Jan 052021
 

After the long New Years weekend, 2021 started off with a typical consultation schedule, working from my home in Great Falls, Virginia during the covid-19 pandemic. I was four Zoom, two Face Time, and three MS Teams meetings into the work week on Monday, and it was approaching 6:00 PM when I had my final remote encounter, this time over WebEx – a consultation with Dr. A. Harry Priapus MS, PhD, BYOB, Director, Penetration Division, at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. I will give him credit – for a person in his position, he maintained his composure pretty well at first, calmly discussing the technical ramifications and policy implications of recent adverse events in the disciplines of US government […]

Dec 062020
 

I firmly believe that, regardless of the prevailing circumstances, a good eggnog is essential for the holiday season. The ingredients of the best recipe, IMHO, consist of organic, grass-fed fainting goat heavy cream, the separated yolks of free-range quail eggs, toasted Zanzibar coconut sugar, true Ceylon cinnamon, fennel pollen, ground Tahitian vanilla beans, Ramlösa mineral water extract of French saffron, powdered Cypriot mahlab, and ground Kerala Malabar mace (instead of nutmeg), combined with a respectable amount of Martell XO cognac. After mixing everything, I usually also beat the separated egg whites into stiff peaks and then fold them into the liquid. Of course, for various reasons, not everybody can obtain those ingredients, but fortunately, there are many, many quite acceptable […]

May 042020
 

One thing I have noticed about working from home exclusively during the coronavirus crisis is that my clients have begun to figure that Sundays are as good as any other day to request an appointment. Back before the DMV regional lockdown, there used to be a distinction, but not any more. And strangely enough, I have found it doesn’t bother me as much as I would have expected – I, myself, have pretty much forgotten about the different characteristics the days of the week used to possess. Mondays, for example, don’t feel any different from Fridays, although I am sure I recall that they once definitely did. It used to be, of course, that when people sought consultation appointments on […]

Apr 042020
 

The global coronavirus pandemic has fully arrived in the United States in general and the Washington DC metropolitan area in particular. Breaking with our usual local traditions regarding foreign visitors, however, we did not throw it a parade. And while its arrival did not completely reduce Washington to a ghost town, the streets of the Nation’s Capital indeed became mighty sparsely populated, and very quickly at that. Social distancing was no problem for me, though, since I live in Great Falls, Virginia, where my nearest neighbor’s home is about a hundred and fifty feet away from my front door. Entering my imported sports car within the confines of my garage, I drove, by myself, to a reserved parking space in […]

Mar 012020
 

Thursday evening after work, I stopped by the Round Robin Bar, as I often do. About halfway through my Macallan 18 on the rocks, Higganbotham slid into the booth next to me and tossed an envelope on the cocktail table. “Count it,” he said. I knew Higganbotham, as most Beltway insiders do, as a notorious Republican bag man and fixer, so his behavior was hardly surprising. “I will,” I dryly replied, “but not here. This is a consultation fee, I presume?” “You presume right,” he growled. “Take that money, finish your scotch quick and follow me. We’re going for a little ride.” Outside in front of the Willard Hotel, a black stretch limousine with darkly tinted passenger windows and federal […]