San Diego Comic Con – 2015

San Diego Comic Con 2015

My first visit to the comic book convention to beat ALL comic book conventions. San Diego Comic Con International. It’s nearly impossible to describe how big this event it. 130,000+ attendees over the 4 days of the convention. I arrived on Thursday and flew home on Sunday. During the 3 days I was at the convention I walked a total of 22 miles tromping around the convention center and the surrounding area.

Dark Helmet - Spaceballs

Every conceivable vendor was there. All the big toy makers and publishing houses as well as TV and Movie studio reps. The big discussion panels for shows like Dr. Who or the new Star Wars movie were attended by throngs of fans who camped as long as 48 hour in advance for a chance to get into the panel of their dreams.

Cosplay

I was less dedicated. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t things to see and do. I explored the show floor, bought a few souvenirs and even got to photograph the press event for the FX show “Archer” which featured most of the voice actors for the show.

Cast Of Archer

My favorite part of the show is all the fans dressed in costume. I am less enamored of the “serious” costumes, but I love the whimsical stuff.

Force Choke Pool Party

Pulp Fiction Meets Star Wars

All in all, a great event if you can get tickets. And try not to take things too seriously…

My Little Pony

Rats!

Why I love (and sometimes fear) Cynthia – reason # 2,341,456

One of her coworkers has been out of town this week. Let’s just say that Cynthia and this particular co-worker don’t always see eye to eye and have somewhat of a “friendly rivalry” going on.

While this particular co-worker was out of of the office, Cynthia busied herself “re-decorating” it by cutting out pictures of dozens and dozens of rats and placing them all over his office. There’s even rats in the drawers and in the cabinets. She also plans to scatter a box of raisins on his desk before he returns on Friday as a finishing touch.

Cynthia confided in me that the subtle symbolism of her message may be lost on this particular co-worker.

Click any image to see a larger, more rat-ly version.

Rats

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Happy Festival Of Popular Delusions Day!

June 5th is Festival Of Popular Delusions Day.

The festival began in Germany on June 5th, 1945 which is one year after D-Day and one day before the one year anniversary. It marks the last day the Nazi’s were able to delude themselves that they would rule the Earth for a thousand years.

Festival Of Popular Delusions Day is now a day for ourselves to perform a reality check not only on our selves as individuals, but take a look at the popular ideas of the day.

To commemorate this day, and in the spirit of our “wacky” holiday card tradition, Cynthia and I sent out a card to our friends and also offer a copy here since we can’t afford stamps for everyone.

Diorarium

When I picked Cynthia up from work on Monday she was carrying an empty 40oz plastic pretzel jar. I asked her what it was for and she proudly announced that she was going to make a terrarium out of it.

As we drove home we talked about the project and I suggested getting a lizard to put in the terrarium. She suggested a frog. We both quickly recognized that this was a recipe for disaster. I then suggested a fake plastic lizard or frog. Cynthia didn’t really like that idea so much and as the conversation unfolded she came up with the idea of staging a diorama of an alien spaceship abducting someone in the woods. I countered that maybe it should be a diorama of an alien spaceship abducting a cow.

Cynthia liked this idea. I said we could call it a “diorarium” (pronounced die-a-rare-ee-um) to which Cynthia immediately said “no” due to the unpleasantness of how the word sounded.

I told her I had a perfect UFO in the form of a die cast model of the Jupiter II from the original Lost In Space TV series. I also suggested we could probably find some plastic cows at the toy store.

As the plan unfolded we I came up with the idea that we could go to the model shop where I was sure we could find some N Scale cows used for scenery in model railroading. They ended up having the PERFECT cows.

Then it was just a matter of getting the plants, the soil, activated carbon and gravel to build the terrarium part of the diorarium (by day two Cynthia embraced this as the name of what we were creating).

With all the parts assembled we had to figure out how to suspend the spaceship and the cow being abducted. I went to the hardware store and purchased some monofilament fishing line which ended up being perfect.

If it works as it is supposed to we should not have to open it or water it again, or at least for a very long time.

Here is the completed project. As it turns out, photographing a fake UFO abducting a fake cow inside a plastic jar presents many of the same challenges as photographing the real thing. If the real thing actually exists. Which it probably does. (shhhh!)

Diorarium 5

Diorarium 4

Diorarium 2

Diorarium 3

Snow Day 2009

Weather forecasts all week predicted snow for Friday, Dec 4th and sure enough, we had several inches of snow. I was fortunate enough to have the day off and Cynthia got to come home early. We took advantage of this rare weather phenomenon. We simply don’t see this much snow in Houston EVER. It snowed last year, but not much and it snowed on Christmas Eve in 2004 but it didn’t stick. The last time I saw snow like this in Houston was in the 60’s.


Snow In Houston
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Snow In Houston

Snow In Houston

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Snow In Houston

Snow In Houston

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Snow In Houston

Of course the sun was out the next day and the temperatures are expected to be back up in the 70’s before mid-week.

Our neighbors demonstrate their sense of humor about the fickle weather here in H-Town:

Snow In Houston
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Snow In Houston

Additional photos are here

Santa Jaws

My good friend Jim Henkel recorded a Christmas album 20 years ago called “The Jazz Carolers” which featured about 4 Christmas standards where he played all the instruments and performed all the vocals. We put it into the seasonal rotation here at the house come Christmas time as it’s a real joy to listen to.

Now, 20 years later Jim has released “Jazz Carolers – 2009” which is pretty much the same, 8 Christmas songs with Jim doing all the vocals and performing all the music. The production values are fantastic on this one and it’s includes one not so traditional Christmas song. The new CD contains what may be my new most favorite Christmas carol of all time – Santa Jaws

Give a listen using the embedded player or download the song from here.

The song is free to distribute so pass it along!

My Screen Is Sideways

sidewaysscreen

This month marks 4 years since I posted the above Q&A for my Helpline Blog at The Houston Chonicle. Since that time, “My screen is sideways” has generated over 700 comments from all over the world from people who have encountered this problem.

I really thought the problem was too esoteric and almost didn’t publish it.

In reading the comments it would appear that the primary cause of this problem is cat ownership.

I wonder what other computer problems may be cat related?