Friday, July 20, 2018

Scenes From The "Raze The Relay" Party

By Bixyl Shuftan

Since 2010, the "Flood Party" has been a tradition at the Relay track, the "last hurrah" before the campsites are taken down. The first one in July 2010 was completely unplanned, a sim manager raising the water ten meters and people flocking over spontaneously. Since then, the Flood Party has been a part of the Relay, at least in one form or another. In 2014 with some sims underwater, there was a twist with one of those sims having the water level lowered or a "Drain Party." One or two were a mild disappointment to some with the water only coming up a few inches. So while the one last year was a happy one for all, I myself was asking about this one, "should we bring a swimsuit and inner tube, or just rubber boots and an umbrella?" The response I got was more or less "wait and see."

The twist this year was the name. Those in the Committee weren't calling it the Flood Party but the "Raze The Relay Sim Party." Why the name change, I didn't hear (or ask). But by whatever name, people were looking forward to one last party on the sims.

         Raze The Relay Sim  Party
Music Get Down As You Tear Down
                Wednesday, July 18
                        4 - 7pm slt
(PS:   Bring your inner tube)

The event was being held in the south-central part of the track on the piers of the RFL Activities 1 sim, close to the border with RFL Activities 2. Presumably they were preparing for a heavy response and didn't want lag issues like on Saturday. So I showed up as the crowd started gathering. But as I was without my usual overcoat and fedora, my short stature combined with someone's lag got someone confused, "from a distance Bix looks like a garden gnome." My response, "Sorry, foxes are not gnomes. I think you fell for a 'mis-gnomer.'"

With the party on the pier, it was brought up that while there was water around already, we were a few feet over it at the start, "I get the impression we'll all be in the water by the time it's over, though." A few apologized for being quiet. Others however, "Sting just standing there, all quiet. We may need to throw him in the water to wake him up." Of some people having stayed up the whole Relay, Bain Finch asked, "So everyone start getting caught up on sleep?" "Hahha! I am totally turned around my nights are now my days (laughing out loud). I used to be in bed by midnight EST. Now I am having diner then." "But that is ice cream time." "Who needs ice cream? Cuddly left these Christmas lights to munch on." Trader remarked, "My nights are too short and days too long and I can NOT catch up."

I wasn't the only nonhuman around. Strifeclaw (Gager) stood out in his huge feline avatar.  Madonna commented, "with Strifeclaw's size? If she says 'I can haz cheeseburger', the answer is definitely 'Yes. A million times yes!'" Oldesoul was in a dinky with swimwear that looked like something out of the movie "Borat." There was a tiny in a snorkel and flippers with a fish on his head, and a couple small dinos. There was also a "Minkie" tiny from the Fantasy Faire this spring.

Eventually, it started to rain, at one point the raindrops developing a purple shade. There was no song by the singer "Prince" though. Bain commented, "It's raining Relayers! Prettykitty Gumbo mused, "It's raining's pouring... the old man is snoring!" Madonna with her rubber suit commented, "As far as the rising water? That's why I came in waterproof clothing today." Aryon Dagger remarked, "I hope this water is cleaner than the Mississippi River was at NOLA" Someone had one of the "Purple Tears" kites up, probably to take advantage of the wind"

Eventually, the water slowly came up. First to just below the pier's edge. Then a couple inches onto the pier, just enough to make our feet wet. But as the moments ticked by, it was soon past our feet, then up to my knees, then past my waist. People had been placing boats in the water and they were drifting around a little, "where did that airboat come from?" One of the mini-dinos was floating around on his back in the water as well.

People looked back at the season, one saying, "Let's rewind to the Fantasy Faire. We busted out and broke 100,000 lindens in one night." Vickie (Vickie Maidstone) talked about trying to explain Second Life to her real-life friends, "I have YET won an argument explaining to people SL is NOT a game, the stuff we do especially with RFL is REAL." It was brought up that Sting had done one of the designer sims, which got Madonna commenting, "Sting building and terraforming... Be afraid. Be VERY afraid!"

There was plenty of joking around, at one point Nikki Mathieson remarked, "I said, 'You need to be quiet. I"m going to talk to Sting for a bit.'  He gave me the funniest face and said, 'his .. name ... is Stink?!'" After some chuckles, Random Darrow (Random Padar) tried to reassure her, "It's ok Nikki. I just sent and IM that said 'I stalked Sting today.'  'I MEANT TALKED TO!'" There were much chuckles, Madonna commenting, "Stinky's mom named our favorite skunk Stinky, so, there is that." Softpaw Sommer commented of the joke, "That's gonna stick around for a while." Someone kidded, "You mean stink around for a while Softpaw." After more chuckles, Madonna remarked, "Right, like we have never before taken a joke and made it old."

Sara Llewellyn (Sarandel Llewellyn) had some reassuring news for the group about their efforts, "Just saw this at - The death rate from cancer in the US has declined steadily over the past 2 decades, according to annual statistics reporting from the American Cancer Society. As of 2015, the cancer death rate for men and women combined had fallen 26% from its peak in 1991. This decline translates to nearly 2.4 million deaths averted during this time period."

There were numerous comments about the Relay Weekend lag, Sara saying, "Think back to 2009, campsites were so darn tiny and tucked behind each other and people crashed every single sim all night long." "The bridge on ACS was a PITA this year but I only crashed twice." "I crashed a LOT more than last year." "In 2009 we felt accomplished - we crashed SL's servers almost." "If you weren't crashing, you weren't trying." "I crashed 30 times in an hour." "Hey. Relay is   crashing, rubber banding, lag pull, and losing your hair and boots or shoes." "Like it was dial-up Internet." "Gotta love crashing on the Honor lap, if I didn't crash like ten times at least I would feel cheated!" "I had to take DD down to 32, and I still crashed!"

There was more joking around, Tindallia Soothsayer of the Giant Snail Racing team being called, "our lady of snails." Tindallia remarked, "Great, instead of a crazy cat lady, I'm the crazy snail lady." Oldesoul reassured her, "As long as you crazy - you good." Tindallia responded, "I'm not crazy, I'm mad, but we're all mad here." Another commented, "We're all crazy. Just in varying degrees." Still another went, "I'll have you know that I am NOT crazy... I'm NUTS!"

Eventually, the water began to recede again, going back down under my waist, then knees, and soon the deck was over the water again. People began heading out, either to take down their team campsites or other business on the grid or real-life. "I would love to stay, but if I do, I'll end up with 'Trader forehead.' Thank you, each and every one of you for all you do!" "Till we see each other again, when the Faire lands return." "Smile, Be Happy, and do pawsum things." Sara did have some song lyrics to say which she thought were appropriate.

Never say goodbye, never say goodbye
You and me and my old friends
Hoping it would never end
Never say goodbye, never say goodbye
Holdin' on, we got to try
Holdin' on to never say goodbye.

And so the "Raze the Relay" party, or the Flood Party, wound down. One last chance to have a little fun on the Relay track before the sad task of taking it down. While a few Relay teams would have one more team event, for most this would be the last event until the Relay Wrap-Up on Saturday July 28.

Bixyl Shuftan

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Announcement: 2018 Relay Weekend Event Schedule

Relay Stage _ Live Performers


Corialote Dougall
1-2 pm
Lexus Melodie
2-3 pm
3-4 pm
Keeba Tammas &
The Tiny Maniacs
4-5 pm
Say Imamu
Samm Quendra
Satin & Erin
Grace Devin
8-9 pm


Midnight McCarty
12 - 1 am
Maximillion Kleene

Club Relay - DJs


Yuna Mai
2-4 pm
Ripster435 Riva
4-6 pm
Fizban Underwood
6-8 pm
Bavey Doll Savage
10pm - Midnight


Spook Maroon
12a - 2am
Ari Spark
2am - 4am
Holocluck Henly
4-5 am


Ed Sheeran
by Bad Ampitude
Sat. July 14 5 pm
by Phoenix Productions
Sat. July 14 6.15 pm
5 Seconds of Summer
by Maximum Overdrive
Sat. July 14 6.15 pm


The Monarchs
Sat July 14 -1pm
Jewell Theatre
Sat. July 14 - 3pm
Team Atlantis Dance
Sun. July 15 - 8am

Purple is the color for RFL. On Saturday July 14th, the Giant Snails of SL paint themselves purple and race for a cure! Time fo git yer snail on and unite to relay for RFL!

Saturday July 14th, 4PM SLT, United Snails Relay For Life
United We Stand! Come out and slime for a great cause.


Monday, July 2, 2018

One More Time: The "Cake Explosion" And Other Last SL15B.Unofficial Events.

By Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday July 1 was the last day that the sims of Second Life's biggest event of the year, the Second Life. Several years ago, there wouldn't be much happening, just people walking around and seeing the exhibits one last time before they'd be picked up.

But in the past few years, things have been a little different. First the "Cake Stage" was dismantled not by simply taking it down, but by having it all come apart in a shower of prims in what came to be called the "Cake Explosion." When people saw videos of it, it became so popular, people wanted to see it happen, so the event became announced in advanced. Then something else happened, DJs began playing at the clubs one last time. 

This year, the unofficial DJ events started before the Cake was set to blow. At one point, I headed to Stage North SL15B Impressive to catch an event there.

And there was a small party there.

Catboy Qunhua was there, in a red and white dress with Canadian maple leaves on it for "Canada Day" that day. I never did ask if she was from the Great White North, or just showing appreciation for the land of hockey games and maple syrup.

The time of the "Cake Explosion" was scheduled for 4PM. So with a half hour to go. I headed there. Unfortunately, with all of the avatars there, some  took a long time to rezz. There were  close to 150 in the two sims.

Eventually, there were so many under the Cake stage sims, I was unable to get in after one particular crash. So I watched from SL15B Exhilarate next doot. Then a little after 4PM, "The Cake" rose in the air.

The crowd below awaited the pile of virtual cake and frosting to drop from above.

Crashing was still a problem, even in the next sim.

 Finally at 4:22PM, we saw the pieces start to fall. Slowly, but it had begun.

 Volunteer Marianne McCann yelled, "Down it goes!"

"Coming down!"

 "Woot! Fantastic time!!!"

"Oh, the whole area is falling apart, and the pieces descending to the ground!"

It took a while, but the prims were soon all over the ground.

Some hung in the air for a while.

If a piece drifted to another sim besides the two The Cake was on, instead of falling onto the ground, it sunk through and vanished.

It was quite a scene with all that virtual cake and frosting on the ground.

Peet Auer had this video up on Youtube. RacerX Gullwing had another, filmed at Midnight view.

After "The Cake" went out in glory, the party moved on to Stage Left, aka "The Serpent." 

 At 10PM SL time was the last of the unscheduled parties.

DJ Luscious Giano would run the tunes for the last event period of the SL15B

Among those there was volunteer Marianne McCann

So was Stage Lead Golan Eddie.

The party would go on for a while. At one point, Luscious pointed to a crystal in the air, saying who clicked on it would get a souvenir of the stage, courtesy of stage creator Faust Steamer, a Meso-American style serpent statue.

 I would take a few more pictures of The Serpent, such as behind the DJ booth.

 In a room behind the booth, where there was a rezz spot.

 For those who never bothered to pan upward, there was this.

 A crystal hanging high over everyone.

A view of Stage Left from above.

Eventually, Midnight came, and after goodbyes, people began heading out, to either log out, or look at the sims one last time.

And I myself decided to look a little longer before calling it a night.

This exhibit by Marianne McCann, mentioned in an article by Gemma, brought back a few memories. And unlike the Tapestry of Time mentioned in one of my articles, it was less afraid about mentioning a few problems over the years.

It was a quiet winding down to a great day, though a somewhat sad one. The next day, the builds would start to come down, and the place would be gone in a few. It was the last hurrah of the Second Life Fifteenth Birthday.

Bixyl Shuftan