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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo doesn’t mean to indulge in wanton self-pity, but really, this continues to be an absolutely miserable allergy season.  The combination of symptoms makes me simply want to crawl back into bed and stay there until, oh, June or so.

It also knocks about twenty points off of Robbo’s cognitive skills, reducing him to gratuitous random posting instead of developing something longer and more in-depth. So here we go:

♦  Today is the home opener for Robbo’s beloved Nationals.  I can’t tell you how pleased I am that baseball is once again in full swing.   However, I was rayther startled to discover that over the off-season, MASN let go the lovely and talented Debbi Taylor, who has for some time served as their dugout reporter, replacing her with some, ah, young person named Kristina Akra.   I can’t say that I’m pleased with this move.  Change is bad, m’kay?  (UPDATE: The Nats hold on to win a nail-biter in 10.  And Life is Good.)

♦  Today is also the opener for the younger gels’ softball season.   At practice the other evening, a ball caromed off the youngest gel’s glove and hit her in the forehead, raising a considerable lump over her eyebrow.   Debate has raged in the port swiller household since then over whether the lump was the size of a marble, a golf ball or a grapefruit, provoking testy questions from Dad such as, “Haven’t you people got anything better to squabble about?”

♦  The past few nights I have awakened to the sound of an owl hooting in the woods.  (I have a dim memory that I’ve posted on this phenomenon before, perhaps at about this same time of year.)  Anyhoo,  it’s a delightful sound – unless, of course, you happen to be a field mouse.  Do different types of owl have different calls?  This one goes, “Whoo-huh-whoo-huh-WHOOOO!”

♦   Speaking of nights, I had a dream some time during Lent that I rescued a Jesuit missionary from a lynch mob on the National Mall.  I have no earthly idea what this was supposed to mean.

♦   Speaking of Lent, now that it is over, ol’ Robbo has got back to his regular reading schedule.  As has been the case for some years past, the very first author I have revisited is Evelyn Waugh.  It is my resolution this year to read and reread all of his works, finally getting around to Helena and also going back to Brideshead even though I don’t especially like it.   This may surprise (and outrage?) some of you friends of the decanter, but the fact of the matter is that I find it too syrupy and earnest, too melodramatic.   I much prefer Sword of Honour as his greatest literary achievement.

♦  A conversation:

Eldest Gel:  Hey, Dad, why don’t you mow the lawn?

Self:  Why don’t you mow the lawn?

E.G.:  Okay!

We’ll see how long that lasts.

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