May 302016

My eleven o’clock consultation on Friday was with Dr. Dhoti Bandarkochaak Ladochus Janthabhalu Machikne, Special Delegate Designate for Tourism at the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. Once in my office, he perched on the couch in front of the picture window overlooking the White House and took a sip of the masala chia Gretchen had provided at my instruction. “After recent events,” he opened, “we had hoped that the spring 2016 mountaineering season would have had a less tragic beginning.” “The last couple of years have been pretty rough,” I concurred. “The Khumbu Icefall disaster in 2014 killed sixteen Sherpas, then an avalanche tore through base camp during the earthquake of April 25, 2015 and caused twenty-two […]

May 082016

Ritual apologies for taking so long between posts this time. But lately, however, the combination of rampant, surreal domestic political farce and numerous concurrent problematic international situations has pushed the demand for my advice through the roof. For the last three weeks, a constant stream of Washington insiders and foreign dignitaries has been running to my office with their hair on fire, beseeching me for solutions to their apparently monumental and seemingly insoluble predicaments. Gretchen and I have been putting in twelve and fourteen hour days, and, as is sometimes necessary, have added Saturdays to the appointment schedule. As if that weren’t enough, two weeks ago Cerise got rear-ended around half past midnight on the Whitehurst Freeway at high speed […]

Apr 142016

This afternoon, I had a consultation scheduled with Dr. Jose Baboso Verga Pendejo y Grandmaricón PhD, Principal Economic Attaché for International Banking and Finance at the Embassy of Panama here in Washington DC. We were supposed to discuss the effects of depressed petroleum prices on the exchange rates of reserve currencies with particular emphasis on the Chinese Yuan in light of its recent designation as such by the IMF. But the long face he pulled when he plunked down wearily on the couch in my office told me otherwise. This gentleman had something else on his mind, and it wasn’t at all pleasant. “Tom,” he wailed, staring up at the ceiling in despair, “thank your lucky stars you aren’t a […]

Mar 272016

Today, during lunch at Muze, my iPhone started to vibrate. I checked out the number calling me – it was Morton, who regular readers of this Web log will remember as an inveterate, peripatetic minion of Big Software. We go back a long way, and he’s a friend, of sorts. Tom: Holy smokes, Morton, where have you been? Morton: Since we last spoke? All over Silicon Valley. Tom: So you’re not with Yahoo anymore? Morton: Yahoo’s doomed. Tom: Glad to hear you finally figured that out. So where are you working now? Morton: Microsoft. Tom: No kidding? They took you back? Morton: No doubt about it, I did learn some… useful things while I was away; and they realized that. […]

Mar 082016

Saturday night, I met Cerise at the Round Robin Bar for cocktails prior to attending a show at the nearby Warner Theater. In retrospect, maybe we should have gone to the Old Ebbitt Grill or POV instead, because the Round Robin turned out to be a total zoo of drunken Republicans, crying in their beer about Donald Trump. Well, some of them were crying in their beer about him, actually, but most of them had gone quite a bit farther than that. “Don’t look now,” Cerise whispered to me as we waited for the bartender to serve us, “but I think that guy over there in the corner is banging his head against the wall.” “Oh yeah,” I replied, “I […]