So it’s just after 1:00 am and I’m starting to write this post. The time is important to mention because it serves to give you an idea of what sort of day this has been, considering that I woke up at 6:00 am. And busy as it has been, there’s no doubt that it’s been an excellent day.
Kudos is due to ASHA for creating an easy check-in. From walking through the doors to walking back out clutching my bag of goodies took about 5 minutes. That gave me time to head for Starbucks and post yesterday’s blog, all before going to my first session at 10:30. And any organization that is sensitive to my caffeine requirements deserves credit.
As planned, I signed up for the Scavenger Hunt that started at 9:30, but as I suspected, because I couldn’t sign up before the start time, it was 11:00 a.m. before I remembered to do it. This was my first SMS Scavenger Hunt and so I was a little technologically challenged when I had to take pictures and send them to an email address along with indicating that I was “done” via text. However, it didn’t take long to get into the swing of it and I tootled off to the first three locations. 
Alas, my chances of winning slipped to zero because I got distracted by sessions, colleagues, and food, so the next thing I knew was the arrival of a text message telling me the hunt was over and my score was 17. Frankly, the latter piece of information was somewhat pointless because I didn’t even know there was a scoring system in operation, and I had no clue what a “17” actually meant! All I needed to know was “Dude, you lost.”
Something that folks who haven’t been to an ASHA conference might not appreciate is the sheer scale of the event. It’s huge! Walking from one end of the conference venue to the other requires dependable boots, several sherpas, GPS, and at least three encampments. There are possibly people in the venue who were lost during the last ASHA conference in San Diego and have yet to find a way out.
My guess is that the person who schedules the rooms for all the presentations ends each day slumped over a desk with an empty bottle of tequila and the conviction never to do it again. The behind-the-scenes activities required to ensure that I can get from the front door to Room 20A is likely to be a tougher challenge than putting a man on the moon – but at least the moon landing only needed to handle three people.
My last event was a “Twilight session,” so called because it’s so late that only vampires and werewolves are likely to be around. The double act of Greg Lof and Stephen Camarata talking about Skepticism  and how to critically evaluate Speech-Language practices was interesting and entertaining enough to keep me busy until 7:30 pm, at which point I needed to feed.
The Dudes headed out to The Tipsy Crow, a favorite location when in San Diego, and enjoyed refreshing glasses of Arrogant Bastard and Angry Panda. We’re unsure what an “angry panda” might look like but it’s certainly fun ordering such wickedly worded beers. We also considered that switching the names to Arrogant Panda and Angry Bastard would be pretty cool. Mind you, after a few such ales, many things take on an aura of “coolness.” Eventually we left to find food and bumped into friends at the Panevino restaurant, which resulted in a riotously entertaining evening until they threw us out sometime around midnight.
So it’s just after 1:00 a.m. and I’m starting to write this post…
 My first draft used the phrase “tooled off” but I decided, on a whim, to change it to “tootled.” Both words are excellent examples of words that are really hard to represent as pictures. Even knowing the meaning doesn’t help much. “Tootle” means “to wander on a leisurely fashion and first appeared with this meaning in 1902. It also means “to write twaddle or mere verbiage,” which would have been a good reason to go back to the original “tooled” but hey, what the heck! Still, even with this gloss (which predated the “leisurely stroll” one) a graphic representation would be challenging.
 In case you missed it – or you’re a new reader of the Dudes’ posts – we first came across Greg’s work via an article we wrote on quackery. https://speechdudes.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/quackery-hokum-baloney-separating-science-from-stupidity