Doc Monster Labs' BLAHRG!

The purpose of this blog is to keep me honest with my wife and any others interested in reading my progress on the studio. The blog has moved so I could make it more presentable. I'm still figuring all this stuff out, so please bear with me.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Entry 28.4.06

SUNDAY - (Sci-fi section) Friday night was a great time at our friend's house. We had amazingly good Chinese take-out. She was telling us hilarious stories of her recent Disney cruise and she made my wife laugh so hard, she literally fell off the couch! Yesterday we had a BBQ with family and friends. Though it was raining, we were still able to grill since we have a roof over our back porch. The food was great and a fun time was had by all. Today, I opened a few more toys and shelved what I could. I have an odd amount of space left on the 2' deep shelf on which I think some items from the boxes in the photo will fit nicely. I need to catch up on some house chores tomorrow, but I should be able to get through at least one box.

MONDAY - (Sci-fi section) I didn't get as much done as I could have. I dug out all of my Action Fleet Starship Troopers toys. Coincidently, I've been watching Roughnecks - The Starship Trooper Chronicles and am now in the mood to see the movie. It's a shame the toy line didn't take off, but I guess that's to be expected when one bases a set of toys geared toward children on a movie with copious amounts of gore. I've also stumbled upon a couple of Jurassic Park - The Lost World vehicles from Matchbox.

TUESDAY - (Sci-fi section) I dug out the Matchbox Jurassic Park - The Lost World fuel depot playset and, as I was dusting off the shredded paper, I was hit with an overwhelming urge to go to Universal's Islands of Adventure! We LOVE that place! I'm hoping to have enough room in my studio to be able to build small versions of its different islands on various shelves. I had to replace a shelf with a shorter one because the 2' deep shelf at the very bottom has some rather tall items on it that would hog up too much viewing space if I hadn't replaced the 4' wide shelf above it with a 34" wide shelf. Somehow, I was able to fit a little over 2/3's of what was originally on the wider shelf back onto the smaller one.

WEDNESDAY - (Sci-fi section) Progress has slowed down because I've had to clear a path to reach the other shelves. With all that I have, it's almost impossible to keep things from getting underfoot. I've opened a few more toys and filled two more shelves. I have two huge toys on that 2' bottom shelf that I'm going to have to reshuffle for a second time because they're cutting off access to putting a wider shelf above them. Today is also laundry day.

THURSDAY - (Sci-fi section) I carefully slid the 34" wide shelf a little to the left so reshuffling the big toys would be a little easier. I was berating myself the entire time I was moving the shelf over how stupid of an idea it was to try and slide it with all the toys still on it. Amazingly enough, nothing fell. I've filled another shelf and have discovered I'm going to have to switch out the 34" shelf back to a 4' shelf or it's going to be a terrible waste of space. AAARGH! This means I'm going to have to display the tall toys in a different, less cool looking way.

FRIDAY - (Sci-fi section) I concentrated on the household chores. I also did some grocery shopping. I wanted the house to be presentable for the weekend. Needless to say, I got nothing done studio-wise. All in all, I'm pretty disappointed with the week. Yes, I've made some progress, but not as much as I would have liked. Those two problematic shelves really hogged a bit of time. I'll keep my fingers crossed for next week.

Entry 21.4.06

SUNDAY - (Sci-fi section) Yesterday was a gorgeous day and we went to visit some family for the holiday weekend. Today turned out to be warm and sunny as well, so I got my shelves cut into six 4' wide pieces. We were supposed to have been away for the entire weekend, but since my wife had a lot of work to do, we stayed home today. I tried to set up her new computer and found out, much to my insane anger, the idiot salesman at CompUSA totally misrepresented it. Upon researching their site, my wife discovered he was telling us it had all of the bells and whistles of a completely different model. MORON! Because of this blissful incompetent, we now refer to the store as IncompUSA! I spent the rest of the day in the same room with my wife. As she worked, I read my newest purchase, Make Your Own Damn Movie! by Lloyd Kaufman of Troma. The book is both informative and hilarious.

MONDAY - (Sci-fi section) I allowed myself to become distracted by getting involved in too many things that really had nothing to do with the layout of the studio. I did some chores and folded the clothes that I didn't fold last week. I also started writing notes on a screenplay idea I was developing a little over six years ago. I was surprised at how fast I found my handwritten notes since I have several notebooks full of junk. Yep, you read that right, "junk"; I tend to be brutally honest about my work. I guess Mondays will always remain writing days. I also hung around waiting for my mother in-law to pick up her car for when she returned from her Easter weekend.

TUESDAY - (Sci-fi section) I did some light grocery shopping to pick up my vitamins and odds and ends. I also got my wife's computer finally up and running on the Internet. I pulled out a 6' banquet table to dump stuff already up on the shelves so I could start rearranging those shelves to allow for maximum use of the space. I've already got a few sci-fi items up and it's looking cool! I may need to cut one of the 2' deep shelves down to 4' wide tomorrow. I have yet to open one of the five boxes pictured above.

WEDNESDAY - (Sci-fi section) Still haven't opened any boxes, but I did open quite a few toys that were still in their original packaging. I filled the shelf I put up yesterday and put up two more today. I threw up the 2' deep shelf without cutting it down since the extra length is working to my advantage right now.

THURSDAY - (Sci-fi section) STILL haven't opened any boxes. As I was rooting around the studio, I discovered even more sci-fi toys still in their original packaging that must have come out of the tucker totes I emptied a few months back. Armed with a box cutter, I began slicing open boxes and blister packs. It takes me a while to set toys free because it's been my past experience certain items tend to break in the process if you're not careful and with the way the stuff is packaged nowadays, you'd think the manufacturers could get more money designing security for Fort Knox! I filled another shelf and the two footer is about half full. I need to accompany my wife tonight on a short trip so I'm basically done for the day.

FRIDAY - (Sci-fi section) I have to go grocery shopping for our BBQ tomorrow, buy a couple of gifts at Best Buy, pick up a friend from the airport and then go to Costco for more BBQ items. Tonight, we're going to a dear friend's house. Needless to say, I'm sure I'm not going to get anything done today. At the very least I'd like to cut apart the boxes and blister packs that are currently littering the floor. I hope I don't forget to upload this page by 9pm tonight!

Entry 14.4.06

SATURDAY - (Star Wars section) I did a quick clean up today just to make the studio a bit more foot traffic friendly for when my friends come over. I have to admit to a bit of excitement as I was able to remove a great deal from the floor. It's nowhere near being finished since there's still enough clutter about to choke a herd of elephants, but I can now more closely envision what this place is going to look like once everything has found its spot on a shelf. WOO-HOO!!!

MONDAY - (Star Wars section) I rearranged the action figure shelves to open up more space for other items. For some reason, Mondays are always hardest for me to get motivated. I don't know if it's because I'm coming off the weekend or, when I was actively working on my own projects and those for clients, I designated Monday as a writing day which would, in turn, inspire me to work in other disciplines during the rest of the week. I got just a bit more done than expected because I also placed a few vehicles and alien monsters in among the figures which means fewer items to find space for on the other shelves.

TUESDAY - (Star Wars section) I've hit another snag. Last night, my wife came up to take a look at my progress. She's diggin' how it looks so far and I filled her in on my plan to stack some 2' deep shelves today. Her concern was that everything underneath those shelves might not be easily visible. I had thought about that before buying them and thought it was something I could live with, but hearing someone else say it somehow made more sense. As I looked over my inventory of empty shelves last night, I saw a 15" deep one that could easily take the place of a 2 footer. When I tried to use it today, I found it was too short. Looks like I'm going to Lowe's early tomorrow! Not letting that deter me, I worked with what I had and have now filled two 1' shelves with stuff that hadn't been displayed before. It's exciting to see the number of yet to be displayed Star Wars stuff dwindling. The 2' shelves won't go to waste since they're going to make excellent bottom shelves for other displays.

WEDNESDAY - (Star Wars section) To wildly misquote Darth Vader, "Phase 1 of the Star Wars section is now complete!" WOO-HOO!!! I went to Lowe's earlier this morning and picked up that 15" deep shelf I needed; it did the trick. A couple of friends stopped by at around noon and I went right back to work when they left. Everything that came out of a box is now up. I still have Legos to build, but my game / project table is currently a staging area for items that still need to be shelved. It'll be empty when I reach Phase 2, so I'll have a place to build my Legos. I think I have a clue as to how a director feels when he's close to blowing his movie's budget. The Star Wars stuff has taken up more shelf space than anticipated and I'm finding available space disappearing ... fast! It's amazing how constantly keeping one's fingers crossed slows down the display process. I may give my brain a rest from decor tomorrow. If it's as beautiful a day as today, I may cut some shelves outside. I'll also be stacking and taking a picture of the boxes for the next section - Sci-fi. Tonight I'll be helping my brother in-law and mentor pick up and carry some Ikea furniture. He'll be stopping by since he's seen the studio empty. Tomorrow afternoon I'll be dropping my mom in-law off at the train station. Wednesdays are supposed to be laundry day, but I've been sorely remiss in my duties for the past few weeks so, instead of waiting for Friday or the weekend, I'll use the time off to do the laundry tomorrow.

THURSDAY - Last night's Ikea run went off without a hitch. My bro in-law knew exactly what he wanted and they were all self-service items, so before you could say, "Drömmïngëjërkërbjörksücksën", we were done and on our way. What I still can't seem to get over is how well my wife and I know Ikea's layout. I mean, it's not a big surprise since we've been there enough, but I remember a time not too long ago when we got lost and had to call in the marines! We're lucky they came before we had to eat each other! I dropped my mother in-law off at the train station this afternoon without incident. Most of the laundry got done today since I keep forgetting the clothes in the cool new hamper a friend handed over to us. I've done nothing in the studio. Instead, while I was taking care of household chores, I also watched a couple of my Netflix movies - disc 3 of Make Your Own Damn Movie! and Scarlet Moon. When Sue got home, we went out to dinner at the Rainforest Cafe and I picked up Lloyd Kaufman's second book, Make Your Own Damn Movie!

FRIDAY - (Sci-fi section) I didn't do much in the studio today except stack the boxes that contain my sci-fi toys. About four boxes didn't make the stack since I didn't have to sift through shredded paper (used as packing material) to dig out the one or two sci-fi items they each carried. I was hoping to cut some shelves today, but the weather was wet and dismal. I hope I can cut at least three 8' shelves in half over the next couple of days or else I won't be able to display anything. My wife stayed home today to try and get some work done. Our cable modem started crapping out on us since it was old; we visited the nearest Comcast office to swap it out. It's been working like a champ! No more jiggling the power cord to get it work! Now, I'm off to finish up a few more household chores.

Entry 7.4.06

SATURDAY - (Star Wars section) I went through two boxes. One of them was filled with Galoob's Star Wars Action Fleet and Micro Machines toys while the other only had a few Star Wars toys in it. The rest belonged to other sci-fi properties like Buzz Lightyear of Star Command and Earthworm Jim. I had to clear off some shelf space so I could fit what came out of the boxes. I transferred what was there (super-hero toys mostly) to my art table. I usually try to keep my weekends open so I can spend time with my wife, but she brings work home which frees me up to do other things. I may get more done tomorrow since she's going to band practice. If I'm feeling up to it, I may go to Asbury to see Scarlet Moon at the bowling alley, but I've been fighting some kind of crud and going out may not be the best thing to do, especially if I might get other people sick.

TUESDAY - (Star Wars section) I'm feeling a bit better today, so I went through one more box. This box was also filled with Star Wars Action Fleet and Micro Machines playsets, vehicles, stands, aliens and figures. I cleared off another shelf of super-heroes to make room. I have three boxes left. One is filled with Star Wars Burger King glasses (the above pic) that, if they're still intact, I'll take out and use to fill in the gaps once the Star Wars display is done. Upon closer inspection of the other two, I've found one has no Star Wars pieces in it (so much for attention to detail!) and the other contains only one SW piece. They both contain general sci-fi toys, so I'll go through them once I'm onto that section. I've also emptied a plastic bin that was full of 10" to 12" figures. My cool lookin' 10" vinyl Darth Vader was in there and I wanted to make sure he made it on a shelf the first go 'round. It's lookin' like I'll be heading to Lowe's tomorrow for some more shelves.

WEDNESDAY - (Star Wars section) It was raining today, so I didn't go to Lowe's; I didn't want to get the wood wet. Instead, I started working on the shelves I currently have. I moved around some things I had already displayed in order to optimize space ... yet again ... and got some new stuff displayed. I'm trying to fill every little nook and chink I can find. As I reached the end of the last usable shelf, I stepped back and thought, "I'm gonna need deeper shelves!" Hopefully tomorrow will be the day to get 'em.

THURSDAY - (Star Wars section) Today I picked up four shelves, all of which are 2' deep. I had them cut to size, got 'em home, did a bit of light sanding just to take a bit of the rough edge off and then it hit me; I hadn't bought the proper brackets to put shelves up! MORON! I've decided to pick up the brackets tomorrow. I had also picked up enclosed blinds to put over the french door to my studio balcony since the light beams fiercely through the windows set into it. It was shedding an awful lot of direct sunlight on my Horror section and on my DVD's; it'd only be a matter of time before things started fading. I have to admit, it probably took me all of ten minutes to install and it looks SHWEET!

FRIDAY - (Star Wars section) I made the mistake of showing my wife how cool the enclosed blinds look on my balcony door; now she wants two for our french doors downstairs. She wants to pick 'em up on Sunday. Simply because she deserves to be happy and I like surprising her, I'll be picking them up and installing them before she gets home tonight. I'll also be picking up those brackets I forgot yesterday. I don't think a great deal will get done on the Star Wars display since I have friends coming over on Saturday who have yet to see the place. I want to clean up this minefield a bit so walking around isn't an exercise in tightrope walking. I usually try not to work on the room during the weekend, but since my wife is bringing work home for Sunday, I may take advantage of the found time.

Entry 31.3.06

The reason for this weekly blog is to keep myself honest by logging my progress in getting my studio organized. I’ve wasted far too much time in getting the studio up and running so, instead of a private journal, I’ve opened this to my wife and any interested readers so as to keep me on my toes.

As of this entry, I’ve finished Phase 1 of the following displays: Horror, Asian and Star Trek. I’ve already begun work on Star Wars. It's challenging since I have a great many vehicles and playsets for that particular collection. I’m trying my best to optimize the space; that means I’ve already rearranged the shelves more than once to accommodate odd sizes.

Phase 1 consists of pulling whatever pieces out of boxes and off the floor and placing them on the shelves without spending far too much time on intricate displays. Once the toys are up, I'll then start on the library getting whatever books I'm going to keep up on the shelves while placing other books that I'm undecided upon in boxes to be read later.

Phase 2 will find me going through the entire studio backwards, starting from the last display and placing any found objects and recently purchased pieces. When Phase 2 is done, everything I own will be up on a shelf in the general area where it will permanently reside. The end of Phase 2 will also find me putting up any posters and artwork I may have accumulated after which I’ll take time to work on my web site and animation projects.

Phase 3 will be an ongoing endeavor with no termination date. Durng that phase, I will work on more intricate displays (designing backdrops, hanging flying ships, etc.), paint and repaint pieces that need it and repair toys that have seen better days.

I'll post one picture with each weekly installment of the boxes remaining to be emptied in a particular display. The reason I won’t be showing the displays themselves is that, once my web site is officially up, I’ll be spotlighting a toy a month from my collection. If I start showing the displays now, that’ll just blow it for my feature.

2006 is going to be a busy year for us here at Doc Monster Labs, so I’ll project Phase 1 will be done by the end of November ’06, as not to be overly ambitious. I’m hoping to be finished much sooner since I’d like to have Phase 2 done by the end of the year. It takes time to animate and I want to allow myself as much time as possible so as to have a healthy amount of projects on this site when it officially launches in 2008.

Hopefully, this will be the last boring entry in this blog!