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And they want their mayhem back.

Greetings,  my fellow port swillers!

God’s blood, what a mess!  Back in the day, the goddam hippies were fighting the Man.  These days, they are the Man.  And they’ve got a younger generation of dirt-bag, jackbooted social warrior snowflakes backing them up this time.  I just don’t see how all this goes on much longer.

If it was just a question of the Gods of the Copybook Headings taking these people out behind the woodshed and thrashing them, I’d be popping the popcorn.  However, it’s more than likely that I and mine get caught up in the fall, too.

Goddam hippies.

UPDATE:  Anyone here old enough to remember Eddie Chiles?  He used to do radio ads in the late 70’s in which a voice-over would ask “What are you mad about today, Eddie?”  Then Chiles would go into a twenty second rant about whatever: high taxes, economic malaise, social breakdown, the commies.  If I had the money, I’d do the same thing.  “What are you mad about today, Robbo?”

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo settled down to listen to some musick this evening, only to discover that his 25+ year old set of Sony headphones have gone duff.  (Something within the right lobe has broken loose.  It’s not that I can’t hear from that side, but the component keeps sliding around.  Difficult to appreciate a Haydn Mass when it’s permeated by a set of chunks and bangs not contained in the original score.)

So….Any friends of the decanter have any recommendations re a new set of ‘phones?

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

It seems that the Gels’ latest “What a Dinosaur ol’ Dad Is” meme is to make fun of the fact that I still carry around a Motorola flip phone which I must have had, oh, at least eight or ten years now.

Until they started this line of ragging, ol’ Robbo hadn’t even known it was a thing, since I hardly ever use my phone.  In fact, the only reason I even have one at all is for use while commuting in case of emergency or change of itinerary sent out from Port Swiller HQ.  Truth be told, I don’t even know my own cell number.

In response to the question of why I don’t upgrade, I also note:

a) that I don’t want to turn into one of the legion of zombies I see walking about with their eyes locked on their iThingies, and

b) even if I wanted to, from what I understand of our Verizon plan, Mrs. R and the gels have been helping themselves to my upgrades all this time, so I have not even been given the opportunity.

Anyhoo, I bring all this up because I had a dream last night that I was supposed to pick up Jon “Horseface” Carry at the Denver airport but, because I didn’t have my phone on, I had missed the instructions.  Somehow, as I scrambled about trying to get ready and wondering why I had to fetch him, I could hear his voice muttering in the background about “incompetence” and “shoddy service” and “I can’t believe this”.  Yeah, John.  You should talk.

I then further discovered that not only was I late to pick up Kerry at the Denver airport, it was also Thanksgiving Day; I had a house full of family, all of them already sitting expectantly at the table; and that I hadn’t even turned on the oven yet.  I found myself feverishly looking at the instructions on the turkey wrapping, trying to find out the correct oven setting.  The only number I could find was 500°F, which, even in my dream, I knew was way too high for a bird.

Finally, I looked up at my guests and said, “Um, this is going to take a while.”

And then I woke up.

UPDATE: Apropos, I saw this somewhere the other day.  Pretty funny because true:

 

 

 

A glass of wine with those friends of the decanter who have an ear for good music!

Haydn ConcertiThe local classickal station’s CD pick of the week. this week is a collection of Papa Haydn’s keyboard sonatas and concerti.

From what I have heard the past couple days, I would heartily recommend to those friends of the decanter who are interested in such things that you pick up this particular CD.  (I know I will.) The performances by Anne-Marie McDermott at the ivories are crisp, yet witty and sensible, qualities of which ol’ Papa, I am sure,  would have approved most heartily, since they mirrored his own character.

Also, from a strictly selfish point of view, I play most of the solo keyboard pieces myself (on a strictly hack amateur sight-reader, nobody else within hearing distance basis, of course) and it’s nice to see them get some exposure.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers and Happy Earth Punch A Hippy Day!  (Holly Maddox could not be reached for comment.)

Ol’ Robbo had to laugh when he learned that President Boyfriend chose to mark the occasion by taking a completely unnecessary and apparently un-ironic joy-ride on Air Force One down to the Everglades in order to harangue us all about our wasteful ways.  9000 gallons of aviation fuel, I believe, to say nothing of all the limos and suburbans involved in the security details.   The Puppy Blender is right:  I don’t want to hear one goddam word about my “carbon footprint”.  I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who are telling me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis.  (And that goes for AlGore, too.)

The Youngest Gel has been coming home from school with various bits of agitprop about the perils of global warming climate change whatever-the-hell they’re calling it now, which I have been trying gently but firmly to debunk.  (The older two, happily, are maturing nicely into skeptics.  The Youngest still has a way to go, bless her heart.)  It occurred to me that the starting point of my explanation is like that regarding so many other topics these days:  “First of all, this has nothing to do with [substantive issue] and everything to do with politics.”  And as Peej O’Rourke once noted, politics is the business of obtaining status and power without merit.

We hates politics.

Look, I firmly believe in responsible stewardship.  It’s in the Bible and the Catechism, after all.  And I don’t doubt that there are lots of fellow travelers out there who get a warm fuzzy from driving their electric coal-powered cars, putting in mercury-leaking lightbulbs and only flushing once a day.  But I’m convinced that all the senior ring-leaders are fully aware that this biznay is – and always has been – nothing more than another authoritarian power-grabbing scam designed to more easily control and manipulate us kulaks.

I think this evening I might reread the chapter on glowbull warminj in Peej’s All The Trouble In The World (which I continue to believe was his very best book.) Even though it came out in the 90’s, it’s still as fresh and on point today as it was back then.  Watermelons, after all, have a long shelf life.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

No, I’m not talking about that wretched post-WWII generation who currently are raping the Republic of all the wealth on which they can lay their mitts before they die off and who are, also, directly responsible for the rise of a generation of Millennials who are in the process of establishing a reign of Precious Snowflake Fascist Terror that will eventually come to a painful, violent end when the Gods of the Copybook Headings return.*

From the Port Swiller Deck this evening, courtesy of the Youngest Gel and her iThingy.

From the Port Swiller Deck this evening, courtesy of the Youngest Gel and her iThingy.

Instead, I’m talking about good, old-fashioned, thunderstorms, some of which came a-calling in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor this evening.  First time this season.

Ol’ Robbo used to be quite frightened of thunder and lightning.  I recall distinctly an incident in my misspent yoot in San Antonio.  My bedroom window looked out on a hackberry tree in our back yard, maybe 50 yards or so from the house.  One evening during a storm (I think when I was in high school), I walked in and looked out just in time to see the poor tree hit by a lightning bolt.  (You can always tell that you’re close to a strike because you can hear a distinct vzzzzzt!! before you hear the thunder.)  I hit the deck completely by instinct, all my fears of my earlier yoot very much reenforced.  (I believe that same poor tree got knocked down by either a microburst or an F0 tornado a few years later when I was away at college.)

Anyhoo, I gradually overcame said fear, to the point where I now quite enjoy watching a storm in all its fury.  To sit out on the deck this evening and watch the cell scud past us to the east while the bats flitted about overhead was very delightful.

A little game I like to play in this season is Beat The Storm.  My office is about 14 miles southeast of Port Swiller Manor.  When conditions are stormy, I take a good, hard look at the radar just before I leave work.  If there are storms about, the game is to decide whether to slap the sides up on La Wrangler or to see if I can just beat them home bare-sided.  In some cases, I have cut this close enough that the deluge has hit literally between the time I got into my garage and the time I tried to go back out to the mailbox to retrieve the evening bills.   Very gratifying when I get it right.

And lest you think Ol’ Robbo is delusional on this point, let me just note that others play the same game.  A couple years back, I was on a late-afternoon flight from Dee Cee to Cleveland when the captain announced we were going to take off a couple minutes ahead of schedule.  I didn’t think much of it until, during our descent, the sky suddenly got awfully dark (and the plane suddenly got awfully quiet).  We came down smoothly enough, but by the time we were taxiing to the gate, the heavens had opened up and the tempest was crashing down all round us.  That sum’bitch pilot had beat it in with seconds to spare.

Once I retrieved my jangled nerves, I tipped my metaphorical hat to the fellah.

 

*No, but it felt damned good to get that off my chest.

 

 

 

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ah, Spring!  Season of swings and roundabouts!

On the one hand,  ol’ Robbo learned yesterday that the Port Swiller Manor air-conditioner, which I hadn’t realized was eleven years old, has given up the ghost – rusted coil, leaking freon like a sieve, electrical contacts burning out.  Well, what else can one say except ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching? UPDATE:  The hot water heater decided to get in on the game by leaking while the HVAC guys were putting in the new A/C unit.  This came as no surprise, as I’d been warned two years ago that the thing was nearing the end of its life and had been wondering idly since then when it would go, but still……”When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions.”

On the other hand, I discovered this morning that both the lawnmower and the weed-whacker are in fine working condition despite my very minimal (which is to say, non-existent) winterization efforts.

On the third hand, I’ve killed about seven wasps on the porch over the past few days.  (Red wasps – fortunately not especially aggressive.)  They must have a nest very near at hand and also must have found a way to get through the screen.  I haven’t found it yet and I’m probably giving myself cancer with all the spray I’ve inhaled while shooting at them.  UPDATE:  A couple yellow-jackets, too.  However, I found the breach – a corner of wood where the roof meets the house that has warped up, leaving a gap.  I think I can block it with a simple can of sealant.

On the fourth hand…….Iced Coffee.  Nectar of the Gods.

(*traditional law school humor name for wills and estates class)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Got a rayther bizarre letter last evening announcing that our estate lawyer had died recently and, in its deftly understated phrase, “will no longer be able to be responsible for your estate planning matters”.

Well……..no.  I can see that.

I only met the woman once or twice, but as I recall she wasn’t any older than I am.   Evidently, she knew this was coming, as she had made advance arrangements for the transfer of her book o’ biznay to a couple other firms.  (The letter asks us where we want her copies of all our estate papers to be sent.)

Rest in peace.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo had to drive up to Bal’mur, Murrland yesterday on bizney.

I’ve long ranted here about the bat-shite craziness of Murrland drivers.  Increasingly, I believe that Bal’mur is the epicenter of this cray-cray, the veritable Mos Eisley of the scum and villainy that pollute the local highways and byways.  The place gives me the creeps.

Golden moment: A delivery truck double-parked on Calvert Street blocking an SUV in front of me sporting a “Wag more, bark less” decal on its rear window.  The driver of said SUV was telling off the delivery guy in no uncertain terms with both word and gesture.

Irony status? Prime.

 

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Got our tax docs back from the accountant wallahs this evening.  For the past umpteen years, we’ve always expected a modest refund.  This year, it would seem we actually owe a not-inconsiderable wodge of dosh.  Grrrrrrr…….

This is the thing.  It’s not so much the amount of the check itself, it’s the perception of value for money.  I could write a whole damn book on this subject, but in short, I don’t think we’re getting all that much.  Double grrrrrr……

Speaking of owing reminds me of an episode back in the early days of married life, 20-odd years ago.  What with one thing and another, I had been slow about putting together our returns, and the upshot was that Mrs. R and I had to make a run for the closest open Postal Service facility on the evening of April 15th in order to get our return properly post-marked.

There was a blazing thunderstorm and torrential rain that evening.  Nonetheless, the anti-tax protesters were out in force at the mail center and I tooted my horn in solidarity with them most enthusiastically.  (I love the idea, by the way, of scheduling elections round about the same time as taxes are due.  Goes right to the whole value-for-money thing.)

Anyhoo, we got the forms into the mail well before midnight, with much grumbling, and started on our way back to our apartment.  Coming up on an important intersection, we found that there had been an accident and that the cops were on the scene to direct traffic around the mess.

I will never forget this.  Having just had Uncle take a big bite out of my not-very-considerable income, I was sitting in a downpour, lightning all over the place, when I suddenly became aware of a County policeman knocking on my windshield with his flashlight and pointing at my inspection sticker.  It had expired the month before.

Ol’ Robbo is not and has never been an Ayn Rand libertarian type.  But at that moment, I wanted to cold-cock the cop, strip him of his weapons and equipment, and light out for the hills.

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