Monday, March 31, 2008

Flying to Maui

I headed out to Maui today. It was a really clear day and a really nice flight. I think I went a little crazy with the NIR shots, but I had to play with my new toy. Some of them came out just awesome. I got in to some car issues (the state car wasn't parked where it should have been). That sucked. After a bunch of running around and getting set, I had dinner with Judy.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Kualoa & Chinamans Hat

This weekend was spent camping at Kualoa beach park (when not flying). The weather was basically perfect - decent winds to keep us cool during the day and not more than an occasional drizzle. The structure made the perfect hang-out spot, and my new tent performed beautifully. A great weekend! I'm off to Maui tomorrow through the 10th to do some instrument work and a little observing. It will be nice to be on that island working normal hours......

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Flight to Moloka'i

I woke up early and flew to the north shore of Moloka'i with Billy. It was crazy. We crossed the channel in a little plane. I was co-pilot and got to help with the radio work. When flying over, Billy was in control and I was shooting out the right window. Quick-draw Dave - visible in the right hand and near-infrared in the left. I got some awesome shots... In the middle of the channel there was a really fun moment where I got to consider ditching the plane in "the drink". Nothing happened with the plane, but we talked over the procecure for practice. It makes you think... On the way back, I flew and Billy shot video out the side. It was a really nice feeling to get to see a part of the islands that basically nobody sees. It's beautiful. And it was 10 gallons of gas. Damn I love that plane....

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Taking the NIR for a spin....

Here's me taking the new near-ir canon for a spin. It's done some damn-impressive shots. The air just disappears... And vegetation is just a weird blue.... Anyways, there was a horrible cross-wind and my touch-n-goes sucked. Well, I'm doing really well for where I am in my lessons, but I always feel like an idiot when I bounce the plane. We did some really nice patterns in the morning when there was no wind, but afterward when the wind came up cross, it just killed me. I got to glide along the Ko'olau ridge on the upwind. When you're on the ridge with the engine off it's just great. Fabulous. You can maintain altitude at 80mph and just cruise the whole length of the island. No gas. No motor. Glorious.....

Da Plane.
Looking south near Kaneohe.
Looking North from Kaneohe with the H3 underneath.
Waimea on the way back.
Waimea in the morning...
Rabbit Island just outside Makapu'u.
The southern Ko'olau, Nike Missle Site & Mariners Ridge.
Manoa Valley.
Looking back toward town...
The windward side looking towards the marine corps base.
Ka'ala on the way home...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In the NY Times!

That article on the dust around AB Aurigae made it in to the NY times here! In Dec 06, Ben was leading the group observing with the Lyot (AO NIR Coronographic Imaging Polarimetry). The result was really neat - a gap in the disk with a 2.7-sigma point source. Anyways, very cool. Blog Stuff: (Lyot).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

NIR Modified Canon!!

What a freaky view of the world huh? I bought a new Canon Rebel and had it shipped right to the NIR modifiers ( They removed the built-in near-ir blocking filter and put in a visible-blocking filter. Then they adjusted the autofocus to work right in the nir. Excellent stuff. And the shots look stunning..... This is going to be awesome when flying interisland!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Flying The Ko'olau Ridge

Steve took me gliding the spurs of the Ko'olau ridge for lesson number two. It was really nice to be up there with the engine off for an hour. Sweet!

A Day of Flying & Hiking with Isar

Isar came up to the north shore with me to hang out, take a quick flight, and check out the area. I flew three lessons - touch-n-go's from 830-10, gliding the Ko'olau from 1:30-3 and more touch-n-go's from 5-6. In between we hiked Kealia, went to Kaena point and then just hung out at the airfield. We caught a sunset at Three Tables. It was a great day....

I got a new super-lens. It's awesome. 18-250mm, or a 14x zoom lens. It's sharp across the full range. It makes me feel like a man.... Length and girth. What a combo!

The Kealia trail.

Sheila coming in for a landing with the Mokuleia cliffs behing.
Ready for take-off...
The sunset.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fun Times...

Judy-judypants came and got me from the hotel and we got to hang out for a day. We didn't make it too far. The new mac's with their built in video cameras are way fun, we streched till my right leg failed then watched TED talks (watch Jill). It's always difficult to coordinate anything when we're hanging out - too much "talking" going on....

Monday, March 17, 2008

CfAO PDP Conference

The CfAO's PDP was a very long but intensely productive conference. We had 23 returning and 27 new people, mostly 2nd to senior grad-students and a few post-docs. I was a design-team leader this time. Basically, I'm redesigning one day's worth of activity in a week-long short-course (AMSC). There's 15 UH-Manoa and Maui CC engineering soph & juniors that will be getting summer internships with local high-tech companies or universities. Several of us will be teaching the week-long course. The last day needed re-designing. This conference is basically like "lesson-planning" but for lab-type hands-on *inquiry* activities. Inquiry is actually a buzzword for a new type of teaching (Wikipedia: 1, 2). I was way behind on sleep most of the time and managed to meet a number of good people. Anne's nickname of meta-Dave was very useful - we spend a lot of time discussing social and community aspects of learning as well as metacognition (learning how you yourself learn) and other related things (training to be a better leader by watching yourself and being watched by shadowers in various leading roles). It's really neat....

Anyways, the fun stuff was that I got to be MC again with Jerome at the closing ceremony and we had a really fun time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Drive to Hana

We took a drive a to Hana and O'heo today and stopped by Twin Falls, Waianapanapa, and the Pipiwai trail. Fabulous stuff. Swam in a waterfall, hiked, pictured, and all kinds of other good stuff. The drive back was awesome - I got to speed like mad around tight corners in a V-6 rental car with awesome handling....