xbox one

lots of people have asked me "hey blackpawn, why did you get xbox one instead of PS4, are you stupid?" so, i though it'd explain my reasons here. :)

it's good to support local businesses in your community and i live near Redmond, WA which is home to Microsoft. they employ lots of my friends and neighbors and sponsor some of the radio shows i listen to and other stuff so i want to see them do well. they've made a lot of blunders but i'm voting with my dollars for them to continue supporting games.

there are some things i like about xbone:

  • the tv pass through is nice. the xbox channel guide is a lot better than the one my cable box has. (and like 43,000 times faster)
  • i like the xbox live achievement system. it's given me extra fun things to do in games and extended my interest in games i was otherwise bored with. trophies on playstation never seemed to do this for me.
  • nice range of apps like Twitch, Netflix, YouTube, and web browser. Twitch especially is fun to watch on xbox while coding on the couch.

some things i don't like about it:

  • kinect! i wish i hadn't been required to get this thing and it's nice that now you can buy xbox without it. number of times it's done something cool for me: 3 maybe, number of times its done the wrong thing and frustrated me: HUNDREDS!! :P literally one time i said "xbox watch AMC" and it was wonderful as it hopped over to TV and changed the channel properly. i was like whoa this is awesome! never since then has it done this properly. O_o it'll switch to PBS or CBS or ABC or launch the Twitch app or anything but what i asked it for. i try the voice commands first everytime hoping that someday it will work again, but nope just that one time so far for me.
  • the controller is uncomfortable. i think my hands are just not shaped properly for the xbone controller. the 360 controller was more comfortable but actually i like the playstation controller design more.
  • disappointed that all the fun little arcade games i had for 360 aren't available yet on the xbone. i hope in time these will all be ported or emulated.


zipper ball

i noticed since my last post about my zipper ball i never posted my favorite two versions of it! behold!! :)




drinking from firehoses

once you friend enough people on Facebook or Twitter, checking your feed becomes like drinking from a firehose.


each individual post is fine and they all come from people i'm interested in or care about but accumulated together in one stream it can be overwhelming. Facebook does attempt to solve this by hiding less important things when you check in less often, but unfortunately its filtering seems pretty random and is likely just based on its advertisers interests.

i wonder if the overload problem could be addressed by limiting how many friends or connections you can make based on how fast you keep up with everyone's posts and updates. so if you like to spend a lot of time on Facebook then you get to connect with more people. but if you're not able to keep up then you have to remove some people in order to add any more. this way everyone's feeds could reach a nice equilibrium at a level each person is comfortable with. if someone new wants to connect with you the network can politely inform them that you simply are not allowed any more connections at the moment if you're not able to keep up.

this could make connecting become really meaningful or it could just be a terrible terrible idea. anyway, my apologies for not keeping up on Facebook and Twitter lately. :)

spring issue of the zine!

the spring issue of the sketch club zine is now out!! download ittttttttttttt :)




15% off everything in iTunes! ... kinda :)

so i totally didn't want to share this because i figured if everyone knew about it then it wouldn't work anymore, but it's already kinda over so i'll let you know my secret!

last year while browsing ebay for useless trinkets to give my life meaning i stumbled on a lot of people selling iTunes gift cards for under face value. must be some scam i thought... so i bought one!  :)  it was a $100 gift card for $85 and actually arrived and worked perfectly! wow it's like free money.  so i bought a bunch more - using some myself for games, apps, music, movie rentals, and giving away others as gifts and prizes.

now based on my amateur handwriting analysis i determined these gift cards were mainly coming from kids so my working theory is children get iTunes gift cards for holiday and birthday presents and then turn around and sell them at nice discounts on ebay.  this may also explain why it seems to be drying up now that we're well past the winter holidays.

anyway i'm still winning the occasional 10%+ off discount so you may have some luck too, but most seem to be going for more than they're worth now which does not seem like a smart purchase.  be on the watch for nice deals again as next holiday season rolls around though!  :)


sketch club at starbucks!!!

woohooo!! my fave app and fave coffee place COMBINED at last! Sketch Club is the Starbucks App of the Week for Christmas week 2013!  all the Starbucks in USA and Canada have these rad cards you can pick up for a free copy of the app!

sketch club starbucks pick of the week card  sketch club at starbucks

some proposed legislation

my favorite taqueria abruptly ceased stocking bottled water.  the only options they have now are various sticky carbonated syrups from a soda fountain.  anyway it got me thinking there should be legislation passed requiring all soda fountains to also serve water. i think i've seen one that did this before and it definitely seems appropriate since our bodies DIE WITHOUT WATER. :)

one of the biggest mistakes of my life

many many years ago when i was still listening to music on CDs i tried out iTunes.  i don't remember why i tried it - maybe to rip CDs or something.  but anyway it offered weekly music downloads for free.  it was all pretty garbage (no offense).  i clicked to snag em all the time though since i didn't own any other digital musics.  i guess it just felt good getting free stuff even though i didn't like any of it.

fast forward to today and all that trash music keeps following me around all these years later!  my phone, my ipad, my laptop, even my tv are all haunted by this garbage thanks to iCloud. ugh!! haha i thought i had it figured out and removed a lot of this from my purchases on iPad only for it to pop back up on my tv and torment me anew.  killll meeeeeeee

zipper ball!

waaaaaay back in the year 2009 i made this procedural mesh that i called zipper. i was inspired to do something that was like a bunch of layers pulling apart with spiky breaks.

zipper mesh 2

awhile back i was thinking it'd be fun to try that again with spheres instead of planes.  i haven't gotten it to look at all like i've been picturing in my head yet but here are a few of the WIPs...

zipper ball

zipper ball 2

the way it came out so far made me think it'd be fun to animate it and have the different layers rotating around. this turns it into a horrific blender of sorts haha :)  using imagemagick again as i did with random particle fun i made some animated gifs for this guy

Zipper Ball 20zipper ball 17

each gif is 48 frames and the layers rotate in different directions and speeds but ensure that after the 48 frames they are in an orientation that gives the exact same appearance as where they started. this way it just goes on forever and ever (always ready to blend up a strawberry smoothie or something)

so as i mentioned it's not what i had in mind yet so i'll be doing some more experiments with the zipper ball and post further updates in the future... perhaps 2017? :)

new links

it's cool you can now do easy links to the iOS App Store via  instead of funky random itunes ids you now just use the name of the app - pretty minor but nice and convenient too. by the way here are a few really important ones!  :P

Sketch Club

Fire Skull

Plasma Effect