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maverick_weirdo

Spam Trap Post

Dec. 31st, 2020 | 11:01 pm

It seems like someone has set up automation to post in the top comment of a journal. I have gotten half a dozen spam posts, so I am creating this false top. Please do not reply to this comment. All replies are screened and notifications are turned off.

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maverick_weirdo

Lego Store Review: Annapolis, MD

Jul. 5th, 2016 | 06:42 pm

A series of reviews of Lego store Pick-A-Brick walls.

1260 Annapolis Mall
Annapolis, MD 21401-3075

July 4th 2016, around 11am

Number of Bins: 64
Number of miscellaneous bins: 2
Number of colors available (not including misc. bin): 22
Number of different shape parts (not including misc. bin): 41

I will mention that my results are a “snapshot” of one visit, and may not represent how the store is at other times.

While July 4th is a holiday, it is not what I would call a “shopping holiday” so the mall wasn’t too busy. Of the 8 Lego stores I have been to in the past, this one was the smallest by far. Not just the brick wall, the whole store was small. However they did a good job of maintaining what they have.

They had both the new “Pick-a-Model” (the truck) and the old (butterfly) model on display. They had two misc. bins and the current “fan favorites” bins (sand green 1x1 brick, sand green 1x2 plate, a modified plate ball joint, and a modified plate socket joint).

I was pleased to see some parts here that I had not seen at other stores (Propellers, Foliage, etc.). While we were delving in the misc. bins, one of the employees came over to find out what we were looking for, and brought out some boxes from the back for me (1x2 tan slopes, 4x6 tan plates). I do not count things in boxes as part of my brick wall score, but I do appreciate the good service.

The build-a-minifig display was well stocked. The “hair” and “hats” were actually in separate bins.

The total Variety Score is:
22 + 41 + 5 = 68

Current scores
Tysons Corner (110 bins) Variety Score 86; July 1st 2016, Friday, about noon
Annapolis (64 bins) Variety Score 68; July 4th 2016, Monday, about 11am
Arundel Mills (88 bins) Variety Score 64; July 1st 2016, Friday, about 3pm
Potomac Mills (64 bins) Variety Score 62; May 21st 2016, Saturday, about 2pm

The Annapolis Lego store is the first one to get a Variety Score higher than their number of bins. The customer service was very good. If I lived in the Baltimore area I would choose it over the Arundel Mills store, in spite of it being smaller.
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maverick_weirdo

Lego Store Review: Arundel Mills, MD

Jul. 5th, 2016 | 10:52 am

A series of reviews of Lego store Pick-A-Brick walls.

7000 Arundel Mills Cir
Hanover, MD 21076

July 1st 2016, around 3pm

Number of Bins: 88
Number of miscellaneous bins: 0
Number of empty bins: 1
Number of colors available (not including misc. bin): 22
Number of different shape parts (not including misc. bin): 47

I will mention that my results are a “snapshot” of one visit, and may not represent how the store is at other times. Yes, I managed to visit two different Lego stores on the same day.

July 1st is the first day of the quarter. Unlike the Tysons Corner Store they did not have the new “Pick-a-Model” in the display spot yet. They did not have the old (butterfly) model on display either. The display spaces were empty. While technically this does not affect variety, the model display uses what once was bin space. I would rather see it used to the fullest. The parts to the “Pick-a-Model” were in place and this store does have the current “fan favorites” bins (sand green 1x1 brick, sand green 1x2 plate, a modified plate ball joint, and a modified plate socket joint).

As I was counting what was in the bins I noticed that one of the bins was empty, totally empty. This bothers me. Scoring based on variety, one of the things I don’t like to see is two different bins with identical parts, but that is built into my scoring. The store only gets points for each unique shape or color. A duplicate bin gets no points (and I did notice some duplicate bins at this store as well). An empty bin feels worse to me. It is unused potential, so I have decided that having an empty bin gives them a penalty of -5 points in my scoring method. Also while having multiple misc. bins does not give more than one +5 bonus, if a store had multiple empty bins the will get a -5 penalty for each. I will also point out that this store did not have any misc. bins.

My partner checked the build-a-minifig display, and she told me that most of those bins were low, and she could only find 3 hair pieces. Not only 3 types of hair, only 3 pieces of hair in the whole display. When she mentioned this to a store employee, he did not offer to check the back for more.

The total Variety Score is:
22 + 47 - 5 = 64

Current scores
Tysons Corner (110 bins) Variety Score 86; July 1st 2016, Friday, about noon
Arundel Mills (88 bins) Variety Score 64; July 1st 2016, Friday, about 3pm
Potomac Mills (64 bins) Variety Score 62; May 21st 2016, Saturday, about 2pm

I do feel that the Potomac Mills store is doing a better job of stocking their Pick-A-Brick wall than Arundel Mills, but this is one of those cases where even a poorly managed wall can get a slightly better score because it is bigger.
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maverick_weirdo

Lego Store Review: Tysons Corner, VA

Jul. 4th, 2016 | 11:19 pm

This is the second in a series of reviews of Lego store Pick-A-Brick walls.

There are currently 2 Lego stores in Virginia. The first review was the closest to my house, and the second review is next closest.

7966 Tysons Corner Center
Tysons Corner Center, VA 22102

July 1st 2016, around noon

Number of Bins: 110
Number of miscellaneous bins: 2
Number of colors available (not including misc. bin): 26
Number of different shape parts (not including misc. bin): 55

I will mention that my results are a “snapshot” of one visit, and may not represent how the store is at other times.

My first thought when entering the store was to wonder if the new “Pick-a-Model” would be up yet or not, being the first day of the quarter. It was, the new model is a truck. The old model (the butterfly) was taken down. (I did not check to see if they still had some butterfly blister packs in the drawer behind, I should have, but I forgot.)

This is one of the larger pick-a-brick walls I have seen and it was impressive. This store does have the current “fan favorites” bins (sand green 1x1 brick, sand green 1x2 plate, a modified plate ball joint, and a modified plate socket joint).

There were 2 miscellaneous bins. I have decided that while having a misc. bin adds 5 points to a store’s score, having 2 misc. bins does not increase the variety of the wall that much. Therefore whether a store has 1 or many misc. bins they only get the 5 points once.

The reason I am choosing variety as my standard for scoring points is that I don’t intend these reviews to be for my use alone. If it was just for me then I would only count the bricks that I like, but I have met other builders at the wall who were looking for very different things than me. While you can’t please all the people all the time, with variety you are best able to please most of the people most of the time.

I have re-thought my scoring system. Giving points for the number of bins gives an extra advantage to larger stores. They already have a higher potential for variety, no need to give them extra points for being big. (It would be bad for a large store with poor selection to score higher than a small store with good selection.)

I will also mention that my partner was impressed with the selection in the build-a-minifig display as well.

The total is then
26 + 55 + 5 = 86

Current scores
Tysons Corner (110 bins) Variety Score 86; July 1st 2016, Friday, about noon
Potomac Mills (64 bins) Variety Score 62; May 21st 2016, Saturday, about 2pm
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maverick_weirdo

Keeping busy

Jun. 24th, 2016 | 09:44 pm

As I mentioned before I have been doing lots of Lego lately
at least 5 Boxed sets and 3 Mixels this month plus other of My Own Creations (MOCs). I'm getting ready for a Lego con in August.

But that is not all we have been doing.

I have finished 2 books, and 2 audiobooks so far this month.

I have gotten in about 2 - 3 hours of drum practice. Getting ready for the North East Filkcon at the end of this month.

Maintaining my garden: The peas and arugula have done very well, and the basil is recovering from a late spring cold snap. Tomato are still a couple of weeks away.

I did a little sketching at the "stitch & bitch" meeting

I have gotten in some boardgame time

Kyttn's oldest grandson came over to visit with us a few times this month.

And we went to see Kyttn's Daughter and the youngest grandson one Saturday.

We have gone out to eat a few times, discovered a nice new place opened up nearby.

The car went in to the shop for an annual tune-up and inspection.

all in all a nice month so far

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maverick_weirdo

One of the reasons you haven't heard from me lately

May. 31st, 2016 | 09:13 pm

I haven't posted much this year, I have been busy.Read more...Collapse )
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maverick_weirdo

Lego Store Review: Potomac Mills Mall, Woodbridge VA

May. 30th, 2016 | 10:11 pm

This is the first in a series of reviews of Lego store Pick-A-Brick walls.

I have been to 6 different stores at this point, but this is the first time I recorded the variety available on the Pick-A-Brick wall. Here are the Stats

2700 Potomac Mills Cir Ste 767
Woodbridge VA 22192-4673

May 21st 2016

Number of Bins: 64
Number of miscellaneous bins: 1
Number of colors available (not including misc. bin): 19
Number of different shape parts (not including misc. bin): 38

A miscellaneous bin is of course a bin with a wide assortment of parts. Many of them are the same as those currently in the other bins on the wall, but not all. There is often buried treasure in the misc. bin.

I will mention that in addition to the misc. bin, at this store there was a mixed bin which contained small wheels, tires to fit those wheels, and 2 different bearing elements (2x2 plate, 1x4 plate) for the wheels to be connected. Having all these in one bin was convenient, shows the kids which parts are meant to go together, allows the store to have more diversity of parts on the wall.

The minifig part bins also seemed good (not the best, not the worst) but it would be much harder to count the available parts there.

I have decided to give 5 points for having a misc. bin, and add that to the other numbers
5 + 64 + 19 + 38 for a score of 126.

I don't have any other hard data to compare it to yet, but it seemed a good selection compared to some other stores.
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maverick_weirdo

Books Read 2015

Dec. 31st, 2015 | 11:06 am

Picked up from almeda. I'm going to track which books I read this year. Last year I read 25
  • 'Date' below means the date I finished reading it;
  • Source abreviations: [ARC] means advanced reading copy; [G] means gift or giveaway (free); [K] means Kickstarter; [L] means Loan from a friend, or from the library; [N] means new book (retail); [O] means online/electronic book; [P] means proofreading; [R] means a re-read; [S] means secondhand.
  • The ListCollapse )
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maverick_weirdo

Drawing and Month of Letters

Jan. 29th, 2015 | 12:38 pm

Next Month (next week actually) starts Month of Letters http://lettermo.com/. I will send out (at least) one letter for every day the post office is open (23 postal days), and I will send a reply to any personal mail I receive in the month of February.

This will be my fourth year participating. When I started the first year I was unemployed and nearly broke, but I had recently printed up some of my drawings as postcards. I figured I could afford the cost of some cardstock and stamps, and it would help fill my time.

It has also inspired me to continue drawing, each February I would try to have a half dozen new cards to send out to people. Some of them didn't get finished till mid February, but it was a creative outlet with a "soft" deadline.

This year I am more prepared than ever before. I am employed and can even afford international postage. Also since I moved to Virginia kyttn has been bringing me to "Stitch & Bitch" dinners with her friends. While the others get out their crochet, knitting, or cross-stitch; I get out my sketchpad. I have 3 new cards I made last fall, and another 5 drawings I like well enough to make into cards.

So if any of you are interested in getting a card from me you can comment below to give me your address (Comments screened for privacy)
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maverick_weirdo

Annual books read summary 2014

Jan. 4th, 2015 | 10:38 am

I read 25 books this year (last year’s total was 30). The complete list is Here

It is amazing how much less time I have to read now that I have a full time job and an active life, so let's just look at the stats for what I did readCollapse )
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maverick_weirdo

Introduce Yourself

Dec. 31st, 2014 | 11:58 pm
location: The Future
mood: curiouscurious

I tend to get curious who friend-lists me, and why.
So if you have decided to add me to your flist, here is a place you can introduce yourself so I can know you better.

You are not required to post here, but I don't friend people back unless I have some idea who they are.

(If you are already on my flist, you don't have to post here.)
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maverick_weirdo

Books Read 2014

Dec. 31st, 2014 | 02:32 pm

Picked up from almeda. I'm going to track which books I read this year. Last year I read 30
  • 'Date' below means the date I finished reading it;
  • Origin abreviations: [ARC] means advanced reading copy; [G] means gift or giveaway (free); [L] means Loan, from a friend or from the library; [N] means new book (retail); [O] means online/electronic book; [P] means proofreading; [R] means a re-read; [S] means secondhand.
  • The ListCollapse )
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maverick_weirdo

5 years and 4 days after I first received it my laptop has died

Dec. 21st, 2014 | 06:11 pm

It's like it knows.

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maverick_weirdo

November Books

Nov. 30th, 2014 | 12:53 pm

Books Read in November


  1. Nov 16: Soulless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate #1) 2009, Orbit (Hachette), Period Fantasy, [R]
      Racier than I remember
  2. Nov 17: The Merchant of Dreams by Anne Lyle (Night's Masque #2) 2012, Angry Robot, Genre, [S]
      Good, but not as magical as the first one.

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maverick_weirdo

Today I finished the drawing for this year's holiday card.

Nov. 11th, 2014 | 08:02 pm

If you are interested in getting one comment below

(if you got one last year then you only need to comment if you have moved)

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maverick_weirdo

A little extra effort

Nov. 4th, 2014 | 01:02 pm

A month ago I went to the Local Virginia DMV and got a Virginia driver's license. There were many reasons to do this, but a significant one was that I was also there to register to vote. While I have a passport, a local drivers license also simplifies the voting process.

A week later my Drivers License showed up. Another ten days after that my my voter registry card arrived. Today I walked half a block to my poling station and cast my ballot. It was well worth the effort.
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maverick_weirdo

October Book

Oct. 31st, 2014 | 12:43 pm

Books Read in October


  1. Oct 15: Conflict of Honors by Steve Mikker & Sharron Lee (Liaden #1) 1988, Del Rey (Random House), Space Opera, [R]
      I still get choked up after all these years

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maverick_weirdo

Weekly Weigh In 10/10

Oct. 10th, 2014 | 09:48 am

Behind the CutCollapse )
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maverick_weirdo

Weekly Weigh In 10/03

Oct. 3rd, 2014 | 09:39 am

Paced behind CutCollapse )
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maverick_weirdo

September Books

Sep. 30th, 2014 | 08:49 pm

Books Read in September


  1. Sep 14: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, 1869, Roberts Brothers, YA, [L]
      Charming in spite of the heavy handed moralizing
  2. Sep 14: Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara (Chronicles of Elantra #1) 2005, Luna (Harlequin), Fantasy, [S]
      A secondary world "urban fantasy" packaged as a "paranormal romance".
  3. Sept 27: Wyrd Sisters by Terry Prachette (Diskworld series) 1988, Roc (Penguin), Fantasy, [R]
      Still breaks me up every time

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