Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Running 2013: Week Twenty-one

I hadn’t done three runs in four days at all this year, but since I worked from home Friday and had Monday off, the opportunity was there. I also haven’t run much with my brother Adam, and this weekend also allowed for that, too.

Friday morning we got out just after 6 a.m. and went for our old “short three-mile” loop. We talked most of the first mile and didn’t go freewheeling down the hill at the end, but still did an 8:18. I started feeling my lungs really starting to work in mile two, and was pleasantly surprised to find we had actually done it a bit faster than the first. Third mile was the slowest, but still only about five seconds off mile one, and I really had to work at the end, but we still finished with an 8:14 average:


I’ve only run the Short Three (we call it that to differentiate its 3.1 mile length from the slightly different “Long Three” 3.5 mile loop) a few times this year, and Friday morning’s run was faster than those by 15-20 seconds per mile.

I did the same loop in the same direction solo on Saturday afternoon, not really intending to push too hard. But when I saw I was at 8:01 after the first mile, and I did another surprisingly faster second mile (7:56), I kind of didn’t want that effort to go to waste, so I maintained as best I could at the end. Even though mile three was my slowest, I kicked hard enough over the last tenth of a mile to get my average pace down to an even eight minutes. This beat even the 8:04 three-miler I did last month. The only faster run I’ve done this year was a 7:46 two-miler.


I took Saturday off, except for a couple nine-hole rounds of disc golf at Schneider Park – I lost to my daughter, then to Adam, but still had a lot of fun – and Adam and I went out Sunday morning again just after six. Took it completely easy and ran the Short Three again, although we did it backwards to challenge ourselves with the big climb at the start of the third mile.


The surprise here is that we actually got faster over the course of the run, and managed to keep a pretty steady pace even up that hill.

An even 150 miles on the year, so as of May 27, the 147th day of the year, I’m an even three miles ahead.

May 27, 2013 Posted by | Ohio, running | , | Leave a comment

This is Me in ’83 – Return of the Jedi, Opening Night

Truly a high point of 1983.

GeekDad has published my two-part recollection of seeing the final chapter in the original Star Wars trilogy on opening night – 30 years ago this weekend.

What You Take With You: Return of the Jedi, Opening Night ’83 – Part One 

What You Take With You: Return of the Jedi, Opening Night ’83 – Part Two

Lapti Nek and Yub  Nub forever.

May 24, 2013 Posted by | 1980s, geek, Ohio, science fiction | , , , | Leave a comment

Plastic Galaxy preview footage

Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys SNEAK PEEK TEASER FOOTAGE! from Plastic Galaxy on Vimeo.

Not too sure about that goofy guy at the beginning, but I know several of those other people, and this looks like a fun, seriously nostalgia-inducing movie.

Brian and Karl visited me – gosh, a couple summers back, already? – and talked Star Wars toys and 1980s kidhood for a couple hours, and it was a blast. They were talented and professional, and I’m really excited to have played even a small part in this project.

May 23, 2013 Posted by | 1970s, 1980s, Film, geek, science fiction | , , , | 1 Comment

Running 2013: Weeks Nineteen and Twenty

Week 19, I only got one run in – a 3.5-miler to the post office and back:


I stopped my timer while I was actually in the post office (marked by that spike on the green pace line). Considering I didn’t feel like I was pushing myself the first mile, since I was carrying an 8×11 inflexible envelope, I was surprised to see my sub-eight-minute time. Even with my third mile slowdown, this was a good run.

I didn’t have a chance to run on Sunday the 12th, but I had enough of a mileage cushion for the year that I wasn’t too worried about it.

Week Twenty, then, I thought I’d throw an extra run in early Friday morning, since the weather was good, and I wanted to make up for the previous one-run week.



Four miles, out and back. Best time for that distance this year, and I did mile four quicker than mile one, even having to climb the hill that benefits me so much at the end of the first mile. Felt good about this one.

Saturday, then, I did the four mile round-the-block loop:



I don’t know if it was the work from Friday’s run, or the fact that I’d only run a day the week before, but despite a good start and finish, miles two and three felt really difficult, so I just kind of focused on enjoying the weather and the run itself.

Later, while I was getting ready to do some yard work, I felt a lightning shot of pain in my lower back. It’s happened from time to time since an injury a couple summers ago. I took it easy the rest of the day and hoped I’d still be able to run Sunday, but I woke up the next morning still sore.

May 20 is the 140th day of the year, so at 140.7 miles, I’m still just ahead of my mile-per-day goal.

May 19, 2013 Posted by | Ohio, running | , | Leave a comment



(Note: This has always been one of my favorite old pictures. When I removed it from the photo album to scan, I found written on the back, “Mother’s Day – May 1973.”)





Dad died the same day ABC aired the last episode of The Wonder Years. I watched it Sunday morning for the first time in awhile.

Still miss him.

May 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

This is Me in ’83 – Dungeons! Dragons! Tomfoolery!

This entry likely begins in late 1982, when I was at my friend Mike’s house, and we wound up watching this movie called Mazes and Monsters on TV. (I say “likely,” because while the movie debuted on Dec. 28, I suppose it’s possible the thing was re-run in early 1983.)

So the whole terrible anti-role-playing propaganda of the movie was lost on us, because not long after, I remember Mike telling me one day in study hall that he had learned to play pencil-and-paper “Mazes and Monsters.” Basically, you’d draw a map of a cave or a castle or something similar, with small, numbered notations that corresponded to a hidden list of treasures, creatures and traps. You’d then guide the other guy through, asking him where he wanted to go, and describing what he encountered along the way. I think there may have been some super-basic sort of combat with plain old six-sided dice, but mostly it was kind of like walking the player through a Choose Your Own Adventure story.

The next step, of course, was Mike getting a Dungeons & Dragons basic set, and showing me the cool dice and the character sheets, and The Keep on the Borderlands module.

Since we didn’t know anyone else our age who had any interest in the game, though it was tough for us to play for real. Most of the time we just created characters with artificially-inflated stats and ran through maps and modules in a souped-up version of our “Mazes and Monsters.”

On a semi-related note, here is a Polaroid of Baltek, the Green Dragon:


Mike and I built him out of homemade green play dough and wrote a story about him (spoiler alert: Baltek wins) for our “Medieval Day” project that year.

We shared a study hall in sixth grade, and somehow, Mike and I started getting passes from our teachers to play D&D either in the hallways outside their rooms, or in adjacent empty classrooms. I remember in particular sitting on the floor with The Lost City awaiting Mike’s adventurers.


Then one day, I happened to see a copy of the morning memo that teachers used to get from the office every day. One note read, “It’s springtime! Practical joke time – how about no more hall passes for John and Mike?”

After a couple days of us trying unsuccessfully to finagle passes, one morning, the school heard this over the PA system: “Attention – if anyone has seen John Booth and Mike ___, please let us know: They are missing from the sixth grade halls!”

So we had no luck. And then, Mike had one of his friends ask a teacher for their autograph. And the kid got it. Just her signature on a blank piece of paper. Above which we then wrote, “Please excuse John and Mike during study hall.” Now, being a dork, while I thought this was ingenious, I also knew that some teachers would think it was funny, and some would, well, not. So I said, “Let’s take this to the office and let someone know it’s a joke first.”

Now the really weird coincidence is, when we got to the office – over Mike’s quit-being-such-a-nerd objections – and I told the secretary my name, she said, “John Booth? Your mom just called: She wanted us to remind you that she’s picking you up early today, and you have a dentist’s appointment. She’ll be here in about 10 minutes.”

We never got to find out how our clever fake hall pass would have been received.

Our shared exploration of D&D was pretty brief. In seventh grade, I traded away ten bucks plus my copy of The Lost City for a Timex Sinclair.

It would be 17 years before I created my next Dungeons & Dragons character, and while the game – and I – are different, rolling those polyhedral dice still takes me back, on some level, to 1983.

May 9, 2013 Posted by | 1980s, geek, Ohio | , , , | 1 Comment

Running 2013: Week Eighteen

Weather-wise, what a fantastic weekend for running: a little bit on the windy side (at least in the mornings), but clear and sunny and warm.

Interesting to look at the numbers, since I ran the exact same 3.5-mile route in opposite directions on Saturday and Sunday.

So, here’s Saturday’s run:


My best average pace of the year for this loop, and the first time I’ve cracked the 30-minute mark on it.  And this surprises me a bit, because I ran this one in the direction that puts a big climb 2.5 miles in, but that green pace line is pretty steady most of the way, until I tried for a bit of boost at the end.

Now here’s Sunday:


This time, I ran down that hill (and into a steady headwind) at the end of my first mile – and it looks like I had a much tougher time keeping a steady pace – again, until the last half-mile push. I never felt like my speed was varying that much, which is a bit weird, but there it is. And overall, I came in a second slower than the day before, but still better than any other 2013 trip around this loop.

Because I’m not running four days a week like I do when I’m preparing for a race, I’ve really felt like it’s been a struggle to improve my pace, but this weekend reminded me that I have also been varying my courses, so I don’t always have an apples-to-apples comparison. I’ve run this loop more than a dozen times, though, and looking back, I’m finishing about 47 seconds faster than I did back in January, so I guess that counts for something.

Also: 129.2 miles for the year.

May 5, 2013 Posted by | Ohio, running | , | Leave a comment

Brand-new Baby Birds

There’s yet another robin’s nest above our front porch light this year. Yesterday, there were four blue eggs in it. When I got back from my run this morning, I noticed a piece of blue shell on the concrete.


I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a photo of hatchlings that I’m absolutely certain are less than a day old, or that includes the newbies side-by-side with unhatched eggs. (And it looks like #3 might be arriving soon, if I’m judging the chip on that egg correctly.) The picture’s a little blurry, but it’s difficult to shoot into the nest sight unseen, and I didn’t want to cause any more of a disturbance.

May 5, 2013 Posted by | Ohio, photos | , , , | Leave a comment

Free Comic Book Day: Hazel’s Heroes Haul

Kelsey and I popped into Hazel’s Heroes this afternoon because a) Free Comic Book Day, and b) Sean and Stephanie Forney were there, and it’s all of three miles from my house. (Hey: Before I forget – Sean’s running a Kickstarter for his Scarlet Huntress Anthology, and it’s packing a bunch of cool stuff at pretty much all the backer levels, for both individuals and comic shop owners. Try as I might, I can’t get the video to embed, but it’s really worth checking out.)

Here’s what I brought home from the store:


Four freebies on the right, and two purchases. That July 1983 Comics Scene is full of good stuff I’m going to scan and share, and I bought the Star Trek IV adaptation for Kelsey. (Could I have said no? Sure, but then it would have been double dumbass on me.)


May 4, 2013 Posted by | 1980s, Film, geek, Ohio | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seattle: Go See Tentacles, A Squiggly Art Show Curated by Bonnie Burton

Tentacles, A Squiggly Art Show Curated by Bonnie Burton at Ltd. Art Gallery in Seattle

“The Madame,” by Josh Ellingson.

Hey! You! In Seattle! Like weird and cool monster-y type art and stuff? You probably want to go to here: Tentacles, A Squiggly Art Show Curated by Bonnie Burton at Ltd. Art Gallery in Seattle.


May 3, 2013 Posted by | Current Affairs, geek | , , , | 1 Comment

%d bloggers like this: