State of the Me: 2023-2024
Letters from a Broad Blog
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7M ago
I guess my overview for this year is that I've made good progress, but long-term goals remain... long-term goals! So let's dig into my usual set of goals and where I'm at with them! Job and Career-Related Projects: Regarding my job, the company I work for has had some significant issues over the past year that have shown up in the news! The CEO/founder actually resigned after The New Yorker wrote a (rather negative) profile of him!! So, since this blog is technically public, I don't want to say anything at all about it. Anyway, there are a lot of things still up in the air -- hopefully there w ..read more
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Goodbye again, Totally Normal Town!!
Letters from a Broad Blog
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8M ago
  Sorry for the lack of "spoiler alert", but -- as you might guess! -- in the next episode of Totally Normal Town, the town gets demolished again!!! (You'll have to watch "A Totally Normal Christmas Carol" to find out how and by whom.) But, before destroying the town, as usual, I took some pictures so that I could tell the tales of the various builds in the city. In its most recent incarnation, Totally Normal Town has been a Christmas village for about a year. Last year we re-built all of our Christmas sets and then made last year's Christmas special: "A Very Special Totally Normal Chris ..read more
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A Very Special Totally Normal Christmas... Special!!!
Letters from a Broad Blog
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1y ago
 My kids and I finished up our latest Totally Normal Town episode -- our Christmas Special -- just in time for Christmas Eve ..read more
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The Grim Strikes Again!!!
Letters from a Broad Blog
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1y ago
 If you watched my previous video, you probably saw this coming! Our town has been great fun, but part of the fun of Legos is that your creations aren't meant to be permanent. They're built, then demolished, and then the parts find new uses in other builds -- it's the Lego "circle of life"! A new "Totally Normal Christmas Town" has already started to spring up in the place of the old "Totally Normal Town". And, yes, you can look forward to a "Totally Normal Christmas Special" coming this season ..read more
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One last video documenting Totally Normal Town
Letters from a Broad Blog
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2y ago
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And in the industrial corner...
Letters from a Broad Blog
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2y ago
  Last -- and certainly not least -- we have Totally Normal Town's factory. This factory is another one of the few buildings in Totally Normal Town that is wholly original and not inspired at all by any set. Basically, I wanted to try my hand at a bit of engineering, so I built a working factory in which you can pour a bunch of studs from one of the four bins into the windowed tower, and then when you turn the gear on the back, the studs will ride along the two conveyor belts and into the bins on the ends. One of the conveyor belts also has a mechanism that moves up and down as if to sta ..read more
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And once you graduate from Hogwarts, you can go to Space College!
Letters from a Broad Blog
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2y ago
 This incarnation of Totally Normal Town has one more school: Leo Deblin's Space College and Institute of Barbering! This building is a reference to the very funny "Leo Deblin" series that Roy Wood Jr. did for the Daily Show. We even put a Little Caesars Pizza next door because in some of the sketches he says that it's right next to the Little Caesars. I got the space college logo by taking a screenshot of the video. This pair of buildings is based on the Bike Shop and Café set #31026 I mentioned earlier. Since there's an ATM machine on one side, you can see Scrooge McDuck there getting ..read more
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Hogwarts? But, of course!
Letters from a Broad Blog
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2y ago
No Totally Normal Town is complete without Hogwarts! This Hogwarts building is an original design that includes some pieces from an actual Hogwarts set. When I made it, I wanted to use these tall dark-blue columns for some reason, so I ended up with a color scheme that includes the normal Hogwarts color scheme plus some deep blues and light greys. Ultimately, I think the chaotic color scheme in this case doesn't work, so I won't be too sad when "the Grim" takes this building. We've gotten some more Hogwarts sets since this one was constructed, so I think we can make a better Hogwarts next ti ..read more
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A Totally Normal Dojo!
Letters from a Broad Blog
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2y ago
 The dojo where my minifigure takes her Spinjitsu lessons is an original building, but it is (obviously) Ninjago-based. In the very top section lives a lava-monster. The lava-monster is from the "Power Miners" series from the 2000's. Sadly, I think we lost most of our lava-monsters, but I thought it would be fun to put this one in a little lava pool at the top of the dojo.  The lower two sections have screens that slide open, revealing secrets in the interior. It looks like part of the left side of the dojo has been taken over by the "upside-down" from "Stranger Things." In fact the ..read more
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Surfin' the web in Totally Normal Town
Letters from a Broad Blog
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2y ago
 The Internet Café and co-working space is one of my favorite buildings in Totally Normal Town because it's one of the few buildings that is completely original and not at all inspired by commercially-available sets. It has a lot of really cool details and design elements that work -- making it a fun building unlike anything you'll see in a typical Lego city. When we first started rebuilding the city, we decided that we needed a nice place for our minifigures to surf the Internet (since that's what people do all day), so we set down a bunch of desks and computers (plus a coffee machine ..read more
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