May 142017

Another working Saturday for Gretchen and me – booked solid from six in the morning until well into the evening. And on top of that, there was someone who had been calling to ask for an initial consultation since early Thursday morning whom Gretchen simply had not been able to squeeze in. We discussed it during a twenty minute lunch break, and I agreed to stay late, let Gretchen go at seven, and deal with the new client by myself. The fact that this individual wanted a telephone consultation made it easier, anyway. So there I was at my desk in the gathering dusk, the setting sun obscured by a dismal overcast, a strange, cold May drizzle wetting the picture […]

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: […]

Mar 192017

The British, as we know, have a well-deserved reputation for phlegmatic stoicism. So I was more than merely surprised when Smedley, a veteran economic and financial attaché at the Embassy of the United Kingdom here in Washington, suddenly blew up at me during our regular bimonthly consultation at my office on Friday afternoon, right in the middle of a very interesting and productive discussion of bilateral trade balances following a projected implementation of the Brexit. “What’s the matter with you Americans?” he suddenly demanded, standing bolt upright, slamming his left hand down on my desk while gesturing with his right at the picture window behind the couch. “How could you put someone like… that… in the most powerful position in […]

Mar 052017

Thursday afternoon, Gretchen took an urgent call from Ben Carson, requesting an immediate consultation. “The name sounds familiar,” she remarked, “Wasn’t he one of those sixteen other bozos besides Trump who ran for president as Republicans last year?” “That’s correct,” I confirmed. “Dr. Ben Carson is a famous pediatric neurosurgeon who came up the hard way on the wrong side of the tracks in Detroit, struggling with a terrible temper and valiantly overcoming a tendency toward violent behavior and assault with deadly weapons, at last finding Christian faith and using it to humbly rise to the top of the medical profession, later to become a darling of the American conservative movement.” “Oh, now, I think I remember him,” Gretchen remarked. […]