Travel to the center

"I'm sure we can pull together, sir."
Lord Vetinari raised his eyebrows. "Oh, I do hope not. I really do hope not. Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions." He smiled. "It's the only way to make progress. That, and , of course, moving with the times...."

Terry Pratchett, The Truth

So last weekend I was in Boulder, CO for a conference. Specifically, for the SQuInT meeting this year. (Free cookie for whoever can come up with what SQuInT stands for!) The meeting was quite enjoyable; I met lots of people, including a couple of big shots, and I understood quite a bit of what I heard and saw. In many ways, the conference reminded me what the goals were here, and since then, I've seen lots of different ideas for directions our particular experiment can go; there's routes to quantum chaos, we can study hopping models, Ising magnets, XY models ... there's almost no end to it.

There's two things of note that happened at the conference. First, was the snow. On Friday, when John and I were going to the conference in the morning, it was a pleasant 50 F outside. During the first coffee break, it was snowing. I don't mean the pleasant downward drift of a few flakes, either. It was full-on white-out conditions. And considerably colder when we went back to the hotel.

The other noteworthy event was the trip back. We left Boulder at around 1:45 their time. (12:45 San Diego time, BTW.) I didn't get back to my place until 11:15. For those of you keeping score, that's 10.5 hours. I set off a metal detector in Denver, and was subsequently searched. Then, John and I had a three hour lay-over in Phoenix, and since we were flying on America West, we were quite hungry. So, we plunked down amusement park prices for food while we were there.

Since that conference took up last weekend, I basically haven't had a day off since oh, the end of February. I'm taking this weekend and not doing anything work related. Also, note that it took me until Friday night to post this; I had the quote picked out a week ago, but this week has been one of those weeks, and I'm quite exhausted now. But I thought it was important to get this out there.

Anyway, this weekend is probably going to be dedicated to finding a way to mike my dulcimer, so I can start doing recordings. I've had a few requests, so I'll see what I can do about it. Besides, I think I've earned a weekend to myself and my hobbies so....

Brian Naberhuis
Last modified: Fri Mar 15 22:05:24 PST 2002