Wednesday, November 23, 2022

New Babbage Burning Barrel Race

By Bixyl Shuftan 

The Fifth of November in Second Life used to be noted for various Guy Fawkes Day events. Today, not so much. Maybe it's because some of the sims where it was have closed down, or maybe not so many "Yanks" feel like taking part in a British holiday event these days. But I did hear about one fire-themed event that day: New Babbage's Burning Barrel Race.
 At 2pm slt the torch lighting parade will begin, starting from the finish line making our way through the streets of New Babbage lighting the torches for the barrel race route. At 2:30pm slt the Barrel Race will start, then following the race an hour of music and dance at the fairground!

Before the race, I took a look around the streets of the steampunk community, and the course was marked with bales of hay. Maybe not the safest barrier for burning barrels.

I ran into a few gryphons, here to see the event. 

On some walls were maps and displays of events.

As 1 PM approached, people (intelligent quadrapeds included) began gathering at the finish line, which was the starting place for the parade.

Avariel Falcon, noted for being the black unicorn of the Relay (at least by us in the paper), was there. 

At one point, the dark equine was launching pyrotechnics from his back, "Avariel is playing again with fireworks."

So was Mr. Tenk, a noted local who described himself as a clock-winder.

And noted builder Loki Eliot, who apparently was the one in charge of running the show.
At one point, Loki yelled, "The aim of the parade is to make as much noise as we can to lure awakening the evil spirits and demons of New Babbage from their hiding places!  Then when we rolls the burning barrels, it will make them run in fear out of Babbage!! So if you have any horns, bells, instruments that make noise, bring them with you!"

There was one minor incident in which a guy tried to sneak a kazoo out of a girl's pocket. She smirked, ""Them's my pockets...need map to yours?" He retorted, "It's called SHARING."

The Torchlight Parade soon started, Loki Shouting, "Let's light 'em up! Follow me everyone!"

Avatars large and small went down the street.

The path some took went through a tunnel.

and onto a rail bridge.

And then back off.

And we were soon at the starting line. "We can stop with the noise now, hehe. Please step back from the red line so I can rez the barrels." One guy mused, "This is all to chase away wicked spirits? It's not working. I'm still here." Another joked, "I thought this was to burn down unnecessary property." A third responded, "Noo! I have to get insurance on them first!" "Good luck getting insurance now," commented a fourth.

One racer actually wore a barrel to the event. 

And another was in a firely-looking avatar.

One bystander commented, "I don't think I've ever taken part, but I'm not sure this is the year to start." Avariel replied, in jest, "Usually we do so much property damage that we only need one round." Another tried to convince him, "Oh take a leap of faith." "Join us!" "What can possibly go wrong?" "Everything," responded the skeptic. "If the plan is to burn things," commented another, "you can't really call it going wrong when it happens"

Just behind the finish line were a number of barrels, a little more than a dozen, most of them on fire, "Buy one of the barrels that are not on fire." "It matters not who comes first, just as long as your barrel reaches the Bonfire." Loki offered some tips, "Rolls your barrel, by flicking it with your cursor, GREEN Burning torches mark region crossings so be careful you don't loose you barrel there. ... When you finish remember to cheer on your friends!"

Finally, it was about time, Loki saying, "The race will begin when I say 'Go!' ... On your mark, get set, GO!" and the barrels were sent on their way

 I tried to keep up with the racers.

And there got to be more distance between the racers.

Occasionally the barrels took unexpected turns, going off-course. And the racer would have to spend some precious time getting it back.

The barrels continued down the city streets.

Finally, the first racers approached the finish line.

Topic Harlequin was the first to cross his barrel across the finish line. 

Second was Missa Sprout wsherter (Submissa69 Resident)

Third to get his barrel to the finish line was Killua Resident.

 The end of the line for the barrels was underneath an effigy that looked like something out of a Lovecraft novel.
As time went on, others got their barrel to the end. One shouted, "The Finish Line is withing Sight, this fills you with determination.  =^_^= "

People were encouraged to set viewers to Midnight to better see the fire under the effigy, which started to grow, "Careful not to get hit by burning tentacles!"

"Well done everyone who took part," Loki congratulated, "There will now be an hour of music."

And logs were added to make sure it continued to.

There were more than a few jokes, "I keep seein' these burning barrels and expect 'Donkey Kong' to show up any second now." Word was all but four barrels made it to the finish line. One supposedly ended up on a street trolley. 

It was a good time had by all, "Thank you for the fantastic time. Until we meet again."
Note: Sorry for the lateness in getting the article done. Yours truly has been busy.
Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, November 18, 2022

Various Veterans Day Events

By Bixyl Shuftan
Friday Nov 11 was Veterans Day in the United States, a holiday where Americans take a moment to remember their veterans. It's also observed in a number of other countries as Armistice Day/Remembrance Day. The reason for the date is for WW1 (known at the time as The Great War) coming to an end on Nov 11, 1918.

The Veterans Tribute was a location set up every November for the occasion. The stage would see some events.

On Saturday November 5, there was a memorial service followed by a dance for Waya Snowpaw, a veteran and DJ whom was known as the DJ who did the opening act for Veteran Isle's benefit concerts every month for over a decade.

On Tuesday November 8, there would be a Veterans Day dance over Caledon Oxbridge Village.

Come and join DJ Cynthia and Andrea Jones as we Salute our Veterans today at 6 PM. Veterans Day is November the 11th so we are Saluting a few days early.! 

We will be at the Airbase Hanger for our dancing and fun. Dress theme is formal, veterans can be in military dress as you will be asked to come forward at the end of event. 

As the event went on, people chatted about a few things. When some songs from WW2 played, someone commented of the recording of the announcement about Pearl Harbor, Katie (Katie Canningham) would comment, "A friend of my dad's was there. He also was on the Missouri for the surrender; that one, he liked to talk about. ... Admiral Yamamoto I think his name was tried to warn his government that it was a bad idea but they didn't listen." Shockwave Yareach responded, "The theory was valid, had they also taken out the carriers. But since we weren't on our knees from the attack, they goofed badly." "We were darned lucky they happened to not be in port." "We'd have started building new carriers on the East coast and then move in force once 3 or 4 were built. But it takes years to build a carrier." Cynthia herself would say, "He told them give six months and we would began countering. Also they failed to carry out a third attack and in it all they failed to destroy the fuel oil tanks and other supplies." Shockwave went on, "They decided to not attack the third time.  The element of surprise was lost. Now had they hit the fuel dumps, that would have been very bad.  Or the repair facilities." Cynthia continued, "Yes cause most of their lose was in the second wave and they had not expected us to recover so quickly." Katie wondered, "But still I'm not sure how much of a defense wed've been able to mount at that point." Shockwave answered, "Remember those carriers that weren't found? They gots planes."
There was also some musing about the movie, "The Final Countdown."  One guy commented, "The one thing that happened from the time travel trip was one guy got left behind, and apparently made some money during that 40 years." "Probably got rich from stocks and sports betting." "Hey, if you can profit, profit."
Picture from Cynthia Farshore

There was also a song about the Falklands War in 1982, which got some talk, "If I remember correctly, I think Andrew was forward deployed in the British fleet sent to the Falklands." "Only reason they attacked the Falklands was to boost the popularity of their tyrannical dictatorship at home." "They used the Victor bombers.  They were barely functional. Victors were OLD." "Not sure why the Junta thought they'd get away with it." "They assumed the Brits would do nothing." " A bit like the Pearl Harbor miscalculation, then."

When the event was close to being over, there was fireworks in the air outside.

On Wednesday November 9, Veterans Isle held it's monthly benefit concert. The event would raise 146,500 Linden dollars.


 Veterans Day, Friday November 11, would see some events. Among them one at Inspiration Island by Wisdomseeker (Lissena Resident).

Today, 11 November, is Remembrance Day here in the UK and, I understand, Veterans Day in the USA. I'm marking this by starting with a set of nostalgic songs that were favourites in WW2 and some arrangements of songs by Kurt Weill who escaped from Nazi tyranny to the USA. I shall be pulling other tunes from out of my collection, including some naughty ones from days long gone. Come and listen!

That night there was a Veterans Day party at Club Cutlass.

 It's Veteran's Day so Cynthia is DJing tonight. She will play the Patriotic tunes for you. ... sorry "No Contests". This night is for honoring all Vets of the Military branches as a way to say thank you for their sacrifises. End of the event any Vets will be in a photo op. Party starts at 6 pm and ends at 8 pm SLT / PST.
A number of the Sunweavers are US veterans, and at one point it was suggested that only they should wear uniforms. But it was unclear if it was too late to get the word out or not. What was done was that unlike most Cutlass events, there would be no contest. And at the end, the veterans present at the party lined up in the back (this was the picture in which I got the most saluting).

When Club Cutlass first went up, flags of all five branches of the US Military were hung up at one side. Since then, there's been a new sixth branch: The Space Force. Technically independent, it still falls under the direction of the Department of the Air Force like the US Marines fall under the Department of the Navy. So, Cutlass got a new flag.
Yes, it resembles the "Star Trek" symbol. But so does the flag of the Russian Space Forces and China's PLA Strategic Support Force

On Monday November 14, the last of the events at the Veterans Tribute would take place.

"Dena on deck until 8ish with a 50s, 60s, 70s, & 80s mix."

After the last event, I would check out the rest of the island some.

The Bill of Rights, one thing American veterans fight for.

Some never made it home, the body never found and their fates unknown.

Not everyone who fights for freedom gets their paycheck from Washington DC.

"Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree ..."

It was a great Veterans Tribute, and looking forward to the one in 2023.

"Thank you for your service."

Bixyl Shuftan