It’s hard to be professional.

I’m currently in Atlanta for the ANS annual meeting, ANS being the American Nuclear Society. This is my first time to one of these things, and over all I can say, “meh.”

My flights were OK, the hotel is nice (if a bit pricey with lousy internet service.) Thankfully I’ll be reimbursed for all of that, though it will take a couple months probably to get everything back. One funny thing did happen when I was trying to get my internet connection set up here in the hotel. When I entered my room number and last name the system said that guest “van der Hoeven” was not found in room 1046. So I called the front desk and was told that my problem was the fact that I stubbornly wanted to spell my name the correct way rather than “van der Hoeren.” I told them the correct spelling and they said they would fix it. A couple minutes later I called them again because it still wouldn’t let me connect. This time they had my last name as “van der Horeven.” I just said, “Fine, tell me how you’re spelling it and I’ll enter that.”

Last night I wandered around downtown Atlanta looking for some place to eat. As normally happens to me when I’m walking around a downtown area, I was approached by a panhandler. I don’t know, I guess there’s something about me that just cries out, “Kind-hearted sucker.” Anyway, this guy was actually pretty cool. He came right out and said, “Yeah I need money, I’m poor.” But he also said he just enjoyed interacting with people, and talking with them. Long story short, he offered to tell me a joke for a couple bucks. This sounded good to me, so we walked a couple blocks and he told me a dirty joke. It was pretty funny.

After wishing each other good luck we parted company and I found myself at a brewhouse/grill. I had a decent burger and noticed that my manager from Sandia was sitting at the bar. I joined him for a couple beers and talked about a bunch of stuff. It was nice to not be in a work environment. I also got to meet a group of people he knew who work at Oakridge National Lab. Seemed like nice folks.

Today was taken up by wearing a suit and listening to other people in suits talk about the industry. Not the most exciting thing to do. Though tomorrow I get to be one of the people talking, so that’s a little nerve-wracking. Public speaking is probably my least favorite activity outside of some elaborate torture scenario.

I do look good in my suit though.

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One comment

  1. Pictures. I want to see pictures you in your suit! But please don’t send any that you took in the bathroom mirror with your phone. You always look pretty silly in those. 🙂

    Good luck on your presentation, you’re going to do great! I love you much!

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