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Welcome to BZPower!

Hi there, while we hope you enjoy browsing through the site, there's a lot more you can do if you register. The process is easy and you can use your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account to make it even faster. Some perks of joining include:
  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
  • Show off your creations, stories, art, music, and movies and play member and staff-run games
  • Enter contests to win free LEGO sets and other prizes, and vote to decide the winners
  • Participate in raffles, including exclusive raffles for new members, and win free LEGO sets
  • Send private messages to other members
  • Organize with other members to attend or send your MOCs to LEGO fan events all over the world
  • Much, much more!
Enjoy your visit!

Team J.A.F.


Earthquake in the PNW

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Jul 15 2015 · 141 views
So I guess the other day was "Massive Earthquake awareness in the Pacific Northwest Day" due to an article posted by the NewYorker detailing the chances and consequences of a massive 9.0+ quake in the region. I knew most of the science behind it, but I didn't quite realize how woefully unprepared we are. Like, best estimates, we won't get electricity back for three weeks, running water for two months! Come on, my life it totally online, I don't know how I'd manage that! (I mean, I've done extended camping trips, but this would be a pain...)

I also reflected on how I'd fair in such a quake. At work... well I'm in the top floor of an older brick building, AKA the ones sure to go down. At home, I'm on the third floor of an apartment building, which probably wouldn't stand because what landlords are cheap. (Maybe, I don't know for sure? More importantly, would my Lego collection be salvageable?) Commuting to work, at least I don't cross any major bridges anymore... but I do spend 20+ minutes a day in the train tunnel, which is probably like a terrible place to be.

So yeah, just been thinking about natural disasters and whatnot, and now everybody else is too, so when I'm online reading questions about various scenarios, I'm like "Hey I already know about that 'cause I researched it before." Because, honestly, natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis and volcanoes and stuff are scary as Karzahni, and understanding them and how to avoid them helps but there's no avoiding this and when this hits WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. (Maybe, probably.)

But hey it will probably take care of the hipster population in Portland. And might also wipe out the people who complain about hipsters, who are just as bad. B-)

In other news, PLUTO! SO COOL!



Review: Flash Speeder

Posted by xccj , in Review Jul 13 2015 · 201 views
Star Wars
The other day I ordered the 75091 Flash Speeder Star Wars set. I was planning to pick it up anyway, but I decided to wait until the Star Wars collectible poster promo, so I got that too. The set was actually pretty delightful, and I'm glad I made the purchase. Although, honestly, I don't remember this vehicle from the movie very much, but it's green, so yay!

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First off, the figs. I may or may not have wanted this set primarily for the medium nougat not-super-frowny head of the Naboo Security Guard. (I was tempted to get the $90 MTT for him last year, but that was too costly and the fig's Bricklink price was also too steep, so glad he showed up in a cheaper set.) (Also i guess it's the same head used for the not-white ACU Trooper in Jurassic World, so maybe a new standard head for diversity?) (I have a fig who needs it.) Anyway, I guess nice design, with a fancy hat, but it's the head that's important. There's also the security officer, who is just another frowny flesh-toned guy (who apparently reuses the head from Hobbit style Legolas), showing that half the people in Star Wars (and I suppose also Middle Earth) are just not happy ever. (That probably affects the force.) I do like his sand blue arms and legs, but otherwise he's kind of meh. Then there's the Gungan guy. (Do we hate him because he's Gungan, or do we just hate JarJar and the others are cool?) I wasn't too excited about him until I realized he had lavender arms... and then got less excited when I realized it was the lighter shade of lavender. (Still, a fairly uncommon arm color, just not my favorite.) Then we got two Battle Droids, and I realize that I don't like Battle Droid figs because they are way too flimsy. So, in conclusion, I guess there are a few rarer fig parts here, and while the figs themselves are detailed enough and fit with the scene, they're otherwise nothing too special.

But once you get over the disappointment of the figs, the actual ship actually is pretty neat. First of all, its green, and I like green and can always use more green pieces. But this is also a cool green design, with a lot of smooth curves and SNOT techniques. Like, there are a bunch of curved green slopes, and I like that. (I guess I wish there had been some green cheese slopes, cause I could use more of those, but you only get two 1x2 cheese slopes.) Another interesting design bit is that the interior has offset seating for four, which is a neat trick, and I like the backrest designs too. Even cooler, IMO, is the door design, in which the sides just entirely lift up. Wasn't a feature I was expecting, TBH. The blasters on the back have a decent range of motion and such, so I guess they're okay. Oh, and there are small hidden compartments in the headrests in the back, which ends up working quite well.

The set comes with 312 pieces (plus a few extras) and a bunch of them come in green, so as a parts pack it definitely excels, at least in my book. (Granted, not a lot of rare pieces, but the 10 length green curved slopes are exclusive, so I'm pleased enough.) The figs are worth more for their parts than their whole selves, and end up being a little underwhelming, even if I can find a use for those parts. And the set itself has a great, smooth design, a bunch of nice features, and it's fairly sizable and swooshable. And it's only $29.99 USD, so it's fairly affordable. (Gosh, I used to think $10 were affordable, and now I'm stretching it and saying $30 counts... so maybe less "affordable" and more "won't break the bank.") I think it has enough pros to be considered a decent set for most folks. But if you just don't need green slopes or really dislike the Phantom Menace, I guess maybe look elsewhere? Works for me, anyway!



Today is Just Too Hot

Posted by xccj , in News Jul 01 2015 · 197 views

I'll just preface this in saying that I have no heat tolerance.

So, I spent all of last summer in an apartment with no Air Conditioning and it was terrible. I decided to get ahead of the curve and got an (expensive) portable AC unit a few months ago. But its loud and is constantly filling up with water that needs to be changed every 40 minutes when its on, but as needy as it was, it did provide cool air for a bit.

But it's been in the upper 90s here this week, and then the bloody interior fan decided to break, causing it to make a really irksome high pitch whine while running. So, yeah, not working. I am not very pleased with this at all, and it is still way too hot out. Man, summers suck. At least I can take comfort is knowing that I have full AC at work... yay.

Also, I guess a lot of people liked my last review of Skull SLICAHR! But apparently I also upset a bunch of other people, to the point where a few are asking me to never review anything again. So, YAY, I upset Youtube Trolls!! But there are still some out there, so I will continue to post sub quality reviews until I hath angered every last one of em. Muhahaha.

Curse the heat.



Reverse Engineering Contest IV: Thoughts On It

Posted by xccj , in News Jun 06 2015 · 43 views

So for the past 10 weeks I have been partaking in the Reverse Engineering Contest IV on Flickr. It's been my first real Flickr contest, and it's been interesting to interact with a different community of builders. Anyway, the idea was the host would post some small, convoluted Lego design and we would have to show how it was built. Lots of odd dimensions, from 1/2 plates to 1/4 plates to mind-numbing 1/8 plates. Not a lot of room for technic, mostly system. But it's been fun. There would be two challenges a week, although a couple of times five were squeezed in.

I initially started it just to see how well I could do, but I managed to get all the main challenges, but I lost in the second round of the tie breaker, so I'm officially out as far as prizes are concerned. But I've learned a few new techniques and such, and now to see if I can use any (of the legal ones) in some MOCs...

While I can't blame this contest for all my inactivity from the last couple of months, it is a big reason why I haven't MOCed much. :sly:



Lego Slingshot

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts May 22 2015 · 181 views

I finally managed to track down some Collectible Minifigures: Simpsons Series Two, and got the only one that I really wanted: Bartman. Even then I don't care much for the fig itself, since I have a generally negative view of the Simpson figs. However, he does come with a slingshot accessory, which is the first time Lego had produced one. (Although they've been printed on torsos before, my self fig torso has one printed on it.) (I'm also annoyed that, while the Lego Hobbit game gave Ori the Dwarf a unique slingshot ability, he did not get one in the set.)

The reason I am so interested in this slingshot element is that it's for a story I've written. I've minifigure-ized most of the characters, and I tried to give them Lego weapons based off the story. That works when the weapons are standard, like a sword or bow, but one of the characters uses a slingshot, and until now I haven't had an accurate assessor to give him. (I've used one of the fork-like Bionicle minifig weapons from back in the day instead.) So now his character is now properly armed. Yay.

Granted, two characters are still unrepresented. I need Lego to make minifig-sized accessories of a boomerang (preferably black, but dark brown seems like a natural choice) and a yoyo. Why does one of my characters use a yoyo as a weapon? IT SEEMS LIKE A COOL IDEA AT THE TIME, KAY! And it still is; it's like a metal ball you throw at people and then draw back cause it's attached to a string you're holding, what's not to like? (Oh, in the story the yoyo can also emit a blinding light to use against your enemies, but that doesn't need to be represented in Lego necessarily.)



I Saw Ultron

Posted by xccj , in TV May 01 2015 · 196 views

He was actually a far more interesting character than I thought the trailers made him out to be.

The movie was good overall. A lot of cameo or guest appearances. Except for one that I was hoping for...


But, of course, the most critical part of the movie must come under some scrutiny, and that is... how well do the Lego sets fit in with it? Spoilers beware:


Anyway, good movie, glad I saw it. Based on first impressions, not necessarily my favorite Marvel movie (that might go to Winter Soldier, and even the first Avengers was a bit better) but still a very good movie, especially for all the characters it managed to handle, and all of the future plot lines it left for future films.



Wait... Do Kanoka glow in the dark in the story?

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Apr 05 2015 · 332 views

The Kanoka discs in set form glow in the dark, but was that ever canon-ized?

I found I sudddenly need to know this but have never considered the idea before. I guess.



Let the Hunt Begin!

Posted by xccj , in News Mar 31 2015 · 172 views
After reading about the contest this morning, I took some time on my lunch break to wander around downtown Portland and look for some interesting faces in thing. And I dusted off my old twitter account... which I haven't used for three years. (I mean, I could use FB but I'm a little unsure of how to get it tagged in, and I'm not on instagram, so Twitter it is!)

I posted a couple of shots, including an interesting angle from a boat, a ladder, some markings on a tree, an interesting bit of broken masonry, and the joints of the light rail trains. And I plan to keep looking for more as I can, and hopefully can get some other good ones up. (Since Twitter is stupid and apparently won't let me BBCode link to each pict individually, here's a general link.

I am curious as to just what they're looking for. I was trying to find something that naturally looked like a face. But can we arrange things, using different mediums of artwork to create a mask? (Rearrange stones / sticks on the ground or something? I'm assuming anything made out of actual Lego would be a no-no, which is kind of unusual for a Lego contest...)



Reposting Another Story

Posted by xccj , in Stories Mar 25 2015 · 107 views

And it's Mystery on Keli-Nui.

It's the story that I entered for the Epics Mystery contest that I got few comments on, so I'm going to try again to get few to no comments! And I realize that I'm totally copying Spirit as he's reposting his epic from that same contest (which was a pretty good one and deservingly placed higher than mine) but I was totally contemplating reposting this at the beginning of the month, so I'm not entirely copying him. :P

Actually, it has to do more with finishing reposting my other epic Kulagi's Kanoka. And this is one of four Bionicle epics I still have access too... and it's only a few chapters long, and it's finished, so it seems ideal for reposting. (Also, I found another spin-off of Kulagi's Kanoka that I started but only got a few chapters into, and it's better than the original sequel that I had planned out, so I might start on that one again and eventually post it... but do people really want lengthy stories from Gen1 anymore?) (Oh, and I have that BZ-Koro epic, but the layout for that kind of requires writing it short bits at a time, but I still plan to keep up at it.)

Hey look at me, writing again! Or rather, planning to! Let's see how long this lasts!



Review: Naida's Epic Adventure Ship

Posted by xccj , in Review Mar 19 2015 · 152 views

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Click for Review

TL/DR, it's a great set, lots of rare pieces, go buy it now.


Unless you already have it. I mean, you could always buy a second one, but let's not go crazy here.


November 2015

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NaNoWriMo 2015

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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


Ha Ha

You scrolled to the bottom.

I now control your mind.