My apologies to everyone!

It has been a real shock when I realized I missed the last email from Linden Labs stating that they are removing the sims from the grid, though not deleting them yet, until the final outstanding funds are paid.  I was not expecting this to happen until the end of January, but for reasons unknown, but understandable taken the time that has passed, the sims were removed.

Firstly about Linden Labs – they have been fantastic since I lost my job and we were left in what I would call dire need as a family.  After attempting to apply for over 131 jobs online and in person, I finally gave up and settled back in South Africa to find a lower paid job and help my new little family survive.  Sadly the country has exchange controls in place which make moving funds offshore (from South Africa to the US for example) almost impossible.  Though I have not had all the funds to pay, I would have been able to pay the bulk of the debts soon.  Lindens have been waiting for this to happen since August, but sadly we were always almost US$1,000 behind in payments and their patience understandably have finally run out.  That said, I wish to thank them all for their kindness since they are a business and not a charity, but still chose to work with VW and I to see what we can do to resolve this mess.

About Dumisani Ah – Dumi has not been inworld as I chose to remain offline until I could pay my debts. This way the sims had hope of being live for as long as possible and the debt outstanding only prevented my avatar from accessing SL in-world.  It was a hard hard hard thing to do since I had missed so much of what was happening, and more importantly missed my very best friends, you all in Bishara.  Dumi has a chance to still prevent the deletion of the sims if I can pay the outstanding within the next month.  For that to happen I need to close two very important deals and use the commissions from that to settle the debt to Linden Labs.  I am still positive this can happen, but I am not wanting to create any false hope, so watch this space and we see what can be done.

Bisharians – I have been honored to have met some of the most amazing friends in-world that I could ever wish to meet even in RL.  You are all simply fantastic and the support I had from you all to help me save the sims, and especially from VW and the clan, will never never be forgotten.  Thank you very very much!

Surfers – What can I say to describe the shame I feel for dropping you all so badly and losing you three fantastic surf spots!  I do not have the courage to face any of you really, but want to share with you all at least this that I tried everything I could to find the funds to pay LL the backlog.  Sadly the sims have never been profitable or at a breakeven point, even when VW and I tried adding all kinds of things to them.  So the backlog simply grew and grew, and as I usually subsidize that outstanding bit every month, the sims cost became impossible to cover.  Again, if I can change this I would, as you all deserve to have these places back again.

Landowners – Some of the most important people to me have been those of you who bought and own land in Bishara Resorts.  How do I apologize for disappointing you all?  I cannot really say anything to give you back what you have lost, and as I am totally unsure what happens to your land, can only say I hope that there is some compensation from LL.  Please know that I landed in this position only because I lost my job in May, and after many promises from my employer, the 3 month backlog in salaries too.  It is the harsh reality of the global economy these days that we are all at the mercy of investors, shareholders and bosses who wish to move their funds to safer havens and do so at a wim at times.  I apologize that this is so with me and that there has been no reprieve for Bishara due to my own financial situation.

VW and team – I cannot express the amazing sense of pride I feel to be called your friend!  You have been the most amazing in this whole sad episode in my life, and I cannot ever repay you for all the pain and frustrations you had to experience on my behalf, or for the warmth and kindness you showed to me.  Thank you, VW, specifically for the friendship we have, and to have honored us with your presence, willingness to help and the unselfish manner in which you managed Bishara in my absence.  Thank you each and everyone of you!

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Bishara group liabilities

Hi Bisharians, hey, it seems that due to the time it has taken to get my account re-instated by LL, the group setting now shows that there is ‘no owner’ to the group, and that meant the liabilities normally carried by me somehow got switched to yourselves or those of you who are members of that group.  I apologise outright. I have never charged any of you a dime for being in the group or on the resort, and it was my intention that this remain so.  However the above setting seems an automated setting when a group owner’s account goes ‘diliquent’.  Hopefully by the end of this week at the latest, this will all be reset and back to normal again, and anyone of you who were affected by any fee for group liabilities can come and see me for a full refund and a personal apology.  Again I am sorry some of you were charged L$1 liability fees. I sincerely hope this will not happen again.

New surfboard designers – check out this fantastic Reaction competition!

http://surfwatch.blogspot.com/2008/09/board-design-contest-trawls-for-new.html

What a fantastic chance for someone to launch themselves in Second Life’s surf community and make some serious bucks too 🙂  Come on, Bisharians, let’s encourage everyone we know in our group and resort that designs well to try out for this competition that Reaction is offering.  it’s a fantastic idea and we should encourage it big time!

QUENCH Spotter wins SLSA JJ Lanes Shortboard Epic Surfing Competition at Morant Cays

Congratulations Q, you do us PROUD!!!

SL Profiles surf group for those offline chats :)

Hiya surfer dudes and dudettes!  I created a group for offline chatting at SLProfiles.  Come and join:

http://www.slprofiles.com/groups/surfing

Ripped off surfing products!

Hiya Bisharians!

Hey, take a moment and read ‘http://dumisworld.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/heather-goodliffe-responds-to-scripters-designers-creators-what-right/

Excellent comment from Heather Goodliffe about the work she and Seb have done for surfing in SL, and her fears about copied work and dishonest operators, in response to my own piece on the matter.  Let’s get behind the efforts to clean up the surfing product offerings in SL by purchasing only from designers who honour their agreements with creators like HG and Seb, and let’s encourage innovative new designers who clearly have not ripped off someone else’s designs.  I always find voting with your wallet works wonders 🙂

Bishara Group IM Chats

I have wanted to post this for ages, but never got the time.

When I created the Bish group it was for socializing and I wanted people to feel free to use it to ask questions, chat about Bish stuff, and generally have fun with one another.  It is after all a group chat tool.  Since we grew with some managers coming and fortunately going, many folks were flamed for simply chatting, saying ‘hi’ or asking a question on the group IM.  So I realized that we need to make a rule that works for everyone, so here it is.

The Bishara Group IM chat can be used for any Bishara group or member issues, single notices of social events on the Resort, announcements of marriage or even just for saying ‘hello’. 

The Bishara Group IM chat may not be used for advertising, for spamming folks with event announcements, or for flaming / griefing. Anyone caught doing any of this on a repeated basis will be ejected from the group.  Flaming someone or griefing someone through this group will get you a ban from the resort as well, as I do not stand for abuse or discrimination of any sort.

Why am I so tough about the last point? In the beginning of my life as a sim owner I was subjected to a well known avatar in SL’s racist remarks through an ongoing attack of such intensity that I felt I should leave SL completely. This person’s attack was because I tried to assist someone in the Concierge group with reporting griefers, and in those days a certain service for Sim owners was quite handy and I made the mistake of mentioning this service’s name.  That was the trigger for what became an attack on my culture and my person, and it left me shocked and disillusioned, as I had read this avatar’s blog regularly prior to this attack and had even agreed with some of the points he/she raised in some of the posts on that blog.  Having this happen to me stripped that admiration for he/she completely, and revealed to me the ugly side of Second Life, the fact that we do not really know the person behind the avatar.  The weirdest thing about this, is how the attack turned from an SL related issue to a RL related issue with the question ‘Are you Asian?’ only to be followed by ‘you’re African?’ – and then a tirade about how I am from a culture in which we are ‘psuedo nice’ people who are actually violent in nature, and so on and so on.

The funny part of that is that I am in fact European, though born in South Africa, as many of you know, but he/she took my SL name as his/her guide to who I am, and it sounded Asian / African I guess so I was open to attack and verbal abuse.  Those days reporting something like this in SL was almost unknown and I regret never doing so.  I remember in my shock I emailed Torley Linden about it and he was a great support to me.  However, the point was that as an European I for the first time felt what it must feel like for so many people around the world who are subjected to such treatment every day!  It cannot be tolerated and having matured in SL since that day, I don’t stand for it at all.

So, I don’t care who you are in SL or RL, if you flame or abuse someone, and a copy of the IM is sent to me in an abuse report or it is shown publicly in the Bish group IMs, you will be banned and I will report you to the Lindens as well, who I am glad to say look like they take such attacks more seriously these days.  VW Sands and the team in Bish are well capable of doing the same and are authorized to kick butt 😉  If you have experienced any such problems in Bish talk to them or me asap. We promise to be there for you!

To those who complain about IM chats ‘bothering’ you, just click on the little cross to the upper right hand side of the actual Bishara Group IM window.  That closes the group chat and ends any IM’s bothering you until you log on the next time.