markfrombethesda is a collection of my idle ramblings. I was born in the prototypical small east-Texas town of Madisonville in 1951, son of a highway contractor and stay at home mom, brother to an older sister and older brother, and spent my youth fine-tuning my abilities as a general slacker. I managed to get through college with a BA in Government and English, decided actually working was too much effort and then was able to wear down the administration at Rice University until they gave me a Ph.D. in Political Science in 1985. I have lived in Bethesda, MD with Beth, my lovely bride, ever since. At some point a few years ago, it dawned on me that while I had always identified myself as being a Texan, I had, by then, lived in Bethesda longer than anywhere else. I certainly identify more easily with the culture, politics, and more finely honed sense of irony that our modest hamlet seems to inspire. I am now generally a stay at home type with hermit tendencies when left to my own designs, and decided to use this medium to justify buying yet another new computer.