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Know what I wrote below about Christmas prezzy possibilities for ol’ Robbo?  Forget it.  I have got to get me one of these:

How seriously cool is that?

A glass of wine with Greg Pollowitz at NRO’s The Feed.

UPDATE:  It just occurred to me that if I were to rig the ol’ Wrangler with this system, I could turn it into an offensive weapon against cyclists.  Let the laser lock in on ’em, brush by and WOOSH!!

If any friends or family of Robbo’s are scratching their heads for Christmas prezzies this year, once you’ve checked “garden shed,” “harpsichord,” and “32-gun frigate” off your lists, you could do a lot worse than this:  Rare Billy the Kid Photo To Go On Auction Block

The two-by-three-inch photograph is the only known adult portrait of the Wild West gunslinger who variously went by the names William Bonney, Henry Antrim, Henry McCarty or just “the Kid”.

One of the most famous photographs in the world, it first appeared in Sheriff Pat Garrett’s book on how he tracked down and killed the Kid in 1881.

“This is it – the only one,” said Brian Lebel, auctioneer for the 22nd annual Old West Show and Auction to be held in Denver, Colorado.

“We’ll have over 500 in the audience. We have eight telephone lines and we have three different internet hookups, so people can bid live online with real-time bidding (and) with a camera, so you can see the auctioneer.”

The unidentified photographer originally made four identical tintypes, but the other three have been lost.

The auctioneers say the minimum price will be $300k, but some think the tin-type could reach a cool mil.

Just a thought.

As regular port-swillers will recall, I periodically go through a phase of Old West interest, although I haven’t heretofore (“Heretofore, mark you!”) paid that much attention to its seamier side.  I know that I’ve got a book on young Mr. Bonney sitting about the port-swiller library somewhere, although I’ve not yet read it.   As I like to amuse myself by looking for signs pointing to where I should direct my scatter-shot attention next, perhaps I had ought to take this as one and dig out the book.

As mentioned in a previous post, the Family Robbo went down to Nationals Park yesterday afternoon along with other members of my office to see our beloved Nats take on the Seattle Mariners.

Yes, as I also mentioned, I rode into town on the metro wearing my Nats gear.  Also reading Waugh.  And yes, a certain part of my brain told me I looked rayther strange.

Have I ever written about Nationals Park here? No? I don’t think so.  It’s a very interesting place.  In terms of architectural aesthetics, the structure is really rayther….dull.  No brick like Camden Yards.  No signature like Wrigley’s ivy or Fenway’s Big Green Monster.  On the other hand, its sight-lines are positively beautiful.  I don’t believe there’s a single bad seat in the whole place.  You get the curious impression of invisibility of the facility itself, with all attention trained down on to the field.   We were way up in the nose-bleeds down the left field line (in the shade and the breeze, fortunately) and could see the whole game perfectly.

And what a game! Scoreless into the 9th, with the Nats winning on a sacrifice liner into left field that scored a runner from third.  Woo!  One unique thing that the Park does have is its way of celebrating home runs and wins.  Instead of the fireworks of past seasons, this year the club has started sounding a Navy horn on such occasions (as the Park sits next to the Potomac Navy Yard).  Although I’m not usually one for innovation, I quite like this new custom, and as the horn aaaaa-OOOOOOOO-guh’d away, both I and the gels all joined in happily.

Indeed, we had all been doing a good deal of cheering and yelling throughout the game, which enthusiastic demonstrations came as a bit of an eye-opener to my colleagues.  Ol’ Robbo has long made it a practice of keeping his home life and his work life separate, and the only side of me that most of my peers have ever seen is the cool, calm, professional side.  Apparently, a number of them thought the spectacle of Robbo emoting to be quite an interesting novelty.

Anyway, a terrific time was had by all.  We walked out of the park knowing that the Nats had swept the Mariners, that they have now won their last four series in a row, that they are 11 out of their last 12, in solid possession of 3rd place in the NL East and above .500 in June for the first time since, I believe, 2005.

And now cue the 4th movement from Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony:

What we didn’t know is that, even as we were leaving, Manager Jim Riggleman was turning in his papers, which he had threatened to do just before the game unless he was given a decision about what was going to happen to him next year.  Riggs has been in a sort of care-taker status, and apparently he was getting fed up with it and believed that now was the time to try and leverage the team’s success to make Management commit about the future.  Management evidently told him to pound sand.

I dunno.  I was as astounded by the news as anyone else.  I like Riggs a lot, but the more I think about it, the more I’m inclined to believe that pulling this kind of move now was not in the best interests of the team.  Also, the press coverage is swirling with rumors this morning that GM Mike Rizzo has already got an ace up his sleeve, that he had been planning to bring in a big name manager next year anyway, but that he might go ahead and do it sooner.  And when I say big, I mean Bobby Valentine/Davey Johnson kind of big.  We shall see.  My only concern is that the team doesn’t let itself get distracted by this kerfluffle.

GO, NATS!! 

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