Oct 03 2011

I am so out of touch

Seriously, half the time I don’t know where I am. I got a call last night from this madman, Scooter of KPFT, asking if I’d be available to do a radio show in Houston on Thursday, and I said, “Thursday? I’m not going to be in Texas this week, am I?” and he says, “Yes, you are” and I go “Huh? Whuh? I thought that was later this month!” But yes, he’s right, a hard-partying wildman of a radio DJ knows better where I’m going than I do.

This week, it’s time for the Texas Freethought Convention!

I’ll be there, I promise. I had my plane reservations and everything. Well, everything except my talk, which isn’t done, but last night after Scooter’s phone call, when I went to bed, my brain did nothing but dream about “Mutants!“, which is the title, and I laid out the entire thing in my sleep. I just have to slap it down in Keynote now, and I’ll be ready. Easy peasy. I think I have three minutes free in my schedule Tuesday night.

I just looked at the schedule, and woo-hoo, I’m the first talk on the opening day of the conference! I hope people are ready for a science-heavy talk to start the day. I also notice that Richard Dawkins has the last slot of the weekend — so it’s going to be like a great big science sandwich.

(Also on Sb)


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  1. 1

    “If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium…”

  2. 2
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    Dammit, I can’t go. I’m stuck in the North Texas metro area this month. Come give a talk at UNT or UTA or something.

  3. 3

    a great big science sandwich.

    eat it, people!
    EAT IT!!

    it’s good for you

  4. 4

    Mutants! Does that mean you’ll be talking about turtles and ninjas? :-)

  5. 5
    The Big Blue Frog

    So, does that make you the top or the bottom… piece of bread, that is.

  6. 6

    I hope like hell it rains like a motherfucker after the convention. Atheists +1, Jeezoids 0.

  7. 7

    I have woken up in a hotel and called the front desk to ask what city I was in. Back then it was all domestic US Travel. Now I can tell a lot by the language on the local TV stations and the air quality. A lot of Smog and it is China. Dust is India. Clear air is usually Thailand.

  8. 8

    Imagine all those who get to be the meat in this Myers – Dawkins sandwich! Oh the scientific gastronomic ecstasy!

  9. 9

    PZ said the same thing about his Cleveland speech he gave on Friday, but that was still great.

    I don’t define a sandwich by it’s bread.

  10. 10
    Usernames are smart

    Yay – PZ’s coming to my favorite communist-treehugger-godless radio station (that I support with my hard-earned ducats)!!!

    When is your interview? Are you going to be at the station or phone it in?

    If you’re coming to the station, I would like to drop by and shake your hand :)

  11. 11
    Anthony K

    I don’t define a sandwich by it’s bread.

    Sure, not usually, but even a Reuben? And what about clubhouse sandwiches, with their distinctive triangle shape?

    I can see not wanting to limit yourself by the bread, but don’t exclude it, either.

  12. 12

    Mmm… science sandwich…

  13. 13

    Houston? Forget it. I don’t go to that toxic waste dump unless I’m paid enough to cover my trouble AND the lost work days, doctor visits and asthma meds I’ll need after breathing their filthy air.

  14. 14
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    The pizza topping discussion just petered out, and PZ starts one involving sandwiches. Poor guy must be hungry.

  15. 15
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Will I be the only Pharyngulista in attendance?

  16. 16

    Antiochus Epihphanes #15 wrote:

    Will I be the only Pharyngulista in attendance?

    Heck no — I’ll be there, too. And PZ knows I will undoubtedly seek him out and harass him about having some kind of Pharyngula meet-up. The suggestion always seems to take him unaware.

    This is also the Atheist Alliance of America convention.

  17. 17

    I actually live close enough to go but the tickets are unfortunately out of my budget. Drat!

  18. 18
    Rey Fox

    Some sandwiches call for a certain kind of bread, right? A patty melt isn’t a proper patty melt unless it’s on rye.

  19. 19

    Can’t believe I forgot about this also….

    Sorry PZ… The TFC lost out to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and a Tim Minchin concert in Dallas that Saturday night.

  20. 20
    Glen Davidson

    So, did you give Scooter an answer to his question or not?

    Glen Davidson

  21. 21
    Sam Salerno

    Vacation, I don’t need no stinking vacation. Seriously though, thanks for coming to Cleveland we all love you. And good luck in Texas

  22. 22
    Dick the Damned

    Out of touch? I’ve just arrived back in the UK, & am still jet-lagged. Been driving around Nova Scotia for two weeks, on the right side of the road, & just tried that here, to the consternation of an approaching driver. (They drive on the wrong side of the road in the UK.)

  23. 23

    The submarine, hero, grinder, or hoagie class of sandwiches is indeed defined by its bread.

  24. 24

    So just as one could order an Italian submarine sandwich or an eggplant parm submarine sandwich or whatever, one could ‘eat’ a biological science sandwich or a geology science sandwich, or an atheist science sandwich, etc.

  25. 25

    PZ needs a secret word for his hoard of followers, like George Hrab’s vibraphone.

  26. 26
    P Smith

    To quote Red Dwarf, from the episode “Thanks for the Memory”, when the characters have woken up with hangovers:

    Lister: What time is it?

    Rimmer: [Looks at an alarm clock] Saturday.

    Lister: Is that the best you can do?

    Rimmer: There are some numbers next to it but they could be anything.


  27. 27

    I’m hungry… for a science sandwich…

  28. 28
    Paul Havlak

    I’ll be there, although I’ll have to miss some sessions.

    Hope there will be a Pharyngulista meetup!

  29. 29

    Are you guys gonna show any love for Robert E. Howard, the Texan writer best known as the originator of Conan the Barbarian?

    “I never gave a name to my views – or lack of views – but I guess an Agnostic is what I am, if that means skepticism regarding all human gropings.” – Robert E. Howard

  30. 30
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Sastra, Paul Havlak: I would love to meet you both. I don’t know how this is normally done, but PZ’s talk is followed by lunch. I planned to commit my first bit of hounding right after the event, before they whisk the squidly overlord away in one of those black secular choppers to dine on fresh baby in a fragrant balsamic glaze. In other words, I would be lingering around the front of the hall/auditorium/conference room immediately after the talk on friday morning.

    I will likely be dressed in black*,** and in the company of my wife, whose wardrobe choice on that day I cannot yet account for. Perhaps we could meet up then and make other plans?

    *Because that is how I feel on the inside.
    **I am a short red-faced man with a beard and kind of a bad haircut. Not so much unkempt as just,… well, cheap and unfortunate looking. My wife has long, black hair, and the kind of dark, captivating eyes that I imagine the Queen of the Gypsies has. So she should be pretty easy to spot.

  31. 31
    PZ Myers

    I can’t make Scooter’s radio show — the plane gets in too late Thursday night.

    Of course there will be a pharyngulista meetup. Tell me a time. I’m done with my obligations first day, first morning, so we can either light up the town Friday or Saturday night, I don’t care.

  32. 32
    PZ Myers

    We do have secret words. Everyone knows that the Horde greets fellow members with “Happy Monkey!” and strives to work “sniny” into any conversation.

  33. 33
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Oh yeah. “Happy Monkey”…maybe I’ll pin the message to myself*?

    That’s how you’ll know that you are being hailed rather than assaulted. Also, I will clench and raise a tentacle.

    My wife and I will be there without child and so will be painting the town both Saturday and Sunday regardless of other company. This is the first time we have stepped out together since last December, with the exception of one funeral. Which turned out not to be any fun at all.

    Also, PZ, you are sitting on a panel on Saturday at 5PM with Barbara Forrest, Eugenie Scott, and Victor Stenger.

    …and with that, I must run.

    *Do we get name tags at this thing?

  34. 34
    Usernames are smart

    Of course there will be a pharyngulista meetup. Tell me a time. — PZ

    I propose 7pm Friday night either at Coffee Groundz (for good cuppa joe + great conversation) or Flying Saucer for BOOZE and possibly a drunken brawl (but only if we can lure some True Believers into a, ahem, “debate”).

  35. 35

    Maybe it’s the beautiful weather making your mind wander. I can’t believe how nice it is around here.

  36. 36
    M Groesbeck

    There’s a Pacifica station in Texas? Nice…though I imagine they must get a distressing amount of hate mail. (Of course, Pacifica programming isn’t all good — here in Southern California our station, KPFK, has far too many pseudoscientists and conspiracy theorists — but it’s nice to be able to turn on the radio and get a centrist-to-leftist perspective on current events to balance the hyper-corporate “mainstream” stuff.)

  37. 37

    M Groesbeck, Houston is the biggest city in the US with an openly lesbian mayor… The (though officially non-partisan) Houston City Council is Democratic, and if demographic trends persist, Harris County will turn Democratic too..

  38. 38

    Sigh, have fun guys, I wish I could be there. And don’t forget to wear squid hats, anyone wearing a squid hat is bound to be family.

  39. 39
    Francisco Bacopa

    There’s a Pacifica station in Texas? Nice…though I imagine they must get a distressing amount of hate mail.

    No hate mail, just two bombings back in 1971, an arson back in the “Battle for Pacifica” days in the mid 1990s, and the occasional bullet hole. Not that much pseudoscientific woo. Helen Caldicott’s If You Love This Planet is a bit too alarmist about many things, but she doesn’t really promote any woo hypotheses. A couple of show hosts almost verge on Afrocentric crankdom, but don’t quite go all the way. More music programming than most Pacifica stations. I suggest checking it out online.

    PZ: Ask Scooter to bring his “Caitlin and Daddy” tapes. I hope his daughter never heard this stuff. Of course she’s old enough now that she’d think it is cool, though they would have killed her if her friends heard them when she was a teenager.

  40. 40
    Robin Friedrich

    As a sane member of the Houston area I’m greatly looking forward to the conference. PZ will you be up for any imbibing while in town? Right down the street is the Flying Saucer 705 Main Street Houston. Fine beers and the first one is on me!

  41. 41
    Paul Havlak

    Unfortunately, I’m going to miss PZ’s opening talk :-(, a silly prior commitment of doing my job, subbing for a bioinformatics class. I’m good for Friday evening and all of Saturday after lunch though, and hope to find a good group to sit with for Dawkins’s keynote. One happy monkey, coming up.

    A local monkey, with a car and passable knowledge of native honky tonks.

    There’s a story of my immigrant forebears and his fear of being attacked by monkeys in the wilds of Houston…

  42. 42
    Michele Woodford

    Yes, really blog owner is usually content to receive comments on his blogs.

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