San Diego Comic Con

SDCC Preparations: Sunday

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With the 4th of July holiday over, SDCC preparations were in fully swing on Sunday.  Half of the San Diego Convention Center was adorned with the iconic blue, yellow, black and white banners signaling the return of San Diego Comic Con.    

Here is a look at the progress so far:

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New Poll Says San Diegans Would Prefer Keeping SD Comic Con Over Chargers

In a (completely non-scientific) poll by the San Diego Union Tribune, a majority of San Diegans favor keeping San Diego Comic Con over the San Diego Chargers.

Clearly, the public sentiment in San Diego is changing amid clandestine backdoor dealings between the Spanos family and Carson, and special counsel Mark Fabiani stalling talks between the Chargers and the city.  Where there was once a fierce battle cry over the loss of our beloved football team, now there’s a bit of healthy suspicion caused by the team throwing shade to its Bolt Faithful.  If they want to stay so much, why are they doing so  much to leave?

There’s no real way to determine the amount of money the Chargers bring the city, but I’d imagine that the Chargers aren’t exactly a cash cow for the tourism industry in San Diego.  While it’s true that landing another Super Bowl would lead to economic prosperity for the city, hosting duties only come every so often, and our Chargers aren’t exactly Super Bowl contenders.  There aren’t many people who come to San Diego eight times a year to watch the Chargers play.  At this point, we’d be building a stadium to appease the Chargers…and to profit from all of the other non-Chargers events held in it.

SDCC, on the other hand, brings in over a hundred million dollars to local businesses every year, with the annual revenue on a perpetual uptick.  SDCC is a huge cash cow, and the city would be foolish to let it go.  Every bit of the Convention Center expansion would be worth its weight in gold, and not just because of SDCC; the recent Cisco convention, though smaller than SDCC in terms of participants, brings in as much (and possibly more) money to local businesses than SDCC.

As a native San Diegan, avid sports fan and card-carrying nerd, I feel bad about the Chargers, but they’re not exactly helping their cause.  Leaving San Diego seems to be a done deal.  (Remember, they’ve been secretly working on this since 2013)  SDCC was born in the basement of the El Cortez Hotel, and the Powers That Be want it to stay in San Diego.  Unlike the Chargers, SDCC can demonstrate how they impact San Diego’s economy.  San Diego businesses fully support SDCC and [most of them] cater to SDCC because SDCC does so much for them.

If a deal can be made to keep the Chargers, and if it makes sense for the city, then I’m all for it.  However, at this juncture, now that SDCC has committed to staying in San Diego through 2018, I believe that we need to shift our focus to make sure the Convention Center expansion happens soon so that we never have to have the “should I stay or should I go” conversation with SDCC again.

What do you think?

You can read more about the UT poll here.

The Calm Before the SDCC Storm: Friday Preparations

It’s the Friday before San Diego Comic Con.  It’s a beautiful San Diego day and preparations are being made all around the Gaslamp.  One thing I’ve noticed is that it seems like the SDCC fervor has been impacted by the July 4th holiday; preparations are moving at a slower pace because so many people are celebrating the holiday in and around the Gaslamp.  However, come Monday the Convention Center will be a hub of activity.

The Convention Center looks eerily empty given how it will look at this time next week.

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Hall H is wide open.
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The San Diego Hilton Bayfront is getting wrapped as we speak.
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The MTS Trolleys have been wrapped in Scream Queens, Conan, and The Muppets.

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Speaking of Conan (who is hosting his show from SDCC this year)
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Mary Jane’s at the Hard Rock Hotel is getting a dose of the SyFy experience
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It’s a beautiful day…and you can almost feel the SDCC buzz….
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The Selfie Stick: Stopping Rides and Breeding Idiots

I just read this article about a guest at Disneyland who pulled out a selfie stick on a roller coaster and forced the ride to shut down.

Here’s the thing: As a culture, cell phones have been permeating into our lives more and more over the past twenty years, and the problem is only getting worse.  People on their phones walk into open manholes.  They stop and take selfies in the worst places.  And now selfie sticks allow people to film themselves doing all kinds of things.  In some cases it’s purely innocent, but when it comes to roller coasters, selfie sticks are a real threat to safety.  I’ve seen people taking selfies while driving.  Selfie sticks make it easier to take selfies, and so naturally people want to push the envelope and take more outlandish pictures.

Disneyland and Disney World have banned selfie sticks, and selfie sticks have been axed from San Diego Comic Con as well.  I think it’s a good step. Some people clearly aren’t capable of making good decisions.

What do you think about selfie sticks?

The Walking Dead Season Finale S5E16: Conquer

The Walking Dead S5E16: Conquer

Original Airdate: March 29, 2015

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

It’s the last episode of Season 5, fellow Walkers!  Who will live, and who will die tonight?

Morgan wakes up in the back of a burned out car in the woods.  He smiles when he sees the rabbit’s foot dangling from the rear-view mirror.  He makes breakfast.  Suddenly a man pops out of the woods with a gun pointed at Morgan and he sits on a rock.  Morgan asks what the W on the man’s forehead is for.  The man says that the original settlement of native people wore wolf heads until they defeated the invaders.  Morgan laughs and says that all will return to normal.  The W man laughs and says it’s nice to talk.  His group invades camps and takes over other groups.  He misses movies.  He tells Morgan to put his coffee cup down because he wants it, and he wants Morgan, too, but Morgan won’t be alive.  Morgan smiles at him and says that he won’t allow the man to take him away.  He won’t allow it.  Suddenly another man jumps out of the bushes and Morgan takes him out with a stick.  Morgan tells them to go, but they keep coming at him so he takes them out with a stick.  The gun, evidently, was empty.  Morgan puts the men in the back of the car and honks the horn.  He grabs the rabbit’s foot and takes off.

Yay, Morgan is back!!

Daryl flies down the road on his motorcycle.  Aaron follows behind him.  They stop off the road and head into the woods.

Rick wakes up.  His face has been tended to and he’s in a room on a mattress on the ground.  Michonne asks why he’s laughing.  He says that it’s like the train car, that after the whole situation he is still there.  Michonne explains that Deanna wanted him to be there.  Rosita cleaned him up, and Carl visited.  She asks him what he’s doing.  He stays silent.  She says that they have Pete in another house.  Rick says that he had to act quickly, and that he didn’t tell her about the gun because she wanted to be there.  “Well, we’re here,” he says.  Glenn and Carol arrive with Abraham.  They want to know where he got the gun.  Carol says it was stupid and wants to know why he did it.  Glenn says that Deanna is having a meeting about his fate.  Carol tells Rick to tell them a story about taking the gun to make sure Jesse was ok.  Carol says they’re children and they like stories.  Rick has a plan to take out the group if things go south at the meeting.  Glenn wants to know if Rick wanted to be there, and he confesses that he didn’t.  He tells them to leave so he can sleep.

Maggie goes to meet with Deanna to find out what is going on at the meeting.  She says that Rick was invited in with everyone else.  Deanna says that Rick had a gun and he pointed it at them, and even though Michonne stopped him, they don’t know what he would have done.  Deanna says that she will do what’s necessary.  Maggie leaves, and Reg goes after her and tells her that the cavemen were a tribe and they came together when they stopped casting people out.  He’s going to talk to Deanna and explain that to her.

Sasha patrols the wall and carries bodies away from the fence.  She has a huge grave for the bodies and she’s keeping house.  She stumbles into the grave and ends up lying down with the corpses, closing her eyes.

Daryl says that someone came through the path earlier.  Daryl wants to know about the people who had been sent away from Alexandria before.  Davidson was their leader, two men and a woman.  He brought them in and eventually had to cast them out with a day’s worth of food.  Aaron can’t make that mistake again.

Carol wakes Rick up and tells him that it’s good what happened.  She thinks that he did a good job of making a scene.  She hands him a gun and says that she didn’t tell Glenn and Michonne about the extra guns.  When Rick says he doesn’t want to lie anymore, and he doesn’t want to take the place, she shakes her head at him.  “Sunshine, you don’t get both.”

Carol has gotten really dark lately, hasn’t she?

Daryl and Aaron watch a man in a red coat as he walks through a field.

Rick goes outside and walks past three men who greet him.  He passes Deanna’s house and gives her a look.

Glenn is sitting on the porch when Maggie arrives.  Nicholas is watching them from around the corner.  She tells Glenn that she talked to Deanna and she’s going to talk to people to get them to see the truth.  Glenn tells her that he loves her, and she reassures him that they will work everything out.  Glenn looks up to see Nicholas scaling the wall.

Gabriel is off for a walk outside the walls.  He has God to protect him and he doesn’t need a gun.

Rick returns to his house and sees Carl.  Carl wants to know if this is home, and Rick says it is, but he doesn’t want Carl there because he might have to kill someone.  Carl says he has to make these people hear what Rick has to say.  He has to make them listen.

Aaron and Daryl scout the town and don’t find the man in red.  They find a group of Walkers in a fence.  Aaron says they’re fifty miles from home and there are bad people out.  Daryl says that’s all the more reason to find the good ones.  Aaron agrees but says they will need help and they’ll need food to feed the newcomers.  They kill the Walkers in the fenced-in area and approach the warehouse.  Aaron pries an Alaska license plate from a truck and says that the man in got away, but finding the cans was a good thing.  Suddenly the trucks open up and they’re full of Walkers with Ws carved into their foreheads.  Daryl and Aaron are quickly surrounded by Walkers, and they flee to a nearby car, where they are engulfed by Walkers.

Who put the Walkers in the truck!?

Daryl and Aaron are stuck in the car.  Aaron finds a note: “Trap.  Bad people are coming.  Stay away.”  Aw, crap.

There’s a knock at the door and Pete answers it.  It’s Carol.  She says that he needs to check on Tara, and he tells her to get out.  Carol pulls out a knife and says she could kill him and she could tell people he tried to hurt her.  Everyone would believe it.  “Come at me,” she taunts.  He holds his ground.  She says he has a chance.  He’s here, his wife is ok.  “You’re a small, weak nothing.”  She says that he might not have to die.  She hands him a dish of food and she tells him that she wants her dish back clean when he’s done.  She leaves, and he drops the dish and yells that it isn’t his house.

Glenn follows Nicholas into the woods.  As he’s looking around, he’s shot in the shoulder.  Nicholas runs out and looks around to see that no one followed him.

Rick goes to Jesse’s house.  He sees her black eye and she assures him that he didn’t do it.  Jesse says that people shouldn’t see them talking, but she does tell him that he was right.  Across the way, Pete watches furiously from his prison house.

The van is still surrounded and Daryl laughs to himself.  He says he came out because he felt closed up back in Alexandria and now he’s stuck in a car.  Aaron says he was trying to fit in.  Aaron had been watching Daryl and how he led the group to safety.   That’s how he knew that the group needed to come with him.  Daryl says he’s going to make a break for it and lead them away from the van.  He lights a cigarette.  Aaron says that they will fight together.  They have to.  They’re about to go when one of the Walkers is stabbed.  Aaron and Daryl jump out to find Morgan outside.  Once they’re safely on the other side of the gate, Aaron tells Morgan that they have a compound and he’d be welcome there.  They need to leave because that was a trap and the others will no doubt be on the way. Daryl asks why he saved them and Morgan says all life is precious.  Morgan says he’s on his way somewhere but he’s lost.  He hands Daryl a map—and it’s the one from the church.  Daryl sees Abraham’s message to Rick and stares at Morgan in awe.

Gabriel walks down the road, whistling.  He finds a Walker and says he’s ready….  Gabriel holds out his hands as the Walker approaches.  He decapitates the Walker with the noose around its neck and smashes its head.  He then kills the Walker on the ground nearby.  He breaks down into tears and cries on the ground.

Abraham arrives at the infirmary and Rosita says that Eugene is asleep at Tara’s bedside.  He creeps to the bed and she knocks over a pan to wake up Eugene, who looks at Abraham and says “good afternoon.”  Eugene looks at Tara and says that she saved his life.  She also got him thinking about how Eugene’s lie spurred Abraham into action and put his talent into motion.  That’s what saved them.  He thanks Abraham for saving them.  Abraham apologizes for almost killing him.  “Yes, there’s that.”

Spencer welcomes Gabriel back and asks him if he can talk to him later.  He needs to talk about Aidan’s death.  He needs to rush off to the meeting, and he asks Gabriel to close the gate.  Gabriel nods and shuts it carelessly, leaving it open.

In the woods, Nicholas kills a Walker and then Glenn jumps him.  They fight, and then two Walkers rush up and it looks like they are on top of Glenn.

Michonne asks Rick if he’s ready for the meeting.  He tells her that he, Carol and Daryl have guns from the armory.  They lied to her because they didn’t know how she’d take it.  Michonne says she hit him for his own good, not theirs.  She says they don’t need weapons there, and that they can find a way there, and if they don’t, she’s still with them.  She knows that something is about to happen, but Rick shouldn’t make something happen.  She leaves Rick and he grabs a knife and his gun and hears voices in his head about how nightmares end.  Rick looks out the window to see that the gate has been left open.  He hurries outside and sees that there is fresh blood on the gate, with a trail of blood leading inside.

Rick runs along the wall.

Gabriel walks into the church and finds Sasha inside.  She says she doesn’t know what to do.  She doesn’t know what’s in her head and she asks for his help.  “No,” he says.

The townspeople gather at the meeting.  Deanna wants to start even though Maggie points out that Rick and Glenn aren’t there.  Deanna wants to talk about how he has a gun he stole and pointed at people.  Carol says she’s sure they can work this all out.

Nicholas is wandering in the woods.

Rick is out running between the houses.

Sasha says that she wants to die.  Gabriel says she doesn’t deserve to live after what she did.  He says that Bob was mutilated because of her sins.  Tyreese died because of his sins.  She screams and lunges at him.

Rick finds Walkers in the streets.

Michonne tells the group that they will learn to be like Rick if they’re lucky.

Sasha and Gabriel fight.  The gun goes off.

Glenn tackles Nicholas and knocks him out.

Carol says that people like her are alive because of people like Rick and that although it was scary last night, they need him.

Rick kills the Walker with his bare hands.

Abraham gets up and says that Rick knows everything about the shit that’s out there, and then some.  Deanna’s people don’t know anything.

The men who attacked Morgan bring the man in the red coat to the gates of their trap.  They slit his throat and then watch as the Walkers line up at the fence.

Maggie tells the group about her father and how he respected Rick.  Rick knows what he has to do.  They’re all family now, and Rick was the one who started it.  She tells the group that they will want to be a part of it, too.  Deanna says that she would like to share something in the spirit of transparency.  She says that Gabriel told her that the new group was dangerous and a day later the shit hits the fan.  Jesse says that Gabriel isn’t there, and she asks if Deanna taped it.  She says that Rick isn’t there either.

The two men use music to lure the Walkers back into the van.

Rick drops a Walker at Deanna’s feet.  The group stares at him.

Glenn decides not to kill Nicholas.

Maggie finds Sasha with a gun pointed at Gabriel.  He says his people died because of him.

Rick says that there were no guards at the gate.  Spencer says he asked Gabriel to close it.  Deanna sends him off to watch it.  He tells everyone that the Dead and the Living will always try to get in because they’re inside.  Rick says he isn’t going to kill anyone to save their lives.  The people inside the walls need to change.  They aren’t ready, and they have to be. Luck will run out.  Pete runs in and screams that he isn’t one of them.  He has a knife, and he slices Reg’s throat open.  Abraham tackles him.  Reg dies in Deanna’s arms.  She looks at Rick and says “do it.”  Rick shoots Pete without hesitation.

Of course, Rick looks up to see Morgan standing there with Daryl and Aaron.  Morgan stares at Rick as Rick stares at Morgan in shock.

Michonne sheaths her sword.

The man in the red coat is now a Walker, and he’s wandering inside the trap.  On the van is a message: “Wolves no fear.”

And that’s it, ladies and gentlemen.  Tune in this summer for full Walking Dead coverage from San Diego Comic Con!  See you in October!

The Walking Dead Recap S5E15: Try

The Walking Dead S5E15: Try

Original Airdate: March 21, 2015

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

We’re down to the last two episodes of Season 5.  Can you believe that?  It’s almost like we’re back at Season 1, what with Rick’s freshly-shorn baby face….

A Walker comes through the woods and steps on a photo.  In a dark room, Deanna, Reg and Spencer play Aidan’s “run mix.”  They’re in shock.  The music is hard, pounding.  Perfect for running.  Or frustrated people.

Carol is busy cooking.  Her kitchen is immaculate.  Judith can be seen napping on the baby monitor.  Carol writes out a note, but then Sam taps on the window.

Sasha is out hunting Walkers.

Reg sobs, Deanna hugs a pillow, and Spencer turns off the music.  There’s a knock at the door.  Deanna sees the casserole dish that Carol left with a note: “We’re truly sorry for your loss.”  She leaves the dish outside and takes the note.  She burns it and drops it onto a plate.  This, of course, doesn’t bode well for Rick’s group.

A Walker approached the fence.  Sasha takes it out.

In a field, Daryl takes out another Walker.  Aaron says that more walkers are around than before.  Daryl points at a light in the distance.  Someone is out there in a cabin in the woods.  Aaron and Daryl stare at it.  (Is it Morgan?!)

Deana rewinds the tape where Nicolas tells the story of Aidan’s death.  He says that Aidan was trying to save the group but Glenn distracted him.  Deanna asks about Tara, and Nicolas was going to save her but the group was going to leave her behind.

Glenn tells the real story to Rick.  “I watched him die,” Glenn says.

Deanna asks Nicolas why they came back together.  Spencer interrupts them and she says that they shouldn’t do this right now, but Deanna says that she has to do it.  Nicolas doesn’t think Deanna understands what he’s saying; he thinks that Rick’s group is evil and needs to leave.  Deanna watches the recording on her laptop.  She says she sees more than people realize.

Glenn tells Rick that he was trying to save Noah but he couldn’t.  These people don’t know how to survive.  Rick tells Glenn that they don’t have to live by their rules, but Glenn says that they are all one and the same now.  Noah believed in that place.  They have to make it work.

Carol watches Sam from a distance.  Carol tells Rick that she sent Deanna a casserole.  She tells Rick that Sam told her that Jesse put a bolt on the inside of his closet and she sends him inside when things go bad.  Last month Sam found his mother unconscious while Pete sat on the porch.  Rick asks why Carol cares, and she gives him a look.

Rick sees a boat in the pond with a balloon tied to it.  (Where did they find helium?)  He’s about to shoot it when Pete comes up.  He’s drunk and stumbling.  “Keep walking,” Rick growls.  Pete is confused at first, but he complies.  Rick is intimidating!

Michonne wakes up.  She’s in a bed, but she’s fully dressed in case she needs to make a quick move.  She contemplates her sheriff’s uniform when Rosita knocks on her door. Tara is stable, but Sasha spent the night in the tower. The women go out into the woods to find her.  (Michonne isn’t in her uniform)  It’s their first time outside since their arrival and Michonne feels the difference already.  She points out that Noah is dead and she feels like she was asleep inside the walls.  Rosita points out that she didn’t bring her sword.

Deanna stares at the graves.  Rick walks up and apologizes for what happened.  She’s not holding up well.  Rick says they have a problem with Pete.  Deanna says that she’d hoped it would get better.  She knew about the abuse, but he’s a talented surgeon.  Rick says they can separate them, and if he refuses they will kill him.  Rick says that exiling him won’t work, because he’ll come back.  She says that this language is not to be tolerated inside.  She says if it came down to it, she’d send him away, too.

Michonne and Rosita find Walkers with wounds in the back of their heads.  “She’s hunting them,” Michonne observes.

Enid calls out when she hears Carl approach.  She wants him to leave, but he says that two people just died and they shouldn’t be out on their own.  He asks what she does out there, and she runs off.  He chases her, smiling for the first time in a long time.  Eventually they come across Walkers in the woods.  Enid starts a kitchen timer and throws it.  When it goes off, the Walker is distracted.  They run off.

Glenn finds Nicolas cleaning the van.  He tells him that the four people’s deaths are on him, as is Noah’s death.  He says he was lucky to find this place when the walls went up, but he’s not fit for going outside.  In fact, it won’t happen anymore.  Nicolas thinks it’s a threat, but Glenn says he’s saving him.

Enid says they’re supposed to be outside, that they shouldn’t forget what it’s like.  Carl admits that he dreams about it.  Carl asks if Ron knows that she comes out there, but she says he wouldn’t understand.  Carl wants to know why he scares her.  He just does.  He compliments her knife, which belonged to her mom.  He wants to know what happened to her, but before she can answer, they hear Walkers so they climb into a hollowed out tree.  “It’s their worlds.  We’re just living in it,” she breathes.  He moves to touch her hand, and she notes that he’s afraid of her, too.  One of the Walkers bears a W on his forehead.

Nicolas goes out to the woods and finds the gun that Rick had hidden before they arrived in Alexandria.  So.  He’s the one who took it.

Sasha takes out several Walkers.  Michonne and Rosita find her and she says she’s sick of playing offense.  She starts shooting as a huge herd approaches, and while she shoots them, Michonne has a flashback to the woman she was.  We see her in her hood with her pets and her sword.  Rosita goes into action with her knife, and then Sasha’s gun jams.  She falls to the ground and drops her knife, but Michonne shoots the Walker.  Sasha says she had it under control.  She doesn’t need their help.  Sasha wants them to leave.  Michonne can’t help her.  Sasha breaks down and says that she told Noah he wouldn’t make it.  She walks off and Rosita follows, but Michonne looks at the gun in her hand.

Daryl and Aaron wait til the next day to explore the field and the house.  They find more Walkers who have been chopped into pieces.  They’re fresh, too.  Aaron follows behind Daryl, gun drawn, as they search.  They come upon a woman who has been tied to a tree and flayed alive by Walkers.  There’s a W on her forehead as well.  She’s newly dead, too, because she is in the process of turning.  Daryl puts her out of her misery.

Rick finds Jesse smoking in her garage.  Rick gets to the point and says that he knows Pete is hitting her and that it has to stop.  She says it will and blames things in the past.  It was going on before and he stopped.  He’ll do it again.  She doesn’t think Rick can help, because throwing him in jail will make things worse.  Jesse wants to know why Rick cares.  He has everything he needs now, why is he bothering.  She says she’s married and she can take care of it.  They all have to take care of themselves.

Rick leaves and watches the town with a new focus.  He sees the elderly couple on their porch, and a woman reading, and a boy with a balloon.  He turns and goes back to Jesse’s house and tells her that Sam asked for a gun to protect her.  Rick says that it’s the same out there as it is in there: if you don’t fight, you die, and he doesn’t want that to happen.  He can keep her and her boys safe.  All she has to do is say yes.  Jesse asks him if he’d do this for anyone else, and he says no.  “Leave us,” she says.  Pete walks in and asks what Rick is doing there.  He tells Rick to leave and Jesse intervenes.  “Excuse me?” he slurs.  “You need to leave,” she tells him.  He can’t believe this.  He rushes Rick and the men fight.  Jesse screams.

Sasha watches as people inside the walls start running.  Inside, Rick and Pete have taken the fight to the street and everyone in town is watching.  Someone calls for Deanna.  Pete is on top of Rick and Jesse tries to pry him off, but he punches her.  Sam runs to Carol.  Rick gets on top and Carl tries to grab his dad, but that only distracts Rick long enough for Pete to land another punch.    Deanna arrives and tells them to stop.  Rick gets up and points a gun at them all.  Sasha is in her tower shooting the Walkers at the wall.  Rick tells them all that their way of doing things is wrong.  Deanna says that is very clear to her.  Rick says that he isn’t going to stand by and let it happen.

Michonne steps up and knocks him out.

Well, that was intense.  What can possibly happen next?