Tag Archives: california

Bricks by the Bay 2017

I attended the Bricks by the Bay convention on August 3-6, 2017, for my first time as an ordinary attendee. It was a great exhibit of LEGO talent from near and far, but the show-stealer was this amazing “California Dreamin'” theme park model from Flynn and Richard which won several trophies including both Best In Show and Public Choice:

BBTB2017 721.jpg

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Bricks by the Bay Just Around the Corner

I’ve been quiet on here recently, and haven’t been building anything in a while, but I wanted to say something about Bricks by the Bay which is coming up in just over a week.

This is our annual Northern California LEGO convention, and I’m the president of the nonprofit that organizes it. It’s coming up at the Santa Clara Convention Center from August 6-9, 2015. We’ve been super busy over the past few months getting all the planning and preparations done, and I haven’t had much time for anything else.

The theme this year is “Monsters” and we’ve got a great event kit which is a dragon designed by Charles Esseltine, and I’m preparing the instructions for building it as we speak. We have a great Guest of Honor this year, Alice Finch from Seattle who is bringing down her collaborative build with ArchLUG, the World of Mouse Guard, and giving a keynote speech. We also have a speech by Megan Rothrock, author of the LEGO Adventure Book series on Thursday night, and one by Tim Courtney of LEGO IDEAS on Saturday.

Convention registration closes this Friday, July 31st, so get your badge now! We will be open to the public on the last day, Sunday, August 9, for a Public Exhibition, so if you can’t make it for the whole weekend at least drop by to see the show.

More information, including convention registration and public day tickets, can be found on our website, http://www.bricksbythebay.com.

Bricks by the Bay 2014

Our annual LEGO convention here in the bay area, Bricks by the Bay, just happened! I was so busy organizing it that I’m afraid I never got around to posting a blurb on my blog about it – hope you heard about it through other means and were there! It was a huge event, expanding to add a second ballroom, and adding an extra day (Thursday) for a new workshop program. We almost doubled last year’s attendance on the public day (about 4500 vs 2500 last year) though our convention attendance was down.

I’d like to announce the dates for next year’s convention, but we don’t have a firm commitment on the dates yet. The most likely dates are July 16-19, but we can’t be sure until we have a contract from the hotel. The theme for next year will be “Monsters” and we will be also making a special effort to highlight models with lighting effects similar to what they do at Brickworld in Chicago and BrickFair back east, shutting off the convention center lights for a few hours in the evening to let people enjoy the lit-up MOCs (My Own Creations). So start planning your monsters, especially ones with light-up effects!

I didn’t take photos at the convention, but here are some links to galleries that others have posted:

If you have some to add, post a link in the comments.

Amazon [Didn’t Steal] Money from Me

I recently wrote (Amazon: You can’t fire me, I quit!) about how Amazon.com is canceling the accounts of California residents because of the state’s attempts to get them to collect sales tax.

Today, I got the monthly report from Amazon describing my earnings. Out of curiosity I clicked the link to see my account balance. Here’s what I saw:

Alert Account Closed

This account is closed and will not generate referrals. Access to this site is for historical purposes only.

Your Payment History Unpaid Balance: $98.31

…followed by a list of previous commissions I had earned.

I’ve never actually received a check from Amazon. Their policy is to send you payment when you reach $100 in earnings. Which now, I will never do. Damn them.

Update 10/6/2011: They did send me a check after all, after deducting a $15 fee. I changed it to direct deposit so I should get a payment every $10 earned. Now that they’re allowing payments to California residents again, this post is moot.

Amazon: You can’t fire me, I quit!

You might have heard by now that Amazon.com has decided to discontinue the accounts of California residents, such as myself, due to a new California law requiring them to collect sales tax for sales to California residents. If you want to know the details, Google it. The point is, I’ve had Amazon links on my site for a while now, and over the past couple of years have not yet even reached the $100 minimum threshold to get paid for it, and now they’re cutting me off. That annoyed me, but what annoys me even more is that Amazon is trying to interfere with the state’s internal business. They’re even starting a petition to get something on the ballot to reverse it, and that really upsets me. I don’t want to get too political in this blog, but I really don’t think it’s OK for a company that claims it doesn’t have a presence in California to be trying to have a say in the state’s politics.

So I took off all the Amazon links (If I missed any, please let me know). I’m open to participating in other affiliate programs, but I’m done with Amazon.

Bricks by the Bay Photos

My Bricks by the Bay Pictures are available on Flickr if you want to take a look at some of the great models on display and the crowds on the public day. The convention was held Friday-Sunday, April 9-11, 2010 in Fremont. We had such great media coverage that throngs of people flocked to the hotel to see the LEGO models on Sunday, April 11. People waited for hours in a line that snaked out the lobby and through the parking garage and we had to turn people away once we realized the line was so long that people at the end might not get in before closing time. It was a huge success and we’re looking forward to having an even bigger and better convention in 2012.

Grand Ballroom

Click the image to see the pictures or view them as a slideshow.