Friday, January 29, 2016

Shady Fox's Memorial Events

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Sunday January 16, Shady Fox passed away from cancer. Shady had been a personality known in a number of places, notably the Giant Snail Races as part of the team and Raglan Shire as a DJ. He had been diagnosed with bladder cancer in early October, and his last Facebook post was a few weeks later. He departed with family by his side. The news of Shady's death was marked by sadness in Second Life, people spontaneously gathering at Raglan Shire to discuss their now late friend and to set up a makeshift memorial. Plans were soon made for a memorial service the next weekend, on Sunday January 24 at 12 PM SL time.

The first part of the events took place at Athen Shire. Arriving a few minutes before Noon, the place was packed. The messages were given out over Voice, so there was no chat to copy-paste. But there was a notecard available which had a few messages.

I'm trying my best, I told you that I always would.

I miss you.

I don't have your good advice, I have memories, and I'm trying to make them work.

I don't have my friend Shady. It's making me sick thinking about it.

I miss you.

Please be happy. I love you Shady

utterly Wizardly

I would count over 160 avatars in the two sims involved.

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.

Richard Bach

DrFran Babcock, who's been taking a hiatus from Second Life, took a brief break from her break to pay her respects.

With the large amount of avatars, some people would crash (including me once). The stream address was given out to help people save a little strain on their viewers.

I keep seeing Shady turn his back when, after Fox's memorial he says
"I don't think I can handle anymore losses. I think maybe it's time to
leave SL and Raglan. So many have gone." I beg him to stay. Tell him it's
not the empty chairs that are important. It's the memories we keep alive
of those who sat in them.
Then I begged him not to go. That I couldn't handle losing another friend.
Would I have said something different if I knew then what I know now?
I don't think so. Even though death isn't a tragedy to God, but a celebration,
for those left behind it hurts and we cry.
We know we will see him again. But, for most it will be a long time.
So, we cry.
We have the best chance of knowing he is with us here in Second Life.
Where he is going is also a virtual Life. I can't imagine him not
sneaking in here to see how we are doing. To listen to us carol at Wootmas.
To listen to us talk about about the funny things he did when we were down.
To be the Biggie Fox in Tiny Land, with the biggest tiny heart of all.
Wootmas will never be the same for those of us here then. It will be
more special, because it is when Shady went Home.

With the lag from all those avatars, most cut back on the number of attatchments they had. Though someone had a breedable pet they named after Shady as their own little memorial to him.

I never knew Shady as long as many, but he always made me feel safe and secure and like i was not intruding, which i feel like i often am(even when im not).

He would come sit and play the frog song while he did stuff. and you were always welcome to come sit and do nothing on his lands and in da cube.

it might not sound like much but to me it meant alot. He gave alot without making much of a deal about, sort of by just being around. you felt in a good place when he was around.

i cant express well my thoughts into words here, but Shady will always be important to me.

Eventually, the first part of the service was done, and people began to leave to another part of the Shire.

Who can fill the sandbox
make it sound real cool
make the joy jump out your legs
down at the swimmin ool

The Shady Fox can

Who can take a sad face
lookin like a clown
put his arm around you
and turn it upside down

The Shady Fox can

Who can fill your heart up
Although he's gone today
because he is a part of you
that never goes away

The Shady Fox can.

The Shady fox can
cus you have to look
no further than inside of you.

Always within me Russ, you inspire and watch my days.
I hope that people see you shining out of all of us.

-Talisman Takaaki

The ceremony continued at Heron Shire.

Yes within our hearts
we shall remember as
we hold on to you

Yes within our hearts
so special so dear a
void that will be there
but filled with memories

Yes within our hearts
you shall remain
always loved always there
So look deep within

Because of the huge number of avatars, some watched the ceremony from the shore at Morning Shire.

I come here not to mourn
your death but to 
celebrate your

You take with you on 
your journey a part 
of each and everyone of

In return we keep a
part of you within our

Luskwood founders Liam Roark, Eltee Statosky, and Michi Lumin were among those there.

During this part of the service, Raglan Shire's estate owner, Zayn Till, officially dedicated Shady Fox's permanent memorial: an ever-burning purple flame.

At one point, those attending were asked to rezz a purple or black balloon on the ground, and touch it to set it floating in the air.

With the second part of the service over, it was time for the memorial concert. So we went to a platform 3000 meters in the air, presumably where Shady previously performed.

"Last train to Awesome Town" prim words above the stage would say.

 Shady was known as the "Baconator," sometimes sporting a shirt "Bacon makes everything better." And in one corner, there was a pile of the "meat candy" that would send any lover of the food into bliss.

In the back of the stage, a line of "Cybermen," a race of Borg-like aliens from "Dr. Who."

As the first performers warmed up, the crowd gathered.

Keeba Tammas and her band of tinies would be the first to perform, starting off at 2PM SL time.

 The audience was a mass of tiny, furred, normal  human, feral, and other avatars.

At one point, one of the band was being a prankster, releasing a bunch of banana peel articles.

It took two tinies to handle the band's huge base violin, but four hands could do things just two couldn't.

The last song Keeba and her band would play was "That's What Friends Are For."

Keep smiling and keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
In good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for

It was probably best that Keeba chose this song to be last as some of the audience started getting sad with some crying. Keeba and the band then stepped down from their poses and invited people to come on stage for a kind of group hug, she and the band still singing.
[14:53]  Tormento Sansome: Applause!!
[14:53]  Tormento Sansome: Applause!!
[14:53]  Tormento Sansome: Applause!!
[14:53]  Monty Talbot: WELCOME HAGALAZ
[14:53]  Tormento Sansome: Applause!!
[14:53]  Xerxes Sismondi: Hi MOnty, hi everyone
[14:54]  Monty Talbot: /SERXES
[14:54]  Codeh (cody.hoch): /hugs Kath =D
[14:54]  Peachy Sassoon: Hi everyone
[14:54]  Monty Talbot: OOPS
[14:54]  Peaches (peaches.latrell) shouts: sit with us on stage!
[14:54]  Copper Mistral: ????  APPAWS! ????
[14:54]  Peaches (peaches.latrell) shouts: group hug
[14:54]  Morton Wheels shouts: Shady is in out hearts FOREVERRRRRRRRRRR
[14:54]  karmagirl Avro: ya me too Liam
[14:55]  karmagirl Avro: i told him! he goin to live on in our hearts forever! i said you have to know this shady, he said ya. :(
[14:55]  Morton Wheels shouts: and he dont wanna see us cry
[14:55]  karmagirl Avro: i told him before he passed this
[14:55]  Reign ShadowWalker (reignshadow.walker): ^__^
[14:55]  Copper Mistral: And so, by the way, I thank you
[14:55]  karmagirl Avro: he knew and knows
[14:55]  karmagirl Avro: we talked about death :( he knew
[14:55]  Reign ShadowWalker (reignshadow.walker) hugs everyone
[14:55]  karmagirl Avro: he said tell them how much this is helpin and has helped me
[14:55]  karmagirl Avro: all the love, support, cards
[14:56]  karmagirl Avro: he knew ;)
[14:56]  karmagirl Avro: ok now im cryin
[14:56]     Nariko Stormsong (azusasato): hugs karma
[14:56]  Shadow Marlin: me too Karms -- dang it -- I thought I was done
[14:56]  Rendal (rendal.constantineau): *hugs*
[14:56]  Songbird Bunny Sorbet (songbird1028.sorbet): don't make me cry
[14:56]  Stereo Nacht hugs 'Ti Karmagirl
[14:56]  Shadow Marlin: hard to sing with tears in the voice
[14:56]  Reign ShadowWalker (reignshadow.walker): It's ok to cry. o..o It means you care.
[14:57]  Copper Mistral: YESH
At 3PM Frogg Marlowe took to the stage, singing with is guitar. His longtime partner, Jaycatt Nico, however, was not with him, "He had a vacation planned for over a year."
Other musicians who would perform as the day went on were Songbird Sorbet at 4PM, Shakespeare Shamrock at 5 PM, Shmoo Snook at 6PM, Shandy Stradling at 7PM, Caleb Kit at 8PM, and Copper Mistral at 9PM.

Not far away from Shady's permanent memorial was another memorial. In previous years at Raglan, ten people considered to be part of the community had passed away. With Shady Fox, the total now is eleven. Four others had gone missing, with attempts to find out what happened revealing nothing.

 And so, Raglan Shire and other friends of Shady Fox had their event in his honor. For more pictures, check out those by Wildstar Beaumont and Teal Freenote. One can also visit the memorial at Heron Shire (254, 82, 20).

Bixyl Shuftan

*Addition* Since the publication of this article, the video of the events was made available.

(Click here if the video fails to play)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Swan Lake

By Gemma Cleanslate

“We raise the curtain on Fantasy Dreams' beautiful production of Peter Tchaikovsky's "SWAN LAKE" in just 30 minutes. Join us at TOTH's Chetz Szondi Stage for this story of a handsome young prince and a beautiful girl turned into a swan by an evil magician. The music and spectacle will sweep you away to another realm!” was the invitation I received.  I was able to attend the performance Saturday and was enthralled. The very lovely theater was already filled but I was able to find a seat on a comfortable sofa not far from the stage. The back story of Swan Lake was posted as the ballet progressed on the curtain. If you would like to read a synopsis this one at the Houston Ballet is very good.
The performance was absolutely charming from beginning to end. The company performing is Fantasy Dreams. Director and Choreographer is NESS (donotgivemyself), who also danced the part of the Swan . She is loved by the Prince danced by The Åłéҳ MĬŁŁĬġåń Beast (Riperok Resident). The choreography was stunning for the company ,  the Swan and the Prince and the evil knight ,  ღ..::Ąŋgєℓ::..ღ (Angelok555). The Director of decorations, staging and  costumes is  Urfin (Valtum), who did a grand set for the whole show, gardens, lake, and a magnificent throne room. The costumes were charming and reflected the station of the dancers. 
The audience showed its appreciation throughout the entire performance. The music of Tchaikovsky delighted the audience also from beginning to end.  I am always touched by the story and its tragic ending.   
There will be a performance on January 31 at The Atlantis Theater at 1:00 pm SL time. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Gemma Cleanslate

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ponyland's Closing

By Bixyl Shuftan

On the evening of  December 31 2015, ScentualLust announced in the Luskwood Community group (and presumably Trotstale's as well) that the Ponyland sim would be closing.

Fe-fe, fi-fi, fo-fo, fum
I smell a skunk in the auditorium!

We're gonna close the sim, just you wait and see...
What a perfect way to ring in 2016 ?

Fe fi fum fory, I have wrote my own story.

The end! Of Ponyland...cause nothing can stop the smooze.

Happy new year everypony! Come celebrate it and say farewell to Ponyland.

Chatting with ScentualLust, she told me the sim was indeed closing tim for the place, "Farewell time, we made it many months longer than anticipated. I had half a dozen ponies IM me saying how the sim made them cry from childhood nostalgia. Michi Lumin's heading over later. Her and I were the sims only admins, it was just my labor of love for G1. And all the thanks goes to her and OldVamp (he did the builds) for making it happen." I asked where the idea for the sim came from. Scentual answered, "It was a secret I was keeping so none of the other pony sim owners would jump on either a G1 sim, or naming their sim Ponyland (which is where Firefly's Adventure and My Little Pony Tales takes place). I sent Vamp pics of the builds I wanted, and he built a majority of the sim before I bought the sim itself to place the builds in."

Scentual had only planned for the sim to be online for a short time, "I planned on three months. But donations from people like JeanetteDJennet and LeatherTail kept it going, combined with Lindens I had saved up since my rez day. Many nights of Primtionary, etc. $30L here and there can add up. (smile) ... I had a list of intentions, a party in the skating rink, a party in the sky (which you were at), a party in the ice cream shop, and a party in Dream Castle. There was a whole skating "conga" line at the skating rink party. Limited edition MLP roller blades and inline skates were created for it, complete with an AO. This is the kinda stuff that makes it worth it to run a place like this." Amehana Arashi (Amehana Ishtari) commented, "You have no idea how cathartic it was for me to explore it."

Anticipating I would write about it, Scentual added, "I'd want to say to anyone reading that article, that if they missed out on this sim, they can still watch the G1 material it was based on. Firefly's Adventure: and My Little Pony Tales: ." Her plans for the future? She told me, "I'm going to work on the Trotsdale Museum of Pony Past, which is an attraction ran by DC the cyberPony in Trotsdale. We'll get Ponyland added in there, DC got quite the handful of pictures for us to hang in there, and I even got a video archive of the sim thanks to Flutter Riff (who has also helped with scenery and a lot of ground work here)."

I hung around the place long enough to take a few pictures. As New Years Eve was a busy night for me, I was elsewhere when Scentual messaged me when the sim finally had closed, " Michi Lumin got the last words in the Ponyland farewell party, 'My heart will gooo oooon and oooooooon!' Everyone at the party made a gesture of going down with the sim. It was touching." Scentual then sent me a picture, the last that would ever be taken from the sim, "This was the auto screen grab as the sim went down, a wonderful final snapshot of what was."

When asked if she had anything else to say, "I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for Michi Lumin providing a solid role model as a sim owner. Watching her carefully led me to running Derpyland (which is a sim that Dashy and Cera founded) and having it go from not only being an overnight sensation, but turning into a self sustaining pony sim for over 3 years and counting. In a world where your average SecondLife sim only lasts a few months, one would think looking to Luskwood would be common scents since they're the oldest running community in Second Life. I'm a big believer in divine luminous wisdom and experience. And I attribute a lot of those qualities to what lead Ponyland to 9 months of sim life, instead of 3. With no specific community group, and no has very much surprised me." Scentual would later remind me Derpyland was the second oldest of the pony sims, Trotsdale being around first.

And so, the sim had it's final curtain call. But it won't be forgotten as there will be an exhibit on the place should all go as planned. And of course there's the memories of those who had fun there.

Bixyl Shuftan

*Addition* I had accidentally left out a couple paragraphs of the interview when the article first went up. When discovered, the error was corrected. 

*Second Addition* The Newser was asked to note Derpyland is the second oldest of the pony sims, with Trotsdale, run by Michi Lumin, being the oldest.