The adventure begins!

I’ll shortly be leaving Morris to drive for three hours to the airport, followed by a 5 hour flight to Syracuse, NY, and then I’ll be spending a few days listening to talks about spiders. It’s going to be simultaneously fascinating and grueling.

I have mixed feelings about conferences. On the one hand, the in-person real world experience is irreplaceable…but on the other, it’s expensive, time-consuming, and tiring. I’m thinking that what would be better for my health and sanity would be, for instance, in-person meetings one year alternating with online meetings every other year. Or maybe alternating the big meetings with local in-state meetings.

I guess I’m old and jaded.

But I’m still looking forward to this meeting, but honestly, what I most look forward to is the nocturnal spider walks. Let’s go see living spiders near a lake rather than looking at photos of spiders in an auditorium!

Our adventure is off to a poor start. Our flight from MSP to ORD has been delayed by 2.5 hours. We’re supposed to have a 2 hour layover in Chicago. I’m not sure how time and math work, but I think that means we’ll miss our connecting flight and we might get stuck in Chicago for a while. This does not make me happy.

Worsening news. Flight delayed a couple more hours. Beginning to believe it’s all a scam by United airlines.


  1. Charlotte Benton says

    You used to be cool, man. I remember when it was all about cephalopods, but you’ve gone and sold out. I hope Big Arachnid pays well.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    Charlotte Benton @1
    PZ is the Uncle Tom of cephalopods.

    A five-hour flight? Are you flying with a DC-3 ?

  3. StevoR says

    @cartomancer : I actually laughed aloud. Of course its late here and I’m tired and had a beer watching the Women’s Ashes but still ..yeah. Nicely done.

    PZ :

    ..honestly, what I most look forward to is the nocturnal spider walks. Let’s go see living spiders near a lake rather than looking at photos of spiders in an auditorium!

    They don’t bring live specimens into auditoriums for show and tell with real arachnids?

    Have fun and hope it all goes well.

  4. nomaduk says

    birgerjohanse@3: I was wondering the exact same thing. Five hours from Minneapolis to Syracuse? I used to fly to SFO in four!

    Maybe he’s going to this Syracuse.

  5. ionprof says

    Hey PZ:
    Take precautions at your meeting. Covid is still here. I know personally of 2 spreader event meetings so far this year. One was a retirement symposium this spring for a colleague, with around 50 participants from across the US and abroad. 6 contracted Covid from 1 visitor. The other was a recent Gordon conference where a colleague caught Covid. Again, 6 infections from 1 person who brought it back from a meeting in Europe.
    Take care!

  6. says

    Dear PZ, I have nothing witty to say (except that regarding lengthy air travel the Shoe comic strip reported that ‘In Santa Fe New Mexico, hot air balloon thefts are on the rise’). So, Please be careful and enjoy your trip.
    and heed @7 ionprof’s advice about contagion. Bit. then, Covid is only one of many dangerous contagions, biological and ideological.

  7. says

    Fly into Syracuse and then drive down to Ithaca, eh? Ithaca is a nice area. The Finger Lakes and lots of waterfalls. If you have time off, check out Watkins Glen State Park (not too far away).

  8. Reginald Selkirk says

    @11: Watkins Glen is also on the way to the Corning Museum of Glass, which is world class.
    Also, plenty of excellent wineries along the lakes.

  9. hemidactylus says

    @10- PZ
    Chicago eh? You could go scowl at Coyne as he osculates the derrieres of fellow reactionaries Andrew Sullivan and John McWhorter on his BLOG.

    Or preferably hang out at the airport and order some Chicago deep dish instead or a Chicago dog. Or both! I would opt for the food options. Chicago dogs are pretty good IMO when I want to eat unhealthy slop. Never got into deep dish.

    Weird how many shows are Chicago based. ER, Shameless, Chicago Fire/PD/Med, The Bear…

    Plus 80s house music and Obama.

    Or try to find some connection to Fred Hampton while there! Sequel to Free State of Jones: