Archive for the ‘Anniversary’ Tag

Now We Are Six

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Welcome to the beginning of my sixth year blogging about Second Life (mostly).  Every article after the fourth year has set a new record for me, but I’m definitely getting up there in terms of the Grid.  Without going into everything, the sheer number of articles I’ve written (this one is my 941st) should say something about my love of SL, or at least my determination to use Second Life as my channel for exploration and artistic expression.  I’m still holding to about 3 articles a week; and, after you filter out all the spam, I’ve had 960 comments of various kinds on here — just a little better than a comment per post.  I now have over 600 followers and subscribers via various formats; I’ve recently added in a link to a Tumblr for additional circulation, which has brought in 7 subscribers there; and it’s a rare article that doesn’t get at least one “like” star from WordPress.com readers.  Facebook finally caught up with me and locked me out, but I’ve simply switched my emphasis over to Google+, which does an excellent job.

As always, deep thanks from the virtual heart for those who have read me from the beginning, even with the occasional gaps of a week or two.  I’ve tried quantity publishing before, and I much prefer quality, beyond the fact I don’t have the time and money budget to produce an article a day.  For those who are new to this blog, welcome, and I hope you’ll stay here with me.  I can tell you that there will be an article based on RL for tomorrow — you can probably guess what it’s about.  After that, we’ll have to see what comes as it comes!

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5 Years of Around the Grid!

Well, my ambition to write every day this month has been spoiled, but by a family emergency that I’ve been helping my husband to cope with, so I’ll claim special pleading for this.  But I wasn’t going to miss this day.

It’s been five full years, you see, since I first started publishing the bits of curiosity and supposed art that I call Around the Grid.  Not many blogs of any kind — Second Life, Real Life, fashion, news, personal, LOLcats, whatever — can claim five straight years of reasonably consistent publishing.  I haven’t always hit every week, as I’ve hoped to; but I’ve come pretty close to it, I’ve started a few traditions to add interest and uniqueness to this effort, and I think I’ve improved some over time.  I know my photography, and even my storytelling and poetry, have gotten workouts and practice in the time I’ve used Second Life as a channel for creativity.  It’s given me a way to express things I could not in the Real World, and I’ll always be thankful for that.

If you’re interested in a few stats — very few, I promise you….

…then click through to read the rest of the article.

Five Alive!

Today, I hit a milestone of a kind.  I first rezzed in Second Life five years ago.  It’s always a time of reflection for me on what I’ve done, but I don’t think I’d have done much different over this time, if anything.  There have been changes and improvements, though.  I’ve gotten in some more photography that’s getting pretty good, am becoming more involved in my store (Harper’s Fine Art) once again, and am now branching out into Real World sales with prints available through Bigoom (see the sidebar if you’re interested).

My recent purchase of a chunk of sim gives me a location for better work, more pleasant living space in world, and the room to expand if I choose to, such as building a new, larger and more versatile studio.  I’m also considering moving the store to another front, though staying with my current commercial landlord (Tegg Bode), who’s been there to help me from the beginning and has worked with me to solve some sticky problems at times.

One thing hasn’t changed, and that’s friendships.  Most of my interaction with my friends has been via outside social media (Plurk, with connections to Facebook and Twitter, so that everybody gets almost the same thing), but I’m usually available to my friends when in world.  (If anybody needs a temporary model and I have the time, give me a ring!)  Even my landlords have been nice, cooperative folk to work with; I’ve already noted Tegg above, but bo Heartsdale was wonderful when I was living in one of his houses for several months, and I’m hopeful of relations with my current landlord as well.

Thanks for coming along with me so far.  I hope you’ll keep following, and that you’ll look forward to November, when I do the fifth-anniversary piece for this blog.

Posted October 11, 2012 by Harper Ganesvoort in Personal

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“A date which will live in infamy….”

“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan….”— President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, December 8, 1941, speaking to a joint session of Congress.

The world changed — massively — for Americans on that December day.  While most of us were going about our Sunday routines — perhaps sitting in church for the day’s sermon or Sunday school, or getting out for brunch with friends — a squadron of Japanese aircraft carriers were turning into the wind and launching attack bombers.  Japan was stymied in its plans for expansion of its “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” by an American embargo on oil, machine parts and other needed goods, and afraid that the U. S. would respond if it attacked British interests in Southeast Asia, and planned a preventive strike against the American Pacific Fleet in Hawaii to forestall any action against it.  The Japanese had planned to shave its “notification” to the U. S. government of hostile intent as closely as possible to keep a warning from being sent to the American bases in and around Pearl Harbor; but clerical problems in decoding and typing the message eliminated any validity to their weak attempt to observe the niceties.

The Navy, which had been able to break the top Japanese diplomatic code, had a rough inkling that something was going to happen, and a copy of the Japanese response had been decoded and distributed to top American officials; however, nothing explicitly stating that the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor was ever sent or decoded by us.  If it had been, Pearl would have been notified, and the outcome of the battle would surely have been much different.

And so some 350 Japanese planes attacked the sleeping base early on Sunday morning, Honolulu time, in two waves.  Four out of the eight battleships at anchor, including the USS Arizona, were sunk, three more were damaged, and the last ran aground as it tried to make out of port into open water.  We also lost three other ships and nearly 200 planes; over 2,000 people were killed.  In this, the Japanese were successful; but no American aircraft carriers were in port, and so one of the planners’ main goals failed. The next day, President Roosevelt opened his speech to Congress with the words above, and they voted overwhelmingly to declare war on Japan.  Only one no vote was recorded, by Jeanette Rankin, who had also voted no to declaring war on Germany in 1917.

Pearl Harbor was cleared of all wreckage, except for the Arizona, which was so badly damaged from the explosion of her forward magazine that she was considered unsalvageable, and the Utah.  The Arizona was ultimately decommissioned 1, and a memorial to her dead and all the dead of the Battle of Pearl Harbor built across her sunken hull in the 1950s.  A replica of this memorial exists today in Second Life, in Oahu region.  I asked my friend, Conan Bankersbox, if he would pose there for me, and he happily obliged, first dressing in Navy casual whites as an ensign in tribute to the men who died that day, 70 years ago now.  Their comrades who survived, and all the others who came through the crucible of that war and helped keep our country free, are now very old men and women, and dying as the years progress.  I hope you will join me in honoring their sacrifice, their heroism and their dedication in Real Life today.  In addition, there will be a ceremony of remembrance at the Arizona Memorial replica today at 2:00 p.m. SLT, with music, remembrance of those lost, and the chance to throw a lei into the harbor water in tribute.

4 Blogtastic Years

I recently passed the four-year mark in writing this blog, and I’m still going at it.  That’s a gratifying thing, considering that the last blog I wrote, focusing on RL, I lost interest in after three years, and shut it down a few months after the fourth anniversary.  Here in Second Life, I still find interesting things to talk about, lovely clothes to wear, fascinating places to visit, and the occasional item or cause to express an opinion about.

In the past, I’ve done a lot of statistical groveling at this time each year; but my Top 10 of stats has so stabilized over four years that I don’t see too much point in subjecting you to all that analysis again.  My most active article, on the old custom gown I commissioned back in my first year, is still the most active — well over 7,000 visits — and that’s because I have people visiting the blog for a good picture of an actress in a Star Trek episode, not because they’re interested in Second Life (sigh, grin).  That conjecture is proved out by the search terms used to get here; most of them are for the actress, Diana Ewing.  It’s really a pretty good guess that any blog on any topic will get a large proportion of its visits simply because they showed up on a search page, and someone is stopping in to see if the article really fits what they’re looking for.  That’s the down side of how Web search still works.  I will say, though, that I’ve had over 96,000 visits in the past four years, and that’s a very nice number to me.  (Based on that, the Droxine article is only 7.5% of all traffic.)  Not all of them can be looking for balderdash — I hope….

I think what may be a more meaningful metric now — and for several years — is the number of posts I’ve written, and the number of comments and subscriptions I get.  To wit:  659 articles over this time, even with the computer outages I’ve had.  That works out to an average of a little over 3 articles a week, despite those outages and the occasional falloff of interest I go through.  That’s not too bad keeping up with this thing.  And the interest in the blog is gratifying as well:  480 comments in that time, or a little over 2 comments a week.  Of course, most weeks in actuality I get no comments at all; averages can be deceiving.  But people read the blog at least, and a further proof of that is the 24 subscribers I have to my articles, and the 63 “shares” I’ve received of pieces on Facebook and other platforms.

It hasn’t always been roses trying to write this thing.  As I said, there have been times I haven’t been interested in logging in to Second Life.  Some articles have been less than inspired, even in my unbiased (ahem) opinion.  One article, which I retracted and deleted, was positively reviled, and attacked by quite a few visitors.  Things like that can make it hard for an avatar to get interested in writing.  Somehow, I’ve kept it together, even with a grueling RL commute to work, keeping the bills paid, occasional vacations, and other forms of juggling eggs.  I hope and pray I’ll continue to keep it up here.

In closing this article, I’ll borrow from one of my favorite publications, one that’s been around a hell of a lot longer than Around the Grid:  the Old Farmer’s Almanac — “However, it is by our works and not our words that we would be judged.  These, we hope, will sustain us in the humble though proud station we have so long held….”  The thing is that, in a blog, the words are the works, aside from any photographs or other visual content there may be.  I hope, then, that my own works have been satisfactory to my readers — you who are looking at this “work” now.  And, though I really doubt Around the Grid will be here for 219 years, like the OFA, I do hope to keep writing and publishing for some time, and pleasing you with what I do.  As ever…,

Three Years of Around the Grid

WARNING:  Some statistical navel-gazing ahead!! (Though not as much as in the past)

Around the Grid with Harper turned three years old on November 20 and has had over 75,000 visits during that time — over 78,000 as of this writing!  This is far better than I ever dreamed it would be back in 2007, when I started this journal to record my experiences in Second Life, and I’m honored to be as popular as I am with you my readers.

As is my tradition, it’s time to dip into the statistics a little bit and see what’s been going on in the past year and over the run of the blog.  First of all, the traditional yearly Top X — this year, the Top 20, which I plan to keep it at for as long as I keep doing these yearly retrospectives:

Top 20 as of November 21, 2010

The front page, not surprisingly, is the top entry of all time, with well over 20,000 visits.  The perennial top individual page is still there, though:  my article in the first year on the one custom dress I’ve commissioned to date.  And, as always for that page, it’s nothing about Second Life that’s attracting people — it’s the screenshot I included of a guest character from an episode of original Star Trek, Diana Ewing’s “Droxine.”  I suspect I’m getting a lot of fans — not to call them fanboys, but that was a beautiful character — who are looking for a picture of Droxine, as stills of that episode are thin on the ground.

More after the fold….

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Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Rezz Day, Cajsa!

No sooner did I get back home RL yesterday than I found an invitation to a rezz-day party for my friend Cajsa Lilliehook in the E-mail.  (Almost everything in the past week sent to me in world was capped, since I had no connection to Second Life on the dinky laptop there.)  I managed to attend for something like 45 minutes, and it was an excellent time.

Here’s the “birthday girl” herself at the party, looking magnificent as always.  Happy Rezz Day, Cajsa, and I hope I see more in the future!  And, if you want to see Cajsa’s own photos of her dress, along with all the particulars, read her own article.

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