18 thoughts on “June 20, 2021: Strawbies”

  1. NBA playoffs.

    Game 1 of the Western Conference finals starts today and without Chris Paul, who is battling Covid. I heard that Kawhi did not travel to PHX. I like PHX overall, assuming Paul can come back. LAC won that game 6 largely because of an epic performance by Terence Mann, who had 39 points on 71% shooting, Guys like Mann only score like that when they are hitting everything (i.e., they aren't getting shots unless they are already going in). He's (probably) not gonna do that again. LAC has some guys, so they might get a breakout game from someone and really, Paul George seems better without Kawhi. I like Booker, though, and I think he's going to be the best player on the floor. I like PHX in game 1 at home.

    Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semis between PHI-ATL is also today. In game 6, Simmons was a cipher, but they got a huge game from a guy, Maxey, who I think played 1 minute in game 5. I've been bullish on ATL and man, they are fun to watch, but I'm thinking that the clock strikes midnight. A couple of days ago I thought PHI was dead. I think they win today and move to the Conference finals.

    My seeding as of now, based on likelihood that they will win a title.

    1. MIL
    2. PHX
    3. LAC
    4. PHI
    5. ATL

    Note: these five teams have a combined total of two six NBA titles, with the most recent of these coming in 1983. It's been some time since we've had a situation like this where the last four or five standing have so few titles. If ATL can somehow win the East, we'd have a situation in the Finals where neither team has ever won a title. (edit: the Hawks won in 1958 when they were in St. Louis) In the past 11 seasons, we've had three teams win their first title (Dallas, Cleveland, Toronto) and that DAL-MIA Finals had one title between them. But there were 8 titles in the semis. In 2016, the Eastern Conference semis featured two teams with zero titles, but the West had five titles. The NBA more than any other sport has a relatively small number of teams that actually have a chance to win the title in any given year (and over time!), but this year we have a field that is new and fresh. There's some half-baked crap in this paragraph, but the point stands that this final four -- however it shakes out -- is a pretty rare occurrence.)

    1. Stick and I were almost-live DMing the games this weekend back and forth (almost-live, because I was watching on delay; he was kind enough to not give too many spoilers).

      Milwaukee-Brooklyn was a heavyweight fight of the best sorts. Absolutely compelling basketball.

      Phoenix-LAC was also really compelling. Some really good basketball played on both sides. Ayton was punishing LA's small lineup most of the first half (with the exception of a stretch of the second quarter when he was resting on the bench and Boogie was going nuts for the Clippers), forcing Ty Lue away from his small lineup for much of the second half. Supporting players on both sides made major contributions and the two biggest stars, Booker and PG13 were, respectively, fantastic and very, very good.

      You can't ask for much more.

      ATL-Philly, on the other hand, was a hard-fought mess. Whereas both teams in Phoenix played good defense that was trumped by superior offense, in this game, both teams played atrocious offense for most of the game. ATL couldn't make a jumper and Philly couldn't make a layup. Or in Ben Simmons' case, couldn't shoot a wide-open dunk shot, instead choosing to pass when he was basically at the rim. Philly deserved to lose. I'm not sure ATL deserved to win.

      That said, I'm ready to be excited for Trae Young in the Eastern Finals. He is a dynamic, exciting player. The future of the NBA is pretty secure with guys like him and Booker having arrived now as genuine stars.

  2. Happy Father's Day to y'all today. I am setting up for a busy day at the joint. If we are a busy as expected, we will break our all time weekly sales record, which is just crazy as we have zero patio seating right now. Today, I have Smokin' Brews and BBQ out for a collaboration special menu. Smoked Beef Brisket, Smoked Prime Rib and Smoked BBQ half chickens. We do this on Father's Day to reduce the load a bit on our kitchen crew. It smells really great around here right now.

    1. We tried to get barbecue on Fathers Day last year, but we gave up. Apparently ribs are really popular with dads. This year we got some steaks and I'll be grilling, which dads also like.

  3. I've got a friend from high school who married into a strawberry farm operation. They're about 10 minutes from where we live, and we usually go pick a few times a summer. Not sure this summer will be more than one or two times, but fresh from the field tastes so much better, even when frozen and eaten later.

    1. We ended up taking a quick trip out there this morning and picked about 10 lbs, many of which will go to my Father-in-Law as a Father's day gift.

    2. Agreed. Some of the best strawberries I've had were the fresh-picked ½ flat we bought at a roadside stop near Oxnard CA around the time of their strawberry festival.

      1. Aye.

        there was a patch near the kids' high school when we first moved out here. Fantastic, fat, juicy strawberries.

        But nothing will ever top in my memory the wild (feral?) strawberries that used to grow near the driveway of my parents' lake property. They were teeny--about the size of a blueberry. But soooo delicious.

  4. My grandmother was a regular strawberry picker. She made jelly with whatever wasn’t eaten fresh, then froze the jelly in Tupperware containers. I know I accompanied her at least once on an outing to a local strawberry patch; I still think of her every time I drive by it.

    1. Last summer, the Justice would wander over and wipe out the neighbor's raspberries. A few weeks ago, the neighbor split quite a few spots, and gave us some, so hopefully that means they're will be even more by next summer.

      1. Okay, this is kind of nuts. Younger Daughter just got here to have dinner with us and brought a huge bowl of strawberries. She and her boyfriend picked them at a berry farm around White Bear Lake yesterday. They picked 20 pounds of strawberries between the two of them and now they don't know what to do with them all. Meanwhile I bought a watermelon and three pounds of grapes today. I see much fruit in my future.

        1. I didn't know there was a specific breed for metalworking in the Working Dogs classification.

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