I was reflecting back on the books I read throughout 2016 this morning, and thought I’d share the list, roughly grouped by how much I enjoyed them. I’ve gotten better about quitting books that aren’t right for me after a couple chapters, so nothing in here I wouldn’t recommend. Highly Recommend: The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov: This is my new favorite Asimov book, displacing ‘The Gods Themselves‘, which I also highly recommend. It’s a great story, with a clever approach to exploring the philosophy of time. Skyfaring by Mark Vanhoenacker: A detailed account about what’s it’s like to be a commercial aircraft pilot, with many interesting anecdotes. If you enjoy flying, you’ll probably enjoy the book. The Idea Factory
Following our beach day in the Kona and Kohala coast area, and then our drive to Volcano, HI with a few stops along the way, Laura and I had two full days in the National Park. Unfortunately, it rained like crazy the first day. We were told it was the heaviest rain the area had gotten in years. But we ventured into the park anyway, hoping to catch a break in the downpour. We stopped at the visitor center for some recommendations on hikes, and Mark, a ranger, convinced us that despite the rain, and despite the forecast for 24 more hours of rain, the park was filled with “micro climates” and there could be plenty of relatively dry areas. So
After our first day at the beach outside of Kona, Laura and I drove to Volcano, HI to spend a few days in Volcanoes National Park. We first stopped at Big Island Bees, a local honey farm that’s south of Kona and is just outside Captain Cook. We picked up a few jars of honey, and I was able to get a few shots of one of their demonstration hives, which was inside a large glass container: Just around the corner, we found a beach with perfect blue water: The guy at the honey store had recommended a hike along our route that’s only open on weekends. It’s called Kahuku and is in a separate section of the National Park
Laura and I arrived on the Big Island Thursday evening for a week long getaway, and we had our first full day yesterday. Had perfect weather, a great start to the trip. Here are a few of the highlights. A bird on a tree while we were having breakfast at our B&B outside Kona: Some turtles, or Hono, on the beach at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park: Some lava stones at Mauna Lani: And then finally the sunset from Anaeho’omalu Beach: Time for day two.
Last weekend I spent a bit of time playing with the Nikon SB-600 external flash. I’ve had it for a few years now, but rarely bring it along when I shoot. I experimented with some of the different settings and with a range of lighting angles and had some great results. My subject, of course, was the Moose. She sat still, but looked very concerned throughout. More on my photography site.
Yesterday I was searching for some public data, and stumbled upon some good carbon emissions data from the European Commission. I decided to toss it into Tableau to visualize CO2 emissions by country – current state and trend. It’s been a while since I’ve done any data visualization outside of work. Here’s what I came up with after a couple beers.
I’ve recently begun going back through photos I’ve taken over the past ten years and carefully editing some of my favorites. Many of them are shots that I previously reviewed as part of a batch, and at the time didn’t give any one particular photo a meaningful amount of attention. In doing this, I’ve also begun building a portfolio at Shutterstock, one of the more popular stock photography websites. I view it as a bit of a challenge, as their technical requirements and standards are quite difficult to meet. Historically I’ve taken a more artistic approach to photo shooting and editing, and as I first submitted shots, most were rejected. Gradually I’m learning what I need to do to get them accepted,
This is one of my favorite recipes of all time. I discovered Sorachi Ace when someone brought a homebrewed gallon to a friend’s party and I gave it a try. For the first time in years, I felt as though I was trying a new style of beer. It wasn’t just good, it was completely unfamiliar. A hop profile I had never experienced. It’s a strain that was developed in Japan by Sapporo in the 70’s and 80’s, and is only now making it’s way to the US market in meaningful quantities. I went home and immediately did some research, eager to brew something similar. The below recipe is what I came up with. And I’m very happy with it.
This will be some delicious beer: