Callicrates (callicrates) wrote,

You think that's air you're breathing?

So here I am in Los Angeles for SIGGRAPH 2004, the annual tsunami of new products, research results, and random cool stuff related to computer graphics. I arrived yesterday and I'm here through Thursday. Now that I have a real job and real funding, I'm staying in a hotel far nicer than the one I stuck to while I was a graduate student. I'm running into old friends and colleagues. Things are pretty good.

LA is my least favorite SIGGRAPH venue. When the plane was on final approach yesterday I noticed with some distaste that the air was... well, not precisely 'clear'. It got substantially worse as the day went on. By 7PM, from my hotel room on the 17th floor, I could hardly see the mountains on the horizon as anything more than vague outlines. It got slightly better at sunset, but that's because the sun itself was lighting their silhouette from behind. This in contrast to Albuquerque, where you can see so much of the mountains on both horizons. Seriously, the day-to-day air here is as bad as what we had when there was a forest fire nearby in New Mexico.

There's also not a lot to do in comparison with someplace friendlier like San Diego or New Orleans. There isn't a lot within walking distance of the hotels, and the territory is also somewhat less friendly to walking than those cities. And oh, yes, the convention center has a wireless network... with one-minute DHCP leases. One minute?! They must be mad.

Anyway. Enough griping. I do not like Los Angeles. I'll leave it at that. The conference looks to be pretty good this year. I'll keep reporting through the week.

Last and not least, we went to see the NRAO Very Large Array (the radio telescope in the movie Contact) last weekend with jklgoduke and clubjuggler. I took pictures. I did some minor editing on some of them. I'm quite pleased with how they turned out.

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