We, Kevin Jeffay, Diane Pozefsky and myself, drove over to the manly restaurant, the Angus Barn. The Barn was decorated for the Holidays with innumerable Nutcrackers including a Nutcrackers
festooned tree in the same room as cowhide covered chairs and a wall of guns and rifles. One room nearby was dedicated to cigar smoking. Another room full of preset tables and a well stocked liquor bar — no wine — awaited state-power-brokers (as near as I could tell).
The Barn has long had the smokefilled rooms of choice for the Democratic Party. The place was founded by the son of the “oldest rat in the Democratic barn” himself, Thad Eure (Sr and Jr). Eure, Sr was elected to office on the slogan “Give a young man a chance” and served for 52 years more as Secretary of State retiring at age 88. There is more color to this family than you could squeeze into a major multi-generational saga. And that’s only that part that they will tell you themselves.
The IBM Academy gathering was lively and not in the same vein as the political meetings to which the place is accustomed. For one thing there was wine, pretty good wine too. But no liquor which as driver was fine by me. While the meeting was mostly a meeting of guys, there were women there and women who do strong research and who like like the others from the IBM Academy were Distinguished Scientists and Engineers.
Duke, NCSU and UNC each sent three faculty members. NCSU sent Mladen Vouk, the amiable Michael Rappa and Ioannis Viniotis. Among the folks from Duke was Richard A. Lucic who I met at the John Hope Franklin Center a few weeks back.
I had some fun exchanging Treo tricks with John Cohn who is an IBM Academy Fellow from Burlington VT then great conversations over dinner with the IBMers from Australia and the UK. The good news is that most all the IBMers not only knew of ibiblio, but were also readers of groklaw.net as well as TLDP and other sites.
I spent some time explaining some of the challenges that we face at ibiblio as we scale up more and more. And all of this presented interesting challenges to the IBMers as well. I guess that’s good. Getting an answer would have been okay too ;->
About the food — this is for Miles — I had out of an season softshell crab which is better than it sounds. I think either the Barners are fooling the crabs into thinking it’s spring and summer by using heat lamps or that freezing seafood has gotten pretty good. My crab was accompanied by a filet mignon wrapped in bacon. I eat it rare. Very rare. I may not be drinking liquor and smoking cigars and talking politics, but I can be manly about meat. I also had a good Caesar salad and galic mashed taters. The desserts were also good if slightly basic. I had strawberries seemingly grown in the same seasonal deceptions as the crabs. They were fresh and good. With cheese cake. Even the coffee was good. Basic and manly and robust. No hazelnuts in this java.
I would have been happy with just soup as long as we could have had the came great conversations. The talk was geeky and good covering not only a variety of technologies but also society and tech issues that are dear to my heart. It’s great to sit with smart folks who are eager to trade tales and ideas.