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August 27, 2006

Vestiges of Hawaii

Jennifer and I saw a lot of unusual things in the islands, including Black Brittle Starfish, Crown of Thorns Starfish, Red Pencil Urchins, Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles, Brazilian Cardinal, Portuguese Man-of-war, and, of course, the Gold Dust Day Gecko.

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 27, 2006 at 11:23 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Delta/Comair Flt 5191 Crashes in Lexington Field

Delta/Comair Flight 5191 crashed into a field at the Lexington, KY airport today.

Comair is Delta's regoinal short-haul carrier partner. The flight attendants call ComAir "ComScare", but I've never had any problems flying them.

The CRJ has a good safety record. It's not a bad plane. Lots of carriers use them in the United States. THey're easy to identify, because the way their wings point up at the tips. (The Airbus wingtips stick up a little, but not nearly as much as a CRJ). Jennifer and I flew on a CRJ-200 twice last week, from Honolulu to Hilo and from Kona to Honolulu. I fly on the CRJ-200 pretty frequently (about once a week). I'm ambivalent about the plane. It's small, fast, and sleek, but it has small overhead bins, and I always hit my head on the lighted Emergency Exit sign, beause the cabin is small, and I always forget to duck.

If you look at the phots showing the crash site in relation to the airport, it's very clear that they simply used the wrong runway. They took off on Runway 22 (3,500 feet), instead of Runway 26 (7,000 feet). This was easy to do since the runways are close together, runway 26 (and part of 22) had just been repaved, they lined up in the dark, and were probably the first plane out there in the morning:

As usual, AirDisaster.com has the scoop.

[snip]... the 0600AM departure means a 0400AM wakeup. You're tired and it's still dark. You're the only plane out there, so tower probably cleared you for takeoff before you ever left the ramp area.....you see a lit up piece of concrete and away you go.

Update: Apparently, they weren't the "only plane out there". Two other planes departed on the correct ruway (runway 22) at 6:02 and 6:04. Flt 5191 was cleared for Take Off at 6:05.

Apparently, other people have made the same mistake - that is, they lined up on the wrong runway at Lexington before, and went so far as to suggest a solution to prevent this tragedy that wasn't adopted.

Update: The plane has been confirmed as a CRJ-100ER, tail number N431CA. It was alternately described as a CRJ-100 or a CRJ-200. I don't think you could tell the difference in a 100 from a 200 from the outside. The 200 has improved GE engines over the 100, but I'm not clear that you could tell them apart from outside the cabin.

The plane crash, for some reason, makes me recall our approach into Hilo in the CRJ-200. We got into a nice, sharp bank, where you could look across the aisle out that far window, and see only ocean, and look out my window, and see nothing but sky. We were banking really hard. And, I fly a lot, so I don't panic much in these situations. If you're going to die, you're going to die, and wailing and crying isn't going to change rule number 1. But, when we deboarded, I did ask the pilot about the approach, and he said we were "on a visual".

I had the same thing happen in Nashville about a month ago. Same drill where they're augering the plane in, dodging thunderheads. These pilots are nuts. They live for a "visual" approach, so that they can fly around clouds and toss us around like luggage on a baggage cart. Most of them are ex-military, so it's the only excitement they get, I suppose.

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 27, 2006 at 12:49 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

August 22, 2006

Is John Karr JonBenet Ramsey's Killer?

Here's a sketch of the JonBenet's killer produced by psychic Dorothy Allison in 1998, beside a photo of John Karr. The psychic died one year after producing the sketch.

See for yourself. Here's the ransom letter written in 1996. Here's a sample of John Karr's handwriting from 10 years earlier.

Here's Bart Baggett's notes on the handwriting analysis.

Newsgroup discussion on Karr's possible involvement.
Is John Karr telling the truth?

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 22, 2006 at 12:22 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 21, 2006

Hawaii Vacation - Google Earth

Here are our Goole Earth placemarks from Hawaii:

Oahu: Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Waimanalo, Shark's Cove
The Big Island: Hilo - Banyan Drive, Baby Monk Seal, Kailua Kona, Anaehoomalu Bay, Honaunau Bay

Update: I was having problems with Internet Explorer attempting to open the .kmz files as .zip files. Technically, they are .zip files, but they should open with Google Earth. Following the directions on this web site, I updated my .htaccess and I restarted Apache, and it seems to be working for me now.

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 21, 2006 at 1:57 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 20, 2006

Aloha

Jennifer and I reluctantly returned from our vacation to Oahu and Hawaii today. Many thanks to Uncle Brian, Aunt Karen, and James for being such generous hosts in their beach front house in Waimanalo. Always makes it nicer to have such good friends to hang out with in paradise.

Hawaii is really indescribable. If you've never been to Hawaii, you need to go. Life is short. The earth is small. Enjoy your stay here. It will be over before you know it. :)

As for the colors in these images, they may look somewhat surreal or preternatural. Some might even suggest that they have been modified in photoshop. They have not. All I did in photoshop was adjust contrast, or, in some cases, lighten shadows on people's faces. In one image, I removed a powerline. This really is what the water in Hawaii looks like as viewed through a polarizing filter (or polarized sunglasses).

This slideshow is composed of original images I shot on Oahu and Hawaii. (Except the photos with me in them. Brian shot those. Thanks again, Brian.) All photos were captured using a Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens, and a Canon EF 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens.

This slideshow (5:56) is a 10.6 Meg self-playing executable named bittersweet.exe created using Imagematics StillMotion PE+. Soundtrack is Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve, available as a CD Import Single.

Click here to download the presentation. If you have an Apple, or you're running Unix, or if you're nervous about running a .exe file from my site, then click here to download the Macromedia Flash version. The resolution is not quite as good on the Macromedia Flash version, and you can't pause and go backward and forward, but it loads faster, and it's a fairly decent presention. Click here if you need help.

Lyrics in the extended entry.

Continue reading "Aloha"

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 20, 2006 at 8:20 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

August 15, 2006

Hawaii - Day 3

Today, we hiked up Diamondhead, went to the Waikiki Aquarium, Chinatown, Bishop Square, and drove by the Royal Palace, munching on Spam Sushi, Hot Lau Lau, Bubble Tea, and Hawaiian Shave Ice all the while. When James got out of school, we met up back in Waimanalo for some boogie board action. James and some of his friends brought out an inflatable boat which was pretty much hilarious. We’ basically sat in it and tried to surf it into the beach. More often than not, the waves just sent us tumbling like bowling pins. ( I think I was the only one in the boat over the age of 11). At some point, the kids all split up and said “I’ll see you in school tomorrow? and I thought…this wouldn’t be a bad life for a kid (or a seal, for that matter).

I shot over 1,100 images today on my camera, with some help from Brian. I started shooting before the sun came up, and shot until dark. But Brian shot some at the beach while Jennifer and I were in the water trying to kill ourselves on the boogie boards, and he’s a much better photographer than me, in any event. As for the date time stamps on the images, they’re pretty much useless, ‘cause I didn’t change the time on my camera, and we’re 5 hours behind Central Standard Time out here.

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 15, 2006 at 2:55 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Hawaii - Day 2

On our second day on Oahu, we went snorkeling in Hanauma Bay in the morning, and in Shark's Cove up on the north shore in the afternoon. Hanauma Bay is always a good place to start (thanks, Alice), but if you can bear the drive to the North Shore, Shark's Cove is crystal clear with schools of fish. Even my buddy Brian that lives here didn't know about it, but he was impressed.

After a full day of snorkeling, we gorged ourselves on Hot Lau Lau, rice, and portugese malasadas. (I can hear myself getting fatter.)

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 15, 2006 at 2:37 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 13, 2006

Hawaii - Day 1

Hawaiian Airlines moved from Terminal 4 to Terminal 3 yesterday (August 11th) at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. But I was clever enough to figure it out just by paying attention when we were on the inter-terminal shuttle. Then, after about an hour delay due to a mechanical problem in Phoenix, we flew from Phoneix to Honolulu in a short 5 hour and 48 minute flight, gaining 3 hours from Arizona, or 4 hours from Denver, or 5 hours from Nashville. It all depends on how far back you go, I guess, but I woke up in Nashville Friday morning, so I'm five hours off my time zone, if I can honestly lay claim to one.

On our last flight, I half-convinced Jennifer that the co-pilot had taken the faulty GPS units from the Boeing 767 to RadioShack for repair, leaving us in the hands of a blind pilot, complete with a cane, dark glasses, and a seeing-eye dog. I told her it would be illegal to discrimiate against blind people when hiring pilots, and I half-convinced myself.

We went boogie boarding in Waimanalo, but it was a little too rough for Jennifer, I think. I had fun, but she got held under a little longer than her comfort level would allow. Then, she got stung on the hand and leg by a Portugese Man-O-War. Unfortunately, she thought it was a "crab on a fishing line" and tried to pick it up. She won't make that mistake again, I can assure you. Brian said nothing could be done, but Hawaiian Shaved Ice seemed to do the trick. :)

Also, by chance, the volcano started flowing into the ocean again just recently, for the first time in a long time. We're going to check it out in a helicopter next week.

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 13, 2006 at 1:45 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

August 6, 2006

Reuters Admits Using Photoshopped Image

Reuters has admitted running a photo that was digitally manipulated using Photoshop.

http://pajamasmedia.com/2006/08/introducing_pajamas_media_poli.php
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=21971_The_First_Casualty&only
http://www.coxandforkum.com/

Update: Reuters withdraws all Adnan Hajj photos;second photo doctoring confirmed

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 6, 2006 at 10:42 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Al Gore's Penguin Army

This is a pretty funny spoof of Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth.

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 6, 2006 at 9:30 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Time Killing Game - Seconds of Madness

http://games.byethost32.com/forum/index.php?action=arcade;sa=play;game=124

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 6, 2006 at 1:10 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

August 5, 2006

Interspecies Pals

Here is an interesting post on inter-species friendships. It documents the unlikely bonds formed between the following aminals:

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 5, 2006 at 6:13 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

My Back Yard...

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 5, 2006 at 5:52 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Georgetown Lake Massacre

We only caught 12 trout this time. We let 6 go and kept 6. We caught 28 trout last weekend, so, that's 40 trout in two weekends. Not too bad, all things considered.

Posted by Peenie Wallie on August 5, 2006 at 10:38 AM | Permalink