Monday, June 30, 2008


OK, I thought that title would get some attention. Here's the deal: If you don't have a Revolution MoneyExchange account yet, and you sign up for it through the link below, you get $8 off in my BrickLink store. That's $8 off in general, not if you spend some amount of money. I'm also allowing this to be combined with other offers - so if you're an NCLUG member who wants free-delivery to the next NCLUG meeting (July 20th, Cameron Village Library), you can get $8.90 worth of LEGO absolutely free.

So if you live near the Cary/Raleigh/Apex area and you or your kids could use some parts, sets, minifigs, instructions, etc, this is your chance to get some for FREE. Oh, and you can buy stuff too. My store is called Who Will Guard the Bricks? and is at - I have a fairly wide selection, ranging from vintage 1970s figures to last year's Bionicle sets. I upload new inventory almost daily and I also take requests - e-mail me ( if you want something I don't have listed, and I'll see if I can get it for you. If you're not in the area, I can always ship things too, but you know how that is - it costs money. Oh, what the heck - I'll do 5% for people who aren't in NCLUG but mention in the comments section of their order that they read this blog.

Do get in on this sooner rather than later, though - the deal's off if they cut the affiliate program on me, and stuff sells pretty quickly. Half of the sets I listed yesterday have already sold, for example. I price things fairly low by BrickLink standards (and yes, I know that this is occasionally more than retail for popular discontinued items) so there are some seriously in-demand bargains.

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

LEGO sales

OK, I know I owe people some real posts here, but there's just too much going on over at LEGO Shop-at-Home. So what're you still doing here? Find the LEGO bricks you need at The Official LEGO Shop!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

Apparently the Revolution Money Exchange referral program is still running. RME is a free way to pay online. It's preferred over PayPal by many sellers on BrickLink. Sign up with the link above, and I'll give you $8 off in my BrickLink store.

...and even if you don't care for anything in my store, you really ought to sign up anyways. It's just a great service.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ball Instructions

My ball design, as seen at DGXPO and LEGOPALOOZA, is now available online. MLCAD format directions are now at:

...the reason for the sides-and-core implementation will be clear when you see the directions for building a lamp (Yes! They are coming!)

EDIT new links:
Ball on flickr
Lamp info

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wrap-Up Warm-Up

I know I need to actually post all of my half-written stuff I've done for this blog over the past two weeks, but I thought that it was worth posting this e-mail I just wrote for the NCLUG mailing list regarding DGXPO:

I'm working on getting my photos online now. I didn't catch
everything, though, and I know at least four more cameras were going
around getting stuff. Two of them literally were going around, thanks
to Carin having a train car that was perfect for letting cameras get
video of the layouts. Skimming through my photos, it looks like I have
about 100 good ones (including my planning shots, which I'm planning
on using to figure out just how much of Carin's 9V track I stole -
I'll bring whatever I have of hers to the next meeting).

I've also already started editing our podcast. I figure I'll wait to
post a recap on our website until after that's live, and the videos
surface. That should give everybody plenty of time to get their photos

Also, we took advantage of the small turnout to get in some informal
idea-sharing, so we have quite a few ideas for Palooza to share for
the next meeting. Specifically, there was a lot of interest into
making our loose town standard into something fairly official
involving high-rises and sky-scrapers but without some of the fussier
constraints of true modular Cafe Corner style building. It sounds like
post-apoc and planetary space are the other big things to discuss next

As for the "big" things we tried: The water part of the town didn't go
so well but already is a funny story to look back on. The proper town
layout came out exceptionally well, thanks to myself, Carin, and
Matthew all bringing several original buildings on the same scale. My
weird Primo sculptures had no problem standing up the whole time and
were surprisingly popular, to the point of several people asking what
the heck Primo is and how I got so much of it. My experiments in using
real glass in buildings turned out to be too unstable in a regular
layout, but my Thomas engine (and Matthew's excellent new RC train
MOC) both were hits. The smaller Star Wars display was also
well-received and all the kids I talked to about the droids really
liked them. The DUPLO stuff I brought in was mostly noted for the Bob
the Builder characters. Thanks to the bad weather, I was able to get
back from yardsaling and hit the show pretty early in the morning, but
I also got a bit rained on while loading up at the end of the day (I
think everybody else's stuff stayed dry though). As Carin mentioned,
we connected with a lot of new people who want to join NCLUG, and the
support from the venue was excellent too.

I know that's not a fair or complete write-up, but I think that covers
all of the surprises and things that could have gone wrong.

Thanks to everyone involved,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Train Idea Book

Here's a link to the infamous train idea book, cited both in the new issue of RailBricks and at the most recent NCLUG meeting. It's free to see at:

Did I mention that some of the ideas in there are awesome? Plenty of stuff in there that I'd like to try someday.

Of course, I'm currently stuck in a brutal heatwave with a broken air conditioner - so no building for me right now. It's anyone's guess whether or not I'll actually complete anything else in time for DGXPO now.

It's really starting to bug me that my "big" crazy idea for doing a town differently isn't going anywhere. We're still planning on doing it, but now it seems like a pretty big hassle for a very small payoff. The entire town has to be on stilts for a few of the worst MOCs I've ever built. That just feels wrong. I keep thinking I'll get a chance to build something decent for it, but at this rate...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Follow Up on the Rant

There's a new service up right now called BlueBrick which I plan on looking into soon, it's at - I hope it meets my track designing needs, but realistically, I don't have many left. Carin's bringing most of the track to DGXPO, and my train yard is pretty much done.

I'm really interested in a good adjustable-height table or two right now, though, for reasons that will be very clear soon. I got a great DUPLO Alligator this weekend though! That will be fun, and again, you'll know why soon.

So anyway, I'm in the process of getting organized to do LEGO resale stuff for real - you know, with a BrickLink store and such. (I know you're reading this Steven, and I do plan on sending you some stuff soon). I'm not happy with the way my store is set up so far, so it could be a while before parts start showing up there in any real quantity. If you want to visit my store, cleverly entitled "Who Will Guard the Bricks?", it's at - and there's a standing 10% off discount for NCLUG members, just e-mail me with your user info and I'll put the coupon together.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


After a few hours spread over the last week of coming up with a rail yard design in Track Designer, I finally sat down and tried to dry-run my little train layout. It turns out, though, that TD isn't quite as precise as I thought, and in several spots, things are off by half of a stud. Which doesn't sound like a big deal, but we can't afford that sort of loss of sturdiness since the rail yard is already going to be balanced on DUPLO stilts. With any luck, I'll still be able to work something out, but this is...argggh. If I had realized that this sort of mistake was possible in TD, I probably would have used MLCAD and just dealt with the curves manually (which isn't easy either).

Anyone know if LDD has decent track planning support? I'm hoping to have a layout plan set-in-stone by the end of the week, so any help I can get at this point would be appreciated.

...I get the feeling that Alanis Morrisette would find this ironic. Nothing says you-know-what to you quite like finding out that the digital interface you're using to plan a layout at the Digital Gaming Expo doesn't really work the way you think it does.

I'm off to go try to get the rail yard to work by's a good thing I decided to dry-run this and find this stuff now instead of after we get to Wake Tech...