Last week I was in CEC, in Sendai. The week before that I was in the ICPC world finals, in Morocco. It was nice leaving Tsukuba for a while. The World Finals went better than I expected. The transportation to and from the airport, which I was worried about, was quite smooth. Arriving at the location, everything was inside the same resort, so we could go everywhere on foot. Food could have a bit more variety in it, but it was quite fine. As for the competition itself, the Tsukuba team did well enough -- although I'm sure we can do better in the future (I have to work on my coach skills, though!) CEC was a mixed bag. Sendai is a beautiful city, and the weather helped. I got to meet a bunch of interesting people, and realized that AI for Games academic community is bigger and more active than I imagined. I should really be putting some extra effort in that. I also got to do a bit of Geocaching. On the other hand, most presentations were rather weak, and my own presentation had almost no viewers, which made me quite sad. The hotel where I stayed (APA Hotel) was apparently owned by some right wing nut who filled the rooms with his self published books about how Japan "just wanted to unite all asia in equality"... yeah sure. The worst thing is that I went in planning to use the time away from work to catch up with my backlog: Prepare classes, read up on papers, etc. Of course, the monkey was stronger and that did not happen. During the ICPC trip, I spent most of my time re-reading Worm which, to be frank, is a hell of a good read, but reading it AGAIN was definitely not on my priority list. During the CEC trip, I did manage to prepare a bit for my classes, but I also spent most of my time reading "The Reluctant Swordsman", which was a decent read. And now I'm back home with 300 messages in my work inbox T_T Well enjoy the links, and see you on the other side!