Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Yes, as the title implies, ol’ Robbo took the weed-whacker to Da Beard this morning.  I didn’t do so because it looked bad or because Mrs. R made me.  (Indeed, when I finally got her to comment, she actually gave it her  qualified approval.)  In the end I suppose I decided that I just wasn’t really that guy looking back at me in the mirror.  Regular friends of the decanter will be well aware of Robbo’s aversion to change and his utter lack of interest in novelty for its own sake.   Some people might be apt to label this “boring”.  I prefer the term “constant”.

Anyhoo, I got a few compliments and had a bit o’ fun, but it was time to come home.

Speaking of change, our Maximum Leader, commenting t’other day on the upcoming statewide elections here in the Great Commonwealth of Virginny, noted his general dissatisfaction with all the candidates on offer this time around.   I must say that I’m getting that same vibe from many, many people including Mrs. R, who I always turn to as my non-politickal weathervane.   I won’t go into endorsements here except to remark that, as I’m something more of a cultchah warrior than Maxy, the choices are easier for me.   I will say that there is at least one state-wide candidate who, in a healthy republic, wouldn’t even be on the ballot but instead would be in jail.

Also speaking of change, may I remark here how much I hate this bloody Apple i-Whateveritis on which I am currently typing, particularly this goddam wireless mouse?  In its apparent quest to anticipate what I want it to do, it’s forever suddenly magnifying the page or flipping it into the trash if I even go so far as to sneeze at the wrong moment.  Grrrrr…..

Speaking of manipulative technology, the devil’s website got me again yesterday.  On a Columbus Day tip from the Puppy-blender, I had sauntered over to pick up Samuel Eliot Morrisson’s Admiral of the Ocean Sea:  A Life of Christopher Columbus.   While on the page, I heard a small voice whisper, “Psst! Hey! Look down a little….You know you can get a copy of Columbus’s own logs and dispatches from his voyages while you’re at it, don’t you?  You know you want to, right?  It’s sooooo easy.  Go ahead!”

My friends, there are some temptations which I am able to avoid quite easily.  There are others to which I fall equally easily.   (And lest you think this particular one fairly petty, let me assure you that reading books of this sort will be more than enough justification to send me to the reeducation camps, if not the wall, in the upcoming purges.)

One temptation that I wrestle with more or less constantly is to try living the gels’ lives for them.  This is a trap the Old Gentleman fell into in my own misspent yoot, and one that I swore scrupulously to avoid when it became my turn to deal with teenagers.  My friends, it’s a whole heck of a lot harder than I ever imagined to stop myself from dashing in and trying to micro-manage, and then losing my temper when my efforts are either ignored or resisted.  Saint Joseph, ora pro nobis.

Oh, speaking of age….I saw Lee Majors, of all people, on the teevee last evening hawking a “bionic” hearing-aid.   For some reason, this made me feel very old.  The Six-Million Dollar Man was a fixture of my misspent yoot – I can’t recall whether I actually had a Col. Steve Austin action figure, but I rayther think I did – and to see him badly reading a cue-card in a mumbly voice really hit me.

Well, enough of that.  It’s a beautiful mid-October day and I do believe that this will be the last lawn-mowing of the season.   Here’s a question for you:  The back yard of Port Swiller Manor is enclosed in a white rail fence that, after twelve years or so, could really do with a new coat of paint.   Somebody told Mrs. R that we really ought to power-wash it before painting, given that some of the rails are a bit grungy, but I’m inclined not to a) because of the additional work and expense, and b) because I worry that directing a jet of water at some of the boards will cause them to disintegrate.   Is this a short-cut to nowhere?