With Congress (mostly) gone, universities out, and a fraction of people on vacation, August is one of the slowest times of the year in Washington, rivaled only by late December. It’s way easier to get a parking space, or a table in a restaurant, than it normally is.

At work, it’s a good time to catch up with people who are in town, to make plans and clear out inboxes, to do writing, coding, or other projects that require uninterrupted blocks of time, and to read books and reports that have been sitting in nearby piles for too long. I hope to do a bit of all of that this week, as long as no emergencies arise.