Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Las Vegas Great Santa Run 2011 Part 3: Eating Off The Strip...


Growing up in Las Vegas, pretty much my entire life revolved around Maryland Parkway...Even years after I've moved, I still stop by, like having breakfast (milkfish belly) for dinner at a Jollibee there (yeah, this Filipino fast food chain's been in America for a while now...)...

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Las Vegas Great Santa Run 2011 Part 2: What Can You Do With a Free Santa Suit?


I bought the beard with a Santa wig...too bad it was too windy to wear the wig...

Anywho, in order to break the world record, participants had to be given Santa suits.  Of course, there was no real obligation to wear them as is...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Las Vegas Great Santa Run 2011 Part 1: A Very Cold Morning to Break a World Record



According to the local news, the world record for most runners in Santa suits was reclaimed by Vegas with 8,123 participants between the 5K and 1 mile walk.  Now this event is an annual fundraiser for Opportunity Village, a charity that helps people with severe intellectual disabilities.

The event was held at Town Square this year.  The location is on the Strip near the airport.  I guess it was held here instead of downtown Las Vegas because of its close proximity to the start line for the Las Vegas Rock 'n Roll marathon being held the next day so it can attract the runners staying at the nearby Mandalay Bay and Luxor resorts...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Raising Money in a Santa Outfit, Helping People with Severe Disabilities

 
My fundraising page for Opportunity Village can be found here.

My running event camera's (an old Sony DSC-P72) batteries died while I was running in the Disneyland Star Tours Family 5K back during Labor Day weekend two months ago, but I was able to get this pic of Princess Leia...and there was this cool Jedi runner too that I wanted to get a pic of...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hmmm...Is Cosplay A Derivative Work?

DISCLAIMER:  I am not an attorney so this should not be considered legal advice in any form...This is just a commentary on some interesting news articles I found.

Okay, I'm just procrastinating from doing homework, but I did find some interesting articles about copyrights and cosplay/costumes...

The first article that caught my attention was how Japan's possible entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would affect cosplay.


Pretty much it is argued that if Japan's copyright laws are changed, derivative works such as doujinshi and cosplay could be subject to prosecution.

Another article I found (though I've seen articles related to this story earlier) is about a lawsuit about Power Ranger costumes.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Quickpost: Anime Truths

Well I was too busy to do Halloween stuff (ah the joys of engineering mathematics...), but I did think of a new fun activity...time to start compiling a list of things you would probably find in any typical anime, something I like to call #animetruth on my @amateurcameko on Twitter...

Hopefully, this catches on so I can compile a list ever so often...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Disney D23 Expo 2011 Part 3 - Imagineering Cars Land in 10 Pictures



Before the movie Cars, car clubs were part of the history of  Disneyland...there was already an idea to have a car-themed area in California Adventure...

Well, it's been over a month since I saw the Imagineering Cars Land (for Disney California Adventure) panel on the last day of D23...I guess I wasn't too motivated to discuss it since you can learn more about Cars Land at the Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar, and at sites such as MousePlanet and MiceAge (I'll admit, I haven't checked out those sites in a long time...).

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Disney D23 Expo 2011 Part 2 - Monsters University in 4 Pictures


One of the two lines I waited literally hours in during the D23 | expo 2011 last month...listening to Disney songs in a loop didn't make the time pass by any faster...at least the line for the D23 Arena (where I saw the Parks & Resorts presentation described in part 1) had video clips promoting everything Disney to pass the time (actually the program guide also had some activities like a maze and an in-book scavenger hunt to find certain words to complete a puzzle...

Anyway, the first panel I went to was the Monsters University character design panel held by the upcoming film's director Dan Scanlon and production designer Ricky Nierva...they were introduced by the voice of Roz, Bob Peterson.



Ricky did most of the talking about knowing the character before designing by telling an anecdote about drawing elephants at the zoo and his mentor commenting that the drawings were not that good.  His mentor asked if he knew their names and whatnot...getting into the elephants' stories led to better drawings...

I'm not much of an artist (I'm more of a performer and a MacGuyver...), so I can't recall much about the discussion about the entire process of making Mike and Sulley look younger...possibly making Mike wear glass (since he only has one eye) or possibly giving Sulley a mullet...To get to the point, here are the final designs...




(Ricky on the left, Dan on the right)




For a short presentation, they did go through a lot of details on each of the lead characters, including eyelids, extremeties, finger and toenails, etc...I didn't expect to take any pics of the this presentation, but I followed the crowd and took the few that you see above...After the presentation, there was a Q&A, but I left shortly after that started...

Really these are the only good pics I'm sharing of this panel, but if you wanna see the album, here...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Disney D23 Expo 2011 Part 1 - The First Floor in 10 Pictures

Okay, it's been weeks since D23 ended, and all I can remember is waiting hours in line for three panels and hanging around the Parks & Resorts pavilion and buying a bunch of Imagineering merchandise...Since pictures speak louder than words, I'm only gonna write about 10 pictures and let the others speak for themselves...

For the first of these D23 Expo con reports, I'll just talk about pictures taken at the first floor that contained the pavilions hosted by the various Disney companies and vendors in the Collectors' Forum section.  In addition, there is an arena where the big presentations such as the Disney Legends Ceremony (which I missed) and the presentation by Walt Disney Pictures (which I also missed, but hearing about how all electronic devices were detained by security to prevent unauthorized recording, it was probably good I missed it)...

 
As part of the Parks & Resorts presentation in the arena on day 1, they were talking about Shanghai Disneyland, the new Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, and additions to the Disneyland Resort across the street.  Since the grand opening was to be a few days after D23, they also had to talk about Aulani in Hawaii with hula dancers...
 
In the end of the presentation, Mickey Mouse was brought back to play with the house band that played music as Walt Disney Parks & Resorts chairman Tom Staggs introduced other people to discuss the additions and new things in the theme parks and Aulani...


Okay, I only got 8 more pictures to summarize my 1st floor memories....

Well, as in the first expo in 2009, the big draw on the first floor was the Parks & Resorts pavilion, dubbed the Carousel of Projects...really neat video presentation you had to watch before entering (I'm sure it's on YouTube somewhere...)

Cars Land at Disney California Adventure would be the big thing, but with my 10 picture limit, here's only one pic...(more of Cars Land to be discussed in my Imagineering Cars Land panel in 10 pictures post)


This is one of the ride vehicles for Radiator Springs Racers that was scheduled for actual testing right after D23...what was more amazing was that the pavilion was staffed by actual Imagineers...I was talking to this girl who does ride programming and was scheduled to take part in the testing...

Another neat thing about this pavilion was how they like to test new technologies, like fully automatic interactive audio-animatronic technology, which was made to look like a fortune teller, Destini, for experimentation...


On a video screen, Imagineers could check out to see if the audio-animatronic can correctly determine the gender and age of the participant...


What was also neat about this fortune teller machine was that it printed out large photo stickers, though they weren't as high resolution as what you would find in a normal picture booth.  But then again, the machine was built to test the software, not to print out stickers...

Okay, only five more pictures to go...Well, neat animatronics was not a realm exclusive to Imagineering, a vendor in the Collectors' Forum also had a few on display...


Still not sure how this unicyclist didn't have a track...

Another Imagineering mockup was for special picture windows on the Disney Cruise Line...


The highlight of the Carousel of Projects was a mockup of the Storytellers statue being made for the new Disney California Adventure Buena Vista Street (one can argue that Walt's first character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, was more of a Universal character than a Disney character, though it would be neat to see Oswald there...)


Okay, two more pictures...well, here's Walt's personal limousine he used at the premiere of Mary Poppins at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in 1964.


I also have a picture of the Dharma van from LOST, but I didn't watch that show...Okay for the last picture representing my first floor memory of D23 | Expo 2011 (how the official program and the t-shirts I bought called it)...Some topiary at the Disney Interactive Media Group...where I waited in line twice for free stuff...


Other ways I got free stuff were being an honorary VoluntEAR by writing an encouraging note to send to the troops for the USO on day 1 and planting seeds for a school garden on day 2 (free bags)...day 3 was assembling kids comfort kits for the American Red Cross, but there was a long line for these bags on the last day...Another way was to be an honorary Disney Green Team member and do an environmental themed scavenger hunt where I learned about Disney's corporate responsibility for the environment...I got a free 5 minute shower timer (hourglass type) for my work...

I have more pics from the first floor here...





Thursday, August 25, 2011

Disney D23 Expo 2011 Part Y - The Cosplay

Okay...Unlike previous con reports where I organize everything by themes, I think this requires a day-by-day report...But I've been sitting on these cosplay pics for too long to not say anything about it. Pretty much my weekend was split between buying stuff, waiting hours in line to see panels, and wandering the main floor...There was only really one scheduled cosplay gathering I was aware of that was organized by Disney on the last day...



And here are some of my favorite cosplays or outfits inspired by Disney movies, attractions, and shows...

I've been wondering when I'll see a Phineas and Ferb cosplay, though I think some work has to be done with the hair...



I still don't know why Princess Kida of Atlantis: The Lost Empire isn't getting as much attention as Princess Jasmine...



I really liked this Wall-E inspired couple...



The Haunted Mansion even inspired some fans...



And I really like how the crocodile from Fantasia just happened to be around for a perfect Haunted Mansion pic...



Speaking of nostalgic Disney...



Of course there were princesses and other familiar Disney characters, all of which you can see in my album...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Disney D23 Expo 2011 Part X - A Taste of My Disney Weekend Across From (but not in) Disneyland

So tired from D23, so I'll start my event (it's more than just a con, it's the ultimate Disney fan event) report later...but here's a pic of all the freebies I picked up...I know I spent more on stuff this weekend than at Anime Expo, but that's because they are really exclusive items, and some of the stuff I bought was part of my Christmas shopping...



But for a taste of the kinds of cosplay...here's a mashup of The Haunted Mansion x Fantasia...


Monday, August 15, 2011

Tanabata Festival/Nisei Week 2011 - A Story of 3.5 Hours Part 2 - Some 2D...

Note: Pics seem to be a little cropped by Blogger. Click on them to see the full image.




This is the third year I've made the drive up to Little Tokyo for Nisei Week, and I've always found my favorite thing is the Tanabata Festival as this is the only time of year it is held...taiko performances, cosplay events, and martial arts demonstrations can be seen during other times of the year in this part of downtown L.A...(okay the Grand Parade held on the first Sunday of Nisei Week and the ondo street dancing on the last day of Nisei Week are big events worth checking out, but I'm now a college student again and gotta get ready for back-to-school!)

But before I checked out the Tanabata, I watched an ukulele group perform...



Oddly enough, they didn't play "Aloha Oe", but it was a fun performance (it was already in the 80s when I arrived, hence the lack of an audience)

The actual schedule mentioned that there was going to be a fashion show hosted by AniMaid Cafe and PMX, but that didn't seem to materialize. What did materialize was a performance troupe from Japan showing off some samurai movie moves...



The director was showing some interested kids how to attack and look cool doing it...



I never really noticed in previous years, but this years' Tanabata streamers were really interesting...I really wanna know the story behind this one with the beer cans...it seems like a tribute to one's grandfather...



Now the entry from the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles really shows how Hayao Miyazaki is a national treasure...



However, my favorite was the burger streamer being eaten by caterpillars...



Now that the Japanese Village Plaza has been renovated, it was nice to see some new stuff during this years' Nisei Week, like the tanzaku that was tied to all the bamboo and trees around the plaza...



Now some wishes people placed on the small pieces of paper were really tough to read, many of them about wishing that their parents could find work, or ill relatives getting better...However, some were just weird/silly/stupid/offensive (I dunno if Japanese people would find some petty wishes offensive)...



Before I left I did see a little Polynesian dancing and bought something from Anime Jungle...



I did take a few more pics that you can find here.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tanabata Festival/Nisei Week 2011 - A Story of 3.5 Hours Part 1 - Some 3D...




Metal chairs + hot day = hot seat...many of the chairs in front of the stage at the Tanabata Festival near the Japanese American National Museum were empty during the ukulele concert...

Well I didn't plan on doing much for this year's Nisei Week in Little Tokyo because of plans to attend the upcoming Disney D23 Expo and going back to school...I tried to set up a meetup today, but I arrived 45 minutes late because of traffic on the freeway. My day was also cut short because frankly, it was pretty hot...

I did take this as an opportunity to play with my 3D rig again, and I thought taking pictures of the streamers from the Tanabata Festival (3rd year) that's held during the first weekend of Nisei Week would be an ideal subject...





Now that the Japanese Village Plaza has been renovated with new trees, some were repurposed for Nisei Week to hold tanzaku paper that contains wishes of the people (some interesting ones to be posted in a later post)...



Now the Tanabata Festival program listed a fashion show hosted by AniMaid Cafe and PMX, but that didn't happen as scheduled...However, I did see a bunch of cosplayers across the street with a program that was probably linked with Anime LA since Tadao Tomomatsu was emceeing the event...



I have more pics taken with the successor to my PowerShot that died during Anime Expo to be posted in a later post.

On a side note, I replaced the batteries in the cameras in my 3D rig, but it still seems like they drain quickly when used in the 3D rig...I wonder if I should reduce the voltage of the pulse used in the synchronization shutter switch...So until I figure out how to fix the quick battery drain problem, I gotta take 3D pics sparingly...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Anime Expo 2011 in 2D - Day 3 Highlights and Day 4 Quick Summary

(Post pic of damaged camera here...)

Well this was the last day that I had a working LCD on my Canon PowerShot A590, so there wasn't a lot of pics taken, though it was a long day...

After parking at the convention center, I realized I forgot my cell phone, so I had to drive back to the hotel, grab my phone, and come back to pay for parking again since there was no in/out privileges (common for paid parking places in downtown L.A.)...

Since I missed the AX 20th Anniversary panel because of the cell phone issue (I seem to either forget or lose my phone once at every con I attend...), I wandered into a screening of Kanon (the Kyoto Animation version...) to kill some time...

Afterwards, I thought I would be able to find the infamous Site #3 for the too-random-to-be-listed crossplay/genderbend gathering quickly, so I veered a little bit into the Ouran High School Host Club gathering...



(where's the giant gear?)

After some hard searching finding the crossplay/genderbend gathering, I was able to find some crossplayers...Since it was a small turnout, there were few pics taken (and mine were in 3D), though I did capture one of the first pics taken after I realize that my A590's LCD broke...



(It's a good sign that even with a broken LCD, the camera can still take pics, but I don't know what the settings are...I guess it's still useful as an outdoor/daytime camera...)...

I met up with my new friend for lunch at the food trucks...I heard a lot of good things about India Jones, so I had to try the curry...



(yummy!)

I was so lucky that I didn't get my nice new Ika Musume (Musuko?) cosplay that I actually did most of the work on (I asked my cousin to make the hat since I doubted my sewing skills, though the tentacle wig did involve some sewing...) didn't get stained...



(So should've used the family size shrimp chips as my prop...)

I assumed at the time my damaged A590 could still be good for daylight pics, so I continued to take pics with at at the Madoka gathering...



Oddly enough, I only saw only one girl do Ika Musume, and she was at the top of an escalator while I was at the bottom, so I couldn't get to her in time...but the hat seems popular...



Obviously time was spent in the exhibit hall, especially after watching a screening of Wagnaria after the Madoka gathering...

I originally planned to go to the Umineko gathering, but I was sidetracked and ended up in line early for the K-On! concert...

Afterwards, I remember watching a little bit of Ga-Rei Zero and taking more pics, now with one of the cameras from the 3D rig, before meeting up with another friend to catch The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya...

Here are the rest of the pics from day 3...




I didn't realize I was tired until I decided to leave early on day 4 and falling asleep once I got home, waking up after the Independence Day fireworks on television and outside have already finished...but I didn't fall asleep until after I bought a few more things and taking pics of my haul...

Because of the fatigue, I didn't have much of a story for day 4, though I really wanted to catch the closing ceremonies...Day 4 was pretty much breakfast at Farm of Beverly Hills at L.A. Live, watching Lyrical Nanoha, texting my new friends to have a safe trip since they planned to leave early, watching Baka and Test, last minute deals and freebies in exhibit hall, watching Sekirei, more last minute shopping, and then just going home...

Overall, it was the best AX so far...I made new friends, discovered new anime, tried new food trucks...though I think I'll pick a closer hotel even if it means paying more for parking next year...

Now to get ready to really field test my new camera, enhancements to my 3D rig (I know they're gonna drop the price on the 3DS, but I built this rig out of my own two hands!), more events before school starts, and maybe take time to improve my Ika Musume cosplay (like using a larger t-shirt since the collar was tight...).