Comic-Con and other July happenings

July has been pretty busy around our place. After Jesse returned from camp I spent the week transfering everything over at work to me as the sole employee left. The previous system administrator left on the 10th and decided to upgrade the servers before leaving. This borke all of the websites and I ended up working all weekend from home to resolve the problem with some company guys on the East coast. In addition to that, Jesse’s computer was having issues that I thought were related to a corrupt OS. After reformatting his PC, it became clear the problem was actually a faulty vidoe card. That Sunday I loaded up and went to San Diego for the week long ESRI User Conference(GIS software). On my return, Jesse and I aprticipated in the Worldwide Photowalk by attending the one in Barstow. We hadd fun while we backed in the Mojave sun.

After two days of work, we were off to Comic-Con in San Diego. We stayed at my best friend Jim’s palce in Santee and rode the trolley back and forth the convention center. It started on Wednesdasy night with picking up our 4 day passes and then cruising the extremely crowded expo floor. We managed to get a little swag, but more importantly we got the giant Warner Brothers ccombo swag/poster bags that we would use the rest of the Con to lug swag back to Jim’s.

The first full day of Comic-Con, we arrived a little after 12 and got in line for Ballroom 20 where Burn Notice and Psych were going to have their panels. The line was extremely long and wound around outside before finally going back inside. I didn’t think we were going to get in, but we made it in. The Burn Notice panel was hilarious as Bruce Campbell stole the show. He was hilarious and cracked jokes throughout the “BRUUUUCE” chants. He suggested they combine his current show and the Evil Dead series to have a movie called “Dead Notice.” I still don’t know why Burn Notice had a panel, but Bruce Campbell was hilarious. Renee did score a bright yellow Burn Notice shirt as swag.

Next up was the Psych panel, It was funny as well, but seemed mare scripted than the spontaneous quips by Bruce Campbell. The full cast was present as well unlike Burn Notice that only had Bruce Campbell and some lesser characters. I don’t know why Psych had a panel there either, but they had the best swag. We each score a T-Shirt, comic-book, and a Magic Psychic Ball. It’s a green Magic 8 ball with phrases like: “Ask Gus”, “Maybe yes, maybe no”, or “Ask me later” to name a few. The line for the swag was another long one as some 4200 people stood in line to get their free stuff. Afterward, we did a little more on the expo floor before heading for the trolley and the one hour ride back to Santee.

Friday was costume day for Jesse. He spent the previous night finishing up his Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine costume and had it on as we rode the trolley. Before we had even crossed the street after getting off, someone recognized what he was and commented on it. We did the expo floor and Jesse posed for many photographs whiel Renee stood in line to get some Gatchaman swag. She was a big Battle of the Planets fan as a kid so she gladly accepted a hat and watch. After that, we went to the Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi panel to hear from all of the authors of the novels. We then went to the Del Rey booth to get autographed posters and novels by the authors(6 in total as they did two posters and 2 novels per person). We found a Subway in the Gaslamp, Jesse took off his costume, and we sat on the sidewalk to eat as all the tables were taken. While eating, one of the stars of the CBS show Criminal Minds passed by us.

Saturday we got up early in hopes of getting in line for Ballroom 20 to see the Chuck panel. Jesse wore his costume again and the line was even longer than the previous time we tried to get into that room. We eventually were moving and inside the building. Jesse was interviewed by IFC News as we made our way in just as the panel was getting started. We sat down just before “Jeffster” came out to rakc “Fat Bottom Girls” as the crowd went wild. The stars of the show were all present and talked about the upcoming season of Chuck and how the fans has saved the show from cancellation. We left the panel and made a quick trip to the Hilton Bayfront Indigo room to get a spot for the Heroes panel some 3 hrs later. Last year, the line wound completely around the convention center and we wanted to get in early. As we walked in the Indigo Ballroom, we saw none other than Stan Lee siitng on the Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 panel. That was pretty cool to see the guy reponsible for Spiderman, the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, etc. We then sat through panels for the TV shows Sanctuary and Glee(why a singing & dancing show is at Comic-Con is a puzzler to me). The heroes panel began as the room went wild for each of the stars especially Zachary Quinto aka Sylar and Spock from the new Star Trek movie. One of the cooler cast memebers introduced for the new season was Ray Park. He is also known for being Darth Maul, Toad in X-Men and Snake Eyes in the new GI Joe movie. We grabbed a bite to eat at Nicky Rottens in the Gaslamp and then hopped the trolley back to Jim’s pad.

Sunday we were up early again and off to catch the Dr. Who panel. Unfortunatley, they moved rooms and we didn’t notice until we arrived at the wrong room. We rushed back to Ballroom 20 expecting another long line and barely made it into the room before they closed the door. It was a funny panel as the current Dr. Whoo discussed his leaving the show and this years finale. We made one final trip trhough the show floor and saw stars like Lou Ferrigno, Adam West and Margot Kidder all signing autographs at various booths. We returned to Jim’s to pack up and head for home. We arrive home around 6:30 pm exhausted and unloaded the bags of swag scored into the house. That was followed by trips to the grocery store and to the mechanics to pick up Jesse’s truck. Needless to say, Monday was a LONG day as I was the only one at work and I was worn out from Comic-Con. It was a great time, but I think if we go in the futre it will be for only 2 days and not the full 4 1/2.

The not so frequent update on the Zeliffs

I seem to have slipped into a pattern for the summer of only updating my blog every couple of weeks. Since last I blogged, I watched the clock run out on my time with my company for the last 3 years. They had the contract for my job in Barstow, but did not win it again. So on June 30th, I was terminated by them. That afternoon, I was contacted by the company that was due to take over and told they still didn’t have the contract yet. So July 1, I was unemployed and spent the day with Renee running around to pay bills and shopping. Later that day, I got a call from the new company telling me that the contract had finally been awarded and I could return to work. The new company is smaller and therefor my benefits cost a little more than with the previous company. I did get a raise, but with the change in benefits it remains to be seen whether or not the increase reaches the bottom line.

After a day of work, it was a three day weekend due to July 4th. On Friday, Renee and I went to see Pirates Dinner Adventure in Buena Park near Knott’s Berry Farm. It was a fun time and we really enjoyed ourselves. We were seated in the blue section and cheered for the son of the Pirate captian who happened to be the hero of the show. The food was good and the show was very enjoyable. It had stunt fighting, swordplay, acrobatics and singing. We really liked it and we weren’t rushed to eat like Medival Times.

On Saturday, Jesse returned from summer camp. He had attended camp with the youth group from First Baptist as he had done the year before. He was pretty tired, but had a good time. That afternoon, we went to one of my old co-worker’s house for BBQ and fireworks. We played pool and Jesse showed of his trick shot he learned at camp. He jumped the cue ball over one of mine and knocked on of his into a pocket at the other end of the table. It was an amazing shot. We spent Sunday at the house relaxing and doing nothing.