I’m off to the airport bright and early Thursday morning, headed for San Francisco. Thursday night I speak to the East Bay .NET user group in Pleasanton, CA. Friday morning it’s up before dawn again to head home.

I lived in the East Bay in the late ’80s. I worked for Oak Ridge National Lab at the time, but I was on assignment at Lawrence Livermore National Lab working on a joint project being conducted by both labs. Of course I was a very small cog in a very big wheel, but the work I did there was some of the most exciting I’ve ever been involved with. A lot of my old buddies in the laser program still work there. I found an article detailing some of the cool stuff they’re doing. I’m hoping to hook up with some of them while I’m out there.

I’ve often said that the smartest people I’ve ever worked with are at Microsoft. But LLNL has its share of scary smart people, too. I remember one physicist calling in sick one day, explaining that there were just “too many negative ions in the air.” Try that one on your boss next time you need a day off.