Dec 262016

The rotating location for the Martini / Palikowski extended family Christmas dinner this year is the home of my brother Rob Roy, his wife Katje and son Jason in Falls Church, Virginia. When this is the case, technically speaking, Katje is responsible for preparation of the food. But as frequent readers of this Web log know, Katje is a militant vegan. Therefore, practically speaking, on years when she is in charge of Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner it has been customary for my sister Rose and her sister-in-law, Shannon, to bring the ingredients for, and subsequently cook, the traditional dishes at Katje’s house. Now, as regular readers of this Web log also know, it has been several years since Shannon […]

Nov 122016

Veterans’ Day is one of those half-baked holidays – the stock market is open but the banks are closed; here in Washington, federal employees have the day off but federal contractors don’t, unless they work in a federal building that’s closed on Veterans’ Day, and so on and so forth. So normally, I would have expected a somewhat lighter schedule, but given the events of last Tuesday, that was far from the case. All my phones have been ringing like the bells of a nine alarm fire since shortly after 12:15 AM Wednesday, and I was booked solid from before sunrise until well after sunset, although it is, admittedly, November and the daylight here does grow increasingly limited this time […]

Oct 182016

This morning, I received a visit from Dr. Byeong Shin Nom, Chief Macroeconomist for International Commerce at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea here in Washington DC. A sadder sight I have not seen in weeks, at least – the poor guy shambled into my office and practically collapsed on the couch in front of the picture window overlooking the White House. Physically, he was a total wreck – his eyes were sunken and puffy; I doubt he had slept in a week, and his face sagged in the most dismal fashion. He looked like Death warmed over, for sure. Finally managing to pull himself up to face me, he sat there for an inordinate time, simply staring, by […]

Sep 272016

My two-thirty PM consultation appointment on Friday was with Dr. Arbre Étreinte Birkenstock, Division Director, United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Air and Radiation. Despite the autumn equinox on Thursday, the weather remained as warm and humid as summer here in Washington DC, and she arrived at my office wearing a sundress, sandals, and no makeup (she’s chemically sensitive to perfumes, rouge, lipstick and cosmetics in general), bearing a knapsack instead of a briefcase. Her mood was one of distinct, positive optimism and excitement, which became immediately evident as soon as she entered and seated herself at the chair located to the right of my desk. “Have you heard about what Jerry Brown did in California?” she burbled, leaning […]

Sep 082016

Anthony D. Weiner started calling my office Tuesday, asking for a consultation. Having taken off the entire month of July, I’ve been very busy lately, despite it being summer here in Washington DC, and Gretchen just couldn’t find an open spot anywhere in the schedule. So around six-thirty in the evening the next day, she popped her head into my office and told me Mr. Weiner was on the phone again, wondering what I could do for him, at which point I agreed to have him call my office number after eight-thirty. When I left at seven PM, I made sure to set up my office phone to forward all calls to the land line at my home in Great […]