zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Tom Servo)


Apparently, I'm now moonlighting as a minor character in a new Lego-related webcomic.
It's called Bricklandia and it will appear on the From Bricks To Bothans website.
In the meantime, a poster with all the characters has just gone up on the site.
I'm the one on the right, modeled on the upcoming The Hulk minifigure.


Tee hee...

This is WAY better than being in West Corner Of The Park! :D

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (OMGWTF)

"When we last left our Hero, he was struggling with lower back pain and trying to figure out which combination of medication worked best for him through trial and error and visits to the emergency room."

Well, it's December 22nd now and my back has been healed for a couple of weeks.
But it took a while to get there.

My previous post was on November 25th and I was on Cyclobenzaprine, Ibuprofen, and Tramadol.
Turns out the Ibuprofen wasn't doing anything. I had forgotten that stuff didn't work on me.
So I went back to using the Midol Complete instead of the Iburpofen.
On November 26th, I went to see Plaid live at El Rey Theater in Mid-Wilshire.
When the staff saw me hobble in on my cane, they pulled a chair out for me to sit on.
The venue is standing-room-only with a few chairs against the wall, but they pulled a chair
out and put it in an alcove near the stage. What sweethearts! :)
John Tejada opened for Plaid and played some nice House/trance of his own devising.
Lots of nice bass giving me a free back massage. :D
Then Plaid came on and played 90% stuff I'd never heard before, which is not surprising since I hadn't listened to their new album just yet. Good stuff...
After the gig, I drove to the LAX MArriottttt to hit whatever room parties were still going at LOSCON, the L.A. literary sci-fi convention. I saw Spino and spouse and Tadao and Warren...
I stayed until 2:30am, then the parties shut down one by one. I was only there for 2.5 hours but I got gouged for parking for $23.50. Wow, really? No wonder the con was underattended.
From there, I went straight to the ER to try and get something strong that worked!
They actually took a couple of x-rays of my back this time and wouldn't you know it? They found a tiny gremlin gnawing on my lower back muscles. HAR!! :D
No, they found nothing out of the ordinary, which seems to confirm that I had pulled a muscle. They gave me a prescription for Toradol, which is the pill equivalent of the anti-inflammatory injection I had been given on my previous visit that did so much good and had me walking almost normally within the hour. I went to the 24-hour pharmarcy to get the Toradol, then went home.
It was 7am on Sunday November 27th and I went straight to bed.

I woke up at 3pm, took my new meds regimen 1) Midol Complete, 2) Cyclobenzaprine, and 3) Toradol, then stayed in bed until 5pm to give time to the meds to work. I then got up.
The pain was a lot less severe and I was able to stand up within 5 minutes of sitting up. The
Toradol was the missing part of my treatment. I still needed an hour of sitting in my nice upright desk chair to become flexible enough to shower and get dressed though.
But this was awesome news! I could actually go back to the office! I set one alarm at 6am to take my pills then one alarm at 8am to get up, and I could be at the office by 10am! Huzzah! :D
And that was my routine for several weeks. I ran out of the Cyclobenzaprine, which was not
refillable, and continued with the Midol and Toradol as my back slowly healed.

On Thursday December 1st, I left the cane at home. It was no longer needed. :)
By Monday December 5th, I was taking the Midol and Toradol only in the morning.
On Wednesday December 7th, I stopped taking the meds, and also learned that the office would be closed from Friday December 23rd to Tuesday January 3rd. ZOMG REAL PAID VACATION! :D :D :D
We were gonna be closed for Christmas and New Year's anyway, but there was uncertainty about the days in between the two. Mystery solved! :D
And my back has been getting better and better. Strangely, I get occasional pain in my hips, but I figure it's "aftershock" pain from the lower back. I'm also getting used to the new bed.

On Saturday December 10th, I went to my LUGOLA meeting. Got some good Lego parts from a couple of people and a set of those nifty Incredible Cross-Sections books on the Star Wars prequels. Just the thing for ship design and building! After the meeting. I hit the nearby Toys'R'Us to look around, and walked out of there with some brand new City sets, including the firefighting SuperScooper airplane. Yea BOGOHO sale!
It was supposed to be Movie Night but my guests were still entrenched in scholastic work, so it was put off. Instead, I got dolled up and went to my friend Fritz's holiday party out in Lakeview Terrace. It's always cool, with lots of people and lots of food. I saw Noel and Julianna, which is always fun, and talked to an older women who flies helicopters. She was happy to find someone to talk whirlybird with. :D
I finally went home at 4am.
Since I got home so late, I slept most of Sunday, finally getting up at 3pm. I did some computer stuff, then called my friends to see if they were still mired in scholastic stuff. They weren't and wanted to do short Movie Night (since Sunday is a school night for everyone). They came over at 7pm, bringing forth deliciousness from Tito's Tacos. We consumed the deliciousness ravenously. Then I showed them the launch of the most recent Soyouz rocket with Angry Bird charm inside capsule. It was snowing a little at Baikonour that day and the winds were light, so they launched. Is not Russian rocket if not launch in blizzard. :D
Then we watched our feature presentation: "Doomsday" (Unrated). Released in 2008, this British film was made for people who like "Escape From New York", "The Road Warrior", and "Aliens". It's got that same vibe, the heroine has an eyepatch, she commands a squad of soldiers, and instead of Manhattan, it's the whole of Scotland that has been walled-off after a plague killed millions. None of the dead turned into zombies though, it's not that kind of film. After 30 years, there are survivors, and some of them are right out of "The Road Warrior". It's a fun action film but the Unrated version is rather gory. It stars Rhona Mitra, Bob Hoskins, Alexander Siddig (formerly Siddig al Fadil, aka Dr. Bashir from DS9), Sean Pertwee, and Malcolm McDowell.

The company holiday party was on Thursday December 15th. We had a restaurant/bar in West Hollywood all to ourselves, with open bar and food. And there was musical entertainment from The Banned, which consisted of the company president on acoustic guitar, the studio manager on a guitar, the biker account guy on electric guitar, the intern on electric bass guitar, an IT guy on drums, and the energetic Christian gun-owning account executive on vocals.
And they ROCKED!!! They did some Rolling Stones covers (Under My Thumb, Little Red Rooster, a couple more), "Sedated" by The Ramones, and a few more tunes. Not bad!
I didn't stay very long as I was tired, and since I don't drink much alcohol, the appeal of an open bar is lost on me. The food was very good though.

I haven't shaved since my little stint in the hospital. It's an experiment to see if I can actually grow some kind of beard. My facial hair has notoriously slow growth and nothing grows between my lower lip and the tip of my chin. I had a pathetic mustache that I promptly shaved off, but I'm letting the beard grow to see how far it can get. Yeah, I'm 45 and this is my first beard. :D

Lego and Warner Bros made a big announcement last Friday. Our favorite plastic brick manufacturer will be making sets and minifigs based on Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings trilogy and the upcoming two The Hobbit films. The plan is to release LotR trilogy sets in June 2012, then The Hobbit sets around the time of the first movie's release in November 2012 or whenever.
I may get a couple, most likely the Shelob set. :)

On Tuesday, I broke a tooth. Granted, this was the tooth was root-canaled a while back and needed to be crowned, so it was already in a weakened state. It would have been crowned by now if it hadn't been for the hospital stay and the Lower Back Pain (Icelandic) Saga take me for a ride.
The tooth breakage happened while I was eating some Tim's Cascade-Style reduced fat kettle chips, which are incredibly HARD and which I will never ever EVER buy again!
I made a dentist appointment ASAP and saw him today. He says the rest of the tooth is fine and he wants me to come back tomorrow so he can sand it down or whatever and then put a temporary crown on it while we wait for the permanent crown to arrive in two weeks.
It's now about 6pm and I'm leaving work in a few minutes.
And then it's 11 glorious contiguous days of NOT working and NOT thinking about work! WOO HOO!

if I don't post before then, Merry Christmas everyone!
Joyeux Noël a vous tous! :D

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (ISD)

Lego Star Wars 10221 UCS Super Star Destroyer set

It's for real! The image comes from Lego.com!

"We are currently experiencing technical difficulties: the Kzin has passed out.
Normal service will resume once he awakens."

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (LegoKzin)

This is brilliant!

This guy built a mechanism that opens and closes the doors on his train.
And he made it all fit inside the train without unsightly bulges!
The end of the video shows how it works. It's neat!

Once I get my Lego studio squared away, I can work on neat stuff too.
The motorized Lego Technic excavator set will help me realize some sort of nifty tracked vehicle.
Muahahahahahahaha! :D

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (ISD)

So I went to a LUGOLA meeting today.
Over the past two days, I built a quicky spaceship just to have something to show.
The gang seemed to like it.
I'll take photos of it tomorrow and stick them on Flickr.
It's a submariny-squiddy spaceship in yellow and white and grey.
When one of the LUGOLAians first saw it, he said "we can all live in it!". :D
The main reason for going to the meeting was to buy a Lego set from one of my fellow members.
It's a set I've wanted since it was released in 2002. It's my favorite Star Wars ship.
It's been released in other sizes, but this is the BIG one.
I am now the proud owner of a new still-sealed Universal Collectors Series version of the Imperial Star Destroyer.
I'm so happy!!!
I have no idea when I will build it, it's a bit of a challenge.
It's over 3 feet long and it contains over 3000 parts.

In other news, Gabrielle Union is smoking hot.
She was on Monday's Craig Ferguson, which I've just watched, and she was smoking hot, witty, and adorable.

And now, I sleep.
And hopefully dream of Gabrielle Union. :D

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Lego)

This is relevant to my interests! :D

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Imperial)

Hey kids!
I've just uploaded photos of my two most recent Lego creations to Flickr!
And boy am I ready for bed! :)
Photo-set for the TIE Lander, which was built for the Legoland Star Wars LUG display.
Photo-set for Roton Subree and The Unseen Dagger, which is my entry for the FBTB.net bounty hunter contest.
Roton Subree is the bounty hunter and The Unseen Dagger is his ship.
Share and enjoy! :D

I'll probably work on the Legoland photos this weekend and post them on Flickr.
I'm thinking of doing two separate sets: one for the park photos, and one for the Star Wars LUG display.
Legoland has a nifty Las Vegas section in its Miniland area!

Time for go to bed!

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Imperial)

OMG WANT!!! (new UCS Imperial Shuttle set!)

It's minifig-scale! It looks just like the original shooting model!
It's coming out in September!
Where the hell are my Euros?!?!?

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Imperial)


Shipping January 1st 2010.
Just in time for NOT Christmas! :D

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Banzai)

This is pretty awesome!

Warning: loud traditional Japanese music.

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Pirate)

So it's Sunday Night and I'm posting a weekend report for the previous weekend.
Onwards with the general faffing! :D

Saturday Sep. 19th was International Talk Like A Pirate Day, so I wore my one pirate-themed t-shirt.
I took care of some stuff, then headed down to Vista, CA, for the big combined Lego user group meeting.
Vista is East of Oceanside, which is itself south of Camp Pendleton, the big-ass US Marines base.
So yeah, it's a bit of a drive. I think it took me about two hours to get there.
I filled up the F(n)ord (St)Ranger at the cheap Arco near my ex-work, reset the tripometer, then did the
La Cienega boogie to rejoin the 405 and bypass the pre-LAX madness. Then I followed the 405 down down
down to the 5 and hit the usual patch of slowdown. Argh!
It eventually cleared up and everybody was doing 80 past the San Onofre nuclear power plant.
The meeting started at 1pm and I got there at 2pm. So, pretty much my usual arrival time for these things.
There was a lot of people there. I estimate about 40 people at one time.
The meeting had attendees from both LUGOLA (my group) and SANDLUG (the Sand Diego Lego user group).
There were some nifty MOCs on display, but I didn't take any photos, because Tim blocked my box with all
his stuff and I couldn't get to my camera. He brought this huge military Hummvee that was too stubby.
One guy had some "Crimson Skies" inspired airplanes. I want to build some airplanes like that.
I brought along the SCAP strike package, Weapon M, a flying sub I built from an Agents set last month,
and a new mothership with detachable fighters MOC I had finished that week. I also brought Space Carrier
Saratoga, the big ugly blocky thing I built from the Mega Bloks contained in The Tub.
Few people seemed to notice it was Mega Bloks. I overhead a couple of guys talking about it though:

Guy 1: "Hey, that's Mega Bloks."
Guy 2: "What, the boat?"
G1: "Yeah."
G2: "Who the hell brings a Mega Bloks MOC to a LUG meeting?"
G1: "Probably some kid."

There was the usual club activities, along with plenty to eat and drink. I met a lot of new people whom
I'm probably not gonna see again because they're SANDLUG members and I don't attend their meetings.
I got a phone call from Jean-Louis, who alerted me that his cousin was ready to lend us the boat to take
care of Pascal's ashes this weekend. Since I was out of town, we agreed on Sunday afternoon.
It was really hot in there, so I slipped out and went to sit outside on the lawn. It was cooler outside.
There were already people there too. :)
As people started leaving, things got a little silly. I grabbed Space Carrier Saratoga and started gently
poking random people with it, saying "oh nooooooo, it's Mega Bloks. It's touching YOU! The horror!".
It was all in good fun. And I was the biggest and tallest guy there, so no one dared try anything! :D
The meeting lasted a good long while, eventually breaking up around 6pm.
I packed my stuff and started the long drive home, which was faster than the drive in, of course.
It was getting to be dinner time, and I was famished, having only nibbled on a few things at the meeting.
So I stopped at the Inglewood Blvd. In-N-Out Burgers, which is, like, right next to the freeway.
I mean, seriously! You get off the 405 and you're in the In-N-Out parking lot! CONVENIENT! :D
I had a couple of Double-Doubles, fries, and a drink and it was the most delicious meal of the week!
Eventually, I got home and plotzed.

Sunday Sep. 20th: I drove to Malibu to meet Jean-Louis at his cousin's house. We took the boat out and
committed Pascal's ashes to the Ocean. All the details are in the next post, which is friends-only.
The post contains many photos and is of a personal nature, hence the friends-only lock.

So yeah, there was a lot of driving that weekend. Much of it was freeway driving.
This explains why I've squeezed the most miles out of a tank of gas EVAR!
I normally get somewhere between 220 and 250 miles on one tank.
Check THIS out:

That's what the tripometer and gas gauge looked like Sunday Night, after I got back from Malibu.
287.7 miles! And the gas gauge needle is barely touching the edge of the red area.
When I refilled the (St)Ranger the next day, the tripometer was reading 295.5 miles.
Trip out!
My old '94 Ford Explorer (Simba) had a similar engine and gas tank and it never gave more than 240 miles.

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Batman)

There's been no word from the French Consulate about the job I interviewed for.
I've sent some more resumes out for various jobs, including a QA Lead position at 2K Games.
Nothing new on the grandmother thing. I expect this will take forever.
A wire transfer popped up in my bank account a couple of days ago. It wasn't much, but it was enough to
take care of a couple of problems that would have made me unable to pay my October rent on time.
The transfer was from the SACEM, so looks like the paperwork has finally gone through.
I've decided to sell the 3 Lego Classic Space bases from The Tub after all. I need the money.
I still have a bunch of sets and minifigures on eBay, including the new Power Miners mini-sets right here.
There's a big LUGOLA meeting this Saturday, near Legoland Carlsbad. It's a joint meeting with SANDLUG,
the San Diego Lego User Group, so that should be interesting. And a bit of a drive.
I just completed a new Lego MOC (My Own Creation) for the meeting and I'm happy with it. I'll be bringing
it along with the SCAP strike package, Weapon M, the Agents flying sub, and the big scary Mega Bloks ship.
There will be pictures on Flickr some time in the future.
My sleep schedule is totally screwed up. I woke up at 6pm, did some computer and eBay stuff until 10pm,
then showered and dressed and went out to get dinner. Then I came back and ate dinner while watching
two Season 7 episodes of "Smallville". Damn, Brainiac is an asshole. Then I cracked open Volume 4 of
"Batman: The Animated Series" and watched Disc 1 while finishing my Lego MOC for the Saturday meeting.
Volume 4 contains the post-redesign episodes, were Joker suddenly has "Genesis Cooke reverse eyeballs"
(black eyes with white pupils), Bruce Wayne looks like Clark Kent from "Superman: TAS" but with blue eyes
and black hair, Poison Ivy looks elfin and unhealthy, and Catwoman lost all definition. Grrrrrr...
The Scarecrow did look scarier though, what with the noose and the Leatherface mask and the preacher's rags.
And the writing is still there, which is the most important part.
It's now approaching 6am and I'm going to try to get some sleep and return some normalcy to my schedule.
Good morning!

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Lille)

Just poking my head in here to say "hi" and confirm that I still exist.
Operation Lego Tub is winding down, so I'll have some free time soon.
I finally located the final 4 pieces I needed to complete the last two sets.
And I actually built something with the Mega Bloks. I plan to horrify my fellow LUGOLA members at our
next meeting, which is amusingly being held on "International Talk Like A Pirate Day" (the 19th).

In other news, I finally interviewed at the "Consulat Général de France a Los Angeles" last Wednesday.
This is the job listing I saw on Craigslist that was entirely in French.
It's a general computer guy position and the ideal candidate needs to be a French citizen.
I had mentioned this in a previous post, and the original interview had been canceled.
I was then recontacted and did have the interview last Wednesday. It seemed to go kinda okay.
Much to my surprise, I have a second interview, scheduled for tomorrow.
It seems my first interview was with the Adjunct Consul. This interview is with the Consul himself.
Oh boy...
By the way, this definitely goes under "Places I Never Thought I Would Ever Apply For A Job At".
I would be awesome if I got this job.
There's been darn few responses to all the résumés I've sent out. And by "darn few", I mean "1".
And the position would provide me with living wages again, the likes of which I last had at Amp'd Mobile.
And since it's the French Consulate, there would be more paid vacation days and medical coverage.
Believe me when I tell you I'm more than a little surprised that I seem to have a shot at this.
All I can do is go in tomorrow and do my best, and hope for the best.

I plan to have dinner with a friend at Souplantation tomorrow night.
We will either celebrate or commiserate. :)

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Banzai)
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"No matter where you go, there you are."

"Do or do not. There is no try."

"Lego ergo sum. (I build, therefore I am)"

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Wepon)

Well, it's been an interesting week...

Monday: Urrrrrrrr, I did something bureaucratic and time-consuming, but I can't remember what.
Oh well!

Tuesday: I went to my local EDD office to get some info on my unemployment benefits claim.
My one-year claim ended on July 25th, and there's still money in it, and I'm still unemployed.
So I was wondering what was gonna happen. Do I file another claim? Does the extension kick in?
Instead of spending a long time trying to get through on the phone, I figured I'd go to the office.
I tried the website but the info was simply not there.
Anyway, I get to the office, and it's a pale shadow of what it was 3 years ago.
It's basically a reception area and a bank of computers for people to browse job listings.
No one at the office has access to claim information any more.
They made me wait my turn to use a phone to call the EDD office in Sacramento.
What. The. Frak.
And when I got through to a living human being, she basically took my information down and told me
somebody would be in touch within the next 10 days. (!!!!!!!!)
It's, like, nobody has access to the information! Not even the people who work there!
What manner of complete insanity is this!?!??

Once home, I found an e-mail from [livejournal.com profile] slipdragon that he received the money I sent him. He's moving soon and he was
selling a bunch of stuff. Of particular interest to me was a large plastic tub full of Lego.
We're talking about 45 POUNDS of high-tech ABS goodness! According to him, the tub contains all the
Classic Space sets from 1979 to the mid-80's. That's pretty incredible in itself, but there's more!
Early Star Wars sets like the X-Wing, B-Wing, A-Wing, Y-Wing and TIE Advanced, along with a Cloud City
playset and this Millenium Falcon. I only have the tiny Mini Falcon, so that's totally awesome!
I've seen a photo of the tub, I could see bits of partly assembled sets that match the description.
He mentioned that he was missing a lot of instructions, but thanks to the massive Lego Internet presence,
finding scanned instructions and complete part inventories is easy as cake, and piece of pie. :)
My plan for this tub is to sort everything and rebuild as many sets as possible. Some will go on eBay
and some will stay in my permanent collection. I have a lot of Classic Space stuff already, so all the
duplicates are headed for the auction block. I'm hoping to fill some of the holes in my collection.
This will be a long-lasting project, I've got my work cut out for me. But I'm not complaining! :D

That night, I watched Disc 1 of "Torchwood: Children of Earth", with the first three episodes.
Hummmmmm, wow. What's with the alien that looks like the missile silo creature from original "Half Life"?
It's much smaller of course, but still. I was dreading how this was going to end.

Wednesday: The driver's side power window on the F(n)ord (St)Ranger, which had been acting up for a month,
finally decided it wouldn't go down anymore. No amount of pushing on the door could coax it to lower.
So I called Joe The Mechanic, who's familiar with the patient, and made an appointment for the next day.
I completed my errands for the day with the driver's side window up, the passenger side window down,
and the climate control on full. The air conditioning doesn't work, so it was blowing in outside air.
Driver's side window stuck in up position + no A/C + L.A. summer = DEATH! Well, sort of...
Netflix e-mailed me to let me know that Disc 2 of "Torchwood: Children of Earth" was en route.

Thursday: I was up bright and early at 08:00. I stopped at McDo for a couple of Sausage McMuffins and
arrived at Joe's at 09:00. They opened the driver's side door panel and started diagnosing the problem.
Turns out the motor was dead and needed to be replaced. Joe called around and found one, but it wouldn't
be there until the next day. So they rigged my window to stay up, despite them having removed the motor
and the bracket and everything else, and sent me on my way.
Once I got home, I found an e-mail from Slip with the shipping confirmation number for the Lego tub. W00T!!
Said tub is scheduled for delivery early next week. Excellent! I gotta make sure I'm home to get it.
I also found Disc 2 of "Torchwood: Children of Earth", with the last 2 episodes, in my mailbox.
I watched it that night and found myself wishing harm on the writer/producer, RTD, aka Russell T. Davis.
I am so glad this man is no longer involved with "Doctor Who".
However, Auntie Sue ([livejournal.com profile] selenesue) told me that Season 4 of "Torchwood" is already planned.
Well, golly, there's NOT MUCH LEFT of Torchwood after "Children of Earth"! What's going to happen?
I went to bed at 02:00, slightly angry. Argh.

Friday: Up bright and early at 08:00 and at Joe's at 09:00.
The motor was scheduled to arrive by UPS at 10:30, so I chilled and read the current issue of Car & Driver.
I also browsed Popular Mechanics and saw a blurb about the new Nerf gun coming out in September.
It looks like a WWII submachine gun and uses a 35-dart drum magazine. Check it out.
The forward grip slides back and forth. If you cycle the grip back and forth once, pressing the trigger
shoots one dart. If you keep the trigger down and cycle the grip repeatedly, you get rapid fire.
I had an old Edison Giocattoli toy submachine that worked the same way, it shot little rubber shells.
Can you believe I originally bought it at Toys'R'Us in the '80s? How things change...

The motor arrived at 11:00, and upon opening the box, it was discovered that it was the wrong part.
But of course!!! Story of my life! They sent the passenger side window motor, an exact mirror image.
Time to go home? Yes! Because the new part wouldn't get here in time to be installed. OH BOY!!

I had promised [livejournal.com profile] girlfmkitty that I would help her move boxes today, so I rang her up once I got home.
Since no one from the EDD had contacted me yet, I filed a new claim on the website. Can't hurt, I guess.
After getting some late lunch (those McDo McMuffins are made of lead, I swear!), I went over to her old pad
to load up the (St)Ranger. We made two trips in total and got a lot done. Her new place is a couple of
blocks from my default Trader Joe's, amusingly enough. Plenty of stuff in walking distance too.
I got home early enough to be able to put some items up for auction on eBay. Click here to see my auctions.
I've got some of them newfangled Lego Star Wars minifigures like Admiral Ackbar and Mon Mothma and stuff.
By the way, if anyone local has something they want to eBay, but can't do it for whatever reason, I'm
willing to help out. I have a digital camera, I know shipping, and I can do write-ups. Just let me know.
I didn't get a call from Joe The Mechanic, so I had no idea if the right motor had come in or not.

Saturday: Joe called me up at 09:00 to let me know the right motor was there. I rolled out of bed,
prepped, and got there at 10:00 sharp. They put the motor in, put everything back together and voila!
I gave Joe all my cash and he let me pay the rest of the bill later. He's such a cool guy!
I got home at around 13:00 and called GirlKitty to tell her I was ready to help with the actual big move.
After grabbing some lunch stuff from Ralphs, I went to her new pad to greet the fridge delivery people
while she and Auntie Sue went back to the old place to pack more stuff and supervise the movers.
I ate lunch, read my Car & Driver and laughed at the pathetic usable range of the all-electric Mini E.
The rest of the day was taken up with moving stuff to the new apartment, unloading everything, stacking
boxes willy-nilly, and trying to figure out where to have dinner. Dinah's Family Restaurant won out.
3 of the 5 of us had chicken fried steak, myself included. We don't why. :D
After dinner, there was one final load of stuff to grab at the old apartment. To my surprise, everything
fit in the back of (St)Ranger. Everybody's ass was draggin' while we unloaded the truck at the new place.
Finally, I was done! I went home and immediately showered, checked e-mail and stuff, then went to bed.
It was almost 03:00.

Sunday: I stayed in bed until 14:00! Woooooooooh!
To my surprise, I was not nearly as sore as I thought I would be.
I had a late lunch at In-N-Out, then did some grocery shopping, then put up some more stuff on eBay.
Then I relaxed and watched "Taken", with Liam Neeson. OMG what a kick-ass little film!
Neeson's daughter goes to Paris and promptly gets kidnapped by white slavers. He's a retired agent,
like an older version of Michael Westen from "Burn Notice", and he goes to Paris to get her back.
The film is cowritten by Luc Besson and contains at least two scenes that made me go "F*CK!" out loud.
It's less than 90 minutes but it's jampacked with ass-kicking goodness and action-packed action! :D
The Kzin says "check it out"!

And it took me two hours to type this, and it doubled in size and picked up several links in the process.
I think it's time for beeeeeeeeeed!
Bonne nuit!

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (LegoKzin)

So San Diego ComiCon is on and Lego is there, because Lego's commitment to comics is well-known. (snicker)
Yeah, the event should really be renamed "San Diego MediaCon International, like for realz.
Anyhoo, Lego has some nifty stuff on display and the folks at From Bricks To Bothans were nice enough
to snap plenty of pictures of the exciting things and put them on their Flickr account for all to see.
Herewith, a bunch of links:

First up, Lego displayed a new Tantive IV (aka Rebel Blockade Runner) playset that looks fabulous.
I like how Lego has cut transparent windows into the conical parts that form the cockpit.
I can already think of other uses for that piece, like the cockpit of a hypersonic airliner.
Because of the speed at which such an aicraft would fly, there can't be any front-facing windows.
The Tantive IV is slated for a September release and will cost $150.

A while back, it was announced that Lego and Disney had signed a deal to release sets based on some of
the Big D's properties. One of said properties was rumored to be "Toy Story", and turns out it's true.
And here are the "Toy Story" photos.
What's interesting about these is that Woody and Jessie have longer legs than normal Lego minifigures.
Up until now, Lego had never changed the length of the articulated legs of the minifigures.
They created shorter legs for minifigs of Yoda, the Ewoks and Young Anakin, but those legs don't move.
And they made taller minifigures by giving them longer bodies that fit over the regular minifig torso.
See the Chewbacca and Hagrid for examples of this.
But yeah, this is a brave new world. Longer minifig legs? Inconceivable! :D
Personally, I think it's cool. It keeps the characters' height more authentic.
"Toy Story" Lego sets are slated for next year.

The other example of Lego Disney on display was "Prince Of Persia".
Disney is making a movie version of "Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time", so there's your toy movie tie-in.
This gives Lego an excuse to make lots of minifigs with interesting clothing patterns and turbans galore!
I'm already salivating at the mix and match prospects for making Egyptian and/or Indiana Jones minifigs.
Also, Lego camel and Lego ostrich! :D
This is also slated for a 2010 release.

You know, if Pixar ever releases their "Princess Of Mars" movie, we can look forward to some nifty sets! :D

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Lunar Industries LTD)

Is time for some general faffing, yes?

First, I've added some new photos to my Flickr account.
There are pictures from the Lego Pirate Build at Ontario Mills Mall from last Saturday.
After I finished building the SCAP Strike Package, I had lots of parts left over, so I built something else.
It's called "Weapon M" and it's a powerful crazy unstable dangerous Martian tech weapon system.
The kids call it "Big Bang". It's so dangerous that the cockpit is a removable fully-functional starfighter.
And finally, I put up pictures of a little Space Police Interceptor Pod I built way back in 1991. Yow...

It's San Diego ComiCon Weekend, and it's a good thing that people don't go there to swim in the ocean.
Gangs of delinquent jumbo flying squids have invaded the shallow waters and are roughing up divers.
Is this part of the Animal Uprising? You bet!
Forget zombies, it's gonna be an Animal Apocalypse!

Meanwhile, back in Santa Monica, I went to the Laemmle theater there and saw "Moon".
This is the nifty low-budget ($5 Million!) hard sci-fi movie directed by Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie)
and starring Sam Rockwell (who does indeed rock well) and Kevin Spacey as the moonbase AI Gerty.
Sam Rockwell plays a contractor for Lunar Industries LTD (see my new icon) who's on the Moon for 3 years.
He's babysitting a bunch of mining machines gathering HE3, the solution to all our energy problems.
He's only got two weeks to go and he starts having hallucinations. Maybe they're linked to his lack of
human contact (the comm sat is done, and it's low on the company's priority list. Typical).
Then, one day, he meets himself. DUM DUM DUUUUUUU!!!!!!
It's got that groovy sci-fi vibe from and homages to "Outland", "Alien", "Silent Running" and others.
And it's nice to see Weyland-Yutani's humble beginnings, possibly. :D
If it's playing near you, and you like intelligent sci-fi, for the love of Clarke, go see it!
If you look up "Moon" on Wikipedia, the entry spoils the whole plot, so be careful!
I like this one almost as much as I like "Sunshine", and I like "Sunshine" A LOT.
And it was the perfect antidote to "Transfomers: Revenge Of The Tribalcticons", which I saw Sunday.
It was about what I expected, except dumber and even more disconnected in narrative.
That Michael Bay, he can't tell a story to save his life.

EDIT: Apparently, it's NOT ComiCon Weekend this weekend.
It's ComiCon Weekend next weekend.
Still, watch out for squids!

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Surf's Up!)

WARNING: the following post contains blatant Lego neepery. Proceed with caution.)

So back on Saturday June 20th, there was a LUGOLA meeting and I was planning to attend.
I wanted to bring something for display, so I decided to build the kind of MOC I love: a spaceship.
(MOC = My Own Creation. It's Lego-speak for stuff people build that's not a factory set)
I like the Lego Mars Mission theme, what with the mostly white vehicles with black and orange trim,
so I used 3 sets as a source: Ultra-Drill Walker, Hypersonic Operations Aircraft, and Recon Dropship.
I wanted to build something big, with extra features, so I needed a lot of parts.
Unfortunately, I had a bunch of stuff to do during the week, so I didn't get cracking on the MOC until
the evening of Thursday June 18th. I fired up the DVD player, dumped all the Lego parts on the table,
and went to work. I designed a pair of gunships first, I was planning to attach them to a mothership.
I christened them Orca-class gunships, because of their shape and coloring.
It took about 8 hours to complete the two Orcas before I knocked and went to bed. I had watched 2 DVDs:
Disc 2 Season 10 of "Top Gear" (4 episodes) and Disc 2 Season 2 of "FutureWeapons" (5 episodes).
I resumed work on the MOC at about 7pm on Friday June 19th. The mothership was tough to come up with.
I wanted it to have a cargo bay in rear for some kind of armed buggy, but that meant making a big ship.
Lego is notorious for skimping on parts and making spaceships that aren't always sealed or fully enclosed.
And I had a lot of Technic beams, with holes in them. I had to attach parts to them to cover the holes.
That's a pet peeve of mine, spaceships with unsealed cockpits.
I worked and reworked and rereworked the design of the mothership until I had something workable.
The cross-section of the mothership turned out to be narrower, but just as tall as I imagined.
When the rear section was 80% done, I concentrated on building the front section and cockpit.
I finished the mothership and was fairly happy with the result. Now there was only one thing left to do:
design and build the armed buggy for the cargo bay.
It had to be cool, it had to have guns, and it had to actually fit in the cargo bay.
By the time 5am rolled around, I had finished the buggy, but it didn't fit! Aaaaaaargh!
I redesigned it so the guns were slung lower, which meant removing 2 guns. I fiddled with other bits,
and eventually it fit! And it was cool! And it had 6 guns (down from 8)!
And it was 5:30am and the meeting started at 11am! So I went to bed.
The DVD player had not been used this time. The VCR had played for me 5 episodes of MST3K to help me in
my task: "King Dinosaur", "Wild Rebels", "The Hellcats", "Cave Dwellers", and "Crash Of The Moons".
I woke up at 11am and made it to the LUGOLA meeting at noon.
And I unveiled my MOC, the SCAP (Self-Contained Attack Pod) strike package.
It's called a "pod" because it's a group of cetaceans. The mothership is a Rorqual-class attack transport,
the two fighters are Orca-class gunships, and the armed buggy is a Fluke-type mobile artillery unit.
And here is the SCAP strike package in all its glory on Flickr.

There were parts left over, and I made something else with them. Watch for that soon.

zrath: Zrath-Smiley as a TRON program (Kzintoro)

Okay, so, that SuperLotto ticket I bought on Wednesday? I got 2 bucks! Wooh!

I signed up for unemployment Thursday. EDD gave me an extension back in July '08, I think it's still good.
This would be awesome because I would be getting benefits based on my time at Amp'd Mobile, the GOOD job.
If EDD decides to base my benefits on Spin Master instead, I am screwed. I would need to move out.
I'd rather find a good-paying job, of course. We shall see what EDD does.

The photos of my newest Lego MOC, the Geonosian Interceptor, are up on Flickr. It's not canon, it's my
own lil' idea. The Geonosians have fighters, I figure they may also have beefier versions.
The ship is made from only the parts of the Count Dooku Solar Sailer set.

Meanwhile, my alma mater, Fairfax High School, has elected a guy as Prom Queen. No, really.
Of course, when I went to Fairfax High, the area was not called West Hollywood yet. :)

I've just made plans to go see "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" with [livejournal.com profile] coyoteseven tomorrow Saturday.
This should be fun. It's been out a while so we should get good seats. :)

Here comes the weekend!



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