Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Me and a Robot
I'll start from the end. I got back from Italy on Monday night. The flight back was absolutely terrible. Not so much during the first 10 hours as in the last 45 minutes. The turbulence was horrible because of all the bad weather that we were having on the east coast. The pilot warned us in advance, but I'm not sure it helped. It was so bad that a large number of people on the flight were taking full advantage of their sick bags. I wasn't, but that doesn't make me cool as I was pretty much terrified the whole time. If you know much about me, you know that this is probably the worst person that this could have happened to. We even had an aborted landing where we pulled up the gear, powered up and went around for another try, all because the winds were above the safety threshold. Blah. I'm just glad it's over, and glad to be back on the ground.
But, the rest of the conference was a lot of fun, as you can tell by this awesome picture of me and a robot. I think we finally taught robots how to be more human, and all we had to do was give them the gift of friendship. It's touching.
I had a great time meeting and hanging out with all the other CMU people who were there at the conference but whom I had never met before (it was something like 25, which is crazy for one conference). I got to seem some sites, got to have some drinks, got to eat some great good and I even gave a presentation. I may talk about it more later, but my actual presentation (which took place at a workshop and not the actual conference) went well enough. I think I was reasonably well prepared.
Finally, on Saturday night for some reason (wink, wink) I decided to shave my beard. This may come as somewhat of a shock, especially to you newbies who have never seen me without one. If you go through my Rome pictures, you can even see the picture of me after I got bored of shaving, and therefore still have some kind of weird goatie thing going on. Oh well. I don't really like it, or I should say I liked having a beard better. I think I look younger or something. Just different. I guess I'm growing it back anyway...
Okay, that's all I got for now. Maybe tomorrow I'll fill you in with the VISA details; that situation is a little bit crazy...