No, I won’t be commenting on the theory of evolution despite living in Kansas, but rather that was the name of the conference I went to. Getting back from Minnesota a day late meant I had a bit of a mad rush to get ready for this conference as I was leaving Thursday afternoon and had to make a poster, and get it printed, before I left. Somehow I managed to get everything done and even managed to squeeze in climbing with Mary Ashley at Ibex on the Wednesday evening.

The conference was being held in Snowbird, a ski resort outside of Salt Lake City. I flew to Salt lake and then got a shuttle to the resort. Jeepers that pace was expensive. $16 + tax + tip for buffet breakfast, $2.50 for a bottle of drink from the vending machines. Managed to survive reasonably cheaply by pigging out on breakfast and then mainly eating conference provided food for the rest of the day. As conferences go I enjoyed this one the most of the ones I’ve been to so far and I found the talks generally more relevant to me than at past conferences. That said it certainly could have been better organised. I didn’t even know there would be food at the evening receptions until I turned up at the first one having already eaten.

We had Monday afternoon off and I went for a nice long hike. More on this in the US section here. Tuesday evening was the last day of the conference and there was a free bar at the reception that evening. Apparently at the final reception at last years conference, which you had to pay for, food run out very quickly. The organisers got a big refund from the caters and instead of trying to refund people they put it towards this years – hence it being free and with a free bar. Would have been nice if they’d told us it was a free bar as I know many people had been saving drinks tokens for it, although thankfully not me.

Anyway when the reception wound down around 11 – thanks to Utah’s alcohol laws – I headed off to a party in someone’s room. Turns out we weren’t the only party and security soon come round to kick us all out. Realising what a big group they had and that we were all now mingling in the corridors they took us to the out of the way staff break room and then to the hotel lobby where the partying continued to the small hours. No idea what time it all wound up as I finally went to bed about 1:30.

Next day I pick up a rental car and I spent the next few days mainly exploring southern Idaho. More on this in the US section – here’s a link again.

I got back from that last Sunday and the first few days of the week were just spent catching up on things. Thursday was Independence Day. A lot of my friends took advantage of it to take a long weekend away but I didn’t have anything planned and anyway rather fancied a lazy few days after a rather busy June. As I was in Lawrence I headed downtown to see the fireworks. Was all a lot calmer than I expected and the fireworks were a little lame. That said it did give me a chance to play with my new camera some more and I think I got some decent shots – especially as I was shooting fully manual for the first time. Photos are here.

This weekend I’ve just been lazy so not much else to report. Have applied for a job in Cambridge although I don’t expect to get it as I don’t meet several of their requirements. That said I have done some work on one of the major topics and I don’t think they were expecting people to have that experience so I thought it was worth a punt. I need to get round to applying for a few more jobs over the next week. Still doing physical therapy – this week is my last week – and it definitely seems to have improved things which is a plus – especially as it’s costing me money. Haven’t done much swimming of late what with everything else going on but I hope to get back into that the next couple of weeks.

Oh yeah, my car. Well it turned out that wasn’t too much hassle. They repaired the heater core and gave me the cost of the radiator back. Turns out I could have had all the work done for free as it was under warranty although they only told me this after it had all happened. Oh well could have ended up being a lot more expensive. And guess what was wrong with my rental car in Utah when I returned it. Yep, it was leaking fluid although I thankfully got it back and then run away! Now I think that really is it so until next time…

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