Saturday, May 21, 2016

Irvine High School Swim Team Banquet

Tonight was Irvine High School's annual end-of-the-season banquet and awards ceremony for their boy's swim team. My life-long friend Kelvin has a son on the team, and it turns out the swim coach is a huge Star Wars fan, so I was asked to have R2 make a surprise appearance toward the end of the festivities.

The banquet was well attended, with over 100 people present.

In the meantime, R2 hid incognito in the kitchen.

Toward the end of the evening, I affixed the gift card that R2 was to present to the coach on his upper utility arm, as we prepared to make our surprise entrance.

And pleasantly surprised they were! Everyone was delighted to see R2 roll in and present the gift card, especially the coach.

That was fun, I'm glad R2 was able to bring some extra happiness to the event.

City of Cypress Police Department Open House

Today R2 helped the City of Cypress CA's police department out with their open house.

Fellow R2 Builder and Ham Radio operator Chris Romines' droid is in a state of disassembly, so I pinch hit for Chris's R2-A1.

R2 hung out at the booth, which provided a shady spot for the kids to attack him.

Don't droid and drive, and don't drink and drive.

Everyone had a good time, and I'm glad I could help out.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

CHOC Visit

Today, R2 celebrated Star Wars Day with not one, not two, but three events! Up first, a visit to Childrens Hospital Orange County, along with members of the 501st and Rebel Legion.

As is usually the case with hospital visits, pictures with the patients are restricted without clearance, but suffice it to say that our room-to-room visits and interaction in the activity rooms were a big hit. And the staff always loves seeing the characters.

We wrapped up our visit around noon, and R2 and I were off to our next appearance, about 50 miles up the road at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Visit to CHLA

R2 joined several members of the 501st and Rebel Legion, as he made his second stop on his 3-event day on Star Wars Day at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

The hospital was very strict about pictures, so I was only able to get a group photo before the visit the young patients.

We had a good 2 hours or so interacting with the kids, and they had a great time visiting with the characters. I wrapped up around 4:15pm, and it was off to my third event of the day, back in Orange County. Two hours of traffic awaited...

Charity Fundraiser

This evening R2 wrapped up his 3-event triple-header with a visit to TGIFriday's, in Westminster, CA. They were celebrating Star Wars day with a charitable fundraiser. Twenty percent of the day's proceeds were being donated to Ronald McDonald Charities, where they help kids with cancer go to camp, among other good causes.

I was joined by Margo Apostlos, who played an Ewok in Return of the Jedi. She was presented with a big thank-you cake, and it was good!

People lined up for pictures with R2 as soon as I arrived.

The restaurant staff really got into it, decorating the whole restaurant, and dressing up.

R2 annoyed this couple, that were trying to enjoy a quiet evening. But they're used to it, being my parents and all.

It was quite a successful fundraiser, and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wondercon 2016 - Day 3

Today was the third and final day of Wondercon 2016. What made today different from days 1 & 2? Today was our R2 Building panel!

Usually we are rushed to setup for our presentations, and then again to hurry up and get out so the next panel can present. Today however, we were first up, so we could take our time. Of course, being the first panel on 10:30am on Easter Sunday morning doesn't help attendance a whole lot, but we still drew pretty well.

Toward the end of our session, we were joined by special guest Lee Towersey. For those that don't know, Lee helped build the Episode VII R2-D2, along with other droids used in the film. He's also gone on to work on Rogue One and Episode VIII. We asked Lee to recount his story of going from the R2 Builders Club to having built R2 for the movies, and everyone enjoyed hearing his story.

A post-panel picture, minus William Miyamoto.

Gordon Tarpley as C-3PO joined Dan John's R2 for a photo op for the attendees.

The streak is alive! Chris Romines taking another opportunity to use a convention as a build day.

At 5:00pm, we wrapped up. Another show in the books! I'm sure the next one will be here before I know it.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Wondercon 2016 - Day 2

Today was Day 2 of Wondercon 2016, and we started the day right with a healthy breakfast of donuts, courtesy of Mike Senna and Michael McMaster.

Yesterday's booth location was a bit cramped, so we swapped booths to get a corner, and a little more area to roam.

Mike Senna brought BB-8, and set up a photo op area with Dan Johnson's R2 along a nearby wall.

Our booth was busy all day, as usual.

The main lobby of the convention center was a continuous hive of activity.

R2 and I stopped by Ashley Eckstein's Her Universe booth for some fun.

At 7:00pm, we wrapped up for the day, and it was time to head out to dinner. More donuts perhaps?

One more day.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Wondercon 2016 - Day 1

Today kicked of Wondercon 2016 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where I met up with several of my R2 building buddies to help spread merriment.

I arrived around 9:30am for a noon show opening. Ed and Gene helped set up the booth.

After that was done, I took a walk around to see some of the displays that were being put in place.

Around 11:30am, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti held a convention kick-off press conference, welcoming Wondercon to the Los Angeles Convention Center for the first time. R2 was asked to participate for a post-conference photo with the mayor and some of the costumed characters.

After that, it was back up to the booth, and pics, pics, pics! The kids loved the droids.

Baby-8! Kayla Miyamoto has outgrown her baby predator costume, but William and Nikki came up with a great droid alternative, complete with thumbs-up flame.

Everyone had a good time, and we're looking forward to Day 2 and even more droids!