I haven’t been a particularly active, hands-on blogger lately, so this post is a little late in coming (sorry), but obviously since the 11th of May, which was a week or two ago now, I’ve been sitting in the upgraded seat of 33, now well and truly in the middle of being a responsible good adult/parent stage of my life. And as I’ve learned over the past 2 or 3 years, with the combined time pressures of a good paying but work intensive job, being married, running a house, and of course trying to be the best possible dad to a little two-and-a-half year old daughter that one can be, you can pretty much forget about setting your sights on any personal achievements for the next 365 day period, unless of course you’re prepared to sacrifice on one of the things I just mentioned above – meaning that just like last year, I’m not going to. Instead, I’m just going to enjoy my comfortable life exactly as it is now. Anyway, while last weekend was a pretty relaxed affair, we shopped, installed the new oven, braaied multiple times, and took Jessica on a walk all the way to Pick ‘n Pay, the weekend before that, i.e. My Birthday Weekend, was pretty damn cool. Friday night was a bit of a bust because I had work to do and as per usual Chantelle was in the kitchen baking, but Saturday was all win, as after a bit of shopping, we headed [...]
I opted to walk over to Baby Steps (Jessica’s daycare) this evening to pick Jessie up, which is a 20 minute walk for me there, and a 55 minute walk for Jessica and me back – in other words a cunning and clever plan to stretch my little one’s legs and to fit some much needed exercise for me too! Anyway, as I was nearing the creche, I found myself facing a rather peculiar sight: waltzing down the street was a herd of cattle, lead by a bull with a rather impressive set of horns, with nary a herder in sight. I can only assume that the herd somehow escaped their pasture or enclosure and decided to do some sightseeing in Gordon’s Bay suburbia. Of course, I was pretty eager to show off these cows to Jessica, and as luck would have it, on our return to the spot there remained one straggler cow who had obviously been separated from the herd (who were now long gone). Needless to say this was quite the treat for Jess to see a real life Moo in the street! Certainly not something I get to see every day.
Although it wasn’t the original plan, Chantelle and I ended up spending the whole of last night locked in a deadly duel of Words with Friends, the Android version of the hit game from Zynga (the guys behind the super successful Farmville) which we had finally gotten around to installing and giving a go, Chantelle on her small Samsung Galaxy Ace phone and me on my Proline AK888-13 9.7 inch tablet. First off, it is important to note that this is for all intent Scrabble on your mobile phone, the hook here being of course the fact that you play matches against someone remotely, each playing their turn and then patiently waiting until a push notification arrives to tell you that it is now your turn, before promptly showing you the soul crushing score that your opponent just managed to land by covering a combination of triple letter and double word score tiles! (Seriously, Chantelle made me cry more than once!) Anyway, the interface I have to say is pretty slick and fairly intuitive, though it would have been nice to receive a help tutorial or run through on first load, just to get you up and running. As it is, we took a few minutes to figure out the interface, but once we got the hang of it and got our Facebook accounts hooked up, it was go time! Like I said, if you’ve played Scrabble then you’ll know how the game operates. Given 7 tiles a turn, you’re [...]
Quentin Tarantino once again stunned movie lovers with his latest project Django Unchained, which of course provided some great material for a comic book conversion. Enter this dramatic piece of comic book art by the talented Frank Quitely, an artist I’ve been following since his early days back in the British comic book realm.
Mai Shiranui is pretty much the poster girl for the Sexy Girl in fighting video games phenomena, recognized for her skimpy clothing, ample bust, and of course dripping sex appeal (and she’s not that bad a fighter either!). Popular and well-known Italian cosplay star Giorgia Vecchini takes it upon herself to bring to life this premier fighting lady for this particular cosplay shoot!
Writer Raven Gregory with the help of artist Vic Drujiniu and Zenescope Entertainment unleashed the four part Zombie miniseries The Waking early 2010. From their release note: In the big city, four police detectives investigating two routine murders discover that the victims of these crimes are coming back from the dead in search of those responsible for their murders. Now the detectives are in a race against time to find the source of the recent “wakings.” Meanwhile, a father with an incredible ability must choose between avenging his daughter’s death or losing her forever. Zenescope Entertainment tries something new by stepping away from their usual Babe in Lingerie format of cover artwork and instead employ the fantastic David Finch to paint up this eerie and atmospheric bit of hauntingly beautiful cover art.
The main character of the Dead or Alive (DOA) fighting game franchise since 1996 bursts into our cosplay feature this week, none other than the deadly Kasumi! (Brought to life here by the always happy to dress risqué Japanese cosplayer Tsukiya, also known as Jet Hyp!). One of gaming’s foremost sex symbols, Kasumi also happens to be the personal favourite of Team Ninja’s founder and the series creator, Tomonobu Itagaki. According to the game canon, Kasumi, also known as the Kunoichi of Destiny, is a teenage female shinobi (ninja) skilled in the Mugen style of ninjutsu. Selected as the18th Master of the Mugen Tenshin ninja clan, Kasumi deserted her duties and entered the Dead or Alive tournament in order to defeat Raidou, the man who crippled her brother, in a revenge attack. Although compassionate and not particularly at ease with violence and conflict most of the time, this highly skilled ninja is however not someone you wish to cross swords with, as she is quite simply, as deadly as she is beautiful! In terms of gameplay, although altering slightly through the series’ various iterations, Kasumi is primarily a very balanced fighter with good speed, execution and fairly simplistic input commands, and is thus considered a mid-to-top tier character by most. Her range is however fairly lacking and her single strikes not particularly powerful, meaning she is best used as a pressure fighter, in other words constantly attacking without giving her opponent an opportunity to launch an attack.
I recently purchased a Proline Smart AK888-13 9.7″ Dual-Core Tablet from Loot.co.za for the low price of R2,099, featuring a 1.6GHz Cortex A9 Dual-Core CPU, a 10 point multi-touch capacitive screen with a resolution of 1024×768 (4:3), 1GB memory backed up by a 16GB NAND memory capacity, and running the fantastic Android 4.1 Jellybean OS. No 3G but obviously Wi-Fi and BlueTooth capable. In other words, not a high-spec tablet like your Apple iPad or your Samsung Galaxy Tab, but a very serviceable, extremely well priced, Chinese manufactured (Proline simple imports and brands them) mid-range tablet with a nice solid and fashionable design, good handling and the surprising ability to play 3D games rather well. An unexpected but rather nice bonus I might add. So with the wonderous Google Play store at my finger tips, this is the list of games I find myself currently playing (and enjoying) on my new entertainment device: Note that all of these follow the so-called ‘Free-mium’ model, i.e. they are free to download and play, but do offer additional in-app purchases that allow you to progress through the game faster or gain access to better equipment or abilities. Temple Run 2 (2013): The follow-up to the original popular and successful Temple Run endless running game, and is basically a fun time waster which sees you running through an endless maze collecting coins and power-ups, all while dodging, jumping over gaps and sliding under obstacles, trying to stay one step ahead of a hairy bunch [...]
The talented American cosplayer Belle Chere puts together today’s great Avengers cosplay, featuring none other than one of the strongest female heroes in the Marvel superhero lineup, Ms. Marvel! Carol Danvers, a.k.a Ms. Marvel a.k.a Warbird a.k.a Binary has certainly been put through the wringer over the years in terms of continuity and back story, but as one of Marvel’s premier female superheroes, Ms. Marvel has served as a team member on The Avengers, X-Men, Starjammers and S.H.I.E.L.D. She’s the reason Rogue has her more useful abilities and currently sports the powers of flight (at the speed of sound), strength, stamina, a useful “seventh sense” and of course the ability to blow things up. In other words, a dangerous woman to be around. Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ms._Marvel
When backing up or copying across a MySQL database, the command line mysqldump executable is invaluable in automating the creation of SQL dump files which can be used to create or populate database instances. Now there are a myriad of options available to this little command, but the one I want to highlight today is the ability to ignore specific tables when doing a mysqldump of an entire database. This is particularly useful if you have an overly large table which doesn’t play nicely with an import process, say for example if you were storing base-encoded images in your database. –ignore-table is the switch, and in practice it looks like this: As you can see from the line above, it is possible to specify multiple tables to exclude by simply passing it in multiple times. Also worthwhile to note is the fact that you do need to prefix the table which is to be omitted with the database name. Failing to do this will result in an Illegal Usage error from mysqldump. Nifty.
When I first moved out of my parents’ home in my early twenties, mom provided me with a little handwritten book containing recipes of things that I enjoyed and might enjoy making now that I was on my own. This happens to be her super awesome banana loaf recipe: Banana Loaf 130ml margarine 250ml brown sugar 2 large eggs 3-4 ripe bananas, mashed 500ml flour 10ml baking powder 5ml bicarbonate of soda mixed with 80ml water 100ml nuts, chopped (optional) 5ml cinnamon Step 1: Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Step 2: Beat in eggs one at a time, add bananas and mix well. Step 3: Add flour and baking powder, alternating with bicarbonate of soda and water, to obtain a soft dropping consistency. Step 4: Add nuts and cinnamon. Mix well. Step 5: Pour into a greased 22cm x 17cm loaf pan lined with paper towel. Cook on Medium for 10-12 minutes. There. Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it?
Craig Lotter is an established web developer and application programmer, with strong creative urges (which keep bursting out at the most inopportune moments) and a seemingly insatiable need to love all things animated. Living in the beautiful coastal town of Gordon's Bay in South Africa, he games, develops, takes in animated fare, trains under whichever martial arts dojo is closest at the time, and for the most part, simply enjoys life with his amazing wife and daughter.
Oh, and he draws ever now and then too.
This is a collection of things that he has managed to find the time to scribble down since 2007.
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