The ‘mystery guest’ at my conference hotel

I am at present attending a conference held at a hotel in San Francisco. A day before my arrival, the organizers sent all the registrants an email saying that a “high profile” guest would be staying at the hotel for two days right in the middle of the conference and that there would be enhanced security due to that. All the doors except the main one would be closed and people would have to enter and exit through only the front doors and be subjected to security checks.

And so it has proved. I arrived the night before this mysterious guest and before the security was put in place on Thursday. Now you can see at the doors and wandering around big men in dark suits and having those little spiral wires at the back of their heads that are their communication systems but which always make me think that they are plugged into the Matrix. There are also uniformed San Francisco police at all the doors. Clearly this was a very high official to deserve this kind of security entourage

Since I was already in the hotel and have not been out since, I have not been inconvenienced. It seems like once you are inside there are no problems. As long as you do not have to go out, the security is pretty unobtrusive except for these men wandering around. But this made me wonder about the whole system. If someone had bad intentions, then all they would have to do was check in the day before to evade security, so the exercise seems to be only effective in foiling people who don’t have the foresight to think ahead.

So who is this mysterious guest? The hotel employees have clearly been told not to divulge the name but it is known that president Obama is visiting Stanford University so it does not take a genius to figure out that it must be him. If I run into him in the hallway, I’ll say hello.


  1. moarscienceplz says

    I’m pretty sure you must be staying at the Fairmont. I doubt you’ll see POTUS in the hallways. I believe SOP is to turn over the entire top floor (or maybe two top floors) to the Prez and his entourage, and there is a dedicated elevator that takes them straight to the garage, so it would be pretty hard for even an existing guest to do anything nefarious.

    Hey Mano, are you still going to be in SF this weekend? I’d like to come and meet you for lunch or a drink or something if you have the time.

  2. Mano Singham says


    Yes, I am staying at the Fairmont. I heard that this morning the area round the fitness facility had been cordoned off, no doubt because Obama wanted to use it.

    As soon as the conference is over on Saturday, I am leaving SF to spend some time with my daughter and son-in-law so I am afraid that we will not be able to get together. I should perhaps have informed readers earlier of my travel plans and maybe organized some sort of meet up. Oh well, maybe next time!

  3. moarscienceplz says

    Hope you had a good visit with your family, Mano.
    Definitely let us know when you’ll be back in the SF Bay area next time. Maybe we could even take you to the Monterey Bay Aquarium sometime.

  4. Mano Singham says


    Yes I had a great time. I love the Monterey aquarium and got a chance to see it on a trip there a couple of years ago.

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