Long Love Affair with Lego

Most Perfect Lego

In Toy Stories, James Maybuilt a life-size house out of Lego. It was awesome. On the DVD of the TV series, he skulks around the basement storage of Lego HQ where there is a box set of every box set Lego has ever made. He pops open 1973 and shows this London Bus set, which he details as "the most perfect Lego set". Someone gave me this set in 1973.

I remember this set well as it accidently ended up at the pawn/second hand shop in Lobethal, South Australia. Being of a tender age, I had carefully packed my Lego with other items I thought were going on a trip. Nope: they were old items what we no longer needed. My treasured Lego bus was gone! Thankfully, some brave adult retrieved the bus. I remember the incident, and this kit well.

I just missed out on Halo 3: 7 days in Seattle.

Qantas QF11 747-400

Rundown of a week in Seattle, and sadly a week too soon.

Halo 3 ships this week world-wide, and I missed it. However did buy some Halo 3 T-Shirts for the family.

Mushroom and Tree

Meeting up with my fellow Enthusiast Evangelists, prodding VP’s and seeing all sorts of cool things almost made up for the lack of Halo 3. Almost.

Full flight to LAX, and I think I slept most of the way. Two Arrigo-nauts collected me at SEATAC and dropped me off at the hotel in one of the new Arrigo-mobiles. Cost: two jars of Vegemite. Goes well on bagels, evidently.

Sunday: a quick shop and eat with Paul Foster. I can has iCat! Lego store Bellevue!

Frank Arrigo Signed Bear looks out the window

Monday morning on-campus. Nic Fillingham and I jumped on those shuttle buses, building to building and generally found ourselves lost on campus. Microsoft is big.

Paul Foster gets to Fry's

On the Monday afternoon before the internal meeting, Nic, Paul and I visited Best Buy, Circuit City and Fry’s (Renton). Retail therapy works on men, too. As long as it is a quick visit, quick browsing and immediate purchasing. All hunting, no gathering. Fry’s had a collection of WiFi antennas that will augment the home network through 100 year old walls. Halo 3 advertising everywhere.

Second only to Halo3 in Seattle are Starbucks. I lost count of how many I saw during the week. Starbucks is so ubiquitous, it is tough to find/get real strength coffee.

This week, it’s OJ on CNN and FOX News early in the week, drifting to Jena and Ahmadinejad in latter part of the week. It seems that these channels have hyper-competed themselves into a corner. At least CNBC and Bloomberg seem to have cool stuff on. Even a Microsoftie in Japan talking Halo 3. I knew I went to the wrong country! Oh, and the History Channel is just like Australia.

Internal meetings are usually "not my thing". I either go postal/have a brain fart (this time I reserved this for a VP) or start thumping the table. This 3 day meeting, I managed to get that out all on the first day. And seem to be keeping my job.

I have not watched Iron Chef, but did see a cook-off show in Japan. There is a restaurant in Seattle where it is a battle of the bands. Our team of EE’s lost due to the use of a former professional chef (Miel) on the other team. I must admit, the steak was almost as perfect as my mashed potatoes.

Paul's Windows Home Chocolate

Thankfully, the PopFly, Visual Studio Express, Photosynth and Windows Home Server guys all had chats with us on Days 2 and 3. The volume of cool looking and working things at Microsoft is increasing.

I have note worked out the story as Benjamin is being cagey: frogz.fr?

News: Australia is one of the largest markets for Windows Home Server. Time to Pimp My Server, too. 🙂

I applied and was rejected from The Geek Squad

Highlight of the week: Microsoft’s Home of the Future.  Flora escorted and presented many concepts that will appear in future homes. Having been setup for some time, does the Home of the Future really foretell the future? Well, originally the Home contained a microwave oven that could scan barcodes. That product now exists on the market in the US$170. My feeling is that technology will slide into the home’s we live in today. Less Jetsons and more Smiths/Jones.

The next 6 months is going to be a little of a consolidation of my first 6 months of work. More hints/tips/howto and a fewer interview style videos.

Interestingly, I could get my phone data-synching in LAX ok via T-Mobile but AT&T in Seattle sucked. The connection kept timing out, so I was relegated to SMS/TXT. How 1997. Due to roaming costs, Windows Mobile 6.0 smartly does not automatically synch and prompts you prior to connecting. The last thing I need is an angry cost centre owner asking why my bill is thousands.

Cashed in all my QFF points and upgraded myself home. Probably not the best use of points, but I needed the sleep.

Next trip to the US: MIX08 in Las Vegas.

Other stuff I missed out on:


Microsoft Wireless Entertainment Keyboard 8000 ships this week in the US. iPod Touch not in stock at the Apple Store, Bellevue. Yes, I believe I am going to buy one as the WiFi and form-factor for browsing is intruiging.

Rock on Halo3. I’m sorry I missed you!

… oh, and I missed my cats, cars, TV and family too.

And now to lose these 2kgs I’ve seem to put on. Even eating 50% of normal volume.