As promised, I am in Seattle for a meeting of the National Science Foundation Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellows (we just say AAPF for short). Above is a picture of our merry band. I asked them to smile and wave, but you can see the half-hearted effort.
The meeting has several aspects. We have a few keynote speakers talking about their experience in research and education, including Prof. Jay Pasachoff of Williams College talking about his work on understanding how the sun works and his work with teaching astronomy, from building his own telescope in the Bronx to chasing total eclipses of the sun in the Mediterranean and Siberia. We had a panel discussion about searching for jobs in astronomy, and we had talks by the fellows (including yours truly) about our research work.
I often say that the worst weather is 40 degrees and raining, and today reaffirmed that belief. It was 40 degrees, raining quite hard, the wind was blowing, and we had to walk several blocks to dinner. The damp air just cuts through clothing in a way that colder but drier air cannot. I hope tomorrow is a little less raw, but I think it will be more of the same.