Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Greetings from the Battle Creek Sanitarium!

I suppose the truth in advertising version of this blog entry might read "Just Another Robot".  However, that would not be entirely accurate since the robot in question is my wife's Google/Blogger avatar.

The story goes like this:  Emmie was out of town visiting a friend and Claire and I decided she needed her very own Christmas robot.  Being the dedicated scroungers that we are, I took Claire to a local antique mall on a parts hunting expedition.

Claire didn't quite get why I was so excited to find this particular tin since she has not seen The Road to Wellville and won't be seeing it any time soon.  Once she read the Wikipedia entry on the Battle Creek Sanitarium, she totally understood the nerd factor and Momma would get her robot.  After all, Emmie's reading materials of choice often center on eclectic historical figures, public health and rare, incurable diseases.

Interestingly enough, the tin was full of caked something.  One of the perils of junk bot building is that you run into lots of disintegrated plastic goo, chemical residues and other safety hazards large and small.  This was my first experience with 100 year old food additives.  I could only hope that the Lacto Dextrin product did not contain some kind of virulent live culture that would trigger the world zombie apocalypse.

Apparently, food safety principles were followed at the Battle Creek Food company - zombie apocalypse denied!   The yellowish stuff in the container was probably state of the art health food back in the day.

Should you be interested in the story behind the real Wellville, drop by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_Creek_Sanitarium   While you are there, please consider making a donation to one of the few corners of the Internet that refrains from pilfering your data and barraging your browser with advertising.

The tin joined a vacuum tube, fork and spoon, scrounged bolts, nuts and screws from garage sales, a pair of spring loaded door bumpers and some industrial strength epoxy in this assemblage.

I hope that I did not destroy some valuable cultural relic in the bot making process.  Emmie does love her robot. 

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