I’ve been looking for a system to store my pin collection which would also make it easier to find specific pins for wearing. I found two tutorials on YouTube and made tweaks of my own to fit my needs. In the process of organizing my pins I found that a minor modification was useful for storing my buttons. I don’t actively collect buttons, but I receive so many from Comic-Cons and various events. I also have a collection of buttons from my time working at Disneyland.
As always, feel free to customize this system as you wish.
1 large 3-ring binder
Self-adhesive felt sheets
Cutting mat and rotary cutter or scissors
Option 1 Directions:
Remove the adhesive from the back of the foam, and lay the foam on your clean work surface with the adhesive side facing up.
Peel back the top one inch of the backing from the felt. (Working from on the short side is easiest.)
Line up the edge sof the exposed section of the adhesive side of the felt to the adhesive side of the foam. Once they are attached, slide the rest of the backing paper off of the felt as you slide your other hand along the felt pressing it onto the foam.
Once the felt is completely attached to the foam, use a cutting mat and rotary cutter to trim the sheet to the size you need. I needed my sheets to be approximately 8 inches by 10 and a half inches. Hint: Trim a small amount on each side rather than the entire amount at once. The sheets of felt are 9-inches by 11 inches and the foam was 9 inches by 12 inches. I cut the length to 11 inches, then the other edge to 10 and half inches. I cut one side of the short length from 9 inches to 8 and one half inches, then the other short side was cut down to 8 and one quarter inches.
Nostalgia Con reunited Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada for a CHiPs reunion panel. I watched CHiPs religiously as a kid, and I was really excited to see this panel.
Erik spoke at length about what inspired him to become a police officer in real life, and it has nothing to do with CHiPs. I won’t go into details, but he was visiting an office were officers were part of a team targeting child exploitation.
Larry and Erik touched briefly on their past conflicts. Erik Estrada told the story of his on-set accident during film a scene of CHiPs. Larry’s former military training kicked in and Erik credits Larry with saving his life. Their relationship improved after that, and Erik proclaimed his love for his brother.
It feels like they are just two very different people, and there were other issues onset which created an environment ripe for arguments, but it was quite enjoyable to see these two men laugh together thirty (30) years later.
Nostalgia Con is a fan convention celebrating the 1970s to 1980s. Nostalgia Con was held September 28 to 29, 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center. It was a very small convention, but I enjoyed the panels and seeing all of the great fan cars on display.
Toyota 4×4 truck (Back to the Future)
Sports Almanac from Back to the Future II
The Flux Capacitors performed on the convention floor during the convention. There was a Boombox Museum with so many boomboxes of various sizes. Remember when bigger was better for portable radios?!
There was a panel featuring three of the original MTV VJs telling stories of how MTV began, doing cocaine with rock stars, and hosting a 24 hour worldwide concert while simultaneously partying with rock stars. Other panels included Dawn Wells from Gilligan’s Island, Sean Astin and Corey Feldman talking about The Goonies, Christopher Lloyd, and CHiPs to name a few.
I wish there had been more attendees at the convention, but I hope they return in future years.
After the screening we were sent across the street to after party at Highland Park Bowl. Highland Park Bowl is basically a bag with several bowling lanes. I loved the historic and vintage vibe. There was a small selection of pizza flavors to choose from for our free slice, and it was pretty good pizza. They also had themed cocktails the bars and our punch cards gave us two cocktails. The entire place was themed and decorated for the Hunters show including photographs on the staircase. I apologize for the blurry photos of the staircase photos. I was trying not to block the stairs as they led to the busy restrooms.
There was also a sword swallower performer in a side room where another bar was located and a cotton candy maker. Across the hallway there was a photo booth area where we were given mustache disguises. The photo booth took a photo and a gif, which were emailed separately. I received the emails within 10 minutes of taking the photos. We stopped by the “merchandise” booth located near the entrance/exit of the bowling alley and collected our free “bowling” sock, which was part of our punch card. The lady working the booth asked us if would like a t-shirt, too, and gave us each one. It’s the same shirt all of the bar/bowling alley staff was wearing and wasn’t part of the punch card freebies.
The second Line Up I participated in was for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This Line Up was also organized by LiningUp.Net and held at the TCL Chinese Theatre Imax in Hollywood, California. This was a shorter line from 7pm on December 13 to 7pm (first showing of Rogue One) on December 15, 2016. As always we raised money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, and chose our seats in order of total time spent in the Line. More details on how time is tallied is on my recap of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Line.
Gilberto Picasso in Cassian Andor costume
Grimlock as an Jedi Ewok
Brian Lee as a Jedi
Thankfully, it wasn’t as cold during this line as it was for the last half of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Line Up. This is the first Line Up where I watched the movie with the rest of the Line members, and it was a blast.
The TCL Chinese Theatre Imax hosted a costume contest in the forecourt a few hours before the 7pm showtime. First prize was a 55” TCL television. Two of the judges were Daniel Logan (young Boba Fett), and cosplayer Ivy Doomkitty. A few of our Line members competed in the costume contest, but the win went to this amazing Amidala costume made and worn by Dawn Bright.
We had a few more hours before the show to hang out and do more press. There were a lot of press outlets there for the costume contest, and they stayed and interviewed several people from the Line and other fans including yours truly. Then we cleaned up and put our belongings in our cars before getting into a literal line on side walk along Hollywood Boulevard until the theater staff began letting us into the theater for the movie. The Lining Up group gathered in front of the Imax screen with our lightsabers alight and took a group photo. Then we made our way back to our seats to watch Rogue One. After the screening, the Line members and organizers went upstairs to the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on the third level of the Hollywood and Highland Center for the after party.
Costume Contest Judges
For more information on Lining Up here. Like their Facebook page, and you can follow them on Instagram (@LiningUp_Net) and Twitter (@LiningUpNet), too!
Information on the amazing work the Starlight Children’s Foundation does can be found here, and you can donate to our cause here.
You can check out this video with some interviews with the costume contest participants and yours truly (but they misspelled my last name).
I’m not sure how I heard about the line for Star Wars : The Force Awakens, but I know I signed up on Eventbrite. The line up was organized by LiningUp.Net. I had already bought Star Wars marathon tickets for an AMC Theater for my niece and myself, but I wanted to see what the line up was all about. I signed up on the first day in the forecourt of the historic TCL Chinese Theatre Imax. I brought my folding camp chair and a bag of snacks and found a spot to hang out. The line event began on December 5, 2015 and ended on December 17, 2015 with the first show of The Force Awakens followed by an after party inside the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on the 3rd level of the Hollywood & Highland Center.
You’re immediate thought may be “It’s going to be stinky with all those unwashed people.” That’s not true. Here are the logistics for how the Line Up is run in the time of internet pre-purchased tickets. You sign in with the organizer manning the check-in table. A release is completed and signed when you first sign up/check-in at the table. You can leave the line for a short time (to smoke, go to the bathroom, grab food) as long as it’s a short-time, I think about 20-30 minutes. If you leave for a longer time, you need to check-out with the check-in/out table. So it’s easy to run home to take a shower, get more clean clothes, etc. The organizers tabulate the amount of time each person spends in line. The person who has the most hours gets to select their seats/tickets first, the person with second highest time selects their seats/tickets second, etc. I believe it was the Star Wars: The Last Jedi line they added a QR code to our name badges to use an app to tabulate the hours. It was easier for the organizers and for the rest of us, because there was more than one person who could check us in/out.
It was easy to make some friends, but I began the day by just hanging out with myself and observing the crowd. I read a little, played on my phone, and people watched. In case you are unaware, the block of Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Orange is very tourist heavy. Many of these tourists come into the forecourt of the Chinese to see the famous hand and footprints. The weather was nice for December around the mid-70s, but I brought a lap blanket, scarf, beanie, and warm gloves. There were other newbies like myself as well as veterans from past lines (beginning with Episode I) some of whom hadn’t seen each other for several years. The purpose of the line is obviously to see the newest Star Wars film, but with pre-purchasing of tickets, it isn’t necessary. LiningUp.Net uses the line up as a way to raise money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
The forecourt of the TCL Chinese Imax Theatre is private property which is “fenced” off from the public once the theater closes for the night. They have their own security personnel stationed in the forecourt to keep people out. The staff of the TCL Chinese was fantastic in supporting the Line Up group, allowing us to use the restrooms throughout the day and night. Being able to sleep on top of the hand and footprints of Hollywood’s famous past and present is an amazing opportunity. We had fun calling “dibs” on certain celebrities’ hand prints each night. I’ve slept on Natalie Wood’s prints and Marilyn Monroe, but I sat on Denzel Washington’s prints a lot during the Line.
Tents being set up for the premiere
Tents being set up for the premiere
I didn’t camp overnight the first weekend and worked the following week, but I took some vacation time so that I could camp out all day and night for the second weekend through to opening night. Of course the temperatures dropped significantly the second weekend of the Line Up, and I hate the cold. I’m a Southern California native, of course I hate the cold. It was also raining off and on so that didn’t help me to keep warm. I had packed the free rain poncho I had received in my swag bag from the Oscars bleachers in 2013, so I put all of my stuff onto my chair and placed the poncho over everything to keep them dry. I then went to the “$10 souvenir store” (in reality everything is $5—every single day so don’t believe the hawkers they have outside) to see if they had any umbrellas as I had left mine at home. I did go home after 2 days to take a shower and grab my regular umbrella for the rest of the week.
There are a lot of news outlets who came to cover the Line Up, so be prepared for that. You don’t have to do press if you don’t want to, but you may be on camera which may be an issue if you called out of work saying you’re sick as some people have done. We also had some special guests stop by the Line Up such as Anthony Daniels (C3-PO) who spent quite a bit of time taking photos with us and telling us a story about C3-PO footprints in the forecourt. Ray Park (Darth Maul) stopped by when it was raining a little (it had been raining off and on all day), and did a little lightsaber “sparring” with a few of the Line members. I may put some short (and shaky) video of that on my YouTube page.
Taking a photo of the Star Wars footprints with Anthony Daniels
Anthony Daniels telling a story about the Star Wars footprints.
There was a lot of noise from the tents being set up on Hollywood Boulevard for the Red Carpet Premiere which was scheduled for December 14, 2015. We had to clear the area by 6am the day of the premiere, and we were all given time in line during the premiere festivities until we were able to return. The premiere had closed off 3 or 4 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard to traffic. On the day of the premiere, there were security stations with metal detectors on every corner. This made it impossible to line up on a side street during the time we were cleared out from the forecourt. I didn’t return to the Line Up after the premiere except for a brief visit to say hello on my way to the Star Wars marathon at the AMC Theatres in Burbank. I made some great friends during my first Line, and these became deeper friendships during the following Lines and beyond.
Ray Park visiting the Line
Ray Park lightsaber sparring with Line members.
You can get more information on the Star Wars Lines at LiningUp.Net. Like their Facebook page here.
A recent trip to Las Vegas gave me a day to finally check out the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.ON. (Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network) located at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino. I accessed the Avengers STATION by way of the street entrance which is on the Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard) instead of going into the casino. The entrance and exit for the interactive exhibit is a store which has plenty of photo opportunities with various character cardboard standees as well as huge wall murals of the Avengers Characters featuring the images of the actors who play them rather than the comic character images.
I prepaid for my ticket via Groupon which included the 3D (lenticular) commemorative ticket (an $8 value) and an Agent ID Card. I highly recommend this deal if you are interested in the ticket and ID card. I checked in around 1:40pm and was assigned a 2pm tour time. The tours are self-guided, but you are let into the attraction in groups of approximately 20-30 people.
I wandered around the store and took some photos of the various photo ops. There is also a green screen photo booth in the store which takes cash and cards. I chose the $10 option (though my card was only charged $9), and followed the directions. There were 4 photos taken and the machine gives you clues as how to pose. You also see what the scene is on the screen in front of you so you can pose accordingly. When all four photos were taken, you have a choice of printouts. I chose the 2 strips of 4 photos plus one 4×6 inch print. You select the photo for the 4×6 print from the four options you have taken. The prints will dispense on the side of the machine.
I checked in a few minutes before 2pm at the photo area which is also a large green “screen” wall. They have a few toy props you can use, and you are given a photo ticket. Then small groups are led into a briefing room where S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill will give you instructions. Then two doors open for to the entrance of the attraction. Many of the displays are interactive and you can play a game to test your reflexes, or sit on Captain America’s Harley Davidson for photos. There are electronic displays which change on a loop working as a dossier on each Avenger as you walk through the attraction. There are also many costumes on display including seven Iron Man suits and the Hulk Buster suit.
There’s a fun Hulk photo-op where you can give your best Hulk roar or “smash” which is perfect for a Boomerang app or short video. You can also test your strength as well as watch how Bruce Banner’s brain changes as he morphs into Hulk.
You can try to access uniforms (costumes) of Maria Hill, Nick Fury or Black Widow, but you will be denied and the reasons for denied access change. Apparently, I was denied access due to some Hydra nanotechnology being detected.
Ants on the floor will guide you to Ant Man’s location. It’s okay to step on them; they’ll move out of the way. Thor and Loki have their dossiers in a room together where you can test if you are worthy to pick up Mjolnir.
After checking out the Iron Man suits, groups of S.T.A.T.I.O.N. trainees will fight Ultron. After you fight Ultron, you exit the attraction and enter the store where you can view the photo you took at the entrance. This is also where you can purchase and/or pick up your Agent ID card with the one of the Avengers and your choice of name.
I feel like I rushed through the attraction without reading any of the dossiers and other information, and I was still inside the attraction for over an hour. Being a self-guided tour there is no time limit and you are free to turn around and go back to previous rooms if you feel you missed something.
I definitely will be going to Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. again, but I will take my time to read everything and do all of the photo ops inside.
The Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. is wonderfully and thoroughly themed and is a must for any Marvel fan. If you are staying at Treasure Island they currently have a 2 for 1 ticket deal which doesn’t include the commemorative ticket nor the Agent ID card. I understand that buying tickets via Treasure Island has an $8 service fee for each ticket as well. I paid $38 on Groupon for my ticket which included the commemorative ticket and an Agent ID card.
Coincidentally, when I returned to our room at Bally’s Captain America: Winter Soldier was on tv so I watched it for the 20+ time to complete my Avengers themed day.
On November 19 and 20, 2016 Netflix hosted a free fan event for their “revival” of Gilmore Girls on the University of California Los Angeles campus. I got there 2 hours early, but I still stood in a line which lasted over an hour.
You were checked in while in line which included being given a wristband and a map of the various activations. My first stop was to take a photo in front of the gazebo, then I went to get some free coffee at Luke’s. My next stop was Taylor’s Olde Fashioned Soda Shoppe where we were given backs of saltwater taffy and small candy stick pieces.
There was also “Kirk’s Button Emporium” where you could select a button of your choice, and this great sign was posted asking patrons to only take one button.
There were some black umbrellas hanging from a few trees for photo ops and they had umbrellas available for the fans to use because of the rain. Each umbrella had “In Omhia Paratus” printed on one side so there were plenty of people taking fun photos.
There was a photo booth inside the Stars Hollow Gazette, and a large tent held “Kim’s Antiques” which contained various “antique” furniture as well as props from the original Gilmore Girls series.
It lightly rained sporadically throughout the day, but the event was a lot of fun and completely worth waiting in lines in the rain.
I headed to a local movie theater which has very low ticket prices in the mornings and matinees to see Avengers: Endgame a fourth time. Since it was part of a smaller theater chain I was hoping they would still have some Avengers/Marvel collector cups and popcorn tins available. Arriving at 10:56am I was still in time to buy a ticket for the 11am show and was seated next to a father with his daughter who appeared to be approximately 8 years old as far I could tell in the darkened theater. This is about this girl and how her responses to Avengers: Endgame really affected me enough for me to still be thinking about it days later.
This little girl was fantastic. She laughed really loud at the funny scenes and was completely engaged in the happenings in the movie. In the early part of the movie Tony Stark is adrift in space with Nebula, and Tony lies down and Nebula comes to check on him. When Tony doesn’t respond to Nebula’s moving his face I heard a sharp intake of breath from the girl. I just thought “just wait.” From what I could tell from the girl’s responses to the movie I believe she’s seen most if not all of the MCU films to date.
Two main instances I want to cover focuses on when Mjolnir goes to Captain America and when the women surround Captain Marvel to assist her in getting the Infinity Stones to Ant-Man and Wasp at the van. When Mjolnir flies into Captain American’s hand most of the audience in the theater applauded and cheered, but the little girl just said “Whaaa?!” quite loudly. I couldn’t help but to laugh. I turned to her and she was looking at her dad (who was sitting between us) confusedly. Her reaction told me that even if she doesn’t know much of the Marvel comics or lore, she knows from the films that only Thor can wield the hammer.
The audience didn’t cheer when the women came to Captain Marvel, but the girl loudly said, “girl power!” and clapped her hands. I looked over at her and she was absolutely beaming at the screen thoroughly enjoying seeing these women kick ass on the screen.
When Thanos and Captain Marvel are fighting for the stones and Thanos pulls out the Power Stone, the girl quietly said, “oh, no.” Later, everyone in the audience cheers when it’s revealed Iron Man has taken the stones out of the gauntlet Tony had made, and the girl jumped to her feet clapping and cheering.
I wasn’t able to talk to the father and daughter duo after the movie as they left just as the credits began, and I left after the six core Avengers’ credits (with the actors’ autographs) finished. The girl’s reaction when the women come to assist Captain Marvel is just another reason why we need more female superheroes and female leaders in television and films. This little girl definitely knew the characters and some of the lore, yet she got the most excited seeing women support another woman and see them fight a common enemy alongside the all of the men. We need to see more females leading figurative and literal battles on screen for the younger generations of all genders.
**Spoiler Warning: this review is based on viewings of Avengers : Endgame and contains spoilers**
Two years ago I wrote a review for WeirdLifeofV.com comparing 4DX and DBox premium theater options available at that time. You can read that review here.
I saw the first shows of the morning for each showing, and both where in 3D.
I saw Avengers : Endgame in in Digital 3D in the MX4D theater at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood at an 8am show time. This was my second experience seeing a film in MX4D the first was for Captain Marvel. I noticed that the wind bursts appear to come from the armrest, near the cup holders. It may also spray a bit of water, but if it did it was so minimal that I don’t recall it happening. There was limited scents, but I noticed the metallic, burning metal smell more than any other scent (it was almost unbearable during Captain Marvel). A nice touch is the rain effect. In the scene where Hawkeye/Ronin is in Tokyo and it’s raining at the end of the sequence. The rain effect is enough that I and a few others covered our popcorn, but not enough to soak you. It doesn’t rain on you during the entire scene out in the rain or you would get soaking wet. The motion for MX4D is mostly “punches” and vibrations of the seats with something to smack your legs for the instances when a character is having their legs swept during a fight sequence.
Something to note is the onscreen warning about the motion effects of MX4D and the 40” minimum height requirement. Also, there are wheelchair spaces with companion seats, but there are no seats with lap belts which the 4DX at the Regal LA Live does have for those who need it (at least they had a few seats with lap belts in December 2016—I didn’t verify these seats this time.)
At the time of my initial review of 4DX there was only one theater in Los Angeles or Orange County to have 4DX which is at the Regal Cinemas at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles. There is now a 4DX theater at the CGV Cinemas in Buena Park, which I’m hoping to check out in the next few months as it is a bit cheaper than the Regal 4DX. We’ll talk about pricing later.
I saw Avengers : Endgame in 4DX at the first showing on a Tuesday at the Regal Cinemas at LA Live. 4DX has sets of 4 seats which are connected together. The seats for 4DX actually move tilting up and down and tilting a bit to the right and left. For example, when the camera swings up during the funeral scene the seats gently swing up along with the camera’s movement. There is a control on the right arm rest to turn off the water effect for your seat. The water effect sprays from the back of the seat in front of you (I don’t know how the effect works for the seats in the front row.) The spray was pretty intense which required me to wipe the water off of my 3D glasses almost every time. It has the same “punching” and leg motion effect as MX4D. Wind effects come from large fans mounted along the right and left sides of the theater. These can be very loud if the scene of the movie you’re watching is quiet. There isn’t a rain effect for the 4DX, and they don’t have a warning image displayed on the screen, but they do show a sort of trailer with full effects before the regular trailers for upcoming movie releases finish. This gives you time to get out if you find you can’t handle it. There is more strobing in the 4DX than I noticed in MX4D leading me to believe that MX4D doesn’t have any. There is minimal scent in 4DX, and I only noticed it when we see Tony Stark at his cabin by the lake. I could hear something being blown/sprayed, but it was a minute or two before I could smell the pine scent. The motion during the last half of the movie was intense. Beginning with Thanos’ attack on the Avengers facility all of the way through to Iron Man winning the battle the seats were moving with the action. In most theaters you feel a rumble in the seats because the sound is too loud, but in 4DX the seats vibrate without blowing out your eardrums.
For pricing, TCL Chinese Theatres has a set pricing of $29 for MX4D in Digital 3D with no senior or child pricing available for any show time. Regal LA Live has 4DX in RealD 3D for $25 (child) up to $29.50 (adult) for afternoon and evening show times. Morning / matinee shows are slightly less. I went on a Tuesday morning. Tuesdays at Regal are $9 for any show if you have their rewards card, which I do. There is a surcharge for premium formats so I paid $17 versus the $25 it would have been without the Regal Rewards card to see Avengers : Endgame in 4DX in 3D.
The CGV Cinemas in Buena park has 4DX tickets in RealD 3D for Avengers : Endgame starting at $21.75 for morning shows up to $26.75 for evening shows and no senior or child pricing available for any show time. I really want to check it out soon since it’s about the same distance from my home as Regal at LA Live is, and I won’t have to deal with downtown LA traffic or parking prices.
4DX packs more of a punch, though I find the fans annoyingly loud and distracting. The 4DX feels more like a ride than a theater, which I really enjoy. The TCL Chinese Theater has better picture quality for all of their screens (especially their Imax which I HIGHLY recommend) the MX4D experience doesn’t match the high ticket price.*
*If you include the parking fees for seeing the movie at Regal LA Live in 4DX versus at the TCL Chinese Theatre in MX4D, they are about equal depending on where you park for LA Live.
Have you tried 4DX or MX4D or any other immersive/premium movie experience? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.