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The End of There.com

Yesterday a pioneer in the technology of Avatar-centric communication and Virtual Worlds ended, when There.com after seven years finally closed its virtual doors. My avatar was born August 27, 2003 at 11:30 pm central time, and died March 9, 2010 at 1:58am central time. I died in a sky paz, owned and built by the Snacks, surrounded by friends.



I have thought about it all day. Should I write a blog about it? What will I say? I could go on a major bitch-fest about it, but all that has been done before. We all have our theories about why There failed, despite being one of the most friendly and immersive and beautiful virtual worlds ever created. But I am sad, and not angry anymore. I am letting go of the anger. I want to remember There for what it was to me: A place I met a lot of great people in a short amount of time. Last night some of us said goodbye forever. Some of us made new connections in other places on the internet. We gathered together one last time, and wished each other what we received from There: Good Times.

As I thought about it today I became curious about those who gave so much of themselves to There. Who loved it, as I loved it. That was why yesterday when I began my last Trek around the world of There I began with the one person who captured so much of There on film: Virtual Vikki and Miracle Pictures. I did not know Vikki in There personally that well, we had met perhaps half a dozen times, but when I was in There, and when I think of There, I always thought of her (him) as a tireless advocate for all things There.

I wondered today how he was doing, and I wished I could just say Thank you, and offer what comfort I could to him on the day after our avatars died.

Later today I remembered the early days, when it was all so very new. There was no Second Life, The idea of a 3 D avatar to represent you as a human being online had not gone much farther than "Worlds Chat" (which was my first Virtual World, and interestingly enough, was also Snack's first virtual world) Like much of my life online I began to wonder where are they? Like V'Ger in Star Trek I went searching for my creator(s).

JJ Ventrella who wrote and happily has kept online his wonderful and extensive essay about The Birth of There and some great stuff on the various ideas that still guide those who ponder Virtual Reality.

For those who hung out at Duda Beach, Ken Duda is now at Arista Networks. He is also on Facebook. But I will always remember him like this, a happy new father, when he left There in 2005.

Will Harvey, Matt Danzig, Brett Durett are all still over at IMVU.

They are still out there, creating worlds, and I have gathered close to me those I met who want to travel with me.

And I guess in the end, that is enough.

Flowers and Beads are One Thing...

So, the Peacenik thing. I was going to explain that, and my seemingly contradictory opinions on War and violence. This could get sticky.

Starting first with the Philosophy Of Liberty, my view is that I cannot force anyone to defend me. I can request that they do, and they can volunteer to defend me, but to force another human being to defend you, either in war or personally, is slavery. That being said, our current military is a voluntary military, and therefore those who serve, do so by their own consent, knowing full well that they may be called upon by our Government to defend the country that they serve.

In the early 1970's I was one of those "dirty hippies" who marched on Washington to end the war in Vietnam. It still amazes me to this day, how many people, not really knowing the history of that era, assume that anyone that was a hippie was, and is, a "Leftist Radical". This is not true. The leftists for me, as one who lived through those years, were the SDC (Students for a Democratic Society), The Yippies guided by Abbey Hoffman and the Black Panthers. Most of the hippies I knew were Peace loving anti-establishment/ Big Government Classical Liberals. We were anti-statists. There were several reasons I marched on Washington with the MOBE, chief of which was that I saw personally that an entire generation of men --- My generation--- dying in an unwinnable war. Mostly due to the politicization of the war by Congress and our Government. Most of the young men fighting in the war were there involuntarily-- They were drafted.

And there is the inexperience of Youth. It is easy to wear rose-colored glasses and believe that we could all live in a perfect world if we just end war when you are young and have never come face to face with Evil

And there is Evil in the world. Real evil. And no amount of human striving will ever eliminate it from the world. This is the truth that some fail to take into account when they dream utopian dreams.

I will speak more about the faces of evil next...

Chaos, Freemasons and Freaks Like Me

So, I said I would blog more with the new computer and now that the fact that I am mobile (laptops are good like that) I should stop with the procrastination! I actually wrote down a list of things to vlog about since the computer has a camera that is darn good as well, but believe it or not "The Voice in the Dark" is too well lit during the day for me to feel like sticking my face up on Youtube. I promised Nina I would though, so I will, once the light is not so intense coming in the window here.


One of the things I have never really talked about (and I have wanted to put it down in vlog form but never have) is my politics. In the past year I have become more vocal (most notably here, on my little LJ Blog) but in truth, not near as much as I could be, and should be. Most of my life I have been grossly misunderstood, as my "Liberal" friends assume I am a Liberal (What? Isn't Everyone?) Liberals have a tendency to do that, they are so very certain they are right about everything, and everyone who is anyone thinks exactly like they do, or they are big fat poopie heads. If they are friends with you and you have never bothered to contradict them or you are, like me, frequently silent about your own convictions, then they make the grand assumption that you are exactly like them. Of course you are! Nope. Not even close.

Then again, with my conservative friends, they assume as well that I am exactly like them, but at least this is based PARTIALLY on fact, since If I am going to speak openly at all about my Politics, it is usually with my conservative friends. This is probably because the idea of Liberty and Freedom, which is the pillar of my political thought overlaps with conservativism so easily. I have for years, when pressed, explained my politics as: So far right I am just shy of complete Anarchy. This tends to frighten conservatives, and confuse liberals, so I am generally home free.

I am a Libertarian. There I said it. I have been a Libertarian (although not registered as one, for reasons I will explain later) since 1972. Before that time, I would have been called a "Classic Liberal", and in truth, I probably still am. I am a registered Republican, more for convenience in voting than anything else, as the laws in Oklahoma regarding how candidates get on the ballot are ridiculously restrictive, and cater to the perpetuation of the Two Party System. Too bad that politics and ethics could not be combined in the way they did it in Dungeons and Dragons, and I could say with great ease that I am Chaotic Good alignment and be done with it. But I am in this deep, so let me just dive in with both feet.

My grandparents were Freemasons. Now you may say...wtf? Is this one of the redhead's tangents? Bear with me. As I walked along my spiritual path in life (which is Christian, having accepted Jesus Christ when I was 9 years Old) As I got older in my faith, the Holy Spirit led me to test every foundation and every pillar that makes up my temple that is ME, that is what I live by, that is what I believe. Freemasonry teaches that each man is a temple that is built over a lifetime, and that in order for the temple to be strong, one must begin by a solid foundation. My foundation is my belief in Jesus Christ, and one of the main cornerstones of that foundation is Liberty. This is why I am a libertarian, because I believe that liberty---personal freedom is one of the most important things bestowed on human beings by God.

I consider the cornerstones of my beliefs to be my "proving stones" --that axiom by which other truths are tested. If they do not align with the cornerstones of my beliefs, then I toss them away as false.

Politics is often the prism through which one views current events, and I am no different. The confusion I think I cause in my friends and acquaintances is that the prism I use most often is Liberty--- Does this promote or constrict human freedom? I have linked this little film before but I shall do it one last time here, as it is the best so far that I have found that very simply outlines The Philosophy of Liberty:

It is because of the Philosophy of Liberty and its sanctity of human life and ownership of one's life that I am Pro-Life. The taking of a human life is murder.
This coincides most often with the conservative side of the political spectrum.

My feelings on war and peace most often line up with the left. But it is more complex than that. Most who know me, know I am a Peacenik, my liberal friends believe that this one issue makes me a liberal. But that is too simplistic. Even the fighting man in war desires Peace. And I will leave the discussion there until next time...

First Blog in a Long Time

I finally did it. I got a new computer. It is a beautiful and quite powerful laptop, so finally in Spring, when the mood moves me, I might be able to vlog or blog in the garden. I am still getting used to it, the hardest thing so far is the keyboard, since the keyboard from my old computer is 10 years old and I have used it for so long the letters on most of the keys are no longer visible.

This is also the first year since 2002 that I am not a "paid member" of LJ. I had decided since I was not blogging much, I would let it slide, but if I can get back into the groove of writing, perhaps I will go ahead and pay for it again. I had tried the whole "wordpress" thing, but could never get my brain to geek into that mode enough to learn it, and the log in system seems to be eternally wonkified (at least for me).

So, perhaps I shall reclaim my Live Journal from obscurity. We shall see. I do know that I have felt like writing for some time, but the continual whine of a dying computer was not conducive to any kind of thought. It became the droning in my head that I could not escape.

Yesterday I got my Facebook and my Tweetdeck working, and the external wireless mouse. Today I want to get a couple files off my book drive and put them on the thumb drive. Also want to attempt a vlog using the new camera. Will see how much of that actually gets done. In any case, I do honestly hope to be blogging more.

Naked Hannah Giles

So, you are looking for some juicy Naked Hannah Giles Pictures?

Have fun, fun seekers.
Concerned parents who see the Cult of Personality surrounding the Obama presidency clearly are being demonized by the OLDmedia (most notably NBC/MSNBC) who in their blind "thrill up the leg" worship of their Supreme Leader, do not (will not?) see how dangerous it truly is, and how wrong it is. Liberals have always been ruled by emotion, and are easily manipulated by their own party with their own lack of logic or forsight (or hindsight). Show them a cute puppy picture and they will return home with a box full of puppies, never thinking about how they will feed them, or that someday they will be very large dogs and they live in a one room apartment in the city. They send their children to public (read: State Run) schools, believing the state will educate them properly, and in the next breath bemoan the "failure of our school system". The left believe the state has a "right" to their children. The right believe that the state has only the rights the Parents choose to give it. The continued failure of the State Run school system to properly educate our children, combined with the increasing leftist and liberal agenda being indoctrinated into kids by the misguided left has caused the number of homeschooled children to triple over the last decade. In 2007 the number was estimated to be 1.7 million. As you watch the OLDmeda chuckle smugly at parents who are alarmed that a Obamaite teacher saw no harm in changing the words to not one, but two Christian Hymns to songs of praise to Obama, (songs the children MIGHT have heard differently in church on Sunday) try to remember for a moment that the State has NO right to those children. There are PARENTAL rights, that means that the Parent has the right to raise the child with the values and ethics of that FAMILY. That also means that if the parent hates rice pudding, they can teach their child to hate rice pudding. They, the parent, NOT the State, has the last say about what is, and is not RIGHT to teach their child, including changing who they should sing hymns to.

Let us look at some other facts.The liberals believe (wrongly) that the Right has no compassion. They think the right is heartless and would gladly throw poor folks into the great abyss if given half the chance.

Who exactly is throwing the poor into the pit?

City, State, % of People Below the Poverty Level (pop. 250,000+)
(U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey, August 2007)

1. Detroit , MI 32.5%
2. Buffalo , NY 29.9%
3. Cincinnati , OH 27.8%
4. Cleveland , OH 27.0%
5. Miami , FL 26.9%
6. St. Louis , MO 26.8%
7. El Paso , TX 26.4%
8. Milwaukee , WI 26.2%
9. Philadelphia , PA 25.1%
10. Newark , NJ 24.2%

Democrat Party Rule in these Cities

1. Detroit, MI hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961
2. Buffalo, NY hasn’t elected one since 1954
3. Cincinnati, OH …since 1984
4. Cleveland, OH …since 1989
5. Miami, FL has never had a Republican mayor
6. St. Louis, MO ….since 1949
7. El Paso, TX has never had a Republican mayor
8. Milwaukee, WI …since 1908
9. Philadelphia, PA …since 1952
10. Newark, NJ …since 1907

Why do Democrat voters continue to believe the false promises of the very people who keep them in poverty? Because they vote with their emotions. They do not see the facts.

More later.

Catching you up to date...

I have not written in a while....

This about covers it.


Question Authority

Back in my "hippie" days, I had two favorite posters they said:

Question Authority


I love my Country, But I don't Trust My Government

Last week on Glenn Beck, (who is currently the "hate, rankor and vitriol target" of the week/month for the Left-leaners), He had a great series on Questioning Authority, and did us all a favor by getting the questions we should (or are) asking all in a neat little list. Here they are:

- Our unfunded liability for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is close to $100 trillion. Is there any way to pay for these programs without bankrupting America?

- We are in so much debt, why spend more borrowed money on cap-and-trade and healthcare programs before we stop the flow of red-ink?

- The stimulus package funneled billions of dollars to ACORN. How does giving billions of dollars to ACORN stimulate the economy?

- If it was so important for congress to pass the stimulus bill before they even had time to read it why has only a fraction of the stimulus money been spent 6 months later?

- Bush said he had to abandon free market principles in order to save them, how exactly does that work?

- Why won’t members of Congress read the bills before they vote on them?

- Why are citizens mocked and laughed at when they ask their congressman to read the bills before they vote on them?

- Was the cash-for-clunkers program meant to save the earth or the economy? Did it accomplish either?

- How did Van Jones, a self-proclaimed communist become a special advisor to the president?

- Did President Obama know of Van Jones’ radical political beliefs when he named him special advisor?

- The Apollo Alliance claimed credit for writing the stimulus bill—why was this group allowed to write any portion of this bill?

- If politicians aren’t writing the bills and aren’t reading the bills, do they have any idea what these 1000 page plus bills actually impose on the American people?

- If the ‘public option’ health care plan is so good why won’t politicians agree to have that as their plan?

- If town hall meetings are intended for the politicians to learn what’s on our mind—why do they spend so much time talking instead of listening?

- Politicians are refusing to attend town hall meetings complaining, without evidence, that they are scripted. Does that mean we shouldn’t come out and vote for you since every campaign stop, baby kiss and speech you give is scripted?

- Why would you want to overwhelm the system?

- Is using the economic crises to rush legislation through congress what Rahm Emanuel meant when he talked about "not letting a crises go to waste"?

- What are the czars paid? What is the budget for their staffs/offices?

- Who is "surrounding" the President in the White House?

- Do any of the President's advisers have criminal records?

- Are the President's advisers working to better the country or their own ideals?

- Who are the anti-capitalists in Washington?

- What roles do they have in crafting bills?

- What was "STORM"? What happened to the founders, where are they now?

- What qualifications must one have to be a Presidential adviser?

- What is the difference between a community organizer and a community activist?

- Do the czars have power?

- Should a communist have the ear of the President of the United States?

- What role did the Apollo Alliance play in crafting bills?

- Does the President know the co-founder of the Weather Underground is a board member of the Apollo Alliance?

- How many people in the administration are connected to the movement for a democratic society?

- What role does George Soros play... CONSTITUTIONALLY?

Why does the FCC have a diversity "czar"?

- Who is Mark Lloyd and how does he plan to "balance" the airwaves?

- Will he bring back the Fairness Doctrine or worse?

- Cass Sunstein once said he wants to balance the Internet; is that next?

- Will broadcasters who leave the airwaves be allowed to go to satellite or Internet without government regulation?

- Is there any place (that has a mass audience) where the government wont regulate free speech?

- Why does it seem every member of the Obama advisory team hates capitalism, unless those companies (like G.E.) are in bed with the administration?

If Lloyd has his way, stations who don't comply to the governments definition of the "public interest" will have to pay a massive fine — that helps support public broadcasting:

- What will be the definition of "public interest"?

- Who defines "public interest"?

- Why should it be balanced? Because it's public airwaves? (Well, there are public roads that go by my house and I don't count how many Republicans and Democrats are driving on them)

Why do we need a civilian force?

- Who is posing a threat to us?

- Who will this "force" be made up of?

- Who is the real enemy?

- Does the president know of a coming event? If not, who builds an army against an unrecognized enemy?

- Why won't the media get off their butts and look into these radicals in the White House? And into this civilian army?


Summertime, and the Livin is Easy

So, I have neglected my journal most of the summer. That sucks. I have generally been caught up in micro-blogging aka Twitter and Facebook, and have not been doing a lot of long drawn out writing. In truth, I think that as you get older, it is not that you have less to say, you just realize that no one wants to hear it anymore.

I also hate my blahdy blah posts, they are better suited for on the spot micro-blogging and I enjoy it. Seems tho that although LJ was the first of the whole "Journal online" thing, the bad boys with the knowledge have taken the idea and mutated it without considering the millions who use and have used LJ since the beginning of internet-time.

I am not going to try to make a new resolve to do better, because I always break it. And really, my DEEP THOUGHTS ramble around in my head til I realize it has all been thought before, by someone, and said, by someone, in a much brighter and more articulate way than I could ever say.

Not on the pity pot, either, just truth, straight up.

Anyway Spectral ooze and industrial lubricants. If you understand that you know where my head is at.

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