Category: Events

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SDCC 2017 Day Four

The greatest geekfest and pop-culture event on the planet wrapped up this afternoon in San Diego, as the original Comic-Con closed its doors on the Convention Center. Imitator shows are everywhere this Century, but none commands character and class like the original. The first, full, three-day event took place from Aug. 1-3, 1970, at the U.S. Grand Hotel, with about 300 attendees and sci-fi luminaries, including Ray Bradbury and A.E. van Vogt. This week, 140,000 people attended, but the number doesn’t include the tens of thousands descending on the Gaslamp Quarter and other areas of the city. SDCC is too big to be contained by the formality of a single glass-and-steel structure or the fire marshal’s mandates.

I had given up on participating until unexpected opportunity occurred yesterday morning to purchase a legitimate Day 4 badge with my name—not one assigned to someone else and sold for exorbitant price, despite firm policy against such scalping. I picked up the badge in the afternoon, spending several hours afterwards in the Quarter.

Like yesterday, I captured moments using Leica Q, but far fewer than my typical day. Those that follow aren’t all, or necessarily the best, but they tell a story about shooting them. 

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Gaslamp Lights San Diego Comic-Con

I won’t explain how, but today I snagged a legit San Diego Comic-Con 2017 badge for tomorrow. Better one than none. From 2009 through 2016, I had passes to attend all four days but failed to get in the buying queue during Early and Open registrations—in March and April, respectively—nor later get consideration as working journalist. I picked up my last-day badge at the Convention Center around 4:30 p.m. PDT, then moseyed around the Gaslamp Quarter, which is livelier with off-site activities and vendors than I recall from other years. 

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SDCC 2017 Open Registration Failure!

I would like to congratulate all the future San Diego Comic-Con attendees scoring passes today. You are worthyMy luck ran out during Preregistration last month and continued this morning. I had attended the geekfest every year since 2009, and with passes for the full four days and Preview Night.

Feeble chance remains. The deadline for press verification is April 28th, and I will apply. But for reasons unknown to me, without explanation, SDCC stopped validating my media credentials in 2015. Luckily—and gladly—I paid that year and the next. While I now hope to attend in 2017, legitimately, as working press professional, my optimism is faint. 

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My Comic-Con Luck Runs Out

I dreaded this day but mentally prepared—or so it seemed. San Diego Comic-Con 2017 Early Registration commenced this morning. Passes sold out in about an hour, and I got none for any of the four days or Preview Night. I attended continuously, starting in 2009—the first six years as registered press. For reasons unknown to me, SDCC did not “verify” my media status for 2015 or 2016, but I was able to register and pay for the entire event.

Open Registration is still to come, and the convention changed the press submission schedule for the July 19 (Preview Night) – 23 event. Past years: December. Now it’s end of April. Before the new week starts, I will resubmit legitimate materials that, if my luck isn’t exhausted, might lead to press certification and attendance. 

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Look Who I Met at Comic-Con

I spent today, with my daughter, at San Diego Comic-Con 2016. Finally. My praise to the organization for providing shockingly accessible accessibility services for the temporarily or permanently disabled. Because of corrective eye surgery two days ago, I fit the category for this Con, and hopefully none other. SDCC graciously gave Molly an onsite pass to be my attendant. In introduction, my impaired vision frames an unexpected encounter with Christopher Gorham.

When the surgical procedures are complete, I expect to have as good eyesight as my youth, but without the need for glasses. I wore a pair of dummy ones today, to protect the operated-on right eye (e.g. plastic with no prescription applied to them). Thus, the left eye is a complete blur without a corrective lens. On the right, my vision for things far away is exceptional. But my personal space, out to about a meter, is blurred out; my visual range will normalize sometime after the dilated pupil normalizes. So, yeah, Molly’s assistance is helpful. 

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SDCC 2016 Badge Changes

Well, this is a development. My San Diego Comic-Con 2016 badge arrived this afternoon—and much is changed from previous years. I attend for the eighth consecutive time, and the second as paying attendee rather than press. Previously, badges were given onsite. Now, beforehand, they are mailed out, with built-in RFID that is scanned on event entry. Presumably, the electronically-read tags will reduce fakes and increase movement in, out, and around the venue.

Like last year, I plan to attend all four days and the Preview Night, which is July 20. I count myself lucky to, on Nov. 14, 2015, plow through the random-selection queue and buy a pass. Entire event is a coup. Many people who want to attend get fewer days, if any. I paid $245 for the privilege, and I will work the show as if a press-pass holder. 

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My Crushing Coachella Concession

This afternoon I sold my Coachella 2016 Weekend 1 Pass to a young woman from Texas who relocated to San Diego about a year ago. Earlier in the day, she spontaneously decided to attend the music festival, responding to my Craigslist post about 10 minutes after I placed it. Disappointment goes with the pass, which I purchased during presales last June. The photo is the only shot of the kit—to accompany the ad.

The Weekend Oner was an unexpected extra. During presales, I bought a pair of Weekend Two passes for my daughter and companion, after being informed the other likely wouldn’t be available. While purchasing, I left the other browser tab open and unexpectedly got pushed through to sales with a single option: Weekend 1 with Shuttle Pass. I grabbed it, thinking to go myself. 

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The Apple Event to Sleep For

Editor’s Note: I wrote this for Frak That!, where nothing should be taken seriously.

“The snoring was so loud, I couldn’t get any work done”, Maybell Lindsey says about the March 21st Apple Event that introduced nothing. She is among a handful of litigants planning to sue the company for failing to fulfill its longstanding obligation to wow watchers with exciting new products—or, in the parlance of deceased cofounder Steve Jobs, present “one more thing”. “One less thing, actually and a lot of `em”, Lindsey heckles.

Litigants largely fall into two categories: 1) Those suffering emotional trauma for being denied the “got to have it now” exhilaration that makes the product launches must-see events. 2) Those tormented by snoring coworkers lulled to lala land by the oppressive focus on energy efficiency and recycled product packaging rather than earth-shaking new tech. 

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There’s Nothing Sweet About CES

It’s Zero Day in the desert, when technology vendors stampede the gambling mecca’s convention center groveling for attention. A narcissist gangbang couldn’t be more self-absorbed or self-seeking attention than this lot. Their annual pilgrimage to the Consumer Electronics Show is an abomination of noise, and it is a metaphor for the fall of 21st Century civilization.

Forget climate change. CES will kill us all first—if not this one than look to 2050. Climate change scientists warn of rising sea levels causing global disaster by that year. The hot air coming out of each CES will doom the planet sooner. You want to stop carbon emissions? Disband the Consumer Electronics Show.