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

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.

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