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design competition on hawaii

Bluetech and I were on the big island of Hawaii, touring the set of a television show, similar to Project Runway, but for designers of consumer products. Last week's challenge had been to design a consumer product based on 4 words that made some cheezy phrase, which I can't remember. This week's challenge was to design a "lightbulb sharpener". We were touring the compound where the show was taped, visiting the flats of some of the various contestants. The compound itself was a series of small flats in a ring, all at ground level. The interior courtyard was closed off to tourists, but we toured around the outside of the circle of flats, looking in the windows and meeting designers.

The path around the outside of the compound was made of winding sidewalks, paving stones and precarious rock paths around and through a deep stream. While exploring the place, I was eating a bowl of some kind of cheesy beefy dish, and a seagull landed on my pack pocket. It was climbing all over me, and I couldn't shake it off. My hands were full with the cheesy beefy dish, and I ended up pushing the seagull off of me, using the bowl of food. I scraped the portion that had touched the seagull into another bowl, and gave it to the seagull so it would leave me alone. It did, though it didn't seem to like the dish very much.

We saw a glassmaker's submission for the competition - a glass pencil sharpener-looking thing, in a blister pack with attractive graphics. Another contestant, a friend of ours, was a popcorn maker, and had designed a new popcorn product that fit the design theme. We tried to get in line for some popcorn, but tourists kept filing into the line before we could reach its end. By the time we reached the end of the line, it was very long.

Suddenly we were walking through a zoo-like portion of the compound - fake rocks and streams and landscape greenery, and a waterway full of fish, eel, shrimp and crawdad. A pink raccoon with a missing tail sauntered past, chewing on a crawdad.

We reached the final portion of the tour, but it was closed for major construction. Large forklifts and backhoes created rolling mounds of black, loamy soil. We waited in line for the construction to be finished so we could continue our tour. While waiting, the mood of our environment seemed to change - it seemed as if a natural disaster of some sort was about to occur. Bluetech said, "uh oh, they went too far and pissed the island off." Puffs of mist and steam started to curl up out of the construction site, and we were all made to lie down on our stomachs and listen for emergency sirens. Bluetech and another woman in the line were discussing the possibility of a volcanic eruption, but not connected with either of the island's 2 active volcanoes. We wondered if the island was sending up a new volcano, and where it would erupt from.

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