Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


Online Sale Starting Soon!

Just a reminder–the Fobot Store will be reopening for business at 3pm EDT today, November 2. This year, thanks in part to Phil’s double knee replacement which kept us out of shows in September & October, we have a record 130 items available!  So many, in fact, that they don’t all fit on the first page of the site. So–you’ll want to click one of the “Category” buttons on the right side of the shopping cart page to see them all.  Also new this year–bots have been arranged alphabetically, to help you find them more easily.  And don’t forget–if the one you had your heart set on sells before you can get to it, let me know, and I’ll see if I can make you one similar. Enjoy!

2013 Online Sale


Whole Buncha New Bots Available Soon!


Couldn’t make up your mind when faced with the pressure of selecting the perfect FOBOT at one of the art fairs we participated in this year? Want to add to your FOBOT family? Starting at 3pm Eastern Time on Saturday, November 2, we’ll have a new crop of over 90 bots (plus calendars and babybots) up for sale on the website!

I usually only add new bots to the website once a year when the art fair season is over, so this is your big chance. I’m now using an online shopping cart, rather than having you call or email me to make a purchase as in previous years. Of course, if you still want to call or email me, you’re welcome to do so. I love talking to you. But this way, you can shop securely by credit card at any hour of the day or night.
In a few days, I’ll be closing the site and you’ll see an “Under Construction” sign while I put the finishing touches on all the new pages. The secure shopping cart website is, and you can also access it from the site. If the bot you desired sells before you can get to it, don’t despair! Let me know, and I’ll tell you if I can make another one similar to it just for you. And if you want a sneak peek at the soon-to-be-available Fobots, you can visit their fan page on Facebook: . I’m still editing the pictures as I prepare them for the website, but I’ll definitely have them all up by November 1. See you then.

Yeah, But Is It Art?

ImageFor years I’ve been joking, “Not only can’t I jury in to any art festival sponsored by an art museum, I can’t jury in to any show within five MILES of an art museum”. It’s kind of true, though–jurors at museum sponsored shows tend to be thoughtful academics, selecting art that they may like but which has the average person scratching their head and going “What the hell is it?” And did I tell you we just won the first annual People’s Choice Award at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver? What people like and what critics like are two entirely different animals. And that’s totally OK with me.

Which is why I think it’s hysterical that five Fobots are currently on display at the Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala FL. Yup, the guys pictured above (from left, Rocco Rolls, Prima, Buzzbee Berkeley, Tom Foolery, and Speed Bump) are at this very moment making people laugh at the “Art of the Robot” exhibit until September 22, 2013. And they’re surrounded by some really cool robot paintings and sculpture from artists across the country. If you want to know more, visit or see the show catalog at . Or go visit, if you’re in the area. ‘Cause I’m pretty sure this is not the kind of exhibit where you’ll be kicked out for laughing or having a too good a time.


Bigger, Badder, and…Bigger!

Hallelujah!  The FOBOT 2011 calendar is here!  Well, almost here–it’s en route from the printer, and should be arriving November 3.  Just in time for our annual online sale, beginning November 1!  Of course, I wanted to have the calendars done by the first, but with all of Phil’s health concerns, I’m just happy I finished before 2012.  Phil, by the way, is doing fine, the MRSA is healing nicely (still gross, but healing), and surgery for the kidney tumor is scheduled for November 19.  Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

But now, back to the calendar.  New for this year, I’ve created a wall calendar for you–a whopping 8.5″ x 22″ in size (well, whopping compared to the previous two desk calendars).  More room to write, and full of the delicious glimpses into the secret lives of Fobots that we’ve all groan to love.  And no, “groan” is not a typo. Read about the robot devil’s ex-wife, Hell Mary, and the juicy details of her divorce settlement from Beelzebot!  Watch Cocoa Puff Daddy attempt to rap! And do we really need to tell you what great stocking stuffers these would make? Only $14.95 + shipping.  Shipping is…well, I’ll get back to you.  I’m off to the Post Office to find out as soon as I’m done posting this.  Look for it on the opening page of on Monday, along with a handy Paypal shopping cart that handles payments securely.  Or, if you’re low-tech, you can send me a check.  Of course, if you’re REALLY low tech, how are you even reading this?


Hometown Robots

OK, Raleigh, now’s your chance.  After the article on the Fobots came out in the Raleigh News and Observer, quite a few people asked me why I didn’t do any art fairs close to home.  I mean, the nearest show on our schedule this year was in Reston, VA, about a 4 1/2 hour drive away. (Side note–you know your life has drastically changed, when a year ago you were cringing and whining about driving to Chapel hill, a half hour away, and you now consider Reston “practically next door”.)  But Cameron Village shopping center is having an event on Thursday, June 17, fom 5-8, that is kind of a sidewalk sale/trunk show/art fair/gallery opening.  I don’t know how better to describe it, except to say that the Fobots will be outside of Soho, a women’s clothing boutique where I have done some serious credit card damage in the past.  Advantages: I don’t have to put up the tent, it’s less than a mile from home, and it’s the perfect opportunity for friends and neighbors to stop by and see what I’ve been up to.  And what about a dozen other artists have been up to.  Plus food and entertainment.  You don’t even have to buy anything, just come and say hello.  And if you DO buy something, there’s this red and black sundress at Soho with my name on it…


In Praise of Overweight


No, I’m not giving you carte blanche to order that Bloomin’ Onion with a side of Frappucino.  I was going to title this post “What the %$@&!?”, as the Art Fair Gods seem to be messing with us again, but good taste and decorum prevented me.  For once.  Here’s what happened:

We arrived at the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival on Friday afternoon to perfect weather and a trouble-free set-up.  Well, almost trouble-free–the street we were on was about 6″ too narrow for fire regulations, forcing us all to hike the back end of the tent up onto the curb.  But we got it all up without too much drama, checked into our hotel, showered, and then went out for a walk to see if any artist friends were still setting up.  We’d barely left the hotel when it started to sprinkle, and then…WHAMMO!   A thunderstorm with gale force winds, made worse by the tall buildings and narrow streets through which they were funneled, hit the fair.  I watched in horror as tents collapsed, twisted, and went sailing down the street.  It was all over in a few minutes, when we raced to check on our booth.  Aside from one poster which had blown off of it’s hooks, absolutely nothing out of place.  Two tents away, an EZ-Up’s roof had caved in, and about a half dozen others were mangled heaps of metal.  We tried to help out wherever we could, and then we had dinner.  Where it took me two Long Island Ice Teas just to cut the adrenalin to a manageable level and stop shaking.  Long Island Ice Teas, people!  That’s like eight normal drinks!  Yes, I was upset.

Which brings us to the title of this post.  I’d like to shamelessly plug the makers of our tent and the weights we use for getting us through this–AGAIN!  I’ve started calling our Trimline Canopy “The Hummer of Tents”.  Sure, it’s heavy to lug around and takes longer to set up and break down than, say, an EZ-Up, but that puppy is rock solid in bad weather.  The poles are steel, as opposed to the aluminum poles you see mangled in the pictures (my abject apologies if that’s your tent in the photos).  I must have said “Thank you thank you thank you” to Phil a few hundred times for making us get the Trimline.

And then there’s the tent weights we recently purchased from a little company called “Happifeet”.  They’re essentially steel plates totalling 48 pounds per set on each corner of the tent.  They take up hardly any room, and have handles for easy transport.  You screw the feet of your tent into them, and can attach cables from the top of the tent to them as well, for additional stability.  Some of the tents we saw blown over had PVC pipe weights attached (or broken and unattached) swinging from the rafters, but the low center of gravity of the Happifeet proved far superior.  I swear I’m not getting kickbacks from either of these companies–I’m just grateful to have survived two horriffic storms now thanks to them.

As for the show itself–weather was picture-perfect Saturday and Sunday, and fair-goers, who had been stymied by bad weather the last few years, came out to shop.  Saturday was our best single day ever for sales, while Sunday was merely average.  It proved to be our second-best show ever (in our VAST experience of five shows now).  And we continue to meet the nicest artists, who have not yet realized that we have angered the weather gods, and bring their curse with us to every show.  Ssshhh, don’t tell them… 

BTW, that tent in the middle of the picture didn’t start out in the middle of the intersection–it started out under the theatre marquee…


Once Again, Please Stand By

The normally reliable host for the Fobot website “” (not this blog) has been experiencing mysterious technical difficulties for the last 24 hours.  So if you’ve been trying to see the Fobots, keep trying.  It’s not you, and for once, it’s not me causing the problems.


Fobots for Haiti

No, we’re not planning on sending any bots to Haiti.  As much as I’m sure the people of Haiti could use a smile about now, I think cash would be easier to send.  And probably more useful.  Here’s the scoop:

Like many of you, I’ve been thinking about what I could do to help the vicitms of the earthquake rebuild.  The obvious answer; build a robot, auction it off to you, my loyal Fobot fans, and give the money to Haitian relief.   I’ve chosen Stop Hunger Now*, a Raleigh based international organization that distributes food and life-saving aid around the world.   But what to build? 

It all started with that head–a battery tester–that just reminded me of a duck.  Add the curl of a car lock spring on its head, and there was a baby duck.  Then add our predisposition for bad puns, and voila!   Baby Duck Duvalier, named in honor–better make that dishonor–of the deposed Haitian dictator Baby Doc Duvalier.  He stands 12.5″ tall, and is cute as a button. 

So let’s start the bidding at $200.  If you’d like to provide food, medical supplies, and hope to the people of Haiti, AND take home a very special Fobot, email me at with your bid, or comment on this post.  I’ll update this post whenever there’s a new bid, and we’ll keep this bidding open until midnight EDT on Tuesday, March 23, the evening we return from the Winter Park Art Festival.   So please don’t let me down, fans.   I’m having nightmares already that no one will bid, and it will be high school dance time all over again.  A nightmare that pales in comparison to the situation in Port-au-Prince.

*Go to  for more info.

Update: January 29–we have a bid for $300!  I am unbelievably relieved that this will not be every high school dance I was ever forced to attend, revisited.  Suzanne Byrd, you are a goddess.  Do I hear $325?

Update: February 17–while on the road in Miami (see latest post), I am delighted to report that we had not one, but TWO bids!  Thank you Lorri, for your bid of $325, but “Big Dave” is now in the lead with $350.  Woohoo!  I feel like prom queen!  Not that I was invited to my prom…

Update: March 3–Thanks to Michael from Boston, the bidding is now at $375. 

And one point I’d like to clarify; if the winning bidder would like to write a check to “Stop Hunger Now” and take the tax deduction, that’s fine by me.  Although I can hear my tax guy screaming at me (and really, when ISN’T he screaming at me?), the important thing is that Haiti gets the money.  So think of it as making a generous donation to a worthy cause, and geting a free Fobot, too!

Update: Monday, March 22, 9:30 pm EDT— Bidding is still at $375, but an interesting question came up.  Is “Tuesday at midnight” when Monday turns into Tuesday, or when Tuesday rolls over into Wednesday?  For the sake of this auction, it’s the latter.  SO–as of the time I’m writing this, you have another 26 and a half hours to bid.

March 24:  We have a winner!  But first, my apologies for not staying awake long enough to monitor the last minute bidding.  I’ll be posting about our trip to the Winter Park Sidewalk Arts Festival later today–suffice it to say that my plans to stay awake until midnight last night were unrealistic, considering how utterly exhausted we were upon our return.  And now, the winner is…Laura Gelber, with a winning bid of $400.  Ms. Gelber, I will be contacting you later to arrange for the shipping of little “Baby Duck”.  My profound thanks to everyone who bid.


Random Access Memory


RAMHello, Fobot fans!  Just wanted to let you know that we’ve arrived in St. Louis after 14 hours on the road.  I’d go into more detail, but it’s late, I’m exhausted, and dinner involved two gin and tonics.  Let’s just say that the Fo-Bo-Mo-Bile performed heroically, and even had a little room to spare.  Which we filled with extra bubble wrap.

And, since I hate to post something without at least one picture… Meet Random Access Memory, one of my entries in this year’s Niche Awards.  He’s composed of a Brownie camera, glass front licorice tin, wrenches, lamp parts, hydraulic fittings, and ephemera.  I know I promised to give you a “Fobot of the Week”—let’s just call him “Fobot of the Month…

Signing off now.  Must sleep.



bumblebotI apologize.  Y’all have been so nice about leaving comments, and I haven’t given you anything new to look at in weeks.  I envy those bloggers who can take the mundane details of everyday life and craft an interesting post out of them.  My life lately?  I wake up, I make robots, I go to sleep.  Glamorous, yeah, but not the stuff of which exciting posts are born.

So I propose to bring you…FOBOT OF THE WEEK!   Because I really have been busy– too busy to put new bots up on the website.  And because when I DO put them up, they just get sold!  Damn!  How am I going to accumulate  enough robots to bring to the St. Louis Art Fair if they get sold?  So these guys are our little secret–my hidden stash of especially cool bots that you’ll have to travel to Missouri to see.

First up is BumbleBot.  He’s 13″ tall, and is composed of a Baby Brownie camera, two wire whisks, a crystallized ginger tin, grease lines and hydraulic fittings.  And he can either stand on his little feet, or hang from above as if flying.  Every once in a while we run into these wire whisk/paddles at the flea market, and Phil begs me to get them because they look like wings.  I always resisted, because I was looking for angel wings, and they looked like, well, bee wings.  Bee wings.  Hmmmmmm. 

 I could have purchased two wings that matched, but I actually prefer things that are lopsided, imperfect, mismatched.  It reminds me of a saying I once heard–we like our friends because of their virtues, but we love them because of their flaws.  I love BumbleBot.

October 2021

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