Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Universe and Everything Else

[RL] I love science. I have been a science geek for as long as I can remember. Once, as a child, I got a fold up map of the solar system from McDonald's. I loved that thing, despite the flying french fries and hamburger space ships. I used to take my finger and pretend it was a space ship, and spend what seemed like hours flying from one planet to another. Kidtime is somewhat elongated, so it was probably no more than five minutes. But, as odd as it sounds, I remember that as one of my happiest childhood memories.

As virtually everything does, this brings me back to considerations of religion. One of my principles problems with the Bible is its earth-centric viewpoint of creation. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." The heavens. 99.9999999999999999999% of creation is tossed away as an afterthought in that sentence.

Does the reader really have any idea how big "the heavens" are?

In my unpublished and one day to be rewritten book, Of Cabbages and Kings, I considered this question. I tried to create a version of God that was consistent with the universe as science says exits. Satan is one of the characters within the story, and he has been living largely in hiding under the name of Alphonsus Luke (sound familiar) for the past 1000 years.

At one point, he relates to the story's protagonist, Alex Taber, and Alex's girlfriend, Charlene, the tale of how he was once allowed to see the universe the way that God sees it. This is an excerpt:


“Dr. Luke?”

“Call me Alphonsus, Charlene.”

“Okay. Alphonsus. I have to ask you something.”


“I need to know if…well…I mean, have you killed people?”

Dr. Luke closed his eyes and sighed deeply.

“Charlene, I know what you’re asking. But you’re not really thinking. The real question you want to ask--the real information you wish to divine, is if I am evil. One definition of evil is murder--killing. But really Charlene, what do you think? I’m 39 thousand years old. Those thirty-nine thousand years cover every violent moment in recorded history. Do you really think that I, as an immortal being, could have gone through that much of life without having killed anyone?

“So, the answer to your question is yes. Yes, of course I’ve killed people. Look at Alex. He’s only an embryo at forty years old, and he’s already killed people.”

Alphonsus paused a moment, remembering.

“Life long ago was much different from life of today. Just as one sample, look at language. You have to understand, Charlene, that ancient languages were not always very flexible. There were usually not a lot of words, and sometimes it was difficult to get one’s point across. Often disagreements were caused by simple inability to get someone to understand what you were talking about. Many times, if there was a significant enough disagreement, the easiest way of settling a dispute was simply to cut the other guy’s head off.

“But,” he continued, “the real question you’re asking is if I liked killing people, and the answer to that question is no. Do I think some people are better off dead? Of course, but if I’ve learned one thing after all this time it’s that sometimes even the worst people can surprise.”

Dr. Luke hesitated a moment. “Most of the time they won't, of course. But I'm not going to take it as my role to rid the world of the assholes. There's an infinite supply of them, and I have better things to do with my time.”

Charlene snorted. “You don't want to play God, in other words.”

He grimaced bitterly. “Why should I? Most of the time even God doesn't play God.”

Alex interjected, “I thought that was the reason you got kicked out of Heaven. I thought it was because you wanted God's job or something.”

Luke stared at him for a long moment, and then he smiled, closed his eyes, and began to laugh. It was not a happy laugh, or rather, not one that suggested happiness. Rather, it was a laugh that suggests irony or pain.

He laughed for an uncomfortably long time.

Finally, he stopped himself and opened his eyes again, smiling.

“Do you have the slightest idea what God is really like? Do you have the slightest idea how incredibly powerful--yet limited--He really is?

He paused and became serious. “All Knowing? Everyone assumes it. I believe it. I have seen what he sees. But have you ever given any thought to what the words really mean?

“He is capable of managing a Universe. An entire Universe, Alex! The Universe is not a fantasy. It is really out there, and it is large. You are both educated individuals. Do you have any idea of just how big it really is?

“Well, no matter what you think, you don't. I don't either. Gigantic. Colossal. No word is big enough. Not by a trillionth. The human mind cannot even conceive of its real size. The imagination is not capable of it. Think of infinity. Multiply it times infinity. Imagine what you get. Do you think your imagination is accurate? It isn't.

“He sees all of it at once. He can focus simultaneously on each of the six billion people on this planet all and at the same time count the number grains of sand on a beach on the other side of the Universe, call it, oh, nineteen billion light-years away as the trans-dimensional crow flies. And he sees every star, every planet, every dust mot, in between.

“Do you think I would aspire to do something like that? I can barely manage myself some days, Alex.”

He looked at us for a moment, suddenly frowning uncomfortably, his expression darkening. He seemed to be remembering something.

“He took me into his realm, once,” he said after a long pause. “His realm … His reality … I don't know what else to call it. He did it soon after He created me. I think He wanted to deal with me on a one to one basis; face to face, so to speak. His regular angels go there all the time. I think that's why He created me--so that He could finally deal with a human on His level. A normal human body could never survive there.”

He paused again, and then continued hesitantly. “I found it…disconcerting…to say the least. Basically, I saw…no, I can't say that I saw…I became aware of, the entire Universe, all at once.

“And then, there was the awareness of His presence. It was…indescribable…there are no words--no concepts that I can draw parallels from. You may trust, however, that the idea of some old fart sitting on a throne is mistaken. And, you may also trust that if we were created in his image, then Jackson Pollock is a realist.”

He paused. “The experience left me in a catatonic state for, well, how could I really tell how long, but at least several decades. It certainly would have killed me if such a thing were possible in my current state."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


So much pain throughout the world. Emotional pain. Physical pain.

So much pain in my friends. So much pain in those whom I love the most.

I know the pain encompassed in my own loved ones…in my own circle of friends, and I try to imagine all the other pain that must be out there. Pain even worse than what these people suffer. What would the pain of 6 billion people look like if piled into one place. Could even the mythical Hell be worse than what is suffered by some in our earthly paradise?

I want so much to heal the world; to take all this pain and make it vanish for people. I want to have the strength to be able to take everyone’s burdens and place them on my own shoulders. I can’t bear to watch another suffer while I stand idly by.

Yet, I know that I haven’t the strength. I can’t even bear my own emotional pain. I can’t carry another’s physical pain—I can’t hardly tolerate going to the dentist to get my teeth clean.

If I was given the chance—the gift—to take all the worlds pain unto me, so that the world would free of it finally, I’m certain that I would do it. I would die from unbearable agony moments afterward, but in the moment before that happened I would be happy, knowing that I was doing the right thing.

Alas, I do not expect such a gift to be given to me. So I must suffer as I watch others suffer. Helpless. With folded hands. Knowing that whatever comfort I can offer will be at best, fleeting. I haven’t a cure for anyone, and for some there are not even words that I can say that would ease the suffering even a little.

I want to heal the world. I can’t even heal myself.

Aianna, you have my blessings and prayers today, for whatever they are worth. The same goes for my loved ones who are in pain. I don’t know what to offer other than kind words and support…

These are not enough to affect much, but even if they are completely useless, they remain all I have to offer

Love and blessings, all Please keep the pain at bay as much as possible. I may not be able to help you, but please know that I desperately want too..

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Random Stuff

Ok, I admit that I haven't been posting as much lately. My inspiration for my blogs have been uninspiring. Everwind, however, is done. I shan't bring it up again no matter what happens next.

I feel like I spend the majority of my time talking about Triskele in my posts lately, and I do apologize for this to my non-Triskelian readers. It's just kinda where my brain is right now. My duties there are already backing up. It's been a bad week for me for in world activities. I'm hoping this week is better, or at least I'm more motivated.

I once mentioned that I had no dreams anymore. I now realize that this was not true. It's just that the dreams I had for my life seemed so simple and unspectacular that I didn't even notice them. Well, I'm now beginning to wonder if even these simple dreams will ever come true.

Oh well. No grousing. I have a cleric's meeting tomorrow at 5pm SL, and maybe a Council meeting at 6:30. I not a Council meeting, I want to talk cleric spells over with Winkie.

I want to hammer out the rest of our gods, and get them good and solid. We can tweak later if we need to, but lets start building from a solid draft. And I need a building. Even a temporary one would be nice.

Triskele had a pretty decent RP tonight...the first full fledged one that I participated in. The drow queen captured the Queens Council and a dragon. There was a furious battle, but we got them back, and the drow queen was bound and brought into custody. I was the one responsible for healing her wounds and getting her cleaned up. (At least I appointed someone else to do it). Cavity searches also needed to take place. I wasn't part of those, other than ordering that they happen. The drow queen was pretty cool about the whole thing. I like her.

Overall, she was treated, if not comfortably, then fairly. I treated a number of other minor wounds, including Malakyte who managed to get a number of arrows pumped into her in the last skirmish of the evening.

Hestia kicked me out of Faeria yesterday. She wanted to play, her computer wasn't working, and she said that I was "boring". I guess I am compared to her, but then not many people can compare to her when it comes to stirring things up. I still was able to listen to PHC while she played, but I felt dethroned. I'm gonna need to get revenge on that little imp.

Very tired, as usual. Good night, all. Fair thee well, and may all of your dreams come true. Warm hugs.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

An Oddly Mixed Day

I spent this day with a relatively good mood. My mind felt sharp, my thoughts were clear. I got plenty of sleep the night before, and I felt rested and at peace with myself.

Yet, as with virtually every day, I found myself being very unproductive.

I did manage to have my cleric's meeting in Triskele tonight, and that went quite well even though only 3 people were able to attend. The queen finally announced my promotion to the realm, which felt good.

The King and Queen of Everwind banned me from the Everwind forum sometime last night or today. I am truly honored. I've never been banned from anything before. I feel so...naughty! /me giggles. I might even be banned from the physical grounds. Despite how exciting this would be, it would be disingenuous for me to find out as I already made it a practice never to step on the land again.

I have a long in-world to do list, but it seems to be getting done in the few moments I am able to spend online. I am quite relaxed now, having found that my little tussle with Grace and Slip actually improved my general disposition. Safe paths, everyone. And, as always, hugs to anyone who wants or needs one.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Excitment of Being Discovered

It was with some degree of amusement that I discovered that my blog entry, The Fall of Everwind, was discovered and commented on by Everwind's King and Queen, Slip Barret and Grace Loudon.

I was not shocked or humiliated by their discovery of this entry. Indeed, I wrote, as I write all my entries, fully expecting that it may one day be found by the people whom I'm discussing. I know that Slip had stated that he found blog entries by former Everwinders before and was infuriated by them: rightly so, as they unfairly disparaged his character in the mater of Grace and Slip's temporary breakup. When I say something, I am always very careful about considering the feelings of those involved. This does not mean that I "filter" what I say, but it does mean that if I make a statement in a blog, I try to word it as fairly as possible, and to have adequate support for my assertions. If I am proven wrong, I will freely admit it and post an open apology. The ethics of blogging are something I hold very dear.

Slip responded not so much to my blog, but to the people who posted responses to my blog, most of whom are not Everwinders. This I find rather surprising in that most people responding to blog entries are automatically going to offer support for the blogger. They're comments are meant to help me, but they can't be expected to know the "fullness" of any situation, and they know it. Therefore, casting criticisms upon them for their statements is the equivalent of criticizing someone who sends an, "I'm sorry" card to someone who got fired. It doesn't really matter if the person deserved to get fired or not. They are there to support the person, and not to do a full investigation as to what the truth of the matter is.

Slip made a response where he lambastes virtually everyone who responded to my entry. Princess tried to make a conciliatory statement afterward, only to get further lambasted by both Slip and Grace. I was dropped from the Everwind group by Grace immediately afterward. I honestly can't say that my heart is broken by it. It seems that the two of them feel they have the right to castrate anyone who even expresses the mildest disappointment over how they handled the closing of Everwind to roleplay. I can understand anger, but theirs seems disproportionate to the crimes. Please do not lump my wife and friends into the same class as those who sent you hate notecards over Age Verification. To quote Slip, to put it quite bluntly, you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

And really, Grace, must I be spotless before I express disappointment over what someone has said? I freely admit that I am not spotless. No one is. I freely admit that I have faults. I have expressed them amply in many blog posts. I would detail them here, but I would be typing for many months and probably bore people quite to death after a while. The key is not in obtaining the impossible goal of spotlessness, but in freely admitting where we are flawed. To deny these flaws is to live in a delusion that may ultimately destroy us. But not to diplomatically express our honest feelings over what someone else has done that has hurt us would truly be to live as a victim, afraid of to say anything in fear of having one's own flaws, irrelevant to the case in quesiton, pointed out.

Anyway, those who are interested and not sensitive about being attacked are welcome to read over the comments they made. Slip desires it, and I don't wish any unhappiness upon either him or Grace.

Safe paths to all.

Anxiety and exhaustion

I was voted in as the new Head Cleric of Triskele last night, (eep eep Hurray!), and I almost immediately find myself falling behind. There is a LOT of work to do to try to build this guild into something worth being in. There are only 13 members in the guild at the moment, so support looks like it will be hard to come by. We don't have a building yet. I announced an All Cleric meeting for tomorrow night at 4pm SLT, but I'm not anticipating big attendance. I'm not even sure the announcement went out, as I never got it.

Somehow, within a month, I want to turn the Cleric's guild into a reasonably strong and self-sufficient union. Right now, it barely exists.

The Council meeting ran 'till 12:30 am last night, and I am exhausted today. My stress levels are high, and I don't think I've breathed in the last hour or so. This would have worked out SO much better had I been appointed at the beginning of the weekend instead of the end.

Oh well. It WILL be fun. Right now I'm just stressed about everything.

Choir tonight. Cleric's meeting tomorrow night. Pre-teen Thursday. Date night Friday. DART meeting Saturday. Sunday sleep--maybe. Cauldrons to script, gods to create, libraries to build, desks to clean, backups to catch up on, new buildings to advertise, new products to develop, diets to maintain, to-do lists to create, textures to work on...


/me slams head against table many times...

Ahhh...that's better....

/me collapses unconscious, a smile on his face.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Submitted for Head Cleric. Waiting on approval.

I've talked with the Triskele Queen, Leanne Jael, and with Destion, Triskele's regent, about my interest in becoming head cleric. They asked me to submit my plans for the guild, which I've included below. I've received positive feedback from Destion, Wren, and Malakyte. Nothing from the queen yet, but she won't be the one to make the decision anyway. I might not get approved until Monday because Destion will be out of world until then. That is the day of the next council meeting anyway.

The problem is is that I have time to do things NOW. I'm anxious to start setting up the guild building and to send out some group notices. I could do both of those now, but I'm not going to for political reasons. I want to wait for final approval so I don't step on anyone's toes.

Well, I guess I could be working on a guild texture. Anyway, here's draft 2 of my ideas.


The first priority for the Cleric’s guild will be to give the members a sense of purpose and activity. If we don’t address this issue immediately, our membership will drop.

In more developed sims, there was a constant call for clerics because people were constantly being injured. That does not seem to be the case here. Rather than hiring thugs to hurt people so we can heal them, we need to come up with other ways of dealing with this, and to make it apparent that clerics are there and what they are there for. This may involve “staging” role-plays at first. Perhaps an event where the queen gets sick, or a bunch of volunteers from either one or several races come down with a mysterious disease which the clerics must work furiously to find a cure for.

If all of this happens in a private area of the sim, where no one sees it, all of our efforts will be for naught. Triskele does not seem to have a “downtown”…that is, an area where all the players tend to congregate. If one of the taverns were moved to the Marketplace area near Triskele castle, it might encourage a congregation place. Baring this, the most central places are the tavern near Castle Zylamius, or the arenas, both of which are largely ooc. It should still be possible to create an IC event at one of these locations that will create murmurs.

I would also like to have a weekly meeting of ALL clerics and acolytes for at least the first month or so. Not only would this build a sense of community, but also it would bring the clerics together to combine minds and develop RPs NOW, when it is needed most. I want to have a completely structured guild within the first two months…preferably sooner. I will need a lot of buy in to reach this objective.

We also have to get the guild building furnished and signaged soon. I have a lot of furniture already built that I can just throw in there, but I’d like it to function as a hospital, a place for study and meditate, a place to meet, and a place for clerics to lay down and rest after a hard day’s healing of people. I’d like to have a picture of all the god symbols in one room that gives people a summary of the god associated with it.

Making the clerics stand out...
There is likely a lot that can be done with this, but the first idea that comes to mind is a monthly, generic festival. Something that ALL clerics (and the realm) can share. I see this as something like a giant bonfire, where the clerics all make pilgrimages to do something seen as worthy by their faith. Generically, this can be a donation (real or role-played) to charity (I’d like to find some real SL charities to give all donations too). Everyone in the realm would be invited of course, and they, too, would be invited to make pilgrimages and donations. While not pilgrimaging, people would be dancing, imbibing in special faith foods and drinks (I can see competitions growing around this), and in general be having a rowdy good time. DJs could be hired if we get enough cash inflow.

This monthly festival can be devoted to specific gods or belief if the individual faiths come up with a concept for a party they’d like to have.

Structure and ranks…
The highest ranking members of the guild will be the Speakers. Speakers are either leaders of the faiths or administrative. First Speaker will be the guild leader, Second Speaker will be his/her second. Ranking from this point downward will be determined by the player’s RP abilities as judged by the other speakers. The first speaker can also be a faith leader, as can the second speaker. Within each faith, there can also be a second.speaker of faith. This allows for multiple layers of redundancy.

After the speakers and their seconds, there will be full clerics, clerics, and acolytes. Non-Members must choose their alignment before they can become members. In order for this to be possible, a far clear description of each god must be made. People cannot base their alignment to faith based on the descriptions currently available.

When the First Speaker is unavailable, any of the other speakers can take the role and make decisions on the part of the guild. He/she will be equal in power to the First. My goal here is to build in multiple layers of redundancy so that, with luck, there will always be someone in world able to make executive decisions about the guild.

Promotions in rank…
I like the idea of having the promotions being quest oriented, but I’d like to make it so that the quests involve a little bit of role-play, or at the very least make the quest results give out instructional notecards as to how to do things at the rank you are questing for. I don’t want to have promotions based solely on how good you are at finding things, otherwise we’ll have a bunch of clerics who aren’t necessarily good at role-play.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

News flash: Head Cleric of Triskele steps down

Bri, the Head Cleric of Triskele, has resigned his role. At least that is how it was left this evening. I don't want to reveal too much here, but it sounds as if he would not be welcome back even if he tried. Stranger things have happened though when tempers cool.

The explosion happened over a new direction that the guild was given. Bri hated the idea, and I expect told the king exactly that in so many words. The new idea, I feel, needs some tweaking, but I think it has a basis from which we can build from.

Anyway, this leaves me with a decision to make. Do I step up to take the Head position? I'm pretty sure I would be welcomed if I do.

I was originally interested in the Head Cleric position. Bri seemed very interested in keeping the position, and was working to move things forward. Things were admittedly moving slowly, but then, there is a lot to do...

And I am not always Mr. Reliable and Speedy. It took a considerable number of pokes to get me to finish that shop. I had a great time building it, but I am often quite happy to sit back and let events take me where they will. I've taken on some large roles in the past, and have occassionally dropped the ball. Plus, my home life does not always make it easy to be in-world. Plus there are days when I just want to kick my feet up and diddle with the XBox. There are times when turning the brain off has a very high priority.

And no one in Second Life would know it, but I can be so damned shy sometimes. I'm afraid to approach people, and sometimes I think my shyness is taken for aloofness. Combine my shyness and my poor memory together, and it adds up to something pretty pathetic.

But then, it sounds like a challenge and potentially a lot of fun.


I'll probably end up doing it, but, to be honest, it's scaring the hell out of me.

Goodnight, and Good News.

Triskele Council

Because my RL animator had chorus tonight, I didn't get in world tonight until late. When I did get in world I was immediately nabbed by Malie to sit in as second at the council meeting in place of Bri. It was an interesting and long meeting, and I put in my 4 cents several times. The Queen stated at the end that she would like to have seconds at all the meetings.

Works for me. I really enjoyed watching how it all works behind the scenes. Next meeting is on Monday.

I managed to qqqqqqqqqqqqa Q1

(16 hours later...)

Well, I don't remember what I managed to do because I fell asleep at the keyboard again. I have a bit of a cold and the cold medicine does a number on me.

Anyway, I got an invitation to the Triskele council group this afternoon. I will officially be a member of the council when I log in next time. There will be a cleric's meeting either today or tomorrow evening. Some good ideas were presented by Stormy and Chance (ex-drow King and Queen of Everwind) regarding the cleric's guild.

Gotta get back to doing whatever it is I do around here. Love, peace, and Coca-Cola to everyone. Later.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Master Peck's Home Branch Relocated

After spending one day building a completely new shop, and another evening of moving merchandise, I have successfully changed location's for Master Peck's home store. The Faeria store is now in the new market square, freeing Mykyl up to proceed to the next step of her master plan, which, I believe, involves tearing down the old store and relocated the pub to that location.

The new store has a layout I'm satisfied with, but it still seems to be a bit dark. I'm thinking of putting down a lighter wood for the floor. I also still need to put in an updated visitor counter/greeter and twiddle with the way that some of my benches sell. AND I still need to update the location for the store in SLExchange. Oh, and I have to put an updated landmark in all my for sale items. And remove the old store from the Cataporter.

Beyond that, it's ready, not counting all the things I have to do that I've forgotten about. Just another evening's worth of work that may take a week or two. Sigh.

The Princess still needs to move some of her items from the old store area. Beyond that, it's vacant. She is going to set up her items to the right of the new store in a little outdoor garden shop.

She is also anxious to start setting up her new gallery on the second floor of the Master Peck building. The second floor is somewhat brighter and more modern than the first. Some of her most recent photos have been amazing. The child who will soon be formerly known as teenager has been doing a bit of post production work for her, making her original concepts sparkle. She definitely has an eye for photography. She just needs it pointed out to her from time to time.

Regardless of the state of Master Peck's, I need to spend some serious time in Triskele. Cleric stuff is stacking up, and we need to start a recruitment drive. Not enough Odinites yet, and the other faiths are similarly dry. Action. Adventure. Other stuff. All of it awaits the Cleric's Guild. Bri wants my help decorating the new guild building, and I really want to start building the new hud, as well as the gadgets and gizmos o f the guild. We're going to need some sacred trinkets and whatnot. I still need to develop the symbol of Odin. Lot's of fun stuff.

Goodnight, my friends. Hugs and or affectionate squeezes to any and all who need them.

Friday, January 11, 2008

My animator is an idiot

I only spent a brief amount of time in-world today, although I would have liked to have spent more. Too tired to sit at the main computer, so my animator chose to use the laptop instead, which can't run SL. I was still able to comment on blogs and post the the Triskele forum (if you're a Triskelion and you haven't joined the forum yet, please do so. It is a great way of passing information around. The address is Unlike Everwind, the guilds and races are only visible to those who belong to those guilds and races, so it's not as easy to see what the rogues are up to, for example. It is still very cool, and a great way to set up RPs without having to meet in-world. One of its detractions, unfortunately, is that you don't have to meet in-world to set these things up. The damned convenience of the Internet messing with our lives again.

Bri made a draft of Cleric spells, and, while I like it for the most part, I will have some comments to make. I'm just not quite sure what they are yet.

Oh, the Princess wanted me to mention something about our wonderful life. It is blissful and wonderful. What else is there to say. :)

My animator is going to be spending time tomorrow getting Christmas and birthday gifts which will be of no use to me whatsoever, unless he gets an extra gig of memory for his computer. He will spend the day living his dumb life while I sleep with the servers. Nice buddy. After all I've done for you.

The hog kept me out of world for most of yesterday because he ate like an idiot. He went out with one of his children, had a big meal plus desert, and then spent another hour or so with his other child (so she wouldn't feel neglected) eating a bowl of chili and more desert. It was a pleasant but extremely fulfilling evening for him, but likewise a quite miserable night. My sympathy for him knows no bounds.

Oh well. I shan't be around today unless he gets back from his party early. I will see you all when I can. Have a great day.

A Song dedicated to eating way to much

Fat, fat, fat.
Oh, I'm so magnificently grotesquely fat.
Two deserts tonight, how about that?
Stuffing my face with chocolate malts in a vat
and Ice Cream Fudge cakes. I must stop stat.
And get down to digest by laying flat.
Oh Lord, I feel so frackin' fat!

La la la
boom boom
la la la la
boom boom

Food, food, food.
Oh, I ate way to much freaking' food.
Any more and much dinner would have spewed.
And it would have made me seem so rude
Blowing chunks I barely chewed
Not keeping them in can come out so crude
Oh Lord, help me keep in all this food.

La la la
boom boom
la la la la
boom boom
tubba tubba toom

And now I digest, 'cause my body screamz
for sleep I need. Sleep and dreams.

La la la
boom boom
la la la la

bleah erp! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


[RL]Happy Birthday to me.


I've had better birthdays. My mother got my age wrong. (Just a year off, but still). I insisted that my wife go to book club tonight, and I didn't even go in-world to talk to any of my friends. I had to work today and had two meetings. I'll admit that my Disaster Preparedness committee meeting went really well. The group of people I selected for the committee are generally classified as "misfits." Nevertheless, the group mix is right and we get to talk about how to survive the worst, which puts things in perspective. Discussing the possibility of having toxic spills outside our doors makes Circulations' inability to deliver magazines to the third floor seem rather inconsequential. Paranoia is encouraged, and our occasional diversions into bubonic plague and locusts do a lot to lighten the mood. Amazingly, Disaster Prep. is by far the most enjoyable committee I run. Who'd a thunk it?

Anyway, I ended up home alone eating a pizza roll while playing a game on the Xbox, and I have to say it wasn't really as fun as it sounds. We've just decided to celebrate my birthday on a different day. I'll survive.

I got extra sleep yesterday, but it still didn't help much this morning and I ended up getting up an hour after my alarm went off. This left me no SL time, so no work/play got done that I wanted to get done.

[SL]One of my first priorities for Triskele is going to have to be developing a cleric hud. The basics of the hud are simple. What I'd like though is some way to add particle effects to the spells. Particle effects are not easy--at least I've never found them to be--and even the simple ones I need for these spells intimidate me. On the other hand, if I do manage to perfect these particle spells, it will open a whole new particle based world for me. The other thing I have to worry about is making sure that the hud interacts with the Triskele meter, but I would bet that those protocols are rather standard. I shan't worry about them overly muchly.

I still have to contact the guard leader so I can get the festival set up. Tomorrow is another day.

Another post where I end with the words, "I'm tired." Birthday congratulations are not expected but will be gratefully accepted. Birthday hugs for those that need extra special hugs today. Good e'en.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Headaches and not enough sleep

I've been staying up too late, and while I'm mostly fine, my animator has been having a tough time of it. So I decided to turn in a little early tonight. He needs to get his eight hours a night, and I'm selfish to try to keep him from this. We both do better when he gets enough sleep. So I get to spend more time with the dust buggies in the servers. I'm not at all resentful, except when I am.

Because my animator had choir I barely had any time to spend in world at all this evening. I planned to spend some time updating my festival to make it more Castan friendly, but Bri caught me to show me the progress on the new cleric's tower. I had a headache and I finally had to peace out and lie down. I'll finish the rewrite in the morning.

Odin, as has been said, is a complex god with a lot of rich history. Whether he is a good guy or a bad guy is theoretically up in the air. Fortunately, I'm too worried about creating a historically accurate Odin. I do plan do research him heavily (I have to remember to check to see if the library has a book), but I plan to use the information I learn to pick and choose the legends that turn Odin into the god I want him to be. I want an Odin that keeps my values and is fun in role-play. In other words, I'll be using artistic license with him. And what's more, I doubt that there is really going to be anyone out there who will say that my version of Odin is not an accurate version. If anyone does, tough cookies.

My animators ears are ringing worse than ever, and he finally got over what ever block he had and made an appointment with his doctor on Friday. Hopefully its just some wax that can be cleared with an aurel equivalent of a sand blaster. If not, well, hopefully there is some other way of dealing with it. The ringing is driving him nuts

I joined my first member to the guild today...I just wish there was a more complete pantheon to pass around. Oh well, the earth wasn't created in a day, and it's silly to expect the gods to be created in one also.

The fall of Everwind has created repercussions throughout the RP world of SL. The sudden influx of new members has revitalized several other RP sims. Grace sent out yet another "clarification" today that basically did nothing but reinforce my feelings toward her. She really doesn't seem to get it, and just because you close a harsh statement with a :) doesn't make the statement any less harsh, at least sometimes.

Oh well. I just fell aslea with a laptop in my animator's laap again. Very sleepy. Night night.

Alphonsus Peck -- Speaker for Odin

In Triskele, Castan had become Tyr, and Tyr has now become Odin. It seems that the Guardians were already worshiping Odin, so Odin has become part of the Triskele Pantheon.

Unlike Castan, Odin, for those who don't already know it, is based on a real pagan god. ( Odin is considered the chief god in Norse mythology. He is considered the god of wisdom, war, battle and death. He is also attested as being a god of magic, poetry, prophecy, victory and the hunt. He is depicted at a stragely haired, one-eyed warrior, having given up his eye to obtain wisdom. He had a team of hot battle chicks (Valkyries) who went out to retrieve worthy warriors after battle.

Odin, therefore, is not entirely Castan-like. Still, he is a major god who could quite possible have been the god of my ancestors. Honor and valor could certainly be attributed to him, but not quite honesty. Cunning was more Odin't style, and he didn't mind resorting to a bit of cleaver trickery to achieve his ends. Odin is a seriously cool god whom I have no trouble standing behind.

I plan to put a slightly nicer face on Odin, but I suspect that the god knew how to party. I plan to update the Castan festival to make it a bit wilder and Odin like. Odin already as a cool enough symbol that can be readily adapted to SL--three interlinking triangles. I'm going to miss the gold lion, but at least this is a symbol I can build easily myself.

I had a nice long talk with Bri tonight, and I'll need to talk to a large, muscular dude by the name of Cult tomorrow. He is the chief of the Guardians, and I'm going to run all my festival ideas past him. Bri has already approved them.

Wren is now the Speaker for the goddess of nature (whose name I can't recall at the moment). I need to try to help Bri come up with a good symbol for the Triskele cleric's guild, perhaps a Celtic cross? I'm hoping I can talk Alpha into letting me have a copy of one of her crosses. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm also going to take the freebie dracula cape and see if I can mod it to work with to work as cloaks for our higher level acolytes. We can color it as necessary and add the god's symbol to it. Lots of work to do, but lots of fun to do it.

Odin be with you all. What ever struggles you face, fight them heroicly, and you too will earn a place in Valhalla. Lots of good food, lots of Valkyries or warriors (depending on your gender preferences), and lots of rowdy fun. I can think of worse ploaces to be.

Monday, January 7, 2008

My Religious Beliefs with a Brief Mention of Pizza

Others have been posting there religious beliefs online, and as I was just appointed the official Second Cleric in Triskele, I feel it is perhaps time to share what I believe.

I was born and raised with absolutely no religion in my life. Religion was not so much ridiculed as it was ignored. The closest religious experiences I had while young were reading Genesis in hotel rooms when I was bored, and occasionally watching televangelists, at whom my father bestowed ridicule and my brother would giggle at insanely. When I once asked my mother what religion I was for the purpose of filling out a form, she said, “I don’t know, probably Lutheran. That’s what your father’s parents are.”

Having no religion made me an oddity among my peers, and from time to time they would talk about things utterly foreign to my little world. Eventually as I grew older and was able understand the concepts a little better, I became fascinated by the whole religious thing, and remain so to this day.

The term that would best describe me is Militant Spiritual Agnostic, and I am currently as close to being Christian as I am ever likely to be. My full beliefs could only be described in chapters rather than paragraphs, but I generally hold that if God exists, and if God created the universe, then, if God were fair, he would have written his commandments and wishes for us into the nature of the universe itself. The more we study and learn by the principles that the universe teaches us, the more we would follow God’s plan.

Of course, the main statement has 3 ifs and makes a rather large assumption the issue of fairness from a Godly perspective. My current “Christian” leanings are due to debatable biblical evidence that Yeshuwa’s life was prophesied from the Old Testament, a document that was finished being written at least 300 years before Christ’s birth.

I believe that fundamentally most religions are positive forces which are frequently very corrupted by bad people to excuse unspeakable things.

I do not, however, hold that all religions and beliefs are equally valid, as some are more clearly full of crap than others. I believe in crystals, as they are great in salt shakers. Astrology is likewise great for giggles in the morning paper. Psychics are sometimes people unusually tuned to making assessments of people at a glance and can be good at giving common sense advice. At other times they are great for helping relieve the problems of people who have too much money but don’t have the brains to keep it.

How Scientology even managed to get itself qualified as a religion is testament to L. Ron Hubbard’s creativity. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is pasta it’s prime. I strongly object to any religion that advocates the wholesale extermination of those who don’t believe it as I would be one of those exterminated and I’m a nice guy. As for those religions who advocate exterminating themselves, well, Darwin works in mysterious ways.

The most compelling evidence for the existence of God is pizza. That such a perfect food could be created without divine intervention is beyond reason.

Safety and love to everyone. Hugs to those who want or need them.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Another try

Bri, the head of the Cleric's guild of Triskele, did not seem to come in-world today. I had a meeting with Malakyte and Wren this evening and we discussed the future of the guild. We looked over the the draft of the gods notes that he left and discussed what we would do with them. While nine gods are currently listed, we think that six would be much more managable, and we decided that it would be best if I made an effort to become assisstant rather than to try to take over the guild. Winkie, head of the Mage's guild, and Snowblind, the dragon regent, both joined us later, and they both support me in my bid to become Second Cleric. At the very least I could add new members to the guild, which is something that hasn't been done for a while. One way or another something will happen tomorrow. I'm not trying to get people into trouble or to try for a overthrow of power. It's just role play. I just want to make sure that people can play as they want to.

While I missed PHC tonight, I did hear about the experience through the Princess, and I could hear Hestia talking about it as well. Lots of dancing, apparently. I did do some dancing in the Dark Queen's tavern and had a wonderful time. Tink tried to set me up with a mermaid who wore a very minuscule amount of clothing. I did some obligatory ogling, blushing, and vanishing, but in the end it amounted to just some fun. I kept hoping the Princess would come over wearing her camo silks, but she seemed continually distracted in her shopping. Still, it was good to meet people and make more friends.

The Princess spent a good portion of the day trying to get a green photograph of herself, and I spent a good portion of the day trying to help her. She ended up in quite a fetching shade of green, and between the two of us we managed to figure out Photoshop enough to crop it properly. I have to be honest...I've rarely seen a more counter intuitive program that Photoshop. I've tried to be open minded about it, but I still can't figure out some of the simplest things after trying to figure out how to use it for more than a year. I can get things done in Paint Shop Pro in a tenth of the time. Am I unique in having problems with Photoshop?

Nothing deep and insightful tonight. I feel pretty good tonight, but tomorrow the Princess has to give my animator a haircut or I'll be forced to wear a paper bag to work from now on. Safety and light and safe paths and fly the friendly skies and all that. Hugs to anyone who wants or needs one. Peace out.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Sigh...The Head Cleric returns

I make this big grandios post about taking over has the head of Cleric's Guild, and an hour later the current head makes an announcement about all the things she is doing. Oh well. Strike that last post. I'm going to see what I can do to help.

(It's early, but Alphonsus wanders down to the pub for a mug of ale anyway.)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Head Cleric of Triskele

I have been asked by Winkie, who is now the head of the Mages in Triskele, if I would like to take on the role of head cleric. The current head has been AWOL for almost two weeks now. There are clerics wandering throughout the land without any leadership or even anyone to make them a guild member.

And, while I said that I would sleep on it, I also said that the answer will most likely be yes.

I've consulted with the Princess, and she has given her consent. This will be an admistrative position. I will be a member of the Triskele council. The Cleric's Guild of Triskele currently has almost no structure whatsoever. I will be responsible for seeing that one is made. I will, of course, be relying heavily on the work that was done in Everwind to build that structure.

Triskele has a different basis than Everwind though. Everwind was very much D&D based. Triskele is not. Triskele is medival, and based on druid and celtic legends (I think...I have a lot of learning to do). The gods will not transfer directly, and I may need to do some tweaking.

I will also be working in close cooperation with the mages. And I hope beyond hope that the speakers for the gods for Everwind will be there to lend me a hand. Wren? I need you. Malakyte? I know you're busy, but any advice you can throw me would be appreciated.

I'm going under the assumption that I will be accepted as the head, but knowing that kings and queens can toss fire on you at random moments leaves me a little apprenhensive.

I am an administrator in real life, and not a bad one, if I do say so myself. I must admit, however, that I am a bit nervous about accepting the responsibilty and then dropping the ball. That is why I need a reliable team as backup. I intend to assure that there is more than one person who can hand out title changes. For a while, things are going to be crazy.

Triskele is more relaxed than Everwind. I'd like to keep it that way. This is about having fun, first and foremost. But being a cleric can give one a great deal of personal satisfaction. I would like all of the Acolytes and clerics to be able to experience this satisfaction, and have a good time doing it. head of the clerics of Triskele, I wonder if I can declare myself Pope? I suppose not. That name is already taken for use in some other religion.

Peace out. Hugs to everyone who wants or needs one, whether you are brave enough to ask for one or not.

The Last Anxiety-Ridden Post

This morning, after a horible night's sleep, I had vague recolections about writing something last night. Having just re-read the experience, I have been debating whether to keep it there or not. I've decided to let it stay if only for my own reasons as oppossed to meeting the needs of anyone else. It's a bit stark and not terribly well written (I'm leaving in the typos as is, although the spelling errors are forever gone), but it is an honest recording of a moment in my life, so I've decided to let it stay.

Anxiety is an issue with which I have struggled most of my life. It is one of the reasons, I suspect, that I've developed the calm demeaner that I have. I try to remain calm on the exterior to help calm myself on the interior. Even so, it can still be debilitating. Staying calm on the outside sometimes requires that I burry my head in the sand, losing myself in videogames or other mind-numbing activities as simply a way to keep the anxiety at bay. It does not always lead to being a very productive person, unfortunately.

My rational mind, fortunately or unfortunately, is not often affected by the anxiety. It is fortunate in the sense that I can still sound reasonable and calm under the worst of circumstances. It is unfortunate in that I am fully well aware that I AM burying my head in the sand. My efforts to keep my anxiety at bay lead to a considerable loss of productivity. There are medications and they do help, but I find that they are more likely to produce a state in which I simply don't CARE that I'm not being productive. Either way I find myself in a constant state of doing nothing, and either being anxious about it or not caring.

This is not a new insight for me as I've had it before and forgotten about it. I'm hoping this blog entry will serve as a reminder. Sorry to trouble y'all with my inner demons. I promise I will be back to writing Second Life related stuff again tomorrow.

Hugs to anyone who wants or needs one.

An Exploration of Anxiety

[RL] As I write this, my body has broken out into a cold sweat. My hands are shaking, my teeth are clenching, my eyes are tearing involuntarily, and my thoughts are racing at several dozen miles/kilometers per minute.

It is, I believe, an anxiety attack, brought on for no discernible reason, are at least no reason that I can discern. They happen to me from time to time. The fact that I can write with apparent level-headedness is testament to something. Nevertheless, from the point of view of where my mind is right now, it feels anything but level headed.

I feel an overwhelming temptation to let my writing explode, although what explosive writing actually means I'm not quite sure. I won't give into the temptation, so we won't have the opportunity to find out here. I am actually making myself write calmly right now in an effort to get my thoughts and mind and body under control. So far it is not working.

Where does all this energy come from? Where does it go when it dissipates? The law of conservation of energy must apply. A big expenditure of energy here will likely be followed by exhaustion.

Ah, there we go. It's backing off now. I was also holding my breath. I can tell now because I've just started breathing again. My body is still sweaty an cold...I need to cover up. But my teeth have unclenched, my eyes feel normal, and my hands feel calmer and steadier. My thoughts are slowing down to a normal pace. At this time of night I expect exhaustion to follow very quickly.

I don't recall ever writing a blog entry in mid attack. Thank you all for spending some time with me and listening, and offering comfort where you could. You may not remember being here, but let me assure you that you were. I really do appreciate it.

And now I feel irresistible sleepiness, as well as a slight touch of a headache in my left eye. Oh well...gotta work tomorrow so I need some shuteye. I could explore the experience more, but if I don't post now I'll fall asleep mid word.

Peace out. Hugs to any who want or need them.

P.S. The spelling on the first half of this post was noticeably worse than it was on the back half. This is probably important for some reason that might only interest a linguist or a psychologist. Whatever. We everyone tomorrow.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Place of Solace

I do not know what is the light.
The vision’s darkened from my sight.
The quest to tell what’s wrong or right
is always hard for me.

Black and white, alive and dead;
the difference clear within my head.
But gray is gray when all is said.
The shades all mixed by me

A thousand minds speak now aloud--
a thousand dreams among the crowd--
a thousand thousand opinions loud
all seek to confound me.

A final place I go to seek.
A place of solace from havoc wreaked.
I’ll go alone and quiet and meek
if none will accompany me.

But I seek not to go alone
but to take souls with me to my new home,
And a shattered soul of broken stone,
if it wants to stay with me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Best Pixel

“Use what talent you possess - the woods would be very silent
if no birds sang except those that sang best.”
Henry Van Dyke

As those of you who know me reasonably well may have already guessed, I am not a perfectionist. I am, by nature, lazy, and I use my brain to come up with ways to do the absolute minimum work possible to get the job done. If this means duct tape and coat hangers, then duct tape and coat hangers it is.

One example of this is the way I provided power to our dishwasher in our home. Our kitchen is very small, and all the the electrical outlets were on the same circuit. Runing the dishwasher meant that no other appliances in the kitchen could be run at the same time. Also, none of the outlets were convenient.

So I fixed it the simple way--I just drilled a hole through the floor using a 1 inch spade bit and shoved an orange extension cord through to a basement power supply. The dishwasher is now run off a seperate circuit, and all is right in my little world as I don't have to figure out the mysteries of sophistcated electrical wiring.

Nevertheless, there is something about the human/avatar ego within me that still wants to be "the best" from time to time. I may be lazy, but I am also competetive. When I write something to submit for a writing contest, I want it to be "the best" entry. Otherwise why bother? Same with my paintings, I suspect. I look at works of art so far beyond me that, again, I wonder why should I even try? And then my laziness grabs me and then the answer becomes simple. I don't try.

The fact that I'm not the best in my community chorus doesn't seem to bother me however. I am just now getting to the point where I can sight read a little, and I've heard other voices among me that put mine to shame. I am fully aware that I will never be the best singer, but somehow that doesn't matter very much. I'm just there to have fun and to tone what little laughable talent I have to become a little better each year.

Life isn't a contest where only the best may qualify. It is a more like a digital movie screen, where each pixel in itself can't be aware of it's overall importance to the show. My monitor has one pixel which is defective--it essentially isn't there. It is amazing how noticible the absense of this single pixel is. It would not be "the best" pixel should it miraculously fix itself, but it would be a welcome addition to the overall picture.

Each of us is more important than that single pixel. Imagine what we leave out when we don't try just because we can't be "the best."

The lesson here is that we shouldn't worry about being the best pixel in this new year. Just make the effort to "be." This is a lesson that I must work very hard at myself. But as resolutions go, it is a simple one. It appeals to the lazy part of me.

Be well my friends. And special hugs to any who want or need them.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Wild New Year's Parties and Weddings

Happy New Year, Everyone!!

I think that by the time that this posts most of the world will have gotten their New Years over with. We are currently experiencing a major nice a way to start the new year off as any, I guess. I hope that there aren't too many accidents, and that "The weather outside is frightful..." philosophy takes hold and people don't travel. There could be a big baby boom on September 1st this year, if all goes well.

Me, Princess, Wildstar, and Mykyl had a wild New Year's party, with party hats and dancing. The rest of the dance club was empty, but the four of us really whooped it up. Yup. Party Hats. Ball Room dancing. 80s music.

Yup. Wild party. Yup.

Anyway, you all have read my posts about a HAPPY freakin' New Year, and if you haven't, read them now. Ignorance of the rules is no excuse. I mean it!!!!!

/me forms a storm cloud over his head, and lighting strikes.

/me's hair catches on fire as the lightning bolt conveniently strikes the tallest thing in it's range.


/me whimpers for about 5 minutes, burying his head in the snow to put out the fire.

Anyway, I have some exciting news. I, as the head Cleric of Castan, have been asked to officiate at my first Second Life wedding. I immediately said yes. I'm not at liberty to reveal who the couple is, as I don't think they've made an official announcement yet, but I will say that both of them are very good friends of mine and I couldn't be happier about it.

And of course, I, being the angst ridden, do-gooder that I am, have to analyze what the Second Life marriage is and what I want to be able to do for a wedding and what to say.

The Second Life marriage is far more volatile than a real life marriage, if that is possible. There are so many more opportunities to hide things from each other, so many temptations, so little to lose should the marriage explode. I know I can make a meaningful ceremony, but I don't want to waste my time if the participants do not feel the meaning. Am I taking it too seriously? I don't know. What does my readership think?

The commitments, the words spoken, mean something. They are not just babble. They are one of the most serious commitments that the average human will make. I can't do this if it is just a "game" to the either one of parties involved. Whether the god I worship is called Castan or any other name, the principles upheld by what he represents mean a great deal to me. I am far from a perfect representative for him, and I make mistakes, but his are the principles that I hold dear: truth and honor being the most important of them.

And is it hypocrisy that I perform a marriage as a role-play cleric who is in no way qualified, in reality, to do so? A Librarian will marry them, for God's sake.

None of the principles matter too much, I suppose, because I intend to perform the ceremony regardless. I guess that I hope that their answers to certain questions meet with my satisfaction. I am a role-play cleric, but marriage, in Real or Second life, is not role-play. The emotional pain caused by dishonesty or deception is very, very real. Breakups in SL can be just as emotionally traumatic in SL as in RL, and because SL time is at least three times the speed of time, they can hit with particular intensity.

Anyway, I am seriously excited by it. I'll have to do a little research...I want to do it well, but I am really looking forward to it.

Peace out, everyone. And hugs to everyone who needs one or wants one.