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Salt Lake City

The trip to Utah was again pretty good, although there was a lot of lightning along the way. There may have been thunder, but I have noise reduction headphones. I arrived in Salt Lake City after 11PM local time, and got the bag and got to the hotel without incident.

I slept for a few hours, before waking up at about 4AM. I couldn't get back to sleep, so I watched TV. The best thing on was a chick flick with Sandra Bullock, and it almost brought me to tears. Not because of anything in the movie - just that I was watching a chick flick and couldn't sleep. I got up, went to the gym, had breakfast and packed and went.

I went to my hotel in downtown SLC, dropped my bags and off I went to see the city. I wondered around, seeing a couple of parks, the temple area and the mall. The weather has been nice all week and it was good to get some sun. The temple area was kind of surreal - there was a Mormon conference on, and the place was full of similarly dressed people. In fairness to the Mormons, there were a couple of people there to provoke, having signs like Church of Satan or False Prophet, but they were left in peace apart from the occassional person trying to discuss and "reason". There was no malice from the large crowd. I can't imagine too many other religions doing similarly.

After wandering around for a few hours, I went back to the room and had a nap before going to the welcome reception. It was good to catch up with lots of people, as well as meeting a few new ones. Unfortunately, the music was a little loud, and I have lost my voice.

I won't say too much about the technical aspects of the conference, except to say that it has been a good conference and I've seen quite a few good talks. There have also been quite a few good opportunities for networking and science-chatting, too.

Monday night, TA instruments put on a casino night and buffet. It was probably a tad extravegant, but it was a lot of fun, too. With a few mintutes to go, I had tripled my chips on the blackjack table. A succession of bad hands later, and I was only up by a little bit. I exchanged these for three raffle tickets, which I added to my original one I got when I entered. It counted for nought as I won a prize - a 250GB hard disk - with the first ticket. Even though I would have preferred any of the other prizes, it is still quite nice. I'd been hoping for the GPS.

Tuesday night was the banquet dinner - nice, but no different to any other I've been too. It did, of course, end up at a local bar, where I found myself arguing matters religious, political and philosophical. Surprised?

I will shortly be presenting my poster. I've never done one before. I'll be interested to see how it goes. I think I have used too many words and too much text though.

I've had a bit of a cold and have had no voice for most of the week, but I've just about got over it and am feeling better.

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