Friday, May 31, 2019

Kaiser Anaheim Annual Pediatric Oncology Carnival - 2019

Today R2 joined members of the 501st and Rebel Legions, as we helped Kaiser Hospital in Anaheim with their annual Pediatric Oncology Carnival.

We arrived around noon for our 1pm entrance. As the characters got dressed, staffers got pics with R2.

Around 1:00pm we lined up for our entrance.

Around 1:10pm we were still lined up, because the DJ was having power problems and they couldn't announce our entrance. So we ensconced in the changing room for a while until the audio problems were resolved, at which point we were announced and made our entrance. We met with the guests and staff for pics, pics and more pics.

Toward the end of the event (around 3:30pm), we took one last group picture with the staff.

Everyone had a good time, and R2's busy hospital event schedule continues tomorrow.

The full photoset is here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Oncology Inpatient Event at CHOC

Today R2 and I joined Mike Senna and WALL•E, along with some super heroes from the Marvel and DC universes, to help with Childrens Hospital of Orange County's Oncology Inpatient event.

When Mike and I arrived, we were met by a parent who's son is a big Star Wars fan, and it was his birthday today. She said a visit to his room would mean the world to him, so we arranged with CHOC staff to make the visit. Mike and I took turns with our robots, visiting the young patient in his room.

We got back to where the oncology event was to take place, a few minutes before it started.

As always, no pictures with the patients, but here's a picture from a patient!

There were Lego stations, face painting, and other activities for the kids to partake in. I managed to take a picture or two when the patients were out of view.

And they were serving ice cream! And we were invited to enjoy some too! You don't have to tell me twice.

One of the volunteers at the Lego table fashioned a nice likeness of WALL•E.

We also got a picture with the Child Life staff with the droids.

And we wrapped up with a group picture.

Today's visit was especially impactful, not only for the oncology patients we visited. The family of the patient that we met when we arrived seemed to be particularly grateful for our visit. They truly appreciated the visit, and it meant a lot to them. Another parent told Mike and me that she has never forgotten a visit that we made a couple of years ago with her son, and in fact, her daughter was also a patient. Fortunately, both children are doing better now, but she took the time to let us know that our visit back then really made a big impact. It's heartwarming to get that kind of feedback, and ultimately that's what it's all about.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Star Wars Night at Angel Stadium - 2019

Tonight was Star Wars Night at Angel Stadium, and R2 was there with Gordon Tarpley as C-3PO, as were many members of the various Star Wars costuming clubs.

This year's Star Wars Rally Monkey had a Chewbacca theme.

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

Around 6:30pm, R2 and C-3PO were among a few of the characters selected to go down to the field to walk the warning as the t-shirt canons fired souvenirs to the fans.

We wrapped up on the field and headed back to the changing room for a break. At the end of the third inning, the characters came back out for the Steal-a-Base contest, where a young fan races along the warning track to grab a spare base, and get back in under 30 seconds.

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

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

Did he make it? Yes, with plenty of time to spare! He and his mom got a pic with the characters in the tunnel afterward.

And with that, we were done for the night. R2's record with the Angles is now 1-4. :( He seems to like the Dodgers better.

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

The full photoset is here.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Minor Repair for Top Utility Arm Backstop

Back at Wondercon at the end of March, I noticed that R2's top blue utility arm struggled to open under remote control sometimes. I finally got around to investigating the problem today, and it was pretty clear what was wrong.

The MDF that keeps the arm from swinging back into the body had sheared off. I searched the bottom of the inside of the droid, and very luckily I found the piece that had broken off.

I applied some wood glue and put the piece back in place. Should be good as new.

As repairs go, it doesn't get much simpler than this, just glue the piece back on. But from a builder and property-ownership standpoint, this is highly frustrating. I am certain a kid (or possibly adult) kept pushing R2's top blue arm into the body until the MDF finally snapped off. It's borderline vandalism, and it's the kind of thing that makes me want to not take my droid out in public as much. But I still do anyway.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

CHOC Fundraiser at Costco - 2019

Today R2 joined Mark Chu Lin as Captain America, and other characters from the Marvel universe, as we helped raise donations benefitting Childrens Hospital Orange County (CHOC). The event ran from around 12:00pm-3:15pm.

Employees grabbed pictures before we visited with the customers.

People made a donation of their choosing for a picture with the characters, and Costco matches the donations, dollar for dollar. Costco raises millions of dollars for CHOC annually.

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.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Opportunity Matters to Everyone May the 4th be with You Dance

Tonight R2 and several members of the Southern California 501st Garrison helped greet attendees at the Opportunity Matters to Everyone May the 4th be with You Spring dance. This dance catered to those with special needs and various disabilities.

I arrived at 5:30pm, and they told me that R2 and the troopers would be greeting guests on the red carpet.

I didn't take pictures with the guests (although I don't think they were restricting that), but we did get one with the staff.

Everyone was delighted and surprised to visit with the characters, and we enjoyed the event as well.

Recut Left Foot Ankle Lock

Some minimal building activity today, I recut the ankle lock used to keep R2's left foot from flopping around when he pivots.

The ankle locks are made from a cutting board. I traced the old ankle lock, only I added a little bit of height for the new one. The old one had a tendency to spin in place, so I wanted to make the new one slightly taller, to not allow it room to spin on the screw that secures it to the leg.

I used a hacksaw to cut the piece out. That took all of about 8 seconds.

And finally, I drilled the hole for the screw that will secure it to the leg.

And then... I forgot to take a picture of it installed on the leg. Well, you can get a good idea of all this from the original blog posting back in 2007.