Well, well!  It looks like there’s a new meme in this little corner of the innertoobz, as both Zoopraxiscopean Don and GorT have alighted on a Popular Mechanics article about the 50 “greatest” Sci-Fi teevee shows.  As they did, I will offer my two cents on those shows about which I have any thoughts and or memories:

49.  “Land of the Lost” – Of course I watched this as a kid.  Grumpy the T-Rex gave me the willies.  After a while I lost interest because the story arc about the Sleestax just kept getting weirder and weirder and to have less and less to do with, you know, dinosaurs. (I seem to recall an animated series about a family that gets swept into a dinosaur-infested valley that ran about the same time as well.  Can’t recall its name.)

48.  “Space: 1999″ – I recall watching it only because it was on locally before “Star Trek: TOS”.  I didn’t think it bad, but it never took root in the Robbo braim.

47.  “The Six-Million Dollar Man” – Classic stuff.  When one goes into slow motion and starts saying, “NUH,nuh,nuh,nuh, nuh…..”, everybody of teh right age will know exactly why.  I also had the Steve Austin doll  action figure, complete with bionic eye.

45.  “Knight Rider” – Ooh, watch out for that mean-looking truck, Michael!

36.  “Buck Rodgers In The 25th Century” – Col. Deering.  Mmmmm…..Col. Deering.  (One of my first blog experiences was a bitter debate over the relative merits of Wilma Deering and Princess Ardala.)

32.  “Star Trek: Voyager” – A lot of Trekkies claim this was the worst of all the series.  I’m not really sure why, as it was usually entertaining/exciting enough when I dropped in.  Plus, three words:  Seven Of Nine.

31.  “Lost In Space” – I think it was from this series that I first learned what “camp” means in the entertainment context.  And to this day, I still sometimes flail my arms about chanting, “Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!”  Oh, and young “Johnny” Williams stole quotes straight out of Mussorsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” for some of the incidental musick.

30.  “Battlestar Galactica” (1978-1979) – I loved this show and everything about it (except Boxy and the Daggitt).  Required viewing for me.  I bought and built models of a Colonial Viper and a Cylon ship.  I even bought the soundtrack album and played it over and over again.  That’s how into it I was.

29.  “Futurama” – Another favorite.  My eldest gel in particular cannot understand how something so well done can continue to get cancelled for lack of audience ratings.  In this, she is getting her first lesson in the difference between what is good quality and what is merely popular.

13.  “V” (1983-1985) - Like “Battlestar Galactica”, another Humanity Overcoming Attempts At Oppression story, only this time set on Earth.  I don’t remember much anymore, but liked it a lot at the time, perhaps in part because of the cat-fighting alien leader chicks.  (Robbo is really a pretty simple fellah when it comes down to it.)

11.  “Firefly” – I came to this late (long after it had been cancelled), but liked it enough to buy the DVD box set and run through it every couple of months or so.  I thought the series superior to the movie (“Serenity”).

6.  “Star Trek: TOS” – One of the major influences on my misspent yoot.  I’d say that a lot of the “messaging” in TOS probably went rocketing right over my young head, as I was more in love just with the concept of the Enterprise traveling across the heavens.  Oh, and let me be clear about something here:  There is only one James Tiberius Kirk.  When I become emperor of the world, “reboots” will constitute a flogging offense.

3.  “Star Trek: NG” – I will give the series credit.  After its first few seasons going over the top trying to establish its liberal creds, it eventually calmed down and got somewhat better.  (It remained rooted in progressivist utopian fantasy, of course, but stopped beating teh drum so damned hard.)  You can follow Troi’s costume as a kind of barometer of this transformation.  In the early shows, she sported that home-spun hippy looking body suit.  Eventually, they put her back in a regulation uniform (and focused less on what she was “sensing” of everybody’s “feelings”).  Of the movies, I think “First Contact” was probably the best.

1.  “Dr. Who” – Well, yes.  I was a pretty big Tom Baker fan back in the day, but haven’t paid any attention in years.  Meanwhile, teh Middle Gel has become an outright fanatic.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, the renovation of the flooded basement at Port Swiller Manor has now achieved official “Port-o-John on the Driveway” status, which in an odd way makes ol’ Robbo feel like a grown-up.

They’ve taken out all the flooring and drywall now, plus clipped off the bottom part of the framing (which, we found, was built with non-pressure treated wood by our old handyman) and dug a hole in teh floor for the sump pump.  They’ve also dug a trench outside parts of the house to come at the non-exposed exterior walls in order to repair them.  With a certain amount of imagination,  it looks something like a moat.  At least it would work as a serviceable defense against the Underpants Gnomes.

Hopefully, they’ll be ready to start actually building things shortly.

BosworthAnd speaking of medieval military practices, I note that today is the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth Field, fought this day in 1485.  I must say that for all I know of the battle’s political importance, I am almost completely ignorant of its actual tactical unfolding.  If memory serves, the recent exhumation and autopsy of Richard III revealed that he had died of blunt trauma to the skull and also suffered several other wounds, suggesting that he was in the thick of the fighting as a good king ought to have been in those days.  (C.S. Lewis, in The Horse and His Boy, has one of his characters remark that the King should be first in the charge and last in the retreat.)  Anybody know any good sources on this battle in particular and/or on 15th Century warfare in general?

By the way, the word “medieval” nowadays of course has negative connotations, suggesting that which is ignorant, crude, superstitious and cruel.  I’m increasingly of the opinion championed by Lewis and others that the High Middle Ages were far, far better times than now commonly supposed in terms of sophistication of thought, richness of life and spiritual balance and health, and that the negative slur comes from those Enlightenment Humanists and their modern spawn who thought and think they could build an earthly Paradise based on Reason only.

Take a good, hard, honest look at the state of Western Civilization and tell me there’s not something to this.

Nats HatGreetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo snuck out of work a bit early this afternoon to go see his beloved Nationals take on the Diamondbacks of Arizona in the fourth and last game of this week’s series.

Although the original plan was for the entire Port Swiller Family to meet at Nats Park to enjoy the game together, circumstances too complicated to go into here caused the party to be whittled down to the Middle Gel and Self (together with friends we had planned to meet there).  Never mind, a good time was had by all, despite the fact that it rained periodically throughout the game.

Now permit me to offer up some statistics for your consideration:

The Nats won 1-0, thus sweeping the series.  This is the third series in a row we’ve swept and we are on a 10-game winning streak.  Without looking it up, I believe this ties a franchise record.

The win was a walk-off, making five walk-off wins in the last six games.¹   I read yesterday that the Nats were only one of three teams in the past 20 years to win 4 out of 5 by walk-offs.  I’ve got to guess that this latest lifts us even higher in the realm of statistical achievements.  (UPDATE:  Apparently, it hasn’t happened since 1986.)

The Nats now have the best record in the National League and, if I count correctly, the fourth best record in MLB.

We are, as of this writing at least, 7 1/2 games up on Atlanta.

I say all this NOT to boast, brag, draw conclusions about the rest of the season, or in any other way to offend the Baseball Gods.²   Rayther, I do so to make a simple point:  For Nats fans, life is pretty durn good at the moment.³   (And anyway, those who stayed loyal to the team through those awful years of the mid-2000’s – among whom I think I am perfectly justified including the Family Robbo – have earned this, dammit.)

 

Desi BobbleheadAnyhoo, this afternoon was Ian Desmond Bobblehead giveaway day at Nats Park.  “Desi”, for those of you who don’t know, is the Nats’ shortstop, one of the best glove men in the league and a solid hitter to boot.  As he has matured, he has become an anchor for the team and is one of the most beloved players on the roster.

So you can imagine that Desi’s bobble head would be a big draw, even for a Thursday afternoon game.  And you would be correct – paid attendances was somewhere around 32,500.  Ol’ Robbo was certainly keen to get his mitts on one.

Now.  About these promotions, I was always under the impression that the rule was supposed to be one item per one person coming through the gate, period.  Nonetheless, and perhaps it’s because Desi is such a big part of the team, I couldn’t help noticing that a great many fans seemed to be in possession of multiple bobble head boxes.   Several times I saw people coming up the stairs with five, six or seven of them stuffed under their arms or in bags.  Of course, there might be some perfectly innocent reason for this, but the general trend seemed to suggest that these folks were bagging duplicates for…..people who didn’t bother to show up for the game.

I’m not talking about the E-Bay sharks here, nor about the folks who sell or trade their gifts to the hawkers out on Half Street as they head up to the metro.  That sort of thing is always going to happen.  No, I’m talking about what are supposed to be upstanding, law-abiding Family Folk who seem to be storing the things up like chipmunks for future distribution to sisters, cousins and aunts and others.

This rankes ol’ Robbo.  There’s a limited supply of these things each time, and it seems only fair that they should be rewarded first and foremost to those who make the effort to attend the game.  As I say, there was a paid attendance of something north of 32k.  There were only 25k bobble heads available.  Simple math says that some folks who made it to the game did not get their treats.

That’s pretty hard cheese for some fans.  And so far as I’m concerned, it isn’t right.

¹  I’m aware that, originally, the term “walk off” only applied to game-winning home runs, that it recently has come to mean any offensive play that wins the game for the home team in the bottom of the 9th, and that this has sparked controversy between purists and revisionists.   I can’t say that I’ve formulated a position on this myself.  The Nats won the last game we attended (last Saturday) on a “walk-off” ground rule double that scored a runner from 2nd.  They won this evening on a “walk-off” errant throw from 3rd to 1st that scored a runner from 2nd.  FWIW, the term “walk-off error” just doesn’t seem right to ol’ Robbo.

²  Did I ever mention the time a couple years ago when the eldest gel was in parochial school and tried to get ol’ Robbo in trouble with Father Scalia (yes, those Scalias) by ratting me out for “believing” in Baseball Gods?  Without missing a beat, Father S said to her, “Of COURSE there are Baseball Gods.”   Bless you, Padre.

³  What else is there to say but

GO, NATS!!

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Amidst the stories of spreading domestic and international collapse that seem to be saturating the nooz these days, trust ol’ Robbo to come up with some little bits of historickal trivia to go along with the port and Stilton here.  (I didn’t coin my byline for nothing, after all.)  Oddly, two items that caught the Port-Swiller eye today both came from the Smithsonian.

Richard IIIThe first one will be especially appreciated by our Maximum Leader.  According to recent forensic pathology, Richard III drank like a fish and indulged in exotic meals:

After he became king, the scientists found, his diet changed significantly. Now he was eating freshwater fish and wild birds. If Richard III’s banquets were anything like other medieval feasts researchers know about, Phys.org adds, then those festivities most likely included wild birds such as swans, cranes, herons and egrets.

Hey, why not.  “It’s good to be da king!” **

Somewhere or other I recently saw a headline asking why Richard has been so vilified in art and history (not that anybody these days really even knows who the hell he was, of course).  Well, I think Maxy will agree with me that it was all a matter of Renaissance politicks and propaganda.  Our primary picture of Richard – the last of the Plantagenets, the only legitimate English Royal family – comes, of course, from the pen of ol’ Will Shakespeare.  Will was writing during the reign of Elizabeth I, the grand-daughter of the fellah who overthrew Richard, Henry Tudor.  The legal grounds for Henry’s actions were, shall we say, a tad shaky.  So ol’ Will, who was no fool, turned Richard into the literal Embodiment of Eeeeeevil in order to keep on the good side of the Tudors.

Yes, I am gradually coming around to the Richard III Society view of things.

The second was an announcement of a new display about Grant and Lee down the National Portrait Gallery which I very much wish to see.  Among other art and artifacts, the NPS apparently has got hold of Winslow Homer’s painting, “Skirmish in the Wilderness”, which illustrates the confusion and claustrophobia of the first great clash between Grant and Lee in 1864:

Winslow Homer, "Skirmish in the Wilderness", 1864

Winslow Homer, “Skirmish in the Wilderness”, 1864

I’ve only ever seen this reproduced in various books (with varying levels of detail and lighting) and look forward to viewing the real thing.

grantLeeAnyhoo, as a teaser, the article asks the question:  Which General was Better, Grant or Lee?

The more I think about it, the more useless this question strikes me, simply because it’s an apples and oranges comparison.  Yes, Grant beat Lee, so you could go by that, but there are such vast differences in their respective assets, authorities, support, strategic and tactical goals, and, for want of a better way of putting it, their fortunes of war, that I simply can’t come up with an honest head-to-head comparison of their talents and abilities.  After all, it’s not as if they were standing side by side on a free-throw line.

On the other hand, if you judge the question not by its substantive merits but by its goal – to attract attention – it is far from useless.  After all, it’s snagged at least one viewer for the exhibit……

 

** Spot the quote.

GRATUITOUS OFF-DAY UPDATE:

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I’ve got nothing new tonight, or at least nothing coherent.  So I will instead follow up on the excellent Richard III discussion here by reposting an old favorite which crosses many, many streams.  Enjoy!

 

N.C. Wyeth, "One More Step, Mr. Hands" - Illustration for Treasure Island.

N.C. Wyeth, “One More Step, Mr. Hands” – Illustration for Treasure Island.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Recently, ol’ Robbo found himself with a hankering for some straight-from-the-shoulder adventure books.  To this end, he absolutely devoured P.C. Wren’s French Foreign Legion trilogy, Beau Geste, Beau Sabreur and Beau Ideal (together with numerous short stories relating to the Family Geste), as well as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

I admit that in my nearly fifty years on this earth I had read none of these books before this current summah.  And yes, I denounce myself.

What fun! What absolute fun!  On the other hand, what an almost pathetic sense of nostalgia for a former time, for an era in which Western Civilization – and specifically, Anglo-Saxon Western Civilization – was unapologetically muscular and self-confident.  Ironical, ain’t it, that I’m just now coming to them in the last embers of said civilization.  Rayther like a mid-5th Century Roman stumbling across the works of Virgil and Horace and Livy, I suppose.

Anyhoo,  what can one do but play the hand one is dealt?  I am indulging myself further with Stevenson’s Kidnapped and its sequel, Catriona, and would be delighted with any other suggestions for similar works that any friends of the decanter may care to offer.  (I should note that any recommendations of the works of James Fenimore Cooper will be met with cold but polite silence.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

In teh past few weeks, ol’ Robbo can’t help but have noticed seeing a number of videos on the Innertoobs of various people – not just celebs, pols, athletes and whatnot, but real people he actually knows – having buckets of ice water poured on their heads.

Yesterday, teh youngest gel came home from her friend’s house, grinning ear to ear and carrying on her iWhateveritis a film of her friend pouring a bucket of ice water over her head.

“Okay, look,” I said, “Just what the heck is all this about anyway?”

“Um,” she said, “Well, there’s like this guuuy?  And he’s really rich? And he, like, is challenging people to film themselves, like, pouring iced water on their heads?  And, like, if you post the video and he, like, sees it?  He’ll give $100 to study some disease nobody’s ever heard of!”

(On further review, I see she got it about half right.)

“Well,” I said, “If he wants to give a lot of money to some worthy charity, why doesn’t he just do it instead of asking people to make fools of themselves in public?”

“DAAAA-aaad!” she replied, “That’s not the way it works these days!”

Now there she was spot on.  (I couldn’t help thinking of an old Bill Cosby bit in which he said, “Can you BELIEVE ‘Let’s Make A Deal?’  And that the people on that program are AMERICANS?”  Yes, yes I can.)

Iced water on the head is just the latest notch up, but in fact I’ve never been much of a fan of what one might call “public displays of charity” – the ribbons and the t-shirts and the this and that showing one’s concern for some cause or other.  Indeed, I seem to recall that a Certain Somebody didn’t think much of such displays either.

I know my viewpoint is in the minority these days, but I’m certainly not alone:

I Don't Like This Guy

I Don’t Like This Guy

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Please pardon the post-hols silence from your humble host, but we’ve been having another outbreak of the Joys of Home-Ownership here at Port Swiller Manor this week.  Would you like to hear about it?  Super! Thanks for asking!

Whelp, ol’ Robbo had gone down the office Tuesday as per usual, leaving teh gels home to squander some of their last remaining summah vacation time.  (Mrs. R had stayed up in Connecticut for a couple extra days to visit with her parents and grandmother.)

If you will recall, Tuesday was a day of torrential rains throughout much of the South-East and Mid-Atlantic.  The area immediately around the port swiller demesne was no exception.

About midday, I got a call from the Middle Gel.

“Daaaaaad, there’s a puddle in the [basement] study!” she said.

“Well,” I replied, thinking it was just some wet coming through a window frame,”just drop a towel on it for now.”

“Okay,” she said.

A bit later, she called back.

“Um, Dad, the puddle is getting bigger.”

“Well,  put down some more towels.”

This back and forth went on for a while.  Finally, I suggested she call Mrs. X, a friend of ours who was on stand-bye babysitting duty in case the gels needed immediate assistance while I was off at work.

A short while later I learned that what had originally been described to me as a mere “puddle” was, in fact, a couple inches of water spreading rapidly across the entire basement floor.  At this point, I did what any sensible husband would do and called Mrs. Robbo.

“Mooommy!” I said.

Mrs. R then leapt into action from afar, getting hold of our contractor, who in turn immediately sent a crew along to start damage control.

It was only when I got home that evening that I learned of the full scope of the thing:  Carpet ruined.  Pergo in my study ruined.  Baseboards gone.  Bottom of drywall saturated.  In addition, I found that the  Internet servy-routy-thingamajig was dead (as was the printer), which is why I have not had access to the Webz until this evening.

Oh, and a consultation with our soon-to-be-former homeowner’s insurance revealed their attitude that once rain hit the ground, it was our problem, not theirs.  (I picked a hell of a week to quit moonlighting as a drug mule.)

It was also only when I got home that I learned the youngest gel had been trying to unplug things while standing in the flood.  I believe I aged several years right about then.

So what was the cause, you ask?  The rain was coming down so heavily that it overwhelmed all the drainage measures out front and ponded up against the house directly above the basement wall.  It then found its way down between the cinderblocks (which have been showing signs of age, wear and tear for some time) and bled out into the basement at a rate far, far greater than anything I’ve ever seen in 14+ years of residence here.   I blame Manbearpig.

So you lot know what all this means, of course?  That’s right, MOAR RENOVATIONS!

For one thing, they’re going to have to excavate at the side of the house to come at the leaky basement wall and repair it.  They”re also going to put in new floors in the basement (Pergo all the way this time), replace the two feet of drywall they had to cut out all the way around and install a sump pump.  Mrs. R, seeing an opportunity, has also declared that what was once nominally my workshop is going to be converted into another bathroom for the use of houseguests who stay at the Manor.  (The study doubles as a guest room, you see, and to date lodgers have been forced to endure the horrors of the gels’ bathroom upstairs if they wanted to shower up.)

In the meantime, of course, we’ve had to move all the furniture and things out of the basement and are presently working out places in which to stuff them for the duration of the project.  Also, although I got Verizon to run a cable up to a new router in the living room, we won’t have access to the teevee downstairs until it’s all put back together again.

As you can imagine, everything is all ahoo at the moment and probably will be for some time.

At any rate, there you have it.   Seeing as I will not be able to watch my beloved Nationals on the teevee or listen to my stereo in the evening for the foreseeable future, I imagine I may spend rayther more time hanging around here than usual.

UPDATE:  Spent much of the morning moving things out of the basement and trying to jury-rig something close to normalcy.  Not much hope of that, but at the least I managed to set up my stereo and CD player in a corner of the living room so I can listen to musick (with headphones, of course).  I also found a place for the little teevee and DVD player, so I can carry on Netflixing.  So I’ve got that going for me.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Yes, Daddy is home from Peru.  (Spot the riff, if you can.  I’m actually back from Maine, of course.)

All in all, a fairly relaxing week staring at the bay, marred only by the fact that ol’ Robbo neglected to pack his tummy medicine before setting out, in part out of 4 ack emma sloth, in part because he figured that the absence of the usual workaday stresses would render said meds unnecessary.

Well, I was wrong about that.  After the last dosage had cleared the ol’ system, the Port-Swiller tummy began to do a thoroughly unpleasant buck-and-wing, in turn rendering your host somewhat, shall we say, dyspeptic to those around him.  After a few days, Mrs. R got so tired of it that she went into town herself, found some more meds, returned to teh cottage and shoved them at me with a curt, “Take them, dammit!”

Ah, middle age……

Anyhoo, a few odds and ends:

♦   Made the run from Westport, CT to Port Swiller Manor in the wilds of NoVA in 4 1/2 hours yesterday morning, including two Indy-like pit stops.  Not that I’ve ever kept a log or anything, but I believe this to be a personal medal run.   I’m not a reckless driver, but I’ve always been somewhat lead-footed, especially when traffic is relatively light, as it was Sunday morning.  (Note, however, to that red van with Indiana plates:  If you insist on doing 65 mph on the south end of the Jersey Turnpike, do it in the right-hand lane, for Heaven’s sake!  You’ve no idea how many near-accidents I saw involving hot-heads trying to get around you.)

♦   We had a friend come in and house-sit for us while we were away.  I was delighted to see that all the porch plants survived and thrived in our absence and that none of the cats was killed by the others.  Oddly, it seemed to me that the two kittens (a little over a year old now) appear to have grown in our absence.  I always thought cats reached full stature in about a year, but teh gels insist that their growth cycle is longer than that.  Any of you know?

♦  Speaking of growth, I also was delighted to note that the jasmine I planted earlier this year – about which  friends of the decanter may recall my blathering at length – all have new leaves on them, a sign that they like where they have been put.  And while we’re on the subject of gardening, I would also note that I have a climbing rose out front, an Improved Blaze.  For some years I have not touched the thing, and it gradually got so tall as to start getting tangled in the second-story gutter.  This would be fine, except that every year after its glorious bloom and when the weather started hotting up, it would promptly shed all its leaves, rendering me open to snide remarks from teh Middle Gel about putting out the Halloween decorations too early.  Well, this year I decided on radical action:  After it was done blooming, I cut the thing way, way back (to about four feet high, in fact).  For a number of weeks I had nothing but a handful of canes left and thought I might have killed it, but this morning I noticed new shoots on each and every one of them.   Yay.

♦   I read four books while loafing about the Port-Swiller summah cottage:

-   Hercules, My Shipmate by Robert Graves, a rendering of the tale of Jason and the Argonauts in the form of an historickal novel.  I’ve read this book many times before.  Once you get past Graves’ paganism (I think he really believed his carryings-on about an ancient, all-encompassing Mother Goddess usurped by the followers of more recent fraudulent religions – including Christianity), it’s a jolly fun and rayther lusty adventure story.

-  Haydn’s Visits to England by Christopher Hogwood, a delightful little book (an extended essay, really) giving a day-to-day overview of Papa’s doings in Blighty.  One thing I learned (this was my first time reading it) was that the Prince Regent was very, very attentive to Haydn during his visits.  Good.  I think very little of George IV in the main, but credit where it is due.

- Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg.  Just to keep my ire up against that rat-bastard Jean-Jacques Rousseau and all of his ideological spawn who have dedicated themselves to establishing Heaven on Earth, even at the need of putting millions of said Earth’s inhabitants to fire and sword for their own good.   The book came out in January 2008 but seems all the more timely now.  (Incidentally, I’ve decided to devote a deal of time this fall to rereading Locke, Smith and Burke and to finally introducing myself directly to Hayek.)

- The Commitments by Roddy Doyle.  I’ve long been a fan of the movie (which I’ll probably pop in when I’m done with this post), but this was my first time reading the novel, which Mrs. R picked up for me somewhere for a dollar.  What a lot of fun!  And how refreshing to find a young author (he was about 29 when he wrote it) who isn’t a first-class, self-absorbed, whiney wanker.  I’m curious about how those more Doyle-conscious than me think about the differences between book and movie:  The latter, while, I think, adhering nicely to the tone of the book, did turn Joey The Lips inside out as a character, and its soundtrack had very, very little overlap with that of the former, but most of the differences strike me as de minims.   Was Doyle involved in teh movie?

♦  Didn’t look at the Innertoobs a single time while on hols, so I’ve much on which to catch up.  What did I miss?  (I see this evening that Robin Williams killed himself.  Depression, apparently.  I despised much about him during his career, but you hate to see something like this happen to anybody.)

♦  To be honest, however, I did ask teh gels to keep me posted on my beloved Nats’ doings while we were away.   From what I see at this point, I am (touching wood) pretty confident that we are going to win the NL East.  On the other hand, I also think the Dodgers are going to win the NL pennant and that the A’s will beat them in the Series.

♦  Whelp, now that the summah hols are over and ol’ Robbo turns his attention to the impending start of school and other fall activities, I have to ask:  Just where the hell did this year get to?

coveGreetings, my fellow port swillers!

Whelp, it’s the end of July/beginning of August, so regular friends of the decanter know what that means ’round here…..

Yes, ol’ Robbo is packing up the Port Swiller Family and heading for Maine, there to recharge his depleted batteries by loafing for a week out on the deck, filling his lungs with clean sea-air, spending the days in idle contemplation of the bay and the nights in more concentrated contemplation of adult beverages…..

In short, by not doing a damned thing.  I simply cannot understand people who feel that a vacation must entail the constant scrambling from one place to another – attractions, amusement parks, landmarks – and the pursuit  (he closes his eyes as he types this) of experiences.

Feh, just thinking about such a programme makes ol’ Robbo tarred.   No, thankee.

Anyhoo, be back later…..

sandeman port sherryGreetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is jumping the gun by a couple hours but to modify a common truism, it’s midnight somewhere.  Therefore, allow me to note that July 30, 2008 was the birthday of this blog and that it turns six today.

Three cheers and a tiger for me!

Of course, things aren’t what they were back then in terms of freedom of expression, and prudence has dictated that I curtail a good deal of what I would like to say concerning our sinking civilization, so discussions over the decanter have centered on the realm of the arcane, the trivial and the unobjectionable, but still, here I am.

And here you are.  Or at least those of you who are still here.  “Not near as many as there where a while ago,” as that song about the Battle of New Orleans would put it, but still very much welcome and appreciated.  (Besides, there’s more port, Stilton and chestnuts for us what’s left, right?)

And so, if I may, I ask that you all charge your glasses, gunn’ls under.  Here’s to TPSAYE with three times three and no heel-taps!  (And don’t forget to tip the dancer!)

UPDATE:  Mayun, I didn’t just jump the gun when I first put this post up, I got a hundred yards downrange and then took a bullet right between the shoulder blades!   Calendars.  What can you do?  Personally, I blame the Patriarchy.

Anyhoo, I’m now reposting to reflect the correct date of our little anniversary.  Any of you still in a more or less upright position should feel free to recharge your glasses and toast it again.

 

 

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