Monday, March 21, 2005

Wine Snobs Rock

I just returned from the LCWS2005 conference banquet, which was combined with the conference outing, and took place aboard a cruise ship around the Bay. We've had quite poor weather while I've been out here on this trip. It even poured down with rain while we were on the bus to San Francisco, and Wim de Boer and I made good use of the time discussing some details of electroweak baryogenesis. This is a particularly interesting approach to understanding why the observable universe is composed almost entirely of matter, with negligible amounts of antimatter. I've worked on this a lot in my career and will devote a whole post to this fascinating topic some time soon.

Luckily, the weather cleared up beautifully for the cruise and the views were spectacular. We took a slow pass past Alcatraz island before heading under both the Golden Gate and Bay bridges. As night fell the sky cleared nicely and revealed a beautiful view of the city as we came back to the pier.

All this was wonderful, but, if forced to, I'd trade good views at a banquet for fine food and wine any time. Fortunately, I didn't have to make that choice. The food was perfectly fine banquet food. However, the wine was something else. I was lucky enough to sit with my friends JoAnne Hewett and Tom Rizzo at dinner. These people are serious wine connoisseurs (did I accidentally write "snobs" in the title of this?) and were kind enough to bring a few selected bottles to share with their table-mates. Believe me, these were well worth the $15 a bottle corking fee the wait staff charged us when they saw what was going on. Many thanks to JoAnne and Tom for this crucial component of a lovely evening.

Tomorrow I head back to Syracuse so that I'm back in time to teach on Tuesday. The conference is over a day later. Wish me the luck that one needs to fly from A to B without significant delays these days.
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