Outer space, all for you!

NASA has a massive library of amazing photos and they are right there for us to use! Read the fine print because there are some restrictions but for the most part we can use them for non-commercial purposes. I have always loved this sort of picture…

This image shows the galaxy Messier 94, which lies in the small northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs, about 16 million light-years away. Within the bright ring around Messier 94 new stars are forming at a high rate and many young, bright stars are present within it – thanks to this, this feature is called a starburst ring. The cause of this peculiarly shaped star-forming region is likely a pressure wave going outwards from the galactic centre, compressing the gas and dust in the outer region. The compression of material means the gas starts to collapse into denser clouds. Inside these dense clouds, gravity pulls the gas and dust together until temperature and pressure are high enough for stars to be born.

This image shows the galaxy Messier 94, which lies in the small northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs, about 16 million light-years away. Within the bright ring around Messier 94 new stars are forming at a high rate and many young, bright stars are present within it – thanks to this, this feature is called a starburst ring.

And the earth from space is also pretty darned interesting!

A hurricane, seen from space.

I was reminded about these free NASA images by John McWade. You should watch his free video about how he made calendars using these images. I read all of his issues of Before & After, published over the last many years. I learned so much about graphic design, text, and layout from him! He is now at Lynda.com and I wish him years of happiness there.


We are staying in Waikiki. Let me just say that this is a place that is about shopping. Lots of it. If you don’t have shopping where you live, and if you like to shop, this is Nirvana. If that’s not your thing, Waikiki is sort of like hell.

I can love it, in small doses. Let me just mention that Steve and I went to the Apple store and I had a sincerely great time. My wrist is happier than I thought it could be. I know, I said I would resist. Dammit. I could not. More about that in a future post.

The four of us went to Kailua Beach today. This is one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, depending on when you go. In our experience, it’s better in the summer than it is in the winter. I mostly took people pictures for this post but if you check my instagram or facebook feeds, you’ll find more.

The Japanese kids are so very cute! And their parents are cute too!


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This mom pulled her kids going…beckygoldsmith-Oahu-37-1

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And this woman may be the selfie queen. Later, I offered to take a photo of her with her phone but she was all about doing her own thing.beckygoldsmith-Oahu-26-1


Let me admit that I take pictures. More than I used to. But I am not going to fall into selfie-land. Just how much documentation do we need? I know that the photos I took on this trip are largely meaningless in the grand scheme of things. They are not going to be famous, or noteworthy, or… you get the idea. They are fun! And I enjoy sharing them. But tomorrow, when we hike up Diamondhead at a very early hour, I am not carrying the big camera. And Steve says he isn’t either. Watch for instagram photos :-).

We fly home tomorrow. This has been a lovely trip, shared with good friends. I hope to get back to Hawaii in the future. If you have never been, don’t miss this place. It is truly special.


Kauai and the Napali Coast…

We are staying in Princeville for a few nights. Today we did a 4 mile hike on the Napali Coast—2 mile in, 2 out. This is not an extreme hike but it gets your attention. There are ups and downs aplenty. The views are spectacular.


We stopped at the stream. There are rocks, big and small and we did the mountain goat thing and got to where we could see the beach. I took pictures, and so did Amanda. Can you tell that there was sweating involved?


Some (stupid) people swam here. It is not advised. If you get swept out, you are just gone. In fact, we passed this sign that most people probably ignore, along with the rest of the other warning signs.


We knew we weren’t going to swim so we didn’t wear swimsuits. That is not necessarily a deterrent.


This nice, older (than me, by several years) lady proceeded to take off, and a little later put on, her attire. She was joined by two other ladies who were maybe about my age who did the same thing. No fuss, no muss, just enjoying the day. I gotta say, they were completely comfortable in their bodies and I celebrated that from afar.

Keith crossed the stream to check out a cave.


And then we hiked out. The same ups and downs, but in the other direction. Then we swam for a while at Ke’e Beach. The surf was up enough that we didn’t go out far. Nice swimming. Amazing views of the cliffs. Steve and I took each others’ picture.



And then we left for happy hour and MaiTais in Hanalei and dinner back in the condo. Life is very good.

I am now going to shut down and read my book. Amanda recommended The Informationist and I am loving it. Keith recommended The Martian and I plowed through that last week. Both are great beach reads!

Maui, days 1 and 2…

We landed yesterday in Kahului, Maui, and had some time to kill before checking into the hotel so we visited the Iao Valley and Needle. Let me just say that you can miss this and not feel bad. It is a lovely view but there were too many people and a serious shortage of parking spaces.

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We drove to Paia and had the good fortune to find nice lunch, fabulous gelato, and the Cesere Brothers gallery. We were lucky enough to have time to visit with John who told us about their (marine/nature) photography. It’s really amazing and before too long one of their prints will be hanging in our house!

We are staying in Lahaina which was a whaling town. There are many lovely beaches nearby—today we went to Kahekili Beach Park to snorkel and sit on the beach. The people watching was as good as the fish watching.


We also snorkeled off of the Mala boat ramp. This was a little more challenging. The way in and out of the water was shallow and rocky, with some coral. We had to be careful.


The boats were on the other side of the boat ramp so that wasn’t a problem. Steve almost had a problem…


But then the shark spit him out. [Really, not to worry. No sharks, that we’ve seen. That’s the Snorkel Bob shark that I photoshopped into the the photo. Our mom’s can now stop worrying :-).]

Amanda and I have been snapping lots of photos, sometimes of each other!


Tomorrow we are hiking on Haleakala. It will be a long, but satisfying day. I’ll take pictures to prove it!

From Hilo to Kona…

We left the volcano area and drove from Hilo to Kona around the long way. We stopped at Laupahoehoe Point which is scenic and was also the site of a tsunami tragedy in the 1940s. Very few people live there now, but there is a park, some campsites, and an impressive boat launch with what look like giant concrete jacks tossed around it.

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I took many photos there but it was so humid, and there was so much water in the air, that they all look out of focus.

We spent a couple of nights at the Royal Kona, which looks a little like a cruise ship.


There are nice views…


We walked around and I spied these treasures left on the seawall…. such a nice composition.IMG_4772

We went to happy hour and enjoyed live music and people watching (and MaiTais). This lady was fun to watch. She looked so staid but really perked up when the parasailers flew by.


On our full day on the Kona side we visited Pu’u Honua O’honaunau, the City of Refuge, an interesting historic site that is next to a fantastic snorkeling spot.


I had fun taking pictures….

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Amanda took photos too…



I don’t take pictures under water so you just have to trust me that the fish were amazing.

Today, we left the Big Island and are now on Maui, staying in Lahaina. Back to snorkeling tomorrow. Yay! Life really is very good.