April 24, 2006
I’m at the APS April meeting in Dallas. I would have posted earlier, but we are staying in the Hyatt Regency, and like many expensive hotels it is simultaneously cheaper and more expensive than it first appears. In particular the wireless costs $10 a day from the rooms, though APS has set up a little isolated network in the lobby for us to use when we happen to be in the lobby. The wireless doesn’t work in the meeting rooms (there went my dreams of snarky live blogging!). Since I haven’t been in the lobby much, I’ve been making do with my cellphone’s EDGE service, which seems a tad slow here and is useless for ssh connections.
The expense of the hotel: apart from the wireless, one of the first things you notice when you enter your room is the $5 bottled water. Also the six pillows on the beds: four normal, one bolster-type object, and a foot-wide round puffball which, as S.S. demonstrated, will not bounce on the floor.
The cheapness of the hotel: it has a severe problem with soundproofing. Our room is right next to the elevator and overlooks the tracks of Dallas’s Union Station, which leads to wheezing noises and low-frequency rumbling at all hours. This might be chalked up to us getting a really lousy room, except that the meeting rooms aren’t much better. The staff wheel unoiled carts around in corridors next to the plenary talks, and a couple of the rooms appear to be right under the train tracks, making the light rail schedules painfully apparent.
Also: convincing them to give us three washcloths was a lot harder than it should have been (surprisingly, since my experience is hotels give double doubles three but not four). Their cable listings have notable lacunae (Comedy Central and Cartoon Network), and at any rate do not correspond to what is actually on the television. And so on…
Maybe next time I’ll actually talk about the physics?