Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I didn't get to write about Hawaii.


I went there to see an FLL tournament. And this has been somethingthat has been inplanning for a couple of years.


Ever since I went to the World Festival in Atlanta two years ago, I have been wanting to meet the team from Hawaii - I met them and wrote about them in an issue of BrickJournal. The team was a great group of kids, and the coaches were really nice to let me watch and take notes.

As things happen with the community, I got to meet more people and I met Nelson Yziarry online, and we started chatting online. We became friends and he invited me to come to Hawaii. After some cooridination and some logistic planning, I was set to go...

But it wasn't quite that easy. I missed my flight and had to d some reshuffliing for starters. I was a few hours late as a result. But that was the worst thing to happen...this was a great trip.

I saw a great tournament and met the team coaches to the old team (the members have completely changed) and was really impressed. The state education board now supports FIRST LEGO League, and the teams came from all the islands, so it was a large event.

Nelson's club had a display too - and it had a nice assortment of models, from a model of a loacal theater by Roy gal to a model of Optimus Prime (the original one) by Patrick Yziarry to ...well, there was a nice assortment.

Afterthat. I hung around for a few days to take in the place...and it was great.

many thanks to Nelson and Lori for being such gracious guests, and also Patrick for the hysterical chat we got into. Also Nelson's mom, and Kevin and Dawn Dang from the FLL team - they are great people! I really had a great time there....

and speaking of great times,

I hope that all of you are having a great Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


You know, it's awful busy these days.

At any given time I have at least two things to attend to, and my deadlines are pretty much NOW. To which my answer is usually, "How soon is NOW?'

But I have to stop things every so often to gettsome things out.

Like now, or NOW.

In the past couple of months, I have been out of state and out of continent. The activities that I have gone to have to do with BrickJournal in terms of covering and participating...

The first event was the Festival of the Masters in Orlando, Florida. Located in Downtown Disney, this is an event that is a large (VERY large) crafts festival. Estimated traffic for this year was 300,000. And the Greater Florida LEGO Users Group had a display at the LEGO Imagination Center.

For me, the equation of LEGO and Disney adds up to a thing I cannot resist. I have been a Disney fan since about 1994 - on a lark, I took a job at the Disney Store. And I ended up staying for four years, and then transferring to Disney World and working at DisneyQuest. I learned a a lot in those years, including the importance of being positive.

Since then, I have doing what I can to get to the parks, as it's oneplace where I can basically forget everything to have fun. I finally got back after 6 years last year. And I returned this year, and I was able togo to the parks after the event.

Festival of the Masters is always fun for me - I get to relax and show off a model or two. Last year, I brought my old model of the Nautilus from the Disney movie "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." And did it hit a chord at Downtown Disney - The older crowd recognized it, and also remembered the long-gone ride at the Magic Kingdom. That was a really cool moment for me. This year, I rebuilt it as a waterline model, mainly because the display model didn't really work so well in a layout. Now, the Nautilus can be put in a train layout:-).

This time it was placed in the ocean fighting the squid in the movie. Along with that, I brought along my Star Trek microships (the theme of the display was 'Vs." - good vs. bad, Starfleet vs. Klingon, etc.). Other members brought in some really neat models - Todd Thuma did a Spy vs. Spy model from Mad magazine, KK Quah did a layout from "300" and a "War of the Worlds" layout. Robin Warner did a Batman setup, and Mike Huffman did a Peter Pan layout. There was also a Harry Potter layout by Scotty (no , I don't know his last name - I'm bad about that) and there were other things too.

This is a pretty straightforward public event and I really enjoy it - there's a lot of interaction that happens and we all get to talk about the models and the GFLUG members talk about the club and what they do. And with the traffic, there are a LOT of questions and people. It also helps that the LEGO Imagination Center has an event to go on as well - a master build of some sort. THis year it was a build of a 6 foot tall version of R2-D2 - with lights and sound. Master Builder Dan came back to coordinate the build and have a fun time and so outside we were displaying and inside he was building with the public.

With each visit I have stayed at Mike Huffman's place, and I should thank him and his wife Erika here. They are great hosts and they live literally behind the Magic Kingdom. Really. As in, you can FEEL the 9pm fireworks. Andto get to their place, you can drive through Disney property. Way cool in my book.

This year was really nice for me because I was made an honorary GFLUG member:-) I got it mainly because I showed up to the display with stuff from North Carolina:-). I'm very happy with that and thank the members for inducting me. They are a great group to hang out with and display.

As for Disney World, it's always fun!

About two weeks later, I went to Hawaii. Why? Well...

More later...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

what, me write?

It's been a LONG time since last I wrote here (and in the Journal webpage too, for that matter) - it's been a matter of being too busy to settle down and write. In the past month, I have been to Florida and to Hawaii, and both had something to do with LEGO activities.

I'll give both of those trips separate entries to the blog, as there are some things I want to say about each.

But I also want to keep people posted on what is going on with the magazine, at least the parts that I can say. While I do my best to keep as open as possible, there are certain things that I do have to keep under lock and key.

If you are in the US and in some countries, (European, but I am not familiar with which  countries specifically)  you can order BrickJournal  at the comic book store. You can order now (essentially preordering) and pick up the issue when it's released. I don't know about deposits (in my experience, deposits are not needed) from place to place, so you might want to call your local comic store. These orders are being done by Diamond Comic Distributors, who gave us a nice feature in their catalog and website!

Also, Ingram Distribution is distributing to newsstands in the US and possibly internationally. I say this because the website for it isn't very specific in terms of international distribution. If you want to help out the magazine either preorder at a comic store or inquire about special orders at your favorite bookstore. It's very important to place an order or subscribe - the magazine's run is determined by the number requested. There will be a few more printed, but if you are interested in getting the mag, ordering it will guarantee you an issue.

To all of you internationally, there appears to be an international distributor, but I need to get things confirmed beforehand.

As to the actual issue status, it's completed for the most part - there are some final proofreading to do and addition of some information (barcodes), but besides that it's done. So what's in it? Well, I'll be posting some teasers on the BrickJournal webpage very soon.

There's some fun stuff! But more on that later.