Apr 232017

Earth Day 2017 here in Washington DC dawned cold and rainy, which was a disappointment for Cerise, who had gone to considerable trouble getting my concurrence for a proposed bike trip down the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath from Great Falls to Georgetown and back. Instead, after rising early and finding the weather dreary, we returned to bed for a breakfast of duck eggs Benedict, white asparagus Bearnaise, some of my handmade almond croissants and slices of Cerise’s legendary walnut blueberry banana bread (originally scheduled for consumption during a picnic lunch at Lock Seven), accompanied by hand-squeezed blood orange Dom Perignon mimosas and Grand Marnier cappuccinos, followed, as might be expected, by some amorous activities and a subsequent return to […]

Apr 032017

“Does the name Elizabeth Tamariz Nunes mean anything to you?” Gretchen texted me during my eleven o’clock appointment with the Japanese Special Envoy for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Technology. “Because she’s called three times since 8 AM and says she needs one of your free telephone consultations right away!” “No problem,” I texted back. “Book her for the first available slot.” “OK,” Gretchen replied, “that would be 1:30. Who is this yammering [peach emoji], anyhow?” “She’s married to the US Representative for the 22nd District of California, who’s a total conservative [eggplant emoji].” I typed. “They’re Republican dairy farmers.” “Makes sense,” Gretchen quipped, “all morning, she’s been udderly annoying.” Nunes: Hello, is this Tom Collins? Tom: It is indeed. Nunes: […]

Feb 012017

Tuesday evening, I was relaxing at home, alone with my cat Twinkle, reading Harpers, The Atlantic, Scientific American and The Economist when the phone rang. Caller ID showed that it was the cell number of my brother-in-law Hank, from whom, at that point, I had not heard anything in quite some time. Tom: Hank? Hank: Tom? Tom: Who else would it be? Where are you? Hank: In West Virginia. Tom: Right. Look, Hank, Obama’s not the president anymore. He’s gone. He’s history, okay? So why don’t you and Shannon quit preparing for Armageddon and come down from the hills? Because if Obama was the Antichrist, he sure did a rotten job, didn’t he? Rose misses you. Arthur misses Shannon. And […]

Jan 162017

I can’t discuss what Vernum and I worked on during his consultation Friday at 3:30, since he’s with the CIA and the subject matter was classified. On the other hand, after I completed my final appointment that evening, I headed down to the Willard Hotel, and there, in Round Robin Bar, I saw Vernum slouched, alone at a table, over what was apparently not his first cocktail of the afternoon. I sidled up and sat down next to him. Obviously, what we spoke about then could be publicly disclosed, whereas we said it all in public over drinks in a public house in a very public manner, and here am I therefore, posting it publicly on the Internet. “That’s a […]

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 […]