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Travel: Under the Lucky Star

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To the Caucasus (and Back) Last Summer I traveled with a friend to the Central Asian countries of  Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, of the famed Silk Road, the ancient trading route stretching from China to Europe and the Middle East. For thousands of years it was the path of commerce and a swirl of clashing […]

Guiding in DC:? A Texas Iwo and Capitol Karma

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Always Bigger in Texas It’s busy, busy, busy as the guiding season swings into high gear with cherry blossoms and spring break equaling an avalanche of visitors. I recently toured with senior citizens who traveled by motor coach from the mid-west to see the extraordinary blossoms at their peak. Having strolled along the Basin, where […]

(Not So) Darkest Africa

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Ethiopia: The North I arrived back in the states a few days ago after 12 days in Ethiopia and 5 in Germany; that’s pretty much the yin and the yang of it, civilization wise. It was my first trip to Africa (and Ethiopia), the lush and forbidding jungle it ain’t. Much of Ethiopia sits on […]


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A Christmas Journey Last week, on the 22nd, I drove up to Pennsylvania to visit my family, many of whom live south of the Altoona area, the former railroad mecca. As is often the case, the weather in D.C. was sunny and mild and the farther north and west I drove, the grayer and chillier […]

Lightening Strikes Twice: 7th and Penn, NW

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Situational Awareness Two women were run over by a tour bus and killed on December 19th, as they crossed Pennsylvania Ave., NW, in Washington, D.C. Eleven years ago, in 2007, two women were also killed at the exact same place, also by a bus making the same left turn from northbound 7th onto westbound Pennsylvania. […]

Nike and Kaepernick

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The Ad You Will Love or Hate Nike is betting most will love it and there’s the story. Colin Kaepernick is nothing if not polarizing. He is the center of the controversial universe. In many ways he is the last person to choose to represent a product or brand. Unless. Nike has done their homework. […]

MAGA and McCain

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Many people have a “defining moment” and John McCain’s was when he refused an early repatriation offer while confined as a prisoner during the Vietnam war. He was a prisoner of the North Vietnamese for seven years, enduring torture and deprivation. That refusal, when most would have given in, showed an uncommon commitment to a […]

Road Trip: Welcome to the ‘Stans

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Central Asia Ten hours to Istanbul and another four put me in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, yesterday in the middle of a sultry night. The plan is to see some of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and go trekking for ten days in Tajikistan before returning. These places are the crossroads of the world, famous and ancient trading routes […]

Life and Death: Paris in the Spring

Facebook Life Today, Facebook, and perhaps all social media, is consumed by the Caps winning the Stanley Cup and the death of Anthony Bourdain, apparently by suicide, in France. I posted on Facebook, “Was Anthony Bourdain a Knights Fan?” which elicited some tut-tutting including: Not Funny Sorry, not a good post. Suicide is not a […]

Guiding: Mac and Cheese and Drain the Swamp.

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It’s June already and we are in the throes of the D.C. guiding season. It’s that time when you can barely remember one group from the next nor what you said or to whom you said it. This is my ninth year and and for the first time, I have had eighth-graders inform me with […]

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