“Jesus Christ Almighty!” Gretchen wailed, “not that guy again!” “He called me at home and I quoted him five times my usual hourly rate,” I pointed out, “and he paid it, up front and in cash, via wire transfer directly to my business bank account. It’s a done deal – he’s coming here Saturday at three o’clock.” “Well,” she huffed, “if he’s coming here Saturday at three, I’m leaving at twelve!” “Sure,” I agreed, “no problem, you can leave at noon. Only before you go, just be sure to follow the same protocols we always have with him – cover the couch and chairs with clear plastic, put six new filters in the ventilation system, turn the external exhaust fan [...]

 

Around eight o’clock on Friday nights, one can find any manner of Washington denizens crying in their beer at the Round Robin Bar – also celebrating, socializing or relaxing before dinner, too, naturally, but in that respect, a bar is like a Metro car. Board a Metro car and you will find some of the passengers on their way to work, to the theater, to a ball game, to church, to a lovers’ tryst, to the zoo, to the art museum, and so forth; and then there are those who aren’t going anywhere in particular. That last category are the nuts, of course, the homeless deranged lunatics of the world, or sometimes the deranged lunatics of the world who live [...]

 

When my sister-in-law Katje gets a bug in her ear concerning a certain subject, she’s pretty much implacable. So when she called me on Wednesday to make arrangements for dinner at my place in Great Falls, Virginia Saturday night, and insisted on doing all the necessary shopping and making everything herself so my brother Rob Roy and my nephew Jason could “play games and drink while I’m slaving away in the kitchen,” I knew something was afoot. It turned out to be her extremely liberal upbringing on the Upper East Side of New York City, which figures. As regular readers of this Web log know, Rob and I are also from New York – we grew up in Little Italy, [...]

 

The sane and sensible residents of the Washington DC area – and yes, Virginia, there actually are such people – spent the Memorial Day holiday weekend at home, just like sane and sensible people everywhere. Instead of rushing off to a resort destination guaranteed, by definition, to be overcrowded with bozos who don’t know any better, I hosted a humongous cookout at my house in Great Falls, with the usual guest list and a typical menu which regular readers of this Web log can readily imagine, I’m sure. This weekend, on the other hand, being self-employed, if I want to take Monday off and fly up to Cape May, New Jersey with my friend Cerise for three days at the [...]

 

I usually meet with Colonel Maximilian Sucer-Lesang Leech (US Army Ret.) to discuss information technology portfolio, enterprise architecture and capital planning policy at the US Department of Veterans Affairs. But during our regularly scheduled consultation Thursday morning, instead of that, he immediately launched into a tirade about Congress. “Those idiots on Capitol Hill,” he huffed, “don’t have the common sense God gave a picnic ant!” “What makes you say that?” I inquired as calmly as possible. “Well,” he sighed with a roll of his eyes, “I suppose you know that yesterday, the House passed a bill to allow the Secretary to… fire… members of the Senior Executive Service – and the language! It’s outrageous!” “Oh, really?” I responded. “What’s it [...]

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