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The End, (plus hills)

Wow, a whole week just flew by, and I learned a lot, met some new friends, saw some old ones. I finally met Dr. John Mardaljevec, and I can tell you that that was truly a pleasure. I visited Berkeley, CA for the first time, and that was fun, too. But alas, the Second Annual International Radiance Workshop drew to a close yesterday, and most of the attendees have already headed home. Airline pricing and schedules being what they are, it actually worked out better, price-wise, to stay an extra day on the left coast before heading home, so I checked out San Francisco today.

There’s nothing like traveling to make you realize what an idiot you are. I have seen zillions of pictures of S.F., especially of the hills and the cable cars. But until I actually arrived here, I never fully appreciated how hilly the place is, and just how significant those hills are! There aren’t just a couple of hills; the whole city seems to be blanketed over a big polygon modified by a sine wave pattern (oooh, that’s the Radiance Conference talking…).

After a walking tour of UC Berkeley’s campus had my shins barking like a pack of wild dogs, I should have known, but no, today, I decided that the line for the cable cars was too damned long (and it was, even in retrospect) and that I was gonna hoof it from Powell Street to Fisherman’s Wharf.

After a short while, I was atop a “hill” and darted off to look at Grace Cathedral. After milling around the general neighborhood, I realized I was in the Nob Hill section. From what I can gather, “nob” is an ancient word for “really fuckin’ steep”.

Nob Hill

Anyway, I meandered around the area, made my way down to the wharf, ate a bunch of fish, paid my respects to the chocolate gods in Ghiraradelli Square for Brenda, hiked around, looked at the cable car museum, and spent some time at SFMOMA. Then, I limped over to the BART station, and rode the train to one stop short of my ultimate destination. Apparently, the computer that controls the entire mass transit rail system for the San Francisco bay area took a shit, when I was just a mile from my hotel. So, I got to walk back to Berkeley. I meandered along Telegraph, stopped off at Jupiter for just one more IPA, and now here I am. Time to hit send, and go to bed. The workshop is over, and the grim reality of that fact will hit home tomorrow morning, around 4AM when the alarm goes off. Sigh.