Scientific conferences are almost frantic activity packed into 4 days, a fevered orgy of interaction, a once a year event celebrating the social, personal aspects of our particular science. At the end you feel a bit of relief and fatigue, however, TPP, a cagey veteran, has learned how to pace himself and not worry overly about what you missed or could not attend. Last night was the big banquet (reasonably good, but fire the cook that made the gumbo, or fire whoever told them to wimp out), the awards, a presidential address (pretty good, but overly long - hey, there was a social going on), and a farewell to friends and colleagues for another year. Along the way you learn a good many things, you make some new contacts and friends, you get some new ideas (these are all creative people), you admire those who distinguish themselves with hard work, cleverness, and sometimes luck that opens new doors. Forty percent of the attendees were students, impressive young people, and you are glad when you can help some of them out and even surprised by the rare one who knows who you are. But TPP isn't saying farewell to New Orleans just yet; he doesn't get here often and some friends have arrived and we'll take a few days just to mess around because conferences don't leave much time for leisure. Maybe a drive down into Cajun country would be nice.