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DrMikeCSI New Reader
9/26/22 8:48 p.m.

Count Hefner that is so funny. 

Jerry PowerDork
10/2/22 10:10 p.m.

I wasn't planning on doing much this weekend after last weekend's adventures, but a bunch of local friends signed up for an outdoor Halloween event in Huber Heights, not far away.  Looking at the list of characters they were short on non-masked so I volunteered to be a handler again.

Costume contest, small car show, trunk-or-treat, and for a first year event it wasn't bad. 

Funny side-note:  I saw a local BRZ that cut me off (and a few others) near my house last week driving like an shiny happy person.  I almost went over to meet him, but he looked like the sterotypical douche I expected.  (-20o camber, full wrap, giant vinyl covering the windshield, chrome window tint, ...)

Agent98 Reader
10/3/22 9:15 p.m.

Cut his car in two with the light sabre....

Jerry PowerDork
10/10/22 7:34 a.m.

Mostly relaxed weekend, except for a friend asked me to make him a sound glove for his jawa.  My 3rd one now, it went fairly quickly.  I decided to try adding a layer of hot glue to the terminals on the circuit board, that's where the weak spot is.  These tiny wires...  Someone recommended ferrules over the tip of the wire, if this doesn't work I'll try that next time.

Except after I was done I see the aux cord comes out of the side vs the back with the way I oriented the board.  Going to replace his aux cord with a 90o angle connector on one end.  This all gets covered with a long black glove.  The battery holder is inside my sleeve, on mine and SWMBO's I used a runner's wallet on my arm.  (I also forgot to trim the wire length & had to bundle it up with tape to tuck inside the glove.)

Jerry PowerDork
10/17/22 7:38 a.m.

Saturday I finally made it back to the Ohio Renaissance Festival, it's been awhile.  I used to go every year w/ the ex-wife and friends starting 1993 and ended around 2007.  Went a couple times since w/ the Ex-GF and current SWMBO but still it's probably been since 2015 or so.  A group of Star Wars friends planned a trip so we joined in, I turned my old Jedi Halloween costume into a pirate for about $30 after one of them suggested it.

A partial group photo near the end of the day.  We had about 6 FRS radios between our group of 12-14 and they came in handy, especially when one person left to find a portapotty and he was gone for awhile, his wife grabbed a radio "ARE YOU POOPING???"

I bought another fancy ink pen (3rd now) that has an LED in it like a lighthouse to add to my carbon fiber pen and car pen with it's gear selector and inlaid wood.  One thing I noticed, holy crap it was crowded, and all day from opening to when we left at 5pm.  This late in the season, on an off-weekend theme, it usually wasn't ever this crowded.  But we had plenty of fun.

Jerry PowerDork
10/25/22 7:51 a.m.

This past weekend should have been the Ghostly Night Out in Brookville OH, decent-sized outdoor event with costumes and such.  Even had great weather finally (every other year rain has been some factor).

But SWMBO was having a bit of a meltdown during the day, a culmanation of multiple things she's been stressed about, and it finally boiled over.  Rather than go without her I told her to come over here and we'll just relax for the evening.  She's more important than a troop.  So we just watched scary movies and sat on the couch.

This coming weekend on Saturday is another Air Force Museum event if anyone is interested.  I'll be wearing Count Dooku and plan to hijack one of the electric scooters to recreate this photo.

Jerry PowerDork
11/1/22 7:35 p.m.

Been a busy few days...

Saturday was the Air Force Museum event, and it was packed!  I finally got to wear Count Dooku and play with a light saber in the museum.  Photos always look cool there so I was looking forward to it.

I was there from 9am opening until about 2pm before my back and hunger said it was time to tap out.  I knew from experience trying to eat there meant going from Hangar 4 up to Hangar 1 in the crowd, then back.  I stopped around noon for some chips and cookies washed down with a bottled water, that got me to 2pm at least.  I was having so much fun I didn't want to leave.

I joked to my friend Katie and called her Ahsoka in the dressing room.  She ended up getting called that multiple times in the museum!  And as expected, I got called Obi Wan more than a couple times (brown cape, light saber, why not?) so we just ran with it.  (that's Shaak Ti if you weren't sure.   Photo)

But just before 2pm I realized I hadn't completed my main goal!  I recruited a friend to use my phone, and we found some unused scooters.  It took a minute to explain to the volunteer desk person what I wanted to do, but when it clicked finally he handed me the keys and said go for it.  My friends say this should be my new artwork for a sticker, and I agree.

That night I was exhausted, so I skipped the final autocross of the year but remembered there was a local Trunk or Treat that was low on characters.  It wasn't until 530pm and I could wear a simple costume so I volunteered.  It ended up inside because of rain but holy crap the turnout was huge.  I'm glad I helped, and the mando was a church member who treated us all to free grub and candy.  Not a bad weekend.

Halloween night we were going to wear our jawa costumes, but again the rain...  Two of my friends wore their's, SWMBO just helped with candy, and I wore my LCD mask with my hoodie.  Ended up with a decent amount of kids considering, I think they remembered us.  ;^)

Jerry PowerDork
11/2/22 8:42 a.m.

Now I'm in planning mode for Galaxy's Edge finally, been trying since 2019 and we're finally going to be there next week.  Leaving Saturday morning, stopping in southern GA overnight and arrive at the resort sometime Sunday afternoon.

Just started my list, definitely wearing all the 501st Legion racing shirts I own, taking all my trading cards and every extra challenge coin I have.  Apparently it's a thing to meet other 501st people in the park, and exchange stuff if you have it.  I should add a photo of some of the coins here, I've collected some interesting ones.

And my credit card is going to take a beating.  $15K limit with nothing on it, I've been stashing $20/wk for awhile now.  This might be the only time I ever go so nothing is off limits!

Jerry PowerDork
11/13/22 12:32 p.m.

Got home yesterday afternoon.  I'm still recovering but that was fun.  Even with a hurricane in the middle and coming home to 1.8" of snow.

Left Saturday morning, stayed overnight in Perry GA, then on the road again to hit Disney around 2-3pm Sunday.  We had time to kill and I really wanted to get out of the car so she told me about Disney Springs, where we could walk and shop for awhile.  Sounded good, then we discovered one of the two Star Wars shops and realized I could buy the Dark Saber & not carry around at Galaxy's Edge on Tuesday.  Then I saw a new Count Dooku Legacy saber, and said I'll take it all.

$700 later (including other stuff) we headed to the resort...

Monday was Animal Kingdom, the weather was nice, and she was really looking forward to the animals.  The bird show we caught near the end was the best part, she has two good-sized birds and was in awe of the macaws that flew by our heads 1' away from us.  Missed the safari ride but did the train to the one area, and walked the forest trail.  Back to the resort to rest and then ate there.  The resort (All-Star Movies) had a really good food court, ended up there a few different times.  Walked the resort to show me where she stayed with the kiddo 9 years ago & to bed.

Tuesday was the 1st day of Galaxy's Edge (and Hollywood Studios).  We ran into some local friends that were there the same week (reason we picked this week) and as soon as we got into GE said Hey do you want to ride Rise of the Resistance, the line is short!  So we jumped on that, the line moved quick and got to see all kinds of neat stuff in line.  I'm glad we did this, the ride was excellent!  Shortly after we ran into another friend that was there with his wife.

Then it was time to hit the main part of GE, something I've been looking forward to since it opened 3 years ago.  It finally happened...

It's one thing to see photos, it's another to see it in person.  And all the other ships, vehicles, and small details throughout the park.  I was glad our friends were there, thay had gone last year.  They became our tour guides and showed us where everything is.  The shops, the food, the entertainment.  SWMBO & I agreed the blue milk is better than the green.

We eventually got to Smuggler's Run.  I'm glad we did Rise first, this was kinda ok but not nearly as fun.  These 4 were in our group to ride, the attendant was struggling with dad and 2 kids to figure out who could sit where, and do what.  He looked at us like "sorry" and I was thinking dude you deal with this E36 M3 every day, I only have it once.  We ended up Engineers, the dad and kids did Pilots and Gunner, along with random guy.  They barely did their thing, watching the screen the whole time.  It's fine.

I met a few 501st people at the park and we traded coins/cards/stickers whatever we had.  That evening we had a fancy dinner at Rainforest and another member met me outside to trade some coins.  Got to watch a Karen meltdown because of strollers getting wet in the rain or some E36 M3, we left while it was only two employees involved.

Wednesday was more GE but a little wet.  The occasional 2 minute sprinkle turned into longer sprinkles and eventually constant low rain.  I had my parka for car stuff and borrowed a rain jacket before we left so we were fine.  This was the day she was building a light saber and both of us were building droids!  Rain be damned.

Her saber was scheduled 9am, the droids at 5pm.  But after the saber we saw the line for droids was short.  We ended up getting in the stand-by line and after 10-15 minutes we were in.  I'm glad we did, 5pm would have been tricky for reasons later.  We decided to go explore the rest of Hollywood Studios since I had never been there, and even in the rain there was a decent crowd.

Found the Cars section and had to get a photo with the Scion xB of course.  We walked around a bit more and decided it was time for lunch.  Almost everything required reservations and nothing was showing up, but we found a cafe that we could order online through the app and pick up, didn't take long.  While we were eating she checke the app.

Now the weather warning page had gone from "We're just canceling late hours stuff at Kingdom" to everything was closing at 5-6-7pm depending on park, all extra stuff was canceled for the evening and they weren't sure when it would open Thursday.  We briefly considered leaving Thursday morning but decided the park was safer than driving through potential 75mph winds.  So we bailed about 230pm and decided to get a pizza at the resort before 1000's of displaced families showed up.

Thursday we woke up to this.  Honestly the winds and rain felt like a strong thunderstorm in Ohio, just the winds lasted all day.  We had already planned a relaxed day anyway so we just stayed in the room until dinner time it calmed down.  We found a Chinese buffet not too far away and just happened to have Machine Gun America nearby!  I saw it in a touristy paper at a rest stop, and their website showed a Sterling submachine gun.  That's what the stormtrooper E-11 blaster is made from!  I called and for $75 I could shoot a 25 round magazine.  We had plans after all, and saved the day.

It jammed 3 times total in 25 rounds, but it was still fun.  The instructor told me to make a good PEW PEW sound on the final bullet that had jammed and he replaced.  SWMBO got some photos outside the booth, I propped my phone up for video, and the instructor took a few like this afterwards.  Totally worth it.

Friday was the start of the drive home, stopped just over the border in TN for the night.  Had Krystal Burgers for the first time in years (she's never had them) and consumed ibuprofen to celebrate Veteran's Day.  I was beat after driving through Atlanta again, oof.

Saturday morning we woke up about 530am and she half joked if we left now we could get home earlier.  We were showered, dressed and caffeinated on the road by 610am.  We stopped at the new Buc-ee's in KY again for her shopping enjoyment, plus convenient food and last gas before home.

Left Disney Friday morning at 82F at 9am, came home to a record 1.8" of snow in Dayton OH.  Throw in the hurricane and we saw every possible weather experience in one week.  And we had an absolute blast the whole time.  I... spent some $$ on stuff.  Most of the time I didn't even look at the price, that was my goal.  Now I just have to figure out where it all goes.

Jerry PowerDork
11/27/22 7:52 a.m.

Busy weekend, full of adventures.  First off was the annual Dayton Children's Holiday Parade Friday night downtown.  Which after standing around in the cold for about 3 hours got canceled because of shots fired about 2-3 blocks away.  Stay classy Dayton!  WHIO story

Some of us wore the color jawas again, this time with light sabers.  I was Grimace in the purple, SWMBO was in the green Baby Yoda (she got called that last year).  It was a bummer because it was the 50th celebration and they asked everyone to light it up even more festive.

Here we are standing around about hour 2.5 or 3 wondering why we aren't moving yet.  I didn't even hear anything, I think someone heard something but thought it was a car backfiring or something.  I read some news that it was more frantic where it happened but back where we were, we were just hanging around catching 2nd hand info.  Finally someone official came by and said it was canceled.  Didn't stop a bunch of us from hitting Spaghetti Warehouse two blocks away afterwards.

Then yesterday afternoon was a wedding for friend's of a Star Wars friend.  The 501st has cut way back on weddings but they are friends of one of us and made a big donation to charity in our name so it was allowed.  Colder than I expected, we were a secret to everyone but the bride/groom/planner.  We had to change in a working barn with horses and tractors, then hide behind an SUV that crawled it's way to the main venue.

But we were a big hit when we marched into the reception venue to theme music with the bride/groom behind us.  Got photos with the guests for about 30 minutes or so, then the bride/groom and finally the caterers had asked for a photo when they were done serving.  Changed in the cold barn again & hit a local restaurant for late dinner.

Jerry PowerDork
12/4/22 3:16 p.m.

This weekend was Galaxycon in Columbus.  SWMBO & I only signed up for Saturday so I ended up not costuming but still had fun.  We got there about 1030am and had table duty 12-2pm so we walked around a little and found some lunch, then went back to our area.

We were in building C with a rental Delorean time travel machine and Ghostbusters group, but also an amateur wrestling ring(?)  I head that Friday they were quite loud and it went on past 1am, which made people leery to leave their stuff out.  Seemed like a bad idea to us, some brought ear plugs on Saturday because they said it was so loud even screaming at visitors no one could hear.

It was tamer during the day Saturday (we left at 6pm so not sure how loud it got), SMBO and I were able to converse with people easily.  We had a serious display, that's only one side of the hallway.  But the dressing/storage was terrible, glad I only brought a bag.  There were bins everywhere and stacked 3 high.

At 2pm were going to induct Rosario Dawson into the 501st Legion Hall of Fame, I helped escort someone in a very detailed Queen Amidala through the crowd to the other side of the center, and we all waited.  But it ended up not happening due to her autograph commiments (& her manager being a jerk, she wanted to ditch him).  So our CO gave her the plaque on his own time & talked with her.  She was incredibly nice and wanted to talk longer but manager again...  I've heard it might happen this afternoon, I hope it does.

One of the members was walking to dinner after the con and ran into her going to her hotel.  He shared a photo and said they discussed bourbon for 5 minutes.  I kinda wish I had met her now.

Jerry PowerDork
12/8/22 7:41 a.m.

Someone at the con was selling a 3D printed mouse droid, I couldn't pass him up.  I still plan to make my own that's off of a 4x4 truck for something different (and can run on grass) but for $350 this was worth it to me.  The Bandit it's based on is about $200 & saves me the hassle of figuring all this out.  It has 3D printed wheels, but the original car can go 35+mph.

Rodan SuperDork
12/8/22 7:49 a.m.

Awesome!! yes

Jerry PowerDork
12/17/22 5:32 p.m.

Friday night I left a little early to get home in time to take care of Chewie before running back out to Woodland Lights near my house.  SWMBO & I were handlers, another member decided to be a handler instead because of the cold, and I'm glad he did.  It was very dark and we had a lot of characters with low visibility that needed help getting through the park with very little lighting on the paths.

Reel of the characters walking

Today a bunch of us from the local Dayton group went to the VA Cemetery to lay wreaths on graves.  Once again it was stupid cold, and the wind was miserable, but we made it.  The 1-1.5 hour wait for the ceremony before we started was probably the worst part, just like waiting 2-3hrs before a parade.

I stopped at Skyline on the way home for a late lunch, and I've barely left the couch and blanket.  Maybe tomorrow will be productive, I'd like to get some testing done on the 4x4 mouse droid I want to build.  The remaining day is hot chocolate, blankets and TV while trying not to fall asleep...

Jerry PowerDork
12/31/22 12:01 p.m.

Last night was a Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra troop, the movie The Force Awakens.  We were there Thursday and Friday nights, but I only did Friday.  We were limited to 10 characters each night and I wanted others to have a chance, also I didn't feel like driving down and back twice.

60F+ meant this year was much warmer than last year's symphony event, but we didn't have time to go outside.  Our contact was very strict on getting us out in the foyer at 630pm and ending at 715pm so people would get seated by 730pm.  We almost had some free time early to go out a little, but our mando hadn't trooped in over a year and let's just say he had issues getting the armor to fit.  SWMBO was helping him since he showed up alone, and was telling me later about having to loosen various straps, etc.

Now begins the annual drought of events, probably until mid February if I had to guess.  I have a couple projects I'm working on, one might be almost done already, the other I'm just starting.  I'll post photos as I go.

Jerry PowerDork
1/23/23 7:35 a.m.

Except for the eventual LEDs I call this complete. Monster Mouse, the 4x4 mouse droid from Star Wars. Intergalactic Supply ABS shell, 3D printed circuit boards, based on an HPI Wheely King truck.

Just in time for the Off Road Expo next month in Wilmington.  I'll wear the AT-ST driver costume and have some fun.

Jerry PowerDork
2/5/23 6:58 p.m.

First troop of the year, and it's the college SWMBO's kiddo goes to.  Our first time at BGSU after she got us invited to their Star Wars hockey night event.  I gave her the choice for my costume and she went with Count Dooku so white beard/hair it was.  We had a good time, most of us changed after the game started but Leia, Kylo and the lady pilot (his wife) stayed out for a good chunk of the game for the hell of it.  Normally once the game starts we become Old News, but our friends had some fun.

Stayed overnight and hung out with the kiddo for a bit, good dinner and coffee shop Saturday morning.  Got to see the "Starships" in action, little robots that run around campus delivering food.  It was stupid cold but worth it.  Looks like they want us back for more events.

Jerry PowerDork
2/20/23 6:49 p.m.

This past weekend was TechFest 2023 in Dayton at Sinclair College.  After two years off for Covid they were back in-person and holy crap it was busy.  We were handing out trading cards, decals and candy solidly all day both days.  I had only planned to be there Saturday morning and come back EOD Sunday to help pack, but people dropped out and left us short.  So I stayed all day Saturday including early setup and afternoon Sunday as well.

I brought the regular mouse droid but it was way too packed.  I managed a few minutes before running into people, learned it can do donuts on the tile floor, saw it left scuffs and put it aside...  Next weekend is the OffRoad Fast in Wilmington and taking the offroad Monster Mouse.

Jerry PowerDork
2/21/23 8:58 a.m.

Almost forgot to mention, but we had our elections a few weeks ago.  I am now the Squad Leader for Gem City Squad, essentially the Dayton and surrounding areas.  (Basically we have 501st Legion = World, Ohio Garrison = State/local, and then 4 squads in Ohio serve as a bit more local).

I'm in charge of new local events, figuring out new merch to order with our logo (tightly regulated by The Mouse), and any drama that occurs.  Yay me.  I'm a Star Wars.

DrMikeCSI Reader
2/21/23 4:31 p.m.

In reply to Jerry :


Is this one of those deals where you have this job for life. (Or until you can find a replacement volunteer?)

Jerry PowerDork
2/22/23 2:52 p.m.

In reply to DrMikeCSI :

No, not like all the other volunteer jobs I've taken on.  SCCA, camera club, etc.  At least we'll see next year.

Jerry PowerDork
2/23/23 6:52 p.m.

This weekend, both days, we will be at the Dayton Off Road Expo in Wilmington.  Costume characters and one member has a couple of hand-made droids he will be bringing, including at least R2D2 and likely C3PO (he has his own wearable C3PO!).  I'll have Monster Mouse on Saturday.

Jerry PowerDork
2/26/23 9:52 p.m.

Saturday was the aforementioned Off Road Expo.  I was there about 930am to get the booth set up, until 4pm when we decided to call it.  Ended up just being me and the stormtrooper, plus a friend with the droids.  He brought R2D2 and Chopper, I got to drive Chopper when he left for a bit.  I've driven his R2, pretty simple remote.  Chopper has a remote like the Delorean had in Back to the Future, with an added 3D printed panel with 12 buttons...

He's like this stick turns the head, this one is movement.  If you want to do this with his arms, use these buttons here.  You'll figure it out.  Um, ok, let me just experiment with your $25K handmade droid.  I got the basics down and had some fun "talking" to the kids.  Monster Mouse ended up working perfect, never rolled it over even once.  Sunday a few other people ran the booth, I needed a day off finally.

Not sure of the next event for me, there's two in mid-March and I'm deciding between the two.  Same weekend, along with our 501st Legion D&D game in-between, and trying to decide between going all-in on Saturday and recoup Sunday, or the game Saturday and the troop Sunday afternoon.

Jerry PowerDork
3/13/23 8:18 a.m.

Decided to do the Sunday event, Big Hoopla STEM Challenge at the Dayton Convention Center.  Demo's that somehow mixed basketball with STEM principles, it seemed pretty packed for a snowy Sunday afternoon.  Apparently there was a gymnastics thing going on also so this was only 3rd floor so it was easy to meander around the crowd.  I haven't worn my stormtrooper much lately, another member offered to be a handler so I was glad to suit back up.

I might do something in the Cincinnati area later this month, otherwise it's light until May the Fourth and holy crap we have like 9 events scheduled already all over Ohio.  I'm in charge of the Dayton area and I think I have 4-5 alone.  I've been holding off committing to see what pops up but might do the Lego Brickhouse thing in Kettering.  Movie theater in Miamsburg already has a lot of signups.

Saturday May 6th the Air Force museum is doing an adult evening thing and there's already 30 signed up, I will likely join them.  By then it's basically summer and events will be popping up all through the year.

Jerry PowerDork
5/7/23 3:04 p.m.

Holy E36 M3 I'm tired...  The last 3 days I've done 5 troops, two of them running late evening and back-to-back with other events.  Throw in the fact that I was following like 8 event chat's as Event Coordinator and I'm ready to become one with the couch.  Let's get into it:

Thursday of May the Fourth (be with you!) was a big day for us.  I took a vacation day when I learned we were FINALLY going to be allowed back into Dayton Children's Hospital.  The event was at 1pm, I had to be there around 1230pm.  Normally in the Before Times we spent one hour touring one floor, maybe a few rooms on another floor.  This time we were there over 3 hours and hit at least 4 floors, plus the IC admitting area.  No one was complaining but I kept looking at clocks we passed because I had another event that I wanted to get to at 5pm!

I ran home for 10 minutes, long enough to pound a Gatorade and Cliff Bar, feed my dog and let him out, and head out to a Lego reseller in Kettering having a Brick Party.  I got there around 520pm and the place was packed!  Someone already there showed me our dressing area, a fairly open room with spectators watching us dress basically.  berkeley it I still had the undersuit from the hospital so they saw stormtrooper in black tights get suited up.

It ended up being a good event, the crowd was fun, we got free food from the food truck and discounts on Lego (not my thing but others were happy).  SWMBO came by after dinner and helped for about an hour.  I think I got home at 930pm.

Friday was the Cincinnati Reds Star Wars night, left work early and I opted to help as a handler this year.  We always need experienced handlers for this kind of crowd and the event went well.  I took a group up to the Fan Zone for photos for about an hour, we took a break for free Jets Pizza and water, then I took a couple up to the stage for some video promos.  After that we just escorted characters around the place for random photos.

Someone decided it was a good idea to have a big promo baseball game, hockey game, and road closures for a Flying Pig marathon all on the same Friday night.  Some people got stuck in traffic and were a bit late, and getting out of there was crazy.  I finally got home around 11pm.

Saturday around 11am I went to the downtown library for Free Comic Book Day with 2 other members.  I was definitely feeling it by now but this was only 2 hours, local, and mostly indoors.  Walked around for photos with patrons and kids that were there for special events and movie time.  Got a few free books for SWMBO's kiddo and 2 Star Wars for me that I'll pass on to someone else.  I think we had more fun outside waving at cars!

Left there a bit after 2pm to get home in time for the dog again, rest about 30 minutes and head to the Air Force Museum for an after-hours adults-only special event.  This was our big local event and being in charge I wanted to be there early.

We had a few last-minute drop off due to illnesses but we were still 20something strong.  Normally museum events are crazy and crowded, but with the $40 admission it knocked it down to a decent level for us to move around (they still sold about 400 tickets).  I did the handler thing again to make sure everything went well, and it did (that's me hamming it up in front for the group photo).  Free food and ice cream, we helped judge a moon walk contest which was a hoot to watch.  They had astronauts there for autographs and talks.

But this guy won the evening.  We were almost done and a group of us were walking back to the dressing area, he and his friend were walking by.  He stopped and asked for someone to cut off his arm with a light saber.  I said I need this photo very much!  laugh

Waited until everyone was packed and leaving, finally got home around 11pm.  I've barely left the couch today.

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