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Ol’ Robbo finds himself at loose ends about the port-swiller residence today, awaiting the A/C fellah with the echo in his head of those dread words, “We’ll be there between ten and two.”  So with a bit of time to kill, here’s a sampling of what’s floating about in that Sargasso Sea that I like to call my mind:

♦  Went to the local Gourmet Giant (pronounced “Ger-may Gee-yaunt“) this morning.  They’ve been overhauling the place top to bottom recently, and the “grand reopening” was held this past week.  Among other things, the store now offers valet parking.  Valet parking at a grocery store just doesn’t seem right to me.

♦   While I was out at the grock store, I also nipped across the street to the hardware store in order to pick up some new A/C filters.  The scheduling of today’s service checkup reminded me that I have been very negligent about switching filters out on a regular basis, so I needed to put a new one in order to avoid getting scolded.  Hope the fellah doesn’t notice the last minuteness of the effort.

♦  The A/C checkup is just one of a whole series of “house stuff” getting done over the next few days.  The list also includes cleaning the gutters and having the septic pumped.  I only recently found out that Fairfax County requires householders to do such pumpings every five years, and I only discovered this because the County sent us a letter saying we were overdue and that we’d better get it done pronto or else we’d be fined.  Nag, nag, nag.  

♦  Here’s a piece of trivia for you:  The great Commonwealth of Virginny has its very own state bat.  Yes, indeed: Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus or the Virginia Big-Eared Bat.  I found this out because I happened to notice my first bat of the season flitting about the yard last evening and was curious as to the possible species to which it might belong.  (Apparently, there are 15 resident species from which to choose.) 

Share and enjoy!

♦  The weather here has turned hot, sultry and nasty.  This always reminds me of an old Bloom County strip in which Milo says to Steve Dallas, “Hey, Steve, it’s spring.  You know what that means.” Steve replies, “Yeah, sweating.  I’m against it.” 

Me, too.

♦  Since I suddenly appear to be going all Jay Nordlinger on you, I’ll throw in some musickal thoughts here.  The past couple of days I’ve been messing about with a pair of early Beethoven sonatas, the No. 2 in A and the No. 3 in C.   Both of them, written when Beethoven was about 18 or so, were dedicated, like much of his early work, to Haydn, whom Beethoven practically worshipped.  I’ve never found out what Haydn’s opinion of Beethoven was, though.

♦  A political observation?  One of my favorite moments in The Lord of the Rings occurs in The Two Towers when Gandalf (now the White) meets up with Aragorn and his friends.  Remarking on the strategic situation, Gandald says, “We meet again.  At the turn of the tide.  The great storm is coming, but the tide has turned.”  I am increasingly of the opinion that the same may be said of this country.  You see, although it is no longer fashionable, I still believe in American exceptionalism.  We’ve allowed ourselves to get lazy during the good times of the past fifty years or so, but I believe that the forces of hubris and irresponsibility having pushed us right up to the brink now, we are beginning to stir.  Which isn’t to say it won’t be a damn near-run thing, but I do believe we will emerge on the other side stronger for it.

How’s that for swinging for the fences?

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