As of right now, I'm at around 24 hours to go before I'm home again. My plane leaves Jacksonville at 1:50pm on Wednesday, which means I get to leave St. Augustine at around 10:30 am (an hour drive to the airport, then drop off the rental, then get my tickets, then deal with security, then find the right gate, then wait for mechanical problems to be resolved, then wait for the crew to get back to their plane... oh, wait, that already happened in Dayton on my way down here to the plane next to mine). I should get to Dayton at around 6:00, and back home around 7:00 (depending on how badly covered in ice my car is after sitting in an outside parking lot for four days). Later if anything silly happens (like them asking for anyone who's willing to voluntarily bump themselves, because there's no way I'm going to miss that twice).

Conference ended at around 2:00 pm today, and I've spent a few hours just sitting in my room staring at the walls. This whole "being social" thing is tiring. I don't know how some of you do it the way you do. It all started for me on Sunday evening with three hours of cocktails and snacks by the pool. Three hours of talking to dozens of different people. Finally, one of the girls who works for the company hosting the party came over and talked to me about things I actually cared about (she works on the hardware side so I could actually understand her, unlike the programmers and warehouse managers which made no sense to me at all... didn't hurt that she was awesomely cute, too) which killed about an hour and made the whole thing a little easier to deal with. Generally, there were a few people I didn't mind talking with (almost all the nicest people with the company hosting the conference were awesomely cute girls who had no problem talking to me for awhile, because I wasn't a programmer or some other kind of weirdo), but mostly I ended up talking to vendors (occasionally insightful), listening to speakers (booooooring, but I did find a few nuggets of interesting things), and making small-talk with programmers and other kinds of weirdos. For two and a half days, including breakfasts, lunches, breaks, random encounters in the bathroom, etc. My brain is tired. It gets to take Wednesday off, but then it has to go play nicey-nice in Toledo on Thursday. Sigh.

I'm also seriously fast-fooded out. The food at the hotel was decent, but any time I had to eat by myself I got fast food and sat in my room like the anti-social potentially-homicidal maniac I am. Sunday night was three hours of drinks and snacks, so I didn't eat out. Monday and Tuesday breakfast and lunch was provided at the hotel during the conference. Monday night I did eat out at a rather nice place with a (really cute) girl who was working one of the vendor booths (we sat there for two hours bouncing between talking about nothing and talking about how married we each were, not counting the hour or two of talking we did before dinner while all the weirdos were drinking and being strange - nice girl, but we can't be friends; she's in sales, and salespeople don't have friends - they have clients, and I'm not in her territory [okay, that line was awesomely entendre-y]). Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner, Sunday lunch, and Tuesday dinner were all fast food. Checkers and Krystal even, which means it was all extra good for me (anyone who failed their "detect sarcasm" saving throw needs to take 1d6 damage from the bitchslap trap hidden behind it... wow, that was really geeky, even for me).

Seriously, though, there are few situations where I can honestly say that I may have easily been in the running for "best looking guy in the room", but this was definitely one of them, and it made me feel damn good about myself. Most of the cute ones were married, but I know that because they seemed to always be somewhere within reach (one of the non-married ones started getting kinda flirty there at the end, too... it was fun). Needless to say, being happily married and all, nothing happened, but that doesn't mean it wasn't fun anyway. I'll have to come back again next year.

I'll also say this, having been to both Florida and California now:
California Sun > Florida Sun (because the Cali sun knows how to be discrete and polite and not just jab itself all over you like Florida sun does).
Florida Girls > California Girls (oh yeah, by quite a margin, too)
Florida traffic = California traffic (oldest city or not, add some lanes for pete's sake!)

And that's my report. Somehow, I got through the whole thing without mentioning any of the work-related things I now have added to my list thanks to this silly conference (quite a list, too... we really underutilize this software). But, really, the girls are much more important than the software. So was the fast food, for that matter. Gotta have priorities.