Farewell to Childhood – a guest post by the Balloonatic

Farewell to Childhood – a guest post by the Balloonatic

Even though I am in my early fifties, I have still clung to parts of my childhood. To the things which brought me joy and happiness, through good times and bad. To the love that I passed on to my son, and which has been a big part of his childhood. I am speaking of my love of Lego.

Lego has been an iconic part of many childhoods throughout the world. I remember when my parents bought my brother and sister and I our first sets – huge boxes of mixed bricks, with ideas for things we could build, but the freedom to let our creativity run wild. My younger brother built race cars while my sister and I built houses and furnishings and figured out how to build small animals – horses and sheep and so  many things. I still have some of those original Legos. They were like a building block that carried me into adulthood. A solid foundation. And now that foundation is crumbling and shattering into pieces that will never be the same.

I admit, there were years where my love of Lego was not as evident. Going through late teens into my twenties, I wasn’t really buying Lego or building it. But then I began a career as a church worker, and  part of that was working with kids and young families. I still remember having a family over to visit, and bringing out the box with my childhood Lego for the kids to play with, only to have a young man of five or six look at me solemnly and tell me that my Lego sucked. Apparently Lego had evolved and changed, and my old bricks had become outdated. So when I would go to the store, and found a good sale, I began buying Lego again, investing in some Bionicle kits to appeal to these savvy young builders I was working with.

One of the most exciting things about having my son was being able to introduce him to my love of Legos. While we started with Duplos, as soon as he was old enough to not swallow the parts, I quickly moved him on to my little bricks. They were presents for every birthday and Christmas, and we would buy sets for him to build in the backseat of the car when we went on long road trips. He has Lego Advent Calendars from every year of his life. When he outgrew the City set, he moved on to the Star Wars and the City Advent Calendars were bought for me. Every day in Advent, for so many years, we would have our daily build and post the photos on social media. Almost every May the 4th I would be ordering kits and hiding them in the house until December for his birthday and Christmas. Santa even started to bring me Lego Holiday Village sets every year, and my son started buying me Lego for my birthday and Christmas as well. Half of my attic was converted to a Lego building station. We would buy everything from the smallest kits to the largest, including the Lego Titanic – the biggest kit they had made to date, combining two of my son’s loves in one huge box.

But now, while my love of Lego will still continue, my purchasing days are over. Lego has changed in ways that I can no longer support. I wasn’t thrilled when they came out with the “Lego Friends” series to appeal to young girls, because, as a girl, I already found Lego appealing, but I understood that they were trying to stay with the times and reach a new market. When they came out with a Lego Minifigure LGBT rainbow set, it made me pause; but I closed my eyes and ignored it, because I loved Lego so much and didn’t want to give it up. Recently however, Lego has gone further. They have created a “Dreamz” line with “Gender Neutral” sets. And I have to ask myself why? What does Lego have to do with gender? Almost every kit has mini-figures with both boys and girls. What is a gender neutral figure? They are neutering our childhood, our toys and our children. Literally. They are contributing to societal psychosis where girls are no longer allowed to be girls, and heaven forbid that boys be allowed to be boys. Our childhood loves, and our children themselves are being mutilated to conform to the craziness that is pervading society today.

So now, enough is enough. Every person has to find that point where they, like Luther did over 500 years ago say, “Here I stand. I can do no other.” This is my standing point, my line in the sand that I will not cross. It is time to say goodbye to Lego and farewell to this important part of my childhood. I pray that some day they will return to sanity. That they will put children’s lives and mental health above profits and temporary fads in society. That they will once again become a foundation of childhood and teach children the joy of building things rather than tearing them down. Until then, I will retreat to my attic, to the blocks and sets that brought us so much joy and refuge from the troubles in life, and remember the good times. The love of a toy that wasn’t tied to political correctness, but was about the simplicity of imagination and creation.

201 thoughts on “Farewell to Childhood – a guest post by the Balloonatic

  1. The Reader suggests you preserve the old kits. Some day your great grandchildren will thank you.

    1. Aye.. the old kit… and used… are still worthy.
      Of all the “constructional” toys I/we had… LEGO was absent. Don’;t know if because of expense, because “cheap plastic” (that WAS real complaint about much, once….) or other.

      Now, well, if wanted to make re-living a bit GREAT… I’d want the biggest danged Erector Set setup there was… a few times over. But…. time marches on, the bstage.

      1. The Reader does miss the Erector Set stuff he had as a kid. Not sure what happened to it – didn’t find it when we cleaned up the house after the Reader’s Dad passed away. Did find all of the Reader’s H0 race car materials, including the motors he rewound using the contraption he made from Erector Set parts as a teenager.

        1. I will admit to Erector set nuts, bolts and washers making their way into various real world items. Which isn’t surprising since the kits started with off-the-shelf hardware store items.

          1. Some of the girders went into a few projects – excellent for interior bracing on a thin wood box.

            I must admit that I never got into the “sets” during my Lego days; they just felt too constricting. I started back when there were just blocks of various sizes – I always got a half dozen of the little boxes on Christmas and my birthday. Built everything with just imagination with those. The robot from Lost in Space. Houses, of course. Various rocket ships. The USS Lexington. Got a ninth place for the latter in one of the contests. Don’t remember what the prize for that was, only remember wishing it had been a used spacesuit…

        2. I had Lincoln Logs (beware green splinters from the roof panels) and some Lego clones. My best buddy had Tinkertoys and an Erector Set. Always was envious of the Erector set. I admired them every time we went into New Haven and strolled through FAO Schwartz for the fun of it, but there were like $40 and up (to $100 I think with all the cool motors and stuff). A weeks groceries was $20, I think my first bike a Schwinn 5spd Lemon Crate was only which was a huge 8th birthday gift was $55 in the 60’s. Mom thought the Erector Set was too expensive a toy and thought (likely rightly) Dad would play with it more than I would.

          1. Hubby mentions a Christmas where there were 2 Erector Sets under the tree from Santa. Hubby swore one was for his brother and one was for him. Somehow no matter what the logic, both Erector sets went to older brother. Hubby is 71, that story is still told (BIL is 76).

            1. To be honest If I were in your husbands place (and I wouldn’t be I’m an only child) I’d still be holding a grudge some 60+ years later too 🙂

        3. Have nearly 100 year old wooden Erector set box next to me. Haven’t looked in it in a long time.

          What to do with it? No grandchildren. The problem getting old. You have lots of old stuff. Old books, more old books. Old cell phone. Old computer. Old floppy discs, with your writing you can’t access here in Mordor west.

      2. Yes, the Erector set was a large part of my childhood. Legos not so much, but I think they got popular late enough that I was doing other things at the time. (Heathkit and Knightkit for the win!)

        Mom sold off a lot of gubbage when we moved from the medium-huge house to the two-bedroom house. Mom, Grandma, and me with a single car garage and no extra storage. I missed a bit of what she sold off; the ancient (1910) Underwood typewriter needed a major clean/refurb, but the portable Olivetti was almost acceptable. (Almost–we hated each other and it would give an extra space if I struck a letter key wrong.) I saw the same model of Underwood 10 years later, but was spoiled by terminal keyboards and could do the same with my computer. Passed on it, though it would be a cool dust collector thing to have. Only $40 at the time. Shudder to think of what it would go for now.

          1. Dad made a tv and a radio learning more about electrical stuff than his machining electric motors was teaching him. He retired as a Lineman and Electrician after leaving the Machine work job

          2. Yup In college I assembled my own H19 terminal with a cool green CRT monitor (default was white, amber or Green were extra cost). I let that go to recycling 2 moves ago as a VT52 compatible terminal was not as good as the VT100 (later VT240) that Dec gave me to encourage working from home.

              1. What bothered me were the BLUE terminals. White character on a black background makes some sense. Green for peak-sensitivity makes sense. Amber to be a bit more relaxed makes sense. But BLUE? Who thought THAT was a Good Idea? FWIW, I have not encountered a RED monochrome display – though I suspect such exist if only for very limited application. RED is not a generally sensible color for that, but I can see possible reasons for it… unlike blue.

                1. For values of red, they existed. 🙂

                  One of the joys (really!) of Silicon Valley in the ’80s and ’90s was a proliferation of surplus shops. You could find anything from stainless fasteners by the pound (you sort them–I’m still working on the trove from that one) to an early 20th century industrial shaper weighing a few thousand pounds, (passed on that one for some reason 🙂 ) at one place, while another had electronics, optics, instruments and occasionally computers. Still others had components and still more electronics.

                  I bought a Toshiba laptop that had been used by Amdahl sales reps. The user files had been deleted, but it still had an installation of Wordstar and all the cool DOS programs. The display was a neon plasma, so if neon orange is red enough for you, you’re on.

                  Didn’t keep it when we moved; one of the battery modules had gone toes up and the Linux version I liked at the time wanted more memory and disk space, so it got donated or tossed.

                  1. That reminds me of the time I bought a couple of pallets of old computers from the Defense Materials Reclamation Office. About a dozen Zenith 100s that I managed to cannibalize into a half dozen working systems. All the hard drives worked. But the fun discovery was that they were all systems previously used by the Office of Special Investigations, and the drives contained a buttload of investigation working case files.

                    1. I heard of a couple getting in serious trouble when they bought the contents of an abandoned locker. I don’t recall what it was, but there were felony charges threatened. I do believe that the couple managed to get clear, but yikes.

                      I can think of other scenarios in your case, most of them frustrating to horrific. Hope Glad you’re not posting from a prison computer.

                2. Red is traditionally used in low light situations. Because of the ways our rods and cones work a long enough frequency red avoids setting off the pupil contraction response so you maintain night/low light vision better. There are arguments about this and in modern military aircraft (especially rotorcraft) you’ll see an odd green. That is because the pilots for that hardware often wear night vision hardware and that frequency is one the night vision stuff is less likely to get overload/glare from.

                  1. Back in the ’90s, there was discussion among amateur astronomers about the best light to use and still preserve night adaptation. Red was the popular choice, but there was a camp in favor of green light, both barely bright enough to do the job. Not fully clear on the justification, but as I recall, the cones respond really well to green.

                    It’s not only pupil dilation; there’s a chemical process in the retina that’s part of dark adaptation. After one round of retina surgery, the pupil in one eye was paralyzed, so I had first-hand experience with low light adaptation without pupil help. (It’s mostly recovered; it’s not clear if it was an issue during the procedure or a problem caused by gas pressure* in my eye causing trauma at altitude. That trip over the Cascades was far too interesting.)

                    (*) Part of the procedure to keep the retina in place post-op. OTOH, excess pressure can (and did) cause temporary blindness in that eye. Took a lot of effort to keep from panicking. The next few trips over the mountains used an altimeter and multiple pauses.

                    1. Yowza that experience with the eye sounds NOT fun.

                      My experience with dark adaptation is because I am/have been an amateur astronomer (have a 90mm maksutov cassegrain and an 8″ (203 mm) schmidt cassegrain, haven’t been out for a while…). 650 Nm wavelength red is the preferred light at just enough brightness to perceive. There was some confusion in the 90’s/early 2000’s on whether Red, Blue or Green were best. Cones are highly responsive to Red/Green, blue response is ~10x less. Problem is rods (black and white/contrast cells) respond to Red Green and Blue almost equally, least response is at the lower end of red and upper end of blue. High frequency pure blue was hard to generate, whereas 650 NM filters and LED’s were easily available in the early 2000’s.

                      One of the wierdest things is to be observing a bright object (usually the moon). Even with a lunar (90% density neutral) filter it is still incredibly bright as the moder is several orders of magnitude brighter than the brightest star or even planets like Venus. You’ll come up from the eyepiece after a couple minutes and realize the eye you observe with is totally night blind, it is very strange.

                    2. After things settled down and I got home, I got to thinking about what could have happened if I called 911. The obvious choice was a fast trip back to Medford. Ambulance would have been OK, but a helicopter flight could have finished off that eye.

                      I was reading one of TxRed’s Familiar’s book to keep myself calm while waiting. (It took about 15 minutes at first, then I’d stop after a bit further up, waiting 5-10 minutes for sight to come back.) That series means a lot to me. Maybe the scariest moment in my several decades.

                      One of the things I lost with the retina fixes is a bit of night vision. If seeing is excellent, I can see Orion’s sword and belt. Forget the nebulae and the Pleiades. Snif. OTOH, what should be straight lines aren’t so curved any more. The condition can progress (and in some percentage can come back, so I see the retina doc every year), so it was done before things got too awful. FWIW, it’s “epiretinal membrane”. Screws up the location of the cones right well. The procedure is only moderately scary. Just try to stay at the same elevation for a while…

          1. The Underwood had a cool arrangement for upper case. Instead of moving the type basket, it raised the platen and paper. Rather more work, and the machine required a heavy touch. That probably explains why the Olivetti didn’t like me. Mom had her legal-width (long platten) typewriter but neither she nor I ever owned an electric.

            1. When I was in journalism school (because the University didn’t know where to stick technical writing), the news reporting class used Selectrics. I thought they were great.

              1. The first time I even touched an electric typewriter was when I took a test to be a Clerk-typist in the library where I worked in college. I touched the home row and got a line of letters, so I jerked my hands back, and as I tried to type I would fan the left side of the typewriter trying to return the carriage. Needless to say, I did not pass.
                A woman I worked with told me later that she saw how I was typing and tried to not look because she was trying not to laugh. I don’t think she passed either.

                1. Ha, that reminds me of my high school typing class (~1980). The conventional wisdom (IOW, “they” said to”) was for college-bound folks, especially those who might pursue advanced degrees, to take typing, so that “we could type papers and theses and dissertations ourselves, and not have to pay someone to do it.” We had a choice between one semester (“Personal Typing”) and one year (“Typing I”; my high school still had vocational training, including two years of typing). Being EE-bound, and (eventually) MS and PhD bound, I signed up. We were allowed to select manual or electric…I picked manual, though I can’t remember why; probably because electric typewriters were still very expensive. Those Royal manuals were BEASTS. I eventually worked my way up to 55 wpm on that thing. The last week or so of the course, we switched up with the others (manual/electric). I BARELY touched the keyboard; BRRRRRRRRR-DING!!! The gal who took my manual could barely make any marks on the paper; she said, “Your fingers must be ALL MUSCLE!” 🙂

                  When I went to college, I bought a used Royal manual typewriter for the princely sum of $100. I typed A LOT of reports in college with it. And then…my senior year…DEC 100 PCs arrived in a lab on campus, with an ancient word processing program called Freestyle…and I took the typewriter back home, where my mother used it to type letters and recipes (on index cards, which my sister and I still have).

                  In hindsight, I was very glad I took typing, because even as an RF engineer, I’ve been on keyboards an awful lot. I can’t imagine the time I’ve saved by being able to type 50+ wpm all this time.

                  1. We, the girls, were required to take a year of typing in HS (secretarial route, don’t ya know). Option for the boys. I can touch type but did not get very fast at it until started working on computers. Still have a difficult time typing up anything prewritten, whether by me or someone else (I edit as I read/type it in). I also used a manual typewriter in college between ’74 – ’79 for papers, etc. Most my mark downs for spelling errors were actually typing errors. I have no idea what my typing speed is. Took a typing test at a temp agency once (’85), the result was not good. (What part of “I write software” didn’t they understand? Never mind.)

        1. When I was 12 I asked for a radio for my birthday. What I got (from Dad) was a Heathkit radio and a soldering iron. He said I hadn’t specified what kind of radio… I was annoyed (I was a 12-year old). But I learned about capacitors, resistors, and how to solder. Now, I’m very grateful for that Heathkit.

          1. I got told I was welcome to build one.
            So I went into the attics, got seven discarded radios, salvaged parts, and built a tube radio that could catch the BBC.

            1. My father was a charter member of the original sons of thrift, too. I was able to furnish my apartment with stuff from the garage my mother no longer thought was suitable even for the den, and my bedroom furniture and MY recliner.
              It worked out.

            2. Wow, what a treasure trove! For years, most of my parts were scrounged, except for the few that had to be bought new. And the occasional kit for Christmas.

          2. I got money for junior high graduation, and on a trip to downtown(ish) Chicago, went to the Allied Radio main store and bought a Star Roamer shortwave radio kit. Not a transistor in the circuit, and Knightkit had various precut wires that I didn’t trim, so it looked a little funky under the chassis, but it worked. Ran a long wire antenna out the bedroom window and had a ball.

            IIRC, HCJB in Ecuador was my first reception, and I got a QSL card from them. Later heard that it was a very powerful station, so was easy to get. Still…

            Heathkit was a bit later, and the store was in the western suburbs. Built a fair amount of them, but no TVs.

            1. I picked up one of the Tijuana stations (lived in San Diego), XERA. And I can still hear the call letters in that sing-songy voice!

    2. Yes, we’re not going to throw out what we have. We actually still have most of the original boxes, too. Someday we will take the time to build them all.

      1. It will be your grandchildren cursing you after stepping on one in the dark.

        1. Most of us don’t have hooves. 😀

          For us, LEGOs do not go crunch. They go OW! OW! YOWWW!

          Because they tend to lurk in gangs. Hmmm, what would the term for a group of LEGOs be?

  2. I hear you. I have turned my back on Star Wars as well for its bow to ‘current day politics’. I will never watch a new Star Wars show again until Kathleen Kennedy is fired in a most brutal fashion. Disney destroyed a big part of my childhood (and adulthood for that matter). They destroyed something I handed down to my children. The only reason for making the sequel trilogy so shit is to maliciously hurt the fans.

    So Disney Lucasfilm can go to hell with their ‘THE MESSAGE’ Star Wars, I won’t watch it anymore.

    Yet it should amaze them that someone who wouldn’t ever miss a Star Wars show, isn’t watching them (I took the whole family to the premier of Clone Wars in the theater for God’s sake!!) anymore.

    They abused the fans, and its time to abuse them back. I truly actually hope that Indiana Jones 5 MASSIVELY fails. Oh and Indiana Jones ended in 1989 as well.

    What kind of spiteful piece of shit does this to a brand and the most beloved IP of all time. How big of a progressive shill do you need to be to MESSAGE your shows to the point of unwatchability??? Oh Bob Iger can fuck right off too. I love how one of the “BEST CEOs evar” managed to piss off and lose the goodwill of HALF the customer base. Progressive shit ruins everything.

    1. The Reader believes that the destruction of value we see happening in the ‘Knowledge Economy’ (curse you for that phrase Peter Drucker) is intentional. The relatively few evil ones are egging the stupid ones on in a parody of Atlas Shrugged. It is actually easier to destroy the IP based aspects of the economy than the ‘we make real stuff’ parts that Ayn Rand illustrated. That will come later.

        1. Because if the Normies knew what they were doing, the Normies would come for them.

          Weirdos already know, but Normies don’t listen to us. Oh well…

          1. By that logic, there is going to be a terrible bloodbath when the Normies wake up.

            1. I’ve said it before and I will say it again:

              The moment Normie women find out en masse what the mRNA shot did to their pregnancies, there is nowhere on the planet that would be safe for the pushers.

              Now expand that to damned near every major issue.

              1. Last night I had a nasty, nasty thought…

                WHY is the whole trans nonsense being tolerated, and even encouraged? Some is the simple “because the trans-pushers figure they can get away with it.” But then… why do they so figure? Why no push-back from, well, almost everyone, instead of.. a seeming few (not actually a few, right AB InBev?) What benefit would there be to screwing around with the reproductive organs of kids… what happened ‘recently’… OH. What a GREAT WAY to shift blame away the mRNA shots! When Johnny can’t make l’il wigglers… and Joannie can’t conceive… “Well, it was all those trans things back then…” and the blame is shifted from the big malefactors (Moderna, Pfizer…) to the smaller, more easily expunged, malefactors. Happy 1984.

                1. “WHY is the whole trans nonsense being tolerated, and even encouraged?”

                  Why are they banning gas stoves? And yes they are moving to ban gas stoves. Quietly, by regulation, they will make it impossible to have a gas stove in the next five years.

                  And a raft of other things are also on the chopping block. Like cash money, for example. Plebs will have electronic money.

                  And I came to the conclusion a little while ago that “why” is the wrong question now. We are no longer having a debate about monetary policy, or self defense, or immigration, or foreign policy, or climate science etc.

                  The question I now have is WHO? Who, specifically, is pushing the effort to ban gas stoves, and who are they getting money from?

                  Because if I know who, and I know the source of the money, I can get with my peeps and put those sons of bitches out of business.

                  The answer that came most recently on the trans thing is Anheiser Bush Inbev Inc. Their stock has been hammered on the stock market, their sales are down 25%. This will be instructive to other BigCorps who thought they were unassailable. They’re not, and now they can see that they’re not.

                  Therefore seek ye the NAME of thine opponent, the better to f- over their supply chain and scare away all their funding.

            2. Honestly, I sincerely hope not. I don’t want to live through that.

              But like Orvan said, we can hear that timer ticking down. click click click…

        1. Not quite. Production overall never left, it’s just that mid-value stuff controlled by cartels left for freer markets. And then some of the production that wasn’t cartel-controlled was made illegal through environmental activists.

          But even with all of that we still have always been producing more than ever.

          1. And then some of the production that wasn’t cartel-controlled was made illegal through environmental activists.

            A good example of this is that contrary to all the shrieking from conservatives about lithium production, we closed the circle on refining it. But the environmentalists didn’t care about the fact that we knew how to do it without environmental damage.

            So instead China does it.

            1. Most of the world’s copper production is controlled by the communist Chinese because of taxes and environmental regulations here.

              But the world still needs copper.

              Therefore, about the same amount of copper is still produced, except it’s mostly mined and smelted in third-world countries without environmental regulations, or where the authorities look the other way for a few million bucks, and accompanied by a hundred times more pollution.

              This is a great triumph for the Environmental Activists. For the actual environment, not so much.
              ‘Progressives’ believe everybody else is even stupider than they are. This explains a lot.

      1. It has to be intentional. When Target knows if your daughter is pregnant before you do, because of massive cross-platform data mining, then media companies KNOW where the audience is.

        Comic book companies have known that their audience is fleeing since 1991. That’s 32 years of declining sales. And by “declining” I mean plummeting to less than 10% of 1980s numbers. Pissed-off customers, store owners and even distributors raging at them to knock it off, for three freaking decades. Comic book sales are well tracked and published by the major distributors, collectors know what’s hot and what’s not.

        What did it get us? https://screenrant.com/marvel-snowflake-non-binary-comic/

        In this case, Marvel Comics deliberately published this -knowing- that no one would buy it. They knew. During interviews in 2017 they even said that they knew.

        “David Gabriel [Marvel VP of Sales] told ICv2 that retailers had told him that fans were sticking to old favourites. “What we heard was that people didn’t want any more diversity,” he said. “They didn’t want female characters out there. That’s what we heard, whether we believe that or not.” He added: “I don’t know that that’s really true, but that’s what we saw in sales … Any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up.””

        So yeah. They KNOW. And they don’t care. In fact they are going -bankrupt- and they still don’t care.

        Did the advertising geniuses at AB InBev -know- that their Dylan Mulvaney Bud Lite promo was going to hurt their sales? Yes, they absolutely did. They knew for sure. And they went right ahead and did it anyway. Now their sales are down 25% across the USA (and probably Canada) and they still don’t care. They’re still arguing with their audience as their audience is using their product for skeet practice. That woman still hasn’t been fired, AFAIK.

        Which means they’re saboteurs, not “activists”.

        1. Female and non-white characters have done just fine in popular entertainments when presented as decent and competent rather than being used as pawns in an unending sequence of Two Minute Hates. So even when David Gabriel and his ilk know that what they’re pushing is unpopular, they’re still either delusional or lying about why it is unpopular.

    2. … Disney destroyed a big part of my childhood …

      Always keep in mind that they didn’t; they can’t. Short of destroying every copy in existence, they cannot destroy Star Wars: A New Hope. If they stop selling it in stores, and replace it with a bowdlerized copy, people will still be able to Keep Circulating The Tapes Torrents.

      What they have done is ensure that no more Star Wars will be made. They have bought the rights to slap the Star Wars name on whatever crud they churn out, but that does not mean those are actually Star Wars movies. Just as the movie that Paul Verhoeven (spit) made wasn’t truly Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, but a completely different story with a few elements lifted from the book. So it is with Disney. They cannot destroy Star Wars, they can only pretend to make new ones that aren’t the real thing.

      The real Star Wars films and books (Timothy Zahn, et al) are still out there. There won’t be any more, but you can still pass on the real thing to your kids. I plan to.

      1. Advice for the family of Paul Verhoeven: When he finally puts himself out of our misery, you would do well not to have a gravesite for him. It will quickly become a Superfund Site if all the Heinlein fans have anything to say about it.

          1. Britain is NOT in real financial trouble.
            How do we know this?
            If it was in real financial trouble, they’d raise money most reliably…
            …with the Karl Marx grave pay toilet.

            1. Hey, don’t forget about Engels, and that worthless f*k Rousseau. They should all be exhumed and re-buried side by side under an ‘organic’ public bathroom.

            2. To quote the bishop, as the relics, so flows is the myrrh…

              I believe he was talking about the reopening of Lenin’s tomb, the one where the sewers backed up, but can’t find the reference anymore.

          1. engrave his name and dates on the other side and the family may not notice until the concrete has set.

      1. Except lately the Money part hasn’t been going so well. I expect the current incarnation of Little Mermaid to flop much like a fish out of water. MCU has totally tanked the last few times. I’ve enjoyed Mandalorian and Book of Bobba Fett but the movies (with the possible exception of Rogue One) have been retreads and woke dreck.

          1. True, my wife refers to it as (warning SPOILER) Everybody Dies or Hamlet in Space. But it does have the most internal consistency, tolerable writing and decent acting that puts it head and shoulders above Solo or any of the sequel trilogy. It probably rivals the first of the prequel trilogy although I enjoy it more. Not great art but I won’t turn it off if I’m scrolling through channels.

              1. Yeah, same. It’s a good WWII-style movie, and except for the space fantasy setting would not look out of place next to Great Escape or that ilk.

      1. Oh I forgot that one, that’s gonna make nuking the fridge look like a genius idea…

      2. I saw the trailer. I will not be attending. Saw the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy III, likewise. Did not attend AntMan III, because I saw the trailer.

        Disney’s stock price reflects this, it seems I am not alone. You would think they would learn from all the data-mining they do, but they never seem to.

        When they come out on streaming -maybe- I check them out. Because on streaming, I have the Fast Forward button to edit out the stupid/cringe/Woke(TM) parts.

        It’s amazing the number of movies that can be improved to Meh from Bleah! with a judicious application of the FF button. It does make them shorter, but often that is a good thing.

    3. For anyone who might be interested. Disney stock price is taking it in the neck overnight, off over 4% after hours. Subscriber numbers were down for the second consecutive quarter. Parks etc., did better but the media arm missed.

      This market is punishing co pansies that miss expectations severely. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

      Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of fascists.

      1. This follows on from Paramount Global (used to be Viacom: CBS, MTV, etc.,) who posted similar results last week and have been getting monkey hammered.

        Perhaps, just perhaps, legacy media is getting what it deserves.

      2. This is the money guys looking at Disney’s audience turning away from them. We don’t see those numbers, but the money guys do. Disney may not pay attention to the audience, but investors will stop investing.

        1. DIsney lost around $15B of market cap today being down 8.7% at the close. There was a lot at stake in those numbers as this was supposed to be the turn around quarter after last year’s disaster. Even after today’s drop, it ain’t cheap and the money was betting on an increase in paid streaming, which has declined for two consecutive quarters now, Parks, Merchandise, etc., did OK, Media was a mess and media is where the long term growth has to come from. They need a new “princess” every couple of years,

          1. DIS is off 1/3 or around $77 Billion Since last year. Paramount Global (ex Viacom: CBS, MTV, etc,) is off $11B or 55%. The whole legacy media space is a mess and their returns are abysmal.

            it’s more die so roll dead than roll dead and die. That and despising the lower orders.

            1. Shareholders should sue. They should sue them for sabotage and fire the whole board. Kablam, baby. Maybe bring in some people who like America and American movies, what a concept.

    4. The last Star Warts thing I’ve seen was the one that introduced Rey. Nothing since.

        1. George Lucas sold out to Disney. While he’s laughing all the way to the bank, I’m not sure I care for his lack of respect for his former customers.

          1. I saw an interview where Lucas called Disney “white slavers” and said he walked away because they were not going to listen to him. Seems right, given what they did with it.

  3. You’ve won the battle already, by preserving what is good about Lego and rejecting the bad. Lego cannot force you to give up your creations that reflect beauty instead of corruption.

    This is why my library is physical. No publishing company can change the books I have in my home. No amount of doctoring or banning will take my books away. They’ll have to resort to burning, but we still have our guns, so no.

    1. And that is also a reason to have (pressed!) CD’s/DVD’s/Vinyl… physical media might have issues, but remote Memory (A55)Hole Attacks are not one of them.

      1. Just make sure you have a stand alone player. Right now, if I play back a music or video CD / DVD, the player app checks online to make sure I’m playing a “legal copy”. How long before it checks and refuses to play older versions? Most DVD players do the same thing if they can.

        1. I’m OK on my machines. The MP3 player on my Linux boxen don’t call back; one is very airgapped. Our low-end DVD player (which handles the old HDMI protocol) is stand alone, and while the Subaru seems to be able to find cover art for some of my MP3s (ripped from my CDs), there’s no obvious issue.

          So far, I have one album not ripped from CD: Pallette Swap Ninjas’ Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans. 🙂 When I get the opportunity and can set up the turntable in the shop (solid floor, unlike the house), I’ll be making MP3 copies of some of my way-too-many LPs. Behringer(?) has an inexpensive widget that converts analog signals to MP3. I have to find out how well it works. Then I can compare PLSDSP to Sgt. Pepper. 🙂 🙂 🙂

          1. I’ve done some of that (before we moved in 19, gave away my LPs and turntable to the private high school where my daughter had attended – librarian there is a family friend) but ripping from LP requires simply playing the side and paying attention so you don’t get 2 hours of silence … Don’t recall which commercial app I was using; recent software suggests it may be better for splitting tracks.

            Trimmed them up, bought some CD labels for my printer, and now have a bunch of CDs from LPs.

            On the whole, if the album is still available to purchase on CD, easier and less annoying to buy it again. But I never buy the ‘no physical media’ things.

        2. Use VLC as your playback software. It’s open-source, so if they introduce such a misfeature you can keep using the previous version. And since VLC deliberately ignores DVD region codes (something I find quite handy as I live in Asia with a laptop purchased in America), I doubt they’ll ever introduce a “check copyright” feature, unless the project ends up under totally new management. Could happen, but so far they have shown themselves to be more pro-freedom than anti-.

          1. There is a place for those promoting Region Codes. Well, several places…

            Deep space, sans suit.
            Deepest ocean, sans suit
            Against a wall..
            Supported solely by rope, not around any limb
            Vat of strong base (e.g. potassium hydroxide)
            USSR, er, Russia invasion force in/near Ukraine
            With the other traitors doing the Jan 6. show trial crappola who should be stripped of citizenship, ID, clothing, and left in $PlaceOfYourChoosing.

            1. Yes, agreed. We’ve had Vera Season 11 on order for over a year; it’s readily available in Region 2, but if any Region 1 DVDs have been printed, it’s on an absurdly small scale. I do note that the ‘zon is promoting the S-11 content via their streaming service, so I’m assuming there’s a heavy influence against making DVDs available.

              I already have a HDMI 2.0 player waiting for a TV that can work with it, and am reluctant to try to find a universal one that handles 1.x.

              I have neither the bandwidth nor the desire to stream hours worth of video.

              1. I have to figure out if the HDMI output of the 2012 laptop is HDMI 1.x or 2; if the former, I can use regionset to read and/or set the region on the drive. (region 0 is universal…)

  4. The thing about Legos is that they’re pretty much indestructible. Short of a house fire, the Lego pieces you played with when you were a kid are going to be able to be passed on to your kids and grandkids. And while you won’t often find someone selling a Lego collection in a garage sale, if you do, you can snap it up.

    So the Lego company always had incentive to produce new stuff, hence the vast quantity of specialized, expensive licensed kits. And it seems they are making the same mistake that Bud Light made: not knowing who their customer base is. Hey Lego, your customer base is families. You know, people that have children. How many children do you think the Left is having?

    1. And Bud Light sent the “we’re coming FOR YOUR KIDS” message. And NOT as in “We’d like them to one day buy & drink our product” (which is Perfectly Normal…) but in the “We WILL CORRUPT AND DESTROY them” sense. That don’t sit well…. and AB InBev is discovering that some folks have long term memory. Bud Light is taking the worst hit, but Budweiser ain’t looking too healthy either, and other AB InBev products are losing share…. and AB InBev is doing everything except admitting a screwup and taking responsibility – so it’s kinda like watching an idiot in a yard full of rakes keep smacking himself instead of cleaning up the yard.

        1. Which reminds me. For best “Get off my lawn” memory reinforcement, how long does the grass need to be so the rakes are in fact a surprise?

          1. Hmm, considering a normal “leaf” rake wouldn’t pop up on someone (to flexy,) you’re probably more looking for garden rakes and the tines are probably about 2.5-3″ long…

            Call it just about 3″ high. Just make sure to either get ones with green handles to blend in, or paint the handles green…

      1. Bud Lite was the product line. Anheuser-Busch was the company. Since the company is the controlling entity, they’re the ones that should suffer the consequences for poor product advertising decisions.

    2. “Adults” without kids buy quite a few Legos.

      Which pretty- much explains it.

  5. Legos came along a little later in my childhood, and while I enjoyed them, I did curse the bruised fingers that resulted from trying to separate those that were once joined.

    What I imprinted on was Lincoln Logs. Boy, I liked those. Architecture was all I wanted to play at in building sets, and the LLs were not only great for that, they had the added benefits of being visually evocative (Western sets!) and lovely physical artefacts (the smell, the craft of cut wood).

    1. I inherited all of the family’s legos. Any models, or “kids” were long since lost. I just had all these pieces.
      Mostly I liked building houses and cities. I remember turning tires into solar collectors. (I was aware that “oil would be gone” by the time I was an adult and… Look, I was seven okay?)

      1. We had a bucket, almost 2 gallons of pretty much just knockoff brand LEGO bricks.
        It was plenty of fun for castles, the Great wall, a suspension bridge between the dining room chairs with those green bases as deck, and every shoelace in the house holding it up, trebuchets.

        One set of grandparents had Dad’s old Erector set, the others had Lincoln Logs and a wooden brick set, almost a LEGO precursor.

        I had a toy construction crane with magnets that moved the crates onto the truck or loader, great fun. The electric train ended up sacrificed for experiments – the control was variable DC, great for a kid with no budget and Dad’s old Simpson meter.

    2. Adult sized Lincoln Logs: https://www.lincolnlogs.com/ 🙂

      I was one of those kids that latched onto any building toy my parents would get me…
      LEGO? Lots of and loved every minute of it
      Lincoln Logs? Not quite as much as the Lego, I think maybe either the sets were harder to find, or cost more than a small Lego kit, so I didn’t have quite as much
      TinkerToys? Ah, the joys of those wooden disks with holes drilled in them and sticks…
      Girder and Panel building sets? Yeah, I got in trouble the year my parents got me those, because they had to fight a kicking and screaming child to put them down to go to Christmas Day Mass… (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girder_and_Panel_building_sets)

  6. LEGO lost their way when they started pushing all those special-purpose bricks and ‘kits’ with exactly enough parts to build one specific thing according to the step-by-step instructions.

    I remember them all. Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, bricks (not LEGOs, but textured plastic parts that looked like red bricks and didn’t ‘stick’ together like LEGOs), erector sets, Lionel electric trains, and Motorific cars and tracks, with intersections, and switches that flipped every time a car ran through them.

    1. I bought the kids vast boxes of “unsorted” and “leftover” legos. They were bout the size of a paper box and were back then $40. HOURS of fun.

      1. Yep, similar stories at my house. They were a pain to bring with us when we moved (which was often) but hands-down the best value for money in terms of playtime kids could get.

    2. I’m with you about Lego, I loved the anarchy of it, now it’s all kits that you build and put on a shelf. Blech.

      1. Son had both. Generic boxes and “makes this thing” boxes. Somehow everything gets mixed together.

        1. We buy both, too. Lego doesn’t do military sets. He has made some awesome guns and tanks.

      2. My son did Legos (Bionicle, etc.) for years, and what he would do when he got a new set was put it together by the instructions once, then take it apart, combine it with other sets and build something different. And since the various Lego YouTube channels and magazines tended to feature cool things built by ordinary people, he was scarcely alone.

    3. LEGO “Kits” with instructions are an affront to the memory and the intentions of the Inventers and the original company. A calculated move to destroy imagination and channel young impressionable minds into the idea of building the picture on the box.

    4. “LEGO lost their way when they started pushing all those special-purpose bricks and ‘kits’ with exactly enough parts to build one specific thing according to the step-by-step instructions.”
      And as I recall from several years ago, corporate realized this. Later kits, yes, they’re set up to build one or two specific things (depends on the kit,) but Lego expressly tries now to minimize the number of “special-purpose” pieces. Now, granted, my experience has been more with the Technic kits (mmm, construction equipment,) so maybe the more “kid oriented” stuff (Ninjago, can’t think of any of the other lines) are different.

      Maybe someday I’ll get motivated enough to tear apart all the Technic kits I’ve put together, and finally give a shot at building either the M1A2 Abrams, an Ogre tank, or a BOLO from them that I keep picturing in my head…
      I’ve got enough tread plates for any of those…

  7. “…to have a young man of five or six look at me solemnly and tell me that my Lego sucked.”

    And there stands a child with zero imagination, and all the parentally induced self-righteousness of a Greta Thunberg.

    1. That child is destined to learn a hard lesson from a recipient’s fist.

      Or worse.

  8. “I pray that some day they will return to sanity. That they will put children’s lives and mental health above profits …”

    Very unlikely this is making them any extra profits. What they are doing is following the orders of the ESG kommissar and – if they have any sense left at all – hoping they don’t lose too much in the process.

    1. No, it is not actually making them extra profits. You sound like the fan who send me a note saying that if I made Barbarella transsexual (Fans are weird. The copyright for that property isn’t mine) I’d be drowning in cash.
      No. There is no market for any of this. Yes, they are getting financed in teir self destruction, but it won’t last. It can’t, because that stuff simply won’t sell.

    2. They’re a privately owned company, though, so why should they need to follow ESG?

      1. Because under that veneer of private enterprise they are government controlled by mountains ⛰️ of regulations that can be used to punish them if they don’t.

        “You’d best start believing in Fascist countries, Missy. You’re part of one.”

      2. I read that there is a push from (maybe) the Human Rights Council, likely with encouragement from our attempted overlords in the WEF. Companies get attaboys for following ESG and DIE, and aw-shits if they refuse. I assume if you collect enough attaboys, you get invited to all the woke parties, where you can discuss ways to elevate Greta Thunberg or Dylan Whatiscreep. Sounds almost as much fun as a 4 hour seminar on how to make money with your vacation timeshare in East Elbonia.

        1. Collecting WEF brownie points allows you to stay in business. This is Europe we’re talking about. Despite their size, the only thing keeping Lego Inc. alive is Friends In Government. Without “Friends” they’d be crushed under heel.

          Its Fascism, plain and simple. You get government approval, or you go broke almost immediately. The USA is one of the only places on Earth where a company lives or dies based on profitability more than Friends.

  9. My ex girlfriend and I used to joke we were lesbians because our mommies didn’t buy us pink Lego. I was shocked the first time I saw it, rather like my reaction to New Coke. It was perfect the way it was.
    If I had been a young guest at your house, and said anything sucked, my mother would have given me a look that would curdle milk. I would have apologized or else, Mother would have scolded or slapped me on the way home. Parents being afraid to appropriately correct their children without physical violence is one reason kids don’t know the difference between right and wrong.
    Lego is top rack dishwasher safe if you put it in bra bags

    1. His parents did actually have a talk with him. I had nieces and nephew at that time, but not nearby, so it didn’t bother me.

      1. That’s right. You’re a Mormon male with a great rack. I’m pretty sure, even with the constantly changing rules, you have to be female to be a lesbian.

        1. No, that’s the Troon excuse. I’m a gurrll, but I’m a lesbian. See the “women” rapists who’ve managed to get sentenced to women’s prisons. (I’m surprised not to hear of any getting shanked, though that might not get publicized.)

          Go on Ken, add that to my list.

    2. Oh, let me add on this, and more seriously, I’m sick and tired of “this correlates with orientation” or — ick — gender identification.
      Younger son’s pre-school teacher told me he was gay. At three. Because “He loves the most colorful beads, and likes dressing up in fantastical ways.”
      Me “And my dad, who loves silk scarves and expensive shirts is VERY straight.”
      In fact, younger son is very much into girls and er….has a thing for boobs. (!) Just like dad.
      Nowadays they’d have told me he was trans. Worse, nowadays they’d have told me I was trans because when I was little I loved toy cars and trains and used lego to build houses and futuristic cities.
      I find this stupid. Let individuals be who they are and stop trying to cram them into boxes. (Obviously this is NOT directed at you, but at the idiots who do this.)

      1. I think it was Celia Hayes who pointed out that the modern activists have a far more rigid concept of gender roles than did the Victorians and Edwardians. Heck, even Wilhelmine Germany was more open to eccentricities and talent than the modern activists!

        1. I usually phrase it as “the Victorians who exist only in popular imagination”

      2. We had a patch of woods outside the house when we lived in VA. My mom bought me boys jeans at Sears because they had built in patches in the knees. I ripped pants apart climbing trees and running around in the woods. I never voluntarily wore a dress until 9th grade or so. I was a total tomboy, but now they would have tried to convince me to transition. So ridiculous and cruel in its ridiculousness.

        1. now they would have tried to convince me to transition. So ridiculous and cruel in its ridiculousness.

          They are such idiots.

          I wasn’t quite the tomboy you outline. But also lived in a family where everyone hunted and fished once they legal age. That included tent camping. Generally car campground, not backpacking, but we did that too. As far as hobbies. Yes I spent the summer helping to buck hay, milk cows, move irrigation pipe (younger cousin and I had to double up on one pipe), weeding thistles out of the pasture, weeding the garden, also included sweeping inside (my tolerance was lower than aunt’s). One reason: If you wanted to ride the horses (I was a bit horse crazy, still am, though we’ve never had one), the list above is what you did, whether it was me (girl), same age cousin (boy), or younger cousin (girl). The scream from either of us girls, as girls, and both now as 60+ aged women, would be heard from sea to shining sea if so much of a hint of the suggestion that we want to be male. Uh. No. Not a snowball chance in a bonfire. Don’t want to be told I can’t do something because I am female. But I sure don’t want to be turned into a male to actually do whatever. Note, this is true in reverse. Men and boys (short of carrying a fetus and giving birth to an infant) don’t want to be told they can’t do something just because they are male either.

          1. I agree with that last sentence, with a couple of exceptions. I’m fine with having some women-only spaces, as well as some men-only spaces, because social dynamics change when you’re in single-sex company vs. mixed company. If my wife and her female friends want to go out to dinner with just the girls, and not bring their husbands along, that’s fine by me from time to time. And she doesn’t object when I go off to a guys’ board game night without her. (We also have mixed-company board game nights, but sometimes we want the group to be just men with no women around, because that’s a different social dynamic.) Obviously excluding one sex from something long-term, without good reason, is a problem. But having occasional guys’ nights out or girls’ nights out, are a good thing overall, and it would be a shame to lose them.

            1. I’d say the comment was more of a “you can’t bale hay! You’re a girl!” kind of comment, but I take your point. Girls’ night out and Boys’ night out are both necessary and fun for building social relationships and keep a generally healthy outlook.

              1. comment was more of a “you can’t bale hay! You’re a girl!” kind of comment


                Or “Girls Ride Horses Too”.

                In my case “You are a girl. You can’t be a forester working in the field.” Was it the best fit for me as a job? No (20/20 hindsight). But not because I am female. (I had no clue what the definition of a MRS degree was until it was spelled out. Not the reason I chose what I did. If I just wanted that degree I had a lot easier class choices.) Note, it could be argued I’d gotten the same push back if I’d immediately gone into computer programming too, given this was the mid-’70s. But by the time I did get into computers it was the mid-’80s and while still a low percentage of women programmers, still a higher percentage than there were in the forestry programs.

            2. couple of exceptions

              Do not disagree. I wasn’t talking in the specific, just in the general. Hubby, adult son, and I, aren’t joined at the hips. We each have our own hobbies. As far as scouting? It never once occurred to me that I could stay home. Not given the upbringing regarding camping/hunting/fishing I had. We went camping as a family, that is just how it was done.

      3. Gee, a young kid like colorful, pretty things? And somehow someone who deals with young kids for a living didn’t have the brain to realize?

        Same person complain of the snails whizzing by so fast?

      4. I thought we stamped out sex role stereotyping in the early seventies.
        Once again, Progressives are secretly (or not so secretly) regressive.

        1. In the sixties and early seventies the Party Line was “Gender is a totally pliable social construct, so a child can be raised as a boy or a girl or a boy-girl or a girl-boy and it won’t matter.” But that got busted and so the new Party Line became “The True Gender of a child underneath the physically-apparent right-wing false consciousness presumed gender is ultra super critically important and must be recognized and supported.”

          Because anything, anything, ANYTHING to avoid admitting that those sinful, evil right-wingers might possibly be correct about something.

          1. I agree. They’ve gotten to the point that they will create and support absolutely absurdist ideas simply because they don’t want to admit to agreeing with “the enemy.”

            1. There’s also an element of “We’re taking flak? We must be over the target!”

        2. Windy I have a horrible secret for the left. There are some parts of the sex roles that appear built in. When we had kids we had two girls. We decided not to push sterotypes being good listeners of NPR at that time. We got them dolls and other girl toys, but also got them many different traditionally “Boy” toys such as toy parking garage and toy cars and lego and kinex. They loved both. They had one set of ~7″ Disney princes dolls. They complained because there were no matching size boy dolls. We fished around and found some Star Trek Next Generation figures at roughly the same scale in particular Commander Riker (pre beard). They then proceeded to make houses from the Lego and Kinex for the assorted princesses and Riker (I will note that my wife and I joked between us that Riker was permanently stuck on the planet of the pleasure princesses and looked exhausted 🙂 ). They would find little bits of spare cloth and make blankets and put the cars to bed on the garage. The stories they told often did have Riker being saved by some lego built horror by the princesses from time to time, but more likely the horror was a pet. Their video game choices usually reflected this from Sims and farming games to Animal Crossing.
          No one ever told or forced the girls to do that, they’re a math teacher and mechanical engineer respectively. Maybe one could argue its society, but if anything they got made fun of for liking “girly” things. There seems to be at least SOME innate tendency there.

          1. not to push sterotypes being good listeners of NPR at that time

            We did the same with our son and sisters did the same with their girls, and the one nephew later. Not so much “good listeners” just all 3 of us sisters are in non-traditional fields (Forestry/Computers, Engineer/Computers, Science/Teacher). So, we tried to not limit our children. But we did listen to them. Our son never was into the dolls. He has a zoo worth of stuffed animals. He has legos. He has trucks and cars. He built elaborate hot wheel tracks. He followed bugs in the yard for hours. He tore up the yard with Tonka equipment (still metal in the ’90s). His girl cousins all have Barbies, and American Girl dolls. When they’d play together. Played on structures, the girls took their dolls to swing and slide. Our son sent the small stuffed animals down the slide in trucks. Their careers? Son builds stuff. Cousins 3 in business (3 who work for Nike in Portland), one budding writer, one PE teacher, one homemaker, and the one nephew TBD (another year in college).

        3. stamped out sex role stereotyping in the early seventies.

          If not outright stomped, burned, and buried, by ’70s. Definitely by the ’80s. For anyone.

          Progressives are secretly (or not so secretly) regressive.

          New definition of “Pro” is “Re”?

  10. I love Lego. Always will. The rainbow set worried me, even before that when they added wheelchair to the line I was concerned. This dream thing is worse. But there are still some star wars, marvel, DC, harry potter sets that are worth buying. Ignored the Wakanda forever stuff. I am slowing down a bit. The mini figures are what I really like, I have almost 2000.

    I turn 50 this year.

  11. Up to 1978, Lego never had weapons in any of their products (swords and pikes started then, pistols and cannon in 1989). I remember official Lego ads bragging on how they promoted non-violent play – obviously, that only lasted until they found out how much more money they could make from having more than just bricks and wheels. Even so, Lego still allows free-form play, and as others have mentioned, the basic bricks last essentially forever. I’m doing my bit to let our grandkids pass them on, no matter what the future brings.

    1. And of course, there some wonderful pattern books for ‘construction brick’ weapons. I just bought ‘Badass Bricks’ for my grandchildren.

    2. When I lived in MN, there were two very dangerous (to the wallet) stores at the Mall of America. The Lego corp store, front and center on the main concourse, and this little store on the third floor – Brickmania ( https://www.brickmania.com/ ). All the military and other customizations for your lego bricks…

  12. They can have my legos when the pry them from my little one’s fingers. Or at least pick them up off the floor, where they serve as just an effective area denial system as any ninja-tossed caltrops.

    We have a giant bin that holds the remains of countless dismantled sets, mostly from the Star Wars line bought long before the Woke Times for the older kids. It’s a shame to hear Lego has fallen, but that won’t stop the young ones from their “creations”, as they like to call them. We don’t need any new ones anyway. Seriously, we have a lot, going back to my childhood.

    I wish we still had my old Lincoln Logs, Erector set, and Tinker Toys (both giant and small).

  13. There is much Lego at Chez Phantom. Many Bionicles were built here. We keep it for the next kids.

    These days the former Lego builder is dismantling and trouble-shooting a Silicon Graphics (Sony) 21″ monitor from around 1997. Just because. So good job, Lego of yore.

    As to the Woke (TM) Lego, well, there are some things that one simply cannot reward with money. I have a list. [Ahem.]

    I stopped rewarding Marvel and DC comics with my money in 1993. Stopped listening to broadcast radio ~2001. I stopped rewarding Dead-Tree publishers with my money in ~2012, to the point where I write my own now. Cut the TV cable ~2014/15.

    This year, 2023, I cannot in good conscience attend Disney movies anymore, which sadly includes the Marvel movies. Or maybe not so sadly, according to sales figures which are dropping, the Eternals movie, and the vile travesty they made of Thor. Disney has publicly declared me and all my peeps persona-non-Grata. When someone says they don’t want me and my filthy nerd money, I take them at their word.

    That’s okay. Plenty of Japanese and Korean companies are begging me to spend my money on them, providing all the things a Gentleman Nerd of advancing years wants in idle entertainment.

    Slightly more irritating, Fine Woodworking Magazine has decided they need to dip some toes in the Woke(TM) water. Up until now they have resisted politics, but it appears we will not be allowed to have nice things for much longer.

    The cautionary tale in the field was Woodwork Magazine, previously the very good competitor to Fine Woodworking. It vanished ~2009 after becoming very “artsy-fartsy” in the words of several commenters. They spent a lot of time and page space on the more outre “fine art” stuff ostensibly made of wood, the usual “chairs you can’t sit on” decorated with fur and elephant dung. Editorially they slanted pretty hard Left toward the end of their run, the editors using their responsibility to the magazine as a megaphone to signal their virtue to the art scene. They rolled left and went down in flames. Popular Woodworking picked up all the talent left stranded by the magazines demise, and flourished until the last couple of years.

    Now, Taunton Press seems set to follow the same glidepath. Left turn currently in progress, look for the snap-roll Left and then the dive.

    Hopefully I’m wrong. It would be really nice to be wrong. But if I’m not, I still have my back-issues. 😦

    Hold on to that lego, my friends.

    1. Fine Woodworking is the last sorta woke publication at Taunton. Fine Homebuilding went that way almost a decade ago and now every article is about ‘green’ building. Sad – when the Reader was working with an architect and a builder to get a fully accessible house built in the mid 90’s Fine Homebuilding was very useful.

      1. That is true. So many articles about the best way to install your Megabuck heat-pump system on your All-Green multi-million-dollar build run by solar power. Few about how to fix that nasty leaking foundation, or how to solo a shed build. (Surprisingly difficult.)

        Also, so many articles about meeting Code. Seriously, I don’t care about the building code. Usually I’m trying to circumvent it.

        Probably why I stopped buying it at the news stand. I never saw a “deal-breaker” article, I just didn’t care about what they were featuring. Funny how they just keep doing more and more of what’s getting them less and less sales.

        1. The Reader understands the ‘meeting code’ part. The house he alluded to above had some issues in that regard. A number of the accessibility features (no step entrance from the garage for example) were not in compliance with the current county building codes. The county engineer the Reader and his architect met with with sympathetic to our aims but noted that adjudicating a number of code variances was going to take a while. He then looked at us and said that if we could find a single building code reference from anywhere that covered all of our exceptions, we could put that on the drawings and the county would accept and inspect to it. Architect went off and did some research. A week later he found a European building code that covered it all. We put that on the drawings and they went right through.

        2. A friend of the family is in the construction trades. I made the mistake of mentioning Fine Homebuilding and their LEED fixation (five years ago). I learned some very useful euphemisms for “bovine excrement” as part of that conversation.

  14. Oh, Legos. I didn’t have them growing up because they were hard to find and expensive where I was (very rural), except that there was a bucket of red and white and clear pieces at church. I wasn’t all that enamored of them. And then when the only-build-one-thing sets came out, even less so; I always liked versatility. I did have a small Erector set that was somewhat fun. But early on my folks started me off with some wooden blocks, with square, rectangle, long rectangle, and doorway shapes. Those did wonders for learning about fractions, and civil engineering… I also had some Lincoln logs. But I REALLY liked Tinkertoys. I remember my first set, which was a small can (smallest set they made, I think) that was in an Easter basket. I was about four, and I remember playing with them on the front porch with my mother. Poor woman had no idea of the engineering monster she was unleashing!

    My sister is 6 years younger than me, and we BOTH played with ALL of this stuff, TOGETHER. In our fifties, she has the Lincoln logs and blocks, I have the Tinkertoys, and the Erector set pieces got used in other items and eventually dispersed to the four winds.

      1. You can’t tell me that these little furry creatures don’t actually rule the world. Neither of our boys are really lap cats so incapussitation is rare. However they do take over the nice chairs in the living room and we are loathe to evict them. Similarly we lay out blankets on surfaces like beds both to limit fur contamination AND because we are catering to these little lordlings. I for one am happy with my feline overlords. They certainly show more intelligence, noblesse oblige and care for their subjects than the brahmandarins do for their citizens.

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