Eyes have shifted back to green. Must be getting used to the place.
I have been waking up at three in the morning and going to bed between 6 and 8 pm. This doesn’t even vaugely match a Texan schedule and is an old persons day over here. So far, what I can stay awake through of the confrence is good. My paper is later today and hopefully people won’t ream it too badly. It has been a tough crowd so far (which is why I am not giving the talk).
It is still cold here. No longer zero it has at least hit double digits (though most of the day is spent around 6). Yesterday it got warm enough for me to take off my jacket in direct sunlight. Also, the clouds managed to clear for the lunch hour (afterwhich it was more overcast again). But I got some pictures while I had the chance.
I also took a long walk yesterday around the outskirts of town. Really super pretty. It actually reminds me a lot of Sequoia and other high alpine parts of the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. The landscape is mostly (unfortunately newgrowth) conifer forest with patchwork meadows throughout. Suprisigly to me, much of the geology is very similiar as well. Many of the main structures are of granite/marble laced with quartz seams. That which isn’t, is made up of grey slate and shale. Sure the relative concentrations are a bit off as compared to my homeland, but it is quite astonding to see the same sort of diversity above and below ground.
This, as you would expect, bit me in the ass on the first day I was here. I found a plant that looked like mint. So I decided to crinkle one of the leaves so I could smell it. Needless to say it was not mint at all. Whatever was on the underside of that leaf was prickly as hell. The micro-thorns ended up shaving of the first layer or two of skin on my thumb. And it didn’t even smell like anything! That’ll teach me.
I think I forgot to mention that the internet connections suck here. About $5 for a thirty minute connection and the free wireless at the confrence is disgustingly unreliable. You’d think that with 12 routers you would be able to find one that works. But even if you get one with a good signal stregth, 70% of the time it won’t give you an IP address. (I think it has something to do with dedicating MAC addresses to an ip, which is fucked up at a confrence of this size.)
However, the town still has pre-Great War water fountains and a Japaneese tea garden put in by its sister city Osua. Such are the benefits of assumed neutrality. Screw the Euro!
If I was smart I would have converted all of my liquid assests to CHF before coming over and then back to USD when I go back. Could have made an easy 5% doing nothing this week. RIP Lehman, AIG. And stay dead this time will ya?!