I've ended up here in Phoenix for a follow-up conference with a group I spent a week with in Seattle last June. This is the 89th annual AMS (American Meteorology Society) conference. It just so happens that the last three years it also coincides with an Imaging conference for photographers. A guy I talked to in the elevator said that the photographers have attributed the bad weather they had at the last two conferences to the AMS because the AMS folks would have appreciated the inclement weather and the photographers were glad they this year they were all in agreement that the weather should be pleasant. It has been in the 70s during the day and 40s at night - and well, very pleasant.
I was not able to get in the main hotel for the AMS conference but instead ended up at the main hotel for the photographers. Its a different crowd. There are alot of black jeans and turtle necks at my hotel and the lounge and common areas are much more lively then at the other hotel. Everyone has a camera here and everyone at the other hotel has a gps and says "actually" a lot. The small group I'm with at AMS is a lot more humble – mostly educators at 2-year colleges who aren't specialists in the atmostphereic sciences but have been tasked with taking on assignments a bit out of their comfort zone. People who say "I feel like a goose out in a hail storm" And then there is me, completetly outside the hard science area but able to give some suggestions about best practices for online education and what seems to work well for success of students.
But anyway - enough about that! I just had my favorite tamale - a white chocolate pecan delicacy wrapped in a corn husk!