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D23 v. ComicCon

Had a good time at the D23 Expo up in Anaheim over the weekend.  If it was my only convention-type event over the summer I would have said great, but following in the heals of The Con, aka San Diego ComicCon, I had to accept that it pales in the comparison.  It suffered the fate of an event that couldn’t live up to its media hype.

It is what it is: a fan event for a single entertainment conglomerate.  It lacks the diversity of thought and has none of the small press and independent artist exploration opportunities of ComicCon, and was in a relatively sterile corporate neighborhood.

That last part was probably my biggest hang-up.  Over the years I’ve been repeatedly told that this is one of the events that makes Anaheim a contender to take ComicCon from San Diego.  ROTFLMAO.  It has parking – gotta give it that.  They need it because their local public transit was clearly not up to the task (looking specifically at you, Anaheim Resort Transit).  But that part of Anaheim lacks the flavors and diversity of dining in San Diego’s Gas Lamp, and if D23 was an example of what Anaheim would do to support a Con like San Diego’s ComicCon, the answer appears to be nothing.  No restaurant tie ins.  No off-site events.  Not that you want to go outside because access to the building was limited to a few select (and understaffed) doors, resulting in excessive waits every time you needed to enter or re-enter the Anaheim Convention Center building itself.

But once I accepted the differences, it was a good time.  The tie-ins for Star Wars Battlefront (the new game) and Alice Through the Looking Glass were first-rate.  The panels we were able to attend, and particularly the retrospective on Disney’s Silly Symphonies hosted by Leonard Maltin and accompanied by a live 32-piece orchestra, were great.

One last rant though to certain vendors, and you know who you are: if you sold something at ComicCon as a ComicCon exclusive, don’t just put them on the shelf again for D23 (or any fan event for that matter).  At least have the class to cover up the “Exclusive” label.

Chuck posted this on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at  4:58 pm.   Comments Off on D23 v. ComicCon 

Summer, Phase Two

Randy’s back in school, but the weather outside is still very summer.  Turned off the phone and went down to the cove this morning for a swim and photo shoot with the marine life.  Beautiful conditions, even if there was a bit of a crowd.  Said hi to a friend.   Had a lot of fun with the GoPro.  More photos cross-posted from Instagram after the jump. (more…)

Chuck posted this on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at  4:21 pm.   Comments Off on Summer, Phase Two 

Revisiting Plans

Between Pride and the San Clemente Surf Festival this was supposed to be a very busy and very photographic weekend.  Instead I’m waking up to thunder, lightning, pouring rain and two terrified dogs.

Chuck posted this on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at  7:06 am.   Comments Off on Revisiting Plans 

Kayaking for Freedom

Watched this year’s San Diego Big Bay Boom fireworks show from kayaks off Coronado Island.  Easily the best seats in the house, even if they were slightly damp.

INDEPENDENCE DAY FIREWORKS from Chuck Hartley on Vimeo.

Chuck posted this on Sunday, July 5, 2015 at  2:38 pm.   Comments Off on Kayaking for Freedom 

Beating the Heat

The #bobbleheads await the #strawberry #sorbet with eager anticipation. With 90 degree temps and 80 percent humidity it was the only thing I could bring myself to “cook.”

A photo posted by Chuck Hartley (@howlingpoint) on


Craving something cold, so this is today’s effort to beat the heat.

Chuck posted this on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 at  2:34 pm.   Comments Off on Beating the Heat 

Time to burn

Trying to figure out what to do with tomorrow’s leap second.  So many options, so little time.

Chuck posted this on Monday, June 29, 2015 at  4:30 pm.   Comments Off on Time to burn 

Great anniversary gift

Seven years and eight days after California allowed Randy and I to marry, that legal status now protects us in all fifty states.  Thanks to everyone who made this reality possible.

Sometimes being in a state that’s ahead of the curve (like California) lets us overlook the fact that there were millions of Americans who didn’t have that right recognized until today.  It’s been too easy to just fly over the states that refuse to treat us with dignity, and where their own people were denied the protections and benefits we had.   Not that I really want to go to those states that often, but it’ll be nice to have one less reason to avoid them.

Chuck posted this on Friday, June 26, 2015 at  7:48 am.   Comments Off on Great anniversary gift 

From yesterday

The wonderful @gr8tchrsd grabbed this shot of me on the #gopro while we were chasing garibaldi at #lajollacove this morning. Goggles by @aquasphere_swim, suit by #monsterpolo and fins by @dafinhi.

A photo posted by Chuck Hartley (@howlingpoint) on

The plug-in that handled these automatically seems to have run amok.  Exploring some options now, including manual cross posts, at least until I get back to a point of actually writing words here.

Chuck posted this on Thursday, June 25, 2015 at  2:39 pm.   Comments Off on From yesterday 

Randy on Vacation

@gr8tchrsd having a great morning chasing the #garibaldi at #lajollacove. Goggles by @aquasphere_swim, boardies by and from @patagoniacardiff, fins by @churchillswimfins , shot on my #gopro #hero2.

A photo posted by Chuck Hartley (@howlingpoint) on

Chuck posted this on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at  1:48 pm.   Comments Off on Randy on Vacation 

Lemon zest #petunia on the patio. Happy solstice!

posted this on Sunday, June 21, 2015 at  10:44 am.   Comments Off on Lemon zest #petunia on the patio. Happy solstice! 

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