Older Citizens

Been awhile. You may or may not know that I am bipolar. I take my meds and it keeps me on an almost even keel verging on depressed. Been like this for a couple of years, no oompf! But now I’ve got it back.

I have a project

I am conscious of the demographic re older citizens, there are a lot. I am also aware that there is a lot of isolation and loneliness. I am also aware that our older citizens are potentially a great resource. They have history. A couple of years ago I gave a talk on blogging for Age Action. I wasn’t very good. So I thought why not create a blog tutorial blog; how to set up a free one and I mean free (I am non-profit). There are a lot of Older Citizen groups out there and I mean globally too, and they all have email addresses.

So I created a free wordpress.com blog http://OlderCitizens.wordpress.com with tutorials if you have a minute I could do with some feedback. I also have http://OlderCitizens.com which you might ike to see. Cool name.

So I have my enthusiasm back, I’m writing again and I love blogs.

Might even get them interested in Second Life LOL!

Yippee!

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Vanilla Sky

by Serendipidy Haven
https://serenhaven.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/vanilla-sky/

Avatar: from the Sanskrit avatāra ‘descent’, from ava ‘down’ + tar- ‘to cross’. A manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher. An incarnation, embodiment, or manifestation of a person or idea.

Whilst most of us would hesitate to describe our virtual representation as a deity manifest, few would have any problem with considering our pixel form as an incarnation, embodiment or manifestation of ourselves, or of the more esoteric, nebulous constructs that define who we are. Indeed, a great many of us consider our avatars to be more representative of who and what we are than we would ever dare show, if indeed we could, in our real lives.

There’s little doubt that SL has the capability to release aspects of our character and make up that are heavily suppressed or hidden in our day to day lives,

It’s been said the avatar is a mask; but for me, it isn’t. A mask hides what lies behind – SL reveals it. A mask is expressionless, but SL give us the freedom to express ourselves; there are various explanations for this – many of which I’ve explored before in the pages of this blog. Whether it’s the anonymity that allows us to be our true selves, the freedom we’re given in virtual form, the wide variety of concepts, ideas and cultures, contained within such a small world, or the distance that SL allows us to put between the actions of our virtual selves and reality that gives us the scope to be other than what we appear to be, is largely immaterial. What matters to the majority of us is the simple fact that we can, and do, perceive our virtual selves to be more able, more honest and more open than perhaps we can ever be in the real world.

I’ve heard it frequently stated that the way we present ourselves inworld is, in essence, a mask – that what those around us see is how we choose to be seen. A mask, of course can be perceived in more ways than those which we may think we are presenting to others. It can create anonymity; a mask can hide the truth; we can disguise or change how others see us; a mask can be employed both for good and for less savoury purposes. We can employ masks to mystify, intensify, challenge, invoke fear, provoke laughter and hide our feelings entirely. There’s no doubt in my mind that we can certainly employ our avatars in any one of these diverse fashions, however I feel that to do so misses an extremely important and significant point: Certainly, our avatar can be employed as a mask, however our avatar can equally, and perhaps in even greater measure, be the mechanism by which we unmask ourselves.

I’ve already mentioned in this post how SL permits us to ‘be ourselves’, and over the years I’ve spoken to many, many people who would aver this is true for them, whether in terms of their inworld pursuits, confidence-building or allowing them to be accepted as they are, without the prejudices, brick walls and difficulties that they face daily in real life. Surely this is quite the opposite to putting on a mask, hiding who we are and retreating behind the safety that such a construct provides?

I firmly believe that a great number of SL adherents spend a huge amount of time in the real world wearing a mask of some description. It may not be a tangible, physical mask; even so it can be as effective as any facial covering – obfuscating, obscuring and protecting the truth that hides away behind it. Yet, when these very same people log in to SL, their first action is to take off that mask, hang it on its inworld virtual peg and face the Grid, unmasked and in complete honesty, proclaiming both to themselves and to all those they come across: “This is me.. The real me!”

It’s powerful stuff. We’re in control. We do what we choose. We are who we are.

s. x

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This Place

by Serendipity Haven

This place is like no other.
It is ethereal, inconstant;
ever changing, always shifting.
Hidden from the world
but open to all.
It is a place of contrasts,
of conflict and connections,
alliances and factions.
Give and take.
This is a place where friendships are forged,
and hearts are broken;
where love, lust and loneliness
all have their moments.
Where reality holds no sway,
and fantasy is real.
This is a place of colour and creativity,
darkness and light;
of mysteries and myth,
adventures and miracles.
This is a place where all are equal,
Although some are more equal than others;
where opportunity flourishes
and success is there for the taking.
This is a place of commerce, trade
and money exchanging hands;
a place where millionaires mingle
with paupers in complete anonymity.
A place where paupers can be king,
and kings can be queens;
queens: Dragons; and where dragons
…are real.
This is a place without limits,
transcending boundaries
of country, creed and culture;
where marginalised is mainstream
and normal is over-rated.
This is a place of dreams and visions,
of flight and fantasy,
of suspension of belief
and belief in the limitless.
This is a place where anything can happen,
and frequently does.

This is a place where life
is lived to the full.

And you call it a game?

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Halloween 2015

Halloween is here again and we had great fun in The Junkyard. Here are three of the sets built by Rosalee for DJ Siani, DJ Mij and DJ Spooky. Great fun was had by all.

Siani’s Spooktacular

DJ Mij

DJ Spooky

I am the ghost flittering around…

dudeghosty

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Welcome Back to Second Life

Yes I have been away for a while and my lovely friends through me a psychedelic party. Was great fun they had elephant avatars too cute. Rosalee Icanardi built the set and its gorgeous. Here are some pics and a video at the end.

elephants_002

eledancers

Special thanks to Rosalee, Storm, Bridget and our fab DJ Siani.

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New Technology

One day Bill complained to his friend that his elbow really hurt. His friend suggested that he go to a computer at the drug store that can diagnose anything quicker and cheaper than a doctor.

”Simply put in a sample of your urine and the computer will diagnose your problem and tell you what you can do about it. It only costs $10.”

Bill figured he had nothing to lose, so he filled a jar with a urine sample and went to the drug store. Finding the computer, he poured in the sample and deposited the $10. The computer started making some noise and various lights started flashing. After a brief pause out popped a small slip of paper on which was printed: “You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water. Avoid heavy lifting. It will be better in two weeks.”

Later that evening while thinking how amazing this new technology was and how it would change medical science forever, he began to wonder if this machine could be fooled. He mixed together some tap water, a stool sample from his dog and urine samples from his wife and daughter. To top it off, he masturbated into the concoction.

He went back to the drug store, located the machine, poured in the sample and deposited the $10. The computer again made the usual noise and printed out the following message:

“Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener. Your dog has worms. Get him vitamins. Your daughter is using cocaine. Put her in a rehabilitation clinic. Your wife is pregnant with twin girls. They aren’t yours. Get a lawyer. And if you don’t stop jerking off, your tennis elbow will never get better.”

If you want some comic relief go to UniJokes.com

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Good Friday

 

I’m not putting the whole post here as its not really sl but its an important piece. You can read it here:

12 Worst Ideas Religion Has Unleashed on the World

We all need to change how we think and how we act to our fellow humans. Love and Peace

 

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Perspective

From my friend Serendipidy Haven’s blog:

Perspective

by Serendipidy Haven

vangoghA brief trip to the National Gallery recently brought me face-to-face with Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’, or at least, one of his variations of this most well known of his subjects. Sunflowers was my main reason for the visit – since i’ve never seen the work in the flesh before, but it also gave me the opportunity to become re-acquainted with another of his paintings that has pretty much passed me by up until now.

Van Gogh’s chair has never really inspired me or struck me as being particularly special. It lacks the thickly daubed, tormented brush strokes of his later pieces and the finesse displayed in his other works of the period. It’s a peculiar thing, worth getting up close to; where the warped, almost child-like perspective of the composition is offset by the painstaking attention to detail the artist gives to the most mundane of features. You’re struck by the effort that’s gone into painting the door hinges, knots in the wood and the weave of the chair seat… but, on this occasion – for the first time – i stepped back, and suddenly everything changed.

From the middle of the room, the painting that had always struck me as rather flat and distorted resolved into something entirely different. It was almost as if i was seeing through Van Gogh’s eyes, sat at his easel, glancing over the canvas towards the chair on the other side of the room. That bizarre perspective which offends the eye when seen in close up, becomes completely natural and lifelike when viewed from a distance – the painting becomes less a flat canvas and more a three dimensional moment in time, captured in oils. It was an unexpected and somewhat humbling moment.

paint_001How often do we see things from our own viewpoint with  a skewed perspective, failing to understand what is right in front of our eyes, and not seeing the picture as it really is? Probably quite often and, as users of sl, it’s something that we’re very used to experiencing from the ‘outside’ world. Those who’ve never had the opportunity to properly get to grips with becoming part of a virtual world tend to have a distinctly distorted picture in their minds of what sl is about. Like me peering closely at Van Gogh’s canvas, they’ll seize on the little details that make sense to them, whilst remaining utterly puzzled and bemused at the bigger picture. So the common perception of sl, from those who have no experience inworld, is that it’s an environment that’s primarily about pixellated sex, a ‘game’ played by geeks sat in their basements with curtains drawn and snacking on cheese puffs. They seize upon the bits that stand out to them and write off the larger part as irrelevant, uninteresting or incomprehensible.

It’s a matter of perspective. And perspective works both ways.

The perspective from which we see sl differs dramatically according to where we stand – on outside looking in or, equally, on the inside looking out – and we residents can be just as guilty of skewing the overall picture as those who have no experience of the virtual world. From the inside, we are terribly good a painting pictures of sl from a palette based entirely upon our own perceptions and experiences, rather than taking a balanced view, (this is something that ex-residents, in particular, can take to an extraordinary degree). The result is a very narrow-minded and distorted view of sl… the servers are always down, it’s full of griefers and content stealers, it suffers from nightmare lag, gacha events are corrupt, and so on. Even when we’re positive we tend to pick and choose to focus on the bits that matter to us, ignoring the fecundity of the virtual community and excluding whole swathes of SLife that we personally have no particular interest in.

Perhaps it would do no harm to occasionally break these self-imposed rules and try to look at things from a different perspective – who knows… perhaps that aspect of sl that you never understood, never appealed and that you’d managed to convince yourself was of no worth at all, might look very different from a different angle, or when you take a step back and try to appreciate what it’s all really about.

Or, you could just stick with the perspective you’ve got, and maybe miss out on a much bigger picture.

If you’re not swayed then think on this a moment: Vincent Van Gogh was completely unappreciated in his lifetime, purportedly only selling one painting before his death. Now he’s one of the most recognisable artists that has ever lived, and his paintings sell for millions. Just imagine how all those people who turned him down and derided his work might have felt if they’d known how he’d now be appreciated. Sometimes, focussing on the details and the ugliness of what we perceive means that we can be blind to the potential and the beauty of what we are seeing.

vincent_001

s. x

Now I think I know
What you tried to say to me
Don McLean – Starry Starry Night

Excellent stuff well done Seren

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2014

firewworksWell I didn’t achieve that much in 2014 feel it was a bit of a nothing year. Loved my time with Storm in Second Life. Bought a new computer system , a tablet and a smart phone so technology is up to date. Feel I’m getting a bit stale as to hosting , need to up my game. Sigh. However I did stop smoking (YAY) and joined the gym.  New years resolution? Be more energetic. Have a cold at the moment and feel awful.

Hope you all have a super New Year 🙂

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Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

santahoHo Ho Ho Seasons Greetings to you all. Hope the New Year brings all you need. Wow its 2015! To my age group that’s science fiction territory. WOOT! Anything is possible wow great stuff!!

On part of Siani’s Junkyard Winter Wonderland video to come

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