Although I positively despise scientific conferences, I found myself heading off (for a multitude of reasons—not all of them professional ( :) :) )) to the 2008 COSPAR Conference.

      Given the importance/value of some of the pictures for this Web page, I have included a "COSPAR picture archive."  Click here for a link to all the pictures taken on this trip, at their original resolution(s).

      I flew (And BOY were my arms tired!  ( :P :P )) down to Pennsylvania, first—to my parents's place.  There, I was able to take a picture of my bike:

      The "oil stain" is from my Dad's 57 Chevy—which is something I am going to continue to believe/convince myself.  :) (Actually, I don't think the bike IS leakin'—I did all those gaskets, some by hand. . . .)

      It's really a remarkable bike—a 1975 Suzuki RE-5.  It has a ROTARY ENGINE, 132 h.p. (with the new exhasut), and weighs 902 lbs.  (My Dad calls it "the afterburner."  :) ;) ) There are probably less than 250 of these bikes left runnin', in North America.

      On the drive up to Montreal, I stopped to visit one of my oldest friends (as in, one of the friends I have had the longest—NOT as in, "chronological age," 'n stuff ( :) ;) )).  He lives in the Albany area; I knocked on his door at 3:18 PM on a Saturday.  (More on why/HOW this could even POSSIBLY be relevant, later.  :) ;) ) He wasn't home.

      I started driving along—and then realized that I was getting low on petrol.  I stopped at an exit for federal route 4.  (I have to apologize, here: I MISSED a pic of Albany, shrouded in a remarkable heat haze—like a giant flower.  (I was to learn later--from a "native"--that this [location] is the BEST place to photograph Albany.)  -I didn't know that at the time . . . I only knew that I missed a REALLY good pic—sorry.  :(

      Once on route 4, I started seeing signs for a (quite near) Troy, New York—and suddenly realized just where I was, 'n stuff.  (I had spent--TOTALLY WASTED--some years of my life—at RPI/HVCC.  (. . .))

      (WARNING: A "shaggy dog 'ramble'" ensues.  -For more interesting stuff, just ignore this next block of text, and go onwards to the (actually) interesting stuff.  :) ;) )

      In fact, that bit was so pointless, I put in onto another link.  Click here if ya' actually want to read it—I wouldn't bother, though.  :) ;)

      Farther along, I saw a sign for Lake George.  Now, I thought—WHO do I know in Lake George?  :) :)

      I took an unplanned stop . . . and I got to see some doggies.  :) :) This is Snowy.  For a while, there, Snowy was NOT doing all that well.  (. . .) :( :( :( :( I was MORE than happy to see 'im doing MUCH better:

      :) :)

      And this is Lady Savannah.  :) :) She likes to have her head scratched.  :) :)

      This was the first time I got to meet Savannah.  :) :)

      And this is Maggie.  She's just a puppy—and VERY . . . energetic.  :) ;)

      And here's like, a dude and dudette.  :) :) -They're going to like, get married, 'n stuff:

      -I wish 'em luck with that.  -My experiences weren't. . . .  (DON'T rant about marriage, John—people DON'T want to hear that. . . .   ( ~;) ))

      Prouder than perhaps anything else (at this conference—if not in my entire LIFE), was my ability to navigate Montreal traffic.  It was *HORRENDOUS*.  It was chock-a-block (gridlock) at midnight.  (!) With little warning, one had to (frequently) change roads [through intersections]—to even keep on the "autoroute" one was on.  (!) -And some things one just couldn't DO!!  I mean, one had to get over—in less than a quarter mile, and the other lane was just a wall of cars.  (. . .) /end rant ~:) :P

      Finally, I pulled over, and met this friendly dude (I really wish I couldn't thanked him again/properly, somehow.  (. . .)) at a McDonalds.  ( :P :P ) HE was able to give me the correct directions to my hotel.  For a while, there, I just stood there in the parking lot, relaxing and breathing the air (Air in the cities really IS better in Canada—c.f. "Canadian Bacon."  :) ;) )—feeling like I was alive.  Having spent the last eight years at the university of alaska fairbanks, it has been a LONG time since I have felt that.

      Here is a picture of my hotel room—15 foot french doors, 'n all:

      It was called the "XIXe siècle"—which, in faggoty french means, "19th century."  The hotel was INCREDIBLE.  (!!)  -I can't remember staying in a nicer place.  Ritzy, remarkable architecture—and the woman behind the counter found it very endearing that I won the 2005 Red Green Regatta.  :) ;)

Canada RuLz.

      :) :)

      On to the actual conference.

      Here is a picture of Michael's poster:

      (I was like, a co-author, 'n stuff.)

      And here is a picture of my poster, 'n stuff:

      I haven't felt so good about a poster [presentation] since the one I presented at AGU 2002—and that one won an outstanding student paper award.

      Please notice the "package of postcards" off to the left.  They were of pictures made by a one Dr. Jon Genetti—our local visualization genius and visionary.  I had something like 25--or was it 50?--of these things printed up—and I couldn't "keep them on the shelves."  :) :) -Everybody and their brother wanted one.  :) :) -Here is what the picture looks like close up:

      -Rocks, don't it?  (Please note that this picture was generated entirely from simulation results.)

      :) :)

      And here is a picture of me in front of Michael's poster.

      -Better than mortal woman deserves, eh?

      :) ;)

      Oh. I almost forgot to mention.  (. . .) :) :)

      The higher one climbs in science, the fewer Americans one sees.  The reasons for this I don't care to go into at the moment; however, it is a "fact of [scientific] life."  Well, whenever I run into, like, foreign peeps, 'n stuff—I always try to practice my "skills" in their language(s).  (I always feel a sense of accomplishment at this.  :) ) So, it was my pleasure to say "RHINOCEROS" in:



            -(two) dialects of Arabic





            -Portugese (It's been a long time since I heard that word.)

      :) :) ;) ;)

On to more of the COSPAR 2008 Conference, 'n stuff.