Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Here's a prototype of Andrew the Android. The head and body are paint cans. You can buy empty ones at Home Depot. The eyes are flashlights cut down to fit. These flashlights sell at Home Depot for something like six bucks apiece. I found them in the Dollar Store for $1.09 each. Always go to the Dollar Store first.

I got that funnel at the dollar store, too. It fits perfectly.

Arms and legs will be beer cans. Hands and feet will be anchovie and sardine tins.

This project isn't rocket science. But don't tell Andrew.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Return from the idle

It's been a long while since I posted here. I've had to stay out of the workshop until I got better. Better at what? Building? Designing? Sculpting?

No. Walking. And standing up. And seeing.

When I was about nine years old, I wanted a ventriloquist dummy. There was no money for that, though. One night I dreamed that I built one from tin cans. The head was a number 10 coffee can, the arms and legs were jointed soup cans, and the body was, I think, a gasoline can. And the figure was, of course, a robot.

Now how a kid in 1949 knew anything about robots is beyond me. Maybe I saw one of those Flash Gordon serials. Anyway, that was the dream.

I never made it, though. But I always thought about it. Now, I've decided to make it. In my dream it had a control panel on its stomach. Switches, lights, guages. I'm building that now by using some of my long-since-abandoned electronic skills. Do you know that guys my age made their own computers in the 1970s? We had to. All you could buy was a kit.

Anyway, I'm cobbling together a mockup of a panel with lights and switches now.

(That title should say, "Mockup." Not seeing as good as I should. I missed that one. I'll fix it when I replace the video with version 2 of the panel.)

But guess what? It's hard to find stuff in tin cans anymore. Everything's plastic. I might have to root around at the land fill and dig down about 40 years.

And, of course, such a figure needs material. The script is finished. That's the hardest part, anyway.

If I get it done in time, I'll have it at the convention. See you there.