Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo was so discombobulated by the time change last night, he woke up this morning thinking it was Monday.  As I rattle around ahead of getting ready for Mass, a few odds and ends:

♦  Did my first leaf-raking pass yesterday.  (I also mowed the lawn again.  Needless to say, it was a long day.)  The foliage this year has turned out to be a complete dud, starting then stoping then starting again, very dull and washed out colors, and most of the remainders now going straight to brown.  I’ve heard all kinds of different explanations for why colors are sometimes good and sometimes bad, most of them having to do with some combination of rainfall and temperature.  I don’t know what the ideal is supposed to be, but we certainly didn’t get it this year.

In fact, we’ve had very little rain really since about the beginning of July, and certainly of late.  The advantage of this? Dry leaves are a heckuva lot easier to deal with than sodden wet ones.

♦  Picked up fresh bags of bird food at the hardware store yesterday.  When the clerk rang them up, I rolled my eyes and said, “They damn well better appreciate this!”  The clerk laughed and told me somebody else had said the same thing to her earlier in the day.   That stuff gets expensive, and at this time of year both of my feeders are cleaned out within less than 48 hours.  I have had to harden my heart and resist the temptation to fill them up mid-week.

♦  Speaking of the birds, I hadn’t seen a Carolina wren all year but spotted one under the back deck just this week.  Also speaking of birds, I cannot understand the complete absence this year of the Northern juncos.  We used to have dozens of them.  Globull Warmening, I suppose.

♦  And speaking of Globull Warmening, it has continued quite pleasant enough for ol’ Robbo to travel hither and yon in La Wrangler with the top down.  Alas, with the time change I’m going to have to go ahead and put it back up later this afternoon.  We are now entering what I call the Time of the Mole People and commuting back and forth in the dark with the top down just isn’t the same thing.

♦  Yes, I am avoiding all mention of the elections.

♦   In Gel News, it looks as if the Eldest is now heading in the direction of a History Major/Theatre Minor.  She had a nice chat with her current History prof this week.  The prof is a lefty but not a rigidly dogmatic one and said that she appreciates the Eldest’s skepticism and willingness to challenge things in class.  The Gel is taking another course with this prof next semester on Tudor and Stuart England.  She’s also taking a class on Hitler and Stalin with another prof who has a reputation for eccentric conservatism.  (One of his assignments for this class is for the students to plan their own genocides.)  She’s already laughing at the thought of the contrast.  (The two profs are good friends, btw.)

♦  Meanwhile, we’ve entered the hunt to try and figure out where on earth to send Middle Gel.  She’s off to a college fair downtown this afternoon with Mrs. Robbo, who will be working the Sweet Briar booth.  (No, Middle Gel has absolutely no interest in SBC, saying that she’s already had plenty of single-sex education, thank you very much.)  We shall see.

♦  Finally, Youngest Gel is trying out for the high school swim team this week.  She hadn’t swum competitively for a year or two, but has been training reasonably hard for the past couple months and really pulled her best times down considerably.  Fingers crossed!

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