Support SaysBrad
  • (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    (Most Compact 20000mAh Portable Charger) Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with Most Powerful 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology
    Anker

    This thing, you need. Run your smartphone for days.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit Jot Touch with Pixelpoint pressure sensitive stylus for iPad - Black
    Adonit

    Adonit Jot with Pixelpoint, works with a lot of new drawing apps on iPad.

  • 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

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

  • Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad 3/4 - Walnut
    FiftyThree

    Even if you consider yourself a casual doodler or note-taker, you’ll love this well designed stylus. Built for Paper by FiftyThree, the iPad app — however, many other apps support Pencil.

  • Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards (Pack of 2)
    Sportsman Supply Inc.

    Playing Cards for your password creation or poker game!

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!

Entries in hate (2)

Monday
Nov112013

Thanks, Brave American Heroes! (Veterans' Day fights at home and abroad)

Today is Veteran's Day — our troops deserve honor and respect. The brave men and women of our armed forces have been engaged in the longest conflicts in American history, and are 100% volunteers. 100% badass!

At this very moment, while I sit in my cozy apartment typing this entry, one of my good friends is away from his home, family and friends, guarding us against known terrorists — enemies of civilization. And while we squabble over the economy, ObamaCare and amnesty, Americans are risking life and limb on the front lines overseas, within several minute missile range of dangerous enemy states.

It's all too easy during this time of year to forget about the thousands of terrorists in the world, all of whom would like to destroy our way of life and kill you and your loved ones (as well as me and mine). While we silently and privately pray for our brothers, sisters, best friends, mothers and fathers overseas to make it back alive, it's important for us to keep morale up and keep the economy stable.

I want America to be better than it was when they left. I want our troops to return to a freer, more affordable, more prosperous United States. Sadly, I have ideological enemies here who don't want the same things; they see profit as bad, capitalism as anathema and the Tea Party as greedy, racist gun nuts.

(I don't believe anyone with that opinion of the Tea Partiers has spent any time around those conservatives and libertarians... a Facebook friend posted yesterday about attending a Clinton family fundraiser wearing orange — she was treated horribly and discriminated against because she was wearing the wrong gang colors. It's not surprising to me; Tea Party Patriots' rallies don't end with confrontations with law enforcement, arrests! and damaged property.)

I bring up conservatism here because while our troops are fighting the serious, no-room-for-error, hardball battles, I'm fighting the softer but very serious social and political battle here at home. Most of America's elite are conservative, from SEALs on down — I'm not saying that there aren't liberals in our armed forces, just that they're not the majority. I love America like our troops do, and want to preserve the America that they are risking their lives for.

That's why Benghazi, Extortion 17 and the World War II memorial closure is such a big deal to me. It's not about winning the political fight — lives were taken by enemies of America, sacrifices were made to keep us safe. Our troops and their families deserve the best... and they just aren't getting that right now.

I can't contribute to America like they can. The Obama administration doesn't want to profile terrorists, and while our president orders Predator JDAM strike after strike, our state department talks about winning the hearts and minds of our enemies. I don't think jihadists can simply be persuaded... but I think Americans with good intentions can be. We have serious problems with poverty unemployment, an overburdened, overtaxed middle class and crime and imprisonment, and our government has been putting band-aids on these wounds that won't go away. Congress keeps passing continuing resolutions instead of creating a budget. Our debt ceiling as been suspended, and we now owe an obscene amount of money that could quickly outpace our GDP.

And while health care and the economy are very troubling, there are social matters as well. My opponents claim that minorities and women are being singled out, targeted and abused along with the LGBT community. This needs to be addressed also, or the division between Americans will only widen. I know I don't have all of the answers, but I have to try and contribute to the discussions and debates. Conservatives aren't always good at clearly expressing their views and that's creating huge misconceptions about the GOP. In addition, there's a split between progressive establishment Republicans, so-called RINOs, and true small-government, free-market conservatives.

The main misconception is that all conservatives want to limit freedom, discriminate and control people's lives — in most cases, the exact opposite is true!

Democrats will staunchly disagree; I hope to convince them though and have reasonable, respectful dialogue, but so far I've found people — so convinced of their world view — that they are unwilling to even listen to me. I've been defriended and cursed at, have had numerous insults hurled at me (usually, but not always, from behind the veil of relative anonymity provided by the Internet) and have been personally attacked — because of the people I support, associate with, and the way I'd want my family, friends and me to live.

Our troops fight for freedom very literally, while my battles are without bloodshed. My fight is my way of being grateful to our troops and supporting their efforts abroad and around our borders. I want to ensure their way of life and their freedom (from government intrusion), and help to clarify our position. If liberals are going to hate my friends and me for being conservative, they should at least hate us for who we actually are and what we actually believe.

I'll be fine with it, if at the end of the day we have irreconcilable differences and can't agree, provided we disagree with what each other actually stands for and wants. I just don't want people hating each other over hype and falsehoods; it's all too common because each side is too often unwilling to hear from the other. In these scenarios, no one wins. So I won't personally attack and insult people over politics and try to see things from their points of view. It isn't an easy thing to do, but it's far simpler and safer than what our veterans went through. I feel like I owe them, at the very least, my sincere efforts to try to make America always better.

Freedom isn't free; it's cost millions of lives, billions of hours, trillions of dollars, and it will never be completely secured. I love this country and its patriots, I'm proud of it — and I want to always be worthy of it, as our Veterans surely are.

Thursday
Oct102013

The Connection Between Cats and Politics

Mimi & Kiki, my mom's cats. Images from @bradtastic on Instagram.

I have a bit of a feline allergy, but whenever I visit my parents, I can't help but play with these two, too cute furballs. Maybe I have toxoplasmosis. Pictures of cats always make me smile. Everything cute, really... baby-anythings — especially puppies and kittens. Tiny humans are adorable also, but a little less so.

My mom's cats really like hanging out in small boxes. It's a cat thing, like catnip — although the gray one, Mimi, likes eating it, while Kiki likes rolling around in it.

My Instagram is basically a collection of cat pictures and snapshots of my view of Oakland's skyline, with miscellaneous shots in between. It's a relaxing pastime.

Life gets a little chaotic and painful, and recent events have caused a fair amount of stress and anger.

I think that reading and writing about American politics is important — occasionally it's invigorating, learning about, discussing and debating serious, life-changing issues. It feels right... but it never really feels fun. Maybe it's not supposed to — that thought troubles me.

Video games are fun, writing about games is fun (at least for me)... politics is practically the opposite.

Both can be very time-consuming, but dealing with serious social issues takes a lot of energy and patience that I often don't have.

Perhaps the largest hinderance is hate; discussing politics draws a lot of strong emotions, spiteful remarks, blatant racism and prejudice. Opinions aren't always welcome, and free speech is often pricy. Friends lost — or rather, acquaintances — personal attacks, slander and ridicule... it's such a shame.

Often, it seems that people are incapable of even hearing a different or dissenting thought, irregardless of facts or evidence. People spend most of their time surrounded by like-minded men and women, constantly reinforcing their world view.

Political beliefs are often so deeply ingrained that challenging people infuriates and blinds them, creating a nearly insurmountable obstacle to honest, polite debate.

With few exceptions, each side hates the other, and the lack of civil dialogue creates more misconceptions and increased intolerance. So sometimes, I like to look at cute things, like cats.