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Archive for June, 2010

My iPhone made me a better Mum.

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Big call. But it’s true. Getting an iPhone made me a better parent. Parenthood can be a rather isolating thing at times, if you let it. You start to lose the ability to relate to your child-less friends (especially when they bitch about ONLY getting 6 hours sleep last night, go piss up a rope, seriously) and you end up distancing yourself from people who are less-than-understanding. Your world becomes completely kid-centralised. Except for that one thing you do that is just for you. Every parent has one. Some read books, some go running, some sew, some garden, some read the paper from front to back, and some play games. My iPhone came along when my son was about 9 months old, and unexpectedly equipped me with a way to keep in touch with the world, a way to keep entertained, a way to feed my brain, and a way to be more patient.

Anyone who has breastfed will tell you it’s important to not rush the feeds and let the child drink until they’re full, so as not to interrupt the supply and demand harmony. This is great when you have a quick feeder, but I didn’t. I had a guts. Sometimes he would feed every 2 hours on the hour, for about 45 minutes. That’s 45 minutes of me sitting in a rocking chair, bored out of my brain. You can’t sew, you can’t read a book (after about 4 months of age the turning of the pages was too distracting and he would pull off to have a look), you can’t watch TV, you can’t do anything. Now I was glad to do this as I knew it was what was best for him, but it was really really hard, especially at night. Until I got my iPhone. Instead of feeling locked in his room on that rocking chair, chained to it and away from the outside world, I was tweeting from that chair. I was playing games from that chair. I was writing emails, to do lists, text messaging friends, even playing Boggle with someone on the other side of the world. I had the patience to sit there for as long as he needed me to.

Motherhood is amazing, it’s wonderful, it’s magic and all that, I wouldn’t change a thing. But sometimes, it SUCKS. Anyone who says otherwise is a dirty great big liar and you should set their pants alight accordingly. Being a stay at home mum can suck your brain out through your ears. Mums that work get to feed their brain by leaving and putting on their corporate hat, dressing up all nice and going out and being one of those normal civilian type people. Stay at home mums get the same 4 walls over and over again, and this: Did you just puke on my rug? Don’t be mean to the dog. Is that poo? Don’t hit. What’s that smell? Eat your apple please. Leave the dog alone. Don’t hit! Do you need a bum change? That’s not very nice, don’t do that. DVDs are not frisbees. Put that down! DO NOT HIT! WE DO NOT HIT PEOPLE! WE’RE PACIFISTS GOD DAMNIT! Breathe. Check twitter. There’s a world out there… Mmmm perspective. Check Facebook. Urge to break…. lessening…. Oh look at that interesting news story. Heart rate slowing. Aw, a nice tweet from a friend. Calm. Breathe. “Liam, we don’t hit people. It’s not nice. If you hit again, you’re going to go have some quiet time in your room”. Nicely executed. You freaking rock. Give yourself a pat on the back, surely there’s an app for that. Go make yourself a cuppa while you wait for your mother of the year award, tiger.

I’m a better mum outside of the house, too. I don’t have a dirty bare-footed child running around the aisles pulling cans off the shelves yelling expletives at passers-by. I have a calm, quiet boy, sitting in the trolley playing a match-the-cards game on my phone. Then he softly asks to play cards, which I happily oblige, before reaching for my pasta of choice.

In babyhood, I had the magic boob. No matter what, I could stick a boob in his mouth and it would placate him. In toddlerhood, I have the magic phone. There for me when I need it, there for him when he needs it. Thanks iPhone. You’re tops. No seriously, I mean it. You’re a classy dame. The social aspect to our tech gadgets is ever increasing, and something I think older generations will have trouble grasping. It’s my Little Book of Calm, my way to call my husband to hear his reassuring voice, my safety net, life raft and brain food. It might seem sad, but my iPhone is an important part of my life and has a great influence on how I cope with motherhood and life in general. Whodathunkit.

Review: Angry Birds

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Guys. Hey, you guys. GUYS. These massive jerkface pigs stole all the eggs from the innocent birdies nests! WHAT WANKERS! The next generation of birds is at stake. We must exact revenge. We have a few varieties of birds, and a slingshot at our disposal. The result? The number one paid app in the App Store, Angry Birds.

Angry Birds by ClickGamer and Rovio has seen phenomenal success not just in rankings and purchases but also in user reviews. The average user who reviewed or rated this game on the App Store gave it a 4.85 out of 5. Not bad! It’s a well executed physics puzzler, where you use a slingshot to lob birds at the pig’s fortified castles with the hopes of taking them the eff down. They did mess with your kids, after all. That’s just not kosher *rimshot*. The castles are made from concrete, glass, and wood, and sometimes have a weak point in which to bring the entire structure down to it’s knees with the right blend of bird, power, and trajectory.

In the staggeringly entertaining 135 levels, sometimes it takes smarts, and sometimes it takes brute force. You have a few different types of birds to choose from, a basic red guy that acts as a cannonball, a blue guy that separates into 3 smaller birds when you tap the screen, a bomber bird that drops eggs when prompted, and even a big black incendiary bird that explodes causing ample destruction. The levels get continually harder or involve more strategy and thinking before slinging, as you progress. You’re awarded one to three stars when you complete a level, based on how many birds you have left when all pigs are obliterated, so there is liberal amounts of replay value if you aim to get 3 stars on every level. Your friends can watch you dance on the corpses of the swine you’ve smote, with Twitter and Facebook integration. The music and sound effects can get a little annoying when those pigs oink with a smug sense of self-satisfaction when you’re trying the same level for the 6th time and getting a little frustrated, but it can easily be fixed by turning the phone on silent.

I’ve logged a fair few hours into Angry Birds, and it may come as no surprise my reasoning. It’s cute. It’s quirky. It has attention to detail, and it has variety. When you lose a level, the pigs have a self-congratulatory oink and grin with delight. As they accrue damage, they get black eyes and start feeling weary. The birds squint as they brace for impact. It’s the small touches that make this game fun. It has everything Fragger lacked, and that’s why I like it. Top notch stuff and testament to why it’s the second highest grossing app on the App Store.

News: Nikon Coolpix 3100PJ

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

A little piece of tech from the Nikon family caught my attention today and I thought I’d share, the Nikon Coolpix 3100PJ. It’s the first ever digital camera to have a built-in projector. You heard me. Instead of having to upload your pics to your computer/netbook/iPad to show your friends, you can whip your camera out of your pocket and point it at a wall, table, or slow moving child. I find myself constantly amazed by how fast cool gadgets are coming out these days, there seems to always be something to drop my jaw about. Consider me catching flies!

Here’s some video of the projector camera in action.

The projected images measure up to 40cms in diameter, up to 10 lumens in brightness, and can be projected onto flat surfaces up to 2 metres away. Pretty impressive! Camera specifications wise it’s fairly similar to the Coolpix S630 with 12 megapixels and 4x digital zoom, and is available in black or silver brushed metal. I can see grannies everywhere drooling over the opportunity to show off pictures of their slimey grandchildren on the cafe table while clucking with their friends over a soy half caf cappucino and lemon tart. Keep an eye out for this one! Could be huge.

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