We must be strong and brave

One day years ago, I was listening to Jeff Wayne’s excellent musical version of “The War of the Worlds”: specifically, the stirring sequence where the ironclad Thunderchild manages to destroy one two Martian War Machines before being sunk. Suddenly, my brain cross-linked it with the premise of the “Space Cruiser Yamato” series, where humanity builds a gifted spacefold drive into the hulk of the World War II battleship, and thus was born the idea for the ether flyer Thunderchild.

Miraculously, I found the rare model kit of the ironclad featured on Wayne’s album cover, and combined that with unused interior detail pieces from a Yamato kit. Plane, helicopter, and mecha bits from the parts box joined the fray, and I even added lights from a craft store set. The result won a couple awards, and praise from modelmaker David Merriman, but repeated changes of domicile took their toll on that poor creation. Soon, the ship the Martians couldn’t keep down was in pieces in my closet, and only grainy scans of lost photos remained to show all the hard work.

Well, Commodore Professor Coalsack’s creation has risen again, like an unstoppable movie franchise. A good friend will soon be taking some high-quality photos for me, but who can wait? I give you the mostly repaired Thunderchild! The pictures are clickable for a closer view…


Kitbashed Thunderchild model, profile Kitbashed Thunderchild model, profile
Until recently in pieces as a result of too many changes of residence, this is the repaired ether flyer Thunderchild. Several of the small guns visible at this angle have lost their barrels and still need replacements. For some reason, the large solar accumulator sail always looks bigger in photos than it does in real life.

Click for more steampunk goodness

We’re leaving Mother Earth…

This is NOT from the upcoming movie, but from a Japanese tie-in game. It rules anyway. If possible, click through and watch the HD version instead of the embedded one!

Starr, who’s currently unfamiliar with the Yamato franchise, said that the ship looked like the ether flyer Thunderchild to her. I took that as quite the compliment 🙂

Are You Experienced?

While installing OS X Leopard on a customer’s computer, we chatted about fine-scale modeling, digital video production, and modern professional typesetting. Suddenly, it struck me: I’m not making this stuff up, I actually can speak with some authority on these topics, cause I’ve done them, and made plenty of mistakes while I was at it!

Some facets of my life might have been easier had I been able to take a more direct path to where I am now. Thinking about that can sometimes disgruntle me a bit. It’s cheering to be reminded of how much I’ve managed to learn, and how much fun I’ve had on the way. When I look back to consider what I’ve actually done with my life, the answer turns out to be more than I thought at first glance; and that somehow makes me look forward to the future even more.

Nice when a bit of unexpected perspective is not bitter, but a treat!

The silhouette of a Martian machine

My “grown-up” moment for the week: not bidding on a Lego Mars Rover on eBay even though it came to $10 below retail. I just don’t need to be spending $85 on Lego right now. But I thought about it for a second.

Worked on a shell script today which will automate and streamline installation and troubleshooting of our backup services. I keep forgetting how much I love writing code, especially the bit where it executes and everything works properly and I feel like Dr. Frankenstein shouting “It’s alive!!” I caught the coding bug when the TRS-80s came out, and I’ve never gotten over it.

I headed in to work early today, to help install a glut of new monitors which arrived. Not my usual assignment, but I wanted to help out, and the monitors were the lightest of the equipment to be installed. On the other hand, that does mean a lot of crawling under desks, and even a 22-inch flatscreen isn’t that light after you’ve lifted the tenth one onto a desk. I’m a little tired.

Going to try to get in touch with Mom again tonight.

The Last Days of Technicon 25

My Sunday Technicon experience was brief and poignant. Reluctantly awake by 10:00, and out of the Microtel by 11:00, I headed back to McBryde for a final time.

My plan was to leave Blacksburg by 1:00, thereby getting home around 6:30-7:00 and having time for dinner and decompression, so my time was brief and rushed. I got to catch up briefly with nanoreid, had my picture taken with ranchonmarsSkull plush, and won an awesome Thunderchild print from rattrap. (It’s based on a plastic model I designed and we built many years ago.)

I finally had a few seconds to stop into Spiel, where I talked to jsciv for the only time during actual con hours. Touched base with rubinpdf, too; I hear ashoemaker was there, but I didn’t see him, though I did see markush on the way out. Since auction pickup hadn’t yet started, shrewlet offered to collect the print for me so that I could get on the road, and as I left the auditorium where the auctions were held, it seemed like half the con called out goodbyes. Just a little tiny bit verklempt, I was.

I drove home on 460 rather than battle the interstates; I got a far more peaceful drive for my trouble. Faint rain misted my windshield most of the way back, but posed no driving hazard, though I more than once encountered the damned “I refuse to be passed by a Hyundai, even if I was 15 miles under the speed limit!” attitude. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I was so bushed that I sat a couple inches lower in the car seat, making the hood seem to disappear behind the dash.

Finally, I made it home. Starr and Midori were most pleased to see me. I presented Starr with the custom art I commissioned from rainbowsaber, and heard happy squees for the rest of the evening.

Sleep came upon me with no trouble at all, that night; and thus endeth the story of a happy Technicon. I’m already looking forward to next year’s: Jerry’s a good man who knows a thing or two about making a con happen, and I’m already tagged to do my shtick again. And this time, I’m bringing Starr!

(Say, who’s FanGOH for 26? And who’s got pics online?)

Sci-fi Arms Dealership

The apartment purge continues. This weekend: my plastic model kits.

As with books and con T-shirts, I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them all, but I am still putting up some very nice kits I had looked forward to building one day (assuming an unlimited budget of time and money and display space). Some of these were gifts, and that made it even harder to put them on this list, but the time has come.

I’ll put these up here for a week or so, then they’ll go up on Craigslist or eBay or something. If you are interested, let me know and we’ll work out the details of payment and shipping etc. I’d say that most of the injection-molded kits are suitable for kids and adults with moderate experience, while the vinyl kits require slightly more advanced skills. Some of the snap-fit kits sound easier, but actually end up requiring skilled adjustments to actually look good… you never know.

Here’s the list for sale…

To-Do Listing

This was supposed to be the week where I caught up on sleep and email and life. I think I’m about 83% caught up on email, but the rest of it all still needs some work!

Just had to write another program book blurb about me. I hate doing that, I never feel like I’m any good at selling myself. But I’m pleased with how it came out, so I’ll consider it additional experience in an unfamiliar writing style.

I found today the Federation Models (http://www.federationmodels.com/) website which has all the customization pieces I wanted to complete the Grin’elle Kriet-era U.S.S. Yeager model kit. This is really tickling the bits of my brain that want to dig out the Dremel Tool and styrene glue again.

My first poll

While assembling my new Chobits “Chii” figurine for my monitor top, I realized that the figure can be assembled without her skirt, leaving her standing underneath an umbrella in the rain in just her sailor shirt and panties. With a pleased look on her face, for that matter. With that in mind, here’s a poll:

Early Wednesday afternoon

It is 60 degrees outside… and I am stuck inside. There’s got to be something work-related I can do outside… maybe the newspaper racks all need painting, or something.

Here’s a belated welcome to our little LJ community for rhaps and shrewlet. Now they’ll discover we have an entirely new way to pester them.

Yesterday, I did 21 hours’ worth of work in 13 hours. My head hurts, and my stomach’s upset, but I’m so happy it’s over and that the sun’s shining that I don’t really care.

raininva got me the cutest set of Lego Star Wars models last night – 4 small packs of two models each, each one about 2 inches long, of various vehicles from the 5 movies. I put together the mini X-Wing last night… and if you have all four, you can make the mini TIE Bomber model. I’m happy 😉