Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Halloween 2018

Today R2 continued his tradition of greeting trick-or-treaters for Halloween.

As was the case last year, R2 was joined by the mouse droid.

Visitors enjoyed meeting the droids, although I suspect they enjoyed the candy more.

This wraps up a busy week for R2, but it shouldn't be too long before he's back in action.

Halloween Visit at CHOC

Today R2 joined Mike Senna and WALL•E, along with several other characters, to bring Halloween fun to the young patients of Childrens Hospital of Orange County.

Usually R2 only gets a picture with the bear statue, but today he met the bear himself.

Since the patients don't get to go out trick-or-treating, the hospital brings Halloween to them, with lots stations offering candy and other prizes.

Mike and I found a place to station WALL•E and R2 for the visitors.

Unfortunately, we're not allowed to take pictures with the patients, but suffice it to say the kids were very happy to meet the characters, and do some trick-or-treating.

We wrapped up with a group picture of all the characters.

It's always good to visit CHOC, I hope I get to come back soon.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

LA Comicon 2018 - Day 3

Today was the third and final day of LA Comicon, 2018.

We were greeted first thing by mini-Speed Racer.

Michael McMaster's WALL•E enthralled the guests that came by to visit.

William and Nikki Miyamoto unveiled the Magic Wheelchair that they worked on with Mike Senna for a special girl.

I needed to leave a bit early, so I missed the end of the convention, but it won't be long until we're at the next one (currently planned to be Wondercon in the Spring of 2018). Always great hanging out with my droid-building buddies.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

LA Comicon 2018 - Day 2

Today was day 2 of LA Comicon, and Saturdays are always guaranteed to be the busiest days of the convention. This would be no exception.

I arrived around 8:00am for the 9:00am early arrival show opening. All is calm inside.

But not for long.

Cary Christie and his family (both humans and droids) joined us. His BB-8 and BB-9E are top notch.

At noon we had our droid building panel, which is always well-received. This time we got 90 minutes, which was a first for us (usually we get an hour).

There was a Star Wars photoshoot at 2:00pm in the convention center lobby, so a few of us joined in for that.

Back at the booth, Gordon had suited up as C-3PO, so we took the opportunity to get a few droid group pictures for ourselves and the guests.

Meanwhile, nearby on the main stage, Elijah Wood was participating on a panel of his own. (He didn't get a full 90 minutes though.)

After a long day, we wrapped up and headed to dinner nearby. As we were waiting, a mini-Main Street Electrical Parade walked by.

One more day to go!

Friday, October 26, 2018

LA Comicon 2018 - Day 1

Today was day #1 of LA Comicon 2018, and R2, the mouse droid, and lots of others were there to represent the various robot clubs.

I arrived around 8:15am at the Los Angeles Convention Center for a 9:00am show opening for early arrivals, and help set up our booths (R2, WALL•E, BB-8 and Mouse Droid Builders).

Meanwhile, the throngs awaited entry.

As the song says, meet the Flintstones.

Per tradition, Chris Romines treats these conventions as build days. I kept waiting for him to ignite his beard on fire, but he never did.

If you need to hire a giraffe, I know a couple looking for work.

Gene, William and I took our droids out and about on the show floor for a while.

I also spent some time hanging out with WALL•E.

Toward the end of the day, Jack Black took the main stage to promote something or other, not sure what.

Day one is in the books, we'll be right back at it tomorrow.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Cut Shoulder Discs at Mike's

I've been wanting to cut new pipes that connects droid #1's legs together, since I think the legs are just a little too far from the body (about 1/2" vs. around what I consider to be a preferable 3/8"). The current pipes have so many holes drilled into them to bolt the pipes together that I don't feel I can just cut them down. Thus I'll be needing some new pipes and flanges. New flanges might mean new wooden shoulder discs, if the hole pattern for the flanges isn't quite the same, so I decided to cut some new discs while I had the opportunity to go to Mike Senna's place. (A more detailed description of this process can be found here.

This isn't a major procedure. I brought some 3/4" Baltic birch, and rough-cut some 6.25" diameter circles with the jig saw. The rough cut is about 1/8" larger in diameter, but it varies.

Next up, setting up to use the router, to route the discs down to exactly 6.25".

I was fighting with Mike's router, so he did the routing for me.

Two new discs, ready for service, if and when needed.

Sunday, September 23, 2018


Today was the big day, R2LA XV, with some 150 attendees and about 50 droids!

By the time I arrived, the great unloading had begun.

Most of those 50 droids are R2/R4/R5 units, but there were also others.

Of course we had the webcast going as well, although this year we had to use YouTube Live, as the UStream service we used to use with has become a paid service (and we're cheap).

This year I dressed up newly weathered droid #1 as R5-D4, and he took a spot along the wall.

Those of us sporting Michael McMaster's inspired R2LA chicken shirts gathered for a group photo.

Baby-8 made an appearance. She may not have that many appearances left, as she barely fits in there now.

At one point during the day, Matt and Chris from the Pacific Northwest conducted an impromptu ceremony to present an award to me, my very own plant stand action figure (search this blog for "plant stand" if you have no idea what this refers too). I was amazed at the accuracy and attention to detail that was put into this (as well as how ridiculous it was).

Shortly thereafter, we staged our droids for the group photo.

Gordon suited up as C-3PO, and among other things participated in our shortest-to-tallest droid lineup. (Somehow a Johnny 5 snuck in there.)

Next up was the Mouse Droid Demolition Derby. There was much derby and even more demolition. (My mouse droid wisely decided to sit that one out.)

Things started to wind down, but not before BB-8 turned on her master.

R2LA XV is now history, and a good one it was. It's always great seeing the new innovations people have come up with, and even better seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I'm already looking forward to next year.