iPad Pro — making it magic

I bought the iPad Pro and the Apple Pen­cil with the inten­tion of doing all the art­work for the col­or­ing book on it, that was my inten­tion at least

Ulti­mate­ly I end­ed up using a piece of Japan­ese man­ga soft­ware that has spec­tac­u­lar stroke sta­bi­liza­tion so I could use a sty­lus but get smooth vec­tor lines. Noth­ing on the ipad came close at the time. I bought it — used it for a few days and then because I had to get the col­or­ing book done, put it in a box for 5 months — on Octo­ber 1st — I took it out and have used it almost dai­ly since -

I know peo­ple who use it in place of a lap­top, but it real­ly depends on what you do on a dai­ly basis — If you do tons of file man­age­ment then it’s not great at that - but if you sketch and deal with cal­en­dars, emails etc. it’s excel­lent.

Hardware

Few things that I now know about the iPad Pro that are not crys­tal clear when I bought it

  • The Charg­er and cable they ship with aren’t USB-C — and it take a mil­lion years to charge on the pro­vid­ed charg­er and cable, the one you actu­al­ly want are sold sep­a­rate­ly by Apple here, the cable is here — they add anoth­er 100 bucks to the price, but you real­ly can’t do with­out them
  • The Apple Pen­cil charges from the firewire port on the iPad pro, mean­ing you can’t charge both at the same time — it charges rea­son­ably fast but while you have the rigid pen­cil stick­ing out of the ipad pro it’s SUPER EASY to bump it and poten­tial­ly break one or either — this giz­mo — makes charg­ing the pen­cil eas­i­er and safer
  • The Apple Pen­cil is slip­pery, i bought this, it helped a ton

Software

I real­ly only use three draw­ing apps on my iPad none are par­tic­u­lar­ly expen­sive

  • Pro­cre­ate: my main tool, it’s love­ly to work in, took about 8 hours to get ful­ly accli­mat­ed, doe hi-rez art — all pix­el based
  • Sketch­es Plus: nice tools — but doesn’t do any­thing big­ger than screen­rez — pret­ty nice for some quick ideas though
  • Con­cepts: — Odd but pow­er­ful vec­tor based draw­ing and draft­ing, can do any­thing but they kind of nick­el and dime you to unlock every­thing plus the learn­ing curve is sub­stan­tial­ly steep

Last­ly Adobe has a bunch of tools, but you need to be a cur­rent Cre­ative Cloud Sub­scriber to real­ly ben­e­fit from any of them — I’m no longer using their cur­rent soft­ware so I don’t use those tools — I’m sure they’re decent.

You’ll prob­a­bly want a way to car­ry your ipad around — I bought the apple smart cov­er with key­board because when I bought my iPad it was the best choice at the time — now there’s a ton of choic­es, assum­ing you don’t want a key­board I would prob­a­bly con­sid­er a padded pouch — The key­board is fine — I just tend to answer emails from my phone with my thumbs

If you have a use for it the iPad Pro- it’s a great tool, I love mine.

Hot cup of God

I want to start this entry by apol­o­giz­ing, in advance, if you’re of strong reli­gious back­ground, maybe some nice porn will offend you less, thanks for com­ing though

Hal­loween approach­es, a time for pow­er­puff girls, and snick­ers bars, at least I thought so, seems a church not 3 min­utes from my house has oth­er plans, see the only thing THEY know about hal­loween is that it’s a pagan hol­i­day, and there­fore assum­ing christ wouldn’t have approved, flash­back to the first Hal­loween: Christ knock­ing on doors, pil­low­case in hand look­ing for jugs of water to bring to the keg­ger down by the sphinx

Now I don’t dis­like this church sole­ly for there stand against indi­vid­u­al­ly sized milky way bars, no I have two oth­er rea­sons to dis­like them; rea­son one; they have a Star­bucks IN THE CHURCH, I’m absolute­ly not exag­ger­at­ing this at all rea­son two; The bath­rooms in the before­men­tioned Star­bucks are open to cus­tomers only, no you don’t have to be a parish­ioner, but you do have to at least buy a cook­ie, if you have to use the bath­room. so much for chris­t­ian char­i­ty.

So I’ve been a Star­buck cus­tomer a few times, hey some­times you have to go, the few time I’ve been there, I’ve made it a point to ‘test’ the bound­ries a bit. It seems com­ments like “jesus, that coffee’s hot” and “god damn that cake is deli­cious” are per­fect­ly fine with­in ‘gods’ bean­ery, but try to walk with your cof­fee, or soy lat­tee chia in my case, into the chapel, well, let’s just say the mon­sign­or has no sense of humor.

me: hey there father, how’s god today?

the col­lar: ummm yeah, you can’t bring that bev­er­age into the church. 

me: but I bought it here, did I miss a sign? 

the col­lar: son, this is house of wor­ship, a place of faith, we ask that all bev­er­ages stay in the cof­fee shop

me: father, when you say ‘WE’ does that include god?

the col­lar: I guess in a man­ner of speak­ing it does 

me: so GOD is ask­ing me to drink my cof­fee in the Star­bucks?, silence… at this point I was glad I was wear­ing sneak­ers, because I ful­ly expect­ed a light­ning bolt to roast my beans on the spot

the col­lar: I don’t real­ly appre­ci­ate your atti­tude or your tone, jesus christ I’ve pissed off a priest, I thought for­give­ness was in the job descrip­tion

me: I cer­tain­ly don’t want to piss you off

the col­lar: is the vul­gar­i­ty real­ly nec­es­sary? this is a church after all

me: father, we’re all alone here, are you seri­ous­ly telling me you’re offend­ed by the word ‘piss’?

the col­lar: We’re not alone here, we’re nev­er alone any­where [I cut him off at this point, we’d reached a line even I wasn’t will­ing to cross, I’ll not fuck with the dude’s beliefs, if he want to believe that god is tru­ly a holy spir­it with­in the church walls, and that god is the breeze blow­ing through the trees, well then, who am I to say he isn’t]

I mean I only went in to use the bath­room any­how. As I walked away he screamed after me “BLESS YOU!” … darn, I was pos­i­tive that wasn’t the verb he was going to use.

So any­way, I think I, going back for Hal­loween, maybe dressed as the Pope, stay tuned for part 2: ‘what no can­dy?

Eye don’t know

So yes­ter­day ‘T’ and myself went and had our eyes checked and pur­chased new glass­es,

I elect­ed to get a pair of black wire­frame, and a pair of geek chic black plas­tic, some­one should real­ly let calvin klein know that the dot com boom is over, because 250 bucks for two hinges and some mold­ed plas­tic is insane, or per­haps it’s me that’s insane for pay­ing it.. but I have large eyes and a apple shaped head and most frames look stu­pid on me, the frames plus my 300+ dol­lar lens­es, the hub­ble tele­scope has weak­er lens­es, put me over 900 bucks for two pairs of glass­es. I can’t help but won­der what I would do if I couldn’t afford that [Not that i can, mind you, but real­ly if I couldn’t afford even the lens­es, what do peo­ple do? Does pub­lic assis­tance pay for opti­cal care? and to what point?

dream sequence com­ing:

Mis­ter Rosen­baum, with your opti­cal cov­er­age we can only adjust your vision to 20/75 and only in one eye, So you can for­get about that fan­cy-pants graph­ics career”

dream sequence con­clud­ed

The absolute worst part of buy­ing glass­es is that of course while your try­ing on the frames you can’t see your­self in the mir­ror, at least I can’t being near­sight­ed

So your forced to trust your shop­ping com­pan­ion, or you’re at the mer­cy of the glass­es peo­ple, and if that’s the case I can only assume you’ll ALWAYS look bet­ter in the 250 dol­lar frames… sigh, I hate spend­ing mon­ey, I’m just so darn good at it.

T’ bought a real­ly hot pair of librar­i­anesqe ‘cat’ glass­es, she usu­al­ly only wears her glass­es at night after her con­tacts come out, but she looked so very delec­table in these frames I wouldn’t mind if she wore them full-time.

Run bunny, run

So I was look­ing out my stu­dio win­dow — and two lit­tle girls from up the block are fran­ti­cal­ly chas­ing a tiny bun­ny — my imme­di­ate thought is, they put their bun­ny down — and now they’ll nev­er catch it — so, being a world-class pro­cras­ti­na­tor — I hopped out­side to see if I could help catch the way­ward bun­ny — it because pret­ty obvi­ous after 30 sec­onds of talk­ing with the girls that

  • This wasn’t their bun­ny.
  • This was a wild bun­ny.
  • That the bun­ny wasn’t real­ly inter­est­ed in the car­rot they were wav­ing about — all this bun­ny want­ed to do was escape.
  • They didn’t real­ly have a plan for what to do with the bun­ny if they actu­al­ly man­aged to catch it.
  • Nei­ther was too keen on end­ing up at the emer­gency room for rab­bit bites (which I assured them hurt much worse than the shots they’d need to get)

They both agreed to let the bun­ny go — to nev­er chase wild bun­nies again — and they also agreed that the 185 lb. pig that lived next door didn’t run near­ly as fast as the bun­ny — and prob­a­bly didn’t bite.

As he ran away — the rab­bit looked back at me and (smiled?) I remind­ed him — I’m not his friend, I’m the guy who feeds the TOP of the neigh­bor­hood food chain — but if he want­ed to pitch a tent in my FRONT yard — I could prob­a­bly find him some food and shel­ter.

Sleep Number

The oth­er day I stopped in a ‘fan­cy-pants-bed’ place that fea­tures beds with air blad­ders in them so you can make the bed as soft or as hard as you like, the left and right side are adjustable inde­pen­dent­ly, so you needn’t suf­fer through the ‘goldilocks’ syn­drome just because of your bed­mates pref­er­ence.

I laid myself out on this bed picked up the remote con­trol and start­ed push­ing away…25 – 35-45 — all seemed the same to me — 50 – 55-60 – 65 okay now we’re cook­ing, the bed seems kin­da firmer, hard even, so the sales­man comes over “blah, blah, blah…digital…normal people’s sleep num­ber is usu­al­ly between 15 & 35…blah, blah, blah”

I swear I did a spit-take, nor­mal peo­ple?, I let the ques­tion hang there, “ya know, ever day folks, they’re usu­al­ly between 15 & 35”, I glanced at the con­troller in my hand that read 72,  if you were to base my nor­mal­i­ty pure­ly on my sleep num­ber I’m a lit­tle over twice as not nor­mal as those oth­er folks…

As much as I love num­bers, I think using num­bers in this instance is rather unimag­i­na­tive — why not use metaphor­ic sym­bols?

Hi my Name is Bill.. I’m a con­struc­tion work­er by day and a pro­fes­sion­al don­key wrestler at night..and everynight I sleep on a mat­tress as soft as a lambs behind.

I think that’s an improvement..don’t you?, and why 1 through 100, it only felt like there might have been 5 dif­fer­ent per­ceiv­able set­tings; painful­ly soft, too soft, uncom­fort­able, not hard enough and too hard, but then again, I’m not nor­mal.

20 years and a damn fine meal

For the past few weeks Tru­di­ann and I have been cel­e­brat­ing our 20th wed­ding anniver­sary, we’ve been a num­ber of places — San Fran­cis­co, Mon­terey, Carmel, Death Val­ley, and we’re wrap­ping up in Las Vegas — we love Vegas — it’s been our go-to spot for the last 10 years or so — we loose­ly planned a few events, bought some show tick­ets, and made some reser­va­tions at some notable eater­ies.

Yes­ter­day we had lunch at Bob­by Flay’s Mesa Grill, we’d been there for din­ner in the past — and we always enjoy it — the menu is a fes­ti­val of pow­er­ful and potent south­west fla­vor com­bi­na­tions — Mesa’s pric­ing is afford­able and the ser­vice is atten­tive but not pushy — for us it’s a no-brain­er.

As our post Elvis wed­ding din­ner we went to Craft Steak­house. Hon­est­ly, words almost escape me as to the qual­i­ty of this meal, the Craft menu is an Ala-carte menu fea­tur­ing the finest beefs (Japan­ese Waygu Beef, Aus­tralian & Amer­i­can Kobe Beef), sea­son­al veg­eta­bles, and exot­ic mush­rooms — I should note I’m not a fan of ala-carte menu’s because I like the chef to pair my entree’s with veg­eta­bles to their palettes — I dis­cov­er new tastes in the process — lucky for me Tru­di­ann sug­gest­ed we order the chef’s ‘Surf & Turf’ tast­ing menu and get a taste of all that Craft had to offer. What a great sug­ges­tion; the chef start­ed us off with 

  • Kobe Beef Tartare
  • Romaine Hearts “Cae­sar” (with pick­led anchovies)
  • Hawai­ian Prawns 

I should qual­i­fy this by say­ing up until VERY recent­ly Tru­di­ann hasn’t been what I would call an adven­tur­ous eater, tartare and cae­sar sal­ad both fall well out­side of her com­fort zone. 

All three starters where amaz­ing — the tartare (with quail egg) was per­fect­ly bal­anced, the tex­ture was smooth and the por­tion was more than enough to thor­ough­ly enjoy this rare treat (excel­lent pun if I must say) — the cae­sar  was real­ly nice, the per­fect­ly min­i­mal dress­ing clung to the leaves which were crisp and tasty — the pick­led anchovy gar­nish was a nice twist on the lit­tle fish and made the whole dish a bit spe­cial. the prawns — tasty glazed grilled good­ness, Tru­di­ann loves prawns and we thor­ough­ly enjoyed these.

Next the chef sent out the entrees & sides– 

  • NY Strip Steak
  • Kobe Skirt Steak
  • Lob­ster in but­ter and Tar­ragon
  • Aspara­gus with Rose­mary
  • Whipped Potato’s with Chives
  • A selec­tion of 5 japan­ese mush­rooms includ­ing, Hen of the Woods and Shi­itake

Now if that sounds like a lot of food„ you’d be right, Craft isn’t the kind of place that skimps on food — at this point we still had a rather siz­able bowl of Kobe Beef Tartare on the table — because I just wasn’t ready to give it up yet. The Entrees in a word SPECTACULAR, each with a sim­ple prepa­ra­tion, let the high qual­i­ty of the ingre­di­ents shine — the Skirt Steak was our favorite, it was juicy, fla­vor­ful and per­fect­ly medi­um rare- I wouldn’t be exag­ger­at­ing when I say the best piece of steak I’ve ever eat­en. The Strip was also deli­cious, but our fond­ness for the oth­er cut was obvi­ous — as we fin­ished that one first. The lob­ster was inter­est­ing, as it’s a dish we nev­er have, and we where both amazed at the var­ied tex­ture of the claw meat, and the but­tery good­ness of the lob­ster tail. The whipped potato’s where amaz­ing — I hope to nev­er find out exact­ly how much cream and but­ter were in there, need­less to say they were a rich and tasty com­pan­ion to the steak and lob­ster.

Of course what’s din­ner with­out dessert? The pas­try chef sent out an assort­ment of tasty things

  • Brioche bread pud­ding
  • Mon­key­Bread w/ Caramel ice cream (and ‘hap­py 20th anniver­sary writ­ten in caramel on the plate’)
  • Rasp­ber­ry Sor­bet 
  • Mint Ice Cream
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Petit Fours

I’m hard pressed to say what was best — but I will say that the mint ice cream was the best Ice cream I’ve ever had in my entire life — Tru­di­ann also real­ly like the mint ice cream and the Mon­key­Bread, I also fin­ished the bread pud­ding, because I’m a suck­er for bread pud­ding — it was as good as you would expect.

Over­all we enjoyed every­thing — we must have, we fin­ished most every­thing.

Ser­vice was top-notch, atten­tive, friend­ly and infor­ma­tive, the decor was under­stat­ed and classy — pric­ing, well, good food costs mon­ey — and the food at Craft Steak­house is excel­lent — I will hap­pi­ly return to Craft Steak­house on my next Vegas jaunt.

SPINNING 15480°

So yes­ter­day was my birth­day, woo-hoo, my dar­ling wife whisked me off to spend a night in a fan­cy-pants hotel, spend a day look­ing at ancient art/artifacts (I’m total­ly an art geek), and exot­ic tree-frogs (we’re BOTH wildlife geeks), it was a pret­ty great day even though the weath­er was pret­ty nasty. I even learned a lit­tle some­thing

If you see a tasty lit­tle frog (lets say he’s green) and you want to pick him up and lick him, DON’T — because he’s prob­a­bly not as tasty as he looks.

The whole day was low-key and leisure­ly, exact­ly how I like to spend my non-work­ing days — we con­clud­ed our day out with a deli­cious seafood din­ner (her: Pis­ta­chio encrust­ed shrimp, me: Seared Ahi Tuna with dark soy and wasabi) and a VERY rare indul­gence for me, dessert (her: Twice-baked apple pie ala-mode, me: Caramel driz­zled bread pud­ding) might have been the best dessert of my entire life, seri­ous­ly.

The good, the bad, the shrimps

So T want­ed shrimp for din­ner, a sim­ple request — nor­mal­ly I’d go to the one decent seafood place in Ben­salem but pressed for time I went to Acme — nev­er my first choice, ser­vice is chal­leng­ing on the best of days there. So there I am stand­ing at the fish counter — behind me I can hear a gag­gle of deli-ladies par­ty­ing like it’s 1999, but over their noise I couldn’t attract any atten­tion — sud­den­ly the fish wait­ers num­bers grew (we were 2, then short­ly there­after we formed a quar­tet of pissed off Pesc­etar­i­ans) Even­tu­al­ly I did the only thing I could think to do, I went look­ing for a man­ag­er.

10 min­utes lat­er I’m explain­ing to the man­ag­er the issue and invit­ed him to come stand with us at the fish counter, so he could ‘ful­ly soak in the full Acme expe­ri­ence’ — about 4 min­utes after that I had my order of shrimp — The man­ag­er made it very clear — he had no expla­na­tion for the bad ser­vice — nor did he make any excus­es, — I total­ly respect that.

If the expe­ri­ence had end­ed there I would have been sat­is­fied, chalk­ing the expe­ri­ence up as a stan­dard trip to the Acme — but after I paid and was head­ed towards the door — the same man­ag­er stopped me, invit­ed me over to the cus­tomer ser­vice desk — and pro­ceed­ed to ring me up a Acme gift-card for the incon­ve­nience — telling me that he’s sor­ry for my neg­a­tive expe­ri­ence and he hopes the gift-card would encour­age me to give Acme anoth­er chance. A pret­ty classy move.

Omit

My phone has been ring­ing off the hook today, it’s most­ly project relat­ed, but as I was drink­ing my loc-cal, low-carb, high-fiber, low-fat, high-fruc­tose, medi­um-sodi­um par­tial­ly homog­e­nized some­what car­bonized cof­fee bev­er­age, the phone rang, my caller-id let me know the call was from those oh-so help­ful peo­ple at ‘Win­dowWiz­ards’, usu­al­ly I would ignore such a bla­tant sales call, but I hap­pen to be in the mar­ket for replace­ment win­dows, so I picked the call up.

CALLER: “hel­lo, sir, my name is, because I made him cry, let’s just call him OMITfrom Win­dowWiz­ards, I’m autho­rized to offer you our top qual­i­ty dou­ble sash replace­ment win­dows at slight­ly above fac­to­ry cost. That’s 50% off our nor­mal price”

S: Real­ly!! only slight­ly above, who do I have to talk too, to get them actu­al­ly AT fac­to­ry prices?

O: Sir?

S: no I’m seri­ous, whom do I have to talk to, to get them AT fac­to­ry prices, maybe the per­son who autho­rize you?

O: Who sir?

S: Let’s review shall we, you’re OMIT and you’ve been autho­rized… you said that didn’t you.

O: Well, yes I sup­pose I did.

S: There MUST be some­one there who has the pow­er to drop the price TO fac­to­ry prices. Let me talk to them, I’ll wait.

O: Sir, There isn’t any such per­son.

S: But you pre­sent­ed your­self as ‘Autho­rized’ was that a lie OMIT?

O: Sir?

S: OMIT it’s real­ly sim­ple either you’re ‘Autho­rized’ or you’re not.. are you.

O: it says I am sir.

S: But your not aware of whom ‘Autho­rized’ you? Per­haps it hap­pened spon­ta­neous­ly?

O: Sir I don’t think any­one ‘Autho­rized’ me, I just am, it’s part of the job.

S: Hmm.. so can you low­er the price TO fac­to­ry prices?

O: No sir but I am Autho­rized to offer…

S: I think we’ve ade­quate­ly deter­mined that your not Autho­rized, but the script obvi­ous­ly is, click.

So there you have it, OMIT hung up on me, and I real­ly want­ed to hear about the win­dows, but I couldn’t get past the fact that OMIT was spon­ta­neous­ly autho­rized, maybe it comes from work­ing for a wiz­ard?