Thursday, September 18, 2008

NESUG 2008 in Pittsburgh, PA

I spent the last four days in Pittsburgh, attending the NorthEast SAS Users Group Conference and geeking out. Pittsburgh is a pretty cool city, a lot more culture than you would guess, lots of bridges (rivers), lots of construction, and very hilly. LOTS of bridges!

Sadly, I did not get out and about Pittsburgh anywhere nearly as often as I would have liked, as I was a section chair at the conference and had five separate presentations to do.

I did take a few walks by the rivers, and went to a Pirates baseball game at a truly beautiful ball park along with 200 odd (well, yes, odd, but I mean around 200) fellow conference attendees. I guess the Pirates aren't so hot, so the stadium was nearly empty, but the view from the nosebleed seats was simply amazing.

One of my favorite areas was the PPG (Pittsburgh Plate Glass) center - it was stunning. I really liked the glass stegosaurus.
There were also some nice juxtapositions of new and old architecture, odd reflections, and some nice plantings here and there.

Of course, I had to indulge my lamppost obsession.

One early morning I discovered Crazy Mocha. I'm totally in love with their Breve (double shot of expresso with steamed half and half). Be still my heart! Of course, it might just still my heart with all the milkfat, but what a way to go....

The last night of the conference I won PROC TRIVIA (kind of like SAS Jeopardy) in the expert division, which was a good time. The winning question? What language was SAS written in between FORTRAN and C? (drum roll. . .) PL/1!
Next morning it was time to roll up the posters, hand out awards, pack up the SAS truck and head out of and for the hills.... Next year's conference is in Burlington, VT.

It's good to be home.

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