A Time Machine, and three fantastic dreams.

In downtown Vista, California, at the intersection of S. Indiana Avenue and E. Broadway, you’ll discover a Time Machine and three fantastic dreams.

Or perhaps I should say, you’ll discover four sculptures, one at each corner. I happened upon this very unique public art while walking today!

You might remember I took photos of other cool sculptures around downtown Vista a couple months ago. See them here.

After I finished that earlier walk, I learned to my chagrin that I’d missed a lot of other nearby artwork, so I returned!

(And I found even more amazing art during today’s adventure. So stay tuned!)

Time Machine, by Randall Art Ranch, 2017.
Time Machine, by Randall Art Ranch, 2017.
Shall we visit three dreams? Pull the lever to GO.
Shall we now visit three dreams? Pull the lever to GO.
Beacon, by artist Kellan Shanahan.
Beacon, by artist Kellan Shanahan.

Aeolian Butterfly, by artists David Terrell and Dave Weaver.
Aeolian Butterfly, by artists David Terrell and Dave Weaver.

Sea Life, by artist Noe Estrada.
Sea Life, by artist Noe Estrada.
What takes us back to the past are the memories. What brings us forward is our dreams.
What takes us back to the past are the memories. What brings us forward is our dreams.
Hop aboard and move forward.
Time to dream. Hop aboard, strap yourself in and forward we go!

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Free Comic-Con Souvenir Book features Ray Bradbury!

With less than a week to go, Comic-Con International logos have appeared all over the San Diego Convention Center!

One of my favorite authors of all time–perhaps my favorite–is featured in this year’s Comic-Con Souvenir Book!

Ray Bradbury!

The 260-page epic 2020 Comic-Con Souvenir Book pays special tribute to 100 Years of Ray Bradbury. The book, which is jam-packed with articles, plus original artwork by many popular artists, is available for free download at the Comic-Con@Home web page by clicking here!

The free Souvenir Book is in PDF form and has many clickable links, which lead to all sort of cool offers and websites that will interest fans.

I love that the Souvenir Book’s cover and Introduction is: Ray Bradbury, Riding a Dinosaur, on Mars. I suppose that after Ray jumped off his dinosaur, he entered a rocket ship and headed to Earth, and walked right into your home, mind and heart.

Ray Bradbury combined fantasy, science fiction and reality in a way that was so brilliantly poetic and wildly imaginative and thought-provoking that I’m not exactly sure how to describe it. His uninhibited prose breaks through the walls in our mind and exposes regions of truth and wonder we might not otherwise explore.

When I lived in Denver, I attended a speech he made about his writing and his amazing life. That might have been the most inspirational (and fun) talk I’ve ever heard. He was brilliant, enthusiastic, but really just a nice, ordinary guy like you and me. And like you and me he was a big fan. A fan of creativity and pretty much everything in life. He loved both pop culture and fine art, and everything in between.

He wrote popular short stories in the days of pulp fiction magazines. He wrote stories and novels that are now considered literature. He wrote the screenplay for Hollywood classic Moby Dick. His celebrated stories have been turned into numerous television shows and movies. He has been a major influence for generations of writers and dreamers.  He was engaged in too many projects to mention, such as the creation of Disney’s Epcot Center. Even the idea of becoming safely lost in a city, put forth in his essay “The Aesthetics of Lostness,” was used in designing San Diego’s very own Horton Plaza Mall.

Did you know Elton John’s classic song Rocket Man was inspired by Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Rocket Man” in his book The Illustrated Man? (By the way, the story is simply amazing. It’s one of my favorites.)

Ray Bradbury loved and attended comic book conventions, and frequently spoke at San Diego Comic-Con. From the 1970 convention at the U.S. Grant Hotel, to the 2010 event at the San Diego Convention Center, he was a guest at Comic-Con over the course of four decades!

He was a tireless lover of life whose imagination soared into the farthest reaches of the universe and even beyond. His mind never stood still.

If you’re a writer, read his Zen in the Art of Writing to instantly wipe out writer’s block and unleash your full potential. And read all of his short stories again and again. He was a master. Some say he was the greatest writer of the 20th century.

I do a little writing of fiction myself. If you want to read a short story that I’m sure was unconsciously influenced by Ray Bradbury, you might enjoy clicking One Strange, Shimmering Dream.

Ray Bradbury, in my opinion, provided a perfect example of how to lead a full life. He loved people. He loved living. He never stopped dreaming and creating. He loved everything.

Now download the free 2020 Comic-Con Souvenir Book by clicking here and get busy filling your eyeballs with wonderfulness!

Star Trek humor and history in South Park!

Funny comic panels featuring Star Trek characters, standing near Captain Kirk's Coffee in South Park.
Funny comic panels featuring Star Trek characters, standing near Captain Kirk’s Coffee in South Park.

It was hot today as I walked through South Park, so I stopped at Captain Kirk’s Coffee to get an ice cold green tea. And look what I saw and learned!

All sorts of humorous Star Trek imagery can be found on and around this popular sidewalk coffee shack!

The super nice people who served up my green tea explained they’ve been there for many years now. Then they told me something amazing that I didn’t know. Whoopi Goldberg, before she became a superstar, worked at The Big Kitchen just a block south of Captain Kirk’s Coffee! They said she signed her name on a wall of The Big Kitchen, and while the interior has been repainted many times over the years, her signature remains untouched.

Among her many big Hollywood roles, you might recall that Whoopi Goldberg played Guinan in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, and in the films Star Trek: Generations and Star Trek: Nemesis.

Captain Kirk's Coffee by the sidewalk in South Park.
Captain Kirk’s Coffee by the Fern Street sidewalk in South Park.
Various spaceships have landed or crashed atop the roof of Captain Kirk's Coffee.
Various spaceships have landed or crashed atop the roof of Captain Kirk’s Coffee.
At the front counter. Bean me up Scotty!
At the front counter. Bean me up Scotty!
Big Kitchen Café in South Park, where Whoopi Goldberg worked before becoming a Hollywood superstar.
Big Kitchen Café in South Park, where Whoopi Goldberg worked before becoming a Hollywood superstar.
Star Trek meets Star Wars in these silly panels.
Star Trek meets Star Wars in these silly panels near Captain Kirk’s Coffee.
Whoopi Goldberg as Star Trek character Guinan says: I miss Judy's delicious coffee cake at The Big Kitchen.
Whoopi Goldberg as Star Trek character Guinan says: I miss Judy’s delicious coffee cake at The Big Kitchen.

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Yoda spotted in East Village!

During my afternoon walk through East Village I had to do a double take. Had I stepped into a galaxy far, far away?

Across the wide Space 4 Art parking lot I spotted Yoda!

I took the above photo from a distant sidewalk, then greatly enlarged the image and sharpened it. Hopefully you can see how cool this mural appears in person!

Yoda is spray painted on a nondescript building whose other sides are home to a variety of murals. Check out an awesome Mechanical Shark here, and other works of super creative street art here.

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!

Outer space and UFOs seen in El Cajon!

This world is full of wonders.

Approach the corner of South Magnolia Avenue and West Douglas Avenue near the center of El Cajon. Move your eyes about. You’ll find bright stars and see far into outer space.

And if your eyes are really sharp, you might observe a flying saucer entering Earth’s atmosphere!

All this spacey street art happens to be around the Unarius Academy of Science.

What’s that?

According to their website: “In 1954, Cosmic Visionaries Ernest L. and Ruth E. Norman established the Unarius Educational Foundation to provide a higher spiritual understanding of life for the betterment of humankind.”

A sign beside the theater-like UFO mural, which can be found on the Unarius building’s north side, indicates its title is Opening the Cosmic Window.

The sign also explains: “The wall mural depicts the Earth’s future when we will be joined, once again, with the Interplanetary Confederation–32 worlds that live in peace and harmony–and share cultural and scientific knowledge for the betterment of all people…”

Stand at the nearby street corner on a starry night. Maybe–just maybe–a flying saucer will spin down from the mysterious cosmos, which is vast seemingly beyond human comprehension.

Who knows?

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!

A quick look inside The Orville Experience.

Kanoot.
Kanoot.

I’ve never watched The Orville. Most of the people I’ve spoken to say it’s pretty good. I suppose I’ll have to watch an episode or two.

I was walking to another San Diego Comic-Con destination today when I passed The Orville Experience activation in East Village. So I went in!

My camera is old and struggles in dim lighting, but I was able to get a few good shots. I used flash to capture the costumes, but I’m afraid I recorded no information about them.

The exhibition is definitely cool, with props and models and all sorts of amazing stuff from the show.

Those of you who do watch The Orville might recognize all this:

The Orville Experience can be enjoyed freely by the public during 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.
The Orville Experience can be enjoyed freely by the public during 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.
Model of the USS Orville (ECV-197).
Model of the USS Orville (ECV-197).
Display panels on The USS Orville.
Display panels on the USS Orville.
Uniforms worn aboard The USS Orville.
Uniforms worn aboard the USS Orville.

Bortus with Moustache.
Bortus with Moustache.

Unk.
Unk.

Captain Blavaroch.
Captain Blavaroch.

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Starfleet Museum’s future Picard exhibit in San Diego!

One of many future Starfleet artifacts that can be seen in San Diego during 2019 Comic-Con.
One of many future Starfleet artifacts that can now be seen in San Diego during 2019 Comic-Con.

The Starfleet Museum has sent many interesting artifacts from the future back in time to be exhibited during 2019 San Diego Comic-Con.

This very special exhibition, titled Jean-Luc Picard: The First Duty, traces the life and exploits of Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, whose exemplary service to Starfleet has made him a legend throughout the galaxy.

I took photographs of a few of these very rare museum pieces for the enjoyment of my readers. They will remain on loan from the future during the duration of San Diego Comic-Con. If you can, head down to the Gaslamp Quarter and enjoy a fascinating glimpse into future history!

Friendly smiles greeted a curious visitor to Star Trek's cool Jean-Luc Picard: The First Duty exhibit.
Friendly smiles greeted a curious visitor to Star Trek’s cool Jean-Luc Picard: The First Duty exhibit.
The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth...
The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth…
USS Stargazer NCC-2893, Constellation-class Starship. Picard served as Stargazer's captain for 22 years.
USS Stargazer NCC-2893, Constellation-class starship. Picard served as Stargazer’s captain for 22 years.
Cadet Jean-Luc Picard, 2326.
Cadet Jean-Luc Picard, 2326.
Ensign Jean-Luc Picard, 2330.
Ensign Jean-Luc Picard, 2330.
Starfleet Officer's Service Uniform, 2364.
Starfleet Officer’s Service Uniform, 2364.
Starfleet Communicator Badges.
Starfleet Communicator Badges.
A painting by Lieutenant Commander Data.
A painting by Lieutenant Commander Data.
A painting by Lieutenant Commander Data.
A painting by Lieutenant Commander Data.
Dixon Hill Novels. Picard enjoyed reading Shakespeare and these Dixon Hill detective novels from author Tracy Tormé.
Dixon Hill Novels. Picard enjoyed reading Shakespeare and these Dixon Hill detective novels from author Tracy Tormé.
SHADOWS OF KATAAN. An Evening of Music and Discourse with Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
SHADOWS OF KATAAN. An Evening of Music and Discourse with Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
Ressikan Flute.
Ressikan Flute.
USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D, Galaxy-class starship. Picard commanded the Enterprise-D from 2364 to 2371.
USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D, Galaxy-class starship. Picard commanded the Enterprise-D from 2364 to 2371.
Third Dynasty Kurlan Naiskos, a revered artifact of the ancient, extinct civilization of the planet Kurl.
Third Dynasty Kurlan Naiskos, a revered artifact of the ancient, extinct civilization of the planet Kurl.
Tamarian Knife, a gift to Picard in 2368, by Tamarian ship captain Dathon.
Tamarian Knife, a gift to Picard in 2368, by Tamarian ship captain Dathon.
Tea cups, one option when ordering hot beverages from the Enterprise's replicator system.
Tea cups, one option when ordering hot beverages from the Enterprise’s replicator system.
A wall with many plaques and trophies awarded to Admiral Picard during his long and illustrious career in Starfleet.
A wall with many plaques and trophies awarded to Admiral Picard during his long and illustrious career in Starfleet.
Admiral Picard Family Album.
Admiral Picard Family Album.
Photos of older brother Robert Picard and mother Yvette Gassard-Picard.
Photos of older brother Robert Picard and mother Yvette Gassard-Picard.
Borg Queen Skull. After her defeat, the Queen's cybernetic skull and other remaining components were retained by Starfleet for further study.
Borg Queen Skull. After her defeat, the Queen’s cybernetic skull and other remaining components were retained by Starfleet for further study.
Artifacts from the marriage of Commander William Riker and Commander Deanna Troi in 2379.
Artifacts from the marriage of Commander William Riker and Commander Deanna Troi in 2379.
Chateau Picard Wine. The Picard family vineyards near La Barre, France produce one of Earth's premiere red wines.
Chateau Picard Wine. The Picard family vineyards near La Barre, France produce one of Earth’s premiere red wines.
Jean-Luc Picard Civilian Attire, 2399.
Jean-Luc Picard Civilian Attire, 2399.
The special exhibition, Jean-Luc Picard: The First Duty is on loan from the Starfleet Museum. It is on display in San Diego during 2019 Comic-Con.
The special exhibition, Jean-Luc Picard: The First Duty, is on loan from the Starfleet Museum. It is on display in San Diego during 2019 Comic-Con.

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Syfy trolleys appear for 2019 Comic-Con!

SYFY It's a Fan Thing trolley wrap for 2019 San Diego Comic-Con!
Syfy “It’s a Fan Thing” trolley wrap for 2019 San Diego Comic-Con!

Syfy’s wonderfully nerdy 2019 San Diego Comic-Con trolleys have begun to appear!

Like the past couple years, the Syfy trolley wrap I spotted this morning pays tribute to the fans of popular culture with an assortment of witty phrases!

To fandom and beyond.
To fandom and beyond.
Eat. Sleep. Theorize. Repeat.
Eat. Sleep. Theorize. Repeat.
Bad guys always have the best lines.
Bad guys always have the best lines.
Geeks, assemble!
Geeks, assemble!

UPDATE!

Here are two more sayings on a different trolley wrap…

It's not a hobby. It's a lifestyle.
It’s not a hobby. It’s a lifestyle.
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Get your geek on.

And one more!

Talk nerdy with us.
Talk nerdy with us.

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!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

An amazing cube, like real Space: full of stars!

One of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen made its very first appearance this evening in San Diego. Mitchell Walker, who plays didgeridoo in Balboa Park and Seaport Village, has completed an epic project that began as a dream almost 40 years ago. He has officially completed The Great Stellarium Project!

Mitchell’s 30-inch Plexiglas cube which contains a three-dimensional star map–his amazing Stellarium–made its debut in Balboa Park near the Fleet Science Center. The Stellarium was admired by curious passersby, and by astronomy lovers who’d gathered for the monthly stargazing “Stars In The Park” event of the San Diego Astronomy Association.

Mitchell has an irrepressible smile and a great sense of humor. One of his biggest passions is science fiction–Star Trek in particular. For much of his life he’s had a strong fascination with astronomy.

Years ago, Mitchell’s dream to recreate a part of our galaxy was inspired by the star map that figures in the film The UFO Incident. His idea was to design a transparent cube that holds an accurate portrayal of the stars nearest to our sun. His first attempt to invent such a marvel resulted in a cube that was 15 inches square. He still uses that smaller cube as a night light.

The impressive 30-inch Stellarium that debuted today displays our “stellar neighborhood” within 50 light years of Sol, the sun. Our tiny corner of the galaxy took Mitchell a little over a year to build. The 166 stars are obviously not to scale, but the distances between them and their relative positions around Sol are accurate. Each tiny star, attached to a filament that is almost invisible, shines with fluorescent paint in the color that matches its spectral classification. In darkness, under the cube’s black light, the effect is extraordinary.

After the sun set this evening, I sat on a nearby park bench and watched as people stopped to peer into the dreamlike Stellarium. Some pressed a button at the cube’s base to listen to Mitchell’s recorded audio narration.

Clouds unfortunately concealed the night sky. For a magical moment or two, members of the San Diego Astronomy Association abandoned their nearby telescopes and joined their friend Mitchell Walker, to gaze into a wondrous cube full of stars.

Please visit Mitchell’s web page that describes his Stellarium here.

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!

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!