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Move over Lang Lang here’s ZB! May 28, 2006

Posted by Chris W in general, show all entries.
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Protege at work!

Saturday afternoon was our little pianist's very first piano recital. It was quite the turn out with parents, ah-yis and supportive little siblings! Our lad put on a good show with 3 pieces. Though short, the stellar performance was immortalized on DVD, thanks to daddy, KB! =) All intrested can get your hands on a copy through mail order; we'll cut you a deal before it hit the streets for worldwide release!

Celebrations followed at Danada Square; our young star had a nice cheeseburger, fries and washed everything down with a refreshing rasberry drink! 3 hip hip hoorays for ZB!

Okay, so Lang Lang better watch out!

Watch Zachary's piano recital video here!

Spell with Flickr May 23, 2006

Posted by Chris W in design, general, show all entries.
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L Blue \"E\" G One Letter / O S D Rr E A M

check out spell with Flickr here.

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Hello from LEGO! May 22, 2006

Posted by Chris W in design, show all entries, wedding 101.
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Package from LEGO!

Originally uploaded by legos+dream.

So we had a nice weekend but short as usual and Monday rolls around faithfully without fail. Anyways, by day's end its been depressive, hectic and just simply a Monday.

And lately, I have been hooked on 24…thanks to Mel. Today's the 2 hour season finale and when I got home there's half of the episode left; Jack Bauer just hijacked the President's chopper. Pretty entertaining…except now we have to wait till 2007!

But the HIGHLIGHT of the day and evening was when I noticed on my coffee table a package with a very conspicously red square logo. LEGO sent me something!

I was so psyched! Of course, I wasn't about to let this moment pass without documenting here and of course here. =) Sweet…LEGO had sent me a cake topper kit complete with mini-figs of bride and groom! And a very nice and personal transmittal from the rep at their Direct Consumer Services department. Here's that letter from LEGO on flickr.

Letter from LEGO!

What started out as a neat idea for our wedding party favors, became a meaningful interaction with a company; further personalizing the experience with one of my favorite toy brands of all time. Mel and I really thought and understood that things wouldn't realistically pan out as we had wished but to receive the package thereafter was great; a great story to add to branding case study books out there.

LEGO Cake Topper!

Moral of the story? LEGO still make (some) grown men excited. If anything, they just converted this LEGO giving, avid fan into a life time advocate & ambassador! Mel thought it was really cool what they did, but I think she was just happy that I was so thrilled… =)

Okay, so what's Tuesday going to be like?

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More than just an eye May 21, 2006

Posted by Chris W in reflections, show all entries.
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An eye for an eye…your life, limb and everything else too.

Because by demanding the same that’s owed, never usually bring equity to the offenses against us. Your eye for mine will not be enough. Even the satisfaction that it brings varies, occassion to occassion. On a good day, we might be able to let the monkey slide off our back; brush it off to somewhere between vengeance and oblivion.

Other times, like I said, your eye is just not enough. That, perhaps will let us start off from the same foot…sort of level the playing field again, at which point I would then love to be at a place to exploit, take advantage and perhaps exact some form of vengeance. We hate being taken advantage of, but love getting away with things when we can, love whenever life deals us with an upper hand.

Its no wonder those laws didn’t work.

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fine print world May 15, 2006

Posted by Chris W in reflections, show all entries.
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handle with care

Originally uploaded by solja.

We live in a fine print world. Everything carries those delicately-sized type, from cell phone contracts to the pipping hot styrofoam coffee cups. The "fine print" that we encounter are not necessarily confined to the printed medium. Radio ads often employ speed readers rattling off their aural fine print sounding like maniacs on a caffiene+sugar high.

Even our everyday conversations and interactions with people (family, friends, coworkers etc) are underscored with the similar "verbal maneuvers". Guised in such feel good notion of being sensitive, considerate, gracious and all things "feel good" are nothing more than euphemisms for trust-less, insecurity, insincere, fake, lies. Pieces of turd coated with sugar, sincerely passed-off as genuine.

We love to lie to ourselves, that's why we not only give permission to others but encourage them wholeheartedly to do the same to us. So they lie to us since we first lie to ourselves; because we know what we don't want to hear. Bloody hypocrites.

While the cautionary message may be found on the side of many a styrofoam coffee cup; it bears no genuine-kind consideration for our safety as we partake of its contents. It's a fine reflection of our base nature. The same one that tells you its ok because no one is looking; it doesn't matter cos' they won't miss it; pass the buck; not me, he did it.

Here's the real fine print…CAUTION: IT'S NOT THAT I'M HOT

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Alas, I tried. May 11, 2006

Posted by Chris W in design, show all entries, wedding 101.
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It was worth a try nonetheless, can't fault a guy for doing that. We'll still do something with my favorite toy anyways. It looks like they get hit up quite a bit. Not suprising since LEGO is so popular. So here's the response from LEGO (to the request I had made to them).

I must say, they are really responsive; it was nice that they took time to read my email and respond.

Though, that "no" sure came quick…ouch.

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Dear Mr Wong

Thank you for your recent email from 05/10/06 asking the LEGO Group® to consider your request for support.

Regrettably, we are unable to fulfill your request. Last year, LEGO Systems, Inc. received over 4,000 requests for LEGO toys, monetary contributions and sponsorships. While we would like to support every request, due to limited resources this is not possible. For this reason, our management made the decision to concentrate donation, contribution and sponsorship efforts to hospitals, shelters and non-profit organizations serving disadvantaged children in the Hartford, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts areas due to our proximity to those cities.

We do not support requests from individuals, religious organizations, schools and day care centers, national or international organizations, organizations located outside of the Hartford, Connecticut and Springfield, Massachusetts areas or endowments funds.

On behalf of the LEGO Group, please accept our best wishes.

Karen
LEGO Direct Consumer Services

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So…any other LEGO party favor ideas?

LEGO Party sets
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Emogination May 10, 2006

Posted by Chris W in design, show all entries.
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Emotion+Imagination=Emogination

Emoginate

Emogine 

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Let there be tux May 10, 2006

Posted by Chris W in show all entries, wedding 101.
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tommy tux

Another thing to strike-off the to do list; Groom and groom’s men tux.

Measured and everything…now just sit back, relax and wait for the tux to arrive in time for the wedding.

“Did she really say that was my waist size?!?!?!”

There was a bunch of high school guys that walked in shortly after we did. Seriously, I only thought that girls got excited about getting their outfit together for the prom. These dudes were the equivalent-ly giddy and obnoxiously noisy. I couldn’t even hear myself think it was so loud and distracting.

Oh yea, speaking of loud and distracting. There were 2 young lasses riding on the train tonight on my way home that was eager to let everyone know they weren’t exactly from the area. Its as if the usual young-ens-air-heads that insists on sharing their conversation with everyone on the train wasn’t enough. These 2 lovelies felt compelled to contribute with their utter-gutteral-babble. I was like…
“Uh…eich bin shhhaaaaddduuuuuppp!!!!!”

Shouldn’t matter what language you speak, silence is golden!

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Dear LEGO May 10, 2006

Posted by Chris W in design, reflections, show all entries, wedding 101.
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legos+keychain

Originally uploaded by legos+dream.

So I thought it would be worth the try to see if LEGO would actually be interested in helping us out with some of the party favors. Where did I get such a crazed idea? Don’t know…probably too much playing with those plastic blocks! Seriously though, they do bring back inumerable fond memories and moments…

So what the heck…below is my email to LEGO customer service, let’s see if they write back.

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Hi,

I have searched high and low at LEGO.com for a place to send my quite unusual request; it seems this is the best place to do that.

I have been a LEGO enthusiast all 36 years of my life. I use the word loosely since I don’t & wouldn’t dare consider myself a “die-hard fanatic” like some individual/groups out there that have rightfully earned that title. Nonetheless, LEGO has been such an integral part of my childhood years. My introduction to the world of LEGO was a firestation set (probably circa 1975) given to me by my parents. Over the years, there were many additions to that first set. As my sisters and I grew older, toys came and went but the “tupperware tub” of little plastic bricks became our main and consistent staple of creative play. Mixing and matching pieces from a variety of different sets, creating our own Legoland long after the original instructions have been discarded.

The stage set by LEGO years ago, most likely contributed to my getting a degree in Industrial Design. Now I am working as a wayfinding specialist at an architecture firm; designing environmental graphic and signage systems. As an adult, I don’t quite play with LEGO as much anymore, though it certainly holds a very near and dear place in my heart. Whenever I think back to my childhood years, I am flooded with many memories and moments shared with my parents, siblings over our LEGO playtime.Today, I give LEGO toys as gifts to my godchildren and friends’ kids for birthday, Christmas and other gift giving occassions. And I know one day, I will buy my kid that first LEGO set and start that wonderful tradition for him/her.

On the 12th August 2006, my fiance and I will be tying the knot. As with most, we thought hard about what would make meaningful favors. We both agreed unanimously that giving our guests something from LEGO would be a way to share what we are about. So I began to wonder if LEGO would be interested in participating; so I started writing this email. My thought is, if possible, that each guest would be given a small “kit” (like 3607 or something small and low priced). A quick tally of our invited guests show that about 80% are married with children (infants thru’ teens).

So while I would be honored if LEGO would participate, we plan on doing something similar even if LEGO didn’t. We would probably buy buckets of 2×4 bricks and get them engraved as a keepsake.

Well, I guess it really doesn’t hurt to try and hopefully, I will get a response regardless.

Take care and leg godt!

-Chris

ps: i blog at the following http://www.legosdream.wordpress.com; i also wrote a song that references LEGO and it can be found at the blog site

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While surfing around I came across this image, I am not sure if they actually have these minifigures or minifigs. It would be cool if we found them and used it as our cake toppers!

lego wedding

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Dealing it Asian Style May 5, 2006

Posted by Chris W in reflections, show all entries.
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deal or no deal

The nation had a little Chinese lesson last night.

"Jiao Yi, Bu Jiao Yi"

That's right, that's Deal or No Deal in Mandarin Chinese. Howie got into it and instead of his standard, he did it Asian style polling the contestant with those 4 little words. He even got the audience going, getting them to chorus along. Of course, we have the contestant and her troupe to thank for the delightful Oriental linguistic instruction. Her hubbie and mom were both chanting in Chinese at the of each stage as she decides to continue with the game or accept the deal from the banker.

Eager to build upon the evening's head start in foreign language, Howie asks what "Open the case" would be in Chinese. And she goes,

"Pa Kui!"

And I go

"What?!?!"

It should've been,

"Ta Kai!" or "Kai Pao Siang!"


That ain't Mandarin Chinese, its Hokkien or Taiwanese. The whole time whenever she does the "No Deal" or "Bu Jiao Yi" in Chinese, a mechanically-anglo-rigid accent could be detected. In fact, she doesn't sound too different than her husband and Howie. Alright,the novelty lasted about as long as William Hung did on American Idol.

Well, I guess its kinda embarrassing to be on national tv and not really know/not know what your "mother tongue". But that seems to be problem, lots of Bananic-Americans; kinda yellow on the outside, kinda white on the inside,and just kinda sad. Heritage in atrophy=Neu-Heritage.

Incidentally, I found out that the word of the day at Merriam-Webster Online was mien; not to be confused with my lunch mein. (BTW, it really should be "chao mian" according to the Hanyu Pinyin standard, other phoentic representations are simply inferior)

Anyways, I digress.

I wonder if she knows how to use the chopsticks…the proper way.

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