Archive for the 'hobbies' Category

The Return of the Commodore 64?

Posted in hobbies, Pop Culture on May 9th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It holds the Guinness World record for best-selling single computer model of all time, so who had a Commodore 64?

My family had one when I was growing up, and I enjoyed playing hours of games on it.  I remember how novel it was that we could create a sign, card, or banner on the computer and then print it out –  complete with pixel-riddled graphics and what-do-you-call those side strips on the paper with the holes in them that you tear off and either discard or twist them together and make art out of them.  My uncle had a subscription to Loadstar, which was a Commodore club of sorts – he would get magazines and new games monthly in the mail.  I used to love some of those Loadstar games, unfortunately, I can’t find them to play on emulators now.  I really enjoyed an Activision game called Toy Bizzarre, and my all time favorie game for the Commodore 64 was Maniac Mansion – I was addicted to it until I won it, and then I had to go back and win it with  all the different character combinations.  They did make a version of Maniac Mansion for the original Nintendo, but I was biased toward my Commodore version.  I always thought that game would make a great movie (think Clue), and when I was younger, I tried to write the game into a novel but never finished it.

So what’s got me thinking back to the 80’s days of the Commodore today?  I came across an article on cnn.com about how advance orders are being taken for the resurrection of the Commodore here in 2011.  It’s being made to look just like the Commodores of the 80’s, but it will have today’s computer capacities since the ’64’ in Commodore 64 referred to the unit having 64 Kilobytes of memory – about the equivalent of one long email, according to the article.  If you’d like to read the article, click here.

3D Escher

Posted in hobbies, Pop Culture on November 15th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , ,

Have you ever heard of the Dutch artist M.C. Escher?  His famous works depicted impossible realities, often based upon mathematical and spatial challenges.  Case in point, one of Escher’s most famous works, titled Relativity:

delete escher

Let me guess, even if you’ve never heard of M.C. Escher, you’ve seen the above  picture, right?  But have you ever seen it in 3D?  Seems people have been recreating Escher’s art in Lego form, which I think is pretty cool!

delete lego escher

How about more of Escher’s most famous works, done in 3D Lego style?

delete escher legodelete mc-escher-lego-belvederedelete mc-escher-lego-waterfall

Switching Planets

Posted in hobbies on October 21st, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This year, I’ve decided to join my local  MOPs group (Mothers Of Preschoolers).  We’ve only had two meetings, but so far, I really like it.  At this last meeting, we had a video speaker who discussed the move between “Planet Me” and “Planet Mom”.  It was discussed how important it is for moms to maintain some of their personality traits and hobbies, even though time might be lacking.  After all, as the video pointed out, the word “Mommy” sounds like “Mom” and “me” put together.  After the video, one of the discussion questions was “What are some of the activities you gave up when you moved from Planet Me to Planet Mom?”  Most of the women at my table agreed that we can no longer do our crafts, but we didn’t really have time to be more specific.  The crafts I used to enjoy before I really lost the time for them were oil painting and Legos.  True, I don’t really have a natural artistic knack, but I would get those paint-by-number kits (back when they were a little bit higher quality than they seem to be nowadays); I would complete them and they’d turn out so pretty that I’d hate to have to tell people that I painted-by-number.

Another thing I enjoyed before I had kids was sorting and building with my extensive Lego collection I amassed over the years.  It took just one curious toddler to make me abort that hobby, and the Legos got packed away years ago when my oldest began to toddle.  Little pieces are the most fun part of the collection, and we couldn’t risk her putting those little pieces into her mouth or who-knows-where-else.  So I packed away the Legos, and somehow the entire collection followed me  throughout our moves around the midwest and resides with me today, albeit packed away in the basement.  There hasn’t been a shortage (blessfully) of little ones in our house for the past 10 years, so the Legos probably won’t see the light of day for at least a few more years – gotta wait until the little dude is old enough to play rather than destroy or get hurt with them.  So let it be known that I miss my Legos, but I am thankful to still have them and even to be adding to the collection whenever I can catch a cool set on a great sale – usually after Christmas.  Many empty-nesters turn their kids’ bedrooms into something of their choosing when the kids grow up and move away, like a gym, an office, or a rec room, but I already have plans for a Lego studio, where I hope to one day be able to build super-cool things like this:

delete lego house

I’d also like to build a replica of my house as well as a local historic building:

delete courthouse

Now that would be cool, but very difficult.  But if I had more time, the sky is the limit!  My favorite sets are house or city-themed sets, and I also really like vintage Lego sets.  Does anyone remember Fabuland?  It was a series of more colorful Lego sets that featured animals as characters rather than the popular and better known Lego “mini-figs”.

Just because I don’t have the room now to be able to spread out and work with my Lego collection, doesn’t mean that I can’t look at cool things other people have built online, especially now that I’ve officially and publicly declared myself a dork on my blog!