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Team J.A.F.


LEGO Movie Spoiler: Executron

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Jan 20 2014 · 258 views

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All Executron ever wanted was to share an ice cream cone... with a friend.


Spinning Rocka Head

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, News Jan 18 2014 · 168 views

Gosh, I've been here for 11 years now.  It's kinda sad to see BZP nowadays, where the only discussions in the forums seem to be arguments... granted, it was like that 11 years ago, there were just more people doing it.  :P  But it's not quite as big a community as before.  But there are still lots of cool people here, and conventions are always super fun, and where else will I blog about random things?
Anyway, been reeeeeeeally busy at work.  They've officially nicknamed me Jego, cause I like Lego, which they poke fun at a lot.  But I do too, so its fair play.  ;)  Right now I have some minifigs and the Trash Chomper on my desk, but I really need to build some custom models for display.
I'm getting excited for Bricks Cascade, and I've been attending some PortLug meetings, although that'll come to an end when I start working weekends.  I've been looking to rent some apartment closer to the city so I won't have to deal with an hour and a half commute (1 way) each day, but it's a pain to do when all the apartments have terrible business hours: 10-3, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with apparently a two hour lunch.  Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but since I'm working full time, I don't currently have a way to go check places out.  (It'll be better when I start working weekends, but they haven't given me a set limit for when that'll be.)
Um, not a whole lot of other stuff to mention.  I did some set reviews, and I guess nobody cared...?  I got initially excited when I started doing video reviews because I can film and edit and it's Lego... but then I forgot that I hate the sound of my voice and can't seem to spit out coherent sentenses between all my thoughts while reviewing.  I like reviewing, but I don't think others really like my reviews, so sometimes I'm confused as to why I really do it.  (Although I do like the ones about Collectible Minifigs because I give advice on how to feel for them that I KNOW is accurate cause I've given it IRL to others and its worked so there!!!)
But where was I?  Oh yeah, 11 years on BZPower.  YOU CAN'T GET RID OF ME THAT EASILY.  MUHAHA.  (Unless you have the ability to ban people...)


LEGO Movie Spoiler: Lord Business's Successor

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Jan 14 2014 · 238 views

I introduce to you...
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Because those two pieces TOTALLY fit together!


Trash Chomper Alternative History

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Jan 04 2014 · 102 views

FYI The 20 questions game is still going in the previous entry!  You guys haven't figured it out yet.  :P
So today I picked up the Trash Chomper Lego Movie set, because I wanted too.  It is a real joy to play with; good models both ways, and the chomping function is probably my favorite out of all the 2-in-1 sets.  (Although I think I still prefer the figs and pastel colors in the ice cream truck set, so I'll get that one next.)  But this one has plenty of nice green elements.  And it will be a good model to put on my desk at work, where at least one of my other co-workers is a minor Lego fan!  (As in he's not a huge fan, not that he's a young fan.)
But I do think there's something wrong with the set description, so I offer up this alternative explanation.
"The Savage Garbage Men Grant and Dan are on the loose, and have been imprisoning Lego City civilians, like Chief Gordon Zola, to work as their slaves in the landfills.  One brave Micro Manager, on a mission from President Business, has come to free the prisoners, but then the Garbage Men build their truck into a devestating chomping machine that begins to gobble up everything in sight!  Can the Micro Manager save Gordon and everybody else, or will it get munched up too?"
Because I ask you, what looks more menacing here, a flying black cube with flick fire missiles OF JUSTICE or a big, bulky garbage / recycling truck with a giant mouth and teeth??  Surely the Micro Manager is the hero here!  I mean, the art on the back of the box even has the garbage men smiling on as a fearful Gordon shovels a bone into the trash can.  Clearly this is forced labor!
As you were.  :P


Looking Back At My Year in 2013

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Dec 31 2013 · 107 views

Internship work, no work, interviews, then work work!  Tried for three Lego events but only made it to one.  Got a fair number of sets but always want more.  In about as bad a shape as I have been for the last couple of years, but at least I'm finished recovering from my surgery and it seems to have worked, so yay yay there.  Planning for the year ahead, thinking "Why do I have to save my money for responsible stuff when I really want to spend it on Lego."  And then realize I haven't built much lately and I should do more of that.  Also, watched lots of anime this year, and finished a couple of stories but there's so many more that need to be finished.  Also have like dozens of silly little Flash game ideas but now no time to actually make any of them.
Sorry, was that too elaborate and long winded?  :P
I'm not really pessemistic or optimistic about the upcoming year yet, just going with the flow and all.  I guess there is the Lego Movie to look forward to.


Thoughts on Lego in 2013

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Nov 24 2013 · 129 views

Well, the year's not quite over yet, but honestly, 2013 Lego sets are finished. There's lots of new stuff to be excited about, and although some of it is coming out in December, it's still technically 2014 stuff. (Or I will consider it to be, anyways.) So, in that case, I wanted to shares some of my thoughts on the year 2013.

2013 wasn't quite as big of a year for me as I might have wanted. Part of it's because I was only employed for like 3 months, and most of my money at the time went into rent and crazy travel across the country... and not into Lego. (Is that a bad thing? I dunno, I wish I could've bought more Lego then, but I also like how I did spend my earnings, so I wouldn't really change it...) But for the bulk of the summer, I was unemployed and mostly worked a lot around the house to earn up for all my major purchases around BrickCon. I bought a bit more last year, and a LOT more in 2010 and 2011. So Lego didn't get as much financially from me as in the past...

But anyway, onto the themes.

The best set I think I got this year was Cole's Earth Drill from Ninjago. I still love the design and general look of it. Overall, I did buy 4 of the 6 Ninjago sets (partially to collect the 4 Ninjas... never got the Gold Ninja) and overall I was impressed with the theme. The mini mech was great for the price, and the Garmatron, while odd looking, still pulled its weight as a massive, evil tank. I was less impressed with the Warrior Bike, but 3 out of 4 good sets ain't bad. (The Gold Dragon and Light Temple look okay, but I didn't pick em up, so I can't really comment.) If that had been Ninjago's last year, I would've been okay with it, but I am super excited for the upcoming Ninjago Rebooted sets. :happydance:

In terms of quantity, the theme I bought the most of was the Collectible Minifigures, where I have the original 16 from Series 9, 10, and 11. (Didn't get Mr. Gold, but didn't quite want him, he looked kinda ugly.) However, when thinking back about it, all the figures look good and have personality and pieces good for custom creations... but none of them exactly stood out to me like some earlier ones. (I loved the S3 Elf, S3 Hula Girl, and S4 Hazmat Guy quite a lot, along with about a dozen others.) I suppose if I had to pick a favorite from this year, it would be down to the S9 Mermaid and S11 Yeti. While there were only a couple of duds this year, there weren't quite as many absolute shining stars either. But don't get me wrong; they were all really good, and it's just to hard to pick out which was the best. (Goldie would've been a dud IMO.)

Onto other themes: the big push from Lego was Legend of Chima. It had a lot going for it; animal-character figs, distinctively themed vehicles, a television shows, and game sets. I loved the idea of the animal figs, and was pleased that there were a bunch (AKA more than 0 or 1) of female animal figs, which I traded some serious dough for at BrickCon. The sets all looked fairly decent, with good designs and some okay parts usage. And the whole “vehicles that look like animals” works for me just fine. The gaming sets, too, were a cool idea, and felt like they had more value than the Ninjago spinners from the previous years. Unfortunately, most of the figs that came with the still-not-quite-impulse-priced gaming sets were quite to my taste, and I only ever picked up the smallest Chima sets because I didn’t have money to spend on the theme. (I did get the big Gorilla Mech, but it was for a parts draft, and it was an awesome set for that too.) Overall, I wish I could’ve afforded more of the theme, but instead I’ve settled for collecting the figs from secondary sources. (Also, the first 4 episodes of the TV show were lame. I never watched beyond that.)

Another theme that caught my interest but not my money was Galaxy Squad. The various vehicles looked pretty good, especially with their white-and-a-bright-color combos. Some of the insect vehicles looked good too, and man I still want that Green Robot guy! But for as awesome as the sets were, they were also pricey, and the best ones were the costlier ones. I’ll have to make due with just having the two polybags from the theme, which at least got me some of the new colored helmets.

Super Heroes… well, what to say here? I got the Spider-Man vs Venom (plus Nick Fury) and Batman vs Bane (Bat vs Tumbler) from the winter, which were both passable sets. But the Iron Man sets and Superman sets… I’m sorry, but none of them appealed to me. Plus, my distaste that (SPOILER) the Mandarin’s flamethrower truck and Zod’s yellow car are completely irrelevant to the plot of the movies also has to factor in to me not liking them. (Although I would still go for a Pepper or Louis fig if I could get one for cheap.)

And then there’s Hero Factory. The successor of my favorite theme, and I just wasn’t into it this year. I bought only two and got two for free (plus a free Chima Ultra Build) and I still appreciate the designs and parts and all, but there was nothing that demanded that I pick them up. I would have grabbed them all if money hadn’t been an issue, but since it was… yeah.

I guess Friends also had another run, and some of the set ideas (Soccer, Magician, Karate) were awesome themes to get girls into. But sadly, none of the small sets really had enough of the new color pallet to really attract my attention. (I did pick up the new car and learned the difference between medium lavender and just plain lavender.) The animal polybags were a cool idea, and I enjoyed being able to pick up a turtle and hedgehog for cheap. (Well, and a squirrel too, but I got that for the pieces.)

LotR only had a handful of sets, but there were some gems. Wizard Duel was good for its price, and I would’ve loved to be able to afford that Black Gate set. Elrond’s Council was kind of bland (and not as good for a draft, as I learned) but I liked the figs I got from it. (Arwen yay!) The Corsair Ship was okay, but not quite as iconic as Helm’s Deep from last year. (Which I still have proudly on display.) I suppose the best part of the ship was that it finally gave you Aragon, Gimli, and Legolas together in one set, but I went out of my way to get those three last year, so I saw no need. And even if I could’ve afforded it, the Tower of Orthanc just didn’t have the same majestic look. I know they had to scale it down to make it a set even at a ridicules price, but it just doesn’t share the same iconic look and feel that Helms Deep did. Plus, it about guaranteed that we’ll never see an affordable Ent set with Merry and Pippen. :(

Lone Ranger and Star Wars… well, there were some interesting set designs for the higher priced ones, but nothing I could afford. I was going to pick up most of Series 4 of the Planet sets, but then they didn’t release them in the US. (Probably because of dismal sales of Series 3 Planets, but come on, those were all lame!) TMNT… I’m sorry, but while the figs looked okay, the sets still look awful to me. And I was never a big fan in the 90s, so nostalgia doesn’t factor in either.

I guess the last set worth mentioning is the Delorian, the Back to the Future Cuusoo set. The design is good, and the figs are good. But the availability is bad, and the price is not exactly an impulse set. Plus, while it has some good stickers (with misspelled words) it has no parts that are really exceptional, although I guess it’s not supposed to be a parts pack. I would’ve bought it pre-BrickCon, but I couldn’t find it at any of the Lego shops until the day after BrickCon, and by then I had spent all my Lego budget. Once I start earning more cash again, I might snatch it up, but with so many other cool sets coming out next year, I don’t know if its really a priority for me anymore. :shrugs:

So, basically, this year I did Ninjago and Collectible Minifigs, with a few Chima and Hero Factory purchases in there. Galaxy Squad and larger Chima sets appealed to me, but I couldn’t afford everything. Next, I’ll probably type up an entry about my thoughts on next year’s sets, since we have almost all the info on them by now.

So, agree with me, disagree with me? Want to tell me what I should’ve spent money on instead? Wanna describe what you focused on this year? Didn’t bother reading and wondering what to do now? Reply and say something about 2013 Lego sets. :D



Brick Badge Sayings

Posted by xccj , in Lego Conventions, Thoughts Nov 14 2013 · 198 views

Gosh, convention season is just around the corner!  And by that I mean still 4 months away.  Bricks Cascade just opened registration for the Portland area convention, but also brings up some news concerning brick badges.
I don't know about BrickFair and all those other places, but this year Seattle's BrickCon officially went to paper badges.  They have some legitimate reasons for doing so, so I can't really blame em for doing so.  And, on the plus side, they still provided us with custom engraved bricks for our registration, which we could easily add to our current growing badges.  But we had to wear a paper badge too.  And Bricks Cascade is going the same direction.  On one hand, they're only issuing one engraved brick with standard registration; more cost extra.  On the other hand, the extra cost is only $2 per bricks, which is cheaper than going straight to the engraver, and you can print whatever you want and don't have to be limited to name and location.
But that aside, there's the more important thing about what to put on the engraved bricks!   I need ideas and suggestions.  (I know I've discussed this before and maybe even made a blog entry before, but here goes again.)  So, list of some of my ideas, mostly quotes from the MNOLG, feel free to make suggestions.  (Or steal some.)  Of note, they can only be 22 characters long, so I've included some original text and then tried to shorten them.  (I included estimated character count in parenthesies, but I could be off in some cases.)
Ta-Koro, Mata Nui (17)
Ga-Koro, Mata Nui (17)
Po-Koro, Mata Nui (17)
Onu-Koro, Mata Nui (18)
Le-Koro, Mata Nui (17)*
Ko-Koro, Mata Nui (17)**
Coliseum, Metru Nui (19)
Cavern of Life, Voya Nui (24)
Tunnel Engineer 2nd Class (25)
Tunnel Engineer Class 2 (23)
Engineer, 2nd Class (19)
Marn Tunnel 12, Section 4 (25)
Marn Tunnel Section 4 (21)
High Commander of Ussalry (25)
High Ussalry Commander (22)
Veteran of the Makuta Wars (26)
Veteran of Makuta War (21)
Right Hand of Turaga Whenua (27)
Right Hand of Whenua (20)
Oh, and Taipu's here too (24)
And Taipu's Here Too (20)
Captain of Ta-Koro Guard (24)
Ta-Koro Guardsman (17)
Tahu Was Here (13)
Deepwood Wayfinder (18)*
Highfly Vinesman (16)*
Fastest Leaf-Runner (19)
Everquick Pilot (15)
I Want To Be A Toa Hero (23)
I'm A Toa-Hero (14)
Stay Outta The Sun! (19)
Another Hafu Original (21)
Koli Champion (13)
Kohlii Champion (15)
Who Ate All The Pies? (21)*
I Ship Maku and Huki (20)
Pohatu Rocks! (12)
Nuju's Translator (18)
What's a Bohrok? (16)
Beware the Swarm (16)
You Wake One, You Wake Them All (31)
Wake One, Wake Them All (23)
I'm With An Cool Dude (21)
Find the Masks (14)
I'm a Bionicle Fan (18)
Bionicle Fan: Deal With It (26)
My Other Mask is a Hau (22)
*I've already made these.
**CF's made this one



Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories Nov 13 2013 · 168 views
SCIENCE, Chemisty and 1 more...
So story writing for NaNo got interrupted by a scientific study.
See, I have this potential scene where the enemy is using electricity, and the protagonist is waaaaay out gunned. So (SPOILER) he decides to douse the baddie with water and use electrolysis (powered by the baddie's electricity) to split the H2O into H and O. Then he'd use a spark to make the gas explode around the antagonist, thus winning in an unconventional way and showing that he paid attention in chemistry class (which is actually a theme of the story.)
But of course, I then had to consider an important fact of would this work? At all? The electrolysis part is good (use electricity to split water molecules into individual atoms) but I wasn't sure if the resulting gases would actually combust. At first I thought that the oxygen would be the one burning; I watched some recent show where they increased the pure oxygen count and threatened to blow the entire place up with just a spark. However, this is partially wrong; for stuff to burn, one of the key ingredients is oxygen, which the combusting atoms could fuse to to form CO2 or something. (Still, I guess adding oxygen allows increases the combustibility of other materials, but on it's own, it won't do anything.)
Luckily, my scenario is saved because Hydrogen is like extremely flammable. Like, "Hey, I'm the primary element burning in the sun" flammable. Like "Hey, I filled the Hindenburg and you remember what happened when that got lit up" flammable. So my scenario holds. Kind of. To truly test it, I would need to see if turning the sprinklers on a person who was shooting out electricity would produce enough hydrogen to cause a sizeable explosion... but sadly I'm missing some of the key ingredients. (Any person with electrical powers want to volunteer?)
Still, I found some interesting articles of flammability. (I hope my Google searches don't raise too many questions; I'm researching for a fictional story, nothing more!!) Anyway, one article was how to tell if something is flammable. It went something like this?
  • Does it have a flammable symbol on the container?
  • Does it say the word "flammable" on the container?
  • Does it catch on fire when you light it with a match?
(That last one may have been an addition of my own.) But yeah, basically, not quite the scientific explanation I was looking for.
I also need to research the physics of jumping off a moving vehicle on the freeway and safely landing on the ground. I may stretch the facts a bit with that particular scene. (Somehow, I really love the idea of a fight scene jumping from car rooftops on a busy freeway... moving fast enough to cause problems if one hits the ground, but with the cars still driving close enough to each other... again, this is a hard one to test out IRL.)
And stuff came up so I'll probably be busy for the rest of the month starting next week, so I need to finish this story quickly. Shame I'm only just at the expected word count right now... still worried that the story will naturally end before I reach 50K.


I Guess The Bigger Question Is

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, News Nov 08 2013 · 250 views

Is there even an audience that still reads my blog at all?

Like no replies lately. Or maybe it's just that my content's been boring. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? CAT PICTURES? I MAY HAVE SOME OF THOSE ACTUALLY.

But I'll post a short list of borning updates anyway. :P
  • Nano: Have 12,000 words written. But I'm progressing so far in the plot that I'm afraid I might finish before I hit the goal. Like, my other related stories have only gotten to 30K-40K, and I'm not going to add in excess just for the sake of work count. Oh well.
  • PortLUG: I'm finally going to try and attend a LUG meeting for the first time. And see if I can help out for Bricks Cascade somehow.
  • I have a second job interview for tomorrow, so I should stop blogging and go think about that.
  • There's also that brick game on the Lego Movie site that I've gotten addicted to. That's probably not a good thing for productivity.
  • Also the new Lego Movie sets are so awesome. On one hand, I think a bunch of the vehicle mechs will probably only get short cameos in the actual movie. On the other hand, when else would we get city vehicle mechs? Lots of people don't like em, but I think they're great. Also there's a higher percentage of female figs in this sets, although most of them seem to be the damsels in distress. Still, so much want! Need to get a job just so I can afford these!
  • Oh right, interview, gonna stop procrastinating.


Of The Lego Marvel Game

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Nov 06 2013 · 126 views


Well, okay, that's a slight exaggeration, but still.

After reading about the game for months, I'm really eager to get it. But if I did get it, I would need the PC version, since I have no gaming consoles. (Heck, I can't even play it on my laptop; I'd have to use my parent's desktop.) If I could have, I probably would've preordered it and got the Iron Patriot fig... but that promotion didn't apply to the PC version. But I figured that was just the gaming company being picky about its perks. (I'm fairly sure they also shunned a few other gaming consoles too with this game.)

But then I tried to find the game in store.

Target did not have the game at all. Fred Meyers, which usually has a good selection, only have the major consule versions and not the PC one. Then I thought GameStop would be a good idea... I've got a few previous Lego games there. But no, PC is an online-order only! Walmart might have the PC game in store, but I have a thing against shopping at Walmart. (Well, okay, I went there a few times in Texas, but our local one is kinda shady.) So, in short, there's like no where that sells the PC version of the game in store.

So obviously they want me to order it online. And after seeing the prices of some other recent Lego games on Amazon, I decided to wait a few months or so before ordering it, because then the price is sure to fall. So yes, that means I'm still game-less for now, but it's for the best. (Oh, and I should've mentioned that I don't really have the $30 to buy it anyway, so even if availibility wasn't an issue I would be kinda screwed.)

Speaking of downloads, I've been getting into some J-Pop from various anime openings. I've got a small collection on iTunes (the only ungodly Apple product I'll ever touch, because honestly they did that part kinda well and even tho I have my issues with it I haven't found a worthy alternative... you know what, that's for another entry.) Anyway, I created my own custom Genre category to store them, called Anime. I've bought a few other J-Pop songs from iTunes and they're in the World or J-Pop genres. But I just downloaded another one, and it automatically got put into my custom Anime category. So I'm like WHA? I'm not quite sure how iTunes figured that out, although it wouldn't surprise me if the program's achieved Sapience and is secretly plotting against humanity and music artists.

So yeah, that happened.

Also, would you like me to blog about the animes I'm watching? I've done it a few times before but I don't know if there's an audience for it or not. (I'm primarily watching new stuff.) I'm also the kind who still lables anime as Japanese cartoons, so there's that too. :P


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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
~ Owl City

Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
~ Phoenix

I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
~ Foster the People

Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
~ Oh Land

On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
~ Train

But even the sun sets in paradise
~ Maroon 5

Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
~ Train (Again?)

So make now your ally, and leap before you look
~ Nothing's Carved In Stone

I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need.
~ Passion Pit

Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
~ Song Rider

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
~ One Republic

I live my life in shackles, but I'm borderline-free.
~ Tove Styrke


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