wow, what a long day. After getting to bed way too late last night (looks like tonight is even worse), I woke up very refreshed and met a gang of yapcers to go to breakfast at the bongo room. I met a lot of people: Larry( Wall), barbie, cog, Aran, Liz, Hal, Geoffrey Galloway, Josh and Heather McAdams. The breakfast was actually really good (I had eggs florentine), and afterward decided to go with Aran to check out the Art Institute.
The institute was simply amazing. I have been to other museums (in LA and SD), and this one blew both out of the water. I got to see Renoir, Monet, Manet, Dali, Seurat, et al. I actually didn't realize how much I didn't like Degas: he just doesn't do it for me. However, I did get to re-enact Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and stand in front of A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Aran's wife is an artist and pointed out that the only person that had any facial definition in the painting was the guy off to the left with a pipe. Anyhoo, we only got to cover the impressionist and modernist art, and then it was time to go. If you're ever in Chicago, be sure to check out the Art Institute; simply amazing.
After Aran and I got back to campus (via a ride with Josh McAdams and his wife), I decided to help out with registration stuff. There was a lot that needed to be done, and during that period I was able to meet others. That pretty much took the remainder of the afternoon 'til early check-in.
After early check-in, there was the arrival dinner on the other side of town at Goose Island, right across from Wrigley Field. I hitched a ride with Eli Lutfallah, but we both realized that it might have been better to take the el instead of sitting in White Sox traffic. At any rate, the car ride over gave more opportunity for me to talk with him and get to know him better (he's a local Chicago PMer).
When we finally got to Goose Island there was a grip of people there. After getting some appetizer-like food, I mingled a bit and actually ran into anothe San Diego PMer that I didn't even know was coming: Raga! (spelling may be off a bit) We chatted a bit and I joined a conversation with him and too other guys: Waldemar and Matt. Both ar comprise the development team for their company in Virginia, and (like everyone else) were really cool to talk to. After the conversation sorta died out, Raga and I talked a bit about trying to coordinate what talks we go to in order to "maximize" the breadth of our experience. He was gonna e-mail me tonight, but I guess he hasn't been able to yet.
Anyhoo, I meandered more and met Deven (not the spelling) and Kent Cowgill (whose talk about Perl Golf 101 I still want to get read). Deven was going to show me some conference software he wrote, but I couldn't pass up the offer by Phillip (maybe Philip?) to join him and Randal Schwartz over a pitcher of dark beer, which Raga later joined in. The conversation geared mostly around women, and experiences I never knew could be had in T.J. It was very entertaining overall and both Randal and Phillip had interesting things to say about their experiences with the opposite sex.
We left as a group around 11pm and walked over to the el to get back to our respective domiciles. Phillip and I both were going to campus, and Randal and Raga both got off at earlier stops. When Phillip and I finally got back to IIT, it was pouring rain, which I was ill-clad for. We rushed over to SSV (the dorms where Phillip was staying, at which was closer), and ended up talking for a few hours ('til 3:30ish) about technology, religion, education, politics, and other things. He's pretty smart and the discussion gave me a lot to think about/research.
Anyway, it's now 5am and it's way past my bedtime. I still plan on making the keynote address and other talks before that, so it looks like I'll be only getting a little nap in. Hopefully my cold doesn't come back in full force (I still am dealing with some phlegm). Will update tomorrow on the first day of the conference and the talks I decided to go to!