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Team J.A.F.


Bionicle Quotes Are Useful!

Posted by xccj , Feb 28 2008 · 32 views

"Hordika. The dark of all of us that we believed progress has made us forget."

Or something like that. Strangely, I cannot find that direct quote anywhere, and I don't have the movie or book to directly look at right now, so...

Anyway, I am using the last half of the quote for an English essay about, well, the Hordika in us all. (Except I'm talking about basic shortcomings in human nature, and not necessarily Visorak venom).

The fact that I even thought of using this proves I am way too into this toy theme than is good for me. Now I just need to figure out if I'll flunk the whole assignment straightaway if I actually cite the movie as a source. (Of note, I'm not actually done with the essay yet).

(It's also due in a couple of hours. Great...)



I Guess I Just Got Lucky...

Posted by xccj , Feb 26 2008 · 44 views
My user name is just long enough to be used in the BZP search engine. That way, whatever topic my name appears in the text can be found. Unfortunately, the blog search system only works by giving you the latest entry with your keyword in it and repeating that entry over three pages.

And if you go on Google, you can search for my user name and the first result is another website on which I use the said nickname. Three results down, and you have BZP results. And, strangely enough, you can find my user name on a page in some sort of dictionary site. It doesn't have any definitions, but it looks like somebody searched for a definition of my user name (probably wondering exactly what it's an acronym for) and didn't get anything.

Anyway, it's way early in the morning (by this, I mean the sun has not risen yet and won't for another couple of hours, but midnight was a while ago), I have midterms and big assignments due this week, and I'm tired. But this blog entry was so compelling that I had to write it up right now just to prove that I can type while half asleep.

And, as another note, this blog entry will not show up for a search of my user name because my user name was never actually used here, and using it in the comments doesn't get you anywhere because the blog search doesn't cover them. So the worst you'd have to do it edit this post, and you can only do that if your staff or know my password. So, you're all otta luck. tongue.gif

Now why don't you go try searching for your user name and see how popular you are. (Note, I am not very popular, as half the time the results come from me quoting myself or something along that context)




Posted by xccj , Feb 24 2008 · 48 views
Lookie here, a real set review. With pictures too! bigeek.gif Pictures, as in plural. Amazing, I can use a camera. And type. And look at plastic Lego figures...

Oh, yeah, the review.

(Titled too, just in case you didn't realize who I was talking about or who is doing this review)

First off, the journey to get Tanma. Today, I visited my third Lego store... the one in Washington. Yeah, the store's not actually in Seattle, but neither am I, and the bus system around here is good enough, as long as you have your university bus pass. Anyway, I didn't buy Tanma there... but I did go there. They had all the Phantoka Toa, Makuta, and Matoran on display. But the shelves were less well stocked. The sets I was looking for were Lewa, Tanma, and maybe Mutron and Vican. Well, Lewa was sold out (as well as Antroz... green and red do well), only the evil Matoran were available (and in small numbers anyway) and, despite saying they carry special edition sets on their webpage, this store does not have Mutron. He's a cool set, but I don't want to get him through WalMart or Shop@Home, so the Lego store was my only bet.

Anyway, because I had to do further shopping, I went to a Fred Meyers, which not only had Tanma (there was only one of him, though, and no Lewa) but also had all Lego sets on 20% off. (Woo Hoo!) So, presto, five dollars and a thirty minute bus ride later, I have Tanma ready to build.

(This one with the flash actually on! Yeah, it does bring out more detail)

First off, Tanma is large. ohmy.gif I'll expand (ha ha, pun) on that later. Articulation isn't a strong suit of his. The prebent arms and legs can make some of his positions awkward. I know, most Matoran since the... well, 03 Matoran... have had those 90 degree prebent arms, but the increase in length on these makes it more noticeable. The new head works swell for articulation... except when Tanma bends his head back to look straight up, and then the back of his mask hits his jetpack. Oops. In articulation, he does not beat the amazing Voya-Nui Matoran in my book (well, I think they have the same # of points of articulation, but the length in Tanma makes him more unusual and not as proportionate as some of the Voya-Nui Matoran). Then again, he does beat out the Mahri-Nui Matoran, so gotta give him credit there. Another thing on possibility... the new joints are very sturdy, and look like they should last longer. Although if Tanma's new joints will survive the curse of the fragile lime green remains to be seen.

Okay, onto the pieces. As I mentioned, the legs and arms are new and different. The arms remind me of the Throwbot limbs of yesteryear (which are coming back with some of the Mistika, I believe). They're more decked out with pin and rod holes, plus the alternate ball and socket endings. I foresee set incorporations with these. The legs are a very interesting new design, but when stood up straight, the foot connector is a space back from the hip connector, so if you want to stand him up straight, he looks odd. Thus, you have to slant the legs forward a bit to make him look better. The legs have fair potential in sets, with a good collection of connection holes. But still... they won't work with the bendy knees of current canister sets, and they're a bit too big for the smaller MOCs, so I can't quite yet see how I'd incorporate them into a MOC (not that I've truly MOCed since the summer).

Moving on, you have the new body piece. blink.gif Uh, okay, that is kinda new for Lego. It has potential, that's for sure, but a custom like that of the Mahri-Nui Matoran is never a bad thing. Without the jetpack, the back of the body looks kind of empty, but the front looks great. It may be following a trend towards single piece bodies again, but I can see uses in the MOCi9ng world. Hey, just as long as these aren't the bodies for all small sets for the next five years, it should be okay. Then, on the back of the body is the jetpack. Personally, I think it's a useless piece. Sure, it does have the slight image of a booster pack, but I think that's because I know what it's suppose to be. Otherwise, it looks like Tanma is carrying a strange looking backpack that pens up at the bottom so everything falls out. Thoroughly useless piece, as there are no real ways to connect to the bulk of the piece. It fills out his back, but I think Lego could've done better. (How, I don't know, I just think it could be better.)

OMG, a new mask for a small set! That hasn't happened since, like... the Turaga! ohmy.gif (By new mask, I mean new design, of course) From the front, it sort of resembles Lewa Pantoka's new mask, as well as a bit of the Kaukau Nuva. However, from the side it looks more like a Kiril with a horn (see pict below.) The head is awesome. I've been asking Lego (well, not really, it's more like hoping for) to make a small set's head pose-able and with translucent eyes. They did it this time, and the head it awesome. It's very similar to a Metru head in shape, although I think the face resembles more of the old Mata heads. And there is a connection rod on the back of the skull too... for whatever you'd want to put there. I see lots of potential for using this in the future.

Now, the packaging...

(The Makuta will never think to look for me here)

I saw the pictures... I knew the new boxes were different. They have those silly plastic tops and bottoms, with a strap holding them together. And they're big too. Maybe not as wide as the Mahri-Nui Matoran, but just as tall and with greater depth. On, and tough plastic. Now, what surprised me was that there is no cardboard box... just cardboard sides in between the two plastic pieces. This is certainly new, unique, and big enough that Tanma can almost fit back inside like the canister sets of... well, back when canister sets could fit into their canisters. However, if this is the most cost efficient method of boxing sets is different... if plastic is so costly nowadays due to oil prices, then why stick more of the stuff on the top of the box? They're nice pieces, but since their not set compatible, I'll only want to keep them if I want to keep the entire box as it is. Well, yes, it seems like this one will weather more than previous boxes, but do I really need to store a small set when I can just throw it into a tub of other lego pieces and leave it there until my net MOC run. Hmm.

Oh, and more complaining on the issue of size.

(Pohatu: How am I ever going to get big enough to carry you?
Tanma: Eat a healthy diet of carrots and prunes. And maybe some energized protodermis and adaptive armor.)

Did I say I disliked the Mahri-Nui Matoran because they were almost as big as the Toa Mata? Well, I stand corrected... these new Avi-Matoran are as big or bigger than the Mata! In a fight between the two of them, I'd say Tanma would win (although, of course, sheer size isn't always everything, but still!) Tanma's legs are longer than Pohatu's, as are his arms, and his swords are about as long as Kopaka and Tahu's weapons (well, they were Lewa Nuva's first). It's just... I dunno, crazy that the small sets of today can shadow the canister sets of last year. (And although I don't have it with me, I bet Tanma can also come up to a Tarakava's chin, and those were expensive sets too!) Sure, Tanma can attach to the back of the Phantoka, but with a few piece additions, you could easily fit a McToran or Turaga to the back of. These Avi-Matoran don't need to wish to be Toa; just go back seven years and to Mata-Nui, and they would be mistaken for Toa like that. (And worst, the number of pieces Tanma has is about that of the gear assembly of the Toa Mata.)

I think this size increase is rather crazy, but the toyline needs to move on and not always make stuff exactly like that of years long past. Anyway, Tanma's size increase (and price increase) will also mean that he'll get more storyline time than other smaller sets of the past... because it'll be more worth it for Lego to advertise him as he'll bring in more profit than, say, a Turaga did. (Or maybe a better comparison would be Dekar, as the economies of 07 and 08 are probably more similar than 08 and 01)

Overall, was Tanma worth it? Well, kinda. Good mask and head, okay limbs, blah body and ehk jetpack. Too massive for a small set, but piece wise it isn't too bad. Not worth all the money, though. I think I'll hold off on getting other Matoran this year, unless I can snag Vican, who looks cool and has the whole shadow Matoran design. But if you want to spend your money on better sets, you should probably look at the canisters first.

(Is that long enough for you? I know y fingers are sore now... how are your eyes? Need glasses yet? Well, you will.)



I See Summer

Posted by xccj , Feb 17 2008 · 38 views
Here are some of my first thoughts on the summer sets. Take 'em or leave 'em, and they're bound to change, but here they are.

Toa Nuva

Tahu: Well, he's not the old Nuva, or the old Mata, but he's not too bad. The build isn't terrible, and the worst part about it is simply that it's been seen before. The rotating blade looks really cool, and the mask, while not resembling any form of a Hau, isn't too bad. The rockets don't look too bad on him either... you know, red works with red. For once, I might consider buying a red set first. tongue.gif

Gali: Yeah, they butchered her, but after Hahli, I wasn't expecting too much. The overall design isn't too bad, and the armor looks neat. But this seems more like a remake of Vezok, not Gali. Cool, but not entirely what I would want.

Onua: Well, what can I say here? No purple... not that I should've expected any, but I was hopeful. The body looks basic... there may be a few cool pieces of armor or weaponry included, as well as another laser scope. The mask reminds me more of Whenua Hordika's face... which isn't a bad thing. Not too bad for Onua, but he could've been beefed up more like Pohatu.


Gorast (Green): Creepy, but not incredible. Nice color scheme, but it's something we've already seen in Mutron. Nice claws, and six arms/legs, but the limb pieces don't appeal to me, even if they do work on the Matoran. Kinda a lame excuse of recycling pieces. The mask is cool, and somehow reminds me of Movie Dume. Wings look cool (if those are his wings) but the horrid gray body piece totally throws the entire set. Bah.

Bitil (Orange): Orange and black go well with this guy. But again, six legs, only this time better limb pieces than his green comrade. Is that... I think we see Throwbot limbs for the first time since... well, Pohatu Nuva (although there might've been some in other sets since then) He comes with lots of spikes, weapons, and he has a cool pincher-like mask. And did I mention orange and black work? (Even if it's keetongu yellow, black is better than grey any day) Not great, but not bad.

Krika (White): Something about this dude (or dudette, as may be the case) just intrigues me. Same basic design as Vultron, as he has no real legs. But the huge white staffs... colgate.gif The red and white I'm not too fond off... part of the reason I blew off Pirdak. But black and white works wonders, and throwing in a little red can't hurt. Plus that mask / face is just awesome! And another Throwbot arm. ohmy.gif I'll seriously consider buying this one when it comes around.

A side note on the Toa and Makuta... $12.99? Great, a price increase. (that was sarcastic, BTW) I wonder if they're that big and filled with plastic, or if Lego is just boosting up prices because of oil for the summer sets, while they held back for the winter sets. Hmm.

Takanuva: Well, I miss the gold, but it's been a while since we've seen that much white on a Titan. The mask looks similiar to his old version, but his bulked up body doesn't. Despite this, it looks like a nice design for a Titan, so I think Lgo will probably make a nice profit off of him. For me, I'm going to have to hold back due to the fact that I can't buy everything I want anymore. tongue.gif

[b]Vehicles]/b]: I haven't looked too much at them yet, but let me give you my overall thoughts on purchasing them: NO! They look big and have some features, but they also appear to have replicas of Pohatu, Lewa, Tahu, and Radiak driving them. Well, if I was looking for a bunch of big silvery pieces and such, maybe, but they are waaaaay overpriced for me. I hope they do well for Lego, and bring in a new form of play. But, like the playsets, while I like them, I will not be buying them. (Can't wait to see the BZP reviews on the, though. sly.gif )

Thus, I'll probably get Tahu and Kirka, then maybe Bitil and Onua, and Gali and Gorast if I can find a good deal on them (like a Buy 1 Get 2 Free). The Titan and Vehicles... nope.



Choo Choo!

Posted by xccj , Feb 16 2008 · 46 views
News and Updates
Home for the three day weekend. Got to ride on public transportation. Took a bus ride through Seattle... I did not know they had that tunnel underneath the whole city. I almost missed my stop because I was waiting for landmarks and you can't exactly see those under ground. When I got on the train, they forgot to give me my seat ticket, so I had to go and get back at the end of the line and wait it out again. (I got a ticket for a reserved seat, I just needed a second ticket for my assigned seat) On the bright side, since I was the last in line, I got assigned to a window seat without anyone in the aisle seat. Woo hoo. The train ride was rather boring (and long... and bumpy) but it was okay because I could plug in my laptop and watch Pirates III (which I just bought from the local Blockbuster movie rental store... a previously viewed video, only $7) Now I'm home, tired, and I still have homework to do.

If you got something out of this blog entry, good for you. You can make a metaphor out of anything!



Lego Bricks My Ego Bricks

Posted by xccj , Feb 13 2008 · 53 views
I love making fun of the word filter without abusing it. And this one's caught me a couple of times in recent posts. Makes me wonder, if they made one for this, why haven't they made one for "Bionicles" when so many people go out of their mind complaining about it.

So, remember, I was the Nobody cares about me. I need attenton so I wanted to be annoying. about the cool dude who made a word filter for LEGO Bricks. Very annoying, as well as the filtered His Excellency (comes when you type in xccj)

Currently I should be doing math homework. Why am I blogging?



Curse Of The Spell Checker

Posted by xccj , Feb 11 2008 · 43 views
News and Updates
Well, I had this essay I wrote last week, and I had to reference a lot of quotations from the books we read in the class. I didn’t like the books (for the most part), I didn’t like the prompt for the essay, and I didn’t particularly like the essay either (or MLA styles). But when I got it back today, I was kind of surprised at the mistakes I made.

Whenever I reference the author “Metalious”, it came out “Metalloids”. Whenever I referenced “Nabokov”, it came out “Taboo”. I remember specifically going out of my way not to correct those words when I spell checked the essay, but somehow it did it automatically. For all of them.

Spell-checkers get me again.




Posted by xccj , Feb 08 2008 · 77 views
News and Updates
Kiwiberry Rucas, or something similiar to that. Yum.

Okay, I dunno if any of you remember your soda brand history, but Fruitopia was this juice company of the late 1990s. They were apart of the Coca Cola company, but were phased out of the US in 2001 to be replaced by Minute Maid. (Although, according to their wikipedia page, they're still available in other countries like Canada and Australia). Based on most of the front page websites I found on this, people didn't like Fruitopia because the commercials have a hippy, carefree feel to them, even though it was all through the blood-sucking Coca cola cooperation.

Why do you care?

Anyway, while it was around, Fruitopia was my favorite juice drink to buy. They had the basic flavors... strawberry (ehk) grape (ehh) fruit punch (uhh) and pink lemonade (hmm). But they didn't have these boring names... they had hip, groovy names that made them sound sooo much cooler. cool.gif My favorite was one of the last flavors I saw them make, a kiwiberry rucas. I remember I first got it when my family stopped at a gas station in a desert on a vacation road trip, and it was all they had juice wise (I hate carbonated soda, so that limits my choices). It was weird, because it was bright apple green, but had this sweet Kiwi-ish (I assume) flavor that was unlike anything else I can remember. I liked it, and I continued to buy the brand even when I got back home. I even tried their latest flavor, who's name escapes me, but it was colored blue. blink.gif Normally I'm not one for blue colored... uh, stuff, and it wasn't an exceptionally good flavor, but I still tried it.

Why do I post this now?

Well, I religiously bought this soft drink until stores stopped selling it. Then, suddenly, I was out of something to drink at lunch. I've jumped around through other brands, but none offer quite the same taste as found in that one flavor. But, hey, there's nothing I can do, so I have to just suck it up and learn to like water.

Why did you read this far? Especially since the questions included foreshadowed the fact that this entry was going nowhere.

In conclusion, I was curious about the fate of my favorite soft drink, and just did a bit of research on it today, and thus realized that it's gone forever. And I never even found a reference to kiwiberry rucas. sad.gif

Another soft drink that I used to like was Countrytime Lemonade. In Colorado, back a decade ago, I used to be able to find canned versions of the juice. Since I've moved to Washington, I've never seen it sold in a can anywhere near where I live. It still comes as a powder... but who uses powdered juices outside backpacking trips? I think the only time I've seen it in a can would be when I went on a short vacation to British Columbia. Canada must have a thing with classic juice drinks.

Why did I post this entry?

Good question. (But I feel this side humor kinda made up for it)



Current Music Craves

Posted by xccj , Feb 05 2008 · 51 views
News and Updates
Just so I can post something, I'll list a few songs that I just haven't been able to get out of my head recently.

Story of My Life - Smash Mouth. It's humorous and has a good beat.

Accidentally in Love- Counting Crows. I'm not quite sure when / where this song is from, but I apparently bought it off a Shriek II soundtrack. blink.gif Anyway, another upbeat song that just lodged itself in my head. Coincidentally, it seems to remind me of some of my better romance passages in my stories of the past (lost with the laptop). It's not a typical love song, but it gets the feeling across, and it's making me wish I had kept a copy of some of those stories because parts of them were so well written.

Strangely enough, I got hooked on these two songs by watching fanmade music videos of them with Love Hina clips on a specific site that has homemade movie clips (and apparently not allowed for discussion on BZP. I'll make a note of that)

Rip It Up- Jet. If you want a new age hard rock song, this one should fit. It works for me. It may not be an entirely intelligent song, but it gets my blood flowing and has inspired a few action sequences that I could write about... I'll be sure to listen to this when I start writing battles in one of my stories.

Anyway, three songs that Ijust can't get enough of right now, so I'm listening to them way too much. tongue.gif This happens all the time... I learn about a new song and then play it as much as possible. I do eventually get bored of it and listen to it less often, but they're still good music, so there. I may make a list of previous songs I've had craves for, as well as future songs, just in case you really care.

Never mind. *Plugs in headphones.*



Wait, I Did This Last Week...

Posted by xccj , Feb 04 2008 · 29 views

I stayed up really late last week.

It was all about getting an essay rough draft completed on time. Irony: rough draft wasn't due until Tuesday... this got announced on Monday. Figures.

Tis Monday again... Monday morning, whatnot, but I digress (I do that often, don't I?) I'm up again. Irony is, this time I have to complete a final draft that is due in a couple of hours, so I can't throw in some half-thought out junk and get away with it. So far, with this essay, I have come to hate MLA, academic styles, present tense to be used with literature, quotations from grossly horrible books, and English in general. If all goes well, the only English critiquing I'll ever have to handle after this class will come from my story review topics.

Anyway, I have to keep awake for a couple more hours. I spent Sunday cleaning up my room, as well as sneaking down to watch the Half Time show in the Cafe lounge, and now I have to stay away until Monday afternoon. Last week, I tried for a midday nap and woke up around five... thus missing my other classes after English. So I can't make that same mistake today... unless I fall asleep in class, then missing it might've been a better option. I dunno, I think I ramble on when I write blog entries really late at night.

Anyway, if any of you know a good quote from Nabokov's Lolita that discuses the protagonist's methods of concealing his scandal... let me know, I could probably use it. annoyed2.gif

music.gif + wakeup2.gif <-- Yeah right. I hate coffee. duncecap.gif

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