Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

10 Years of Writing!   2 comments

The 2017 staff of Around the Grid — (l-r) Correspondent and Photographer Jem Sternhall; Publisher and Chief Correspondent Harper Ganesvoort; Senior Photographer Conan Bankersbox

Written by Harper Ganesvoort

When I started Around the Grid on November 20, 2007, I had no idea how long I would keep this up, nor that two others would join me over that decade of writing and photography.  I was by myself back then, just getting away from rezzing in and out and using free rooms for a place to camp my buns — my system buns in 2007! — while I hunted for interesting things to do and investigate.  I’d found a cheap apartment in the Dunyvaig region of the Mainland with a sleeping-bunk loft for “nighttime,” and I thought I might be insane enough to take on writing a second blog!  (I was doing some political and general blogging back in 2007.)

Not surprisingly, many things have changed in 10 years.  I look a lot better (grin).  I gave up the poliblogging in 2009, ’round about January 20.  I now rent an entire island, with several additional platforms above the living space.  (One thing hasn’t changed; I still run tight on prims.)  I’ve acquired two others to work with me.  And, from that null start in 2007, this blog has seen 1,370 articles published, 1,304 of them originally written by me.  Assuming around 500 words per article, that’s well over 650,000 words of news, fashion, exploration, poetry and song, short fiction and general balderdash by me.  And that doesn’t even take into account the amount of photography I’ve done.  (Nor the ocean of lindens I’ve spent.)  Makes a girl tired to contemplate that much work on what was supposed to be a pastime.  I hate to think what Jemmy will say when she reads this piece; she’s only 36 articles in her short time — thought that’s still better than one a month, and some 18,000 words on her part.

I know all of us usually have something to say.  We always think and hope it’s interesting, thought-provoking, or just plain beautiful.  The only audience we aim for usually is the Second Life Resident, mostly with a fashion focus, but sometimes using that fashion to illustrate other things that we’ve done as the spirit moved us.  We’ve discussed the occasional piece of SL news, turned a focus on other Residents’ work, and once in a while took a stand on things in Real Life when we felt it was needed.  Whether or not we’ve accomplished our goal is, of course, in the readers’ hands. And we shall continue striving for that goal, through however many years we find Second Life interesting and the power gets fed to the servers in California.  Again, as always, we invite you along for the ride.

Milepost 10   4 comments

Here I am on one of the Social Islands, the current second stop for a new Resident.  Things have changed a lot in the First Sims since I first logged in on the old Orientation Island ten years ago.

That’s right, 10 years. Turn the page for some reflections.

Posted October 11, 2017 by Harper Ganesvoort in Personal

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Me On Canada 150   Leave a comment

Since I live in Saint-Lazare-de-Vaudreuil, Québec, Harper sort of arm-twisted me — uh, make that “sweet-talked”; I can feel Harper staring at me as I write this, and she’s across most of a continent — into writing about Canada on its sesquicentennial birthday.  I don’t know if I’m really the right person for this; I may live in Québec, but I’m not native Canadian.  (I was born in upstate New York, and then my parents moved here some years ago.)  But I’m the closest thing to a Canadian on hand, so I suppose I’m anointed.  (I was also supposed to publish this on July 1, but Second Life must wait for the RL working schedule.)

And there’s really a lot to be proud of as a citizen of a country as great as Canada is, even if I wasn’t raised on hockey and poutine.  Harper actually said a lot of good things about us last year, when she happened to write a piece in this blog for our 149th birthday.  And she got it mostly right.  But there’s always a few exceptions to quick observations, some missed at the time, some which slip in later.  For instance, our eminent publisher didn’t really catch the ambivalence of many here in Québec toward being part of a country whose original rulers kicked out the king and government that founded us years before — specifically, France.  A separatist referendum back in 1995 was defeated — by only 1.16%.  Stresses exist to this day between Québec and the other provinces, and Québec has never approved the 1982 Constitution.

And then there are the relations with the First Nations peoples, who in the US are called Native Americans or Indians.  There have been few wars of “pacification,” along the line of the Indian Wars of the American 19th century.  Great efforts have been expended in modern days to work with tribal leaders.  But there have been many rocky moments as well, with promises broken by the white man; the British and Canadian governments of the 19th and early 20th centuries did have a history of land dispossession, Indian residential schools and forced assimilation.  A “reoccupation” tent was raised on Parliament Hill by an indigenous group in the days before the Canada Day celebration in Ottawa, as a reminder of these past blots on the Canadian copybook.  In a politically shrewd move, the tent was not ejected, but moved closer to the Centre Block Peace Tower — and the celebration stage.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited it as a gesture.

And things like this are actually a sign that gives Canadians hope for their country.  In the long run, Canadians have tried to live up to the more noble aspects of their country and culture.  The country itself (more properly, the Dominion of Canada) was confederated in 1867 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, on the principles of “peace, order and good government,” and the full patriation of its Constitution from British control (in 1982) included a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that codifies constitutionally Canadians’ protections — aside from one interesting “notwithstanding” section that can be invoked, but rarely is due to political costs.  Outside of, perhaps, the House of Commons and the provincial legislatures, there’s usually a real attempt to find dialogue and consensus between sides of a question.  And the old chestnut about Canadians being just plain nicer than other peoples has a lot of truth to it.  (Aside from, maybe, Stanley and Grey Cup championship games.)

So yeah, I’m glad to be a Canadian in many ways.  It’s not the perfect place to live; but what country is?  And it strives to be better than many other places are around the world.  Canadians have worked hard for 150 years now to hold their place among the other countries of the world, and we’ve made our contributions, to politics, science, medicine, economics, and entertainment.  We’re gonna keep on working hard, and we should be here in some form or another for a few more decades.  Maybe we can even help keep the rest of the world from destroying itself, if we can export a little “Canadianness” to other places around.  Our children will find that out for us.

Donate Blood Today — The Gift of Life   5 comments

Today is the first day of summer, and that reminded me of something I once wrote about back in my political-blogging days:  donating blood.

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Recuperating

Oh, good Lord, what a headache that was! Lots of nice cold towels to help ease the pain; I wet them in the river cutting across my property, and I kick back in the lower gazebo.

If you take any looks at my Flickr stream, you may have recently seen a picture of Doctor Evil, saying “The I. T. Department is ‘working on it.'”  I know the I. T. department I’d like to have working on it right now….  The only thing I can decide, based on recent evidence, my repairman and my own limited experience with computer hardware, is that the last Big Update to Windows 10 decided it didn’t like my video card.  Or that it was incompatible driving a Windows 8 video card — which was fine with Windows 10 until a week after said Big Update hit.

Any road, I’ve been down for several days.  And the only way to bring it back up, since the crash seemed to kill the boot sequence for the computer, was to unload every single program.  Oh, and I also, of course, don’t have the video card anymore — which was running on an HDMI cable to the monitor.

And I no longer had a standard VGA cable.  We didn’t discover that until I’d gotten the computer home — 35 miles from any stores that carry supplies.  Of course, once I got a cable, I had to start reinstalling everything; and Second Life clients, in this case, rank somewhat low on the priority scale.  I’m still getting stuff reinstalled, and I’d have needed to do without Office until my next machine, since I no longer have the serial number to activate it, except that my daughter (a lovely young lady who alternately delights and infuriates me with being almost exactly like my sister-in-law) is willing to let me borrow a license slot to her university-installed Office 365.  I could get by with OpenOffice, except for some serious differences between Word and OpenOffice Writer .docx files.

But I’ve finally had a chance to experiment, and it looks like I can run with high graphics and shadows without that video-card memory, at least for a limited time.  It’s probably time for a new tower, though, and I’ll tackle that within a year.  For now, until I can get rid of other priorities, this seems sufficient unto the cause.

Posted May 11, 2017 by Harper Ganesvoort in Personal

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Back from Orlando — City, That Is

No, I didn’t just do another composite image here of Orlando City Stadium (becoming known as The Fortress, for its level of fan support for Orlando City SC); I took this photo myself last Saturday, prior to kickoff, when I was down in Orlando with my husband for our annual trip to watch the team at home.  It was a heck of a walk between where I parked and the new stadium; but the walk was worth it in the end (and I easily made my step goal for the day).  Beautiful sight lines from almost anywhere inside; lovely neighbors around me to watch the game and root for our guys in purple — and LOUD!!!  The stadium has sold out every home game to date, and probably will sell most tickets easily for the year (one reason I went in April instead of for the home opener:  I couldn’t get a ticket for a decent price).

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Never Hunt Alone!

we-win

MLS soccer season is on us again, and the Lions opened at home once more — three years in a row!  You can’t beat that luck.

Well, actually, we did — WE WON!!!  No nerve-straining, pull-it-out-at-the-last-minute draw this year; it’s a clear win, and a full three points on the standings — and we did it before a sold-out house once more, in a brand-new, LOUD stadium all our own.  I only wish I could have attended this year, but schedules didn’t work out in my favor this time.  I’ll have to hope that I can get down to Orlando sometime during the season, so I can scream my lungs out for another year.  And watch for when Orlando City drives up the Interstate to Atlanta to play United there.

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Posted March 6, 2017 by Harper Ganesvoort in Personal, Sports

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