I should start writing again.

‘Cause I got shit to say, man.

Now to find time?

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The case against LEGO & stickers

LEGO Countdown to The Force Awakens

There are now only 10 days left until the new Star Wars movie comes out and like every other geeknerd out there I’m excited as hell.

So I’ve been doing a little countdown on my Instagram page – reposting some of my own, and fan, favorite Star Wars LEGO pics from the two 365 projects I did years ago.

If you aren’t already following me on Instagram, head on over and do so to catch the remainder of the countdown, as well as other LEGO pics and random photos of cycling, pets, travels, and whatever else my phone points at. <shameless plug>

Here’s a few to get you rolling!

The Force Awakens opens December 18th! OMG OMG OMG

I haven’t posted much lately – mostly because it’s been a busy holiday season with friends and family visiting us in our new house. Plus work, and there hasn’t been much to gab about.

I will be posting some reviews of some new cycling equipment I’ve purchased lately – so that’s coming soon. Plus I’m sure I will post a review of the new Star Wars movie as well. I haven’t posted movie reviews lately – been pretty lazy. Ok, here’s a few quick ones:

SPECTRE: A good Bond movie because it paid homage to earlier Bond films in many ways: gadgets, lines, and of course the title & the villain: spoiler alert – it’s Blofeld. But it’s not like you didn’t already know that. The action sequences were glorious, the scenery was glorious, Daniel Craig was spot on again. The story was a little long I thought, but the biggest problem was Christoph Waltz was grossly under utilized. He is such a fabulous actor and he could have really been a sinister villain but I just left the theater wanting way more.
Overall grade: C+

Mockingjay Part 2: The final installment in the Hunger Games franchise delivered exactly what it needed to. It was nearly a page for page run through of the second half of the book – it had to be because the book isn’t long and they stretched it into two films. Overall I thought it was a pretty strong finish to the series with good action, and a satisfying conclusion to the overall story. It wasn’t longer than it needed to be and was long enough to hit all the main plot points. It’s interesting to see how far the quality of the movie and production progressed as the series went on.
Overall grade: A

Inside Out: It’s not without its faults, like any movie, but I thought it was absolutely brilliant. The way they took something as complex as the way your brain works and stores memories, and represented it visually and physically – absolutely brilliant. I loved it. It wasn’t a hilarious Pixar movie – but I don’t think it was meant to be. It was a good story that was backed by an incredibly well thought out and clever world. That’s the movie’s biggest strength.
Overall grade: A

Here are some random flicks I’ve watched in the past few months that I would also highly recommend: Zero Dark Thirty, Snowpiercer, The Imitation Game.

 

What’s Old Is New (Again)

Bike For Mike & The Katy Flatland 2015

Apparently I haven’t posted since the MS150 in April – wow. Sorry about that. Things have been busy – we bought our first house! So, I’m sure you can imagine what I’ve been spending my time doing. It’s not biking, that’s for sure. And not putting together any LEGO sets either – though I have acquired a few big Star Wars sets that will be built once I find a place for them in the new house! I’ll also post some before/after pics of the house at some point too.

Anyway – I did do three really fabulous rides after the MS150 – Bike For Mike in Fulshear, which benefits the little town of Fulshear and the memory of Mike McCann – a long time resident and cycling advocate from the town. It’s possible the best ride I’ve done outside the MS150; the people were awesome, the winery was great, and the food was fab. I also did the Rolling Hills Challenge, which was also pretty fun – but tiring. And finally a few weeks ago I did the metric century route for the very well known Katy Flatland ride. The heat was brutal.

So, here are some pics from the rides. I’ve been up to a few other things, so more posts coming on that soon.

Enjoy!

First up is Bike for Mike:

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The routes

The routes

Early morning parking lot - gearing up!

Early morning parking lot – gearing up!

The starting line

The starting line

Lots 'o' people!

Lots ‘o’ people!

Rest stop 1

Rest stop 1

This has become my go-to outfit for these fun rides. I get lots of compliments on the socks! Let's go Orange!!

This has become my go-to outfit for these fun rides. I get lots of compliments on the socks! Let’s go Orange!!

Open road in Fulshear

Open road in Fulshear

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Rest stop at the candy shop!

Rest stop at the candy shop!

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Riding partners

Riding partners

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Back into town in Fulshear - just about at the finish line

Back into town in Fulshear – just about at the finish line

All done. Walking to the food!!

All done. Walking to the food!!

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Sherman, just chillin'

Sherman, just chillin’

Mmmm...

Mmmm…

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Fabulous place for lunch after the ride!

Fabulous place for lunch after the ride!

Some of Team ION at lunch. We ride hard!

Some of Team ION at lunch. We ride hard!

The Katy Flatland.
It was hot. So very hot.

The sun rises over the parking lot. There are about 4000 people trying to get ready to roll.

The sun rises over the parking lot. There are about 4000 people trying to get ready to roll.

A casual rolling start was nice and kept things rolling and not bunched up.

A casual rolling start was nice and kept things rolling and not bunched up.

Rolling through the Cinco Ranch area

Rolling through the Cinco Ranch area

Yup - lots of people at the rest stop. I choked down some bananas.

Yup – lots of people at the rest stop. I choked down some bananas.

Paceline. I stayed here until about 30 miles in. Then we turned into some wind and I just couldn't hang anymore. But we ripped it for quite a while.

Paceline. I stayed here until about 30 miles in. Then we turned into some wind and I just couldn’t hang anymore. But we ripped it for quite a while.

Ahh the countryside. Love the views.

Ahh the countryside. Love the views.

Hmm...where is everyone?

Hmm…where is everyone?

Wait...wait...isn't this supposed to be the Katy FLATLAND? That sure as hell looks like a hill to me!

Wait…wait…isn’t this supposed to be the Katy FLATLAND? That sure as hell looks like a hill to me!

2nd to last rest stop - found a little traveling buddy.

2nd to last rest stop – found a little traveling buddy.

Anndd....my picture at the finish line.

Anndd….my picture at the finish line.

So – not much biking lately because for the last month temps have been in the 90s, and 100s constantly. It hasn’t rained since we got hosed around Memorial Day. Hoping to get back to riding to work soon once the temps calm a tad.

Thanks for hanging around y’all. I got some LEGO reviews and stuff coming up, along with some other random stuff!

Dan

It’s a good feeling

I may not post very often, but I check in a lot to answer comments or questions. Yesterday I found this lovely comment left on the LEGO365 landing page here. Thanks Calli!
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I’m happy my projects brought so much fun to so many folks – and inspired a bunch of young minds to follow suit. I always received messages saying their kids were playing more, or staging scenes and wanting to take pictures and have them talking.

And it’s pretty cool seeing that people are still discovering it for the first time.

You can always view the entire project and all my side project posts on the original LEGO365 blog.

Those pics, as well as all the rest of my photography (which has been nothing but bike trips of late) is always on my Flickr page as well.

Happy building!

Ready2Roll MS150 Training: Week 7

Sorry this post is so late – heck it’s almost time for the next ride. It’s been a busy week.

Last Saturday we headed up to New Waverly, which is just south of Huntsville for a good practice ride. The area has many rolling hills and a few good climbs as well. Not to mention a ride through Sam Houston National Forest. I’ve been up in this area before – last year for the Huntsville Raven’s Revenge ride (coincidentally my first organized t-shirt ride). Also coincidentally, the Raven’s Ride was going on the same day – and our routes overlapped a little. I pedaled through some familiar areas.

I left my GPS at home and my wife’s didn’t track the whole route so here’s a general map of the area we rode through. We started at the bottom right in town, and crossed I-45, then went through the forest to the west then turned north toward the south side of Huntsville. We came back east on Veterans Memorial Parkway where the longest/steepest climb of the ride was, then followed the feeder road parallel to I-45 all the way back to the start in New Waverly.

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IT WAS COLD.

We thought maybe we would luck out as it was in the low/mid 40s in Houston, but as we drove out of the city it dropped. The temp was around 37 when we started rolling out for the ride. The sun came out for about 30 minutes from 7:30-8am, then it was cloudy the whole rest of the way. You were warm enough once you got riding, but as soon as you stopped for a rest stop it got freakin’ cold again. It’s bad the weather was so gloomy and cold because on a nice day, the forest and surrounding areas can be beautiful.

We did OK on the hills. The whole way back south along I-45 was nicknamed the “roller coaster” as the road goes up and down almost the whole way. Makes for a good workout but also a lot of fun. Not much else to talk about I guess – nothing out of the ordinary happened. So, on to the pics I guess!

Taken from the car as we took the overpass from the Tollway to I-45 north. It gave us hope that the clouds would burn away and the sun would come out and warm things up. Yeah, we were wrong.
IMG_0825 Parking! As you can see, the sun is out. But it was short-lived. Our car/bikes are on the right.IMG_0827 Looking the other way from where we parked. It was New Waverly’s junior high school I think. Not very big!IMG_0828 And our starting point was the parking lot of the elementary school.IMG_0829

There has been a photographer, Randy Ramos, hanging out for a bunch of the training rides, and this is a pic from us from his website. As you can see we are cold. Very cold. We also didn’t know he was taking out picture! He took another one after approaching us that we smiled nicely for – but this one is more fun. Check out tons of great cycling pics (along with his other photography) on his site: http://randyramos.smugmug.com
IMG_0005-X3 The sun washed out this pic, but it’s all of us lined up and starting off in waves.IMG_0830 Better pic – though most of the riders have left already. We left toward the back of the pack.IMG_0831 This was the only rest stop on our route. It was one of the Huntsville Fire Stations. Many thanks to them for allowing us access to their facilities and a little warmth. Also HUGE thank you to all the volunteers running the rest areas, keeping the coolers full of water and Gatorade, and the snack cups full! IMG_0832 Here’s the I-45 feeder road, the “roller coaster.” It’s hard to make out in the pic I suppose but there are some rolling hills ahead. Also noticeable are the clouds and the distinct lack of sun.IMG_0833 I might make pics like this a staple. #bikeselfie ?? Not exactly the safest thing I suppose, but, meh, whatever. I caught my wife mid drink apparently.IMG_0834 More rolling hills.IMG_0835

Well that’s it for last week.

This week we are heading all the way out to Fayetteville, which is nearly to La Grange – which is the half-way overnight stop for the actual MS150. Damn I’m going to have to get up early. Ugh! It’s supposed to be much warmer though, and hopefully, just maybe, the sun will make an appearance.

The FIRST Officer

 

RIP Mr. Nimoy.

You will be missed.

Say hi to Bones, I’m sure he’s been waiting for you.