May 26, 2008

Set phasers to stun

Memorial Day is a pretty depressing holiday. I set aside several moments of screaming as I remembered the past seven years of idiotbush and his henchmen fucking the country up. I'm so glad i'm working tonight and I slept pretty much the whole day. It's yet another night full of star simulation with adaptive optics. We're getting some excellent infrared imagery this evening. I was really surprised to notice the final remainder of twilight didn't fade away completely until 8:30 or so. Up here has to be like the only place within hundreds of miles one can observe twilight that long. It's just very cool being thousands of feet above the cloud ceiling, with just a little imagination feeling like you're on a floating island.

On the way up I noticed just the very tip of the summit of the much smaller Mt. Hualalai peeking out, like a barren island in an ocean of cloud cover. The stars this high up seem so much more brilliant and close. I feel like I can reach up and grab a handful of them. I was playing 'Scaling' by ยต-Ziq on my player while observing, and it was incredibly appropriate for the setting. I've been using the time spent outside to learn the constellations as well. I can now identify more than just the Big Dipper!

Even cooler is watching the sodium laser as it's fired up into the cosmos. Seems like something out of a science fiction movie. The natural surroundings are otherworldly. Rocky, barren, devoid of all life, insect or plant, and eerily silent and still. Add some futuristic-looking, high-tech spinning domes resembling R2-D2's upper half perched on various hillsides, and this definitely seem like a good setting for a sci-fi flick. It's pretty stellar.

I also love the cozy lounge-esque atmosphere of the computer control room as well, with the subdued red and ultraviolet fluorescent lighting. Lots of comfy sofas for dozing when I feel like it. It's always nice to head back down to a lush planet full of abundant life at dawn though, descending into and underneath the thick blanket of rain clouds before the brilliant sun with its horribly intense ultraviolet rays has a chance to show up.

The commute to this job is always fascinating and exciting, involving a considerable drive over a fairly infamous and primitive Saddle Road everyone drives down the middle of to avoid pits and potholes, even though substantial segments of it are cloaked in dense fog on a daily basis. But with gas over $4 a gallon, I'd rather live in such a place near the university astronomy center where I hardly have to commute at all. Hopefully I can make enough to move back into my college town in June for awhile.

Speaking of the astronomy center, I heard there is a museum around there with an eatery called the Sky Garden Cafe which serves good food with space-themed twists and the atmosphere is pretty rad. I've gotta remember to check that place out, if only because of its name. Anyway, uh, time to go play more NES games with the horrible handicap of a keyboard for a controller and the unfair advantage of save/restore states.

1 comment:

fleetingentity said...

Sounds so 'rad' you 80's baby you! Though it's a trek, I am glad it's one you enjoy and very happy that you love working there so much! On the other hand, if you're talking about ConsoleClassix -I don't know about other games, but Legend of Zelda saves my play. When you come visit and play with me, I have the original controllers and such so you won't feel so handicapped :)