Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Feeling Sketchy

As you'll see, tonight was mainly testing out what a sketching/drawing app could be like for my tablet. While this is super rough, I think that it does actually count as a success since I was able to create something from scratch and have it here for mild consumption.

The app that I found is called SketchBook Pro and for only $1.99 seems to be a very powerful program. Just using it for a few minutes, the quick undo/redo and menu toolbars helped me do more digitally that I've ever been able to do so far.  As you can see, even for my standards this is low quality, but without a stylus I think this is actually pretty decent. While I have a tablet for my PC, being able to watch where my hand is moving on the iPad increased accuracy much more than I would have thought to be necessary.

I'll have to figure out an easy way to hybridize tonight's process for the future since this was pretty fun.

Punch it, Chewie!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Choring Story

Being a homeowner, one of the unfortunate side effects is that you're forced to maintain that same property that you've put all your money into. Unless of course you're a huge fan of concrete and just pave any yard you may have started with.

Myself and all the landscapers of the Manor were out yesterday trying to take advantage of the good weather, compounded with reports that terrible heat was coming right behind it. There's nothing more annoying (huge overstatement) than realizing all of the great TV or reading that you're missing out on because you're squinting in the dark trying to mow a lawn.

Changing topics with little to no segue, I wanted to talk about the shootings at the movie theater in Colorado just for a moment. I won't talk on the movie he chose for his attack or even whatever disgusting motivations he may have had. What I will address is a misconception that I find when thinking about this man or other people that commit mass acts of violence on others.  In this case especially, there was special attention put onto his 'intelligence' and, more recently, on maybe the overstatement of that intelligence.  My fear is that people will think that just because you're able to put together these kinds of terrible plans into action that makes you an intelligent person. To me, true intelligence isn't informational, skill-based or emotional, but all of them together.  Lacking the empathy for other people denotes abysmal emotional intelligence, and without it I feel a person is at a severe disadvantage and not really 'intelligent'. This man wasn't some kind of evil genius, he was just an angry man who wasn't able to process things and live like a whole human being. My intention is not to trivialize these horrible events, I'm just attempting to add my probably unnecessary two cents to the pile.

Punch it, Chewie!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Case Of Medical Nerdiness

I'm nearly done blabbing about my recent iPad purchase. Probably. The comic tonight is (hopefully) clearly based on the 'if you keep making that face, it's going to stick like that' we would hear as children. This was almost universally said when we were making bad faces, funny how we didn't hear that when we had giant smiles on our mugs.

The joy in this situation comes from the mobility and utility. For a comic book freak like me, having this format is absolutely ideal for digital comics. I estimated that in the past week or so I've been able to catch up on old events and stockpiled comics to the tune of a few hundred issues.

If I have to nail it down to its more basic elements for me, it comes down to convenience. All of my favorite electronics and purchases have let me do something however I chose. It's what made having a laptop so amazing when I tried that out, even though that unfortunately burnt out a year later due to an internal design flaw. For reliability I went back to a desktop, but felt a little chained to a desk whenever trying to take care of nerd business. With my handheld friend, I'm able to do everything (that doesn't include Flash content) and wherever I choose. Reading through my comics with a morning coffee on the deck goes beyond liberating.

Punch it, Chewie!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

And I Feel Fine

The end of the world as we know it, or TEOTWAWKI to those in crazier circles, is something that can loom over some people much more than others. I'd say loom over people more 'these days' but I don't think that's actually a true statement. There are always Henny Penny's out there just watching and waiting for the sky to fall, it's more a reflection of the general populace's mood as to how much attention it's being paid.

In internet culture, survival skills (built more for vampire and zombie attacks) are a cute way to mask a person's fear that it's all going to come crashing down around us. The weirdos that prepare for this kind of thing in earnest will have the enviable position to say 'I told you all so' if society ever does have a coronary, but until that time they're relegated to being the nutjobs that parents gently shoo their children away from in the grocery store lines.

For myself, I love camping. Actually, I don't think I love camping as much as I do packing to go camping. It's the strategy of trying to figure out how much space you'll have, what you'll want vs. what you'll need and trying to get ahead of whatever Mother Nature has in store for you. It's been a goal of mine to build a few hiking packs for those living here at The Estate, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Them being able to double as 'ditch bags' if anything serious ever happened would be a nice peace of mind just to have stored within easy access.

Uh oh, I think I'm identifying with the weirdos. Again.

Punch it, Chewie!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Heat Rave!

As someone who more often than not tries to avoid the low-hanging fruit of conversational topics, to have a comic devoted to weather should show just how annoying it is here at the Ranch. This heat keeps you from really doing anything outside, unless you're willing to donate a pint of your sweat to the cause.

It reminds me that at my last job the most frequent thing you'd hear the IT guys telling each other is how they're lucky that they still come to work with pants on. Only in retrospect do I realize how little they were joking.

It's all good though, with all of the comics I had been stockpiling once I knew I was getting the iPad there's more than enough to do inside. Apple's in the process of releasing details on a smaller, less expensive version of the iPad. Thankfully enough though, I wouldn't be interested in having a device with a smaller screen so I'm more than happy with my handy little hardware purchase. So much so I think I'll go spend some time with my comics outside.

Punch it, Chewie!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The I Stands For Intense

Well folks, it finally happened. The stars aligned, the trucks were on time and I now have the iPad. My self control was at an all-time high today, because I received the package at my desk before 10am and didn't power on the machine until I got home in the late afternoon.

I'm able to also report that the new iPad (or iPad 3rd gen if you're being literal) is completely as advertised and worth it. The screen resolution is amazing and doesn't track fingerprints, while the screen remains lit. Battery life is also strong, since I ran it almost non-stop for 3-4 hours streaming videos, reading comics, downloading apps and customizing settings. When I was nearly done, I could tell a slight amount of heat in the back, but honestly that could have been just as much from my holding the tablet in my hands.

It's very satisfying to wait for something like this for so long and then to have it meet and in some cases exceed your expectations. It's a good night here at The Estate.

Punch it, Chewie!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Stick-Up Artist

Sometimes I get it in my head that a stick figure comic is a good idea. It's hard to tell if it is in fact worth it or whether I just enjoy the fast turnaround on a ten-second doodle. Knowing me, I'd say it's safe to lean towards the latter.

I'm an almost tablet owner! My shiny new iPad is en route (hopefully as we speak) and should be here in just a few more days. Receiving the screen cover today was like an appetizer (or teaser) to the main event.

It's amazing that with my love of electronics and things that are currently put the pop in culture, even though my hobbies and interests haven't really changed in decades, that I don't travel more to visit the West coast or anywhere else for that matter. When my iPad arrives, it will officially have seen more of the world than I have since it shipped from just outside Hong Kong. Weirdly fitting.

Punch it, Chewie!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Holiday Leftovers

Wait, it's not the weekend right now? With the 4th of July's fireworks and day of revelry with friends and family alike, it certainly felt as if we all could kick our feet up for a few days. However, this wasn't to be and we all had to trudge down the road and realize how much more we'd rather be asleep.

I know that for all the relaxing and hanging out we did in the past day and a half that I am exhausted and ready for a weekend of doing more of the same. So much so that I'm going to cut this short and head back to trying to find a game to play for a little bit before my brain shuts off completely for the evening.

Punch it, Chewie!