20 December 2007

Annoyances of meetings

SICB logoI spent almost all day today trying to print off two posters for the upcoming SICB meeting in San Antonio. And a good thing, too, as one more day would have screwed me over.

I love the SICB meeting. But that it's in the middle of winter can pose logistic problems. To wit:

The entire university becomes a flipping ghost town just at the time you're trying to work on your poster!

We have in our building a large poster printer capable of massive, 42 inch wide jobs. And it does gorgeous work. But the lab closed last week, and won't open again until after the SICB conference is over. I managed to get into the lab, being faculty (rank has its privileges), the main computer was on, and I got one poster printed. But I was having problems with the second poster, and at one point ended up accidentally restarting the computer. That did me in, because I didn't have a password to get back into the computer.

I go to the Dean's office, which used to have an oversided printer. But no longer.

Finally, I go to the library, get told the person who can help me is at lunch, come back, and learn their poster is 36", not 42". That's okay, we work around it, and with a bit of fiddling, get the second poster. But this costs me. Whereas I get to use the printer in the Science building for free, I have to pay out of pocket to get this poster printed by the library.

I shall complain no more, however, because I shudder to think what taking it to a local print shop would have cost. And if I'd tried to do them tomorrow, there would have been nobody in the library to help.

But the posters are done -- hooray! -- and I'm looking forward to showing them off in the first Saturday of the new year.

For those of you who will be flying to San Antonio, I have bad news: All the annoying extra steps we go through in airport security don't appear to have made airports more secure. The article contains this bon mot:
"Can you hide anything in your shoes that you cannot hide in your underwear?"
I can, however, think of things I could hide in my underwear but not in my shoes.

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