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My fellow port-swillers may or may not be aware of it, but today has been designated as Food Day, a day set apart by the sort of people who indulge in this kind of thing to call for a fundamental reassessment, reorganization and redirection of the way in which we Amuricans consume the ol’ calories.   Indeed, if you want a sense of Just How Important this Idea really is, we were informed yesterday at RFEC that it would be good for people to change the way they eat because – are you ready for it? – Jesus changed things, too.

As a matter of fact, based on the talk I heard and a brief scan of the group’s website, this is a fairly typical sample of the Big Idea genre, composed of a hodge-podge of smaller ideas that range from the common sense variety through the naively zealous to the politically impossible to the downright insane.   I strongly suspect the presence of too many cooks, as it were.

It also prompts in me three separate but connected thoughts:

The first has to do with proposed changes in United States agricultural policy.  This always reminds me of what Peej O’Rourke wrote in Parliament of Whores.  He noted that the first American agricultural policy was formed by President Washington during the Whiskey Rebellion in the 1790’s.  Washington’s policy was to shoot farmers.  Remembering that line always makes me chuckle.

The second has to do with the usual hectoring about eating less meat.  Prompted by such talk and now the weather is cooling down, ol’ Robbo is suddenly getting a craving for roast beef and Yorkshire pud with two veg, his very favorite meal but one that’s NBG during hot weather.

The third has to do with the presenter of the talk at RFEC making a passing reference to the new, politically correct Cookie Monster who refers to cookies as a “sometimes food.”  Damn that, says I.  I don’t even like cookies, having no sweet-tooth whatsoever.  However, Old School is the Best School:

Now that the weather is getting chilly, news like this becomes of much greater interest to ol’ Robbo:

A single malt distilled in one of Scotland’s most remote distilleries has been named the world’s best whisky by a leading expert.

Old Pulteney was crowned World Whisky of the Year in Jim Murray’s 2012 Whisky Bible.

The 21-year-old single malt scored a record-equalling 97.5 points out of 100.

The whisky is matured in American oak casks and bottled at the Pulteney distillery in Wick, Caithness.

Whisky expert Mr Murray tasted more than 1,200 new drams before deciding on the winner.

He said: “The 21-year-old Old Pulteney absolutely exploded from the glass with vitality, charisma and class.

“Pulteney doesn’t have the financial muscle of the major whisky barons to market its malts on the global stage.

“I hope that this award helps one of Scotland’s great unsung distilleries to become discovered around the world.

So do I, although I have to confess that I have yet to sample anything that would convince me to give up Laphroaig as my dram o’ choice.  Ol’ Robbo does love himself teh peat.

Forgot my reading specs today and mayun am I paying for it.  Going to be another one of those driving-by-Braille commutes home, I’m thinking.

♦  During a historickal discussion at dinner last evening, the youngest gel kept saying King Kong when she meant Genghis Khan.  Eventually I was able to get the correct name drilled into her skull, but I admit the mental images of the Mongol hordes being led by a giant gorilla and of Genghis scaling the Empire State Building with Fay Wray thrown over his shoulder are both pretty amusing.

♦  Over the weekend we received a letter from the good folks of Murrland’s automated traffic enforcement services showing a picture of the backside of our Honda Juggernaut®, an explanation that she was clocked doing 72 in a 55-mph construction zone on I-95 and a request to pony up 40 bucks, thank you very much.  I cringed at first, fearing the wrath of Mrs. Robbo, until I realized that the date of the snag meant it had occurred when she was driving, not me.  The situation immediately turned from alarming to funny.

♦  A piece of advice based on Robbo’s hard-won experience:  If you stop off at the hardware store on the way home from Mass to pick up some more nyger seed for the goldfinches, and you happen to be in such a state of contentment that you jauntily toss the bag through the (open) back window of your jeep, make sure it lands somewhere other than on top of the jaws of the jumper cable you’ve got stowed in there.   Trust me on this.

♦  Speaking of such things, I find that the MIL is planning to visit the port-swiller residence two weeks before Christmas and that Mrs. R has determined that we would “celebrate” Christmas in order to coincide with said visit.  Needless to say, ol’ Robbo was not much pleased at the idea.  However, the homily yesterday focused on the sin of anger, as in don’t let the sun set on same, and during it I had the oddest vision of a physical embodiment of anger – complete with wings and claws – settling on a heart and starting to dig into it.  Upon such reflection, I thought it more prudent not to kick up  a stink about things.

♦  There’s a woman who attends RFEC who happens to be running for the Virginny State Senate.  Her opponents have decided to take the smear-campaign tack, and for the past couple weeks have been bombarding the neighborhood with mailers featuring scary, digitally-enhanced photos of her, together with apocalyptic claims as to what will happen if we are collectively fool enough to vote her in.  It strikes me that attack ads are far less effective at the local level, where the odds are greater that you might actually know the candidates personally, than higher up where the candidates seem more, well, abstract.   Indeed, I am quite put off and predict that the attacks in this case will actually backfire.

♦  Of course, I have a hard time understanding what on earth would possess anyone to get involved in politics in the first place.   I happened to see this candidate yesterday and she didn’t look so happy.

Greetings, my fellow port-swillers!

Somehow or other, ol’ Robbo managed to pull a muscle in his posterior Saturday morning, perhaps as he pottered about clearing away the peony stalks and other end-of-season detritus.   At any rate, what started out as a slight, ignorable twinge gradually grew to a first-class hobble-maker as the day progressed.

Late afternoon found Robbo assisting at the youngest gel’s softball game.  At her level of play, the rule is that when an opposite team’s pitcher has thrown four balls, instead of the batter getting a walk, a coach from her team comes out to pitch to her.  The object is to get the ball into play and to keep scores from piling up on endless walks, pitching at the AA level being very erratic and attention spans rayther short.   As it happens, ol’ Robbo is the best pitcher on the gel’s coaching staff, insofar as I can consistently serve up hittable balls.  Not so this time, however.  I discovered that planting on my leg during my delivery caused so much pain that I was involuntarily letting up on my follow-through, the result being a wicked series of pitches that, instead of coming right across the plate as usual, were winding up in the dirt.

As I went back to the dugout after my first coach-pitch appearance, I mentioned my ailment to the manager.  She seemed sympathetic, but I couldn’t help noticing that when I went out to the mound the next time, a certain amount of chuckling could be heard among the coaches in our dugout.   Curt “Bloody Sock” Schilling got accolades for sticking it out with a gamy leg.  Me? I become an object of mirth.

Not half so much a said object as on Sunday morning, however, when I discovered that my bum hurt so much that I couldn’t even bend far enough to get a sock on.  Mrs Robbo had to do it for me.  The gels thought that was downright hy-sterical.

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