rowanf: (Liberty Loves Justice)
So I'm sitting in my room eating the roast beef from an Arby's sandwich with some of the Cypress Grove Chevre Lamb Chopper Aged Sheep’s Milk Cheese from last night. I admit that I do feel somewhat deprived that I'm not eating at Tujague’s restaurant (one of the oldest restaurants in NOLA) with the GLBT interest caucus. But I also know how hard it is on the wait staff when you have a party of 30 and someone with special needs. So I'm just not going. Besides I was starving and it isn't for two more hours. But! *sigh* The brisket with remoulade sounded pretty good too.

The caucus had our annual meeting today. We usually try to have a speaker, often from a GLBT archive or history project. So tonight we had Bea Calvert from the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women Archives talking about the New Orleans Drag King Collection... complete with a performance by two local Drag Kings. Bea had brought along a troupe leader and two performers from the Carnival Kings. The troupe leader talked about the poitics of running a troupe and the performers gave us a lip-sync show. It was a total blast. And, of course, I had left my camera in my room when I slimmed down to not carry a purse. *sigh*
rowanf: (SL Librarian)

EdisonPark.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
So I was up early and out to the IEEE breakfast at 8am. My body is saying morning is really early but that evening isn't late. This has resulted in a lack of sleep. The big news was that they have added the IBM Research magazine to their Explore product. I haven't had to get a paper from there lately but it was always hard to get reprints so I'm glad to hear that. Also they had a full breakfast bar with eggs & bacon (and cereal and grits & biscuits and fruit and what have you) so I got to eat. I had brought cheese & cauliflower from last night just in case it was continental. Not that what Americans call a continental breakfast really it. It is mostly French because Belgians or Dutch would add cold cuts and cheese with bread as well as the sweet pastries and fruit we get.

One of my tablemates told me her colleagues at GE who do patents belong to Patent Information Users Group http://www.piug.org/ which does sound like something I should check out.

Then I went to ta talk by Stephen Arnold of the Beyond Search blog talking about Real Time Search. This was the gem of my conference. He says he will do a write up in the blog but I scribbled down a bunch of links to follow up on. Partly he was cautionary about what "real-time" really means... information from a sensor may be real time but if it gets posted by a sys admin it is that sys admin's schedule not "real time". And also to be aware of disinformation campaigns and that the raw information often lacks context.

One interesting search idea he mentioned was to search the facebook search engines http://www.booshaka.com/ and http://www.facebook-search.com/ for the terms "laid off" and "terminated" etc to get early news about companies downsizing. He also notes that there is more music and video on facebook than on anywhere else outside of iTunes and YouTube. Hmm.

He mentions the social network (facebook, twitter, RSS) search engines from the major players - like Microsoft's http://www.bing.com/social . And smaller entrants like One Riot http://www.oneriot.com/ but his favorite is Collecta http://www.collecta.com/ because it has lots of user controls.

For more real-time news oriented searches he had about a dozen candidates of which he highlighted

http://www.leapfish.com/
http://www.newslookup.com/ - world news, about a day old, narrow by facets
http://www.redtram.com/ - Russian can have weird pictures as they sell graphics space to advertisers including risque ones.
http://www.yauba.com/ "privacy safe" (does do cookies etc) and offers multi-lingual content, narrow by categories

And then the commercial enterprise offerings

http://www.exalead.com/software/
http://www.jackbe.com
http://www.fetch.com/

And now I have to run back to the convention center for my next session, but I wanted to get this written down!
rowanf: (South Park wasted)

SLAconfctr.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I admit, my back is killing me. Hard beds and too much standing mostly. And my body still has no idea what time zone it is in. I awoke at 6am local time and considered trying to make the 8am. Evidently the shuttles to the convention were totally overbooked and I'd probably have been late anyway which would have made me crazy. I went down about 9:30 to get there for the 10am expo opening and the full bus was just leaving about 20 other librarians to wait half an hour for the next one. Three of us grabbed a cab together. Things are crazy spread out (esp. given the 90s + high humidity conditions).

So I walked the expo for a couple of hours. Inspec totally wins the vendor swag wars. The 15 minute chair massage at their "relaxation station"... need I say more? And yet they have the best bag and t-shirt too. And a mardi gras bead holder to replace the ugly orange lanyard the conference gave us for our badges. And yes, [livejournal.com profile] spikeiowa I grabbed you a bag. I am *really* missing your presence! I missed the murder mystery reception last night... I know I wouldn't have if you were around. *grin*

Today was the "free lunch" in the expo to make sure we have time to chat up the vendors. There were hot dogs so that is what I had (sans bun, of course). Then I went to an Information literacy in the workplace talk sponsored by ACM/Wilson but it was actually about students using their basic research skills classes in their work. the slides. Not at all useful and the problem of only have a pocket program. I think I could take that title and do something quite different. Have I mentioned the program? The full program is online... in flash... so the iPod/iPad people are mad. And those of us who don't have a device on us have a small printed pocket program with titles. I actually made pdfs of the program by day and put it on my kindle... but since kindle doesn't zoom on pdfs the type appears about 4pt. I appreciate the small program and wouldn't carry around the usual giant one, but I don't think the entirely correct solution has been found yet either.

I came back to put my feet up and then headed out to the SJSU SLIS reception. Which was really lovely, I met some current students and current faculty. They went 100% online this year. I hadn't quite realized... no face-to-face classes on campus at all. My degree is "so last century" as the past director said when I said I graduated in 1991. But they had an AMAZING cheese board with local organic gourmet cheeses. I had saved up my cheese for receptions tonight and I am so glad I did. I also snagged a huge chunk at the end because the hotel would have just thrown it all away. So I had veg and cheese for dinner. So far, I've managed the Atkins pretty well.

I could go down to the Physics, Astronomy & Math Division reception (in my own hotel so I wouldn't have to brave the thunderstorms) but I am done in with the standing. Nor am I going out caching again tonight. The word "downpour" is entirely appropriate to the rain here.
rowanf: (Help I'm being englightened)

BourbonSt.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I had a hard time waking up this morning. What time zone is this? I grabbed some breakfast in the hotel (way expensive and the only edible things in their buffet are eggs & bacon) and then hopped the shuttle to the convention center. I am *not* looking forward to a week of 8am sessions. How are we supposed to eat?! The shuttle comes every 20-30 minutes and takes 20 minutes or so to get to the venue. So being out and ready to go around 7am sounds challenging. Even for a morning person. I'm not even sure if restaurants open early enough for that. *sigh* There is an interesting 8am tomorrow too. I think I just have to let go of that and not stress out.

Today I spent about five hours talking to vendors and talking the expo. Several I will have to re-visit as the particular specialist was unavailable. ProQuest/Dialog is coming out with a new patent product. Lexis has a patent product and I have no idea what is going on with Thomson/Reuters Micropatent because the rest of their booth refused to speculate. So I have to hit all of those again.

I got back to the hotel about 4pm and checked email and then at 5pm asked the concierge to recommend a restaurant. I ended up at Red Fish Grill on Bourbon St. Their menu didn't have anything on it that I could eat but the chef made me a grilled red fish on a bed of some green with heirloom tomatoes. I had to scrape off the rub because (a) it was spicey and (b) no telling its carbs. So far I have managed to stay mostly on program. I ate two walnuts in the expo today and I had Atkins bars the last two days (not today). But hey... I have said no to grits & biscuits so I'm ahead of the game.


After dinner I walked Bourbon St and checked out the cheesy tourist shops. All the cute t-shirts are way too small. Some are really nice though. *sigh* I found one virtual cache and one film can by a nice fountain. Even in the evening it is warm but doable. There are about a dozen caches in the French Quarter that I would like to find in the next few days.

Oh, I suppose I should report that the botanica run was a bust. I took a taxi out there at about 11am (their hours being 10:30-5:30) and there was a sign on the door saying they'd be back at noon (or something, it was pretty illegible). I wasn't going to sit on their doorstep in a bad neighborhood for an hour. And then call another cab at some point. So I paid $26 roundtrip for a cab ride to nowhere. I phoned to see if they were open and it went to voice mail so I gave it a pass. Their website is cool though. Island of Salvation Botanica and [livejournal.com profile] rubibees recommended them to me.
rowanf: (anime reader)

FC&P6-4-airport_026.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
Yesterday I had a very uneventful couple of flights from San Jose to New Orleans via Dallas. Caught the shuttle to my hotel and settled in to check out the internet situation. $13/night with the hotel, $24/week with the local wifi operator. The hotel is faster and a better signal... good thing I'm here for work. Got the Nola one for my second laptop even though it makes the dual boxing laggy. Got Mira & Syl to level 11 and Luk to 42.

This morning I went down and asked the concierge to recommend a restaurant for breakfast. He suggested Huck Finn's but when I got outside the shuttle to the convention center was there so I hopped on board and went over to register. The shuttles are every half hour and take about 20 minutes to get to the Center. Need to plan waaaay ahead for specific times. I hopped a different shuttle back that was going to the Westin in the French Quarter. He dropped me off a block from Huck Finn's and I got breakfast. Oh, my. This Atkins thing is going to be harder than I had imagined. I think of breakfast as the "safe" meal... eggs, bacon, steak, stuff like that. The truth is, I don't like hash browns enough to feel deprived of them. BUT GRITS and biscuits, WAAAAH. I really wanted Grits & Grillades or one of the other amazingly tasty sounding dishes. I was good, I had steak & eggs with tomato slices. But dang. A whole week of saying no to grits. I hope I have it in me.

I tried to go by a convenience store to get some diet Dr. Pepper, but evidently 9am is too early for shops other than coffee shops to be open. (I am only a block from the Voodoo Market that Kurt liked last time he was here.) So I'm back in my air conditioned hotel room. Dang, it is hot and muggy out there. At 9am.

The Island of Salvation Botanica opens at 10am and today is my only chance to go by since they are open Wed-Sat and I am leaving on Wednesday. So in awhile I will go out and find a taxi. But, for now, it is nice to be cool.

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