InterroLoop: Day 2 – Roanoke

Chris gave me a tour of the base and I took very few pictures except for a few of him driving.  This a was an oversight on my part as for some reason I thought that a 17-40mm lens would be the right one despite everything I wanted to capture being hundreds of feet away.


10 and 2... with military precision.

We then rocked the cleanest Chinese Buffet I’d ever seen and I peppered him with questions about dealing with 200′ of lake effect snow in his childhood home of Michigan.  Apparently, one escapes from a house with snow above its roof by clearing a working space with successive pots of boiling water.  Good to know.  I departed from Langley after capturing a wicked bumper sticker and headed for MONDO’s house in Roanoke.


"I'm not gay, I just really love rainbows"

Doug Bowser/MONDO’s house is set in the foothills of Roanoke and he insists his town is dull as all get-0ut as proven by their biggest attraction being a giant fluorescent star.  This introductory palaver was held at a local restaurant whose bloomin’ onion was served with thousand island dressing rather than horseradish dip and that considered key lime an appropriate flavor for an after dinner mint; I’m fine with 1/2 of those things.  We left for the star after I seemingly inspired terror in his children who I don’t think spoke more than 5 words in my presence.  If only I could have this effect on Cub Scouts.  I received a tour of Roanoke which apparently consists of an art house that looked like the illegitimate child of a low polygon count sea urchin and the Sydney Opera House, hospital buildings, and “The Star”.


I shit you not; this a tonemapped HDR across 8 stops. You still can't make anything out.

The star had a high hedge setup surrounding it that made it look like it was the draw-limit for a video game.  That if one stepped beyond it, one would noclip, or alternatively appear in the distance as a giant version of oneself.


The difference in light temperature between star and cityscape emphasizes the end-of-the-world-ness.

Most of the tourists cleared out and I was able to get a nice panoramic of Roanoke and a keen HDR of the city.  I learned long ago that most cities look far more impressive as night panoramas than their illuminated counterparts.


Flickr threw up if I uploaded something over 40k pixels across, so I scaled this down to 30.

I also got a shot of Doug in what I’d call intrigue mode and what he’d call creepy old guy mode.


Man of mystery or figure of terror? Only the courts can decide.

We retired to the estate that I will call Mondovania and watched TV of the form “The world’s <superlative> <adjective> <noun>”, something I’ve not done in quite some time.  Doug’s much more expressive in person than I thought he’d be with a sense of humor, timing, and perspicacity he rarely can show show in-game.  If there’s ever a Skype Video plugin for TF2, he should use it.  We retired as the clock struck 2:30 AM and my pano finished cranking.  I was given a luxurious queen-size bed but forgot to ask for a map about it and set up camp in one corner, watching the other for signal fires that would indicate incoming artillery fire from the headboard.