Homework assignment: building a better robot

We can do it!

Gerry Anderson Andromedan Warbot. 1979. UK.

Starlog Japan. 1981. Maximilian.

Magic Robot Quiz Game. 1983. UK.

Hulk: Baptism of Fire. John Byrne. 1986. US.

September was pretty cool. It was my birthday, and I was pleased to get Kim Wilde’s last album Here Come The Aliens after seeing Kim and her band live in concert in July. The album is ridiculously addictive, with every single one of its pop/rock/80’s-vibe songs staying in your head long after listening.

Kim Wilde Here Come The Aliens 2018 CD. Artwork by Scarlett Wilde.

I also got The Desaturating Seven CD by Primus, a concept album based on the children’s book The Rainbow Goblins, written by Italian author and artist Ul de Rico. For those who don’t know, Primus is an amazing funk/metal/progressive rock band, recording since 1989, and who composed the original TV theme music to South Park. Primus sucks 🙂

Primus The Desaturating Seven CD

In September I had a story published…

My short story The Shores We Scavenge was published in a print anthology called Secrets in the Water. This is the fourth short I’ve had published to date, as well as a fair bit of poetry. It’s my dream to publish a full length novel… something I’m working on. In the meantime, short stuff is wonderful 🙂

Detective Comics N°1000!

Finally got a copy of the landmark Batman issue, and with a very cool variant cover. Thanks to a good friend in the UK who sent this over.

Detective Comics N° 1000. May 2019. Jim Lee / Scott Williams / Alex Sinclair cover.

Pez love. Love Pez!

Plus two little Smurfs I needed to complete a Kinder Surprise Chocolate Egg collection that I’ve been putting together – look out for an upcoming post all about that! 


They can spin!

Shogun Rocket Tops. 1979. Italy.

Robots can attack and compute! 

ATTACKING MARTIAN, battery operated tinplate robot, by Horikawa, Jaman, 1960s. ANSWERGAME, battery operated tinplate robot that executes simple mathematics, by Ichida, Japan, 1960s. From Christie’s South Kensington auction catalogue. 1988.

Robots can talk!

Power Rangers Robot Ranger. 1995. France.

All in all, September was a great month. Thanks for looking (back) with me, and remembering to love your robot  🙂


A Quick Digital Lesson

A+ plus a teacher, Teacher-Teacher, back row cheater, front row swot (I’m a girly, girly swot and I don’t care), digital faces preach to reach, upturned calculators, speak and spell, red LCD warnings readable only in reflections, reflections of the mind and soul, hearts chopped up for lunch on a mirror, believing in youth because you’re no different and it hurts just the same and it always will, you, hey you, it’s you because… the song and the dance and the early morning impressions, lessons, torn-open depressions, bleeding hearts and knife-twisting regressions, dreams that violate night after night when you should be sleeping and resting oh my poor dear one, you, you who deserve divine and pure realignment while preparing for your homework assignment, history, history, history, repeat after me: honestly now, if you could go back and change things, would you? Would you take a shiny merit, a prefect badge, 10 points for Slytherin or Gryffindor, detention or lines, the walk of shame to the headmaster’s office – he’ll burn your books and make an example of you in morning assembly in front of the school, idiot, dunce, waster, fool, words so cruel whether said verbally or spelled out on the latest computer or the shiniest screen of the shiniest phone, yes there are Apps for that – they bring you down the moment you soar, are free to use with personalised ads, harvesting away while you study and learn in the digital school where you’re a number not a name, but then… hasn’t that always been the same even when analogue was queen for a day, along with paper and poems and song and word of mouth, and painted cave walls and the primordial grunt? Bell rings. Ring-a-ling-a-ling. Lesson over for today. School’s out. Freedom beckons but only ever of sorts… yet… listen… do you want to know an organic secret straight from the human heart and soul? My digital master, he loves it when I sleep, because he believes he can read my dreams. What he does not know is that I only ever dream in colour.


24 thoughts on “Homework assignment: building a better robot

  1. Excellent stuff. Robots are big in my home just now… so much so that my boy is wanting to build one, so that’s our task this weekend!

    Belated birthday wishes and congratulations on having your piece published. Very awesome.

    Also, I would never have thought to check out a Kim Wilde album… but I do like that artwork, so I’m all in!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi J, thanks for the good wishes man 🙂
      You should def check out Kim Wilde’s Here Come The Aliens… it’s an album of pure non-stop catchy luscious dreamy pop rock that demands your ears. Lost count now how many times I’ve listened and I still want more.
      As for robots, the more I see ads for them the more I have to stop myself from attempting to collect some. That’s cool your lad wants to build one… is it a model kit or Lego or homemade? We have a box of Lego here, so it might be fun to try and make a big robot out of all the random pieces.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, we’ve built a robot from the various blocks we have, so it’s time to move on. We have boxes and all sorts saved for building a homemade robot… the weekend is going to be a good one!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Cool. Would like to see your finished robot! Great if you are making it out of recycled boxes and stuff. Good use of unwanted materials! I have a rare weekend off so it’s Star Wars video games with the sprog + a mini Meccano aeroplane kit we’ve been meaning to build for months. Maybe I can interest him in some sort of robot build too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. First, congratulations on your story getting included in “Secrets in the Water”!
    The batman cover is very cool!
    Was never into robots, but it makes sense that many were. I recall girlfriends brothers playing Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots.
    The comic book guy up the street had his window filled with Super Hero Pez containers for several months. They weren’t in packaging, so I assumed they were vintage.
    Your prose is unique…. keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Resa for your lovely words about the writing X
      You mention the Rock ’em Sock robots and I’d love to play that (they rereleased it fairly recently). Tried to get hold of some of the vintage ads but they’re a bit scarce and what I saw were dead pricey.
      Hey, bet that window display rocked with all those bright and colourful superhero Pez!! I only have about ten or eleven Pez, but when they’re displayed together they look really good = bright and happy!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My friend,
    May the wind be always at your back,
    May the sun shine warmly on your face,
    May the rain fall softly on your fields,
    And may the wings of inspiration aid you always on your journey!

    Happy Happy birthday 🎂 mate!!

    And huge congrats on being published.Another milestone set!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another cool collection and some fun retro-futuristic typography on show too, especially the Gerry Anderson and Shogun. It’s impossible not to enjoy that stuff. Yay Kim! Here Come The Aliens is SO addictive, I’m still streaming it regularly! The live album is fantastic aswell. Belated congrats on the publishing, and the birthday too! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Gotta agree with Mr Bowler, great collection of pics and that Maximillian is a real gem. I remember we spoke about the Black Hole a while ago but the picture of Max in that post wasn’t as good as this one (I like cutaway images). And big congrats on getting published (again),

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That Max image from The Black Hole is superb isn’t it. Like you I enjoy seeing blueprints and cross sections for robots and vehicles. I have this brilliant ad for a Dalek showing exactly that. I posted it a while back. The Batman comic was good to receive but I’ve yet to find time to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great collection of how to build robots pictures, especially Maximilian. I love all those robot designs and how they might be put together. I like anything a bit like a blueprint, like you used to see in comics, for robots, or vehicles, or like what all the different rooms were in the Baxter Building ect. All good fun. Nice issue of Detective comics you got there as well, love that cover too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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