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Courtesy of the Roman Catholic Boys for Art.

Courtesy of the Roman Catholic Boys for Art.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers and Happy Thanksgiving (or “Friendgiving” as the kids are calling it now, whatever the hell that means)!  I hope you all have a blessed and grateful holiday get-together with your family and friends.

Ol’ Robbo will be out of action for the next few days due to holiday logistics.  Meanwhile, I’d just like to register my glee over the latest moonbat meme to come across the innertoobs.  You see, according to said meme, we ought to embrace the wholesale immigration of Syrian refugees because the Native Americans (™) embraced the arrival of the Puritans back in the day.  Hence the holiday.  If you don’t accept this groupthink, so the reasoning goes, you’re a hypocrite.


Are these not the same moonbats who for some years now have told us that the Pilgrims were genocidal invaders hell-bent on wiping out the Indigenous Nations?

Yes, yes I think they are.

And how has that worked out for the “Natives”?

It isn’t hypocrisy, it’s just plain fool triumph of feeling over reason.  As I’ve said before, these people don’t think, they emote. God help them and us all.

Anyhoo, a very happy Thanksgiving and I’ll see you later.

ceciliaGreetings (again), my fellow port swillers!  Although it’s been a tumultuous day or two here, I just wanted to wish you all a very happy Feast of St. Cecilia!

St. Cecilia is, for obscure reasons, the patron saint of musick, so I’m sure you can understand why she is very special to Ol’ Robbo.  Indeed, she is more or less an unofficial patron for me and I have a frieze of her by Botticelli perched atop my piano.  I’m little more than a sight-reading hack these days, and while I do very much enjoy making musick, I am also keenly aware of my shortcomings in that respect, and also of my tendency to employ rayther a lot of bad language when banging on the keys.  I look to her to aid me in fighting these shortcomings and making my efforts more pleasing to God.

A great task, I admit, but a worthy one.

St. Cecilia, ora pro nobis.

"Semper vigilo"

“Semper vigilo”

Whelp, here we go.  Regular friends of the decanter will recall that we adopted Daisy the English Cocker Spaniel earlier this summah.  She’s the first dog Mrs. Robbo ever dreamed of dealing with and the two of them have bonded famously, much to my delight.

When we took her in, Daisy had a bump on her chest that the vet dismissed at the time as a heat sore.  Yesterday, however, during her checkup, the same vet admitted that, yeah, it was a growth.

This afternoon we were told that the biopsy had come back and yes, it’s cancerous.

Daisy’s going back in to the vet tomorrow for blood work, etc., and we’ll get a consultation early in the week about Options.  I’m hoping and praying that this is just an isolated thing that can be clipped off.  If it’s already metastasized, there’s going to be a world of hurt.  I’m hardened enough to accept that these things happen with pets, but Mrs. R would be devastated and I doubt she’d ever get up the courage to have another dog in the house again.

Prayers would be appreciated.

UPDATE: Labs came back clean.  Looks like she’s gonna be fine after they clip the growth off tomorrow.  (Whether she has to wear the cone of shame remains to be seen.)


Well here’s a story that ought to make friends of the decanter shudder if they’re paying the least attention at all:  40% of Millennials OK with limiting speech offensive to minorities Government Censorship.  (Fixed for accuracy.)

We asked whether people believe that citizens should be able to make public statements that are offensive to minority groups, or whether the government should be able to prevent people from saying these things. Four-in-ten Millennials say the government should be able to prevent people publicly making statements that are offensive to minority groups, while 58% said such speech is OK.

The percentages approving censorship go down sharply among the older generational blocs.

This is what comes of an education system that now teaches the precious little snowflakes to emote rather than to think.  (Deliberately, by the way.  Such mush-for-brains are much easier to manipulate.)

Not that I have any sympathy for ill-bred taunts (no more do my sisters nor my cousins nor my aunts), but there are other ways of dealing with them in the marketplace of ideas than going to Uncle to clamp down on them.  As I never tire of pointing out, a government that can do anything for you is also a government that can do anything to you.

I dunno how far this will go.  For what it’s worth, although I haven’t watched “South Park” in years, my libertarian oldest daughter is a yooge fan and says that the character of P.C. Principal this year is an absolutely brutal and hylarious mockery of all this.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

As he slogged through yet another evening of bumper-to-bumber yesterday, ol’ Robbo’s attention was drawn to this item by the local radio nooz update:  Capitol Christmas Tree Arrives in DC, 4000 Miles Later:

— Nearly one month and 4,000 miles later, the Capitol Christmas Tree has arrived in Washington, D.C.

The 74-foot Lutz spruce from Chugach National Forest in Alaska is the first tree selected for the ceremony from the 49th state.

The tree was cut down on Oct. 27, and shipped on a boat from Alaska to Tacoma, Washington. From there, the spruce was hitched to a flatbed truck and driven across the United States, making about a dozen stops along the way.

Organizers strapped a GPS to the flatbed so people could track the tree in real time.

As Plum Wodehouse’s comic American crook Chimp Twist would say, “Jussaminute! Jussaminute! Jussaminute!”

Normally ol’ Robbo wouldn’t pay any attention to this sort of thing, but is this not the same administration that will be sending Horseface Kerry to Paris soon for a global guv’mint indaba to establish rules and regulations to drastically slash us peasants’ carbon footprints in teh name of Mother Gaia in order to prevent Miami sinking into the rising oceans? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)  Heck, I don’t put much more than 4000 miles on the ol’ Wrangler annually, and here they’re out joyriding for one lousy tree.

As the Puppy Blender likes to say, when the people who tell me there’s a crisis start acting like there’s one, then maybe I’ll start to listen.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

My apologies for the recent lack of posties.  Veeeeery busy down the office this week.  Also, past few evenings have seen a slew of hour and a half homeward commutes.  (Port Swiller Manor is only about 14 miles from the office.  Back in my college day I could have done it quicker on foot.)  The combination of these influences has left me somewhat slack-jawed and uninterested, or at least incapable of summoning up the energy to say anything intelligent.

Instead, I’ve been giving myself over to passive entertainment.  Ran through “Band of Brothers” the past three nights, but tonight I’m going with “The Italian Job”.

(Yes, I like Mahky Mahk.  Are we going to have a problem here?)

Moar content over the weekend, hopefully.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Well, between the rash of campus cry-bully fascist incidents and the latest Islamist terror attacks in Paris, it hasn’t been a very good week for Western Civilization, has it?

tolkienCoincidentally, I read a book yesterday recommended to me by somebody in a Catholic FB group to which I belong,  The Philosophy of Tolkien:  The Worldview Behind The Lord Of The Rings by Peter J. Kreeft.  The book is exactly what the title suggests.  Kreeft organizes fifty different philosophical questions under thirteen different headings (metaphysics, philosophical theology, angelology, cosmology, and so forth).  He then explores the questions themselves a bit deeper – giving some insight into Platonic and Aristotelean thought, for example – and shows how Tolkien wove his own answers to them into characters, themes, settings and plots within LOTR, sometimes also adding direct answers to the questions by Tolkien’s closest friend, C.S. Lewis.

It’s an awful lot of ground to cover in just over 200 pages and this is really nothing more than a quick survey, but it is thought-provoking, nonetheless.  It’s been a year or two since I last went through the cycle.  Having read this book, I can now go back with a fresh perspective.  (Of course, Tolkien was classically educated and a devout Catholic and I already knew some of what Kreeft covers here.  Nonetheless, he brought my attention to some other things I had not consciously noticed before.)

One thing Tolkien and Lewis were both absolutely opposed to was “Progressivism” in all its manifestations, the evil afflicting the Modern West which I hold directly responsible for both of the headlines mentioned above.  Reading this book, you’ll either be heartened that there are still a few adults around (the author himself is firmly in Tolkien and Lewis’s camp) or else you’ll be mortified at just how far under the Wormtongue-like spell of Progressivism we’ve actually slid.

Incidentally, the cover blurb says that Kreeft is a philosophy professor at Boston College.  How he’s so far escaped the tar and feathers of the Perennially Indignant writing this kind of thing is beyond me.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers and happy Veterans’ Day!  A glass of wine, well a cup of coffee anyway (sun/yardarm and all that), with all of you who serve or have served or who have family or loved ones who do or did.  Looking back, I regret that I never did.

Anyhoo, now that the Gifting Season (that is what I’m going to call it with respect to commercial matters) has set in, the catalogs have started to fill up the Port Swiller mailbox.  One of the ones that came yesterday was from the National Geographic, and I must say that it surprised me:  Since when has Nat Geo gone all Smithsonian in the stuff it flogs?  Books and maps and whatnot, I take for granted.  But fashion? Jewelry? Have I just not noticed this before or is it a new thing?  (Toys, too.  The Little Boy that still lurks within Robbo looked mighty wistfully at the working drone, the magnetic levitating globe and the laser Khet game.)

About that fashion and jewelry:  Almost all of it is “themed” – Irish, Far Eastern, African, etc.  Is this not cultural appropriation at its basest?  Is this not an outrage to our sensibilities?  Is this not a micro-aggression?

Pardon me while I assume the fetal position and let loose a cry-bully primal scream.

/logs off

/logs back on

Ah, that’s better.  I hope you learn a little lesson from this, Nat Geo.

My old grandmother used to give me a yearly subscription to National Geographic magazine when I was a kid and I must say that I really appreciated it.  No, not for the pictures of half-naked African women (at least not mostly), but because I’ve always been a nut for maps and exploration.  (For example, I’m the one driver in ten thousand who appreciates the elevation sign at the top of the pass or the announcement that one is entering or leaving the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  And I confess that Google-maps and all its little functions are like catnip to me.)

We used to get the “bonus gift” that came with the renewed subscription, too – books on the Revolutionary and Civil Wars (I’ve still got them) and several record albums.  (Anyone who doesn’t know what a “record album” is can get off my lawn right now.)  One of the albums was of Revolutionary War era songs, many of which I still sing to myself.  Another was of Mississippi steamboat songs, the only one of which I can recall being Stephen Foster’s “The Glendy Burk“.  (I still sing the first verse and teh chorus.)

I remember that latter album mostly because it had a painting of a big paddle-wheeler on the cover that I used as a model to draw a cover for a 7th grade book report I did on Tom Sawyer.  When Mr. Richter looked at my report – clear plastic binder, elaborate cover art, neat handwriting – I recall him saying, “Now this is a typical Robbo the Swiller effort.”  I’m sure it was part of the reason that he recommended I move up to advanced English in 8th grade.  (Why I had been placed in regular English for 7th, I never learned.)  From there, the rest was history – English major and law school.

Funny how life works out.



Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

prepThe Cap’n caught ol’ Robbo out in the post below in identifying Lisa Birnbach’s The Official Preppy Handbook as a major influence on my then-15 y.o. life.

Well, what can I say? I wasn’t born an Eastern Blue-blood myself, but I was raised with aspirations to Eastern Blue-blood values and style, so the book was a natural fit for me.  Still have a lot of said values and stylistic goals, although 35 years of experience has, of course, modified my outlook summat.  Isn’t that pretty much what life is about?

Anyhoo, I bring this up because I’m reminded of a curious little scandal associated with this book which came back to me because of teh Cap’n’s remark.  You see, the section of said book dealing with “preppy” colleges makes reference to a number of Virginia private schools – Sweet Briar, Hampden-Sydney, Hollins, etc., –  but there is absolutely no mention of Washington & Lee University (or “Dubyuhnell” as we like to call it).  This puzzled ol’ Robbo, once he became acclimated to the Dubyuhnell ethos as a law student, because he thought the place was exactly what Birnbach ought to have had in mind when putting together her list.

Well.  A couple years later, I heard an explanation for what was going on.  You see, according to my source (a college administration employee in the area), while she was writing the OPH, Birnbach apparently was engaged in a relationship with somebody in the Dubyuhnell administration (in the admissions office, IIRC).  The story goes that they had a very messy break-up, and that Birnbach black-listed Dubyuhnell in her book out of pure spite.

So there you are.  The politickal sometimes can be the personal.  Or the other way round.  Whichever.

Incidentally, I can’t help citing this book without noting Birnbach’s “updated” version which came out a few years ago, True Prep.  I cannot decide whether she is satirizing the New Order or licking its collective boots with this book, but either way, the thing is appalling.  Gone are the old values of tradition, restraint, refinement, and decorum.  In their place are conspicuous consumerism, garish display, rampant narcissism, embracement of “pop culture” and the jettison of traditional morality.  Put it this way, the Obamas are mentioned more than once as role-models.



bootsGreetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo spent the morning taking another slap at the leaves round Port Swiller Manor until the unexpectedly continuous rain  caused him to finally give it up.

As I laced the ol’ Bean boots for the first time this season, it occurred to me that I have owned them longer than any other single piece of clothing in my collection.  I recall that we got them in preparation for my going off to Connecticut for college in the summah of ’83, along with some turtlenecks and several Norwegian sweaters that I lost a few years ago when Mrs. R jihaded the wardrobe after we had the closet and bathroom redone.  Mrs. R claims it was an accident, but I have my doubts.

Anyhoo, the ol’ boots have never let me down.  Are they still a thing, or is this another of my anachronisms?

The jeans north of the boots in this pic are another matter altogether.  I know I’ve written about it before, albeit a very long time ago, but it is one of Robbo’s little idiosyncrasies to only own one pair of jeans at a time, and to wear them until they literally come apart at the seams before buying another pair.  The current incumbents are on their last legs, with frayed seams all around and holes under the back pockets which would be of a lot more concern were I not a boxer man.  As it is, I won’t wear them in public at all and will only venture out into the yard in them with a jacket or shirt tail strategically positioned over the Port Swiller posterior.



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November 2015