Draw something

Today I’d like to talk about art. No, not the brouhaha in the South African media surrounding the presidential Spear or the smear campaign that followed. There’s more than enough being said about that.

No. I’d like to talk abut the fact that i have lately been drawn to Draw Something.

I’d heard about this new app which apparently was having meteoric success, having been downloaded a gazillion times within weeks of being launched. And then the start up company, OMGPOP, which made the app was bought for an equally insane amount by Zynga, the games company.

I’d been holding out on acquiring DS, but once I finally gave in, I was hooked. I liked it so much that within days I upgraded the free app and forked out the US 99c for the game. It just seemed fair.

By the luck of the draw, the random drawing partner I was assigned by the game, happened to be a whizz and by playing against him, I soon learnt some DS skills; how to use the erase tool to define, how to plan my drawing, how to misdirect till the last moment. Though DS isn’t the kind of game you can win. If your partner can’t guess the drawing, neither of you get any points. And you need points with which to “buy” more colors for your masterpieces or bombs with which to remove extra letters when you’re stuck guessing a word.

Unfortunately I soon discovered that my iPhone is not the best gadget for playing DS. The iPad’s larger screen is much better suited to drawing finer detail and a decent stylus has definitely zoomed to the top of my wish list.

Though it can sometimes be annoyingly glitchy and one often gets error messages reprimanding one for playing the game on more than one device at a time, I love this app. It’s been a while and it’s still holding my attention. I loved Angry birds, but I soon discovered I didn’t have the time or patience for the game. I’ll sometimes spend 10 minutes or more on a drawing though!

Sometimes I’ll just make a quick, rough sketch, but below are some of my DS drawings on which I spent a little more than just a minute.

If you haven’t yet, try the Free Draw Something app and see if you’re drawn to it. 😉

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ipadding around the apple orchard…

i haven’t mentioned it before, but i’ve written a few articles for a south african site called GirlGuides. we get various electronics/games/software to review, etc. and it’s aimed at women, written by women. below is my “snap-shot” review for my recently acquired ipad2.

 

Have I mentioned I love gadgets? And that I especially love gadgets made by a certain company signified by that object of sin, the Apple of knowledge?

Little did I know when I took that first bite almost 20 years ago that I would be exiled forever from anything PC, that I was confining myself (willingly) to the apple orchard for all eternity.

And all this preamble is merely to tell you that I – FINALLY – got my hands on that elusive object of desire, that holy grail of gadgets, the iPad2.

I could not wait to get this little beauty out of it’s very secure packaging. It really is gorgeous! I opted for black, rather than the white one, though more about why in the full review. I also went with the 64gb, wi-fi, 3G version, though already after 48 hours I realized that I don’t need the 3G option – I can up my data bundle on my iPhone4 and use the personal hotspot function instead.

I hate to admit that as a wanna-be geek I did not know that the iPad doesn’t have a USB port (covers head in embarrassment). I had originally planned to use the iPad to catch up on series in my dressing-room in-between scenes, using a memory stick, so imagine my chagrin when I perused the tablet from all angles to find no ports except those for the headphone, sim and charging. Shhhh….. Don’t tell anyone!

For what DO I plan to use the iPad? Seriously, I was less than impressed when a friend who owns the first generation, stated that he thought it was a white elephant. Realistically though, so far I’m not sure that the iPad will serve a purpose not already covered by my iPhone4. I’ll have to get back to you on that though. Watch this space!

a few more random things about me

in the interests of TMI, here’s a bit more about me, me and me. 😉

  1. almost 20 yrs ago now, i bit into the apple and the tree of knowledge spoke to me. it said, you shall *never* own a pc. and i never did.  it all started circa the early 90’s with a little grey brick laptop with a b/w screen and i’ve never looked back.
  2. i love gadgets. OMG! do i love gadgets. any gadget. all gadgets. ok, so maybe i’m not so much a fan of the battery operated butterfly, but all things electronic? mine! no wonder i have so many obsolete gadgets lying about. ipad 2 – i wantsssessss!!!
  3. when i  was about 15 i had a fall off my brother’s bicycle that left me leary of them till about 10 yrs ago – i drove a motorcycle, but i wouldn’t touch a bicycle. my bag slipped off my shoulder and into the front spokes, sending me catapulting spectacularly over the handle-bars. i hit my head so hard that when i sat up, through a grey haze i could see 2 of everything venn-diagramming into each other. i’m sure that slight concussion explains everything.
  4. i never learnt to type at school. when i was growing up, typing-class was something you did so that you could become a secretary. and i was never going to be a secretary. then in 1993 a friend told me that there was this thing called the internet and that i would love it. she was so convinced that she gave me an amiga for which i found a screen at a yard-sale, after which i spent a month doing a program learning to touch-type. one of the best things i ever did.
  5. the same friend taught me some rudimentary html and i’ve been building my own websites ever since. badly, but still. maybe it’s time i learnt a little more. or follow the curve and *outsource*.
  6. i can whistle like a goat-herd. or like i grew up on the street-corner. i was about 37 when i decided that it was a skill i absolutely had to acquire, so i practiced till i got it right. now i surprise most people as i split their ear-drums. i think every woman should be able to type. and whistle.
  7. i’m an ACE-certified (american council on exercise) fitness instructor. i used to teach hip-hop and cardio-kickboxing classes at l.a. fitness in l.a. i had an awesome, fit body back then. i just didn’t know it. 😦
  8. i only started smoking when i was 21 – and let’s just say that it wasn’t the first thing i ever smoked! fortunately i was smart to kick the dreadful habit. in fact i did it a number of times, but i did it for good in 1997. funny, i hated the smell on my fingers, my hair, clothes and everything, but i still occasionally have a fantasy of lighting a cig.  i think what i liked most about smoking was that it disguised my social ineptitude. i could put a live coal between me and the rest of the world and very few people were willing or brave enough to push beyond those boundaries. i still miss that sometimes.
  9. i only really started drinking alcohol at about 35. but i’m sure i’ve been making up for those years of abstinence.
  10. i only met my biological dad and my 4 half-siblings when i was 14. strange.

 

so there. tell me more about you.

 

i got my baby back.

i got my baby back yesterday. no, not the 4-legged one who’s about to go under the knife, but one almost as precious!

my macbook pro came home. i guess if you read my blog you know that i am an avowed macster. i’ve been an apple user since the early 90’s and i love my laptop about as much as i love my iphone 4. however, when we got home from our disastrous mozambique trip at new year, the click pad had stopped working.

i got out my wacom tablet and used that for a good few months until it started acting up as well and i was forced to take the computer in for repairs. i’d gotten a 3 year extended warranty and registered it immediately, but i discovered that here in south africa that isn’t good enough. one has to have the actual proof of purchase. makes no sense to me, but apparently those are apple’s rules. how’s them apples?!

the third street promenade istore in santa monica however came through with amazing customer service. i emailed them the serial number and the date of purchase and within 6 hours they’d emailed me a copy of the p.o.p.. so, just over a week later, i have a new clickpad, a new top-cover, a new battery and i have my life back! ok, i exaggerate, but not much!

i’m grateful that i had the use of another computer, but it was very tedious to not have my bookmarks and things set up the way i’m used to. the other annoying thing is that i couldn’t access my primary youtube account from any other computer. i have 2 youtube accounts, one personal and one for sass designs and now there’s some kind of glitch with the way one signs into youtube. you cannot sign in with only your youtube user name, you have to use your full gmail address,  so i kept getting signed into the sass designs account. fortunately i’m still signed in on this computer, so i have access again, but i’ve no idea how i would have got in otherwise.

oh and did i mention, i’m a girl guide? go check out my snapshot review of the camileo bw 1o videocam here.

isn’t it ironic?

how’s this for ironic?

i’ve been eligible and waiting for an upgrade to an iphone 4 from vodacom since it’s south african launch in september. every few weeks i’d call to find out if there was an eta on stock.

nothing.

my precioussss!

finally, after 4 months and growing exasperation with my 3G running, more like crawling, IOS4, i caved and after some misdirection, finally bought one off gumtree (the south african version of craig’s list).

imagine my chagrin when, barely an hour later, i went to buy my microsim from the vodacom store – R105 thank you (damn, they really know how to make money off of one!) – and had the assistant inform me that they had just gotten their stock that morning!

well, actually i might have been chagrined if i hadn’t already decided that an almost R4500 pay-in only to be tied to another 2 yr contract when i have no idea where i might be 24 months from now, wasn’t worth it.

but still. isn’t it ironic? don’t you think?

hipster matic

exmi, that bb slut, temporarily came to her senses and started using an iphone. ok, so she was only reviewing it, stupid woman, but while she was, she turned me onto a really cool iphoto camera app, called hipstamatic. it instantly makes any shot you take look supercool. sort of  artsy-like.  it’s like having an analogue camera right in your phone and it’s made me start playing with images again.

my friend deon's son, gerrad. i've known him since he was 3.

deon da devil. we've been friends going on 20 yrs.

cluster fuck.

yes, it was a damned good party!!! 🙂

amazing fig heart. food made with love.

chai, the spca special - operative word being special.

zee, surveying what she believes is her domain.

huge koi fish at my accountant's. they're gorgeous, though after survivor it's difficult not to think of them as food! 😉

pretty cool, don’t you think? only problem is that i’m using it in my iphone 3g which has been upgraded to ios 4 – what a disaster, my phone has slowed to a crawl. each app takes forever to open and it takes at least 15 seconds inbetween pictures. very annoying. can’t wait for the iphone 4 to finally arrive in s.a.

my precioussss!

vox pops in the voting line

on wednesday i mentioned that i had, on the spur of the moment,  recorded some  vox pops to pass the time while waiting in line to vote. it was the very first time i was recording footage that i planned to download and edit, so imagine my dismay when i discovered that i’d recorded everything sideways!

something which was supposed to be spontaneous fun, meant to capture the moment, turned into a huge shlep.

first, i discovered that i needed special software (netatatalk) to access the footage on my iphone and then download it. i found out how to do that here. it involved installing some apps, but that link takes you to a very detailed account of how to do it. thanks simonsblog.

that took me a minute. *understatement*

once i’d downloaded all the files, i then made the above discovery that i’d recorded everyone sideways. more googling, which led me to a very helpful article on link think which walked me through changing the orientation using quick time pro (which also led me to a youtube vid telling you how to get quick time pro for free – though i already had it).

that took another minute. *ahem*

then i had to edit down about 20 minutes of footage – and i’m no editor. the most editing i’ve ever done, has been putting up my various hooping and fire videos. the footage is jerky, the sound is *dreadful* for the first part as it was recorded in the wind outside and there was no way of knowing that while i was recording. also, my interviewing technique is non-existent and i cringe listening to myself – “so…”, “so…”, “so…”….

oh well,  all those disclaimers aside, here it is, while we wait for the votes to be counted – even though the result is pretty much a forgone conclusion; vox pops in the voting line. recorded on my iphone. editing in imovie 6 on my powerbook. song by sharon jones and the dap-kings from blacktronic 2. and one of the interviewees insisted on interviewing me, so you get to hear me somewhat grammatically incorrect sounding off.