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I mentioned here that the other day was the middle gel’s thirteenth birthday.  Her present this year is that she and Mrs. R hopped the train for Noo Yawk City this morning and are going to go ice-skating at Rockerfeller Plaza.  This leaves ol’ Robbo holding teh fort at Port Swiller Manor, where he is now facing an interesting honey-do list.  (Facing it, that is, by drinking a second cup of khaffee and blogging about it.)

First, it’s time to finally take down the Christmas things.   This is always a bit depressing to me because once one strips all the ornaments off, one is left with, well, a dead tree.  Then there’s the whole mess with the needles, some of which I am usually still finding the following August.

Then, the youngest gel’s room used to be her nursery and the walls are still painted a bright, nurseryish yellow.  Well, teh gel turns eleven this week and has decided she’s tired of nursery-yellow walls.  To this end, she and Mrs. R went shopping for new sheets and a new rug, all of which are in various shades of purple, black and gray.  The combination of all these elements may be described as nightmarish.   The infuriating part is that Mrs. R knows she doesn’t even need to say anything, but can instead rely on my own aesthetic outrage to motivate me to repaint the damned room.  Well played, madam.  Well played.

Well, I suppsoe I’d better have at it…..

UPDATE:  Decorations gone.  (I now wonder how long it will be before Mrs. R notices I scraped the ceiling again getting the tree out of its stand.)  Every December I grumble over the tangled wad of lights that I have to pick apart before stringing them up on the tree.  Every January, however, I’m so tired of the biznay that instead of properly coiling up the strands, I just wad ’em all up again and chuck ’em back in the bag where they live.

Also unexpectedly on the agenda for the day, supervising the youngest gel’s science fair project, which involved combining various proportions of borax solution and glue solution and comparing the resulting wads of slime.   Conclusion?  A fine mess.  In addition, I foolishly let her attempt to bake a giant cookie with smashed up Jolly Rancher candies in it.  As Oliver Hardy would say, another fine mess.   (In case you’re interested, the candies melt and fuse themselves to the baking sheet.  I needed a new one anyway.)


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

It’s a very curious thing, but it’s also fair to say that in the nearly ten years that ol’ Robbo has been blogging, of all the opinions and observations that I’ve offered on all the myriad topics of the day, the one for which I’ve got the most consistently hostile push-back from readers has been my long-standing position that something about Lance Armstrong has always given me the creeps.   (Actually, the most flak I ever got for blogging was when the Episcopal Bishop of Virginia got wind of what I was saying about the diocese’ treatment of the breakaway conservative parishes, but that involved a real-life dressing down by the local wardens and not bloggy commentary.)

Of course, it’s not surprising that I don’t get all that much disagreement with most of what I say.  That’s the nature of small-scale blogging – the only people who bother to come round here at all are the ones who are going to more or less agree with me, or at least enjoy what I write.  (Either that or the trolls take one look at my glittering wit and crushing logic, and immediately run away home to mama.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!)

But there’s something about my opinion of Armstrong that really seems to have struck a nerve.  Back when he was winning all those Tours and I said he was creepy, commenters made sarcastic remarks about how I couldn’t stand success.  When the whole doping scandal first broke out, I recall Armstrong defenders attacking the body (whatever it was) that made the accusations and findings, and accusing me of being a dupe.  And when he was stripped of his awards and thrown overboard by his sponsors, there was condemnation of the dark politicking in professional cycling and some snarking at what was perceived as schadenfreude on my part.   (Which was not the case, by the way.  I find the whole biznay to be tawdry but sad.)  In short, some readers sure seemed to take my posts rayther personally.

So I’ll be interested to see what people have to say now that Armstrong is apparently going to confess his sins and seek absolution from none other than Queen Oprah:

In an article posted on its website on Friday night, USA Today cited “a person with knowledge of the situation” as saying Armstrong plans to admit to doping throughout his career, but that he probably will not go into great detail about specific cases and events.

The announcement that Armstrong agreed to an interview, to air on Winfrey’s OWN cable TV network on Thursday, has sparked widespread speculation that he might finally confess to being a drug cheat after years of strenuous denials.

It will be Armstrong’s first interview since he was stripped in October of his seven Tour de France titles after the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said he helped orchestrate the most sophisticated doping program in sports history.

Nicole Nichols of Winfrey’s OWN network said “no question is off-limits” in the interview, for which Armstrong will not receive any payment.

Last week, The New York Times reported that Armstrong, 41, was considering publicly admitting that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs in an apparent bid to return to competitive sport in marathons and triathlons.

(I will say parenthetically that Oprah! gives me the creeps, too, although I doubt very much whether I’d get much disagreement from my fellow port swillers over that particular sentiment.)

So if Armstrong goes on the show and says, “Yeah, I doped.  It’s a fair cop,”  what will the reaction be?  Acceptance that he was a cheater?  Or impassioned defense that he’s only going through this media penance in order to be able to get back into competitive sports and try and earn a buck?

I’ll tell you one thing:  I’d better not see the terms “closure” or “move on” here.  Those give me the creeps, too, and when I become Emperor of the World, their usage will constitute a flogging offense.






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