Lego Optimus Prime

IMG_1201Alex has been reading a Transformer's book lately. It's got pictures of the different generations of Transformers that have been produced in the last 20 or so years.  I've been trying to explain to the boys how much cooler of the Generation 1 Transformer look is compared to with the abomination they're portraying in books and TV today.

The boys prefer the new Transformers look and I've explained that they are allowed to have their own opinions, but making up facts is just plain wrong. When that didn't work I tried "Because I said so." And when that didn't work I decided to enlist them in a major project with the hope of un-brainwashing them.

So Saturday morning we dumped out our legos and got to work on building a Generation I Optimus Prime.


We had a lot of fun.


A little pre-construction tube searching revealed a guy named Chris Roach who is a genius with Legos. We followed his design and made a few tweaks here an there which I will pretend were for aesthetics as opposed to compensating for pieces we didn't have. Chris's design for the body is really slick and his Prime head is a work of art. My thanks go out to him for being so cool and sharing his designs.

It took about 6 hours over two days, but with Chris Roach's designs and the kid's help we put together a pretty passable Generation I Optimus Prime.


We needed some wheels and flat panel parts to finish him off so I ordered the parts from Lego. They arrived yesterday, and we now have our finished Optimus Prime.


Seriously, how cool is this!


Oh, and did I mention he transforms?


Now that I've got one transformer under my belt I think I might take a stab at a Bumblebee without someone else's design. With work so busy and travel every other week lately, projects like this provide much needed time with the kids and a great way to clear my head.  Plus it just looks really cool!


Fortunately, the debate over which generation of Transformers looks coolest rages on. Guess we'll just have to keep building stuff like this.

More pics of our Lego Optimus Prime.

Tom the Completely Inept Hunter

IMG_3541This is my cat Tom. Most of the time we spend together consists of him curling up on my lap and going to sleep. I just assumed the other 23 hours a day he was off doing something productive. Hunting mice, making sure the varmints don't abuse the bird feeder and keeping the neighborhood dogs in line... You know, typical super-cat stuff.

The other day I looked out onto the back deck to witness a good five minutes of completely non-confrontational interaction between Tom and a squirrel.

The squirrel just walked right up to him.


And Tom barely got up the effort to stare at it.


They just hung out like that. Alternatively looking at each other and then staring off into the distance. There wasn't a hint of tension. The squirrel wasn't even mildly plussed by Tom's looming claws of death, and Tom didn't seem to mind the Squirrel's presence enough to move a single paw.


My dreams of Tom "The Great Protector" shattered, the squirrel eventually scampered off to try to break into the bird feeder again. Oh well. At least Tom keeps my legs warm in the winter.


Girls are different

P6090005.JPG Four years ago today Allison was born. Allison was our third baby to be born and as such I felt I was somewhat prepared. I had navigated her brothers' entrance into the world with relative calmness and control. Christine did all the work of course, but at least I managed to stick around. That was with the boys. And As I've learned over and over through the last four years girls are different.

On Allison's birthday I managed to pass out cold just as Christine was declared technically in labor. You'd think having been through 2 births completely unscathed I'd be a pro at this. But nope, I passed out. When I began to regain consciousness, alone in a hospital room, I snapped this picture of the automatic blood pressure someone had strapped to my arm. It reads 70/42. For the none medical types, that's a lot low.  Allison and Christine managed to wait a bit and I made it back on my feet in time to be there when Allison was born.

Over the last 4 years Allison has grown into an amazing little girl. Her capacity for happiness is contagious and irrepressible. Yesterday we had a conversation and it felt like I was talking to an articulate adult who smiled a lot.  Just amazing.

I don't have the time to explain all the way's she is different from her brothers and amazing at the same time. Frankly I'd rather go play with her, so that's what I'm going to do.

But whenever I think about it, my memory goes back to that moment shortly before she was born when I  realized she'd literally knocked me out and she hadn't even been born yet. That's kinda how I feel every time I see her.