The Beat remarks that maybe Padres games during Comic-con WASN’T such a hot idea. []

The Beat asked [the cab driver taking them to the airport] how traffic had been during the Comic-con/Padres game confluence.

“Oh, that was a fiasco,” she told us.

Having had to skip several trolleys that were indistinguishable from large moving sardine cans, I have to agree. On the other hand, the fireworks display over Petco Park on Saturday night was breathtaking!

Edit: The trolley system is working on untangling the mess for next time:

It was the first time the agency was called upon to overlay its special-event service, which runs between Qualcomm Stadium and the Gaslamp Quarter, with the new Green Line between Santee and Old Town.

Besides a steady stream of passengers at the San Diego Convention Center on what is traditionally the busiest day of the annual comics convention, trolleys carried 8,000 to 9,000 Padres fans. Some fans said they waited far longer than usual for the special-events trains, which normally provide speedier passage to and from the ballpark by bypassing downtown.

With luck the people complaining about the “unseasonable” morning cloud cover have all realized we get the same thing every year. Although I don’t think it usually lasts this far into July. We were standing at the America Plaza transfer station on Thursday morning, watching the fog roll in past the buildings at the south end, but by the time we hit the Gaslamp district for lunch, it was all cleared away.

We noticed an interesting coastal climate zone, though. On the trip down Wednesday afternoon, the clouds came in somewhere around Mission Viejo or San Juan Capistrano and stayed locked in all the way through La Jolla. It finally started clearing up just as we were reaching San Diego. Then on the trip back, a bit later in the afternoon on Sunday, the clouds rolled in as we reached La Jolla and didn’t break up until we reached Mission Viejo. We stopped in San Clemente for coffee (it was a long weekend with lots of walking and not much sleep), and the barista asked us if we’d been to Oceanfest, adding that it wasn’t really a good day for it. We explained we were on our way back from San Diego, he asked whether it was better down there, and we told him that it was warm and clear—but only south of La Jolla.

Late lunch today (there’s a news flash). Heard the last bit of an interview with Rob Zombie about The Devil’s Rejects, which was all over Comic-Con. Interesting perspective on the MPAA rating process, where he actually had to contact the MPAA directly to negotiate down to an R. Apparently after going back and forth on cuts with the studio as a mediator, he got to the point where toning down the villains made them seem less evil. Instead of making a film with violent villains, it was heading toward becoming a violent action film. After another round of calls directly with the ratings people, he apparently managed to get them to agree with him.

Also interesting: The MPAA will let filmmakers show much more graphic violence with a known celebrity than a B-list, cult, or unknown actor. With any commercial film, you know intellectually that the actor isn’t really being killed. But with someone you recognize, you have the added sense that there is no way that (for example) Brad Pitt’s skull is really being ripped open. With an actor you don’t know, your brain doesn’t have that extra disconnect layer and (in theory) takes it closer to face value.

I was looking for info on the “Haunted Hotel” sign I snapped the other day, and discovered that the Whaley House in Old Town San Diego is supposed to be the most haunted house in America.

And it was just down the street from our hotel. We walked past it every morning on our way to the trolley station and every night on the way back. I’d thought about visiting it just out of historical interest, but our days were pretty much taken up by Comic Con.

At least that explains why people were wandering around the place with flashlights and cameras at 11:30 last night.