Saturday, August 08, 2015

Hillsides Children's Group Home Visit 2015

Today, R2 returned to Hillsides Children's Group Home, where he participated with 70 members of various Star Wars clubs, to bring happiness to kids who have had a tough childhood. Per policy with these things, no pictures with kids were allowed.

As he's done each year, R2 hid under an outdoor stairway, as the characters changed into costume and prepared for their grand entrance.

After the characters got changed into costume, they socialized while waiting for our entrance.

A little after 11:00am, the staff had the kids assemble in a room that was playing The Clone Wars series, and the character lined up to enter. R2 brought up the rear, as he can be a bit slow going over door ways and such. We had so many characters we had to enter in groups!

The kids got to meet the characters, and all the characters signed their autograph books. (I signed for R2: "Beep-Boop!" R2-D2) The kids also got patches. Here's a glimpse of what it looked like inside the room.

Next, the Saber Guild put on their presentation, where Jedi fight Sith, and ultimately, Vader himself. The kids help use the Force to chase Vader away.

And finally, we wrapped with the "after" group photo.

It's a great event for a great cause, and I hope R2 and I are part of it again next year.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ethan's First Birthday

Today I did a favor for a friend of a friend and brought R2 out for 1-year-old Ethan's birthday. Ethan's dad is a big-time Star Wars fan, so the family arranged a surprise visit by R2 through me.

I had to sneak R2 into the restaurant incognito. Does this look suspicious to you?

Shortly after the celebration started, R2 made his surprise entrance. Ethan, being held, was unsure what to make of the droid, but everyone else was lining up for pictures.

A good time was had by all (with the possible exception of Ethan).

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Discovery Science Center Summer Visit 2015 - Day 2

Today was day #2 of the R2 Builders visit to the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, CA. I was joined by most of yesterday's club members, including Roy, Maddy and Robert.

Time to unload the Droidmobile.

R2 likes the color on this Tesla.

Today the droids got some minimal protection from the crowd.

Not everyone found them that fascinating, though.

At 3:00pm I gave a presentation, with help from Roy and Robert. Thank you to Roy's son Miles for helping with the pictures.

We wrapped up around 5:00pm, and put a finish on another successful weekend at DSC.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Discovery Science Center Summer Visit 2015 - Day 1

Today the R2 Builders visited both Discovery Science Centers in Southern California, in Santa Ana and Los Angeles. I headed up the Santa Ana visit, while Paul Thompson headed up the Los Angeles visit.

I was joined by Dave, Roy, Maddy and Robbie, and their droids and droids-in-progress.

We found a place to set up, and it didn't take long for people to start taking pictures.

At 3:00pm I gave a talk. I took a panoramic image of the crowd, but I don't have a picture of the talk itself.

We do it again tomorrow. Whee!

Saturday, July 04, 2015

City of Rosemead 4th of July Parade 2015

Today R2 participated in his second 4th of July parade, this time in the City of Rosemead, CA. I resurrected his flag-waving apparatus, and he was ready to go!

Some police cadets took a picture before the parade started.

Meanwhile, indoors, over 100 costumed characters and wranglers were preparing.

And they took an opportunity to get a group photo. Poor R2 was anchored to his parade platform on the trailer, so he missed the group picture.

Around 10:45am it was time to pull out. Off we go!

We were somewhat behind the many costumed characters, so I wasn't able to get any good pictures of them. Oh well.

Lots of people lined the roughly mile-long route. Lots of waving and "It's R2-D2!" from the crowd.

There's our cadets.

Every once in a while I'd make sure R2 was still doing fine, either via the rear view mirror or by sticking my head way out the window. (We were moving about 1-2 mph.)

Everyone had a great time, and I hope R2 and I get to participate in a parade again next year!

Friday, June 05, 2015

Northwood High School Pops Concert

Tonight R2 and some 501st characters helped with an appearance at Northwood High School's Pops Concert in Irvine, CA. The school paid for the rights to play Duel of the Fates as their finale, and the characters were to appear during the performance.

The orchestra and chorale are quite large, with a few hundred students participating. I was told over 90% of the students participate in Fine Arts at the school.

We arrived around 7:00pm and were provided a dressing room. R2 came dressed already, so he hung out int he hallway, where some of the student performers were able to take the occasional picture.

A few of us were also able to sneak backstage and watch some of the performance. I was only able to see a small percentage of the students onstage from my vantage point, but they certainly sounded good.

Around 8:30pm the characters prepared to enter quietly from the back of the music hall. Vader and Yoda were played by the music director and his wife (using non-club costumes).

As the Duel of the Fates started, R2 rolled up the ramp and took his position on the right. Other characters were stationed in other various parts of the theater.

I was told about 700 people were in attendance. It sure looked crowded.

When the students finished playing the piece, they got a standing ovation, and they took a bow.

No sooner did things wrap up on the stage, then people started taking the opportunity to get pictures with R2.

Eventually, I was able to make my way with R2 outside, where he belonged for photo ops with the rest of the characters.

We wrapped it up with a group photo of all of the characters.

It was a really fun night and I'm glad I was able to go.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Special Visit to CHOC

Today R2 returned to Childrens Hospital Orange County a mere two weeks since his last appearance there, to visit a special patient he and I have known through the years. I went by after work, and the hospital was less busy than during our daytime visits, but R2 did visit several patients on the 5th floor.

As always, the staff loves to get pictures with R2.

And the little sister wanted to take a picture for Instagram with her My Little Pony (I think?) figures.

On my way out I took the traditional picture by the CHOC bear. Hopefully our friend's stay won't be too long, but either way R2 and I will be back visiting patients at CHOC in the not-too-distant future.

Wow, April was a busy month! Tons of events, including Wondercon (2 days), Ronald McDonald House Walk, 2 visits to CHOC, Dodger Stadium, Angel Stadium, a wedding & rehearsal, and let's not forget Star Wars Celebration Anaheim (setup day + 4 days)! I think I'm going to take it a bit easier in May. I hope.