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Well, fellow port swillers, as I type this post teh Middle Gel is off at her school’s Winter Formal (or “WinFo” as teh kids seem to call it), hopefully having a grand time.  I only got to see her for a second earlier this evening – Mrs. R had her out getting her hair and face done and she only had, literally, five minutes to dash back into Port Swiller Manor, throw on her dress and dash out again – but she looked grand.

Fortunately, through a horse-trade too complicated to explain here, Mrs. R is tasked with tonight’s chauffeuring duties, so ol’ Robbo finds himself sitting in front of his Mac, a glass of the Laphroaig 10 y.o. at his side and a set of trio sonatas by Johann Baptist Georg Neruda (1707-1780) on the ol’ CD player.

If this isn’t Blog Nirvana for a traditionally-minded fellah on the eve of hitting the big 5-0, I’ll be damned if I know what is.

Anyhoo, some observations:

♦   We’ve had the Mac on which I’m typing this post for a couple years now and I say again: I. Hate. Apple.  For reasons completely incomprehensible to me, whenever I touch the mouse I enter into a zone of random chances that the screen is going to enlarge or shrink or shift left or right or vanish altogether, usually with absolutely no hope of getting back to where I started without losing what it was I was doing.  Damn that.  Technology should be absolutely clear and deliberate, not vague and anticipatory.  This is how SkyNet is going to kill us all.

♦   Yet another story today on a familiar theme:  Multi-billionaire who gave a lecture about American’s ‘needing to have less things and live a smaller existence’ owns a staggering FIVE mansions… including the nation’s most expensive home.  Of course.  As the Puppy-Blender likes to say, when the people who tell us there’s a crisis start acing like there’s a crisis, I will, perhaps, start to listen.

♦   Yes, it’s properly “fewer things” instead of “less things”.  However, pointing out such sloppy errors these days probably constitutes “grammarian micro-aggression” and therefor constitutes a hate crime.

♦  Speaking of which (the GloBull Warming bullet, not the grammar-Nazi one), go check out this link at Ace’s.  Yes, indeed.

♦  Ol’ Robbo made himself get on the elliptical this afternoon for the first time in quite a while.  45 minutes, 3.25 miles, 400+ calories.  I’m afraid that I’ve got rayther flabby in the last year or two – both physically and mentally –  and have decided to use my impending milestone birthday as a reason to get back in the game.  I must say that the endorphin rush, first acquired back in my college varsity days, feels mighty good.

♦  Good friend of the decanter Diane mentions that she recently has cleaned up her own blogroll.  This reminds me that, really, I ought to do the same here, as many entries on the port swiller lists have gone dark or moved.  It’s hard, though.  In part, Robbo hates change and will cling to old clothes, old shoes, old books and old blog friends long after they have fallen apart, and doesn’t like to accept the fact that they’ve done so.  Indeed, there’s a specific, individual reason why I linked to most of these blogs in the first place, and I am frankly saddened to see each of them end.  In part, also, I’m also too damn lazy to fiddle with the workings.

♦  On the other side, I again remind those two or three of you who gather here that if you think there are other blogs out there that might tickle the port swiller fancy, you are invited to send them along.  Always more room on the ol’ blogroll for them, and we welcome as many voices as care to chime in.

♦  Maybe it’s just an age thing, but despite the fact that we have not had all that bad a winter so far in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor, ol’ Robbo pines for spring this year much more than he can remember doing so in the past.  On the other hand, another Alberta Clipper is set to hit the area tomorrow night and into Monday.  Ol’ Robbo is not so trenchant in his desire for warmer weather that he wouldn’t mind a delay or closing on his birthday….

Yes, I am kinda shallow.

 Welp, it’s getting latish, so I should wrap this up and go check my, ah, firepower.  Just in case Middle Gel’s date did not adhere to the standards one would expect of a young gentleman.  You know:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo was idling around the innertoobs this soggy Saturday morning when his eye fell on this article over at the Telegraph: Warriors Suffered From Post-Traumatic Stress ‘3,000 Years Ago’.  The lead:

Warriors in ancient Iraq more than 3,000 years ago could have been the first people to suffer from post-traumatic stress, researchers have found.

It has long been believed that the first account of PTSD was in 490 BC following the Marathon Wars between the Greeks and the Persians.

The understanding was based on Herodotus’ account of the Athenian spear carrier Epizelus who began to suffer from mutism after the conflict.

But researchers at Anglia Ruskin University have now discovered texts that suggest PTSD could have existed as far back as 1300 BC.

[snip]

Prof Jamie Hacker Hughes, director of Anglia Ruskin’s Veterans and Families Institute, said the texts references conflicts in the same region as the current Gulf Wars.

He said: “This paper, and the research on which it is based, demonstrates that post traumatic psychological symptoms of battle were evident in ancient Mesopotamia.

“Well before the Greek and Roman eras, before the time of Abraham and the biblical Kings, David and Solomon, and contemporarily with the time of the Pharaohs.”

“Especially significant is that this evidence comes from the area known as the cradle of civilisation and, of course, the site of much recent conflict including the recent Gulf and Iraq Wars in which many British service personnel were involved.”

Now, I’ve never served in uniform, much less combat, but I have studied history and human nature.  My first reaction to the story was, “Well, duh.”  But that last little bit got me wondering.  Why, exactly, is it “especially significant” that this evidence comes from the “cradle of civilization”?  Is the suggestion that such stress is a by-product of psychological developments associated with such civilization and, by implication, that it has not been experienced by, say, hunter-gatherer savages populating other parts of the world?  Because that would be an interesting idea, if rayther daringly politically incorrect.  UPDATE: Or, now that I think about it more, what about civilizations parallel to the one which rose in Mesopotamia?  Is there any evidence of PTSD in warriors among, say, the Aztecs or the Incas?

On the other hand, is it just an excuse to adopt an arched eyebrow and an ironic smirk while saying “cradle of civilization” when discussing Iraq?

I don’t know.

UPDATE: Oh, why not?  Like I say, soggy Saturday.  Enjoy!

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