Rain in the Office Pool

I’ve been kicking myself for not checking out the neighboring building’s stormwater pool during the last spring rainstorm of April, figuring I wouldn’t get another chance to see it in the rain until winter. But over the last few weeks, two storms have blown into town from up north. One hit overnight, leaving behind only wet ground the next morning…and one hit in the middle of the day, making it easy to run next door.

Stormwater Pond 1

That actually doesn’t look half bad! Though the barrel embedded in the middle still looks kind of ugly.

I took one other shot where you can see water pouring out of one of the drainpipes.

Stormwater Pond 2

As for the rest of the office-to-hotel conversion:

  • The hotel has been open for a couple of months now, since the beginning of March (or maybe late February?)
  • So has the new Starbucks — the fourth within easy walking distance. At least this one seems to have normal inflated coffee prices, not hotel-markup-inflated coffee prices. And there’s an interesting piece of art inside.
  • The new second-floor elevator in the parking structure still looks like an upturned shipping container. I really expected them to cover it with something that looked nicer, or at least something that would blend with the rest of the structure. Though they did tear up and replace the sidewalk in front of it earlier this week, for no reason I could see.
  • Signs for Jersey Mike’s and ZPizza went up this morning, and I saw people loading kitchen equipment yesterday, so I’ll have a few more options for lunch soon.

It’s a Wonderful Con – WonderCon 2015

As of last weekend, I’ve been to more WonderCons in Anaheim than San Francisco, and more with a kid in tow than without. And I’m finally at the point where I’m no longer comparing the current incarnation of the con to the previous one, and just taking it on its own terms.

(Jump to the Photo Gallery if you don’t want to read my ramblings on the con.)

Honey Lemon and PhotobombersWonderCon is still a lot like old-school San Diego Comic-Con, with the mix of various media presence but without the cattle-drive crowds. It’s the kind of con where you can find the high-profile events or guests and actually visit more than one in the same day!

The era of gigantic booth displays (other than the tower of T-shirts) seems to be over, or maybe exhibitors are saving them for the bigger cons. I was surprised that DC didn’t have a booth, since they’ve been heavily involved in WonderCon every year I’ve gone, though they provided the program cover/T-shirt as usual, hosted panels, and of course were well-represented by artists and writers.

Steampunk BatmanEven without giant booths, the main floor filled most of the convention center. Artist’s Alley was probably about the same size as at SDCC, but easier to navigate. It’s a bit of a blur, actually, but I remember:

  • Looking at a lot of art
  • Comics sellers (though I only took the time to look at the discount books that were actually organized)
  • Pirate-themed devices
  • Antique keys, tools, drafting instruments and the like. (In some cases the artifacts weren’t actually that old. There was a Swiss Army Knife that looked pretty much exactly like the one I was carrying in my backpack, for instance.)
  • Tentacle Kitty!
  • Talking to several artists including: Phil Foglio, from whom I bought a Girl Genius-inspired card game; Amy Mebberson, who got a kick out of Spider-Elsa; the writer of an indie comic about airship combat with amazing artwork called Skies of Fire.
  • What is it with me and airship comics?

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Contrail / Launch

Contrail Launch

This is the kind of contrail view that starts rumors about imaginary missile launches.

Yes, that happened. A few years ago a bunch of people in the LA area saw an airplane contrail at a weird angle and there was this big news story about a mysterious missile launch off the coast of California. No one claimed responsibility for or knowledge of the launch of course, which made it seem even more mysterious. Even after people matched flight paths and time stamps and viewing angles, the myth persisted, at least in internet comment threads.

Not sure how this landscaping is supposed to work


I’m still not sure how this new landscaping is supposed to work. My best guess is that the lower area is supposed to collect runoff and seepage from the surrounding lawn and other plants (and the street gutter behind me, interestingly enough) in order to reduce water usage and actually do something with water that would otherwise be sent into storm drains — a good idea in drought-stricken California.

There does seem to be a drain so that it won’t totally fill up in the rain, like it did a few months ago before they had all the plants in: Continue reading