The AutCom Conference – Baltimore

I am in Baltimore at the AutCom Conference.  Since the conference begins first thing in the morning, I arrived yesterday afternoon by train.  As I waited for the shuttle service to arrive I witnessed a group of men yelling at each other.  Suddenly one enormous man lunged at another, grabbed him by the throat and began to strangle him.  Several other men jumped in, amidst lots of yelling and swearing and finally were able to pry the two apart, only to have the one who had been strangled race after the strangler, shouting descriptive words which I cannot repeat, mostly because other than a few F bombs, I couldn’t figure out what he was saying, though by the look on the attackers face, they weren’t friendly.  After witnessing two men practically killing each other, I was greatly relieved to see the shuttle pull up to whisk me away.

The van driver stopped only once to pick up a party of six elderly men who were off to a business retreat.  The one gentleman seated next to me after having an animated conversation with his wife, though I’m not sure about her identity, but was clearly someone he knew well and felt comfortable hanging up on – twice –  and then called back.  Exhausted from all that, he promptly fell asleep listing so precariously in his seat that I feared he might just keel over completely.   I scooted as far away from him as was physically possible lest he fall into my lap like a felled Redwood.

The drive was otherwise uneventful. Much to my delight the hotel looks out on a beautiful lake where I saw this… I believe this is a White Egret.  I could be wrong, but in Northern California, where I grew up, I remember seeing one once and it looked a great deal like this.

A panoramic view of the lake.

Sculpture with the lake in the background…

The conference begins at 9:00AM this morning with a welcoming ceremony by Ari Ne’eman, followed by a keynote address by Jennifer Paige Seybert.  I intend to then go to Julia Bascom and Savannah Nicole Logsdon-Breakstone’s presentation – The Loud Hands Project.  However Larry Bissonette, Pascal Cheng, Harvey Lavoy and Tracy Thresher (of Wretches and Jabberers) are also presenting at the same time, and I’d love to hear them too.  The entire conference is a who’s who of wonderful presenters.  I don’t know how anyone is able to choose!

It’s all very exciting and I’m so happy to be here!

8 responses to “The AutCom Conference – Baltimore

  1. Ardea alba egretta! The conference is off to a great start with a welcoming appearance of such a bird! Venerable Shariputra!

    Didjaknow: the Great Egret in flight is the symbol for the National Audubon Society since 1953?

    May the conference be the cause of equal effect. Ripples around the world.

    • So pleased to have you confirm the great White Egret’s presence at the AutCom conference! And no I did not know it is the symbol for the Audubon Society, I depend upon you for such timely information. 🙂

  2. Lonely guy reporting from the home front: Kids are okay, off to school, I’m okay, at my desk (rocking chair by the window). Looking forward to my intrepid wife’s first report from the conference. Sniff…wish I was there:(

    • Aw, lonely guy, wish you were here too. It’s quite beautiful here in Columbia next to the lake and just across the road is a shopping mall complete with Starbucks and carousel. Em would approve. The carousel might just soften the blow caused by the outdoor pool being closed, though probably not! Sending love to all of you. Mwah!

  3. Im so happy you are there! I wanted to go! Please post like crazy while you are there 🙂

  4. Can’t wait to hear all about it…..great group of presenters! So glad your shuttle arrived! So scarey when things like that take place so closely!! Be safe! ps….(hope my last post didn’t offend anyone…..albeit maybe TMI, it is my life some days!) Enjoy your conference!

  5. So glad you made it there safely – looking forward to hearing all about it!

  6. Can’t wait to hear how your talk went!

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