It's been a little bit quiet around here as I spent pretty much the last two weeks of July and the first week of August away, first back on the west coast for a family reunion then in Honolulu for a business trip. The triennial IAU (International Astronomical Union) conference was back in the U.S. for the first time in twenty-five years, and as a new organization EAO wanted to have a booth there to help get our name out. Which is why I got to spend a fun week in Honolulu talking to people about the JCMT!
Despite flying through the Honolulu airport twice a year on average for the past six years this was my first time actually outside the airport. It was a bit of a shock just how different it was from Hilo. O‘ahu has a lot of basically flat area, something that is in short supply on Hawai‘i, and it was discombobulating to drive for miles with essentially no elevation change. Though the half-mile walk to the convention center from my hotel was flat rather than uphill, so I'm not complaining.
Check out our nifty booth!
That fantastic diorama of the summit of Mauna Kea on the left there belongs to Subaru with whom we were sharing a booth, and boy, was it popular throughout the conference. It was really nice to be able to point out to people exactly where the JCMT (and everything else) on the summit was.
While I was there, I got to do something most people don't associate with Hawaii: ice skating! My co-worker and friend from college that I went over with, Will, suggested it, so one night after the convention was over we took the bus over the skating rink. I even took a really poor picture as proof!
Yeah, that picture didn't really come out well. I blame my slightly deranged expression on the fact that I was standing on ice skates and concentrating on not falling over. It was a lot of work, and there was much comedic flailing as I rounded the rink a few times, but at least I managed not to fall down over the course of the hour I spent on the ice. All in all, a fun experience. Look forward to some pictures from my time in Oregon soon!