Sunday, 28 February 2010

Day 059 (28.02.10)

Dag nioghalvtreds. I'm happy today. Very happy. Don't know why. Well, maybe I do, but I ain't telling you. So you can just think it's a happy coincidence. Sure, I had to do lots of homework - including two essays (yeesh) - but I still seem to have come out the other side of the day with a spring in my step and a nice buzzing feeling in my head. And no, I haven't been near the marker pens again.

I guess the big news of the day is about the site Virb.com. I discovered it a few days ago after looking back in my emails and finding a link that lead to a link that lead to Virb. That's the beauty of the internet - links linking to links linking to links, and so good content circulates quickly and easily. And that's how I came across Virb. They've disabled their sign-up form - probably because of server difficulties - but I sent them off a very nice email. A few hours ago they replied with a secret sign-up URL and now you can find my account at www.virb.com/wnd. It's a nice simple URL, because Virb is quite new and it was still available. I haven't got much on it at the moment, but I've set up this blog and Twitter to auto-update it. It's a really great site, it's just a shame I don't know anyone on it. I'm hoping to use it as a portfolio in the future, that's why it's got my real name. So check it out and if you already have an account, follow me. I'm lonely over there.

So hey, I was going to upload this to Flickr but I didn't think it was good enough. I usually hate memes, especially ones like fsjal, but I couldn't resist making a fsjal of Dano's trademark sig-fig. He needs some better clothes, yes, but the real sig-fig had chainmail and armour and what-not, so I thought I'd pass on that. At least I got the head right, with the headband and stubble. Let's just hope Dano doesn't find this! Eeek!



~John

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Day 058 (27.02.10)

Dag otteoghalvtreds. And we'll begin with the thoroughly annoying news that the 'News' header on Brickspace has gone offline again. So the correct reply is, in the nicest possible way, SHIT. Luke has screwed something up again. Ah well, I guess I'll just have to clean up after him. More work for me, and at the worst possible time - I've got loads of homework I need to do tomorrow. Yeesh, this is going to be one looooonngg weekend.



What have I been up to today? Well, my drama group. The first one. The saturday one, not the one I went to yesterday. I went to that one yesterday, not today, dimwit. Then I uploaded this little Neo-Classic Space tablescrap to Flickr. It's just a couple of ground thingies, like a radar station, solar panels, a Classic Spaceman and a ikkle-likkle NCS robot (complete with essential minifig hook hand use). The spaceman was something I bought off BL ages ago (my 3rd order, I think). He's in pretty good condition, and I'm glad he was as he cost me £5. Speaking of BL, I've just made another order to some store in Cincinnati. They had lots of d.bley and l.bley slopes, so I grabbed the opportunity by the collar and bought a buttload of both. Now I can finally do the landscaping I so desperately need to practice. And then I can finish my JRC entries.

Paragraph 3. Oh paragraph 3, you evil creation. You exist for the sole purpose of catching me when all my inspiration and creativity has run out, and when the day's to-ing an fro-ing has left me dead on my feet. You taunt me with your minimum acceptable length of three lines. You tease me with the necessity of your existence. Well, hah, paragraph 3, for today I have won. I have blagged through you talking about how you tease me, and now you can tease me no more. Or, at least, not until tomorrow...



~John

Friday, 26 February 2010

Day 057 (26.02.10)

Dag syveoghalvtreds, and I'm running exceptionally late for my 'when to blog' schedule. The thing is, I went to a new drama group today. That is, in addition to the one I go to on saturdays. I'm all drama'd up! So yeah, my friend invited me to it a few weeks ago and there were a couple of complicated thingymahoops which meant I couldn't do it until now. But I'm really glad I did. In some ways, it's better than my saturday morning thing. So that was good.



However that now means I'm very tired and so I'm kinda short of creative inspiration right now. Oh, I really like this diagram art by You, Me, The Royal We. So, which part did you read first? The Keyless Chuck and Chuck, of course. That's the genius of this diagram: because of the way the western world reads, we notice the top-left first and bottom-right last. That means you see Chuck and Keyless Chuck, which are the proper names for the parts of the drill, first. This is also due to the second graphic of a keyless chuck which stands out - the top left of the diagram is much more busy in terms of graphical lines and text than the bottom right. So then your eye is lead to the other, funny, labels - I next noticed Chris and Kumar, then Linda. So some very very clever stuff going on here.

OK, onto other topics. Hmm. What to say, what to say... hey, let's talk about the Golden Ratio. I have been reading about that recently (I'm sad enough to read Universal Principles of Product Design). Let's take the iPod. No, not the Touch, you silly moderners. The original classic. If you measured out the sides and simplified them you'd find they had a ratio of 0.618:1. This is called the Golden Ratio. It seems wherever it is used, it will look aesthetically pleasing. The common example is a spiral shell - the spiral is 0.618, the total shell 1. Then there's the human body, which contains many ratios like this. The arm has an upper arm:lower arm ratio of 0.618:1. Notre Dame's width as a ratio to its height is, funnily enough, 0.618:1. The Golden Ratio plus one is not just 1.618, though: the true value is an irrational number, like π or e. Mathematicians call it ϕ (phi). It goes on forever. And that's why perfection is impossible.

Thank you and good night.



~John

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Day 056 (25.02.10)

Dag seksoghalvtreds. I've decided to now think about what I will post for my 365 throughout the day. Today wasn't very successful, so I'll probably end up picking up that religion thing again. I have had a few more [devastating] thoughts about it. Oh shi- ANR are playing Jedward's single. Bloody Danes. "Hi Denmark, we're Jedward!" Damn them. Poor ANR have no idea what they've got themselves into. Poor Vanilla Ice, too. He's had to sing his song with two ghastly British twats.

What have I been up to today? I figured I should tell you some of that. Well, now and then I've been working on a font, drawing it out on some lined paper. At school I sketched out the whole alphabet from scratch. Now I've redoing it but with some clearly defined rules: such as weight, angles of lines, and what the curves will look like. I'll probably do another developed version of the typeface once I've finished this one. Then, eventually, I'll draw it up in Fireworks (because I'm too lazy to use Illustrator), and I'll show it to you. It's got a thick left edge - so all the lines on the left of letters are about 5 times as thick as those on the right (which are just a normal pen line's width). It's like those old cinema fonts, but a bit less exaggerated and more elegant. Dum dum dummmm...


OK, onto religion. Again. People always argue against me when I say stuff like I did before because they're religious and I'm not. But how have we come to be religious in the first place? It's not our choice. Sure, I think that atheism is the truth, but I only think that because that's the way I've been brought up. It's the same with you, all of you. Everyone has to have an opinion on whether God exists or not. You may think you've made a decision based on what you think is true, and you think there is evidence, but it was never your choice. You can't bring up a child without influencing their religious views. Everyone asks the vital question "why are we here" at some point. You have to be there as a parent to answer it, and so they'll follow whatever you say (not that I'm a parent or anything).

Children are very susceptible to any influences. As you get older you learn to have your own opinion, but what you've learnt as a child cannot be unlearnt. You can't turn away from the way your parents brought you up - though an extreme traumatic or extreme emotional experience can change this. You hear of 'born again' Christians. These people have been through extreme circumstances which have shook up their mindset enough to get rid of the spiritual beliefs that they have been brought up with.

So, none of us have an original opinion. None. I think I know what I'm saying when I 'preach' atheism to others (not that I do it often, heh heh), but I never made any choice to be an atheist in the first place. Of course, the mind cannot fully accept this and so I do not feel devastated; and my beliefs are not altered. However, it is still scary to think of how little control you had over how your traits and personality is now. The first few years of your life are very important - how you are treated is how you will treat others in later life.

Trippy, eigh?




~John

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Day 055 (24.02.10)

Dag femoghalvtreds. A momentous occasion, for the fifth time now we have a day number which is a double-number. Hah, so not-so-momentous. Actually, kinda dull. I'm running out of interesting occasions to make up and thus trick myself into thinking that almost every day is a 'momentous occasion'. That way I feel like I'm achieving something. Yay.

Now, I think I may just lapse into very deep topics. On the nature of religion. Now look, I'm not going to blab on about how I'm atheist - I'm sure if you look hard enough you'll find many an atheist comment around Flickr from me. I am perfectly happy with people being religious, I'm not an exclusivist atheist or anything like that. I believe that people should really believe in whatever they want, though of course I believe that what they're believing in is untrue. That doesn't make me hate them! I don't hate you 'cause you're a Christian. I go to a Church of England school; I can't object to religious people. You don't need to be Christian to go to my school, but there are lots of religious people there and you can sometimes get funny looks if you say 'Oh my God', or, as I tend to say more and more now: "Jesus Christ!".

But let me tell you what I do object to. The 'missionaries'. It seems to be part of the Christian psyche to want to convert others. Only some Christians do this, I do understand that, and I am not against those who do. It just gets on my nerves. I'm sure you're really happy with your religion. I'm happy that you're happy with it. I just don't want you to try and sell it to me. Every now and then someone turns up at my door trying to persuade me to become a Christian. Pushy, much? This happened once on Flickr. Not to me, I admit, but someone was saying how they were confused with religion and 'didn't know what to think'. A certain person who I won't name 'cause he's actually a good builder said 'FM me, I can [help you]'. I'm not sure exactly what he said (my darn memory), but he basically said that he would persuade the person to become a Christian by selling their beliefs to him in an FM. This is atrocious. That person - whoever he may be - should have their own choice as to what their religion. How dare a Christian try to force his religion on another person, who will most likely accept it and become a Christian as a result. I seriously object to this. It's just wrong.

But hey, that's my two cents as Zack would say. I'm just saying that an atheist would never do that; I had no thoughts about FMing him explaining how he should be atheist. They should back off and let people decide for themselves.




~John

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Day 054 (23.02.10)

Dag fireoghalvtreds. Once again, a thoroughly average day, so it looks like I'll have to make it a bit more exciting. I've been tweeting, as usual; I set up my phone to tweet too, but since I type at about 2mph on my phone's silly numerical keypad, it looks like I won't be doing that in a hurry. I'm currently chatting to a friend on Facebook about teh interwbz, whilst browsing Encyclopedia Dramatica and avoiding the *ahem* questionable content, which is quite hard to do. Nonetheless, it's a funny website.

Now, in the interests of your non-boredom and to relieve myself of a bit of writer's block, I have found this webpage which lists 100 blog topics a blogger should write on. Well, I thought I might tackle a couple.

6. How Flickr did it right: notes, groups, and a pink secondary colour. That is all.

9. How I find blogging ideas: Uh... this site? Paradox much?

23. My mother is on Facebook: Actually, she isn't. Well, this is getting dull...

27. How women use social media: in exactly the same ways as men do. We're all equal, right? Bloody sexists.

36. How I use my website: Well, that's quite a complex question. This is a blog, so I blog. But why? Well, originally this 365 project was meant to help my writing skills and develop them, but it's turned now into a diary. A journal, rather, of my life and what I design and build and when I did that. It's also meant to entertain you readers and give you an insight into my life, so I'm not the anonymous Flickr user who builds lots of strange minifig furniture.

OK, that's enough for today. I may revisit that tomorrow. Until then, goodnight, good luck, and "that's how John 'C's it!" (feel free to puke at my silly Glee quote. I just love that show!)




~John

Monday, 22 February 2010

Day 053 (22.02.10)

Dag treoghalvtreds, and it's back to school for me. The half term is over, the weekend doubly so. Or maybe 2/9s so. Darn maths. Well, as you all know, mondays are slow. Tedious, dull, tiring, utterly pointless and so cringe-worthily, awfully, distressingly slow. You may think it would be better if we had no monday, but them tuesday would become as awful as monday is now. Get rid of tuesday, and wednesday becomes the dreaded day, which it kinda is already. It's the 'hump day', neither here nor there. Damn you wednesday!

Luckily I didn't have much homework, so I just spent this evening Flickr-trawling, blogging on Brickspace, watching Vimeo stuff and adding Shadow Viking (Peter) as a friend on Facebook. So yay for that. It all started when SlyOwl added me as a friend, after a series of Flickrmails because I needed some advice on landscaping. That SlyOwl's a freakin' genius, and he was very helpful. So I suggest him when you need landscaping advice. Not that you can't immediately see his talents in such fields.

Aaaaand this is where my conversation gets a bit thin on the ground. I've been tweeting a lot more (boredom? Me trying to get to know Twitter better? A combination of both probably) recently. I've also signed up for the TheServed newsletter, so I get weekly updates from one of my favourite blogs, Typography Served. Not only has the legendary Simon C. Page been showcased there many a time, it also includes typography from all over the world - that reminds me, I saw a very interesting post about the neo-German gothic typefaces. I will now have to find that. It's an OCD thing. Query in mind - find - query suppressed. John happy.


Oh, and while I'm on the topic of design, here's some fantastically wacky chair designs that were recently featured on Design Milk:



Godnat,
~John

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Day 052 (21.02.10)

Dag tooghalvtreds. Yo, 52. That's a nice number. Technically, it's the same upside down as it is the same way up. No - uh, wait, scratch that. It's not. Upside down, in the way that I am trying to describe, it would be 25. The 2 is kinda symmetrical on a horizontal axis (if you think of it as a back-to-front S) and the 5 is like the 2, but mirrored on a vertical axis. So only the positions of the numbers would change. Uh, maybe I have that wrong again. Hey, it doesn't matter.


As promised, here is my Post-Apoc diorama, made for the Blood in the Snow contest on the Flickr Apocalego group. I'm quite proud of it, and of the little details, though I don't think the roof came out as expected. Maybe it's just the camera angle here, but it doesn't look very good. Nonetheless, it got a note from Nannan Zhang saying it was a 'good mess' - what I was aiming for - so it's not all bad. I tried to model this off a picture of a block of flats (80s style) I found on Flickr. On reflection, I see that the final design meant I didn't need so much of the tan bricks, so I could have gone with my original plans to use sand green or sand blue to make it look more worn and old.


This van is part of the diorama. I built this in about 7 hours straight  the day before I started work on the diorama itself. I wanted it to be very detailed, so when it was placed as part of a larger diorama, there would be a sense that a lot of work has gone into it. Put something detailed into a diorama of four times the size, and the diorama becomes four times as detailed. Or something like that. This van was based off a picture of a vintage Toyota van I downloaded from teh interwebz a couple of months ago. The picture showed the van with a brown stripe down the side, near the wheels, but I couldn't recreate the 'wood vinyl' effect with brown plates in the model, so it's now all black.

À bientôt!

~John

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Day 051 (20.02.10)

Dag énoghalvtreds. Und vilkommen aus the second 50 days in this project. I watched a German film a few days ago - well, just the start. There was a lady and man in a car, and he kept on screaming at her "zwei tausand euros! ZWEI TAUSAND EUROS!". The subtitles said something about his software business being revalued at €2,000 from €80,000 - so I guess that's why he was screaming. Then he grabbed the lady's head and started thrashing it around, and then he drove the car off a bridge and killed both of them. Boy, he was angry.



OK, here's some pictures that I've uploaded to Flickr today. The first is my Time Twisters entry, which takes a lot of explaining as it's quite a crazy concept. I was 'castlifying' this set, which includes a van, boat and diver with buoy. The van was easy; it became a cart. The boat became the brick-built boat you saw yesterday, which is quite bulky, as some people have said. I would have liked to use tiles on the hull to create a curve, but it was too small to do that. Or maybe I just don't know the right technique to do it right. So, what to do with the diver? Who did they put in water in the medieval times? Well, witches of course! They drowned witches, so the buoy has become a post with the witch (diver) hanging from a string, and the van driver has become a knight, laughing at the drowning witch. Yeah, it's quite a far-fetched idea.



Next up is a special sneak-preview of my Post-Apoc diorama. I photographed it this afternoon, but I think uploading one MOC to Flickr is enough for today. I want to space these MOCs out, the slow release. Otherwise the small ones, like the TTC entry, will just get ignored. OK, this motley crew of apocalyptic survivors includes my adorably oblivious sig-fig, on the left. I usually hate people including their sig-figs (and other people's) in their MOCs, but I couldn't resist. My sig fig is basically a smiley fleshie head, the Classic Space 30 years T-shirt, and brown Mutt hair (like everyone else's, I know, I know). So yah, this is just a preview. To whet your appetite. I like saying that. Whet. Whet whet. Whet whet whet. Hee hee, it sounds dirty.


ENOUGH LEGO! It's time for some personal stuff. Uh... I went to my drama group today. I think I've mentioned that before. I went. I met. I chatted. I acted. I left. I ate [lunch]. I talked. I talked some more. I left. I went home. OK, enough personal stuff for you? Jeez, next I'll be explaining to you how I brushed my teeth!

I put toothpaste on my toothbrush, I usually do that first I think. Then I put the toothbrush (and toothpaste of course) under the tap. For about 5 seconds, less maybe...





~John

Friday, 19 February 2010

Day 050 (19.02.10)

Dag Halvtreds. And, lo and behold, I've made it to day 50! Hoorah! Technically, I shouldn't be celebrating day 50. I celebrate days 20, 40, etc - but not 50. But hey, 50 is half of 100, and 100 is an important number, so I guess it goes without saying that 50 is also important. It's half as important as 100. Yet two times as important as 25, which I didn't celebrate at all. OK, maybe I did, but it shouldn't be celebrated. Next thing you know, I'll be celebrating each time I'm on an even number! Hah!

I've been building. Still. I think I've finally finished my Blood in the Snow diorama. I'm really proud with how it came out, and I haven't had to cut any Lego elements (namely string) to achieve this. I had a a bit of a panic near the end, but I managed to find a way to keep my string intact. Let me describe the diorama for you, 'cause it will only be a few days before I post pictures (not yet taken) online. It's a scene of a travelling stranger in the post-apocalypse approaching a group of survivors living in a derelict, half-destroyed block of flats. The flats are heavily damaged, and missing the top few stories, and the damage was very hard to do in Lego, whilst keeping a relatively solid structure. It was looking alright until I put in lots of furniture, accessories, guns (BrickArms ones too) and the basic range of post-apoc bits 'n' bobs. Now it looks pretty awesome, with the accessories and kitted-up survivors as well. It also has telegraph poles, and chair design from the likes of Moko and yours truly.



Finally, here's a boat that is part of my Time Twisters entry. It's getting late, so I can't upload the pictures to Flickr, but here's a little preview of part of the set to whet your appetite. I'm quite proud of this boat - I could have just used the prefab one Lego make, but I didn't. Yay for originality. Just wait until tomorrow for it to be on Flickr, just a few hours...




~John

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Day 049 (18.02.10)

Dag niogfyrre. One more day then it's the 50-day anniversary! Well I'm happy about it. Screw you guys saying it's not time to celebrate yet. I'm celebrating, and you can just not go to the party. I'll mail you some Pringles, but just keep away from the party. Whaddya mean the Pringles won't survive being posted? I can't pay for big boxes to keep them in their usual shape! Letters need to be under a certain height, y'know. So I'll do what I do to all my letters and stamp on it. Screw your Pringles.


OK, a picture. This shows a couple of bits 'n' bobs from my recent building sessions. My room is an absolute mess; I've got to finish this Blood in the Snow entry by the end of the week - half term is prime-time building time, and I'm full of snowy post-apoc inspiration. I'm going for something I hoped to achieve as a group project many months ago - a post-apoc 1980s, or a sort of boxy, run-down look to post-apoc. I spent most of the day building a van that I based off a picture of an old Toyota van I found on teh interwebz. That's what the grey thing is, it's the 'first draft' of the canopy of the car. I decided to redo it in white (to match my source picture), but I kept the grey canopy for reference. The hay bale (yellow thing) and box o' veggies are from my Time Twisters entry (I still need to snap some pictures of that).

Hmm. I seem to strangely have nothing to talk about. I've covered my tough day's work building, and the Pringles thing... oh yeah, I did build a small baggage tractor (like the type you see in airports). It's odd, I know. I just get these urges to build... for example, I've been meaning to build a minifig-scale model (of course) of an old Volvo V60. Weird, huh? There's just something about the boxiness of it that appeals to me. I would also love to find some way to build a trabbie (Trabant) car from old East Germany. They're so cute! I have a very 5-wide oriented mind at the moment.




~John

ps. More personal stuff tomorrow, honest!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Day 048 (17.02.10)

Dag otteogfyrre. Two more days and I've hit the landmark of 50 days! Then I've got to do it all over again... and again... and again... and again... and again... and again... and then 15 more days. Then it'll all be over. And, considering how successful this project has been [so far], I'll probably do it again in 2011. But hey, who knows what sort of person I'll turn out to be by the end of 2010? For all I know, I may be a completely different person! Let's hope it's different, but in a good way.

Hey, guess what? I built. Yeah. And, believe it or not, I built Castle. Karrde's entries into the Classic-Castle Time Twisters contest inspired me to try something like it - a small Castle MOC, which I can really sink my teeth into without the need for bucketloads of light bley for castle walls. I had a great idea for a set to 'castlify' last night, and so this morning I set to work doing just that. I think it's come out quite well, actually - you'll have to judge that for yourself when I take pictures of it in a couple of days' time. It's quite a wacky idea - I hope everyone will 'get it'.

I've just been browsing Titolian's Flickr 'stream. He's a very good builder, very good. It's a shame he uses so much BrickArms and BrickForge... I'd prefer everything to be purist, though, so that's just my opinion. What I don't get is that he uploads images of Space Orcs, or random tablescrap minifigs, and they get more comments and faves than any of my pictures ever get! Not that I don't like the minifigs, I just find it a tad unfair. I guess it's because he uses BrickArms. Y'know what, I'll use BrickArms in my upcoming Blood in the Snow diorama. Then I can upload it to the BrickArms group, and we'll see what happens.




~John


ps. Oooh, before I go, here's another Photoshopped picture from the backlog of phone pics. It's not as good as the other one, but I just can't seem to make this one look interesting.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Day 047 (16.02.10)

Dag syveogfyrre. We're back on track after a bit of an emotional wobble around Valentine's Day. So, onto interesting (kinda) topics. Last night I watched a really great film - Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Sure, it's really 80s - awful music jumps up at completely the wrong moments, and ruin the moments that you really need to pay attention to - but it's got great style in other places. And besides, who couldn't resist Bueller's hip-twisting music number on top of a parade float? Ha ha, great stuff. Very well directed, it's just those little touches (the audio track continues at the end of this sequence, and also the titles that pop up when Bueller talks are a good idea too) that make it for me. So go put that on your list of films to watch, folks.


Well hey, what's this mess of lines and circles? It's a MousePath. MousePath is a free Java-scripted app (download here) that will track your mouse's movements over your screen. Just start it up, minimise it and check back in a couple of hours' time on how it's come out. This one (above) was 4 hours' worth of mouse movements. The dots are when the mouse is still - the larger the dot, the longer the mouse was there for. The biggest dots are, obviously, when I left the computer to do something else (you can pause MousePath so it doesn't record this). You can see that I move to the top-left a lot... I think that's where my browser's 'back' button is. I also take a couple of trips to the top-right. I've set up my Mac to turn on Exposé (see all windows) when I move to the top-right of the screen. It seems there isn't much activity around my Dock at the bottom of the screen... strange.


Next up, a camera. Well, I guess I'll speak about it since I just mentioned it. Remember when I blagged on about the cameras I had? Well, after some tough searching for a battery to fit in my Canon A-1, I found one in J*ssops. Finally, I can get to work snapping away in film. I bought some colour film, too - figured I'd need it if I was going to take pictures (facepalm). So yah, expect some pictures from that camera in about a month's time (I need to get through the whole roll, then get it developed). Also, I have a new Twitter account. It's nothing too interesting, but I got confused with my last one and now I think I'm on top of the situation. I can handle three Twitter accounts. So, forget the old account and concentrate on this new one (Johnallong) and, of course, Brickspace. Fangue and good night.



~John

Monday, 15 February 2010

Day 046 (15.02.10)

Dag seksogfyrre. Aaaand welcome to the Valentine's Day fallout. It seems that Zack had a good time - and if I suspect right, his Facebook profile picture reflects that. But hey, here I am. On the 15th February. Feeling slightly less miserable as I did yesterday. Once again, my wimpiness (wait wait, let's just say shyness) has prevailed and... OK, OK enough! Shut up John! No one wants to hear you moan, you stupid ass! Talking about asses, get off yours and do something, instead of sitting here moaning!


Well, in other, less depressing news, my BrickLink order arrived! Here it is, in all its plastic bag-y goodness! Thassright, there's a load of dark turquoise in there. Though it may not stand up to Maersk Blue, or even my favourite colour, Sand Green, it's still a pretty awesome colour. I'm just stocking up in it, really... I now have several wheels, lots of grilles and a couple of wings. If that's not screaming "DARK TURQUOISE SPACESHIP!" then I don't know what is. Also in my order was: several nets, both white and black; some retro doors; a collection of palm tree parts that, before hand, I had none of; and the real purpose of my order: windscreen hinges. As I've mentioned before, they're perfect for minifig-scale cars, especially 5-wides. I may even rebuild my Volvo Amazon with windows on all sides.

Well, I hope you guys are happy. I don't usually talk so much about my personal life, as I have done with all this Valentine's Day lark, so you've had a valuable insight into my thoughts. I feel like I should do that more, but it's quite awkward and I have to be sure to not name any people or places, else they might find this blog, and work out it's me - and considering what I've written these past two days, that's not really desirable. I prefer it when people I don't directly know read my blog. But hey, Zack once said it was interesting having an insight into my life/brain, so I think I may just write more of that. Trust me; we won't have any more "my eBay bid is ending in 5 days... 4 days... 3 days...". Welcome to the new JOHNSPACE.



~John

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Day 045 (14.02.10)

Dag femogfyrre. Oh dear, it seems it's the 14th February. That means it's Chinese New Year. And yet I feel strangely sad and useless... I don't think that could be from Chine New Year, I like dragons. Oh wait - it's Valentine's Day. OK, just because I don't have a girlfriend doesn't mean I need to be sad today. I think it just may be the tiredness. From all that coursework. Yeah, the coursework, that's it. None of this Valentine's Day lark. It's just a celebration invented by the card companies, right? Right!?

Yeesh, that was an awkward paragraph. I'll have to check up on Zack's blog and see how he handled the topic. No, not of Chinese New Year, you fool, I mean... oh, you know. That. Uh... hey, what's this? A photograph? Yeah, let's take a look at it...


You may recognize this from my Flickr 'stream. I posted it there a few months ago. But, in one of my legendary moments of boredom (which I seem to get more and more often nowadays), I decided to curve the corners and that turned into a full edit. I really like liked the pictures that my phone takes used to take. They looked all grainy, like film. It's a shame I dropped my phone onto a table and it decided to break. I've thrown it on the floor and scraped it against gravel before, but for some reason dropping it from 20cm above my dining table killed it. Now I'm stuck with some crappy Samsung thing. And I lost most of the numbers in my phonebook on my old phone.

So, a day of ups and downs but mostly downs. I have a bad feeling I should have done something - yes, I should have built something and gone out somewhere - but I should have sent something. Texted someone. Phoned someone. Dangit, I'm a wimp. I'll regret that for a whole year - it's a prime sending/texting/phoning opportunity. Alas, the day is over now. See you tomorrow, guys.



~John

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Day 044 (13.02.10)

Dag fireoffyrre. And hey, it's Saturday. The weekend has arrived, and with it my half-term. So what's new? Did I do anything vaguely interesting? Well, not really. I went out, like I do every Saturday (I'm not sure if I've explained why... I'll check that before I tell you), and became very tired very quickly. I don't think being woken up at 9:00 by my neighbours drilling helped my catching up of sleep very much. So now I'm dead on my feet. Don't worry; the night is near. Just a few more hours...

OK, now Zack commented on one of my posts saying he wishes I blogged pictures more. And so, here we are. Though I don't make / take pictures every day, when I do I'll be sure to show them off here. First up is a series of graphic design thingymabobbidihoops. I'm reading a book about product design, and it mentioned lots of stuff about giving warnings before you do stuff ("Are you sure you want to delete this file?" Y/N, safety catches, opening perspex lids on buttons before pressing them), and that made me think about Sunshine, with its NASA-not-Star Wars concept of a space station. There were lots of warnings and signs on the Icarus II, so I thought I might try my hand at some futuristic warning signs.




So, at the top we have a Core Deactivation Switch sign. Note the exclamation mark and warning stripes, in case the user can't read. Then we have a pressurised window warning, 'cause on a space station you don't really want to be opening a window, do you? Let me just say you won't be getting that light breeze you were hoping for. The third sign is for the door of the Central Core - where the space station's computer brain is located. Because, we wouldn't want Jenkins the space station's intern stumbling upon the control system for the whole station, now, would we? So, meh. These need a lot of work. I need to check up on a Google image search to see how real warning signs are typeset and in what colours, too. I may make more of these later...



~John

Friday, 12 February 2010

Day 043 (12.02.10)

Dag treogfyrre. And it's Friday! At last! It sure took its time to come around, didn't it? And, luckily, this Friday brings not just the joy of it being a Friday, but also the joy of having a whole week off school next week - half term! If all goes to plan, I should get some much-needed building into next week. I'll be building an entry for the Winter Post-Apoc challenge and I may even consider finishing my JRC project. I may.

OK, onto other topics. Uh... oh, I'm studying a film in my English class. It's called Somer's Town, it's a Shane Meadows film about a Polish boy in London. Sounds boring - but it was funded by Eurostar, and so includes annoyingly obvious references to Eurostar... "hey, what did you do today?" "took the Eurostar to Paris in UNDER TWO HOURS. The seats were VERY COMFORTABLE". OK, so it sounds more boring. Add into the equation some bad acting, a very badly written script and the fact that most of the film is shot in B&W and you don't have a very good film.

However, there are some good elements to the film. Some shots are well composed, some acting is of decent quality and some sequences just work. So, would I recommend the film to you? No, not particularly. It's nothing special, but at the same time it's not the worst film ever made, either. It's one of those numerous indie films about the rough 'n' tough societies in Britain, and one of many of such films to come from Shane Meadows. If you want my advice, watch Once Upon A Time In the Midlands instead.




~John

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Day 042 (11.02.10)

Dag toogfyrre. And it's the eleventh. That's right; now the days are going in a logical order. I've got a bit mixed up in the past, but now I'm going straight. Oh, and to make up for all the links to this blog Zack's been putting in his: link link LINK LLIINNKK!

Dang, that was a short paragraph. Then again, with all this coursework to do, I have to cut corners somewhere. This is that somewhere, for now anyway. And to think I was going to post on Brickspace today... ah well. Now, if you read this blog attentively, then you'll notice that I said my coursework was in for Thursday; today. And it was. Or rather, my IT Coursework was. Now I have DT (Design & Technology) coursework in for tomorrow. Hooray. And, by a complete coincidence, my memory stick decided to go missing on Tuesday! Oh sweet joy! The last I heard of it, some students had found it and were 'planning to put gay porn on it'. So I guess I won't be getting my coursework files back anytime soon.

I've had an idea. I mind-blowing idea. It could work. It could be a complete failure. Well, for a while now I've wanted to sink my film-directing teeth into some proper filmmaking. If you don't already know, I started off in Brickfilming: that's what led me to Brickshelf, MOCpages, Flickr and thus sparked Brickspace and this blog. It was the start of it all. And so I made some films: with my sisters, with my friend Luke. Then I went into a creative slump; screenwriter's block if you will. All I could think of was big-budget movies: sci-fis, post-apocalyptic stories. And now, I set my dreams of a collaborate filmmaking effort with my friends into motion. I suggested the idea to my filmmaking friend Luke, and some people we were doing PE with said they'd help, and one of them was an aspiring scriptwriter... so it all sort of flowed from there. It'll be a while before we've got the plot sorted out, let alone the script, but I really think I could pull this off. It'll be much bigger than what I've done before: probably 20-30 people overall working on it, most as actors. I can get some people from the drama group I attend to join... and the older members of my Film Club, too! Let's hope it doesn't slip into Development Hell...




~John

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Day 041 (10.02.10)

Dag énogfyrre, and we're currently on the tenth of Feburary. I seem to have done two posts on the sixth, meaning all the posts between then and now need to be renamed. Ah well. I kinda thought there was something wrong about my dates, so damn me for not acting on my impulses. I should do that more. I always seem to have impulses, you know - thoughts on the spur of the moment - that turn out to be right. It's my subconscious speaking to me; I just can't grasp the thought for long enough to act on it. It's not a front-of-mind thought, it's like a niggling feeling in the very depths of my brain.

So, let's move off this topic. Interesting content, remember? I've started to use Google Buzz now. Just, gradually, posting on it every now and then, seeing how it works, testing it. My favourite feature has to be the picture viewing: it even said in the Buzz promo video that the pictures are 'exactly how you like them: big and fast'. Pictures come up full-window, with a dimmed background. it's great for viewing pictures from Flickr, like Simon C. Page's stuff. Unfortunately it seems like it's only me and Simon who use Buzz, from my contacts. Shame, really. No one else seems to notice just how good an idea Buzz is.

My eBay order came! One £3 Celestial Sled / Ice Planet 2002 set, very good condition, plus instructions. Sure, it didn't come packed very well (in thin papery plastic bags), but it seemed to have got the pieces to me safely, so that's all that matters. Unfortunately I've only now realised that the set does not include any windscreens, so making an Ice Planet MOC will be considerably harder now...




~John

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Day 040 (08.02.10)

Dag fyrre. Forty, people. We're now on day 40. Now, last time I set myself a challenge to use more italics. And, believe it or not, I have. Ha ha. So now onto my second-20 challenge. And here it is; it's a big one. My new challenge is to be more interesting. Oh, and continue with the italics of course. Because, if people are going to read this blog, which I hope they will, I certainly don't want to think it's dull. Guys, we need new, interesting content. Gone are the days of a whole week's worth of blogging about snow! We're moving onto topical topics (heh).

Hey, my cat's sleeping on my USB cables. Again. No, dammit! Interesting content! Sure, some stuff about my life, but I need to vary a bit. Well, the big (ish) news today (just now) is the new Google Buzz. Apparently it's Google's attempt at social networking, but so far it only seems like a GMail plug-in. Maybe I'm not using the full app. Ah well. It seems remarkably similar to Facebook (damn why do I keep mentioning Facebook?). You can 'post' stuff. People can 'like' it. Or comment on it. You can also link your posts to be automatically produced by your blogs and your GChat status messages. It's a shame I don't use GChat any more. Besides, this Buzz thing seems good enough. Let's hope it has some unique features.

Alas, I am trapped under a pile of coursework. I can't get out until thursday. My final submission date. And I need to use every single second of free time I have until then to get everything done. Honestly, it is taking ages. But enough about that. Hey, I've just realised why I don't know whether Buzz is good or not: I've never seen anyone else use it! I think it's now time to watch Google's promo video. Maybe then I will see what I'm missing out on (because no-one else I know has Buzz enabled). Dang, I wish more people would chat to be on GChat now.





~John

Monday, 8 February 2010

Day 039 (07.02.10)

Guess what? I nearly forgot. I can't believe I nearly forgot dag niogtredive (ha ha, I'm still keeping with the Danish numbering!). So yah, what's new i dag? Well, I'll talk for a bit about eBay. "What's this?" I hear you cry, "I thought John had given up on eBay!". But I haven't. Well, I had, until 4:45 today. After I got beaten on that Ice Planet set in the last second, I got a bit angry and bid on loads of other lots (my fallout). Little did I know that one of those lots ended today, and I got home from school to an email saying that I had won it - some Ice Planet set called 'Celestial Sled'. And for £3, too! Including P&P! So it looks like eBay wasn't that bad after all. Then again, it hasn't arrived yet, so I have no idea what condition it will be in.

So now I'm waiting for three parcels: that eBay order, a previous Buy It Now! eBay order (much better than bidding) of trans-yellow windscreens and that £20 BL order. It's just like Christmas again, when I was arriving Lego S@H and BL orders day after day. Unfortunately this influx of buying probably means that I'll run out of my Christmas money pretty soon. Ah well. It was fun while it lasted.

Let me tell you something. IT GSCE is hard word. Not just on me, but on my printer. Today I started the tough process of printing out my 55 pages of full-colour coursework. So I can now wave goodbye to the ink cartridges; they'll be gone before I know it. Though I really should blame myself - I just can't help but design a layout with a header that varies in chroma from page to page. It begins as light blue, in section 1, then through sections 2 to 13, it becomes darker and darker and eventually becomes dark navy. Just for that awesome feeling when you flick through all the pages and see the colour gradually get darker. And my IT teacher will never know. /sobs



~John

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Day 038 (06.02.10)

Dag otteogtredive. Aaaaaand here we are, Sunday evening. Can't say I didn't see that coming. I mean, after all that build-up with Saturday evening, then the obvious giveaway with Sunday morning, Sunday evening was the logical next step. It didn't take a genius to work out is was going to happen sometime around now.

Enough, ENOUGH! I can't waste a valuable paragraph on that nonsense! But hey, it saves me writing a well-constructed paragraph which would take time and mental toil. Now I've only got this and one more left. So hey, remember yesterday when I gave up on eBay? Well, I did what I said and I ordered some stuff from BL. Nothing too big - a simple £20 order. This time, though - for my 5th BL order - I ordered from a different seller. The first four times I have ordered from a very good seller in the UK. Unfortunately, my big JRC order meant that store didn't have quite what I wanted so I needed to move on. This US store means $7 postage, but it also means a much wider range of parts. I ordered a red CS spaceman, but by the time I went to the checkout, someone else had bought it! What are the chances of that?

Believe it or not, I'm bearing the new Facebook. Wait, scratch that, I'm bearing Facebook as a whole. The new design is just confusing and disorientating rather than worse, though to be honest I didn't know the original design well enough to see a massive difference. This is crazy - two paragraphs about Facebook in two days! What is happening to me? Will I be constantly refreshing my Facebook homepage in a matter of weeks after this? Find out after the ad break...





~John

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Day 037 (06.02.10)

Dag syveogtredive. Aaaaaand here I am, at home. All day. Got the flu. Or a cold. Something like that. Whatever it is, I feel bad. And so, stuck at home, I watched Sunshine again. This time, all the way through. No fast-forwarding (though maybe for the ad breaks), and now I understand it all a lot more. I still hate the part with the burnt man. OK, OK, I take that back. I like the editing and cinematography of it, I just hate that it's in the script. It's just there for Danny Boyle's fix of horror. Alright, enough. I've watched Sunshine twice, that's enough for a few months.

Anyway, I guess the big news of the moment amongst teenagers is the strange case of the 'new Facebook', which arrived at my browser today. I must admit I really don't like Facebook - sure, the design is good and it's good to communicate with my friends (and Karrde too, yay), but it's so dull. How can people just sit around refreshing their Recent Activity? We're warned at school that all we do is sit around on Facebook. I don't - though that may be because no one chats to me or comments on my Wall. So stuff you guys on Facebook, I'll sit around refreshing my Flickr homepage instead.

Hey, guess what - Karrde was right. I lost those eBay lots. Both of them. The first got out of my price range this morning, and I stuck with the other one until the very last moment - when some asshole outbid me in the last second. God fucking dammit. Whoever they were - the person who now has an Ice Planet 2002 set for £1.89 - is evil. Ah well, you win some and you lose some. I hereby give up on eBay. I've ordered off Bricklink instead.

Oh, what's this? A third paragraph? Well yeah, I just wanted to point out that I noticed Zack NewRight was running his own 365 project at his blog. He says he stole the idea of me, but I don't mind in the slightest. He's trialling it for a month, and he says he may then carry on for a whole year. Regardless of which one he does, I wish him the best of luck. I'll be following his blog now...




~John

Friday, 5 February 2010

Day 036 (05.02.10)

Dag seksogtredive. And my eBay items only have 20 hours to go. Thanks, Karrde, for the warning - I'll be watching these lots for the last five hours or so, if all goes well. So, remember that I started watching Danny Boyle's Sunshine a while ago? I needed to check IMdB for something that I thought was a glitch on Flim4, but it turned out to be part of the film.

Now I returned to watching it, and I must say it was worth it. Sure, the ending ruins it slightly - I knew there's couldn't be a Danny Boyle film without a horror part to it. The burnt man really does let it down. But the ending sequence is very well edited, so at least it ends on a high.

OK, onto more things. I've had two MOC-story projects in the making for a while now. They work by using a series of pictures, or MOCs, with an accompanying story episode. I wrote one in the summer, whilst I was on holiday, but sadly the chances of continuing with that storyline are slim. I re-read what I wrote just recently and discovered it was all absolute rubbish. Anyway, I've been working on the second story on-and-off for the past few months, and I added a few episodes today. As I get further into the story, the characters and plot get more complex, so it is harder to write. Nonetheless, I'll keep on trying. I'll get it finished someday...






~John

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Day 035 (04.02.10)

Dag femogtredive. I've found out today that 'tredive' should be pronounced 'tralve', so the whole number should be pronounced something like 'fem-o-tralve', which the usual Danish short-of-breath lilt. Yeah; in Danish you have stop yourself 'completing' a word. So instead of finishing it with your breath, you say the word and kinda hold your breath. It's very hard to do. That and the stød - the glottal stop that will pop up in Danish words almost anywhere. And there's no rule to it, either. You could say 'jeg hedder Jørgen' (I'm called Jørgen), or you may say 'jeg hed[glottal stop]der Jørgen'. There's no rules for that. It's really annoying.

OK, OK, enough Dansk. I've decided, after a very helpful comment from Zack, that I will carry on with my JRC contest entries. Who cares about the actual competition - I've bought the pieces so I might as well do something with them. I've also drawn up a list of MOCs I want to make. Now, this probably isn't the bast idea - constraining my creativity - but I'll try it anyway and if I'm in the mood for one of the ideas on the list, then I'll try it. Hopefully I'll get through them all at some point. Oh, and in case you cared, there's only 1 day left on my two eBay lots and I'm still the highest bidder on both! Hurrah!

Aha - I've just had an idea. Maybe it will work, maybe it won't - but it's an idea for the JOHN Collection 3. As much as I'd like to take a break from the JOHN Collection, these ideas just keep on coming to me and I can't just ignore them. This idea is based off something I saw in an Ikea store a few months ago. It will be hard to photograph, but it will change my designing process to become more like an Ikea designer's. Instead of creating whatever I like, I need a challenge - and a design brief - so I can compare my designs against a goal I am trying to achieve. Anyway, more on that as it develops. I'll leave it all mysterious so I can surprise you...




~John

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Day 034 (03.02.10)

Here we are, kids. Enough of that 'are we there yet' crap, we've safely arrived at Day 34. And I've managed - luckily - not to crash our car. Whaddya mean stop looking back at you guys? I'm talking to you! Hey, stop shouting at me? Wossat? A tree? Yes, Jimmy, trees grow in the soil. Eh? Out the windscreen? Where- oh craaaaappppppp... *SMASH*

Uh... OK. Hopefully you'll let me off for that lapse of sanity. My eBay orders are still in check... two days left to go, then they're mine and mine only. Speaking of eBay orders, I should have a small order of trans-yellow windscreens appearing in my postbox sometime soon. Then again, it's coming from America, so I guess I should give it some more time. I'm still undecided about ordering from BL. Then again, I really really need some more hinged windscreen panes. They're perfect for 5-wides. I've got loads of ideas for 5-wides - it's just going to take some time to get out of this slump that the realisation of the JRC age limit has put me in. I'm in a "what's the point?" phase.

OK, I have something to admit. As much as I hate to say it... OK, here goes... I watch Glee. Thassright, the program which is basically High School Musical, but only everything's the opposite (apart from the singing talent, though - heh heh). It is really good, and I strongly urge you to watch it. Even if you only turn it on for the parts where they sing a song. At least, if nothing else, you'll realise why everyone is singing Don't Stop Believin'.




~John

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Day 033 (02.02.10)

OK, screw that insanity in the last post. It was fun and all, but I need to restrict myself. I've been going a bit mad today. That is, more mad than usual. Maybe it's natural. Maybe it's because a guy in my art class brought in his Letraset markers. No, I didn't sniff them! Jeez! I just drew stuff with them. I got a headache. Damn those fumes. Oh, and I started talking to myself really quickly for about 10 minutes. Dude, were those trippy or what?

Let's move on. My eBay items are still in my reaches... 3 days left and I'll get those two old Lego sets for £0.99 each! Ahahahahahahahaha! I am very happy. Hopefully I won't get ousted with three days to go. People are quite nasty on eBay, though... wish me luck, guys. That reminds me, I'm still in a bit lost with my whole JRC situation. Should I build my entries anyway, and just not enter them? I've lost all my 'oomph'. There's no need to do it. But I know I should. Ach, choices, choices...

I seem to be overloaded with homework at the moment. I just can't seem to dig myself out. Chemistry test one day, physics day the other. Then it's the 'Maths Challenge' - Oh no oh no. I've failed at it for 3 years in a row now. My best is bronze. That was two years ago. The other years I got what those folks at OMGPOP would call 'DNFWTF' - I got less-than-bronze. That means I get a little certificate saying 'thanks for turning up'. I'm good at maths, just not the really annoying type of questions in the Maths Challenge. So that's Thursday - [insert sarcastic comment here]




~John
ps. =[-]\[-]=-['p-]\['p\]-'\]=-[']\]\=]=]]]] Don't worry, I'm just cleaning my keyboard. It's disgusting.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Day 032 (01.02.10)

Right, here we are. Thank you ladies and gentlemen, we have now arrived at day 32. Otherwise known as month two. We hope you have enjoyed your flight with JOHNSPACE airlines. Please come back soon. Tak, vi er på dag toogtredive. Merci, il est jour trente-deux. Dankeschön, yada yada yada. German always confuses me. Too close to Danish for my liking. Bloody Swedes.

OK, enough about swedes. Let's get onto this momentous occasion ( I feel like I haven't said that for a while... probably not since day 20). ONE WHOLE MONTH! I've been sitting here, at 8:30 PM GMT, every day for a whole month. And I haven't had to use a 'get-out' once! I orignally said I would use 5! Ha ha - I laugh at myself! My self in the past! Ah, speaking of thinking about myself in different times, since it is the start of a whole new month, I have decided to write a letter. To myself. In one month's time. It should be quite interesting...

Dear me,
Well, hi. I hope things are going well. If they're not, then hah. Things seem to be going fine at the moment. What's new? Have you still kept up with this blog? Probably not. Knowing you, you've probably given up.  You bloody Swede. That's right, I called you a Swede. I hope you're happy. Go run back to Ikea and eat some meatballs, you loser. This blog is meant to last the whole year, not just January. It's been tough enough already, who knows how much longer I can continue doing these things?
Well, I hope you won those eBay things. Y'know, the Ice Planet set and the Pirates set? The auctions will be over by then, so let me know, yeah? Also, I hope you've built something Pirate. We didn't waste all that money on a BL order for nothing, you know. Just 'cause we can't enter the JRC doesn't mean you should give up! Fool! If you have given up, then I hereby give you an imaginary time-travelling slap.
Has the world ended? Has global warming caught up with us eventually? Has Barack Obama been kidnapped? Have we found Bin Laden? Has the Iraq Inquiry actually achieved anything? Is the iPad out? Do I care? Have you wasted all your money? Has our house burnt down? Where's my keys? Do you have them? More importantly, are you writing your response at an equally late hour? Should I stop with the questions? No?
OK, yes. Anyway, I hope you're well (if you've carelessly lost my limbs, then expect some punches and abuse from me, asshole). Until then, Adios!
~Me.





~John