The conference – the reason I am here – begins today.  It is roughly 7 am here in the City of Spires, and midnight in old Illinois.  Registration is at Noon and I am torn between the National Library tour at 9am vs. just exploring the city on my own some more before things get into full swing.  Academic conferences should not be held in beautiful, historical cities.  It gives the attending academics too much conflict.  Our schedule goes straight through to the evening tonight and tomorrow night, so there might not be very many more landmarks featured on this humble blog till Wednesday, when I will have the afternoon to wander.  But I will try to post about the conference itself.  On Tuesday the UIUC crew will present at various times, and then there will be a big social after all the official stuff.  Does anyone know if we can bring wine home on a flight… maybe in our checked luggage, at least… sorry, cannot get the question mark to work on this keyboard.  Cheers.