Educause Midwest 2009

Recent trip #3: Educause Midwest 2009. With Richard Chamberlain and Rebecca Fauvie, I presented on Western’s response to the IITAA, summarizing a lot of my release-time work to improve web accessibility at WIU. We had pretty good attendance and good questions. I was pleased with the session.

I stayed at Club Quarters, which worked out well: they don’t nickel and dime on wireless and stuff like a lot of hotels. Though I was sick for much of the conference, and passed on more sessions than usual so I could get some sleep, I was able to get a lot done in my hotel room and on the train. I heard a good panel on standards-based information security, and really liked the poster session, which included a team from Eastern Illinois who are working on software to automate captioning. Their project matches a provided transcript to silence/sound breaks in the audio stream, so synchronizing the two can be partially automated.

On Tuesday night I walked to Brasserie Jo with Jim La Prad. Bad weather, so we decided to stay close to the conference hotel. No disappointment. We ate small plates and appetizers–mussels, sweetbreads, baked Michigan brie (from what part of Michigan, we wondered), a fantastic quiche. And excellent beers: Dogfish Head sixty minute, which I’d never had off draft. Far more floral and complex than in the bottle. A farmhouse ale from Two Brothers and Bells Double Cream Stout were also great. Our last beer was the best: Flossmoor Station Brewer’s Whim IPA, a simply amazing double IPA, complex from start to finish. Hoppy and malty, a little sweet up front then spicy, even a taste reminiscent of rye in the finish. I read that Flossmoor is getting a new brewer; if this beer is representative, Matt Van Wyk will be a hard act to follow.

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