We’re back. Again. Not that twelve days in San Francisco and Ragged Point is anything to complain about, really, but we discovered that we miss home after a while. This even though the weather during our trip was as close to perfect as one could possibly ask, and the venues were nothing to sneeze at either. My talks and other activities at Web2000SF were what scientists call a “huge peck o’ fun,” but even better was meeting and greeting so many cool people. Some I already knew well via e-mail, like Molly; and some I’d met before, like Tantek and Jeff and Sherry (from Terry!); but many others were effectively met for the first time—Bryan and Lori and Jennifer and Steven and what seemed like dozens more.
In a way, I felt bad about the situation at “Real World CSS,” my Wednesday presentation. I didn’t have any network access, so the presentation suffered, and the room was packed to overflowing (and fire code violations) by interested audience members. The interest was profoundly gratifying in an ego-centric fashion, but it wasn’t the best job I could have done, and the environment was less than ideal for those trying to find seats. The Friday talk was less of a hit—especially among those who didn’t want to hear that the user controls the browsing experience—but there was very good attendance without the need for sitting in the aisles, and a lot of appreciative comments and exclamations from the audience, so that was good. It was interesting to be giving a talk called “CSS For Anarchists” while the President of the United States of America was giving a speech a floor above me. As I’ve always said, timing is everything. I don’t know how many background checks got run on me, but I’d like to know. Fortunately, the Secret Service decided to not arrest me for seditious activities or some such thing. In sum, I don’t know about others, but I had a darned good time.
So did Kat, who got to play tourist and jaunt down to L.A. without me to see various college friends. It was a short jaunt, and she got back in time for the election. Being on the West Coast, we could watch most of it unfold without the massive sleep deprivation which the network anchors, all based in the east, were obviously suffering. We were watching ABC when Florida was moved back into the “undecided” category for the second time; the sense of history-in-progress was fairly palpable. Or else we were starting to experience sleep deprivation ourselves.
I’m not going to comment on the election process beyond this: the whole situation is intellectually fascinating, and I’m very ambivalent about how I’d like to see it resolved. In process terms, I mean; I know who I’d like to see win—but if you think I’m going anywhere near that particular bear trap in a public forum, you’ve got another think coming. The closest I’ll come is to say that, as I write this, I’m finding that every time a campaign spokesman from either side opens his mouth, my opinion of him drops. Every time. That’s just, you know, depressing.
Just a side comment: the format of these posts has shifted from “third person objective reporting” to “whatever Eric feels like saying, generally at some length.” You probably noticed that already, but I thought I’d mention it explicitly. Mostly because I can.