Jun 292019

Someone calling herself “Alexa,” and claiming to represent “a major Democratic presidential candidate” started calling the office starting in the middle of last week, asking for one of my free initial consultations. I’ve been extremely busy lately, and there really weren’t any openings in my schedule, so I kept putting them off. I have to admit, however, that their persistence finally triumphed, as Gretchen got tired of this person calling three or four times a day and told me, “Either you stop giving free initial consultations, accept requests within three days of the first call, accept requests after ten attempts to get one, or find yourself another private secretary.” I’m sure she wasn’t serious about that last part, but nobody […]

May 222019

Arrogance in full bloom bears a crop of ruinous folly – Aeschylus, The Persians 472 BC My 3:00 PM consultation this afternoon was with Haroom Zade Kooni-goh Ahmagh, president of the Iranian Patriots Society, a neoconservative group composed mostly of wealthy Iranian expatriates and headquartered in Los Angeles, California. He is in Washington this week on one of his regular trips here to lobby for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, also known as the Mojahedin-e Khalq, the MEK, the MKO or the PMOI. Since I knew he was coming, I had my private security contractor sweep my office for surveillance devices twice, once at 6:00 AM and again at 2:30 PM. Due to the nature of my business, I […]

Apr 222019

I was booked solid from six to six today, with only a half hour for lunch at my desk, but Gretchen’s patient attempts at explaining that to the persistent caller who identified himself as “David Barron from the White House staff” did no good. “You haven’t had a single consultation from anyone at the White House since Obama left,” Gretchen remarked as she notified me about Mr. Barron’s fifth call since nine-thirty. “How come they waited nearly two and a half years?” An intriguing point, to be sure – Caller ID confirmed the call originated from the White House, though, so I told Gretchen to let Mr. Barron know I would take his call during lunch. If he was so […]

Mar 172019

On Friday, March 15, my ten o’clock morning consultation was with Sir Percy Hampton Churchill Saxe-Coburg Hanover Blithering-Snipe Smythe-Smith-Smythe Kensington VI, PhD OS FHS KCVO LLE OBE HFRS BYOB, Economic Attaché to the Royal Embassy of Her Majesty, Elizabeth II of the Court of Saint James’s, by the Grace of God, Queen of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to the United States of America. We were supposed to discuss analyses of natural gas price elasticities under data-driven tariff scenarios based on heuristic Monte-Carlo models under various climate-change assumption vectors for the period 2021 through 2026, but midway into the first set of partial differential equations, be broke down bawling like a baby. “Jesus Christ, Percy,” I […]

Feb 112019

There a widespread, often repeated observation among grandparents that personalities and talents seem to skip generations. Perhaps this is just the wishful thinking of elderly people disappointed in how their children turned out, but in the case of my brother-in-law, Hank Palikowski and his son, Hank Jr., it definitely seems to possess some credence. Having had an opportunity to meet Hank’s father on several occasions, I’d say his grandson is much more like him than Hank is. Both grandfather Palikowski and Hank Jr. are pragmatic, successful and highly intelligent individuals, while frankly, my brother-in-law has proven to be a damned fool and a pretty gullible one at that. As regular readers of this Web log will readily recall, Hank Jr. […]