I go to DC for an NSF-related meeting. Not much to report, except that there's a very good Afghan restaurant about a block away from the Crystal City Sheraton.
From there I fly to Geneva for a meeting with some people at CERN interested in distributed computing. On Saturday, struggling to stay awake, I tour the assembly area for the Atlas detector - an immense supercooled cylinder with a pixel in every cubic millimeter. One of four experiments to be deployed in 2007 in the new 27 Km circular accelerator.
On Sunday I go with my hosts (Ben, Francois, Jakob the Dane, Tim and Jennie) for a day of skiing at La Clusaz, a low-key but pretty nice ski area about an hour away in France. I became acquainted with the "Poma lift", which pulls you along by the bum. Tim and Francois are awesome on board and skis respectively. I do OK, albeit with a few tweaks from the right knee. Ben has strongly-held opinions about the rudeness of the French and Germans (dubbed "Die Liftwaffe" for their ski-area boorishness).
The next three days are filled with meetings, group debugging with the melancholy Danes, and preparation for my talk at the computing colloquium on Wednesday. It goes pretty well, although I don't sleep well and get a sore throat and general exhaustion. On Monday Matte takes me and the Danes to a microbrewery downtown, where I meet the wonderful Finn Macko. On Tuesday Ben and I attend a piano concert at the CERN auditorium, an elderly local woman, whose playing (Schubert variations, Papillons, Debussy, Granados, Albeniz) is shaky but inspired. On Wednesday Ben takes me to dinner with his wife, a sculptor, one of those rare inner/outer beauty people. We visit her atelier. One of her works has been converted from clay to white marble, and scaled up by a factor of two; very amazing.
From CERN, on a clear day, there's a wonderful view of Mont Blanc, 50 or so miles away. It's huge and stunning. No pictures because my camera batteries died.