IISWC - Seattle 2008
I presented a paper at the
2008 IEEE International Symposium on Workload Characterization.
This involved waking up very early to catch the 6am flight out of Ithaca.
Conveniently the airport is practically across the street from our apartment.
I switched planes in Detroit, and made it to Seattle without incident. I just
barely missed the remnants of Hurricane Ike which hit the Midwest shortly
after my transit.
After being horrified by the price of airport food, I managed to find the
shuttle to the hotel with minimal problems.
Here's the view from my hotel room, it was on the 22nd floor (well, sort of.
There is no 13th floor):
I had a few hours free to enjoy the unusually sunny weather, so I went for a walk.
My first destination: the Monorail!
The monorail is perfect if you're trying to go between the mall and the
space needle (the only two stops). Luckily, that was my goal.
I took a picture of the space needle, but the camera wasn't cooperating.
If you are curious, you can see pics from
my last time there.
The monorail actually passes through the
Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame,
one of Paul Allen (forgotten co-founder of Microsoft)'s projects. It was
interesting, but not really worth the price of admission. Some neat exhibits
inside but photography was strictly prohibited for some reason. Here's a
picture of the outside of the building:
I then took the monorail back, then continued walking. Past
the Pike Place Market, though I didn't stop in this time:
I went toward Pioneer Square and was trying to find the
Klondike Gold Rush National
Historical Park before it closed, but I was unsuccessful.
I then returned to the hotel. I'm not sure which was more intimidating,
the panhandlers or the disgruntled Seahawk fans pouring out of the nearby
By this time it was late, at least in Eastern Daylight time. So I went to bed
I woke up extremely early due to the aforementioned time zone issues,
which did give me time to catch up and practice my talk. The
first keynote was the founder of
Epic Games. I'm almost ashamed to admit I was only familiar with
the companies early 2D games, back when they were based in MD.
After a day of talks, we went as a group on the
Seattle Underground Tour.
Seattle was originally built on a tidal marsh, not the best idea.
Then it burnt down. Some property owners rebuilt before the city
decided to start re-grading the hillside to improve drainage, etc.
So for a while a few blocks of the city had sidewalks one story
below the level of the roads. This had obvious problems, so eventually they
built archways, converting the old sidewalks into tunnels.
Here's a view along one of the tunnels:
There are skylights (that look purple due to age) in the sidewalks above, you
can see them from below:
The tour was fun. Went back to the hotel and again went to bed relatively
early (at least if you go by Pacific time).
Up early again, practice talk. My
was toward the end of the conference. It went OK, though I didn't get many
The conference was over! I caught the shuttle back to the airport, but then
went to yet another (cheaper) hotel there as I had an early flight out the
next morning. Here's the view of the water from the Alaskan Way viaduct:
This next day involved a lot of travel. Started in Seattle. If you look
closely in this picture, you can see Mount Rainier through the haze:
First stop was Minneapolis:
Then on to Detroit. The connector between the terminals there is a
disorienting psychedelic tunnel which pulses in colors to the time
of moody music. Sometimes the music goes crazy and you are plunged into
darkness followed by bright flashes. Odd. Here's a picture which really
doesn't capture the oddness of this:
Finally, returned to Ithaca late, and met Kristina and her mom who were
waiting for me! It was good to be back!
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