Michelle, my friend, Thank You for sharing this video! 🙂
As Andy mentions in his ‘back-to-work’ entry at A Darkerview.com: “Long vacations seem to be common here in Hawai’i, particularly when flying to the mainland. When purchasing tickets, families tend to make the best of the expense and do everything in one trip. The result is that many vacations are measured in weeks, not days.” I am very glad we optimized our travel like we did and also arranged a visit ‘home’ then to Alaska! 🙂
The call came while still away off-Island, “Are you still interested in working here at the School? Please call me quickly to let me know. I have vacancies to fill and we start SOON!” My reply was made as soon as I was within Cell coverage again, “YES, I am interested!” I was asked to sign in the Monday following my return, August 3, 2009 (the first day of School). How exciting! I was so there!
Having the summer off meant that the ordeal of Email and paper pile-up causing, “No real work accomplished, just the task of catchup and restarting everything” that Andy dealt with so well was not an issue that I had to bear upon my return to work at the school. I was greeted by many “genuine expressions of welcome” and shouts of recognition by students as well as teachers.
It felt good to be back and even better to be remembered with such enthusiasm! The Bear Cub Hugs are a real treat, too!
I have been adding pictures and links to this posting; but I got it posted while it was still Christmas AND 2008! 😉 Who knows?…I may add more!
Aloha Dear Family, Friends, and any Envious Unknowns 😉
Well, we have come to another year’s end and are readying to ring in another new year! … gulp … ALREADY!?! This year our Holiday Letter is here on my Blog!
May you have a safe and fun-filled Holiday 2008-2009 Season filled with pleasant new memories for your journals, photo albums, and scrapbooks! I don’t believe that I have ever attended this many pot lucks, parties, and get-togethers in this short of time before in my life! The sense of ‘community’ is GREAT! I rarely encounter a “Mr. (or Ms.) Grinch” 😀
As many of you know by now, Andy applied for a job at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii on the Big Island in early 2006 and major excitement ensued. After several telephone interviews were conducted with Andy, WE (not just He) were invited to the Big Island in October 2006 for face-to-face interviews (and a day on the summit of Mauna Kea to assess Andy’s ability to hold up and function at an elevation of nearly 14,000 feet).
While Andy was interviewing, I checked out as much of Waimea (Kamuela per the US Post Office) and Waikoloa as I could in four days. It was great! When we got back home, we anticipated the call because we felt that everything went so well and the possibilities were VERY attractive. He has been regularly posting his activities on his Blog at http://www.darkerview.com/darkview/ since.
An AWESOME way to give back to the community and it was FUN!!!! Not to mention that it was cooler!
Following our event filled drive up the mountain, we ate the Thanksgiving dinner of Turkey, Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Jelly, and more that was waiting for us at Hale Pohaku (HP) and then went to the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station (VIS) to assist with the public star gazing program until 10pm.
Just as we finished our dinner and Andy was eating his dessert, he got a call to help troubleshoot an issue at Keck on the Summit. He helped them get it fixed quickly so we weren’t delayed in getting to the VIS by too much; and he made them happy.
Due to the number of clouds, we weren’t even sure if we were going to be able to see the stars and planets tonight anyway. When we got to the VIS, the ‘scopes were just getting set up; and the sky began to show promise.
I took several photos of the spectacular sunset and the process of setting up which included the volunteers, and the staff; and all the while, I was seeing small improvements in the condition of the sky where the clouds slowly began to disappear and more of the Milky Way and stars could be seen.
It cleared off so well that Andy was able to get some very good shots of the conjunction of the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter after he mentioned it several times leading up to the big day in his blog’s ‘Astronomy: Events‘ category. Just in case you are wondering, like I was at first introduction, “what is a Conjunction?” – check out this Conjunction entry at Wikipedia.
As I was processing the picture of Andrew setting up a telescope at the VIS and the sunset behind him, I came across a comment by John on Andrew’s posting about the “Conjunction forming a ‘Smiley Face’ on November 30, 2008”; and a link to some pictures of it.
Then I noted that the telescope’s corrector plate cover that Andy was setting up also had a ‘Smiley Face’ on it 🙂 I am confident that the clouds parted just for us this night!
We had a large number of people drop in and the telescopes as well as the gift shop and theater were quite busy until closing.
The night may have gotten off to a slow start; but it flew by without my even noticing the time until it was time to put up the telescopes, the gear; and go home. We LIKE to volunteer there for many reasons; but I think the biggest reason for me is to hear people exclaim, “WOW! I didn’t know there was soooo much up there to see!” or that first comment or question of the evening and usually from a child, “Where do you put the picture of that in the telescope?”
We then set about explaining that they are looking at the real thing in the sky, and we point it out with a green laser pointer right where the telescope is focused. The Green Laser Pointer sets off a whole new question set and we explain that it is a professional tool not a toy; but that they could become a professional in a science degree then they could get a green laser pointing ‘tool’, too 😉
While I was waiting for dark and the big scopes were being set up, I helped set up the Dobsonian telescopes then I took some flash photos behind the VIS that I think look kind of neat!
The sunset itself seemed to change as fast as I could blink. Some were saying that the color was due in large part to the amount of Vog in the air and the lack of trade winds at the time. As much fun as I was having with my eyes and sinuses, I was in agreement with them.
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