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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. 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
  • Enter contests to win free LEGO sets and other prizes
  • Participate in raffles to win LEGO prizes
  • 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.


14 Years

Posted by xccj , in News Jan 17 2017 · 180 views

That's how long I've been on BZPower now. I can't think of anything significant about 14 years... although I guess this does mean I've been on BZPower for about half my life. Yay. (That spinny mask of water should appear any time now...)

In other news, I was gonna mail out some prizes the other day... then the region I live in got hit with the worst snow storm in 30 years. Sooooo... yeah, maybe later.



Last Blog Entry for 2016 (for me anyway)

Posted by xccj , in News Dec 31 2016 · 81 views
Ha Ha Im Back!
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! :o ). 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. :P 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. :P 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.



Toa Uniters Collaborative Mosaics?

Posted by xccj , in News Jun 06 2016 · 317 views
mosaics, mosaic
Posted Image~Posted Image~Posted Image


(We still have a few months before BrickFair. I could probably do 4-5 tiles. I have engraved bricks for participants!)




Posted by xccj , in News Mar 24 2016 · 412 views

So I guess I've been fairly inactive. I can blame a bunch of it on work, but also that some of my free time has been going elsewhere, specifically into this game called Ingress.

My roommate is a fan of the game. (Like, y'know how I'm obsessed with Lego. He's at that kind of obsession level with this game.) It's a game on your phone where you go around and "hack" these "portals" that are tied to specific locations, usually pieces of art or something. It's an excuse to travel around and go on long walks (although it's totally making you the stereotypical millennial who's constantly looking down at their phone.) There are metals to win based on how many places you visit and hacks you make, and then there's also a competition between two teams in the game. (I'm on the green Enlightened team.) It also has these missions you can do where you follow a certain order of portals, and then you get this small picture icon in your profile, and some missions allow you to make a mosaic of a larger picture... anyway, it's kind of cool. And it's motivating me to go on more trips around the local area, and perhaps go to other cities and hack their portals. And there's leveling up, some of which gets you better equipment, but I'm now at the point where it's mostly prestige. (I've level 9. There are 16 in total, but they get exponentially harder to reach as they go...)

Anyway, it's been a fun game, although some of the players can be fairly weird and overly dedicated to this. (And a few who are kind of rude... I guess you get that in every fan base.) But yeah, that's what I've been putting my free time into. Gives me incentive to travel to new cities for Lego conventions, just to get more unique hacks. B-)




Posted by xccj , in News Nov 30 2015 · 263 views

Yay, Internet at new place after going without for a month. I AM CONNECTED!

I mean, I was always lurking either on my work computer or my phone...

But yeah, I have all sorts of things to update. Finished NaNo this year despite a late start. Went to BrickUniverse Dallas and took pictures. Got super stressed at work and it's only getting worse... yeah.

But what about all the projects that were left in limbo that you were supposed to be working on?

Forget about that now, I have a bunch of shows to binge watch that I missed last month!



In Dallas

Posted by xccj , in Stories, News Nov 13 2015 · 277 views

Back in Dallas. Packed in 45 pounds of Lego in my suitcase, pretty sure some of it will be salvageable when I go to set it up tomorrow. Been interesting to be back, I guess. The 635 freeway was a total mess of construction the last time I was here, but now there's a fabulous expressway there. (Although Dallas traffic is as bad as Portlands, at least they do have a lot of infrastructure... Portland's roads are not expanding and only becoming more crowded.)

Anyway, I started that Hero Factory / Human world crossover story on my flight out. Going to enter it into NaNoWriMo now. I'll see how I do, since I'm clearly busy this month and only have vague ideas on the lot for it, but it'll give me something to do.

See y'all at Brick Universe Dallas tomorrow! (I mean, for those of you who are going.)




Posted by xccj , in News Nov 02 2015 · 371 views

I've moved again.

So that means no Internet.*

For a month.

Don't expect much from me.


*Well except on my phone or at work, but I tend to just browse during those times instead of posting content.


I Have Two Places!

Posted by xccj , in News Oct 20 2015 · 292 views

Okay, I'm renting, but I currently can claim residence in two different locations! That means I'm wealthy, right? Only rich people can own two places at once! :happydance:

... for the next 11 days, anyway.

I'm in the process of moving again, but this time my rents are overlapping by a few days. On one hand, that just means more money leaking away, but this will mean I can gradually move, instead of doing it all in one mad rush. So multiple mad rushes. Yay.

But then I enter the period of being new to a place, which is where I don't have internet. Once I move out of my old place, I won't get connected at my new place until December, so basically an entire month off the grid!! (Well, I will have web access at work, plus mobile access on my phone, but still, that's not going to allow for much streaming of Youtube vids.)

So that's why I'll be EVEN LESS ACTIVE! Hah, like you even noticed I was inactive. But I'll be showing up at Brick Universe, Dallas, where I have a cool mosaic in the works with danny316p. And I have a mask for that contest, although I have a feeling it won't do so well compared to the competition, but hey at least I'll enter this time. And maybe I'll update my story again... the one that I said I wouldn't go months without an update... which I last updated months ago... blarg.

I should probably start packing...



Giveaway Ended

Posted by xccj , in News Sep 29 2015 · 286 views

Since few people read or watch my reviews, this might be a surprise, but I was doing a giveaway of some of the collectible series 14 monster minifigures in my last review. You just had to leave a comment on the youtube vid. Well only 18 comments, and I'm planning to give out 7 figs, so that's good chances... if people respond to me. :sly:

Even when I do get the responses, it might be a while before I ship them out, because I'm in the process of moving again this month. (My rent went up 18%, whereas my income... well it was more like 0.5%. Suffice to say, I cannot afford my current location.) That means cleaning and packing and, worst of all, SORTING my collection that is currently spread across my living room floor. :glare:

But first, BrickCon this weekend. Hope to see a bunch of ya there.


Rose City Comic Con

Posted by xccj , in News Sep 20 2015 · 283 views

So I went to my first Comic Con yesterday. I found it to be a combination of something I disliked greatly (crowds) and something I’m only mildly interested in (comics.) I would probably not go again on my own, as it was expensive and I would rather attend a Lego convention, but it would be fun to go with a friend or something. (I was planning to attend with some people, but they all dropped out for various reasons and I ended up going alone.) It was an okay event, but not quite worth the money and time I put into it, IMO. (Okay, mainly it’s just the crowds. I do NOT like crowds and it was jammed the entire time. I arrived half an hour before one of the panels and then stood in line for 50 minutes... suffice to say I missed the first bit of the panel.)

I guess a big draw is celebrity appearances. There were a few people whose autographs I would’ve been interested in, but $30+ for each? Yeah, I don’t adore celebrities that much, sorry. Still, the highlight of the show for me was the two panels I was able to attend. The first one was Silas Weir Mitchell and Reggie Lee answering questions about Grimm, which was great because half the panel was them discussing what they liked about filming in Portland. The next was Elizabeth Henstridge and Brett Dalton talking about Agents of SHIELD. I’m only moderately impressed with the show now, but they were very entertaining. (And at one point a young girl dressed like Thor asked a question, and they brought her up to the stage to take a picture with them... and her question was one of the more interesting ones too.) It was fun, but also the kind of thing I could’ve enjoyed just as much watching on Youtube as in person. (And they filmed the whole thing, so I expect it would pop up on Youtube soon anyway.)

There was some excellent artwork on display, from various artists and stuff. But see, I didn’t know any of them, so there was none of that “meet the creator of your favorite comic” stuff for me. Pretty much if felt like wandering through an art forum that was very specific to super heroes. Lots of great stuff, lots of amazing artwork, but OMG the crowds. I’ve seen crowds at Lego conventions, but this was like a constant wall to wall group of people. It never let up, and it made it difficult to pass by all the booths. I know it’s totally introverted, but I would’ve rather browsed the artwork online. Still, I splurged a bit and bought a couple of posters, or prints or whatever they’re called, both to support the local artists and because I need more variety in my poster collection in my apartment. I got two Legend of Korra prints (one is Korrasami), a Star Wars print, and a Sword Art Online print. (Went over my budget on that, but hey glad some artists accepted credit card and not just cash.)

Oh, and I guess there was cosplay. Like, a LOT of costumes. I guess if you like dressing up, that alone would be reason enough to attend. There were some really great ones too. But I’m just not into that, mostly because I’m visually unappealing to look at anyway. Also, in case I forgot to mention it, crowds. (As fun as it would be to go to New York or San Diego for ones where Lego has an official presence, I could totally not handle that level of crowds for that long a time.) Oh, there was a neat display by PortLug, basically a highlights of BricksCascade display, but it was nothing compared to what they can put up when they have their own full convention. :P


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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.