From the Typist: a word on politics

I don’t normally break character to discuss politics. I also have a rather long backlog of rp-related events to report. What ever happened to Palabra’s pregnancy? Wasn’t there a dead body found in Winterfell? Didn’t her friend Mr. MacBeth go missing? Also, as a rather amusing sidenote, a certain frenemy has taken to leaving dead bunnies on her porch as gifts. Don’t worry; I do intend to provide photographic evidence! Most astonishingly, there may even be a non-demonic love in her life! Alas, all of that will have to wait. Real life requires a comment; to wit:

What’s up with the Republicans lately? Are they trying to sabotage their chances at the upcoming election?

Is it just me, or are the Republicans taking a very strange approach to this election? Strike that. It’s not just the presidential election that has Republicans acting batty. Misogyny seems to be trendy:

  • In Virginia, they want to require women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound so that one may view the fetus before it is aborted. Umm, ‘splainy? What’s the medical reason for this, again? Also, I thought Republicans were supposed to be fiscally conservative; why would any good penny pincher want to waste time and money on a medical procedure that isn’t necessary?
  • In Indiana, a Republican statesman refused to sign a resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts because he thinks it is some sort of tactical arm of Planned Parenthood. Nevermind that the only thing the two organizations have in common is a primary focus on females. I’m a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts. We went camping, caving, horseback riding, etc. We volunteered at soup kitchens. We sold cookies. I don’t remember the Planned Parenthood ever coming up while we were paddling our way down rapids.
  • As far as national politics go, Republicans have recruited the Catholic Church to use as their anti-contraception mouthpieces against providing contraception benefits as part of health insurance. Apparently, they want a loophole that allows your employer to leave out coverage to which he or she has a moral or religious objection. Uh huh. Like your boss won’t become devout when he or she sees how much money could be saved by passing the buck to you for contraception… or care for STDs… or substance abuse… or mental health… or eating disorders… or, umm, really just about anything other than your basic checkup. I mean, moral or religious objections could cast a pretty wide net while being difficult to refute. Hell, an employer could dream up a religious objection to covering heart-related ailments for people who eat beef.
  • While most Republicans have carefully avoided discussions of sexual morality, Rick Santorum even went so far as to say birth control isn’t okay because it gives people sexual license. Yup. We sure want you representing the “land of the free,” Rick. For realz, yo. What do we think we are, free citizens with the right to bodily autonomy or something? Pshaw. That’s poppycock. We’ve got to learn to behave in accordance with your moral and religious views.

I don’t get it. Did we time travel back to the 1960s? Did I blink and miss it? Last time I checked, we had this whole women’s lib movement that pretty firmly established a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. So why are the Republicans trying to turn back the clock? Is this some sort of weird wedge issue strategy designed to alienate one half of the population in order to galvanize the other? I was no Republican before this election cycle started, but I’m even less of one now. I’m actually a Libertarian, which usually lands me in the Democrats’ camp for social issues and in the Republicans’ ranks for fiscal issues – not that the Republicans have been holding very tightly to the purse strings lately. If they’re trying to win centrist voters by promoting a resurgence of misogyny, I’m going to have to suggest that they rethink that strategy. I’ll be voting for candidate who isn’t obsessed with policing my sex life, thank you very much.

So, yeah. Color me confused. I don’t understand this whole social time warp thing that we’ve got going on in the right wing of U.S. politics. All I know is that it’s making it very difficult to take Republicans seriously. Their plan to fight the Social Progressives with a policy of Social Backwardness is befuddling at best. At worst, it’s downright evil. What’s next? Are we going to start extolling the virtues of racism, too? I mean, why limit the hate to just women? Let’s attract voters who hate people with certain skin colors. Or religions. Or sexual orientations (Ooops; they already do!). Or disabilities. Pretty soon, we can have everyone hating everyone! I’m not sure how that will gain votes, but hey, what do I know? I’m just a walking baby factory — erm, I mean woman.

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From the Typist: Fun with LoopRez

I love LoopRez!

LoopRez is an amazing script by Ged Larsen. It enables one to rez multiple prims grouped together in a neat little loop – hence the name. With a bit of tweaking, one can configure notecards that generate said looped prims in varying values along the standard x, y, and/or z axis.

What does that mean? Well, frankly my dear, it means that a script can generate tapered, ragged, or otherwise uneven skirts, collars, sleeves, cuffs, etc. No more moving all of those prims by hand!

Witness my quick and dirty screenshot of something that is in the process of becoming a jabot:

By the way, isn’t the LL noob avatar absolutely adorable? She’s the steampunk avie. I love her cute little figure, almond eyes, and pert nose. The skin is adorable, too.

 

Anyway, LoopRez allows one to configure all sorts of handy options. For instance, flare is a useful value. Umm…. the best way I can describe flare is to say that it controls the amount of starch in the crinoline. 🙂 The top layer of the collar, the stiffer prims that stick upward a bit, has a high flare value of 120 degrees. The lower layer, the flouncy jabot part, has a relatively low flare value of 40 degrees. Even more useful is the dropscript template. It’s a script that you drop into a separate, standalone prim. When you modify that standalone prim and then click it, the shape, size, flexibility, color, texture, and pretty much any other properties of the template prim are automagically applied to every prim in your loop. It’s one click texturing! One click flexi-fying! One click resizing! Honestly, this robust little LoopRez script is worth its weight in gold. Not only am I really having fun with it, but it is allowing me to create lovely flexi-prim parts that make me look far more talented than I am.

All right. I should attempt to get some shut-eye, as I’m having trouble sleeping tonight and it is – ye gads! – almost time for me to wake up.

Your Affectionate:

–Typist–

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Tuesday, January 31st, 1871

Dear Diary:

While I have many exciting adventures to share with you, I want to take a moment to share another of my creations. Inspired by Miss Philomena Steampunk’s latest release of Steampunk textures, I call this dress Steampunk Jane.

I think it may be my best yet!

 

Your excited,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

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From the Typist: The S*it Shall Rise Again, or Antebellum Evacuation

Hello fellow Steamlanders!

Palabra’s typist here. My character is always yammering on and on about how much she enjoys what she calls “the new plumbing.” She’s a bit of a bathtub addict. Poor Matilda has to draw her a bath nearly every night before bed – and again when she comes home soaked in kraken guts. Today, I stumbled upon a little slideshow that reminds me of her. I thought I’d share it with you.

Behold the wonder: in Natchez, Mississippi, an authentic 1850s WC survives to this day. Intact and in one single piece of furniture, the Victorian era lavatory includes a bathtub, a commode, and even a shower. Minus the lime deposits, the shower head actually doesn’t look all that different from my contemporary stainless steel fixture. This is quite the, erm, throne room. The lovely custom woodwork actually puts my cheap tile, plastic, and linoleum bathroom to shame.

So go forth, Steampunks and Victorian era enthusiasts! Secure in the knowledge that wealthy Victorians did have access to a luxurious loo that bears a striking resemblance to our contemporary facilities, feel free to design grand mansions complete with toilets, bathtubs, and showers. Given the lack of sink, it appears as though wealthy Victorians didn’t feel the need to sanitize their hands after completing their business — so don’t forget to add a little dysentery to the cloud of miasma that might occasionally waft through.

Hmm… I wonder what they used for toilet paper.

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Monday, January 16th, 1871

Dear Diary:

A lady’s period of confinement is insufferably dull. I sit with my sewing basket day in and day out. Sometimes, I read. Mostly, though, I employ my nimble fingers in sewing up new clothes for the baby while letting out my old dresses. In the midst of all of this boring busy work, I’ve even found the time to create a couple of costumes:

A Medieval Peasant Dress

A Roman Patrician Gown

 

The art of the seamstress is only one of the options available to me when it comes to the difficult question of how one is to earn a respectable living. As fate would have it, I find myself uniquely qualified to provide my services as an investigator of.. hmmm… shall we call it phantasmagorical phenomena?

It just so happens that my old friend Mr. MacBeth, whom you might remember, called on me yesterday. His was more than a friendly visit. While walking along the shore of his home in Winterfell Absinthe, he discovered a most atrocious sight: the water-logged corpse of a murdered vagrant woman! The currents were such that the woman must have come from Caledon Cape Wrath, which is just across the strait from Winterfell Absinthe. No mere drowning, the victim most certainly ran afoul of some rather foul play. According to Mr. MacBeth, the corpse had been nearly drained of blood. Etched onto her skin with god knows what implement, a five-line riddle had been written out in ancient Sumerian script. And who, dear Diary, is the only “person” I have ever known to exhibit both a propensity for slaughter as well as for rituals of the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian variety? Mr. Plutonion, that’s who.

Worse yet, what I can make out of the “text” inscribed upon the victim’s person seems to indicate that more victims may be forthcoming.

Mr. Plutonian! Oh, Diary, can it be? Could he be back – or nearly so? Or is it, instead, one of his cohorts or cousins or however that works with demons? Do we have a case of an entirely human killer, instead, one who dabbles in the dark arts? I cannot know for certain, but I must be sure. Firstly, I cannot be sure that I am not on the list of intended victims. Secondly, if Mr. P. or someone related to him is the killer, Matilda might also be at risk. Finally, I cannot sit around with my knitting needles when my experience renders me uniquely qualified to investigate this case. Perhaps Mr. MacBeth, Matilda, and I can stop this mad murderer before any more lives are lost.

The good doctor advises against travel in my precarious state. While my injured knee has healed, I draw close to my time. It will not do, he says, to bear my child on a train or in a carriage. He felt it unwise to risk the health of my child. When I argued that I might save the life of another potential victim, however, he found himself unable to argue the point.

So it is, dear Diary, that Matilda and I find ourselves in a flurry of activity as we pack for the windy north country. Mr. MacBeth arrives tomorrow to escort us to the train. From there, we seek our destiny.

Wish me luck, Diary. I fear I might need it.

Your Fretful,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

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Post-Dated: Saturday, September 24th, 1870

Dear Diary:

While I have been confined to my bed, I have found time to practice wielding the new weapon Danyell gave to me. Mr. MacBeth taught me the art of using my fists and feet to disarm a man. He trained me well in marksmanship. With my short dagger, I can be lethal. In the coming battle, however, Danyell assures me that such skills may prove inadequate.

By whatever name one calls the dark thing that crawled out of my attic rift, one certainly cannot call it natural. It may not even be physical. To fight a creature of spirit, Danyell says, one mus wield one’s own spirit against it.To this end, he has furnished me with a wand.

I admit to no small degree of skepticism. Magic portals, time traveling boxes, shape-shifting werewolves and more have I observed with my own keen eyes. Still, how can one small stick concentrate with will of one’s mind and the force of one’s soul in order to enact change in the world?

How it works remains a mystery.

That it works, I can no longer refute.

Well, the wand does something, at any rate. I’m not sure it works correctly. Or perhaps I do not use it well. Seldom is the effect exactly as I had desired. The first attempt resulted in a rather strange “blinking” effect. My intention had been to obscure myself from others’ view. Instead, the walls and decor of my house had appeared and disappeared at random. The charm lasted for nearly an hour! I thought I might burst before I could safely use the loo.

Just now, my bedroom floor is littered with feathers. How shall I excuse myself to poor Matilda?

“Apologies, Dearest. The pillow felt most uncooperative today. It did not levitate; it molted.”

That will hardly do!

Speaking of Matilda, I wonder where he has gone. Hmm… I must remember to scold him. These absences of his grow rather too frequent for my taste. What with the Triad lurking about. And something about a multi-tentacled beast, was it?

Oh! I believe the doctor approaches for my daily constitutional. Good day, Dear Diary! Duty calls.

Your Convalescent,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

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Post-dated: Wednesday, September 21st, 1870

My Dear Diary:

Do excuse my absence. I have been convalescing, as it were, and unable to enjoy your company in the discreet circumstances to which I have become accustomed. Between the dear, yet hovering, attentions of Matilda, Dr. Hyde, and even the (thankfully) less frequent visits from Nurse Rose, I find my social calendar quite full. Some of my friends from the club even came calling from time to time in order to wish me a speedy recovery.

My accident was quite remarkable. At least that is what I am told. One moment, the good doctor beamed as he conducted me on a tour of his pride and joy: his airship. No mere cloud hopper or boomslang, his is a stately affair fit for the court of a king. Indeed, Dr. Hyde assures me that his vessel did once host such a gathering. Several levels of living space join with the impressive control bridge and the cavernous hull to create the impression of a flying manor house. Unfortunately, for all of its glinting metallic wonder, the ship does show its age. I fear I experienced the worst of these ill effects when I lost my footing upon the stairs.

Yes, that must be it. I remember the stairs. The events that followed still seem shrouded in a rather dense haze.I must have lost consciousness. I recall finding myself, damp and sore, in the greenhouse below the ship. I wore a stranger’s clothes. My hair dripped. My throat and lungs burned. I recall a headache, bruised knuckles, and a sharp pain in my knee. When I came to, I found Matilda by my side. Even his hair and clothing looked uncharacteristically frazzled.

Really, Diary, it is all so very vexing! Some of it must be a dream. For instance, I cannot fathom how a younger looking Mr. Bluebird found his way to the accident. He had regained a limb, but lost his marbles as the cost of doing business. Certainly, such a thing is impossible.

Besides, I dreamed about Hanzai, as well. The doctor says I walloped him but good, landing a smart blow to his now-swollen nose. I do hope it doesn’t heal crookedly; he has such a handsome profile. Fineshit, himself, appeared to be a fine specimen of a man until he opened his mouth – or, heaven forbid, unsheathed his baton. And Hax, his little lackey, she was so diminutive! Such a small little crony she was, and with so deceptive a mien. She looked angelic; she acted a devil. I must have confused my friends for my enemies, for I am told I behaved like an absolute banshee. I fear for what I might have said or done.

My recollection is so foggy that I hardly trust it. As for the others, well… Matilda is the soul of discretion. Dr. Hyde barely mentions the incident except as medically necessary. Oh, Diary! What does he know?

For now, he waits on me hand and foot. He sings. He plays. He recites Shakespeare with the greatest of ease and ability. Were he to pull out a sewing basket, I might think him a woman. No – I jest. He is the most affable gentleman. I think he must feel very guilty for allowing me to fall from his ship. He hardly leaves my side, the poor man. I cannot blame him for the accident, however much Matilda may doubt him. He did not mean for me to fall. No, I give myself leave to like him very much. His considerable talents are wasted on that insipid Rose.

But that is all I shall say on the matter. Footsteps approach. I must make ready for my examination.

Your Injured,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

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