It’s almost 1am Saturday morning, I’m at TAM 5.5 in Fort Lauderdale, I’m pleasantly buzzed, and I’m checking in to say hello. I don’t have long because as I was leaving the pool area here at the fabulous Plantation Hotel/Motel and Conference Center, to get to my computer,Â one of the attendeesÂ shouted to me that his girlfriend was on her way with another bottle of rum, and god dammit the booze and the company so far have just been delicious.
But I wanted to post something for you guys while I’m here, and tomorrow when they strike up the band in earnest, there’s not going to be much chanceÂ for blogÂ sneak-aways.
Rebecca has informed me that she’s throwing a party tomorrow night, and there’s no way I’ll have the time or the motor skills to post anything in the midst of a full on party, so a short,Â after midnight Sam musing is the best I can do right now.
Before you all get the wrong idea, this visit hasn’t just been all boozing and schmoozing, though I’m happy to say, the boozing and schmoozing has indeed had top billing. There has been quite a bit of sciency discourse, along with a good measure of skeptical discussion. I think it’s just the way these folks roll. Falling in with old friends demands the party, but the nature of the friendships nurtures the intellectual passions, and it’s fun to even be on the periphery of either.
Rebecca and I had a little adventure early yesterday, shortly after my arrival. She and I hadn’t seen each other in a while, but you couldn’t tell. We fell back into a comfortable routine, as good friends are wont to do.Â ThenÂ today I attended her seminar about podcasting and blogging, which was very informative. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. I also had the good fortuneÂ ofÂ meeting some other Skepchick bloggers. Masala_Skeptic, a.real.girl, and Stacey are all here, and we had dinner tonight, and I couldn’t be more pleased they let me join their Skepchick cabal. Simply put, they are awesome.
At one point, Stacey and I, along with a group of aboutÂ five or six others,Â were immersed in an in-depthÂ discussion about evolution, religion, and politics at the reception. It’s a funny thing about skeptics; the discussion was civil and over-the-top profound while the subjects were religion and politics, but gotÂ downright heatedÂ the momentÂ we started talking about cartoons, of all things.
I couldn’t figureÂ that oneÂ out, but decided my brain power would be better spent trying to decipher the mad ramblings of Phil Plait who regaled us over dinner with tales both tragic and extremely tragic. And for the record, when I say mad, I don’t mean to imply that Phil isÂ insane, though a strong case could be made for that exact assessment. I just mean, he was blowing our minds with hints about what will be in his next book, which apparently chronicles just about every possibleÂ celestial event that could destroy the Earth. Real rosy stuff, right? Several people admitted that they would probably have nightmares thanks to Phil’s dinner conversation.
Aside from that,Â The Amazing One himselfÂ entertained us with some good stories and some wonderful magic tricks, and the whole JREF staff and all the forumitesÂ that made the trip have been great.
Well, weÂ get into the heart of this thing tomorrow, and if I can, I’ll give you all a report. But if I get caught up in the maelstrom ofÂ the dayÂ and can’t get to my computer, look for something from me upon my return home. I write much better once I’ve had a few days to dry out anyway.