Solar Eclipse from Regina, SK

The eclipse today was visible from Regina, but not the totality available to Americans in many states.

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017
My new Canon SX540 HS did a good job with a pair of solar eclipse filter glasses taped over the lens. The sunspot chain was very sharp and visible at 200X digital zoom, 80ISO.

I made a projector that worked well:

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017

ADDED: Here’s 2012’s annular eclipse in Regina.

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Still More Hawaiian Sights

Pearl Harbor

The 3rd day of driving, we headed toward the old Dole Plantation. After climbing a hill on the freeway, the Leaf’s battery was a little depleted especially since we started off at 66% since we couldn’t charge it overnight. We aimed for a free charger at a decidedly not-free health care clinic.

There was a huge solar array covered car-park behind it, and we circled the building only to finally find an EV charger that was either out of service, or not compatible with our EV. After learning from the support number on it that the troubleshooting steps I’d taken weren’t sufficient, we popped over to Tony Nissan to charge up. There were 3 Leafs there already, and only 2 chargers. One soon left after a couple minutes, and another Leaf rolled up with no miles remaining on the guessometer. I let him charge first, and we talked about his vehicle so I could learn more about owning an EV. The CHAdeMO charger at Tony had been broken for some time, and I overheard it wasn’t being repaired for months longer. That seemed totally unacceptable to me, but that’s what Nissan corporate in the USA wanted to do. Tony had shelled out $9000 already once to fix the cord on the charger, but it’d broken in some way again. I think there’s probably a design flaw, and some sort of replacement unit going in their place in the next few months.

We got our time on the charger, and rolled back down the hill and over to the other half of Pearl Ridge Mall that we had skipped the day before. This time we rode the Monorail over to the side with the giant Cook map on the floor, where we’d charged the car after the Tesla vacated the charging spot I waited 40 minutes for. We had to check all of the chargers before finding an available one. Another Leaf, and a BMW i3 were on the upper parkade chargers.

While charging, we had lunch, and shopped around a bit for jewelry and such. I popped out to see how the car was doing, and a young woman was charging her Leaf instead. Curious, I asked what was up, and she had to be across the island for a deadline of some sort, and apologized for interrupting my charging. I said it was okay, and to just plug me back in when she had enough for her destination.

Pearl Harbor

Then we went over to Pearl Harbor as it was closing, parked nearby, took some photos, parked again, took more photos, and got out of the lot just before they locked it up for the night.

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

We drove past an unfinished freeway hanging over us in the air, and through Honolulu killing time exploring while on our way to return the Leaf to Autoland.
Pearl Harbor

electric tree
An electric Leaf definitely needs an electric tree!

We enjoyed the sunset at the coast in a park, with some cats, newly married couples, and a few homeless people in tents.
cat fed in Kaka'ako park

wedding in park

More Sights In Hawaii

After a couple nights at the first place we stayed, we dropped off our keys and picked up the ones for the next place. The timeshare employees moved our bags for us once the rooms were cleaned, which was convenient.

Army museum closed for President's Day weekend

On Monday, President’s Day, we hopped on the bus to the other side of Honolulu, and picked up our rental car, an electric Nissan Leaf. After getting a quick tour of the car, (but not one where we retained that there was a USB port available to charge our phones), we took off into the distance not entirely sure where to go. I reasoned we should set a free car charger as our next stop, so we picked one east of Waikiki on the Plugshare app on my phone, and set the phone’s GPS to navigate us to it. When we were almost there, we pulled over into a large free parking lot to take a quick look and stretch.
A few minutes later we pulled into a busy parking lot, and immediately spotted the free Volta-branded EV charger, and the parking spot was available narrowly. I squeezed in beside a pickup, and we plugged in.
Hawaii

With up to 2 hours to kill, we wandered off to find lunch. There was an Italian place, and we got a window table by the boat docks.
Hawaii
I tried calamari steak for the first time, and it was good, but there was a lot of it. American sized meal portions remain a bit of a problem even for a bottomless pit like myself.

The car was fully charged again when we returned to it, after charging our phones in a mall hallway outlet. We set off for the next charger. We stopped along the way at the rocky ocean side where there was a free parking spot with lots of tourists doing the same.
Hawaii
Leaf parked

The Target we ended up at had chickens and roosters wandering around the parking lot. The EV charger was busy though, so we explored the town more after taking a wrong turn once and having to go in a circle.

We found the grocery store charger was busy too, but another pair of chargers (one working and occupied) provided us with some free juice after only a 30 minute shopping wait. We walked over to another mall nearby, and there was a nice sitting area with an outdoor phone charging stand. One of the haggard parents we saw there with a little girl, we ran into later on the Luau bus trip we took on Thursday.

On our way back to Waikiki, there was a charger near a McDonalds, but it only worked for 5 minutes without a payment option. So we drove back, parked, and went to supper at Cheeseburger in Paradise. Delicious, and you really pay for the location.

Cheeseburger in Paradise

golf course
The golf course visible from our condo’s balcony.

sunset
The next day’s sunset after a bit of shopping at Pearl Ridge, I found the beach to be a bit too well used.
sunset

sunset
For an unused beach, the parking security across the street was annoying given that their parking lot was empty and their suggestion was to park only 40m away on the dirt. I ended up finding a better spot adjacent to the beach, after a U-turn on the non-busy street.

Sights in Hawai’i

Last month I went with Jeri to Hawaii for a long-planned, pre-booked vacation. I wouldn’t have intentionally gone to Trump America, it just worked out that way. I had planned on spending a day at Pearl Harbor, but did in a different way. The historic sites would have cost over $100 each, and I’ve grown a little tired of the American US Park-style presentation of US history. So we skipped it (but not entirely).

I started the warm day by walking to the airport after taking the bus. That was an adventure. We stopped in Edmonton, then we had supper in Vancouver airport Canucks’ bar after US pre-clearance security. They now have you scan your own passport, as they take your photo, and ask you basic questions about your trip. Then a human looks at the paper later and asks you questions again, before waving you through to the USA while still in the airport.

We flew over what looked to be Victoria on Vancouver Island, then the sun went all the way down as it outran us, and the ocean below was completely dark. It was my first over-ocean flight. Eventually we reached the Hawaiian islands, and I snapped some photos of what I guess was Honolulu below, before we landed. The airport was not busy at that time of night, and the ad at the luggage claim said there was a shuttle available. I’d also read about it in a travel book on the plane. Their ticket selling person was not visible, so we and others had to wait at the shuttle for them to come along and process our payments, but eventually we got into Waikiki after a short drive. The security guard at our building gave us the key that had been set aside for us, and we were in our room in no time.

The waterway north of Waikiki beach was polluted. There was an unprotected bike lane, in the door-zone, down the busy one-way street beside it.
classic car parked on street
The walkway was attractive, and well used by joggers and cyclists.

Tiny birds no bigger than a cigarette

litter in waterway

litter in waterway

Several busy intersections were blessed with scramble crossing.
Scramble crossing

The view of the sunset from the first building we stayed in, wasn’t entirely spectacular, but was still special.
Sunset
There was a man below in the street shouting at traffic for hours. We had a nap, and he was still/or back at it when we woke. The time difference was 6 hours, so jet lag was definitely a thing. 3pm felt almost like bedtime in energy levels. One the upside, we could get up at 7am with no problem at all.

continued…

Astrophotography Is The Best

Jupiter is approximately 5.2 AU from our Sun, so almost 20 AU is pretty distant.

Gull Lake Hotel Fire

I didn’t hear until last week that the town of Gull Lake, on the Trans-Canada Highway, lost its Hotel building on Thanksgiving weekend. It was arson.

This Summer we spent a night in Gull Lake on our way through to Alberta on vacation, so I got some photos of the town, including the Hotel.

Gull Lake Saskatchewan

Gull Lake Saskatchewan