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Team J.A.F.


Dr. Jones, I Presume

Posted by xccj , Jan 03 2008 · 78 views
"Those men are trying to kill us!"
"I know, Dad!"
"Well, this is a new experience for me."
"Happens to me all the time."

Downside of the start of 08: I'm still sick, and I've had a pretty bad sore throat for about a week. I went to the doc. to get it checked out, and it's not strep. So it should run it's course in about a week... you know, right when school starts back up. Ah well, better to be sick on vacation than at school with assignments due.

Upside of 08: I convinced my mom to stop by Target (partially to buy another electric toothbrush... yeah, the old one got jacked with everything else. They really got everything that time!) I decided to, hey, why not look at the Lego section. I'm done with 07... the Barraki were okay, but I've got all of them, I got the Mahri I cared about, and even then I was disappointed, and none of the titans looked too good to me. But, lo and behold, they have 08 sets already there! Of course, I'm drooling over on the Bionicle side, noting with disappointment that Tanma is sold out... as well as all the other Avi-Matoran, leaving only a few shadow Matoran that I wasn't exactly interested in. Then I take a look at the other showcase... Indiana Jones sets. I couldn't help myself... I bought an Indiana Jones system set along with a Bionicle set! Now here's a quick review on it.

Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail, my favorite of the Indy trilogy, and I am physicked to see the forth movie this summer. When I heard Indy was coming to Lego, I thought that was pretty awesome! The game sounds like one I might have to get... it should be even cooler than Star Wars because there'll be sets and characters not yet made into plastic. Of course, I heard the news from BZP, and heard what the four sets this winter were going to be on, but I didn't see the actual set images until I got my Lego catalogue this week. First, I'll comment on some of the other sets, from Raiders of the Lost Arc.

First off, I noticed something in all the set descriptions. Indy's facing a bunch of Nazi stooges, but they're all "guards" in Lego terminology. Hmm... and in both sets that should have the Arc in them, it's just refered to as treasure. Of the four sets, the only other one I might be interested in is the one with the truck... that was an awesome chase scene, but it's too expensive for my taste. The Lost Tomb set is nifty, reminiscent of the old Adventurers sets but canon. They even have C3PO and R2 carved in the back... I remember watching the comentary on the movie and seeing that. Lego sure is funny. laugh.gif The Temple Escape set is extensive looking with lots of fun traps and everything... if I were ten years younger, I would be craving that set with a passion. I like the basic construction of the whole thing, from what I can see... and I find it interesting that one of the "statues" is actually an old baby t-rex mold upside-down. All in all, fun to play with, but too expensive to collect.

As to the Motorcycle chase... it was one of the cooler chases in the third movie... second to the tank sequence. Of course, it has two motorcycles... one for Indy and one for the guard. I like the construction of the sidecar for Professor Jones. It's so basic, but effective. Plus, connected in between the side car and motorcycle is Indy's whip! The image of Indy's mini figure for the set shows that he has the whip... but you cannot see it in any of the actual pictures of the set. Well, that's because it's hidden on the back of the side car. ohmy.gif I really wanted to get the whip, and I was going to be very disappointed if it didn't come with the set, but I was pleasantly surprised instead. More on that later.

The actual motorcycle is kinda lame... just two pieces and wheels. Oh well, more realistic than the tri-wheel Lego motorbike I also have. And the guard's bike, with only two wheels, is very unstable... I actually prefer Indy's bike with the sidecar. They're all fun to chase around. The guard station building is not as cool... I thing those bricks were mostly added to make it a full $10 set. Sure, it's fun to knock off the road blocker with Indy's bike, but I thought it got old. The boxes did come in useful... they were able to hold some of the little extra pieces that came with the set, such as an extra pistol. The pole is nice, but I wish it was easier for Indy to pick it up and joust with it, just like in the movie. Ah well, it wouldn't work anyway, because the "guard" doesn't fly off his bike easily, and Indy can't throw the pole in between the spokes of the wheels. However, if situated right, as seen in the pict/ above, Indy can swing from said pole using his whip. The whip isn't great, because you can't use it to lash out at baddies like you can in the game. But it's not a solid mold... it's flexible and can wrap around stuff. I liked rearranging the pieces in the pict above to let Indy swing into the "guard" and knock him off.

Over all, was it worth it? Well, yeah, I'll say yes. I got an authentic Indiana Jones mini-figure, with the hat, side bag, whip, and pistol. I even got Professor Henry Jones, who is cool in and of himself (better than that Dr. Lightning or Dr. Kilroy from the old Adventurers sets... although it's the same hat. I never liked that style of Lego hat). The motorbike with the side car is excellent... I am sure to bring that back to the dorm to be on display. As sets go, it isn't terribly amazing, but it's not a rip off either. Then again, if you're not into Indiana Jones, then you may want to get something a little more piece heavy.

But for my first system set in many years, I'm glad I picked it up. I also got a Phantoka, but I won't tell you which, because that'll spoil the review for later. I hope to also get some more blogs posted with humorous pictures of some 07 sets. Hey, what better way to start off a new year than by making fun of the last year.




Happy New Year!

Posted by xccj , Dec 31 2007 · 57 views
News and Updates
The hours are ticking away for me, so I suppose I should post a last blog entry for 07.

I would write a review of the year via BZP and Bionicle and real life... but at this point, I have an entirely pessimistic view of everything, so that wouldn't turn out nice. Main problem is I've had this horrible cold for the last few days that hit me out of nowhere... and all I have to look forward to after I get over it is going back to school. glare.gif

I didn't do much writing this year as I have done, but I did update SoMN, and I want to update it in the future because it's a really good epic, I just have to recollect my thoughts on it because all my plans for it were lost with my laptop. Probably what I did most on BZP this year was blog random stuff... and I did win Blog of the Week earlier this year, which made my rating decrease further. tongue.gif In the sets, the Barraki were kinda cool, while the Mahri were a disappointment... 08 is looking up. And while I graduated from high school, I still have plenty of room to improve my grades in college.

2008 looks like it might be just another year of stuff... school, homework, blogging on BZP. I will likely buy a lot of sets if I can, because the Nuva look cool, but this is looking to be one of the last years I'll be diligent in buying a ton of sets. (But, then again, I haven't seen 09)

I'll probably continue to be on BZP, because the community here is excellent and its a great place to just go around and read what people have to say. So, with that said, Happy New Year to all you folks out there. Here's to making it better than 07. biggrin.gif



Get Sylar!

Posted by xccj , Dec 29 2007 · 76 views
News and Updates
My big plan for blogging still hasn't come around... maybe I'll start it for the new year. Maybe.

I got a few things for x-mas after all. Ipod and charger, and a shaver, all to replace stolen merchandise. I also got some candy... sure to rot my teeth out by the end of the break, although I have received more candy in previous years. I did receive two Lego/Bionicle related items... Bionicle Legends 7 and WoS... aka, the latest book and last movie. The book... well, it was stolen with my backpack, so I was going to buy it again when my sister took it as a stocking stuffer. (She actually lucked out... I took a book that she was going to buy, and it was more expensive than mine). I also visited a movie rental store that was going out of business, and saw that they had their Web of Shadows movie for sale. Coincidentally, it was the same movie I rented in 05, when I got to see the movie once. Well, a few winks and nudges told my mom about a possible stocking stuffer as well... and it was only $7, so it was a deal.

Coolest thing I got, though, was the first season of Heroes on DVD. Ultra cool, with quality better than anything I could find on the web, no server problems, and cool extras like commentary and deleted scenes. There's also a mind game, and I can't figure out how it works, because you don't have any real options, and make all your choices mentally, but it's pretty good. But, hey, I don't study psychology or whatever, so I'm probably just missing something there.

The last few days, I have been volunteering for this Christmas light show, so I was out late at night in the cold and/or rain, and then I spent today watching Heroes episodes. That show is just so wicked awesome! And that's just from watching some of the commentaries. Only thing I worked on BZP-wise was a short chapter for my new epic, which seems to be working out well for only a prologue and one chapter. Hopefully I'll get some more insightful blogs up later.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. (Do you know that in 2008 the US State Quarter Collection will be finalized? Isn't that cool?)



Kalmah Blockified!

Posted by xccj , Dec 24 2007 · 88 views
Whew, finished with Christmas shopping... for now, at least. It wasn't that bad, but I've been shopping with every family member in the last four days, and I finally got the chance to go today and get some presents I didn't want anybody to know about... and they're not for me. ohmy.gif

I have snuck into the toy section of a few stores, but all that's left are Mahri and Baraki. Strangely enough, the big hero of the year, Matoro, is the set that's left on most shelves. Is it because the store overstocked him because he's the main goodie this year, or that people just don't like the set? I wonder. The other one that hangs around on the shelf with Matoro is Nuparu... but I don't see alot of Kongu or Jaller, and Hewkii and Hahli only appear part time.

While I was shopping (okay, a few days ago), I also decided to pick up some french fries, as well as a little something extra.

Okay, I was lenient last year with McDonald Reidak. He was an okay toy with a nifty function. Kalmah, not so much. Okay, the detail on the arms and legs is pretty good, but the body seems too basic and blocky, and the head just doesn't appeal to me. The Piraka faces worked better. And the Piraka spines also helped cover up the back... a luxury Kalmah can't afford. As for the spinning tentacles... fun for a bit, but I liked Reidak's saw thingy better. Falls off less often. And the positioning of Kalmah's arm makes it so you have to spin the tentacles over his head... making him Helicopter Baraki. Although the detail in the squid launcher is good... I like it, although I don't think I'd want to get one of the Baraki that shoots squid discs.

Last year's toys were okay, and kinda fun to see the Piraka blockified. (The Inika... who cares, I didn't pick them up) This year... well, the sets were unique, but these toys aren't. It was good the first time around, but the sequel lacks in quality. Avoid like the plague... unless you're a little kid who'll have fun playing with these. (And it happens. When I walked into the restaurant, there was this one kid playing with a Nuparu Mahri McDonalds toy, and he seemed to be having fun) For all you teenagers worried about your health (the french fries are good, but I wouldn't touch a burger with a ten foot pole) and wanting cool looking pieces, go to Subway instead and buy the actual sets.


Edit: Oh, I forgot the best part. The toy came with a mini poster of the new Phantoka sets, with the Makutas flying in around Pohatu, and silhouettes of Lewa and Kopaka in the foreground. (I think). If that wasn't cool enough, there are instructions on the back n how to make the poster into a paper airplane. (Think I'm kidding? Go buy one yourself. tongue.gif )


Many Adventures: New Story!

Posted by xccj , Dec 24 2007 · 92 views
News and Updates
Read the Story Here!

Already, here's my new epic project with reviewer participation. I'm going to test it out for a couple of chapters, to see if it lasts. If it totally flops, I'll just give it up. My plans are to incorporate characters from all my previous epics into this new, multi-adventure. You'll never know where you'll end up next! So, for anybody who could do with a short read and interested in pushing forward an epic without actually writing it themselves... well, here's your chance. It's a word in progress, and it will quickly be dropped if there is no interest shown in it.

So, my few loyal reviewers, please take a look. If this blog doesn't give you satisfactory notification, then I'll PM you. If that doesn't work... well, I really don't like to pester people that much, so I'll leave it at that.

I have other plans for entries in this blog that would be more visual, but they require me to learn how to use my new digital camera (the old one got jacked with the laptop). So, maybe tomorrow.

And, even if you're not in the mood for story reading, I hope you're all having a happy holiday break. xmas.gif




Posted by xccj , Dec 23 2007 · 79 views
News and Updates
As I have a new laptop, I have been trying to recreate everything on it that I lost on my old one. I've put music back on it (and some other songs I didn't realize we owned at first). I got some pictures... although between my lost laptop and my family's computer crash a month back, pretty much everything from 07 is gone in the picture department. Ah well... I really miss this one sunrise picture I used as my desktop, but I'll just have to take another one soon. I've also favorited most of my websites again, some of which I didn't remember the URL and just had to use that one nifty feature. (Kumata & Makaru, I might nee the link to the Collaboration again... ohmy.gif ) The big thing I'm working on is rewriting some of my stories... I have the first have of Ouch saved, but its such poor writing I might just rewrite it anyway. Currently I am recreating "Elements" from scratch. Oh well, my memory on that one is pretty good.

I'm pretty sure I'm finished collecting 07 sets this year... I've stated I don't want any Barakki or Mahri this year for x-mas, the new Nuva aren't out yet anywhere near me, and all my new electronics have pretty much assured me that all I'll get for x-mas is clothes... if that. (Insurance money is great, but it didn't cover everything). Ah well, that's fine for me. I pulled out my 07 collection this week... five Barakki (not Pirdak) two Matoran, one Hydruka (then I tore it apart... ugly Rahi, useless set) and three Mahri (Hewkii, Hahli, Jaller). In the effects of their massive toy battle, most of them got slightly or majorly remodeled and they now have all sorts of different poses and such. I plan to post a bunch of picts of them soon and I'll blog about them... because they're certainly not worthy of a BBC topic, as they're more funny remodels and not serious. (Besides, I'll get more reviews in my blog). But before that, I have a short review to write here... I'll get that up this afternoon, as it's currently 2 in the morning right now. ohmy.gif

The BZP shutdown has reminded me just how much I like to hang out on this site. I have no homework, and some other sites are nothing compared to the community and discussion on BZP. I didn't realize that it came up today until past Midnight, but I'll make sure to keep checking back and updating my blog as much as I can. Also, more feedback on the "reviewers help decide where the story goes" epic idea is much appreciated... I was going to start it when BZP went off, and since then I've focused my writing elsewhere. Any more comments?



New Laptop

Posted by xccj , Dec 18 2007 · 67 views
News and Updates
It pains me to admit that, after having a laptop for nearly four months, I had to go out and get another one. Worst... durring Christmas shopping season. So I suffered through an electronics store and got some replacements... the buying stuff went quick enough, but when we tried to get some of the free offers for purchasing laptops this week... that got drawn out. Anyway, I have a new laptop. It's a little slower than my old one, apparently, but it was also $150 cheaper. Oh well, maybe it just won't work well for my games...

Now I have to go through and readd pictures, music, and other files. I'll put some more stories on it and begin to work on them... as soon as I find a MS Word CD to download. We have a Microsoft Works CD laying around... but it says its good for only three users, and my last laptop was the third one. I've heard that you can have an exception made for this rule (in my case, my last MS Word got jacked along with my laptop... glare.gif ) but it might take a while to gte it back. So, for now, it's all about replacing pictures and music... some of which I completely lost, because before my laptop got stolen, our main computer crashed so I lost most of the stuff from spring / summer 07. Ah, well, material items (or electronic... I can deal).

So, with that, I might start that story thing later this week, and go through a few chapters to see if people are interested. I know plenty of places to take this thing, and I will ammuse myself to see where the audience might want it to go and see what happens from there.

Oh, and have any of you seen the NBC show Chuck? It is on right before Heroes, US anyway. It's abut this computer fixer geek working at an electronics store who gets some weird government computer shoved into his brain and is now working undercover for the FBI (yeah, the explanation doesn't do the show justice... it's really good, despite my explanation) Anyway, the store seems to be shaped after a Best Buy, which was where I was today. Well, when I was at Best Buy, I saw sooo many employees who looked like they were from that show. One guy even had Morgan's beard! ohmy.gif I was freaked out... that show is too accurate!

music.gif (It's an emoticon!!)


You Continue The Story...

Posted by xccj , Dec 15 2007 · 82 views
Here's an idea for an epic...

Okay, so I no longer have my own computer. I lost all my stories, although I have some of my Bionicle stories still saved on my home computer... (SoMN) I probably won't get another computer until after x-mas... you know, when they go on sale and such (if there's anything left) Despite my being irresponsible towards the safety of my electronics, I'll probably get lots of it replaced because we are getting insurance money from it.

Anyway, when I feel that I need to bash somebody's head opened because I'm soooooo angry (like at the people who ripped me off) I find I write some pretty good stuff. Short Story Contest #4 was a good way to get me back on the key board, but if I want to write an epic, I want to do something different... maybe something that'll grab in a few new reviewers besides the... uh, few that I have. (I think I can count them all on one hand). (And when I say reviewers, I mean people who read my stories and then reply. tongue.gif )

So, here's an idea.

I'll start on a story with only a brief plan of what to do. There'll be a basic goal the whole time, and a few basic characters. But at the end of each chapter, I'll ask a question regarding future plot, such as who wins a fight, where do they travel next, or maybe some characteristic of a new character introduced. The questions will be multiple choice, so the answers don't get way out there. Then, after each chapter, before I start the next one, I'll let reviewers answer the questions, and whichever answer is the most popular is the one I'll use for the story.

So, this has a few drawbacks. Obviously it won't be well planned out, and will be alot of improvision on the spot. Foreshadowing will be minimal, since I cannot always tell what an audience will choose. Also, there'd be large time gaps between chapters as I would write each new one in sequence, so things like real life might stall me at times. And, worst, the whole thing might flop if I never get any reviews. So here's my question to you now... if I start writing an epic like this, can I count on anybody to periodically stop by and read / review the story? The magic of this idea is that the reviewers would help push along the story too, and I would use my creativity to come up with ways to mix in their choices and come out with an entertaining story. But if nobody's really interested... there's no use for me to waste my time.

So, opinions on the idea? Likey? No likey? This isn't a contract... I understand people might be interested but end upnever having time to look at it. But, hey, I'm throwing this out there. Maybe it's just a way to convince more people to head down to the library topics and read my work. I also just want to write something. So, coments are welcomed.

And if this does get a go-ahead, I will be able to start it over Christmas break on my family's computer.



I Lost It All

Posted by xccj , Dec 13 2007 · 69 views
News and Updates
Today I finally got out of school and went home for winter break. I have a couple of weeks off from classes.

That's the good news first. This is a predominantly bad-news entry.

On the way home, we stopped in a city for some food. I had my backpack in the car with my laptop, camera, iPod, and other various electronic gismos that I have used in college and could find use of at home.

Somebody broke the window of the car and took it all.

So I lost my laptop. With my laptop, my hard drive. That means, all my stories from the last seven years are gone. Sure, some of my Bionicle ones are still on BZP, but everything else is gone. Never to be seen again. Kapoosh! And I have been thinking about backing it up for some time now, but I just never got around to it.

My parent's insurance might help cover the costs of all the electronics I lost, but it would replaced all my writing. But, hey, most of those stories are not very good quality, they just had interesting plots. It's entirely likely that I could rewrite some of the better stories and make them match up with my writing quality of today.

Bionicle wise, I also had Bionicle Legends 8 in my pack... its gone now. I'm not sure if I should buy another one or just blow it off... it was a good story and I have reread it twice, but it's not anything I really need when I could find most of that stuff on BZP anyway. And I should be more concerned about replacing some other things instead. (Although the book would be the cheapest.)

So, in case the point hasn't been driven in hard enough, I have proven myself to be a totally uncool dude yet again. Good night.



I Wanna Write A Comedy!

Posted by xccj , Dec 12 2007 · 84 views
I was struck by random inspiration in the S&T forum to write a comedy taking a completely random and ironic look at an unknown side story in a way that would explain it all. I had a really funny idea, and I even wrote it out, with a few side jokes and rule of three gag going along the the overall ironic circumstance. Then I realized the humor I was using was inappropriate. (My humor has gotten more inappropriate since I began hanging out with certain people at the university). So I bagged the whole comedy, because I couldn't find a way to make it work otherwise. But now I still want to write a comedy.

I have one idea that's been on the back burner for a while. It may involve lots of Po-Matoran and fruit. I seem to remember having a couple other ideas on the back burner along with that one, but they've apparently burned away and I can't find them / remember them. So maybe that's something for Christmas / winter break.

I have finals in 7 hours, and I need sleep. Bye.


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Blog Subtitles

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

Silver Lake, Mercury Mining, This Mistake, No Silver Lining.
~ Alkaline Trio


Ha Ha

You scrolled to the bottom.

I now control your mind.