What Next?

Life has been on hold around here for three months, and just got confirmation that it’s likely to stay that way into the fall.

What next? My chosen career in corporate travel isn’t coming back anytime soon, and my current hobbies (sewing and knocking around virtual worlds) don’t really fill the bill.

School? Learn a new skill? Take up where I left off? Use my chameleonic superpower for good, not napping on the couch undetected?

I shall make inquiries.

Would you like to visit #Berlin1920? You can time travel to the #Interbellum period via #SecondLife

Machinima artist Drax has a new episode up in his “World Makers” interview series – I love the visuals he gets with his machinima, and the way he cuts it so that his avatar appears to be interacting with “normal” humans via Skype.

Jo Yardley listens to Marlene Dietrich on a hand crank gramophone because she lives in Weimar era Germany and electricity is rather scarce: oh yes, although Frau Yardley lives in Amsterdam, her house is decorated with original furniture and accessories from the 1920ies and German magazines from the Interbellum Period are everywhere.

This week he talks with Jo Yardley, creator of the amazing 1920s Berlin project in Second Life. My friends and family sometimes wonder why I “play” Second Life; well, this is one of the reasons. Someone has created a way to time travel to 1920s Berlin, during the heady yet troubled period between the wars, and it’s possible to dress “in period” and interact with other people there. It’s always sounded intriguing (I’ve been hearing about it for a while now) but this video of Draxtor’s really makes it look beautiful and interesting.

Jo’s real-life commitment to living as a Berliner of the 20’s is really interesting as well, and I love that she goes about her business in Amsterdam dressed in vintage clothes. Now that’s artistic integrity!

According to the video, she’s planning on creating a Blitz-era London next – a time period that has always fascinated me. I’ve always felt a strong emotional pull to London anyway, and anything to do with the Blitz just… it really gets to my heart, somehow. My parents both lived through WWII though neither of them ever went anywhere near England (though Mom and I traveled there years ago for fun). I’ll be checking back in on Ms Yardley to see if the London Blitz pops onto the Grid, it’s definitely a time and a place I’d love to experience virtually (okay, sure, it’s a lot easier with no real V2s falling from the sky).

Dusting It Off, Coff Coff

Yes, yes, Ginny Who? here.

It’s been a busy and eventful few months since our vacation in Hawaii… whoa, really. There’s a lot going on in the family (can’t blog about that) and there’s a lot going on at Holy Moly (hey, Faddah Manny is our vicar now!).

My husband David had a little contretemps with a local streetlamp the other day while riding his bike, and now sports a nifty scrape on one of his legs. He pointed the lamppost out tonight on our way back from dinner with his brother Dan and said “That’s the lamppost. I’m plotting my insidious revenge.” It’s something to do with pink paint and humiliations galore.

My new computer is running pretty, okay really quite REALLY REALLY well after I stepped back from the latest nVidia driver – I was getting something called the “Pink Screen of Death” when I’d finish watching a YouTube video or log off of Second Life and had run across references to a driver conflict on a support page. So that’s all good and fine, and I hope to be doing more regular blogging and stuff inworld and outworld again.

I tried to get the old Express App working with the Woo Tumblog plugin – this is just so I can easily blog links and photos and quotes from my iPhone, all of which are possible but not easy with the “official” WordPress app for iPhone. However, the instructions for getting it working don’t relate at all to the structure of the NomNom theme I now use (and lurve, lurve, lurve).

The church website at Holy Moly looks great, needs some updating with some content stuff Faddah Manny sent me – we’ve got videos now! I’ll be doing some better graphics on the main page; what I have now was a stopgap from back when I was under… some design constraints from above (not from Above, just… above).

Family stuff… well, things proceed with all deliberate speed (both happy things and sad things). That’s about all I can say about that. David’s diabetes ride training is going pretty well except for the evil lamppost incident, and I’m coughing my head off with a stupid spring cold that’s settled into an annoying barking hackfest. Am now on prescription meds that have worked in the past to head off the dreaded “bronchitis that does not quit even for summer, nyah nyah.”

It started a week ago Sunday, suddenly; I thought it was allergies because I’d been dusting and fooling around emptying the Roomba, because I just started coughing, sneezing, and had runny nose and eyes. Nope, it was a cold. I even stayed home for 3 days last week.

Speaking of staying home, next week I’ve got the week off, and toward the weekend, I’ll be… heh heh, blogging from a magical kingdom. And later in the summer, if things go well, I’ll start working from home (using the smallest bedroom as a home office).

Whee! Well, I’m hoping that it’ll mean that some of my “allergy triggers” from the poor air circ at work will be a thing of the past. The room has a real, openable window, and a ceiling fan. So, YAY! At least during reasonable weather, fresh air won’t be a problem. And during winter and summer, there won’t be the stuffy “bad air” triggers that have been getting worse and worse for me at work the last few years.

If the technology can be installed properly (the internal structure of the house might make the install tricky), it’s going to be really great. One of my co-workers is already working from home and loves it (another co-worker actually relocated to Phoenix and kept her same position and team, she REALLY loves it).

That’s about all there is to that. This is the public knowledge part, anyway, and I don’t know much more about it than the bare bones. Looking forward to it and hoping that there won’t be any hitches or glitches.

Visually Speaking: Digby on Sunday!

Darn it, we have theater tickets Sunday, so I won’t be able to make this event, but you can check out the details on the #Cafe Wellstone Ning, and listen via streaming radio if you can’t make it inworld.

Doubtless you’ve read them, perhaps you’ve quoted them (‘What digby said.’), now you can hear them. digby & mcjoan aka Joan McCarter take to the stage. What will* they talk about?

Work and Play

Back at work after a somewhat-fragmented work week last week, I managed to get everything done (or contented myself with what I was able to get done) for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day…

I had to work to the bitter end on Christmas Eve, after getting off early a couple of days in a row, but still I managed to fly home, put up the tree, decorate it, and wrap the gadgetty little gifts I’d gotten for the small number of family members that came over on Christmas Day. I didn’t make pancakes, as we already had plenty of food out (got a really good spiral-cut ham at Dominick’s, they had it on sale).

Because it’s been snowy and icy all week, I haven’t been wearing my orthotics, and finally paid for it on Friday because all the standing and singing on Thursday put me through such a workout that I was one big ache the next day.

The rest of the weekend was spend lying around, or doing stuff online learning how to make stuff to sell on Second Life. I’ll go into more, mind-numbingly boring detail on my SL blog later, but even if I don’t break even selling stuff, I figured out how to fund my monthly “virtual land” fees from a reloadable incentive card that I have from work.

For instance, a couple of bookings on the incentive program translates to about a dollar, or approximately $L275. That’s about as much as my weekly “paid Resident” stipend. Not too shabby.

David is home this week, doing upgrades, and I’m stuck at work for the duration until New Year’s Day. We’ll celebrate a Newfie New Year’s Eve (earlier time zone in Newfoundland means we all go home early) and the next day we’ll be down at David’s parents’ place.

And after that, the long boring months of winter ensue until at least April. Whee!

Today Was My Birthday, So What Was It To Me?

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/QJ-CqT5orEI" width="425" height="344" wmode="transparent" /]

This card was waiting for me when I got home – THANKS, DEBBIE!!! I love it!

It was a really early start – I had to be in the office by 7am as I’d switched shifts with someone. And it was my birthday, and it was my day to keep an eye on queues and emails, but of course we were short 2 agents and we had lots of calls, so forget keeping and eye on emails and queues. In the middle of all the chaos, some pretty flowers arrived at my desk, courtesy of my nice hubbeh.


Finally, finally, after messing around with records that weren’t cooperating and ticketless airlines that had to be called and dealing with weird problems, I finally had to leave, after leaving a longer list of things to watch for my co-worker and friend Gio. Ugh, I hated that, but I’d already been there 45 minutes too long. The calls continued like that until closing, Gio told me later. Ugh.

Finally got home, and had been looking forward all day to dinner at the Weber Grill, which is really a chain of restaurants owned by the local kettle grill manufacturers – and their food is awesome. Everything is grilled, except for the drinks (and maybe some of the desserts).

Good food. Nice hubbeh. I had a really tasty marlin with a kind of curry sauce, and David had a half-slab of ribs. He very kindly asked if I wanted any notice taken by the restaurant of my birthday, and I said “not really, it’ll just tempt me into dessert.”

As it is, that herb cheese spread with their cardamom bread about did me in, and then the little pot of garlic mashed potatoes were teh yum.

Discovery: Goose Island Brewery makes an awesome Spiced Ginger soda drink, TEH YUM.

And then I played around on Second Life listening to Glenn Greenwald on Virtually Speaking, as I read one of his books (How Would A Patriot Act). Afterwards, I danced and danced with my virtual friends to great music, drinking real wine, the end.



UPDATE II: Today’s date is April 7, 2012. About a week ago, the graphics card fan on my computer started making these eeerie WOOOooooooOOOOooooo noises, like a cartoon ghost. And then a few days ago, it just stopped running; the fan was stuck and my computer would run for a few minutes before the screen would go black.

So, farewell good and faithful friend. Now I need to figure out what to do next.

My husband David removed the card and reconnected the inboard graphic card back into play. I can do everything I need to do with the exception of Second Life or my little experimental Open Sim world – I can limp inworld to a meeting or to listen to music, but that’s about it. Building or terraforming are out (it was all the terraforming I was doing in my private grid that was probably the last straw).

The solution at this point is either to buy a whole new computer (which is a pain, as I have all these pictures sorted into folders that I use for the church website) or to swap it all into a bigger case with a better power supply.

The latter option looks like the way forward; a new case is about 40.00 and a power supply of at least 500 watts will set me back about 60.00.

It’s a pain, but the upside is if we can get all the computer’s guts swapped over, there will be plenty of room for a truly capable, normal size graphics card – probably an nVidia 550, 560, or similar. I’m kind of waiting for prices to drop as the new 600-series cards were just released last week.

Carry on reading, if you wish to see how I did get the Galaxy GeForce 9600 LP to fit. There are now other low profile, low power options, but this one worked great for far longer than I expected.

Continue reading

Shorts And Sports Sandals


… they’re the American uniform at home and abroad.

UPDATE: Just wanted to add what inspired this:

And Far Away | Footwear that should be burned and buried

The way American tourists dress drives me crazy. Khaki shorts, worn-out and drab-colored t-shirt (or shirt), and the infamous sandlas, often with socks. Damn. It’s as if this “uniform” comes stamped out with their visas. I’ve never been to the US so I don’t know if that’s how they dress in their daily lives, but I sure hope not.

Yes, well, many Americans dress like this in our daily lives, because it’s easy, cheap, and comfortable. I was amused by And Far Away’s post, because it was totally true and funny. I actually wore khaki shorts to work today with those gawd-awful green Tevas, because we’re pretty casual at my office (especially in summer). As it happens, I was glad I had some water-friendly shoes on as I left (ON TIME for the first time this week) as it was raining pretty hard.

It actually felt nice to be out in shorts and sandals on a warm, wet evening. I got rain between my toes and thought about how fun it would be to run around without the umbrella, and just stomp in puddles like a little kid without a care. This propensity by Americans to run around stomping in puddles like a little kid without a care has gotten us into trouble before (see Bride, The Princess: Land War in Asia).

Not all of us can be fashionable people. Our neighbors to the North, Canada, routinely go out wearing much more stylish clothing than we do, especially on summer weekends, even before nightfall! Yet we Americans do not -we will go out to dinner so casually dressed that no one will look twice as we show up at a restaurant in what charitably could be described as “leisure” wear. I myself can’t stand to shop for clothes, and have very, VERY limited options in my closet for “dressing up.” So I “go casual” because it’s a lot less stress, angst, and self-loathing.

See those lumpy, bolsterlike structures up above my shoes and below my shorts? Those, my friends and robots, are my knees. Below them, if you care to look, are my cankles. There’s really no point in spending a lot of money on attractive shoes that draw attention to one’s cankles, is there? Especially if high arches require orthotic supports be worn in order to avoid extra foot, knee, and back pain. Sure, I’m now in my second week of avoiding processed sugar, reducing portions, and drinking lots of water. And I had a good workout last night at the health club, walked 2 miles with no major foot problems. So maybe I’ll be able to improve the look of my cankles with weight loss in a few months, and think about buying something nice to wear. Maybe.

I do have some nice slacks and tops that I bought for last year’s England/Ireland trip, and in fact I didn’t take a pair of jeans with me. Which is TOTALLY WEIRD, if you ask me. And then on a recent weekend trip, I once again didn’t take a pair of jeans. But I did take khaki shorts (sure, they’re big and roomy, and comfortable to walk in). And I took the Tevas, because they have some arch support as they’re built on a kind of hard-shelled chassis. My feet start to ache if I wear the older pair, the ones with soft soles and no support.

So I’m afraid that I, at least, will continue to wear the American leisure uniform of Fashion Slack. After being traumatized by watching too many episodes of What Not To Wear that never featured pear-shaped be-cankled women such as myself, I concluded that there’s just no point in bothering with fashion when you’re up against a multitude of competing figure faults in a weird size that’s too big for regular size clothing but too small for “queen size.” Comfort rules! Although I do avoid unflattering clothing as much as possible (I took that much away from WNTW), I just won’t wear uncomfortable shoes, no matter how fashionable they may be.

Like And Far Away, I think extra-long, extra-pointy shoes for either women or men are just one big steaming pile of NO. The examples from there were entertaining, but I recently encountered shoes too bizarre for real life:

NNSL Booths_030

See, I actually own an outfit a lot like this in Second Life – short plaid skirt, kitty tail and ears, braided hair. It’s kind of a common look on SL, that I like to call “Neko Schoolgirl.” I do like to dress up more in SL, because it’s…

wait for it…

… cheap, easy, and comfortable. You just click on an item, or a folder of items, in your game inventory, and presto! you’re wearing different clothes (or sometimes a body of a different species). It’s fun “shopping” for stuff to wear or attach (I don’t mean anything like THOSE sort of attachments).

But what is with those crazy instruments of torture on her feet?? They’re like platform shoes gone ballistic, or ballet shoes with buttresses. That’s just… so very wrong. Also, the claws and crouching pose are slightly disturbing.

Strangely though… I don’t think I’ve ever seen truly baggy khaki shorts and virtual Tevas for sale in Second Life, even in the most American of shops. Guess we’re not willing to look like slobs if it’s just as cheap, easy and comfortable to be stylish.


I can has iPhone?

Via: Flickr
Title: Shorts And Sports Sandals
By: GinnyRED57
Originally uploaded: 19 Aug ’09, 7.10pm CDT PST

Endlessly Seeking The New New

We are a globeful of dopamine addicts. We endlessly seek and never find the newest new thing.

Slate: Seeking

Seeking. You can’t stop doing it. Sometimes it feels as if the basic drives for food, sex, and sleep have been overridden by a new need for endless nuggets of electronic information. We are so insatiably curious that we gather data even if it gets us in trouble. Google searches are becoming a cause of mistrials as jurors, after hearing testimony, ignore judges’ instructions and go look up facts for themselves. We search for information we don’t even care about. Nina Shen Rastogi confessed in Double X, “My boyfriend has threatened to break up with me if I keep whipping out my iPhone to look up random facts about celebrities when we’re out to dinner.” We reach the point that we wonder about our sanity. Virginia Heffernan in the New York Times said she became so obsessed with Twitter posts about the Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrest that she spent days “refreshing my search like a drugged monkey.”

We actually resemble nothing so much as those legendary lab rats that endlessly pressed a lever to give themselves a little electrical jolt to the brain. While we tap, tap away at our search engines, it appears we are stimulating the same system in our brains that scientists accidentally discovered more than 50 years ago when probing rat skulls.

After mulling that over from yesterday, as I trudged upstairs scrolling through my Google Reader feed and Twitter feeds (real, virtual, and feline) on the iPhone 3GS that’s become grafted to my body, I thought about how I’d spent the evening. I was in Second Life, watching a live webcast from the Netroots Nation convention in Pittsburgh in a separate screen as I sat “inworld” chatting with fellow travelers in both open and private channels. At the same time, I was going through some recent images I took on SL, deleting the culls and uploading the keepers to my avatar’s Flickr stream (which I keep separate from “real” photos on my “real” Flickr stream). Also simultaneously with this, while waiting for former Pres. Clinton to make the keynote address, I was listening to a music channel in the background, while listening to other speakers make their points for progressive change from the “netroots.” This music was either Internet radio playing in WinAmp, or a live musician singing blues standards “inworld” before somebody else was supposed to appear in a streamed audio chat (this was supposed to be the founder of Daily Kos, but there were technical issues).

As I noted all the things I was multitasking in public chat, I quipped “…too much?”

Came back the reply, “Not until you crash.”

So I thought about that after Second Life inevitably crashed on me, probably due to so many people then in attendance at both Netroots in Second Life, and SL’s own annual conference in San Francisco logging in to tell all their friends what well-known “avatarbrities” (I just totally made that up) look like in real life after the panel discussions were over.

Then, after work was over, I walked to the elevator reading my feed, read it on the way down, read it in a downstairs loo, read it walking out to the car, and read it in the car waiting for the air conditioning to cool off the interior. And shared, and shared, and shared. Because I had stuff, you see, stuff that I had read and approved of that other people might like to see, because it was new stuff to them. And then I ran across something that made me stop and actually slow down and think about what I was reading, rather than merely consuming in “speed-read” mode (I am a fast reader, and also I have always had a tendency towards hyperfocus).

As a recovering former Utahn, I keep an eye on anything counter-cultural coming out of Zion, which is why I happen to have Salt Lake’s entertaining City Weekly blog in my feed:

Exurbia Recast

A design competition tries to reinvent the suburban wasteland with flying ships and big box gardens. What they really need is as simple as a gin and tonic.

Big house. Vinyl siding. Manicured lawn. Two-car garage, maybe three. Backyards to hide from neighbors. Faux brick front.

Pavement for miles. Parking lots. Stores with acreage of stuff. Stuff to eat, stuff to build, stuff to consume, stuff to waste.

Work in the city. Drive on the interstate. Eat in the chain. Home. Rinse. Repeat.

Suburbia spreads like bindweed, one interconnected, land-swallowing swath of humanity. Beige blooms in the brown desert while its denizens stare at high-definition television shows about life in paradise. They bought their homes to live the American Dream, and spend the rest of their lives dreaming of escape.

Escape they will, fleeing to the latest and newest refuge. Maybe it’s the “green” subdivision with colorful houses, maybe it’s the high-rise condominiums with restaurants on the ground floor and a freeway entrance within walking distance. Maybe it’s a boat, a cabin, an RV. Or maybe it’s similar more of the same, super-sized.

America is a very young country, as anybody who has ever visited Europe can attest. Many Europeans have houses that are older than America, yet we as Americans search for everything new. We created a democratic civilization built with the most adaptable legal document ever created, yet we cannot adapt as a people to minor nuisances. Need four outlets in every room instead of the one in that 50-year old house? Buy a new house. Ipod adapter in the car because you cannot listen to the radio? Buy a new car? Bored with the long-standing cafe run by your neighbor? Hey, there’s an In N’ Out burger opening!

This ceaseless need to fulfill every want and desire has a number of negative impacts, most of them on a person’s soul. But there are also smaller ones, such as the eventual desertion of the existing new for the New New. That leaves behind empty homes, deserted lots, and discarded shopping malls. Eventually, something will have to be done with them.


Well, that was exactly what I didn’t want when we were buying this house, and that is exactly what we ended up with given our budget and our geographic location, jobs, and so on. I live that life, schlepping through grey suburbia all year and consuming images of more attractive, scenic or inspiring locales via television, movies, photographs, or total online immersion.  We don’t regret our decision buying our home, but I do regret that we’re not in a tree-lined, charmingly old-fashioned small-town looking suburb with rail service and bike paths within walking distance — that ws completely out of the question in our price range. We made a good decision after really looking hard for a long time.

A week ago, my husband David and I went looking for a new desktop computer for me. I had expressed a vague desire to have a better Second Life experience, and we thought we had grabbed a system off the shelf that had the right hardware for such things… but in a fit of consumerist confusion, I said (stupidly) that I thought a computer with an Intel logo would do fine, because it’s a brand name.

::facepalm:: Jesus.

So we grabbed this one box, after almost grabbing some other box. Which would have had a more powerful video graphics card tailor made for the online 3D experience, actually (not a hardcore gaming system, still pretty low-end). We took this one box home and loaded it up with a few programs that I like or use and got bookmarks set up and cleaned my desk and vacuumed and all that, and then I logged in to Second Life and realized my error. David had noticed as we opened the box that it wasn’t quite the right computer we’d started to buy, but oh, I just had to get it started up, so… yeah. And what with one thing and another, it’s now pretty much impossible (and embarassing) to return because I took a few days to realize that I’d have to leave my SL settings on “minimum quality” for pretty much ever if I didn’t want my experience to slow to the speed of an old-fashioned travelogue with slides, or a film strip, and in the meantime I’d gotten it all set up nice and pretty and bonded with it over the pretty, pretty Aero (glassy, flashy graphics). All because I didn’t print out the system requirements page and take it with me…

And yet on the other hand, for everything else I do with it other than Second Life, it’s fast, and powerful, and makes 2D images and videos look gorgeous. Games are gorgeous as long as the action is flat. It looks and feels great, and it happened to get a great review at C/NET, a site we’ve both come to trust because of their little “Hello, TiVo people” tech gadgetry review show. I’ll be able to take a lot of photos, and slide the compact flash card or one of several different kinds of storage media or cables into a handy little port right on the front, hidden under a little door when not in use. It’ll really be great, for everything other than Second Life. For that, it’ll be adequate, but not visually stunning.  A previous post about the new computer got automatically reposted on Facebook, and a friend immediately commented “Upgrade to Windows 7 NOW!!!”

So then I started looking into fixing my error by perhaps upgrading the video on the new machine, which turned into a big mess because this thing on my desk is a sleek, slim little beast, and there are very, very few options for what’s called a “small form factor (SFF)” system, especially one that has a very low power profile. I’d have to crack open a brand new computer just to add an itty bitty viddy card (only $59.99 after rebate!), and upgrade the power supply (only $29.99) literally “to boot.”

Unless… hey, wait, this guy has the same computer, and he got an nVdia 9500 GT PCIe low profile card to run… after a ridiculous amount of swapping to save on power demands.

Good God, brand new machine and I’m still endlessly seeking the new new gadget to make it into what I should have bought in the first place.

But enough about that, time to play Mahjong Titans, it looks and sounds so purdy… after making sure the title and first few lines of this post are under Twitter’s 140-character limit, that is.

Second Life May Impact First Life Someday?

Second Life provides virtual meeting space, may replace millions of airline seats annually someday. May need to learn building skills in SL beyond rezzing a box… New World Notes: What the US Navy’s Undersea Warfare Center Is Doing in SL (Updated)

The last time I tried to visit the Second Life islands owned by the United States Navy’s Naval Undersea Warfare Center several months ago, I was blocked from entering most of it. This machinima above shows what they’ve been doing in Second Life, including rapid prototyping, data modeling, and VoIP-driven conferencing, much of it between other branches of the US military which also maintain a Second Life presence. Leading to a sentence I never thought I’d hear, outside of science fiction: “What you see here is the United States Coalition of Second Life having a weekly meeting. Representatives of the Army, Air Force, and Navy, meet in virtual space to discuss about collaborative issues and common practices in virtual worlds.” Direct SLurl Teleport

The quote that caught my corporate travel agent RL ear ws this: by 2012 an outfit called Gartner predicts 2.1 million airline seats will go unused because participants are using virtual conferencing capabilities

Uh, hmm. That means about $3.5 billion travel dollars going unspent according to the Virtual Worlds News article. I wonder if my employer is thinking about virtual conferencing at all? They certainly subscribe to various web and phone conferencing solutions; I’ve had to attend 2 “international destination training” sessions in the last two weeks, hosted online in a chat room format that requires phoning in for audio conferencing, and logging in to a website for PowerPoint and chat.

So now I’m slightly curious as to what my company might think about this. Several years ago, apparently, they were looking at using SL for some kind of training, but that probably got dumped in favor of the system we use now. For the non-technical, it’s difficult enough getting everyone logged in by phone and on the web, and it would be an EXTREME pain getting n00bs set up to attend a virtual conference unless the interface on some mythical “My Corporate Travel Island” was set up with very simple avatars all set to go… preferably sitting at the table.

Which got me wondering, would my company be exploring conferencing for clients? If they can’t get the airline travel dollar (realistically, we’re usually on a fee-per-transaction basis rather than commission-based now) perhaps they might be thinking of whizbang conferencing services, or bundling various packages for corporate clients. And it could well be that they might need some building done if they decided to go with SL as one possible virtual conferencing choice, since it doesn’t require special hardware beyond 1) a voice-enabled headset if voice is required or desired for the conference. Video conferencing requires webcams, screens, or real-life conference rooms equipped with suchlike.

I could see myself hosting, if not building, in a virtual conference. Possibly also scheduling or facilitating, such as making sure that all participants are briefed on required hardware/software, chat guidelines, and on how to move themselves or their camera while inworld.

And I have JUST the right seasonal kimono to wear, too.