Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Back in the day when he metro’d into work, ol’ Robbo was guaranteed at least some exercise every day by the fact that his office is about three quarters of a mile away from the stop where he got out.  Indeed, regular friends of the decanter may recall that I used to post random commuter observations here with some frequency.

However, this little routine went the way of the dodo almost two years ago when I started driving into town in connection with dropping off and picking up various gels at school.

I have felt its absence rayther keenly, both because I feel generally flabbier and also because my cholesterol has spiked somewhat and I don’t enjoy being yelled at by my doc.

Anyhoo, recently I have tried to rectify this situation by starting in on walks at lunchtime.  Indeed, I’ve developed a nice little loop slightly expanding on my previous path that is probably good for a solid mile and three quarters.  It ain’t exactly triathlete training, but I do feel the effects afterward and, after all, it’s better than nothing.

As I swing along, I sometimes listen to the conversation of the various office drones and touron groups I pass.  This often brings to mind that country song from a few years back with the punch line that goes, “God is great.  Beer is good.  And people are crazy.”

But more often than not, I give my thoughts free rein to wander where they will, leaving only a skeleton crew in the here and now to keep me from walking straight into lamp posts, oncoming traffic or fellow pedestrians.

As I was wool-gathering my way through an intersection this afternoon,  I heard a singsongy voice say, “Excuse me, Mr. Potentially Friendly Person….”  I registered a brief vision of a hippie with a clipboard, too.  It was only a second or two later that I realized the guy had actually been addressing me.  On this coming back to the present, I also became aware that the dude was yucking up the incident with one of his cohorts as well as, apparently, a group of people who had been directly behind me.   It would seem my blow-by was intensely amusing to all of them.

Not wishing to break my stride, I simply kept going.

Eh, it’s probably just as well he didn’t actually engage my attention at first, because I probably would have been pretty short with him.  We’ve reached a point in our wretched, festering culchah where politicks have become so poisonous that the only safe response to a stranger (or indeed, anyone other than one’s immediate family or closest personal friends) asking for one’s opinion on the hot-button topics of the day is, “That’s none of your business.”

And now, to tie in the title of this post and at the same time violently chang the subject, I give you a little Chicago.  I’ve always liked Chicago.  Forget the lyrics, which are the usual early 70’s hippie crap – to this day, I still don’t know what “25 or 6 to 4” is supposed to mean:  I’ve always  just thought they had a nice, fat sound, especially with that horn section, and some sweet harmonies.


Yes, I suppose I must denounce myself now.