Planes and people on USS Midway’s flight deck.

USS Midway visitor takes photograph with selfie stick next to aircraft launching Shooter mannequin.
USS Midway visitor takes photograph with selfie stick next to aircraft-launching Shooter mannequin.

I hope you enjoy a few photos I took recently of planes and people (and helicopters) on the flight deck of San Diego’s USS Midway Museum. The historic aircraft carrier served longer than any other American carrier in the 20th century, spanning five decades from 1945 to 1992. Countless amazing stories have been lived by thousands serving aboard the USS Midway, and many of those stories continue today as docents and volunteers relate their personal shipboard experiences to visitors from around the world. San Diego’s unique aircraft carrier museum, now over ten years old, hosts over a million visitors a year.

Midway’s large flight deck, enlarged from 2.8 to 4 acres in 1966, today features a couple dozen restored aircraft that represent different eras of modern military history. The internet is jammed with pages showing and describing these aircraft in detail, so I thought I’d just provide a quick flavor of what it’s like to walk out on the flight deck on a typical San Diego day. If you’d like to take the cool self-guided tour of the ship, which I highly recommend, plan to spend at least an hour!

Lady walks past F-14 Tomcat fighter jet on USS Midway aircraft carrier's flight deck.
Lady walks past F-14 Tomcat fighter jet on USS Midway aircraft carrier’s flight deck.
Tourists at USS Midway Museum walk out onto one of the two horns that project over San Diego Bay.
Tourists at USS Midway Museum walk out onto one of the two horns that project over San Diego Bay.
Sign describes how to read Navy flag signals.
Sign describes how to read Navy flag signals.
Man lingers near F-8 Crusader, the US Navy's first supersonic fighter.
Man lingers near F-8 Crusader, the US Navy’s first supersonic fighter.
People sit on benches listening to a docent talk about launching airplanes from Midway's two steam-powered catapults.
People sit on benches listening to a docent talk about launching airplanes from Midway’s two steam-powered catapults.
Guy checks out A-7 Corsair ready to be launched from powerful catapult, which accelerated aircraft to 170 mph in about 3 seconds!
Guy checks out A-7 Corsair positioned to be launched from powerful catapult, which accelerated aircraft to 170 mph in about 3 seconds!
Young couple takes a look at E-2 Hawkeye, an Airborne Early Warning aircraft.
Young couple takes a look at E-2 Hawkeye, an Airborne Early Warning aircraft.
Looking south from atop the flight deck. Seen are the Unconditional Surrender statue, Tuna Harbor, and the Coronado Bay Bridge.
Looking south from atop the flight deck. Seen are the Unconditional Surrender statue, Tuna Harbor, and the Coronado Bay Bridge.
USS Midway visitors enjoy a sunny San Diego day near EKA-3 Skywarrior.
USS Midway visitors enjoy a sunny San Diego day near EKA-3 Skywarrior.
Visitors find out what it's like inside a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter.
Visitors find out what it’s like inside a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter.
Peering through cockpit of HO3S utility helicopter at the nearby HUP Retriever.
Peering through cockpit of HO3S utility helicopter at the nearby HUP Retriever.
This HO3S Dragonfly, first helicopter aboard the USS Midway in 1948, is undergoing restoration.
This HO3S Dragonfly, first helicopter aboard the USS Midway in 1948, is undergoing restoration.
Docent veteran talks about how aircraft landed on the flight deck using tailhooks and arresting cables.
Docent veteran talks about how aircraft landed on the flight deck using a tailhook and multiple arresting cables.
Exhibit on Midway's LSO Platform shows how Navy pilots landed in difficult conditions, relying on optical guidance.
Exhibit on Midway’s LSO Platform shows how Navy pilots landed in difficult conditions, relying on optical guidance.
Navy pilot mannequin in flight suit stands near FA-18 Hornet, painted as a TOPGUN enemy aircraft.
Navy pilot mannequin in flight suit stands near FA-18 Hornet, painted as a TOPGUN enemy aircraft.
A-6 Intruder bomber on display near USS Midway's superstructure.
A-6 Intruder bomber on display near USS Midway’s superstructure.
Volunteers work to restore SH-2 Seasprite, beyond orange nose of H-34 Seabat.
Volunteers work to restore SH-2 Seasprite, beyond orange nose of H-34 Seabat.
The huge flight deck of the USS Midway Museum hosts visitors from around the world, special military-related events, decades of history, and never-ending activity on San Diego Bay.
The huge flight deck of the USS Midway Museum hosts visitors from around the world, special military-related events, decades of history, and never-ending activity on San Diego Bay.

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Huge building wraps and banners hung for Comic-Con!

Several huge Minority Report banners have been hung on the Hilton parking garage for 2015 San Diego Comic-Con.
Several huge Minority Report banners have been hung on the Hilton parking garage for the upcoming 2015 San Diego Comic-Con.

I got off work early today, so I took the trolley down to the San Diego Convention Center and walked around looking to photograph cool 2015 Comic-Con preparations. The main thing I noticed was that several gigantic building wraps and banners are being installed at this very moment! One week to go until Comic-Con, and things should soon start getting interesting!

A gigantic orange Conan O’Brien building wrap is being applied to the side of the Marriott Hotel facing the San Diego Convention Center.
A gigantic orange Conan O’Brien building wrap is being applied to the side of the Marriott Hotel facing the San Diego Convention Center.
A suspended platform is used to adhere panels of a The Last Ship building wrap to windows of the shining Marriott Marquis.
A suspended platform is used to adhere panels of The Last Ship building wrap to shining windows of the Marriott Marquis.
Major preparations have begun the week before 2015 San Diego Comic-Con!
Major preparations have begun the week before 2015 San Diego Comic-Con!

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Super cool street murals on two Hillcrest walls.

Mermaids are one element in cool street art on wall of The Merrow.
Mermaids are an element in street art painted on outside wall of The Merrow.

Check out these photos of two building walls in Hillcrest. Both border a short driveway and tiny parking lot on University Avenue, next to The Merrow, a bar that features great live music, and Tabletop Commons, a cool eatery where diners can also play a huge assortment of games.

After looking at the names on one mural, and doing some searching on the internet, I believe these were spray painted–at least in part–by the prolific street artist Fizix. If someone knows more, leave a comment!

Ancient ship hull threatened by mines and an underwater plant with huge teeth!
Ship hull threatened by mines and a monstrous underwater plant with huge teeth!
Graffiti lady dances on wall bordering tiny parking lot, across from Tabletop Commons in Hillcrest.
Graffiti lady dances on wall bordering tiny parking lot, across from Tabletop Commons in Hillcrest.
Piano, face and mad swirls of color. More awesome street art in uptown San Diego.
Piano, face and mad swirls of color. Super cool street art in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood.
Another feast for the eyes painted in an art-filled neighborhood.
Another delicious bite of a visual feast.  Lots of urban art can be found in this uptown community.
Stylish figures on wall leading from alley to parking lot of The Merrow and Tabletop Commons.
Fantastic faces on wall next to The Merrow and Tabletop Commons.
Spray paint mural contains Egyptian symbols. A dazzling display of human creativity.
Spray paint mural contains Egyptian symbols and motifs. A dazzling display of human creativity.
Pink abstract cat awaits at edge of Hillcrest alley.
Pink abstract cat awaits at edge of Hillcrest alley.

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Rumor: Conan O’Brien to be superhero at Conan-Con.

Conan O'Brien Live at 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, advertised on marquee of the Spreckels Theater Building in downtown San Diego.
Conan O’Brien Live at 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, advertised on marquee of the Spreckels Theater Building in downtown San Diego.

With this important blog post I’d like to address an astonishing rumor.  It concerns popular television personality Conan O’Brien, and his impending visit to San Diego for Comic-Con.  An interpretation of the strange clues and suggestive images photographed on the sign below has produced a startling rumor.

It's rumored that Conan O'Brien, who now possesses vast powers, will once again boldly address The People of Earth from this bus stop next to the NBC building.
It’s rumored that Conan O’Brien, who now possesses vast powers, will once again boldly address The People of Earth from this bus stop strategically located next to the NBC building.
Upon closer inspection, the orange bus stop sign appears to contain fascinating and possibly meaningful markings.
Upon closer inspection, the orange bus stop sign appears to contain fascinating and possibly meaningful markings.
Conan, it is rumored, will emerge at the San Diego Comic-Con as a full fledged superhero, battling for the justice of all humankind.
Conan, it is thought, will emerge at the San Diego Comic-Con as a full fledged superhero, battling for the justice of all humankind.
Fans have begun to wonder what form the nascent superhero will assume. Perhaps he'll resemble a bat.
Fans have begun to wonder what form the nascent superhero will assume. Perhaps he’ll resemble a bat.
Or perhaps Conan O'Brien will wear a Superman-style emblem that warns all villains of his heightened powers, which include flaming hair.
Or perhaps Conan O’Brien will wear a Superman-style emblem that warns all troublemakers of his amazing superpowers, which include flaming hair.
Odds are he'll style himself as Conanman, as that's generally the thing a godlike superhero will do when presented with the opportunity. Please disregard the word immediately below.
Odds are he’ll style himself as Conanman, as that’s generally the thing a godlike superhero will do when presented with the opportunity.
All shall bow down before him. And San Diego Comic-Con, to loud acclamation, will immediately be renamed Conan-Con.
All shall bow down before him. And San Diego Comic-Con, to loud and universal acclamation, will immediately be renamed Conan-Con.
Hopefully the newborn superhero won't suffer a meltdown.
Hopefully the newborn superhero won’t suffer a meltdown.
Or perhaps he'll just remain plain old Conan. And remain happily on TBS.
Or perhaps he’ll just remain plain old funny Conan. And remain happily on TBS.

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Signs and omens…Comic-Con is around the corner!

Superman was spotted walking through the Gaslamp two weeks before San Diego Comic-Con!
Superman has been spotted walking through the Gaslamp two weeks before San Diego Comic-Con!

Two weeks to go until 2015 San Diego Comic-Con! Signs and omens of the super popular event’s coming are popping up around downtown, especially in the Gaslamp Quarter. Here’s what I spotted in the past couple days…

MTS has Comic-Con trolley passes that can be purchased with your smartphone.
MTS has Comic-Con trolley passes that can be purchased with your smartphone.
Game of Thrones advertisement at a trolley station. A Conan Live at Comic-Con trolley wrap passes by.
Game of Thrones advertisement at a trolley station. A Conan Live at Comic-Con trolley wrap passes by.
The latest Comic-Con trolley wrap promotes The Muppets! Yea!
The latest Comic-Con trolley wrap promotes soon to debut The Muppets television series on ABC!
Kermit drives a trolley full of Muppet fun. Naked frogs. Egotistical pigs. Welcome to Hollywood.
Kermit drives a trolley full of Muppet fun. Naked frogs. Egotistical pigs. Welcome to Hollywood.
Miss Piggy gets her own personal section, because she's such a big star.
Miss Piggy gets her own personal section, because she’s such a big star.
Who attending Comic-Con wouldn't love to have Kermit driving them on the San Diego trolley?
Who attending Comic-Con wouldn’t love to have Kermit driving them on the San Diego trolley?
Shops in downtown San Diego have stocked up on superhero gear for coming throngs of pop culture fans and cosplayers.
Shops in downtown San Diego have stocked up on superhero gear for coming throngs of pop culture fans and cosplayers.
Shirt in store window features Darth Vader saying: "Soy tu padre, mijo."
Shirt in store window features Darth Vader saying: “Soy tu padre, mijo.”
Here come Batman, Thor, Wonder Woman and other powerful heroes. Villains in San Diego, beware!
Here come Batman, Thor, Wonder Woman and other powerful heroes. Villains in San Diego, beware!
Trust me. I'm a superhero. The San Diego Trading Company on Fifth Avenue will have lots of Comic-Con deals, so swing on by! The lady at the counter is really nice!
Trust me. I’m a superhero. The San Diego Trading Company on Fifth Avenue will have lots of Comic-Con deals, so swing on by! The lady at the counter is really nice!
Comic-Con Weekend at the Onyx Room is an unofficial party many will attend!
Comic-Con Weekend at the Onyx Room is an unofficial party many will attend!
The House of Blues asks whether you're ready to rock. San Diego will be rocking big time in a couple weeks! I can't wait!
The House of Blues asks whether you’re ready to rock. San Diego will be rocking big time in a couple weeks! I can’t wait!
The Hulk is busting loose! He's coming to San Diego!
The Hulk is busting loose! He’s coming to San Diego!

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Ocean Beach Public Library needs activism and help!

The Ocean Beach Public Library needs your activism and help!
The Ocean Beach Public Library needs your activism and help!

I wasn’t expecting to write this blog. But I have to.

During this morning’s Ocean Beach Street Fair, I took a few photos of a smiling lady in a Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat hat. My senses were so dazzled by all the cool sights and activity round about me that I didn’t really notice the important purpose of her booth.

As I left the festival, I popped into the local library to use the restroom. And there, standing behind the front counter, was the Cat in the Hat hat lady!  She greeted me–she was a librarian! She had noticed me taking photos.

They’re for a blog, I said. Help us raise a million dollars, she said. I laughed, promised I’d try!

It wasn’t until this afternoon, as I looked closely at my photographs, that I realized she wasn’t kidding! The Ocean Beach branch of the San Diego Public Library really does need to raise money! Check out the poster which I enlarged!

So now I have to keep a promise.

Please help the Ocean Beach public library raise funds for much needed improvements!

Here is their Facebook page. It contains contact info.

Is this a cause you’d like to support? You might like to help them out! The OB Library is overdue for expansion. Spread the word! Let’s get it done!

Why expand the library? The children's area is crowded and too small! No space for teen and adult activities. The computer area is crowded, unpleasant and outdated!
Why expand the library? The children’s area is crowded and too small! No space for teen and adult activities. The computer area is crowded, unpleasant and outdated!
The library is the creative heart of Ocean Beach.
The library is the creative heart of Ocean Beach!

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Cool photos of fun, funky Ocean Beach Street Fair!

Cool skateboard bench by the 36th Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off Festival on Newport Avenue.
Cool skateboard bench by the 36th Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off Festival on Newport Avenue.

Late this morning I spent a little time at one of the coolest summer events in Southern California!

The 36th Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off Festival was being held along Newport Avenue, drawing a huge crowd from all around San Diego. Many consider OB their favorite beach community. Once you see these photos, you might understand why!

A masked street performer shakes hands with a kid on a scooter. The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier stretches in the background.
A masked street performer shakes hands with a kid on a scooter. The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier stretches in the background.
San Diegans and Obetians check out a street vendor selling colorful t-shirts.
San Diegans and Obetians check out a street vendor selling colorful t-shirts.
Fun, unusual art all over the place. Lots to see at this legendary summer street festival in a laid-back, funky Southern California beach community.
Fun, unusual art all over the place. Lots to see at this legendary summer street festival in a laid-back, funky Southern California beach community.
Creative people had cool stuff on display and for sale in the Artists' Alley.
Creative people had cool stuff on display and for sale in the Artists’ Alley.
Kids were invited to express themselves with pottery, painting and chalk art.
Kids were invited to express themselves with pottery, painting and chalk art.
Young artists use their imaginations as they work behind a utility box decorated with parrots in Ocean Beach.
Young artists use their imaginations as they work behind a utility box decorated with parrots in Ocean Beach.
Public art mural on one wall depicts the annual Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off.
Public art mural on one wall depicts the annual Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off.
Just a typical scene from this awesome street festival.
Just a typical scene from this awesome street festival.
Someone checks out large works of colorful art in OB.
Someone checks out large works of colorful art in OB.
One booth had all sorts of awesome, unique decorative surfboards!
One booth had all sorts of awesome, unique decorative surfboards!
And, of course, food was everywhere!
And, of course, food was everywhere!
Ocean Beach is the scene of many different happy lifestyles and diverse, life-affirming interests.
Ocean Beach is the scene of many different happy lifestyles and diverse, life-affirming interests.
It wasn't even lunchtime and some folks were already chowing down.
It wasn’t even lunchtime and some folks were ready to chow down.
If these cookies don't make you drool, nothing will!
If these cookies don’t make you drool, nothing will!
All sorts of cool surf shops line Newport Avenue, where the festival was held.
All sorts of cool surf shops line Newport Avenue, where the festival was held.
Rock and Roll San Diego was teaching kids how to play drums, electric guitar and more!
Rock and Roll San Diego was teaching kids how to play drums, electric guitar and more!
A young man is training to be a rock superstar!
A young man is training to be a rock superstar!
Street musicians in OB next to a storefront on a summer day.
Street musicians in OB next to a storefront on a summer day.
Young and old were practicing maintaining balance on a board that mimics surfing.
Young and old were practicing maintaining balance on a board that simulates surfing.
Yeah, another photo of food getting ready...
Yeah, another photo of food getting ready…
Ocean Beach is jam-packed with amazing urban art, almost anywhere you walk!
Ocean Beach is jam-packed with amazing urban art, almost anywhere you walk!
People were just getting started with the community mural project!
People were just getting started with the community mural project!
Anyone could participate in painting a small square in this large mural!
Anyone could participate in painting a small square in this large mural!
Another street mural on a wall above a station where people could park their bikes.
Another street mural on a wall above a station where people could park their bikes.
Surfboards on top, cool decals plastered around. Let's walk past the Hodadmobile and check out something amazing...
Surfboards on top, cool decals plastered around. Let’s walk past the Hodadmobile and check out something amazing…
Burgers are famous at Hodad's, and so is the skateboarding demonstration beside their restaurant.
Burgers are famous at Hodad’s, and so is the skateboarding demonstration beside their restaurant.
Skater catches huge air as he performs trick from a ramp, wowing everybody watching!
Skater catches huge air as he performs trick from a ramp, wowing everybody watching!
Lots of skilled skateboarders were taking turns on this small half-pipe.
Lots of skilled skateboarders were taking turns on this small half-pipe.
Oh, man--lots of very cool action!
Oh, man–lots of very cool action!
Legendary Hodad's had a burger-eating competition!
Legendary Hodad’s had a burger-eating competition!
Some guys walking along near porta-potties by the beer garden.
Some guys walking along near porta-potties by the beer garden.
Guy chills with a Starbucks by funky sculptures on Newport Avenue near the beach. He's listening to a really great concert.
Guy chills with a Starbucks by funky sculptures on Newport Avenue near the beach. He’s listening to a really great concert.
The local band Markland performs on the Main Stage at the 2015 Ocean Beach Street Fair.
The local band Markland performs on the Main Stage at the 2015 Ocean Beach Street Fair.
Justin Markland peers at me over drums while Randy Jones entertains the Ocean Beach crowd with irrepressible vocal and physical energy.
Justin Markland peers at me over drums while Randy Jones entertains the Ocean Beach crowd with irrepressible vocal and physical energy.
Just a pic to provide some flavor of what I saw this morning.
Just a pic to provide some flavor of what I saw this morning.
Surfers come up across the beach while a guy relaxes on the sea wall.
Surfers come up across the beach while a guy relaxes on the sea wall.
People walk behind the Main Stage along the beach, toward the Ocean Beach lifeguard station. An overcast day with a few sprinkles, but it didn't matter!
People walk behind the Main Stage along the beach, toward the Ocean Beach lifeguard station. An overcast day with a few sprinkles, but it didn’t matter!
People buy tickets to sample special concoctions at the famous chili contest!
People buy tickets to sample special concoctions at the famous chili contest!
This tent featured one of the chili cook-off contestant teams.
This tent featured one of the chili cook-off contestant teams.
Stirring and scooping from one big pot of hot chili!
Stirring and scooping from one big pot of hot chili!
Unfortunately, this poor dog can't participate without a ticket. And it seems like he knows it.
Unfortunately, this poor dog can’t participate without a ticket. And it seems like he knows it.
Perhaps this chili was the winner. Looks tasty, if you don't mind that it's served from a toilet!
Perhaps this chili was the winner. Looks tasty, if you don’t mind that it’s served from a toilet!

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