So chefmongoose and I met up successfully at a Barnes & Noble, in the Nature section, and went to eat at a Red Robin which had the virtues of being, to his tastes, interesting and rare to visit, not to mention being so near we didn't have to drive or walk very far. While the meals we got there came with, in theory, bottomless french fries we didn't take advantage of this generous offer (we did get some soda refills), and the only real staff-us interaction that went weird was as I came out of the bathroom and the person working the register/seating table (I hesitate to call it ``taking reservations'') wanted urgently to know if there was a five behind me. She meant to talk to the staff critter who was right behind me, so I didn't have to bluff.
The Red Robin decor is that ``stuff on walls'' chic, in this case based on Vaguely Chrome-y Early 50s, so the most baffling thing was a cover of Redbook featuring as the lead story, ``Dragons Drive You''. The cover art was a woman with a tennis racket. How women's tennis relates to dragons, and in what sense the word ``drive'' was meant, are a mystery, and of course the Redbook didn't include a year so I have no convenient way of looking this up.
Still, we enjoyed a fine meal, talking over the workplaces which in Livejournals are left anonymous or pseudonymous, and comparing various projects and the benefits of working for a college or university. (Big advantages: Winter break. Summer break.) We also tried out the Enormous Pile Of Ice Cream And Cheesecake, which for me came with a decorative strip of the paper used to wrap them up for shipment to the local Red Robin not perfectly removed. chefmongoose carefully took it off before I could eat off the giant guitar pick-shaped plate; clearly, I would be going against a cook's natural instincts to not let him make the presentation just right.
Trivia: Following Apollo 8's successful Trans-Earth Injection, geologist Harrison Schmitt read a parody of Clement C Moore's ``T'was the Night Before Christmas''. Source: Where No Man Has Gone Before: A History of Apollo Lunar Exploration Missions, William David Compton.
Currently Reading: A Thin Cosmic Rain: Particles From Outer Space, Michael W Friedlander.