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Last hurrah this weekend, back to the school year grind next week.  Have a good one, my friends!

I find myself slightly staggered that it’s Labor Day weekend already.  Where is 2011 going in such a hurry?  Tempus fugit, indeed.

♦  Ol’ Robbo is currently rereading his Xenophon.  I have always found the march of the Ten Thousand to be a fascinating story in itself and never fail to delight when I come across a reference or allusion to it in other writings.  My copy of the Anabasis is from the Loeb Classickal Library and contains the original Greek and the English translation thereof side by side.  It’s one of Robbo’s educational regrets that I never took any Greek.  (Indeed, if I had it all to do over again, I probably would not have been an English major, but would have doubled in history and classics.)  Ah, well.   At least when I’m on the metro, I can make fellow passengers wonder which text I’m reading.

♦  Speaking of classics, last week the middle gel insisted on putting on a “concert” for the Family Robbo in which she sang half a dozen songs for us a capella.  To my horror (although I hid it from her, of course), half the program came from the works of Andrew Lloyd-Gawd-Help-Us Webber.  In my opinion, the gel has entirely too lovely a voice to throw away on that sort of stuff.  Thus, I hurriedly nipped over to the devil’s website and bought the gel her own copy of Emma Kirkby and Evelyn Tubb singing Monteverdi duets and solos, one of my very favorite recordings evah.   Hopefully, this will put better ideas into her head.

♦  My fellow port-swillers, I’m here to tell you that cell phones and stick-shifts don’t mix.  (Just ask that fire-hydrant I barely missed while trying to turn and answer a call at the same time.)  Thus, I really don’t think the gels should be so surprised at my infuriated response when they phone me on my way home in the evening not because of some emergency, but instead just to rat on each other over their petty squabbles.

♦  And speaking of technology, a long, drawn out drama over getting a homework assignment finished last evening was quickly scotched upon Robbo’s arrival home from softball when I pointed out to all parties involved that if one expects the printer to function properly, one has to actually plug it into the pc.   When Robbo is your last line of defense in these matters, you’re in deep trouble.

♦  No plans for this weekend, at least that I know of.  From Netflix I have Armageddon, which I rent every now and again for the shear, popcorn-scarfing fun of it, as well as for the pleasure of hearing Michael Clarke Duncan’s amazing basso profundo.   I’d have to double check the queue, but I seem to recall tossing in three or four other Bruce Willis movies at the same time.  One goes through these phases.

♦  A conversation:  Eldest gel – “Dad, were you a geek when you were young?”  Youngest gel – “NO! He was a NERD!”  S’true.

♦  My old neighbor believed that lawn maintenance was a competition.  My new neighbor, who bough the old neighbor’s house, has never dealt with a yard before and doesn’t have the faintest idea what he’s doing.  Not sure which is the more annoying.

Krauth takes time off from politics to write a nice column on Robbo’s beloved Nats today:

They are a baseball team. Not yet very good, mind you, but it matters not. When you live in a town with a great team, you go to see them win. When you live in a town with a team that is passing rapidly through mediocrity on its way to contention — the Nats have an amazing crop of upcoming young players — you go for the moments.

Yes, indeed.  Dr. K goes on to highly just a few such recent moments featuring Zimm, Espy and Ankiel, although there are a wealth of others from which to choose.  Go, Nats!!

Another place to which you go for the moments is little league softball (not that I am in any way suggesting a comparison here).  Last evening found ol’ Robbo out at the fields, helping out with a preseason skills camp.  I must say that in the five or six seasons in which I’ve been doing this, I’ve really come to love hanging around the park.  There’s the delightful, open-ended symmetry of the diamonds themselves; the familiar, time-honored instructions and exhortations; and what I can only call the overall “feel” of the ballpark and the people in it.  What I find the most gratifying part, perhaps, is running into girls I’ve coached in the past and actually having them pleased to see me again.  That proves to me that I must be doing something right.

And speaking further of such things, one of my jobs last evening was helping to field the batting-practice station.  In this, I had several “What Would Danny Espinosa Do?” moments of my own, including having to deal with a line drive that the middle gel pasted close enough to me that I could not ignore it without dishonor.   For a complete novice, that gel has a mighty quick stick – on the way home she confided that at the plate she was asking herself what Ryan Zimmerman would do.  Alas, I didn’t come up with the brilliant Espy snag, but at least I managed to knock it down, which at my age and condition, is good enough.



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September 2011