Saturday, May 26, 2018

CHOC Fundraiser at Costco

Today R2 joined Matt Munson as Batman and Mark Chu Lin as War Machine as we helped raise donations via the Children's Miracle Network, benefitting Childrens Hospital Orange County (CHOC). The event ran from around 12:15pm-2:15pm.

I unloaded the Droidmobile and stationed R2 at the easy-up tent where we were appearing.

Moments later, R2 was joined by Batman and War Machine. Customers made a voluntary donation to get pictures with the characters.

I mostly hung back and stayed in the shade.

Once we were done, we went back through the store to the changing room. As Matt said, Droids on aisle 6.

We ended up raising several hundred dollars for the hospital, so it was time well spent, and the folks at Costco treated us quite well.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Solo Opening Night

Just a quick appearance with R2 at The Loft restaurant & theater in Newport Beach, CA, where audience members got a chance to get a picture with R2. I was accompanied by my former coworker Rich and his wife. I hardly took any pictures, so this is pretty quick and to the point.

I also saw the movie and found it entertaining.

See? I can be quick and to the point on rare occasion.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Star Wars Night at Angel Stadium - 2018

Tonight was Star Wars Night at Angel Stadium, and R2 was there, along with many members of the various Star Wars costuming clubs.

This year's Star Wars Rally Monkey had a Han Solo theme, thanks to the imminent release of the Solo movie. Chewie (aka Cory) models his simian brethren.

My friend Manny was my wrangler/helper for the event.

Once the characters were suited up, around 5:00pm we headed out to greet the arriving crowd and pose for pictures in the stadium's Music Garden.

A few of the characters were selected to go down to the field to walk the warning track and help out with the first pitch. Luckily R2 was selected, but unfortunately my helper Manny wasn't allowed to join us since they were trying to keep the number of participants as low as possible.

Around 6:30pm we staged near the tunnel by the right field foul pole.

And then we headed out to the warning track, where the Angels t-shirt team used the t-shirt cannons to launch t-shirts into the crowd, and we greeted the fans in the stands.

Although Manny wasn't able to join us on the field, he was able to get some pics from the stands.

We stopped for the first-pitch ceremony. The other characters went behind the mound, but we didn't want R2 running over the chalked-up foul line, so he stayed off the field of play.

We wrapped up on the field and headed back to the changing room for a break.

At the third inning, several of the characters came back out for the Steal-a-Base contest, where a young fan races along the warning track to grab an extra base, and get back in under 30 seconds.

We staged along side the bullpen near the left field foul pole.

While we were waiting, Angels reliever Noe Ramirez was called into the game, so I took some video of him going by and grabbed one of the still frames.

Here's the young man tasked with stealing the base. Will he be fast enough??

The 3rd inning ended, and we went out for the contest.

Did he make it? Yes, with a good 3 seconds to spare!

And with that, we were done for the night. R2's record with the Angles is now 1-3. :( He seems to like the Dodgers better.

I always love doing MLB games, and I hope to do this again next year.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Evelyn & Jose's Wedding

Today R2 was the ring bearer in Evelyn and Jose's wedding.

I had been contacted a few months ago to help make their dream come true of having R2 be the ring bearer in their wedding, and agreed to do it. We met up a couple weekends ago to go over logistics and rehearsal.

Today I arrived a little after 3pm for a 5pm ceremony. The wedding was outdoors at Luminarias restaurant, and there wasn't any good places to hide R2, so I had to hide him in plain site.

Sometimes a droid has to suffer a little indignity to get the job done.

I had the Best Man, Tanner, tie the rings to the pillow, as he'd be on the hook to untie them during the ceremony.

The guests arrived and were seated, and the ceremony began. I kind of hid behind a portion of the restaurant, which meant that everyone in the wedding party passed by me, although I was unseen by the guests.

I quietly and discreetly uncovered R2 and prepared him to do his thing, while all eyes were on the bride and groom.

On cue (the usual, Best-Man-"Forgot"-the-Rings), R2 appeared to the rescue. He drove down the aisle, stopped in front of the gazebo for Tanner to fetch the rings, and then moved aside and the ceremony resumed. The guests really enjoyed the surprise.

As the new husband and wife departed the ceremony, I got to be the first one to shake their hands.

And shortly thereafter, we took pictures at the gazebo and in front of a fountain near the restaurant's entrance.

R2 also visited the reception for a little while, where guests took the opportunity to take pictures with him. (He's in there somewhere.)

One last picture on the dance floor before we hit the road.

This is the sixth wedding R2 has attended, and his third as ring bearer. I always like having R2 be a part of such a happy occasion, and today was no exception. Congratulations Evelyn and Jose!

Friday, May 04, 2018

Día de los Niños at CHOC

Today R2 returned to Childrens Hospital Orange County to help support their Día de los Niños event. Mark Chu Lin organized our appearance, and we were joined by some super heroes, including Hulk-Buster Iron Man, Batman, and Mark was an Avengers agent.

We'll start with the usual CHOC pose.

Our appearance ran from 9:30am to 2:00pm.

Since we can't take pictures with the patients, I don't have much to share. We did get to take pictures with some of the other performers though.

I got to have dinosaur chicken (or maybe it was just dinosaur), along with chicken-chicken, for which I was very grateful, given the meals I've been missing lately.

Just before 2:00pm we wrapped up with a group photo.

It was another good appearance at CHOC, and I hope to visit again in the not-too-distant future.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Star Wars Nite at Disneyland

Tonight was a special opportunity for R2, as he got to entertain guests at Disneyland for their first ever Star Wars Nite. We were joined by fifteen other droids (sixteen counting a mouse droid), along with their builders and wranglers. Mike Senna and William Miyamoto were also in the park, on their secret missions.

Our call time was 6:00pm, so I went straight from work to Disneyland, and arrived right on time.

We gathered in a visitor parking lot where we unloaded our droids and secured them to wooden, wheeled platforms, in preparation for loading onto a box truck.

We loaded the droids onto the truck and then ratchet-strapped the platforms to the inside attachment points.

Sixteen droids + 1 mouse droid ready for transport to the Disneyland backlot.

We boarded a shuttle and followed the box truck to our staging area in the backlot. Once we were in the backlot area we were not allowed to take pictures.

In the meantime we unloaded our droids from the truck, and stored our toolboxes and gear in a conference room nearby where we were to appear.

At 9:30pm we made our entrance into Disneyland, and were escorted over to the fire station on Main Street USA. It goes without saying that it didn't take long for a crowd to gather for pictures.

Around 9:45pm they had a Star Wars-themed fireworks show. Unfortunately the shops mostly obstructed our view.

We were scheduled to go until 1:00am(!), so we kept on entertaining the crowd.

At midnight the Star Wars Costume clubs (501st Legion, Rebel Legion, Mandalorian Mercs and possibly others) had a parade, and we lined up to greet them at the end.

Finally, at 1:00am it was time to wrap up. We were escorted out (in a good way), and we were done with our appearance. After returning our droids to the backstage area, we returned to the conference room to gather our belongings, and then start packing up.

The droids were secured back to their carts, and the carts loaded and ratchet-strapped onto the truck once again for the return drive to the visitor parking lot.

By the time we got to the lot it was already 2:00am, and we unloaded the box truck and loaded our droids into our vehicles for the drive home.

Two and a half hours into the new day and I've already burned 90 calories! Time to close up the Droidmobile and head home.

Suffice it to say my head didn't hit the pillow until after 3:00am, but it was well worth it. Everyone had a great time and I hope we get to do this again in the future. Some people may get to do it sooner than later.

The full photoset is here.