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Is it okay for Ol’ Robbo to start getting excited?  Because I’m starting to get excited.

GO, NATS!!!!

 

UPDATE: WHOOOOOOO!!!!! World Series, here we come!!!!

Is it possible Robbo’s beloved Nats will finally get some respect?

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Before taking the deep plunge into the NLCS (*smacks lips, repeats*), how about a few odds and ends?

♦  Going back to the Metro after about an eight year hiatus, I notice that the number of people milling about the platforms with their noses buried in their iThingies has increased exponentially.  We hates that. Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way.

♦  Speaking of which, I saw a young lady in my rear-view mirror last evening.  In one hand she held her iThingy.  In the other, a snack.  How the heck was she steering?

♦   Speaking of young ladies, Ol’ Robbo takes satisfaction in the fact that St. Greta of the How DARE You did not cop the Nobel Peace Prize this year.  Not that the NPP actually means anything, but still.  We take these little victories against the Madness whenever we can.

♦  Speaking of madness, I saw an amusing headline over to YahooNooz this morning (not linking because Yahoo has gone insane) that some WNBA player was angry at the lack of respect being shown to their finals.  Ol’ Robbo frequently forgets that the WNBA even exists.  As for the NBA, pretty alarming how beholden they turn out to be to the ChiComs, no?  Thank Heaven pro baseball has largely avoided politization, at least so far.  I’ve never cared about basketball anyway, but it would be a real blow to have to give up MLB.

♦  Speaking of living the Counter-Culture Life, Ol’ Robbo caught Apocalypto on the cables last evening.  (I think somebody was doing a little Columbus Day trolling.)  Eldest had recommended it to me and I found it quite fascinating, the ending quite shiver-making.  I’ve no idea how accurately it portrays the pre-Columbian Maya and this is Mel Gibson after all, but from what I do know I would guess it isn’t far off.  Noble Savages they were not.

♦  And speaking of movies, Ol’ Robbo has been on a Shakespeare kick recently.  I’ve been reworking my way through the old Age of Kings series (how can one not like Sean Connery as Hotspur facing off against Robert Hardy’s Prince Hal?), and the other day watched the late-70’s Beeb production of As You Like It featuring the young Helen Mirren.  (Not quite the shmokin’ hot Excalibur Helen Mirren of a couple years later, but this is Shakespeare, not shlock.)  Those late 70’s/early 80’s Beeb productions tend to be hit or miss, but this is one of the better ones.

Whelp, that’s enough for now.  A four day weekend for Ol’ Robbo.  I need to run some errands this morning and get in nacho supplies for tonight’s NLCS opener (*smacks lips again*).  Tomorrow will be a genuine fall yardwork day.  And I believe Middle Gel is coming home for a visit Sunday.  Good times.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo has been hesitant to say anything about his beloved Nats going up against the Dodgers in the NLDS series.

But now that it goes to Game 5, I will say this:  From here on out, however far we get or we don’t get, my Nats have nailed the flag to the mast.  If they go down Wednesday, or at any point thereafter, they go down with pride and honor.

What else is there to say, except

GO, NATS!!!!

 

**Which I hate. Bad on the liver. Bad on the marriage.

UPDATE:  WHOOOOOOO!!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2019 Washington Nationals.  Going to the NLCS for the first time in modern history after a season Ol’ Robbo thought early on to be DOA.  What can one possibly say?

But for all that?  I actually missed the game.  In my defense, lemme explain.  First, Ol’ Robbo was unusually tired last evening.  Second, on days like today when I go into the office, I have to be up by about 5:15 ack emma.  Third, when I checked the score before going to bed, it was the middle innings with the Dodgers up 3-0, and I reckoned I was seeing our doom fast approaching.   So yes, I said “bag it” and toddled off.

My first indication that Something might have happened came when I got up in the wee hours this morning.  Looking at my phone, I saw that Middle Gel – who I knew was going to watch the game – had tried to call me around Midnight.  Summoning up the innertoobs, I quickly got the Glad News.  I’ve been re-watching Howie’s blast off and on all day.

So on we go into uncharted waters.  What might happen I can’t possibly guess.  I will say this:  I’m happier that we’re facing the Cards than I would have been had we gone up against the Braves, who got under our skin toward the end of the regular season.

Anyhoo, Game One tomorrow night, and forget about anything else for the next week or so.  I asked above what can one possibly say? Just this:

GO, NATS!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildcard sudden death tonight against the Brew Crew,  What else is there to say, except

GO, NATS!!!!!

 

UPDATE: And now…We DANCE!!

UPDATE DEUX:  Aside from the local coverage, all Ol’ Robbo is seeing today is not how the Nats won, but how the Crew lost.  I tell ya, we don’t get no respect!  Look, even if Grisham had fielded that ball cleanly, two runs would have scored, tying the game, and we’d have had runners at 1st and 3rd with two outs.  I’d back my Nats in a tie game in the 8th Inning against anybody at the moment.  We. Won.

Harumph! Harumph! Harumph!  (I didn’t get a ‘Harumph!‘ out of that guy!)

As for the NLDS against the Dodgers?  Well, Ol’ Robbo is so proud of his Nats for overcoming a rough season start and for finally winning a playoff elimination round, that so far as I’m concerned we’re playing with House money now. If we do somehow upset LA, great.  If not, I won’t lose any sleep.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo’s has been hard-pressed to find any bloggy inspiration this week, mostly because his allergies have been playing merry hob with him.  (I understand there’s a lot of ragweed in the air at the moment round here.)  But I’ll give it a try.

♦  First, a glass of wine to Robbo’s beloved Washington Nationals who, despite digging themselves a horrible hole in the first two months of the season, managed to fight their way back and clinch a wildcard berth this week.  (I watched the clinch Tuesday night and was later severely rebuked for my, um, enthusiasm.  The ladies of Port Swiller Manor do not appreciate me yelling at the teevee late in the evening.  Sad.)  I’ll be perfectly honest:  I don’t believe we’ll get very far in the post-season simply because our bullpen is still so shaky.  But I’m nonetheless proud that we made it to October ball at all.  (And that includes kudos for Manager Dave Martinez, whose head I admit having called for during the early slump.)  And as for the future? What can one say except GO, NATS!!!

♦  One of the factors fueling the pollen issue I mention above is the fact that we really haven’t had any rain in several weeks now.  I don’t think anyone’s using the “D” word yet, but I did feel compelled to drag my soaker hose out to the pachysandra bed this week.  The lawn, on the other hand, can go to hell.

♦  Youngest Gel starts training for a side-gig over at Starbucks next week.  I generally avoid giving any money to Starbucks because, well, Starbucks.  But I’ve no qualms at all about taking money from them.  (The Gel took the initiative to get a job on her own, by the bye.  We’re very proud of her for that.)

♦  As for all the headlines?  Res ipsa loquitur.  I think what stops the Neo-Maoists from totally implementing their Great Leap Forward here at the moment is that we’re neither Chinese peasants nor Russian serfs, and cannot be so easily brainwashed or buffaloed.  Of course they’re trying to change that through the schools (and open boarders, and gun confiscation), but again, I don’t think they’re quite there.  Yet.  I’m not worried about my kids.  I am worried about my grandkids.

Well, perhaps that’s enough for now.  Ol’ Robbo has to get himself to the store, as I am cooking dinner for Mrs. R’s ‘rents, who are passing through town on their semi-annual migration along the Eastern Seaboard.  Fortunately, they really seem to like the way I grill salmon.

UPDATE:  The salmon was a success.  The In-laws heaped great praise upon it and, more to the point, they ate all of it.

It’s funny because I don’t do anything special.  I simply coat the filets with olive oil and cook them over charcoal in a Weber fish basket.  To the extent there’s any art involved, it consists of making sure they’re cooked all the way through (the thought of underdone fish revolts me) without scorching them.  It’s just a question of turning them about and flipping them from time to time and not getting them too close to the hottest part of the coals.

What’s even funnier is that I personally loathe fish unless it’s fried.  (And even then, it’s not my favorite.)  But in keeping with my mackeral snapper practices, I pulled a spicy shrimp BBQ recipe off the innertoobs at random which turned out to be pretty durn good.  I pass it along (with my personal modifications) for your consideration:

First, the coating:

Garlic – the recipe calls for one clove only, Vasili,** but this is nonsense.  I used the majority of a head.  In the Robbo lexicon, there is no such phrase as “too much garlic”.

1 teaspoon course salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice (I used four – see my comment above re garlic)

Mash up the garlic (I used a press) and add all the other ingredients.  Beat into a paste.

The recipe says this is enough for 2 1/2 pounds of shrimp, which I think is wildly optimistic.  But then I like my coatings heavy.  I found these amounts just enough to cover half a pound.

Next, the preparation and cooking:

The recipe also says to “toss” the coating with the shrimp, but that’s messy.  Instead, I skewered the shrimp flat-wise and painted the paste on both sides with a brush.  I also let it all marinate for about two hours.

Then, grill on the barbie until cooked all the way through.  When I marinated the skewers, I did so in a disposable aluminum baking pan.  When ready to cook, I simply put the pan on the grill.  The heat is distributed very evenly, the shrimp stay moist, and clean-up is a breeze.

Serve on a bed of rice.

Enjoy!  But do not count on being kissed by your spouse afterwards.  (See my comment above re garlic.)

 

** Spot the reference

 

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo was truly disappointed that his beloved Nats dropped three out of four to the Braves over the weekend.  At least we didn’t get swept.

At nine games back now, I doubt we’re going to be able to catch them, especially as they’re surging and we’ve started wobbling a bit of late.  (Never say never, I know, but that hole we dug for ourselves at the beginning of the season is starting to look just too deep.)

Here’s hoping we can hold on to our wildcard lead, however.

So what else is there to say except

GO, NATS!!!

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Sometimes the days are random.  Sometimes they’re really random.  I think today goes in the latter class.

♦  Holla! Holla! Watch – Eldest Gel went back to Sweet Briar to start her senior year this morning.  Mrs. R went as well, in part to carry overflow junk in a second car, in part because both of them have been invited to take part in a legacy-recruitment project and the dean of students wanted to have dinner with them.  I think the Gel’s going to have a most-productive year.  And here’s a fun fact for you:  With her move-in today, Eldest is now rooming on the same side of the same hallway of the same dorm as did both Mrs. Robbo and my Sistah (albeit, not at the same time).  I think that’s pretty neat.

♦  Meanwhile, Ol’ Robbo had to take Youngest to an oral surgeon for a consultation about having all her wisdom teeth yanked.  We sat in that office for a total of something close to two hours, while the consultation itself took all of five minutes (and was pretty durn expensive, too).  The coming en-yankening is not something I envy her.

♦  Speaking of Youngest, I was surprised to learn today (when it was delivered) that she’d gone out and bought herself a Study Bible.  Apparently, her recent return to our Christian Sports Camp (where she’s applying to be a counselor-in-training next year) really had an effect on her, as she told me today she’s never felt so close to God before.  She plans on doing Young Life at school this year, too.  Go figure.

Not that I’m complaining at all, at all, mind.

♦  And speaking of deliveries, we got a notice today from our homeowner’s insurance carrier that they’re dropping our coverage in a couple months.  They explained that it’s nothing we’ve done, they’re just getting out of the private residential market.  Very strange.  So I suppose I’ll need to shop around now.  We’ve carried our cars with USAA for forever, and I’ve often mused about consolidating homeowner’s coverage with them as well.  This may prove an opportunity.  Of course, any tips or recommendations would be appreciated.

Well, that’s enough.  I suppose I should go see about some din-dins, and then make up my mind whether I want to watch “Casablanca” or “The Brothers Grimm” (which I’ve never seen) this evening.  (Ol’ Robbo’s beloved Nats are playing the Bucs, but there are so many storms in the area this evening the game is likely to get spooled out over many hours and I need my beauty rest.)  “Grimm” was recommended to me by Eldest because she knows of my fondness for Terry Gilliam movies and ones with Jonathan Pryce in them in particular.  If I watch it, I’ll let you know what I think.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

A delightful evening here in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor, especially considering that we’re sitting dead red in the center of August.  Loafing out on the porch, Ol’ Robbo thought he might provide you a few dainties on which to nibble as the sun goes down:

♦  Today was Ol’ Robbo’s second telework day of the new regime.  I think I can get used to this.  And yes, I’m finding it to actually be quite productive.  The question no doubt flies around the decanter, “So, was he wearing pants?”  Well, if you ask the Magic 8-Ball, you’ll only get the answer, “Reply hazy, ask again later“.

♦  I’m sorry, but as dearly as I love both Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, “Bringing Up Baby” is just not a funny movie.  “Holiday” is funny.  “Adam’s Rib” is funny.  But “Baby”? Just too manic and cutesy.  I don’t care what anybody else says. (I tried to re-watch it the other evening and couldn’t stick more than about half an hour.)

♦  Ol’ Robbo was excited to try out his brand new pair of running shoes this afternoon.  My previous pair was so old that I can’t even remember when I bought them.  They were so worn out that the heels were literally crumbling, causing my ankles and knees to corkscrew when I walked on the treadmill in them.  Not good.  I try not to fling my gold about more than necessary on personal items, but this purchase seemed to me quite justified.

♦  The consolation of having to go back to the Metro to commute to my new office is that I get a little extra reading time in.  Obviously, in such conditions one can’t get into anything too heavy or profound, so I’ve circled back round to my shelf of adventure stories.  At the moment, I’m revisiting H. Rider Haggard, specifically King Solomon’s Mines.  (I plan to read the rest of the Quartermain stories in turn.)  I half-hope that some SJW witnit will spot it and give me grief for my un-wokeness, but I’m not terribly optimistic.  These people are just too pathetically ignorant.

♦  Some fascinating conversations with Eldest Gel this week.  The other day we discussed God’s omniscience and existence outside of Time as it relates to Fatalism and Free Will. “Look,” she said in her direct way, “God knows what you’re going to do, of course.  But you’re still the one who makes up your mind to do it! Otherwise, you’re just a slave or a robot!”  Today, it was Schrödinger’s Cat.  I tried to suggest this was just a thought experiment, but she was having none of it. “The damned cat is either alive or it isn’t!” she said.  “It doesn’t matter at all whether you know it or not!  It’s like that tree in the forest – of course it makes a noise when it falls!”  It seems to me that a Gel who can avoid both the Scylla of Calvinism (and Islam) and the Charybdis of hipster quantum-theory navel gazing ought to go far.  Heh.

And yet this same Gel can’t seem to put her blasted dishes in the gorram dishwasher, no matter how much I rant.  Go figure.

Whelp, that’s about enough “filling up the corners” for now.***  Think I’ll toddle downstairs and see how my Beloved Nationals are doing.

See you in the Gardening Thread tomorrow.

 

***Spot the quote.  This ought to be an easy one.

UPDATE:  Ugh. Blown save.  Ol’ Robbo hates blown saves.

 

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is still enjoying his summah hols (as apparently, from my traffic meter and comment silence, are many of you!), but nonetheless thought he would toss up just a little bit of random here:

♦  Got myself in a bit of trouble on FacePlant yesterday.  My Beloved Nationals have been en fuego ever since the end of May and after an apparently suicidal first couple months are now only four games behind the Braves for the NL East lead.  (This may change since we’re playing the Dodgers this weekend.)  Anyhoo, their FB fan page keeps touting the fact that the Nats are “the Best Team in Baseball” since May 24.  All I said was that this sort of thing carries the danger of awaking the wrath of the Baseball Gods and that maybe there’s a better, less apparently boastful, way to put it.  For this I was rebuked.  I’m not wrong.

Speaking of which, I’ve been invited by long-time friend of the blog NOVA Curmudgeon to go catch a game against said Braves next week.  My first time in the ballpark all season.  I’m really looking forward to it.

♦  For the steak-lovers here, I can heartily recommend Blackstones Grille in Southport, CT as a fine place to dine.  Their idea of how to cook a piece of meat comports exactly with mine.  I would only recommend that you bring a yuge appetite and, if possible, a wealthy benefactor.

♦  Last evening the Elder Gels and I watched “Con Air” together.  It was the first time for both of them even though they’re Nick Cage fans.  Hy-Larity ensued.

♦  Ol’ Robbo was complaining about the heat wave here last week.  What a lovely, lovely change a few days have made.  Cool and crisp this morning.  Is this Globull Enwarmening or the New Ice Age?  I’m confused…..

♦  Finally, I haven’t been up and down I-95 north of Dee Cee for a while, so it was only this week that I discovered the Delaware service center has been renamed the Biden Welcome Center.  Personally, I think “Creepy Uncle Joe’s Truck Stop” is more le mot juste, but that’s just me.

Well, that’s enough for now.  Time to go deal with weeds…….

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, I see that MLB’s “All-Star Game” is being played this evening.  As fond as I am of baseball, I have no intention of watching.  To me, the game – and the week’s worth of hoopla that surrounds it – is really just a meaningless stunt.

Ol’ Robbo is happy to see that the two Nationals selected to the NL team, pitcher “Mad” Max Schertzer and third baseman Anthony “Tony Two-Bags” Rendon, have chosen to sit this one out.

I spent a good bit of time here early in the season bewailing my beloved Nats’ dreadful start, but in case you haven’t noticed, they’ve got the best record in MLB since the end of May, are now in 2nd in the NL East, and are furiously chasing the Braves.  I’m glad that they’ve been honored and all, but Max and Tony simply decided that they’re better off avoiding the risk of injury in a worthless show game, and instead concentrating on the Team.  I like that a lot.

So I’ll simply wait out tonight and the rest of the week watching old “Star Trek” reruns and catching up on my Netflix queue, and look forward to the second half race, which I think could be a real humdinger.

What else is there to say except

GO, NATS!!!

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