I went to the North American Catalysis conference last week. Conveniently, it took place in San Francisco. At the last minute, I had to give a poster and a talk. My co-worker Margarete broke her ankle so I agreed to give he poster for her, and then a few days before the conference, the poster got upgraded to a talk.
It was a good conference. There were usually two or three talks that I wanted to attend at any given time. My talk went ok but the subject matter really was on the periphery of the main focus of the conference.
My company had a booth at the conference. On Thursday, I had to be a 'booth babe'. No, I didn't wear a bikini and drape myself over our reactor. By that point, everyone who would've wanted to visit the booth had already done so, and my main job was to guard the reactor from the prying eyes of our competitors. It was pretty boring.
It was a good place for a conference. The hotel was on the Embarcadero, right across the street from the SF Ferry Building, which has a lot of restaurants and gourmet food stores.
On Thursday, I was walking around and a bird attacked my head. I thought it was a pigeon trying to land, but later I found out that there is a blackbird who lives there and dive bombs pedestrians. He's been nicknamed "Swoops" and has made it all the way to local and national news, because last week was a slow news week. People like to eat their lunch near Swoops' lair and watch him dive bomb unsuspecting people. Here's a link to the Swoops blog. So far I haven't seen any video of myself being dive bombed, but it's probably out there somewhere on the internet.