The Art of the Lego @OMSI

Free passes for this exhibit were available and so Matt and I spent a sunny Friday afternoon taking in the Art of the Brick.

Before we got started, we found out how tall we were in LEGO bricks.

Matt nearly reaches Albert Einstein’s 184 bricks.

I am a less-impressive 153 bricks.

Note that I am MUCH taller than a Minifig.

All of the LEGO art we are going to see was created by Nathan Sawaya, a former corporate lawyer who now is a full-time artist.  The first  part of the exhibit was Sawaya’s recreations of famous art works, in LEGO.  I liked this, because most of them were in a 1:1 scale, which let me get a sense of size that the internet does not allow.

This was my favorite creation, which is not a 1:1, but rather 1:6 scale.  I liked how they had it hanging so that you could see the light shining through the window.

Favorite part of this?  The use of minifigs.

The next portion of the exhibit was Sawaya’s original art.  You can see how he fashioned even the frames out of LEGOs.

I found much of Sawaya’s original creations, especially when paired with the artist statement of each piece, to be art that it would seem like a motivational speaker would create.  Matt pointed out that Sawaya is a motivational speaker.

I liked better this reproduction of a T-Rex.

Matt has a chat.

The third part of the exhibit had a mashup of photography that included LEGO figures, such as the tree in this photo.

You could see the tree in person.

I also enjoyed our PDX carpet corner of the exhibit.  Sawaya was raised in the area.

One of the last items were these hugging figures, which Sawaya leaves in parks in different cities.

Things that were missing from this exhibit?  Process.  How does Sawaya create his art?  Sketches? Computer modeling? Trial and error? Does he purchase his LEGOs, or are they supplied by the company?  Since the exhibits dates overlap, does he have multiples of each thing, or does each city get their own special items?  Does he have assistants?  How long does it take him to make things?  So many questions!

Grand Lodge passport page stamped

It’s Cosmic Tripster Round Two!  We have pledged to take five years to finish this time, getting our final stamp sometime in 2021.

Today’s task was to visit Grand Lodge to get all their stamps.  We’ve stayed at Grand Lodge before (40th Birthday Vacation) and I love it.  They’ve recently renovated the Attic and opened more rooms, which I was excited to see.

Here’s the background of how the new rooms came to be named after books.  The Lavender Lady (the ghost immortalized in paint on the second floor) had a hand in the naming.

I loved these quiet nooks and crannies, perfect for curling up and reading.

The hallways are dark and cavernous, which is fun too.

All the hotel locations give you a clue and then you must go find the McMenamins thing (usually a painting or photograph).  Once found, you take a picture, then show the picture to the front desk and collect your stamp.

This month’s clue stumped us:

A quiet space, no place to go
Softly lit by the mushroom’s glow
No place to sit, not a toad stool in view
Come find me, find me all of you

(This clue is even better when read in a dramatic fashion.)

Most of the clues aren’t terribly hard.  This one was.  We started at the top and worked our way down to the bottom and nothing jumped out as the answer.  I took a second look at the clue and decided it must be on the third floor, because the rooms were new and they wanted people to know about them, hence the “come find me” repetition. So back up we went.

Two more trips the length of the hallway and we hadn’t found what we were looking for.  Thank goodness we overheard a kid say to his dad, “and here’s the other secret room…”

Secret room!!!!!!!!!!

The walls move!  There is a secret stairwell!

The stairwell is Lord of the Rings-themed and lit with blacklight.

In this terrible picture, Matt poses with Gollum, who is painted on the door that comes out on the second floor.

Okay!  That was very cool.  But it didn’t fit our clue.  From the kid’s “other” comment we knew there was a second secret room.  But we had to find it.  It was tough.  We walked up and down the hallway, pushing on the walls.

And we found it!

This was a small closet, painted with mushrooms.   It was very cool.
Having found what we were looking for we collected our last stamp and our prize.  We both chose the grab bags and were rewarded with a growler cozy, a wine glass and two postcards.This was a very fun passport page to complete.  Thanks, Grand Lodge.

Z-A games. Eggs & Empires

We’ve made it to “E” in our Z-A quest to play all our games.  This brings us to Eggs and Empires, a game I enjoy because it’s quick to learn, has a strategy, and also isn’t called Exit Empires, like I originally thought when Matt was first talking about it.

In this game, you play cards attempting to capture “good” eggs, and avoiding “bad” eggs.   I killed Matt in this contest, making this one of my few wins in this project.

Silver Falls Hike

One of the things I love about the digital photo area is that you can take photos of the map to refer to later in the hike.

We chose to do the big hike, seeing the maximum number of waterfalls.

Matt poses before a graphic warning sign.

Here we are at Upper North Falls. 65 feet.

A “twin” falls.

The view from behind the falls.

Lots of rain means lots of white water.

Matt consults the map.

That mass of white behind us is a waterfall.  It was powerful stuff.

Another view of the water.  We’ve done this hike in the summer and it’s fun, but it was a totally different experience in the winter.

Drake Falls says hello.  All 27 feet of it.

A double layer of falls.  Also: look at all that moss!

Matt looks at the sign for Lower North Falls.

This is a pretty one.

There was a very large amount of stairs near the end.

This was the first hike with my trekking poles and I was pleased with how well they worked for me.

The Fair: The 4-H Building

Let’s see what the kids are up to in the 4-H building.

They’ve been growing things.  (The beans are wizened because we were visiting at the end of the fair’s run.)img_6022 img_6023

Lots of skirts.img_6024

A nicely dramatic cloak and fancy dress.img_6025

A denim shirt I found to be quite impressive.  There were a lot of places where crisp results are tricky (collar, placket, sleeves, buttonholes, pocket flaps) and Kadi navigated those well.img_6026

This was an amazing jacket.  I was very impressed.  Good job, Mylene.img_6027

Becca did an amazing job on this coat.  Too bad it’s covering up Ms. Folgate’s dress.img_6028

I really love looking at these informational posters.  Things have improved since I used to make them.  It’s much easier to reproduce pictures and use fun fonts.img_6030

Here you can read bios of the 4-H State Ambassadors.  (The bios were filled with typos, which was hard for me.)img_6031

Here’s an informational poster that looks more like the ones from my youth.img_6032

This art was very fun in a slightly disturbing way.img_6033

4-H has a selfie category!img_6034

The Fair: Robotics Competition and some puzzles

I can’t remember where Matt was, but for some reason we were in two different places.  I found the robotics area and summoned him over because this was very fun.img_6113

I’d heard this and that about robotics competitions, but had never seen anything in real life.  This wasn’t an actual competition, but I learned how once per year the rules/goals/objectives for the current contest are released and then high school students form teams and design their robots to meet the objectives of the contests.img_6114

In this case, they were supposed to have their machines grab balls, carry them and then get them through the gates of the castle.  There were things to navigate around.  There were also bonus points awarded if the machine could hang from the bar of the castle for a specified amount of time (20 seconds or so).img_6115

Setting things up for competition.  I didn’t get any good pictures of the obstacles, but the machines had to make their way over teeter-totters and other such things.img_6116

The machines seemed to need a good amount of tinkering.img_6117 img_6118 img_6119

Getting ready for battle.  This machine lowered the back half to grab the ball, and then the yellow cords pulled the ball in the the middle of the machine for transport.img_6120

The names of the teams were very fun.img_6121

An example of one of the robots hanging.  We watched a few rounds of competition.  Once they got going, it was very fast paced and exciting.  img_6122

One of the many different puzzles available to solve.

Perhaps you need your own Dalek?img_6124

I worked for a long time to get all 8 blocks in the box and Matt solved it in no time at all.img_6125

Apparently when not farming, Glen and Ruth are making puzzles.img_6126

The Fair: Monster Trucks

We were interested in attending the Motorsports Championship.  On our way in, we found my favorite fundraiser of the fair.  FFA was selling earplugs for a dollar each.  We bought.img_6127

And here we are in another microcosm I know nothing about, the monster truck world.  It’s a world where not only they make the very big trucks, but also have aliases and paint the names on the very big trucks.    The announcer told us the Scarlet Bandit was a big winner.img_6130

Before she entered the arena, the Scarlet Bandit chatted with this man and child.img_6133

The announcer was in the arena while people were coming in, but his eventual seat was near us.  I ascertained that the winners got some sort of champagne.  That box thing was linked to the sound system.   To sing the National Anthem, they plugged in a phone and hit play.  img_6134

Each monster truck was introduced and drove around the ring before coming to stop.  We had this guy, Time Flys.  I liked his truck and how there was a picture of a monster truck on his grill. img_6136

Some trucking through the arena.img_6137

The announcer and his assistant.  We had a group of giggly young teenage girls sitting a few rows back.  At one point they all yelled his name (“Justin!!!!) together.  He turned around, scanned the stands and then smiled and waved while they all giggled.   I love teenage girls.img_6138

Thus follow many pictures of very big trucks.  It was breathtaking to watch them fly off the jumps.  The hydraulics were incredible.  It was very loud.  I wondered how much one of those trucks costs and how much gas they use.img_6139 img_6144 img_6150 img_6151

And then there were these two.  What was their deal?  So many things I don’t know.img_6160 img_6162 img_6164 img_6166 img_6169 img_6175 img_6177 img_6179 img_6188

No part of this very large truck is touching the earth at this moment.  What does it feel like to drive them?img_6190 img_6192 img_6194

There was a break with the big trucks and they brought in other cars so we took our leave.  We had to wait and not be run over by any cars though.img_6196

So I got to take a picture of this kid, whose face was unfortunately a little too flooded with light.  It’s times like these I wish I had a bigger camera.img_6199