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I’ve written an article giving my background and what I think of OlderCitizens blogging. Trying to get it published, here it is: Any age can learn to blog and chat about sl which I do. The video at the end  is filmed with two avatars dancing on a record. . I will be publishing an sl post soon. I will be spreading the word to older citizens. Please comment I need the feedback.

Older Citizens Blogging

About

The purpose of this hub is to get noticed. As an older citizen I feel marginalised as so many other older citizens do. The purpose of my teaching blog is to help older citizens have a voice. I am 67 years old and feel in many ways to be in my prime.

Spammy?

I write domains as “example dot com” when I want to tell people of a site where there is no need for a link. We sub vocalise when we read which is a memory aid. Of course when we say a web address this is how we say it. It is appropriate when an html link is not appropriate. My first gTLD (global top level domain) is IrishSecure dot com and I have had it since 1998. You can visit it if you like but there is no need for a link. There is also the practice in some platforms and blogs that if you put in example.com it automatically becomes a clickable link. Maybe its idiosyncratic but there seems to be no research on how to remember a web address? It would be easy to set up an experiment to test my theory. Give one group a list of web addresses with words example dot com and the control group example.com and see who remembers more.

Experience

I have an honours science degree in Psychology and I am a trained counsellor. I have a masters degree in Social Work. I worked as a Probation Officer for ten years in inner city high crime patch in London. I had 3 murderers on my caseload. I set up and ran an alcohol abuse training course that the courts could sentence to. I did 14 hour shifts in a secure bail hostel on my own. For two years. My reports were used to train magistrates.

I have been around the world, mostly overland. It took ten years. I went to India via the Nile…true story!

I am bipolar.

I have survived lung cancer.

Computing

I had my first computer in 1981. In 1986 I helped programme and install a networked touch sensitive computer system for Manpower Services Commission a British government body to access a database, in real time, of job vacancies nationwide. In those days the “computer scientists” in MSC were a bunch of psychologists, the only ones to understand the system. It is now (?) used in every job centre in England well that was in the days of MSC now gone *sigh*.

In 1994 I built my first PC from scratch. In 1996 I set us up as an ISP (Internet Service Provider) with two web servers and two name servers which were built from scrap. We had a Silicon Graphics work station as used by NASA to control the Mars lander. In 2000 we offered secure wireless Internet access to the whole town of Tullamore in Ireland. In 2006 we went bust through lack of support and repercussions of the dot com crash.

My YouTube channel which I set up in 2008 has had over 100k views and there are over 400 videos. I have published over 80 documents on Scribd (not written by me) which have had over 60k views. My major sites have a library of select books all out of print copies I have found, including James Joyce Ulysses, Moby Dick etc. available to read online or download. It’s on this site too as I love it so.  My blogs have over 6k subscribers.

Currently I operate a rented web server and name servers and have 25 gTLDs and untold WordPress blogs. The blog linked below took a week to set up including content.

I know what I am doing.

If you don’t blow your own trumpet will someone else? Older Citizens should have a voice, my aim is to give them one.

Our brains still work

“The good news is that far from slowing down in old age, the brain can actually keep growing new dendrites, which are the connections between neurons. Old brains are as plastic as young brains; in fact, the connections between the two hemispheres of our brains become better integrated with age……”

Dr. Natash Josefowitz “On becoming 90” Huffington Post

Yet there are some failings as Dr.Josefowitz points out in the excellent article. I find, myself, memories of 50 or more years ago can be quite fresh but I forget the password I created 5 minutes ago AND I am only 67. I use sticky notes on my computer to remember stuff. So clearly things aren’t perfect. However it doesn’t stop me. My email box is littered with “password reset” notices. No big deal. This has been recognised by the powers that be and I can log on using a one click Facebook login.

You can teach an old dog new tricks

I blog a lot and I find it keeps my brain ticking over nicely. I learn new stuff everyday and the important bits I retain. So the idea that learning stops at a certain age is a fallacy. So with this in mind I decided to teach blogging to older citizens and that it can be done. There is a noticeable lack of older citizens blogging and this needs changing. It helps greatly that with a computer and access to the Internet this is not difficult. It could be done in a library, It takes minutes to set up a wordpress blog. When you are in wordpress dot com “If it doesn’t exist register it” . How Zen! People use their name which makes it easy to remember. Given that there are there are approximately over 150 million blogs on the Internet getting a name may pose some problems however marionjwinslow for example or billwatkinssuperblog are probably available. Just need a bit of imagination.

Capitals are ok

The web treats capitals as lower case so when you are writing the name of your blog you can write it as MarionJWilson or BillsSuperBlog which makes it that more memorable when people read it. They don’t have to write it in capitals as a link BUT IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE! So be imaginative and you can write a short but memorable sentence. MaybeOldButWhoCares is a potential blog address, it is memorable and that is the important thing. When chatting with friends you can say “MaybeOldButWhoCares dot wordpress dot com” and they will remember it. (By the way the teaching blog I have set up on wordpress is 100% free and there is no reason to spend any money).

Imagination

So I registered it. Any Older Citizen who wants it let me know in the comments and I'll give them a login

 So I registered it. Any Older Citizen who wants it let me know in the comments and I’ll give them a login

Research

After an extensive trawl I can find no research that has investigated cognition and blogging in the older citizen. Nor the potential impact on feelings of isolation and exclusion. Nor on the potential impact on family life. If a persons mother starts putting up pictures of when they were a child or writing about a holiday they had in 1965; anything that gives the son or daughter an historical perspective will bring families closer.

I have a very old family album which goes back to 1949 – 1952 and I used my camera phone to take a picture of the photograph. I then uploaded it to my computer and added it to my blog. Any family picture can be put in a blog.

A free wordpress blog is there in perpetuity not so people. If you have left a blog as a legacy how uplifting it can be. There needs to be research on the impact of blogging on mood. As the population ages, older citizens are a potential resource that shouldn’t be ignored.

Me and Mum 1949

 

The good old days

I read an interesting article on Facebook by an 86 year old who was lamenting the passing of an age in England that was post WW2 a time of the creation of free health care, a boom in affordable housing, education blossoming and freely available work. Its on my blog. After watching I, Daniel Blake it makes you wonder about the value we put on citizens today. Older citizens can take the values of yesterday and resurrect them for today’s generation and demand a return to things we hold dear. Compassion and honesty being the watch words. Daniel Blake received no compassion.

Older Citizens on WordPress

So I have set up a teaching blog for getting older citizens blogging. I have used video extensively with text support; a complimentary oldercitizens dot com and a quick start dot org. I am in the process of propagating it globally (why not?) and have plans to set up complimentary country sub domains on the dot com. It took me a week to set up the three sites including content so not much reaction yet. This is a free service not a business. No profit is being asked for nor made. Below is a video I made for adding your first post. Please watch full screen.

First Post

The Blog

There are four main sections to get you started

  1. Setting up and registering your blog
  2. Your first post
  3. Inserting an image and embedding a video
  4. Changing the theme

There are also sundry pages:

  • Contact
  • Useful Programs including the free Microsoft Expression Design image editor
  • A page on Widgets
  • And a Library of books (pdfs for online reading or download) which I love and put on all my sites including this one.
  • About Me

Yes a weeks work indeed…..

High hopes

This may take some time but having retired I have time, its a hobby as well as I hope a valued service. Getting noticed on the Internet is not easy and I know this. I put up my first web page in 1996 (its still there in Archives) and during a five year period as an ISP (Internet Service Provider) I am no stranger to the web. I rent my own web server and name servers so I know what I’m doing. The cost is minimal, a few Euro a week. What I am doing now is spreading the word so please visit the site leave a comment or fill out the form provided. I need feedback so I can improve. Nothing is set in stone and I will respond to both criticism and praise but I have high hopes. Hope you enjoyed this hub, there is a poll……

 

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The University Cat

The University Cat: A Tale for Grown Ups and Graduates

A new book from Jessika Jenvieve

The University Cat  Red Q

Click on the link below to buy. A damn good read!!

The University Cat : A Tale for Grown Ups and Graduates

Gargoyles are said to frighten off harmful spirits and protect the buildings they guard. They nicely embodied the concept of evil, and those approaching the University’s gothic splendour at night are advised to use caution. If you think that a Gargoyle is simply made of stone, you are terribly mistaken.

Penny, the super intelligent, well-educated Siamese cat moves into Professor Eagle’s office and sinks her claws into the soft, exquisite calfskin binding of his books. The Gargoyles have her firmly fixed in their sights.

There are terrifying times to come in the University Museum and a wicked plot to prevent Professor Poppett and Poodle from winning the Dog Show. If you thought it was safe to go to University, you might need to think again.

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Tails From The Cat Shop Special Offer

TAILS FROM THE CAT SHOP
COUNTDOWN DEAL (USA Only)
6 to 12 June 2014
Buy for a limited time special discount
Follow this link:

http://www.amazon.com/TAILS-CAT-SHOP-Jessika-Jenvieve-ebook/dp/B00IFRFR7G

 

 

bookFantasy meets Reality in Cyberspace, in a world where our online and offline experiences, friendships and even, our identities are excitingly entangled. Avatars are extensions of us, leading lives parallel to our own dull everyday existence. Having a Virtual Life sets you free to dream and some dreams do come true.

Meet the Divine Penny, the Italian-speaking Siamese cat, with the delicate chocolate paws, and find out if Professor Poppett’s poodle recovers from ‘indoor barking syndrome’. Go on an adventure in the alligator infested bayou to hunt for the Golden Kitten and find out why love always wins the day.

 

 

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Happy Birthday My Storm

happy-birthday-1893

Hey Its your Birthday! A day to celebrate your days on the plant! Hope you treat yourself to something nice. You have changed my life ( for the better- lol) Hope you have a wonderful day.

Much Love

Dude / Philip

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Great, I’ll try and meet you in sl

06670f0a-d96d-4537-bcef-7c4a7fe0a6ddI’m still trying to put together my first year in second life but i haven’t been able to get my head around it coz i keep crashing in sl. So far I have spent €250 trying to sort it out. I have had a great deal of support from friends in sl especially from my DJ Siani she came up with great ideas. My gf Storm has been great too. We finally nailed it down to getting a more powerful graphics card. However I know there is another problem but can’t for the life of me find it. My whole computer freezes while in second life. I borrowed this card and I seem to be able to last 5 hours which is great. BUT I still freeze. What has saved my sanity is Skype which has enabled me to stay in touch. Skype is great. My gf lives in Sydney I live in The Bog of Allen in Ireland. We communicate with text and video seamlessly. And of course it is free. Most of the testing programs I have used have been free. I have a Dell and on Dell.com (not Dell.ie) there is a diagnostic program which tests hardware. About a year ago I had the same problem which turned out to be memory. I’ve run a memory program from boot that found nothing. I have lost a great deal of data that couldn’t be backed up such as 200 odd very nice fonts. Also GodKnows.info was destroyed by spammers. Not my month is it? Computers are logical beasts so presumably there is a logical solution. However what happens when you have tried all the logical solutions? Waving incense over the hard disk? The odd mantra being repeated? I dunno . So,  Great I’ll try and meet you in sl….

Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum Om Mani Padme Hum

AND THIS TO YOU FAULT:

tongue

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A Bundle Of Pixels

jiselleinfoGetting a virtual pet in second life is quite a remarkable experience.  You go to the shop and choose your pet, in this case a cat.You can see the genealogy of your cat. Opposite are the details taken when she (!) was three days old. The “birth” is an experience in itself. You buy a box with your kitty in it and rezz it. You have to wait 15 minutes and you are presented with a dialogue such as ” Your kitty’s eyes are just opening and she is fumbling around” This goes on for 15 minutes detailing what would be the birth of a real kitten. You, well we did, you sit and wait and watch as the box starts to move. Then the kitten is born. A kind of reverse imprinting occurs.

A rapid learning process by which a newborn or very young animal establishes a behavior pattern of recognition and attraction to another animal of its own kind or to a substitute or an object identified as the parent.

The kitten is tiny and has a name. You can see its menu detailing its love, happiness, food status and age. You set its area of travel . She can sit on your shoulder during the first week . (Sorry having trouble with “she” and “it”).

This is a bundle of pixels. Yet psychological mechanisms are at work here. Throughout second life a process goes on whereby identity is given to an onscreen representation of yourself. Here an identity i.e. your cat is a being. It is a primitive expert system that responds to your input.

 jisellelarge

This kind of behaviour is not uncommon in children. Their toys take on a life of their own with likes and dislikes, a pure projection of the child’s imagination. How much more real is having a “toy” that  has a degree of autonomy but is still dependent on you for love and food in order to grow and live? Bonding occurs. But the bonding is with the avatar so we are even further removed from the actuality. Isn’t this wonderful. first we have an identification with the avatar which becomes an extension of ourselves then we anthropomorphize even further to give life to a bundle of pixels.

 

Storm holding Ormond with Bronya on her shoulder Dude with Jiselle
Storm holding Ormond with Bronya on her shoulder Dude with Jiselle

 

You notice that set above the animals head is a menu. This shows the cats energy, love factor, happiness factor and if it is hungry. These change according to your interaction. The more you pet the cat the greater its happiness factor. In the first seven days your cat will grow. Initially she or he will sit on your shoulder but after six days will become to big to do this. Food is rezzed and the cat will find it (Its placed within the roaming range) . Your cat will roam around sniffing at things, cleaning itself and will chase butterflies from an emitter. There was an incident with Ormond where Storm (my partner) made a mistake with deeding him to the group. Ormond became sick and lay in his basket not eating and was covered with a blanket. It was quite upsetting.

Kill The Robot

In the 80s while researching expert systems I came across the following study, reference lost sorry. A small robot was created with LED lights and could traverse a counter top. It had sensors whereby when its batteries became low it would plug itself into a wall socket. It would emit “happy” beeping sounds and its lights would pulse and glow. A subject was asked to observe the robot then was given a hammer and told to “kill” it. It was after all just a bundle of transistors and servos. The subject was reluctant and the robot with the aid of proximity sensors was able to avoid the hammer. It could run away. Eventually the subject caught the robot a glancing blow disabling one of its wheels which began to leak oil. It ran around in circles bleeping. The subject became very distressed and demanded that the researcher kill the robot and put it out of its misery.

Eliza

Many of you might know of ELIZA (after Eliza Doolittle , Pygmalion)  created first in the 60s. It had a sub routine called DOCTOR. It was not AI but simulated it so well it became famous. Based on Rogerian psychotherapy a dialogue would go something like this:

Patient: “Everybody hates me”

DOCTOR: “Why do you think everyone hates you?”

Patient : Because my mother told them to”

DOCTOR “Tell me about your mother”

etc……key words could be identified or a response could be simply turning a statement into a question. It was phenomenal how people reacted. Some said when discovered using the program that it was confidential or personal even after having the program explained to them.

Paro, a robot used in the treatment of dementia.

Paro was developed by Takanori Shibata, a researcher at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Paro is a therapeutic, pet-type robot with the appearance of a baby harp seal.

paro

Paro has tactile sensors and moves its tail and flippers and will respond by opening its eyes and moving its face toward the sound of voice. Paro’s sensors monitor sound, light, temperature and touch and Paro respond’s appropriately, such as responding to its name and being stroked.

Paro can show various emotions including surprise, happiness and anger, and Paro will cry if it is not receiving sufficient attention.

Anthropomorphism, or personification, is attribution of human form or other characteristics to anything other than a human being.  This isn’t good enough to explain what is going on here with cats.  (Got to laugh there is a group on Facebook: P.E.T.R.A: People for the Ethical Treatment of Robot Animals. ) Our cat are robots coz  they are exhibit AI. They have there own mechanisms to handle their environment and respond to avatar owners. They can be petted and will reward the avatar with an increase in happiness. Just as a real cat responds to stroking with purring. But all they are is a bundle of pixels.

 Suspension of Disbelief

Suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief is a term coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a “human interest and a semblance of truth” into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative. Suspension of disbelief often applies to fictional works of the action, comedy, fantasy, and horror genres, as well as in professional wrestling.

Can it apply here? We have already come some way with this with our avatars in second life we consider them to be real. We go beyond them being merely representations and almost have given them a life of their own. Our cats have a certain autonomy but just like their real counterparts need food and attention in order to flourish. We are also “fooled”  into bonding with them through psychological techniques. It is therefore easy to pretend they are real.

I think this is worthy of further study. I think second life itself is worthy of further study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blogs Poems Partners and Pictures

Reproduced from NowChangeYourLife.wordpress.com

I come across gems in second life. I think it is the blues community, nice thinking.My fav blogger is Serendipity Haven (serenhaven.wordpress.com)who writes little stories that are so informative and entertaining. Highly recommended. AND not just for second life users either. I have blogged about her before. Read her latest offering, its very informative.

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Take my partner, she has an awesome job that keeps her very busy but she spends much of her spare time with me. In her “spare” time she is a poet and has her own site. JessikaJenvieve.com fabulous poetry. Heres one she wrote for me:

It is Best

You wanted a love song
I don’t have the words
Cordelia – like, I have nothing to say
but it is inside,
deep
somewhere
I just can’t put my finger on.

You want forever and I want you to tell me
the pain in my head won’t kill me.
I want you to make my tea and a cheese sandwich.
I don’t want words, I want silence.
There’s a tangle of lyrics out there
waiting for me to catch my foot in them.
Pick the wrong one and you will fire up again.

Say nothing, it is safe.
It is best.

For PFB

“I’m a mature socialite cougar 60 k living in millionaires paradise” she says on skype……Love her sense of humour. We get on so well and are partners in second life, the online community. We spend a lot of time chatting to a background of the blues. Here you can see us dancing. At the top right are private messages bottom left are local messages.

While hosting (a host manages the dj session greeting people and providing help like joining the group) I met a person who was fun to chat to, who I hadn’t met before. She too has a blog and this is what I found:

We seem to think that big events and weighty, important conversations make the bulk of a relationship. Yet .. it’s chatting of little nothings .. how spring air moves and caresses across the face .. picking dandelions and sending them off to seed other places .. or sharing two blades of grass with a friend and trying to make a blade-of-grass kazoo together.

Lobbing nonesense words and silly verses between us .. twirling and feinting at nothing .. nothing moments are what I miss.

If you are the very best of friends with me, I will fill you with letters of little nothings.

Her site which she hasn’t updated in a while is http://vixenquandry.wordpress.com/

One of the things people love to do is take photos in second life it is very photogenic. So here is a gallery a person I met in a European blues club. Name of Schlock who has a wonderful talking parrot called Clyde with, i would say, artificial intelligence!!!!

Heres the gallery, sorry missed Clyde but i sent Schlock an email coz he should have a blog!!

Then another person with a site http://www.deadmonkeysociety.org/writtenword/index.html the front page looks like this:

deadmonkeys

All this is just a taste of the variety of people that you meet in second life. It is a community of intelligent diverse people. Possibly it is the blues community as this is all i have experience of. I am still exploring and have lots to learn. I will have been in second life for a year. Yes I am addicted.

Its not a problem

hotstuffHere is a picture of my Storm Constantine (aka Jessika) we have known each other for six months and we decided to partner. This means we have made a commitment to share and cherish each other. It may be likened to a marriage, the “ceremony” was an email and now we appear in each others profile. partner
There is a wonderful thing that happens in second life. You become one with your avatar and truly your avatar becomes an extension of yourself. when you join with another avatar like in a dance something magical happens. You begin to feel with your avatar. Holding your partner becomes as though you are holding a real person and in some ways you are. It feels real. You can get incredibly close to someone. It starts in chat. As in anywhere / place chatting to someone brings you close to that person. We have chat in secondlife. However how do you explain a kiss producing a physical response in real life? Second Life is awesome. I can only suggest you try it for yourself. If you need a decent avatar let Avatar Creations know and we will make you beautiful.

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Sharing

Storm and I shared a moment, went deeper into our feelings. It was a paradigm shift.

comet

And we talked while relaxing by a pool we happened upon.

cuddlebythepool

Then Storm suggested that we should partner. Joyfully we did. We both realised it was the right thing to do. So we did it.

Storm Constantine and Dude Starship one under the second life sun.

 

 

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My Storm


storm2Yes a lovely person very danceable love the curve of her back the touch of her thigh. Sigh yes I am smitten. yet dear readers such a person. Such an exotic, to me, life. hard not to be a tad intimidated but how did an ignorant mexican keep her for 11 months i ask myself.  well he had the blues and other attributes so i heard but even so. just her story of the tortoises is so wonderful. and shes seen every movie eva and knows the directors cousins dogs name. such an aficionado opera too, the blues of course and the rest of the arts. yet he could keep her quiet for 11 months and it would have continued had he not been caught.

but chin up old chap never say die and all that.  she obviously fancies you for some strange reason tho we both know she could do better jeez dozens of requests to dance when she is not dressed sexily but they appear “stupid” how can she tell?  i dunno. but for now she is all mine and that is quite yummy. i will do my best not to bore her not to make too many mistakes like mixing up Casablanca with Key Largo omg how embarrassing, oh dear i am such a plonker. well i will do my best can do no more.

Second life appeals to the actor in us. We style our avatars, costume them then manipulate them in dudestanding 2scenarios. tout le monde est une scène n’est ce pas and our world is second life and our stage. We play but have no control over the other actors. well we do in part as our actions affect their actions. however there are boundaries like those  of good manners. Do we play a role with our avatar? A pretend? Or is it us and the avatar a mere cipher. there is something that happens between us and our avatars, a fusion. we have designed our avatar. Storm calls her “my little work of art” and isn’t she gorgeous. i’m juswyt an ordinary bloke tho i try and dress well to make up with it. think Storm would have me in jeans and tee shirt every day. but i like dressing up.

of course there is the age difference: me a noob and her an old lady. Can’t do anything about that. Just ask her to be patient with me . It can be hard though as in this respect i am definitely inferior. shes very kind tho as i know i can be difficult to teach. so glad she turned me on to firestorm which i hadn’t used for ages. otherwise i would still be using singularity. its a different experience and as we are dating lol we should be using the same viewer. of course her computer is far superior to my old banger. she runs in ultra mode i run in medium low. she sees sl very differently to me. i mean the quality she sees with shadows (coz I just tried Ultra before crashing) is awesome. even my computer isn’t good enough boo hoo. in the six months we have known each other only had one nice cuddle. i need more cuddles. she dumped my cuddle lounger when she was doing the bed. i put it back on the off chance.

she says she loves my mind. got to get off my meds so it works better. i have a terrible memory. always was proud of my mind tho these days because of my meds its not so sharp. don’t know how she can love it. i’ve got to wake up more. ho hum i’ll get there……..

 

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