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For no practical reason whatsoever except to, well, have it, don’t you know, and to be able to flip through it from time to time when seized by curiosity.  But I want it nonetheless:

Ninety years in the making, the 21-volume dictionary of the language of ancient Mesopotamia and its Babylonian and Assyrian dialects, unspoken for 2,000 years but preserved on clay tablets and in stone inscriptions deciphered over the last two centuries, has finally been completed by scholars at the University of Chicago.

The article notes that with its extensive entries on the various meanings and usages of words, the set is actually something closer to an encyclopedia than a dictionary.  The whole thing can be had for $2k, so if any of Robbo’s family members are thinking ahead about Christmas or birthday prezzies, well, you wouldn’t go far wrong with this.

Is there something about the local gravitational field of the familial transportation unit that I have been overlooking all this time?  Is there some kind of mini black hole lurking quietly within the transmission shaft of the thing?  Is it equipped with a tractor beam that I didn’t know about and inadvertently flipped on?

I begin to wonder due to the surprising number of items belonging to the gels that seem to wind up there, sometimes apparently snatched right off of their bodies.  Indeed, whenever I have to take them to school and am trying to overcome their apparent temporal equivalent of tone-deafness (a subject for a separate rant), we seem to have the same, maddening conversation:

Where are your socks and shoes?

In Mom’s car.

Where is your uniform skirt?

In Mom’s car?


Mom’s car.


Mom’s car.

Grossly overdue library book?

Mom’s car.

Hair brush?

Mom’s car.

When, as was the case this morning, Mom has already lit out for the territory, this conversation is especially infuriating, causing ol’ Robbo to reach boiling point sooner rather than later.

What in blue blazes are all your things doing in Mom’s car?

To which, the inevitable reply, delivered in tones of wonderment.

I dunno…..

Thus my reason for beginning to question whether I am in fact dealing with some kind of localized gravitational phenomenon.  The only other hypothesis I’ve got working at the moment is that the mold and grunge from half-consumed smoothies and fruit is somehow getting on to these items and animating them, causing them to spontaneously leap off and away from their owners.


UPDATE: I should make clear that this phenomenon is different from several others around the Port-Swiller residence, including the bathroom light that continually turns itself on and the pantry doors that won’t stay closed.  Those I attribute to possible paranormal activity.


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June 2011