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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!


Swords, Dragons, and Dr. Pepper



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How Are You Doing?

Posted by Watashi Wa , in Life Apr 06 2013 · 152 views

What's up? How have you been lately? What's on your mind? How is your semester going? Have you played any cool games lately?

I don't have a topic I wanted to write about, so I figured I'd ask you guys how you're doing. Talk about anything, I like listening to people.


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Where Have You Been?

Posted by Watashi Wa , in Life Mar 16 2013 · 163 views

I logged into the forums to update the Staff History topic (Thanks, Ziko!) and noticed I had a birthday topic I hadn't checked out yet. A few people commented about my inactivity on the forums.

Over the past six months I've started a real job and moved into my own apartment. Full-time work takes a good bit of energy out of you, and I chose to relax mostly by watching Netflix, Hulu or playing my Xbox with friends. I hate to admit it, but BZPower isn't always on my mind when I get home. However, I still get ALL reports sent to my phone and tablet. I will always have an eye out on BZPower. This website was probably more influential in my teenage years than I realize, so I'm never going to fully abandon the site. I was the Bionicle coordinator at BrickFair Alabama this year, so I've still got at interest in LEGO and BZPower. And there are tentative plans in the pipeworks for a few things that would require more of my (and some other staff) direct attention. So while I haven't been the most active staffer, I still hang around and log on every once in a while. I may not post or blog every day, but I'll never go away. ;)

And thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes. I had a great day!


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New Job!

Posted by Watashi Wa , in Life Oct 24 2012 · 189 views
Work, Java, Programming, Career
Greetings, readers!

Over the past three weeks, I've been in contacts with a federal contractor in the hopes of landing an application development/programming job here in town. The recruiter for the company ran across my resume and contacted me to set up an interview.

The very next day, I interviewed at a Starbucks with the Program Manager for the company. The interview went extremely well, and I was told I had a great chance of getting the job, barring some horrible background results came back from the check.

Two weeks passed and I hadn't heard back from anyone from the company. I assumed the worst. The same day I decided to contact the company, I got an email saying I was being considered for the job. Since then, I've been in constant communication filling out form after form. Tuesday, this week, I officially signed a letter accepting the position!

My first day on site is tomorrow. I assume I will be flooded with paper work and people asking for my signature. I can't get on any of the computers before my security passes since I'm working on an Air Force Base.

All day I've been jittery and nervous considering this is my first professional job.

I guess this is why I went to school for four years.


Handsome Jack
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Halloween 2k12

Posted by Watashi Wa , in Life Oct 10 2012 · 282 views
Handsome Jack, or, Rigby and 2 more...
Alright, guys and gals. Halloween is just around the corner and I don't have a costume yet. Two ideas popped into my head recently and I need your help deciding between the two choices.

1) Handsome Jack (from Borderlands 2)

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or

2) Mordecai (from Regular Show)

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Handsome Jack, I think, would be a much cooler costume if I could find all the necessary components, but would be a bit more expensive. If I chose Handsome Jack, I'd also probably wear the costume to PAX East 2013 and get some fake internet karma points.

Mordecai would win the "awesome" award, at least at most of the parties I might attend. It would be EVEN BETTER if I could find someone to go as Rigby (but likely won't happen). And the biggest pro for dressing up as Mordecai, he would probably be much cheaper than Handsome Jack.


So! I need your opinions.

If I had a bunch of money I'd go as Corvo from Dishonored.


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Still Alive

Posted by Watashi Wa , in Gaming, Life Sep 27 2012 · 173 views

Boy, has time flown over the past few weeks. Without meaning to, I recently slipped in to a bout of inactivity. I've managed to hop on the forums for a few minutes here and there, but I wasn't able to get much moderating done. Quite a bit has happened over that stretch of time, so here's a quick little update on what's been happening in my life.

Over Labor Day weekend, I visited Nate (Than the Moa) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I flew out early on a Thursday morning and arrived a few hours later than anticipated since my flight out of Atlanta was late getting in causing me to miss my connecting flight in Houston. When I landed, I caught up with Nate at the airport. Over the weekend, we managed to visit Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Nate graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire, so it was neat seeing the place where he lived for four years. One of our favorite beers is brewed in Chippewa Falls, so we visited the Lienenkugel's brewery. I've never had a brewery tour, so it was cool to see a small-to-medium sized brewery house. We even got some free samples! Later in the weekend, we rented bikes and rode around Minneapolis. The scenery was absolutely stunning around some of the lakes and the weather was equally pleasurable. I couldn't have picked a greater time to visit. I enjoyed every minute (Friday morning was kind of rough, though...) of my visit and it was great catching up with one of my best friends in person rather than over Xbox Live.

Oh! We also visited the Mall of America, which is much larger than you can imagine. While there, Nate and I met up with Takuma Nuva (Dunkaroos at the time). Obviously, we met up at the LEGO store. From there, we walked around the mall for a while and chatted. Towards the end of our meet up, we decided to go to the aquarium on the lowest floor of the mall. I have some pretty decent pictures I took with my phone. Maybe I'll upload them some time...


Now, for a sudden change in tone. A few months ago, my family found out that one of my nieces (they are twins) has a benign tumor growing between her chest and heart. When I first heard the news, I was somewhat shocked. How could my sweet, precious niece who isn't even a year old have some sort of twisted sickness growing in her body? It felt wrong. It felt like a violation. My sister and brother-in-law took her to some of the best pediatric doctors in the country and received similar suggestions from both, a relief to our family. The precious girl needs surgery. The sooner the better. The operation was schedule to be about a week from now, but problems with anesthesia during a last-minute CT scan has postponed the surgery. It is difficult for me to come to terms with how this may affect my niece. Having to cut her body open feels like a major violation of her innocence to me. The sweet baby girl has been a trooper since before she was born and I know beyond a shadow of any doubt that she will fully recover from this surgery and live a perfectly normal and healthy life.

Still, prayers (if you believe that way) and positive thoughts are highly appreciated. This is the main reason I've been absent the previous two weeks or so. The twins' first birthday was a week ago. And now one of them will be undergoing surgery soon. I'll probably be caring for my nephew whenever I'm needed over the coming weeks, so activity on the forums may still be scarce.

Lastly, if you didn't know or needed reminding...Borderlands 2 is an amazing game and I am completely addicted.


Game of Thrones
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Song of Ice and Fire

Posted by Watashi Wa , in Life Aug 16 2012 · 130 views
Game of Thrones, Books and 1 more...
Does anyone else read these marvelous fantasy epics by George RR Martin? I have been deeply enthralled by everything Game of Thrones for about the past year. I'm currently on book three, "A Storm of Swords."

I have always been a fan of fantasy novels, but these stories offer something different. Throughout the books (and HBO show), we have seen and heard whispers and rumors of a deeper magic lying dormant in Westoros. After hundreds, possibly thousands of years, that deep magic is starting to awaken.

The twisting political intrigue of the series is highly captivating. As I've been reading these books, I can't help but let my jaw hang wide open as certain characters betray their liege lord's (and the reader's) trust. These thousand page books take a large investment of time. I am definitely a fan, however, and I cannot stop thinking about what's going to happen as I turn each page. A sincere effort must be made to not continue reading well into the morning. Many nights I've stayed up way later than I anticipated because I've been completely absorbed in Arya's unfortunate circumstances or Jon Snow's risky actions.

I wish more of my friends read the books. We have to wait another year for the HBO show to release, and I believe even then only half of the season is premiering. "A Storm of Swords" is over 1000 pages, so it only makes sense that it would get two half-seasons.

Edit: UNGH I just got to about page 700 and never have I been so full of RAGE and ANGER and HATE. Seriously. What just happened.

Who here likes fantasy books? What would be other good series I'd enjoy reading? After I catch up on A Song of Ice and Fire, I'm going to read a sci-fi novel or two. Possibly Ender's Shadow or Restaurant at the End of the Universe.


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Minnesota, WI

Posted by Watashi Wa , in Life Aug 05 2012 · 142 views
Travel, Bros, for, life
If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I absolutely love traveling to new places. Just this year, I've traveled to Boston, MA, Orlando, FL, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, MI. This Labor Day weekend I'm looking to add another city to my list: Minneapolis!

Some of you may have paid very close attention and noticed that Nate (Than the Moa) recently moved to Minneapolis. Put two and two together. Yup, I'm going to visit Nate!

We're gonna hang out and stuff. Probably hit up some local bars, visit the Mall of America (always wanted to visit), and probably play a little bit of Halo.

Just gotta buy my tix.


Michigan
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Cedar Point

Posted by Watashi Wa , in Life Jul 11 2012 · 156 views
Michigan, Ohio, Top Thrill and 1 more...
Last week, June 30 through July 7, I went on a road trip with two of my friends to visit Michigan. We left at 12:40am on the 30th and I managed to stay up for 24 hours the day before, so needless to say I was quite tired on the drive up. However, this trips was thoroughly enjoyable, and I feel a sense of camaraderie with my friends that didn't exist before.

We watched the sun rise over the eastern horizon at a rest stop somewhere in Kentucky. Some dude was asleep on top of his jeep in a sleeping bag. We thought he was a dead body. We nicknamed him Bonnaroo.

On Monday, we drove to Grand Rapids to visit more friends and went out to a really rad local bar. I tried a few local Michigan micro-brews (Founder's Red Rye IPA) which were quite delicious. This bar was probably the most hipster place I had ever stepped into my entire life.

Tuesday we drove to Ann Arbor. We walked around downtown while waiting for even more friends to arrive. While walking down the streen, we visited the Vault of Midnight. Upon stepping inside, I was amazed at the amount of nerd/geek paraphernalia in the store. Finn the Human action figures, Minecraft axes. It was the embodiment of nerd culture. But wait! I went downstairs and THOUSANDS OF COMICS lined the walls and shelves. I was completely blown away. I could have dropped hundreds of dollars on board games, comics, action figures and graphic novels. Fortunately for my wallet, the only thing I left the store with was Zombie Dice. This game is incredibly fun, and I can't wait to play with Andrew and Nate and others at PAX East! It will be great for waiting in line.

The main reason I went on this trip, aside from getting away from Alabama for a week, was the chance to visit Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. We braved the lines on Thursday and Friday. Luckily, we missed the major July 4 crowds. The longest we waited in line for a ride was 1:45 mins for the Maverick, which was meh.

By far the biggest attractions at Cedar Point are the Millenium Force and the Top Thrill Dragster. Being the adrenaline junkie that I am, I forced myself and my friend Dustin (pictured soon) to sit in the front seat of both rides. The Millenium Force is probably my favorite of the two rides, simply because it is longer, and the climb up the hill gets your adrenaline pumping and builds excitement. The coaster lifts you 310 feet into the air and drops you 80 degrees, 300 feet down, at 93 mph. After we cleared the hill, for the briefest fraction of a second I actually felt a sense of danger. Regardless of that false sense of danger, I kept my hands raised the entire ride. My only regret is that I didn't get to ride the Millenium Force a second time.

Top Thrill Dragster, however, was the best experience at the park. You board your train, and wait until the lights reach green. You're launched 120 mph into a 90 degree vertical rise up 420 into the air and drop 400 feet 90 degrees down. I've already rambled long enough, so I'm going to let these pictures describe my feelings for this ride.

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I'm on the left. My friend's face is the epitome of pure terror. If only everyone could hear the horrid screams I have stuck in my head. My eyes are completely open in this picture, the force of the wind was shutting my eyelids.

So, that was my trip to Michigan and Ohio. I'm not stuck in a post-awesome-trip-with-great-friends funk. :P


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Michicant

Posted by Watashi Wa , in Life Jun 29 2012 · 103 views
road trip, Michigan, Ohio
In just a few short hours, two friends and I will be packing ourselves into a car on our long trek to Michigan. One of my friend's mother is paying for gas, and we will be staying at his sister's house in Michigan so expenses will be relatively minimal. We have plans to visit Ann Arbor as well as Grand Rapids while in the state. I've never been to Michigan (outside of Detroit Airport [airports don't count]) and I'm supremely excited to add another state to my list of States I've Visited. We initially planned to stop in Chicago, but it looks like I'll have to plan a trip to the Windy City another time. I've always wanted to visit Chicago, mostly because I was born in Illinois.

What I'm most excited about, however, is our trip to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. I haven't been to Cedar Point in over a decade. A few new coasters have been built since my last visit including the Millenium Force and the Top Thrill Dragster. I'm a huge roller coaster junkie, and saying that I've been on these rides will be a sizable personal victory for myself.

Road trips can become quite tiresome after awhile on the road. To help pass the time, I'm taking a few things with me:

My laptop: full season 2 of Game of Thrones as well as season 1 of the Legend of Korra
My cell phone: filled to the brim with my favorite podcast "My Brother, My Brother and Me" as well as a few other video game related casts
Book 3 of A Song of Ice and Fire: A Storm of Swords

I don't know how long I'll be gone for certain, I'm assuming one week tops, though. Don't you guys get too crazy with only 2/3 of the Best Globalz on the site. ;)

Also, if you get the reference in the blog entry title, *highfive*. Except you, Nate. I know you get it.


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Graduation, Celebration

Posted by Watashi Wa , in Life May 16 2012 · 111 views
School, Life, Work, Vacation
So here I am: sitting on my bed, actively avoiding lying on my back, sides or stomach because of how tender and burnt I am. I just returned home from a very short, yet exceedingly fun trip to Destin, Florida. This trip was, essentially, a graduation present to myself. I met and had some good hangs with pretty rad people. Beach volleyball was super fun and wore me out.

Last Saturday, May 12th, 2012, I graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Systems Development. The ceremony itself was short and to-the-point since my school is relatively small, especially compared to main campus in Auburn. Afterwards, I headed back to my sister's house to enjoy a lovely meal with half of my family and my best friend.

I am extremely happy to say that I've graduated from college, but the anticipation of starting this brand new part of my life is both exhilarating and terrifying. I'm excited to start working and put my degree to use so I can make my way towards my goals and dreams. On the other hand, I'm at a point where I could be leaving everything I know behind me. I'm not afraid of making mistakes or trying new things; I'm scared of leaving everything and everyone I've known for the greater part of 22 years. Granted, we have amazing technology now - Skype, AIM, social networking, and even Xbox Live - that makes connection across vast distances much easier. Still, not being able to take my nephew to the park on a sunny afternoon or make my twin nieces laugh deeply saddens me.

I say all of that because there's a growing chance that I may be moving to North Carolina, should this job opportunity I've acted upon continue to flesh out. I replied to a call-back email tonight. If they like my answers, I can expect an interview soon. One of my sisters lived in NC for about a year or so and she's only had positive things to say about the place. Needless to say, I thoroughly believe I would enjoy living in North Carolina, specifically Durham. I've never done a professional interview, so even thinking about that is making my stomach crawl. Hah.

But I don't want to get ahead of myself. I'm taking this process one step at a time. I'm still sending my resume to other places, in the event that the NC position falls through.

Ever since I finished classes, I've found myself dwelling on a few worst-case scenarios that my imagination conjures from the realm of impossibilities. Dread and panic fills me for a good 5 minutes as I ponder about all of the responsibilities that are going to be shifted to my shoulders. It's completely futile, though. I never let myself dwell on these negative situations for too long. Otherwise, I waste too much time and I wouldn't be able to make the best possible decisions towards accomplishing my goals and ambitions.

College treated me well. I made a couple of really good friends that I'd like to stay in contact with. I may have realized I wasn't in the most appropriate degree too far into completion. I aim to take care of that with Graduate school, as I've said on my blog before. All in all, I had a pretty solid experience.

I'm actually going to miss college.