Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Earth Moving

Sitting quietly in my home office tonite working on various projects and suddenly the desk lamp begins to sway, there's slight movement under my feet, and Virby gives an "alert" in the doorway. It's not strong, but a clear reminder we live on a planet that's alive.  This is the first quake we've felt in a while.

USGS reports on the event continue to come in from around the island, but the jolt was a 3.7 (preliminary) magnitude tembler about 21 miles north of our house at a depth of 9 miles and was apparently widely felt across this whole rock. (USGS updated the final magnitude to 3.8.)

I have learned over the years to observe Virby as if she were a guard dog.  The signals are much more subtle in cats, but distinctive every bit as much and very accurate.  Hers was only a slight reaction tonight:  she stood in the doorway with a confused look on her puss for about 10 seconds.  Then regular programming resumed.

This probably sums it up as well as anything:

Click & Enjoy!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

NORAD Tracks Santa

Those who know me know that I love Google Earth and have figured out how to do just about everything with it.  But at this time of year there is no higher purpose for such sophisticated software than to track a fat man in a red suit, a team of magical reindeer, and a sleigh as they swoop thru the heavens at astronomical speed and drop goodies down chimneys. 

That this should all cost us - software included - no more than the value of a cookie and a glass of milk is magic indeed. Just enjoy it.

For more go to the NORAD Track Santa site now!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Tail Feathers
Because of the dynamic nature of the internet... this image may, nay will, change from time to time.  So if you think you're crazy you'll have to find another reason.  :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

KOA Triennial Exercise 2011

On Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, Hawaii's Air National Guard 204th Airlift Squadron assisted Kona International Airport and the Hawaii County Fire Department in the Federal Administration's Triennial Disaster Exercise by providing a large frame aircraft for the simulation of a crash site and mass casualty event. The Kona Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) unit were first responders, while the Hawaii County Fire Department filled in as additional manpower and triage support. Students from NELHA's West Hawaii Exploration Academy and Kealakehe HS, made up to simulate injuries from minor abrasions to life threatening, provided bodies for the exercise.

Also participating in the exercise were representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration, US Army Hawaii Fire Rescue unit, Hawaii County Police Department, Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross, Civil Defense, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Kona Airport Police, and various air carrier representatives.

Thanks go to Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson of the 154th Wing Public Affairs section for providing the link to this video work, and to the 204th Airlift Squadron for providing a Hickam AFB Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for the exercise. The interview in the video is with Mr. Merv Kahumoku, Kona ARFF Chief.

My photos of the day will provide more detail of the event and will show up here in the form of a video in the near future. Stay tuned! :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Company Policy

Japanese Macaque

Finally!  An explanation. 
Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a 
string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the 
stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, 
spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. 
After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the 
other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey 
tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it. 
Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it 
with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To 
his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another 
attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be 
assaulted. Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and  replace it 
with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous 
newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! 
Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then 
the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. 
Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not 
permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of 
the newest monkey. 
After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have 
ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches 
the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? 
Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been done around here. 
And that, my friends, is how company policy begins. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hello, Libya!

Reclaimed as Libya's national flag in the Libyan interim Constitutional Declaration of 3 Aug 2011

I've mentioned it before but it really astounds me how global this silly blog has gone.  Today we were host to a visitor from Libya!!! They left no comment... not even a private one.  But regardless, and to whom ever you may have been, Welcome to the Free World, Libya!  Stop back again soon!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

AU 2011 Update

(Click for best view at original size)
   AU is Autodesk University, and it happens every year during the week following Thanksgiving.  Eveyrthing about AU is huge.  And because of the size only a major hotel/casino/convention complex in Las Vegas is suitable.  This year AU was held at the Venetian Hotel and Sands Convention Center.  Attendees come from all over the world, and this year over 80 countries sent 8,000+ to the event.  They came to teach and participate in over 1,000 classes on a wide variety of subjects this year.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I fully endorse this method of driving web traffic. Now I have to convince Virby.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Zero Workdays to AU 2011!

Yup, it's time once again for the annual Autodesk University conference, and I have zero, nadda, zip, zilch work days left between now and when it all kicks off next Monday. Today I rode the Red Bull Express from start to finish just to make sure there will be no loose ends at work while I'm gone. This will be my 2nd AU pilgimage, but hopefully not my last. It's a week like none other.

For the uninitiated the video above is a small taste of what is about to get underway - a high octane week from start to finish. Where would you put on a show like this? Viva Las Vegas, baby! Where else?! :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Midnight Sun

1 guy. (Joe Capra)
1 island. (Iceland)
17 days.
24 hr shooting schedule.
2,900 miles of driving.
38,000 images.

Stunning photography. Turn on the sound and watch it full screen.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pendulum Waves

The natural world is just too cool.

- - -

Fifteen uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths dance together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and (seemingly) random motion.

For more details see the Harvard Natural Sciences Lectures Demonstrations site.

The period of one complete cycle of the dance is 60 seconds. The length of the longest pendulum has been adjusted so that it executes 51 oscillations in this 60 second period. The length of each successive shorter pendulum is carefully adjusted so that it executes one additional oscillation in this period. Thus, the 15th pendulum (shortest) undergoes 65 oscillations.

This apparatus was built from a design published by Richard Berg [Am J Phys 59(2), 186-187 (1991)] at the University of Maryland. The particular apparatus shown here was built by Harvard's Nils Sorensen.

- - -

I am just way too tempted to build one of these for my own entertainment now!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Fooling around with Dynamic Blocks in AutoCAD

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ironman Kona 2011 Update

Virginia Berasategui (ESP) 9:19:52
Helping hands.

As a reminder for those viewers interested in the recent Kona Ironman World Championship triathlon race, I've completed updating my photo gallery at PBase now. You can find much of the emotion and excitement of the day here:

Ironman Kona 2011


Andi Boecherer (GER) 8:23:19
He ain't heavy.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dream Catchers

When I started this blog earlier this year there really was no master plan for it.  It wasn't specifically targeted as a work-related blog, or a scientific blog, or even a personal blog.  Well, maybe all blogs now are personal blogs in a way, but the original idea for this one was that it be a mirror of things that have captured my attention.  In that so far it's succeeded.  But lately something else has touched me, and that is the wide variety of visitors that have somehow stumbled upon these pages.

Enter the Dreamcatcher at left.  The Dreamcatcher is largely an American Indian object, and originated in the Ojibwa (or Ojibwe, Chippewa) Nation during the Pan Indian movement of the 1960's and 1970's.  Eventually they were adopted by a number of native American Indian nations.

The Ojibwa believe that a dreamcatcher changes a person's dreams.  According to Konrad J. Kaweczynski, "Only good dreams would be allowed to filter through… Bad dreams would stay in the net, disappearing with the light of day."  Good dreams would pass through and slide down the feathers to the sleeper.

The diversity of traffic that has somehow managed to find these pages reminds me of the Dreamcatcher.  Despite a complete lack of promotion many of you have still found your way through to this little spot on the internet, and those visits I can't help but interpret as good dreams that have made the slide down the feathers.  Among you are many from the USA of course, but also many from Greece, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Russia, Latvia, the Netherlands, Brazil, Indonesia, and Myanmar [Burma].  This is nothing short of amazing to me. 

I'd love to know how many of you found your way here, what you found interesting (if anything), what might have brought you back if you're a return visitor, and of course who you are and where you're from.  Please feel free to leave a comment of any sort on your next visit, and if you don't want it published, feel free to say so in your note and it will remain private.  Just know that I welcome you all and would be most interested in a simple, "Hello!", if you have time. 

The wonder of this internet we share is exactly these chances to meet and interact with people from places on the planet we may never be able to visit in person.  It's a shame to waste opportunities like these when we get them.  Please don't waste your next one.  :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Time Lapse

Man, this is good! I've got to rig myself a panning setup one of these times. Love this stuff!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ironman Kona 2011

Craig Alexander, Ironman Kona 2011 Winner
Craig Alexander, Ironman Kona 2011 Winner.
It was a day of heat, of course record times, of drama, and certainly all the spirit that embodies Ironman. Anyone who finishes this race anywhere, but especially here on the desolate lava fields of Kona, deserves to be called an Ironman. They earn it!

Craig Alexander won the Kona race on Saturday and added his name to an elite list of four guys who have won the world championship event at least three times. He now joins Dave Scott, Mark Allen, and Peter Reid with that accomplishment. And not only did he improve his 4th place 2010 finish but he also set a new Kona course record time of 8:03:56. It's been a good year for him - he's also the first to win world championships at Kona and in the Ironman 70.3 race in the same year.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ironman Eve

Miranda Carfrae, Ironman Kona 2010 Women's Winner
Miranda Carfrae, Ironman Kona 2010 Women's Winner.
It's that time of year here again, the annual migration of about 1,800 of the best conditioned triathletes in the world to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and their World Championship Iroman event. It's a day like no other around here. All other activity litterally shuts down for the race.

I will be working with NBC Sports once again and will have my camera along to document what I can, when I can.

Tonite I'll meet with the cameraman and producer I'll be with all day, pick up my credentials, and hear what our assignment will be for tomorrow. Then I'll be back home to bed for as much rest as I can get. This is a a day that always starts very early (5:00 a.m.) and goes very late (the last official finisher must cross the line at midnight).

Chris McCormack, Ironman Kona 2010 Men's, and overall race Winner
Chris McCormack, Ironman Kona 2010 Men's, and overall race Winner.

I'll blog after-action notes next week, but until then more photos of last year's race can be found here: Ironman Kona 2010.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Benro C0190T Fold Flat Tripod
Benro C0190T Fold Flat Tripod.
I'm done going on long trips and not having a functional tripod with me for night or low light shots.  Or phrased another way, I no longer want to haul my expensive and heavy Gitzo tripod when I go on trips.  What I've wanted was something small enough to fit in a carry on bag, light enough to haul around with the camera bag, but high build quality.  I think that describes the rig above.  I'd never heard of Benro before ordering this, but I'm impressed. 

The specs are as follows:

Top Plate or Base Plate Diameter1.9 in
Maximum Load13.2 lbs
Folded Height16.1 in
Maximum Height52.0 inches
Leg Sections5
Leg Lock TypeTwist Lock
Head Mount3/8-16
Foot MountAdhesive
Foot TypeFixed Rubber
Foot Size9 mm
Weight1.54 lbs / 0.70 kg

Leg construction is carbon fiber.  The unit is light, and not something you'd want to walk away from if you've mounted an expensive DSLR on it, but perfect as a travel unit you'll likely babysit.  The kit also included a two section center post, nylon carrying bag, and a special servicing wrench.  The fold flat leg feature is unique and perfect for saving space in a suitcase.

The first real test of this will be at the end of November during my Autodesk University 2011 trip to Las Vegas.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Mom's new cutting board
Mom's new custom made cutting board.  Maple and Brazilian Cherry.

End spline
End spline.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

PAPIs Explained

So what exactly is a PAPI?  A PAPI is a Precision Approach Path Indicator, a visual aid to pilots that allows them to maintain a proper flight angle into a runway.  A PAPI is a very simple mechanical system that uses red and white lights to tell a pilot if he's too high in his approach, or too low.  

Outside PAPI unit

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Emperor Akihito at Kona

Here's another video "from the archives".   Originally this was done this in the wrong format for YouTube.  I put the computer on overtime while I was a work today. Now YouTube likes it.

In July 2009, after months of planning and many visits by representative from Japan, the Emperor and and his wife made a visit to the Big Island of Hawaii. The following video captures their moments on arrival and departure at the Kona International Airport.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Yes, they still sell Ovaltine... and yes, I love it.  Always have.  It doesn't make me do this in the mornings tho':

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tower Update

It's amazing how much work gets done on a large construction project in the last month or so of its work.  Things that looked like they'd never get finished suddenly appear all done... sometimes overnight.  This job has been no different.  When I left for my mainland trip at the end of July things were still coming together.  A month or so later all that's left are finishing touches.

True, the tower won't be operational for another year.  What you see here is just the shell.  Inside the finishes are done, but all of the electronics that will make this a functional air traffic control facility have yet to be installed.  And it's not like hooking up your home entertainment system or desktop computer either.  It's a list of top flight electronics that would make your head swim.  For the remainder of the job the contractor will be pulling wires that will connect all those electronics and completing punch list items.  Then it will be up to the FAA to install their equipment, test, and commission it prior to a grand opening.

The journey continues... but the end is closer than ever.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fish Aaaahhhn!!!

One of my pleasures growing up was fishing. Truth is, I never outgrew it, just moved away from it. Being home for a while this summer and reconnecting with old friends has rekindled the joy of fresh water fishing again. Maybe part of it involves memories with my pop too. He loved fishing, and loved taking me along. Whatever the reasons, fishing in small lakes and rivers is a sort of zen that one never loses. Time stands still when you fish. Everything else just melts away.

Tonite I went out in the late afternoon and caught more bass and bluegills. Nothing large enough to take home. Just large enough to enjoy finding, landing, and releasing.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

4-6-3-2 Triple Play

The triple play is a rare enough event in baseball, but the other night here at home with Mom (the ultimate baseball fan) we witnesse our "home team" Milwaukee Brewers pull off an even more rare form of one... a 4-6-3-2 triple play against the LA Dodgers.

I stumbled across this ESPN analysis and multi-camera replay video of it tonite. Good fun.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Like Riding a Bike

The title expression is usually associated with, "something you never forget". But in this following case it might not apply. You're more likely to lose these abilities over time...if you ever attain them in the first place! Which is unlikely for most of us.

Simply incredible stuff. Beautiful photography as well.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rotten Apple

The "new" iTunes Store

I came to the iPod party slowly years ago, having first used a variety of generic and then Dell MP3 players for a while before succumbing to the Apple juggernaut.  But eventually all those old systems failed to hold onto the pace Steve Jobs' people were setting and I relented and bought an iPod.  My god!... 80 Gb on such a small device!  What a revolution it was!  One little box no bigger than my first transistor radio that could hold my entire CD collection, 200+ albums and still be less than half full.  It was a world of difference better than hauling CDs around in my car for play on a portable device.  It was a new paradigm... the new world. 

Friday, August 12, 2011


Some great time lapse photography here, and ideas for anyone with a digital camera, tripod, cable release, and a little time on their hands. Shooting at night under a full moon can produce stunning results. From the National Park Service.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Supper Club Redux

Feil's Wine Barrel

We had brunch at Feil's today and really got our money's worth...especially at the dessert counter, where we followed up a traditional midwestern breakfast with brownies, grasshopper pie, some sort of caramel-peanut high calorie square, apple tart squares, cherry cheesecake, and a lemon bar.  By the time we got home the sugar crash had claimed us both for naps during most the Brewer's game.

Going to and from the restaurant you pass through the German-theme bar, and the barrel above.  Yes this dispenses wine, not beer, although it wouldn't be an honest German establishment without a wide variety of beers and steins and ambiance.  And no, it's not a complete barrel.  We found out they had to cut a lot of it down just to fit in the space.  Three types of wine are dispensed here: Rose', Chablis, and the Lake Niagra mom likes.  The owner, Herb Feil, was kind enough to allow me behind the bar to grab this shot with my 20mm, and while I was there gave mom the full history of the place, a few anecdotes, and some souvenier post cards.  It was his father, the baker from Wangen, West Germany who established the restaurant many, many years ago.

Ah, summertime in Cheesehead country.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tower Construction

Being out of state for a while gives me a chance to catch up on a few of those videos I mentioned a while back.  Here's one of them.

I was asked to put something together for the Western Regional FAA Annual Conference in San Francisco this past May, and decided to use some of the photos I've done of the FAA's new air traffic control tower project at Kona International Airport.  Since I'm currently travelling I don't know for sure how much the project was affected by the recent budget hubbub in Washington, D.C., but I assume they may have had to shut down for at least a few days somewhere along the way.  Hopefully everybody is back again and getting paychecks.

The FAA conference was held on June 6.  The video is current through about May 24th or so and shows progress panoramas and a couple time lapse videos of interesting elements of the project.  The contractor's work is scheduled to complete early this fall.  From there the FAA will proceed with installation and testing of their electronic equipment.  Full operations out of the new digs should be ready to begin sometime in Fall 2012.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Supper Clubs

Feil's Supper Club

Wisconsin, the land of "supper clubs" and the Friday night fish fry.  And no, you don't have to be a member to eat there... you just have to bring your wallet.  This one is near Randolph, WI, and is also the home of many Meals on Wheels deliveries.  Feil's makes great bread too... over a million loaves and counting.  German heritage (maybe Austrian too), as may be obvious by the "chalet" construction, with great food.

It was nice to drive by one of these and see it open for business... many are boarded up and for sale these days.

This one has my mom's favorite wine too... the "original" Lake Niagra "Niagra", a rich, semi-dry New York white table wine.

Taken from their web site:

Feil's Supper Club offers original old-world recipe homemade bread, serving white and onion rye. Enjoy tap wine and a 30-item salad bar including cheeses and soup. Our featured menu item is the "Herb's Special" - a center cut Sirloin Steak topped with a mountain of our famous homemade onion rings or mushrooms. Fridays we feature a Fish & Broasted Chicken Buffet and Sundays we offer our very popular Sunday Brunch.

N8743 State Road 73
Randolph, WI 53956

... I guess I know where Sunday brunch will be this week!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Lazy Lake, Fall River, Wisconsin

For the next few weeks I'll hang out here in the midwest with mom after the passing of my pop.  The memorial image for him is below and was taken along the western shoreline of the Big Island, Hawaii on the evening I received the news.  He's in a better place now.

Lazy Lake in Fall River is about 5 miles or so from where I grew up and is great for fishing all year around.  It's known for excellent crappies, bluegills, and probably a few other game fish as well.  Whether the water is open like this in the summer or completely frozen over in the winter there always seems to be somebody out with rod and reel trying to pull something out.  One of the things on my list of things to do this summer while back is get out once again and fish for bass.  I'm hoping to talk one of my old high school buddies into going with me.  It's been a long time since I've wet a line in these waters.

So it's that and doing things around the house for mom for the next few weeks, the same house I grew up in.  Pretty amazing that they have been here that long, but nice.  It's always just the way I'd remember it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Comic by Simon's Cat by Simon Tofield, embedding allowed.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunset for Newton

Honokohau Harbor ~ 27 June 2011

Every now and then it's useful to remind ourselves just how fragile and precious life is.  It's worth thinking about because while we know our stay here will be short, the common assumption is that we have many more years left to enjoy family and friends.  For some, and worldwide for many every day however, today will be their last day among us.

In my working career since college I have always been in or around construction.  It's a very dangerous business and I have seen many accidents.  In those years also I have been on five sites or projects where someone has lost their lives suddenly, violently, and unexpectedly.  Monday June 27, 2011, unfortunately was one of those tragic days.  A water truck driver for a project contractor at the airport was just doing what he always does about mid-day when somehow his rig went off the edge of a small embankment, rolled over, and pinned him in the wreckage.  By the time his co-workers got to him he was gone.

It's sober, somber, and serious, these sites, and they're not pleasant to be around, yet they remind of us of how important it is to take safety seriously, at home, at work, at play, and all the time.  It only takes a moment's lapse of concentration, or a single instance of poor judgment, or a small failure of any kind to make all the difference in the world.  And that difference can determine life or death.

No one knows what happened exactly today, this accident took place in the sight of God only.  We can only pray the end came quickly and without pain.

Here's the sunset you missed tonite, Newton.  Rest in Peace, bro.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Comic by Simon's Cat by Simon Tofield, embedding allowed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

No Laughing Matter?

... you be the judge. Seems pretty creative in my opinion.

STUCK from Joe Ayala on Vimeo.

Read the full story -here-.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

USAF Pacific Lifeline 2008

Here's another post for the "catch up" folder I guess.  This one was made several years ago & long before the thought of a personal blog ever crossed my mind.

The subject matter is self-explanatory.  My role was one of local support for the military civil engineering team that came in advance of the exercise and set up the camp.  This was a real world training exercise to prepare team members for the day they will be called upon to provide humanitarian support and relief following some crisis, either natural or man made.

Sorry it's so late, but Enjoy!  (Best quality at 720p if your connection can handle it.)

As a post script I'll say also that I haven't quite figured out the YouTube video thing yet or specifically how to get a good cover thumbnail for a vid.  So if anyone reading this has a heads up tip for me on that I'm all ears. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Kamehameha Day Parade Kona 2011

My favorite parade of the year took place in Kona on Saturday morning, and although the skies were a little cloudy and overcast at times the crowd was by far the largest I've seen in years.  It seemed like a lot of them were visitors too.  Maybe there is a bit of a rebound in our local economy after all.

You can see these and many more photos of today's parade in my PBase gallery.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Time Domain Electromagnetics

In the period of 1943 to 1945 over 40,000 acres of Parker Ranch land near the town of Waimea (Kamuela) on the Big Island of Hawaii was transformed almost overnight from serene pasture into a US Marine Corps training facility known as Camp Tarawa. Originally constructed by the Marine survivors of the Battle of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands this new camp quickly soared in population to over 25,000 troops.  Before the war in the Pacific was over more than 50,000 soldiers had trained at the facility.  This must all have come as quite a shock to the people in sleepy little Waimea, who at the time only consisted of about 400 permanent residents... mostly all Parker Ranch employees.  Waimea, with its cool and moderate climate, was perfect at the time for those Marines suffering the effects of tropical diseases such as malaria. 

Two primary groups of Marines trained at Camp Tarawa.  The first to arrive, the 2nd Marine Division, were resident from December 1943 until the spring of 1944.  These soldiers went on to fight in the battles of Saipan, Tinian and Okinawa.  The second group, the 5th Marine Division, came in the fall of 1944 and trained until late December, 1944. When they left, it was to fight the horrific Battle of Iwo Jima. One of the local “puu”, or small cinder cone, was a perfect training site for what they would later face at Mount Suribachi on the southern tip of Iwo.

All this military activity took a toll on the land however, and over the years many unexploded remnants of the training have been found, in several instances with fatal outcomes.  Now the US government has funded a project to survey and locate unexploded ordinance on another 14,000 acres of this training area.  Follow-up projects are planned to remove items found and fully clear the area.

What you see above is a Bell Model 206L helicopter on the ramp of Waimea-Kohala Airport just outside of Waimea.  Workers are installing a Time Domain Electromagnetic (TDEM) induction system that will be used to detect metal objects or unexploded ordinance that may still be in the ground at the old training site.  Other applications for TDEM technology include identifying aquifers or detecting the presence of water or salt water intrusions in groundwater investigations, mapping aggregate deposits for quarry operators, mapping leachate in environmental investigations, or permafrost or other geologic features in geotechnical engineering.

The primary contractor for the government on this project is CH2M-Hill, with support from Battelle, and Pacific Helicopter Tours.  The survey and identification portion of the project is expected to take about two months. 

This work also goes straight to the heart of a key Hawaiian value, namely the concept of Malama 'Aina - Care for the Land.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Storm of Egypt

A friend of mine in Cairo, Mostafa Moftah, a wonderful photographer and musician, has posted the following compilation video of images from the unrest in Egypt earlier this year.  While not credited, I am assuming for now the music was composed and performed by him. 

If you still have Egypt and Egyptians in your heart as I do, spend a few minutes with this.  It's extremely well done, as are all of his YouTube postings.

From Hither & Yon

For the life of me I don't know how some of you have found this place... my promotion of it has been only slightly more than minimal.  But in the short time this has been up the log shows views from the USA, Greece, UK, Germany (sorry about one of the videos... for some reason those songs are blocked at your border), Japan, Malaysia, Canada, Chile, and Italy.  I'm honestly humbled you took a little time and spent it here.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

4 Hrs


4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dry sherry or white wine
8 to 12 ounces fresh mushrooms sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 cup green seedless grapes


Place chicken, butter, lemon juice, sherry, mushrooms, and salt and pepper in the slow cooker/Crock Pot. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and grapes during the last 45 minutes. (May be cooked on high 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours, adding grapes the last 20 minutes. Serve over rice.

Serves 4 to 6... or 1 for 3-5 days.

It’s been a few weeks since the crockpot has been fired up, so last night it was time.  And while this wasn’t eaten over rice it was still excellent in a serving of steamed broccoli.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hilo Armed Forces Day 2010

Okay... this is a *little* late... my bad.  But it dawned on me now that this blog is out there and a YouTube channel is set up for embedding content, that there might be more things in the archives to share.  So share we shall... now and in the future.

While I work on a production for the recent Kona airshow, here's a flashback from the past:


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Overflight:  (1/2000s f/5.6 @ 200mm iso200)

Monday, May 30, 2011

An Unconventional Landing

An addendum of sorts re: the airshow at Kona this weekend...

Maybe I will have to pick up a small camera with basic video capability one of these times after all!  Shooting moving objects handheld with a DSLR in burst mode doesn't quite produce the quality any of us are used to these days... including me!  :)  But put in the category of "something is better than nothing", the following *is* better than nothing, and can only be described as... a little out of the ordinary.  So enjoy!

(Safe for work, but contains sound)

I promise... next year I'll have my act together for this kind of stuff!  :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011


C'mon in!

For a first ever event the Hawaii Airshow Invitational at Kona went off very well this weekend. The weather was nice, if not a bit hot, both days, and the crowds were good. An airshow is always a great family event, and this one was no exception. From the looks on the little faces it was a great experience. And it was nice to see so many kids on the field. Hopefully this will continue to grow in both scope and popularity over the years. Isolated communities like ours need the kind of variety this sort of weekend provided.

Continued after the jump...


Get Fuzzy
Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley, embedding allowed.

Friday, May 27, 2011


F-16 Falcon practice run  (1/1500s f/5.6 at 300mm iso200)
This is a teaser for part of what will be happening here this weekend.  As I left the airport this afternoon for a dental appointment one of the F-16's screamed overhead on a practice run for this weekend's entertainment.  Watching him rip holes in the sky one couldn't help thinking how many "G's" the guy was pulling at times.  Here he is making a high-g horizontal turn after dropping out of a loop. 

This is a 100% crop of the disrupted airflow over his wings.  After seeing this I decided to endure the pain of hauling a 400mm lens around tomorrow just in case they get the green light to push mach 1 and an opportunity to snatch a Prandtl–Glauert singularity shot comes along.  One can always hope...  Actually, the condensation cloud seen here is related to the same phenomenon.

For more information on times, events, prices, and all the rest, go to the Hawaii Airshow Invitational website.

See you there this weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Regnad Kcin

Nick Danger, Third Eye!Artwork by William Stout

I don’t have a radio in my truck… never did. I bought it that way brand new. It has no a/c either. No power anything as a matter of fact. It’s a little 1991 Nissan 4x2 and I love it. It’s always had great mileage, hauled everything I’ve ever wanted, and is not the kind of thing people want to steal or break into. It's also easy to fix, which is why most mechanics love it too. It's a throwback to the days when vehicles were made without computers to complicate things.

See where this is going after the jump...

Early Arrivals

This weekend the airport at Kona will be hosting the 1st Annual Hawaii Airshow Invitational.  It's a project that's been in the works for over 7 years and will be the first in Hawaii ever held at a public airport.  All prior shows have been hosted at military installations on Oahu, or included offshore aerobatic exhibitions by precision units such as the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels.

The event this weekend will include many static displays of military and historic aircraft as well as aerobatic exhibitions by several of Hawaii's top pilots.  See the link above for more information.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

These PRETzels are makin' me THIRSty!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Roadside Repairs

So, you're far away from home and you blow an engine on landing. What do you do? If you're a C-17 Globemaster III it's no problem... you just load up another bird with a spare engine, lifting racks, auxiliary units, tech crew and tools and you go out into the field with a new blower in shrink wrap and swap the bad unit out.  No biggie.

That's what's happening at KOA this week. And it's just another day on the job for the guys (& gals) who get most of their work done before many of us wake up each morning.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Design by Cam Wilde.

Is your favorite here?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wind Power

Comic by Randall Munroe, released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License

Saturday, May 21, 2011

6-8 Hrs

The pot ‘o gold at the end of the rainbow after a day of overdue yardwork:

2 1/2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, cut in 1-inch slices
2 ribs celery, cut in 1/2-inch slices
2 medium potatoes, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 cup beer
1 cup beef broth, or use all beer
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup flour

Place all ingredients, except butter and flour in the Crock Pot; mix well. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Mix melted butter with flour; add to the stew. Taste and adjust seasonings. Turn to high and cook until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 6 (or 1 for the better part of a week!).

Aloha from Kona!

It is said that every journey begins with a single step.  And while this may be a first blog posting for me, in truth there has been some form of 20/20 HeinSite online presence since the very beginnings of the world wide web in the early 1990's, including a variety of HeinSite homepages and currently a HeinSite photo site on PBase.   Any or all of them might have been considered blogs... but none were ever in this format.

We'll just have to see what type of form this trip takes over time.  For me, the best part of a journey, and certainly the most interesting, has always been the active movement portion anyway.  It's the unpredictability of it that makes it fun.