Tag: events

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Coachella 2016 Presales Success

My daughter can attend Coachella for the third time, but Weekend Two. I snagged Weekend One tickets for this year and last but not next. Pass presales for the 2016 music festival commenced at 11 AM PDT today. The advantage of buying now is making monthly payments rather than one sum up front.

Timing and luck make the difference securing any pass, particularly the earlier (April 15-17). Last round, I got in three minutes before official start time. Ironically, or not, at 10:57 the Coachella app on my Nexus 6 popped up a notification that sales had started. But every time I clicked the purchase button for Weekend One, Coachella redirected to the sales start at 11 page. 

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SDCC 2015 Open Registration Success!

In theory, I will go to San Diego Comic-Con this year—as a paying customer. For that I am most grateful and for the ease of the Open Registration process. From 2009 to 2014, I attended as registered press, but for some reason my status wasn’t re-certified. There was no formal rejection, just no approval during the typical “within 6 weeks” period after verification document submission.

SDCC’s streamlined process is a grabbag of chance. If you have an active ID on the system (before a cut-off date) and attended the previous year, you receive a code to participate in the registration process. That means using the number and last name to enter the waiting room between 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. PST. Anyone in the room when sales commence at 9 o`clock can be randomly chosen to purchase passe(s). Chrome refreshed me to the buying queue about 20 minutes after sales started. 

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Nerd Culturist

Comic-Con’s contractual commitment to San Diego expires in 2016, and the event already entertains offers to move to another city. While conducting interviews during SDDC 2013 for Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth, I asked numerous attendees about relocation. Among them: Tauri Miller, whose profile appears in the ebook.

For whatever it’s worth, I favor keeping the Con in San Diego. While the convention center limits the number of participants to about 130,000 over four days, the city already is a tourist destination with all the right amenities, which include hotels and the Gaslamp Quarter. Getting in out and around (including the airport) is much easier than Los Angeles, by contrast. 

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Academic

My fourth installment of excerpts from ebook Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth takes an interesting directional shift. So far we’ve met The Dark Knight, Medieval fighter, and twin-brother toy collectors. Would you believe there are people who study toys as a profession? Read on to see.

To recap: I attended San Diego Comic-Con 2013 with intention of profiling one-dozen among the 130,000 attendees. As SDCC 2015 approaches, I am posting 13 installments, after which the book will release into the public domain, on July 8, 2015, when my current commitment for Amazon KDP Select ends.

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Why I Don’t Attend CES

Consumer Electronics Show officially starts on January 6, but, as is customary, evening-the-night-before keynote kicks off the trade show, on what I call Day 0. Not that many vendors wait, and for good reasons. CES is such a cacophony of product announcements early is the only way to assure news coverage. Hehe, if any.

I haven’t flown to Las Vegas since 2008 and, yes, celebrate my seventh year kicking CES to the curb. It’s not worth my time or money. The news value is null. (Although I might feel differently if writing for a high-traffic tech blog where geek readers can’t get enough information fast enough about the next, new thing.  Audience matters. Write for it.) The press meetings rarely yield meaningful relationships, because you’re just one of many reporters that vendors grope for attention (CES 2014 official number of news media attendees: 6,575). Deals are made at the show, and for the companies or venture capitalists making them there is huge value rarely seen behind the mayhem. But I’m no rainmaker, just a lowly journalist. 

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No Class, No Reunion

My 30-year high school reunion will take place this year—if it hasn’t already. But, sigh, I have no high school where to return. During my junior and senior years, my mom moved the family from the town where I grew up to Maine’s second-largest city in the south. While other kids wallowed in the memories, I walked the hallowed halls like an odd duck. I was a stranger among strangers. I left my memories and friends 300 miles away, in the town where I was born and there the school system that educated me. No memories. No prom. No graduation parties. No fun.

I regularly cut classes in the new school, which was quite unusual for me. I had bulked up on extra classes through junior year and was one-quarter credit shy of graduation going into my senior year. I only needed to sustain grades for college. 

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Cherry Blossom Festival Parade 2007

On Saturday, my daughter, sister, and I Metroed downtown for Washington’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. My wife stayed home sick. I brought along the Canon 20D and Canon EF 135mm f/2 USM lens, which performed as well as the previous weekend’s cherry blossom watch. The prime lens continues to delight.

This was our first Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, which had a strong military presence. I’ve got nothing against the service, but the parade of uniforms reminded that America is at war and diminished the event’s meaning. I expected a lot more processions related to Japanese culture. Rather, there were more uniforms and representatives of commercial interests, such as Target. No doubt reflective of American society right now—the military and capitalists—I expected more Japanese cultural fare. 

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Labor Day Parade 2006

This morning, Kensington, Md., held its annual Labor Day parade, which was my first real-world test of the Nikon D200. I love the camera, but some kinks remain.

I snapped 380 pictures, on 4GB and 2GB memory cards. I chucked 110 pictures; many images were blurry. I’m finding that Program mode consistently favors ISO over shutter speed, even when set to Auto ISO. The best shots came later in the parade, when the sun shone and I switched to Shutter Priority at 1/500 sec. 

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More County Fair Adventures

Today, my wife, daughter, her friend, and I drove up to Gaithersburg, Md., for the annual county fair. We had no drama this year—last year I watched an old geezer dose off at the steering wheel (I thought he croaked, but he hadn’t).

This year’s lesson was one of gullibility around costs. For 2005, the county fair admission fee increased quite a bit, to $7 per person. I called my wife, while standing in line with my daughter and two friends, asking if she thought we shouldn’t pay and go home. The fair justified the higher fee because of the new free parking (there was a cost other years). I grudgingly accepted the reason. 

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‘Live 8’ or Death

Two Saturdays ago, the family hauled off to Tysons Corner Center, so that my wife could shop at the New Balance store and my daughter at the Sketchers there. On a giant flat-panel monitor at the back of the Sketchers played Live 8, particularly Richard Ashcroft’s performance, with Coldplay, of The Verve staple “Bittersweet Symphony”.

The performance stuck with me, as did vague memories of Live 8, which I mostly missed. I certainly shouldn’t have overlooked the concert as much as I did. During summer 2005, I struggled through some logistical problems at work, which greatly distracted from many things that should have been greater priority. Events like Live 8 come `round maybe once in 20 years, if Live AID is any indication.