lego minifigures series - the simpsons

The announcement that the next series of collectable Lego minifigures (due out around May) was going to be based on The Simpsons TV show has always struck me as weird.

I know that they launched the Lego version of 742 Evergreen Terrace a little while ago, but it's not like they're putting out a whole Simpsons themed line.

But I guess making a series of minifigs was a good way to gauge interest. And it's not the first line that has come out with uniquely moulded heads, there's been Toy Story and Spongebob Squarepants, which were both unique heads, but they never feel properly like Lego.

That's not to say that they haven't done a great job at sculpting the 2D Simpsons character into 3D plastic. There aren't any new accessories though, it's either existing pieces or unique prints/paint. Like the transparent minifig head used as a fishbowl for Blinky, and Apu's Squishy cup.

The residents of Springfield making the transition to Lego are:
  • Homer Simpson
  • Marge Simpson
  • Bart Simpson
  • Lisa Simpson
  • Maggie Simpson (with Bobo)
  • Abe "Grandpa" Simpson
  • Milhouse Van Houten
  • Nelson Muntz
  • Ned Flanders
  • Chief Clancy Wiggum
  • Ralph Wiggum
  • Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
  • Mr Burns (with Blinky)
  • Krusty the Clown
  • Itchy
  • Scratchy
I know that they only had 16 minifigs to work with, but I was a little surprised at a couple of the omissions. I'm not surprised that they included the whole Simpsons clan, and that eats up six spots out of the sixteen... but there's no Principle Skinner, there's no Waylon Smithers.

The only two minifigs from the series that I'm interested in are Itchy and Scratchy... although I could be tempted by the Homer, Apu and Mr Burns (mostly for the transparent minifig head).

As always, Road Runner over at the Eurobrick forums has done a review of the whole set

I'm hoping that after this series they'll go back to the regular minifig series... Santa and the Elf could do with a Mrs Claus, the Ancient Rome characters could do with a Roman lady, I'd love a lion costume to add to the animal suit folk, the horror movie characters are missing a guy in a skeleton suit, the judge and policeman need a criminal and the roller derby girl could do with an opponent.

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movies: mr peabody and sherman

mr peabody and sherman - he's leaving his mark on history
I grew up watching the original Peabody's Improbable History segments on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show when I was a kid... the reruns, though, not the first time around... I'm not THAT old!

So Mr Peabody and Sherman was something of a nostalgic revisit to my youth but with all the bells and whistles of modern animation.

However, even though I was familiar with the characters I didn't realise that they'd lifted the whole framework of the plot (the fact that Peabody has actually adopted Sherman) from the first ever episode. In fact having now seen that first episode, I can see exactly how true they were to the source material.

And I like that.

It's also a good looking movie... Mr Peabody's rooftop penthouse apartment is gorgeous, very Mid-Century modern. And the WABAC machine has had a much needed upgrade from a simple doorway to a floating red sphere complete with floating transparent displays and adaptive camouflage. Ancient Egypt, Renaissance Florence and the Trojan War all look great too... particularly the lighting effects.

The voice cast is great, with Ty Burrell from Modern Family doing a pretty flawless version of the original voice. There are also a number of celebrity voices, including Allison Janney, Stephen Colbert, Stanley Tucci, Patrick Warburton and Mel Brooks.

The only thing that bugged me was the fact that in the opening sequence the pair travel to the French Revolution and they use the apocryphal quote about Marie Antoinette saying "let them eat cake"... which wouldn't have bothered me as much if it hadn't been for the fact that later in the movie they make a point of spelling out the fact that the story of George Washington and the cherry tree is actually apocryphal (as well as explaining what apocryphal means for the audience). Now whether that's just because the writers/director only cared about not taking liberties with American history or not, I don't know... but it seems strange.

There are also a number of fairly tame jokes (mostly visual) of a scatological nature... but they're actually pretty funny for the most part, and I'm guessing that the average age of the audience that they're aiming for would think those jokes are hilarious.

All in all, it wasn't a bad homage to a property from the past... it's certainly more faithful than a lot of modern reboots.

yani's rating: 3 fond regards out of 5

hipster adjacent market saturday shopping

hipster-animals.tumblr.com
Today was somewhat of a hipster-eske market kind of day. Not that there's anything wrong with that... but the Hipster Animals in the image above are incredibly apt to various people we ran across during the day, or at least variations on a theme.

My telepathy about when Ma is arriving continued this week, as I came downstairs just as she was coming down the footpath from where she'd parked the car.

From there it was off to the supermarket.

While we didn't end up spending as much money as last week, we did end up with a trolley full of things, and now my fridge is nicely filled up once again. The check-out experience was a little more arduous than usual as they were training new check-out boys, and although we were in the queue for one of the other girls, they actually swapped her out before she started dealing with us and replaced her with one of the new boys. He wasn't too bad, especially since it was only his second time working on the register... the only downside was his speed, but that'll improve over time.

We also wandered over the Coles and grabbed some of the Heston Blumenthal lemon myrtle hot cross buns... they're not bad... I still prefer the ones at Bakers Delight, but the Heston ones are nice warmed up/toasted.

While we didn't have any plans for the day, I remembered that I'd seen something on Twitter about a market on Flinders Street, so we decided to head over and take a look.

flinders street market ladiesvintage boys
It was a quirky little market... inside a garage/big shed that usually serves as a car park. It felt very hipstery... lots of boys with beards and girls in vintage outfits and organic, free trade beverages.

And, as usual with almost every single market we go to there were a lot of stalls selling handmade jewellery.

But the most interesting stall, and the one we spent the most time at was a general second hand/bric a brac stall at the back. Clearly the guy running the stall goes to auctions and estate sales and whatnot and buys anything and everything he can get his hands on. So there was a mixture of stuff, it almost looked as though it was the contents of somebody's house.

Which led to some weird headspace while going through everything... it felt a little like you were rifling through somebody's life. Especially because there were about a dozen photo albums full of photos spanning the 1930's through to the 1960's.

I became a little bit entranced/obsessed with the albums... there were captions under most of the photos, but they weren't in English... I worked out later that they were in Danish. And some of the early albums didn't just have photos, I think one of them had the couple's honeymoon in it, and it included the hotel bill and their score cards from mini golf and all those little bits and pieces that go into making up a life.

In amongst the albums there were also some loose photos, and the oldest ones I could find had dates of the 1890's... so I couldn't just walk away from those, especially since the photos were of handsome young gentlemen. There were also a bunch of photos from the 1910's... including one of a group of young men in soccer uniforms and another of a group of people out in a garden.

It felt a little melancholy, all those photos that clearly nobody wanted or were too far away to collect or a family that had lost touch... and I won't lie, it felt a little odd just picking out a few to take away with me to use as decorator objects. But at least somebody gets to enjoy them again.

Thinking about it more later in the day I also couldn't help thinking about what's going to happen to all my photos, both analogue and digital... and whether somebody's going to be going through my albums at a second hand stall one day.

Ahem... on a brighter note...

Ma found a really cool book full of artist sketches... not actual sketches, it's a printed book, but if you didn't look too closely at the sketches you'd never be able to tell that they weren't original. I'm probably going to try scanning them in, or using the photocopy option on my multifunction printer, see what we can do without having to pull the book apart.

I grabbed a nice wooden bowl that I need to give a good wash and maybe a rub down with sandpaper and oil (and interestingly, I just read an article about how to refinish wooden bowls this morning), and we also found some butter knives... and you can never go past a nice butter knife.

It's definitely a place I'd love to go back to again, if only to spend some more time looking at the second hand stuff.

After a brief stop at the highly hipstery tea stall for some ice tea, we headed down to Arndale to take in a movie.

But more on that later.

We had a bit of a wander around Arndale both before the movie and after it was over, and I happened to check my phone after we got out of the movie, only to discover that That Dapper Market was on in the old Clipsal plant in Bowden, basically on the way home from Arndale.

that dapper market, bowden
According to an article in the Advertiser yesterday, That Dapper Market started in 2011 and this is the eighth incarnation.

It was also supposed to attract around 2500 people... which I can believe, because when we got there, the place was already heaving and it had only been running for about an hour.

There's a lot of cool stuff... a lot of it stuff we've seen before in other places, but Ma and I do tend to go to a lot of markets, so that's not really surprising.

Points do go to the girl at the tea stall who was telling us about her teas. I know Ma's hearing is getting worse and worse, and the general noise level in the market was enough that I knew Ma wouldn't be able to hear that well so I just cupped my hand behind her ear (which she said later actually did help), and the tea girl didn't even flinch or stop talking or look at me like I was crazy or anything.

I do wonder sometimes if I should see about putting together a range of my photos and applying to be a stall holder. It's one of those things were you wouldn't be sure if it was worth doing until after you'd already done it...

Anyway...

We wandered around the various vintage clothes, artisan jewellery, organic foodage, general artist stalls having a look at bits and pieces. The old Clipsal factory is a great space for the market, and I really wished that I'd had my camera with me... I could have gotten some awesome photos.

Hopefully there will be another one sooner rather than later, although it does appear that it's not a regularly scheduled market like the Flinders Street one.

After we'd wandered around for a while we stopped off at Veggie Velo to get some early dinner/late lunch... it's been a while, but it was just as yummy as ever.

We made a final stop at Four Seeds to pick up some of their gorgeous brownies... and Mim said that they'd seen us when we came in and were waiting to see when we swung past... sometimes it's good to be predictable hehehe.

When we got back here, I showed Ma all of my processed images from Sydney before I sent her on her way.

So while we didn't really buy very much stuff, it was an enjoyable day and definitely something different than the usual.

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photo friday: sydney colours

iceberg blueblue wetsuit

step on the cracksmorning ride

north sydney archesold skewl skater
This week has been both productive and whatever the opposite of productive is... unproductive I suppose.

On Tuesday I cooked a giant pot of Osso Bucco, which made the rest of the week easier since I didn't have to cook anything for dinner until tonight. And it was actually better the day after I think.

While I was cooking I also started rewatching the Veronica Mars series from the beginning... which is kind of where the unproductive part of my week happened. In about four days I've made it all the way through the first two seasons (and I also noticed that the phone I bought online a few weeks ago just happens to be the same phone that sits on Veronica's dad's office desk... which is kind of awesome).

I do love revisiting shows that have outstanding writing and great acting... and Veronica Mars is definitely one of those shows.

Speaking of great acting, I also caught up on the show Vicious starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as an old gay couple who are, as the title suggests, vicious, mostly to each other... it's a unique show in a lot of ways, and so incredibly British. But it also has some moments of incredibly funny but incredibly black humour.

The most productive thing I've done this week was the construction, painting and varnishing my bedside drawers. I'm going to blog about it properly later, but suffice to say that I'm really happy with the results (it's not completely perfect, but it's going to meet my needs quite well). I didn't so much enjoy the cleaning up of the brushes and paraphernalia... oil based painting supplies are a pain in the ass.

But at least it's pretty and shiny.

Next week is going to be a bit chaotic, especially at the end of the week what with my rental inspection and my tattoo appointment as well as our return to the movies... which will be the first time since the end of January.

Okay, maybe not that chaotic, but there will be some frantic cleaning at some point... although not a lot, because I've managed to keep the place pretty clean and tidy in the last few months.

Oh, and I booked the tickets for Ma and I to go and see the Behind The Myths tour with Mythbusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hynamen in August... it's their first time in Australia and the first time they've taken the BTM tour anywhere other than the US and Canada. I'm so excited about going... there's not that many things I genuinely get excited over, but this is definitely one of them.

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random cockinasock hotness

This week's Random Hotness is a something of a whopper... no pun intended... consider it restitution for having missed the previous two weeks of Hotness due to travel and general fatigue.

That and the fact that I just couldn't bring myself to whittle the selection down any further.

The latest meme/fad sweeping Instagram for the last week or so is #cockinasock, where young gentlemen pose wearing nothing by a sock over their manhood in an effort to raise awareness and money for cancer research in the UK. According to their website, Cock in a Sock was started by James Brown to raise awareness for male cancers and is now a global campaign being run by James Brown and Siobhan Watton, with the help of Daniel Widnell and Michael Lovell.

Sadly, it seems like Instagram has been removing some of these images and I did hear a rumour that they'd blocked the #cockinasock hashtag from their search engine, but as of a couple of minutes ago it seemed to be working fine. I did notice that the hashtag is cluttered with people posting the same reaction meme images over and over again, which is kind of predictable.

What does amaze me is how many of the guys taking part seem to go in for some serious manscaping... I'm not sure if that's just what young men of all sexual persuasions do these days, or if it's more about looking nice for their big photo moment... if you're going to put it (almost) all out there, you want to look your best.

And if my Australian and American readers want to donate money a little closer to home, try the Cancer Council Australia or the American Cancer Society.


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monster supermarket shopping saturday

bit of a monster shopping excursion
The supermarket portion of today's shopping expedition was a bit of a monster...

Not really surprising given the fact that I didn't do a very big shop before we left for Sydney and I only picked up a few essentials to see me through the week once we got back.

And Ma and I seem to have a Vulcan mind-meld going on of late regarding her arrival... today was the latest instance of me coming downstairs only to find that Ma was already here... it happened the weekend before we went away, it happened when she picked me up on the way to the airport and it happened again this morning. And it's not like I know she's down there, I'm just heading out to wait for her... and there she is. Weird.

It also felt a little weird doing the regular supermarket thing, given the fact that last Saturday was so very different, and much more glamorous.

We also managed to fill up the little basket trolley until we couldn't fit a single thing more in. In fact, between the two of us we filled the top basket with fruit and veg and meat.

I always love it when whichever check out chick/dude we get knows exactly now to pack a shopping bag... young Jordan definitely fit the bill with that... and it always makes it so much easier.

Even so it took forever to unpack and put everything away once we got back to my place because I'd needed to much stuff. But at least now both my cupboards and and fridge are filled up.

Once I'd finished filling the cupboards we headed out to Arndale with no real agenda, and really all we ended up going was the usual circuit of the shopping centre.

From there we headed into the city... again, with no real agenda beyond calling into Espionage Gallery at some stage to take a look at the exhibition I missed the opening for last Friday.

After wandering down to Myer and having a look around, we stopped off at the City Library so I could show Ma around. From there we went downstairs into the Rundle Place food court for some beverage and something to eat.

I'm still not sure if the yum cha place was a good idea or a bad one... it was bad given the amount of time it took for us to actually get the dumplings we ordered (a good ten minutes or so), although they were freshly cooked (fresh, frozen, I'm not completely sure) and piping hot when we finally got them. They weren't as interesting as the dumplings we had from the place in Sydney, which isn't really surprising, so it was all a bit of a mixed bag really.

When we finally finished eating we headed up to Espionage where we chatted with Josh for a good long while... it may have been over an hour, I'm honestly not sure. We chatted about his upcoming solo exhibition... and the work is amazing, he's put so much thought and so much effort into it.

From there we headed back to my place after a quick detour to the North Adelaide Village for a couple of other bits and pieces.

So, yeah... it's all been very much back to the normal routine... for better or worse.

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photo friday: lego chima legend beast eagle

lego chima legend beast eagle - the boxlego chima legend beast eagle - box contents
Before we went on our Sydney trip, I bought myself the Lego Chima Legend Beast Eagle set.

It was relatively cheap, and while I liked a couple of the other sets in the range (the lion, the wolf and the gorilla... the crocodile not so much), I do have a thing for birds, so I couldn't go past this set.

lego chima legend beast eagle - minifig partslego chima legend beast eagle - eris
First up is putting together Eris, the eagle minifigure that comes with the set... she actually has a lot of pieces for a minifig... that battle axe has like five pieces, and the gold chest plate has six pieces, what with the wings.

I definitely like the transparent blue shield though.

lego chima legend beast eagle - eagle bodylego chima legend beast eagle - tail and stickers
The build isn't too complicated... first up you put the eagle body together... it's halfway between a animal body and a vehicle when you start, but it is designed to carry the minifig, so that makes sense.

I kind of wish that the pieces had been printed rather than being stickers... I can understand why they're not, although you would think that there were enough pieces in the Chima range to justify printed designs. The stickers on the white pieces do have a transparent background though, so at least they won't yellow.

lego chima legend beast eagle - the eagle headlego chima legend beast eagle - talons
The eagle eyes are printed pieces though, which is a little weird... and the set comes with three eyes, you know, in case you lose one or you want to make a three eyed eagle or something.

I love the talons... I could easily see the same parts being used to make clawed hands, and there is a good range of articulation in the legs, from where they meet the body, the ankles and then the toes themselves.

lego chima legend beast eagle - nearly therelego chima legend beast eagle - perching proud
Once the legs have been attached, all that's left are the wings, in a very similar arrangement to the talons to be honest, which gives them a nice range of articulation.

The thing I really love is the feet curl nicely so the eagle can sit on the edge of my bookcase shelf, and it balances well.

In unrelated news, this week feels like it's pretty much gotten away from me, partly because it took so long to do all my photo processing and finish up the blog posts. So I haven't really done much this week.

I did have some visitors today though... Ma, La Cousina and Miss Oh all came by for a visit so they could see my apartment. They stuck around for a couple of hours, we talked about everything and nothing really, and then they headed off.

It was a nice visit though, even though my apartment isn't really set up for more than one visitor at a time.

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