The Bier Baron is a cozy step-down pub, legendary in its day among Washington, D.C. beer aficionadoes when it was named the Brickskeller. It's located on 22nd Street, NW, close to Dupont Circle. It has hundreds of beers on its extensive menu, and a full menu for appetizers and dinners. A perfect place for a cassparadox sendoff.

Wombat-socho wrote Go West Young Woman to invite Everything2 members to a going-away party for Cass, his daughter. The Custodian, RoboQuote, and I responded. He had also invited friends of the family along. Nine people wound up attending.

It was an amiable group. There was lots of laughter. There was also lots of techie talk about servers and data centers, and the consequences of hitting the Big Red Button when you're inside a data center. (If you're ever thinking of doing it - don't.)

A few tables over, a youngish blond woman stood on her chair and began singing opera. Amazing. She ended her aria with a "Happy birthday to you", with lots of trills and an extended version of "you" that demonstrated astonishing lung capacity. Noders: I'm going to want one of those for my next birthday party, just so you know.

A few of us went outside for cigars and to enjoy the warm evening air. Since it was mostly military hardware freaks, the discussions centered on fast planes and interesting bombs. It's good to be a guy. And let me tell you this: there is nothing like The Custodian when he's in the grip of a storytelling mood. The man is loquacious!

Somewhat ironically, a family friend named Doug arrived just as Custo was leaving. I have never met anyone who could out-talk The Custodian before last night. But Doug can. He can hold forth on a number of topics. Last night we discussed the Anonymous/Aaron Barr happenings, as reported in Ars Technica. I'm not sure what Doug does, but his capabilities scare me, and so does the circle of friends he runs in.

We wound up closing the place. Before we did, however, the manager came over a number of times to check on us. He enjoyed our company. He had noticed that a few of us went out for cigars. The next time we were there, he said, perhaps he could share some cigars with us. That sounded like a grand idea. He made it sound so charming because of his dapper appearance: he wore a nice suit and had a sense of charm that made him the perfect host. I believe his name was Tom. I slipped him a cigar, since I had brought along a few extra. In return he brought me a wonderful Hefeweizen. Later, he had the table served small cream puff delicacies that were sensational. Four cream puffs, each the size of a dollar coin, and topped with a slice of green fruit (kiwi?). Very elegant.

As we headed out the door, our waiter stopped me and asked about the group. He said that when the tables were rearranged for us to sit together, he was told that we were all strangers, but that we had gotten along so well. He also liked our topics of conversation. What a surprise, and what a compliment to cass's family and friends!

It was a great evening. Sorry you weren't here for that. We envy Oregon for gaining a new E2 member. Cass, hope you enjoy the west coast. Looking forward to a return engagement when you come back to visit.

Cassparadox says: "Doug, btw, is Doug Humphrey. He founded Digex, one of the first ISPs out there, and spends his time running various startups, being on boards of directors, and being charming enough to sell ice to Eskimos at egregious rates. Great, great guy. One of my "uncles"."

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