SNOT fuel dump

In the parlance of the AFOL (Adult Fans of Lego) community, SNOT is an acronym referring to a certain type of building technique which encourages creative uses of the standard Lego brick — Studs Not On Top.

In gearing up to begin construction on Zeus, I’ve been considering how to utilize SNOT. While a much bigger project, Hogwarts features absolutely zero SNOT techniques — it’s a very standard “brick over brick over brick” construction (albeit on a large and tall scale).

Wracked by a bought of insomnia tonight — at least I’m off all day so I can take a catnap if the need hits me — I wandered around my den rooting through stacks of bricks, trying to replicate a design I found off Brickshelf. In short, I wanted to use two arch pieces, reversed (so that the studs faced out on both), with tiled pieces inserted between them to give the illusion of a door or a vent. Airlock? Emergency fuel dump? Let’s wait to see how it integrates into the design before deciding. I tried using 1×1 modified bricks with studs on two or five faces to get the reversed effect, but wasn’t happy with it. Instead, I decided to try to use technic pins — inserting the pin into the bottom of a 1×1 brick I used for spacing between the arches (total of three bricks and a plate), I could reverse the lower arch and snap it into place. For the door, I used six 2×2 yellow tiles, secured from behind by a 2×4 plate. With the cavity in the arches, the door assembly fits snug.

The Finished Design:
SNOT1

A rear view of the technique I used:
SNOT2

Blurry photos. Eh. It’s the middle of the night (or close enough). I’m going to try to get back to sleep.

It Returned!

In my mailbox today?

Six Feet Under, disc 3.

Cool! It came back to me!

This does suck for another reason — wanting to have Six Feet Under to watch this weekend, I put Disc 3 back on my queue, and it’s currently in the mail to me as we speak. So now I’ll have two disc 3s and one disc four. Eh, I won’t get that far into it this weekend anyway.

Road Hazzards

I don’t mind sharing the road with bicyclists, walkers, horses, and farm equipment.

Working at the Franchise, in mile after mile of farm land and McMansion developments, an area larger than Baltimore City with three gas stations, six traffic lights, and a dozen one-lane bridges, where every road is one lane in each direction and every other truck is either a pool-refill tanker or a sceptic cleaner, one quickly learns that when the weather turns to warmness, the road will be used by more than just automobiles.

It isn’t uncommon to get stuck behind a farm tractor, or behind some giant farm machine that looks like it belongs at the LaFarge Quary in Cockeysville. There’s one farm vehicle that’s like a tractor with four long legs holding it high enough off the ground someone could drive a fucking lifted SUV under it with plenty of road clearance. In to the crazy farm vehicles, this time of year brings out the bikers — and not just the ones on motorbikes, but the ones on actual bicycles — dozens of them, often in brightly colored jackets and helmets, some of ‘em fat slobs trying to lose weight, moving slow and breathing hard up curving hills. On some of the more remote roads, a mother and daughter, in pink riding helmets, atop massive brown steeds who they manuever onto fields as I come up to pass. Last week, I even saw a couple on a two-seat bicycle.

I’m very concientous when passing any of these road-sharers. The delivery area’s geography leaves it with a large number of roads where straight-aways with long lines of sight are few and far between. Unlike many other of my fellow drivers, I find it irresponsible in the extreme to pass anyone when I can’t see oncoming traffic, yet nearly every day I witness someone doing exactly this.

The folks on horses make me the most nervous. Unlike operating a vehicle — motorized or otherwise — the horse is, to my mind, completely unpredictable. I slow, and try to get as far from the animal as possible. I don’t want to spook the horse, and thankfully most riders I’ve encountered are aware of approaching traffic and move the animal away from or off the road altogether.

It really sucks when you’re coming around a turn and you find a vehicle in your lane coming right at you. You’re forced to slam on your brakes, because the only other option is for the other vehicle to swerve back over into its own lane and quite probably smear the bicyclist into the trees.

I do have one basic expectation about anyone I’m sharing the road with, be they driving an automobile, riding a horse, or driving a tractor. That expectation is that they obey the rules of the road. Y’know. Stop at stop signs. Signal their intentions.

My apartment complex is located across Padonia Road from a small block of townhomes. Yesterday afternoon, on my way to work, I made a left hand turn out of my apartment complex, and as I approached the western entrance to this complex, some yahoo in a bicycle shot out of the residential “u” shaped street and onto Padonia Road. I slammed on my brakes as he made a turn and began heading east in the westbound lane. He gave me a dirty look as he had to manuever over to the far (from his perspective) left side of the street to pass me.

Okay, here’s some basic “share the street” courtesies he decided he doesn’t need to respect: He didn’t stop at his stop sign, nor did he bother to look for oncoming traffic before entering Padonia Road. In addition, he’s bicycling on the wrong side of the street, and failing to at least offer a “whoops! my bad!” wave for his reckless bicycling.

Thankfully, most of the folks who share the streets that I encounter (and who aren’t automobiling) are much more concientious of traffic and generally haven’t — to my knowledge — ever made such a boneheaded move. I can understand some dick in a truck running a stop. I hit him, oh boo, I drive a Celica, and his insurance’ll cover any damage. But bonehead on a bicycle? Heck, my tiny little Japanese car would put him into the hospital for a few months (and he’d probably sue me for being unable to mind-read his complete lack of a working brain).

dipf***er

Seen Thursday evening, approximately 6:10pm, at the intersection of Hess Road and Park Road, roughly halfway between Jarrettsville Pike and Fallston Road.

I was heading east, to make a right hand turn on Park. Westbound on Hess, a small coupe was waiting to make a left hand turn onto Park.

The assclown in the black SUV coming up behind the coupe decided he couldn’t wait the ten seconds for the coup to make its turn.

So, he jumped the curve and drove over someone’s lawn to get around.

Seriously, and people say I have an anger problem? How can I not when I see something like this? Wish I’d had the presence of mind to get the dipfuck’s license plate number. I’d’ve called the police and maybe he’d’ve gotten a citation for destruction of property or something.

How fucking inconsiderate.

I wish I’d been the owner of that property and gotten his license plate number and found a greedy lawyer and sued him for the damage. That’d be awesome!

I Feel Special :)

Tippy’s been doing a serious number on the frame of my bathroom door. Y’know. She’s got claws. She needs to claw shit, and since I rent (and I put down a $100 security deposit on my last apartment that they let me carry over to this one, suckers!), I’d much rather she destroy the apartment than any of the apartment’s contents. Here’s what her destructive Claws of Steel have done:

destructo_kitty

Anyway, I noticed that Jamaila at Ancestral Pile has been posting a lot of good DIY tips, so I thought I’d pose the question to her … and damn did she ever answer!

Thank you, Jamaila!

Wax Clog

Trying to clear the wax out of my ears earlier this afternoon with Q-tips, I inadvertently jammed the wax deep into my left ear. The last few hours haven’t been fun — with only my right ear functioning, I’ve almost felt like I’ve been interacting in the world from behind a glass wall.

I stopped by the grocery store after work hoping to find a product I’ve used before — it’s an ear drop that works to unclog wax. Unfortunatly, the medicine aisle had been rearranged and all I could find were ear plugs and “swimmer’s ear” relief — darnit, where’d the Wax-Be-Gone go? (I don’t know that it was actually called Wax-Be-Gone).

Guess we’re back to square one — tilting my head into the shower’s stream and hoping the hot water does a number on the wax.

(Or that the wax chunk falls out on its own).

Hoping Your Newborn Will “Live Long & Prosper?”

I so ripped that title off from the article. Anyway, a couple in Alaska decided they wanted to do everything they could to “ensure their son’s future.” So they named him …

“We decided to name him James Tiberius Kirk Weldy,” said Rebecca in regard to the newest family member who, according to the Captain’s Log, was added to the family fleet at 4:31 a.m. on Friday, April 21, 2006.

For those not in the know, James T. Kirk — played by William Shatner — was the commander of the starship Enterprise in the 1960s science fiction series “Star Trek.”

Wow.

Hoping Your Newborn Will "Live Long & Prosper?"

I so ripped that title off from the article. Anyway, a couple in Alaska decided they wanted to do everything they could to “ensure their son’s future.” So they named him …

“We decided to name him James Tiberius Kirk Weldy,” said Rebecca in regard to the newest family member who, according to the Captain’s Log, was added to the family fleet at 4:31 a.m. on Friday, April 21, 2006.

For those not in the know, James T. Kirk — played by William Shatner — was the commander of the starship Enterprise in the 1960s science fiction series “Star Trek.”

Wow.

I Tanked Six Feet Under

Finishing my complete series overview of Homicide: Life on the Street, I’ve begun Netflixing HBO’s Six Feet Under. I saw the first few episodes when it first aired, but that was, what, six years ago? I’d forgotten most of what happened.

Anyway, I just finished the second disc of the first season. I’m really digging the show. I was hoping to watch the first episode of the third disc tonight before bed when I made a horrifying discovery. The sealed return envelope with the first disc was still on my table.

So. Uh. What’d I drop in the mailbox outside of work this morning?

The unsealed return envelope with the third disc.

Whooooops.

Generally, my Netflix returns show up at the Netflix facility in Gaithersburg “the next day”, so if I don’t have an e-mail early tomorrow (this?) morning, I’ll get worried. I should be worried. I doubt the postal picker-upper would bother to seal the envelope, even assuming he or she noticed it open.

Damn.