Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

My name is Robbo and I am the sometime host of this blog.

My apologies for the sporadic posties of late.  The fact is that Mrs. R had to go in for some emergency surgery two weeks ago and things have been rayther at sixes and sevens since then.  (She’s fine, btw, but just now getting back up to speed.)  Also, Mr. Pollen has been putting the hurt on me over the past couple days.

Thus, my Muse, instead of sitting proudly on my shoulder and inspiring me to heights of erudition and eloquence, has instead been cowering in the corner in a fetal ball, whimpering and muttering, “No hablo Ingles, senior…”.


Anyhoo, good God Almighty what a week it’s been, no?  As I type, Drudge is suggesting that they may have nailed have captured the second Marathon bastard bomber bastard.  And all the usual suspects are already starting the crimination/recrimination games.   I positively swear that I heard a few seconds of somebody on NPR this evening suggestion that the younger brother was a “victim” himself, a troubled yoot that our cold, crass system had allowed to “slip through the cracks”.

And so we navel-gaze while the barbarians undermine the wall.

Remember how in M*A*S*H* Alan Alda often delivered that smug and smarmy line, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?”  Well, either through idiocy or willfulness (or probably both – see Jonah Goldberg’s Tyranny of Cliches), he never finished the thought, and thereby skewed it exactly wrong.  The  line is from a poem called “What If?”, usually attributed to Bertolt Brecht and criticizing pacifism.  It runs in full:

What if they gave a war and nobody came?
Why then the war will come to you!
He who stays home when the fight begins
And lets another fight for his cause
Should take care:
He who does not take part
In the battle will share in the defeat.
Even avoiding battle will not avoid Battle,
since not to fight for your own cause really means
Fighting in behalf of your enemy’s cause.

I am not (yet) of the camp that attributes our confused and self-destructive response to Jihad to a deliberate ploy by Libs to ruin this country.  Instead, I still believe it is a matter of naiveté, fecklessness, hubristic posturing and a vague desire that it will all somehow just go away by itself.

Well, it won’t.


Speaking of battles, I ran off the movie Red Tails the other evening, a film that purports to tell the story of the famed Tuskegee Airmen of WWII.  I won’t say much about the film itself, as it turned out to be a horridly cartoonish thing, indulging in cliche and caricature  and doing absolutely nothing to actually honor or, more importantly, EXPLAIN these remarkable pilots and their stunning record of success.  Instead, I use it as yet another exhibit in support of a policy I intend to implement upon becoming Emperor of the World.  Under my wise and benevolent reign, CGI-created machines (in this case, WWII-era fighters and bombers), will not be permitted to act in ways physically impossible for their real-world counterparts.

Do you hear, George Lucas (who was behind this movie)?  If you make a P-51 Mustang act like one of your freakin’ X-wings on MY watch, you are going to be subject to a public flogging.  You’ve been warned.


Speaking of warnings, the youngest gel, now aged 11 and quite full of herself, has taken to calling me “Dude” lately.  Each time she does it, I promptly correct her.  She just as promptly apologizes.  But that doesn’t seem to prevent her from doing it the next time.  Grrrrrr.


One of my resolutions this Easter season is to dip into various authors I’ve not read before.  To this end, I recently acquired the collected works of Flannery O’Connor.  I also procured Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory.   Two other authors who have appeared on my radar are Walker Percy and John Buchan (of 39 Steps fame).  Any suggestions re these two would be appreciated, although I must warn you that I gather Buchan is mostly a whodunnit kind of fellah and detective stories (even those concerning Sherlock Holmes himself) have never really grasped my interest that much.  Oh, and  friends of the decanter are always welcomed to suggest other authors and books.  Regular readers probably know ol’ Robbo pretty well at this point, so you know what might interest me.

Of course, if you were to ask what I’m reading at this very minute, for all my talk of expanded horizons I would have to confess that I’m working my way through the Waugh cycle for the umpteenth time and thoroughly enjoying myself.


Speaking of expanding, we are in the initial steps of doing away with the weather-beaten and code-violating back porch at Port Swiller Manor and replacing it with a three-season room.  The building guy and architect were out this morning to take measurements and discuss ideas.  I kept an eye on the architect as he free-handed a sketch of the existing and proposed structures in his notebook.  It was absolutely fascinating to watch the virtual blueprint emerging from his squigglings.   I suppose it’s routine when you’re in the biz, but as a layman I was deeply impressed.


Well, not much else to say at the moment.  This was one of those horrid evenings in which Mrs. R and I were required to transport the gels to and from various activities in a logistical scheme that made Operation Overlord look like a game of pickup football.  I loathe such days.  To add to the fun, the area has been subject to torrential rains off and on all evening.  The poor visibility, coupled with my rotten night vision,  had ol’ Robbo tooling about the highways and byways muttering under his breath about “driving by Braille”.

The upside of such an evening’s toil and travail is that when everyone finally returns to base safe and sound, that extra glass of wine tastes especially good.  I invite you to join me!