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The News and the Weather

November 12, 2013

“Life moves pretty fast,” said Ferris Bueller. “If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

So this is me, stopping to look around. Unfortunately, Like much of this month, I’m mostly looking into a suitcase. Right now the suitcase is half full. Tomorrow, once I get to Indianapolis, my suitcase will be half-empty. I’m still trying to figure out if this makes me an optimist or a pessimist.

Last week’s trip to Pittsburgh was eventful. It started with a bang — literally, when my cab from the airport to the hotel got rear ended and I got a case of whiplash and a date with an insurance adjuster. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt, although my cab driver did think he was having a heart attack and I learned I can be amazingly calm in a crisis, at least until I’m back alone in my hotel room and everything is fine. Then I order wine from room service and sleep for 10 hours.

It’s lucky I got that sleep, though, because it was pretty much the last sleep I got all weekend, which was jam packed with meetings of all kinds about all things. This is part of my job I love, because even though it taxes the extroversion limits of my introverted tendencies, I get to spend several days talking to really smart people about the things they’re most passionate about. And also, I get to take people out for dinner on someone else’s dime. What’s not to like about any of that?

I also got to show off the latest toy, which was on display at the Toy Factory’s exhibit. People were posing for photos with it, hugging it, carrying it around to show people and, best of all, really looking at it.

And I got to see Jeanne and her husband, who drove three hours just to have dinner (which turned out to be my first of two that evening, but definitely the best) and also to leave notes in an unexpected box in the hotel. I have a different conference in the same hotel next fall and I will do my best to remember to check the box to see if it is still there.

The conference’s end was exciting too, in that the book for which I wrote a chapter won a prize. While the glory is primarily for my editor, I was glad to see him get some recognition, because he was wonderful. And also, my chapter’s subject was mentioned in the speech, so boo-yah!

Fortunately the trip home was uneventful, unless you count the lack of heat in our apartment. For reasons we can’t explain, the rest of the building is getting heat, but we are not. My co-worker was telling me about seeing a video about an efficient space heater made out of tea lights,a loaf pan, and a couple of flower pots. Right now I’m keeping warm by doing laundry, but I may have to consult the Macgyver survival manual if I run out of underwear.

The next conference should be a little less hectic and hopefully a little less dramatic, but will otherwise be more of the same. I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends and meeting some new people and hopefully, while in mechanize vehicles, maintaining a forward trajectory.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. eleanorio permalink
    November 13, 2013 7:43 am

    Congrats again on the success of your new toy. I hope that your whiplash is better and that the heat comes back on soon. It’s winter out there!

  2. November 13, 2013 8:51 pm

    It was a great trip! There’s no place you can go that we won’t drive three hours to see you. Well, maybe not Detroit in January.

  3. November 14, 2013 3:38 pm

    I have seen that flower pot heater thing. I don’t know —

  4. November 14, 2013 8:21 pm

    Just wanted to chime in and say I ordered a copy of that mandolin player’s newest album for my younger (mandolin-playing) son. All based on your recommendation! So I’m very glad you posted about that.

  5. November 20, 2013 8:05 am

    Ack! I didn’t know you had been in a car accident, you didn’t say! Is your neck any better now?

  6. November 21, 2013 8:41 pm

    Thanks, Eleanorio! Jeanne, I think we should make a date for next fall in Pittsburgh to see if the note is still there. Readersguide, I am glad I did not need to find out. AJ and I once built a solar oven out of cardboard and a boatload of tinfoil and we discovered that we didn’t have enough sunlight in the winter to get it to toast a marshmallow, so I am not confident in my flowerpot heating construction abilities. Fortunately, after we bled the air out of the radiators for an INCREDIBLY long time, everything is working fine. Elizabeth, I’m so glad. I hope he likes it. I’ve been enjoying it immensely. Jenny, I am so sad not to see you in person, but am very glad to see you here. The accident was fortunately not terrible — we weren’t going too fast and I’m on the mend, but still can’t turn all the way to the right. Which, since I play the violin in the left, is not an insurmountable problem. Still, I am hoping it will go away eventually.

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