I spent the last week in the Raleigh Durham area of North Carolina and even though this Winter has been mild, it was still nice to have an even better climate for a bit.
I went running a couple of times after work while I was there. I had no energy and was pathetically slow. It was warmer than here, but I don't think it was so warm that it slowed me down. I think that I was slower due to the unfamiliar routes. It is easy to really push hard when you know your way and don't have to worry about the course ending up being a couple miles further than you expect or a big hill coming along before the finish.
It was encouraging yesterday when I did a reasonably fast barefoot run the Saturday after my return home. I don't do barefoot running for accolades, it is more of an experiment to see if it will help with nagging injuries and make me a faster, healthier runner. Along the path of my course, a man came riding on a bike in the opposite direction with a portable radio blaring music. I could see that he noticed my unshod condition, he looked at me and said, "You win". He might have been sardonic, but I still enjoyed it.
We went to a number of interesting places to eat and drink in NC. One place was called, Flying Saucer. One (long) wall was lined with beer taps. The walls and ceiling were covered in plates. Many were china but most were to commemorate beer drinking. You can sign-up and get a plate of your own once you have had 200 different beers. Probably for liability reasons, you can only earn two per day, though they will serve you far more than two beers in a sitting; I had three when we were there. Pints. Another detail I could not resist noticing was that the waitresses had a kind of meta-uniform. I don't recall if any single girl wore all of these motifs, but the common theme was: Sheer knee-high black socks, plaid pleated short skirts, black t-shirt. Some of them had tights or a hoodie, but there was enough commonality that you could tell who was a waitress pretty easily.
Speaking of t-shirts. When we were about to leave the hotel for dinner, my colleague pointed out that the place we were going was business casual and I was wearing a t-shirt. No problem: I quickly changed into a normal shirt. On the way to the car, he was very apologetic about making me change, but it was really no problem and certainly better than finding out once we were already at the restaurant, trying to get in with my "business casual-tee".
The place we went to was Sullivan's Steakhouse and was only a couple of blocks from the beer joint so we walked over. Sullivan's had a kind of typical dark swankiness that is comforting when you plan to drop some serious change on a big tender steak. The darkness extended even into the restroom as well. The urinals were either black or a very dark color like navy blue. The lights must have been either incandescent spotlights or possibly LED lights. It had a kind of bluish intensity. The overall effect was that my stream reminded me of what diamonds look like when displayed on black velvet.
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