June 29, 2005

News from the front

For the last week I've been at the ACL conference, going to lots of talks and learning about stuff and seeing people I haven't seen since last year (or longer). I'm really psyched about getting back into things, and I hope I can sustain that and get some work done.

But today was the first day of workshops, the post-season if you will, and the conference is winding down. At lunch, I took a nap and then drove out to a nice little local yarn shop---Flying Sheep Yarns---which I'd been planning to do anyway but really needed to do since I unexpectedly finished the pair of socks I was working on. (My knitting speed has definitely increased in the last year; I was only about 2/3 done with one sock of the pair at the start of the conference, so I was knitting on the order of 4000 stitches a day, or---given that I was probably only knitting for four or five hours per day---a bit less than a thousand stitches an hour. Whew! Anyway, I bought some sockweight alpaca-wool blend in off-white and green that will make a nice pair of socks (not for in-meeting knitting; I'll have to pattern these to make them beautiful), and two skeins of a cotton-wool-nylon blend that I'm a little leery of but seems to be comfortable so far.

I went back to the workshops and continued drifting from one to the other, seeing a number of good talks and yet another one by a guy redoing exactly what I'd done without even citing me. After the last one, a bunch of us decided to walk over to the south campus for dinner, which we had at what was basically a sandwich shop, where we all ordered different varieties of reuben. The sandwichista nearly cut his finger off at one point, which was a bit exciting, but fortunately he turned out to be ok and after bandaging up his hand and putting on a fresh pair of gloves, he went back to making our various sandwiches.

After sitting around and chatting for a while, Eric, who grew up in Ann Arbor, suggested checking out a gaming store nearby. After some joking comments about how dangerous that was, we went to the little sidewalk mall it was in and discovered it was in a closeout sale, all stock must go, closing by the end of June---i.e. tomorrow. Uh oh. Going inside, we saw that most of their stock was already gone, which was a relief, but there was quite enough left in little piles labelled "20% off" and "40% off" and "60% off" to, um, keep us there for a while. Among five of us, I believe we purchased nine games and about fifty assorted dice, although there may have also been some five-cent Magic cards in the mix. I, of course, unconstrained by airline luggage regulations, was able to buy more than most, and after trying to decide which of four games to get, I just got all four of them: New England, Lunar Rails, Meridian, and Rumis.

We then came back to the dorm, and after sitting around in my-and-Sharon's room talking about what we'd go to tomorrow, we went downstairs to the lounge and played Rumis, a relatively new and really cool 3D block game that everyone in the world needs to go play right now.

And now, I'm going to bed. :)

Posted by blahedo at 10:33pm on 29 Jun 2005
Yeah, yeah, but when are you going to give us the analysis of the latest (latest two?) Dancing with the Stars? I'm waiting with bated breath! Actually, I'm mostly serious. I enjoyed your previous commentaries. Posted by Greg at 9:47am on 3 Jul 2005
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