Star Wars at future Comic-Con Museum!

Star Wars cosplay and a sign welcomes visitors to a special Comic-Con Museum event!
Star Wars cosplay and a sign welcomes visitors to a special Comic-Con Museum event!

Around noon today I headed to the Federal Building in Balboa Park for a bite to eat. And what did I see? A special event was being held inside the future home of the Comic-Con Museum!

I walked about and watched people playing Star Wars: Armada and other tabletop games published by Fantasy Flight Games.

Very cool!

Members of the Imperial Sands Garrison of the 501st Legion pose for a cool Star Wars pic at the future Comic-Con Museum!
Members of the Imperial Sands Garrison of the 501st Legion pose for a cool Star Wars pic at the future Comic-Con Museum!
Players try out Star Wars Destiny, a dueling dice and card game.
Players try out Star Wars: Destiny, a dueling dice and card game.
Guys play Star Wars Armada inside the Federal Building, future home of the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.
Guys play Star Wars: Armada inside the Federal Building, future home of the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.
There seem to be a lot of Imperial Star Destroyers in this region of space!
There seem to be a lot of Imperial Star Destroyers in this region of space!
Perhaps players with a high midi-chlorian count can use the Force when throwing these dice.
Perhaps players with a high midi-chlorian count can use the Force to their advantage when throwing these dice.
Cards are used to keep track of Rebel and Imperial fleet ship status during play.
Cards are used to keep track of Rebel and Imperial fleet ship status during play.
A cool game mat depicts the Star Wars ice planet Hoth.
A cool game mat depicts the Star Wars ice planet Hoth.
I see cool LEGO Star Wars figurines of Fleet Admiral Gial Ackbar and Darth Vader.
I see LEGO Star Wars figurines of Fleet Admiral Gial Ackbar and Darth Vader.
Star Wars Legion miniatures game set depicts the planet Tatooine. I see Darth Vader following those stormtroopers!
Star Wars: Legion miniatures game set depicts the planet Tatooine. I see a menacing Darth Vader following those stormtroopers!
The Comic-Con Museum is coming to the Federal Building in Balboa Park!
The Comic-Con Museum is coming to the Federal Building in Balboa Park!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Future technology showcased at 2018 Comic-Con!

Visitors to the Future Tech Live! exhibition at 2018 San Diego Comic-Con have fun making a cool 3-D video courtesy of the Overwatch Payload Tour.
Visitors to the Future Tech Live! exhibition at 2018 San Diego Comic-Con have fun making a dynamic 3-D video courtesy of the Overwatch Payload Tour.

Anyone attending 2018 San Diego Comic-Con who loves gaming, augmented and virtual reality, and the very latest in cool technology should definitely head over to the Omni Hotel to check out Future Tech Live!

You’ll discover a wide variety of exhibitors demonstrating all sorts of innovations. There are augmented and virtual reality products, and visitors can experience the latest in eye-popping video game play. There are innovative robots, some amazing art, and several opportunities to learn about cryptocurrency and using the blockchain to buy and sell video games and make in-game purchases. There’s even a Bitcoin ATM!

You’ll also find a couple of friendly scientists who are ready to answer any sort of scientific question, plus some fascinating exhibits by UC San Diego. And if you work up an appetite, grab some free treats, courtesy of 7-Eleven!

These photos provide a sample of what you’ll find!

(Unlike last year, when the exhibition was called the Futurism & Tech Pavilion, in 2018 you’ll need a Comic-Con badge to gain entry.)

Future Tech Live! can be found in the Omni Hotel, across from the San Diego Convention Center during 2018 Comic-Con.
Future Tech Live! can be found in the Omni Hotel, across from the San Diego Convention Center during 2018 Comic-Con.
Multiple players enjoy a team gaming experience inside a Hologate virtual reality system.
Multiple players enjoy a team gaming experience inside an incredible Hologate virtual reality system.
Ozobot showcases Evo, a robot that is controlled with magic markers or stickers!
Ozobot showcases Evo, a robot that is controlled with magic markers or stickers!
Evo follows drawn lines and turns depending upon color sequences that it detects.
Evo follows drawn lines and turns depending upon color sequences that it detects. It’s a fun and visually creative way to teach coding concepts to kids.
Eric Ninaltowski shows some of the super cool pop culture art that he has created.
Eric Ninaltowski is showing some of the super cool pop culture art that he has created.
Someone engages in an augmented reality lightsaber battle courtesy of Star Wars Jedi Challenges by Lenovo.
A visitor to Future Tech Live! engages in an augmented reality lightsaber battle courtesy of Star Wars Jedi Challenges by Lenovo.
A friendly guy representing Stimuli VR demonstrates glasses that convert almost any smart phone into a virtual reality device!
A friendly guy representing Stimuli VR demonstrates amazing glasses that convert almost any smart phone into a virtual reality device!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Strength and determination in wheelchair rugby.

Today I watched some of the world’s best athletes compete. I headed up to Balboa Park to experience the 28th Annual Best of the West Quad Rugby Tournament in the Municipal Gymnasium. Most people know the sport as wheelchair rugby, or murderball. That last name sounds rather tough, but it’s for a good reason.

The quad rugby players that participated in this tournament are among the best in the world. Some have competed in the Paralympic Games. There were teams from California, Arizona, Texas and Minnesota, and even from London and Australia. The amazing team from Australia was this year’s Best of the West champion.

At the very top level, wheelchair rugby players are unbelievable athletes. They are strong, fast, agile, and can turn and accelerate on a dime. To block opposing players, trap them defensively, or upset an unfolding strategy, players will literally smash their chairs into one another. As if in some sort of crazy demolition derby, the bashing wheelchairs sometimes tip sideways, even turn over. And the players don’t seem fazed in the least. Each is an irresistible force, determined to assist their teammates and find a way through the opposition to score, no matter how.

Here are a few photos that capture a bit of the action.

The composition of one photograph turned out to be exceptionally dynamic, but the image was completely unfocused, so I altered it to appear like a cool oil painting.

You really have to see quad rugby in person to appreciate the heart of these players.

Raw human determination can be unstoppable.

Watching quad rugby is inspirational.

For an explanation of quad rugby, click this photo and it will expand for easy reading.
For an explanation of quad rugby, click this photo and it will expand for easy reading.

The victorious Australian quad rugby team celebrates by joining hands.
The Australian quad rugby team celebrated their championship by forming a circle, joining hands and rocking the gymnasium with a spirited, victorious shout!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Friday food trucks and fun in Balboa Park!

People stroll down El Prado, checking out a variety of gourmet food trucks on a late Friday afternoon.
People stroll down El Prado, checking out a huge variety of gourmet food trucks on a late Friday afternoon.

If you haven’t been to Food Truck Friday in Balboa Park, you’re missing out!

Not only is there all sorts of yummy food, but there is grass to picnic on and live music and juggling and hula hoops and checkers and crafts for the kids and colorful flowers and splashing fountains and amazing architecture and smiles and . . . I could go on and on! And the museums are open late, too!

Balboa Park’s special magic adds spice to an already tasty meal!

Balboa Park Food Truck Friday promises yummy eats and fun through September in the Plaza de Panama.
Balboa Park’s Food Truck Friday promises yummy eats and fun through September in the Plaza de Panama and along the length of El Prado.
Feasting on the grass in sunny Balboa Park. Food Truck Fridays is the place to be for a fun and festive dinner.
Feasting on the grass in sunny Balboa Park. Food Truck Fridays is the place to be for a festive family-friendly dinner.
Kenny Shelton the friendly juggler was getting warmed up. He and other entertainers can be found throughout the park.
Kenny Shelton the awesome juggler was getting warmed up. He and other entertainers can be found throughout the park.
A beautiful photo of the Plaza de Panama, its fountain, flowers, and the House of Hospitality during Food Truck Friday.
A beautiful photo of the Plaza de Panama, its fountain, flowers, and the sunlit House of Hospitality during Food Truck Friday.
If you live in San Diego, this giant checkerboard and these hula hoops are waiting for you!
If you live in San Diego, this giant checkerboard and these hula hoops are waiting for you!
Musicians were playing under the Balboa Park Conservancy canopy near the Plaza de Panama fountain.
Musicians were playing under the Balboa Park Conservancy canopy near the Plaza de Panama fountain.
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum had a table in the plaza where kids could paint pictures of trains!
The San Diego Model Railroad Museum had a table in the plaza where young kids could apply dots of paint to fun trains!
And nearby, Spanish Village Art Center had their own fun table where kids could be creative!
And nearby, Spanish Village Art Center had their own cool table where kids could be creative!
I spotted a Puppet Shows sign traveling through the plaza. So naturally I had to investigate...
I spotted a Puppet Shows sign traveling through the plaza. So naturally I had to investigate…
The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre in Balboa Park is now presenting The Little Mermaid! A pelican puppet says hello and invites you all to the show!
The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre in Balboa Park is now presenting The Little Mermaid! A pelican puppet says hello and invites you all to the show!
A truly Happy Friday in San Diego's always amazing Balboa Park.
A truly Happy Friday in San Diego’s always amazing Balboa Park.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Fun pics from World Baseball Classic in San Diego!

Team USA fans in line to buy merchandise at Petco Park during the World Baseball Classic in San Diego.
Team USA fans in line to buy merchandise at Petco Park during the World Baseball Classic in San Diego.

Team USA beat Venezuela tonight in an exciting World Baseball Classic game in San Diego! The United States won 4-2 with an amazing come-from-behind victory! Today’s baseball game was the second in a round robin between four international teams– the Second Round’s Pool F.

I’ve got an assortment of fun photos! It was a perfect San Diego evening to take in the sights, sounds, pageantry and great play of what turned out to be classic baseball game!

Fans for the four different teams in the World Baseball Classic's Second Round Pool F could be seen all around San Diego's Petco Park.
Fans of the four different teams in the World Baseball Classic’s Second Round Pool F could be seen all around San Diego’s Petco Park.
Fans of all ages were having fun before the game began in the Park at the Park.
Baseball lovers of all ages were having fun before the game began in the Park at the Park.
Some outrageous costumes and lots of patriotic clothing could be seen all about the stadium.
Some outrageous costumes and lots of patriotic clothing could be seen all about the baseball stadium. And many Padres fans, too!
It's approaching game time. Fans walk up a ramp to the upper level.
It’s approaching game time. Families walk up a ramp to the upper level.
Fans at the World Baseball Classic in San Diego point to the outfield.
Fans at the World Baseball Classic in San Diego point to the outfield.
Fans of Team USA watch their baseball heroes warm up on the field before the game.
Young supporters of Team USA watch their baseball heroes warm up on the field before the game.
Players for Team USA come out of the dugout for the opening ceremony.
Players for Team USA come out of the dugout for the opening ceremony.
Players for both Venezuela and the United States were given a rousing introduction.
Players for both Venezuela and the United States were given a rousing introduction.
Fans watching the opening ceremony hold up an American flag.
Team USA fans watching the opening ceremony hold up an American flag.
The players for the United States and Venezuela shake hands at the end of the opening ceremony.
The players for the United States and Venezuela shake hands at the end of the opening ceremony.
The game has begun! It's a beautiful evening for baseball in San Diego, of course!
The game has begun! It’s a beautiful evening for baseball in San Diego, of course! ¬†Even some Dodgers fans have come to Petco Park for the fun.
Venezuela is at bat as the sun sets and Petco's lights come on. They were first to score.
Venezuela is at bat as the sun sets and Petco’s lights come on. Venezuela has a great team and was first to score.
As I walked about the stadium, I took a photo of the Chair of Honor. The empty chair honors prisoners of war and those missing in action.
As I walked about Petco Park, which USA Today rated the finest stadium in Major League Baseball, I took a photo of the Chair of Honor. The empty chair represents Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action.
Team USA loaded the bases in the early innings, but unfortunately failed to score.
Team USA loaded the bases in the early innings, but unfortunately failed to score.
These fans of Team USA scored, however, on the Kiss Cam!
These fans of Team USA scored, however, on the Kiss Cam!
George Washington was in attendance, rooting on Team USA during the World Baseball Classic in San Diego! And his team won!
George Washington was in attendance, rooting on Team USA during the World Baseball Classic in San Diego! And his team won!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Talking Baseball during the All-Star Game in San Diego!

One brief moment in a 63 second video that relives MLB All-Star Game history, seen in the San Diego library's auditorium during the Talking Baseball event!
One brief moment in a 63 second video that relives MLB All-Star Game history, seen in the San Diego library’s auditorium during today’s special “Talking Baseball” event!

A very cool event was held today, Saturday, at downtown San Diego’s beautiful Central Library! “Talking Baseball” was the title an all-day program held in the Neil Morgan Auditorium, and featured diverse speakers and entertainers celebrating baseball and its rich history. Speakers included Bob Kendrick, Negro League Baseball Museum president and Gene Locklear, former Padres outfielder, who talked about his life as a Native American professional baseball player.

Talking Baseball was organized by Andy Strasberg, who served for twenty years as the Padres baseball team’s Vice President of Marketing. This cool event was held in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game Week, which is taking place right here and now in San Diego!

I lingered and enjoyed the programming for about an hour and a half. I listened to the hilarious and heart-warming tunes of San Diego baseball singer/songwriter Joe Rathburn, then watched a rarely seen 63 second video that was shown on the scoreboard during the 1992 All-Star Game in San Diego. Every second represented one year of 63 All-Star Games. This was the first time the video has been seen in 26 years! Finally, I watched with amazement as former Yankees catcher Matt Nokes narrated a film that showed every pitch of Jim Abbott’s 1993 Yankees no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians. Now that was inspirational . . . and just plain exciting! That was easily the highlight of my day!

Here are a few captioned photographs that provide a taste of this very cool event. Some photos, taken in the dark auditorium, came out a bit blurry.

Talking Baseball was a special event programmed in conjunction with the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in San Diego this year. It was held in the downtown library.
Talking Baseball was a special event programmed to coincide with the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in San Diego this year. It was held in the downtown library.
Just before stepping into the Neil Morgan Auditorium visitors are greeted with lots of professional baseball memorabilia!
Just before stepping into the Neil Morgan Auditorium, visitors are greeted with lots of cool posters and professional baseball memorabilia!
A huge collection of baseball memorabilia on display was courtesy of Andy Strasberg, who was once Vice President of Marketing for the San Diego Padres.
A huge collection of baseball memorabilia on display was courtesy of Andy Strasberg, who was once Vice President of Marketing for the San Diego Padres.
There were so many cool baseball sights to absorb! Displayed were old magazines, autographed baseballs, pennants, souvenir bats--you name it.
There were so many cool baseball sights to absorb! Displayed were old magazines, programs, autographed baseballs, pennants, baseball cards, souvenir bats–you name it.
Collectibles remember New York Yankee Sparky Lyle and San Diego's own Wizard of Oz shortstop, Ozzie Smith!
Collectibles remember New York Yankee reliever Sparky Lyle and San Diego’s own superhuman Wizard of Oz shortstop, Ozzie Smith!
Cool old team photograph of the 1952 San Diego Padres, with the players' names and autographs!
Cool old team photograph of the 1952 San Diego Padres, with the players’ names and autographs!
San Diego's gifted baseball musician and songwriter Joe Rathburn. His lyrics are really good and touch a warm spot in the heart.
San Diego’s gifted baseball musician and songwriter Joe Rathburn performs. His lyrics are really good and touch a warm spot in the heart.
Next, a 63 second video that was last played at the 1992 All-Star Game shows the history of the Midsummer Classic. One second equals one year!
Next, a 63 second video that was last played at the 1992 All-Star Game shows the history of the Midsummer Classic. One second equals one year!
Matt Nokes, former catcher for the New York Yankees, narrates a special video which documents--pitch by pitch-- Jim Abbott's 1993 Yankees no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians.
Matt Nokes, former catcher for the New York Yankees, narrates a special video which documents–pitch by pitch– Jim Abbott’s 1993 Yankees no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians.
Jim Abbott was born in 1967 without a right hand. That didn't stop him from becoming an accomplished professional baseball pitcher. He spent 10 years in the major leagues.
Jim Abbott was born in 1967 without a right hand. That didn’t stop him from becoming an accomplished professional baseball pitcher. He spent 10 years in the major leagues.
Suspense builds as pitch by pitch, inning by inning, Jim Abbott works his way brilliantly (with some sparkling Yankees defense) toward a rare no-hitter.
Suspense builds as pitch by pitch, inning by inning, Jim Abbott works his way brilliantly (with some sparkling Yankees defense) toward a rare no-hitter.
The amazing no-hitter is achieved! Jim Abbott's teammates swarm around the triumphant pitcher with excitement. At the time, this was only the Yankees' 8th ever no-hitter.
The amazing no-hitter is achieved! Jim Abbott’s teammates swarm around the triumphant pitcher with excitement. At the time, this was only the Yankees’ 8th ever no-hitter.
Jim Abbott overcomes a difficult physical challenge and great odds, adding his name to a list of baseball's immortals. Today he is a motivational speaker.
Jim Abbott overcomes a difficult physical challenge and great odds, adding his name to a list of baseball’s immortals. Today he is a motivational speaker.

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San Diego gets ready for 2016 MLB All-Star Game!

A booth anticipating this year's 2016 MLB All-Star Game sells official merchandise at Padres FanFest, the weekend before Opening Day.
A booth anticipating this year’s 2016 MLB All-Star Game sells official merchandise at Padres FanFest, the weekend before Opening Day.

I’ve taken more photos anticipating baseball’s Midsummer Classic!

San Diego will host the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in July, just one week separated from the internationally famous and wildly popular San Diego Comic-Con. Things are going to get crazy!

I live downtown, and I’ll be taking most of those two weeks off from work, so I promise to walk around and take loads of fun photos! Even though both events are several months away, I’m already getting excited!

2016 All-Star Game merchandise includes clothing, keychains, pins, commemorative baseballs and other collectible items. Major League Baseball will put on a big show this summer in San Diego!
2016 All-Star Game merchandise includes clothing, keychains, pins, commemorative baseballs and other collectible items. Major League Baseball will put on a big show this summer in San Diego!
2016 San Diego All-Star Game logo at end of pedestrian ramp inside Petco Park, stadium home of the MLB Padres.
2016 San Diego All-Star Game logo at end of pedestrian ramp inside Petco Park, cool stadium home of the MLB Padres.
This large sign at the top of Petco Park announces that San Diego is home of the 2016 All-Star Game.
This large sign at the top of Petco Park announces that San Diego is home of the 2016 All-Star Game.
The upcoming All-Star Game appears on a street lamp near Petco Park. These banners can now be seen around East Village.
The upcoming All-Star Game appears on a street lamp near Petco Park. These banners can now be seen around East Village.
Cool vintage baseball photo at entrance to DiamondView Tower overlooking Petco Park. More history will be made in San Diego this year.
Vintage baseball photo at entrance to DiamondView Tower overlooking Petco Park. More history will be made in San Diego this year.
Guy attending 2016 Padres FanFest wears an old 1992 San Diego All-Star Game jacket, reminding everyone that the Midsummer Classic is returning this year!
Guy attending 2016 Padres FanFest wears an old 1992 San Diego All-Star Game jacket, reminding everyone that the Midsummer Classic is returning this year!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

This year I’ll be covering some huge events! Stand by for excitement!