Poll the People

Shower me with your love

31 August, 2014 (14:03) | Poll the People

How much does the bathroom door being closed affect the temperature of your shower experience?  This is one of the times where I’m not looking into the science of things, but just your existing impressions and emotions about how you feel about the temperature of your shower if the door the bathroom is open.  Privacy completely separate.  If the door is open by someone when you’re in the shower, is all lost at that point?

how much do doors affect your shower experience?

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Poll the People

You still suck

31 July, 2014 (14:06) | Poll the People

How often does your house get vacuumed?  I’m not talking about pulling it out for spot vacuuming after a mess.  I’m talking about a full house sweep.  I would think kids and visual dirt play a big role in how often it happens.  let me know your scenario!

How often does your entire house get vacuumed?

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Little Things

Words, words, words, have you heard

23 July, 2014 (12:00) | Little Things

A few months back, I drove past a auto body shop called “Pair o’ Dice” and I thought that was a terrible name for a business.  Clever?  Sure.  But you’ll have to explain the name to every customer – let alone direct traffic to your website properly.  As I’m thinking more and more about the situations where the owner must clarify the name, I’m saying “paradise” over and over in my head, until at the same moment, lyrics to a new song on the radio said “paradise” at the same time I thought it.  I wish I could remember the track.  It was something by a newer band, alternative rock.

I had not posted about it, because I wanted to heard that song again so I could include it in the post, but I just had another similar situation, so I figured I’d post it anyway.  I’m out for a run in the neighborhood, and I hear a mom yell to her daughter, “Sierra, it’s time for dinner”.  She definitely yelled and drew out that “Sierra”…just as the words to Cursive’s song “Sierra” did, only a few seconds later.  So strange.


When I think about you I…

9 July, 2014 (12:00) | Dreams

Dreams never cease to amaze me.  How can my mind create this world while keeping my consciousness separate?  How can my brain orchestrate the responses and interactions between imaginary people while keeping it a surprise to me?  The other night, I had a striking example of this.

I went into a grocery store to see a friend who was working there.  I saw her enter the aisle adjacent to me, and I called over the shelves, “Hey, I’m over here, I’ll come right over.”  So I round the corner and she’s there with one of her coworkers.  She’s a short, older lady, with glasses and a curly permed grey head of hair.  I have the sense to hug her, as if my friend had told me all about her, so I do.  After hugging her and stepping back, she just stands there.  After an awkward silence, I say, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t know you didn’t like to be touched.”  She shrugs her frozen glaze and goes back to labeling items on the shelf and says, “Oh, it’s not that.  I was just shocked – usually touching is reserved as an employee perk.”  I laughed at the suggestion of improper employee relations.  She was funny.  Then, an employee resembling Robert Downing Jr. approached me and said, “Quick, it’s time to play “carry stuff.””  This was a game invented by employees where they try to pick up bulky items in increasing quantities while customers tried to ask them questions.  The objective was to pick up the most without the customer stopping with their question.  Robert Downing Jr. picked up 2 2 gallon sized jars of mayonnaise that were sitting on pallets.  While going for the 3rd, the customer walked away.  This was a funny game, and it become apparent that I was on some sort of skit show, like Saturday Night Live.  The next few segments brought in a slapstick character like Chris Farley who was tumbling around a row of bikes, and a tall slender guy, like a Steve Martin, who was just smiling and making boisterous comments.

What I wanted to highlight most here wasn’t so much the humor of the dream, but the fact that I was entertained…by myself.  I mean, the employee perk comment is witty, right?  I wouldn’t have come up with that.  The pick up stuff game?  GENIUS!  That’s hilarious!  I was laughing so hard in my dream, complete unaware that it was all my idea in the first place!  It really makes me wonder about what neural network we tap into when we sleep.  Is it really possible to be communicating with other people in a dream state?  Maybe these other people are having the same dreams as me – together.  It’s almost a more easily believed explanation than considering the mental walls that barricade my existing consciousness from my creative creator.

LEGO© Creations

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood house interior in LEGO – A Beautiful Day in the Block

29 June, 2014 (22:24) | LEGO© Creations

I love Mister Rogers.  I loved his show, but I loved his work and his demeanor.  He cared and he truly had a mysterious way of calming you.  I won’t go on about him, plenty of others already aggregated lists for that.

To show my appreciation, I wanted my next Pittsburgh build to be Mister Rogers related.  I had a few different ideas that I’ve been dragging along for a while, but this one hit me quickly and I knew I could pull it off with the parts I had in a short period of time.  I could only find 1 picture of the full room and it was very small.  I tried using video clips, but the picture was just going to have to work.

There were no major hangups.  There were lots of cut corners, that I could go back and fix, but I’m happy enough with it.  I thought it was funny about how ugly the curtains were in the picture and verified in the videos.  I don’t remember them at all, but man, those are hideous.  No real good way to pull those off simply, so I just made ugly colorful curtains.  You can see in the reference picture, Picture Picture wasn’t in it.  Of course Picture Picture had to me in my build!  I LOVED PICTURE PICTURE!  I almost peed my pants when Daniel Tiger took a tour of the crayon making factory.  THAT WAS MY FAVORITE!  …but I digress.

It is currently on display at S.W. Randall in Squirrel Hill for their annual LEGO competition.  Voting begins July 1st and ends July 13th.  I’ve won the past 2 years, and had intended to “let someone else win it”, but, the more I thought about it, the more I think that’s the wrong way to go about it.  It’s true, I want someone else to win, but I also want to see the adult community grow in the Pittsburgh area!  I took my entry in today, with 1 more day to enter, so I didn’t get store front window placing, which will make it very hard to win.  There are 5 other adult entries, one by my friend and fellow LUG member, Dan Efran.  Tip o’ the hat to my punmaster friend, Brian, for helping me come up with the title “A Beautiful Day in the Block”.


And if you have a moment, please vote for my Cathedral of Learning LEGO Ideas project!  If it reaches 10,000 votes, LEGO will consider producing it as an official set!!!


LEGO© Creations

Batman Remembers

1 May, 2014 (14:59) | LEGO© Creations

For the 75th anniversary of Batman, LEGO announced a contest at the major conventions for the best batman build.  There wasn’t much in the way of official rules and regulations or criteria on how people would be judged, but I knew I wanted to take a shot.  The announcement came a few weeks before I planned on attending the first Philly Brickfest and I saw that as an opportunity to seize.  I had this clear vision of what I would do based on what images strike me when I think about Batman.  What better way to celebrate Batman than depicting the scene where it all began?

I’m going to try to hold back the bitterness as much as possible here.  When I showed up at the convention, it was just as I expected as far as entries.  Not too many people had the time to prepare large and intricate models and there were only a dozen or so entries.  Many were nice minifig scale vehicles.  When I placed my entry on the table, there were other entrants that said they’d vote for me if they could vote.  Way on the end of the table was basically an ad for this cuusoo project.  You could tell the artist was passionate for getting his project attention by the 3 inch tall cardboard platform he made and decorated for his classic batmobile model.  Around the stand, with a backing advertising the cuusoo project, he had cardboard cut outs of the joker, batman, and robin.  In front of the display, he had placed business cards in a checkerboard pattern to the edge of the table.  He put significant effort in promoting his project.  During the public hours, where everyone else was behind their MOCs at MOC tables, he was behind his model interacting with the public and passing out business cards.  He brought a gun to, what I thought was a knife fight, basically.  What really stung though, was not the feeling of him using the contest as a platform for self-promotion, but the model itself.  This was an official LEGO contest, and even the LEGO Cuusoo rules state no new parts and only LEGO parts may be used.  His model contained parts that he painted as well as cut plastic, that may or not have been LEGO.  This may not be understood by most of the public, but most of the respected builders in the community are purists.  It’s kind of the point.  It’s part of the fun to use what is available.  I mean, someone could have created an amazing batmobile if they cut and painted all they wanted.  Rant off.  I think you get the gist, I lost.  When I went to check on my Batman later in the day, he had dropped his bouquet, petals everywhere, and his head and sunken even lower.  I figured it was rather fitting and left it as it was.  Sorry, Bruce, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Sad Batman


While you’re supporting the batmobile project, make sure you support my Cathedral of Learning and Stephen Foster Memorial!  Thanks!