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The Art of a Downtown Knoxville Walk

Kool-Aid Man!

Kool-Aid Man now comes in new Graffiti Punch flavor! OH, YEAH!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Earlier in October Anne and I drove down through Kentucky and down to Knoxville, Tennessee, to meet a few fabulous folks at Fanboy Expo’s Totally Awesome Weekend, a convention we’d never done before. After we’d had another round of geek fun, we capped off our weekend with quite a bit of sightseeing (including but not limited to a giant dragon)…

After the convention and an elevator ride into the Sunsphere, lunch was an immediate necessity. Other than a restaurant choice pegged through the magic of Google Maps, we didn’t have complicated plans for our downtown wandering — head from point A to B; eat food; marvel at incidental sights along the way. The area in general and one alley in particular caught our eyes and brightened our day.

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Journey to the Heart of the Sunsphere

Sunsphere!

That’s over 266 feet (approx. 81 meters) worth of architectural achievement up there. Of course we had to visit it.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: earlier in October Anne and I drove down through Kentucky and down to Knoxville, Tennessee, to meet a few fabulous folks at Fanboy Expo’s Totally Awesome Weekend, a convention we’d never done before. After we’d had another round of geek fun, we capped off our weekend with quite a bit of sightseeing (including but not limited to a giant dragon).

Knoxville’s most prominent landmark is the Sunsphere, one of two surviving major remnants from the 1982 World’s Fair, but this remnant enjoyed a spot of fame in an episode of The Simpsons. We showed you the iconic exterior from a distance, which for us raised an obvious question: what about the inside?

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Our Fanboy Expo Totally Awesome Weekend 2017 Photos

Ripley and loader!

Ellen Ripley’s Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader from Aliens. Sure enough, she does have a Class 2 rating.

As it worked out, our last out-of-state foray for 2017 took us to the longest-named event of our year. Since 2012 Fanboy Expo has been a staple of the scene in Knoxville, Tennessee. After a presumably successful show in June, this year they branched out to a second show in October, the Fanboy Expo Totally Awesome Weekend. We’ve never been to a basic Fanboy Expo, but we gathered the Totally Awesome Weekend spinoff was built to focus more on the actor guests than on the “comic” in “comic con”. I deduced this not from any public statements on their part, but on the fact that the guest list on their official website listed five (5) comics/animation artists and six tattoo artists. This is abnormal compared to the events held in our usual bailiwicks.

That disparity doesn’t have to be a terrible thing. My wife Anne and I are more satisfied when a show finds a fair balance comics and entertainment guests. This time, however, we saw FBTAW as a companion piece of sort, the flip side of the previous weekend’s Cartoon Crossroads Columbus. There, I’d had the opportunity to overdose on comics; this weekend it was Anne’s turn for a whirlwind reunion tour with familiar faces from the classic TV of her childhood. It was only fair, especially since her birthday’s this coming week.

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Pedestrians Among the Not-So-Pedestrian

Sunsphere! Knoxville, Kentucky

It’s weird how residents of cities with colossal attractions develop an immunity to the awe-inspiring sights they walk past every day. I suppose it’s a necessary defense to function in their otherwise normal lives.

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