Texans believe in air conditioning.
I should rephrase that: there exist at least some Texans who believe in air conditioning at least part of the time. Presumably one of those Texans is involved in the administration of the Austin convention center. It was hot and humid outside, but I wished more than once that I'd paid closer attention to the advice to bring a blazer.
When I opened my bag on the first evening, I found the expected pad of paper, program, and pen, but there was a twist. The pen is a particularly fancy four-in-one widget: at one end there is a pen and a PDA stylus, and at the other end there is a penlight and a laser pointer. I'll have to hold on to this one. Assuming I don't wear down the batteries while playing with the cat, I imagine it will come in useful for future presentations.
It was a productive meeting. I learned a lot, I met some people, I caught up with a surprising number of Berkeley and ex-Berkeley folks, and I scribbled my way through several more pages of potential research leads. And I still haven't finished clean copies of my notes on leads from the other three workshops! An embarrassment of riches isn't a cause for complaints, but I'm frustrated that I have such difficulty keeping up with myself.
I also spent some time exploring Austin with Tsuyoshi. He took the picture of the turtle that now graces the top of this page. When I think of Texas, turtles are usually not the first thing that comes to mind -- but it's cute, no?
I'm glad to be done for a while with the business of traveling and giving talks. Time to buckle down and get some real work done!
- Currently drinking: Black tea with strawberry