Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

First step into a larger world.

That’s my right foot going from the house to the front porch just before sunrise today. It was my first step outside on Day One of Marathon Quest 2009. Between me and the Oct. 11 Towpath Marathon – my first – lie 18 weeks. 70 more days of running. 435 total miles. And after that, one more day, and another 26.2 miles.

My brother Adam – who followed the same training schedule last year for his first marathon – hit the road with me this morning. Three miles were on the calendar, and we wound up doing 3.4 at about nine minutes each, leaving me enough energy for a power sprint up the street at the finish.

I came home afterward and put a single ‘X’ through one little box on my chart.

June 9, 2009 Posted by | Ohio, running, Sports | , , , , , | Leave a comment

From action figures to X-ray specs

Kirk Demarais has done it again. As the artist responsible for the new look of “Collect All 21!“, he’s already got my gratitude and admiration in abundance, but now – now he goes and writes this on his Secret Fun Blog:

“…this book is highly entertaining and well written.And here’s the truly amazing thing about it— it’s full of all of your own memories. Really! I spent half the time reading, and the other half experiencing long-forgotten Star Wars flashbacks. It has sent pulses into my brain that are reawakening moments and stories that have been dormant for decades. And when you enjoy visiting the past as often as I do, that’s no small feat.”

This is an incredibly rewarding thing to hear, and Kirk is making it awfully difficult for me to thank him enough for his contribution and support of my book. That said, hopefully I can start by returning the favor somewhat:

If you picked up a comic book pretty much ever, then you were probably intrigued and mystified and enticed by those oddly vague ads for ultra-cheap stuff like “Life-Size Monsters!” and “Eight Billion Army Men in a Sturdy Footlocker” and pranks like Sneezing Powder and Hot Pepper Gum. I know I was. (Never enough to actually send away for any of it, of course – I mean, spending money was for Star Wars loot.)

Well, Kirk’s uncovered some of the mysteries for us:

Life of the Party - available at

Life of the Party - available at

Archie McPhee, purveyors of Great Piles o’Awesome like the Cold War Unicorns Play Set, now sells Kirk’s book “Life of the Party: A Visual History of the S.S. Adams Company, Makers of Pranks & Magic for 100 Years” and has lopped almost half the original cover price off this big 200-page hardcover pictorial history.

Kirk’s dedication to and love for these long-lost bits of pop culture oddity is apparent in his short film Flip,  on his blog and Secret Fun Spot, and I can’t wait to dig into this book.

And – almost as if I did send away for those X-Ray Specs when I was eight – I am already watching the mailbox in anticipation of my just-ordered copy’s arrival.

June 9, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, geek, science fiction, Weblogs, writing | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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