bonniegrrl: (R2)


WonderCon 2009: R2-D2 Builders
Words/Photos: Bonnie Burton

R2-D2 goes where the action is, so it shouldn't be surprised that he and his droid pals invaded this year's WonderCon as usual. Fans ran up and hugged, kissed, patted and posed with everyone's favorite astromech droid. Those lucky attendees who wanted the ins and outs of droid building got a special treat with the "R2-D2 Droid Building Basics" panel on Saturday.

R2-D2 builders Chris James, Ryan Goff, Steve Simmons, and David Calkins shared their experiences and demonstrated working droids. They chatted about materials, tools needed, basic electronics, and radio control information to make your own Artoo beep, move and save the day.

Special guest Don Bies, former ILM model maker and Star Wars Episodes II and III droid wrangler also showed up to encourage fans to channel their inner Anakin (the good one, not the baddie).

Starwars.com chatted with R2-D2 builder Chris James about what it feels like to be daddy to his own R2-D2.



Can you describe what the R2-D2 Builders group is all about?

We're a loosely organized international group of fans who love to build droids and share them with the world. Founded in 1999, the club has continually striven to develop resources to allow others to accurately reproduce their own astromech droids. We know have almost 8,000 members, but I would say there's closer to 500 active builders at any one time. We make all sort of astromechs, not just R2-D2, but that's were our roots are. Some of you may have also seen R2-KT (R2KT.com); she was build by members of the club.

What tips did you give would-be builders at your WonderCon panel?

It's hard to cover much in an hour, but we try and give an overview of what can be done, demo our droids, and cover the tools, different materials and skills needed to get started.

The four top tips are always -- planning, patients, do lots of research, and know your limitations. Without following these basic tips you can quickly make some expensive mistakes. Oh! And the fifth tip -- Don't try stuffing the electronics from a Hasbro Interactive Droid in a life-size Artoo. You don't want a 200 lb droid running you over.

Read more... )
bonniegrrl: (ChewieHug)

(Matthew Wood and his inner Grievous)

WonderCon 2009: Celebrities
Words/Photos: Bonnie Burton

You don't have to head to Los Angeles or New York to see your favorite comic book, movie and TV celebs. Thanks to conventions like WonderCon, they come to you. In fact, they sit at a table and wait for you to come by with things to sign. Sometimes they'll even pose for photos or make small talk with you about their Twitter.

Here's a selection of some of the famous folks you might have spotted at this year's WonderCon.



Carrie Fisher:
(photo by Dennis VonGalle)
Princess Leia herself met fans and signed posters, prints, photos and more. In the photo above, Fisher signs a Nagel-inspired print called "The Princess" presented by the artist himself Craig Drake.



Mark Hamill:
Luke Skywalker (or the voice of the Joker, depending on your fandom) signed everything from Star Wars posters to rare Corvette Summer memorabilia. Mark Hamill didn't sing any verses of "Luke, Be a Jedi Tonight" but this rare appearance at WonderCon did make fans giddy with the Force.



Dave Filoni:
As the Supervising Director of Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV show, fans follow around Dave Filoni around like the Jedi Pied Piper. Filoni was one of the coolest interviews at the Star Wars presentation on Saturday as he talked about Cad Bane and the bounty hunters who will be invading the series soon. Another highlight for us included watching the 501st Legion induct Filoni as an Honorary Member at their annual WonderCon dinner. He was presented with the coveted badge, as well as one-of-a-kind art from Cynthia Cummens. Here he is posing with Ahsoka's lightsaber that he signed for a special fan.

Read more... )
bonniegrrl: (bananakin)


WonderCon 2009: Best Costumes
Words/Photos: Bonnie Burton

Half the fun of going to WonderCon every year in San Francisco is seeing all the costumed fans who dress up as superheroes, pirates, steampunkers, movie and video game characters and even Muppets!

We've already profiled our favorite Star Wars costumes this year, but here's a list of some of the other costumes we couldn't get enough of.


Superheroes:
It's just not a comic book conventions without fans dressing like characters in actual comic books. Little kids and growups alike don masks and capes to wander through the convention floor looking for crime and photos ops. As an added bonus, Batman actor Adam West attended WonderCon this year and got to see all variations of the masked man he made so famous.


Watchmen:
Just in time for the March release of the Watchmen movie, fans dressed up as their favorite characters like Rorschach, Silk Spectre and Sally Jupiter. No Doctor Manhattans were spotted, but then again it takes dedication to show up to WonderCon blue and naked.


Yip Yip Martians:
If you grew up watching Sesame Street, you'll recognize the interplanetary visitors called the Yip-Yips -- nicknamed for their yip yip language. They seemed right at home yipping around WonderCon.

Read more... )
bonniegrrl: (Stormie)


WonderCon 2009: Best Star Wars Costumes
Words/Photos: Bonnie Burton

Even though San Francisco's WonderCon is much smaller than the epic San Diego Comic-Con International, you literally can't walk past a booth without bumping into a costumed fan.

Each year WonderCon gets a little bit bigger which means more and more fans dressed as superheroes, video game characters, horror film icons, steampunkers, vampires, dragons, pirates, manga and anime favorites, and of course, Star Wars characters.

As usual members of the 501st and Rebel Legion were out in full Force. Here's a recap of some of the best Star Wars costumes we spotted at WonderCon 2009.


What a Trooper!
It just isn't a convention without spotting 501st Legion members dressed as clone troopers and stormtroopers. The 501st always impress with their custom-made body armor, but it's their patience with hundreds of people who want their photos taken with them every five steps that make them real troopers. If you want to learn more about the 501st Legion, check out: Inside the Fighting 501st.


Rebel, Rebel!
Next up, the Rebel Legion. These fans dress as Jedi, Rebel Pilots, Princess Leias and more. At this year's WonderCon they could be seen hanging out with the 501st or I suppose infiltrating the Empire depending on how you look at it. If you'd like to find out more about them, visit the Official Rebel Legion site here.


Darth Vader
While The Clone Wars may be taking fandom my storm, Darth Vader still dominates all the photo ops at WonderCon. He's not called a Sith Lord for nothing.

Read more... )
bonniegrrl: (Devil Horns)
Say NO to American Apparel in the Mission!
If you live in San Francisco, you might want to take a sec to write local officials about how important it is NOT to let commercial clothing chain American Apparel to open a store at 988 Valencia @ 20th St.

San Francisco prides itself on it's personality and uniqueness, which will partly die if the Mission is allowed to turn into strip-mall central. It's one of the few places left in the city that shows off San Francisco's best traits, and what tourists yearn to see. Put American Apparel downtown where they belong with the other chain stores.

They really do count how many pro vs con letters they receive and the planning commission hearing is this Thursday the Feb. 5th at 2:30pm so time is a-wasting!

Sample Letter for you to customize:

Subject: 988 Valencia St. Case #2008.0720C

I'm writing to voice my opposition to the application for conditional use permit by
American Apparel at 988 Valencia St. The Mission District is mercifully free of
cookie cutter chain stores and should stay that way! It is a vibrant collection of
unique shops and restaurants and draws people from all over the city and the world
to discover it's treasures. Please do not allow American Apparel or any other
formula retailer to sully our neighborhood.

--------------
Who to send it to:

Pilar LaValley
San Francisco Planning Department
Pilar.Lavalley@sfgov.org

Bevan Dufty
District 8 Supervisor
Bevan.Dufty@sfgov.org

David Campos
District 9 Supervisor
David.Campos@sfgov.org

Christina Olague
President of the SF Planning Commission
c_olague@yahoo.com

Lawrence B. Badiner
Zoning Administrator
San Francisco Planning Department
Larry.Badiner@sfgov.org

Gavin Newsom
Mayor of San Francisco
Gavin.Newsom@sfgov.org
bonniegrrl: (sophiebone)
Say NO to Calif. Pet Vet Tax Bill

Hello everyone:

We are sending this to our California animal lovers and asking you all to read the following and then make a quick call to Sacramento.

It's no secret that California is in dire need of money, but the governor is proposing that pets be considered 'luxuries' and therefore a 9% to 10% tax should be levied on services rendered by vets. While most of us can afford such a tax, others will be pushed beyond their ability to pay, resulting in the abandonment of many pets.

Please protest this tax by calling Sacramento. The number is to an automated survey at the governor's office. The call is not free, but it It will take less than a minute and will cost very little.

Dial: 916-445-2841

The numbers to press in response to the questions are: 1 - 5 - 1 - 2 (i.e., 1 = for English; 5 = to transfer to veterinary tax proposal; 1 = to choose to comment on the veterinary tax proposal; and 2 = to oppose the tax.

Take a moment and take action NOW. Please tell your friends and ask them to do the same.
bonniegrrl: (R2)

(photo from San Francisco Bay Area Murals: Communities Create Their Muses 1904-1997 by Timothy W. Drescher)

Droid Billboard Art Promotes Nutrition
words: Bonnie Burton

When Star Wars debuted in theaters everywhere in 1977, fans everywhere couldn't get enough of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Han Solo, Darth Vader and the droid duo of C-3PO and R2-D2. Fans paid tribute to their favorite characters with filk songs, comics, fanzines and street art.

During this time, San Francisco artist and muralist Xavier Viramontes joined other artists from the Galeria de la Raza to send positive messages to neighboor kids living in the Mission District. They had become frustrated with all the billboards promoting cigarettes and liquor, so they "appropriated" one of the street-level billboards on Bryant Street by painting over it with positive messages for the community. Over the years the billboard has been home to murals painted by both local and guest artists.

In 1977, Viramontes painted his "Avoid Junk Food" billboard which featured none other than the helpful droids C-3PO and R2-D2 as they explained which healthy foods are good sources of minerals and vitamins.

Check out the full image here.

The billboard has since be repainted, but you can learn more about it and other murals in the book San Francisco Bay Area Murals: Communities Create Their Muses 1904-1997 by Timothy W. Drescher, published by Pogo Press.

----------
SOURCE: Official Starwars.com Blog
bonniegrrl: (Default)


San Francisco Guardian Election Guide

The biggest ballot issue I'm most nervous that will pass is State Ballot Measure Proposition 98. If people vote yes on this -- it overturns rent control in the state. Sadly the bill is worded so that it's geared torwards protecting homeowners as opposed to renters. And because it's STATE-wide, I imagine there's more homeowners in Calif overall as opposed to renters.

I can guarantee you that if rent control is abolished in San Francisco, landlords (mine included) will raise rent so high that a lot of us will be out on the streets. And that scares the living daylights out of me. I also have a pitbull mix as a pet, which means if I DO have to move to something affordable, many landlords refuse to rent to tenants with pitbulls because of house insurance rules against the breed.

So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE VOTE NO on PROPOSITION 98!!!
bonniegrrl: (headache)
Moms mobilize to stop moth spraying
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
SOURCE: SFGate

The vision of airplanes rumbling slowly over San Francisco, spraying a pesticide mist on parks and playgrounds, has now mobilized one of the most effective lobbying groups in the world -- Moms.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture's plan to eradicate the light brown apple moth with aerial spraying over the city this summer was already in an uphill fight. But when 100 or so mothers and kids showed up at City Hall on Monday afternoon with signs like "Keep Your Spray Off My Baby," it was clear that the battle had entered a new phase.

"Nothing gets people more irate than a government institution spraying their kids from a plane," said Jared Blumenfeld, director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. "It's a bad movie. And nobody wants to be in that movie."
Read more... )
bonniegrrl: (Photo)


Lunar eclipse with Sutro Tower blinking in the distance...
bonniegrrl: (Kick)
Slacker Guys and Striver Girls
When lazy men become projects for career women...
By Mary Spicuzza
Published: November 14, 2007
(from SFWeekly.com)
Read more... )
bonniegrrl: (headache)
Just passing this message along to anyone who lives in Marina/CowHollow or visits friend there...

Be safe people!

--------------

Dear Friends,

After several days of rumors and seeing a piece on the 11:00 news, I
finally confirmed that they're have been 11 attacks on women AND men in the Marina in the past 3 weeks. This afternoon I spoke with two patrolling cops and another officer eating lunch at the Marina Deli.

The attacks have been fairly consistent - primarily on Chestnut Street, a
few near Fillmore and Greenwich, two to three males dressed in all black
wearing Halloween skeleton masks, REAL guns (one has said to be brandishing a
machine gun), average height, race unknown. All of the attacks have
occurred at night or early morning, all of the women/men have been robbed of
everything (jewelry, backpacks, purses, phones, sunglasses, etc...), some of
been physically harmed and attacked, all have been threatened with guns.
One woman was forced into her apartment building. Victims have been
grabbed right in the middle of the street and sidewalks. Also - several
stores have been robbed at gunpoint by similar men - the police believe
this could be a gang from the Tenderloin or Western Addition area.

The cops have advised us to do several things:
Read more... )

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