When I worked the trade show/presentation circuit in the 1990s, I’d often have to hunt down “lost” components of our booth. On the way to the super secret customer package storage depot, I’d see the inner operations of hotels. Employees weren’t maintaining the facade they do in public, tossing stuff around, fraternizing in the nooks, and overlooking the unrefrigerated food. This greatly influenced my negative opinions on the wisdom of eating in the hotel.
Customer: Waiter, what’s that fly doing in my soup?
Those memories had faded until Monday, when we made the mistake of eating lunch in the hotel cafe to “save time.” Craig, my coworker, had to send his sandwich back three times before they got it “more or less” right. I was feeling good about ordering a fruit salad until I found a (dead) bug under the green melon. I didn’t look under the canteloupe.
We made the mistake again that evening when we were being overly frugal with our per diem and ate at the “reception.” During the day, when the conference actually has a “continental breakfast,” it consists of platters of dripping hydrogenated croissants, thawed out mini-danishes and flavorless bagels. The reception’s evening menu extends this: bulbous, fatty hand-carved roast white meat beast; sterno-heated grease wraps; fried meat on sticks; cubes of lukewarm cheese, and over-cooked rotini.
(Jeez, Hilton, how fracking hard is it to correctly cook pasta?)
|Groovy, I just saved a lot on my insurance!|
This conference is a two-fer, meaning we get two keynotes (opening the conference) and two capstones (closing). This morning’s keynote session was scheduled to start at 8:00 a.m., an awful time for those of us who were up past 1:00 a.m. watching the Astros figuring out a way to blow a lead in the World Series game. (Even the Fox statistician was getting punchy, quoting how many times they’ve switched camera angles and referencing the Heidi Game) What they the conference program neglects to mention was the first 70 minutes would be allocated to other administrative overhead like thanking the people who put on the show, doing in memoriams, grubbing for corporate sponsorships and pre-announcing future conferences. It’s a combination of an opening band without music and the fifteen minutes of commercials that precede movies these days.
The keynote speaker’s presentation on point cloud parameterization for texture mapping was interesting, especially now that it includes boolean operators, though the custom hardware component is a red flag as ASICs are expensive. He included some cool animations like melting heads and modeling various viscous fluids being squirted at a transparent box. Silver mayonnaise is much more amusing than you’d think.
The morning session is most relevant to what my company’s doing. The first presenter’s information is very intriguing, and may be the best takeaway so far. The second to presenters have droned on in hypnotic accents. Several of us were doing the head-bob equivalent of “the wave.” I have a copy of all the papers to read on the flight back.