Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

In case you are wondering, as I type the current temperature on the porch at Port Swiller Manor is 41.3 ºF.

I know this because I recently purchased a La Crosse Technology WS-9133U-IT 915 MHz wireless weather station, and since mounting it this weekend I’ve been sort of geeking out over checking the stats whenever I go through the kitchen.   I know this model isn’t particularly sophisticated – no actual barometric readings, a very limited forecast function, no wind speed and direction, no relative humidity – but it’s a pleasant gadget nonetheless.

I reckon that in my retirement, I’ll get into something more closely approaching serious weather-watching.   Indeed, one of the sure signs that ol’ Robbo is beginning to enter the shoal waters of Mid-Life Crisis is a recent brooding on what on earth I’m going to do with myself when Life throws me on to the beach.   In addition to said weather-watching, I’ve come up with some other preliminary ideas, which include:

– Golf

– Gardening

– Actually reading all those classics I should have done earlier but didn’t get round to (yeah, I’m looking at YOU, War and Peace)

– Various religious devotionals (Eucharistic Adoration in the middle watches, for example)

(This list, so far, does not include travel.  Frankly, I’ve no wish to travel.  Mrs. Robbo, on the other hand, is passionately fond of the idea.  This might cause some problems.)

But anyway, back to the weather station.  Friends of the decanter may recall from some posties from way back that when ol’ Robbo was but an elementary school tyke, his great passion was to some day become a meteorologist.   As Calvin was to dinosaurs, I was to weather.  Indeed, I doubt very much there have been many such kiddies who knew as much as I did about high and low pressure, frontal boundaries and cloud types.

I still recall a story I wrote in second or third grade about various manifestations of the weather, from set fair to stormy.  Actually, I don’t remember what the story actually was, but I do remember being sent to the principal’s office about it, where I actually was congratulated on my imagination and knowledge.

I also remember being asked by one of my teachers whether a squall line bearing down on the school one afternoon was anything to be worried about in terms of assuming the cover-up position out in the hall.   Armed in my self-assurance, I took a look at the sky and assured her that there was nothing to worry about.

I further remember an educational kit (from NOAA, I suppose) offered by one of the local teevee stations during the annual spring storm season for which I wrote away.   It consisted of a large chart of the various kinds of weather, together with a phonograph record.  (This was, like, 1973.  Shut up.)  The record was a dramatic rendering of a guided tour of a meteorological station on a stormy day somewhere (I think) near St. Louis.   The narrator, a meteorologist, described the various weather phenomena depicted on the chart.  (You see, he was supposed to have the same chart in his office.)  The climax of the story was a sudden, direct hit of a tornado on the station.  Everyone survived, of course,  but the Full Fury of Ma Nature meme was expressed with all the subtlety of, oh, a sudden tornado hit on a weather station.

That record scared the beejeezus out of me.  Indeed, I brought the kit into class for a presentation one day and literally had to hide when the voice offstage yelled, “TORNADO!!”

The other thing I remember about that record?  The musick accompanying the thing was the overture from Glinka’s opera Ruslan and Ludmila:

To this day I get a little sweaty-palmed when I hear it on teh radio.

Yes, I’m a bit odd.  I know that.   What I’m not sure of is what happened to my interest.  Heck, I could be out-mimboing Jim Cantore right this very instant if I had stuck with it.

Oh, well.  Maybe when I retire……

*Spot the slightly-mangled quote

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