27 November 2019: The Red Telephone

As I continue with Electric Chair #1 I have needed to identify the small details and the timeline.

One of the small details that is required is a red telephone.  If there is to be a ‘pardon’ the executioner needs to be able to be communicated with.

Spoiler Alert: In this particular case the Red Telephone is going to ring after the execution.  Too bad, so sad.

I’ve also got 1/2 of the shake mechanism created.  I think it’s going to work well.  And a side benefit is that the shake mechanism is going to be able to be used to ring the Red Telephone.

Initially I thought that I was going to need to purchase a small telephone…however by using my drill press as a wood lathe I was able to create a reasonable little phone.  Now I need to paint it red and then weather it.    And it needs a cord.                                     

Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  A fake holiday…but if you can get around it’s fakeness and focus instead on being thankful for what we do have I know that I have a lot to be thankful for…and I am.  I’m very grateful for the life that I am able to lead.                                                                                                                                                                     


The ‘not yet red’ telephone for the Electric Chair.


18 November 2019: In the name of the Lord

At the present time I am creating a piece called The Electric Chair.  It’s an interesting little automata that depicts an electrocution.,

Over the years I have occasionally had in my conscious mind thoughts of all the ways that we humans have hurt…tortured each other.  For about a year now I’ve been tossing around the thought of making an automata series that focused on things that we have done to each other (tortures) in the name of the Lord.  I’ve recently been on the internet reading and looking at pictures of tortures and I’ve decided that I will NOT do a series of torture themed automata.  We have done some incredibly nasty, mean, rotten, sick, perverse, narrow minded things to each other.

Our world is too precarious…we humans can be too mean.  Society does not need me creating automata that depict acts of torture.  Society needs me to create automata that leaves some sort of positive feeling in a human being.  I will continue to create The Electric Chair because it is an interesting little piece…and not really that violent…and least not in the same sense that torture is violent.  And it wouldn’t surprise me if I sell one or two of these little Electric Chair automata.  It’s an interesting little machine that causes one to pause.  But torture automata…nope…I’ll leave that one alone.  I’m going to focus on positive things.


7 November 2019, The Automata Magazine Forum, and progress, and frustration.

At the beginning of September Automata Magazine opened an online forum…a forum where automata is discussed and where automata thoughts are shared.  I’ve been active in the forum and am reaping rewards for my participation.  The participants are pleasant and many are knowledgeable.  I’ve learned about things that I had no clue about.  I would encourage those of you interested in automata to join this forum.  There is no charge.  Here is the link.

I continue to make progress on both The Electric Chair and Inclined Slide #1.

  • The Electric Chair: I’ve identified all of the motions that I will include and have create the base.  Now to fill it up with motion causing mechanics…let the fun begin!
  • Inclined Slide #1:  The motor that I’ve been waiting for has arrived and I’ve completed the test stand for the biped.  You can see a video of the biped test stand here (YouTube). I’ve got some of the assemblies completed…must keep pushing forward.

I continue to be frustrated with our federal government…and I am disappointed in the President that was elected in 2016.  If he wins in 2020 I may just jump off a bridge.

Electric Chair progress continues.


2 November 2019, An automated nativity scene in the Czech Republic

The November-December 2019 issue of Automata Magazine was just ePublished.  I so look forward to these issues…and this issue was certainly worth the wait.

One article has really captured my attention.  It is about an automata that took 40 years to build.  It was privately funded…not a commission. There is no paint.  There are thousands of carved parts.  The entire display is 23 feet long, and includes 373 individual figures.  51 community crafts are depicted.  It took three men 40 years to complete (1885-1926).  It survived WWII.  And it was just recently restored.

There is an excellent video, 20 minutes long, that describes this beautiful machine.  Time is spent viewing the restoration process.  If you are at all interested in automata this video is absolutely worth watching.  I’ve watched it three times in one day (so far!).  Here is the YouTube link to the video.

Probost’s Mechanical Christmas Crib