is all set to go, and I am early. Let's see what is on the news this morning".

I turned on the television. There on my screen, was an image of the World Trade Center. One of the towers looked like it was on fire. Tickers were running across the bottom of the screen, but I did not understand what it was I was looking at.

Then, as I was trying to make out what as going on, the camera on the TV moved focus, locking on to a airliner. I didn't understand why this was significant, so I watched.

I just watched as that airliner flew straight into the second tower.

Stunned is the only word I can think of to describe what I felt at that moment. Questions running through my head..What just happened? Why did that airliner just do that? and a thousand other questions.

I called my wife into the room, and told her what I just witnessed. She looked at the TV, then looked back at me with wide eyes, and I saw all the questions that she had run through her face.

From that point on, I was just numb. I was working at home full time at that time, so I spent the day keeping the TV on, listening to all the reports coming in. I felt like a zombie, just walking around, not really doing much, just trying to process all that I was seeing and hearing.

It is easy to say that day had a profound affect on me. I think that is a given.

You read about days like that day in history books, but there is something different about actually experiencing it, in each of our own personal ways.

I did not have anybody in my immediate family, or immediate circle of friends, that were killed on that day. But in my own way, I consider everybody as part of my extended family. I try and treat all that I meet and know, as if they were part of that extended family. So I did lose people that day, even though I had no idea who they were.

Did the events of that day change my life significantly? I don't think so. It may have clarified a few things, but my life is not significantly different now as it was on September 10th, 2001.

And for that, I would like to send out a monstrous thank you, to all the men and women who serve in our military.

Whether you think the actions overseas are warranted or not, it is THESE people, these VOLUNTEERS, that protect my way of life, and your way of life.

They literally "put their lives on the line" every day, so that we may have our "morning routines" and our "family traditions".

If you know someone who is currently serving, or has served in the military, them that Aldwyn Zanzibar says "Thank you".

If YOU have served, or are serving...


May all of your sacrifices, not be made in vain.

I'm a Big Boy now!

I know it's silly...but up until recently, I rarely shopped for myself in SL. I should clarify that: for my avatar.

Every since I started in SL, I have had help, usually from people I cared about, and felt had a good sense of fashion. Plus I liked hearing a womans point of view.

But recently, I have been striking out on my own more and more. I have always had a "style", and there are just some things I will NOT wear, RL or SL. So even though I would not be able to DESCRIBE my "style", it is one of those "when I see it, I will know" kinda things.

I have had so many changes going on in my life recently that I felt the need to change my "look". Now, before I continue I should tell you, that I don't change my look easily. I get my avatar looking the way I want and I stick with it, because it takes a LOT of time and effort to find a complete look that I can live with, and actually like. So for me to change, it is a BIG deal.

So as I said, I have been "shopping" around. Looking at hair, skin, tattoos, etc. As most of you already know, the selection for men is not nearly as vast as the selections for women, which is fine because men just don't shop for different "looks" as much as women do (unless it's for a party or event or some special thing).

I actually like to shop, but shopping for my own avatar can get frustrating. I really made an effort to not let it get to me this time. I was patient, and kept at it until I found stuff I liked. I admit, I did ask for some help, but only on generalities, such as asking for LM's for tattoo shops and such. Everything that I changed, I picked out all by myself.

So, after all of that, here is what I ended up with: (Click for larger view)

After I put all this together, I decided to "double check" my work. (which is what I tell my children to do all the time). So I asked a few friends what they thought of my new look.

Here is what they said.

Ana Lutetia

Ana: I don't think you have done such a bad job. Your new look makes you look more mature. However (and this is purely a question of personal taste), I vote for 3 day beard skin and, even though I love tattoos, I prefer to see them beneath a shirt, a tee, tank or even a open shirt.

Al: Thanks Ana! Maybe next time I will take you with me..:)

Arcadia Nightfire

Arcadia: Wow. You know what I love most about your look? Your muscular but not in that overdone boxy way that we see so much of in SL. You look much more naturally muscular and toned. This is a shape begging to be photographed. ;)

Arcadia: Also, I must admit that I'm not generally a fan of facial hair but it works on your av. It definitely lends a bit of mystery and sex appeal to your look.

Al: I have been looking for a skin that had a good beard, and I was thrilled with I found this one. Thank you!

Clementine Ishtari

Clemintine: The new look is yummy! I <3 the facial hair, although I'm not usually a facial hair type of girl, but it works for you. You look different from most of the other male avs running around SL who all tend to look the same. Nice shape, not too bulky (cause we all know what too many muscles on a male avatar means) but not too scrawny. Over all? Great new look (tats.. nummy) with just enough uniqueness to make it your own. Three nipples, erm, thumbs up! :P

Al: Awww, thanks Clem! *checks to make sure HE does not have a third nipple

Luna Jubilee

Luna: I'm not one for beating around the bush... you, Al, are a fine hunk of pixelated man meat. The new you is not too shabby. Not that were hard on the eyes before ... but your change is for the better. I'm proud of you for going before so many of us for our thoughts and feedback. Not many can do that willingly ... unless you upt your dumbness. Regardless you're still Al! Luv ya! Great job on the make over :)

Al: Awww..thanks Luna!..I think (unsure)

Magen Jigsaw

Magen: The shape fits well with the skin, and hair. The tattoos are subtle and not too overpowering. Good build on the shape. All around good put together.

Al: :)...thanks! *goes back to SL situps

Risa Bright

Risa: Aldwyn's new look is a twist on the classically- rugged sort of handsomeness. The artistic tattoos are so intricately nuanced that they add an aesthetic sensibility. His new hair has the look of a precision cut that has grown out and now has a casual elegance. It is the new amped-up Aldwyn!

Al: That is quite an answer..Thanks Risa!

Rylan Carling

Rylan: "One of the sexiest men in SL...even after he went shopping alone! How many girls hit on you again while you were out shopping?"

Al: Oh..stop that...some more...;)

Strawberry Singh

Strawberry: I think you look cute, I'm not always a big fan of facial hair on men but it makes you look more manly and rugged. The tattoo is very nice, I like the faded colors and of course I love the jeans! :D Good get a cookie! :P

Al: COOKIE! *nom nom nom. I love the jeans too! I have like 3 or 4 colors. Thanks Berry! *hugs

Given that I know that these women always look absolutly fantastic, I figured I better save myself a ton of questions about what they happen to be wearing, so here are the details.

Ana Lutetia is wearing...

.skin. *League* Skin Suntan -Misty- Emo (BT)
.eyes. :: Exodi :: Vetro Eyes (Grey)(Lg)(NoVeins)
.lashes. *Sin Skins* Fluff Lashes
.hair. fri. - Tabs - Jealous Red
.top. fri. - Boyfriend Beater (Gray) - Top | fri. - Henley Hoodie (Black)
.bottom. *League* Garage Jeans - Straight Leg Fit - Turquoise
.accessories. *No Mercy* Face Piercings | Zaara : Indra painted stacked bangles *silver* | Zaara : Sarayi hoops *color* silver | Reek - I Heart Colors Belt
.shoes. [0N] Engineer Boots Black
.poses. -AnaLu- *fresh poses* | Tillie’s Posing Stand

You can read Ana's blog here, and check out her awesome poses at her shop Here!

Arcadia Nightfire is wearing...

Skin: ::Exodi:: - Shiloh (Honey), Nosferatu
Eyes: ::Exodi:: - Zbilja Eyes, Blue
Hair: Argrace - Fedora Hat Glamourous Wavy, Amber
Manicure: Sin Skins - Glitter Manicure, Crimson
Shirt: Alphamale - Femme, Black
Skirt: Kyoot Army - Scarlet Mobstress Skirt, High Waisted
Corset: Kyoot Army - Austere Corset, Scarlet Stripes
Stockings: Reasonable Desires, Miss Kitty Burlesque Seamed Stockings (part of costume)
Shoes: Pixel Mode - AF Danger, Black (Laced)
Jewelry: Inks & Kinks - Diamond Nostril Stud
Balderdash - Jazz Funeral Merlot Set
Callie Cline - The Rock **Blogger Appreciation Gift**

You can read Arcadia's Fashion 360 blog Here

Clementine Ishtari is wearing...

Skin - *League* Skin Suntan -Misty- Bronzed
Hair - >TRUTH< Meara
Eyes - :: Exodi :: Zbilja Eyes
Eyelashes - Silhouette Lashes: BUTTERFLY
Jacket - **en Svale** Denim Jacket_Indigo
Sweater - Maitreya Savoir Turtleneck Top
Skirt - Maitreya Cleo Jeans Skirt
Boots - Jaywalk: Melisande
Belt - Maitreya Coin Belt

Clemintine has two blogs, which can be read Here and Here

Luna Jubilee is wearing....

hair: Magika Hair - Poof - Blonde A
eyes: CHAI Eyes +Allure+ [BLUE 1]
lashes: MADesigns EYELASHES ~ Diva
skin: LAQ ~ Carina 01 [Fair] Glow skin
jeans: **MIS** EveryDay Jeans - dark wash1
undershirt: [Pink] Di Tube Top (undershirt) - pearl
shirt: [Pink] Poppy Sheer Chiffon Blouse (GIFT) - light green
shoes: Maitreya Gold - IXkin Sienna
ring: ~flirt~ Pizazz Ring :: PLAT/DIA
bracelet: ZC : Sadaf shell bracelet *silver* (hand attach) R
pose: .:StoRin:. P11 Waiting
props: & Trompe L'oeil

Luna has a couple of blogs that you can find here and here. How she finds time for both when she spends sooo much time hassling me, I will never know!

Magen Jigsaw is wearing...

Hair Fri.Day-Deena
Eyes: Poetic Colors- Jungle
Top- ::EmJay::- Teal Off the shoulder top
Jeans- ::EmJay:: Super Dark Ripped Capris
Shoes- SoReals- Brown and Sky

Mags has a great little shop located Here. You should really check it out!

Risa Bright is wearing...

Skin: Laqroki Jessica 03 / Nougat
Hair: Analog Dog.... Lua in Cafe
Eyes: MADesigns: Soul Eyes Blue 5
Nail color: (Kunglers) Nail Polish - green
Skirt: LBD Nell Skirt/ turquoise
Top: Fashion Nomads Couture / "Noir" Underlayer
Boots: BAX Prestige Boots /Black with accent color customized to skirt
Stockings: Sheer Opaque Black
Bracelets: *al* Kiana Silks- Depth Bracelets (color customized to skirt)
Rings: Bandit Jewelers Lady Yellow Gold Combo

Risa does a ton of things in SL, so many that I can not even begin to list them, but I do know it centers around Kmadd mostly.

Rylan Carling is wearing...

Skirt: Nyte'N'Day - Vestige Skirt Spherule SD􀀂
Top:~*RunoRuno!~Hyperkinetic Dress Black􀀁
Jacket:.:Malt:. Fashions - SE Antique Gold Suede Jacket
Hair: TRUTH: Veronica - Black
Rings: Left - P.C; Times Squre Ring - Kyanite - Dark Blue
Right - PD Gemmed Kitty Ring
Boots: BAX Prestige Boots Black Leather

Rylan has a great blog here. You really need to have her on your "must read" list. :)

Strawberry Singh is wearing...

Skin: :: DUTCH TOUCH :: ::CleO:: Olive - Smokey w/freckles by Iki Ikarus
Eyes: Poetic Color Eyes - quicksilver medium by Lano Ling
Eyelashes: Cake - Bedroom Lashes by Stumbelina Ophelia
Hair: (Dernier Cri) Ella - Brown Shades by Asuka Martin
Top: ::EmJay:: Boyfriend Tank- Pink by Magen Jigsaw
Pants: -WMD-"Ronin" Hara Jeans Low Rise Ripped by Maruko Sakigake
Shoes: PornStar Hi-Tops MultiColor v2 by Coke Dreadlow
Bag: **Slanted Fox** Yummy Tote - Strawberry-Vanilla by Riki Yifu
Bangles: Zaara : Indra painted stacked bangles by Zaara Kohime
Necklace: by Zaara Kohime (coming soon)
Pose: Long Awkward Pose by Dove Swanson
Location: Zaara sim

You can read Strawberry's blog Here

She also manages, or something along those lines, over at {Zaara}, which really has some amazing clothes. Find them Here

I suppose since everybody else did, I should spill what I am wearing...

Skin: -Belleza- Jonas SK 6 (bald)
Eyes: Poetic Color Eyes - Ocean/Seaweed by Lano Ling
Shape: RAFAEL by .::MADDesigns:: version 2 (with a bit of custom work by me)
Hair: *ARGRACE* ~ Modern rail ~ (Black)
Tattoo: addiXion - VENOMOUS inkREAL
Pants: Zaara Classic Jeans for men *sky)
Shoes: you cannot see them, but [hoorenbeek] Patagonia Boots- Used Brown

How did this end up being a fashion blog entry? *shakes his head

(a HUGE thank you to all you ladies! You all ROCK!)

I know, I know

I have not been writing much lately. Even though I have been incredibly busy, I really miss writing, for many reasons.

I have had experiences and thoughts that I have been working through, and I might write about them, I might not. I might write about them, but never actually publish what I write, because honestly, nobody really cares about my little life, and nobody should, because it is MY life, and quite honestly, it is not that interesting.

I also have lots of neat items that I have either been given, or found in SL that I want to write about. I just have been a bit overwhelmed lately, but either I am just getting better at dealing with it all, or things are starting to settle down. Not sure which yet.


There is something that has been on my mind recently.

I have had this "concept" in my head for quite a while, something that I have observed in people for many many years, but have not really been able to crystallize down.

Many years ago, I worked for a software company. We had our engineering dept at one end of the building, and it was off limits to all personnel except the engineers. Pretty standard stuff.

One day, one of our new hires (not in engineering) came in, and told me that he could not work for us anymore. When I asked him why, he said that it was because it was obvious that we were doing illegal things in the "engineering dept" because otherwise why would nobody be allowed back there.

I just stared at him. I told him that if that was the way he felt, then he was making the right decision.

Just for disclosure, there was nothing illegal going on in there, just the development of a cutting edge software application. Since nobody had done what we were doing, it was important to keep it secure. It was that simple.

What made it even more interesting was I actually saw that persons name in the paper about 3 months later, for being arrested for fraud. Something about credit card numbers or something.

That experience kinda stuck with me. Not sure why, but it always stayed with me. Over time, I began to see an interesting pattern in people.

I have had many more experiences where somebody accused somebody I know of something that was totally off base, only later to find out that the person doing the accusing was actually doing the exact thing that they were accusing my friend of.

I have been trying to understand this phenomenon. Some people call it misdirection. A person is trying to deflect attention away from their own sins, by accusing other people of the same sins.

I think I have finally found a more appropriate description of it. It's called Psychological projection.

Psychological projection

Now obviously this is not 100%, but I have seen it so often in RL, and more and more in SL, where people accuse others of certain sins out of anger, or insecurity. Then come to find out, usually with proof behind it, that the accuser is either actually the guilty one, or at least just as guilty as the person they are accusing.

This is not to say that victims should not be taken seriously. I don't mean that at all. What I am saying is that there are many times, when the accuser needs to be looked at just as closely.

I really wonder, how much of this is happening out there. How much of this affects how people view the world. I know from my own RL, that my sister views the world as a crime ridden cesspool, because her husband is a police officer, and that is what she hears about all the time.

How much of our worldview, is solely based on how we view ourselves, and project outward, to maybe make ourselves feel normal?

Something for me to think about on my way home tonight. I have been told it's Taco I will try not to think TOO much about it..:)


I had never really considered myself an "investor" before. I had an image of a banker type, or someone with money to spare that would start to use that extra cash to invent in things. I never thought I was in any of those categories.

Recently it has become clear to me that I AM an investor. I would even argue that every single one of us are investors.

What do I mean by this? We invest in things every day. We invest time, energy, money, even ourselves into many different things in our lives.
We invest in ourselves (education), other people (partners, kids, friends), even causes (political, social).

If you have even done any reading on investing (which usually centers around the stock market), there is a theme that seems to carry through just about any book on the subject. One of the major rules of investing: Do not get emotionally involved in your investment.

Now while this is very good advise when dealing with the stock market, it is a bit different when you are investing in yourself, another person, your family, etc. It's almost impossible to NOT get emotionally invested when a family member is spirally down into a pit (of which there are many). You put your time, energy, and even money into that investment, many many times, with little hope for a return (the return of that family member to something better).

But we do get emotionally invested in many of these things. We pour our heart and soul into many of these "investments". We see it everyday, people getting married, starting a business, having children, finding a cause that excites us, etc. We devote ourselves to what ever it is, for us, at that time.

Then, something happens. A relationship changes, a business starts to crumble (or never really takes off), a family member moves down a wrong path, or a million other things. Many times, the signs are pretty clear. Heck, sometimes the signs can be screaming in your face, but we don't listen...we have too much invested to walk away. This is a crucial point. This is when things become almost dangerous.

When a decision is made to ride out a bad investment because "I have too much invested in this already" or "I know it will turn around, I just have to be patient", the potential for disaster really starts to grow. Decisions are made not on facts, history, trends, etc, they are made solely on wants, needs and fear. When decisions are based solely on wants, needs, and fear, the potential for gimongous (Yes, I said gimongous) disastrous events grows exponentially.

It doesn't always have to be a gimongous (I plan on using this word a lot, so get used to it) crash, but the potential is there. I have seen it happen around me, and to me quite a bit recently. I have seen RL businesses fail, RL families torn apart, SL relationship go nuclear, all because an investment went bad, and all the signs that were screaming out were ignored, or thought temporary.

Does this mean that we should not be emotionally involved in our investments? Not at all! Many investments actually require emotional involvement. I think we need to try and RECOGNIZE when our investment decisions are based purely on emotions, and when we are ignoring other facts, to our eventual detriment. Maybe we need to ask ourselves some harsh questions more often.

Maybe we need to remove the emotion from an investment, just for a few moments, to see what it looks like without it. Is this even possible? I honestly don't know. I do know, that after an investment has gone completely out, and you THEN look back, it's easy to see where it changed, where certain things SHOULD have been done, or a change in strategy MIGHT have actually lessened the loss, but wasn't done because of the "emotional" investment involved.

I do believe that any "investment" can be analysed from a purely unemotional viewpoint. Should all investment decisions be made this way? I don't think so, but I do think that it can be a healthy and productive part of any investment strategy. This seemingly simple step, might help keep your investment from causing harm, to you and those around you.

So there it is. I am an investor. You are an investor. You just don't know it yet.

Am I a good investor? Probably not yet. But recognizing the first step.

The Big Bad Blogger Challenge!

So my good friend Alicia Chenaux came up with the Big Bad Blogger Challenge. I usually don't do blogger challenges for several reasons.

1. I don't really consider myself a "Blogger". I just play with toys and talk about them.

2. I usually don't have time to do them.

3. They are usually about girlie stuff, to which I usually dont have much to contribute to.

This particular challenge runs over several days, and I have seen several great entries for them. Again, I just have not had the time to keep up.

But today..for some reason, I got it into my head to do one of the themes: If there was someone you could trade places with for one day in Second Life, who would it be and why?

So here goes.

I would like to trade places with Truth Hawks for 1 whole day. Why? Let me 'splain.

1. It would be interesting to see what it would feel like to actually have talent!

2. I might get a sneak peak at his next work of amazing..and hold it over my friends heads for a little bit.

3. I might be able to influence him to make more GUY hair!

4. I would have is Avatar eat more...he is a SKINNY little dude!

5. I would upgrade his dances I dont have to keep adding him to my Huddles

6. Being Truth for a day, would give me a break from my stalker.

So, as I log in as Truth, I weed through ALL the messages he gets, I scan the "in process" folders for unreleased stuff, then start to peruse down his friends list. That is when I see it! My stalker...IS ON HIS LIST TOO! *facepalms

Damn..well, 5 out of 6 ain't bad!

*thanks to Truth for indulging me with this little lark AND...thanks to the Amazing Rylan, for not only thinking I am crazy...but for helping me with the pic when I was getting frustrated!