05 May 2008
Solar 2008 was awesomesauce!
Oh my God where do I begin??
My apologies...I didn't have access to any free WiFi and didn't feel like looking for any around San Diego so I didn't update...and for that, I'm writing an abridged version of all that occurred. But, because I didn't get online, I did so so much around the city!
I arrived Friday midday, and after settling in and experiencing my first few sliders at Fuddruckers, I ventured out to Coronado (an island off the coast, just outside of San Diego). It was chilly, I played in the sand and got soaked from chasing waves, but it was awesome. I saw a huge ship doing donuts (hilarious), people surfing and actually catching fish and an amazing sunset. It was a great way to start things out.
Saturday I went to the convention center and it was a clusterfuck at first. No one seemed to realise that public registration didn't begin until 10h00, and there were no signs, some computers went down, no one knew what was going on and there was alot of frustration. I was patient...I knew things would work out. I didn't get into the exhibit hall right away however; I went to a few seminars including "Roof Installations for Commercial Buildings" and "Two Decades of PV in Germany: Best Practises". Then I went into the exhibit hall where I saw Chris, Deirdre, Snow, and two I hadn't met previously, Bo and Heather. They were all going out later to get to drinking and seeing as I get huggy when I'm drunk (and a few other reasons...heckity-darn...LOL Buelita), I took Chris' number so I could meet up later if I wanted. I got tons of PV goodies: a Solar Sisters shirt from SEI, a really awesome book with PV formulas from ISES, some freebies...then I decided to head out and see what there was to see in San Diego.
I managed to learn the ins and outs of the trolley system and got to spend a few hours at the Red Bull Air Races. I'm not usually into that kind of thing but it was different, so why not? Plus I got a Smirnoff Ice, which is yummy. I spent some time looking at boats and such as well, including the pirate ship (yay for ASES-sponsered pirate party! No joke) and wandered the Gaslamp District for quite awhile. Of course I had lost Chris' number, so I wound up wandering without them, but it was great anyway...again, different.
I guess one could say that different was the theme of my entire weekend. In a good way, of course.
Sunday I went back to the convention, but took a detour to the mall and got a really sweet batik-style sirt. I'm usually not one for dresses and such but it was supercute so I got it. (Besides I had to waste some time before the convention opened back up to the pubic.) I took more time to see each booth at the exhibit hall; Fat Spaniel, Fronius, NABCEP, Conergy, Kyocera, AEE, Sonnenkraft, Solmetric SunEye, DC Power Systems...I mean I could go on, but a very well-balanced selection. I had loads of fun, and really learned alot. The technology coming out is great...Tyco Electronics had a way impressive ground clip that I just adore, there are some new mounting systems out, Schüco had a beautiful PV-window hybrid display that I fell in love with...plus Ritter-Sport had made special solar-themed chocolates, and cool freebies all around.
I saw Snow again, and he was nice enough to take some time to go through some of the material with me and help answer my questions about a few of the products. I paid him back by showing him the most incredible ground clip...no really, it was that kickass. He showed me alot of the classes and seminars he was going to take and I think maybe next time, if I can, I'm going to do the full convention because the classes looked like something I'd really want to get into. We'll see about next year maybe.
Then I went on an adventure and took the trolley all the way to San Ysidro and actually contemplated going into Mexico but I didn't have a passport, and it was a little chilly and I was without a jacket, and...eh...I wound up not. But I saw a lot, and that was good. Mexican food with Cinco de Mayo in mind, then a ton of DVDs, and already I was sad to go, even though I missed home.
Today I woke up, showered, packed, had yummy Greek food (a gyro and cardamom tea!), then spent about 25 minutes in an airport being wand-ed and felt up by the TSA people. Well, sort of...I set off the alarm (yay piercings) and there was a girl who hadn't been trained yet on pat-downs, so I was used as a training exercise: it was cool kinda, learning how they go about things and what exactly the procedure was, since her supervisor walked her through it. It turned out it wasn't just my piercings, as McCarran Airport had suspected; it was my underwire bra, the rivets in my jeans...the waistband to my jeans was turned inside-out and felt up too. It was...interesting. But I didn't have to take anything off (or out) so I was happy.
So that's it in a nutshell. There's some other goodies I'm sure, but this is long enough. :)