Finally, Nanci sings in the rain

In July 2020, I got a cute umbrella in Second Life. made their Mandala Umbrella in blue available in the Fifty5 Thursday sale. It had a rainy day version which included rain around the avatar. Since then I’ve been wanting to create a video inspired by Fred Astaire’s classic movie musical number but I struggled to find the right outfit and animations to bring it to life. That has recently changed, and I am now able to create the video I’ve been wanting to make.

Second Life creator Junk Food had their Rainy Umbrella available during last week’s Fifty Linden Friday. Of course, I had to buy it. It didn’t have the amount of rain I wanted for Fred’s song-and-dance number, but it was cute enough to see what I could do with it. I already had a nice tux from Sascha’s Designs, and I found some tap dancing animations from Abranimations. The only thing left was to find the right region to shoot in.

After looking at several regions, I found the 1920s – 1040s New York Time Zone at the Time Portal. I needed a night-time environment,but I also needed some additional light on my avatar. I ultimately used the 3 am environment setting that’s built into the Firestorm viewer, and the area in front of the Time Portal itself got enough light that I wasn’t dancing in the dark during the shoot. (That’s a Springsteen thing, after all.)

The camera work isn’t as smooth as I’d like, but I’m pretty happy with how my first machinima came out.

(Unless otherwise stated, links go to the item on the SL Marketplace)

Nanci Singin’ in the Rain
Shot by Nanci Barthelmess at Time Portal – 1920s – 1940s New York Time Zone (SLurl)
Windlight setting: Shared environment A-3AM
Music: Singin’ In The Rain by Gene Kelly (from Singin’ in the Rain (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack))

Nanci’s Body: Prima Busty (SLurl)
Hair: Stealthic – Mesmer
Tux: SAS – Shaz Tuxedo & Hat Glitter by Sascha’s Designs (NOTE: She’s wearing the Maitreya Lara version, not a Prima Busty version)
Umbrella: Junk Food – Rainy Umbrella (FLF page)
Shoes: -KC- NEDIS PUMPS by KC | Couture
Animations: Delected animations from the Mocap Tap Dance Animations from Abranimations

I finally have SolydK 12 installed

My new SolydK 12 desktopLast week I decided it was time to backup my laptop and have another go at installing SolydK 12. I installed it back in December but something was nomming hard drive space like there was no tomorrow so I quickly went back to SolydK 10. But I have SolydK 12 installed and I can finally run all sorts of shiny programs. The screenshot of my new desktop has a photo of Babe, my neighbor’s feline, that was taken in August.

SolydK is my preferred Linux distribution, and version 12 comes with Plasma version 5.27.5 and runs on Debian Bookworm. Among the programs I can finally run are the Calibre ebook reader version 6.13 and version of the Firestorm viewer for Second Life. Plus, I can finally run the brand-new beta of Firestorm version 7.1.3, which has the new PBR functionality of Second Life. No, it isn’t named for a can of beer, and it’s not codenamed Peanut Butter, although many of us do refer to it as Peanut Butter. It stands for physically based rendering, and rather than try to explain it myself, I’ll just let the always awesome Inara Pey tell you about it. But it does mean one thing I can explain quickly: Second Life has actual mirrors now! Granted, they’re not great mirrors as I write this, but they’re semi-functional mirrors. Yippee!!!!

My brand new mirror in my house in Second Life

As you can see from the sticky note in the desktop screenshot, I’m not having any unexplained hard drive space loss this time, and I’ve got my recording software reinstalled. I’ll be working with that in the coming days, especially since my new audio interface arrives on Tuesday. I’ll be writing a full article about that once I’ve started using it.

It’s getting late, and Babe is already letting me know it’s time for bed, so I’ll leave you with the images I made for this article. As my (admittedly arsehole) brother used to say, be good, and if you can’t, be good at it.

  • My new SolydK 12 desktop
    A screenshot of my new SolydK 12 desktop

Do you like to visit museums?

As I read this week’s edition of Highlights from the Second Life Destination Guide, I learned there are more museums in my favorite virtual world than I realized. I knew about the International Spaceflight Museum, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the LGBTQ History Museum and Cultural Center, and Baltimore’s The Peale. But that barely scratches the surface of museums you can visit in Second Life with no admission fee beyond your internet connection and installing a free Second Life viewer (the client software for getting into SL). Plus, you can visit them at any hour of the day or night without having to worry about what you’re wearing. You can be dressed up, dressed down, in your jimjams, or even wearing nothing at all. As long as you’re not naked in Second Life, you will find a lot of places to visit that cover more subjects than many real-life cities have.

Srmstrong Park in Second Life. Photo from the Second life Destination guide.There’s even a virtual version of a public park and museum close to my heart from the city of my kittenhood. But alas, the virtual version doesn’t include The Treehouse, a former home of the best radio station in the entire multiverse.

Happy Old Year!

I meant to write a post for the end of 2023, but I didn’t get it finished to share it before the year ended. I have jury duty, and I finally got picked for a trial, so my time for doing things online is a lot leaner than it usually is. Still, I wanted to share a few things before we got too far into January 2024.


I’m still kind of amazed at the fact that my Bois en Bleu, the Los Angeles Dodgers, not only signed Shohei Ohtani but they also won the Yoshinobu Yamamoto lottery. They also got Tyler Glasnow and Manuel Margot, and Mookie Betts will be the regular second baseman in 2024. Unfortunately, between the new signings and the expected return of Gavin Lux, who spent 2023 on the IL recovering from a torn ACL, it looks like Kiké Hernádez won’t be back in Dodger Blue in 2024. Hopefully, his improved performance back in LA will help him get the contract he deserves.

The next cause of worry is super utility player Chris Taylor. If Miguel Rojas is the everyday starter at short and Teoscar Hernández is the everyday left fielder, CT3 could have to go back to riding the pine most of the season. Chris is always to contribute wherever he’s needed, but I’m disappointed that he’s back to being a backup instead of a starter.

And we still have to see what Clayton Kershaw is going to do. He isn’t as dominant as he used to be, and he’s been spending more time on the IL with each season. I hope he gives one more season to LA and doesn’t retire or, even worse, finish out his career in Texas. It’s rare to have a player spend their entire career with a single team, but seeing Kersh in another uniform would look even more weird than seeing Cody Bellinger in a Cubs uniform.

My Die-With-a-T

In the spring, I got referred to a new doctor who put me on the Mediterranean Diet. I quickly remembered a Garfield comic strip from the 70s where he called a diet “a die-wih-a-t.” I told my doctor that the things I would need to get at the grocery store for the diet are pretty expensive for someone on disability, and I was right. While I did pretty well on it for the first few months, but my budget got stretched so thin that it was hard to get the good food I should be eating all month. Grocery prices may still be going down, but it’s still hard to make sure I have decent food to eat all month, and I’ve noticed myself getting less nutritious food to complete menus for any given month. The fact that I’m still a fiend for good fried chicken doesn’t help.

Social Media

I thought I had found a great social media platform to use after Elon Musk bought (and trashed) the bird platform. After the attacks of 7 October, I discovered that my support of the civilians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank wasn’t very welcome there. I refuse to use any platform owned by Meta due to all the hate and BS, so I’m basically off of social media. It’s good though, because it freed up some time in my days for other things.

Second Life

I still need to reopen my virtual t-shirt store in Second Life, and I’m moving my real-life merchandise back to Spreadshirt this year. If you want to keep up with the happenings with my merch, you can keep an eye on things on the Nanci’s Naughties website. When I get my Spreadshop set back up, I’ll announce it there. With the war in the Gaza Strip expected to continue for several months, I’m considering adding the virtual posters I made to support the Palestinians to my real-world store. I really should have done that a few months ago, and I don’t want it to seem like I’m trying to make money off the Palestinians’ suffering. I simply want to give people a way to show their support for people who are routinely treated like they’re poop that needs to be scraped off a person’s shoe.

As I wrote in May, I am the proud owner of a virtual bowling center in Second Life, the Pride Lanes Bowling Center. It’s not a very busy place, and I need to look at giving more folks reasons to visit. I tried using a machine to give out free Linden dollars (the currency in Second Life) to get people to go to the bowling center, but they only stayed around long enough to get paid. If you like to bowl in real life and you’re in Second Life, I hope you’ll head over to Pride Lanes and see how much fun bowling in Second Life can be You don’t even need to worry about renting bowling shoes, and I’ve even bowled in high heels without twisting an ankle or falling on my arse.


I’ve loved cats my whole life, but my budget is usually so tight that Abe Lincoln has gotten laryngitis from screaming so much. As a result, I haven’t felt I could be a good primary human to a feline. Earlier this year, my upstairs neighbor catsit for someone in the hospital, and Mr. Jack came down often to spend time in my half of the house. When Jack went back to his primary human, my neighbor realized he really liked cats after always preferring dogs. One of my neighbor’s friends heard there was a pair of abandoned kittens in New York, and the kitties moved in upstairs. It was a brother and sister, Tommy and Babe, but Tommy got too aggressive, so he had to go to a new home. It worked out better because Tommy thrives in his new home, and is loved by everyone in his new building.

I’ve become Babe’s “aunt,” and she’s gotten the run of the entire place. She comes down several times daily to see what’s happening downstairs, and I spoil her with treats and toys from time to time. Her primary human doesn’t have a climbing toy upstairs, so I built her a cat condo from cardboard boxes. She now has several places to get a nap, and she loves having a maze and a higher place to sit.

I’ve started posting some videos of Babe to my YouTube channel, and I have a video of her getting introduced to snow that I need to get online. Many felines like the snow, but Babe isn’t one of them. I was surprised at how fast she turned around when she got off the porch.


As I said in May, I started working on a pair of songs I had written years ago. Life got in the way, and neither song has a demo recorded. I finally worked on the second song again last month, and the chord progression for the song’s intro reminds me of the solo section of Del Shannon’s Runaway. The melodies are very different, but the underlying chord progressions are similar. I hope I can share it before it’s time to celebrate Pride Month.

My computer

Last month, I did something terrible to my computer and had to do a clean install of SolydK Linux. I’m not saying what I did because I’m not sure what I did, but I was losing available disk space at a prodigious speed. Having to do a clean install of my daily work computer wasn’t a great thing to have to do, especially since I had to get into Second Life every day to get goodies from advent calendars.

I finally reinstalled some software to record demos of my music, but I still need to get fully set up for recording. The plan is to write an article on what I installed once I have something musical to share with it. I still need to get some gear to make proper recordings, but with my tight budget, I plan on seeing what my current setup can do. I’m going to see if I can use my Fender Mustang Micro headphone amp and my phone to record some guitar tracks. I miss making music, both from the creative and production sides. I was a recording engineer when I lived in New Orleans, but it was hard to get a job at a studio with all the students in Boston when I moved up here in 1989.

What does 2024 have in store?

I hope I can be even more productive in 2023 than I was in 2023. Once the trial I’m on the jury for finishes, I’ll be able to create a decent working routine. I hope to give you more reasons to visit My Two Lives in the coming year. There is a whole heap of question marks ahead of us between the US elections, the war in Palestine, and life’s seeming predisposition to throw more on our plates than we thought we could handle. Remember, you’re better than you think you are. You’re worth more than you think you are. You’re more loved and appreciated than you probably know. The more the haters want to put you down, the higher the possibility that they’re trying to keep you from knowing the full value of your being on this planet.

I have pretty being busy lately

Some links below are affiliate links. If you buy anything from these links I may receive a commission on your purchase.

JM Hardin in May, 2023I haven’t posted anything here in quite a while, but that hasn’t meant I haven’t been doing anything. After getting new web hosting from Namecheap, I moved My Two Lives to a different product within the Namecheap family. The new product allows hosting for not only My Two Lives but also my Second Life store, Nanci’s Naughties, and due to having way too much on my plate, I just got Nanci’s Naughties back up this week.


Some people know of my love for tenpin bowling, but I haven’t visited a bowling center since I was in Guam with the Air Force in 1987. Being on a fixed income makes visiting a bowling center in Boston difficult financially, so in March I decided to see what options are available for virtual bowling in Second Life. I found the Bergson Bowling System, which does more than let me bowl inworld. It also lets people lay out lanes for their own use.

Pride Lanes Bowling Center logoRather than just setting up a lane for myself, I created a bowling center anyone could use. It’s the Pride Lanes Bowling Center, and you can find out more about it at Pride Lanes has a tent at this year’s Second Pride, and I’m working on some merch that will connect Nanci’s Naughties, Pride Lanes, Second Pride, and global LGBTQ+ life. Once it’s available I’ll announce it over on the Nanci’s Naughties website.

I’m making music again

Clara, my Squire StratocasterWhen I bought my Squire Stratocaster back in 2020, I knew I wanted to work on an original song I got the idea for in a practice room at the Longy School of Music back in 1996. It started as a cool riff with a soul gospel feel, and it became a whole bluesy song in late 1999, but it’s more of a guitar song than a keyboard song, so it just got tucked away in my proverbial drawer. When I got my Strat, I knew I wanted to develop the song, and last year I started working on a demo for the song. The demo still isn’t finished because I never get enough time for playing my guitar, but now that I’m getting things off my plate I hope to get back to working on that soon.

Early this year I was thinking of a Christian rock song I wrote in the early naughts. As an ex-vangelical I won’t use the lyrics anymore, but I love the music I came up with for it, so I’m going to put together a demo on BandLab. I’ll publish the song on BandLab for someone to write new lyrics for and use. Of course, there’s not enough time in the day to do everything, and my brain can play the guitar a hell of a lot better than my fingers can, so it’s another song that’s going to be a work in progress for a while.

Et cetera

There are many things going on in my life that I won’t talk about here, and with warmer weather arriving in Boston I hope to spend more time outside this summer, even if it’s just out on my porch. Yes, I’m a big old homebody, so I tend to stick around Château Hardin unless I have to make groceries, run an errand or five, or go the medico folks. But that works pretty well for me since I’m also a huge night owl, and I’m usually going to bed when the morning news folks are getting up. There are also days when I’ve kicked myself because the sun is going down as I’m going to bed, but the only problem there is that by the time I get up I’ve missed most of the daytime.

I’m going to leave you with a meme posted by someone last year on a social media platform I used to use. It’s something I need to remind myself of every now and then, and I’m not the only one who needs it.

Life is too short to worry about what others think about you. So have fun and give them something to talk about.

It’s not official yet, but…

Warning: Here there be politics.

I strenuously avoided coverage of the counting of the ballots in the 2020 election this week. I knew I’d get way too many instances of someone calling a state’s race for one candidate or another, and with all the early and mail-in ballots to be counted, I wanted to hear results, not projections. For many years I’d hated the practice of “calling” a state’s election with maybe 15% of the actual votes counted, and this year it was even more important that we wait to get actual counts of the votes cast, not educated guesses.

Tuesday night on Twitter, I took the extreme action of blocking/muting/unfollowing people who kept talking about projected results because this year, more than ever, we needed to wait for actual vote totals. Goddess knows Donald Trump was going to not only claim victory way too soon, but he was also going to fight counting all the early votes and mailed-in votes. He knew that people voting for Joe Biden were voting early and by mail due to the pandemic, and his supporters didn’t believe the novel coronavirus was a big deal and waited to vote on election day. He knew if they just looked at the ballots cast on 3 November, the totals would be in his favor.

There’s just one problem. No presidential election in US history has been decided on election night. Absentee ballots and votes from military members stationed abroad can always come in after election day. Most states have laws saying that if they’re postmarked by election day and arrive within X number of days of election day, they get included in the official vote totals. Plus, no locality releases official vote totals that night. Before they can have official vote totals, they have to do what’s called canvasing, which is the process of confirming exactly who got how many votes in each district. This process doesn’t start on election night, and it can take multiple days, depending on the number of ballots cast.

On Friday evening, I finally started watching news broadcasts as they talked about the status of the counting, seeing that many states had totals that showed which candidate won their state’s votes. As always, some states took longer, and while it was getting close, it wasn’t over yet.

I don’t usually donate to political candidates due to my fixed income, and with my being a steadfast mugwump that refuses to align with any political party, state party organizations don’t get my money. This year I donated to the Wisconsin Democratic party so I could enjoy a reunion of the surviving cast members of The Princess Bride, one of my favorite movies, and a special preformance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show using some of the original cast members. I was glad to see that while the state of Wisconsin went for Trump/Pence four years ago, this year Wisconsin’s Electoral College votes are going to Biden/Harris, and I’m glad my contributions helped even in some small way.

Today the news came out that Joe Biden won the votes from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which gave the Democrats 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the presidency. That made Donald Trump, to borrow a line from Mich McConnell, a one-term president.

It’s not official yet.

There were big celebrations across the country at the news of the Biden/Harris win, but it’s important to remember that their victory isn’t official yet. Some states could find their results challenged, with recounts ordered to verify the vote totals. Florida gave us the mother-of-all-recounts back in 2000, and almost nobody wants to revisit that bit of history.

Despite national interest in doing away with the Electoral College and just using the popular vote to decide the election, the US Constitution states that we actually elect people to vote in the Electoral College. The states have until 6 December to determine who their state’s electors are. Six days later, on the second Wednesday in December, the electors meet in their respective states and the District of Columbia to cast the votes to decide which candidate gets their states’ Electoral College votes. This is usually a winner-take-all affair, but Maine and Nebraska split their Electoral College votes based on votes cast in specific regions of the state.

These votes usually follow the votes cast by the actual voters in their states. However, there have been instances where an elector decided they know better than the voters and votes differently. Known as an “unfaithful elector,” this causes a lot of controversies, and some states have passed laws requiring their electors to follow the “will of the people.” Of course, these laws were challenged to the US Supreme Court, but in July the laws were upheld. In our current hyper-partisan times, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were electors pledged to one candidate vote for another.

The results of the Electoral College aren’t official until 6 January, when a joint session of Congress convenes to count the votes of the Electoral College and declare the official winner of the 2020 presidential election. There can be challenges to Congress’ official results, but I don’t see the results changing due to being challenged, even in this hyper-partisan year.

Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

While there are all sorts of things that can happen between now and 20 January, Inauguration Day, I’m happy to see that former VP Biden and Senator Harris will be our 46th President and our 49th Vice-President. As it’s been pointed out many times on Twitter today, Senator Harris will be our very first female VP, the first VP that graduated from a Historically Black College/University (Howard University). She will also be our nation’s first VP of color and the first VP whose parents are from India.

When the campaign started I had hoped to be able to call her Madam President-elect, but I’m happy with her being Vice-President-elect. The important thing is that our nation’s four-year-long nightmare under the Trump administration is coming to an end. President Biden and our next Congress will have to deal with cleaning up the mess made by the current administration, and the Goddess* only knows how much Trump will try to screw up things for President Biden in the next 73 days. As I write this, the Republicans still have a slim majority in the Senate, with the results in Alaska, Georgia, and North Carolina being too close to call. There will also be runoff elections for both Senate seats for Georgia, so the balance of power in the Senate won’t be known until after the new year starts.

There’s a new sign on the Nanci’s Naughties roof

A couple of months ago, I found a Bye Don 2020 lawn sign in Second Life and put it in front of the Nanci’s Naughties mainstore. I try to keep my store no-partisan, but with my clear support of the LGBTQ+ community, I thought I’d add that to the front of the building. I used a picture of the yard sign to create a large sign for the top of my skybox home, and today I put the sign on top of the store itself. I’ve had the store’s logo on the roof to help identify it on the Second Life map, and I’m curious to see if the overhead view is updated to show the new sign or if I get asked to remove the roof sign. I don’t know if SL has a policy on big political statements like that, but I guess I’ll find out.

Bye Don 2020 on the roof of the Nanci's Naughties mainstore in Second Life

I wrote this article for this site rather than the Nanci’s Naughties site because I didn’t think it would be appropriate to be so political there. When I started to write this article, I also didn’t realize I’d be writing an explainer on the late stage of US presidential elections. I used a report from the Congressional Research Service to get the particulars of what the next steps are, especially the specific dates of things.

Here’s hoping the next four years are a lot fairer for everyone in the US, regardless of where they came from or how long ago they arrived. I also hope that there can be a lot less hate of our fellow persons and that the next four years will need a lot fewer adult beverages to deal with the shitstorm coming from our nation’s capital. It’s not over yet, but we can start counting the days until the change comes.

*My referring to the deity as the Goddess is not up for discussion. You do you and I’ll do me. We can agree to disagree on this, but if you try to bring shit in my comments I’ll blackball you in a hot second as soon as I see it. You can disagree, but don’t be an asshole on my site. Or an ass-half.

My SL neighborhood’s getting crowded

I’ve been off SL a bit since getting teeth pulled on Friday but I logged on today to get caught up on some things and found something interesting when I looked across the street from my house.

So much for being in a nice, quiet neighborhood

I don’t mind getting more neighbors, but with four new homes across the street, there will definitely be more demand on my local server. I hope that doesn’t cause a problem for my store, which is right next door to my house.

My house and store in the Oppeano region of Second Life

Luckily I use vendors for my store rather than putting each individual tee on the wall so it keeps the server load down.

Speaking of my store, there’s now a site exclusively for my store, and it’s a great place to see what I’m doing with the store. If you haven’t checked out my Nanci’s Naughties site yet you should definitely pay it a visit.

Purry Catmas!

I don’t have a picture of Eliza and me for a Catmas card picture but I was able to take a picture of my Second Life avatar and my in-world kitteh for a card so I wanted to share it with everyone.

Purry Catmas from Nanci and Eliza!

For those curious, here are the credits on what everything is. Where possible I provide a link to the item in the SL Marketplace. Otherwise, I’ll provide a link to the in-world store the first time I mention the developer.

I hope everyone has a safe, happy, and love-filled Catmas/Christmas or whatever it is that you celebrate at the end of a year. Just remember, even if you celebrate the holiday all by your lonesome, whether by choice or because your circumstances require it, you are one hell of a creature, and you’re important because nobody else in the world is YOU!

Exploring in Second Life

Nanci with Eliza in the Firestorm Dew ForestToday there was a party for users of the Firestorm Second Life viewer and afterward, I did some exploring of Firestorm’s sims. Joining me was Eliza, my new feline from We Love Pets. This Eliza is a tuxedo kitteh just like the Eliza stuffed animal I have in my RL home. I’d originally named this kitteh Sarah Jane, but I realized that my RL Eliza is a tuxedo cat, not a black cat, so I swapped their names.

The picture doesn't do these waterfalls justiceWe started off in the Firestorm Dow Forest, where we found these beautiful waterfalls. The picture doesn’t do the view justice, and a little farther down the path, we found a nice place to just sit, chillax, and enjoy the view for a bit.

Chillaxing by the waterfallsI know I should probably make Eliza a little bigger, but it seems her size changes between being on my shoulder and being on the ground. Yes, where the landowners allow it I can set Eliza down and she’ll explore the area. I can even set a distance so she never gets too far away. I can also change the color of her collar, and I can change her sunglasses to coordinate with my wardrobe. I can even take them off her completely, but I love having my cool kitteh. Her future’s so bright, and all that.

Firestorm Dow Forest - A kickin' padI shared this picture on Twitter because it’s such a great shot. I don’t see the old woman who lives here with her gaggle of little ones, but of course, she’s a grown-up flower child. But can we get a cobbler out here? Her home could use some TLC.

Firestorm Dow Forest - Firestorm Remembers 1I found a great memorial to some of Firestorm’s support team members. I had to ask in the Firestorm Support channel in SL but I love that there’s this area for people to find. I’ll post more pictures in the slideshow below.

Firestorm Dow Forest - Is it real or is it SLAs I walked around the sim I saw this island, and if you didn’t know it’s all code you might think it’s a real place somewhere. I love how the clouds reflect off the water. I considered changing the atmosphere settings, but it looks so good why mess with it, right?

The abandoned carnival at Firestorm Ghost Town. Wheeeeee!I also came across the ghost town with its abandoned carnival. Unlike most ghost towns, though. all the games still work, including the swing. I’m really glad Eliza doesn’t get motion sickness. That would have gotten messy in a hurry.

Firestorm Ghost Town Outer Limits - You Will Eat BurgersI have one more picture from our excursion because I saw this sign and had to take a picture. How well it knows me, right? This girl loves her burgers, although she usually just cooks one a week. There are so many other things to cook each week, you know?

I wandered around a bit but I know there is still a lot more to explore. One of these days Eliza and I will pop back over again some time now that I know some of what’s here. You can use a teleport board to move around, but I really like walking around. It reminds me of the days I’ve spent walking around the Franklin Park Wilderness.