where to begin... i am now in berkeley. it is great.
Left Crested Butte at about 14:00 yesterday. The ride was very silent. The two spanish people didn't talk at all, and I wasn't about to ruin the silence... Since we would need to get onto I-70 in Denver anyway, I decided to forgo US 285, which is how we normally get to Denver from Salida. Instead I continued on past Salida, thru Buena Vista and Leadville and grabbed I-70 behind Leadville and took that into Denver. I don't think I'd ever taken that route before, it was kinda neat. Very scenic. The drive took about 4.5 hours, but it took an additional 30 minutes to find the hotel... after checking in, I took the spaniards to McDonalds so that they could have a good american meal before leaving. Then watched some tv and fell asleep.
The next morning (today, actually) I woke up bright and early and caught the shuttle to the airport. Flight left on time. I was quite glad to be on delta, since the complimentary copy of the Rocky Mountain News that microtel gave me had an article about all the cancellations United was having... Arrived in Salt Lake City. That city has now joined London, Washington D.C., Cincinatti and several others I've forgotten on the list of cities where I've only seen the airport. The SLC airport was decent, tho, I found my way around there easily. The next flight to San Francisco left on time as well. Woohoo! Got a good look at the SLC area as it left. Saw (what I can only assume was) the great salt lake. My impression of that area of Utah: less vegetation than colorado, much more salt. Upon approaching SFO, I was dissappointed to see that I couldn't see the pacific due to tons of clouds. I had hoped for a nice grandiose approach. Instead I had to wait until we were almost on the ground and broke thru the clouds to see the pacific underneath me. But now I've finally seen the pacific.
Arun was at the airport, as was my suitcase. We headed to Berkeley. Drove across the Bay Bridge, which was kinda unexciting, since you couldn't really see the bay. But San Francisco was cool to drive thru/by and see. Arriving in Berkeley, we dropped my stuff off at Arun's apartment and then headed to LBL to see the lab. Met cubicle mates of his, saw the pc and alpha clusters they use, and peered thru glass at T3Es and J90s and drooled. Saw Dr. Lumsdaine. Went to lunch with Jeremy Siek and Arun. Fun to see Jeremy again. Went to some mexican place, had a large wet burrito, was quite good. Afterwards we wandered up and down Telegraph and other streets in that neighborhood looking in stores. Many cool things. Will probably buy a decent amount of stuff later... So far I bought a "encyclopedia of japanese pop culture" and a "learn japanese in 3 months" book. excellent. We went in search of a theater at which to watch the new x-men movie. the first place we went didn't have it, but they were just about to start a showing of "But I'm A Cheerleader" which is showing in about 4 theaters nation-wide, and which Arun highly recommended, so we watched that. It was brilliant. Hilarious. It was about a badass lesbian cheerleader. I enjoyed it very much. Afterwards we stopped by Blondies Pizza and grabbed a quick dinner. Then it was onwards to find the new x-men movie. We found it at Oak Theater. It turned out to be pretty entertaining. Arun and I found it to be lacking a definitive "badass transformation" scene, but it had good effects, a decent plot, and some good humor. Definitely worth seeing again. We are now back in the lab, doing the whole email thing.
when i drove over monarch pass on the way to denver and crossed the continental divide, i thought of a new argument for the whole mountain/hill issue: divides. all the water out east goes to the same place. in the rockies, it goes to both the atlantic and the pacific. in the alps it goes to the north sea and various spots in the mediterranean. water probably doesn't ever leave the himalayas, but if it did, it probably would go to both sides of india and who knows where else...