Hey Everybody, McRib is back!

McRib

Just like America’s favorite extruded, restructured pork product, The Manifesto is back from hiatus…but only for a limited time!  How limited, you ask?  Well, the blog’s initial 3-month run topped out at 103 articles and I’d like to get close to the century mark again, it has a nice ring to it.  You can expect to encounter most of the boilerplate you remember from this blog of blogs: Friday Night Fights, Fire For Effect, Constructive Criticism and of course the mundane staple of all pressed-pork bloggery…the Model Spotlight.  I will continue to give praise, criticism and smack to whatever model that sparks my interest regardless of age, presentation skill or overall quality. 

What will change is the frequency of posting, my old standard of a post a day is simply not sustainable and it is the primary reason for the extended length of the hiatus.  What I will commit to is one new post a week, in addition to the Friday Night Fights.  While I hope to post more often, your expectations of market-fresh content should be moderated, blogging (at it’s worst) is like a hamster wheel and sometimes it has to turn slowly avoid burnout.   As it always has been, the Manifesto remains open to posting the ramblings, rantings and regurgitations of YOU, the constant reader.  If you are motivated to add something to the simmering bouillabaisse here at the Manifesto, simply email me through the blog, Flickr, or if all else fails: Legomankeith@aol.com.  Yes I still have an AOL account, in fact, I wear it like a badge of honor.  There is a rotary phone in my garage too, so sue me for my antiquated outlook.  I firmly believe that the blog only benefits from additional perspectives and please remember that you don’t have to commit to an ongoing series, one-shot offerings are just as welcome.

Since we last spoke 6 months ago here on the Manifesto, I have not been entirely absent from Lego related action, I even managed to slap some bricks together with mixed results.  2016 wound down with a somewhat serious attempt at a 4×8 foot diorama, a train-centric project that I entertained vague notions about displaying at the Bricks LA convention or even a return trip to beautiful Orem Utah.  Ultimately the build succumbed to a combination of apathy, the holiday season (with young children) and that nasty scourge of many rough drafts over the years; a lack of conceptual focus.  In the majority of cases I don’t have a clear idea of how a project will look when finished, or even the central design element that ties everything together.  More often than not I leap into the fray and start building around a specific part or vignette.  Bucharest started with a simple bus bench and concrete island, Logan’s Run started with a modest section of angled-arch bricks stacked in tiers and a vague idea about a hydroponic farm and my Airbender diorama was conceived with nothing more than a determination to finally employ a giant bag of blue boat-sliders without any notion of the beloved cartoon.  In the case of the train layout you see below my motivation was a combination of a desire to use the giant hovercraft skirts that Rutherford good-naturedly pressed on me years ago, and a desire to incorporate motion in a convention-centric diorama.  I launched into the proceedings (as usual) without a clear focus of what the final product would look like, with the hope that things would “work out” and evolve into something compelling.  Instead I wound up feeling trapped, once again, by my inability to break the grid on a large-scale and the necessity for a massive eye-block along the back edge.  The WIP reached the expected tipping point about three months into the process, as all of these large layouts do, where I would have to commit to both significant Bricklink orders and  that still elusive focal point.  Even though the footprint was fairly substantial at this juncture, because of the narrow range of parts involved, sorting it back in the bins wasn’t too daunting of a task.  In the end I decided that the amount of time and effort it would take to fix the things I didn’t like about the diorama were outweighing my desire to proceed without a clear idea of what the hell the thing was even supposed to be.

The new year brought the latest iteration of the successful Lego Speeder Bike (LSB) Contest on Flickr, and it was just right palate cleanser to get the taste of the train-based failure out of my mouth.  I found a great deal of liberation within the relatively narrow confines of the contest, I didn’t have to worry about what “the thing” was supposed to be, because it was all spelled out for me.  I was also energized by the spirit of healthy competition from the field of talented builders who seemed to raise the stakes with each successive bike.  Initially I only intended to enter one category and move on, but wound up running the table, trying my best to keep up with guys like Andrew Lee, Pascal, Carter, Jeff Cross, Zach Clapsdale, and even that notorious degenerate rountRee.  In all the years of entering Lego contests I don’t think I’ve ever been party to such an entertaining and inspiring mix of behind the scenes constructive criticism and smack talk and I know my entries were all the better for it.  It was an exhausting month trying to crank out four dioramas and I was left with a newfound respect for the Iron Builder combatants.  I love Lego as much as the next idiot but thinking about it and building every day is creatively exhausting.  Even though I had some nitpicks with the way the contest was conducted (nothing new there), the LSB contest was a great representation of the best aspects of healthy artistic competition and Ted, Cole and Zenn did a fine job hosting and injected some much-needed life into the Lego-scene for those hectic and fleeting days.  If not for their efforts I might still be without a new build in 2017.  I’ve got nothing cooking in the Legoratory currently, so it’s back to rambling on the blog and looking for the next project….always the next project.

So welcome back to the Manifesto, constant reader and thanks for hanging in there during the prolonged hiatus.  The most satisfying aspect of the first run was the robust activity in the comment section.  One of the primary factors in my decision to turn on the lights again was the distinct lack of satisfying conversation going on in the usual internet haunts.  To be blunt, I think the warm and embracing community is in the shitter right now and all the available taverns where builders “gather” are not worth my time or patronage.  We seem to have retreated into small and scattered cells, conversing in tiny echo-chambers where new ideas and builders are not encouraged.  Talking about the latest Star Wars/Marvel products in 140 characters or less is about as fun as a kidney stone and I’ve grown fatigued of the banal voices mumbling their tedious rosaries and boilerplate to near-empty rooms.  Instead of grousing privately to Rutherford and other cronies, I’ve decided to re-open my own run down tavern and see if the usual stumble-bums belly up to the bar again.   At least I know the drinks won’t be watered down, and our old friend Lloyd is a great bartender.

 

 

53 thoughts on “Hey Everybody, McRib is back!

  1. ACTION!!! I’ve never clicked on a link so quickly! What a happy, happy email, and a perfect way to start the summer. As for the frequency of postings from here out, I think you made the right decision, Keith. I’m hoping that discussions will actually wind on for a week, and rather than jumping between daily blog posts. Should be some good stuff here.

    Also, you run the best Lego chat tavern around. Cheers to the next 100! This is why I’m a part of the hobby, so thanks Keith for starting ‘er up again.

    Also, I really need to meet Matt in real life so I can form my own opinions on his degenerate-ness.

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    1. You should seek out rountRee at your earliest convenience, but in all good conscience I must warn you that he’s a mutant who is immune to the effects of alcohol. Matt’s not a big guy either so his capacity is a little disturbing, he could easily make a killing by suckering unsuspecting lumbering rubes into drinking contests. Fortunately for you he’s a gentleman-degenerate so the odds of something bad happening to you is negligible. Thanks for returning to the tavern, I hope you find the time and inclination to comment on a regular basis, if not writing an article. I didn’t consider it, but I hope you’re right and the conversation will indeed wind on, it’s the best thing about the site and maybe having fewer posts will actually improve the conversational action. Thanks also for kicking off the comments, it was really great to see such a quick and welcoming response.

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  2. Great to see you back 🙂 Always a pleasure to read the stuff you post and the buzz going on around here. Been pretty passive last 6 months.. ‘life’.. seems I need some of that creative juice as well. Will be keeping a eye out for the Manifesto mailalerts, here’s to the next 100! Cheers

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    1. Pico! It wouldn’t be the same without you and hopefully we can get you building again soon, have you been able to dig out of your sorting nightmare? That last photo you posted was not encouraging, I know it’s a necessary evil but there isn’t much fun to sort that much brick. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you stick around, cheers!

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  3. Keith.

    I can’t believe you have the stones to re-open this box of shite you call a blog. Frankly sir, you disappoint me, and I feel certain I speak for many when I say: You suck!

    I’m working on an FFE right now. Look for it no later than Friday.

    Attack!

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    1. What makes you think I’m gonna post your pedantic bullshit? Just because I said so in the article? Just because you know where the bodies are buried? Some advice for FFE…try to take a rhetorical stand for once in your pathetic life and stop being so afraid of what everyone will think of your jackassy opinion. Oh, and your articles are waaaaaay to short.

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  4. Good to see the lights back on here! The 7/11 version of McRib always had those painted grill marks on it to give your 2am intoxicated self that false sense of “freshness.” I always wondered what the grill marks actually were? No matter! I know Keithlug is always cooking up something fresh in the LEGO smorgasbord of goodness!

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    1. Thanks David, maybe if I make it to 200 posts I’ll hit you up for a new banner! It’s good to hear from you and I hope you stick around to comment as your deployment situation allows, if not I’m stuck with our esteemed representative from the Army and I can only take so much talk about logistics policy and camouflage patterns. I’m not sure about those grill marks but I suspect they were put on there with a sharpie, the overnight clerks need something to pass the time. Cheers dude!

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  5. You know me Goldman – for me the action is the juice! Glad to see the bars back open. Lloyd finally figure out the fine distinction between muddling the mint and not fist fucking it yet? Nah?
    Alright fuck it – give me a shot of shitty Canadian whiskey and a beer out of the newest meg.

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    1. The juice is good…you like the juice. Lloyd may not have the technical skill of today’s bearded hipster bartenders who used to live in Oregon, but he doesn’t make you wait and he’s always ready with an off color joke. Cheers Chrome!

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  6. Well holeeee crap! Wasn’t sure we’d ever see the day. And who among us isn’t “fatigued of the banal voices mumbling their tedious rosaries and boilerplate to near-empty rooms.” Hahahaha that totally cracked me up.

    Yes, slow the post rate down to prevent burnout. I’m sure Mauro has some Technic metaphor to stick on there. And I have at least one long-winded article I’d like to lay upon your slab, I just need to grab my Wizard of Oz oil can and loosen up my typing fingers. Thanks for the LSB shout out; it was bangin.

    Action!

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    1. Right on Jeff, it’s great to have you back in the action here. I should try and convince Mauro to write a series of Technic article, most Technic guys are not that interesting but Brendan is the exception to the rule. He’s got an underappreciated and unique skill set. Next time you talk to him, tell him the Manifesto is ready whenever he is. I’m ready for your article, there is no way you’re more long winded than Rutherford but I’m prepared to be surprised. Any time my friend, any time. LSB was indeed bangin’, we should find another contest to enter together sometime soon.

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    1. Thanks Nick! Don’t hold the train layout against me, it was an unfortunate lapse in judgment and I’m in a 12 step recovery program. I’m not a train guy, really.

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  7. MATANGO!!!

    Oh, I so needed to see the Manifesto return, there’s no earthly amount of penicillin to keep this crusted itch away. Really looking forward to the slower pace, let the stew simmer on the burner for a bit to really get those flavors popping. (Well, I’ve covered VD and stew in the first few words, I suppose I’m in good company with the man that used Bouillabaisse and the McRib together.)

    Plus, every so often when I would check in here in the hopes of seeing a new post, seeing Gabor grinning back started setting me on edge and loosing all hope for humanity in general. How is it that trains are both fascinating and mind-numbingly dull? Shut up Mike!

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    1. MATANGO!!!

      I feel you about the photo in the Gabor posting, that conductor’s face is so punchable it was bringing me down when I would occasionally check the site for stragglers. I’m glad to have you back, it wouldn’t be the same without a dose of rountRee to stoke the fires of conversation. That rash never goes away completely, no matter how good the antibiotics are. Also, thank you for helping to keep Rutherford in check, I just can’t abide his constant malfeasance, but I’m legally prohibited from banning him from the site.

      Oh and trains are like illicit drugs and unconventional sex, everyone experiments with them but few make it a lifestyle. I keep my trains isolated and quarantined from the rest of my collection so I’m not tempted to fall off the wagon. Cheers and climb baby, climb!

      Now then, where were we…

      “Gordon Street? Ah yes…Gordon Street…”

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  8. And welcome back to Deus, our only Slovenian reader, and Derek Schin…our sole fan in Kyrgyzstan! Now if I could only figure out who our Kiwi is and also our friend from Singapore. I do love the map feature.

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  9. This is very welcome! I more or less completely missed the first round of manifesto articles. I’ll try better this time, I promise.

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    1. Cheers Moritz, it’s great to count you as a reader here, I hope to see more of you in the comments section and some new builds, it seems like you’ve had a bit of a break from the action too. Thanks for checking out the blog!

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  10. I knew you couldn’t stay away for long. I’m glad you are back and revamping the pace of the posts. As a uber AFOL noob the acronyms alone take me a day to decipher. And don’t get me started on Mike’s Fire for Effect visits.
    I shall continue to offer my humble, curious, sometimes-snarky female voice to the Manifesto conversations.
    Welcome back to the world of the living!

    Like

    1. You know me too well. That’s a good point about the acronyms, I should probably post a glossary at some point. When I write I have the hardcore Lego-nerd audience in mind and I take for granted that everyone knows the lingo. Since I do hope to attract younger and newer viewers I should probably adjust that outlook.

      Glad to have you back, feminine snark and all! Give a hug to M&M for me.

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  11. As always, I have to invest double amount of time to read everyone’s opinions as well.Boy you guys can write…but hey, beats reading newspaper.

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    1. And as always, it’s great to see your name in the comments Angka. Good to know newspapers suck, regardless of country of origin. Hopefully the slower pace will make the time investment less overwhelming, cheers!

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  12. Nice! This quickly became one of my favorite Lego blogs while it was running before, it’s great to see it’s back in action!

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    1. Thanks Duncan! If you ever get the itch to write something for the blog, don’t hesitate. I also hope to see more of you in the comment section as time rolls on.

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      1. I might take you up on that… I’ve had an idea for stewing (or maybe festering) for a while now, if I can get my act together and put it in words.

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  13. Thanks for reopening the tavern Keith. I’d like to post a lot more this time around, and I’m thankful for the slower pace (the posts were rather breakneck last time).

    Were the trains future-trains at least?

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    1. Cheers Nate, I was very happy to see three comments from you pop up in the moderation folder this evening. You’re cleared for action now so there won’t be any further posting delay. I sincerely hope you do participate more this time around, I think we’ll all benefit from the slower pace.

      Oh yeah, the trains were definitely going to have a sci-fi flavor to them and don’t be concerned, I never had any intention of trying to replicate some steam driven nonsense. My judgement may have been clouded but I never lost my mind or perspective completely. At the 12-Step meeting I have to recite the phrase “Hi my name is Keith and I’m a train-head” but I don’t really believe it to be true.

      Shoot me an email if you ever want to contribute an article or if you have something Lego related to promote, the door is always open! Good to have you back!

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      1. Those bridges look good at least. I think a sci-fi train depot would be pretty sick. Maybe you could even get some train-heads to contribute some trains, like in your other big collabs. Anyway, don’t give up; one day you’ll recite that phrase with pride and self-assurance.

        Thanks for the warm welcome, Keith. If I see any cool builds flying under the radar, I may send them your way and the same if I’m ever inspired to verbalize any of my thoughts on the hobby.

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      2. The bridges were fun to build, but I’m not sure a depot was the right answer. I just finished a big bus station last year and I wasn’t keen on sort of repeating the same theme but swapping out the buses for trains. I wanted the curved ends of the track to be completely concealed by buildings on each end, but I couldn’t come up with the right idea, and when I decided to use the bridges and those giant hovercraft skirts as doors…the project got tall in a hurry, way too tall to finish without some financial commitment when you factor in building some kind of sprawling eye-block in the back as well. I think there was a kernel of a good idea in there, but I just didn’t have the motivation to make wholesale changes on that scale.

        Yeah, keep an open mind and if you have a thought for some content here, let me know!

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  14. You know how to make a good start to my weekend! Just had the first nip of my fresh brewed coffee when I saw your logo in my flickr persons. I could not resist to follow the link.
    I’m typing this a complete coffee pot later. What an inspiring read. Not to say I’m happy to hear even you fail in dio building. But it gives me that certain feeling I have to work on that robot again!
    In a few hours I’m gonna leave for a two hours drive to the meeting of my local LUG 🙂
    So this’ll gonna bee a perfect weekend as Sandro and I will visit LegoLand tomorrow…

    Glad you write again, but please don’t stop building.

    Marco

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    1. That is excellent news Marco, It’s great to have you back on the blog. I love the international nature of the roster here and your insights are always welcome. You should definitely get back to work on the robot again! I can’t believe your last robot was the Wanderer, we need some new action from you. To my frustration I just realized I didn’t have you as a contact on Flickr, even though I know you used to be. I’ve somehow dropped at least a dozen people from my contact list in the last year or so without actually doing it myself. It makes me wonder how many other builders have been dropped.

      Hope you and Sandro had fun at Legoland, I can’t imagine you wouldn’t, and I hope to see more of you in the comments section. I know everyone is busy but a little note now and again goes a long way toward motivating me to keep the site going.

      I won’t stop building, I’m a junkie and I can’t go long without a fix. I’m actually about to start a large diorama with my 9yr old daughter, I never thought I’d build a big equestrian stable / ranch but maybe the break in theme will work wonders. Wish me luck!

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      1. We had fun and got some more bricks and turntables and so on. So now I have no more excuse for not working further on that robot. It’s been a WIP for two and a half years so I think it is time to get it finished. At the Moment I reject the spine for the second time, but I think I found a working solution. We’ll see. I promise to post pictures as soon as I have some progress…

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      2. oh THAT robot, yeah I would say it’s high time to finish that beast, the work you’ve done to this point is nothing short of amazing. Glad you guys had fun at the LUG meeting, scoring new brick is always a good thing. I wish we had a decent local LUG but LUGVegas is a LUG in name alone. I’ve thought about writing an article about it but it would be difficult to do without being negative about it and the guy who runs it. More giant robot!

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  15. Do we all our old stools back? I worked hard to shape it to my ass.

    Regardless, glad the old girl is back open and let the booze flow like the nectar from the gods.

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    1. Are you kidding, we don’t have the cash or credit to even reupholster the bar-stools much less replace them. Your seat is still available, the one with the maple-leaf sticker and the slight tear where that kid tried to stab you and missed. Glad to have you back brother Si, you’ve always got a megaphone here if you need one.

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  16. The solitary beacon of hope from a bygone era is lit once again with the Manifestos return. Hoping to check in frequently.

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    1. Kyle! Good to hear from you too, unfortunately I won’t be making it back to Orem this year so it’s good to have a chat. I hope you’ve got something in the works and maybe I’ll get to see it next year. I’ll try and keep that beacon lit.

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  17. How did I miss the sun coming up?!? Every so often I’ve checked back here to see if you had decided to lace up the roller skates, double-thick the under eye grease and whiplash back into Thunderblog. I really need to get an RSS function going of some sort. So great to see you, Rutherford and the contributors back at this, m’man. The Internet suddenly got a little more interesting and a little less sole expression of current political swollen goiters.

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    1. Ah, Mr. Shaw!

      Yea… we are trying to take it slower this time. Going to try to keep in for the long haul. We look forward to our comments (except for Keith… because he’s really sensitive).

      Attack!

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    2. Gil! I was wondering if you’d wander back into the tavern, I was concerned you might have been waylaid by brigands en route. I’m not sure the Manifesto has been bestowed a higher compliment than your use of the word “Thunderblog”. I shall strive to live up to that praise.

      Your return is well-timed, as you are next up on the constructive criticism rotisserie-spit. Not only were you next in line, I was hoping it might lure you out of the maple-scented shadows.

      Cheers my friend, good to have you back!

      Like

      1. Glad to see the place open for business!

        Oh fun stuff! Put that base in your sights and blast away!

        Like

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