How I Spent My Summer Vacation

For rzr_grl's birthday, the usual suspects went to Hawaii! I took many pictures of rocks.

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28 Responses:

  1. martling says:

    "I fail to see how this relates to the impending ascension of our robot overlords."

    Sounds fun. Presumably the panoramic image was assembled with hugin and enblend, or is there something else that works well?

    Oh, and 14000' without carrying oxygen equipment is seriously fucked up. The altitudes above which it's a requirement to carry and use it for flying here (UK) are 10000' and 12000' respectively.

    • vxo says:

      Beautiful pictures.. now I want to visit there too. Mountains and volcanoes would be a great change of scenery from mud and hurricanes...

      Yes, as also mentioned, 14,000 feet up... that is a bit insane. I read in Scott Mueller's "Upgrading and Repairing PCs" that they have problems with running hard drives up at that observatory because the air's so thin that it fails to form the necessary air cushion between the heads and disks. The drives either failed almost immediately (takeoff failure, heads quickly ground to powder) or went out after a week or so. They had to, at that time, stick to using floppies. I wonder how they store data up there nowadays... CD-R/DVD-R and solid state storage would work, I guess.

      • martling says:

        Whoa. You might have just saved me a couple of hard drives.

        (working on sticking a couple of embedded PCs in gliders to experiment with some distributed lift-mapping ideas)

    • jwz says:

      I stitched the panorama by hand with Gimp; I haven't gotten around to trying any of the auto-panorama-making software yet.

      Apparently most of the folks who work on site up there do 14 hour shifts, and sleep down at 8000'. They say that if you're planning on staying for a full day, you should acclimate at 8000' for a full day first.

      It doesn't sound like it's an environment any of them really get comfortable with; they just learn to tolerate it. It's very common for people to get stupid up there.

      Oh, and UHawaii students make "easy money" by shoveling snow off the tops of the buildings in winter. I can't even imagine trying to do physical labor at that altitude! Just standing around was hard enough!

      • ivorjawa says:

        There's a 100 mile mountain bike or foot race in Leadville, CO, called the Leadville 100.

        Leadville's at 12K feet. I don't know who enters it, I can't imagine humans doing something like that.

    • ysabel says:

      Bah. People climb fourteeners here in Colorado all the time. I'm not even in particularly good shape and I've done it.

      Even the easy fourteeners aren't exactly easy, but it's no more than a hard day's hike for many of them.

      Of course, I owned a house for several years that was at 10k feet and didn't think anything odd of it, so I may be a tad biased.

  2. waider says:

    Some excellent shots in the second rainforest visit. Great stuff!

  3. Well if you've been away I forgive you for missing this particular robot overlord.

    JWZ - the Kevin Warwick for people who hate Kevin Warwick. Or, er, something...

  4. zuvembi says:

    What precisely is she poking at in this picture?

  5. These two shots are awesome — but who's that fourth guy? The tour guide?? He wasn't in any of the other photos...

    And what the hell is this? Jamie Zawinski, acting all gooey and romantic? Have I been transported to some kind of parallel-dimensional bizarro world?

    Quoting JWZ:

    He wasn't upset and crying, he was just... yelling. At one point I yelled "oh my god, shut up!" Parental unit A's retort: "why don't you shut up!" Parental unit B's retort: "he's just a baby, he's just having fun!" I weep for the future.

    *sigh of relief* Ah, that's more like it...


    • cyeh says:

      If G had doen that, we'd have been:

      1) Mortified.
      2) Trying anything we could to get him to shut up.
      3) Attempted to drug him.
      4) Attemped to smother him with a pillow.
      5) Apologize to the entire cabin as his thrashing, convulsing body hit the back of the chair in front of him.

      The least they could have done was apologize. Sometimes kids spiral out of control even under the best effort of all parents, but Jesus, to not apologize is so not okay.

  6. inoshiro says:

    What digital camera did you use? Your shots ar every nice. No CCD noise.

    These shrines go up where someone dies from a shark attack. You see them here and there. I visited one for a guy whose entire leg was bitten off while he was out. By the time they got him back to shore, he'd already bled to death.

    There's also a great part of the island chain between Maui and Molaki (I think) where the water is low enough that they used to drag cows across the channel, because they'd float. The cows would kick their legs the whole. Sometimes, though, your cows would arrive less a few legs from the sharks. That's some good eats :)

  7. mark242 says:

    Very excellent. The missus and I stayed in the Hilton for our honeymoon. Yeah, it's very much a cross between Disneyland and Hawaii (they have a goddamn _monorail_!) but really all of the mega-resorts on the island are as immaculately groomed. I suspect it's because most people don't really want to spend their vacations lying around on exposed lava rock, which that whole side of the island has a monopoly on.

    But you missed out, big time, on not actually going to see the lava up close. It would have been well worth it to make that 5 mile hike. When we were there (July 2003) it was a 3/4 mile hike in the dark, with flashlights, over the coastal flat from the end of Chain of Craters road. That isn't exactly the easiest terrain to hike over, as you know. But once we got to the head of the lava flow, I knew that it was worth the trip. Kilauea caldera is an excellent sight, but the flowing lava was just otherworldly. It makes you laugh at Tommy Lee Jones all the more.

  8. Also, what the fuck is a "s'more"?


  9. hotabay says:

    Hey, I just got back from there a week ago.

  10. Once upon a time, I went to Hawaii with my parents. We got to get very close to an active flow. It was coming out from under the crust only about 20 yards from where we were standing. While we were there, the lava broke out and flowed over some uncovered ground that still had a few bushes on it, and we got to watch them burn. Fire!

    By the time we got back to the car, the treads of my sneakers were all deformed due to the heat of the crust.

  11. fzou says:

    This was an exercise in exercising your cameras, wasn't it? So many photos!