September 9-15 2002 -- A Trip to Lyon, France
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(These are Jim Plank's pictures -- I apologize if I have forgotten
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The reason was an invitation-only workshop on ``Cluster and Computational
Grids for Scientific Computing,'' held at Le Chateau de Faverges
de la Tour, (web site) a
beautiful little chateau about 20 miles south of Lyon.
September 9/10 - Getting There
- First a flight to Dulles, then touchdown in Frankfurt at 6:00 AM local
time. As you can see, Frankfurt is beautiful today.
- Around 9:00, I zombified down to the ``Passagierfarht'' -- whatever
that is, and was comported to the plane. I was able to make it
through my three hours in Germany without speaking to anyone, which
was comforting, because I am totally clueless with German.
- Kind of an arty picture, no? No, that's not me, but the guy a
few seats down who has similar glasses. We were flying over the
Alps, which were peeking out of the clouds and were gorgeous.
Evidently my camera couldn't figure out what to focus upon....
- To Lyon by 11:30, and I snoozed and did a little hacking until 3:00,
at which point I met up with the group of people to be bussed out.
There's Jack Dongarra, coordinating things as always.
- A bus full of cluster and grid researchers.
- We arrive at the chateau, and I have time for a shower and a nap.
Rooms are scarce, so you have to double-up, and as you can see,
Micah and I will be rather close for next few nights...
- The chateau is beautifully situated, but I've been having a hard
time getting this auto-focus camera get good scenic shots. Here
are two pictures of the view from our window.
- View #2.
- After a few talks, I took a small stroll before dinner. Here's
the first hole on the golf course, and the quaint ``clubhouse''
on the left.
- The view from the side of the chateau. That's Jean-Yves
Berthou, whith whom I played golf two years ago.
- The tower.
- Champagne and appetizers on the patio before dinner.
I won't list the people because it would expose whom I don't know.....
- The man serving triangular wedges of smoked salmon, random fish,
- A 2-hour dinner at 8:00. Here's the menu -- lots of oblique French
adjectives describing a most excellent meal.
- Course #1: ``Transparence de Melon au Vin de Cassis.''
Sliced-up melon in a caramelized goo, garnished with fennel
cilantro, and a flower which I don't think anyone ate.
- Course #2: ``Dorade Rotie Al Pesto Sur Spaghetti de Courgettes.''
Hunk of fish roasted in a pesto sauce on top of zucchini spaghetti.
I won't comment on everything because it was all fantastic, and this
was no exception, even for me who is not the biggest fish
- Course #3 (wine switch from white to red): ``Piece de Boeuf Cuit a la
Casserole. Petites Au moniere de Pate a la Creme de Sauge.
Jus a Quintessence.''
Hunk of beef, cooked in a casserole, evidently, on top of stuffed
pasta in quintessential juice. Cherry tomato on the side.
I was sitting next to Henri
Casanova, who was doing the translation, and even he was impressed
with ``quintessential'' juice, which would be as representative
of juice as juice can be. It was good juice.
- Our dinner table: Dan Fay (Microsoft), Micah, Graham Fagg (a
Jack-ite), and Dieter Kranzlmueller (Kepler University Linz, Austria).
- A different shot -- Foreground: xxx, the backs of Thomas
Ludwig (Heidelberg) and Dieter.
Background: Henri (UCSD), David Abramson (Monash University,
Australia), and Dan.
- Course #4: ``Assiette de nos Fromages Affines.''
The cheese course: Upper left: Saint-Ma..... (Henri found out the
name from Antoine, but I couldn't figure out the spelling),
Lower left: goat cheese. The wedge on the right: camembert.
- Dessert: ``Sur Fond Friable, Creme Acarigua, Glace Ivoire.''
Chocolate mousse-like stuff on a wafer with ice cream on top.
Dinner was over at 10:30 and I was exhausted, so straight to bed.
September 11 - Day #2 of the conference
- Wednesday, September 11. An important date spent in seclusion in a
chateau outside Lyon. Unlike two years ago, I made myself get up
for breakfast. Here's Vaidy Sunderam ascertaining the spread.
I especially liked the hunk of meat hanging from the portable hook.
Unfortunately, I just don't care about breakfast that much, except for
the coffee. I probably won't make it up on thursday and friday.
- After the morning talks, we assembled in front of the chateau
for a picture. Here's the picture homme, armed with five
cameras or so.
- And there's Fran Berman running to get in the picture
because she lingered behind in the
conference room. As it turned out, we took another picture with
Fran in it, and then Al Geist sauntered up. Then Patrick & Susan.
Then Vaidy. Eventually I believe we got a picture with everyone.
If Jack tells me where it is, I'll put it up on this site....
- And onto lunch, and as we know, food is the highlight of
- The Lunch table, one side: Satoshi Matsuoka really close, Putchong
Uthayopas (Kasetsart University -- Thailand), Roldan Pozo
Cheri Pancake (Oregon State, yes, that is her real name), and Jeff
- The Lunch table, the other side: Micah, Phil Papadapolis (UCSD),
Satoshi Matsuoka (Tokyo), Kevin Harris (HP).
- Lunch course #1: ``Tomate Mi Chevre Mi Vache. Senteurs
It's a stuffed tomato, goat cheese, on zuccini. Quite good.
- The inside of the tomato.
I don't know about you, but this looks pretty labor intensive.
Roldan surmised that maybe it's the same technology that gets
icing in twinkies, but I think it's a bit more manual than that.
- Course #2: ``Marmite du Pecheur Aux Legumes Safranes.''
Fish with vegetables. Remember the shape of that spoon while
you're at it. This was the first course of the conference that
left me wanting, probably because I'm not a fish fan, and I
don't particularly like vegetables. So it goes.
- Dessert: ``Terrine de Fruits Frais at Vin. Sauce des Bois.''
Jello with fruit. Sauce of wood? Whatever.
Not really as good as mom used to make, and I'm
afraid it didn't really fit the French vibe. Oh well.
- After lunch, I went to work on my Internet connection -- here's the
outbuilding in which we meet. Nothing spectacular, but I wanted to
- A garden view on the way to the outbuilding.
- After getting my networking working, I skipped out to play some golf.
I rented clubs two years ago, which was a drag, so this time I
brought a 2-iron, 7-iron, wedge and putter, plus balls and tees.
I decided to skip the early afternoon session (vendors talking),
and went to play nine holes. Tres enjoyable. This was my birdie
putt on #5, and given the leaf situation combined with the
height of the grass, I had little enough confidence that I just
whacked it. No birdie, but at least I parred the hole.
- There was a foursome on the course, so I played the holes out of order
so that none of us would be bothered. It's hard to see, but
I yanked my drive on #4, and it was right of the tennis
court hazard, and short of the marsh. (You can see it
if you know what you're looking for). A stroke of luck!
Even though my second shot went through the trees, I escaped
with a bogey.
- My favorite hole: #6 (if you remember the pictures from two
years ago, I walked back with my camera to get this one).
Just 230 meters, but the drive is from astroturf and over
the tennis courts. And you get to brave the rickety bridge
over the marsh to get to the tee....
- The astroturf tee over the tennis court.
I chunked my 7-iron over the tennis court, and had a good 95 yards to the green,
which unforunately I bladed for yet another bogey.
- En route from #6 to #7, you pass through the corn field
and the garden, and it is very pretty.
My clubs are there from where I had to pitch over the trap to the
green on #6.
- Another favorite -- #7. This is a 130 yard par three with
the chateau garden on the wall to the left. Last year,
Jean-Yves yanked one into the chateau, which caused
us all much angst, waiting for the screams from the person
- You can't see it, but I landed a choked-up 7-iron just
right of that tower, which kicked it onto the green about
15 feet from the pin. My birdie putt wasn't even close...
- Here's the view walking to the 7th green. It is beautiful.
- Walking to the 8th tee, you walk behind the castle, past
this contraption -- I think it's a grill of sorts, and
would like to see it in action -- it probably grills
- I was proud of this drive -- a blind 7-iron to 80 yards
or so from the green. Unfortunately, I chunked my second
shot, then flew the green for a double bogey. So it goes.
- Back for more talks, including Micah's panel, then
to the patio for appetizers. Little pastries, which
I never tried because of the olive thingies -- these
were sweet cubes of bread with an olive on top. Simply
wonderful. There was also cheese and sliced sausage,
which were nice, but nothing like the olive thingies...
- Onto dinner. As you can see, Jack got his name on the
menu, which is much more impressive than authorship on
an IEEE transactions paper.
- The dinner crowd. On my left were Susan Blackford (ex-Jackite)
and her husband Patrick, who is from Lyon and whom I will
never forget as he introduced me to Andouilette (tripe sausage)
two years ago, Micah, and Rusty Lusk (Argonne)..
- The right side. Fran Berman (UCSD), Gordon Bell (Microsoft),
Tom Sterling (Cal Tech),
Bill Gropp (Argonne) and Roldan Pozo (another ex-Jackite NIST).
It's a little known fact that I too am an ex-Jackite, from 1991.
- Course #1: ``Royale de Crustaces. Emulsion de Bisque Relevee
a la Noisette.''
Some crustation cake. I wasn't too big on this one, and
choked it down to avoid embarrassment. Ok -- the spoon with the
notch. Patrick asked what was the deal, and the Maitre D said it
had no pratical significance except to signify that fish was in
this course. Kind of anticlimatic, but at least now we know...
- Course #2: Patrick (with Micah in the background) with
``Saumon Mi-Cuit sur une Tombee de Feuilles. Creme
Salmon on spinach, garnished with parsley.
- Course #3: Roldan with ``Magret de Canard a la Casserole.
Galette de Mais Rotie,''
Slices of duck breast with a hockey puck (Patrick's translation)
of roasted corn.
- The cheese course. Swiss in front, Saint Marcellin next,
and goat cheese in the back.
Patrick gave me the spelling that eluded me last night.
It's a hard cheese, but quite stinky. This is Roldan's
plate because that's a big hunk of Saint Marcellin -- the rest of
us for some reason had much smaller pieces.
- Finally dessert. A Kandinsky-esque ``Symphonie de Chocolat.
Jus de Cacao.''
Ok, I have to speak up -- it wasn't a symphony. It was just
dessert. Perhaps I am a Philistine.... Good night.
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- It was an overcast and rainy morning, and I skipped the first
session of talks to prepare my talk. Here I am, going to the
meeting room for the first break.
- We skip some time. I gave my talk, and now it's lunchtime.
- So, I got this far through my ``Jarret de veau Confit Longuement,''
and realized that not only had I forgotten to take a picture of this
course, I had forgotton the first course as well. For shame!
Regardless, this was an excellent dish: `Jarret de veau Confit Longuement,
Jus aux Epices, Ragout de Lentilles Vertes,' -- Veal in a spicy sauce and
with green lentils. Wonderful.
- Cherri knew how diligent I had been about taking pictures of the meals,
so she lobbied the Maitre D to bring us a late appetizer so I could take
a picture of it. Thanks, Cherri. Here she is with the ``Carpaccio de
Thou, Marine d'une Vinaigrette Gourmande.'' I.e. raw tuna with
- And there is the appetizer in better detail. Fortunately this was a
good one, and I had no problem eating the second appetizer after my
veal and lentil course.
- Dessert: ``Duo Ananas-Coco Sur un Biscuit Joconde, Jus de Passion.''
Fluffy dessert with raspberries.
- After lunch, we had a nice 4-hour break. I met up with Jean-Yves and
played golf, but evidently the real thing to do was pair up and schmooze.
Everywhere I went, there were power-tet-a-tetes going on.
It's hard to see, but on the bench in the garden are the schmoozings of
Bill Gropp and Tom Sterling.
- And on the other side, Peter Beckman schmoozing with Andrew Grimshaw.
- Straight ahead, there's Vaidy, schmoozing in the shadows with a person
yet to be determined.
- Back in the lobby, Micah and Graham Fagg are talking shop.
- And as we walk to the golf course, there's Al Geist and Wolfgang
- Finally some golf. There's Jean-Yves, teeing off on #2.
- Jean-Yves assured me that most golf courses in France are respectible.
(This was after I remarked that I had never seen a golf course that was
even remotely close to this one).
- Jean-Yves, teeing off on #3 -- a narrow fairway, but with plenty of
- The driveway to the chateau is situated between the 3rd and 6th holes.
Unfortunately I yanked my 2-iron from #4 over this road and into the
D marsh on the left. Oh well. Another double-bogey...
- The view from the fourth green-- an eglise in the fog.
- On #5, I pulled my drive, which landed straight between the
astonished Thomas Ludwig and
Mark Baker in the tennis court, and bounced into this cubby-hole
in the tree.
Needless to say, this was an unplayable lie...
- A few holes later, Vaidy joined us and tried a drive on #7.
A few whiffs and a shank, but we may get Vaidy into the game yet....
- And on #8, an ominous-looking Jeff Hollingsworth
composed the gallery, watching
- More talks, and then appetizers. Inside this time, since the weather
was so yucky. Puffs and olives.
- The right side of the dinner table: xxx, Dan Fay, Andrew Grimshaw,
- And the left side: Jean-Yves, Yves Denneulin (INRIA), xxx (Sun), Micah.
- And dinner. And this time I forgot to take a picture of the menu.
This one was a ``mosaic'' of smelly mediterranean fish. (That was
Jean-Yves translation). Again, I started eating before taking the picture,
but fortunately, Andrew Grimshaw was not eating his triangle, affording
me a pristine shot.
The wine caused a bit of a stir later in the dinner. I believe
we were all expecting a shift to red wine at the main course,
but no, we received this rather bland blush wine the entire
time. Jean-Yves and Yves expressed their disgust to the
Maitre D (``I don't acknowledge pink as a color for wine''
was the quote), who informed us that it was a local vintage
and very expensive. No one believed him....
- Ravioli in a lobster sauce.
I didn't realize that France had lobsters, but evidently they are farmed
off the coast of Brittany and are very expensive.
- Course #3: Roasted cheek of a cow on potatoes.
Looks and tastes like pot roast.
- The dinner room's ceiling is parabolic, and depending on where you
sit, you can hear various people across the room like they are
microphoned. Far away, scratching his head, is Dieter
Kranzlmeuller, whose every word sounded like it was amplified
- The cheese course: The pie wedge was ``Reblochow,''
and the big slice was ``Tonne de Savoie.'' Thanks
to Jean-Yves and Yves for the identification.
Evidently both are local cheeses. These French people
certainly know their cheeses. Evidently in Grenoble there
is a cheese shop with well over 150 varieties, and the
patrons know which varieties are in their peak form each
week. Go figure.
- Finally, the pyramid of fluffed walnut stuff -- a