10/11/13 – With my first blog completed, I was delighted to be invited to the Oval Office to chat with The President. White House photographers were there and the event was really casual. With the state of affairs as they are, the President was interrupted with a phone call during my visit. The press chose that moment to snap a picture. Having a direct line to the President’s office – – I was thrilled to take his call and fly up to talk about my first blog attempt w/him. Nervous…not I…ecstatic, yes, but nervous, not in the least. We talked at length about current Washington events and headline news – – and I graciously accepted all compliments he passed on to me (and my head hasn’t ballooned out like some who might have tripped over their own egos as they rang off w/The Man). On Capitol Hill – – I will add this: the U.S. Capitol dome is again in need of additional restoration. Once funding is secured, the restoration is expected to begin this Fall and go through the next Inaugural. This is all part of an on-going multi-phased program. This is a critical step for stopping the current level of deterioration in the dome’s cast iron as well as ensuring the protection of the interior of the dome and the Capitol rotunda. The project will require the installation of a scaffold system surrounding the entire Dome, from the base of the Statue of Freedom down to the roof. The scaffold will be covered with a white scrim. Inside the rotunda, a white system of chain-like cords in the shape of a doughnut will be installed above the Frieze of American History to protect the public. The doughnut configuration will allow the powerful Apotheosis of Washington (by C. Brumidi in 1865) to be seen during the restoration process.