LEGO Rocket Ship Mosaic

This is another requested piece. The little boy’s room is space themed, and this rocket ship fits great. It was a little tough designing this one, trying to get enough detail to define the ship. I knew right away that I wanted to use the 2×2 round flat tiles for port holes. After doing some searching around the web for inspiration, I found a mosaic that had the rocket ship on a diagonal, and something about it just made it pop. I think it better displays the flight. I couldn’t find a black base plate at a reasonable price, so I got dark gray, which actually doesn’t look bad. It also doesn’t create too much contrast with the ship.

LEGO rocket ship mosaic

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LEGO Ladybug Mosaic

I made another LEGO mosaic. This one was requested by a friend to match the theme of their daughter’s bedroom. This one isn’t purely flat square tiles like my rubber duck. The spots and the eyes are raised. It would have been difficult to get that much detail on a piece this size with just square tiles.

LEGO ladybug mosaic

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MySQL Crashing and Debian Open File Limit

For a while, I had issues with my MySQL server crashing. It was simple enough to just restart the server, but that started to get tedious. So, I finally decided to try to figure out what the root problem was. I started with the MySQL error log. There were several tables that were marked as crashed. The storage engine for the crashed tables was MyISAM, so I switched them over to InnoDB. There were a few other errors and warnings to clean up. The biggest issue I had though, was:

[Warning] Buffered warning: Could not increase number of max_open_files to more than 1024 (request: 5000)

MySQL could not open the number of files it requested. I needed to increase the ulimit for the server. You can do this on a per user basis, so I actually only increased the limit for the mysql user. I restarted the MySQL server, but continued to see the warning in the error log. Running a quick ulimit -HSn showed the same default limit. My changes did not take effect. After a lot of researching, I came across this answer on Stack Exchange, which refers to a bug in Debian, and needing to add additional configuration/etc/pam.d/common-session. After following these instructions, and restarting the MySQL server again, I no longer receive the warning in my error log, and running ulimit -HSn shows the correct configuration. I’m happy to say that my MySQL server has been up for over a week now, which would indicate my problem is fixed (for now).

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LEGO Rubber Duck Mosaic

My wife and I are expecting our first child this October. She’s really crafty and has been making a ton of artwork for the nursery, as well as knitting blankets and hats, and sewing a few sheets for the cradle. While I have helped paint the nursery, assembled all the furniture, and even installed crown molding in the nursery, I felt a bit left out in the creative department. I’m not very artistic at all. I wasn’t going to be able to do a painting or drawing (and have it actually look good). So, I turned to the only artistic medium I’m good with, LEGO. I used the LEGO Digital Designer to design the rubber duck mosaic seen below. We have a jungle/animal theme in the nursery, so the duck fits.

LEGO rubber duck mosaic

I ordered all the parts off of BrickLink.com, which cost me about $36. I did order over 100 extra tiles to make sure I had enough if any were damaged or discolored. I would like to fill in the whole board with white 1×1 tiles, but that would probably cost another $60. My wife thinks it’s funny that my one project has cost more than all of hers combined so far, but I argue that the LEGO will be reusable once the kid grows out of the artwork.

Download LEGO Digital Designer Model

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Shock Top, Taking Your Concerns “Very Seriously”

I recently wrote to Shock Top to complain about one of their beers. Their Honey Bourbon Cask Wheat Ale was honestly (I am not exaggerating) one of the worst, if not the worst, beers I have ever had. I couldn’t even finish the beer I opened. Their reply is below. The only way they could have put less care into it is if it started “Hello INSERT_FIRST_NAME_HERE,”.

Hello Seth,

Jennifer here with Shock Top. Thanks for taking the time to visit our site and write our team. It’s great to hear from our friends in Florida. I read that you recently the new Shock Top Honey Bourbon Cask Ale and that you were not happy with it.

I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us about how you found it to be the worst beer you’ve ever had. Part of my job exists to make sure voices like yours are heard and I wanted to let you know that we have shared your comments with the right team. We are always developing a wide range of beer styles to meet the variety of tastes that exist and we will be sure to keep you in mind as we move forward with our brews.

You can learn more about our beers by checking us out online at www.ShockTop.com. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook for the latest news, updates, and promotions we have going on with our beers.

Thanks again for writing us about Shock Top, Seth.  Feel free to drop me a line anytime about the beer or anything we do. Until then, I raise my glass to you.

Cheers,

Jennifer

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Free Stuff for My Birthday 2014 Edition

I sign up for as many loyalty programs and email newsletters as I can. And, around this time of year (my birthday), it really pays off. Here’s a list of the *free stuff I received this year simply for signing up for an email newsletter. If you’re not comfortable handing out your email address, it’s not hard to signup for a secondary email account, with as little actual personal information as possible. This way you keep your private while still reaping the benefits.

  • $10 certificate to Sports Authority
  • Free double steak  burger with cheese and a side of Fries at Steak N Shake with coupon
  • Free burger or chicken sandwich at Red Robin with coupon
  • Free Denny’s Grand Slam
  • Free medium Firehouse sub with proof of ID
  • Free regular Jersey Mike’s sub and drink with coupon

*’Free’ comes with stipulations sometimes, like a minimum purchase, or it can only be used on a specific date/time.

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Seinfeld Action Figures

I like action figures. Unlike some collectors, I don’t focus on just a single line, like Transformers or GI Joe. I tend to get a little of everything, from Transformers, to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Mario, Wall-E, Walking Dead, Back to the Future, Lego minifigures, Marvel and DC, the Muppets, and Ghostbusters, just to name a few. I’m also a huge Seinfeld fan. Since it’s been in syndication for decades, the number of times I’ve seen every episode is in the double digits. I thought it only made sense to combine two of my favorite things.

Seinfeld, the show about nothing, is a cultural icon. Many sitcoms show their age over time, but Seinfeld is still mostly timeless. And, with the number of characters that spanned the 180 episodes, it would not be difficult to create an action figure line based on those characters.

These are my ideas of a possible action figure line, broken down by season, which I would use as “waves”.

Season 1

  • Jerry
  • Elaine
  • George
  • Kramer
  • Helen Seinfeld
  • Morty Seinfeld (Phil Bruns)

Season 1 was a very short season, only 5 episodes. And, there weren’t any really memorable one-off characters from this season. So, I figured we should get the main cast out of the way. In the first season, Jerry’s father Morty was played by actor Phil Bruns. This was Phil’s only appearance as Morty in the show. He was replaced by Barney Martin in season 2.

Season 2

  • Alton Benes
  • The Chinese restaurant maître d’
  • Ray, the cleaning guy (with statue)
  • Uncle Leo
  • Jerry with suede jacket. Jacket could be water activated to show stains
  • Stained chocolate shirt George
  • Morty Seinfeld (Barney Martin)

Season 2 is another short season, albeit more than double the episodes of season 1. Still, the show hadn’t yet built the sable of characters we come to love. There are a couple of alternate styles for characters we’ve already seen in series 1, but for fans of the show, they should be some classic must haves.

Season 3

  • Jack Klompus (with space pen)
  • Naked subway guy
  • Newman (first appearance, while he can be heard in episode The Revenge in season 2)
  • Keith Hernandez
  • Babu Bhatt
  • Mr. Lippman
  • Ping the Chinese food delivery boy

With season 3, we start to see more of the cast of characters we expect from Seinfeld. While Newman can be heard in season 2 (voiced by Larry David), we don’t actually get to see Jerry’s arch nemesis until season 3.

Season 4

  • Joe Davola variant clown costume
  • Susan Ross
  • Russell Dalrymple
  • Sidra
  • Ruthie Cohen (Monk’s cashier)
  • Estelle Costanza
  • Frank Costanza
  • Larry the Cook (Monk’s)
  • Marla Penny the Virgin

Season 4 is actually the first time we see George’s parents, so if you were wondering why I haven’t included them until now, that’s why. In this season, we’re first introduced to Ruthie Cohen, the cashier at Monk’s. I chose to include her here because it is her first appearance. The alternative was to include her in season 7, for her work in the episode The Doll, but as you will see later on, season 7 is already pretty packed.

Season 5

  • Puffy Shirt Jerry
  • Jane, with squares to spare
  • Laura the lip reader
  • Mickey Abbott
  • Poppie
  • Lloyd Braun (Peter Keleghan)
  • Tony the Mimbo

With season 5, we get another version of Jerry, but who wouldn’t want puffy shirt Jerry? We see several one-off characters here, but we also get Mickey, and Lloyd Braun.

Season 6

  • Justin Pitt
  • Kenny Bania
  • Jimmy with shoes
  • Frank Costanza with Fusilli Jerry
  • David Puddy (with interchangeable face paint head)
  • Tim Whatley
  • Matt Wilhelm
  • Nana Seinfeld
  • Barbara “Babs” Kramer
  • Mr. Morgan

Season 6 brings us numerous reoccurring characters. With such an action packed line up, I chose not to include the variants, Eye Patch Kramer, and Big Salad Elaine, but I couldn’t pass up Frank Costanza with Fusilli Jerry. We’re introduced to J. Peterman at the end of season 6, but with an already packed roster, I chose to exclude him until season 7, where he really hits his stride.

Season 7

  • J. (Jacopo) Peterman
  • Bob Cobb (The Maestro)
  • The Soup Nazi
  • Lloyd Braun (Matt McCoy)
  • Sue Ellen Mischke (The Braless Wonder)
  • Marisa Tomei
  • Jackie Chiles
  • Cedric (Ray) and Bob
  • Mabel Choate with marble rye
  • Rabbi Glickman

I think that season 7 is definitely the most star studded. We get Bob Cobb, the Soup Nazi, Jackie Chiles, Cedric and Bob, and Marisa Tomei playing herself.

Season 8

  • Marcelino with Little Jerry and bounced clown check
  • Mr. Marbles
  • Jenna with toothbrush
  • Jillian with man hands, lobster, and loaf of bread.
  • Vincent from Champagne Video (with VCR play button)
  • Brody with bootleg copies of Death Blow and Cry, Cry Again
  • Wyck Thayer, Chairman of the Susan Ross Foundation
  • Elaine in Cinco de Mayo apparel

Season 8 brings a few more of Jerry’s girlfriends. Jillian’s man hands would look excellent in action figure form. Marcelino and Brody are good characters, but I really think it’s the accessories that make these two figures. I thought about making Mr. Marbles just an accessory for another version of Jerry, but he really should be a character in his own right. I don’t think that Wyck Thayer is a strong character, but required for completion’s sake.

Season 9

  • George with Frogger machine
  • Franklin Delano Romanowski
  • Mr. Kruger
  • Mustache Jerry
  • Darin the intern
  • Izzy Mandelbaum
  • “Fragile” Frankie Merman
  • Sara Sidarides Pimple Popper M.D.

With the final season, we have already been introduced to some of the best characters the show has to offer. So, I feel like while this was a great season, we’re not seeing anything too amazing for the action figure line. Although, I think that Mr. Kruger might be one of my favorite characters.

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Lego Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Just some fun with a few minifigures. This might make for a good Lego themed video game, or even a Lego themed movie (couldn’t be worse than the live action one).

Lego Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

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Gecko

I found a gecko in the house the other night. He was a real pain to catch, but didn’t seem to mind me once I had him.

gecko

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Cocoa Cay Hermet Crab

We found this little guy on a jetty in Cocoa Cay. He was friendly enough to pose for a few pics.

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