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  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams
    Artic Silver

    If you’re having problems with your Adonit Jot capacitive touch stylus or Hex3 Jaja, you can improve its performance and reliability with careful application of thermal paste! For more on this, check out my capacitive touch stylus how-to fix-it guide. Months later (Sep 2013), my styli are still performing great!

  • Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen iKlear Cleaning Kit for iPad, iPhone, Galaxy, LCD, Plasma TV, Computer Monitor and Keyboard (Cloth, Wipes and Spray)
    Klear Screen

    I use this cleaner for my iPhone, iPad 3, iPad mini and MacBook Pro. It’s great all-around and won’t mess up the oleophobic coating on iOS device screens.

  • Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen's iKlear 8 oz. Pump Spray Bottle 7351-IKHP, Others, Electronics & Computers
    Klear Screen

    The stuff I use to keep my iPad screen nice and clean!

  • Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Cosmonaut: Wide-Grip Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
    Studio Neat

    Awesome capacitive touch stylus created by Studio Neat. Great guys, great product. I use mine every day! Bradtastic Approved.

  • Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)
    Adonit Jot Pro Stylus for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Other Touch Screens (ADJPG)

    Adonit Jot Pro is an awesome capacitive touch stylus for iPad & other tablets.

  • Nomad Compose Dual Brush Stylus for iPhone and iPad- Short Tip
    Nomad Compose Dual Brush Stylus for iPhone and iPad- Short Tip
    Nomad Brush

    nomad brush = fantastic capacitive touch tool. Very little friction, comfortable. The super short bristle tip offers precision.

  • Borderlands 2
    Borderlands 2
    2K Games

    I love loot! This hybrid FPS is filled with pop-culture Easter Eggs and billions of guns. I play on XBOX 360, Gamertag: rainfault (send me a message and let me know how you found me!)

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition
    The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition

    One of the greatest games I’ve ever played! This gorgeous open-world RPG blew my mind, in part because I wasn’t a big fan of Oblivion. Skyrim is a much less intimidating experience due to streamlined character creation and simpler UI, but there’s still a lot of depth and customization!

My Amazon.com Wish List
If you’re looking for an app, need personal or corporate branding, marketing material, an illustration, logo, sketch or design — there’s a Brad for that!


“Pressure sensitivity,” I knew the iPad could do it!

Got an iPad? Do you ever draw anything on it?

Ever since the first iPad, I couldn’t figure out why the capacitive surface couldn’t tell the difference between a tiny tap and a hard push. Turns out, it can, and I’m not talking about the soon-to-be-announced new iPads… your current iPad — as long as it has iOS 8.

I first noticed this with Paper by FiftyThree and their Pencil stylus. You can use the edge of the stylus to draw lines with greater thickness. Pretty cool. Then I looked at Zen Brush. Turns out, that app can do the same thing with just your finger. Go try it out.

Makes me really excited for iPad Air 2 or whatever they’re calling it. Now if they would only release the iPad Pro.


Government can’t crack your iPhone? Don’t be so sure.

I was thrilled when I heard the recent Apple and Google announcements about privacy and government proof encryption…

At first.

So the government can no longer go to Apple and ask for some workaround to get into your seized iPhone or iPad. If you learned anything from Edward Snowden, you know that our government will stop at nothing to learn everything it can about you.

Why would they care, you might ask; why would they bother? Because they can, and no one is stopping them. When libertarian groups, Tea Party members and environmentalists are classified as radicals, how many degrees away are you from someone the government really doesn’t trust? When was the last time you knowingly broke the law, and how can you be sure that you’re completely law-abiding with so many on the books?

So now Apple has a new selling point. We won’t give the government access to your information, because we can’t. Unless it’s on the cloud.

But what about Touch ID?

TouchID is a fantastic feature that makes using the iPhone so much easier. Unlock the device by pressing and holding your finger on the home button. Make purchases in the App Store or iTunes without typing in your password each time. Doesn’t seem like much; maybe it saves ten minutes per year if you use your phone a lot, but really, it’s about user experience. It takes a little stress out of the device.

But if you’re arrested, the police take your fingerprints, don’t they? Now why couldn’t they use that to get into your phone after they have that warrant?

TouchID is a capacitive imaging device, not a normal optical scanner, so it’s a bit trickier faking it, but it’s hardly impossible.

Bottom line: don’t put anything incriminating on your phone or in the cloud, and don’t permit yourself a false sense of security, that you’re safe because Apple won’t share your secrets. They’ll take what they want, when they want it. And you should be concerned.


September to Remember!

I wish that I had more time to write so I could share some thoughts about the new iPhone 6, Apple Watch, Pay and iOS8 (which looks amazing)… but being out here has really changed things. Aside from the usual things that I had to deal with in Oakland, there are these events and invites to things that come up, as well as free dinners almost any night of the week.

Of course, nothing is really free — most of these perks require some time at the tables or machines. But I did get to see the Air Races, Reno Collier and Larry The Cable Guy, as well as the Mayhem Showtime PPV event with Mayweather vs Maidana on a big screen while sitting in a very nice private booth I managed to snag.

Mostly, I’ve had to adjust to getting into a different mindset and thinking about things like inevitable gambling losses differently. It’s quite different when you live out of town and gamble maybe a few times per year; very different when there are major casino resorts less than one mile away.

One great side benefit is that I’ve been doing a lot more walking. It’s nice being able to leave the house without much worry about, well, Oakland things.

I still have a few art and design projects to finish up, and my birthday is on Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll get something neat! Like a $7K Royal Flush. Or something from my Amazon wish list. Who knows.

Life is much better here. But that definitely leaves less time to chat and rant about things on the internet. Hopefully I can find balance there, too.


Hot August and iOS!

Hey everyone, my apologies for the radio silence. I've been either too busy or too tired to really focus on posting since moving to Reno. I really love the area — it's a nice change from Oakland. Seeing my family more often has been fantastic, and I've made a few bucks playing at JA Nugget casino in Sparks. There have been quite a few big events around town this month, and next month — Air Races! Looking forward to seeing the F-22 demo.

I have created a few new things on my iPad and have been experimenting with art styles that I haven't practiced in years, but I'm not sure it's worth showing. I'm really looking forward to iOS8 and the new Mac OSX release. I'll definitely write about those.

For now, if you're into design stuff, check out Autodesk SketchBook Pro for desktop. The latest version has a ton of new features, some inspired perhaps by the incredible iPad app, Procreate. Adobe's new stylus/smart ruler combo are intriguing also; I just wish that their new companion apps were compatible with the Intuos or Pencil styluses.

I'm really looking forward to new iPads and iPhones (I'm still using iPad3), but I'm even more excited about getting enough rest and energy to update my websites and work on writing. My office isn't even fully unpacked and organized yet. When that's complete, I think other things will fall into place, and until then, it'll be hard to focus on things like moving from Squarespace 5 to SS6 or whatever.

[I'd love to chat with anyone familiar with SS6 or Bēhance Prosite — my goal is to get a portfolio up to put my design and illustration work all in one place, and use this (or perhaps Ghost) for things like iPad sketches and iPhone snapshots when I have them.]

All of these things will probably take awhile, but eventually I'll be back to reviewing apps and accessories. Thanks for the support — you know who you are — I really appreciate it. The past few years have been quite rough and I'm grateful (most of the time) to be (more or less) intact.

I wish I had some Swedish candy, though. Zoo (red) and hallonbatar. It's really good stuff, and my birthday nears so hopefully I'll get some.


Happy July!

Wow, time flies. Still have so much to do, but I have some new art to share.

Lots to talk about and things to review. Hopefully I'll have time soon. Recently I've been too busy with unpacking and organizing that all my 'spare' time has been spent sleeping.

I did get to play with my family's pets, though. Super cute.


Update! Things are looking up!

Hey everyone! Hope you’re well.

Just another personal update so you know that I’m still alive and doing things.

Things are going really well here. I had several really slow, rather uneventful months in Oakland at the beginning of this year, but since moving here and getting settled, things have been picking up! I’ve got a bunch of new projects and have made some progress on major design projects that I’ve been working on for quite a while. I’m really looking forward to sharing those things.

In addition, my family just moved up here — about 30 minutes away. That’s really cool, too, because it seems to be much better for my father. I’m glad that the pets have adjusted well to the transition as well. I was a little worried about Muffin, my childhood dog, but she was apparently really good in the car ride to Sparks and has been very content since. (Really cute/heartbreaking: when the house was being packed up, she was really nervous and started crying because she seemed to think that she was going to get left behind. She’s been glued to my mom and sister since. And bonus! (formerly John Ascuaga’s) Nugget in Sparks has a pet-friendly floor, so she’s been able to stay with my family in the hotel as well!

More exciting news!

I finally got a few suggestions of local places to go for good food and coffee! (Thanks, Lindsey!) Java Jungle is a cool, artsy, indie coffee shop a few blocks away from me, and there’s a nice family-owned Italian Restaurant called Noble Pie Parlor that I now want to check out. The majority of the stores and restaurants in Reno seem to be chain/franchise places, and there’s a lot of fast food — not a lot of fresh. Most of the fish is frozen out here, and at the majority of restaurants that I’ve been to, there aren’t any vegetarian main courses. I asked at several, and after getting a strange look, I get suggestions like, ”Well, you can get a chicken salad… with a side of steak.” A lot of fried food and a lot of potatoes. Really heavy food. Fortunately, I really like eating at home — it’s been a necessity for so many years due to my condition that I’ve grown to vastly prefer it to eating out. But even as a true creature of habit, sometimes it’s nice to have a change.

I’ve been able to spend a fair amount of time with my dad and his friend Steve, doing one of my dad’s favorite things — gambling at the Pai Gow tables. My father is insanely lucky. People have a hard time believing how many big hands he’s picked up (seven card straight flushes, five aces, royal flushes, etc). I’d never had anything bigger than a full house until this weekend!

Several days ago, I got my first Straight Flush, and last night, I got four tens with two queens on top at The Nugget — and then we went over the The Grand Sierra Resort in Reno and I got a handful of straights, flushes and full houses. I stayed at the table for a bit too long though; four times in a row, I was one card away from a Royal Flush, usually with an off-suit face card for a high straight. What makes it so… addicting, I suppose, is that the card that I needed was usually in the hand of the person directly next to me. So while I was picking up pushes with bonuses, I was thinking, well, I think I’ll hit a big one pretty soon!” Sadly, no straight-flush or four-of-a-kind at *GSR. But I met some nice people there and had a pretty good time!

Unpacking and organizing is still going relatively slowly. I’ve been trying to find all of my computer equipment and get my desk setup but I’m still missing a few things. I really hope that Apple releases a really kick-ass iPad this year. Mine is starting to really show its age; a lot of new apps lag.

Although unpacking and the various new (and old) projects are going to continue to take up a lot of time and energy, I think I can set aside time to write some reviews and work on some long form content for Bradtastica and SaysBrad. I’ve added some things to my various social pages and Pinterest, but by far, the bulk of my posts have been on my facebook. Mostly link posts to the various articles that I’ve read, and occasionally YouTube videos that I think are worth watching. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, feel free to follow me there.

Wherever you are, take care and enjoy the rest of this Memorial Day weekend!


Reno is fantastic!

Instagram @bradtastic

I'm absolutely loving it here. I just wish I had more time and energy each day because unpacking is time consuming. I suppose I have too much stuff... in addition to everything from my previous place, a bunch of furniture from the office came with.

Still sorting and organizing a month in, but even with the still packed boxes everywhere, it already feels like home. Many friends and acquaintances from the Bay Area were puzzled by my decision to move here — some called Reno boring — they really have no clue. Reno has just about everything I'd want in a city, and it's not that far from Lake Tahoe.

I just got my iPad replaced at the local Apple Store, and it's running great. It's encouraged me to work on iPad art again! And hopefully I can finish a few projects that have been held up due to my health issues. Perhaps it's too soon to get excited, but the atmosphere here is overall, more comfortable. I've only had one migraine thus far!

Also, I'm hoping that I can refocus on writing as well. Writing is a depreciating skill, and I'm somewhat out of practice. Although I've outlined many different ideas, I haven't been able to focus on publishing decent content. The environment and atmosphere in my new condo by the river should be much more conducive — all around, I feel better here, for whatever that's worth.

Hopefully things are good wherever you are, too... but if not, consider Nevada!

Now, if only we could do something about Harry Reid...



Hearthstone on iPad! Plus 2 more amazing iOS card games

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft on iPad. It's incredible!

I didn't play the PC version of Hearthstone at all, so this is all brand-new to me, and it is stellar.

Now available for iPad, (I hope they'll consider a universal version) Hearthstone is a deck-building strategy game by Blizzard Entertainment set in the World of Warcraft universe. This fast-paced, turn-based game may be compared to Magic: The Gathering, but its closer in style to games like Shadow Era and Solforge. [Magic 2014, Shadow Era, Solforge at the App Store]

While those three are all wonderful games, what Hearthstone has over them is production value. Seemingly nothing has been overlooked; from the table art, card art, characters, voices — all of it is stunning. Selecting a card causes it to hover; as it does, it casts a shadow on the table. When you place a minion card, it changes to a circular token and hits the table with a thump. The griffon on the game board will roar and look up at you if you touch him. These details don't change the mechanics of the game, but they do make the game come alive.

The iPad is perhaps the perfect digital card game platform, and finally, it seems the general public is becoming aware of this. The App Store has a new section called "Card Battle Games," and while some of the titles are freemium junk, there's a handful of hidden gems such as Yomi.

Hopefully Hearthstone will encourage gamers to try these other games. By the way, Solforge is having a 30% off sale until 4/22/14. (I love that game as well — a superb game designed by Gary Games and Richard Garfield, creator of MTG, where cards level up as you use them, becoming increasingly more powerful iterations with enhanced artwork.)

If you love strategy games, give these a try, even if you don't normally play trading card games. The digital format takes away the mess of physical cards and makes the normally arduous process of finding an opponent simple and nearly instantaneous.

As I'm still sort of a Hearthstone and Solforge beginner, I'm not comfortable writing a full review, but as both of these titles are free downloads, I can surely recommend them! Both come with free cards and you can earn more as you play!



Nevada Update!

Hey everyone! I am almost completely settled in my new state!

So far, so good. But I haven't had much time or energy for fun things like blogging. I've been keeping notes about things that I want to write about, but I also have about 60 unpacked boxes. There were some things broken and seemingly, some things missing.

But all around, things are great here! The people are nice. There's some issues with the unit I'm in, though. Right now I also have a crazy number of seats. My two bedroom can seat 30 people. And I'm still missing two chairs.

So almost completely settled really means, I'm almost able to never go back to Oakland.

I need to go back a few times maybe to take care of some issues, but after that, if I go to the Golden State it will be for vaykay. People have been dissing Reno, but they're all crazy. Reno is awesome. It has everything I liked in the Bay Area, plus more, and all within a ten mile radius.

Reno people consider half-hour commutes to be too long. As a Bay Area native, it makes me laugh every time I hear it, because it's said without sarcasm. That's the pace and style here. And I like it. Because I hate traffic.

I should have more time to blog in April — hopefully I'll have my desk chair back by then. I have two kickass desks in my office now.

I'm much happier here. Hope things are going well for you!