Friday, April 29, 2005

Adventures in Boredom

I didn't write yesterday because I couldn't think of anything to say. I don't have much to say today, either. I'm just waiting for my jobs to run so that I can analyze the performance of my program, and then write it up. I'm also waiting for the stupid queue to come back up. They have maintenance every Friday, at which point they shut down the queue. Then they run a couple of big jobs for people who need lots of processors, and then they reopen the queue to the rest of us mortals.

I've written a program implementing diffusion, too, but I wrote it weeks ago and I can't remember how well I got it working. But I hope I should be able to get all that stuff done and written up before I leave for Sweden.

My next big trip is to the optimization conference in Sweden. I leave on Friday, May 13, and return home on Thursday, May 19. The conference doesn't really start for me until the Monday, but I guess some days of jet lag recovery were built into my travel schedule. I'll need it, because the time difference from here to there is seven hours.

I'm going to arrive in Sweden on Saturday the 14th at 7:45 a.m. local time. That's the thing I hate about travel to Europe: you always arrive early in the morning, and face a full day of miserable jet lag! I should get to Stockholm before noon, so I've been figuring out things I can do to keep myself awake all day. In my experience, it is best to stay awake all day the first day, and not take any naps. Naps just make me sleepier. I do anticipate turning in quite early that evening: before 9 for sure. I just have to keep my eyes open all day.

When I was 13, we moved to England for a year, and I remember how awful the jet lag was then. But I had my Dad to keep me awake and keep me going. On subsequent travels to Europe, I've always had either a parent or a friend acclimated to the time zone to keep me up. This is the first time that I will have to depend on my own strength of will to keep me vertical.

I found some easy activities to do on the Saturday. I'll probably take a bus tour of the city, and maybe walk around Gamla Stan (Old Town Stockholm) a bit. Then on Sunday, I will visit the Vasa Museum, the Royal Palace, and/or the National Museum of Cultural History. If I'm energetic enough, I might do one of those things on Saturday. It just depends on how much I can sleep on the plane. Probably not very much, based on my past experience, but I will try really hard to get some sleep. I don't want to be nodding off during the poster session on Monday the 16th, and I need to be as conscious as possible if I expect to schmooze effectively. It wouldn't do to be cranky when I'm trying to meet people!

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