Never being up that early, I couldn't tell if it was just a gloomy day, or if the sun just wasn't fully up yet.
At about 9:45, I got a call from Raj, whom I was supposed to meet at 9:00 at Chick-Fil-A for breakfast, and about which I had completely forgotten.
I asked him if he could wait for me if I got there at 10:15, and he said yes. I shaved and showered real quick, and zipped off to Harrison Avenue, making it at about 10:18.
Raj is moving to India in a couple of weeks, and we've been friends since my days working for Global Consulting (which later was bought out and changed names to Broadreach Consulting), where I worked from March 2, 1998 until March 10, 2000.
We were both contractors, assigned to the Office of the CIO of the State of North Carolina. We worked on testing a "service broker architecture," trying to help the State to decide if going with Candle Corporation's then new Service Broker product or IBM's tried and true MQSeries product would be the wiser technology decision. [Ironically, in 2004, long after we'd finished this project, IBM acquired Candle Corporation.]
We were a good team, Raj and me -- he the technical guru, and I the communicator.
He invited me to come visit him in India while he's there -- which at this point is unpredictable -- it'll probably be for a minimum of six months, and could be for up to a couple of years. He suggested November as a good time to visit, when the temperature will be down in the 80s.
I'm thinking about it. It's not some place I would ever just go on my own, so it'd be a great opportunity to go while someone I know lives there. If anything, school will be the problem, as I'll be in the midst of two classes in the fall.
We said our goodbyes, which were somewhat poignant. Raj said, "I'm really going to miss you, John." He rarely shows any emotion, but I detected some in this goodbye and it felt warm.
After finding a 20-30 minute wait at Rockford, Robert, his nephew, Bryan, and I had dinner at Hibernian across the street instead.
All of us split the Spinach & Artichoke Dip for an appetizer, which we enjoyed with two beers (Bryan & Robert), and a Bourbon & Diet Coke (me).
Bryan and I each had the small order of Fish & Chips, and Robert had the BBQ Chicken & Coleslaw Wrap. It was all good.
On the way home from the restaurant, I got a call from Van telling me that the fan at Flex has been repaired, so we decided to go dancing.
It was hot as a mofo in that place, but at least the fan was working. Later, it was determined that someone had accidentally turned the heat on in there instead of the air-conditioning.
We danced up until 11:00, when the bear crowd got to the point of spilling out into the dance floor area.
As soon as the music stopped, Robert and I bee-lined out of there.
At home, we showered, and did a crossword puzzle out of the Durham Herald, which wasn't too terribly hard, but we did use the book to get the last couple of answers.