Woof!  It really has!

So the conference proper began today and it’s made quite a difference.  I think the population at the convention center jumped about 10-fold today.  No kidding!  Last year I’m told there were 12,000 people at the conference, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that number were here this year as well.

It’s now about 8:30 pm and I’m sitting in the hotel bar with my friend, Glen Morangie, to try to summarize the day.  I think the best way to do this is to do a few posts; one on each of the three sessions I attended.  So I’ll just use the rest of this space to make a few general comments.  Unfortunately I have no internet access currently, so I won’t be able to post this until tomorrow morning.

So, first of all, I stayed out too bloody late last night!  We forgot it was a Saturday night and we ended up in one of the young and busy parts of the city.  We waited an hour for a table, but at least the steak was good, and I had my friend Glen to keep me company then too.

But as a result, I was up late this am.  I missed one of the sessions that I meant to go to, but I hear it was no great loss.  It was a session on ‘immunology for clinicians’ and even though I’m sure it was very informative, I tend to get bored with this kind of stuff.

So, general comments:

The line for Starbuck’s was ridiculously long!  20 minutes to wait for a latte is just too much.  And the coffee everyplace else was just plain bad.

12 bucks for a burger and fries for lunch?!  Geesh!

Male: female ratio for attendees over 40: about 7:3.
Male: female ratio for attendees under 40:  about 4:6.
Number of pregnant women: at least 5.
Percentage of female presenters at plenary session (about 6000(?) in audience): 0%;
Percentage of female presenters at my concurrent abstract session (about 50 in audience: 50%.
Computers with internet access: not enough to deal with the number of people who want to use them.
Number of computers with internet access in fellows’ lounge: sufficient (thank god!).
Number of times I thought about my mom: at least 7.

Anyway, I had a great start today – more below. (Well, above, really.  This most-recent-post first thing makes it kind of confusing.)  I also caught up with an old friend and we got decent Thai food for dinner.  And I got home early enough to do some serious blogging!

So, on to some individual posts.