Monday, April 12, 2010

together perfectly

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Ryan "Cacophony" Clough said...

I like this.

clydebink said...

This is largely a reference to a former job of mine as a laser spotter on the summit of Mauna Kea. We would get driven up from Hilo (sea-level)to Hale Pohaku (9000 feet where we would get acclimated to the air pressure and eat horrible food) and then up to the summit ( 13,800 feet) where we would go into the telescope facilities and get cozy. Then we would go outside on alternate hours to watch for planes and bad weather conditions while they shot a large laser into the sky that acts as an artificial star so that they may focus their lenses to accommodate for the visual distortion caused by the varying temperatures of the atmosphere.
So what that means is that we stood outside on a magical summit for lengths of time in which I could stare at the stars and the laser and consider other purposes for activity in which I was involved.

Ryan "Cacophony" Clough said...

That is absolutely fucking amazing.

Where the hell do you get a job like that?

clydebink said...

There are laser telescopes on the Big Island of Hawaii. The FAA requires laser safety spotters on two sides of the telescope whenever it is being propagated. Most of the people who work at the telescopes at Mauna Kea think of it as a joke like "oh the chances that a laser will hit a plane are astronomic" but there is a significant danger.
I found out about the job when I was working at a Sears and I asked a co-worker what he did before Sears (because I fucking hated my sales consultant job and I was looking for other opportunities) and he told me he did this and I was like " you are messing with me." and he was like "no, this is for real".
They hire out of a temp agency so that they don't have to give benefits to the lowly laser spotter who is usually a college student. The temp service they were using at the time was Altres Staffing. The telescopes I worked at were Keck, Gemini, and Subaru.

Ryan "Cacophony" Clough said...

Out of curiosity, if you wouldn't mind saying, how much money did it pay/ was it full time?

I know what you mean about retail. I worked retail from the age of 14 until early on age 18. Then I went off to college and got a technical support job, fixing computers in the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, which was cool because I got to sort of learn some sign language on the job (now I'm taking classes for it).

Since then I've worked in internship as a software developer, and now I work part time on campus maintaining a pretty big software system.

And it beats the shit out of retail.

For the record, I'm a Software Engineering major.

clydebink said...

The hours were really odd because it depended on weather and where they were going to be looking. So I might work 60 hours one week and then not work for a month.
The pay was 9/hour when I was a spotter and I think it was 15/hour when I was the guy that drove the spotters up the mountain (lead spotter).

My wife and I are trying to learn C# so we can make games for windows and the xbox. I envy software engineering capabilities.

There are so many different kinds of jobs. I've had luck finding interesting ones by being willing to move around and taking low pay.