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 Mountain Film Festival. I met Tegin and Cris there, and T & I put our gear in the trunk of 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.

I biked home and got there around 11, packed up for the drive the next day and 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 took 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.


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