A perfect sea urchin

A Second Life

This area belongs to Iyoba, my favorite avie from Second Life and me. We share our thoughts here and discuss our adventures in the metaverse. To return to the main blog page, just click here.

Questions about Basic Mode

I never got to my amateur sociology experiment in Basic Mode. I tried it out. I lasted five minutes. My avie could not change clothes because she lacked access to her inventory. She could not bushwhack because she could not use the world map. She could not feed her turtles (See above about the inventory). She could not remove her hair piece. The control did not exist. She was limited to a number of premade avatarim which she did not select, and destinations. This was not just simplified Second Life. This was so limited it was almost useless, even for a beginner. As a beginner, I endlessly stowed landmarks even if I could not get the hang of camera controls. Some of this may have been due to MU**ing experience. Some of it just was a way not to be overwhelmed. The search engine was my best friend. In the simplified version of SL, I would have been cut off from any skills I had.

The question I guess is for whom did Linden Labs create basic mode? My best guess is that this is for casual users, the one or two time user who comes for a conference and doesn't want to be bothered fitting out an avatar. If they decide they want to become real users, they switch to advanced mode. I'd rename these limited (or casual) and full because that is what they are. In a way, this makes sense. It is a kind of try before you buy, except those entering don't really get to try and professors and others are going to have to recommend advanced mode for any one taking a class, since they will be repeat users who should be able to travel and grapple with avatar identity issues, something a premade avatar either prevents or delays.

Now, the above is a best case scenario. Businesses and corporate (and even some educational) entities will love it. There is another darker speculation though. If Second Life ever switches to a subscription model, it starts everyone off in Basic mode and then if you want more.... I am thinking New York Times this morning.

A third scenario, and a likely one, since Second Life tries out its experiments on live uers often before everything really works right, is that Basic Mode is a first attempt at radical simplification. Currently there is no smooth transition from basic to advanced mode. That surprised me. I thought Basic mode was still fairly full featured but easier with the good stuff hidden and gradually revealable. Ideally, there should be a way to gradually add features as users get their land legs. Maybe there should be three or four steps or ways to lock or unlock features.

I hope that Second Life is not trying out a subscription model beyond its current premium membership structure. I think that is a fast way to raise cost of entry and dry up the pool of potential users.

Iyoba and I cleaned up twenty turtle eggs last night. We found them in all sorts of strange places. One was under a drip irrigator. Two were in the planter. One hung in the air. The last egg we found was under the planter. It was pale purple with a darker purple shell. Billie had laid it, and Antiochas was the father. I named it Crimson Diamond. I did not think Antiochas, whom I think has wasted potential, could father such a fine egg, but lately he has been on a streak of fathering burgundy and near purple eggs with Zhara. His eggs with Billie have been disappointments. Billie is a purple shell, mustard gold body, and raspberry colored carapace, tricolor. She does well when mating with Tecumseh (a teal shell, mustard gold body, and faded red tricolor). The eggs can range from blue and chartreuse to grey and gold to purple and ochre or melon color. Billie and Tecumseh are making eggs mostly for the dip. Tecumseh's breeder was someone who is no longer in business. Billie's ancestors come from Snakelady Melody and two out of business breeders. Her offspring are keeping alive strains of turtles that would otherwise be extinct. She is making valuable contributions to the gene pool. I am glad I am not sending any of her eggs to the trader. I don't cull eggs anyway.

Hildegard never responded about my offer of celadon eggs. I have since had one or two with yellow shells from Narcisse and Mendel's matings. These impress me no end.

I am thinking of sending Dinah downstairs for a while. I really don't want to bring Zhara upstairs since she is doing so well with Antiochas. I could bring Antiochas upstairs and Irving downstairs. That would give Dinah a shot at Antiochas and the downstairs girls a shot at Irving as well as Tecumseh who is turning into one super stud. Of course it would mean some extremely bright eggs when Zhara mates with Irving who is a Fall 2010 Special, but who knows. I might like seeing those again, and who knows what sort of eggs Antiochas (A thirty or forty percent glow pale grey male) and Narcisse (a near white female with a slightly pinkish shell) could produce. Turtle genetics are a never-ending source of amusement.

Eileen H. Kramer -- March 31, 2011

Two Cultures: Can it be Done?

I'll admit that I am a coward. I tried Second Life Beta with the Basic mode and lasted about a minute. I could not change the sky or set my preferences. They may have been there somewhere, but I couldn't find them. I felt hamstrung at the loss of functionality. I could not even edit my outfit. I had to chose between premade avatarim. I know that if this had been the Second Life I found three years ago, I would not be playing now, but Second Life in basic mode is not for me.

People like me are pretty much Second Life's original, core audience. Most of us are geeks with some geek background. The big complex interface works well for us. I think we like it. It's no accident that Viewer 2 and I are an absolutely good fit. One in every three users who tries Viewer 2 feels this way and many more start out with it and kind of get used to it. Viewer 2 is designed almost exactly like my Windows screen, with the task bar on the right. The early versions of Viewer 2 were awful. The camera controls were slippery. The jump control was missing. You get the idea. Linden Labs has largely fixed those problems, and I can work around minor glitches. This version of Viewer 2 (2.6 not Beta. Beta is 2.6.1 or 2.6.2) has an extra file that you have to delete before it works on Windows XP machines. Fine, that is not so hard for a power user in Windows to do.

If you don't have routine file management skills though...but Second Life's appeal is to people like me. As much as I say I was never a real newbie, how many successful Second Life users were? I arrived. I knew to walk around. I knew what kind of identity I needed to avoid hazing. I wanted to build. I wanted to do more than walk on the bottom of the ocean when I fell in the water which happened far more often than I expected. There was also far less hazing than I expected.

The Basic mode of Second Life though is or may be a game changers. I just find it constraining. I should get on and try it because I'll have to answer questions about it for my volunteer gig. I am dreading this. I hate tying my hands behind my back. Much of what is power use makes Second Life liveable for me. Turning on the lights when you want to build and the sun is going down is a necessary skill. Being able to mix and match outfits or move inventory around or organize it as you want to (Remember those basic file management skills). is part of life, and yes, I want to build. I think all users should try building. I think it makes you a better consumer and makes you aware of what you can do and do in a way that is simpler and cheaper.

OK, off my soapbox, I'm scaird of Basic mode for other reasons. I'm scaird it might actually catch on. I tell myself this can't be good. One of the great things about Second Life is that you can make friends, casual friends and acquaintances, because you and that other person making the request share something in common. Sometimes it is just wanting to get club announcements. Knowing where the music is playing even if it is in another language is wonderful. Sometimes we share building in common. When Antonus Jacobus walked up to Iyoba who was only a few days old, she could tell him what she wanted. She wanted to know how to make a window in a wall and how to swim. She was all ready asking builders' questions. Antonus and Iyoba became friends. When the person wanting to sell Iyoba land (Iyoba was not ready to buy but needed to learn) offered to teleport Iyoba, Iyoba got her first Gaeta landmark out of the deal. I knew how to operate the search engine to find what I needed.

The new people, who need basic mode, aren't going to be anything like me and the people who befriended me. People who can't manage files, have no interest in building, or who can't or won't leave the beaten path of their own language or off-the-shelf fantasies to explore have nothing in common with Iyoba or me. Now I could be exagerating. I need to get out in Basic Mode and see for myself. Can a Basic Mode user get to the search engine and the world map. That may give them a chance to explore. Is there a way to find building controls and turn them on? Is there access to the sliders? There is access to Ruth who is adjustible. She is really your best friend when you start with a store bought avatar and want one that is wholly yours but that is another story.

If I meet one of the new, Basic Mode, people what will speak about? What will I be able to show them. How will we become friends without some sort of shared interest or common values. I remember getting my first set of clothing mesh. I needed it. Will the people in Basic Mode have the same needs or more importantly the same desire to fulfill them? One of the first questions working avatarot ask is "How do I cover my belly and is there any way to get this top to cover my breasts?" This is not conservatives frothing at the mouth and demanding everyone live in General rated sim. This is a person needing work safe clothing. Learning to make one's own stylish things for work is a solution to a real problem. Will the Basic Mode avatarot even want to cover their bellies or think it's possible or important. Will any of them be working avatarim? Will they even consider it possible?

I have a sneaking suspicion that these are the people to whom Linden Labs would like to sell Linden Homes and premium memberships. Something is wrong with this picture since most internet users have trouble with monetization. It is one thing to put credit card info on file and buy five dollars worth of Lindens and say "that's it." It is quite another to make a seventy-two dollar a year committment although that does come with a three hundred Linden a week stipend. Linden Labs is asking way too much when they ask those who will not learn the ins and outs of a complex system to pay for the priviledge of more powerful use.

OK, this is all speculation and hot air. I need to put on my amateur sociology hat and roam around in Basic Mode. I'm scaird. Part of me really hated what I saw. Part me me knows I have to go meet people who are using this mode. Second Life does not need a culture of ignorance that does not want to learn. Ignorance that does not want to lose itself is also called stupidity, and if you are a Basic Mode user who is reading this, please don't feel insulted, but stupidity is dangerous. Meanwhile, if you are a Basic Mode users, please consider me ignorant, but not stupid. I'm going to enter your world. I'll be easy to pick out, because my avie was born from the Ruth prototype and created on the sliders and hand skinned. She wears clothes I designed. She knows how to build. She has tools and landmarks for you. Your job when I meet her is to prove both of us dead wrong. I need you to prove us dead wrong.

If I am right, I can speculate on some very dangerous fantasies. Members of the culture of those who build and explore to understand and for the joy of learning don't have much use for those who are afraid, and those who are afraid are scaird of those who spend their time absorbed in geekie minutiae don't have much use for us either. Second Life doesn't need two cultures that despise and look down on each other. This is a chapter in the metaverse' social history that no one should have to write.

I guess I have to hold my nose and head off to Basic Mode and then on to my favorite info-hub. I'm not ready for this. Iyoba reminds me she needs more sandbox time. We both need to bushwhack though that can be a fun way to test Basic Mode and productive too. I guess I'll make my first reports from the field soon and so will Iyoba.

Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba BatOni -- March 30, 2011

Accountability 101

Pixels and Policy is not going to touch this topic with a ten foot pole but I will. I am a hobbyist. I am an honest hobbyist. I have an interest in Second Life as an educational or library tool. It is a good place to disseminate useful information. It is a good place to hold meetings or teach classes when gas goes to five dollars a gallon (It's done that all ready), mass transit EXPLETIVE DELETEDs, or you have to deal with great distances and icey roads. It was open during the world famous Snowcation this winter. It requires a lot of bandwidth, but computers keep getting better.

Of course that does not mean that Seond Life as an educational tool has its downside. One part of that downside is called "lack of control." It means you will have students show up in rags, tatters, underware, pink hair, gog-go boots, but what really is the big deal. Avies are avise, and everyone in Second Life should be at least sixteen. There's nothing one sees even in a typical dance club that one can't find on the Hanes My Way site or the JC Penney catalog's underwear department. In other words, you could show it to your grandmother or eight year old kid and not blush unless you have cultural and personal issues. Whether such behavior and dress are work worthy is a whole other discussion, but it is an issue that you can thrash out. A "no bikini" rule or other dress code handles this if you do consider it an issue. This, in other words, is a small problem.

A larger problem is that Second Life is reductivist and geekie. That is why I love it, but any world where you can unironically walk into a body shop and buy eyeballs, or make your own eyeballs and upload the texture, or buy oiled skins and going to the bathroom poses where an avie looks down to see what she has deposited in the bowl (You can also buy the animation to have her wash her hands afterwards.), is weird. You either embrace the weirdness where it fits or you and ignore the parts that don't appeal, or it gets to you, but weirdness is usually the problem of the person who finds it uncomfortable.

Neither of these problems is really insurmountable. Our own culture in real life would have a case of the weirds to an oustsider. My advice on both these counts is get over it and make the best of it, and it can be done. A far more pressing problem with Second Life and one that only comes up in whispers because there are far too many taking advantage of in one way or another is that because Second Life is a remote online destination with a fairly steep but pleasant learning curve, is accountability. Unless those supervising grant moneys sent into Second Life are inworld frequently and visiting the site where their grantee has rented land, the grantee is free to do what he or she pleases.

And what do grantees do? Well, they can hire labor that doesn't benefit the local areas that pay with their tax dollars. The WHES BOCES sim in the Info Island Archipelago is a good example of this. The designer and builder who spoke to me after I took a hissy fit on the wrong side of the ban lines came from England. Now why couldn't an American or better yet, a resident of one of those impoverished North Country counties have done the building. Why did poor people's tax dollars have to go to England? Hello!

Talent for Growth is another case in point. Don't visit this sim because you can't. It is currently surrounded by banlines and paid for by tax dollars all over the United States but particularly those of Westchester and Putman Counties in New York State and by tax dollars from Fairfield County Connecticut. Residents who pay for this sim, can not visit it. I don't know who can visit it. I don't know why it's off limits. If this was my part of the country, I would write to my Congressperson and raise a royal stink. Here is Talent 4 Growth web site. It will tell you if your tax dolllars pay for a sim that you can't visit!

Then grantees just like to have fun with the money. Library Studios have a lovely prefab residence on EduIsland. There is not even a powerpoint projector or note card giver in the whole place. There is a bedroom upstairs with a poseball on the bed. I think the poseball is just set for sleeping, but you can enjoy the bar in the kitchen, and I think the place may even have a swimming pool. Maybe they use it to make machinma or to hold intimate (as in small) meetings, but somehow I don't think so. Someone is having a good time on someone else' dime, and yes, you can visit this one. Please do.

Now, nonprofit islands have to pay tier just like their for-profit counterparts do have to pay rent, so every now and again they rent to commercial or residential customers. One sees this on EduIsland 4 more than anywhere else. I'm of a mixed mind about this. The old Utopia Portugal archipelago was parat non-profit and part commercial and Iyoba and I started renting there, but Walter and Rocky who ran the place split, and Iyoba moved to Imperia Brasil I which became Artina (Thankyou Katya Dirval. I spit when I mention your name!) during the Snowcation, and now I'm on Eddesign Island awaiting the next move. Among other tenants, Utopia Portugal, rented to a fake m ilitary camp, an auditorium for multi-level marketing meetings, and countless clubs as well as private residences. The EduIslands remind me very much of the Utopia Portugal of my memories.

My advice to any one managing a nonprofit grant in Second Life that involves a build is get in world. Learn some routine building skills along side your builders or better yet become part of the building team. Make your own build. It does not have to be a fancy store bought build. No one will think any less of you knocking together a simple structure as long as you have places for avatarim to sit, and note card givers or web page on a prim screens. You might want a place to stream media or show PowerPoints. A flip over or hidden screen would be wonderful for this. Remember you don't need walls most of the time, and if your roof is flat, put stairs up to it. You can paint it any color you want. You can put murals on it. It does not have to be fancy to fill its function, and you are getting paid to fill a function.

Second, even when you have a partial build up, set it so vandals can't rez objects or run scripts or drive their vehicles in, unless you are running a sandbox. If you run a sandbox, set a three or four hour auto-return so you don't have a garbage box, and have someone supervise it. You can even take a turn at it. If your partial build is vandal proof (Just make sure only group members can build. You can even restrict a sandbox this way to get rid of griefers and vandals.) your build is vandal free. Then just don't use ban lines or security orbs. Let the world watch you build. Let the world visit. Let those who are paying for your fun visit.

Last but not least, have something to show or teach. Note card givers are fine. Posters are great. I'm not a fan of PowerPoints but so what. Chalk boards are fun. Sticky note boards are more fun. I'm not a fan of fake computers. I think they are humorous, but everyone has his/her taste. Function is the product your tax payers and donors are buying, not a pretty build which most of them will never use.

One last point, if you are in K-12 education, unless your goal is training teachers or GED students, Second Life is not appropriate since your students will simply be locked out or forced to lie about their ages.

Although the paragraphs above look like I have my Second Life very together. It is a mess. There are a dozen eggs to clean up at Stinky Stinky. Two of Iyoba's Flurbils are stuck together. The turtles at least got fed. There are two dress designs waiting to be made. I need more time both to bushwhack and spend in the sandbox. You get the idea. I do mean what I said about accountability. I can say it because I know from where I speak. I was (and probably will soon be again) a rent paying tenant who did not have any grant money funding here (How do you say envy breeds a watchful eye.) and I also work for my favorite landlord. I see what goes on in the land sector. I see tenants come and go. I know a lot about the consumer side of Second Life. It is all too easy for those of us who pay our way, to look with jaundiced eyes at those who get a free ride. It goes that way.

I still have not heard about the move from Walter. The database is organized and all but one tenant is in good standing. The tenant in bad standing's days are numbered. I still dread finding all my posessions handed back to me in a ball. I am relying on Waltera nd Edde to keep their relations civil. I'll be glad to be a rent paying customer again.

Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba BatOni -- March 29, 2011

Sad Lands

I should call this piece Always Sad and Vulnerable. I have no idea how I want to redesign Iyoba's land. Walter says we are moving. Walter, who is still our favorite landlord, has no idea where he is going to put the tier terminal. We are losing yet another tenant. I got a cease and desist order from a second tenant. A third tenant has shown up and was not in the database. Iyoba has her land rent free and on borrowed time. Walter wanted to put a tier terminal on my land. I set it so he could, but he vanished last night. I reset the land becuase I wanted it so I could collect and take turtle eggs, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Walter says Iyoba and I are going to move. He does not say when. He does not say where. Walter who has a Y chromosome in real life, has a case of the gonnas. The gonnas like the gout are mainly a male disease. A boss with the gonnas is a real danger. "I'm gonna do this," he says. "I'm going to do that," he assures female subordinates. After a while, the female subordinates get wise and nervous. A boyfriend or husband with "the gonnas" is just a pain in the rear. "I'm gonna put out the trash," boyfriend or husband announces with great fanfare, and then when the trash has one orange peel in it....he takes it out. At least he tried. Better yet is "I'm gonna fix those kitchen chairs..." The chairs stay unfixed forever, until you ask to borrow the heavy duty stapler from the shop and come home wtih some vinyl and a screw driver and the husband or boyfriend asks for the whereabouts of the heavy duty stapler and finds.... Let's just say you fixed the chairs without a case of "the gonnas."

I am not ready to check the database for the unknown tenant, whose name and business Iyoba and I both learned. I hope he is not crazy and just a businessman with wears that other people want to buy. That way he will make money and pay his rent. If he just has dreams of world domination through his griefing tools and weapons...well, there are bad tenants of all stripes including the idiotic kind. I hope he is just the nice sane, business person.

It doesn't get any better when Iyoba and I go bushwhacking. The Commonwealth islands like Info Island International have vanished from the Info Island Archipelago. The University of DuPage is gone. Info Island Investing is long gone. Now Cybrary City has disappeared. We spend our time exploring the EduIslands, which are Fleet Goldenburg's empire. This is a sad kind of mission. A lot of the islands have huge unrented plots. That means they are leaking Lindens. I don't know how many lindens they are leaking. Fleet often becomes his own best tenant with his own brand of living and learning training to sell. I've seen too many sinking ships in Second Life not to know when one is taking on water. The EduIsands make up a large part of the Info Island Archipelago. I probably should do a photo shoot along with my bushwhacking. The photo shoot will preserve the world that disappears.

I also owe Iyoba way too much sandbox time. We have two dresses to make and one that is ready to be painted on its template. That can be a good thing. Right now it is a thing left hanging because we care for our flurbils and turtles. The turtles laid four glow eggs last night, including a pure celadon and a celadon light orange bi-color. The father of this egg is a green turtle whom I named Mendel and whom I purchsed from Hildegarde Burenstein, a Japanese breeder with a shop on Nozomi. I want to thank Hildegarde for the beautiful offspring and give her one or two as gifts. The problem is something called a real life Japanese earthquake. I don't know if Hildegarde is in any shape to attend to her virtual pets or if she would apprciate the gift or if she just has too much on her plate. Maybe a small piece of good news would cheer her up. I guess my first step is to have Iyoba visit Nozomi and see if Hildegarde is still in business.

I plan to mate super-stud, Mendel, with Zhara who is red and with Billie, my particolor F2 female. I'll swap Mendel for Antiochas who is really not doing much of a job downstairs, or swap Zhara who is downstairs for Dinah who is upstairs. Green (Dinah is a pleasing olive green) on green crosses are nothing to write home about except for an occaisional grown and green bicolor, but green on red crosses can be fun. The problem with Hildegard is that she is Japanese and could have lost family and friends in the earthquake. My guess is even then, a few free turtle eggs might cheer her up.

Note: Iyoba got in touch with Hildegard who was not online due to the fourteen hour time difference. We also learned that most of EduIsland 3 is empty, which did not surprise either of us, and we could not enter Talent for Growth. Someone's tax dollars or charitable contributions are probably hard at work and down the drain. I guess I can find out whose and let them know. I'm in that kind of a mood today.

Eileen H. Kramer and Iyoba Tarantal -- 3/24/2011

Sucked In!

I'm addicted to flurbils. That is the right use of the word. Second Life by itself is not addictive in the same sense. Second Life hijacks my mirror neurons. My brain believes it is real. It provides two activities that I enjoy in real life and mimicks them well enough to be extremely pleasurable. These are making things and exploring. I've been drawing since I was in preschool, and always wanted to learn to do it better. I think it is one of those things that has really shaped who I am. My father can draw, and should have worked at it more, and my grandmother (his mother) was a fantastic artist. I think for little kids, drawing improves the way they think and makes it easier to learn to write. Drawing is also human capital for female children. It is coin of the realm, even if your touch is so hard you routinely break crayons. Put three little girls in the backyard and leave them to their own devices, and if there are art supplies you will find them at the picnick table drawing.

Drawing easily gives way and works with computer graphics. I met my first graphics program in college. It was called Paint and it was publicly available. I remember using it to make my a For Rent sign that was eye-popping and revolutionary in 1985. Now computer created signs are common-place. Textures in Second Life are just a good fit! There is also a mathematical pleasure in pushing prims, but I've had no solid geometry, so it is trial and error, hit or miss. I'd love to see what would happen if my mother's boyfriend, who no doubt has had solid geometry (Geometry is utterly hard to forget.), and training as an engineer (He's a semi-retired patent attorney), got into a sandbox. I can dream.

Exploring (reconnoitering) is another real life pleasure. Put simply I don't get lost. I've been lost three times in my adult life, and two of them were due to map error. Plop me down in an unfamiliar environment and if I've prewalked it on Mapquest or have directions in my pocket (back in the bad old days that is what we had.) and I go where I need and don't think anything of it. I even enjoy finding my way around unfamiliar area. I like it as much as some people like sex. When you think about it, reconnoitering should be pleasurable because humans were nomadic for a long time and traveled on foot or mounted for much longer. Unless you wanted to stay in one spot forever and never run an errand or go trading or to war, you needed to be able to reconnoiter and evolution has a way of making necessitiy a pleasure. (Think of little girls learning to read. You can't stop them because they love it so.) Second Life is so big, there is always something new to see and plenty of road to walk or back country to bushwhack until you hit a ban line or security orb.

I did not know my reconnoitering ability was anything special until I travelled with my boyfriend. We'd go wherever I had planned, get off the Greyhound, find our way to the public transit that I had often had to telephone (This was pre Web.) and catch our bus, pay the fare and head to our lodgings, all without missing a beat. My boyfriend was astounded. He put it down to planning skill. He couldnot put down my fearlessness and joy to anything he knew. Later I had a colleague who would become frightened driving on strange streets. Her GPS was her lifeline. She did not share my navigational skills or pleasure. I found that sad.

Feeding basic pleasures is not addictive. You get out what you put in or get out more. Most of what I make is useful. I have unlimited inventory. Most of what I make is clothes or plants. Primmage influences my art. I even am bushwhacking for Community Virtual Libraries so putting my talent to good use.

Flurbils do not produce this good kind of pleasure. As I wrote below, they do not allow for flexible use. Building is customization, and exploration is just what it is, but there is always something to see. What flurbils do is set up a kind of competitive pressure to earn points, and buy more product to earn the points, and more importantly, they are a source of intermittent positive reinforcement. This is my button, and it's now stuck down. Intermittent positive reinforcement is the same motivator for gambling addiction and it once fueled large vote exchange campaigns for site fighters. I've been there and done that as far as site fighting is concerned, so I can see it with the flurbils.

Seeing it and doing something about it, however, are two different things. First, I can keep my census at only three flurbils. This slows the earnings but does not stop them. It cuts back on the time needed and does not tempt me to rent land to buy and rez habitats, another way to earn points. This is not, "I can quite any time." This is as far as it's gone and is going to go.

I can also remember, what really makes Second Life fun and pays off with a much bigger reward. Even site fighters are left with their customizable web sites at the end of the day. Even they can write their own cheer and make their own graphics for donation if they're on a good team. Site fighting is more flexible than running flurbils. I need to remember that, no matter which button is locked down. Now the challenge is to remember and keep my priorities straight. I can't help the button pushing, just like I can't help the pleasure that Second Life will always give me. I can help, time, money, and effort. Right now, I hope my flurbils are back in auto-return.

Eileen H. Kramer -- March 18, 2011