Drawing on Airplanes = FAIL!

I use the Paper by 53 app for most of my sketches whether at home or while traveling. I have purchased Procreate (when it was on sale of course) but I really haven’t touched it after attempting to use it a few times. I’m just a simple person that makes stick figures most of the times or use basic geometric shapes to convey what I’m telling people. I am trying to keep a little book of doodles for my daughter of things that she has accomplished by trying to draw her badges. I have been remiss on doing it but I was trying to catch up on doing it on my flight to San Francisco. I even brought my Pencil by 53 just to do it. I’m working on her snowboard badges by attempting to draw the mountain logo of where she has shredded. The current logo is a bit difficult for me, but I thought hell I have 5 hours to kill on the plane I can do this! NOPE! Absolute fail on my part.

I forgot that planes tend to encounter turbulence and my art skills are already shaky as it is. Having a plane jitter under your iPad while attempting to free hand draw a straight line just isn’t possible. I wasn’t even going for the full logo, I was trying to draw the Kidtopia logo since that was technically easier for me to draw than the actual logo for Keystone. After a few fits and starts I kind of gave up on it. I was going to type this out on my iPad but again, the plane jitters in the air which makes it difficult. I’m writing this on my iPhone 7 since turbulence doesn’t affect my typing skills when holding it in both hands.

Of course as I’m writing this we have hit a patch of smooth air so I could conceivably try drawing again. I’ll just make a copy of my drawing to keep my current master piece intact. That’s the one area that I think Procreate is better than Paper, it has layers to control these sorts of things. I guess I still prefer more simplicity in my apps. There are hundreds of brushes to choose from as well as individual settings that can be tweaked to create a master piece of iPad art. I still use colored pencils and a notebook for most drawings so I guess it’s hard for me to break away from that construct even in the digital age. Kind of amusing actually since I have done my best to delete paper from every other aspect of my work and home life (where possible) to reduce clutter.

Below is the badge I made in paper last year. It was her first year snowboarding and we did it at Snowbird. I try to incorporate the logo of the mountain with some junk that I think represents the area. On the top is the snowbird logo along with a simple mountain and crossed snowboards. She used Burton boots and a Burton board but I happened to have a K2 board when I tried snowboarding which is why I included that logo. I definitely didn’t make this on a plane, I had a nice steady surface in Florida to sketch this out after the trip was over. If I have time I’ll work on the logo for last year this week if inspiration strikes. I suspect making these logos will be easier with an Apple Pencil, it won’t have a squishy tip like my current Pencil and I can be more precise so I can move away from 3rd grade sketches to something approaching a high school freshman.

Beverage service is here! Hopefully I won’t spill my drink on my computer bag.


Still blogging and not vlogging!

Its been a good 12 years of blogging and over 1100 entries during that time but unlike the recent trend in vlogging I’m probably going to stick to blogging for the forseeable future.  Admittedly, I actually watch a decent amount of vlogs on YouTube when I have the chance just for entertainments sake.  I don’t vlog mainly because I don’t want to film myself and its hard for me to come up with original content that would be good for a video.  I have a hard enough time putting together videos when I take out my GoPro for a spin.

I guess one of the biggest reasons that I like blogging still is that I can just make it up as I go and I don’t have to worry about how I look in the video.  Right now for instance, I’m just making this stuff up as I go along and its not going to take a lot of time either.  I respect the guys like Chaseontwowheels who put out content every week with their vlogs.  I have a hard enough time trying to put out content on my blog once a month.  The cool part about vlogging that its probably easier to monetize than blogging.  This seems to be a lost art of a sort but I still prefer typing than speaking into a camera.

I’ve given some thought to vlogging a few times but I haven’t been able to pull the trigger on it.  Most likely I need to start out kinda small like doing videos for my daughter that she can view when she’s older.  The cameras on the iPhone and the GoPro are good enough to start doing some of that stuff without having to invest a lot of money into a setup.  I’ve watched the vid on the Fung Bros. on what kind of gear you need to do vlogging and I can start off really simple since I don’t need fancy mic’s or cameras.

Maybe I’ll make it my 2018 resolution or something.  My friend Greg is actually doing it now on YouTube as part of his business and he does it all off of his iPhone.  They only last a minute but its effective I think, its just a matter of getting exposure and viewers to become more successful.

For the rest of 2017 I’m going to keep on blogging, although I’m not going to do much to raise my profile in the blogging world.  I also think that I missed the boat by not switching to Tumblr but I like things on WordPress.  I like the templates and the control that I have over the blog itself and I’m also too lazy to move services again.  Maybe I’ll refresh the cover photo later this year, something that screams Miami or maybe a photo that I took myself instead of a stock one.  Until the next blog post…..

Wow 10 Years of Blogging

I just realized that I have been keeping this blog active for the last 10 years.   I’m pretty sure I don’t have a lot of readers because I don’t really blog about anything substational except my travels, games, and technology but I think its significant that I’ve kept it up this long.  I’ve definitely reduced the amount of posts over the years going from about 100 posts a year to somthing closer to 20 or something.  I should probably refresh the design or something since its been this way for at least 5 years but I’m a bit lazy to do so and my coding skills are really rusty.

I started my blog in January of 2005 when I was living in Tampa FL and I was using Blogger, before it was acquired by Google I think.  Back then my blog posts were relatively short so I used it more like Twitter before Twitter was even a thing on the internet.  I slowly progressed the blog and added widget and other things since I was trying out my coding skills when I was trying to learn Flash ActionScript 1.0.  Wow that makes me seem old since no one uses Flash anymore.

I forget when I did it but I eventually moved my blog to its current platform on WordPress.  My blogging has changed as technology has changed.  I’ve been more travel and technology gear focused since I started consulting.  I’d have to go back and read what my other posts were a few years ago to see what was in my head.  It’s almost like an online journal of my life over the last 10 years but of course I don’t blog about everything that happens since this is open to the public.  One thing that has defnitely changed is what I write my posts on.  I started like everyone else and used my regular old web browser.  I’ve since progressed to using an app on my iPad to do most of my posts these days and I’m even using my new bluetooth keyboard to type up this post.

I won’t be changing platforms for my blog although I have considered moving to Tumblr once or twice but the effort of exporting and re-importing all my posts seems to be too time consuming.  Maybe in the next 10 years I’ll make a few more improvements to my blog and maybe change some of the formatting .  I have linked my Twitter feed to this thing but I haven’t found a way to link up Facebook yet.  I’m sure I’ll find something else to blog about in the next few days but for now I’ll look forwar to the next 10 years of blogging.

*Dislike* for the WordPress Dashboard Update

I wouldn’t say that I’m a very old WordPress user or even an old blogger.  I’ve only been using WordPress for a couple of years…. I think… I can’t remember when I did the switch to WordPress from Blogger but when I joined WordPress the thing I liked was its overly complex Dashboard that was presented to me when I first logged in.  The dashboard had everything I could want!  I could see my mediocre stats on who was reading my blog, a large left hand navigator that can let me see every aspect of my blog, and even a way to quickly “press” a new post.

The new dashboard has none of those things.  It does show me the blogs I manage and the option to “press” a new post but with limited capabilities.  I think this was made for the blogging “newbie” or for all those people coming in from Tumblr that micro-blog instead of doing long winded posts like I do.  I have found a way to get to the old dashboard I know and love but I wish there was a setting that would let me get to the old dashboard like I used to be able to.

Maybe in the next update they will do something like this for the “power” users although I’m not really a power users.  I’m one of those people that get used to using things a certain way and just stick with it.  I still look up my IP address using the command prompt for the most part, now thats really old school!  At least I don’t limit my file names to eight continuous characters like in the days of DOS 5.0.

Does blogging still matter?

Over the past couple of years, I’ve started to slow down on my blogging. I think the reason that I’m slowing down on my blogging is that I just don’t have the time or energy to continue doing it at the pace I was able to before. In the past year I’ve changed jobs, had a daughter, and been more active in going out with my family. This puts a great deal of pressure on my time since I’ve been living life instead of spending it in front of my computer. I think that’s another thing that has changed. I have reduced the amount of time that I spend in front of my real computer and instead use my iPhone and iPad a lot more. I can blog almost as well on my iPad as a computer but it’s harder for me to put pictures on my posts or do formatting.

I guess another real reason I don’t feel like blogging that much is that no one really reads my blog. I still get hits for some of my posts but I wrote most of those a long time ago and I don’t think they are relevant anymore. There are other ways for me to convey my thoughts, Twitter has definitely contributed to this since in about 140 characters I can say what’s on my mind instead of going into a long post. I think I’ll cut my goal to 25 posts this year instead of my usual 100. I think I can crank out at least 2 a month. I think for January this will count as my second post. Maybe my next post will be on my daughters progress or my jailbreak for my iPhone 4S which is awesome btw. Until February!!

Using Flickr for WordPress

I’ve been using Flickr on and off for a while.  I have yet to find a photo sharing site that I really like thats free but I think that my problem is that I’ve been trying to find a site that will do everything I want when I should be using multiple sites for different purposes.  I came to this realization just today I think and I have a way that I can utilize flickr more and more.  The problem that I had with Flickr is that it only had my last 200 photos available for me to view.  The rest are still out there but I just have to do some digging to get to my photos.  For that reason I stopped using Flickr, I wanted to have access to my photo’s all the time online.  I’ve sort of given up on that and I don’t want my stuff to all be on the cloud anyway.

What I have found is that Flickr is going to be perfect for using with WordPress.  I didn’t know they had tight integration with WordPress until I decided to try it again today.  What I noticed is that I take pics and then I want to use them but WordPress also has a limit on what I upload but in terms of storage, not the number of pictures.  Since Flickr doesn’t really have limits on storage, just what you can view I think its the perfect service for bloggers that don’t need to use pics over and over again for their posts but just kind of for single use posts.  I know that in all of my blogging I haven’t had to re-use any pictures and I’ve been doing this for almost 6 years now.

The challenge now is being able to use Flickr in conjunction with my iPad, if there was something like that it would be super powerful for people like me.  I could upload pics online to Flickr then put them in a post on WordPress.  Maybe thats something I’m going to suggest to the Flickr team for their next iOS app update.

WordPress for iPad is much improved

Tonight I upgraded my version of WordPress for iPad/iPhone and I have to say that thy have finally been able to fix some of the crashing problems that I’ve had in the past that have prevented me from blogging on my iDevices. I used to try and blog while on the road using the WordPress app before but the constant crashing was a hinderance which is probably why I haven’t hit my blogging goal of 100 posts a year in a while.

There is a new photo taking option which is pretty neat and I want to try it out. I have a free account so I probably won’t make heavy use of the feature since there is a cap on space for free accounts. There is also a new feature to see the stats of the blog which is nice. Not that many people read my blog so I’m not that interested in that feature. What I would like to see is some functionality similar to Pages where you can move around the pictures on the page so it wraps around the text no matter where you put the picture. I want to also be able to use links to pictures like I can for the regular WordPress site. That would make it awesome for free bloggers like me.

I’ll be waiting for the next iteration of the app and I hope they start adding more functionality so it mirrors the functions of the web version. Maybe now I’ll start blogging more now that there is increased stability. The only other factor that will affect me is inspiration. I’ve felt inspired for the past day or so but who knows how long this will last