You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Root, Root, Root For The Home Team!’ category.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

In case you friends of the decanter have not been following, Ol’ Robbo’s beloved Nats suffered their 100th loss of the season last evening in a mercifully short game against the Braves**. I’m not quite certain, because the rules keep getting loosier and goosier, but I think this mathematically eliminates us from playoff contention this year.


I blame the team’s Lucifer-like plunge from heroes to zeroes over the past two years completely on skin-flint Ownership. Fortunately, it looks like the Lerner family is bailing and we should have a new set of the Big Money Boys going into next year. I hope this lot actually means it.

In the meantime, what else is there to say except


**Speaking of whom, did you see where the White House chose the occasion of the team’s visit to call for it to change its name? I just can’t even….

UPDATE: Oh, in case you’re interested, Ol’ Robbo is likely to be pulling for the Mets in October. I’d like to see Mad Max Scherzer get another Series win, just for old times’ sake.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Has Ol’ Robbo mentioned recently how much he dislikes Tuesdays? Because I dislike Tuesdays. They’re the veritable hole in the week.

That said, why not make this one a little better with some light nonsense.

Ol’ Robbo is here to tell you that the Bloomington, Indiana housing market is insane. It isn’t even mid-September yet and already the elder Gels have got their “sign your lease for next year RIGHT NOW or you’re out because we’ve got a waiting list of 2000 kids” notices. It’s a wonder they ever got their digs in the first place. College towns.

Speaking of waiting, we’re still on stand-bye for the big Port Swiller Manor basement renovation. The job itself will only take about two weeks, so I am told. The big drag is jumping through all the obligatory bureaucratic hoops to get the necessary county permits before they can start. (Does this surprise anybody?) The project manager is trying to accelerate the process by alleging Mrs. R’s intense dislike of mold constitutes a medical priority, but so far it doesn’t seem to be cutting much ice.

Ol’ Robbo is sometimes a bit leery about returning to old pleasures for fear they might not be quite what he remembers, so I was particularly pleased when Mrs. R and I sat down to watch the first half dozen episodes of “Cheers” the other evening. Although a yuge fan back in the day, I hadn’t seen it in Heaven-knows how many years, and yet it is as fresh and funny now as it ever was.

Finally, Ol’ Robbo is pleased to say that he has found a kind of inner peace with his beloved Washington Nationals. Yes, we’re within eight games of a triple-digit loss record this year, but now all the dust has settled and the team is basically a bunch of kids coming up out of the minors, and I’m looking on it as a sort of early spring training and can enjoy watching again. What else is there to say except,


Greetings, my fellow port swillers and an early welcome to the weekend! It’s about dang time.

Several days down to the office this week. Ol’ Robbo is here to tell you that the Dee Cee Metro, which once prided itself on its cleanliness, has gone completely to pot recently. The cars are downright filthy now, and I come out of the system feeling perfectly contaminated. I can only suppose they don’t have enough folks to keep up with the maintenance anymore.

For those of you following the Port Swiller Manor basement saga, we had the engineer back out the other evening to finalize the bracing and waterproofing project and sign the papers. Gulp. Mrs. R was practically dancing with frustration and had the poor fellah awash in embarrassment and profuse with apologies, and doing his best to reduce the pain as much as possible. But, alas, we have no real choice in this biznay. The one bit of bright side, at least from Ol’ Robbo’s point of view, was Mrs. R’s determination that if we’re paying that kind of jack, they can take out the drywall and framing themselves.

For those of you following the Gels’ Big Adventures, the elder two seem to have settled in quite nicely at school and sound genuinely enthusiastic about their new classes. Eldest had been fretting and fussing all summah about the what, how, and where of life at a new school in a new town, asking a lot of questions which I assured her she would answer for herself within a couple of days of getting there. Which she has. It’s almost as if Ol’ Dad was prophetic. Meanwhile, Middle Gel immediately went out and adopted a kitten. Because she could. I had managed to make her confine herself to a hamster when she was an undergrad, but she’s out of my clutches now. Of course, not a word to our cats at home about this. (What’s going to happen when she comes home on break remains to be seen.) Meanwhile, we hear from Youngest Down Under every now and again. The other day she sent a picture of herself at a Brisbane rugby game. She was wearing a Washington Nationals jersey. Because she’s that kind of nut. “Well, I needed something red for our team!” she said. (Apparently, whatever the club she’s following seem to be about as inept as the Nats this year. They got crushed at the game she attended.)

Whelp, Ol’ Robbo needs to be about what I like to call my non-paying job about the house. We’re actually hosting a small dinner party this weekend (I can’t remember the last time we did this) and there are a thousand and one things to do to tidy the place up.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I take it as granted that all friends of the decanter who follow MLB and know of Ol’ Robbo’s adherence to the Washington Nationals will by now be perfectly cognizant of the nooz yesterday that they traded Juan Soto who, up till a few weeks ago, was being trumpeted as the New Face of the Team, and perhaps the greatest player of his generation, over to the Padres. (Those of you not interested will excuse Ol’ Robbo, but this is my blog and I need to rant somewhere.)

Well, what can I actually say?

A friend this morning speculated that the Lerner Family needed to slash payroll in order to make good some real estate losses. Myself, I begin to speculate that maybe they’re seeking to tank attendance to such a low level that they can move the team to another city. (Whether one of them is an ex-showgirl, I do not know.)

But there it is.

Ol’ Robbo glommed on to the Nats when they first came to Dee Cee back in the day, having never had a home town team for whom to root before then. I stuck with them through the first years, embarrassing as they were, emphasizing to the Gels that those of us who labored through our, ah, winters of discontent, could sneer at the summer soldiers, the sunshine patriots, who clambered aboard the bandwagon when the team started winning pennants in the 2010-teens and took it all in the astonishing 2019 Series.

I suppose I need remind myself of this idea again, although damme if I can understand the reason behind this pattern of building up anchor players from their foundations and then dealing them out (see Bryce Harper, Anthony “Tony Two-Bags” Rendon, Trea Turner, et al.)

Anyhoo, as for the rest of the season, despite my major disappointment I intend to stick around and to cheer when we are able to pick off a win (and we did smack deGrom last evening, after all), Why not?

What else is there to say but


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo had another of his patented bizarro dreams last night. In it, I was lounging on a shady lawn with Bryce Harper. We were discussing the Nats’ horrible season and its likely causes. I urged him not to leave the team in the lurch (he was wearing a Nats uniform), and he smiled and assured me he would see the season through.

And then I woke up. It was only then that I remembered Harper is with the Phillies now and has been for, what, four years.

I am reasonably sure this was the first dream I’ve ever had about a professional sportsball player. I can only think it was Harper in part because the Phillies shellacked the Nats last evening, and in part because I’ve been wondering lately who will, in fact, bail before the trade deadline. (Rumor says Josh Bell will be gone.)

On the other hand, I don’t feel the least invested in the team this year, watching the games (or parts of them, anyway***) more out of habit than anything else and already resigned to the likelihood of a 100+ loss finish. So why all this should end up in that stratum of my subconscious responsible for my dreams, I really couldn’t say.

As the psychiatrist said of Basil Fawlty, “There’s enough material there for an entire conference.”

***As a matter of fact, I watched “The Westerner” (1940) with Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan last evening, just checking the score from time to time. Pretty good film.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Scanning the headlines, once again Ol’ Robbo finds himself presented with the choice of saying either too much or too little. Think I’ll go with little.

Happy Bloomsday to any James Joyce fans out there. (Personally, I could never fathom the fellah, but to each his own, I suppose.)

As Ol’ Robbo was listlessly watching his Nats lose yet another one last evening, the announcers got into a discussion of famous side-winder pitchers (because the reliever on the mound at the time is one) and the name of Joel Horlen came up. This made Ol’ Robbo smile because I lived round the corner from him in my misspent yoot and his son was a classmate of mine in school. Small world.

And speaking of throwing arms, I am informed that the vast majority of parrots** are left-handed. Scientists don’t know why.

And speaking of nature, I am now being informed rayther breathlessly by the local park authority to be on the lookout for an invasion of wayleaf basketgrass. Evidently, one of their ecologists was poking about in the parkland behind our fence and discovered some. Fortunately, a glance around the Port Swiller Manor demesne shows we’re still secure from this particular threat. I wish, however, the park authority would do something about the mystery invasive Asian vine I flagged two years ago, because that stuff is all over the place now.

** No word on whether this includes the famous Norwegian Blue.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention before but speaking of watching ball games, I don’t recall when all those sportsbook adverts started running on teevee but I wish they wouldn’t. I can’t really justify it philosophically, I suppose, except that I find gambling pernicious and especially apt to hurt those who can least afford it. (Ditto state lotteries and casinos running ads.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

No, friends of the decanter need not worry that I’ve been dragged away by persyns in sunglasses and trench coats for the crime of wrongthink. I’ve just been staring at the screen this week with nothing much in particular to say. Well, nothing much that won’t get me dragged away by persyns in sunglasses and trench coats for the crime of wrongthink, anyway. (As to all that, I’ll simply remark that a thing that can’t go on won’t.)

Rayther, there’s a feel around Port Swiller Manor of, if not the calm before the storm, perhaps something more like the hanging suspense just before the rollercoaster plunges down that big slope. Lots of changes are coming up in very short order, so perhaps the Robbo braim is grasping at the last bit of vacant serenity it can before it has to get busy in earnest.

Again, you need not worry. Said changes almost all have to do with the Gels growing up. Middle heads out next week to her summah gig working for the Commonwealth leading gangs of yoots in reclamation/refurbishment projects at a couple of state parks. (No, the yoots are not junior villains working off their community service sentences, but instead eager-beaver high school kids.) Meanwhile, we’re getting ready to ship Youngest overseas for her study abroad semester. And as I’ve mentioned previously here, we’re hammering out the final arrangements for sending the elder two off to grad school this fall (most such arrangements consisting of Ol’ Robbo putting his foot down about what he’s not going to pay for).

Hence the grasping.

That may also have something to do with why Ol’ Robbo has been binge-reading his Edwardian exotic adventure shelves of late. I’ve blown right through all my Rider Haggard and P.C. Wren and am now in the midst of Sabatini’s Captain Blood and rediscovering what a jolly-well written book it really is.

And speaking of escapist fantasy, I’ve been watching a fair bit of Nats baseball, too. What with the season being essentially over for them already, I’m finding much solace in treating the games in my mind as if they were simply extended spring training. Eh. (I don’t mind watching them on teevee but I doubt I will bother to shlep down to the park any time this year as I don’t see it worth the money.)

Anyhoo, there it is and here I am. At least until the persyns in sunglasses and trench coats come to drag me away.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I see it’s been a few days since my last harrumph here. No need for concern: I simply haven’t had much to say. Well, maybe that’s not entirely accurate. Lawd knows there’s more and more insanity out there to talk about every day. Say, rayther, that I’ve simply kept my thoughts to myself.

In any event, I hope all you friends of the decanter had a pleasant Memorial Day weekend? When not laboring in the yard, Ol’ Robbo spent most of his binge-reading Rider Haggard and P.C. Wren. Just because. (BTW, there’s a passage in Beau Geste where John describes a long journey across Saharan Africa. He says he saw many wonderous things, but no, no lost civilizations of Egyptian origin or beautiful, mysterious sorceress. It occurs to me this might have been a bit of a dig at Haggard.)

What with last evening’s blowout, Robbo’s hapless Nats have fallen to 18-32 which, without looking it up, I believe to be the worst record in MLB. (UPDATE UNO: No, not the worst but pretty damn close.) Over the weekend, the broadcasters and social media people were making much of the fact that the team had fallen to 19-31 back in 2019 before igniting and rocketing to the World Series win. I can’t say I blame them for this “Spirit of ’19” effort, but I just don’t see a repeat happening here, not with this crew. (If Ol’ Robbo is wrong, he’ll happily eat his words smothered in humble-sauce.)

We happen to have a full house at Port Swiller Manor, with all the Gels home for the present. (I can always tell Youngest is home even without seeing her because the milk suddenly vanishes.) It occurs to Ol’ Robbo that this has become the exception rayther than the rule and, especially this fall when everybody goes back to school, it will start to become downright rare. Tempus fugit.

Speaking of which, Mrs. R will be out of town this coming weekend for a tennis tournament. Ol’ Robbo was fool enough to casually mention something about how it would be an excellent time for me to repaint our bedroom, as well as paint the upstairs hall (which has never been painted in all the years we’ve lived here). Me and my big mouth.

Well, endeavor to persevere.

UPDATE DEUX: Speaking of home improvement, Ol’ Robbo invested in a bug-zapper for the porch this morning, the screens not holding back as many gnats and flies as one could wish anymore. (Rotten stinker cats and their claws!) First one I’ve ever owned. Is it childish of me to look forward so much to snap, crackle, and pop?

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo watched his first extra-innings game last evening since returning to MLB and was disgusted to see that they’ve kept that stupid “start the 10th with a runner at second” nonsense.

“Innovation” is bad, m’kay?

The night before last I watched the Nats blow a game on a double throwing error which immediately put me in mind of the “Nat’nals” teams of the late 00’s. We’re going to lose 100+ games this year, aren’t we.

I understood it back then – new team, growing pains, etc., etc. But we won the Series three years ago, for Heaven’s sake! I still do not understand the math of wiping out what it took years to build and starting all over again. (Thank yew, Lerner Family! Who rumor says are looking to sell the team and don’t give a damn anymore.)


**All facts verified by the DHS Department of Truth and Reconciliation

UPDATE: Which reminds me: Why am I seeing the umpires checking the pitchers’ hands after every half-inning now? Is this something I just hadn’t noticed before, or is it new?

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo wanted to raise a glass to Rich Strike, the 80-1 nobody who came flying out of nowhere to win the Kentucky Derby Saturday evening. Very well done, indeed.

I’m hardly of the horsey set. Indeed, apart from following the magnificent Secretariat back in the day, I couldn’t tell you a thing about it, nor can I remember the last time I actually watched a running of the Derby. But we were invited to a party for it this year, held by one of Mrs. R’s wimminz clubs, so I had no real choice in the matter.

Ol’ Robbo has come to the sad conclusion that it’s about time I look into some kind of hearing-aid. Probably the biggest reason I dislike parties so much is that I can’t understand a single thing anybody is saying to me. And simply nodding brightly but vacantly and saying “uh-huh!” repeatedly gets to be quite tedious after a while.

I had my first mint julip in something better than thirty years and thought it quite vile. Sugar has no place in an adult beverage.

The race itself, as I say, was genuinely exciting at the end, and the party crowd quite genuinely pleased. I believe there was a betting pool, but I don’t think anybody had Rich Strike to win. (The friends we went with plunged on a horse that wound up coming third. I refrained altogether because gambling has never had the slightest appeal to me. I state this simply as fact: there’s no virtue when there’s no temptation.)

That said, we actually won the big door prize, a $150 gift card to some restaurant I’ve not heard of. In my suave and diplomatic way, I remarked to a knot of Beltway Beautiful People, “Well, with the economy being what it is, I suppose this’ll probably about cover the appetizers!” For some mysterious reason, they didn’t seem to think that was s’damn funny.

All in all, though, a good time was had.

** Did you see what I did there?

“Pretentious? Moi?” – UPDATE – This is why Ol’ Robbo never talks to people anymore. At a meeting today I casually asked somebody if they’d watched the race and got a reply of “Agshully, I’m uncomfortable with the whole idea of horse racing because I’m concerned about their health and safety.”



Blog Stats

  • 495,655 hits
October 2022