Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Well-Oiled Machine
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After a long lapse of panoramic photography, I decided to resume pursuing one of the goals that got me excited by it in the first place: virtual tours of ships.

To that end, I flew up to Oakland on Saturday for a day of shooting on the U.S.S. Hornet, which is anchored there as a floating museum. For those who've never visited such a vessel, the atmosphere aboard carries the smell of oil, grease, and metal, a unique combination I'ven't encountered anywhere else, although some garages come close. I neither like nor dislike it, but it's a strong association reinforced with each visit.

Anyway, I filled my MicroDrive with sets of 8-frame stills that now have to be batch-processed into QuickTime VR movies. Once that's done, it'll be time to make them into a tour by linking them to together and to an interactive map. After producing a final version, I need to decide what to do with it. More on that later.

Timing for the trip was perfect: no special events aboard, plus (I believe) the weekend before Thanksgiving means not too many people out and about. Hardly anyone visited, in any case, which greatly eases and speeds the shooting (no waiting for people to move out of frame). Also, I got a solo tour of the Command and Control Center, which is going to make a stunning, very-low-light panorama.

Spending a day aboard the carrier suited me just fine. It would be nice if we lived closer so that I could work as a volunteer aboard her, but maybe that's for some later time.


The flight back on Southwest was notable for its fun banter between flight crews forward and aft, as well as the general fun they had with the usual announcements, such as:

"In the event of loss of cabin pressure, air masks will *magically* appear. Be sure to put yours on before helping children or others in need of assistance. If you are travelling with more than one child, now would be a good time to pick your favorite."

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