Monday, April 14, 2014

Designing the Ralston Rhino...Roundup

So, Lino, you might say. You've been learning to play guitar on Rocksmith for like four months now. How's that going? To which I'd say, thanks for asking, disconnected voice used only to make a point. I'm doing just fine. So fine, in fact, that I can play The Who's "My Generation" with 67.9% accuracy. I'm bragging about that one cuz that's my highest scoring song. The rest, not so much.  Most, much, much worse. But hey, 67.9% is a solid D+ if you prefer the letter grade method. That was a passing grade at my old high school, and if it was good enough for my high school councilor then its good enough to follow me through everything I do in life. So whether I'm filing my taxes, installing a kitchen sink, doing brain surgery, firing a gun into the air, or even writing this roundup, I will do it with 67.9% accuracy. That's my solemn promise to you, dear readers. So welcome to a roundup that you may find to be overall a good effort, but insufficient in nearly a third of the important facts. We call it; Designing the Ralston Aardvark.

First on the Ralston Rhino slab is Peter Blackert with his sand green Rhino MkIV Off Road Jet. The rules said the Ralston Rhino had to be a truck and your definition of "truck" can be pretty loose...pickup, semi, van, SUV, etc. This one looks to be in the SUV variety.

Ralston Rhino MkIV - 2014

Next, Peter pounds out the MkIV Off Road Rhino specifically for the Dakkar Noir races, which is sponsored by the stuff high school jocks spray on to cover up the smell of ball sweat. It is shown here in Magnum racing livery, which is the company that makes condoms for the exceptionally endowed. Not that any of us would know that.

Ralston Rhino Mk IV - Paris-Dakar Rally Raid - Magnus Racing Team

I like what Peter has done here. With the Family crest and even the font, he has created a brand identity that is consistent, even throughout the ages. Here we see the 1932 Ralston MkI Type 8R-32 Tourer Half-Track in dark blue.

Ralston Rhino Mk I Type 8R-32 (1932) Tourer Half Track

The Ralston Purina Puppy Chow Type 8R was also produced in a six-wheeled-drive, triple axle configuration, shown here with Coupe bodywork. The 1932 Ralston Rhino MkI Type 8R-32 Coupe - Triple Axle was incidentally the best vehicle for bird watching.

Ralston Rhino Mk I Type 8R-32 (1932) Coupe Triple Axle

Incidentally that was the most entries Peter has ever submitted. Good going! Somebody call Guiness. And by Guiness, I mean the Irish beer that is like a meal in itself. Moving right along is two entries by AadenH. Here is one.

And here is the other. Now I know the rules are pretty loosey-goosey, but they specifically stated the Ralston Rhino had to be a "truck". Both these entries look decidedly car-like. He even included the word "car or two" in his write up. Makes me wonder if he even paid attention at all.

Tim Inman takes a stab at the Ralston Rhino. His version is a dark blue people mover with gull-wing doors and a twin turbo V-6 with working pistons. Because of this build, Tim was voted People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive. In your face, Hugh Jackman!

Ralston Rhino

Finally some big damned trucks up in this piece! Lino Martins makes his Rhino part semi, part charging beast, part command center, part UFO...and with anti-gravity frictionless load pulling action...only about 67.9% plausible. The front also looks like a cat wearing wraparound sunglasses.

Ralston Rhino 1

In The LEGO Movie, some guys had beards. Some guys loved really big sausages. That was just their thing. Poor Emmit was deemed unremarkable and rather boring. But all that would have changed had he have had this sweet Ralston Rhino entry by Volume X.

Emmet & Rhino X Concept Truck

Even Batman was in the movie. And as he "only works in black...and really dark grey" he would totally blow his wad for this Ralston Rhino Flatbed Bat-Hauler for when your other bat-equipment craps out.

The Rhino Batbed/ concept Flat bed Truck

Volume Y comes back a third time and this time he sees into the future and the exciting new Ultra Agent sets slotted for August of this year. This version of the Ralston Rhino is standard issue super agent gear.

Rhino X / LEGO Ultra Agents Semi Concept Truck.... shhhh!

Finally in a challenge for futuristic concept trucks, The Raphster presents something that looks suspiciously like a classic Roadrunner car. So classic, in fact, that it made it into the LUGNuts calendar a year or two ago. His quip about the date indicates that it was an April Fool's joke but he never swapped it out with a real Ralston Rhino. Bummer, dude.

1969 Plymouth Roadrunner

Is that all of them? Yep, I think it is. So how'd you like the short and sweet roundup that was 67.9% accurate? Pretty much like all my other roundups, then? Yeah, I agree. And, as it turns out, only 67.9% of the entries were actually concept trucks. That just goes to show ya that barely putting in a minimum effort is good enough for us here at LUGNuts. So what does the future hold for this blog? Next month we've got a challenge called Places, Everyone...all about cars, trucks and bikes with place names. Whether yours be the Buick Riviera or the Subaru Outback, places are where its at. So tune in same bat-time, same bat-channel next month to see our half-assed attempts at Chevy Malibus and Chrysler New Yorkers. Until next time, here's to hoping I can bring my guitar playing and my blog writing up to a C-. No promises, though.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Viva Italia...Roundup

Welcome to the most popular blog in the history of the world EVAR!... is what I'd be saying if we were all about pictures of cats wanting to haz cheezburgers. I actually applied to work for those guys awhile ago. Needless to say I didn't get the job. Turns out my particular brand of sardonic slander doesn't bode well with their "family oriented"humor. I haven't a goddamned clue what they mean by that. I told them getting drunk and making out with a chubby cashier behind the dumpster at Walmart is precisely how families are made. Who's more family oriented now? Anyway, long story and two restraining orders later, I'm here entertaining the eight of you instead. Its probably for the best, cuz here we're all about grown-ass men building LEGO cars, trucks, and bikes, which is way better than cute cats with misspelled slogans, in my opinion. This month's challenge was called Viva Italia! and is all about - you guessed it, Italian vehicles. Now Italians are people who know a thing or two about making families! They also talk with their hands. And they're very passionate about racing and super cars. Lets see how we performed, shall we?

When you throw Peter Blackert an Italian challenge he takes it as an opportunity to build every Italian car ever made. First up, the 2007 Maserati GranTurismo in dark blue. get yourself comfortable, cuz there's plenty more.

Next on the Peter slab is the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, which was released in 2007 and marked a return of the rear-wheel-drive sportscar for the famous Milanese maker. And by "maker" I'm pretty sure he means baby maker. That's a spicy meat-a ball!

This wouldn't be an Italian challenge without a dozen Ferraris strewn about the yard. This pale yellow model here is SN 09437 GT - the first of the series of 10 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyders and one of the rarest. I'm pretty sure I found a rare nart spider in my bathroom.

It totally freaked me out cuz it was hiding behind the roll of toilet paper, and I ran outta there with my pants around my ankles screaming like little girl. But enough about my weekend. Here's a blue Lamborghini Diablo.

Next Peter asks the all important question, do you love fast cars, beautiful women, espresso and talking with your hands? Sure, we all do! But if you have four kids from all that passionate Italian family making, then you might want this '58 FIAT Multipla Abarth.

Or you can leave the wife and kids behind at break-neck speeds in this 2007 Ducati Monster 695. Take off into the sunset to the nearest Italian cafe, your family will never find you there.

And while you're making googly eyes with the cute Italian barista at the cafe, your wife and kids can hunt you down in the Alfa Romeo164 V6 Executive Saloon. Peter tells us it was designed by Enrico Fumia of Pininfarina Ralston Purina Puppy Chow...or something.

Peter also tells us the '74 DeTomaso Pantera GTS, like many of us, is a hybrid of cultures. Italian body, iron heart made in Detroit and with maybe even a bit of Australian lineage. Just like the chubby cashier at Walmart.

Follow on from the long-running Ferrari 308 Series was this, the Ferrari 328 GTB Berlinetta of 1986. The styling was by favoured design house Pininfarina and by the pen of Leonardo Fioravanti-Frappacino Linguini Gelato. I think.

Peter says the Alfa Romeo GT (Type 937) of 2003 was the sportiest Alfa Romeo available during part of the 2000's.Though smartly styled by Bertone, the car was not a high point in Alfa Romeo history. Does this mean it wore platform shoes and listened to disco?

Next on the Peter slab is a 1969 Fiat Dino Spider 2.4 V6. I saw dino spiders in Hawaii. Big suckers! It crawled in and says- I can haz eat yur face? And I says- No! Stomp! Then two days later one of his buddies showed up.

The Lancia Aurelia B20 Coupe (Series IV) sports the world's first V-6 production engine. No kidding?! It also sports the world's first in-dash spaghetti strainer and it plays the Godfather soundtrack constantly. And like all Italians it lives with its mom until the age of 32.

Adding some much needed class to this joint, the 1933 Isotta Fraschinis were some of the most glamorous vehicles in the world during the late 20's and early 30's, costing even more than Duesenbergs. It was designed by Castagna Antoni Ravioli Pepperoni.

Peter tells us the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Spider of 1938 truly were the Veyrons of their time. They were rare, ultra fast, stunning and individual, and originally designed by Cappicola Provolone Salami Mortadella. Clearly my entire Italian vocabulary comes from the Deli.

The 1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta SN 27355 was famous RHD Ferrari racer driven by Stirling Moss. This one in striking navy with blue stripe. Peter tells us it has a cappuccino maker...or something. I don't know, I stopped paying attention like six entries ago.

True fact: Italians are more likely to have sex in their cars than anyone else. It probably has everything to do with living with Mama Mia until you're almost middle-aged and also, how can you not when every last italian owns something as glorious as the 1956 Ferrari 250 Tour de France, SN 0563GT?

Built for the Kardashians with their cushy wide asses and their pampered needs is this 2008 Ferrari California. It was the first front engined V-8 Ferrari and It was designed, like the Kardashians, with a removable top.

And what busty, wide-hipped babe would be complete without this Ferrari 458 Spider based concept, issued in 2013, called the Pininfarina Sergio? It should be the requisite accessory for anyone named Hilton or Kardashian but does it have a removable top.

How can you make a car coveted by strip club owners even more douchy? Why you slam the stance down and give it a spoiler the size of a strip club bouncer as evidenced by this Slamorghini Gallardo built by LegoJunkie. Or Slambo for short. Nice touch with the roof rack.

You wouldn't know it from the first 20 or so entries, but Italians are all about F1 racing. Nathaneal L well represents F1 with this Ferrari F14 T. While all Italian, this car would be nearly impossible to have sex in...unless, of course, you consider the kind of sex one has by himself.

The Bing-Bong Brothers say this Lamborghini Miura SV. is the prettiest bull I've ever seen. What the hell is the story with them, anyway? Are they really brothers or is it just one guy? Or are they some sort of married couple like Siercon and whatsherface? For the love of God, can somebody please get to the bottom of this mystery!

While its clear I lack journalistic integrity, I also lack the ability to know an Italian car when I see one. While searching the net for something to build, I discovered the Fiat Bugster concept off-roader. It was cool, different...right up my ally! But halfway through building, I learn the concept was devised in Brazil, not Italy.

While I fumble with my own failures, Fe2Cruz does us all a public service. He says "So the Round Up might have more humor...I give you the Italian lawnmower. Don't miss his Urban Dictionary link on the definition of Italian lawnmover. Thanks for the humor. Comedy is hard. Try making a Ferrari 328 GTB Berlinetta funny.

"So the Round Up might have something small...I give you the Ferruccio Lamborghini's early diesel." Yep, Lambo builds tractors. Actually, I think that's how they started. Probably. But what do I know, what with my lack of journalistic integrity and all.

"And if the Round Up might prefer something just right...I give you, from the Leno Collection, a 14 MPH Maximum Lamborghini Tratorri R485." Thanks for the public service, Cruz. It was just right indeed.

And speaking of busty women with curvy hips (like 10 entries ago), Tim Inman builds us a stunning rendition of Rita Hayworth's 1953 Cadillac Series 62 Ghia Coupe. Just like Rita Hayworth herself, this coupe is worth a second and third glance. Also jest like Rita Hayworth herself, a poster of one of these can get you busted out of Shawshank in like twenty years.

NKubate is famous for taking one set and one set only and creating scores of diverse rides. Two books so far surely proves this. But this time he breaks from the norm and uses more than one set to build this classic Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. Can this mean a whole other book, then?

No, Don't Talk To Robots didn't build something from the hit 70's series Buck Rogers. Buck frequently talked to a robot whose head was shaped exactly like a circumcised penis. Instead our newest active member built this 1976 Alfa Romeo Navajo without mentioning it to even one robot.

Which is probably for the best. Robots can't keep a secret worth a damn. Take that blabbermouth C-3PO, for example. Ralph Savelsberg knows all about that. He invented robots. Probably. What else would a mad physicist do? Besides build the cool Ferrari GT 250 SWB California from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Is that the end of our roundup? I think it is. So what did we learn today? We learned that Italians talk with their hands, they live at home with Mama Mia well into their thirties and sex in a F1 racer is nearly impossible, unless its the kind of sex done alone. We also learned that I'm a culturally insensitive jerk with the journalistic integrity of an orange utan and I don't know an Italian concept car from a Brazilian one. We also learned that a poster of Rita Hayworth can get you sprung from Shawshank...or just sprung. Also, talking to robots with heads shaped like penises is generally a bad idea. I'd say that was a successful, well-rounded roundup, then. But what does the future hold for LUGNuts? Turns out this month's challenge, called Designing the Ralston Rhino, is all about the future and concept trucks. Only three rules apply: It needs to include the letter "X" somewhere in it's design, it needs to be a truck (interpretations of "truck" may vary) and it needs to be called the Ralston Rhino. Everything else is up to your own crazed imagination. Will yours be a spaced-out pickup or a retro-inspired cement mixer? I guess we'll have to tune in next time to find out. I'll promise to bring my lack of journalistic integrity. Until then, thanks for making LUGNuts the best blog in the history of the world EVAR, in spite of what those cheezburger guys say. And as always, happy building, y'all!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Freakin' Balls-Out Sweet 75th LUGNuts Challenge Extravaganza...Roundup!

Welcome to the best blog on the net that no one reads. Why are we the best blog on the net? Cuz we feature some of the best LEGO cars, trucks, and bikes ever built on this football we call Planet Earth. Why does no one ever read us? Cuz it seems people really love pictures of cats and dogs with cute misspelled words, apparently. Also, sadly,we have never posted any videos of hot naked co-eds bouncing on trampolines. But all that is about to change!

No we're not about to do the trampoline thing and the I can haz cheezburger and whatnot. Sorry. We're sticking to our LEGO car buildin' ways, but you may have noticed a little facelift around here. Pretty sweet, right? I also suspect this very special Freakin' Balls-Out Sweet 75th LUGNuts Challenge Extravaganza will bring in a few new looky-loos. You see, normally we slave away building for these challenges with no personal gain other than bragging rights. But since this is our special 75th challenge, we threw in some awesome prizes! The rules were simple: Ask for a random assignment. Build accordingly. If you win first, second, or third place, both you and the person who suggested your assignment win sweet, sweet LEGO sets and all the fame, glory, and sex-crazed groupies that is naturally inherent with grown-ass men playing with Legos. I assume you all have groupies, right?

Anyway, since you may be new here, lets do a round of introductions of our admins: I'm Lino, I do most of the writing and have a kick-in-the-nuts sense of humor. Nathan, my co-founder, does all the HTML around here, Ralph is sensible and conservative, but can't help it cuz he's Dutch, Peter builds a bazillion cars but never on time...and Tim always pays for strange. Now that you're all caught up, let's get on with the roundup, shall we? First the winners.

If you live in Latvia, hide your girlfriends and daughters because they're all going to be clamoring for Peteris Sprogis and his 1967 Ford Mustang GT 500. He could have stopped at just building the car, but Peteris shows us how to win first place with the addition of a horse trailer and a diorama. In other words, its a Mustang pulling a mustang! He takes home the super awesome Technic Service Truck set for a well deserved win!

Incidentally, his friend and fellow Latvian, Rolands Kirpis suggested the winning build so he takes home the City Cargo Truck set. The two top prizes go to Latvia, it wrecks havoc on the LUGNuts budget, but its all worth it knowing the Latvian ladies have two new LEGO superstars to drool over!

I'm no good at ancient history, but something like four score and 100 years ago, God wanted Noah to build an ark or something. Everyone thought he was plum crazy but it all turned out well for Noah and a bunch of animals. Now, pretty much the same thing happened; Curtydc heard the random ramblings of the LEGO car gods and pulled through with the Lamborghini Egoista. For his efforts, he takes home the Technic Monster Truck!

For suggesting the second place winning vehicle, Raphy is the proud owner of the City Grand Prix Truck. Now all the animals will be saved from certain head exploding doom. Who's crazy now?

Before you answer that, consider the fame, glory, street cred...and Technic Motocross Bike that will go to our 3rd place winner, Lego Junkie and his Ford RS200 Rally Racer. I was just there, and I've come to the sound conclusion that Hawaii has three things: flowing lava, foot long centipedes...and a star LEGO builder sure to appease even Pele's wrath. Good going, Lego Junkie! May you never seek rehabilitation of your LEGO addiction.

But just like the other two winners, somebody had to have suggested them first.  Dylan Denton fit the bill by suggesting the build and as a result now has the City Firetruck. Sweet!

Those were the winners, now let's showcase the rest. Definitely a worthy contender for the win was Marin Stipkovic and his awesome Foden Steam Wagon as assigned by Dennis Bosman.

Marin chimes in again with this cute little Trabant 601 as assigned by pasukaru76. He even mimicked the composition of the original photo suggestion, with the Trabant up on a shelf in a warehouse somewhere.

Proving lightning can strike three times in the same place, Marin erupts again with the Nike One Concept Car as suggested by curtydc. It was a good idea with great execution. Its like something out of Star Wars.

As it turns out, Marin was the busiest little bee in our whole challenge. And why not? The rules say you can (shampoo, rinse) and repeat and he does just that with an encore performance. Pasukaru76 wanted to break the sound barrier and Marin pulls through in spades.

Curtydc wanted the curvaceous Rally Fighter and Pasukaru76 answers the call of duty with good racing style and a desert diorama. It takes me back to the old Octan Racing challenge. Remember that one?

Proving multiple entries to be a good winning strategy, Lego Junkie pulls through again with this Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Convertible as assigned by Marin Stipkovic. it had great styling, but his other entry squeaked out the win.

A self proclaimed noob comes along with some great advice...Don't Talk To Robots. That's his name...and its some good advice. Anyway, he proves that even noobs have a few tricks up their sleeve by being a very close contender for the win with this '73 Camaro as assigned by Marin Stipkovic.

Judging this challenge was as hard as Chinese Algebra. Part of the difficulty was choosing other winners over this awesome "Double Trouble" hot rod as built by Legotrucks and assigned by Peteris Sprogis.

Pasukaru76 wanted something fast, old school, rocket-driven, experimental and unusual and CleverNiftyDude lives up to his name with the sleek Opel Rak 2. Nice!

We go from rocket powered and experimental to something boxy and practical but that's how it goes when you answer the crazed whims of the LUGNuts members at large. Dylan Denton wanted the 1961 Subaru Sambar van and Rolic does it in Dubai police livery.

I'm not even sure if I should include this one as it is only half a bike. But since I said I'd give everyone equal billing and I was personally rooting for this one, Nolnet proves the Confederate Motors B120 Wraith as assigned by Curtydc is a not so easy rider. Bummer, dude!

Lastly, CleverNiftyDude mumbles something about a 1987 Toyota LiteAce Van and Silcanter squeezes out one final entry, thus bringing an end to our challenge. The clocked tolled its midnight chime and we had to bring it all to a screeching halt. That's how it goes.

So, what did you all think of the roundup? I think for a prize challenge, we had very few entries, but as us admins know, this business of building based on random assignments is hard work indeed. Many have tried, few have succeeded. Oh, and speaking of which, us admins had to sit out building for this one as we were the financiers of the prizes...which means, now that I think about, introducing all of us in the beginning was pretty stupid. Oh well. But us admins...and incidentally everyone else (even you!) can build for this month's challenge. Its called Viva Italia and its all about (yep, you guessed it) italian cars, trucks, and bikes. This challenge will give you a good excuse to talk with your hands and live with Mama until you're 35. Oh, and if that doesn't convince you to build for this challenge, a recent poll says that Italians are more likely to have sex in their cars than any other nation. I'm sure living with Mama until you're almost middle aged has everything to do with it but I never imagined the Fiat 500 or even the Lambo Gallardo was conducive to hanky-panky. But what do I know? Anyway, thanks for reading and thanks for making LUGNuts the best LEGO group ever. Until next time...Mama Mia, thats-a spicy meat-a ball!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Diorama-Rama Roundup

Remember building dioramas as a kid? Basically you take a shoe box, draw an erupting volcano in the background with crayons, fill the inside with glued-on fake grass, paper trees, rocks, and toy dinosaurs, present it for science class and then get a D on it...cuz it turns out the Cretaceous Period didn't have Hotwheels cars. Who knew, right? Well anyway this month's build challenge cleverly named Diorama-Rama is sort of the same idea, except instead of dinosaurs and erupting volcanoes this is more about building LEGO cars bikes, and trucks, then placing them in some sort of diorama setting. Did we all get a D on this month's science project? Lets take a looks, shall we?

Peteris Sprogis starts us off with a duo of dios (see what I did there). The first being this...Orbita retro futuristic concept bubble top car in a setting that looks sort of like a helicopter hanger. Hey, when its the retro future, anything is possible!

Second on the Peteris slab is a road blaster in some other artsy futuristic setting with what looks like the first entry apparently destroyed in a yellow heap in the background. Cobblestones are the way of the future. Remember that. Invest in cobblestones.

Meanwhile Ralph Savelsberg paves over said cobblestones with this HAMM HW 90 B Roller, doing its business. Doing this business has to do with neatly converting a studded plate surface into smooth tiles and not so much about locking yourself away with a magazine and the bathroom fan on. Sweet colors!

Tim Inman knows all about living in filth and squalor as evidenced by this hilarious dio of Cousin Eddie's camper home from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Perhaps more kids would get better grades on their dioramas if, instead of dinosaurs, they featured Cousin Eddie siphoning the shitter. Just my hunch.

Loek1990 builds us...or rather renders us...this Renault Midlum Boxvan, converted to a Hot Dog van. He tells us this dio is based off his favorite Hot Dog truck in the market next to the city hall where he lives. Obviously Loek lives in Mos Eisley cuz I'm pretty sure that's the Star Wars cantina back there.

No stranger to breathing life into renders is Peter Blackert with his first of many entries, this one called Conrod's Clubhouse. You see, not only does Peter render cars, he has an entire town figured out called Motor City where rival clubs build awesome hot rods. I'm totally stealing that tree technique!

Every town needs a town hall...preferably one where I am the Mayor. Yeah, I know, I'm just about as mature and responsible as an ice cream truck full of howler monkeys, but still Peter thinks I'd do a bang up job keeping peace between the rival car clubs. So long as I get a special parking spot for my Hudson Hornet.

The other car club in MotorCity is the 'Lugnuts Customised Car Club'. Shown here is their clubhouse. The building opens up to show a detailed interior including car lift and engine bench. A town where rival car clubs rule? Sure, if Speed Racer can find primitive tribal cultures fixated with auto racing, then Motor City seems pretty feasible.

I would totally live in a town full of customs and hot rods. Especially if they had a diner like this. Considered neutral ground by the two feuding car clubs, the Lugnuts and the Conrods, is Nani's Diner. Serving hamburgers, icecream and milkshakes to the citizens of MotorCity. I love that surfin' Woody!

Around the town of Motorcity, the Lugnuts gang members have various garage buildings for working on their cars, (I'm totally digging the purple and white leadsled!) or hiding from the Fuzz. That fuzz will ruin any wool sweater. I recommend taking it to the dry cleaners instead of machine washing it yourself.

Why do they have to hide from the Fuzz in Motor City? Why street racing, of course. The Fuzz are the bane of any grease monkey's existence. They're just out to cramp our style, harsh our mellow, dampen our buzz...or whatever other hip, cool ways to say shrivel our boners.

For his last entry, Peter goes from boner inducing Motor City where I preside as mayor to this JCB FASTRAC 8310 Farm tractor on an outback Australian farm. I preside over nothing in Australia. I don't even know what the hell they're talking about half the time. I mean, what the hell is a "banana bender" anyway?

For that matter, what does "corker" mean? Whatever it means, Jonathan Derksen has no doubt created one here. He joins in on all this diorama fun with this Snow Bucket with a classic big block engine and sandwich board advertising...absolutely nothing at all.

A few years ago LEGO produced pieces in copper color. Lino Martins shows off just about his entire collection of rare copper parts with what I thought to be my first ever Steampunk creation called Copperhead. Ralph says I failed at Steampunk but succeeded in building what looks like an OCC tribute to H. R. Giger.

Lego Junkie squeezes out the final entry of this challenge and bends the diorama rule quite a bit by not really having a diorama at all. Its a dune buggy with its outer shell propped up on a couple of sawhorses. He figures since he only creates about one car a year he may as well prop it on sawhorses. Seahorses would have been awesome.

Anyway, that concludes one corker of a challenge! Did anyone crack a fat over that one? On second thought, don't answer that. Instead consider the limitless possibilities of next month's freakin' balls-out sweet challenge cleverly named...Freakin' Balls-Out Sweet 75th LUGNuts Challenge Extravaganza. Pretty awesome, right? Why don't we name every challenge in such a way? Well, this 75th is very special. Normally peeps build for no reason other than to fulfill the challenge and for me to crack jokes in the roundups about boobies and farts or something. But this time we are thanking our members for making LUGNuts great by enticing builders with some pretty sweet prizes. The rules are simple: ask for a random assignment, then build accordingly. Top three gets awesome prizes. If you suggest the three winning entries, you too get awesome prizes. Shampoo, rinse, then repeat. Sound good? I think so. There has been some great suggestions laid out so far, but how will it all turn out? Who will win the prizes? We'll just have to wait and see. I hope you enjoyed this diorama roundup. If we've learned only one thing, its that dioramas aren't just for toy dinos anymore. They're also for Cousin Eddie siphoning the shitter. See ya next time!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Take It To The Next Level...Roundup

This month's build challenge was called Take It To The Next Level...all about cars, trucks, and bikes from video games. There's a lot to work with here and as everybody loves video games this one was slotted to become the best challenge in the history of the world ever. But in reality...not so much. It was one of our most underpopulated challenges in our long history. I can presume the reason, ironically, is everybody was out playing video games or something. That's OK, I've been playing a video game of sorts. Rocksmith 2014. Its helping me learn guitar and while I still suck at it, I'm making pretty good strives. I have just about built up the calluses on my fingers so my countdown to snorting coke off the ass of a prostitute like a rock star can be significantly shortened. So lets get this short round up over with so I can get back to finally nailing down Blitzkrieg Bop, shall we?

Even when the party is down to a dull roar you can always count on Ralph to bring the chips and the dip. And by chips and dip I mean Starsky and Hutch. But wait, you might say. Sure they're great oldschool TV stars but what do they have to do with video games? Turns out there is a game starring the dynamic duo of the pork chop sideburns.

And speaking of dynamic duo, Angelina Jolie lost hers recently. The world gave a collective sigh when she announced her double mastectomy but it was for preventive measures so probably a good thing. Anyway, Ralph built her in her awesome booby-havin' glory and also her Land Rover from the Tomb Raider game.

Peter Blackert usually brings the entire party with booze and strippers and also a bouncy house included, but this time he has brought along a very demure wine and cheese for a quiet little get together. The wine being this Mercedes AMG Vision Gran Turismo from GT6.

And the cheese is of the Italian variety with this tangy Lancia Delta Integrale Rally car in Martini livery from 'SEGA Rally' and 'SEGA Rally 2' arcade games. This was appreciated by everyone who participated in the challenge as we're all old farts who remember SEGA Rally. Where are all the whooper-snappers, anyway?

Showing our age, Nathan Proudlove and I bring a little heavy metal music to this party in the form of two entries from the game Brutal Legend. This entry is The Deuce or "The Druid Plow" and it marks Nathan's first car in over a year and a half so we were all pretty thrilled.

And Lino Martins contributes the Brutal Legend Tour Bus. You see, when it comes to Heavy Metal you can never have enough skulls, flames, and gnarly exhaust pipes. The Tour Bus delivers all three in spades. I'm digging the two different scale Eddie Riggs figures. Mullets required.

And finally Tim Inman delivers the bloody goods in his gatling gun havin' Meat Wagon from Twisted Metal. I was hoping someone would build from Twisted Metal. In fact, it was the whole reason I created the challenge. Now I can die happy while choking on my own vomit...

Is what I would say if I were an actual rock star. But I'm not. It would be really rock and roll to die choking on someone else's vomit like that dude from Spinal Tap. But considering I don't usually stay up late, I'm too deathly afraid to throw a TV into a pool, and I'm not so much into cocaine and prostitutes, my chances of truly becoming a rock star are pretty nil. Probably for the best, really. Anyway, that brings us to the end of this all-admin build challenge. What's in store for next month? Turns out its a little challenge we like to call Diorama-Rama...all about cars, trucks, and bikes, within a diorama setting. See, dioramas aren't just for toy dinosaurs anymore...unless, of course, you make it that way. Alrighty, now I shall get back to unlocking the mysteries of the riff to Blitzkrieg Bop. Joey Ramone, you were a punk rock genius. Probably not so much a math genius. Also you were probably no good at picking stocks, identifying birds, gardening, reading, writing, driving, balancing your checkbook, or Scrabble. But when it comes to punk rock and choking on your own vomit, you were the best. You'll be missed.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

LUGNuts Sixth Anniversary Roundup!

Whether it be Boston or Seattle, I've lived in big cities most of my life. You just can't beat the convenience of having everything you could ever want just a short walk or a bus ride away. The corner store was a short stroll up the block and if I wanted to see amorous couples in the throes of copulation, I'd look no further than our back dumpster. But this month, I've traded the convenience of corner stores and dumpster copulating for trees and grass...something a little more rural. Yes, dear readers, I have moved to the suburbs! The city has become too loud and too cluttered for me. I've become surprisingly less tolerant of graffiti and piles of puke outside my building and Seattle had just far too many angry yelling winos for my liking. Its a sign of growing up...or something. Yes, I'm getting to that age now where I want to be the only angry yelling wino in the neighborhood so I've moved to quiet and rural Redmond. I finally have a lawn I can tell kids to get the hell off of. And the beauty is, I don't even have to take care of it...not that I was gonna anyway. What else is new? Well, LUGNuts just turned six. This means we have our birthday challenge and that means your free ticket to build pretty much whatever the hell you want from all previous challenges from this year and the history of the world ever. How did we do? Let's check it out.

Ralph Savelsberg starts us off with this pristine Range Rover Sport. It satisfies the Color Me Strange as white is a strange color in hot it was introduced in 2005, it also fits Millennium Marvels and as its a product of Merry Old England, it also fits into the God Save The Queen challenge. He tells us he's had a lot of fun with this.

So much fun, in fact, that he has also presented us with this Rolls Royce Phantom, complete with tie-wearing dignitary and equally tie-wearing chauffeur...which ticks the Millennium Marvels and God Save the Queen categories. I'm also wearing a tie as I type. True story, bro. Black tie, dark red shirt black vest. I'm at work and the tie makes them least suspecting when I'm up to no good.

But I suppose the black and red, coupled with the skull rings and studded wrist bands makes me seem sort of rock and roll. And yes, I will sign your girlfriend's boobs, thanks for asking. At the rate I'm learning guitar, I figure I'll be snorting coke off a prostitute's ass by 2084. Speaking of the 80's Ralph presents the Ferrari 308 GTS from Magnum P.I.

And lastly in what was surely a banner month for Ralph, he chimes in again with this Harley Davidson "Fat Boy" ridden by the Terminator in Terminator 2, Judgement Day. This was before the Governator became a politician and was better known for his pumped muscles and bad one-liners.

Combine a slew of technic beams, some trans-yellow and white futuristic styling and some sideways fashion magazine photography and you get the Street Shark, built by Peteris Sprogis and thereby satisfying the Animal Kingdom challenge. Sideways fashion magazine photos makes everything seem post-modern.

Don't taze me, LEGO Bro! Sorry, had to be said. Did I use that joke already before? Anyway, he saves us all from certain head exploding doom by setting the universe right and rebuilding his Rolls Royce Phantom for Redo And Redemption. He apologizes for his "utterly appalling" first version, which I don't remember.

Peter Blackert does a little redo and redemption but for me. He digs early into my flickr photostream for this 32 Roadster thereby building from our very first challenge, "Modified Machines" and "I wannabe Like You". But then again, with my roguish good looks and my way with words, who doesn't wannabe like me?

That's right. Fame. Money. Constant adoration. Women want to do me. Men...also want to do me. Yesiree, everyone knows my name and I have no goddamn clue who the hell they are. This is what its like to be "The Lino". You also take to putting "the" in front of your name. So naturally Peter digs deep into my flickr file and does good justice to this lowrider Impala called Leap Frog.

But Peter proves that it isn't always about me. He knows the way to a girl's heart is to be a douche and not call them for a little while. Why in the interim, he may even start seeing a pretty Japanese model in the form of a grey Mazda 6 and thereby satisfying the Big In Japan Challenge.

From there he could even start dating another Japanese model, this time another Mazda 6 in a slutty black dress. Look at those shoes! And that hair! I bet she doesn't cook as well as I do. Plus she can barely speak English. Fine, he can have her! I hope you're satisfied with your decision, Mr. Man!

And just when I wanted to dump Peter and settle for an abusive deadbeat with a drug problem, he comes crawling back by revisiting and rebuilding my 1968 Chevy C10 Pickup...incidentally the perfect vehicle for an abusive deadbeat with a drug problem. Isn't he dreamy!?

Then just when I begin practicing my signature using his last name, he takes our relationship on a brief hiatus to date a much older 1949 Cadillac Series 62 Fastback Coupe in dark tan and brown. He calls her Plain Jane but I actually think her beauty is much more subtle in a classier sort of way. Even I approve.

But then Peter takes this bro-mance to a whole 'nother level and dolls up that old plain Jane and revisits one of the first builds that put me on the map...Bad Apple. Ahh look at chopped sloping roof and that snarling grille...and that lowered stance! It really takes me back. This can only mean trouble.

Peter gave me the old "it isn't you, its me" speech. Restraining orders have been served. By law, I am no longer allowed within 5 miles of Peter nor am I allowed to burn my name on his lawn in gas anymore. He has moved on but is now dating someone that sort of reminds him of me, a little bit. She's a '56 Lincoln Futura and as we all know later becomes the Batmobile. I'm pretty OK with it. He's made a good decision.

Segueing into Tim Inman's maniacal Green Goblin-faced White Western Star 4800 from "Maximum Overdrive" means no longer writing like a woman scorned. Which is good. Now I can go back to writing like myself...which is like...I don't know, sunshine and rainbows or something. I got to see this behemoth monster in person at BrickCon. It is balls-out awesome!

I also got to see Lego Junkie in person at BrickCon...apparently. He didn't really introduce himself to me, but asked something along the lines of...can I put this right here? I'm like...yeah, yeah whatever. Then I went on to finish a discussion about bad management or something. I totally missed the chance to shake his hand. But his awesome Black Widow has surely left a lasting impression.

Speaking of lasting impressions, NKubate once again does what he was born to do...mod out set number 5867. This time in the form of a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa for challenge 59: "Nifty fifties - Daddy-O" as this car came out in 1958 and challenge 29: "Lemons or Le Mans" as this car was a dominant player during that era at Le Mans.

Next up, Lino Martins. I had the aforementioned move this month so I had to scale down my usual offerings and redo,incidentally, the same old red and blue '32 Roadster Peter picked out. This model was sent to Josh Hanlon of Beyond The Brick and can be seen in the background of all their interviews now. Sweet!

Infraredbrick tells us the BRE Datsun 510 satisfies both the Super 70's Sensation and the Redo and Redemption categories, thereby saving us from certain head exploding doom and making it super 70's cool at the same time. It also includes power functions and some crazy-ass steering. Now that is what LUGNuts is all about!

1971 Datsun 510 BRE w/ PF

You know what else LUGNuts is all about? Firing a shotgun into the air while balls deep in a squealing hog. That and overhauling really old official LEGO sets. In this case, LegoExotics goes way back to 1975 with set #392, Hobby Formula 1. Ahhh, that takes me back. The F1 car, I mean...and not so much the squealing hog thing.

Lastly, LegoExotics comes back for an encore performance with this Ferrari 599XX EVO that satisfies the 58th Challenge Order By Numbers...a challenge that allowed for 10 sub-categories. In this case menu #7, "A vehicle to contend in the 2013 races". Is that all of them? Yes it is.

And on that bombshell, we satisfy this sixth birthday challenge. I think it went pretty well. These six years have been quite stellar thanks to you all, but so what does the future bring? Well, the immediate future is a challenge we appropriately called, "Take It To The Next Level"...all about cars, trucks, or bikes from video games. This ought to be a treasure trove of possibilities, considering that video game sales now gross higher than even the most popular books and movies. Will yours be the Spy Hunter car or a go-kart from Super Mario Kart? Only time will tell so you're going to have to stop by next month to see how we do. Thanks for making this the best LEGO car group in the history of the world ever. Here's to another year of total automotive awesomeness! See ya next time.

Wait...what? No, no...I'm done. What? Late entries? Who? Peter...again! No, no...I already wrote all the humor. The jokes work, they flow into each other well. I already did the Fatal Attraction bunny boiler thing with his entries. What am I to do, write even more jokes about restraining orders and burning my name in gas? No, I'm not writing more. No, I'm not going to tack them onto the end...that would be silly. Even I have writing standards. I already said bye and see ya next time. We did the thing with the link to the next challenge so we're good to go. Plus I'm already in the hot tub with a prosti... Wait...what? How many? WHAT?! Cripes! That's more entries than the whole challenge! No! No! NO! That would be like the end credits scene in a Marvel movie being longer than the actual movie! Hell no, I ain't writing any more! What kind of stupid crap does he have anyway? Another '49 Caddy with a slightly different colored roof? No, not going to write about it and that's final! What? A transformer? Some Hotwheels models? A Tuskagee airman tribute! The Ecto-1! OK, OK, admittedly those are all pretty damned cool. Alright, fine, I'll write about it. Ming Soo, get out of the hot tub and fetch me a rum nog and my writing slippers! Huh? I'm paying you by the hour, so what do you care?

Welcome to the special late-nite late entry edition of our Sixth Anniversary Roundup. Consider it like the 4 hours of bonus footage you get on some DVDs that only the most diehard of depraved geeks would watch. Since its a special late night edition, I could delve into extra late night potty mouth writing or it could totally suck, depending on how these things flow. OK, lets see what we've got on the slab.

When Peter hears you can build from any previous challenge in LUGNuts history, he takes it as an opportunity to build from every previous challenge in history. Here's a joke: Why did the chicken cross the road? Cuz of this Holden Sandman Panel Van for Super 70's Sensation. Look, I didn't say they were gonna be good jokes. I just got pulled from a hot tub and my fingers are all prune and my brain is a little soggy.

His first version got him plenty of accolades. So here's to hoping lightning strikes twice with this updated 2012 Camaro in Autobot Bumblebee guise for Redo and Redemption. Its the kind of car that begs the it love or is it just rough sex with Michael Douglas? Actually it asks no such question. By now I'm just stealing jokes from Mystery Science Theatre.

Here in the states when you have an emergency, such as taking a bowling ball to the goddamned nuts, you call 911. If you have a LEGO car emergency and need a shitload of cars built fast you call Peter. He was named after the Porsche 911 with "car one pictured here in murky green and owned by none other than the king of nothing comedy, Jerry Seinfeld.

Why have one Bumblebee when you can have a whole hive of them. Here are two more one bright blue, one metallic jade green both HotWheels replicas and both were exhibited at SEMA, thus satisfying A Baker's Dozen...all about baking bread and losing a hand. Or something.

There was a challenge that posted one question and one question only: If a mime farts in the woods, would anyone care? So naturally everyone built Toyota Tacomas. Here is Peter's version, a 2004 Toyota Tacoma Mk I Single Cab Pickup towing a trailer with a couple of offroad dirt bikes.

One of Peter's Fave challenges was Mad Motor Skills, all about building engines to go along with your car creations. It was a chance to build this glorious Ferrari engine shown actual size in relation to the 2013 Ferrari 458 Speciale. Yep. I bet you didn't know that. Ferraris have engines the size of elephants. Thats how they can go so fast.

This just in: Aliens from outer space want to eat your face! News at eleven, but first are you tired of the Jones constantly showing off their new cars? Well you can keep up with the Jones with the newest of the new in in the line of Studebaker Starliner Hardtops for 1952. This one in royal blue with a storm grey hardtop.

Keeping up with the Jones' was what made post-war America great. Everyone could afford the standard three car garage, one for mom, dad, and for weekend road trips. And each car was 22 feet of road hogging automotive excellence. But not so much for the super efficient Germans who knew nothing of reckless excess as evidenced by this 1955 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Sportscar.

A long time ago I built a '57 Ford Ranchero with a portable mechanical bull beneath the bed cover. Engineering minded Peter reconstructs this no-bull version of my original light blue and white farm truck. He left out the bull as he probably knew it would be an engineering failure. Plus it reduces the incidents of tailgate concussions by stupid rednecks.

The engineering minded family man owns a 2012 Ford Mondeo Zetec Wagon in real life with lots of space for the kiddies and 1300 km per tank. So it only makes sense that he renders it in LEGO. I don't know, I think it needs more flames, crazy exhaust pipes and like a popcorn machine in the back. But what do I know? This is why I'm not a Ford engineer.

Seems LegoExotics wasn't the only one with set #392 on the brain as Peter also redesigns the old LEGO Formula One Racer, from the 1975 'Hobby; series of advanced models. Seen here are two versions; one with original Shell decals and the other the Tyrrell-Cosworth in Elf and GoodYear sponsorship.

Challenge 52, aptly named 52 Pickup, offered the opportunity to build either custom cars, trucks, or bikes inspired by card games...or any 1952 pickup. Peter, with "a stunning lack of imagination", to use his own words, opted for a '52 Ford F-100 in blue. Flames, crazy exhaust pipes and a popcorn machine in the back would solve that imagination issue. That and clown vomit on the roof.

Sometimes great things happen in history. The all African-American Tuskagee squadron of World War II Mustang P51B 'Razorbacks', deemed "The Red Tails" showed all the white fighter pilots how its done. Later, the Ford Motor Company released a limited edition 2013 Mustang 'Tuskegee Edition' in commemoration of the airmen. Peter builds them both, thus building his first non-car since before his voice cracked. Incidentally he also showed us all how a future challenge is done.

This just in! The aliens from outer space have just eaten the president's face while dipped in fondue cheese and using tiny forks. I freaking knew the aliens were Swedish! Also Everything Under The Sun was a challenge that showcased open air cars, so Peter showcases a two-tone 1957 Ford Fairlane Convertible.

Cars Too encouraged us to build vehicles with a face and no face is more tripadelic than that of Fillmore, the lovable VW microbus complete with slanty "dude, like my hand is so huge" eyes and a hippy-trippy free lovin' paint job. Just don't harsh his mellow by bogarting his stash, man.

Speaking of The Man, everything else the super efficient Germans produced was as lovable as a tax auditor. Take, for example, this 2014 Audi S6 Saloon in business-like tan. But just like my 2001 taxes, something must be amiss in Germany as apparently the doors are not the same length. I can't believe I got caught trying to claim a rainbow wig and a leather clown suit as a business expense!

What's great about America is its chock full of foreigners. That is why it is pretty awesome that this famous lowrider, customized by foreigners, is called American Woman. This LEGO version was also built by a foreigner. And an Australian, which means Peter's great-great-great-great grand-pappy was probably a hardened criminal who bit the heads off chickens. yep, that is my logical conclusion.

I'd crack a joke that this CLAAS Xerion 3800 Trac VC Four-Wheel-Drive tractor adds some much needed Claas to this place, but class has already gone out the window with the mention of eating the president's face dipped in fondue cheese and clown vomit on the roof.

If I were claiming frivolous shit on my taxes back in '49, I'd see the business end of this 1949 Ford 'Spinner' Woody wagon in Police livery. I'd also be the baddest mamma-jamma ever to walk The Green Mile...right before they fry my head with 50,000 volts.

Size Matters was a challenge that made most of us guys feel uneasy, while about 10% smiled knowingly. It also offered the distinct challenge of buildings vehicles in more than one scale. In this case, Peter pounds out the VW bus in LEGO original Creator scale, 911-standard Miniland (1:21), MotorCity (1:28) and the wee Hotwheels size 1:43.

Then later Peter pulls the same stunt with a pink and white 1956 Packard Caribbean Hardtop and then again with the azure and white 1955 Caribbean Convertible.

God Save the Queen looked to the British Isles for automotive inspiration and nothing is more inspiring than the Rolls-Royce 20HP from 1925 shown here in awesome dark green. Jolly good, mate!

Peter's criminal great-great-great-great grand-pappy rode around in gangster style in this interesting historical artifact from the early days of Australia's motoring, the Australian Motors Lincoln 'Six' Tourer from 1919. It was built for the Kickin' It Oldschool challenge.

One of my fave challenges of all time was Lemons or LeMans where either a shitbox or an ultimate racing car can be built. Peter made the easy choice with this 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Racer. Mmm, pretty!

Whats worse than a hive full of bumblebees in your garage? A hive full of hornets in your garage. That would suck, actually. Unless said hornets are of the fabulous Hudson Hornet variety as built for The Animal Kingdom challenge...all about vehicles with animal names.

A Galaxie of Possibilities didn't get much love the first go around (strange considering the Galaxie rated as having the biggest back seats for wham blame, thank you ma'am.) so Peter shows some love with this Ford Galaxie Magic Cruiser concept.

This just in. A recent Texas obituary ends in the phrase "right in the goddamned nuts". More at eleven. But first Peter builds another 1966 Galaxie to NASCAR stock car specification, as driven by A.J. Foyt. It won the full-sized championship in 1965.

Peter shows plenty of love for me and for Ralph by rebuilding this Ralph built classic custom 1951 Mercury Lead Sled built for me. What I meant to say...its all very complicated. First there was me. Then Ralph built for me. Then Peter built for me and for Ralph. Never mind, just enjoy it!

In other news, smoking hot photos of your mom just hit the internet. Keyword: "milf gone nuts" for more details. But first, Peter builds the VF Commodore, potentially the last man standing in the RWD Australian Family car. Here shown in Calais Sedan, Calais Wagon and SS Sedan editions.

In related news tonight a Fredericks of Hollywood size 38D front clasp bra was found behind a Seattle area dumpster. Peter also builds his father-in-law's favorite car, his 1985 Ford Taurus wagon. A car so crap, that nonetheless refused to die.

Challenge 18 - At the Races - open to any racing car from any racing series, shown here is the BMW 3.0 CSL Racer, and the first of the BMW Art Cars, painted by Alexander Calder, from 1975. Its like someone sneezed color swatches all over it.

Play that Funky Music - makes us listen to tunes for inspiration. In this case the artist known and formerly know as Prince's 'Little Red Corvette' is a 1957 Corvette convertible, in 'little' MotorCity 1:28 scale. He was also formerly known as Prince Rogers Nelson.

In other news tonight a masochist dog likes being paraded around the whole damned neighborhood on a leash while naked. Also the spooky 13th Challenge - Fear and Loathing summons all our fears. Here represented by a common phobia - spider, the delectable '08 Alfa Romeo 8C Spider.

Some people fear spiders. Clint Eastwood fears young Asian guys in the movie Gran Torino. He shows he's an outdated old dinosaur by clinging to old prejudices while Peter shows he's an old dinosaur by building the '72 Gran Torino for the Show Your Age challenge.

In other news tonight, the entire 1st grade class hates Brad Armell for allegations of being a fatty fatty boomba-laddy. But first, Peter claims his fame with the balls-out awesome 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance conversion used as 'Ecto1' in the Ghostbusters.

Were Gran Torinos cool in the 70's? They must have been as Peter rolls out not one, but two Gran Torinos, this time the flashy red and white '74 Torino from the Starsky and Hutch series. The 70's were all about car chases, squealing tires and sideburns, baby!

And finally, hellbent on not letting Peter take all the late night, late entry glory, AadenH finishes us off and squeezes out one last entry, a '03 Honda S2000 AP1. This satisfies Challenge 64- Mad Motor Skills, with its removable F20C, challenge 45-Everything Under the Sun, and Challenge 35-Big In Japan.

Alright. Is that all of them? I think it is. If anybody else has anymore late entries I swear I'm gonna shit a brick! So lets once again finalize this shindig and introduce next month's challenge. Its called, "Take It To The Next Level," and its all about video game cars, trucks, and bikes. Will yours be the Spy Hunter car or a go-kart from Super Mario Kart? Wait...did I use that already? OK, then. Will yours be Sweet Tooth's Sinister Ice Cream Truck from Twisted Metal or will it be pixilated racer from Pole Position? You'll just have to tune in again next month to see. Now where was I? Oh, right! Ming Soo, now where did you go? Hello? You still here? Awww crap, she took my wallet!