Category Archives: A Dude’s Guide to Gifts

Dude Review: The Snugg iPad Case

Gadgets, to paraphrase the inimitable Gordon Gecko, are good.

I love gadgets, dudes. I really, really do.

I mean, if I had the money, I’d probably have tablets of all sizes littering the floor of Casa de Dude, not to mention smart watches scattered over the top of my desk, futurephones of all sizes and operating systems, computers of all sizes. . . You name it. If it’s tech and it’s cool, I’d love to have it.

Even better than all the tech, is all the goodies that go along with the hardware.

Which brings me to today’s post. I was contacted by The Snugg, a website that offers for sale a bunch of goodies that go along with the iPhone, iPad and iPad mini, along with other similar tech. The Sugg offers some tremendously cool carrying cases and physical extensions for said tablet/phone tech.

Apparently knowing of my proclivity toward tech stuff, a member of the The Snugg team contacted me and asked if I’d like to try out one of their products.409_129939273053106250iPad3-Lead

I couldn’t say yes fast enough. Thinking ahead, I decided to test out and keep the case for the iPad 3. In pink. Yeah, dudes, I was planning on having She Who Must Be Appeased do the testing and then keep the nice gift. All on the QT, of course. As far as she’s concerned, I’m just — out of the blue — purchasing a lovely new pink case for her iPad.

So, uh. . . Let’s just keep this between ourselves, yeah?

Not the case, though. That you can shout to the far corners. Known formally as the Snugg iPad3 Case Cover and Flip Stand in Candy Pink PU Leather, I quickly learned to love the case.

This is a very nice carrying case for the iPad. For starters, it’s a truly gorgeous shade of pink. When I opened the box, I was almost shocked by the very pinkness of the thing. When The Snugg said the case was pink, I’ll admit, I was a bit hesitant to believe.

This, though, was a hot pink all the way through. Lined with a soft covering inside to protect the iPad screen, the case cover has an exterior made from PU Leather. It doesn’t stink, but I’m guessing the PU means this isn’t real leather. That’s all right, though.

The case feels like real leather, but it’s exceedingly resistant to damage. Not that I intentionally tried to damage the case, but life in Casa de Dude is tough. Stuff happens. Like, all the time. You know?

This case? It stood up to all the stuff and came through looking sweet. Metaphorically smelling like the proverbial pink rose, if I can be allowed to mix a really horrible metaphor and, considering this is my site, I’m going to say I can. I can.

Moving on.

In addition to a good look and feel, the case cover also is a nicely working piece of kit. When you close the cover, a magnet in the cover clicks with the iPad and turns it off. When you open the cover, the reverse works and the iPad turns on, ready for you to get to work.

Now, I got my (or should I say, She Who Must Be Feeling Pretty Good About Me Right Around Now’s case) for free, but you can get it right now for only $34.99, which is a good $15 off it’s normal price. In addition, provided you plunk down a bit more than that $15, you’ll get free shipping to go along with the The Snugg‘s lifetime guarantee.

All in all, I’d say this is a very sweet deal. Provided the rest of the The Snugg‘s products live up to the high standards set with my iPad 3 case cover, I’m pretty sure we can give this a very high recommendation.

Head on over to The Snugg’s website and give the place a look. I think you’ll be glad you did.

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Shake

It’s a dog’s life.

But that might not be all that bad, yeah. At least it’s a photogenic life.

Carli Davidson Pet Photography

Thanks to Wired Magazine’s electronic version, I found some really cool pictures of dogs flinging a bit of the old saliva around. And it’s just as much fun as you’d imagine those pictures would be.

Carli Davidson is a photographer who wanted to try out some of her new strobes and camera equipment. So she got hold of her dog, a mastiff, and got to work.

She synched her strobes to fire at 1/13,000 of a second intervals, trying to freeze on film the drool her dog constantly spread around her home, on the walls, chairs, floors and, basically, anything that wasn’t covered. And that includes said covers.

What she came up with, as seen by the picture to the left, was — simply — awesome. Amazing. Astonishing. A true joy to behold.

And funny as all get out.

After shooting she looked at the images and immediately knew she was onto something.

“It was one of those shoots where when you look at the pictures it’s really satisfying,” she says.

She then asked around for some more dog volunteers and started to work out an approach. She won’t reveal all her secrets when it comes to handling the dogs, but Davidson says sometimes it’s as simple as getting them wet. One rule she stands by is that she never forces an animal to do anything it doesn’t want to. It’s all up to the dog.

Regardless of how she gets the dogs to start shaking, Davidson made enough pictures to start showing them around the internet, which led to them going a big viral. All that attention, plus a lot of work on Davidson’s part, has led to the creation of Shake.

A book filled with pictures of dogs and their drool doesn’t sound like something anyone would actually want to see, much less buy. But then you take a look at some of the pictures and, well. . . You can’t pass it up.

The combination of cute dog, pliable face frozen in an instant of time in the most improbably of positions, and the knowledge that those lovely spheres on the black background are really just spit, makes for compelling viewing.

No, really. It does.

According to the Wired article, Davidson has been working on the book since 2011. She’s been recruiting new dogs, taking new photos and organizing how best to display them. Despite having shown many of these photos before, Davidson assures any potential readers that there’s plenty of new stuff to be seen in Shake: more than 100 new pictures never before seen by the public will be included in the book.

Knowing just how great the pictures were has been a bit of a weight on Davidson over the years.

Shake was published Oct. 22 and is available at bookstores everywhere. I’ve already ordered my copy. This is just too cute.

“It’s been so hard not to get on my computer and share these photos,” she says. “I’m just excited that the book is finally out.”

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Dude Review: Giant!

I got a chance to attend the most recent HeroesCon, which is a comic book convention here in Charlotte.

The event, one of the best-regarded comic book conventions in the country, is held every year around Father’s Day, is sponsored by local comic-book store Heroes Aren’t Hard To Find and is like heaven to geeks like me.

To ride down the escalator to the show floor and listen to the sounds of people arguing the merits of who’s smarter: Jimmy Corrigan or Amadeus Cho. . . Who would win in a fight: Hulk or Thor? Could Superman pick up Thor’s hammer?

It is the music of my people.

One of the best parts about the convention is that it plays host to a veritable host of small-time comic-book creators. These are the folks who aren’t published by the big-time folks at Marvel, DC, Image, Boom, or even Dark Horse. These are the dudes and dudettes who form their own publication firm to put out their own comic books.

These are the fertile fields of independent, non-mainstream comic book creators. And walking through the Artists’ Alley, perusing the various and sundry publications. . . It’s a total blast for me.

As I was aisle cruising on the Saturday of the show, I ran across an interesting little book. And I do mean little. Giant! is four inches by six inches and, despite the name, which suggests something really, really tall, the book is wider than it is tall. A lovely little black-and-white interior tells the story of Deedrick a hapless young man in a medieval walled city.Giant-Website-Banner

Everything goes wrong for poor Deedrick. He accidentally insults the local lord, renders his castle’s gate inoperative and, basically, just messes up the joint. As a punishment, he’s sentenced to being lowered off the top of the castle to scrub off the pigeon poop from the sentient gargoyles that lurk around the heights, serving as protectors when needed.

And, as you might guess, they are needed rather quickly. Once again, by pure happenstance, Deedrick manages to wake a nasty giant from a centuries-long sleep. Of course, it immediately goes on a rampage, as these sorts of things are wont to go. It’s up to Deedrick and a host of blandly engaging characters, including a pretty cool gargoyle, to save the day. If they can stop messing up long enough to actually get it done.

The story is cute and fairly predictable. It’s, well, serviceable. I mean, it gets from point a to point b without too much trouble. Despite what seems like a horrifying danger, it never really feels like anyone is in danger. There’s no real emotional investment in the characters. However, that’s not really necessary.

Writer and artist of Giant!, Chris Wharton, invests his main character with enough bumbling charm and enthusiasm that you don’t really need to get invested in his fate to enjoy reading about him. Wharton’s pencils are instantly engaging, sharing a sort of cartoony or animated simplicity. Despite a paucity of backgrounds, the art was slick enough to really carry the lightweight story.

My one gripe is that the ending came much too easy for our heroes. There’s the suggestion for how to beat the giant, they do it. The giant is beaten. The end. It felt rushed and, when the ending came across as that simple, a rushed ending really feels rushed.

There was a tremendous amount of potential in this story. Considering that Wharton ended the story with a nice little bit that suggests another story on the way, I have a feeling that we’re going to get a chance to watch him improve in the next volume. I’d love to tell you how much the comic costs, but it’s not listed anywhere on the book itself. Giant! originally was printed through Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site that allows creators to solicit money from anyone.

The comic’s website, www.giantcomic.com, hasn’t been updated since it met its funding goal on Kickstarter in 2012. However, Wharton has an art page where you might be able to contact him. If you’re interested, maybe you can get hold of him and buy a comic directly from him. Can’t hurt to give it a try.

Despite the shortcomings, I’d really recommend this comic, especially for the younger readers. I have a feeling little dudes and dudettes in third through sixth grade would really dig this. I’d give this a solid three dudes out of five.

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