Saturday, February 29, 2020

Various Relay Events in February

By Bixyl Shuftan

 It's been about two weeks since the Relay for Life's season Kickoff on Saturday February 15. As soon as it ended, other events began happening right away. Among the first, at 11:30 AM taking place within walking distance from the stage where the Kickoff took place was a "Family Feud"  game between some of the Linden Moles and some noted Relayers.

While the Relayers were in the lead while I was there to watch it, the Moles were not going down without a fight, "Mole powah!"

Later that day were other events. This included "RFL Celebrates Mardi Gras." It took place at 4PM at "The Club" in the Yes sim.

A few days later on the evening of February 18 at 7PM SL time, Matt Carlton DJed in front of a crowd at the Home and Garden stage.

Matt played a number of country songs, such as "Live Like You Were Dying," "I'm Going To Love You Through It," "He Rode All The Way To Texas," and "What Do You Say."

"Another good one was 'Braid Her Hair,' Nspire, lesser-known singer that I always forget about and he's really good. But it's kind of like Rascal Flatts' 'Skin,' about a young girl that has cancer. But this one tells about how she dreams about all the things that she can do if she wasn't sick, and it's really pretty people liked it really well too."

The following night, Matt and I were chatting, and decided to stop by the Relay Hard Cafe. Located high above the Woodloch sim and run by Team Shadow, it had it's last scheduled event the night before and was to be taken down soon.

"We are not renewing our tier," Gem Sunkiller would later tell me, "We have a new place for weekly dance parties. We will be at the Washburn on Wednesdays." She would tell me the Cafe had been operating since 2014, "Before that it was weekly pool parties or weekly parties on the dock. The Cafe saw many great events, and the sense of community there helped some Relayers form lasting friendships." Of the events, "Most all of them were interesting.  I remember an evening where rock was the theme and most people were jamming on their guitars. Last Strides season it was home for our Strides campaign. All that pink was interesting." She had a hard time picking out a favorite event, though one had something spontaneous and unplanned, "One night we were jamming away, and the cheerleaders from one of the high school teams took over with a drill formation. I forget which team that was, but it added so much fun." Of the team captain, "(Sasha) says her two favorite where the night we dressed as an airline crew, and the Latin/Salsa night.

"We never knew what form our fellow Relayers would take, some were human, some were animals, some were fantasy creatures, and all were welcome. The friendships that were formed, the spirit that was ignited, and mutual respect and care between those who attended over the years is the most memorable part.  We hope to continue those same values at our new location, and take it higher.  We are ready, Game On!

"We may be back with the Relay Hard one day."

Most days, there was a Lantern Release Ceremony, in which numerous Asian paper lanterns were lit and let loose to float into the night sky.

Nothing is more beautiful, and a wonderful time to reflect on those we have lost.  One person commented yesterday, " It is like sending little prayers or kisses to heaven."   

Friday night February 21, the Steelhead Salmons had their first event, which was "Sims themed." Held in Steelhead Bay, Fuzzball Ortega, the estate owner, was the DJ. Almost 3000 Lindens were raised that night, bringing the team total to almost 11,000 Linden dollars.

On Saturday February 22 was "Roll for a Cure" by "We Are Dragons," high above Moonlight Caye, "If you love D and D come on over."

Come join We are Dragons in rolling Initiative against cancer!! Located at Barkuloo Retreat in the game room at 3pm SLT!! Open player seats to the earlest an willing for adventure!!

It was amusing, and a bit ironic, seeing dragons roleplaying an adventure game as humans. In the game, the characters are tasked with dealing with a bad of goblins that keeps making trouble. Their job isn't necessarily to kill them, just deal with them so they stop being a problem. Getting creative, they get some liquor, and persuade the goblins there's a big party in town. The goblins end up getting drunk, and the town guards easily toss them in jail. While some wonder if this was a waste of good ale, the characters are complemented on their cleverness.

On Sunday February 23 was a "Show and Tell" by Saffia Widdershins. It was at 2PM the Theater at the Hope 3 sim.

People could show off either old items, or interesting items they'd gotten along the way. One of Saffia's favorite's was a "Big Apple" hat. "I can hear the taxi horns and sirens on your hat Saffia," someone from the audience mused.

While I've collected plenty of stuff over the years (mostly notecards and landmarks), what stood out to me was the six inch "microkitty" avatar made by Lomgren Smalls several years ago.

But what stole the show were a couple miniature builds by Cassie Eldemar (Cashew Writer).

 "It's a replica. Well, my interpretation, of one of the Carnegie libraries."

For a little comedy, Saffia rezzed a large coffee cup, which had been made into a kind of hot tub. Would hot-tubbing in coffee be a java addict's dream?

These were just a few of the various Relay for Life happenings in the past two weeks. Be sure to watch for more in the next few months, peaking in early June with the Relay Weekend.

"Game on Cancer!"

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, February 28, 2020

Caledon's Fourteenth Anniversary

By Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday February 26 was the fourteenth anniversary of the founding of Caledon, Second Life's largest steampunk community. It should be noted though that the partying began a few days earlier on February 22 with their Mardi Gras celebrations. There was a "Skull and Bones Revelry" at 1PM. And at 5PM was a parade consisting of a train, numerous floats, bicycles and other vehicles, and people just walking. The parade ended in Port Caledon, where there was a dance party, with generous amounts of beads thrown.

Then came Wednesday, and the main events.

It's Caledon's Fourteenth Anniversary, and we're having a Ball!  Come celebrate the founding of Caledon.

 Our wonderful nation, Caledon, was founded 14 years ago.  Come help us celebrate on Wed. Feb. 26th, in the Dragon Ballroom at the Rain Estate, Caledon On Sea, from 7:00pm to 9:30pm SLT  This is a good time to dress up, perhaps in the Caledon Tartan, or just our nation's colors.  Expect other events such as the Catgirl Ball and the Rose Hunt which also happen around this time, and let me know if you are planning a special event for this week

The Catgirl Birthday Bash will immediately follow the anniversary ball and run to midnight.

The Dragon Ballroom was high above the Caledon by the Sea sim. And the party started at 7PM SL time. The human, demihuman, furry, and tiny avatars present wore Victorian outfits, save for the feral deer which just pranced with a Caledonian flag in it's mouth. Among those attending were Steelhead's Fuzzball Ortega and of course Caledon's Governor Desmond Shang, affectionately known as "The Guv." Someone (not the Governor) had a gesture, "Governor Desmond Shang has entered ... all hail." Desmond apologized for being slightly late, "I've been stuck in this, surreal, 'reality' recently. (laughs)"

In the party chatter, at one point someone asked how Caledon got it's name. Another person answered, "we had a contest our first years and a submission by Junie GInsburg called 'Mighty Caledon' was selected as the winner." Of it's anthem, "If I recall, there was ONE vote separating the two anthems. So we said the winner was the national anthem and we called the runner up the Civic anthem." There were also people remembering it's growth, "at least once a month, somebody popped up wanting to join their regions to Caledon." "I remember IBM wanting to connect and we collectively said Hell No.  A lot of Caledon at the time did not like the corporate interest in Second Life around that time." "I remember a dangerous meteor shower that hit Caledon.  A huge one fell right behind my shop in the park in Kittiwick."

Eventually the formal ball ended, and the people moved on over to the Catgirl Dungeon in the catacombs beneath Caledon. For those outside the community, officially it doesn't exist, "There is no Cat Girl Dungeon, this is clearly a mass delusion." Unofficially, a number of women showed up as catgirls, furry and neko, one cyborged catgirl, and one mousegirl. "Cats like being sneaky," one commented. There were dancepoles for the catgirls, as well as a scratching post, and danceball rezzers and refreshments for everyone.

There were comments about real-life homes having their own, secret areas, "I too know more the a couple people with in-house dungeons." "I wasn't shocked at the idea of them doing whatever, in a dungeon," Desmond remarked, "What shocked me, was getting FIT doing that."

Other topics discussed included Sansar, which the Lab recently announced it was looking for someone to buy or help them run, "I think LL doomed Sansar when they said 1) No transfer of inventory or L$ and 2) No adult content. Between those, they were screwed from the beginning." There was Pooky Amsterdam's "I'm Too Busy To Date Your Avatar" song, which was among those played. There was some talk about Dungeons and Dragons and other roleplaying games. There was talk about creepy guys who didn't have a clue how to treat women. There was discussion of Japan's low rate of men and women getting together. There was talk about Chinese factories and those who worked there. And more.

Just before Midnight, as the catgirl party was about to wind down, fireworks began going off in the air above the city. It was a great end to the fourteenth anniversary of the large steampunk community.

Bixyl Shuftan

Sunday, February 23, 2020

The 2020 Relay Season Kickoff

By Bixyl Shuftan
Some pictures from Gemma Cleanslate

The largest fundraiser in Second Life is the Relay for Life. Started in 1985, the leading charity for the American Cancer Society has numerous chapters not only across the United States, but around the world. The Relay for Life in Second Life ranks as one of it's largest, one year ranking 17th in size. Starting in 2014, the Relay has held fundraising seasons inworld every year. This year's theme: "Game on Cancer!"

Just a couple days before the Kickoff, the Home and Garden Expo started.

There were several sims with shops, and places to look around.

The Kickoff took place on Saturday February 15 at 10AM SL time. With so many Relayers, it would be not in one sim, but two. The main location was at the Hope 1 sim, at the Home and Garden Expo.

There was also another location at the Bellissaria fairgrounds.

Gemma Cleanslate was there and took a few pictures.

Including of when Stingray Rainmaker showed up.

There were avatars of all kinds, including a giant fox.

The Committee was on stage, some rezzing more properly on my viewer than others.

There were numerous words of encouragement from the Committee, with videogame music tribute melodies in the background from Mario Land to Tetris, and others.

 Following the Kickoff, there was a "Family Feud" game. This one pitted Moles against some noted Relayers.

While I was there, the Relayers were ahead, but the Moles were putting up a  fight.

Two other photographers would take a number of screenshots that day. They were Ishtarkiss (link), and Wildstar Beaumont (link).

Stay tuned for more pictures of Relay events.

Monday, February 17, 2020

FrannyDJ's Mardi Gras Parade

by Gemma Cleanslate

The Krewes of New Orleans are getting ready for all the parades that go from now until Fat Tuesday. That day, Mardi Gras, in French will be the last day of celebration before Lent and the biggest parade takes place that day in many cities in the world. New Orleans is the site of the special Mardi Gras in the USA. There is nothing like it . Frannydj brings that parade into Second Life every year. One of her invites says:


"Grab your Krewe and head on down to the Mardi where FrannyDJ Dean brings the French Quarter to life.

"Be the star of the parade as you glide gown New Orleans famous Bourbon Street on any of the 103 interactive floats with the best of SL's animations and including props to wear in this spectacular parade.

"Visit the Hot Clubs and restaurants on Bourbon Street. Don't miss the thrilling carnival rides. The party never stops here."

Her floats and decorations on the region are outstanding. This year is the 6th year to see and interact with the ground and the flying floats and there are 103! I put on my new outfit , grabbed my crown , my umbrella and put on all  my beads and hurried over. The first thing I did was get a piece of King Cake, a delicious part of the festivities, and then  danced down Bourbon street to hop on the various floats and become part of the parade.

Next I stopped in a shop get a pink daiquiri and danced my way into some of the clubs lining the street. I found some couples dancing in a few of them but most were just dancing in the street so I joined in there.

Hoodoo Voodoo Man (Karmic Aeon) was standing on the street looking like the real voodoo people you pass in the city.

The side streets behind the parade route are lined with builds that might be found on the streets of New Orleans. Take a short walk through the alley. They are charming and peaceful and some are open to walk in. Stop into the Voodoo shop near the theater for freebies!

The Carnival is open and there are loads of games and rides to enjoy so walk through to other side of the lovely park and have some fun there too.

Parties take place on the steamboat during the days leading up to Mardi Gras which falls this year on February 25. Frannydj was up on the deck getting ready. You have until then to visit , party and check out the fun! Join the Fame Group for more information.

Gemma Cleanslate

Friday, February 14, 2020

One Billion Rising

By Gemma Cleanslate

Valentine Day, the day of love I suggest you save a lot of time to visit a much needed event being held all over the world in real-life and here in Second Life again for the 8th year, One Billion Rising

“ONE BILLION RISING began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS.

Every February, we rise – in hundreds of countries across the world – to show our local communities and the world what one billion looks like and shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice that survivors most often face.  We rise through dance to express joy and community and and celebrate the fact that we have not been defeated by this violence. We rise to show we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness – one where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable.

And we here in Second Life can be part of this global movement.SOLIDARITY! RISE FOR REVOLUTION!

This year, One Billion Rising Revolution is giving sharper focus and visibility to the exploitation of women, and to harnessing even stronger global solidarity to demand an end to violence in all forms.”

The four regions are filled with elegant and thought provoking builds by artists of SL  with that focus on exploitation visible in their visions . The dirt path around the perimeter will take you to all of them. Step inside and  experience the messages in the creations. There will be poetry and prose events during the day , and it will be open and active for  24 hours, beginning at 12am slt this morning . It will continue until 11:59 tonight. I believe the builds will be there for a second look for a day or so more. 2LEI has an extensive build filled with the art of many pieces to view and is always busy .

I took a tour of all the wonderful sites and stopped in at one of the entrances where I found two of the leads, Saffia Widdershins and Kess Crystal still preparing . I passed some of the artists also feverishly at work on their projects. The picture above is the installation of Daark Gothly called Raise the Vibration where you can become part of it by hopping on a dance pad and joining in.

The open areas surrounding the Mainstage are adorned with builds for roaming and exploring the peaceful quiet or listening to poetry and prose events. Take a walk to see all that the leads have put in place for your enjoyment. Check out the new dance that was prepared for this year, 2020. This is the first one that I am not participating in to my chagrin. 

(click here if the video does not play)

Thanks to the sponsors of the regions : PrimPerfect, etham,, Lusch Audio, Eclipse Magazine, Sway, Glam Affair, Instituto Espanol, Tableau Vivant, Music Speaks Management, COCO, Ghee, Xi Delta Psi Sorority, Sisters of Mayhem MC.

And many thanks to all the leads and staff that put it all together again..! you can learn much more here on the website  and begin your tour here at an entrance

Gemma Cleanslate