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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.



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An Unlikely Sequel

Posted by xccj , in Stories, TV Jun 25 2014 · 117 views

Gosh, I had this excellent idea for a sequel for one of my stories, and now I can't get it out of my head! The stories and characters just keep expanding in my head, allowing me to create new character dynamics while also retaining some of my originals and stuff and I'm kind of really excited for it.

The problem is... the original isn't finished.

And like, this is a story that I've been working on since... well, let's say 2000. The basic premise for it developed back then, and I didn't start typing it out until 2003, and it got expanded upon so much that it was one of my longer in-progress stories ever... until I lost most of it when my laptop was stolen in 2007. In 2009, I started the haunting task of rewriting it (to remove inconsistencies, and generally improve the writing.) I've had periods where I've worked on it ever since, but the last time I typed it up was last summer, and I haven't had time to progress on it since. And I'm only 80% finished with my rewrite of the original, which had only begun to reach the climax. I have the ideas of where I want it to go and the directions I want my characters to develop in, but I just haven't had the time and/or inspiration to sit down and type it out. (Having a job does that to you, I guess.)

TL/DR, I'm nowhere near to finishing this story even though I've been working on it for a long time.

So I should focus my efforts on the original and not the sequel (especially since I haven't worked on ANY of my stories since last summer) BUT instead I find myself jotting down plot points for the sequel. GAH.

In other news, I FINALLY got my LEGO Movie discs in. *grumbles about stupid amazon for delaying my order* And I guess it turns out if you want to watch the blu-ray movie, you need an actual blu-ray player, which my computer is apparently now. I got the EVERYTHING IS AWESOME set, so it also comes with the DVD, so I could watch that, but this DVD doesn't contain any of the special features, which I was looking forward to. (Okay, it does have commentary, but while I generally like watching a movie with commentary [see LotR] I was not overly impressed. The directors pointed out a few interesting bits, but mostly it was the voice actors just messing around.) Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to finally have it on a media where I can go frame-by-frame to catch back-ground things. But still kinda peeved that I can't enjoy the extra features yet. (Oh, or the 3D version, which I guess I need a 3D TV for.) But the young Vitruvius is great. (Yeah, so the cape isn't 100% movie accurate... it's still cool, get over yourselves.)

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Online Black Hole For My Moneys

Posted by xccj , in News Jun 24 2014 · 116 views
No sarcasm here, at all
Soooo... I just probably spent too much in the span of 15 minutes, including a couple of first-time ever purchases.

To begin with, I registered for BrickCon. (This is the not-first-time purchase) Yeah, everybody else is getting excited for Brick Fair, but I'm not going and I've already sent in my MOCs that cost $20 for shipping. So there's not much for me to do but be envious. Instead, I need to start planning for my next big convention, and hopefully I'll have a cool MOC ready for it soon. And I came up with my engraved bricks: "Bionicle Fan: Deal With It" and "My Other Mask is a Miru".

Next, I actually went ahead and prepaid for tickets for a sporting event. This is a first. (It might also be a first where I paid for tickets to a sporting event at all...) It's the Portland Timbers vs the Colorado Rapids. Oh yeah, and it's soccer, but I hear that's all the rage nowadays. It's on a Friday which is technically still the middle of my work week but it's in the evening so I don't have to take time off, but I may just be a little tired the next day?

Finally, another first is that I sent some money to an online crowd-source fund-raising thing. Honestly, this one might've been a mistake. It's for this obscure fan site that wants to make more ridicules web videos. I guess I'm technically getting a shirt out of it, but I'll have to see if this goes anywhere in the end. They sure seem proud about it, I gotta give em that.

In addition to some recent impulsive (and expensive) Bricklink purchases, I'll probably be tight on money for the next month. Oh well, I'm sure my roommate could cover for me with rent... and utilities, food, transportation, ext.

:music:


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Tunneler Beast

Posted by xccj , in Review Jun 18 2014 · 135 views
vs Surge
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Click here for full review

I know this shouldn't be the most interesting part of the review, but I'm proudest of throwing in the word "spelunking" in the intro. :P

Also, I tried using gray baseplates as a background, to give it a more Lego-y feel. I think it works, but I could potentially see it as being too busy. Thoughts? Or lack thereof.

I also expect to get a lot of flak about my hatred of the hand design, but I stand by my opinion that they're terrible. Okay, I might not have worded my reasoning perfectly, but they're still bad. Bad bad bad!

:music:


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Dragons II

Posted by xccj , in TV Jun 16 2014 · 88 views

Oh wow.

It was good. Very good. Lots of dragons, lots of good flight (and fight) scenes. Dang, it even got emotional, far more than the original. I mean, it didn't have the same awe inspiring scene like the first flight in the original... but that's a special scene, and they didn't try to replicate the first, but rather make an awesome second. I'm probably going to see it again. Yes indeed.

Not without issues. The music was great, but maybe it's because it's too much of the first? Which isn't bad, 'cause I loved the soundtrack for the original. And (I guess slightly spoilery warning) the movie was very Hiccup-centric, and most of the other kids were reduced to side characters who only got a few laughs each. Besides Astrid, I felt that they got downgraded from the first movie. But I am okay with this because the television series focused a lot on them, and their dragons. I mean, although the animation wasn't as top notch, I was very pleased with the television series, which did a good job at expanding the characters and setting of Berk.

But yeah, it was a good movie, and you should see it. And now I'm torn as to which animated feature is the best this year. I mean, TLM was great, but Dragons II is up there too. (Although if I had to choose between Dragons II and Frozen, I would definitely go with DreamWorks. There is a lyrical song in this movie, but I dunno if its catchy enough for all the kids to start singing.)

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BBC Contest 68

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Jun 11 2014 · 102 views

I find it ironic that not only have I created some mechs, but I've already sent one to BrickFair! I would almost argue that it's valid, because even though it's been on the front page for three different convention photo steams, I haven't actually posted any finalized pictures of it on the forum. (But as it stands, I DID post WIP pictures in my blog, so it doesn't qualify.) Just thought it was kinda funny how that worked out. And I probably won't be able to enter because most of my Bionicle pieces and I are in a long distance relationship. (Read: I haven't actually brought them over to my apartment yet.) So sorry folks, there'll be no lousy throw-away entry to lose to your model from me.

Also it appears that Randall Munroe must be a big Animorphs fan. He's thrown in a few references to the series before, but yeah, guess I'm not the only still remember this great story. (I guess for reference, when Animorphs ended, I got hooked on Bionicle.)

Also spent my last two days off primarily playing LEGO LotR. Some would say that's two days completely gone to waste. But I'd remind them that I did manage to defeat Sauron, although I just have half of the actual game play completed. (This game is quite long, isn't it?)

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Frosticon Mixels

Posted by xccj , in News, Review Jun 07 2014 · 110 views

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(Click for Review)

I have to say, out of all the Mixels out so far, I think I like the Frosticons best. It's not just their cool designs that are full of character, but also the good color scheme and especially all those medium azure pieces!

I have a habit of reviewing sets that I really like. Maybe I should start reviewing sets I dislike? Except I don't buy those sets cause I dislike them... and yes, these Mixels were purchased and not freebees. (And this review may have been delayed by a few weeks because of a freebee set that got reviews...)

BUT FROSTICON MIXELS YAY! Nothing against the others (except Jawg) but they can't all be my favorites.

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Cheesy Count

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Jun 05 2014 · 74 views

So for the last two hours or so, I sorted and tallied how many 1x1 and 1x2 cheese slopes I have. I've been separating them for a while from the rest of my collection, and I've done a count years ago, but this is in need of updating. And I thought I'd post my statistics, just because.

This isn't quite everything I own. I have a bucket full of MOCs and sets that are using a fair amount, including models like Helms Deep and Temple of Doom. Plus, I used most of my dark green cheese slopes on my jungle mosaic that I sent to BrickFair (seen the pictures of that 2x3 baseplate jungle mosaic... I made 4x of em!) I'm also not counting my trans cheese slopes; solid colors only.

(First number is for 1x1 slopes; if there's a second number, it's for 1x2 cheese slopes)

Dark Blue - 3
Blue - 8 - 6
Medium Blue - 3
Medium Azure - 15
Light Pink - 2 - 16
Medium Lavender - 0 - 16
Purple - 17 - 4
Green - 7
Bright Green - 1
Dark Green - 8
Lime - 27 - 4
Yellow - 32 - 4
Keetongu Yellow - 35 - 3
Orange - 20
Gold - 98
Tan - 32 - 7
Brown - 32
Dark Brown - 7
Red - 35 - 3
Dark Red - 22
White - 84 - 29
Light Gray - 77 - 11
Dark Gray - 84 - 16
Black - 50 - 29
Olive Green - 306

That's 1005 of the 1x1s and 148 of the 1x2s, or a total of 1301 studs that can be covered by cheese slopes. This is still quite shy of the 4608 I would need if I want to create this cheese slope mosaic I have in mind, and that's nothing to say of getting the colors right. (The mosaic is here. It's a before-and-after of Mt. St. Helens. I initially wanted to keep quiet about this design, but it's not gonna get built any time soon, so might as well show it off. Besides, this rough concept has been live on my brickshelf for two years now.)

I have a good supply of blacks, whites, and grays, which will be added to since I know I have more in those colors elsewhere. Olive green is a fake-out because that's the one solid-color cheese slope you can find in pick a brick walls in Lego stores, and my collection is probably minor compared to what others have taken. I also have a surprising amount of gold... I don't quite know why? I also have a healthy amount of dark green, but as I mentioned earlier, a bunch are on the mosaic I sent (roughly 50).

For my mosaic, I'll need more earthy colors. Ideally tan and/or dark tan, but I think I can substitute in gold and olive green to help it out. I also require a lot of dark green, more than I currently have. There are some purple high lights, and I got a bunch of medium lavender out of a draft that could prove useful. I'll probably need some more white for the sky, but what I really need more of is blue; my mosaic will require a ton of it, and I hardly have any. I might pick up some more of the Mixel Flurr to get more of the medium azure, but I'm gonna need a lot more if I want to complete this.

So if you're looking to get rid of cheese slopes, you can dump them off on me! :D (What, nobody interested?)

:music:


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Facts About Penguins

Posted by xccj , in News May 27 2014 · 177 views
penguins, these are all true and 1 more...
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I don't know if everybody watched my review on the Friends polybag set Penguin's Playground... because they should.  But instead of potentially having to deal with music that Youtube claims has some sort of copyright to it (did you know that some random band apparently owns some of the mnolg music, because when I put that in red flags went up) I decided to cover the build section with some interesting facts about penguins.  Because everybody needs to know more about penguins.
 
Unfortunately, I had too many facts and not a long enough build, so some of them had to be cut.  Instead, I'll provide the rest of them here for you to enjoy.
  • All penguins are found in the southern hemosphere, but not all of them hang out in Antarctica.  The Galapagos Penguins hang out around the Galapagos Islands, which is near the equator and in a much warmer climate.  Of course, this is only possible because of a cold water current around the islands, but still they're adapted to the tropical climate.
  • In general, the penguins who live in colder climates (read Antarctica) are larger in size than those that live in warmer climates.  This is apparently Bergmann's rule, but although it applies today, in the past there were giant penguins living in warmer places, so who knows what they were up to back then. Not Bergmann, that's for sure!
  • Penguins can drink salt water! They have a glad that pretty much removed the extra salt from their blood and drips it out their nose/beak. I bet people from the dry coastal areas of California wish they had that ability!
  • Penguins have really good hearing, and a mother can locate her chick in a crowded colony based on its chirps.
  • Although that hasn't stopped some mother penguins from trying to steal other chicks if they lose their own.
  • Spoiler alert: penguins cannot fly. Bet that surprised you!!
  • But they can swim; their wings and bodies are now more adapted for moving in the water.
  • Sometimes penguins will gather on the shoreline and randomly knock one of their members into the water. This isn't some sort of prank, but rather to see if there's a predator beneath the waves waiting for them.  If their comrade survives, it's safe.  If he doesn't... well, they know not to go swimming there!
  • The movie "March of the Penguins" was not actually about a penguin marching band.  This is due to the penguin's inability to play woodwind instruments, among other things.
  • Only about six species of penguins actually breed in Antarctica, with the Emperor penguins being the only ones to do it during the winter!
  • After the female Emperor penguin lays her egg, she returns to the sea to eat and re-nourish herself.  The male penguins then keep the egg insolated on their feet.  And, remember, these silly birds are doing this during the winter, so it's reeeeeeally cold when they're attempting this.
  • Lots of penguins practice tobogganing, but so far none have been able to obtain a medal at the Winter Olympics.
  • In the game Zoo Tycoon, if a penguin and an elephant got in a fight, the penguin would win due to its predator instincts.  True fact!
  • Penguins are cool.  Nuff said.
This has been facts about penguins!
 
:music:


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Cool Co-Workers

Posted by xccj , in News May 17 2014 · 91 views

I've been at my current job for over 6 months now, which is the longest I've held a paying position.  I have some pretty great co-workers too, so I really lucked out.  (Even if I'm still not quite sure on the best way to describe my job outside of "computery-stuff.")
 
But one of my co-workers is a toy collector too.  He isn't exclusively into LEGO, but he collects them too.  And he's into it enough that when I mentioned BZPower's new member raffle to him, he signed up right away!
 
Now the question is, does he know about my blog?  :lookaround:
 
:music:


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May Stuff I Got

Posted by xccj , in News May 15 2014 · 129 views

I've made a few nice purchases recently.  I went ahead and preordered the Lego Movie EVERYTHING IS AWESOME pack with Vitruvius and everything.  Not that I need Vitruvius; I got President Business's Evil Lair, and then I took the figs from that and put them on top of my computer at work.  So now I have Emmet, Wyldstyle, Batman (2012 verson), Vitruvius, Business Kitty, Bad Copy, and President Business hanging out with me at work.  :D  Back to the movie preorder... I also threw in the Lego LotR and Marvel PC video games into my Amazon preorder... but it turns out those other two won't ship until the movie does.  Oh well. :shrugs:
 
I also spent some money on sets in store today, where they had the new Mixels.  I grabbed the orange Tentro for his pieces and the blue Flurr, and I totally plan on snagging the rest of the blue ones soon.  They also had a BOGO Free deal on Hero Factory, so I got the Furno and Stormer mechs.
 
As for other major purchases... I got an apartment, with insurance, electricity, and internet.  Well, it took a while to get internet, which is partially why I haven't been super active recently.  I also bought some furnature and a bed and food and cleaning stuff for it, and ant killer.  Because OMG there were so many ants in my room last week when the weather got really hot all of the sudden.  And althought I'm watching over my parent's place for the week, it got really hot again, so I dunno if my room was crawling with bugs again.  :(
 
My lease also says I have a roommate but I cannot confirm that yet.  (Well, I guess somebody else had to have put up all the posters, but I haven't seen them much, so it could just be a decorating ghost.)
 
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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

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