Well, so I really just kinda stopped blogging this summer. I mean, I've totally been lurking on BZPower this whole time (and played in the occasional mafia game) but I haven't really posted all that much. Primarily I've been crazy busy with work this year (between having my weekend position move from 3 people to 1 person with an increase in actual work, and having almost all our workflows change. Like seriously!
). But I've been busy with other things, like getting up to level 14 in Ingress (and level 28 in Pokémon Go, which is pretty much the same game but with a different skin.) Anyway, some things that I wanted to blog about for these last six months... but just didn't until now.
BrickFair VA 2016: I returned to the DC area this year for my third BrickFair, and had a blast. Got to hang out with some old friends, meet some new ones, and drive Chocolate Frogs crazy the first day when trying to play Ingress in downtown DC.
Convention was great, and I think I had 9 mosaics on display. (Not all exclusively mine. The Onua collaboration was a success, and then there were the four lenticular Toa mosaics which I designed and got to help build too. Really pleased with how those came out.) Anyway, it was fun and I'd like to do it again, but I haven't made plans that far out yet.
Denver: Less than a month later, I flew to Denver, CO to participate in an Ingress Anomaly. Basically spent two and a half days wandering around the city staring at my phone.
But got to know Denver pretty well, and was more impressed than I was on my last visit. Also drove down to Colorado Springs, where I had grown up in the 90s, and wandered around that town... although that walk got cut short by a thunderstorm that absolutely drenched us! It was a fun trip, but utterly exhausting, and it took me a long time to recover, both physically and mentally. (Exercising a lot on little sleep at a high altitude is apparently not the best idea.)
Of course, with two big trips in a row, I couldn't afford to make it to BrickCon this year. First one I've missed since I started attending.
NaNoWriMo: In November, I participated in the writing event, and got 70K+ on my story. (And it's still in progress.) It was actually about volcanologists traveling to different volcanoes around the world... but to spice it up, I threw in some gods that were trying to make the volcanoes erupt, and the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele is trying to stop them. As such, I was researching a lot of Hawaiian mythology, and so I found the movie Moana to be all the more interesting. Speaking of movies, Dr. Strange was also decent, and Fantastic Beasts, while a meh story, had stunning effects, and is one of the few movies I'd ever recommend seeing in 3D.
I also had a lot of Lego sets that I wanted to review... but just didn't have the energy to make it happen for most.
I've prepared a few write ups on the sets I've bought this year, so maybe I'll get around to actually posting them. In short, I think Ninjago totally delivered this year; the Pirate storyline was one of my favorites, and some of the set designs have been stellar, including the Skybound Ninja figs. Elves also had a decent selection of sets, and I had to go out of my way to collect all the dragons. that said, my favorite Elves set was definitely the evil castle. I might go as far to say it was the best set of the year that I bought, but some of the Ninjago models, like the small airship or the Tiger Widow Island, are also stellar.
I also got into Lego Dimensions this last month, when stuff started going on ridicules sales for the holiday. (One of those sales was for a PS4, my first real gaming system.) The Portal, Dr. Who, and Fantastic Beasts level packs turned out to be quite fun, and I liked being able to play as the Ninja characters for once. Nya is one of my favorites for sure, but I also like flying around as Super Girl. I was hesitant to get Cragger, but it turns out he's the best swimmer, so not a bad purchase. Of course, this is turning into a huge money drain, but I think I can get by without having to purchase any more characters for abilities for a while now.
Now my main personal projects involve preparing for BrickCascade in Portland, OR this March. I'm the coordinator for Pop Culture... but that's such a wide spectrum that I'm starting to draw a blank on just how I should design the trophies. (I know what I consider pop culture, but don't have an idea of what people are going to build for it yet. Maybe my trophies should all be Dr. Who based?) The collaborative theme I'm putting together is Dimensions, with one of the ideas being that people can create vehicles like from the game and put them on a raceway. Well, I'm currently designing that raceway, making different scenery sections based on various Lego City subthemes (Arctic, volcano, underwater, ext) so hopefully it'll be interesting enough for folks. Hopefully I can get some pictures up soonish.
Anyway, thanks for reading another dusty blog entry. Happy New Year. (Although if you think 2017 will be better, then I think you're delusionally optimistic. All your favorite actors and actresses are only getting older, and the Grim Reaper needs to finalize his collections.) [/dark humor] Although some neat Lego sets coming out next year, so there's always a bright side.