Archives February 2012


I have a ton of things to blog about and not near enough time. So please forgive me because I’m about to ramble, but hope to drive a couple of points into a few RLSH people’s heads. Most of you know this already, so I hope it doesn’t apply to you.
I’ve had fantastic patrols in Minneapolis with the Great Lakes Alliance and also in Madison, Wisconsin with the Challengers. There was a photograpy student who was working on her thesis and wanted to build it around Real-Life Superheroes. And she told me much later that she tried to contact every RLSH she knew of.
And then she said that no one other than me responded. I don’t know who else was contacted, but that really disappointed me that she hadn’t even heard back from any other one of us.
Are we that paranoid that you can’t help a student get her Masters Degree in photojournalism?
I look at being a Real Life Superhero as a mission of trying to help people. Anyone. Everyone. And we need to look at that from a lot of perspectives. You don’t just help people who are sitting on a street corner on the cold sidewalk wearing essentially rags. Of course, that’s an easy red flag for anyone of us. But it’s not the end.
You might also need to help someone in business dress-clothes who forgot their keys. You might help a woman who is in fear of walking down the street for the possibility of being raped. Is there an elderly couple you see going down the wrong neighborhood that they’re not familiar with? Just tail them from a distance, without freaking them out, but still watching their safe passage.
And if we can help a college student graduate…

So I have been building this robot

Here he is at his first official event with Team Justice and the Humane Society Of Pinellas. Strutting his stuff with the other dogs at the 12th Annual Mutt Strut.

Here is a longer (but still fun) video of K-9. Includes some explanations about him and cool Dr. Who music.
Off and on for the past year I have been slowly putting together a model robot. It’s now at a stage where I don’t mind showing it off. You see there is a con coming up soon, and he is going with me.

He is based on K-9 from the old Doctor Who series. K-9 was a robotic-computerized tin dog on the show way back in the 70’s. That’s when I was a kid and began my long journey down the road of everything science. K-9 was, for the most part, a computer. His intellect and memory were on par or superior to The Doctor. Mans best friend as a small silver motorized computer.


He had several abilities outside of his intellect. He had a laser in his nose, sensor arrays for his ears, an interface connector that extended from his eyes, and tank treads for mobilization.

I have always been a fan of K-9. Two years ago I built a small replica one for Supercon in Miami. This small one was merely a mat-board shell over a small remote control car. It was a nice miniature version. But being made of mat-board, after some time it began to show a lot of wear and tear. It was time for a new full size one.

I found a chassis that I could use in the form of a monster truck at a garage sale. It had been left in the garage for some time and the battery boxes had corroded so it was nonfunctional. I got it for $5.00. Another $4.00 for new battery boxes from Radio Shack and a little time and solder and it was good as new.

And there is sat in my garage for at least 9 months. Why? Because I had already built one K-9 and did not enjoy the prospect of having to do it again. I’m not big on repetitive tasks. Then I discovered Steampunk. Steampunk allows us to re-imagine things that once were as new and different things. So I asked, “What if Doctor Who was Steampunk? What would K-9 look like then?” I began to work.
The first thing I did was remove the monster truck tires and replace them with some that looked more retro. The front ones were from a set of training wheels from a small kid’s bike. The rear wheels came from a lawn mower and I painted them in copper and gold for that retro feel. My fender design covered most of that however.

I then removed part of the front suspension to allow a step down in the body. I used foam-core board to build the front section inspired by a trolley train. I wrapped the foam-core body section in galvanized flashing sheet metal. I then built a cow catcher for the front out of dowels and spare parts. Flashing $14.00

The sheet metal was held to the foam-core sub-structure using brass nails pushed through and bent over on the inside. The nails were then glued down and allowed to dry. This created a nice effect of having it fastened together with brass rivets. It looks real cool up close. $4.00

A plumbing coupler was added on the sides to simulate a power take-off. A trick I learned from Aviator of Skiffytown. $8.00

I built a tank from a stove pipe and a 2 kettle lids from Goodwill. Less than $10.00
The rear body structure had to support the tank and hold the whole thing together. I built it from foam core as well but included a lot of internal structure for stability and strength. I then repeated the process of creating a metal skin made of flashing. I attached my tank to that structure. I later added 2 smoke stacks on the back behind the tank. Also made a spot where some vacuum tubes could be installed to help create the proper look. A Tesla coil style tail at the back of the tank creates a nice detail as well.
The voice module on the back is meant to approximate the control panel of the original K-9. It is a working USB /clock/radio/mp3 player. The 8 gig on board sd card has a set of prerecorded voice responses that I can activate with the remote. It came in a wooden box, which I disassembled and rebuilt into the structure you see, made from foam-core and sheet metal again. Amazon. $14.00
The neck is a foam-core inner shape around a large section of all-thread. It was then wrapped in nylon and spray painted black. Incidentally that is the same way I built the smaller versions neck. That’s the only process that I repeated.

The head is built to closely resemble the original K-9. This was mapped out using Autocad software and each section printed onto paper at full size. The paper was then cut and used as a template to shape the foam-core precisely. After building the foam-core head I placed the barrel of a replica civil war era Ball and Powder revolver in the nose section. This replaces his laser. After skinning the head with metal I placed the sides of the gun, showing the mechanism, on the forward part of the nose. The air soft gun I used came from Amazon as well. $12.00

The eyes were made from some scrap plexiglass. The 2 antenna ears were speaker covers from the voice module. And a Steampunk monocle magnifier for $4.00 to top it all off.
Building a custom one-off RC robot: $71.00
Having the most awesome K-9 on the planet: Priceless


For Immediate Release
Anti-Crime Activist
(504) 214-3082
February 7, 2012

( NEW ORLEANS ): Occupy NOLA calls for an immediate citizen response to a pending court decision on behalf of all street vendors on Canal Street.
We gather to protest for street vendor’s rights at 2PM, Wednesday, February 8th at the The New Orleans Municipal City Courthouse, 727 S Broad St, New Orleans, LA 70119 just prior to a court decision involving Nadra Enzi.
Nadra Enzi, aka Captain Black, who has worked as security and clerk to a Canal Street vendor, Ms. Simone Simon has been issued tickets by Eighth District Officer Larry Adams, who appears to curry the favor of the Downtown Development District (DDD) by trying to over zealously meet their goal of “cleaning up” the area. Nadra Enzi reports to Occupy NOLA that the officer involved has a history of pursuing this objective as if on a mission, creating stress and discomfort amongst the vendors. Nadra Enzi has been cited while he was helping out a permit-holding vendor and feels he has been singled out unfairly by Officer Adams.
The City’s vendors serve as an integral part of New Orleans’ festive scene and diverse culture. Canal street vendors are a local institution. Occupy NOLA is protesting for a secure place for them to operate and a re-examination of the permit which is becoming a witch hunt of over regulation.
All citizens are called to be aware of this struggle of the underdog vendor versus the mighty Downtown Development District. This pending decision may cause more unchallenged harassment of vendors if we don’t stand up for them now!
Occupy NOLA, the Direct Action Working Group and Captain Black demand:

1. Dismissal of charges against Captain Black
2. Officer Larry Adams removal from NOPD as well for violating Serpas’ “you lie you die” rule by making false statements.
3. The Independent Police Monitor and FBI investigate the DDDs misuse of off duty police racially profiling black vendors, black chess players, black youth and all black citizens, period!
4. The Downtown Development District be banned from using off duty police officers to enforce its ideology. Management has abused that privilege far too greatly to allow this behavior to continue.


I guess I didn't "Jones it" ?

So just now Ladyhero Rlsh gets home & I go out front to greet her & I hear “You fat F765ing whore! I hope you die! You’re gonna die anyway!” :/ It’s some guy on a bicycle yelling at some car …The car pulls up & stops about 70 yards from me The guy pulls up next to the window, stops and the verbal exchange continues. I watch…they quit…go their separate ways. Why didn’t I feel the irresistible urge to run up to them screaming ” BREAK IT UP!” & soak them both with pepper spray? Something must be wrong with me.
(Maybe I just didn’t want to get beaten with a shoe? I don’t know…)