Archive for the ‘Lego’ Category

Good evening!

Last post I did, I started my little series of recognizing the folks who have really inspired me to make some life changes. These aren’t exactly folks who have supported me… in many cases, they don’t even know I found their stories or journeys to be inspiring. Now it’s my chance to throw them some recognition.

Today’s honoree is Glenn, also known as Vegan Wayne (long story).

Glenn was a pretty big guy… also a member of the Disney community, I met him through the fine folks at WDW Today. I’ve always told him he’s my favorite Hawaiian attorney (He’s the only Hawaiian attorney I know, so of course he’s my favorite, but don’t tell him that… it’ll spoil the gravitas that goes along with that honor) I say Glenn was a pretty big guy because he’s no longer that big. Some of my fondest memories of Glenn involved chowing down at the Ohana feast , so imagine my surprise when he told me he was going to a vegan, whole foods diet.

I was stunned.


The voice running through my head was that of the aunt in My Big Fat Greek Wedding saying, “Whaddaya mean you don’t eat no meat?”

Of course he took some ribbing about that major dietary change, including when we all went to Ohana and he had  them bring out the vegan platter while the rest of us did our best barbarian impression, eating meat cooked with fire. The gauntlet was thrown, as well, with our friend Jeanine making a snarky remark about “those four months you went vegan”. To Glenn’s credit, he’s stuck with it and has lost well over 100 pounds.

The road isn’t always smooth, but if you stick with it, you can succeed.

photo (8)My current project of a minifig display rack is moving along. I finished cutting the wood for the outer frame. I even used the router table to cut shelf guides. The first attempt wasn’t too successful… I did each side individually and the alignment was WAAAAAY off. So, I had to buy another piece of wood and start over. I managed to rig some scrap wood into a jig, which kept everything nice and aligned. The shelves are going to made from 1/4 inch oak plywood, since there’s no real weight to the figures. I’m going to make the basic design in a cross-hatched pattern so there’s some support to keep the shelves from sagging under their own weight.

So, that’s what’s been going on. The router table has proven to be a most excellent acquisition, so I’m pleased about that.

Oh, one tip… if you’re outside getting exercise on these hot days, remember to hydrate to the best of your ability. You don’t want to get dehydrated, so avoid caffeine and sodas. Instead, stick to water and sports drinks. My sports drink of choice is PowerAde Zero in the orange flavor. Seriously yummy stuff.

More soon.

Song of the Day: Running on Empty – Jackson Browne

I am pleased to announce that I haven’t fallen off a treadmill in four days.

That’s not for lack of trying.

snap0082I should clarify and say that I am not, repeat NOT, actively trying to fall off a treadmill. It’s just that my legs have been awfully rubbery of late, so stepping off the treadmill can be an iffy proposition. The funny thing as that while my hip/posterior was where I thought I’d get a bruise, I actually did more damage to my arm.

It’s a good thing, though… if my legs feel rubbery, that means it was a decent workout. Plus, the more I get my work in, the less time the legs stay rubbery. One thing I do know for sure is that the Balega socks are wonderful. They feel good when you put them on, there’s no seam to rub against your toes, and your feet are wonderfully dry when you’re done. I’m in the process of converting to a mostly moisture-wicking sock collection and selling the old cotton socks at the next edition of The Dreaded Yard Sale®. I figure I can get a quarter a pair… after all, most have hardly been worn, and it’s all for charity!

I also am going to pick up a pair of Balegas for Supportive Partner Woman (She of the ouchy back!). While her feet are nowhere near as bad as mine, she would probably benefit from a nice, comfortable pair of socks.

photo (7)In other news, the Lego 10240 X-Wing is complete. It’s sizeable, especially when compared to the standard X-Wing that was released in 2012. The downside is that the new one is not scaled for minifigs… but I’m keeping Porkins, because, well, he’s Porkins. I’ll probably sell the other one… limited display space is a bad thing. This is why I never bought the Super Star Destroyer.

At any rate, that’s about all I have for today. Tomorrow and Friday bring sessions with the boys and hopefully my arm will continue to feel better. Oh, and I plan on continuing my streak of not falling off of treadmills or other objects.

Song of the Day: In Too Deep – Sum 41

The lowlight of the weekend was getting the inevitable e-mail from AirTran saying that our flights had changed. I booked out of Reagan National in order to save a few bucks and because the times were perfect. Flights were nonstop and avoided the ninth circle of Hell that is Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. Nothing against Atlanta, it’s probably a great city. I’d just never want to fly there because I’m sure my luggage would take a nice, scenic detour through the Kamchatka Peninsula on its way to Hotlanta.

So, the email stated that our new departing flight left DCA at 6:01 AM, then we had to change planes AND airlines in Atlanta on the way to MCO, getting in around 11:30 AM. That doubled the length of travel time, which was less than optimal. Same deal on the return flight… obligatory stop in Atlanta, leaving two hours earlier than desired, etc.

I cooled off for a day (otherwise Ensign Furious might’ve sailed up aboard his garbage scow and that’s never pretty) and opted to call them this morning. What a circus.

First of all, the menu. The Voice gives you precious few options, one of which is NOT “Speak to a live actual person”. God help you if you opt to press 0, because the Voice gets a bit testy almost snarling “Invalid Command!” and then restarting the menu as if to say, “Now, where was I before you interrupted me, you ignorant jackass?”

Eventually, if you say or press nothing, you get a real, live person. Maybe The Voice does not like to be ignored. Whatever the reason, I got a guy who was reasonably helpful. After a few minutes of phone wrangling, he was able to get us on a flight out of BWI (much closer to home) that is non-stop and while it leaves a little later than preferred, it beats the trip through Il Purgatorio.

The fun part was when he was surprised when I wanted to change both trips. Why wouldn’t I want to fly out of BWI and into DCA? I could have a car stashed in both places. Seriously? To make a long story short, they changed the flights and didn’t require a change fee. Gotta like that. See, it’s been my experience that when you actually get a live person, they are pretty eager to help.

In the good news department, I didn’t fall off the treadmill today. That’s always a plus. No real damage from Friday’s misadventures other than a sizable bruise. Could’ve been a lot worse.

The Ultimate Collector's Series X-Wing

The Ultimate Collector’s Series X-Wing

Other things accomplished this weekend was replacing the shocks on Mario the Honda. They were pretty well gone and once Jim and I got the new shocks on, well, it rode and handled like a new car. Had to road test it, so we headed off to King of Prussia and the Lego Store. Through a combination of VIP points, a timely 10% coupon and a few other discounts/credits we came home with the new Ultimate Collectors Series X-Wing. It’s shaping up to be a most excellent build. This was followed by a trip to Wegman’s. Saturday night, Supportive Partner Woman and I went to El Serrano for a charity margarita competition in which our favorite bartender, Frank, was a contestant. All told, I had about an ounce or two of real, actual booze for the first time since last year. I’m happy to report that it stayed down. Frank wound up winning and gets to go to Mexico, so kudos to Frank! After that, our friends came over to the Nerd Lair and a good time was had by all.

So, all in all, it’s a positive start to the week. Let’s hope it continues.

Song of the Day: Not the Same – Ben Folds Five

It’s one thing to see numbers on a scale. It’s quite another to realize you fit in pants you haven’t worn since 2010.

Yet that’s what happened yesterday. After visiting my mother on Friday, she remarked on how baggy my jeans were looking, so I decided to try the next size down. I dug into the recesses of my closet and :behold: the 44 jeans actually fit and fit well.

This, my friends, is real progress. The number is just that… a number. Size is not just mass, it’s volume, too, and I am physically smaller.

I am not complaining.

So, other than the smaller pants, how else has weight loss manifested itself since surgery?

1) I can actually close my jacket
2) I can buckle the seatbelt in my car
3) I can fit comfortably in a movie theater seat without having to lift an armrest.

It’s actually really cool.

So, yesterday, I sat here and attempted to write a post. All I could come up with was pretty much crap. So, I figured I’d give it a day and see what emerged. Other than that, I managed to get some stuff done around the house. I got us a new scale and had to install a new toilet seat. I know… exciting stuff! I also finished the latest Lego project… the Palace Cinema. It was a fun build and I was ably assisted by Supportive Partner Woman (becoming an experience Lego builder!) who did most of the roof. Her next project is the Farnsworth House, from the Architecture series. I think I’m going to have to build some display shelves.

521900_10200991424894387_1326894639_nI also managed a visit to the gym. For those of you keeping score, that was four straight days. I’ve been trying to up my time by five minutes every day, at least until I can get some real food in me. I have an exercise appointment tomorrow. so we will see what the boys have planned for me.

At any rate, today’s agenda should include some yard work and cleaning. I’m going to take out the front screens and clean them, since that’s way overdue. I’m still not able to lift, but a little cleaning shouldn’t cause too much of an issue.

Tomorrow’s report will include a preview of pureed food. I know… exciting stuff!

Song of the Day: I Got a Feeling – Black Eyed Peas


Sorry I never got to write yesterday. We got busy with doctors appointments and errands and whatnot. It happens.

I did manage to spend most of the day out yesterday. First off, I had a foot doctor appointment. I managed to keep Stubby in check, but Wayne’s next door neighbor is a little ulcerated. Dr. Miller unroofed it and we’re doing the Betadyne and bandaid treatment until it dries up. This was a regular appointment, so I also got the toenails trimmed and all that.

Afterward, we went to visit Supportive Partner Woman (Practiced good eating habits!)’s mother. Had a nice visit over lunch, well, Mom ate, SPW and I kind of watched and chatted. Afterward, we took the car to the Three Minute Car Wash. This is a Reading, PA institution. You drop your car at the entrance and they clean it inside and outside, and clean it well, all for around $12 without any extras. It”s in a sketchy part of town, but the quality of the cleaning is far superior to some of the other full-service car washes in the area (cough, Cloister, cough) AND it’s less expensive.

Then it was off to the Lego Store at King of Prussia. It’s like Mecca for Lego geeks. We looked around and considered the new Architecture series release, the Imperial Hotel, but opted instead for the Palace Cinema. It’s pretty cool and bears a resemblance to The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I think that’s the real reason we went with it. It was a double points period, which means more VIP points for later. It’s like free money, so you can’t turn it down.


Some really yummy tomato soup at Wegman’s

After that, we went looking for a place for SPW to grab a bite. I had my trusty pudding and Jell-o in the car, so I was good, but she needed to forage. We swung by Gino’s, which was a big fast food joint in our youth, recently resurrected as an “upscale” burger joint. It smelled fantastic, but SPW was underwhelmed by the menu and we hit the road for Collegeville and Wegman’s (insert choir of angels singing). This is a rather new Wegman’s and it’s in a huge retail complex that features an Eastern Mountain Sports, Best Buy and a Movie Tavern location. This Wegman’s actually has a pub with a sit down menu, and a huge cafe area. SPW managed to located a few tasty items and we found an organic tomato soup that was right up my alley. It was spicy instead of salty and really sit well with the pouch, which I think we will call Joe. I also brought in my pudding cup. Shhh.

It was my first meal out since Red Robin a couple of weeks ago and while it was only soup, it really went down well. I couldn’t finish it all (no surprise) but that’s OK. I have some more of that yumminess for today.

On today’s agenda will be registering for the 5K in January.

Yup… I’m we’re really going to do it. And you’d better believe that when we get those finisher medals, we’re wearing them. Other than that, not sure what’s on the agenda. A walk, for sure.

OH… one other thing that I wanted to share. The last three days, my blood glucose has been at 88. It’s weird, but three days in a row, slightly different times, same number. I guess consistency is key.

Have a great day and get out for a walk!


Here we are… end of January and the weather’s been freaky. There’s a surprise. It was ice storm fun on Monday, then it was 60 degrees, then it was biblical rainstorms last night. Go figure.

So, had to order what will hopefully be my last batch of test strips and insulin. Ordered from Caremark (I’m too young to get them from Liberty Medical) and jumped through the hoops, including them arbitrarily canceling the order. So, they send me a tracking number yesterday and, of course, it’s signature required. That would be at the time when Supportive Partner Woman and I aren’t home. So, I arranged to have the package held at the local UPS office. All good. I get a phone message from them after I get home letting me know that my order will be shipped on the next business day. Guess the left and right hands never met.

Other fun in the medical department was my podiatrist appointment on Tuesday. As he’s working on my toes, the dialogue went something like this:

Dr. Miller: “You know, Brian, I don’t think that you’ll ever win any awards for good looking feet.”

Me: <blink>

Stubby the Wonder Toe: “Oh no you di’ent! Imma bust a cap in yo ass!”

I can’t say that I’ve ever been told that before. Sigh. The consequences of diabetic feet.

I’ve continued to be more active, even though the workload has picked up at the office. Looks like I even get to do a little bit of a woodworking project for the boss, building read boards. This should be fun… I haven’t built anything in some time and I’ve kind of missed it.

At any rate, SPW is on her way home so that we’ll actually get to spend some time together while both of us are conscious. Yay!

Hope you all have a great rest of the week.


lego-series-9-minifigures-Chicken-Suit-Guy 2

Chicken Man

Pretzel Guy

Pretzel Guy

P.S. I did managed to come up with some cool new Lego minifigs over the last couple of weeks. The coolest one is the guy in the chicken suit. He’s this set’s equivalent of the pretzel guy from Series 8.


A Brave New Year

Posted: January 1, 2013 in Holidays, Lego, music

Happy New Year!

Yup… hard to believe it’s already 2013. It seems that it was only a couple years ago that we reached the millennium and I never thought THAT would happen. (For the record, I spent New Year’s Eve 1999 in the basement with a loaded rifle… I fell asleep and woke up about 12:15, saw the power was still on, so unloaded the rifle and went to bed)

It seemed a little strange, though to not have Dick Clark there. I know that he was in bad shape with the stroke and all, but the show is almost as old as I am, and it’s what I remember. The level of “talent” on that show has certainly gone downhill over the years. I’m not going to get into specifics, but if you really need AutoTune THAT much, well, you need some voice lessons.

This brings me into my annual (starting this year) list of celebs whose fame clocks really need to tick over from 14:59:

Taylor Swift
Carly Rae Jepsen
Anybody with a surname of Kardashian

I also wanted to thank everyone for the 5,600 hits last year. That’s pretty amazing for a blog that I don’t uber-promote. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and comment.

Here’s to wishing you all the happiest and most prosperous New Year you can have. I’m going to leave you with something done by someone I have to assume is a demented bastard with too much time on his hands.