Sunday, December 14, 2008

San Fransisco Treat

I am now sitting on a bed in a hotel in San Fransisco. Crab-Mama is reading her blogs in the corner chair, Crab-Girl is reading her book in bed, and Crab-Boy is asleep. We are in a hotel room that it probably quite large by European standards, but we are a long way from Europe. We may be closer to Japan. Well, it's bit by their standards too. Sh*t. The room is freaking small, ok? When someone is sitting at the desk, no one else can move in the room.

One of the great things about sharing a hotel room with people that you love is using the bathroom. Enough of that sh*t. Next subject.

I am attending the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting, which has about 14,000 people showing up. There are just a crazy insane number of people here. I feel very small when I am in a sea of people who are all scientists "in my field", and I don't recognize anyone. There are just too many freaking geologists in the world!

Last Friday was a complete cluster f*ck. It was a culmination of all sort of crazy things. For example, I held my final exam "make up" Friday morning. Didn't even think to reserve a room, since classes are over and all the rooms should be empty, right? No. They were holding some sort of a seminar on Friday morning at 9 AM in my room. F*ckers! So, I had to figure out where to hold my exam right there on the spot, with a bunch of student standing around waiting for it to start. Nice. So, I happen to see a sign that says the building supervisor's phone number on it, and call him. Nice Guy. Finds me a room right away. Fantastic! Problem solved. Students all take the test and we get on with the day.

Problem number two. I am getting my office renovated. When would be the best time in the world to get your office renovated? While you are on travel! So, they are starting the renovation tomorrow, which is fantastic. The problem is that I had to have all of my stuff out of my office by the time I left on Friday. Everything. Every Freaking Thing. So, Wednesday, I pitch (well, recycle, which doesn't roll off the tongue like "pitch"...) about 4,000 pounds of paper and pack up a lot of crap. Thursday I do a little bit more. And Friday I have to move my computers and my desk and clean up the pile of crap that I can't decide what to do with. Nice.

Problem number three. I am leaving for AGU the next day and have a poster. That means that I have to print the poster. Which means I have to finish the poster. I had a nice blank spot on the poster for a certain project that I was working on, that I had hoped to make more progress on, but alas, I did not have the time (surprised?) So, I found some results from an e-mail that I sent out while on my trip to Finland (hey, you can read about that in my blog!) and stuck those on my poster. Problem solved! Now, I just had to print the thing.

Printing the poster shouldn't be a problem. You just export the inDesign document to PDF and viola, you have a universally transportable document. Bull Sh*t. Everytime I have tried to print a document from a PDF from inDesign, I get screwed. So, this time, I (a) make a PDF; (b) make an EPS; and (c) take the inDesign document and all of the figures and crap with me. Then, when it doesn't work, I can just whip out a new one. Well, crazy thing - the place that I go to (at the university!) doesn't allow you to print to the poster machine from a Mac any more. F*ckers! Turns out that the PDF file looks fine on the Windows machine, but when we print it, it misses the bottom 1/3 of the poster (preview printing, not full up...) The EPS file is missing all of the fonts, so it subs in some crappy looking crap that craps out. Then, printing directly from inDesign appears to work! Hells yeah! Except it doesn't. 35 minutes later, the poster is still stuck in the queue and they don't know why. I spend the next 30 minutes while the guy behind the counter tries 100% exactly the same things that I tried before (PDF, EPS, inDesign - works! come back in a little while.... come back... hey it didn't print - got stuck in the queue....) F*ckers! I blow a freaking gasket at this point, since I was now late to pick up the kids (read problem four below). I stomp over to a Mac, load up my poster and make a gigantic TIFF file at 300 DPI (104 Megabytes). Even f*cking Windows can't screw up a TIFF file. I should have done this about 4 hours before. Next time, no f*cking around - strait to TIFF. Anyways, the poster printed. I ran on the ice to my car and drove like the wind to pick up the kids.

Ok, let's take a moment to calm down. Breathe. In. Out. In. Out. Stop dropping the F-bomb. You can do it. In. Out.

Ok, I can continue.

Problem number four. Crab-Girl had a play-like thing on Friday evening at the school's curiculum fair. At 5:30. On the night before we leave for 8 days. Well, timing is always key in these adventures. I, like the Dr. Dumbass that I am, agreed to drive all the way across town to pick them up at Grandpa-Eyore's house and take them back to school (Crab-Mama works 5 minutes from Granda's house and 5 minutes from school.) So, in the midst of the poster delema (as revealed above), I tried to call Crab-Mama to ask her pleasantly to please pick the lovely children up and take them to school, since I would be running perhaps a little behind schedule. As later reported, Crab-Mama's cell phone was set to vibrate and she never received my 20 phone calls - the last of which went something like "F****************************!". I call Grampa to ask if he has heard from CM, but he hasn't. So, I drive like a freaking maniac over to his house to pick up said children. But, in the little burb where I hail from, you can't drive like a maniac, because there is really no where to pass people who are driving 5 MPH UNDER the speed limit. F*********************!!!! DRIVE!!! DRIVE!!! COME ON!!!!! HOLY SH*T!! CAN YOU NOT PRESS ON THE LITTLE PEDDLE????? THE ONE TO THE RIGHT!!!!! F******************!!!!!

Breathe. In. Out. In. Out.

We make it with 2 minutes to spare. The "play" starts 10 minutes late.

And that was Friday. Oh, I forgot - we had to pack once we got home.

Saturday we pack up the rest of our stuff and take off to the airport. Now we are in the big city.

One of Crab-Boy's comments was something like "I don't want to stay in one of those big buildings because if an Earthquake comes it could be knocked down." A boy after my own heart.

Ok, I think I am going to go piss my wife off. The 14,000 pound dinner burrito is not really sitting well with the $2 piece of pizza I had for lunch. It sounds like they are having quite an argument. Why couldn't they at least put a freaking fan in the bathroom....

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