Clifton Park, 2006
I had to go to visit Kitware for a two day meeting, and I was able to borrow
Cris's car to drive myself from Watertown.
Wed Feb 22
After work I rode out to Arlington to the Regent theatre to see the Banff
Film Festival. I met Tegin and Cris there, and T & I put our gear in the
Cris's car so we didn't have to lug it around with us.
The movies were a lot more active than the night before (which focused on
the cultural offerings), but it overall wasn't the best year for the festival.
- Teton Gravity Research put in another film about extreme snow boarding off of vertical mountain faces that was heart stopping, but similar to stuff we've seen before
- The one about the 78(?) year old para glider was amusing, he was a cranky and opinionated eastern European man referred to as Grandpa, and he went gliding
in pressed pants and loafers, no electronics. Seeing the joy on his face once he was up and flying was great.
- There was another paragliding one, about a Canuck who decided to glide across the Grand Canyon. It took him quite a few hours to make it up high enough, across and to land (he had to be out of the airspace of the park, and couldn't land in it due to the laws, and there were few good landing sites anyway - in fact, some of the trees were on fire).
- The film about the Red Bull Rampage where mountain bikers throw themselves
down a mountain was cool, but didn't at all make me want to go out and do it myself :) (I want to do balance tricks on mountain bikes, rather than down hill riding)
- There was one about a ten year old female bouldering champion that was charming as it interviewed her about her life and attitudes, and amazing as we watched her reaching for the holds on a V10.
- The crack climbing film was cool because (despite it's overly enthusiastic tone) gave us examples of various methods of inserting body parts into various sized cracks in the rock in order to haul yourself up the cliff: fingers, hands, doubled hands, knees, elbows.
- There was a flim about climbing up a new route on a mountain in India, which could have been cut by half, it just didn't keep the tension going, and didn't show enough of the climb's difficulties.
- The Lost People of Mountain Village - a mockumentary about an expensive real estate enclave near Telluride that went empty due to various socio-political
reasons, pretty funny
I biked home and got there around 11, packed up for the drive the next day
fell into bed around midnight. I'd been supposed to get a ride down to
NY with Steve and co that night at around 7pm, but I'd had the movie
festival tickets for three months and didn't want to miss it.
Thur Feb 23
Alarm went off at 5:30, I snuck around taking a quick shower and having
breakfast without waking Cris, and was on the road around 6:10. Hardly any
traffic, and I could see the waning crescent moon in the slowly
lightening sky. Fog around
the high point on I90 but no other weather to speak of, just cloudy.
The MA section was crawling with state troopers and speed traps, but I
stuck at most to going 9mph over and was fine. I stopped and got gas as
the indicator went below a quarter tank (I bet I'd worry a lot less
about getting stuck in traffic jams if I had a hybrid... mmm, recovered
energy), hopefully they won't give me any trouble with the expense report
for having to buy premium for the car. Collected turnpike toll
receipts, they're cure little slips of paper. :) I got
to Clifton Park at around 9:15am or so, a bit later than I wanted to (9
for the 8:30am no way am I going to make it for that start time), and
the wrong exit to get to the hotel quickly, but found it okay. Checked in
and threw my stuff in the room, brushed my teeth and washed my face,
grabbed my laptop and dove into the day's meetings.
After a lunch of Chinese food that Will ordered in for us (not bad),
Mathieu and Haiying and I went over to Kitware and worked with Brad King
on getting our code to compile with VTK 5.x. Mathieu drove us back to the
hotel (in his shiny new car) and we went over to Chili's next to the
hotel to meet up in the bar for drinks, and then drove over to the Old
Dublin Inn for an Irish-Italian meal. Upstairs room, neat old building,
with a charming lack of right angles, and a long scooped out bench (like a
pew, with an arm between me and Will, and seating six of us along one
wall). I was very very very tired and just waiting to get to sleep, I had
a few very long blinks in there as I almost dozed off over my seafood
linguine. Back to the hotel around 10, and I gave Cris a quick call
(actually, it was 9) and then went straight to bed, so much for the book I
brought and the workout and swim gear I forgot.
Fri Feb 24
Woke up before my alarm, at 7am, and decided to just shower and go for
breakfast. It was pretty empty down there, though I still ended up at a
table right next to the tv, with a reporter interviewing the mom of a
missing teen - just what I wanted with breakfast. The waffle iron almost
defeated me, it beeped at me until I realised I needed to spin it upside
down to cook - very odd setup. I had that and juice and my last personal
tea, and ate fairly quickly so I could head back to the car to dig out the
CD cassette and my tea mug. I went back up to the room and switched out
the cds, finished attempting to recompile the code for the exercises
today, and packed up.
The workshop went fairly well, though I kept falling behind as I made
mistakes in my coding or couldn't flip back to the slides they were
showing with useful info (I installed a ppt viewer that wasn't
minimisable) and then my GPU wouldn't support some modes (like
texture coordinate passing, but it did do bump mapping, go figure). We
broke around 12:30 and I went to my room to get my stuff and do my late
checkout. My door card didn't work, so I ran downstairs (was on the third
floor, facing I87) and was told very snippily that they couldn't reprogram
the cards remotely - why didn't they ask for my card last night when I
requested the late checkout, then??? Ah well, I got my stuff and went back
down again to check out and get a real receipt, and they just printed out
the same one with the conditional statements on it - hopefully the zero
balance is enough for the expense report.
Then Andy led a small caravan of four cars to downtown Albany for sushi at
Saso's at 218 Central Ave. Katie went with me with her GPS system keeping
us on track. I think we just got in before they closed down
after lunch, and our waiter was very slow and confused. The food was good
though, I had the sweet shrimp with the deep fried head again, and some
really nice toro. The Spanish mackerel wasn't as nice as I was expecting,
and the roasted red pepper and avocado roll didn't quite work. I had green
tea ice cream and we managed to getting copies of the
receipt pad blanks that we could write the details of the bill onto
(the waiter kept tearing off only one when Steve asked for 5, wouldn't
print us out copies of the actual bill, either). The wind had picked up
insanely while we were inside, it was almost blowing us away as we shifted
Katie's stuff from my trunk to Andy's car. Haiying and Steve took off in
his car, and K. was to meet local friends, so I hit the road solo again,
remembering to record the odo reading for reimbursement this time. The
drive seemed to go really quickly this time, though all the NY cops were
out instead of the MA ones today. I stopped for a chai but otherwise drove
straight through, getting stopped a mile before my exit in Newton by a
traffic backup. I called Cris to let him know I was almost home and asked
if he needed a ride from work, and then inched my way off the highway. I
pulled into the house driveway and recorded the odo reading, and then went
back out again to get groceries. I was a bit twitchy for the evening, and
then fell asleep early, worn out from the early mornings and long drives.
Back to my diary page.