So where was I? Wednesday evening, I guess. After a couple talks and a productive side meeting about statistics stuff (the only side meeting at the conference this year, hooray!) I met Donovan (bigreddee) at the Metreon for dinner. We ended up passing on all the restaurants there and Muni-ing over to the Castro, where we ate at an excellent little Mexican place called Zapata. (Inexpensive, not much ambiance, very tasty food -- which I much prefer to the other way around, to be honest.) We had good dinner discussion and then migrated to Sweet Inspiration, where (again!) I got bonus dessert ("here, have the rest of it!") and we chatted the evening away. Donovan is a sweetheart and we got along well.
Thursday was a half day, conference-wise, where I had NOTHING AT ALL in the morning, which was a very good thing. At lunchtime I walked a few blocks over to 3rd & Howard and picked up my poster (lunch at the Greek place a block away), then spent the afternoon on, um... mostly talks, I think. Afterwards I met Jason (fogbear) at the Metreon and took Muni over to, yes, the Castro (sensing a pattern here) where we met his partner Steve (putzmeisterbear) and had dinner at a great Chinese place (Jade, I believe). They are lovely fellows, and it was an excellent dinner.
Friday was the big day of the conference. I got my poster put up at 8 (-ish), then saw a bunch of talks, then ran over to Moscone South for a whole slew of posters, then got a very good roast beef sandwich from The Sentinel and took it back to my room. After lunch I went to my boss's talk, at the end of which one of our collaborators handed me a portable hard drive with a terabyte of data from the fabled and long-overdue Final Simulation of the modeling project.
Then I went and stood in front of my poster for two and a half hours.
Which went better than I expected, actually. Usually Friday afternoon poster sessions are kind of barren and desolate as everyone bugs out for the airport to catch early evening flights, but I had quite a few people come by and about a half-dozen of them were interested enough to give me business cards and ask me to send them papers about my new method. I think there were two factors at play: first, I think the organizers did a good job of putting a lot of interesting and related things on Friday afternoon, so that people looked at the schedule and said "okay, I guess I'll fly home Saturday morning." And second, they moved the exhibitors over to Moscone South and moved a big chunk of the posters (including my session) into the first floor of Moscone West, and that makes it much easier for people to decide to pop in and look at a few posters when they've got a free period between talks. (Just heading down to the first floor, rather than down to the first floor, crossing the intersection, over half a block, and down again.)
Afterwards, I met up with Donovan again. We got dinner from the Korean place in the Metreon and took it back to my room, where we hung out and were social for a while, which was both lovely and delightful.
Then I crashed pretty hard.
Saturday morning I managed to get myself together enough to take BART down to the South Bay, where I met Allan (allanh) and his husband Randy for dim sum. Afterwards, we went to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. They have a Babbage Engine! Which, sadly, was jammed. Looking at all the old tech gave me this very weird feeling of like, anxiety, almost? Thinking about how much effort went into all these old machines and how little they were capable of in comparison to modern computers was strangely unsettling. But it's a good museum.
Didn't do much with the rest of the day other than resting up a bit and packing. Sunday was also very low-key; I had thought about doing something like going to a museum, and then determined that my feet would much prefer not doing any more walking, so I mostly just hung out in the hotel lobby until it was time to head to the airport.
All in all, a very successful trip.
And now I have even more people to visit with when I go to AGU next year...