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Fw: The Convention

If you were too busy, too tired too something to make the conference, you
really missed a great meeting.  Like others have stated it was a great place
to fill in a face to an email address.  Lots of interesting speakers.  At
events like these I usually sit on the end of an aisle so that I can sneak
out if it gets too dull.  I really barely missed but a minute or two of any
of the talks.  Wim's talk was great as his meshing theme was the
similarities between an artist's painting and the dutch style tank.  Even if
you don't "get" art you could see the similarities between the Leiden
planted tank and the Van Gogh (a dutchman) example.  Todd gave a pretty good
overview on how to take pictures of your aquarium, and although Tom Barr was
nervous he gave a fairly good talk.  As a speaker, it really throws off your
rhythm when 4 slides in a row are upside down!  In Tom's defense
though he had a lot of fun <not> with planes, trains and automobiles that
cost him a lot of time.  Rumor had it that his flight was delayed and then
the drive part of the trip was also spent idling behind a big pileup on the
highway.  That's a tough way to start your weekend.  I heard that David G
(that would be Gomberg) waited behind at the terminal for Tom, as they were
driving from the airport together.  In doing so he missed another great meal
at the aquarium on Friday evening.  Another group of aquarists missed the
Banquet because of a quasi - "it must be a terrorist" incident at the
airport.  Something about a hunter's bullet that hit a prop, that closed
down the airport at Nashville type of thing.  I know farmers that paint the
word "cow" on the side of their cows during deer season, perhaps they need
to do that with airplanes in TN :-) .  Hopefully someone who lived through
that adventure will be able to fill in the details for you on the list.
After the Friday night banquet and the walk around the aquarium several of
us met down in the lobby of the Clarion to exchange plants, drink beer and
generally cause trouble.  I think at one time there was close to 25 people
in a very small area.  Plants were flying, water was dripping and the trades
were hot.  Several of my plants didn't make the auction but instead were
bartered for precious "new to me" snipet of plants.  These were reverently
planted in the "magic spot" of the wonder tank once I reached home.  With a
bit of luck and knowledge gained from the conference they'll be coming back
as "trade bait" next year for something new.  Rumor has it that they are
looking in the Boston area but we'll have to wait for the final verdict.
Start saving now.  Hopefully the next convention will include a hospitality
I should mention that we also heard an interesting talk from Greg Morin on
what Seachem products can do for our planted tanks.  This certainly wasn't
just a commercial for their products but was a true effort to show how to
solve some of our plant problems.  Dr. Morin had a lot of people pestering
him all weekend so I really didn't get the opportunity to thank him for his
talk and also for contributing <often> to this list.  Seachem also provided
a lot of products for the conference that were given away.  They give a lot
of their products away in support of local clubs, and so far, their plant
products have worked well for me.  He mentioned a couple of times that they
had changed some formulations over the years and if I heard right, once
because of some discussions here.  A generous company, that makes  good
products and listens to their customers feedback??  Sounds like a formula
for success, I'm supporting it.  Hmm, there was one more speaker too, I
think he was from Japan :-)  More on Amano, our host, my plants and the
silent auction later....