Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bob in yellow

Brushhead Bob, Biking Bot blending in on the streets of Berkeley and Oakland. Finding every bit of yellow he could see. Bright yellow plastic--even better. But what does it mean to be yellow anyway?

This adventure was taken on the fine afternoon of May 28, 2012, on the way to see friends Sarah & Claire up at Joaquin Miller park. From the looks of things, though, he might not ever get there...

Bob on bubbles

Have you ever really looked down when you're standing on the corner? There are these yellow bubbles everywhere...

And then, he went and jumped right on the back of this school bus.

Bob on the bus

Yup, Berkeley still has a few of the yellow ones left.

And then, have you ever noticed all those yellow protective sheaths around the cables holding telephone poles in place? He did:

Bob on a wire

Of course, then he jumps right into this bunch of poppies, never minding that it's in the middle of Shattuck Ave., with cars blowing by on both sides.

Bob in the poppies

Poppies are technically not yellow, but pretty close.

As if that wasn't enough, Bob seems to feel unreasonably safe right there in the middle of Milvia Street:

Don't cross that line, Bob

Don't cross that double yellow line, Bob!

Hey, did anyone know that Sunday was the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate bridge?


Look who's celebrating!

Bob found his match

Apparently, some of us need to be watched, little yellow robot.

Surveillance, indeed

Or, is it rather that some watchers need to be watched, hmmm? Bob continues his journey toward the park...

And notices as he climbs up into the hills with his human companion that there's a distinct anthro-centrism in the signs all around. It's not only humans that are X'ING the road, thank you very much.

Hangin' in there

And then at the end of the day, back to those yellow bubbles, at the Fruitvale BART Station. Though he never did make it all the way up the hill to the park, it was nice to see you, Sarah & Claire! Sorry Bob was asleep after all that riding--he could have taken a picture in Sarah's lemonade!

Bob at BART

Friday, November 26, 2010

bob & bill's big bike adventure

Truthfully, I didn't know where to post this, since it's both a Brushhead Bob post and a Nomadologistic post. So here it is, on both.

Anyhow, Bob and USB Bill came along for the ride from Berkeley to Livermore for Thanksgiving day yesterday, helping to make sure that human companion burned off enough calories to sustain the feast in the evening. Much of their journey was chronicled in photos, all the way from the hills of Berkeley and Tilden Park, to the backroads of Orinda and Walnut Creek, to the East Bay hills south of Mt. Diablo, to the exhausted victory nap on the driveway of mom and dad's house.

Click on the map below to go to the album of photos. Enjoy!

p.s. Yes, Bob's doing OK.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

does bob need a battery?

Whoah. Whoah. It has been a LONG time since Bob has written a blog post. And Human Companion has been rather busy too. Not to say that Bob hasn't made any appearances recently.

More on that soon. In the meantime, *we* thought it'd be good to share this little gem of an insight about wind-up tin toy robots from Japan in the 1950s and 1960s. Apparently they were the first to put batteries in robots. And do it cheap. Who would have thought? And who ever says that earth-shattering innovations don't happen in Japan??

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Anthony Giddens called it the "reflexive project of the self". The Tyrell Corporation might have called it auto-replication. And, who knows, other folks might just call it learning where you've been, and and where you're going.

Whatever you call it, Bob is captured here spending a little time looking at his old profile pics, reading some old BHB blog posts, & poring over old Facebook status updates:

Come to think of it, don't many of us do something like this on pretty much an everyday basis?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Bob...is back.

It's been a long time since this blog has seen a real post. And even longer since Bob has graced its pages, bringing smiles bigger than the one he always wore. Yet, yesterday, after his human companion of yore spent the afternoon volunteering at the gallery of a San Francisco art and design nonprofit, a familiar wind was felt blowing from the north, and thus began a bicycle journey up to the Marina, chronicled on Twitter, and now augmented with photos both old and new.

The indented passages are tweets, sent via mobile phone as the tale unfolded the day before this post was written, over a span of about two hours. Enjoy...
As the sparkling blue bay waters and blazing orange of that fatal bridge move into view, the sound of an electronic cry is heard. #bhb2

The sound of a cry from a robotic hero, born a year ago on a Twitter-chronicled bicycle journey into the Santa Cruz mountains. #bhb2

Those familiar with Bob's story might remember a series of tweets and photos that were later uploaded to Facebook, including this one, where Bob pokes fun of Stanfurd fans on a brief stop before his ascent...

Raised with robosiblings Betina & Bing, and later meeting estranged half-brother Bill, Brushhead Bob the Biking Bot led a charmed life #bhb2

True enough, he could often be found in nature--in the oddest of places--thinking of nothing, it would seem, except the dandelion in his robo-clasper...


And of course there was the occasional overindulgence. But then again, wouldn't you swim in a glass of wine while listening to live poetry readings, if you had the chance?

Yes, Bob graced many a Facebook photo album, got his own blog, and even in his absence, inspired the hashtags #iBod and #amriding. #bhb2

#iBod tweets, you may be interested to note, have since been collected over here.
Yet, truth be told, it was not his many electronic prostheses, but human love that kept him seeking his next adventure. #bhb2
And much love he found. @usreeb @viola_lasmana @eastsidecalipas @bhsg @jenn_lowe @jhammons such a partial list... #bhb2

Yes, quite partial. Here, playing optical tricks with his good friend Ray in a previously unpublished photo (which has, mysteriously enough, 'decayed' to sepia on my hard drive--humm!!):

Yet nobody's both perfect and lucky. Perhaps Bob's flaw was to go too far for a smile...or was he just overcharged that day? #bhb2

Indeed, Bob was quite a risk-taker. Here, in another unreleased photo, he plays chicken with an Amtrak train just outside of Davis, CA:

And then, yes, that bridge...

Have you ever perched on the edge of that golden gate, felt the fog wrap you up, wondered if that wind might just carry you away? #bhb2

Here, present and past came together on the Golden Gate, where Human Companion last saw Bob hanging out, doing his thing...

Well, some say Bob was lost that day. Others prefer euphemisms and clever language, and say he "went adrift". Either way, he was gone. #bhb2

And, truly, the story *should* have ended there, by all counts. Some might have even preferred that. Dissertation advisers come to mind. But...
Have you ever had something, someone, find you when you were least expecting it, and take your breath away? Repeatedly? #bhb2

You know, there's this thing about humanized traveling robots, kind of like the waves that keep sweeping up to the shore... #bhb2

Somehow--I don't know how--while Human Companion paused on his return to civilization, the mundane flows of everyday life, taking a minute on the sand and a last breath of the salty air, a familiar form came into view. And, in a flash, a rescue operation was underway, involving the determined efforts of two friendly girls playing on the beach, much splashing of water, a pair of soaked blue jeans, and a sandy camera.

But, in the end, a rebirth of sorts had taken place--nothing sort of a miracle, if you believe in such things...

Bob...is back. #bhb2

Monday, April 19, 2010

Robots with skin!

If Bob had only had skin, perhaps things would have turned out differently.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In the meantime...

Bob fans have been asking where the little guy is. News on this will be coming shortly. Just have to warn y'all, it ain't looking good.

And in the meantime (call it a distractor?) I've come across this promising-looking robot store and will hopefully be making a stop-in there shortly...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

And now, introducing...

USB Bill!

Like Bob, Bill can do a few tricks with his head.

Well, at least one:

Welcome to the family, Bill!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Memorial Bob: Bye-bye 2009!

Bob looks back on 2009, and what better place to do it than Cal's Memorial Stadium? And what better place for reflecting than here, where, though the construction project goes on, the team seems to have left town early. Sorry,  Bear bowl fans, maybe 2010.

Meanwhile, we're looking forward to great things from Bob, Betina, Bing, and Bob's as-yet unnamed brister (gender's always been a mixed affair in the Bob family), who's still hangin' from the Christmas tree, by the way.

And then looking out over Oakland to the south...

What were YOUR reflections for 2009?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Winding his way across town...

Last night found Bob alone on a bus, winding his way across town. Christmas shopping, perhaps?

Be careful out at night, Bob!