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Since I imagine my fellow port-swillers have had about enough of Robbo’s religious mania for a bit, and since circumstances pretty much bar me from commenting on the 800 pound Topic of the Day, I’ll instead give you a few odds and ends:

♦   We had three jack-o-lanterns for Halloween this year, all carved free-hand by Self using nothing but a spoon and a kitchen knife.  I’ve never been into “pumpkin art,” but instead retain what one might call a primitivist taste (triangular eyes and nose, maybe some fangs in the smile) from my own childhood.  Another thing I retain is a distinct dislike for sticking my hands into the pumpkin guts while cleaning them out.  But Dad’s gotta do what Dad’s gotta do.

♦    It has become a tradition at the port-swiller residence to begin the pumpkin carving ceremony by reciting Calvin’s line, “Okay, Jack, time for your lobotomy!” Laughs every year.

♦   Last night saw the first frost of the year.  Bowing to this, I finally put the side panels (which had been off since about March) back on the ol’ Wrangler.  Cold canvas is cussed stuff to fool with, so I probably will leave them on until next spring.  However, as is my wont, I will leave the back flap rolled up as much as possible, putting it down only for snow storms.

♦  What Mrs. Robbo says: “We need to paint the upstairs hall.”  What Robbo actually hears: “You need to paint the upstairs hall.”  Funny how that works.

♦   Some time ago I read Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent, a novel about anarchists in London in the late 19th Century.  This week I have picked up G.K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday, which is also about…… anarchists in London in the late 19th Century.   Interesting contrast.  The mental impression I retain from Conrad’s book is one of sordid, nasty grubbiness.  The feel I get from Chesterton’s is one of mad, almost absurd energy.  In Conrad’s case, I believe the word-painting was quite deliberate.  In GKC’s, I think it’s just his personality bubbling through.

♦  Finally:

Two for two at the new church round the corner.  Interesting that I woke up this morning conscious of a very distinct urge to attend Mass today as a matter of corporate responsibility.  I don’t know how much my prayers will aid those who have gone before me, but every little bit helps.  (I don’t like the “you should do this because some day you’re going to want others doing it for you” line because it smacks too much of a quid pro quo, which I think is incompatible with agape.)

I especially tried keep in mind those poor martyrs from Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad, but I would imagine none of them have long to wait before reaching Heaven.


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November 2010