Diana and I built the LEGO version of The Simpsons’ house today, streamed it live, and recorded it for posterity — we indeedily-o did! (Ned Flanders oversaw the construction and kind of rubbed off on us.) Warning! This video was not done in our typical time-lapse fashion! It’s hours and hours of us putting this thing together (in an epic, two-part miniseries), so if you want the experience of assembling a full-fledged LEGO set in real time without actually… assembling a full-fledged LEGO set in real time for yourself, this is about the closest you’re gonna get!
If this Star Scores were part of the Star Wars series, this would be Episode V, aka the Empire Strikes Back. While I can in no way expect that you will enjoy it as much as what many consider to be the best of the Star Wars movies, I do hope that we can only get better from here.
May the Force be with us?
Featured in Star Scores: Episode V
|Darth Vader’s Lightsaber||Star Wars iPhone Cases||Star Wars Tumbler|
|Star Wars Comic Omnibuses||Darth Vader Pumpkin Kit||Space Invaders Bottle Opener|
|Lightsaber Lip Balm||Darth Vader 1977 Figure||R2-D2 Operation Game|
|Touch Screen Gloves by Agloves||LG G2: How Do You Like It Now?||Shower Gel Dispenser Will Make Your Nose Runny|
LEGO Minecraft Review: The Nether 
Featured in This Video
|Get The Nether||Get Minecraft (The Village)||Get the Original LEGO Minecraft Set|
Free Publication for LockerGnome Readers
|We Eat and Drink Our Way Throughout the Day||Time to Upgrade My Glass||You Would Even Say It Glows|
|Freebie Gamer Bundle||Universal Car Mount|
Who’d have thunk that putting together the LEGO Lord of the Rings 10237 Tower of Orthanc Building Set would take six hours? It probably would have gone faster if I’d hired some orcs and goblins to help out, but they’re not the best houseguests. Last time, they ganked our entire supply of jerky and left muddy footprints all over the carpet. Analysis: Greenskins are jerks. At least they didn’t bring a cave troll.
Anyway: Behold! The Tower of Orthanc stands tall and proud above House Pirillo! Watch the time-lapsed video to see how it was made whole from over 2,000 not-so-easy pieces!
LEGO Stuff I Dig
|LEGO Lord of the Rings Tower of Orthanc||LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon||LEGO Back to the Future DeLorean|
Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Stuff I Dig
|Gandalf vs. Saruman Salt & Pepper Shakers||Gollum Plush||Lord of the Rings Monopoly|
|Retro Flip Down Clock is a Gift of Time||Portal 2 Sentry Turret — Collect All 20||Self Setting Rubber is Play-Doh for Adults|
Deal of the Day
Free Publications for LockerGnome Readers
|Surviving the Business Equivalent of the Zombie Apocalypse||Getting Started With Arduino: A Beginner’s Guide|
|Maybe the Rainbow Made Diana Sick?||Squeaky Squeeze Fun||Cookies Are in Control|
|Dashboard Zombie Apocalypse||Futurama Talking Bender Figure||Dragon Ball Z Stars Crystal Glass Balls|
I finally had a chance to build my own Millennium Falcon! Sure, it has two manuals and lots of stickers, but this time-lapse video makes it seem like I built it in less than twelve parsecs!
Yes, yes, I know that parsecs are units of distance — not time. I tried explaining this all to Han Solo once, but he’s the type of guy who shoots first, you know?
Kessel Run, shmessel run. I’m just going to go do something more relaxing. Like play chess with a Wookiee.
Featured in This Video
|LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon 7965||LEGO Audiobook||LEGO Brick Separator|
Other Star Wars Stuff I Like
|SDCC Charity Pink Vader Helmet||31″ Darth Vader Action Figure||Star Wars Chess|
Back to School
|Create Stunning Sites with Flux 4||Splinter Cell: Blacklist for PC — 25% Off|
|Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine||I’ll Send You to Belize.||Giant Spock Wall Decal|
Free Publications for LockerGnome Readers
|Linux Command Line Cheat Sheet||PC Maintenance Guide|
Some would call it an unhealthy obsession – I would prefer to refer to it as a hobby.
LEGO isn’t for some. Those who cannot accommodate bricks must continue to put up with people like me (who, by the way, are not responsible for gigantic minifigs washing up on Florida shorelines). We need some kind of creative outlet, and at least this activity is more interactive than outmoded options like zoning out in front of a radio or television for hours on end.
Building LEGO sets has been my zen. Combine that with the crazy possibility of someone eventually producing an Apple Store model constructed entirely of… it happened. Oliver Burridge from our community asked if he could create a “Day in the Life of Chris Pirillo” for our YouTube Channel and I happily agreed to support the endeavor. Part of the “plot” will be spent within an Apple Store, apparently – and this scene has already been recorded:
I believe that LEGO is increasingly embracing the idea of allowing their community to control the destiny of various sets. In light of the LEGO trademark falling to the wayside, perhaps we’ll see better pricing for these custom constructions?
So, maybe we’ll inspire a passionate brick enthusiast to upload a DesignByMe set for any of us not-so-Master builders to buy one day?
I’m running out of room around here; without a dedicated LEGO space somewhere in my home, I’ll soon be swimming in bricks (and they’re quite sharp around the edges if you hadn’t already noticed). Perhaps it’s better that I stick to collecting minifigs and disassembling the sets once I’ve done ’em?
While I did happen to enjoy a few random episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on PBS when it aired, I couldn’t understand half of it. The troupe’s thick British accents were not half as challenging to interpret as their somewhat-foreign, albeit clearly offbeat,
It wasn’t until my early days at college (before I discovered the Internet) when I’d be introduced to Monty Python’s range of movies and music through the Final Rip-off set of CDs. On these discs, you could listen to some of their more popular show skits – reproduced and somewhat sanitized. Plus, there were notable scenes from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” sewn throughout the selection. That’s how I learned of the airspeed velocity of unladen swallows (and then some). To many, this is the only thing Monty Python ever did.
After picking up “Monty Python Sings” through one of those mail order CD clubs, I rented “Meaning of Life” and watched it with my brothers at home. This particular film was a bit more like their classic show, but a non-sequitur classic unto itself. I’m just glad my parents didn’t catch us watching the “Every Sperm is Sacred” segment at the time. “Christmas in Heaven” may have redeemed us, though.
Out of all the Monty Python movies produced, I’d have to say that “Life of Brian” was the most entertaining for me. I’m still a fan of Grail’s nonsensical storytelling, but there’s something to be said about well-crafted religious satire. If you couldn’t tell the difference between the Judean People’s Front and the People’s Front of Judea, then… you’re in on the joke.
Do you remember each of those scenes? If not, perhaps it’s time to move along to something completely different.
I still have mixed emotions about “Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” I want to love it, but at this point I think I’m going to have to settle for a tepid like.
I recall living in an apartment at the time a pop music radio station played “Duel of the Fates” for the first time. I couldn’t help but wonder what scenes we’d see unfold on the screen when that day actually arrived. Then, I remember painstakingly downloading the official trailers over a 56k Internet connection – in the days long before YouTube. Who were all of these wonderful new characters?!
The Battle Droids caught my eye, of course. The army was more than ready for battle – but against what? I’d have to find out at a later date.
I didn’t wait in line like so many of my fellow geeks did. Somehow, I made a connection through my brother that shot us close to the front of the line on the evening Episode I was released (at Midnight). We didn’t have Twitter – we didn’t even have text messaging – to keep in touch with nerds from around the world. Blogs were still a distant possibility, too. We were “Force’d” to socialize with one another in-person.
Was “Episode I” worth the wait? No. Was “The Phantom Menace” nice to see? Maybe. Would I watch the “first” Star Wars movie again? Sure. A fan of the prequel, I was not. You might make the argument that I was too old in my mid-20s to see what Lucas had served up, but I’d tell you that Sithy dialogue is Sithy dialogue no matter your age.
When LEGO began producing Star Wars sets for the fan base, I didn’t go out of my way to swoop up anything outside of the original Trilogy. Still, when it came time to populate my own Amazon wish list, I gave in and added a few Prequel items I thought would be worthwhile – if only to torture certain characters.
My girlfriend and I did have fun putting the Droid Invasion set together:
We now have more than enough Battle Droids in our library, though I’d hardly consider them minifigs (by my own definition). These things are near impossible to keep free-standing or fastened! If you wanted to grow your own Droid battalion, this set would be a good place to start; you can get plenty of Battle Droids for the price.
When “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was first released, I was still in grade school. I remember sitting in the back seat of my mother’s old (yes, even old by that day’s standards) Volkswagen Rabbit and being told that while she and Dad would be seeing the new movie in theaters, my brothers and I would not. I guess there were scenes which might have frightened us – like when Toht’s face melts away and Belloq explodes when they open the Ark. Yeah, that was kinda spooky.
I do believe I was given permission to watch Raiders when it ran on television (under adult supervision, of course). Certainly, I had seen the first Indiana Jones movie before the second one (“Temple of Doom”) came out of Hollywood. A group of boys from school and I went to see it together with my mom acting as chaperone. Can’t say I was all that impressed with the Indy sequel, though. There were certainly a few exciting parts – like the white-knuckle mine cart chase – but I wouldn’t say that it’d be my type of adventure movie. The corresponding MAD Magazine parody (“Inbanana Jones”) was funny, though.
Then, there was “The Last Crusade.” I wound up seeing this in theaters a few times, actually – it was easily my favorite of the three Indiana Jones movies that had been produced to that point. I enjoyed the score, the characters, the plot, and the mythology. It was a bit depressing to think that this would be the last time I’d know anything of Indiana Jones on screen.
I did catch a good part of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles when it ran on television (but don’t remember seeing every episode in the series). To me, Harrison Ford was Indiana Jones – young or old. And older he certainly is in “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
Ancient astronaut theories continue to tickle the imagination – and though the Skull plot would seem far fetched for some, I was one of the few who liked it. The Indiana Jones characters seem to live in a parallel universe, anyway – their history unfolds much like ours, but who can say whether or not this piece of their history is closer to our truth? The Nazca Lines exist, the Mitchell-Hedges skull exists, and we certainly did nuclear testing in the southwest.
Well, let’s hope that LEGO exists in Indiana Jones’s universe, too (even if his own brick likeness does not):
Thanks for taking a small bite out of my Amazon wish list! Later, I happened to receive a rather stark (no gun, no whip) Indiana Jones, Mutt, and an Irina Spalko minifig – though recording a separate video for them seemed to be a bit odd after I did this one.
At least I can say I’ve held a crystal skull… made of plastic!
While I have certainly known about LEGO for a number of years, I can’t say that most of my adult life was spent with bricks. It wasn’t until the social network FriendFeed came about that I started to become interested in LEGO as a post-pubescent. There, some people were regularly sharing MOC (My Own Creation) images, minifigure dioramas, and the like. I re-shared, and the rest is history.
I learned about Brickcon, the Pacific Northwest’s Premiere LEGO Convention & Conference, last year – and when Dan Sabath reached out to me, I was compelled to sign up and spend a day with other Adult Fans of LEGO down at Seattle Center in a large room filled with buys and builds. I didn’t know any names, I didn’t know any faces, I just knew that I wasn’t alone.
This year, Dan was helping registered attendees sign-in by the front door. We chatted for a minute or so, then my girlfriend and I passed through the gates and into a crowd of what must have been thousands. We were about to dive in when I could hear Dan shouting from behind. He forgot to tell me that one person recognized him from YouTube earlier – from the video we shot at the beginning of last year’s public event: What is Brickcon. The video did its job!
So, what about this year’s Brickcon festivities? I was just as enchanted – seeing so many new projects up close. There were so many people snapping still photos, but I thought it would be much nicer to record the experiences in video, instead. We used a digital camera that has amazing image quality (but horrible autofocus). That said, here’s 17 minutes of footage from Brickcon 2011:
If you ever have a chance to go, you should. It should remain quite affordable – and it’s family friendly, so you’re welcome to bring the kids along. Even if you have absolutely no interest in this part of our world, you’ll certainly be enchanted by what these Master Builders have constructed.
I got a LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar!
The idea of using an Advent calendar once held deep, religious significance for me – but since evolving into a non-Catholic, I only seem to appreciate the winter Holiday season for nostalgic reasons. I love the sights and sounds of Christmas, but… not its largely-borrowed-by-Christianity foundation. As such, I don’t feel the slightest bit of guilt when I go about my merry way, spreading love and joy without being chained to an outdated dogma.
Speaking of chains and Advent calendars… when I was a child, my brothers and I would find ourselves counting down the days to Christmas by stapling together (then tearing apart) a string of paper rings. It was a Christmastime staple! And, yes, we used staples to keep those chains together. I took the tradition too far one year and accidentally stapled my finger to one of the links.
On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… a bandage.
I’m quite grateful that LEGO is producing Advent calendars which do not require the usage of any pointed object. I may not have the best hand-eye coordination, but I can click bricks with the best of ’em. I’ve missed a few earlier LEGO Advent calendars, but that won’t happen again now that I’ve come out of the bin as an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO). I even decided to completely assemble the 2011 Star Wars Advent Calendar long before this Holiday season was upon us.
My girlfriend and I stumbled through a couple of the models, but it wasn’t too much of a challenge. We’re certainly ready to open more presents! Having streamed the LEGO build live on YouTube, this particular walkthrough was an hour in the making.
The full list of items (including the ones I couldn’t quite identify by sight):
- Day 1 – Red Republic ship
- Day 2 – Nute Gunray
- Day 3 – Hologram Walker
- Day 4 – Homing Spider Droid
- Day 5 – Slave I
- Day 6 – Chewbacca
- Day 7 – Weapon holder with barrel of tools
- Day 8 – Rebel Pilot with completely white helmet
- Day 9 – X-wing
- Day 10 – Imperial Shuttle
- Day 11 – Battle Droid Pilot
- Day 12 – Rebel Snowspeeder
- Day 13 – Imperial Astromech Droid
- Day 14 – Mouse Droid
- Day 15 – Republic Gunship
- Day 16 – Clone Pilot
- Day 17 – Another Weapons Holder
- Day 18 – Y-wing
- Day 19 − 2010 TIE Fighter Pilot
- Day 20 – TIE Fighter
- Day 21 – Millennium Falcon
- Day 22 − A-wing
- Day 23 – Christmas Tree
- Day 24 – Santa Yoda
Wouldn’t it be nice for LEGO to create a full 365-day calendar with new bricks every day?