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Greetings, my fellow port-swillers!  Ol’ Robbo is back safe and sound from his latest travels.

* For those of you who have followed Robbo’s pteromechanophobia over the years, you may be interested to know that it seems to be changing as time passes.  While the fear certainly is still there, as on last evening’s beastly choppy ride back from O’Hare, these days it seems to provoke a counteracting disgust at the idea of being held hostage to it which allows me to thrust it aside.  Dare I say that ol’ Robbo is feeling….empowered?  (Thank you, Holy Mother and St. Christopher!)

* I have mentioned before my young side-kick on the project with which these little jaunts are associated.  (She’s the one who says “flush out” when she means “flesh out” and thinks that a nursery called “Garden of Gesthemene” is probably named for the family that owns it.)  Not to pick on her, but I am also amused that one who can occassionally spout such politically correct platitudes about How To Fix Society will become such a Hobbesian child of nature when it comes to elbowing her way to the front of the boarding line so that she can snag a spot in the overhead bins and not get her bag green-tagged.  I briefly considered joshing her about it, but somehow felt that a “do as I say, not as I do” joke would either rocket right over her head or else offend her, so I let it go.

* I will say in my colleague’s defense that her attitudes and behavior can be attributed to the fact that she is simply young and silly.  What fills me with horror is that there are folks who never break out of this mindset despite the lessons that age and experience offer.

* Speaking of amusing, my travelling book this time was The Exploits and Adventures of Brigadier Gerard by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in which the said Hero of the piece relates his experiences as a young Hussar in Napoleon’s Grand Armee with Gallic vim, vigor and bravado, combined with a sometimes Bertie Woosterish cluelessness.  The tales are absolutely delightful, and even though Gerard is in every way the antithesis of old Flashy (except in his fancy for the ladies), any fan of George MacDonald Fraser’s works would, I think, consider him well worth a read.  (Yes, Mothe, you may borrow my copy when you come down for Easter.  But I’ve already written my name in it!) 

*In the taxi home from the airport, I found myself riding with a cabbie I recognized.  This is the second or third time this has happened, indicating to me that I am becoming what is known as a “seasoned traveler.” 

*Note to the (apparently) squiffy fellah at the hotel the other evening who decided to try his hand at playing medleys on the lobby piano for his friends:  Dude, you’re terrible.  Take up the kazoo.  And if you’re so desparate for material that you break into “Joy To The World” at the end of February, it’s probably a sign that you should call it a night.

* Speaking of which, I have taken to chatting with a fellah at the RFEC who, like me, enjoys playing Bach at the keyboard.  Apparently, he is part of a little musickal circle that gets together from time to time to hear each other perform.  Recently, he suggested that I ought to come along to one of these evenings, to which I replied (paraphrasing Dear Oscar) that the trouble with playing musick in publick is that when one plays well, nobody listens, and when one plays poorly, nobody talks.

*In other words, Ol’ Robbo doesn’t want somebody else blogging of him, “Dude, you’re terrible. Take up the kazoo.”

*Well, ol’ Robbo is off to get a much-needed haircut today.  I have long noticed that when the thatch gets a bit too thick, it has a corresponding influence on my mood, causing me to feel slovenly and enervated.  Once the weeds have been whacked back a bit, I typically feel much more energetic.  I’ve taken to calling this phenomenon a “reverse Samson” and hope that the term will some day find a permanent home in the family lexicon.

*Hey, other people want to change the world. I only want to influence my little patch of it.  Just imagine.


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February 2011