Monday, November 30, 2009

Mountain Tops

I'm stuck on a mountain top again for a few days.... and it's been a helluva night. First the mount wouldn't work, then the dome wouldn't open, then the scope wouldn't hold pointing, now the fog just rolled in. I think tonight is just a wash. To comfort myself, I've just got a license to Zemax so I can at least make models of instruments that are supposed to see starlight at some point.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kayaking The Mokulua Islands

On a lovely Sunday....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Flying Fun

I got to shoot some cool video today.... Sean and I brought up a point-n-shoot up in the Grob for several runs at wingovers and incipient spins. Then, after some more engine trouble (more on that later) I did an aerobatic lesson in the Fox with Steve! I still can't fly upside down - I seem to either stall it inverted or roll over way too far. Sooner or later I'll get that down.

Borrowed Mike's mega-lens!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Evil Carburetor

This is probably something no mother wants to hear, but I did my first real emergency landing last week... and flew with the flaky engine again this weekend because I was a decent substitute for a test pilot. Sean and I had some loss of power out flying last Saturday but it felt like a bit of water in the gas - a shortish drop in power with a return. When I took it up again later that day, 450ft off the ground on takeoff, we basically lost all power. Now, 450 feet in a glider is plenty of elevation to just do a normal pattern without the airbrakes and land fine. No big deal. But it was a reminder of what can happen. The float valve seemed to be sticking so we cleaned that up and got decent performance back. For the week. Then, after I spent a few hours in it today, the engine got funny on Billy during takeoff again. Then we found a lose cap to a carb lubricant reservoir. I took it up later that afternoon to test it out without issue..... Good thing we fly with an emergency beacon and life jackets! Sorry mom.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey In The Ground

This years Imu was pretty fantastic. And I got to whip cream.....

Flying Interisland

I love the view out the window flying to / from Maui.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Guiding Camera

I'm drowning in mirrors and electronics..... At least there are a few cool videos to come of it. Here's one star (bounced off the inside and outside face of a window). Twinkle twinkle.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Finally, after four attempts, I got some good shots of sodium around a moon of Jupiter. Good weather.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Yes, there's three of them in there. Liz on the left, Liz in the middle and Liz on the right....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Arranging Home

Mike and I spent a few hours working on getting home arranged..... It's coming along very nicely.
The 'cabinet'. For my father.

Hiking Wa'ahila

Big crew hiking Wa'ahila today... and we now know that Mike can survive in the woods barefooted.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mimes Meetings

This week was super productive from a collaboration standpoint. Monday, Thursday Friday Jeff and I got to share the pain and suffering of the last few years with some people who probably understood it and who may care a little bit. Way better than the funding agencies at least. These people knew polarimetry.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Flying to Kona... Again

Round two going to Kona.... Thursday & Friday in meetings....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


It's been fascinating, frustrating and flabber-ghasting being involved in developing the upper-division curriculum (junior / senior year classes) for a new 4 year degree at a minority-serving community college. What a diverse set of opinions, thoughts, constraints, methods, styles and communication techniques.

At least there's online tools for organizing now.... Take Ning: social networking meets group work + google docs....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kona Day

I came over to Waimea early in the morning for a full day of listening to people talk about magnetic fields in massive stars.... and related workishness. Good times. Long day.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Koko Crater

Hiking the giant staircase..... is always a good time. Mikey is moving in shortly and my house is starting to feel like a real cruisy place. It's getting flow.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Reverse Cuban 8s

I love this plane. Absolutely love it. Aerobatics are just about the only thing I want to do in the air right now... Steve also had me doing incipient spins in the Grob. I feel pretty amazed at what things are possible up there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Observing and Writing....

Another few days spent with wrenches in a basement.... Got the AO system up, tried out a new technique on the HiVIS guider and did some engineering observations. Good and productive. Got to update my CV. Kind of cool to see what 2 years has done.