Red Robin, some work meetings, eat-in lunch, meeting with Katja, and a little shopping…

I forget to capture this about yesterday: We had a luncheon for a colleague who is getting married in a couple of weeks. It was at Red Robin, a place that I’ve always wondered about, but had never been to. I didn’t realize that it was basically a burger place. Obviously, I’ve never noticed their tag line: “America’s Gourmet Burgers & Spirits.”

I got their “5 Alarm Burger,” the name of which they’ve taken the trouble of trademarking. Too bad they didn’t take as much care with their grammar. There should be a hyphen between the number 5 and the word alarm. But I digress…

Anyway, I loved it. Its description on the menu was as follows: “Crank up the heat with Pepper-Jack cheese, jalapeños, fresh tangy salsa, sliced tomato, crisp lettuce and Chipotle mayo.”

I saw several other things I’d like to try there including their Asian Chicken Salad and their Banzai Burger, which is described as: “Marinated in teriyaki and topped with grilled pineapple, Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo. Dude, you’ll be like, ready to ride the pipeline on O’ahu’s North Shore after you chomp on this.”

I attended two meetings today, fairly close together with a half hour break between them. The first was the OIT Web Core Team meeting, at which the topic of an—at times heated—discussion was a form that I created to be used in a process that is still being worked out. Lots of frustrations aired, but overall a good hashing and thrashing through issues that must be resolved in order to move forward.

I really appreciated that one person on the team, later in the day, dropped by to make sure that I understood that the discussion wasn’t any reflection on my work on the form. And while, I’m pretty clear on not taking things personally, I very much appreciated the humanity of the gesture.

I had a delicious ham sandwich, made by yours truly, for lunch, with a side order of fresh baby carrots dipped in a thousand island dressing combination of:

½      +     ½

I got to the bus stop at 4:55 to catch the bus that is supposed to stop at 5:00 at the stop two or three stops before my stop. By quarter after five, it still hadn’t come, leading to the conclusion that I must have missed it. It really is going to get annoying if the standard deviation of the bus arrival time is going to be large. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

And with that said, I caught the 5:30 bus instead.

I met with Katja in Durham about my grant writing and investigating work on the board. She is just an incredible person in so many ways, and after each interaction with her I leave feeling valued as a person as well as incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to get to know her a little bit better.

On the way home, I stopped at the outlet mall. It was a quick run in and out, as it was 8:50 and the mall closed at 9:00. That place was absolutely dead, and I made three quick stops:

  1. At the Samsonite Luggage place, where this incredibly helpful and knowledgeable person helped me with an adapter and converter decision for my China trip, and
  2. On a whim, after seeing the “75% Off Everything in the Store” window ad, I dropped into Geoffrey Beane, where I bought two pair of blue dress socks, and a 3-pack of t-shirts—one gray, one white, and one black.
  3. A discount bookstore to see if they had any small books, postcards, or anything else with local topics that I might bring to China as “host gifts.”

Just as I got back to my car to head back to Raleigh, the Vice Presidential debates came on public radio. I listened to the moderator ask the first question of Biden, listened to his two-minute answer, and then Palin’s first 60-seconds of her 90-second allowed response, of which the only thing I remember was, ‘If you were to ask a couple of moms at a soccer game what they think of our economy right now…” Click. Done with it.

According to a lot of the tweets on Twitter, the rest of her responses are pretty much summed up here:

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