I was planning to top this column with some commentary on the early travails for freshman U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin in Washington -- but then something much more important happened late Friday.
Yes, the Department of Administration inked a deal for a new operator to run the Capitol food court, after five months of having the operation out of service.
The Pittman Group, a Charleston-based catering/vending/food service company, will take over operations of the $3.7 million facility in the Capitol basement, effective the first week of January.
"We do have a contract. We do expect the food court to re-open in January," said Administration spokeswoman Diane Holley-Brown, who has had to field nearly daily inquiries about the status of the food court for the past five months.
If the Pittman Group sounds familiar, it's because they were partners in an operation that ran a temporary food service facility in the basement of the Culture Center in 2007, while the old Capitol cafeteria was being gutted and replaced.
(Hope they have better luck this time, since that experiment lasted from only January to mid-May 2007, shutting down because of dwindling business following the end of the legislative session that year... Of course, it was an untenable arrangement, having to prepare food off-site and truck it in each day.)
It will be interesting to see if they can make a go of it after Guest Services Inc. gave up on the place after losing money for 2 1/2 years.
And the new operators could be facing some new competition shortly, with word that McDonald's plans to build a new restaurant at the current Rally's location on Washington Street East...
Getting an invite to one of the Christmas parties at the governor's mansion is one thing, but it doesn't hold a candle to going to the White House for a holiday fete.
Which is what Supreme Court Chief Justice Robin Davis and husband Scott Segal got to do on Thursday, I'm told.
Unlike Christmas parties at the mansion, which at least under Joe Manchin drew about 500 guests per night, the party hosted by President Obama and first lady Michelle was limited to 300 VIPs.
Davis/Segal have known Obama going back to the 2006 Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner when Obama, then the rising star in the party (how quickly things can change...) was the keynote speaker.