Archive for Lego

New and Improved MOC Space Police Jail Cell.

Posted in Design, Miscellaneous with tags , , , on January 11, 2011 by zzyzxbryxx

Room for improvement????

I may have been a little premature in releasing pics of the MOC Space Police Jail Cell that I posted several months back. As a matter of fact and after looking at before and after pics….I KNOW I WAS!. What was I thinking? I may have just learned a good lesson of creating something and letting loose the creative and detailed monster that I know that dwells inside of me, instead of just releasing something just for the sake of releasing something. Deep down in my sub-conscience, I wasn’t that proud of what I posted now that I look back at the whole thing.

I’ve heard, er…rather read what the talented MOC’ers whose work that I admire have said; and yes…I’m paraphrasing….”Give it your absolute best effort” or something like “If you think there’s room for improvement, then it’s NOT done.” Well, from those thoughts to my mind and hands, I’ve come up with a design that I’m proud to exhibit

More SNOT is always good.

The roof, the roof, the roof in on…..Heh heh.

Yeah, after a couple of designs and seeing which pieces would go where AND 3 purchases from different bricklink shops, I’m very happy with the end result as seen above. The only thing that remained from the previous design, was the housing for the antenna that rests dead center. I did have another design in mind but I felt that it lacked the WOW factor and even though it was more in detail than the previous effort, it was nowhere near enough of what I could have done with the ample room on the roof.

Bird's eye view.

I tackled with the aspect of designing the roof in 2 different objectives. To cover the studs and to give the overall appearance of the roof a little more “oomph”, because there was so much detail on the sides of the cell block and it seems like I just ran out of creative juices when it came to the roof. Yep, Lego Building 101 is in full effect. After putting the finishing touches on the roof, it almost resembles a parasite with 4 “tentacles” that have a grip on the entire cell block which was not the intent of the design but the whole concept grew on me.

The other improvements.

Out with the old gauge-in blue insert and in with the new interface.

In addition to the enhanced roof and since I was buying more bryxx anyway, I’ve decided to do more improvements to the cell as a whole. The original photo featured some light bley (blue-grey) pieces on the side that rested between the 2 observation windows on each side. After much consideration, I wanted a more streamlined look so, I switched out the lighter bley pieces with the darker bley pieces with some slight moderation to the features already in place, shown in the photo to the right.

This pic also shows the addition of more pieces to add height to the roof which aided in hiding the former studs on top, which was one of the main objectives to this remodel. I really don’t see anymore I could do with the cell, but this time – I am more than happy with what I’ve got here.

My Lego….Rat’s nest??????

Posted in Design, Family, Lego, Organizing, Toys with tags , , , , on November 19, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

A bowl with no name.

How many times have you come home and placed your keys, phone, wallet or etc…, somewhere and when you go to leave your home….you can’t find them? This used to be the case with me several years ago.

Thanks to the biology of our human bodies, I’ve been in a rush to get home and make use of the facilities because of something that I ate, didn’t agree with my innards. Of course that means that I frantically unlock my door, toss my keys wherever and take care of my business while re-enacting the toilet scene from “Trainspotting” when Renton was no longer constipated and had to use the “worst toilet in Scotland”

Great! After everything was settled and my abdomen could return to Defcon 5, all was right with the world, until I would have to leave my home and play one of my other favorite indoor sports….”Dude, where are my keys?”

Frantically looking for anything, leading to desperation….is not good, period. You now become late > hurried > unfocused > aggravated > aggressive > angry > a schmuck. Do people want to be around schmucks? I know I don’t.

A movie about love, music and home organization

The remedy.

Flashback to the early-mid ’90s when I saw the movie “Singles” for the first time. I specifically remember a scene where Kyra Sedgwick’s character walks in her unit and tosses her keys in what appears to be some type of bowl w/marbles in it. I couldn’t get an accurate description of the bowl due to the scene only lasting a second or so, but my sub-conscience picked up on it and it actually distracted me for a few seconds of what immediately followed in the film.

Within a day or so, I too had a bowl with marbles in it to now hold my keys and wallet when I walk in the door. Remember, this is the early mid ’90s so I did not have a mobile phone at the time to add to the bowl. Placement of the bowl was a non-issue. It was to be somewhere relatively near the door where I would place  my goods when I walked in and grabbed the goods when I was walking out. The “schmuck factor” was considerably lower due to the bowl…but not eliminated. 😀

The bowl unlike the one pictured, was made out of  glass used for baking which the mouth  measured about 1 foot long in circumference and I filled it with some random marbles packaged in a fishnet sack that you would find at Toys “R” Us.  Now the other issue that I had to address was what to call the bowl. To be honest and in reality, I was the ONLY person that I knew of that had a bowl like this, so no one could help me with properly naming the said bowl.

Henceforth, the bowl shall now be known as…

For NO specific reason, I dubbed it “The Rat’s Nest”. I figured rats gathered things and kept them somewhere and that’s pretty much what the bowl did, it helped me to keep my things… gathered. Yes!!!!! Problem solved. The glass and marble combo started at my bachelor pad in Long Beach, Ca and went with me at its current location here in Anaheim, Ca. which is now a family home. But when we were remodeling our home-circa 2004, the bowl had to undergo some minor changes as well to fit in with the rest of the decor.

My wife and I were stuck on the stainless steel idea while using primary colors….you know, red, yellow and blue. So I went ahead and swapped the bowl for a stainless steel one and proceeded to find some primary colored marbles. The marble phase did not pan out due to the fact that… 1.) I couldn’t find a rather large quantity of primary colored marbles and 2.) I was not going to invest in buying several dozen Chinese Checker board games to meet my marble criteria even though I’m sure Toys “R” Us would’ve appreciated it.

I’ve lost my marbles.

Ok, so the marble idea petered out. What could I possibly use to fill the bowl that would be not so costly as well as be available in primary colors????

Suddenly, I was overcome with the notion of using something that I had forgotten entirely about from my youth…The Lego Brick. But where could I find such a large quantity that would be enough to fill my Rat’s Nest?  I got my answer through ebay in the shape of 350 red pieces of various sized bryxx and plates which came to the cost of $16 or so, shipping included.

I should also mention that the primary color idea was also short-lived right after I received the package of the red Lego’s. The new color scheme was to include “earthy” tones like tan, olive green and sand green to name a few but we kept the stainless steel concept nonetheless. This will no doubt mean that I will change the bryxx in the bowl once again in the near future. *Sigh*

A recent revelation.

When it came time to blog about the Lego featured “Rat’s Nest”, my mind got to thinking about researching the term “Rat’s Nest” and if in fact, that’s what the proper name of the bowl where one keep’s their gatherings. So I googled the term and found this one of several entries:

“The slang term “rat’s nest” is used to describe a particularly messy or disordered environment, referencing the habits of many species of rat. The term can also be used metaphorically, to describe a messy situation, as in “a rat’s nest of problems was uncovered when the company was audited.” As a general rule, this term is used in a deprecating way, under the assumption that most people prefer a state of general cleanliness to a mess.”

“Rats are famous for having messy nests because they build their nests from a wide assortment of items, and they tend to hoard objects of interest or curiosity. A rat’s nest might include scraps of paper and textiles, twigs, grasses, and leaves, but it will also hold things like pens, metal, and any other objects which a rat might find intriguing. As young rats are raised in the nest, they soil it until they reach an age where they can strike out on their own, rendering the nest spectacularly messy.”

“Humans and rats have been living close to each other for centuries, so it is perhaps not surprising that a messy human’s living space or office would be compared to a rat’s nest. The implication is that the space is totally chaotic and filled with a wide assemblage of hoarded objects, stored in no particular order and for no apparent reason. A rat’s nest might also have various food items squirreled away, causing a distinctive odor to hang over the space.”

“Some people prefer messy environments, and in fact some would argue that although their spaces look messy, they have a very particular and set order, even if it is understood only by the occupant. Much like the rats they are likened to, people who inhabit or work in rat’s nests may actually have a very sound logic which governs the arrangement and contents of their space, although more clean-minded people might have trouble comprehending it.”

So there you have an idea as to why I’m inclined to label the bowl as something else. For the record, I hate to be dis-organized. Cluttered room = cluttered mind and I for one cannot function when I’m faced with chaos and disorder, particularly in my dwelling.

If anyone out there actually knows the correct name for this type of  bowl, I would like to hear from you.




Brickd.com : Another site dedicated in showing Lego MOC’s.

Posted in Building Toys, Hobbies, Lego, Toys with tags , , on November 2, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

It never ceases to amaze me just how many different MOC sites that are out there. I literally just discovered this site as an advertisement on Facebook of all places. The above piece was created by an artist called “rongYIREN”

The site features all sorts of creations. Spaceships, Mechs, Castles, Dioramas & etc with the artist’s name in a hyperlink that warps you to their respective Flickr accounts to show their entire photo stream. Simple yet….brilliant. For me,Brickd.com is just another tool to utilize in gathering ideas from other Lego artists to use in my own future MOC’s.

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. 😉

The Zzyzx “State of the Blog” address.

Posted in Hobbies, Lego, Organizing with tags , , , on September 23, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

"So many ideas and so little time."

First off, I always like to thank those that take the time and interest in reading my blog. The “sandwich” seems to be getting bigger as I add more ingredients to it. I remember when I just had two buns and that was it.

Every day as I wake up and look at almost anything, I think on how I could incorporate it on my blog. There are tons of Lego blogs out there and I really enjoy reading and viewing them. I believe that great ideas spawn more great ideas. My problem is that I input more than I output and that leads to me just pause for a moment to “gather my legos”…so to speak.

In previous posts, I have mentioned about adding video to my blog that would demonstrate how I build the MOC’s that I feature. I also mention that there are things that I will show in upcoming posts and they get put back on the burner due to new things or ideas that I come across but they are ideas that I feel will make this blog a joy to read, so I push back the previous ideas to input the newer ones…at least on paper. But I WILL see the video aspect through so it will add a more personal touch to this blog

Then there are things that I feel I must address at that moment and I just blog about them…like this very post for example. I just want to let y’all know that when the blog goes into a lull for several days, it doesn’t mean I have nothing to blog about or show….far from it. It just means that I’m gathering the info and figuring out what I want to share at that moment.

Not to mention the other things that are going on in my reality outside this blog that add speed-bumps to the progress of this blog. I think the minifigure head above sums it all up….don’t you? LOL.

Just thought I would let y’all know what’s going on at the moment. And again….thanks for taking an interest and allowing me to share a little brick with you.

Marcus.