Thursday, April 30, 2009

A box of bricks

I used to think everything would be better if we all just bought bricks in a box. That was when I assumed you wanted to purchase LEGO sets and those bricks were made of plastic.

I'm starting to question that basic theory of consumerism, in light of the recent "buy a Macbook box, get a brick..." series of purchases. To be honest, pavers aren't particularly fun and since I don't possess a wet saw, I'm not envisioning a dramatic series of creations from a red, cement brick.

But, there is hope in this story yet. Those who want to join the ranks of Apple owners, can turn to this LEGO Mac Pro or the new G4 Junior.

See, good does come from a box of bricks; but only when they fall into the right hands.

Picture via Gizmodo.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Bender Factory Tour

I often forget that there is not only a lot of LEGO around the house (my wife is a tolerant lady), but most of it's prominently on display in the living room (see previous parenthesis).

But I quickly remember when somebody new comes into our living room for the first time and has one of three predetermined reactions. We hand out checklists to guests, who are likely to issue the following remarks:

"Are these your kids?"

"Wow, that's a lot of LEGOs [sic]..."

"I used to play with LEGOs [sic]..."

The answers are...

"These will one day belong to our kids..."

"You have no idea what a lot of LEGO bricks looks like, but this (sadly) isn't a lot..."

"You should think about getting back into it..."

In short, a trip to our house is like going to the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory. I occasionally drop into a Boston accent, can often be found in a hairnet, and am always certain to give the gift of a free sample.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

When you can't find the words

Not sure of how to say what you need say? And you're probably not, because you're not John Mayer (If you are John Mayer, always nice to see someone who grew up in Fairfield make good in this world, keep it up).

The easy answer is to say it with LEGO. Apparently, it's the language that everybody understands...

There's Detroit News columnist Lynn Henning who compares the hodge podge success of the local baseball club to stacking together LEGO pieces...

IT infrastructure company BlueLock used LEGO bricks to explain it's business model..

The San Francisco Weekly suggested San Fran was a LEGO city populated by Weebles...

In the Sydney Morning Herald, the potential new bride of Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones guitarist) suggested they just click together like LEGO bricks...

I guess when you can't find the words, you can always find the LEGO.
Photo by Mamluke!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Prison Break is not longer just a show on Fox

I don't want to alarm anyone, most of all, myself. But the two LEGO men who have been trapped inside the paper clip container on my desk for the past two years have...escaped.

So if you see a tiny yellow LEGO surfer with a flat-top and floral shirt or a pizza deliveryman in a white cap, be cool. By all means, don't approach the two of them as they should be considered extremely dangerous. They could cause a small cut on the bridge of your nose or use your own weight against you through the nonviolent direct action of laying underneath your arch. It's best to walk away slowly and note their current location via some sort of Google Mashup.

Since they lack fingers or thumbs, I'm going to assume they had help. The current main suspects are a dog and a cat, working in an unlikely tandom. But I've also noticed recently that a lot more minifigs have popped up around the office. Two pirates stand over an old circuit breaker switch attached to the wall and Jack Stone is protecting my office supplies. This could be the kind of conspiracy that brings down an entire company.

Photo by Tiberium Blue.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Somewhere in a red plush officechair...

Things are becoming highbrow here in LEGO central. The monocle is on it's way from and that monkey butler is almost done with his apprenticeship over seas. Accordingly, I've decided to update my wardrobe.

What has prompted this ascendance to uppercrustiness? LEGO bowties from Dee and Ricky. There's something about brick neckwear that teaches a man it's okay to want to smoke a pipe that blows bubbles and wear cardigan sweaters. Or this could just be a case of attempting to justify previously documented behavior.

The only question remains...can I pull off the look a LEGO bowtie? Only time and the good denizens that attend my cocktail parties will tell.

Photo via Definitive Touch.

Friday, April 17, 2009

LEGO in my luggage

Greetings from the Kansas City International Airport. Although no international flights are scheduled for departure today (or any other day for that matter), many will travel several hundred miles. We're not big on the details here. As long as you don't put vinegar in your sauce, you should be fine.

I'm wondering if AFOLs keep a travel box organized for LEGO on the go? Although one of my guilty pleasure is to read paperback dramas, I could use a LEGO set right about now to occupy my time. Any suggestions out there for how to pack a box that has everything I need; but could fit into a carry-on?

Currently, I've got my eyes peeled for the airport manager, the inspiration for Kate's favorite minifig.
Photo by thegareth.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Everyone is a LEGO art critic

With Plasticgod (Los Angeles artist Doug Murphy) unveiling his latest artwork that anthropormizes minifig heads into celebrities, the question of whether LEGO can be art is back on the table for discussion.

It's something I've been wondering since attending a discussion led by AFOL Roy Cook at Brickworld concerning the artistic properties of LEGO bricks. He asked a single provocative question that sparked an hour of conversation that was only ended because the room was needed for the next presentation.

Can you consider something art when it can be recreated exactly? Every LEGO sculpture and mosaic can be remade down to the last piece (assuming someone has the requisite skill). Not only are the bricks mass-produced, but does that very fact render it impossible to create something unique?

There is no doubt that LEGO bricks have the power to evoke strong visceral responses from an audience for a given creation. People bring their associations from childhood and the idea that LEGO elements have been transformed resonates on a number of levels. The bricks even sit inside the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. So, if bricks are art or at least accomplishments of design- what about the structures made from those pieces?

Photo by Kisokiso.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Go Back in Time With a LEGO Boombox

The 80's would have been a very different place if Digital Blue and LEGO had unveiled this bad boy: the LEGO Boombox.

The elementary schooler in me is jumping for joy, the adult is wishing this partnership existed when I actually had a boombox in my basement. The LEGO boombox joins the latest electronics line of brick MP3 players and digital cameras expected to be released this summer.

Perhaps Radio Raheem might have made it if Sal was faced with a comically oversized LEGO brick instead of a classic silver boombox.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Not yet Finnished

To my reader in Finland,

Thanks for coming by and visiting a small online slice of middle America. I'm sorry I haven't posted in Finnish to date, but this entry will make up for it (if you're pressed for time, feel free to roll your eyes on down to the end of the post).

Kudos on selecting the Whooper Swan as your national bird, it would easily defeat the bluebird (official Missouri bird) in beak-to-beak combat. Over the course of this past year playing with LEGO bricks, one of the things I learned (besides to never mess with a Swan or Canadian geese) is that LEGO is a unifying language. I'm excited by the idea that we could, as I type this, be building exactly the same thing. I wonder if this is what Tesla and Marconi felt as they sought to bring radio to the world. Will you Finnish reader complete the Green Grocer before I do?

Will Erik Larson someday write about our epic struggle paired with a gruesome crime? Likely not. So in the interim, while we await the winner of our fictitious build challenge:
"ilakoida kummuta."

Photo by Sirkku.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

LEGO Rock Band???

With rumors swirling across the Inter Tubes that a LEGO Rock Band is in the works, I thought I would suggest an appropriate song list for a game title involving minifigs and the chance to rock out in your living room.

Another Brick in the Wall- Pink Floyd. Although the pace is slower than you'd envision for a button-smashing guitar solo, the chorus is easy enough for any of us to sing.

Lego- Ian Gomm. The theme song that is a delightful mix of synthesizer and children's rock.

Brick- Ben Folds Five. Nerdy musician who probably plays with LEGO? Check. Catchy beat? Check.

Brick House- The Commodores. Every good game needs funk and this meets that requirement nicely.

[An important note to those of you getting married and currently considering wedding bands. Brick House is the song that will ultimately determine the wedding band you select. It's on nearly ever sample CD sent by prospective bands and is the only song that will have you reacting like a kitten who has just smelled a lemon.]

I look forward to the game and butchering this song list in the home version of karaoke. In the interim, I can make do with this minifig microphone from Brickforge.

Photo by Dunechaser.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What part of the pig does LEGO come from?

I believe that LEGO is the toy equivalent of bacon- it makes everything better except chocolate. Although I might amend that statement were I ever to run into this sweet-looking cookie.

In case you haven't noticed a theme this week, I've been a bit stuck on kitchen items and food since I'm elbow deep in "How to Cook Everything," by Mark Bittman. I can cook somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 things, so I'm on my way to everything.

Photo by Count Blockula.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Someone's in the kitchen with LEGO

Yesterday's post included a picture of LEGO-inspired cookies and that got me thinking: we don't have any LEGO in the kitchen. And since brick-styled fruit snacks are no longer available, I wasn't sure how many options were left.

Well, thankfully the good folks at LEGO have a bevy of kitchen accessories and gadgets to solve that problem. There are not one, but two cookie cutters, in the shape of minifigs and a rolling bricks.

Should you want to add LEGO to your kitchen and aren't a fan of cookies, Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories has you covered with a series of candy dishes, vases, and bowls built of bricks.

Photo by jcmurty. Link