Saturday, June 17, 2017

Helping Others in Second Life XI – Are You Going to the Oasis?




The desert sands lead on, but look ahead -

a palace of bright tents and green date palms

where camel backs can crumple knee bones down.

An oasis waits beneath the desert moon.

Join us for poetry, the feet of dance, sweet wine

and live with us this night outside of time…

Caravanserai Notecard





Recently, Singh, an old friend in Second Life (SL) reached out to me to say “Hello”. 

We’d first met on Book Island several years ago and had been in touch on and off during that time.  (I keep telling everyone that as an SL friend, I do tend to come and go!)

Singh has recently completed his PhD in Real Life (RL) and now teaches Creative Writing in Southeast Asia. 

(Significant Other is amazed that anyone with these credentials would actually hang around with me.  I reply that he needs good examples of how not to write.)

Singh told me about an event he’s running to aid a charity in RL and asked me if I’d be interested in blogging about it.

Do I ever need to be asked twice?

Here’s the story, maybe you can help us!

The event is entitled Caravanserai – Crossroads of the Arts. 


Its purpose is to raise funds for Feed a Smile, a charity which assists needy school children in Kenya. 

Caravanserai will be an hour of storytelling, poetry reading, song and dance, theater and machinima screenings, followed by a panel discussion about the value of the arts in education. (This part of SL MOOC 2017.)

Middle or Central Asian dress or Asian fusion style is encouraged t get with the spirit of the event. 

There will be plenty to see and do!

There’s a flying carpet ride, a Tarot card reader, Palaces of the Moon and Sun, a pilgrim camp, a Bedouin oasis, and an impressive caravanserai which is the center of the activities. 

One of the most impressive aspects for me in my years wandering around SL is how people come together to help others in RL.  There seems to be no barrier to what is possible when people put their minds to it inworld.

So, please come out and walk around the great sim put together by Singh and contribute if you can and help some children far away who struggle to make it through their first lives let alone having second ones like we’re fortunate to have.

Caravanserai – Crossroads of the Arts is going to be a fun and worthwhile event!

So, please come, enjoy yourselves, and please contribute if you can!

BTW Did I mention that this is Singh’s first event inworld? 

Let’s come out and give him some moral support!

The event will take place on Saturday, June 24th, at 7:00AM SLT and can be found here. 

More information can be found here on their blog. 

Their YouTube trailer is here.  This is especially well done, check it out! 

Additional pictures from my visit can be found on this flickr page.


As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!



Saturday, June 10, 2017

What Makes You Happy in Second Life?






Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

Robert A. Heinlein







Recently, I’ve received a series of good news in Real Life (RL.)

Accordingly, I’m happy!

Not to worry, I’m normally pretty happy in RL but lately my smile’s been a bit broader.  (Significant Other is bouncing around merrily too, I’m happy to report, and is nodding enthusiastically as I write this.)

Then, this got me thinking.

(At which point, Significant Other exits the room claiming I’ll only spoil the mood.)

What about Second Life (SL)?


(Are you surprised, after all, this blog is pretty much only about SL!)

What’s being happy about inworld?

(I’m being an optimist here and assuming that we can be happy in SL.  Further, I’ll stick my neck out and say that being happy inworld can also make us happy in RL!)

What are the things that can make us happy inworld?

Friends are just as valuable inworld to our happiness as they are in RL.

Some go further and fall in love inworld.  Enough said about that!

Communities can make us happy in SL.  Friends and neighbors sharing a common purpose are a wonderful thing wherever they are.  And, let’s not forget the socializing!

Solitude is what does it for some and SL is a great place for that. 

For some, building and exploring are what makes them happy inworld. 

Have I missed anything?

I’m sure I have because the ways to be happy in SL are countless.

(Trust me on this, I’ve tried counting!)

What about me?

What makes me happy in SL?

Actually, it’s changed over the years.

Originally, just rezzing in, exploring new places, meeting new friends, and having new
experiences was enough for me inworld.

But, now, I think I’ve grown.  (I ignore Significant Other’s comment that it’s about time.)

The friends I’ve made over the years, I look forward to meeting and sharing with.

There are communities that I enjoy returning to and participating in their daily life.  (I won’t get into whether they enjoy me returning.)

However, the lure of the open road inworld still makes me happy.

Discovering and exploring an exciting new build makes my day!  Even if, sadly, these are fewer and farther between. 

But, what about you?

What makes you happy in SL?

Anything that I’ve listed here or do you have your own source of happiness?

Please share it and let us know!

There are many ways to be happy inworld and we all benefit when we learn about them.

SL can be an extension of our RL and we can be happy in both?

For after all, have you ever met anyone who comes inworld to be unhappy?

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!



Saturday, June 3, 2017

Are You Going to Silk Road Hunt VIII in Second Life?




Writing for children is as easy as describing the history of the Byzantium in three words.

Mo Willems







Another year has flown by!

Yes, my misadventures in Real Life (RL) have contributed to this.  (Significant Other nods for emphasis here.)  But, I didn’t really appreciate this until my old and good friend in Second Life (SL), Perryn Peterson, dropped me a line reminding that it was time for Silk Road VIII inworld!   

True to form, Perryn and his Merry Band in Mieville have come up with another
marvelous theme well suited for SL.

This year’s theme is Byzantium!

Yes, the ancient and long-lived successor to Rome is next in Perryn’s homages to long, lost empires and forgotten treasures! 

Past Hunts have had Xanadu, the Roman Empire, and Ali Baba as their themes. 

(I suspect that when Perryn runs out of known ancient empires for his themes, he’s going to start looking for some lost even to the history books.)

In a way, Mieville reminds me of Byzantium.  A corner of creativity, commerce, and orderly life surrounded by the chaos of an encroaching anarchy.  (Significant Other’s eyes roll at the analogy.  But, hey, have you wandered around SL lately?)

As usual, Mountain Rose is a major contributor and participant in the Silk Road Hunt.  Its Imperial, Byzantine palace alone is worth making the journey inworld to see.  The
grandeur and attention to detail here remind me of earlier, long lost builds in SL.  The sim is a major stop along the Hunt’s way!

Mountain Rose can be located here. 

Dozens of other merchants are participating this year and there gifts for intrepid hunters can be found here.  Look for their mini-hunts as well! 

Silk Road Hunt VII runs from June 1st to 30th.

            Inworld, the Silk Road Hunt begins as it did in previous years at the Asian Victorian Garden in Mieville.   (Before going into the pavilion and starting the Hunt, take some time to stroll the beautiful gardens created by Mike Olbracht, Mieville’s floral wunderkind.  His garden layouts have to be seen to be believed!)

            Perryn’s purpose with hunts like the Silk Road Hunt is to showcase the merchants of SL and their wares, to help residents (hunters) meet merchants, and to get out onto the Grid
and have fun!               

            Hunter information is available here. 

            I heartily recommend all dropping by and having some fun!

            Who knows?

            You might set the record for completing the Hunt!  (Or, ever run into me!)

            I’d like to thank Perryn for his time and assistance in helping me to prepare this story, not to mention, his choreographing another spectacular event inworld! 

            Additional pictures of the Hunt can be found here.

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!



Saturday, May 27, 2017

How Do You Emote Subtly in Second Life?




Is it really possible to tell someone else what one feels? 

Leo Tolstoy







Recently, I had a misunderstanding with a good friend in Second Life (SL). 

(Significant Other asks why should SL be any different than Real Life (RL).  I won’t digress here.)

We were having a conversation and I was joking.  A little later, I noticed my friend seemed a little withdrawn and terse.  (Significant Other is amazed that I noticed.  I may quit blogging when Significant Other is around.)  I asked what was the matter not thinking I was in anyway involved. (Significant Other says, “Typical!”)

To my surprise, my friend said they were offended.  What I had taken as kidding they had taken seriously, very seriously!  (I’m deliberately masking my friend’s identity and not
because they’re embarrassed to be associated with me!)

My friend and I discussed the matter and I apologized.  (Significant Other does give me points for this,)

But, this got me thinking about how limited our ability to subtly express our emotions and feelings inworld is.  (I’m not copping out here and blaming SL.)

How can we do this especially when we move from bland, everyday greetings into closer personal relationships in SL? 

Let’s discuss this for a bit!

The problem starts with how we communicate our feelings in RL.

We have a rich variety of methods available to us. 

Besides our words, there’s our voice, facial expressions, eyes, and body language.  Not to mention all the possible combinations thereof. 

(Sex has many other expressions of feelings and emotions in RL too.  But, since I’m still not that kind of blog, I won’t go there!)

Now, in SL, on the other hand, our options are somewhat more limited.

We have text and, for some, voice.

That’s it!

And, yes, we can use primitive late Twentieth Century emoticons too if we want.  (e.g., :) ;) Get the picture?)

There are animations inworld but these pretty much have minds of their own. 

We’re trained from an early age in RL how to express our emotions and feelings.  Most of us figure it out reasonably well.  Some even make a living make a living out of it as actors and actresses. 

However, inworld, the RL options are closed to us and we’re pretty much left to our own devices.

So, what happens?

Confusion, hurt feelings, and misunderstandings can result when we try to express ourselves beyond simple greetings and conversations.  Even voice can only take us so far.  Just ask anyone who’s ever played the party game telephone.

What about you?

Has the inability to satisfactorily emote feelings inworld ever caused you difficulties? 

How do you subtly express your emotions or feelings inworld?  Do you even try?

Please drop me a line and let me know!

If I get enough replies then I’ll do a follow-up story!

But, for now, just keep emoting!  

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.
            Open roads and kind fires!




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Helping Others in Second Life X – We Have a Puppy!




Happiness is a warm puppy. 

Charles M. Schulz

  



 As my three loyal readers know, along with a few other stalwarts, I’ve been reporting on the efforts of a friend in Second Life (SL) to obtain a diabetic service dog in Real Life (RL).    

My friend, XMarieX (Marie) Fairport, has diabetes in RL and a service dog would make a major improvement in her life as well as be potentially lifesaving.

Recently, I was happy to report that Marie was on the short list to receive a dog. 

Well, now I can report that a dog has been identified and assigned to her.  Musketeer
is his name! 

I’ve included some photos of Musketeer here and additional ones and videos can be found on this flickr page.    

The last challenge for Marie is to achieve her financial goal of $15,000. 

(Sadly, in this country, resources like Musketeer have to be privately funded.)

If you’d like to help, here’s how:

First, contributions can now be made directly to Diabetic Alert Dogs of America (DADA)!






At the bottom BLUE part of the page, second from the right, click on PAYMENTS.



 Click BUY NOW. 



In the description, type MUSKETEER PUPPY, enter an amount and continue.  Verify the payment type (credit card, debit card or PayPal) and know that your help is greatly appreciated by Marie and her family! 



(Important:  You must enter "MUSKETEER PUPPY" in the payment description, othe wise those funds will be "lost"). 



Donations can ALSO be made via L$ to XMarieX Fairport.  



Also to any Wells Fargo Bank, let them know you wish to donate to MUSKETEER
THE DIABETIC ALERT DOG.



The down payment is just the first step!  Half of the remaining balance is due the end of October. 



How else can you help?



Not everyone can always afford to donate even if they want to.



But, you can help in other ways!



First, share this story with its links to your friends and ask them to help



Next, keep Marie and her family in your thoughts and prayers!  These do help!



I know other people’s thoughts and prayers have helped me in my life.  (Significant Other nods in agreement.)



Marie will be keeping all of us up to date with any new information about this life saving Service Dog at http://mariesdog.blogspot.com/



Be sure to check it out! 

I’ll be updating as we go along and hopefully we’ll soon have pictures of Marie with Musketeer!

Thanks to all of you who are helping in whatever way you can! 

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

How Long Have You Been in Second Life?




Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.

Thomas Hardy



My recent scribblings about my sixth year of blogging about Second Life (SL) have got me thinking about how long I’ve been inworld. 

In total, I’ve spent seven years in SL.  (Took me a while to figure out how to get out of the new arrivals center.  Significant Other mutters something about, “Just like in Real Life (RL)”) During this time, I’ve met a lot of people and been to a lot of places. 

I think this is a respectable length of time.  (Much of it under the watchful eye of Significant Other who does enjoy shoulder surfing during my various misadventures.) When
I prepare my annual look backs in SL, I always feel like I’ve accomplished something.  (Which also includes not getting ejected!) 

As my three loyal readers can attest, this type of soul searching about my time inworld leads me to bigger thoughts.  (This is usually when Significant Other stops shoulder searching and leaves the room.)

My Big Thought this time is how long have others been in SL?

Yes, numbers are reduced regularly by simple disappearances, death in RL, or someone simply coming back as another avatar.  (I’ll ignore Significant Other’s suggestion that they’re simply avoiding me.)

But, despite this turnover, there seems to be a hardcore of SL residents who have been around for quite some time. 

Some have been here from the very beginning, others sometime afterwards, while others just disappeared after attending SL’s tenth anniversary festivities a while back. 

Always, there’s the changing of the guard.

So, yes, there is a cadre of long term residents inworld.  They are individuals or groups either way staying to themselves. 

There doesn’t seem to be any effort to have a group consciousness to try and
influence policies and conditions inworld.  Once upon a time, there may have some such efforts but mainly they’re lost in the mists of time now. 

(Unless of course, Significant Other is correct and there are such groups and they’re simply avoiding me.  Significant Other brightens at this prospect.)

How long have you been in SL?

I’d love to meet you and hear your stories especially those that seem to be lost in the mists! 

So, no matter how long you’ve been inworld, from the very beginning, somewhat later, a recent arrival, or someone who just pops in and out as the urge hits you, please
reach out to me!

Let’s meet, share our experiences, and maybe I’ll get some new stories for my three loyal readers out of this!

Look forward to hearing from you! 

As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.

I can be found on Google+ as webspelunker Ghostraven.

My flickr Photostream is located here.

On Skype I’m webspelunker Ghostraven.

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com . 

            If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
 please click here.

            Open roads and kind fires!