|Wednesday, March 28th, 2012|
|Wiow the weather is awsome
Spent the evening spreading Mulch around a couple of large trees inthe front of the house. I wanted to build a nice stone circle around them but it looks like they have roots above ground that will not allow this. I may have to settle with edging the mulch with some river rock.
The Mulch arrived last Saturday and Melanie had almost all of the back yard done before I got home. This woman is amazing!!
|Monday, March 26th, 2012|
The convention was a blast!! We played many games both Hackmaster (My new game of choice) and First Edition AD&D. Even played in one game of original D&D red box edition. This was the least fun as the DM was a lawyer from NY and sounded like he just came off the set of Jersey Shore.
We played one game of hackmaster where we were actually a band of Orcs attacking a kobold fortress. We all died but we expected that to happen as our Cleric was in a power struggle with the commander of our group and was working very hard to kill him off.
I started to book he hotel for next year but not sure of the exact date and I have heard rumers that it has grown too large for the nice hotel its currently at. They had around 600 people this year and expect 100+ next year.
|Wednesday, March 21st, 2012|
|I day to Gary Con
When I was in the 8th grade I spent a week at camp at St. Henry's Preparatory School in Belleville Illinois. This week is one of the best memories of my life. I was never the most popular kid growing up but during this week I suddenly was. I remember them giving out awards at the end of the week and I won several, Best group, best athletic team best comedy routine (there was a talent contest and I had been listening to Bill Cosby records before going, I had memorized some of his routines and used that material).
The one thing that stuck with me after this week was that I was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons game by one of the kids at camp. I played this game all through my High School years and even into college some. But after I got married my first wife made me qui as she felt it was a waste of time. Move forward 20 years and now I have a great wonderful new wife that encourages all that I want to do. So this past fall I searched out a group to play with. A lot has changed over the years for RPG's (Role Playing Games) and I had no idea how to play the current version of D&D or any of its competitors. I had heard that there was a game called Hack master that was based off of the Original D&D that I knew and loved. I was able to find a group that played locally every other Sunday and they had just started a session so I wouldn’t be far behind if I wanted to join their group, so I did and I love it!!
We lost a player just before the New Year and the Game master asked if anyone know of anyone else that was interested in playing. I had a thought that one of my best friends in High School Doug that lived only a few miles from me might want to get back into playing like we did in High School. So I contacted him and he was all for it and has been having fun with our group.
Back around 1983 Doug and I attended GenCon in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. It was a large gaming convention that has since moved to Indianapolis. We took a tent and camped out.
A few years ago one of the Creators of D&D Gary Gygax passed away and in his honor Gary Con was started at the American Legion in Lake Geneva. This con has grown and has moved to a hotel. I asked Doug if he wanted to relive our trip and he was all for it, so tomorrow we get on the Road to Lake Geneva!
|Wednesday, September 9th, 2009|
|Dragon*Con came and went...
I made a point of seeing a lot of thethings that I had missed in the previous cons such as the Artist room and the comic book alley. I still did not make it to the Robot wars area and will make it a point to hit that next year.
K9 was a hit withthe Dr Who people and we even marched inthe parade with them. Doug Dixon also brought his K9 which was made from the A&A kit as well. So havign 2 K9's was a real thrill.
I took 2 robots and my Dr Satans Robot costume this year. The B9 was used in the building seminar panal and the K9 was for the Dr Who people. Next year I think I will only take a costume and R2. Having so many droids is hard to manage.
The Dr Satans Robot I made at the last minuite was a huge hit.
This years was much lighter and had an Alice backpack built in. I need to make a few slight adjustments but all in all it was not difficult to wear.
|Tuesday, February 24th, 2009|
|Finially some work is done
I saw that someone had modified their A&A feet using a 3" piece of PVC pipe as the curve under the Battery box. I loved the idea and did the same thing this weekend to one foot. I cut out the needed piece of pipe and then took some duct tape and attached it level to the surface. I then tried my first hand at Fiberglassing. I did not get the stuff I thought I was going to get at the suto parts stoor. The directions said after addinf the hardener to spread a layer and then add the fiberglass mat. When I opened the can the resin was the consistancy of bondo and black instead of being a clear liquid like I expected. http://automotive.hardwarestore.com/90-549-auto-body-fillers/fiberglass-resin-with-cap-611755.aspx
The word jelly confused me!!
I followed the directions and added 2 seperate layers of mat. It was dry this mornign and hard as concrete. I need to do some filling on the top to smooth it all out but I am very happy with the results. The 3" pipe is a perfect match to the curve.
I ended up buying 10" of the pipe as a 2 foot section was $4.xx and the 10 foot was $8.xx. More then I need but I want to check to see if I can cut a piece in half for the top and bottom of the battery boxes.
I also picked up a scooter motor setup that is chain driven. Not sure I am as impressed as the belt drive but its an alternative. Fits in the A&A holder as well as the belt system. Hardest part was getting the masterlink inserted. I am not sure I have the best one as the top connector soesnt look like its holding as well as it should. I have new masterlinks orderd soi can ghange it out if needed.
I got a set of the 350 watt chain scooter drives that mount with 4 screws on the bottom stand that is similar to what the tank builders use. I got pumped up after the tank expo and ended up motorizing my B9 tread section. I was sitting on it and riding it around until I blew the 20 watt fuse. Not bad for hauling my 220 lb self around! The B9 is much lighter so i think a 30 amp fuse will be just right. Its basically a teat for my Wall-E drive system. the tank guys have it working perfectly.
|Tuesday, October 28th, 2008|
ed Heading to Las Vegas on Thursday to get Married on November2nd. Was hoping for somethig fun like an Elvis weddinig but it turns out we are going for something more traditional!on November 2
|Sunday, April 27th, 2008|
Went to the Robot fest yesterday and it was amazing. The first great point was that it was a Free event. The second was that it had a great varity of things from Student built robots to RC tanks. I took the R7 mini and the B9 as pat had his R2 and Greg frought his out as well. Ed came with his partially assembled A&A frame and Oscar brought his mouse droid. I also took my little Rad 2.o robot.
The RAD was a bigger hit than I expected and After I let a few children drive it around the small 6 volt battery gave out.
At the sign in desk they had some nice old pannels off of some electrical equipment for sale for $2 each. I bought about $20 work as they were filled with switches and lights ect. Very retro looking like what you would find in a Luner Lander or very old Sci-Fi programs. I may encorporate them into an entertainment center like Tom made as a replica of the Jupiter spaceship from Lost in Space.
|Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008|
I got a reaponse on the Flex Neon LED and am ordering 10 feet.
|Monday, April 21st, 2008|
I decided to enter my 1976 Mustang II in a car show this past weekend. I wasnt sure if I would be embarrased or not but I ended up winning fist place in my class. I was inthe 1971-1985 division. The weather was excelelnt not too hot and a nice breese all day long. I saw about 80 nice cars. The only thing that would have made it better is if Melanie had had the day off.
Sunday it Rained like there was no tomorrow. We there was a tomorrow as that day is today when I am writing this and its still raining.
I took some time to go to Michels and get some poster frames for the Dr. Satans Robot posters i have been accumulating. Every so often Michels has all their frames 40% off so I never buy any full price.
After supper I did some work onthe costume. I added the face plate, and the nose. I realky like how its turning out!!
|Monday, April 14th, 2008|
|Dr Satan Robot or the Republic Robot
So i had some time on Sunday to go pick up the Aluminum that I had planned to wrap my Sonotube with. Went to my friend Pats home and got the tour of his new place. i also picked up the 3D R2 cardboard standee that I found on craigslist. The guy giving it away lived bery near to Pat so I asked him to pick it up for me.
Well I got the metal home and found out it is an inch shy of totally wrappinghthe tube. This really sucks as the metal was slightly expensive. I decided to use it anyway and I will just cover the seam.
I used contact cement to attach the aluminum to the tube but since the aluminum wasnt rolled it didnt want to bend very well. I had some rivents close by so i decided to riven the edges. Thsi worked excellent and the robot is covered with rivets and I know know how to reproduce them... Real rivets!!http://astromechbuilder.com/mechloader/v/R7Dude/drsatan/build/Picture+171.jpg.html?g2_imageViewsIndex=3
|Friday, April 11th, 2008|
|First Low Cost B9 Neon Failure
I was excited to see yesterday that the pieces for my Low cost Neon arrived. I ordered a
Mr. Gasket 11001R G-Sport Neon Rope Light - Red
And ordered some acrylic tubing that had a channel in it for the EL wire to insert into. The cool thing is the 11001R comes with a sound organ built into it as well. So when the voice talks the light flashes.
If only the EL wire was brighter this would have been a perfect solution. As is if I have B9 in a dark room its great..
I think the stuff called Flex LED neon will work as its currently a great alternative to Neon and very bright Unfortunally i havent found anyplace that sells it by the foot and I do not need a $1500 spool of it.
|Monday, April 7th, 2008|
|Sunday Rainey Sunday
So I get up and the dreaded Rain is here. April Showers you know!!
So I did some house work in the morning and Some work on the B9 Collar inthe afternoon. The Collar is made from acrylic and I glued it together with GOOP. I got the tip from another builder and for the first attempt it turned out nicely. I got some of the ribs laser cut and the reat I planned on heating in the oven them bending in a jig I made. After removing the protective paper from over 100 of the ribs I atarted heating one up in the oven. It didnt work so well and I like how the laser ones turned out so I think I will just order the full assortment laser cut.
I also spent some time working onthe skins for the Spanish droid. Got the replacement pieces in for the frame as well. I need to get motivated on this project again...
|Saturday, April 5th, 2008|
|Hi Ho Hi Ho Its off to yard work I go
Saturday they were calling for rain so i was planning on working on some robot stuff but surpisingly it was a nice day. I held off till about noon thinking the rain would come but when it didnt I went ahead and fired up the lawn mower and yard vacuume. Its great having all the trees for shade and atmosphere but its a pain cleaning up after them. Mowing went quick but I must have emptied 15 to 20 bags of leaves (And this is after they have been chopped up and compacted). My body gave up before the leaves were finished and I planned to finish on Sunday. Well wouldnt you know it the rain appeared. So i still have yardwork awaiting me when it warms up and drys out again.
|Tuesday, April 1st, 2008|
|Monday, March 31st, 2008|
This weekends event in pittsburgh (Steel City Con) went off without a hitch. I decided to take my R2 but with his new R5 dome. I have it about 80% complete but the general public wont know it isnt finished. I used a blue and white color scheme on it so i can just opo off r2's dome and insert the R5 and away I go.
Melanie had to work on Friday so that put us off leaving Saturday morning at 3am. Its a 4 hour drive and we only had a 1 hour window (7-8) to unload and setup. Luckily some of the guys arrived on Friday evening and set up for us.
I also took my Mini R7 as he is a joy to take places. He fits inthe jeep without laying him down and he goes forever on 12 volts. I have a portable sound system that I ionstall in him and for fun I can change out the sound cards and make him sound like B9.
i was worried thet their special guest kenny Baker wouldnt have many fans show up. Bnoy was I mistaken. the line for kennys autograph was filled all day long until around 5:30 and the con cloised at 6. When it did finially slow down one of the Pirates (I still dont know why the big love of being a pirate has anything to do with SCI-FI) wanted to drive pats R2 as he has now joined the group and plans on building his own R2.
I saw kenny looking at him driving it and I thought it would be cool to offer kenny my droid to drive. Well when I asked if he wanted to drive it his eyes lit up and he gladdly accepted my offer. In no time flat he was driving it all around like a pro. They even had a droid race and Kenny kicked the pirates butt!! I also offered my R7 to kennys Girlfriend Valerie Gale. I found out this event that Valarie was also an actress and played a role in the first Queen Elizabeth movie and was in Willow with Kenny. Val was nice enough to sign an autograph picture for me.
So now I can proudly state that my droid is officially a Kenny Baker operated droid!!
|Friday, March 28th, 2008|
|B9 or B Mine?
So last night after taking Melanie to an Indian resturant for her birthday (it was ast Sunday the same day as easter this year) I decided to take the light weight B9 apart and install the 800 watt amplifier I bought. When we were at Shevacon the 501st was right beside us and had a a projector showing some fan film. The sound blew us away and you couldnt hear B9 talking. As soon as we got back I checked ebay for an amp to make B9 louder. The 800 watt was way more then I needed but the price was right.
After I disassembled him I remembered I had a CD player for the Mustang II in the garage and it would be cool to install it in the rear. This particular one playes video DVD's as well. To in evvect I would turn B9 into an entertainment center. If I installed a port i could attach a video monitor and show DVD's ect at conventions directly from B9.
I got the hole cut and the player installed but realized I need an antenna to pick up AM'FM music.
|Thursday, March 27th, 2008|
Saw a neat thing at Quiznos yesterday. There was a piece of clear acrylic rod with a Blue LED at wach end. When you picked it up the LED's lit and the rod glued Blue. I think I may give this a shot for my Neon on my B9.
Currently I have different colored rods stackedc on each other. It looks good but doesnt lite like I woant it to.
My DVD of The Mysterious Dr. Satan arrived yesterday. At first I was disapointed that it looked to be a home made copy but the quality is good and it was made apparently directly from the VHS. I watched several episodes last hight and boy is the robot cheesy!!
|Wednesday, March 26th, 2008|
So I get invited to a meeting last minuit yesterday afternoon that I had to be at at 8am this morning. Its about a half an hour drive whis is about 20 minuits more than my normal commute. This isnt a problam as I gfound out in time to be there. But I also get invited to a really important meeting starting at 12:30 which is a half an hour after the 8am meeting but the location hasnt been decided on. I figure no problem as I will be told a tthe morning meeting where to go.
About half way thru the meeting the other people who are invited to the 12:40 meeting disapear (I think they had a third meeting to go to). I figure no oroblem as I will seem them before the 12:30 meeting starts and I go to lunch and get back in time to hook up and find out the meeting location. The problem is I never find them again and end up waiting until 1:30 before giving up and driving back to the office.
I get to the office and find I had a work email at 8pm last night telling me the location of the meeting. ARRRRRGGG Its too late to go to the meeting and I really needed to be there. What upsets me is I sat next to the guy that sent me the email last night and he could have said "Did you see the email I sent you after work hours?"
What ever happoned to common curtasy? Current Mood: angry
|Sunday, March 23rd, 2008|
|R2DC Event at my home
Thomas Nixon is visiting the area from Sweeden and asked if he could meet with some local builders. This was just the excuse we needed to get together (Like we need an excuse!!) The guys started arriving around noon and the last one left about 11pm. Thomas ended up taking the metro and a bus then walked the last mile to my house. If only I had known he was doign that we could have arranged transportation for him. Melanie and oscar did ened up taking him back to the bus station to save him that walk!
Melanie was a great hostess and served everyone BBQ sandwiches and Potatoe salid ect for supper. We had a good time talking droids and exchanging ideas all afternoon and had a build session after supper
Dale and Ed worked on their A&A frames. Ed forgot to get the hardware so he only partially assembled it but did do the countersinking and srilling of the holes. dale had everything assembled but needed to decide on which set of legs he is using as that determines how he will be attaching the legs.
Oscar worked on modifying the wooden frame he purchased to attach his A&A legs to.
Pat brought me the tote to start my Scrubber droid. I plan on using a 4X4 truck I have so my Scrubber will be modded. I was origionally going to use the truck for my K9 but it was undersized as k9 is quite large.
Hics of the event are here
|Saturday, March 22nd, 2008|
|The Mysterious Doctor Satan
I took a trip to Percyville which is about a half an hour away Saturday morning to pick up a piece of 20" sonotube four foot long. I tried to get it locally but I could only get it in 12 foot lengths and I only needed 4 foot. I am working on a Dr. Satan's Robot for Dragon*Con. I plan on using the Sonotube and covering it with metal as the base of the robot. It will be a wearable costume that either I or my Son Branden can wear.
Take a look at the serial here:http://www.imagesjournal.com/issue04/infocus/mysteriousdrsatan.htm
I found out that Fred Barton made a nice suit as well:http://www.the-robotman.com/
If you look at the robots onthe left you can find "GORT" as he is calle dinthe serial.
I found a link where another builder had started one but life got inthe way and he never finished.