Jerry PowerDork
10/24/21 10:52 a.m.

Last night was the Ghostly Night Out in Brookville OH.  2 years ago it was moved inside a high school for rain, this year the rain didn't start till after the event had started around 6pm but luckily it didn't get heavy or last long.  I wore the jawa to try out the new LCD mask and even being cool and damp I was pretty comfy.

The only issue with the mask was 5 minutes outside and the cold damp fogged up the lens pretty good.  After 30 minutes I couldn't see at all, but everyone else had the same issue.  Eventually I just lifted it up once in awhile and wiped the lenses with my gloved fingers.  Simple elastic strap made it easy.

Some of the animations were better than others.

I had SWMBO hold my phone so I could swap the faces once or twice, quickly realized she was playing with all of them and having fun.  I couldn't tell which ones were active so I just went with it.  Some were scary, some were silly.  Everyone said the mask was pretty cool, I'm glad I chose it.

And always fun to see Nick bring out the Zombie Death Trooper, he's been tweaking it for almost 3 years now.  Maybe if my stormtrooper gets enough wear damage I'll do that someday...

Jerry PowerDork
11/1/21 7:01 a.m.

Yesterday was a busy day.  Left at 1030am to stop at a car wash because the Crosstrek was getting used in our display, a Trunk or Treat in northern Dayton at a church.  It ended up being much cooler and windier than I expected but we made it.  Probably 19 or so of us.

It included a visiting 501st member from FL so I loaded him up with Ohio swag and traded for one of his Challenge coins.

One of our members just finished an armourer costume from the Mandalorian so I told her we needed a photo...

Finished up at 3pm, drive home.  Let my dog out and feed him, then back in the car to a friend's for pizza and trick or treat.  I stuck with the stormtrooper even though it was still chilly.  Had about 1.5hrs worth of kids, some remembered us from last year.  I told my friends "you know we're going to have to do this every year now, right?"

Jerry PowerDork
11/15/21 6:56 a.m.

Saturday night was the parade and Xmas tree lighting at Austin Landing in Dayton.  Temps around 34F and wind meant I chose the AT-ST driver that I could layer up underneath.  Except for the ears I was pretty comfy.  The costume even uses decent gloves.

I attached the Santa hat again using rare earth magnets inside the white trim and helmet.  We had a Jeep club to follow, and a new Ewok costume that was being tested used a Jeep.  Her eye lenses fogged immediately and a cop in front of us with flashing lights meant she was blind.

I ended up holding the hand of a jawa in red robes that also couldn't see E36 M3 with the lights and her own light up eyes blinding her.  Good thing, because they extended the parade route but apparently DIDN'T TELL ANYONE ELSE.  We got 1/2 through and were basically walking in traffic, no cops, no workers, and no spectators except people pissed off in waiting cars.

But as always we made the best of it and had a good time.  The photo op at the end was slightly more organized than 2019, and the changing area building was unlocked afterwards so we didn't freeze 20min waiting to get inside.

Jerry PowerDork
11/22/21 7:02 a.m.

Last night was a dinner theater in Dayton that showed the original Star Wars movie.

We greeted guests when they arrived and hung around until the movie started.  The guests really weren't interested in many photos & we were kinda just decorations.  Oh well, it was still fun to hang out with friends & goof around on our own.  The full price was $35 for dinner and movie, and I have to say the dinner was NOT worth $35.  They comped a few of us that stayed, and I'm glad I didn't pay $35 for one street taco and a chips/salsa...

My old Scion car club friend came up for another event so when we were bored we talked Subaru stuff.

Jerry PowerDork
11/24/21 6:39 a.m.

Working on a new more comfortable mask for our jawa costumes, I think I'm on to something.

Jerry PowerDork
11/25/21 1:09 p.m.

NBC showed all of 2 seconds of us running down the street, in favor of some CGI stuff, but here are some 501st Legion members in the Macy's parade.  I know one member there, and another OH member is also there.  They put out a semi-secret call for volunteers in early November for people with approved First Order trooper costumes "to come hang out in NY around turkey Day weekend.  Must be able to walk a few miles, be ok in the cold.  Uh, you know, for stuff."

If they had extended it to regular original troopers I would have been all over it.  Happy Turkey Day!

Jerry PowerDork
11/28/21 9:24 a.m.

Friday night was the annual Dayton Children's Holiday parade downtown, my 3rd year since we didn't have one last year.  It was quite cold, and after freezing the last two times in the stormtrooper (the 2hr wait outside is the killer) I was ready for a warmer costume.

SWMBO had the idea over this year to have multi-colored jawas for Pride parades and holiday stuff.  Luckily a bunch of friends were onboard & either made their own or they dyed the fabric and SWMBO made the robes/hoods.  We were only missing one red one (she showed up not looking happy, think her and the hubby had been fighting... She ended up not dressing and did handling.)

I'm purple (Grimace for the older folk) and she's green.  She got called Baby Yoda quite a few times in the parade and loved it.  New hashtag #notbabyyoda to go with #notvader.

And the group photo just before it got rolling.  I layered up about 4-5 layers under the robe and felt great!  This was the sandtrooper's first cold event and he said I wasn't kidding when I said the costume would be uncomfy.  SWMBO found LED gloves and shoelaces, the flashing gloves were great.  We still managed a spaghetti dinner after for about 8 of us.  Did I mention it was cold?

Jerry PowerDork
12/6/21 7:50 a.m.

I decided to be a Handler for the Lewisburg Holiday parade Sunday evening.  Kelly here was the only one and almost everyone had a helmet, plus we had a brand new Vader, so I jumped in.  Ended up being a small event, the parade took 6 minutes around the town at 3x a normal walking pace.  We had to get everyone into a big trailer to get them to the start, so Kelly & I held helmets and blasters, and guided everyone up and down.

New Vader did quite well.  It started raining just as we were getting on the trailer.  He didn't fall down on the curves (I had a hand on his shoulder), and he did the whole walk in fairly low light without issue.  We did maybe 20 minutes of photos and it died down so we went back to the building to change.  But then we had to wait because we were at Ground Zero for fireworks.  The walls shook, I thought a few would come through the roof, and something heavy fell off a wall.

But before we left, someone with a Luke costume wanted to get some photos with Vader so I said lets go.

I took a bunch of photos, got us away from street lights and cars, and a video clip.  Turned out pretty nice.  Not bad for a Samsung S9+.

Jerry PowerDork
12/12/21 6:38 p.m.

Yesterday was the holiday party for one of our members in the Army Reserves.  We did it in 2019 at his base, but this time we changed there and walked across the street to the Apollo Career Center for some reason.  (Remember the news about the crazy winds and weather?  We drove up to Lima and I watched 2 semis almost flip over, while doing some drifting on I-75.  Walking to the center in costume at 38F and 50mph winds was fun...)

Smaller crowd this year, and smaller costume crowd as well.  But we still wandered around and took photos with kids until Santa showed up and we decided our "wow" factor was over. 

Jerry PowerDork
12/17/21 9:19 a.m.

So apparently yesterday I won Trooper of the year for the Ohio Garrison. That's neat. cool

wawazat SuperDork
12/18/21 12:38 p.m.

yes well done Jerry!  Congratulations!

Jerry PowerDork
12/31/21 6:48 p.m.

Last night was day 2 of two days that the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra played Return of the Jedi while performing all the music.  I decided to go with AT-ST driver for the movie reference (since we had at least one stormtrooper).  We met the crowd in the lobby for about an hour before the performance & were quite popular.  Not many photos since our two handlers were busy with the crowd.

We split up into a few groups, I had no mask so I stayed between the speeder bike and scout trooper, and two TIE pilots that can't see very well.  We had Boba Fett do a thing, and Vader and the rest were off to the side with SWMBO doing the photos.

The event was sold out but CSO comp'd us tickets if we were interested.  My friend took this just as the movie was starting but we were in basically the same area.  Up top and center, not bad at all.  SWMBO had to sit one row down but she was right in front of me, the free tix had us scattered everywhere.  Still worth hearing a live orchestra play the music.

Jerry PowerDork
2/13/22 7:43 p.m.

The dry spell has ended.  We did a wedding event last night at Boonshoft Museum in Dayton OH.  About 20 of us were there, I think a lot of people were looking for something to do.  I wore the stormtrooper for the first time in awhile & was happy to be in it again.  It's still my favorite.

We had time to goof around before and after, so I took advantage of it.  I asked this old man about his handiwork at the cantina.

Jerry PowerDork
3/14/22 8:11 a.m.

Yesterday was the Hoopla Family Festival in Dayton for some basketball thing (not a sports guy)...  I volunteered to be a handler for this one, the one lady that's the leader for our local group always signs up as "jawa or handler" and ends up handling.  Figured I'd let her costume for a change.

It was a bit cold still, and very windy.  I'm glad I could layer up, that stormtrooper was cold (I know from experience).  The crowd was still decent but with either last weekend in the 70s or next weekend the same, it would have been bigger.  The kids (and adults) still had fun with us.

Here we see one benefit of no costume, all the dog lovings.  I don't mind being a handler occasionally, kind of giving back to the group so others can have fun in costume.  Our next event is a Cyclones Hockey game so I'll likely be back in the stormtrooper for that one.

Jerry PowerDork
3/20/22 2:07 p.m.

Yesterday myself and a few friends went to a place called Selfie Scene for some photos.  I saw a news piece about them sometime earlier this year & had been curious about having a group get-together.

I wanted to do it earlier like the dead of winter with nothing going on but it never worked out.  Yesterday finally happened.  The place has 10-12 individual rooms and multiple ring lights and sound capability for video work, and usually $20/hr per person.  I got a deal for $30 per person for 2hrs and the place to ourselves.

I had 10-12 people lined up but some ending up backing out last minute so we only had 5 including me.  I forgot to check on changing area space, so more than 10 would have been crowded anyway.  I only brought my stormtrooper, but could have switched costumes at least once if I had wanted.

This was the senior photo joke and everyone got their photo on this one.

Figured we needed at least one multiple shot, so I got in with some jawas.  We also had a TIE pilot and the blue senate guard from the prequels.

As expected, people seeing the photos now want to go back.  I figure we can do this again later this year, but honestly I'm concerned about the business.  I'm not 100% sure they will still be around the end of the year with this model, unless they change the rooms up fairly often.  But it was definitely a fun day, followed by Mexican food in the same plaza.

Jerry PowerDork
4/3/22 11:47 a.m.

Last night we went back to major sports finally, Cincinnati Cyclones Hockey Star Wars night.

Not a lot of photos of me this time, SWMBO was one of the few handlers and she went off with another group.  I chose the AT-ST driver since there weren't many characters without face-covering helmets & could help out.  The rebel pilots were last minute additions.  I stayed with the red & white clone and a couple jawas.

This was my 3rd hockey event, this time we split into multiple smaller groups vs 2 big groups.  I think it helped cut the lines down for people waiting for photos, and we were all around the arena hallways.  I had a few friends come for photos, this family and another car friend, all season ticket holders.

We also had a new local Vader get his first troop.  I caught a couple photos of him getting dressed by his wife and assisted by a veteran Vader.  I'm looking forward to trooping as a stormtrooper with Matt, he's always fun. laugh

Jerry PowerDork
4/14/22 12:20 p.m.

Forgot to share my newest trading card. The Detachment came out with a new template and I figure I'll be wearing this more often.

Jerry PowerDork
4/30/22 7:13 p.m.

We had a small troop today for an Autism 5K in Dayton.  I was concerned about rain so at the last minute I switched to the AT-ST driver (flightsuit and helmet to dry, vs a whole bunch of armor pieces.)  It rained as we got there, and again on the way home, but the 2-3hrs in between it ended being ok.

We did the usual photos with plenty of kids and adults, and cheered people on at the finish.  But quite a few brought dogs, including from that Paws for Ability group we did the acclimation event for awhile back.  This little lady someone came out saying "who wants to hold her?"  My hands went out in a flash.

This coming week is a busy one, Cincinnati FC soccer game on the 4th and Reds game Saturday.  (I had two others on the list but they were canceled for some reason.  Kinda bummed about the 630am Wednesday thing we were doing for hospital staff.)

Jerry PowerDork
5/8/22 7:36 p.m.

It's been busy...

SWMBO and I celebrated May the Fourth Be With You at FC Cincinnati soccer and their Star Wars night.  Even though I'm in the Dayton area, I was asked to be the POC (Point of Contact, basically in charge) and it was a trial by fire.

Being a weekday, and a few other events going on, sign-ups were lower than I expected.  We still had 7 by that afternoon, but there were logistic issues.  They wanted us to drop off costume bins at the stadium, drive to Union Terminal (museum), take a shuttle back, change, then walk to a park about a 1/4 mile away.

In costume, rush hour, no extra security, SWMBO as the only handler (& only one other no-helmet person), Central Parkway, not a great neighborhood, possible intoxicated tail-gate fans...  Up hill, both ways, barefoot in the snow...

Then walk back to the stadium (same conditions).  After a suggestion from a local member to only do the stadium, I spent Tuesday night on my phone for 3hrs contacting our Command Staff for guidance, the FC contact, the local event coordinator and back.  We settled on just doing the stadium like a typical sports event.

It ended up being a wise call.  The fans were great, we had a large locker room to change with snacks and water.  Staff helped us get around and find cool places to meet fans.  We ended up in the stands behind a goal post for the start of the match.  I saw myself on the Jumbotron twice.  They asked us to come down many steps for a big smoke machine thing, I passed because a TK does not handle steps very well.  I am brave to do some occasionally, but this was A LOT and coming back up would suuuuuck.  Plus SWMBO had gone to the other side and I would have been doing it essentially blind.

But I pulled it off, the contact loved us and wants us back.  Everyone lived, and that's a plus.

Saturday evening was the Cincinnati Reds Star Wars night.  First time since 2019, my 3rd time doing it.  And it was HUGE.  We had 40 people and I think 5 handlers (inc SWMBO).  We needed them, I think this was the biggest crowd yet.

Right before this photo, a rally friend that works A/V apparently walked by doing some recoding and I didn't see him!  He posted a video on his Facebook Story thing & I pointed out who I was.  Hilarity ensued.

We went up in the elevator in shifts and the crowd went crazy.  Eventually they broke us up into groups and spread out, I ended up in the Fan Zone with 6-7 others.  SWMBO and another handler, joined by two member's spouses, all trying to control the line and crowds.  After standing for 2hrs without moving we took a break, the game was starting anyway.

After some water, a piece of pizza and cookies a member made, I changed clothes but didn't want to leave yet.  A member in costume wanted to go back up so I escorted him back up to the Fan Zone and joined some others.  I helped out handling for probably another hour and SWMBO said some of our friends were heading to dinner so I bid them farewell and we headed out.

I think next year I'm just going to be a handler, even with 5 (which is pretty many) we needed more just to keep the line that formed moving and people from walking in between the characters and cameras.  I texted the coordinator to see if he had needed more earlier and he said no, and he missed seeing his favorite stormtrooper.  :)

Jerry PowerDork
5/9/22 10:08 a.m.

Apparently we made the BBC from the soccer game.

Recon1342 SuperDork
5/9/22 10:19 a.m.

In reply to Jerry :

I love seeing all the fun you guys have!

Jerry PowerDork
5/16/22 7:32 a.m.

Yesterday some of us made a donation of recycled pull tabs for the local Ronald McDonald House Charity, ended up being almost 9# of tabs.  Which pales in comparison to some of the buckets we saw groups bringing, but still...  We talked to the people there about getting back to doing events there, they said they're getting back to normal.  Some outdoor events coming up have a pretty good chance at being there.

Today is my first day as PR Officer for the Ohio Garrison so if you follow on Facebook and Instagram you'll see my posts on Mondays and Tuesdays.  I just hope I got the formatting correct, scheduled last night for 12pm today and tomorrow.  The new Meta Business whatever thing kinda sucks.

Jerry PowerDork
6/6/22 9:26 p.m.

Saturday was probably the closest I will ever troop to my house, 1.3 miles away at West Carrollton High School for a car show to benefit their marching band.  We used this Jeep and my Crosstrek for a display, and with the heat I completely missed getting a photo of them.

They thought they were getting 300 cars but about 50-75 actually showed up, but everyone still had fun.  The handler gave me a ride home at lunch to let my dog out since my car was busy, I don't know who was happier to meet whom.

Next couple troops are Pride parades in Cincinnati and Columbus, and decided to go with the Pink Shorts Boom Mic Guy.  Might as well be comfy. laugh

Jerry PowerDork
6/19/22 8:28 a.m.

First Pride parade in Columbus since 2019 I think, and it was huge.  I figured we would be one of those also-rans in the back, but we were maybe 15 minutes into the parade, Group A, and holy crap the crowd loved us.  My ears were ringing for hours.

Made for an early day, up at 530am to eat a quick bowl of cereal, travel mug of coffee, pick up a friend about 1/2hr north then hit the road.  Luckily she lives right by I-70 so an hour straight across to park at COSI with the group.  I believe we had 27 total people, someone made an ice cream truck to wear as Wilrow Hood, the ice cream guy in Empire Strikes Back.  I went with pink shorts boom mic guy, in the green hat.

Originally I picked it for the 90ish summer weather we anticipated, and the whole week before was 90s and humid.  Overnight Friday the weather system changed and it was just under 60F that morning and windy.  It was a bit nipply in the beginning, and in the shade, but that helped everyone else with their costumes.  And I remembered my new sunscreen from the bag of racing stuff so I only ended up with a little redness on the back of my neck.  Success.

Next week I'll do it again in Cincinnati and doubt we'll be this lucky on weather.

Jerry PowerDork
6/26/22 7:58 a.m.

We were not as lucky on weather.  Cincinnati parade yesterday, definitely warmer, longer route, and slower pace.  Made for a sweaty day.  In the back/middle you can see my friend Nick with a Vader costume.  He borrowed it from another member (which itself is awesome considering that's a $4-5k costume) & was pretty wiped out at the end of the parade.  I saw him at a friend's house last night and still miserable, like barely eating and threw up at one point.

But in almost 4 years I've never seen a Vader walk in a summer daytime parade, so good job to him!  I even saw 5-6 friends while I was walking so that was pretty cool.

Next up is a small town Comicon in Lewisburg, back to my regular costumes.  (There's a Cars and Coffee that morning, so a half-day unless it rains.)

Our Preferred Partners