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March 14th, 2009

I spent about an hour-and-a-half at the Morning Times Cafe this morning—my first time there. I parked at Flex and intended to take the R-Line over, but just as I got out of my car, the bus went by.

So, even though it was raining, I walked over, which was good exercise and not half bad in spite of the weather. The reward for arriving was to find out that beautiful Brian, who's straight and used to work at Helios, works there.

I had trouble connecting to their wifi, as the only networks that came up that weren't encrypted networks were labeled "Linksys," and both of them when trying to connect said, "Port City Java." Eventually one of them connected, the weaker signal, oddly enough.



I left at about 1:00 or 1:30, and walked back to my car, which as I mentioned was parked at Flex, which means that it was also right across the street from the Roast Grill. Finally, I ate at the famous little dive, and it was just that. The renowned George cooked my dogs and his renowned mother served them to me.

A sign on the wall announced that the segment they filmed there recently for the food network will be airing on Wednesday, March 18th.

I do have to say that in spite of all of the hype about these dogs being the best in Raleigh, I believe that if I were blind-folded, I would have a very hard time discerning if I were eating Roast Grill hot dogs or Snoopy's hot dogs. The (renowned, as everything is renowned there according to the lore) chili has a little bit of a kick to it, which might be the giveaway.

At any rate, they were good dogs, and I'm happy to be able to say that I've experienced the legend.



Just before leaving Morning Times, I saw a tweet from my friend Kevin (zy1125, @zy1125) that he was over at the Boylan Bridge Brewpub, so I walked over there after eating my dogs.

Unfortunately, I missed him, so I thought I'd sit and have a drink since I'd walked over there in the rain, and the place is new and all. Imagine me picking my jaw up off the floor after saying, "I'll have a bourbon and Diet," and the bartender responding, "Oh, we don't serve liquor here, just beer and wine."

I chose the Stout, as it was the only beer made in the place, and it is a brewery after all. It was actually not bad, but that will probably be the last contribution I make to the place.

Another thing that I didn't like about it was that: 1) the bartenders, for the most part, talked to each other and not to the patrons, and 2) one of the owners, or at least a manager, sat to the left of me talking to a man who wasn't very closely seated to her, and she talked about customers in not so nice of terms at certain points—as in, "If they're outside and it's real busy in here, and they've only had one or two drinks, they won't come in and pay for them. They'll just leave." Yeah, damn customers. Fuckers. They're a real pain in the ass.



I just remembered a picture that I took several weeks ago with my camera phone, from which I have no way to upload it to anywhere. Now you're not likely to hear me have anything too positive to say about bathrooms abroad, but there is one thing that they do "get" over there that we don't here—and that's a water-saving option on some of their toilets.

In the ones I've seen, you can push a knob down for a "half flush," or pull it up for a "full flush." I've also seen separate buttons on some, one for a half and the other for a full.

Well, imagine my surprise to see this sign over the toilet in one of the bathrooms in the library on campus:


Unfortunately, it's one of those things that's so close, but just misses the mark. At least it did for me. Even with the excitement of having the option, I am so subconsciously trained to push down to flush, that even though I just "made liquid," I pushed down to flush.

I know that Donald Norman would have this as an example in his book, The Design of Everyday Things. Without a doubt, since people "make liquid" more and are used to pushing down to flush, this gizmo should work oppositely from the way it does—it should be down for a liquid waste flush and up for a solid waste flush."



My sister called at about 8:30 to tell me that, once again, my dad is in the hospital, this time at the Naval Hospital on the base at Camp Lejeune. While he and my mother were out, on the way home in the car he suddenly got very, very cold. By the time they got home, he had to take a seat in the garage on the way into the house, because he was dizzy and tired and couldn't go any further.

My mom called an ambulance, and they checked him in. His blood pressure had dropped way down. After a phone conference between his base doctor, his GI doctor in Wilmington, and his heart/neuro doctor in Greenville, they all agreed that he should go back on his coumadin, which they'd taken him off due to the bleeding incident he had recently.

As I mentioned earlier, it's either treat the possibility of heart attack and stroke with the coumadin and risk another bleedout, or don't take the coumadin to keep from bleeding out and increase the chance of heart attack or stroke. A Sophie's Choice.



Later this evening, as I walked from my front door to my car, my three-doors-down neighbor was standing outside in the rain waiting for his little white, fluffy dog to do its duty, which, evidently was taking too long, as I'm quite sure I heard him say, "Hurry up, Norma Jean!"

It was "Sin Night" at Flex and "Over 50 Free" night, and I'm thankful that I didn't pay anything to get in, because after about 15 minutes, one drink, and way too much cigarette smoke, I went right back home.

Before entering my house, looking left, I turned to say, "Goodbye, Norma Jean," but, presumably, she'd long ago completed what undoubtedly would have qualified for a "solid waste flush."

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