The Robot Marionette

Today was a surprisingly good day for me under self-imposed lockdown restriction. I slept in a bit longer than usual. The morning scale reading was not higher than expected and there was a new GeoCache within a half mile from the house. The temperature was only 84, and I felt good. My normal routine now is to get my pills, eat a hard-boiled egg, load up with water, and head out the door for a five-mile walk. I decided to go after the new GeoCache instead of walking on the section of the Tucson bike loop that is near my house. It’s Sunday, and there were probably a good number of people on the “Loop.” Besides, the GeoCache was new and there was an outside chance that I’d get a “First to Find.” I didn’t PhilBeer beat me to it, but that didn’t make the activity any less fun. After swapping swag and marking the log in the GeoCache, I still had some distance to go to get to my normal 5-mile distance. I headed out to find a few more local caches that were nearby. Luck was with me throughout the hunt and not a single DNF (Did Not Find). I got all five of them without bleeding a bit which is quite a feat given our kind of vegetation. I did get a thorn through the shoe, but that only held me up for a bit to remove it. No blood involved.

The rest of the day went normally. I made a new batch of T.J. Miracle Soup and watched some YouTube videos. Dinner was good. We finished watching Briarpatch. (I love it when gets cancelled and I get to see it finish up.) In all, a good day. I handed over the remote control to my wife, grabbed a Blue Moon, and headed to the computer room to finish out the waking part of the day. Did I mention that it was a good day?

The bottle cap jar on the bar was full and I had to empty it out. I have a friend that makes Beer Pong tables that use bottle caps, so I needed to bag up the contents and store them away. That’s when a 59-year-old memory surfaced…It was a memory about a time when I ran into a shortage of bottle caps.

At age 8, I was a Boy Scout and my mother was one of the leaders—a Den Mother. A den consisted of around 8 boys. The den met once a week. On meeting days, we wore our uniforms to school. Our mission in life was to gain rank, earn arrowhead patches, and work on crafts. The Boy Scouts of America had leader guides that suggested projects. The den mothers found interesting crafts for us to do. I enjoyed the craft portion of the program more than the other parts.

At this point, I need to thank my mother and other den leaders for picking this project. For any of my friends and others that read this blog, this might answer a few questions you have about me. This Robot Marionette craft project set the stage for my entire life.

The first part of the project involved collecting cans and bottle caps. We needed a variety of specific cans that, at that time, most people used. As I remember, the body was made of a 3-pound coffee can. We needed 4 tall juice cans for the legs. Concentrated orange juice cans were necessary for the arms, and the head was a large fruit can. Tuna cans were used for the hands. The feet were sardine cans. The robot sported a boy scout hat and a paper neckerchief worn around the neck. All the cans were tied together with small pieces of twine. Strings were connected to the knees, elbows, top of the head, the hands, and the feet. Only a small quantity of the cans was required. However, the fingers of the hands required a boatload of bottle caps! No one had them. As I bagged the several hundred beer caps, I remembered how many of our tin can marionette robots went unfinished because all our dads drank their beer from cans.

So, my dear readers, do you now know how this project affected my life?,,,,,,

You get the idea: My interest in Robots, Youth Activity, and Upcycling all started back then in 1961.

About AZAtheist

Retired--Researcher, Developer, Program Manager, Arizona Regional Director--American Atheists, Organizer--Tucson Atheists, Organizer--Skeptics of Tucson
This entry was posted in Camp Quest, Repurposing Material, Retired--A Day in the Life, Robotics, Science and Technology, Youth Activity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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