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For Christmas this year, ol’ Robbo gave his progeny a brand new X-Box 360.

Regular frieds of teh decanter may be stunned by this, but there were two essential reasons:

Firsto, for some years now, teh gels have been lobbying ol’ Dad for such a machine and said lobbying has been met with a firm NYET!  A few weeks prior to Christmas, a certain sense of absurdity whispered in Robbo’s ear that there would be much comic value in giving them what they had so often asked for and yet had so often been denied.  And, on Christmas morning, there was.

Segundo, since our old PC died, I myself have been deprived of the only two Microsoft computer games I have ever been interested in playing:  Age of Empires and Air War Over Europe.  It occurred to me that perhaps teh X-Box could provide me some reasonable alternative for said losses.  I don’t hold out much hope for an AoE-type game, but surely there is some kind of WWII air  battle equivalent?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.  Indeed, I’d even take a Star Wars – Rogue Squadron equivalent.  But for Heaven’s sake, I hope there’s something better out there than the Nintento Wii game Blazing Angels.  My brother gave me that one a couple years ago and I loathed it – all narrative and stunts, and absolutely no control of throttle and flaps.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Although he doesn’t go in all that much for politickal fare, Ol’ Robbo just put in an order at teh devil’s website for Yuval Levin’s new book, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left.

I look forward to reading this.  Although I have a great many Tory sympathies largely grounded in Tradition, I also harbor a good many Burkean ideas about teh marketplace, personal autonomy and God’s invisible hand re the relationship between them.

On the other hand, I have always loathed Paine as nothing more than a demagogic rabble-rouser of the sort who championed the French Revolution.   “And I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to?”

Alas, projecting forward to the Now, I fear the Paine Gang has won the battle for teh soul of this country, and I now await teh inevitable collapse associated with such victory.   Hopefully, I’ll be dead before we drain the bitter dregs, but I mourn for my children’s and grandchildren’s future.

Incidentally, I will spill teh beans here by stating that I am now almost half-way through Tolstoy’s War and Peace for the very first time.   Tackling this book had long been on what I suppose I must call my “bucket list”, and in an off-hand moment Mrs. Robbo remembered me saying something about it and got me a copy as a Christmas present.

I want to save my impressions of  W&P until I’ve finished it, but I will say this:  Good God Almighty, what a sprawling tome this thing is!


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January 2014