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sweet home chicag--er, tucson

Back home again after a few days in Chicago for the ASA meetings. Visiting the big city was fun, but rather exhausting. I did a lot of walking, sat through a lot of sessions, and listened to a lot of talks, some of which were very good. However, one suggestion for prospective power-point presenters: Make the slides relevant, and don't, ever, use animated transitions between slides. That goes double for sounds.

Highlight: The comment from the discussant of my section, a prominent figure in the fields of professionalism and occupations, that he "loves" my paper. Who-hoo! My paper was very well-received overall, and was part of a nicely-organized group of presentations, which made for a good session.

Lowlight: Lodging. I didn't know there were any hotels left that still charge for local calls. Is this a big city thing? $1.25 per call, plus time and distance (how does distance matter on a local call?) is a steep price to pay for coordinating lunch. Also, when the buttons on the phone have had all their lettering rubbed right off, perhaps the phone is a little old and should be replaced. Good thing I have the motor memory to dial blindfolded. And finally, what part of a cheeseburger is worth $12? I'll tell you; no part. Hotel restaraunts are a scam.

The train from O'Hare to downtown Chicago takes about forty-five minutes and is a pleasant and easy ride that costs just $1.50. Now that's a deal, and it strikes me that no large city has any good excuse for lacking good light rail mass transit. Do you hear me, Tucson? Do you hear me, Phoenix and Salt Lake City? Mass transit changes the entire nature of getting around in a city, and it makes the city an easier place to live. No excuse.

And that's all for now.