Zero Lag Thirty ~ Blog Challenge and Part Two of Stylin’ Ain’t Easy

Hey everyone, and welcome to ‘Zero Lag Thirty,’ part two of my ‘Stylin’ Ain’t Easy’ blog series!

BLOGGERS: This is my next challenge for you! I want to see your best, least laggy outfit; help spread the word that Zero Lag can still look amazing. <3

Today we’re going to explore the challenge of trying to move around in Second Life. We’ve all fallen prey to the SL ‘Lag Monster’ and while sometimes the situation is completely out of our control, sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.

So whether you’re scaling down (har har) to get ready for competitive racing like me or you’d just like to be able to cross the floor of your favourite club without rubberbanding, you might want to read on. Watch and learn, Grasshopper.

ZeroLag1 600 ( If you want to race with guys like these, you need to run lean and clean. )

Okay! So we’re going to talk about two things in this post: LAG (which we all haaate) and something called Mesh/Rendering Weight. Everyone knows about lag; it’s what happens when a sim is packed with avatars, all wearing scripty, primmy, flexi things. Sims can be laggy on their own if they’re full of vendors and scripted objects or if they haven’t been restarted in a while. So let’s make a resolution this year to dress responsibly for our own sake as well as our neighbours’.

~ SCRIPTS & LAG ~

Scripts:
In many ways, this is the easiest way to control our own contributions to sim lag. If your clothing has resizers in it or any kind of texture change option, it’s very likely there’s a script controlling this.

~ Since most clothing in SL is copy/mod now, I recommend making a copy of your favourite boots (I just typed ‘goots’ because I’m still in love with my Gos equestrian and hunter boots) and removing the resizer scripts via menu whenever possible. If something fits properly, there’s no reason to have these scripts active when you’re in-world. I employ this strategy for jewelry as well.

~ HUDs! We all use them. We all love them. We may not realize how badly they can lag us, though! Even your basic AO, something you wouldn’t dream of going without, may run upwards of 20 scripts (some of them WAY more than that). Using radar HUDS, Yus/Nuu or RLV anything, MystiTool, face animators, titlers, hug/kiss/dance/etc HUDS .. all of this contributes to script lag, even when they aren’t in use. So please, if you don’t think you’re going to use a particular HUD when you’re out and about, detach it!

I’ve been using the Firestorm AO for about a week now and I just love it! If your viewer has a big ‘AO’ button somewhere in the user interface, just try loading your favourite AO animations into it. Sure, it takes a few minutes (or longer if you’re me) but the difference is profound when you’re in a laggy environment. Try it. Love it.

~ Get a script counter scale! I have a scale (this one is free on the Marketplace) rezzed beside my default pose stand. Once I’ve made sure everything fits properly (we’ll cover this in another post, I swear!) I hop onto the scale to make sure I’m not being a scripty jerk. Anything under 3MB/3072K is excellent, but I challenge you to go lower, just to see how it feels.

Other Sources of Lag:
There are a LOT of them and some have absolutely nothing to do with your avatar. If you’d like to research this issue, I highly recommend having a look at ‘Massively’s Guide to Reducing Second Life Lag.’ It’s a fantastic article.

ZeroLag2 600 ( Even horses know that prims cause lag! )

~ MESH/RENDERING WEIGHT ~

Even when you’re running very few (or zero) scripts, your avatar can still contribute to sim lag. Your basic avatar, all your clothing and attachments, your goots (hehe) and jewelry, hair, and eyelashes may lag you up even more than your old script count!

~ To see avatar weights, open Me>Preferences… from the main menu. Under the Advanced tab, enable “Show Advanced Menu”. Back at the main menu, pick Advanced>Performance Tools>Show Draw Weight for Avatars. The number pops up over your head: green is good, red is not.

~ Every avatar on the grid has a base rendering cost of 1000. This covers your skin, hairbase, eyes, tattoo layers, and all of your system clothing. You can go ahead and call these ‘freebies.’ Use them at will; layer, play, and have loads of fun!

~ It’s too bad we all LOVE our attachments, isn’t it? The unfortunate truth is that anything you have to click to ‘wear’ or ‘add to outfit’ is going to increase your rendering weight and the primmier your attachments are, the more you’re going to lag (or your neighbours will) in a busy sim. Even your mesh items, although they tend to be lower in weight, will increase this number. Stealth Weight Offender: YOUR MESH EYELASHES!

Mesh/Rendering Weight Formulae:
I’m not going to list everything here because it’s ALL laid out on the Second Life Wiki (please read the article, it isn’t long) but I’m going to list some of the worst offenders in no particular order:

Flexi prims, shiny prims, glowy prims, alpha prims, particles, and light emitting prims.

If your clothes or attachments or whatever have one or more of these features, please check your rendering weight before you wail about being on a laggy sim.

I would never dream of telling you not to wear your favourite things (I certainly won’t stop wearing mine), but I think it’s important to consider your wardrobe choices when you’re visiting a high-traffic area (fashion shows, RP sims, busy clubs, SL events, etc). Count your attachments the way you might count calories:

“I can wear these beautiful goots today, but only if I wear system gloves instead of these scripty fingernails,” or

“Gee, I really love this flexi hairstyle – how about I go easy on the jewelry this time. No one can see my ears anyway.”

Dress responsibly, my dears, and I’ll have more tips to share with you very, very soon.

~ Portia ~

23933 Render Weight (orange/yellow), 0 scripts

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Mist
Miamai_XGen Makeup_Basic Lashes A Black – (Tattoo layer lashes, ftw!)
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

[LeLutka]-HAIRBASE Marilyn
[LeLutka]-BELLE pony – Marilyn

{Happy} Posh Wrap (Gray)
{Happy} Confidence Blouse (White)
jane.intrinsic.tank.wh cream [hi]
Loralai Michalski ~ Jockey Silks: Caramel & Tan Leather Pants
[Gos] Equestrian Boot – Black – (MY GOOTS!)

Loralai Michalski ~ Jockey Silks Riding Helmet: Black Rubber
Emery – Gloves #Black

Poses: Diesel Works
Horses: Awesome Breed Creations (Lipizzaner, Thoroughbred, Arabian)
Set: The Domineaux Effect ~ The Country Barn, Starmark Creations ~ Ranch V2,

Learning Your A-B-C’s (Part One of I-don’t-know-how-many!)

Okay, wow. So. This is turning into quite the project, isn’t it?

Are you as excited as I am to be doing this? (I certainly hope so!)

So today we begin with pretty, pretty horses, but I promise we’ll get a little farther this time. :D We’re going to talk about Awesome Breed Creations (ABC) in a general way to start. We’ll have a peek at the mainshop with a very broad overview of what an interested outsider (ie. me) would be interested to know about the special features ABC has to offer.

ABC Intro 1 600 ( Pretty, right? It’s even nicer at 4048x. :D)

Teleporting onto the sim is easy, the landmark is right here, and you’ll notice immediately that the place is just beautiful. Horses everywhere! As you’re able to see in the picture above (and probably every other picture I take for the next three months), there are a ton of beautiful, beautiful options as well. This is the first thing that struck me about ABC and the thing that I can’t help but revisit when I ask myself if I really want to try another breedable:

They’re just so pretty.

Once you’re able to drag your eyes away from the paddock near the landing point, you’ll probably realize that the mainstore is right in front of you! The building is quite a bit larger than it seems in the picture just below (we’ll fix that in a minute), but if you look closely you’ll see some very interesting features. First, there is often a helpful person standing right outside in case you need help with anything ( thank you, Matty! ). Second, there’s a Toys for Tots kiosk right by the entrance. They’re all over the place, really. :D

ABC Intro 3 600 (The entire sim is decorated for the holidays; warms the heart, doesn’t it? )

At this point, I feel like I need to share something with you. Something that may shatter your worldview if you aren’t braced for it.

Ready?

ABC Intro 2 600 (Why are the smallest boxes on the highest shelf?! )

These horses do more than eat and make babies! 

This is the second thing that is really, really driving me to consider investing in this brand. You can absolutely breed ABC horses; take a quick peek at the Horse Features page on their website and you’ll see enough options to keep any devoted breeder busy. If this isn’t your particular cuppa, though, there are still fun things for you to do! Things like training a horse for speed and strength and stamina, something that takes dedication, experience, and time. A good training program involves finding just the right balance of attributes for a horse to compete effectively in …

Races and Competitions!

Yep, that’s right! You can take an ABC-sanctioned jockey class and enter official events. You can show up for hands on training in-world and test your horses (or a friend’s horses) on the official track! You can enter a race and win your entry fee back and then some! There is something happening in-world nearly every day (check their Events Calendar page), with momentum building toward larger competions throughout the year.

*Whispers* And there are horse-and-rider costume contests for ‘Best in Breed.’ (*Swoon!*)

ABC Whispers 600 ( “He will be mine. Oh yes, he will be mine.” )

Consider the possibilities, my dears. I’ll have more to share with you in the very near future. <3

~ Portia’s Amazing Script-Count-of-One Outfit ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Peak
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 04 Audrey
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

>TRUTH< Sassy 2 w/Roots – seasand
Truth Hairbase – latte

{Happy} Baby, It’s Cold Outside Sweater (Bluebird)
{Happy} Riding Pants (Buff)
[Gos] Equestrian Boot – Chocolate – (anti-lag enabled)

*League* Vintage Heart Set
-LMK- Short leather gloves

Poses: [LAP], Serenade
Everything Else: ABC Horses!

Making the Season Bright

Soooo .. I’ve been spending more time alone than I like these days, clearly, and this is not a time of year to be without friends and family or the zillion pets or whatever else makes you happy. Sometimes all you have to do, though, is poke someone you know and say “hey, want to do a blog post with me?”

Blogging Buddies 600 ( There’s a larger pic on my flickr, of course! Have a peek. )

And sometimes it works!

This is my friend Alon Alphaville, awesome blogger and all-around stylish guy. PLEASE head over and check out his blog ‘Fashion By Double A‘ whenever you can; he does great stuff and knows far more about male fashion than I can hope to learn.

I’ll just talk about MY clothes instead, okay?

I wanted to do something special with this beautiful red poncho, by shine, that also hinted at the holidays. Is it strange that I only wear red in winter? Anyway, I started with the poncho (which looked bizarre until I put some pants on) and then realized that instead of wearing black trousers and a white blouse, I wanted to do something different. So I found a deep brown miniskirt and some fun tights from {Happy} as well as a creamy top with trumpet sleeves. League earmuffs came next when I realized this HAD to be an outdoors-y post and, omg, I am in love with these Ingenue booties. IN LOVE.

I don’t think I need to go into the details of what I had to do to get these earmuffs and the shade of boot I wanted from The Arcade, much less the RARE couple pose from !bang you see above. Let’s just not talk about that. :D

Red Poncho 600 ( Siiiigh, I really do love this outfit. <3 )

~ Alon ~
(Speak no Evil)

Skin: -NIVARO- Emerson Skin – creamtone
Hair: Salon de GLOW <hairpieces> M-05 (Jet Black)
Eyes: Aimesi Eyes3 Blue2
Top: [Sheep Door] Turtle Neck (Mesh) Red male ~ Available @ The Mens Dept
Pants: 22769 ~ [homme] grandfathers pants ~ Available @ The Mens Dept
Shoes: VG WORK BOOTS BLACK

~ Portia ~
(Hear no Evil)

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Tundra ~ New!
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 04 Audrey
.Pekka. Eyeliner #5
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

[LeLutka]-YIPPIE hair – Marilyn

shine by [ZD] MESH PONCHO red ~ Best, most beautiful poncho anywhere!
{Happy} Luxe Boatneck (Cream)
{Happy} Cheeky Minx Skirt (Mocha)
{Happy} Argyle Tights (Taupe)
Ingenue :: Alvery :: Rouge ~ Available at The Arcade!

*League* Earmuffs -Vintage Reindeer ~ Available at The Arcade!
Baiastice_Lulu’ dans l’apres-midi-gloves (part of an outfit with the same name)

Pose: !bang – red carpet ~ Available at The Arcade!
Setting: Heart, Botanical

Breathe Me

Today’s post begins with a lamp.  A lovely lamp from {what next} that I have in my living room (the one that never needs tidying or vacuuming and I never stub my toe on the coffee table). I’ve been wearing this coldLogic sweater a lot lately as well, and this hair from Exile that never seems to work with any outfit I want to blog. You have no idea how much I’ve wanted to photograph these two things; it’s been driving me crazy for weeks!

Breathe Me StorySo I’m realxing, considering what I should do next, and I was struck again by how pretty and simple this lamp is. I like simple things. I like clean lines and soft colours. I love textures that look snuggly and warm, especially when I’m feeling a little down (which I am). The lamp reminds me of all these things and since I’m already dressed in clothes I love, I sneak up to my platform for an experiment!

Breathe Me 600 2 (I love lamp! )

I end up with this! Which becomes this:

Breathe Me 600Then I decide to try this ..

Breathe Me 600 3 ( Hugs, please! )

.. and it works!

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Eternal Eyes – Silver
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 04 Audrey
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce

::Exile:: Breathe Me:Bleach
[LeLutka]-HAIRBASE Glucose

coldLogic shirt – taylor.champagne
{Happy} Preen Pants (Oat)
(Milk Motion) My floral tights
[Gos] Pimp Your Pumps V2 – Maryjane Court

Cae :: Elegance :: Ring
[PM]Sculpted Nails V2

Poses: aDORKable, Miamai
Living Room: {what next}, LISP Bazaar, EarthDwellings, The Loft, PatronPILOT (available @ The Arcade), A.D.D.Andel! (Available @ The Arcade)

Portia’s Closet ~ Shiny!

Hey everyone! Long time no see. :)

Well, it hasn’t been -that- long, I suppose, but since I’ve been trying to photograph new outfits for the last week or so, it feels like forever. I’ve learned, however, that you can’t force yourself to do anything pretty if the pretty doesn’t want to come out. That’s deep, right?

(Flickr pic, whee!)

Speaking of pretty, though, a friend of mine turned me on to a great store last week! Have any of you been to Shine before? The tagline is ‘Urban Boho Style With a Glow’ and gosh, I think I picked up one of everything on my first trip (there’s even a 99L$ wall, AAHHH!).  Am I glowy yet? No? Well, I feel positively Shiny! The clothes are mostly mesh, gorgeous, and nothing here is going to break your bank .. unless you buy one (or more!) of everything your first trip out. Seriously. Go peek. <3

Has anyone else been waiting on Gos with bated breath? Am I WAY late telling you about the new(ish) Equestrian and Hunter boots?! Can you SEE how gorgeous they are?!! Sexy, sleek, and perfect for the colder months ahead, they’re available in fantastic colours and, like everything else at Gos, they fit great right out of the bag. Demos at the mainstore, ladies. ;)

(My closet is getting prettier all the time!)

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Kaleido Eyes – Ancient
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 04 Audrey

[LeLutka]-DAISY hair – Marilyn

shine by [ZD] MESH Loose Dress knitted white
p.c; Dark Tights – Nature (2010 Group Gift)
[Gos] Equestrian Boot – Tan ~ NEW!
{mon tissu} Seneca Threaded Leather Belt ~ Worn

*League* Wanderer -Golden Oak- Set
Shakeup! Vintage Ring [20] ~ Available at The Arcade!

Pose: Bounce This

~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Light Caribbean Blue
ROZENA/ Kiss Kiss ~ dolce
Miamai_Catwalk Lashes_Evergreen 01 Femme

[LeLutka]-APHRODITE hair – Marilyn

[ZD] MESH OFFSHOULDER DRESS bohemian
{Happy} Snuggly Knit Tights (Canary)
[Gos] Hunter Ankle Boot – Chocolate ~ NEW!

Emery – Gloves #Black
ROLE OPTIC SG-60 Princess
[bellballs] Disc Earrings- Golden

Pose: Olive Juice

Week 21 WoC ~ Lemon Chiffon!

WOOHOO!!

I have never, EVER, been so excited to write a blog challenge entry as I am right here, right now. Forget that it’s my birthday week (*whispers* May 24th, I like smelly things and shiny things), forget that I practically live in the colour yellow, but this week is LEMON and I couldn’t be happier. I cook and bake in RL (a lot) and lemon is probably one of my top five favourite ingredients to use. I drink my water with lemon. G&T? Needs a bit of lemon. Favourite dessert? You guessed it, lemon pie.

Lemon is bright and beautiful but sometimes it needs a touch of sweetness, a bit of lightness, and that’s where the chiffon comes in. It’s a perfect blend of flavours and, in this case, a truly beautiful colour.

Since it’s my birthday week and I can do what I want ( :D ) I decided to turn this post into a veritable parade of Portia’s Favourite Things. Boats and water, wind and dappled shade; sheer clothing and my toes wiggling freely. *Swooooon!* This boat is a new pose prop from !bang and it’s SO MUCH FUN! Definitely swing by the mainshop and try the in-world demo if you haven’t already.

The dress is also one of my all-time faves and if you aren’t familiar with {Happy} you should probably head over there. Right now. No, it’s fine, I’ll wait.  ‘Breeze’ is a beautiful sheer dress but if you lean towards the PG (like me) you can absolutely wear a couple of extra layers for full coverage.

Simple, simple, simple. Wind and water, sun and shade; gorgeous eyes, a bit of jewelry and a touch of lip stain. Simple is better and small pleasures can make you happy.

Kitties always help, of course. :D

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Horizon Eyes v2 – Barely Tan
Eyelashes -31- ExtraLong *REDGRAVE*
*BOOM* Pale Pucker Red

>TRUTH< Georgina – oasis

{Happy} Breeze (Champagne)

(Caroline’s Jewelry) Free as a Bird (gold)
Slink Barefeet Mesh Medium

Lady A – Emoter HUD (FREE!)

Prop: !bang – I’m on a boat
Kitties: Created by KittyCatS, bred by me!

Week 20 WoC – Deep Pink (OW, MY EYES!)

I love pink, I really do, but I absolutely could -not- bring myself to put a full-on nothing-but-pink outfit together this week. Instead, I’ve paired my new (and adored!) pencil skirt from e! with a sweet little sweater I found at {Happy} earlier this year. Kitty glasses from Gos and roller skates from [PM] make this outfit a ton of fun and of course, I’m rocking my favourite freebie emote hud from Lady A. Wooo!

~ Portia ~

Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Horizon Eyes v2 – Light Blue
Cheap Makeup – Miss Priss Lipgloss 3
:: Exodi :: Makeups – Eyelashes – Dramatic

!lamb. Ruby (Mesh) – Creme

{Happy} Grace Blouse (White)
e! Marion Skirt (Cabaret)
*Fi-St* Lingerie – Soignee Nude Stockings
p.c Braided Finish Gloves

[Gos] Custom Eyewear v5.0b CATEYE
[PM] Roxy Rollers : White
((RIPE)) Roll The Dice – Hot Pink

Lady A – Emoter HUD

Poses: Diesel Works

SecondLife Heroes

Hahaha, well.

I haven’t made it through everything I wanted to finish today but I’m really pleased to share this little project with you instead. My brother Lucky (whom you need to know if you don’t already) and I have been talking about rocking our superhero costumes together for about a week but schedules being what they are, tonight was the first night we were both free.

Check it out!

(but ignore the typo)

~Lucky the Hero~

TS Creations – War Mashine Avatar

~Mild Mannered Lucky~

Skin: REDGRAVE Tan Skin -David-
Shape: Custom
Hair: Trailerstar – Mohavk Ver 2 (brown)
Hair Base: **JOMO** etched hair07a
Eyes: <<<np>>> Lunar EYES – AZUR
Earrings: +ROZOREGALIA+ *NORNIR* Unisex PIERCE3 [Type2]
Lip Ring: :Juice: Double Lip Piercing
Necklace 1: Fusion Cross Chain Necklace
Necklace 2: JCNY – Key Pendant Hyper-Gems Necklace
Ring: JCNY – Athena ‘ICONOCLAST’ Mens Wedding Ring
Top: >>GothiCatz<< Arvid – shirt
Pants: >>GothiCatz<< Journey -pants-
Shoes: [hoorenbeek] Air Force Men -White-
Tattoos: [Stellar] Infinity Tintable Arm Sleeve Tattoo

~Portia The Hero~

<<< UberGirls >>> ‘Dinah’ Costume

01 Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Utopia Eyes – Deep Cerulean (ML)
Eyelashes -31- ExtraLong *REDGRAVE*
*BOOM* Pale Pucker Natural

/Wasabi Pills/ Orion FEM Mesh Hair – Golden
~Mild Mannered Portia~

01 Fairy Skin -Avie- /*natural *REDGRAVE*
IKON Horizon Eyes – Pale Blue (M)
Eyelashes -31- ExtraLong *REDGRAVE*
*BOOM* Pale Pucker Pink

[e] Listen – Blonde 01

{Happy} Luxe Boatneck (Cream)
{Happy} Preen Pants (Oat)
[e] Live Boots – Ash -

ROLE OPTC SG-32 CLARA
*League* Double Stranded Soft Pearl Necklace (chest)
*League* Vintage Heart Earring
*League* Vintage Heart Necklace

Poses: Olive Juice, VICE Poses

Props: Le Bistro – Pancake Breakfast Cooking Set