Archive for October, 2010

Lego Staircases: The first step.

Posted in art, Building Toys, Lego, Toys with tags , , , , , , , on October 19, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

 

Where's the bathroom?

How’s that for an optical illusion? Look familiar? It’s a Lego rendition of  Escher’s “Relativity”. This particular piece was done by Andrew Lipson and Daniel Shiu. For more mind-bending Lego artwork like the above, click here.

This particular post is about my learning of building staircases. In a previous post about my ongoing (and monstrous) MOC Space Police HQ project, I mentioned that it is going to be a 2 level layout and somewhere amidst the build, I’m going to incorporate a staircase along w/a working hand-crank elevator. However, I was a bit stumped about how I was going to achieve this since I’ve never encountered an official Lego set that featured one, let alone…an MOC.

Problem solved…maybe.

Lego StairsSeveral months back before I properly…er, somewhat  planned out my  HQ, I made a visit to the Lego Store at the Ontario Mills Mall in Ontario, Ca. I checkout out their PAB section and was shocked to discover a bin of what appeared to be these staircases that were 1 whole piece. In my excitement, I picked up as much as I could cram in the larger sized PAB cup and filled it with other bricks on interest that was offered.

When it was actual time to properly plan out the HQ in regards to the color schematic, I was not particularly interested in using the stairs due to the fact that they were black, since the colors that I was using were light bluish-gray and dark bluish gray bryxx. Using the black staircases at this point would be a no-no for me…design wise, they would stand out in an unflattering way.

This just in…

No kidding, as I was looking online for a decent pic of the black staircase that I featured above, I checked out bricklink.com and found the exact same staircase in the dark bluish-gray color. Hallelujah….right? Meh. I’m one detailed oriented son-of-a-gun and no longer did the staircase find a place in my heart or in my proposed project. I’m ditching the idea of using this design all together.

My research paid off.

The major reason about ditching the staircase is mainly because I found some examples of how to make a more detailed but still elementary staircases about a couple of days ago. I visited another Lego site called brickshelf.com which consists of a gallery of images of legos.

Went to the search window and typed in “staircases” and was met w/some good examples of what I was looking for. Particularly, this tutorial. This is not anywhere close what I have in store for my project but it’s a step (no pun intended) in the right direction of how to begin designing my own staircase. This is one of possibly a few hurdles that I needed to overcome in my project. Now all I gotta do is start tinkering. That’s where the learning/discovering begins.

Dolluck???? What are you talking about,Seb?!?!?!?!?!?

Posted in British Television, Family, Hobbies, Lego, Music, Radio, Robots, Science Fiction, Toys with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

So…no sooner does my son Sebastian discover (and I re-discover) the joy of Lego a little over a year ago, he goes on youtube to watch various vids about them. Stop motion movies, Lego set reviews, home movies, you name it…he watches it; and whatever he watches, he usually builds it so he can have his own out of the plethora of bryxx that we have.

I’m sometimes in the room with him when he’s watching these vids. Some are rather hilarious, some are rather….hmmm- interesting and some are just “zzzz”.

Suffice to say, I am a child of the 70’s myself. The only science fiction/space TV programs that I was exposed to was “The Twilight Zone”, “Star Trek”, “Battle Star Galactica” and “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”.

My son is talking AND building gibberish.

Fast forward to about a month ago, Sebastian announces to me that he’s going to build his very own “Dolluck”.
“A what????”, I ask. “A Dolluck, Dad”. I’m shaking my head as I’m tidying up the kitchen and thinking that he’s having fun with his old man and just making words up, but he’s never been one to do that, so…I just shrug my shoulders and tell him to “have a nice time with building your ‘Dolluck’ “…and yes, it’s pronounced the way it’s spelled, just in case y’all were wondering.

"Dalek...my darling"

Sure enough, my boy returns in about 30 minutes with what appears to be a steampunk version of a vacuum cleaner and what I would imagine…the perfect mate for “Rosie the robot” from the Jetsons – which happens to be another program I used to watch in regards to space, though I wasn’t sure if the “Dolluck” was male or female due to its ambiguity.

“Look at my ‘Dolluck’ , Dad…whatd’ya think?” And like the Dad that I should be, I respond with “Oh….that’s a pretty good “‘Dolluck’ , dude.” Of course in my mind, I have not the slightest clue of what he just showed  me, but like I said….he’s built stuff from youtube before and he’d done a great representation of the things he’s seen, so I wasn’t about to question it, plus – he was quite proud of it and that’s all that matters.

Mystery solved.

Later that night as I walk into the bedroom where Seb is on my PC watching youtube right before I prep him for his evening shower, I hear a somewhat familiar theme song. “Bubba”, (my nickname for him), how on earth do you know of this show???? I don’t even know this show”. I was just familiar with the theme song since it was sampled in a song called “Doctorin’ the Tardis” by The Timelords which received heavy FM radio airplay on our alternative-rock station KROQ in the late 80’s. The song also mimicked Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll-Part 2”

“Dad, this is where the ‘Dolluck’ came from”. I peer into the monitor…low and behold I see the words “Dr. Who: Dalek” plain as day. Needless to say…I was dumbfounded, flabbergasted and any multi-syllable words of “duh” that you can think of. I can barely make out the good Dr. if he was in a line up and if you asked me to single him out….let alone a Dalek. I never watched the show, I just knew of the theme song as mentioned above.

Yes, the pieces are mix & match colorwise due to not having the particular parts in certain colors, but dang…my boy did a great microscale of the Dalek, thanks to him finding a video on how to build one out of Lego.

EXTERMINATE!

Lego Sale at Toys R Us. (Bricktober)

Posted in Lego, Saving Money, Toys, Video Games with tags , , , , , , , on October 6, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

What’s better than your favorite Lego sets of any genre? When they’re ON SALE. October is “Bricktober” at TRU in the U.S. and they are celebrating by giving away some Lego Minifigure magnets w/selected purchases plus a sale on ALL Lego sets and games and on top of that…selected Lego sets to be 30% off of the listed TRU prices.

A great opportunity if you’re a builder who wants to increase your brick inventory for a smaller price per piece ratio. Here’s a link for more info.

My own parasite.

Posted in Family, Health, Humor, Lego, Weather with tags , , , , on October 1, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

The beginning of this past week was quite gut-wrenching for me…literally. I was struck with what I believe to be food poisoning. Of course, I’m no doctor but I had more than just “Montezuma’s Revenge” going on inside me to rule out that a few trips to the porcelain god and I’m rid of whatever was ailing me.

In addition to numerous trips to the oval chair, I was struck with body aches and pain. It was work just to get dressed and walk Sebastian to school just down a couple of  a hundred paces or so and back. Luckily, I had bottles of the Kirkland brand (found at Costco) of vitamin water to consume which helped considerably due to the fact that it’s loaded w/electrolytes to replenish what I have lost.

The Culprit?

I’m not 100% certain, but my hunch was the flour tortilla that was in my son’s bean and cheese burrito from this place down the street from us. He was struck w/some kind of bug earlier last week but he didn’t have all the other symptoms like I had. But I ate his burrito that was left over from a couple of days prior as a late night snack, a few hours later…I would rise from bed and begin several trips to the head the entire morning which put me in a zombie state due to the lack of sleep I got. Didn’t even get to finish my daily AM cup of Sumatran Reserve to make matters worse.

The day was a complete loss as I laid in bed all day and trying to keep cool while SoCal was enduring a record-breaking heat wave. It was something like 112°F in my area. I mustered up the strength to go retrieve my son from school and dragged my butt home again only to strip and drop back to bed.

I’m not cooking…no way, no how.

I should mention that I’m Mr. Mom since my son was born 8 years ago, but under the circumstances last week, there was a better chance of Jimmy Hoffa being found vs. me behind the stove. My wife works full time so I don’t expect her to pitch in and cook but she offered to pick up some Carl’s Jr burgers. I opted for the Big Carl which is basically a McDonald’s Big Mac on steroids. I knew something was a miss when it took me 3 times longer to finish my fast food grub, not to mention…the continuing trips to the head. Soon after that, I got myself to bed.

Facing the inevitable.

I got my "E" ticket.

Morning came and so did my first trip to the “john” but I ran out of “tp”. So, into the hall closet I go, but *sniff* *sniff*, what in the world is my wife cooking so early in the morning, wait…onions, Oh geez….no, french onion soup. I immediately headed back to the toilet thanks to the first aroma of the day which did NOT agree w/my stomach and I was slowly realizing that I had the “urge to purge”.

Yep, it’s been awhile since I’ve done that without the aid of alcohol, but after that little episode, suddenly…I felt alot better. Cleaned myself up and got Sebastian ready for another day of school and dropped him off. The next item on my agenda…a nice hot bath while listening to a homemade comp of some indie rock on my MP3 player, just what the doctor ordered. After the tub, I towel dried off and laid back in bed w/the fan on as we were battling a second day of high temps. Also continued the regimen of the vitamin water. Out with the bad and in with the good.

Recovery.

As I awoke from my nap I realized that I slept most of the day and it was once again time to pick up Seb from school but I felt replenished and ready to make the short trek on the hot pavement and back again. I assisted my boy with his homework and took it easy as I was waiting for my wife to return home from work.

Made dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, watched a movie and got Seb ready for his shower and then bed with me almost immediately behind him to settle in for what ended up being the first night of solid sleep since this whole ordeal. I’m giving the burritos from down the street, a break for at least a month or so…just in case. 😉