Figs NOT Included
$8.88 each through October. Limited quantities http://www.brickprinter.com
Windows 8 is almost upon us. And like it or not this is the future of computing in the Microsoft world. I personally am ready to embrace it as the older I get, the more I like to try new things. Of course many old people are completely different and do not like to get out of their “comfort zone”. I have been using the Consumer Preview for months now and it runs all my engraving software on a little ThinkPad netbook with no problems. I have all my print and engraving files synced with SkyDrive so that those precious files which many took hours to perfect, are not only backed up on my machine, my other home machine, and on an external hard drive but also “in the cloud.”
As much as I really like many of the features in Windows 8, it is a bit confusing, and for some people difficult to navigate with a mouse. But remember you do not have to rely solely on the mouse and touch (if that is available), but the KEYBOARD IS ALMOST ALWAYS PRESENT unless you are using strictly as a tablet. Learn some simple NEW shortcuts and you will discover a new sextant for navigation over this seemingly befuddling sea.
And learning shortcuts is a bit of a pain, especially for ones you only occasionally use, but we at BrickeEngraver LLC, the pre-eminent personalizer of the iconic LEGO™ brick ,(after all we created this new media back in 2002) , have created a little 3D mnemonic device out of our beloved brick to help all ages to remember them. This is after all in MSspeak, a world of “devices and services”.
Learn these KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS and you will be able to make your landfall quicker and with more precision. And for all those old farts out there who remember DOS before the mouse, they are really kind of like a friendly home port. For the people who never use the KEYBOARD to navigate, you might want to give it a try.
We, Sara Elaine and myself, have been hunkered down in our top secret design bunker readying the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) of our brand new product that is the first Windows 8 accessory pack. We have spent literally hours designing and prototyping in order get this brand new product ready. If people use it, it will help all the millions out there who are going to be thoroughly confused with this new operating system’s radical interface. (of course only a very limited number will “actually” be able to purchase it until some counterfeiter overseas floods the market with them at 1/3 the price).
Now don’t get me wrong, I have been using Windows 8 for over 6 months now and really like a lot of what it can do. It will be, I think, awesome on a touch tablet “form factor”. (notice how I used “form factor”–the “buzzword” of current jargon). It will be a bit of a struggle for a lot of people using it with a keyboard and mouse, especially old farts, although not really that hard after a bit of getting used to even for an old fart.
But never fear, The Design team of the world renown BrickEngraver LLC is here to help ease the pain and bring a little delight. Using the beloved LEGO brick and our incomparable techniques and vision, we will help guide you through this new frontier with some good old fashioned help-and I mean old fashioned. Sometimes methods of the past are still valid and preferable to the”new and improved” methodology of the present. We entered into a contract with one of the pre-eminent LEGO designers and journalists in the world to help make this vision come into reality.(it cost us dearly-a first class meal at the 18 Seaboard restaurant in Raleigh). But we felt it our civic duty to get only the best. In a mere 12 minutes he came up with the design so that works out to like $300/hour. Those are lawyer like fees my oldest son charges; but like they say, a good lawyer is worth every penny when you need him just as a good LEGO designer is when you need him (or her).
We expect the demand to be overwhelming, and unlike Nokia , we plan on having quantities to ship on Windows 8 release (at least 25). We are looking to the Apple model for our marketing on this product, if you announce it, then have it for sale. Of course we limited the quantities because we want to “sell out in a week” and also our production capability is a total of 2 1/2 people. GA (“general availability”), will be on October 27th for limited numbers. Stay tuned for further “teasers” as they say in the “marketing game”. We are employing all the “social media” resources we understand and are told to employ by the “experts” so this has to be a successful launch.
“If a man cannot forget, he will never amount to much.”
I have been a big fan of an author named Walker Percy and Audible now has his books available so started listening to one read 45 years ago or more during the height of the Vietnam War. The name of the book is The Last Gentleman. Not thrilled with the reader but he is OK. Here are a few quotes from the book that made a lot of sense back then and still make a lot of sense.
“He had to know everything before he could do anything.”
“Lucky is the man who does not secretly believe that every possibility is open to
Southerners have trouble ruling out the possible. What happens to a man to whom all things seem possible and every course of action open? Nothing of course. Except war. If a man lives in the sphere of the possible and waits for something to happen, what he is waiting for is war or the end of the world.
That is why Southerners like to fight and make good soldiers. In war the possible becomes actual through no doing of one’s own. “
It really is healthier to understand one’s real possibilities and act on them instead of sitting around waiting because there are so many roads, one cannot figure out which to go down.
Happy belated President’s Day! I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend, descending upon the local mall or car dealership in a furious shopping attack picking up sale after President’s Day sale. Or in our case realizing that this is one of the few days the Post Office shuts its doors and lets it’s workers take a well deserved day off. Which would not have mattered if we didn’t have packages to ship out…oops. Or in the case of our local school system, I’m sure the students were lamenting the fact that they had to go to school on a holiday, in need of a break before the stress of mid-terms rears it’s ugly head. President’s Day sadly is usually an oft forgotten holiday exploited by car dealerships and department stores to hawk last minute sales in the no-mans land retail landscape between Christmas and when it is actually warm enough to wear the Spring/Summer Fashions that stores have had on display since January.
But I think President’s Day is more important than sales or a day off or no mail. It is a time to celebrate the accomplishment of all our Presidents, and especially two of our most important ones- George Washington and Abraham Lincoln- whose birthdays both coincidentally fall during the month of February. It is a celebration of the birthday of George Washington who one of our founders and our first President. He set the example for all the presidents to follow him with his grace, humility, leadership, and devotion to the Republic. I honestly do not think any other man could have led our nascent country and put it on a path of greatness the way that he did. It is a celebration of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln who led our country during it’s most tumultuous and divided time in our history and we came out the other side better and stronger. President’s day is not only a time to celebrate and honor not only these two great men but also all the men who have made it to our nation’s highest office. It is also a time to reflect on our nation’s history, both the good moments and the bad, and learn from them as we look to our future as a country and who could be our future president as we enter the middle of primary season. Happy Birthday George! Happy Birthday Abe! Happy Birthday America! (ok so it’s not really the nation’s birthday…that’s July 4th…but can President’s Day be USA’s bday in February like there is Christmas in August? I think so )
Oh before I go…I leave you with some patriotic LEGO goodies! Enjoy!
Well I got to cleaning out one of my LEGO rooms to make room for a new polishing unit and came across a bunch of my old WoodStitches. Way back when, when I had just come up with idea of engraving on LEGO bricks to make badges and keyrings and names on mini-figs, I was also interested in wood veneering and tiling patterns. Still am for that matter, but very little time to pursue them. Anyway, I came up with the concept of covering LEGO bricks and later tiles with real wood veneer. A modular kind of parquetry, one in which you could rebuild it again and again. Because LEGO is really strong and dimensionally stable, it actually made an excellent substrate for veneer. So I embarked on making all kinds of bricks covered with veneer. Figuring out the right kind of glue and cutting them out were of course the main problems, but to me they looked so darn good that I persevered and came up with a reasonable, if time consuming process. And once put together and coated with a few coats of urethane, they made a very durable item–durable enough for coasters, table tops and even floors.
I thought that photo mosaics out of them would be very unique and could not help but being good looking also. After all hardwoods are some of the prettiest materials that God ever created. I was always a fan of marquetry also. I played around also with stitching patterns, rug patterns , tiling patterns, etc. Had no idea there were so many stitching patterns in the world. I remember some of the African ones were very elegant. But wanted to do one pretty good sized mosaic, and finally created enough 1×1 bricks with enough of a variety of values and colors to give it a go. Since Kjeld was going to be at BrickFest that year, I decided to do a portrait of him –someone the AFOLs could identify.
So I grabbed one of the few pictures of him I could find and analyzed it value wise –took all my various woods and analyzed them from light to dark in similar color temperature and then started matching them up and numbering them . Some woods even though the correct values were too green or cool and could not use them. I then did like most mosaic makers do and “stitched” by number. If one was using traditional parquetry techniques and actually gluing them, it would have been a real pain. After all there were over 3000 of them for this fairly small picture. And if you decided one did not look good, with WoodStitches you simply had to take it apart and put in a different one. Actually a lot of fun, once the bricks were made and the pattern laid out. And you could also play with the grain direction to get some textural variations. It came out pretty darn well, and I was proud of my new craft form. I could not find any equivalent technique out there in the world. At BrickFest my new and original concept did not go over very well however because I was modifying the “holy” brick and it was not considered LEGO. Lot of purist back in those days and this was about as impure as one could get-lol. Well anyway, I thought it looked almost great—and did get Kjeld to autograph it as can be seen in this picture.
href=”http://brickengraver.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/kjeld-small.jpg”>Wooden Flavored LEGO
The technique would make a killer bar, coffee table, foyer floor, or mosaic backdrop for a tavern. Or a photomosaic. Would look good in any room. Great for making borders, all kinds of things. Problem of course was the expense. Nothing really inexpensive about the bricks and the amount of labor was pretty high.