Cosplay and Comic-Con craziness in the Gaslamp!

Gentleman heads toward downtown's Gaslamp with a Spiderman tie.
Gentleman heads toward downtown’s Gaslamp with a Spiderman tie.

Except for the very last photo, I snapped these pics today in the early evening as I walked around downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. 2014 San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing!

Cool Adult Swim car seems to offer free rides around San Diego.
Cool Adult Swim car seems to offer free rides around San Diego.
Steampunk guys heading down toward the center of cosplay action.
Mad Hatter guys heading down toward the center of cosplay action.
It's Spidey driving a pedicab and giving me a thumbs up!
It’s Spidey driving a pedicab and giving me a thumbs up!
Lifetime Channel is to hold a Witches event tonight in San Diego.
Lifetime Channel is to hold a Witches event tonight in San Diego.
Mobile advertisement for the Sin City sequel, A Dame to Kill For.
Mobile advertisement for the Sin City sequel, A Dame to Kill For.
This colorful shop is appealing to the huge Comic-Con crowd.
This colorful shop is appealing to the huge Comic-Con crowd.
Gaslamp Reading Cinemas has showings, including Star Wars Rebels.
Gaslamp Reading Cinemas has showings, including Star Wars Rebels.
Flash sign is a window wrap near Petco Park.
Flash sign is a window wrap near Petco Park.
Two hostesses at a local restaurant are dressed for Comic-Con.
Two hostesses at a local restaurant are dressed for Comic-Con.
Lady with gigantic identification card is promoting Community.
Lady with gigantic identification card is promoting Community.
Lady swings in middle of the cool Assassin's Creed obstacle course.
Lady swings in middle of the cool Assassin’s Creed obstacle course.
This happy family belongs to the Justice League.
This happy family belongs to the Justice League.
Oh my goodness! That might be the real Dark Knight facing me!
Oh my goodness! That might be the real Dark Knight facing me!
Witches were chanting in a circle by the Gaslamp trolley station.
Witches were chanting in a circle by the Gaslamp trolley station.
One witch hexes me with her spooky red eyes.
One witch hexes me with her spooky red eyes.
Superman is down but not out.
Superman is down but not out.
Is that an angry bird or a happy bird, I wonder.
Is that an angry bird or a happy bird, I wonder.
That arm looks downright formidable.
That arm looks downright formidable.
This fantastic beast is called the Giant Creature. It's piloted by a small alien on top. The creature was moving about for the nearby crowd.
Giant Creature catches the attention of Comic-Con fans near the Tin Fish.

This fantastic beast is called the Giant Creature. It’s piloted by a small alien on top. No, actually it contains four people who move the huge limbs from inside. The creature was slowly moving about for the nearby crowd.

Giant Creature is promoting a new fun phone app called Blippar.
Giant Creature is promoting a new fun phone app called Blippar.
Pedicabs become pirate ships and carriages for Once Upon a Time.
Pedicabs become pirate ships and carriages for Once Upon a Time.
This tough vehicle is from the upcoming Brad Pitt movie Fury.
This tough vehicle is from the upcoming Brad Pitt movie Fury.
Dead Island 2 ad on back of enterprising pedicab.
Dead Island 2 ad on back of enterprising pedicab.
Here comes Wonder Woman from the convention center across street.
Here comes Wonder Woman from the convention center across street.
This guy is Green Goblin of Mordor.
This guy is Green Goblin of Mordor.
Crazy people wearing shark heads were promoting Sharknado 2.
Crazy people wearing shark heads were promoting Sharknado 2.
Young Leia has Sharknado 2 chainsaw.
Young Princess Leia has a Sharknado 2 chainsaw.
Just a whole bunch of fun cosplay up and down the crowded streets!
Just a whole bunch of fun cosplay up and down the crowded streets!
Boy shows cool costume as I cross street in Mission Valley this morning.
Boy shows cool costume as I cross street in Mission Valley this morning.

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A very cool photographer near Seaport Village.

Photographer near Seaport Village shows me some great stuff.
Photographer near Seaport Village shows me some great stuff.

Yesterday I took a leisurely walk past Seaport Village. I said hello to a gentleman in the nearby Embarcadero Marina Park North who was displaying some stunning framed photographs, hoping for a donation. I’d never seen him there before.

I’m glad I paused to chat. Ralph Guest is one cool dude. (And a much better photographer than me!) In semi-retirement, he’s just begun to show and sell his photographs. He spends a lot of time out east of San Diego in the desert, especially in and around Slab City, which he described for me. He’s taken many amazing photos of the place, and of the people, who are called Slabbers. The folks out in the desert are a laid-back, independent,  unique bunch. He described a place out there named East Jesus, where trash is converted into art and power is supplied entirely by solar power. According to Wikipedia, “The inhabitants of East Jesus…provide a refuge for artists, musicians, survivalists, writers, scientists, and laymen. They are dedicated to providing a working model of an improbable improvised community…” Sounds to me like a rather interesting place! Ralph has photos and videos that can be checked out via links on his website.

It’s great to meet new people!

Ralph Guest is a super cool and interesting guy!
Ralph Guest is a super cool and interesting guy!

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Quotes from the Tony Gwynn public memorial.

Anthony Keith Gwynn, 1960-2014
Anthony Keith Gwynn, 1960-2014

Many distinguished speakers at the Tony Gwynn Memorial Tribute remembered and honored one of the greatest baseball hitters of all time. The public ceremony was held at Petco Park on June 26, 2014. Here are some quotes…

Ted Leitner, Padres radio broadcaster:

So we will cry together, we will laugh together, we will have joy together today, but one thing we will never never do is to forget the greatest hitter of his generation and one of the greatest people in the history of major league sport.

I would like one more time one final standing ovation before the anthem for that magnificent Padre, number 19, Tony Gwynn.

They lied to us, you know.  They lied to us in the movie A League of Their Own, when the manager and the Tom Hanks character said “There’s no crying in baseball!”  Wrong, huh?  Since June 16, there’s been almost nothing but crying in baseball.

People identified with him more than big muscled sculpted athletes because they thought he was the guy next door.  Tony was chunky…He was 4 for 5 today, he doesn’t need to lose weight, okay?

Many of you were there in 2007 when he was inducted with the immortals, literally, in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.  It was the biggest crowd in Cooperstown history, beyond Ruth, beyond Mantle, beyond Aaron, beyond anybody when he and Cal Ripken were inducted that hot summer day.

See, nobody’s talking about at-bats and number of hits.  We know those numbers. 3141 hits, and 15 All Star Games, and 8 batting titles and 5 Gold Gloves, and all that stuff, but it’s, and that is greatness unto itself, but it’s so beyond that, it’s so beyond that, but the man and the compassion…

But he stayed here. It was never about the money.  It was about you folks…it was about this Padre organization that he loved..he was never about the money.

The greatest laugh of all time…it was the best…it was better than the game.  I could’ve broadcast that instead of the game.

Ron Fowler, Executive Chairman of the San Diego Padres:

Tony was important to all of us. The number of wonderful stories since his passing from around the country reinforces the many reasons why he was loved by so many.

We all know of Tony’s iconic status as one of the greatest baseball players ever, but even more importantly, many of us experienced the special qualities of the warm, giving and compassionate member of our community. What stood out most for me was Tony’s ability to relate to people from all demos and economic strata. His special ability to relate to children…

Tony considered himself an Everyman and remained an Everyman throughout his entire life, so approachable and so easy for San Diegans to embrace as our city’s favorite son.

Reggie Jackson, member of baseball’s Hall of Fame:

He was a genuine man, he was a quality man, one hundred percent family man, he was a great son, a great husband, a great father, and a great brother. A great friend and a great teammate. He was the example of what we all want to live and emulate as a person. He cared about his fellow Man, and we understand and know that he cared about his community.

During the dash of his 54 years, he showed us the template of how to live with dignity.

I’ll leave you with something to think about as I refer about baseball. I saw some great hitters. I saw Mike Schmidt and Jim Rice. Kaline, Dick Allen, Molitor, Yount and Brett. Cooper and Bench. I saw Mays, Aaron, Clemente, Billy Williams, Stargell and Stretch McCovey. I saw Banks at the end. Number 19, Tony Gwynn, belongs on that page.

John Boggs, Tony Gwynn’s agent:

Tony was a very humble man, and he wasn’t big on ceremonies, especially ceremonies that were about him, but I know he’s looking down this evening on all of us here at Petco and I’m sure he’s very grateful for this outpouring of love.

He was an incredible friend. He was the definition of friend. In life there are a lot of acquaintances but very few true friends…He touched so many people, and I was just lucky to be one of them.

He was so much better than the statistics he accumulated.

There was also the memory of Tony and Ted Williams together in the first interview they did together and I’ve never seen Tony so energized and excited as two of the greatest hitters exchanged baseball knowledge…I was lucky to be just a fly on the wall.

And Tony’s humility. Waiting for the Hall of Fame call, I could not believe how nervous he was. With all of his accomplishments, I said, “Tony, this is a slam dunk.” And he just smiled and looked at me and said. “Hey, you never know.” That was Tony. He never took anything for granted.

To the fans, he loved you and appreciated you more than I convey into words. He loved the city of San Diego, he loved being an Aztec, and he most definitely loved being a Padre. He was and always will be Mr. Padre.

Kevin Faulconer, Mayor of San Diego:

Tony Gwynn represented the best of San Diego. His infectious personality did more than spark the Padres to two World Series appearances, he lit up our entire community with pride, and it’s almost impossible to sum up how much Tony Gwynn meant to our city.

Damian Jackson, former San Diego Padres player:

He was a baseball giant to me…who he was as a man so overshadows what he was as a baseball player, and that’s amazing to me.

He not only showed us how to play the game the right way, but he also showed us how to be the right person, and be a great, respected man in the community.

And boy did he love his family. He talked about them daily. When he talked about his children, he just lit up, like the sun.

He wouldn’ve been a great dad to have.

So Tony taught and inspired us on a daily basis…he was a Hall of Fame man, in my eyes.

You inspire me to be a better father, you inspire me to be a better man, and your legacy lives on in this city and in my heart. And thank you Tony. May you rest in peace.

Rob Manfred, COO of Major League Baseball:

In my 25 years in the game, I’ve known scores of players. Even among this elite group, Tony Gwynn was special. He was special because of his Hall of Fame talent, his devotion to the game, and the values he came to represent.

Tony Gwynn may have been the perfect member of the baseball family.

While he was playing, baseball could always count on Tony to do the right thing…he was a great role model to young players.

Mark Martinez, SDSU Aztecs baseball head coach:

He was my colleague, my mentor, but more importantly, my friend. My family. He was part of the Aztec family.

Coach Gwynn’s a teacher. And he was best at teaching all kinds of things. Obviously baseball, but teaching life lessons…All of his teachings were centered around his core value: Do things right.

And then he would say: “Let’s go to work.” Let’s go to work. Does that not embody what he was about? For 20 years in the big leagues and 12 years on the mesa…

Finally, Coach Gwynn is a gift. He’s a gift to all of us. His laugh, his mentorship, the way he made you feel important, even if he just met you for the first time. He gave these gifts every single day.

Trevor Hoffman, former San Diego Padres player:

Whenever… he had the opportunity to speak to you the fans, it felt like he was talking to us one on one.

What a gift he gave us all. That joy that everybody’s talked about, his smile, and his laugh, will be etched in our memories forever, another great gift…He always said, you give a little bit, you get a lot. How appropriate that was about T. Gwynn…What a great man, T. Gwynn.

It was on one of those videos we heard Tony say thank you, thank you, thank you–always being humble, always thanking us. Well it’s us that needs to be saying thank you to T. Gwynn. Thank you for your Hall of Fame career over twenty years, sharing it with us. Thank you for representing San Diego with such class. And thank you for letting us all in your house tonight. Amen.

Anisha Gwynn Jones, daughter of Tony Gwynn:

On behalf of all of the Gwynn family, I would just like to take the time to thank each and every one of you for all of the support and all the love. Thank you. You guys are why my dad loved San Diego so much.

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Photos of Padres fans loving late Tony Gwynn.

Balloons spell out 19, Tony Gwynn's number.
Balloons honor 19, Baseball Hall of Fame player Tony Gwynn’s number.

This morning Tony Gwynn passed away. Nearly everyone in San Diego loved Mr. Padre. Count me among them.

I drove past Petco Park’s beautiful Park at the Park just before noon and wandered in over the green grass just to see his statue. A crowd of Padres fans had gathered. Flowers and other tributes formed a growing shrine at the base of his sculpture. The big screen was showing interviews and memorable plays from the amazing baseball career of Tony Gwynn. I noted several people were wiping their eyes. I had to do a bit of blinking, myself.

Tony Gwynn worked hard and good things happened.
Tony Gwynn worked hard and good things happened.
Flowers decorate the base of Tony Gwynn statue.
Flowers decorate the base of Tony Gwynn statue.
Padres fans watch the big smiling face of Tony Gwynn.
Padres fans watch the big smiling face of Tony Gwynn.
Father with child wipes tears from his eyes.
Father with child wipes tears from his eyes.

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Lots of yummy food at San Diego County Fair!

Every kind of yummy food at the San Diego County Fair.
Every kind of yummy food at the San Diego County Fair.

Holy macaroni! I want to eat everything in sight! Much of it is deep fried, most is super sugary, and it all appears delectably scrumptious! At the big San Diego County Fair, which takes place every year at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, all sorts of tasty food are easily found. Food stands are waiting for you in every direction! It’s a shame my blog doesn’t feature savory smells. You’d press your nose right up next to the screen!

Fresh squeezed lemonade in the Fun Zone.
Fresh squeezed lemonade in the Fun Zone.
Funnel cakes and bacon donuts!
Funnel cakes and bacon donuts!
Tecate beer at Plaza de Mexico.
Tecate beer at Plaza de Mexico.
Visitors feast at picnic benches during the 2014 Fab Fair.
Visitors feast at picnic benches during the 2014 Fab Fair.
Lots of ribs, burgers and colossal curly fries.
Lots of ribs, burgers and colossal curly fries.
Caramel apples, cupcakes, and Indian fry bread.
Caramel apples, cupcakes, and Indian fry bread.
Hot dogs and sausages on sticks!
Hot dogs and sausages on sticks!
Eating on the run with so much to see and do!
Eating on the run with so much to see and do!
Giant smoked turkey legs and roasted corn.
Giant smoked turkey legs and roasted corn.
Turkey legs are popular at the San Diego County Fair.
Turkey legs are popular at the San Diego County Fair.
Chicken and waffles, fried Oreos, zucchini curls!
Chicken and waffles, fried Oreos, zucchini curls!
Gotta sit down my stomach is so full!
Gotta sit down my tummy is so full!

Is your stomach growling yet?

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Exciting start to San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon!

People arrive at dawn to participate in Rock 'n Roll Marathon.
People arrive at dawn to participate in Rock ‘n Roll Marathon.

I woke up very early this morning to check out the start of today’s big San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon. I’d never been to the event in past years, so the magnitude of the race really floored me. The west part of Balboa Park and many blocks of Sixth Avenue were packed with super energetic humanity!

Here are a bunch of pics!

Dozens of UPS trucks served as the gear check.
Dozens of UPS trucks served as the gear check.
Marathon runners warm up in west Balboa Park.
Marathon runners warm up in west Balboa Park.
San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon corrals fill up.
San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon corrals begin to fill up.
Just minutes before the big marathon starts!
Just minutes before the big San Diego marathon starts!
Thousands are ready to race at Rock 'n Roll Marathon.
Thousands are ready to race at the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon.
Athletes With disabilities are first to begin the race!
Athletes with disabilities are first to begin the race!
They're off from the start line!
They’re off from the start line!
Full marathon runners get ready to begin big race.
Full marathon runners get ready to begin their race for glory.
Lots of photographers record the race action.
Lots of photographers record the colorful action.
San Diego Rock 'n Roll full marathoners go!
San Diego Rock ‘n Roll full marathoners go!
Runners start up Sixth Avenue with great excitement.
Runners start up Sixth Avenue with great excitement.
Photos were being taken all over the place.
Photos were being taken all over the place.
Racers pass announcer stand and American flag.
Racers pass announcer stand, San Diego mayor and American flag.
Runners wave at Cameron of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Runners wave at Cameron of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
KUSI reporter Kerri Lane looks bored.
KUSI television reporter Kerri Lane between live shots.

And now I’m hungry for breakfast!  Walking back toward home, I snap a couple more photos!

Half marathoners gather into the corrals for their race.
Half marathoners gather into the corrals for their race.
Late arrivers walk up Sixth Avenue from downtown.
Late arrivers walk up Sixth Avenue from downtown.

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Flowers remember somebody’s best buddy.

Flowers remember somebody's best buddy.
Flowers remember somebody’s best buddy.

I snapped this pic today after work, while walking to a trolley station in Mission Valley. The simple memorial was by a busy sidewalk. It’s a sidewalk traveled by many homeless people. I’m almost certain Dago Dog was the best buddy of a homeless person. No more words are necessary.

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