Nanci Barthelmess (my avatar) at Grangeview. Note the Dodgers stars & stripes.

New digs in SecondLife


A few days ago I saw that virtual world program Second Life was 15 years old, and in that update, I saw that premium members like me recently got the amount of “land” we could own without paying an extra fee was doubled. I haven’t bought any land yet, but I did move into a new house. Continue reading


Au revoir, WBZ News

When I moved to Boston from New Orleans almost 30 years ago one of the things I had to do was find a local tv station to get my news from. After checking out the options I ended up going with WBZ, the local CBS affiliate. The fact that I watched the news on the CBS affiliate back in New Orleans may have helped, but mostly it was the fact that I liked how WBZ presented the news, both in content and in the anchors and reporters.

But over the last three months or so, I started to become dissatisfied with the WBZ news, mostly because of how many times the news got delayed or flat-out preempted by sporting events on the weekend. Part of it was due to all the coverage of the New England Patriots, a team I’m sick of hearing about in a sport I couldn’t care less about. Yes, WBZ is the official broadcast partner of the Patriots, but while some folks I know refuse to watch the WBZ News because of that fact, I preferred WBZ’s news in spite of it. Continue reading

One Holiday to Rule Them All

(I wrote this for my sister’s site two years ago, and since her site is no longer available I’m reposting it here.)

One Holiday at a Time PleaseLike so many people this time of year, I hate when retailers roll out their Christmas merchandise as soon as Halloween is over. I even made an avatar a couple of years ago that simply asks, “One Holiday at a Time Please.”

When I went into my local CVS the day after Halloween this year to take advantage of the Half Price Chocolate Day specials I was surprised to see that all the space that had been dedicated to Halloween products and candy were now filled with Christmas merchandise, mostly candy. The lone exception was a simple shelf width of Halloween candy. That shelf was empty by the end of the day and Christmas candy had already filled the empty space.

As I was talking to a friend about it that evening I came up with an idea. Instead of having six holidays spread from the start of fall to the end of the year, let’s instead have one big holiday that extends from 31 October to 1 January. The name of this combined holiday?


I know that’s a mouthful, but it does what retailers want to do anyway and make all these holidays one big celebration and marketing opportunity:

  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Hanukkah
  • Christmas
  • Kwanzaa
  • New Year’s Eve

I know people will be angry with me, saying each holiday should be its own celebration, and families can celebrate each individual holiday as they choose to do. But I ask you to look at it from a marketing perspective. This way all new holiday decorations can be created for the continuing holiday and this way we won’t be kvetching because Christmas decorations push out the skeletons and tombstones instead of making turkeys and horns of plenty follow the graveyard decorations. Plus, if you use an advent calendar think about how much fun it will be for the young tykes of all ages with an extra month worth of doors to open. What do you guys think? Are you going to join me in wishing people a

Have a Very Happy Hal-giv-hanu-mas-za-year!

(For those who don’t know me that well, my tongue is quite firmly planted in my cheek, but as Aaron Altman says in Broadcast News, “I’m semi-serious here.”)

Je suis Paris – Je suis humain

In support for the people of Paris in the wake of the horrible attacks of 13 November 2013Last night the world was saddened by the terrorist attacks in Paris. As I was listening to coverage while one my way home from the grocery store I decided I wanted to make an avatar that included “Je suis Paris” in support for the city, similar to how so many people said,”Je suis Charlie” after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January.

It took a while to make it, after finally finding how Facebook was allowing people to add the French Tricolor to their profile pictures. A few hours before I heard that some were using “Je suis Paris”  but others were using “Je suis humain,” because it wasn’t just Paris values that were attacked but human ones as well.

I’ll be making this picture my profile picture on all the social networking and forum sites I’m on, and I want to help others use the text as well. I can’t help you with getting your image tinted with the Tricolor, but you can download this png image, a 720×720 image with a transparent background that you can use in your favorite image editor to add it to any picture you care to use it with. I’m publishing it with a Creative Commons attribution 4.0 International license. If you want to share the file I created all I ask is that you give me the credit for creating it, but you are completely free to do anything you want with any images you create with it.


As an aside, I find that France 24 has the best coverage of the attacks, and the link goes to the English version. There is also a French version (bien sûr) and there is also an Arabic version available. Both are available from the page I’m linking to.

Je suis Paris et Humaine (layer)
Creative Commons License
Je suis Paris et Humaine by J.M. Hardin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.