Friday, March 26, 2010

Seed beads in my Etsy shop

Just a brief announcement for now, I listed all the colors of 11/0 Jablonex Ornela seeds beads I have in my Etsy shop. I will list the 6/0 ones later.

Driving over Saddle Road - expect delays

No pictures in this one. I should have thought of it then.

So here is me yesterday, interrupting my vacation for an errand of sorts and driving back to Hilo. First stop Waikii. About 5 minutes, I'm glad I realized this rather early on and turned off my truck's engine. Too bad I missed most of Elton John's "Love Lies Bleeding", but I wouldn't drain my battery for music. Some stop on the way down the other side but not to mention really. Ran my errands, got gas (gas is $0.37 less in Hilo than in even Waimea), get back on the road. This time, long stoppage on the Hilo side construction, about 15 miles up. I turn off my engine, most other people it looks like didn't. This was a longish stop, a loader loading from one side of the road into a truck on the other side of the road (both of this should read "former road", really), finally got out of this, and was passed by all but construction equipment in a matter of minutes. (I'm turning into a Hilo oba-chan, or maybe not?). Getting up into the Saddle, most the people who passed were going speed limit (eh, why did they pass me in the first place, I was then), and I realized that there were some that I really didn't want to have ahead of me (one turned into Mauna Kea State Park), and I did pass those on the log straight stretches there are now. I didn't know my 5yo truck still can go as fast as it did. And I have to put out some word of internet advertising for J&J Auto. They fixed my truck up so that it feels almost like new.
Getting back down to Waikii, they had the paving of the long straight stretch done (they got a mile or so done between I went one way and coming back the other way, I find this pretty amazing). I was glad I had passed the tourists before even getting to the newly paved windy bit (which is done great, by the way). )

But, I have to say, automatic pickup trucks are not built for ease of shifting between D and 2. I thought I had slept wrong after driving over, but driving both ways in one day and using engine braking as much as I could, I know why my right shoulder hurt on Monday. Much worse today. It probably doesn't exactly help that I'm left handed.

Anyways, expect delays when going over Saddle Road during the week. Really. Both ends too.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


So well, I'm on vacation. No, we didn't leave the island. It's a good thing too. I'll be driving back to Hilo tomorrow to take care of some stuff and so I reactivated the botanical stuff in my Etsy shop that I couldn't have shipped while on vacation otherwise.

I meant to post the first incarnation of my lampwork collection necklace weeks ago but didn't get around to it yet, and I did (I am on vacation after all) manage to take that apart and put together again, with some of my own beads wire wrapped in it as spacers. It doesn't exist anymore in the same way, but here it is/was:

As I came across a pretty awful picture of my latest lampwork beads while uploading pictures, here's a picture of those too:
At least his is only an awful picture of what I otherwise consider reasonably OK (newbie) beads.

And if you absolutely have to know this, I spent an hour or so on the phone to the telescope tonight too. And I'm so glad I got the truck fixed when I did. That's what we drove over here in. I love J&J. Called in today, can take DH's car in tomorrow, that's why I'm driving back to Hilo.

So, would you call this a vacation?
(I'll be picking up some forgotten items too, but I wouldn't have driven over for them alone)

Friday, March 12, 2010

A couple of UKIRT updates

It looks like UKIRT (which is where my work is) will go to a minimalist operation mode at least until March 2012. For us in the instrument and telescope software group that will mean some interesting new work as we have to make everything capable of being operated remotely. We have been able to operate (and even power cycle) some things remotely for a long time, and now there will be more of them, and different ones. There's bound to be a bit of fun (software engineering kind of fun) in that - and some time pressure. As JCMT are still in the process of shared risk observing (on sky science commissioning with visiting observers) of their amazing new instrument SCUBA2, we're going to be busy.

Another new thing from UKIRT is a new data release of the WFCAM UKIDSS galactic plane survey. You can look at the whole thing or details here - if I'm honest, I could look around that thing for days. (I hope I'm allowed to make this public, but it's on a website that's public. And, advance warning, there a heck of a lot of data in it)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Not sure whether I should have made these beads

Last weekend, in spite of the wind, I did make some beads. It was gusting about 30 mph and sometimes blowing hot air right into my face, but I did anyway. The beads turned out awful. I boiled the glass I was using,

and most of them have broken off ends:

However, being still really new to lampwork (in terms of doing it myself, not in terms of being exposed to it), I learned something, or at least I hope I did. Today's beads are in the kiln, and I tried to keep the glass further away from the flame. And yes, you can very obviously boil glass on a HotHead.