The plan…

Goodness, that’s an ominous title! Anyway, I’ve been reassuring enough people individually that I decided it’s time to tell everyone our plan for Hurricane Gustav.

Yea… looks like I might get to experience the eye of a hurricane, although it’ll be pretty broken up by then. For those of you who don’t know what you’re looking at, that’s the projected path of Hurricane Gustav, and it looks like it’s headed for my backyard. I’m not terribly thrilled about this.

We will not be staying in our home for this storm. We are packing up the important stuff (pictures, documents, the computers, meds, etc) and going to my father’s house. While he’s only 8 miles away, his home is relatively new (built within the last 15 years), and he spent a considerable amount of money while building it to be sure it was above code. It’s brick, and it’s SOLID.

He also has made it a sort of hurricane bunker- 2 generators, a window AC to cool the main room and run the refrigerator, lots of supplies. The house is on 20 acres of land, and while there are trees aplenty, there are none close enough to fall on the house. We’ll be pretty safe there.

So, that said, the plan is this. I’m planning to let Teagan know we’re ok as soon as I can, but there’s no telling when I’ll actually be able to do that. If this is as nasty as it looks like it’ll be, don’t worry if I haven’t posted by the weekend. It only means the phone lines are down.

I love you guys, and if I look like I’m forgetting something, feel free to poke me on this entry. I’ve got a good 12 hours before we go to Dad’s.

Preparing for Hurricane Gustav

I have plans to write more, but my recent meds change has me very, very sleepy. We went to WalMart tonight to grab a few last minute things- ramen, soup, Dr. Pepper. I brought the camera to show the condition of the store. You can click on all the pictures for a larger view.

The bread aisle was pretty much decimated.

If you need eggs, you’re pretty much out of luck.

Who would have thought Little Debbie snack cakes were essential hurricane supplies?

Apparently, people hit the canned fruit pretty hard.

Canned goods got hit pretty hard too.

What’s left of the Ramen section. The only flavor left is the icky lime something or other.

And hey, who needs toilet paper anyway, right?

For those of you worrying, here’s the deal. My family and I will be riding out the storm at my father’s house. He has 2 generators, a large window AC to keep the main room cool, gas stove, the whole works. I’ll probably not be able to update for at least a week if it’s anything like Katrina. But as soon as I can, I’ll call Teagan and let her know how we managed.

Other than that, think good thoughts for everyone along the coast. I have a feeling this one’s gonna be ugly.

So, til we meet again, be safe.

Think good thoughts for me, folks…

Man, what a day. I should probably give some background, up til today. I’ve been up to my ears in Second Life. I was lucky enough to be asked to help plan the third annual Second Life Hair Fair. This fair is the first event that Teagan and I went to, and it sort of prompted a whole world of fun for us. Now, 2 years later, we write Savoir Hair, a resource for the hair makers and lovers all over the world. Seriously, it’s a lot of fun. Does life get sweeter?

Not only was I helping plan the fair, I had a booth. We also launched the Savoir Hair website during this time, along with various RL things like school starting. I wound up sleeping around 4 hours a night for the last week before the fair launched, just from the stress of it all. I’d go to sleep and wake up 3-4 hours later, stressed and needing to get back to work.

That said, everything has gone off pretty much without problems. The fair so far has raised almost $6,000 US for Locks of Love. When I think about the fact that a group of people from around the world who have never met face to face were able to work together to raise this sort of money from a virtual world, I am stunned. I’m not just playing a game, guys… I’m a part of something much bigger than myself. It’s a humbling experience, and one I wouldn’t give up for the world.

I meant to write something entirely different, but… yea. Things happen.

Anyway, we’re prepping for the incoming hurricane. My dad summed it up nicely when he told a friend that if it continued on its path, it was headed somewhere between his kitchen and his living room. Think good thoughts for us, folks…

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Surviving Hair Fair Lag

I know, everyone, I know. You’re dying to run around the Hair Fair, looking fabulous and buying wigs, but the lag is so bad that you can barely move! What do you do?

Never fear. I have suggestions for how to make the Hair Fair a less laggy experience for everyone, including you! You have to think about it from a technical point of view. Every prim you add affects lag, especially when those prims are flexi and/or transparent. I’ve taken some pictures of various outfits, showing how they can affect lag.

First, let’s look at the ARC. That’s Avatar Rendering Cost, a way to get an idea of how laggy your attachments are. You can find it under the Advanced options on your top toolbar (Advanced –>Rendering –>Info Displays –>Avatar Rendering Cost). If you don’t see the Advanced options, it’s easy enough to fix- just press Control/Alt/D, and it’ll show up.

Now, I know everyone’s saying, “But Laynie, ARC is a myth/is unreasonable/is unrealistic!” I know. But we’re trying to cut down on lag, and if your computer doesn’t have to render it, then your machine has less lag. So just work with me on this, ok?

Brief disclaimer- I am not saying anything here is bad, or should be avoided. But in a situation you know will be crowded and crazy, it just makes sense to try to do what you can to minimize lag, right? I’m not listing where to get any of the items, because this is about the concept, not the items in general.

Ok. I put on some of my favorite things. MY hair resembles this in RL, these are the first boots I bought in SL (and I still adore them), and the jewelry is a lot of my go-to stuff. But look at the ARC!

Yes, that ARC is 4609, for those who don’t want to click the image. Holy Moly, folks, that’s pretty high! And yet, I’ve seen ARCs at the Hair Fair of 10,000 and higher! We definitely need to avoid that if at all possible. I know, you want to look good, but I promise that more people are looking at hair than at your avatar.

So what can be done to help this? First, swap some things out. Go for hair that’s not flexi (or has fewer flexi parts) and has few or no alpha textures- the ones with the pretty painted curls. Lose the belt, take off some of the jewelry, and go for some shoes that aren’t as primmy.

Also, this may be a personal thing, but almost no one will be close enough to see your pretty prim eyelashes, so those can go as well. Consider it a dress down day!

Better. I’ve taken my avatar from the giant red 4609 to a pretty green 467 just by swapping out hair, changing shoes, and taking off some accessories. It’s a cute outfit, but could we do better? Of course! I wouldn’t be showing you this if we couldn’t!

But what can we change now, without going bald? Well, think about it… I could put on hair with even fewer prims and swap out my sneakers for ballet flats. Taking off my wedding ring (eeeek, no!) dropped quite a bit as well.

Here are several looks, taking off jewelry, wearing different hair, etc. You really can pull off a cute look with an ARC of under 100. Also, please remove things like your AO and your Mystitool. I know, I know… it hurts. But it’s for a good cause!

So this is great… there are things you can do on your own avatar to cut down on lag. But what about all those other people that are blinging and poofing and wearing 1000+ prims?

This is where changing your preferences comes in very handy. I don’t have the best computer in the world, so I usually keep my settings like this:

This usually works for me in most situations. Sometimes I’ll make my draw distance bigger, but not on mainland because you end up loading EVERYTHING. Unfortunately, since the Hair Fair is absolutely packed with people, I make a few changes that seriously help.

If you look, you’ll see I turn off everything that makes SL pretty. But textures aren’t affected, and this way I can actually move. You can still shop, and let’s face it, that’s what Hair Fair is about, right?

Hair Fair… it’s almost here…

Man, what a rush. My booth for hair fair is finished. Gwen Carrilion of Elements in Design was kind enough to design my booth for me, and I can not thank her enough. It’s absolutely lovely, and I couldn’t resist snapping a picture after finally plopping myself down to rest. The vendors are packed, the freebies are out, and now we simply wait for all the people to show up. It should be fun.

I do have a request for those of you who read this blog. I’m having lots of trouble finding menswear that I like, and since I kind of have to wear clothes for Male Mondays on the Savoir Hair blog, it’s becoming sort of a problem. So, I’d love to get some recommendations for good guy shops. All styles… classic, neko, gothy, costumes… whatever.

Speaking of Savoir Hair, be sure to keep an eye out starting Saturday, because we’re going to be bringing you hair that you can only get at the Hair Fair! I’ve already got a ton of things to show, and I can’t wait to get started!

Ok. I swear, soon I’m going to be sleeping more than 4 hours a night!

I, uh… yea.

I’m sorry about that that last post… I… I’m not sure what came over me. I’m going to assume it was the lack of sleep.

I apparently collapsed into sleep not long after posting it. I woke up with the laptop on the bed, my glasses askew, muttering something about monkeys.  It wasn’t pretty… I  worked a bit more on hair fair stuffs, and then hopped over to the main store to set everything on the third floor on sale for cheap.

See, I’m having issues here. My skills are improving, and quite frankly, I’m running out of room! So… All the stuff on the third floor is going away. As a result, it’s all marked less than $50 lindens… crazy idea, yes? Things range from 5-45 lindens, and there’s some stuff I love there. But it’s time to move on, to grow…

So now, I kick back in the comfy chair and look at the hair fair freebie hair I made… and wonder if I want to give more. *grin* I have an urge to make some poses…

New Release!

AAAAAH *runs around in circles* Hair fair! AAAA!!! New releases!! AAAAAAARGH!!!

New releases! 7 bright new colors of the basic jeans, basic capris, and button down shirts! The pants have a cute floral design!

Please, go buy! I need coffee to finish this AWESOME HAIR for hair fair! I can sleep next week, right? BUY! COFFEE! MONKEYS!