My wife, Bobbi, and I moved to the Washington, DC area in the fall of 1983. We had been living in Lubbock, Texas, where I had a post-doctoral fellowship to build a pico-second spectroscopy lab. If you're a laser, science, engineering geek like me, that kind of post-doc is your idea of a good time. But all good things must end, and I had landed a one-year National Research Council fellowship at the Naval Research Laboratory. It was potentially renewable for a second year. Bobbi and I figured a one- or two-year lark in DC would be a wonderful diversion before we settled down somewhere else to get on with our real lives.