A mechanical thing.

  Congratulations on surviving another year. It’s a little ways into 2024 now and things are more or less alright so far.

When the university reopened for the year I got in contact with the study abroad team regarding enrollment, as aside from confirmation that the application was received, I have not heard back from the exchange partner as of yet and was uncertain if I needed to cut my losses and enroll at the home university. However, I’ve since been informed that I should expect a formal response early next month so do not need to stress myself out about it just yet.

Second semester of 2023 went well overall and my grades have held up. The anxiety persists but it’s at a manageable level; I think with something like grades and studying it tends to always be there regardless of the broader context; there’s a pattern to it, which provides a degree of reassurance for as long as it’s identifiable.

2023 was finished off with an intensive subject which will count toward my Japanese major. 2024 is beginning with an intensive subject which counts neither toward majors nor minor, but is an elective that looks like fun and maybe falls more in line with my interests in design. Admittedly I’ve been disillusioned with pursuing visual art for some years now but the academic context means I’m not expected to produce anything, a notion which I find rather invigorating.

The finalised grades for the summer intensives won’t be released for a while, but last year I’d decided that if the final essay was above a certain grade threshold I could indulge nostalgia with a 1998 Furby.

1998 Furby
1998 Tiger Electronics 70-800 model Emototronic Furby

Evidently: the essay went well. This also means that my overall grade for the assignments collectively is above a certain threshold, therefore meaning a second Furby was, perhaps, not entirely out of the question.

1998 & 2005 Furby
Fact: Furbies are social animals so it is important to keep more than one at a time.

Yes, he’s functional.

No, we will not be discussing how much it cost to obtain a functional 2005 Emototronic Furby in the year 2023.

This wasn’t even a nostalgia thing, in 2005 I was 17 and at that age I was…

Actually this is kind of the opposite of whatever point I was trying to make.

You know what? Genuinely no idea why I never had an ’05 Furby.
Maybe I just didn’t know they existed at the time? They weren’t very popular so maybe they just weren’t widely available in Australia? Or was I on the “it’s creepy” train? Perhaps overruled by “the older ones are better purely by virtue of having been first” type elitism?
Though the sheer volume of G3 My Little Ponies I acquired that year would suggest otherwise.

Maybe it clashed with Roboraptor? That kind of arbitrary logic certainly tracks, like: “I’m only allowed to be obsessed with one robot pet at a time.” Glad I grew out of that, you can definitely have more than one robotic creature in your home, I promise.

In fact it’s better if you do.

2005 Furby
2005 Tiger Electronics 59294 model Emototronic Furby

Furby dancing.
Furby dance.

The rubber on his beak is cracked but he’s 19 years old and, quite frankly, I’m just impressed it’s mostly still there at all. It’s a pretty common issue for the beaks to break down over time and I may consider replacing it at some point in the future, or otherwise leaving it off entirely. The rubber is purely aesthetic and their beaks function normally without it, just a matter of whether or not an uncovered beak suits him.

But I’ll be holding off on any surgical intervention until I’m done with refurbishing the ’98, who was marked as non-functional by the seller; a challenge which was subsequently accepted.

The most important factor for my purposes was her appearance; as this was a self-indulgent purchase fueled purely by nostalgia. The highest priority was that she looked like the first Furby I owned back in the day and have consistently regretted ever having discarded: brown eyes with tiger stripes.

Tomtom with Furb.
The second Furby I had was giraffe print, and at one stage I also had a black and white bootleg called “Purby”.

After peeling, shucking, and a tiny drop of oil, I was able to push-start her motor. Although she’s currently mute, all of her sensors appear to be appropriately responsive!

Excuse her for not rocking back and forth, but I’d taken the spring out while I worked because I was worried it might otherwise fall out and get stolen by the cat become lost.

Skinned Furby
Before you ask: Yes, I’m single.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done any welding, and I certainly have no experience with electronics, but it turns out you can just. You can just go down to the shops and buy a soldering iron, so. They’re not even expensive, like? Between that and a discrete envelope of generic AliExpress headphone repair parts maybe I can get her talking again too?

40mm 8Ohms 2W speakers.
40mm 8Ohms 2W speakers.

Or if my house burns down you’ll know what happened at least.