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It’s very interesting to see how the gels become increasingly aware of the elections with each passing cycle.  (My own first political recollection is of sitting on a school bus in 1972 when I was in 1st or 2nd grade, chanting, “Nixon, Nixon, he’s our man! McGovern goes in the garbage can!”)

To give an example, this evening at dinner one of the main topics of conversation was today’s announcement by Romney of his selection of Paul Ryan as a running mate.  The gels wanted to know all the whys and wherefores. After informing the gels of my own opinion concerning this choice, I remarked that the showdown was now set and, if you believed each party’s description of the opposition, looked like a contest between, on the one hand, Mr. Moneybags from the Monopoly game and Snidely Whiplash, versus, on the other, V.I. Lenin and Mortimer Snerd.

I am flattered to report that this elicited some chuckles.

But the point of this post is really centered on the follow-on, in which the gels speculated about the who and when of the first female president.  One of the questions that came up was the title by which said president’s husband, assuming she had one, would be known.

This is a matter of some historickal principle to me.  “Oh,” I said, “He would certainly be the First Gentleman.  It stands to reason.”

Mrs. R said, “Well, given the way things work these days, I’ll bet he’ll be the ‘First Spouse’ if anything.”

This elicited what can only be called the Chestertonian Response from Self.  “I don’t care what the MSM or anyone else says,” said I, “To me he will be the First Gentleman and only the First Gentleman.”  I do not recall if I thumped the table to emphasize my point, but I rayther think I did.

This provoked a look from Mrs. R to which I have become quite used over the years.  What was troubling was that I noticed it on more than one of the gels’ faces as well.

At any rate, for purposes of discussion here over the port and Stilton, I can at least lay down the law – the husband of the President of the United States shall be known as the First Gentleman.  Period.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

As is his wont most Saturday mornings during the season, ol’ Robbo was out today mowing and trimming the yard of Port Swiller Manor.  When he does the full monty, including weed-whacking the ditch between the sidewalk and the street and mowing the small clearing behind the back fence, the job usually takes about three and a half to four hours.  (The ditch is the real time-suck.  I can’t take the mower to it because there are too many exposed roots and rocks, so I have to, as it were, scythe it.)

Anyhoo, as I went about my biznay, I thought to myself, “Self, you really ought to pass on to your imaginary friends a little customer-satisfaction advice, for what it might be worth.”  And so I do.

You see, for the past couple years I had been using a Stihl weed-whacker.  Of course, Stihl has a great brand name, which is why I bought it in the first place, and it worked well enough, but I couldn’t help noticing over time that it was becoming increasingly tempermental about starting up.  Sometimes I could get it to fire after just a couple tugs, sometimes I’d spend twenty minutes sawing away.  There did not seem to be any particular rhyme nor reason.

The final straw came early this year.  It was an afternoon when our crazy handyman was out fiddling about with the gutter that was tearing itself away from the whadjamacallit board behind.  I pulled the Stihl out to do some trimming, and the damn thing simply refused to cooperate.  I tried priming.  I tried choking.  I tried letting it alone for long periods.  Nada.  The crazy handyman noticed, and remarked that he had a similar problem with his Stihl, and that the solution involved a complicated (to me) ritual of taking things apart and putting them back together.

Feh, thoughts I to myself.  Tools are supposed to serve me, not the other way round.  Basic maintenance is one thing, but I’m not going to dance attendance.

So I started hunting about for a replacement.  What I settled on was the Hitachi CG22 EAS (SLP).

My friends, I’m here to tell you that this little number has proved an excellent choice.  She has unfailingly started on the second pull all summah.  She’s also quieter than my old Stihl.  And she thwacks down everything I ask her to.

So there you are.  If you’re in the market for a new weedeater, you might want to check this one out.

May I just point out here that my beloved Nats are the first team to reach 70 wins this season, in large part because they are 9-1 in their last ten starts and have a current 7 game winning streak?  I may? Thank you!

Baseball life is mighty good, but Ol’ Robbo will be glad when the current road trip out west wraps up and the team comes home:  These late night games are starting to take it out of him.

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