It has become a Christmas tradition to end up building a Lego model or two for our son. Last Christmas was the Lego Technic 8 wheeled crane, this Christmas it was a Platform lift truck. A bit of a smaller than last years build model but just as enjoyable to do. My childhood was Mechcano, a toy brick product called Better Builders (bit like Lego but smaller bricks) and Airfix (and others like it) kits, I was always building something, I just like building things. Now a days I build computers from a pile of components, mountain bikes (more like a rebuild after taking them apart) and Lego kits when I get the chance. Maybe I should look for a job at Lego land building those large models they have………..
Just before starting this post I decided to read what I wrote in this blog last year, I had an idea what I wanted to write this year. Well I could of simply just copied last years post over to this years and they would of said exactly what I wanted to say. The past year started badly got better in the middle and then fell over at the end. My diet has been non existence where I have just bounced around the same weight as I was at the start of the year (and the end of 2010). I am not going to blame anybody except me, I am a stress eater, when the stress mounts I eat and all boundaries become non-existent, if it is food I will eat it in copious amounts.
I was intending to go for a ride with our son this morning but it was bleak and showery all morning and he decided that he did not want to go riding in the wet. The daughter had gone out so I was left baby sitting our son so I was not able to go out on my own for a ride. Weather is not looking much better for tomorrow or Friday when I was hoping to go on a club ride. Tomorrow I might be able to coax our son out to Moors Valley but it does depend on the weather which is not looking wet and windy.
Well I am out of here for now, I will be back before the end of the year
For Christmas we decided to get our son a Lego kit (we actually bought him several) with the main kit being a Lego Technic Mobile Crane (8053). According to the box it is ideal for aged 11 to 16 years age group, lets just say it is not for the faint hearted. As the son is a few month under the recommended age range and the fact I had to rebuild a Star Wars model he had last years I was all prepared to have a hand in the build. What I was not expecting was the 6hr build time (done over three sessions) it took with me doing most of the building. There are three instruction manual with a combined page count of 200 pages!! I don’t know what the part count is but it won’t be far short of a 1000 pieces.
In my day it was Meccano which sorted out the young budding engineers, but now a days Lego has taken over that job. Don’t confuse these Lego kits with the little build a house type kits you can get, this kit is fully functional, 8 wheel steering controlled from a single steering knob, 4 counter balance arms that all wind out in one go and then have individual screw down legs. The jib of the crane has a little gear box which allows you to select raising and lower of the jib, extending the jib raising and lowering hook all from a single control knob and remember you have to build all that from bags of plastic components. While you can probably buy a model crane that does more and looks more realistic, with these Lego Technic kits your son (or daughter) will see how it works.
I can honestly say these kits are great and as long as you or your son has a logical head on there shoulders, you take your time and follow exactly what the instruction book say then you won’t have any problems. Below are a few pictures of the build of the above mentioned crane, unfortunately when it came to building the crane part of the build I forgot to take any pictures until I had built it.
Finally to add value to the kit you buy, there is an option to dismantle the crane to a pile of individual plastic parts and rebuild the crane as a dockside crane (you have to download the instruction manual), think I might pass on that!
As suggested in my last post I went for my normal Sunday ride yesterday, out through Throop into Sopley forest and then Hurn forest and then back to Throop and along the river. But it was not an enjoyable ride, there is just so much ice about it is making the riding so damm dangerous and yes, I fell off on the ice again. There is one section where the trail is gravel and sand path, but where the snow has started to melt with foot prints and track in it and then refrozen and repeated the same process over several days the entire path is covered in ice which is contoured to the underlying surface and there is no way you can keep your wheel from slipping out. Having lost my front wheel, I walked the rest of this path. It took me an hour longer to ride the route yesterday than it normally does. Thankfully a thaw looks like it has set in this morning so future rides should be less dangerous.
I took the camera with me yesterday (having resolved the camera battery problem to a dead battery from a brand new box of batteries (decent ones this time)), managed to get a couple of shots from Hurn forest and down by the river.
No ride today, giving myself a break but hopefully going to try out the Croft Trail at Swindon tomorrow, wifey and son are coming along as well although I don’t think the wife will be riding, so hopefully there will be a few pictures (like you really want to see a picture of me riding a bike). I am informed that we are going shopping this afternoon and it a few minutes I am going to build a Lego model with the son, the joy of Christmas presents.