Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Whelp, it’s official: Eldest Gel appeared last Thursday with a car full of dirty laundry and dorm junk, and this afternoon she turned in the last of her take-home finals.  How in the heck do I have a rising college sophomore?

The Gel did very well her first year, by the way.  Good grades, tapped into the theatre club, and a reputation as a thorough and uncompromising skeptic of all things P.C.

Perhaps not coincidentally, this afternoon we got a notice from the U.S. Postal Service stating that the Gel’s O-fficial mailing address has now changed from her school P.O. Box to Port Swiller Manor, and will remain so through mid-August.

Granted that it’s been thirty-mumble years since Ol’ Robbo was an undergrad, but I have no recollection whatsoever of anything like this happening with me.  (Perhaps my parents never told me.). And I lived off-campus most of my law school days and certainly do not recall sending any change-of-address forms in to the post office.

Strange.

By the bye, the Gel’s plan for next year involves becoming more social.  (She wanted to concentrate on getting herself into college academic mode this year.)  If any friends if the decanter know a nice young man at VMI or Hampden-Sydney, well, let me know.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo has seen an ad on teevee a couple times this week for a “senior” internet dating site. It features a woman round about my own age who says something like, “I was married over twenty years, the kids are all grown up, and I just wanted to get ‘out there’ again”

There’s nothing in the copy to suggest this person is a widow, or anything like that. The tone seems to be simply that she was tired of her old life and decided to chuck it.

Am I wrong to be completely appalled by this?

Rod Dreher has a new book out arguing that the Culture Wars have, in fact, been lost, and that we traditionalists no longer have much choice other than to retreat to a new Benedictine-ism and go hide in the hills. I sometimes think he’s just about right.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I won’t bother explaining the dearth of posts here again- just scroll down and you’ll see the pattern. Second verse? Same as the first! And it looks as if things will stay this way at least until August. Heigh, ho.

So anyway:

– First of all, Happy Easter! He is risen, indeed!

– Ol’ Robbo practices Friday abstinence as a general rule, but since we’re still in the Octave of Easter, today We. Have. The MEATS!

– Got to enjoy my first thunder shower of the year last evening. More coming tonight and over the weekend, which means the lawn will have assumed a savannah-like appearance by the time I get to it next weekend. I shrug.

– Had several young persons address me as “Sir” this past week. Are they all blind? Or is the grey on the side of my head getting that much more noticeable?

– Eldest Gel finishes her first year of college next week. I find this to be absolutely incredible. Where on earth does the time go? (She’s done quite well, too. AND she’s got my sister’s old dorm room for next year. How weird is that?)

– On top of that, we start the whole college boogaloo for Middle Gel this spring, and the Youngest will be getting her learner’s permit.

– Yikes, indeed.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

No, I’m not dead. Just busy with meat-space life.

Happy Palm Sunday, by the bye! Ol’ Robbo hasn’t been very diligent in his Lenten observances this year (which see explanation above), so I am going to try and make up for it by an especially intensive Holy Week. I’ll see those two or three of you who still come together here on the other side of Easter.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Sorry (again) for the dearth of posts, but Ol’ Robbo has been crazy busy down the office these past couple weeks and is rayther short on both time and creative energy.

However, I’m getting a bit of a break today before a weekend of “the felicity of unbridled domesticity” followed by a brutal two work weeks (and then Holy Week!), so I’ll give you friends of the decanter three items of observation on which to ponder:

Firsto, Ol’ Robbo got dragooned into a catered “Vegan” work lunch yesterday. I am reasonably certain that nobody in the history of the world has ever said, “I’m a Vegan because the food is just so tasty!” I managed to find a fennel pita sammich, which to me seemed the least repugnant thing on the menu, but even there the veggies were cooked out of all meaningful flavor and the bread tasted like cardboard. I ate a few bites just to be polite and smiled thinly as everyone else sat about virtue-signaling over their meals. Feh. As the late, great, Phillip Seymour Hoffman said in “Twister”, “Red meat! We crave sustenance!”

Segundo, I was watching some late cable movie one night this week when an ad came on for some lady’s razor. It featured a dad teaching his teenaged daughter how to shave her legs by shaving his own as an example. (It was unclear from the voice-over whether Mom was dead or they’d split the dishes.) You may call Ol’ Robbo a dinosaur (and if you’ve done so before, you may do it again), but I thought this was pretty damned creepy. (I begin to believe those theories about the deliberate cultural pogram against masculinity.) Also, granted that Ol’ Robbo checked completely out of the feminine hygiene field the instant the Gels hit potty-training, is leg-shaving even a teaching thing? I’ve a vague notion the Gels all more or less figured it out for themselves. (I certainly did when I learned to shave, and faces are a lot trickier than legs.) Yuk.

Thirdiest, if you ever think of visiting the Imperial City for the cherry blossoms, don’t bother about it THIS year. A freak late-winter warm spell followed by a freak early spring arctic cold snap meant that the buds came out and then got crushed. Same for the magnolias, the forsythia, and even my clematis. Damn you, ManBearPig! Damn you to hell! (Also, what with the crazy weather patterns, I haven’t been able to do a thing in the yard this year. And because of the work I mentioned, I won’t get a chance to start until after Easter. Gonna be one serious mess this year.)

UPDATE:  I just got thinking: Since Ma Nature put such a kybosh on the winter/spring transition this year, is it unrealistic of me to hope this also means that pollen levels and insect swarms will also be down?  Silver linings and all that…..

Greetings, my fellow port swillers, and happy St. Pat’s Day!

Ol’ Robbo doesn’t think very much of this “holiday”, given that in its modern, secular form, it seems to be not much more than an excuse for the young people to get thoroughly blotto. It also emphasizes the trivialization of many ancient and important cultural and religious symbols in much the same way that the modern Halloween does.

For all that, I completely forgot what day it was this morning and grabbed a green sweater quite at random.

I felt like an idiot all day.

So now for a bit of Irish random:

– Ol’ Robbo cannot abide either corned beef OR cabbage.

– Despite the title of this post, I know absolutely nothing about Irish whiskey. To the extent I touch the hard stuff anymore, I remain a single-malt scotch man (Laphroig by preference).

– On the other hand, I DO know a thing or two about stout. Mostly, that it should not be quaffed when the outside temperature is anything over about 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

– “The Commitments”, the story of one man’s attempt to bring soul music to Dublin, remains one of my very favorite movies. Fookin’ deadly!

– Leprechauns. They’re not cute and cuddly, they won’t enhance your breakfast cereal experience, and God help you if you ever do somehow stumble across their horde of treasure. One of my favorite short stories encapsulating the actual terror associated with “Thim People” is “The Happy Despatch” by Patrick O’Brian. (Yes, THAT Patrick O’Brian. You’ll find it in his book “The Rendezvous and Other Stories”.)

– One of my favorite collections of short stories that really digs down into the “true” Irish character is, of course, “The Irish R.M.” by E. O. Somerville and Martin Ross, a pair of Anglo-Irish ladies writing in the early 20th Century. They are surprisingly sympathetic to the natives.

– One Irishman surprisingly NOT sympathetic to his countrymen was the playwrite John Synge. Writing about the same people at about the same time as Somerville and Ross, he was brutal in his depictions of their backwardness. Ol’ Robbo was in a college production of his “Playboy of the Western World” and actually took lessons to get the brogue right. As my eldest gel is discovering, ANY play is fun to do, but this one was pretty brutal in its depictions. (Small wonder the audience rioted when it debuted in Dublin in 1901, or whenever it was.)

– Whelp, that’s about it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe I’ll go listen to a Chieftans CD. Just because.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, if you paid attention to the nooz at all today, you are no doubt aware first, that the Administration released its proposed budget, which boosts defense spending while slashing domestic programs, and second, that the collective Left are having conniptions about it.

Curiously enough, Ol’ Robbo’s immediate reaction to both of these was basically one of …… comfort and nostalgia, and even, shall I say it, delight.

Why? Because this is very familiar ground. Ol’ Robbo remembers exactly the same bun-fights back in the Reagan years. Of course, the stakes (*Cough! Twenty-plus trillion in debt! Cough!*) are considerably higher now, but as Sam Clemens famously did not actually say, history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.

Perhaps my favorite beef is over the proposal to defund the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (including PBS and NPR). So far as I can tell, the argument seems to be, “I love Art so much that I DEMAND other people keep paying for it for me, man!!”

Yeah, no. You want it?  You buy it.  (And I say this as a monthly contributor to my local classickal radio station.)

Of course, this is all theatre (talk about Art!) at the moment. We’ll see what emerges once the actual sausage-making process had taken place. My cynical guess is status quo ante, but it’s already been such a crazy year of firsts that who knows?

 

*An anomalous title. I understand that “Sesame Street” went to HBO some time ago. I don’t recall any major outcry over disadvantaged yoots being forced to watch it on a premium cable channel. (By the bye, given HBO’s track record, I can only shudder when I think of the possible story lines they might have developed for the show.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, even as Ol’ Robbo types this post, Storm Stella (“STEEEELLAAAA!!!!”) is bearing down on Port Swiller Manor.

It’s the first opportunity folks around here have had to indulge in our traditional snowflake panic all year, and even yesterday when Robbo was at the store, the T-paper was already flying off the shelves.

Further, there’s a weird sense of entitlement brewing amongst the kids, who haven’t had a snow day yet this year. I’ve an idea the schools will be shut tomorrow no matter what the actual conditions, lest rioting breaks out.

As a matter of fact, we’re at the southern end of the storm track, and while points farther north are going to get hammered for certain, I reckon we’ll only get just enough to make my slog downtown in the morning very unpleasant.

Of course, I could be mistaken. Fortunately, our emergency contingent plan of burning the furniture and eating the cats is always ready to go at need.

We shall see.

UPDATE:  Whelp,  Ol’ Robbo was right:  the storm mostly turned out to be a bust.

But don’t let Drudge’s headline about a “dusting” in our area fool you.  Dustings are pretty and flakey and melt as soon as the sun appears.  I just got finished spending about three hours dealing with the two inches of very wet snow on top of ice that covered the Port Swiller driveway.  Broke my shovel on it, too.  Doesn’t sound like all that much, I know, but I’m aching quite all over now.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I hope you all made the adjustment to Standard Savings Whateveritis Time this morning?

Ol’ Robbo sees only two real benefits to it.

First, the rest of the country is now back on the same schedule as the dashboard clock in Robbo’s Jeep (which I never change), so that’s one fewer math problems for me for a while.

Second, starting this evening Ol’ Robbo no longer needs to grill out by the Braille method.

So I got that going for me.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

For those two or three who still foregather here together, no, Ol’ Robbo is not gone. A combination of Lenten practices, busy-time work, and the fact that I’m still confined to posting from my phone is the simple explanation for my recent….tersity? Terseness? Lack of posts.

Anyhoo, sass this crazy March weather? Mid-week warm and sunny spells coupled with lingering winter weekends have meant that lots of things need doing in the yard now but I’ve had no chance to do them.

Now they’re talking about our possible first major snowfall of the year for early next week.

Like Crazy Eddie’s prices, this weather is IN-SANE!

(Bonus points if you get the reference.)

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