I have written this weblog entry twice and then accidentally deleted it. Blurg. (The one feature of the IBM Thinkpad that I hate: the special “back” and “forward” buttons for use while web browsing. Twice now I have accidently hit the “back” button while reaching for the shift key. Both times, my weblog entry went up in smoke.) So, you get the abbreviated version: We bought a Honda Civic Hybrid. We were tired of being jerked around by Toyota with respect to the Prius. We love the Civic Hybrid. The coolest thing in the world is when you stop at a traffic light and your engine shuts off. When you lift your foot from the brake, it instantly starts again. Can your car do that?
I finally got around to downloading all of my pictures from the San Francisco trip this evening. I have a number of beautiful pictures, if I may say so myself, but this was my favorites. This is a picture of the atrium of the Hyatt Regency San Francisco looking up through the giant sculpture in the lobby called “Eclipse.” The Hyatt was the conference hotel for my conference at the beginning of the month; it’s a beautiful hotel, though rather out of my price range.
At first I thought that this was amusing because of the spelling error. (SVH, clearly your editing skills are sorely missed in CEE.) But then I realized that it pretty much summed up my life at the moment.
I wrote this entry once only to make a mistake causing it to disappear. Here we go again…
I took a little trip to State College, Pennsylvania on Monday and Tuesday. I was representing my advisor at a grant review; he was having hand surgery and unable to attend. (He was also moving to a new house and finishing a book; can you say poor timing?) A few notes from my trip:
- The image above is of the “Lion Shrine.” I sometimes miss the football insanity of my Knoxville, Tennessee childhood. I assumed that the lack of football obsession was a difference between the South and the North. It’s not.
- On my way to State College, I drove through a town in Central Pennsylvania called Jersey Shore. Could someone please explain to me why there is a town in Central Pennsylvania called Jersey Shore?
- State College is a really nice town. I liked it a lot. It may very well be even more isolated than Ithaca, though, which is not a good thing.
- You would think that people with doctorates would know that 40 slides is too many for a 15 minute presentation. Apparently they don’t.
Race Day Ithaca was definitely different than our usual festival. I think it was an effort to attract some of the Nascar tourism from this weekend’s Winston Cup race at nearby Watkins Glen International Speedway. In any case, in place of the usual organic food and tie dye shirts, we had:
- The Ithaca Police Department Special Forces reppelling off a bank building and teaching people how to break down doors.
- The Marines holding a pull-up contest.
- A local car dealer selling only SUVs and pickup trucks.
- Someone sponsoring a tire changing contest. Time to beat: 12 seconds.
- Timberland giving away a pair of workboots.
- An auction for race car memorabilia including genuine body panels and bumpers.
It was a sight to behold.