April 30, 2010

Random Commuter Observation

I just love the smell of freshly-washed sidewalks in the sun.

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April 29, 2010

Border Patrol

I say nothing about the current hoo-haw about Arizona taking illegal immigration enforcement into its own hands, because frankly I don't know enough of the details of the legislation to offer any reasonably intelligent comment.

I am, however, delighted by the tizzy into which so many people seem to have been thrown by the Grand Canyon State's recent resolution on the matter. Something that has this many panties in a wad across the political spectrum must be good!

As I think I've said here before, illegal immigration is a dodgy matter. On the one hand, I understand that the United States cannot simply yell "Ollie, Ollie, Oxen Free!" to everyone seeking to gain entry. On the other, I am perfectly convinced that if I were a Mexican peasant looking to provide some kind of life for my family, I'd be out there swimming the damned Rio Grande, too. Immigration itself is not bad. The issue is management of such immigration.

I suppose that in the end, I take the position articulated by someone or other recently of supporting high walls but wide gates.

Posted by Robert at 10:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Girlie-Man In A Bottle

This can't possibly be a good idea:

Scientists have invented what women want in a man - the sensitivity spray.

They say it is capable of turning the most macho of hunks into a dewy-eyed baby-kisser who says all the right things and stops going down the pub.

Researchers of the Neuromudlation of Emotion - NEMO - faculty at the Friedrich-Wilhelms-University of Bonn say the spray uses the hormone oxytocin, sometimes called 'the cuddle chemical' as it stimulates affectionate feelings in humans.

The scientists worked with researchers at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge and the results of their work are published today FRI in the Journal of Neuroscience.

In experiments, 24 healthy men took nasal sprays containing oxytocin while 24 others received a placebo.

Afterwards the guinea pigs were shown 'emotionally loaded' photographs including a crying child, a young girl embracing a cat and a man in mourning.

The participants were than asked to describe the level of empathy they felt with the subjects in the pictures.

He said they reached the 'levels of sensitivity usually found in females.'

After which I suppose they all get together for a Love, Actually party.

Yech. Just.........yech.

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Ken Salazar's decision this week to permit a windmill farm off of Cape Cod seems to have the greenies, American Indians, and the exhalted Kennedy Clan at each other's throats. I love it..

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What more needs to be said?

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April 28, 2010


It does not matter when it comes to the gals who share today as their day:

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Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Glory Daze Division

Nats Hat.jpg

Well, I don't really even care if we flame out later on. The fact of the matter is that with this afternoon's win at Wrigley, the Nats (12-10) are in the glorious position in the last week of April of being tied with the Phils for second behind Gary's suddenly surging Mets.

May I just say: WOOOOO HOOOO!!!


Posted by Robert at 04:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 26, 2010

Robbo Is Currently Listening To.....

Yesterday found the Family Robbo on a whirlwind visit to the vast but secure landholding known as Fort LMC, there to witness the baptism of the newest of the LMC's younglings.

The baptism took place in a private ceremony immediately following Mass and was presided over by a priest who, it occurred to me much later, looked exactly like the creepy doctor who was going to torture Der Ahnold for information in True Lies and who Der Ahnold instead gave a detailed (and accurate) description of his own death shortly before it happened.

At any rate, there were five babies scheduled for dunking. Four of them, together with family and friends, assembled on time. The fifth was about twenty minutes late and only appeared after the ceremony was already well under way. The priest, who had been scanning the horizon and looking at his watch throughout, took one look at the new arrival, muttered "Too late..." and carried on with what he was doing.

I didn't see what happened after the latecomers were told to get lost, but I assume they'll have to come back next month. Perhaps they've learned a valuable lesson about punctuality.

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April 25, 2010

Which Is Worse (2010 NFL Draft Division)?

Being a NY Giants fan finding out your team wasted their 7th round pick on a punter?

Or being one of the other 34 guys picked after that who have come to the realization that the New York Football Giants would rather choose a punter over them?


Posted by Gary at 08:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Mets Update (Braaaiiiinnnsss Division)

The Zombie Mets are showing a bit of life this past week at home by clawing themselves out of the grave to hit the .500 mark against Atlanta.


If they can scrape a 2-2 over the next four games (1 Braves + 3 Dodgers) they will remain at .500 as they prepare to face the Phillies next Friday - something I would have thought unimaginable a couple of weeks ago. Hey, it's a start.

But my mantra this season will remain intact - Bring Back Bobby Valentine!!

Posted by Gary at 07:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

It's Come To This

You know those ads on the intertubes that detect your IP address and announce "_________ Mom Makes $77/hr online" sticking your hometown in the blank?

Well, I don't mind that they use the same stock photo to represent the local mom but I really don't believe that they got the proper copyright release to use this image (nor did they get our permission here at the Butcher Shop):

Melissa is local mom.jpg

Color me put-out.

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April 24, 2010


The Magellan crapped out last Sunday evening a few miles short of Fort LMC as I was coming back from drill in Charlotte. It provided nearly a year and a half of faithful service right up until it delivered the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. BJ's has several navigational aids and the Garmin Nuvi fit the ticket. I can see the start of the next LMC road trip now . . . All personnel present and strapped in? Check. Esential baggage? Check. Communcations? Check. Weapons? Manned and ready in all respects! Navigation? "Course plotted and laid in!"

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Not an accessory.

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Valerie Bertinelli hit the big 5-0 yesterday according to the local fishwrapper.

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April 23, 2010

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - "Serenity Now!" Division


Mom's favorite columnist, Dr. Krauth, has a piece today on the joy of good-natured fandom down at Nats Town these past awful years. He ends with a warning that change may be coming:

But now I fear for my bliss. Hope, of a sort, is on the way — in the form of Stephen Strasburg, the greatest pitching prospect in living memory. His fastball clocks 103 mph and his slider, says Tom Boswell, breaks so sharply it looks like it hit a bird in midair. In spring training, center fielder Nyjer Morgan nicknamed him Jesus. Because of the kid’s presence, persona, charisma? Nope. Because “that’s what everybody says the first time they see Strasburg throw,” explained Morgan. “Jeeee-sus.”

I’m worried. Even before Strasburg has arrived from the minor leagues, the Nats are actually doing well. They’re playing .500 ball for the first time in five years. They are hovering somewhere between competent mediocrity and respectability. When Jesus arrives — my guess is late May — they might actually be good.

They might soon be, gasp, a contender. In the race deep into September. Good enough to give you hope. And break your heart.

Where does one then go for respite?

Ya got me. Hopefully, success (if it comes) will not transmogrify us into knuckle-dragging barbarians like, say, the Phils crowd.

I haven't said a single thing about Strasburg, by the way. Haven't even thought about him. Not going to buy into it until he's up there on the mound fanning guys out. Where there's no hope, there's no disappointment.


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Happy Earth Day!

Belatedly, it's true.

In celebration of this mishmash of pagan foolishness and sneaking Marxist collectivisation, Robbo went out and failed his Jeep's emissions test this morning.

Think I'll drive a few times round the block before taking her in to be fixed, just to show the Gaia-worshippers what I think of 'em.

Posted by Robert at 10:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 22, 2010

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - "Loose Lips Sink Screech" Edition

Nats Hat.jpg

Proclaimeth our Maximum Leader:

A note to Robbo. What the heck man? Every time you blog about the Nats playing well, they come back and get slaughtered.

Well, there may be something to this, since I didn't post about them yesterday and they knocked off the Rockies again last night.

On the other hand, I feel I ought to say something about the Nats. But how to go about it without exciting the wrath of the Baseball Gods?

Two possibilities come to mind at the moment.

First is reverse psychology: Oh, no! The Nats won again! I can't believe it!! And after secretly betting all that money that the Phils would take the division, Guido's gonna break my legs when I can't pay up!

The other is to talk gibberish, like, say, the Fool from Lear: Strike more than thou showest, walk less than thou knowest, pop less than thou owest, steal more than thou goest. Or perhaps the more pithy: Zimm's a-cold,—O, do de, do de, do de!

Well, we'll figure it out.

In the meantime, carefully noting that I've said nothing, NOTHING, here about the quality of the Nats' play, I will nonetheless venture to cheer them on.


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April 21, 2010


Andie MacDowell

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Today is her day.

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Salt For The Goose

But not for the gander.

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday announced a gradual but potentially far-reaching effort to reduce the amount of salt Americans consume in a bid to combat high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes and other health problems that have soared to near-epidemic proportions.

The FDA's efforts will begin by seeking voluntary cutbacks by the food industry. But ultimately, the agency may resort to regulating acceptable levels of sodium in food and beverages.

"Nothing is off the table," said FDA spokeswoman Meghan Scott. "Everyone's in agreement that something needs to be done….We just don't know what it's going to look like."

If I may borrow a line from another debate, "Hey, FDA! Keep your laws off my body!"

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April 20, 2010

Your Quote Of The Day

A G-File-worthy thought from Jonah:

I don't say "I told you so" often ("That's because you so rarely turn out to be right," — The Couch). But I do think that my prescient, dare-I-say Churchillian, calls for the development and deployment of volcano-lancing technology are being vindicated more and more every day. Must we wait until the Yellowstone Caldera destroys much of North America before people pay heed?

Faster, please.


Posted by Robert at 09:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Robbo Is Currently Listening To.....

Yes, following on last night's defeat of the Rockies, the Nats are back to playing better than .500 ball.

We're three for four on this home stand, and although as our Maximum Leader notes, the Brewers rang up 10 runs in the first inning of yesterday's loss, nevertheless the Nats rallied back and damn near beat them for the sweep of that series, anyway. And they certainly didn't play last night like a team that was still licking its wounds from the day before.

We're half a game behind Atlanta for third in what's probably the toughest division in all of MLB, and four of our six losses have come at the hands of The Team Who Shall Not Be Named, who are strong contenders to go to the Series again.

At what point are folks going to start giving us some credit for the changes we've made and the evident results? (And didn't I say that Ian Desmond ought to get the starting SS slot? Why, yes I did.) At what point do the Nat'nals jokes stop?

Soon, hopefully, although I think the Nats are going to have to do something pretty durn spectacular to change their image in the eyes of all but their most loyal fans.

One of which, I hope I have proven myself to be.


Posted by Robert at 08:07 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Random Commuter Observation

Yesterday I got a ticket for parking in a reserved slot at the West Falls Church metro without displaying a reserved tag.

It isn't that I don't have one, I just forgot to hang it up on my mirror before wandering off to the trains.

50 bucks. Poof!

You know, I've been parking at that metro stop for better than fifteen years now. I've had a reserved slot for better than six. Every now and again I forget to hang my tag, or (they're issued monthly) I use an expired one because I've forgotten to bring along the new one.

Never in all that time have I been ticketed for these infractions. Not once. Until now.

Ladies and Gentlemen, they told me that if McCain got elected we would find ourselves living in a police state, and they were right!

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April 19, 2010


For no particular reason other a callout for deviant beahvior last year prompted her to memtion this song.

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Ashley turned 42 today and is still going strong--

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April 17, 2010

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Inside Slider Division


Well, perhaps my watching the Nats play is not such a curse after all, because I sat all through last night's very exciting 5-3 win over the Brewers. UPDATE: Actually, I missed both Dunn's ejection and Willy Harris getting caught in a run-down. How odd and refreshing that the bad things happen when I'm not watching.

This time last year, I'm not sure if we'd won more than a single game yet. This year? We're playing .500 ball. How about that? If we finished up with an 81-81 record, I think I'd be perfectly satisfied. UPDATE: Make that better than .500, as we took another one off the Brewers this afternoon, 8-0. No, I wasn't watching that one, instead assisting the eldest Llama-ette's softball team's cruise to another victory.

One thing about last night's MASN broadcast that made me chuckle: Some time in the later innings when Bob Carpenter and "Angry" Rob Dibble were bantering about something or other, Dibble made a passing reference to having "stuffed" the President.

Don't know what I'm talking about? Let's go to the video tape:

Heh. At the time I remarked from my experience of listening to Bob and Rob that I could sense the growing disbelief between them as The One ducked and dodged. Dibble's remark last evening suggests he cherished the moment, too.


Posted by Robert at 09:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 16, 2010

Random Commuter Observation

The Segway tour, a sure sign of the high touron season here in Your Nation's Capital, is probably the single dorkiest thing I've ever seen on the roads, even beating out the Duck Tour.

The latest offering is a Lincoln Assassination Tour, tooling about in between the White House, Ford's Theatre and related sites.

Folks, it's a lousy couple blocks. Use your damned feet!

Oh, and sooper-sekret message to the crew headed north on 8th Street toward the American Portrait Gallery last evening and spread out all over the road? There was a guy in a big Buick with Maryland plates stuck behind you just itching to gun it and mow your road-hog backsides down.

Posted by Robert at 02:11 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Keepin' It Classy

In the City of Brotherly Chunder

PHILADELPHIA — A New Jersey man is facing charges after police say he intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl in the stands during a Phillies game.

Twenty-one-year-old Matthew Clemmens of Cherry Hill, N.J., was arraigned early Friday morning on charges stemming from an incident during Wednesday night’s Phillies-Nationals game.

Police say Clemmens began trying to make himself vomit on an off-duty police captain and his family after a companion was removed from the stadium for unruly behavior.

Easton police Capt. Michael Vangelo says he saw Clemmens put his fingers down his throat and throw up, hitting Vangelo and his 11-year-old daughter. Philadelphia police say Clemmens also punched Vangelo and vomited on an arresting officer.

Clemmens was in custody Friday morning on charges including assault and harassment. Bail was set at $12,000.

Niiiiiice. I was chatting with somebody last weekend who reported similar obnoxious Philly Phan behavior at the Nats' home opener. And isn't it always Iggles fans who get in trouble for throwing ice balls?

What is it with these people?

Yips! from Gary:
I think it gets worse when the teams are more successful.

Matthew Clemmens Fat Loser.jpg

Matthew Clemmons - Loser
"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."
- Dean Vernon Wormer

They don't know how to handle actually winning.

Posted by Robert at 09:07 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM)

Nats Hat.jpg

Not to belabor the point below, but I missed yesterday's Nats' game and, lo and behold, they came back to win against the Phils 7-5, thus denying Mink Monica her broom.

Perhaps this is just a Phils thing? I'd hate to think that I have to bar myself from watching the games for the rest of the season. We'll find out this evening, as the Brewers are in town for the weekend and I intend to watch the opener on teevee with the Llama-ettes.


Posted by Robert at 08:39 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 15, 2010

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Curse of the Robbo Llama Edition

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I turned on the game against the Phils in the middle of the 5th inning last night to find the Nats hanging in there in a 7-7 tie.

Three and a half innings later and the game was over in a 14-7 Phils' rout. (I think it was Nyger Morgan getting caught in a dumbass pick at first that deflated the team.)

This sort of thing seems to happen to me. Perhaps the team would be better off if I didn't watch.

Posted by Robert at 12:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 14, 2010

Oyez? Oh, No!

Let me make absolutely clear that if nominated to fill the seat to be vacated by Justice Stephens on the Supreme Court, I will decline. If confirmed in that seat by the Senate, I will not serve.

"But, Tom," you may be saying, "Why not? It's security for life. It's rock-star fame. Plus, since everyone knows the law clerks do all the heavy lifting, it's a cushy gig, too."

Well, I'll tell you.

A few weeks back, Mr. and Mrs. LMC left the vast but secure holdings known as Ft. LMC to come up for a visit at Orgle Manor. (In fact, it was for the eldest Llama-ette's twelfth birthday, they being her Godparents.)

At some point during the weekend, a copy of our mutual law school class yearbook was dug out of the corner of one of the more obscure shelves in the Orgle Manor library. I hadn't clapped eyes on the thing in a good ten years or so.

Opening the book and beholding my twenty year younger self, I was mortified. It isn't that I've aged very much, because I haven't. Instead, I simply could not believe what a prized prat I seemed, with glazed eyes and crooked frown. I didn't look scholarly. I didn't look lawyerly. Instead, I looked like I had a serious case of the piles. (As a matter of fact, I recall that what I did have when the photo was shot was a serious hangover.) If the present me were asked to consider a job application with the then-me mug attached to it, I'd have laughed heartily and tossed it straight into the trash. (And if you say that perhaps accomplishments matter more than looks, I would reply that all things considered I was a pretty mediocre student.)

Anyway, the thought of the press getting their hooks on that pic and splashing it all over the teevee is more than enough of a horror to keep me from ever pursuing a position that's likely to draw such attention. No. Thankee.

Posted by Robert at 01:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 13, 2010

Gratuitous Office Observation

I fail to see why people think Word is a better platform than WordPerfect. To me, they're equally irritating.

That is all.

UPDATE: For reasons known only to itself, the spam thingy has decided that I am too suspicious a character to comment on my own post. Go figure.

What I wanted to say was yes, I agree that reveal codes is a good WP feature, and it has certainly helped me often in figuring out what the @#(*$&#( is the matter with the @#(*&#( formatting of the doc on which I'm working.

On the other hand, there is something about the way it displays when clicked on that has the same seizure-inducing effect on me as certain Japanese animated shows are supposed to have on epileptic kids. I can only stand to look at it for a few minutes. And I certainly cannot compose when it is on.

Anyhoo, the debate will be moot soon because the Powers That Be have declared we're going with Word and that's that.

Posted by Robert at 12:04 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

April 12, 2010


Mrs. LMC and I decided several months ago that my oldest will follow his little sister to the local Catholic school next fall. In the meantime, we have tried (without much success) to attend to the lad's religious education through a kind of outpatient program through our parish church: "Family Faith Formation". Alas, attendance was rather spotty which is one of the reasons we opted for the resident course at the elementary school. I received a call this morning from my bride to inform me that one of the program coordinators called one of her cronies, a mom with a kid in the Family Faith class, to fill in for one of the teachers. When Mrs. LMC's friend told this functionary that she was not Catholic, this person told her not to worry. The friend will no doubt do her best but this functionary should have not put her in that positon since the gal is not only not Catholic, she is not even Christian. In fact, she is a Muslim--albeit a nonpracticing one.

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Random Lunchtime Observations

I have realized of late that my sekret superpower is the ability to sense which of the eight elevators in the lobby is going to open its doors first and position myself accordingly.

It's my plan to include this power in my application for membership in the Justice League. It may not seem like much, but if someone needs to get to the top of a building in a hurry and Superman isn't around to fly them there, it could be very useful.

Posted by Robert at 02:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Even Stevens Division

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Well, whadayaknow? The Nats finish their first week with a record of 3-3 after taking a pair off Gary's Mets over the weekend. Heck, I can live with that.

While I watched the opener of the Mets series Friday night (a dismal, wind-blown affair in which the Nats just seemed to give up), I was too busy the rest of the weekend to catch the games. However, on Saturday afternoon as I was mowing the back yard, the eldest Llama-ette suddenly came bursting out of the house yelling, "Dad! Dad! Willy Harris just made a diving catch in left with bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 9th to win the game! Isn't that awesome?"

Then on Sunday afternoon, as I cleared some puckerbrush, she again came bursting out of the house, yelling "Dad! Dad! The Nats won again! And Willingham got a grand slam! Isn't that awesome?"

Friends, I tell you truly that even if I screw up every other aspect of raising this kid, I can at least chalk up the instillation of a love of baseball in the win column.

Speaking of wins, I suppose it's going to be tough to get any more soon, since we go to hell Philadelphia for their home opener tonight. On the other hand, the Nats are the only team to have handed teh Phils a loss so far, so who knows?


Posted by Robert at 06:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 11, 2010


The 25th college reunion is approaching and the good folks at W&L sent out a reunion update to the 1985 edition of the yearbook. Alums were invited to send in a picture to be displayed with the freshman facebook pics from 29 years ago and give some thoughts on families, careers, and what they liked most about the old school. Mine arrived yesterday and I blew a few hours on a stroll down memory lane. A few surprises: the college sweethearts whose marriage crashed, the classmate whose wife successfully battled cancer, and the guy who married another guy in Massachusetts. Most referred to themselves in the first person but a few have the "Bob Dole" technique of referring to themselves in the annoying third person.

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April 10, 2010


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Appros of nothing.

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One can straddle the fence for only so long before the game is up as Bart realizes he is toast. This reminds me of a certain law school dean who attempted to have it both ways on the explosive issue of gays in the military just after the Gulf War. "Et tu, Randy?"

Linkie courtesy of the fine folks at Hot Air; Robbo soundbite from the alma mater student scandal sheet

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April 09, 2010

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - "Oh-KAY, Then!" Division **


Nats put up their first W with a 6-5 victory over Philly, thereby denying Mink Monica the opportunity to snark about brooms.

I missed the game, being busy helping coach the eldest Llama-ette's softball opener, but as her team managed to claw back from an early 5 run hole to win, I'd say it was well worth it.

Tonight we visit the incredible architectural abomination known as Citi Field to take on Gary's Mets.


**Spot the quote.

Posted by Robert at 07:51 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 08, 2010

Raise Shields

We Llamas seem to have been picked up by a new political blog dump called Lucid Truth, so I suppose I'd better say something political.

NPR was full of the nooz of Obama signing a new missile treaty with Ivan this morning. In general, I've got no problem with the idea of reducing the nucular inventory a bit, especially when it means effectively cycling out some of the older junk. (I gather that the treaty language is more an accounting game for show than anything else.)

But what gives me the chills is any talk of linking stockpile reductions to putting the kybosh on missile defense. This absolutely must not happen, as ABM development is just too critical in a world full of potentially pot-shotting rogue states. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, Iran and North Korea.) Sure, an American missile defense shield gives Ivan the willies (isn't it funny that the Russians are the only ones who have always believed that we'd actually build one that works?), but in the face of this threat, I'd say screw him. If the NY Times is correct, Obama may actually see sense on this matter, too:

Even as the two presidents hailed the treaty, however, they found no common ground on American plans to build an anti-missile shield in Europe to counter any Iranian threat. Mr. Obama refused Russian demands to include limits on missile defense in the treaty, nearly scuttling the agreement. In the days leading up to the ceremony here, Russian officials alternately claimed the agreement would bind the program or complained that it did not and threatened to withdraw if it went forward.

If that report is accurate, then I will actually say good for you, Mr. President. But stay strong and don't cave down the road. If the report is wrong and the White House is actually doing some kind of backroom deal with Ivan, then I hope the Senate is sane enough to kill the thing.

Posted by Robert at 08:21 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - "Well, We've Still Got 160 Games To Go" Division

Nats Hat.jpg

Sat down to watch my first Nats game of the year last evening.

Okay, it was another loss to the Phils (shush, Monica), but at least it wasn't an embarrassing loss: the bullpen actually looked pretty good, and if we'd managed to knock in some of those runners we left stranded all over the bags, we'd have been right back in it.

A work in progress, still, I'm afraid.

I haven't as who should say given up on the series closer this afternoon. Indeed, were it not for the Llama-ettes softball opener this evening, I would be strongly inclined to sneak off to NatsTown and watch it. But what I'm really looking forward to now is tomorrow night's visit to Gary's Mets.


Posted by Robert at 08:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 07, 2010

Random Commuter Observation, Part 2

Ah, Spring!

Or, since we've had a spate of days with afternoon temperatures in the upper 80's this week, ah, early Summah!

Not that I would want to be accused of indulging in overgeneralizations (Moi?), but the fact of the matter is that many, many people haven't the faintest idea of how to dress themselves. No sense of style. No appreciation of how to, shall we say, accentuate the positive and downplay the negative. Indeed, no clue whatsoever.

Now in winter this doesn't matter so much: All those layers act as the sartorial equivalent of the child's drawing trick of turning any mistake into a cloud.

But in summah? There is no such defense. The minimalization of clothing causes every bad idea to stand out all the more.

Posted by Robert at 07:10 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Random Commuter Observation, Part One

Ah, Spring!

Contacts? Say a big "welcome back" to pollen!

Remember, friends, if you run into ol' Robbo on the streets of Your Nation's Capital, I'm not scowling, I'm just half blind.

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April 06, 2010

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM) - Invasion Of The Phanatics Division

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Dan Steinberg on the salt in the wound of the Nats' opening day humiliation:

Maybe having tens of thousands Philadelphia fans invade your home stadium is inevitable. Their city is nearby. Their team is successful. Their fans evidently don't have work responsibilities. That's cool. I get it.

Still, it rankles D.C. fans. It will always rankle D.C. fans., whether Redskins fans staring at Terrible Towels, Caps fans being drowned out in their own building (in the bad old days) or Nats fans surrounded on Opening Day. And there seem to remain some indications that the powers-that-be don't understand that.

Witness Mark Lerner's recent interview with Nats 320, in which he was asked about winning over more D.C.-area residents. After admitting the team needs to establish a stronger brand locally, he said this:

I also would tell you that we intend to broaden our audience beyond the 5.5 million [local residents]. There is no other sports franchise in America that can claim to represent the National Pastime in the Nation's Capital. We want everyone who visits Washington, D.C. to see the White House, the Capitol, and all the monuments, to join us when they spend their summer evenings in our city. We see the Nationals becoming America's Home Team. Our city belongs to all Americans, and we believe our team does, too. We are one Metro stop from the U.S. Capitol, and absolutely the finest sports venue to see the Capitol lights at night.

As generic boilerplate rhetoric, independent from actual events, that's fine enough. In light of the past two games at Nationals Park, though, it reads like an open invitation to the world to come rape and pillage Half Street, or at least fill D.C.'s stadium with the wrong chants. Washington sports fans don't want to root for a team that belongs to all Americans; they want to root for a team that belongs to them.

Damned right.

I found myself fuming about this as I made my way home from work yesterday afternoon, detouring around legions of smug Phanatics on the sidewalks, getting jostled and breathed on by more of them in the Metro, doing everything in my power to avoid whipping out my Nats hat (I had it in my briefcase to use at softball practice), put it on backwards and begin slitting throats.

Sooper-Sekret Message to Philly: GO HOME!!!!

Posted by Robert at 12:37 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

April 05, 2010


The Red Cross is relentless about getting me in every two months or so to drain me of another installment of B- (CMV-free, thank you). I have tried to do this consistently for the last thirty years as one of the ways I try to work off the many points I have no doubt accumulated on my license, so to speak. This time, I failed to drink enough water before donating and wound up dangerously close to passing out--complete with the shakes, cold sweat, and that sudden, dizzy feeling. The staff was quick to spot my slide and before I knew, my feet were up, I was getting fanned, and being fed enough apple juice to tank up an entire first grade class. Lesson learned.

Posted by LMC at 06:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


The next installment of the Resident Evil series--all Mila, all the time.

(linkie courtesy of Agent Bedhead)

Can be enjoyed equally with the sound off or on.

Yes, I am that shallow.

Posted by LMC at 06:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Opening Day Posting

Nats Hat.jpg

Nats Only One Game Behind Phillies in NL East Race.

No matter. We'll get 'em Wednesday.


Posted by Robert at 03:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Presented Without Further Comment.....

Posted by Robert at 12:34 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Ah, Spring! When A Middle-Aged Llama's Fancy Turns To Pestering The Missus

It's Knapp the Llama:

He’s big, for a llama: strongly built, with a coat that is long, thick and creamy-white, touched with the occasional caramel streak. His eyelashes are as luxuriant and fetching as Andy Burnham’s. He carries himself with an air of Monarch of the Glen; his head and physiognomy are of a noble aspect. Undoubtedly Knapp possesses the kingly qualities.

And, perhaps because of his relaxed air of command, this llama is exceptionally good-natured. You never see him flatten his ears back — a sign of affront or ill-humour in llamas. He has never once spat; and he is easy to catch and lead, and unafraid of human touch. He resents, it is true, his scarlet head-collar, and tries to pull it off — but I like that in him: I wouldn’t care for a head-collar either.

And Knapp’s behaviour towards his wives is (in every respect but one) unfailingly chivalrous. He lets them dip their snouts into the corn bucket first, and when they spit at him to keep him away from food, he withdraws with dignity, and stands a little way off while they feed. He never takes food from his children. Nor does he hang about or boss llama mothers and their offspring around. Knapp’s habit is to graze some 50 yards away from the women and children — but always keeping them within sight. While maintaining his distance he has an eye out for their safety at all times. On occasions when we’ve put him in a separate field he reacts with pain and agitation, stations himself at the point in the fence from which he can see them best, and stares across at them all day, vexed that he cannot be on hand to guard them. He is never happy until reunited, though the wives show little pleasure when he does come back.

I hinted, however, at a fly in the ointment. Sex. A breeding male, Knapp has embraced this role with an excess of zeal. Frankly, he has been a bit of a sex pest, and inclined (as we say in the North Midlands) to bother his wife, or wives. When (and only when) love is in the air, he becomes aggressive, even dangerous. And with him, love is often in the air.

Seems to me like some pretty reasonable expectations of marital give and take on Knapp's part. But then I'm a guy, so what do I know?

Do not tell Mrs. Robbo how the author went about dealing with this randy camelid.

Yips! to the Jurist, who sent the article along via the Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack.

Posted by Robert at 12:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Touron Observation

On Saturday, Mrs. Robbo and the Llama-ettes, plus Robbo's visiting brother and his family of five, all went downtown in Your Nation's Capital in order to view the cherry blossoms and generally see the sights.

Them and about a jillion other people, apparently.

Sensing in advance the crowding, the heat and the general unpleasantness involved in such a jaunt, I point-blank refused to go with them, contenting myself instead to put the finishing touches on cleaning Orgle Manor and making preparations for feeding a dozen souls at Easter Dinner.

Yes, I wound up working pretty hard, but I'm quite convinced that I chose wisely.

Posted by Robert at 11:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 03, 2010


Mark Steyn, insightful as always, over at National Review. Of all of the foreign policy gaffes SWMNBN has made, the least understandable is the call for Great Britian and Agentina to negotiate over the Falklands. IMHO, Mrs. Thatcher definitively closed that subject when she sent the fleet to the South Atlantic possession to clear it of Agentine invaders. I still recall her words in the House of Commons a day or so after the Agentine invasion: "The people of the Falklands may be few in number but they have the right to live in peace and determine their own destiny. Their way of life is British and their allegience is to the Crown." In other words: "I'm coming and hell is coming with me."

Posted by LMC at 08:48 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Gratuitous Mets Update

Well, it's that time again and while Robbo has been all over Spring Training with the Nationals I've been cringing behind the dugout looking for any reason to feel hope for my beleaguered NY Mets.


Not much to be enthusiastic about. It's essentially the same starting pitching rotation. And these youngins haven't been inspiring much confidence lately. Of course the official site is putting on a happy face with the headline: Pelfrey Has High Expectations For Himself. Not nearly as high as the expectations of the opposing line-ups who'll no doubt be beating him like Ike Turner all season.

One-third of the starters sidelined for Opening Day - no Beltran, no Reyes, no Murphy. And what better way to head into the weekend before the start of the season with a vicious spanking at the hands of Robbo's Nats?

Fearless 2010 forecast: The best this crew can aspire to is one win win over .500 and landing somewhere in the middle of the pack (ideally not behind Washington).

Oh and bonus prediction for the cross-town rivals in the Bronx. Start off slow, below expectations. Their fans will bitch for two months. They'll get competitive for the division come mid-summer and surge in late August/early September to grab the AL East pennant. I've been to that movie too many times.

Last Day of Spring Training Update:
Oh, for the love of God. Orioles 11, Mets 0

Posted by Gary at 06:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 02, 2010


From the local paper: a few nights ago, Somali pirates in a skiff decided to pick a fight with a medium-sized ship around midnight, apparently expecting that the merchantman would do the usual -- heave to, be boarded, and the ship and her crew ransomed off at a nice profit. Unfortunately for the pirates, the ship they picked happened to be USS Nicholas, a Perry-class frigate. The skiff was destroyed in short order and the mother ship intercepted and captured.

Posted by LMC at 07:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Anna Paquin has come out as playing for both teams, as if anyone cares. I have a lingering suspicion this is one of the holy trinity of indicia of a starlet whose career is on the skids: photo shoots in skin mags, movies on the estrogen channels, and experimentation of the sort Dr. Rusty does not oppose. In any event, here she is:

Flixster - Share Movies
Posted by LMC at 06:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 01, 2010

Der Ahnold: Gud For Vat Ails You

This has turned out to be a pretty rotten week around Orgle Manor, for reasons that need not detain us. However, I must say that watching this vid has put a smile back on ol' Robbo's mug:

(NSFW, at least so far as you can understand the big guy.)

Yips! to Ace.

Posted by Robert at 12:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Damning With Faint Praise

Nats Hat.jpg

Here we go again:

The Washington Nationals are going to win the World Series in 2010.

April Fool!

The Washington Nationals are going to have a winning season in 2010.

Sorry, still April Fool.

The Washington Nationals are going to win 70 or more games this season. Okay, the Nationals may be able to do that.

Last season, the Nationals had the worst record in major league baseball: 59 wins and 103 losses (59-103). So 70 wins would be a big improvement. There are reasons to hope the Nats should be better this year.

What is it with this enthusiasm-and-water stuff? We've got all kinds of hot young prospects, seasoned vets and a skipper from the start who knows what he's doing and the best this fellah thinks we can do is eleven more wins than last year?

Come on!

I mean, look at the math: Manny Acta started out with a record of 26-61. Riggs (that's Jim Riggleman to those of you who don't keep up) came in and, despite the hideous hole the team was in and some key injuries, still managed to rack up a tab of 33-42 to finish up. It seems to me that any predictions about this year have to take into account not just the improved record under Riggs' management last season, but also the added bonus of certainty and consistency his leadership from the start will bring this time around.

By the bye, good luck and God bless Manny as he takes the helm at Cleveland this year. I really like the guy and wish him all the best. He simply wasn't what the Nats needed, but I hope the fit is better with the Tribe. I shall watch his future progress with considerable interest.

I, for one, am going to predict here and now that the Nats place somewhere in the middle of the NL East. I am also going to predict that we make Philly's pennant run merry hell. Payback can be a real beyotch.

But who knows? I may be being unduly cautious myself.


Posted by Robert at 09:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Roswell Bait and Switch

Former Area 51 employees continue the cover-up:

VANCOUVER, Wash. — After nearly five decades, guys like James Noce finally get to tell their stories about Area 51.

Yes, that Area 51.

The one that gets brought up when people talk about secret Air Force projects, crashed UFOs, alien bodies and, of course, conspiracies.

The secrets, some of them, have been declassified.

Noce, 72, and his fellow Area 51 veterans around the country now are free to talk about doing contract work for the CIA in the 1960s and '70s at the arid, isolated Southern Nevada government testing site.

Their stories shed some light on a site shrouded in mystery; classified projects still are going on there. It's not a big leap from warding off the curious 40 or 50 years ago, to warding off the curious who now make the drive to Area 51.

The veterans' stories provide a glimpse of real-life government covert operations, with their everyday routines and moments of excitement.

Noce didn't seek out publicity. But when contacted, he was glad to tell what it was like.

"I was sworn to secrecy for 47 years. I couldn't talk about it," he says.

In the 1960s, Area 51 was the test site for the A-12 and its successor, the SR-71 Blackbird, a secret spy plane that broke records at documented speeds that still have been unmatched. The CIA says it reached Mach 3.29 (about 2,200 mph) at 90,000 feet.

But after September 2007, when the CIA displayed an A-12 in front of its Langley, Va., headquarters as part of the agency's 60th birthday, much of the secrecy of those days at Area 51 fell away.

Advance warning to UFOlogists: Sorry, although Noce and other Area 51 vets say they saw plenty of secret stuff, none make claims about aliens.

Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you plainly - if there's something to hide, do you really think the guv'mint would let these guys admit it?

Lies! Nothing but lies and damned lies! Didn't Randy Quaid and Judd Hirsch warn us???

Posted by Robert at 08:57 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
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