19 08 2010

August 1st –


there are three weeks left of summer. That happened fast. I was expecting to have a post every day or every few days on my vacation, but obviously that didn’t happen. Collectively, we had 9,000 photos from the trip, so it was a little overwhelming to go through them all every day, and after the first few days, I just gave up. Here are a few highlights (be sure to click all the links for photos!):

We toured the Celestial Seasonings tea factory. It was pretty cool. They have a room full of mint that will make your eyes water. Then we went antiquing and I wrestled a bear.

Day three, we drove to Delta, CO. Along the way, we stopped at scenic overlooks, explored summertime Vail, found an abandoned marble processing facility, and went hiking in an aspen forest. It was a fairly scenic drive.

Day four, we left Delta, drove through increasingly red, rocky, arid terrain until we got to the full-fledged desert of Moab, UT. We took an impulsive dirtroad detour that turned into a 30-mile back route that put us near where we wanted to be. We got out and took photos a few times along the way.

We went to the Colorado National Monument state park, and hiked around for a bit. It’s this enormous canyon that has a road all around the rim so you can drive around gawking at the immensity of it all. There are also plenty of trails to go on, which we certainly took advantage of.

Once we got into Utah, the scenery changed completely. Everything was dry, red, and rocky. We took this superscenic back way into Moab that snaked its way alongside the Colorado River, with the looming red canyon walls on either side of it. It was really pretty.

On the fifth day, we went into Arches National Park in Moab, where we took the “fiery furnaces” tour, which was fantastic.

Then we did some more exploring in Arches National Park and headed back to Denver. Along the way, we stopped and went ATVing in the mountains. It was lots of fun!


August 19th –


There is one day left of summer. I leave for Pittsburgh tomorrow. Just sayin. I completely failed at the whole blog thing this summer, so for that I apologize. I’ll eventually get pictures up from the rest of the trip… but that probably means never haha.

For now, I’m hitting “reset” and pretending like I didn’t just not mention practically everything that happened this summer.



Day One in Denver

16 06 2010

I was going to start this post with “so” but then I thought about how many other posts I’ve started with “so,” so I decided not to.  I took 634 pictures. Make sure you click all the links! (I also wrote this yesterday, so all these events were yesterday’s…)


We left home, Sarasota, 85°, 20 ft above sea level, at almost 6AM this morning. We flew direct from Tampa to Denver, packed our bags into a Hyundai Santa Fe, and decided that we should go from a very low elevation to a very high elevation. After a lunch at Chipotle, we headed out to the Mt. Evans Scenic Byway, the highest paved road in America. I got excited about some little mountains when we first got on the road… little did I realize their laughable smallness in comparison to the fourteeners that we were about to see.

We stopped a few times along the way and took a whole bunch of pictures. I climbed some rocks… After about an hour, we finally reached the base of Mt. Evans. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway is a treacherous road, only open during a few months of the year. Everything we had read said that the road opened on May 28, so we figured we would be okay. I called to make sure, and was told that the road’s conditions were almost passable, and that the road could be opened momentarily. So we headed up.

The air got cooler, the trees sparser, and we got to Echo Lake Park. There I found a small pile of snow under some trees, even though it was well over 60° out and I was comfortable in a T-shirt. I threw a snowball at my dad, looked at some ducks on the lake, and we continued up the mountain.

The frequency of little snow piles started increasing until we were driving in a jagged, barren, semi-arctic otherworld full of rocks. It was absolutely breathtaking. We got to a point where we could see Echo Lake from a few thousand feet above it. It was really cool. The neighboring mountain peaks were beautiful and majestic, and the road was cut through the edge of the mountain with a wall of rock on one side and a precipitous drop on the other. I have never seen a road with so many switchbacks and hairpin turns. And on top of that, it was almost too narrow for two cars to pass, so we ended up pulling over to let people pass a few times.

We get to the first snowy mountain overlook, and there’s a snowman on top of a pile of rocks, so of course, I climbed up and got a photo with it. Then we threw a couple snowballs at each other, and I went exploring… I climbed around to the back of the pile of rocks, and started rolling a snowball. The snow was really icy and absolutely perfect for packing together. You could roll your snowball and it would pick up ALL the snow underneath it, down to the grass. I got a pretty big snowball in about three or four minutes. I was being yelled at to get back into the car, but I stubbornly kept rolling my snowball out of sight behind the big pile of rocks. Finally I pick up my snowball and struggle back over the rocks toward the parking circle and my parents. My dad quickly got out of the car and helped me roll two more snowballs and we made another, bigger snowman and left it right at the edge of the road.

We got back in the car and continued along the 14 mile trek up to the summit. We passed this gorgeous lake at the base of a ridge, and stopped to take photos.

After more cliff-edge roads, hairpin turns, switchbacks, rocks and endless snow, we finally made it to the top at 14,130 feet. There was a half-building thing at one edge, and another small peak at the other. I couldn’t make it all the way up to the parking lot at the top without climbing all the way to the summit. So my dad and I put on our hiking boots and climbed up to the top. I got bored just climbing up the switchbacky path, so I started taking shortcuts directly up the rocks. I reached the top, and it was the most breathtaking view I’ve ever seen. It was incredible.

We found the two little bronze markers that signify the summit, and headed back down. We got in the car and started our slow descent. I kept getting yelled at for standing up out the window and taking photos over the roof of the car. But hey, that got me some really cool photos

The snow on the sides of the mountains looked really shiny, almost like a pearl-color, and I really wanted to go feel it and make a snow angel. So we stopped and I got out, and did just that. But the shininess of the snow was a direct result of its consistency. It was the densest snow I’ve ever felt. The top surface wasn’t icy, but it was very dense and hard. I didn’t make much of an impression in it…

We get down to the bottom (cell phone reception again…) and head to the Curtis Hotel. We check in to the hotel, my mom and sister go to the theater right on the corner to see Young Frankenstein, and my dad and I head out to the Buckhorn Exchange to sample some meats that we definitely don’t get in Florida. The restaurant claims to be the oldest in Denver. It was in this little house-like thing stuffed full of taxidermied animals (including some double-headed sheep thing) with some tables and booths. We ended up ordering the same thing – a special with 4oz filets of buffalo and elk. Everything on the menu was really really expensive, but the meat was very good. Buffalo tastes pretty similar to beef, but it’s much softer, much more tender, and leaner. Elk is also very lean, but it doesn’t taste or feel like beef. It’s got a much denser, chewier texture, while being tender at the same time. It has a much stronger flavor that I can’t really describe, other than that it doesn’t taste like beef or lamb or anything else I’ve ever eaten.

It was a good day.

Michael Angelo Batio, work, and a new head

12 06 2010

So I was sort of waiting for something semi-momentous to happen that would necessitate a blog post. Well, that something came on the news last night: “At 2:00 tomorrow afternoon, world renowned shred guitarist Michael Angelo Batio will be playing at what promises to be the biggest guitar event in Sarasota history at the Sarasota Guitar Company.” Michael Angelo Batio?! Really?! That crazy guy who plays that ridiculously awesome double guitar?

Naturally, I had to go.

We wanted to get a spot in the crowd with a good vantage point, and I had a $10 rewards coupon at Best Buy (which is right across the street), so I went with my dad to Best Buy to kill time until the show. We went straight to the musical instruments section. I showed him the $1800 Taylor acoustic that I fell in love with last time I was there, and we were playing around for a bit. Finally, it’s about time to go across the street, but I hadn’t spent my coupon that was due to expire today. So I pick up a guitar cable, thinking “ehh, I could always use a guitar cable…” and stumbled upon the clearance table. Sitting on the clearance table was a 75W Line6 Spider III head for $129.99! I couldn’t believe the deal. So… I bought it, thinking that I could always sell it if I didn’t like it, and I needed something bigger than my 15W combo that I had in Pittsburgh if my music was ever going to get off the ground up there.

We stick it in my trunk and head across the street to the parking lot where the stage and a few booths were set up. A swamp-rock band was playing some okay covers of stuff, but as the ponytailed and pierced population starting slowly growing, everyone pretty much knew that no one was really there for the openers.

By the time the MC had finished throwing T-shirts at the crowd and Batio finally took the stage, there was a fairly large group of people baking in the middle of a parking lot in the 90° Florida sun. He starts his sound check, joking about how at shows in Britain, they charge people extra to sit in on the sound check… he was very animated, and quite entertaining. And then he started playing.

He played a Deep Purple cover (Burn), an original (Rain Forest – see video I took at the bottom), a tribute to Dimebag Darrell, and a tribute to Led Zeppelin. He took a fifteen minute break cause he was dying from the heat, and then he brought out the double guitar.

I have never seen such an awesome guitar performance. He went from playing the right hand neck with his left hand and arms crossed, to harmonizing his leads to one hand playing rhythm, the other playing lead, to shredding on one of the necks… it was really impressive. After the show, he said he would be in the store doing a signing, so my dad and I went into the store where there were at least five different guitars at any given time in various stages of shred and distortion and an inchoate line starting to materialize. I saw the owner of Dean Guitars (who was pointed out by Batio, who is a hugely endorsed Dean artist), Elliott Dean Rubinson, and got an autograph from him on my Dean Guitars catalog. We then joined the line, and after about forty minutes, got up to meet the master himself. I bought his “Hands Without Shadows” cd, had him sign it and a poster, and got a photo with him.

I wasn’t really thinking that I was going to be going to a shredfest when I dressed myself this morning, so I wasn’t as “METAL” as I usually am at such events, but hey, I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity just because I was wearing a lame shirt.


So I finished my first three weeks at the Robot MarketPlace. I must say, it’s a fantastic job. I’m working with things that I have an interest in and experience with, and the greatest people I could imagine working with. My boss (who has about a 50% probability of reading this… which is kind of weird…) is a “giant man-child” as described by my two main coworkers, and I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’m doing a lot of work keeping our selection of products current and at competitive prices, website maintenance, new product selection, and answering phone calls about technical questions and, if I’m the only one available, general customer concerns. I’ve been really accepted into the family of this business and I couldn’t be happier. I even have my own cubey-desk-computer-chair-place!

I’m going on a vacation to Colorado and Utah in a few days, and after that, I’m going to start doing video product reviews and tutorials for the website. I’m really excited!


There’s no wisdom at home…

18 05 2010

So I think I mentioned how I found a really good drummer at CMU that I had been playing with. We had been both writing really cool stuff and working on playing White Walls by Between the Buried and Me. I said that I would post a video when we got a decent recording of it, so here it is. I couldn’t find anywhere other than Facebook that would let me upload a 13 minute long video, so it’s from Facebook.


Victor left two days before I did, so I had our room all to my lonely self for two days. It wasn’t really fun. I got everything packed up and stored and set for coming home, then I lugged my three suitcases to the airport, by myself. I would pull two forward about twenty feet, then go back for the third, all the way to ticketing/check in.

I had to shell out $100 to the lady checking my bags because both my checked bags were over 50 lbs. My carryon ended up not fitting in the overhead bins, so they checked that at the gate (sort of my plan all along because I didn’t want to pay another $50 to check a third bag…). Getting that bag through security was kind of fun… So I had a wah pedal and two other guitar effect pedals in the bottom of the suitcase that were really confusing the people at the x-ray check-in. When they asked me what I had in the suitcase, I had no idea, so I was like “uhh… lots of stuff?” They really liked that response, so they searched the bag. This was an extremely overstuffed bag to begin with, so they were just kind of impressed by it. The lady searching it called it “the mother of all bags” and told me that she hadn’t seen a bag like this in a long time. I was proud. She pulled out my wah pedal, identified it as a “wah wah pedal!”, and then she, too, was proud. My bag was deemed non-threatening, and I was allowed to go put my shoes on. Then, when she tried to fit it all back in, she gave up very quickly and let me do it.

The transition back to home life went reasonably smoothly… I get home, do some homey things like chilling on the couch watching TV, going to lift at the gym, and putting all my clothes away. Then, Monday morning, I had to take my sister to school. I put my car in reverse, and it jumps backwards, hard. Halfway down the street it jumps forward. It was acting strange. The light next to “D” in the shifter display was blinking, and the engine light was on. So I get her down to school, and take my car straight to the dealership fearful of an exorbitantly expensive transmission repair. Turns out, something (like a mouse..) had chewed through some of the wires to the solenoids in the transmission, and that’s why it was acting funny. A $220 repair is a lot better than a $1000 repair.

And then, at 4:00 that afternoon, I had a consultation with an oral surgeon about removing my wisdom teeth. We decided on an appointment for the next day (this morning) at 8:30AM. So we go in, they hook me up to an IV, and tell me to relax. A nurse took my pulse, and I woke up on my couch with gauze shoved in my mouth. The nurses and doctor said that I was really funny, and they all walked me out to my car. Of course, I don’t remember any of it. After being awake for a bit, I took an oxycodone, and got kind of loopy…


If the video links don’t work for you, please let me know!

Packing up :(

8 05 2010

We are nearing the end of our freshman year. It’s kind of ridiculous how quickly it seems to have gone. I think we’re all definitely settled into the whole “college” thing, so much so that it’s going to feel really strange being at home for the summer. I think that if I didn’t have a job lined up for me, I’d be pretty bored after a while. Part of me still wants to go home, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t really depressing to see everyone leaving and packing. Living in a dorm like Mudge is such an intensely social experience. I can’t imagine not being able to walk down the hallway and poke my head into all the open doors to say hi. Living in an apartment is going to be very different. But still awesome! We’re gonna have a kitchen!

I didn’t realize quite how much stuff I had until I started packing it up.

Victor looked at me kind of incredulously, wondering how I got it all here. We loaded it all up into a big pickup truck, and I watched as all that made our room awesome drove off to hide away for the three months of summer. Our room is kind of empty now. There are big awkward spaces where things used to be. I don’t like it. Victor broke down his drum set, and I sent away my speakers, acoustic guitar, and bass, so our room is lacking the “BAM! MUSIC!” that it used to have. It’s really sad.

Five days until I fly home… 😦

Concert 5/2/10 at Mr. Small’s

4 05 2010

Well. The day before finals, and I decide to go to a concert. Probably not the best decision in my academic career, but, yknow, after you’ve studied for 12 hours for an exam that’s more about thinking than memorization, another 6 isn’t gonna make much of a difference. Especially if the exam isn’t until 1 in the afternoon.


  • Protest the Hero
  • Architects
  • Oh No! The Afterlife
  • Dethlehem

at Mr. Small’s. It was a good show, the roughest pit I’ve ever been in, and the most drama of any show I’ve been to. I went with Alex and Rebecca (both of whom I went to the last show with), and one of my other friends.  We meet up, expecting a cab at 6, end up waiting for another 20 minutes, finally get to the theater around 6:40 (show starts at 7), and I realize that I didn’t grab my ticket. I bought another one at the door, no big deal, but wow. I almost forgot my ticket last time too. Not looking too good on me… Anyways, as we walk in, I predicted “I don’t think we’re  gonna get a spot by the stage this time,” but the theater was less crowded than I’ve ever seen it twenty minutes before a show. In fact, rather than being stuck by the stage right speaker like we usually are, we managed to end up dead center on the stage, with only a single row of people separating us from the bar at the edge of the stage.

The stage was set up with Dethlehem‘s gear. They’re a local Pittsburgh band, unsigned, so we were unsure of what to expect. They come out on stage in freaking Medieval garb, like tunics and armor and chain mail… I was hoping that they would pull off something really impressive musically, since they had the balls to dress the way they did, and they were opening for Protest the Hero, but ehh, it was pretty mediocre. They did put on a decent show though. So. At the end of the mic check, this girl in the front row yells out “HEY!” and the singer looks at her, and growls “what do you have to say to me?” She replies “bring the fucking ruckus” and he comes back with “I will destroy your mind with a spell you wouldn’t believe.” It was kinda funny. They started shortly after that.

A few songs in, this.. thing comes out from back stage, all hunched over and crawly, wearing a really ugly mask. The singer turns and looks at it, and says “what the fuck is that?!” and grabs it by the neck in a headlock. It was followed by a guy wearing a shirt that said “GAGA HAS A WIENER” carrying a big red inflated ball thing. The singer from Dethlehem took the ball thing (which was actually a lots-of-sides-ed die, menacingly said “decide its fate,” and tossed the die up in the air. When it landed, he looked over at the number facing up. “18? You’re dead!” and pulled a sword from somewhere, held it up, and proceeded to saw off the thing’s “head.”

He then tossed the thing down to the stage, and held the head up for the audience to see, as the drummer started the next song. Both the beheaded body and the head lay on the stage for the remainder of the set. They played a few more songs, and as an exit, told the audience that they had “cool slash dorky t-shirts,” along with free “Dethleham” at their merch booth. They did indeed.

Oh No! The Afterlife came on next. The drummer’s bass drum had a few pillows in it, but didn’t have a second head, which we all thought was kind of strange. Overall a younger looking group, they played a pretty decent set. Their guitar players could actually play. I was fairly impressed. The rhythm guitar player and clean vocalist had pretty sweet dreadlocks that looked like a lot of fun. Their style didn’t sound all that generic, and they played well. They even announced a “jam session,” and just jammed for like 3 minutes. At one point the guitar players walked up to each other, and fretted the other’s guitar while strumming on their own. It was pretty cool.

They all got really into it, too. During the first song, every one of them was doing full, 180-degrees-of-motion headbangs, and jumping around on stage. It was a pretty good show. They’re also an unsigned semi-local band, from Slippery Rock, PA, but they played really good stuff for an unsigned band.

During their set, this family makes their way up right next to us. It was a mother (~45 ish), daughter (~20+), daughter’s boyfriend (a big guy I wouldn’t want to mess with), other daughter (~15) and son (~12). It was an interesting group of people, and they seemed nice enough, but ended up being quite problematic.

Architects came on and started setting up. They were playing some really obscure and expensive amps (Blackstar, Orange, Splawn) so I was expecting great things. They introduced themselves (they’re from the UK), and started their set. I thought that I downloaded some of their music, and it was good. Really fast paced, progressive, fit in well with Protest. But it was not at all what these guys played. Turns out, I downloaded “Architect” while these guys were called “Architects.” Ooops. They played really tight, but they were nothing special. We were still at the front of the stage though, and it was an exiting place to be. The crowd had been pretty tame up to this point, but the crowd surfing began when out of the blue, two guys came hurtling off the stage into the crowd. One got held up, the other didn’t make it very far before hitting the ground. As the roughness in the pit increased, the boyfriend of the girl in the family next to us was starting to aggressively shove people away from them. The girl told me she’d break someone’s neck if anything happened to the little kid. Well, that’s all well and good, but you have to realize that you’re in the front row of a pit at a heavy metal concert. So this guy starts crowdsurfing away from the stage, but starts really close to this family. They huddle together to avoid him, and the guy ends up falling on his head and blacking out for a few seconds before struggling back to his feet. The singer of the band motions for the guy to get up on stage after verifying that he was okay, so the guy tries to fight his way to the stage, but he tries to go right through “the family.” They start viciously punching him as the girl shields the little kid from him. Seriously. What the fuck is their problem? This guy just landed on his fucking head from eight feet up because you’re out of place in a metal pit, and then you go and start beating the shit out of him because he’s trying to get to the stage after the band’s singer told him to? Come on! He’s not out for blood or anything, he’s just trying to get to the stage! He didn’t do anything wrong! Jesus. So he gets up on stage and the band finish the song. The singer holds him back as the guy’s about to leap again right before the song ended. He addresses the audience, instructing them that “when a guy is crowdsurfing, you don’t move out of the way, you put your fucking hands up and keep him afloat! Now. I don’t want to see a single crowdsurfer hit the ground.” You could tell he was concerned for the guy who landed on his head, and pissed at this group of people next to me. They started the next song, and the guy jumped into the crowd again, successfully making it across the pit. A song or two later, I look back, and the dreadlocked guitar player from Oh No! The Afterlife is in the pit. I tap him on the shoulder and pound it. Architects finish their set, and Protest the Hero starts setting up. Someone in the crowd shouts “rock and roll pussy hole!” and my friends and I kinda just look at each other… “That’s a new one…”

I have never been in a crowd so desperate to get right up against the stage. The crowdsquish was incredible and unrelenting. But “the family” thought they could take on the whole freaking crowd. They just kept viciously shoving people away from them, just causing problems in general. YOU’RE IN THE FRONT ROW. YOU WILL BE SQUISHED. DON’T FIGHT IT OR YOU’LL MAKE THINGS WORSE. Jesus. So the crowd fought back, and it just got really rough. It’s a ripple effect, yknow? The family shoves people away, they come surging back, with the weight of the entire crowd behind them. The pit got so rough and uncomfortable that we all ended up moving off to the edges of the stage, halfway back in the theater where it was calmer cause we couldn’t take it anymore. Aside from that, Protest played a great set. Most of the songs were off Fortress, but they did play 3 off Kezia (Heretics and Killers, Turn Soonest to the Sea, and The Divine Suicide of K). The mix was really muddy, so I couldn’t hear any of the really intricate guitar parts really well, and the vocals were turned down a little low, but they put on a high energy, entertaining show. The crowd matched their energy for sure, singing along to every song to the point where it made it a little hard to hear the band’s actual vocalist. The guy from earlier in the show who was wearing the “Gaga has a wiener” shirt turned out to be one of Protest the Hero’s guitar players. The singer was wearing a “something corporate” shirt, and explained (while drinking a beer toward the end of the set) that “they sound like this:” and did a nasally, whiny impression of one of their popular songs… and said that he bought it off some dude for $20. I was confused. But whatever. The guy started talking about hockey and the Penguins, and, since he’s from Montreal, there was a little bit of rivalry going on. However, as he clarified, he hates Montreal, and is rooting for the Penguins. He held up a Penguins towel to emphasize his point. They played a few more songs (including Wretch, during which he meowed into the microphone, replacing the cat meowing on the studio album, which was pretty funny). They announced very definitively that they were going to play two more songs, and no encore, and that is what they did. The crowd stood around for a minute or so chanting “one more song!” but they never came back, and once music started coming out of the PA system, everyone knew there was no hope and started leaving.

We had to wait for a cab, so we didn’t leave right away. Rebecca went and bought a $3, unmarked, home-burned demo CD from Oh No! The Afterlife, and my other friend that came with us bought a tab book for Fortress, and a T-Shirt that ended up being a size too big. We hung around for a bit, talking to the guys from Dethlehem, who were really disappointed that no one took any of their ham. So we did. I mean, they were nice guys, and it was just sliced deli ham. But a piece somehow ended up on the floor, followed by a series of comments: “Oh no!” “…how?” “Why? Why??” “Five second rule!” Rebecca then picks up the ham off the floor of the pit, and says that she’d do it. They just kinda looked at her funny, and she took a bite of it. It was pretty gross, but really kinda funny. The guys in the band were just like “dude. That was soo nasty!” and “you are fucking metal! That was probably the most metal thing that happened tonight!” which was really funny. She just kinda laughed evilly and started walking away. The guitar player runs after her, and hands her a cd “for just being awesome.” We thank them, laugh, and leave. Waiting for the cab outside was equally rewarding. We were standing out there for a while, talking about the show, when this guy asks us if we had a lighter. Between the four of us, none of us had a lighter. It was kind of impressive, especially given that two of the group usually have lighters on them. The guy was kinda flabbergasted and walked away ranting about how four people don’t have a freaking lighter. Then we see some of the guys from Oh No! The Afterlife (I think) come out and walk by with some gear, and a dark blue van drives by. They just kinda stop, look at each other, and look at us. “That was our van…” one of the guys says. They laugh, put their stuff down and wait with us. It was kinda cool. They’re all really nice guys. The van came back, they loaded some stuff in it, and followed it around the corner. After a while, the dreadlocked guitar player walks by, and I sort of stop him and say “Dude, I think you guys were my favorite set tonight.” He looked genuinely really happy, and was like “really? you liked it?” He asked if we had picked up cds, and we said no. He fished around in his pockets and pulled out a few of the unmarked demos that Rebecca bought, and handed them to us. I asked if I owed him anything, and he’s like “nah, unless you want to make a donation or something.” I thought I only had a $20 in my wallet (cause that’s what I left with – I forgot I bought another ticket), so I didn’t, but it was kind of cool. The cab finally comes and we make it home by 11:30 ish, leaving plenty of time to study some more.

And a word about Alex – He’s an awesome drummer. I’ve been jamming with him for about a month. We’ve been playing White Walls by BTBAM. Like, actually playing it. The whole thing. It’s pretty awesome. Unfortunately, the song is longer than youtube’s limits, so I’m going to have to put it up somewhere else, but I’ll have a video up before I get home on the 13th.

Red Robot!

26 04 2010

I finally got my hands on some Red Robot photos!

Playing Red Robot is so much fun! I get to run around, be obnoxious, and even… *gasp* dance! I would sneak up on people (not really possible because there are speakers on the front of the red robot costume that play music (like Mr. Roboto by Styx and Technologic by Daft Punk) and tap them on the shoulder, or grab their hat and run off with it held high in the air. It was great!

At one point, these two guys were playing frisbee, and I jump in and motion one of them to throw it to me (because, of course, I can’t actually talk). He throws it to me, and I try to grab it. I don’t, and it falls to the ground. I pick it up and sort of throw it 3/4 of the way back to him. We repeat this a few times before I ACTUALLY CATCH THE FRISBEE! It was awesome! I threw my arms up and danced around in a little circle, then threw it back to the guy and moved on.

Lots of people wanted to take photos with me, so I would shake their hands beforehand, then pose with them.

Me with my friend Diane who didn't really know it was me...

There was this group of 5-6 year old kids (I really have no idea how old they were – I’m bad at judging little kids’ ages…) that would swarm me, and follow me, and as soon as I turned to them they would scatter in fear. It was kinda funny. But there was one of them who would follow me, tap me on the shoulder, then back off a few feet while I turned around. I would fake running after him with murderous intentions, and he would run away screaming, then come back and do it all over again. It was kinda fun.

I saw my friend Pepin, and we were play fighting a little bit. Then he pushed me backwards and I exaggerated my falling-backward-ness and leaned back too far, and my head flipped back and fell off! I was exposed! Pepin laughed and lunged in to cover my face (he knows about playing in costume) as I froze like a deer in headlights and ducked down and hid in the robot like a turtle while my “handler” put my head back on. It was kinda funny. I was a little more careful after that.

Then I danced for a bit with the girl who was last year’s Red Robot, until it was time to lead the way back to roboclub for our open house, at which point I took off the robot, actually introduced myself to the last-year’s robot girl, and then took off to go play handler to CMU’s Scotty Dog mascot.