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Re: Competing hobbies -- or - Hubbies, Hobbies and Highlights

Rachel Sandage said:

> Man, this is so frustrating. I reaaaalllly wanted to go
> to the AGA 
> conference, but my hubby already had dibs on this weekend
> for a trip to 
> Salem, OR for a conference on HIS hobby IIt's the Imaging
> the Sky 
> conference, for amateur astrophotographers). Somebody who
> is there needs to 
> send back lots of reports!

Well, not really highlights but just a few random quick

There will be a video tape of the speakers, I believe.  I
think copies of the previous two conventions are still
available (check out the AGA web site). 

There was some really good talk in the hallways -- won't be
on tape.  Great slides of plants growing in the wild in
pure calcium carbonate -- now there's a substrate I bet you
haven't tried!

Hopefully Chuck Gadd's talk on using plant performance
instead of test kits will be packaged into an article for
wider dissemination -- Howeever, if the auction was any
indication, test kits are a cheaper way to go than plants

Highest auction sales:  2 packets of Pellia sold for about
$70 or $80 each, after fierce bidding.  Rumor has it that,
over the course of the next year, this plant is going to
become as popular as 5 o'clock shadows in Hollywood.

Most often quoted person was easily Tom Barr -- although,
surprisingly enough, the salinity of the ocean didn't
actually come up for discussion at all ;-)

Tropica's Claus Christensen had a decided opinion on
Cavan's monster grey slime.

My favorite comment from the event came from a side

"It is not growing, it's moving!"   This was averred by
Claus when someone said that a particular "algae," after
loads of it were manually removed from a tank, could fully
grow back in just 45 minutes.

The Friday tour was incredible.  It included a lfs (Village
Tropical Fish), which on Sunday seemed to be a continuation
of the convention as scads of folks returned on their way
to the airport for purchases of fish and plants -- glosso
for about $2 bucks?

Aquarium Design Group--The Senske display gallery was a
bittersweet lesson in humility.  These tanks were so nice,
if there was a hardware store nearby, I would have bought a
hammer to take back and use on my own miserable excuses for
planted tanks.  The ADG's were excellent examples of the
use of a just a few species and the artful placement of
wood and rocks to fill a large space with movement, depth,
and character.

Aquarium Environments -- Even more nice display tanks --
some really really big tanks, suggesting more than a few
ideas to us.  Texas Bar-B-Q and plenty of it.

My personal awards:

To Roger Miller:  Best Seller.  Among his offereings, about
a half dozen small but excellent specimens of Marsilea,
which each attracted double digit bids.

To Chuck Gadd:  Best Shirt.  This shirt was true *blue* to
the tropical motif without relying on obvious use of green
-- or perhaps it is a sign of why he avoids
color-comparison test kits ;-)

Erik Olson:  Hardest Working Man in the AGA -- and who
knows how many other organizations.  Hard working, talented
and this guy is likeable, too.  Unfair Unfair Unfair!

Dave Gomberg:  Most Inquisitive During Formal Events.  DG
asked more questions of the speakers than any other
attendee -- and good questions, too.

Cavan:  Most Inquisitive In Conversations Outside of the
Formal Events.

Cavan:  Most comprehensive use of Latin nomenclature.  I
wish James Purchase could have made it to the convention. 
I would have loved to hear these two in conversation --
although I probably wouldn't be able to follow it.  But I
would be bound to learn something, even if just from

Valerie:  Fiercest Negotiator.  She staunchly defended the
AGA from the corporate bullies.  I'm glad she was on our

And finally, Tom Barr:  Most Conspicuously Present Without
Actually Being Present.  

Just my own immediate takes.  Better reports are sure to
come from others.  And I still have to organize my notes. 
And if Erik stops "goofing off" on other distractions,
maybe the tape will be edited and available soon.  ;-)

Scott H.

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