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<   No. 3317   2014-02-02   >

Comic #3317

1 {photo of San Francisco at night}
1 Caption: City by the Bay

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Superbowl at the Wipe Out
Super Bowl XLVII, 2013, being watched in the Wipe Out Bar on Pier 39, San Francisco.
As this "comic" goes live I will be in San Francisco, sent by my employer to attend the 2014 Electronic Imaging conference and present a paper there on some of the work I've done. It's also (if the weather holds up) the day of the Super Bowl, the final of the American National Football League (which plays American football, not the game most other countries in the world call "football"). I'm a little disappointed that the San Francisco 49ers bowed out of the competition at the semi-final stage, and so won't be playing.

Last year I was attending the same conference and arrived on the very morning of the Super Bowl, and that time San Francisco were indeed playing in the game. As I rode into the city on BART from the airport, there were people dressed in 49ers regalia, and the atmosphere was lively and excited. I did some sightseeing that afternoon, but passed several bars where people were gathered to watch the game on TV. I actually saw the kickoff on a big screen at Pier 39, but then wandered off to visit the Palace of Fine Arts and the Yoda statue in the grounds of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic in the Presidio.

As I was heading back to my hotel for the evening, I learnt that the 49ers had lost (to the Baltimore Ravens). I was a little sad because, although I don't follow American sports very closely, I consider the San Francisco teams - the 49ers and baseball's Giants - to be "my" teams. My long-standing pen-pal lived in the Bay Area, and I've visited it seven or eight times now (I have quite literally lost count). And so this year I am also sad that the 49ers didn't quite make it to be champions.

Me and Yoda
Me and Yoda.
I remember watching another Super Bowl on TV, which the 49ers played in, led by Joe Montana. It was the first and still, I think, only Super Bowl I've ever seen. Because of time zone differences, it is live on TV in Sydney late on a Monday morning, at a time when over the years I have usually been at school or work. But this year, 1990, I was doing a summer job that involved observing at the Parkes radiotelescope. We were observing pulsars, three of us in rotating eight-hour shifts. I had the 8 pm to 4 am shift. I needed to get some sleep in at other times, but one Monday morning the Super Bowl was on the television in the astronomers' lodge, and I fought the tiredness to watch it.

It was worth it.

When I started typing this I meant it to be about San Francisco. But then, I have visited so many times and have so many memories of the city that I had to concentrate on something. With my current visit, I will add to the tapestry that makes me feel like San Francisco is my first and foremost home away from home.

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My comics: Irregular Webcomic! | Darths & Droids | Eavesdropper | Planet of Hats | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | mezzacotta
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Last Modified: Sunday, 2 February 2014; 02:10:32 PST.
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