Entries tagged with “Steve Brown”.

Both of these videos are a collaboration between me and Takeshi Kamisato.  I was the idea man, camera man, and robot wrangler, plus I did some initial editing.  Takeshi came in with his powerful editing skills and made them good.

No!  Don’t Do It! (Robot Chronicles part 2)


Searching for Something (Robot Chronicles part 3)

There is still one more part to come.  With a little luck, I’ll finish it in the next few days.

Why robots?  Aside from the fact that robots are AWESOME, a while back I had the burning desire to make something.  I had only a limited workshop and no big plan , but when I found cheap wind-up robots I knew I was onto something.  I bought a whole bunch of them, and started playing around.  I posted the first video a little over a year ago, then sent off a small sculpture to a show made up of art made by yo-yo players at the Steve Brown Gallery.  I’ve had the footage for these two videos for a while, but just got back to them.

Eye Robot.  Get it?  When he walks, the yo-yo bounces.

Last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, was the first-ever show by the Happy Hour Heroes. We are: Steve Brown, Mark Hayward , and Aaron Bonk. This group is the brainchild of Steve Brown, who bills himself as the Happy Hour Hero in his solo work. The idea is to be a modern-day Rat Pack with tricks.

The show was part of a party celebrating two years of existence for the thrift store This Way Out that is in the basement of the Beachland Ballroom, as well as the grand opening of Shoparooni, Cleveland’s newest boutique, that is coincidentally owned by Steve Brown and his wife Marlee.

I was pretty nervous for this show because the three of us had never worked together, and Aaron and I had never even seen each other’s shows before. Despite that, and not rehearsing, the show went really well. Of course it will get better as we do more together, but it was a fantastic start.

I was reading up on the original Rat Pack a bit today, and it sounds like they were at the center of a really incredible time in entertainment history. Apparently they would just show up at each other’s gigs and do a group show even if that wasn’t on the bill. The marquees sometimes would read something like, “DEAN MARTIN – MAYBE FRANK – MAYBE SAMMY” That’s pretty cool.

We did two sets, alternating with some bands in the other room, and between sets this exchange was overheard:

“What’s after the band?”

“There’s another set by that guy who looks like Letterman, and the two bald dudes.”

“Oh cool.”

This time my dog and I are Eastward bound. First a stop yesterday in Cleveland to hang out with the illustrious Steve Brown , and today we’re in Leonia NJ staying with Cousin Scott and family. The purpose of this trip is to go to the opening of Lenore’s first solo NY art show tomorrow night in Manhattan. It should be great. We both have a number of friends in the area, so I’m hoping that it will end up to be a little reunion of all our East Coast pals. We’ll see who can make it. Then after the show I get to go to the weekly post-juggling-practice meal with the NY juggling club. Good Chinese food, and always good times.

It’ll be a short visit here; on Friday we’ll take off again back to the good ol’ Midwest. After another stop at Steve Brown’s house, we’ll be home again for a couple of days before heading up to Milwaukee for a gig (in Chicago), and for me to fly out to California for my brother’s wedding. Vader will hang out in his “vacation home” with Lenore’s mother in Milwaukee. After that I’ll be home for a few days, then back up to Milwaukee for the Shorewood juggling festival where I will be MC for the big show.

March is a big month for traveling but April won’t be so bad.

I love hanging out with spin-top people. It’s always a ton of fun, and at MadFest this year we had a ridiculously good time.

Eric Wolff with his 11″ diameter top. The largest he’s ever made… so far.

For the average person, the phrase “spin-top people” is not one that is heard very often. Of all the very small social groups I belong to, the top-spinners are one of the smallest; I think only “paddleballers” are fewer in number. At the MadFest Juggling Convention this year we had a really good showing of spin-top people… and that means that there were 7 of us. Eric and Noah Wolff, Alan and Robert Gray, Chris Mulhall, Steve Brown and me.

The normal progression of events when top-spinners get together is:

  1. Show off new tops. This rarely takes very long since there are virtually no mass-produced tops, so it’s really a question of who had the time to make some themselves.
  2. Show off new tricks. This also rarely takes long since there are very few new tricks developed each year.
  3. Play Battle Top.
  4. Continue playing Battle Top until it degenerates into a different game that is way more fun.


Yo-yos are awesome.  I’m hanging out in Cleveland Heights Ohio after finishing the yo-yo contest today.  It was fun.  I helped judge the Sport Ladder portion of the contest and ran the music for all the freestyle competitors.  This is the contest run by Steve Brown, National Yo-yo Master.  The big plans for tonight are hanging-out, yo-yoing and eating pizza.  Should be a great night.  Tomorrow we barbeque.