Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Friends of the decanter may not know from the sort of content that ol’ Robbo offers up here these days that, in fact, he is keenly, keenly aware of the great struggle currently being waged for the heart of our Republic and which will determine its future course either into  (pace Winston) broad, sunlit uplands or the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Well, frankly, I’m just a bit too close to the center of things for comfort.  If it were just me myself, I’d say damn it all and sing out from the rooftops.  But I’ve got a family to think of and must keep in mind what effect a late-night visit from the New NKVD would have on them.  So, like Queen Bess, I take the motto video et taceo.

Anyhoo, I begin with this rayther elaborate preface in order to cushion somewhat the frivolity of the following observations:

♦  Last week, I participated in an outreach event with the current third year law class at Dubyanell, my old alma mater.   Idly thinking about the math, I suddenly realized it has been twenty-three years since I myself was in their shoes.  Good God Almighty, how did that happen?

♦  Something that drives me crazy?  When drivers sitting  at a long light or in traffic turn off their engines and only turn them on again when things start to move.   It’s not so much the start-up time involved, it’s more the knowledge that such practice actually causes more wear and tear on a car’s engine than does patient idling.

♦  This one is really for all of Robbo’s fellow Nats Fans:  There are rumors that the Nats are considering dealing Denard Span and/or Anthony Rendon.  Jumpin’ Jehosaphat, why?   WHY ON EARTH??

♦  I may not have mentioned before that I am once more plowing my way through Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin novels, having decided to go right the way along to “21” even thought I’ve always felt the series tailed off in quality and spirit after The Wine-Dark Sea.   Anyhoo, I pass on for your consideration an observation made by the Mothe:  As far as female characters go, she is willing to accept Sophie as plausible.  However, she maintains that there is no such real world person as Diana Villiers, and that she is instead the product of male fantasy.  I would go further and suggest that Christine Wood is even more so.

♦  Speaking of literary cycles, I have been working my way slowly through the Beeb’s An Age of Kings, the cycle of Shakespeare’s historickal plays running from Richard II to Richard III.  All in all, I quite liked it despite the extremely heavy editing.  Solid casting all around.  Sean Connery made a great Hotspur, Robert Hardy made a Churchillian Henry V and the fellah who played Falstaff was quite good, too.  But when I looked at the DVD of all those episodes of Henry VI, parts 1, 2 and 3…..I just couldn’t do it.

♦  We’ve entered the season of that most dreaded of social gatherings, the Office Holiday Party.   How it makes me shudder.  More than once I’ve used urgent calls with Time & Temperature to waive off office mates who wonder why I’m not headed to the conference room at the appointed time.

♦   Speaking of seasons, my work garage is no great way from Dee Cees’ Verizon Center, home of the NHL Capitals and NBA Wizards.  When either team is playing at home, there is an ugly evening crossover of wage-slaves trying to get out while fans are trying to get in.  I have observed that when the Caps are playing, piloting the ol’ Jeep up out of the depths takes on the feeling of being a salmon trying to battle upstream to its mating grounds and being confronted by rapids, hungry grizzlies and occasional mountain-slides.  When the Wizards are playing?  Not so much.

And finally, because it never gets tired, there’s this.  Enjoy!