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  1. Blog Reporting

     

    In the past, before the upgrades and the downtime, reporting things in the blogs was a complicated mess of PMing BlogAlert, linking the content, describing the broken rules, and hoping someone read the BlogAlert account in a timely manner.

     

    NO MORE!

     

    The "REPORT" buttons on comments and entries DO WORK. Before the downtine, they did not. Now they do! Hurray!

     

    So, in short, if you have something to report, click that button, describe the offense, and a blog staff member will receive the report and an automatic link the the offending content. (Please do not use this to report signatures)

     

    This is much easier on us, on you, the general populace, and also on kittens everywhere.

     

    -The Blog Staff

  2.  

    I've honestly not purchased a lot of Friends sets in recent years.  First I started collecting from the theme because of the new pastel colors, but the novelty kinda wore off after a while (and I started focusing on the Elves theme instead) so I haven't picked up any.  But this set had a few fun pieces that I was interested to get.  And besides, I've always been tempted by submarine sets.

    The figs are... honestly I don't care, which is kinda unusual for me.  The designs and hair pieces are nice but I have no real need for the minidolls.  (I hear this is a scene directly from the show though, and the other character is actually an antagonist, so that's cool.)  Indeed, the bigger drawl was the wildlife.  The adult dolphin isn't new but I love the mold so I can appreciate another one.  The baby dolphin is a great addition too, and actually has better connection anti-studs, so more versatile.  Plus, the pack of coral-colored sea life is great, with fish, clams, seahorses, starfish, and an octopus; these are super fun and I can't wait to find a way to incorporate them into a MOC.

    If we're also looking at new molds, the teal seaweed / coral elements also greatly interests me.  The plethora of pins and attachments is inspiring me to have fun with these somehow.  I am a bit disappointed that they are very much unsymmetrical, but that just adds further challenges to using them in builds.  And the angles are quite fun to experiment with.  You get three pieces in this set, which is a nice start, but I'm thinking I'll need a lot more to really come up with something crazy.  (And I've apparently angered a lot of folks in LUGBulk by making these my part choice.  Hehehe.)

    The first big build is the submarine, which is well rounded and compact.  It's not a super intricate build by any standards, but the rounded doors in the back and the bubble window are positioned quite well, and the setup inside to seat the minidoll works quite well.  It's a bit of a junorized built but it works well.  My biggest gripe is that the arms on the front are too short to really be useful.  (I'm sorry, I'm nostalgic for the Aquazone subs and their lanky arms.)  The two mini-builds that you build before the sub, on the other hand, are forgettable.  The landscape piece is very simple (and I guess it has a cloth that reveals a treasure map when it gets wet... I didn't really deal with that element.).  The underwater scooter also positions the propeller right beneath the diver's belly, which seems unsafe.

    The best part of the build was the sunken ship wreckage.  It was kinda fun building a mini pirate ship and then covering it with sealife.  The stern of the ship has a neat technique that angles it upward pretty nicely, but the bow's angled attempt is a much weaker connection that is prone to breaking whenever the model gets moved.  There are a few hiding spots for fish and the baby dolphin built around the ship, and the mast has an action feature where it can fall down and pin the dolphin, which necessitates the need for the sub to swing by and help them out.  It's also not a super complex design, but it really does a great job at setting the undersea location.  Very well done.

    For $39.99 USD, only 363 seems a little low, but the coral, dolphins, and sea life elements bring up the value.  It's also the second cheapest set for the teal coral and baby dolphin, the cheapest set for the coral colored sea life elements, but it has them all in one set.  Plus, the sub and sunken ship are fun designs and add a lot of play value.  Yeah, it won't win set of the year, but it's a modestly priced set that does a great job at bringing out the Friends underwater adventure.  And it's been a while since a Friends set caught my eye, so I'd say it's worth it.  (Granted, I bought it nearly six months ago but only recently put it together, so I guess I wasn't that hard pressed for the pieces.)

    :music: 

  3. Trijhak
    Latest Entry

    HOMEWARD

    -WHITE QUARTZ MOUNTAINS-

     

    Surel sighed. A few days ago, he had been visited for the last time by one of the very few other agori he could consider a kindred spirit. This Agori, Voltex, had told him of his intentions to see Spirit’s Wish: the strange archway to the north that he had yet to see with his own eyes, the mystical arch spoken of only in rumours. Rumours once thought easily dismissed, and thus Surel had believed that even if he did not dismiss them, it would not be worth the journey north… 

    Perhaps, if Voltex and cohorts were journeying north to Spirit’s Wish; combined with everything Voltex had told him about the recent events on Bara Magna; it was finally time to see it in person. With the Skrall’s defeat, the Baterra would have a far easier time moving south, and that in turn meant slaughter for Bara Magna if its inhabitants could not adapt to the foul drones of the Great Beings, left without purpose but to kill those armed with weaponry. The Baterra, of course, were just the tip of the iceberg: the Element Lords also made the lands in the Northern Region their home, and infighting between them had fortunately distracted them from going southward - or perhaps the Baterra were also keeping them north, something that could likely no longer be maintained if the Baterra were going southward. Surel didn’t know the exact reason, nor did he care enough to risk his life enough to find out. Then, of course, perhaps worst of all given the news about the monster that had attained physical form and was thankfully quickly defeated, were the Sisters of the Skrall. He did not know why he felt compelled to make that connection, but far more than any other being, something felt off about them. Previously, they had left others alone if they left them alone… but would that continue? 

    Perhaps, with the future of Bara Magna looking so potentially volatile, it was time to leave. To see Spirit’s Wish for himself, and if it could bring him to where he truly desired to be. Before Bara Magna got ravaged by the legacy of the Great Beings. 

    Surel shook his head. He slowly limped to the exit of his den, assisted by his walking staff, before turning to address its fellow inhabitants - Iron Wolves - and their cacophony of whimpering . He had made his decision. “It is time I left this world, for better or for worse. Thank you.” 

    Surel exited the den, only to be followed by the loud pitter-patter of many four-legged footsteps. “Where I am going is not dangerous, but the journey to it is.” He sighed. Iron Wolves were loyal - too loyal, deathly loyal - he had cared for them extensively, and they obeyed many of his commands. Suggestions. Commands was too harsh a word. “Do not throw your lives for me. I have lived among you all long, but you do not owe me anything.”

    Try as he might, he could convince the Iron Wolves to abandon him. Surel turned around and kept walking, wordlessly, realising the futility of his efforts to dissuade him. A pained, old sigh came, that some of them may die on this journey. “Return to our den if you must do so to survive. I will not judge you.”

    And yet, despite his protests, he was glad to have the Iron Wolves at his back. 

     

    -FOREST OF BLADES-

     

    The journey north had thus far been uneventful. Surel had chosen to stick to the shadows wherever possible, avoiding as much attention as an old, limping hermit followed by a pack of Iron Wolves could. They had reached the Forest of Blades, where shadows would be ample and paths narrow and uncomfortable - and the beginning of Baterra territory. With slight reluctance, Surel set down his staff as quietly as he could, knowing that while he did not use it as a weapon, the Baterra would see it as one. Any other danger wouldn’t care regardless, but this at least should avoid the Baterra becoming a problem. 

    For hours, if not days, Surel limped through the forest’s floor, taking the scenery in. The Forest of Blades was eerie, lifeless in many ways asides from the trees themselves. Agori dead since the core war had their corpses preserved within the trees, still holding weapons, as if they had been fused with them, often causing unnerving silhouettes of figures in the distance wherever Surel looked. But they were just parts of the trees. Every now and then, a patch of trees would be charred, accompanied by the beams of light from the opening the canopy above the charred tree, illuminating dead trees holding dead soldiers. Morbid curiosity found itself in Surel’s mind, and he wondered if any of these trees were made after the Shattering… he hoped not. 

    Such trees would also be perfect for Baterra, and he hoped not to find the creator of such trees, for the Forest of Blades was not natural. Nothing about it was. 

    He found himself cringing suddenly, when an Iron Wolf from his pack ran up to a dead soldier within a dead tree, its jaws trying to grip the weapon the soldier was holding. “Don’t-” he began, as he saw one of the trees become silver in colour, its form shrinking and beginning to move towards the wolf, and in a moment, Surel heard a loud, pained cry, and then total silence. 

    He steeled himself, and spoke aloud to his pack. “We need to pick up the pace.” The dying cries of that Iron Wolf would have likely attracted the attention of anything living, and he wondered what made the Iron Wolf dart forward and grip the sword - did it see a Baterra shapeshift and react to it? 

    He began walking as fast as he could, ignoring any pain his old joints would give him. The goal was to reach the other edge of the Forest of Blades, to the River Dormus, and following it should lead him to Spirit’s Wish. And, if he was fast enough, Voltex and his cohorts. He usually found himself most at peace in solace with his Iron Wolves, but in this Northern Region of Bara Magna, any allies would be most welcome. 

     

    -RIVER DORMUS-

     

    Surel emerged a day later from the forest to see a river, its waters calm. Deceptively so. He knew this to be the River Dormus, and not to keep too close to the water - it was far more dangerous than it looked, and it was the domain of the Element Lord of Water, as far as he knew. He hoped that as long as he left them alone, they’d leave him alone. All he was doing as far as they were concerned was walking north, though his pack of Iron Wolves was hardly inconspicuous. “Stay away from the water, even to drink it. Find other sources.” 

    He limped onward and onward, until an Iron Wolf drew his attention to a large boulder. He followed the Iron Wolf, and it led him behind the boulder and sniffed and pawed at the ground - indentations. A few crumbs. Indicative of someone having been there not too long ago. He knew exactly who it would have been, and hoped they had not run into any trouble. He kept onwards, and onwards he went. 

    Until a plume of water emerged from the River Dormus, and the top froze downward. Surel tried to ignore it, keeping his gaze onward, determined to reach Spirit’s Wish. 

    He could not ignore it - water kept splashing in his direction, Plumes of water kept emerging, sometimes being frozen, as if markers of his position. Surel felt unnerved - were the Element Lords of Water and Ice watching him, and more concerningly, working together just to point him out? 

    He approached the edge of the water, slowly. “Come to me,” he spoke, wanting an explanation. Moments later, a figure emerged from the water, one that looked to be covered in ice.

    “Kinsman,” began the Element Lord of Ice. “Appreciate what I am doing for you.”

    Surel raised an eyebrow, trying to be careful and  wanting the Element Lord to elaborate.

    “The Lord of Water is trying to drown you and your pets. I am saving you from an untimely end,” they replied, as a hand of water emerged behind him - and instantly froze in place. 

    “Appreciated…” Surel thanked, keeping his personal opinions about the Element Lords to himself - were it not for the Lord of Ice, he would likely be dead. As he prepared to continue onward, he felt himself interrogated by the Lord of Ice, who was walking along the River of Dormus, freezing it with every step.

    “Where are you going? There is nothing worth your time north. Should you not be going south? North lies the domain of the Lord of Rock, and the Lord of Sand. Neither will be as kind to you as I have been, kinsman.”

    Surel kept walking. “You have met me before. Long ago. Both before the Shattering, and after. The south has a much for me as the north truly does for you. I seek to go north instead, but not to the domains of those lords. I do not think you can understand.” Surel’s Iron Wolves began growling as they followed him, preparing to attack if need be, not understanding the danger of the Lord of Ice. 

    “...Surel…” the Lord of Ice began, contempt growing. “You, who deserted after the Shattering, who spurns my advice in favour of foolishness…” Spikes of ice began to grow around the the Lord of Ice. “You, who say I do not understand… I understand more than a savage like you can ever be possible of comprehending! I am destined, by right, to rule these lands, and you think you can spurn me? I saved you! You are to serve me, not to question me, Surel. I know best. You have just been made savage by this planet!” The spikes of ice grew larger.

    “If this planet is so savage, you would have taken it over already. Now leave an old man to his journey north, where there is nothing for him.” Surel said, an uncommon bite to his words, reserved only for those he regarded as foolish. 

    The Lord of Ice screamed in incomprehensible anger, the spikes of ice floating and beginning to launch at Surel and his Iron Wolves.

    Surel began running, as fast as his age would allow. His Iron Wolves followed, most of them. Some turned and snarled at the Lord of Ice, baring their teeth, attacking and delaying the Lord of Ice.

    Then water splashed,  encompassing the Lord of Ice and the Wolves, and a moment later when Surel looked back to check, nothing seemed to occupy the space where they had been. 

    Hours later, Surel slowed his pace, thinking himself sufficiently far enough from the Element Lords. “I told you, that this journey would be dangerous,” he began, a hint of sadness for the lost Iron Wolves in his voice. It was intended to be lecturing, but could not come out as such. “Don’t throw your life away. For me, or any other.”

    As they walked, closer to their destination than they had ever been, Surel’s mind wandered to the Element Lords. Most had been accounted for, even if he had not seen them. The Lord of Ice, the Lord of Water, the Lord of Jungle, and the Lords of Sand and Rock apparently to the north. There was one missing. 

    The Lord of Earth. In a hundred thousand years of Bara Magna, not once had he heard any account of them. Most had assumed they had died in the Shattering - all the other Element Lords had ended up on Bara Magna, after all. But with his mind now on the future, he couldn’t help but wonder… did the Lord of Earth have an entire world, all to themselves? The thought was not a comforting one, given the actions of the other Element Lords. 

     

    -SPIRIT’S WISH-

     

    One day later, Surel came to an arch, large and tall.
    Spirit’s Wish.

     Beyond it lay his future, and from the footsteps in the mud surrounding it that curiously vanished beyond its threshold, he could only gather it worked. 

    “It exists. It’s real… You may return to the den… or accompany me. I do not think there will be a way back,” he began, addressing his Iron Wolves. “We pass now from this world, to see our true home of Bota Magna.”

    And so, Surel stepped beyond the threshold of Spirit’s Wish. His final step on Bara Magna…

     

    -BOTA MAGNA-

    -SOUL’S DESIRE-

     

    ...and his first step on Bota Magna in over a hundred thousand years.

    He found himself in a clearing, beneath an arch much like that of Spirit’s Wish, though this one was cracked, and broken. 

    Right in front of him, their backs turned, seemingly in awe of the massive jungle surrounding him, was Voltex, and his cohorts - Ehrye, Burnmad, and Telluris. 

    “Spirit’s Wish works, then.” He chuckled.

     

    He was home.

     

    ---

    Something I wrote for Bara/Bota Magna to explain Surel's presence on Bota Magna. 

  4. Kaleidoscope Tekulo
    Latest Entry

    It's my birthday.

     

    waaaaaaaaaaat

     

    Anyway, Billy, GET OFF MY LAWN!

    ~Tekulo ♡

  5. Two things that while I don't spend as much time doing as I used to, are still able to get me down. The past can be hard to let go of, but I can't stay in it forever. I'm happy for all the memories the good old days bring me. ^^

    It's crazy to think about how in just under two months I'll have had this account for twelve years.

    But anyways, moving on...

  6. So, over the past few years (about 3?), I've had the privilege of being able to travel to a few different countries. Mostly for academics. I started collecting the different bills, because, as a United States resident with a mostly monochromatic currency scheme, the other colors and sizes of foreign currency is one of my favorite things ever. Also, sorry, the coins photographed really terribly, but I realized too late. 

    这是中国元。 我在大学的时候, 专业是中国文化, 所以我需要学习一个学期在中国。我三年以前是留学生在上海。

    Translation: This is Chinese currency. (if you didn't guess). When in college, I studied Chinese, and needed to study in China for a semester. Three years ago, I studied abroad in Shanghai. 

    IMG_0401.thumb.jpg.2450655d30f129846682ca600659e152.jpg

    IMG_0402.thumb.jpg.6dde82c38e4d372024d59f0657e2af8b.jpg

    The two small bills, which are the equivalent of a few Chinese cents, were pretty hard to come by, I think I only encountered two or three of each my entire semester there. 

     

     

     

    Entonces, tengo dinero Guatemalan tambien. (lo siento, mi español es muy muy poco, jaja). Viajé a Guatemala uno año pasada. Creo los dinero Guatemalan esta mucho bonitos. 

    Translation: I've also collected Guatemalan money. (sorry, my Spanish is abysmal). I traveled to Guatemala about a year ago, and I think their money is gorgeous. 

    IMG_0398.thumb.jpg.fc195929a14ec1421a14b83e32df38db.jpg

    IMG_0400.thumb.jpg.8d7450c449adc94f75404c8067e4f69a.jpg

    A fun fact, the exchange rate for Chinese Yuan and Guatemalan Quetzales is almost the same. (or at least, it was when I was in each country, respectively). 

    While I don't think I can say I've been to Colombia, I do have Colombian bill (the little blue one beneath the Guatemalan coins). It was acquired during a layover in the Bogota airport. My personal requirement for being able to say I've been to a country is 1) leaving airport/customs/border crossing property and 2) buying something in the country in the native language. The Colombian bill was more of a gift, and was kept because it's really pretty and makes a good bookmark :)

    Now, what I really need are some widgets.  

  7. Bonkle
    Latest Entry

    A long time ago I got it into my head that Dino Attack is just the Lego embodiment of one of those light gun arcade cabinets from the late 90's and early 00's and it keeps coming to the front of my mind every few months, share this post with 5 friends or you will be cursed with this knowledge as well and condemned to buy only the lame European Dino 2010 versions

  8. AZBlue
    Latest Entry

    TL;DR: School is going well, and my best friend and I are well on our way to being something more, something better.

     

    It's been just about 4 months since my last post, and things have continued to go well. I'm in my 4th week of my 1st semester of Robotics, I completed ISU's START program in December and was recognized by my English instructor for my essay work, which included a fan-fic set during season 3 of The Flash written from Iris West's perspective. That recognition came at a small graduation ceremony that my mom attended. My best friend was there too, a young woman who is also in my congregation from church. My friend and I went to see Frozen 2 after the graduation, which was fun. Before the movie we talked a little, including about dating, but we decided to just stay friends for a while longer. After a few weeks she let me know that she'd signed up for the Epee Fencing class that the Phys Ed department offers and that I'd already signed up for, and we've been partners for most of the days so far.

    Well, on Friday the university held a formal dance. My friend and I wanted to go together, but out of respect to our earlier decision neither of us had mentioned it to the other. Wednesday we had lunch together with a mutual friend, and both of us are indebted to that friend. She not only mentioned wanting to go to the dance, but invited my best friend and I to go with her as a group. So yeah! I met them at my best friend's house where they were getting ready. Our wing woman came to the door when I got there, while my best friend was finishing up. I stepped inside and after a moment She came out from the hallway into the entry. She was wearing a prom dress that she'd not gotten to use in High School, a dress much like Belle's from Beauty and the Beast, but so much more beautiful. After having my breath taken away I smiled really big and of course complemented her.

    We left in our friend's car for campus, arriving about half an hour early. While waiting for the doors to open we stood in the hallway outside the ballroom, where a classmate from robotics showed up with his wife and a male friend in tow. Over the course of the night, the wing woman mostly danced with my classmate's friend, leaving my best friend with me. During one particular slow dance, to the song Hero by Enrique Iglesias, we nearly kissed! Unfortunately we were interrupted by a kinda creepy guy that had latched onto our group. Overall the night was great though. A bit later I requested a song for the next slow dance, Beauty and the Beast from the 1993 animated version of the movie. I think that it became our song when they played it. We'd been standing over by the photo booth that'd been set up, waiting to get a group picture when the song came on, and she looked around surprised before settling on me. She smiled and I offered my hand and led her to the dance floor, where I got to dance with a real life Belle. She told me today that it was her favorite part of the dance.

    The happy mood continued on to Sunday, which while a normal service, was great. The first Sunday of the month is general used for congregants to share their own thoughts and feelings about church stuff, and of course both my dear friend and I spoke. After our meetings we said bye, and headed home to await the incoming snow storm. I ended up watching parts of the Super Bowl, which my team won! Texting her about it, she was excited for me even though she's not interested in sports at all. (I'm only slightly interested myself).

    Yesterday we didn't get to see each other until the afternoon at our fencing class because of delays that the storm caused, and we talked about going to the sledding activity our congregation had planned because of the snow. Unfortunately she had some homework and wasn't able to go,  but she asked if we wanted to go today. We went to the same hill from last night and had a great time talking and sledding and just enjoying each other's company. It was an awesome almost date! We headed back to a common building after about an hour to sit and talk and warm up before I had to get back to my classes. As we walked she mentioned that she would've really enjoyed going to dinner this evening, something I'd offered due to her not having her usual ride to her choir practice if she'd needed to stay on campus. She then said that she'd enjoy having dinner together another night though! As a date! We don't have anything planned yet as far as when, but we do have a where, a diner just across the street from campus. Right now I'm sitting listening to her sing with the choir, enjoying the music and picking her voice out every so often. I know how I feel about her, I haven't told her yet because it's not time, but I know, though she probably suspects thanks to how easily it shows on my own face when I'm around her.

  9. Visited the flea market on Sunday, managed to find a couple cool little retired pieces, including a couple Star Wars polys I needed for my collection! Overall, spend $65 Canadian; I think I did pretty well!

  10. Taka Nuvia
    Latest Entry

    anaster_scan.jpg

    Remember that character WIP I posted way back? (yea, me neither. that's why I added the link). I finished her in the meantime, and just realized that I never got around to posting her here.^^'

  11. Serpent of Fire
    Latest Entry

    This is my sort of annual visit to BZP to see how things are. This site was one of my main stomping grounds when I was in my teens. Man the time has flown by. I'm freaking 30 years old now! It's pretty cool to see that this place is still going.

     

    Well, until next time! 

    -Serpent.

  12. Edelgard
    Latest Entry

    Another year has gone by, and so it's time for another top five. 2019 was better than usual for films; I feel like I saw a really diverse set of movies, more diverse than I usually do, and almost all of them in the cinema too. As usual, there are a few films I did not get to, which I'll give honorable mentions to now:

    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World - while I doubt it would have made my top five or even come close, the first film in this trilogy remains one of my all-time favorites. Though the trailers to the finale didn't sell me on it, I have heard that it's very good. I should probably give it a proper chance.

    1917 - It hasn't had a wide release in Canada yet, but will within the next two weeks. I guess since the wide release is technically this month, I might actually count it for 2020, and maybe it'll make the next top five....

    That's about it. For once, I feel like I actually managed to see just about every movie that I was interested in. Feels weird. Anyway, onto the top five of the year.

     

    #1: Avengers: Endgame

    Avengers: Endgame isn't the best movie that was released this year, and it isn't even the best movie in the MCU. I think Infinity War is probably the better movie between the two, but I also think it's important to judge Endgame as the event and phenomenon that it was. Providing a satisfying conclusion to 11 years of story and 22 movies was a near impossible task, and yet Marvel managed it with flying colors (barring a few missteps - it REALLY sucks that Black Widow was by far at her all-time best in this movie, only for her time in it to be cut so short).

    Ultimately, Endgame is the movie that impacted me the most this year. These characters and stories have come to mean a lot to me in the past 11 years, and getting a proper sendoff meant a lot. I cried during my first viewing of the film, and continued to tear up at points during repeat viewings. The MCU will continue on - but this was the end, and I don't believe the MCU will ever really reach this point again.

    #2: Knives Out

    Rian Johnson has discussed possibly doing a sequel to this movie if it does well, starring Benoit solving a different case. I hope he does, because Knives Out was just a whole lot of fun, and I'd love to see a little bit more from this world. Plus, I can't get enough of Daniel Craig's outrageous accent.

    #3: Joker

    Joker was another cultural phenomenon. It was rather fascinating to watch Gotham descend into anarchy, while Arthur Fleck disappeared into the Joker.

    #4: Ford v Ferrari

    Matt Damon is always fun to see onscreen, and Christian Bale does a wonderful job here too. The racing is heart-racing (pardon the pun), the struggle between these two individuals and their corporate overlord feels real.

    #5: Ad Astra

    Sad Space Man Brad Pitt goes off on a quiet, lonely adventure through space. Ad Astra isn't for everybody - it probably isn't for a lot of people - but I enjoyed it a lot, and found it a nice change of pace.

    -

    And those are my top five films for 2019. Tomorrow, I'll do a Top Ten of the Decade.

     

  13. Valendale
    Latest Entry

    Well, I figured I would just write a little about some of the low and high points of the year.

    Well, at the beginning of the year, I was still recovering from my breakup in November of the previous year. I was passed the worst of it, but I was still distraught and would have bad periods lasting a few days at a time that would continue for several months. For some time, my ex had been a driving force in getting me out of the house and experience new things and just be social. I realized at this point how much I had really been forsaking other relationships in my life.

    In this period, I was rediscovering my friendships and trying. I started really playing magic again. I was spending any time at my friends' apartments that I could. I joined a pathfinder campaign. I even went to my first bar after my 21st birthday. And speaking of that birthday, it was actually one of the better ones I've had. This general mood and pace continued for a while with me becoming and rebecoming close with several people.

    I took classes over this summer for the first time. I had classes 3 days a week and worked the other 2. I enjoyed getting both education and work experience at the same time without getting burnt out on either. The stuff with my friends basically continued as well. We went to the lake and there were even a few parties where I was being rapidly introduced to new people.

    After the semester ended, I took some time and got back home. I can't stand the city sometimes, and I always enjoy spending a little time with my family. I also got in some building in this period. And then we get to Brickfair which was really the highlight of the year for me, but I already kind of wrote about that in depth.

    After returning home from Brickfair though, things took a turn for the worst. Something happened between my friends and I. (I don't want to get into it too much here due to BZPower rules, but I'll happily give more information privately.) It felt like almost everyone I knew turned on me overnight. And these are people I've been very close with for years, since middle school in some cases. I only had a couple people I could really trust.

    So as fall semester started up, I was feeling pretty down. For someone who had been spending most of the year trying to be more social, losing your main friends hits hard. So I started trying everything I could. I started playing magic at games stores instead of primarily kitchen table. And luckily my pathfinder group was still accepting of me. Lately I've been spending more and more time at the school's student center, just like playing games and hanging out. 

    Over the Thanksgiving break, I was excited to be going to see my aunt for thanksgiving. I hadn't made it the previous year, and I was in dire need of anything going better this year than the last. Unfortunately, as I was on the road, disaster struck again. It was raining hard, and I hydroplaned off the road. Luckily I was unharmed, but my car was totaled. Still, I made it to thanksgiving a little worse for the wear.

    The semester quickly wrapped up, which was good for me since I had no car and was relying on my friends at the student center to get to and from campus. My grades this time around were a little worse than they have been, but I passed all my classes. Now I'm home again, feeling somewhere between trapped and dreading school starting again.

    One other thing I did this year was start keeping a journal. I've always really like record keeping for some reason, and this year I finally found the resolve to start keeping one like I've always wanted too. I helped me get down my thoughts when I had no one to talk to and kept my mental health up. I'm very proud to have kept it the whole year, and I'll probably continue do so in the future. 

    Overall, this is the roughest year I've had in a long time, maybe ever. But I got through it. And honestly when I write it out like this, there were a lot of positives, even if some of them were tainted by negatives later on.

  14. Bfahome
    Latest Entry

    The Mandalorian sure is cool isn't it.

  15. So this one kid I'm working with is 9.  He has a lot of difficulty saying vocalic /r/ (e.g. car, stir, bear, deer, etc.), but we've made some big strides in the last few months.  He's also a major bookworm.  Magic Treehouse, Minecraft novelizations... if you think a nine year old would read it, he's read it.  Often we'll read passages from his favourite books and practice some good vocalic /r/ sounds.  Today, to my surprise, he's waiting for me on the stairs clutching a familiar red book...

     

     

    Yes, friends, it was none other than BIONICLE Adventures #10: Time Trap

     

     

    Kid: Yeah, I really like this book.  You're probably going to think some of the characters have really weird names.

    Me: 4_parallel_universes_ahead_of_you.png

     

    So the legend of Bionicle isn't quite dead yet, folks.

  16. blogs_blog_73

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    Recent Entries

    Reya
    Latest Entry

    Hey everyone!

    Made this account 16 years ago. Crazy how time flies. In that time, I finished elementary school, high school, my bachelor's degree and my masters. Now I live in Germany. Who would have thought.

    When I get home, i think I'll display my 6 OG Toa. Man those were the best.

  17. Kothra
    Latest Entry

    This still exists, doesn't it.

    I certainly still do as well.

    Probably not here any more than the last few years but still around.

    Yeah.

  18. Well, this isn't a blog post I'd suspected I'd be making, even up to just a year ago. But, It's time for me to face the facts: I'm actually gynesexual. In case some of you don't know what that means: well, the definition seems to vary a bit, but in my case, it means I'm attracted to "femininity" and the "feminine" form, but I'm not picky when it comes to people's sex, sexual organs, or gender identity. 

    A bunch of LGBTQ+ friends have told me this officially means I'm under that banner as well. So, uh, hi everyone. I hope you'll all give me a kind welcome. I'm really excited about this, but understandably also quite terrified. Cause I live in semi-rural Tennessee. People around here are not gonna take it well if/when I make this public. In fact, I really can't at the moment - not if I wanna keep my job. And this is while I'm currently still single. 

    I'm sure ya'll can help me figure this out along the way, though. People from this site already have helped so many other people come to terms with their non hetero-normative sexualities. It's good to know I'm not alone. Anyway, that's all for now. Peace out, ya'll!

    Image result for gynesexual flag"

     

  19. So, I bought Pokemon Sword.  Due to having some open time in my schedule and the game ultimately being a bit short, I’ve already beaten the main story and the postgame episode.  I actually had a lot of fun.  The game may be riddled with problems, not the least of which being the cut of National Dex, but what it gets right it gets so right—heck, some of what it gets wrong manages to feel right, which appeals to my shounen battle anime heart.  I’m not here to spoil, just want to say I’d recommend giving SwSh a try if you’re on the fence.  Also, while I may not have Switch Online or an SD card to transfer screen shots, I fell in love with League Card customization and desperately wanted to share mine in some capacity, so:

    image

    image

    Pupil of Gym Leader Bea and new Champion of the Galar Region, Liam! (You can’t see it but I’m wearing the Champion shirt, plus my hair looks much cooler in-game I dunno why it looks weird here.)

    Team:

    -Spike the Coalossal

    -Steg the Rillaboom

    -Murun the Runerigus

    -Beat the Corviknight

    -The Smogington Brothers the Galarian Weezing (character limit made it Smogingtons but)

    -Zacian (in the post-game…)

    Between this and my recent replays I think I want to revise my old region ranking.  Stay tuned for that!

  20. Tarn
    Latest Entry

    so now that faber's gone radio silent on it for a bit...what was up with that whole thing? is he trying to pitch the concept to lego to do a second bionicle reboot, or was he supposedly hinting at an already in-progress one? or was it tied to rebel nature and just a means of bringing attention to his original work? the logo he showed obviously spelled out 'bionicle' and the artwork sure *looked* like bionicle

    i guess we'll find out in 2020, i'm expecting disappointment

  21. Hey BZP. It's been a while. Glad to see you're still around.

    You know, it's been 13 years since I registered here when I was just a kid and wow, how life has changed.

    I guess the biggest change would be how about 8 or so months ago I came out of the closet and decided to live life true to myself as a woman. It's been great and everyone in my life has been supportive. Not really the reason I'm writing this though, not sure I really have a reason for writing this.

    October is almost over, and that means my birth month and favorite time of year is coming to a close, but every October I end up thinking about this place and what it meant, and still means to me.

    I just wanted to thank all the admins, mods, and awesome users over the years for creating a wonderful community and more than that, keeping it around for so long past the expiration of the franchise it was based on. I know BZP isn't what it used to be, and I'm okay with that, things change, as I've learned through life.

     

    And at the end of the day? Change ain't so bad.

     

    Thanks for listening to my stream of consciousness throw words at a blog post for a while.

  22. GUESS WHO PUNCHED IT IN THE DING-DANG-DOODLY NOSE

     

    ME BAYBEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  23. Almost exactly a year (and two weeks) after writing a blog entry about the 2018 California fires, more are breaking out and the dry October winds we tend to get are certainly not helping . There are probably a few officially labelled fires, but the two I'm reading about are the Kincade Fire, because its closest to me, and the Tick Fire near Los Angeles. Unlike last year's fires which came too close to comfort, we are at no risk from the Kincade fire. Unfortunately many people (39-50,000 depending on which news outlet you read) are at risk and being asked to evacuate. It's completely heart wrenching that this is happening again, and absolutely frustrating when the source of both fires are take into account. I don't really want to point figures, that's a job for someone else and I have no doubt it'll happen down the line, I just hope that everyone is able to evacuate safely.

    Also want to give another huge shout out and thank you to the thousands of fire fighters (and inmates, according to the BBC) across the state working to contain the fires. With tonight's wind gusts expected to be up to 70 mph they have a major uphill battle, but we're all rooting for them. These brave heroes don't get enough credit, and no thank you is big enough for all the work that they're doing. My thoughts and prayers are with them and the victims.

  24. I have been receiving emails of late indicating new blog entries from a number of old friends here on BZP.  Apparently the blogging system just returned after a lengthy hiatus?  It has been years since I've visited the forums, but I've never forgotten all the fun I had as a part of this community.  I am still alive, and I would enjoy reconnecting with anyone who remembers me from quite literally a decade ago!  My absence over the last 10 years can largely be explained by school.  I began my freshman year of college in 2010, and in the years since, I have completed an AA (2012), two BAs (2014), a BS major-equivalency (2015), and an MA (2019).  I have been a college student for 7 years of this decade, taught at a high school for 2 years between my BAs and MA, and was hired this fall as an adjunct professor at a local college.  Needless to say, it's been a long journey that's kept me very busy!  Reading my old blog after this long feels like looking back in time, and it sounds like at least a few others are having similar experiences as they return to BZP.

    So let's talk!  What's been going on in everyone's lives since 2009?  If you remember me, let's catch up!  If not, introduce yourself!

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