Posted in building, community, day-to-day, I wrote this, Philomenaville, roleplay, roleplaying, rp, updates

How to Improve Your Community in Two Words

Philomenaville is coming along swimmingly. I’ve sent in our application to have a presence at SL11BCC and am waiting to hear on that. Some buildings have been moved around and shifted about. The outdoor freebie market is gone, replaced by a thrift market for people to sell leftovers from gatchas (is it gatcha or gacha? Anywhoodle.) A welcome center is being put together in one wing of Town Hall, a meeting area in the other. The park is sporting a cool new Conservatory building which contains the prettiest damn dance machines you’ve ever seen. The trolley is running well and is no longer spawning additional trolleys (they were everywhere!). We’re gearing up for our first ever dance in the Conservatory this weekend (Saturday! 4PM! Join us in Bushside!) and we’re also gearing up for some RP event type stuff in a week or two. It hasn’t been without some pains in my ass but all in all, it’s going really well.

One thing that hasn’t been going well is that the Friday afternoon Social Hour at the Cafe has been a flop. And the more I talk about it with other people the more I think people just aren’t really sure what to do, or else are bored by the idea of all meeting in one spot without there being any music or anything. It’s not like it’s a town meeting mandated by the Mayor or anything. What do you talk about for an hour? So it annoys me when people don’t show up, but at the same time, if I wasn’t running it, I wonder if I’d skip it too. So I’m hopeful that Saturday afternoon dances at the Conservatory will fill that social void a little better. There’s music. There’s watching yourself dance. There’s lighthearted interaction. People are just more likely to show up.

And really, that’s the secret to making a community work, I think. It’s not me planning the events; it’s everyone else SHOWING UP. It’s not Thaddeus initiating group chat; it’s everyone else SHOWING UP. It frustrates me that I can’t make more people show up so, listen, whatever community you’re in, if you want to make it better, richer, more enjoyable… SHOW UP. You don’t have to be an event planner, you don’t have to be a prolific builder, you don’t have to be a dazzling conversationalist, just show up. That’s all.

Posted in humor, I wrote this, music

Black Friday is comin’ in

(tune: “Sumer is a-cumen in”, 13th C. English)

Black Friday is comin’ in
Loud I say “Hell no”
Papers swell and shoppers yell
And shopping traffic grow
Say “Hell no!”
Bold employees brave the crowds
Damned if their paychecks grow
Stabbing, Trampling
Shoppers camping
Outside in the snow
Hell no! Hell no!
Wisely say “Hell no”
And online shopping go

(c)2013 Laura Foster/Mistletoe Ethaniel

Posted in I wrote this

The Troll and the Paladin

(just a little story I’ve been working on.)
A troll once lived underneath a bridge, and made its living challenging passers-by into arm wrestling matches for gold coins. The troll would typically jump out and insult the travelers until they got angry enough to take the troll up on its wager.

It happened one day that a paladin was making his way across the troll’s bridge. The troll jumped out and cried, “You there, old man! You’re a washed-up has-been, a shadow of your former self! Prove you’re still a man worth his salt and arm wrestle me, winner gets 20 gold coins!”

But the paladin simply smiled and said, “Good day to you, Troll,” and made his way across the bridge.
Continue reading “The Troll and the Paladin”

Posted in business in SL, humor, I wrote this, list, Shopping!, SL Marketplace

Why We Keep Going Back to SL

Despite the troubles and frustrations of Second Life, there are some of us (raises hand) who just can’t seem to walk away. Here are a few not-remotely-scientific reasons that Second Life has such a hold on us, like the scumbag boyfriend we just can’t seem to get away from.

Our Friends are There

Step into any other grid and if you find people at all, they won’t likely be your people. Oh sure you could try to get your people into this grid to pay you a visit, but why would they want to do that? It would be easier just to get in touch with you on Skype or email than to make a whole new duckwalking avatar. The fact is, if you want to “see” and hang out with your friends, and have hours-long IM conversations broken up into little digestible bits, it’s going to have to be in the world where you met them.

Continue reading “Why We Keep Going Back to SL”

Posted in blues, building, business in SL, entertainment, fuck you LL, humor, I wrote this, music, rant, Shopping!, song

Work Around

Work Around

(by RayCharles Linden)*
(Original tune: “Mess Around”, Ray Charles)

Blues Brothers Night at Hotlanta Blues, Feb. 2009

Aw you can talk about the new Marketplace
Where the descriptions don’t match the face
ahh, Work Around
We doin’ the Work Around
Do the Work Around
Ev’rybody do the Work Around

Nobody was rezzed, you can bet your soul
Waitin’ for the restarts to start to roll
We Work Around
We doin’ the Work Around
Do the work Around
Ev’rybody do the Work Around

Now the office hours are from noon to one
Nobody ever gonna get stuff done
So we Work Around
We’re doin’ the Work Around
We’re doin’ the Work Around
Ev’rybody do the Work Around

Now see that girl with the extra bling
She’ll make a laggy mess of everything
So we’ll Work Around
We doin’ the Work Around
Do the Work Around
Ev’rybody do the Work Around

*(not really. It’s by me, Mistletoe.)

So, yeah, still not having a lot of luck getting shit working at the Marketplace. So, I’m working on finding a way around it. Wish me luck.

The plan is: all the erroneous listings that are in the Magic Box, I’ll relist with DD, and vise versa. We’ll see.

Posted in building, I wrote this, photos, tutorial

Workaround: I can’t get to my sky platform!

This one’s especially for my friend Veyatie, new to SL, who has been having troubles lately with a glitch.  You see, her LM to her sky platform isn’t working; she keeps getting sent to the ground-level spot under said platform.

So, Veyatie, this one’s for you and for all you other new SLers.  I can’t fix your LMs (and probably LL can’t either but that’s another gripe for another time) but I can offer you this handy workaround.  It will also be a bit of an introduction to rezzing and manipulating prims, so there ya go, two birds with one stone.

First you’re going to either click your “build” button on your toolbar (if you have one) OR right-click the ground and select “Build” from the pie menu. You’ll get a cursor that looks like a magic wand. Click it somewhere on the ground near you.

Congratulations! You have rezzed your first ever prim from scratch.
Continue reading “Workaround: I can’t get to my sky platform!”

Posted in Alts, day-to-day, entertainment, humor, I wrote this, list, out of character, personal


Well didn’t I get one hell of a surprise to find myself listed among Suella’s “10 SL Blogs You Should Read“. And not only on the list, but at the top of the list! It’s a very exciting endorsement and my ego is very happy about it.

But with that comes the other side of the coin: “People are reading this thing now! I gotta write something and it better not suck!”

So until I think of what that something that doesn’t suck may be, I’ll give a kind of an introduction to you lovely new folks about who the hell I am and what you can expect when you read my blog.

First: Why I blog in the first place.

I find a picture says a thousand words, don’t you?
Continue reading “NO PRESSURE!!”

Posted in community, day-to-day, I wrote this, list, rant, RL, roleplay, roleplaying, rp

Less Drama in Six Easy Steps

The other day Bliss Windlow (no relation to Clover; just happens to share a surname) said some words that really resonated with me. She said that as a child she would get in trouble a lot for being bossy and acting like a know-it-all. Boy that was me all over. She concluded that because of this, she was born to make instructive blog posts. I can only make the same conclusion.

Today, I’m going to lecture you on drama. People really really hate drama. It’s really sad to see, that the more people seem to talk about how much they hate drama, the more seems to somehow come into their lives. So in the interest of looking out for you, yes, you specifically, I’m going to show you six simple ways to have less drama in your virtual (and probably also physical) world. Ready? Here we go.

  • Keep your private issues private.

  • Call me old-fashioned, but I can’t stand the Facebook culture. Everybody having to share every single personal detail of their lives with the entire (semi)literate world seems to have done away with our sense of private dignity. I realize I’ve officially just become old by saying that. So let me do this shit right.

    “Back in my day, if someone had some personal problem, they’d talk to a close friend or trusted confidante. They wouldn’t just post it on the intertubes or whatever-the-hell-you-call-em for everybody and his dog to read. If we had some personal info on someone else, we’d whisper it over the fence or the clothesline. We called it ‘gossip’. That was the way it was and we liked it. We would have phrases like, ‘That’s for me to know and you to find out,’ or, ‘Why? None of your god damned business, that’s why!’.”

    Right, so what I’m saying in my very rambling way is, the world really doesn’t need to know the details of why the wedding’s off, the group’s policy is changing, the prim baby is going back into inventory, you can’t come to work tonight, your band had to cancel its gig. We don’t need to read the break-up note. We don’t need to hear what he said and she said. We don’t need to hear names, scandalously fun though it may be. It’s really enough for us to hear “The wedding’s off”, “The group’s policy is changing to x“, “What prim baby?”, “I have to call out tonight,” or “We’re sorry but we have to cancel our gig.” That said, I understand that there’s very real emotions involved and you want to hash out what a jerkface your boss is. But that’s what friends and private conversation are for. Which brings me to number 2:
    Continue reading “Less Drama in Six Easy Steps”

Posted in building, events, I wrote this, list, party, rant, travel

SL8B: The Awesome and the Lame

"Dancers" at the Royal Court of Prussia Build at SL8B.
I’ve been in SL just over 3 years now, and this years SL8B was the first SL Birthday I’ve ever attended. I actually sent my “niece” Petal to check it out, since she’s usually the avatar I log on when there’s exploring to be done.

Two builds really stood out as superior, in my opinion: The Royal Court of Prussia, and the 1920 Berlin Project. Looking back and trying to deconstruct why I liked them so much, and why some others (for which I had higher hopes) were disappointing to me, some common ideas came to mind.

The Best Builds…

  • Were visually appealing at a distance.They’d have something in their architecture that looked tasteful yet attractive, and rezzed quickly so I wasn’t looking at a giant “ball” where a sculpt had yet to rez in. A well-built and well-textured area was a real joy to look at without being an eyesore (more on that in a bit). They may have used animation or particles, or just interesting items, or a combination of the above, to get attention.
  • Were approachable from more than one side. Multiple points of entry and exit made the exhibits more interesting from more spots, so that no matter which way I was coming from, I could see and easily get into the exhibit.
  • Immediately answered the question of “what am I looking at?” They put their exhibit name in the parcel name, and put some description in the Parcel description. There was some simple-to-read, quick-rezzing signage with more information, but no more information than neccessary.
  • Immediately made the visitor feel welcome, and like a part of the exhibit. The hands-down winner at this (of what I’ve seen so far) was the 1920 Berlin Project build. They’re a historical RP sim, and their build had people there in costumes interacting and welcoming people and offering them drinks and a place to sit. Everyone who walked in, be they a 21st-Century fashionista, an anthropomorphic horse, a neko, or a nine-year-old elf girl, got a warm welcome and as a result they’d often stay and visit a while.
  • Made excellent use of the space they’re given. 1024 square meters may not seem like a lot, but in the hands of a skilled builder, that space came to life in fascinating ways. I’ll mention the 1920 Berlin build once more: their space contained a pub, an inn room, an art gallery, a bit of street with an antique parked car, and a working movie theater, all with plenty of headroom and without a feeling of being crowded.
  • Gave the visitor something to do. It may have been a dance ball, or a maze, or a ride, or a hunt, or even karaoke; but all the best builds had something fun for visitors to do.
  • Had awesome freebies. Lots of unbelievably cool free things. OMG. I thought I’d never leave Bear Island, for example. I especially liked how the 1920 Berlin Project put their freebies on the least visually appealing side of the exhibit, against a wall. The Royal Court of Prussia put theirs inside their palace.
  • Immediately answered the question of “How is this magic?” The theme of this year’s celebration, of course, is The Magic of Second Life. And the very best exhibits made that theme clear without question. They would either transport the visitor to another time and/or place, do unexpected things to make you think, “I’ve never done that before!” or otherwise made the jaw drop.

Lame Builds…

  • Were obvious advertisements and little more. They only related themselves to the theme by sticking “magic” in the name, but not explaining what was really enchanting about it. And along with that, the only freebies (if any) offered were a t-shirt with their logo on it. Weaksauce.
  • Left me wondering what’s going on here. They didn’t fill in their parcel name, didn’t put in any description, and/or had so much signage in trendy (i.e.: hard-to-read) fonts that they’d take forever to rez and were near impossible (and not interesting enough) to read.
  • Didn’t get the memo of how tacky “Glow” can be. Some builds were a treat for the eyes; others were a shrieking assault on them. I won’t say all builds using “glow” were tacky; I will say that almost all tacky builds used “glow”. The same can be said for particle overkill as well.
  • Made me have to work for it. Walk around this huge blank wall. Now flip eight pages to finally open the only entrance into the build. When it’s open, jump (not walk, but but jump) through it. And you better do it quick, or it’ll close and you’ll have to start all over. Now say some things on one channel to make something that doesn’t work happen. Try it again. And again. Oh, there we go. You’ll want to be in Mouselook. Now say something on another channel to make something else that doesn’t work happen. By the way, you’ll want to make sure you use Viewer 2 so you can see the cool media on the prim effect. Don’t have it? Here, watch this preloader for 10 minutes and see if anything happens. Also, make sure you set your viewer to “midnight”, your draw distance is set to 8,000,000, your Particles are set to as many as your graphics card can handle, your sounds are on, your stream is on, your media player is on, your voice is on, and anything else you can find to crank to its limit is on. Now, sit in this rotating chair. Now, I’m not going to tell you what you have to do. You have to figure it out by clicking on random shit. Now push this button. Now do it again. And again. You can’t go out that way. Or that way. And you can’t see which way you came in. FUCK THIS I’M RELOGGING.

So there you have it. What did you think of the builds at SL8B, and what were your favorites?