Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pullman, and across the plains

My visit to Washington State University went extremely well.  I gave a good seminar to a good audience, and had a lot of interesting discussions with colleagues.  Lot of good opportunities for collaboration there, and that's the last I'll say on that for now.  And lucky you, dear reader, you have the opportunity to download my talk slides if you wish (pdf or pptx).  I'm quite happy with the presentation: I think it's a good framing of both the underlying problem, technical core, and the business context, and summarizes the current state of all my work on energy demand shaping.

Then I set off westward into the afternoon, to cover the 150 miles to Richland and meet my colleague Jimmy.  The sun angled sharply down across the fields, where a thin frosting of snow turned the hills to corduroy and whorls.  As I climbed out of the valleys, away from the Palouse river, the land emptied and the other cars vanished, clipping along up to the vast plains.  On the last dregs of cell phone signal, I heard about my daughter's first attempts at crawling and bade my wife goodnight, then pushed on into a lowering mist, bluegrass carrying me across the emptiness into the gathering dusk.

Perhaps this isn't why I became a scientist, but it's a wonderful bonus from the job.

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