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Denver 2004 SVP remembrances

In no particular order of impact or importance...

A recorded fire  alarm announcement kept going off during Greg Erickson's 
talk (and someone  else's--I don't remember whose).  No one left, but it was 
disconcerting to  the speakers and the audience to have this broadcast over and 

Ken  Dial and a certain tyrant dinosaur worker shared the honor of having two 
 moderators standing behind them at the end of their talks, threatening a 
virtual  hook off the podium.  

The auction raised $17,700, with generous  bids not only on the signed 
Dinosauria II and the men of SVP calendar but on an  inflatable stegosaur, a 
Archaeopteryx plaque, various casts of teeth,  prints and other treasures.  
The superhero theme was fun; the Batman  logo and music gave a dramatic start 
the program.  Brent and Ralph and  the others did a fine job of upping the 
bidding and keeping the energy  going.  One thing that gave me an uncomfortable 
feeling was the auctioning  of the scientific illustration services of a young 
lady, when one of the "bad  guy characters" stood on the stage with her, 
holding her arms behind her  back.  

Bill Stout was working on his sketch book during the  proceedings, and it was 
interesting to get a preview of those drawings.   The dinosaur art show at 
the museum was hard to find--logically placed in  "Botswanaland."  The signing 
could have been much better, since the art was  displayed in two rooms and I 
only saw one, not knowing that there was another  room to see.  In other art 
news, Gary Staab won a Lanzendorf Award for his  model of an unnamed pterosaur. 

A big thank you to Ken Carpenter  and the host committee for the food at the 
museum and the banquet.   Delicious food and lots of it in various locations 
during the welcome reception  put everyone in a good mood. Similarly, for once 
the banquet food was edible and  not quivering.  

The hotel setup for talks was extremely convenient,  with a short elevator 
ride down to the meeting rooms.  The pedestrian mall  outside the hotel gave us 
easy access to new places to eat and shop, via free  rides on the buses that 
stopped at just about every corner.  The weather in  Denver was mild, and there 
were only traces of snow on the ground on  Tuesday.  

The new president of SVP is Annalisa Berta, Professor and  Associate Chair, 
Department of Biology, at San Diego State University.  Dr.  Berta replaces Hans 
Dieter Sues, who completed his term as president.  I  heard that 1100 people 
attended the meeting this year, which will be held in  Mesa next year and then