Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, AGU 2009

I haven't picked up my poster yet. Kinko's called me this morning to tell me that they couldn't laminate anything larger than 36" and my poster is 48" on its smaller dimension. I chose to have them print it on the regular paper anyhow and just not laminate it. So, it's printed. I just didn't get a chance to get it today since I refuse to go there by myself. The advisor and I will get it first thing in the morning. I promise.

Other than the slight snag with the poster, my little group had an interesting start to the morning. Mostly my lab mate. She was supposed to be registered for the conference, but they couldn't find her name on any of their registration lists around 7:30am, when registration first opened. She had an early morning talk that still wasn't uploaded. Our advisor and I didn't have any problems with registration, so he took her presentation to upload it and I stayed with her to get the registration worked out. She ended up paying for it on the spot (again). If AGU later finds that she was charged earlier, they won't actually charge her card. This is not a helpful beginning to the day of her first talk at a major conference.

Once she got her badge, we headed up to the speaker ready room. Our advisor texted her to let her know that her animations weren't working. They eventually got the issue fixed and re-uploaded her talk. The people running the room said that even though they uploaded it, the revisions may not make it to the room she'd be speaking in by the time her talk started. *cross fingers that it works*

We all trooped up to the room where she and my advisor were presenting nearly back-to-back. Her turn came up and the animations worked flawlessly. *whew* The advisor's talk went fine as well.

By the time lunch arrived, my advisor had disappeared and my lab mate left to meet a friend. I was on my own. Since I've never been to San Francisco before, I didn't want to eat at a chain restaurant even if it would be cheaper. I walked probably half a mile in god-awful uncomfortable shoes. My feet were killing me by the time I collected my matzo soup, sirloin with Brie sandwich, and banana from Soup Freaks. Instead of being smart and heading back to the hotel to change my shoes when I was already part way there, I hobbled back to the conference center to feast. All of my lunch was tasty and out of the ordinary. Perfect! I saved the banana for an afternoon snack.

Half way through the afternoon I finally gave up on my shoes. I felt like I was walking on stubs and the bones in my foot were trying to poke through at my ankle. That can't be a good sign. I planned to catch the shuttle bus back to the hotel... until I found out the bus doesn't run during the day. I walked back to the hotel, about half a mile again (everything is half a mile today). It was quite a painful walk, so I wasn't walking very fast by the time I got to my room. My feet were relieved when I pulled off the the modern torture devices.

I hung out at the hotel for a bit to let my feet rest, then headed back to the conference with the intent to see a few more talks. Instead, I ran into the department head and followed him and another professor to the exhibit hall to find free stuff. My favorite two items were a NASA calendar and a star-shaped five-color highlighter from DoE GCEP. Then I joined a bunch of people from my department to find dinner.

We hopped the cable car to Fisherman's Wharf (my first cable car ride!) and decided on the Sea Lion Cafe. It was the most expensive dinner I've ever had at $55 and per diem certainly won't cover it, but it was scrumptious. I had a plate of squash and onions, baby lobster tail, prawns, salmon, sea bass, and jasmine rice. I'd never had lobster, prawns, or sea bass before. There was also a dish of some sort of creamy citrus sauce, which complemented the lobster especially well. A couple of friends insisted that I consume alcohol, so I ordered a Sunset Splash--essentially a mix of rum and vodka with a splash of cranberry juice for color. It was strong and it was yummy. I have yet to find bad food here.

Our department group scattered pretty quickly after a failed attempt to find an open ice cream shop. All my little group has left at the conference is my poster tomorrow afternoon. If it wasn't for that, we'd probably fly out tomorrow. As it is, we're leaving Saturday afternoon. We may work in a trip to Muir Woods Saturday morning. I hear it's all the rage :P.


  1. prawns are just a fancy name for shrimp by the way.

    ~the pb sandwich eater!

  2. But they're *giant* shrimp, and I haven't had that before. :P