Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quick Update

Last night's post requires an update.  The first and foremost one is that things seem to not be as bad as I felt they were.  Well, they were pretty bad at the time, but my friend and I are looking to work things out, so that's a positive. Secondly, I'm not going to drop the business, or out of SL.  The main change so far is that the administration role is taken off the table.

That is all for now.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wells & Foregoance job ad

Well, it's official, the Wells & Foregoance Company has now become licensed in Perdition as a POE (Player Organized Employment).  I still need to hire 4 people to be able to apply for PRO (Player Run Organization).  So, I just put in at Perdition's Yellow Pages an ad for which the link is here:

For those that can't see the link, the ad is as follows:

Just out of business school? Highly motivated? Career and goal oriented? If you can describe yourself as any of these three, then we have the job for you! Come by your local Wells & Foregoance branch office, or send a fax, email, or call to Luke Heartsdale to set up an interview today! 

The following jobs are available:

Insurance Producer/Agent

Assistant District Sales Manager
Branch Sales Manager
Assistant Sales Manager

Contact: Luke Heartsdale
Cell: (143) 555-1982
Office: (140) 555-1776
Fax: (140) 555-1777
Email: lheartsdale@w&

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Joke Not Well-Liked by RPers...

A one-liner, a para-RPer, and a metagamer all walked into a bar...

The one liner says to the bartender: Sup' how're you?

The para-RPer says: Mr. Bojangles pranced into the bar, and did a tappity-tap-tap with his fingers as he meant to get the bartender's immediate attention.  After humming his favorite song from Cats (the rum tum tugger, of course) he finally asks the bar tender, "Could you make me a strawberry daquery please?"

And the metagamer says: "Hey Bob the Bartender! Can you make a White Russian? Yes you can!"  And laughs.

And so the bartender replies: "Ok, a can of beer for the simpleton, a fruity cocktail for the fruity nutjob with the elaborate and rather gay entrance, and play of Russian roulette for the fucking mind reader."  To which he thinks to himself, but without taking out any bullets from the chamber when I shoot his ass.

Dream Job?

I don't know if I'd call it that.  Maybe a nightmare.  But yet, this is what my character's RP job calculated out to with wages that I gave:

Wells & Foregoance Company Job Application

From here on out, Wells & Foregoance Company will simply be known as 'Company', and applicant by the name of _______________ will be known as 'applicant'.

Job Description
It is hereby known by applicant that the Company is seeking to employ him or her as District Sales Manager, to which will be called 'DSM.' Job duties of a DSM include, but are not limited to:

- Operation of both office and administrative duties of the District office.
- Execution of official business and scheduling of daily plans.
- Acting as head of the official business of the District office.
- Taking appointments and phone calls directed to the office of the DSM.
- Visiting the branch offices of the Company in the District when necessary after ADSM reporting.
- Follow up on any queries made, or suspicious elements found at a branch office, and bringing such problems to the attention of the CEO.

Applicant understands that as DSM, they are to keep their insurance license up to date and have applied for the training materials for this office. As an officer of the Company, applicant must be appointed by the office of the CEO, following a 10 day probation period by which the appointment will be reviewed and duly approved by the CEO as long as applicant credentials and certificates pass the examination of the CEO authorization policies.

((For now, unless Perdition rules change, and once the group is more fully established, it will be assumed that if you are applying for the job that you are licensed and have the credentials. Possibilities of forged licenses and slipping through unlicensed should be run by the DSM of this group before applying.))

The base pay of a DSM is $80.00 per hour plus commission and per diem. It is agreed by Applicant that, as a new DSM in training for the first week or two, said new DSM will be under the supervision of the CEO office. Under the 10 day probation period, a new DSM will NOT receive full benefits package and will get only half pay per hour until approval process has been completed. If applicant passes CEO inspection, applicant as fully certified DSM will be reimbursed for the other half of wages and regarded as being deferred pay.

(( Wages are RPed.  Therefore, consider salary to be based on a 40 hour weekly schedule.  So, payout would be $3,200 a week, and about $16,000 a month, for annual salary of $192,000 - all minus commission. So, for instance, you might wind up with $1,000 commissions once a month.  That's $12,000 plus the $192,000 base pay, making the total annual salary $204,000. Commissions are not guaranteed, of course.))

Applicant agrees to terms made by Company here in this application. Agreement is duly noted by signature of Applicant and that of Company authorized Human Resources Agent.

Applicant's Signature: _____________________
Company HRA Signature: _____________________
So who wants my RP job? <.<

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Facebook and Privacy

I first heard it on the radio, from local DJs discussing the matter.  Looked at it in the local paper.  What is seen here is not Facebook intentionally, nor maliciously transmitting privacy, but the leaking of it through 3rd party apps.  This is done through what is about a 15 year old application within virtually all internet browsers available, and almost a core necessity to run a majority of applications and gadgets that you find throughout the web.  And this little application is called a cookie.  To brush up on what a cookie is, feel free to look at the Wiki here.

Privacy groups would like to blame Facebook and say in a rather unrealistic view that because Facebook has been assuring privacy for so long that they should be directly held accountable for the leaks through cookies.  The problem is, the leak comes from the opting in to third party apps, by which the leak springs from the use of cookies to use the apps.  This is really not conspiracy theory type stuff that the Privacy groups would hyperbole. What's really at the core of this is that web browsers and interface needs to start looking at ways to make application work that does not have to be done through the use of cookies.

Also, it would help for third parties to make it clear that, in opting in to their application that there is a possibility of being opted into certain ad networks.  As long as that is clear, then legally, the persons then held accountable for what happens to their privacy is the person who agrees to opt in.  In that case, even the privacy groups would have to admit that, in the end, the only one that can keep a person's identification from being passed around is in the hands of the person him/herself.

In the online world, because it is basically a public forum, people have to be proactive in protecting their information.  It doesn't matter what assurances a company like Facebook makes.  Those assurances generally only apply to that company, and primarily to their abilities to secure their own network that you opt into.  You opt into a third party app and you, the user of that app reduces that assurance.

In a way, it is almost like with a health insurance policy.  You initially start the policy in a safe job, and under reasonably good health.  The insurance company assesses your risk by those factors.  If you happen to switch to a much more hazardous job, or participate in a dangerous or extreme sport, like sky diving, there is the possibility that such risks will not be covered in the policy.  Likewise, with Facebook, if you choose to opt into a third party app that is found to have a virus or is involved in identity theft, then you, who opted into that third party app are responsible for the leak, and the assurance is something that Facebook could not possibly cover because Facebook is responsible for what Facebook itself says it can assure about privacy.  They are not responsible for the third parties unless they indeed do assure the quality of the third party in question.  And even there, if you yourself click on that third party and opt into the app, you have made yourself responsible by opting in.

If you don't want to be responsible for the security risk, then don't opt in and report suspicious ads and third party apps.  This is the very advice that Facebook itself gives in a blog shown here.  So be proactive in the security of your privacy.  Be informed, not merely by privacy groups who seem to have an agenda beyond just concern for your privacy, but also find an official voice from Facebook and the third party app you are interested in.  DO YOUR RESEARCH!  If you do that, regardless if it's an app, an ad, or any other sort of business, then you will have a greater assurance than even Facebook can give you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Job Query

This took me most the afternoon and early evening to write.  I'd hope it is effective enough to get in the door and find out more about the job, but at any rate, I figure to publish it here as port of FL 'Acta Diurna' - or 'Daily Acts' - , so as to keep all who are interested informed.

Explain the phrase “work ethic” and describe yours.

On the first, concerning 'work ethic', I'll take a part to whole aspect.  Work, at it's basic means the energy, or labor put into something.  In that sense, one is always doing work, in as much as a person is spending energy to do something, whether at play, in an occupation, or even in the physics of motion or with an object, material, or element acting on another. All that implies 'work' with respect to what energy it takes to employ it, or 'set things into motion'.  

Ethic, in modern usage, it has come to mean principalities and general guidelines of a thing - a body, or entity, to which implies mostly toward businesses, governments, and corporations.  It can, and still means to some extent an individual's autonomy, or ability to self govern.  From it's origins in the Greek of 'ethikos', it simply meant something that 'arises from habit', or a custom, and was considered an art, or an excellence. It referred to a human's ability to do a thing, and to do it well. That is the quality, or nature of 'art', the ethic was becoming accustomed to doing that art and essentially getting to a point to be able to do that art consistently and in good quality.

Thus, to me, a good work ethic means that one is not only spending energy doing something, but consistent in doing a thing, and does it in good quality and principality, while always striving to raise the bar in the excellence of doing that thing.  Or, more simply put - to be persistent, to work hard, and to strive always to do better than before.

Describe a difficult time you have had dealing with an employee, customer, or co-worker. Why was it difficult? How did you handle it? What was the outcome?

About the most difficult time I have had with the jobs I've had was in making cold calls.  A lot of them, in about 10 seconds of hearing a company's pitch to them are ready to say 'no', or 'not interested'.  And those are the one's kind enough to not hang up.  There's very little you can do, other than to acknowledge and move on.  If you can ask them 'I'm sorry, but what is it you're not interested in?'  And get a response other than the click on their end as they hang up, then there is the possibility to start a dialogue and see if they really aren't interested, or if it was the usual impulse to say no, which is ingrained in the majority of people that one would call on cold calls.  They are generally non-responders, possibly got something in the mail about the information, but hadn't gotten around to figuring out what it was in the first place, let alone if it is something of interest.  So, as the one calling, you have a short amount of time to jog their memory, or move on to see if you can interest them in at least talking about it, and hopefully setting up an appointment so you can sit down and continue the conversation, with maybe the end result being to sell them something, or at the very least potentially leave them better informed.

When I worked on acknowledging and moving on, and the better prepared I became in taking calls, the more often I was able to get a 'yes' on the other end, and the more I was able to have an opportunity to continue the conversation.  If I could do more, it would be to be able to have had more preparation and information to work with when making the cold calls.  Knowledge is power, most definitely, and the more informative you can be on the phones, the more responsive the person on the other end is to listen and take you seriously.

To you, which is more desirable: A business that is run in an efficient business-like manner OR a business that is run in a personal and friendly way?

Both have their merit.  That can't be denied.  Both can be efficient.  That can't be denied either.  Derided? Yes, but not denied.  Wall-Mart used to be derided for employing the corporate family model, and yet they are near the top in their industry.  The question instead seems more on the level of what should be the customs of a business - should it be professional or familial?

Personally, I could go with either one.  With substitute teaching, even when I was taking classes toward getting certified, I was told everything from 'don't smile on the first day' and 'don't try to be their best friend,' to 'you have to establish a relationship with the children' and 'you have to get down to their level and understand them first.'  Are these statements contrary to each other?  Yes and no.  Yes because the former are saying, essentially, 'be professional', and the latter are saying, basically, 'treat them like family.'  On the other hand, they are both trying to create a model for establishing a relationship with the client, who in teaching happens to directly be the children in the classroom. And, on one hand, some children do want to see their teacher as their friend, or like a father or mother figure.  On the other hand, some children want you to be a voice of authority, to push them and help them come to better themselves in their scholastics and overall shaping of their human character - to prepare them for the adult world as best you can and at the level allowed for that particular age and grade they are in. 

Adults, and those entering into their adulthood are not terribly dissimilar.  And no matter what age, there is still room for improvement.  There is still a necessity to try and press forward, to keep moving the energy, to move forward and find the next plateau, and continue to strive for that excellence of one's work.  Whether that improvement can be found in a more professional or familial environment is often personal choice.  And when groups of like-minded come together, that choice becomes company preference - the custom, or ethic whereby the principles have their origins and are set.

I like a professional environment.  I can work in a familial environment as well.  Both are possible, but if I had to choose, I like a professional environment to work in.    

What would you have liked to do more of in your last position? What held you back?

Well, I would have liked to have sold an insurance policy, or quite a few, since the work was straight commission.  And that the wages were based on straight commission was a prime factor in what held me back.  After finishing up my duties to the 2010 Census, I started a week long business class, which was about $120.  The testing, overall, cost me about as much. And, of course, licensing fees and other fees for getting appointed to the company I was looking to work for.  I can't complain too much about this, because I agreed to it.  Hindsight is always 20-20, and it took me about three weeks to realize that selling insurance wasn't my niche.  It was primarily the aspect of putting more money into trying to start it up and contrasting that to what money is being paid out.  When I resigned, they tried to call me back, but I declined because it just wasn't cost effective to continue to try and do business when I'm not even breaking even on the deal.  If I got an hourly wage for the time spent making cold calls and got mileage covered, like I did with work at the Census (about $0.50 per mile), I would have been more inclined to continue.  But, I took a gamble and found that it didn't pay out as I would have liked.  So, for now, having something that is a steady, hourly wage, where I know I'm getting paid for the work I put in day in and day out looks much more desirable.

Why have you applied for this position?

Not to sound arrogant, but the most basic response is because I can do it.  I wouldn't apply for a job if I didn't think I could.  Granted, some jobs don't show to be a right fit and don't work out, but that doesn't mean I didn't have the ability to do them.  With regards to requirements, I have a Liberal Arts Bachelor's of Arts degree in Humanities.  I have had experience in both sales/telemarketing, as well as retail.  But of my experiences, I consider the top three most valuable of them being from substitute teaching, service learning work as an AmeriCorps member, and the more current work I did, both in the clerical and courrier operations that the 2010 Census gave opportunity for me to do.  

Substitute teaching was the ground work, and laid the foundation for the beginnings of my work ethic.  Taking calls and managing my weeks with regard to what appointments I could keep for coming in to teach classes on a variety of subjects to a diverse population of students in two local school districts.  I had initially looked for it to be my preparation for going into full time teaching, and thus much of my income went into working towards a Masters in Teaching.  However, time restraints and the economics of putting most money into tuition was taking its toll both in finances and with family situation, as I was living with my parents then so I wouldn't have to put in the additional cost of rent and other needs of daily living into the mix of essentials.  However, that did take from personal autonomy, to which I credit AmeriCorps for the second phase in my personal development.

Even though with AmeriCorps, I did take quite a pay cut, as their stipend was about $875 a month then, the benefits were that I was living in an apartment, and I was doing more things to develop both in team work and personal autonomy and responsibility.  To say that giving a year to service leaning as an AmeriCorps member was a sacrifice of both time and money is not an overstatement.  Yet what I gained was day in and day out experience in working with children as a tutor and role model in the local elementary schools.  Not only did I aid them in-class, but also through running a library homework club.  I also helped the teachers and staff in general by providing assistance with after school activities, such as  supervising students during parent nights, helping with hands on activities during science fairs, and even in the operation of a literature contest that was annual and incorporated the majority of elementary schools in the district.  I also was in the committee for Advertising for the Winter Literacy Project, as well as in the Posters Committee that coincided with of the Spring Literacy Project. Both committees had me working on press releases that I had to send out to various media, and both Literacy Projects I was required to help produce and participate in as part of the volunteer requirements of Regional Service Corps. These were no small tasks and required much professionalism to do well. It was also an operation by which we worked in collaboration with the Richland and the branches of the Libraries. 
Census 2010 brought me further into a business ethic.  I started out there under administration.  It was mainly personnel and payroll, to which my main functions were with the checks and balances of auditing and data entry of personal and private information.  I even processed hiring, and did some payroll.  Other clerical duties were auditing and quality control on what came in from the field, to which later led to me taking a route by which I had the dual responsibility of taking things out to the field and bringing things in.  All of which is classified, and I am not allowed to speak on the sensitive materials due to the contract of my appointment with the 2010 Census.  That, to me, gave the work a certain amount of importance, and I will always look at that period of time as a great service to my country, which incidentally had a decent payout overall as a bonus.

What skill set do you think you would bring to this position?

I would say the organizational and adaptive skills that began with substitute teaching, and followed me into AmeriCorps, as well as into the Census work.  To be able to take calls, make and set appointments, and to be able to assess situations quickly and efficiently, so that things can run smoothly and be set into motion. While I can be cool and calm, I also want to be able to see and feel the energy, and promote the positive of that energy to inspire the confidence and assurance needed to make sure the job is done, and done well, with always looking for areas to improve.

Tell me about your present or last job. Why did you choose it? Why did you/do you want to leave?

I already went into that somewhat, save for why I chose it.  Initially, I looked at it as continuing on in trying to serve people and help them to see the benefits of life and health insurance, particularly with regards to long term care.  For many, long term care is considered like a death sentence, when really it is not.  Its basic importance is helping with the activities of daily living - things of which even heath insurance, whether straight private or the combination of Medicare and Medigap policies do not cover.  Their importance is in helping assist the policy holder in being able to pay for long term care, whether it be going to a nursing home, assisted living, or in-home care.  Many will reply that they will let their spouse of children cover that.  And, as noble as it might be, the realities can be that neither spouse nor child will be able to do so, whether financially, or by the facts of spouse having died or child moving away and having their own family and work to tend to.  Long term care would be a way to help cover for these things when the other options are not feasible, or simply are not there.  Thus, if I could help someone to be able to get into such policies, I would have felt I did them a good service by helping them plan for their future.

However, the business of doing so just wasn't feasible for me to pursue further without becoming a financial burden to me.  And it just doesn't make sense to try and assess others assets when my own need to be put into order.  Therefore, I am looking for employment that has a steady wage to which gains opportunity for both financial and personal growth.

What was your primary contribution/achievement? Biggest challenge?

Overall contribution or achievement, I would say would still be in the area of education.  AmeriCorps and substitute teaching have been more direct in this area, and I still feel the contributions anyone can make towards education are among the greatest anyone can make.  To teach, or at least pass down, not just knowledge, but show by example and experience is at the core of the foundation of the human experience and how we come to react and interact with one another as human beings.

But that too is the biggest challenge.  Modern media itself understands this as recent shifts in technology lead to changes in how media is produced and how it flows out into the world.  There's not just the world wide web and social networking, but metaverses in which people interact with each other.  But even so, even as the online world tries to make this world even smaller and remove geographical boundaries, there is still importance in staying in touch with one's local, physical community.  And one of the most prime resources for that is the local newspaper.  Where else can one get the most up to date information on the happenings in one's community than by opening up and reading a local newspaper?  You want to know what's going in in the cities?  The newspaper is still the local hub of the community. Sure, you can find websites for local groups and organizations, but where do you find out that these places exist if not by reading about them in the paper?  People of all ages can benefit from reading the local newspaper, and the value is immeasurable for local businesses and organizations to get the word out about their events and how to get in contact with them. Yet, with the rise of online media, the challenge comes in reminding people that the local paper still holds value to them in the physical world around them.

In what areas would you like to develop further? What are your plans to do that?

I want to continue to improve my people skills.  While this response back may show my writing abilities, being able to type is only one aspect to communication.  To hold a conversation 'in real time', as it is sometimes called, is vital and something I want to improve upon.  That's probably most important, is to be able to continue the conversation.

Initial plan is to, hopefully, meet face to face and discuss more on the finer details of what the duties of District Sales Manager will be beyond just filling a position.  To learn what is the geography of the assigned territories - who my client base would be, as well as the pool of potential employment that I would be working from for recruiting and contracting.  And certainly, what software I might be required to work with in regards to the bookkeeping and other business and organizational operations of the job.  I don't mind working mornings.  In fact, an early start in the day is preferable as I find it helps push a person to be more productive.

Describe for me a time when you have come across questionable business practices; how did you handle the situation?

Not to get into details, but I did find a few questionable business practices in my last job in insurance.  While I couldn't say whether they were anything illegal or anything, they didn't feel very professional, and professionalism was one of the draws for why I inquired upon joining the business in the first place.  Basically, it felt like corners were being cut, and certain training was being hastened, expediting relatively new employees in a manner that seemed detrimental to their apprenticeship in the business.  And, with three of us relatively newcomers all resigning over the same weekend, that should have been a wake up call that something is not working.  I can only hope that the branch manager comes to understand this and works on improving upon this area, as it undermines the service if you don't train your new employees properly.  Cutting those corners in the beginning is like chipping away at the foundation.  So thus, I resigned to look for a better job opportunity while still keeping a reasonable amount of my finances in order for this undertaking.

Tell me anything else you would like us to know about you that will aid us in making our decision.

Well, I wanted to keep this relatively brief, and I feel I have been thus far candid enough.  So, really, I'd like to know more about you, and continue this conversation face to face as soon at time allows. And I do thank you for your time in reading this not-so-brief response back to your query.  If anything, I hope my writing does not come off terribly arrogant, and provides greater confidence in my skills, abilities, and desires to provide the quality, and professionalism that is sought for and demanded of a District Sales Manager.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

φιλανθρωπικόν ὄνειρον

That is, 'philanthropic dreams' - φιλανθρωπικόν ὄνειρον (philanthropikon oneiron) is not here noting being sent some message through dreams, or meeting said god  Ὄνειρος (Oneiros), or having some personified journey through the netherworld, but just a dream.  You see, I have been thinking. If I had the money to, some of the places I would like to be able to help out financially would be local coffee shops.  Granted, by being a patron and going nearly daily to these shops for a latte or a smoothie, I am in some ways already being somewhat philanthropic.  But, I mean on the grander scale of being able to financially back their endeavors to help serve others.  To make sure they always have enough to keep afloat and stay in business.  For to me, these shops provide a valuable service.

The local coffee shops in my area that I live are my office where I work on writing, editing, and doing all that I need to do to create and shape stories.  It is also where I can relax and have a feel for a vibrant atmosphere, even if I don't actively participate in what goes on around me.  In some ways, when I do look up from my writing, it does give me chance to observe the flow of people around me.  To see them as they study, talk with friends, order their drinks, hear the sounds of the espresso machine at work heating up the milk for the lattes or water for the teas.  The music, though I sometimes drown out with my headphones when I'm searching for songs I want to use as themes, also adds to the atmosphere.  It's a lovely office and recreation all at once, and perfect for inspiration and observation.  

So, if I ever did become a famous author, or at least good enough to make due, and have extra to spend on 'φιλανθρωπικόν ὄνειρον' then that is what I would do.  I would put it in as my 'lease' to my offices of work.  Of course, I already do in that little bit that I give each day for my own drinks that I buy there.  But, I would prefer that one day I could do more for them as appreciation for the good service and hospitality they have given to me throughout my years of patronage to them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Remembering some of my RPs back when I did more with Luke and Ioh as weretiger and wereleopard respectively, it seems that I had been doing it right all along.  Funny, though, is that I did not know about the Four stages of forced transformation, even for werewolves, but I still essentially RPed them out in similar manner, minus the full moon aspect. That's mainly because the full moon aspect seems mundane to the whole therianthrope genre, and more so because SL doesn't have moon phases.  There's always a full moon in SL night, and I just don't want my were-creatures to be always being forced to change every time night time comes around in SL, which can be quite often, depending on sky settings.  However, if an RP sim wanted to designate a period of time for a full moon to be in effect, I'd consider using that for forced transformation.

But, for now, I'm not really focusing on any therianthropic character, so my were-creatures can relax and not be worried about being forced into any transformations any time soon.  However, the wiki was still a fun read, which all you who read this blog can check out here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Writer's Creed

Ok, maybe not so much a creed.  But certainly a good portion of an argument that I think is worth  posting here as it's own blog spot.  The rest of the argument can be found here
This is my writing from that a comment.  Luke Heartsdale is my character, and so I feel that, as it is my writing, it is fine to post this here to be read on it's own in this blog, as well as being referenced back to its origins on the Flickr picture post.  Feel free to comment here or there.
Writing and storytelling have always been in the realms of natural and either 'unnatural' or 'supernatural'. I suppose, in the long run, I choose the latter because, if something is created, no matter how abstract and hard to define as something of nature, it still is a part of the whole of what is natural. Therefore, it's supernatural because the explanation of its creation/existence is outside our realm of being able to describe it in whatever bubble of normalcy we accept or choose to buy into. I choose to refrain from calling things supernatural 'mythical', mainly because, the very meaning of the root of the word, being mythos, basically means 'story.' And, if anything can be made into a story, which anything can, then all things can be considered mythical. The only difference between modern and ancient myths is what we know, or think we know, compared to what our ancestors knew, or what we think they knew. What is the commonality? All stories, past present, and future, were, are, and will be based on the experiences and imaginations of the human beings that have, do, and will make the stories they write. And most of all, for any story - any myth - to come into being, someone has to either write it down, or at least tell it for it to be passed down in some form or another, regardless of what shape the forms of media take in any given human generation. But this is the altruism of story writing that has been passed down and remains as sacred a tradition to a writer as Sacred Tradition does in so many world religions, even in those Bible thumping Sola Scriptura Evangelist Christians that would claim they go by no tradition, but the Bible alone. I'm sorry to tell them, as much as they doth protest, by going by that principality, they have been going by a tradition that's now nearly 400 years old.

But think about that. Just in noting tradition, just in speaking of stories, there is the workings of conflict no matter what. Why? Because there are multiple schools, theories, principalities all at work there. Whether we like to see it or not, our lives revolve around some sort of conflict, no matter how big or small we make of it. Tolkien himself had noted that he saw it no big a thing if people want to explore the dreadfulness of modern life any more than those that delve deep into the mythologies or ancient peoples now long dead. Of course, he quipped, just as any sensible author might, that modern people can be just as 'dead' and dull as those ancient people, but he, who gave us the world of Middle Earth and all the Lord of the Rings entails, does not deny that the modern world has created for us the blueprints for even fantasy. In some ways, he chose, consciously or not, to utilize his real life experiences to help drive meaning into his world of fantasy. It was a place he could escape to, yes, and certainly to free his creativity and imagination. But it was also a safe place to explore his ideas and experiences from real life, and maybe in doing so, helped to keep him sane and hone in on an ability to be reflective in nature. To maybe relive the horrors or war, but to also provide a way to produce his lessons learned from war in a way that does not lecture or preach, but shows them in powerful imagery.

I will never deny that RP is a form of entertainment and escapism. So are many books, movies, and other media. But, RP does not just have to be limited to such. Mythos itself cannot be limited to one lock in step way of doing things. Although, just like life itself, it does have the basic pattern, that eternal cycle of having a beginning, a middle, and an end. Humanity did not need Aristotle to note this. But Aristotle was one of the ones of antiquity that we can point to that did put it in the footnotes of the human story. And ever since then, all stories mimic the three act play, or deconstructed it to basically recontruct it and come up with the same thing, but with a few more steps added here and there. Regardless, the cycle is there in a story we create, just as the cycle of life is there in our collective story of humanity. There's no getting past the rhythm. It's just there. It exists. And it will continue to exist for as long as we, or some other sentient being is around to create stories and be part of the story of life.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Camping in Crossroads?

This post has a related picture on Flickr here.

Crouched on a ledge of the old clock tower, a dark, shadowy figure looks over the courtyard. Doth this barely visible, brooding-looking shade bring about fright and terrorize the folks below him due to his IC prowess and loathsome look as he perches there in a stoic silence? Apparently not. It seems this dark knight is more terrifying to those around him in OOC. Read on, dear reader, if you dare, and learn about the frightning things that the GMs of Crossroads are more concerned about with OOC appearances, rather than IC actualities.
GM I: Iohannes?
Iohannes Crispien: yes?
GM I: I'm a GM here in Crossroads. You know the rules of Crossroads and CCS?
Iohannes Crispien: pretty much
GM I: I'm asking because your behaviour looks a lot like camping
Iohannes Crispien: I'm taking photos
Iohannes Crispien: but I can turn off the meter, if that's the problem
GM I: Please do.
GM I: Then you won't get problems with any GM
Iohannes Crispien: sorry. I'm used to not being hassled just for taking photos.
GM I: It's not a big issue, but when you stay for a long time in the same place without any RP it might
Iohannes Crispien: But then, also RP non metered, and in places that don't use them, so camping isn't ever considered, since there's no meter to camp for
GM I: Camping is allowed, but not camping for XP
Iohannes Crispien: well, it's a nonissue. I don't even care about xp. I've been in SL for 3 years, RPed in CCS sims and estates, and the furthes any of my characters have gotten is lvl 10 or so. Considering that I've been RPing for this long, and non of my characters are at lvl 50 or 100, you can rest assured that I don't camp
GM I: I believe you.
Iohannes Crispien: thanks
GM I: Have fun
[01:42 PM] Iohannes Crispien: you too.
GM II: why are you taking pictures of the sim?
Iohannes Crispien: because it's what I do in SL? I like to take pictures. Even post some that I edit and think look good and put them on Flickr. Even make stories for those pics. It's part of how I RP and enjoy my time in SL
GM II: so not copying builds?
Iohannes Crispien: I don't even build, and if I wanted to I know where to get textures legally. But I"m not interested in building.
GM II: ty
Iohannes Crispien: what I have been doing is parially a profile pic, and trying out windlight settings to see what gives the best look and feel
Iohannes Crispien: yw
Note: On a more serious side, I did find this interruption to my photo shooting quite annoying and disturbing. But, I put this here as fair notice that if you do go to Crossroads to take pics, and they find you standing (or perching) around, they will get in your face about it. I was neither trying to camp for xp, nor take pics to copy their precious build. No, I was just trying to enjoy the environment and get in some pictures to be able to post for flickr and profile purposes. However, because of the interruption, and because I like to reveal asshattery when it happens, I post this here.
I'm not saying that Crossroads is a bad place to RP. Having been observing it for some time, both on Ioh and my alt, I have found it an interesting place and had Ioh join the RP group there to maybe get in some minor RP here and there, or just to be able to go around taking photos for fun and as being there in a more official manner. It is a beautiful build, and I would provide more pictures of Crossroads to advertise that, to which would gain them more traffic, assuming those of you that check out my Flickr like what you see and hear from me about the place. So, I'm just disapointed that my first impression to put up on Flickr is not so great. Hopefully, though, my next reviews of Crossroads will be much more on the positive, as I do believe that this sim has potential for good RP, despite the hang up of using the CCS for metered battle.
And no, none of my characters likely will make it to lvl 50 or 100 on CCS. I doubt many of them will get past lvl 10 or 15. I just simply will not waste my time on trying to gain XP when my PRIMARY reasons to go into any RP sim are either to RP or take photos.
But, I guess that goes to show that asshat GMs are not just isolated to Midian or Crack Den. :p