I made several mistakes that I usually don't make, like forgetting to restock my shower bag and not testing my shoes out (my feet were in fucking AGONY the entire conference). Also despite buick-sized chunks of snow every 20 feet outside, I had no need for the parka I brought. Also
I will most def do some better research on the hotel before staying there. The con there, Starfest, is apparently a big deal with several star trek actors this year who I'd have loved to meet if I weren't attending an even nerdier con, and threw a fucking SWEET party saturday night with smoking hot chicks dressed up in all manner of costumes in a room with dance floor on one side, proper bar on the other, chairs and tables all over, and 8 floors of balconies on 3 sides with really interesting banners and decorations hanging down. I would like to attend that one again. However there were THREE conventions/conferences worth of people staying in that hotel all at once and that is just friggin stupid. And to top it off they closed the only in-hotel restaurant during the weekend and forced everyone to wander all over the city for their food. To top it off the entire 4th floor where we stayed smelled like a fart and the pepsi machines (the ENTIRE city of Denver must be sponsored by PepsiCo -- there are no Cokes in the whole town) take only quarters and fucking Sacagawea coins (FFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUU) I think I might go Andy Rooney on them and write a strongly-worded letter to their CEO complete with shaking of floppy wizened fist in the air and old-people smell.
The meeting was noticeably smaller than previous years (says my coworker who had been before), but I could tell as well, because they had actually shut down one of the poster session due to lack of presenters, and there were withdrawals and other no-shows all over the place through the sessions.. It was actually pretty disheartening. I hope it is just due to funding squeeze right now and not a long-term trend.
As I expected, there were a total of maybe 4 posters there about research similar to the project I presented. The only other person doing work very similar to mine (a masters' student) was showing the exact opposite results to what my poster was. She was understandably interested in my methods. As it turns out her boss had some issues with mine in the past and there was much mumbling to her colleague in another language as she looked it over, but she was relatively courteous. As was I, because I honestly don't care if people contradict my findings (in this specific area it's happened relatively often from one lab to another) because I'll just contradict theirs back again. At least let's have a little fun.
My little netbook has so far turned out to be a complete dud. I couldn't connect to a single WiFi signal for some reason, and the shitty Marriott was charging 13 bucks for using their ethernet. And one of the latches broke off. I'll be calling their support to come and fix it, and if they can't I'll just return it. Luckily my phone can give my an internet fix. On the upside, it's so tiny I could carry it around in one hand for hours without any discomfort at all and use it to recharge my phone.
When I got back last night I found that the little flash video camera I ordered, the Creative Vado HD, had arrived. I saved $90 off list price through eBay and got free shipping too. I need to upload a couple short clips and you peoples can see for yourself. It's got really simple operation and it's shaped like a thin and light pack of cards, so I'm planning on making a lanyard and wearing it around my neck for POV hands-free recording.