Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Our Holiday in Hawaii, Part 5 Kauai

 


In the last week of our multi-island trip to Hawaii, we stayed in Kapaa, Kauai. This island is cooler and rainier than Big Island. A deep canyon, Waimea canyon, runs along the mountain spine of Kauaii. The top photo has a view over the canyon. For a panoramic view, see https://youtu.be/CwJ5BHt5KE0

 

The island has spectacular views of ocean and mountains. We also saw several pairs of Hawaiian Nene in Kiluaea park. See the video at https://youtube.com/shorts/P9zKPvfdXy0

The roosters crow loudly at night in Kauaii. See a pretty rooster at https://youtube.com/shorts/HY8-nRObN4Y

 

We stayed in an apartment in an interesting building in Kapa'a with statues of Buddha, mosaic tiles, and a lot of cats as well as the ubiquitous Kauai chickens. Calico cat was the friendliest of the cats (see above).

 

This photo of a cat lying on the lap of a statue encapsulates the vibe of the place in Kapa'a. It must have been built originally as a meditation center.

 

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Our Holiday in Hawaii, Part 4 Waimea, Big Island

 


For our final days on the Big Island of Hawaii, we stayed on a small farm in Waimea. The farm had two goats, several sheep, a large friendly cow and a goose. I petted the goat in the top photo.


 
We visited Lapakahi State Historical Park and saw ruined walls of old dwellings and the reconstructed hut in the photo above.

 

The adjacent stretch of beach, shown below, is restricted to protect the native Monk seals. It was too hot to walk in the sun for long, so we drove to another park with a sandy beach and swam for a while.

Next stop on our trip, the island of Kauai in the north west of Hawaii.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Our Holiday in Hawaii, Part 3 Volcanoes National Park

 


During our stay on the Big Island of Hawaii, we visited several different sections of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. In the main park, we walked part way around the rim of Kilauea Caldera. The top picture shows a view overlooking the smoking crater.

The trail goes past a series of steam vents and Sulphur Banks. The steam vents are best seen in my video on YouTube - https://youtube.com/shorts/8K51WMfvSqg .


 
The unusual yellow color of the Sulphur Banks is due to deposits of the element Sulphur from volcanic emissions. You can smell the sulfur when you walk past the bank.

 

We drove to Puuloa and hiked for about a mile across the old lava field to see the petroglyphs. It’s a desolate landscape, although some plants grow in the rocks. The picture below shows a petroglyph with a figure of a man. Many petroglyphs are circles, dots or simple depressions in the rock. 


 
On our final day near the Volcanoes National Park, we walked up the first part of the trail to Mauna Loa. The terrain is rocks with scrubby plants. Some have edible berries, which Nene and other animals eat. 

We stopped by the fence to the rest of the trail. It’s a three to four day hike to the volcano and requires proper back-country gear. Maybe we’ll do it another time. Hawaii is certainly a place we’d love to see again. 


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

News about My Books #SciFi and #Fantasy Adventures with Romance



All my novels and novellas are now available as paperbacks. The picture shows the first books in my main series, Secret Supers, Grand Masters' Galaxy, Atrapako on Eden, and Taxyon Space

You can clink on the series title for more information.

 


 
I have discounted all my ebooks at my Direct Bookstore.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Our Holiday in Hawaii, Part 2 Rainforest on Big Island

We spent a week in a ‘Rainforest Retreat’ near Naalehu on the Big Island of Hawaii. The two-room house was ‘off the grid’ using solar power for electricity and collecting rainwater. 

The house was surrounded by rainforest and adjacent to part of the Volcanoes National Park.

The bromeliads are home to the notorious coqui frogs that chirp loudly at night. They were introduced only recently to the island.

Other introduced plants, like the Nunshood Orchid, are beautiful. 

We were comfortable in the house, although we tried to minimize our use of electricity at night. Water was not a limitation since it rained almost every afternoon and night.  


Friday, October 14, 2022

My Visit to Hawaii - Part 1, Waikiki Beach

 


We spent three weeks visiting the Hawaiian islands. Since we flew into Honolulu airport on Oahu, we stayed in Waikiki for our first three days.

The top picture shows the view from one end of Waikiki Beach over the bay to the distinctive peak of Diamond Head.

During our stay, we walked along the beaches, discovered the ABC stores, and several good places to eat within a short distance of our room.

You can see more pictures and videos of Hawaii on Instagram and YouTube.

Here's a tropical view of palm trees and blue sky. 


We saw one or two glorious sunsets from the beach. This photo shows the boats in the harbor silhouetted in sunset colors and their reflections in the water.  

There are pleasant parks beside the beaches with many colorful birds and plants. This photo shows a Java Sparrow and a Saffron Sparrow. The videos on Instagram and YouTube give a better impression of the birds.

We also found a family of cats living in a tree by the beach. They were not friendly, although someone had left bowls of water under the tree for them. 


After Waikiki we flew to the Big Island of Hawaii. 


Thursday, September 29, 2022

My Tests of Different Apps for Creating Images from Text

 

AI-generated images are controversial at present. Several programs/apps are available for creating AI images from text prompts. I decided run experiments with some options that are free for initial images and do not require setting up a new account. I ran simple tests on several free on-line programs for generating image from text. Since I am still learning how to make good text prompts, the results may improve for experienced users.

Caveat: this field is moving fast and my results might not be applicable in a few months. 

Here are the results with prompts.

Craiyon.com is the current version of Dall-E mini. The test prompt ‘Elf with sword in trees’ gave this result. 

My verdict: rough and weird.

 

Dream by Wombo. Test prompt gave a weird image, but you need to create an account to download the image. 

 

Starry AI.com. My prompt ‘alien jungle’ gave this image. 

But my attempts to improve the image gave weirder results.

Verdict: has potential.

 

NightCafe.com. My prompt ‘Elf in forest’ produced this image. 


 Another prompt of ‘alien jungle with purple leaves yellow flowers and blue monkey with six legs gave this interesting image. 


Again, evolving the image tended to give mixed results and was often not an improvement over the first one.

Verdict: promising, has various algorithms, and can be used for free with their credit system. I decided to create more images and obtained several acceptable ones for characters or alien landscapes. The header image is a volcanic landscape. 

 

Other Sites

Pixray: Charges for use.

MidJourney: First 25 images are free, then subscriptions are $10 or $30 per month. It requires access through Discord, which would mean opening a new account.

I'm sure there are other programs available. These ones came up on my searches.