I think a lot of thoughts about a lot of things.

  • Star Wars Day LEGO Haul

    Not that I really need a reason to visit the LEGO store (other than it’s all the way over in Washington Square), but I was lured out today by the Star Wars Day gifts with purchase (GWP). Particularly the coin that is the $85 GWP. I went not realizing that the GWP was only for Star Wars sets (I literally couldn’t see the tiny caveat without my bifocals).

    Star Wars is fine, so that wasn’t a problem, except that 1) the selection of Star Wars sets right now is pretty ho-hum, and 2) the selection at the store was so slim that to reach the $150 GWP, I would have had to either buy duplicates of something or jump to the next cheapest big set, which was $299.

    Maybe it’s just because I couldn’t get there until afternoon. But 🤷🏻‍♂️, regardless, I got some really rad sets. Picked up the commuter train and put it back several times. I really want the trains, but I don’t have a place yet to set them up.

    So happy Star Wars Day, and I will be posting the sets as I build them.

  • Happy Star Wars Day

    Instruction sheet for assembling LEGO Darth Vader minifigure. Text box on image reads “Warning: choking hazard.”
    Darth Vader minifig instructions

    Happy Star Wars Day from the Turtlshel Project. Whether you prefer the light side or the dark side of the Force, or just like robots, there’s a place for you somewhere in the Star Wars fandom. Maybe not with the rabid, self-entitled bro-fans who have killed much of the joy and fun of the franchise. And maybe not in the super scrubbed down Disney cash-cow version of the universe, either. But somewhere, in the extended universe of Star Wars fandom, there is a place for you. Mine is in the Old Republic.

  • A Brand New Turtlshel. All Over Again, Again

    Free construction site worker image

    Hello, this is just me rebuilding the Turtlshel Project from scratch again. I went to make a post recently and had been locked out of the site, which had been taken over by hackers using Cyrillic characters (Russian? I couldn’t read it, so I don’t know). So I nuked everything and am starting over again, again.

    I realize that the Turtlshel Project has changed and changed and changed over the now 21 years it has been in existence. I had just started to make some really good headway recently in gathering all of the various things that TS has been over the years into one new, consolidated version, with reposts of most of my best material over the years. This was anything from summaries of old geomorphology lectures to resources for advanced learners of Japanese, progress update videos as I’ve been learning the mandolin, thoughts about life as an autistic adult, fly tying, and LEGO.

    My hope for the rebuilt site is that it will have much of the same kind of content – anything and everything that sparks my interest. It’s the way I live my life, and I hope that it will be the way I keep my site. So here is to the next 21 years of the Turtlshel Project (and a hope that this is the last rebuild for a while).


  • LEGO #40587 – Easter Basket (April 2023 GWP)

    TL;DR – LEGO #40587 is a surprisingly fun build

    Long- (and probably even short-) time readers of the Turtlshel Project may remember that I am Buddhist. I don’t get into the Christian holidays much – even the ones, like Easter, that have trappings coopted from other places.

    So when I received LEGO’s April 2023 gift-with-purchase for purchases over $75 (which is almost enough to buy a minifigure these days), and it was an Easter basket with a bunny inside, my immediate plan was to pass it on to one of my many nieces and nephews.

    The set say on my desk for almost a week while I pondered how to gift it without causing a war between all the nephs and nices. Unable to pursue my preferred option (buy enough LEGO to have 1 GWP for each of almost a dozen kids) for financial reasons, I decided on a whim after a long meeting to just build the thing.

    And I’m so glad that I did. This was a really fun build.

    A LEGO box, shown from the front, which displays a rendering of the model kit inside - and Easter basket with flowers and a bunny inside.
    LEGO #40587 – Easter Basket (April 2023 GWP)

    The set is 368 pieces, and the 68 page manual has 72 building steps*, which is a pretty hefty build for a free set (even if it does require a $75 purchase).

    I won’t give a play-by-play of the build, because discovering all the cool tricks each designer uses to make their shapes is part of the fun of each set for me, and I would want to ruin that for anybody. But I will say that I am already thinking of ways to use the design of the round basket in building castle turrets and rocket bodies.

    Also, I remembered to take some photos while I was building:

    *macho LEGO traditionalist will complain that “in the old days” this would have been a 10-page booklet that made you THINK to build. I have two observations about that: 1) those people obviously have never had an autistic meltdown because they didn’t catch the nuance of some obscure change between one page and the next 30 steps ago using the old-style directions, and 2) those people are idiots. Just saying.

  • LEGO #21324 – 123 Sesame Street – Reloaded

    Where we left off, all the way back last October, I had built the first portion of the LEGO 123 Sesame Street set. In between then and now, a bunch of life happened. We lost one of our dogs. And the partner who gave me the set decided they didn’t want to be in my life anymore and moved away without a word.

    So her I am, restarting the set. A couple pieces got knocked off. I was able to find most of them and get started again.

    Minifig Ernie is soooo cute.

    I like to watch cartoons while I build. Not when I was younger – I built for hours and hours in silence. But back them I had people to remind me to eat and to do things like go to bed before 2 am. So having a cartoon on while I build helps me to be conscious of time.

    Tonight I got a little further. A bed (I don’t remember who lives on the first floor. Harry Monster?) and what I assume is Ernie and Bert’s tubbie. With the rubber ducky.

    More to come later.


Got any book recommendations?