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Posted on 2008.03.05 at 17:30
Current Location: 75070
Current Music: iShuffle
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I played Lego's yesterday. A lot. And by a lot of Lego's, for those of you prone to misunderstanding me, I played 10-hours of Legos.

Staying home with sick children is almost never fun - especially when you choose to work from home to be available. That's why I took a day off instead of working from home. I thought that might be easier. And while little girl was feeling well enough to play 10-hours of Lego's, she was under doctors orders not to return to school until this morning.

Fine. I dumped out the ever-growing bucket of Lego's smack dab in the living room floor, and began to build.

Ever since my son began playing Lego Star Wars the video game, we've moved from Lego cars and trucks and planes to Lego Star Wars. He has an impressive collection. Throw in the massive hundred-dollar Bionicle sets he got on sale after Christmas with his combined birthday money, and we've got ourselves enough bricks to actually spend that amount of time, given a ripe enough imagination.

When I was but a lad in shortpants, our bricks were larger, at least height-wise. These are what I call, "full height" bricks. Today's "sets" are awfully specific to the item you are making, while being just as configurable, often time you simply don't have any other need for a Naboo Starfighter engine nacelle. And while my children enjoy playing with the creations they've made, they are very frustrated that all I do is build (hitherto only assumed, last night directly articulated) instead of play.

And while I constantly fight with you, my FL concerning the self-awareness of my lack of creativity, I did manage to actually build something to capture the mind of an eight-year-old. He loves ships - we build lots of spaceships, and I try to vary my design every couple of attempts. He likes to see the engines, and the guns. Is interested in the cockpit, and the controls. He's very detail oriented. If I build two ships, he wants to know which one is faster - the one with more engines, or the smaller one? And as his affinity lies with the fightercraft, I generally build troop-transport ships for him, to ferry his entire army.

I noticed that every time I added a piece of moveable equipment, his fascination swelled, be it a control panel which moves into place, a radar which rotates, or most impressively, swiveling engines (inspired of course by Firefly) which rotate on landing. It was late last week when we were building our current motorpool that we collaborated on some foldable shielding, as the cockpit was high atop the craft and unprotected. Thus began my journey to create a ship in which everything moved.

And as I am not an engineer, this took me...10-hours:

The 'secured' mode reminds me of H.G. Wells Time Machine.

It doesn't look like it, but this unfolds like a flower, turning into a gunship, replete with antenna array, revealing a hidden third engine. Those people who build enormous LEGO creations sure have my respect. They build both complex items, and large recreations. I can't fathom it. I dreamed last night I was snapping little pieces together, and woke up screaming.

As I didn't want to flood everyone's FL with this nonsense, the transformation can be found here: http://wilddamntexan.com/kids/lego_creations/howto


catttitude at 2008-03-06 01:15 (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad you have fun with the children of the corn.
ehowton at 2008-03-06 03:07 (UTC) (Link)
I like this better than paying Rescue Heroes. Someone was always getting hurt (usually knocked on the head) which was the cause for a lot of downtime.
galinda822 at 2008-03-06 01:26 (UTC) (Link)
Wow! I bet G-Man loves this.

Even I'm impressed! :)
ehowton at 2008-03-06 03:09 (UTC) (Link)
He only wishes I would "play" when we're finished building. Problem is, I'm never finished building! I constantly tweaking something or making add-on parts. Poor kid just wants to play.
photogoot at 2008-03-06 02:04 (UTC) (Link)
Just so I am clear, you played LEGOS for 10 hours? ;-)
ehowton at 2008-03-06 03:10 (UTC) (Link)
Yessir. Ten (10) hours. Roman numeral, "X"
photogoot at 2008-03-06 02:25 (UTC) (Link)
I have mixed emotions about the new LEGOS. I miss the full "height bricks". You know me I tend towards being old school. Some of the new sets do look really cool though. My little guy is asking for the police station set.

So what ever did Lady P create in her ten hours of construction?
ehowton at 2008-03-06 03:17 (UTC) (Link)
The nice things about buying all the sets in the series is their overt interoperability. If you first purchase the police station, then the hospital, later the airport...you have all similarly colored bricks. We have a huge RED set, a large WHITE set, a big YELLOW set, and now the Star Wars are primarily black and gray.

So what ever did Lady P create in her ten hours of construction?
She created dozens of little "Z's" floating strangely above her head before they popped noiselessly, like bubbles.

Melancthe the Woe, So-Called
melancthe at 2008-03-06 05:13 (UTC) (Link)
That's fantastic. When I was a kid, I would have given anything to have my dad build me such an awesome creation. Mine even used to cry off building Meccano with me.

It needs more brightly-coloured Lego pieces to add an air of tastelessness, though. :)
ehowton at 2008-03-06 14:51 (UTC) (Link)
I remember my first set of Meccano. I cried. My poor father! I'm not an engineer - all those screws and bolts...I was completely lost. I don't think I ever built anything with that.
irulan_amy at 2008-03-06 06:01 (UTC) (Link)
Step away from the Legos. Seriously.


Wow! These are not the Legos of my youth. I just had little bricks and built variations of houses and barns (without roofs) and fences. It's nifty that they can become a spaceship now. Nicely done.

Glad your girl is feeling better!
ehowton at 2008-03-06 14:49 (UTC) (Link)
You and me both (about the houses with no roofs). But outside of the specialty pieces (which are counter-productive in my mind), I'm thankful to have something in which I can build a spaceship because...

When he was younger, I'd dump out the Lincoln Logs and ask, "What do you want me to build?"

Invariably, he'd say, "Airplane!"


Do you have any idea how difficult it is to build an airplane out of Lincoln Logs???
hiro_antagonist at 2008-03-06 07:42 (UTC) (Link)
Makes me miss my childhood lego set. Apparently there's a Lego MMO game coming out from what I understand - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lego_Universe
ehowton at 2008-03-06 14:46 (UTC) (Link)
The Star Wars Lego games are the shiznit. They follow every detail of the storyline...except the characters have to build things out of Lego's to complete their missions. And they use the original score in all the right places too, which is a nice touch.
Nick Dangerous
nickdangerous at 2008-03-07 22:04 (UTC) (Link)
Very cool. A few more hours of that, and you'll be taking Nathan down in no time...

ehowton at 2008-03-07 22:20 (UTC) (Link)
Ha! None of his shit moves :P (the busts are amazing though).
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