Monday, January 23, 2017

Rainbows at Lake Murray

We've been getting a lot of welcome, but unexpected rain here in San Diego. It's been pretty nice. Today, while I was walking at Lake Murray, there were some thunderstorms. Right before the first thunderstorm hit, I took photos of this rainbow.

This picture is of the flirting ducks during a less severe rain session a few weeks ago:

One time, when it was raining, all the ducks started doing Yoga, lol:

Friday, November 4, 2016

Boo Parade 2016

Sorry this is a bit late, but last Saturday, October 29th, I finally got a chance to see the annual Boo Parade on El Cajon Blvd. I've always had to work on that Saturday, so I never got the chance. I was stationed at 62nd and El Cajon Blvd.

I took a lot of photos, but haven't had time to process them all. Here is a sampling of some of the photos I took.

Here is the beginning banner with Councilwoman Marti Emerald's photo. There was a narrator from a local radio station across the street from where I was :

Then the fire truck passed through. This is the truck from Station No. 10 which is on 62nd street.

I took this next photo before the parade started to show some of the diversity in the neighborhood. There were a lot of people there. Right behind me was a large black cat balloon. I wanted to take a photo of that, but there was always someone standing in front of it, so I didn't feel comfortable.

Lots of groups were there showing off their dance and marching moves. They came from various parts of the city.

My favorite part of a parade has always been the horses.

There were several in this group that had costumes on their horses, including these two with a lion's mane and a Pegasus wings.

Ken Kramer from "About San Diego" and other shows and news stations was the Grand Marshall.

Assembly member Shirley Weber was also there. Both Ken Kramer and Shirley Weber rode with
two classic car groups.

I had a bunch more photos of later parts of the parade, but didn't have time to process them. Across the street was a carnival which was pretty fun. There were people selling food, games and music there. It was very neat to see such a big event in this part of town.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Comic-Con Non-Badge Activities

Getting a badge to the exhibits inside the convention center is pretty hard, but there is a ton of things Comic-Con-related things to do all around the area. In fact, this year's non-badge activities were probably just as big or even bigger than the ones inside the convention center. Here are some of the things I saw yesterday outside of the Comic-Con going on at the convention center.

First, I started at the Embarcadero. This was were a special "Con-X" hosted by the E! entertainment channel was going on. Plenty of free stuff and food there.

They had a lot of good guest speakers. Here, Al Jean talked about the upcoming season of the Simpsons. I believe Adam Nimoy was also going to be there later that night, but I was too tired to stick around.

Even though you can't go in without a badge, you can see a lot just hanging around the outside. The Game of Thrones production was holding a panel on the inside of the convention center. On the outside, a group of people doing Game of Thrones cosplay posed for photos on the convention steps. Also nearby was the "Abigail" yacht from the Walking Dead. It had lots of zombie noises coming from it and at least one person was in makeup.

I popped into Comic-Con HQ and not only were there games, there was a panel going on there as well. Here, Robert Picardo, who played the holographic doctor in Star Trek Voyager as well as Richard Woolsey in Stargate, talks about his love of science and space.

Tons of stuff to do around Petco Park. Here's a sample of the interactive South Park display:

If you love games, then you'll have plenty of places to try out the new one. I tried to see the Star Trek art exhibit, but they had already closed. I had plans to photograph part of the Zombie walk, but I couldn't find it. The problem was that by 5 PM, there were so many people that if it happened, I probably wouldn't have seen it because of the crowds. There were tons of people everywhere at that time and it was hard enough walking down the street.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Visiting Death Valley

Happy Memorial Day!

In early April of this year, I visited Death Valley for the first time. When I went, it was fairly warm in the lowest elevations. I came in from the west side through Panamint Valley and headed east through Furnace Creek down to Death Valley Junction where I stayed at the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel. Here are a few pictures I took. I may have to break up my photos over several posts.

Here I am just entering the Panamint Valley area after passing through an interesting town called Trona. Trona is a small mineral mining town. I believe everyone there is associated with the main mining company. Since I was there on a Sunday, I saw virtually no one in town.

The roads going up and down from the mountains were paved a dark red:

This next photo is of the sand dunes just east of Stovepipe Wells which is a good spot to stop and get gas and something to eat.

I also got to visit one of the rare pupfish ponds at Salt Creek:

Artist's Pallete is a nice place to visit as well. This area, just south of the Furnace Creek headquarters, is a paved road where you can see wonderfully colored hills. Unfortunately, I went during the middle of the day so the colors aren't as vibrant. I suggest visiting around sunset for better lighting.

The Borax museum is a nice stop right in the middle of Furnace Creek. You can see all kinds of antique mining and transportation equipment.

Here is an old steam locomotive on display. If you love old west history, you will really like this visit. There's lots of coaches, wagons and tools on display.

This next photo is of the southeastern most area of the park not far from Shoshone where you can find a place to stay, get gas or get something to eat. I was on south Badwater road which was closed about five miles from where this picture was taken. Last fall, floodwaters damaged several of the roads making most of them impassible. There are still a few areas that are still damaged including the area around Scotty's Castle, a major park attraction. It will be a long time before you can visit Scotty's Castle in case you are planning to visit the park in the near future.

I stayed at the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel, a historic landmark. It was a nice place, but it has a lot of problems such as needing a paint job on the front of the building. I liked that it was way out in the middle of nowhere and there's even wild horses running all over the area. I didn't see the horses every day, but I did get to see them at least once.

I have several more photos I may post. I didn't want to post all of them because it would make a very long and tedious page. So, I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day and have a nice day off honoring those who served so that we can all visit places like Death Valley freely.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Free Comic Con Events at Petco Park Yesterday

Comic Con ended yesterday. I decided to go down there to see some of the things going out outside the event. Most of those events took place around Petco Park and the library.

I was greeted with a lot of building wraps all over the downtown area. I can't wait to see Minority Report. I loved the movie.

Game of Thrones trailer, one of many in front of the convention center.

This was a free event just outside Petco Park. Mostly, it had to do with video games.

On the other side of Petco Park, the Nerd Carnival was going on. These Lego dinosaurs were right outside.

They were promoting the Jurassic World movie.

I went inside and there were all kinds of video games to try out. But there were lines to all of them. I used to like playing video games, but not so much anymore. I wouldn't know what to do if I had tried to play.

They also had panels going on. I think this lady (I forgot her name, sorry), is part of Amy Poehler's Smart Girls online community. She was talking about doing voice overs for several of the games and videos that Legendary puts out.

Here are some shots of the outside of Petco Park. (By the way, there were tons of people in all kinds of costumes walking around, even on the trolley.)

The Tony Gwynn statue:

The Jerry Coleman statue and photos:

I didn't get a photo of my favorite thing that I saw because it was copyrighted. The library had an art exhibit feature the history of Comic Con over the years. There were program covers, banners, and drawings from many of the famous artists that visited Comic Con over the years, including the artists who drew the Family Circus and Beetle Bailey. You also got to see how the famous Comic Con toucan developed before they changed the icon to an eye, instead.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Comic Con!

Comic Con in 2012
Kevin Dooley
Flickr/Creative Commons

Being in San Diego, I'm almost front and center for the world famous San Diego Comic Con. Unfortunately, getting a badge there is very difficult. There are other giveaways and you can volunteer, but even those opportunities can disappear faster than they come. It also turns the downtown area into a complete madhouse. So, it doesn't look I'll be going over there this year.

Luckily, our local media does hours and hours of live shows and interviews while Comic Con is going on. I swear they interview just about everyone there, plus they have a lot of inside shots and interesting facts. So, living in this town has some perks.

If you're planning to go down to gawk at all the people, please keep these tips in mind:
  • The streets will be so packed that it will be hard for you to see anyone
  • The front door area of the convention center is usually blocked from view unless you're on that side of the street, so you won't really see anyone
  • There are also signs and exhibits that block views
  • Many of the nearby restaurants will be packed and may have restricted access
  • Off-site Comic Con presentations (like that at the library) usually require you to have a badge unless otherwise noted (the library does have one Comic Con presentation open to the public, but the rest are closed)
  • Unless you have a badge, your chance of seeing a celebrity in that area is slim
So, your best bet is to watch the local news stations if you want to see anyone or anything interesting if you don't have a badge. However, you might want to go downtown if:
  • You like to watch the gawkers
  • You like the party atmosphere
  • To tell people that you were there
  • To perhaps see something interesting (by chance)
If you go, be aware that selfie-sticks are not allowed, even when viewing from across the street. Also, good luck getting there by car. Try taking public transport, which will probably be packed early in the morning.


OK, a friend of mine pointed this out on her Instagram account. It's free and not too far from Comic Con if you want to go.

Nerdist Carnival

Sunday, June 14, 2015

2015 San Diego County Fair

I went to the county fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and, sure, I can show you all kinds of boring photos of the fairway, rides, shops, etc like I've done thousands of times in my articles. Sometimes, I'll take photos of the animals in the barns, too. There was no poultry show when I went, so I have no poultry photos like last year. There were so many people, that I couldn't get any good photos of themed performers. Instead, I'll show you some other boring photos from the fair.

I like to look at the birds at the infield pond. This year, like last year, the area was fenced off and there was no access, so I couldn't see much. I heard a killdeer and some stilts, but saw no chicks or nests like I have in previous years. I did see this little ruddy duckling with his mom. They're the little spot in this photo.

I also like to go see the horses. I take pictures to use as reference photos for when I want to do horse paintings. Here is an American mustang at the World of Horses:

There were several competitions at the Charity Horse Show in the arena, including a western riding competition.

This year's theme was the 100th anniversary of Balboa Park and the World Fair of 1915. I saw this poster for 1915 rules for teachers posted in the art gallery. It's probably the only thing you're allowed to take a picture of in there. They don't like people to take any pictures of anything inside most of the exhibits, except, maybe, the animal and fair theme exhibit.

That's all I got. I didn't find anything extra interesting to photograph like a butterfly show or the Beatles theme like last year. The lighting wasn't that good, either. Next week, it's supposed to be really sunny and warm, so it might be good if you want to take nice pictures during that time. It's basically the same fair as usual with the same vendors. The day I went, the small music shows were good, but I didn't go to the grandstand shows.

The fair runs until July 5th and is closed every Monday. Be sure to arrive early, preferably on a weekday. I would recommend parking at the horse park as the parking in the fairground parking lot costs a lot of money. Plus, they drop you off right at the entrance.