Saturday, March 28, 2015


Wonderful preview dinner at Maketto from the JO Wilson auction.

Toki Underground has always been one of our favorite restaurants in the neighborhood, so we were thrilled when our friends Eric & Kathryn won a dinner for ten at their house with Erik Bruner-Yang of Toki fame at the J.O. Wilson Elementary School Auction, and kindly invited us to join them.  It took a while to schedule the dinner, but the wait paid off, because a few days before the dinner, Erik called Eric and suggested that instead of him cooking at Eric & Kathryn's house, we all join him for a sneak peak at his long rumored new restaurant Maketto.

Maketto has been in the works for a long time, and if our dinner there was any indication, the wait was worth it.  The space has undergone an amazing transformation from the old goodwill building to stunningly gorgeous kitchen, courtyard, retail, and coffee/bakery spaces.  But of course, it's the food that will keep us coming back.  We sampled the whole opening night menu, and while everything was delicious, some of my favorites were the super spicy raw kobe beef salad, the steak and hoisin sauce bao, and the whole fish that I was almost too full to eat at the end of the night.  All told, it was a wonderful night with good friends, great food, and all for a worthy cause.

Wonderful preview dinner at Maketto from the JO Wilson auction.

(click here for all the pictures)

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Tilting IdeaMills

Eight months ago, the Department of Labor started the equivalent of an electronic suggestion box, where employees could post suggestions to improve the work-life experience at DOL, employees could vote on the suggestions, and management would implement those deemed sufficiently feasible and popular. I quickly wrote up one regarding time-off bonuses (it was during the summer and my leave-balance was down to fumes) and quickly forgot about it. Until mid-February when I was invited, with several other contributors, to meet with the Secretary to discuss implementation of our ideas.

I don't get to meet with the Secretary very often in a small group (this was my first time ever with this particular Secretary) so I jumped at the chance for an hour of face-time discussing outreach ideas with the Secretary, his entourage and other "idea" people. Afterwards, I assumed my work was done and went on my merry way to Whistler, only to discover upon returning that no good deed goes unpunished.

In order to encourage participation in the Idea Mill, the Secretary decided to take his campaign to the elevators, and since I fit some demographic niche that needed to be filled, the Office of Public Affairs insisted that I be one of five very special elevator posters. I was horrified but ultimately assented; Allen was delighted and decided that my new-found celebrity required a special field-trip to Labor to take some pictures to accompany my signed and suitable for framing mementos of the experience...


Friday, March 06, 2015



Snowstorms in March are an odd thing. We awoke Thursday morning to find schools and the Federal government closed with n'ere a flake on the ground (only a lot of rain). A few hours later it was a veritable non-winter wonderland. And while Congress proved to be a bit of a Grinch when it comes to snowday activities, to paraphrase William Wallace, "They can take our land but they can never take our sledding" (particularly when the hills of Gallaudet are only a few blocks away).