Sunday, December 13, 2009

San Francisco

Last night, I arrived in San Francisco for a series of meetings and the AGU (American Geophysical Union) fall meeting. I'm staying at a bargain priced (but very nice!) hotel only about ½ mile from Moscone and about 50' from the beginning of the Powell St. cable car line. Lots of people and lots of cars everywhere. This morning, I walked up and down streets, had dim sum in Chinatown, wandered through bookstores and camera shops and ending up with 0.01 mile more than I logged yesterday. The most annoying thing about walking around here are the number of people smoking while they are strolling down the sidewalk. It seems that 20% of the people in San Francisco must smoke, or at least that's the way it feels. You can see layers of smoke hanging over the sidewalks. Or at least those that hang around downtown. It was much nicer last night when it was raining i.e. not as many smokers walking in the rain. According to the weather guessers, it is supposed to be raining most of the week.

The Christmas decorations are out and the tree in Union Square looked pretty nice. The picture is kind of blurry. There were still a lot of people out especially at 9:00 on a Sunday night. I guess I'm not used to life in the city. Dinner tonight was corned beef boiled dinner and like just about every other meal I've ever had in this city, it was pretty good. Barrow centered meetings this afternoon and early evening and they are continuing intermittently throughout the week. So far, interesting....

Monday evening - First "official" day of the AGU and there are way too many presentations. The planetary science ones are always interesting as are the ones on climate change but this afternoon, I attended a series of presentations in the Education track on "Using Web 2.0 Technologies to Facilitate Science Communications". Pretty interesting presentations and discussions. Everyone seems to be so passionate about what they are doing. Quite a change from the administrative side of the university that I usually see. This is one of the reasons for setting up the podcasting capabilities in Barrow and yesterday, several of the researchers had additional things they would really like to see. I think I'm going to be busy.

I started listening to this audiobook on the flight down and got totally sucked in. I listened whenever I walk around over the weekend and last night, I ended up listening well into the wee hours and finished it up this morning. Excellent book. Earlier this month, it was being offered as a free download but it is no longer available.


  1. Richard:

    I wasn't envious when you were locked up in that barren snow laden land up north, but now I'm envious. Enjoy your trip. I also dislike smokers and their infringement upon your personal space.

    It has been a few years since we were down in SF. We stayed around the corner from Union Square and took the trolley to Ghirardelli square. The street cars were always full.

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  2. bobskoot,
    Thank you for stopping by. Unfortunately, I don't have any riding opportunities down here. In fact, I'm kind of surprised that I haven't seen a single bike on the road. Several scooters parked and locked up but none on the road.

    I don't think I will be taking the trolley cars anywhere, too many meetings scheduled some not ending until 10 pm.

  3. Ok, I know this is reaching for it, but are you going to have Rice A Roni while you're there riding on the street cars?